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New SERIES. | Marcu, 1879. [Vou. V, No. 2. 


In dealing with the fine arts, we of the west are, as yet, 
largely confined to music and literature, the two which rank 
the highest, and are least commonly suggested by the term 
‘‘art.”? With architecture, sculpture, and painting we 
are largely compelled to form our acquaintance through the 
imperfect medium of photographs, engravings, and written 
descriptions ; a method which, to a considerable extent, robs 
the chefs-d’cuvres of that sensuous element which is the 
proper body of art. Our lesser opportunities, however, 
find some compensation in the more vigorous effort re- 
quired for apprehending esthetic excellence, and a con- 
sequent clear appreciation of the principles which underlie 
all manifestations of art. The subject proposed for con- 
sideration is Poetry as an art, with illustrations from 
Chaucer, Spenser, and Milton. 

The term *‘ art’’ is used by some as synonymous with the 
forms of art, and by others as equivalent to the artistic 
conception. Perfect art requires such familiarity with the 
material in which the artist is working, and such happiness 
of artistic conception, that the artist shall give the fittest 
expression to the happiest efforts of the imagination. Suc- 
cess on the formal side implies skill in the use of the fittest 
means; but as the suitability of means can be determined 

Vol. 5, No. 2—8 

108 The Western. 

solely by the end sought, we shall have only the mechanism 
of art unless the artist possess that sensibility which will 
compel him to present the one combination which reflects 
his conception. To use a valuable, though abstract, defini- 
tion, true ‘‘art is spirit expressing itself in sensuous 
forms ;’’ and the true artist must be judged both by the 
quality of his conceptions (the utterances of ‘ spirit’), 
and by his ability to express those conceptions in forms 
which are appreciable through the senses (‘* sensuous 

‘¢ Literature’ is a term often used as synonymous with 
the written products of thought ; but properly it should be 
used only of belles-lettres, or of such writings as are distin- 
guished for beauty of expression. The complementary idea 
of literature is science ; the latter seeks directly to convey 
positive knowledge, the former to increase our culture, 
or to add to our breadth of thought and ease of expression. 
Style is the common property of literature, both in prose 
and in poetry, and it is the absence of style which excludes 
from the term ‘literature ’’ most efforts which seek to con- 
vey direct instruction. In a mathematical demonstration, 
or in a scientific investigation, beauty of style is either 
unattainable or disregarded ; beauty of style is precluded 
by the end sought, — an increase of our positive knowledge. 
In a poem, a literary essay, or a history, beauty of expres- 
sion is indispensable ; for the aim is to reach the spiritual 
man, and not to increase the comforts of his material exist- 
ence. A literary work, to deserve the name, must comply 
with the principles of its own art form; the idea and its 
expression must be so wedded that they cannot be disjoined 
without destruction. | 

‘¢ The proper characteristic of poetic thought is that it 
seizes the unity, the entirety, the oneness of objects in 
their harmonious connection, without distinguishing the 
parts from the whole, the means from the end, the phenom- 
ena from their law, the effects from their causes. Poetry 

Poetry as an Art. 109 

sees things exclusively as forming a living, harmonious 
whole, moved by a common force and soul.”” * * * 
‘¢ Prosaic thought takes as a point of view rational convic- 
tion, and with this it regards causes and effects, ends and 
means, according to the abstract categories of reasoning ;”’ 

* * * «the relations of congruity and reciprocity which 

it seizes are no longer those of harmony and beauty. The 
free accord, the independence of the parts, and that of the 
principle which develops itself in them, disappears in this 
conformity to ends or to positive laws;’’ * * * ‘the 
facts are incapable of satisfying the faculty which in every 
thing wishes to seize the True, the essence and unity of 
things, the inner harmony which dwells at the foundation 
of things, and which is the bond of the various parts of 
this universe. This defect disappears in the lofty specula- 
tions of thought, when science, penetrating the profound 
significance of phenomena and their laws, is elevated to 
the conception of the general order which rules the world. 
In this realm the poetic thought and the philosophic meet 
and intermingle. Yet they are still distinguishable, in that 
speculative thought conceives of the principles of things in 
an abstract manner, divested of all sensuous form; while 
in poetry the True remains attached to the form, and can- 
not detach itself from images which address the senses as 
well as the spirit.’’ 

From this difference in essence there arises a corre- 
sponding difference in the mode of organism, and by this 
are determined the language, whether we regard the 
vocabulary, the construction of sentences, or the versifica- 
tion which poetry requires. The poet sees objects through 
his feelings, and not through his understanding; appre- 
hends objects, not as composed of parts which have a for- 
mal connection, but as constituting single pictures, whose 
details are determined solely by the feeling which is para- 
mount. The poet utters what his feelings dictate, and not 
what his understanding would suggest; he is the medium 

110 The Western. 

through which his feelings find expression, and not the 
director of a movement in which he has no personal interest ; 
his is a free, creative activity, and not a capable manage- 
ment of intelligent skill. Such are the conditions under 
which poetic composition becomes possible, and these con- 
ditions determine the mode of organism. ‘* Every poetical 
product will present the image of an organic and living 
whole; unity must be its supreme condition. To secure 
this the idea must not be an abstraction, but a sentiment ; 
an action, or a complete passion, in which the whole man 
reveals himself, and which addresses itself to all of his 
faculties ; furthermore, this idea must be a centre of inter- 
est, and not an aggregation. So, too, the parts must be 
independent, without isolation, and must derive their value 
from the principal idea.”’ 

From these conditions it results that the figures of the 
poet are not selected, but form an inseparable part of the 
feeling which they convey; his words are not chosen, but 
fit themselves to his mood ; his sentences may be inverted, 
for they are to be as the spokes in a wheel, but they differ 
toto ceelo from any possible inversions in prose ; his language 
passes into the harmony of verse, because rhythm is an in- 
separable adjunct of strong feeling, and varies with each 
excitement of the sensibilities, not because the poet selects 
a harmony, but because the sacred madness by which he is 
possessed dictates the rhythm which is inseparable from 
words which are no longer mere signs and symbols, but 
which are permeated by the feeling which forces the poet to 
expression, and which, therefore, offer us ‘* thoughts that 
breathe and words that burn.’’ 

‘¢ As poetic thought conceives and represents through the 
image, the idea and the form are to the poet simultaneous, 
and constitute the poetic image. Poetic expression charac- 
terizes ; prosaic expression illustrates. To the poet, figu- 
rative expression is an end; to the prose writer, merely a 

meuns.’’ Hence the characteristic difference between the 

Poetry as an Art. 111 

vocabularies of the poet and of the prose writer ; hence the 
characteristic differences of sentential construction, — in 

prose an arrangement determined by logic, in poetry an 
arrangement designed to give the fullest expression to the 
totality which occupies the poet’s imagination; hence, 
finally, versification, or that rhythmic harmony of language 
which is the sensuous material in which the poet works, 
and by means of which ‘the innermost essence of things 
is combined with the richness of the forms of nature.’’ 
There are, then, three questions which may be asked of 
any artist, and without an answer to each of which our 
judgments must be incomplete. First: What command has 
the artist over his materials? If a painter, does he possess 
perfect skill in handling his brush and in combining his 
colors? If a poet, are the means of expression so plastic 
that he never is at a loss for felicitous, melodious, and ade- 
quate utterance? Second: What success has the artist in 
realizing his own conceptions? Does he find poetic lan- 
guage the natural medium for the products of his imagina- 
tion, or does he discover an impassable gulf between his 

‘‘airy nothing ”’ 

and ‘its local habitation and name?’’ 
Third: What is the value of the artist’s conceptions, even 
if perfectly realized? Has he ‘**carved a head upon a 

cherry-stone,’’ or has he evoked from the marble a Farnese 
Hercules, or a Jupiter Otricoli? Has he portrayed the 
calm pleasures of the every-day life of commonplace people, 
or has he drawn in imperishable outlines the wrath of 
Achilles, the conflict of human passions, the tragic colli- 
sions of our earthly life? 

Of course, as in all processes of the understanding, we 
must abstract elements which in a true artist are found only 
in combination. All art must consist of ‘* form and con- 
tent ;’’ either element is capable of judgment by the in- 
tellect, but the union which constitutes art in its true sense 
can be judged only by ‘spirit through sensuous forms,’’ 
and its appreciation is incummunicable by the processes of 

112 The Western. 

the understanding. On the formal side, ‘*‘ technique and 
composition ’’ exhaust the possibilities of art. In poetical 
art, technique resolves itself into purity and precision in 
words ; unity, perspicuity, propriety, variety, vivacity, and 
harmony in the construction of sentences; figurative ex- 
pression, or the language of imagination and passion. 
Composition will regard the fitness of the poetic forms 
chosen (whether literary form, like the drama or sonnet, or 
the lesser matter of versification), the unity of the poem, 
and the dependence of its several parts. The criticism 
which concerns itself with these formal elements may be 
conveniently called rhetorical criticism, as in the fine arts 
other than poetry it is called formal criticism. 

2. When we transcend considerations of form, and empha- 
size ‘*the spirit, which expresses itself through sensuous 
forms,’’ we employ esthetic criticism, or that judgment 
which regards ‘* composition’’ as the work of the artistic 
imagination ; which regards the quality of the poet’s con- 
ceptions, and which demands ‘‘ unity as the supreme con- 

3. But after awarding admission to the ranks of artists, 
after conceding perfect art in the agreement of thought and 
form, we must farther inquire into a poet’s themes; for 
works of art possess value as they relate themselves to the 
lesser and more transient, or the greater and more lasting 
of human interests. This kind of criticism, which may 
properly be called philosophic, will give greater praise to 
Milton’s sonnet on the Piedmontese than to Waller’s ** Go, 
Lovely Rose ;’’ not that either is inferior as a work of 
formal poetic art, but because a perfect poem of gallantry 
is, from its theme, inferior to a sonnet which adequately 
expresses a righteous indignation at the persecution of man- 
kind’s brethren in the kingdom of God. 

To begin, then, with Chaucer. What are his claims as a 
literary artist, what is the evidence for these claims, and, 
when established, what rank do they give him? In regard 

Poetry as an Art. 113 

to variety and character of themes we may speak somewhat 
at length, presuming upon a less general acquaintance with 

his works. To judge Chaucer as an artist, his minor poems 
are more important than ‘* The Canterbury Tales,’’ for 
while the latter gives us the most matured experience, the 
nature of the undertaking limits the range and the charac- 
ter of the work. Perfect literary art, judged by esthetic 
and not by formal tests, requires three things: that its end 
shall be the innermost essence of things; that its means 
shall be images addressed to the spirit ; and that its prime, 
requisite shall be unity as a supreme condition. How does 
Chaucer answer these demands? In the first place, his 
view must not be purely individual and subjective, but 
must be universal ; that is, it must be so broad and true as 
to include all experiences. Let us cite a few short passages 
for illustration. 
Gentility : 

What man desireth gentle for to be 

* * * and all his wittes dress 

Virtue to love and vices for to flee; 

For unto virtue [be] longeth dignity. 
And not the reverse falsely, dare I deem, 
Al wear he mitre, crown or diadem. 

Vice may well be heir to old riches, 
But there may no man, as men may well see, 
Bequeath his heir his virtues nobleness ; 
This is appropriated unto no degree 
But to the first father in majesty, 
That maketh his heirs them that him queme, 
Al wear he mitre, crown, or diadem. 
— Ballad on Gentleness. 

Like the greatest of men, Chaucer recognized, as well as 
stated, the mortality of mental fame. He says: 
But all shall pass that men prose or ryme, 
Take every man his turn for his own time. 

—L’Envoy a Scogan. 

So, too, in an age when social influences were notably 

114 The Western. 

strong, Chaucer saw that the prime factor of human success 
is human endeavor. He says: 

No man is wretched but himself it wene, 
Nor he that hath in himself suffisaunce. 
— Ballad of the Village without Painting. 

Notice how far Chaucer’s insight surpassed the experience 
of the world, when of purity he says: 

And those that wore chaplets on their heads, 
Of fresh woodbine, be such as never were 
To love untrue, in word, thought, or deed. 

Of the poet’s office, he feels that it must not only have 
the golden tongue of Chrysostom, but must have the wis- 
dom of Origen. He says: 

And that I do [or use] no diligence 
To show craft, but sentence. 

Unlike many of our reputable translators, Chaucer knows 
that one must translate like Shelley, recreating and re-orig- 
inating the forms which shall do justice to the spirit of the 
writer translated. He says: 

Adam Scrivener, if ever it thee befall 

Bocaccio or Troilus to write anew, 
Under thy long locks thou must have the skull. 

Of man’s subjection to the limitations of humanity, 
Chaucer says : 
Tho’ I praunce all before, 
First in the traces, full, fat, and new yshorn, 

Yet am I but a horse, and a horse’s law 
I must endure, and with my might to draw. 

Of self-knowledge and a spiritual life, a theme taken up 
again so effectively by Tennyson, he says: 

Read well thyself that other folks canst read, 
And truth thee shall deliver, there is no dread. 
Waive thy lusts, and let thy ghost thee lead, 
And truth thee shall deliver, there is no dread. 


Poetry as an Art. 115 

So, in regard to what Gladstone calls authority in matters 

of religious belief, Chaucer says : 

But God forbid but men should believe 

Well more things than they have seen with eye. 
Man shal] not wenen everything a lie, 

But it himself he seeth, or else it doeth. 

For, God wot, a thing is nevertheless so, 
Though every wight may not it see; 

Well ought we then to honour and believe 
These books, when we have no other proof. 

We have now considered Chaucer as the seer, —the cru- 
cial test of all esthetic criticism not formal. The second 
requirement of perfect art was ‘‘ images addressed to the 
spirit,’’ —that is, pictures not merely verbal, but such as 
shall stand the examination of the most searching analysis. 

The knight : 

Though he was worthy, he was wise, 
And of his port as meek as is a maid; 
Nor ever yet he villainy has said, 

In all his life, unto the meanest wight. 

Picture of utter hopelessness : 

Have ye not sometimes seen a pallid face 
Among a press, of him that hath been led 
Toward his death, where he can hope no grace, 
And such a color in his face hath had? 

Till that the soul out of his body creepeth. 
A beautiful woman: 

And therewith was she so perfect a creature 
And she had been made in scorn of nature. 

Chivalrous knight : 

The red statue of Mars, with spere and targe, 
So shineth in his white banner large, 

That all the fields gliteren up and down. 
And by his banner borne is his penon 

Of gold ful riche, and which there was ybete 
The Minotaure which that he slew in Crete. 
Thus rit this duk, thus rit this conqueror, 

116 The Western. 

And in his host of chivalrie the flour, 

Til that he came to Thebes, and alight 

Fayre in a field, ther as he thought to fight. 
But shortly for to speken of this thing 

With Creon, which that was of Thebes king, 
He fought, and slew him manly as a knight 
In plain bataille and put his folk to flight; 
And by assaut he wan the citie after, 

And rent adown bothe wall and sparre, and rafter, 
And to the ladies he restored again 

The bodies of hir housbondes that were slain, 
To don the obsequies, as was tho the gise. 

Passing by, then, the formal art of Chaucer, what as an 
artist did he attempt to portray? Human life; humanity 
as 2 complex of various characters, each finding expression 
through the tone of thought which he esteems most highly ; 
human life as displayed through the passion of love ; some 
small attempts at lesser themes. To the consideration of 
human life are subordinated all descriptions of landscapes, 
all reflections, moral, religious, or ethical. For the study 
of a noble manhood and a pure womanhood, for beautiful 
descriptions of English landscapes, for clearness of insight 
in regard to the interests of man, Chaucer is unsurpassed. 

Of Chaucer, Taine says happily: ‘*A man of mark; in- 
ventive though a disciple, original though a translator ; who, 
by his genius, education, and life, was enabled to know and to 
depict a whole world, but above all to satisfy the chivalric 
world and the splendid courts which shone upon the heights. 
He belonged to it, though learned and versed in all branches 
of scholastic knowledge ; and he took such part in it that 
his life, from beginning to end, was that of a man of the 
world and a man of action.”’ 

To turn to Spenser. He is weakest in unity; a defect 
due to his inartistic attempt to combine the capricious play 
of the fancy and moral instruction. With a strong ethical 
nature Spenser combined rare poetic faculty, but their en- 
forced unison bred a discord similar in kind to that which 
we find in the poetry of the age of Pope. No one who knows 

Poetry as an Art. 117 

Spenser only by reputation has any adequate idea of his 
variety or power ; of the insights which, while not the most 
profound, are nevertheless unrivalled in the poetry of reflec- 

tion. All of Spenser’s defects seem to arise from his 
attempting to regulate poetic imagination by the laws of the 
prosaic understanding ; hence his imagery frequently degen- 
erates into a mere play of the fancy. Beautiful women, 
chivalric men, descriptions of scenery, the encounters of 
tournaments, intense personation of the passions, — these 
find full expression ; and yet the undercurrent of an ethical 
purpose leaves us, at the end of each poem, wondering at 
Spenser’s possibilities while we resent the impotent results 
either to art or to philosophy. Of insights Spenser furnishes 
many, from which we select as follows : 

Perishability of fame: 

O vaine worlds glorie, and unstedfast state 

Of all that lives on face of sinful earth! 

Which from their first untill their utmost date, 
Tast no one hower of happines or merth; 

But like as at the ingate of their berth 

They crying creep out of their mothers woomb, 
So wailing backe go to their wofull toomb. 

Why then dooth flesh, a bubble-glas of breath, 
Hunt after honour and advancement vaine, 
And reare a trophee for devouring death 
With so great labour and long-lasting paine, 
As if his daies for ever should remaine? 
Sith all that in this world is great or gaie 
Doth as a vapour vanish and decaie. 
— The Ruines of Time, st. 7, 8. 

O trustlesse state of miserable men, 

That builde your blis on hope of earthly thing, 
And vainly thinke your selves half happie then, 
When painted faces with smooth flattering 
Doo fawne on you, and your wide praises sing; 
And, when the courting masker louteth lowe, 
Him true in heart and trustie to you trow! 

All is but fained, and with oaker dide, 
That everie shower will wash and wipe away; 

The Western. 

All things doo change that under heaven abide, 
And after death all friendship doth decaie. 
Therefore, what ever man bearst worldlie sway, 
Living, on God and on thy selfe relie ; 

For, when thou diest, all shall with thee die. 

— Stanzas 29, 30. 

Ignorance the destroyer of its own ends: 

How manie great ones may remembred be, 

Which in their daies most famouslie did florish, ‘ 
Of whome no word we heare, nor signe now see, 

But as things wipt out with a sponge to perishe, 

Because they living cared not to cherishe 

No gentle wits, through pride or covetize, 

Which might their names for ever memorize. 

Provide, therefore, ye Princes, whilst ye live, 

That of the Muses ye may friended bee, 

Which unto men eternitie do give; 

For they be daughters of Dame Memorie, 

And Jove, the father of Eternitie, 

And do those men in golden thrones repose, j 
Whose merits they to glorifie do chose. 

— Stanzas 51, 52. 

In vaine doo earthly princes then, in vaine, 
Seeke with pyramides to heaven aspired, 

Or huge colosses built with costlie paine, 
Or brasen pillours never to be fired, 

Or shrines made of the mettall most desired, 
To make their memories for ever live! 

For how can mortall immortalitie give? 

Such one Mausolus made, the worlds great wonder, > 
But now no remnant doth thereof remaine; 

Such one Marcellus, but was torne with thunder; 

Such one Lissippus, but is worne with raine; 

Such one King Edmond, but was rent for gaine. | 

All such vaine moniments of earthlie masse, | 
Devour’d of Time, in time to nought doo passe. 

— Stanzas 58, 59. 

Behold the fowle reproach and open shame i 
The which is day by day unto us wrought 

By such as hate the honour of our name, 

The foes of learning and each gentle thought; 

They, not contented us themselves to scorne, 

Doo seeke to make us of the world forlorne, 

Ne onely they that dwell in lowly dust, 
The sonnes of darknes and of ignorance ; 

Poetry as an Art, 

But they whom thou, great Jove, by doome unjust 
Didst to the type of honour earst advaunce ; 

They now, puft up with sdeignful insolence, 
Despise the brood of blessed Sapience, 

The sectaries of my celestial skill, 
That wont to be the worlds chiefe ornament, 
And learned impes that wont to shoot up still, 
And grow to hight of kingdomes government, 
, They underkeep, and with their spredding armes, 
Doo beat their buds, that perish through their harms. 

Or again, he exposes the baseness of ignorance by setting 
forth the nobility of intelligence : 

It most behoves the honorable race 

Of mightie peeres true wisedome to sustaine, 

And with their noble countenance to grace 

The learned foreheads, without gifts or gaine; 

Or rather learnd themselves behoves to bee; 
| That is the girlond of nobilitie. 

But ah! all otherwise they doo esteeme 
Of th’ heavenly gift of wisdomes influence, 
And to be learned it a base thing deeme; 
Base minded they that want intelligence ; 
For God himselfe for wisedome most is praised, 
And men to God thereby are nighest raised. 
— The Teares of the Muses. Clio, st. 2-7. 

Most miserable creature under sky 

Man without understanding doth appeare ; 
b>. For all this world’s affliction he thereby, 

J And fortunes freakes, is wisely taught to beare: 
Of wretched life the onely joy shee is, 

And th’ only comfort in calamities. 

: She arms the brest with constant patience 
Against the bitter throwes of dolours darts: 

She solaceth with rules of sapience 

The gentle minds, in midst of worldlie smarts: 

j When he is sad, shee seeks to make him merie 
And doth refresh his sprights when they be werie. 

But he that is of reasons skill bereft, 
And wants the staffe of wisedome him to stay, 
Is like a ship in midst of tempest left 
Withouten helme or pilot her to sway: 

Full sad and dreadfull is that ships event; 

So is the man that wants intendiment. 

The Western. 

Whie then doo foolish men so much despize 
The precious store of this celestiall riches? 
Why doo they banish us, that patronize 
The name of learning? Most unhappie wretches! 
The which lie drowned in deep wretchednes, 
Yet doo not see their owne unhappines. 
— The Teares of the Muses. Melpomene, st. 3-6. 

Such is the powre of that sweet passion, 

That it all sordid basenesse doth expell, 

And the refyned mynd doth newly fashion 

Unto a fairer forme, which now doth dwell 

In his high thought, that would itselfe excell ; 
Which he beholding still with constant sight, 
Admires the mirrour of so heavenly light. 

— Hyman I, l. 190-196. 

Full little knowest thou that hast not tride, 
What hell it is in suing long to bide. 
— Mother Hubberd’s Tale, l. 895-896. 
So love of soule doth love of bodie passe, 
No lesse than perfect gold surmounts the meanest brasse. 
— Faerie Queene, b. IV, c. 9, st. 2. 

Of the purer manners, juster laws, of the brave old days 
of old, Spenser says: 

the antique use which was of yore, 
When good was onely for itself desyred, 
And all men sought their owne, and none no more; 
When justice was not for most meed outhyred, 

But simple truth did rayne, and was of all admyred. 

— Book V, Introduction, st. 3. 

True nobleness is described thus: 

Therein the noblesse of this knight exceedes, 
Who now to perils great for justice sake proceedes. 
— Book V, c. 2, st. 1. 

Mastery required for the exercise of power: 

Whoso upon himselfe will take the skill, 
True justice unto people to divide, 

Had need have mightie hands for to fulfill 

That which he doth with righteous doome decide, 
And for to maister wrong and puissant pride ; 
For vaine it is to deeme of things aright, 
And makes wrong-doers justice to deride, 

Poetry as an Art. 

Unlesse it be perform’d with dreadlesse might; 
For powre is the right hand of justice truely hight. 
— Faerie Queene, b. V, c. 4, st. 1. 

Of the power of beauty, Spenser has said, more happily 
than Pope: 

Nought under heaven so strongly doth allure 
The sence of man, and all his mind possesse, 
As beautie’s lovely baite, that doth procure 
Great warriours oft their rigour to represse, 
And mighty hands forget their manlinesse ; 
Drawne with the powre of an heart-robbing eye, 
And wrapt in fetters of a golden tresse, 
That can with melting pleasaunce mollifye 
Their hardened hearts enur’d to blood and cruelty, 
— Book V, e. &, ot. 1, 

Some clarkes doe doubt in their deviceful art 
Whether this heavenly thing whereof I treat, 
To weeten mercie be of justice part, 

Or drawn forth from her by divine extreate ; 
This well I wote, that sure she is as great, 
And meriteth to have as high a place. 

Sith in th’ Almighties everlasting seat 

She first was bred and borne of heavenly race; 

From thence pour’d down on men by influence of grace. 

For if that vertue be of so great might 
Which from just verdict will for nothing start, 
But, to preserve inviolated right, 
Oft spilles the principall to save the part; 
So much more then is that of powre and art 
That seekes to save the subject of her skill, 
Yet never doth from doome of right depart; 
As it is greater prayse to save than spill, 

And better to reforme than to cut off the ill. 

— Book V, c. 10, st. 1, 2. 

Truth crushed to earth is thus foreshadowed : 

It often fals, in course of common life,” 

That right long time is overborne of wrong, 
Through avarice, or powre, or guile, or strife, 
That weakens her, and makes her party strong; 
But Justice, though her dome she doe prolong, 
Yet at the last she will her owne cause right. 
— Book V, ec. 11, st. 1. 

122 The Western. 

Insatiate ambition is thus described : 

O sacred hunger of ambitious mindes, 
And impotent desire of men to raine! 
Whom neither dread of God, that devils bindes, 
Nor lawes of men that common-weales containe, 
Nor bondes of nature, that wilde beastes restraine, 
Can keepe from outrage and from doing wrong, 
Where they may hope a kingdome to obtaine; 
No faith so firme, no trust can be so strong, 

No love so lasting then, that may enduren long. 

— Faerie Q ceene 

The graces of courtesy are thus depicted : 

What vertue is so fitting for a knight, 

Or for a ladie whom a knight should love, 

As courtesie; to beare themselves aright 

To all of each degree as doth behove? 

For whether they be placed high above 

Or low beneath, yet ought they well to know 

Their good; that none them rightly may reprove 

Of rudeness for not yeelding what they owe; 
Great skill it is such duties timely to bestow. 

Thereto great helpe Dame Nature selfe doth lend; 
For some so goodly gratious are by kind, 
That every action doth them much commend, 
And in the eyes of men great liking find; 
Which others that have greater skill in mind, 
Though they enforce themselves, cannot attaine; 
For everie thing, to which one is inclin’d, 
Doth best become and greatest grace doth gaine; 
Yet praise likewise deserve good thewes enforst with paine. 

— Book VI, c. 2, st. 182. 

True is, that whilome that good poet sayd, 
The gentle minde by gentle deeds is knowne; 
For a man by nothing is so well bewrayed 
As by his manners; in which plaine is showne 
Of what degre and what race he is growne; 
For seldome seene a trotting stallion get 
An ambling colt, that is his proper owne; 
So seldome seene that one in basenesse set 
Doth noble courage shew with courteous manners met. 
— Book VI, ¢. 3 

But evermore contrary hath bene tryde, 
That gentle bloud will gentle manners breed. 
— Book VI, ¢. 3 

Poetry as an Art. 123 

Of Spenser’s imagery, the following may. be taken as 

A woman crushed by sorrow: 

There, on the other side, I did behold 

A woman sitting sorrowfullie wailing, 

Rending her yellow locks, like wyrie golde, 

About her shoulders careleslie downe trailing, 

And streams of teares from her faire eyes forth railing; 
In her right hand a broken rod she held, 

Which towards heaven shee seemed on high to weld. 

The land of drowsyhood : 

It was the time when rest, soft sliding downe 
From heaven’s height into men’s heavy eyes, 
In the forgetfulnes of sleepe doth drowne 
The carefull thoughts of mortall miseries. 

— The Visions of Bellay, I, l. 1-4. 

We have quite a touch of modern poetry in the sentiment 
which follows : 

She fell away in her first ages spring, 
Whilst yet her leafe was greene, and fresh her rinde; 
And whilst her,braunch faire blossoms foorth did bring, 
She fell away like fruit blowne down with winde. 
Weepe, Shepheard! weepe, to make my under song. 

— Daphnaida, I, st. 37. 

Daphnaida, II, 1-7. Beautiful picture of the death of a 
lovely girl. Daphnaida, III, 1-7. 

Honorable pride: Amoretti, st. 5. 

Physical beauty: Amoretti, st. 37. 

Hymn to beauty, |. 85-273. 

Attractive solitude : 

A little lowly hermitage it was, 
Downe in a dale, hard by a forest's side, 
Far from resort of people, that did pas 
In traveill to and froe; a little wyde 
Ther was an holy chappell edifyde, 
Wherein the hermit duly wont to say 
His holy things each morn and eventyde. 
Thereby a christall streame did gently play, 
Which from a sacred fountaine welled forth alway. 
— Faerie Queene, 6. I, st. 1-34. 
Vol. 5. No. 2—9 

124 The Western. 

Description : 

Next unto him was Neptune pictured, 

In his divine resemblance wondrous lyke ; 

His face was rugged, and his hoarie hed 

Dropped with brackish deaw; his threeforkt pyke 
He stearnly shooke, and therewith fierce did stryke 
The raging billowes, that on every syde 

They trembling stood, and made a long broad dyke, 

That his swift charet might have passage wyde, 
Which foure great hippodames did draw in teamwise tyde. , 

His sea horses did seeme to snort amayne, 
And from their nosethrilles blow the brynie streame 
That made the sparckling waves to smoke agayne 
And flame with gold; but the white fomy creame 
Did shine with silver, and shoot forth his beame: 
The god himselfe did pensive seeme and sad, 
And hong adowne his head as he did dreame. 
— Faere Queene, b. III, c. 2, st. 40, 41. 

Discord : 

Her face most fowle and filthy was to see, 
With squinted eves contraérie ways intended, 
And loathly mouth, unmeate a mouth to bee, 
That nought but gall and venim comprehended, 
And wicked wordes that God and man offended: 
Her lying tongue was in two parts divided, 
And both the parts did speake, and both contended ; 
And as her tongue so wos her hart discided, 
That never thought one thing, but doubly stil was guided. 

Als as she double spake, or heard she double, \ 

With matchlesse eares deforméd and distort, 

Fild with false rumors and seditious trouble, 

Bred in assemblies of the vulgar sort 

That still are led with every light report: 

And as her eares, so eke her feet were odde, 

And much unlike; th’ one long, the other short, 

And both misplast; that, when th’ one forward gode, 
The other backe retired and contrarie trode. 

Likewise unequall were her handés twaine ; 
That one did reach, the other pusht away ; 
That one did make, the other mard againe, 
And sought to bring all things unto decay ; 
Whereby great riches, gathered manie a day, 
She in short space did often bring to nought, 
And their possessours often did dismay : 

Poetry as an Art. 

For all her studie was, and all her thought 
How she might overthrow the things that Concord wrought. 

So much her malice did her might surpass, 
That even th’ Almightie selfe she did maligne, 
Because to man so mercifull he was, 
And unto all his creatures so benigne, 
Sith she herself was of his grace indigne: 
For all this worlds faire workmanship she tride 
Unto his last confusion to bring, 
p ) And that great golden chaine quite to divide, 
With which it blessed Concord hath together tide. 
— Faerie Queene, b. IV, ¢. 1, st. 27-30. 

Temple of Venus, b. IV, c. 10, st. 5-57 ; Marriage of the 
Thames and the Medway, 11, st. 1-53; Mercellaes Palace, 
b. V, c. 9, st. 23-33. 

‘¢ What distinguishes Spenser from all other poets,’’ says 
M. Taine,” is the mode of his imagination. Generally, the 
imagination ferments vehemently ; Spenser remains calm 
in the fervor of invention. He presents consecutive and 
noble, almost classical, images,—so nearly ideas that the 
mind seizes them unaided and unawares ; he is always sim- 
ple and clear; he makes no leap, he omits no argument, he 
robs no word of its primitive and ordinary sense, he pre- 
serves the natural sequence of ideas. He is redundant, 
ingenuous, and even childish. Spenser found himself at 
one with his subject ; he was on the level of so much noble- 
ness, dignity, reverie ; he is not yet settled and shut in by 
that species of exact common sense which was to found and 
cramp the whole modern civilization. | Spenser’s character- 
istic is the vastness and the overflow of picturesque inven- 
tion. With Spenser the colorists and architects have come ; 
they understand proportions, relations, contrast ; they com- 

Milton has a wider range than is ordinarily supposed, 
and yet, to a certain extent, he is but a more mature Spen- 
ser, falling upon times better suited for the display of his 
unique genius. Man as a religious and contemplative being 
is Milton’s constant theme; and while he escapes the gen- 

126 The Western. 

eral faults of Spenser, he still suffers from the interference 
in finding through the prosaic understanding the themes 
which he is to execute poetically. The predominance of 
Milton’s intellectual views prevents that free play of the 
faculties which alone results in the highest creations of poetic 
art. Hence, with an art sense which guides him safely 

through his lesser flights, which gives us such perfect 
specimens as his sonnets, his ** Epithalamium,”’ his ** Ly- 
cidas,’” **Comus,’’ and ‘* Samson Agonistes,’’ Milton 
fails westhetically in his most ambitious poems, because his 
strong desire ‘* to justify the ways of God to man”’ over- 
rides his artist’s sense of the unfitness of the theme for 
poetic endeavor. 

Milton’s language is determined in part by the necessities 
of the time in which he lived, in part by the nagure of his 
undertaking, in part by the audience for which he wrote ; 
but, after all due allowance for these necessities, we must 
admit that his vocabulary is unnecessarily learned, and that, 
like Carlyle, he regarded language as the property of 
authors. In his images Milton is prevailingly happy; at 
times there is a coarseness, evidently inoffensive in the 
Elizabethan era, but in the government of his imagination 
Milton is unsurpassed. His versification shows great mas- 
tery, and has a majesty all its own. Felicity of diction is 
a marked characteristic, so that rhetorically Milton is very 
strong. From the stand-point of esthetic criticism Milton 
holds a very high rank, falling below the highest excellence 
in the ** Paradise Lost’’ and ** Paradise Regained.’’ The 
themes of these poems preclude treatment in dramatic or 
epic form; a Protestant must necessarily deal with the 
world to come only in the lyric form. 

The character, as well as the quality, of Milton’s mind 
may best be felt by slightly changing the plan pursued in 
Chaucer and Spenser, and reading consecutively passages 
selected at random from the many which illustrate Milton’s 
rank as a seer: an Art. 


What in me is dark 
Illumine; what is low, raise and support. 
— Paradise Lost, I, l. 22. 

A mind not to be changed by place or time. 
The mind is its own place, and in itself 
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. 

— Lines 253-255. 

Virtue could see to do what virtue would, 
By her own radiant light, though sun and moon 
Were in the flat sea sunk. 
— Samson Agonistes, 1. 373. Comus, 373-375. 

He that hath light within his own clear breast, 
May sit i’ the centre and enjoy bright day; 
But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts, 
Benighted walks under the mid-day sun. 

— Lines 381-384. 

Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise 
(The last infirmity of noble mind) 
To scorn delight and live laborious days. 

Lycidas, l. 70-72. 

Peace hath her victories. 
No less renowned than war. 
— Sonnet 16. 

They also serve who only stand and wait. 
— Sonnet 19. 

Not to know at large, of things remote 
From use, obscure and subtle, but to know 
That which before us lies in daily life, 
Is the present wisdom. 
— Paradise Lost, b. VIII, l. 192-195. 

Whom have I to complain of but myself? 
— Samson Agonistes, 46. 

But what is strength without a double share, 
Of wisdom? Vast, unwieldy, burthensome, 
Proudly secure, yet liable to fall 
By weakest subtleties, not made to rule, 
But to subserve where wisdom bears command. 
— Samson Agonistes, l. 53-57. 

——to love bondage more than liberty, 
Bondage with ease than strenuous liberty. 
— Lines 270-271. 

The Western. 

What boots it at one gate to make defence, 
And at another to let in the foe? 
— Samson Agonistes, l. 560-561. 

And love hath oft, well meaning, wrought much woe. 
Line 814. 
All wickedness is weakness. 

— Line 834 

that to the public good 
Private respects must yield with grave authority. 

— Lines 867-868. 

In argument with men a woman ever 
Goes by the worse, whatever be her cause. 

— Lines 903-904. 

Where the heart joins not, outward acts defile not. 

— Line 1368. 

How died he? death to life is crown or shame. 
— Line 1579. 

Nay, gentle shepherd, ill is lost that praise 
That is addressed to unattending ears. 

— Comus, l. 271, 272. 

And trust thy honest offer’d courtesy, 
Which oft is sooner found in lowly sheds, 
With smoky rafters, than in tap’stry halls 
And courts of princes, where it first was named, 
And yet is most pretended. 
— Lines 322-326. 

Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt, 
Surprised by unjust force, but not inthrall’d; 
Yea, even that which mischief meant most harm, 
Shall in the happy trial prove most glory ; 
But evil on itself shall back recoil, 
And mix no more with goodness, when at last 
Gathered like scum, and settled to itself, 
It shall be in eternal restless change 
Self-fed, and self-consumed: if this fail, 
The pillar’d firmament is rottenness, 
And earth’s base built on stubble. 

— Lines 589, 599. 

Thou canst not touch the freedom of my mind 
With all thy charms, although this corporal rind 
Thou hast immanacled, while heav’n sees good. 
— Lines 664-666. 

Poetry as an Art. 

And that which is not good, is not delicious 
To a well-governed and wise appetite. 

— Comus, l. 704, 705. 

— good, the more 
Communicated, more abundant grows, 
The author not impair’d, but honor’d more. 
— Paradise Lost, b. V, l. 71-73. 

Evil into the mind of god or man 
May come and go, so unapprov’d, and leave 
No spot or blame behind. 
— Book V, l. 117-119. 

—— nor jealousy 
Was understood, the injur’d lover's hell. 
— Book V, l. 449-450. 

And for the testimony of truth hast borne 
Universal reproach, far worse to bear 
Than violence. 

— Book VI, l. 33-35. 

For strength from truth divided and from just, 

laudable, naught merits but dispraise 
And ignominy; yet to glory aspires 
Vainglorious, and through infamy seeks fame. 
— Book VI, l. 381-384. 

Th’ invention all admir’d, and each, how he 
To be th’ inventor miss’d, so easy it seem’d 
Once found, which yet unfound most would have thought 
— Book VI, l. 498-501. 

Immediate are the acts of God, more swift 
Than time or motion, but to human ears 
Cannot without process of speech be told, 
So told as earthly notion can receive. 

— Book VII, l. 176-179. 

Revenge, at first though sweet, 
Bitter ere long back on itself recoils. 
— Book IX, l. 171, 172. 

For solitude sometimes is best society. 
_ Book je a ‘ 249. 

Reason is free, and reason he made right; 
But bid her well beware, and still erect, 
Lest by some fair appearing good surpriz’d 

The Western. 

She dictate false, and misinform the will 
To do what God expressly hath forbid. 
— Paradise Lost, b. LX, l. 352-356. 

But past who can recall, or done undo? 
— Book IX, l. 926. 

Nor love thy life, nor hate, but what thou liv’st 
Live well. 
— Book XI, l. 558, 554. 

Yet sometimes nations will decline so low 
From virtue, which is reason, that no wrong, 
But justice, and some fatal curse annex’d, 
Deprives them of their outward liberty, 
Their inward lost. 
— Book XII, l. 97-101. 

——that suffering for truth’s sake 
Is fortitude to highest victory, 
And to the faithful, death the gate of life. 
— Paradise Regained, b. XII, l. 569-571. 

To conquer sin and death, the two grand foes, 

By humiliation and strong sutferance, 
His weakness shall o’ercome satanic strength 
And all the world, and mass of sinful flesh. 
— Book I, l. 159-162. 

Yet held it more humane, more heav’nly, first 
By winning words to conquer willing hearts, 
And make persuasion do the work of fear. 
— Book I, l. 221-223. 

Man lives not by bread only, but each word 
Proceeding from the mouth of God. 
— Paradise Lost, b. I, l. 349-350. 

now I feel by proof, 
That fellowship in pain divides not smart, 
Nor lightens aught each man’s peculiar load. 
— Paradise Regained, b. I, l. 400-402. 

Hard are the ways of truth, and rough to walk. 
— Book I, l. 478. 

Most men admire 
Virtue, who follow not her lore. 
— Book I, l. 482, 483. 

Yet he who reigns within himself, and rules 
Passions, desires, and fears, is more a king. 
— Book IV, l. 466, 467. 

Poetry as an Art. 

For therein stands the office of a king, 
His honour, virtue, merit, and chief praise, 
That for the public all this weight he bears. 
— Paradise Regained, b. IT, l. 462-464. 

What wise and valiant man would seek to free 
These thus degenerate, by themselves enslav’d, 
Or could of inward slaves make outward free? 
— Book IV, l. 143-145. 

——for the mind and spirit remains 
Invincible. . 
— Paradise Lost, b. I, l. 139. 

——to be weak is miserable, 
Doing or suffering. 
— Book I, b. 157, 158. 

Their glory wither’d, as when heaven’s fire 
Hath seath’d the forest oaks or mountain pines, 
With singed top, their stately growth, though bare, 
Stands on the blasted heath. 
— Book I, l. 612-615. 

who overcomes 
By force, hath overcome but half his foe. 
— Book I, l. 648-. 

—— from this descent 
Celestial virtues rising will appear 
More glorious and more dread, than from no fall, 
And trust themselves to fear no second fate. 
— Book I, l. 15-17. 

Our greatness will appear 
Then most conspicuous, when great things of small, 
Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse, 
We can create, and in what place so e’er, 
Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain 
Through labour and endurance. 
— Book II, l. 262-267. 

That for the general safety he despised 
His own; 
— Book II, l. 481, 482. 


Not to know me argues yourself unknown ; 
The lowest of your throng. 
— Paradise Lost, b. IV, l. 830, 831. 

The Western. 

The world was all before them, where to choose 
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide. 
— Paradise Lost, 6. XII, l. 626, 627. 

—— yet from these flames 
No light; but only darkness visible. 
— Book } A l. 62, 63. 

Thick as autumnal leaves, that strew the brooks 
In Vallambrosa, where the Etrurian shades, 

High over-arched imbower. 
— Book I, l. 303-305. 

From morn 
To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve, 

A summer’s day. 

— Book I, l. 742. 

The other shape, 
If shape it might be called, that shupe had none 
Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb. 
— Book I, l. 666. 

At whose sight all the stars 
Hide their diminished heads. 
— Book IV, l. 34. 

As children gathering pebbles on the shore. 
— Book III, l. 230: Paradise Regained, 6. IV, l. 330. 

Where more is meant than meets the ear. 
— Il Penseroso, l. 120. 

By merit raised 
To that bad eminence. 
— Paradise Lost, b. IV, l. 5. 

Where peace 
And rest can never dwell! hope never comes 
That comes to all! 
— Book I, l. 65. 

To reign is worth ambition, though in hell! 
Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven! 
— Buwk I, l. 267. 

Mammon, the least-erected spirit that fell 

From heaven. 
— Book I, l. 679. 

— and with neces-ity, 
The tyrant’s plea, excused his devilish deeds. 
— Book IV, l. 598. 

Poetry as an Art. 

But all was false and hollow, though his tongue 
Dropped manna; and could make the worse appear 
The better reason, to perplex and dash 
Maturest counsels. 
— Paradise Lost, b. II, l. 112. 

Nor do I name of men the common rout, 
That wand’ ring loose about 

Grow up and perish, as the summer fly, 
Heads without name no more remember’d. 

— Samson Agonistes, l. 674-677. 

with head declin’d, 
Like a fair flower surcharged with dew, she weeps, 
And words address’d seem into tears dissolv’d. 


— Lines 727-729. 

And with blindness internal struck. 
— Line 1686. 

The nodding horror of whose shady brows. 

— Comus, l. 38. 

And they, so perfect is their misery, 

Not once perceive their foul disfigurement, 
But boast themselves more comely than before, 
And all their friends and native home forget, 
To roll with pleasure in a sensual sty. 

CL Mle ded 

— Lines 

And you a statue, or as Daphne was 
toot-bound, that fled Apollo. 
— Lines 661, 662. 
And with fore’d fingers rude, 
Shatter your leaves before the mellowing vear. 

— Lycidas, l. 4, 5. 

Under the opening eyelids of the morn, 
We drove a-ftield, and both together heard 
What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn, 
Batt’ning our flocks with the fresh dews of night. 

— Lines 26-29. 
The willows and the hazel copses green 
Shall now no more be seen, 
Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays. 

— Lines 42-44. 
Ye valleyvslow * * * 

Throw hither all your quaint enamell’d eyes, 

The Western. 

That on the green turf suck the honied showers, 
And purple all the ground with vernal flowers. 
— Lycidas, |. 136, 139, 140. 

Smoothing the rugged brow of night. 
— Il Penseroso, l. 58. 

Casting a dim religious light. 
— Line 160. 

Ye mists and exhalations that now rise 
From hill or steaming lake, dusky or gray, 
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold. 
— Paradise Lost, b. V, l. 185-187. 

The Winged Saint, Paradise Lost, b. V, 1. 276-287; 
Battle of the Angels, b. VI, 1. 207-353 ; Advent of Christ to 
the Battle, b. VI, 1. 749-784; Adam’s Description of Para- 
dise, b. VIII, 1. 253-338. 

So saying, through each thicket dank or dry, 
Like a black mist low creeping, he held on 
His midnight search. 
— Paradise Lost, b. LX, l. 179, 180. 

Inward nakedness. 
— Book X, l. 221. 

The cherubim descended; on the ground 
Gliding meteorous, as ev’ning mist, 
Ris’n from a river, o’er the marish glides, 
And gathers round fast at the laborer’s heel 
Homeward returning. 
— Book XII, l. 628-632. 

Prone on the flood, extended long and large, 
Lay floating many a rood. 
— Book I, l. 195. 

Left him at large to his own dark designs, 
That with reiterated crimes he might 
Heap on himself damnation, while he sought 
Evil to others. 
— Book I, l. 213-216. 

Satan, Paradise Lost, b. I, 1. 587-670. 
Assembling of the Devils, 1. 767-797. 

Poetry as an Art. 

Deep on his front engraven, 
Deliberation sat and public care ; 
And princely counsel in his face yet shone, 
Majestic though in ruin; sage he stood, 
With atlantean shoulders fit to bear 
The weight of mightiest monarchies; his look 
Drew audience and attention still as night, 
Or summer’s noon-tide air, while thus he spake. 

— Paradise Lost, b. I, l. 302-309. 

Conclave of the Evil Spirits, Paradise Lost, b. II, 10-384. 

Invocation to Light, Paradise Lost, b. III, 155. 

Eden and our First Parents, Paradise Lost, b. IV, 248- 

‘*In both prose and poetry,’’—to quote again from M. 
Taine, who, while giving an infelicitous description of Mil- 
ton’s genius, yet presents forcibly some of his charac- 
teristics, —** Milton aims at the sublime, and_ inspires 
admiration ; because the sublime is the work of the enthu- 
siastic reason, and admiration is the enthusiasm of reason. 
In both he arrives at his point by the accumulation of 

splendors, by the sustained fulness of poetic song, by the 

greatness of his allegories, the loftiness of his sentiments, 
the description of infinite objects and heroic emotions.”’ 
* * * «As a lyrist and philosopher, with a wider poetic 
freedom, he produces almost perfect odes and choruses.”’ 

From the illustrations just presented, we may, it is 
hoped, perceive the characteristics of poetic art, as explained 
in the introduction to this paper. It remains to coérdi- 
nate poetry with its sister arts. ‘* Poetry combines the 
advantages of the arts of design and of music. Like the 
former, it retraces for the imagination the picture of eternal 
objects; like the latter, it expresses feeling in its inmost 
and profoundest nature. It adds to this the clearness of 
thought; it alone of the fine arts has the prerogative of 
presenting an event in all its parts, as well as the complete 
course of the action. Thus, that which characterizes and 
essentially distinguishes poetry is that it expresses imme- 

136 The Western. 

diately all the conceptions of the human spirit, by images 
which address themselves no longer to the senses, but to 
the spirit itself; that it employs a language which, by its 
clearness and richness, permits it to embrace the whole 
world of thought. Poetry, too, can paint objects. It is, 
indeed, incapable of attaining to precision of visible forms 
and of reproducing all of their details ; it can only describe 
them in succession, but spirit supplies this defect by the 
force of imagination. Poetry is like music in that both 
employ sound as a means of expression; but sound in 
music is not a true sign, distinct from the idea; it is con- 
founded with the feeling which it expresses, and is, there- 
fore, not a means; but an end. Music elaborates and fash- 
ions for itself, and absorbs itself wholly in sound; it can, 
therefore, embrace only loosely the multitude of con- 
ceptions and ideas of the spirit ; it is limited to expressing 
the feelings of the soul in their vague and indeterminate 
character. On the contrary, the proper element or ele- 
mental substance of poetry is the image, and the spirit 
converts sound into a clear and distinct sign, indifferent in 
itself and designed solely to transmit thought.’’ Such is 
substantially Hegel’s presentation ; I add a few distinctions 
from Lessing : 

Painting uses forms and colors in space; poetry, articu- 
late sounds in time. 

Painting can use but a single moment of an action; 
poetry but a single attribute, but represents its theme in 
progressive action. 

Painting represents a coexistence in space ; poetry, suc- 
cession in time. 

Painting as imitative skill can express ugliness ; painting 
as a fine art will refuse to express it; as imitative skill, its 
sphere extends over all visible objects ; as a fine art, it will 

confine itself to those subjects which produce agreeable 

Poetry, however, may make use of ugliness of form, as 

Poetry as an Art. 137 

in the two following extracts from Shakespeare, of the first 
of which Lessing says, ‘‘I hear a devil speaking, but in 
the form of an angel of light ;’’ and of the second, ‘* I hear 
a devil, and see a devil, in a shape which only the devil 
should wear.”’ 

Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law 

My services are bound; wherefore should I 

Stand in the plague of custom, and permit 

The curiosity of nations to deprive me, 

For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines 
Lag of abrother? Why bastard? Wherefore base? 
When my dimensions are as well compact, 

My mind as generous, and my shape as true 

As honest madam’s issue? Bastardy? Base?. Base? 
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take 

More composition and fierce quality, 

Go to creating a whole tribe of fops 

Got ’tween asleep and wake. 

— King Lear, act I, scene 2. 

But I, —that am not shaped for sportive tricks, 
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass ; 
I, that am rudely stamped, and want love’s majesty ; — 
To strut before a wanton, ambling nymph; 
I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion, 
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature, 
Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time 
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up, 
And that so lamely and unfashionably, 
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them; 
Why I, in this weak piping time of peace, 
Have no delight to pass away the time; 
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun, 
And descant on mine own deformity ; 
And, therefore, since I cannot prove a lover, 
To entertain these fair, well-spoken days, 
I am determined to prove a villain. 
— King Richard ITT., act I, scene 1. 

It is to be borne in mind, then, that for any study of 
poetic art, —or, indeed, of any art in its best estate, — we 
must feel that its creator works freely under the influence 
of strong feeling; that any attempt to dictate to the imag- 
ination must result in the errors of Spenser and Milton, 
while surrender to the imagination of what properly belongs 

138 . The Western. 

to it will enable a poet to claim the whole world as his 
sphere, even if, like Shelley, he find his most abiding inter- 
est in themes more generally studied through works of the 
understanding. Knowing, then, the nature of the artist’s 
work, we shall speedily see the principles of his art, and 
will be prepared to place ourselves under the only condi- 
tions which will admit of proper appreciation. We shall 
then be conscious that while philosophy of art, true to its 
office of philosophy, explains to the intellect the movement 
of the feelings, that it is only through the feelings that one 
can enjoy the sensuous element which is inseparable from 

art. Music must be heard, paintings must be seen, poetry 

must be recreated by our own imaginations, else we shall 
have but the fundamental truth which belongs to all nature, 
and shall be examining the anatomy instead of enjoying the 
fresh animated beauty of the living form. 

H. H. Morgan. 


If Christianity is the one absolutely adequate and final 
religion of the’ world, it is because it assimilates all the 
essential and valid elements of former religions, and so 
supplements and sublimates them as to give them infinite 
significance and value. 

In like manner, if the art of the Christian era presents 
the most profoundly significant and spiritually beautiful 
forms that art can produce, it is because it is the perfect 

1A good photograph (cabinet size) of this picture can be procured at the 
bookstores. It has also* been engraved many times. The engraving by 
Achille Désiré Lefevre (1857) is doubtless the best; and of this, excellent im- 

pressions from the plate in its second state (open letter) are still to be had, at 

from $15 to $18. 

Raphael’s Saint Cecelia. 139 

sensuous expression of spirit arrived at what may be styled 
an infinitely concrete stage of advancement. In other 
words, the art of this era is the most perfect possible sen- 
suous product of that phase of culture which includes all 
former, and, in essence, all possible, phases of true cul- 
ture —a statement the justification of which is found in 
the fact that, with the development of the Christian idea, 
the human spirit has reached the stage of complete con- 
sciousness of itself as spirit, and has thus fairly and know- 
ingly entered upon its never-ending career of advancement 
toward its own infinite ideal. Thus, Christian art can be 
such only by the inclusion and very transfiguration of all 
that is substantial in previous phases of art. 

It is, of course, beyond the purpose of the present paper 
to discuss those phases at length; and yet some slight in- 
timation, at least, of their chief characteristics will be found 
to aid greatly in the fulfilment of the task we here under- 

Briefly, then, there were two essential phases of pre- 

Christian art; 1. The first was developed during that early 

period in which men were becoming dimly conscious of the 
mighty problems of the world, but were still unable to 
reach any clear solution of them. With such vagueness of 
thought there could only be vagueness of expression. 
Hence, artistic effort during this period resulted in pure 
symbols, of which the Sphynx —emblem of humanity still, 
but half emerged from animal nature —is the significant 
type. 2. Immediately succeeding symbolism, and, in part, 
growing out of it, came a phase of art which was the out- 
ward expression of a fundamentally higher phase of thought. 
Mystery cleared away by slow degrees, and the vivacious 
Greeks found a (to them) wholly satisfactory solution of the 
world in a multitude of personal and completely anthropo- 
morphic gods. To the Greek these gods were divine, be- 
cause they possessed superior intelligence, superior physi- 
cal powers, superior physical beauty. They were, in short, 

Vol. 5. No.2—10 

140 The Western. 

idealized Greeks. To represent these the Greek artist se- 
lected the most perfect models he could find, and strove to 
create images more beautiful still, that thus he might in 
some measure make the gods visible. Here, manifestly, 

the ideal is that of sensuous beauty, and its absolutely per- 

fect realization was attained in Greek classic art. 

Beyond this there is but a single essential stage of ad- 
vancement in art. It is that in which the conception of 
personality rises to perfect adequacy. The divine is now 
seen to be necessarily One. The Greek gods vanish and 
Christ appears. The Man-God shows the essential unity of 
the human and the divine. The Greeks were right in tind- 
ing the solution of the world in the unity of the divine and 
the personal. But their conception of this unity was inad- 
equate. Christianity gave completeness to this conception 
by showing that the unity of the divine and the personal 
must be an infinitely concrete spiritual unity. But this 
unity presents the absolute ideal of man, and thus, as just 
suggested, brings to light the essential unity of the divine 
and the Auman. 

Thus, the relation between gods and men among the 
Greeks was accidental and physical. Christianity, on the 
contrary, shows the relation between man and God to be 
spiritual, constant, and necessary ; and this is the key to 
the significance of all distinctively Christian art. 

Now, man’s unity or oneness with the divine consists in 
his likeness to the divine. God is the ideal of man, and 
man becomes more perfect as man in proportion as he be- 
comes more perfectly the image of God. But this perfec- 
tion is, in its nature, spiritual; so that now the most. per- 
fectly developed and most truly beautiful human being is 
first of all the most perfectly, the most symmetrically de- 
veloped human souv/, Hence, to represent spiritual beauty 
is the supreme task of Christian or Romantic art. 

It would be extremely interesting to trace the long strug- 
gle which led up to the final fulfilment of this task, so far 

Raphael’s Saint Cecelia. 141 

as its fulfilment is possible in outward visible form ; how at 
first Christian artists, restrained by the dread of idolatry, 
kept wholly aloof from forms of physical beauty, —those 
forms which had been so long consecrated to the purposes 
of pagan religion, —and allowed themselves to use only a 
few abstract emblems, thus returning to the primitive phase 
of symbolism (though now in a wholly new sense); how 
afterward the human form was timidly admitted, though 
under protest, and in strictly conventional types ; how these 
types themselves were speedily reduced to little else than 
symbols; how the iconoclastic reaction against even these 
images at length gained the victory among the descendants 
of the artistic Greeks, while religious art was saved from 
destruction by the children of the non-artistic Lomans 
(who, by the very fact that they had no deeply-rooted 
traditions of art in close union with an idolatrous religion, 
had no real ground to dread a relapse into paganism from 
the presence of images or pictures in their places of 
worship); how, finally, the revival of learning, with the 

recovery of many fine specimens of classic art, suddenly 

awoke to perfect life the elements that had been silently 

gathering for centuries, and caused the artistic genius of 
Florence, of Rome, of all Italy, to recognize that what was 
wanting to perfectly vitalize and mature Christian art was 
to recall the rejected classic element and unite it—trans- 
formed, indeed, and subordinated —to the new, that thus 
the new might possess at once both soul and body. 

Such scheme, however tempting, cannot, of course, be 
followed out here. We may only add that the actual 
process of reanimation to which we have alluded was fairly 
begun by Cimabue and Giotto; carried forward by Mas- 
accio, Mantegna, and Leonardo da Vinci: and brought to 
its final and glorious perfection by the prince of painters— 

From this introduction we proceed to give (1) a brief 
statement of the Legend of Saint Cecelia; (2) an account 

142 The Western. 

of the circumstances connected both with the ordering of 
the picture before us, and also with its execution ; and (3) 
such analysis as we have been able to make of the picture 


According to the legend, Saint Cecelia lived as early as 
the third century of our era. She was of noble Roman 
birth, and was secretly brought up in the Christian faith, to 
which her parents had become converts. The beauty of 

her character and the depth of her piety were from child- 
hood beyond praise. As she grew to womanhood she made 
a vow of perpetual virginity, consecrating herself to the 
service of heaven and abjuring all earthly pleasures. Her 
gifts for music were so marvellous that she composed hymns, 
and sang them with such sweetness that angels came down 
to listen to her. She was skilful, also, in the use of all 
musical instruments, but finding that none of them possessed 
sufficient capacity of utterance, she invented the organ, that 
she might express more adequately the harmonies she felt 
in her own soul; and this instrument she dedicated to the 
service of God. 

Soon, however, while she was still but sixteen years of 
age, her parents, not knowing of her vow, gave her in mar- 
riage to a young and truly noble Roman named Valerian ; 
who, nevertheless, was still ignorant of the true religion. 
Cecelia told him of her faith and of her vow, at the same time 
assuring him that she had a guardian angel who kept per- 
petual watch over her, and would permit no earthly lover to 
approach her. Her eloquence and earnestness persuaded 
him that this new faith must be far better than the old. He 
wished to see the heavenly messenger. But he must first 
be confirmed in the faith. Cecelia directed him to go to 
the aged Saint Urban, who had taken refuge from persecu- 

1 Abridged from the Legend, as given in Mrs. Jameson’s ‘‘ Sacred and Legen- 
dary Art.” 2 vols., l6mo. J. R. Osgood & Co., Boston, 1875. 

Raphael’s Saint Cecelia. 143 

tion in the catacombs. There Valerian sought him out, 
listened to his holy teachings, and returned a baptized, 
devout believer. On entering his house he heard the most 
enrapturing music, and, reaching the room where Cecelia 
was, he beheld an angel standing near her and holding in his 
hands two crowns of celestial flowers, invisible to unbeliev- 
ers, but possessing unfading blooom and imperishable fra- 
grance. These crowns he placed upon the heads of Cecelia 
and Valerian, and, addressing the latter, said: ‘* Because 
thou hast followed the chaste counsel of thy wife, and hast 
believed her words, ask what thou wilt, it shall be granted 
thee.’’ The boon Valerian demanded was that his brother, 
whom he dearly loved, might also have his eyes opened to 
the truth. The angel, assuring him that this should take 
place, vanished from their sight. The promise was almost 
immediately fulfilled, and all three wrought with such zeal 
that many were converted to the new faith through their 
persuasion and good works, until first the brothers received 
the crown of martyrdom, as the angel had foretold, and at 
length Cecelia herself was put to death, though not without 
a miracle first being shown in her behalf, — she being cast 
into a vessel of boiling water without suffering any harm. 
Immediately, however, she was executed with a sword; 
though, instead of actually beheading her, as he had been 
ordered, the executioner, full of fear, left her after giving 

her three dreadful wounds, of which she died some days 

after, all the while singing hymns, exhorting those about 
her to constancy in the faith, and giving direction for the 
bestowment of her goods upon the poor. 

In obedience to her last commands, her house was, after 
her death, consecrated as a church, and the room in which 
she suffered martyrdom was considered a specially sacred 
spot. From the first she had been held in great veneration 
by the Italian Christians, and numerous churches are dedi- 
cated to her honor in various parts of Italy. She is 
esteemed as the patron saint of music, and is frequently so 
represented on church organs. 

144 The Western. 

We come next to consider the second general topic : 


The story of Saint Cecelia’s life affords many incidents 
suited to artistic representation, and it is said that for a 
long period almost every Italian artist availed himself of 
one or more of these incidents. 

It was in 1513, says Passavant,’ that a noble lady of 
Bologna, named Elena Duglioni, had a sort of inspiration 
commanding her ** to consecrate a chapel to Saint Cecelia in 
the church of San Giovanni, in Monte, near Bologna.’’ 
Through a relative, who was just then made a cardinal, an 
order was given to Raphel to paint the altar-piece for this 

Passavant declares that **a sudden inspiration called 
forth this picture, and it was in one of his most inspired 
hours that the master composed this admirable and brilliant 

It seems that, though the picture was sketched at once 
upon the reception of the order for it, the completion of it 
did not take place for some time after. At least, it was not 
placed in the chapel until the beginning of the year 1517. 

Francia, the intimate friend of Raphael, was then living 
in Bologna. To him Raphael sent the picture, requesting 
him to retouch it, should he find any. faults in it, or in case 

it should be injured, either in transportation or in being 

Far from finding any occasion for retouching the picture, 
Francia, at sight of it, was seized with enthusiastic admira- 
tion, in which the whole city joined him. 

According to the most trustworthy accounts, Francia died 
(at the age of sixty-seven) only a few days after receiving 

1 Raphael d’Urbin et son Pere Giovanni Santi. Par J. D. Passavant. Edi- 
tion Francaise. 2 vols. in 8vo. Paris, 1860. 

Raphael’s Saint Cecelia. 145 

the picture and causing it to be placed in the chapel of 
Saint Cecelia. This fact gave rise, long ago, to the well- 

known myth that Francia died of chagrin at the superiority 

of his illustrious friend. 

We may add that ‘this picture was removed by the 
French in 1798, taken to Paris, and placed in the * Musée 
Napoléon.’ In 1803 Halquin transferred it to canvas. ? 
The treaty of peace of 1515 caused it to be returned to 
Bologna, and placed in the public gallery of that city. It 
has been newly cleaned, and freed from the unskilful retouch- 
ings to which it had been subjected in France.’’ 

We have now to present our analysis. 


The first observation we have to make here is that the in- 
timate relation between the earthly and the heavenly — to 
which reference has already been made —is well illustrated 
in this picture by the choir of angels above and the listen- 
ing group below. The celestial and the sublunary are com- 
bined in one view. It will be remembered, too, how fre- 
queutly this conception is more or less similarly represented 
both by Raphael and by most, if not all, other artists of 
the best period. We need only recall in this place the 
‘* Madonna di Foligno,” the ** Madonna of the Fish,”’ and 
the ** Sistine Madonna,’’ by Raphael; the ** Assumption of 
the Virgin,’ by Titian; the ++ Immaculate Conception,” by 
Murillo; and the ** Madonna with Saint Sebastian,’” by Cor- 
reggio. In short, so deeply had the minds of all believers 
become penetrated with the conviction of the immediate 
truth and reality of this union between man and _ spirits of 
the heavenly world that all pictures not exclusively secular 
will be found to express it with more or less distinctness. 
Indeed, to speak of a religious picture (in the Christian 
sense) that did nof express this conviction would be little 
less than a palpable contradiction. 

1 Originally painted on wood. 

146 The Western. 

We have now to consider more particularly, first, the 
grouping ; second, the classic elements ; and, third, the sym- 

bolic elements to be found in the picture. 

Ll. The Group.—The arrangement is seen to be very sim- 

ple. Saint Cecelia stands in the midst; at her right hand, 
in front, is Saint Paul; and near him Saint John. At the 
left hand of the central figure, again, are Mary Magdalene 
and Saint Augustine. But why should these particular 
personages be associated with Saint Cecelia? The answer 
to this question is, we think, contained in the picture itself. 
Saint Paul is preéminently the theoretical reasoner of the 
early Church. He was the first to logically formulate the 
doctrines of Christianity. His is the reflective, finely 
trained, and keenly penetrating intellect. Saint John is 
the surpassingly beautiful soul, the beloved disciple, whose 
supremely delicate and profoundly emotional spirit summed 
up the science of the whole world — the absolute substance 
of truth—in one sentence: God is Jove. Saint Augus- 
tine, born in the fourth century (and thus, apparently, much 
later than Saint Cecelia herself), is, again, a vigorously 
intellectual character. He, too, is a trained thinker, who 
restates, defines, and elaborates the Christian doctrines, and 
defends them powerfully against the attacks of hereti- 
cal teachers. Mary Magdalene, finally, is a deeply impul- 
sive nature. With no extraordinary intellectual gifts, her 
richly emotional spirit possesses a substantial basis of sin- 
cerity. From a negative life —a life divided against itself, 
a life of perpetually increasing unrest — she is saved by the 
divine teaching, and still more by the divine life of Christ. 
Her former life she has exchanged for a life that is positive, 
unified, full of supernal rest; and her intense soul is now 
concentrated in eternal, unfathomable gratitude and love 
for Him who has forgiven her and saved her. 

Such are the chief characteristics of the four personages 
surrounding the central figure. Let us see what this will 
suggest tous. On either side of Saint Cecelia we have a 
group of two, representing in each case intellect and 

Raphael’s Saint Cecelia. 147 

emotion, or thought and love. Or, again, we may con- 
sider the balancing of the group otherwise. Saint Paul 
and Saint Augustine, the two intellectual characters, are 
opposite the one to the other, and, with Saint Cecelia, form 
a group of three. Again, Saint John and Mary Magdalene, 
the two emotional characters, are likewise opposite to one 
another, and, with the central figure, also form a group of 
three. Nothing would be more consonant with the mysti- 
cism of the early Church than to note the additional fact 
that Saint John and Mary Magdalene were personal associ- 
ates of Christ, while Saints Paul and Augustine knew him 
only historically, and, so to speak, from a distance; from 
which the analogical inference would be made that the soul 
draws nearer the divine through love and faith than through 
intellect and reason. But Raphael expresses a completer 
truth. Saint Cecelia, indeed, possessed so deeply emo- 
tional a nature as to subordinate everything to her love for 
Christ and His cause. But, on the other hand, she pos- 
sessed exalted intellectual gifts as well, composing hymns 

and inventing instruments of music ‘by which the adoring 

soul could more adequately utter its gratitude and love to 
God. Our last grouping, then, is a very significant one. 
Saint Paul, Saint Augustine, and Saint Cecelia form a group 
of three intellectual characters; while Mary Magdalene, 
Saint John, and Saint Cecelia form a group of three emo- 
tional characters. Saint Cecelia thus forms the center of 
each of these subordinate groups, and hence the center and 
essential unity of the entire group. Even the angels are 
there, and singing, because Saint Cecelia is herself so 
heavenly a musician. Hers, in short, is the most perfectly 
balanced and symmetrically developed of all the characters 
represented. In confirmation of which statement let us 
note the attitude and expression of each a little more 
closely. The attitude of Saint Paul is that of perfect 
repose ; his expression that of inward reflection rather than 
of external expectancy. He looks down at the instruments 

148 The Western. 

scattered upon the ground, but does not see them so much 
as the world of ideas suggested by them. He is conscious 
of a harmony, but it is a harmony of reason. As for Saint 
John, when angels sing he will not reason — he will /isten ; 

and while their song continues, his life, his very soul, will 

be nought else but rapture. Saint Augustine listens, also, 
but in such wise that when the music has ceased he can 
minutely describe both that and its effects. In the attitude 
of Mary Magdalene, again, there is more perfect repose than 
in that of either Saint John or Saint Augustine. She can 
searcely be said either to listen orto reflect. She is at peace 
with herself and with all the world. This is the harmony 
which she feels, and it suffices her. She represents com- 
plete subjective emotional harmony, and is thus the precise 
antithesis of Saint Paul, who represents subjective, self- 
centred, rational harmony. Saint Cecelia, finally, stands 
in the midst, wrapped, thrilled, motionless. She /isfens, 
but she also sees. Her gaze is directed upward. She feels 
the harmony, and knows whence it comes. l// (rue spirit- 
ual harmony is but a reflex of the Divine. To Saint Cecelia, 
not only is the music of angels audible, — the angels them- 
selves are also visible. 

Such is the general significance of the grouping, and in 

it is found the answer to the question why these particular 
personages are chosen as the accessory ones in this picture. 
Their characteristics are perfectly combined in those of the 
central figure, and no other four of the historical person- 
ages of the Church could be chosen who would form, with 
Saint Cecelia, so perfect an artistic unity. 

~ But we have still to consider the classic and symbolic 
elements to be found in the picture. 

2. Lhe Classic Elements.—We have said that the perfec- 
tion of Christian art was attainable only through the assimi- 
lation of preceding elements. We are now to see whether, 
and in how far, this picture illustrates the truth of the state- 
ment. Let us repeat that the classic ideal, in its purity, is 

Raphael’s Saint Cecelia. 149 

that of perfect sensuous beauty. But this beauty can be 
attained only under that sensuous form which most per- 
fectly expresses spirit; in short, only under the human 
form. Now, the eye is that portion of the human form 
which is preéminently expressive of spirit. There the whole 
soul is concentrated. But sensuous beauty cannot find its 
perfect expression except in a complete form. For this pur- 
pose the human form is immeasurably superior to all other 
forms, in this: that its entire surface, approaching as it 
does to the delicacy of the eye itself, and over its whole 
extent visibly revealing the pulsating heart, proves to be, as 
Hegel expresses it, capable of being transformed by art so 
as to become all eve, thus at every point showing itself to 
be the seat of the soul, and bringing the spirit into mani- 
festation. ** Or,” says Hegel, again,! ¢ as Plato, in his well 
known distich, cries out to the star: 

** When on the stars thou 

gazest, O my star! then would I be 

Yon starry skies, with thousand eyes, that I might gaze on thee ;’ 

so, on the contrary, art makes of each of its images a 
thousand-eyed Argus, whereby the inner soul and spiritu- 
ality become visible at all points.’’ Such is the ideal of 
classic art. It expresses spirit ina form so perfect that it 
might be said to be rather the expression of spirit @s form. 
More precisely, in this phase of art, form and spirit are one 

and inseparable. Hence repose, dignity, serenity, beauty, 

are the predominant characteristics of the images of per- 
fected classic art. 

But assimilated, transformed; if is only thus that the 
classic element can, and thus only that it does, appear in 
Christian art, — perhaps in no other picture more perfectly 
than in the one before us. Repose, dignity, serenity, 
beauty, all are here, and here in a degree and manner such 
as no marble of Greek sculptor could ever display. It is 

1 Msthetik. Band L, seite, 194. 

150 The Western. 

not the repose of a finite and completed perfection. It is 
not the dignity of isolation. It is not the serenity of self- 
satistied indifference, which could well be conceived as turn- 

ing at length into a sigh of weariness and sadness. It is 
not the beauty that charms the outward eye merely. It is 
the repose that comes from the conviction of an everlasting 

foundation ; a dignity that comes from the consciousness of 
infinite worth ; a serenity that results from the assurance of 
divine favor; a beauty that is the radiance of the inner 
divine fire of the deathless spirit. The feet of these per- 
sonages are planted, not on isolated pedestals of crumbling 
marble, but firmly on common and imperishable ground — 
on the Lock of Ages. Spirit is, indeed, expressed here 
also by means of sensuous form, but expressed at the same 
time in such wise as to show it to be unmistakably superior 
to, and contrasted with, all that is physical. The thousand- 
eyed Argus diffuses and materializes the soul. In the eyes, 
properly speaking, the soul concentrates itself and exhibits 
its native spirituality. Hence, in the Saint Cecelia, as in 
all the best works of Christian art, the figures are draped. 
Here are no marble images. Rather we have before us 
real personages, with not merely pulsating hearts, but also, 
and far rather, with yearning, happy spirits. These are 
even portraits, but portraits of idealized characters; charm- 
ing in outward form, indeed, but whose beauty is, above 
all, the unfading beauty of the soul. 

It is thus, as already suggested, by assimilating, trans- 
forming and subordinating the classic element to the higher 
and essentially spiritual that Christian art, considered as 
painting, gives to spirit the loftiest and most perfect expres- 
sion of which it is capable by means of outwardly visible, 
sensuous form. 

3. The Element of Symbolism.—This element made its 
appearance in classic art in the same manner in which it 
appears in Christian art, namely, as a more or less signifi- 
cant accessory for the more precise identification of per- 

Raphael’s Saint Cecelia. 151 

sonages. Greek artists represented Zeus as holding in his 
hand the thunderbolt — emblem of his resistless power ; 
Apollo, as bearing the bow and arrow—symbols of the 
rays of the sun which enlightens the world; Athéné as 
wearing the egis—typifving the profound truth that the 
union of wisdom and virtue constitutes a vital and invin- 
cible force. 

Similarly, the personages of Christian art bear appropri- 
ate and significant symbols, the significance being exalted 

or debased according to the lofty or low conception of the 
artist. In the ** Saint Cecelia’’ the symbolic element is 
especially prominent, and the depth and dignity of its 
significance correspond to what we would expect from this 
divinest of all artists. 

Beginning with Saint Paul: We observe that he holds in 
his hand and leans upon a naked sword. This is usually 

understood to refer simply to his martyrdom, his head 
having been severed with a sword. In most instances it 
probably means nothing more. But Raphael has added to 
this another and far deeper significance, to which the manu- 
script in the hand of the apostle gives us the kev. The 
sword is here the apostle’s own favorite symbol of the 
truth. It is the ‘* sword of the spirit,’ which he himself 
wielded with such dauntless heroism and matchless might. 
In the shadow, at the feet of: Saint John, stands the eagle, 
the usual symbol of this evangelist. The noble bird stands 
on a large clasped book, and whether we consider this as 
the fourth gospel, or as the book of Revelations, or both 
combined, the significance can scarcely be mistaken. As 
the eagle directs its flight towards the sun, so Saint John 
gazes with unwearied vision upon the dazzling glories of 
the divine world. If Saint Paul is preéminently the phil- 
osopher of the New Testament, so Saint John is pre- 
éminently its poet. His is the method of seeing and 
depicting, rather than of reasoning and inferring. The 
fourth gospel is a philosophic epic; the Revelations, a 
series of mystic rhapsodies. Saint Augustine holds in hig 

152 The Western. 

hand the crozier, the pastoral staff or shepherd’s crook of 
the bishop. He is the shepherd of the people, and this 
staff, representing at once both his authority over his peo- 

ple and his duty to care tenderly for them, has within the 
circular ornament at the top the figare of an angel, as if 
to symbolize the supernatural element in the guidance of 
the Church. The Magdalene holds in her hand the vase of 
perfume, by which she may always be recognized, and which 
recalls the affecting incident of her anointing the feet of 
Christ ; an act so full of sincerity, of humility, and of min- 
gled penitence, devotion, gratitude, and joy us to serve as 
the supreme moment of a life otherwise remarkable, and to 
command the sympathy and admiration of all succeeding 
generations. We cannot do better than add here the 
beautiful sentence of Passavant:  *‘* Mary Magdalene,” 
says he, * holding a vase of perfume, is opposite Saint 
Paul, as if to indicate that if the repentance of the Apos- 
tle and his untiring activity in the Chureh had caused his 
former errors to be forgiven, so to her, also, much had 
been forgiven, because she had loved much.”’ 

Finally, the musical instruments ! are, of course, symbols 
referring at once to the rare musical gifts and attainments 
of Saint Cecelia, and to the estimation in which she was 
held as patron saint of music. It will be remembered that 
she is said to have been a skilful performer on all musical 
instruments, and to have invented the organ. In the pic- 
ture we see the tabor, triangle, cymbals, and tambourine 
(instruments of percussion, either of which affords possi- 
bilities of music only within the range of a single tone, 
varied by the element of time); and the flute and violin, 
which Possess the additional capacity of affording great 
variety of tone, also. But these did not possess ro/ume to 
satisfy the gifted soul of the saint. If they afforded a va- 
riety of tones, they were each still capable of but a single 

''These are the only part of the picture not executed by Raphael’s own 
hand. They are said to have been entrusted to one of his pupils, Giovanni da 


Raphael’s Saint Cecelia. 153 

tone in the same instant. Now, the flute itself may be 
said to be an organ in embryo, and among the ancients 
the same person often used two at once.’ Saint Cecelia 
(of course we are here interpreting, without questioning 
the legend ) took up this element and brought its possibili- 
ties into full realization. She multiplied the flute, and so 
combined the product as to render it possible for the indi- 
vidual soul to utter, as if with a thousand voices, its praises, 
its prayers, or its lament. But a glance at the picture suf- 
fices to show that even this wonderful instrument disappoints 
her. She has fathomed its depth, she has proven its power, 
and still finds that there are harmonies of the spirit to which 
no combination of earthly tones, however multiplied and 
refined, can give adequate expression. Hence this marvel- 
lous product of her own genius no longer holds her atten- 
tion. She almost allows it to fall upon the ground, with 
the instruments that already lie there broken and abandoned. 
She turns her gaze heavenward, in the final conviction that 
the longings and requirements of the spirit can only be 
answered and satisfied in the realm of spirit. This Raphael 
has beautifully indicated in the only way possible in a paint- 
ing — by representing the saint as looking upward, and by 
picturing angels (spiritual beings) in the clouds as the ob- 
ject answering to the gaze. This upward look — outward 

from the earth into ¢nfinite space —is the symbolic move- 

ment unconseiously adopted hy all peoples, of all times, to 

indicate their more or less clearly defined faith in the in- 
visibility, the spirituality, the 7afinify of that Power on which 
man depends, and whom, as a more or less adequately con- 
ceived Person, man adores. 

~ But to the mind of Saint Cecelia, as she is here repre- 
sented, this Supreme Person is present,— not immediately, 
but in the angels, His messengers. If, in this connection, 
we recall, on the one hand, the statement or intimation of 

the legend that the guardian angel of Saint Cecelia was 

1 Not to mention the pipes of Pan. 

154 The Western. 

visible to him alone who had passed through a stage of pre- 
paratory discipline ; and, on the other hand, the great fre- 
quency with which angels are depicted in Christian pictures, 
we will scarcely be able to avoid the conclusion that the 

artists of the golden age of painting were irresistibly im- 

pelled to the perpetual reiteration of the truth that the 
whole world is beaming with intelligence to him whose 
eyes are open to recognize the fact. 

Here our essay properly terminates. We cannot doubt, 
however, that the reader’s approval will be accorded for 
the addition of what Passavant has to say respecting the 
coloring of the original picture. 

‘*It is,’’ he says, **not merely the beauty of the style 
and the depth of the expression; it is also the harmony, 
the wealth, the power of the coloring, which make of this 
picture an incomparable masterpiece. The color corre- 
sponds to the poetry of the subject; it transports us into 
an exceptional, ethereal, and mysterious atmosphere. No 
colorist has ever equalled this splendor, which we would 
pronounce simply divine.’ Elsewhere? he adds, more 
definitely: ‘* This picture, one of the most magnificent 
which the genius of Raphael has produced, is also, in re- 
spect of coloring, an inimitable masterpiece, though it has 
lost something of its brilliancy in consequence of successive 
restorations. This coloring, remarkable above all for its 
harmony, due to the combined employment of the three 
primary colors as well as to the admirable palette of the 
painter, who has never displayed greater magnificence, or 
greater wealth, or greater magic, seems to reflect marvel- 
lously the divine splendors of the subject. The saint is 
clothed in a rich tunic, radiant with gold and with light, 
with which the red robe of Saint Paul and the blue and 
violet shades of the mantle of the Magdalene form brilliant 
and decided contrasts ; but these colors are skilfully broken 

1 Raphael d’Urbin et son Pere Giovanni Santi. Tome I, p. 211. 

2 Tome LI, p. 148. 

Literature in the Time of Charles the Great. 155 

up by the most delicate half-tints, by the happiest transi- 
tions of tones. Thus, for example, the yellow of the dress 
of Saint Cecelia is tempered by the green ornaments of 
this garment; the gold stuffs of the sacerdotal habit of 
Saint Augustine, the blonde hair of Saint John, the brown 
and yellow tones of the earth and of the instruments, con- 
stitute a delightful gamut of colors. The silvery-blue 
tones of the organ prepare the eye, so to speak, for the 
blue and violet masses of the dress of the Magdalene, and 
accord with the blue tones of the sky and of the sword of 
Saint Paul. The black hair of the latter even finds a cor- 
responding point in the black plumage of the eagle of Saint 
John. One ean thus, even in the least details, show the 
intimate connection which exists between the colors of this 
superb picture. As to the carnations, they are in harmony 
always with the characters of the personages, and, in con- 
sequence, they are rather ideal than real; for Raphael, in 
general, never painted after nature, except in portraits ; 
and even these he sought to idealize.”’ 

Passavant does not, of course, mean to say that Raphael 
did not use models, but rather that he used them only as 
the frame-work, or, better still, as the scaffolding by means 
of which he built up the external forms of his splendid 
creations. Wm. M. Bryant. 


JUNE, 1877.) 

The close correlation between literature and _ political life 

is nowhere shown more clearly and significantly than in 
the times of Charles the Great. Hand in hand with the 
revival of the universal empire went that of the universal 

Vol.6, No. 2—11 

156 The Western. 

literature; for the latter had perished, like the former. 
Yes, in the middle of the seventh century literary culture 
did, indeed, seem to have become extinct in the west. 

It was a Teutonic people which rekindled the waning 
light and nourished it into a mighty flame, which was soon 
to illuminate the entire west. Far away in the extreme 
north, the English, not long since converts to Christianity, 
seized upon the Romano-Christian culture, which was sent 
to them from the south and east, with the Teutonic zeal 
for truth and knowledge and all the freshness of a young 
and gifted nation. Rome sent them monks, from Tarsus 
and from Africa, as teachers in the sciences. Excellent 
schools were founded, at the head of which Englishmen 
were soon placed. Spite of the long distance, their learned 
clerks often undertook journeys to Rome to enlarge their 
libraries and their learning. Italy was rich in books and 
knowledge in profane works, — that is, handed down from 
antiquity, — but she was now unproductive. The English 
studies, on the contrary, bore abundant fruit. With them, 
for the first time, the Teutons really entered the circle of 
the world-literature, in which they were for a long time to 
take the lead. The literary productiveness of the English 
was not small, as is shown not only by so fruitful and im- 
portant an author as Beda; for we learn from the letters 
which have been preserved to us how many attempted both 
verse and prose. But it is remarkable that, from the begin- 
ning, among these Teutons the women took the liveliest share 
in these pursuits, the nunneries rivalling the monasteries ; 
and it is noticeable, also, that even at the beginning, and in 
the Latin literature of the English, the national element 
often finds suitable expression, as in the peculiar rhetoric, 
the alliteration, and the theory of metres depending upon 
the length of the line. It is not merely the influence of 
national genius, but of an already existing national litera- 
ture, whose age is authenticated thereby. 

Among other English writers in the Latin tongue ap- 

Literature in the Time of Charles the Great. 157 

pears, also, the apostle of the Germans, Saint Boniface. 
Through him and his English disciples, men and women, 
the Romano-Christian literary culture was planted in the 
heart of Germany, together with’ Christianity itself. Yet 
more important, however, was the indirect preparatory in- 
fluence of this Englishman upon the restoration of the 
world-literature. For the Christianizing of Germany was 
the first step toward the setting up of a Teutonic empire ; 
the second was the close alliance of the House of Arnulf 
wita the papacy, and this was also effected by Boniface. 
What was only made ready for under Pepin was per- 
fected by his mighty son, Charles. In the beginning of his 
independent reign occurs that undertaking which was so 
important in its consequences, his conquest (774) of the 
Lombard kingdom. This conquest laid the foundations of 
the Germano-Roman empire, and gives their first impulse 
to the literary efforts of Charles himself. As king of the 
Lombards, he afterward became ruler of Italy. Before 
acquiring the former title he called himself Patrician of the 
Romans ; and now, for the first time, this dignity, long 
possessed, had for him a weighty meaning. In truth, it 
signified henceforth, not merely the protector of the Roman 
Church, but the ruler of the Roman commonwealth. On 
the other hand, it may be justly maintained that the lofty 
striving after culture which filled the genuinely Teutonic 
and universally attentive mind of Charles, and which en- 
dured through all his later life, found its first mighty 
awakening in Italy. So far as book-learning was con- 
cerned, Charles’s early education had been small, quite in 
accordance with the low condition of culture in the Frank- 
ish kingdom ; for what gaps in his knowledge was he after- 
wards compelled to fill! What must now have been his 
feelings, when he came to know the Lombard court and the 
fine civilization of the Lombard nobles, a notable example 
of whom, at that time, were Adalperga, the daughter of 
Desiderius, and her husband Arichis, the patrons of Paulus 

158 The Western. 

Diaconus. Among the Lombards the Teutonic palace 
school still flourished, so much the more easily that in this 
home of ancient culture the traditions of grammatical 
training and of lay schools had never wholly died away ; 
and the manifold connections with Byzantium had also 
worked toward the same end. Charles's inward desire had 
become an outward necessity to him, as king of the Lom- 

bards ; and the attraction which, in that capacity, he felt 

towards Rome increased it. There is, also, no question 
that he received a deep impression from the objects of 
antique art, particularly the architecture of Italy. This is 
shown by the buildings which he caused to be erected, after 
antique models and precepts, and which he even adorned 
with works of antique art, columns and mosaics, which he 
sent from Rome and Ravenna to Germany. 

It was in 781, in Italy, that Charles secured the services 
of the learned men who were to revive his palace schools 
and transplant the literary culture of the English and the 
Lombards to his Frankish realm, the political centre of the 
new universal empire; so that from the point whence had 
come the beginning of the political movement of the west, 
there should follow the literary, which only thus could win 
universal influence. But in this, as in other directions, he 
was himself the final and impelling force. This culture 
which he strove to diffuse was to profit himself above all 
others. He summoned the Italian grammarian, Peter of 
Pisa, and the learned master of the school at York, the 
most famous of the Englishmen he had met at Parma. He 
also obtained the services of Paulus Diaconus, the son of 
Warnefried, of an old and noble Lombard family. The 
first-named two were Charles’s own teachers ; but Alcuin was 
also at the head of the palace-school, and Charles’s adviser 
in matters of instruction and of the Church, in culture and 
dogma. Western learning has much for which to thank 
this man; Charles could have found no better instrument 
for carrying out his plans. Alcuin was, indeed, no genius ; 

Literature in the Time of Charles the Great. 159 

he was not rich in new and fruitful ideas, but he was a 
man of extraordinary talent, of great and broad culture, of 
muny-sided interests. He was, moreover, an excellent 
school-master, called, as none other was, to spread the Eng- 
lish methods of instruction abroad upon the continent. 
And, what was by no means insignificant, the English com- 
prehended lay teaching, and that in its highest branches ; for 
since the introduction of Christianity the foremost among 
them had displaved great zeal for learning. The most 
famous English writer and teacher, Adhelm, was himself of 
kingly race, and had written a treatise upon ancient metres 
for the king of Northumberland. We still possess several 
compositions of Alcuin’s, written for the palace school, or 
possibly for Charles himself. They are like a catechism, 
in the form of a dialogue, but so arranged that the learner 
asks and the teacher answers. This is, apparently, an old 
traditional English form, as is shown from the above-named 
work of Adhelm’s, which is arranged in the same way. 
Adhelm first used this form among the English, saying that 
clearness of arrangement required it, while in one of his 
compendiums Adhelm gives as a reason for its use the clear 
presentation of the thought; both reasons are equally suit- 
able. Alcuin was able to adapt this form very skilfully to 

the palace uses. His grammar was meant for the younger 

scholars, and their first instruction in learning began with 
that. It is in the form of a conversation between two 
pupils and their master. The pupils are a Saxon of fifteen 
and a Frank of fourteen years. By the Saxon,*of course, 
although this has never been recognized, we are to under- 
stand an Englishman, that nation being often called by the 
name Saxon. The vounger, the less educated, the Frank, 
asks ; the elder, the Saxon, answers. The master, notwith- 
standing the plan, only aids them in some cases, as where 
grammur strays into the province of dialectic, as in defini- 
tions. A certain dramatic liveliness, however, is really 
lent to this learned conversation, which is certainly copied 

160 The Western. 

from the life, and mirrors the free action of the palace 
school. The jests of the students are woven into it, even 
satirizing the method of instruction. ‘* Now you have 
enough about the noun,’’ says the Saxon, and the Frank 
replies, ‘* I should say so, indeed, if my ears had not been 
filled with questions by the chatter-boxes which buzz about 
the master’s house!’’ Alcuin’s Rhetoric and Dialectic were 
undoubtedly written for Charles the Great himself, since 
the dialogue is here carried on between him and the master, 
Alcuin. From the preface to the Rhetoric, I think that they 
were composed for the sake of the repetition of oral instrue- 
tion, to which direct and indirect reference is made to them ; 
and for the sake, also, of a more systematic development 
of that method. Here Charles questions and Alcuin 
answers, being careful to observe the same courtly forms 
as in his letters to the king. 

We must speak of one more remarkable little book of 
Alcuin’s, which was written for Pepin, the son of Charles. 
It is a little hand-book for what we might call ** Practice in 
Thinking,”’ for the training of wit and acuteness, in which 
there is given, in an image or metaphor, a witty or humor- 
ous definition of various objects and ideas closely connected 
with man, as of the body and its members, life and death, 
the elements, the constellations, the seasons, ete., as, for 
example, ** What is the tongue?”’ ** A scourge of the air.”’ 
‘©What is a mist?’ ‘* Night by day; a weariness of the 
eyes.”” ** What is day?’’ ‘* The incitement to labor.’’ In 
such questions and answers, which are of the nature of 
riddles, are found questions by the teacher which really are 

riddles, taken from a Latin collection of no great antiquity. 
For the earlier part of his work, also, an ancient writing had 
shown Alcuin the way, and partially furnished him with 

This method of training in thinking was of English na- 
tionality ; the riddle was uncommonly dear to the English, 
and warmly cherished by them in their literature, — even the 

Literature in the Time of Charles the Great. 161 

Latin. Adhelm earlier had made a collection of riddles, 
as had Boniface and several others before him, and many 
of these have been preserved in English. Alcuin entirely 
shared the national taste, in which Charles the Great him- 
self took much delight, outdoing all others of his court in 
guessing his master’s riddles, 

In this little prince’s primer of Alcuin’s, knowledge 
appears also in the service of society. Alcuin, who was 
far from being a mere pedant, and who did not despise the 
pleasures of the table and the wine-cup, knew how to carry 
literary culture from the school to the society of the court. 
What we have said of Charles’s court academies amounts 
to this: The Franks taught, in Alcuin’s school, the Eng- 
lish who had followed him from his home as his colleagues ; 
many other learned and politically gifted men, such as 
Theodolf, joined themselves with Charles and his family at 
his court, in the same eager striving after wider intel- 
lectual culture ; they entered into a more intimate relation- 
ship with them, which enabled them to look beyond the 
limits of rank and calling, while they took special names, 
as signs and tokens of a common effort, which must be- 
come a bond of a friendly nature. So, in this circle, 
Charles was called ** David,’? in memory of the pious 
kingly singer and warrior ; Alcuin, ‘* Flaccus,’” for Horace ; 
Angilbert, Charles’s son-in-law, ** Homer ;”’ Einhard, well 
skilled in technic art, was called ** Beseleel,’’ for the inge- 
nious decorator of the Tabernacle; Theodolf, ‘* Pindar,’’ 
etc. Names were borrowed, also, from the poems of Vir- 
gil, especially the Eclogues. Among these old humanists, 
also, as among the later ones of the sixteenth century, 
some names are only translations into the Latin; so Arno, 
Alcuin’s most intimate friend, and once his pupil (he was 
abbot of St. Elmo, and later archbishop of Salzburg), 
was named ‘ Aquila ;’” Wizo, an English comrade of Al- 
cuin, was called ‘* Candidus.’’ The ladies of this circle 
also adopted these, so to speak, academic names, Charles’s 
sister Gisela, the friend of books, being called ‘* Lucia ;’’ 

162 The Western. 

his learned cousin, Gunrad, * Eulalia ;’’ and his daughter, 
Rotrude, ‘*Columba.’’ And that ladies also bore such 
names is a proof of the absolutely social nature of the cus- 
tom, which, although this has hitherto been overlooked, 
was also an English tradition; for Adhelm, in the above- 
named work, speaks of King Alfred of Northumbria as 
**Acircius.’’ Alcuin (Ep. 199, ed. Jatfé) cites as the primary 


reason for this change of name * familiarity,’’ and instances 
Christ himself, who called Simon, Peter. 

The literature now developed in this circle differs very 
essentially, in part, from the older Christian Latin. Whilst 
the latter proceeded from the Church, the former, after the 
English fashion, came rather from the school, as among the 
late humanists. 

In the Frankish kingdom it stood in close connection 
with the poetry of Venantius Fortunatus, the Merovingian 
court poet, the last of any importance there before the Car- 
lovingian period ; aman who had wandered to the Frankish 
court as a learned laic, formed in the grammar schools of 
his native Italy. This starting-point of the Carlovingian 

literature is of the greatest importance ; the poetry hence- 
forward has a special interest for its form,— sometimes for 
that alone, — so that not infrequently the subjects are purely 
prosaic, the style and verse alone constituting the poetic 
motive. And, in accordance with this scholastic origin, 
this poetry, even more than the older Christian, generally, 
or even than that of Fortunatus, takes as its models the 
classic works of antiquity, —that is, those of Virgil and 
Ovid, above all the Aneid and Eclogues, with the * Tris- 
tia,’” — many peculiarities of which were copied. But this 
poetry, for the most part, was substantially of a worldly 
character, since laymen were to be found among its authors ; 
and, as learning had betaken itself from the schools to 
society, so for the first time we meet in this poetry with the 
beginnings of courtly verse, and of a national epic with 
political tendencies. 

In the field of literary production, also, Alcuin became 

Literature in the Time of Charles the Great. 163 

very influential and of manifold activity. His biblical 
commentaries, lacking as they are in originality, by the 
method of compiling them from the various fathers of the 
Church, became the models for the future, — very shortly 
after for the comprehensive work of his pupil, Raban. 
From both of these the author of the ‘* Heliand’’ and of 
‘*Ottind’’ has drawn largely. In his work on the vices 
and virtues, composed by Alcuin at the desire of Wido, the 
margrave of Brittany, he gives us a layman’s breviary, 
with special reference to the position of margrave, and to 
this practical teaching the book owes its originality. The 
little treatise upon the nature of the soul, however com- 
monplace its substance, shows great skill in interesting 
women, also, in philosophic pursuits. The moral motive, 
nimely, forms the chief point throughout, and the author 
does not scorn the aid of poetry, but recapitulates the 
thoughts of the treatise, in conclusion, in some verses in 
honor of the soul. This essay was composed at the wish 
of Gunrad, and grew out of a conversation which Alcuin 

had held with her, — another proof of how learning had per- 
meated the social life of the court. 

Although Alcuin himself possessed no poetic genius, he 

worked with all the more stimulating effect in the poetic 
field. He gave the impulse to a purely secular school of 
poetry, partly of society and the court, partly epic and 
national. His best poetic work, written at York in his earlier 
years (in 1657 hexameters), bore the title: ‘* Concern- 
ing the Fathers, Kings, and Saints of the City of York.”’ 
This, in subject as in style, is the first forerunner of the 
medieval rhyme-chronicle, which is nearly related to the 
epic. Although Alcuin here gives us the history of the 
archbishopric of York, he by no means confines himself to 
that subject. Moreover, not an ecclesiastical, but a national 
interest, had urged him to undertake the work ; as he him- 
self says in his introduction, he desires to celebrate the 
glory of his fatherland and of his native city. Of course, 

164 The Western. 

this glory can be none other than Christian, and he there- 
fore begins his tale with the Christianizing of Northumbria 
under King Edwin, the first Bretwalda of the English, in 
657, and brings it down, through his successors, to Alfred, 

with whose death, in 705, as Leppenberg says, the history 

of Northumbria begins to decay ; at the first, then, the line 
of archbishops supplies the guiding thread of the narrative, 
which afterward treats of secular matters. In the earlier 
portions, events of importance to the Christian Church are 
specially related ; but the poet does not limit himself to 
them any more than Breda, in his history of the Church, 
which here furnishes Alcuin with materials; and even 
among these events the wars with the heathen kings of the 
country occupy the foreground, and afford opportunities 
for lively poetic descriptions, which show the inspiration of 
Virgil in many a reminiscence of the Eneid, but none the less 
display the English nature in the joy in battle, which their 
national poetry — even the religious — depicts with marvel- 
lous satisfaction and grand effect. Herein lies, it seems to 
me, the heretofore unnoticed literary-historical significance 
of this poetry. This is wholly lacking in the elegy of Al- 
cuin upon the destruction of the monastery of Lindisfarne. 
Dedicated to the monks of that cloister, it belongs to the 
class of poetie epistles which Alcuin so studiously culti- 
vated as occasional poetry. At that time epistolary inter- 
course was generally very brisk among men of culture, as 
the correspondence of Alcuin shows, and it was the fashion 
to close even prose letters with a few distiches; Alcuin, 
however, sometimes adds whole poetic epistles to his prose 
ones, so that many of these in the collection of his poems 
either were, or pretend to have been, originally composed 
as postscripts to prose writings. Some of these poetic 
epistles of Alcuin’s are addressed to the ‘* sweet, beloved 
David, the love of Flaccus,’’ written presumably during the 
absence of the author from court, while founding a model 
monastery school at Tours, one of the nurseries of learning 

Literature in the Time of Charles the Great. 165 

in the west. One of these poems pictures for us the schol- 
arly life of the palace, while Alcuin inquires of Charles about 
the state of the palace school, and spices his reminis- 
cences with jests and personal allusions ; yet more signifi- 

‘ant is another poem, addressed to Charles on the occasion 
of his journey to Rome, in 800, which suffers us to recog- 

nize the shadow of the great coming event of the imperial 
coronation. Although Charles is here still entitled king, 
his rule is already spoken of as an universal dominion. If 
this poem has public interests for its subject, and is only ¢ 

letter in its outward form, most of the others have the pri- 
vate character of friendly and familiar intercourse. In 
these epistles in verse —and this constitutes at that time 
their special literary-historical importance — poetry appears 
as purely secular, in the service of society, and it had 
already been cultivated in this form with special zeal by 
Fortunatus. Upon this field, then, in Charles’s circle, and 
inspired by him, there grew up a species of courtly lyric. 
It appears in the literature, which has apparently come 
down to us in but scanty fragments, to be represented by 
two men before all others, both of whom called Italy their 
fatherland, both of whom were representatives of its pecu- 
liar grammatical culture. The most famous of them, 
however, was by descent a Teuton, the above-mentioned 
Paulus, commonly called by his title of Diaconus as a 
surname, who, spite of his Latin education and his clerical 
position, preserved the consciousness of his Teutonic nation- 
alitv, and gave it imperishable expression in the life-like 
pictures he has drawn in his history of the Lombards, of the 
early times of his people, —times so rich in legends. The 
poetic art, indeed, seems to have first brought about a con- 
nection between the highly educated, distinguished Lom- 
bard and the Frankish king, by means of a petition in verse, 
in which Paul pleads for mercy for his brother, who has 
been deprived of his liberty in consequence of his share in 
a revolt of the Lombards. When Paulus, having followed 

166 The Western. 

Charles, tarried for some time in the Frankish court, 
it pleased the king to correspond with him in verse, 
through the medium of his grammarian, Petrus of Pisa, 
Charles furnished the material, which was versified by his 
grammarian ; for in these letters Petrus speaks, not merely 
in the name, but in the person of Charles, and the replies 
of Paulus are addressed to the king himself. Two of these 
poetic letters are noticeable and important on account of their 
form. The two corresponding poems are especially com- 
posed in the popular trochaie hymn-strophe, and in rhyth- 
mic,—that is, accented verses. So we find this measure 
transplanted from the soil of the Church to that of secular 
poetry. There are, to be sure, earlier instances of it, but it 
occurs here in two writers, well skilled in ancient metres, 
and apparently with an intention of jest and parody, in 
which we cannot ignore the influence of the society of the 
court. A genial humor, by no means unpleasing to the 
great Cesar, pervades this poetic correspondence, Paulus 
falling withont reserve into the emperor’s tone. We learn 
also, from a poem by Paulus, that at Charles’s suggestion 

the two Italians engaged in poetic contests, in which they 

propounded and solved riddles in their verse, — an amuse- 
ment of which Charles was extremely fond. This reminds 
us, if but remotely, of the poetic combats which afterwards 
grew out of the chivalric society, and of the Floral Games 
of the Provencals. 

The Eclogues of Virgil, already favorites in this circle, 
were naturalized as genuine court poetry. We possess one 
such longer poem, which is interesting, by a poor young 
poet, who thereby won the favor of Charles himself. He 
was probably a pupil of Alcuin’s, who mentions him once 
in his poems under the name of Naso, with which nom de 
plume the Eclogue has come down to us. It is divided into 
two books. The shepherds come in, —a young beginner, 
who represents the poet himself, and an aged, laurel- 
crowned ‘* veteran of poesie,’’ who is called Micon, after 

Literature in the Time of Charles the Great. 167 

one of Virgil’s shepherds. The former challenges the lat- 
ter to sing, hoping to gain the favor of the emperor, who 
has already graciously accepted many offerings from him. 
From his lofty mount he beholds the new Rome ( Aachen) 
subjecting all nations to her sceptre; the world has gone 
back to the ancient days, and the golden age of Rome is 
born again upon the earth. (By this expression the first 
renascence is designated.) The poet here calls the 
emperor Palemon, after the shepherd in Virgil’s Third 
Eclogue, who is there chosen by two others as judge 
between them in a contest of song; Charles shall be his 
‘*Palemon.’’ The elder shepherd does not share the 
younger’s hopes; on the contrary, he thinks that Charles 
will scorn his lay; the youth will win no reward; rather 
should he bethink himself of the fate of his godfather, 
Ovid. On the other hand, the younger singer speaks of the 
rewards bestowed in earlier days upon a Virgil, a Lucan, 
an Ennius; and has not the same befallen in later times? 
Homer (Angilbert ), Flaccus (Alcuin), Theodolf, and Ein- 
hard, rich in gifts, are proof that Charles is a lover 
of song. The elder is forced to yield, and in the sec- 

ond book begins the idyllic alternate song. The older poet 

paints in vivid hues the glow of the noon-day sun, when the 
bees hum gaily around, but the cattle seek the shade of 
the wood. He calls upon his comrade to enter with him 
the cool neighboring grove. The youth replies, praising 
the old man, whom the listening beasts follow after — even 
the wild creatures, tamed by his art, in peace. So it seems 
to be already fulfilled, what he had found cut upon a beech 
tree with a divine instrument, ‘* Peace be within the land 
and afar off be war.’’ ‘* Sooth was the writing,”’ replies the 
other, **a golden sun shines gleaming in the midst of earth, 
sending its rays everywhere; darkened by no cloud, it 
frights away the storms. The Saone, the Rhone, the Loire, 
the Maes and the Rhine rejoice therein. This golden light, 
sent by heaven to earth, subdues wild tribes, and controls 

168 The Western. 

by laws races unnumbered ; the whole orb of the earth bows 
down before it. Wicked uproar flees herce, and atms rest 
peaceful; Bellona, chained, rages in powerless fury. A 
golden age of government arises for the Latins; high 
Rome sees her triumphs return once more; and Charles, 
the sun, brings back once more to earth the golden age.”’ 

This poem, of which we have given a sketch as literal as 
possible, though brief, celebrates the revival by Charles of 
the empire, of the world-monarchy, and shows what hopes 
were cherished of him, ** since the Cresarless, horrible time 
had come to an end;”’ and these hopes must have been 
very largely called forth by the law-making activity dis- 
plaved by Charles, with the purpose of establishing a Civi- 
tas Dei — Augustine’s City of God. 

This poem cannot have been composed earlier than the 
year 804, nor later than 805, not only for the reasons given 
by the worthy editor of Diimmler, but because in the vear 
804 the Saxon war had just come to an end, and the poet 
may refer to this in speaking of the flight of wicked uproar. 
Then, for the first time, might the peace of the empire seem 

This poem also has many reminiscences of Virgil ; indeed, 
in its second part it is (as Bahrens lately showed ) modelled 
after an eclogue by one of Virgil’s followers, Calpurnius, 
from whom many single passages are borrowed. But the 
poetry of a contemporary is also used,—that of a ** veteran 
of the poetic art,’’ summoned by the poet as a rival, under 
the name of Micon. The latter himself refers to his poem, 
in which he has already celebrated Charles as the world- 

illuminating sun. There is an epic poem hitherto commonly 
attributed to Angilbert, the hero of which is Charles the 
Great. One canto of this has been preserved, and in this 
is found the identical passage to which Micon refers. 

This epic poetry is of the greatest interest, since it cele- 
brates, not a saint, but a secular hero, and one after the 
model of A®neas; as the latter is the founder of the first 

Literature in the Time of Charles the Great. 169 

Roman empire, so is Charles of the second — Charles, who 
has built Aachen, ‘* the second Rome.’’ This change of 
poetic subject is here the more noticeable since the poet 
has in his mind, not only the Aneid, but the poem of For- 
tunatus, an epical panegyric upon the life of Saint Martin. 
As Fortunatus speaks of his hero as the ‘* Gallic Pharos,”’ 
so our poet calls Charles ‘*the beacon-light of Europe.”’ 
As for the contents of the canto preserved to us, the poet, 
after the manner of Fortunatus in his panegyric upon his 
hero, describes the foundations of the second Rome ; refers 
to the building of Carthage, as described by Virgil; and 
speaks, in a pretty, idyllic strain of the wood and park 
near Aachen, where Charles amused himself in hunting. 
Such a chase is described, from the departure in the early 


is afforded for introducing the family of Charles, since wife, 

sons, and daughters, shared the pleasures of the chase. A 

morning, in the most lively coloring ; and an opportunity 

wild boar is aroused, and is slain by the emperor; and a 
merry banquet in the imperial tent closes the day. The 
next night Charles has a vision. Pope Leo appears to him, 
wounded and maimed. Charles sends messengers to Rome 
to learn the state of things there. They hear of the attempt 
upon his life, and at his own request conduct the fugitive 
monarch to Charles. The meeting between the **king of 
Europe’’ and ‘*the supreme shepherd of the world,’’ at 

Paderborn, is then described; and it is apparently from 
this that the epic takes its name. 

This poem, also, is full of reminiscences of the works of 
Virgil (not of the Aneid only), and of the above-named 
poem by Fortunatus. Still it by no means merits the dis- 
dainful judgment which, spite of the praises bestowed by 
others, Simson has lately passed upon it, in an otherwise 
very learned treatise. As we have already seen in Alcuin 
and Naso, this habit which the poets had of copying pas- 
sages from their models was then, and always is, customary 
in any art which originates from a school. The author of 

168 The Western. 

this epic possessed a truly poetic talent, a rich sense of 
picturesqueness in description, and of the music of verse. 
The sensuous strength and secular purpose which distin- 
guish this poem, as well as Naso’s eclogue, foretell a new 
literature of the future in the new empire, which was, how- 
ever, only to come to its true and full development at a 
much later date. This occurred several hundred years 
later, in the national tongue, when the deeds of Charles 
himself, and the legends woven about the mighty person- 

alty of the great Cesar, became a well-spring of epic 
poetry. It is noteworthy, therefore, that even in Charles’s 
lifetime his deeds awoke the long-slumbering epic poetry 

which follows immediately upon the event. This is proven 
by the citation from Naso’s poem, composed, at the latest, 
by the year 805; while the meeting of Charles and Leo 
took place in 799. But we have more than this one ex- 
ample. Much earlier, before Charles had reached the 
pinnacle of his greatness, or shone in the splendors of 
imperial dignity, his deeds were sung by contemporary 
poets. The ‘Trish Exile’? (//ibernicus Exsul), under 
which name a number of poems has come down to us, 
brought by their author as an offering to Charles, has sung 
the victory won by Charles, in 787, over the vanquished 
Duke Tassilo, of Bavaria, and soon after the event, which 
took place in the autumn of that year, the poem being 
completed before the summer of the next, when Tassilo 
was completely ruined. The author also pleads excuses 
for the Bavarian duke, which would hardly have been done 
after his fall, in a poem addressed to Charles himself. Un- 
happily, we possess but two fragments of this work, the 
first ninety-three hexameters, and two or three of the con- 
cluding verses. The poem opens with a conversation with 
the Muse, who congratulates the poet upon the value of 
her gifts, ‘* whereby the famous deeds of ancient kings 
shine brightly, and those of the living are handed down to 
future generations ; yea, whereby the Creator of the uni- 

Literature in the Time of Charles the Great. 171 

verse Himself is praised.’’ Then the poet begins his sub- 
ject with the question, ** What curse has fallen upon the 
ever-faithful poet, that he should deserve the angry glance 
of his lord?’’ This has been the poison of Satan himself, 
who sows strife everywhere. He is to blame for the broken 
peace; he spread abroad the rumor of Tassilo’s revolt. 
Charles refused to believe it. But the rumor grew, and 
the king must listen to the general voice. He collects an 
army, with which he crosses the Rhine. He addresses his 
nobles, reminding them of their Trojan ancestry. Here 
the chief fragment breaks off, and the conclusion deseribes 
the reconciliation, and the new oath of fealty which the 
duke swears to the king. 

We have yet to mention one more poet, who often lived 
at the court of Charles, and who was a member of his poetic 
and learned society. It was the Bishop Theodolf, of 
Orleans, by whom yet another Teutonic race was intro- 
duced into that circle, —a Goth, as his poem shows us. In 
yet another poem he tells us his favorite reading ; after the 
great fathers of the Church and the Christian encyclopedists, 
he names **the most famous heathen philosophers ;’’ after 
the most notable Christian poets, a Prudentius or a For- 
tunatus, come Virgil and Ovid. The mythology of the 
ancients is no stumbling-block to him, since he explains it 
all as allegory. The wonderful capacity of the Gothic peo- 
ple for assimilating the romantic elements of culture is 
plainly shown in Theodolf. In him these esthetic studies 
have ripened a truly poetic culture. This is shown, not only 
by the form and language of his poems, but by his feeling 
for formative art. He had « magnificent church built, after 

the model of the basilica of Aachen, costly and adorned 

with pictures, inscriptions, and artistic carvings. He 
devoted one of his poems to the careful description of a bit 
of carved wood, which served as part of the table service, and 
fruit-basket, furnished with a ** tellurium,’’ so that it might 
satisfy the spiritual as well as the bodily needs. This fond- 

Vol. 5, No. 2—12 

The Western. 

ness for ancient art is best shown, however, by his descrip- 
tion of an antique vase, with which some one had once 
thought to bribe him. Theodolf, as a bishop, and one 
wholly after Charles’s own heart, displaved marvellous 

activity in elevating the clergy, morally and intellectually, 

in restoring monastic discipline, and founding schools ; and 
he was very near to Charles, especially after the death of 
Alcuin, whose place as theological adviser was filled by 
him. He outlived the emperor seven years, to be involved 
in the perplexities of the reign of his successor, and to die 
an exile, in prison. 

The poetry of Theodolf, like that of Alcuin, is some- 
what allied to that of Fortunatus by its funey for epistles 
and epigrams ; somewhat, also, to large didactic works, like 
that of Prudentius, though the Goth shows but little of the 
flights of fancy and the rhetorical pomp of the Romano- 
Spaniard. In the poetry of Theodolf is mirrored the time 
of the great Cesar, « time in whose efforts toward ecclesi- 
astical, political, and literary reform the poet himself had 
taken active part. He was named as missus dominicus to 
inspect the courts of law in Southern Gaul, and to pro- 
nounce sentence, in the last resort, in place of the emperor 
himself. As fruits of this mission we have an ** Exhorta- 
tion to Judges,’’ a poem in about one thousand hexameters, 
in which he describes his journey and its results, and the 
experiences gained therefrom. A poem interesting in 
respect to the history of culture. Another, addressed to 
Charles himself, takes us into the society of the court, just 
when the treasures of the conquered Avars, seized by the 
Duke of Friaul, had just arrived there, and lent to it an 
unwonted splendor. The poet, though absent, paints the 
life of the palace as his imagination recalls his earlier ex- 
periences of it. The poem begins with a triumphal song to 
Charles, whose praise is beyond measure. As he has sub- 
dued the Huns, so shall he overcome the Arabs; as those 
have been turned to Christianity by him, so, too, shall 

Literature in the Time of Charles the Great. 173 

these be. Cordova, also, shall lay at the feet of the 
Frankish king her treasures, heaped up for ages. Refer- 
ence is made here to the campaign which a few years after 
was crowned by the capture of Barcelona. The poet 
relates how, after the end of the council and of divine ser- 
vice, they all betook themselves to the feast ; how the king’s 
sons took off his mantle, his gloves, and his sword; and 
his daughters bestowed upon him nosegays and kisses. 
Then he tells of the arrival of the nobles, of the activity 
of the marshal, of the blessing of the head chaplain; the 
chief personages of the table round are pointed out to us, 
especially the learned men, among whom two are especially 
noted,—Alcuin and a ** Scot;’’ the former with great 
respect, but not without a certain humor, the latter with 
biting sarcasm. After the end of the meal, at which wine 
and beer have not been spared, the poems of Theodolf are 
read aloud ; the reading and the poet together are devoutly 
wished elsewhere by a stout, strong-limbed warrior, who 
has gazed somewhat too deeply into his glass, and who, when 
the Cesar graciously summons him to his side, totters like 
Vulean, though he thunders with the voice of Jove; the 
malicious Scot, turning now to the reader, now to the hear- 
ers, never wearies in his criticisms. The loftiest political 
questions, also, are started and discussed, such as Charles’s 
relation to the Church, and other topics of the same sort; 
the poet deprecates the partition of the empire, forseeing 
civil war and ruin, after Charles’s death, in two remarkable 
natural phenomena, which he describes in his poems. Here 
also, then, we see how the poetic and literary culture which 
Charles planted in the highest circles opened itself to the 
influences of public life. 

It was, as we have seen, very naturally and forcibly 
effected by the world-historic event of the revival of the 
empire ; and it can with equal justice be maintained, on the 
other hand, that the humanistic studies also influenced pub- 
lic life; and that, under this influence, the idea involved 

174 The Western. 

in the restoration of the Roman Empire was chiefly 
developed. In this direction the Christian-Roman antiquity 
and the heathen-Roman worked harmoniously together. As 
Charles’s favorite book, the Civitas De7, the first Christian 
philosophy of history, established the necessity of the 
Roman Empire, as being the final, God-ordained, universal 
monarchy before the second coming of Christ, so the learned 
and poetic circle was, above all, based upon Virgil,—had 
long seen in Charles its Augustus. Alcuin himself, as early 
as the year 798, in a letter addressed to Charles, likens 
Charles to Augustus, and himself to Virgil. 



Music being one of the latest arts to manifest itself in 
modern times, it has taken a rather inferior place in the 
general consideration, and its rank among the various inter- 
ests that are connected with man’s culture is deemed an 
humble one by a large number of the great minds of the 
world. That music has been in any way unable to hold 
its own ground, of course is not for a moment conceded, 
but that its power and importance is often underrated and 
misunderstood, even by many of the thinking people and 
literary men of our times, is manifestly true. The art 
world is, in a measure, shut off by itself when men think 
of the interests connected with human life, and thus it 
receives but a superficial consideration in far too many cases. 
Yet it is also evident that whatever is connected with human 
endeavor, or in any way represents the action of the mental 
man, must be entitled to some consideration, if a wide view 
of civilization or progress is attempted. To limit the view 
to half-looks at the subject, and to talk of government, 
commercial and agricultural interests, even if they include 

The Intellect in Music. 175 

within themselves the greater number of the industries of 
the people, is but to put a boundary to the comprehension, 
and to have but a few data before the judgment. The utili- 
tarian looks at the common aspects of the subject, while 
the practical man, as he is called, reflects mostly upon the 
‘¢ will-it-pay ’’ interests of life, and to the philosopher alone 
is left those considerations that embrace the whole view of 
the complex subject of civilization. 

The legal and medical professions, the scientific investi- 
gator, the practical chemist, the astronomical observer, the 
inventor, and the literary man have all higher places in the 
classification of human occupations than that which is 
accorded to the musician. Yet, if we trace all of our con- 
siderations by the more common pathway of administering 

to physical necessity, the most important is surely that which 
belongs to the tiller of the ground; for a variation of the 
old adage, ** eat, drink, and be merry,’’ that ye may live on 
the morrow, is manifestly true. The importance and truth 
of the great saying that ‘* man cannot live by bread alone ”’ 
is pressed so deeply home upon all peoples that the rela- 
tions of man with his intellectual and moral life is deemed 
the greatest subject with which the philosopher has to deal. 
In our own country, following out the idea of free govern- 
ment (which, in the use of terms at least, seems paradoxical ), 
we vive a great stress to the thought of education, realizing 
that the wiser the man the better citizen he becomes. No 
one would lessen the importance of the practical side of 
education, for every thinker must realize that to fit the 
youth for his battle with the realities of existence is a first 
duty, and the very groundwork upon which national life and 
prosperity is founded. The germs of culture in the indi- 
vidual must be developed, not only by enlarging the reason- 
ing powers, but by bringing to the comprehension all the 
facts of history, the truths of philosophy and the sciences, 
the morality and wisdom of religion, and the various aspects 
of the relationship of the man with his fellows. To have 

176 The Western. 

but a limited knowledge of any subject is to foree judg- 

ment into confines too narrow to contain any full measure 
of truth. Thus we hear on all sides the desire for a liber- 
ality of education and broad views, while free thought must 
precede free speech by a natural sequence. 

A predisposition to form hasty judgments, obtained from 
the emotional side of a question by symbolical or objective 
thinking, often presents a deeper insight into subjects of 
great importance. If the law of necessity was allowed to 
draw its limit at the merely physical side of life, man could 
classify himself with little above the brute creation. But 
whatever renders the race more contented, or elevates it in 
culture, administers to its comfort and happiness, is mani- 
festly as great a necessity to its welfure as are the simple 
material supplies that sustain its physical well-being. That 
the mind of man craves knowledge — that he seeks the beau- 
tiful in the arts and in nature, that he endeavors to find the 
truth that is in religion and the sciences, that he loves to 
experiment with material forces, in light, sound, electricity, 
magnetism, and the chemical relations of matter — proves 
that all these are as much a necessity to his well-being as are 
the fruits of the ground, that satisfy his physical hunger. 
In every direction that man advances we find evidences of 
the vastness of his thought. The boundary of the emotions 
and the limits of the intellect are so vast in their compre- 
hensions that infinity alone seems to contain the whole, 
when considered as a unit. 

The mental necessity for music seems to be seen in the 
simple statement that it 7s. Being, as being, surely mani- 
fests the necessity of existence. To do without the beauties 
of sound, as found in the harmonious vibrations of music, 
would be to limit thought and to deprive mankind of not 
only a medium for the expression of their ideas, in the form 
of melody and rhyme, but to take from the world one of 
the greatest powers for the production of happiness or 
pleasure. That music is one of the most universal of the 

The Intellect in Music. L177 

arts, as far as the general distribution of its greatest works, 
is evident from the means used in the production and pres- 
ervation of its masterpieces. While the great painter may 
acquire an extended fume by the skill with which he repro- 
duces the loveliness of nature or the beauty of the human 
face and form upon the canvas, yet his works are necessa- 
rily limited in number, and are only made general by being 
distributed in some less artistic manner, by means of the 
photograph or engraving. The means for the representa- 
tion of musical compositions are at every hand in the vari- 
ous quarters of the globe, and thus a wider and more general 
acquaintance with the great works in music is possible than 
with those of any other art. For the score of an opera, of 
an oratorio, or of a symphony, may be obtained in all the 
great cities, while the sonatas of Beethoven, the works of 
Bach or Mendelssohn, or of any of the representative men 
in music, are the property of all who wish to have them. 
The man of wealth may possess the great pieces of sculp- 
ture, or the celebrated paintings of renowned artists, but 
the classical in music is within the reach of the multitude. 
To the cheapness of the form that music uses for its preser- 
vation do we owe the more general love for this art. The 
piano and organ have places in nearly every well-appointed 
home, and the music of the masters soon follows. Thus, 
although music is the latest of the arts, her progress is more 
rapid and her dissemination among the multitudes wider 
than is the case with any other art. 

But, passing from these general remarks, we reach the 
more immediate idea of our subject, namely, the evidence 
of the intellect in music. Many writers have placed musie 
within the indefinite domain of the senses, and have talked 
wisely of its effect upon the emotional part of the human 
organization. When the intellect can judge of the question 
of music without being able to understand its nature and 

aim, but from the domain of the feelings proclaims reason- 
able judgments, then it will be time to admit even the pos- 

178 The Western. 

sibility of the fact as just previously mentioned. That the 
mind does pass judgment upon the music that the ear listens 
to is evident, and that it must Anow what it hears in order to 
comprehend it, or to distinguish it from noise, is manifestly 
true; all knowing, as knowing, must be above the simple 
domain of the senses, and have passed into the comprehen- 
sion of the understanding. If we examine a composition 
of any great composer, we can but note that in it there is 
an expression of idea, even if it is to be made manifest to 
the listener through the medium of sound. ‘This idea— what 
is it? All idea is the result of thought, and thought is but 
the intellect manifesting its power and giving expression to 
its identity in comprehensive form. The first idea in a 
musical composition may be termed movement, and as this 
is suggested we become aware of the composer’s intention, 
in at least one important direction. A succession of notes, 
forming what is termed a theme, has surely within it the 
idea of melody. These melodies, accompanied by other 
notes agreeing with them, form the relation called harmony. 
All harmony is the result of thought. 

Mr. Richard Grant White, writing on musical subjects, 
says that ** music is entirely without rational significance or 
moral power ; that the creations of this divine art, while they 
have exquisite fitness to certain conditions of feeling (in 

those who have a certain physical constitution), have rarely 

any definable meaning ; and, above all, that a fine apprecia- 
tion of even the noblest music is not an indication of mental 
elevation, or of moral purity, or of delicacy of feeling, or 
even (except in music) of refinement of taste.’’ To under- 
stand meaning is one thing, and to assert that a thing is not 
rational because it is not comprehenhed by every mind is 
another. If music is the result of the creative power of 
the intellect of the musician, manifesting itself by the 
medium of sounds, then it is evident that it must have 
rational significance. That all are not able to comprehend 
its meaning is no indication that it possesses none. That 

The Intellect in Music. 179 

musical compositions have a positive existence in form is a 
direct evidence that they are the work of the human intel- 
lect. If the essence or content of the manifestation is not 
comprehended by the non-reflective mind, it is no evidence 
that it is without either. That the ** creations of this divine 
art have exquisite fitness to certain conditions of feeling ”’ 
prove by the fitness that the intellect has thought wisely of 
the relationship of the music to those very feelings, even if 
it has not reflected upon other and higher grounds. Because 
the meaning is not definable by every mind, it is no indica- 
tion that it is without reasonable signification. One would 
not take a glorious painting to a blind man and ask his inter- 
pretation of the artist’s conception; nor would we ask a 
doctor of medicine to express his opinion upon the legality 
of an act of Congress. To the non-comprehending listener 
the tick of the telegraphic instrument is mere noise, while to 
the operator it is filled with meaning, perhaps, of vital im- 
portance. That an appreciation of even the noblest music 
is not an indication of moral purity is not strange, when we 
consider that moral purity is manifested only by true prin- 

ciples of virtue, honesty, justice, love, and charity shaping 
all the acts of the whole life. An appreciation of noble 
music is an indication of a love for the beautiful and pure 

in at least one direction, and is a proof that such a nature 
is not deficient in goodness. 

To expect any particular manifestation of character to 
indicate the whole of character is to limit the human intel- 
lect to one form of expression, and to destroy all the idea of 
the universality of the understanding. That a love for 
music should affect the intellect in any other way than musi- 
cally is not reasonable to suppose, and that a liking for 
good literature is any indication of an artistic taste in paint- 
ing is just as illogical. But that all tastes and desires have 
a correct signification, according to their class and order, is 
manifestly true, and let him who understands proclaim their 
meaning. The word ‘* blue’’ may convey the idea of a cer- 

180 The Western. 

tain color to a large number of minds, who, by means of a 
truthful vision, have been able to distinguish differences in 
hues, while it cannot have full signification to one whose eye- 

sight is defective and unable to observe the variation of the 
rays of light. Yet the idea of ** blue’’ conveys a no more par- 
ticular and comprehensive meaning than the word ** song.’’ 
You speak of the blue sky, and of a joyful song, and the 
meaning of each word is made more complete ; yet it is evi- 
dent that the blind in the former case, or the deaf in the 
latter, would have no correct idea in regard to the full sig- 
nificance of either. For a person not understanding the 
meaning conveyed in musical expression to pass judgment 
upon the importance of music among the arts may, indeed, 
increase the multitude of opinions that are advanced upon 
the subject, but it will not bring the correct content of the 
question plainly before the people. The meaning of music 
is found in music, and can be comprehended only by the 
understanding lover of the art. To mix up music and liter- 
ature, or music and morals, is as senseless as to confuse 
jurisprudence with farming, and classify natural law with the 
state statutes. 

But, returning more directly to our subject, let us turn 
our attention for a moment to the operation of the intellect 
in thought, and note the difference, if there is any, between 
it and its mode of procedure in musical composition. Lan- 
guage has been termed ** the vehicle of thought ;’’ and, admit- 
ting that an objection may be made to the simile, it may 
perhaps be conceded that words, to which are attached dis- 
tinctive meanings, are always used in the expression of ideas. 
The rise of the idea in the mind may be termed the opera- 
tion of the intellect in thinking. The reflecting observer 
will note that the process of thinking is an action of the 
mind towards an end, namely, the truth of the consideration 
in one, or any, or all of its relations. The subject first 
attracts the attention of the mind, and by means of our reflec- 
tive powers we predicate a truth, or a supposed truth, of it. 

The Intellect in Music. 181 

Take, for example, a rose; directly comes up the idea of a 
flower, in contradistinetion from all the other objects in the 
universe. We call the attention of the mind to a particular 
kind of flower, and limit our consideration to a still more 
immediate object by saying, ‘* This red rose is beautiful 
and fragrant.’’ If we observe the growth of this thought 
in the mind we shall discover that it is formed by the action 
of the intellect, and that it rises into form word by word. 
Looking more closely at the word, as word, we find that, be- 
sides a distinctive form, it has an identity of its own that exists 
as a particular sound, ora union of sounds, expressing to our 
minds its own meaning. Speech must have preceded writ- 
ten language by a natural law, for the first is but the living 
word and the other is but a representative of it, in the form 
of significant characters. Thus, realizing that the spoken 
word was the first known in the history of human experience, 
we may be interested to examine it more closely. It consists 
of a union of sounds. These sounds may be simple or com- 

plex in character, yet we understand from actual experience 
that they exist, as the signification of thoughts, first as 

sound. In poetical language, they are ** vocal with mean- 

Thus, language meets music upon the same ground, 
numely, that of sound. If we observe the rise of the musi- 
cal thought under the form of melody, we shall discover that 
it was developed by the creative power of the mind, note 
following note, until it stood complete in a perfected form, 
even as did the idea that was expressed in words in the 
spoken sentence. ‘Thus, by the aid of memory we can recol- 
lect the meaning contained in the sound-signification of 
words, even as we recall the familiar melody that still echoes 
in our remembrance through the medium of the notes. In 
this case I do not mean the characters used in musical nota- 
tion only, but the sounds of the notes as they actually exist, 
coming into vibratory being at will. Here we see that the 
intellect of the musical person is not only able to think in 

182 The Western. 

words, but that he has the ability to express his musical 
thoughts by recognizable sounds, until his idea stands in 
whatever musical form it may please him to compose. Surely 
then, music, like every effort of the mind, must have its 
rise in the intellect. 

Mr. Richard Grant White, in his article upon ‘* The Mean- 
ing of Music,”’ in the Aflantic for October of last year, thus 
expresses himself: ‘* At any given moment there is actually 
no esthetic difference between any one musical composition 
and any other. Brief reflection will make this clear to any 
music-iover as to melody. The single note of one melody 
may be the single note of any. But this is no less true as 
to harmony. A single pleasant sound is not music ; nor is 
a continuation of single and stationary sounds uttered to- 
gether —that is, a chord—music.’’ If this is true of 
music, it is also true of language. Take, for an example, 
the word and, and consider its signification in one sentence 
and in any other, and will not its importance depend upon 
its connection in either case? Interrupt the flow of an idea 
upon any word before the completion of the predicate of a 

sentence, and test its meaning, and consider if it has any 
other signification than that of a single word. A single 
note has its own distinctive character, and its own number 
of vibrations, each time it is manifested in sound. Thus it, 
like the single word, has its own definite meaning. Take 
the first three notes of the familiar melody called ** Home, 
Sweet Home,” and contrast their musical signification in 

the idea of the melody of the song 
ae ~T-E_=X with the first two words of the 
Vg i a 

| —g—j{———_ poetry that goes with the notes, 
**’Mid pleasures,’’ and observe how 

the musical meaning is as much unfinished and as incompre- 
hensible as the literal meaning of the words, and no more. 
‘¢’Mid pleasures.’? What pleasures, when, and how? will 
the rational mind question. F, A, and B flat, the musician 
will remark —a part of a scale, a portion of a chord, a 

The Intellect in Music. 183 

fragment of a melody, may be his question, just as ration- 
ally considered as the other. Each stands in its order, 
valueless without its connections or relations in the literal 
or musical idea, ** A single pleasant sound is not music,”’ 
it is true, nor is a single little word an idea. A literal idea 
is communicated or thought in a progression of significant 
words, and music is manifested by an agreeable succession 
of sounds, called notes. 

All human significations are what mankind has intended 
them to mean, and nothing more. A bell ringing at noon- 
time may call the farmer to dinner just as well as a per- 
sonal summons by the spoken word, provided he under- 
stands the signification of the bell’s ring, and is within reach 
of its sound. Means for the communication of ideas are 
not arbitrary or limited. Music, like thought, is dependent 
upon the vitality of motion or movement for its very being, 
and comes directly to the consciousness of the understand- 
ing listener as the direct musical idea of the composer, 
ever living, and only non-existing as music when its vibra- 
tions have pulsated away into silence. Music comes into 
the realm of sound, and the soul sings of beauty, hope, 
love, and perchance of sorrow, even by the action of the 
intellect manifesting itself through the medium of creative 
harmony. That all musicians are not universally intellec- 
tual is doubtless true ; but that all literary men are not uni- 
versal in their culture without a love for and an apprecia- 
tion of music is as correct a statement. To expect music 
to produce wonders is to deprive it of its rational signifi- 
vance. One might as well expect * blue glass,’’ when aided 
by the sunlight, to cure every ill of the flesh as to suppose 
that music was a great moral agent, capable of attuning all 

hearts to a love for purity for its own sake. As long as 
l : : 

music is but a particular art, so long must it have particu- 
lar limitations. Its limitation is in the realm of sound. 
To talk of music only reaching with its influence to the 
feelings of the nature is to stop our consideration at the 

184 The Western. 

senses —even at the doorway of the mind. But to assert 
that music is the production of the feelings is manifestly 
irrational, for we have no ground for the supposition in the 

When a sculptor embodies his idea of beauty in a lovely 
Venus, cut out from the pure white marble, it would hardly 
be just to say to him that his conception is faulty because 
it lacks life. For there it stands, pleading in dumb silence 
for that recognition of idea that is portrayed in its form, 
and simply proclaims by its beauty its right to stand as an 
actual representation of its maker’s mental conception. 
The living woman, with her grace of movement, is far more 
lovely ; but, alas! in her perfection of form and soul we 
only find her in the ideal. So, in music, the reality of hap- 
piness would give a greater delight than can be derived from 
only listening to a joyous song, made ** vocal with mean- 
ing’’ when sung by some enraptured composer. Yet we 
catch his idea of joyfulness, and we are made more cheerful 
by the sympathetic harmony that he has established be- 
tween us. 

The great difficulty that so often prevents a proper com- 
prehension of the real position of music in the classification 
of the arts is that many writers are inclined to mistake the 
aim and intent, and also the limit, of this art. They seem 
to expect the notes of a composition to speak in words the 
idea of the composer, rather than to manifest his thought 
in sound. When music unites with language in vocal per- 
formances, it is able indeed to utter words with a definite- 
ness that precludes all mistake in regard to the idea 
expressed. But music of the instrumental order must man- 
ifest its idea in simple or harmonious sounds. It takes a 

higher ground than the more commonplace one of an every- 
day order of communicating ideas, and deals rather in 
conclusions than in simple statements of the problematic 
character. It will express the result of happiness in the 
overflowing song, showing the condition of the mind at the 

The Intellect in Music. 185 

moment of utterance. It sings of sorrow when grief is 
calmed by control, and paints anguish in the heroic colors 
of the self-conquering artist, who may express himself in a 
manner that indicates a passion mastered. It murmurs 
strains of lovely melody, typical of a purity and strength 
far beyond the mere expression of words. It is transplanted 
into a number of agreeing sounds, and makes its meaning 
sublime in the symphonic work. It is lifted beyond the 
spuere of human language, and utters to the understanding 
hearer the conclusion of the idea with self-satisfying cer- 
tainty. There is no passion that is noble in man, no idea 
that is pure, no feeling for the beautiful, grand or heavenly, 
that music by its wondrous power may not make manifest. 
It will not paint for you the lovely colors of the landscape, 
or portray the glories of an Italian sunset, for it is no artist 
with the brush ; but it will express the joy that the soul feels 
in the midst of nature’s beauty, and tell vou of the effect upon 
the human spirit. Toask literature in any way to cultivate 
its powers to such an extent that it might reproduce its 
beauties or truths in music would be no more absurd than 
to expect of song an elucidation of all the problems of the 
natural sciences. 

Beethoven was once asked why he did not affix an expla- 
nation of the poetical ideas expressed in his sonatas, so that 
the meaning of the different movements might be plain to 
the hearer. His answer was ‘‘that the age in which he 
composed his sonatas (1823) was more poetic than the 
present, and at the former period such explanations would 
have been superfluous.’’  ** At that period,’’ he continued, 
** every one perceived that the * Largo’ in the Third Sonata 
in D, Op. 10, painted the feelings of a grief-stricken mind, 


= . — ae mene aac ee 

—{P J meena. aes (se snilinaats ! 

IG + =4 

e/ pp 7 oe ® + eo @6@ t+ & + * 
en wu i ee Ms 

with the varying tints in the light and shade in the picture 

186 The Western. 

of melancholy, in all its phases, and there was no need of 
a key to explain the meaning of the music. So in Sonatas, 
Op. 14, every one at the time when they were composed 
immediately recognized the conflict of the principals, or a 
dialogue between two persons, exactly as is intended in the 
treatment of the musical subject.’’ On another occasion, 
when he was asked to furnish a key for the interpretation 
of the meaning of the two sogatas, that in F minor, Op. 57, 
and that in D minor, Op. 29, his answer was, ‘* Read 
Shakespeare’s ‘ Tempest.’’’ Thus music has an aim and 
an end of its own, namely, to manifest the poetical ideas of 
the composer through the medium of harmonious sounds. 

To say that this comes from the feelings alone, and does 
not reach the intellect in any positive way, is manifestly in- 
correct ; for there can be no recognition of feeling uutil 

sensation reaches the intellect as conscious perception. If 
one reads the life and letters of Beethoven, and reflects 
upon his character, while he contemplates the many dif- 
ficulties and sorrows connected with his earthly career, he 

will see that the greatness of his nature, the wonderful en- 
durance of his mind, even during seasons of severe trials 
and bodily pain, was reflected in his matchless composi- 
tions. Mark the stateliness of the slow movement of 
Op. 10, No. 3, the beginning of which I have just tran- 
scribed, and see that, amid all pain, even in the expression 
of his sorrow, the greatness of his nature was indicated. 
Here is not only a song of sorrow tender in its purity and 
almost sublime in its strength, but an indication of a nature 
great enough to lift itself up above the murmurings of com- 
plaint, and to express an endurance that seems to be the 
very faith of the real martyr. If the great mind of Bee- 
thoven is not still reéchoing its matchless ideas in the mas- 
terpieces of his creation, then has the intellect, as intellect, 
lost its rightful place in the consideration of the mystery of 
human existence. The readiness with which one musician 
miy read the musical thought of another is illustrated in 
the cuse of Mendelssohn and Taubert. Taubert sent a 

The Intellect in Music. 187 

song to Mendelssohn as a little gift of remembrance, for 
which he was well paid by receiving one of the beautiful 
letters which the great composer knew so well how to write. 
In it he said, ** Your song discloses what you think and 
what you are,’’ thus indicating that every act of the man 
bears the stamp of not only his character, but of the direct 
action of his mind in thought. ) 

If we contrast the literary ability of musicians with the 
musical talents of men of letters, we shall see that there is 
but little evidence that music tends to belittle the mind or 
to dwarf universality of taste, on the one hand ; or that lit- 
erature has very little influence upon writers, other than 
that which is within her own confines. Each man depends 
upon what he is, irrespective of any prominent trait or 
talent. If there is within the mind a broad reflective 
power, and a disposition to universal development, — that is, 
if the man is disposed to look for truth in all her varied 
forms, finding it wherever he may seek, even into all the 
various interests that occupy human consideration, —then 
that soul will be developed into the liberal thinker, and be- 
come broad in its culture and judgment. If the nature is 
of a cramped order, and the mind runs in a groove and 
follows but the smaller ideas, then there will be a littleness 
of character. This will hold good in all professions and in 
all classes of people. Whoever reads the charming letters 
of Mendelssohn will surely observe that he possessed a 
bright and pure nature, loving the beautiful under all its 
varied forms. We recall with pleasure his description of 
great paintings that he wrote about while in Italy, and re- 
member how he contrasted Goethe’s idea of Titian’s large 
picture in the Vatican with his own conception of it. The 
letter runs thus: ‘* He (meaning Goethe) speaks in de- 
tail of a large picture of Titian’s, and declares that its 

meaning is not to be devised,—only a number of figures 
standing beautifully together. I fancy, however, that I 
have discovered a very deep sense in it, and I believe that 

Vol. 5, No. 2—13 

188 The Western. 

whoever finds the most beauties in Titian is sure to be the 
most in the right, for he was a glorious man.’’ Mendels- 
sohn loved truth and purity in all its forms, and his nature, 
although being of a bright and sunny character, was com- 
prehensive in its thought and far-reaching in its aim. 
Goethe’s appreciation of the brightness of his mind is 
plainly indicated in his treatment of the young composer, 
while he was spending some time at the house of the great 
German poet, for he wast just enough to acknowledge that 
‘* Mendelssohn had clear ideas, and that he expected to 
learn much from him.’? When we see how Mendelssohn 
impressed the very identity of his spirit into all his com- 
positions, we can but acknowledge that his intellect passed 
into his music in the form of ideas, and that they will live 
in the world of art as a noble conception of beauty from a 
pure mind. 

In looking over Dr. Burney’s ‘‘ History of Music,’’ one 
may observe that, apart from its bearing upon his great 
subject, there are many wise reflections that indicate a 
thoughtful and almost philosophical mind. Indeed, the 
class of men that were proud to greet him as friend, em- 
bracing the greatest literary lights of the age, indicated a 
general appreciation of his accomplishments and mental 
ability. If Dr. Johnson would have the performance of a 
grand sonata an impossibility, yet he was still drawn to this 
musician by the charms of his mind. In our day, Richard 
Wagner passes into the literary ranks when he writes the 
librettos for his operas, and returns to his musical art to 
give a great work to the world. Hiindel must have recog- 
nized the wonderful fitness necessary to have music harmonize 

with the literal expression of the words, for we have many 
accounts of his carefulness in dealing with the English of 
the text for his oratorios. He saw the musical feeling as 
thought, and gave a twofold life to his compositions, as he 
united the idea in language with his grand conception in 
harmony and in song. Thought lives but as thought, and 

The Intellect in Music. 189 

only when in action passing from mind to mind. If we 
take up a book, the idea flows into the mind as the eye 
meets the page, as silent voices speaking with a new created 
life. The word lives again, even when the hand that wrote 
it has passed into the far beyond of rest. I recall with 
pleasure my feelings at reading an original letter of Robert 
Burns’. How the very paper, that once felt the press of 
his hand as he traced the words, became filled with 
impressions of the dead poet; and I recalled in a fuller 
degree his character, his works, and indeed the results of 
his life, as the time-worn pages brought me into direct 
communication with his once uttered thought. Thus, too, 
does music live in action. The great painter may leave 
behind him upon the earth matchless creations of his 
thought and skill, all glorious upon the canvas. But a 
little while in the great lapse of time, and the picture has 
faded into memories of its former beauty, and his name is 
all that is left to mark his fame. Not so music. Music is 
ever the same in its truthful attestation of its master’s idea. 
It seems to be his very voice, singing in melodious sounds 

of his thoughts and feelings. The great symphony pro- 

claims the ever-living Beethoven, again and again, as its 
noble harmonies vibrate through the air, making manifest 
his thought to a listening and happy company. Schubert’s 
soul still sings to us in those compositions that he wrote 
for our generation, even if his own refused to listen to his 
claim for recognition. 

Even as the thought of the past lingers with us in the 
word, so does the soul of the great composer live on in his 
music. The word is the direct medium of the spirit, and, 
even like the soul, lives but in action; and although we 
treasure it as a character, it is filled with life again as the 
eye meets the outward form, and its meaning in sound is 
reéchoed in the mind. Music, too, lives but as sound, and 
movement is its very existence ; so like to language that it 
seems its other self. ‘The direct offering of the soul! And 

190 The Western. 

to the understanding mind it speaks, and spenks again, and 
‘* like a thing of beauty ”’ it lives forever. The light fades 
into the shadow, until darkness veils the land, and the 
beauty of the earth lies sleeping. Yet the gentle breezes 
play amid the dark wood, and sweetly murmur through the 
night. A sound is heard, as of some grand and noble 
hymn, praising the Great Maker of the Universe. A little 
harmonious movement of the air, and melody reéchoes 
through the quiet hours of the night. More powerful than 
light is that wonderful sound, for its penetrating waves 
reach round and round, until all the Universe joins in one 
joyful song, and sings, ‘* There is nothing great but the 
soul, and God, the Giver of all life.’”’ And the past crowds 
into the present, and becomes a glorious and a happy Now ; 
for — 
“Be sure the works of mighty men, 
The good, the faithful, the sublime, 

Stored in the gallery of Time, 
Repose awhile — to wake aguin.’ 


Cuarves H. Brirran. 


In every work mechanically performed there are two 
forces always employed, — one active and dynamic, the other 
static and reactive, —the two as one producing the work. 
The axe, the saw, and the plane, without the efficient 
energy of the hand, are motionless and useless. Likewise 
the hand itself, without the efficient muscle, is powerless ; 
so the muscle, without the motor nerve; and this, without 
the inspiring will, is alike inefficient. 

The steam engine, with all its ingenious combinations, 
without the expanding pressure of the vapor, is an useless 
structure; the vapor expands only under the action of 

Involution and Evolution. 191 

heat, and this is produced by the mutual action of two 
chemical elements. 

Thus in every product two factors are employed, the 
one active and the other reactive and coéperative. 

All acoustic instruments are voiceless without an efficient 
agent and a listening ear; light is not produced without 
efficient radiations and reflecting or refracting media. 

The wheel without the falling water, the vessel without 
the fluid, the arteries without the blood, are useless. 

In chemism two factors are always involved — an acid and 
alkali, a radical and base. Either, alone, is impotent for 
any result. 

The plant decays without the circulating juices, and the 
animal dies without the animating circulations. 

Thus everywhere we find two coérdinate factors produc- 
ing every result. 

Let us now examine another range of facts of superior 

The highest and noblest function of the mineral king- 
dom and of chemic process is to evolve and prepare suita- 
ble materials for the nutrition, embodiment, and organiza- 
tion of the vegetable kingdom. 

But this material, as prepared for the vegetable germ, or 
to nourish the vegetable tissues, is wholly incapable of 
originating the germinative process, or of continuing the 
same, or of supporting organization and growth, without 
the incoming of an efficient, assimilating, and organizing 
power or principle, without which the germ decays and the 
vegetable dies. There must be the insemination of an effi- 
cient organizing agency, which begins and carries on a work 
utterly distinct from chemic action. Yet, after insemina- 
tion and germination, the whole vegetable embodiment 
seems to be supplied by materials furnished by and evolved 
in the chemic process. 

Hence in vegetative processes two factors are always in- 
dispensable, one of which is not supplied by chemism. 

192 The Western. 

Here force and motion, and the production of homo- 
geneous materials —the characteristic features of the min- 
eral kingdom — are wholly subordinate to organization and 
specific functions, which are characteristic features of the 

The forces are occupied in circulating the supporting 
fluid, dependent on heat, which give flow to all physical 
things; while the organic action depends on light, which 
incites to action the potential organism doing work peculiar 
to the vegetable economy. 

The chief and most important function of the vegetable 
kingdom is to supply embodiment and nutriment to the 
animal kingdom. 

The animal ova and food, the constituents of which are 

essentially organic, and of vegetable origin, never begin to 
live or support life, but remain dormant or perish, unless 
they be inseminated and vivified by agencies or principles 

which the vegetable does not supply. The animal, which 
is characterized by feeling, knowing, and seemingly spon- 
taneous action, neither begins nor continues to exist without 
the present and abiding action of an efficient agency which 
the vegetable is incapable of supplying, while there is per- 
petually evolved from the vegetable what is indispensable to 
the animal. 

The vegetable supplies the material of animal organism, 
which is animated by an agency which the former does not 

In animal life two factors are involved,—the potential 
embodiment, consisting of materials evolved from vegetable 
products and prepared by digestive processes, and an 
efficient agency animating the potential organism, which the 
vegetable does not supply. 

The highest ard most distinguished use of the animal 
organism, especially as perfected in man, is by its organs 
of sensation and action to supply the essential human facul- 
ties —that is, the understanding and will— with those 

Involution and Evolution. 193 

means by which they can embody, enlarge, and perfect 
themselves, and then express themselves in speech and 

The mere animal powers and life furnish those sensuous 
forms and images which, as directly presented, or as stored 
in the memory, are the means by which the understanding 
embodies and expresses its rational ideas, and also supplies 
those feelings by which the desires and appetites are ex- 
cited which may move the will to action, and furnish the 
motive power by which the will may execute its purposes. 

Mere sensous images, as directly observed, or as recalled 
from the memory in the order of observation, always remain 
essentially such, and are not lifted to a higher plane until 
they are analyzed, compared, regulated, and ordinated by 
a higher faculty, —the human understanding, or dialectic 
power, — which perceives relations, as distinct from the ideal 
feelings and actions, which are the things whose relations are 
discovered, or which are constituted by new relations into 
new forms. 

The sensuous or animal mind, with its memory, supplies 
the raw material of rational ideas and thoughts. It does 
not perceive relations abstractedly from the things related ; 
a higher, a distinctive human faculty, the Reason, does this ; 
and by its dialectic processes evolves conceptions and 
rational ideas, or constructs judgments and propositions, 
and forms determinations and conclusions. Thus two fac- 
tors enter into every product of the human understanding, — 
the sensuous and objective elements from below and with- 
out, and the rational dialectic elements from within or 
above, and which are subjective. 

The former are animal, the latter human. But the mature 
fruits of the understanding and processes of dialectic them- 

selves alone are mere ideal forms, which may be pleasantly 
contemplated, and remain mere objects of intellectual con- 
templation, until they are taken as a pattern, after which 
something is formed or instituted as a real thing in art; or 

194 The Western. 

until it, as a law, is worked out in uses, in the affairs of life. 
Ideas alone, or the understanding by itself, cannot do this ; 
buta motive element, — the will, — pursuant to some useful 
purpose, guided by the ideas and light of the understand- 
ing, produces the work or use, which involves as factors 
both the ideas of the understanding and the motives of the 

Thus the fruits of the understanding are wrought up into 
life by practice and persistent action, by which habits and 
then characters are formed ; or are associatively and socially 

realized in human institutions and social uses, according to 
which characters and uses the destiny of the individual and 
society is determined. Laws and practical precepts are in- 
volved with the character as potencies of life, just as ideas 
are stored in the memory as the potencies of thought. 

Man, distinctively as such, is not created, but is formed 
and made ; formed, as to his understanding, by rational ideas, 
learned, understood, thought and determined ; made, as to 
his will and character, by motives and purposes rationally 
perceived, fully willed, and practiced from choice, without 

Motives merely human and natural are sensual and 
selfish ; for man, the finite creature, is necessarily a creature 
of want, limitation, and self-seeking ; his life is a perpetual 
void, which must be filled ; a mere potency, which must be 
vivified and sustained. 

Left to himself, he must ever seek to fill the voids which 
his desires, his aspiration, and his appetite open out in the 
very depths of his consciousness ; selfishness, left to itself, 
without a higher law or higher motives, will, in its ambition 
and avarice, use all power and all possession for selfish 
gratification and personal aggrandizement, which can result 
only in individual degradation, public demoralization, and 
social destruction. : 

Hence, to redeem man from the necessities of his finite 
nature, and to lift him above his own plane of want and 

Involution and Evolution. 195 

self-seeking, a higher, a nobler, and a better life, — that is, a 
Divine life, — must be induced in and upon his own proper 
life, lift it up into a higher plane, imbue and vivify it with 
unselfish and generous motives, with pure and exalting 

Man, by the very necessities of his creatureship, is prone 
to evil, from which he must be perfectly redeemed in order 
that he may be able freely to choose a higher life, which 
must be wrought in him and become his own. 

The human must be ensouled with the Divine, and the 
Divine must be embodied in the human, and the two, as fac- 
tors, produce a divinely human life, —the human reborn 
from above. 

Without this birth into a higher life—which cannot be ac- 
complished without an accommodation of, and a descent of, 
the Divine life to the human, and the acceptance thereof by 
the human — society never can be perfected, Heaven can 
never be attained. 

Man can be immortal and blessed only by virtue of an 
ever-present, sustaining, Divine life, which he secures and 
consciously enjoys as his own, while trustfully and truth- 
fully acknowledging that such life and blessedness is a 
bequest in perpetuity. 

This rebirth from a natural into a spiritual life, from the 
human into a divine life, is the turning of water into wine, 
and is the fulfilment of a law as necessary as it is universal. 

This is what Christianity means. 

Let us now retrace our steps along the path of relation 
we have pursued, and see what further we may discover. 

We find in every plane of existence that every efficient 
work, every product, and every effect is the joint result of 
two factors or principles; that these, in relation to each 
other, are dynamic and static, active and reactive ; one effi- 
cient, the other potential. 

This same relation, in the inorganic kingdom, is polarity ; 
in the organic kingdom, sexuality ; and in the human king- 
dom, conjugality. 

196 The Western. 

Each proximate lower plane and kingdom furnishes po- 
tential embodiment to the proximate higher ; while, recipro- 
cally, the higher provides the efficient power and animatory 
soul to the lower. 

Thus, the mineral provides embodiment for the vegetable, 
the vegetable for the animal, the animal for the human, and 
the human finally for the divine; and that these embodi- 
ments, of themselves, are merely potential, but are actuated, 
animated, and vivitied by that which is not originally derived 
from the lower plane, and, consequently, must have its 

origin in a higher plane, and is on the lower, if there, only 

as potential and derived from a higher source; that each 
distinct plane is the joint product of a potential factor 
evolved from below, and an efficient factor incoming orig- 
inally from above. 

The chemic process evolves a potential embodiment for 
the vegetable; the digestive process, from the vegetable, 
evolves an embodiment for the animal; and the highest 
products of auimal life, sensation and feeling, are, by the 
dialectic processes, wrought up into the embodiment of 
human thoughts ard volitions ; and, finally, by reformatory 
and regenerating processes, the human gives embodiment 
and revelation to the divine. 

Now, since these successive embodiments, one from 
another, as potencies, are derived from the lowest, or min- 
eral and material bases, they all, in some state or form, must 
coexist therein, and from thence be evolved by the processes 
above named. 

A mere potency, while remaining such, — whether it be a 
potency of action, of knowing, or of feeling, — cannot act, 
know, or feel, or begin so to do, until some efficient or 
contingent ageney or cause affects it, and induces an evolu- 
tion of potency into efficiency. 

Originally, the efficient factors must have existed before 
the potential, unless they were coeternal and underived. 

But every potentiality, so far as known, and seemingly 
by its very nature, also, must abide a mere impotency until 

Involution and Evolution. 197 

what is involved in it is evolved by some efficient agency. 
Is not such a potentiality inconceivable as underived, self- 
produced, or self-productive ? 

These potencies are finite, limited, and contingent, yet hold 
as involved that which, when evolved, is active ; then organ- 
izing, then sensitive, then effective and voluntary. The 
generative and sustaining processes of all the kingdoms 
show that these remain mere potencies until affected by an 

It is easy to conceive how the active and efficient produce 
and become involved into the inert and potential. 

In chemical composition, the efficient oxygen, and its co- 
factor, hydrogen, are involved into the passive and inert 
water, which is the chemic potency of their efficiency. 
Oxygen, with its co-factor, carbon, is involved into carbonic 
acid, which is the potency of their efficiency. 

Two equal dynamic factors meeting oppositely hecome 
at rest, in equilibrium, in what they are potential. 

It is rational, as well as the teaching of experience, that 
the active must originally produce the inert ; the living, the 
dead ; the sun, the earth ; the infinite, the finite ; the efficient, 
the potential. 

Matter, so far as it is known, is, in all its forms and con- 
ditions, only the potency of active forces; for all its most 
inert states and forms, under the action of heat, successively 
pass through the solid, fluid, vaporous, and finally into the 
invisible active condition. 

Hence, if the active and efficient, as cause, produce the 
potential and inert by involving themselves therein, then, 
really and logically, the efficient precedes the potential and 
is involved into it; and the mineral kingdom, as basis and 
continent, must hold involved in it, in some form and condi- 
tion, in potency, the materials and substances which constitute 
the embodiment of the superior kingdoms; and these must 
have been involved successively, in inverse order, from an 
efficient and creative first cause, by as many successive invo- 

198 The Western. 

lutions as there are distinct kingdoms and discrete plans of 

By a potentiality we understand a sUBJECTIVE STATE, in 
which is the ability, the effort, or tendency to go forth into 
activity or efficiency, but only under the influence of some 
outer contingency or efficiency, and which, potentially, can- 
not act, or begin to act, from itself alone; thus effort is 
the potency of action, sleep the potency of consciousness ; 
memory the potency of recollection, will the potency of vo- 

Seeing may be said to be potential in the eye, which 
becomes actual on the inflow of radiating forces ; hearing is 
potential in the ear, which becomes actual on the inflow of 
undulating air; perception is potential in the mind, until it 
becomes actual by the attention; and volition is potential 
in the will, until it is aroused by some motive, affection or 

Every thing is in a state of efficiency or of potency, or in 
a state of transition from one to the other. Hence efficiency 
and potency, involution and evolution, as here understood, 
are correlative, necessary, and logical conditions. 

From considerations previously stated, it would seem to 
be clear that all finite things, when uninfluenced, are 
potencies of action, of knowing, of feeling, or of some 
relation, form, or combination thereof; and that these, by 

virtue of their finiteness and mere potency, demand, logi- 

cally and really, as their origin, an infinite, underived source, 
which is a self-subsisting Power, Wisdom, and Life; and 
that all these potencies are actuated and vivified immedi- 
ately by their creative source, or mediately by potencies 
which have already become thus actuated and _ vivified ; 
that there is, first, an involution from a First Cause and 
Origin of active and efficient principles, through successive 
planes, into ultimate potencies, and from these an evolution 
of potential and vivified organic kingdoms back to the First 

Involution and Evolution. 199 

In the primal involutions each potency is derived from a 
proximate higher efficiency, which, combined with the 
former, produces a new homogeneous efficiency ; this in turn 
becomes involved into a potency, which, combining with its 
origin, or proximate higher efficiency, produces a new effi- 
ciency, and so on until every primal principle is represented 
in its potency in the ultimate product ; so that the last con- 
tains, coexistently in order, what successively arose from 
first to last, just as in every mathematical product or power 
all the antecedent factors are involved. 

In evolution, a proximate higher plane, as an efficiency, 
evolves its proper potencies from the lower planes and 
organizes them into an embodiment for all the functions and 
uses of its own plane, and continually sustains it by such 
processes, and, as its soul, vivifies it, so that it acts and lives 
in the performance of its functions and uses. 

Each higher plane organizes the uses and functions of the 
lower planes into itself, modified and adapted to its own 
purposes. Thus each lower plane is analogously and actually 
represented in the higher; thus the vegetable has a plane 
of chemic functions besides its own; and the animal has its 
chemic and vegetable functions organized into itself, adapted 
to its own wants. The human system, as an organic whole, 
contains a mechanical, a chemical, a vegetable, and an ani- 
mal plane or system, by virtue of which the whole cosmos 
is represented in it ; and these systems so reciprocally com- 
municate, and are so inalienably bound together, organically 
and functionally, that they become constituent of a higher 
order — the human body. 

Unless the cosmos were thus organized and represented 
in man, he could never know or understand it ; for no sub- 
ject can know an object except so far as it is reproduced ‘or 
represented in its own experience or consciousness. 

Each lower plane, while it is the embodiment, basis, and 
support of the higher, is by the higher reformed, remodelled, 
and dignified by it with higher uses. 

Minerals and metals, from crude materials, are by indus- 

200 The Western. 

try and skill wrought up into innumerable forms of use, 
beauty, and enjoyment ; vegetable and animal productions 
are wrought up into vestures, habitations, and resorts for 
man ; while in turn man, by culture and art, assists, develops, 
and ennobles them. 

While all the cosmic kingdoms exist and subsist from the 

Deity, they necessarily embody, express, reveal, and glorify 

Him ; and man, in his right estate, perceives, enjoys, and 
with reverent acknowledgment worships Him. 

Thus all the cosmic kingdoms are held and bound into an 
inseparable union and harmony by their mutual uses. 

How light, which is otherwise a dead force, becomes 
glorified in numberless forms of beauty in consciousness ; 
and how sound, which otherwise is silent, is moulded into 
inexpressible harmonies in responsive aifections ! 

Each of the cosmic kingdoms has two series of functions — 
one for self-support, protection, and subsistence ; while the 
other is for the benefit and use of others. Thus there is a 
series of selfish and subjective functions, and a series of un- 
selfish and objective uses. It is by virtue of their uses for 
others that they are all united in organic units and harmony. 

Selfishness seeks to draw to itself and absorb that which 
is out of itself and not its own, while unselfishness seeks to 
give its own for others’ use. The former, except so far as 
subordinate to the latter, is destructive of all mutuality, all 
organization, all community ; while the latter is the ground 
and essence of mutual relations and society. Uses for others, 
in human society, are benevolence and benefaction, the only 
origin of which is Love — the only motive good. 

The selfish principle is essentially evil, for left to itself, 
ungoverned, it appropriates all to self; while use for others 
is essentially good, for it is the practical life of unselfish 
love which seeks to give itself and its own for others’ good, 
which is essentially Divine. 

Use for others, in creation, is the Divine Love, there re- 
vealing itself. 

The means —that is, the potential organisms — by which 

Involution and Evolution. 201 

and through which these uses are performed, are revela- 
tions and products of the Divine Wisdom; and the forces 
which vivify and move the organism to their uses are the 
outlook and expressions of the Divine Power. The adop- 
tion of means to ends —that is, organs to use — necessarily 
implies intelligence. 

Use, by virtue of which organization and society are 
alone possible, imperatively involve the unity of Divine love, 
wisdom, and power. If we examine each kingdom of the 
cosmos by itself, we shall readily discover that each, as 
to its dominant characteristic and controlling principle, is 
the real working and actual manifestation and abode of 
such principle, as distinct from other universal principles, 
while the latter use these subordinately coédperative. Thus 
the mineral kingdom, chemical and mechanical, is essen- 
tially one of power and force, the relations of which are 
quantitative and mathematical, and its forms geometrical. 
The vegetable kingdom is dominantly and essentially or- 
ganic, producing and reproducing organisms essentially 
static and potential for animal and human use, except so 
far as they are assimilative and reproductive as uses for 
self. Every species of organism produces a different fune- 
tion or use, and is the adaptation of means to an end, 
and their essential relations are qualitative. Every organ- 
ism, as involving plan and design, implies thought and 
reflection — that is, rational processes, the science of which 
is Logic. 

In the animal kingdom we find sensation and feeling, 
which are characteristic of it, and do not exist in the min- 
eral or vegetable kingdom. Feeling is dormant and con- 
trolling, to which, in specific determination, as end or mo- 
tive, the whole animal organism is subservient. 

That which distinctly and emphatically characterizes 
man is rational intelligence and free volition, the former of 
which perceives means and ends, and their relations, and 
adopts and chooses, or rejects and refuses, as they are deter- 

202 The Western. 

mined and judged to be true or false, good or evil; and he 

executes the determination of his choice by the animal and 
the other planes organized in his physical body. 

The Divine Power is characteristically and distinctly 
potentialized and represented in the mineral kingdom, 
the Divine Wisdom in the vegetable kingdom, the Di- 
vine Love in the animal kingdom, and the essential unity 
and harmony of these, as the Divine Personalty, in man ; 
whose Ego, or personality, is the conscious unity of all the 
planes of his organism in their relations, functions, and 
uses. Thus the essential attributes of Being, or of the 
Deity, are revealed and represented in the kingdoms of the 
Cosmos such as they are DISTINCTLY in THEMSELVES; and 
such as they are in their essential unity, or in the person- 
ality of Being, are represented in the unity or personality 
of man. These principles proceed successively and dis- 
tinctly by involution into their ultimate potential bases from 
one original source or Being, in whom they are in perfect 

These potentialities are successively evolved from their 
involved condition, and subsumed into organic and social 
unity through the kingdom of the cosmos, man, and 
humanity, by virtue of these principles inflowing in their 
active and efficient state from this source, by which inflow 
and the corresponding harmonious reaction and_ vivifica- 
tion of their potentialities, and the consequent efficiency of 
the two as one, they are brought into and persistently held 
in conjunction with their source, in whom they live, move, 
and have being. 

Each potentiality of life, when evolved into efficiency, 
perceives and feels that which is evolved as its own as un- 
derived and spontaneous, and must so do because its own 
substance, states, and forms are then being affected ; for 
no attribute can be separated from its subjective ground or 

The unity of that which is perceived and felt as its own 

Involution and Evolution. 203 

is the conscious Ego, or It, and is the awakening to life of 
that which has been derived from the Creator in the creative 
processes of involution and evolution, and exists in a finite 
form to and for itself and for all others. Hence, by virtue 
of its POTENTIAL BEING, finited in and from the Divine, each 
creature for itself and for others, discretely exists by itself 
when its potentiality is evolved into efficiency by an active 
agent or contingent. If we would know how the primitive 
involution, evolution, and creation were effected, we must 
learn how the creation is still sustained, for the latter is 
only the continued and abiding process of the former. 

The Divinity is as much present in sustaining the crea- 
tion in existence as He was in its origination. The law and 
order of the one is the law and order of the other, and 
therein the omnipresence of His love, the omniscience of His 
wisdom, and the omnipotence of His power are never abated. 

Each kindgdom of creation, in its normal order and per- 
fected harmony, is a revelation of one of the attributes of 
the Deity. 

The mineral kingdom, as embracing the chemical, me- 
chanical, and astronomical divisions, and its higher forms as 
modified and adapted by the higher kingdom, is a projection 
and revelation of an Infinite Divine Power in the extensions 
of space, the protensions of time, and intensities of force, 
in accommodation to the necessities of finite existence. 

The vegetable kingdom and all its static organisms, as 
exalted into and moditied by the higher kingdoms, is a projec- 
tion and revelation of the Divine Wisdom, whose ideas and 
archetypes are manifested in all forms or organisms, or 
adaptative to normal uses. 

The animal kingdom, with all its conscious life and all 
its feelings, and as exalted into and modified in the human 
kingdom, is an expression and revelation of the Divine love, 
which assumes finite form and essence in and by all static 
organisms, by which it realizes its beneficent purposes in 
uses operated by Divine power. 

Vol. 5, No. 2—14 

204 The Western. 

And finally, man, in normal order, as the crown, the sub- 
semtion, and the organic unity of the three preceding king- 
doms, in his conscious personality, vivified in and from an 
immanent inflow of the Divinity, and as exalted and per- 
fected in Him, is a representation, or image and likeness of 
Him, and of the personal unity of His love, wisdom, and 
power; and, consequently, must be « subjective revelation 
of Him, for man can only truly know the Deity as he, in 
feeling, thought, and volition, becomes like Him. 

Thus all things, which in their origin proceed from the 
Deity, — and in proceeding are successively and distinctly, in 
gradation, involved potentially in the ultimate or material 
plane, in homogeneous, inorganic, and plastic conditions, — 
are again evolved, in counter-order, into efficient, organic, 
vital, and joyous kingdoms, actuated, governed, and en- 
livened by His immanent power, wisdom and love, and in 
reciprocal conjunction therewith return to their original 
sources in one unbroken harmony ; not merged and identi- 
fied with Him, but existing in unitary conjunction with 
Him, by virtue of their potential séatus and forms, vivified 
by Him, and responsive thereto from their own potencies, 
all distinct from, while abiding in the arms of creative and 
sustaining power. 

Thus, between the counter-flow and unity of involution 
and evolution, through successive and corresponding stages 

of each, the living stream of creation exists and abides, of 
which the Deity is the first and the last, the beginning and 
the end; and from which, in whom, and for whon, it has 
being, lives, and moves. 

May not the facts and views here presented suggest to the 
scientific rationalist, and the philosophical theologian, a 
common ground on which to stand, mutually recognizing 
ach other as brothers of the same household? 

W. H. Burrerrievp. 

Book Reviews. 


Snort Hisrory or German Literature. By James K. Hosmer. 

St. Louis: G. I. Jones & Co. 

The many who listened to Prof. Hosmer’s course of lectures 
will be glad to have the opportunity of enjoying with the eye that 
which was then addressed to the ear. The large circle of readers 
who wish a general knowledge of the great names in German 
literature will welcome a book which will so entirely meet their 
wants. The Table of Contents is, in this case, descriptive, and 
hence desirable for citation: 

Chapter I. — First Appearance of the Germans in History ; The 
Strife with Rome; Ulphilas; Karl the Great: As a Warrior; As a 
Law-Giver and Organizer; His Court; His Influence on Litera- 
ture; The Work of the Monks; The Time of the Hohenstauffen. 

Chapter II. — The Burgundian Court at Worms; Wooing of 
Brunhild; Marriage of Siegfried and Kriemhild; Death of Sieg- 
fried; Etzel’s Wooing; Riidiger; Kriemhild’s Revenge. 

Chapter ILL. — High Appreciation in which the Poem (The Nibe- 
lungen Lied) is Held; Its Origin and History; The Poem as a 
Picture of Primitive German Life and Spirit; Critique of the 
Principal Characters ; Comparison with Homer ; Spots made inter- 
esting through connection with the Poem. 

Chapter IV. — (Gudrun) The German Odyssey; A Picture of 
the Life of the Early Sea-Rovers; The. Heroes of Friesland ; 
Horant’s Singing; The Abduction of Hilda; The Betrothal of 
Gudrun; Her Captivity ; The Heroes at Sea; The Washing at the 
Beach; The Rescue; The Animal Epic. 

Chapter V. — Walther von der Vogelweide ; Hadlaub of Ziirich ; 
Ulrich von Lichtenstein; ** The Rose Garden at Worms ;’’ Hart- 
mann von Aue; Gottfried von Strassburg; Wolfram von Eschen- 

Chapter VI. — The German Kaisers ; Political Circumstances of 
Germany from the end of the Thirteenth Century ; Strassburg ; 
The Chroniclers ; ‘The Preachers ; The Satirists; The Drama. 

206 The Western. 

Chapter VII. — Heinrich Frauenlob; The Artisans; Literary 
Life of the Cities; Hans Sachs; ** The Tailor and the Flag;’’ 
**Saint Peter and the Goat;’’ ** The Wittenberg Nightingale ;’’ 

Chapter VIII. — Outline of Luther’s Career; His Vast Literary 
Activity ; His Influence upon the German Language and Litera- 
ture; The Translation of the Bible; His Polemical Writings ; His 
Preaching, Letters, Hymns; Places Associated with Luther. 

Chapter IX. — From Luther to the End of the Sixteenth Cen- 
tury; Friedrich, King of Bohemia; Wallenstein and Gustavus 
Adolphus; The Portraits in the Castle at Coburg; Liitzen; Ex- 
haustion of Germany; Decay of Literature. 

Chapter X. — Gottsched and Bodmer ; Sketch of Lessing’s Life ; 
The Fables; The Early Dramas; ‘* Laocoon;’’ ** ‘The Hamburg 
Dramaturgy;’’ Writings: Political, Polemical, Theological ; 
** Nathan the Wise ;’’ Lessing’s Resemblance to Luther. 

Chapter XI. — Klopstock’s Youth; Appearance of the ** Mes- 
sias ;’’ His Patriotism; His Wide Influence; The Career of Wie- 
land; The Favorite of the Elegant World; ** Oberen;’’ ** The 
Abderites ;’’ Contrast with Klopstock; The Career of Herder; 
Immense Range of His Studies; His Influence upon Poetry ; His 
**Tdeas upon the Philosophy of History;’’ Greatness as a 
Preacher; His Church and Statue at Weimar. 

Chapter XII. — Goethe’s Boyhood at Frankfort; Description 
of his early Home and Places Associated with Him ; Life at Strass- 
burg; His Extraordinary Impressibility ; Brilliancy of his early 
Fame ; Description of Weimar ; His Journeys ; His Universality ; As 
Man of Affairs; Vitality in Age; As Man of Science ; The Novels. 

Chapter XIII. — Goethe as a Poet; His Contrast with Schiller ; 
The Lyrics ; ‘The Epics ; ‘* Hermann and Dorothea ;’’ The Dramas : 
*¢ Tphigenia ;’’ ** Faust ;’’ Greatness of his Genius; Estimate of 
his Character. 

Chapter XIV.—Schiller; His Life and Character; Hardships 
of his Boyhood ; His early Fame ; Contrast with Goethe ; Schiller’s 
Prose ; Asa Historian; Asa Speculative Philosopher ; His Lyrics ; 
*¢ The Song of the Bell;’’ The Ballads; The Dramas; The Con- 
stant Growth of his Genius; ** The Robbers ;’’ ‘‘ Wallenstein ;’’ 
‘¢ William Tell;’’ Nobleness of Schiller. 

Chapter XV. — Influence of Speculative Philosophy upon Lit- 

Book Reviews. 207 

erature; Kant; Fichte; Schelling; the Brothers Schlegel; Jean 
Paul; ‘Tieck; Novalis; Fouqué; Theodore Korner and Arndt; 
Rickert ; The Decay of Rumanticism ; Ubland. 

Chapter XVI.— ‘The Jews in Germany; Heine’s Youth; His 
Apostasy ; His Journeys; Life in Paris; The ‘* Mattress-Grave ;’’ 
His Descriptive Power; His Wit; His Pathos. 

Chapter X VII.— Influences at Present Affecting Literature ; The 
Brothers Grimm; Great Names of the Present Time; Anticipa- 
tions; Means for Culture; Probable effect upon Literature of 
Present Unity and Political Greatness of Germany. 

Chapter XVIII. —Carlyle’s Defence of Obscurity; Herbert 
Spencer’s Dictum; Periodicity of German Style; Severity of Ger- 
man Critics; De Quincey’s Judgment; Freiligrath’s ‘* Germany as 
Hamlet ;’’ Comparative Estimate of German Literature. 

With Professor Hosmer’s manner of treating his subjects the 
readers of THe Western have already been made acquainted 
through his article upon Heine. Professor Hosmer, in his modest 
preface, offers his book in answer to a demand for a manual which 
should, in reasonable compass, present acoup d’cil of the greatest 
achievements in German belles-lettres. It may safely be said that 
his success has correspouded to his efforts. for the reader will find 
the story presented with all the fascination of a work of fiction. 


ING ACCIDENCE AND Worp-Formation. By Richard D. Morris, 
LL.D. New York: D. Appelton & Co. 1879. 

This is a rewriting of Mr. Morris’s ** Historical Outlines of 
English Accidence.’” Many whose advancement is insuflicient to 
enable them to follow the studies of our best known philologists 
will be glad to welcome an elementary work which furnishes an 
easy statement of the best philological beliefs. The contents of 
this manual are: 

Chapter I. — Relation of English to the Languages of Europe 
and Asia; Table of Indo-European Languages; Relation of Eng- 
lish to the ‘Teutonic Group; Table of Teutonic Languages. 

Chapter II. — History of the English Language; Origin of the 
English; F. reign Elements in English; The Keltic Element in 
English ; The Scandinavian Element in English ; The Latin Element 

208 The Western. 

in English; Latin introduced by Norman-French; Influence of 
Norman-French upon the Vocabulary of the English Language ; 
Influence of Norman-French upon the Grammar of English; Latin 
introduced by the Revival of Learning; Other Foreign Elements ; 
Preponderance of the Native over the Foreign Elements. 

Chapter III.— Early English Dialects; Periods of the Lan- 

Chapter IV.—Sounds and Letters; Classification of Conso- 
nants; Number of Elementary Sounds in the English Alphabet ; 
Imperfections of the English Alphabet. 

Chapter V. — Permutation of Sounds; Grimm’s Law. 

Chapter VI. — Etymology ; Parts of Speech. 

Chapter VII.— Nouns; Gender; Number; Case; Declension 
of Old English Nouns. 

Chapter VIII. — Adjectives; Declension of Old English Adjec- 
tives ; Comparison ; Irregular Comparisons ; Numerals. 

Chapter IX. — Pronouns; Personal Pronouns; Reflexive Pro- 
nouns; Adjective Pronouns; Independent and Absolute Posses- 
sives ; Demonstrative Pronouns; Interrogative Pronouns; Relative 
Pronouns ; Indefinite Pronouns. 

Chapter X.— The Verb; Voice; Mood; Verbal Nouns; Tense ; 
Number; Conjugation; Strong Verbs; Weak Verbs; Verbal In- 
flexions ; Infinitive Mood; Participles; Anomalous Verbs; Auxil- 
iary Verbs. 

Chapter XI. — Adverbs ; Adverbs derived from Nouns and Ad- 
jectives ; Pronominal Adverbs ; Adverbs formed from Prepositions ; 
Compound Adverbs. 

Chapter XII. — Prepositions ; Simple Prepositions ; Compound 

Prepositions ; Comparatives ; Prepositions compounded with Prep- 

ositions; Prepositions formed from Nouns; Prepositions formed 
from Adjectives ; Verbal Prepositions. 

Chapter XIII. — Conjunctions ; Pronominal Conjunctions ; Ver- 
bal Conjunctions. 

Chapter XIV. — Interjections. 

Chapter XV. — Derivation and Word-Formation; Noun Suf- 
fixes from Demonstrative Roots; Adjective Suffixes from Demon- 
strative Roots; Noun Suffixes from Predicative Roots; Adjective 
Suffixes from Predicative Roots; Adverbial Suffixes; Verbal Suf- 
fixes; Composition; Noun Compounds; Adjective Compounds; 

Book Reviews. 209 

Verbal Compounds ; Composition with Particles of English Origin ; 
Inseparable Particles; Separable Particles; Suffixes of Romanic 
Particles ; Composition with Greek Particles ; Index. 

To criticise exhaustively a work of this kind would require more 
space than we feel warranted to bestow. In general, the work is 
one well calculated to stimulate an interest in the study of Eng- 
lish, and to direct a beginner towards more profound philological 

Turning our attention more specially to the consonant elements, 
we present Mr. Morris’ 




Palatal Sibilants.... shat ie Z Sh 
Dental Sibilants.... Salad a y 5 

F Hw 

The most patent objection to the foregoing table is that it lacks 
clearness in the use of terms, and fails to distinguish the differences 
of sound-construction in special cases. J, for example, is here 
given asa mute and a ‘flat palatal,’’ and zh asa spirant and 
** flat palatal-sibilant,’’ whereas j is in fact a compound consonant 
sound, equivalent to dzh, as can be made evident by prolonging 
the sound. 

Ch, also, is equivalent to tsh, in which the sound of the spirant 
sh predominates, yet is classed as a mute. 

Other discrepancies might be pointed out. 

A much preferable classification, in our opinion, is given below, 
in regard to which it is only necessary to explain the terms ‘*‘ sim- 
ple,’’ ‘* mixed,’’ etc., as follows: 

They all refer to the modification of the breath by variations in 
the vocal aperture. 

Simple — Unmodified, vocal aperture open. 

210 The Western. 

Mixed — Vocal aperture contracted to produce a rustling accom- 

Divided — Vocal aperture closed in the centre, and open as pos- 
sible on either side. 

Mixed Divided— Aperture closed in centre and contracted on 
either side. 

Shut — Aperture of both mouth and nose closed, and afterwards 

opened, producing an explosive sound. 

Nasal ——.Oral aperture closed, nasal left open. 




Pad uy 


We submit this table as both clear and complete. 

OUTLINES FOR THE Stupy oF EnGuisn Crassics. By Albert F. 
Blaisdell. Boston, Mass.: North-Eastern Publishing Co. 

Mr. Blaisdel! has, in this little book, done much to enlighten 
what is called ** teaching English literature. Mr. Hudson, in 
his Text-Book of Prose and Text-Book of Poetry, assumes that 
by confining the attention of the pupil to the works (or, rather, 
excerpts from the works) of a very few authors, he can ‘* enthuse ’’ 
the pupil, and substitute a knowledge of literature for an acquaint- 
ance with the history of literature. Mr. Blaisdell, on the other 
hand, assumes that the great obstacle in the way of the young 
pupil is ignorance upon the part of his teacher, and, on the part 
of the pupil, the denial of the kind of help which he needs. 


Book Reviews. 211 

Hence Mr. Blaisdell suggests work which might profitably be 
done for and by the pupil, and furnishes the means by which the 
possible ignorance or indolence of the teacher may be remedied ; 
he acts upon the direction of Pope, that 

Men must be taught as though you taught them not, 

And things unknown proposed as things forgot. 

Whatever may be the general estimate of Mr. Blaisdell’s work, 
it is certain that he has at least given the only intelligent response 
to the demand for a study of literature in lieu of its history. The 
range of the book can best be shown by its Table of Contents: 

Chapter I.—Outline Course of Study in English Literature ; 
Introduction; General Plan of Study; Representative Authors ; 
Collateral Study; Manual Study; General Topics for Essays and 
Discussions ; Special Topics for Essays; Syllabus of a Course in 
English Literature. 

Chapter II.—Suggestions in Teaching English Literature; Life 
and Times of an Author; Use of the Analysis Guide for a Prose 
Selection; Questions on the Text; Oral and Written Transla- 
tions; Committing to Memory; Aids to Memory; Monument of 
English Literature; Fleay’s Directions to Teachers; Study of 

Higher English Text-Books for the Study of English Literature ; 
Cheap English Editions of the English Classics. 

Chapter III.— ** The Norman Baron ’’ as a Model; Text of the 
‘* Norman Baron ;’’ Explanation; Text of Whittier’s ‘* Abraham 

Chapter IV.—XIV.— Longfellow; Whittier; Gray; Irving; 
Bryant; Goldsmith; Burns; Addison; Byron; Scott; Milton; 
Shakespeare ; Tennyson; Spenser; Bacon; Chaucer. 

Chapter XV.— Miscellaneous Authors. 

Chapter XVI.— Brief Outline of English Literature. 

Chapter XVII.— List of Topics for Essays and Examination ; 
Books Useful to Students of English Literature. 

To take the chapter on Longfellow as illustrative. 

1. Critical Opinions, as in Shaw’s Manual (except that Mr. 
Blaisdell’s citations s how more care). 

2. Editions and Sources of Information. 

3. Selections for Study. 

4. Selections to be Committed to Memory. 


The Western. 

This book is to be used, not in lieu of present text-books, but 
as a companion to these, and we do not hesitate to say that, in 
many cases, the jfidus Achates will prove of more service than the 
more heroic master. Epiror. 

Srorres From Vireit. Alfred J. Church. New York: Scrib- 

ner & Welford. 1879. 

Charles Lamb’s ** Tales from Shakespeare ’’ has recently led to 
similar attempts with Chaucer, Spenser, Homer, and Virgil. What- 
ever may be the value of such books to those mature enough and 
possessed of sufficient education to let them make direct acquaint- 
ance with those authors, there is no doubt but that they make a 
valuable addition to juvenile literature, and to literature intended 
for children of a larger growth. As Mr. Church remarks, Virgil 
is less suitable than Homer for such a purpose; and, it may be 
added, that Chaucer is far inferior to Spenser. The scenes 
selected from Virgil are as follows: The Horse of Wood; The 
Sack of Troy; neas and Anchises; Polydones; Delos; Crete ; 
The Harpies; King Helenus; The Cyclops; The Shipwreck; 
Carthage; Dido; The Love and Death of Dido; The Funeral 
Games of Anchises; The Burning of the Ships; The Voyage to 
Italy; The Sibyl; The Dwellings of the Dead; King Latinus; 
The Wratii of Juno; The Gathering of the Chiefs; King Evander ; 
The Arms of /Eneas; Nisus and Euryalus; The Battle at the 
Camp; The Battle on the Shore; The Council; The Battle at the 
City; The Broken Treaty, and The Death of Turnus. 

From this list it will be evident that Mr. Church has been happy 
in his selection of passages which have dramatic interest 

a suc- 
cess not attainable without effort in the case of a writer who, 
like Virgil, is distinguished for grace and elegance rather than for 
vigorous presentation. Epiror. 

Artist BioGrapuies. M. F. Sweetser. Boston: Houghton, Os- 
good & Co. 

Notice has already been made of this attractive series, but it is 
so well calculated to meet a popular want, and to elevate the tone 
of ordinary reading, that it cannot be amiss to remind our readers 
from time to time of resources which carelessness might cause 
them to forget. 

Book Reviews. 213 

The series now consists of fifteen volumes, and embraces the 
names of Titian, Raphael, Diirer, Murillo, Rembrandt, Claude 
Lorraine, Joshua Reynolds, Michael Angelo, Guido Reni, Van 
Dyck, Turner, Da Vinci, Fran Angelico, Allston, and Landseer. 

The west is but beginning to acquire works of art, and hence a 
reliable (if Mr. Lowell will pardon the use of the word) and read- 
able presentation of biographical information will be particularly 
welcome to large numbers of people who lack leisure for personal 
studies. Epiror. 

Wuart ts tHE Biste? J. T. Sunderland. New York: G. P. 

Putnam’s Sons. 1878. 

At a time when theology forms so large a part of even social 
discussions, a little book like this will attract attention, and cannot 
but prove serviceable by removing some of the ignorance which is 
so large an ingredient of dogmatic assertion. ‘The immediate 
provocation to the author lay in the results attained by recent 
biblical scholars in Germany, Holland, and England, and in the 
evident desirableness of presenting these results in a form ‘‘ at 
once brief, clear, comprehensive, unwarped by theological bias, 
and in any true sense abreast with the learning and best thought 

of the time.’’ The topics treated are suggested by the few which 
are here mentioned: Origin and growth of the various great 
Sacred Books or Bibles of the World; A more particular Account 
of the Origin and Growth of our own Bible; The Formation and 
final Settlement of the Scripture Canon; Theory of Infallibility 
of our Bible; Harmonizing the Bible with Science; The Bible 
as a Classic; The Bible and Modern Civilization; The Bible as 
a History of Religious Evolution; A list of works that may be 
read or consulted with profit by persons desirous to get a more 
full knowledge of the subjects treated in this book. 

The attitude and manner of treatment of the author may best 
be shown by his answers to the question: What is the real value 
of the Bible? (1) The Bible as a Literary Production; (2) 
The Bible interwoven indissolubly with every Phase and Depart- 
ment of our Civilization; (3) The Bible as a History of the Evo- 
lution of Religion; (4) The Bible and Monotheism; (5) The 
Bible as a Book of Practical Religion; (6) The Bible as a Book 
*of Spiritual Consolation and Quickening. 

214 The Western. 

It is probably unnecessary to remark that in the statement, 
‘** free from theological bias,’’ that it is the word theological which 
has the emphasis. 

The bibliography is specially deserving of praise for the form 
of its presentation, e. g. : 


Arnold, Matthew. — ‘* Literature and Dogma,’’ and ‘* God and 

the Bible,’’ each 12mo., $1.50. Treat such subjects as The New 
Testament Record; The Fourth Gospel; The Bible Canon; Proof 
of Religion from Miracles and Prophecy; ‘The True Greatness of 
the Bible and Christianity, and How to Save the Bible to the 
Masses. Extremely radical, and yet in their way thoroughly con- 

structive. Very fresh and powerful. 

Fiske, John, Prof. —** The Unseen World,’’ 12mo., pp. 349, 
$2. Contains two valuable essays on The Jesus of History, and 
The Christ of Dogma. Written from the standpoint of the 
advanced German criticism. Epiror. 

Current Notes. 


Tue ‘**‘ Germ Tueory’’ or Disease. — It is a current belief that 
an extensive class of diseases has for its ultimate cause microscopic 
bodies introduced into the system through the agency of the atmos- 
phere, food, or drink. ‘These bodies multiply with inconceivable 
rapidity, at cost of the fluids and solids of their host, and are 
supposed thus to give rise to disorders more or less severe ; hence 
the ‘‘germ’’ theory. All are familiar with the fact that fruits, 
meats, etc., if well scalded and hermetically sealed in suitable 

vessels, may be kept sound and good for an indefinite length of 
time; but that, if imperfectly scalded or sealed, they are sure to 
spoil. ‘This spoiling of canned food we now know to be due to the 

presence of microscopic organisms of extremely simple form. 
They give rise to all fermentation and putrefaction, and are conse- 
quently found in all matters undergoing those changes. Their 
germs are readily taken into the atmosphere, and thus dissemi- 
nated, so that—excluding the exceptionally pure air of high 
mountain-tops — during warm weather they are actually omni- 
present. In the winter time, the warmed air of dwellings affords 
them harborage. If, then, these germs, by their development 
within the body, are the cause of disease, we are constantly ex- 
posed to the risks of sickness. How terrible these risks may be, 
the yellow fever pestilence of the past year and the lowering plague 
now ravaging Russia furnish immediate illustration. In surgery, 
it is recommended to protect open wounds from entrance of the 
invisible enemy by use of bandages or lint saturated with anti- 
septic substances, carbolic acid, borax. Some surgeons, when 
laying open diseased parts, use knives washed in a solution of anti- 
septics, and, during the operation, keep the wound constantly 
bathed with an antiseptic spray—so dreaded are these atomic 
foes, invisible, but more multitudinous than the sands of the 
desert! In a recent number of a leading English medical periodi- 
cal appears an article of interest to the general public. It is upon 
a malady, well known in the United States under the name of 

216 The Western. 

‘summer complaint,’’ which attacks both children and adults 
during the protracted heats of the summer season. It is apt to be 
rather fatal with weakly infants; it is then termed cholera infan- 
tum, and helps greatly to swell the mortality reports of July and 
August in our larger towns. The writer of the article brings 
strong proofs to demonstrate that summer complaint is caused by 
microscopic bodies, bacteria and micrococci, unicellular plants. 
These organisms swarm in amazing multitudes in the organic solu- 
tions that abound in unclean neighborhoods during the hot 
weather, and are readily taken upinto the atmosphere by the force 
of evaporation. It is easy to understand that they will be found 
in the exudated juices of over-ripe or decaying fruits and vege- 
tables, in the milk of ‘‘slop’’ dairies, ete. ‘That such articles of 
food are very productive of bowel disorders in summer is suf- 
ficiently well known. After finding the bacteria, etc., abounding 
in the sewers, stagnant pools, atmosphere, and unwholesome food 
of localities visited by ** summer complaint,’’ the writer detects 
them as well in the matters ejected from the alimentary canal of 
those suffering from the disease — their disappearance keeping 
step with the return of health. His conclusion naturally is, that 
the irritation set up by the fermenting action of the germs pro- 
duces ‘* summer complaint.’’ The ear-passage is not unfrequently 
the seat of cryptogamous growth, giving it the appearance of being 
lined with a delicate whitish plush. Frequent irritation of the ear 
with pencil-tips, ear-spoons, and the like, often provokes a low 
grade of inflammation, accompanied with exudation of moisture 
that affords a choice nidus for the wandering germs, which multi- 
ply and soon form extensive membranes like mould. Cleanliness 
in person and surroundings will undoubtedly preserve us from 
pestilences and lesser diseases, whose united devastations reduce 
the success of mankind in mutual self-slaughter to comparative 

Tue recent publication in an evening paper of articles relative 
to ‘*tax-dodging’’ calls our attention to a question of more than 
local importance, for probably no evasion of the lawis more prev- 
alent than this one. If*any intelligent man is asked why he pays 
taxes at all, his answer is, of course, ready enough — for protection 
by the government. ‘This protection is to apply, first of all, to 

Current Notes. 217 

property, and therefore property must support the burden of tax- 
ation. The government, however, extends its protection over 
other than property interests, but since these also depend upon 
property franchise, they are not separately taxed. Essentially, 
then, taxation is justified by the security thereby obtained for 
property. The payment of a pro rata amount naturally arises 
from this, for the greater protection should be bought at a corre- 
spondingly greater price. So far from considering taxation a bur- 
den, it is rather to be regarded as a very small price paid for a 
very great benefit. Men are so apt to think that they possess 
property by asort of divine right that they forget that it depends 
upon human institutions, not only for its protection, but for its 
very existence ; and a tax-payer thus buys his right to own property, 
and the very existence of the property itself, by means of the small 
per centum which he pays into the state, city, or national treasury. 

Thus he makes a bargain with the community, in accordance 

with which he buys certain privileges not possible to him except 
by this means. The community has not yet been able to devise 
means of estimating, in all cases, the individual’s possessions, and 
must, in such instances, rely more or less implicitly upon his 

statements. Hence returns are made by him to form a basis of 
taxation. If here he knowingly makes false returns, he is not 
merely guilty of falsehood, or, under the law, of perjury, but of 
theft as well; he steals privileges for which he has paid nothing; 
he takes the money of more honest men as really as though he 
took it from their pockets; for, were all men to pay taxes 
honestly, the rate of taxation would thereby be lowered and the 
taxes of honest men reduced. Moreover, the dishonest rendering 
of tax-returns is discouraging to honest dealing in all commercial 
relations. The man of moderate capital finds it difficult enough 
to compete with his richer neighbors, even under the most favor- 
able circumstances. If now the wealthy (and they, it would seem, 
are the most culpable in this respect) make false returns, all 
honest competition lies under a disadvantage sufficient in most 
lines of trade to occasion failure. It would seem as though no 
man of ordinary intelligence could fail to see that he who makes 
false returns must plead guilty of three crimes —— falsehood, or, 
before the law, perjury, theft, and hostility to honest principles 
in society 

218 The Western. 

There is, however, something to be said on the other side. It 
is not always easy, or rather it is seldom easy, to put a fair valua- 
tion upon the property one possesses, and no very satisfactory 
basis has as yet been determined for making this estimate. Yet, 
after all is said thut may be said in regard to this difficulty, there 
is a wide distinction to be drawn between men who wilfully 
falsify and those who may honestly place a minimum value upon 
their possessions, and it is to the interest of all lovers of honesty 
and virtuous principles to assist in the exposure of fraud and 
theft, however indirectly this may be practiced. 

[Would it not be economy for all returns of tax-payers to be 
published at public expense, that public opinion may be allowed to 
judge of private integrity? There seems at least a demand for 
some scheme for exposing this exceedingly pernicious and respect- 
able fraud. ] 

Is it not desirable to see clearly the reasonableness of taxation, 
as well as its inevitable necessity? If one realizes that when he 
pays his taxes he does not give anything to the government, but 
simply buys certain privileges, will he not be more willing to do 
his duty, and will he not seek how best to raise the money 
required for the support of the government? 

Is not the great remedy for dishonesty or inefficiency in making 
tax-returns easily evitable by the abolition of direct taxes and the 
substitution of indirect taxation? Who knows, or greatly cares to 
know, the taxes furnished to the United States government? 
Yet who is there that does not shrink from handing over the 
amount of a direct tax? We are told that direct taxes are less 
expensive, but the argument fails to take account of the fact that 
what one spends cheerfully is to him no extortion, while what one 
has taken from him, even if less in amount, is more costly. 
Against indirect taxation a poor man has always the protection 
of not being compelled to consume what he cannot pay for — that 
is, he ** can cut his coat according to his cloth.’’