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wilderness'; whether, and how far, he reflects the several existing tendencies of his art a wider and more persevering realism (a closer rendering of life as it is), more of doctrinal and didactic earnestness, and a nobler idealization.

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It is idle to speak of the novelist as only a spectator, limiting himself to the mere function of representing what he sees. There must be a meaning, an end, the subserviency of parts to a whole. The very choice of such and such facts, to the exclusion of others, involves preference, purpose. 'When we would philosophize,' says Aristotle, 'we philosophize; when we refuse to philosophize, then also in that very thing we philosophize; always and necessarily we do philosophize.' There is evidently room, however, for large gradation in this respect. It is not meant, of course, that the novel should be a polemical tirade, and thus serve the purpose of a pamphlet. A fiction,' says Bulwer, which is designed to inculcate an object wholly alien to the imagination, sins against the first law of art; and if a writer of fiction narrows his scope to particulars so positive as polemical controversy in matters ecclesiastical, political, or moral, his work may or may not be an able treatise, but it must be a very poor novel.' Directly or indirectly, but ever consciously, the true artist does and ever must teach a moral lesson. The most realistic writer, if he write worthily, must, with all his devotion to the real, protest, implicitly or explicitly, against the actual; and of two writers of equal power, he will exert the widest, most permanent, most healthful influence, who passes beyond the province of the mere minister to intellectual pleasure, and aims to develop, illustrate, and recommend a higher standard of thinking and living than that which the world, taken in the average, presents; bringing the mind, while he holds the mirror up to life, into the field of 'higher

possibilities, wherein objects shall be more glorious, and modes of action more transcendent, than any we see, and yet all shall seem in nature.'

Not to dwell on the merit or demerit of the literary style, there remains another matter to be taken into account. An effect cannot transcend the power of its cause. No artist, poet, or novelist, can be greater as such than he is as a thinker; and the final test of the worth of his labor, as of Shakespeare's dramas, is the worth of the philosophy that has entered into it through the medium and in the language of art, its wealth of wisdom, and the amount of valuable matter over and above the mere fiction or story. 'The very element in which the novelist works is human nature; yet what sort of Psychology have we in the ordinary run of novels? A Psychology, if the truth must be spoken, such as would not hold good in a world of imaginary cats, not to speak of men; impossible conformations of character; actions determined by motives that never could have determined the like; sudden conversions brought about by logical means of such astounding simplicity that wonder itself is paralyzed in contemplating them; chains of events defying all laws of conceivable causation! How shaky, also, the Political Economy and the Social Science of a good many of our novelists-sciences in the matter of which they must work, if not also in that of some of the physical sciences, in framing their fictitious histories! Before novels or poems can stand the inspection of that higher criticism which every literary work must be able to pass ere it can rank in the first class, their authors must be at least abreast of the best speculation of their time. Not that what we want from novelists and poets is further matter of speculation. What we What we want from them is matter of imagination; but the imagination of a wellfurnished mind is one thing, and that of a vacuum is


another.' In addition to their choral strain of moral piety, where, for instance, can be found in works of the same kind so rare a mine of thought, for the worshipper to take to his bosom, for the writer to enrich his discourse, for the thinker to ponder, for the divine to quote, for all to assimilate and use, as in those of George Eliot?


These remarks suggest the advantages of the novelist as a teacher. If historical, as Sir Walter Scott, he instructs us, with more or less fidelity, in the manners, customs, laws, beliefs, characters and events of the age in which the scenes are laid. As a critic or speculator, the doctrine he intends to convey, unlike that of the avowed instructor or declared reformer, is not clothed in abstract conceptions which, to be fully and clearly understood, require thoughtful reflection, but in concrete instances that come home at once to the feeblest comprehension. If he be one of high order, he throws a beauty over what would else be vulgar and mean, yet brings virtue and vice into striking antithesis; helps to give a better insight into human character and actions, prompts our affections to the good, sharpens our antipathy to the bad; accomplishes all this while he provides a mode of pleasing relaxation. Not in the direct formation of this or that special opinion, but in subtle impressions upon the whole character, is his influence exercised most powerfully.

The imagination and fancy should not be cultivated too exclusively. Without a wise selection and regulation of intellectual food, there is danger of that mood in which action is renounced, resolve becomes nerveless, and the soul sinks into passivity. The condition of many a habitual and exclusive novel-reader might be likened not inaptly to that of the enervated companions of Ulysses,

1 Masson's British Novelists.

2 For this reason the wisest men in all ages have more or less employed fables as the vehicles of knowledge.

who, feeding upon the lotos, murmur, in luxuriant sleepi


How sweet it were, hearing the downward stream,

With half-shut eyes ever to seem

Falling asleep in a half dream.

It is never the nature of this species of composition, considered in itself, but the faulty manner of its make-up, that exposes it, as a rule, to reprobation. Pass by, we should say, mere love-and-marriage stories. Put far from you a thoroughly bad book— bad either for coarseness of style or for laxity of morals. Perhaps such as put for ward licentiousness as licentiousness are less harmful than those in which poison is distilled so subtly that the evil is wrought almost before suspicion is awakened-in which right and wrong are muddled up together into a sort of neutral tint, in which characters are made attractive by their faults, and sin is quite forgotten in sympathy for the sinner so piteous, so interesting, so beautiful!



Eloquence is vehement simplicity.-CECIL.


He has oratory who ravishes his hearers while he forgets himself.— LAVATER.

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you overstep not the modesty of nature.-SHAKESPEARE.


T has been said that an audience leaving the theatre in which a drama of Sophocles was performed, felt themselves inspired with the thoughts and conceptions of the poet, so were raised to the dignified standard of his nature and intellect; and that this beneficial effect manifested itself, not by issuance in visible acts, but rather by diffusion over the general tenor of their lives. On the other hand, an audience quitting the theatre in which Demosthenes thundered against Philip, associate, unite, arm, and march against the invader. In the one case, individuals are purified, elevated; in the other, they are rendered unanimous for purposes whose end is action.

The comparison suggests the prevailing and highest aim of the orator to make himself master of our will. Hence the current definition of oratory-the art of persuading, impelling. But acts may be internal, results may be invisible. More specifically, more comprehensively, therefore, oratory is discourse delivered to an assembly with the view of inculcating certain ideas, impressing with certain sentiments, inducing certain resolves, or of doing these three at once.

The fuller statement is in accordance with the accepted

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