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lower in another's footsteps, who has uncon | the recompense, scarcely for the praise and sciously left his own tracks for a season more the fame, though these naturally suggest conspicuous than those of his predecessor, themselves to his mind, as proper influences is made to pay, as an offense, for the passing that cheer him when he faints, and stimufavor of good fortune. Nor, even where | late him to new exertions when he would the imitation is not apparent, but where the shrink back from very weariness. He canaim is inferior, will the results be finally not help but build! It is because of the otherwise. There may be an originality God working in his soul that he seeks to which is yet without a becoming purpose. raise a temple. His struggle to erect this To seek simply after the satisfaction of a list-structure betrays his secret sense of properless mood; to strive, in stimulating a feverish ties in the true and beautiful, which his own and morbid appetite, to minister to vicious nature entertains, and which he seeks to tastes, to drowsy faculties, by temporary symbolize and to evolve, as well as he may, expedients in art, by clever surprises, by glit- and in the best materials, for the delight tering but unsubstantial shows, the slight and satisfaction of others. The decorations fetches of a talent that is capable of small of his temple have an equal significance. exertions only, will not suffice long for the They declare for the tastes, as the fabric gratification of an intellectual people. It is, itself speaks for the religion of the artist. as we have urged already, in the design only, The sentiments, which are only so many in the fresh classical conception of a vig- passions informed by the affections and suborous imagination, bold, rich, free, generous, dued to a spiritual delicacy by the active incomprehensive and ingenious, that admira- | tervention of the soul, now busy themselves tion becomes permanent, and reputation in embellishing the apartments. The chamgrows into that fixed condition which the bers are to be furnished, the high saloon, world finally calls fame. The design of the lofty portico, the altar-place and the the builder must be first apparent; the niche. Music and the dance are to be presgrand outlines, the great bulk upheaved ent, to spell, with a seasonable soothing, the upon the plain, massive but with what won- pauses between majestic lessons and affecdrous symmetry of proportion; a maze, but tionate discourse. Intellect must make itwith what admirable simplicity of plan; / self felt, superior and winning, through some, showing, at a glance, the classical concep- if not all, of the human agencies. There tion, the daring scheme, the appropriate must be eloquence, though it be that of the thought, and that dependency of detail in passions only. There should be song, though all the parts upon the main idea, by which it speaks as freely the language of mere the mighty fabric of imagination and art is mirth and frivolity, as that of poetry and sustained and embellished. We must see love; and we shall not quarrel with the in the work before us, not only that the scheme of enjoyment, which is made to builder himself knew what he was about, minister in a temple meant for so various that he did not work blindly and at random; an audience, if art demeans herself in some but we must be prepared to acknowledge, lowlier forms, to pleasure and to persuade a as we gaze, that his work is entirely his own; class who are not yet worthy to penetrate that his copy has not been set for him; that the inner sanctuary. The muse that stoops he has striven with a native birth, and struck to elevate, does not degrade her dignity by his shaft into a hitherto unbroken soil with the temporary concession to the lowly and the vigor of an arm that obeyed an impulse the mean. There will be a better life in equally noble and independent. We must consequence, more of an inner life, in the behold that indubitable freshness in the con- humanity which is thus plucked from its ception, which we can liken to nothing al- | wallow by the offices of art, which will ready familiar to our fancies. We must see amply compensate for any reproach that in the artist that eagerness of bent, that might otherwise fall upon her temples, from enthusiasm of mood, which proves his own the admission of those who have been hithconviction of a new discovery. And it must erto thought unworthy. What we too frenot be because we behold him, that he quently esteem as brutal, is nothing more works. It must be because of a love for the than roughness; and we must not forget labor, that he addresses himself to its execu- that the noblest fabric of art is still meant tion. He builds neither for the shelter nor | as a place of refuge for humanity. The cathedral loses none of its sacred character, cause the profligate have expelled him from because the vicious sometimes crawl along it; but to endeavor so to purify the temple, its aisles; and it lessens not the virtue in the that we may persuade him back to the altar, offices of religion, because music is employed which we hallow with a purer service. It is to appeal to the sensual nature. The heart in this spirit that we are to employ the offiis reached through the senses, when we ces and the temples of every form of art, to should vainly appeal to the intellect; and make them clean and holy; not surrender we must be careful not to withhold from the them, because of their partial degradation, stubborn the attractions of any influence, wholly to this foul route to which, with a the proper employment of which may make nicer regard to our tastes than our faith and them accessible to yet higher teachings. duty, we have too early and too easily yieldThe sensual may still occupy a place within ed them. Let us, more wisely, with the our temples-must be there, perhaps, so long strong sense and the enthusiastic spirit of as humanity is the simple occupant; but the Martin Luther, determine that the devil shall sensual may be trained to be the minister of not possess himself of all the fine music!. the ideal, and the spiritual man may have To yield him up all the agencies by which his regeneration on that hearthstone where the heart of man may be touched, in his the worst passions of the heart may have hours of care or weariness or relaxation, is laid themselves down to sleep at nightfall surely to contribute wonderfully to the spread It is a miserable error and a bigotry of the of Satan's dominion, and to increase, with worst blindness, which presumes to repudi-woful odds against them, the toils of the ate the offices of art when they would min- saints, in their warfare for the Church of ister to a better nature in the vicious heart | Christ. of man. For, however rude and erring Such as we have endeavored to describe may be the rites in her temples, they are him is the Master of Fiction, and under such still calculated to elevate the aims of such laws and motives will he bring forth his best as seek their ministration. The very office performances. We have preferred setting of art is to purify, and her agency is still forth his higher offices, and the more encourthat of the intellectual man. She still toils, aging and elevating standards which enforcn whatever be her faults, in behalf of him who and regulate his labors. All of these belong struggles-blinded it may be, and frequently to poetry—the noblest fashion (f human overthrown in the attempt—to attain that art, whether we regard it in its epic, its lyrbetter condition to which the races, without ical, or dramatic forms. The same standards their own consciousness, are for ever address-applied to prose narrative the romance or ing their endeavors. Genius, of whatever the novel-are as legitimately desirable ie description, and however false, under per- these forms as in any other, by him who verse influences, to its high commission and craves amusement and needs instruction. The eternal trusts, is still of an immortal and aims of prose fiction are precisely those of endowing nature. It is because of this poetry, simply contemplating another and a redeeming security for humanity which it larger audience. Nay, the audience may be possesses, that it commands the world's eye, the very same. There are persons who care and in some degree the world's admiration, nothing for music,—who do not comprehend even when it inost seems to practise against its happy harmonies, and those delicious the world's happiness. It is in the convic- flights of sound which, through a sensual tion that we feel, that the great fabric, medium, lift the soul to objects of divinest though sometimes prostituted to the business contemplation. Yet, to such persons, the of the brothel, is nevertheless a temple same object is gained by other artists—the where thousands drink in the influences of poet or the painter; and the spirit which the a purer and more grateful atmosphere than musician would deem utterly callous to all that to which they are ordinarily accus- tender influences, is made to overflow with tomed. However unclean the structure, we sympathy when appealed to through an yet behold in its design and durableness agency with which its affinities are naturally the working of a rare and blessed divinity, strong. And he who is insensible to the inthe holiness of whose altars we must recog-tricate charms of poetry—“the measured file nize, though the god himself may be in exile. and metrical array” of art—will yield himIt is for us, not to abandon the shrine be- I self very joyfully to the very lessons which
he rejects in verse, if his teacher will employ susceptible of general use and employment a more simple and less ambitious medium. as any other. It is probable that the very Fortunately for the susceptibilities of the race, same class of persons who now denounce the Genius of Art, who addresses herself to its prose fiction would be equally hostile to exigencies, is of vast compass and wonderful I poetry-nay, are confessedly hostile to it in flexibility. She adapts herself to all condi- its dramatic forms, and as anxious now to tions, and contrives a spell to make every exclude Shakspeare from use, as the more affection, in some degree, her own. Noth- discriminating moralist would be to suppress ing can stale her infinite variety; and, as her the prurient writings of Sue and Paul de purpose and destiny are universal conquest, Kock. Dull men, who are at the same time so she is empowered to adapt her ministry vain men, are always to be found, to whom to the condition of the individual, so that his the beautiful in art appears only like a false inner nature shall feel the touch of an influ- syren, glozing in the ears of the unwary, and ence by which his purification may begin. beguiling the ignorant from the secure paths. It is no less within her province to render | They would have the young voyager seal up classical—in other words, to make appropriate his ears to any charming but their own; and and becoming--every form of utterance and the better to accomplish this object, they exhibition which will contribute in any inea- cloak their desires with shows of exterior sure to the attainment of her vital objects. morality, and, in the accents of the holiest This is the conclusive answer to all that one mission, promote the objects of the worst. sided class of critics, who narrow the province Perhaps there is no worse foe to purity and of the classical either to the simply pre- religion than mere dulness. The dulness scriptive, or to that one single form of ex- which compels the attention of the young, pression to which their tastes or their studies when the heart is eager to go forth and be most incline them. They overlook entirely free in the sunshine, and in the pleasant the catholic nature of art, which accommo- atmosphere of birds and flowers, in process of dates its lessons, like any other schoolmaster, time becomes a tyranny which compels men to its several classes, and is careful to insinu- to seek in secret, and consequently with some ate its wishes through a new medium, when degree of shame, that very Being who was it finds itself stubbornly resisted in the old. dispatched to earth with the most beneAs there is no more good reason why a poem ficent commission of sympathy and love. should be compassed in twelve books and If you denounce prose fiction, such as we the Spenserian stanza, than in five acts and have indicated,-a fiction which contemplates in the fashion of the drama,—so the plan of the highest objects of art, and which is susa romance in prose, in one, two, or three vol- ceptible of the noblest forms to which art umes, is not a whit less acceptable to the has ever yet given expression, you must Genius of Classic Art, than if the same ma- equally denounce poetry and music. Its terials were wrought into heroics and tagged flexibilily, greater than either of these, is yet with the unnecessary but beautiful append- equally subject to arbitrary standards—standage of rhyme. We must insist upon this ards which exact equal obedience to certain the more, because of the lamentable bigotry principles of art, to say nothing of the laws of certain literary purists—to say nothing of of nature, inevitable in the case of all. That their ignorance in relation to this subject. its privileges are larger, does not render its Of course, we are not to be understood as exercise less proper or becoming. Its aims arguing in respect to the abuses of the may be quite as daring as those of poetry, popular novel,—the low purposes to which its machinery as wild and wondrous, and it is put, and the inferior objects which are to employ a word the literalness of which too frequently aimed at in its composition. might almost forbid its use in this connection All forms of art, all doctrines, all faith and -as impossible and visionary. It is not less custom-the offices of religion, the purest true because of its impossibles. It is a truth privileges of love and society-are, in like in the seed, to germinate hereafter; a truth manner, subject to abuse, and not unfre- of the spiritual nature; that superior mood quently employed thus for their own dese- by which we are so imperfectly yet impresscration and defeat. Our purpose is only to ively informed, and of which, at present, we show that this particular form of fiction is have such vague and unsatisfying glimpses. quite as legitimate in its origin and quite as I Our cravings furnish sufficient arguments to establish the truthfulness of fiction, and to ever be his crimes and errors, if it be honestly prove its legitimacy as an universal element written, nothing extenuate, and nothing overof delight and desire, natural to the hopes wrought, is always a religious history. It is and to the imagination of mankind. Fic- the history of his training for another state; tion, indeed, is neither more nor less than and, whether he makes proper progress or probable truth under intenser conditions than falters by the wayside, does not impair the ordinary. It is quite as properly the organ value of the history in its influence on other of religion, one of the aids of faith, as any men. In the one case, it were a lamp to prayer that ever ascended from bearded pa- guide; in the other, a beacon to forewarn. triarch, or any praise of the devotee that The hues of romance which it is made to ever borrowed the wings of song to cleave wear,—the purple lights and the soft attractthe vaulted roof of the temple in making ive colors which constitute its atmosphere, its way to heaven. It has been the frequent and commend it to the heart which might language of all religions. It is employed shrink from the touch of a truth unskilfully in the form of fable, and parable, and alle applied, do not diminish the value of the gory, by Deity himself; and no more re- moral which it brings; do not lessen its markable specimen of romance was ever healing attributes, or take from what is wholeframed for the wondering delight and instruc- some in the sting and bitter which it employs, tion of man, than the noble drama embodied to goad the slumbering conscience into senin the Scriptures which describes the cruel sibility. Nor is this atmosphere of poetry trials of the man of Uz! We say not these unreal or unnatural. It is the very atmosthings with irreverence, but rather with an phere which marks the progress of passionacute sense of the perfect propriety with ate youth, and serves in some degree to which man may use those divinest forms of retard the violence of the passions, when a intellect which God has given him, and more rigid morality has failed of its effect. which have never been thought indecorously Nor should it be urged against the arts of employed when celebrating the works, the fiction that, for so long a season after youth glory, and the benevolence of God. That he has passed for ever, they bring back glimpses should not degrade them to base uses, has of its better hopes—its summer fancies—its been the leading motive of this essay. skies without a cloud, and its songs without
That modern fiction should incorporate a a murmur. Romance, in fact, would seem history of mortal loves and mortal disappoint to be the handmaid whose affections are won ments; that it should be yielded up to a by youth, that they should find a solace for homely narrative of the thousand cares and it when youth is gone. She is employed vices that vex the wayward heart, and em- to bring warmth to his bosom in age, even as bitter its perverse struggles; that it should the physical nature of the monarch-minstrel involve humiliating details of licentiousness was kept in life by fresh contact with innocent and crime; that it should portray passion in girlhood. She is the restorer to the fancy the form of its most wilful exercise, and depict of all that delicious atmosphere which hung the hopeless and various miseries which flow about the heart in youth. She brings back from its indulgence; no more lessens the to us all our first glowing and most generous propriety of its claims to minister for the conceptions; when the soul was least selfish, good and safety, the direction and the reproof when the affections were most fond; ere of man, than do like events in the career of strife had made the one callous, or frequent David,—the man of such generous, but of defeat and disappointment had rendered the so many wild and violent impulses,—the mur- other sour and suspicions. Beheld through derer of Uriah, the ravisher of Bathsheba,- her medium, there is nothing in life which is the man who erred, and suffered, and atoned, vulgar and degrading. All its fancies are as man is seldom found to do in the ordinary pure, and show as luxuriantly as they are progress of an age. There, indeed, in that bright and fresh. It is not, indeed, through sacred and startling history, do we find a the fancies and the tastes that sin assails the model romance, than which none more ter- heart. It is through the passions only, and jibly pleasing and instructive could be found in the utter absence of the fancy, and those in the whole compass of romantic fiction. tastes which the fancy usually originates, But even through the corruption springs the that wild and vicious appetites inflame the flower. The history of man on earth, what-| lowlier nature, and give it an ascendency
he rejects in verse, if his teach a more simple and less am? Fortunately for the susceptil, the Genius of Art, who addr: exigencies, is of vast com/ flexibility. She adapts tions, and contrives a s affection, in some degre ing can stale her infinit purpose and destiny is so she is empowered to the condition of t). inner nature shall fe's ence by which his It is no less with classical—in other and becoming exhibition which sure to the ati. This is the couc sided class of es of the classic scriptive, or 1 pression to w most incline the catholin dates its l to its seri ate its w it finds As the should the S; in the
: sirough which
-is elevated, --ety, into a being css with love than
To the catholic Jumble are but relative jal in position, though
and aspect. The beautimire, the bright and the dark,
ils of each other-in other i system, in which variety is
not of the boundless resources ... out of his sense, also, of what the
proper exercise, the relief heation of the soul. The phioch art teaches, is the faith with
ich begins; a faith which youth .u apt to forget, in the more earthy ( manhood; but which it is the
vocation of art, as tributary to
still to re-inspire. It is in this way . Ant is always young and original. Every - con discovers in her a new aspect.
si forms, new guises, declare for her Lemacy over the monotonous and tamely neurring aspects of ordinary time. It is kausu heedless of this peculiar virtue in
la constitution of this catholic Muse, that We tind the critic of hackneyed judgment, xrown too subservient to the customary to preciate the fresh, resenting as a vice the
sumption of new phases in the very Genius ** which he has worshipped under another form.
lle seems unwilling to believe that there Lit: should be any longer a novelty in art, when set there is no longer a freshness in his own v nature.