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Embellishing Landscapes, and The Man of the Fields, etc., a didactic poem, in which he presents a sort of compendium of the principles discovered in physics upon magnetism, electricity, etc.
2. Descriptive Poetry is, in one respect, the opposite of didactic poetry. The point of departure, indeed, is not the idea already presented to the mind; it is the external reality with its sensuous forms, objects of nature or works of art, the seasons, the different parts of the day, etc. In the didactic poem the idea which constitutes its basis remains, from its very nature, in its abstract generality. Here, on the contrary, they are the sensuous forms of the real world in their particularity, which are represented to us, depicted or described, as they usually present themselves to our view. Such a subject. of representation belongs, absolutely speaking, only to one side of art. Now, this side, which is that of external reality, has a right to appear in art only as manifestation of spirit, or as a theater for its development. Here it does not exist on its own account, but is destined merely to receive the characters, while for itself it is but a simple external reality separated from the spiritual element.
Descriptive poetry affords greater interest when it causes its pictures to be accompanied by the expression of sentiments which can be excited by nature—the succession of the hours of the day and of the seasons of the year, a wood-covered hill, a murmuring brook, a cemetery, a pleasantly-situated. village, a quiet, thatched cottage. It admits, also, like the didactic poem, episodes which give it a more animated form, especially when it depicts the sentiments and emotions of the soul, a sweet melancholy, or minor incidents borrowed from human life as exhibited in the humble degrees of society. But this combination of the sentiments of the soul with the description of the external forms of nature may still remain wholly superficial; for the scenes of nature preserve their special and independent existence. Man, in presence of this spectacle, experiences, it is true, such or such sentiment; but. though between these objects and his sensibility there may be sympathy, there is yet no union, no deep penetration. Thus,
when I enjoy a bright moon, when I contemplate the woods, the valleys, or the fields, I do not, for all that, imitate the enthusiastic interpreter of nature ; I only feel a vague harmony between the interior state into which this spectacle casts me and the group of objects which I have before my eyes.
3. The Ancient Epigram.-The primitive character of the epigram is immediately expressed by the word itself; it is an inscription. Without doubt, between the object itself and its description there is a difference; but in the more ancient epigrams, of which Herodotus has preserved us a few, we have not the description of an object formed with a view to accompanying some sentiment of the soul. The thing itself is represented in a twofold manner: First, its external existence is indicated; then its meaning, its explanation, is given. These two elements are closely combined; they enter deeply into the epigram, which expresses the most characteristic and most appropriate features of the object. Later, the epigram loses, even with the Greeks, its primitive character, and degenerates so far (on occasion of special events, of works of art, or of personages whom it is desired to designate) as to inscribe fugitive thoughts, dashes of wit, touching reflections, which belong rather to the exclusively personal disposition of the author himself in his relation to the object than to the object itself.
The defects of the symbolic form are manifest in what precedes, and out of these defects arises the following demand, viz.: That the external phenomenon and its meaning, outer reality and its spiritual explanation, must not be developed in complete separation ; while, on the contrary, the unity of these two elements must not continue to be of that type which has been offered us in the symbol, in the sublime, and, finally, in the reflective or figurative form of art. Genuine artistic representation must be sought only where perfect harmony is established between the two terms; that is to say, where the sensuous form manifests in itself the spirit which it contains. and by which it is penetrated; while, on its side, the spiritual principle finds in sensuous reality its most appropriate and
most perfect manifestation. But, in order to arrive at the perfect solution of this problem, we must take leave of the Symbolic Form of Art.
THE NATION AND THE COMMUNE.
BY THERON GRAY.
It is proposed in this paper to make a somewhat earnest appeal to the ruling powers of the Nation in behalf of true national culture and accordant organization. Because, notwithstanding the increasing libertinism and disorder in all directions, there is no doubt that means are available by which to order anew and conduct the Nation on and upward to its promised destiny as a people's government. It is desired, in behalf of those means, to gain the attention and enlist the effort of those who, by commanding intelligence, genius, and wealth, will inevitably rule public affairs, and, ruling rightly, will gradually supplant disorder and strife with order and peace.
The promise of such an effort is most vital to all, but especially important to these builders themselves; for, if they build with unfit fragments, without due connections and supports, their work will surely fall, and crush them in the ruins. · So, it is not as mere sentiment that bewails the lot of the ignorant and oppressed, and strives to make that lot more tolerable, that best appeal is made, but as political economy, fortified with dată firmly rooted as a science of civil conduct, more promising to the rich and cultivated, if possible, than to the various grades below. Thus promising, because the present practical antagonism of wealth and want tends rapidly to make want desperate, and to place wealth in peril before it-as the recent communal outbreaks sufficiently show.
The thought that does not meet the whole case and minister alike to the behests of wealth, with all its monitions of culture and refinement, and to the needs of the weak, ignorant, gross, and base of every kind, is not the true thought of this era of commotion and strife between opposing forces.
As the skillful physician, in searching for the nature and remedy of a malignant disease developed in the system of his patient, tries to comprehend the normal and habitual states of that system, so, in order to understand the cause and remedy of communal outbreaks, and other lesser ruptures in our national experience, we must come to a good understanding of the normal order of the national system itself, and its habitual operations.
While in principle and theory our Nation is distinctly social or fraternal in fullest scope, in practice it is found quite the reverse. In theory it is thoroughly a people's government, without a taint of that inhuman exclusivism developed normally in all less mature forms of civil government. This theory carries the principle of perfect unity, alliance, and coöperation of the whole people. - Each in all and all in each” is the necessary logic of all human activities, and all investing methods or institutions under it. This robe of fraternity is so vital and broad that it enfolds and duly covers every person in the whole system, making each perfectly free in the bonds of laiv, and such a bondman or servant in the freedom of organized fraternity.
Alas, for the practice that has come to offset this theory ! It exhibits a sort of freedom, but it is the freedom of a cutthroat competition- liberty to combat and undermine the neighbor, to circumvent the plans of the fellow-citizen in unbridled self-service, providing, only, such endeavor is kept literally accordant with statutory law.
Selfish competition and strife, that breed every form of crafty evasion and criminal aggression, take the place of normally developed genius and organized power, according to the national theory; and remorseless greed, corruption, and baseness of every kind are coming more and more to the front, in bold defiance of the threatening and protesting voices of penal and moral codes. Hence, while freedom is limited and distracting, order is equally partial and delusive, being the order of arbitrary authority, and not that of truly organized equality inherent in the national system.
This contrast of national theory and practice is suggested with no feeling of peevishness or acrimony, but as a reminder of dangerous perversion ; under a firm conviction that such a course of national deflection tends, without remedy, to sure national ruin ; and, also, that the remedy is simple, and easily made available, when the real powers that command are reached and duly impressed concerning that remedy. And, in order to thus reach and impress, it is designed to give an assurance, as we proceed, beyond any merely opinional conception—an assurance derived solely in manifest science.
Civil government cannot be less subject to the rule of stern law, interpreted as science, than are the numerous special domains of physics. In other realms of thought and experience, human genius has unfolded and applied the harness of science with such fidelity and exactness that mishap and failure are no longer possible. Civil government still struggles amid painful commotions and destructive shocks only because, in this grandest sphere of human endeavor, actual social science is still unknown, and only puerile empiricism bears sway.
We should understand that there is no force in creation that is not subject to orderly play, as a ministry to human needs, by being brought under the regimen of underlying law developed as science. This underlying, unwritten law is immutable, and co-existent with God Himself. In order to stand in actual service, written law — all rules and authorities affirmed by man — must truly represent the unwritten — eternal.
That form of force known as human power is, when regarded in its full scope, the crowning verity in creation. Crude, undisciplined, and unbridled, it is sure to ravage and destroy. Disciplined and moulded through the discovery and institutional appliance of the unwritten laws of its being, this power will become constantly ordered as the crowning glory of creation, because it will thus be presented divinely in-formed and motived continually. So, while otherwise it were a power full of furious passion and desolating rage, through the composing methods of ultimate forms of science it will be found as genial, beneficent, and productive as before it were malignant and destructive.
But here we step above the realm of physics in our quest of