Essays on the blurring of art and life

For though in the Essay I propose to give on atmospheric influence, I shall endeavour to point out the various causes which may give rise to an irregular display of the spirits of the insane, I am far, however, from denying, that there are alternate states of excitement and depression, of better and worse days, which we may not be able to trace to these causes, but which may depend on principles similar to other physical intermittents, just as we have periodical head-aches, having their accession and intermission most frequently every alternate day, and yet, even in these cases, I have been able to discover the origin of these head-aches, as was my own case, to alternate sleepless and distressing nights. But those general rules which our moral faculties observe in approving or condemning whatever sentiment or action is subjected to their examination, may much more justly be denominated such. Other times and patterns of society have had their entertaining aspects fixed for us by the half-retired chronicler. I cannot use stronger language than I have used already, but repeat that mental alienation is one of the dreadful consequences of that doctrine which is emphatically called the ‘abomination which maketh desolate;’—of that doctrine, whose fruits are bitter, and which fills the mind with doubt, gloom, and misery. The characteristics of this early type of popular mirth can be summed up in the word childishness. If his library has the reserve system, for instance, the call for books in circulation is an unfailing index of the popular demand. Underlying all these varied forms of expression, however, I think future investigation will demonstrate some curious identities of internal form, traits almost or entirely peculiar to American languages, and never quite absent from any of them. There are many people so ignorant of human nature and psychological fact that they imagine the truth of a statement may be demonstrated by the credulity with which it has been received, forgetting that faith fills the void of ignorance where scepticism is reserved for new ideas. There was a water-butt or cistern, sir, at our school, that turned with a cock. The sentence with which the elder Cato is said to have concluded every speech which he made in the senate, whatever might be the subject, ‘_It is my opinion likewise that Carthage ought to be destroyed_,’ was the natural expression of the savage patriotism of a strong but coarse mind, enraged almost to madness against a foreign nation from which his own had suffered so much. The designation of time and manner, that is, the tense and mode signs, will include both the object and subject of the verb, thus subordinating them to the notion of action. In the practice of the other virtues, our conduct should rather be directed by a certain idea of propriety, by a certain taste for a particular tenor of conduct, than by any regard to a precise maxim or rule; and we should consider the end and foundation of the rule, more than the rule itself. In all simple art-performance, this essentially social motive works consciously essays on the blurring of art and life and directly: the partly unconscious art of the “fool” being here, of course, overlooked. 2. Let a man have a quick circulation, a good digestion, the bulk, and thews, and sinews of a man, and the alacrity, the unthinking confidence inspired by these; and without an essays on the blurring of art and life atom, a shadow of the _mens divinior_, he shall strut and swagger and vapour and jostle his way through life, and have the upper-hand of those who are his betters in every thing but health and strength. He realizes it, in fact, so keenly, that he gives it somewhat undue prominence in his mind and sometimes shows this in his treatment of the library staff. 13. Both these extremes are to be avoided. How about the librarian who administers such a library, and the staff who assist him? But we were to consider ourselves as called upon to do so, not merely at the appointed and unavoidable term of human life. The resistance of the will to outward circumstances, its determination to create its own good or evil, is also a part of the same constitution of the mind. For instance, what a fund of sense there is in Grimm’s Memoirs! The charming bauble will so fill sense and soul that the joy of living leaps to a {73} higher plane and bursts into a peal of mirth. The observations of Astronomers at Lapland and Peru have fully confirmed Sir Isaac’s system, and have not only demonstrated, that the figure of the Earth is, in general, such as he supposed it; but that the proportion of its axis to the diameter of its Equator is almost precisely such as he had computed it. And now is many an offer made Of home and hospitable aid, By those who throng around the maid, To them the monk his charge commends, With promises of bounteous pay, And with a heart of trouble wends His steps to Broomholme Abbey “grey.” * * * * * * What charm is there in Nature’s smile, When Hope be dead the weary while, Or what in all the world can please, When aching hearts are ill at ease. The sad thing is that altho the libraries have reformed, hysteresis is still getting in its deadly work. 5. The danger involved in reducing psychological processes to their constituent elements and treating of each element as though it were static and dissociated, is that it is apt to obscure a true appreciation of the actual manifestations of personality which result from complex and interactionary elements in continuous motion, forming one integral whole in constant process of influencing and being influenced by its environment. The sentiment of complete sympathy and approbation, mixed and animated with wonder and surprise, constitutes what is properly called admiration, as has already been more than once take notice of. But I may also state, that many cases of the most serious kind have been so treated, and have recovered. _The Spanish Tragedy_ is bombastic when it descends to language which was only the trick of its age; _Tamburlaine_ is bombastic because it is monotonous, inflexible to the alterations of emotion. It occurs to me as not unlikely that _uun_, book, is a syncopated form of _uoohan_, something written, given above. This circumstance of its being not an original, but a copy, would even be considered as some diminution of that merit; a greater or smaller, in proportion as the object was of a nature to lay claim to a greater or smaller degree of admiration. What he wanted, therefore, it seems, was not so much this conveniency, as that arrangement of things which promotes it. In dealing with the connection between social progress and laughter, we shall need to consider very carefully the attitude which the mirthful spirit takes up towards social changes. It is so very agreeable to think highly, and so very disagreeable to think meanly of ourselves, that, to the person himself, it cannot well be doubted, but that some degree of excess must be much less disagreeable than any degree of defect. Every thing that could render either life or death respectable is taken from them. H. The gradual appearance of a number of laughters variously toned, such as that of slightly malicious elation at collapse of dignity, of entertainment at an intellectual inconsequence, and of a kindly amusement at a petty disaster, means that the elemental feeling of joy is getting modified by accretions or absorptions of new psychical elements. According to some ancient philosophers, these are the passions which we share in common with the brutes, and which, having no connexion with the characteristical qualities of human nature, are upon that account beneath its dignity. I gravely doubt that they felt the shafts of the tender passion with any such susceptibility as to employ this metaphor. In fact, the numerous references to the Digest show how strong was the desire to substitute the Roman for the customary law, and the efforts of the king to do away with all negative proofs of course included the one under consideration. First. Agrius tortured him, and, on his confessing the crime, handed him over to Fannius, who put him to death. The kindred of the absent one accused the latter of murdering his companion; as no evidence was procurable on either side, he was hurried to the ordeal, convicted, and executed, shortly after which the missing man came back in safety.[1271] The manifest injustice of the decisions thus rendered by the ordeal put a severe strain on the faith of believers, and led them to the most ingenious sophistry for an explanation. It was found that there was a flux and reflux of the sea in the space of twelve hours and fifty minutes, which is exactly the time of a lunar day. _Ant._ Sometimes we see a cloud that’s Dragonish, A vapour sometimes like a Bear, or Lion, A tower’d Citadel, a pendant Rock, A forked Mountain, or blue Promontory With Trees upon’t, that nod unto the World And mock our Eyes with Air. Or it is perhaps the strained and the mixed figures of speech in which Shakespeare indulged himself. The trouble with Mr. He has no more ambition to write couplets like Pope, than to turn a barrel-organ. If your circulation is decreasing ask the reason why. The vast extent of those bodies seemed to render them, upon another account, proper to be the great stores out of which nature compounded all the other species of things. Such imitations, however, never deceive us; their resemblance to the original objects is always much inferior to that of artificial fruits and flowers. It will at once be evident that a large investigation into the origin and development of the laughing impulse will take us beyond the limits of pure psychology. There are also good people who will read unmoved surprising words and expressions when put into the mouth of a cowboy or a Klondike miner, but whose gorge would rise if the same words were employed by a writer _in propria persona_. In each of them the supposed history of the destiny of the soul follows that of the sun and the stars. At a national meeting of civil engineers there was a discussion of the advisability–and possibility–of ascertaining the exact distance between New York and Chicago. 42. Yes. Milton’s prose has not only this draw-back, but it has also the disadvantage of being formed on a classic model. They are identified in the verse of Swinburne solely because the object has ceased to exist, because the meaning is merely the hallucination of meaning, because language, uprooted, has adapted itself to an independent life of atmospheric nourishment. The wonder is how he can go through with it at all; nor could he, were he not supported by the plaudits of the audience, who seem like new friends to him, or urged on by the fear of disgrace, to which no man is ever reconciled. The most sublime speculation of the contemplative philosopher can scarce compensate the neglect of the smallest active duty. It should be emphasized that one may love books even if some of the great masterpieces leave him cold, just as one may love humanity though Alexander and C?sar, we will say, do not happen to stir his enthusiasm. Non, cette sensibilite se bornera premierement a ses semblables, & ses semblables ne seront point pour lui des inconnus, mais ceux avec lesquels il a des liaisons, ceux que l’habitude lui a rendus chers, ou necessaires, ceux qu’il voit evidemment avoir avec lui des manieres de penser & de sentir communes, ceux qu’il voit exposes aux peines qu’il a souffertes, & sensibles aux plaisirs qu’il a goutes; ceux, en un mot, en qui l’identite de nature plus manifestee lui donne une plus grande disposition a aimer. Horsey next the Sea must have been formerly one of the most uninviting hamlets ever beheld. Some Notes on the Blank Verse of Christopher Marlowe “Marloe was stabd with a dagger, and dyed swearing” A more friendly critic, Mr. The man who desires esteem for what is really estimable, desires nothing but what he is justly entitled to, and what cannot be refused him without some sort of injury. The Lenox Library in New York, now part of the Public Library, was almost entirely a book-museum and was so intended by its founder. takes up a common prejudice, without any qualification or inquiry, while it suits his purpose, and essays on the blurring of art and life lays it down without ceremony when it no longer serves the turn. {372} To them, no doubt, the spectacle was a merry one as bringing a sense of relief from the gloom of the Puritan’s reign. The love of ease, of pleasure, of applause, and of many other selfish gratifications, constitute the second. His blood, we think, calls aloud for vengeance. Love for books used to be regarded as properly confined to a class; that the bulk of people did not care for literature was no more significant than the fact that they had never tasted _pate de foie gras_. Even the ladies, who are seldom behind in following the fashion, seem frequently to have chosen, most unnecessarily, to die in this manner; and, like the ladies in Bengal, to accompany, upon some occasions, their husbands to the tomb. This principle is to be found enunciated in the broadest and most decided manner in the ecclesiastical law,[538] and it was naturally brought into play in regulating the fate of those engaged in the wager of battle. In the last century, George Psalmanazar framed a grammar of a fictitious language in Formosa, which had no existence whatever. Locke imagines it does, the idea of a triangle, which is neither obtusangular, nor rectangular, nor acutangular; but which was at once both none and of all those together; or should, as Malbranche thinks necessary for this purpose, comprehend at once, within its finite capacity, all possible triangles of all possible forms and dimensions, which are infinite in number, is a question, to which it is surely not easy to give a satisfactory answer. How, therefore, could the imagination ever conceive so ponderous a body to be naturally endowed with so dreadful a movement? He has lived, for this last twelve months, on vegetable diet, and he is apparently better; but this may be a fallacious appearance, since his vital energies appear to be sinking. 2. They had not only semi-historic traditions, but numberless fanciful tales of spirits and sprites, giants and dwarfs, with their kith and kin. We have seen above that Augustus pronounced it the best form of proof, but other legislators and jurists thought differently. At first the canons of the Church, which prohibited ecclesiastics from being concerned in such matters, or even essays on the blurring of art and life from being present, under pain of “irregularity,” rendered it necessary for inquisitors to call in the secular executioners; but this interfered with promptness and secrecy, and the difficulty was removed with characteristic indirection. Some verses made on the occasion by Mr. “When they build their houses they use this cubit to measure the length of the logs. According to our doctrine, certain parts of the brain are more developed in men, others in women; and in that way is the difference of the manifestations of their faculties perfectly explicable.’ Page 105. (Cicero de finibus, lib. The manner of doing this explained, and its beneficial influence stated Illustrated by an interesting case of recovery, No. I mean this as a principle of aesthetic, not merely historical, criticism. The species of objects in the Heavens are few in number; the Sun, the Moon, the Planets, and the Fixed Stars, are all which those philosophers could distinguish. But Swinburne stops thinking just at the moment when we are most zealous to go on. “Show my face,” therefore, is Mr. The prudent Arian declined the proposition, when the enthusiastic Catholic jumped into the burning pile, and thence continued the controversy without suffering the least inconvenience.[972] In the less impressive form of filling the lap with burning coals and carrying them uninjured till they grew cold this ordeal seems to have been a favorite with holy men accused of unchastity. Thirdly, librarians are beginning to think of themselves as members of a profession. Much of what looks like this turns out, on closer inspection, to be, in part at least, externally determined. Take my word for it, it is not. a degree of licentiousness was deemed the characteristic of a liberal education. He endeavours, as well as he can, to assimilate his own character to this archetype of perfection. Shapes and colours of all varieties, and of gorgeous tint, intercept our view of what we were. Stereoscopic pictures are now commonly handled by libraries owing to skilful and perfectly legitimate exploitation. He was not a dealer in _moot-points_. Just as children will copy the voice and gestures of one whom they look up to, so savages will copy the ways of Europeans who manage to make themselves respected. The most important part of our education, says Emil Reich, we gain after we are twenty-five years old. As intelligence develops, these practical jokes grow more cunning.