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elements along with it. Friendship, in its earliest form, is instinctive and self-interested, and arises by degrees toward the ideal of a pure spiritualized virtue. The poet must give each emotion freedom from disenchanting elements, that it may find a response from the reader's craving for the ideal.
Not only by omissions does the imagination of the poet form the ideal, but by additions also. “Exceptional states of elation” are made the rule, and what only has a momentary existence in fact is filled out and given a permanent place in the mind. The poet has the license of exaggeration, and may exalt the emotion to the highest power of imaginative conception. Circumstances may put limits to the exaggeration; it must not be carried to the degree of offensiveness, for it would then be opposed to poetic effect. The exaggerations in the fictions of fairyland and mediaeval romance are pushed to the limit of the powers of the imagination without offending proprieties of taste; for they are understood to be indulgences of the imagination, — freedom of the imagination, — sportful moods trampling down the laws of existence for the pleasure of its own free activity. When traits of a people are to be idealized, truth must be respected; but in the idealizing of the spiritual emotions, such as love, friendship, spiritual joy, philanthropy, or duty, no danger is likely to come from the strongest effort of the imagination. The evil passions may be idealized as well as the virtuous emotions, but in this case the poet adds insult to injury, unless done by way of contrast. Any degree of idealization here is more offensive than the actual, either because it produces a stronger stimulant or because it renders more deceptive by a goodly appearance the evil communicated. The laws of morality take care of this offense. The true poet needs only to guard himself against creating ideals which stimulate expectation which cannot be realized. It is dangerous to create ideals out of all relation to actual life to which we are chained, so that one breaks with his conditions and desperately and lawlessly strives to realize the unattainable. Ideals which are to inspire and to guide must not create despair or stimulate to the reckless methods of hopeless attainment. The overstimulation of expectation is only less dangerous than false ideals of life. Another form of dangerous exaggeration is that of making amiable and desirable certain weaknesses of human nature.
The imagination selects and recombines elements into new wholes, thus adapting to the requirements of taste. As the parts of various landscapes may be brought by the painter into one more beautiful than any from which parts were selected, so the poet may select from various characters the most perfect elements and recombine them into one more perfect than those out of which it was formed. In this way ideal characters are formed.
THE EXTENT OF THE THEME.
As we have seen, the extent of a general notion is correlative to its content; either implies the other. The content, or germinant idea, must pass out into
the diversity of individuals, while the individuals, to be members of a class, must inhere in the unity of a single principle. It is only a difference of emphasis. One emphasizes the unity and the other the diversity of the theme being considered. In one the thought moves from the individuals to their unity, in the other the thought moves from the unity to the individuals.
Classes may be divided continually into classes of decreasing extent until the individual is reached, thus moving out from the unified conception of the whole, as given by the foregoing processes, to the complete diversity of the individuals which compose the class. The greater this variety the richer the concept.
As the leading process of presenting the content of a class is definition, so the leading process of presenting the extent of a class is
Division. — This corresponds to the process of partition in description and narration, inasmuch as it presents the parts of the whole. Ultimately the parts of a class are the individuals which compose it; but division does not present the individuals as such, but the species and subspecies in classes, until the individual is arrived at. Thus division is like partition in that it presents the parts of the theme; it differs from partition in that it presents the parts of the class, while partition presents the parts of the individual. They are further alike in that both are not merely processes of separation; both processes must bind the parts into the unity of the whole. Each part must, in both cases, be unified in the process of separation.
The nature of the process requires the same unifying idea for each of the smaller classes into which the larger class is divided. It is unifying the individuals on a content less general than the whole class which makes the divisions of the class. Hence the basis on which the class is divided is also the basis on which each subclass is united. It is impossible to unite each subclass on a different basis, as well as impossible to make the separation on different bases. For instance, let the class apples be given for subdivision. The individuals of one subclass cannot be bound together on the basis of color, those of another on the basis of size, and those of another on the basis of taste, etc. Let the effort be made with the actual apples, and it will readily be perceived why it cannot be done in thought. But the class may be separated and the subclasses united on the one basis of color, or of taste, etc.
Hence the law of unity in division requires that the same basis for separating the class and for uniting the individuals in each subclass be used. This maintains the double unity of the whole and of each part. This law would be violated in dividing man into men, women, white, brown, black, savage, and civilized. It may be necessary to divide the class first on one basis and then on another. This may be done by notifying the reader of the change of basis, — as, on the basis of sex, man is divided into men and women ; on the basis of color, into white, brown, and black; and on the basis of culture, into savage, half-civilized, and civilized. But each division on the new basis destroys the division on
the preceding basis. The mind cannot conceive the race as divided into men and women, and at the same time into white, brown, and black. The second division necessarily unmakes the first. This, however, does not violate the law of unity, for by stating the change in the basis, the mind is notified to destroy its old division. Thus, without violating the law of unity, the class may be divided on as many bases as the purpose may require. Divisions on different bases give variety and wealth to the concept. What basis to choose, and whether one or more, is determined by the purpose of the exposition. For political purposes, the states should be divided on one basis, for agricultural purposes on another, for ethnological purposes on still another. For some purposes, as that of definite, scientific instruction, the basis should be an essential attribute of the class; but for giving popular information or for emotional purposes, the basis might have to be chosen from superficial and sensuous aspects of the theme.
Comparison and contrast, and exemplification, aid division in setting forth extent as they do definition in setting forth content. The subclasses must be separated by differences and the individuals in each subclass united by likenesses. Comparison and contrast is the formal process of doing this. The basis of division determines the point of view from which to determine the likenesses and the differences. Thus, too, are the attributes of the individual to be given in exemplification determined.
After the division is made and followed by comparison and contrast, and exemplification, the way is pre