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Ideas are the envisaged forms in which we image the aim or object of our intellection, prior to and independently of any sensitive existence of the thing, whatever it is, so presented in thought—the mental archetypes of what we intend to effect-mind-visioned patterns of what we are about to try to bring into actual being. Ideas are subject primarily to the law of intelligible consistency, of homogeneity or self-agreement. Ideas are only tenable when they possess this harmony of parts which constitutes intellectual oneness.

Ideas, in this their earliest stage, ought to be clear, distinct, complete, adequate, and retainable or reproducible at will in the intellection. Only so can they be determinate and capable of being brought forward for the judgment of the critical faculty. Alike in material and mental productivity, this law of conceptive ideation holds. A steam-engine, a rifle, a railway, a bridge, a telegraph, a balloon, a ship, or a statue, no less than an epic poem, a history, a novel, or a treatise on morals, demands for its successful production this prevenient foreshadow and “intelligible form." Ideas, in the second stage of their existence, under the eye of criticism, are subject to the law of possible reproduction. Intellectual envisagement is not enough that is perceptible to and delights one only; it wants the life of purpose.' When interpenetrated with purpose it seeks a life out of and beyond the mind in which it had its origin. If this be not possible it is nought to humanity-not improbably, nought also to the thinker of it. It is as worthless as a dream, and more intangible than a shadow. Only by being reproducible in some form of effective existence can a thought be beneficial. So long as it is but

“A vision, a delight, and a desire,” it is unbeinged and unborn; when it is effectually realized, it is worth, for then it is,

“ The builder's perfect and centennial flower." The possible is that for the realization of which all the necessary conditions pre-exist, either in the required order, or in an order easily reducible to that which is required. A thing is said to be possible when there is no contradiction in thought between the idea and its realization. Possible reproductivity, therefore, implies that neither among the contingencies to which things are subject, the known nature of the elements of reproduction, in the choice made or to be made of the elements of reproduction, nor in the power

of him who seeks to reproduce, does there exist any prima facie obstacle, impediment, or hindrance to a successful issue.

The best possible is that which can be done with the least resistance of the real to the ideal, provided that ideal be the highest and best of conceivable ones, and the reality employed to bring it effectively about is the best attainable.

Here, then, comes into operation the third law of ideation so far as criticism is concerned, viz., All ideas, to be effective, must be materially reproductive or suggestible. Half-results are hateful to gods and man.

The material in which any idea is reproduced may vary as much as the thinker chooses-diagrams, speech, writing, colours, stone, metals, &c., or any combinations of these,—but materially reproducible it must be.

Criticism as a science predetermines the mode and fashion of this reproductivity; while criticism as an art adjudicates upon the advisability, correctness, and effectiveness of the product.

The materially, possible is obnoxious to many counter-checks, impediments, and obstructions. Human power is hampered and hindered by conditions of frame, life, &c., circumstance, opportunity, encouragement or discouragement, &c. Human effort is opposed by accident, by the qualities of things, the state of implements or instruments, the nature of public taste, the conditions of the State in which it is exerted, &c.; and it has besides to contend with all that is past, all that exists, and all that is expected. Correct estimates of these are essential to any just criticism, and a knowledge of their bearing upon the immediate product judged is indispensable to a just exercise of the critic's function as an adviser of the active agent, or as a commissioner in the public service. Administrative criticism often opposes its absolute dictation to the inevitable conditions of material possibility, and so injures the cause of truth, charity, and science; nor until it learns to bestow impartial investigation on the elements of the material possibilities to which any production was inevitably subject can it be a trustworthy intermediate between the public in general and the producer in particular. The infinite variety of contingencies between aim and effect, the complex difficulties that lie between purpose and execution, the inevitable interventions which the abstract has to undergo in its struggle into concrete being, all require from the critic careful appraisement and just consideration.

All human effort is reproductive, is the outcome of the inner being, the offspring of the soul. Life's passion, thought, will, suffering, are in or enter into the spirit before they can be representatively brought forth. Every effort made, is, in its initiation, an attempt to realize an idea, to make something else conformed to or become, what we wish it to be. Action is the exegesis of thought; it not only issues from but explains it. That the true laws of ideation ought to be familiar to the critic cannot be doubted; for without a proper acquaintance with the aim we cannot pertinently judge of the issue. We contend, then, that an exact and extensive knowledge of the laws of formative thought forms the first part of a scientific criticism. Every work postulates an idea ;-has that been properly formed, self-harmonized, and envisioned? Has its possibility been tested faithfully by the laws of the intellect, and been affirmed to be theoretically possible, as involving no contradiction? and has it been thoroughly considered in relation to the material in or the means by which it was sought to be realized ? To such questions as these the critical faculties must address them. selves, and to these they must find satisfactory replies, sound, logical, and indubitable, before it can be affirmed of any product that it is right, wrong, or indifferent. The creative intellect is bound to conform to the laws of thought; the critical intellect must know these laws, that it may test whether they have been obeyed, and attest that they have or have not been observed.

Criticism, when it is exercised upon the finished product, undertakes to adjudicate upon the ideation, taste, style, truth, and worth of the works brought before it.

What was seen > How was it seen? Has it been reproduced as seen P—are the chief questions it puts concerning the mental envisagement of ideas. Do defects inhere in the ideal presentations or in the real representations ? Is the envisioning right and the reproductive effort mistaken! Have the laws of intellection been regarded, or have the possibilities of things been disregarded ? Have we had that which was in sight brought into sight! Has the ideal been made the real? In these and similar queries the logic of criticism becomes involved, and unless it is provided with some sound canons of judgment-if it hastily adjudicates from emotion or rashly decides on æsthetic precedents—it is faulty as a judge and worthless as a guide. The philosophy of ideation is a topic far too extensive to be touched off in a sentence; but an effective criticism must be based on that, and it is just in proportion to the logical culture of the critic that his judgment is trustworthy. Criticism demands precise, definite, clear, consistent, and reproductively available ideation ; and this is a subject upon which every school Logic bestows such an amount of exemplified teaching that we may safely refer to any one of them for farther information.

Taste concerns itself with the relishableness of that which is produced by that to which it appeals. Taste in the critic is “a quick discerning sense” of the appropriateness or impropriety of the forms which things assume, of the fitness or unfitness of certain qualities in things to please or displease. Taste in the object is its suitability to impart gratification or to provoke disgust. Taste makes certain demands on every producer, and these constitute the laws under which any-nay, every work, is undertaken. Æsthetic unity of impression, completeness of adaptation to the sentiments, wholeness of delight-giving power, an entire consistency of effect on all the faculties, alone satisfy all the demands of true taste. To Taste belongs the determination of the laws of appropriateness. Every idea has a “primordial form” in the intellect which entertains it, and every such idea has a best form of representability. If we can determine what that is, we can at once apply a test to any product and decide upon its merits. The laws of appropriateness vary not only in the region of the materially possible, but also of the intellectually possible; not only so, but every product of thought is liable also to animadversions from a consideration of the historically possible and the morally suitable, or the expedient. Thus there spreads out to our view again another grand series of laws governing reproductive thought, and so forming an integral portion of critical culture.

Style is a general term for the executive skill shown in the effecting of any purpose, productive elegance and excellence. Style has a mental and a material aspect. Though ideas are capable of reproduction in different styles, some styles are more, some less suitable for giving them effective external existence; and hence, even when only ideal, the style of various forms of executive production may be determined to be more or less fitting. This, however, is greatly influenced by the material in which any idea is to be reproduced, for every material has its own capabilities and its own laws of mani. pulation. The felicitous correspondence of the ideal form and the material externalization constitutes what is called mastery of style. Style is not the superficial dress of thought; it is the embodiment and symbolization of that to which intellect had given birth. It transforms conceptions into perceptions. To effect this the style must be apt at once to the idea expressed and the matter in which it is sought to express it. Style is the subtle culminative evolution of an idea from its irrepresentable to its representative state. It involves, therefore, the consideration of, first, the fitness of form; and, second, the fitness of the material of reproductive realization. It implies the marriage of thought with some externalizing medium, the bringing of thought by the transforming agency of act into fact. The form, the proportion, the relation of part to part, and the suitableness of each to each as well as to the constitution of the whole,all belong to those elements of which style supplies the regulating laws, and upon which it gives judgment. Every one knows that there is a certain relation of fitness between a given idea and that of the style in which it is reproduced; e.g., if we saw a coal-scuttle manufactured either of crystal or gold, we should at once affirm that that style of thing would not do. Similarly, to treat of the Trojan war in a sonnet, or to write an epic on an eyebrow, would disconcert our sense of congruity. To imagine that the volition of an ant was the cause of an epidemic would affect us as an inadequate antecedent, and we should object to being exposed to philosophizing in that style. We see, then, that there is a sort of “natural fitness of things," as the phrase is, between specific ideas and special forms of externalizing them—a style which satisfies the behests of reason or opposes its dictates. This, then, shows that there is a logic of congruities to be studied, whose conclusions become imperative over all industrial, artistic, literary, or scientific effort. A knowledge of these laws is indispensable to the critic; for he can only be a correct judge of the tone, the form, the details of style, when he knows the requirements of the human mind regarding the repro. ducitve externalization of its designs.

Truth is a logical characteristic as well as a moral quality.* There

* “ Truth is thought, which has assumed its appropriate garments, either of words or actions; while falsehood is thought which, disguised in words or actions is a truth of being as opposed to seeming. When a product has its own nature and properties, and does not put on the appearance for deceptive purposes, of something else, it is true and real. If it has the outward form without the inner substance of that which it seems, and is offered for what it seems, it is false. An Armstrong gun made of Everton toffy, or a bride-cake constructed of glass instead of confections and pastry, however like they might seem, would certainly fail in being regarded as true if tested. A tragedy, again, if veritably performed upon the stage, would be no play ; for a play is a simulated reality : but if a dinner-party on assembling at a host's house were to be set to regale themselves with viands of a stage-property description, just indignation might be felt, and perhaps would be expressed, by the guests. The truth of productive effort is the absolute and entire conformity of the thing produced with that which it professes to be. There is no falsehood in imitation unless the imitation be presented as real, and there is no truth in reality if it is presented as an imitation. When the perception agrees with the conception, and reproduces it fully and adequately, we have truth; but when we have a semblance and mere appearance given instead of a reality or an actuality, we have fictions ;-and the fictitious, not the truthful, is before us. A novel may be truthful although unreal, and a history may be false though no single unauthenticated fact may be related in it. A poem may be" of imagination all compact,” and yet possess critical truth; and it may be the express reproduction of the mere actualities of life, and yet be æsthetically false. It is with no desire to remove ancient landmarks, or to sophisticate common sense, that we say this. We can estimate the truthfulness of a fiction, and condemn it perchance as untrue to the kind of life it represents, and we can adjudicate upon a history and acknowledge its value as a repository of facts, while we afirm that it supplies or excites a false view of times, persons, characters, sequences, &c. Paradoxical as it may seem, all facts are not true, nor are all truths facts. Criticism discovers the truths in facts, and separates the seeming from the real to give us science; and science provides us with conceptions which are truths, but which are not facts : as examples of the former we may instance the law of gravitation, and of the latter we may indicate the Apollonian parabola.

There is not only truth of being, but truth of ornament. Spurious ornament is untruthful, it excites our sense of the incongruous, and, however ingenious in itself, displeases the mind as misplaced or misapplied. Faithful reproduction in ornamentation,

not its own, comes before the blind old world, as Jacob came before the patriarch Isaac, clothed in the goodly raiment of his brother Esau. And the world, like the patriarch, is often deceived; for though the voice is Jacob's voice, yet the hands are the hands of Esau, and the false takes away the birthright and the blessing from the true. Hence it is that the world so often lifts up its voice and weeps."Longfellow's "Hyperion," book iv., ch. i.

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