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uncritical enthusiasm, since it is only by criticism that one may determine whether the enthusiast is a man who is moving towards wisdom or is a candidate for Bedlam. The Rousseauist, however, exalts enthusiasm at the same time that he depreciates discrimination. "Enthusiasm," says Emerson, "is the height of man. It is the passage from the human to the divine." It is only too characteristic of Emerson and of the whole school to which he belongs, to put forth statements of this kind without any dialectical protection. The type of enthusiasm to which Emerson's praise might be properly applied, the type that has been defined as exalted peace, though extremely rare, actually exists. A commoner type of enthusiasm during the past century is that which has been defined as "the rapturous disintegration of civilized human nature." When we have got our fingers well burned as a result of our failure to make the necessary discriminations, we may fly to the opposite extreme like the men of the early eighteenth century among whom, as is well known, enthusiasm had become a term of vituperation. This dislike of enthusiasm was the natural recoil from the uncritical following of the inner light by the fanatics of the seventeenth century. Shaftesbury attacks this older type of enthusiasm and at the same time prepares the way for the new emotional enthusiasm. One cannot say, however, that any such sharp separation of types appears in the revival of enthusiasm that begins about the middle of the eighteenth century, though some of those who were working for this revival felt the need of discriminating:

That which concerns us therefore is to see
What Species of Enthusiasts we be -

says John Byrom in his poem on Enthusiasm. The differ

ent species, however, the enthusiasm of the Evangelicals and Wesleyans, the enthusiasm of those who like Law and his disciple Byrom hearken back to Boehme, the enthusiasm of Rousseau and the sentimentalists, tend to run together. To "let one's feelings run in soft luxurious flow," is, as Newman says, at the opposite pole from spirituality. Yet much of this mere emotional facility appears alongside of genuinely religious elements in the enthusiasm of the Methodist. One may get a notion of the jumble to which I refer by reading a book like Henry Brooke's "Fool of Quality." Brooke is at one and the same time a disciple of Boehme and Rousseau while being more or less affiliated with the Methodistic movement. The book indeed was revised and abridged by John Wesley himself and in this form had a wide circulation among his followers.2

The enthusiasm that has marked the modern movement has plainly not been sufficiently critical. Perhaps the first discovery that any one will make who wishes to be at once critical and enthusiastic is that in a genuinely spiritual enthusiasm the inner light and the inner check are practically identical. He will find that if he is to rise above the naturalistic level he must curb constantly his expansive desires with reference to some centre 'Prune thou thy words,

The thoughts control

That o'er thee swell and throng.

They will condense within the soul

And change to purpose strong.

But he who lets his feelings run

In soft, luxurious flow,

Shrinks when hard service must be done

And faints at every foe.

Wesley had no liking for Boehme and cut out from Brooke's book the theosophy that had this origin.

that is set above the flux. Here let me repeat is the supreme rôle of the imagination. The man who has ceased to lean on outer standards can perceive his new standards or centre of control only through its aid. I have tried to `show that to aim at such a centre is not to be stagnant and stationary but on the contrary to be at once purposeful and progressive. To assert that the creativeness of the imagination is incompatible with centrality or, what amounts to the same thing, with purpose, is to assert that the creativeness of the imagination is incompatible with reality or at least such reality as man may attain. Life is at best a series of illusions; the whole office of philosophy is to keep it from degenerating into a series of delusions. If we are to keep it from thus degenerating we need to grasp above all the difference between the eccentric and the concentric imagination. To look for serious guidance to an imagination that owes allegiance to nothing above itself, is to run the risk of taking some cloud bank for terra firma. The eccentric imagination may give access to the "infinite," but it is an infinite empty of content and therefore an infinite not of peace but of restlessness. Can any one maintain seriously that there is aught in common between the "striving for endlessness" of the German romanticists and the supreme and perfect Centre that Dante glimpses at the end of the "Divine Comedy" and in the presence of which he becomes dumb?

We are told to follow the gleam, but the counsel is somewhat ambiguous. The gleam that one follows may be that which is associated with the concentric imagination and which gives steadiness and informing purpose, or it may be the romantic will o' the wisp. One may, as I have

said, in recreative moments allow one's imagination to wander without control, but to take these wanderings seriously is to engage in a sort of endless pilgrimage in the void. The romanticist is constantly yielding to the "spell" of this or the "lure" of that, or the "call" of some other thing. But when the wonder and strangeness that he is chasing are overtaken, they at once cease to be wondrous and strange, while the gleam is already dancing over some other object on the distant horizon. For nothing is in itself romantic, it is only imagining that makes it so. Romanticism is the pursuit of the element of ✓ illusion in things for its own sake; it is in short the cherishing of glamour. The word glamour introduced into literary usage from popular Scotch usage by Walter Scott itself illustrates this tendency. Traced etymologically, it turns out to be the same word as grammar. In an illiterate age to know how to write at all was a weird and magical accomplishment,' but in an educated age, nothing is so drearily unromantic, so lacking in glamour as grammar.


The final question that arises in connection with this subject is whether one may quell the mere restlessness of one's spirit and impose upon it an ethical purpose. "The man who has no definite end is lost," says Montaigne. The upshot of the romantic supposition that purpose is incompatible with the freedom of the imagination is a philosophy like that of Nietzsche. He can conceive of nothing beyond whirling forever on the wheel of change ("the eternal recurrence") without any goal or firm refuge that is set above the flux. He could not help doubt

1 Writing was often associated with magic formulæ. Hence ypáμμa also gave Fr. "grimoire."

ing at times whether happiness was to be found after all in mere endless, purposeless mutation.

Have I still a goal? A haven towards which my sail is set? A good wind? Ah, he only who knoweth whither he saileth, knoweth what wind is good, and a fair wind for him.

What still remaineth to me? A heart weary and flippant; an unstable will; fluttering wings; a broken backbone.

Where is my home? For it do I ask and seek, and have sought, but have not found it. O eternal everywhere, O eternal nowhere, O eternal — in vain.1

To allow one's self to revolve passively on the wheel of change (samsāra) seemed to the Oriental sage the acme of evil. An old Hindu writer compares the man who does not impose a firm purpose upon the manifold solicitations of sense to a charioteer who fails to rein in his restless steeds 2-a comparison suggested independently to Ricarda Huch by the lives of the German romanticists. In the absence of central control, the parts of the self tend to pull each in a different way. It is not surprising

1 Thus Spake Zarathustra, LXIX (The Shadow to Zarathustra). Katha-Upanishad. The passage is paraphrased as follows by P. E. More in his Century of Indian Epigrams:

Seated within this body's car
The silent Self is driven afar,

And the five senses at the pole

Like steeds are tugging restive of control.

And if the driver lose his way,

Or the reins sunder, who can say

In what blind paths, what pits of fear
Will plunge the chargers in their mad career?

Drive well, O mind, use all thy art,
Thou charioteer! - O feeling Heart,
Be thou a bridle firm and strong!
For the Lord rideth and the way is long.

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