An Essay On Criticism Essayist

An Essay On Criticism Essayist-30
Truth will give it authority; from its narrow limits he will get shape and intensity; and then there is no more fitting place for some of those ornaments which the old writers loved and we, by calling them ornaments, presumably despise. The passage is too thumb-marked to slip naturally into the context.learned the secrets of the grave; and has been a diver in deep seas and keeps their fallen day about her; and trafficked for strange webs with Eastern merchants; and, as Leda, was the mother of Helen of Troy, and, as Saint Anne, the mother of Mary . But when we come unexpectedly upon 'the smiling of women and the motion of great waters', or upon 'full of the refinement of the dead, in sad, earth-coloured raiment, set with pale stones', we suddenly remember that we have ears and we have eyes and that the English language fills a long array of stout volumes with innumerable words, many of which are of more than one syllable.The essay must lap us about and draw its curtain across the world.

Truth will give it authority; from its narrow limits he will get shape and intensity; and then there is no more fitting place for some of those ornaments which the old writers loved and we, by calling them ornaments, presumably despise. The passage is too thumb-marked to slip naturally into the context.learned the secrets of the grave; and has been a diver in deep seas and keeps their fallen day about her; and trafficked for strange webs with Eastern merchants; and, as Leda, was the mother of Helen of Troy, and, as Saint Anne, the mother of Mary . But when we come unexpectedly upon 'the smiling of women and the motion of great waters', or upon 'full of the refinement of the dead, in sad, earth-coloured raiment, set with pale stones', we suddenly remember that we have ears and we have eyes and that the English language fills a long array of stout volumes with innumerable words, many of which are of more than one syllable.

Somehow or other, by dint of labor or bounty of nature, or both combined, the essay must be pure--pure like water or pure like wine, but pure from dullness, deadness, and deposits of extraneous matter.

Of all writers in the first volume, Walter Pater best achieves this arduous task, because before setting out to write his essay (' Notes on Leonardo da Vinci') he has somehow contrived to get his material fused.

What is there to interest another in the fact that one has enjoyed a walking tour, or has amused oneself by rambling down Cheapside and looking at the turtles in Mr. Stevenson and Samuel Butler chose very different methods of exciting our interest in these domestic themes.

Stevenson, of course, trimmed and polished and set out his matter in the traditional eighteenth-century form.

The principle which controls it is simply that it should give pleasure; the desire which impels us when we take it from the shelf is simply to receive pleasure.

Everything in an essay must be subdued to that end.

But when Mark Pattison has to tell us, in the space of thirty-five little pages, about Montaigne, we feel that he had not previously assimilated M. Literal truth-telling and finding fault with a culprit for his good are out of place in an essay, where everything should be for our good and rather for eternity than for the March number of the .

But if the voice of the scold should never be heard in this narrow plot, there is another voice which is as a plague of locusts--the voice of a man stumbling drowsily among loose words, clutching aimlessly at vague ideas, the voice, for example, of Mr.

He must know--that is the first essential--how to write.

His learning may be as profound as Mark Pattison's, but in an essay, it must be so fused by the magic of writing that not a fact juts out, not a dogma tears the surface of the texture. Grün and his book should have been embalmed for our perpetual delight in amber.

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