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idea of humanity as a Promethean sufferer. But the race, which requires picturesque and vivid images of its highest faith, hope and thought, comes to its poets, like the human child, and says ever and ever -"Tell me a story: tell me a story about myself." And the poet tells the race a new story about itself—like the mother of Marius when she told him of "the white bird which he must bear in his bosom across the crowded market-place - his soul." Each poet tells this new story to the child about itself a story it did not know before, and the child believes the story and increases knowledge and life with it. The question the race asks, in this Myth, is "what is most divine in me?" "What is the god in me?" and Shelley answers, it is all-enduring and all-forgiving love toward all; and Herder answers that it is reason, Keats that it is beauty, Goethe that it is liberty, and Hugo that it is immense triumphant toil; and each in giving his answer tells the story of the old gods and the younger gods, and the wise Titan who knew yet other gods that should come. And the race listens to these tales because it hears in them its own voice speaking. Men of genius are men, like other men; but their genius, if I may use an obvious comparison, is like the reflector in front of the light-house flame-in all directions but one it is a common flame, but in that one direction along which the reflector magnifies, glorifies and speeds its radiance, it is the shining of a great light. Look at men of genius, as you find them in biography, and they seem ordinary persons of daily affairs; but if you can catch sight of genius through that side which is turned out to the infinite as to a great ocean, you will see, I will not say the man himself, but the use God makes of the man. That use is to reveal ourselves to ourselves, to

show what human nature is and can do, to unlock our minds, our hearts, all our energies, for use. We admire and love such men because they are more ourselves than we are, the undeveloped, often unknown selves that in us are but partially born. "What is most divine in me?" is the question the race puts; and perhaps it is true (though the statement may be startling), that as soon as man discovers a god in himself, all external gods fall from their thrones and this is the meaning of the myth. But again, what is this but the old verse

"The kingdom of heaven is within you?"

That realized, the old gods may go their ways. It is realized, perhaps, for one of its modes, in this way: that as the being of beauty is entire and perfect in the grass that flourishes for a summer, or in the rose of dawn that fades even while it blossoms, so the power of moral ideas enters, entire and perfect, into our being, and, as I said, the humblest of men suffering for man's good as he conceives it shares in the moral sublimity of Prometheus. What is thus within man- the thing that is most divine - is certainly the medium by which man approaches the divinity, and through which he beholds it, in any living way. It belongs to Puritanism, as a mood of mind, to be impatient of any external thing between the soul and the divinity; it will have the least of any such material element in its spiritual sight and communion; it sees God by an inner vision. Mediums of some sort there must be between human nature and its idea of the divine; and it seems to me that our inner vision by which the Puritan spirit reaches outward and upward is the vision of imagination transfiguring history to saints and martyrs in their holy living

and holy dying, transfiguring all human experience to the idealities of poetry. Mankind seeing itself more perfect in St. Francis, in Philip Sidney, in all men of spiritual genius, makes them a part of this inner vision and, rank over rank, above them the perfection of Arthur and Parsifal, and still more high the perfection of reason, beauty, and love in their element. In this hierarchy of human daring, dreaming, desiring is the only beatific vision that human eyes ever immediately beheld the vision of what is most divine in man. What I maintain is that, humanly speaking, in the search for God one path by which the race moves on is through this inner vision of ideal perfections in its own nature and its own experience, which it has fixed and illuminated in these imaginative figures, these race-images of raceideas.

V

SPENSER

THE general principle which I have endeavored to set forth in the first four lectures is that mankind in the process of civilization stores up race-power, in one or another form, so that it is a continually growing fund; and that literature, pre-eminently, is such a store of spiritual race-power, derived originally from the historical life or from the general experience of men, and transformed by imagination so that all which is not necessary falls away from it and what is left is truth in its simplest, most vivid and vital form. Thus I instanced mythology, chivalry, and the Scriptures as three such sifted deposits of the past; and I illustrated the use poetry makes of such raceimages and race-ideas by the example of the myth of the Titans. In the remaining four lectures I desire to approach the same general principle of the storing of racepower from the starting-point of the individual author -to set forth Spenser, Milton, Wordsworth and Shelley, not in their personality but as race-exponents, and to show that their essential greatness and value are due to the degree in which they availed themselves of the race-store. You may remember that I defined education for all men as the process of identifying oneself with the race-mind, entering into and taking possession of the race-store; and the rule is the same for men of genius as for other men. You find, consequently, that the greatest poets have always been the best scholars of their times

-not in the encyclopedic sense that they knew everything, but in the sense that they possessed the living knowledge of their age, so far as it concerns the human soul in its history. They have always possessed what is called the academic mind - that is, they had a strong grasp on literary tradition and the great thoughts of mankind, and the great forms which those thoughts had taken on in the historic imagination. Virgil is a striking example of such a poet, perfectly cultivated in all the artistic, philosophic, literary tradition as it then was: Dante and Chaucer are similar instances; and, in English, Spenser, Milton, Gray, Shelley and Tennyson continue the line of those poets in whom scholarship the academic tradition is an essential element in their worth. It ought not to be necessary to bring this out so clearly; for it is obvious that men of genius, in the process of absorbing the race-store, by the very fact become. scholarly men, men of intellectual culture, though in consequence of their genius they neglect all culture except that which still has spiritual life in it. This is so elementary a truth in literature that the index to the importance of an author is often his representative power

the degree to which he sums up and delivers the human past. How large a tract of time, what extent of knowledge, what range of historical emotion - does his mind drain? These are initial questions. And in literary history, you know, there are here and there minds, so central to the period, such meeting points of different ages and cultures, that they resemble those junctions on a railway map which seem to absorb all geography into their own black dots. The greatest poets are just such centers of spiritual history; where ancient and modern meet, where classicism and medievalism, Christianity

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