shall he not be able to find it." Why should it be one thing, in its effect upon the emotions, to say, "Patience is a virtue," and quite another thing, in its effect upon the emotions, to say with Homer,
τλπτὸν γἀρ Μοῖραι Θυμὸν Θέσαν ἀνθρὠποισιν—
"for an enduring heart have the destinies appointed to the children of men"? Why should it be one thing, in its effect upon the emotions, to say with Spinoza, Felicitas in eo consistit quod homo sumn esse conservare potest—"Man's happiness consists in his being able to preserve his own essence," and quite another thing, in its effect upon the emotions, to say, "What is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world and lose himself, forfeit himself?" How does this difference of effect arise? I can not tell, and I am not much concerned to know; the important thing is that it does arise, and that we can profit by it. But how, finally, are poetry and eloquence to exercise the power of relating the results of natural science to man's instinct for conduct, his instinct for beauty? And here again I answer that I do not know how they will exercise it, but that they can and will exercise it I am sure. I do not mean that modern philosophical poets and modern philosophical moralists are to relate for us the results of modern scientific research to our need for conduct, our need for beauty. I mean that we shall find, as a matter of experience, if we know the best that has been thought and uttered in the world, we shall find that the art and poetry and eloquence of men who lived, perhaps, long ago, who had the most limited natural knowledge, who had the most erroneous conceptions about many important matters, we shall find that they have, in fact, not only the power of refreshing and delighting us, they have also the power—such are the strength and worth, in essentials, of their author's criticism of life—they have a fortifying and elevating and quickening and suggestive power capable of wonderfully helping us to relate the results of modern science to our need for conduct, our need for beauty. Homer's conceptions of the physical universe were, I imagine, grotesque; but really, under the shock of hearing from modern science that "the world is not subordinated to man's use, and that man is not the cynosure of things terrestrial," I could desire no better comfort than Homer's line which I quoted just now:
τλπτὸν γἀρ Μοῖραι θνμὸν θέσαν ἀνθρὠποισιν—
"for an enduring heart have the destinies appointed to the children of men."
And the more that men's minds are cleared, the more that the results of science are frankly accepted, the more that poetry and eloquence come to be studied as what they really are—the criticism of life by gifted men, alive and active with extraordinary power at an unusual number of points—so much the more will the value of humane letters, and of art also, which is an utterance having a like kind of
- "Iliad," xxiv, 49.