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tial to artistic language. And if the reader will take the pains to work out the many elements of ease and gracefulness in the flow of this selection, and then compare with an ordinary clumsy bit of prose, the melody of this selection will be duly appreciated. It must not be supposed that because a selection has not the strict measure and rhyme of poetic form there are no musical elements demanding attention.
Passing to the ideas employed, the allusions to Titan and Midas should be noted and explained, including especially their rhetorical value in the connection in which they are here used. It would be well at this point, also, to read Hawthorne's "Golden Touch." The personification of attributes in the words Gather-gold, Old Blood-and-Thunder, and Old Stony Phiz reminds one of "Pilgrim's Progress."
The pleasing pictures should be selected and fixed vividly in mind as permanent possessions. These pictures have not only value in expressing directly the theme, as already discussed; but they yield a pleasure on their own account which works indirectly to the realization of the theme. The whole scene is varied, picturesque, and sublime. Everything from delicate beauty to rugged sublimity may be found. The introductory picture of the mother and Ernest sitting in their cottage door at sunset, viewing and conversing about the Great Stone Face, is worthy to be framed in gilt. Especially should the expression on the Great Stone Face be vividly impressed. It would be well to collect all the expressions the writer uses to describe the Face. The closing scene, in which Ernest addresses his congregation from nature's pulpit, should find a permanent place in the picture-gallery of the imagination. The palace charms the imagination with its splendor; and the coming of Gathergold, Old Blood-and-Thunder, and Old Stony Phiz, with the grand public demonstrations, forms a varied and striking panorama. The numerous minor pictures must not be overlooked; as, "If his theme were a lovely lake, a celestial
smile had now been thrown over it to gleam forever on its surface." A lake with a celestial smile must henceforth be a cheering presence in the mind of the reader. The reader should not be content till the imagination is illumined by the collection of glimpses the writer flashes out constantly along the natural movement of his theme.
Furthermore it must be observed that the language is strikingly concrete. "He never stepped aside from his own path, yet would always reach a blessing to his neighbor." How vividly this sentence pictures the thought; and how almost dramatic is the word "reach." We do not simply think of Ernest's kindness; we see him act it out. This kind of thing runs through the selection, and should be pointed out in detail. In fact, one of the primary tests of a poetic production is whether the idea confronts the reader in living presence. If it does not seem to be before him in reality, but merely held in cognition by him, the discourse is not literary.
In line with the foregoing, it is a merit in style to make the object seem very real, by giving some striking feature for the imagination to seize upon. For instance, the writer speaks of Ernest as clapping his hands above his head. Whether he clapped them above or below his head was a matter of no consequence in itself; but such definiteness on the part of the writer gives the imagination a needed point of attachment. Also in this: "The cavalcade came prancing along the road, with a great clattering of hoofs and a mighty cloud of dust." Such expressions, of which the reader may find an abundance in this selection, serve the mind as concrete resting ground. They are not given necessarily because they signify anything by way of analogy; as some seem to think who strain everything into some analogical meaning. At first the untrained reader sees only pictures in literature and no analogies; but when he is introduced to the hidden meaning back of the images, he is so delighted with the new process that he must find some
deep hidden meaning behind each concrete fact mentioned. The writer may give images which have only the picture value. Of course they have a relation to the theme, but not an analogical relation.
But the chief pleasure to the imagination has not its source in mere pictures and sensuous impressions, but in that activity of the imagination which transforms the imagery. Hawthorne is farthest removed from those writers who charm chiefly by imagery. Midas himself had not greater power of transmuting common stuff into gold. The charm of Hawthorne's style lies in his poetic fancy. When he touched a massive pile of stone he “etherealized its ponderous granite substance into spirit." He characterizes himself in his description of the poet. It is his gift to throw the celestial smile over the lake, "to gleam forever on its surface." The most fruitful source of pleasure in the style of Hawthorne is the transforming touches, the flashes of insight, the playful freedom over the material of his thought, which seem to come not by strained intent, but "inevitably as the murmur of a rivulet." When he needed to say that the poet wrote about mountains, he said that they "lift their snowy peaks into the clear atmosphere of his poetry; and in speaking of the beneficence of Ernest's daily life he says, "the quiet stream of which had made a wide green margin all along its course."
A sly twinkle of humor often adds pleasure to the figurative conceptions. "Moreover, the schoolmates and early acquaintances of the general were ready to testify, on oath, that, to the best of their recollection, the aforesaid general had been exceedingly like the majestic image, even when a boy, only that the idea had never occurred to them at that period." In speaking of the convincing power of the oratory of Old Stony Phiz, he says "he could make a kind of illuminated fog with his mere breath, and obscure the natural daylight with it."
All this matter of playful freedom of figurative concep
tion should be wrought out by the student with considerable care, and then all should be brought into the unity of the one grand conception which forms the structure of the poem as a whole. Every poem as a whole is a creation; it is born of the writer's own peculiar conception; the poem is his style. The perfect manhood set forth is as much Hawthorne's workmanship as the mere language structure; or as the unique conception of the Great Stone Face in its influence on the unfolding of that character. The fundamental conception is that of a character unconsciously projecting itself as some disinterested, objective good, and longing and hoping unselfishly for the coming of the perfect man.