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friendship, finding all his solace in the temperament have resort to the services companionship described by Mr. Ruskin of the Church, and find therein comfort in one of the soundest of his many sound for their souls and the brightness of their scoldings:lives. It is not for a pretence they make long prayers, but because to do so satisfies a want of their nature; while others, not merely the careless or irreverent, but some thoughtful, earnest men, dread the effort involved in the frequency and length of public worship.
There is a society continually open to us, of people who will talk to us as long as we like, whatever our rank or occupation: talk to us in the best words they can choose, and with thanks if we listen to them. And this society, because it is so numerous and so gentle, and can be kept waiting round us all day long, not to grant audience, but to gain it; kings and statesmen lingering patiently in those plainly furnished and narrow anterooms, our bookcase shelves, -we make no account of that company, perhaps never listen to a word they would say all day long.
Long before Ruskin, Richard of Bury, when as yet printed books were not, spoke not less reverently of literature. "These are masters," he wrote in his "Philobib lion " (A.D. 1340), "who instruct us without chastisement, without anger, without fee; if you repair to them, they are not sleeping; if you ask them anything, they do not hide themselves; if you blunder, they complain not; if you betray ignorance, they laugh not."
How can any one remain insensible to books as a source of pleasure?-one at which the million may slake their thirst. Nevertheless, not to mention the schoolboy, in whose eyes books are but elaborate obstacles to the enjoyment of life, there are thousands and tens of thousands of educated men who prefer the scribbling of daily journalists to the written thoughts of kings and statesmen; and seldom read anything but newspapers, shallow maga zine articles, or, at the highest, quaff, not from the perennial wells of Helicon, but from the wayside rills of contemporary fiction. Such people, when they do turn to reading as a pastime,
Love to hear
A soft pulsation in their easy ear;
They indulge in what Mr. Braithwaite has
In like manner, persons of a devout
Examples might be multiplied, all tending to prove that there is no such thing as objective pleasure, but that pleasure is a harmony that is, a fitting together a fitting of an external object with a mood or want within ourselves. It is, to put it plainly, the fulfilment of desire, the gratification of an appetite not necessarily ignoble, but often, in our strangely complex beings, very much the reverse. In short, as Suckling says
'Tis not the meat, but 'tis the appetite
Makes eating a delight.
The word "harmony," it may be observed, is not used here in a loose or metaphorical sense, but in its literal etymological meaning. Human speech is a spontaneous growth, and words long retain an intrinsic significance which may have been obscured by every-day use. Thus "har mony "is best understood by remembering the meaning of the original Greek ápμoría, a fitting together of parts. Being a convenient expression for the pleasing arrangement of musical notes, the term has been almost monopolized by musicians; but so far from there being any affectation in applying it generally, it would be the most mischievous form of pedantry to restrict it to technical use. The word suggests a true analogy between the agreement of musical sounds and that fulfil ment of desire which creates or constitutes pleasure; and the art of pleasure is, in fact, neither more nor less than the science of harmony.
For reasons already referred to, of special weight in a country which retains the stamp of the Puritan furnace, it is difficult to get the popular mind to analyze the nature and ingredients of pleasure, without importing moral considerations into the process; but even these may be more closely examined hereafter, if a clear understanding may be had of the former.
In the ancient Greek philosophy two distinct theories of pleasure claimed disciples: the earlier Cyrenaic school taught that pleasure was to be had only in action, securing a process of change from an indifferent state to a better one, thereby
leading to a reliance on the senses to produce material delight; the Epicurean doctfine (strangely misapprehended by modern people) being that pleasure is the result only of repose, that tranquillity of body and mind should be the end in view, and that the intellect is the true channel of enjoyment. Plato, one of the earliest and most courageous chemists of pleasure, endorsed the views of the Cyrenaics, and explained that pleasure could only be defined as a relief from pain. This was also the opinion of Kant, who held that what we strive to attain is not so much a definite gratification as the appeasing of disquiet :
And that it is not a pleasure which entices us to this (the passing from one state to another), but a kind of discontent with present suffering, is shown by the fact that we are always seeking for some object of pleasure without knowing what that object is, merely as an aid against the disquiet-against the complement of petty pains which for the moment irritate us and annoy us. It is thus apparent that man is urged on by a necessity of his nature to go out of the present as a state of pain, in order to find in the future one less irksome. Pleasure is nothing positive; it is only a liberation of pain, and therefore only something negative.
message inviting her to go to a ball; would she hesitate, think you, between her pillow and her ball-dress? Here is no case of escaping from pain; she is sleepy, and disposed for rest, as all young things ought to be at night; her desire and instinct is to say her prayers and lay herself down. Kant perhaps would maintain that directly she hears of the ball, she conceives a desire to dance, stronger than the desire for rest, and she hastens to the ball to assuage the unease or pain of desire. It may be so; but to plain folks, unversed in metaphysics, it would seem that for this girl pleasure begins the moment she hears of the ball, and, let it be it. She was perfectly content and at ease hoped, continues as long as she stays at when she received the summons, perhaps was meditating on the pleasure of getting into a comfortable bed, so that, according to Kant, it was impossible for her to derive pleasure from the ball, for she was conscious of no pain before going to it, and, says he, "it is the sudden, the instantaneous removal of the pain which determines all that we can call a veritable pleasure."
According to this doctrine, pleasure only arises from abrupt contrast, and while discussing this matter, Mr. Dallas, in the dainty bundle of essays which he labelled by the fanciful title of "The Gay Science,' 11 # very aptly quoted one of Browning's characters in support of it :
Heigho!" yawned one day King Francis,
This is the sort of quagmire in which ingenious philosophers delight in landing us. We know every natural, healthy mind that does not torment itself with phrases knows that positive pleasure does exist; and though we may be unable to define it in a thoroughly scholarly way, and be uncertain whether it should be classed as a thing or a state, we are as well able to recognize it as the source of joy when we meet with it, as we are to recognize pain as the source of sorrow. Physicists tell us, with perfect truth, that a rainbow has But Plato himself had misgivings on the no actual existence, that it is merely a strict Cyrenaic theory that all pleasure sensation produced in the optic nerve by was the result of escaping from a condithe decomposition of light under refraction of little ease into one of greater. In tion; nevertheless all but the color-blind one of his dialogues he puts into the know a rainbow when they see it, and, mouth of Socrates a clear definition of regarded purely as a phenomenon, it is absolute as distinguished from relative capable of being examined and explained. pleasure. It is true that he admits a very We respond readily enough to the Sursum limited number to the list of absolute corda! of pleasure, though it may be dif-pleasures, viz.: "Those from beautiful ficult to explain the nature of the summons colors, as they are called, and from fig. to our own satisfaction or that of others; ures,† and most of those from odors, and but it seems easy to show, by a concrete instance, the delusion of holding pleasure to be nothing but an escape from pain. Jeremiah's approval of dancing as an expression of mirth has already been quoted. Suppose a young girl, undressing to go to bed, were to receive an unexpected
2 vols. London: Chapman & Hall. 1866.
In a subsequent and remarkable passage he makes an important limitation to this: "By beautiful figures I do not mean what the mass of men might imagine, animal shapes or painted forms; but straight and curved lines, says my theory, and the planes and solids they generate with turning-lathes, and rulers, and goniome ters."
those from sounds, and any object whose | absence is unfelt and painless, while their presence is sensible and productive of pleasure. . . . To these may be added the pleasures of knowledge, if you grant that no hunger or pangs of hunger precede their acquisition."
What, then, is the true definition of this pleasure, of which an attempt has been made to delineate some of the traits? by what means is its coming to be ensured? by what features is it to be recognized, and by what craft can its flight be delayed? Alas! it all comes to this, that pleasure like beauty eludes definition. "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the hands of Orion?" "I cannot help laughing," said Goethe, "at the æsthetical folks who torment themselves in endeavoring by some abstract words to reduce to a conception that inexpressible thing to which we give the name of beauty. Beauty is a primeval phenomenon which itself never makes its appearance, but the reflection of which is within a thousand different utterances of the creative mind, and is as various as nature itself."
So is pleasure"a primeval phenomenon -a radiance shed from the presence of Him at whose right hand there are pleasures forevermore, the source of which, though we may speculate about it, we cannot yet know. This much, however, it is in our power to do; seeing that pleasure is a sensation arising from the fitting of fulfilment to desire, and of condition to mood, we can encourage those desires and train those moods which conduct to the purest gratification; the furniture of "the soul's dark cabin, battered and decayed," may be so arranged that nothing shall intercept the bright rays that fall on the casement; it is even permitted to make new apertures or widen existing ones, each an avenue of fuller delight, a trap to catch the sunbeams of joy.
For example, the immense expansion and inexorable precision of modern science, though they deter most people from taking an active interest in it, have, notwithstanding, immensely increased the richness of natural science as a source of pleasure. One is not necessarily a drone because he revels in the store accumulated by the industry of others. It is quite true that the farm of science is divided into a thousand fields, and it is only by diligent labor in one of these often in no more than a compartment of one of these that substantial addition to the harvest of knowledge can be made. It was otherwise in the days when Bacon wrought; the
scope of science was then so little developed that a diligent student might excel in and contribute to every branch of it, but now the labor has to be divided among specialists. Oliver Wendell Holmes's entomologist is no caricature; his department of insect life was the Coleoptera or beetles, and he indignantly resented some question addressed to him about a butterfly, as if he were one who should concern himself about meretricious Lepidoptera. It is a condition of things bringing to mind the Italian prescription for a salad sauce, which requires four men to concoct namely, a spendthrift for the oil, a miser for the vinegar, a councillor for the salt, and a madman to stir it.
But the harvest is garnered not for the laborers alone, but for all; "whoso is simple, let him turn in hither." It is possible for every one with ordinary leisure to acquire considerable knowledge of the results of many branches of science. “The world," observed Seneca, “would be a small thing if it did not contain matter of inquiry for all the world; " and who can number the new sources of pleasure opened up by merely becoming acquainted with the province of scientific research? "Jack of all trades, master of none," may be objected; but here is no question of being a master-the work has all been done, the feast prepared for us by others. One who has instructed himself in the classification and distribution of plants is not thereby entitled to rank himself as a botanist; but henceforth, let the hillside where he may be set be never so desolate, the way he fares along never so dreary, they will have for him a brightness and a significance beyond the understanding of one who sees there nothing but "weeds." So in the kindred sciences, geology and zoology, there exists not a habitable spot on the globe where a mind equipped with simple instruction in these will not derive far deeper delight than that so keenly sought for in the destruction of fur and feather. Sir John Lubbock, by lending his countenance to that device of the enemy- the "Hundred Best Books "- has raised serious misgivings as to his merit as a guide to sound enjoyment; but no one is better qualified than he to speak to the value of science as a source of pleasure. Those who know the diligence with which, in the intervals of leisure in a life of unusual activity and versatility, he has applied himself to strenuous and fruitful study, will best appreciate the reason he has for devoting a chapter to "Science" in his "Pleasures of Life." "Those," he
says, "who have not tried for themselves, can hardly imagine how much science adds to the interest and variety of life. It is altogether a mistake to regard it as dry, difficult, or prosaic-much of it is as easy as it is interesting. The real causes of natural phenomena are far more strik ing, and contain more real poetry, than those which have occurred to the untrained imagination of mankind.”
The voice of nature speaks to all who will hear; it is not a serious task to learn her speech, for the task itself is a pleas ure. Almost every one is so situated as to make it a matter of choice whether it falls on his ears as an unmeaning sound -the clatter of a foreign tongue-or close communion so long as life endures. There is an exquisite fairy-tale about a lad who received the marvellous gift of understanding the speech of every living creature, from the ant to the elephant; not less marvellous is the interpretation within reach of almost every one. Upon the whole of creation, animate and inanimate, is written the legend: "Whoso hath ears to hear, let him hear."
Proof of the enduring quality of pleasure derived from knowledge of physical science may be had in the fact that no one is ever known to tire of it. No one has ever seen a man once instructed in botany become indifferent to trees and flowers; he who has acquired a knowledge of zoology will, sometimes unconsciously, note every bird that flies out of the hedge; and let anybody once become acquainted with the character and succession of geological strata, any ordinary railway cutting will henceforth be to him as a page in a fascinating book. It is the noble old myth of Memnon's statue, which alone, of all those the morning rays smote upon, gave forth responsive music. In the Platonic dialogue already quoted, Socrates is made to affirm that "intellectual pleasures may be assumed to be unmixed with pain, and the lot, not of the many, but of extremely few," because the intellectual hunger which spurs one to pursue them is in itself a pleasant sensation, a safeguard against ennui- that cancer which eats into so much good leisure. But, in order to satisfy this painless hunger, men are content to undergo privation and encounter much suffering. The chronicles of travel are crowded with evidence of this, though the great travellers, from Christopher Columbus to Dr. Nansen, the recent explorer of Greenland, are not exactly cases in point, the suffering they endured being met with, not in recreation, but in the discharge of
their chosen profession. A better illus. tration may be found nearer home, in Robert Dick, the baker of Thurso, one of the latest martyrs of science. Who can read unmoved the pathetic narrative of this lonely but ardent life? who can follow him without admiration when, after a night spent in preparing the daily tale of loaves, he left his house at four in the morning to walk twenty or even thirty miles across the bleak, pathless hills to dig a Holoptychius out of a cliff of Old Red Sandstone, or a Sonchus from the shoulder of Morven, and return at night dead beat, but supremely happy. Happy, that is, in all but this, that of all his fellow-townsmen and women there was not one from whom he could expect the slightest sympathy; for most of them regarded him as eccentric, and all wished he would pay more attention to the quality of his bread. Now, the question which each of us must settle for himself is, whether these high pleasures were too dearly bought. Is it worth incurring the sharper pain in order to share the higher delight? Is the intellectual enthusiast wiser than the debauchee who professes to be satisfied with an ounce of pleasure to a pound of pain? Or is there greater wisdom in the mood that sighs Happy the man whose wish and care A few paternal acres bound, Content to breathe his native air
In his own ground?
Many there be ready to declare that Robert Dick had been on the whole a happier man if he had been a more careful baker, and so kept out of financial embarrassment. But who can doubt, had he been given to live his life again, what his own choice would have been? For what balance at the bank would he have foregone that "one crowded hour of glorious life" when he discovered Hierochloë borealis, thereby adding a new plant to the British flora? For how many score of opulent customers would he have exchanged the single visit of Sir Roderick Murchison, and missed the ecstasy, after five-andtwenty years of solitary toil, of showing his rich store of fossils to the great geologist? Assuredly he would have hugged his hardships again to his bosom, so might he have the same reward. The true lover counts not as suffering the sacrifice made for his beloved.
But the point on which it is desired to lay stress is this, that all this fund of exquisite pleasure might be drawn on by multitudes without paying the heavy price exacted from Robert Dick. There are
thousands of well-to-do folk who might share his pursuits without sacrificing comfort and risking solvency as he had to do; thousands to whom locomotion is easy, and leisure ample, whereas Dick wore out his frame by extraordinary physical exertion, and stole the necessary time for study from the hours available for repose.
The testimony of all who have tried it is unanimous that intellectual pleasure transcends every other kind of pleasure within our reach; yet it remains as true in this day as it was in the days of Plato, that "they are the lot not of the many, but of extremely few." The faculty of knowledge is latent in every sound mind; it has been shown that pleasure is the common aim of all human society; it is then passing strange that so few think of developing this, the source of the highest and most enduring pleasure.
time, so this is a natural and reasonable question, and if one might, without presumption, offer advice the fruit of vain regret for much misspent time it would be this: choose some definite subject, for the immediate purpose it does not much matter which, and read some of the best - skim some of the newest works dealing with it. You will be brought into view of innumerable side vistas, some of them so enticing that you will be led off the track you intended to follow, so far astray, it may be, that you will never return. There is no harm done; Saul, of a family the least of all the families of the smallest tribe of Israel, was in search of his father Kish's asses when he met with the prophet who anointed him king of Israel; you may lose sight of the object in pursuit of which you started, but you will find one loftier, or at least you will become so enamoured of the route, that you will never sigh for the insipid pastures of ignorance again. But there must be method even in vagrancy; get into the habit of taking notes as you read. Without this precaution, literature flows over the brain in a current, pleasant and wholesome, indeed, but unfruitful. The mind cannot retain distinct impressions without mechanical aids, and there is no condition of mental atmosphere less satisfactory than haziness. Much of the pleasure of which we are conscious exists in memory; it is plain, therefore, that very much of it must be lost by those who neglect to train, assist, extend, and cultivate the memory. Mr. Morritt has described how, when visiting Egglestone and Brignal with Sir Walter Scott, who intended to make these places the scenes of some incidents in "Rokeby," he ob served him noting down everything, even to the kind of wild flowers growing near. "I laughed, in short, at his scrupulousness; but I understood him when he replied, 'that in nature herself no two scenes
Midway between the province of science and the province of art, blending its confines into those of each, and partaking of their properties, stands literature. It is dangerous to speculate on the pleasure attendant upon authorship; let it be assumed that it is not wanting, or there would not be so many quills dipped in ink-horns, and there let the matter rest, lest by dwelling on it encouragement should be given to latent ambition, and, in all conscience, there are as many scribbiers as this much-enduring world can suffer. As to the readers, reference has been made already to their general neglect of works of the higher class-let the returns of every free and circulating library in the realm be cited if confirmation is wanted. One cannot but believe that if it were only known what stores of delight are ready to pour forth from library shelves for any one who once gets hold of the right key, the dust would not be suffered to gather on these treasures. It is impossible to contemplate the indifference shown to literature by many amiable, well-are conditioned people, without deploring the capacity for enjoyment thus allowed to lie
The spectacle of such a source of pleasure neglected brings to the lips the ejaculation of the nameless lord in "All's Well that Ends Well," "Is it possible he should know that he is, and be that he is?" Well, but it's all very well to tell one to read, it may be said; but how the deuce is one to know where to begin in such a congestion of literature? There are twenty thousand volumes published every year; the most diligent "sap" can only get through seven or eight thousand in a life
exactly alike, and that . . . whoever trusted to imagination would soon find his own mind circumscribed and contracted to a few favorite images, and the repeti tion of these would sooner or later produce that very monotony and barrenness which had always haunted descriptive poetry in the hands of any but patient worshippers of the truth.""
Elaborate prescriptions have been given for arrangement of commonplace books, but they are all in vain; the habit of making notes once acquired, method will shape itself for every one according to what he finds suits his convenience best. Even marginal notes (on one's own books,