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entertain the reader, and may prove to be


A few of the following pages have already seen the light in various publications, although they now stand in their places without any acknowledgment of a previous appearance. They are so few in number, and, having been rewritten, are so altered in form, that it would have been difficult, and it seemed to be needless, to introduce them with the usual marks of quotation.

E. S. D.




Significance of the Title.-Originally applied to Poetry.-Here to
Criticism. The Gay Science the Science of Pleasure.—Objec-
tions to Pleasure as the aim of Art.-Cursory view of Pleasure
which may soften those objections



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Criticism in its widest sense does not contain within itself the notion
of a Special Science.-Criticism, strictly so called, is not yet a
Science. What the world thinks of Critics and Criticism.—
What Critics think of each other.-Summary of the forms of
Criticism.-(1) Editorial Criticism, how unsatisfactory.-An
example of it in Shakespearian Criticism.-Its worth estimated
by Steevens. Another example of it in Classical Criticism.--
Porson's preface to the Hecuba.-Elmsley.-(2) Biographical
Criticism-the advantages of it.-But how far from Science-
And how apt to become parasitical.-(3) Historical Criticism—
How far from Science, and how limited in its view.-The intel-
lectual Flora not studied as a whole.-Comparative Criticism.-
The problem of Criticism too rarely attempted.-(4) Systematic
or Scientific Criticism in ancient times, as represented by
Aristotle; in modern times devoted to questions of Language.-
Example of what the moderns chiefly understand by a system of
Criticism.-Mr. Ruskin's summary of modern Criticism as gram-


mar. The systematic Criticism of Germany-The defect, as in
Hegel and Schelling.-Suggestion of a middle course between the
Criticism of Germany and that of the Renaissance.-Method and
value of the most recent Criticism.-The despair of system
and want of concert. Ulrici. - French Criticism.-Glaring
example of the impotence of Criticism.-Prize designs a failure.
-Why is the Prize System a failure in England, when we know
that in Greece it was successful?-The explanation to be found
in the weakness of Criticism.-The standard of Judgment.-
Influence of School in Greece.-Influence of School in France.
-A hopeful sign of our Criticism that it has become ashamed
of itself.—Summary of the Chapter.—Why Criticism is not a
Science.-Failure of method.-What is involved in the new
method of Comparative Criticism-The comparison threefold.
-In what groove of Comparative Criticism the present work
will for the first part run.-Nothing so much wanted as a
correct Psychology. On the dulness of Psychology-But that
dulness is not necessary. The subject really as interesting as
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The despair of Critical Science not surprising.-What we set before
us as the object of Science.-Antithesis between the works of
God and those of Man.-Popular Science in its religious
aspect. The proper study of Mankind.-Misanthropy of the
antithesis between the works of God and those of Man.—
Wordsworth to some extent answerable for it.-How it shows
itself in Ruskin.-Something to be said for the one-sided
devotion to Physical Science which now prevails.-The feats
of Science-And the great public works which it has pro-
duced. The recent origin of the Sciences, and their present
development.-Different fate of the Mental Sciences.-Various
points of view from which is produced the despair of any
Science of Human Nature.-(1) Philosophical despair of Mental
Science. What Mr. Lewes says of Philosophical Criticism.-
A Philosophical Critic-Wagner.-The jargon of Philosophy.
-Distinction between Philosophy and Science.-The great
want of Criticism-Psychology.-Science as applied to Mind

too recent to be accused of fruitlessness.-(2) The despair
of System-Expressed by Lord Lytton.-Systems soon for-
gotten. -Take Plato for an example.-The forms of current
Literature very adverse to System.--Value of System.-(3)
Despair of Mental Science that springs from Moral Views.-
Expressed by Mr. Froude.-The gist of his reasoning.-All
the Sciences are not exact.-The exactitude of Art-Illus-
trated in Shelley's conception of Poetry.-(4) Despair produced
by the modesty of Science.-The impotence of Science.-The
more Science the greater sense of Ignorance.-The impotence
of Criticism no more than the impotence of other Sciences.—
How Mr. Matthew Arnold vaunts Criticism-But his meaning
is not quite clear-As for example in what he says of M.
Sainte Beuve. His statement that the modern spirit is essen-
tially critical.—The wrong conclusions which may be drawn
from Mr. Arnold's generalization.-General view of the ad-
vantage of a science of Criticism.-On the interpretation of
History through Philosophy.-The interpretation of History
through Criticism.-Summary of the argument.-Aim of the
present work, not a Science, but a plea for one and a map of its
leading lines


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Object of this chapter to prove a truism.-Truisms sometimes
require demonstration.-A science of Criticism implies that
there is something common to the Arts.-On the admitted re-
lationship of the Arts.-The Arts so like that they have been
treated as identical.-Wherein consists the unity of Art;
two answers to this question usually given, and both false.
-The Aristotelian doctrine that Art has a common method,
that of imitation.-This the corner stone of ancient Criti-
cism-And how implicitly accepted.-How it held its ground,
and how hard it died.-Falsehood of the theory-As shown
in Music.-Limits of the theory.-Scaliger's objection to it
unanswerable. Coleridge's defence of it unavailing. - The
other theory which displaced the Aristotelian arose in Ger-
many that Art has a common theme.-Remarks on this
conception of Art.-That Art is the manifestation of the

Beautiful, two facts fatal to it.-That Art is the mani-
festation of the True, open to the same objection.-Also that
Art is the manifestation of Power.-The subject of Art is all
that can interest Man.-Wherein then does the unity of the
Arts reside? Their common purpose.-This common pur-
pose an admitted fact.-Some explanation of this doctrine of
Pleasure-drawn from the antithesis between Art and Science.
-The necessary inference as to the nature of Criticism.-But
how the Critics have turned aside from that inference, one
and all. Why they thus turned aside from the straight road.
-The fact remains that the doctrine of Pleasure is not allowed
its rightful place in Criticism, and we proceed to the proof of
what that place should be
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Survey of the schools of Criticism-their divisions.-All the schools
teach one doctrine as to the end of Art.-I. The Greek school of
Criticism, as represented by Plato and Aristotle, accepted the
one doctrine.-Plato's reasoning about Pleasure.—The promi-
nent consideration in Greek Criticism.-Is the pleasure of Art
true?—Treatment of the question.-Story of Solon.-The
saying of Gorgias.-How the artists tried to deceive. So far
there is nothing peculiar in the working of the Greek mind.—
How the love of illusion showed itself for example in Italian
Art.-Wilkie's story of the Geronimite.-Further illustration
of the love of illusion in Greek and other forms of Art.-What
is peculiar to the Greeks.-Plato's manner of stating critically
the doubt as to the truth of Pleasure.-The doubt survives
apart from the reasoning on which it rests.-Aristotle's state-
ment of the counter doctrine-to be found in the ninth chapter
of his Poetics.-The lesson of Greek Criticism-how it has been
perverted by Coleridge.-The true doctrine.-II. The Italian
school of Criticism-as represented by Scaliger, Castelvetro,
Tasso, and others.-What is peculiar in their view of Art.-
That the pleasure of Art must be profitable.—How Tasso
puzzled over the doctrine worthy of particular attention.-How
the Italian doctrine is to be understood-wherein it goes too
far-how far it is true-some of the absurdities to which it

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