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MISCELLANEOUS STUDIES: A SERIES OF ESSAYS


WALTER HORATIO PATER


London: 1910. (The Library Edition.)




NOTES BY THE E-TEXT EDITOR:

Notes: The 1910 Library Edition employs footnotes, a style inconvenient
in an electronic edition. I have therefore placed an asterisk
immediately after each of Pater's footnotes and a + sign after my own
notes, and have listed each chapter's notes at that chapter's end.

Pagination and Paragraphing: To avoid an unwieldy electronic copy, I
have transferred original pagination to brackets. A bracketed numeral
such as [22] indicates that the material immediately following the
number marks the beginning of the relevant page. I have preserved
paragraph structure except for first-line indentation.

Hyphenation: I have not preserved original hyphenation since an e-text
does not require line-end or page-end hyphenation.

Greek typeface: For this full-text edition, I have transliterated
Pater's Greek quotations. If there is a need for the original Greek,
it can be viewed at my site, http://www.ajdrake.com/etexts, a
Victorianist archive that contains the complete works of Walter Pater
and many other nineteenth-century texts, mostly in first editions.




MISCELLANEOUS STUDIES: A SERIES OF ESSAYS

WALTER HORATIO PATER




CONTENTS

C. Shadwell's Preface - Publication Chronology: 1-7

Prosper Mérimée: 11-37

Raphael: 38-61

Pascal: 62-89

Art Notes in North Italy: 90-108

Notre Dame D'Amiens: 109-125

Vézelay: 126-141

Apollo in Picardy: 142-171

The Child in the House: 172-196

Emerald Uthwart: 197-246

Diaphaneité: 247-254




CHARLES L. SHADWELL'S PREFACE

[1] The volume of Greek Studies, issued early in the present year,
dealt with Mr. Pater's contributions to the study of Greek art,
mythology, and poetry. The present volume has no such unifying
principle. Some of the papers would naturally find their place
alongside of those collected in Imaginary Portraits, or in
Appreciations, or in the Studies in the Renaissance. And there is no
doubt, in the case of several of them, that Mr. Pater, if he had lived,
would have subjected them to careful revision before allowing them to
reappear in a permanent form. The task, which he left unexecuted,
cannot now be taken up by any other hand. But it is hoped that
students of his writings will be glad to possess, in a collected shape,
what has hitherto only been accessible in the scattered volumes of
magazines. It is with some hesitation that the paper on Diaphaneitè,
the last in this volume, has been added, as the only specimen known to
[2] be preserved of those early essays of Mr. Pater's, by which his
literary gifts were first made known to the small circle of his Oxford
friends.

Subjoined is a brief chronological list of his published writings. It
will be observed how considerable a period, 1880 to 1885, was given up
to the composition of Marius the Epicurean, the most highly finished of
all his works, and the expression of his deepest thought.

August, 1895.



A CHRONOLOGY OF PATER'S WORKS, 1866-1895

(Adapted from a compilation by Charles L. Shadwell in the 1895
Macmillan edition of Miscellaneous Studies.)

1866.

COLERIDGE. Appeared in Westminster Review, January, 1866. Reprinted
1889 in Appreciations.

1867.

WINCKELMANN. Appeared in Westminster Review, January, 1867. Reprinted
1873 in Studies in the Renaissance.

1868.

*AESTHETIC POETRY. Written in 1868. First published 1889 in
Appreciations. (Not included in the 1910 Macmillan Library Edition,
but published separately at Project Gutenberg and
www.ajdrake.com/etexts.)

1869.

NOTES ON LEONARDO DA VINCI. Appeared in Fortnightly Review in
November, 1869. Reprinted 1873 in Studies in the Renaissance.

1870.

SANDRO BOTTICELLI. Appeared in Fortnightly Review in August, 1870,
entitled "A Fragment on Sandro Botticelli." Reprinted 1873 in Studies
in the Renaissance.

1871.

PICO DELLA MIRANDOLA. Appeared in Fortnightly Review in October, 1871.
Reprinted 1873 in Studies in the Renaissance.

POETRY OF MICHELANGELO. Appeared in Fortnightly Review in November,
1871. Reprinted 1873 in Studies in the Renaissance.

1873.

STUDIES IN THE HISTORY OF THE RENAISSANCE. Published 1873 by
Macmillan. Contents:

Aucassin and Nicolette. Entitled in second and later editions, "Two
Early French Stories."

Pico della Mirandola. See 1871.

Sandro Botticelli. See 1870.

Luca della Robbia.

Poetry of Michelangelo. See 1871.

Leonardo da Vinci. See 1869.

Joachim du Bellay.

Winckelmann. See 1867.

Conclusion.

1874.

WORDSWORTH. Appeared in Fortnightly Review in April, 1874. Reprinted
1889 in Appreciations.

MEASURE FOR MEASURE. Appeared in Fortnightly Review in November, 1874.
Reprinted 1889 in Appreciations.

1875.

DEMETER AND PERSEPHONE. Written as two lectures, and delivered in 1875
at the Birmingham and Midland Institute. Appeared in Fortnightly
Review in January and February, 1876. Reprinted 1895 in Greek Studies.

1876.

ROMANTICISM. Appeared in Macmillan's Magazine in November, 1876.
Reprinted 1889 in Appreciations under the title "Postscript."

A STUDY OF DIONYSUS. Appeared in Fortnightly Review in December, 1876.
Reprinted 1895 in Greek Studies.

1877.

THE SCHOOL OF GIORGIONE. Appeared in Fortnightly Review in October,
1877. Reprinted 1888 in third edition of The Renaissance.

THE RENAISSANCE: STUDIES IN ART AND POETRY. Second edition.
Macmillan. Contents:

Two Early French Stories.

Pico della Mirandola.

Sandro Botticelli.

Luca della Robbia.

The Poetry of Michelangelo.

Leonardo da Vinci.

Joachim du Bellay.

Winckelmann.

1878.

THE CHILD IN THE HOUSE. Appeared in Macmillan's Magazine in August,
1878, under the heading, "Imaginary Portrait. The Child in the House."
Reprinted 1895 in Miscellaneous Studies.

CHARLES LAMB. Appeared in Fortnightly Review in October, 1878.
Reprinted 1889 in Appreciations.

LOVE'S LABOURS LOST. Written in 1878. Appeared in Macmillan's
Magazine in December, 1885. Reprinted 1889 in Appreciations.

THE BACCHANALS OF EURIPIDES. Written in 1878. Appeared in Macmillan's
Magazine in May, 1889. Reprinted in Tyrrell's edition of the Bacchae
in 1892. Reprinted in 1895 in Greek Studies.

1880.

THE BEGINNINGS OF GREEK SCULPTURE. Appeared in Fortnightly Review in
February and March, 1880. Reprinted 1895 in Greek Studies.

THE MARBLES OF AEGINA. Appeared in Fortnightly Review in April, 1880.
Reprinted 1895 in Greek Studies.

1883.

DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI. Written in 1883. Published 1889 in
Appreciations.

1885.

MARIUS THE EPICUREAN. Published in 1885 by Macmillan. Two volumes.

A PRINCE OF COURT PAINTERS. Appeared in Macmillan's Magazine in
October, 1885. Reprinted 1887 in Imaginary Portraits.

1886.

FEUILLET'S "LA MORTE." Written in 1886. Published 1890 in second
edition of Appreciations.

SIR THOMAS BROWNE. Written in 1886. Published 1889 in Appreciations.

SEBASTIAN VAN STORCK. Appeared in Macmillan's Magazine in March, 1886.
Reprinted 1887 in Imaginary Portraits.

DENYS L'AUXERROIS. Appeared in Macmillan's Magazine in October, 1886.
Reprinted 1887 in Imaginary Portraits.

1887.

DUKE CARL OF ROSENMOLD. Appeared in Macmillan's Magazine in May, 1887.
Reprinted the same year in Imaginary Portraits.

IMAGINARY PORTRAITS. Published 1887 by Macmillan. Contents:

A Prince of Court Painters. See 1885.

Denys l'Auxerrois. See 1886.

Sebastian van Storck. See 1886.

Duke Carl of Rosenmold. See above.

1888.

GASTON DE LATOUR. Appeared in Macmillan's Magazine as under: viz.

Chapter I in June.

Chapter II in July.

Chapter III in August.

Chapter IV in September.

Chapter V in October.

STYLE. Appeared in Fortnightly Review in December, 1888. Reprinted
1889 in Appreciations.

THE RENAISSANCE. Third Edition. Macmillan. Contents:

Two Early French Stories.

Pico della Mirandola.

Sandro Botticelli.

Luca della Robbia.

The Poetry of Michelangelo.

Leonardo da Vinci.

The School of Giorgione. See 1877.

Joachim du Bellay.

Winckelmann.

Conclusion.

1889.

HIPPOLYTUS VEILED. Appeared in Macmillan's Magazine in August, 1889.
Reprinted 1895 in Greek Studies.

*GIORDANO BRUNO. Appeared in Fortnightly Review in August, 1889. (Not
included in the 1910 Macmillan Library Edition, but published
separately online at Project Gutenberg and www.ajdrake.com/etexts.)

APPRECIATIONS, WITH AN ESSAY ON STYLE. Published 1889 by Macmillan.
Contents:

Style. See 1888.

Wordsworth. See 1874.

Coleridge. See 1866.

Charles Lamb. See 1878.

Sir Thomas Browne. See 1886.

Love's Labours Lost. See 1878.

Measure for Measure. See 1874.

Shakespeare's English Kings.

*Aesthetic Poetry. See 1868.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti. See 1883.

Postscript. See under "Romanticism," 1876.

1890.

ART NOTES IN NORTHERN ITALY. Appeared in New Review in November, 1890.
Reprinted 1895 in Miscellaneous Studies.

PROSPER MÉRIMÉE. Delivered as a lecture at Oxford in November, 1890.
Appeared in Fortnightly Review in December, 1890. Reprinted 1895 in
Miscellaneous Studies.

APPRECIATIONS. Second edition. Macmillan. Contents as in first
edition of 1889, but omitting Aesthetic Poetry and including a paper on
Feuillet's "La Morte" (See 1886).

1892.

THE GENIUS OF PLATO. Appeared in Contemporary Review in February,
1892. Reprinted 1893 as Chapter VI of Plato and Platonism.

A CHAPTER ON PLATO. Appeared in Macmillan's Magazine in May, 1892.
Reprinted 1893 as Chapter I of Plato and Platonism.

LACEDAEMON. Appeared in Contemporary Review in June, 1892. Reprinted
1893 as Chapter VIII of Plato and Platonism.

EMERALD UTHWART. Appeared in New Review in June and July, 1892.
Reprinted 1895 in Miscellaneous Studies.

RAPHAEL. Delivered as a lecture at Oxford in August, 1892. Appeared
in Fortnightly Review in October, 1892. Reprinted 1895 in
Miscellaneous Studies.

1893.

APOLLO IN PICARDY. Appeared in Harper's Magazine in November, 1893.
Reprinted 1895 in Miscellaneous Studies.

PLATO AND PLATONISM. Published 1893 by Macmillan. Included, as
Chapters 1, 6, and 8, papers which had already appeared in Magazines in
1892. Contents:

1. Plato and the Doctrine of Motion.

2. Plato and the Doctrine of Rest.

3. Plato and the Doctrine of Number.

4. Plato and Socrates.

5. Plato and the Sophists.

6. The Genius of Plato.

7. The Doctrine of Plato -

I. The Theory of Ideas.

II. Dialectic.

8. Lacedaemon.

9. The Republic.

10. Plato's Aesthetics.

1894.

THE AGE OF ATHLETIC PRIZEMEN. Appeared in Contemporary Review in
February, 1894. Reprinted 1895 in Greek Studies.

SOME GREAT CHURCHES IN FRANCE. 1) NOTRE-DAME D'AMIENS; 2) VÉZELAY.
Appeared in Nineteenth Century in March and June, 1894. Reprinted 1895
in Miscellaneous Studies as two separate essays.

PASCAL. Written for delivery as a lecture at Oxford in July, 1894.
Appeared in Contemporary Review in December, 1894. Reprinted 1895 in
Miscellaneous Studies.

1895.

GREEK STUDIES. Published 1895 by Macmillan. Contents:

A Study of Dionysus. See 1876.

The Bacchanals of Euripides. See 1878.

The Myth of Demeter and Persephone. See 1875.

Hippolytus Veiled. See 1889.

The Beginnings of Greek Sculpture. See 1880:

1) The Heroic Age of Greek Art.

2) The Age of Graven Images.

The Marbles of Aegina. See 1880.

The Age of Athletic Prizemen. See 1894.



PROSPER MÉRIMÉE*

FOR one born in eighteen hundred and three much was recently become
incredible that had at least warmed the imagination even of the
sceptical eighteenth century. Napoleon, sealing the tomb of the
Revolution, had foreclosed many a problem, extinguished many a hope, in
the sphere of practice. And the mental parallel was drawn by Heine.
In the mental world too a great outlook had lately been cut off. After
Kant's criticism of the mind, its pretensions to pass beyond the limits
of individual experience seemed as dead as those of old French royalty.
And Kant did but furnish its innermost theoretic force to a more
general criticism, which had withdrawn from every department of action,
underlying principles once thought eternal. A time of disillusion
followed. The typical personality of the day was Obermann, the very
genius of ennui, a Frenchman disabused even of patriotism, who has
hardly strength enough to die.

[12] More energetic souls, however, would recover themselves, and find
some way of making the best of a changed world. Art: the passions,
above all, the ecstasy and sorrow of love: a purely empirical knowledge
of nature and man: these still remained, at least for pastime, in a
world of which it was no longer proposed to calculate the remoter
issues: - art, passion, science, however, in a somewhat novel attitude
towards the practical interests of life. The désillusionné, who had
found in Kant's negations the last word concerning an unseen world, and
is living, on the morrow of the Revolution, under a monarchy made out
of hand, might seem cut off from certain ancient natural hopes, and
will demand, from what is to interest him at all, something in the way
of artificial stimulus. He has lost that sense of large proportion in
things, that all-embracing prospect of life as a whole (from end to end
of time and space, it had seemed), the utmost expanse of which was
afforded from a cathedral tower of the Middle Age: by the church of the
thirteenth century, that is to say, with its consequent aptitude for
the co-ordination of human effort. Deprived of that exhilarating yet
pacific outlook, imprisoned now in the narrow cell of its own
subjective experience, the action of a powerful nature will be intense,
but exclusive and peculiar. It will come to art, or science, to the
experience of life itself, not as to portions of human nature's daily
food, but as to [13] something that must be, by the circumstances of
the case, exceptional; almost as men turn in despair to gambling or
narcotics, and in a little while the narcotic, the game of chance or
skill, is valued for its own sake. The vocation of the artist, of the
student of life or books, will be realised with something - say! of
fanaticism, as an end in itself, unrelated, unassociated. The science
he turns to will be a science of crudest fact; the passion extravagant,
a passionate love of passion, varied through all the exotic phases of
French fiction as inaugurated by Balzac; the art exaggerated, in matter
or form, or both, as in Hugo or Baudelaire. The development of these
conditions is the mental story of the nineteenth century, especially as
exemplified in France.

In no century would Prosper Mérimée have been a theologian or
metaphysician. But that sense of negation, of theoretic insecurity,
was in the air, and conspiring with what was of like tendency in
himself made of him a central type of disillusion. In him the passive
ennui of Obermann became a satiric, aggressive, almost angry conviction
of the littleness of the world around; it was as if man's fatal
limitations constituted a kind of stupidity in him, what the French
call bêtise. Gossiping friends, indeed, linked what was constitutional
in him and in the age with an incident of his earliest years.
Corrected for some childish fault, in passionate distress, he overhears
a half-pitying laugh at his expense, and has determined, [14] in a
moment, never again to give credit - to be for ever on his guard,
especially against his own instinctive movements. Quite unreserved,
certainly, he never was again. Almost everywhere he could detect the
hollow ring of fundamental nothingness under the apparent surface of
things. Irony surely, habitual irony, would be the proper complement
thereto, on his part. In his infallible self-possession, you might
even fancy him a mere man of the world, with a special aptitude for
matters of fact. Though indifferent in politics, he rises to social,
to political eminence; but all the while he is feeding all his
scholarly curiosity, his imagination, the very eye, with the, to him
ever delightful, relieving, reassuring spectacle, of those
straightforward forces in human nature, which are also matters of fact.
There is the formula of Mérimée! the enthusiastic amateur of rude,
crude, naked force in men and women wherever it could be found; himself
carrying ever, as a mask, the conventional attire of the modern
world - carrying it with an infinite, contemptuous grace, as if that,
too, were an all-sufficient end in itself. With a natural gift for
words, for expression, it will be his literary function to draw back
the veil of time from the true greatness of old Roman character; the
veil of modern habit from the primitive energy of the creatures of his
fancy, as the Lettres à une Inconnue discovered to general gaze, after
his death, a certain depth of [15] passionate force which had surprised
him in himself. And how forcible will be their outlines in an otherwise
insignificant world! Fundamental belief gone, in almost all of us, at
least some relics of it remain - queries, echoes, reactions,
after-thoughts; and they help to make an atmosphere, a mental
atmosphere, hazy perhaps, yet with many secrets of soothing light and
shade, associating more definite objects to each other by a perspective
pleasant to the inward eye against a hopefully receding background of
remoter and ever remoter possibilities. Not so with Mérimée! For him
the fundamental criticism has nothing more than it can do; and there
are no half-lights. The last traces of hypothesis, of supposition, are
evaporated. Sylla, the false Demetrius, Carmen, Colomba, that
impassioned self within himself, have no atmosphere. Painfully
distinct in outline, inevitable to sight, unrelieved, there they stand,
like solitary mountain forms on some hard, perfectly transparent day.
What Mérimée gets around his singularly sculpturesque creations is
neither more nor less than empty space.

So disparate are his writings that at first sight you might fancy them
only the random efforts of a man of pleasure or affairs, who, turning
to this or that for the relief of a vacant hour, discovers to his
surprise a workable literary gift, of whose scope, however, he is not
precisely aware. His sixteen volumes nevertheless range themselves in
three compact groups. There are his letters [16] - those Lettres à une
Inconnue, and his letters to the librarian Panizzi, revealing him in
somewhat close contact with political intrigue. But in this age of
novelists, it is as a writer of novels, and of fiction in the form of
highly descriptive drama, that he will count for most: - Colomba, for
instance, by its intellectual depth of motive, its firmly conceived
structure, by the faultlessness of its execution, vindicating the
function of the novel as no tawdry light literature, but in very deed a
fine art. The Chronique du Règne de Charles IX., an unusually
successful specimen of historical romance, links his imaginative work
to the third group of Mérimée's writings, his historical essays. One
resource of the disabused soul of our century, as we saw, would be the
empirical study of facts, the empirical science of nature and man,
surviving all dead metaphysical philosophies. Mérimée, perhaps, may
have had in him the making of a master of such science, disinterested,
patient, exact: scalpel in hand, we may fancy, he would have penetrated
far. But quite certainly he had something of genius for the exact
study of history, for the pursuit of exact truth, with a keenness of
scent as if that alone existed, in some special area of historic fact,
to be determined by his own peculiar mental preferences. Power here
too again, - the crude power of men and women which mocks, while it
makes its use of, average human nature: it was the magic function of
history to put one in living [17] contact with that. To weigh the
purely physiognomic import of the memoir, of the pamphlet saved by
chance, the letter, the anecdote, the very gossip by which one came
face to face with energetic personalities: there lay the true business
of the historic student, not in that pretended theoretic interpretation
of events by their mechanic causes, with which he dupes others if not
invariably himself. In the great hero of the Social War, in Sylla,
studied, indeed, through his environment, but only so far as that was
in dynamic contact with himself, you saw, without any manner of doubt,
on one side, the solitary height of human genius; on the other, though
on the seemingly so heroic stage of antique Roman story, the wholly
inexpressive level of the humanity of every day, the spectacle of man's
eternal bêtise. Fascinated, like a veritable son of the old pagan
Renaissance, by the grandeur, the concentration, the satiric hardness
of ancient Roman character, it is to Russia nevertheless that he most
readily turns - youthful Russia, whose native force, still unbelittled
by our western civilisation, seemed to have in it the promise of a more
dignified civilisation to come. It was as if old Rome itself were here
again; as, occasionally, a new quarry is laid open of what was thought
long since exhausted, ancient marble, cipollino or verde antique.
Mérimée, indeed, was not the first to discern the fitness for
imaginative service of the career of "the false Demetrius," pretended
[18] son of Ivan the Terrible; but he alone seeks its utmost force in a
calm, matter-of-fact carefully ascertained presentment of the naked
events. Yes! In the last years of the Valois, when its fierce
passions seemed to be bursting France to pieces, you might have seen,
far away beyond the rude Polish dominion of which one of those Valois
princes had become king, a display more effective still of exceptional
courage and cunning, of horror in circumstance, of bêtise, of course,
of bêtise and a slavish capacity of being duped, in average mankind:
all that under a mask of solemn Muscovite court-ceremonial. And
Mérimée's style, simple and unconcerned, but with the eye ever on its
object, lends itself perfectly to such purpose - to an almost phlegmatic
discovery of the facts, in all their crude natural colouring, as if he
but held up to view, as a piece of evidence, some harshly dyed oriental
carpet from the sumptuous floor of the Kremlin, on which blood had
fallen.

A lover of ancient Rome, its great character and incident, Mérimée
valued, as if it had been personal property of his, every extant relic
of it in the art that had been most expressive of its
genius - architecture. In that grandiose art of building, the most
national, the most tenaciously rooted of all the arts in the stable
conditions of life, there were historic documents hardly less clearly
legible than the manuscript chronicle. By the mouth of those stately
Romanesque [19] churches, scattered in so many strongly characterised
varieties over the soil of France, above all in the hot, half-pagan
south, the people of empire still protested, as he understood, against
what must seem a smaller race. The Gothic enthusiasm indeed was
already born, and he shared it - felt intelligently the fascination of
the Pointed Style, but only as a further transformation of old Roman
structure; the round arch is for him still the great architectural
form, la forme noble, because it was to be seen in the monuments of
antiquity. Romanesque, Gothic, the manner of the Renaissance, of Lewis
the Fourteenth: - they were all, as in a written record, in the old
abbey church of Saint-Savin, of which Mérimée was instructed to draw up
a report. Again, it was as if to his concentrated attention through
many months that deserted sanctuary of Benedict were the only thing on
earth. Its beauties, its peculiarities, its odd military features, its
faded mural paintings, are no merely picturesque matter for the pencil
he could use so well, but the lively record of a human society. With
what appetite! with all the animation of George Sand's Mauprat, he
tells the story of romantic violence having its way there, defiant of
law, so late as the year 1611; of the family of robber nobles perched,
as abbots in commendam, in those sacred places. That grey, pensive old
church in the little valley of Poitou, was for a time like Santa Maria
del Fiore to [20] Michelangelo, the mistress of his affections - of a
practical affection; for the result of his elaborate report was the


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