The Ancient Library

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them. The difference of purpose again involves attention to the appropriate arguments, according as these are common to all, or particular.

The power of convincing, however, depends not merely on oratorical conclusions, but also on the credibility of the orator, and the disposition of the hearers. Therefore it is necessary to shew how the favourable disposition requisite on every occasion is to be produced in the mind of the hearer. But a person must know not only what to say, but also how to say it. Therefore rhetoric has, by way of conclusion, to treat of oratorical expression and arrangement.

2. Poetics.—" Thou, 0 man, alone possessest art!" This dictum of Schiller's is already ex­pressed by Aristotle. (Met. i. 1.) In art the production of a work is the main matter and the main purpose, whilst the purpose of oratory, which is throughout practical, is extraneous to speech itself. The relation of art to morality and virtue is, on the side of the artist, a very slight one; for, with dispositions and sentiments, which in actions form the most important point, we have nothing to do in the practice of art, where the main thing is the production (iroiew') of a work. On the other hand, however, every art, and every work of art, exerts a moral influence, purifies and purges the. stronger emotions of the soul, strengthens and elevates the mind.

Art, like nature, produces by fashioning organic­ally, but, with consciousness (PJtys. ii. 8), and its creative efforts, as well as the contemplation of these efforts, and of the work of art produced, be­long to those higher exertions of the mind (rci. Treptrra) which have their purpose in themselves. Aristotle, indeed, in accordance with the light in which the matter was generally viewed by the ancients, reckons art amongst the higher purposes of the state and of religion (Polit. viii.); but with him it has also already the signification of an inde­pendent creation of the mind, which ennobles reality, and which again draws within its sphere religion and morality likewise.

All the several arts find a common bond of union in this, that they are all imitations (fJu^TJcrGisJ, i. e. all arts, epic poetry, tragedy, comedy, lyric poetry, music, orchestic (the art of dancing), painting, and statuary, strive after truth, the real essence of things, which they represent. That which distinguishes the arts from each other lies partly in the diversity of the means by which they represent, partly in the object of representation, partly in the mode of representation. According to this diversity arise the distinct differences in the arts, the species of art, and the different styles of art. Plow, according to Aristotle's view, the beautiful developed and manifested itself in the separate arts, can be pointed out only with reference to poetry, because this is the only art that Aris­totle (in his work irepl iroiririK^^ has treated of. Poetry is the product of inspiration (Rhet. iii. 7), and its means of representation is language, metri­cal as well as unmetrical. (Poet. 1.) Improvisa­tions form the historical starting-point for all poetry, which from its very commencement divides itself into two principal directions, that which follows the more homely, and that which follows the more exalted. This depended on the peculiar character of the poet. A delicate perception of what is correct and appropriate, an acute faculty of observation, and a mind easily excitable and


capable of inspiration (5co evQvovs 7} iroifiTLK^ €ffriv rj fjLavtKov, Rhet. ii. 15 extr.) make the poet, who at the same time cannot dispense with discretion. The external form of the representa­tion, the metre, is not decisive as to whether anything is poetry or not. The history of Hero­dotus reduced to metre would still remain a his­tory. (Poet. 9.) A subject becomes poetical only through a lively, vivid mode of representation, and the principal point is the composition and ar­rangement of the matter, the cr^decris (or crvarao'ts) t&v irpzypaTtov (Poet. 7), in other words, the invention or idea, which has assumed a lively form in the poet; and this is the starting-point, and as it were the soul of poetry (dpx?) Kal olov ^v^n 6 {j.vQos rrjs rpaycptiias, Poet. 7*). Poetry is more comprehensive and philosophical than his­tory ; for whilst history is restricted to individual actual facts, the poet takes higher ground, and re­presents in the particular that which, considered in itself, can happen at any time; that which is universally applicable and necessary. The univer­sal in poetry, however, is not an abstract, in­definite something, but manifests itself in tho characteristic individuality of person by means of language and action in accordance with internal probability and necessity. (Poet. 9.) Whilst therefore in poetry everything individual, as im­porting something universal, is thoroughly signifi­cant, history, on the other hand, relates in chrono­logical succession what the individual has really done, and what has happened to him, The his­torian is restricted as to the order, arrangement., and succession of the facts which he describes; the poet has these unrestrictedly under his dominion. With these individual features of Aristotle's Poetics we must here content ourselves, as a com­plete examination of his theory of the epos and of the drama might easily lead us beyond the limits to which we are restricted.

IX. appendix.

The main sources for the life of Aristotle are lost to us. The number of works on biography and literary history extant in antiquity, from which information might have been obtained respecting Aristotle, must have been immense, since out of Diogenes Laertius alone the names of nearly 40 such writers may be collected, whose works, with the exception of single quotations, have disappeared.

With respect to Aristotle in particular, we have to regret the loss of the works of Hermippua of Smyrna, Timotheus of Athens, Demetrius of Magnesia (6 TAayvys), Pseudo-Aristippus, Apollo-dorus of Athens, Eumelus, Phavorinus, &c., as well as those of Aristoxenus of Tarentum, Apellicon Teos, Sotion, Aristocles of Messene, Damascius, Andronicus of Rhodes, and Ptolemaeus Philadel-phus.

The scanty and confused sources still extant are the following : — 1. Diogenes Laertius, v. 1— 35 ; 2. Dionysius of lialicarnassus, Epistola ad Ammaeum de Demostlwne et Aristotele; 3. Pseudo-Ammonius, ^ vita Aristotelis, by a later com-

* Aristotle, indeed, is there speaking only of tragedy, but what he says of the mythus with re­ference to tragedy applies to all poetry.

=f Victor Cousin, in the Journal des Savans^ December, 1832, p. 747, maintains the authenticity of this little biography.

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