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TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Esoteric Tendency in Literature: Browning
Subjective Landscape Art: George Inness
An Instance of Conversion: Tolstoi .
A Type of Transition: William Morris
The Sociological Viewpoint in Art
The Philosophy of the Betterment Movement .
The Philosophic and Religious Ground: Walt Whitman .
I am to make constant use of the word democracy in the following studies yet I am unable to give it precise definition. I understand, however, that the term is indica tive of a new order of ideas. Broadly speaking it represents an attitude of mind that is opposed to the monarchic and aristocratic. As yet the foundations of the social order are largely aristocratic. The new ideas are obscured and their effects destroyed by the stream of traditionary tendency. My purpose, then, is to separate the new order from the old, to gather materials for a definition from the more subtle fields of distinction, leaving the final formulation to those who shall live within the new world. I have in view certain phenomena that seem to me to be the effects of the new spirit of life which we call democracy. Democracy signifies the uprise of the people, the "masses," their complete utterance and exercise in politics, art, education, religion, and all other forms of human activity. Probably the first result of the denial of the feudal relation was felt in the sphere of government. The American Revolutionists discarded at the first political inequality which was exemplified in arbitrary taxation, though they continued to maintain nearly every other feudal condition. Washington might well have been proclaimed King at the time of his election to the presidency and in the states of the South a genuine aristocracy was upheld until the civil war. The principle
of popular control was, however, acknowledged and in Lincoln, the peasant president, the man of common fibre, unlettered in the European sense of culture, yet the accredited prophet of the new social order, truly called by Lowell "the First American," the advent of the people was fully justified. But to describe democratic polity in the sphere of government is no part of my motive. I have in mind the more subtle effects of democracy, its radiation in art, industry, education, and religion. Now one of the new ideas is the doctrine of labor as distinguished from the aristocratic doctrine of leisure. "Blessed is he who has found his work" spoke out Carlyle. But what is the nature of that work from which the ancient curse has been removed-work which is a tangible blessing in itself, a pleasure even as sleep and food? In truth a new industrialism is forming. Moreover a new sense of life itself is shaping among those whose perceptions are not obscured by power and luxury and a Maeterlinck is born to become the prophet of the humble. "There are about us," says Maeterlinck, in one of his recent essays, “thousands of poor creatures who have nothing of beauty in their lives; they come and go in obscurity, and we believe all is dead within them; and no one pays any heed. And then one day a simple word, an unexpected silence, a little tear that springs from the source of beauty itself, tells us they have found the means of raising aloft, in the shadow of their soul, an ideal a thousand times more beautiful than the most beautiful things their ears have ever heard or their eyes ever seen. O, noble and pallid ideals of silence and shadow! It is you, above all, who soar direct to God!" Where this thing is true, where the speech inclines to silence, where life is esoteric, of