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The game of thought is, on the appearance of one of these two sides, to find the other; given the upper, to find the under side.
On the other part, the men of toil and trade and luxury,—the animal world, including the animal in the philosopher and poet also,—and the practical world, including the painful drudgeries which are never excused to philosopher or poet any more than to the rest,—weigh heavily on the other side.
The trade in our streets believes in no metaphysical causes, thinks nothing of the force which necessitated traders and a trading planet to exist; no, but sticks to cotton, sugar, wool, and salt.
I have often bought a man much better than both of you, all muscles and bones, for ten guineas.
Thus, the men of the senses revenge themselves on the professors, and repay scorn for scorn.
Read the haughty language in which Plato and the Platonists speak of all men who are not devoted to their own shining abstractions: other men are rats and mice. The correspondence of Pope and Swift describes mankind around them as monsters; and that of Goethe and Schiller, in our own time, is scarcely more kind. The genius is a genius by the first look he casts on any object. Does he not rest in angles and colors, but beholds the design—he will presently undervalue the actual object.
In powerful moments, his thought has dissolved the works of art and nature into their causes, so that the works appear heavy and faulty.
Neither will he be betrayed to a book, and wrapped in a gown.
The studious class are their own victims; they are thin and pale, their feet are cold, their heads are hot, the night is without sleep, the day a fear of interruption,—pallor, squalor, hunger, and egotism.