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Bel. That is quaint and curious, for the number 12—the enritpiros though perhaps far-fetched.
TUOun - the perfect number of Mal. It would not seem so to Plato and Aristotle. The triangle you
had studied these represents 3; the square 4: 4 symbols in the ancient writers. multiplied by 3 makes 12, the These geometric forms were hiero- perfect number; added to 3 makes glyphic statements, which were 7, the number used for the evocaconstantly used as symbols. tion of spirits. So that the tri
Bel. But I hope you had some- angle multiplied by the square thing a little more tangible in your makes the circle by which it is mind than this.
bounded. The numbers are mysMal. I mean to go on now as tical, and they all had their meanI have begun, and then you may ing. Read Plato's system of numlaugh as much as you please. Re- bers, and you will see this plainly. member that the temple of the Whether you understand them is Jews was four-square. Recall the quite another question. Nobody wheel of Ezekiel which contained yet has done so. Yet this comthe hieratic mysteries. I do not bination certainly coincides with mean to explain them all to you, certain formulas of his, which are but if you are interested in this not quite unintelligible at the question, I would refer you to present day. · La Haute Magie' of Levi, to Bel. Pray get to something the mysteries of the Tarot and practical. Rota, to the treatises of Gaffarel, Mal. Pazienza ! and I will. I and in a word to all the old magi- have already told you some days cal books on this question. You ago—and of course you treasure up will find enough to read if you all my remarks--that the Greeks choose.
had certain definite canons of proBel. Thanks. I will take all portion : first, that of Polycleitus, you say
for granted. Let us get which was the most celebrated, on to something a little more and the earliest definite canon of tangible and definite.
Greece; second, that of Euphranor; Mal. I merely alluded to this and third, that of Lysippus. All question, and don't mean to bore these were primarily founded on you with it.
There is already the Egyptian canons-on which, enough written about it to make probably, the ancient statues of a small library, and I don't mean Debutades of Samos were worked. to add to it. Now for the mathe. That they did work, even at his matics. When I have said that early period, on a definite canon, this symbol is the nearest approxi- is clear, because he is said to have mation to the squaring of the circle been able to make one half of a that is practically possible, I will statue in one place, and the other say no more on that point; only half in a different place, so that if you are interested calculate it, when brought together they exand I think you will be convinced. actly corresponded in proportion.
Bel. Don't say any more about The canon of Polycleitus is reportthe squaring of the circle. I am ed empirically by Vitruvius; but losing my mind already.
Vitruvius evidently did not unMal. Then come down to num. derstand the system, and only bers. The circle in all the ancient gives us certain measures, some of writers is founded on the dodecahe- which are entirely inaccurate. But dron, the 12-sided figure, and stands he adds at the end of his account
& statement which is vital to the In this way the figure can be whole system, and that is, that mathematically laid out in its prothe human figure was included in portions. a circle and a square
Bel. Explain a little more: give does not say.
Leonardo da Vinci me an instance. supposed he meant that the figure Mal. It is difficult to do so with its arms stretched out touched without this diagram of the circle, the boundaries of a square or circle with the diameter, the equilateral drawn round it; and by his sys- triangle, and the square inscribed. tem, as well as that of most of
But here is one those that have followed, the figure
on the wall, and was divided into so many heads.
I will show you Others take the cubit or fore-arm
practically what as the norm of measurement; and
I cannot clearly others, still unsatisfied with these,
explain by words. have sought to work out a different
Observe ! the disystem. But I will not go into
ameter, which is these. There is no time, and it
the longest meahas already been done in a treatise sure, gives the five great measureon Proportion, with all the dia- ments of the body-(1st) from grams and rules and measure the heel to the middle of the ments. Let us come back to Poly- patella (or knee-pan); (2d) thence cleitus. His system was founded, to the process of the pelvis, in my opinion, on the circle and at the angle where the great square - for so Vitruvius would abdominal muscle folds over it, indicate-and I add, also probably and which is always with the the triangle.
ancients & marked and distinctly Bel. But what is your system? asserted point; and (3d) thence to
Mal. The simplest in the world. the highest angle of the shoulder. I take } of the height of any It also measures (4th) from tho figure I wish to make as the fontanella to the base of the abdoradius of a circle, and in this men, and (5th) the utmost breadth circle I inscribe an equilateral across the shoulders of the male triangle and a square, subdividing figure outside the deltoids. The each of them into 3ds and 4ths. side of the triangle measures the This diagram contains all the pro- whole figure into four parts—from portions of the human figure of the the heel to the base of the patella, size I wish to represent it, with thence to the pubis, thence to the exactitude and precision. Having nipples, thence to the top of the it before me, I can at once and head. The square divides it into absolutely give you every length, five parts, and measures the arms. depth, or breadth of the whole Take, as indicating the coincidence figure, as well as of all its parts of these measures, the lower leg. without looking at the figure, and The diameter measures from the entirely independent of it. Every heel to the middle of the patella ; one of these measures, taken either the triangle from the heel to the by the triangle or the square or the base of the patella, or from the diameter, coincides with and proves middle of the patella to the ankle ; the measures taken by the other. and the square from the ankle
1 Seo 'Proportions of the Human Figure according to a New Canon.. by W. W. Story: published by Messrs Chapman & Hall.
to the base of the patella. Again, when the body or limbs are bent, the radius divides the total height In this system, however, cogniinto 7 parts-half the base of the sance is taken of this fact. For triangle into 8 parts, the square instance, when the arm is straight into 5 parts, and, of course, half the measure from the shoulder to the square into 10 parts. Tak- the elbow, and thence to the ing the supposed and ordinarily knuckles, is the square. When affirmed height of the
whole the arm is bent at an angle, the human figure at 8 heads, the condyle at the elbow is thrown head would be half the base of the out, and the measure of both parts triangle; or, as in some systems, is necessarily longer, and is of taking the whole height to be 7 the triangle. But I have already heads, the head · would be the said too much I fear, and I will radius. But practically, and in enter into no more particulars. I Nature, the head is always more will only add that there on the tban f of the height, and in the wall is a drawing of the human best proportioned figures is less figure, with the proportions as than . This is equally true in given by this diagram applied to Art. There is not of all the an it; and, as you can see for yourtique statues a single one which self, every part is thus measured, is 8 heads high. The head in Na even to the smallest, and each ture and in Art always divides the measurement proves the other. figure fractionally, and is there- There is an absolute coincidence fore a very bad norm of measure of all to the same result. By in itself, and very difficult of ap- this system, therefore, we have a plication. What is the absolute scientific and mathematical standmeasure of any head is difficult ard of proportions which is perwith perfect accuracy to determine fectly easy to apply in practice,
-the measure having necessarily to and absolute, not proximate. be taken on the curve of the cra Bel. Well, though you began in nium-and a little more in front the mystical clouds, you have at or a little more behind the absolute last come down on terra firma. centre variés the measure. In this Do you always use this system, system I am endeavouring to ex- and do you find it practical ? plain, the head is not a norm of Mal. Certainly.! I never should measure at all. It is neither } think of using any other since I (the radius) nor } (the half of the discovered this. It is the only side of the triangle)—it is of the simple, easy, practical, and accusquare,
which represents a fraction rate system I know. There is between the two. That fraction not the least difficulty in using is precisely the difference between it, and I know absolutely when 8 times the base of the triangle, I am wrong. and 5 times the side of the square. Bel. Have you ever applied it On this point I could say much to the ancient statues ? more, about squaring the circle, Mal. Yes ; to many, and with &c., but I spare you. One thing great care, and it so exactly conmore let me, however, say. Oddly forms to them that I cannot but enough, in all the systems of pro be persuaded that they adopted portions that I ever saw,
some such method. But we have sures only are given of the body and had enough of this. I did not limbs when erect or straight, while mean to go on so far, but it came no cognisance is taken of the fact into our talk about dreams, and that the measures entirely differ you have led me on.
Bel. To go back to our dreams miore probable that he will. in the that was
a remarkable one by heat of the nioment and the presColeridge during which he com sure of the feeling, seize the fitposed the “ Vision of Kubla Khan.” test modes of expression; and I It is so exquisitely musical in its cannot but think he should be rhythm, so full of charm and grace, careful what changes he afterwards
clear in narrative, though makes in the exercise of a cold touched so imaginatively, that it critical faculty. Undoubtedly, scarcely seems possible that it was on carefully re-reading it, he may really written during sleep. often change passages with advan
Mal. I daresay, in writing it tage, give it more closeness and down, Coleridge unconsciously
unconsciously accuracy, charge it more with feelvaried and reduced it to consecu- ing, or retrench it in its looseness. tiveness ; but I can never think of But he may also work out of a that man from Porlock
composition all its life and freedom patience, who interrupted him by over-elaboration, and make it while lie was writing it down, stiff
, artificial, or affected. Writand robbed us for ever of the un- ing should at least seem easy and told remainder. When Coleridge natural, however much we work had transacted his business with over it, and there is great danger this man he went back to his in making too many changes poem, you remember, and it had all and retouching too often. Ву escaped ; and so, like Chaucer, he going over and over anything its
freshness is gradually lost, until, “left untold
at last, to the tired sense any The story of Cambuscan bold."
change seems improvement.
On the contrary, in the enthusiasm Bel. Milton is usually so correct of composition we often snatch a id his names and quantities that it grace beyond the reach of art, is amazing how he could thus have beyond what we could in colder mispronounced the Cambus Khan moments have caught. Invariably of Chaucer. Could he have been when an author, after his poems familiar with the original ?
have become known and popular, Mål. It was probably the exi- attempts to change them, the world gency of the rhythm which induced rebels, and generally with justice. the change. But I am not sure The change is scarcely ever an imthat in this poem Coleridge did provement. Some poems that I not, as he did in “ Christabel,” could instance have, I know, before leave it purposely untold they were printed, been so fin
Bel. No matter; Martin Far- gered and finished and altered quhar Tupper finished “ Christa- that they have lost all nature out bel” for him.
of them, and many a one, I have Mal. Oan presumption go far no doubt, was fresher and stronger ther ! “ Fools will rush in whero when it first came from the brain angels fear to tread."
before it had been tampered with. Bel. What do you think of the An author should be careless of old maxim about keeping a work critics while he is writing, or he seven years, and constantly correct will risk losing his freshness and
originality; and I fairly believe Mal. I disbelieve in it utterly. that this fear of what might be When a writer has the accomplish- said has hampered many a man ment of writing, and is full of and spoiled his work. enthusiasm in his wor', is is at Bel. You cannot lay down any
ing it .
universal rule on this point. Some scenes written by his collaborators, writers do their best at once ; the and wrote them himself. Mr strain of thought bursts out like Richard Grant White's masterly a spring and will have its way. essay on the Henrys I think estab
lishes this beyond question, as far
« Etrusci Quale fuit Cassi rapido ferventivs amni fact, I doubt whether we have the
as those plays are concerned. In Ingenium,"
true text of any of the plays preas Horace says. With others in- cisely as Shakespeare wrote them, vention is slow, and takes form but rather in many parts as they with difficulty, oozing forth as it were “accommodated by the actors were like lavay and not gushing on the stage, or changed in the out like a torrent. John Webster, transcribing. Evidently Shakefor instance, wrote so slowly and speare himself was utterly indifferwith such difficulty those wonder- ent as to his plays, and took no ful tragedies of his, that his con care to have correct copies made temporaries and friends jeered and preserved. He seems to have bim ironically for his easy par- left the actors to do as they turition ; but his work, though pleased with them, and probably born with such pains, still lives. the first folio was printed ery Shakespeare, on the contrary, much from the actors' transcripts, wrote evidently fast, and Ben and not from the original manuJonson reproaches him with never scripts by Shakespeare himself. correcting; but his mind was Many of the passages are plainly exceeding full, and his power over interpretations of actors' so-called his materials extraordinary. Ben "gag, "-others are plainly printer's Jonson himself often corrected his mistakes. own verse into stiffness and artifici Bel. Yes, undoubtedly; but how ality. As for Shakespeare, I doubt unwilling we are even to correct whether he would have improved what are plainly misprints! But anything he did by going over it a perhaps we are wise in this ; for second time. know that in the otherwise, heaven knows what first printed play of “Hamlet” some would be corrected away and reof the finest passages are wanting fashioned ! I, for my part, am glad which are to be seen in the second, that there is a superstition about but I have no belief that he ever correcting even what is manirewrote it, as critics say.
festly wrong. Mal. No, nor I. My own be Mal. I could not go as far as lief is that the first “Hamlet” was that-indeed I have even been so a surreptitious copy, taken down presumptuous as to try my hand from the actors or the theatre, at such corrections. published without his knowledge, Bel. Let me have some. and full of errors and omissions. Mal. Not now-another time. So, too, I believe this was the case Bel. Rogers wrote slowly and with some of the historical plays corrected indefatigably. . He is which were printed in his life said to have rewritten a score of time. In these there are great times the anecdotes in the Notes differences from the plays as they
as they to his Italy.' appear in the first folio, but this Mal. He was just the man to was because originally he wrote do it, and I daresay he improved them in connection with others, them each time; but this was beand afterwards struck out the cause he was utterly without fire
VOL. OXLVI.NO. DCOOLXXXVII.