Page:The Craftsmanship of Writing.djvu/105

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


decide in advance whether he means to be a preacher or an artist; for he cannot successfully be both. If he is a born fighter and his chosen weapons are words, it makes no difference which side of a controversy he espouses; he may fight for Whigs or Tories, slavery or emancipation, Christian Science or the Church of Rome—but to succeed he must put the whole vigour of his personality into it. Polemics can never be successfully made a matter of art for art's sake. On the other hand, in pure literature, whatever private feelings an author may have, whatever bias he may let us guess at, he has no business to intrude it deliberately into his written text. Mr. Frederic Harrison in his Memories and Thoughts has expressed this same important truth in a way that makes for remembrance:

Mark Pattison, of Oxford, used to say to a pupil who happens now to be both a brilliant