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pression is seen in that impressive correspondence maintained among the members of the Port Royal School of pietists, in which Jansenism took the form of what has well been called a Calvinistic Catholicism, and these devoted souls poured forth their personal feeling in the most ardent strains possible to their vernacular. The same is true of Petrarch, .
, Dante and Tasso in Italy; of Calderon and Lope de Vega in Spain and Portugal, respectively; in a word, of all those romance writers who by reason of climate and national temper spoke and wrote and acted feelingly.
If we compare the different sections of the British Isles with this idea before us, the results are equally striking. The personality of the Scotch, the Irish and the Welsh is demonstrative and emotion“al, as distinct from that of the English, which is more cautious and reserved. We have but to open at random the pages of Knox, Melville, Rutherford, O'Connor, Grattan, Swift, Goldsmith, Burke and Chalmers to find the presence of the impassioned pervading the lines and the letters. All is expressive and impressive, in turn, thrilling and touching, fervent and fiery, and often overwhelming; enlisting, at once, the profoundest mental and ethical sympathies of the reader, and begetting in him a passion similar to theirs. These writers are all men of heart, experiencing what they write before they write it, and, often, carrying the convictions of their readers and auditors by the simple persuasiveness of passion.
It is highly probable, if not, indeed, historical, that there is no extant prose in any literature that may be said to be so saturated and surcharged with true emotive energy and individuality as the old Celtic prose. Possessed of comparatively little æsthetic grace, it is heated through and through with the inner fire of feeling, and vivifies us as we peruse it. Armies have been made victorious and great national movements furthered by its irresistible force, while, to this day, to him who is able to interpret them, those ancient British masterpieces are full of a “fine frenzy,” and awaken the deepest responses of the soul. The same principle holds, to a limited extent, in our own country, where the typical specimens of Southern argumentative or forensic prose are the choicest examples of passion on the side of personality. John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, or Henry Clay, of Kentucky, superbly illustrate this tropical intensity of thought and address.
Hence, one of the best methods of cultivating the impassioned style is, by developing personality of character, discussion and belief. However dependent the writer may be and must be on others, he must also be, in the best sense, independent of all external opinion; being, first and last, himself, and insisting on doing his own thinking. There is a sense in which every student and exponent of style must write ex cathedra—with personal and plenary authority, holding himself amenable to no higher laws than those of revealed truth itself and the finally accepted results of general opinion. True pas
sion in literature cannot coexist with the cringing, time-serving, slavish spirit. It must have air and space and freedom in which to vegetate and flourish. What is termed force of character is simply the intense expression of one's personality, and that involves courage, the attainment of the truth by individual methods, and a tenacious maintenance of the truth, increasing in its tenacity in proportion to the strength of the opposition. When Webster addressed the United States Senate on the Constitution and the Union; or Calhoun defended, in his inimitable way, the Nullification Doctrine, or Charles Sumner uttered his burning words on The Civil Rights Bill—there was passion in the style, and passion because of personality. These eminent advocates of their respective theories had lived along their own lines; done their own thinking; had a message for the people, reached by them through independent methods, and believed by them to be desirable and feasible, and the result, in each case, was nothing less than dramatic as to the intensity of interest that was evoked. The style, as it went on, passed from one degree of warmth unto another, on through the stage of ardent feeling to red heat and to white heat, melting and fusing whatever, at the time, came in contact with it. Personality is not always emotional, but no emotion can exist without it.
III. The third and final element of the style before us is, Power. It is, by way of special qual. ity, the effective or emphatic style-an order of style by which definite and, often, immediate results are accomplished. It may be said, indeed, that feeling, in its very nature, is forcible. There is in its very composition an impelling or a propelling factor, making it, thereby, more or less potent over all that it affects. Thomas De Quincey is fond of calling attention to the Literature of Knowledge and the Literature of Power, and of exalting this second type. We are here dealing with a literature of power-the power arising from the passion in the soul of the writer, and, as Webster would insist, also in the subject and the occasion. We speak, in this sense, of a nervous style; of a masterful style, possessed of what Dr. Chalmers has called "expulsive power.” There is a general progress under it from beginning to end which might be called—its momentum. Like a mighty river, fed by numerous tributaries, it gathers volume, velocity and power as it advances, until, at the end, it may be as irresistible as a great tidal wave. It is, in the best sense, impulsive, intensive and projective, marked by the presence of that “ vis vivida” that gives to all style its potential character. One of De Quincey's miscellaneous papers is suggestively styled “Suspiria de Profundis” -breathings from the depths. All truly impassioned writing is of this subterranean order--welling up from the lowermost levels of the nature of the writer and therefore influential over others. The diction, structure, method and figure-all are co
gent and convincing. There is the evident presence of mastery throughout. The author is in dead earnest and living earnest in what he is penning. He cannot express himself otherwise and be true to his deepest instincts and experiences. His feelings can neither be feigned nor repressed, and what he pens becomes, thereby, an active agency in literature and the life of the world.
It is very suggestive to note that the highest form of this impassioned power in style is in connection with the principle of ethical earnestness, that profound movement of soul which is nothing less than an upheaval of the entire sentient nature, and before whose uprising and ongoing nothing can successfully stand.
It is for this reason among others that within the sphere of sacred and pulpit prose some of the most effective results on record have been reached. Old Hugh Latimer, in the days of Henry VIII., wrote such an order of prose-potential from introduction to conclusion, and causing every guilty conscience whom it addressed to see its guilt as never before, and to confess it. This was the style which Richard Baxter used at Kidderminster ; which Dr. Barrow and Bishop South employed in the stormy days of the Revolution and Great Rebellion ; which the eloquent Gallic preacher Saurin used at the Hague, and which, in the hands of the American Edwards, lifted men fairly off their feet by the cogency of its appeals. . . It was in this impassioned and effective manner that the Re