pious wish that the impulse may be less
rare in the professor than it seems. For a spark in his soul from the
fire of justice is sufficient to irradiate and purify it, so that he
can rest no more and is driven for ever from the cold or lukewarm
condition in which most of his fellows do their daily work.
All these elements, or a part of them, must be regarded as fused and
pounded together, to form the Servant of Truth. For the sake of an
absolutely inhuman thing--mere purposeless, and therefore motiveless,
knowledge--a mass of very human little motives have been chemically
combined, and as the result we have the professor,--so transfigured
in the light of that pure unearthly object that the mixing and
pounding which went to form him are all forgotten! It is very
curious. Yet there are moments when they must be remembered,--when we
have to think of the professor's significance to culture. Any one
with observation can see that he is in his essence and by his origin
unproductive, and has a natural hatred of the productive; and thus
there is an endless feud between the genius and the savant in idea
and practice. The latter wishes to kill Nature by analysing and
comprehending it, the former to increase it by a new living Nature.
The happy age does not need or know the savant; the sick and sluggish
time ranks him as its highest and worthiest.
Who were physician enough to know the health or sickness of our time?
It is clear that the professor is valued too highly, with evil
consequences for the future genius, for whom he has no compassion,
merely a cold, contemptuous criticism, a shrug of the shoulders, as
if at something strange and perverted for which he has neither time
nor inclination. And so he too knows nothing of the aim of culture.
In fact, all these considerations go to prove that the aim of culture
is most unknown precisely where the interest in it seems liveliest.
The state may trumpet as it will its services to culture, it merely
helps culture in order to help itself, and does not comprehend an aim
that stands higher than its own well-being or even existence. The
business men in their continual demand for education merely wish
for--business. When the pioneers of "good form" pretend to be the
real helpers of culture, imagining that all art, for example, is
merely to serve their own needs, they are clearly affirming
themselves in affirming culture. Of the savant enough has already
been said. All four are emulously thinking how
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