The intellectual turning-point— first conception of a literary Prose.The intellectual turning-point came when Poetry ceased to have a sway of which the exclusiveness rested on the presumption that no thought can be expressed artistically which is not expressed metrically. So soon as it had been apprehended that to forsake poetical form was not necessarily to renounce beauty of expression, an obstacle to clear reflection had been overcome. Mythology and cosmical speculation began to have a rival,—a curiosity withdrawn from the cloud-regions of the past or of the infinite to the things of practical life. And this life itself was growing more complex. The present, with its problems which must be solved under penalties, was becoming ever more importunate, and would no longer suffer men's thoughts to wander in mazes where they could find no end:— “The riddling Sphinx put dim things from our minds,
And set us to the questions at our doors.