with flint and steel, which I well remember his doing, rather than accept the innovation of a friction-match.
Realism must hold the field so long as it has a right to do it, and it can only be asked to fulfil the conditions of its being.
If we excuse it, as we plainly must, from the perpetuation of the guide-board, we can only ask that it shall go on and do its work so well that no such aid shall be needed; that its moral, where there is one, shall be reasonably plain; that is, so clearly put as to produce a minimum of misunderstanding.
How important this is may be appreciated when we consider that so great an artist as Goethe
, writing Die Wahlverwandschaften
, expressly, as he thought, to vindicate the marriage laws, was supposed by his whole generation to have written against them, simply through an ill-chosen title and a single unseemly incident.
And another reasonable condition is that fiction, being thus set free, should be a law unto itself and stop short of undesirable materials; that it should obey that high and significant maxim of the Roman
augurs-never to let the sacred entrails be displayed outside the solemnity of the temple.
It is for disregard in this respect, and not for any want of serious purpose-since he usually has such a purpose,