As to that spontaneity, that seizure, that Platonic divination, that poetic 'fury, which our prose philosopher scans in so many places so curiously, which he defines so carefully and strictly, so broadly too, as the poetic condition that thing which he appears to admire so much, as having something a little demoniacal in it withal, that same 'fine' thing which the Poet himself speaks of by a term not any less questionable, as to this poetic inspiration, it is not necessary to claim that it is a thing with which this Poet, the Poet of a new era, the Poet, the deliverer of an Inductive Learning, has had himself, personally, no acquaintance.
We give excessive weight, in our days, to spontaneity in all things, apt to think that only the accidental, the unsought, can be vital; but it is true in many things, and truest in all matters of the imagination and the heart, that the desire to experience any sentiment will powerfully conduce to its production, and even give it a strength due to the long incubation of the wish.
The establishment of monarchies and republics, caste-distinctions, judicial institutions, etc., are so many manifestations of this social spontaneity, to note the effects of which is much easier than to point out its principle and show its cause.
Concreteness of expression and occasional illustration are more needed in speech than in writing, and the brief anecdote or story is welcome and useful if there is room for it, and if it comes unbidden, by virtue of its fitness and spontaneity, and is not drawn in by the ears for half- hearted service. The inevitable story at the opening of an after-dinner speech might often be spared.
One form of success had gone: he was no more the lion of the season, and he had not discovered his gift for writing comedy, yet I think I knew him at the happiest moment of his life. No scandal had darkened his fame, his fame as a talker was growing among his equals, & he seemed to live in the enjoyment of his own spontaneity.
In all spontaneity the work of creation is reproduced in analogy. When the spontaneity is unconscious, you have simple action; when it is conscious, intelligent and moral action. Everything which is, is thought, but not conscious and individual thought. The human intelligence is but the consciousness of being.
To obey such laws, if we may call it obedience, requires only spontaneity and free opportunity. That governments do not maintain themselves through such harmonious factors is proven by the terrible array of violence, force, and coercion all governments use in order to live. Thus Blackstone is right when he says, "Human laws are invalid, because they are contrary to the laws of nature."
The spontaneity of her wit, her natural aptitude to comprehend and decide upon all sorts of questions, made up for her deficiency in that kind of information which is acquired from books and other modes of study, and often stood her in good stead, both on the part of her detractors and of her partisans, of the lofty characteristics of "great genius."
And while it is thus a philosophical impossibility to demonstrate that any given phænomenon is not the effect of a material cause, any one who is acquainted with the history of science will admit, that its progress has, in all ages, meant, and now, more than ever, means, the extension of the province of what we call matter and causation, and the concomitant gradual banishment from all regions of human thought of what we call spirit and spontaneity.
It makes its own style, just as a human spirit makes its own features and gait; and we know Stevenson through all his transformations only by dint of the exquisite distinction and felicity of word and phrase that always characterize him. Now, with Bulwer there is none of this lovely inevitable spontaneity.