chapter  8
4 Pages

Art and Morals

A minor problem may occur here to the reader. It concerns the choice between a ‘crowded hour’ and ‘an age without a name’, and the place of the time factor in valuation. There are many very valuable states which cannot last very long in the { 4 5 }

nature of the case, and some of these seem to have disabling consequences. But, to take merely the most interesting instance, i f we knew more about the nervous constitution of genius we might discover that the instability from which so many people suffer who are at times best able to actualise the possibilities of life is merely a consequence of their plasticity; not in the least a price which they pay for such ‘high moments’, but rather a result in systems of great delicacy of wear and tear at lower levels of adjustment. It is generally those who have the least refined views of value who most readily believe that highly valuable hours must be paid for afterwards. Their conception of a ‘hectic time’ as the summit of human possibilities explains the opinion. For those who find that the most valuable experiences are those which are also most fruitful of further valuable experiences no problem arises. To the query whether they prefer a long life to a joyous one, they will reply that they find very satisfactory a life which is both.