UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Deception and artifice in four late Browning poems : Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau, Fifine at the fair,… Slinn, Errol Warwick 1971

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1971_A1 S45.pdf [ 10.71MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0101867.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0101867-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0101867-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0101867-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0101867-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0101867-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0101867-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0101867-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0101867.ris

Full Text

DECEPTION AND ARTIFICE IN FOUR LATE BROWNING POEMS: PRINCE HOHENSTIEL-SCHWANGAU, FIFINE AT THE FAIR, RED COTTON NIGHT-CAP COUNTRY AND THE INN ALBUM by ERROL WARWICK SLINN B . A . , U n i v e r s i t y of Canterbury , 1964 M . A . ( H o n s . ) , U n i v e r s i t y of Canterbury , 1966 M . A . , U n i v e r s i t y of H a w a i i , 1967 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n the Department of E n g l i s h We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d s tandard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA / August , 1971 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t pe rmiss ion fo r e x t e n s i v e copy ing o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s understood that copying o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l ga in s h a l l not be a l lowed wi thout my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department of English  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8 , Canada Date 11th August. 1971 ABSTRACT Whi le decept ion and i t s a r t i f i c e s have been recognized as c e n t r a l to Browning's p o e t r y , they have not been examined i n h i s l a t e works . The dominat ing concept i n The Ririg and the Book t h a t fa l sehood i s u b i q u i t -ous i n human e x i s t e n c e prov ides Browning w i t h impetus f o r the next decade, as he attempts f u r t h e r to understand and dramat ize both the means by which man obscures t r u t h , and - the c i r c u m s t a n c e s , i f any , under which man may ac t a c c o r d i n g to some s o r t o f moral p e r c e p t i o n . P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau presents a persona who manipulates p o i n t of view i n o rder to mask h i s i n s e c u r i t y . His f i n a l r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t h i s p o l i t i c a l benevolence i s an i l l u s i o n leads not to s a l v a t i o n but to an impasse, s i n c e the t r u t h he perce i ves i s t h a t a l l language i s i n e v i t a b l y f a l s e , and t h e r e f o r e a l l arguments i n e v i t a b l y f u t i l e . Once he r e l i n q u i s h e s d e c e p t i o n , he i s a t the mercy of chance. Don Juan i n F i f i n e at the F a i r f l a u n t s the a r t i f i c e s of language and mind o v e r t l y and d e l i b e r a t e l y . He apprehends both the elements of decept ion i n a l l pe rceptua l p r o c e s s e s , and h i s dependence f o r knowledge on the m i s l e a d i n g appearances of r e a l i t y ; c o n s e q u e n t l y , he r e a l i z e s a " h i s t r i o n i c t r u t h " which i s based on t h i s r e a l i s t i c understanding of man's l i m i t a t i o n s and which enables him momentari ly to r e c o n c i l e the c o n -f l i c t i n g impulses of sou l and f l e s h . In Red Cotton N ight -Cap Count ry , M i r a n d a ' s d i s a s t r o u s leap of f a i t h i s the r e s u l t of h i s i n s u f f i c i e n t s t reng th of i n t e l l e c t to pe rce i ve p r o p e r l y the f u n c t i o n o f r e l i g i o u s symbol . A l l the c h a r a c t e r s i n t h i s i i i s t o r y adhere to e x t e r n a l s i g n s , e i t h e r symbols o f b e l i e f or i n d i c a t i o n s of s o c i a l c o n v e n t i o n . C l a r a , the cous ins and the c l e r g y e x p l o i t the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of d e c e p t i o n , t a k i n g advantage of M i randa 's impuls iveness and f lawed p e r c e p t i o n . His death i s r a t i o n a l i n a perverse sense a c c o r d -i n g to h i s c i rcumstances and t r a i n i n g , but h i s reasoning f u n c t i o n s i n terms of a na ive l i t e r a l i s m . He d i e s , a v i c t i m o f the i n e p t attempt of h i s fancy to merge the r e a l i t y of i l l u s i o n w i t h the r e a l i t y of p h y s i c a l f a c t . The Inn Album dramat izes the r e a c t i o n of .three people to the know-ledge and d i s c o v e r y of f a l s e h o o d . The Lord views decept ion as c h a r a c t e r -i z i n g human m o r a l i t y and he e x p l o i t s i t s , p o s s i b i l i t i e s to impose h i s c y n i c a l des ign on o t h e r s . The Youth acts i m p u l s i v e l y and n a t u r a l l y to dest roy i t , but he r e t a i n s the same obtuse i d e a l i s m at the end w i t h which he admires the Lord at the b e g i n n i n g — h e has swapped a master f o r a m i s -t r e s s . The Lady reac ts w i th h o r r o r , f t r y i n g to escape from fa lsehood and to p u r i f y i t s leprous t o u c h — h e r s u i c i d e i s a k ind of martyrdom to the cause of t a i n t e d p u r i t y . The L o r d ' s s o c i a l a r t i f i c e s , e p i t o m i z i n g human p r e t e n t i o u s n e s s and s o p h i s t i c a t e d b e h a v i o u r , are c o n t r a s t e d w i t h the spontaneous beauty and n a t u r a l a r t of the landscape . Man's d e c e i t o u t -rages the c i v i l i z a t i o n of the n a t u r a l w o r l d . None of these poems o f f e r s the p u r e l y generous response of r i g h t a g a i n s t wrong; even good a c t i o n s r e t a i n an element of s e l f i s h n e s s . Browning does , however, a l l o w the reader t o judge h i s c h a r a c t e r s and h i s p o i n t of view which u n d e r l i e s each poem t e s t i f i e s to a t . l e a s t the p o s s i b i l i t y of a b s t r a c t i n g and a u t h e n t i c a t i n g values from human e x p e r i e n c e . Much of the i n t e r e s t i n these dramas of consc iousness l i e s i n the p a r a -d o x i c a l a b i l i t y o f reason to p e r c e i v e good o r u n s e l f i s h n e s s w h i l e i t s i m u l t a n e o u s l y dece ives i t s e l f . The re f inement of i n t e l l e c t leads to the o b s c u r i t y of e a r t h l y r e a l i t y as w e l l as to the apprehension of i t s e s s e n t i a l l y ambiguous n a t u r e . These poems are d r a m a t i c , u n i f i e d and more i n t e l l i g i b l e than many c r i t i c s have a d m i t t e d . They undoubtedly emphasize the exper ience of the m i n d , but they are not d e v o i d - o f emot ion . J u a n ' s sense of the " h i s t r i o n i c t r u t h " combines Browning's a e s t h e t i c w i th h i s m e t a p h y s i c , and Browning as always l o c a t e s i n t e l l e c t u a l ques -t i o n s w i t h i n the l a b y r i n t h s o f p e r s o n a l i t y . CONTENTS Page INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . 1 Chapter One PRINCE HOHENSTIEL-SCHWANGAU, SAVIOUR OF SOCIETY: SELF-DECEPTION AND THE ARTIFICE OF POINT OF VIEW : . . . . 10 Two FIFINE AT THE FAIR: HISTRIONIC TRUTH AND THE FLAUNTING OF ARTIFICE 64 Three RED COTTON NIGHT-CAP COUNTRY, OR TURF AND TOWERS: FLAWED PERCEPTION AND THE ART OF SELF-PRESERVATION 134 Four THE INN ALBUM: CIVILIZATION AND THE ARTIFICES OF CYNICISM 172 F i ve THE DRAMA OF CONSCIOUSNESS 206 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 233 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I should l i k e to make s e v e r a l b r i e f acknowledge-ments. I am most g r a t e f u l to my s u p e r v i s o r , P r o f e s s o r W. E. Fredeman, f o r h i s encouragement, h i s e x c e l l e n t c r i -t i c i s m of my work and f o r h i s h e l p f u l adv ice at a l l t i m e s . I am indebted to P r o f e s s o r W. Robbins and to Dr . M. K. Goldberg f o r t h e i r many u s e f u l comments as my d i s s e r t a t i o n p r o g r e s s e d , and p a r t i c u l a r l y to P r o f e s s o r Robbins f o r h i s generous a s s i s t a n c e i n a r rang ing the f i n a l e x a m i n a t i o n . I would a l s o l i k e to mention Dr . J . F. HuTcoop, who f i r s t drew my a t t e n t i o n to Browning's long poems and to t h a t c r u c i a l l i n e i n F i f i n e at the F a i r , "The h i s t r i o n i c t r u t h i s i n the n a t u r a l l i e . " DECEPTION AND ARTIFICE IN FOUR LATE BROWNING POEMS PRINCE HOHENSTIEL-SCHWANGAU, FIFINE AT THE FAIR, RED COTTON NIGHT-CAP COUNTRY AND THE INN ALBUM INTRODUCTION Severa l years ago, i n Essays i n C r i t i c i s m ' s C r i t i c a l Forum, P h i l i p Drew r e f e r r e d to Barbara M e l c h i o r i ' s "courage" i n w r i t i n g about F i f i n e at the F a i r J S ince then, , the poem has been d e s c r i b e d as one of Brown-2 i n g ' s "most c r u c i a l " by Roma K i n g , and as one of Browning's " f o u r 3 g r e a t e s t " by Morse Peckham. Th is r e v a l u a t i o n and the e x c e l l e n t a n a l y s i s by P h i l i p Drew mean t h a t courage i s no longer necessary f o r s e r i o u s d i s -4 cuss ion of the poem, but the long c r i t i c a l t r a d i t i o n which regards Browning's l a t e work a s , i n L . G . S a l i n g a r ' s p h r a s e , " ted ious word-s p i n n i n g , " w i l l r e q u i r e more argument y e t before i t i s a p p r e c i a b l y a l t e r e d . Such a p e r c e p t i v e c r i t i c as Isobel Armst rong , f o r example, says there i s a " d e f i n i t e d e c l i n e a f t e r The Ring and the Book ( 1 8 6 8 ) , " a l though she does say i n a review of Roma K i n g ' s recent book, t h a t he "shows c o n c l u s i v e l y t h a t the l a t e r poems are ready f o r r e v a l u a t i o n . " ^ The u l t i m a t e purpose of t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n i s to promote t h i s r e v a l u a -t i o n ; i t s c e n t r a l and immediate purpose , however, i s to advance the understanding of the f o u r s e l e c t e d poems, i n the b e l i e f t h a t a poem may be f a i r l y e v a l u a t e d only a f t e r i t has been c a r e f u l l y examined. That Browning's i n t e r e s t i n c h a r a c t e r dominates h i s canon has become the commonplace o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t i t ought to be on ly a f t e r the work of Park Honan,,Roma K i n g , and more r e c e n t l y , P h i l i p Drew. Browning, of c o u r s e , s t r e s s e s not c h a r a c t e r i n a c t i o n , but " i n c i d e n t s i n the d e v e l -opment of a . s o u l . " The works he c r e a t e d , and the techniques he employed to c rea te them, are p r i n c i p a l l y concerned w i th p r e s e n t i n g i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r , w i t h d e s c r i b i n g , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n h i s argumentat ive poems, the mind i n the process of f o r m u l a t i n g ideas and o r d e r i n g i t s complex, maze of thought and sense p e r c e p t i o n s . Cent ra l to t h i s p o r t r a y a l of c h a r a c t e r , and to the attempts of the personae to d i s c o v e r t r u t h , about themselves or about t h e i r s i t u a t i o n , i s the problem of d e c e p t i o n . Decept ion i s c e n t r a l to the problem of cho ice and to man's p o t e n t i a l f o r apprehending value or r i g h t b e h a v i o u r , and i t i s b a s i c to the problem of e v i l . Because of h i s emphasis on mental and moral b e i n g , and t h e r e f o r e on i n d i v i d u a l cho ice and p e r c e p t i o n , Browning i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t e d i n the means by which people deceive themselves or o t h e r s . A m b i g u i t y , paradox , sub -t l e t i e s of metaphor and the man ipu la t ion of p o i n t of view occur f r e q u e n t l y i n Browning's p o e t r y ; they are the a r t i f i c e s which c h a r a c t e r s use to p e r p e t r a t e t h e i r d e c e i t f u l or s e l f - d e c e p t i v e purposes . Of c o u r s e , i n the l a r g e r sense of a r t as a r t i f i c e , a l l a r t i f i c e i s the p o e t ' s . For c r i t i c a l purposes , however, the a r t i f i c e s e x p l o i t e d by the persona p o r -t r a y e d j i n the p u r s u i t of h i s p a r t i c u l a r d e c e p t i o n , are to be d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the a r t i f i c e s e x p l o i t e d by the p o e t , i n the p u r s u i t of h i s a e s t h e t i c d e c e p t i o n . Th is study i s concerned w i th the f o r m e r , w i t h themat ic content .and e f f e c t r a t h e r than w i th p o e t i c t e c h n i q u e , a l though a e s t h e t i c decept ion i s c r u c i a l to Browning's a r t t h e o r y , and p o e t i c a r t i f i c e enters the d i s -cuss ion where i t becomes a p p r o p r i a t e , no tab l y i n F i f i n e a t the F a i r . The exped ienc ies of decept ion are r e c o g n i z e d , i f i m p l i c i t l y , as being c e n t r a l to most of Browning's work, i n c l u d i n g the best known mono-l o g u e s . Roma K i n g , f o r example, w r i t e s i n The Bow and the Lyre t h a t "no poet has i n s i s t e d more s t r e n u o u s l y than Browning on the complex i ty of o human m o t i v e s , the i l l u s i o n of appearances, on a m b i g u i t y . " A l t i c k a n d ; Loucks comment c l e a r l y on the problem as i t appears i n The Ring and the  Book: I n a b i l i t y or u n w i l l i n g n e s s to d i s c e r n t r u t h , no matter how p l a i n l y p r e s e n t e d , i s r e g r e t t a b l e enough; but f a r worse , because i t i s an i n v e t e r a t e inst rument of e v i l , i s man's p r a c t i c e o f d e c e p t i o n - - h i s e x p l o i t i n g , f o r s e l f i s h ends , the l i m i t a t i o n s of knowledge and. the d isc repancy between appearance and r e a l i t y tha t are the c o n d i t i o n s of e a r t h l y e x i s t e n c e . In The Ring and. the Book f a l s e h o o d , i s the form t h a t e v i l most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y t a k e s . Greed i s Gu ido 's m o t i v e , but the l i e i s h is . .chosen t o o l . The events of the poem i l l u s t r a t e many v a r i e t i e s of l i e , t r i c k , and d e l i b e r a t e a m b i g u i t y . 9 The pervas iveness of decept ion as an " ins t rument of e v i l " , in The Ring and  the Book, and the i m p l i c a t i o n s i n the n o t i o n t h a t f a l s e h o o d i s among "the c o n d i t i o n s of e a r t h l y e x i s t e n c e , " seem to prov ide Browning w i t h impetus f o r the next decade, f o r i n almost a l l the poems of the 1870's decept ion i s an i n t e g r a l e lement . The s u b j e c t has not been s a t i s f a c t o r i l y examined i n these poems, and i t p rov ides a convenient approach to f o u r u s u a l l y neg lec ted works . I d e a l l y , t h i s study would i n c l u d e a l l the l a t e poems, a f t e r The  Ring and the Book, but t h e n , s i n c e Browning wrote such a l a r g e amount i n h i s l a s t twenty y e a r s , i t would tend towards a su rvey , and one of the l i m i t a t i o n s i n Browning c r i t i c i s m has been the p r o l i f e r a t i o n of g e n e r a l -i z e d s u r v e y s . At t h i s stage of Browning s c h o l a r s h i p , and i n view of the complex i t y of most of the important l a t e works , i t seemed best to l i m i t the scope of t h i s examinat ion and to focus more c l o s e l y on fewer poems. Th is d e c i s i o n a l s o heeds P h i l i p Drew's d i r e c t i v e t h a t "what i s most necessary for, an a p p r e c i a t i o n of Browning's s t a t u r e i s a s e r i e s of de -t a i l e d s t u d i e s of i n d i v i d u a l p o e m s . " 1 0 The f o u r poems chosen are the best and most s i g n i f i c a n t of the l a t e r works , w i th the except ion of some s h o r t e r poems such as "Numpholeptos," and no tab l y of The P a r l e y i n g s With  C e r t a i n People of Importance i n T h e i r Day. , The P a r l e y i n g s c e r t a i n l y r e q u i r e f u r t h e r a n a l y s i s , but they have been the s u b j e c t of at l e a s t one book - leng th study and one d i s s e r t a t i o n , so they have r e c e i v e d more a t t e n t i o n than t h a t g e n e r a l l y g iven to the l a t e poems. Because of t h e i r comprehensive s t r u c t u r a l p r i n c i p l e s , they a l s o r a i s e d i s t i n c t i v e c r i t i c a l p rob lems. . For these r e a s o n s , . a n d s i n c e the s e l e c t e d poems form a neat c h r o n o l o g i c a l u n i t , the P a r l e y i n g s have not been cons idered h e r e . A l s o , these f o u r poems prov ide a s s o c i a t e d s t u d i e s of f o u r d i f f e r -ent aspects of decept ion and i t s accompanying a r t i f i c e s . P r i n c e  Hohenst ie l -Schwangau presents a persona who manipulates p o i n t of view i n order to deceive h i m s e l f i n t o b e l i e v i n g t h a t he does have a c o n s i s t e n t , r e s p o n s i b l e i d e n t i t y . His r e c o g n i t i o n of t h i s decept ion leaves him unable to ac t d e c i s i v e l y or w i th c o n v i c t i o n . Don Juan i n F i f i n e at the F a i r f l a u n t s the a r t i f i c e s of language o v e r t l y and d e l i b e r a t e l y . He apprehends the element of decept ion i n a l l perceptua l p r o c e s s e s , h i s dependence f o r knowledge on the m i s l e a d i n g appearances of r e a l i t y , and the a r t i f i c e which i s i n h e r e n t i n a l l exper ience and thought ; c o n s e q u e n t l y , he r e a l i z e s a " h i s t r i o n i c t r u t h " which i s based on the u b i q u i t y of fa l sehood i n human e x i s t e n c e , and which enables him momentar i ly to r e c o n c i l e the c o n f l i c t i n g impulses w i t h i n h i s c h a r a c t e r of the sou l and the f l e s h . Red Cotton  N ight -Cap Country examines the dilemma of a c h a r a c t e r who confuses an emblem w i t h the r e a l i t y i t rep resents . . Leonce Miranda cannot d i s t i n g u i s h a c c u r a t e l y between i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y , and consequent ly he d i e s , a v i c t i m of the i n e p t e f f o r t of h i s fancy to merge the r e a l i t y of i l l u s i o n w i th the r e a l i t y of p h y s i c a l f a c t . His attempt to handle decept ion i s doomed to f a i l u r e because of h i s f lawed p e r c e p t i o n . In c o n t r a s t , h i s m i s t r e s s , h i s cous ins and the church a l l take advantage of t h i s inadequacy. F i n a l l y , The Inn Album probes the manner i n which moral nature i s obscured and dramat izes the r e a c t i o n of three people to the knowledge and d i s c o v e r y of f a l s e h o o d . Desp i te the attempts of the Lord to enforce h i s c y n i c a l design and unscrupulous purposes on the other c h a r a c t e r s , r e a l i t y , is g r a d u a l l y r e v e a l e d . The L o r d ' s s o c i a l a r t i f i c e s , e p i t o m i z i n g human p r e -t e n t i o u s n e s s and s o p h i s t i c a t e d b e h a v i o u r , are c o n t r a s t e d w i t h the spon-taneous and a r t l e s s " c i v i l i z a t i o n " o f the n a t u r a l landscape . Severa l aspects of these poems are not t r e a t e d i n t h i s s t u d y . The ques t ion of Browning's language, f o r example, r e q u i r e s e x t e n s i v e and s p e c i a l i z e d t reatment which i s not attempted h e r e . Red Cotton N ight -Cap  Country and The Inn Album e x h i b i t s e v e r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s w i t h the n o v e l , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t h e i r r e a l i s t i c p r e s e n t a t i o n of s o c i a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s , i n the use of a c o n t r o l l i n g n a r r a t o r somewhat l i k e Thackeray 's puppet -master i n the f i r s t i n s t a n c e , and i n the movement towards c h a r a c t e r i n a c t i o n r a t h e r than the more usual Browningesque focus on a c t i o n i n c h a r a c t e r i n the second. P h i l i p Drew, however, has an extended d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s c r i t i c a l problem and i t would o b v i o u s l y be super f luous to d u p l i c a t e h i s comments. U l t i m a t e l y , as he s a y s , " these two novel-poems must , l i k e F i f i n e and Schwangau, be judged as p o e m s . D r e w a l s o has many observa t ions about these poems, as p o r t r a i t s of V i c t o r i a n l i f e , s i n c e Browning employs contemporary s u b j e c t s and makes numerous contemporary re fe rences i n e a c h ; again i t i s unnecessary to re -examine the ground 12 which Drew ab ly c o v e r s . A few re fe rences to o ther w r i t e r s and to pos -s i b l e sources of i n f l u e n c e have been i n c l u d e d where they seemed to be a p p r o p r i a t e , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the d i s c u s s i o n of F j f i n e at the F a i r , s i n c e the nature of t h a t poem urges a wider p e r s p e c t i v e , but the value and purpose of t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n m u s t . l i e predominant ly i n i t s c o n t r i b u t i o n to the understanding of i n d i v i d u a l poems. Drew's recent book and Roma K i n g ' s The Focusing A r t i f i c e c o n t a i n the best c r i t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n s of these four,poems,, and consequent ly f requent , a l l u s i o n s are made to t h e i r comments. R e p e t i t i o n i s a v o i d e d , however, s i n c e they do .not approach w i t h any s e r i o u s a t t e n t i o n Browning's hand l ing o f d e c e p t i o n . , Though many of t h e i r p o i n t s are argued w i t h , t h e i r work ( e s p e c i a l l y D rew 's , whose a n a l y s i s of each poem i s more de -t a i l e d than K i n g ' s ) remains a c o n t r i b u t i o n to c r i t i c a l o p i n i o n and com-mentary which i s not superseded h e r e . K i n g ' s t i t l e r e f e r s to Browning's use of a r t as a means of f o c u s -ing m u l t i f a c e t e d and dynamic t r u t h ; h i s concern i s wi th , d e f i n i n g the general nature of Browning's a r t , the k i n d of a r t i f i c e h i s poetry i n i t s t o t a l i t y e f f e c t s . The a r t i f i c e which t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n examines i s t h a t used by each persona as p a r t of h i s own d e s i g n , and t h e r e f o r e the c r i t i c a l approach employed here i s d i s t i n c t from K i n g ' s . The decept ions which compl ica te and obscure man's p e r c e p t i o n are d e s c r i b e d here as they are dramatized by Browning i n each o f the f o u r poems. K i n g ' s p o i n t t h a t Browning's poetry d e p i c t s "man's p e r c e p t i o n of meaning and not Meaning i t s e l f " i s t h e r e f o r e an i n i t i a l assumption r a t h e r than a f i n a l c o n c l u s i o n . Two d i s t i n c t i o n s between terms which are used i n t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n might c o n v e n i e n t l y be i n t r o d u c e d h e r e . F i r s t , decept ion i s to be d i s -t i n g u i s h e d from i l l u s i o n . . A causal r e l a t i o n s h i p i s understood between them, where i l l u s i o n i s the f a l s e , concept which r e s u l t s from d e c e p t i o n . A l s o , decept ion i s used w i t h i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s of consc ious a r t i f i c e or w i l f u l t r i c k e r y , a l though a c h a r a c t e r may unconsc ious l y deceive h i m s e l f , w i thout the i n f e r e n c e of d e l i b e r a t e d e c e p t i o n , or he may be .deceived by some e x t e r n a l p a r t y . Second, p e r s o n a l i t y i s to be d i s t i n g u i s h e d from i d e n t i t y . Haro ld Rosenberg c h a r a c t e r i z e s the d i f f e r e n c e between person -a l i t y and i d e n t i t y as e s s e n t i a l l y the d i s t i n c t i o n between " b e i n g " and " a c t i o n " ; p e r s o n a l i t y i s "who" somebody i s , w h i l e i d e n t i t y i s "what" he i s . I d e n t i t y i s u s u a l l y c o n s t a n t , and "change of i d e n t i t y takes p lace . . . a l l a t once, i n a l e a p , and not as i n p e r s o n a l i t y through a c o n -13 t i n u a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of e l e m e n t s . " P e r s o n a l i t y , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n a l i t e r a r y s e n s e , i s "a p s y c h o l o g i c a l c o n d i t i o n , " w h i l e an i d e n t i t y i s the r e s u l t of or the requirement of some p u b l i c r o l e — a requirement of the 14 p l o t i n l i t e r a t u r e . P e r s o n a l i t y and i d e n t i t y are normal ly c o n s i s t e n t w i th each o t h e r , but a dramat ic s i t u a t i o n very o f t e n depends on a c o n -f l i c t between t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e demands. Browning, of c o u r s e , was f a s c i n -ated by the d i sc repancy between p u b l i c a c t i o n , or apparent i d e n t i t y , and p r i v a t e impulses and f e e l i n g s , or p e r s o n a l i t y . Th is d i s t i n c t i o n i s used most ly f o r P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau, . though the terms are to be under -s tood i n the sense o u t l i n e d here whenever they e n t e r the d i s c u s s i o n . With 1 regard to e v a l u a t i o n , the t a c i t assumption throughout i s t h a t P h i l i p . Drew i s r i g h t when he says these poems " a l l deserve a p lace among 15 the best V i c t o r i a n long poems." More s p e c i f i c a l l y , the a n a l y s i s i s in tended to revea l t h a t these poems are not the u n i n t e l l i g i b l e "meta-1 c p h y s i c a l quagmires" which they are purpor ted to be . They are d r a m a t i c , u n i f i e d and more c a r e f u l l y s t r u c t u r e d than many c r i t i c s have a d m i t t e d . They undoubtedly emphasize the exper ience of the mind more than e a r l i e r poems, but they are c e r t a i n l y not devoid of emot ion . In these long poems, Browning exp lo res the processes of man's thought and dramatizes the a r t i f i c e s of man's i n t e l l e c t . Chapter F i ve d i scusses these more e v a l u a t i v e c o n c l u s i o n s , and a l s o the more general i m p l i c a t i o n s which the poems e l i c i t about Browning's a t t i t u d e towards the presence of decept ion i n human e x i s t e n c e , , a n d p a r t i c u l a r l y i t s e f f e c t s on man's e t h i c a l p e r -c e p t i o n . NOTES P h i l i p Drew, "Another View of F i f i n e at the F a i r , " E IC , 17 (1967) , 247. : Roma K i n g , The Focusing A r t i f i c e (Athens , Ohio : Ohio U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1968) , p. x i v . 3 Morse Peckham, V i c t o r i a n R e v o l u t i o n a r i e s (New York : B r a z i l l e r , 1970) , p. 8 5 . 4 P h i l i p Drew, The Poetry of Robert Browning (London: Methuen, 1970) , pp. 3 0 3 - 3 2 1 . 5 L. G. S a l i n g a r , , " R o b e r t Browning , " From Dickens to Hardy: The  P e l i c a n Guide to E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , V o l . 6 (Pengu in , 19"58"), 254. 6 I s o b e l Armst rong , "The Brownings , " i n The V i c t o r i a n s , e d . A. P o l l a r d (London: Sphere Books , 1970) , 307. 7 V i c t o r i a n S t u d i e s , 14 (1970) , 208. ' • 8 Roma K i n g , The Bow and the Lyre (1957; r p t . Ann Arbor Paperbacks : U n i v e r s i t y of Michigan P r e s s , 1 9 6 4 ) , p. 128. 9 R. D. A l t i c k and J . F. Loucks I I , Browning's Roman Murder S tory (Ch icago : U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago P r e s s , 1968) , p. 84 . ^ D r e w , The Poetry of Robert Browning., p. 428. ] 1 D r e w , p. 340 ; and see pp. 3 3 6 - 3 4 1 . 12 See Drew, pp. 2 8 2 - 3 4 9 , and pass im. 13 Haro ld Rosenberg, "Character Change and the Drama," i n The  T r a d i t i o n of the New (1959) , r p t . i n P e r s p e c t i v e s on Drama, e d s . J . L. Calderwood and H. E. T o l i V e r (New York : Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1968) , p. 329. ^ R o s e n b e r g , p. 331. 1 5 D r e w , p. 340. 16 John M. H i t n e r , "Browning's Grotesque P e r i o d , " V i c t o r i a n P o e t r y , 4 (1966) , p. 10. CHAPTER ONE PRINCE HOHENSTIEL-SCHWANGAU, SAVIOUR OF SOCIETY: SELF-DECEPTION AND THE ARTIFICE OF POINT OF VIEW i In 1904, Edward Dowden found "something almost p a t h e t i c " i n P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau 's "sense t h a t the work a l l o t t e d to him i s work of mere temporary u t i l i t y . " 1 The P r i n c e ' s p red icament , however, too c l e a r l y approximates the modern sense of f u t i l i t y to become merely p a t h e t i c f o r the p o s t - E x i s t e n t i a l i s t r e a d e r . A l s o , Dowden only p a r t i a l l y understands the poem i n observ ing the P r i n c e ' s sense t h a t h i s work i s impermanent; f a r more p e r t i n e n t i s the P r i n c e ' s fundamental sense of h i s own f l e e t i n g and en igmat i c e x i s t e n c e . The poem dramat izes the P r i n c e ' s attempts to e s t a b l i s h , to h i s personal s a t i s f a c t i o n , a demonstrab le , c o n s i s t e n t i d e n t i t y through deve lop ing a d e f e n s i b l e p o l i t i c a l p h i l o s o p h y , and a l s o h i s e f f o r t s to prove the v e r a c i t y of h i s e x i s t e n c e through r a t i o n a l and d e c i s i v e a c t i o n . H is f i n a l i n d e c i s i v e s t a t e of mind ("The l e t t e r goes! Or s t a y s ? " ) and the r e d u c t i o n of h i s arguments to a mere gambling gesture ("Double o r q u i t s ! " ) demonstrate h i s i n a b i l i t y to e s t a b l i s h any c o n v i n -c i n g b a s i s f o r a c t i o n , and ev ince the t e r r i b l e i n s e c u r i t y which i s a t the core of h i s p e r s o n a l i t y . The P r i n c e ' s r e v e r i e i s h i s attempt to d i s -gu ise h i s i n n e r v a c u i t y , to deceive h i m s e l f i n t o b e l i e v i n g t h a t he does have a c o n s i s t e n t , r e s p o n s i b l e i d e n t i t y . In recent Browning c r i t i c i s m , the on ly two s i g n i f i c a n t accounts of P r i n c e Hoherist iel -Schwangau d e s c r i b e the poem i n oppos i te te rms. P h i l i p Drew views i t as a p o l i t i c a l s a t i r e on Napoleon I I I , though he does p o i n t out t h a t i t shows Browning's " f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h the i n t r i c a c i e s of the human m i n d , " whereas Roma King says "Browning's i n t e r e s t s here 3 are n e i t h e r h i s t o r i c a l nor p o l i t i c a l , but m e t a p h y s i c a l . " Th is d i v e r -gence c l e a r l y r e s u l t s from the d i f f e r i n g emphasis which each c r i t i c p laces on the poem's meaning and on the area of r e a l i t y i n v o l v e d i n the poem; Drew s a y s , " the poem depends on the contemporary s i t u a t i o n " ; f o r h im, the P r i n c e ' s re fe rences to an e x t e r n a l , . h i s t o r i c a l s i t u a t i o n r e q u i r e knowledge of t h a t h i s t o r i c a l r e a l i t y f o r a s a t i s f a c t o r y understanding of 4 the poem. For K i n g , Napoleon I I I . s e r v e s Browning on ly as the p r e t e x t f o r a poem, as "one more o p p o r t u n i t y f o r Browning to d e p e r s o n a l i z e h im-5 s e l f i n order to put h i m s e l f momentar i ly i n t o someone e l s e . " In P r i n c e  Hohenst ie l -Schwangau , says K i n g , Browning " i s more i n t e r e s t e d i n the sub -j e c t i v e r e a l i t y of the c h a r a c t e r than i n h i s r e l a t i o n to the e x t e r n a l w o r l d . " These c o n f l i c t i n g a t t i t u d e s have appeared p r e v i o u s l y i n c r i t i -c ism of the poem, even w i t h i n the same p a r a g r a p h , 7 and .Browning's f u s i o n of h i s t o r i c a l , p s y c h o l o g i c a l and p h i l o s o p h i c a l i n t e r e s t undoubtedly causes problems o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Drew a n d , K i n g , however, are both m i s l e a d i n g i n some degree: Drew, when he says the reader r e q u i r e s h i s t o r i c a l knowledge to understand the poem, and K i n g , when he says Browning focuses on the s u b j e c t i v e elements of c h a r a c t e r . • Drew's re fe rences to the h i s t o r i c a l events of Napoleon I l l ' s r u l e o f - F r a n c e c l e a r l y add another dimension of i r o n y to the poem, and enable a h i s t o r i c judgement to be made of the persona which would otherwise be absent . But Drew's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n leads him to observe a o "weakness i n the l a r g e r matters of s t r u c t u r e and o r g a n i z a t i o n , " and t h i s f l a w s e v e r e l y l i m i t s the poem's success f o r h im. On the o ther hand, K i n g ' s emphasis on the metaphys ica l problems concern ing the persona i s c l o s e r to the r e a d e r ' s d i r e c t exper ience of the poem and a l lows u n i t y through the c h a r a c t e r of the persona , which i s usual i n Browning's mono-logues . Park Honan's examinat ion of the two Guido monologues, f o r example, i s devoted to demonstrat ing the " c o m p l e x i t y , i n t e n s i t y and u n i t y " which i s t o . b e seen i n Browning's d ramat ic verse when i t i s 9 approached " i n the l i g h t of j t s c h a r a c t e r - r e v e a l i n g e f f e c t s . " In view of Drew's d i s c u s s i o n , . t h i s chapter examines the poem independent ly of i t s h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t , and the q u e s t i o n of i t s t o t a l e f f e c t and s t r u c -t u r a l u n i t y remains an u n d e r l y i n g c r i t i c a l problem to be approached through the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a n d - q u a l i t i e s of the persona . To study " the s u b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y of the c h a r a c t e r " does not mean, however, t h a t the e x t e r n a l wor ld has no s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the poem. The P r i n c e r e f e r s at many p o i n t s to contemporary f i g u r e s - - s u c h as Comte, F o u r i e r , M e t t e r n i c h , Th ie rs and Hugo- -and to geograph ica l p l a c e s - - s u c h . as Rome, I t a l y , Savoy and N i c e - - a n d these re ferences , d i r e c t a t t e n t i o n not on ly to the r e a l i t y of the P r i n c e ' s h i s t o r i c a l p e r s o n a , but a l s o to h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the e x t e r n a l wor ld w h i c h , n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g K i n g ' s comments, i s of i n t r i n s i c importance f o r h i s c h a r a c t e r . Honan observes the numerous images which the P r i n c e takes from t rade and i n d u s t r y — o p t i c s , m i n i n g , c h e m i s t r y , a g r i c u l t u r e , s u r v e y i n g , s m e l t i n g , m i n t i n g , t a x a t i o n , i n d u s t r i a l p r o c e s s e s — a n d the presence of the w ides t c o l l e c t i o n of proper nouns i n almost any Browning monologue. The f o r m e r , H o n a n w r i t e s , r e f l e c t " the mechanizat ion of h i s c h a r a c t e r . . . the dehumanizing e f f e c t of a p r o f e s s i o n i t s e l f , " and the l a t t e r , demonstrate h i s "p reoccupat ion w i t h the s o c i a l face of Europe . : . . and . . . h i s d i l e t t a n t i s h concern f o r c u l t u r e . " ^ But Honan n e g l e c t s the P r i n c e ' s c e n t r a l d e c e p t i o n , h i s c o n t r i v e d i d e n t i t y . The e x t e r n a l wor ld i s important to the P r i n c e , . n o t so much because he i s d e s p e r a t e l y con -cerned w i t h i t s o r g a n i z a t i o n , as he p r e t e n d s , but because i t i s a means of e s t a b l i s h i n g a s t a b l e i d e n t i t y . His e c l e c t i c use of images from p r e -dominantly mechanical sources u n d e r l i n e s h i s attempt to p lay the p a r t of a r u l e r mot i va ted .by r a t i o n a l and commonsense purposes . But h i s apparent m a t e r i a l i s m , supposedly of b e n e f i t to h i s p e o p l e , merely obscures h i s i n a b i l i t y to deal s u c c e s s f u l l y w i th q u a l i t a t i v e v a l u e s . a n d hides the very non-mechanical doubt about h i s inner s e c u r i t y . Honan says "he has become dehumanized by the mechanical l e v i a t h a n o v e r w h i c h he p r e s i d e s , " but the f i n a l e f f e c t of the poem i s r a t h e r to suggest t h a t the P r i n c e has ex -p l o i t e d the mechanical aspects of t h a t l e v i a t h a n i n order to determine h i s own r e a l i t y . S i m i l a r l y , the l a r g e number of proper nouns emphasizes h i s attempt to s e i z e l a b e l s — a n o t h e r dev ice he uses to dece ive h i m s e l f about r e a l i t y . Presumably , the more names he can encompass* the more i n contac t w i t h the o u t s i d e wor ld he b e l i e v e s h i m s e l f to. be . Honan i s r i g h t to remark on the P r i n c e ' s " d i l e t t a n t i s h concern f o r c u l t u r e , " f o r th i s , f e a t u r e ev inces h i s apprehension of s u r f a c e s and h i s i n a b i l i t y to deal wi th , e s s e n c e s , i t s e l f a r e f l e c t i o n of h i s own indeterminate essence . This attempt to r e p l a c e h i s inner u n c e r t a i n t y w i t h a pragmatic a t t i t u d e to l i f e i s an e l a b o r a t e a r t i f i c e f o r s e l f - d e c e p t i o n , and p r o -v ides the i r o n y . i n h i s defence o f a c o n s e r v a t i v e opportunism. I t e x p l a i n s why Dowden found the argument to l a c k the "wise enthusiasm" which i s present i n o ther apo log ies f o r c o n s e r v a t i s m , such as B u r k e ' s . 1 1 The i r o n y may a l s o account f o r the numerous r e f e r e n c e s , such as W. 0 . Raymond's, which a s s e r t the P r i n c e ' s " s o p h i s t i c a l p l e a s " o r the " h o l l o w -ness" of h i s c a s u i s t r y , w i thout i n d i c a t i n g why h i s argument i s f a l l a c i o u s . Raymond's on ly ev idence i s Browning's temperamental a n t i p a t h y to " t i m o r o u s , , p r u d e n t i a l , t i m e - s e r v i n g p o l i c i e s , " seen i n o ther poems such 12 as "The Statue and the B u s t . " The P r i n c e ' s argument, as Drew po in ts 13 o u t , i s not e a s i l y r e f u t e d , and y e t . i t i s u n c o n v i n c i n g . Th is i s be -cause the P r i n c e h i m s e l f i s unconv inced. His d i s c o u r s e may be r a t i o n a l l y sound w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s of h i s g iven and imagined s i t u a t i o n , but he knows f i n a l l y t h a t i t - i s verba l and t h e r e f o r e d e c e p t i v e . I t merely obscures the fundamental t r u t h tha t he i s concerned f i r s t w i th h i m s e l f ( 2 1 0 2 - 2 1 0 3 ) , not w i t h h i s p e o p l e , and t h a t the c o n s t r u c t i o n of h i s p o l i c i e s i s an attempt to r a t i o n a l i z e h i s e x i s t e n c e and i d e n t i t y r a t h e r than to r a t i o n a l i z e h i s a c t i o n s as r u l e r . In the persona of the P r i n c e , Browning dramat izes the r e l a t i o n s h i p between ph i losophy and psychology i n such a way as to expose the P r i n c e ' s i n h e r e n t l y weak w i l l and the b iased a t t i t u d e which u n d e r l i e s h i s pose of o b j e c t i v e r a t i o n a l i t y . The f i n a l impress ion which the P r i n c e leaves i s not one o f the m e c h a n i c a l l y o p e r a t i n g a n i m a l , the product of a system-a t i c s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , which Honan d e s c r i b e s , i t i s r a t h e r one o f -extreme i n d e c i s i o n and u n c e r t a i n t y . In t h i s r e s p e c t , the poem r e f l e c t s Browning's s t a t e d o b j e c t i o n to h i s h i s t o r i c a l s o u r c e : " . . . t h e r e has 14 been no knavery , on ly d e c l i n e and f a l l o f the f a c u l t i e s . . . " E l s e -where, he blamed Napoleon's w i l l : "We a l l , i n our va r ious degrees , took the man on t r u s t , , b e l i e v e d i n h i s w i l l f a r too l o n g , a f t e r the deed was 15 m i s e r a b l y inadequate to what we supposed the w i l l . " Browning's i n t e n -t i o n , t h e n , was s a t i r i c a l , W. C. DeVane says the poem., "was a s a t i r e i n e f f e c t because , as we now know, Browning, d i d not b e l i e v e t h a t any j u s t i -1 g f i c a t i o n of the Emperor's conduct was p o s s i b l e . " But i f .the e f f e c t depends on what "we now know," Drew i s r i g h t to t a l k of i t s f a i l u r e s . Browning's s a t i r i c a l purpose , however, can be observed i n the poem i t s e l f ; on a n a l y s i s , the reader i s a b l e to d i s c e r n the P r i n c e ' s s e l f i s h i m p u l s e s , and the impress i ve a r t i f i c e s which he e x p l o i t s to evade the t r u t h about h i s i n n e r weaknesses. The most obvious a r t i f i c e used by the P r i n c e to deceive h i m s e l f i s the dream or r e v e r i e . The whole of the poem u n t i l l i n e 2070 i s an i l l u s i o n i n the P r i n c e ' s m i n d , h i s moment of waking being c l e a r l y s i g n i -f i e d by a h a l f - r u l e between the two s e c t i o n s . ^ U n t i l t h i s p o i n t , the reader i s l e d to b e l i e v e i n the P r i n c e ' s e x i s t e n c e as he converses i n L e i c e s t e r Square. The debate between S a g a c i t y and the Head compl ica tes h i s p r e s e n c e , but i t i s s t i l l e f f e c t i v e . When the dream i s r e v e a l e d , the reader i s f o r c e d d r a m a t i c a l l y to r e a l i z e he has been d e c e i v e d — t h e f a c t was f a n c y , r e a l i t y was i l l u s i o n . Th is e f f e c t of the poem d i r e c t l y represents p a r t o f the P r i n c e ' s dilemma i n having to p e r c e i v e t h e . n a t u r e o f h i s r e a l i t y through the web of language, which he weaves f o r h i m s e l f i n h i s r e v e r i e . Of n e c e s s i t y , human c o g i t a t i o n and e x p r e s s i o n i s v e r b a l , y e t "somehow words d e f l e c t /As the best cannon ever r i f l e d w i l l " (2133-2134) . The paradox i s one which occurs i n many Browning p o e m s - - i n S o r d e l l o , f o r example, where p a r t of S o r d e l l o ' s d i f f i c u l t y i s t h a t " p e r -cept ions whole . . . / r e j e c t so pure a. work of thought /As language" ; i n The Ring and the Book, where the Pope recognizes the " f i l t h y rags of speech , t h i s c o i l /Of s ta tement , comment, query and response , /Tat te rs a l l too contaminate f o r u s e " ; and ; i n the p a r l e y i n g "With Char les A v i s o n , " 19 where Av ison r e f e r s to the " P o e t ' s wordTtnesh." George M. R idenour ' s use of t h i s l a s t example, i n a s s o c i a t i o n w i th the "web" image i n "Master Hugues of Saxe -Gotha" and wi th h i s re fe rence to Browning's " p r a c t i c e i n the l a t e d i s c u r s i v e poems," i s p e r t i n e n t to P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau, where the P r i n c e e x p l o i t s the web of language as a means f o r c a t c h i n g . , . . 20 r e a l i t y . The i l l u s i o n i s a r e v e r i e r a t h e r than a dream ("My r e v e r i e c o n -c l u d e s , as dreaming s h o u l d , /With daybreak" ; 2 1 4 6 - 2 1 4 7 ) , i n the sense t h a t i t i s a h a l f - c o n s c i o u s e x p l o r a t i o n of an imagined s i t u a t i o n , r a t h e r than an unconscious sequence of images. I t i s provoked by the P r i n c e ' s need to make some p r a c t i c a l d e c i s i o n about sending a l e t t e r to h i s Cous in -Duke , and the requirements of t h i s cho ice lead him to ques t ion h i s p o l i t i c a l ph i losophy and p u b l i c achievement, and thereby h i s f u n d a -mental c h a r a c t e r . The c o n s t r u c t i o n of the r e v e r i e and the development of i t s argument dramatize a mind i n the conscious ac t of defending i t s e l f . The whole poem takes p lace w i t h i n the P r i n c e ' s mind , which i n the purest sense presents A r n o l d ' s "d ia logue of the mind w i th i t s e l f , " and which t h e r e f o r e makes the poem c e n t r a l to the. n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y f a s c i n a t i o n w i th d i v i d e d s e n s i b i l i t i e s . Hohenst ie l -Schwangau i s i n the p o s i t i o n of c r e a t i n g h i s own poem, and h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p i n the conc lud ing s e c t i o n to the prev ious two par ts (the r e v e r i e d i v i d e s i t s e l f n a t u r a l l y i n t o two s e c t i o n s , w i th the break before the Th iers -Hugo episode) i s t h a t of an author to h i s c reated 21 work.. In e f f e c t , he turns a s o l i l o q u y i n t o a dramat ic monologue by imagin ing an audience who w i l l f u l f i l h i s need f o r somebody to judge him and a i d . h i m i n h i s d e c i s i o n about the l e t t e r . C r i t i c s have f r e q u e n t l y observed the manner i n which the a u d i t o r i n a dramat ic monologue symbol -i z e s some i n n e r aspect of the speaker . Honan develops t h i s no t ion to suggest t h a t "the speaker i s always l a r g e r than h i s aud ience . He i n c l u d e s 22 the audience c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s p r e s e n t e d . " In P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau, the a u d i t o r i s l i t e r a l l y encompassed by the s p e a k e r ' s c h a r a c t e r . Despi te t h i s , she f u n c t i o n s l e s s as an e x t e r n a l i z e d symbol or as a c a t a l y s t f o r argument , . than as an audience to ac t b e f o r e . In t h i s s u b o r d i n a t i o n , her r o l e i s c l o s e r to the p o l i c e i n " F r a . L i p p o L i p p i " than to L u c r e z i a i n "Andrea del S a r t o . " She i s a h y p o t h e t i c a l l i s t e n e r and consequent ly her responses to the P r i n c e ' s arguments are of r e l a t i v e unimportance. Her i n t r u s i o n s d i m i n i s h i n f requency as the poem proceeds and of f a r g r e a t e r s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r the development of the d i a l e c t i c are the P r i n c e ' s c r i t i c s , whom he quotes . I n s o f a r as h i s Lai's does represent elements i n the P r i n c e , she i n t i m a t e s three of the impulses which u n d e r l i e h i s r e v e r i e : h i s d e s i r e f o r f r i e n d l y counsel i n t h i s moment of. p e r s o n a l , though p o l i t i c a l , d e c i s i o n , h i s a n x i e t y f o r a p r i v a t e , sympathet ic judge who w i l l hear h i s c a s e , and h i s need f o r an o u t s i d e observer to applaud h i s performance. Her f u n c t i o n can be seen to s h i f t i n the course of .the poem as these i m -pulses vary i n impor tance , and as the P r i n c e seeks i n c r e a s i n g o b j e c t i v i t y i n order to v a l i d a t e h i s a p o l o g y . . I n i t i a l l y , she i s a f r i e n d l y female companion who f l a t t e r s the P r i n c e ' s s o c i a l u r b a n i t y and who i n d u l g e n t l y accedes to h i s m i l d l y comic f l i r t a t i o n s . He proposes to " t e l l a l l . . . f o r L a i s ' s a k e , /Who f i n d s [him] h a r d l y g r e y , and l i k e s [ h i s ] nose , /And t h i n k s a man of s i x t y at the pr ime" ( 1 8 - 2 1 ) , and l a t e r he addresses her as a "good young lady . , . . /Desp i te a n a t u r a l naught iness or two", ( 1 8 4 - 1 8 5 ) . A t t h i s p o i n t , she i s the i d e a l companion f o r an aging and l o n e l y r u l e r - - i n t i m a t e , d i s -c r e e t and w i l l i n g to l i s t e n . (Perhaps there i s a c e r t a i n w i s h - f u l f i l m e n t i n ' c h o o s i n g such an a u d i t o r . ) However, the P r i n c e ' s r e v e r i e has purposes other than imagin ing the i n t e r e s t he might arouse i n some "bud-mouthed" Oedipus ( 2 ) . He would l i k e her not only to understand him but a l s o to judge h i m , which becomes c lear , mid-way i n the poem, when he addresses her as " f a i r j u d g e , " and when he concludes the f i r s t s e c t i o n w i t h "God w i l l es t imate /Success one day; and, i n the m e a n t i m e - - y o u ! " (1212-1213) . She now represents h i s i n n e r d e s i r e f o r an op in ion of h i s c h a r a c t e r and p o l i t -i c a l per formance, and to f a c i l i t a t e her task he p laces her i n her f i n a l r o l e as reader o f . t h e h i s t o r i c a l chapter by T h i e r s - H u g o . In t h i s pass ive and o b j e c t i v e r o l e , she withdraws c o m p l e t e l y , e n a b l i n g the P r i n c e to concent rate on the debate, between S a g a c i t y and the Head. F i n a l l y , when he i s aroused from h i s f a n t a s y by the c l o c k , he announces through a t h e a t r i c a l metaphor t h a t the whole s i t u a t i o n was a s i m u l a t i o n : " E x i l e , L e i c e s t e r - s q u a r e , the l i f e / I ' the o l d gay mise rab le t ime" had been " rehearsed" and " t r i e d on again l i k e c a s t c l o t h e s " i n case they might s t i l l "serve /At a p i n c h " (2075-2078) . I t was a l l "A nod /Out-Homering Homer!" ( 2 0 8 0 - 2 0 8 1 ) , a wry comment w h i c h , i n terms of the common phrase "Homer sometimes nods , " admits the d u l l n e s s of .his monologue, and which . c o n s c i o u s l y a s s o c i a t e s the r e v e r i e w i t h a p o e t i c c r e a t i o n , g i v i n g an i11 usory r e a l i t y to i t s p a r t i c i p a n t s . U n l i k e other dramat ic monologues where the a u d i t o r i s a t a c i t l y assumed a r t i f i c e i n the f o r m , ; i n P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau the a u d i t o r i s an acknowledged a r t i f i c e . An important f e a t u r e o f - t h e P r i n c e ' s c o n t r o l over the poem i s tha t he emerges as one of Browning's most s e l f - c o n s c i o u s c h a r a c t e r s . He has "a remarkably f u l l grasp of e v e n t s , and of the t e n t a t i v e nature of h i s 23 own arguments." C e r t a i n as ides throughout the poem, such as grant the phrase" ( 2 7 7 ) , mark h i s awareness of h i s r h e t o r i c , but h i s a c u i t y i s most apparent i n two passages: when he moves from the monologue to the Th iers -Hugo s e c t i o n , and i n the c o n c l u s i o n . t When he wakes - to r e a l i z e the f u t i l i t y o f h i s r e v e r i e , he demonstrates h i s understanding of the c o r r u p t i o n s i n h e r e n t i n language: " A l a c k , one l i e s o n e s e l f /Even i n the s t a t i n g t h a t one's end was t r u t h " (2123-2124) . He would p r e f e r "the i n n e r chamber of the s o u l " f o r argument, s i n c e " there /One p i t s the s i l e n t t r u t h a g a i n s t a l i e " (2126 -2128 ; . the i m p l i c a t i o n t h a t t r u t h i s s i l e n t i s a remarkable r e v e l a t i o n f o r such a v o l u b l e m o n o l o g u i s t ) , but "words have to come" (2133) . He r e a l i z e s tha t h i s r e v e r i e was a s e r i e s of fa lsehoods achieved through the a r t i f i c e s of language, but h i s comments before p a r t two (the Th iers -Hugo episode) e l i c i t h i s awareness of another means of d e c e p t i o n — a c o n t r o l l e d p o i n t o f - v i e w . There, - my arch s t r a n g e r - f r i e n d , my audience both And a r b i t r e s s , you have one h a l f y o u r - w i s h , At l e a s t : you know the t h i n g I t r i e d to do! A l l , so f a r , , t o my p r a i s e a n d - g l o r y — a l l To ld as b e f i t s the s e l f - a p o l o g i s t , - -Who ever promises a candid sweep And c lea rance of those e r r o r s m i s c a l l e d crimes None knows more, none, laments so much as he , And ever r i s e s from c o n f e s s i o n , p roved . A god-whose f a u l t w a s — t r y i n g to be man. J u s t s o , f a i r j u d g e , - - i f I read s m i l e a r i g h t — I condescend to f i g u r e i n your eyes As b i g g e s t hear t and best of Europe 's f r i e n d s , And hence my f a i l u r e . (1199-1212) He i s aware t h a t e v e r y t h i n g he has s a i d so f a r i s to h i s " p r a i s e and g l o r y , " aware t h a t s e l f - c o n f e s s i o n i n terms of r e l i a b l e , o b j e c t i v e judge -ment i s a f a i l u r e because i t presents on ly one , b iased v iew. Because c o n f e s s i o n gains sympathy ( c o n f e s s i o n i s as much f o r f o r g i v e n e s s as f o r judgement) , i t subsumes judgement, and hence the a p o l o g i s t " r i s e s from c o n f e s s i o n , proved /A g o d . " He wishes to c reate the i l l u s i o n of g i v i n g h i s hearer every chance to judge him,, however, and t h e r e f o r e he attempts to r e c t i f y the s i t u a t i o n by r e j e c t i n g autobiography and by p resent ing h i s l i f e as i f w r i t t e n by a combined n o v e l i s t and h i s t o r i a n , T h i e r s - H u g o . A plague o f the r e t u r n to "I — I — I Did t h i s , meant t h a t , . h o p e d , f e a r e d the o ther t h i n g ! " Autob iography , a d i e u ! The r e s t S h a l l make amends, be pure blame, h i s t o r y And f a l s e h o o d : not the i n e f f e c t i v e t r u t h , But T h i e r s - a n d - V i c t o r - H u g o e x e r c i s e . Hear what I never was , but might have been I1 the b e t t e r wor ld where goes tobacco-smoke! Here l i e the dozen volumes of my l i f e : (Did I say " l i e " ? the pregnant word w i l l s e r v e ) . (1218-1227) He now dramat izes h i s a c t i o n s and arguments as i f repor ted from an o b j e c -t i v e p o i n t of v iew ; he changes h i s technique from t h a t of an a p o l o g i s t to t h a t of a s o c i a l o b s e r v e r , i n e f f e c t changing the technique of h i s r e v e r i e from a dramat ic monologue t o . a n o v e l . I t i s important to note the manner i n which he in t roduces the new method. He i s no longer going to present h i m s e l f by way of the t r u t h ( " i n e f f e c t i v e " because from on ly one p o i n t of v i e w ) , but by way of " h i s t o r y and f a l s e h o o d , " , by "pure blame" o r " T h i e r s - a n d - V i c t o r - H u g o e x e r c i s e . " His a p p e l l a t i o n and d e s c r i p ^ t i o n c a p i t a l i z e on the popular and obvious n o t i o n t h a t f i c t i o n , even though i n the form of h i s t o r y , i s a l i e , and t h e r e f o r e to be m i s t r u s t e d . He immediately e s t a b l i s h e s one l e v e l of i r o n y by i m p l y i n g t h a t on ly f a l s e -hood can revea l the t r u t h . . In a r h e t o r i c a l f l o u r i s h designed to l essen the a u d i t o r ' s s u s p i c i o n s , , h e p l a y f u l l y a l l o w s , and thereby makes e x p l i c i t , the ambigui ty i n .1 i e . H is a r t i f i c e h e r e , t h e n , i s to say tha t h i s p r e -s e n t a t i o n i s . f a l s e , so tha t h i s judge , i n s t e a d of seek ing fa l sehood i n t r u t h , w i l l look f o r t r u t h i n f a l s e h o o d . Th is paradox l i n k s the P r i n c e ' s e x e r c i s e i n decept ion w i t h Brown-24 m g ' s a e s t h e t i c p r a c t i c e a n d . t h e o r y . The moral problem t h a t a r t i s a l i e i s not new to Browning and he combines here the P r i n c e ' s d e c e i t w i th the poem's i l l u s i o n , so t h a t both fa lsehoods p a r a d o x i c a l l y c o n t a i n t r u t h f o r the r e a d e r . (This i n t e r m i n g l i n g of a r t , m o r a l i t y and metaphysics occurs again i n F i f i n e a t the F a i r . ) The P r i n c e ' s conscious m a n i p u l a t i o n o f c o n f e s s i o n a l techniques and t h e i r p o t e n t i a l , f o r r e c e i v i n g understanding sympathy r a t h e r than unimpassioned judgement a l s o combines h i s persona l , predicament w i t h Browning 's a r t i s t i c di lemma. Desp i te a m o n o l o g u i s t ' s p l e a of honest and o b j e c t i v e c o n f e s s i o n , ; h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n i s i n e v i t a b l y b iased by h i s p o i n t of v iew. Th is invokes the e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l problem of knowing t r u t h i n the face of t h i s s e r i o u s l i m i t a t i o n i n judg ing such a c o n t r o l l e d p o i n t . o f v iew. The p o s s i b i l i t y a r i s e s t h a t a s k i l l e d and -conscious m a n i p u l a t o r of c o n f e s s i o n a l technique wi thout e x t e r n a l o p p o s i -t i o n cou ld argue a s e l f i s h concept w i t h impun i t y . Th is p o s s i b i l i t y i s enhanced by the P r i n c e ' s second technique o f s e l f - e x p l a n a t i o n , which i s e q u a l l y a f a i l u r e , w i th the f i r s t , f o r e x t e r n a l judgement, s i n c e i t s p o i n t of view i s s t i l l c o n t r o l l e d by the P r i n c e , not by i t s o s t e n s i b l e a u t h o r , T h i e r s - H u g o . In a n o v e l , the reader has to r e l y on the n a r r a t o r ' s c o n t r o l and i n f o r m a t i o n f o r p e r c e i v i n g t r u t h and f o r j u d g i n g c h a r a c t e r ; consequent l y , i t becomes even more d i f f i c u l t to judge the P r i n c e a d v e r s e l y i n par t two than i n p a r t one, w i thout i n f o r m a t i o n e x t e r n a l to the poem. Without 25 g i v i n g t h i s r e a s o n . Drew a r r i v e s at a s i m i l a r c o n c l u s i o n . . To emphasize t h i s o b s t a c l e i n p e r c e i v i n g a c u l p a b l e p e r s o n a , however, i s to avo id the r e a l p o i n t t h a t the a r t i f i c e employed i n par t two makes the P r i n c e ' s defense more e f f e c t i v e , and t e s t i f i e s even f u r t h e r to h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l a b i l i t y . The on ly way to expose the decept ion behind t h i s i l l u s i o n i s to revea l the u n d e r l y i n g assumption t h a t e v e r y t h i n g g iven i s c o n t r o l l e d by the a u t h o r , i n t h i s i n s t a n c e the P r i n c e . I t i s a l l t h e r e f o r e from h i s l i m i t e d a n d - n a t u r a l l y p r o t e c t i v e p o i n t of v iew , so on ly the k ind of i l l u s i o n c rea ted d i f f e r s from p a r t one. The poem i s i n s t r u c t i v e both as an o b j e c t lesson i n l i t e r a r y c o n t r o l and as an i l l u s t r a t i o n of the manner i n which a mind defends i t s e l f through the decept ion of a c a r e f u l l y r e g u l a t e d f i e l d of v i s i o n . , However, the r e s u l t i n g i l l u s i o n i s on ly an outward one, which the P r i n c e ' s p e r c e p t i o n b r ings him f i n a l l y to r e a l i z e . Th is s k i l l e d m a n i p u l a t i o n o f ; . t he poem's form by the persona does not mean t h a t the reader, .cannot recogn ize the r e c u r r i n g impuls.es and p r e d i s p o s i t i o n s i n h i s c h a r a c t e r , which emerge d e s p i t e the care he e x e r c i s e s to d i s g u i s e them. P a r t one , p a r t i c u l a r l y , conta ins the usual i n a d v e r t e n t c h a r a c t e r r e v e l a t i o n of the dramat ic monologue; i n t h i s poem, however, the monologue exposes not so much c a s u i s t r y , i n the sense of erroneous or fa-1 l a c i o u s arguments, as an emotional a n x i e t y and s e l f i s h 26 s c e p t i c i s m which u n d e r l i e the s p e a k e r ' s ph i losophy ; . i i The P r i n c e opens h i s monologue i n a m i l d l y b a n t e r i n g manner which i s both i n g r a t i a t i n g and 1 i g h t h e a r t e d . He appears amused by h i s compan-i o n ' s d e s i r e to know him ("Wise men, ' t i s s a i d , :have sometimes wished the same, /And wished and.had t h e i r t r o u b l e f o r t h e i r p a i n s " ; 4 - 5 ) , and y e t h i s f l i r t a t i o u s t e a s i n g about her i n t e r e s t - - " W h o . f i n d s me hard l y g rey , and l i k e s my nose" (20) - -masks the importance to him of the task proposed: "Revealment of m y s e l f ! " By c a s t i n g h i m s e l f f i r s t as the Sphynx, he immediately p o s i t s the r i d d l e o f - h i s a c t i o n s and i d e n t i t y . But d e s p i t e the apparent spontane i t y of h i s gesture^ he seems eager to have " j u s t i c e rendered" to " the .good t r i c k which served the t u r n , " a n d , p a r t i c u l a r l y , to a v o i d c l a s s i f i c a t i o n w i t h Home's c h a r l a t a n i s m ( 6 - 1 4 ) . The Sphynx metaphor, i n i t s evocat ion of a s i g n i f i c a n t mytho log ica l f i g u r e , i s f l a t t e r i n g to the P r i n c e , but he a l s o in t roduces a comic element i n the image of h i s Oedipus l u r k i n g "Under a p o r k - p i e hat and c r i n o l i n e " and pouncing "on Sphynx i n L e i c e s t e r Square" ( 6 - 8 ) . Th is f u s -ion of the a rchetypa l w i t h the commonplace and t r i v i a l c reates a sense of f l i p p a n c y which recurs as the poem proceeds ; as y e t i t i s amusing, but as the a r t i f i c e accumulates , i t s e f f e c t borders on an unhealthy s c e p t i -c i s m . He next performs the lesson of the b l o t s ( i n e v i t a b l y r e f e r r e d to by the poem's commentators) , w h i c h , he s a y s , i l l u s t r a t e s h i s fundamental impulse to " tu rn to best account the t h i n g /That ' s ha l f -made" r a t h e r than to "Make what i s a b s o l u t e l y new" ( 8 5 - 8 8 ) . Even as he does t h i s , however, . a.number of i n c i d e n t a l phrases r e q u i r e a t t e n t i o n . While he j o i n s the two b l o t s w i th h i s r i g h t hand, h i s l e f t " P u l l e d smooth and pinched the moustache to a p o i n t " ( 4 4 ) — a g a i n the f l i p p a n t g e s t u r e , t h i s t ime p h y s i -c a l . In h i s mention o f E u c l i d and geometry, the f i r s t o f numerous r e f -erences to s c i e n t i f i c m a t t e r s , the phrase "moral mathematics" (52) suggests a d e s i r e to deal w i t h human va lues i n a q u a n t i t a t i v e manner. He a l s o says he "knew how to extend" the two b l o t s " i n t o a l i n e /Symmetric on the sheet they b l u r r e d b e f o r e " ( 8 9 - 9 0 ) ; the c o n t r a s t between "symmetr ic" and " b l u r r e d " i m p l i e s t h a t he c reated order from d i s o r d e r , adding a concern f o r o r g a n i z a t i o n to h i s i n t e r e s t i n e m p i r i c a l d a t a . A f t e r the i n i t i a l impress ion of w i t t y s o p h i s t i c a t i o n , he seems now to be deve lop ing the image of an educated and r a t i o n a l i n t e l l i g e n c e . Y e t , to ma in ta in the rappor t w i t h h i s l e s s knowledgable companion, he cont inues w i t h a j o v i a l and ear thy h u m i l i t y : leave t h i s f i r s t C lod of an i n s t a n c e we began w i t h , r i s e To the complete wor ld many c lods e f f e c t . Only cont inue p a t i e n t w h i l e I thrown. D e l v e r - l i k e , spadefu l a f t e r spadefu l up , J u s t as t r u t h s come, the s u b s o i l of me,.mould Whence s p r i n g my moods. (93-99) Even t h i s g e n i a l s e l f - d e p r e c i a t i o n employs a g e o l o g i c a l metaphor which suggests t h a t he i s being o b j e c t i v e and hones t , t h a t t r u t h i s a v a i l a b l e upon a n a l y s i s o f h i s s p a d e f u l s : y o u r : o b j e c t , — j u s t to f i n d , A l i k e from h a n d l i f t and from b a r r o w - l o a d , ; What s a l t s a n d , . s i l t s , may c o n s t i t u t e the ear th . . . (99-101) In the f i r s t s c o o p . o f e a r t h ( l l l f f . ) , . h e e x p l a i n s h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h God, r e c o n c i l i n g the apparent l y c o n t r a d i c t o r y - n o t i o n s tha t he l i v e s " to p lease h i m s e l f " and t h a t he recognizes an " immeasurable" power g r e a t e r than h i s own (111 -117) . H is tone i s now t h a t of a p h i l o s o p h e r making c a r e f u l mental d i s t i n c t i o n s : I , - - n o t H e , - -L i v e , t h i n k , do human work h e r e - - n o machine, His w i l l moves, but a ..being by m y s e l f , H i s , and not He who made me f o r a work, . Watches my w o r k i n g , judges i t s e f f e c t , But does not i n t e r p o s e . (120-125) The purpose of h i s argument i n t h i s s e c t i o n (111-229) i s to s e p -a ra te h i s w i l l and h i s e x i s t e n c e from G o d ' s , and y e t to main ta in t h a t he f u l f i l s God's purpose ; the a r t i f i c e s employed to a s s e r t h i s p o s i t i o n i l l u s t r a t e the manner i n which h i s argument i s not c a p t i o u s , but avo id c e r t a i n i m p l i c a t i o n s conta ined i n i t . The c e n t r a l metaphor f o r h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p wi th . God i s the c o u r i e r . A c o u r i e r , once g iven h i s t a s k , may execute i t by whatever means and i n whatever manner he chooses ; when h i s journey i s completed , h i s performance w i l l be judged by h i s employer , not b e f o r e ; as the c o u r i e r i s to the P r i n c e , so the P r i n c e i s to God. The analogy i s not f a l s e , and ,yet the c o u r i e r ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i th h i s master d i f f e r s from the P r i n c e ' s w i t h h i s God i n one respect which the P r i n c e here i g n o r e s : the c o u r i e r , u n l i k e the P r i n c e , r e c e i v e s a d i r e c t and s p e c i f i c command. Emphasis i s p laced on the means of per forming the task and on the judgement of t h a t means, a v o i d i n g f o r the moment the ques t ion of what t h a t task i s and, ; more p a r t i c u l a r l y , how the P r i n c e knows what i t . i s . A l i t t l e l a t e r , he w i l l d e s c r i b e h i s " m i s s i o n , " but here h i s e f f o r t focuses on the a s s e r t i o n t h a t h i s a c t i o n s were wrought accord ing to God's i n t e n t i o n . He acknowledges the " i n t e r - c o m m u n i c a t i o n " which some men have w i th God, and mentions the " v a r i e d modes of c r e a t u r e -s h i p " which imply " j u s t as v a r i e d in tercourse . " w i t h t h e i r C reato r (170-183) . The impress ion i s t h a t the P r i n c e has a . d i a l o g u e w i t h God , .except of a k ind d i f f e r e n t from o t h e r s , but by h i s own analogy he r e c e i v e s on ly one message which conveys h i s t a s k , and t h a t i s ha rd l y i n t e r c o u r s e . His lady companion, whom he types as one who c o n t i n u a l l y seeks d i v i n e g u i d -ance , suggests tha t he c o n s c i o u s l y pursues emancipat ion from God (199-200) . He answers this , by d i r e c t i n g her a t t e n t i o n to the duty of every man, however menial h i s d a i l y work, to take "the path appointed h i m , " and by i n v o l v i n g her i n s i n c e r i t y w i t h h i s ( 2 0 5 - 2 0 6 , 2 T 7 ) - - a r h e t o r i c a l dev ice which avoids the q u e s t i o n r a t h e r than answers i t , s i n c e she w i l l presumably be r e l u c t a n t to accuse h e r s e l f o f i n s i n c e r i t y . The i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p between h i s duty and. the duty of the " l i t t l e l i v e s o f men" a n t i c i p a t e s h i s concern f o r the poor and l e s s f o r t u n a t e c i t i z e n s of h i s c o u n t r y , which he pro fesses l a t e r . < C e r t a i n l y no-one would wish to c r i t i c i z e him f o r a s s o c i a t i n g h i m s e l f w i th o r d i n a r y p e o p l e , y e t th is , should not conceal h i s phras ing when he says each man should f q l l o w the path which i s "appointed him /By whatsoever s i g n he r e c o g n i z e " ( 2 1 5 - 2 1 6 ) ; t h i s , o f c o u r s e , leaves the way c l e a r to dec ide h i s own task at w i l l . N e i t h e r should the admirable r e l i g i o u s , sent iments i n always a c t i n g wi th regard to u l t i m a t e , not immediate, d i v i n e judgement d e f l e c t a t t e n t i o n from h i s acknowledged concern not on ly w i t h what h i s "head and hear t / P r e -s c r i b e d , " but a l s o w i th "every s o r t of h e l p f u l c i r cumstance" ( 2 3 5 - 2 4 0 ; my i ta 1 i c s ) . The advantages i n the form of d i v i n e r e l a t i o n s h i p o u t l i n e d by the P r i n c e are t h r e e f o l d . He may s i m u l t a n e o u s l y c l a i m d i v i n e a u t h o r i t y f o r h i s purpose and dec ide f o r h i m s e l f the means of pursu ing those purposes . ( I f d i v i n e guidance, i s c o n t i n u a l l y sought , i t m i g h t , o f c o u r s e , vary from what i s p o l i t i c a l l y opportune. ) In s u b j e c t i n g a l l h i s methods to heavenly judgement, he g ives the impress ion of s u b o r d i n a t i n g h i m s e l f to i d e a l s h igher than human expediency . In c l a i m i n g to work.always to the end of becoming "the c r e a t u r e [he] was bound /To b e , " and not to thwart "God's purpose, i n c r e a t i o n " ( 2 4 6 - 2 4 8 ) , he i n e f f e c t s h i f t s the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , f o r h i s m o t i v a t i o n s a n d , a c t i o n s onto God who began i t a l l . These advan-tages are p a r t i c u l a r l y i m p o r t a n t , i n p repar ing the way f o r the P r i n c e ' s l a t e r defence a g a i n s t accusat ions tha t he works s o l e l y by oppor tun ism, l a c k i n g any h igher i d e a l , but t h e i r v a l i d i t y i s e n t i r e l y dependent on h i s c l a i m to s i n c e r i t y . The d i v e r s i o n from h i s l i s t e n e r ' s query about consc ious emancipat ion i s l e g i t i m a t e i n emphasiz ing t h a t very p o i n t . A t t h i s stage of the poem* there i s i n s u f f i c i e n t evidence to judge the P r i n c e ' s i n t e g r i t y f a i r l y . N e v e r t h e l e s s , there are three h i n t s tha t h i s p i e t y might c o n s i s t of convenient l i n g u i s t i c e x p r e s s i o n s : heaven and ear th are " f i g u r e s which a s s i s t our sense" (114; .my i t a l i c s ) ; l i f e ' s f a i l u r e or success i s "What f o l k c a l l being saved o r c a s t away" (252; my i t a l i c s ) ; and h i s a u d i t o r i s asked to "grant the phrase" when he r e f e r s to h i s "miss ion" . (277; my i t a l i c s ) . Perhaps a c r u c i a l p o i n t i s h i s d e s i r e to " p l e a s e [ h i m s e l f ] on the g reat s c a l e , /Having regard to immor-t a l i t y /No l e s s than l i f e " ( 2 3 3 - 2 3 5 ) . He seeks to combine h i s . p o l i t i c a l , e a r t h l y aims w i t h s p i r i t u a l , heavenly purposes , to r e c o n c i l e what may o therwise seem oppos i te p r i n c i p l e s , and h i s d e s i r e to balance d i f f e r e n t views i s one of h i s b a s i c emotional and i n t e l l e c t u a l i n s t i n c t s . He main ta ins a s i m i l a r balance i n p u b l i c a f f a i r s . His " m i s s i o n , " he s a y s , i s to r u l e men--men w i t h i n my r e a c h , To o r d e r , i n f l u e n c e and d ispose them so As render s o l i d and s t a b i l i f y Mankind i n p a r t i c l e s , the l i g h t and l o o s e , For t h e i r good.and my p leasure i n the a c t . (278-282) The combinat ion of p u b l i c good w i t h personal s a t i s f a c t i o n and f u l f i l m e n t i s probably the i d e a l defence f o r a p o l i t i c a l f i g u r e , as long as an e q u i l i b r i u m i s mainta ined and the second does not i n t e r f e r e w i t h the f i r s t ; The P r i n c e ' s d isarming honesty i n a d m i t t i n g t h a t h i s own p leasure i s i n v o l v e d no.doubt he lps to overcome f e a r s t h a t personal s a t i s f a c t i o n might upset the b a l a n c e . Frankness i s one of h i s most u s e f u l and f r e -quent l y used a r t i f i c e s f o r prompting p l a u s i b i l i t y . His a p p r a i s a l of h i m s e l f i n the next s e c t i o n , f o r example, where he d e s c r i b e s h i m s e l f as a c o n s e r v a t o r , " p o s s i b l y " a man most u s e f u l to h i s f e l l o w s , but not one of the g r e a t e s t minds or r a r e s t natures ( 2 9 4 - 2 9 7 ) , d e f l e c t s c r i t i c i s m and draws sympathy as an o b j e c t i v e and f a i r - m i n d e d judgement. E q u i t a b l e s e l f - e v a l u a t i o n i s another k ind of b a l a n c e , and the P r i n c e ' s d e s i r e f o r e q u a l i z i n g oppos i tes i s e s s e n t i a l l y a pass ion f o r o r d e r . He makes t h i s d e s i r e e x p l i c i t i n s a y i n g t h a t he aims to " s t a b i l i f y /Mankind" ( 2 8 0 - 2 8 1 ) , and i n p r o f e s s i n g " to t r a c e /The broken c i r c l e of s o c i e t y , /Dim a c t u a l o rder" ( 3 0 0 . 3 0 2 ) . I t i s , of c o u r s e , a p e r f e c t l y reasonable p a s s i o n . The poem proceeds w i t h an important passage about the P r i n c e ' s concern f o r s o c i a l o rder and about the nature of change. > The regenera -t i o n of s o c i e t y occurs at i r r e g u l a r i n t e r v a l s and i s brought about by men of e x c e p t i o n a l ; c h a r a c t e r ; the P r i n c e , however, says t h a t he i s not such a man and t h a t h i s time does not r e q u i r e such r a d i c a l change. He accepts the f a c t t h a t r e b i r t h must i n e v i t a b l y occur some t i m e , b u t i t seems a r e l u c t a n t admiss ion as he renders the processes of change ambig-uous. He employs a geograph ica l i l l u s t r a t i o n f o r these p r o c e s s e s , and though the r e s u l t of change i s "New teeming growth . . . a wor ld broke up /And re -made , " even "order gained by law des t royed" • ( 3 4 1 - 3 4 3 ) , the ac t of change means a t e r r i f y i n g upheava l : E a r t h ' s "mountains t remble i n t o f i r e , her p l a i n s /Heave b l i n d e d by c o n f u s i o n " ( 3 3 9 - 3 4 0 ) . The value of the man who promotes t h i s upheaval i s a l s o made ambiguous.by a l i s t of such men which i n c l u d e s a " d e r v i s h d e s e r t - s p e c t r e " and "swordsman" as w e l l as a " s a i n t , / L a w - g i v e r " and " l y r i s t " ( 3 5 0 - 3 5 1 ) . The P r i n c e ' s phras ing of the b reak ing up of i c e - t r a c t s i s a t t r a c t i v e l y h a n d l e d , and h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of what i s l o s t i s an example o f h i s a b i l i t y to achieve a s p l e n d i d l y r i c i s m : t h e r e ' s an end o f i m m o b i l i t y , S i l e n c e , - a n d a l l t h a t t i n t e d pageant , base To p i n n a c l e , one f l u s h f r o m . f a i r y l a n d Deep-as leep and deser ted s o m e w h e r e , — s e e ! — As a f r e s h s u n , wave, s p r i n g and joy o u t b u r s t . (333-337) C e r t a i n l y , " joy" comes f o r t h , but the impress ive tone i n imaging the l o s t f a i r y l a n d s u g g e s t s t h a t the P r i n c e p r e f e r s i t s s i l e n t i m m o b i l i t y , not because what, i s new i s not v a l u a b l e , but because of the con fus ion and the d i s s i p a t i o n of o rder necessary to b r i n g i t about . H is s e l e c t i o n of i r r e g u l a r and v i o l e n t g e o l o g i c a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n may a l s o be seen as an a r t i f i c e designed to r e i n f o r c e the dangers inherent i n p h y s i c a l , and by analogy s o c i a l , change. To employ metaphors of seasonal v a r i a t i o n would undermine h i s e f f e c t , s i n c e t h a t form of regenera t ion i s r e g u l a r as w e l l as i n e v i t a b l e . In t h i s passage, the P r i n c e ' s pass ion f o r order i n s i n u a t e s a cover t f e a r of d i s o r d e r . A f t e r d r a m a t i z i n g the c o n t r a d i c t o r y a t t i t u d e s of h i s c r i t i c s , and i n c i d e n t a l l y g i v i n g another demonstrat ion of h i s i n f r e q u e n t f e l i c i t y w i th words ("Leave unef faced the c razy l a b y r i n t h /Of a l t e r a t i o n and amendment"; 3 8 2 - 3 8 3 ) , the P r i n c e r e i t e r a t e s h i s c o n s e r v a t i v e a im, to "Do the best w i th the l e a s t change p o s s i b l e " (397) . He says he w i l l prepare the way f o r the man of genius who i s to renew s o c i e t y , e s t a b l i s h i n g a "good h a r d , s u b -s t a n c e , not mere shade and s h i n e " (411) f o r t h i s man to b u i l d on . Hohenst ie l -Schwangau 's hope f o r mankind i s "something equably smoothed everywhere, /Good, r e c o n c i l e d w i t h h a r d l y - q u i t e - a s - g o o d , / Instead of good and bad each j o s t l i n g each" ( 4 2 9 - 4 3 1 ) . A c o n c i l i a t i o n i n the l a t t e r sense i s a c c e p t a b l e , even i f an "equably smoothed" s o c i e t y i s a somewhat b land p r o p o s i t i o n . Man t o i l s such a long t ime before producing any change i n " the hear t of t h i n g s , " concludes the P r i n c e , t h a t not even a c i g a r w h i f f should be r i s k e d f o r " F o u r i e r , Comte, and a l l t h a t ends i n smoke!" ( 4 3 4 - 4 3 9 ) — a re fe rence which t y p i f i e s the use of proper names i n the poem. The t h e o r i e s and proposa ls of F o u r i e r and Cpmte are not d i s -t i n g u i s h e d or a n a l y s e d , but i n c a s u a l l y i n s e r t i n g t h e i r names i n t o h i s c o n v e r s a t i o n , the P r i n c e can pretend t o . a f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h contemporary, i n t e l l e c t u a l . t h o u g h t ; h i s e q u a l l y casua l d i s m i s s a l of them i n t o the realms of smoke d isposes of t h a t thought w i thout the need f o r f u r t h e r c o n s i d e r -a t i o n . The P r i n c e next emphasizes h i s p lan f o r the c o e x i s t e n c e of va r ious kinds of moral happiness ( 4 4 0 - 4 7 2 ) . I t i s another p ra isewor thy endeavour, p r o v i d e d , as the P r i n c e p o i n t s out i n one of h i s c o m i c a l l y f r i v o l o u s images, "each toe spares i t s ne ighbour ' s k i b e " (450) . To " r u l e and regu -l a t e the c o u r s e , " m a k i n g sure t h a t "none impede the o t h e r ' s pa th" (460-4 6 6 ) , i s the P r i n c e ' s chosen purpose , y e t h i s mechanical metaphor f o r s o c i e t y ( " the whole machine should march ./ Impel led by those d i v e r s e l y -moving p a r t s " ; 466-467) i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y at v a r i a n c e w i th h i s concern f o r q u a l i t a t i v e ( " m o r a l , m a r k ! - - n o t m a t e r i a l " ; 446). happ iness . The q u a l i t y of moral happiness i m p l i e s a s e r i e s of f i n e g r a d a t i o n s , whereas mechanical order i s a r e l a t i v e l y , gross and b l u n t s y s t e m a t i z a t i o n . The "machine" image invokes the P r i n c e ' s e a r l i e r re fe rence to "moral mathe-m a t i c s " (52) a n d , f u r t h e r demonstrates h i s preference f o r the q u a n t i t a -t i v e o r d e r i n g of human v a l u e s . S ince a s o c i e t y which moves smoothly and m a c h i n e - l i k e i s one where f e e l i n g s , emotions and q u a l i t a t i v e judgements b r i n g n o . u n r u l y d i s t u r b a n c e s , the image a l s o r e i n f o r c e s h i s d e s i r e to avo id u n c o n t r o l l e d c i r c u m s t a n c e s , where the course of p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n might be u n c e r t a i n . Cont inu ing h i s monologue, the P r i n c e : r e a c h e s an important sum-mat ion : I t h i n k t h a t to have he ld the balance s t r a i g h t For twenty y e a r s , s a y , weighing c l a i m and c l a i m , And g i v i n g each i t s due, no l e s s no more , , Th is was good s e r v i c e to humanity , R igh t usage of my power i n head and h e a r t , And reasonable p i e t y b e s i d e . Keep those th ree p o i n t s i n mind w h i l e judg ing me! (473-479) Th is i s a c r u c i a l element i n h i s apo logy , s i n c e i t shows h i s attempt to combine an e x t e r n a l balance i n s o c i a l o r d e r , the j u d i c i a l s u s t a i n i n g o f e q u a l i t y f o r a l l p o i n t s of v i e w , w i t h an i n t e r n a l i n t e g r a t i o n between h e a d , . h e a r t and god - (o r between i n t e l l e c t , emotion and s p i r i t , i n s o f a r as he b e l i e v e s . i n s p i r i t ) . His " r i g h t usage" of h i s head and hear t i n c o n — t r o l l i n g s o c i a l order i s an a c t w h i c h , f o r h im, fuses i d e n t i t y and p e r -27 s o n a l i t y - - t o make Harold Rosenberg s d i s t i n c t i o n between these terms. P o l i t i c a l a c t i o n such as the P r i n c e d e s c r i b e s would e s t a b l i s h h i s i d e n -t i t y as a s e l f - p o s s e s s e d , r a t i o n a l and i d e o l o g i c a l l y comprehensive r u l e r . Th is i d e n t i t y c o i n c i d e s w i t h the impulses f o r u n i t y and the f e a r of chaos which c h a r a c t e r i z e h i s p e r s o n a l i t y , and the u n d e r l y i n g o b j e c t of the monologue i s to reach a d e c i s i o n which would cont inue to demonstrate the i d e n t i t y of a r e a l and i n t e g r a t e d p e r s o n a l i t y . The P r i n c e c reates the i l l u s i o n t h a t h i s n a t u r a l p e r s o n a l i t y i s expressed through s o c i a l a c t i o n which combines the f u l f i l m e n t of h i s p u b l i c i d e n t i t y w i th p o l i t i -c a l advantage to h i s peop le . His p o l i t i c a l ph i losophy i s t h e r e f o r e designed to u n i t e h i s p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t a t e w i t h h i s p u b l i c i d e n t i t y , and t h i s i n t e n t i o n i s f r a u g h t w i th the c o m p l e x i t i e s o f h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l e f f o r t to s u s t a i n the i l l u s i o n . One p a r t o f - h i s argument must r e s t on the p o s i t i o n t h a t h i s con -s e r v a t i v e p o l i c i e s s u i t , t h e c o n d i t i o n s of h i s n a t i o n . His repeated a s s e v e r a t i o n s t h a t the time and " s t a t e of t h i n g s " demand.conservat ive r u l e ( e . g . , 3 5 2 - 3 5 4 , 440-442) are an impor tant .e lement of h i s p o l i t i c a l debate . In terms of h i s psycho logy , they are c r u c i a l a r t i f i c e s to sup -p o r t , h i s i m p l i e d c l a i m t h a t the q u a l i t i e s he possesses f o r a c t i o n c o i n c i d e remarkably w i t h the q u a l i t i e s r e q u i r e d by the s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n f o r i t s s u c c e s s f u l r u l e . Haro ld Rosenberg comments on the i d e n t i t y and p e r s o n -a l i t y predicament „in Hamlet:. In [ H a m l e t ] , the a c t i o n o f a p e r s o n , which i s the e x p r e s s i o n of a p s y c h o l o g i c a l c o n d i t i o n , i s c o n t r a s t e d w i t h t h a t of an i d e n t i t y , which always takes p lace i n response to h i s r o l e - - w h i c h he performs as r e q u i r e d of him by the p l o t , by the whole i n which he i s l o c a t e d . . . . Hamlet has a l l the q u a l i t i e s r e q u i r e d f o r a c t i o n ; what he l a c k s i s the i d e n t i t y s t r u c t u r e which would f i t him to be a c h a r a c -t e r i n a drama, a one-ness w i th h i s r o l e o r i g i n a t i n g i n and , respond -ing to the laws of h i s dramat ic w o r l d . ^ 8 Hohenst ie l -Schwangau 's dilemma i n v o l v e s a s i m i l a r c o n t r a s t , w i th the d i f -fe rence t h a t he l a c k s Hamlet 's inner personal q u a l i t i e s and t h a t h i s r e v e r i e i s an attempt to hide t h i s d e f i c i e n c y . In t h i s r e g a r d , the r e l a t i o n s h i p w i th God which he s p e c i f i e s e a r l i e r becomes r e l e v a n t . His freedom of w i l l i n determin ing the means f o r pursu ing h i s ass igned task assures the P r i n c e , s i n c e he i s h i s own a u d i t o r , t h a t h i s a c t i o n s do express h i s i n d i v i d u a l p e r s o n a l i t y , or converse ly t h a t he does not ac t merely i n a c c o r d , w i t h e x t e r n a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s . (The l a t t e r s i t u a t i o n would p lace him i n Hamlet 's pred icament , which he i s t r y i n g to a v o i d , a l b e i t through s e l f - d e c e p t i o n . ) . The success of the P r i n c e ' s c l a i m i s always d u b i o u s , , h o w e v e r , because u n l i k e Hamlet he c o n t r o l s , i n t h i s r e v e r i e , h i s own "dramat ic w o r l d , " and t h e r e f o r e i s i n a p o s i t i o n to des -c r i b e tha t wor ld i n such, a way t h a t the a c t i o n r e q u i r e d by i t would i n -d i c a t e an i d e n t i t y admirab ly s u i t e d to h i s " p s y c h o l o g i c a l c o n d i t i o n . " The f r u i t f u l union of h i s p e r s o n a l i t y w i t h the e x t e r n a l c i r c u m -stances i s a l s o the p o i n t behind h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of h i s "double j o y " ; Th is i s the h o n o u r , - - t h a t no t h i n g I know> Feel or c o n c e i v e , but I can make my own Somehow, by use of hand o r head or h e a r t : Th is i s the g l o r y , - - t h a t i n a l l c o n c e i v e d , Or f e l t o r known, I recogn ize a mind Not mine -but l i k e m i n e , — f o r the double j o y , — • Making a l l t h i n g s f o r me and me f o r Him. (570-576) Because he can both,make a l l t h a t he perce i ves h i s own—whether through s e n s e , emotion o r i n t e l l e c t — a n d recogn ize i n a l l t h i s a mind not h i s but l i k e h i s , the two—God and P r i n c e — a r e in te rdependent . Th is s a t i s f y i n g communion w i t h God e f f e c t i v e l y symbol izes the summation of h i s d e s i r e s : the i n t e g r a t i o n of s e l f , achieved through an interdependence of e x t e r n a l c i rcumstance and i n t e r n a l p e r s o n a l i t y . w h i c h cou ld not be e f f e c t e d w i t h -out t h i s i n t e g r a t i o n and which t h e r e f o r e proves i t s e x i s t e n c e . The P r i n c e ' s heaven, a grand r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of p o l a r i t i e s ( 5 8 9 - 5 9 8 ) , s i m i l a r l y 29 symbol izes h i s s t rong impulses to u n i f y war r ing e lements . I r o n i c a l l y , the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n i s an i l l u s i o n , and what appears to be interdependence i s a one way a f f a i r , w i t h a l l r e l a t i o n s h i p s dependent on the P r i n c e ' s p o i n t of v iew. The i n t e g r a t e d s e l f i s not p roved , a l though there i s a l s o a f u r t h e r i r o n y t h a t the P r i n c e f i n a l l y does achieve a form of e q u i l i b -r ium i n h i s c h a r a c t e r , and thereby renders h i m s e l f i n c a p a b l e o f making a d e c i s i o n . Another necessary p a r t o f the argument f o r p r e s e r v i n g s o c i e t y must be t h a t s o c i e t y i s worth preserv ing , . The P r i n c e pursues t h i s p o i n t i n two ways: by h e a v i l y c r i t i c i z i n g those who b e l i t t l e man's n a t u r e , p a r t i c -u l a r l y poets ( 4 9 9 - 6 1 2 ) ; and by a s s e r t i n g t h a t e v i l i s a necessary agent f o r good ( 6 2 0 - 6 4 6 ) . The second p r o p o s i t i o n i s a v e r s i o n of the d o c t r i n e of i m p e r f e c t i o n , f a m i l i a r i n Browning's work. The f i r s t argument, how-e v e r , has more, dubious m e r i t . An argument by n e g a t i o n , i t emphasizes not the va lue of man's n a t u r e , but the wor th lessness of those who de r ide t h a t v a l u e . The P r i n c e accuses the Bard of engaging i n w i l f u l decept ion i n o rder t o . e s t a b l i s h h i s personal s u p e r i o r i t y over other,men and over the " v i s i b l e u n i v e r s e . " Th is a c c u s a t i o n would appeal to the p o p u l a r . 30 d e s i r e f o r p o e t i c s i n c e r i t y , based as i t i s on the k ind of a e s t h e t i c a t t i t u d e s seen i n Bentham's "The R a t i o n a l e of Reward" ( " T r u t h , . exac t i tude 31 of every k i n d , i s f a t a l to poet ry " ) — a n a p p r o p r i a t e a t t i t u d e f o r a pragmatic p o l i t i c i a n perhaps , p a r t i c u l a r l y when he wants to d i v e r t ques -t i o n s about t r u t h away from h i m s e l f . B a s i c a l l y , however, the P r i n c e r e - , f u t e s by t r a v e s t y r a t h e r than by argument, and h i s performance f r e q u e n t l y verges on mere r i d i c u l e : "0 s u n , 0 moon, ye mountains and thou s e a , Thou emblem of immensi ty , thou t h i s , T h a t , . and the other , -r -what imper t inence In man to eat and d r i n k and walk about And have h i s l i t t l e not ions of h i s own, The w h i l e some wave sheds foam upon the s h o r e ! " (521-526) The whole passage, i n c l u d i n g the reduc t ion of the p a t h e t i c f a l l a c y to a matter of v e n t r i l o q u y ( 5 4 0 ) , i s a t r a v e s t y which by exposing the P r i n c e ' s 32 P h i l i s t i n i s m , suggests a c e r t a i n d is ingenuousness i f not c y n i c i s m on 33 h i s part - , d e s p i t e h i s p l e a t h a t he has the i n t e r e s t s of a l l men at h e a r t . His immediate purpose again i s the matter of e q u a l i t y and c o -o p e r a t i o n . The poet must not be a l lowed to suggest tha t man i s i n f e r i o r to n a t u r e , or t h a t some men are i n f e r i o r to o t h e r s ; the P r i n c e ' s p h i l -osophy i s one of a l l - e m b r a c i n g t o l e r a n c e and cohesion between d i s p a r i t i e s . When he turns from d e s c r i b i n g h i s aim t o , d i s c u s s i n g "the means t h e r e t o " ( 6 4 9 ) , he aga in pauses to develop a long a s i d e r e i t e r a t i n g h i s r e f u s a l to dest roy e x i s t i n g o b j e c t s , even i f d e s t r u c t i o n were the proper work to choose. In the s u s t a i n e d e labora teness of i t s s t r u c t u r e , the episode i s ev idence of h i s ve rba l s k i l l , but i t a l s o makes apparent the obsess i ve q u a l i t y i n h i s p lan f o r p r e s e r v a t i o n . The r e p e t i t i o n of h i s a s p i r a t i o n s i s becoming ted ious f o r the r e a d e r , but the tedium should not h ide the p o i n t t h a t h i s d i s m i s s a l of doubt a b o u t t h e c o r r e c t n e s s of h i s " e n d " - - " C a n there be ques t ion which was the r i g h t t a s k - - /To save or to dest roy s o c i e t y ? " (653 -654) - -emphas i zes h i s cho ice as one between sav ing o r - d e s t r o y i n g s o c i e t y . He now, c o n v e n i e n t l y , ignores the p o s s i -b i l i t y of change, whereas e a r l i e r , when d i s c u s s i n g h i s a c t i o n w i th the b l o t s , he presented h i s cho ice as one between c r e a t i n g something new or making " the best of the o l d " ( 2 6 3 - 2 6 8 ) . A f t e r the emotional , and r h e t o r i c a l tone o f t h i s d i g r e s s i o n , the P r i n c e once more assumes the r o l e o f an o b j e c t i v e and honest a p o l o g i s t : " the means /Whereby to save [ s o c i e t y ] , - - t h e r e begins the doubt / P e r m i t t e d y o u , impera t i ve on me" ( 7 0 1 - 7 0 3 ) . He cont inues to p lay down h i s own ego ( " S u s t a i n i n g i s no b r i l l i a n t s e l f - d i s p l a y / L i k e knocking down or even s e t t i n g u p " ; 712-713) as a p loy to avo id . h i n t s tha t he acted i n h i s own i n t e r e s t ; y e t h i s re fe rence to man's regard f o r Hercules as m i g h t i e r than A t l a s i m p l i e s t h a t he deserves the r e c o g n i t i o n due an A t l a s who bore the e a r t h ' s load c o n t i n u a l l y , not j u s t . f o r one day. The P r i n c e i s c a r e f u l always t o . m a i n t a i n a b a l a n c e , even i n h i s own s e l f - a p p r a i s a l . F o l l o w i n g the immediate i n t r o d u c t i o n . o f what w i l l c o n s t i t u t e h i s most important and v i a b l e defence of h i s c o n s e r v a t i v e p o l i c y - - h i s sympathy f o r the mass of o rd inary , p e o p l e , those t h a t "sought . the d a i l y bread and noth ing more" ( 7 4 2 ) - - h e dramat izes the demands of h i s c r i t i c s , and p a r t i c u l a r l y - t h e . d e m a n d t h a t he choose one of t h e i r c a u s e s ( 7 7 6 - 7 7 9 ) . In the process of accus ing him of l a c k i n g high a s p i r a t i o n s (760-766) and of pursu ing a "sham p o l i c y " ( 8 0 1 ) , the c r i t i c o u t l i n e s some of the s p e c i f i c p o l a r i t i e s faced by Hohenst ie l -Schwangau: s t r i c t f a i t h o r vague i n c r e d u l i t y , s o c i a l h i e r a r c h y or democrat ic f reedom, f o r e i g n p o l i c y or domestic r e f o r m , and complying w i th the n a t i o n by f i g h t i n g or snubbing the n a t i o n by seek ing peace ( 7 8 0 - 7 9 3 ) . One f u r t h e r p o l i c y - - " B i d /Hohen-s t i e l - S c h w a n g a u f i r s t repeal the tax /On p i g - t a i l s and pomatum, and then mind / A b s t r u s e r matters f o r next c e n t u r y ! " , ( 7 9 3 - 7 9 6 ) — e m p l o y s one of the P r i n c e ' s t y p i c a l t r a v e s t i e s a g a i n s t h i m s e l f , and the c r i t i c e x p l o i t s the c lumsiness of the P r i n c e ' s name f o r a s i m i l a r s a t i r i c e f f e c t : " p r i n t /By f o r c e of arms . •-. . /Hohenst ie l -Schwangau on the u n i v e r s e ! " ( 7 8 7 - / 9 0 ) . He c h a r a c t e r i z e s the P r i n c e ' s a l l - i n c l u s i v e conservat ism as an o s c i l l a t -ing and " t a n t a l i z i n g h e l p " f o r a l t e r n a t e s i d e s , and f i n a l l y concludes w i th a c r u c i a l paradox: "Your c h o i c e , /Speak i t out and.condemn y o u r s e l f t h e r e b y ! " ( 8 0 4 - 8 0 5 ) . A cho ice would condemn the P r i n c e because i t would deny h i s p r i n c i p l e s , of t o l e r a n c e f o r . a l l v i e w s ; i t would commit him to one s p e c i f i c p o l i c y which would render him more v u l n e r a b l e to a t t a c k 4 f proved wrong. In what amounts, i n terms of the l a r g e r i l l u s i o n , . t o s e l f -d e p r e c a t i o n , the c r i t i c says the P r i n c e ' s attempt to main ta in a compre-hensive v i e w , not l i m i t e d b y . a s i n g l e p e r s p e c t i v e , i s a "sham p o l i c y , Sure ague of the mind and noth ing more, Disease of the p e r c e p t i o n or the w i l l , That f a i n would hide i n a f i n e name!" (801-804). Th is a c c u s a t i o n p o i n t s to the hear t of the m a t t e r : the P r i n c e ' s ph i losophy as a means o f d e c e p t i o n , pursued f o r personal purposes , a "d i sease of the p e r c e p t i o n . " In one sense h i s dilemma i s not an "ague of the m i n d , " but a too a g i l e mind which a s p i r e s to encompass a l l v i e w s ; i t i s f i t enough, a f t e r a l l , to embrace i t s own c r i t i c i s m and f i n a l l y i t s . e r r o r . However, the s u s p i c i o n remains t h a t the P r i n c e w i l l not choose any s i n g l e course of a c t i o n l e s t i t i n v o l v e a wrong d e c i s i o n . I t i s an important a c c u s a -t i o n i n terms of the poem's t o t a l purpose , s i n c e i t i n t i m a t e s the P r i n c e ' s personal i n s e c u r i t y , and i t s c r i t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e i s on ly superseded by the cry tha t he has not acted upon the i d e a l s which, he once had as a y o u t h . : Th is c r y - - " w e d e s i d e r a t e performance, deed /For word" ( 8 8 1 - 8 8 2 ) - - i s d i r e c t l y p e r t i n e n t to the p o l i t i c a l d e c i s i o n t h a t provokes the r e v e r i e and to the P r i n c e ' s defense of i n a c t i o n ; the two, of c o u r s e , are concomitant . The P r i n c e ' s arguments i n the remainder of p a r t one (the next 400 l i n e s ) , are of mixed q u a l i t y and exempl i f y the ambivalence which d i s t i n -guishes h i s p e r s o n a l i t y . He answers h i s c r i t i c ' s demands f o r cho ice by r e f e r r i n g to man's l i m i t e d l i f e span: guarantee him a hundred years and he would concent ra te on one c a u s e , s i n c e he t o o , he c l a i m s , has a cause . But i n d e s c r i b i n g how he once "took w i n g s , .soared sunward, and thence sang" (821) of h i s i d e a l s , he g ives to h i s exp ress ion a t a i n t of s c e p t i -c ism which undermines h i s s i n c e r i t y . The image of s o a r i n g sunward on wings i m p l i c i t l y parodies both the c r i t i c ' s prev ious images wanting the P r i n c e to look upward w i th "more of the eag le eye" ( 7 6 4 ) , and the myth of I c a r u s ; the l a t t e r , p a r t i c u l a r l y , renders y o u t h f u l i d e a l i s m absurd r a t h e r than i n s p i r e d . A f t e r the P r i n c e has o u t l i n e d h i s i d e a l s - - a u n i t e d I t a l y , f r e e t r a d e , f r e e p r e s s , u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e , labour r i g h t s (871 -8 7 3 ) — t h e r e i s a f u r t h e r in te rweav ing of r h e t o r i c between P r i n c e and c r i t i c . The c r i t i c p i c k s up the P r i n c e ' s " vo ice on l y " metaphor f o r i m p r a c t i c a l i d e a l i s m to apply i t a g a i n s t h i m , and a f t e r denying the P r i n c e ' s achievements says he stands e i t h e r f a l s e or w e a k - - f a l s e i n p r o -mises or weak i n t h e i r imp lementat ion . The P r i n c e , of c o u r s e , admits to n e i t h e r . He puts the words t h a t man "craves f i n e r f a r e , nor l i v e s by , bread a lone" (898) i n t o the c r i t i c ' s mouth (and i n c l u d e s a s u b t l e c r i t i c i s m by having the c r i t i c f o r g e t where the quote i s f r o m ; - 8 9 9 ) and then uses i t i n h i s f i r s t j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r not a c t i n g out h i s i d e a l s . He cou ld n o t . f u l f i l h i s i n t e n t i o n s because p r a c t i c a l c o n d i t i o n s demanded c e r t a i n p r i o r i t i e s : ' " N o t bread a l o n e ' but bread before a l l e l s e / . . . the b o d i l y want serve f i r s t , s a i d I" ( 9 1 8 - 9 1 9 ) . < This i s the s t r o n g e s t p o s s i b l e argument, but i t leads on to derogatory remarks about democracy ( " d i v e r s e hundred t h o u s a n d . f o o l s may vote / . . . /And so e l e c t Barabbas deputy /In l i e u of h i s c o n c u r r e n t " ; 932-935) which again suggest t h a t he 34 argues an a p p r o p r i a t e r a t h e r than a s i n c e r e c a s e . The P r i n c e ' s second j u s t i f i c a t i o n r e s t s on the ( paradox t h a t s o c i a l development e n t a i l s s o c i a l d i s i n t e g r a t i o n : man i s made i n sympathy w i th man At ou tse t of e x i s t e n c e , so to speak; But i n d i s s o c i a t i o n , more and more, Man from h i s f e l l o w , as t h e i r l i v e s advance In c u l t u r e . . . (948-952) Man i s faced w i t h the c o n t r a d i c t o r y promptings of n a t u r e — t o " c o n s u l t " the o r d i n a r y demands of men and women ( 9 7 1 - 9 7 3 ) , and to "care . •'. . f o r t h y s e l f a l o n e " - . (974-979)—which are p a r t i c u l a r l y d i f f i c u l t to r e s o l v e f o r a r u l e r o f , s o c i e t y . The P r i n c e e x p l a i n s the predicament through e v o l u t i o n a r y t h e o r y — h e has always shown a p r e d i l e c t i o n f o r s c i e n t i f i c , e m p i r i c a l r e f e r e n c e s - ^ w h i c h supports h i s p o l i t i c a l p o l i c i e s i n a number of ways. I t accounts f o r h i s personal d e f i c i e n c i e s : he h a d ; t o "cut p robat ion s h o r t , " not having t ime tp : exper ience a l l s o c i a l grades as p a r t . o f an i d e a l a p p r e n t i c e s h i p or e v o l u t i o n f o r h i s task as p r i n c e (994-1011) . E v o l u t i o n i s a slow p r o c e s s : "God takes t ime" (1011) . Hence the P r i n c e ' s concern f o r the development of s o c i e t y through the gradual de - . grees of n a t u r a l growth. F i n a l l y , e v o l u t i o n t e s t i f i e s to the i n t e r d e p e n -dence of man and n a t u r e , and of the va ry ing stages of growth. Having been lodged s u c c e s s i v e l y i n h o l e , c a v e , h u t , tenement, mansion and p a l a c e , the P r i n c e f i n d s h i m s e l f " l o f t i e r i t h e l a s t , " but "not more emancipate" (1016) . Progress does not mean he can sever the l i n k w i th h i s p a s t , y e t n e i t h e r does t h i s i n a b i l i t y t o , f r e e h i m s e l f mean h i s i d e n -t i t y i s dependent on h i s s u r r o u n d i n g s : "From f i r s t to l a s t of l o d g i n g , I was I , . /And not at a l l , t h e p lace t h a t harboured me" (1017-1018) . Th is no t ion both r e f e r s back to h i s dilemma i n wanting to e s t a b l i s h an i d e n t i t y which adequate ly expresses h i s p e r s o n a l i t y , w i thout merely c a p i t u l a t i n g to c i r c u m s t a n c e s , and e x p l a i n s h i s a c t i o n i n s e r v i n g man's common demands. His i n e x t r i c a b l e k i n s h i p w i th nature and w i t h other men leads him to recognize mankind " i n a l l i t s he ight and depth and length and breadth" (1056) , a n d . t h e r e f o r e he w i l l not a l l o w s o c i a l s u p e r i o r i t y to b l i n d him to the requirements of the l e s s f o r t u n a t e : I, be ing of w i l l and power to h e l p , i ' the m a i n , Mankind, must he lp the l e a s t wants f i r s t . (1058-1059) These admirable sent iments are reduced i n value by the next p a s s -age , where the i m p l i c a t i o n s again a l l u d e to the P r i n c e ' s s e l f i s h b i a s . ; He r e f e r s once more to the s h o r t l i f e (an average of twenty y e a r s , he s a y s ; 811) a v a i l a b l e to men, presumably expec t ing h i s account of the i n -adequate t ime f o r a proper a p p r e n t i c e s h i p (994-1011) to b r i n g sympathy f o r h i s a t t i t u d e . I f he cou ld be assured of a hundred y e a r s , he would c e r t a i n l y work "w i th hand and h e a r t " a t some " e x c e p t i o n a l l y noble cause" (1060-1070) . H is b e l i e f i n such a cause i s quest ioned by the h i n t of i r o n y , when he says there would be time "to. t r y experiment at e a s e , " and when he c o n t r a s t s the "sudden m a r v e l " which he would then e r e c t w i t h the otherwise "s low and sober u p r i s e a l l around" of the b u i l d i n g (1072-1078; my i t a l i c s ) . His comment t h a t there w i l l , be " f u l l t ime to mend as w e l l as mar" (1074) a l s o suggests t h a t the c r i t i c was r i g h t e a r l i e r to accuse him of being a f r a i d t o choose one cause , f o r f e a r of l o s i n g h i s good name., F i n a l l y , t h i s t h i r d j u s t i f i c a t i o n , t h a t there i s not time f o r exper iment , ends merely i n a f l i p p a n t g e s t u r e , q u i t e d i f f e r e n t i n tone from the r e s t of the passage: W e l l , and what i s there to be sad about? The w o r l d ' s the w o r l d , l i f e ' s l i f e , and noth ing e l s e . (1085-1086) I t i s a r e d u c t i o n of h i s p o s i t i o n to a f a c i l e p l a t i t u d e , making s t r o n g e r the sense o f h i s s c e p t i c i s m , and a n t i c i p a t i n g the gambling gesture i n the c o n c l u s i o n , as i f he can no longer m a i n t a i n the s t r a i n of c a r e f u l argument . , H is l a s t two j u s t i f i c a t i o n s f o r not f u l f i l l i n g h i s promises expose an i n c r e a s e d degree of s c e p t i c i s m . His f o u r t h argument i s to imply t h a t one of the "h igher s o r t " (1088) who b e l i e v e s i l l can be made good.or u g l i n e s s made b e a u t i f u l i s s imply being f a n c i f u l . He concedes t h a t they f i n d s u f f i c i e n t success to j u s t i f y hope; but they a l s o exper ience " f a i l -ure enough . . . /To b i d ambi t ion keep the whole from change, /As t h e i r best s e r v i c e " (1098-1100) . A l l change, .he s a y s , i n e v i t a b l y leads to the same chequered mixture of b lack and whi te which forms the present s t a t e of th ings ( 1 0 9 4 - 1 0 9 8 ) ; t h i s , when taken to i t s c o n c l u s i o n , i s an argument f o r t o t a l i n a c t i o n . ; H is f i f t h j u s t i f i c a t i o n i s r e a l l y a s u b s i d i a r y of the f i r s t , s e p -a r a t i n g the needs of the body from those of the s o u l . The P r i n c e p r o -fesses to value i d e a l i s m , but t y p i c a l l y h i s express ion m o d i f i e s h i s a p p r o v a l . In p o i n t i n g out t h a t "Hans S l o u c h " would re fuse The C r i t i q u e  of Pure Reason as a s u b s t i t u t e , f o r meat ( 1 1 0 9 - 1 1 1 1 ) , he appeals to common s e n s e , but the humour i s boor i sh and reminds the reader of the P r i n c e ' s e a r l i e r P h i l i s t i n i s m towards nature p o e t s . Common sense a l s o prompts t h a t Kant never in tended t h a t h i s C r i t i q u e cou ld or should serve as such a s u b s t i t u t e . I d e a l i s m , the P r i n c e s a y s , f u n c t i o n s best when h i n d e r e d , and ignorance and s t u p i d i t y form a necessary o p p o s i t i o n . Comparing i d e a l -i s t s to a r i v e r j he says they c r a s h , a f t e r moving smoothly f o r a w h i l e , on the rocks of " i g n o r a n c e , / S t u p i d i t y , h a t e , envy , " but then Up [ they ] mount i n minute m i s t , And br idge the chasm t h a t crushed [ t h e i r ] q u i e t u d e , A s p i r i t - r a i n b o w , ear thborn j e w e l r y O u t s p a r k l i n g the i n s i p i d firmament Blue above Term' and i t s o r a n g e - t r e e s . (1141-1145) I t i s an a t t r a c t i v e image, but t h i s e t h e r e a l beauty has l i t t l e to do w i t h s o c i a l change. The i d e a l i s t s ' t o r r e n t has been t ransformed i n t o a p l e a s -ing " s p i r i t - r a i n b o w , " but "minute m i s t " has none of the f o r c e of the " r o y a l e s t of r i v e r s " which they were before the "chasm" (1136) , and "ear thborn j e w e l r y " i s merely o rnamenta l . The firmament may be " i n s i p i d , " but i t i s the stage of s o c i a l a c t i o n , as the P r i n c e has repeated ly po in ted o u t ; and a man who f r e q u e n t l y employs s c i e n t i f i c re fe rences to support h i s a t t i t u d e s cou ld reasonably be expected to have r e s e r v a t i o n s about be ing "King, o 1 the c a s t l e i n the a i r " ( 1 1 0 8 ) , . a s he terms Kant . A l s o , i n the context of h i s prev ious obsess ion w i t h balance and o r d e r , he c o u l d h a r d l y be expected to want h i s quietude "c rushed" or to be f r e t t e d i n t o "foam and n o i s e " (1140) . H is consc iousness t h a t he may have conveyed these impress ions i s apparent when he immediately i n t e r -j e c t s "Do not mis take me!" (1146) . But once he has acknowledged the " r i g h t s " of i d e a l i s t s , he s i m p l y . c o n t i n u e s w i th two r h e t o r i c a l quest ions 35 which are e q u a l l y i r o n i c . The f i r s t p a r t of the poem, the formal dramat ic monologue, then concludes w i t h a re fe rence to the Laocoon s c u l p t u r e . The P r i n c e uses t h i s f i g u r e to c h a r a c t e r i z e what appears to be somnolent i n e r t i a as c o n -s t a n t and ardent s t r a i n ( 1 1 8 3 - 1 1 9 8 ) , w i t h the c l e a r i m p l i c a t i o n t h a t the same i n t e r p r e t a t i o n a p p l i e s to h i m s e l f . The metaphor i s v i a b l e enough, but i t i s c a r e f u l l y chosen t o . e x p l o i t the p u b l i c ' s i n s e n s i t i v e and 36 uninformed judgement of a r t ob jec ts i n the P r i n c e ' s f a v o u r . P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau i s not i n t e n t on the k ind of w i l f u l decept ion which Sludge and Guido at tempt . His d e c e i t i s more to mask a n a t u r a l s c e p t i c i s m than to defend gross f raud or murder. His arguments are spur ious r a t h e r than s o p h i s t i c a l . The defence of h i s p o l i c i e s i s not ru ined by erroneous l o g i c , but i t e x p l o i t s images and examples which imply the emotional a n x i e t y and ambivalent b e l i e f s u n d e r l y i n g h i s apo logy . Th is r e v e l a t i o n does not mean he i s n e c e s s a r i l y to be judged h a r s h l y ; . r a t h e r , i t i nc reases the understanding o f h i s p red icament , which helps to m i t i g a t e whatever condemnation h i s s c e p t i c a l a t t i t u d e to i d e a l i s m might e l i c i t . Such a c o n f l i c t between sympathy and judgement i s , of c o u r s e , a 37 c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the dramat ic monologue form. i i i In the second p a r t , the P r i n c e employs a d i f f e r e n t t e c h n i q u e , r e -p o r t i n g i n the t h i r d person va r ious arguments,between the Head of Hohenst ie l -Schwangau (the country ) and S a g a c i t y , the spokesman f o r e x -pediency and popu lar o p i n i o n . In the opening s e c t i o n , of about 150 l i n e s , t h e n a r r a t o r d e s c r i b e s the Head's p o l i c i e s , which are the same p r i n c i p l e s of n o n - i n t e r f e r e n c e and p r e s e r v a t i o n of o rder embraced by the P r i n c e i n p a r t one of the poem. There i s a l s o the same s c e p t i c i s m about the p o s s i b i l i t y f o r human goodness. The Head, the n a r r a t o r r e p o r t s , recognized t h a t "weakness, wickedness w i l l b e , /And t h e r e f o r e should be" (1317 -1318) , t h a t even the most p e r f e c t man would break " i n t o some poisonous o r e , " thus compensat ing, i n what might be c a l l e d moral e c o l o g y , "Man's Adversary" f o r e x c l u d i n g him (1318-1329) . The o r e - s m e l t i n g image i s r e m i n i s c e n t of the i n d u s t r i a l and s c i e n t i f i c metaphors employed by the P r i n c e e a r l i e r . E v i d e n t l y , i n the r o l e of n a r r a t o r , the P r i n c e has not r e l i n q u i s h e d h i s c h a r a c t e r and p o i n t of v i e w , and he manipulates the r e a d e r ' s approval f o r the Head,.who supposedly ( i t i s never e x p l i c i t ) represents what he "might have been" (1224, 2085) . The Head, the n a r r a t o r s a y s , "chose t r u t h " and r e j e c t e d s w i f t a c t i o n to apprehend those servants of the people who f a l s e l y p l o t t e d a g a i n s t h im. He p r e f e r r e d to acquiesce i n the C r e a t o r ' s p l a n , " l e a v i n g l i t t l e minds t h e i r l i b e r t y /Of l i t t l e n e s s " (1290-1291) . The Head i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the n a r r a t o r as a man of pa t ience and i n t e g r i t y , and as long as the reader i s dependent on the i n f o r m a t i o n g i v e n , t h i s o p i n i o n cannot be d i s p u t e d . The Head e v e n t u a l l y appeals to the people f o r the power to do t h e i r w i l l . I t i s to be t h e i r c h o i c e , he says (1400 -1401) , a l though he a l s o w i l l choose i f the means they a l l o w him "be adequate /To the end and aim" ( 1 4 0 3 - 1 4 0 4 ) - - a convenient method of l e a v i n g the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r h i s proposal w i t h them, w h i l e he r e t a i n s c o n t r o l over i t s content and purpose. Pass ing the dilemma of cho ice to the people i s c o n s i s t e n t w i th the prev ious arguments f o r a v o i d i n g cho ices about s p e c i f i c a c t i o n ; these arguments are i n e v i t a b l y h i d d e n , i n both par ts o f the poem, by a mask of p r a c t i c a l s c e p t i c i s m about the success of a l l human endeavour, p a r t i c u l a r l y endeavour f o r moral good. The Head i s approved i n h i s request and proceeds to demonstrate a new dimension of the P r i n c e ' s c h a r a c t e r : the a b i l i t y to ac t d e c i s i v e l y when r e q u i r e d . In the f i r s t monologue, the P r i n c e argues a p o l i c y of p r e s e r v a t i o n and e x p l a i n s h i s f a i l u r e to f u l f i l h i s p o l i t i c a l (and y o u t h f u l ) p romises : a defence of i n a c t i o n . To t h i s p o i n t i n the second p a r t , the n a r r a t o r has f a v o u r a b l y presented the Head's forbearance towards h i s enemies: again a defence of i n a c t i o n . Now, however, the Head, i n pun ish ing a l l wanton dece i ve rs and t r i c k s t e r s ( 1 4 1 9 - 1 4 3 5 ) , represents the P r i n c e ' s c a p a b i l i t y f o r s u c c e s s f u l a c t i o n . When S a g a c i t y attempts to complain t h a t he adhered to the l e t t e r of the l a w , so t h a t by not d e s t r o y i n g v i l l a i n y i n i t s embryonic s t a t e he p e r p e t r a t e d t h r i c e the necessary s l a u g h t e r ( 1 4 5 6 - 1 4 / 4 ) , the Head mainta ins t h a t he preserved t r u t h , i m p l y i n g t h a t he might have harmed good as w e l l as e v i l w i t h more hasty vengeance (1476-1484) . The n a r r a t o r then more c a r e f u l l y e x p l a i n s the Head's c h a r a c t e r i n terms of t h i s new development. The Head r u l e d twenty years w i th one main p r i n c i p l e : "govern f o r the many f i r s t , /The poor mean m u l t i t u d e , a l l mouths and eyes" (1491-1492) . His purpose was to main ta in the order and u n i t y of s o c i e t y , to narrow "the g u l f /Yawning so t e r r i b l y ' t w i x t mind and mind" (1496 -1497) , to " E q u a l i z e t h i n g s a l i t t l e ! " (1501) ; and he pursued h i s t a s k , c e r t a i n t h a t "he was i n the hand of God" (1511) . A l l t h i s i s i n accord w i t h the P r i n c e ' s monologue, but the important r e v e l a t i o n f o l l o w s . Th is man, who was so " t i m i d " about harming the "o rder " of humanity , so a f r a i d to i m p e r i l any good i n the depths of th ings " f o r a p rob lemat i c cure /Of gr ievance on the s u r f a c e " (1516 -1517) , w i l l a c t w i thout h e s i t a t i o n when conf ronted w i t h r e a l e v i l : Th is same man, so i r r e s o l u t e b e f o r e , Show him a t rue excrescence to cut s h e e r , A d e v i l ' s - g r a f t on God's f o u n d a t i o n - s t o c k , Then- -no compla int of i n d e c i s i o n more! , (1519-1522) As f u r t h e r proof of h i s r e s o l u t e i n t e n t i o n , the n a r r a t o r o f f e r s the example of the I t a l i a n a f f a i r . S a g a c i t y argues to leave t h i n g s as they a r e , to "keep Rome manacled /Hand and f o o t " ( 1 5 4 9 - 1 5 5 0 ) , but the Head does not . l i s t e n , and e x c i s e s "the c a n k e r " - - " 0 u t i t came, /Root and branch" (1560-1565) . When S a g a c i t y complains t h a t he d i d not t r y persuas ion through p u b l i c o p i n i o n — " T h e great mind knows the power of g e n t l e n e s s , /Only t r i e s f o r c e because persuas ion f a i l s " ( 1 5 7 4 - 1 5 7 5 ) - - t h e Head r e t o r t s tha t the on ly r e s u l t a f t e r twenty ,years would be "your own f o o l - f a c e w a i t i n g f o r the s i g h t , " s i n c e "knaves" work w h i l e " f o o l s " w a i t (1589-1594) . H is s c e p t i c i s m here, i s of a h e a l t h y , p r a c t i c a l k i n d ; as the n a r r a t o r p o i n t s o u t , "the war came which he knew must be" (1597) . Concent ra t ing on two i s s u e s — t h e f i g h t i n g i n I t a l y and the cho ice of a s u c c e s s o r — t h e remainder of the second par t f u r t h e r r e i n f o r c e s the Head's c h a r a c t e r as a man of d e c i s i o n and i n t e g r i t y , a man w i t h staunch and h i g h , y e t p r a c t i c a l and r e a l i s t i c , p r i n c i p l e s , a man p a r t i c u l a r l y who i s a n t i p a t h e t i c t o , a l l d e c e i t and f a l s e d e a l i n g . The c o u n t r y , Hohenst ie l -Schwangau, had once fought f o r i t s own l i b e r t y and l i f e and had fought w e l l , but from t h i s t ime the people had a l s o gained a love of f i g h t i n g " f o r f i g h t i n g ' s s a k e , " so t h a t what was once a g l o r y became a " p l a g u e , " and the "champion-armour" now masked marauding (1598-1617) . Wi th in t h i s t r a d i t i o n , the country nour ished the l i e t h a t "War i s b e s t , /Peace i s w o r s t ; peace we on ly t o l e r a t e /As needful p r e p a r a t i o n f o r new war" (1631-1633) . To deal w i th t h i s s i t u a t i o n . S a g a c i t y adv ises an ex -p l o i t a t i o n of. the p e o p l e ' s s e l f i s h n e s s , p ro long ing peace " a r t f u l l y , as i f i n t e n t /On ending peace as soon as p o s s i b l e " (1652-1653) ; and the n a r -r a t o r says t h a t s i n c e " d e v i 1 ' s - d o c t r i n e . . . was judged God's l a w , " i t would have "seemed a v e n i a l f a u l t a t m o s t , " i f the Head had agreed w i t h S a g a c i t y (1646-1649) . But the Head p r e f e r s t r u t h and w i l l not deceive h i s peop le : While I have r u l e , Unders tand !—war f o r war ' s s a k e , war f o r sake 0 ' the good war gets you as war ' s s o l e e x c u s e , Is damnable and damned s h a l l be. (1739-1742) He admonishes them f o r seek ing an i l l u s o r y g l o r y and expresses a contempt f o r t h e i r f o o l i s h n e s s (1769-1771) s i m i l a r . t o the P r i n c e ' s e a r l i e r a t t i -tude to democrat ic processes ( 9 2 7 - 9 3 5 ) . Whereas the P r i n c e ! s exp ress ion i m p l i e d an i n s i n c e r i t y i n h i s c l a i m to i d e a l i s m , the Head's purpose here i s more s t r i c t l y r h e t o r i c a l . He openly der ides h i s p e o p l e ' s i n t e l l i g e n c e i n order to a s s e r t h i s own wisdom, ,which he wishes to enforce onto them: See! you accept such one wise man, m y s e l f : Wise or l e s s w i s e , s t i l l I operate From my own stock of wisdom. . . . Y o u , , I a s p i r e to make my b e t t e r s e l f And t r u l y the Great N a t i o n . (1804-1818) Th is aim t o make,h is people an ex tens ion of h i s p e r s o n a l i t y and i d e n t i t y d i f f e r s from the P r i n c e ' s concern w i t h an interdependence between h i m s e l f and s o c i e t y i n the f i r s t p a r t , and i t measures the d i f f e r e n t k ind of s e l f - d e c e p t i o n the P r i n c e i s e f f e c t i n g w i th h i s t h i r d person n a r r a t i o n . A man such as the Head, who i s secure i n h i s b e l i e f s and f i r m i n h i s d e c i s i o n s , need not bother unduly about e x t e r n a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s , or about s o c i a l a p p r o v a l . C e r t a i n of h i s purposes , he imposes h i s w i l l on h i s s u r r o u n d i n g s , s i n c e h i s c a p a c i t y f o r a c t i o n i s e x a c t l y c o - o r d i n a t e d w i th h i s inner impulses and p r i n c i p l e s . His i d e n t i t y i s the d i r e c t e x p r e s s i o n o f h i s w i l l and n e i t h e r need submit to p o l i t i c a l expediency . Hence, .he c o n f i d e n t l y announces the n e c e s s i t y of f i g h t i n g f o r one cause , f o r " t r u t h and r i g h t . . . on the abso lu te s c a l e of G o d " , ( 1 8 6 2 - 1 8 7 0 ) . Con-t i n u i n g h i s o p p o s i t i o n t o d e c e i t , he urges h i s people to "endure no l i e which needs [ t h e i r ] hear t /And hand to push i t out of mankind's path" ( 1 8 7 1 - 1 8 7 2 ) , s i n c e "man's l i f e l a s t s on ly twenty y e a r s " (1875; man's s h o r t l i f e i s now an argument f o r a c t i o n ; e a r l i e r i t j u s t i f i e d the P r i n c e ' s f a i l u r e to a c t on one s p e c i f i c p o l i c y ) . A u s t r i a ' s r u l e over I t a l y i s "such a l i e , before both man and God," and t h e r e f o r e they should f r e e I t a l y , " f o r A u s t r i a ' s sake the f i r s t , / I t a l y ' s n e x t , and [ t h e i r ] sake l a s t o f . a l l " (1876-1880) . In d e c l a i m i n g "war f o r the hate of war , /Not l o v e , t h i s o n c e ! " (1906 -1907) , the Head i s a s s e r t i n g a noble and u n s e l f i s h p r i n c i p l e f o r f i g h t i n g , . b u t .his proposal s t i l l e x p l o i t s h i s n a t i o n ' s d e s i r e to f ight* , s i m i l a r to S a g a c i t y ' s adv ice t o e x p l o i t i t s s e l f i s h n e s s , even though he 38 rep laces ignob le reasons w i t h worthy ones . I f t h i s obse rva t ion momen-t a r i l y d e t r a c t s from the t o t a l i d e a l i s m o f h i s argument, i t does not harm the main importance of the Head's b e h a v i o u r - - t h e a s s e r t i o n of h i s independent w i l l . In the wider context of the poem, t h i s achievement i s of p a r t i c u l a r s i g n i f i c a n c e , s i n c e i t i s what the P r i n c e f i n a l l y cannot do. The n a r r a t o r goes on to s t a t e t h a t the Head "was r e s o l u t e /No t r e p - . i d a t i o n . . . should i m p e r i l from i t s po ise /The base o 1 the w o r l d " ( 1 9 1 0 - 1 9 1 9 ) , w h i c h , by r e s t a t i n g the .Head 's b a s i c d e s i r e to preserve o r d e r , ma in ta ins a c o n s i s t e n c y w i t h the f i r s t pa r t of the poem. Never -t h e l e s s , the n a r r a t o r a l s o desc r ibes the value of the Head's c h a r a c t e r : i n h im, " w i l l and power c o n c u r r e d , / 0 1 the f i t t e s t man to r u l e " (1921-1922) . The f a c t t h a t the Head was chosen by the n a t i o n i s p r o o f i t says the n a r r a t o r , t h a t " the wor ld had gained a p o i n t " (1920) , and i n r e j e c t i n g the temptat ion to found a dynasty , the Head r e j e c t s the " p e r n i c i o u s fancy t h a t the son and h e i r /Receives the genius from the s i r e " (1955-1956) . The Head's re fe rence to the success ion of an I t a l i a n p r i e s t h o o d by a s s a s s -i n a t i o n a l s o urges the n a t u r a l n e s s of u n c e r t a i n change: Depend on i t , the change and the s u r p r i s e Are p a r t o' the p l a n : ' t i s we wish s t e a d i n e s s ; Nature p r e f e r s a motion by u n r e s t , Advancement through t h i s f o r c e which j o s t l e s t h a t . (2027-2030) The P r i n c e has e a r l i e r expressed a s i m i l a r n o t i o n , t h a t change i s accom- • panied "by u n r e s t " ( 3 2 4 - 3 5 4 ) . - However, the Head's a t t i t u d e towards the idea i s d i f f e r e n t : i n p a r t one, the P r i n c e gave the impress ion of p r e f e r -r i n g c a l m , of being . a f r a i d of the confus ion i n u p h e a v a l , but h e r e , the Head accepts the f a c t , and . recogn izes t h a t the d e s i r e f o r " s t e a d i n e s s " i s a personal w i s h . Th is d i f f e r i n g a t t i t u d e i s again an aspect of the Head's c o n f i d e n c e ; a man who i s sure of h i s a b i l i t y and purpose need not f e a r d i s q u i e t u d e or c o n f l i c t . The Head a l s o goes, on to r i d i c u l e the a u t h o r i t y of " p i l l o w - l u c k , " p o i n t i n g out tha t i t i s i m p o s s i b l e to determine which son belongs to which f a t h e r from an observa t ion of the l i v e s of h i s "crowned a c q u a i n t a n c e " - - " t h e r e ' s noth ing so unproveable /As who i s who, what son of what a s i r e " (2051-2057) . There i s a h i n t here o f the ques -t i o n of i d e n t i t y a g a i n . I d e n t i t y i s not bestowed by b i r t h , i t must be e s t a b l i s h e d , proven by the e x p r e s s i o n , perhaps even the i m p o s i t i o n , of w i l l ; a head of s t a t e cannot ;be g iven h i s name g r a t u i t o u s l y , he must earn i t , so t h a t . " w i l l and power" concur i n " the f i t t e s t man to r u l e . " As he wakes, i n the c o n c l u s i o n , Hohenst ie l -Schwangau makes e x p l i c i t the theme of i d e n t i t y : "'Who's> who?' . was a p t l y a s k e d , /S ince c e r t a i n l y I am not I!" (2078-2079) . He h a s , o f c o u r s e , been i n d u l g i n g i n a d i v e r s i t y of r o l e s which demonstrate h i s protean q u a l i t y of mind: the educated i n t e l l e c t u a l , the w i t t y s o p h i s t i c a t e , the j u d i c i a l and d i s p a s s i o n a t e s e l f -a p o l o g i s t , the o b j e c t i v e s o c i a l o b s e r v e r , h i s c r i t i c s , S a g a c i t y , the Head, and the s e l f - f l a t t e r i n g f i g u r e s of the Sphynx, A t l a s and Laocobn. The h i s t r i o n i c nature of h i s monologue i s a l s o r e i n f o r c e d by s e v e r a l t h e a t r i -ca l metaphors: e x i l e and L e i c e s t e r Square are " r e h e a r s e d , /T r ied on 39 again l i k e c a s t c l o t h e s " (2076-2077). ; the P r i n c e ' s c r i t i c demands "per fo rmance , " s i n c e " s o l i d e a r t h " i s the " s t a g e " ( 8 8 0 - 8 8 1 ) ; man's a p p r e n t i c e s h i p . is f r e q u e n t l y c u r t a i l e d , f o r c i n g him to " s h u f f l e " through h i s " p a r t " as best as he can "on the s tage" ( 1 0 0 8 - 1 0 1 1 ) ; the Head a l lows p l o t t e r s to " p l a y the p a r t " . g i v e n to them i n the . C r e a t o r ' s "scheme" ( 1 2 9 8 - 1 3 0 0 ) ; and the n a r r a t o r emphasizes the dropping of "masks , " when the d e c e i v e r s are exposed by the, Head (1417) . Amid the numerous vo ices and dramat ic d e v i c e s , the P r i n c e ' s c h a r a c t e r becomes u n c e r t a i n , but not n o n - e x i s t e n t . . U n c e r t a i n t y i s at the cent re o f h i s p e r s o n a l i t y , and he r e i t e r a t e s i n the c o n c l u s i o n the most important area of u n c e r t a i n t y f o r h i m — h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the e x t e r n a l w o r l d . As a p o l i t i c i a n , i t i s h i s duty to n o t i c e the demands of p r a c t i c a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s , but t h e r e i n l i e s the di lemma, as has been a l ready s u g -g e s t e d . The Pr.ince faces the c o n f l i c t between the e x t e r n a l requirements of h i s p u b l i c r o l e and h i s personal i m p u l s e s . " Ins ide the s o u l , " he s a y s , argument i s easy . There , the " i n t e r l o c u t e r s " subord inate " c l a i m s from wi thout t h a t take too high a - t o n e " — c l a i m s made by God, man and a p r i n c e ' s " d i g n i t y " - - r a n d render these c la ims i n s i g n i f i c a n t bes ide the i n -t imate f a c t t h a t he h i m s e l f , h i s p e r s o n a l i t y , i s " f i r s t to be c o n s i d e r e d " (2091 -2104) . Th is "one i n t i m a t e s t f a c t " was h i n t e d at i n the two par t s o f h i s r e v e r i e , and here he recognizes i t open l y . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , when " f o r c e d to s p e a k , " he c o n t i n u e s , "one stoops to say" what one 's aim "shou ld have b e e n . " Mot ives which s u f f i c e d i n the darkness (and s i l e n c e ) of the s o u l , are inadequate when brought i n t o the l i g h t by language, and "one l i e s o n e s e l f /Even i n the s t a t i n g t h a t one's end was t r u t h " (2124-2125) . To harmonize the ant iphonal c la ims of i n n e r s e l f and p u b l i c i d e n t i t y means, f o r the P r i n c e , to e x e r c i s e h i s powers of d e c e p t i o n . In the c o n c l u s i o n , the P r i n c e a l s o takes up the l a s t l i n e of h i s r e v e r i e ("meanwhile use the a l l o t t e d minute . . .") as "the c l u e /[He] f a i n would f i n d the end of " (2081-2082) . Th is comment p o i n t s to the s p e c i f i c purpose i n h i s r e v e r i e , to h i s d e c i s i o n about the l e t t e r , "whose gr im s e a l , /Set a l l these f a n c i e s f l o a t i n g f o r an hour" (2152-2153) . I t a l s o p o i n t s to h i s sense of l i m i t e d t i m e , which accumulates i n the poem from h i s repeated re fe rences to the twenty years which c o n s t i t u t e both the t ime of h i s r u l e and man's average l i f e (474, 8 1 1 , 1069, 1490, 1589, 1875, 2154) . Th is apprehension t h a t there may on ly remain "the a l l o t t e d minute" c l a r i f i e s the re levance of the s e c t i o n on success ion and accounts i n p a r t f o r h i s f e a r of change i n p a r t one. I t a l s o leads d i r e c t l y to h i s f i n a l impasse , where he r e l i n q u i s h e s the e f f o r t to make a reasoned d e c i s i o n , remaining content w i t h h i s achievement i n the l a s t twenty y e a r s : Twenty years are good g a i n , come what come w i l l ! Double or q u i t s ! The l e t t e r goes! Or s t a y s ? (2154-2155) The P r i n c e may n o t , f i n a l l y be deceived about h i s s e l f i s h m o t i v e s , but h i s awareness about h i s c o n t i n u i n g powers i s more p r o b l e m a t i c . The conc lud ing paradox, t h a t desp i te , h i s a c u i t y he i s c a r e l e s s l y f l i p p a n t . a b o u t h i s d e c i s i o n , c l imaxes the i r o n i c d i s c r e p a n c y — a p p a r e n t p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the more r e v e a l i n g f i r s t pa r t—between a l o f t y se r iousness and a somewhat commonplace f r i v o l i t y . For a l l h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l a b i l i t y — h i s knowledge e x t e n d s , a l b e i t - s u p e r f i c i a l l y , . to mythology , a r t , government, mathemat ics , geo logy , a g r i c u l t u r e , medic ine and i n d u s t r y — a n d h i s protean a g i l i t y o f . m i n d — i n d i c a t e d by h i s m u l t i p l e r o l e . p l a y i n g — h e does not f i n a l l y sub -s t a n t i a t e h i s i d e n t i t y . His w i l l can no longer s u s t a i n the c o n f l i c t , which he r e c o g n i z e s . His awareness m i t i g a t e s c r i t i c i s m , and h i s f i n a l i n e f f e c t u a l i t y , i n view of h i s p o t e n t i a l , i s both t r a g i c and comic . Th is l a s t p o i n t has been a n t i c i p a t e d by C. H. H e r f o r d , who r e f e r s to Browning's apo log ies as " t r a g i - c o m e d i e s o f p r i n c i p l e , i n which the whole a c t i o n l i e s i n the e f f o r t s of a s e l f - r e v i e w i n g mind to get i t s own l i f e i n t o the 40 compass of a formula too narrow or too w i d e . " Despi te i t s l i m i t a t i o n s , p a r t i c u l a r l y about . the second h a l f of the poem, H e r f o r d ' s a r t i c l e i s a l s o i n t e r e s t i n g f o r i t s t e n t a t i v e movement towards the p e r s o n a l i t y and i d e n t i t y t e n s i o n . i v The p r i n c e i s a confessed s e l f - a p o l o g i s t . He r e a l i z e s t h a t an honest c o n f e s s i o n can be d isarming and i n g r a t i a t i n g , and t h a t i t enables the l i s t e n e r to understand and sympath ize , but to judge inadequate l y when c a r e f u l l y c o n t r o l l e d by a s e l f - c o n s c i o u s speaker . He attempts to p o s i t a t h i r d view to f a c i l i t a t e , judgement, but t h a t view too i s c o n t r o l l e d by h im. His a r t i f i c e i s chosen to support h i s a t t i t u d e s ; t h i s he knows and acknowledges. His understanding cont inues to the r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t a l l v e r b a l i z e d . a t t i t u d e s are l i e s , because of the a r t i f i c e inherent i n a l l language. Consequent ly , h i s very p e r c e p t i o n i s a cause of h i s i n -a b i l i t y to ac t d e c i s i v e l y , which e f f e c t s another of the i r o n i e s i n h i s c h a r a c t e r . The poem i s an e x e r c i s e i n decept ion which f i n a l l y admits tha t s i n c e a l l i s decept ion and t h e r e f o r e e n i g m a t i c , w i th u n c e r t a i n r e a l i t y , the e x e r c i s e i t s e l f i s one of f u t i l i t y and an argument f o r i n e r t i a . I f a l l ve rba l e x p r e s s i o n i s a l i e , and i f a l l . a t t e m p t s a t s o c i a l improvement u l t i m a t e l y produce no change, as the P r i n c e argued i n par t o n e , t h e n any chosen a c t i o n would be wrong or a t l e a s t v a i n . The P r i n c e may be ab le to balance p o l a r i t i e s , as he c l a i m s , but he cannot f i n a l l y separate them when necessary . Th is pred icament , i n the context of h i s pass ion f o r o rder and s t a b i l i t y , produces the supreme i r o n y t h a t he does achieve the d e s i r e d e q u i l i b r i u m i n h i s own p e r s o n a l i t y , but of a k i n d which amounts to an i n e p t s t a s i s . The on ly apparent means of escape i s through chance. P h i l i p Drew c i t e s the d i f f i c u l t y of j udg ing the persona as a s e r -ious f law i n the poem: . . . i f P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau were read by someone who had no no t ion t h a t Napoleon I I I was g lanced a t i t would be very p u z z l i n g i n d e e d , f o r noth ing i s p rov ided a g a i n s t which to check the P r i n c e ' s arguments. Th is has to be s u p p l i e d by the reader from h i s knowledge of Napoleon I l l ' s c a r e e r . 4 1 Drew elsewhere says t h a t even the advantage of a l a r g e h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e i s not r e a l l y d e c i s i v e . . . i t does n o t , f o r example, enable us to de tec t a c o n -s i s t e n t d i r e c t i o n o f . i r o n i c a t t a c k i n the whole of the poem.42 There i s , however, a c o n s i s t e n t , i f s u b t l e , i rony between the P r i n c e ' s embel l ishment of h i s worth through such comparisons as the Sphynx, A t l a s , Laocoon and Homer, and h i s s c e p t i c i s m which f r e q u e n t l y quest ions h i s s i n c e r i t y . Th is i rony i s l e s s o b t r u s i v e i n p a r t two because o f the t h i r d person n a r r a t i o n , and because of the Head's c o n f i d e n t w i l l . There are a l s o s e v e r a l o ther i r o n i e s which emerge w i t h the c o n c l u s i o n , and which have been o u t l i n e d above. The l i m i t e d judgement of the persona , however, i s c e n t r a l to the poem's meaning, and the p o l i t i c a l arguments are to be understood i n terms of the persona 's c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . The Laocoon re fe rence at the end of p a r t one i s an a p p r o p r i a t e image f o r the poem's s t r u c t u r e as w e l l as for . the P r i n c e ' s immediate a r g u -ment. He asks h i s l i s t e n e r to c o n s i d e r the s t a t u e w i th a l l a c c e s s o r i e s cove red , l e a v i n g "on l y Laocoon /With n e i t h e r sons nor serpents to denote /The purpose of h i s ges tu re" (1187-1189) . Th is l i m i t e d exposure leaves the s t a t u e open to ambiguous i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . An i m a g i n a t i v e , s e n s i t i v e person c o u l d understand the s t a t u e ' s m e a n i n g — i t s s t r u g g l e w i t h some unseen o b s t a c l e — w h i l e a l e s s acute observer m i g h t . c a l l i t "a yawn /Of sheer f a t i g u e s u b s i d i n g to repose" (1196-1197) . The value, of the i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n s , o f c o u r s e , i s weighted i n favour of the more h e r o i c and l e s s t r i v i a l . . The poem presents a s i m i l a r l y incomplete look at the P r i n c e , and w i t h a s i m i l a r a m b i g u i t y . The P r i n c e ' s stand hovers between a s u s - -t a i n i n g of fo rces and a yawn, w i t h the P r i n c e i n t e n d i n g to convince h i s a u d i t o r t h a t the f i r s t i s the more p e r c e p t i v e judgement. When only one p o i n t of view i s g iven by a h i g h l y conscious man, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to f a u l t t h a t view w i thout f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n . Because the f i r s t p a r t i s a dramat ic monologue i n the more convent iona l s e n s e , the P r i n c e ' s e x p r e s s i o n can be seen to imply u n d e r l y i n g b i a s e s . As a r e s u l t , the reader, may observe t h a t h i s p o l i t i c a l p o l i c i e s are the product of personal needs , of h i s c r a v i n g f o r an independent , c o n f i d e n t , demonstrable w i l l . The P r i n c e develops a ph i losophy o f expedient p r e s e r v a t i o n because t h a t enables him to fuse i d e n t i t y and p e r s o n a l i t y . Whether or not the opportunism conforms to the s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s i s s u p e r f i c i a l l y a p o l i t i c a l concern i n h i s r e v e r i e ; i t i s more fundamenta l ly a problem i n p e r c e p t i o n and psycho logy . The second p a r t , because i t i s apparent l y more o b j e c t i v e , i s even more d i f f i c u l t to j u d g e , except as the P r i n c e i n t e n d s . Th is s e c t i o n g ives the impress ion of an e x t e r n a l account which cons iders more s e r i o u s l y h i s p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s , but the decept ion i s s imply more d e v i o u s , f o r he s t i l l f i r m l y governs the p o i n t of v iew. The poem drama-t i z e s a p o l i t i c a l f i g u r e who can defend h i m s e l f , but on ly as long as he 43 i s w i l l i n g to deceive h i m s e l f , to e x p l o i t a mask of language. Even h i s f i n a l honesty ambiguously gains him favour at the same time t h a t i t con -demns him: an acknowledged l i e i s more acceptab le than a b l i n d or d i s -honest d e n i a l of f a l s e h o o d . In p r e s e n t i n g the two forms of argument, the poem presents two ways i n which the persona views i t s e l f - - e a c h decept ion producing a d i f f e r -ent k ind o f i l l u s i o n . . In the f i r s t p a r t , the P r i n c e predominant ly defends a p o l i c y of i n a c t i o n , e f f e c t i n g the i l l u s i o n of a r u l e r who feeds the poor and promotes the c o - e x i s t e n c e o f d i v e r s e i d e o l o g i e s . . In the second p a r t , he desc r ibes a p o l i c y of a c t i o n , c r e a t i n g the image of a r u l e r who acts accord ing to high p r i n c i p l e s . The two share a common concern f o r s o c i a l s t a b i l i t y . The second does not c o n t r a d i c t the f i r s t , s i n c e the s p e c i f i c a c t i o n s which are d e s c r i b e d there are not denied by the more general argument of the f i r s t ; On the other hand, they may shed doubt on each o t h e r . When the Head r e j e c t s S a g a c i t y ' s adv ice to deceive the people and puts the t r u t h about t h e i r a t t i t u d e t o war before them, i s • he opposing the P r i n c e ' s e a r l i e r argument t h a t i d e a l i s m ( t r u t h ) f u n c t i o n s best when d i l u t e d w i t h i t s o p p o s i t e , fa lsehood? Or i s the f a c t t h a t the Head's a t t i t u d e to war f i n a l l y supports h i s p e o p l e ' s d i s p o s i t i o n ( t o . f i g h t ) , even i f f o r more noble m o t i v e s , the element of opportunism which d i l u t e s t r u t h s u f f i c i e n t l y to make i t e f f e c t i v e ? The c r u c i a l d i f f e r e n c e i s a matter of p e r s o n a l i t y . The Head i s a man of f i r m r e s o l v e and de-c i s i o n ; he i s secure i n the e x p r e s s i o n of h i s p e r s o n a l i t y through the i d e n t i t y r e q u i r e d of him by h i s s o c i a l r o l e . The P r i n c e i n par t one i s more i n t e r e s t e d i n c o - o p e r a t i o n , i n the interdependence between s o c i e t y and h i m s e l f , where the s a t i s f a c t o r y exp ress ion of h i s p e r s o n a l i t y , i s dependent.on the s o c i a l requirements conforming to t h a t p e r s o n a l i t y . The Head i s what the P r i n c e "might have been" i f he had overcome the i n -s e c u r i t y of h i s p e r s o n a l i t y . The r e v e r i e dramatizes the c o n f l i c t between personal i d e a l i s m and p r a c t i c a l p o l i t i c s which the P r i n c e , at the c o n - , e l u s i o n of the poem, i s unable to r e s o l v e r a t i o n a l l y and c o n v i n c i n g l y . To approach the poem as an e x e r c i s e i n s e l f - d e c e p t i o n , t h e n , i s to pe rce i ve a s t r u c t u r a l u n i t y rooted i n c h a r a c t e r . Knowledge of Napoleon I I I may•cer ta in ly add another l e v e l of i r o n y , but the poem i s i n t e l l i g i b l e w i t h i n i t s own boundar ies . As w e l l as the d e f i c i e n c i e s i n i r o n y and s t r u c t u r e , Drew a l s o says P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau l a c k s e i t h e r "a n a r r a t i v e l i n e " or "a p r o g r e s s i v e r e v e l a t i o n of the t rue c h a r -44 a c t e r of the s p e a k e r . " There i s , though, a r e v e l a t i o n of the P r i n c e ' s ambivalence and i n s e c u r i t y i n the course of the poem, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n ' pa r t one. I t i s not perhaps as " p r o g r e s s i v e " as might be d e s i r a b l e , and the argument tends to be r e p e t i t i v e ; but the r e p e t i t i o n s , a g a i n , w h i l e d i s s a t i s f y i n g , even at t imes e x a s p e r a t i n g , are due to the persona . They expose h i s obsess ions and are i m p o r t a n t , i n view of the d i f f e r i n g t e c h -niques i n par ts one and two, f o r emphasiz ing the common source of a l l s e c t i o n s . In d i s a g r e e i n g w i t h Drew's unfavourable c r i t i c i s m of the poem, t h i s d i s c u s s i o n may help to e x p l a i n Browning's own s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h i t , 45 which most c r i t i c s have subsequent ly d i s m i s s e d . I f , howeVer, "the poem i s s t i l l not as e x c i t i n g as others by Browning, then t h a t a l s o i s the r e s u l t of the persona or of the poem's r e a l i s m , s i n c e par t of the P r i n c e ' s decept ion i s to seem q u i e t l y o b j e c t i v e and s e l f - p o s s e s s e d . Perhaps an. a r c h - c o n s e r v a t i v e i s p r o s a i c and d u l l by d e f i n i t i o n . N e v e r t h e l e s s , P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau prov ides a f i n e example f o r Morse Peckham's d e s c r i p t i o n of a dramat ic monologue: "the hear t of the dramat ic monologue i s t h a t the reader p e r c e i v e s the speaker as actor^ s e l f - c o n c e i v e d , s e l f -d e f i n e d , and s e l f - d e c e i v e d . NOTES Edward Dowden, Robert Browning (London: Dent , 1904) , p. 298. Robert Browning, P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau (1871) , 1 . 2 1 5 5 , i n The Works of Robert Browning, e d . F. G. Kenyon, VII (1912; r p t . New York : Barnes and N o b l e , 1966) , p. 158. A l l quota t ions from Browning's poems used i n t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n are from t h i s e d i t i o n ; f u t u r e re fe rences w i l l be documented i n t e r n a l l y by l i n e numbers. For the d i s t i n c t i o n between i d e n t i t y and p e r s o n a l i t y used i n t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n , see I n t r o d u c t i o n , p. 7 . P h i l i p Drew, The Poet ry o f Robert Browning (London: Methuen, 1970) , p. 292; Roma K i n g , The Focusing A r t i f i c e (Athens , Oh io : Ohio U n i -v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1968) , p. 169. 4 Drew, p. 3 0 1 ; see a l s o pp. 2 9 5 - 2 9 7 . c K i n g , p. 169; King i s here quot ing what Gide s a i d of Wordsworth and "The Los t L e a d e r . " 6 K i n g , p. 169. 7 S e e J o s . K i n g , "On P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau , " Browning S o c i e t y  P a p e r s , 2 (1.889), 3 4 9 - 3 6 2 . 8 Drew, p. 302. ^Park Honan, Browning's Characters (New Haven, 1 9 6 1 ) , p. 5 . 1 0 H o n a n , pp. 2 0 2 - 2 0 3 , 220. 1 ] Dowden , p. 298. 1 o W i l l i a m 0 . Raymond, The I n f i n i t e Moment, 2nd e d i t i o n (Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto P r e s s , 1965) , p. 150. See a l s o n . 2 6 , below. 1 3 D r e w , p. 295. . 1 4 L e t t e r s of Robert Browning, e d . T. L. Hood (New Haven: Yale Un-i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1933) , p. 143. H e r e a f t e r c i t e d as Hood. 1 5 H o o d , p. 152. W. C. DeVane, A Browning Handbook, 2nd e d i t i o n (New York : A p p l e -t o n - C e n t u r y - C r o f t s , 19551, p. 363 . ^ T h e change i n s t a t e s of consc iousness i s even more marked i n the f i r s t e d i t i o n , w i t h the break o c c u r r i n g at the f o o t of a page (p . 142) . I o The i n a b i l i t y of some e a r l y . c r i t i c s to p e r c e i v e e x a c t l y t h i s aspect of the poem perhaps t e s t i f i e s to the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of the P r i n c e ' s i l l u s i o n . R. M. Spence seems to have f i r s t po in ted out t h a t the poem presents the P r i n c e ' s "supposed dream" i n Notes and Q u e r i e s , 8th s e r . i XII (1897) , 2 2 5 - 2 2 6 , 3 7 4 - 3 7 5 . Both J o s . King (pp. 349-362) and Edward Berdoe, i n The Browning Cyc lopaed ia (London: A l l e n , 1897) , p. 3 6 6 , imply t h a t the meeting i n L e i c e s t e r Square a c t u a l l y took p l a c e . 1 9 S o r d e 1 1 o , 5 8 9 - 5 9 1 ; The Ring and the Book, X , 3 7 3 - 3 7 5 ; P a r l e y i n g "With Char les Avison, 1 , ' 219. George M. R idenour , "Browning's Music Poems," PMLA ( 1 9 6 3 ) , r p t . i n Browning's Mind and A r t , e d . C larence Tracy (London: O l i v e r and Boyd, 1968) , p. 180 . , 21 P h i l i p Drew recognizes t h i s when he says "the e n t i r e poem i s , as i t were , [ the P r i n c e ' s ] own c r e a t i o n " (p . 2 9 8 ) ; Drew does not develop the i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s i n terms of the poem's t o t a l e f f e c t . : 22 Honan, p. 155; see a l s o C. N. Wenger, "The Masquerade i n Brown-i n g ' s Dramatic Monologue," Co l lege E n g l i s h , 3 (Dec. 1941) , 228. 23 Drew, p. 298. Drew i s the on ly c r i t i c to have n o t i c e d . t h e P r i n c e ' s a u t h o r i t y i n the poem. 24 C f . , f o r i n s t a n c e , F i f i n e a t the F a i r : "The h i s t r i o n i c t r u t h i s i n the n a t u r a l l i e " (1492) ; and The Ring and the Book: " . . , . fa l sehood would have done the work of t r u t h . / . . . A r t may- t e l l • a t r u t h / O b l i q u e l y . . " (XII j: 8 5 7 - 8 6 0 ) . 2 5 D r e w , pp. 2 9 5 - 2 9 9 . 26 C f . Drew: In the f i r s t p a r t , the P r i n c e "has made o u t a r e a s o n -ab le case f o r c o n s e r v a t i v e measures i n d i f f i c u l t t i m e s , and I can d e t e c t no t r a c e of c a s u i s t r y , except i n the passages to which I have drawn a t t e n -t i o n where the tone suggests tha t p o s s i b l y the P r i n c e ' s b e l i e f i n l i b e r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s i s more a matter of p o l i t i c p r o f e s s i o n than of genuine e n -thus iasm" (p . 2 9 5 ) . Many c r i t i c s have s a i d the P r i n c e i s a c a s u i s t : see C. H. H e r f o r d , Robert Browning (London: Blackwood, 1905) , p. 195; J . Fother ingham, Robert Browning, 3rd e d i t i o n (London: Marshal 1 , .1898), p. 4 6 ; Wenger, p. 2 3 1 ; Raymond, p. 150; F. Mary W i l s o n , A Pr imer on Browning (London: M a c m i l l a n , 1891) , p. 166. Others have been n o n - c o m m i t t a l : M r s . ' Orr simp-ly desc r ibes the poem as "a defence of the d o c t r i n e of exped-i e n c y , " i n A Handbook to the Works o f Robert Browning, 6th e d . (London: B e l l , 1892) , p. 1 6 1 ; and Edward Berdoe says i t "dea ls w i th the s u b j e c t i v e processes which Browning supposed animated Napoleon I I I " (p . 360) . Donald Smal ley suggests a more s u b t l e understanding i n h i s examinat ion of. Browning's poems of s p e c i a l p l e a d i n g ; he quotes one passage to show t h a t "what may at f i r s t seem mere c a s u i s t r y on the p a r t of the P r i n c e i s a c t u a l l y i n i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s an e f f e c t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n of Browning's method of work ing" ( " S p e c i a l P l e a d i n g i n the L a b o r a t o r y , " i n Browning's  Essay on Chat te r ton [ 1 9 4 8 ] , . r p t . i n The Browning C r i t i c s , e d s . Boyd L i t z i n g e r and K. L. Kn ickerbocker [ U n i v e r s i t y of. Kentucky P r e s s , 1965] , p. 2 1 4 ) . 27 Haro ld Rosenberg, "Charac te r Change and the Drama," i n The  T r a d i t i o n of the New (1959) , r p t . i n P e r s p e c t i v e s on Drama, e d s . J . L. Calderwood and H. E. T o l i V e r (New York: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1968) , pp. 3 2 4 - 3 3 6 . See I n t r o d u c t i o n , p. 7 . 28 Rosenberg, p. 3 3 1 . 29 His grandiose d e s c r i p t i o n of — t h e thunder -g low from pole to pole A b o l i s h i n g a b l i s s f u l moment-space,, Great c loud a l i k e and smal l c loud i n one f i r e - - (593-595) i m p l i e s the s t rong emotional appeal which such r e c o n c i l i a t i o n has f o r h im. 30 A lba H. Warren, i n E n g l i s h P o e t i c Theory 1825-1865 ( P r i n c e t o n , N. J . : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1950) , l i s t s s i n c e r i t y as one of the key terms among the fundamental concepts of p o s t - r o m a n t i c p o e t i c theory (p . 6 ) . 31 For a summary, of the u t i l i t a r i a n a t t a c k on poetry i n the e a r l y n ine teenth c e n t u r y , see L i o n e l S tevenson , "The Key Poem of the V i c t o r i a n Age , " i n Essays i n American and E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e Presented to Bruce  Robert M c E l d e r r y , J r . , e d s . M. F. S c h u l z , W. D. Tempieman and C. R. Metzer (Athens , Ohio : Ohio U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1967) , pp. 2 6 0 - 2 8 9 . 3 2 S e e H o n a n , . p . 264. 33 P h i l i p Drew f i n d s the f i r s t h i n t of d is ingenuousness i n the poem i n l i n e s . 1151-11.62 (Drew, p. 2 9 4 ) . 3 4 D r e w makes both these p o i n t s (pp. . 2 9 3 - 2 9 4 ) . For the i r o n y i n t h i s passage ( 1 1 5 1 - 1 1 6 2 ) , see Drew, p. 294. 36 See a l s o , p. 56 . 37 See Robert Langbaum, The Poetry of Exper ience (New York: Random House, 1957) , chapte r I I . Cf . a l s o the cho ice between complying w i t h the n a t i o n by f i g h t -ing and snubbing the n a t i o n by seek ing peace, w i t h which a c r i t i c con -f r o n t s the P r i n c e i n p a r t one ( 7 8 7 - 7 9 3 ) . 39 Many c r i t i c s seem to miss the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f these l i n e s ; a n d p lace the r e v e l a t i o n t h a t a l l was a dream i n the f i n a l paragraph. P h i l i p Drew perpetuates t h i s v iew: "we l e a r n f i r s t t h a t the whole of the second h a l f of the poem i s . . . an e x e r c i s e i n f a n t a s y . . . . In the l a s t dozen l i n e s of the poem the P r i n c e r e v e a l s t h a t the whole scene has been a r e v e r i e " (p . 2 6 8 ) . I t s h o u l d , however, be c l e a r at t h i s p o i n t from the a c t i n g metaphors t h a t Hohenst ie l -Schwangau had only been i n d u l g i n g i n i m a g i n a t i v e p l a y . " E x i l e , L e i c e s t e r - s q u a r e " i n the poem's context must i n c l u d e "the bud-mouthed a r b i t r e s s , " a n d the f i r s t p a r t of the r e v e r i e , not j u s t the Th iers -Hugo e p i s o d e . 4 0 C . H. H e r f o r d , " P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau , " Browning S o c i e t y  P a p e r s , 2 (1886) , 134 -135 . 4 1 Drew, p. 299. 42 H Drew, p. 298. 43 For a d i s c u s s i o n of language as a mask i n Browning's p o e t r y , see Morse Peckham, " P e r s o n a l i t y and the Mask o f Knowledge," i n V i c t o r i a n  R e v o l u t i o n a r i e s (New York : B r a z i l l e r , 1 9 7 0 ) , pp . 8 4 - 1 2 9 . 44 Drew, p. 302. 45 Browning wrote to I s a b e l l a B l a g d e n , on October 1 , 1871 „ t h a t the poem was what he cou ld not "he lp t h i n k i n g a sample of [ h i s ] very best work" ; Dearest I s a , e d . E. C. McAleer ( A u s t i n : U n i v e r s i t y o f Texas P r e s s , 1951) , p. 367. T y p i c a l of the r e a c t i o n a g a i n s t the poem i s H. C. D u f f i n ' s e s t i m a t e , i n Amphibian (London: Bowes and Bowes, 1956) , t h a t i t "has not v i r t u e enough to s u s t a i n i t s ponderous b u l k , and occupies the lowest p lace among i t s a u t h o r ' s p r o d u c t i o n s " (pp. 1 6 7 - 1 6 8 ) . / 4 6 P e c k h a m , p. 117. CHAPTER TWO FIFINE AT THE FAIR: HISTRIONIC TRUTH AND THE FLAUNTING OF ARTIFICE i A f t e r the predominant ly d r y , p o l i t i c language of P r i n c e H o h e n s t i e l - Schwangau, F i f i n e at the F a i r i s l i v e l y and v i g o r o u s . Whereas the P r i n c e ' s wear iness was r e f l e c t e d i n h i s va in attempts at a p r o s a i c s e c u r -i t y , and whereas h i s v e r b o s i t y r e f l e c t e d h i s sense t h a t he should cont inue h i s apology because i t was never q u i t e s u c c e s s f u l , the s p e a k e r ' s p r o l i x i t y i n F i f i n e at the F a i r i s the express ion not only of the complex i t y of h i s thought , but of the i n t e n s i t y and energy w i t h which he pursues the myriad images and i n t e l l e c t u a l d i s t i n c t i o n s f l o o d i n g h i s mind. "In s u b j e c t , F i f i n e i s a c o n t i n u a t i o n of P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau, a f u r t h e r e x p l o r -a t i o n of the problem of b e i n g . . . . The poem seeks some a b i d i n g t r u t h amid the d i s s o l v i n g fragments of the e x t e r n a l w o r l d ; s p e c i f i c a l l y , the speaker gropes f o r r e a l i t y of s e l f a n d , by e x t e n s i o n , f o r the r e a l i t y of a changeless order beyond t i m e . " 1 The s p e a k e r , o r Don J u a n , as i t i s convenient to c a l l h im, i s presented by Browning i n the ac t of o r g a n i z -ing h i s thoughts and p e r c e p t i o n s , h i s view of h i m s e l f and of h i s su r round -i n g s . As a m o n o l o g u i s t , he i s again an a c t o r , " s e l f - c o n c e i v e d , s e l f -3 d e f i n e d , and s e l f - d e c e i v e d ; " The degree to which Juan deceives h i m s e l f and E l v i r e , h i s w i f e , has caused c o n s i d e r a b l e d i s s e n s i o n among c r i t i c s . Most have recogn ized t h a t judgement of Juan i s no s imple m a t t e r , and the consensus has been 4 t h a t there i s a mix ture of t r u t h and fa l sehood i n h i s arguments. What ; i n the poem informs the reader o f Juan 's c a s u i s t r y i s even more p r o b l e -m a t i c , w i th the reasons f o r harsh judgement ranging from moral outrage at h i s re tu rn t o . F i f i n e (the most emphasized reason) to h i s i n t e r f e r e n c e 5 w i th God's p lan of p r o g r e s s . The most e l a b o r a t e reason f o r j u d g i n g him adverse l y i s presented by C h a r l o t t e Watk ins , .who says the reader may recognize Juan 's c u l p a b i l i t y through h i s "perverse development of the symbol ic language of the p r o l o g u e . " ^ U n f o r t u n a t e l y , her t h e s i s i s s e v e r e l y f lawed by over -emphasis on an a l l e g o r i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the p r o l o g u e , and her view has been a p p r o p r i a t e l y c r i t i c i z e d by J . . L. Kendal l and P h i l i p Drew. 7 The a t t i t u d e to the persona which the poem e l i c i t s i n the reader 8 i s ambiva len t . Any s imple o r p reconce ived d e c i s i o n i s c i r c u m v e n t e d , w h i c h , accord ing to Roma K i n g , Browning achieves by "emphasiz ing the metaphys ica l r a t h e r than the p h y s i c a l , the p s y c h o l o g i c a l r a t h e r . t h a n the Q m o r a l . " But the poem i s as much about sensuous exper ience as i t i s about s p i r i t u a l or mental e x p e r i e n c e . With few e x c e p t i o n s , Juan 's a r g u -ments are more d i f f i c u l t to f a u l t even than the P r i n c e ' s . The P r i n c e , f o r example, u n w i t t i n g l y e x h i b i t s h i s p h i l i s t i n i s m by us ing the no t ion tha t beauty l i e s i n the beholder to der ide p o e t s ; Juan uses the same n o t i o n to e x p l a i n the f u n c t i o n of the s o u l ' s p e r c e p t i o n and to d e s c r i b e man's p lace i n the u n i v e r s e , q u i t e w i thout m a l i c e or det r iment t o h i s i n t e n t i o n . A l s o , u n l i k e the P r i n c e who defends h i s own t h e o r i e s and a c t i o n s , Juan moves more o f t e n i n t o general theory which a p p l i e s to a l l men and which d i r e c t s a t t e n t i o n away from h i s s p e c i f i c s i t u a t i o n . -To a minor .degree, t h i s d i v e r s i o n i s an a r t i f i c e designed to deceive E l v i r e by s t e e r i n g her away from her personal c o m p l a i n t , by con -v i n c i n g her t h a t h i s arguments are s i n c e r e because they are t rue to the whole human s i t u a t i o n . A l s o , much of the poem's t e n s i o n i s c reated by i t s dramat ic c i r c u m s t a n c e s , where a man who i s o b v i o u s l y fond of sensual enjoyment defends h i s i n d u l g e n c e . i n terms of i d e a l i s t i c d e f i n i t i o n s of the s o u l ' s e x p e r i e n c e ; the value of Juan 's d i s c o u r s e i s c o n t i n u a l l y threatened by the f a c e t i o u s .nature of t h i s i n i t i a l purpose. But t h i s i r o n y i s d i f f e r e n t from the i r o n i c d i sc repancy between the grandiose and the t r i v i a l i n P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau, which exposed the P r i n c e ' s s c e p t i c i s m , f o r Juan i s openly a s c e p t i c and the F i f i n e i n c i d e n t i s a s p e c i f i c m a n i f e s t a t i o n of a p s y c h o l o g i c a l and p h i l o s o p h i c a l problem a l -ready i n h i s mind when the poem commences. Two of the major i n c i d e n t s used by Juan to e x p l a i n h i s argument, h i s dream and h i s swim, occur p r i o r to the monologue i n t i m e . The dream i n p a r t i c u l a r , i s impor tant . . As P h i l i p Drew has po in ted o u t , i t p rov ides a b a s i s f o r the e n t i r e poem: I t i s Don J u a n ' s dream (Sec t ions 93-125) w h i c h , as i t were , l a y s down the c o n d i t i o n s o f the debate . In the poem i t comes very l a t e , but i t i s antecedent to the monologue i n p o i n t of t i m e . I t i s a dream about the t r a n s i e n c e of a l l e a r t h l y i n s t i t u t i o n s and hence the r e l a -t i v i s m o f - a l l s t a n d a r d s . . . . I t i s the i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s dream which Don Juan d i s c u s s e s . . . . [He] i s t r y i n g i n the poem to s a t i s f y what he c a l l s 'My hunger both to be and know the t h i n g I am. ' (103) To do t h i s he searches f o r va r ious sources of c e r t a i n t y , i n a k i n d of fevered f e a r of emptiness J O S i g n i f i c a n t l y , h i s quest f o r i d e n t i t y i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a r e l i a n c e on h i s own r e s o u r c e s ; f o r h im, as f o r C o l e r i d g e i n " D e j e c t i o n : An Ode," the wor ld has no i n t r i n s i c worth and a l l va lue r e s t s w i t h i n the sou l which perce i ves i t , and w h i c h , through the act of p e r c e p t i o n , g i ves i t l i f e and substance : . . i n the see ing s o u l , a l l worth l i e s , I a s s e r t , - - -And nought i ' the w o r l d , w h i c h , save f o r soul t h a t s e e s , i n e r t Was, i s , and;would be e v e r , - - s t u f f f o r t r a n s m u t i n g , - - n u l l And v o i d u n t i l . m a n ' s breath evoke the b e a u t i f u l . . . (LV, 824-827) Both King and Drew d e s c r i b e p e r c e p t i v e l y the manner i'n which Juan searches f o r some .source of abso lu te t r u t h , and f o r v e r i f i c a t i o n of h i s e x i s t e n c e , and they demonstrate how t h i s search s t r u c t u r e s the poem. But t h e y , and o ther c r i t i c S j regard on ly p e r i p h e r a l l y one c r u c i a l element i n the persona 's h y p o t h e s i z i n g , the matter of p e r c e p t i o n i t s e l f . I t i s i n t h i s respect t h a t the swimming metaphor i s of consequence. Juan uses i t to i l l u s t r a t e the n e c e s s i t y f o r man to endure fa l sehood w h i l e g a i n i n g b r i e f g l impses of t r u t h , y e t i t i s a l s o symbol ic of man's a b i l i t y to exper ience m u l t i p l e p lanes of r e a l i t y , s i n c e i n the poem fa l sehood i s a s s o c i a t e d , at l e a s t . s u p e r f i c i a l l y , w i t h the f l e s h l y senses and t r u t h w i t h the realm of the s o u l . E s s e n t i a l l y , as Clyde Ryals s u g g e s t s , Juan exp lo res a d u a l i s t i c p h i l o s o p h y , ^ a t tempt ing t o r e s o l v e the c e n t u r i e s - o l d a n t i p a t h y between f l e s h and s p i r i t ; i t i s i n terms of t h i s dua l i sm t h a t the p r o l o g u e , "Amphib-i a n , " has s i g n i f i c a n c e . The no t ion tha t man i s an amphibious c rea tu re has a long t r a d i t i o n . Browning, however, dramat izes a c h a r a c t e r who contem-p l a t e s and e x e r c i s e s h i s d u a l i s t i c nature w i thout re fe rence to revea led t r u t h , w i thout any predetermined b e l i e f i n the r e a l i t y of e i t h e r f l e s h or s p i r i t , w i t h on ly the knowledge of h i s own personal e x p e r i e n c e . The boldness o f the poem may c e r t a i n l y be s a i d to l i e , as Drew s t a t e s , " i n Browning's i n i t i a l assumption t h a t i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t noth ing whatso-ever i s o u t s i d e the f l u x of t ime a n d , i n h i s w i l l i n g n e s s to examine the 12 consequences o f t h i s f o r the nature of man." Through the process of o r g a n i z i n g h i s t h o u g h t s , Juan g ives verba l t e s t i m o n y . t o the two modes of p e r c e p t i o n d e f i n e d by h im, and the poem i s as much an e x e r c i s e i n the s u b t l e t i e s of human p e r c e p t i o n as i t i s a quest f o r i d e n t i t y . The i r o n i c c o n t r a d i c t i o n which f r e q u e n t l y obtrudes between Juan 's p o s t u l a t e d b e l i e f i n the s o u l ' s exper ience and h i s obvious d e l i g h t i n p h y s i c a l a c t i v i t y i s an i r o n y , c a u s e d by the c o n t r a s t between two realms of r e a l i t y . H is predicament i s a s i n c e r e one, and he c o n s t r u c t s a complex maze of language to cope w i t h i t ; Any summary would be u n j u s t * but the f o l l o w i n g account attempts to a b s t r a c t one l i n e of thought i n an e f f o r t to d e s c r i b e h i s problem. Uncer ta in of abso lu te v a l u e s , he must defend sensory exper ience s i n c e l i f e and human e x i s t e n c e depend on i t . Yet s e n -suous f u l f i l m e n t - i s t r a n s i t o r y and w i thout permanent w o r t h ; t h e r e f o r e , he cons iders another l e v e l of exper ience w h i c h , when combined w i th the f l e s h , both proves h i s e x i s t e n c e and bestows va lue on i t . The dilemma i s i n r e -l a t i n g the two. e x p e r i e n t i a l r e a l m s , as. w e l l as i n d e f i n i n g and demon-s t r a t i n g t h e i r r e a l i t y , and i t i s heightened by the p r o c e s s , the i n e x -o r a b l e f l u x , which c h a r a c t e r i z e s a l l human, p h y s i c a l e x i s t e n c e . Because f i n i t e e x p e r i e n c e . i s an ever - chang ing a f f a i r , any proof of v a l u e , o r any i n t e r p e n e t r a t i o n of f l e s h and s p i r i t r e q u i r e s constant r e n e w a l , repeated consummation. To sur render h i m s e l f e i t h e r to the decept i ve f l u c t u a t i o n s of the f l e s h o r to the permanent i n f i n i t y promised by the s p i r i t i s to deny one area of . r e a l i t y and e x p e r i e n c e , and consequent ly Juan s t r u g g l e s a g a i n s t E l v i r e ' s demands f o r domestic and lawfu l r e s t r i c t i o n to one woman. Yet E l v i r e i s as necessary to him as F i f i n e , and the two women embody the p o l a r i t i e s i n h i s p e r s o n a l i t y : "Together the two represent the necessary t e n s i o n between s p i r i t and s e n s e , law and l a w l e s s n e s s , r e s -13 t r a i r i t and f reedom, death and l i f e - - E l v i r e and F i f i n e . " Juan n a t u r a l l y faces g r e a t d i f f i c u l t y i n d e f i n i n g h i s s o u l ' s w o r l d . I t i s a realm of p e r c e p t i o n not s u b j e c t to p h y s i c a l l i m i t a t i o n s , and i t s i n t a n g i b i l i t y r e q u i r e s e x p l a n a t i o n by a n a l o g y . . One o f the reasons he recounts h i s dream i s to avo id the d isadvantages of r a t i o n a l d i s c o u r s e ; a sound.mind "Keeps thoughts apar t from f a c t s " (1528) i n a dichotomy which too r e a d i l y i m p l i e s a s i m i l a r schism between the senses and the s o u l . 1 F lesh and s p i r i t share, an uneasy coex i s tence i n h im. T h e i r r e c o n -c i l i a t i o n i s but a.momentary a f f a i r , achieved by "the excepted e y e , a t the ra re s e a s o n , f o r /The happy moment," and dependent on a p a r a d o x i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between t r u t h and f a l s e h o o d : "Truth i n s i d e , and o u t s i d e , t r u t h a l s o ; and between - E a c h , fa l sehood t h a t i s change, as t r u t h i s permanence. The i n d i v i d u a l sou l works through the shows of s e n s e , (Which, ever p rov ing f a l s e , s t i l l promise to be t rue ) . Up to an ou te r sou l as i n d i v i d u a l t o o . " (CXXIV, 2182-2186) Juan i s ab le to g l impse t r u t h and permanence, but he cannot s u s t a i n the v i s i o n and must descend, as he c o n f e s s e s , " to mere commonplace o l d f a c t s " (CXXVI, 2229) . His f i n a l o s c i l l a t i o n between E l v i r e a n d . F i f i n e i s but a c o n t i n u a t i o n of the c o n f l i c t between the p o l a r i z e d realms of p e r c e p t i o n to which he has t e s t i f i e d throughout h i s d i s c u s s i o n . R e s o l u t i o n of the t e n s i o n i s at best a paradox and both areas o f exper ience are s u b j e c t to d e c e p t i o n — t h e f l e s h because i t has on ly s u p e r f i c i a l r e a l i t y and the sou l 14 because i t i s s u b j e c t t o the w i l l and i m a g i n a t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l . The s o u l ' s exper ience cannot be proved (' 'Soul f i n d s no t r i u m p h , h e r e , to r e g i s t e r l i k e S e n s e " ; CXXVI I I , 2259) except by f a i t h ( " ' t i s f a i t h alone means r i p e / I ' the soul which runs i t s r o u n d " ; CXXIX, 2 2 8 3 - 2 2 8 4 ) , and Juan 's v i s i o n and understanding of h i m s e l f and h i s surroundings i s , i n accord w i t h h i s amphibious n a t u r e , e q u i v o c a l . His p e r c e p t i o n i s ambi -v a l e n t , w i t h the p o s s i b i l i t y on ly of ••some tenuous r e l a t i o n s h i p between the c o n t r a s t i n g f a c t i o n s . Emphasis on the s u b j e c t of p e r c e p t i o n should n o t , of c o u r s e , . d e -t r a c t from a l a r g e r i n t e r e s t i n the persona 's c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , s i n c e the poem i s a dramat ic monologue w i t h i t s u n i t y founded i n c h a r a c t e r . U n l i k e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau , .Juan i s secure i n h i s d i s t i n c t i o n s of va lue among q u a l i t a t i v e m a t t e r s , and h i s language abounds i n d e s c r i p t i v e express ions r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of q u a l i t y r a t h e r than crude q u a n t i t y or bare u t i l i t y . He c o n t i n u a l l y ev inces a f i n e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n and an a e s t h e t i c s e n s i b i l i t y which i s devo id n e i t h e r of f e e l i n g nor s i n c e r i t y . S e n s i t i v e to s u r f a c e q u a l i t i e s , as he i s to i n n e r e s s e n c e s , he i s adept at making s u b t l e d i s -t i n c t i o n s between l e v e l s of r e a l i t y . He i s a man.of r e f i n e d s e n s i b i l i t y and i n t e l l e c t , and . these q u a l i t i e s assure an i n t e r e s t i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n which might o therwise be absent . H is h i g h l y wrought consc iousness informs h i s p e r c e p t i o n a t a l l l e v e l s and i n v e s t s h i s i n n e r c o n f l i c t w i t h an anx ie ty the more in tense because the more f u l l y apprehended. I t i s a l s o e n t i r e l y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Browning to g ive such an important debate to a persona who appears s u p e r f i c i a l l y d i s s o l u t e , f o r the i n c o n g r u i t y which occurs between what he does and what he s a y s , b e -tween h i s i d e n t i t y as a l i b e r t i n e and h i s p e r s o n a l i t y as an i n t e l l i g e n t and s e n s i t i v e i n d i v i d u a l , heightens the drama of the poem. The manner i n which h i s outward f a c e t i o u s n e s s and wanton behaviour mask an i n t e r n a l depth of i n t e l l e c t and s e r i o u s n e s s d r a m a t i c a l l y embodies the thematic concern w i t h t r u t h which i s obscured by d e c e p t i o n . The problem of decep-t i o n i n F i f i n e a t the F a i r i s a problem wi th numerous i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r human endeavour: i t quest ions man's modes of p e r c e p t i o n , h i s a b i l i t y to apprehend t r u t h , and the nature o f . . r e a l i t y . And y e t , c o n v e r s e l y , the r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t decept ion i s ub iqu i tous i n human e x i s t e n c e can lead to an understanding of the k i n d of t r u t h a v a i l a b l e to man, both i n a r t and i n ' l i f e . Through the consc ious f l a u n t i n g of a r t i f i c e , Juan fo rmulates the " h i s t r i o n i c t r u t h . " i i F i f i n e at the F a i r i s framed by a Prologue and an E p i l o g u e . A n -nounced r e s p e c t i v e l y as "Amphibian" and "The Househo lder , " they are not n e c e s s a r i l y the v o i c e of e i t h e r Juan or Browning. However, they are 15 l i n k e d t h e m a t i c a l l y and i m a g i s t i c a l l y t o . t h e c e n t r a l poem, and conse -quent l y they f u n c t i o n as r e f l e c t i n g a reas .wh ich m i r r o r c e r t a i n aspects o f the poem, a n t i c i p a t i n g themes i n the f i r s t i ns tance and . fo rming an o b l i q u e l y . i r o n i c comment i n the second. Preced ing the P r o l o g u e , there i s a l s o an e p i g r a p h y where Donna E l v i r a scorns her husband's i n e p t de -fence of h i m s e l f and urges him to arm h i m s e l f "wi th noble impudence." Donna E l v i r a ' s c h a l l e n g e immediately in t roduces the p o s s i b i l i t y of a fe igned p r o t e s t a t i o n of unchanging love tha t e s t a b l i s h e s one theme of the poem. The Prologue then p o s i t s the concepts of m u l t i p l e planes o f r e a l i t y , of v a r y i n g degrees of p e r c e p t i o n and of imagined p e r c e p t i o n . " The speaker i n the Prologue recounts a " fancy which turned a f e a r . " He observes a b u t t e r f l y - - a n over t and t r a d i t i o n a l symbol of Psyche—and cons ide rs t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e e x i s t e n c e s i n separate d imens ions , w i t h death a w a i t i n g whoever attempts to j o i n the o t h e r : I s h a l l never j o i n i t s f l i g h t , F o r , nought buoys, f l e s h i n a i r . I f i t touch the s e a - - g o o d n i g h t ! Death sure and s w i f t w a i t s t h e r e . S ince he "undoubtedly" r e j o i c e s i n the i n s e c t ' s f l i g h t , he wonders about i t s f e e l i n g s towards h im. But t h e i r presence i n d i f f e r e n t realms and t h e i r d i f f e r e n t s t a t e s of consciousness, mean they cannot communicate; knowledge o f . t h e b u t t e r f l y ' s a t t i t u d e i s not a v a i l a b l e ("Who can t e l l ? " ) . In wondering next what some s p e c i f i c s o u l , l o o k i n g down a t him from heaven, might t h i n k of h i s swimming, he expresses the complacency of one who s u b s t i t u t e s swimming f o r f l y i n g : By pass ion and thought upborne, One s m i l e s to o n e s e l f — " T h e y f a r e Scarce b e t t e r , they need not scorn Our s e a , who l i v e i n the a i r ! " F i n a l l y , the sea becomes a metaphor f o r p o e t r y , which i s a l s o a " s u b s t i t u t e " f o r heaven, and t h i s medium o f f e r s s p o r t to the f l e s h which "a f i n e r element / A f f o r d s the s p i r i t - s o r t . " N e v e r t h e l e s s , the realms i n which the poet and the s p i r i t e x i s t are d i s t i n c t , and the p o e t ' s pe rcep -t i o n of the " s p i r i t - s o r t " i s c l e a r l y l i m i t e d to assumpt ions , to the i ma g i n a t ion and seeming: Whatever they a r e , we seem: Imagine the t h i n g they know,' A l l deeds they do, .we dream; Can heaven be e l s e but so? To sw im. in poetry i s to i m i t a t e the soul i n f l i g h t , to imagine the s o u l ' s exper ience i n i t s freedom from " w o r l d l y no ise and d u s t . " But there i s 1 a always land i n s i g h t and escape i s i n e v i t a b l y p a r t i a l . The poet o r swimmer i s always r e s t r i c t e d , d e s p i t e h i s apparent ease of movement i n the imagined or a l i e n r e a l m , to b o d i l y c a p a b i 1 i t i e s ; man i s t i e d to the f l e s h . Hence, the fancy turns a f e a r . The p o e t , i n r e c o g n i z i n g the l i m i t a t i o n s i n h e r e n t i n h i s f e i g n e d f l i g h t , f e a r s the r e a c t i o n of the soul who observes h i s mimicry of her f l i g h t : Does she l o o k , p i t y , wonder At one who mimics f l i g h t , Swims—heaven above, sea under , Yet always e a r t h i n s i g h t ? Man, as an amphibious c r e a t u r e , i s ab le to " s p o r t " i n two domains, body and s p i r i t , through h i s i m a g i n a t i v e f a c u l t i e s , and t h i s d i v i d e d exper ience i s d e s c r i b e d and d e f i n e d by the analogy of swimming. But h i s exper ience of the s p i r i t ' s realm i s a s i m u l a t i o n — a r t i s an a r t i f i c e - - a n d man i s deceived by the i l l u s i o n s which are c reated by the a r t i f i c e s of h i s i m -a g i n a t i o n . As J . L. Kenda l l m a i n t a i n s , "the speaker does not have complete conf idence i n p o e t i c i n s p i r a t i o n . . . . His ' f a n c y ' has suggested t h a t the t r u t h known to the s p i r i t . . . and the v i s i o n which buoys up the poet,may be as d i f f e r e n t as a i r a n d . w a t e r , the one w h o l l y i n a c c e s s i b l e 17 . to the swimmer-poet, the other f a t a l to the w i n g e d - s p i r i t . . . . " The Prologue a n t i c i p a t e s Juan 's p reoccupat ion w i t h h i s d u a l i s m , as w e l l as the swimming metaphor which he e l a b o r a t e s i n order to c o n c e p t u a l i z e i t s n a t u r e . In the P r o l o g u e , Browning a l s o r a i s e s doubts about the r e l i a -b i l i t y of man's p e r c e p t i o n , about man's a b i l i t y to d i s c o v e r the t r u t h concern ing a l l aspects of human knowledge. i i i The main poem i n t e r t w i n e s three streams of movement: Juan 's and E l v i r e ' s walk through P o r n i c ; the debate which Juan has w i t h E l v i r e about F i f i n e ; and J u a n ' s metaphys ica l s p e c u l a t i o n about the nature of r e a l i t y and human e x p e r i e n c e . Juan c o n s t a n t l y uses the t a n g i b l e scene where he walks f o r ana log ies and metaphors or to convey mood, and these images e m b e l l i s h h i s more a b s t r a c t processes of thought . Two e a r l i e r e x p e r i e n c e s , h i s swim and h i s dream, i n t r u d e on h i s mind a l s o . He mixes t h e i r impres -s ions w i t h the scene around h i m , so t h a t the p h y s i c a l , e x t e r n a l sea merges w i th h i s remembered and i m a g i n a t i v e l y r e c r e a t e d exper ience of i t , and the c u l m i n a t i o n o f h i s walk a t the Dru id monument c o i n c i d e s w i t h the c l i m a c t i c mental image of h i s d r e a m - - a l s o the monument. This complex i n t e r p l a y of p resent exper ience and past memory promotes the c o n f l i c t between i n t u i t i o n and concept which c h a r a c t e r i z e s the poem, and i f the three l e v e l s of movement are kept i n mind , the poem's s t r u c t u r e i s more r e a d i l y f o l l o w e d . Don Juan 's d e l i g h t i n h i s p h y s i c a l surroundings i s apparent e a r l y i n the poem as he expresses h i s enthusiasm f o r the sudden appearance of the gyps ies and t h e i r f a i r . But never content w i t h the enjoyment of s u r -f a c e s , he cons iders a l s o the myster ies and paradoxes which t h e i r behav-i o u r s u p p l i e s . Three images of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , f o r example, express h i s r e c o g n i t i o n of the emergence o f beauty o r g a i e t y where none seemed pos -s i b l e : the f a i r grew from "mere b i t o f . h o a r d i n g . . . as b r i s k as b u t t e r -f l y from grub" (V, 8 ) ; " s q u a l i d g i r l s " are " t ransformed to gamesome boys" ( I I I , 2 6 ) ; and the caravan i t s e l f b u r s t from a bud i n t o the "queen-t u l i p of the F a i r ! " . ( V , 3 4 ) . He a l s o observes the decept ion on which the gyps ies depend, as they hide t h e i r " t r e a s u r e " i n o rder n o t - t o s t a l e i t s appeal "Before the t ime i s r i p e " ( I I I , 1 8 ) , as the women a l t e r t h e i r physique w i th t r i c o t or padding ( I I I , 2 4 ) , and as t h e i r master t h i s year parades a s i x - l e g g e d sheep which l a s t yea r was "the Twin-headed Babe, and Human N o n d e s c r i p t ! " ( X I , 125) . The gyps ies are i n d i f f e r e n t to the s o c i a l d i s a p p r o v a l of t h e i r c h e a t i n g . S ince they have no respect f o r repute or good fame, t h e i r i n -v e r s i o n of s o c i a l l y accepted values poses a mystery : "How comes i t , a l l we ho ld so dear they count so cheap?" (X , 103) . They apparent l y know a s e c r e t which i s o u t s i d e normal moral c e n s u r e , and Juan 's sympathy f o r the t r u a n t ' s d e l i g h t i n what to the l a w - a b i d i n g seems a degraded e x i s t e n c e i s conta ined i n the i r o n y of h i s m i l d t r a v e s t y of p u b l i c d i s a p p r o b a t i o n : . amidst an " i n c l e m e n t " sky and " b r u t e " companionship , these "misgu ided" ones , who spurned a "sweet and c i v i l i z e d " m i n i s t r a t i o n , and who are l e f t w i t h a " s e l f - s o u g h t wre tchedness , " send up " f r a n k " l a u g h t e r ( V I I , 6 3 - 7 2 ) . J u a n , of c o u r s e , has a l ready expressed h i s d e s i r e f o r f reedom, i n h i s response to the pennon which f lew " F r e n e t i c to be f r e e " (V, 3 8 ) . He resents being " a t the beck" of s o c i e t y , but beside : h i s i n a b i l i t y to g ive up s o c i e t y h i s r e s t l e s s n e s s presents a paradox , which i s s i m i l a r l y posed by both the f l a g and the g y p s i e s . As Roma King s u g g e s t s , the pennon " a t t a i n s i t s ' f r e n e t i c ' l i f e p r e c i s e l y because i t i s anchored. . . . I t becomes an a p p r o p r i a t e image f o r the s p e a k e r , who r e a l i z e s i n the process of h i s m e d i t a t i o n t h a t what he wants i s the exper ience of b e i n g , caught between ear th and s k y , q u i v e r i n g w i t h l i f e , f r e n e t i c a l l y s t r e t c h i n g f o r •J Q home w h i l e he remains f i r m l y anchored to e a r t h . " Th is incomplete or c i r c u m s c r i b e d freedom i s i n accord w i t h the speaker i n the prologue and s i m i l a r l y w i t h the g y p s i e s - - " T h e y , of the w i l d , r e q u i r e some touch of us the tame" ( V I I I , 8 0 ) . ( The anomaly i n freedom i s p h y s i c a l s u r v i v a l , "S ince c l o t h i n g , meat and d r i n k , mean money a l l the same" ( V I I I , 8 1 ) . Juan r e -f e r s to o ther such c l a n d e s t i n e a c t i v i t i e s by b i r d s who " f u r t i v e l y " take "tax- and- t o l 1 " f r o m mankind to s t rengthen t h e i r n e s t s , and concludes wi th the p u z z l e : " the how and why of w h i c h , /That i s the s e c r e t , there the mystery t h a t s t i n g s ! " ( IX , 9 7 - 9 8 ) . Juan may ask a n a l y t i c a l , i n t e l l e c t u a l quest ions about p a r a d o x i c a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s , but they never the less c a r r y an emotional impact ( " s t i n g s " ) . He i s c l e a r l y bothered by the q u e s t i o n , and soon re tu rns to i t — " N o w , ..what i s i t ? . . . heartens, so t h i s l o s e ! t h a t he spurns / A l l we so p r i z e ? " ( X I I I , 1 3 9 - 1 4 0 ) . He i s f a s c i n a t e d by the idea t h a t they might have some knowledge ("compensating j o y " ) , however e s o t e r i c ("unknown and i n f i n i t e " ) , which he l a c k s . F i f i n e h e r s e l f cu lminates t h i s opening s p e c u l a t i o n and q u e s t i o n i n g , s i n c e she ep i tomizes what i s most a l l u r i n g i n the law less being o f - h e r peop le : she i s " s e l f - s u s t a i n m e n t made m o r a l i t y " (XVI , 175) . She a l s o conta ins c e r t a i n a m b i g u i t i e s . Juan e l a b o r a t e s i n a l y r i c a l manner, too e n t h u s i a s t i c f o r E l v i r e ' s s a t i s f a c t i o n , her e x o t i c beauty , her "Greek-nymph nose" and "Hebrew p a i r " of eyes (XV, 1 5 3 ) ; but dressed as a boy she has an ambiguous s e x u a l i t y and she i s a l s o , he s a y s , a "Sex less and b l o o d l e s s s p r i t e " (XVI , 173) . She poses " h a l f - f r a n k , h a l f - f i e r c e " (XV, 1 6 8 ) , and "though mischievous and mean," she i s "Yet f r e e and f l o w e r -l i k e t o o , w i t h l o v e l i n e s s f o r law" (XVI , 174) . Her very being i s her source of m o r a l i t y ; i t i s a n a t u r a l s e n s e , not imposed o r a r t i f i c i a l , 19 and l i e s beyond the comprehension of p u b l i c judgement. Juan may des -c r i b e her sexual ambigui ty and her meanness as w e l l as her l o v e l i n e s s p a r t l y f o r E l v i r e ' s b e n e f i t , but p a r t l y too because -he i s consc ious o f a danger i n her p r o v o c a t i v e ent i cement . She evokes not merely the dan -gerous exc i tement inherent i n what i s i l l i c i t ; she a l s o arouses the more, s u b t l e , t a n t a l i z i n g mixture of enchantment and f e a r which i s promised by unknown and. unconvent ional e x p e r i e n c e s . Th is q u a l i t y i s developed i n the image of the l i l y , which immed-i a t e l y f o l l o w s ( X V I I ) . The l i l y , through a " d e l i r i o u s l y - d r u g g e d s c e n t , " e n t i c e s i n s e c t s i n t o her "golden gloom" where they d i e , marking "her w e a l t h " and m a n i f e s t i n g "her p r i d e . " The l i l y , t o o , ac ts o u t s i d e the bounds of convent iona l judgement, and the f a u l t , Juan i m p l i e s , i s i n the deceived r a t h e r than the dece ive r ( " i s she i n f a u l t . .. . ? " ) . He assumes a" s u p e r i o r wisdom, .which p e r c e i v e s both the beauty and the danger , and which i s t h e r e f o r e ab le to admire a t a d i s t a n c e (XV I I I , 1 8 8 - 1 8 9 ) . Yet there i s a s u f f i c i e n t touch of i r o n y i n h i s comment to deny any complac-ency or s e l f - r i g h t e o u s n e s s on h i s p a r t , a n d . t o suggest t h a t h i s d i s t i n c -t i o n s are i n some smal l degree designed f o r E l v i r e ' s peace of mind: " D i s c r e e t we peer and p r a i s e , put r i c h th ings to r i g h t u s e , " and.a r o s e , not some " f l a v o r o u s venomed b e l l , " i s p laced " I 1 the proper l o y a l th rone" . (XV I I I , 189 -193 ; my i t a l i c s ) . He says he loves E l v i r e , n o t . F i f i n e , but w h i l e F i f i n e i s a " p o i s o n - p l a g u e , " h i s i m p l i e d comparison of the two women renders the safe E l v i r e somewhat anaemic; she i s one of the " s i m -p l e r s w e e t s , " a " d a i s y meek, or maiden v i o l e t " ( X V I I I , 1 9 4 - 1 9 7 ) . The f a c e t i o u s element i n t h i s doubt fu l compliment, to E l v i r e does n o t , however, b e l i e J u a n ' s : f e e l i n g f o r h e r . Rather i t serves to i l l u s -t r a t e how h i s moral ambiguity , i s rooted deeply i n a genuine emotional c o n f l i c t . F i f i n e a n d . E l v i r e appeal to him i n q u i t e oppos i te ways, and i n terms of d i f f e r e n t r e a l i t i e s . H is development of the pageant of t r a - . d i t i o n a l female beauty , i n response to E l y i r e ' s request t h a t he e x p l a i n why F i f i n e makes h i s thoughts sure o f t h e i r meaning (XIX, 1 9 9 ) , serves to e x p l a i n f u r t h e r t h i s s c h i s m . In one sense the a r t i f i c e o f the pageant, masks r e a l i t y , as Juan says i t d i d f o r Lou is Onze, sc reen ing the grave from him (XIX , 2 0 3 ) , but i n Juan 's use of i t s i m a g i n a t i v e p o s s i b i l i t i e s i t a l s o c l a r i f i e s r e a l i t y , the r e a l i t y of h i s s i n c e r i t y towards both women, and the r e a l i t y of h i s b i f u r c a t e d v i s i o n . Sus ta ined f o r twenty -one s e c t i o n s (X IX -XXXIX ) , the pageant i s a dev ice which enables him to begin h i s e x p l o r a t i o n of d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of p e r c e p t i o n . His d e l i g h t i n f l e s h l y s u r f a c e s i s again q u i c k l y apparent , man i -f e s t e d p a r t i c u l a r l y i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of C l e o p a t r a : ; "each orb of i n d o -l e n t ri 'pe h e a l t h , /Captured , j u s t . w h e r e i t f i n d s a f e l l o w - o r b as f i n e / 1 1 . the body" (XX, 2 1 9 - 2 2 1 ) . There i s a l s o the same mixture of a l l u r e and t h r e a t i n Helen and C l e o p a t r a , which was i n F i f i n e , . a n d as F i f i n e con -c ludes the f i l e of beaut ies w i t h " s m i l e and pout , /Submiss ive -mut inous" (XXI , 2 5 1 - 2 5 2 ) , her ambiguous a t t r a c t i o n i s m a i n t a i n e d . Juan i s , of c o u r s e , consc ious of h i s a t t e n t i o n to sensual d e t a i l and of i t s e f f e c t on E l v i r e . In. these s e c t i o n s , h i s casual banter w i t h her and h i s easy s o p h i s t i c a t i o n mark h i s s k i l l e d hand l ing of her responses . He i s able to acknowledge y e t suspend her p r o t e s t : "0 I know, E l v i r e ! Be p a t i e n t , . more r e m a i n ! " (XX, 2 2 7 ) ; "This t i m e , enough's a f e a s t , not one more f o r m , E l v i r e ! /Prov ided you a l l o w . . . " (XX I , 2 4 6 - 2 4 7 ) ; "do not f l o u t ! " (XXI , 2 5 0 ) . And he atones f o r h i s indulgence by p l a c i n g her w i t h her peers i n the parade, where she w i l l "prove best of beauty t h e r e ! " ( X X I I I , 260) . Th is f l a t t e r y , c o n v e n i e n t l y , soothes E l v i r e ' s vexat ion j u s t as he p r e -sents F i f i n e w i t h a f r a n c , and to a l l a y f u r t h e r E l v i r e ' s r e a c t i o n , he mocks h i s own apparent g e n e r o s i t y by assuming a " s e i g n e u r - l i k e " posture which i r o n i c a l l y echoes the d r o i t du se igneur of more noto r ious t i m e s . Th is ac t leads him to s a t i r i z e c a u s t i c a l l y the p r i d e and condescension of " q u a l i t y , " of "dames, whom d e s t i n y /Keeps uncontaminate from st igma of the s tye / [ F i f i n e ] wallows i n ! " (XXIV, 2 7 6 - 2 7 8 ) . He scorns those who scorn F i f i n e i n her unfor tunate pred icament , but the h o s t i l i t y he r i g h t l y d i r e c t s a t t h e i r s e l f - r i g h t e o u s i n s e n s i t i v i t y i n p a r t masks a c e r t a i n j e a l o u s y which he d i s p l a y s as he watches F i f i n e repor t to her master w i t h the money. The i n t e n s i t y of h i s d i s l i k e f o r her " l o r d " i s c l e a r i n h i s harsh d e s c r i p t i o n of the man ( " - - B r u t e - b e a s t - f a c e , - - r a v a g e , s c a r , scowl and m a l i g n a n c y " ; XXV, 2 8 8 ) , who i s . " n o doubt , her husband," and as he cont inues he cannot conceal h i s a c e r b i t y : "Oh, she p r e f e r s sheer s t r e n g t h to i n e f f e c t i v e g r a c e , /Breeding and c u l t u r e ! seeks the e s s e n t i a l i n the case ! / . . . Ay , they go i n . t o g e t h e r ! " (XXV, 2 9 2 - 2 9 8 ) . The complex i r o n y i n F i f i n e ' s seek ing "the e s s e n t i a l " i s p a r t i c u -l a r l y r e v e a l i n g . As an i n t e l l e c t u a l d i l e t t a n t e seek ing sensual p l e a s u r e , and success i n s e d u c t i o n , Juan i s outdone and f r u s t r a t e d , because, i f F i f i n e does look f o r s t r e n g t h , then i n terms of the f l e s h she i s seek ing the " e s s e n t i a l . " As a c u l t u r e d i n t e l l e c t u a l , however, Juan i s aware t h a t the a t t r a c t i o n s of the f l e s h are t r a n s i t o r y and t h a t the " e s s e n t i a l " , i s i n f i n i t e l y more r e f i n e d than "sheer s t r e n g t h . " In t h i s s e n s e , F i f i n e does no t ; seek what i s " e s s e n t i a l , " and t h e r e i n l i e s her l i m i t a t i o n , which i s i n t e l l e c t u a l , not p h y s i c a l . I d l e d a l l i a n c e w i t h F i f i n e may compensate f o r the d u l l p a s s i v i t y of E l v i r e , but F i f i n e w i l l be e q u a l l y d i s s a t i s -f y i n g , f o r the oppos i te reason . Th is b r i e f phrase thus becomes an example of the manner i n which Browning embodies Juan 's di lemma. I t s s t rong emotional tone i m p l i e s Juan 's yearn ing f o r F i f i n e ' s bewitchment, w h i l e i t s i r o n i c or i n t e l l e c t u a l meaning s i m u l t a n e o u s l y ev inces h i s awareness of her l i m i t a t i o n s . Through t h i s moment of i n t e n s e i r o n y , Browning has b u i l t i n t o the persona 's language the fundamental ambivalence which forms the u n d e r l y i n g drama of the whole poem. Juan r e l a x e s and resumes h i s e x p l a n a t i o n of the pageant , now mak-ing d i s t i n c t i o n s between the phantoms i n h i s fancy and the r e a l i t y nearby . When E l v i r e j o i n e d the l i n e of b e a u t i e s , she gave up her " c l o g /Of f l e s h " (XXIV, 2 5 7 - 2 5 8 ) , and Juan develops h i s p e r c e p t i o n of two E l v i r e s to enable E l v i r e to judge h e r s e l f more e a s i l y . The two female phantoms, though "mere i l l u s i o n . . . d r e a m - f i g u r e s , " are to be judged "wi thout f e a r /Or favour " by Juan and E l v i r e , " the t r u e " (XXVI , 2 9 8 - 3 0 1 ) . A com-mon enough e x e r c i s e of the i m a g i n a t i o n , a l l o w i n g an i n d i v i d u a l to make a detached s e l f - a p p r a i s a l , t h i s a r t i f i c e a l s o enables Juan to i l l u s t r a t e d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of t r u t h . A f t e r f u r t h e r f l a t t e r i n g E l v i r e by ,an i m p l i e d comparison w i t h Helen (XXVI I , 3 0 3 - 3 2 6 ) , and a f t e r f u r t h e r p l a y f u l t e a s i n g by a s c r i b i n g cosmic s i g n i f i c a n c e to her emotions (XXVI I I , 3 2 6 - 3 2 9 ) , he a r r i v e s a t h i s f i r s t announcement of the decept ion i n s u r f a c e s . . He w i l l demonstrate t h a t E l v i r e was mistaken i n t h i n k i n g he regarded the f l e s h undu ly , by p rov ing "That , through the outward s i g n , the inward grace a l l u r e s , /And sparks from heaven t r a n s p i e r c e e a r t h ' s c o a r s e s t c o v e r t u r e s " (XXVI I I , 3 3 6 - 3 3 7 ) . A l l c r e a t u r e s , he s a y s , have "supreme worth" i n some way (XXIX, 3 3 9 - 3 4 1 ) . He b e l i e v e s t h a t "qu ick sense" i s ab le to p e r c e i v e the " s e l f -v i n d i c a t i n g f l a s h " i n each man and woman, thereby prov ing t h a t each d e t a i l of the p l a n , " i n p lace a l l o t t e d i t , was prime and p e r f e c t " (XXIX, 3 5 1 -3 5 5 ) . S e l f - v i n d i c a t i o n i s i n accord w i th F i f i n e ' s " s e . l f - s u s t a i n m e n t " (XV I , 1 7 5 ) , and i s an aspect of Juan 's keen i n t e r e s t i n s e l f - r e l i a n c e and s e l f - f u l f i l m e n t . The q u a l i f y i n g p h r a s e , " i n p lace a l l o t t e d i t , " i s s i g n i f i c a n t f o r h i s a s s e v e r a t i o n of va lue i n a l l t h i n g s , s i n c e h i s a b i l -i t y to d i s c r i m i n a t e i s i n e x t r i c a b l y i n v o l v e d w i t h h i s r e c o g n i t i o n of v a l u e . - Each person has an e s s e n t i a l and unique v a l u e , y e t the k ind and degree of va lue i s always to be d e t e r m i n e d . ' F i f i n e ' s v a l u e , Juan c l a i m s , . i s t h a t she makes no demands on a man, except t h a t he admire her appearance (XXXI I , 3 9 8 - 4 1 1 ) . P r e s e n t i n g a f a s c i n a t i n g understanding o f female t y p e s , w i t h w i t t i l y i r o n i c parodies of t h e i r p r i d e and a r r o g a n c e , Juan imagines how F i f i n e would s t a t e her demands i n comparison w i t h those made by other women, i n c l u d i n g h i s w i f e (XXXI I , 4 1 2 - 5 0 7 ) . Helen d e s i r e s to be worsh ipped , C l e o p a t r a to s a t i s f y un ique ly men's s e n s e s , the S a i n t to preserve her v i r g i n innocence , and E l v i r e to keep her man. By p resent ing E l v i r e ' s speech as i f i n F i f i n e ' s words , Juan t a c t f u l l y removes the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n from h i m s e l f , but i t nonetheless embodies h i s view of h i s w i f e , and makes an important c o n t r i -bu t ion towards e x p l a i n i n g the s t r u g g l e between them which pervades the poem. When Juan was u n c e r t a i n of E l v i r e ' s a f f e c t i o n , he was complete ly a t t e n t i v e to h e r , but now, by i m p l i c a t i o n , the r o l e s are r e v e r s e d ; E l v i r e i s u n c e r t a i n of h i s a f f e c t i o n . Consequent ly , her m o r a l i t y i s as much rooted i n her depth of i n s t i n c t i v e , emotional being as h i s i s . F i f i n e ' s oxymoronic d e s c r i p t i o n of her "sad smi les and gay t e a r s " (XXX I I I , 466) measures her i n s e c u r i t y , and E l v i r e emphasizes, the permanence of her f e e l i n g s , the core of her.argument a g a i n s t Juan 's behav iour : " 'The soul r e t a i n s , . n a y , . b o a s t s o l d t r e a s u r e m u l t i p l i e d ' " (XXX I I I , 4 7 2 ) . She may p i n p o i n t a c r u c i a l element i n Juan 's p h i l o s o p h i c a l ques t : ' " P r e p o s t e r o u s thought ! to f i n d no value f i x e d i n t h i n g s , 'To covet a l l you s e e , hear , .d ream o f , t i l l f a t e b r ings 'About t h a t , w h a t you want, you g a i n ; then f o l l o w s c h a n g e . ' " (XXX I I I , 496-498) But the s t r e n g t h of the d e r i s i o n which she d i r e c t s at F i f i n e ( p u t r i d i t y 20 t h a t ' s p h o s p h o r e s c e n t ' " " ; X X X I I I , . 5 0 4 ) suggests the mix ture of hur t p r i d e and j e a l o u s y which mot ivates her s t r i c t u r e s : " ' I n s h o r t [Juan] p r e f e r s to m e — c h a s t e , temperate , s e r e n e — 'What s p u t t e r s green and b l u e , t h i s f i z g i g c a l l e d F i f i n e ! ' " (XXX I I I , 506-507) Th is i s q u i t e a d i f f e r e n t p o i n t from the one t h a t he sees no "va lue f i x e d i n t h i n g s , " and i m p l i e s E l v i r e ' s s e l f - d e c e p t i o n . By making a v i r t u e of her c o n s i s t e n c y and by a t t a c k i n g h i s f i c k l e n e s s , she obscures the f a c t t h a t her m o r a l i t y i s j u s t as s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d as J u a n ' s . She "emerges 21 both a l o n e l y woman and a vorac ious f e m a l e . " J u a n , by acknowledging F i f i n e ' s appeal to h i m , attempts to be honest i n a way i n which E l v i r e i s not (or he cannot imagine her to b e ) , and h i s exaspera t ion w i t h her emerges i n h i s d i s g r u n t l e d i n d i c t m e n t of woman's i n a b i l i t y to "comprehend mental a n a l y s i s " (XXXIV., 5 0 8 - 5 1 1 ) . The a c c u s a t i o n i s not s imply mascu-l ine , a r rogance . Whi le h i s response to her u n w i l l i n g n e s s to acquiesce i n h i s a f f a i r w i t h F i f i n e i s un jus t and works a g a i n s t . h i m , i t a l s o represents the se r iousness w i th which he regards h i s e x p l a n a t i o n of separate percep -t i b l e r e a l i t i e s . He defends h i s f i c k l e n e s s i n terms of h i s d i s c r i m i n a t i o n of v a l u e . He may s t r u g g l e f e v e r i s h l y to own a R a p h a e l , and then "saunter past w i t h unaverted eyes" once i t i s obta ined (XXXV., 5 4 9 ) , but to accuse him of a "change" i n h i s a p p r e c i a t i o n of the p i c t u r e i s to "misappropr ia te s e n s a -t i o n s " (XXXVI, 5 5 7 ) . Before he obta ins h i s d e s i r e , man's anxious doubt about h i s s u c c e s s , h i s " f r e t and fume," i s obvious to a l l , but because t h i s d isappears once he has h i s w i s h , i t does not f o l l o w t h a t he no longer va lues the o b j e c t . "One chamber must not coop /Man's l i f e i n " 22 (XXXV, 5 4 7 - 5 4 8 ) , and there w i l l i n t r u d e o ther "novel hopes and f e a r s , of f a s h i o n j u s t as new /To correspond i_' the s c a l e " (XXXVI, 5 6 2 - 5 6 3 ; my i t a l i c s ) - - a l w a y s there i s a c a r e f u l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . Even though he may be d i s t r a c t e d by Dore 's p i c t u r e s , he would always save h i s Raphael i n case of f i r e . ' The p o i n t , o f c o u r s e , i s t h a t depth of va lue i s to be d i v o r c e d from s u p e r f i c i a l s e n s a t i o n . A d e s c r i p t i o n of E l v i r e . cu lminates the pageant and e s t a b l i s h e s the nature of her va lue f o r her husband. She stands "pure" i n "pa le c o n -s t r a i n t , " " I n v i o l a t e of l i f e and w o r l d l i n e s s and s i n " (XXXVI I I , 5 8 8 ) ; there i s a s l o w , l a n g u i d q u a l i t y about her appearance; her c l o t h e s p r o -t e c t i v e l y mask her v i r g i n a l beauty , and d e s p i t e her " r e b e l l i o u s " b reasts the whole e f f e c t i s one of s tatuesque calm (XXXVI I I , 5 9 8 - 6 0 8 ) . The calm conta ins a h i n t of l i f e l e s s n e s s — t h e dress i s a . " p a l l , " though i t moulds " s l e e p not death" (XXXVI I I , 6 0 3 - 6 0 4 ) — a n d E l v i r e i s q u i t e a n t i t h e t i c a l to F i f i n e ' s t a n t a l i z i n g and p r o v o c a t i v e c h a l l e n g e . Juan i s never the less s i n c e r e i n h i s admi ra t ion of h e r : she "makes r i g h t and whole once more /ATI t h a t was h a l f i t s e l f w i t h o u t " her (XXXIX, 6 1 0 - 6 1 1 ) . E l v i r e , how-e v e r , i s as ton i shed a t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n , s i n c e her m i r r o r r e f l e c t s ' " a t a l l , t h i n , p a l e , deep-eyed /Personage'" (XL, 6 2 4 - 6 2 5 ) , and she has appar -e n t l y f o r g o t t e n J u a n ' s s e p a r a t i o n of the two E l v i r e s : "I want y o u , t h e r e , to make y o u , h e r e , confess you wage ./Successful w a r f a r e , pique those proud ones" (XXXVI I I , 5 8 1 - 5 8 2 ) . For an analogy to e x p l a i n h i s v i s i o n and l e v e l s of p e r c e p t i o n f u r t h e r , he t u r n s , the f i r s t of many t i m e s , to a e s t h e t i c e x p e r i e n c e . A r t i s important to J u a n , s i n c e i t s very nature i s i n v o l v e d w i t h metaphor ica l r e a l i t i e s or concrete g l impses of some normal ly hidden beauty . His use of B i b l i c a l symbolism to express an a e s t h e t i c exper ience - - " t h a t burs t of p i l l a r e d c loud by day /And p i l l a r e d f i r e by n i g h t " ( X L I I , 6 3 9 - 6 4 0 ) - - i s symptomatic of h i s b e l i e f i n a r t as "knowing, s e e i n g , f e e l i n g the abso lu te t r u t h of th ings /For t r u t h ' s sake" (XLIV, 6 8 6 - 6 8 7 ) . Juan i s anxious to d i s c o v e r the essence i n t h i n g s , what he c a l l s "the p r ime , the i n d i v i d u a l t y p e , " and a r t prov ides one means f o r p e n e t r a t i n g the S h e l l e y a n v e i l of appearances to p e r c e i v e t h i s essence . Each i n d i v i d -ual may a l s o ach ieve such p e n e t r a t i o n through l o v e . There i s a gross d i sc repancy between the f e a t u r e s of each unique s o u l — n o two sou ls are s i m i l a r ( X L I I I , 6 5 5 - 6 5 6 ) — a n d i t s o u t s i d e f o r m , the f l e s h , which i n v a r -i a b l y proves an inadequate r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . ' However, every face may p r o -v ide f o r some other person "a spark of sou l /Which, quickened by l o v e ' s b r e a t h , may y e t pervade the whole / . . . a n d , f r e e a g a i n , be f i r e " ( X L I I I , 6 7 5 - 6 7 6 ) . As the a r t i s t may produce a masterp iece by "Retrenchment and a d d i t i o n " ' ( X L V I I , 7 1 6 ) , each l o v e r may "amend h i s l o v e " ( L I , , 7 5 1 ) , and produce " R e s u l t more b e a u t i f u l than beauty ' s s e l f " ( L I , 7 5 4 ) . Through the . t ransforming power of " h a n d - p r a c t i c e " i n a r t or " s o u l - p r o f i c i e n c y " i n love ( L , 7 3 6 - 7 3 7 ) , r e a l i t y may be perce ived i n i t s i n h e r e n t p e r f e c t i o n . Th is phenomenon i s f u r t h e r e x p l a i n e d by Juan 's Miche lange lo s c u l p t u r e . The M a s t e r ' s hand hewed " l i f e out of death" from the m a r b l e , but to the w o r l d _ i t i s "death s t i l l " (LI 1 , 7 6 2 ) , s i n c e i t r e q u i r e s i m a g i n a t i v e i n -s i g h t to recognize i t s worth or l i f e . I t embodies,; f o r J u a n , . M i c h e l a n -g e l o ' s concept ion of E i d o t h e e . She has no p h y s i c a l r e a l i t y and.cannot be seen " i n e a r t h , i n a i r , /In wave," but she i s "mani fes t i ' the s o u l ' s domain , " :and so can be pe rce i ved "through a i d / 0 ' the s o u l | " ( L I I , 788 -791) . I f the s t a t u e i s judged w i t h the senses o n l y , "wi thout s o u l ' s h e l p , " i t has l i t t l e m e r i t , which enabled Juan to buy i t f o r ten d o l l a r s ( L I I , 7 9 3 - 8 0 1 ) . The s o u l ' s p e r c e p t i o n , ; w h i c h at t h i s stage ( L I I , 789-791) seems to mean s imply i m a g i n a t i v e i n s i g h t , , i s c e n t r a l to Juan 's mental s t a n c e ; i t i s a means of o r d e r i n g and e v a l u a t i n g e x i s t e n c e , and y e t i t records an en igmat ic r e a l i t y . A r t , he has s a i d , i s h i s evidence "That something was, i s , . m i g h t b e ; but no more t h i n g i t s e l f , /Than flame i s f u e l " ( X L I , 6 2 9 - 6 3 0 ) . . F i r e i n the poem comes to symbol ize essence , and i t s f l i c k e r -i n g , c o n t i n u a l l y a l t e r i n g , y e t permanent, i f i n e f f a b l e , f o r m , i s the p e r f e c t image f o r the indeterminate q u a l i t y which c o n s t i t u t e s essence or " t y p e . " I t i s the " S e l f - v i n d i c a t i n g f l a s h " (XXIX, 352) which may be , e l i c i t e d from each man and woman, the "e lemental f lame" (LV, 829) which may be drawn out by the s o u l ' s t ransmut ing power. Hence, Juan 's d e s c r i p -t i o n of the phantom E l v i r e i n the pageant i s h i s s o u l ' s view of h e r , h i s personal p e r c e p t i o n of her essence ( L I I I , 802-8Q8) . In the next s e c t i o n s ( L I V - L I X ) , he proceeds to emphasize the de -pendence of e s s e n c e , of va lue and beauty , on the " b r e a t h " which evokes i t , the i n d i v i d u a l " see ing s o u l . " The wor ld i s " i n e r t " u n t i l man evokes i t s beauty (LV, 8 2 4 - 8 2 9 ) . Juan a l s o emphasizes the importance of the evocatory process i t s e l f , not only because i t i s the source of va lue i n the e x t e r n a l w o r l d , but because the s o u l ' s ga in—"What each soul f o r i t s e l f conquered from out th ings here" (LV, 8 2 3 ) — w i l l , he b e l i e v e s , de-f i n e i t s own c h a r a c t e r a f t e r death as w e l l as i n l i f e . He sees no p u r -pose i n the s o u l ' s s t r i v i n g w i t h t h e - w o r l d "un less the f r u i t of v i c t o r i e s / S t a y , one and a l l , s t o r e d up and. guaranteed i t s own /For ever" (LV, 8 1 9 -821)-. Revea l ing man's fundamental impulse to b e l i e v e i n the permanence of h i s unique i d e n t i t y , Juan f i n d s support f o r h i s b e l i e f i n the s o u l ' s power to t r a n s f o r m . I t does not matter where the " f lame" spr ings f r o m , whether from "gums and s p i c e " o r "st raw and r o t t e n n e s s " - - t h e s e images r e f e r back to E l v i r e ' s taunt t h a t he "hankers even / A f t e r p u t r i d i t y " (XXXI I I , 5 0 3 - 5 0 4 ) — a s long as the "sou l has power to make them burn" (LV, 8 2 9 - 8 3 1 ) . He gathers hear t from " j u s t such conquests of the s o u l " ( LV I , 8 4 0 ) , through t r a n s f e r r i n g , a l l t h a t i s "achieved i n v i s i b l e t h i n g s " i n t o a realm of the " s o u l ' s i m a g i n i n g s " ( LV I , 8 4 4 - 8 4 5 ) . Th is process amounts to the s o u l ' s c r e a t i o n of i t s e l f through i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h the e x t e r n a l w o r l d , and once c r e a t e d , i t i s r e l u c t a n t to contemplate i t s own demise. The concern w i t h s e l f dominates Juan 's d i s c o u r s e : ga in "would not be /Except a s p e c i a l soul had gained i t " ( L V I I I , 87.2-873) . In a s s e r t i n g t h i s b e l i e f , t h a t ga in must always belong "To who performed the f e a t , " he acknowledges the a s s i s t a n c e of God's grace as w e l l as of man's w i l l ( LV I11 , 8 7 6 ) . "God's g r a c e , " however, i s out of p lace i n t h i s context and the emphasis i s r a t h e r on "man's w i l l . " Indeed, J u a n ' s use o f sou l i m p l i e s noth ing more s p i r i t u a l than i m a g i n a t i o n or mind , and the s o u l ' s exper ience i s d e f i n e d i n a e s t h e t i c r a t h e r than r e l i g i o u s terms. Acknow-ledgment, f o r example, of some prev ious source of an idea i s to an a r t i s t , r a t h e r than to any d i v i n i t y . Juan admires the s c h o l a r who r e -mains l o y a l to h i s Master (an a r t i s t ) , who p roc la ims h i m s e l f as h i s M a s t e r ' s product ( "His work am I!"; L V I , 8 5 3 ) , and.who attempts to i m i -t a t e His work, thereby hoping to• " v i n d i c a t e " h i s Maker ( LV I , 8 5 8 ) ; the M i l t o n i c a n d Popean echoes again i n d i c a t e Juan 's s e c u l a r render ing o f -23 r e l i g i o u s c o n c e p t i o n s . In s e c t i o n L I X , one of h i s most s p i r i t u a l e p i s o d e s , he a n t i c i p a t e s the joy and i n t e n s i t y of love " H e r e a f t e r , " when each soul w i l l yearn to share i t s ga in w i t h the g a i n , " a l l d i v e r s e and y e t i n worth the, same" (L IX , 8 8 5 ) , of some other s o u l . He a n t i c i p a t e s a realm of s p i r i t u a l and f r u i t f u l c o e x i s t e n c e , even o f Neop la ton ic f u s i o n — " l o s e the v a r i c o l o r i n achromat ic w h i t e ! " ( L IX , 8 9 7 ) — w i t h a soul or " l o d e s t a r , " "An o ther than i t s e l f " ( L IX , 9 0 2 ) . The u n i t y he contempla tes , however, i s s u f f i c i e n t l y f a r i n the f u t u r e , s u f f i c i e n t l y en igmat ic and s p e c u l a t i v e (the l o d e s t a r cannot be d e f i n e d — " G o d , man, o r both together m i x e d " — a n d the whole c o n -cept i s "guessed a t " ; L I X , 9 0 8 ) i to enable him to emphasize s t i l l the s o u l ' s independence and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to i t s e l f : "each s o u l , l i v e s , longs and works /For i t s e l f , by i t s e l f " ( L IX , 9 0 0 - 9 0 1 ) . J u a n , i n view o f h i s keen d e s i r e to d i s c o v e r some evidence of p e r -manent, e t e r n a l e x i s t e n c e , i s not d isposed to s p e c u l a t i o n , p r e f e r r i n g to r e l y on known e x p e r i e n c e s , whether o f the senses or of the m i n d , and as a s p i r i t u a l concept ion the passage i s g e n e r a l l y u n c o n v i n c i n g . He cannot demonstrate an unequivocal b e l i e f i n t h i s f u t u r e union w i t h E l v i r e - - h e can only a s k , "why doubt a t ime succeeds /When . . . both share /The chemic s e c r e t . . . ? " (L IX , 8 8 8 - 8 9 0 ) - - a n d the whole n o t i o n "seems as much a g e s -tu re as h i s obeisance to "God's grace" ( L V I 1 1 s 8 7 6 ) . A l s o , i n c o n t r a s t -ing h i s " s e l f - i n d u l g e n c e " with . E l v i r e ' s " s e l f - s a c r i f i c e " (L IX , 8 9 1 - 8 9 4 ) , he p i n p o i n t s the c r u c i a l d i f f e r e n c e i n t h e i r moral a t t i t u d e s . L a t e r , he develops t h i s d i f f e r e n c e between h e d o n i s t i c and a l t r u i s t i c impulses i n t o male and female p r i n c i p l e s . At t h i s moment, however, h i s u n d e r l y i n g hedonism i s s a t i r i z e d by E l v i r e , who.accuses him of a b d i c a t i n g , d e s p i t e h i s c o n t r a r y a s s e r t i o n s , the " s o u l ' s empire" f o r the " r u l e of sense" (LX, 913-915) . . Before he reaches F i f i n e ' s s o u l , "some f l e s h may be ,to p a s s ! " (LX, 9 3 0 ) , and t h a t , p r o b a b i l i t y , . fo r h e r , b e l i e s h i s t o t a l a r g u - :. ment: "Who i s i t you d e c e i v e - - / Y o u r s e l f or me o r God, w i t h a l l t h i s m a k e - b e l i e v e ? " (LX, 9 4 0 - 9 4 1 ) . In having r e f e r r e d to the pageant of women as " d r e a m - f i g u r e s , " as "the f a l s e " (XXVI , 3 0 1 - 3 0 2 ) , and to the " s o u l ' s imag in ings" ( L V I , 8 4 5 ) , Juan has i n a sense agreed a l ready tha t he i s e x p l o i t i n g an. i l l u s o r y and t h e r e f o r e d e c e i v i n g r e a l m . B u t , what -ever E l v i r e may th ink 1 about the s p e c i f i c c i r c u m s t a n c e s , he i s c e r t a i n t h a t , h i s s o u l ' s p e r c e p t i o n has more v a l i d i t y than she i s w i l l i n g to c r e d i t . Consequent ly , he e x p l a i n s f u r t h e r the i n t r i c a t e i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s between t r u t h and f a l s e h o o d . He r e f e r s to a r t a g a i n , t h i s time w i s h i n g he could invoke m u s i c , as i f i t were some form of s u b s t i t u t e f o r d i v i n e a i d : " A h , Music wouldst thou h e l p ! " ( L X I , 9 4 3 ) . M u s i c , he s a y s , would e a s i l y p i e r c e the " F a l s e shows of t h i n g s , " which words s t r u g g l e f e e b l y w i t h , a l though music does not " d i s s i p a t e . . . /So much as t r i c k s i l y e lude what words attempt /To heave away" ( L X I , 9 5 1 - 9 5 3 ) . Fa l sehood , i t should be n o t e d , i s u b i q u i t -ous in.human e x i s t e n c e . Juan a l s o in t roduces a mus ica l image which a f f o r d s another f i n e example of the manner i n which Browning b u i l d s i n t o J u a n ' s ; l a n g u a g e the m u l t i p l e l e v e l s of p e r c e p t i o n he i s e x p l o r i n g : For t h i s i s j u s t the t i m e , The p l a c e , the mood i n you and me, when a l l t h i n g s chime* C lash f o r t h l i f e ' s common c h o r d , whence, l i s t how there ascend Harmonics f a r and f a i n t , t i l l our p e r c e p t i o n e n d * - -Reverberated notes whence we c o n s t r u c t the s c a l e Embracing what we know and f e e l and a r e ! ( L X I 1 , 966-970) Th is metaphor combines the "mood" o r emotional s t a t e of the scene w i t h mental knowledge of harmonics as a p h y s i c a l phenomenon* aura l p e r c e p t i o n and l i n g u i s t i c e x p r e s s i o n . As an analogue f o r the manner i n which a common event i n l i f e may y i e l d depths and i m p l i c a t i o n s which encompass l i f e ' s m u l t i p l i c i t y , the metaphor represents Browning's a r t i s t i c p r a c t i c e i n the dramat ic monologues, a n d , i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r poem, Juan 's d i a l e c -t i c a l p r o c e s s . The " c l a s h " o f a common c h o r d , the argument between man and woman about another woman, conta ins w i t h i n i t elements which c o n -s t i t u t e human exper ience of a l l t y p e s — i n t e l l e c t u a l , e m o t i o n a l , o n t o l o g i -c a l - - " w h a t we know a n d ' f e e l and a r e ! " The metaphor i s a l s o an .approp -r i a t e analogue f o r Juan 's e x e r c i s e of sensory and i m a g i n a t i v e p e r c e p t i o n . The chord can be h e a r d , t h a t i s exper ienced through the s e n s e s , but the many harmonics are not d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e by the human e a r , un less removed from the chord ' s tona l s t r u c t u r e and p layed s e p a r a t e l y . The harmonics cannot be h e a r d , but they are n e v e r t h e l e s s known i n t e l l e c t u a l l y , from sound a n a l y s i s , to be t h e r e ; a l s o , they i n c l u d e the notes of a musica l s c a l e f o r which the chord would form the t o n i c ( t h a t i s , the b a s i c chord i n t h a t p a r t i c u l a r s c a l e ) . By ana logy , Juan wants to d i s c o v e r , as f a r as the l i m i t s of p e r c e p t i o n a l l o w , the elements of l i f e ' s common c h o r d , both those which are p h y s i c a l l y p e r c e i v a b l e and those which are m e n t a l l y or i m a g i n a t i v e l y p e r c e i v a b l e , and from those elements to c o n s t r u c t a metaphys ica l s c a l e which comprehends the m u l t i f a c e t e d nature of human e x i s t e n c e . . He uses a s i m i l a r image again i n s e c t i o n CXXIV, and such r e p e t i t i o n i s one of the many ways i n which Browning u n i f i e s the poem. An even more s i g n i f i c a n t analogy f o r Juan 's e x e r c i s e of the senses and p e n e t r a t i o n of d e c e i t i s h i s swimming metaphor.. , He l i k e n s swimming, the f r u i t l e s s attempt to r i s e from water and remain i n a i r , to h i s " s p i r i t ' s l i f e / ' Tw ix t f a l s e , whence i t would b reak , and t r u e , where i t would b i d e " (LXV, 1040-1041) . The swimmer must l e a r n to work w i th the g r o s s e r , " o b s t r u c t i n g " medium he f i n d s h i m s e l f . i n , and not f i g h t a g a i n s t i t , i n order to reach the f i n e r element above which g ives him l i f e . Decept ion c h a r a c t e r i z e s the medium man moves i n , and hence he m u s t . l e a r n to endure i t , or be consumed by i t : . We must endure the f a l s e , no p a r t i c l e of which Do we acqua in t us w i t h , but up we mount a p i t c h Above i t , f i n d our head reach t r u t h , w h i l e hands exp lo re The f a l s e below: so much w h i l e here we b a t h e , - - n o more! (LXV, 1059-1062) Juan then in t roduces q u i t e e x p l i c i t l y a p o i n t c e n t r a l to h i s d i s c o u r s e , a statement which emphasizes the c r u c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of h i s s e l f -awareness: One t r u t h more t rue f o r me than any t r u t h b e s i d e - -T o - w i t , t h a t I am I, who have . the power to swim, The s k i l l to understand the law whereby each l imb May bear to keep i m m e r s e d , : s i n c e , i n r e t u r n , made sure That i t s mere movement l i f t s head c lean through c o v e r t u r e . (LX'VI, 1064-1068) I t i s on ly th rough . the cont inued consc iousness of h i s e x i s t i n g , e x p e r -i e n c i n g p e r s o n a l i t y t h a t he v e r i f i e s the r e a l i t y of h i s i d e n t i t y , a n d , h i s consc iousness i s i n e x t r i c a b l y rooted i n h i s a b i l i t y to p e r c e i v e . Conse-q u e n t l y , s i n c e he m u s t , p e r f o r c e l i v e w i t h d e c e p t i o n , he should recogn ize and handle i t , "swim" i n i t , and thereby overcome i t : the more I ga in s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e , Get proof I know the t r i c k , can f l o a t , s i n k , r i s e , a t - w i l l , The b e t t e r I submit to what I have the s k i l l To conquer i n my t u r n . . . . (LXVI ; 1070-1073) I t i s a superb argument f o r surmounting p leasure by i n d u l g i n g i n i t , but any f a c e t i o u s n e s s which might ensue from an a p p l i c a t i o n to the F i f i n e a f f a i r . a d d s a d e l i g h t f u l comic ,note - r a t h e r than d e t r a c t s from the p o i n t ' s v i a b i l i t y . J u a n , o f c o u r s e , i s too s k i l f u l a debater to make any s p e c i f i c a p p l i c a t i o n and , d e s p i t e the i r o n i c l a y e r which threatens to undermine i t s b r i l l i a n c e , the p o i n t neve r the less approaches a paradox of profound consequence f o r J u a n , and i m p l i c i t l y f o r Browning. By d e c e i v i n g , Juan lea rns to master decept ion and thence to p e r -c e i v e t r u t h , a p a r a d o x i c a l t r u t h i n f a l s e h o o d . By c o n c e n t r a t i n g on r e a l i t y , he may t ranscend i t to reach an i d e a l i s m beyond i t and y e t i n -c luded i n i t . He a l s o develops an e x t r a o r d i n a r y c a p a c i t y f o r hand l ing appearances, w h i c h . i s r e q u i r e d o f man i f he i s to penet rate t h e i r i l l u s i o n : • F u l l w e l l I know the t h i n g I g r a s p , a s . i f i n t e n t To h o l d , — m y wandering w a v e , — w i l l not be grasped a t a l l : The s o l i d - s e e m i n g g r a s p e d , the handful g reat o r smal l Must go to n o t h i n g , . g l i d e through f i n g e r s f a s t enough; But none the l e s s , to t r e a t l i q u i d i t y as s t u f f -Though f a i l u r e — c e r t a i n l y succeeds beyond i t s a i m , Sends head above, past t h i n g t h a t hands m i s s , a l l the same1. (LXVI , 1082-1088) The paradox l i e s i n h i s d e l i b e r a t e e x e r c i s e of p r e t e n s e : he pretends to delude h i m s e l f by t r e a t i n g a l i q u i d as i f i t were a s o l i d . Th is ac t n a t u r a l l y f a i l s , but i t n e v e r t h e l e s s a l lows s u f f i c i e n t success to ensure h i s s u r v i v a l . Truth i s obta ined through designed and c o n t r o l l e d decep-t i o n , which depends again on h i s a b i l i t y to manipulate „ i l l u s i o n . . A s i m i l a r f a c i l i t y , w i th s i m i l a r r e s u l t s , i s r e q u i r e d of the a r t i s t , which 24 w i l l become more e x p l i c i t i n s e c t i o n LXXXV. For the moment, Juan c a p i t a l i z e s on h i s coup, e x p l o i t i n g h i s meta-phor f u r t h e r as the sea o f l i f e , " t h i s wash o' the w o r l d , wherein l i f e -long we d r i f t " ( LXV I I , 1089) . Man breathes by s e i z i n g "what seems somehow l i k e r e a l i t y — a s o u l " ( LXV I I , 1093) ; a l though the i l l u s i o n i s soon d i s c o v e r e d , h i s head " r e g a i n s /The s u r f a c e . " The soul which a ided him i s "swal lowed up" i n the t i d e and d isappears "who knows where , " but i t goes " g a i l y , " an e p i t h e t which a n t i c i p a t e s any a c c u s a t i o n t h a t i t was used and l e f t sor rowing (LXV I I , 1099) . The important p o i n t f o r Juan i s t h a t i t f u l f i l l e d i t s f u n c t i o n : i t conf i rmed h i s e x i s t e n c e . A g a i n , Juan 's w o r d s - r " I f e l t i t , i t f e l t me" (LXVI I , 1101)—have a l i t e r a l , meaning which suggests d u p l i c i t y , and i t would be a cunning a r t i f i c e indeed which openly f l a u n t e d decept ion i n o rder t o d e c e i v e . However, the import of any l i t e r a l meaning i s always countered by the s k i l l e d s o p h i s t i c a t i o n and metaphor ica l l e v e l ' of h i s thought ; as he s a y s , he in terchanges wi th E l v i r e "No o r d i n a r y t h o u g h t s , but such as evidence /The c u l t i v a t e d mind i n both" ( L X V I I I , 1140-1141) . The uneasiness about h i s s i n c e r i t y which i s e f f e c t e d i n the reader i s the element of i r o n y which main ta ins the p o e t i c or dramat ic nature of the work, which prevents i t from being s imply a metaphys ica l d i s c o u r s e (the usual c r i t i c a l s t r i c t u r e ) . E l v i r e ' s next o b j e c t i o n to Juan i s tha t he seeks a i d on ly from women, which leads him to e x p a t i a t e on male and female p r i n c i p l e s . These are e s s e n t i a l l y a development of the d i f f e r e n c e between s e l f - g r a t i f i c a -t i o n a n d . s e l f - s a c r i f i c e , w h i c h , he has a l r e a d y h i n t e d , c h a r a c t e r i z e s the d i f f e r e n c e between h i m s e l f and E l v i r e ( L IX , 8 9 1 - 8 9 4 ) . Even i f a man i s content to f o l l o w a n o t h e r ' s l e a d , he w i l l s t i l l " p i l f e r " the l e a d e r ' s " l i g h t and heat and v i r t u e " ; w h i l e a s a t e l l i t e caught up i n h i s m a s t e r ' s " c o u r s e , " he y e t " tu rns upon h i m s e l f " (LXXI , 1169-1172) . By c o n t r a s t , "Women rush i n t o y o u , and there remain absorbed" (LXXI , 1173) , o r , to express the a n t i t h e s i s more p i t h i l y , "Women grow y o u , w h i l e men depend on you a t best " (LXXI , 1179) , and the two k inds of " c r e a t u r e " r e q u i r e d i v e r s e modes to deal w i t h them (LXXV, 1219-1220) . The a s p i r i n g l e a d e r of men should not ev ince any s u p e r i o r i t y ove r . them; on the c o n t r a r y , he should d i s g u i s e h i s a b i l i t i e s , " d i s s i m u l a t e the thought '/And v u l g a r i z e the word" (LXXV, 1226 -1227) , f o r men w i l l on ly f o l l o w "One o f themselves and not c r e a t i o n ' s u p s t a r t l o r d ! " (LXXV, 1243) . On the o ther hand, w i th women, t r u t h may rep lace d i s g u i s e — o n e ' s "best s e l f r e v e a l e d " (LXXVI ; 1254) . Even i f " the weaker s o r t " are tempted to exaggerate t h e i r c l a i m s , at l e a s t the l i e i s to e l e v a t e r a t h e r than to debase (LXXVI , 1255-1258) . With women, "Be a l l t h a t ' s g reat and good and w i s e , /August , sub l ime" (LXXVI I , 1279-1280) . The s u b t l e t y of Browning's achievement i n these s e c t i o n s (LXIX-LXXX) : i s remarkable . ; As Juan moves from a g a i l y comic parody of the se l f -debasement r e q u i r e d to lead men (LXXVI , 1261 -1276) , to a superb ly v i c i o u s a t t a c k on man as a h o r r i b l e putrescence who i s moved by envy r a t h e r than by love (LXXIX, 1320 -1351) , h i s ve rba l a g i l i t y and range of - -r h e t o r i c a l e f f e c t are a s t o n i s h i n g . Both .the v i r i l e humour i n h i s account of the way man must be snared "through l e t t i n g him imagine he snares y o u ! " (LXXVI I , 1286) , and the c a u s t i c w i t which permeates h i s s a t i r i c a l exposure of mascul ine p e t t i n e s s and v i r u l e n c e , are handled w i t h a maste r fu l conf idence which ensures the r e a d e r ' s admi ra t ion f o r h im. Above a l l , h i s f l a u n t i n g of a r t i f i c e i s as d e l i b e r a t e as eve r : when d e a l i n g w i t h women, he a d v i s e s , "Mimic g r a c e , /Not make defo rmi ty your m a s k ! " . ( L X X V I , 1258 -1259) . Despera te l y anxious to secure h i s personal r e a l i t y , he r i d e s the momentum of h i s r h e t o r i c to the c u l m i n a t i o n of t h i s e p i s o d e , the c l i m a c t i c a s s e r t i o n t h a t women, by d isengag ing h i s sou l from "the shows of t h i n g s , " . prove h i s e x i s t e n c e (LXXX, 1363-1365) . They convince him t h a t he i s a " t r u t h , though a l l e l s e seem /And be n o t " ; even i f he dreams, at l e a s t he knows he dreams (LXXX, 1359) . H e . i s e s t a b l i s h e d as the cent re of h i s own u n i v e r s e , or "the s t i l l p o i n t of the t u r n i n g w o r l d , " to a n t i c i p a t e the Four Q u a r t e t s : The f a l s i t y , b e s i d e , i s f l e e t i n g : I can stand S t i l l , and l e t t r u t h come b a c k , - - y o u r s t e a d y i n g touch of hand A s s i s t s me to remain s e l f - c e n t r e d , f i x e d amid A l l on the move. (LXXX 1360-1363) J u a n ' s tr iumph i s r e a l and honest enough, but the p e r p l e x i t y f o r the reader l i e s here i n Juan 's degree of consc iousness about s e v e r a l i m -p l i c a t i o n s of h i s argument. While Browning e l i c i t s admi ra t ion f o r J u a n , he s u b t l y undermines h im. Juan i s seemingly o b l i v i o u s to the p o i n t t h a t each mode of h a n d l i n g men or women i s e q u a l l y a means of m a n i p u l a t i n g them f o r h i s personal advance. He appears o b l i v i o u s a l s o to the r e f l e x -i ve e f f e c t of h i s scorn f o r man's impotent l o v e : i f man i s an e g o c e n t r i c whose " l o v e - a p p l e " i s a " s t i n t e d c r a b , " then by gender so i s Juan . And he ignores p a r t i c u l a r l y the p a r a s i t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s i n h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i th women, which s e v e r e l y modify the prev ious a s s e r t i o n s of h i s s o u l ' s independence. Juan 's c l e a r statements o f femin ine s a c r i f i c e — a woman "Takes noth ing and g ives a l l " . ( L X X X , 1355)—suggest he does understand these anomalies i n h i s moral a t t i t u d e , and s p e c u l a t i o n might propose-t h a t the i n t e n s i t y of h i s a t t a c k on man i n s e c t i o n LXXIX p a r t l y r e f l e c t s a f u r i o u s f r u s t r a t i o n wi th h i s own impotence i n being unable to prove h i s r e a l i t y w i thout e x t e r n a l a s s i s t a n c e . He cannot , of c o u r s e , openly acknowledge these m a t t e r s , because they would d e t r a c t from h i s preoccupa-t i o n w i th s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n . B u t , whether or not Browning intended to imply Juan 's s i l e n t r e c o g n i t i o n of them at t h i s p o i n t , i t i s c l e a r t h a t they i n d i c a t e a s e r i o u s r e s u l t o f Juan 's d i s c o u r s e : he has reduced love to a means of mascul ine aggrandizement. Th is r e s t r i c t i o n does not deny the i n t e l l e c t u a l v a l i d i t y of Juan 's argument; r a t h e r i t a s s e r t s t h a t s e l f i s h p r i d e i s an i n e v i t a b l e c o r o l l a r y of h i s r e l i a n c e on personal r e -sources f o r metaphys ica l i n q u i r y . The o p p o s i t i o n i s q u a l i t a t i v e , based on human value r a t h e r than i n c i s i v e l o g i c . Despi te Juan 's e f f o r t to conceive e v e r y t h i n g i n t e l l e c t u a l l y , he does , however, f i n a l l y admit the f o r c e of t h i s q u a l i f i c a t i o n (CXXVI I I ) , and i t remains Browning's s e v e r e s t c r i t i c i s m of h i s mental s t a n c e . In the meantime, Juan mainta ins h i s emphasis on the power of the m i n d . , In e x p l a i n i n g h i s need f o r more than one woman, he says t h a t p rov ing h i s r e a l i t y i s a c o n t i n u a l p r o c e s s , a l i f e - l o n g t a s k j and conse -quent l y there i s always more than one "voyage" to be made (LXXXI I ; 1396-1400) . I t i s the mind , however, which " n a v i g a t e s , " which makes a l l d i s -t i n c t i o n s between f a c t and f i c t i o n (LXXXI I , 1414 -1417) , and which r e q u i r e s constant e x e r c i s e to avo id becoming e f f e t e . " E l v i r e i s t r u e , " . but i s t h e r e f o r e " too s a f e , " p r o v i d i n g no cha l lenge f o r the mind to overcome (LXXXI I , 1422 -1427) ; a l t e r n a t i v e l y , F i f i n e , as a " c o c k l e - s h e l l " bes ide E l v i r e ' s " s h i p , " demands more i n t r i c a t e seamanship, "the t rue f e a t " of mind (LXXXI I , 1428-1431) . Th is s u s t a i n e d a s s e r t i o n of the m i n d ' s . a b i l i t y to handle decept ion prepares the reader f o r the most s i g n i f i c a n t passage i n the poem about the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p between fa lsehood and t r u t h (LXXXV-LXXXVI) . Juan e x p l a i n s why he admires drama, "the honest c h e a t i n g " (LXXXVII , 1517) . Dramatic i l l u s i o n i s . a p p l a u d e d because, i t i s an acknowledged a r t i f i c e . Th is open boast o f s i m u l a t i o n i s "Fa lsehood 's b r i b e , " which wins f o r F i f i n e , an a c t r e s s , the love, of those "who hate Falsehood, most" (LXXXV, 1478-1482) . The c r u c i a l p o i n t , however, i s always to e x e r c i s e the p e r c e p t i o n s , to d i s t i n g u i s h between the o b j e c t and i t s i m i t a t i o n ; o therwise a l l e n j o y -ment i s l o s t : "Mis take [ the a c t o r ' s ] f a l s e f o r t r u e , one m i n u t e , - - t h e r e ' s an end /Of a d m i r a t i o n ! " (LXXXV, 1488-1489) . P a r t l y based on A r i s t o t l e ' s o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t man i n s t i n c t i v e l y admires designed i m i t a t i o n , the p o i n t leads to the d i f f e r e n c e between a e s t h e t i c exper ience and r e a l e x p e r i e n c e : " T r u t h , we g r i e v e a t o r r e j o i c e : / ' T i s only fa lsehood* p l a i n i n g e s t u r e , look and v o i c e , /That b r ings the p r a i s e des i red* s i n c e p r o f i t comes thereby" (LXXXV, 1489-1491) . " T r u t h , " a c t u a l e x p e r i e n c e , demands a committed r e -sponse ; i t i s not to be admired so much as accepted, or acted upon. D i s -cernab le fa l sehood i n v o l v e s the o b s e r v e r ' s f a c u l t i e s of p e r c e p t i o n , r e q u i r i n g him to d i s t i n g u i s h between the r e a l and the s i m u l a t e d , and c o n -sequent l y a l l o w i n g him to admire the s k i l l and success o f the a r t i f i c e . However, a c t u a l exper ience may not be " t r u t h , " and t h i s e x e r c i s e of the mind i s n o t s o m e f a c i l e , p l e a s u r a b l e a c t ; i t a l s o i n v o l v e s a more s e r i o u s t e n e t : "The h i s t r i o n i c t r u t h i s i n the n a t u r a l l i e " (LXXXV, 1492) . Th is complement of oxymorons c o n s t i t u t e s Juan 's c e n t r a l paradox, and the c e n t r a l paradox i n Browning's a r t . On one l e v e l , i t s imply means t h a t a r t i s t i c t r u t h r e s i d e s i n the acknowledgment of i t s f a l s e h o o d : an a r t i f i c e i s an a r t i f i c e . But i t a l s o has a more profound meaning, which r e s t s on the o p p o s i t i o n between " h i s t r i o n i c " and " n a t u r a l . " " H i s t r i o n i c t r u t h , " the t r u t h conta ined i n a r t , i n c o n s c i o u s l y designed a r t i f i c e , i s concomitant .with the " n a t u r a l l i e , " t h e fa l sehood which p e r -meates a l l n a t u r a l th ings ( n a t u r a l i m p l i e s a l l t h a t i s not c o n t r i v e d - -man h i m s e l f and the wor ld of nature he i n h a b i t s ) . E v e r y t h i n g , Juan s a y s , "has a f a l s e o u t s i d e , whereby a t r u t h i s fo rced /To i s s u e from w i t h i n " (LXXXVI, 1505-1506) . A r t , t h e n , i s t r u t h f u l because i t p rov ides an analogue f o r t h i s paradox. The d e c e i v i n g element i n a r t prov ides both i t s va lue and i t s t r u t h , i t does t h i s because a r t p a r a l l e l s r e a l i t y , whose value and t r u t h a l s o r e s i d e i n i t s d e c e i v i n g appearances. A r t i s t i c t r u t h i s not more r e a l or l e s s r e a l than l i f e ; i t i s i n e x t r i c a b l e from the t r u t h about l i f e . The a r t i f i c e i n one r e f l e c t s the a r t i f i c e i n the o t h e r . Deception c h a r a c t e r i z e s both a r t a n d l i f e , r e q u i r i n g c a r e f u l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n f o r the proper p e r c e p t i o n of each . Th is passage i s the c l imax of Juan 's progress to t h i s p o i n t . The drama metaphor i s not s imp ly a b s t r a c t s p e c u l a t i o n ; i t i s appropr ia te to h i s a e s t h e t i c s e n s i b i l i t y and emerges from the i n n e r q u a l i t i e s of h i s c h a r a c t e r . I t i s the f o c a l p o i n t f o r h i s i n s i s t e n c e on the n e c e s s i t y and value of h a n d l i n g decept ion and on the t r u t h i n f a l s e h o o d . ' I t j u s - , t i f i e s h i s i n t e r e s t i n a r t i f i c e , and i n F i f i n e , who demands the e x e r c i s e of h i s d i s c r i m i n a t i n g f a c u l t i e s . I t a l s o e x p l a i n s f u r t h e r the importance of p e r c e p t i o n , s i n c e a l l he says r e s t s on the r e l i a b i l i t y of h i s pe rcep -t i o n s , an assumption which u n d e r l i e s h i s argument throughout . As i n a r t , where success i s l o s t i f the f a l s e i s mistaken f o r t r u e , . s o i n Juan 's whole performance, i f he mistakes f a l s e f o r t rue then the v a l i d i t y and success of h i s thought i s s i m i l a r l y l o s t . The t r u t h i n h i s d i s c o u r s e , t h e n , l i e s i n h i s over t f l a u n t i n g of d e c e p t i o n . By i m p l i c a t i o n , t h i s procedure a p p l i e s a l s o to Browning , .and Juan 's c l i m a c t i c paradox here c h a r a c t e r i z e s an e s s e n t i a l element o f Browning's a e s t h e t i c theory as much 25 as i t does the persona,'s own performance. i v Sec t ions LXXXVII and LXXXVIII form a p la teau Juan e x p l a i n s the impulses which moved him to v i s i t i n the poem, where the f a i r w i th E l v i r e ( h i s admi ra t ion f o r drama) and provoked h i s e x p l o r a t i o n of " a b s t r u s e r themes" (an e a r l i e r dream). A l s o , he b e l i e v e s h i s d i s c o u r s e so f a r has been inadequate , and t h e r e f o r e he p roposes , l i k e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau, to vary h i s t e c h n i q u e . . In e f f e c t d e f i n i n g a d i s t i n c t i o n between poetry and p r o s e , he e x p l a i n s t h i s change i n terms of the r e s t r i c t i o n s of r a t i o n a l language. A sound, p r o s a i c mind separates thoughts from f a c t s , and conf ines i t s sense to one l i n e of reasoning at a t ime (LXXXVI I I , 1527-1530) . Th is process d ichotomizes what i s pe rce i ved as a w h o l e , and consequent ly leaves a " r e s i d u e " of " th ings unseen" i n the mind , which may "s tagnate and o b s t r u c t /The system" (LXXXVI I I , 1526-1527) . Juan i s c l e a r l y aware here of the d i f f i c u l t y i n exp ress ing m u l t i p l e l e v e l s of p e r c e p t i o n w i t h i n the s y n t a c t i c a l l i m i t s of l o g i c a l e x p r e s s i o n , a d i f -f i c u l t y which c reates another u n d e r l y i n g t e n s i o n i n h i s e x e r c i s e of mind. When he i s a s l e e p , however, h i s "dreamings o f t exceed /The bound" (LXXXVI I I , 1 5 3 9 - 1 5 4 0 ) , r e l e a s i n g another k i n d of p e r c e p t i o n -unconscious as opposed to consc ious c o g i t a t i o n . The p o e t , he s a y s , i s not t r o u b l e d by " i n t r u s i v e f a n c i e s , " hav ing the f a c i l i t y to express them f r e e l y : "Unchoked, the c h a n n e l ' s f l u s h , the f a n c y ' s f r e e to spend / I t s s p e c i a l s e l f a r i g h t i n manner, t ime and p l a c e " (LXXXVI I I , 1532-1533) . J u a n , i n c o n t r a s t to p o e t s , w i l l r e l a t e h i s dream i n an e f f o r t to com-26 municate more s a t i s f a c t o r i l y h i s apprehension of " t h i n g s unseen . " Perp lexed and overwhelmed a f t e r a swim by " f a n c i e s m a n i f o l d / . . . memories new and o l d , /The antenata l prime exper ience" (LXXXIX, 1559-1561) , Juan turned to music f o r the "Truth tha t escapes prose" (XC, 1572) , i n v o k i n g the "master of the s p e l l , " who "Mad's t moonbeams marble" (XC, 1 5 8 5 ) - - a s t r i k i n g image f o r a r t which renders the i n s u b s t a n t i a l c o n c r e t e , the f l e e t i n g permanent. He p lays Schumann's C a r n i v a l , r e f l e c t s on the " c e r t a i n t y of change," the fa l sehood to be found i n a r t as i n nature ( X C I I I , 1677 -1679) , and s l i p s i n t o a dream where P o r n i c andSchumann merge and are t ransformed i n t o a Venet ian F a i r . The F a i r , where a "Concourse immense of men and women" are a l l masked (XCV, 1691 -1692) , becomes a symbol ic r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e decep-t i o n which permeates human e x i s t e n c e . The human c o n d i t i o n becomes a maze of d i s g u i s e , where the only known r e a l i t y i s the d i s g u i s e i t s e l f : each person makes " the v i z a r d whence h i m s e l f should view the w o r l d , /And where the wor ld b e l i e v e d h i m s e l f was m a n i f e s t " (XCV, 1696-1697) . Ex te rna l r e a l i t y may be c l a s s i f i e d by "hard and sharp d i s t i n c t i o n s 1 ' , be -tween age and y o u t h , but a l s o by "the i n f i n i t u d e /Of p a s s i o n s " which coa lesce i n the i n d i v i d u a l mask, or which "man pampers, t i l l h i s mood /Becomes h i m s e l f " (XCVI, 1713-1715) . , Repeating h i s e a r l i e r d e s c r i p t i o n s of the s o u l ' s e f f o r t s to express i t s e l f i n f l e s h l y appearances - -what amounts to i n d i v i d u a l e f f o r t t o fuse p e r s o n a l i t y ( p s y c h o l o g i c a l "mood") and i d e n t i t y ( e x t e r n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ) - - J u a n says the " c l a s s e d c r e a t u r e " i s i n the main A l o v e , a h a t e , a hope, a f e a r , each soul a - s t r a i n Some one way through the f l e s h - - t h e f a c e , an evidence 0 ' the soul a t work i n s i d e ; and , a l l the more i n t e n s e , So much the more g ro tesque . (XCVI , 1717-1721) Th is re fe rence to the grotesque as an i n e v i t a b l e accompaniment of some i n t e n s e s t r u g g l e between f l e s h and s p i r i t , between d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of r e a l i t y , p r o v i d e s , o b v i o u s l y , an e x p l a n a t i o n f o r Browning's ev ident f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h such d i s t o r t i o n s throughout h i s canon. I t i s i n t h i s d i s t o r t i o n t h a t the i n t e r p e n e t r a t i o n of f l e s h and s p i r i t i s e v i d e n c e d . Juan goes o n , however, t o . d e v e l o p another f e a t u r e of h i s dream, which i s a l s o c e n t r a l to Browning's a r t i s t i c p r a c t i c e , as i t i s to Juan 's own e x e r c i s e of p e r c e p t i o n - T - p o i n t of v iew. Juan emphasizes t h a t h i s v i s i o n i s a v i s u a l emblem o n l y , w i thout sound and t h e r e f o r e w i thout language which depends on the " w i l l of who a f f o r d s /The banquet1;' (XCVI I I , 1730-1731 ) , the w i l l o f the s p e a k e r , and moves f r o m - h i s p o s i t i o n above the crowd i n t o . t h e middle of them, becoming "A g r o u n d l i n g l i k e the r e s t " (XCIX, 1738) . Less a b l e . t o see the type and more able to see i n d i v i d u a l m o n s t r o s i t i e s i n h i s new p o s i t i o n (XCIX, 1740-1742) , Juan y e t d i s c o v e r s t h a t the " b r u t a l i t y " i s e a s i e r to accept a t c l o s e range and t h a t h i s a t t i t u d e changes from d i s g u s t to p i t y (XCIX, 1747) . H is c l o s e r p r o x i m i t y l i m i t s h i s range of p e r c e p t i o n and t h e r e -fo re i s a means of d e c e p t i o n , a l t h o u g h , as e v e r , the decept ion leads to a more t r u t h f u l . p e r c e p t i o n . - He observes the d isc repancy between gesture and s p e e c h , , " t h e eye t h a t s t r o v e to say /The same t h i n g as the v o i c e " (C , 1758 -1759) , the d a i l y c o n f l i c t which c h a r a c t e r i z e s the human c o n d i -t i o n . But the means o f g a i n i n g t r u t h i s impor tant : I ga ined . Knowledge by n o t i c e , not by g i v i n g e a r , — a t t a i n e d To t r u t h by what men seemed, not s a i d : to me one g lance . Was worth whole h i s t o r i e s of no i sy u t t e r a n c e , - - A t l e a s t , to me i n dream. (C , 1761-1765) Juan has a l ready i m p l i e d t h a t dreaming i s ak in to a r t i s t i c v i s i o n (LXXXVI I I , 1524 -1540) , and l i k e Browning's " r e c o r d i n g c h i e f - i n q u i s i t o r " of "How I t S t r i k e s A Contemporary" he d i s c o v e r s t r u t h through the o b s e r v a t i o n of common men, now recognized as s i m u l a c r a who. represent each human i d e n t i t y . Juan f i n d s a l s o t h a t p r o p i n q u i t y b r ings acceptance of the "wrong" as w e l l as the ' " u g l i n e s s " : i n men (C , 1765-1768) . Through the s t r e n g t h of h i s w i l l , he cou ld "observe , or manage to e s c a p e , /Or make d ivergency assume another shape /By s h i f t of p o i n t of s i g h t i n [him] the observer" (C I , 1771-1773) . Hence, he can unders tand . the value of man's p r o p e n s i t y to d e c e i v e . "Force" and " g u i l e " are necessary weapons f o r personal s u r v i v a l i n . " t h a t squeeze w i th nature* we f i n d — l i f e " ( C I , 1781) ; they are f u r t h e r j u s t i f i e d by the p a r a d o x i c a l i n t e r -p lay of o p p o s i t e s , which i s always present i n Browning's defence of e v i 1 : Are we not to l e a r n the good of peace through s t r i f e , Of love through h a t e , and reach knowledge by ignorance? ( C I , 1782-1783) Comparing h i s d e l i g h t i n watching the crowd w i t h the e l a t i o n of a chemist who, by " t r a c i n g each e f f e c t back to i t s c a u s e , " "Const ructs i n fancy . . . a l l d i v e r s e l i f e , " Juan says he thus gluts , h i s hunger "both to be and know the t h i n g [he i s ] , /By c o n t r a s t w i th the t h i n g [he i s ] n o t , " and " s o , through sham /And o u t s i d e , " he a r r i v e s "a t inmost r e a l " ( C I I I , 1806-1818) . Th is b r i e f passage e x p l i c i t l y represents Browning's i n t e r e s t i n the r e a l i t y of human p e r s o n a l i t y behind an outward and m i s -l e a d i n g appearance, examined by means of the dramat ic monologue; i t a l s o i m p l i e s Browning's quest f o r p s y c h o l o g i c a l s e l f - k n o w l e d g e and. i d e n t i t y by e x p l o r i n g o ther p e o p l e , or personae, and thereby d i s c o v e r i n g what he i s not i n order to know what he i s . F i f i n e at the F a i r combines these concerns q u i t e s p e c i f i c a l l y , and c o n t a i n i n g as i t does so much t h a t i s c e n t r a l to Browning's work, i t i s tempting to read the poem as an almost d i r e c t e x p r e s s i o n of Browning h i m s e l f , and p a r t i c u l a r l y ^ i n view of Juan 's a e s t h e t i c c o n s c i o u s n e s s , of Browning as conscious poet . Such an i n f e r e n c e , however, i s s p e c u l a t i v e , d e s p i t e the many e f f o r t s of b i o -27 g r a p h i c a l c r i t i c s . I t i s c l e a r , o f c o u r s e , tha t the poem i s as much about poetry as i t i s about the quest f o r a permanent i d e n t i t y and f o r knowledge of s e l f , , and t h a t i t embodies c r u c i a l aspects of Browning's -a e s t h e t i c s . J u a n ' s d r e a m - v i s i o n next undergoes "A fo rmidab le change" (CV ,1825) , which he e v o c a t i v e l y compares w i th a s u n s e t . His l y r i c a l l y v i v i d des -c r i p t i o n of a growing darkness which absorbs and e v e n t u a l l y o b l i t e r a t e s a l l l i g h t and p e r c e p t i b l e d i s t i n c t i o n seems, almost to c o n t a i n the des -t r u c t i o n of a l l sensory exper ience (CVI ) . M u t a b i l i t y , however, i s h i s immediate concern , a l though the t h r e a t which i t c o n t i n u a l l y poses to c e r t a i n t y of e x i s t e n c e and of p e r c e p t i o n i s never f a r from h i s thoughts . Before h i s gaze , the square i n Venice expands i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e to symbol ize f i r s t Europe and then the w o r l d , and the impact of t h i s t r a n s -fo rmat ion causes Juan to r e a l i z e t h a t the masquerade i s permanent i n human e x i s t e n c e ; the C a r n i v a l o f the w o r l d . i s "the s t a t e /Of mankind" . (CVI I I , 1858-1859) . From t h i s knowledge, he s a y s , i t i s "easy to i n f e r " the meaning of h i s a l t e r e d a t t i t u d e towards the " b r u t e - p a g e a n t . " He i r o n i c a l l y r e j e c t s h i s " p r i d e o f p l a c e " above the crowd, and c o n t r a s t s "such p i n n a c l e d pre -eminence" w i t h the ground which was "the proper goal f o r wisdom" ( C V I I I , 1 8 6 7 ) . There , he d i scovered tha t by h o l d i n g "the ba lance" and by doing " j u s t i c e to the d r i f t /Of. nature" ( C V I I I , 1 8 7 3 - 1 8 7 4 ) , he could, e x p l a i n " the g l o r i e s by the shames /Mixed'up i n man, one s t u f f m i s c a l l e d by d i f f e r e n t names" ( C V I I I , 1 8 7 4 - 1 8 7 5 ) . The important p o i n t i s to "get c l o s e enough!" (CV I I I , 1877) ; t h e n , p r o p i n q u i t y leads to under -s tand ing of the good i n e v i l , of the p a r a d o x i c a l nature of man. "What i s a l l t h i s , " he a s k s , "except the lesson of a l i f e ? " (CV I I I , 1878) . I t i s a l s o the lesson of Browning's monologues. Regarding an ove r - v iew of l i f e as p r e s e n t i n g a m i s l e a d i n g p i c t u r e of men, Browning p r e f e r r e d to get as c l o s e as p o s s i b l e to each i n d i v i d u a l , to penet rate the depths of each unique s o u l , b e l i e v i n g t h a t the on ly sure knowledge o b t a i n a b l e i s of i n d i v i d u a l s i n i n d i v i d u a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s . Juan proceeds f u r t h e r : to get Acquaintance w i t h the way 0 ' the w o r l d , we must nor f r e t Nor fume, on a l t i t u d e s of s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y , But b i d a f rank f a r e w e l l to what - -we t h i n k — s h o u l d b e , And, w i t h as good a g r a c e , welcome what i s — w e f i n d . (CIX , 1880-1884) Th is passage ev inces the same i n t e r e s t i n r e a l i s m t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e s Browning's work. Th is does not mean, 'of c o u r s e , some s u p e r f i c i a l , e a s i l y apparent n a t u r a l i s m , but a l l the complex i ty and ambigui ty of human r e a l i t y as i t i s exper ienced on e a r t h . In view of l i f e ' s c o n t i n -u ing change, Juan q u a l i f i e s h i s c o n c l u s i o n - - " J 1 s - - f o r the hour , o b s e r v e ! " (CX, 1885) - -wh ich emphasizes h i s romantic concern w i t h the momentary t r u t h tha t i s - dynamic and e l u s i v e . R e j e c t i n g the goal of " s e l f -s u f f i c i e n c y " as what i d e a l i s t i e a l l y "should b e , " he s t r u g g l e s to r e c o n c i l e h i m s e l f w i t h the en igmat ic r e a l i t i e s of "what i s . " Th is e f f o r t e n t a i l s not so much a new stance i n h i s mental a t t i t u d e , , a s a r e s t a t e m e n t , i n symbol ic dream te rms , of h i s e a r l i e r attempts to i l l u s t r a t e l i f e ' s i n d e -t e r m i n a t e , eve r - chang ing essence . While he r e j e c t s " s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y , " he does not r e l i n q u i s h the importance of h i s personal p o i n t of v iew , which i s q u i t e c l e a r i n h i s emphasis on the d i f f e r e n c e between l o o k i n g down a t the masquerade from above, and v iewing i t from w i t h i n i t s m i d s t . He i s not God l o o k i n g down, but man observ ing from w i t h i n . A l l human a c t i v i t y i s f raught w i th v a n i t y , because attended by change; a r c h i t e c t u r e , academies, s c i e n c e , p h i l o s o p h y , h i s t o r y , m o r a l i t y and a r t are a l l i n d i c t e d by Juan (CX-CXVI) . Only one vo ice never f a i l e d , w h i c h , he s a y s , " the preachment's co ign of vantage noth ing a i 1 e d " (CXI11, 1942) , and which i s conta ined i n n a t u r e , not man-made; but a l l i t can s t a t e i s t h a t t r u t h i s both t r a n s i e n t and.permanent: "Truth b u i l d s upon the sands , Though s t a t i o n e d on a r o c k : a n d s o her work decays* And so she b u i l d s a f r e s h , w i th l i k e r e s u l t . " ( C X I I I , 1944-1946) The p e r p l e x i t y and d i s t u r b i n g q u a l i t y i n t h i s paradox hard l y present any j o y f u l c o n s o l a t i o n f o r the endless v i c i s s i t u d e s i n which man i s caught up, a l though Juan urges the no t ion t h a t "some b u i l d i n g w i l l be t h e r e " (CXIV, 1964) , whatever i t s fo rm. In doing t h i s , however, he moves, t o -wards a v i s i o n of the t o t a l i n s u b s t a n t i a l i t y of a l l essence and r e a l i t y , towards the u t t e r i n a b i l i t y of man to determine or to s t a t e anyth ing wi thout a l s o s t a t i n g or being conscious of i t s o p p o s i t e : W e l l , l e t the b locks prove m i s t I1 the main e n c l o s u r e , - - c h u r c h and c o l l e g e , i f they l i s t , Be something f o r a t i m e , ' a n d e v e r y t h i n g anon, And anyth ing a w h i l e , as f i t i s o f f or o n , T i l l they grow n o t h i n g , soon to re -appear no l e s s As s o m e t h i n g , - - s h a p e r e - s h a p e d , t i l l out of shapelessness Come shape again as s u r e ! (CXIV, 1957-1963) Th is i s Hohenst ie l -Schwangau's dilemma of mental p o l a r i z a t i o n more f u l l y a r t i c u l a t e d , and y e t i r o n i c a l l y the almost n o n s e n s i c a l , c y c l i c movement of indete rminate a b s t r a c t i o n s suggests an i n a b i l i t y to a r t i c u l a t e . A l s o , the manner i n which the d i s j o i n t e d phras ing a n t i c i p a t e s the more com-p l e t e f ragmentat ion and s e r i e s of c o n t r a d i c t i o n s i n the opening of B e c k e t t ' s The Unnamable conta ins a key to the poem's modern i t y . Locked w i t h i n a s e r i e s of sensory percept ions which revo lve i n e x o r a b l y before h im, man s t r u g g l e s to grasp some p r i n c i p l e which w i l l supply substance enough to s u s t a i n h i s being and to s a t i s f y h i s ego. Whenever man r e j e c t s the p r e - e x i s t e n c e of .absolute values i n the u n i v e r s e , he i s conf ronted w i t h t h i s di lemma; a f e a t u r e of r o m a n t i c i s m , i t - is t h e r e f o r e a modern , . l o m m 3 28 di lemma.. Juan acquiesces i n the p r i n c i p l e t h a t the on ly c e r t a i n t y i s change: "Why, t h a t ' s s t a b i l i t y / I t s e l f , t h a t change on change we sor row-f u l l y saw /Creep o ' e r the prouder p i l e s ! " (CXVI I , 1997-1999) . • As a lways , he r e s o r t s to a f l a u n t i n g of the paradoxes he d i s c o v e r s f a c i n g him i n order to p e r c e i v e the t r u t h they c o n t a i n . There i s never one concept w i thout i t s o p p o s i t e : " S o , a l l i s change, i n f i n e , " pursued The preachment to a pause. W h e n — " A l l i s permanence!" Returned a v o i c e . (CXVI I I , 2009-2011) Perhaps aware t h a t h i s statement sounds too much l i k e a puzz le of h i s own making , he reminds h i s l i s t e n e r of h i s present mode of p e r c e p t i o n . . He i s s t i l l d e s c r i b i n g h i s dream and ought to say he "saw" i n s t e a d of " thought " : S ince ever a s , u n r o l l e d , the s t range s c e n e - p i c t u r e grew Before me, s i g h t f l a s h e d f i r s t , though mental comment too Would f o l l o w i n a t r i c e , come h o b b l i n g l y to h a l t . (CXVI I I , 2014-2016) He a s s e r t s , t h e n , the r e l i a b i l i t y of h i s p e r c e p t i o n because i t i s the d i r e c t r e s u l t o f , i n f a c t p a r t . o f , exper ience (h i s dream), not some idea c o n t r i v e d from and a f t e r the e x p e r i e n c e . Mental comment f o l l o w s " i n a t r i c e , " i n v i r t u a l s i m u l t a n e i t y w i th " s i g h t , " which " f l a s h e d f i r s t , " but then comes " h o b b l i n g l y to h a l t . " Juan i s concerned to avo id any " d i s e q u i l i b r i u m between the moment of i n s i g h t , which i s c e r t a i n , and the p r o b l e m a t i c a l idea we a b s t r a c t from i t , " i n a conscious b i d to r e t a i n 29 the value of h i s e x p e r i e n c e d , even i f p r i v a t e l y exper ienced. , v i s i o n . Juan re tu rns to h i s c loud and sunset imagery to a i d the r e c r e a t i o n of h i s dream's c l i m a x . As darkness at the end of day overwhelms a l l ob jec ts and b lackness r e c o n c i l e s a l l t h i n g s , so there was an " a r r e s t " of change i n the Venet ian Square , and the whole scene merged i n t o u n i t y . A g a i n , Juan 's v i v i d d e s c r i p t i o n , of the enve lop ing darkness e l i c i t s a r e s -ponse from the reader which suggests a more s e r i o u s and metaphor ica l meaning of the p a s s a g e — t h e very e x t i n c t i o n of consciousness . ' Such an i m p l i c a t i o n i s r e i n f o r c e d by Juan 's repeated d e p i c t i o n of the u n i t y as "b lank / S e v e r i t y of peace i n death" (CXIX, 2022-2023; CXX, 2 0 3 6 - 2 0 3 7 ) , and, the f u s i o n , i s a r e s i g n a t i o n ("they sank /Resigned enough") r a t h e r than a r e s o l u t i o n . : Both J u a n ' s dream and h i s walk w i t h E l v i r e end at the Dru id monument. In i t s t o m b - l i k e appearance, i t a l s o takes on the c h i l l i n g aspect of death : i t conta ins w i t h i n i t s depths "a gr im / B a r - s i n i s t e r " which "ends / A l l w i t h a c o l d dread shape" (CXXI I , . 2 0 5 5 - 2 0 5 7 ) , and i t i s on "the mound" i n t o which h i s dream subs ides (CXXIV, 2164).. B u t , of c o u r s e , i t stands f o r more than s imply the common end of a l l l i f e . I t i s the enigma which man's l e a r n i n g i s unable to comprehend, but which i g n o r a n c e , though understanding i t even l e s s , t r e a t s c o r r e c t l y by r e -c o i l i n g i n s t i n c t i v e l y from i t (CXXI I , 2057 -2059) . I t stands f o r the permanence which o u t l a s t s man's t r a n s i e n c e ; i t causes hope and f e a r , r e -minding " ' u s , a l l , t h e w h i l e /We come and go , o u t s i d e t h e r e ' s Somebody tha t s t a y s ' " (CXXI I I , 2080 -2081) . I t represents the l i m i t s o f -man 's p e r c e p t i o n : " there l i e s /Something . . . t h a t p o i n t s to myster ies ./Above our grasp" (CXX I I I , 2102 -2104) . I t c o n t a i n s , t o o , the crude pagan b e l i e f s which p e r s i s t among the. peasant p e o p l e , d e s p i t e C h r i s t i a n e f f o r t s to t rans fo rm the s t o n e ' s p r i m i t i v e sexual connotat ions i n t o d i v i n e and t ranscendent love (CXX I I I , 2108 -2149) . E x p l o i t i n g h i s complex l e v e l s of r e p o r t i n g a g a i n , Juan t e l l s , through a peasant ' s mouth, o f some c i t y c y n i c who suspects t h a t the church ' s s p i r e i s j u s t the symbol 's s e l f , expressed i n s l a t e f o r r o c k , / A r t ' s smooth f o r N a t u r e ' s rough, new ch ip from the o l d b l o c k . ! " ' " (CXX I I I , 2154 -2155) . Th is comment i m p l i e s the monument's d u a l i t y - - i t symbol izes both what i s base ( p h y s i c a l ) and what i s r e f i n e d ( s p i r i t u a l ) i n man. S ince a l l t h i s i s spoken by a peasant , the knowledge i s a v a i l a b l e to the i g n o r a n t as w e l l as to the l e a r n e d , a p o i n t which i s presumably d e s i g n e d , l e g i t i m a t e l y , by Juan to add c r e d i -b i l i t y to h i s s t o r y . Th is monument e f f e c t i v e l y c o n s t i t u t e s the consummation of Juan 's argument. ; As the c l imax o f h i s dream, i t rec reates the i n s i g h t he i s s t r i v i n g f o r , and i t s p h y s i c a l presence r e i n f o r c e s t h a t r e c r e a t i o n w i t h a c o n v i n c i n g t a n g i b i l i t y . Th is f u s i o n of dream image and p h y s i c a l ob jec t e x h i b i t s h i s d e s i r e to i n t e g r a t e i m a g i n a t i v e and sensory . p e r c e p t i o n , and the symbol ic l a y e r s i n the monument i t s e l f combine the many oppos i tes and paradoxes which he has e x p l o i t e d : man's d u a l i t y , h i s l i m i t e d p e r c e p t i o n s , h i s contac t w i t h permanence. A mus ica l image (CXXIV, 2 1 7 5 - 2 1 8 1 ) , s i m i l a r to t h a t i n s e c t i o n L X I I , again s u p p l i e s a u s e f u l analogue f o r Juan 's modes of p e r c e p t i o n : l h i s d i s c o u r s e , l i k e m u s i c , may appear i n -t a n g i b l e , b u t . i t n e v e r t h e l e s s has a b a s i s i n p h y s i c a l f a c t . And the image again c h a r a c t e r i z e s the r e l a t i o n s h i p between h i s fundamental premise or t o n i c chord ( " ' A l l ' s change; but permanence as w e l l " 1 ) and h i s t o t a l metaphys ica l p o s i t i o n or accompanying harmonics , which comprise the sum of h i s argument,and the i n s i g h t represented by " those mammoth-s t o n e s , p i l e d by the P r o t o p l a s t /Temple-wise i n [ h i s ] dream!'' (CXXIV, 2165-2166) : "Truth i n s i d e , and o u t s i d e , t r u t h a l s o ; and between Each , fa l sehood t h a t i s change, as t r u t h i s permanence. ' The i n d i v i d u a l sou l works through the shows of s e n s e , (Which, ever p rov ing f a l s e , s t i l l promise to be t r u e ) Up to an outer sou l as i n d i v i d u a l t o o ; And , through the f l e e t i n g , l i v e s to d ie i n t o the f i x e d , And reach at length 'God, man, or both together m i x e d , ' T ransparent through the f l e s h , by par ts which prove a who le , By h i n t s which make the soul d i s c e r n i b l e by s o u l -Le t on ly soul look up , not down, not hate but l o v e , As t r u t h s u c c e s s i v e l y takes shape, one grade above I t s l a s t presentment , tempts as i t were t r u t h indeed Revealed t h i s t i m e , so tempts , t i l l we a t t a i n to read The s igns a r i g h t , and l e a r n , by f a i l u r e , t r u t h i s f o r c e d To m a n i f e s t i t s e l f through f a l s e h o o d ; whence d i vo rced By the excepted e y e , at the ra re s e a s o n , f o r The happy moment, t r u t h i n s t r u c t s us to abhor The f a l s e , and p r i z e the t r u e , o b t a i n a b l e t h e r e b y . , Then do we understand the value of a l i e ; I t s purpose s e r v e d , i t s t r u t h once safe d e p o s i t e d , Each l i e , super f luous now, l e a v e s , i n the s i n g e r ' s s t e a d , The i n d u b i t a b l e song ; the h i s t o r i c personage Put by , leaves prominent t h e , i m p u l s e of h i s age ; Truth sets as ide s p e e c h , a c t , t i m e , p l a c e , i n d e e d , but b r ings Nakedly forward now the p r i n c i p l e of th ings H ighest and l e a s t . " (CXXIV, 2182-2207) The "va lue of a l i e " i s a l s o the va lue of Juan 's h i s t r i o n i c t r u t h , and ' the v a l u e , of c o u r s e , of Browning's a r t . The broad a e s t h e t i c p r i n c i p l e i m p l i e d h e r e , t h a t beauty and t r u t h are to be sought through the r e a l -i t i e s of human e x i s t e n c e , i s l i t t l e d i f f e r e n t from Browning's p o s i t i o n as he m a n i f e s t s i t e a r l i e r i n poems such as "Fra L ippo L i p p i " and The  Ring and Book. But the important i n n o v a t i o n i n F i f i n e at the F a i r i s the emphasis on d e c e p t i o n , on the, n e c e s s i t y f o r f l a u n t i n g a r t i f i c e i n order to a r r i v e a t the t r u t h i t c o n t a i n s , i n a r t as i n l i f e . The dram-a t i c monologue u s u a l l y depends to some degree on the r e v e l a t i o n of unconscious i r o n y , and t h e r e f o r e on d e c e p t i o n . What i s important here i s Juan 's conscious, a r t i c u l a t i o n of the method f o r reach ing t r u t h through f a l s e h o o d . - He has a more r e f i n e d s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s than prev ious mono-l o g u i s t s . With t h i s c l i m a c t i c p e n e t r a t i o n i n t o the " p r i n c i p l e of t h i n g s , " the p r o t a g o n i s t overcomes h i s f e a r t h a t there may be a h o r r i f y i n g v o i d \behind t h e . v e i l s of r e a l i t y : What change to dread When, disengaged a t l a s t from every v e i l , i n s t e a d Of type remains the t r u t h ? . . . Something as t rue as soul i s t r u e , though v e i l s between Prove f a l s e and f l e e t away. (CXXV, 2207-2212) But t h e s e . h e i g h t s of metaphys ica l conf idence cannot be s u s t a i n e d . Through a c l e v e r bur lesque of A e s c h y l u s ' Prometheus Bound, which j u x t a -poses Aeschylean mythology and h i s i r r e v e r e n t commentary, Juan descends from the metaphor ica l v e i l , o f r e a l i t y to the p h y s i c a l v e i l of F i f i n e (CXXV). As he "d isengaged" the f o r m e r , so he h i n t s n a u g h t i l y a t s u r r e p -t i t i o u s l i f t i n g of the l a t t e r . The t r a v e s t y i s i n e v i t a b l e , because Juan can never deny h i s d u a l i t y , and the s t r u g g l e to f r e e h i m s e l f from the baser element w i l l always f a i l . L i k e the pennant , he cannot leave the pole to which he i s . a t t a c h e d , and l i k e the swimmer, he must remain i n the w a t e r , however f a r out of i t he manages to r e a c h . A l l new exper ience u l t i m a t e l y leads back to the same commonplace ground i t s t a r t e d f rom: The f r e s h and s t range a t f i r s t , Soon wears to t r i t e and tame, nor warrants the o u t b u r s t Of hear t w i t h which we h a i l those h e i g h t s , a t very b r i n k Of heaven, whereto one l e a s t of l i f t s would l e a d , we t h i n k , But wherefrom qu ick d e c l i n e conducts our s t e p , we f i n d , To homely e a r t h , o l d f a c t s f a m i l i a r l e f t beh ind . (CXXVI, 2230-2235) And h i s awareness of t h i s c i r c u l a r movement provokes a sense o f weary f u t i l i t y , whose aching t i r e d n e s s ends on ly w i t h the peace of death : Awaking s o , What i f we, homeward-bound, a l l peace and some f a t i g u e , Trudge, s o b e r l y complete our tramp of near a l e a g u e , Las t l i t t l e m i l e which makes the c i r c u i t j u s t , E l v i r e ? We end where we began: tha t consequence i s c l e a r , A l l peace and some f a t i g u e , wherever we were nursed To l i f e , we bosom us on d e a t h , f i n d l a s t i s f i r s t And t h e n c e f o r t h f i n a l t o o . (CXXVII , 2238-2245) J u a n , subdued by t h i s unpromising thought , i s then impressed w i t h "a novel p o i n t , " the n o t i o n t h a t "each l i e " has "Redounded t o the p r a i s e of<. man" (CXXVI I I , 2247 -2248) . The l i m i t a t i o n i n h i s argument i s that h i s e x e r c i s e of decept ion was f l a t t e r i n g to h i s p r i d e , and a s s e r t e d the power of h i s personal w i l l : "and T r u t h , u n l i k e the Fa lse w i t h T r u t h ' s o u t s i d e , / N e i t h e r plumes up [man's] w i l l nor pu f f s him out w i t h p r i d e " (CXXVI I I , 2255 -2256) . The t r u t h r e f e r r e d to i s presumably the knowledge tha t a l l l i f e ends w i t h d e a t h , a thought uncomplimentary to h i s ego. Consequent ly , h i s whole i n s i g h t i n t o the nature of r e a l i t y , o f h i s i d e n t i t y and e x i s -t e n c e , i s again rendered d o u b t f u l , even s u s p i c i o u s l y l i k e some i n s t i n c t i v e a s s e r t i o n o f h i s s e l f - i m p o r t a n c e . Soul has not tr iumphed as he has been a t t a i n s to s u g g e s t ; r a t h e r i t i s sense which has provoked h i s t o t a l argument, s i n c e the evidence f o r sensory p e r c e p t i o n i s a v a i l a b l e on r e q u e s t — w i t h sense " ' t i s ask and have" (CXXVI I I , 2260) . Sense , he s a y s , promotes s e l f as the s o u l ' s on ly master : Such savour i n the nose . Of Sense , would s t i m u l a t e Soul s w e e t l y , I suppose, Soul w i t h i t s proper i t c h of i n s t i n c t , prompting c l e a r To recogn ize s o u l ' s s e l f S o u l ' s on ly master here A l i k e from f i r s t to l a s t . (CXXVI I I , 2269-2273) A l l he. has e s t a b l i s h e d , he i m p l i e s , i s the power of h i s own w i l l to deceive h i m s e l f i n t o b e l i e v i n g he i s h i s own master . I t i s a n a t u r a l . i l l u s i o n to e f f e c t , s i n c e the soul i s not only s t i m u l a t e d by the senses i n t h i s a c t , i t i s a l s o prompted by " i t s proper i t c h of i n s t i n c t , " His consc iousness of the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of h i s personal e x t i n c t i o n , " t i m e ' s p ressure" and " d a r k ' s a p p r o a c h , " makes him w i l l i n g to admit the p o s s i -b i l i t y t h a t he i s s u b j e c t to some " s o u l " o ther than h i m s e l f (CXXVI I I , 2273 -2280) . Man, he s a y s , " r e c e i v e s /And not demands—not f i r s t l i k e s f a i t h and then b e l i e v e s " (CXXVI I I , 2280 -2281) . The phras ing i s l i t u r -g i c a l , and the thought i s a k i n to New Testament a s s e r t i o n s o f God's love 31 which i s g iven f r e e l y to men. Juan does n o t , however* embrace r e l i g -ious or thodoxy . He does not s p e c i f y what man " r e c e i v e s " ; the other " s o u l " , i s not d e f i n e d (the f u l l e s t d e s c r i p t i o n would be h i s e a r l i e r re fe rences to "God, man , .o r both together m i x e d " ; L I X , 907 ; CXXIV, 2188; CXXV, 2 2 1 0 ) ; and the c o n d i t i o n a l c lause (CXXVI I I , 2273) r e s t r i c t s h i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n of l o s i n g "the r i g h t s /Of r u l e " t o the l e v e l of p o s s i b i l i t y . Only the h u m i l i t y induced i n him by h i s sense of f u t i l i t y adds f o r c e to h i s s t a t e m e n t ' s e f f e c t . Brought to recognize h i s l i m i t a t i o n s , . a n d the s e l f i s h n e s s inherent i n h i s prev ious p h i l o s o p h y , Juan i s w i l l i n g a l s o to acknowledge the n e c e s s i t y of constancy i n l o v e : " Inconstancy means raw, ' t i s f a i t h alone means r i p e /I' the soul which runs i t s round" (CXXIX, 2283 -2284) . He comments r u e f u l l y on the absence of s e l f - i n d u l g e n c e i n such a p r i n c i p l e - - " P o o r pabulum f o r p r i d e when the f i r s t love i s found /Las t a l s o ! " (CXXIX, 2 2 8 9 - 2 2 9 0 ) — a n d says tha t h i s means of a t t a i n i n g i n f i n i t y caused h i s e r r o r . Instead of some endless l i n e a r e x t e n s i o n , a t tempt ing to " F i x i n t o one E l v i r e a F a i r - f u l of F i f i n e s , " he should have .ana lysed one spot i n depth , t h a t i s "From the g iven p o i n t evo lve the i n f i n i t e ! " (CXXIX, 2295) . Th is p o i n t i s the f a u l t i n Juan 's method; as opposed to the more q u a l i t a t i v e f l a w of s e l f i s h n e s s . I t i s i n accord w i th Browning's c o n -cern w i th i n f i n i t y i n . a r t , but i t i s not "the c e n t r a l theme of the poem," 32 as Drew s u g g e s t s . I t i s what Juan 's task ought, to have been. W i s e r , Juan proposes to g i ve up the " f i c k l e e l e m e n t " , t o remain w i th E l v i r e : " L a n d - l o c k e d , we l i v e and d ie h e n c e f o r t h : f o r h e r e ' s the v i l l a - d o o r " (CXXIX, 2305) . However, as Roma King p o i n t s o u t , t h i s statement conta ins i t s own c o n t r a d i c t i o n : ' L a n d - l o c k e d ' . . . . ' d i e ' . . . ' d o o r ' : these images, s u r f a c i n g from the depth of h i s s u b c o n s c i o u s , are evidence of a t e n s i o n , a s p i r i t u a l r e s t l e s s n e s s , t h a t can never abide the r e s t r i c t i o n s he 33 a f f e c t s to a c c e p t . " Juan has j u s t s a i d , i n support of permanency i n l o v e , t h a t ending where he began " l o o k s . l i k e l a w , because the n a t u r a l man / I n c l i n e s the o ther way, f e e l s l o r d l i e r f r e e than bound" (CXXIX, 2287-2288) . Th is obse rva t ion a l s o i n v o l v e s a cur ious r e p r e s s i o n of sensual i n s t i n c t s , a n t i t h e t i c a l to h i s e a r l i e r emphasis on what i_s_ (C IX ) , s i n c e to say t h a t whatever r e s t r i c t s man's freedom " looks l i k e l a w , " because i t does not pamper man's i n s t i n c t s , because i t f a i l s to r e i n -f o r c e h i s p r i d e , i s to tu rn what "should be" i n t o law i n s t e a d of "what i s . " In o ther words , Juan i s now t r y i n g to have E l v i r e s a t i s f y his. s e n s u a l . d e s i r e s as w e l l as h i s s p i r i t u a l i m p u l s e s . She i s to s a t i s f y h i s whole p e r s o n a l i t y , not j u s t supplement what "was h a l f i t s e l f w i t h o u t " her (XXXIX, 6 1 1 ) . And s i n c e he has to deal w i th her p h y s i c a l l y as w e l l as m e n t a l l y , the f e a r t h a t h i s prev ious p e r c e p t i o n of her on the s o u l ' s l e v e l may have denied her p h y s i c a l substance produces a sudden, desper -ate c ry f o r proof of. her sensuous presence : Touch me, and so appear a l i v e to a l l i n t e n t s ! W i l l the s a i n t van ish from the s i n n e r t h a t repents? Suppose you are a ghost ! A memory, a hope, A f e a r , a consc ience ! Quick! Give back the hand I grope I' the dusk f o r ! (CXXX, 2308-2312) But E l v i r e cannot s a t i s f y the urge f o r exc i tement and freedom which Juan has defended so e l o q u e n t l y and c o n v i n c i n g l y , and he i m p l i e s the l i f e l e s s imprisonment which confinement w i th her would mean. She i s "The s o l i d l a n d , the s a f e " (CXXXI, 2315) ; as a .househo lder he w i l l be "ca lm" a n d . " c o n t e m p l a t i v e " (CXXXI, 2 3 3 2 ) ; w h i l e "the seasons f l e e t , " he and E l v i r e w i l l " a b i d e " (CXXXI, 2 3 3 3 ) ; "Enter f o r good and a l l , " he c o n c l u d e s , "then f a t e b o l t f a s t the d o o r , /Shut you and me i n s i d e , never to wander more!" (CXXXI, 2339 -2340) . Even when he d e s c r i b e d e a r l i e r h i s i d e a l i z e d p e r c e p -t i o n of E l v i r e ' s beauty , Juan h i n t e d at the d e a t h - l i k e overtones to her calm a s p e c t - - i t seemed "As i f [her ] v e s t u r e ' s snow were moulding s l e e p not death" (XXXVI I I , 6 0 4 ) . The peace and. s e c u r i t y which she o f f e r s him form one s i d e of the w a r r i n g f a c t i o n s w i t h i n h i m , but to accept them alone would mean g i v i n g up . the torment and f l u x which i s the essence of h i s being and of l i f e i t s e l f . His r e t u r n to F i f i n e i s an express ion "of cont inued s t r i v i n g r a t h e r than s t a g n a t i o n . . . . h i s f i n a l a c t a f f i r m s 34 r a t h e r than negates h i s humani ty . " His f i n a l ac t a l s o r e s t o r e s the e q u i v o c a t i o n between sense and s p i r i t , which has accompanied h i s behaviour throughout the poem. He has c o n t i n u a l l y f l a u n t e d the exped ienc ies of decept ion i n o rder to balance and i n t e r r e l a t e the two e x p e r i e n t i a l rea lms . In the l a s t s e c t i o n s , mom-e n t a r i l y d i s i l l u s i o n e d by . the r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t a l l h i s endeavour and. b r i l l i a n t hand l ing of a r t i f i c e lead to only one f a t a l c o n c l u s i o n , : he g ives up the s t r u g g l e and a n t i c i p a t e s the peacefu l qu ietude and r e s p e c - , t a b i l i t y of a convent iona l househo lder , "du ly d o m i c i l e d , / C o n t r i b u t a b l e , good companion of the g u i l d /And mystery of mar r iage" (CXXXI , .2319-2321) . A f t e r a l l , " f a r from r e a l i z i n g g a i n , /Each step as ide j u s t proves d ivergency i n v a i n " (CXXIX, 2 2 9 0 - 2 2 9 1 ) . . I t i s a s o l u t i o n which w i l l both b r i n g him calm and avo id the s e l . f - c e n t r e d n e s s which he has so vehemently and b i t t e r l y s a t i r i z e d i n men. But to r e t a i n human e x i s t e n c e i s to r e t a i n sensual e x p e r i e n c e . Love i s permanent i n man's l i f e , as symbol ized by the Dru id s t o n e , but t h a t means p h y s i c a l as w e l l as s p i r -i t u a l , l o v e . ' Both F i f i n e and E l v i r e are necessary . Indeed, Juan 's t o t a l b e h a v i o u r , l i n g u i s t i c and p h y s i c a l , suggests tha t a l l love i s the product o f man's double l e v e l of p e r c e p t i o n ; there i s no u n i f y i n g , t ranscendenta l love i n h i s e x p e r i e n c e , on ly the no t ion t h a t a b i f u r c a t e d love i s neces -sary f o r the c o n t i n u i n g processes which make up h i s e x i s t e n c e . Caught between the c o n f l i c t i n g demands of h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s , w i thout b e l i e f i n e x t e r n a l abso lu tes to. predetermine a s o l u t i o n , man's p e r s o n a l i t y i s i n -secure w i t h i n h i s d u a l i s t i c , n a t u r e . v The E p i l o g u e ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the poem has always caused c r i -t i c a l problems. Most u s u a l l y i t s l a s t l i n e i s a b s t r a c t e d ('"I end w i t h - - L o v e i s a l l and Death i s nought ! ' quoth S h e " ) , w h i c h , i t i s s a i d , shows t h a t t rue love i s f i n a l l y more powerful than death (or a p h i l a n d e r -35 ing J u a n ) . The l i n e , of c o u r s e , would then c o n s t i t u t e a common Browning aphor i sm, and i t has been quoted to a s s e r t Browning's c o n t i n u i n g optimism i n h i s l a t e r poems. But the Ep i logue i s not so s imple .as c r i t i c s o f t e n i m p l y . E n t i t l e d "The Househo lder , " these f o u r stanzas i n e f f e c t s a t i r i z e the r e s p e c t a b l e househo lder , who i s here only too eager to g ive up what i s supposed to be b l i s s . Beside Juan 's r o m a n t i c i z i n g of domestic joy i n s e c t i o n CXXXI, the householder i s tormented and t o t a l l y unhappy. His predicament helps to e x p l a i n Juan 's t a c i t a n t i p a t h y towards such c o n f i n e -ment and the Ep i logue r e v e a l s household b l i s s as another i l l u s i o n . There i s the p o i n t , of c o u r s e , t h a t the househo lder ' s l i f e i s m i s e r a b l e because he i s separated from h i s dead w i f e , and h i s keen d e s i r e to d ie h i m s e l f i s p a r t l y a d e s i r e to r e j o i n h e r . A l s o , her t ime "up t h e r e , " w i thout h i m , was e q u a l l y u n s a t i s f a c t o r y : " 'And was I so b e t t e r o f f up t h e r e ? ' quoth S h e . " Love i s a l l , t h e n , s i n c e i t i s a l l t h a t s u p p l i e s j o y . t o both husband and w i f e , even a f t e r d e a t h . I t i s more than e i t h e r convent iona l domestic "comfor t " or supposed heavenly reward , and whether t h i s love i s e a r t h l y o r d i v i n e i s a t best ambiguous. The i m p l i c a t i o n t h a t the w i f e ' s e x i s t e n c e "up t h e r e " lacked happiness c l e a r l y suggests t h a t she i s not 37 "metamorphosed"; i t t h e r e f o r e f o l l o w s t h a t any a s s e r t i o n of t r a n s c e n -denta l love i s as equ ivoca l i n the Ep i logue as i t i s i n the poem i t s e l f . Love i s the means to the s a t i s f a c t o r y exper ience of each person i n the Ep i logue as i t was to .Juan i n the poem. Desp i te u g l y c i rcumstances and d e s p i t e d e a t h , love overcomes a l l , even to the p o i n t where the house-ho lde r p r e f e r s death to l i f e . But there, i s another aspect to the Ep i logue t o o . The h o u s e - -h o l d e r ' s h u r r i e d , tumbl ing language, the grotesque s t a g n a t i o n of h i s m i n d - - " D r e a r y , weary w i th the long day 's work: /Head of me, hear t of me, s t u p i d as a s t o n e " - - h i s p h y s i c a l d i s c o m f o r t and mental t o r m e n t - - " t h e n e i g h b o u r - t a l k . . . / A l l the worry of f l a p p i n g door and echoing r o o f ; and t h e n , / A l l the f a n c i e s " - - a l l imply an extreme d e s i r e to cease the agony. "Help and get i t over ! " ' he says to h i s w i f e i n h i s urgency to sur render e a r t h l y e x i s t e n c e , and c e n t r a l to the ep i taph he composes f o r h i m s e l f are the l i n e s " A f f l i c t i o n sore l o n g time he bore . . . / T i l l God  d i d p lease to grant him e a s e . " Indeed, there i s a g ro tesque ly comic and i r r e v e r e n t gusto to these l i n e s , as the householder i n c a r e l e s s g lee com-poses a rough e p i t a p h , on ly too anxious to conclude the f o r m a l i t i e s w i t h the utmost c e l e r i t y . In h i s h a s t e , he cannot f i n i s h and asks h i s w i f e to do s o . In v iew , t h e n , of h i s obvious a n x i e t y to f r e e h i m s e l f from h i s decaying c i r c u m s t a n c e s , of h i s d e s i r e f o r death to ease h i s " a f f l i c t i o n , " her r e p l y t h a t "Love i s a l l " becomes i r o n i c . . The whole passage suggests t h a t sensuous exper ience i s at l e a s t as s i g n i f i c a n t to man as s p i r i t u a l l o v e , , s i n c e , the householder i s as eager to r e l i n q u i s h h i s e a r t h l y torment .as he i s - to j o i n h i s s p i r i t u a l w i f e . The Ep i logue cont inues the ambivalent perceptua l exper ience of Juan 's monologue, and concludes the poem w i t h a f i n e a m b i g u i t y . Clyde Ryals concludes t h a t "permanence comes only when the swimmer i s meta -morphosed i n t o a b u t t e r f l y , when ' s e n s e ' t o t a l l y y i e l d s to ' s o u l , ' when the amphibian i s t ransformed i n t o a h o u s e h o l d e r . " But the househo lder ' s e x i s t e n c e i n the Ep i logue i s not permanent and q u i t e u n i n v i t i n g ; he i s s t i l l an amphib ian . Rather Browning i m p l i e s , as Roma King s a y s , " t h a t man's devot ion can never become s i n g l e and a l l - s a t i s f y i n g u n t i l he i s t r a n s p l a n t e d from time i n t o e t e r n i t y . For Browning t h i s event remains a 39 hopeful p o s s i b i l i t y b u t , i n t h i s poem, noth ing more . " Only i n death can man's dual v i s i o n be r e c o n c i l e d , on ly then can he f i n d peace and ease of mind. Th is p o i n t i r o n i c a l l y r e f l e c t s on Juan 's r e l u c t a n c e th rough -out the poem to accept d e a t h . v i The t r u t h i n Don J u a n ' s d i s c o u r s e i s conta ined i n h i s e x e r c i s e of the i m a g i n a t i o n ; i t i s a . " h i s t r i o n i c t r u t h , " to do w i t h a c t i n g , c r e a t i n g an i l l u s i o n , w i th dece iv ing . . Consequent ly , i t i n v o l v e s a prolonged e f f o r t of p e r c e p t i o n and w i l l on the persona Is p a r t . The poem, i n t u r n , fo rces a s i m i l a r s u s t a i n e d e f f o r t of p e r c e p t i o n and w i l l on the r e a d e r , which i s second only to J u a n ' s , or B r o w n i n g ' s , and second because the reader f o l l o w s where Browning l e a d s . Th is i n t e r a c t i o n between reader and poem i s i n t r i n s i c to the poem's p o i n t : . t o manipulate decept ion i s necessary , f o r knowledge of the t r u t h about l i f e , but i t i s d i f f i c u l t ; : to ma in ta in a c l e a r p e r c e p t i o n of t h a t m a n i p u l a t i o n i s a l s o d i f f i c u l t ; but both are p o s s i b l e . Juan 's f l a u n t i n g of a r t i f i c e means t h a t he a t t a i n s something of the r o l e of stagemanager, d e f i n i n g h i s s u r r o u n d i n g s — t h e f a i r , the g y p s i e s , the s e a , sky and l a n d s c a p e — e l i c i t i n g t h e i r m e a n i n g t o f u r t h e r h i s argument, and purpose ly d i r e c t i n g E l v i r e to the Dru id monument i n order to make i t s p h y s i c a l presence before h e r c o i n c i d e w i t h i t s meta -p h o r i c a l presence i n h i s dream (CXXI , 2041-2045) . Juan 's c h a r a c t e r i n t h i s r o l e s h o u l d , however, be c a r e f u l l y d i s t i n g u i s h e d from t h a t of the Duke i n "My Las t Duchess , " whose s i m i l a r man ipu la t ion and s t a g i n g of a "show" has been e x c e l l e n t l y analysed by David Shaw. 4 ^ Shaw concludes tha t "the c r a f t of the p roducer , whose t h e a t r i c a l s e l f f i e r c e l y w i l l s the ex -t i n c t i o n of every o ther s e l f , becomes a metaphor f o r the damnation of a l l 41 s e l f - d e c e i v e d and e g o c e n t r i c men." Juan i s e g o c e n t r i c , but he i s not as a r r o g a n t l y s e l f - d e c e i v e d as the Duke, and he does not w i l l " the e x t i n c -t i o n of every other s e l f . " Both c h a r a c t e r s t rans fo rm the past i n t o a present which supports t h e i r s e l f - c o n c e i v e d i d e n t i t y and purpose , both manipulate t h e i r companions f o r t h e i r own ends , and both f l a u n t a r t i f i c e s . B u t , t h e s e shared f e a t u r e s are shared w i th any m o n o l o g u i s t , and i n a sense 42 d e f i n e the dramat ic monologue's fo rm. The important d i s t i n c t i o n i s t h a t Juan 's " s t a g e - c r a f t " i s c o n s c i o u s l y e x p l o i t e d , and tha t h i s verba l d i s p l a y i s the r e s u l t of a s i n c e r e d e s i r e to understand the depths of h i s own e x p e r i e n c e ; i t i s not the unconscious m a n i f e s t a t i o n of an "obsess iona l 43 n e u r o s i s " as seen i n the Duke's b r i e f performance. \ His egocentr.ism does mean, though, t h a t the w o r l d - v i e w he presents i s s u b j e c t to h i s w i l l a n d , t o h i s p e r c e p t i o n . The n a t u r a l w o r l d , f o r example, i s not something to be r e c o n c i l e d i n some romant ic redemption of the mind , but i t i s there to be valued by men and to be a p p r e c i a t e d a e s t h e t i c a l l y r a t h e r than r e l i g i o u s l y . Nature s u p p l i e s images, metaphors f o r the mind's e x p e r i e n c e , and i s s e t apar t from men. Juan 's e x e r c i s e of w i l l , h i s emphasis on h i s u n i q u e , , s e p a r a t e i d e n t i t y , thus p laces him among the h e r o i c types o f Manfred and F a u s t , and h i s awareness of the need f o r c o n s t a n t l y renewed exper ience l i n k s him p a r t i c u l a r l y w i th F a u s t : Ay , i n t h i s thought I pledge my f a i t h unswerv ing , Here wisdom speaks i t s f i n a l word and t r u e , None i s o f freedom or of l i f e deserv ing Unless he d a i l y conquers i t anew.44 J u a n , however, never stands a l o n e . Women, he a s s e r t s , are necessary to e s t a b l i s h h i s r e a l i t y , the c u l m i n a t i o n of his. p h i l o s o p h i c i n s i g h t i n v o l v e s working "through the shows o f sense" to "an oute r sou l as i n d i v i d u a l t o o " (2184-2186) . The l i m i t a t i o n i n t h i s p o s i t i o n i s t h a t i t i n v o l v e s an endless e x p l o i t a t i o n of women f o r h i s personal needs; i t i s a l i m i t a t i o n which exposes Juan as s e l f i s h l y e g o c e n t r i c , but not as a m a l i c i o u s d e c e i v e r . He i s caught up i n a human dilemma too fundamental and n a t u r a l f o r him to, be condemned.as " the d e v i l quot ing S c r i p t u r e f o r h i s purpose , " 45 or as "a mere h e a r t l e s s c a d . " He i s honest enough to recognize momen-t a r i l y t h a t h i s ph i losophy might be redeemed from i t s egocentr ism by reach ing h i s d e s i r e d goal , of i n f i n i t e permanence through one p o i n t , by p e n e t r a t i o n r a t h e r than by a cease less s t r e t c h i n g of e x p e r i e n c e . But h i s n a t i v e impulse f o r sensual freedom prevents tha t redempt ion. Browning r e v e a l s i n Juan a d isc repancy between v i s i o n or mental p e r c e p t i o n and a c t i o n , which i s deeply rooted i n i n s t i n c t and c h a r a c t e r , and which i l l u m i n a t e s the l i m i t a t i o n s i n man's w i l l . Juan has s u f f i c i e n t . w i l l to f l a u n t sensory p e r c e p t i o n and the decept ions i t i n v o l v e s , but not s u f f i c -ient, w i l l to r e g u l a t e sensory e x p e r i e n c e . R e l y i n g on h i s own resources f o r f u l f i l m e n t , he cannot r e s i s t h i s i n s t i n c t i v e d r i v e f o r s e l f -indulgence;" sensory exper ience i s too p o w e r f u l . He can on ly momentari ly r e c o n c i l e h i s d i v i d e d c o n s c i o u s n e s s , and t h e r e f o r e he presents f i n a l l y an ambiva lent or i r o n i c v i s i o n of . l i f e . While h i s s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y i s proved a v a n i t y , h i s sense of freedom s t i l l a l i e n a t e s him from conven-t i o n a l s o c i e t y ( i n h i s dream he was always an o n l o o k e r ) , and t h i s p r e d i c -ament i s a l s o t y p i c a l of the n ineteenth c e n t u r y : "In a g reat deal of Romantic imagery human s o c i e t y is. t h o u g h t , o f as l e a d i n g to a l i e n a t i o n r a t h e r than i d e n t i t y , and t h i s sense i n c r e a s e s s t e a d i l y throughout the n ine teenth century as l i t e r a t u r e becomes more i r o n i c i n both . tone and 46 s t r u c t u r e . " J u a n , however, i s the i r o n i s t r a t h e r than Browning, f o r , , d e s p i t e the ambivalence about love and about man's p e r c e p t i o n throughout the poem, Browning i n d i c a t e s the m o r a l l y l i m i t i n g f a c t o r i n Juan 's a t t i t u d e , which i s s u f f i c i e n t to induce a p o r t i o n of s a t i r e i n t o the poem. Frances C. Kemper d i s t i n g u i s h e s between an i r o n i s t who i s uncom-m i t t e d to any ideo logy or d i d a c t i c p r i n c i p l e , and a s a t i r i s t who i s com-47 m i t t e d , who j u d g e s . To the ex tent t h a t Browning enables the reader to judge J u a n - - a n d the ex tent i s not n e a r l y so. g reat as c r i t i c s have gener -a l l y m a i n t a i n e d — B r o w n i n g remains a s a t i r i s t who exposes the weaknesses i n an i r o n i s t . The m a t t e r - s p i r i t debate which informs Juan 's i r o n i c v i s i o n i s , of c o u r s e , c e n t r a l i n Western l i t e r a t u r e , and both the p lay of elements and the Neop la ton ic thought i n the poem p lace i t i n t h i s t r a d i t i o n . Imagery of the f o u r e l e m e n t s — e a r t h , a i r , f i r e and w a t e r — o c c u r s many t imes i n the poem, and c e n t r a l to Juan 's quest i s h i s d e s i r e to a t t a i n the more r e f i n e d e lements , to l i f t h i m s e l f i n t o a i r from water and to draw f o r t h the f lame which l u r k s behind " e a r t h ' s c o a r s e s t c o v e r t u r e s " (337) . His a s s e r t i o n of an eventual f u s i o n w i t h some other s o u l , or " l o d e s t a r " ( 9 0 1 ) , i s a k i n to A r i s t o p h a n e s ' t w i n - s o u l concept i n the Symposium,^and the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s m he attempts to m a i n t a i n i n h i s view o f matter i s comparable w i t h P l a t o n i c I d e a l i s m . The i n f l u e n c e of S h e l l e y and C a r l y l e on Browning i s no doubt .ev idenced h e r e . ! However, the d i f f e r -ence from Juan 's more P l a t o n i c predecessors l i e s i n h i s emphasis on i n d i v i d u a l man and on the t rans fo rming power o f h i s imag inat ion (or " s o u l , " to use h i s term) as the source of a l l v a l u e . S p i r i t u a l r e a l i t y i s not p r e - e x i s t e n t or to be reached by,man; i t i s c reated by man. Having h i s more immediate o r i g i n s i n romantic l i t e r a t u r e , Juan 48 a l s o a n t i c i p a t e s aspects of t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y thought and w r i t i n g . His s ta tement , f o r example, t h a t man's task i s to t rans form i n e r t matter i s more f u l l y .developed i n R i l k e ' s Duino E l e g i e s : " . . . the most v i s i b l e 49 joy ./can only reveal i t s e l f . t o us when we've t ransformed i t , w i t h i n . " His n o t i o n , h i n t e d at b r i e f l y , of the imag ina t ion c r e a t i n g i t s own p e r -manence i s ep i tomized l a t e r by Yeats i n " S a i l i n g to B y z a n t i u m , " where the a r t i s t d e s i r e s to move, by. means o f h i s own c r e a t i o n , i n t o "the a r t i f i c e of e t e r n i t y . " And Juan 's emphasis on the importance of a r t i -f i c e , on d i s t i n g u i s h i n g between s i m u l a t i o n and r e a l i t y , and on the element of decept ion i n a l l human e x i s t e n c e , i n a l l r e a l i t y , i s seen again i n Wal lace Stevens ' " A d a g i a " : "The f i n a l b e l i e f i s to b e l i e v e i n a f i c t i o n , w h i c h you know to be a f i c t i o n , there being noth ing e l s e . The e x q u i s i t e t r u t h i s to know t h a t i t i s a f i c t i o n and t h a t you b e l i e v e i n i t w i l l i n g l y . " 5 0 J u a n , however, i s not complete ly a modern e x i s t e n t i a l man- he r e -mains a t r a n s i t i o n a l f i g u r e . - Moving a v i d l y towards a d e f i n i t i o n of s d l i p -s i s t i c e x i s t e n c e , he never q u i t e r e l i n q u i s h e s e s t a b l i s h e d modes of thought . There i s h i s use of the term soul i t s e l f and h i s e f f o r t s to penet rate the v e i l of r e a l i t y . There are a l s o h i s few and c a s u a l , seemingly i n v o l u n t a r y , re fe rences to God and f a i t h (876, 907 , 1515, 2188) , and h i s s h o r t - l i v e d admittance of the need f o r f a i t h i n love (2281, 2283) . The e q u i v o c a t i o n i m p l i e s , of c o u r s e , Browning's own u n w i l -l i n g n e s s to cease hoping f o r a d i v i n e abso lu te or f o r permanent e x i s t e n c e . " I t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f Browning t h a t what he wants to m a i n t a i n i s . . . t h a t f o r h i m s e l f p e r s o n a l l y there i s s t i l l room, i f not f o r c e r t a i n t y , 51 a t l e a s t f o r hope." One of the most i n t e g r a l and neg lec ted q u a l i t i e s of F i f i n e a t the F a i r i s i t s nature as a "poem of e x p e r i e n c e , " a q u a l i t y f r e q u e n t l y ignored 52 by c r i t i c s who become,antagonized by i t s " m e t a p h y s i c a l " c o n t e n t . Th is q u a l i t y i s d i r e c t l y concerned w i t h the sou l -body o r • t h o u g h t - f e e l i n g debate , and t h e r e f o r e w i t h Juan 's e x e r c i s e of d e c e p t i o n . To observe t h a t Browning, developed the dramat ic monologue i n order to r e s t o r e the a s s o c -i a t i o n of thought and f e e l i n g , to record the momentary t r u t h of an i n t e -53 grated exper ience o r ep iphany , i s now a c r i t i c a l commonplace. Browning's m o s t . h i g h l y p r a i s e d monologues u s u a l l y present t h i s exper ience d i r e c t l y , as i t o c c u r s , w i th the persona , s i n c e he i s c o n c e n t r a t i n g on h i s a c t ( i n v a r i a b l y a verba l a c t ) , unconscious of the i n t e g r a t i n g process he i s engaged i n . O b v i o u s l y , h i s l a c k of awareness i s a l o g i c a l n e c e s s i t y , s i n c e to be consc ious o f , t h a t i s to t h i n k about , f u s i n g "the elements of thought , f e e l i n g and p e r c e i v e d o b j e c t " i s to c o n t r a d i c t t h a t f u s i o n . . "My L a s t Duchess , " "F ra L ippo L i p p i , " . "Andrea del S a r t o , " . " C h i l d e Rolande to the Dark Tower Came" a f f o r d examples of t h i s poetry of e x p e r i e n c e ; F i f i n e at the F a i r , however, i s more complex, because Juan has a more complex, s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s . Juan i s c e r t a i n l y engaged i n c o n f l i c t w i t h E l v i r e about h i s f e e l i n g s f o r F i f i n e , and t h i s s i t u a t i o n makes the poem.a usual monologue, a poem of e x p e r i e n c e . But Juan 's d i s c o u r s e f a r exceeds the bounds of t h a t argument, i n excess even o f other m o n o l o g u i s t s , and becomes, as he r e a l i z e s i n s e c t i o n LXXXVI I I , a r a t i o n a l contemplat ion d i v o r c e d from any immediate emotional involvement w i t h e i t h e r F i f i n e or E l v i r e . The women become a p p r o p r i a t e because necessary appendages of h i s thought and p e r s o n a l i t y . On the o ther hand, t h a t r a t i o n a l contemplat ion i s not w i t h -out emotional energy e i t h e r , because i t emanates from Juan 's i n t e l l e c -t u a l f e a r of n o n - b e i n g . In e f f e c t , he o s c i l l a t e s between passages of e x p r e s s i o n which a r i s e from a combined emotional and mental a n x i e t y , and which t h e r e f o r e f a l l w i t h i n Browning's usual type o f - d r a m a t i c monologue, and passages which more n e a r l y approximate a b s t r a c t thought ; Juan does not so much move d r a m a t i c a l l y towards a new epiphany i n the usual manner of monologuists (a l though he does u n w i t t i n g l y reach t h i s i n s e c t i o n CXXIX) , as endeavour to. r e c r e a t e a p r e v i o u s l y exper ienced epiphany (which he achieves i n s e c t i o n CXXIV) . ' He pursues t h i s r e c r e a t i o n both f o r E l v i r e ' s b e n e f i t , i n order , to j u s t i f y h i s r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n about F i f i n e , and f o r h i s own, i n order to s u s t a i n the c o n t i n u a l process of s a t i s f y i n g h i s own r e a l i t y . Th is complex e f f o r t of .mind means t h a t he c o n s c i o u s l y a t t e m p t s , through metaphor, through the r e c r e a t i o n or s i m u l a t i o n o f a l l k inds of e x p e r i e n c e — a e s t h e t i c ( m u s i c ) , p h y s i c a l (swimming), i m a g i n a t i v e ( d r e a m ) - - t o . v a l i d a t e a p e r c e p t i o n of r e a l i t y which he a l s o d e s c r i b e s r a t i o n a l l y ; and the s u b t l e t i e s i n t h i s process may account f o r c r i t i c a l puzzlement about the poem, p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r c r i t i c a l d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h i t s uneven t o n e . , I sobel Armstrong , f o r example, says i t conta ins 54 " e r r a t i c f l a s h e s of strange, i n t e n s i t y . " But the poem's u n i t y , e x c i t e -ment and verba l - b r i l l i a n c e i s e a s i l y apparent , i f the reader recognizes the i n c i s i v e , x r e f i n e d t e n s i o n e l i c i t e d by Juan 's awareness o f h i s p r e d i c a -ment i n hay ing to r e c r e a t e h i s i n s i g h t or be condemned for. mere i n t e l l e c -t u a l , and t h e r e f o r e p r o b l e m a t i c , unconv inc ing knowledge, and a l s o by the u n d e r l y i n g f e a r t h a t he may not achieve t h i s d e s i r e d r e s u l t . The poem dramat izes the persona 's process of t r y i n g to rec rea te e x p e r i e n c e , w i t h decept ion prominent a t each s t a g e , on each l e v e l , both i n the s u r f a c e , immediate awareness and i n the s i m u l a t e d , rec rea ted e v e n t . F i f i n e at the F a i r dramatizes the s t r u g g l e between concept and i n -t u i t i o n ; i t ' i s the drama of man's conceptual process s t r u g g l i n g to appre -hend i n t u i t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e . Al though the language and m e t r i c a l p a t t e r n i n g i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t , . W o r d s w o r t h ' s "Ode: I n t i m a t i o n s of Immor-t a l i t y " presents a s i m i l a r pred icament . Susanne Langer 's comment on Wordsworth's poem c o u l d , f o r example, be a p p l i e d a l s o to F i f i n e at the  F a i r : "The l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e of the thought i s r e a l l y very l o o s e ; y e t the whole composi t ion sounds l i k e a p iece o f metaphys ica l r e a s o n i n g , and the semblance of f r e s h ideas o c c u r r i n g i n very unacademic surroundings g ives i t a p e c u l i a r d e p t h , which i s r e a l l y depth of exper ience r a t h e r than depth of i n t e l l e c t . " There i s no reason to assume t h a t e i t h e r Words-worth or Browning l a c k e d "depth of i n t e l l e c t , " and Juan 's hand l ing of decept ion i s h i g h l y s o p h i s t i c a t e d . The important p o i n t , : h o w e v e r , i s the i n t e g r a l r o l e which thought has i n human exper ience and the depth i t s u p p l i e s to otherwise s u p e r f i c i a l , . e v e n i f i n t e n s e l y d r a m a t i c , a c t i o n . . Susanne Langer c o n t i n u e s : "Th ink ing i s pa r t of our i n s t i n c t i v e a c t i v i t y - - t h e most human, e m o t i o n a l , and i n d i v i d u a l p a r t . - . ' . . i t i s so i n t i m a t e -bound up w i t h language t h a t m e d i t a t i o n i s i n s e p a r a b l e from ways of s p e a k i n g . . . . d i s c u r s i v e thought . . . i s i n turn, the mold o f our i n -56 d i v i d u a l e x p e r i e n c e . " Browning i s not concerned so much w i t h the product of t h o u g h t , . e x t e r n a l a c t i o n , as w i t h the f low of thought , the i n t e r n a l a c t which forms the a c t u a l process o f moulding e x p e r i e n c e . In F i f i n e at. the F a i r , the persona i s engaged i n p r e c i s e l y t h i s k ind of ve rba l a c t , and the gap which he i s consc ious of between h i s e x p r e s s i o n and h i s p r e v i o u s . i n s i g h t , between mental r e f l e c t i o n and i n t u i -t i o n , d i r e c t l y embodies the gap between mind and body - -man's d u a l i s m . . H is p r o l i x i t y , i n part- the product of a f e r t i l e and a g i l e m i n d , , i s nec -essary to overcome t h i s s c h i s m , s ince he must c o n s i d e r a v a r i e t y of c i r -cumstances and phrases i n order to comprehend the complex i t y of h i s p e r c e p t i o n . Because he i s aware tha t a l l perceptua l processes are s u b j e c t to d e c e p t i o n , because he i s dependent f o r knowledge and e x i s t e n c e on a r e a l i t y which presents a " n a t u r a l l i e , " and because he i s consc ious of the a r t i f i c e necessary to h i s thought and e x p e r i e n c e , the end which he a t t a i n s i s an " h i s t r i o n i c t r u t h . " NOTES K i n g , The Focusing A r t i f i c e (Athens , Ohio : Ohio U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1968) , p. 172. 2 The speaker i s unnamed i n the poem, but h i s w i f e i s named E l v i r e , and by analogy w i t h the epigraph from M o l i e r e ' s Don J u a n , the suggest ion i s tha t he i s J u a n . He i s n o t , however, merely a l i b e r t i n e . See K i n g , p., 175. 3 Morse Peckham, V i c t o r i a n R e v o l u t i o n a r i e s (New York : B r a z i l l e r , 1970) , p. 117. 4 See , e . g . , - M r s S . O r r , A Handbook to the Works of Robert Brown- i n g , 6th e d i t i o n (London: B e l l , 1892) , p. 150; J . T. N e t t l e s h i p , "On Browning's ' F i f i n e a t the F a i r , ' " Browning S o c i e t y P a p e r s , 1 (1882) , 1 9 9 - 2 3 0 , p a r t i c u l a r l y p. 223 ; A r t h u r Symons, Browning, new e d . (London: Dent, 1906) , p. 177; Edward Dowden, Robert Browning. (London: Dent , 1 9 0 4 ) , pp. 30.1-306; P h i l i p Drew, The Poet ry o f Robert Browning (London: Methuen, 1970) , p. 318. Browning h i m s e l f f o s t e r e d t h i s a t t i t u d e when he t o l d Dr . F u r n i v a l l " t h a t h i s fancy was to show m o r a l l y how a Don Juan might j u s t i f y h i m s e l f p a r t l y by t r u t h , somewhat by s o p h i s t r y " (Browning  S o c i e t y P a p e r s , 2 [ 1 8 8 8 ] , 242*) . See a l s o n.8 below. See , r e s p e c t i v e l y , H. C. D u f f i n , Amphibian (London: Bowes and Bowes, 1956) , p. 249, and N. B. C r o w e l l , The T r i p l e Soul (Albuquerque: U n i v e r s i t y o f New Mexico P r e s s , 1963) , p. 221 . C h a r l o t t e C. W a t k i n s , "The ' A b s t r u s e r Themes' o f B r o w n i n g ' s . F i f i n e a t the F a i r , " PMLA, ,74 (1959) , 427. J . L. K e n d a l l , "Browning 's F i f i n e a t the F a i r : Meaning and Method," V i c t o r i a n N e w s l e t t e r , No. 22 ( F a l l 1 9 6 2 ) , 1 6 - 1 8 ; Drew, pp. 304-306 ( f i r s t p u b l i s h e d i n Essays i n C r i t i c i s m , 17 [ A p r i l 1 9 6 7 ] , 1 4 4 - 1 5 5 ) . o See P h i l i p Drew's e x c e l l e n t comment on J u a n ' s c a s u i s t r y (p . 3 1 3 , n . l ) . He p o i n t s out t h a t c a s u i s t r y " i s not n e c e s s a r i l y an i n v a l i d method of p roceed ing : i t becomes so only i f the o b j e c t of the c a s u i s t i s to p r e -sent a s e r i e s of h y p o t h e t i c a l cases i n such a way as to b l u r the d i s t i n c -t i o n between m o r a l i t y and immora l i t y and so j u s t i f y immoral conduct . . . . The d i f f i c u l t y c o n f r o n t i n g those who wish to represent Juan as a c a s u i s t i s tha t of demonstrat ing p r e c i s e l y where he c a r r i e s h i s d i s c r i m i n a t i o n of cases beyond the bounds of what i s n e c e s s a r y . " g K i n g , p. 176. 1 0 D r e w , pp. 3 0 7 - 3 0 8 . ^ 1 Clyde de L. R y a l s , "Browning's Amphibian: Don Juan a t Home," Essays i n C r i t i c i s m , 19 (1969) , 2 1 0 - 2 1 7 . An e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y acute ( f o r the timeT r e v i e w - a r t i c l e i n Temple B a r , , 3 7 (1873) , 3 1 5 - 3 2 8 , a l s o observes the "double tendency of e x i s t e n c e " which i s c e n t r a l to the poem. 1 2 D r e w , p. 320 . 1 3 K i n g , p. 184. • 14 J u a n ' s d e f i n i t i o n of h i s s o u l ' s wor ld i s complex, a l though i t never r e a l l y moves beyond what cou ld be understood as the i m a g i n a t i o n ' s w o r l d . C f . K i n g , p. 173: Browning i n F i f i n e a t the F a i r "g i ves soul . . . i t s f u l l e s t a m p l i f i c a t i o n . " 1 5 S e e R y a l s , pp. 210 , 216. 1 c This p o i n t has been made p r e v i o u s l y i n an unpubl ished d i s s e r t a -t i o n by Nancy L i b b y , "Browning 's F i f i n e at the F a i r : A C r i t i c a l S t u d y , " (Duke U n i v e r s i t y , 1955) , p. 1 2 8 , : n . 9 . ^ K e n d a l l , p. 17. Kendal l i s r e p l y i n g to C h a r l o t t e Watk ins ' statement t h a t the speaker " i s 'amphib ian ' because as a morta l he l i v e s i n the wor ld of human exper ience but as an a r t i s t , i n the ' s e a ' of p o e t r y , he i m i t a t e s i d e a l t r u t h , such as on ly the immortal sou ls c o u l d c e r t a i n l y know, a n d . h i s poetry records h i s i m a g i n a t i v e v i s i o n of these t r u t h s " . (Watk ins , p. 4 2 7 ) . See a l s o P h i l i p Drew, who f o l l o w s Kenda l l (p . 3 0 6 ) , and Temple .Bar , 37 (Feb. 1873) , 316. 1 8 K i n g , p. 174... 19 C f . Drew: " i t would be i r r e l e v a n t to judge" her (p . 3 0 8 ) . 20 E l v i r e ' s language i s a d e l i g h t f u l , i f somewhat, c a u s t i c , t r a v e s t y o f J u a n ' s l i g h t images i n s e c t i o n XXX. L i g h t imagery occurs throughout the poem and forms one of the s e v e r a l c o n t r o l l i n g metaphors which g ive u n i t y and des ign to the poem. See W a t k i n s , p. 4 2 7 , f o r a b r i e f o u t l i n e o f sun imagery . The i n t r i c a t e punctuat ion r e q u i r e d here m i g h t ' a l s o be noted as an i n d i c a t i o n of Juan 's complex hand l ing of p o i n t of v iew. 2 1 K i n g , p, 179. 22 The f i r s t e d i t i o n reads : "My l i f e i n . " The more general noun i s probably meant as p a r t of Juan 's a r t i f i c e i n removing the argument from h i s s p e c i f i c c i r c u m s t a n c e s ; the dev ice a l s o r e g i s t e r s h i s e f f o r t s at r a t i o n a l i z a t i on . C f . "I may a s s e r t E t e r n a l P r o v i d e n c e , /And j u s t i f y the ways of God to men," P a r a d i s e L o s t , I. 2 5 - 2 6 ; and "Laugh where we must , be candid where we c a n , /But v i n d i c a t e the ways of God to man," An Essay on Man, I. 1 5 - 1 6 . 24 See below, pp. 9 7 - 9 9 . 25 See a l s o p. I l l below. 2 6 C f . K i n g , p. 181. 27 C f . Drew, p. 3 2 1 . A Freudian i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the poem as em-bodying Browning 's f r u s t r a t e d sexual l i f e i s proposed by Barbara M e l c h i o r i , i n "Browning 's Don J u a n , " Essays i n C r i t i c i s m , 16 (1966) , 4 1 6 - 4 4 0 , r p t . i n Browning's Poet ry of Ret icence~TEdinburgh: O l i v e r and Boyd, 1968) . P h i l i p Drew r e p l i e s to t h i s a r t i c l e , and r e s t o r e s c r i t i c a l s a n i t y , i n "Another View o f F i f i n e a t the F a i r , " E s s a y s i n C r i t i c i s m , 17 (1967) , 244-255. See a l s o W. C. DeVane, A Browning Handbook, 2nd e d i t i o n (New York : A p p l e t o n - C e n t u r y - C r o f t s , 1955T, pp . 3 6 4 - 3 7 0 . 28 See Robert Langbaum, The Poetry of Exper ience (New York: Random House, 1957) , a n d . a l s o Morse Peckham,,"Toward a Theory of Romant ic ism: I I . R e c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , " S tud ies in- Romant ic ism, I (1961) , 1 - 8 . 29 Langbaum, p. 4 7 . 30 P h i l i p Drew i d e n t i f i e s the monument as a dolmen, which was always a s e p u l c h r e ; a l s o , he s a y s , " the c ross [ the ' B a r - s i n i s t e r . ' ] i s not ; a s i g n of C h r i s t i a n worship but something h a t e f u l " (Drew, p. 3 1 5 ) . 31 / S e e , e . g . , 1 J o h n , 4 : 1 9 : "We love h i m , because he f i r s t loved u s . " 3 2 D r e w , p. 320. 3 3 K i n g , . p . 186. 34 . J \ i n g , pp.. 186 -187 . 35 See, e . g . , O r r , p. 1 6 1 ; E. Berdoe , The Browning Cyc lopaed ia , (London: A l l e n , 1897) , p. 173 ; H. W i l s o n , A Pr imer on Browning (London: M a c m i l l a n , . 1 8 9 1 ) , p. 176; W. Raymond, The I n f i n i t e Moment, 2nd e d i t i o n ( U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto P r e s s , 1965) , pp . 125-127 (Raymond reads the Ep i loque a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l l y ) ; Drew, p. 317 . See . W i l l i a m W h i t l a , The C e n t r a l Truth (Toronto : U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto P r e s s , 1 9 6 3 ) , p. 143. Dowden uses the l i n e to r e f u t e Mrs O r r ' s o p i n i o n t h a t the poem was a "p iece of p e r p l e x i n g c y n i c i s m " (Dowden, p. 3 0 3 ; O r r , L i f e and L e t t e r s of Robert Browning [London: Murray , ,1908] , p. 282. 3 7 K e n d a l l , p. 18. 3 8 R y a l s , p. 217. 3 9 K i n g , p. 188. 40 W. David Shaw, , "Browning 's Duke as T h e a t r i c a l P r o d u c e r , " V i c t o r i a n N e w s l e t t e r , No. 29 (Spr ing 1 9 6 6 ) , 1 8 - 2 2 . 4 1 S h a w , , p . 2 2 . 42 See, e . g . , . P e c k h a m , , p . 117. 4 3 S h a w , p. 2 1 . 44 i Goethe, F a u s t : P a r t Two, V . v i , t r a n s . P h i l i p Wayne (Pengu in , 1959) , p. 269. Roma King o f f e r s o ther reasons f o r comparing Faust (pp. 183, 185) . 45 Raymond, p. I l l ; D u f f i n , p. 249. 46 Northrop F r y e , A Study of E n g l i s h Romanticism (New York: Random House, 1968) , p. 4 7 . 47 F. C. Kemper, " I rony and Browning's F i f i n e a t the F a i r , " D i s s . , Pennsy l van ia 1962, p. 1 1 . Miss Kemper-bases her d e f i n i t i o n on the p h i l -osoph ica l a t t i t u d e s which u n d e r l i e i r o n y and s a t i r e ; i n t h i s , she f o l l o w s Andrew H. Wright i n Jane A u s t e n ' s Novels (New York: Chatto and Windus, 1953) . Her f a i l u r e to make a", d i s t i n c t i o n between persona and author i s , however, a f l a w i n her argument. 48 Recent l i t e r a r y s c h o l a r s h i p , no tab ly t h a t of Morse Peckham and Robert Langbaum, has p o i n t e d o u t , of c o u r s e , t h a t many concepts inherent i n t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y l i t e r a t u r e are e s s e n t i a l l y a c o n t i n u a t i o n of those which u n d e r l i e most romantic a r t . 49 Ra iner Mar ia R i l k e , "The Seventh E l e g y , Duino E l e g i e s , t r a n s . J . B. Leishman and Stephen Spender (1939; r p t . New York: N o r t o n , 1963) , p. 6 1 . See a l s o "The N inth E l e g y . " 50 Wal lace S t e v e n s , " A d a g i a , " i n Opus Posthumous, e d . S . F. Morse (London: Faber and Faber , 1959) , p. 163. 51 Drew, p. 198. Drew develops a comprehensive d i s c u s s i o n of . Browning's r e l i g i o u s poems i n Chapter N i n e . 52 Browning , as i s now w e l l known, s a i d the poem was " the most metaphys ica l and b o l d e s t he had w r i t t e n s i n c e S O r d e l l o " ; recorded i n The  P i a r y o f • A l f r e d D o m e t t , : 1 8 7 2 - 1 8 8 5 , e d . E. A . Horsman (London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 5 3 ) , p. 52 . See Langbaum, Chapter One. 5 4 I s o b e l Armstrong , "The Brownings , " i n The V i c t o r i a n s , ed A r t h u r P o l l a r d (London: Sphere Books, 1970) , p. 307. 5 5 S u s a n n e K. Langer , F e e l i n g and Form (New York : S c r i b n e r ' 1953) , p. 220. 5 6 L a n g e r , p. 220. CHAPTER THREE RED COTTON NIGHT-CAP COUNTRY, OR TURF AND TOWERS: FLAWED PERCEPTION AND THE ART OF SELF-PRESERVATION P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau and F i f i n e a t the F a i r each f e a t u r e s a persona who c o n t r o l s h i s wor ld by m a n i p u l a t i n g i t . The P r i n c e ' s s k i l l e d h a n d l i n g of p o i n t of view and Juan 's ass iduous e x e r c i s e of a r t i -f i c e assures each of them a high degree of s u c c e s s . By c o n t r a s t , Leonce M i r a n d a , the p r o t a g o n i s t i n Red Cotton N ight -Cap Count ry , i s a s l a v e of c i rcumstances r a t h e r than t h e i r m a s t e r ; r a t h e r than the p l a y e r , he i s the played upon. L i k e both the P r i n c e and J u a n , he i s tormented by inner c o n f l i c t , but he cannot r e s o l v e the antagonism, because he l a c k s the i n t e l l e c t u a l a c u i t y to d i s c r i m i n a t e p r o p e r l y between i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y . Unable to handle paradox , he dest roys h i m s e l f through an i n e p t a t t e m p t ; t o prove h i s w o r t h , through the inadequate e f f o r t o f , h i s fancy to merge the r e a l i t y of i l l u s i o n w i th the r e a l i t y of p h y s i c a l f a c t . Red Cotton N ight -Cap Country has r e c e i v e d some of the most severe c r i t i c i s m d i r e c t e d a t Browning's poems, main ly because of the sord idness and u g l i n e s s i n the s t o r y J W i l l i a m DeVane a l s o blames the r a p i d composi -t i o n of the p o e m — i t was w r i t t e n i n two m o n t h s — f o r i t s l a c k of p u b l i c s u c c e s s , but Browning had w r i t t e n q u i c k l y before and the c r u c i a l p o i n t i s almost c e r t a i n l y the grotesque s u b j e c t - m a t t e r — a p o i n t wel l -made by an exasperated C a r l y l e : "nobody out of Bedlam ever before thought of choos-2 ing such a theme." Browning h i m s e l f was o b v i o u s l y e x c i t e d by h i s s u b j e c t , a l though he was a l s o w o r r i e d , i t seems, .about h i s a b i l i t y to deal w i t h i t p r o p e r l y : "I have got such a s u b j e c t f o r a poem, i f I c a n . 3 o n l y d o j u s t i c e to i t . " Eschewing the dramat ic monologue f o r m , he employs a n a r r a t o r engaged i n c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h a f r i e n d , m a i n t a i n i n g i n the process an omnisc ience and a d i s t a n c e from the events which by p revent ing an o v e r l y sympathet ic involvement with , the c h a r a c t e r s prevent any s imple s e n s a t i o n a l i s m . DeVane says "the poem loses i n i n t e n s i t y be -4 cause i t i s n a r r a t i v e i n s t e a d of dramat ic monologue," but the n a r r a t i v e , i f somewhat r a m b l i n g , encompasses passages which are both d i f f u s e and i n t e n s e , and the poem f i n a l l y coa lesces i n t o an e x t r a o r d i n a r y u n i t y of o p p o s i t e s , e f f e c t i n g what A r t h u r Symons c a l l e d " the impress iveness of 5 c o n t r a s t . " The c o n v e r s a t i o n a l tone and r e l a x e d in t imacy w i t h h i s l i s t e n e r , which are e s t a b l i s h e d i m m e d i a t e l y - - " A n d s o , here h a p p i l y we meet, f a i r f r i e n d ! " ( l ) - - e n a b l e the poet to induce a m o o d o f q u i e t c r e d i b i l i t y . The casua lness of the o c c a s i o n a l lows him to e x e r c i s e h i s mind i n a p l a y -f u l and spontaneous contemplat ion of the c o u n t r y s i d e around h i m - - i t s appearance, i t s apparent calm and p u r i t y , and the decept iveness of t h a t appearance. S ince the poem depends e n t i r e l y on the c o n t r o l o f i t s n a r r a t o r , , i t i s important to n o t i c e h i s mix ture of mental a n a l y s i s and p o e t i c e v o c a t i o n . He enjoys the "growth unsheaved /Of emerald l u z e r n burs t ing , i n t o b l u e " ( 2 4 - 2 5 ) ; ' h e r e a d i l y acknowledges the l e g i t i m a c y of h i s companion's symbol ic t i t l e f o r the p l a c e , ' "Wh i te Cotton N i g h t - c a p  C o u n t r y , [ " f o r people do wear "This badge of soul and body i n repose" ( 1 4 9 ) . But he a l s o makes d i s t i n c t i o n s ; he i s , f o r example, u n s a t i s f i e d w i t h the statement t h a t a f i d d l e means " J u s t a f i d d l e " ( 2 4 8 ) , . .p lay ing upon the exc lamatory sense of " f i d d l e " as t r i v i a l f r i v o l i t y and " f i d d l e " as i n s t r u m e n t . The l i t e r a l e y e , which a p p r e c i a t e s the s u r f a c e q u a l i t i e s , the "sweet r u s t i c i t i e s " of the land around i t , From s t a l w a r t s t r i d e r by the waggon -s ide , B r i g h t e n i n g the. acre w i t h h i s purp le b l o u s e , To those d a r k - f e a t u r e d comely women- fo lk , Heal thy and t a l l j at work, and work i n d e e d , On every cot tage d o o r - s t e p , p l y i n g b r i s k Bobbins t h a t bob you l a d i e s out such l a c e ! (115-120) i s augmented by the mental e y e , which perce ives d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of e x i s t e n c e or r e a l i t y . . An atmosphere may be mis lead ing . , and meaning i s something more d i s t i n c t i v e ; the n a r r a t o r , t h e r e f o r e , "Proceeds . . . to recognize / D i s t i n c t i o n s " ( 2 4 6 - 2 4 7 ) . Th is combinat ion of q u a l i t a t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n and mental p e n e t r a t i o n marks the p o e t ' s technique throughout , and enables him to u n i t e the s u r f a c e r e a l i s m o f • s o c i a l c i rcumstances w i th the hidden r e a l i s m of p s y c h o l o g i c a l r e s o u r c e s . The r e s u l t i s t y p i -c a l l y Browningesque; the method d i f f e r s from h i s general pattern . - . Browning's broad purpose i n the poem i s c l e a r . He t e l l s M i randa 's s t o r y i n order to i l l u s t r a t e man's i n a b i l i t y to d i s t i n g u i s h f a l s e appear -ances, from i n n e r t r u t h , h i s adherence to e x t e r n a l s i g n s , whether they be emblems of b e l i e f or i n d i c a t i o n s of s o c i a l c o n v e n t i o n . Roma King says Browning "seems u n c e r t a i n of h i s i n t e n t i o n s , " tha t he does not develop " i n t o a s i n g l e , u n i f y i n g theme" h i s separate i n t e r e s t s i n "the grotesque i r o n y of the s u b j e c t , " and i n " the s u p e r s t i t i o u s nature of a r e l i g i o n 6 which i n the name of s a i n t s dest roys human b e i n g s . " These i n t e r e s t s are u n i t e d , however through the theme of d e c e p t i o n , which i n the poem i s predominant ly a matter of - images ' . M i randa 's abnormal i t y l i e s i n h i s d i v i d e d p e r s o n a l i t y which does not a l l o w him to d i s t i n g u i s h the i l l u s o r y from the r e a l , w i t h the added c o m p l i c a t i o n of h i s C a t h o l i c f a i t h which , emphasizes the importance of images and t h e i r w o r s h i p . For someone who has been taught the power of r e l i g i o u s symbol , the l i t e r a l a p p l i c a t i o n of b e l i e f becomes a s t rong i m p u l s e ; f o r a man of M i r a n d a ' s weak i n t e l l e c t , the impulse becomes i r r e s i s t i b l e . As a l w a y s , Browning i s f a s c i n a t e d by the processes through which man deceives h i m s e l f or o t h e r s , and he i s s e v e r e l y c r i t i c a l of i n s t i t u t i o n s which e x p l o i t those p r o c e s s e s . Whi le Browning s t i l l demonstrates h i s usual i n t e r e s t i n i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r , ^ h i s use of an omnisc ient n a r r a t o r who i n t e r p r e t s e v e n t s , i n -s tead of h i s usual dependence on the p r o t a g o n i s t ' s l i m i t e d p o i n t of v i e w , enables him to range w ider i n theme and s o c i a l i m p l i c a t i o n s than i n many monologues. The poem's p e r s p e c t i v e e s t a b l i s h e s a broader i n t e r e s t than t h a t - s u p p l i e d by one man's s p i r i t u a l di lemma. The poem, through humour, and a s u s t a i n e d i r o n y , takes on many of the a t t r i b u t e s o f s o c i a l s a t i r e , and Browning c l e a r l y in tends the s t o r y to have u n i v e r s a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . The n a r r a t o r a n d , h i s f r i e n d meet on an "unpretending beach" ( 1 7 ) , w h i c h , d e s p i t e i t s humble c i r c u m s t a n c e s , i s a " razo r -edge ' t w i x t e a r t h and sea" where the poet stands "a t such a d i s t a n c e from the wor ld /That ' t i s the whole wor ld which obta ins regard" ( 1 8 1 - 1 8 3 ) . One s p o t , he s a y s , prov ides any man who has a sou l " to see and use" w i t h n o t i c e t h a t "through the p lace he sees,,/A p lace i s s i g n i f i e d he never saw" ( 6 2 - 6 3 ) . He acknow-ledges the i n a u s p i c i o u s s o c i a l f a r e o f f e r e d by the l o c a l v i l l a g e , but neve r the less p e r c e i v e s a " f o r m i d a b l e " f a c t : " L i t t l e Sa in t -Ramber t touches the g reat sea" ( 9 5 ) , the " n a t u r a l b l u e " which "Broods o ' e r a bay of s e c r e t s , a l l unbroached" ( 9 0 - 9 1 ) . Browning, of c o u r s e , i s defending h i s s e l e c t i o n of an o r d i n a r y , apparent l y d u l l and q u i t e u n i n t e r e s t i n g area f o r h i s s e t t i n g and s u b j e c t -m a t t e r , and t h i s defence he admi ts : . . . t h i s i s a p r e t e n c e , you unders tand , Disparagement i n p l a y , to par ry t h r u s t Of p o s s i b l e o b j e c t o r : n u l l i t y And u g l i n e s s , the taunt be h i s , not mine Nor y o u r s , - - I t h i n k we know the wor ld too w e l l ! (99-103) These l i n e s supply a good i n d i c a t i o n of Browning's technique and e f f e c t , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n part . one. (The poem, i s d i v i d e d i n t o four p a r t s . ) The good-humoured tone i s p l e a s a n t l y i n g r a t i a t i n g , e s t a b l i s h i n g an in t imacy and openness w i th h i s l i s t e n e r . By assuming, w i t h h e r , and by i m p l i c a -t i o n w i t h h i s r e a d e r , t h a t they "know the wor ld too w e l l " to accuse the p lace of " n u l l i t y and u g l i n e s s , " he attempts to f o r e s t a l l the r e a d e r ' s o b j e c t i o n s to h i s s u b j e c t - : I t might be ob jected t h a t t h i s statement i s too obvious a p loy and t h a t the " t h r u s t " would be p a r r i e d w i thout a d v e r t i s i n g the f a c t . : But the c o n f e s s i o n of pretence i s not as b l a t a n t l y obvious as. i t may appear . Browning's c l a i m t h a t h i s disparagement was p l a y , and t h e r e f o r e not to be taken s e r i o u s l y , cou ld a l s o a p p l y - t o h i s " t r u t h " about the sea (89) or to the p o s s i b i l i t y of l i g h t i n " E a r t h ' s u g l i e s t . . . imprisonment" ( 6 5 ) ; y e t presumably he wishes h i s reader to c o n s i d e r these not ions more e a r n e s t l y . His. pose of p l a y f u l n e s s , t h e r e -f o r e , ; r e n d e r s a l l statements doubt fu l and p o s i t s an i r o n y which r e q u i r e s c a r e f u l a t t e n t i o n . : At t h i s s t a g e , doubt about what i s or i s not meant s e r i o u s l y i s h i g h l y a p p r o p r i a t e f o r Browning's purpose , s i n c e i t urges the reader to suspend h i s judgement of t r u t h and e v e n t i n case the "poet catches him o u t . The reader i s i n a sense being warned not to take any-t h i n g a t s u r f a c e v a l u e , and t h i s warning i s an important p r e p a r a t i o n f o r the n a r r a t i v e which f o l l o w s . Browning c l e a r l y p lays a game w i t h h i s companion (and reader) i n a r t f u l l y agree ing to the nature and q u a l i t y of appearances , w h i l e s t i l l m a i n t a i n i n g t h a t such b land g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s are inadequate . He ranges broad ly over the county before him and over the a f f a i r s of men as they are there r e p r e s e n t e d , and then g r a d u a l l y focuses on s m a l l e r a r e a s , ending w i th M i r a n d a ' s . c o u n t r y e s t a t e . Th is process of an, i n c r e a s i n g l y narrowed focus cont inues throughout the poem, u n t i l i n par t f o u r he e l a b o r a t e s Mi randa 's i n n e r thoughts . C a r e f u l l y c o n t r o l l i n g h i s s t o r y th roughout , he suspends h i s r e v e l a t o r y p o i n t s , i n t r o d u c i n g each w i t h dramat ic i m p a c t , and leads s k i l f u l l y to h i s c l i m a x , M i randa 's i r o n i c a l l y t r iumphant leap from h i s tower . In t h i s poem, the n a r r a t o r openly c o n t r o l s the a r t i f i c e of i t s p r e s e n t a t i o n : consc ious of h i s r o l e as a r t i f i c e r ( 7 2 5 ) , he both w i thho lds i n f o r m a t i o n (873) and manipulates the symbols through which he u n i f i e s the whole work (1144-1147) . The p l a y f u l n e s s i s most f u l l y , e x p l o i t e d i n the f i r s t . s e c t i o n , , where Browning d e l i g h t s i n h i s e x e r c i s e of p e r c e p t i o n and s p e c u l a t i o n , , i n p re tend ing to be l o s i n g h i s argument w h i l e always secure i n the know-ledge t h a t he cou ld win i t a t w i l l . His p l e a f o r g e n e r o s i t y on the p a r t of h i s opponent i s a t y p i c a l l y neat p iece of i r o n i c t e a s i n g : , You must be generous, s t r a i n p o i n t , a n d . c a l l V i c t o r y , any the l e a s t f l u s h of p ink Made p r i z e ' o f , ; . l a b e l l e d s c a r l e t f o r the n o n c e -F a i n t e s t p r e t e n s i o n to be wrong and red And p i c t u r e s q u e , t h a t v a r i e s by a s p l o t c h The r igh teous f l a t of i n s i p i d i t y . (393-398) The element of p lay a l lows the i n t r u s i o n of s l a n g — w h a t Roma King d i s a p -9 p r o v i n g l y r e f e r s to as "a c a r e l e s s c o l l o q u i a l n e s s " - - w i t h o u t undue d i s -r u p t i o n of the tone and e f f e c t . I t a l s o a l lows a s u b t l e undermining .of e s t a b l i s h e d v a l u e s , which i s p a r t of the poem's s a t i r i c i n t e n t i o n . For example, i n the passage j u s t quoted , what was w h i t e , or pure and s e r e n e , has become r ighteous and i n s i p i d . The l i g h t l y comic e f f e c t of s p l o t c h keeps t h i s changed q u a l i t y from being taken too s e r i o u s l y , and the h i n t of c r i t i c i s m i s a r h e t o r i c a l dev ice r a t h e r than a s e r i o u s i m p l i c a t i o n , though i t i s n e v e r t h e l e s s p r e s e n t . The l i g h t h e a r t e d s u r f a c e of the language should n o t , as sugges ted , be taken f o r g r a n t e d . L u r k i n g beneath apparent l y unmethodical r e f e r -ences are symbols , themes and ideas which are c o n s t a n t l y and unobt ru -s i v e l y i n t r o d u c e d , u n t i l , a t the end of p a r t one; a l l important elements i n the poem.which are to be developed are prepared f o r , except the t u r f and towers emblem, which opens s e c t i o n two. The Miranda name, f o r example, i s c a s u a l l y mentioned almost immed ia te l y , as the n a r r a t o r h a i l s h i s f r i e n d , reminding her of the p laces where they met p r e v i o u s l y ( 1 1 ) . The church of La Rav issante i s in t roduced e q u a l l y c a s u a l l y as p a r t of the landscape , though i t i s more e m p h a t i c a l l y noted ("There now i s something l i k e a N i g h t - c a p s p i r e , /Donned by no o r d i n a r y Not re -Dame!" ; 433-434) i n order to i n c l u d e i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e as one of the three cent res of m i r a c u l o u s , c u r e s i n France (wi th Lourdes and.La S a l e t t e ; 4 3 8 ) . ^ The account of the "two g reat r e a l go ld crowns" ( 4 6 0 ) , supposedly donated by the Pope, but p a i d f o r by the " f a i t h f u l of our p r o v i n c e " ( 4 6 9 ) , i n t r o -duces the c e n t r a l r o l e p layed by the church i n l o c a l l i f e , w i th i t s emphasis on a s p l e n d i d show arid on the i l l u s o r y and f a r from " s p o n t a n - , eous bounty of the Pope" ( 4 8 1 ) . Even the apparent l y i r r e l e v a n t p a r a -graph about the m o c k - m i r a c l e , which t r a n s p o r t e d a " s c e p t i c a l " Browning to Mi randa 's c o u n t r y - s e a t ( 5 3 1 - 5 4 7 ) , a n t i c i p a t e s Mi randa 's more s e r i o u s and t r a g i c attempt a t the m i r a c l e of f l i g h t . And there i s C l a r a ' s (Mi randa 's m i s t r e s s ) b lank f a c e , which Browning supposes "might f l a s h s i g n i f i c a n c e /To who had seen... h i s soul r e f l e c t e d t h e r e " ( 8 7 7 - 8 7 8 ) . The a b i l i t y o f her " w a x - l i k e f e a t u r e s " (851) to correspond w i th whoever looks at them, and so revea l h i s importance to h i m s e l f , a n t i c i p a t e s the s u b t l e t y of C l a r a ' s technique f o r s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n , and the complex m a s t e r - s l a v e r e l a t i o n s h i p between her and Mi randa . For the moment, Browning s imply p o i n t s out t h a t t o have one's importance r e f l e c t e d by another i s a more d e l i c a t e . " s o l a c e to c o n c e i t " than to be cha l lenged by some independent companion ( 8 6 5 - 8 7 0 ) ; t h i s i s because the s o u l ' s r e f l e c -t i o n i s e a s i e r to govern- -"Why should your . s o u l ' s r e f l e c t i o n r u l e . y o u r s o u l " (871)- - .and because mastery over t h e r e f l e c t i o n , mani fes ted i n someone e l s e , g i ves the i l l u s i o n of mastery over another . One of the two dominat ing se ts of symbols i n the poem, the red and whi te n i g h t - c a p , i s a l s o p l a i n l y d i s c u s s e d i n p a r t one . . As P h i l i p Drew n o t e s , " w h i t e , not s u r p r i s i n g l y , stands f o r innocence and s e r e n i t y , red f o r g u i l t and s i n . " ^ But these symbols are more complex than t h i s d e f i n i t i o n sugges ts : the w h i t e - r e d o p p o s i t i o n a l s o becomes a h e a v e n - h e l l o p p o s i t i o n ( 5 5 6 - 5 5 8 ) , . o r whi te can become f a l s e l y r ighteous or i n s i p i d , and red p i c t u r e s q u e ( 3 9 6 - 3 9 8 ) . Most important are the a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h r e d . Browning's example o f . a red n i g h t - c a p i s t h a t g iven to Lou is XVI when he was conf ronted by the r e v o l u t i o n a r y mob i n 1792; t h i s c a p , Brown-ing s a y s , i s "The Phryg ian symbo l , the new crown o f t h o r n s , /The Cap o f Freedom" ( 3 1 3 - 3 1 4 ) , and the red cap thus takes on a s s o c i a t i o n s of emascu-l a t i o n , martyrdom and freedom. I t i s not c e r t a i n what the "Phryg ian symbol." i m p l i e s e x a c t l y . A Phryg ian cap i s u s u a l l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h l i b e r t y , which i s probably Browning's in tended meaning, s i n c e he almost c e r t a i n l y got the n i g h t - c a p image from C a r l y l e ' s The French R e v o l u t i o n , where the phrase "Phryg ian 12 C a p - o f - L i b e r t y " . appears . However, he does say "Phryg ian s y m b o l , " not s p e c i f i c a l l y a Phrygian, c a p , and there are o ther a s s o c i a t i o n s which are a l s o a p p r o p r i a t e to the poem. The p r i e s t s o f C y b e l e , whose c u l t was c e n -t r e d i n P h r y g i a , were eunuchs i n i m i t a t i o n of A t t i s , who, i n one v e r s i o n o f the l e g e n d , c a s t r a t e d h i m s e l f a f t e r be ing d r i ven mad by Cybele when she was j e a l o u s of h i s d e s i r e to marry another . In the poem, Mi randa 's burning of h i s hands i s a s s u r e d l y a symbol ic c a s t r a t i o n , made e x p l i c i t by h i s announcement t h a t he a n d . C l a r a have, "changed" and t h a t she i s to 13 be h i s b ro ther ( 2 7 5 5 - 2 7 5 6 ) . , He m u t i l a t e s h i s hands out o f -the remorse and e x c e s s i v e g u i l t which a r i s e i n him a f t e r h i s mother 's d e a t h , so t h a t i n e f f e c t h i s madness i s caused , i f i n d i r e c t l y , by h i s j e a l o u s mother. The p a r a l l e l w i t h the A t t i s legend i s even c l o s e r when i t i s noted t h a t C y b e l e , as a goddess of n a t u r e , i s the Phryg ian Mother o f the Gods . . Worship of Cybele was adopted by the Romans i n 204 B . C . , and there i s a s t a t u e of A t t i s i n the Lateran Museum at Rome which d e p i c t s him w i th a 14 Phrygian cap . There i s no evidence t h a t Browning ever saw t h i s s t a t u e , but i t s cap does add another l i n k between the Phryg ian symbol and A t t i s . One meaning, t h e n , of the phrase cou ld -be e m a s c u l a t i o n , which i s appro,-p r i a t e to the red .cap t h a t Miranda f i n a l l y presents (3600) . An a s s o c i a t i o n of Phryg ian w i t h A t t i s , whose supposed death and r e s u r r e c t i o n a n t i c i p a t e d C h r i s t , i s a l s o a p p r o p r i a t e to the "new crown of t h o r n s , " which o b v i o u s l y r e f e r s to C h r i s t . In i t s immediate c o n t e x t , . the phrase makes the death of Louis XVI a parody of C h r i s t ' s martyrdom, a parody rendered grotesque by h i s " f e e b l e m i r t h , " by h i s " e j a c u l a t i o n , . ground so hard /Between h i s t e e t h , t h a t only God cou ld h e a r , " and by h i s " l i v e r - w o r r i e d s t a r e " ( 3 1 4 - 3 2 0 ) . M i r a n d a ' s unintended martyrdom, f o r the cause o f h i s f a i t h i n La R a v i s s a n t e , becomes an even more grotesque parody of C h r i s t , w i t h the p a r a l l e l a l s o apparent i n M i randa 's scene on the tower , w h i c h , as Roma King o b s e r v e s , i s a t r a v e s t y of C h r i s t ' s second 15 t e m p t a t i o n . Miranda acts i n an oppos i te manner to C h r i s t , and h i s martyrdom or "crown of t h o r n s " i s d r a m a t i c a l l y i r o n i c ; Miranda acts i n th,e i l l u s o r y e x p e c t a t i o n of t r i u m p h . F i n a l l y , the cap as a symbol of f reedom, a l ready i r o n i c i n the context of Louis and the French r e v o l u t i o n , i s e q u a l l y i r o n i c when a p p l i e d to M i r a n d a . His f reedom, l i k e h i s f a i t h , i s i l l u s o r y and s e l f - d e c e i v e d . Browning, t h e n , i n one gesture fuses s e n s a t i o n a l e v e n t , c h a r a c t e r and r e l i g i o n i n t o the one grotesque and i r o n i c symbol of the red cot ton n i g h t -cap . When Miranda l i e s dead on the t u r f (which u n i t e s the poem's o ther dominant metaphor, t u r f and t o w e r s ) , and i t i s apparent tha t h i s own b lood forms h i s red cap (3600) , the symbol i s c l i m a x e d . i n one macabre s t r o k e of. h o r r i f i e d r e c o g n i t i o n : - a t t h a t moment, "The Phryg ian symbo l , the new crown of t h o r n s , /The Cap of Freedom," a l l belong to the wretched Mi randa . The w i d e - r a n g i n g a s s o c i a t i o n s of the symbol and t h e i r a p p l i c a -t i o n to one s p e c i f i c i n s t a n c e a l s o ev ince Browning's combined i n t e r e s t i n g e n e r a l i z a t i o n a n d . i n d i v i d u a l example. P a r t two opens w i th an extended passage about r u i n s , from which the c o n t r a s t e d metaphors of t u r f and towers emerge. The r u i n s a f f o r d Browning another v e h i c l e f o r suggest ing both the i n d i v i d u a l i m p l i c a t i o n s and the u n i v e r s a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of h i s s t o r y . . He presents some f a l l e n a r c h i t e c t u r e — a mixture of choking o b s t r u c t i o n and p i c tu resque a t t r a c -t i v e n e s s - " - f o r c o n t e m p l a t i o n , and poses the q u e s t i o n of whether to reno -vate the b u i l d i n g or to l e t i t decay n a t u r a l l y i n the course of t i m e . His proposed answer observes the d a n g e r ! i n admir ing too r e a d i l y what i s merely p i c t u r e s q u e , s i n c e what appears secure amidst r u i n s i s not neces -s a r i l y s o ; t h e r e f o r e , he proposes to remove "what i s p l a i n o b s t r u c t i o n , " and to "Let p a r t i a l - r u i n s tand w h i l e r u i n may, /And serve w o r l d ' s use" ( 1 0 9 0 - 1 0 9 4 ) , sugges t ing t r a n s f o r m a t i o n r a t h e r than r e u s e . An o l d b e l f r y , f o r example, a l though q u i t e dangerous f o r b e l l s , may be q u i t e s u i t a b l e f o r an astronomer (1095-1100) . The task i s to separate the f i r m from the i n f i r m , l e s t they both be d e s t r o y e d , l e s t the t read Of t o o - m u c h - t r i e d impat ience t rample out S o l i d and u n s u b s t a n t i a l to one blank Mud -mix tu re , p i c t u r e s q u e to n o b o d y , — (1081-1084) a task which i n v o l v e s the d i s t i n c t i o n between what i s r e a l l y sa fe and what only seems s a f e . When Browning a p p l i e s the image to Mi randa 's p red icament , h i s s t r u g g l e through a wor ld "s t rewn-/With ravage of o p i n i o n s " ( 1 1 0 3 - 1 1 0 4 ) , i t i s c l e a r t h a t the r u i n s encompass man's r e c e i v e d b e l i e f s and i n s t i t u -t i o n s . Because they are i n a s t a t e of d i s r e p a i r , they r e q u i r e c a r e f u l n a v i g a t i o n , a n d . t h a t n a v i g a t i o n r e q u i r e s a p e r c e p t i o n which Miranda l a c k s : . . . n e i t h e r h e , nor any f r i e n d l y w i t , Knew and cou ld teach him which was f i r m , which f r a i l , In h i s adventure to walk s t r a i g h t through l i f e The p a r t i a l - r u i n , - - i n such e n t e r p r i s e , He s t r a g g l e d i n t o r u b b i s h , s t r u g g l e d o n , And stumbled out again o b s e r v a b l y . (1105-1110) As a r e s u l t , h i s judgment i s almost i n v a r i a b l y f a l s e : "Yon b u t t r e s s s t i l l can back me u p , " he judged: And a t a touch down came both he and i t . (1111-1112) The problem of renovat ion prepares the way f o r M i r a n d a ' s attempt to r e -novate or r e a f f i r m f a i t h i n m i r a c l e s and f o r C l a r a 1 s a t tempt , t w i c e , to renovate or r e h a b i l i t a t e M i r a n d a ; Both e f f o r t s , Browning shows, are based on s e l f i s h and erroneous p e r c e p t i o n . The n a r r a t o r a l s o r a i s e s a t t h i s p o i n t some a s s o c i a t e d moral i s s u e s , as he asks about the adv ice h i s l i s t e n e r would g i ve a . " c l i m b e r " among r u i n s . Should the c l i m b e r f a l l , "Head-break to him w i l l be h e a r t -break" to whoever advocated n o n - i n t e r f e r e n c e w i t h the r u i n s , perhaps be -cause they o f f e r m a t e r i a l f o r a r t i s t s : ' " l e t p o e t s , p a i n t e r s keep a p r i z e ! / B e s i d e , a sage p e d e s t r i a n p i c k s h i s w a y 1 " - ( 1 1 3 1 - 1 1 3 2 ) . A l l may . be w e l l , the n a r r a t o r s a y s , i f the p e d e s t r i a n i s , as s t a t e d , s a g e , but "What i f there t r i p , i n merry c a r e l e s s n e s s , /And come to g r i e f , a weak and f o o l i s h c h i l d ? " (1134-1135) . Browning i s concerned about the dangers prov ided by decaying i d e o l o g i e s and b e l i e f s which are permi t ted to remain untouched, a decept i ve mixture of the v a l u a b l e and the r o t t e n . He i s a l s o concerned about the m o r a l i t y of a l l o w i n g such a s i t u a t i o n to c o n -t i n u e . Even a wise and p e r c e p t i v e adventurer among the "ravage of o p i n i o n s " must t r e a d w a r i l y and w i t h f r u s t r a t i n g slowness ( 1 1 3 7 - 1 1 4 2 ) ; t h e r e f o r e , f o r " b r i s k y o u t h , " the at tempt , "To f o o t i t f a s t and easy" i s almost i n e v i t a b l y t r a g i c , a l though Browning, f o r dramat ic purposes , does not mention as y e t any t ragedy . He does , however, make e x p l i c i t h i s symbol ic use o f t u r f and towers : Keep t h i s same Not ion of o u t s i d e mound and i n s i d e mash, Towers y e t i n t a c t round tu r f y , r o t t e n n e s s , Symbol ic p a r t i a l - r a v a g e , - - k e e p i n m i n d ! . (1144-1147) P h i l i p Drew e x p l a i n s the symbols i n t h i s way: "The towers , the w a l l , the r o c k , the s t o n e , o r the r idge are a symbol f o r f a i t h o r moral l i v i n g . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , they are normal ly spoken of as being i n ru inous d i s r e p a i r . The t u r f , or g r a s s , or f l owers are a symbol f o r y o u t h f u l d a l l i a n c e and 1 c s e l f - i n d u l g e n c e . " There i s no need to q u a l i f y t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , except to note tha t the image presented here by Browning d e s c r i b e s the s o l i d tower as h i d i n g the inward r o t t e n n e s s . Th is o b s c u r a t i o n i s i n accord w i t h the themat ic i n t e r e s t i n decept i ve appearances - -an outwardly s t rong f a i t h may surround an i n n e r doubt , or worse , a f a l s e b e l i e f — . a n d i t p rov ides f o r towers and t u r f a common element ( d e c e i v i n g s u r f a c e s ) w i t h the red and whi te s e t of metaphors. In the remainder o f , p a r t two, Browning f o l l o w s M i r a n d a ' s s t o r y from h i s b i r t h u n t i l h i s f i v e p a r a d i s a l years at C l a i r v a u x w i th C l a r a , and the s e c t i o n prepares the way f o r M i randa 's e x c e s s i v e behaviour l a t e r on . His t r o u b l e d p e r s o n a l i t y , Browning s u g g e s t s , i s the combined r e -s u l t of i n h e r i t a n c e and e a r l y t r a i n i n g . His d i v i d e d mind i s c o n g e n i t a l , the r e s u l t of a union between p a s s i o n a t e , C a s t i l i a n blood and a c o l d , F r e n c h , c r i t i c a l s p i r i t (1151 -1154) ; and "From i n f a n c y to boyhood" h i s f r i e n d s "bulwarked him about" w i t h f a i t h (1169-1170) . The legends a t tached to the church o f La R a v i s s a n t e , f o r example, were "sucked i n a long w i t h m o t h e r ' s - m i l k " and absorbed by him as f a c t s (1217) . Chal lenged by the "undisputed f a i t h " which b lood e s t a b l i s h e s ( 1 1 6 1 - 1 1 6 2 ) , the c r i t i c a l s p i r i t a t t a c k s s u b t l y , through c r e v i c e s , u n t i l i t " f r o n t s the as ton ished man" i n s i d e h i s " f a i t h - d e f e n c e " (1163-1168) . But doubt has l i t t l e e f f e c t s i n c e there i s no knowledge f o r i t to f i g h t , on ly "sheer i g n o r a n c e . " M i r a n d a ' s mind i s a " f e a t h e r - b e d /Of t h o u g h t l e s s n e s s , " an i n t e l l e c t u a l vacuum, and t h e r e f o r e an " o p e r a t i n g t o o l " , w h i c h i s made " to t r a n s p i e r c e the f l i n t - s t o n e " ,is s imply i n e f f e c t u a l , having no substance to d r i l l through (1175-1181) . In the face of t h i s b l i n d b e l i e f , the c r i t i c a l s p i r i t changes i t s t a c t i c s and becomes unquest ion ing acceptance : "Share and share A l i k e i n f a c t s , to t r u t h add o ther t r u t h ! Why w i t h o l d t r u t h needs new t r u t h d isagree?" . (1229-1231) For M i r a n d a , both f a i t h and doubt are matters of the f l e s h , and n e i t h e r the new t r u t h s nor the o l d are adequately supported by reason or know-1 edge .'• As doubt invades Miranda through the f l e s h (1233) , he i s tempted to s a t i s f y f l e s h l y . d e s i r e on the t u r f , before r e v e r t i n g to the stony p l a t f o r m of f a i t h ( 1 2 5 1 - 1 2 5 2 ) ; he i s prompted not to choose between w a l l and t u r f , but to accommodate both (1270-1273) . The attempted compromise then i n v o l v e s a s e r i e s of s e l f - d e c e p t i o n s which inc rease i n s e r i o u s n e s s , and which e v e n t u a l l y cu lminate i n h i s f i n a l monologue. Emerging from h i s f i r s t communion as a candidate f o r " s a i n t s h i p " (1295) , Miranda changes h i s "mask" to become a gentleman of the B o u l e -vard (1328-1330) . As s u c h , he manages a double d e c e p t i o n , h i d i n g h i s s o c i a l behaviour from h i s p a r e n t s , who thought him " t h e i r best of s o n s , /Type of obed ience , d o m e s t i c i t y " (1341-1342) , . and h i d i n g h i s r i c h s t a t u s from h i s m i s t r e s s e s . The n a r r a t o r , w i t h d e l i c a t e i r o n y , says he "Was prudent i n h i s p l e a s u r e , " pass ing h i m s e l f o f f .as " r i c h in 'mere good, looks /Youth , hope" (1408-1411) . Browning a l s o notes how the soul seeks "a show of d u r a b i l i t y , " i n order to h ide i t s s u b j e c t i o n to change , (1368-1370). T h e r e f o r e , i n keeping w i th the a r c h i t e c t u r a l metaphors , a t e n t may r i s e round the t u r f . I t i s "a temporary s h r o u d , / M o c k - f a i t h to s u i t a mimic d w e l l i n g - p l a c e " (1372 -1373) , and i t symbol izes M i r a n d a ' s f l i m s y pretence t h a t he main ta ins a c l e a r e v a l u a t i o n , s u i t a b l e to h i s f a i t h , of h i s be -h a v i o u r . Tur f , , t h e n , i s "acknowledged" to be on ly g r a s s , and grass i s " h e l d contempt ib le /Compared w i t h s o l i d r o c k , the rampired r i d g e " (1379-1380) . The n a r r a t o r ' s wry comment s u i t a b l y i m p l i e s the element of decept ion i n such a pose: To t r u t h a p r e t t y homage thus we pay By t e s t i f y i n g — w h a t we d a l l y w i t h , F a l s e h o o d , (wh ich , never f e a r we take f o r t r u t h ! ) We may e n j o y , . b u t then—how we d e s p i s e ! (1381-1384) Mi randa 's conscious d a l l i a n c e with, sensual amusement conta ins an i n s o l e n t p r i d e which he cannot r e c o g n i z e , but which the n a r r a t o r exposes by i r o n -i c a l l y r e f e r r i n g to h i s understanding of "the worth of woman k i n d " — t h a t they " f u r n i s h man" w i th " s p o r t " (1392)—and by quot ing h i s c rude l y com-p l a c e n t comment about h i s s t r i c t management of h i s a f f a i r s : " ' n e v e r f e a r /My escapades cost more than m a r k e t - p r i c e ! / . . . T rus t me, I know the w o r l d , and know myse l f " (1427-1432) . The tendency to measure m o r a l -i t y i n m a t e r i a l terms which i s ev ident here w i l l become an i n c r e a s i n g l y i n s i s t e n t aspect of h i s mental a t t i t u d e . The n a r r a t o r ' s i r o n y i s constant and p o i n t e d as he desc r ibes Miranda as " f o r t i f i e d and r e a l i s t i c " and " a g a i n s t i l l u s i o n armed" (1434-1435) . The f o r t i f i c a t i o n image i s , of c o u r s e , a p p r o p r i a t e to the system of a r c h i t e c t u r a l metaphors , a l though i t now inc ludes the i m p l i c a -t i o n t h a t the f o r t i f i c a t i o n i s d e c e p t i v e , s i n c e one i r o n i c meaning o f M i randa 's being, armed a g a i n s t i l l u s i o n , i s t h a t he i s armed w i t h i l l u s . i o n , h i s " m o c k - f a i t h . " Indeed, h i s p recar ious s e c u r i t y i s s h o r t - l i v e d , s i n c e almost immediate ly he f a l l s " c a p t i v e " to a young woman, whom he sees at the p layhouse . In one moment, the. " i l l u s i o n - p r o o f " youth i s i l o s t (1452-1453) . H is t o r t u r e d c h a g r i n , as he r e a l i z e s the f o l l y of " a l l t h a t seemed so w i s e " (1458) , and h i s exaggerated r e a c t i o n i n rush ing to o b t a i n the g i r l ' s l o v e , become, i n Browning's hands, a parody of the s o u l ' s drama (1454-1470) . But i f M i r a n d a ' s ex t ravagant a c t i o n i s amus-i n g , i t a l s o a n t i c i p a t e s the more, b i z a r r e extravagance to come. M i r a n d a ' s response i s r e a l and honest enough, i f ungoverned by common s e n s e , but h i s p e r c e p t i o n i s weak; h i s newly attempted "wisdom" i s as much based on s e l f - d e c e p t i o n as h i s prev ious m o c k - f a i t h . He s t i l l mistakes a dandel ion f o r a pr imrose or p o l y a n t h u s , and Browning, h i n t s a t the s i m i l a r i t y w i t h " h i s other i n s t a n c e of m i s t a k e , " which i s y e t to be t o l d : "Was C h r i s t i a n i t y the R a v i s s a n t e ? " (1501) . Miranda has a p r o -p e n s i t y f o r confus ing an emblem wi th the r e a l i t y i t r e p r e s e n t s ; and by imp ly ing the importance of t h i s f law so e a r l y i n /the p i e c e , Browning enables the d i s c e r n i n g reader to f o l l o w i t s development throughout Mi randa 's s t o r y . I t g i ves a c o n s i s t e n c y to Mi randa 's p e r s o n a l i t y and to Browning's c o n s t r u c t i o n of ,the poem. Another i n s t a n c e of M i r a n d a ' s problem wi th images f o l l o w s h i s p r e -l i m i n a r y encounter w i t h C l a r a . He i s d i s t u r b e d . b y the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t h i s love f o r her i s " the v u l g a r s i n , none hates as he" (1616) . And t h i s q u e s t i o n , which he puts to h i s b r o t h e r , i s a l s o i n t e n d e d , says the n a r r a t o r , to reach "Her , the p l a c a b l e , the R a v i s s a n t e " (1622) . The drawback, Browning p o i n t s out* i s tha t the s t a t u e ' s f i x e d s m i l e o f f e r s permanent encouragement ( 1 6 2 3 - 1 6 2 5 ) , regard less of the c i r c u m s t a n c e s . • Some w o r l d l y and t o l e r a n t P o l i c e Commissary, on the o ther hand, would r e -spond w i t h a " t w i n k l i n g apprehens ion" and w i t h knowledge t h a t cou ld have saved t h i s " c h i c k e n threatened w i t h the p i p " ( 1 6 2 9 - 1 6 4 0 ) . , Th is o p p o s i -t i o n between a f i x e d , supposedly d i v i n e , source of approval and a w o r l d l y , profane wisdom, which i s based on human exper ience and which responds to i n d i v i d u a l needs, i s one of the important o p p o s i t i o n s i n the poem,. Browning i s per turbed by the consequences of d i v o r c i n g the two, which any b e l i e f i n the l i t e r a l n e s s of images w i l l c e r t a i n l y promote. Browning even extends the comic element i n M i r a n d a ' s i n a b i l i t y to t r e a t metaphors as metaphors to h i s hand l ing o f h i s sou . l : i n order to determine i t s c o n t e n t s , when C l a r a r e v e a l s the t r u t h about h e r s e l f , he "took h i s sou l /In both h i s hands, as i f i t were a vase" ( 1 7 9 1 - 1 7 9 2 ) . ; He decides t h a t the contents of h i s vase c o n s t i t u t e l o v e . Love f o r , C l a r a , however, w i l l mean renouncing the wor ld* or s o c i a l a p p r o v a l , and Mi randa 's concern w i t h s u r f a c e convent ion might cause him some d i f f i -c u l t y . At t h i s p o i n t , though, events combine to make the task e a s i e r f o r h i m - - a n episode which demonstrates h i s m a l l e a b i l i t y i n the hands of c i r c u m s t a n c e . F i r s t , h i s b r o t h e r , who was h i s " c o n f i d e n t , / A d v i s e r , r e f e r e e and s u b s t i t u t e " ( 1 8 2 7 - 1 8 2 8 ) , d i e s , and s i n c e Miranda i s "meant to lean /By n a t u r e , " h e "needs must s h i f t , the l e a n i n g - p l a c e /To h i s l o v e ' s bosom from h i s . b r o t h e r ' s neck" (1837-1839) . N e x t , h i s f a t h e r d i e s , l e a v i n g him "a f a t s u c c e s s i o n " (1849) . Then C l a r a ' s husband appears , and.so prevents Miranda from c o n t i n u i n g " d i s g u i s e and s u b t e r -f u g e , " . f r o m m a i n t a i n i n g the fa l sehood of C l a r a ' s pretended i d e n t i t y , which would be s o c i a l l y convenient and . "Therefore so pardonable—though so wrong!" (1865-1873) . F i n a l l y , M i r a n d a ' s mother , who, as "a daughter of the C h u r c h , " and as the "one most thoroughly be loved" by Miranda be -f o r e C l a r a , i s a s e r i o u s o b s t a c l e to h i s l i f e w i t h C l a r a , acquiesces (1937-1945) . These c i rcumstances combine to b i d Miranda entrench h i m s e l f even f u r t h e r on the t u r f , and thereby t o . r e g a r d h i s " t e n t " as a more permanent a f f a i r than before (1963-1972) . What was i n i t i a l l y a temporary s t r u c t u r e , a "mimic d w e l l i n g - p l a c e " (1373) , now c la ims a s t a b i l i t y l i k e t h a t of the towers , so t h a t i t becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y d i f f i c u l t to l i e f l a t (1974) . The concern w i t h l i t e r a l appearances , t h i s t ime w i t h the i l l u s i o n of permanency ( 2 0 0 5 - 2 0 0 6 ) , i s a l s o behind Miranda and C l a r a ' s renovat ion of C l a i r v a u x , the " r e l i c h a l f , and r u i n whole" (1981) , i n o rder to "change i t i n t o P a r a d i s e ! " (2010) . Those w i th i n d i v i d u a l i t y , the n a r r a t o r comments, p r e f e r to be reminded o c c a s i o n a l l y t h a t the b u i l d i n g s which they e r e c t f o r themselves are a form of d e c e p t i o n , t h a t they seek an i l l u s o r y permanence, before a c q u i r i n g t rue permanence " i n t h a t f a r land we dream about" (2015-2022) . But Miranda and C l a r a , d e s p i t e s u p e r f i c i a l d i f f e r e n c e s , wear "the f l o c k ' s un i fo rm" (2033) . They belong to the mass o f people and t h e r e f o r e f o l l o w common convent ion as f a r as p o s s i b l e . They d i d not leave P a r i s as an a s s e r t i o n of independence, but as an attempt to f o r e s t a l l and so avo id p u b l i c d i s a p p r o v a l ; ."They gave a k i c k . . . /To P a r i s ere i t turned and k i c k e d t h e m s e l v e s ! " (2035-2036) . And the menace of the w a l l , which i s always i n M i randa 's m i n d , serves as f u r t h e r m o t i v a t i o n to keep up appearances: "Soon or l a t e w i l l drop P a v i l i o n , soon or l a t e you needs must march, And laggards w i l l be s o r r y they were s l a c k ! A l w a y s — u n l e s s excuse sound p l a u s i b l e ! " (2112-2115) Consequent ly , he works enough to g ive the impress ion of w o r k i n g , he dabbles enough i n p a i n t i n g , music and l i t e r a t u r e to l e a r n how d i f f i c u l t they a r e , enough to delude h i m s e l f i n t o b e l i e v i n g t h a t these " p l a y i n g s at l i f e ' s t o i l " (2134) d i s s i p a t e h i s o f fences a g a i n s t s o c i e t y and a g a i n s t the towers of f a i t h (2116-2143) . In p a r t t h r e e , M i randa 's mother and cous ins d i s t u r b h i s c o n t r i v e d e q u a n i m i t y . His mother admonishes h i s r e c k l e s s expendi ture and reminds him of h i s h igh i d e a l s (2199-2206) . She i s the woman "whom most he feared and loved" (2200) , and her c r i t i c i s m s t r i k e s h a r d . Yet she had not asked him e a r l i e r to choose between her and C l a r a ; c o n s e q u e n t l y , he i s faced w i t h the dilemma of accommodating both women, a n d . a l l they p e r -t a i n to m o r a l l y (2238-2246) . One of h i s mother 's main o b j e c t i o n s i s d i r -ected at a tower which Miranda has b u i l t a t C l a i r v a u x , and the c o n t r a s t between h i s tower and her game of cards i m p l i e s the severe d i f f e r e n c e i n t h e i r s i t u a t i o n s : she i s secure i n the towers of f a i t h "And there took p a s t i m e , " w h i l e "he was s t i l l on Tur f " (2261) , and so b u i l t - a Belvedere to g ive the i l l u s i o n of f a i t h . His ac t of r e s t o r a t i o n i s even more c l e a r l y now an ac t of d e c e p t i o n . But h i s mother 's words and r e l i g i o u s p o s i t i o n have made him r e a l i z e tha t he i s " s t i l l on T u r f j " and though he mainta ins the idea t h a t he can s t i l l reach the towers at w i l l , whenever he chooses ( 2 2 6 2 - 2 2 6 3 ) , he vents h i s a n x i e t y i n anger "wi th h i m s e l f , /With h e r , w i t h a l l the wor ld and much b e s i d e " (2264 -2265) . The Seine i s suddenly before him and he i s tempted to "'.Go and be r i d of memory i n a b a t h ! ' " ( 2 2 7 4 ) . - He jumps, and Browning's words - - "Done as soon as dreamed" ( 2 2 7 6 ) - - i n d i c a t e h i s i m p u l s i v e and extreme behav iour . His con -v e r s i o n o f fancy i n t o a c t i o n too p r e c i p i t a t e l y i s an unfor tunate aspect of h i s temperament which w i l l e v e n t u a l l y l e a d to h i s d e a t h . As part , of h i s c h a r a c t e r , t h i s h a s t i n e s s i s no s imple m a t t e r , but i s a combinat ion o f . h i s f l u c t u a t i n g emotions j h i s d u l l mind , h i s r e l i g i o u s t r a i n i n g , h i s l i t e r a l n e s s , h i s s u b o r d i n a t i o n to c i r c u m s t a n c e s , and h i s complete d i v o r c e from common sense . When h i s mother d i e s , and Miranda i s conf ronted by the " s c e n i c show" ( 2 4 2 2 ) - - w h i c h , - t h e n a r r a t o r s u g g e s t s , i s designed by h i s cousins (2381-2386)-r -and by the accus ing vo ice of the p r i e s t - - " Y o u murdered h e r ! " ( 2 4 2 5 ) — h i s t e n t , h i s temporary d w e l l i n g , f i n a l l y c o l l a p s e s (2432-2438) .-1 His g u i l t removes the i l l u s i o n w i t h which he has deceived h i m s e l f ; . and the towers , the f a i t h he badly wants stand " d i s t i n c t and dread" before h im. He determines to abandon a l l s e l f - i n d u l g e n c e - - " ' V a n i t y /Was ended: i t s redemption must b e g i n ' " (2464-2465)—and the way i s prepared f o r h i s ac ts of remorse and p u r i f i c a t i o n . His purgat ion by f i r e i s an e x t r a o r d i n a r y i n s t a n c e of h i s f o l l y w i th images. Forced i n t o extreme r e v u l s i o n towards h i s past l i f e by a mix ture o f g u i l t , remorse and d e s i r e f o r atonement, he regards l i t e r a l l y h i s union o f the f l e s h w i t h C l a r a . Unable to understand t h a t the mind's images are not to be d i s p e l l e d by burn ing the body,, he i s tormented by a v i s i o n which he cannot e x o r c i s e : "She i s my body, she and I are one, Y e t , . a l l the same, t h e r e , , there at the b e d - f o o t stands The woman wound about my f l e s h and b l o o d , There , the arms open, the more w o n d e r f u l , The w h i t e r f o r the burn ing . . . Vanish thou! Avaunt , f i e n d ' s s e l f found i n the form I wore ! " (2639-2644) The " f i e n d ' s s e l f , " of c o u r s e , i s not p a r t of h i s p h y s i c a l form* but i s a product of h i s i m a g i n a t i o n , and h i s confus ion of these d i s t i n c t i o n s suggests, madness. S a n i t y , however, i s not as s imple as t h a t , f o r Beaumont, h i s p h y s i c i a n , regards body and soul as synonymous t e r m s , and t h e r e f o r e t h i n k s him deranged because i n s e n s i t i v e to p a i n : "Mad, or why thus i n s e n s i b l e to pa in? Body and soul are one t h i n g , w i t h two names For more or l e s s e l a b o r a t e d s t u f f ; " (1652-1654) " S u c h , " Browning c o n t i n u e s , " i s the new R e l i g i o M e d i c i , " and he r e f e r s to the " o l d u n s c i e n t i f i c ways" which understood the soul to be master of the body and consequent ly . independent i n f e e l i n g (2655-2674) . He "notes" these ways, and t h e r e f o r e i s not concerned to enforce some dogmatic p r i n c i p l e , but h i s remarks do imply both the myste r ies i n v o l v e d and the power of the mind to concent ra te so f i e r c e l y on i t s own images tha t b o d i l y torment i s i n s i g n i f i c a n t bes ide i t s own o b s e s s i o n s . Th is i n t e r e s t i n the q u e s t i o n of madness prepares f o r Browning's l a t e r a s s e r t i o n t h a t M i randa 's leap i s "sane" (3603) , and serves as another example of the constant j u x t a p o s i t i o n i n the poem of dramat ic i n c i d e n t or d e s c r i p t i o n and a n a l y s i s or s p e c u l a t i v e comment. The two go. together , , so t h a t the h o r r o r of M i r a n d a ' s p u r i f y i n g a c t i s m i t i g a t e d by a more detached i n t e r e s t i n the reasons and processes of mind which produce i t . The act and h o r r o r must be r e t a i n e d , though, l e s t the s p e c u l a t i o n have o n l y academic a p p e a l . Th is grotesque a c t . i s a l s o s k i l f u l l y prepared f o r i n p a r t three by seemingly - innocuous f i r e images which promote a deep sense of u n e a s i -ness i n the r e a d e r . In blaming C l a r a f o r M i r a n d a ' s " i l l i c i t bond" w i t h h e r , h i s mother says she thought "the smoking f l a x " would smoulder away, and a s k s , " Is spark to s t r e n g t h e n , prove consuming f i r e ? " (2220) . The n a r r a t o r says Miranda i s " a l l a f f e c t i o n , a l l one f i r e of hear t /Flaming toward Madame-mother" ( 2 2 3 7 - 2 2 3 8 ) , and Beaumont, n o t i c i n g M i r a n d a ' s obsess ion w i t h "A c e r t a i n woman-shape," observes t h a t the " c o l d Seine cou ld not quench t h i s f lame" ( 2 2 9 5 ) . - C l a r a , when t r y i n g to r e s t o r e Mi randa 's h e a l t h and. s p i r i t s , asks him to l e t i n the l i g h t of new year and to keep her warm (2348) . He responds: "Let New Year c o n t r i b u t e warmth— /I s h a l l . re fuse no f u e l t h a t may b l a z e " (2352-2353) . "Nor d i d h e , " the n a r r a t o r c r y p t i c a l l y comments, and t h i s statement of M i randa 's i s p a r t i c u l a r l y ominous i n terms of h i s tendency to l i t e r a l n e s s . Then, when Miranda i s repor ted to be reading C l a r a ' s l e t t e r s before the h e a r t h -f i r e , one of h i s cous ins stands "Warming h i s own hands at the f i r e , " and quips c a u s t i c a l l y " B e t t e r he s h o v e l l e d them a l l i n a t once , /And burned the r u b b i s h ! " (2565 -2567) . The c o u s i n ' s ac t i s q u i t e n a t u r a l s i n c e i t i s snowing o u t s i d e — a r e a l i s t i c d e t a i l s u p p l i e d by Browning, presumably to c o n t r i b u t e to the o r d i n a r i n e s s o f the scene and to add another c o n -t r a s t - , - a n d y e t the f i r e has become a portentous centre of a t t e n t i o n . In s i m i l a r f a s h i o n , M i randa 's tower becomes an even more important focus of. h i s f o l l y and u n i f y i n g symbol i n the poem. His mother 's s c o r n , f o r example, forms one of the most suggest i ve and th rea ten ing , re fe rences to i t : "This Tower, s tuck l i k e a f o o l ' s - c a p on the r o o f — Do you i n t e n d to soar to heaven from thence? Tower, t r u l y ! B e t t e r had you p lan ted t u r f -More f i t l y would you d i g y o u r s e l f a ho le Beneath i t f o r the f i n a l j o u r n e y ' s h e l p ! " (2229-2233) Mi randa 's r e t u r n to C l a r a a f t e r he has dec la red he w i l l leave her f o r e v e r i s apparent l y a new attempt to deal w i t h the r e a l i t y of h i s p o s i t i o n . He at l e a s t recognizes t h a t n e i t h e r i s h i s " e a r t h l y l o v e " a sham, nor h i s "heavenly f e a r " a c o u n t e r f e i t : ' "Each may oppose e a c h , y e t be t rue a l i k e ! ' " (2844) . His task now i s to handle the paradox, to "Un i te the o p p o s i t e s " - w i t h o u t abandoning e i t h e r , and he sees the means f o r t h i s i n a r e v o c a t i o n of w o r l d l y weal th (2853-2857) . He g ives " g i f t s /To God and to God's p o o r , " i n order to "s tay /In s i n and y e t . s t a v e o f f s i n ' s punishment" (3126 -3128) , and because of the deal w i t h h i s cous ins about h i s j e w e l r y b u s i n e s s , he can g ive generous l y . But t h i s penance i s s imply another show of outward b e l i e f which i s a t va r iance w i t h the i n n e r s t a t e of a f f a i r s . The n a r r a t o r t e l l s o f Mi randa 's g e n e r o s i t y , of "Such s igns of g r a c e , outward and v i s i b l e , " r a t h e r , he s a y s , than "put i n ev idence the inward s t r i f e , / S p i r i t u a l e f f o r t to compound f o r f a u l t /By payment of d e v o t i o n " (3165-3169) . The s t rength and despera t ion of t h i s s p i r i t u a l e f f o r t i s conta ined i n M i randa 's c o n t i n u i n g punishment of h i s f l e s h by w a l k i n g from La Rav issante to C l a i r v a u x on h i s knees. The punishment i s intended i t seems to compensate f o r h i s p h y s i c a l i n d u l g e n c e , s i n c e he otherwise leads as normal a l i f e as p o s s i b l e w i t h i n the l i m i t s of h i s c r i p p l e d c o n d i t i o n (3206-3217) . U n t i l p a r t f o u r , Browning as n a r r a t o r desc r ibes Mi randa 's charac -t e r f rom w i t h o u t , and t h e r e f o r e o v e r t l y c o n t r o l s the r e a d e r ' s view of h im. In. p a r t f o u r , he dramatizes M i r a n d a ' s thoughts and a l lows the reader to exper ience d i r e c t l y the processes of decept ion which c loud Mi randa 's mind. A c o n j u n c t i o n of weal th and s p i r i t , an equat ion between the s o u l ' s worth and the body's w o r t h , i s immediately apparent : "This Spr ing -morn I am f o r t y - t h r e e years o l d : In pr ime of l i f e , p e r f e c t i o n of e s t a t e B o d i l y , m e n t a l , n a y m a t e r i a l t o o , - -My whole of w o r l d l y fo r tunes reach t h e i r h e i g h t -Body ,and soul a l i k e on eminence: I t i s not probable I ever r a i s e Soul above standard" by i n c r e a s e of w o r t h , Nor reasonably may expect to l i f t Body beyond the present a l t i t u d e . " (3288-3296) As u s u a l , Browning's i r o n i c p lay i s ev ident i n t h i s passage , s i n c e , s tand ing on h i s tower , ; Miranda has h i s body and .sou l l i t e r a l l y " a l i k e on eminence" a t the " h e i g h t " o f t h e i r " f o r t u n e s . " Of c o u r s e , the p lay element i s no longer comic and the i m p l i c a t i o n s are co r respond ing l y s e v e r e . Miranda cannot " reasonab ly " expect to l i f t h i s body h i g h e r , but he can expect i t unreasonab ly , which he proceeds to do. La R a v i s s a n t e ' s power over Miranda i s i n h e r i t e d from h i s mother. As a m o t h e r - f i g u r e a s s o c i a t e d w i th r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f , she i s an a p p r o - , p r i a t e and l o g i c a l s u b s t i t u t e , and Miranda attempts to y i e l d . h e r an e q u a l l y a p p r o p r i a t e d e v o t i o n . But h i s o f f e r i n g i s e x t e r n a l . a n d t h e r e f o r e a form of d e c e p t i o n . When he says he "gave" h i m s e l f to h e r , he r e a l l y means, as he goes on to s u g g e s t , tha t he gave a l l h i s " b e l o n g i n g s , " h i s m a t e r i a l possess ions (3298-3301) . He cannot, g ive h i s t o t a l a l l e g i a n c e s i n c e he sees i n C l a r a "a Power as a b s o l u t e " (3306) . Born to be a s l a v e (3323) , he f i n d s h i m s e l f caught between two maste rs . One, he s a y s , i s a "despot" and the other an "enchant ress" (3319) , but each term i s an exaggerat ion and t h e r e f o r e an i l l u s i o n . 1 On the o ther hand,, h i s d e s i g n a -t i o n f o r them has a c e r t a i n v a l i d i t y , s i n c e each "power" has e x p l o i t e d h im. . The V i r g i n has demanded the r i g i d commitment of h i s s o u l , and s i g n i f i c a n t l y the s o u l ' s t r i b u t e , so t h a t q u i t e l i t e r a l l y she' has fed on h i s s o u l ' s d e s i r e , rav i shed h im, as her t i t l e sugges ts . C l a r a has r a v i s h e d him i n q u i t e a d i f f e r e n t manner; as an e n c h a n t r e s s , she has fed on h i s body's d e s i r e (Browning l a t e r says t h a t " c a t e r p i l l a r - l i k e " she fed her f i l l ; 4 0 3 7 - 4 0 3 9 ) . Both h i s m a s t e r s , o r m i s t r e s s e s , La Rav issante and C l a r a , manipulate him f o r t h e i r own purposes,. M i r a n d a , t h e n , i s understandably i n d i g n a n t - that h i s e f f o r t s to p lease the V i r g i n have not met w i t h r e c o g n i t i o n : , " 'Wei 1 , where i s the reward? what promised f r u i t /Of s a c r i f i c e i n peace, c o n t e n t ? ' " (3345-3346) . Yet he i s o b l i v i o u s of the f a c t t h a t he measures h i s e f f o r t s m a t e r i a l l y : " 'My soul r e t a i n e d . i t s t r e a s u r e ; .but. my purse /L ightened i t -s e l f w i t h much a l a c r i t y ' " (3343 -3344) ; '"I pay . . . E a r t h ' s t r i b u t e -money'" (3370-3371) . t h e V i r g i n i s a r e l i g i o u s symbol which r e q u i r e s s p i r i t u a l b e l i e f r a t h e r than e a r t h l y t r i b u t e , but Miranda i s loathe to ; p e r c e i v e t h a t . He does , however, a f t e r c o n s i d e r i n g the p o s s i b i l i t y of i n s u f f i c i e n t f a i t h and the past m i r a c l e s performed by La R a v i s s a n t e , move towards a deeper i n s i g h t i n t o h i s predicament . He s t i l l mainta ins the value of h i s s a c r i f i c e s , but as usual he o v e r - v a l u e s t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e ; , d e s p i t e t h e i r a r t i f i c i a l i t y , they seemed to him to be " r e a l enough" (3455) . But i f h i s g i f t s ga in him no reward, he cons iders t h a t he would "dawdle out [ h i s ] days" at C l a i r v a u x i n "mock l o v e " - - w h i c h . outwardly p ro fesses to g ive f r e e l y , w h i l e inward ly w i s h i n g i t dared re fuse (3464) - - i n "Mock worsh ip" and i n "mock s u p e r i o r i t y " (3462-3469) . I f at l a s t he seems to recogn ize the fa l sehood i n h i s s i t u a t i o n , i t i s but a momentary i n s i g h t , f o r the d e s i r e to ga in " h e a l t h of m i n d , " "youth renewed" and peaceful" c o - e x i s t e n c e w i t h h i s "Opposing p o t e n t a t e s " (3456-3462) proves d e c i s i v e . He w i l l demonstrate h i s f a i t h , even though i n wondering what " a c t " w i l l prove i t s s u f f i c i e n c y (3475) he r e v e r t s to h i s preoccupat ion w i t h e x t e r n a l show. F i n a l l y * the s l a v e a s p i r e s t o . b e m a s t e r f u l , to decide h i m s e l f what to do , and to save the wor ld from profane ignorance a t the same t i m e : '"I so l ve the r i d d l e , I persuade mankind ' " (3486) . His exc i tement as he cons ide rs the p o s s i b l e consequences of h i s proof of f a i t h leads him i n t o , f u r t h e r s e l f - d e l u s i o n m e n t , as he attempts an i n e v i t a b l y hopeless e f f o r t of s e l f - a s s e r t i o n . His w i l l i n g n e s s to accept w i thout ques t ion the f u l f i l m e n t of h i s proposed m i r a c l e i s fed by the combinat ion of h i s b e l i e f i n p rev ious m i r a c l e s , h i s overwhelming urge to cease h i s inner c o n f l i c t , and h i s concept of the V i r g i n ' s l i t e r a l r o l e as Queen of A n g e l s — s i n c e " i n a p i c t u r e " she i s surrounded by .them (3514-3516) . The cata logue of p o s s i b l e r e s u l t s which he i m a g i n e s . f o r h i m s e l f removes other c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . In h i s eagerness , he f a i l s to r e a l i z e t h a t he i s making h i s f a i t h more important than i t s o b j e c t , the V i r g i n , which i s an a c t of p r i d e . He. summons her angels i n order " to prove i n d u b i t a b l e f a i t h " (3517) , f a i l i n g to remember C h r i s t ' s admonishment of the d e v i l (the second t e m p t a t i o n ) , t h a t he should not tempt God, and f a i l i n g to perce ive , t h a t f a i t h and proof are c o n t r a d i c t o r y . He makes a show of wanting b e n e f i t f o r o t h e r s , f o r France and f o r C l a r a , but b e n e f i t f o r them i s b e n e f i t f o r h im, f o r h i s fame, f o r h i s s o c i a l s t a t u s and f o r h i s peace of mind . Having always been the s l a v e of c i rcumstances and s u b j e c t to the w i l l o f o t h e r s , he i s i r o n i c a l l y , i n h i s e f f o r t to be m a s t e r , a s l a v e to h i s own f a n c i f u l i m p u l s e s . There i s a perverse r a t i o n a l i t y , a m i s d i r e c t e d l o g i c , i n M i randa 's thoughts . Given h i s r e l i g i o u s t r a i n i n g , h i s i m p u l s i v e and intemperate b e h a v i o u r , h i s e x c e s s i v e f e e l i n g s f o r h i s mother and the t r a n s f e r e n c e of - , these to La R a v i s s a n t e , the support of the c l e r g y , h i s love f o r C l a r a , and h i s l a c k of i n t e l l e c t u a l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n , h i s c o n c l u s i o n i s unders tand -a b l e . Therefore Browning dec la res him sane: "Such being the c o n d i t i o n s of h i s l i f e , /Such end of l i f e was not i r r a t i o n a l " (3604-3605) . I t h a s , , of c o u r s e , been Browning's purpose to expose and to s a t i r i z e these c o n d i -t i o n s as : much as to e x p l a i n Mi randa 's r e a c t i o n to them. The r e l i g i o u s element i s c e n t r a l to M i r a n d a ' s behaviour and s e l f -d e c e p t i o n , and i n s e c t i o n three both the c h u r c h ' s re in forcement of h i s e c c e n t r i c i t i e s and Browning's c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e to t h i s support are made c l e a r . Because Miranda was "a s t u p i d s o u l , " he needed a guide (2887)', and Browning e u l o g i z e s h i s f r i e n d , . M i l s a n d , . a s an e x e m p l a r . f o r t h i s r o l e . But Miranda turned to La Rav issante ( 2 9 4 7 - 2 9 4 9 ) , and the p r i e s t and nun who tend h i s " s o u l - d i s e a s e " (3029) b r i n g "dogma, i n the b o t t l e , " not " f r e s h d i s t i l l e r y of f a i t h " - (3033-3034) . Th is o p p o s i t i o n between "dogma" and " f a i t h " - i s s u f f i c i e n t to i n d i c a t e Browning's f e e l i n g s , but h i s s a t i r e becomes s t i l l more p o i n t e d . He repor ts the s t o r y of Luc de l a Maison Rouge to show t h a t the c h u r c h ' s own records r e q u i r e Miranda and C l a r a to s e p a r a t e : " ' N o t a s tep /Nearer t i l l hands be washed and p u r i f i e d ! " ' (3102-3103) . But t h i s adv ice was not e n f o r c e d . "Somehow," Browning c o n -t i n u e s w i t h macabre i r o n y , "g loves were drawn o ' e r d i r t and a l l , /And p r a c t i c e w i t h the Church procured thereby" (3108-3109) . The p r i e s t ' a n d nun l e f t C l a i r v a u x "wi th heaviness of h e a r t , " but a l s o "each palm w e l l : c rossed w i t h c o i n " (3115-3116) . Miranda w i l l not compound h i s s i n , "but by g i f t s - - p r e p a r e /His soul, the b e t t e r f o r c o n t r i t i o n " (3119-3120) . The Church , t h e n , acquiesces i n M i randa 's s i n , i n order to r e c e i v e h i s w e a l t h . He i s f r e q u e n t l y moved to help, the poor and u n f o r t u n a t e , but these a r e ' " a s s p i l l i n g s o f the golden g r i s t /On e i t h e r s i d e the hopper" (3150-3151) . The main stream pours i n t o a sack " h e l d wide, and c l o s e /By Father of the M i s s i o n . . . /And Mother of the Convent" (3153-3155) . The Church p r o f i t s from Mi randa 's a b s o r p t i o n of the d o c t r i n e which i t s p r i e s t s had taught h i m , ' " P a i n to the b o d y — p r o f i t to the sou l " ' (2519) , and i n doing so supports h i s confus ion of m a t e r i a l and s p i r i t u a l w e a l t h . Not only does the Church e x p l o i t him d i r e c t l y , but a l s o h i s cous ins use h i s r e l i g i o u s f e a r s f o r t h e i r purposes . They arrange f o r h i s mother 's bedroom, ,her "death -chamber , " to be " t r i c k e d w i t h t rapp ings . . . / S k u l l s , c ross rbones" ( 2 5 7 2 - 2 5 7 3 ) , e f f e c t i n g a h o r r i d scene of medieval m o r a l i t y , whose ominous atmosphere i s designed to play, upon h i s intemperate emot ions . Even the p r i e s t who accuses him of caus ing h i s mother 's death h a s , the n a r r a t o r h i n t s , taken h i s orders from the cousins (2382^2386). And t h e i r d e c e i t ' i s f u r t h e r i m p l i e d by a t h e a t r i c a l metaphor: " A l l t h i n g s thus h a p p i l y performed to p o i n t , /No wonder a t success commensurate" (24.46-2447). . The o ther major f o r c e to p lay upon Miranda i s C l a r a , . w h o a l s o r e -i n f o r c e s h i s i l l - c o n c e i v e d a c t i v i t i e s and i s judged by Browning a c c o r d -i n g l y . Her d e s i g n , . h o w e v e r , i s l e s s m a l i c i o u s than the c o u s i n s ' , s i n c e her decept ion i s d i r e c t e d on ly towards her s u r v i v a l , and her behaviour• may be s a i d to i l l u s t r a t e the a r t of s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n i n untoward c i r -cumstances. From the. ou tse t of her r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Miranda i n part , two, she p lays a s t u d i e d p a r t , i n i t i a l l y winning h i s sympathy by t a k i n g a " s t a t u e d s t a n d " of martyrdom wi th a c a r e f u l mix ture of s e l f - e f f a c e m e n t and s e l f - c o n t r o l - - " h a l . f t i m i d i t y , composure h a l f " (1543-1550) . A f t e r she" has s u c c e s s f u l l y aroused h i s l o v e , by h i d i n g the s o i l (she i s marr ied) under a c a r p e t , l i k e some hashish-man seducing a n o v i c e , she removes "the p r e l i m i n a r y l i e , " assured t h a t Miranda i s won (1641-1657) . The revealment i s necessary because she i s "Loaded w i t h debts" and "needs must b r i n g / H e r . s o u l to bear a s s i s t a n c e from a f r i e n d " (1702 -1703) , so t h a t her d e c e i t i s the r e s u l t of s o c i a l n e c e s s i t y . L a t e r , i n par t f o u r , i n her speech a f t e r M i r a n d a ' s d e a t h , she revea ls how she has t r e a t e d him as a c h i l d , her " t r u a n t l i t t l e boy , " i n a c t u a l i t y being a mother to h im, d e s p i t e the "mock d i s g u i s e of m i s t r e s s " which he ld them together (3690-3697) . She understands h i s i n f a n t i l e imagin ings and would have indu lged h i s d e s i r e to f l y , as she had presumably indu lged other f a n c i f u l i m p u l s e s , h o l d i n g him t i g h t w h i l e he pretended to f l y , and dropping him onto her knees i n s t e a d of onto the ground (3698-3709) . The key to her a r t i f i c e , however, l i e s i n the manner i n which she dece ived Miranda i n t o b e l i e v i n g he was maste r . She made him r e b u i l d C l a i r v a u x , t h i n k i n g i t was h i s i n s p i r a t i o n , and she used to busy him w i th t a s k s , w h i l e p re tend ing t h a t he worked f o r her s u r p r i s e (3710-3714) : "'What wear iness to me w i l l work become /Now that I. need not seem s u r p r i s e d a g a i n ! " ' (3715-3716) . At t h i s p o i n t the re levance of Browning's e a r l i e r comments about the face which r e f l e c t s whoever looks a t i t (850-859) and about the s l a v e who y e t "asp i res , to dominate" ( 8 7 5 ) , becomes c l e a r . Browning f i n a l l y desc r ibes C l a r a as a c a t e r p i l l a r , an image which e v o c a t i v e l y and . • c r i t i c a l l y c h a r a c t e r i z e s her p a r a s i t i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h M i randa : . . . s e t t l e d on M i r a n d a , how she s u c k e d , A s s i m i l a t e d j u i c e s , took the' t i n t , Mimicked the form and t e x t u r e of her food ! (4055-4057) She has " j u s t one i n s t i n c t , . - - t h a t of growth" (4036) and b e l i e v e d s imply i n her "own b i r t h r i g h t to s u s t a i n / E x i s t e n c e " (4099-4100) . In t h i s , of c o u r s e , her a r t i f i c e i s t r iumphant and her v i c t o r y over the others who would feed o f f Miranda i s p a r t i c u l a r l y p r a i s e d by.Browning (4105-4113) . In f a c t , she alone among the "masks" i n h i s h i s t o r y c la ims h i s r e s p e c t , though h i s judgement of her i s s u b t l e and c a r e f u l l y measured. M o r a l l y , she i s to be c r i t i z e d because she d i d not a s p i r e (4017-4019) . A e s t h e t i -c a l l y , however, she appeals to the a r t i s t ' s p re ference f o r c o m p l e t i o n . She i s a M e i s s o n i e r * bes ide M i r a n d a ' s B lake (4024-4025) . On a l i m i t e d s c a l e , as a m i n i a t u r e w i t h f i n e s s e o f d e t a i l and completeness of d e s i g n , she can be admired , because her design i n l i f e i s completed , her ends are ach ieved ; . But her ends are s e l f i s h , and t h e r e f o r e on any more u n i -v e r s a l i , a e s t h e t i c o r m o r a l , s c a l e , she i s inadequate . Her love i n p a r t i c u l a r i s not to be p r a i s e d , because i t i s s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d . . Real l o v e , Browning s a y s , regards and embraces t r u t h even at i t s own expense ( 4 1 1 7 - 4 1 1 8 ) . , On the o ther hand, she i s s t i l l b e t t e r than the cous ins and the c l e r g y ; bes ide "the v e l v e t green and puce /Of c a t e r p i l l a r " the l a t t e r f i g u r e as some "scarabaeus . . . a - t r u n d l i n g dung" (4122-4129) . The n a r r a t o r ' s over t judgements i n p a r t f o u r cause c r i t i c a l p rob -lems. As P h i l i p Drew s a y s , " i t appears t h a t Browning i s f i r s t the puppet -master and then the e x t e r n a l examiner , awarding marks to the 18 c h a r a c t e r s i n accordance w i t h a predetermined s c h e d u l e . " Drew r i g h t l y , p o i n t s out t h a t Browning uses h i s master - images to u n i f y the poem and to l i n k h i s two r o l e s , but Drew does not make c l e a r t h a t Browning's a t t i t u d e to h i s c h a r a c t e r s i s always apparent . M i randa 's l i m i t a t i o n s of mind (3998) are obvious from the account of h i s b i r t h i n p a r t two; arid C l a r a ' s p o s i t i o n as "The medium a r t i c l e ; i f ruddy-marked /With i ron -mou ld . . . c lean a t l e a s t /From po ison -speck of r o t and puru lence" (1779-1781) has been c l e a r from her i n t r o d u c t i o n i n t o the s t o r y . Browning i s both the s t o r y - t e l l e r and the m o r a l i s t throughout . His p o i n t i n p a r t f o u r t h a t even " i n p e t t i e r love /The n i c e eye can d i s t i n -gu ish grade and grade" (4120-4121) , i s s imply a c o n t i n u a t i o n of h i s e a r l i e r concern " to recognize / D i s t i n c t i o n s " ( 2 4 6 - 2 4 7 ) , whether about v i o l i n s , n ightcaps o r human behav iou r ; and h i s judgements i n par t f o u r are the c u l m i n a t i o n of h i s i r o n i c undermining o f convent iona l g e n e r a l i -z a t i o n s and d e c e i v i n g s u r f a c e s . In terms o f s o c i a l appearances, C l a r a i s most to blame f o r M i randa 's d i s t r e s s , but i n terms of u n d e r l y i n g a v a r i c e and d e c e i t she i s , w h i l e s t i l l c u l p a b l e , l e s s to blame than t h e . others who take advantage o f h i s weaknesses. While' t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n has been i m p l i e d a l ready by the p r e s e n t a t i o n of the s t o r y , and by C l a r a ' s c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h the c o u s i n s , i t i s c o n s i s t e n t f o r . t h e n a r r a t o r to make h i s thoughts on the matter e x p l i c i t . Drew's defence of Browning's m o r a l i z i n g , t h a t judgements are "kept f l u i d , " t h a t the poem "mimics the s i t u a t i o n i n r e a l l i f e , where moral judgements determine our view of events at the same time as events are shaping our moral s t a n d a r d s , " i s an e x c e l l e n t account of the poem's t o t a l e f f e c t . ^ But the a d d i t i o n a l comment should be made t h a t a l l shaping o f standards and o f events i s openly c o n t r o l l e d by the n a r r a t o r . He knows from the ou tse t where h i s argument and n a r r a t i o n i s headed, d e s p i t e the s p o n t a n e i t y of h i s c o n v e r s a t i o n (which gives, the poem r e a l i s m and a u t h e n t i c i t y ) ; and fo,r t h i s reason the poem must be regarded as d i d a c t i c . Browning shows i n Red Cotton N ight -Cap Country tha t he can n a r r a t e a s t o r y w i t h g e n i a l i t y and w i t h s u b t l e t y of d e t a i l , but the poem's s u c -cess i s l i m i t e d by i t s length and i t s loose s t r u c t u r i n g . S ince the l a n -guage and syntax a r e , i n keeping w i th the r e l a x e d mood of the n a r r a t o r , , s i m p l e r and e a s i e r to f o l l o w than P r i n c e Hohenst ie l -Schwangau or F i f i n e at the F a i r , the poem can be read r e l a t i v e l y q u i c k l y - - A r t h u r Symons says 20 " i t i s perhaps the e a s i e s t to read" of Browning's w o r k s , though t h i s judgement i s z e a l o u s . The inc reased ease of read ing he lps the r e a d e r , immensely and the n a r r a t o r ' s t a n g e n t i a l remarks are always r e l a t e d i n some way to c e n t r a l themes and images, but many have only tenuous r e l a -t i o n s h i p s a n d a r e s imply cont inued too l o n g . The mixture of m o r a l i z i n g and n a r r a t i o n , of c h a r a c t e r a n a l y s i s and c h a r a c t e r d r a m a t i z a t i o n , i s c o n -s i s t e n t throughout and the reader cannot complain of the i n t r u s i o n s and comment which conclude par t f o u r . A u t h o r i a l c o n t r o l c a n , however, be conveyed more s u b t l y and e q u a l l y e f f e c t i v e l y w i thout t h i s k ind o f n a r r a -t i o n , and t h e r e f o r e J JT je l j T iTAJb^ f o l l o w s t h i s poem, i s more s u c -c e s s f u l f o r the modern r e a d e r . The v i r t u e s of Red Cotton N ight -Cap Count ry , shou ld n o t , of c o u r s e , be ignored as a r e s u l t of t h i s p r e f e r e n c e . Browning's i n t e r e s t i n the s u b t l e t i e s of the human mind are as ev ident as e v e r , and he presumably f e l t o b l i g e d to e f f e c t t h i s loose s t r u c t u r e because of the s e n s a t i o n a l s u b j e c t - m a t t e r arid the s a t i r i c a l tone he wanted to e x p l o i t . The poem's purpose and e f f e c t i s misunderstood i f the reader c o m p l a i n s , as Roma King 21 d o e s , " t h a t the n a r r a t o r "has no f u n c t i o n a l r o l e " i n the s t o r y he t e l l s . As i n a dramat ic monologue, the n a r r a t o r subsumes the poem's s t r u c t u r e w i t h i n h i s own c h a r a c t e r , except t h a t here the i rony i s not unconsc ious l y d i r e c t e d at h i m s e l f ; i t i s c o n s c i o u s l y d i r e c t e d at the s o c i a l m i l i e u which he d e p i c t s . Browning's use o f t h i s k ind of c o n t r o l enables him to pursue h i s i n t e r e s t i n decept ion i n q u i t e a d i f f e r e n t manner.from t h a t i n dramat ic monologues. Most important i s the s o c i a l i n t e r c h a n g e , the e f f e c t of w i l f u l d e c e i t on o t h e r s , but of almost equal importance i s the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n between l e v e l s of r e a l i t y and between degrees of d e c e p t i o n . Roma King says t h a t the poem i s marred as a p s y c h o l o g i c a l study because 22 Miranda i s abnormal . But h i s a b n o r m a l i t y , h i s lack of i n t e l l e c t u a l p e r c e p t i o n and h i s confus ion o f l i t e r a l appearances w i t h symbol ic be -l i e f s , i s a matter on ly o f degree. He i s s imply f o l l o w i n g through to a l o g i c a l , i f p e r v e r s e l y l o g i c a l , c o n c l u s i o n the c o n d i t i o n s of b e l i e f and behaviour imposed upon him by h i s s o c i a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l b e t t e r s . Every -body mistakes appearances f o r r e a l i t y , even the n a r r a t o r ' s f r i e n d , w i th her wh i te cot ton n i g h t - c a p c o u n t r y . Roma King a l s o w r i t e s d i s a p p r o v i n g l y of the n a r r a t o r ' s " p a r l o r argument" w i th h i s companion, where he counters "her more ' i d e a l i s t i c ' view w i t h h i s more ' r e a l i s t i c , ' i n s i s t i n g t h a t red c o t t o n n i g h t caps 23 b e t t e r d e p i c t the general human c o n d i t i o n than do whi te o n e s . " A g a i n , t h i s i s a s e r i o u s l y l i m i t e d e x p l a n a t i o n of the poem's i n t e n t i o n and e f f e c t . I t would be more accura te to say t h a t the n a r r a t o r counters one l e v e l o f r e a l i t y w i t h a n o t h e r , and i n t h i s connect ion there i s an i n t e r -p lay between metaphor and l i t e r a l event which prov ides one of the best fea tu res of the poem. Towards the end of p a r t two, when, a f t e r h e s i t a t -i n g , Miranda a b r u p t l y j o i n s C l a r a , Browning employs a swimming, metaphor: . . . one bo ld s p l a s h Into the mid-shame, and the s h i v e r ends , Though cramp and drowning may begin perhaps. (1933-1935) The image i s obvious enough, and i n s u f f i c i e n t l y s t r i k i n g to command s p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n , a t l e a s t i n i t i a l l y , but i n par t t h r e e , when Miranda p r e c i p i t a t e l y jumps i n t o the S e i n e , t h i s metaphor suddenly becomes a harsh r e a l i t y . The p r o f u s i o n of f i r e imagery i n par t three has a l ready been demonstrated, and the t u r f . a n d towers metaphor, s i m i l a r l y engages i n t h i s movement from image to f a c t . In t h i s manner, Browning prepares f o r events through a n t i c i p a t o r y images, a use fu l s t r u c t u r a l dev ice i n such a long u n d e r t a k i n g . The n a r r a t o r ' s concern to apprehend some of . the m u l t i t u d e of "thoughts which g ive the act s i g n i f i c a n c e " (3280) , and even the f e e l i n g behind the thought ( 2 8 3 4 - 2 8 3 5 ) - - a n idea perhaps suggested , 24 l i k e the n i g h t c a p s , by C a r l y l e - - i s a l s o par t of t h e . p e n e t r a t i o n i n t o va r ious l e v e l s of p s y c h o l o g i c a l r e a l i t y , which i s an i n s i s t e n t preoccupa-t i o n i n most of Browning 's work. Roma K i n g ' s conc lud ing comment on Red Cotton N ight -Cap Country i s t h a t Browning "comes c l o s e r i n t h i s poem perhaps than i n any o ther to 25 see ing man as a v i c t i m o f h i s env i ronment . " "Env i ronment , " however, i s too vague. Miranda i s a v i c t i m of h i s own incompetence and i n h e r i t e d n a t u r e , as w e l l as h i s l e a r n i n g .and h i s greedy acqua in tances . The l a t t e r - - h i s mother , h i s cous ins and the c l e r g y - - a r e a l s o the v i c t i m s both of t h e i r i n n e r d e s i r e f o r aggrandizement and of t h e i r s o c i a l t r a i n -ing which emphasizes weal th and r i c h d i s p l a y . In keeping w i th the poem's themat ic i n t e r e s t i n decept i ve s u r f a c e s , Browning sees man as a v i c t i m of the decept ion i n h e r e n t i n values and b e l i e f s which s t r e s s s u p e r f i c i a l show, . the emblem i t s e l f r a t h e r than what i t connotes . Man f a l l s such a v i c t i m because of h i s own l i m i t a t i o n s , because of the ease w i t h which he can dece ive h imse l f , and because of the s e l f i s h d e s i r e s which promote t h i s s e l f - d e c e p t i o n . Browning c e r t a i n l y urges the ug ly t r u t h of man's nature underneath apparent l y pure appearances, but i n view of h i s f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h the r a t i o n a l i t y and s a n i t y behind, i t a l l , i t i s d i f f i c u l t to agree wi th Roma King t h a t he " d i s p l a y s here a d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t which sees l i f e as more red than w h i t e . " The n a r r a t o r i n the poem begins w i t h no i l l u s i o n s and t h e r e f o r e he cannot be d i s i l l u s i o n e d , a l though h i s companion might be a f t e r h i s s t o r y . The n a r r a t o r , and t h e r e f o r e B r o w n i n g , . c a r r i e s throughout a c l e a r sense of the r e a l i t y . o f the s i t u a t i o n . He i s angry w i t h those who w i l f u l l y e x p l o i t human weaknesses. He i s r e a l i s t i c r a t h e r than d i s -i l l u s i o n e d , w i t h a f i n e moral d i s c r i m i n a t i o n which recognizes d i s t i n c -t i o n s and shades r a t h e r than v iewing l i f e as red or w h i t e , or more one than the o t h e r . NOTES See W. C. DeVane, A Browning Handbook, 2nd e d i t i o n (New York: A p p l e t o n - C e n t u r y - C r o f t s , 1955) , pp . 3 7 4 - 3 7 5 , and B. L i t z i n g e r and D. S m a l l e y , e d s . , Browning: The C r i t i c a l Her i tage (London: -Rout ledge & Kegan P a u l , 1 9 7 0 ) , pp. 3 7 8 - 3 9 7 . 2 W i l l i a m A l l i n g h a m : A D i a r y , eds . H. A l l i ngham and D. Radford (London: M a c m i l l a n , 1907) , p. 225. 3 The D iary of A l f r e d Domett, 1872-1885, e d . E. A . Horsman (London: O . U . P . , 1953T7pT 6 7 . 4 De Vane, p. 374. 5 A . Symons, An I n t r o d u c t i o n to the Study of Browning, new e d i t i o n (London: Dent , 1906)7 p. 183. . Roma K i n g , The Focusing A r t i f i c e (Athens , Ohio : Ohio U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1968) , p. 189. ^See P h i l i p Drew, The Poetry of Robert Browning (London: Methuen, 1970) , p. 3 2 5 , f o r an example of the way Browning subord inates i n c i d e n t to c h a r a c t e r . 8 S e e Drew, p. 324. 9 K i n g , p. 192. ^Drew e r roneous l y says La Rav issante i s f i r s t i n t roduced i n s e c -t i o n two (p . 3 2 4 ) . ^ D r e w , p. 323. 1 o T. C a r l y l e , TJie French R e v o l u t i o n , • V o l . II (London: Chapman and H a l l , 1896) , 250. See a l s o C h a r l o t t e W a t k i n s , "Browning's 'Red Cotton N ight -Cap Country ' and C a r l y l e , " V i c t o r i a n S t u d i e s , 7 (June 1964) , 359 -374 . 13 Barbara M e l c h i o r i b r i e f l y d i scusses t h i s i n c i d e n t w i t h re ference to Browning's b iography , i n "Robert Browning 's Cour tsh ip and the M u t i l a -t i o n of Monsieur Leonce M i r a n d a , " V i c t o r i a n P o e t r y , 5 (1967) , 303 -304 . 1 4 J . G. F r a z e r , The Golden Bough ( 1 9 2 2 ; New York : M a c m i l l a n , 1951) , p. 410. See a l s o The Oxford Companion to C I a s s i c a l L i t e r a t u r e , e d . P. Harvey . (1937 ; Ox fo rd : Clarendon P r e s s , 1959) , f o r A t t i s and Cybe le . C a t u l l u s ' poem based on the A t t i s legend i s a p o s s i b l e source f o r Brown-i n g ' s knowledge of the s t o r y ; there were s e v e r a l cop ies , of C a t u l l u s ' works i n h i s l i b r a r y . See The Browning Col l e c t i o n s (London: Sotheby , W i l k i n s o n & Hodge, 1913) , p. 8 7 . 15 K i n g , p. 1 9 1 . ' I t i s the t h i r d temptat ion accord ing to Luke 4 : 1 - 1 3 , the second a c c o r d i n g to Matthew 4 : 1 - 1 1 . 1 6 D r e w , p. 323. ^ I t i s t r u e , as P h i l i p Drew s a y s , t h a t Browning makes no d i r e c t comment on M i r a n d a ' s m o t i v e s , but Drew's s ta tement , which uses t h i s f a l l of the " t e n t " as an example, t h a t "even the imagery a l lows some doubt to remain about .Browning 's own a t t i t u d e " (p . 3 2 7 ) , r e q u i r e s some q u a l i f i c a -t i o n . Browning does not judge Mi randa 's m o t i v e s , but he does judge the q u a l i t y of h i s a c t i o n s , and i n t h i s i ns tance the d e s c r i p t i o n i s not ambiguous about the nature of the " t e n t " as a d e c e p t i o n . I t i s a "tawdry t e n t , " and i t s a r t i s t i c embro idery - - "cobweb-work" and " b e t i n s e l e d s t i t c h e r y " ( 2 4 3 6 ) - - i m p l i e s the a r t i f i c e of i t s s u p e r f i c i a l g l i t t e r , i t s i l l u s o r y and impermanent q u a l i t y . Browning's a t t i t u d e towards Mi randa 's l i m i t a t i o n s i s always c l e a r . 1 8 D r e w , p. 3 3 1 . 1 9 D r e w , p. 331 . 20 Symons, p. 185. 2 1 K i n g , p. 191. 2 2 K i n g , p. 190. 2 3 K i n g , p. 192. 24 C f . T . C a r l y l e , S a r t o r R e s a r t u s , e d . C. F. H a r r o l d (New York: Odyssey, 1937) , p. 143: " . . . e x i s t e n c e was a l l a F e e l i n g , not y e t shaped i n t o a Thought" (Bk. I I , c h . v ) . 2 5 K i n g , p. 193. 2 6 K i n g , pp. 1 9 2 - 1 9 3 . CHAPTER FOUR THE INN ALBUM: CIVILIZATION AND' THE ARTIFICES OF CYNICISM L i k e Red Cotton N ight -Cap Count ry , The Inn Album has been r e p e a t -e d l y a t t a c k e d f o r i t s s o r d i d and i m p l a u s i b l e c o n t e n t . Reviewing the poem i n 1875, J . A . Symonds i m i t a t e d " l o c a l - n e w s p a p e r l a n g u a g e , " i n what he thought was the best method f o r r e t e l l i n g the " v u l g a r , r e p u l s i v e , and improbable s t o r y . I n 1956, H. C. D u f f i n repeated Symonds' s t r i c t u r e s : "The s t o r y . . •.. i s so w i l d l y a b s u r d , i t s happenings , r e l a t i o n s and motives so i n e x p l i c a b l e and i n c r e d i b l e , t h a t to r e - t e l l i t would be a 2 waste of t i m e . " I f a p l o t o u t l i n e i s to s tand f o r the poem, t h i s view i s undoubtedly c o r r e c t , and a m o s t . e f f e c t i v e r e d u c t i o ad absurdum of the 3 poem's s t o r y can be found i n Henry James' review f o r The N a t i o n . But i t i s as m i s l e a d i n g to emphasize the p l o t i n The Inn Album as i t i s i n Red Cotton N ight -Cap Country . Such an approach to t h i s poem.quite ignores the s u b t l e and gradual r e v e l a t i o n of c h a r a c t e r , the suspense about i n t e r -woven r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and the depths of r e s o u r c e f u l n e s s which are probed i n the three p r o t a g o n i s t s . For t h i s r e a s o n , the importance of P h i l i p Drew's i n s i g h t i n t o the poem's k i n s h i p w i th a M o r a l i t y or Masque of V ice 4 and V i r t u e cannot be o v e r s t r e s s e d . • I t i s a l s o important to n o t i c e t h a t such a d e s c r i p t i o n does not deny the poem's r e a l i s m . Drew says Browning's success l i e s i n the f a c t t h a t " h i s c h a r a c t e r s perform what i s almost a Masque of V ice and V i r t u e , e n a c t i n g a b a s i c e t h i c a l c o n f l i c t , and .yet the poem i s . n o t - i n ' t h e . l e a s t 5 a b s t r a c t i n e f f e c t . As u s u a l , . B r o w n i n g i s i n t e r e s t e d i n p s y c h o l o g i c a l drama, and the concrete e f f e c t of the poem w i l l bear f u r t h e r e x a m i n a t i o n . I t i s t r u e , as Drew p o i n t s o u t , t h a t "the c h a r a c t e r s , l i k e the r e a d e r , , begin i n ignorance of the chains which b ind them t o g e t h e r , and t h e i r s u s p i c i o n s grow as the r e a d e r ' s grow." I t i s a l s o t rue t h a t each c h a r a c t e r , l i k e the r e a d e r , begins i n ignorance of the t rue mora] q u a l i t y of the o t h e r s , , and p a r t of the poem's achievement i s to develop a gradual and i n e x o r a b l e r e v e l a t i o n of these q u a l i t i e s . Because of the l i m i t e d a u t h o r i a l i n t r u s i o n , the reader i s r e q u i r e d t o . f o l l o w the argument and.case made by each c h a r a c t e r i n o rder t o . d e t e r -mine f o r h i m s e l f what i s f a l s e ; he i s thus f o r c e d , because of the suspen-s i o n of v i t a l i n f o r m a t i o n u n t i l t h e , l a s t p o s s i b l e moment, to exper ience d i r e c t l y something of the dilemma of the Youth .? I t i s the Youth , as Drew s a y s , who "stands i n the p o s i t i o n of the chooser : he i s the Soul i n Q need o f guidance f o r whom the Lord and, the Lady are both c o n t e n d i n g . " Browning i n a sense interweaves th ree monologues (a f o u r t h , the C o u s i n , i s p e r i p h e r a l l y i n v o l v e d a l s o ) ; - t h e r e a d e r i s r e q u i r e d to d i g e s t each and d i s c r i m i n a t e between them. Truth i s f i n a l l y c l e a r and, the c o r r e c t judgement o b v i o u s , b u t , d e s p i t e the melodramatic appearance of the v i o l e n t c o n c l u s i o n , Browning develops a complex i ty of c h a r a c t e r i n each i n s t a n c e which remains to the end to c loud a l l v i r t u e , and which prevents any of the exaggerated s i m p l i c i t y inherent i n melodrama.. The M a s q u e - l i k e s t r u c t u r e supports the c o n t r i v e d p l o t , a n d the M i l t o n i c o v e r t o n e s , noted, by Drew, add t y p o l o g i c a l i n f e r e n c e s which r e i n f o r c e the moral debate and u n i v e r s a l i z e the c i r c u m s t a n c e s . The complex i t y o f motive and s u b t l e t y of c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n add a themat icaT ly r i c h f a b r i c of decept ion which e f f e c t s a t y p i c a l l y Browningesque r e a l i s m . . One of the remarkable f e a t u r e s of the r e a l i s m i s the a n t i t h e s i s between the "Shabby -gentee l " p a r l o u r room and the country o u t s i d e , which Browning e l a b o r a t e s i n the opening scene . In the n a r r a t o r ' s most 'extended en t r y i n t o the poem, the "Vu lgar f l a t smooth r e s p e c t a b i l i t y " of the inn i s c o n t r a s t e d w i t h " the b u r s t of landscape su rg ing i n " ( 4 3 - 4 4 ) . The des -c r i p t i o n of the landscape forms one of Browning's f i n e s t s c e n e s , where the c a r e f u l i n f u s i o n of movement, l i g h t , s t i l l n e s s and haze d i s s o l v e s the s o l i d i t y i n t o a shimmering i m p r e s s i o n i s m : He . leans i n t o a l i v i n g g l o r y - b a t h Of a i r and l i g h t where seems to f l o a t and move The wooded watered c o u n t r y , h i l l and da le And s t e e l - b r i g h t th read of s t r e a m , a-smoke w i t h m i s t , A - s p a r k l e w i t h May morn ing , diamond d r i f t 0 ' the sun- touched dew. (50-55) Only a v i l l a g e d i s t u r b s , a l b e i t s l i g h t l y , the n a t u r a l s o l i t u d e and peace: Except the r e d - r o o f e d patch O f . h a l f a dozen d w e l l i n g s t h a t , c rep t c l o s e For h i l l - s i d e s h e l t e r , make the v i l l a g e - c l u m p , . Th is inn i s perched above to dominate— Except such s i g n o f human neighbourhood, (And t h i s surmised r a t h e r than s e n s i b l e ) There 's noth ing to d i s t u r b abso lu te peace , The r e i g n of E n g l i s h n a t u r e — w h i c h means a r t And c i v i l i z e d e x i s t e n c e . W i l d n e s s ' s e l f Is j u s t the c u l t u r e d t r i u m p h . (55-64) I t i s nature which s u p p l i e s c i v i l i z a t i o n and c u l t u r e r a t h e r than man-^ T o u r i s t s have, " v u l g a r i z e d t h i n g s comfor tab ly smooth" ( 3 3 ) . N a t u r e , as a s u p p l i e r of a r t , i s opposed to man's sent imenta l p r e t e n t i o u s n e s s , which the n a r r a t o r has observed i n the p a r l o u r ' s c l u t t e r e d w a l l s ( 3 4 - 4 1 ) , and which he i s about to s a t i r i z e i n the " l o v e r s of the p i c t u r e s q u e " ( 7 3 ) . N a t u r e ' s a r t i s w i thout a r t i f i c e , u n p r e t e n t i o u s a n d ; s p o n t a n e o u s , s a n d i t c o n t r a s t s w i t h man's e x e r c i s e s i n d e c e p t i o n , h i s va in attempts to capture i t s beauty i n "some per ic i1 -d rawing" ( 8 1 ) . The l a n d s c a p e , however * i s more than a b e a u t i f u l s c e n e ; i t c o n -t a i n s l i f e : P r e s e n t l y Deep s o l i t u d e , be s u r e , revea ls a P l a c e That knows the r i g h t way to defend i t s e l f : S i l e n c e hems round a burn ing spot of l i f e . (64-67) Secure w i t h i n the s i l e n c e o f n a t u r e , the "burn ing spot " i s p r o t e c t e d from abuse, from p r y i n g , v u l g a r e y e s , but l i f e means man, and man i n e x o r a b l y i n t r u d e s i n t o the scene: Now, where a P lace burns , must a v i l l a g e b r o o d , And where a v i l l a g e b r o o d s , an inn should b o a s t - -C lose and conven ien t : here you have them b o t h . (68-70) The n a r r a t o r thus s k i l f u l l y re turns to h i s p o i n t of d e p a r t u r e , and i n doing so he c reates a remarkable accumulat ive e f f e c t w i t h the movement from "burns" to "broods" to " b o a s t . " Th is p r o g r e s s i o n , emphasized by the a l l i t e r a t i o n , combines an Augustan balance i n the phras ing of the l i n e s w i th an i m a g i s t i c p e n e t r a t i o n i n meaning. As man i n t r u d e s i n t o nature f u r t h e r , he s i m u l t a n e o u s l y and p a r a d o x i c a l l y removes h i m s e l f from i t . When l i f e b u r n s , i t i s spontaneous, s i l e n t and n a t u r a l ; when the v i l l a g e b roods , l i f e i s s t i l l s i l e n t and t h e r e f o r e i n contact w i t h the s i l e n t wor ld around i t , but now out of harmony w i t h t h a t w o r l d , e m o t i o n a l , unhappy and ominous; and when the inn b o a s t s , l i f e i s v e r b a l , a r t i f i c i a l , , a s s e r t i n g i t s p r i d e , i t s independence from i t s s u r r o u n d i n g s , i t s c o n -c e i t e d e x i s t e n c e . The movement i s one from p u r i t y to s i n . Roma King says g the country i s "no longer the symbol of n a t u r a l i n n o c e n c e , " but i f he means the landscape s c e n e , and he presumably does s i n c e he r e f e r s to i t s " i d y l l i c atmosphere," i t i s d i f f i c u l t to agree w i t h h i s comment.' Browning c l e a r l y i m p l i e s t h a t man, i n s o f a r as he indu lges i n d e c e i t and s e l f i s h -n e s s , separates h i m s e l f from "The re ign of E n g l i s h n a t u r e — w h i c h means a r t /And c i v i l i z e d e x i s t e n c e . " Having desc r ibed the j u x t a p o s i t i o n of man and n a t u r e , . t h e n a r r a t o r w i thdraws , apar t from some b r i e f accounts of movement and s c e n e , which f r e q u e n t l y i n c l u d e po in ted e p i t h e t s , and so a l lows the c h a r a c t e r s to speak f o r themse lves , thereby r e v e a l i n g t h e i r q u a l i t i e s and t h e i r d e s i g n . In scene one ( there are e i g h t s e c t i o n s or s c e n e s ) , which in t roduces the Youth and the L o r d , a reasonable balance o f sympathy i s mainta ined f o r e a c h . : The Youth i s des ignated as a " p o l i s h e d snob" (143) by the n a r r a t o r , and he acknowledges the n o t i o n h i m s e l f (277) . He i s a "clumsy g i a n t " ( 2 5 5 ) , l a c k i n g the r e f i n e d p o l i s h of the e l d e r man, i n speech as i n appear -ance. His metaphors are mundane and h i s s t r u c t u r e s f o l l o w w e l l worn p a t -te rns and phrases : " p o i n t me to one soul bes ide / i n the wide wor ld I care one straw a b o u t ! " (263-264)- . By c o n t r a s t , i f the Lord employs a p r o v e r b i a l c l i c h e , he v a r i e s i t s u f f i c i e n t l y to r e s t o r e i n t e r e s t and v i g o u r : ; " s t i l l s i l k purse /Roughs f i n g e r w i t h some b r i s t l e s o w - e a r - b o r n ! " ( 3 9 7 - 3 9 8 ) . Aware of the low s o c i a l background he sp r ings f r o m , the Youth i s s e l f - c o n s c i o u s about h i s l a c k of l i n g u i s t i c s k i l l ( 2 5 8 - 2 6 3 , 2 8 6 ) . He p r o f f e r s , - h o w e v e r , a s imple g o o d w i l l , w h i c h wants to d i s r e g a r d h i s companion's debt . Al though t h i s g e n e r o s i t y i s t h a t of the economic-a l l y s e c u r e , the L o r d ' s a c c u s a t i o n t h a t he merely postures as a hero (236) may have some v a l i d i t y . H is m a t e r i a l w e l l - b e i n g , f o r i n s t a n c e , i s q u i t e taken f o r granted* and i t means the o f f e r i s a g e s t u r e , s i n c e the money i t s e l f i s of l i t t l e consequence to h im. Though he says the amount w i l l meet the debt of g r a t i t u d e which he owes the L o r d , the l a t t e r might j u s t i f i a b l y f e e l aggr ieved t h a t such a debt i s so e f f o r t l e s s l y met. The Youth 's money seems to g ive him a sense of personal s e c u r i t y which has d u l l e d h i s responses to o r d i n a r y e x c i t e m e n t s . H is match w i th h i s cous in w i l l i n c r e a s e h i s weal th even f u r t h e r , and the prospect of owning the b e a u t i f u l scenery around him i s t r e a t e d w i t h a l a c k of enthusiasm which h i n t s a t an u n d e r l y i n g c o m p l a c e n c y : . " ' F i n e enough country f o r a f o o l l i k e me /To own, as next month I suppose I s h a l l ! " ' . ( 1 2 5 - 1 2 6 ) . The house and lands are to him a "p lump-bodied k i t e " which w i l l p u l l him "Along l i f e ' s p leasant meadow" ( 3 4 0 - 3 4 2 ) . His m a t e r i a l i s t i c i n s e n s i t i v i t y even leads him to suggest t h a t a Cor regg io might be s u i t a b l e repayment f o r the gambling d e b t , a thought which provokes h i s companion's anger . The Youth i s w e l l - m e a n i n g , but he does not understand the L o r d ' s a r i s t o c r a t i c p r i d e , h i s (as y e t ) r e a l i s t i c p e n e t r a t i o n i n t o m o t i v e s . Indeed, the Youth 's own h i s t o r y , h i s rush ing o f f to i s o l a t i o n , • t o b u i l d a s e a - s i d e tower i n Dalmat ia a f t e r some wounding exper ience ( 2 9 5 ) , i m p l i e s an i m p u l -s i v e tendency towards exaggerated magnanimous g e s t u r e s . I t a l s o i m p l i e s a c e r t a i n na i ve te"wh ich i s present a g a i n . i n h i s c o n t i n u a l subserv ience to h i s companion. He i s , he s a y s , a "poor d i s c i p l e " , of t h i s man who i s h i s "master" ( 1 5 4 - 1 5 6 ) , - a n d i n view of the S a t a n i c a s s o c i a t i o n s which l a t e r gather around the L o r d , an i n c r e a s i n g i r o n y develops i n the Youth 's B i b l i c a l t e r m s . 1 Of c o u r s e , h i s h u m i l i t y i s a t t r a c t i v e , but there i s an uncomfortable f e e l i n g , caused main ly by h i s s t r a i g h t - f o r w a r d a n d . i m p u l -s i v e manner, t h a t i t accompanies a l a c k of mature p e r c e p t i o n . The Youth 's admi ra t ion o f the Lord o f f s e t s many of the unpleasant overtones to the l a t t e r ' s o f f i c i o u s and imperious t o n e , which i s seen p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the o p e n i n g / l i n e s : ' " That oblong book's the Album; hand i t h e r e ! ' " ( l ) y " 'Open the window, we burn d a y l i g h t , b o y ! " ' . ( 1 2 ) . S ince the. Youth accepts the commands wi thout q u a r r e l , the reader tends at t h i s stage to do the same. The n a r r a t o r tw ice a s s e r t s the L o r d ' s ref inement (144, 224), - and i n the face of h i s f i n a n c i a l l o s s , to the amount of ten thousand pounds, he preserves a proud d i g n i t y and s t o i c a l ca lm- - " ' -You man of marb le ! " ' (221) says the Youth . I t i s apparent t h a t the e l d e r man i s an i n v e t e r a t e gambler , t h a t he d e l i b e r a t e l y engineered t h i s game as h i s -l a s t chance to f l e e c e the Youth .o f h i s money ( 1 6 0 - 2 0 7 ) , and t h a t h i s unsavoury r e p u t a t i o n makes him unwanted i n domestic c i r c l e s (176) . But h i s s o c i a l ease and independent a t t i t u d e tend to m i t i g a t e h i s more s i n i s -t e r purposes . Even when, i t i s c l e a r t h a t h i s independence i s r e a l l y based not on noble p r i n c i p l e but on the s o c i a l f e a r t h a t h i s ignominious defeat and i n a b i l i t y to pay h i s debt might i n a d v e r t e n t l y s l i p out i n the l a t e - n i g h t i n t i m a c y of some smoking r o o m , - h i s a t t i t u d e e l i c i t s not s imply c r i t i c i s m of h i s s e l f i s h n e s s , but a l s o r e c o g n i t i o n and acceptance, of h i s / knowledge about human behav iour . At t h i s p o i n t , h i s a t t i t u d e suggests a reasonable s c e p t i c i s m or r e a l i s m about.human weakness which a f f i r m s r a t h e r than denies h i s s o c i a l s k i l l and p l a u s i b i l i t y . H is o u t b u r s t of sarcasm at the Youth 's mention of the Cor regg io p a i n t i n g i s a l s o a m b i v a l e n t . On the one hand, he gains approval f o r h i s r e j e c t i o n of the d i s t a s t e f u l p r o p o s a l , but on the o ther hand, the contempt which he e x h i b i t s towards the Youth 's s o c i a l background i s too r e a l to be l i g h t l y d i s m i s s e d : ' " f a t h e r ' s apron s t i l l / S t i c k s out from son 's c o u r t -ves ture . •'. . " ' ( 3 9 6 - 3 9 7 ) . Of c o u r s e , he q u i c k l y suppresses h i s response and the i n c i d e n t remains as a momentary s l i p p i n g of h i s s o c i a l mask, -though how much the r e v e l a t i o n i s c r u c i a l or important to h i s c h a r a c t e r i s not y e t c e r t a i n . As he r e s t o r e s h i s e q u a n i m i t y , he demonstrates an easy grace which i s i n g r a t i a t i n g - - " ' W e l l , n e i t h e r I nor you mean harm at h e a r t ! , . . " ' ( 3 9 9 ) - - b u t which a l s o , as he p roceeds , conta ins the elements of h i s verba l a r t i f i c e , h i s techniques f o r s o c i a l m a n i p u l a t i o n . He f i r s t mixes p r a i s e of h i s protege w i t h p r a i s e of h i m s e l f , so t h a t the second i s acceptab le because of the f i r s t : '"The p o l i s h e r needs prec ious stone no l e s s /Than prec ious stone needs p o l i s h e r ' " ( 4 0 5 - 4 0 6 ) . Nex t , he mixes s e l f - d e p r e c i a t i o n w i th s e l f - p r a i s e , as he a s s e r t s an u n s e l f i s h wisdom which wishes to help the Youth i n o rder t o . a t o n e f o r misus ing another "stone of p r i c e , " h i m s e l f (414) . He devalues h i s outward development" ( "cut awry /Or l e f t opaque" ; 4 1 7 - 4 1 8 ) , w h i l e never denying the va lue of the raw m a t e r i a l (415 , 419).. Th is move, which acknowledges h i s f a i l u r e to produce any e x t e r n a l s i g n of s u c c e s s , w h i l e m a i n t a i n i n g an independent i nner q u a l i t y which y e t remains ( ' " I ' m nobody - -o r r a t h e r , l o o k t h a t same — / I ' m — w h o I am—and know i t " 1 ; 4 2 0 - 4 2 1 ) , s u b t l y prepares f o r h i s f i n a l p l o y , . w h i c h i s the o p e n - c o n f e s s i o n a l technique of P r i n c e H o h e n s t i e l -Schwangau. He admits h i s somewhat i n s i d i o u s design on the Youth : '"I end w i t h — w e l l - , you ' ve h i t i t ! — " T h i s Boy 's cheque /For j u s t as many  thousands as h e ' l l s p a r e ! ' " " ( 4 2 6 - 4 2 7 ) . Having gained h i s l i s t e n e r ' s conf idence w i t h the account of h i s f a i l u r e to develop h i s l a t e n t b r i l -l i a n c e , he concludes w i t h t h i s d isarming f rankness and w i th a l i g h t l y comic t o u c h , which i n the contex t of h i s speech and through a n e a t l y balanced r h e t o r i c a l f l o u r i s h ("The f i r s t I c o u l d , and would n o t ; your spare cash /I wou ld , .and c o u l d . n o t ' " ; 428-429) draws sympathy f o r h i s f u r t h e r f a i l u r e i n s t e a d of c r i t i c i s m f o r h i s i n i t i a l i n e r t i a . He c o n -fesses h i s i gno b le i n t e n t i o n s w i thout f e a r of r e c r i m i n a t i o n , he p l a c a t e s the Youth 's o b j e c t i o n s to h i s paying the d e b t , he r e s t o r e s s o c i a l harmony, and he even h i n t s i n d i r e c t l y at a noble s t o i c i s m — t o c o u n t e r -p o i n t h i s i gnob le i n t e n t i o n s — i n h i s a c c e p t i n g the consequences of h i s a c t i o n s . The Lord i s v e r b a l l y a d r o i t and e l u s i v e , though there i s no reason y e t to suspect him of anyth ing more than a r i s t o c r a t i c s u p e r c i l -iousness and an i n t e n t i o n to e x p l o i t the s o c i a l gaucher ie o f a young m i l l i o n a i r e . > In scene two, the Youth and the Lord c o n f i d e i n each o ther t h e i r unsuccess fu l love a f f a i r s . They do t h i s w h i l e w a l k i n g to the v i l l a g e s t a t i o n , and the n a r r a t o r takes another oppor tun i ty , of p r a i s i n g the n a t u r a l s c e n e , which c o n t r a s t s again w i t h man's bourgeois p r e t e n t i o u s -ness , .now e x h i b i t e d i n the Youth 's cous in who regards her r e c e n t l y acqu i red piano as a "brand-new bore" (507) . The i n e q u i t a b l e d i s t r i b u t i o n of w e a l t h , which means she has an e x c e l l e n t p i a n o . w h i l e her t e a c h e r , a mus ic ian of c o n s i d e r a b l e t a l e n t , has to p r a c t i s e on a t a b l e - t o p ( 5 1 7 ) , r e i n f o r c e s the L o r d ' s prev ious anger a t the Youth 's m a t e r i a l i s t i c i n s e n -s i t i v i t y to a r t i s t i c m a t t e r s . The. Youth c o n t i n u e s , as b e f o r e , to p r a i s e h i s m a s t e r ' s a b i l i t y , though the idea of the L o r d ' s aching w i t h l o v e , a preposterous no t ion to the Y o u t h , promotes a momentary awakening to the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t he may be mistaken i n h i s a t t i t u d e : '"My s o r t . o f ache? No, no! and y e t — p e r h a p s ! / A l l comes of t h i n k i n g you s u p e r i o r s t i l l ' " ( 5 7 3 - 5 7 4 ) . . He a l s o cont inues i n h i s t a c t l e s s n e s s , h o p e l e s s l