Liber Aleph



De Monstris[1]

Sayst thou, o my Son, that not thus, but by forced Training, one cometh to Perfection? This indeed is sooth, that by artificial Selection, and well-watched Growth and Environment, one hath Dogs, Horses, Pigeons, and the like, which excel their Forebears in Strength, in Beauty, in Speed, as one will. Yet is this Work but a false Magical Artifice, temporary and of Illusion; for thy Masterpieces are but Monsters, not True Variations, and if thou leave them, they revert swiftly to their own proper and authentic Type, because that Type was fitted by Experience to its Environment. So therefore every Variation must be left free to perpetuate itself or perish, not cherished for its Beauty, or guarded for its Appeal to thine Ideal, or cut off in thy Fear thereof. For the Proof of its Virtue lieth in the Manifestation of its Power to survive; Amen, to reproduce itself after its Kind. Nurse not the weakness of any Man, nor swaddle and cosset him, not though he were Poet or Artist, because of his value to thy Fancy; for if thou do this, he shall grow in his Infirmity, so that even his Work for which thou lovest him, shall be enfeebled also.

[1] On Monsters

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