"Art Remains The One Way Possible Of Speaking Truth"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: It is fitting that Browning concludes his longest work with one of his favorite observations about art. Because men live in a world that they experience only through their senses and because the senses are not always reliable, no two men will agree about the world. The differences in opinion about the most trivial experiences are, therefore, essentially the same as the controversies between philosophers or theologians. Art, unlike the disputers, speaks obliquely, addressing all men so that, while there may remain disagreement, the underlying truth of the human condition is apparent. In The Ring and the Book Browning has illustrated this belief by telling the story of the Roman murder trial from different, often divergent, points of view, leaving to the reader the responsibility of sifting the evidence to reach a conclusion. Like the human condition, the truth of the murder case is hidden within the differing reports, and only the skillful mind has the ability of figuring out the truth.

So, British Public, who may like me yet,
(Marry and amen!) learn one lesson hence
Of many which whatever lives should teach:
This lesson, that our human speech is nought,
Our human testimony false, our fame
And human estimation words and wind.
Why take the artistic way to prove so much?
Because, it is the glory and good of Art,
That Art remains the one way possible
Of speaking truth, to mouths like mine at least.