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of Imitation superiority over those of Truth, in view of the fact that so many more attributes are essential to the production of an idea of Imitation than are required to induce an idea of Truth. The fallacy of such a judgment has its rise in the assumption that an idea of Imitation contains
large number of ideas of Truth. Let us take our illustration of this from the domain
of painting. In the first place, ideas of imitation do not contain ideas of Truth accurately stated. If they did do this, and if, again, this faithfulness of statement was made a subject of contemplation as being truth, then, indeed, an idea of Imitation would, by very virtue of the fact that it comprehended several ideas of Truth, be nobler than a solitary idea of Truth. But faithfulness of statement is not only not necessary to Imitation, but is in reality inconsistent with it; and then again, Imitation deals only with such attributes of its subject as our perceptive faculties are readily cognizant of, the subtler, grander, more spiritual truths of nature entirely eluding its grasp. The following quotation from an authority on the subject of painting will more fully illustrate the point at issue. “But, observe, we require, to produce the effect of imitation, only (the imitative presentation of) so many and such ideas of truth as the senses are usually cognizant of. Now the senses are not usually, nor unless they are especially devoted to the service, cognizant with accuracy, of any truths but those of space and projection.
" It requires long study and attention before they give certain evidence of even the simplest truths of form. For instance, the quay on which the figure is sitting, with his hand at his eyes, in Claude's seaport, No. 14, in the National Gallery, is egregiously out of perspective. The eye of this artist, with all his study, had thus not acquired the power of taking cognizance of the apparent form even of a simple parallelopiped. How much less of the complicated forms of boughs, leaves, or limbs? Although, therefore, something resembling the real form is necessary to deception, this something is not to be called a truth of form ; for, strictly speaking, there are no degrees of truth, there are only degress of approach to it; and an approach to it, whose feebleness and imperfection would instantly give pain to a mind really capable of distinguishing truth, is yet quite sufficient for all the purposes of deceptive imagination. It is the same with regard to color. If we were to paint a tree sky-blue, or a dog rose-pink, the discernment of the public would be keen enough to discover the falsehood; but, so that there be just so much approach to truth of color as may come up to the common idea of it in men's minds, that is to say, if the trees be all bright green, and flesh unbroken buff, and ground unbroken brown, though all the real and refined truths of color be wholly omitted, or rather defied and contradicted, there is yet quite enough for all purposes of imitation. The only facts then, which we are usually and certainly coguizant of, are those of distance and projection, and if these be tolerably given, with something like truth of form and color to assist them, the idea of imitation is complete. I would undertake to paint an arm, with every muscle out oi its place, and every bone of false form and dislocated articulation, and yet to observe certain coarse and broad resemblances of true outline, which, with careful shading, would induce deception, and draw down the praise and delight of the discerning public.”
I have felt it necessary to state thus at length the differences between ideas of Truth and those of Imitation, in view of the fact that there is so much misunderstanding upon this point, and I have yet to make the most cardinal distinction, which is as follows:
Ideas of Imitation do not in the least imply the presence therein of ideas of Truth, those productions which are imitative never being true. Again, whenever one receives ideas of Imitation the mind invariably fastens upon the perception of falsehood, as has already been stated quite fully enough, while, in the case of ideas of Truth, the mind dwells wholly upon its own conception of the feeling, thought or purpose stated, occupying itself wholly with the particular attributes which intrinsically belong to that feeling, thought or purpose, and giving no attention whatever to those symbols or signs which constitute the expressive vehicle. “These signs," says Ruskin, “ have no pretense, nor hypocrisy, nor legerdemain about them ; – they bear their message simply and clearly, and it is that message which the mind takes from them and dwells upon, regardless of the language in which it is delivered. But the mind, in receiving an idea of Imitation, is wholly occupied in finding out that what has been suggested to it is not what it appears to be : it does not dwell on the suggestion, but on the perception that it is a false suggestion : it derives its pleasure, not from the contemplation of truth, but from the discovery of a falsehood. So that the moment ideas of truth are grouped together, so as to give rise to an idea of imitation, they change their very nature - lose their essence as ideas of truth — and are corrupted and degraded, so as to share in the treachery of what they have produced. Hence, finally, ideas of truth are the foundation, and ideas of imitation the destruction, of all art. ....... No picture can be good which deceives by its imitation, for the very reason that nothing can be beautiful which is not true.”
So much of vital import to the artist and his public attaches to his correct conception and exhaustive appreciation of ideas of Truth, that it is well, even at the risk of seeming prolix, to sift the subject with care and thoroughness. Ideas of Truth, let it be remembered, are the foundation of all art, and however brilliant and attractive the superstructure reared upon that foundation, it must all bear reference to this under-masonry of TRUTH. As in the case of architecture, every column, and every line, should suggest the strength and beauty of the foundation upon which it rests. In the conduct of life also, truth must be paramount to all else. Nothing can be either good or beautiful unless true; and this holds good whether Truth be merely considered as consistency with Genesis, or as some abstract, God-given standard sufficient unto itself. It is the most commendable of all attributes, - immutable and eternal.
Truth is truth
(TO BE CONTINUED.)
BY EVA A. H. BARNES.
life was lone,
My mortal senses were helpless here
BELIEVING in the spontaneous generations of the spirit, I would reveal my thoughts as they arise without undue restraint of rhetoric, or any kind of conventionality. Logic is a sort of mechanics, valuable no doubt, but in no wise indispensable to the movements of fish, the migration of fowl, or the creative power of the trustful children of God. A fact must suggest its own affinity, a thought must intimate its own coherency, and a truth must discover its own unity, as one beholding a cloud or stream must conceive the existence of the sea. He has small knowledge of the nest who is a stranger to the secrets of the bird.
Open wide every door and window to the Infinite. Facts will not suffer harm, thought will not soon break down the human brain, nor will truth be thus deprived of friends and care. Let us ever strive for a new day, without regret for any that has gone; the future is dearer that the past; morning is forever purpling upon the restless earth. Only that which lies behind should ever be considered sad and old. Let us cherish beautiful memories ; yet let not the splendor of departed sunsets make us feel, while in the common light of day, that the earth has lost its riches and will henceforward be poor. What has the serpent to do with the skin it shed last spring? Does it concern the bright-plumaged bird where the winds have blown its molted feathers ? What cares the honey-freighted bee for the circling flights its shining wings have made by sweet
and poison flowers, over meadow, forest, stream and mount? The Sun keeps no record of his golden omniscience, the Moon no history of her trackless glory through dreaming midnights on the radiant sea. The liberty of the whole universe belongs to those who love and aspire. To such souls, God and nature supply their own commentaries. No man may dare enforce his in. terpretation of the Sphinx upon another. One should wear, in cleanliness and decency, the clothes that fit him best, though they are without a fashionable pattern ; and it should not pain him if he is thus exposed to ridis cule, or sneered down as a rustic, a visionary, dogmatist or loon. Critic and school, logician and creed, prevent the sensuous mediocre from license, but are simply clogs to the loving and fearless inspirationist. The twenty thousand critiques of Shakespeare do not teach as much about him as will a page from“ Lear,” “ Hamlet,” or the “ Midsummer Night's Dream.” To read the innumerable concordances of the Bible tends to dim or obliterate the divine halo around the head of Christ. Heaven is never hidden from earth ; you may always have a special and sacred property of which men cannot rob you; give it away, and it will return with compound interest. I do not marvel at the silent Quaker, or “Shouting Methodist,” for every yearning soul, though he be but vaguely conscious of the nature of his feeling, will at times be entranced with the Holy Ghost.
All the senses are rivers that flow into the sea of sensation, for the soul can hear without ears, smell without nostrils, taste without tongue, see without eyes, and feel without touch. In the delicacy and strength of each of his five senses, the average man is surpassed by many animals. The hound or deer, has a far keener sense of smell; the bee possesses a finer taste; the sky-lark or nightingale * hears and speaks farther and sweeter ; the condor or eagle is keener and stronger in sight; the wild goose is a more sensitive barometer, and the sleeping trout, feels even the shadow's touch. But man is generally compensated with a harmonious diversity of sensuous power, and there is an august correspondence between his spiritual intuition and concentration, and the special gifts of the lower animals; - we see this truth in the almost perfect mastery of physical pain shown by the American Indian, in the wonderful phenomena produced by the oriental visionary, and in talent for all departments of thought and action. Cuvier, Agassiz, Darwin, and Haeckel readily learn the instincts and natures of all animals. The epicure tastes his way through existence, detecting the minutest atoms of the organic and inorganio kingdoms upon his palate ; Linnæus and Gray are familiar with all fragrance and odor; the deaf Beethoven knows the universe in sound; the blind Milton sees heaven and earth; the fragile Shelley feels the weight of the superincumbent hour.” Viewed in the light of reason, nature never wrongfully disinherits her creatures; the diseased, mad, imbecile, deaf, dumb, blind or deformed man, is a clear example of punished ignorance; and rarely does she inflict her extreme penalty upon the parent by indexing his offspring's brow with utter idiocy.
Feeling, emotion, sensibility, passion, are graded terms of the same fact; all pleasure and pain, ecstacy and misery, have their home in sensation; for the Pure Intelligence knows neither pleasure nor pain, neither love nor hate, neither hope nor despair, but is impersonal and immutable. The High Spirit eternally decrees an inflexible justice, though He arrest not the sparrow's fall, change not the constitution of a destroying cricket, check not the plague, earthquake and tornado, or suspend not the opera
" But the nightingale, another of my airy creatures, breathes such sweet, loud music out of her little instrumental throat, that it might make mankind to think that miracles are not ceased. He that at midnight, when the very laborer sleeps securely, should hear, as I have very often, the clear airs, the sweet descants, the natural rising and falling, the doubling and redoubling of her voice, might well be lifted up above the earth, and say, Lord, what music hast thou provided for the saints in heaven, when thou affordest bad men such music on earth!”
tion of a poisonous draught. Everything from saint to snake, from Deity to devil, exists and acts under wise limitations, and the serene soul will observe the sure relationship between weakness and wrong, sorrow and sin, suffering and ignorance, despair and crime, strength and purity, pleasure and goodness, beauty and love, knowledge and truth, philosophy and peace, hope and righteousness. Every prayer, save for submission to the order of the universe, is vain worship and blasphemy.
Commonly born either materialists or mystics, we naturally give undue weight to the laws of physical development, or to the phenomena of spiritual involution. God and truth are everywhere, and the most pathetic error of religious creeds and philosophies is that which assumes and teaches a necessary conflict between mind and matter – between the spiritual and the sensuous. If matter is to be loathed as repressive of spirit, life is our worst evil, and death our supreme good! But can suicide ever be held to be a wise act ? Matter is as pure as spirit ; * the low thought is not higher than the low deed ; baseness of soul is not superior to baseness of body; the murderous mind is responsible for the murderous hand.
Our standards are seldom wholly true, and we are not altogether satisfied with them, as is proved by our constancy in their defense. How we suffer from prejudice! How we are hurt in nursing falsehood and pride! Doubt, and even mockery, are the disguised allies of the truth. Man from an ape? It is neither nonsensical nor irreverent to inquire the nature of such manifold creation of insect, fowl, fish and beast. Desire must precede gratification ; the question must be prior to the reply; effort is required for the attainment of knowledge, mere belief or disbelief is not enough. What cause for irritation when scholars wisely adjust their glasses for a still hunt of “the missing link ”? One should never laugh at the earnest Puritan stirring the ashy remains of some surly hag in search of a witch. Star-chambers and Inquisitions are men's beliefs taking words of torture and flame. We should not be impatient with the naturalist who spends his days contemplating beetles and worms, magnifying formless protoplasms, inspecting fossil bones, laying bare the painless nerves of animals, or cultivating the acquaintance of chattering mammals, — discovering divine tabernacles everywhere. There are other priests who need our pity more. The tender hum of a tiny insect, - the monody of a sad-voiced dove cooing farewell to the fledglings of her nest,--the dainty caress of the sensitive plant, — the sunflower, all day yielding her voluptuous bosom to the amorous embraces of her gold-glimmering god, — the melancholy ocean mounting in sombre emerald toward the moon, are to me more beautiful and worthy symbols of the Holy One, than any canonized saint, mystic, medium, crescent, smoking incense, crucifix, sanctuary, or seven-pointed star.
None shall impose east or west upon me; I will regard Heaven and Nirvana, Paradise and Devachan, Purgatory and Kama Loca, Creation and Karma, Time and Eternity, in my own way. Nobody shall name me Deist, or Pantheist; Spiritualist, or Materialist; Mohammedan,or Christian; Jew, or Gentile ; Autocrat or Democrat. We are too much victimized by
* Using the word “pure” in the sense of freedom from heterogeneity, - a most proper use of the word, we feel that it may be properly said, that, in some cases, matter may be as pure as spirit; but under this definition the presence of spirit in matter would contaminate, and make it impure. We cannot but feel that in the above context the word “ pure" should not be given any of those common interpretations which make its meaning analogous to, and nearly synonymous with,
perfect” and “holy.” A sewer may contain pure filth, and that purity may suffer contamination by the influx of clean water, simply because it is thus deprived of homogeneity, (Ed.)