The following monologues were given as public addresses, mostly to semi-academical audiences, and no alteration has been made in their form. Their common object has been to plead the cause of literary study at a time when that study is being depreciated and discouraged. But along with the general plea must go some indication that literature can be studied as well as read. Hence some of the articles attempt--what must always be a difficult task--the crystallizing of the salient principles of literary judgment.
nception, to a thought, a feeling, an imagined picture which exists in the mind of the artist. His aim is to communicate it truly, wholly, perfectly to the minds of his fellow men, by one of the only two possible channels. By means of art mind can communicate itself to mind either through the eyes or through the ears; by spoken words and music through the ears, by painting and sculpture and written words through the eyes.
I need not dwell upon the thought what a wonderful thing this communication is, whereby the pictures and feelings existing in one brain are flashed upon another brain. Nor need I elaborate the point that this communication is rarely absolute, rarely even adequate. To make people understand, even those who know us best, how difficult that is!
The Greek sculptor Praxiteles conceives a human form of perfect beauty, posed in an attitude of perfect grace, wearing an expression of perfect charm and serenity. It exists but as a picture in his brain; but he takes marble and hews it and