Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, October 15, 1882, Page 5, Image 5

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thu mind wllh u n accurate copy of pluvious objects of
sight; sccomll.v; abstraction, which separates qualities
ami materials from tlio various objects supplied by con
ccptlon ami UiiriUy Judgment, orlaslo arranges these ma
Icrials and Tonus new combinations. Judgment is tho
workman whoso tools are furnished by conception and
abstraction. This properly Is termed by many tho c.rca.
tlvc imagination. An apt illustration of tho work of this
faculty is scon in Milton's Paradise Lost. His description
of llic Qaiden of Eden was not an exact transcript of any
spot belore seen, but was wrought from tho various strik
ing scenes mid transcondant beauties which had at one
time and another crowded into his mind. That is, con
ception and abstraction furnished the materials plucked
from this or that lovely spot, while judgment as the active
Imagination wove them into an ideal paradise which only
the mind could picture.
Tliu scope of the imagination a as broad as nature, nay,
it is even more so for this faculty can take out a few atlrl
btites of nature and combine them in a thousand forms
Tho imagination has most fully doveloped Itself in relation
to the fine ails; indeed they do but take their rise from
this power. Remove from them tho imagination and you
have left ab tut as much as though you lake away the wax
from the honeycomb. Music, as an art is entirely tho
work ol the imagination. Wnat harmony is there" in the
whistling of tho wind, in tho rustling of the forest, In Iho
creaking of ibo ash swayed to and fro, or in tho chords
of an inslrumentjwhcn struck according to previously con
ceived combination. The paintings of tho masters have
been tho result of imagination enthused over some enno
bling theme from sacred writ perchance. The painter
may lake the description of the writi-r and with tho aid of
bis imagination put upon the canvas a far sublimcjpbjoct
than tho writer himself over conceived of.
Another thought worthy of oxprcsslnn is that tbe imag
ination far transcends nature in its peifectind. The paint
ing of the master must bo devoid of the deformities of na
ture, it must ombiaco such a combination ol perfect qual
as is not found to exist in reality. Tho landscape of a
gm-dencr must In. without the blemishes of the wilderness.
The building of the architect must be of finer workman
ship than nature employs. The poem of the poet, the
prose of the broser must shun the conventionalities and vul
garities incident to every day life. The characters of the
artist must bo true to their Ideal creation. Tho scenes to
inlo which he introduces us says a writer are, in general,
perfectly unlike those which occur in tho world. As his
object is to plo&so ho removes from his descriptions every
circumstance which is disgusting ntul presents us with
histories of elegant and dignified distress. It is not such
ficeni-s that human life exhibits. In fiuo the ideal of the
artist rises far eyond his execution. The musician, the
painter, the gardener, tho architect, tho poet, the writer of
prose, llic novelist, none cau realize the model of his im
Another important use of the imagination is that in re
lation to reading. If it be historical the mind immediate.
' ly becomes the theatre of action, the characters and events
described "assume reality, everything is rccnacled with
more or less interest according to (he degree of vividness
1 of thu imagination. The mind becomes unconscious of
the words as tho woikofthc imagination goes on. It is
not only in interpreting the particular words of a descrip
tion thpt the powers of tho imagination and conception
aro employed. They arc farther necessary for filling up
tho different parts of that plcturo of which the most min-
uto descrlber can only traco tho outline. In the best de
scription thcronWeli left to tho rciifloFio supply: and
tho effect which it produces on his mind will depend in
considerable degree on the invention aud taste with which
tho picture is finished.
The ojlicfuses of tho imagination aro various. All In
vention is due to tills power, lor what is invention but a
new application of already existing materials ? Summar
ily all progress In any direction can be traced to this
power. IJeroft of Imagination there would bo nothing
but an exact reproduction of what has previously existed;
this from the very necessity of the case would forbid any
The varying Imaginative powers possessed by different
persons is worthy of note. Thus, in all likelihood, no
two pictures produced by acl ss in painting a drawing to
whom hiwl been assigned tho same theme would in any
respect resemble each other more than the necessities of
the case might demand. No two persons, scarcely, will
construct similar pictures from tho same description. Some
being more vivid, others less so, some developing more
completely one feature than another from a closer a'.qualn
tance with that subject, others another. The Imagination
correspond.! moro or less with the other traits or character
or its being.
Lastly, wo consider the relation which the imagination
sustains to human happiness. Tho faculty of imagina
tion, in the words of another, is tho great spring of hu
man activity and the principal source of human improve
mcut. As it delights in presenting to tho mind new scenes
and characters more perfect than those which we aro ac
quainted with; it prevents us from being completely sat
isfied with our present condition, or with our past attain
ments, and engages us continually in the pursuit of smno
untried enjoyment, of some ideal excellence. Hence the
ardor or the selfish to better their fortunes and add to
their personal accomplishments; hence tho zeal or the pa
triot and philosopher to advance tho virtue and happiness
of the human race. Destiny this faculty and tin condi
tion of man will become as stationary as thai of brutes.
The pictures or the poet or the painter are drawn simply
togivepleasuic; they are never faithful copies from na
ture. Tho most brilliant composition of the music an is
felicitous in its object,
It is by means of the 'imagination that one man can
sympathize with another in aflliction. Tho drunkard on
the street cau be followed to his home. Tho pim-hcl and
haggard looks of the wife and children clothed in tho
habiliments or poverty and neglect, shrinking with tenor
at the heavy tread upon the threshold or the brutal hus
band and rather; all this cau be vividly pictured to the
mind. Descriptions or suffering and woe conjure up to
the mind scenes of wretchedness and distress. S in
many other ways might bo shown the part the Imagina
tion plays in drawing forth human sympathy, the object
of which is the piomotion of human happiness.
At a soecial meeting of Palladiaus Tuesday night tho
following members were chosen to compete with the
class from tho Union society in tho coming contest: CO.
Chase, Orator, J. N. Drjdi-n, Essayist, A. G. Warner, Do
bater, Minnie Parker, Declamor.