Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/771

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sacred, mythical, and allegorical personages, in a blazonry of symbolic adornment. A fine description of these and how the artist worked from them may be found in Brown's manual on the fine arts to which reference has been made.

Artistic inspiration arises from the stimulation of the imagination, the faculty of movement and form, by some strong feeling seeking expression. Among the feelings which have been most productive of such stimulation we may mention the religious sentiments, which open a limitless field for imaginative activity; the emotions of love, which stir imagination to the delineation of human beauty; the moral sentiments, which excite it to portray the heroic and sublime qualities of character; and the passion for natural scenery, which attracts it to the representation of the beautiful in Nature. All these feelings awaken a faith in some higher possibility, opening the quest for the ideal, or beauty stripped of its imperfections. Art thus becomes the appeal of personality to personality, of intelligence to intelligence. Its highest office, toward which it has been slowly striving, is to serve as a language for the embodiment and communication of ideas and sentiments which have a value for human sensibility. As Emerson has tersely said, "Art is the path of the creator to his work."



Mr. President and Gentlemen: Allow me to return you my most grateful thanks for the honor which you have done me in asking me to address you to-night. I believe that there are none here excepting myself who can understand how grateful I feel, because no one else can know how much I owe to this society. I have been compelled during my life to do a good deal of speaking and of writing, and yet these are the two things which above all others I dislike and for which I am naturally entirely unfit. Had it not been for the training which I received in this society I do not think that I should ever have been able to speak in public at all. In relation to speaking and writing, I often recall an anecdote told me by my poor friend the late Dr. Milner Fothergill, regarding a beaver which an American said he had chased so hard that it had been forced to climb up a tree to escape him. "But," said his hearer, "beavers

  1. Inaugural address delivered at the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh on October 21, 1892. Abridged from the London Lancet.