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In the revolt against idealism, the ambiguities of the word experience have been perceived, with the result that realists have more and more avoided the word. It is to be feared, however, that if the word is avoided the confusions of thought with which it has been associated may persist.
The greatest wisdom is to make the enjoyment of the present the supreme object of life; because that is the only reality, all else being merely the play of thought. On the other hand, such a course might just as well be called the greatest folly: for that which in the next moment exists no more, and vanishes utterly, like a dream, can never be worth a serious effort.
No writer can be fully convicted of imitation except there is a concurrence of more resemblance than can be imagined to have happened by chance; as where the same ideas are conjoined without any natural series or necessary coherence, or where not only the thought but the words are copied.
To express the love of two lovers by a marriage of two complementary colors, their mingling and their opposition, the mysterious vibrations of Kindred tones. To express the thought of a brow by the radiance of light tone against a somber background; to express hope by some star, the eagerness of a soul by a sunset radiance.
There is an intellectual function in us which demands unity, connection and intelligibility from any material, whether of perception or thought, that comes within its grasp; and if, as a result of special circumstances, it is unable to establish a true connection, it does not hesitate to fabricate a false one.
We waded so gently and reverently, or we pulled together so smoothly, that the fishes of thought were not scared from the stream, nor feared any angler on the bank, but came and went grandly, like the clouds which came and went on the western sky, and the mother-o'-pearl flocks which sometimes form and dissolve there.