But one mark of a writer’s greatness is that different minds can find in him different inspirations; and Professor Erlin, who hated the Prussians, gave his enthusiastic admiration to Goethe because his works, Olympian and sedate, offered the only refuge for a sane mind against the onslaughts of the present generation.
Since he knew nothing of this, and drew his inspiration, not directly from life, but indirectly from life embodied in art, his inspiration came very quickly and easily, and as quickly and easily came his success in painting something very similar to the sort of painting he was trying to imitate.
Indeed, I shall seldom or never so indulge him, unless in such instances as this, where nothing but the inspiration with which we writers are gifted, can possibly enable any one to make the discovery.
Moreover, I had a secret conviction that the woman I was now in search of would prefer one who had had some experience at being a man, who would bring her not the green plums of his love, but the cunningly ripened nectarines, a man to whom love was something of an art as well as an inspiration.
Looking back now, I find that exactly two months previous to this inspiration, I had had an omen of its coming in the form of a sudden and decisive alteration in my tastes–more particularly in music.
At this dark and hopeless moment an inspiration burst upon him!
One morning when the rain streamed down unceasingly and Colin was beginning to feel a little restive, as he was obliged to remain on his sofa because it was not safe to get up and walk about, Mary had an inspiration.
There he might be seen jotting off a sketch with an air of some inspiration; and he was always affable, and one of the easiest of men to fall in talk withal.
I wanted a little inspiration, a little freshening up, a little change of ideas, and–
But the housemaid, too, served her term as model when Edna perceived that the young woman’s back and shoulders were molded on classic lines, and that her hair, loosened from its confining cap, became an inspiration. While Edna worked she sometimes sang low the little air, “Ah!
It was poetry that inculcated laws and maxims; it was by the harmony of its lines that traditions were handed down at a time when memory had to supply the place of writing; and it was the first language of wisdom and of inspiration.” It has been above all the recreation of statesmen and great officials, a means of escape from the weariness of public life and the burden of ruling.
But there is something beyond – a higher point, a subtle and unmistakable touch of love and pride beyond mere skill; almost an inspiration which gives to all work that finish which is almost art – which IS art.