I went hastily through the larger Velasquez gallery in not only a challenging but an irritable mood. The holy of holies I was enraged to find, seemingly, crowded. There was the picture, but a big easel stood in the foreground blotting out the left side; some selfish artist copying, some fellow thrusting himself between us and the floating illusion of art.
He was intermittently engaged, during these weeks, in the delicious, the enchanting business of constructing the ideal programme and scheming the spare hours to ensure its achievement. He lived in a dream and illusion of ultimate perfection. Several times, despite the spell of Swift, he glanced at his watch. The hand went from nine to ten minutes past ten.
It is true that you have a hard task before you, but it is not because you are fighting convention and shattering illusion; it is because you are assailing a good. Love has never acquired the prestige of the established, and the run of marriages are prompted by advantage, routine, or passion. So you are no innovator, Herbert.
He remained so rigid and motionless, clutching the banisters with his stiffened fingers, that when he did attempt to move, all life, as well as all that had made life possible to him, seemed to have died from him for ever. There was no nervous illusion, no dimming of his senses; he saw everything with a hideous clarity of perception.
By an illusion common to all great reformers, Jesus imagined the end to be much nearer than it really was; he did not take into account the slowness of the movements of humanity; he thought to realize in one day that which, eighteen centuries later, has still to be accomplished. Comp. These formal declarations preoccupied the Christian family for nearly seventy years.
In climbing the heights, it was always a surprise to me to see the Pacific rise up as I rose, till it stood up like a great blue wall there against the horizon. A level plain unrolls in the same way as we mount above it, but it does not produce the same illusion of rising up like a wall or a mountain-range; the blue, facile water cheats the eye.
Heard might have mistaken for two Green genii but for the fact that between them lay an enormous and hideously modern receptacle of wicker-work which impaired the illusion.
This is near the southern cliff. Farther north a crag rises out of the stream, its upper surface covered with green clover of the most vivid freshness. Not only all night, but all day, has the dew lain upon its purity. They stand on the eminence that forms the background of my present view. The illusion is extremely picturesque, such as Allston himself would despair of producing.
In a matter where custom is so ingrained and supported by a constant apperceptive illusion, there is little hope of making thought suddenly exact, or exact language not paradoxical. We must observe, however, that only by virtue of a false perspective do ideas seems to govern action, or is a felt necessity the mother of invention.
The note was little, if at all, louder than before, and repetition broke the illusion no picture followed, as he had half hoped it might. "But what is this? Goodness! what force the wind can get up in a few minutes! What a tremendous gust! There! I knew that window-fastening was no use! Ah! I thought so both candles out. It is enough to tear the room to pieces."