Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse. Murphy's First Corollary If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.
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Art is expression; what is expressed is often the vision of a subtle and powerful soul, and also his experience with his vision; and however vivid and skilful he may be in the means of expression, yet it is frequently found that the master-spell in his work is something felt to be indefinable and inexpressible.
One can re-create what was in the mind of a mathematician a thousand years ago, recapture the truth of the intellect wherever it may have once come to light; but the image of art, that infinite variable of perception and expression in the individual, - that is not easily re-created, at least, not with certainty and in its original fulness.
The growth of art seems to be in cycles, and often its vigorous lifetime is restricted to a century or two. The periods of distinctive drama, Greek, English, Spanish, fall within such a limit; the schools of painting and sculpture likewise; and, in poetry, the Victorian age or the school of Pope will serve as examples.