Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

THE IMITATIVE ARTS. 
219 
amuse ourselves by some comparatively purposeless exercise 
of the more delicate organs of correlation. How we do it 
varies with our temperament. We may whittle a piece of 
stick into a doll or a tooth-pick ; we may cut out figures 
with a paper and scissors ; we may draw pencil sketches on 
our finger nails ; we may fish over the ship’s side for sar¬ 
gasso-weed ; we may plait the loose ends of the leather 
window-strap ; we may deface the letters on the company’s 
notices ; we may carve our initials on the wood-work ; 
we may smoke, bite our nails, or hum a tune ; but some¬ 
thing or other we must do. Under ordinary circumstances 
adult men have enough to occupy them without such shifts ; 
but women of the upper classes are obliged to expend their 
superfluous energies on embroidery, wool-work, vitromanie, 
wood-carving, leather-moulding, and a thousand other quasi- 
artistic expedients. In short the nervous structures are 
there, and an appropriate object must be found for them. 
Of course all these facts already postulate the series of 
prior developments by which such complicated organs of 
correlation have been brought into existence. The function 
is imperative because the structures exist ; and the struc¬ 
tures exist because previous function has slowly perfected 
them. So that these characteristics of civilized man cannot 
account for the first artistic attempts of the savage. But in 
the savage too, though to a less extent, there is a necessity 
for exercising the hands upon comparatively useless work. 
Just as the eye, whose main functions are at first those of 
searching for food or mates and anticipating the approach of 
enemies, must yet expend its energies in viewing countless
        

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