94 On the Making of Music, somewhat analogous transformation and contradiction in terms. There was a time when language was as rare an accomplish- ment as writing was in the days when it was first invented. Probably talking was originally confined to a few scholars, as writing was in the middle ages, and gradually became general. Even now speech is still growing; poor folks cannot understand the talk of educated people. Perhaps reading and writing will indeed one day come by nature. Analogy points in this direction, and though analogy is often mis- leading, it is the least misleading thing we have. iii Communications between God and man must always be either above words or below them; for with words come in translations, and all the interminable questions therewith connected. iv The mere fact that a thought or idea can be expressed articulately in words involves that it is still open to question ; and the mere fact that a difficulty can be definitely conceived involves that it is open to solution. We want words to do more than they can. We try to do with them what comes to very much like trying to mend a watch with a pickaxe or to paint a miniature with a mop; we expect them to help us to grip and dissect that which in ultimate essence is as ungrippable as shadow. Nevertheless there they are; we have got to live with them, and the wise course is to treat them as we do our neighbours, and make the best and not the worst of them. But they are parvenu people as compared with thought and action. What we should read is not the words but the man whom we feel to be behind the words. vi Words impede and either kill, or are killed by, perfect thought; but they are, as a scaffolding, useful, if not in- dispensable, for the building up of imperfect thought and help- ing to perfect it.