The earliest efforts of his art (the Eclogues) reproduce the cadences, the diction and the pastoral fancies of Theocritus; but even in these imitative poems of his youth Virgil shows a perfect mastery of his materials.
Though the book is imitative and secondary in character it contains several passages of force and beauty, e.g.
Its first beginnings are seen in the imitative tendencies of animals by which the young of one generation acquire some of the habits of their parents, and by which gregarious and social animals acquire a community of procedure ensuring the advantage of the group. " Taboo," the systematic imposition by the community of restrictions upon the conduct of the individual, is one of its earliest manifestations in primitive man and can be observed even in animal communities.
His last publication was On Imitative Art (1882).
But the imitative act is itself instinctive.
The characteristic feature of the imitative act, at the instinctive level, is that the presentation to sight or hearing calls forth a mode of behaviour of like nature to, or producing like results to, that which affords the stimulus.
But it is probable that what we speak of as the imitative tendency is, in any given species, the expression of a considerable number of particular responses each of which is congenitally linked with a particular presentation or stimulus.
The group of instincts which we class as imitative (and they afford only the foundations on which intelligent imitation is based) are of biological value chiefly, if not solely, in those species which form larger or smaller communities.
In the department of philosophy, besides several writers of dissertations bearing an imitative, didactic or polemical character, Hungary could boast a few authors of independent and original thought.
Even in an imitative artist such precocity of talent is remarkable, and the date is therefore open to legitimate doubt.
A consequence of this change of circumstances was that comedy was no longer national in character and sentiment, but had become imitative and artistic. The life which Terence represents is that of the well-to-do citizen class whose interests are commonplace, but whose modes of thought and speech are refined, humane and intelligent.
He thought his poetry too imitative, detecting not only the truthful severity of Crabbe, but a "slight bravura dash of the fair tuneful Hemans."
The national love of works of large compass shows itself in the production of long epic poems, both of the historic and of the imitative Alexandrian type.
The imitative and rhetorical tastes of Rome showed themselves in the composition of exotic tragedies, as remote in spirit and character from Greek as from Roman life, of which the only extant specimens are those attributed to the younger Seneca.
We find now only imitative echoes of the old music created by Virgil and others, as in Statius, or powerful declamation, as in Lucan and Juvenal.
The imitative impulse, which had much of the character of a creative impulse, and had resulted in the appropriation of the forms of poetry suited to the Roman and Italian character and of the metres suited to the genius of the Latin language, no longer stimulated to artistic effort.
This they accomplished partly by the popular process of adoption and identification, partly by imitative creation.
In the case of poetry, this imitative spirit is apparent in Petrarch's Africa, and in the Latin poems of Politian, Pontano, Sannazaro, Vida and many others.
These sonnets were more personal and less imitative than the Olive sequence, and struck a note which was revived in later French literature by Volney and Chateaubriand.
So also obvious imitations, especially in a highly imitative literature such as Latin poetry.
In the lower Geyser basin are the Mammoth Paint Pots, a group of mud springs with colours varying according to the mineral ingredients in the steam, which not only colours the mud but also forms it into imitative figures.
He produced some Parisian and purely imitative work; but the best part of his production is the outcome of a passionate idealism of the quiet Flemish towns in which he had passed his childhood and early youth.
Symbolical or imitative acts, accompanied by spoken formulae of set form and obscure content, accomplished, by some peculiar virtues of their own, results that were beyond the power of human hands and brain..
He was possessed by the spirit of decadence, imitative rather than originating..
Certain markings on slates and sandstones, such as the "fucoids" of Scandinavia and Scotland, the Phycoides of the Fichtelgebirge, Eophyton and other seaweed-like impressions, may indeed be the casts of fucoid plants; but it is by no means sure that many of them are not mere inorganic imitative markings or the tracks or casts of worms. Oldhamia, a delicate branching body, abundant in the Cambrian of the south-east of Ireland, is probably a calcareous alga, but its precise nature has not been satisfactorily determined.
Its touch on classical mythology is original, rarely imitative or pedantic. The art of the Renaissance was an apocalypse of the beauty of the world and man in unaffected spontaneity, without side thoughts for piety or erudition, inspired by pure delight in loveliness and harmony for their own sakes.
It may reasonably be supposed, not only that they constructed the external framework of many chapters, and also made some additions of their own - a necessary process in order to weld their motley collection of fragments into a new and coherent book - but also that they fabricated anew many formulae and imitative passages on the model of the materials at their disposal.
And imitative sounds to represent the cat's mew, the click of a trigger, the clap or thud of a blow, &c. The total result of this combination of gesture and significant sound will be a general system of expression, imperfect but serviceable, and naturally intelligible to all mankind without distinction of race.
Still, the lower animals make no approach to the human system of natural utterance by gesturesigns and emotional-imitative sounds, while the practical identity of this human system among races physically so unlike as the Englishman and the native of the Australian bush indicates extreme closeness of mental similarity throughout the human species.
When, however, the Englishman and the Australian speak each in his native tongue, only such words as belong to the interjectional and imitative classes will be naturally intelligible, and as it were instinctive to both.
Although he made several ingenious improvements in scientific instruments, his mind was rather imitative and critical than creative.
Del Chiaro notices the great imitative capacity of the race, both artistic and mechanical.
At the time when I became her teacher, she had made for herself upward of sixty signs, all of which were imitative and were readily understood by those who knew her.
All use of language is imitative, and one's style is made up of all other styles that one has met.