Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/346

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ogy between scarlet and the note of a trumpet may easily be due, in part at least, to association of tins tone with the scarlet uniform.

I may add that I once happened to overhear a little girl of six talking to herself about numbers in this wise: "Two is a dark number, forty is a white number." I questioned her, and found that the digits had each its distinctive color, thus: "one," white; "two," dark; "three," white; "four," dark; "five," pink, and so on. "Nine" was pointed and dark, "eleven" dark green, showing that some of the digits were much more distinctly visualized than others. Just three years later I tested her again and found she still visualized the digits, but not quite in the same way. Thus, although "one" and "two" were white and black as before, "three" was now gray, "four" red, "five" pink, "nine" had lost its color, and "eleven," oddly enough, had turned from dark green to bright yellow.

This case suggests that in early life new experiences and associations may modify the tint and the shade of sounds. However this be, children's colored hearing is worth noting as the most striking example of the general tendency to supplement and to overlay sense-impressions with vivid images. It seems reasonable to suppose that colored hearing and other allied phenomena, as the picturing of numbers, days of the week, etc., in a certain scheme or diagrammatic arrangement, when they show themselves after childhood, are to be viewed as survivals of early fanciful brain work. This fact, taken along with the known vividness of the images in colored hearing, which in certain cases approximate to sense-perception, seems to me to confirm the view here put forth, that children's imagination may alter the world of sense in ways which it is hard for our older and stiff-jointed minds to follow.

I have confined myself here to what I have called the play of imagination, the magic transmuting of things through the sheer liveliness and wanton activity of a child's fancy. How strong, how vivid, how dominating such imaginative transformation may become will of course be seen in cases where violent feeling, and especially fear, gives preternatural intensity to the realizing power of imagination. But this effect of emotion is too large a subject to deal with here.

This playful transformation of the actual surroundings is, of course, restrained in serious moments and in intercourse with older and graver folk. There is, however, a region of child life where it knows no check; where the impulse to deck out the shabby reality with what is bright and gay has it all its own way. This region is Play. In another article, with the permission of the editor, I hope to take up the subject of children's play, considered as an expression of their imaginative activity.