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dance of first-rate land close at hand. The oration by facts, fell upon a neighboring Zulus do not make the most of it; we Zulu, whose kraal he forthwith proceeded could render it far more productive : they to harry, and whose cattle-yard he plunare savages and helpless, we are civilized dered in self-awarded compensation. The and powerful. Let the Government with- magistrate naturally pointed out that comdraw its aggravating reservation laws ; let plainant had no right whatever to take the the best men win; and, if we can, let us law into his own hands, and this mild reseize the farras for ourselves.” Do we monstrance formed the gravamen of the not do well to be angry, ragingly angry, at appeal, which wound up with the menace : such utterances ? I admit that they are "You had better take care what you are not relatively frequent, for the Natalians about, or we shall act independently for in their norinal condition are among the ourselves, and try what a little shooting finest types of just and honorable English- will do." Perhaps the incident would be men. But the above mutterings are sonie. scarcely worth mention were it not a straw times tacitly supported by men who are indicating the current, and the nature of too much interested to denounce that that current is irrefragably proved by the which they are too much ashamed openly mixed horror and terror with wbich the to advocate.
natives regard the Transvaalers. Unhappily for the Zulus, the English lish nation,” they plead in effect, take are not the sole individuals tempted to from us what you deem just ; require of perpetrate that “wrong which needs re- us what you will, but save us from those sistance." The Boers, compared to us, malignant white fiends, the Boers." Even are as bloody wolves compared to surly the warrior police force 1 have described, dogs. For years past the whole gist of whose fathers—nay, many of whom themthe policy of Downing Street, sick of dis- selves—fought like heroes against us, astrous South African wars, the grave of shrink from a conflict from their ruthless most administrative and many military enemies, the Boers-a race derived from reputations, has been “ Peace with the the most law-abiding and humane of Boers ; rightly if possible—but, rightly European nations, but who, after the lapse or wrongly, peace with the Boers." of two centuries, are now characterized by
a just man will reply, the distorted profession of a religion they so long as the abominations of this race so often insult by their actions against the of hereditary native-slayers are endured, natives. and even connived at ?" In defiance of Afrikander patriots urge with a pathos, treaty rights, they have bereft the Zulus which would be touching, were it ever so. under our protection of a part of their little founded on fact : "Indeed, sir, you fairest inheritance, and have there estab- are in error. Our countrymen have always. lished their “New Republic”—and we treated the natives with exceptional tensubmit. The course of transactions with derness. When sometimes compelled, in reference to Swaziland convinces men qual. vindication of law and order, to inflict ified to judge that Swaziland will follow punishment, they have carried out penalthe same unjust fate. In vain do the na- ties with all possible humanity. The. tives plead with us for justice-in vain do compassionate farmers often make the local British administrators appeal against children of natives unhappily slain the obincessant encroachments. Neither is spo- jects of their special solicitude, convey liation and oppression simply of a national them home, feed, educate, and treat them nature inflicted on a country at large. In- as members of their own families. Truly dividual Boers with impunity rob and we here have an illustration of the "6 art maltreat individual Zulus for private ends. of putting things.” As regards a paste The borders teem with stories of wrongs which is within easy memory of the livtoo precise and well authenticated to be ing, call into court evidence of the burnt imaginary.
kraals, the plundered cattle, and the slain Within my own cognizance a mongrel bodies of Kafir inen, women, and chilDutch Boer addressed an angry remon
dren. With reference to the present, we strance to a superior civil authority against point to the extortion, the spurning and the decision of a subordinate English mag- hounding, of the miserable natives of the istrate. Complainant had missed some Transvaal, and to the recognized" apsheep ; his suspicions, destitute of corrob. prenticeship” of the orphans, which is New SERIES.-VOL. LIV., No. 1,
" What peace,
but a flimsy subterfuge for legalized not only shall we foster lawlessness to an slavery. If this proof be rejected, there extent which will be ultimately unenduris an end to the value of all evidence ; and able, but meanwhile we shall be conniving if such deeds may not be called atrocities, at a condition of affairs wherein war is a words have no longer any meaning.
less evil than peace. Our plain duty is Further hostilities with the Boers, to arrest at all bazards the oppression of wherein neither repute nor substantial ad. the belpless and unoffending natives, and vantage can possibly be gained, would be to allow our colonial rulers to follow the so deplorable, that every reasonable person principle so nobly illustrated by one of the must earnestly hope such an evil may be most upright of our soldiers and adminisaverted ; and no doubt few are fully trators, Sir Hope Grantą“ Fais ce que aware of the constantly recurring difficul- dois, advienne ce que pourra."-Blackties of the situation. But if we continue wood's Magazine, to acquiesce in Boer rapacity and cruelty,
Before the close of last year's Acade- matter is settled absolutely, with a perfect my, an article—which was most impor- adaptability for the changing occasions of tant, as it summed up in logical complete- the future. The conclusion of the whole ness the current ideas upon the subject, would be that henceforth Englishmen appeared in the New Review, written by should consider themselves debarred from the Duke of Marlborough. It gave judg- the consideration of the theory together ment upon the relative merits of Conti- with the practice of Art, for the whole nental and British Art. The verdict 150 years of its effort seem to result in arrived at was unfavorable for England as nothing but hopeless failure. Not only far as its pictorial genius is concerned. are they defeated now, but our national flag The absence of all artistic instinct in this is so given up to our rivals that henceforth befogged nation was first laid down by we should look upon ourselves at the best Wincklemann. Strictural judgments of as only a province of France. The test is ourselves are always wholesomely in favor the demand in the market, and for porin this country, and so Wincklemann's traiture the readiness of foreigners to pay view has never been without its champions English artists to paint their portraits, and among us, for malcontents have much used it is shown that whereas French picture it as a last retreat in a Parthian attack ; dealers never come to England to buy the keepers of the defending fort never British works, the English picture dealers having taken pains to demolish the distant go in shoals to France, Belgium, etc., to cover ; and in France the axiom has been buy works by the natives of these gifted welcomed as scarcely less precious than countries. For all who accept the inif it had risen on Gallic soil. That which ference it remains only to search out what makes it necessary to refer to the argu- the ideals of Art are with Frenchmen, ment relied upon by the Duke of Marl- Belgians, etc., and to be thankful for due borough here is that it does stand on intelligence to understand these. The a practical ground very rightly approved case is, in fact, more than proved, for by a nation of shopkeepers such as the beyond what is stated we have foreigners English are. The test so good for other of all races brought here to do their Art products is applied with confidence to set- work on English soil ; and the welcome ile the worth of Art creations. The they get from all quarters, to the great principle has been often before tacitly humiliation of English artists and Art, assumed as final, but the whole argument warrants the Duke of Marlborough's conof the article is an open declaration of the clusions that Continental painting and infallibility of the tribunal cited. If ac- sculpture far surpass English work, for cepted, the question of the ideals of our they are patronized by the British Court, Art needs no further disquisition. The by the Government and public Corpora
tions, by portrait sitters and by picture he declared to be his superior. The collectors. This foreign Art has an un- kindly service produced but brief patrondoubtedly distinct character at its highest, age. The dealers could sell nothing of as well as its lowest, and many young men Wilson's then, and the only mercbant who -even before the appearance of the article later ventured upon the purchase of works referred to—had been persuaded by the at 16s. each after a term refused further general tone of appreciation it gained to investment in the wares on the ground set themselves the task of cultivating the that he had never sold a single canvas of particular ideal adopted, and of imitating all which he had bought previously. The the manner of realizing this.
fashionable class have, since this painter's On such a wide scale the rule is a safe subsequent neglect and death, slowly recone among merchants, that what is the ognized Wilson's worth, as is proved by best in quality is the most in demand, and the prices they have accorded to the pictherefore the dearest, so that it seems a tures so determinedly neglected at first. natural prejudice to sustain the principle Hogarth's works had as strangely gone to the very utmost extent as omnipotent. begging in his lifetime ; one example is It applies in the first instance to articles convincing. The six pictures of “Marof food and clothing, which are accepted riage à la Mode," in their beautifully by experienced sight and judgment as of carved frames, were bought from the great the brand and locality which before have painter for 11098., and in forty-seven produced the most nourishing and deli- years they sold for £1381 ; and now, notcious food or the best wearing materials withstanding the verdict by a great critic, and finest fabrics for dresses. The mer- Chesneau, against Hogarth, what would chant has such respect for the knowledge they not fetch ? To come to later times— and judgment of his customers that he passing orer, by the wav, many other exfeels he would not be acting in his own traordinary examples of utter contempt of interest to purchase inferior articles, exo work in the beginning, which reflective
, cept at a lower price—for everything is years have estimated as among the most put to the test of use and cost and wear precious pearls in the nation's crown of by the first and second buyers, and thus glory, and also the wonderfully high apthe dealer wonld quickly destroy his repu- praisements of works which accorded with tation with the consumers were he to the taste of the passing day, and which select spurious or over-price goods. have since sunk in commercial value to no
This rule extends to weapons, to harness, more than the value of the frames-we to tools, and materials for practical work have one glaring example of the uncerof all kinds, and to building materials of tainty in the minds of picture merchants all descriptions, to all articles, in fact, of inore value to our argument, because it consumed by contemporaries ; but when puts France on the same level with Engwe come to works of Art we ought to ask land in this matter. It is the wide differtwice, at least, before we conclude that ence between the first and final valuation we are on equally safe ground with our by dealers of Millet's Angelus." This test, since we are confronted with one the painter offered in vain to successive very startling difference on the threshold of Parisian picture shops for £100, until he our inquiry : for we never heard of the first was compelled to accept about £75. It and the later opinion of the worth of any was brought to this country soon after, commodity of daily utility being appraised and refused by an amateur dealer at £200 ; 80 differently at first sight and afterward and in another ten years or so it was sold, (within a few years it may be) as we con- after Millet's death, at £27,000. As stantly do of a work of Art. Within our further evidence of the uncertainty of own national experience there is in illus. dealers' and buyers' judgment at first tration the case of our first landscape sight, let it be remembered that Turner's painter, Wilson, who, when in Rome, was bequest to the nation consists of pictures momentarily rescued from poverty by the which had been declined by the connoisgood-hearted championship of Vernet, the seurs, speculative or otherwise. In his Life seaport painter, who reproved the throng by Walter Thornbury, a contributor tells of English admirers and would-be patrons of Turner replying to a remark on some of his studio, of the fashionable class, for paintings standing in the passage of bis their disregard of their compatriot, whom house, which had recently been brought
in, “ Yes, I send them to exhibitions, but that in contributions to Continental exhithey all coine back again,” and it is well bitions the works of Parisian inspiration known that bis exquisite painting of by foreign artists settled in London appear “ Crossing the Brook” was refused by in quantity, and to these with official Engthe gentleman for whom it was painted at lishmen the grand prizes are always first the price of £300. Yet this work at an given. auction would now certainly bring more What has given ground for the prejuthan twenty times the original sum. dice is certainly the established in differWith such facts before us we have to ask ence of the ruling classes to the clain that which judgment of the picture-dealers we British artists have honestly earned, that shall accept, the first or the second ? they might be allowed to work on a scale
In any investigation as to the ideals of deserving to be regarded as national. Art it is ever of the first importance to There is a difficulty in any practica! determine how far the taste of the day is artist taking upon himself to define what founded upon healthy study of the ques- is true in taste, since naturally it will be tion. I am not able to conclude that concluded that he is defending his own artists themselves, who ought to be cau- choice and manner of work. In a degree tious as weil as broad-minded, have not, this must, indeed, be allowed for, but at and do not, come to opinions with but the worst it cannot be so misleading as small care for their future reputation for the ipse dixit of professors who never show judgment, for they have too often adopted you on what level their words describing the prejudices of the day without inquiry. the shore being explored are to be read, On the Continent the claims of England and whether they are standing on vessels to Art excellence have been but grudg- of good burthen, or are floating only on ingly acknowledged.
corks or feathers up and down the twistThere is a frieze on the Palais de ing currents of the bestained and much l'Industrie bearing the names of many polluted stream of passing life. The ideal great artists of the Continent, but among of Art in this day has to be eliminated all, as I am assured, there is not that of from a confusing jumble of misrepresentaone Englishman. To the concoctors of tion, which innagines the defiling flood as that list Hogarth, Reynolds, Gains- the crystal of the pure river it once was, borough, Romney (the three last wisely and which it should ever be. I do not singled out by the Duke of Marlborough claim more than that my work, such as it for some laudation), Wilson, Flaxman, is, ought to have enabled me to sift many Stothard, Wilkie, and Turner had worked hundreds of times my first theories, and altogether in vain. Bavarian artists, to come to mature convictions which at again, seem to have encouraged a similar my start in life it would have been a blessprejudice, as any one may now see in the ing to me to have had demonstrated by an Pinacothek at Munich, for in a gallery elder of real experience. painted about 1836 to do honor to the Art I have no word of blame for the dealof the world, while, Italy, France, Spain, Of course, they are not all of one Holland, and Germany have representative grade in any respect. Some, indeed, men to stand for them, in the compart- within certain lines, acquire an indepenment devoted to England the figure of dent knowledge of Art, but their business, Sleeping Genius is portrayed, as he is just whatever they may feel privately, is to being aroused by a blast from the trumpet learn the taste of the day, and to adapt of Fame tingling in his startled ears. It their course to meet this. At times they is true that the Dome of St. Paul's make mistakes even from over-desire to Cathedral is in the background, but this be safe. You could not expect that
any one is there to localize the scene rather than of them would declare his prime motive as a triumph of Art. I do not know that in his dealing Often-pot altogether even now there is much advance on this falsely—he uses the protestation of intense point, although, indeed, about two years devotion to the interests of Art in the since in a letter from Berlin I observed a largest sense as a stalking horse for his questionably complimentary phrase to the nearest interests, but no sensible person effect that England was certainly now be. would take him seriously as a perfect ginning to develop a School of Art : a de- guide to the nation for reaching its highcision arrived at, perhaps, from the fact est pinnacle of glory. For an artist so to
adapt himself to the market is a prostitu- potentates have spent not only their own tion of all honest aims ; it is the selling but also the public money in encouraging of his soul alive, and when the example is one dishonest quack after another, and it followed, believe me that Art is on the seems to have given them more joy when road to the grave. The corpse may be the impostor was a foreigner; and thus fair and well decked out, but never more the public prejudice against native power will it be raised up from the bier. His has been increased. The fact is that our Grace has apportioned some well-deserved misfortune is in the general flippant estipraise to a few members of the English mate by the great of the importance of Art school, mixed with his strictures to a country. The. Duke gives evidence of others. He will quickly see that the mer- this in the following sentence :—“We itorious are not of the number turning out may be, and no doubt are, in matter of of their way to catch the favor of the Empire, the Romans of modern Europe ; “ shrewd Scotch and Americans” who but in Art and all that pertains to Art bny in obedience to the fashion of the teaching the French are the modern time. There are too many caterers to Athenians, and Paris is the modern spoilt children of fortune who pass for Athens.” He is perfectly unaffected with true artists, They have learned the trick any feeling that perhaps there is fault of the trade. They know all the stock somewhere outside the circles of workers sentiments. They offer the faded tints when he brings himself to decide that the and lines worn out and discarded by the country which made its sacrifices, and truly inspired, and they can delight in the showed its iron will under the leadership evidence of the ease, even, too, of the of his great ancestor, that Europe should perfection, with which they have done not be given back to Cæsarism (as it did their work, However they may display again in the great war against Napoleon), their well-drilled powers, their god is the nust now go down to posterity branded market, and to this they sacrifice, having as a set of warriors fighting for no great no fear of losing, and the largest reward object, that is, so far as any evidence in being offered ; but the end is not yet. beauty of design left for the New Zealander
To prepare at closer hand for the in- to see could save them from the slur, and vestigation of the true ideal in Art, we he never acknowledges the extreme immust consider the inatter in a manner par- probability of such incapacity in a race allel to that which Socrates recommends which bas produced incontestably the about philosophy. If the whimsical and greatest poets the world has yet known. ignorant infant patients imagined by the Surely he must see the absurdity of such Athenian dialectician were asked for their a sweeping condemnation while the array favorite provider of food, would they of great masters England has produced in choose the physician whose experience the face of the indifference of the great made him a wise adviser for the training stand before all honest eyes, so that some of youth destined for great athletic even are quoted in his paper. What of achievements ? They would rather, it is use the rich have done in Art bas mainly justly pointed out, choose the confectioner been to patronize portraiture. The result who would indulge them with sweetmeats in the highest examples has been so noble and pastry for their food, and demur that this alone has established the greatest loudly to the wholesome food which the aptitude of our race for the Art. What guardian of health would supply. There other modern country has come near to are surely but few among the rich back- the greatness of our portraitists of a cening the dealers who are beyond the stage tury since ? In other branches of the purof these children. The stomach soon suit the workman has had to embrace consends retribution for folly in too great in- tinual poverty. Yet what Frenchman has dulgence in sweetmeats and other unwhole- painted a picture equal in living movement some dainties ; but where does the penalty to Wilkie's “Blindman's Buff,” one in fall for transgressions of good judgment sweetness Jike Leslie's “Mother and in taste ? Not on the culprits at all, but Babe"? Who has done one equal in only on the national Art, which many honest and dignified pathos to F. Walker's poor men are giving their lives to keep • Vale of Rest”? Or let it be asked, vigorous and to enlarge. It would not be what Turner have they had ? difficult to prove that often misdirected other interest than portraiture the rich here