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material for that comprehensive history of art in China, Corea and Japan, which was to be his magnum opus. I hope that this will prove to be sufficiently near its final form for publication.
More than twenty years ago, in a long and brilliant review of M. Gonse's "L'Art Japonais," Mr. Fenollosa wrote the first adequate survey of the development of Japanese art, in its true perspective and proportions, ever published in a European tongue. This essay was at the time nothing short of a revelation; for it was written by one who had not only studied under native teachers and seen for himself the masterpieces preserved in the temples and private collections of Japan, but who brought to the study an æsthetic perception trained by familiarity with the masterpieces of the art of Europe. We in England owe much to Dr. Anderson's labors in this field, but it must be admitted that his judgment was impaired by overmuch reliance on the academical standards of Western art. Mr. Fenollosa's writing was apt to indulge in exaggeration and rhetoric; but he gave a clue to the understanding of the ideas which inspired successive periods of production; he was never content merely to criticize from the outside. And this was a real service. The collectors of Europe had been enthusiastic over the art of eighteenthcentury Japan; they had ignored the grander achievements in painting and sculpture of its earlier ages; and for the Western world at large Japanese art is still associated with toy-like prettiness and a spirit expressive of nothing more than the gaiety of children. That the race which produced these things should prove itself capable of heroic effort and colossal undertakings was to most of Europe a great surprise. Yet to those who had chanced to arrive at some understanding of Japan's real achievement in art, the sustained and
serious production of many centuries, this was less a matter for astonishment. The exquisite lacquer, prints and ivories which fill the collections of Europe represent, in fact, the arts of a period when the canker of a long peace and an unnatural seclusion showed itself in a luxurious effeminacy of temper, strongly contrasting with the previous ages of perpetual struggle, warfare and response to ideas from without. In earlier times the male and martial spirit of the race had found expression in a host of dramatic painters and in sculptors of vehement power. And yet it must be added that the outlet for the heroic spirit of this race is often to be found where, from our point of view, we should least expect it. Periods of strenuous self-discipline delighted in slight sketches of landscape and birds in flight; and I fancy that the splendid pictures of battle and adventure were oftener the work of retrospective artists than of contemporaries.
Has it not been the same in Europe? I wonder what sort of impression the art of France, say, or of England would make on an observer from another hemisphere seeking to find in it a reflection of national character? The enormous hiatus caused by the Hundred Years' War and the Wars of the Roses makes it difficult to find any continuous clue. Our modern painting and sculpture has not grown normally out of the painting and sculpture of the Middle Ages, though both in England and France instinct has driven groups of artists to go back to those medieval creators in quest of something which the Renaissance atmosphere had lost; they represent a new beginning in which a foreign element counts for much. Certainly it would be rather difficult to infer the historic character of the English race from English art. But then it may be that our art has but begun; new masters, new events, may give it a fresh turn, a different direc
tion; who knows? So far we have been fairs makes for genial compromise
rather than for logical rigidity of purpose. But, after all, the expression of intellectual temper is hardly the same as the expression of what I have called historic character, the fundamental springs of energy by which a nation leaves its mark on history. Of this surely much, and perhaps the greater part, has still to find expression at the hands of English painters and sculptors.
I wrote a few months ago of a picture by Géricault, exhibited this summer at Messrs. Obach's, and expressed the hope that it might be acquired for the National Gallery. There was a picture which, over and above its qualities of pictorial design, concentrated and expressed in itself a whole era of France, one of the great eras of the modern world, the storm and fire of the France of Napoleon. If the money demanded for the new Hals makes purchase impossible, cannot some lover of French art still be found to present the nation with this work, which would so finely fill one of the most glaring gaps in the collection?
dominated by the fact that our eighteenth-century classics were born of a time which idolized grace, elegance, leisure, an age of prose, too, which lacked creative ardor and dissuaded from enthusiasm. Had the growth of art in England been normal and continuous, without the shattering convulsions of outward events, we might have had earlier masters and severer models.
When we compare modern French painting with English, as we have all too imperfect means of doing in the Exhibition at Shepherd's Bush, it is easy, I think, to distinguish a difference of intellectual temper. What strikes one as absent from the English painters is the nervous edge of line, a character of expression pressed to a firm conclusion, which marks men like Ingres or Daumier. Even the strained intensity of Pre-Raphaelite drawing witnesses to a kind of timidity forcing itself to extremities. The English temper is by nature sensitive in its contact with reality, and gains no doubt compensating qualities of its own in art by virtue of the spirit which in practical afThe Saturday Review.
HEART OF FIRE.
"See me there," wrote Augustine on the book of his confessions, "and praise me not more than I deserve; there believe not others about me, but myself; there mark me, and see what I was in myself, by myself; and if aught in me pleases thee, then praise with me, Whom, and not myself, I wished to be praised for me." Lord Acton included this life history amongst the three greatest formative books of the world; historically it would be difficult to dispute his verdict. This sumptuous edition, "The Confessions of St. Augustine" (Seely & Co.), comes but in the intermediate stages of the book, whose
life is numbered not by years, but by centuries; which will live as long as the human heart is curious about the past, or in any ways troubled and inspired by longing to know the meaning of the world. It is the solid ground as much as the effort beyond the horizon which has given this work an earthly mortality. Visitors to. Pompeii are familiar with a sudden thrill of wonder-expected beforehand, discounted, and yet at the moment dominant-at the intimate revelation of the life of an age. It is excited not by the temples, the aqueducts, the civilization which has changed, but by the
civilization' which remains. A rope is flung across the unfathomable abyss of time; and beyond is man and his hopes and desires, scarcely distinguishable from yesterday. It is the coins and rings, the inscriptions to children and dumb animals, the injunctions to vote upon the walls, the corn and fruit and flowers still unfaded, which reveal the little detail of a little span of days. And the same impression is created by these confessions. Set amid a theology of mystical splendor, encompassed by invocations and passionate prayers, with a background of heaven and hell casting dim lights and shadows over the trodden world, here is a life discovered, unchanged across the gulf of a thousand years. It is a scene, at the first, of tranquillity and' enjoyment, a settled order. The child grows in the school, accepts Latin but hates Greek, bursts out with the hot spirit of manhood into the riotous pleasures of the senses; repents, sins, repents again; at once in loving and loathing of his offences. The very "accidents" are abiding; fear at lungs giving way with a pain in the chest, adventure during the "vintage vacation," a book found in a cottage, a child crying in a garden, whose crying changed the history of the world. Monica, when young, gets into trouble for licking the wine from her fingers; later, she is troubled by whispering servants; Nebridius and Alypius share with Augustine, professor of rhetoric, the determination to pursue wisdom, wherever it may lead them. The human element is never absent in this, the greatest of the mystics; with others, Carlyle, Teresa, Catherine, adventures into the abysmal depths of personality, abyssus humanæ conscientia, never check or minimize the profound realization of human affections. The comparison is closest with Carlyle. ""Twas the Most High God that made mothers," cried the modern mystic, "and the af
fection of children's hearts."
"Thou createdst her," is the cry from another age, "nor did her father and mother know what a one should come from them." With Carlyle, he had wept at the death of a friend; "finding my heart utterly darkened, and whatever I beheld was death." "Mine eyes sought him everywhere, but he was not granted them: and I hated all places, for that they had not him: nor could they now tell me 'he is coming,' as when he was alive." With Carlyle,
he can confess, "I found my repose in bitterness." With Carlyle, also, he can find, in the supreme anguish of sorrow, the insufficiency of tears. "My mother wept," is the confession of "Sartor," "but in my heart there lay a whole lake of tears, pent up in silent desolation." "I closed her eyes," said Augustine, "and there flowed withal a mighty sorrow into my heart, which was overflowing into tears; mine eyes at the same time drank up their fountain wholly dry; and woe was me in such a strife." Later, "behold the corpse was carried to the burial; we went and returned without tears." Only after an attempt at bathing "having heard," he quaintly explains, "that the bath drives sorrow from the mind, I found my sleep not a little softened"; and "I gave way to the tears which I before restrained, to overflow as much as they desired; reposing my heart upon them."
It is human life set in a great atmosphere, and the human spirit embarking on great adventures and explorations, compared to which the journeys across the visible globe appear but as a very little thing. In other writings Augustine is the master of a precise theology; here he is of the fellowship of all who embark on hazardous enterprises in the kingdom of the soul. We are far, in this atmosphere, from the contempt of the ascetic for earthly beauty. Rather a certain wonder is
always present with him at the abiding loveliness of the world. He freely confesses "an attractiveness in beautiful bodies, in gold and silver, and all things." "Worldly honor hath also its glory, and the power of overcoming and of mastery: whence springs also," he declares (it is a personal experience) "the thirst of revenge." "Things beautiful" he clings to this assertion"they, out of Thee, and out of the Soul, were not unless they were from Thee." He sees no temptation of the devil-as so many of his predecessors and most of his followers-in the glory of earth, and sea, and sky. Beauty is transient, but it is real-to be rejoiced in and approved. "They rise, and set; and by rising, they begin, as it were, to be; they grow, that they may be perfected; and perfected they wax old and wither; and all grow not old, but all wither." In that great tenth book in which, with a kind of ecstacy, he raises his pæan of rejoicing to Life and the Maker of it, he finds all these transitory things united in an exultant hymn of praise. "I asked the earth, and it answered me, 'I am not He,' and whatsoever are in it confessed the same. I asked the sea and the deeps and the living, creeping things, and they answered, 'We are not thy God, seek above us.' I asked the moving air, and the whole air with its inhabitants answered, 'Anaximenes was deceived, I am not God.' I asked the heavens, sun, moon and stars, 'Nor' (say they) are we the God whom thou seekest.' And I replied unto all the things which encompassed the doors of my flesh, 'Ye have told me of my God, that ye are not He; tell me something of Him.' And they cried out with a loud voice, 'He made us.'
"The doors of my flesh." Yes, but there was a key to these also, and a door flung open: revealing a ladder set up to heaven and angels ascending and descending. On a quiet day, Augustine
and Monica are looking out from a window at Ostia, over the pleasant garden, and discoursing on "the presence of the Truth which Thou art, of what sort the eternal life of the saints was to be." They suddenly penetrate this closed door, as others have passed through it, in all ages and of all regions, into the mystical land beyond. It is a voyage into the great Quiet, which lies behind and untroubled by the noises of the world. The sister souls "did by degrees pass through all things bodily, even the very heavens, whence sun and moon and stars shine upon the earth": outward, into the life whence all life springs-the life to which all life shall one day return. "If to any the tumult of the flesh were hushed, hushed the images of earth, and waters and air, hushed also the poles of heaven-yea! the very soul be hushed to herself, and by not thinking on self, surmount self-hushed all dreams and imaginary revelations, every tongue and every sign"; then-"could this be continued on"-what glory might be revealed in the exaltation of a Quiet which earth's noises have hidden! "Life might be for ever like that one moment of understanding which now we sigh after: were not this, enter unto thy Master's joys." And when shall that be? "When we shall all be risen again, though we shall not all be changed."
The revealing visions come and go; meantime here are the earth and her disquietudes, making little for peace. "The tumult of the flesh" is beating within: without, the Roman civilization is flickering towards its death; amid the influx of an invader upon an age which has forgotten the old elemental terrors and thought that comfort was the attainment of man's earthly ambitions. The Confessions of Augustine are set in the light of conflagrations and the glare of burning cities: with the world falling to pieces, everything that
seemed secure and permanent crashing to the ground. He had found causes distracting to meditation, while peace remained, in a lizard catching flies, a spider entangling them, rushing into her nets. Later he is to find more obvious disturbers of the life which humanity desired and destroyed. Yet through all he could transfer his interests to a sure haven and appeal beyond the revolution of the moon and sun. In these confessions he is occupied with the robbing of a pear tree at Hippo or the satisfaction of a beggar in Milan: occupied also with the question what God did before He created Heaven and Earth, the mystery of time, with past and future alike unreal, the mystery of memory, the object and end of human desire. The ecstacy is sometimes a visible passion, operative through the clamor of the senses. "Thou wert with me," he cries, "but
I was not with Thee. Things held me far from Thee, which unless they were in Thee, were not at all. Thou calledst and shoutedst, and burstedst my deafness. Thou flashedst, shonest, and scatteredst my blindness. Thou breathedst odors, and I drew in breath and panted for Thee. I tasted and hunger and thirst. Thou touchedst me; and I burned for Thy peace." But sometimes the note is quiet, as of a sunset: praying for that "Sabaoth's Sight" which has been the goal of longing on so many rough voyages. To the God who is “Unchangeable yet all changing, never new, never old, always working, never at rest," he will cry for rest at the last: "O Lord God, give peace unto us, for thou hast given us all things: the peace of rest, the peace of the Sabbath, which hath no evening."
A HUBBUB OF WORDS.
Our title is borrowed from a passage in which Wordsworth ridiculed Dr. Johnson's too elaborate rendering of the words of the Bible about the ant; and it implies the defect of all writing in which simplicity has been mistakenly sacrificed. The fatal sacrifice of simplicity in writing was the theme of some excellent remarks made by Lord Crewe last Saturday at a dinner of the Press Club. "The only fault I have to find with sensational descriptions in newspapers," he said, "is that they are really less exciting than simple descriptions." He quoted as an illustration of his meaning a French manuscript in his possession, which gives a contemporary account of the trial and death by torture of Robert François Damiens in 1757. "Its simplicity," he said, "is horrifying. But if such a trial were to take place
to-day, we should no doubt have additions which would rather spoil the effect of the story, such as the presence in Court of the sister-in-law of the prisoner, whose dress would be described in detail, not omitting the large picture-hat and the feather boa." Some persons may remember the sad play Matthew Arnold makes in "Essays in Criticism" with the brief statement from a newspaper:-"A shocking child-murder has just been committed at Nottingham. A girl named Wragg left the workhouse there on Saturday morning with her young illegitimate child. The child was soon afterwards found dead on Mapperly Hills, having been strangled. Wragg is in custody." The baldness of that last sentence, with the ugly name of Wragg tout court, affected Arnold's mind with peculiar horror. An ugly episode, an ugly