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political life, before the time came at gether outside the circle of men of genius, which a Christian revelation was pos- it would be impossible to pass on it a sesible? And is it to be supposed for a verer criticism. moment that that long education was not expressly given in order that a new spiritual power might be developed in that people ? If valor is a great inheritance, if scientific habits of thought are a great
From The Spectator.
THE PLACE OF ART IN HISTORY. inheritance, if the capacity for industry is a great inheritance, then, the capacity for It is not wonderful that Mr. Ruskin spiritual belief is the greatest inheritance should place high the claim of art, for art of all. Carlyle's proposal that every reli- has been to him more than a nursing. gious man should set up anew on bis own mother. She has been mother, and fanarrow basis of religious feeling, is one ther, and country, and all. We will not of the most revolutionary and anarchic say no man before him has ever occupied ever made. We entirely believe that it is such a position; but certainly no critic the duty of Christians to face boldly all ever did. Because he understands art, the real facts which science or history or and can express the thoughts generated criticism may bring before them, and to by that comprehension in admirable resign every element in their former faith words, - words which in their exquisite which is really and truly inconsistent with collocation, their perfection at once of those facts. But then they should care- form and of lucidity, have been rivalled in fully sift facts, and sift also the meaning our generation only by Cardinal Newman, of inconsistency. Nothing seems to us
- he has become one of the best known more profoundly ridiculous than Mr. and most appreciated figures in our gener. Froude's repeated assertion that the Co-ation. His older books are among the pernican astronomy is, for every sincere treasures of the bibliophile, his later mind, a fatal blow to belief in the incar. works are purchased like scarce plates, nation. It would be much easier to make his opinions are quoted like texts from a out a plausible case why the Copernican holy book, and even his wanderings astronomy should be regarded as estab- and when he discourses of politics or lishing the iron rule of fate, and therefore economy, he does but wander, and sug. as absolutely inconsistent with Carlyle's gests a child explaining machinery to a doctrine of the “ Everlasting No.”. The nurse - are studied and collated by entrue use of historical religion should be to thusiastic disciples, who hope to find in give each generation a different and much them precious things, and do find meanhigher standpoint in belief than was en ingless sentences of almost matchless joyed by the previous generation. The form, fragments, as it were, of a marble Church is not infallible; but the Church fit for Phidias to carve. He has, in fact, is not what Carlyle's theory seems to become a master in literature as truly as make it, an institution which accumulates any one of the Italians he loves was a formulas, paralyzes effort, and imposes master in art; and often pronounces, bimerror. Originality in religion is only use. self living, to living men, a verdict which ful just as originality in ethics is useful, has all the resistless, yet imponderable, i.e., not as encouraging any man to throw weight of the verdict of posterity. We do off all the great heritage of conviction and not dream of cavilling at his place, which habit which his fathers have transmitted is justified as far as art is concerned, not to bim; but as enabling him to give new only by rare attainments, but by an invitality to the highest elements of that stinct for the beautiful and harmonious beritage, and to aid in the gradual elimi- which proves his possession of the " zig; nation of the lower and less poble ele. zag lightning in his brain,” as much as did ments, - a work of discrimination for ever sculptor's statue or conqueror's camwhich, as for all works of discrimination, paign; nor do we question the surpassing a fine and reverent judgment is absolutely charms of his mistress art; but we may essential. Carlyle's judgment was in ask humbly whether, in his recent lecture, these matters not reverent, was far too he does not exaggerate her claims beyond much penetrated by angry self-will. And all reason. The reports are condensed we must say that on the subject of what till their meaning is half gone; but Mr. is, and what is not, permanent in religion, Ruskin seems to us in many of his allu. we estimate it as only somewhat less un- sions, and especially in his choice of great trustworthy than that of Mr. Froude him. cities, to be inwardly possessed with the self. And uoless we were to go alto. | idea that the history of art is the history
of man, and that a nation is great or oth | man; for if we should fall below Mr. Ruserwise according as it has developed art kin in our reverence for architect or sculpcapacity. That, if it in any close degree tor, painter or cutter of gems, at least we represents Mr. Ruskin's actual thought, should rival him in regard for the poet strikes us a melancholy exaggera- and the politician; but the Hebrew did tion, an exaggeration because much still more, and knew nothing of art save has been done for man by races with song. He sang the Psalm which lives little or no capacity for art; melancholy, forever, and to which the cold northernbecause such a faith must be accompa- ers turn, whenever they are beaten by nied with such terrible doubts of the con- fate, for help or the expression of their tinuous development of mankind. Save grief; but he built no building, devised possibly in music, upon which evidence, fine lines for no ship, proscribed sculp. though far from complete, seems strong, ture, at least it is our individual belief it is doubtful if man progresses in art that Moses intended his order on the at all, and certainly he does not advance subject, just as Mahommed did, to be a at any calculable rate. Let the build- side-blow against idolatry, — and never ers of Europe try to reproduce Luxor. practised painting; but all the same he No architect of our day, even when re handed down through ages the torch of vealing the inner conceit which cynics monotheism, and reduced the teaching of say possesses all minds, and wiser men Christ to the form in which we now reattribute to so many, would say that he ceive it. The Roman, who gave to man hoped to surpass the builders of the Par- perhaps the most beneficent of all concepthenon, or the often unknown men who in tions not strictly religious, – the notion Germany and France and England seven that life should be controlled by immutahundred years ago made their dreams | ble law, and not by individual will, the concrete and visible in the finest Gothic fundamental axiom which has made or cathedrals. The little knot of wicked derly freedom possible, – originated little Attic slave-owners, whom artists call for in art, except an architecture, noble, inconvenience “the Greeks,” remain un- deed, and enduring, but far less truly equalled in sculpture, and may bave been artistic than the Greek; while the Gerunsurpassed in painting, while Mr. Rus. man, who is marching to the top of the kin himself would scarify all who said world, who has done so much for learning, that modern art had advanced upon the and who, with his patience and his idealtriumphs of the Renaissance. All over ism, may yet solve insoluble political Asia art has been decaying for ages, till problems, has for art done scarcely any. the Moor of Fez would hardly understand ihing. It is doubtful if he has built what his ancestor had done in Granada, much; it is not doubtful that he has carved till Indian Mussulmans gaze at the Pearl and painted nothing of the first rank in Mosque as if the genii had built it, till excellence. lo music, indeed, he is a Persians buy old carpets as lavishly as we master, but not the master he is deemed; do, and till Chinese and Japanese confess for much of the glorious work with which with sighs that the old ceramic work can be is credited is due to a race of guests not be reproduced. It would be melan- belonging to another continent, — the race choly to think art the test of civiliz ion, which, in its own lan never built or even if we believed, as this writer certainly painted or carved, though it sang songs, does-not, that races reached their flower- whose sweetness remains still the highest ing period in art after long cycles of ste. expression alike of melancholy and of rility, and that Greek or lialian, Moor or faith. The Swiss has no art, the ScandiJapanese, might yet again excel all former navian little, (might we venture to suga efforts; for still there would remain the gest that Danish art, after all, is coldly humiliating thought that while the mind is imitative, Hellenism without the Hellenic of limitless range, art must always be sun, Hellenism frozen ?) the Slavon none perfectible, that a time must arrive when at all; yet each has power in his own man, having in that department reached way. It seems to us that a race might be unimprovable harmony, must needs de- great and noble and most useful to man. spair of advance.
kind, might excel in thought and in sci. At least, the mind would be melancholy ence and in laws, might teach us all deep were the postulate correct, and art a secrets of happiness, and inake us all more never failing index of a nation's power to worthy to live on, and
yet not possess that benefit mankind; but is that even approxi- special power of at once conceiving and mately true ?
No one questions we realizing beauty, which is the condition of least of all – what the Greek did for achievement in art; might, in fact, pass
away, leaving, as indeed the Hebrew na still. Is there not, indeed, - though we tion did, no record of its presence, save a admit that here we wander into regions land cultivated to irreparable exhaustion, rather of the fancy than the reason, and a literature which was for ages a stim- something self-destructive in the highest ulus or a solace to mankind. There are art, as if it took out of men some virility, men in the world, great men, too, who as if the natures which could produce it, cannot comprehend the glories of form, which had reached the point where the or color, or combination; and many more accurate perception of harmony and the who, comprehending them, could not even power of realizing it became identical, begin to produce them; and why not com- grew first weary with their task and then munities too? They would be brighter, barren? The history of “art periods ” no doubt, and have fuller lives, and civ. seems to suggest that, which is not true ilize men more rapidly if they possessed of literary periods, at least, not in our the missing powers; but they may be modern world, and in the same degree. great and worthy of all study nevertheless At all events, this much is certain, that if still. They last, too, such communities; we take art as our guide through the labyas those with the high artistic faculties rinth of history, we shall pass over not have not always done. The Greek, whose only some of its noblest chambers, but bronze spoke and marble glowed, lasted some of the places where men are producbut a few centuries; and the men of the ing effective motive-power. Man is wider Renaissance, before whose work artists than art, as he is older than science, and despair, and Mr. Ruskin stands full of more enduring than culture, – is, in fact, what is really the poetic spirit, though it for all his baseness, greater than the new suits him to use a magically arranged intellectual idols he is setting up for himprose as his instrument, fewer centuries self, and which are only chips of him.
TAMING WILD HUMMING-BIRDS. — A lady tongues. E. is delighted, and so fascinated
at San Rafael, one of the many pleas- with them that she passes hours each of ant health resorts of California, has sent to her resting-time talking to them and watching friends in London an account of the taming of their quick, lively movements. Although tivo free, wild humming birds by her daughter, these tiny birds are humming all day among who, under medical direction, has for some the flowers, two only have monopolized the months passed several hours daily reclining on honey-filled flower, and these are both males, rugs spread on the garden lawn. “ E. has a consequently there are constant squabbles as new source of interest,” her mother writes. to which shall take possession. They will not “The humming-birds have claimed her com- permit a wasp or a bee to come near their panionship, and manifested their curiosity by honey flower, and not only drive them away, inspecting her with their wise little heads but chase them some distance, uttering a shrill turned to one side at a safe distance, watching note of protest against all intruders." Referher movements, evidently wishing to become ring to them again, at the close of the rainless acquainted. To entice them to a nearer ap- Californian summer, in a letter dated October proach E. plucked a fuchsia, attached it to a 26, this lady writes : “We have had threaten. branch of a tree over her head, and filled iting clouds for two days and a heavy rainfall with sweetened water. The intelligent little to-day. E. has continued her devotion to her creatures soon had their slender bills thrust little huinming.birds. Since the change of into the flower, from which they took long weather she has tried to coax them to the pare draughts. Then E. took honey, thinking they lor windows. They appeared to think there might prefer it, and filled a fresh flower each must be some mistake, and would hum about day. They would sometimes become so impa- the window where she stood with the honey tient as scarcely to wait for her to leave before flower and spoonful of honey, or they would they were into the sweets, and, finally, while sit on a branch and watch every movement, she held a flower in one hand and filled it with yet not daring to take a sip until tn-day, when drops from a spoon, the now tame little pets at her peculiar call, which they always recog.
ld ca the drops as they fell, and dart nize, one ventured repeatedly to take the honey into the honey cup their silvery, threadlike from her hand.”
Quarterly Review, IV. Checco, .
Belgravia, V. CARLYLE IN LONDON,
Atheneum, VI. WOLF-HUNTING IN ENGLAND,
451 467 478
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FROM LOVE'S ASHES.
Spread honey for last year's dead bee: Lone in a far-off land,
Will he arise to sip the store?
I trow not. So forevermore
Love's honey tempts not me.
Yet gentlest feelings blend,
And tender memories gather near; Amid love's tumult and amaze
I take a sacred charge and dear, A changeless fealty.
Of sister and of friend;
Not vainly o'er the wide, wild sea Lo! there the letter lies,
Her letter comes. A brother's right, A poor, tear-blotted, flimsy thing,
In place of dead-and-gone delight,
The future offers me.
Lone in a far-off land,
With empty heart and treasure lost, In youth's unquestioning fond bliss,
Poor, championless, and fortune-crost, When love was new to me.
She stretches out her hand
Across the wide unfathomed sea, The pretty childish face,
And one, forsaken in far days, Untroubled by a touch of care,
Gives from the ashes of love's blaze, Set round about with golden hair;
His changeless fealty. The gay and girlish grace,
All The Year Round The peal of laughter gushing free, Like music of a summer brook, The winsome way, the sunshine look,
The pure and joyous glee
Can you give back the glow
D. W. R.
All things God's stars below?