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acter of the country, that its merits of commerce in these regions. The would be enhanced by fine scenery. American town presents quite an im. However, we were too anxious to go posing aspect. Substantial - looking still farther west to linger on our jour houses line the water's edge; and as ney, and after paying a visit to a cele- the site upon which the city is built brated Indian chief, who occupied a is almost perfectly level, it has the neat house in the village, we pursued appearance of indefinite extent. There our interesting voyage, in the course were flags flying to denote hotels, and of which, for four hundred miles, we upon the only rising ground in the had been threading our way between neighbourhood the stars and stripes islands, in a manner more agreeable, were floating also to denote Yankee perhaps, to the passengers than to supremacy, for it was crowned by a the captain, who, in spite of a long neat wbitewashed stockaded fort. Upexperience, was obliged to use the on our side there was little to boast utmost caution amid such intricate of. One of the Hudson's Bay Comnavigation. Indeed, the strongest ob- pany forts stands vis-à-vis to the opjection to the position of the ports of position establishments, and a large Collingwood and Sydenbam arises hotel and some straggling houses near from the difficulty of approaching it are the habitations of Her Majesty's them from Lake Superior, a difficulty subjects in these remote regions. They which is considerably increased by looked so cheerless that we deterthe absence of lighthouses at the en- mined to sacrifice our patriotism to trances of the various channels. The our comfort; and though the steamer Americans are far before us in this landed us on British ground, in half respect. As we approached the Sault, an hour afterwards we bad crossed the we at once perceived, from the nume- river, and were craving admission at rous lighthouses on the more promi- the door of the Chippeway House, & nent points, that we were in Yankee rambling wooden hotel, in which we waters. The sun was shining brightly hoped to find accommodation until an upon the broad bosom of the Ste. opportunity offered of enabling us to Marie, as, with spyglass in hand, I pursue our voyage to the western looked anxiously upon the emporium extremity of Lake Superior.
THE ROYAL SCOTTISH ACADEMY.
We are becoming rather sick of who model colossal figures as bare the tirades which from time to time as the palm of your hand, and we encounter regarding the mecha. adorned with hips and thighs that nical tendencies of the age in which would have struck terror into the we live. Young sons of genius, who soul of Goliah, rail at the false del have perpetrated bad novels and cacy wbich revolts from the exhi worse poems, declare that the public tion of exaggerated nudity. Artists taste has become so degenerate that who disdain to paint upon a canvass they cannot command an audience, short of some twenty feet, and which, they are modest enougb to depict thereon spasmodic and insinuate, would not have been the torted Anakim, corse the effeminacy case had they been contemporaries of and cruel parsimony of an age why Scott and Byron. Play-wrights, who refuses them an order, and contrast favour us with fustian in the shape it with the era of the Medicis. Sam of tragedy, or second-hand indecen- up and strike the average of to cies from Farquhar or Vanburgh by complaints, and you will find way of comedy, mourn over the resolved into a desperate denunc decline of the drama, and aver that tion of this bard, tasteless, uncongo Shakespeare, had he lived in our nial, base, money-getting age of ou days, would not have excited more than which the world bas de attention than the estimable gentle known a period more worthless au man who vamps up the Crimean utterly to be despised. exploits for Astley's. Sculptors, Now, although we have never
our voice to join the jubilant shouts Romans were a “populus Epnianus;" which arise from the frequenters of and though we do not expect from philosophical associations and me- modern dramatists that they shall chanics' institutes, when some incor- rival the sweet singer of Avon, we rigible prig rolls out his platitudes in cannot accept their garbage and ginglorification of “the march of pro- twist in lieu of ambrosia and nectar. gress"-deeming it the wiser course T hen, as to the artists—we mean to be humble, and not to challenge, those of the dissatisfied and disconat least on the score of intellectual tented class—we would ask them to greatness, comparison with the times listen to reason, were reason accessible which have gone by-we must needs to their souls. We would say to the confess that we have no kind of sculptors-Why, in the name of all sympathy whatever with the com- that is preposterous, should yon mould plaints to wbich we have just alluded. statues of some twenty feet high, and It is an utter figment, and a most gross expose them, without a stitch of coverdelusion to suppose that there is any ing, to the nipping northern blasts ? want of encouragement for talent- Nymphs and fawns of proper proporlet alone genius-in the departments tion look well, we grant you, in an of literature or of art. A really good Italian garden, when balf-veiled by the work of fiction will now, as ever, flowering orange-trees, to whose dark command an extensive sale; and we foliage the white of the marble affords are not aware that either Bulwer, a refreshing contrast in the season of or Thackeray, or Dickens, is pining the summer beat; but is that any for want of readers. Whatever may reason why you should wish to set up be the case with poetasters, poets a huge naked colossus in a country bave nothing to complain of; indeed, where the sun can exercise but little minstrelsy seems now in higher favour practical power for balf the year, and than ever, except that the supply of where, for the other six months, the good material is not adequate to the mere sight of an undraped statue demand. If the drama has declined, makes a man's teeth chatter in his and if the theatres are deserted, let head, from simple sympathetic associathe blame rest on the shoulders of tion ? Barry Cornwall wrote an absurd the miserable Cockneys who have poem on the subject of a Provençal monopolised that species of composi- girl who fell in love with the Apollo tion. They have gone on from bad to Belvidere : if one of our young lunatics worse--from pilfering French vaude- were to be possessed with a similar villes to the lowest style of bur craze for a paked Venus, exhibited letta ; propounding their own idioti- in some highway or market-place, the cal jokes as a substitute for wit, least he could do, in the snowy month until they became nauseous even to of December, would be to divest bima Whitechapel auditory—and then, self of bis pea-coat, and to hang the forsooth, they must fall back upon same round the limbs of the Cyprian the age of Charles the Second, exalt goddess. Our objections, however, go harlots into heroines, and lacquer a great deal further. The Greeks, and licentiousness with false sentiment, tbe Romans also, were accustomed, just as a Wapping confectioner plasters from the system of their public games his unwholesome gingerbread with and gladiatorial shows, and from the deleterious sugar. We need not refer necessity of their climate, to view the more particularly to the decay of his naked buman figure, and of course betrionic power, further than to remark came critical thereon. We have not that it is not surprising if there should that advantage, except during the be few first-rate actors and not one bathing-season, when any individual perfect corps dramatique in the United who is too curious with his telescope, Kingdom, in an age when we cannot runs an imminent risk of being kicked point to the production of a single on the breech for his pains. So little tragedy or comedy worthy to be do we relish exhibitions of that sort, placed alongside of the masterpieces that the acrobats, who sometimes apof the Elizabethan era. We are, in pear in the streets more than half unrespect of the drama, a Shakesperean dressed, are objects of universal dis. people -- as much at least as the gust; and it says a great deal for modern liberality-though we are not guardsman, and to call the product sure that modern liberality is right- “Achilles defying Apollo," or “ Ajax that the police do not take cognisance defying the Lightning," or “Hector of these offensive satyrs. The loath- defying the Greeks;" but what is the someness of the exhibition is probably practical result? Out of a thousand its best antidote; for, so far as we such efforts—some of them doubtless have seen, no other street-show is re- of considerable merit-we venture to warded by so parsimonious a contribu- say that not more than one will be tion of copper.
embodied in marble, simply because Let the dilettanti jabber as they people have neither the money nor the please, we maintain that the public inclination to purchase such works; taste and proper feeling of the nation and because, if purchased, they are are opposed to the production and wholly unsuited to our domestic archiparade of naked figures. We object tecture and arrangements. very decidedly to poses plastiques, In like manner, painters who dewhether they are exbibited in marble, spise moderate compass, and require stucco, or real life; and it does strike an enormous breadth of canvass for us as incongruous that footmen should the development of their ideas, have be expected to wear liveries in houses no just reason to be angry if they do where statues of unclad heathen are not receive that encouragement wbich exposed on the vestibule. In saying their genius possibly may deserve. this, we by no means intend to re- Of this Haydon was a remarkable commend that Mesers Moses and Son instance. He could not complain of should be employed to clothe the want of notoriety, for the pame of Do Apollo Belvidere. We admire, as other painter of his day was so much zealously as any can do, the master- in the mouth of the public. But be pieces of ancient art, but we do not framed bis pictures on such a scale want to be deluged with inferior mo- that nobody could buy them; and bedern imitations. That, however, is fore he could be made sensible of his matter for the consideration of the mistake, he was plunged in irretrievsculptors themselves. If they are de- able embarrassment, and his right termined to dispense with drapery, hand had lost its cunning. Some they are at perfect liberty to do so, painters indulge in crotchets either of only do not let them blame the public drawing or colour, and, being un. if they meet with but little encourage- fortunate enough to attract around ment. Sculpture may never be in this them a small clique of silly persons country a highly remunerative walk who mistake eccentricity for talent, of art, or at least one in which many they become obstinately wedded to competitors can thrive; for its higher their theories, and will not consent products are very costly, and beyond to a divorce, even in spite of the the reach of men of moderate income. baleful experience of years. It is an Still it is receiving encouragement. undoubted fact that artists, taken as In almost every town of any import- a class, are of all men the least liable ance we meet with statues of eminent to be improved by, though remark. public characters; and of late years ably sensitive to, criticism. Possibly the demand for those has prodigiously they think that they are much better increased. So with busts, which, like judges of what is good or bad than portraits, have greatly multiplied, to are their critics, the great majority or the pecuniary advantage of the sculp- whom have never handled a brush tors. Of course, if men despise those and in this opinion we doubt not branches of their profession which that they are joined by various versialone are lucrative, and addict them- fiers, who protest against any censur selves entirely to the production of that does not emanate from one of what they call works of “high art," their craft. What kind of criticism which find no favour in the eyes of would tbey have? If one artist were the public, they must expect disap- deliberately to sit down, and, W pointment, and they need not look for the best, fairest, and kindest intens sympathy. It may be very pretty and tions, to criticise the works of his living inspiring pastime to model from the brethren, he would, with a vengeance, figure of a prize-fighter or a life. bring a nest of hornets about his ears
The object of his expressed raptures be told that the general average critiwould accuse him of coldness, of in- cism or judgment of these is less difference, or of having purposely valuable and more likely to be unomitted mention of some peculiar sound than the opinion which each excellence upon wbich the said object artist or author entertains of his own especially piques himself. Artists and productions? Fudge! But for conauthors are more insatiable than the ceit of this kind we fear there is no daughters of the horse-leech. How- purgative drug. The real martyrs of ever much you may stretch your con genius are few; the great majority science to give them praise, they still immolate themselves; and however clamour for more, and complain that much we may deplore their fate, we they are defrauded of their due. On cannot consent to add the responsithe other hand, if the criticising artist bility to the burden which that longwere to venture, however mildly or enduring Issacher, the public, is exdelicately, to hint at a fault or to pected to bear. suggest an improvement, he would be In fact, these are most hopeful times immediately denounced as a monster for the artists, who are, beyond all of envy and jealousy, whose sole de- others, the most dependent upon the sire was to advance bimself by de- progressive civilisation of the age. The grading the reputation of others. For great increase of commercial and our part, we have a profound respect manufacturing wealth has brought for the value of popular criticism, into the market a new class of purregarding it, when fairly given, as the chasers—men who are not imbued criterion of public taste. No doubt with the perpicious idea that everythere may be differences of opinion, thing which is modern must needs be just as there are in juries, but against of an inferior quality-who buy picpublic opinion, when manifested by a tures, not because they are old, or bedecided majority, neither authors nor cause they are said, often most falsely, artists are safe to strive. Circum- to be tbe productions of eminent stances may undoubtedly occur to Italian or Flemish masters, but on acprevent a candidate for public favour count of the pleasure which they derive from coming prominently forward un- from the contemplation of the works til the better part of his life bas been themselves. It is to the increase of expended, and, in some such instances, wealth, and to the development of a the favourable posthumous verdict liberal spirit, in the best sense of the bas been assumed, most improperly, term, among the middle classes of this as an admission of the public indiffer- country, that the artists must attrience or neglect. The poor public! bute their present increased prosit is always blamed as the slayer or perity. How often, in reading mestarver of genius. But why should it moirs and biographies of artists pubbe blamed, upless it can be shown that lished more than twenty or thirty each case has been fairly brought years ago, do we meet with complaints, before it? We believe that the public sometimes loud, sometimes covert, but is both prompt and generous in its always bitter, of the apathy maniappreciation of talent; and, if it errsfested by the nobility and great merat all, the error is on the side of over- chants towards the fostering and enappreciation. But when the works couragement of a British school of of any man, literary or artistic, have painters! The expression of such been brought prominently for years feelings, engendered by neglect, was before the notice of the public, and quite natural; but the censure was have failed to command attention, or not altogether deserved. Those whose have attracted attention only to be fortunes enabled them to attempt the condemned, it does seem to us the forming of such a collection as could height of impertinence and conceit to be termed a gallery of art, were ever maintain that the fault lies with the on the watch for the acquisition of public, and not with the exhibitioner. works of undoubted merit and celeIs the public an exclusive body? brity. Their agents purchased for Does it not consist of men of all them at Continental sales, often for classes, occupations, degrees of edu- extravagant prices, pictures which had cation, and intellect? And are we to been hereditary heirlooms since the day when they were brought from the which they displayed in the course of studios of Raphael, Titian, Vandyck, their artistic education. They did Rembrandt, or Velasquez, and for not, like many moderns, seek to anwhich crowned heads were competi- ticipate their time, or rush before the tors. And not in vain, nor for the public as candidates for fame and mere sake of private vanity, were favour, until they had well exercised such purchases made ; since the intro. themselves in the schools, until they duction of these renowned works of had formed their theories of art from art into this country, and the liber-, observation and comparison, and until ality with which they were displayed, they had attained that practical skill has tended, on the one hand, to im- without which theories are worthless. prove, elevate, and refine the general It is to the accumulation of works taste; while, on the other, it has fur- of art of undoubted excellence in this nished the practical students of art country, whether in private or in with the finest and most valuable public galleries, that we must trace models. For painting does not come the impetus and encouragement which, by intuition - on the contrary, we of late years, have undoubtedly been know of no other art in which such given to design. It is no longer severe, close, and unremitting study necessary for artist students, who is requisite to insure perfection. We often cannot command the means, to are aware that there is, at the pre- visit Italy, as Reynolds and Richard sent time, in certain quarters, a ten- Wilson did, for the purposes of study. dency to decry the study of models No doubt, that is still a pilgrimage of and of masterpieces, as an unneces. love which every one hopes to perform; sary and dangerous cramping of the and, indeed, we can hardly say that a natural powers. Not long ago, a painter's life has been complete, unless young poet who had committed sundry at one time or another he has entered intelligibilities to print, informed us the shrines, and stood entranced bein confidence that he had left off read- fore the masterpieces of bis art. But ing Shakespeare, as he feared that he in this country, and accessible to all, might otherwise injure the origin- there are now sufficient materials for ality of his style! We suspect that instruction; and artists are now reapnot a few young artists are partakers ing the benefit of that expenditure in this apprehension, and think that, which, in times past, was regarded as by a study too minute and pro- the evidence of an unnational taste. longed, their native gifts may be Here we shall, no doubt, be met deteriorated. If so, it is a great pity with the assertion that we are prothat they do not apply themselves to ceeding upon false premises, and that the history of their own noble profesno such encouragement as we have sion, as they might learn from it bow assumed has as yet been given to much Raphael owed to Perugino, and artists. Instances may be cited, and Giulio Romano to Raphael. They with perfect truth, of men of real might also become aware of the fact ability and talent who cannot, by the that Rubens, that wonderful and un- sale of their works, maintain themrivalled colourist, studied under Otho selves and their families, but who Venius, until his master dismissed have daily to encounter those frightful bim because he could teach him no- embarrassments and demands which thing further; and that Vandyck first check genius, and then destroy served bis apprenticeship to art under it altogether. We cannot deny that the eye of Rubens. In reading the cases of this kind are by far too comlives of the illustrious painters, there mon; but let the complainers also are no features which strike us so reflect that there is no kind of pro. forcibly as the extreme deference fescion or calling which a man can which they paid in early life to the enter with an immunity from the precepts and opinions of men of estab- chance of failure. Infinitely widened lished reputation—the eagerness with as the circle of readers has become, which they embraced every opportu literature is still as precarious as ever. nity of studying, for their own direc. It has its prizes, and these are almost tion, the great works of their prede- always fairly accorded; but it bas cessors—and the diligence and patience its blanks also, and these, unfortu