« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
gentleman as muckle wine as yeman, Maister Sinclair, nor did I ever can drink, or brandy if ye like it begin a tulzie ; but I hae a stout better.'
Scots heart o'my ain, and I can gar “But I might as weel have read the my hand keep my head, if need be, Proverbs of Solomon to a collie-dog. as weel as mony folk that make mair Jewy,' says he; and wi' that he brag about their courage. Besides, I dealt out the cards, and in a manner was just desperate-like at the thought forced me to tak' up a hand. Then of being left in that den of iniquity he put down a gold piece on the wi' a manifest murderer ; sae I caught table-it was ane o' the unlucky up ane o' the chairs, and as Jean was coins I had given him amang the thrawing the key, I took him sic a siller--and signs to me to do the like. clour on the pow, that down he fell I did sae, for by this time I was sprawling like an ox on the floor. I growing bauld, and I thought that needna tell you that I whippit up maybe I might win ; and sae I might, my pockmanty, and ran for dear life, had the game been birkie, or catch- kenning naething and caring little the-ten, or ony other I understood; where I went to, so that I got clear but I kent na what I was about, and o' that villanous neighbourhood. just put down the cards ony way, Whiles I hard the huzzas o' the mob, till the chield sings out 'Ahi!' flings and whiles the rattling o' the gunsdown twa honours, and up wi' my I heeded naething, but ran clean on, Napoleon, as I hae seen a gled whip like a roebuck on the braes of Benawa' a robin-redbreast. Neist time lomond, till I came to an open street, he put down twa; and then the con- and nae sooner was I there than I viction cam' on me that I was to be heard the trampling o' horses, and rooked by the blackguards out o' a' down came a charge of cavalry, full my siller. 'Better that,' thinks I, gallop, their sabres glittering in the
than hae my weazand cut across ;' sun. Ae minute mair, and Mrs and I played on wi' a kind of air of M'Chappie would hae been a widow! indifference, as if I didna greatly But by great good-luck I spied an mind whether I lost or wan, which open entry, and in I rushed, and up was the mair easy, because I saw a stair, as fast as Tam o' Shanter wi very weel that they wad never stop a'the witches ahint him. There was till a' the money in my pouch, being an auld man in a livery-coat keeking somewhat aboon ten pound ster- out of a door, but him I sent spinning ling, had gane in the way of ransom. like a peerie, dashed into a room, Mair gowd I had, nae doubt, but it where there were three ladies and a was sewed into a bolt round my waist, gentleman, and flinging my pockand I was determined that the black manty on the floor, fell on my knees, guards shouldna get that till I was and returned thanks to Heaven, wi' brought to the last extremity. They a grateful heart, for having saved me werena long in rooking me - ten from sic terrible dangers. Ye may minutes sufficed for that and then I believe that the ladies got a gliff by turned my pouches inside out, in my sudden apparition, and the auld token that I had nae money left. man didna look overly pleased; but Then they pointed to my pockmanty, when I told them wha I was, and as muckle as to say that they had what I had come through, they gave nae objection to play for onything me a hearty welcome ; and nae wonthat was in it; but I let on as if I der, for they were a kindly Scots didna understand them; and just family frae the Stewartry o' Kirkcudthen there came a sound' as if of a bright; and in foreign lands the Scots rush of people into the court above, aye help ane anither, whereas the and a sort of gathering cry, just like Englishers, being a dour and suspiciwhat the Hielandmen used lang syne. ous race, stand aloof from men that The twa chields they started up, and speak their ain mither tongue, unless saying something in a hurry to the theyken something special about
them. ill.faured, red-headed tyke, Jean, Sae I even bided under the same banged up the stair ; and Jean was roof with my country-folk till someabout to steek the door, but, my faith, thing like order was restored, and a I prevented him! I'm no a strong man might venture into the streets without the risk of being shot like a was a great mercy for Scotland that muircock ; but 0 it was an awesome the Covenanters were keeped_under sight to see that great city in the till King William (that's the Dutchhands of the mob, lawful authority man, ye ken) came over frae Holland; such as that which is exercised by Pro- for if the Westland folk had got thé vosts and Bailies being overthrown, better at Bothwell Brig, it wad just and the very scum of the population have been rank massacre and conmarching about wi' red caps, and fiscation, and the country wouldna' trees of liberty, and siclike radical now have been what it is, rising gear,
open defiance o' law, and roar- every year in rank among the nations. ing like the bulls o' Bashan! They The Tories are clean wrang in rehave put away their auld king-that's fusing reform, but the Whigs will do him that's in Holyrood now, and they waur if they let the mob get the hae gotten a new one, that's him uppermost; and I canna see that there they ca' Louis Philippe; but ye'll no is ony sense in drinking sic toasts as persuade me that he'll keep the crown ‘The people, the source of all legition his head to the end of his natural mate power,' which seems to me a days. Na, na! Ance show the cat kind of hint that the easiest way of the road to the kirn, and you may altering the law is by knocking it on whistle for the cream. Ance gie the the head—no unlike the method I mob the upper hand, and they'll resorted to in the case of my friend never bide quiet. I ken weel that Maister Jean, the fracture o' wha's there are grievances in this country skull, if it was fractured, lies at this of ours, and no light ones either, but day vera light upon my conscience. the Lord forbid that I should ever But it's time we were ganging back see them redressed by the short cut to the Carrabas Arms, for it's close of a revolution. I whiles think it upon the hour of dinner.”
THE DIFFUSION OF TASTE AMONG ALL CLASSES A NATIONAL NECESSITY.
It has often happened that what cacy of colour. Thus has it been for was once only a luxury has become Sir Gardner Wilkinson an easy task a necessity. And thus it is that to show that “the diffusion of taste Taste, both in its subtle enjoyment among all classes,” both high and low, and its more substantive application, wealthy and poor, has now become a once the heritage of the few, has now national necessity. It is necessary at length grown into a national want that the rich and the noble patron demanded for the many. It is now should possess knowledge to guide felt to be necessary in the education and elevate his choice. It is not less of all classes, not only that the in- needful that the manufacturer should tellect be instructed and the con- be informed in the laws of beauty science guided, but that the æsthetic and the principles of design, in order faculty—the sense of the beautiful that his products may command the in man-should be incited to the market of the world. Neither is it enjoyment of nature, to the creation of minor importance that the artisan of art, and to the adornment of daily should possess somewhat of the cunlife. It has been found, moreover, ning skill of the educated artist, not sufficient that the people of this that so his work may be less of blind country should manufacture with a mechanism, and more of enlightening strong hand; it is now felt, as not mind. We accordingly propose to less needful, that creative design show in the present paper, how far, should be informed with the beauty and in what directions, the arts and of line, and sensitive in all the deli-' the manufactures of this country
On Colour, and on the Necessity for a General Diffusion of Taste among all Classes. By Sir J. GARDNER WILKINSON.- London, J. Murray. 1858.
have erred from correct standards, throw over wide lands the sterile what measures have now been taken dross, overturn the face of nature as by the Government to remove our by rending earthquake, lay waste national defects, and how far the fields as if stricken by fire and pestiremedies applied may insure that lence; and thus nature, once clothed diffusion of taste and of beauty which in beauty and verdure, a landscape has become essential to both our dear to art, and dedicated to homely commerce and civilisation.
swains, is made wild, sterile, and England in the arts has been less fiendish, shrieking with unearthly favoured and fortunate than Greece, cries, blackened as by avenging fires. Italy, and other countries. Thé These are the districts which pay climate of the South is festive,joyous, taxes, which coin wealth, beget the and we may say passionate. The democratic unwashed mob, crying Muses and the Graces, not housed for John Bright and revolutionary or thickly draped from cold incle- reform. No wonder that the arts, mencies, dance in the glow of open cradled in Greece, and nurtured in sunshine, or sing in the sheltered Italy, steal frightened away. No shade of the listening groves. Nature wonder that, loving tranquillity, and is herself art, and even, as it were, dwelling in serene heights, they, like religion. The fountains and the the birds of song, fly away and seek woods, the sun in his strength, and a distant home for rest. Thus the the moon in her fairer beauty, seem genius of England and of Englishmen, still in these poetic lands, the em- it must be confessed, is not eminently blems of deities, as when the an- artistic. An Englishman is solid in cient Greek built a temple or the deep foundations of truth, rather kindled an altar. And man, taking than sensitive to the airy decorations on the aspect and spirit of the scene of beauty. He is a man of plodding in which he dwells, is brilliant in industry, sound reason, and common imagination, and glowing in emotion, sense ; gets about him his comforts, neglecting, it may be, the sterner then his luxuries, but can wholly duties of life, while he feasts in the dispense with imagination, and is festivity of nature, or fashions in the more likely to talk politics than read arts a new world still more ideal. poetry. Thus English life, industry, We repeat that England has been and manners, as contrasted with less favoured and fortunate than those of other nations, have been some other lands. Nature, in our wanting in the beauty and decoraown country, toils for man's necessi- tion of art; and hence the more manities; she is utilitarian ; puts on the fest necessity that some direct effort rough everyday dress of drudgery; should now be made, whereby corand while in the south she paints rect taste may be diffused among all pictures, here she frugally weaves classes of the community. comforts. Man plods to his daily It must be admitted, however, that toil, not under the Italian blue of ský, this subordination of the Arts is the or in the glow of sunshine painting result of national habits, rather than the landscape in golden colour, but of mental inaptitude. The English in the grey shadow of thick clouds, school of painting, as exhibited in or in the still denser smoke of manu- Paris, and again in Manchester, at facturing cities. The special wealth once took the position to which Engof England, moreover, is not so much land, as one of the great powers of in fertile fields as in the richness of Europe, is entitled. In the competiher mines and minerals. Multitudes tion for the Wellington Monument, of men wholly leave the light of day, open to all the world, no foreign descend deep shafts in dirty buckets, artist came to snatch the foremost and, with a candle in the cap, grope prize from the British competitors. their way, as blind to the beauty of In Rome, our countryman, Gibson, nature as a mole burrowing in the rivals the Greeks in purity and dark. Others, as in Staffordshire and beauty. Even in architecture, both South Wales, awaiting the mineral at Lille and Hamburg, the designs spoil upon the surface, construct of English architects have been and tend the belching blast-furnace, selected for their outrivalling merit.
And lastly, the recently exhibited the tread of feet, and no object in a drawings for public offices sufficiently well-appointed house proudly refuse show that this country possesses the to do its prescribed offices. This, intalent and the knowledge fitted for deed, is but the application to the the noblest works. If England, then, arts of the oft-repeated injunction in the arts, have been less favoured not to overstep the modesty of naand fortunate than some other lands, ture. Simplicity and truth must the causes of past deficiencies, we shall indeed be the first canons of art, as hereafter see, are not without remedy in man they are the guiding prinor beyond removal.
ciples to well-ordered life. Thus, we It has often been objected that for again repeat, the alliance of art with pre-eminence in the arts the English the constructional in form, and the are too utilitarian. Now, in the un- useful in application, is, we think, doubted art-revival in this country, salutary and hopeful. It precludes nothing can be more hopeful and the intrusion of fantastic extravahealthy than the close alliance which gance; it prescribes the observance has been established between utility of seemly moderation ; it reconciles and beauty, construction and decora- beauty to the necessities and actution.
The best art which the world alities of life, and thus makes art the has yet known has been but the highest fitting companion of the man whose development and perfection of things business is in the world. useful and necessary,
The Greek The neglect or violation of these temple and the Greek statue were natural and simple truths has been but the best adaptation of means to the cause of many of the blunders an end, of materials to the required hitherto committed. Thus, Sir Gardresult, so that the temple might be ner Wilkinson adduces a multitude made the most fitting house both for of instances, in which our archithronging people and presiding deity. tectural and ornamental designs vioDescending to things of lower im- late the dictates of reason and comport, an Etruscan or Greek vase, mon sense, no less than the laws lamp or candelabrum, was but the of correct taste. A glass, for exdevelopment of utility into beauty; ample, imitating in its form and lines of grace evolved out of forms carving a pine-apple, borrows the of necessity; the decorative foliage foot of a tumbler to adapt it for use. growing out of the supporting stem; the flower budding in ideal beauty, Gardner, “ are the combinations of two
“Still more objectionable,” says Sir only when the root had taken firm hold upon the actual. Thus did art and the union of the ugly fish with the
incompatible natures to form a design ; grow out of and into the daily life. beautiful woman,' the dolphin in the It was not a luxury, to be seldom wood and the boar in the sea, denounced tasted-an exotic brought from afar, by Horace, are not more inconsistent to be seldom seen ; but there it grew than many of the anomalies produced and blossomed, and bore fruit in the daily by our constructors of designs. In native soil, which daily labour tilled, one, a man sits on a truncated column, so thąt the field which yielded the with the branches of a candlestick growcorn for food, grew the acanthus for ing luxuriantly from his head, while he the Corinthian capital.
plays a lyre in the character of Orpheus. We say there can be nothing more birdly office of holding a light or a cor
In another, a stork performs the unhopeful and healthful than the alli- nucopia in his beak for the same purance between the useful and the pose, as if to add another inconsistency, ornamental, which has characterised and to show how little one part has any the recent art-revival in this country. connection with the rest. The faults The very term “arts and manufac- are frequently made worse by the same tures” implies the interweaving of use of two different substances, and the fabric with fancy. The fabric must impression is given that the whole has be strong, suited to its proposed pur
been made up of the remnants of several pose ; and the fancy which in deco
different kinds of objects, fastened to. rative play adorns its surface, must
gether without any claim to companionnot less be consonant with utilitarian
ship.”—P. 223. uses ; so that no carpet shall disdain It has long been the bane of Art
that she has been made too artificial. ing Duke of York equally outrages The artist has been so oppressed by taste and propriety-is equally recktechnicalities, so perplexed by con- less of his neck and reputation, defused precedents, that, in becoming termined, at all events, in these suan artist, he would seem to have for- preme heights, to fly his creditors gotten that he was still a man; and and defy bis critics. Such examples as hence, in espousing art, often he is these undoubtedly show the necessity divorced from nature. But the au- for the diffusion of taste. They not dience to which he appeals is happily the less, however, prove, as we have still informed by observation, and said, the need of a sound reason. guided by common-sense. Hence, for- A work of art demands the extunately, extravagance has ever found ercise, or at least the approval, of its limits. Hence art, after a wild, all the faculties in man. No one wilful fling of caprice, ever returns power can be violated without inonce more to the simplicity of truth ficting upon the work executed a and the sobriety of reason. But corresponding injury; Hence does although this healthful reaction may the history of art abundantly show have now fairly commenced, we have that what is false in reason is bad in hitherto, it must be admitted, widely taste. The decorative, we again rewandered from the true path. Thus peat, must grow out from the useful, many of our great public monu- the ornamental in architecture must ments offend against taste in great be built upon the sure basis of conmeasure, because, as we have said, struction, and thus do the arts, fathey outrage reason. As an example, shioned from the fabric of nature it is sufficient to quote that climax of and the fancy of man, preserve the absurdity, the Wellington equestrian actuality of our daily life, yet soar to statue mounted on the arch of Hyde the ideality of our poetic concepPark Corner, deservedly the ridicule tions, of Europe. A Roman triumphal Such egregious examples as we arch, in which size is essential to have just mentioned would seem to grandeur, is dwarfed into a subordi- indicate, that the artists who design nate pedestal. A colossal enormity our public monuments possess less crushes the victim basement, and judgment than the public who preseems at the same time to cast into one sume to condemn. Instances, howcommon ridicule all neighbouring ob- ever, of another description, will jects. The cocked hat of the rider, the prove, that patron purchasers and gaunt figure of the steed, hoisted public committees more especially into high air in a position so un- constitute the class to whom the comfortable and ungainly, appear all diffusion of correct taste has become designedly arranged as a grotesque a national necessity. Is it not notoburlesque. Again, to place a hero on rious that committees of taste for the the summit of a column is scarcely selection of architectural designs are less absurd. To detach a pillar from guided by no sufficient knowledge ? its architectural combination, and is it not admitted that pretty draw. to make it stand in isolation without ings, with pleasing colour and allurthe support of associated columns, ing sunlight, will carry the judgment decapitated, moreover, of the en- captive; and thus the plan which is tablature which it should in turn most showy and pretentious, and uphold, is of itself a sufficient con- therefore probably the most corrupt, fusion of intention and uses. But is finally adopted? We believe that, to place upon this architectural ano- for the correction of this evil-thé maly the statue of a hero, condemned ruin of countless buildings throughto stand on a dizzy pinnacle for the out the country — the diffusion of curious gaze of the lower multitude, elementary and easily-acquired knowand yet beyond their view, is to add ledge, would be sufficient remedy. to the injury inflicted upon art an An acquaintance with the leading insult to the man. Yet thus does styles of architecture – with their Nelson-as if condemned to the mast- fundamental principles and ideashead-adorn" the finest position in might readily be attained within the Europe ;” and thus the neighbour-compass of a few days or weeks. For