« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
trasts either of form or colour. In fitting adaptation, to adorn and enlike manner, in the design and manu- rich the art-products of our own age facture of pottery, metal work, or and country. In art, we are sorry jewellery, we are told that the gene- to say, as in politics and theology, ral form must be first carefully deter- there are found hostile parties, each mined, and the structure, capacity, backed by its chosen bigots. Some and strength thoroughly adapted to are strictly classic. The Greeks, they the use. These more essential points say, having handed down to us the secured, the added decoration must purest and the highest examples be kept subservient to the construc- known in the world's history, have tion; the underlying form preserved established for all time that style of beneath the ornament; the lines of art most worthy of adoption. These decoration enhancing the symmetry men would dress the English senator of the original design, and assisting in Roman toga, bis neck and breast the constructive strength. In arts, open and bare, his legs shivering in moreover, which are applied to manu- the cold, his feet shod in sandals. factures, it is obviously essential that If they build an exchange for British the exigencies of the design shall not commerce, a grand portico with Corovertax the capacity of the material, inthian columns and classic pediment or that the demands of the artist shall must be reared, that so, unsheltered not surpass the powers of the mechan- from the cold wind and the driving ism to carry into execution. Hence sleet, the British merchant may at the schools of art located at the seats least bitterly realise that the London of our national manufactures are di- climate has little of the warmth and rected to place themselves in intimate the brilliancy of sunny Athens. Others relation with practical managers and there are to whom the Classic is but workmen, that so the pupils in the another name for the Pagan, who tell schools, on the completion of their in- us in reverent accents that the Gostruction, may aid the manufacturers thic is the only style consistent for of the district in the production of a Christian people'; and so, on the works not only attractive from their principle that religion, and especially beauty, but practical in their actual medieval symbolism, should permeate utility. Such, indeed, are the works all the relations of life, they house which will take high rank in indus- the British Legislature in a Gothic trial exhibitions, and command by palace, and desire to imprison our their merit, both in design and exe- English diplomacy in new foreign cution, the market of the world. offices under the secret shade and Thus do we find the diffusion of cor- among the involved passages of a rect taste at once administering to middle-age interior. And, lastly, there the refined pleasure of the people, and are men of Renaissance sympathies, to the monied profit of the trading who, feeling the inconvenience of a manufacturer.
strictly classic style of all portico and The system of instruction adopted, no windows, thinking, too, that at and the canons of art established by least for domestic purposes the Gothic the Government Department, while is too much of high roof, eccentric sufficiently, definite, are, we are glad gable, and pointed arch, propose to to say, not dogmatic. Every style of art take the stately Italian palaces of is taken just for what it is worth. An Florence, Vicenza, and Venice as the example, if good of its kind, is at once most noble and convenient types for admitted into the course of instruc- secular edifices. For ourselves we tion, and adopted as a precedent for believe that each of these parties is imitation. In some distant country, in in a great measure right, and perhaps some special epoch and phase of civili- in an equal degree wrong. Each is sation, it may have formed a portion right n insisting on the special beauof a world-renowned structure, and if ties and excellences of his chosen style, rightly understood in its beauty and wrong when he refuses to admit proutility, if the principles out of which portionate advantages in the opposing it has grown be analysed, and receiv- systems. ed as the germs of a vital and further Now we think it is manifest that development, it may well serve, under for a Government department taking
upon itself the education of the will be marked by correctness and people, the only proper course is to purity, free from the hybrid progeny give a fair and open field to each of of those illicit alliances between antathese contending schools. Each style gonistic schools and principles which is already in possession of correspond- have given birth to the startling moning sections of the public taste, each strosities of other times and distant is essential to the art-products and countries. manufactures of this country, and We have shown how great is the therefore it is wise and even needful need for the diffusion of correct printhat all alike should have fair and ciples of taste, and we have seen how full play, only with this proviso, correspondingly great are the efforts that the bad and the corrupt of its now made to meet this national want. kind be absolutely excluded. Let Already the happy results of these the spirit, purpose, and intention of endeavours are found in the manufacevery style be clearly understood ; let tures of the country, and ere long, we it be known what effect and art-ex- believe, all classes will share in the pression it sought to attain ; what pleasure and advantage which high were the conditions of climate, com- culture can afford. The mechanic merce, and civilisation under which taught in the evening school, the it arose; by what successive steps it lady instructed during the day, will was developed to maturity; by what severally diffuse a knowledge and a stages it fell into decline,-then will love of art, the one in the midst of full justice be done to its merits, and the manufacturing orders, the other it will be saved from the injury of be- among the patrons of wealth and ing wrested to a purpose for which it high position. We now see the time was neither fitted nor intended. Each approaching when art shall penetrate school, thus understood in its essential into all the relations of life ; when principles, will accordingly become not only the luxuries for the rich, the best critic upon itself, because at but the simple necessities for the once the severest, the fairest, and the poor, shall adorn alike the palace and most discriminating of judges. Its the cottage with that beauty which corruptions will be corrected and is a “joy for ever.” The time, we condemned by its beauties. Thus it say, is nigh, when man shall strive well becomes the authorised art- in all his works to approach that instruction of this country to show completeness and fitness which mark itself tolerant of all parties, and the more perfect ways of creation, sensitive to all phases of the beauti- making our industry, our manufacful; intolerant only of the false and tures, the clothes for our bodies, the the corrupt. Thus, even though there furniture for our houses, part of that should be little promise of originality larger economy in which uses are minin invention, at least we may hope gled with beauties, thus constituting that the growing art of this country art a second and a reflected nature.
ERE France the last dread century closed in blood,
* It is not here intended to describe the impression made upon profound thinkers, or upon pure and earnest philanthropists, by the warning signs that preceded the great French Revolution ; the lines in the text refer to the joyous levity with wbich those on the surface of society regarded the prognostics of the coming earthquake. The gay temper in which airy wits and young nobles introduced the grim spirit of the age as a pleasant fashion of the drawing-room, is well hit off by Count de Ségur in his Memoires ou Souvenirs :
“ Pour nous, jeupe noblesse Française, sans regret pour le passé, sans inquiétude pour l'avenir, nous marchions gaiement sur un tapis de fleurs qui nous cachait un abime. Rians frondeurs des modes anciennes, de l'orgueil féodal de nos pères, et de leurs graves etiquettes, tout ce qui était antique nous paraissait gênant et ridicule. La gravité des anciennes doctrines nous pesait, le philosophie riànte de Voltaire nous entrainait en nous amusant.
La liberté, quelque fût son langage, nous plaisait par son courage ; l'égalité par sa commodité! On trouve du plaisir à descendre tant qu'on croit pouvoir remonter dès qu'on le veut : et sans prévoyance nous gôutions tout à la fois les avantages du patriciat, et les douceurs d'une philosophie plebéienne.
On applaudissait à la cour les maximes républicaines de Brutus ; enfin on parlait d'independence dans les camps, de democratie chez les nobles, de philosophie dans les bals, de morale dans les boudoirs."Memoires ou Souvenirs de M. LE COMTE DE Ségur, de l'Academie Française, pair de France, vol. i. pp. 26, 42, 152.
Found out a thorough gentleman of Rome,
France sets the fashion to all States polite ; England grew frisky in her own despite; Hampdens and Lovelaces got drunk together, And the red cap display'd the Prince's feather. Gay time and strange, when George the Fourth was young, By Gilray painted, and by Hanbury sung ; When peers, six-bottled, talked as Marat wrote, And Devon's kiss seduced a blacksmith's vote,Paine and Petronius equally in vogue, Don Juan in the role of demagogue. At home thus reared, in foreign parts improved, A strong young genius gambled, drank, and loved; From each rank marsh increased its native glow, Till Fox blazed forth as England's Mirabeau. Concede the likeness, qualified, 'tis true, As differing climes diversify the hue ; Each had these merits- massive breadth of sense, The popular might of headlong vehemence; The brawn and muscle both of frame and mind, Which shoulder down the mob of humankind : More had the Frank to dazzle and amaze, More grand the image, more superb the phrase ; Thoughts more condensed in diction so complete, They pass as proverbs nations still repeat. Read what remains of Fox,—where find through all One perfect sentence after-times recall ? Tush !-weigh no sentence! what pervades the whole ? Circumfluent radiance from one central soul. Light in the Frank each prismal tint defines, Against the cloud the gorgeous rainbow shines ; Light in the Englishman like sunshine flows, Nor limns to sight the hues it still bestows. Grant that mere intellect enthrals you more In the vast Frank ; we grant it, and abhor. Body and soul alike what stains pollute ! In brain, the god-in what remains, the brute. The Titan type of all that curst his time, The French Enceladon of force and crime ;
But in the Briton, if large faults you scan,
Men live who tell us what no books can teach, How spoke the speaker-what his style of speech. Our Fox's voice roll'd no melodious stream It rose in splutter, and went off in scream. Yet could it vary, in appropriate place, From the sharp alto to the rumbling bass. Such sudden changes when you'd least expect, Secured to dissonance a stage effect, Striking you most when into talk-like ease Slid the wild gamut down the cracking keys. The action } what Quintilian would have shock’d; The huge fist thundered, and the huge frame rock'd, As clattering down, immensu ore, went Splinters and crags of crashing argument. Not for neat reasonings, subtle and refined, Paused the strong logic of that rushing mind; It tore from out the popular side of Truth Fragments the larger because left uncouthHands, if less strong, more patient than his own, Perfect the statue, his heaved forth the stone, And in the rock, his daring chisel broke, Hewed the bold outlines with a hasty stroke. But on this force, with its disdain of rule, No safe good sense would like to found a school; And (drop the image) he who leads mankind, Must seek to soothe and not to shock the mind. The chief whose anger all the angry cheer, Thins bis own ranks—the temperate disappear ; They shake their heads, and in a sober fright Groan, "What a passion he was in to-night! Men in a passion must be in the wrong; And, heavens ! how dangerous when they're made so strong!” Thus is it strange, with all his genius, zeal, Such head to argue, and such heart to feel,