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has in it the likeness of a king, perhaps our way.
Over-head, an inextricable indeed a king on earth, perhaps a saintly confusion of rugged shutters, and iron king long ago in heaven; and so higher balconies and chimney flues, pushed out and higher up to the great mouldering on brackets to save room, and arched wall of rugged sculpture and confused windows with projecting sills of Istrian arcades, shattered, and gray, and grisly stone, and gleams of green leaves (280 with heads of dragons and mocking here and there where a fig-tree branch fiends, worn by the rain and swirling escapes over a lower wall from some winds into yet unseemlier shape, and inner cortile, leading the eye up to the colored on their stony scales by the (230 narrow stream of blue sky high over all. deep russet-orange lichen, melancholy On each side, a row of shops, as densely gold; and so, higher still, to the bleak set as may be, occupying, in fact, intertowers, so far above that the eye loses vals between the square stone shafts, itself among the bosses of their traceries, about eight feet high, which carry the first though they are rude and strong, and floors: intervals of which one is narrow only sees like a drift of eddying black and serves as a door; the other is, in (290 points, now closing, now scattering, and the more respectable shops, wainscotted now settling suddenly into invisible places to the height of the counter and glazed among the bosses and flowers, the crowd above, but in those of the poorer tradesof restless birds that fill the whole (240 men left open to the ground, and the square with that strange clangor of theirs, wares laid on benches and tables in the so harsh and yet so soothing, like the open air, the light in all cases entering at cries of birds on a solitary coast between the front only, and fading away in a few the cliffs and sea.
feet from the threshold into a gloom Think for a little while of that scene, which the eye from without cannot peneand the meaning of all its small formalisms, trate, but which is generally broken (300 mixed with its serene sublimity. Esti- by a ray or two from a feeble lamp at the mate its secluded, continuous, drowsy back of the shop, suspended before a felicities, and its evidence of the sense print of the Virgin. The less pious shopand steady performance of such kind (250 keeper sometimes leaves his lamp unof duties as can be regulated by the lighted, and is contented with a penny cathedral clock; and weigh the influence print; the more religious one has his of those dark towers on all who have print colored and set in a little shrine with passed through the lonely square at their a gilded or figured fringe, with perhaps a feet for centuries, and on all who have faded flower or two on each side, and his seen them rising far away over the wooded lamp burning brilliantly. Here, at the (310 plain, or catching on their square masses fruiterer's, where the dark-green waterthe last rays of the sunset, when the city melons are heaped upon the counter like at their feet was indicated only by the cannon balls, the Madonna has a tabermist at the bend of the river. And (260 nacle of fresh laurel leaves; but the then let us quickly recollect that we are pewterer next door has let his lamp out, in Venice, and land at the extremity of and there is nothing to be seen in his the Calla Lunga San Moisè, which may shop but the dull gleam of the studded be considered as there answering to the patterns on the copper pans, hanging secluded street that led us to our English from his roof in the darkness.
Next cathedral gateway.
comes a “Vendita Frittole e Liquori,” (320 We find ourselves in a paved alley, where the Virgin, enthroned in a very some seven feet wide where it is widest, humble manner beside a tallow candle full of people, and resonant with cries of on a back shelf, presides over certain itinerant salesmen,-a shriek in their (270 ambrosial morsels of a nature too ambigubeginning, and dying away into a kind of ous to be defined or enumerated. But a brazen ringing, all the worse for its con- few steps farther on, at the regular winefinement between the high houses of the shop of the calle, where we are offered passage along which we have to make “Vino Nostrani a Soldi 28.32,” the Ma
donna is in great glory, enthroned above of opal and mother-of-pearl, hollowed ten or a dozen large red casks of three- [330 beneath into five great vaulted porches, year-old vintage, and flanked by goodly ceiled with fair mosaic, and beset with ranks of bottles of Maraschino, and two sculpture of alabaster, clear as amber crimson lamps; and for the evening, when and delicate as ivory, sculpture fanthe gondoliers will come to drink out, tastic and involved, of palm leaves and under her auspices, the money they have lilies, and grapes and pomegranates, and gained during the day, she will have a birds clinging and fluttering among (390 whole chandelier.
the branches, all twined together into an A yard or two farther, we pass the endless network of buds and plumes: hostelry of the Black Eagle, and, glancing and, in the midst of it, the solemn forms as we pass through the square door (340 of angels, sceptred, and robed to the feet, of marble, deeply moulded, in the outer and leaning to each other across the wall, we see the shadows of its pergola of gates, their figures indistinct among the vines resting on an ancient well, with a gleaming of the golden ground through pointed shield carved on its side; and so the leaves beside them, interrupted and presently emerge on the bridge and dim, like the morning light as it faded Campo San Moisè, whence to the entrance back among the branches of Eden, (400 into St. Mark's Place, called the Bocca di when first its gates were angel-guarded Piazza (mouth of the square), the Vene- long ago. And round the walls of the tian character is nearly destroyed, first porches there are set pillars of variegated by the frightful façade of San Moisè, (350 stones, jasper and porphyry, and deep, which we will pause at another time to green serpentine spotted with flakes of examine, and then by the modernizing snow, and marbles, that half refuse and of the shops as they near the piazza, and half yield to the sunshine, Cleopatrathe mingling with the lower Venetian like, “their bluest veins to kiss"—the populace of lounging groups of English shadow, as it steals .back from them, and Austrians. We will push fast through revealing line after line of azure un- (410 them into the shadow of the pillars at the dulation, as a receding tide leaves the end of the “Bocca di Piazza,” and then waved sand; their capitals rich with we forget them all; for between those interwoven tracery, rooted knots of herbpillars there opens a great light, and, (360 age, and drifting leaves of acanthus and in the midst of it, as we advance slowly, vine, and mystical signs, all beginning the vast tower of St. Mark seems to lift and ending in the Cross; and above them, itself visibly forth from the level field of in the broad archivolts, a continuous chequered stones; and, on each side, the chain of language and of life-angels, and countless arches prolong themselves into the signs of heaven, and the labors of ranged symmetry, as if the rugged and men; each in its appointed season (420 irregular houses that pressed together upon the earth; and above these, another above us in the dark alley had been struck range of glittering pinnacles, mixed with back into sudden obedience and lovely white arches edged with scarlet flowers, order, and all their rude casements (370 a confusion of delight, amidst which the and broken walls had been transformed breasts of the Greek horses are seen into arches charged with goodly sculpture, blazing in their breadth of golden strength, and fluted shafts of delicate stone.
and the St. Mark's Lion, lifted on a blue And well may they fall back, for be- field covered with stars, until at last, yond those troops of ordered arches there if in ecstasy, the crests of the arches break rises a vision out of the earth, and all the into a marble foam, and toss them- (430 great square seems to have opened from selves far into the blue sky in flashes and it in a kind of awe, that we may see it wreaths of sculptured spray, as if the far away;-a multitude of pillars and breakers on the Lido shore had been white domes, clustered into a long (380 frost-bound before they fell, and the sealow pyramid of colored light; a treasure- nymphs had inlaid them with coral and heap, it seems, partly of gold, and partly | amethyst.
Between that grim cathedral of England
From TIME AND TIDE and this, what an interval! There is a type of it in the very birds that haunt
Letter XV them; for, instead of the restless (440 THE NATURE OF THEFT BY UNJUST crowd, hoarse-voiced and sable-winged,
PROFITS.-CRIME CAN FINALLY BE drifting on the bleak upper air, the St.
ARRESTED ONLY BY EDUCATION Mark's porches are full of doves, that nestle among the marble foliage, and The first methods of polite robbery, by mingle the soft iridescence of their living dishonest manufacture, and by debt, of plumes, changing at every motion, with which we have been hitherto speaking, the tints, hardly less lovely, that have are easily enough to be dealt with and stood unchanged for seven
seven hundred ended, when once men have a mind to years.
end them. But the third method of And what effect has this splendor (450 polite robbery, by dishonest acquisition, on those who pass beneath it? You may has many branches, and is involved walk from sunrise to sunset, to and fro, among honest arts of acquisition, so that before the gateway of St. Mark's, and it is difficult to repress the one with- (10 you will not see an eye lifted to it, nor a out restraining the other. · countenance brightened by it. Priest and Observe, first, large fortunes cannot layman, soldier and civilian, rich and honestly be made by the work of one poor, pass by it alike regardlessly. Up man's hands or head. If his work beneto the very recesses of the porches, the fits multitudes, and involves position of meanest tradesmen of the city push their high trust, it may be (I do not say that counters; nay, the foundations of its (460 it is) expedient to reward him with great pillars are themselves the seats-not wealth or estate; but fortune of this kind of them that sell doves” for sacrifice, is freely given in gratitude for benefit, not but of the vendors of toys and carica- as repayment for labor. Also, men (20 tures. Round the whole square in front of peculiar genius in any art, if the public of the church there is almost a continuous can enjoy the product of their genius, line of cafés, where the idle Venetians may set it at almost any price they of the middle classes lounge, and read choose; but this, I will show you when I empty journals; in its centre the Austrian come to speak of art, is unlawful on their bands play during the time of vespers, part, and ruinous to their own powers. their martial music jarring with the (470 Genius must not be sold; the sale of it organ notes,-the marchdrowning the involves, in a transcendental, but permiserere, and the sullen crowd thicken- fectly true sense, the guilt both of simony ing round them,-a crowd, which, if it and prostitution. Your labor only (30 had its will, would stiletto every soldier may be sold; your soul must not. that pipes to it. And in the recesses of Now, by fair pay for fair labor, accordthe porches, all day long, knots of men ing to the rank of it, a man can obtain of the lowest classes, unemployed and means of comfortable, or if he needs it, listless, lie basking in the sun liké lizards; refined life. But he cannot obtain large and unregarded children,-every heavy fortune. Such fortunes as are now the glance of their young eyes full of des- [480 prizes of commerce can be made only in peration and stony depravity, and their one of three ways: throats hoarse with cursing, -gamble, and 1. By obtaining command over the fight, and snarl, and sleep, hour after labor of multitudes of other men, and [40 hour, clashing their bruised centesimi taxing it for our own profit. upon the marble ledges of the church 2. By treasure-trove,-as of mines, porch. And the images of Christ and useful vegetable products, and the like, His angels look down upon it continu- in circumstances putting them under our ally.
own exclusive control.
3. By speculation (commercial gambling). The first two of these means of obtaining riches are, in some forms and mental arrangements of zigzag bricks, within certain limits, lawful, and advan- black and blue tiles, cast-iron foliage, tageous to the State. The third is 150 and the like; of which millions, as I said, entirely detrimental to it; for in all cases not a penny can ever return into the of profit derived from speculation, at shareholders' pockets, nor contribute to best, what one man gains another loses; public speed or safety on the line. It is and the net result to the State is zero all sunk forever in ornamental architec(pecuniarily), with the loss of time and ture, and (trust me for this!) all that ingenuity spent in the transaction; be- architecture is bad. As such, it had (110 sides the disadvantage involved in the incomparably better not have been built. discouragement of the losing party, and Its only result will be to corrupt what the corrupted moral natures of both. capacity of taste or right pleasure in such This is the result of speculation at its [60 work we have yet left to us! And conbest. At its worst, not only B. loses what sider a little, what other kind of result A. gains (having taken his fair risk of than that might have been attained if all such loss for his fair chance of gain), those millions had been spent' usefully: but C. and D., who never had any chance say, in buying land for the people, or at all, are drawn in by B.'s fall, and the building good houses for them, or (if it final result is that A. sets up his carriage had been imperatively required to (120 on the collected sum which was once be spent decoratively) in laying out gara means of living to a dozen families. dens and parks for them, or buying
Nor is this all. For while real com- noble works of art for their permanent merce is founded on real necessities or (70 possession, -or, best of all, establishing uses, and limited by these, speculation, frequent public schools and libraries! of which the object is merely gain, seeks Count what those lost millions would to excite imaginary necessities and popu- have so accomplished for you! But you lar desires, in order to gain its temporary left the affair to "supply and demand," profit from the supply of them. So that and the British public had not brains not only the persons who lend their enough to "demand” land, or lodg- (130 money to it will be finally robbed, but ing, or books. It “demanded” cast-iron the work done with their money will be cockades and zigzag cornices, and is for the most part useless, and thus the "supplied" with them, to its beatitude entire body of the public injured as (80 for evermore. well as the persons concerned in the Now, the theft we first spoke of, by transaction. Take, for instance, the falsity of workmanship or material, is, architectural decorations of railways indeed, so far worse than these thefts by throughout the kingdom, -representing dishonest acquisition, that there is no many millions of money for which no possible excuse for it on the ground of farthing of dividend can ever be forth- self-deception; while many specula- (140 coming. The public will not be induced tive thefts are committed by persons who to pay the smallest fraction of higher fare really mean to do no harm, but think the to Rochester or Dover because the iron- system on the whole a fair one, and do work of the bridge which carries them (90 the best they can in it for themselves. over the Thames is covered with floral But in the real fact of the crime, when cockades, and the piers of it edged with consciously committed, in the numbers ornamental cornices. All that work is reached by its injury, in the degree of simply put there by the builders that suffering it causes to those whom it ruins, they may put the percentage upon it in the baseness of its calculated betrayal into their own pockets; and the rest of of implicit trust, in the yet more per- (150 the money being thrown into that floral fect vileness of the obtaining such trust form, there is an end of it, as far as the by misrepresentation, only that it may shareholders are concerned. Millions be betrayed, and in the impossibility that upon millions have thus been spent, (100 the crime should be at all committed, within the last twenty years, on orna- except by persons of good position and
large knowledge of the world;—what another fashion; sets them upon an (210 manner of theft is so wholly unpardon- hill, that their light may shine before able, so inhuman, so contrary to every men, and that all may see their good law and instinct which binds and ani- works, and glorify their Father in-the mates society?
(160 Opposite of Heaven. And then consider farther, how many I think your trade parliament will have of the carriages that glitter in our streets to put an end to this kind of business are driven, and how many of the stately somehow! But it cannot be done by houses that gleam among our English laws merely, where the interests and cirfields are inhabited, by this kind of thief! cumstances are so extended and complex.
I happened to be reading this morning Nay, even as regards lower and more (220 (29th March) some portions of the Lent defined crimes, the assigned punishment services, and I came to a pause over the is not to be thought of as a preventive familiar words, “And with Him they means; but only as the seal of opinion crucified two thieves.” Have you (170 set by society on the fact. Crime cannot ever considered (I speak to you now as a be hindered by punishment; it will always professing Christian) why, in the accom- find some shape and outlet, unpunishable plishment of the “numbering among or unclosed. Crime can only be truly transgressors,” the transgressors chosen hindered by letting no man grow up a should have been especially thieves-not criminal—by taking away the will to murderers, nor, as far as we know, sinners commit sin; not by mere punishment (230 by any gross violence? Do you observe of its commission. Crime, small and how the sin of theft is again and again great, can only be truly stayed by educaindicated as the chiefly antagonistic one tion—not the education of the intellect to the law of Christ? “This he said, [180 only, which is, on some men, wasted, not that he cared for the poor, but be and for others mischievous; but education cause he was a thief, and had the bag" of the heart, which is alike good and (of Judas). And again, though Barabbas necessary for all. was a leader of sedition and a murderer besides-(that the popular election might be in all respects perfect)—yet St. John, THE RELATION OF ART TO in curt and conclusive account of him,
MORALS fastens again on the theft. “Then cried they all again saying, Not this man, And now I pass to the arts with but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was (190 which I have special concern, in which, a robber.” I believe myself the reason though the facts are exactly the same, I to be that theft is indeed, in its subtle shall have more difficulty in proving my forms, the most complete and excuseless assertion, because very few of us are as of human crimes. Sins of violence usually cognizant of the merit of painting as we have passion to excuse them: they may are of that of language; and I can only be the madness of moments; or they may show you whence that merit springs, after be apparently the only means of extrica- having thoroughly shown you in what it tion from calamity. In other cases, they consists. But, in the meantime, I (10 are the diseased habits of lower and have simply to tell you, that the manual brutified natures. But theft involv- (200 arts are as accurate exponents of ethical ing deliberative intellect, and absence of state, as other modes of expression; first, passion, is the purest type of wilful iniq- with absolute precision, of that of the uity, in persons capable of doing right. workman; and then with precision, disWhich being so, it seems to be fast be- guised by many distorting influences, of coming the practice of modern society to that of the nation to which it belongs. crucify its Christ indeed, as willingly as And, first, they are a perfect exponent ever, in the persons of His poor; but by of the mind of the workman: but, being no means now to crucify its thieves be- so, remember, if the mind be great or (20 side Him! It elevates its thieves after complex, the art is not an easy book to