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read; for we must ourselves possess all through long life, not only without failure the mental characters of which we are to of power, but with visible increase of it, read the signs. No man can read the until the actually organic changes of old evidence of labor who is not himself age. And then consider, so far as you laborious, for he does not know what know anything of physiology, what [80 the work cost: nor can he read the evi- sort of an ethical state of body and mind dence of true passion if he is not pas- that means!--ethic through ages past! sionate; nor of gentleness if he is not what fineness of race there must be to gentle: and the most subtle signs of (30 get it, what exquisite balance and symfault and weakness of character he can metry of the vital powers! And then, only judge by having had the same faults finally, determine for yourselves whether to fight with. I myself, for instance, a manhood like that is consistent with know impatient work, and tired work, any viciousness of soul, with any mean better than most critics, because I am anxiety, any gnawing lust, any wretchedmyself always impatient, and often tired: ness of spite or remorse, any conscious- [90
so also, the patient and indefatigable ness of rebellion against law of God or touch of a mighty master becomes more man, or any actual, though unconscious wonderful to me than to others. Yet, violation of even the least law to which wonderful in no mean measure it will [40 obedience is essential for the glory of be to you all, when I make it manifest;- life, and the pleasing of its Giver. and as soon as we begin our real work, It is, of course, true that many of the and you have learned what it is to draw strong masters had deep faults of characa true line, I shall be able to make mani- ter, but their faults always show in their fest to you, -and undisputably so,
work. It is true that some could not that the day's work of a man like Man- govern their passions; if so, they died (100 tegna or Paul Veronese consists of an young, or they painted ill when old. But unfaltering, uninterrupted, succession of the greater part of our misapprehension movements of the hand more precise than in the whole matter is from our not havthose of the finest fencer: the pencil (50 ing well known who the great painters leaving one point and arriving at another, were, and taking delight in the petty skill not only with unerring precision at the that was bred in the fumes of the taverns extremity of the line, but with an unerring of the North, instead of theirs who and yet varied course—sometimes over breathed empyreal air, sons of the mornspaces a foot or more in extent-yet a ing, under the woods of Assisi and the course so determined everywhere that crags of Cadore.
(110 either of these men could, and Veronese It is true however also, as I have often does, draw a finished profile, or pointed out long ago, that the strong any other portion of the contour of the masters fall into two great divisions, one face, with one line, not afterwards (60 leading simple and natural lives, the changed. Try, first, to realize to your- other restrained in a Puritanism of the selves the muscular precision of that worship of beauty; and these two manners action, and the intellectual strain of it; of life you may recognize in a moment by for the movement of a fencer is perfect their work. Generally the naturalists in practised monotony; but the move- are the strongest; but there are two of ment of the hand of a great painter is the Puritans, whose work if I can suc- [120 at every instant governed by direct and ceed in making clearly understandable new intention. Then imagine that mus- to you during my three years here, it is cular firmness and subtlety, and the in- all I need care to do. But of these two stantaneously selective and ordinant (70 Puritans one I cannot name to you, and cnergy of the brain, sustained all day the other I at present will not. One I long, not only without fatigue, but with cannot, for no one knows his name, except a visible joy in the exertion, like that the baptismal one, Bernard, or “dear which an eagle seems to take in the wave little Bernard”—Bernardino, called from of his wings; and this all life long, and I his birthplace, (Luino, on the Lago Maggiore,) Bernard of Luino. The other (130 cannot perform; (and observe, by the is a Venetian, of whom many of you way, that a great deal of what is misprobably have never heard, and of whom, taken for conscientious motive is nothing through me, you shall not hear, until I but a very pestilent, because very subtle, have tried to get some picture by him over condition of vanity); whereas the great to England.
men always understand at once that the Observe then, this Puritanism in the first morality of a painter, as of every- (190 worship of beauty, though sometimes body else, is to know his business; and so weak, is always honorable and amiable, earnest are they in this, that many, and the exact reverse of the false Puri- whose lives you would think, by the retanism, which consists in the dread or (140 sults of their work, had been passed in disdain of beauty. And in order to treat strong emotion, have in reality subdued my subject rightly, I ought to proceed themselves, though capable of the very from the skill of art to the choice of its strongest passions, into a calm as absolute subject, and show you how the moral as that of a deeply sheltered mountain temper of the workman is shown by his lake, which reflects every agitation of the seeking lovely forms and thoughts to clouds in the sky, and every change (200 express, as well as by the force of his hand of the shadows on the hills, but is itself in expression. But I need not now urgemotionless. this part of the proof on you, because you Finally, you must remember that great are already, I believe, sufficiently (150 obscurity has been brought upon the conscious of the truth in this matter, and truth in this matter by the want of inalso I have already said enough of it integrity and simplicity in our modern life. my writings; whereas I have not at all I mean integrity in the Latin sense, wholesaid enough of the infallibleness of fine ness. Everything is broken up, and mintechnical work as a proof of every other gled in confusion, both in our habits and good power. And indeed it was long be- thoughts; besides being in great part (210 fore I myself understood the true mean- imitative: so that you not only cannot ing of the pride of the greatest men in tell what a man is, but sometimes you their mere execution, shown for a per- cannot tell whether he is, at all!—whether manent lesson to us, in the stories (160 you have indeed to do with a spirit, or which, whether true or not, indicate with only with an echo. And thus the same absolute accuracy the general conviction inconsistencies appear now, between the of great artists;—the stories of the con- work of artists of merit and their pertest of Apelles and Protogenes in a line sonal characters, as those which you find only, (of which I can promise you, you continually disappointing expectation in shall know the meaning to some purpose the lives of men of modern literary (220 in a little while),—the story of the circle power;—the same conditions of society of Giotto, and especially, which you may having obscured or misdirected the best perhaps not have observed, the expression qualities of the imagination, both in our of Dürer in his inscription on the (170 literature and art. Thus there is no drawings sent him by Raphael
. These serious question with any of us as to the figures, he says, "Raphael drew and personal character of Dante and Giotto, sent to Albert Dürer in Nürnberg, to of Shakespeare and Holbein; but we show him”—What? Not his invention, pause timidly in the attempt to analyze nor his beauty of expression, but “sein the moral laws of the art skill in recent Hand zu weisen," "to show him his poets, novelists, and painters. (230 hand.” And you will find, as you ex
Let me assure you once for all, that as amine farther, that all inferior artists are you grow older, if you enable yourselves continually trying to escape from the to distinguish by the truth of your own necessity of sound work, and either (180 lives, what
is true in those of other men, indulging themselves in their delights in you will gradually perceive that all good
or pluming themselves on their has its origin in good, never in evil; that noble motives for attempting what they the fact of either literature or painting
being truly fine of their kind, whatever springs out of evil, it is developed to its their mistaken aim, or partial error, is highest by contention with evil. There proof of their noble origin: and that, (240 are some groups of peasantry, in far-away if there is indeed sterling value in the nooks of Christian countries, who are thing done, it has come of a sterling worth nearly as innocent as lambs; but the in the soul that did it, however alloyed or morality which gives power to art is the defiled by conditions of sin which are morality of men, not of cattle. sometimes more appalling or more strange Secondly, the virtues of the inhabitants than those which all may detect in their of many country districts are ap- 1300 own hearts, because they are part of a parent, not real; their lives are indeed personality altogether larger than ours, artless, but not innocent; and it is only and as far beyond our judgment in its the monotony of circumstances, and the darkness as beyond our following in [250 absence of temptation, which prevent its light. And it is sufficient warning the exhibition of evil passions not less against what some might dread as the real because often dormant, nor less foul probable effect of such a conviction on because shown only in petty faults, or your own minds, namely, that you might inactive malignities. permit yourselves in the weaknesses But you will observe also that absolute which you imagined to be allied to genius, artlessness, to men in any kind of (310 when they took the form of personal moral health, is impossible; they have temptations;—it is surely, I say, suffi- always, at least, the art by which they cient warning against so mean a folly, live-agriculture or seamanship; and in to discern, as you may with little (260 these industries, skilfully practised, you pains, that, of all human existences, the will find the law of their moral training; lives of men of that distorted and tainted while, whatever the adversity of cirnobility of intellect are probably the cumstances, every rightly-minded peasmost miserable.
antry, such as that of Sweden, Denmark, I pass to the second, and for us the more Bavaria, or Switzerland, has associated practically important question, What is with its needful industry a quite [320 the effect of noble art upon other men; studied school of pleasurable art in dress; what has it done for national morality and generally also in song, and simple in time past: and what effect is the ex- domestic architecture. tended knowledge or possession of it (270 Again, I need not repeat to you here likely to have upon us now? And here what I endeavored to explain in the first we are at once met by the facts, which lecture in the book I called The Two Paths, are as gloomy as indisputable, that, while respecting the arts of savage races: but many peasant populations, among whom I may now note briefly that such arts are scarcely the rudest practice of art has the result of an intellectual activity which ever been attempted, have lived in com- has found no room to expand, and (3.30 parative innocence, honor, and happi- which the tyranny of nature or of man ness, the worst foulness and cruelty of has condemned to disease through arsavage tribes have been frequently asso- rested growth. And where neither Chrisciated with fine ingenuities of decora- [280 tianity, nor any other religion conveying tive design; also, that no people has ever some moral help, has reached, the animal attained the higher stages of art skill, energy of such races necessarily flames except at a period of its civilization which into ghastly conditions of evil, and the was sullied by frequent, violent, and even grotesque or frightful forms assumed by monstrous crime; and, lastly, that the their art are precisely indicative of their attaining of perfection in art power, has distorted moral nature.
(340 been hitherto, in every nation, the ac- But the truly great nations nearly curate signal of the beginning of its always begin from a race possessing this ruin.
imaginative power; and for some time Respecting which phenomena, ob- (290 their progress is very slow, and their state serve first, that although good never not one of innocence, but of feverish and
faultful animal energy. This is gradually father, Charles Goldsmith, studied in the subdued and exalted into bright human reign of Queen Anne at the diocesan (10 life; the art instinct purifying itself with school at Elphin, became attached to the rest of the nature, until social per- the daughter of the schoolmaster, married fectness is nearly reached; and then (350 her, took orders, and settled at a place comes the period when conscience and called Pallas, in the county of Longford. intellect are so highly developed, that new There he with difficulty supported his forms of error begin in the inability to wife and children on what he could earn, fulfil the demands of the one, or to answer partly as a curate and partly as a farmer. the doubts of the other. Then the whole- At Pallas Oliver Goldsmith was born ness of the people is lost; all kinds of in November 1728. That spot was then, hypocrisies and oppositions of science for all practical purposes, almost as [20 develop themselves; their faith is ques- remote from the busy and splendid tioned on one side, and compromised with capital in which his later years were on the other; wealth commonly in- (360 passed, as any clearing in Upper creases at the same period to a destructive Canada or any sheep-walk in Australasia extent; luxury follows; and the ruin of now is. Even at this day those enthusiasts the nation is then certain: while the arts, who venture to make a pilgrimage to the all this time, are simply, as I said at first, birthplace of the poet are forced to perthe exponents of each phase of its moral form the latter part of their journey on state, and no more control it in its political foot. The hamlet lies far from any highcareer than the gleam of the firefly guides road on a dreary plain which in wet (30 its oscillation. It is true that their most weather is often a lake. The lanes would splendid results are usually obtained in break any jaunting-car to pieces; and the swiftness of the power which is (370 there are ruts and sloughs through which hurrying to the precipice; but to lay the the most strongly-built wheels cannot charge of the catastrophe to the art by be dragged. which it is illumined, is to find a cause for While Oliver was still a child, his the cataract in the hues of its iris. It is father was presented to a living worth true that the colossal vices belonging to about £200 a year, in the county of West periods of great national wealth (for Meath. The family accordingly quitted wealth, you will find, is the real root of their cottage in the wilderness for a (40 all evil) can turn every good gift and skill spacious house on a frequented road, near of nature or of man to evil purpose. If, the village of Lissoy. Here the boy was in such times, fair pictures have been (380 taught his letters by a maid-servant, misused, how much more fair realities? and was sent in his seventh year to a vilAnd if Miranda is immoral to Caliban is lage school kept by an old quarter-master that Miranda's fault? ...
on half-pay, who professed to teach nothing but reading, writing, and arithmetic, but who had an inexhaustible
fund of stories about ghosts, banshees, THOMAS BABINGTON, LORD and fairies, about the great Rap- 150 MACAULAY (1800-1869)
paree chiefs, Baldearg O'Donnell and
galloping Hogan, and about the exploits OLIVER GOLDSMITH
of Peterborough and Stanhope, the sur
prise of Monjuich, and the glorious disOliver Goldsmith, one of the most aster of Brihuega. This man must have pleasing English writers of the eighteenth been of the Protestant religion; but he century. He was of a Protestant and was of the aboriginal race, and not only Saxon family which had been long settled spoke the Irish language, but could pour in Ireland, and which had, like most forth unpremeditated Irish verses. Oliver other Protestant and Saxon families, early became, and through life con- [60 been, in troubled times, harassed and puttinued to be, a passionate admirer of in fear by the native population. His the Irish music, and especially of the compositions of Carolan, some of the from which they have long been relieved. last notes of whose harp he heard. It They swept the court: they carried up ought to be added that Oliver, though by the dinner to the fellows' table, and birth one of the Englishry, and though changed the plates and poured out (120 connected by numerous ties with the the ale of the rulers of the society. Goldestablished church, never showed the smith was quartered, not alone, in a least sign of that contemptuous antipathy garret, on the window of which his name, with which, in his days, the ruling 170 scrawled by himself, is still read with minority in Ireland too generally regarded interest." From such garrets many men the subject majority. So far indeed was of less parts than his have made their he from sharing the opinions and feelings way to the woolsack or to the episcopal of the caste to which he belonged, that bench. But Goldsmith, while he suffered he conceived an aversion to the Glorious all the humiliations, threw away all the and Immortal Memory, and, even when advantages of his situation. He neg- (130 George the Third was on the throne, lected the studies of the place, stood low maintained that nothing but the restora- at the examinations, was turned down tion of the banished dynasty could save to the bottom of his class for playing the the country.
(80 buffoon in the lecture-room, was severely From the humble academy kept by reprimanded for pumping on a constable
, the old soldier Goldsmith was removed and was caned by a brutal tutor for giving in his ninth year. He went to several a ball in the attic story of the college to grammar-schools, and acquired some some gay youths and damsels from the knowledge of the ancient languages. His city. life at this time seems to have been far While Oliver was leading at Dublin (140 from happy. He had, as appears from a life divided between squalid distress the admirable portrait of him at Knowle, and squalid dissipation, his father died, features harsh even to ugliness. The leaving a mere pittance. The youth obsmall-pox had set its mark on him (90 tained his bachelor's degree, and left the with more than usual severity. His University. During some time the humstature was small, and his limbs ill put ble dwelling to which his widowed mother together. Among boys little tenderness had retired was his home. He was now is shown to personal defects; and the in his twenty-first year; it was necessary ridicule excited by poor Oliver's appear- that he should do something; and his ance was heightened by a peculiar sim- education seemed to have fitted him (150 plicity and a disposition to blunder which to do nothing but to dress himself in he retained to the last. He became the gaudy colors, of which he was as fond as common butt of boys and masters, was a magpie, to take a hand at cards, to sing pointed at as a fright in the play- (100 | Irish airs, to play the fute, to angle in ground, and flogged as a dunce in the summer, and to tell ghost stories by the schoolroom. When he had risen to fire in winter. He tried five or six proeminence, those who had once derided fessions in turn without success. He aphim ransacked their memory for the plied for ordination; but, as he applied events of his early years, and recited in scarlet clothes, he was speedily turned repartees and couplets which had dropped out of the episcopal palace. He then (160 from him, and which, though little no- became tutor in an opulent family, but ticed at the time, were supposed, a quarter soon quitted his situation in consequence of a century later, to indicate the powers of a dispute about play. Then he deterwhich produced the Vicar of Wake- (110 | mined to emigrate to America. His relafield and the Deserted Village.
tions, with much satisfaction, saw him In his seventeenth year Oliver went set out for Cork on a good horse, with up to Trinity College, Dublin, as a sizar. thirty pounds in his pocket. But in six The sizars paid nothing for food and
1 The glass on which the name is written bas, as we are intuition, and very little for lodging; but formed by a writer in Notes and Queries (2nd S. is. p. 01 they had to perform some menial services
been enclosed in a frame deposited in the Manuscript Room of the College Library, where it is still to be seen. (Macaulay.'