Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

Greece were sheltered from the vast tribes of the uncivi- the last light I ever saw was on the Sunday before. Do lized north by the heights of Hæmus and Rhodope ! be- you recollect, sir p' She raised her voice, and spoke bold how the Alps describe their magnificent crescent, rapidly. You must recollect. It was seven years last inclining their opposite extremities to the Adriatic and Martinmas. Pausing, as if to test her memory, she Tyrrhine Seas, locking up Italy from the Gallic and Teu- leaned her head upon her hands, which grasped the staff, tonic hordes till the power and spirit of Rome had reached and left me in a most painful silence for some minutes. their maturity, and she had opened the wide forest of I had no power to speak. One word, either of consolaEurope to the light, spread far her laws and language, and tion or of common-place, I could not utter. The very planted the seeds of many mighty nations !

mystery of her grief froze me into silence. At length, Thanks be to God for mountains! Their colossal firm- however, without lifting her head, she murmured to herness seems almost to break the current of time itself; the self, ‘Last Martinmas? This Martinmas! Her voice geologist in them searches for traces of the earlier world; rose suddenly into a scream, and her head was lifted up, and it is there too that man, resisting the revolutions and her eyeballs fixed upon mine, with a fearful glare. of lower regions, retains, through innumerable years, his This very month-this very day, good sir! Seven years habits and his rights. While a multitude of changes has -seven weary years--seven dark and unblessed years, remoulded the people of Europe, while languages, and this very day, since my dear boy died. One, two, three ! laws, and dynasties, and creeds, have passed over it like Yes; every year has left its mark upon my heart. I see shadows over the landscape, the children of the Celt and them, and they are all bleeding my very life away. And the Goth, who fled to the mountains a thousand years ago, now another wound must be made to-day. Ay, sir, it is are found there now, and show us in face and figure, in twelve o'clock! I stood by his dead body at this hour, language and garb, what their fathers were ; show us a and kissed his cold lips, and felt them taking even that fine contrast with the modern tribes dwelling below and comfort from my touch. Oh, it is sore, sore, to be rearound them; and show us, moreover, how adverse is the minded of it by this day's return ! But it will not lasi spirit of the mountain to mutability, and that there the for ever, and What she said in concluding these exfiery heart of freedom is found for ever.-Houitt. clamations I could not catch, for her voice again sunk

into its low murmuring tone, and then into silence for a

time. THE BLIND WOMAN.

“I know what you want to ask,' she said ; 'you want

to ask of what he died. And why should I conceal it (FROM THE MANUSCRIPT JOURNAL OF A CITY MISSIONARY.)

from you! My boy was innocent, innocent, sir! She did Having been for some time a missionary to one of the not see him doing it. She saw the others, but not him. suburbs of Glasgow, I was brought into the knowledge of She wouldn't swear to that. She was false, false, sir ; many distressing histories. One of these I purpose to but not false enough to say he did the deed. She couldn't. relate at present. There was a dilapidated land of houses He couldn't do it. My kind-hearted son would not kill in one of the back courts of my district, which I had not, a sleeping man. The judge asked her if she saw the at the date I am about to mention, yet visited. One cold knife in his hand ? No, she replied.--Did you see him at day in the November of 184—, I ascended the stairs for the bedside ? No, she replied again. - Where did you see the first time, and knocked at the door of what is there him, then? In the room, my lord.--It was this that put termed a single house, or house of one apartment. A faint my son to death. In the room, my lord ! For that word voice from within bade me open, and come in.'

of the false woman, poor Billie had to die. You rememThe door opened into a wretched chamber, without ber? You must remember. It was seven years ago this furniture of any sort beyond a few chairs. On one of morning, that my poor Billie died before the jail.' these sat an old woman, whose hair was passing from She was by this time too excited to proceed. The black to grey, and whose skin was brown and wrinkled. unearthly glare forsook her eyeballs, and she began to She was leaning forward on a long staff, which she grasped rock herself mournfully on the chair. In the painful in the middle, and looking fixedly in the direction of the pause, a little girl entered, ragged and filthy, and set door at which I was entering. There was something herself down the old woman's feet. For a monient or about the stare of her eyes which I did not like at first. two she remained unnoticed, and busied herself in scanI thought their expression rude and insolent. But I soon ning my features and dress. I observed that she paid no perceived that it was the expression of disease, and that attention to the old woman's conduct, as if it had been she was stone-blind.

no unusual sight to her. I wished to speak to the girl, Who are you P' she asked, sharply, when I had shut but could not; and I sat looking at the two before me. the door.

Like one awaking from a dream, the elder began to I told her my name and the object of my visit. She feel the child at her feet. “You are there !" she said at turned her body slowly round upon her seat, and bent for- length ; but I have something to say to this gentleman, ward as if to look for a particular thing. After staring for my dear; and you must play at the stair-foot till he go a second at one corner of the apartment, she pointed to a away. The little girl did not appear to comprehend chair, and said, “There should be a seat in that corner. what was thus addressed to her, until the old woman Bring it near, and sit down and talk with me, for I am signed with her hand, and then she rose and went reblind.' When I had taken my seat, she instantly began luctantly away. The sightless face was again turned in to speak herself. She lifted her sightless eyeballs, and the direction of the door, and so kept until the child's fixed them upon me, until I thought her blindness was footstep was out of hearing. feigned, and that she was seeing into my very soul. • That, sir, is my grandchild,' said my companion, There was a sad and melancholy disagreeableness in the turning her face again towards me. * That is his bairn. tones of her voice, which I cannot describe; but the Poor lamb! I like her for her father's sake. They say words she uttered, as nearly as I can remember, were as that she is like him. God help her, if she be! For he follows:

was weel kenned ; and it is not lucky to be like the dead.' “Yes, sir; I am blind. It is seven years past at Mar- Another pause. "Ah, sir, if you would teach her to tinmas since I lost my sight. I felt it growing dimmer read ? Him who would have taught her, they put to and dimmer still, for three weeks, until it would not death. The merciless crew! That bairn was born on the serve me to see the death of my only boy.' She paused day of his trial, and its mother died in grief; for she at these words, and seemed to have forgotten my pre- never dreamed that her child's father was to die the sence; but resumed in a little, as if answering to a ques- death he did. And how could she? She had seen nothing tion which she supposed me to have put :- Ay, sir, I but love and soberness in Billie. It was an old story, sir had a boy ; a brave, well-made, kind-hearted boy. But -a cruel old story, raked up by the false woman who he died, sir; he died a week after I lost my sight. A swore his life away. It was fourteen years gone past and week! no, not a week. He died on the Friday; and the more. Poor Billie was witless in his youth, and that There you

false woman and her companions decoyed him into their these two are leaving the home to which they then reFays. He went with them one night-I mind it well-- moved, and going out beneath the cold stars, to escape in) was in the room-only in the room, sir—when the the gibes of those who cannot feel for the unfortunate, murder was committed. They were all dead years ago, and to seek a new dwelling-place among strangers. except that woman and Bill. She thought, at first, he Fould have married her, did that false woman ; but he loathed her, and fled from her presence, and concealed

MEN WHO ARE DILIGENT IN TRIFLES. himself in an English town far away. Poor Billie! He married another, and was happy, and went to church We this instant imagined a man retaining all his congain. His minister came all the way to Glasgow to say sciousness transformed into a zoophyte. Let us imagine a word in his behalf, and then wrote up to London, when another similar transformation; fancy that instead of a speaking wouldn't do. Billie came home one night from polypus you were changed into a swallow. hurch, and was sitting by the fire telling his wife what have a creature abundantly busy, up in the early morning, he had heard. A beggar-woman opened their door and for ever on the wing, as graceful and sprightly in his asked for bread that she might not die. They took her flight, as tasteful in the haunts which he selects. Look 1, and warmed her, and gave her food, and sent her at him, zig-zagging over the clover field, skimming the 3way filled. She told all this herself to the judges; and limpid lake, whisking round the steeple, or dancing gaily ret it was she who gave my Billie up. For it was the in the sky, Behold him in high spirits, shrieking out his false woman, sir, whom they helped. "She found him out. ecstacy as he has bolted a dragon-fiy, or darted through Her vile revenge was gratified; and she left his door only the arrow-slits of the old turret, or performed some other o return with the hounds of law. Fourteen years had feat of hirundine agility. And notice how he pays his passed. Oh, it was cruel--most cruel! If they hadn't moming visits, alighting elegantly on some house-top, meen kind to the poor, she couldn't have discovered him and twittering politely by turns to the swallow on either is she did. I prayed on my bended knees that I might side of him, and after five minutes' conversation, off and lever see the day of my son's death; and my prayer was away to call for his friend at the castle. And now he is beard, sir-heard to my anguish.' Oh! I would have gone upon his travels-gone to spend the winter at Rome given a world to have seen him for five minutes on that or Naples, to visit Egypt or the Holy Land, or perform lark morning. I prayed for that, but I was not heard.

some more recherche pilgrimage to Spain or the coast of prayed to see the men who were taking him away, that Barbary; And when he comes home next April, sure i might curse them with a mother's curse, but I was not enough he has been abroad-charming climate-highly leard in that either. Oh, sir, it was dark that morning delighted with the cicadas in Italy, and the bees on o me! Out and in all was darkness, black and deep. i Hymettus-locusts in Africa rather scarce this season ; saw the darkness, sir; I am sure that I saw the dark- but upon the whole much pleased with his trip, and ness, although I saw nothing else.—1 fear I am vexing this is a very proper life for a swallow, but is it a life for

returned in high health and spirits. Now, dear friends, :00 ? You are very good to listen to me.

long beside me; everybody seems afraid. Ha, ha! you? To flit about from house to house ; to pay futile fraid of a blind old woman! 'They have not felt my fear. visits, where, if the talk were written down, it would

was with Billie from two o'clock that morning, and I amount to little more than the chattering of a swallow ; Fas shaking with terror. The fear of the darkness made to bestow all your thoughts on graceful attitudes and De tremble. I thought that, if I had not been blind, 1 nimble movements and polished attire; to roam from ruld have seen some door through which my son could land to land with so little information in your head, or bare escaped; I thought if I had retained my sight, I so little taste for the sublime or beautiful in your soul, could have pled for his life ; and many other mad things that could a swallow publish his travels, and did you passed through my mind. 'I cannot tell you all; for, in publish yours, we should probably find the one a counterruth, I remember best his heavy sobs, and fearful moan- part of the other; the winged traveller enlarging on tho ngs about Margaret-poor Margaret-the bairn's mother, discomforts of his nest, and the wingless one, on the sis-who was, by that time, in her grave. At length I miseries of his hotel or his chateau: you describing the leard the tread of their feet who were to take him away. places of amusement, or enlarging on the vastness of the And when the chain was broken, and he was taken to the country, and the abundance of the game ; and your rival sall, there was a sermon preached, which I forget. Don't eloquent on the self-same things. Oh! it is a thought, not xe offended, sir; but I thought that sermon was all false. ridiculous, but appalling. . Though the trifler does 2004, when I heard it. I thought it was a mockery of not chronicle his own vain words and wasted hours, they comfort to a man whose life they were about to destroy. chronicle themselves. They are noted in the memory of Majhap I was wrong. I was allowed to go with Billie God. And when once this life of wondrous opportunio the outer door. St Andrew's clock began to strike ties and awful advantages is over-when the twenty or right as we passed the threshold. Billie stood for a little. fifty years of probation are fled away—when mortal exisde took my right hand between his palms and pressed tence, with its facilities for personal improvement and t as if he would cling to it and live. He did not speak. trifler looks back to the long pilgrimage, with all the

serviceableness to others, is gone beyond recall-when the beard the crowd wondering why he was not coming ; doors of hope and doors of usefuliress, past which he skipjut Billie did not say a word. Only he stood pressing my hand between his cold icy palms, until the last stroke ped in his frisky forgetfulness—what anguish will it move of the bell had sounded, and ihen they took him away without salvation to himself, without any real benefit to

to think that he has gambolled through such a world rom me for ever.' I made arrangements to get Billie's child sent to school. his brethren, a busy trifler, a rivacious idler, a clever n less than a week I returned

to tell her grandmother I fool ! - Life in Earnest, by Rev. J. Hamilton, National iad done so. To my surprise, they had left. Their house Scotch Church, Regent Square, London. was filled with others, and no one could tell whither tey had gone. I only learned that they left by night. I cannot explain the cause of their departure; but I conjecture that the old woman wished to bring up the girl How cheap a kindness, says Tillotson, to speak well, at in ignorance of her father's fate, and therefore removed least not to speak ill of others. A good word is an easy to places where they were both unknown; but that either obligation, but not to speak ill requires only our silence. her necessities or her anxiety to justify her son, made Some instances of charity are charitable"; but were a her sometimes garrulous over-much, and her secret man never so covetous, he might afford another his good slipped out and fell among the children, who returned it word, at least he might refrain from speaking ill

of him, in taunts upon their poor playmate, the little girl I saw. espccially if it be considered how dear many have paid If this conjecture be correct, perhaps at this moment I for a slanderous and reproachful word.

A GOOD WORD.

A MEAN HABIT

TWENTY DISSUASIVES FROM DESPONDENCY. There are few habits more prevalent, though there are 1st, If you are distressed in mind-live; serenity and few meaner, than that of speaking slightingly of ourselves joy may yet dawn upon your soul. 2d, If you have been with the design of making those we address talk in our happy and cheerful-live; and diffuse that happiness to praise. Weak and vain persons are often guilty in this others. 3d, If misfortunes assail you by the faults of respect. They fall that you may lift them up. They others-live; you have nothing wherewith to blame fish for food to their pride with the bait of humility. yourself. 4th, If misfortunes have arisen from your own

misconduct-live; and be wiser in future. 5th, If you NAPOLEON AND THE BRITISH SAILOR. are indigent and helpless-live; the face of things, like

1 BY TAOMAS CAMPBELL. the renewing seasons, may yet happily change.

6th, If I love contemplating, apart

you are rich and prosperous-live; and enjoy what you From all his homicidal glory,

possess. 7th, If another have injured you—live; the The traits that soften to our hearts Napoleon's story.

crime will bring its own punishment. Sth, If you have

injured another-live; and recompense good for eril. "Tvras when his banners at Boulogne Arm'd in our island every freeman,

9th, If your character be unjustly attacked-live, that His navy chanced to capture one

you may see the aspersion disproved. 10th, If the rePoor British seaman.

proaches be well founded-live, and deserve them not for They suffer'd him, I know not bow,

the future. 11th, If you are eminent and applaudedUnprison'd on the shore to roum,

live, and deserve the honours you have acquired. 12th, And aye was bent his youthful brow On England's home.

If your success be not equal to your merit-live in the His eye, methought, perceived the flight

happy consciousness of having deserved it. 13th, If your Of birds, to Brita half-way over,

success be beyond your merit-live in thoughtfulness With envy--they could reach the white

and humility. 14th, If you have been negligent and Dear cliffs of Dover.

useless in society-live, and make amends. 15th, If you A stormy midnight-watch, he thought,

have been active and industrious-live, and communicate i Than his sojourn would have been dearer, If but the storm bis vessel brought

your improvement to others. 16th, If you have spiteful To England nearer.

enemies-live, and disappoint their malevolence. 17th, At length, when care had banish'd sleep,

If you have kind and faithful friends-live, to protect He saw, one morning, dreaming, doating,

them. 18th and 19th, If you have been wise and virtu. An empty hogshead, on the deep, Come shoreward, floating.

ous-live for the benefit of mankind. 20th, If you hope

for immortality-live, and prepare to enjoy it.
He hid it in a cave, and wrought
The live-long day laborious, lurking,

OUR LIVES LIKE RIVERS.
Until he launchd a tiny boat,
By mighty working.

The life of every individual may be compared to a river
Heaven help us ! 'twas a thing beyond description!

-rising in obscurity, increasing by the accession of triSuch a wretched wherry,

butary streams, and after flowing through a longer or Perhaps, ne'er ventured on a pond,

shorter distance, losing itself in some common receptacle. Or crossd a ferry.

The lives of individuals also, like the course of rivers, For ploughing on the salt sea field

may be more or less extensive, but will all vanish and "Twould make the very boldest shudder Untar'd, uncompass'd, and unkeeld,

disappear in the gulf of eternity. Whilst a stream No sail, no rudder.

confined within its banks, it fertilizes, enriches, and imFrom neighbouring woods, he interlaced

proves the country through which it passes ; but if it His sorry skill with wattled willows;

deserts its channel, it becomes injurious and destructive And, thus equipp'd, he would have faced The raging billows.

-a sort of public nuisance—and by stagnating in lakes

and marshes, its exhalations diffuse pestilence and disThe French guard caught him on the beach, His little argus sorely jeering,

ease around. Some glide away in obscurity and insigniTill tidings of it came to reach

ficance; whilst others become celebrated, traverse contiNapoleon's hearing.

nents, give names to countries, and assign the bounWith folded arms Napoleon stood,

daries of empires. Some are tranquil and gentle in their Serene alike in peace and danger,

course; whilst others, rushing in torrents, dashing over And, in his wonted attitude, Address d the stranger :

precipices, and tumbling in waterfalls, become objects of “Rash youth, that would'st yon channel pass

terror and dismay. But however diversified their chaWith twigs and stavez so rudely fasten d,

racter or their direction, all agree in having their course Thy heart to some sweet English lass

short, limited, and determined: soon they fall into one Must be impassion'd.'

capacious receptacle—their waters eventually mix in the I have no sweetheart,' said the lad;

waves of the ocean. Thus human characters, however * But, absent years from one another, Greut was the longing that I had

various, have one common destiny; their course of action To see my mother.'

may be greatly diversified, but they all lose themselves And so thou shalt,' Napoleon said;

in the ocean of eternity.- Robert Hall.
"You've both my favour fairly won :
A noble mother must have bred

POWER OF THE ENGLISII LANGUAGE.
So brave a son.'

Such was the power of our language in the time of
He gave the tar a piece of gold,

Queen Elizabeth, that a speech might be formed adeAnd, with a flag of truce, commanded

quate to all the purposes of life. If the language of He should be shippil to England old,' And safely landed.

theology were extracted from Hooker, and the transla

tion of the Bible; the terms of natural knowledge from Our sailor oft could scantly shift To find a dinner plain and hearty,

Bacon; the phrases of policy, war, and navigation, from But never changed the coin and gift

Raleigh; the dialect of poetry and fiction from Spenser Of Bonaparte !

and Sidney; and the diction of common life from Shaks

peare-few ideas would be lost to mankind for want of A USEFUL HINT.

English words in which they might be expressed.-Dr I never see a fashionable doctor mysteriously counting Johnson. the pulse of a plethoric patient, or, with a silver spoon on his tongue, importantly looking down his red and inflamed gullet, but I feel a desire to exclaim, why not tell Printed and published by JAMES HCGG, 122 Nicolson Street, the poor gentleman at once: “Sir, you've eaten too much; Edinburgh; to whom all communications are to be addressed. you've drunk too much; or, you've not taken exercise

Sold also by J. JOHNSTONE, Edinburgh; J. M‘LEOD, Glasgow;

W. M'COMB, Belfast; R. GROOMBRIDGB & Sons, London; and enough.

all Booksellers,

[ocr errors]
[graphic]

No. 6.

EDINBURGH, SATURDAY, APRIL 5, 1845.

PRICE 17d.

came, in lieu of it, the best critic in art who ever appearPAINTING.

ed), must often blot the half-finished design with bitter

tears. Yes, tears, as well as colours, are often a part of PART II.

the painter's stock. Then he has to contend, like all ITS PLEASURES AND RELATION TO RELIGION.

men of genius, with the imperfect sympathies of the Haring in a former number made a few remarks on the public, with the envy of the malicious, with the insolence origin and history of painting, we now proceed to treat of of lordly patrons, and with the abuse of prejudiced mobs. its pleasures, its intellectual advantages, and the relation Is he a portrait-painter ? Some old and ugly countess comit sustains to religion.

plains bitterly that he has not made her a Venus, or at We must confess our own unacquaintance with the me- least not flattered her a little more elevated somewhat chanical and professional part of the art, but, nevertheless, her forehead, and made her squint a little less oblique we dearly love our own ideal of the painter as a graceful and sinister. Is he a landscape-painter ? His beautiful alias of the poet. We see him gazing with ecstacy on the sketch is thrust down to the very floor of an exhibition, lovely scene-sitting entranced beneath the bow of God, where it would require microscopic eyes to recognise its

looking up with reverence and awe to the black and jagged presence, far less perceive its beauty. Is he a caricaturthunder-cloud-bending over the old ruined bridge, and ist? Some sunny morning, in comes a military man, with in his rererie dropping his brush into the still water- frightful black moustaches, and a horsewhip in his hand, or seated, from morning till night, like Gainsborough, to chastise the unlucky artist for having taken him off. upon the rustic bridge. We think of him like Barry, Is he a historical painter ? His proud and monumental cooking bis steak, in his poor lodging, with his own work, after being exhibited to little purpose, returns unhands; or, like Opie, lying all night awake for joy, sold, and must, like the picture of Vasco di Gama, lean after a successful debut as a lecturer on art; or, like in the artist's studio, as if in silent indignation at the Wilson, musing in sorrow before a landscape he had perverted taste of the age. Yes, often must the neglected drawn, when a friend enters and says— Why, Wilson, artist cry out, in the language of Beattie's Minstrel, that picture looks like a landscape after a shower!'

Ah, who can tell how hard it is to climb 'The very effect,' cries the painter, starting up, 'I The steep, where fame's proud temple shines afar!" wished to produce, but I thought I had failed. We Painters, sometimes, indeed, as well as poets, have look upon him mingling unnoticed in some triumphal been to blame themselves for their misfortunes. They

show, which, after living its little hour upon the troubled have sometimes not been true to their own high calling. street-page, shall live on the calm canvass of the painter They have sometimes, like poets, 'profaned the God-given for evermore; or gazing, like a spirit, upon the eye of strength, and marred the lofty line. They have sometimes genius, or the brow and blush of beauty; or sitting in his become men of low and vulgar habits, like Moreland, who still studio, chewing the cud of those sweet and bitter drew pigs and asses so often and faithfully, that he befancies which he is afterwards to embody in form; or came a bit of an animal himself, and was at length fairly reading the poets with a painter's eye and a pencil in his domesticated among his swinish subjects. Or they have band; or gazing, through hopeless yet happy tears, on become fierce, squabbling, intolerant, and intolerable perthe works of greater masters than himself; or spreading sons, like Barry, that Ishmaelite of art, whose hand was before him, with glowing fingers, the large canvass on against every man, and every man's hand against him. which he is to inscribe some princely and immortal Or they have become extravagant, careless, and vapourFork

, or perish in the undertaking; or at last dying, ing beings, like Haydon, the celebrated painter of Christ's with no wish for any other epitaph upon his tomb than entering into Jerusalem. We have heard an anecdote of this–'I also was a painter. In all these aspects of his him which, we believe, though never published, is quite art and history we deeply sympathize with and warmly true. He wrote once, apparently in great distress, to lore the painter. We admit, indeed, that painting has Sergeant Talfourd, requesting the loan of ten pounds. its pains and penalties as well as its privileges and plea- Talfourd, in the generosity of his heart, sent him it imsures

. The painter has often, like other people, to struggle mediately, for he thought the poor man was starving, with narrow circumstances. He has to go through a He had occasion, that very afternoon, to go down to the long and laborious training to his art. Then he often country on the top of a stage-coach. All the way, during fals in executing his own ideal of excellence, and like the first stage, his ears were saluted with loud bursts of

poor Hazlitt (who, unable to come up to his own stand- laughter from a party inside, who were evidently very ard as a painter, forsook the occupation entirely, and be- I merry. When they stopped to change horses he had the

ous men.

curiosity to look in, and there whom did he see but Hay- happiness and his health, and we have some idea of the don and his whole family, wife, children, and baby-nurse, pleasures of a devoted and enthusiastic painter. enjoying themselves upon pies, porter, sandwiches, &c., But the painter is not only a receiver but a multiplier the proceeds of his ten pounds. We suspect Haydon of human enjoyment. It is he who draws those pictares would never apply in that quarter again for a loan. which make children almost beside themselves with glee. |

But these are exceptions. Painters have in general It is he, in a very humble walk indeed of his profession, ! been hard-working, pains-taking, persevering, and virtu- who constructs those little valentines which enliven many!

As a proof of this, it is found that they live a family circle, and make many a fair face to blush for! in general to a great age. While physicians and poets joy. It is he who gathers in that happy circle of faces are the shortest-lived of men, painters and nobles are we sometimes see surrounding a print-shop window, some said to be the longest. And then what a pleasant occu- laughing, some almost crying for pleasant emotion, some pation that of a true son of art is. Nature is his beloved, wrapped in silent admiration, all eager, all testifying to the and wherever her face shines his heart is glad. lle fol- power of the various artists and engravers, and to the lows her into the most retired nooks and corners. He taste of the person who has collected them there. We sees her in all her phases and forms. He looks at her love to see such little companies assembled ; we love to not with a cold and careless, nor yet with a wide and see the white-jacketed artisan ; the hurrying merchant; }| vague, but with a minute and watchful eye. He is deep, the serving-maid, out on an errand; the gaping countrynot only in her general aspects, but in her secret cipher; man; the barber on his way to an expectant shareling; in her most retired and evanescent glories. Aspects of the very minister, going to a funeral; the very doctor, the sky and of the earth, tints in flowers, motions of hurrying to bleed and blister; the very sweep, with his shadows and of sunbeams, effects of morning and of even- teeth grinning white through their black setting; the ing air upon landscapes, the evanishing splendours into lamp-lighter himself, proverbial for speed, all stopped, as which light kindles up the sides of mountains and the if by magic, all arrested, and all rivetted to the one shop tops of trees, passing looks of loveliness shed down by window. But the painter can minister to deeper emowandering clouds upon river, or lake, or meadow—such tions in the human breast, and touch far nobler chords fair appearances, lost upon the eyes of others, are seen, than these, He can renew the pleasure with which the admired, and recorded by the painter. He is a friendly bridegroom beheld his bride, in all the bloom of her virspy upon nature, go where she will and do what she please. gin loveliness, on the morning of his marriage day, years ! This if he be a painter of landscapes. And if he paint after she has mouldered in the dust. He can restore a portraits, he becomes, necessarily, a wary and minute ob- minister to the memory of his beloved flock, so vividly, server of the human face divine.' He notices a thousand that they will imagine that he is about to address them, little traits which are unremarked by the common gaze. and that the words, my dear hearers,' are trembling on He studies foreheads, and fingers, and eyes, and cheeks, bis lips—lips long since sealed in death. The widow, and even noses, as subjects of pictorial effect. He becomes whose husband has gone down into the deep dead sea, thus rather a dangerous acquaintance. Burns says of but not till his likeness had been perpetuated in life-like Captain Grose, • A chield's amang yon taking notes, and colours, is thankful to the painter. The mother, whose haith he'll prent them.' But with still inore truth might son has gone a far journey to a foreign land, blesses the it be said of the painter, ' A chield's amang you taking painter, to whose genius it is owing, that still her beautiful jots, and sure he'll paint them.' He is quite up to all the sailor or soldier boy stands ever before her proud yet outward marks and indications of all the passions of the tearful eye. And what child, whose parent is no more, mind—anger and love-disappointment and chagrin— cannot sympathize with the well-known and most exquifear and joy. He has many pleasures quite peculiar to site verses of Cowper, on the receipt of his mother's piehimself-an admiration of fine forms and countenances to ture, verses which seem written, or wrung out rather, in which others are strangers-an eye for ever awake and in a son's and poet's tears. search of the graceful, the interesting, the new, and the We may now specify some of the moral and religious beautiful; the joyful glow of the first conception of a fine uses of painting. This art is moral in its tendency, since group or noble design; the pleasure of realizing in some it furnishes a pure and refined pleasure. We know that measure his ideal ; the pleasure of sitting like a general painting, like every other art and every other science, i among his colours, touching and retouching, adding the has been prostituted to the basest and vilest of purposes; other and the other tint; the pleasure of seeing the fair that it has encouraged licentiousness and pandered to work completed, and of writing under it, with lawful lust; that even men of real genius in their art have propride, his own name, and feeling that it is a genuine child faned it, for the purpose of firing to fury the worst pasof his own brain and hand, a child that wont disgrace sions of clay; but we need only, and dare only, allude to him, and that cannot go too widely astray; the pleasure this subject. Society, decency, gentlemanly feeling, as of having his masterpieces admired, hung in elegant din- well as morality and faith, have set their stamp of abing-rooms, shown in exhibitions, illuminating the front horrence on such monstrous desecration. Only the windows of shops, copied in engravings, puffed in news- Pariahs of painting will ever stoop to gratify such low papers, admired by the beautiful, and purchased by the tastes, to degrade so high an art, or betray so noble a trust. wealthy. He has, besides these, pleasures which he surely The true painter, in supplying sources of pure pleasure, prizes far above them--the pleasure of preserving and not only to the wealthy collector, not only to the learned copying the faces of his dear friends; so that, even when amateur, but to the wide public, to whole streets and dead they continue to speak to him from the walls, meekly squares of his fellow-men, to every house which is rich as it were to mark his advancing labours, and sweetly to enough to possess a few plain prints hung over its chimsmile upon them when they are successfully closed. Yes, neys or adorning its walls, is a moral benefactor to his see the artist in his quiet studio! He has given the last species. For if it be said that the man who makes two touch to a noble work, and his heart is brimful with the blades of grass to grow where one grow before, is a public fond, nor yet false, anticipation, that he has secured at good, on the same principle, the man who gives to his once his fortune and his fame; he looks up, and there brother a happy thought, who creates in his mind a pleasbeholds the face of the kind father who had prognosti- ing image, who spreads before him, as he eats his meals, cated his fame, and which it was almost the first effort of or sits around his family, a beautiful landscape ; who his pencil to draw, and to his excited imagination it seems soothes one pang of memory's hoarded sorrow, or creates as if the portrait smiled, and as if sympathy and joy were one thrill of joy in the poorest and most forlorn bosom, about to animate the dear dead features into life. Add is much more a benefactor to his kind, and the art he to those sources of pleasure the fact, that the life of an practises is at once benevolent and moral. For our theory artist being so varied, combining in it the advantages of morality does not teach us that the fewer blessings a without the disadvantages of that of the student, at once man has the better he is, but that he cannot hare too peaceful and active, is eminently conducive both to his many pleasures provided they be pure, provided they can

1

« AnteriorContinuar »