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wreaths in the heaven, to give light upon the bars of bough? And yonder filmy crescent, bent
clouds ?” Is the answer ever to be one of pride?
in knowledge ?” Is our knowledge ever to be MYSTERIES OF THE CLOUDS.
so ?--M. P.
yet, think of it well, and judge whether of all Or that ghost of a cloud which steals by yon the gorgeous flowers that beam in summer air, der clump of pines ; nay, which does not steal and of all strong and goodly trees, pleasant to by them, but haunts them, wreathing yet round the eyes or good for food-stately palm and them, and yet—and yet slowly; now falling in a pine, strong ash and oak, scented citron, burfair waved line like a woman's veil ; now fading, dened vine—there be any by man so deeply now gone; we look away for an instant, and loved, by God so highly graced, as that narrow look back, and it is again there. What has it point of feeble green. It seems to me not to to do with that clump of pines that it broods by | have been without a peculiar significance that them and weaves itself among their branches to our Lord, when about to work the miracle which, and fro? Has it hidden a cloudy treasure among of all that He showed, appears to have been felt the moss at their roots which it watches thus ? by the multitude as the most impressive-the Or has some strong enchanter charmed it into miracle of the loaves-commanded the people to fond returning, or bound it fast within those i sit down by companies "upon the green grass."
He was about to feed them with the principal | created only for lowest service--appointed to be produce of earth and the sea, the simplest repre- trodden on and fed upon. Its cheerfulness, in sentations of the food of mankind. He gave them that it seems to exult under all kinds of violence the seed of the herb; He bade them sit down and suffering. You roll it, and it is stronger upon the herb itself, which was as great a gift, the next day; you mow it, and it multiplies its in its fitness for their joy and rest, as its perfect shoots as if it were grateful; you tread upon it, fruit for their sustenance; thus, in this single and it only sends up richer perfume Spring order and act, when rightly understood, indi-comes, and it rejoices with all the earth-glowcating for evermore how the Creator had en- | ing with variegated flame of flowers—waving in trusted the comfort, consolation, and sustenance soft depth of fruitful strength, Winter comes, of man, to the simplest and most despised of all and though it will not mock its fellow-plants by the leafy families of the earth. And well does growing then, it will not pine and mourn and it fulfil its mission. Consider what we owe turn colourless or leafless as they. It is always merely to the meadow grass, to the covering of green, and is only the brighter and gayer for tho the dark ground by that glorious enamel, by the boar-frost.- M. P. companies of those soft, and countless, and peaceful spears. The fields ! Follow but forth
OFFICE OF THE MOUNTAINS. for a little time the thoughts of all that we ought to recognise in those words. All spring and It is deeply necessary for all men to consider summer is in them-the walks by silent, scented the magnificence of the accomplished purpose, paths—the rests in noonday heat-the joy of and the depth of the wisdom and love which are herds and flocks--the power of all shepherd life manifested in the ordinances of the hills. Foi and meditation--the life of sunlight upon the observe, in order to bring the world into the world, falling in emerald streaks, and failing inform which it now bears, it was not mere soft blue shadows, where else it would have sculpture that was needed; the mountains could struck upon the dark mould or scorching dust- not stand for a day unless they were formed o! pastures beside the pacing brooks-soft banks / materials altogether different from those which and knolls of lowly hills-thymy slopes of down constitute the lower hills, and the surfaces of overlooked by the blue line of listed sea-crisp the valleys. A harder substance had to be prelawns all dim with early dew, or smooth in even- pared for every mountain chain; yet not so hard ing warmth of barred sunshine, dinted by happy but that it might be capable of crumbling down feet, and softening in their fall the sound of into earth fit to nourish the Alpine forest and the loring voices-all these are summed in those Alpine flower; not so hard but that, in the midst simple words, and these are not all. We may of the utmost majesty of its enthroned strength, not measure to the full the depth of this heavenly there should be seen on it the seal of death, and gift in our own land, though still, as we think the writing of the same sentence that had gone of it longer, the infinite of that meadow sweet. forth against the human frame, “Dust thou art, ness, Shakespeare's peculiar joy, would open on and unto dust thou shalt return." And with us inore and more, yet we have it but in part. | this perishable substance the most majestic Go out, in the spring time, among the meadows | forms were to be framed that were consistent that slope from the shores of the Swiss lakes to with the safety of man; and the peak was to be the roots of their lower monntains. There, lifted, and the cliff rent, as high and as steeply mingled with the taller gentians and the white as was possible, in order yet to permit the shepnarcissus, the grass grows deep and free; and as herd to feed his flocks upon the slope, and the you follow the winding mountain-paths, beneath cottage to nestle beneath their shadow. arching boughs all veiled and dim with blossom And observe, two distinct ends were to be --paths that for ever droop and rise over the accomplished in the doing this. It was, indeed, green banks and mounds sweeping down in absolutely necessary that such eminences should scented undulation, steep to the blue water, be created, in order to fit the earth in any wise studded here and there with new-mown heaps, for human habitation; for without mountains tilling all the air with fainter sweetness-look up the air could not be purified, nor the flowing of towards the higher hills, where the waves of the rivers sustained, and the earth must have everlasting green roll silently into their long in- . become for the most part desert plain, or stagnant lets among the shadows of the pines; and we marsh. But the feeding of the rivers and the may, perhaps, at last know the meaning of those purifying of the winds are the least of the ser. quiet words of the 147th Psalm, “ He maketh vices appointed to the hills. To fill the thirst grass to grow upon the mountains."
of the human heart for the beauty of God's There are also several lessons symbolically working-to startle its lethargy with the deep connected with this subject which we must not and pure agitation of astonishment-are their allow to escape us. Observe, the peculiar char. higher missions. They are as a great and noble acters of the grass, which adapt it especially for architecture; first giving shelter, comfort, and the service of man, are its apparent humility / rest; and covered also with mighty sculpturo and cheerfulness. Its humility, in that it seems I and painted legend. It is impossible to examine in their connected system the features of even selves into the new windings of its glens; and the most ordinary mountain scenery, without all its pastures thrown into steep waves of green concluding that it has been prepared in order to sward, dashed with dew along the edges of their unite as far as possible, and in the closest com- folds, and sweeping down into endless slopes, pass, every means of delighting and sanctifying with a cloud here and there lying quietly, half the heart of man. “As far as possible," that is, on the grass, half in the air; and he will have as as far as is consistent with the fulfilment of the yet, in all this lifted world, only the foundation sentence of condemnation on the whole earth. of one of the great Alps. And whatever is lovely Death must be upon the hills; and the cruelty in the lowland scenery becomes lovelier in this of the tempests smite them, and the brier and change: the trees which grew heavily and stiflly thorn spring up upon them; but they so smite, from the level line of plain assume strange as to bring their rocks into the fairest forms; and curves of strength and grace as they bend themso spring, as to make the very desert blossom as selves against the mountain side; they breathe the rose. Even among our own hills of Scot. more freely, and toss their branches more careland and Cumberland, though often too barren | lessly as each climbs higher, looking to the clear to be perfectly beautiful, and always too low to light above the topmost leaves of its brother be perfectly sublime, it is strange how many tree: the flowers which on the arable plain fell deep sources of delight are gathered into the before the plough, now find out for themselves compass of their glens and vales; and how, unapproachable places, where year by year they down to the most secret cluster of their farI gather into happier fellowship, and fear no evil; away flowers, and the idlest leap of their stray- and the streams which in the level land crept in ing streamlets, the whole heart of Nature seems dark eddies by unwholesome banks, now move thirsting to give, and still to give, shedding in showers of silver, and are clothed with rain. forth her everlasting beneficence with a profusion bows, and bring health and life wherever the so patient, so passionate, that our utmost ob glance of their waves can reach.-M. P. servance and thankfulness are but, at last, neglect of her nobleness, and apathy to her love.
PAINTING, A LANGUAGE. But among the true mountains of the greater orders the Divine purpose of appeal at once to Painting, or art generally, as such, with all its all the faculties of the human spirit becomes technicalities, difficulties, and particular ends, is still more manifest. Inferior hills ordinarily nothing but a noble and expressive language, interrupt, in some degree, the richness of the invaluable as the vehicle of thought, but by valleys at their feet; the grey downs of southern itself nothing. He who has learned what is England, and treeless coteaux of central France, commonly considered the whole art of painting, and grey swells of Scottish moor, whatever that is, the art of representing any natural peculiar charm they may possess in themselves, object faithfully, has as yet only learned the are at least destitute of those which belong to language by which his thoughts are to be exthe woods and fields of the lowlands. But the pressed. He has done just as much towards great mountains lift the lowlands on their sules. being that which we ought to respect as a great Let the reader imagine, first, the appearance of painter, as a man who has learned how to ex. the most varied plain of some richly cultivated press himself grammatically and melodiously country; let him imagine it dark with grace has towards being a great poet. The language ful woods, and soft with deepest pastures; let | is, indeed, more difficult of acquirement in the him fill the space of it, to the utmost horizon, one case than in the other, and possesses more with innumerable and changeful incidents of power of delighting the sense, while it speaks to scenery and life; leading pleasant streamlets the intellect; but it is, nevertheless, nothing through its meadows, strewing clusters of cot more than language, and all those excellences tages beside their banks, tracing sweet footpaths which are peculiar to the painter as such, are through its avenues, and animating its fields merely what rhythm, melody, precision, and force with happy flocks, and slow wandering spots of are in the words of the orator and the poet, cattle; and when he has wearied himself with necessary to their greatness, but not the tests of endl333 imagining, and left no space without their greatness. It is not by the mode of repre. some loveliness of its own, let him conceive all senting and saying, but by what is represented this great plain, with its infinite treasures of and said, that the respective greatness either of natural beauty and happy human life, gathered the painter or the writer is to be finally deterup in God's hands from one edge of the horizon to the other, like a woven garment; and shaken Speaking with strict propriety, therefore, we into deep falling folds, as the robes droop from should call a man a great painter only as he exa king's shoulders; all its bright rivers leaping celled in precision and force in the language of into cataracts along the hollows of its fall, and lines, and a great versifier, as he excelled in all its forests rearing themselves aslant against precision or force in the language of words. A its slopes, as a rider rears himself back when his great poet would then be a term strictly, and in horse plunges; and all its villages nestling them. I precisely the same sense applicable to both, if warranted by the character of the images or tian painters and Rubens sometimes condescend, thoughts which each in their respective lan- is a consequence of their feeling confidence in the guages conveyed.
power of their colour to keep them from falling. Take, for instance, one of the most perfect They hold on by it, as by a chaiu let down from poems or pictures (I use the words as synony. heaven, with one hand, though they may some. mous) which modern times have seen-the “Old times seem to gather dust and ashes with the Shepherd's Chief-mourner." Here the exquisite other. And, in the last place, it will be found execution of the glossy and crisp hair of the dog, that so surely as a painter is irreligious, thought. the bright sharp touching of the green bough less, or obscene in disposition, so surely is his beside it, the clear painting of the wood of the colouring cold, gloomy, and valueless. The coffin and the folds of the blanket, are language opposite poles of art in this respect are Fra ---language clear and expressive in the highest Angelico and Salvator Rosa ; of whom the one degree. But the close pressure of the dog's was a man who smiled seldom, wept often, breast against the wood, the convulsive clinging prayed constantly, and never harboured an imof the paws, which has dragged the blanket off pure thought. His pictures are simply so many the trestle, the total powerlessness of the head pieces of jewellery, the colours of the draperies laid, close and motionless, upon its folds, the being perfectly pure, as various as those of a fixed and tearful fall of the eye in its utter hope- painted window, chastened only by paleness, lessness, the rigidity of repose which marks that and relieved upon a gold ground. Salvator was there has been no motion nor change in the a dissipated jester and satirist, a man who spent trance of agony since the last blow was struck | his life in masquing and revelry. But his on the coffin-lid, the quietness and gloom of the pictures are full of horror, and their colour is chamber, the spectacles marking the place where for the most part gloomy grey. Truly it would the Bible was last closed, indicating how lonely seem as if art had so much of eternity in it, that has been the life-how unwatched the departure, it must take its dye from the close rather than of him who is now laid solitary in his sleep the course of life: “In such langhter the heart these are all thoughts—thoughts by which the of man is sorrowful, and the end of that mirth picture is separated at once from hundreds of is heaviness.” These are no singular instances, equal merit, as far as mere painting goes, by I know no law more severely without exception which it ranks as a work of high art, and stamps than this of the connection of pure colour with its author, not as the neat imitator of the tex- / profound and noble thought. The late Flemish ture of a skin, or the fold of a crapery, but as pictures, shallow in conception and obscene in the map of mind.-M. P.
subject, are always sober in colour. But the early religious painting of the Flemings is as
brilliant in hue as it is holy in thought. The THE NOBLENESS AND LOVELINESS OF COLOUR.
Bellinis, Francias, Peruginos painted in crimson,
and blue, and gold. The Caraccis, Guidos, and Of all God's gifts to the sight of man, colour Rembrandts in brown and grey. The builders is the holiest, the most divine, the most solemn. of our great cathedrals veiled their casements We speak rashly of gay colour and sad colour, and wrapped their pillars with one robe of purple for colour cannot at once be good and gay. All splendour. The builders of the luxurious Regood colour is in some degree persive; the love- naissance left their palaces filled only with cold liest is melancholy, and the purest and most white light, and in the paleness of their native thoughtful minds are those which love colour tone.-S. V. the most. I know that this will sound strange in many ears, and will be especially startling to
FINE ARCHITECTURE. those who have considered the subject chiefly with reference to painting; for the great Vene- In recalling the impressions we have received tian schools of colour are not usually understood from the works of man, after a lapse of time to be either pure or pensive, and the idea of its long enough to involve in obscurity all but the pre-eminence is associated in nearly every mind most vivid, it often happens that we find a with the coarseness of Rubens, and the sensu- strange pre-eminence and durability in many alities of Correggio and Titian. But a more upon whose strength we had little calculated, comprehensive view of art will soon correct this and that points of character which had escaped impression. It will be discovered, in the first the detection of the judgment become devel. place, that the more faithful and earnest the re-oped under the waste of meniory, as veins of ligion of the painter, the more pure and prevalent harder rock, whose places could not at first have is the system of his colour. It will be found, in been discovered by the eye, are left salient under the second place, that where colour becomes a the action of frosts and streams. The traveller primal intention with a painter otherwise mean who desires to correct the errors of his judgment, or sensual, it instantly elevates him, and becomes necessitated by inequalities of temper, infelici. the one sacred and saving element in his work. ties of circumstance, and accidents of associaThe very depth of the stoop to which the Vene- ! tion, has no other resource than to wait for the
calm verdict of interposing years, and to watch are the two great intellectual Lamps of Archifor the new arrangements of eminence and shape tecture; the one consisting in a just and humble in the images which remain latest in his memory; | veneration for the works of God upon the earth, as in the ebbing of a mountain lake, he would and the other in an understanding of the dominion watch the varying outline of its successive shore, over those works which has been vested in man. and trace, in the form of its departing waters, |--S. L. A. the true direction of the forces which had cleft, or the currents which had excavated, the deepest
THE SUBLIME IN ARCHITECTURE. recesses of its primal bed.
In thus reverting to the memories of those Besides this expression of living authority and works of architecture by which we have been power, there is, however, a sympathy in the most pleasurably impressed, it will generally forms of noble building with what is most sub. happen that they fall into two broad classes : lime in natural things; and it is the governing the one characterised by an exceeding precious. power directed by this sympathy, whose operaness and delicacy, to which we recur with a sense tion I shall at present endeavour to trace, abanof affectionate admiration; and the other by a doning all inquiry into the more abstract fields severe, and in many cases mysterious, majesty, of Invention, for this latter faculty, and the which we remember with an undiminished awe, questions of proportion and arrangement conlike that felt at the presence and operation of nected with its discussion, can only be rightly some great Spiritual Power. From about these examined in a general view of all the arts; but two groups, more or less harmonised by inter- | its sympathy in architecture with the vast conmediate examples, but always distinctively trolling powers of Nature herself is special, and marked by features of beauty or of power, there may shortly be considered, and that with the will be swept away, in multitudes, the memories more advantage that it has, of late, been little of buildings, perhaps, in their first address to | felt or regarded by architects. I have seen, in our minds, of no inferior pretension, but owing recent efforts, much contest between two schools, their impressiveness to characters of less endur- one affecting originality and the other legalitying nobility-to value of material, accumulation many attempts at beauty of design-many inof ornament, or ingenuity of mechanical con. genious adaptations of construction, but I have struction. Especial interest may, indeed, have never seen any aim at the expression of abstract been awakened by such circumstances, and the power, never any appearance of a consciousness memory may have been, consequently, rendered that, in this primal art of man, there is room tenacious of particular parts or effects of the for the marking of his relations with the mighti. structure; but it will recall even these only est, as well as the fairest, works of God; and by an active effort, and then without emotion; that those works themselves have been permitted while in passing moments, and with thrilling in- by their Master and his to receive an added fluence, the images of purer beauty and of more glory from their association with earnest efforts spiritual power will return in a fair and solemn of human thought. In the edifices of man there company; and while the pride of many a stately should be found reverent worship and following, palace, and the wealth of many a jewelled shrine, not only of the spirit which rounds the pillars of perish from our thoughts in a dust of gold, there the forest and arches the vault of the avenue will rise, through their dimness, the white which gives veining to the leaf, and polish to tho image of some secluded marble chapel, by river shell, and grace to every pulse that agitates anior forest side, with the fretted flower-work mal organisation--but of that also which reshrinking under its arches as if under vaults of proves the pillars of the earth, and builds up late-fallen snow, or the vast weariness of some her barren precipices into the coldness of the shadowy wall whose separate stones are like clouds, and lifts her shadowy cones of mountain mountain foundations, and yet numberless. purple into the pale arch of the sky; for these,
Now, the difference between these two orders and other glories more than these, refuse not to of building is not merely that which there is in connect themselves, in his thoughts, with the nature between things beautiful and sublime. work of his own hand; the grey cliff loses not It is, also, the difference between what is deri its nobleness when it reminds us of some Cyclovative and original in man's work; for whatever pean waste of mural stone; the pinnacles of the is in architecture fair or beautiful is imitated rocky promontory arrange themselves, undefrom natural forms; and what is not so derived, graded, into fantastic semblances of fortress but depends for its dignity upon arrangement | towers; and even the awful cone of the far-off and government received from human mind, mountain has a melancholy mixed with that of becomes the expression of the power of that its own solitude, which is cast from the images mind, and receives a sublimity high in propor- of nameless tumuli on white sea-shores, and of tion to the power expressed. All building, the heaps of reedy clay, into which chambered therefore, shows man either as gathering or go- cities melt in their mortality. verning; and the secret of his success are his Let us, then, see what is this power and ma. knowing what to gather, and how to rule. These jesty which Nature herself does not disdain to