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wreaths in the heaven, to give light upon the earth, which move together, hand in hand, company by company, troop by troop, so measured in their unity of motion, that the whole heaven seems to roll with them, and the earth to reel under them. And then wait yet for one hour, until the east again becomes purple, and the heaving mountains, rolling against it in darkness, like waves of a wild sea, are drowned one by one in the glory of its burning: watch the white glaciers blaze in their winding paths about the mountains, like mighty serpents with scales of fire: watch the columnar peaks of solitary snow, kindling downwards, chasm by chasm, each in itself a new morning; their long avalanches cast down in keen streams brighter than the lightning, sending each his tribute of driven snow, like altar-smoke, up to the heaven; the rose-light of their silent domes flushing that heaven about them and above them, piercing with purer light through its purple lines of lifted cloud, casting a new glory on every wreath as it passes by, until the whole heaven, one scarlet canopy, is interwoven with a roof of waving flame, and tossing, vault beyond vault, as with the drifted wings of many coinpanies of angels; and then, when you can look no more for gladness, and when you are bowed down with fear and love of the Maker and Doer of this, tell me who has best delivered this His message unto men !-M. P.
MYSTERIES OF THE CLOUDS.
That mist which lies in the morning so softly in the valley, level and white, through which the tops of the trees rise as if through an inundation, why is it so heavy? and why does it lie so low, being yet so thin and frail that it will melt away utterly into splendour of morning, when the sun has shone on it but a few moments more? Those colossal pyramids, huge and firm, with outlines as of rocks, and strength to bear the beating of the high sun full on their fiery flanks-why are they so light-their bases high over our heads, high over the heads of Alps? why will these melt away, not as the sun rises, but as he descends, and leave the stars of twilight clear, while the valley vapour gains again upon the earth like a shroud?
Or that ghost of a cloud which steals by yonder clump of pines; nay, which does not steal by them, but haunts them, wreathing yet round them, and yet-and yet slowly; now falling in a fair waved line like a woman's veil; now fading, now gone; we look away for an instant, and look back, and it is again there. What has it to do with that clump of pines that it broods by them and weaves itself among their branches to and fro? Has it hidden a cloudy treasure among the moss at their roots which it watches thus? Or has some strong enchanter charmed it into fond returning, or bound it fast within those
bars of bough? And yonder filmy crescent, bent like an archer's bow above the snowy summit, the highest of all the hill-that white arch which never forms but over the supreme crest-how is it stayed there, repelled apparently from the snow-nowhere touching it, the clear sky seen between it and the mountain edge, yet never leaving it-poised as a white bird hovers over its nest?
Or those war-clouds that gather on the horizon, dragon-crested, tongued with fire; how is their barbed strength bridled? what bits are these they are champing with their vaporous lips, flinging off flakes of black foam? Leagued levi athans of the Sea of Heaven, out of their nostrils goeth smoke, and their eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. The sword of him that layeth at them cannot hold the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon. Where ride the captains of their armies? Where are set the measures of their march? Fierce murmurers, answering each other from morning until evening, what rebuke is this which has awed them into peace? what hand has reined them back by the way by which they came?
I know not if the reader will think at first that questions like these are easily answered. So far from it, I rather believe that some of the mys teries of the clouds never will be understood by us at all. "Knowest thou the balancings of the clouds?" Is the answer ever to be one of pride? "The wondrous works of Him which is perfect in knowledge?" Is our knowledge ever to be so?-M. P.
Gather a single blade of grass, and examine for a minute, quietly, its narrow sword-shaped strip of fluted green. Nothing, as it seems there, of notable goodness or beauty. A very little strength, and a very little tallness, and a few delicate long lines meeting in a point, not a perfect point neither, but blunt and unfinished, by no means a creditable or apparently much-caredfor example of Nature's workmanship, made, as it seems, only to be trodden on to-day, and tomorrow to be cast into the oven; and a little pale and hollow stalk, feeble and flaccid, leading down to the dull brown fibres of roots. And yet, think of it well, and judge whether of all the gorgeous flowers that beam in summer air, and of all strong and goodly trees, pleasant to the eyes or good for food-stately palm and pine, strong ash and oak, scented citron, burdened vine-there be any by man so deeply loved, by God so highly graced, as that narrow point of feeble green. It seems to me not to have been without a peculiar significance that our Lord, when about to work the miracle which, of all that He showed, appears to have been felt by the multitude as the most impressive-the miracle of the loaves-commanded the people to sit down by companies "upon the green grass.”
OFFICE OF THE MOUNTAINS.
He was about to feed them with the principal produce of earth and the sea, the simplest representations of the food of mankind. He gave them the seed of the herb; He bade them sit down upon the herb itself, which was as great a gift, in its fitness for their joy and rest, as its perfect fruit for their sustenance; thus, in this single order and act, when rightly understood, indicating for evermore how the Creator had entrusted the comfort, consolation, and sustenance of man, to the simplest and most despised of all the leafy families of the earth. And well does it fulfil its mission. Consider what we owe merely to the meadow grass, to the covering of the dark ground by that glorious enamel, by the companies of those soft, and countless, and peaceful spears. The fields! Follow but forth 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. For and meditation-the life of sunlight upon the observe, in order to bring the world into the world, falling in emerald streaks, and failing in form 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 of 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 lifted 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 loving 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 -paths that for ever droop and rise over the green banks and mounds sweeping down in scented undulation, steep to the blue water, studded here and there with new-mown heaps, filling all the air with fainter sweetness-look up towards the higher hills, where the waves of everlasting green roll silently into their long inlets among the shadows of the pines; and we may, perhaps, at last know the meaning of those quiet words of the 147th Psalm, "He maketh grass to grow upon the mountains."
There are also several lessons symbolically connected with this subject which we must not allow to escape us. Observe, the peculiar characters of the grass, which adapt it especially for the service of man, are its apparent humility and cheerfulness. Its humility, in that it seems
created only for lowest service-appointed to be trodden on and fed upon. Its cheerfulness, in that it seems to exult under all kinds of violence and suffering. You roll it, and it is stronger the next day; you mow it, and it multiplies its shoots as if it were grateful; you tread upon it, and it only sends up richer perfume. Spring comes, and it rejoices with all the earth-glowing with variegated flame of flowers-waving in soft depth of fruitful strength. Winter comes, and though it will not mock its fellow-plants by growing then, it will not pine and mourn and turn colourless or leafless as they. It is always green, and is only the brighter and gayer for the hoar-frost.-M. P.
And observe, two distinct ends were to be accomplished in the doing this. It was, indeed, absolutely necessary that such eminences should be created, in order to fit the earth in any wise for human habitation; for without mountains the air could not be purified, nor the flowing of the rivers sustained, and the earth must have become for the most part desert plain, or stagnant marsh. But the feeding of the rivers and the purifying of the winds are the least of the services appointed to the hills. To fill the thirst of the human heart for the beauty of God's working-to startle its lethargy with the deep and pure agitation of astonishment-are their higher missions. They are as a great and noble architecture; first giving shelter, comfort, and rest; and covered also with mighty sculpture and painted legend. It is impossible to examine
in their connected system the features of even the most ordinary mountain scenery, without concluding that it has been prepared in order to unite as far as possible, and in the closest compass, every means of delighting and sanctifying the heart of man. "As far as possible," that is, as far as is consistent with the fulfilment of the sentence of condemnation on the whole earth. Death must be upon the hills; and the cruelty of the tempests smite them, and the brier and thorn spring up upon them; but they so smite, as to bring their rocks into the fairest forms; and so spring, as to make the very desert blossom as the rose. Even among our own hills of Scotland and Cumberland, though often too barren to be perfectly beautiful, and always too low to be perfectly sublime, it is strange how many deep sources of delight are gathered into the compass of their glens and vales; and how, down to the most secret cluster of their faraway flowers, and the idlest leap of their straying streamlets, the whole heart of Nature seems thirsting to give, and still to give, shedding forth her everlasting beneficence with a profusion so patient, so passionate, that our utmost observance and thankfulness are but, at last, neglect of her nobleness, and apathy to her love. But among the true mountains of the greater orders the Divine purpose of appeal at once to all the faculties of the human spirit becomes still more manifest. Inferior hills ordinarily interrupt, in some degree, the richness of the valleys at their feet; the grey downs of southern England, and treeless coteaux of central France, and grey swells of Scottish moor, whatever peculiar charm they may possess in themselves, are at least destitute of those which belong to the woods and fields of the lowlands. But the great mountains lift the lowlands on their sides. Let the reader imagine, first, the appearance of the most varied plain of some richly cultivated country; let him imagine it dark with graceful woods, and soft with deepest pastures; let him fill the space of it, to the utmost horizon, with innumerable and changeful incidents of scenery and life; leading pleasant streamlets through its meadows, strewing clusters of cottages beside their banks, tracing sweet footpaths through its avenues, and animating its fields with happy flocks, and slow wandering spots of cattle; and when he has wearied himself with endl233 imagining, and left no space without some loveliness of its own, let him conceive all this great plain, with its infinite treasures of natural beauty and happy human life, gathered up in God's hands from one edge of the horizon to the other, like a woven garment; and shaken into deep falling folds, as the robes droop from a king's shoulders; all its bright rivers leaping into cataracts along the hollows of its fall, and all its forests rearing themselves aslant against its slopes, as a rider rears himself back when his horse plunges; and all its villages nestling them
selves into the new windings of its glens; and all its pastures thrown into steep waves of green sward, dashed with dew along the edges of their folds, and sweeping down into endless slopes, with a cloud here and there lying quietly, half on the grass, half in the air; and he will have as yet, in all this lifted world, only the foundation of one of the great Alps. And whatever is lovely in the lowland scenery becomes lovelier in this change: the trees which grew heavily and stiffly from the level line of plain assume strange curves of strength and grace as they bend themselves against the mountain side; they breathe more freely, and toss their branches more carelessly as each climbs higher, looking to the clear light above the topmost leaves of its brother tree: the flowers which on the arable plain fell before the plough, now find out for themselves unapproachable places, where year by year they gather into happier fellowship, and fear no evil; and the streams which in the level land crept in dark eddies by unwholesome banks, now move in showers of silver, and are clothed with rainbows, and bring health and life wherever the glance of their waves can reack.-M. P.
PAINTING, A LANGUAGE.
Painting, or art generally, as such, with all its technicalities, difficulties, and particular ends, is nothing but a noble and expressive language, invaluable as the vehicle of thought, but by itself nothing. He who has learned what is commonly considered the whole art of painting, that is, the art of representing any natural object faithfully, has as yet only learned the language by which his thoughts are to be expressed. He has done just as much towards being that which we ought to respect as a great painter, as a man who has learned how to express himself grammatically and melodiously has towards being a great poet. The language is, indeed, more difficult of acquirement in the one case than in the other, and possesses more power of delighting the sense, while it speaks to the intellect; but it is, nevertheless, nothing more than language, and all those excellences which are peculiar to the painter as such, are merely what rhythm, melody, precision, and force are in the words of the orator and the poet, necessary to their greatness, but not the tests of their greatness. It is not by the mode of repre senting and saying, but by what is represented and said, that the respective greatness either of the painter or the writer is to be finally determined.
Speaking with strict propriety, therefore, we should call a man a great painter only as he excelled in precision and force in the language of lines, and a great versifier, as he excelled in precision or force in the language of words. A great poet would then be a term strictly, and in precisely the same sense applicable to both, if
warranted by the character of the images or thoughts which each in their respective languages conveyed.
Take, for instance, one of the most perfect poems or pictures (I use the words as synonymous) which modern times have seen-the "Old Shepherd's Chief-mourner." Here the exquisite execution of the glossy and crisp hair of the dog, the bright sharp touching of the green bough beside it, the clear painting of the wood of the coffin and the folds of the blanket, are language -language clear and expressive in the highest degree. But the close pressure of the dog's breast against the wood, the convulsive clinging of the paws, which has dragged the blanket off the trestle, the total powerlessness of the head laid, close and motionless, upon its folds, the fixed and tearful fall of the eye in its utter hopelessness, the rigidity of repose which marks that there has been no motion nor change in the trance of agony since the last blow was struck on the coffin-lid, the quietness and gloom of the chamber, the spectacles marking the place where the Bible was last closed, indicating how lonely has been the life-how unwatched the departure, of him who is now laid solitary in his sleepthese are all thoughts-thoughts by which the picture is separated at once from hundreds of equal merit, as far as mere painting goes, by which it ranks as a work of high art, and stamps its author, not as the neat imitator of the texture of a skin, or the fold of a drapery, but as the man of mind.-M. P.
THE NOBLENESS AND LOVELINESS OF
tian painters and Rubens sometimes condescend, is a consequence of their feeling confidence in the power of their colour to keep them from falling. They hold on by it, as by a chain let down from heaven, with one hand, though they may sometimes seen to gather dust and ashes with the other. And, in the last place, it will be found that so surely as a painter is irreligious, thoughtless, or obscene in disposition, so surely is his colouring cold, gloomy, and valueless. The opposite poles of art in this respect are Fra Angelico and Salvator Rosa; of whom the one was a man who smiled seldom, wept often, prayed constantly, and never harboured an impure thought. His pictures are simply so many pieces of jewellery, the colours of the draperies being perfectly pure, as various as those of a painted window, chastened only by paleness, and relieved upon a gold ground. Salvator was a dissipated jester and satirist, a man who spent his life in masquing and revelry. But his pictures are full of horror, and their colour is for the most part gloomy grey. Truly it would seem as if art had so much of eternity in it, that it must take its dye from the close rather than the course of life: "In such laughter the heart of man is sorrowful, and the end of that mirth is heaviness." These are no singular instances. I know no law more severely without exception than this of the connection of pure colour with profound and noble thought. The late Flemish pictures, shallow in conception and obscene in 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 Bellinis, Francias, Peruginos painted in crimson, and blue, and gold. The Caraccis, Guidos, and Rembrandts in brown and grey. The builders of our great cathedrals veiled their casements and wrapped their pillars with one robe of purple splendour. The builders of the luxurious Renaissance left their palaces filled only with cold white light, and in the paleness of their native tone.-S. V.
Of all God's gifts to the sight of man, colour is the holiest, the most divine, the most solemn. We speak rashly of gay colour and sad colour, for colour cannot at once be good and gay. All good colour is in some degree persive; the loveliest is melancholy, and the purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most. I know that this will sound strange in many ears, and will be especially startling to those who have considered the subject chiefly with reference to painting; for the great Venetian schools of colour are not usually understood to be either pure or pensive, and the idea of its pre-eminence is associated in nearly every mind with the coarseness of Rubens, and the sensualities of Correggio and Titian. But a more comprehensive view of art will soon correct this impression. It will be discovered, in the first place, that the more faithful and earnest the re-oped under the waste of memory, 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, infelicithe one sacred and saving element in his work. ties of circumstance, and accidents of associa The very depth of the stoop to which the Vene- tion, has no other resource than to wait for the
In recalling the impressions we have received from the works of man, after a lapse of time long enough to involve in obscurity all but the most vivid, it often happens that we find a strange pre-eminence and durability in many upon whose strength we had little calculated, and that points of character which had escaped the detection of the judgment become devel
calm verdict of interposing years, and to watch for the new arrangements of eminence and shape in the images which remain latest in his memory; as in the ebbing of a mountain lake, he would watch the varying outline of its successive shore, and trace, in the form of its departing waters, the true direction of the forces which had cleft, or the currents which had excavated, the deepest recesses of its primal bed.
In thus reverting to the memories of those works of architecture by which we have been most pleasurably impressed, it will generally happen that they fall into two broad classes: the one characterised by an exceeding preciousness and delicacy, to which we recur with a sense of affectionate admiration; and the other by a severe, and in many cases mysterious, majesty, which we remember with an undiminished awe, like that felt at the presence and operation of some great Spiritual Power. From about these two groups, more or less harmonised by intermediate examples, but always distinctively marked by features of beauty or of power, there will be swept away, in multitudes, the memories of buildings, perhaps, in their first address to our minds, of no inferior pretension, but owing their impressiveness to characters of less enduring nobility-to value of material, accumulation of ornament, or ingenuity of mechanical construction. Especial interest may, indeed, have been awakened by such circumstances, and the memory may have been, consequently, rendered tenacious of particular parts or effects of the structure; but it will recall even these only by an active effort, and then without emotion; while in passing moments, and with thrilling influence, the images of purer beauty and of more spiritual power will return in a fair and solemn company; and while the pride of many a stately palace, and the wealth of many a jewelled shrine, perish from our thoughts in a dust of gold, there will rise, through their dimness, the white image of some secluded marble chapel, by river or forest side, with the fretted flower-work shrinking under its arches as if under vaults of late-fallen snow, or the vast weariness of some shadowy wall whose separate stones are like mountain foundations, and yet numberless.
Now, the difference between these two orders of building is not merely that which there is in nature between things beautiful and sublime. It is, also, the difference between what is derivative and original in man's work; for whatever is in architecture fair or beautiful is imitated from natural forms; and what is not so derived, but depends for its dignity upon arrangement and government received from human mind, becomes the expression of the power of that mind, and receives a sublimity high in proportion to the power expressed. All building, therefore, shows man either as gathering or governing; and the secret of his success are his knowing what to gather, and how to rule. These
are the two great intellectual Lamps of Architecture; the one consisting in a just and humble veneration for the works of God upon the earth, and the other in an understanding of the dominion over those works which has been vested in man. S. L. A.
THE SUBLIME IN ARCHITECTURE. Besides this expression of living authority and power, there is, however, a sympathy in the forms of noble building with what is most sublime in natural things; and it is the governing power directed by this sympathy, whose operation I shall at present endeavour to trace, abandoning all inquiry into the more abstract fields of Invention, for this latter faculty, and the questions of proportion and arrangement connected with its discussion, can only be rightly examined in a general view of all the arts; but its sympathy in architecture with the vast controlling powers of Nature herself is special, and may shortly be considered, and that with the more advantage that it has, of late, been little felt or regarded by architects. I have seen, in recent efforts, much contest between two schools, one affecting originality and the other legalitymany attempts at beauty of design-many ingenious adaptations of construction, but I have never seen any aim at the expression of abstract power, never any appearance of a consciousness that, in this primal art of man, there is room for the marking of his relations with the mightiest, as well as the fairest, works of God; and that those works themselves have been permitted by their Master and his to receive an added glory from their association with earnest efforts of human thought. In the edifices of man there should be found reverent worship and following, not only of the spirit which rounds the pillars of the forest and arches the vault of the avenuewhich gives veining to the leaf, and polish to tho shell, and grace to every pulse that agitates animal organisation-but of that also which reproves the pillars of the earth, and builds up her barren precipices into the coldness of the clouds, and lifts her shadowy cones of mountain purple into the pale arch of the sky; for these, and other glories more than these, refuse not to connect themselves, in his thoughts, with the work of his own hand; the grey cliff loses not its nobleness when it reminds us of some Cyclopean waste of mural stone; the pinnacles of the rocky promontory arrange themselves, undegraded, into fantastic semblances of fortress towers; and even the awful cone of the far-off mountain has a melancholy mixed with that of its own solitude, which is cast from the images of nameless tumuli on white sea-shores, and of the heaps of reedy clay, into which chambered cities melt in their mortality.
Let us, then, see what is this power and majesty which Nature herself does not disdain to