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There is, however, a difference in the extent of the chro- | light, etc. They offered a contrast of color, though to a unatic scale. Whilst the humming bird partakes in its certain degree alike; but when they slept under the straw colors of the whole of the spectrum from the violet to the chair which they chose for their domicile, they were exred, passing through green, tbose of the butterfly preferactly of the same shade during the hours of rest — a fine seathe more refrangible ones from green to violet, passing green that never changed. The skin rested, as did the through blue. The admirable lilac shade of the Morpho i brain, so that it seemed probable that central activity, menelas and the Morpho cypris is well known, and the thought, will, or wbatever name is given, has some effect wings of these butterflies have been used by the jewellers, in the change of color. The probability is, that as they carefully laid under a thin plate of mica, and made into | become pale, the pigment does not leave the skin, but that ornaments. A bright green is not uncommon, but the it is collected in spheres tno small to affect our retina, metallic red is rare, excepting in a beautiful butterfly of which will be impressed by the same quantity of pigment Madagascar, closely allied to one found in India and Cey. when more extended. lon. The latter has wings of a velvet black with brilliant It is undoubtedly the nerves which connect the brain green spots; in the former, these give place to a mark of with organs where the pigment is retained. By cutting a fiery red.

nerve, the coloring.matter is paralyzed in that portion of There is the same difference between the metallic hues | the skin through which the nerve passes, just as a muscle is of creatures endowed with flight and the iris shades of isolated by the section of its nerve. If this operation is fishes, that there is between crystallized bismuth and the performed on a turbot in a dark state, and it is thrown soft reflections of the changing opal. To bave an idea of into a sandy bottom, the whole body grows paler, exceptthe richness of the fish, it is only necessary to see a net ing the part which cannot receive cerebral influence. The landed filled with shad or other bright fish. It is one im nerves have, in general, a very simple and regular distribumense opal, with the same transparency of shade seen tion : if two or three of these are cut in the body of the through ihe scales, which afford the only means of imitat. fish, a black transversal band following the course of the ing pearls. It is due, however, not to the scales, but to nerve will be seen; whilst, if the nerve which animates extremely thin layers lying below the scales under the skin the head is thus treated, the turbot growing paler on the and round the blood-vessels, which look like so many sand, keeps a kind of black mask, which has a very curious threads of silver running through the flesh. Réaumur first effect. noticed and described them ; sometimes their form is as These marks will remain for many weeks, and what may regular as that of a crystal, and of infinitesimal size and be called paralysis of color has been remarked in consethickness. The art of the makers of false pearls is to col- quence of illness or accident. Such was seen in the head lect these plates in a mass from the fish, and make a paste of a large turbot, the body being of a different color. It of them with the addition of glue, which is pompously was watched, and died after a few days, evidently of some named “ Eastern Essence." This is put inside glass beads, injury which it had received. The subject offers a field of and gives them the native whiteness of pearls.

immense inquiry : the chemical and physical study of pigMany observations have been made lately by our natu- ments, the conditions which regulate their appearance, raljate as to the defence which color supplies to animals : their intensity, and variations under certain influences; hares, rabbitz, stags, and goats possess the most favorable the want of them in albinos, and the exaggerated developshade for concealing them in the depths of the forest or in ment in other forms of disease. To Mr. Darwin, in Eng. the fields. It is well known that when the Volunteer land, and to M. Ponchet, in France, the subject is indebted corps were enrolled, and the most suitable color for the for much research, which will no doubt be continued as riflemen was discussed, it was supposed to be green. Sol occasion offers. diers dressed in different shades were placed in woods and plains, to try which offered the best concealment. Contrary to expectation, that which escaped the eyes of the enemy was not green, but the fawn color of the doe.

MR. RUSKIN'S RECENT WRITINGS. Among hunting quadrupeds, such as the tiger, the leopard, the jaguar, the panther, there is a shade of skin which

BY LESLIE STEPHEN, man has always been anxious to appropriate for his own use. The old Egyptian tombs have paintings of the

The world is out of joint. The songs of triumph over negroes of Sudan, their loins girt with the fine yellow | peace and progress which were so popular a few years ago skips for which there is still a great sale. All the birds have been quenched in gloomy silence. It is difficult eyen which prey upon the smaller tribes, and fishes like the to take up a newspaper without coming upon painful foreshark, are clothed in dead colors, so as to be the least seen

bodings of the future. Peace has not come down upon the by their victims.

world, and there is more demand for swords than for There is an animal which, for two thousand years, has ploughshares. The nations are glaring at each other disexcited the curiosity and superstition of man by its change

trustfully, muttering ominous threats, and arming themof color — that is, the chameleon. No reasonable obser

selves to the teeth. Their mechanical skill is absorbed in vation was ever made upon it, until Perrault instituted devising more efficient means of mutual destruction, and some experiments in the seventeenth century. He ob- | the growth of material wealth is scarcely able to support served that the animal became pale at night, and took a | the burden of warlike preparations. The internal politics deeper color when in the sun, or when it was teased ; of states are not much more reassuring than their external whilst the idea that it took its color from surrounding ob relations. If the republic triumphs in France and Spain jects was simply fabulous. He wrapped it in different it is not because reason has supplanted prejudice, but bekinds of cloth, and once only did it become paler when in cause nobody, except a few Carlists or Communists, believes white. Its colors were very limited, varying from gray to enough in any principles to fight for them. In the promgreen and greenish brown.

ised land of political speculators, the government of the Little more than this is known in the present day: un country is more and more becoming a mere branch of der our skies it soon loses its intensity of color. Beneath stockjobbing. Everywhere the division between classes the African sun, its livery is incessantly changing; some widens instead of narrowing; and the most important phetimes a row of large patches appears on the sides, or the nomenon in recent English politics is that the old social skin is spotted like a trout, the spots turning to the size of bonds have snapped asunder amongst the classes least a pin's head. At other times, the figures are light on a | accessible to revolutionary impulses. brown ground, which a moment before were brown on a Absorbed in such contests, we fail to attend to matters light ground, and these last during the day. A naturalist of the most vital importance. The health of the populaspeaks of two chameleons which were tied together on a | tion is lowered as greater masses are daily collected in boat in the Nile, with sufficient length of string to run | huge cities, where all the laws of sanitary science are stuabout, and so always submissive to the same influences of diously disregarded. Everywhere we see a generation - growing up sordid, degraded, and devoid of self-respect. / antipathy to all the established commonplaces of contented Ehough The old beauty of life bas departed. A laborer is no longer | respectability; an eloquence and imaginative force which er the et a man who takes a pride in his work and obeys a code of transfuses bis prose with poetry, though his mind is too disey were ! manners appropriate to his station in life. He restlessly cursive to express itself in the poetical form ; and a keen - a boe aims at aping his superiors, and loses his own solid merits logical faculty, hampered by a constitutional irritability , as did without acquiring their refinement. If the workman has which prevents his teaching from taking a systematic form; tal actir no sense of duty to bis employer, the employer forgets in let him give free vent to all the annoyance and the indigna

some e his turn tbat he has any duty except to grow rich. Hetion naturally produced by his position, and you will have Chat as complains of the exorbitant demands of his subordinates, a general impression of Mr. Ruskin's later writings. One kin, bus and tries to indemnify himself by cheating his equals. seems almost to be listening to the cries of a man of genius,

our rete What can we expect in art or in literature from such a social placed in a pillory to be pelted by a thick-skinned mob, and of pige order except that which we see? The old spontaneous urged by a sense of his helplessness to utter the bitterest

impulse has departed. Our rising poets and artists are a taunts that he can invent. Amongst the weaknesses natural eet the tri puny generation, who either console themselves for their to such a temperament is the disposition to attach an undue

By catrine impotence by masquerading in the clothes of their prede- | value to what other people would describe as crotchets ; nat porti cessors or take refuge in a miserable epicureanism which and amongst Mr. Ruskin's crotchets are certain theories as a muu calls all pleasures equally good and prefers those sensual which involve the publication of his works in such a manner operatic: enjoyments which are niost suited to stimulate a jaded ap as to oppose the greatest obstacles to their circulation. it is the petite. Religion is corrupted at the core. With some it It is due partly to this cause, and partly to the fact that paler, ex is a mere homage to the respectabilities; with others a people do not like to be called rogues, cheats, liars, and Huence. I mere superstition, which claims to be pretty but scarcely hypocrites, that Mr. Ruskin's recent writings, and especgular di dares even to assert that it is true; some revolt against all ially his “ Fors Clavigera," the monthly manifesto in which Le bour a : religious teaching, and others almost openly advocate a he denounces modern society, have not received the notice - course of belief in lies; everywhere the professed creeds of men are which they deserve. The British public is content to bich anu divorced from their really serious speculations.

ticket Mr. Ruskin as an oddity, and to pass by with as litg paler & Those who would apply a remedy to these evils gener tle attention as possible. And yet the “ Fors Clavigera ” a very corally take one of two lines: they propose that we should (the meaning of the title may be found in the second num

· humbly submit to outworn authority, or preach the consol- ber) would be worth reading if only as a literary curiosity. and wha!: ing gospel that if we will let everytbing systematically | It is a strange mixture of autobiographical sketches, of rked in c. alone things will somebow all come right. As if things had vehement denunciation of modern crimes and follies, of Den in the be not been let alone! When we listen to the pedants and keen literary and artistic criticism, of economical controerent cola. the preachers of the day, can we not sympathize with versy, of fanciful etymologies, strained allegories, questionEdently of $ Shakespeare's weariness

able interpretations of history, and remarks upon things Of art made tongue-tied by authority,

in general, in which passages of great force and beauty are And folly doctor-like controlling skill,

curiously blended with much that, to say the least, is of inAnd simple faith miscalled simplicity,

ferior value, and in which digression is as much the rule And captive gocd attending captive ill?

as in “ Tristram Shandy" or Southey's “ Doctor." Even “ Tired of all these," where are we to find consolation ? Mr. Ruskin's disciples seem at times to be a little puzzled Jarwin, is! Most of us are content, and perhaps wisely, to work on by his utterances, and especially by a certain receipt for biect is it's in our own little spheres and put up with such results as making a “ Yorkshire Goose Pie,” which suddenly intrudes

can fall to the share of a solitary unit in this chaotic world. itself into one of his numbers, and may or may not cover a We may reflect, if we please, that there never was a time | profound allegory. Nothing would be easier, and notbing since the world began at which evil was not rampant and would be more superfluous, than to ridicule many of the wise men in a small minority; and that somehow or other | opinions which he throws out, or to condemn them from

we have in the American phrase "worried through"it, and the point of view of orthodox science or political economy. EITINGS rather improved than otherwise. There are advantages to It seems to be more desirable to call attention to the

be set against all the triumphant mischiefs which make strength than to the weakness of teaching opposed to all
wise men cry out, Vanitas Vanilatum! and enthusiasts may current opinions, and therefore more sure to be refuted
find a bright side to the more ominous phenomena and look than to gain a fair bearing. When a gentleman begins by
forward to that millennium which is always to begin the informing his readers that he would like to destroy most
day after to-morrow. We have cultivated statistics of late, 1 of the railroads in England and all the railroads in Wales,
and at least one of our teachers has thought that the new the new town of Edinburgh, the north suburb of Geneva,
gospel lay in that direction; but we have not yet succeeded and the city of New York, he places himself in a position
in presenting in a tabular form all the good and all the evil | which is simply bewildering to the ordinary British mind.
which is to be found in the world, and in striking a balance Without claiming to be an adequate interpreter, and still
between them. The problem is too complex for most of us; | less an adequate critic, of all his theories, I may venture a
and it may be as well to give it up, and, without swagger- few remarks upon some of the characteristic qualities of
ing over progress or uselessly saddening ourselves over “ Fors” and others of his recent writings.
decay, do our best to swell the right side of the account. Mr. Ruskin, as I have said, is at war with modern so-
Most men, however, judge according to temperament. The ciety. He sometimes expresses himself in language which,
cheerful philosopher sees in the difference between the but for his own assurances to the contrary, might be taken
actual state of the world and the ideal which he can frame | for the utterance of furious passion rather than calm reflec-
for himself, a guarantee for the approach of a better day. tion. “It seems to be the appointed function of the nine-
The melancholy pbilosopher sees in the same contrast | teenth century," he says, “to exhibit in all things the
& proof of the natural corruption of mankind. He puts elect pattern of perfect folly, for a warning to the furthest
the golden age behind instead of before; and, like his rival, future.” The only hope for us is in one of the “forms
attributes to the observation of external events what is of ruin which necessarily cut a nation down to the ground
merely the expression of his own character.

and leave it, thence to sprout again, if there be any life No one, at any rate, will deny that the clouds are thick left for it in the earth, or any lesson teachable to it by enough to justify many gloomy prognostications. Take a adversity.” And after informing his Oxford hearers that man of unusual if not morbid sensibility, and place him in we are, in the sphere of art at any rate, “ false and base," the midst of the jostling, struggling, unsavory, and unrea- "absolutely without imagination and without virtue," he sonable crowd ; suppose him to have a love of all natural adds that his Jauguage is not, as they may fancy, unjustiand artistic beauty, which is outraged at every moment by fiably violent, but " temperate and accurate - except in the prevailing ugliness; a sincere hatred for all the mean- | short-coming of blame.” Indeed, if Mr. Ruskin's habitual Dess and imposture too characteristic of modern life ; a statements be well founded, the world has become well nigh determination to see things for himself, which involves an uninhabitable by decent people. Lot would be puzzled to

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discover a residue of righteous men sufficient to redeem his anger than for squandering so valuable an article so us from speedy destruction. In the preface to a collected rashly. He suffers from a kind of mental incontinence edition of his works, he tells us that in his natural temper which weakens the force of his writing. He strikes at he has sympathy with Marmontel ; in his “enforced and evil too fiercely and rapidly to strike effectually. He accidental temper, and thoughts of things and people, with wrote the “ Modern Painter," as he tells us in a characDean Swift.”

teristic preface to the last edition, not from love of fame, No man could make a sadder avowal than is implied in for then he would have compressed his writing, nor from a claim of sympathy with the great man who now rests love of immediate popularity, for then he would have given where his heart is no longer lacerated by sava indignatio. fine words instead of solid thought, but simply because he Neither, if one may correct a self-drawn portrait, can the could not help it. He saw an injustice being done, and analogy be accepted without many deductions. Swift's could not help flying straight in the faces of the evil-doers. misantbropy is very different in quality from Mr. Ruskin's. It is easy to reply that he ought to have helped it. In that It is less “accidental,” and incomparably deeper. Misan case the book might have become a symmetrical whole inthropy, indeed, is altogether the wrong word to express the stead of being only what it is — the book which, in spite temper with which Mr. Ruskin regards the world. He of incoherence and utter absence of concentration, has believes in the capacity of men for happiness and purity, | done more than any other of its kind to stimulate thought though some strange perversity has jarred the whole social and disperse antiquated fallacies. order. He can believe in heroes and in unsophisticated But we must take Mr. Ruskin as he is. He might, perhuman beings, and does not hold that all virtue is a sham, haps, have been a leader; he is content to be a brilliant and selfishness and sensuality the only moving forces of the partisan in a random guerilla warfare, and therefore to win world. Swist's concentrated bitterness indicates a mind || partial victories, to disgust many people whom he might in which the very roots of all illusions have been extir have conciliated, and to consort with all manner of superpated. Mr. Ruskin can still cherish a faint belief in a ficial and untrained schemers, instead of taking part in possible Utopia, which to the Dean would have appeared more systematic operations. Nobody is more sensible than to be a silly dream, worthy of the philosophers of Laputa. Mr. Ruskin of the value of discipline, order, and suborThe more masculine character of Swift's mind makes him dination. Unfortunately the ideas of every existing party capable of accepting a view of the world which helped to happen to be fundamentally wrong, and he is therefore drive even him mad, and which would have been simply obliged in spite of himself to fight for his own hand. intolerable to a man of more delicate fibre. Some light Men who revolt against the world in this unqualified must be admitted to the horizon, or refuge would have to fashion are generally subject to two imputations. They be sought in the cultivation of sheer cynical insensibility. are eccentric by definition ; and their eccentricity is genMr. Ruskin has not descended to those awful depths, and erally complicated by sentimentalism. They are, it is we should have been more inclined to compare his protest suggested, under the dominion of an excessive sensibility against modern life witb the protest of Rousseau. The which bursts all restraints of logic and commion-sense. old-fashioned declamations against luxury may be easily The worst of all qualifications for fighting the world is to be translated into Mr. Ruskin's language about the modern so thin-skinned as to be unable to accept compromise or to worship of wealth; and if he does not talk about an ideal submit contentedly to inevitable evils. In Mr. Ruskin's state of nature," he is equally anxious to meet corruption case, it is suggested, the foundation of this exaggerated by returning to a simpler order of society. Both writers tone of feeling is to be found in his exquisite sense of the would oppose the simple and healthy life of a primitive beautiful. He always looks upon the world more or less population of peasants to the demoralized and disorganized from an artistic point of view. Whatever may be our other masses of our great towns.

claims to superiority over our ancestors, nobody can deny Mr. Ruskin finds his “ideal of felicity actually produced | that the world bas become ugly. We may be more scienin the Tyrol.” There, a few years ago, he met “as merry tific than the ancient Greeks; but we are undoubtedly and round a person" as he ever desires to see: “he was mere children to them in art, or, rather, mere decrepit and tidily dressed, not in brown rags, but in green velveteen; effete old men. We could no more build a Parthenon or he wore a jaunty hat, with a feather in it, a little on one make a statue fit to be set by the Elgin marbles, than they side; he was not drunk, but the effervescence of his could build ironclads or solve problems by modern methods thorough good humor filled the room all about him; and of mathematical analysis. Indeed, our superiority in any he could sing like a robin.” Many travellers who have case is not a superiority of faculty, but simply of inherited seen such a phenomenon, and mentally compared him with results. And thus, if the artistic capacities of a race be the British agricultural laborer, whose grievances are the fair measure of its general excellence, that which we slowly becoming articulate, must have had some search call progress should really be called decay. Our eyes ings of heart as to the advantages of the modern civiliza have grown dim, and our hands have lost their cunning. tion. Is the poor cramped population of our fields, or the Mere mechanical dexterity is but a poor thing to set brutal population which heaves half-bricks at strangers against the unerring instinct which in old days guided in the mining districts, or the effete population which alike the humblest workman and the most cultivated skulks about back slums and our casual wards, the kind of artist. human article naturally turned out by our manufacturing The point at issue appears in one of Mr. Ruskin's conand commercial industry?

troversies. According to the Spectator, Mr. Ruskin wished The problem about which all manner of Social Science the country to become poor in order that it might thrive Associations have been puzzling themselves for a great in an artistic sense. * If,” it said, “We must choose many years essentially comes to this ; and Mr. Ruskin between a Titian and a Lancashire cotton-mill, then in the answers it passionately enough. The sight and the sound | name of manhood and of morality give us the cotton-mill!” of all the evils which affect the world is too much for him. / and it proceeded to add that only & the dilettantism of the “ I am not,” he says, "an unselfish person nor an evangel studio" would make a different choice. Mr. Ruskin, that ical one; I have no particular pleasure in doing good, nor is, is an effeminate person who has so fallen in love w do I dislike doing it so much as to expect to be rewarded glories of Venetian coloring and Greek sculpture that he for it in another world. But I simply cannot paint, nor would summarily sweep away all that makes men comfortread, nor look at minerals, nor do anything else that I like, able to give them a chance of recovering the lost power. and the very light of the morning sky, when there is any Let us burn our mills, close our coal-mines, and tear up our

- which is seldom nowadays near London - has become railways, and perhaps we may learn in time to paint a few hateful to me, because of the misery which I know of and decently good pictures. Nobody in whom the artistic see signs of when I know it not, which no imagination can faculties had not been cultivated till the whole moral fibre interpret too bitterly.” There is evil enough under the was softened would buy good art at such a sacrifice. sun to justify any fierceness of indignation; and we should Up to a certain point, I imagine that Mr. Ruskin would be less disposed to quarrel with Mr. Ruskin for cherishing accept the statement. He does prefer Titians to cotton

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mills, and he does think that the possession of cotton-mills ruined our powers of expression, it is only because they
is incompatible with the production of Titians. He hates have first corrupted the sentiments which should be ex-
machinery as an artist; he hates the mechanical repetition pressed in noble art.
of vulgar forms, whether in architecture or “ dry goods," . The problem is probably more complex than Mr. Ruskin
which takes the place of the old work where every form is apt to assume. The attempt to divorce art from morality
speaks of a living hand and eye behind it. He hates is indeed as illogical and as mischievous as he assumes.
steamboats because they come puffing and screaming, and The greater the talent which is prostituted to express base
sending their whistles through his head like a knife when thoughts and gratify prurient tastes, the more it should ex-
he is meditating on the loveliness of a picture in the once cite our disgust; and the talent so misused will die out
silent Venice. He hates railways because they destroy all amongst a race which neglects the laws of morality, or, in
natural beauty. There was once a rocky valley between other words, the primary conditions of physical and spirit-
Buxton and Bakewell, where you might have seen Apollo ual health. The literature of a corrupt race becomes not
and the Muses " walking in fair procession on the lawns of it, only immoral but stupid. And yet the art test is not quite
and to and fro among the pinnacles of its crags.” But you so satisfactory as Mr. Ruskin seems at times to assume. Ut-

- the stupid British public, to wit— thought that you ter insensibility to beauty and the calmest acquiescence in
could make money of it; "you enterprised a railroad | all manner of ugliness is not incompatible with morality
through the valley — you blasted its rocks away, heaped amongst individuals ; or what would become of the Dis-
thousands of tons of shale into its lovely stream. The val senters? Hymns which torture a musical ear may express
ley is gone, and the gods with it; and now, every fool in very sincere religious emotion. Of course, we are above
Buxton can be at Bakewell in half an hour, and every fool | the Puritan prejudice which regarded all art as more or
in Bakewell at Buxton; which you think a lucrative proc less the work of the devil; but perhaps we are not, and
ess of exchange; you fools everywhere." The beauty of even the really artistic races were not much better than the
English landscape is everywhere defaced by coal-smoke, Puritans. Indeed, we should take but a sad view of the
and the purity of English streams defiled by refuse. world if we held that its artistic attainments always meas-
Meanwhile the perfection of the mechanical contrivance | ured the moral worth of a nation.
which passes for art in England is typified by an ingenious No phenomenon in history is more curious than the
performance ticketed “No. 1” in the South Kensington shortness of the periods during which art bas attained any
Museum. It is a statue in black and white marble of a high degree of perfection. There have been only two brief
Newfoundland dog, which Mr. Ruskin pronounces to be periods, says Mr. Ruskin, in which men could really make
accurately speaking, the “ most perfectly and roundly ill first-rate statues, and even then the knowledge was confined
done thing " which he has ever seen produced in art. Its to two very small districts. But if our inferiority in that
makers had seen “Roman work and Florentine work and l direction to the Greek and the Florentine artists proves
Byzantine work and Gothic work; and misunderstanding that we are equally inferior in a moral sense, we must sup-
of everything had passed through them as the mud does pose that virtue is a plant which flowers but once in a
through earthworms, and here at last was their wormcast thousand years. Probably students of history would agree
of a production.” Mere inechanical dexterity has abso that virtue was more evenly, and artistic excellence more
lutely supplanted artistic skill.

unevenly distributed than we should have conceived pos-
Well, you reply, we must take the good with the bad. sible. Many conditions, not hitherto determined by social
We give up the Newfoundland dog; but if steam-whistles philosophers, go to producing this rarest of qualities; and
go through your head in Venice, and the railway drives | Mr. Ruskin seems often to exaggerate from a tacit assump-
the gods from Derbyshire, you must remember that a num- ' tion that men who cannot paint or carve must necessarily
ber of poor Englishmen and Italians, who never cared | be incapable of speaking the truth, or revering love and
much for scenery or for pictures, enjoy a common-place purity.
pleasure which they must else have gone without. In Yet it is not to be denied that the test, when applied
creased command of the natural forces means increased with due precaution, may reveal much of the moral charac-
comfort to millions at the cost of a little sentimental enjoy- / ter of a nation. The imbecility of our artistic efforts is
ment for thousands. But it is precisely here that Mr. Rus. I the index of an unloveliness which infects the national life.
kin would join issue with the optimists. The lesson which we cannot make good music because there is a want of
he has preached most industriously and most eloquently is | harmony in our creeds, and a constant jarring between the
the essential connection between good art and sound mo- various elements of society. Mr. Ruskin's criticisms of
rality. The first condition of producing good pictures or modern life are forcible, though he reasons too much from
statues is to be pure, sincere, and innocent. Milton's say- | single cases. The shock which he receives from particular
ing that a man who would write a heroic poem must make l incidents seems to throw him off his balance. He prac-
his life a heroic poem, is the secret of all artistic excellence. I tices the art of saying stinging things, of which the essence
A nation wbich is content with shams in art will put up is to make particular charges which we feel to be true,
with shams in its religious or political or industrial life. I whilst we are convinced that the tacit generalization is un.
We bedaub our flimsy walls with stucco as our statesmen | fair. The whistle of the steamboat in Venice sets up such
hide their insincerity under platitude. If a people is vile at a condition of nervous irritability, that the whole world
heart, the persons who minister to its taste will write de seems to be filled with its discordant strains.
graded poetry and perform demoralizing plays, and paint Mr. Ruskin saw one day a well-dressed little boy leaning
pictures which would revolt the pure-minded. The impu over Wallingford Bridge, and fancied that he was looking
dent avowal that the spheres of art and morality should be at some pretty bird or insect. Coming up to him, the little
separate is simply an acceptance of a debased condition of boy suddenly crossed the bridge, and took up the same
art. And therefore Mr. Ruskin's lectures upon art are apt attitude at the opposite parapet; his purpose was to spit
to pass into moral or religious discourses, as in works pro from both sides upon the heads of a pleasure party in a
fessedly dealing with social questions he is apt to regard passing boat. “ The incident may seem to you trivial,"
the artistic test as final. The fact that we cannot produce says Mr. Ruskin to his hearers ; and, in fact, most persons
Titians is a conclusive proof that we must have lost the would have been content to box the little boy's ears, and
moral qualities which made a Titian possible; whilst the possibly would have consoled themselves with the reflection
fact that we can produce a cotton-mill merely shows that that, at least, spitting upon Jewish gaberdines is no longer
we can cheat our customers, and make rubbish on a gigan- permitted by the police. Mr. Ruskin sees in it a proof of
tic scale. An indefinite facility in the multiplication of that absence of all due social subordination and all grace of
shoddy is not a matter for exulting self-congratulation. I behavior, which “ leaves the insolent spirit and degraded
The ugliness of modern life is not due to the disarrange- senses to find their only occupation in malice, and their only
ment of certain distinct esthetic faculties, but the necessary satisfaction in shame." If the moral be rather too wide
mark of moral insensibility. Cruelty and covetousness are for this living fable, Mr. Ruskir has no difficulty in proving
the dominant vices of modern society; and if they have from other cases how deeply the ugliness of modern life is

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rooted in moral insensibility. Here is another spitting read story books, dance in a vulgar manner, and play vulgar scene. As he is drawing the Duomo at Pisa, Mr. Ruskin tunes on the piano; they know nothing of any fine art; sees three fellows in rags leaning against the Leaning Tower they read one magazine on Sundays and another on weekand “expectorating loudly and copiously, at intervals of days, and know nothing of any other literature. They half a minute each, over the white marble base of it, which never take a walk; they cannot garden ; the women weir they evidently conceived to have been constructed only to false hair and copy the fashions of Parisian prostitutes; be spit upon.” Is their brutality out of harmony with the the men have no intellects but for cheating, no pleasures lessons taught by their superiors ?

except smoking and eating, and “no ideas or any capaci'y There is or was a lovely little chapel at Pisa, built for a of forming ideas of anything that has yet been done of shrine, seen by the boatmen as they first rose on the surge great or seen of good in this world." of the open sea, and bared their heads for a short prayer. Truly, this is a lamentable picture, which we may, if we In 1810 Mr. Ruskin painted it, when six hundred and ten please, set 'down as wanton caricature or as a proof that years had left it perfect ; only giving the marble a tempered poor Mr. Ruskin is but speaking the truth when he tells glow, or touching the sculpture with a softer shade. In a us, pathetically enough, of his constant sadness, and dequarter of a century the Italians have grown wiser, and Mr. clares that he is nearly always out of humor. The exRiskin watched a workman calmly striking the old marble aggeration is to be lamented, because it lessens the force cross to pieces. Tourists are supposed to be more appre of his criticism. The remark inevitably suggests itself that ciative, and Mr. Ruskin travelled to Verona in a railway a fair estimate of modern civilization is hardly to be obcarriage with two American girls, specimens of the utmost tained by the process of cutting out of our newspapers result of the training of the most progressive race in the every instance of modern brutality which can be found in world. They were travelling through exquisite midsum- | police reports, and setting them against the most heroic mer sunshine, and the range of Alps was clear from the deeds or thoughts of older times. Bill Sykes may be a Lake of Garda to Cadore. But the two American girls bad greater brute than the Black Prince ; but there were Bill reduced themselves simply to two “ wbite pieces of putty Sykeses in the days of the Black Prince, and perbaps a that could feel pain;" from Venice to Verona they per piece of one in the Black Prince himself. Mr. Ruskin, to ceived nothing but flies and dust. They read French speak logically, is a little too fond of the induction by novels, sucked lemons and sugar, and their whole conver- simple enumeration in dealing with historical problems. sation as to scenery was at a station where the blinds had The sinking of the London does not prove conclusively been drawn up. “Don't those snow-caps make you cool?that Athenians built more trustworthy ships than English“ No; I wish they did.” Meanwhile, at Rome, the slope | men; and his declamations against the folly and wickeidof the Aventine, where the wall of Tullus bas just been ness of modern war, true enough in themselves, cannot laid bare in perfect preservation, is being sold on building make us forget all the massacres, the persecutions, the leases. New houses, that is, will be run up by bad work kidnappings, the sellings into slavery, the sacks of cities, men, who know nothing of art, and only care for money and the laying waste of provinces, of good old times, nor making; and whilst “the last vestiges of the heroic works convince us that Grant or Moltke are responsible for worse of the Roman monarchy are being destroyed, the base atrocities than mediæval or classical generals. The comfresco-painting of the worst times of the Empire is being plex question of the moral value of different civilizations is faithfully copied, with perfectly true lascivious instinct, for | not to be settled ofl'hand by quoting all the striking ininterior decoration." Lust and vanity are the real moving | stances which an acute intellect combined with a fervid powers in all this Italian movement. Are we much better imagination and disturbed by an excessive irritability can in England ?

accumulate in proof of human weakness. The brute surMr. Ruskin was waiting a short time ago at the Furness vives in us, it is true, but isolated facts do not prove him to station, which is so tastefully placed as to be the only ob- | be more rampant than of old. ject visible over the ruined altar of the Abbey. To him To argue the question, however, would take me far beentered a party of workmen who had been refreshing them- | yond my limits and my knowledge. Rather let us admit selves at a tavern established by the Abbot's Chapel at once that Mr. Ruskin has laid his hand upon ugly They were dressed in brown rags, smoking pipes, all more symptoms. We will not be angry with the physician be. or less drunk, and taking very long steps to keep their cause he takes too gloomy a view of them, but be grateful balance in the direction of motion, whilst laterally securing to anybody who will expose the evil unsparingly. A pesthemselves by hustling the wall or any chance passengers. simist is perhaps, in the long run, more useful than an Such men, as Mr. Ruskin's friend explained to him, would optimist. The disease exists, whether we think of it as a get drunk and would not admire the Abbey ; they were temporary disorder caused by an unequal development, or not only unmanageable, but implied “the existence of as a spreading cancer, threatening a complete dissolution many unmanageable persons before and after them — nay, of the organism. Modern society mav he passing through a long ancestral and filial unmanageableness. They were a grave crisis to a higher condition, or may be hastening a fallen race, every way incapable, as I acutely felt, of ap to a catastrophe like that which overwhelmed the ancient preciating the beauty of Modern Painters' or fathoming world. It is in any case plain enough that the old will not the significance of Fors Clavigera.' ” What are the gradually melt into the new, in spite of all the entreaties amusements and thoughts of such a race, or even of the of epicurean philosophers, but will have to pass through superior social Javers ? Go to Margate, a place memorable spasms and dangerous convulsions. The incapacity to to Mr. Ruskin for the singular loveliness of its skies; and paint pretty pictures, to which we might submit with toleryou may see — or newspaper correspondents exaggerate -- able resignation, is indeed a proof of a wide-spread discord, a ruffianly crowd insulting the passengers who arrive by which sometimes seems to threaten the abrupt dislocation steamboat in the most obscene language or bathing with of the strongest bonds. Can we explain the cause of the revolting indecency in a promiscuous crowd ; or to Glas evil in order to apply such remedies as are in our power ? gow, and you will see the Clyde turned into a loathsome 1 And here I come to that part of Mr. Ruskin's teaching and stagnant ditch, whilst the poor Glaswegians fancy that which, to my mind, is the most unfortunate. There is a they can import learning into their town in a Gothic case, modern gospel which shows, as he thinks, plain traces of costing £150,000, which is about as wise as to “put a pyx diabolic origin. His general view may be sufficiently ininto a pigsty to make the pigs pious.” Or take a walk indicated by the statement that he utterly abjures Mr. Mill's the London suburbs. There was once a secluded district “ Liberty," and holds Mr. Carlyle to be the one true teacher with old country houses, and neatly kept cottages with of modern times. But Mr. Ruskin carries his teaching tiled footpaths and porches covered with honeysuckle. further. The pet objects of his antipathy are the political Now it is covered with thousands of semi-detached villas | economists. He believes that his own writings on political built of rotten brick, held together by iron devices. What i economy are incomparably the greatest service which he are the people who inhabit them? The men can write and has rendered to mankind, and to establish his own system cast accounts; they make their living by it. The women is to annihilate Ricardo, Mill, and Professor Fawcett. To

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