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do not appeal to the Romantic spirit, of which, by inadequate criticism, Mr. Ruskin is supposed to be the exponent. They are essentially modern in their readiness to take advantage of modern opportunities. They acknowledge evolution toward a higher humanity ia accordance with the severest anthropology:
“Titanic forces taking birth
In divers seasons, divers climes;
And in the morning of the times."
LESSONS IN EDUCATION.
“Si cette enfant m'était confiée je ferais d'elle, non pas une savante, car je lui veux du bien, mais une enfant brillante d'intelligence et de vie et en laquelle toutes les belles choses de la nature et d'art se refléterait avec un doux éclat. Je la ferais vivre en sympathie avec les beaux pay. sages, avec les scènes idéales de la poésie et de l'histoire, avec la musique noblement émue. Je lui rendrais aimable tout ce que je voudrais lui faire aimer.” — ANATOLE FRANCE, Le Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard.
IMPROVED health and quiet life at home made these years prolific of literary work; and the political economy found its relief, and at the same time its sequel, in a study of education. This question was now chiefly before Mr. Ruskin, both as bearing on his ideals of culture, and consequent public standards of life and conduct, and as pressed upon him, we may believe, by the presence of a young lady whose studies he was in some measure called upon to direct. And so it happens that some of the most thoughtful work of his central period was given to illustrate methods of teaching, in harmony with the broad views of life which his most emphatic writings had been endeavoring to expound.
In 1864 a new series of papers on art was begun, the only important work upon art of all
these ten years, and this, definitely connected with the question of education. These papers ran in the “Art Journal ” from January to July, 1865, and from January to April, 1866, under the title of “ The Cestus of Aglaia,” by which was meant the Girdle, or restraining law, of Beauty, as personified in the wife of Hephæstus,“ the Lord of Labor.” Their intention was to suggest, and to evoke by correspondence, “some laws for present practice of art in our schools, which may be admitted, if not with absolute, at least with a sufficient consent, by leading artists.” As a first step the author asked for the elementary rules of drawing. For his own contribution he showed the value of the “pure line," such as he had used in his own early drawings, learned originally from Cruikshank etchings and Prout lithographs, and practiced — with what success can be judged from such drawings as the Rouen reproduced in the “ Poems.” Later on, he had adopted a looser and more picturesque style of handling the point; and in the “ Elements of Drawing ” he had taught his readers to take Rembrandt's etchings as exemplary. But now he felt that this “evasive ” manner, as he called it, had its dangers. It had, in fact, originated the ordinary type of popular free draughtsmanship, degenerating sometimes into that black blotting and scribbling with which Mr. Ruskin's ideals of delicacy, purity, dignity, to say nothing of the actual fineness of organic form, have nothing in common.
And so these papers
attempted to supersede the amateurish object lessons of the earlier work by stricter rules for a severer style; prematurely, as it proved, for the chapters came to an end before the promised code was formulated; though they contained interesting — if rather free — criticism of current art, and many passages of lively wit and pretty description. The same work was taken up again in “ The Laws of Fésole;” but the use of the pure line, which Mr. Ruskin's precepts failed to enforce, was, in the end, taught to the public by the charming practice of Mr. Walter Crane and Miss Greenaway.
A lecture at the Camberwell Working Men's Institute on “ Work and Play" was given on January 24, 1865; which, as it was printed in “The Crown of Wild Olive,” we will notice further on. Various letters and papers on political and social economy and other subjects hardly call for separate notice: with the exception of one very important address to the Royal Institution of British Architects, given April 15th, “On the Study of Architecture in our Schools."
In appearing before a body of men whom, as an undergraduate, he had audaciously criticised, and with whom he had been more or less at war ever since, Mr. Ruskin was, as it were, in the enemy's camp.
camp. But while apologizing for the liberties which he had taken with their works and aims, he stood up for his principles. He had called for Naturalism as against the blind following of Renaissance-Classic tradition ; but he tried to show that his advocacy of Naturalism did not extend to "the mere cast of a flower, or the realization of a vulgar face, carved without pleasure, by a workman who is only endeavoring to attract attention by novelty, and then fastened on, or appearing to be fastened, as chance may dictate, to an arch, or a pillar, or a wall.” In short, the artistic treatment of natural form was his requirement. He admitted that much good work had been done in England and France; but he felt that modern city life was adverse to a great school of architecture; modern culture, sated and jaded, did not know its own wants, and had no real hearty aims, – in the Carlylean sense, no religion. What was wanted in the teaching of young architects was far beyond any technical system; it was the rediscovery of sincerity, a higher tone in the whole conduct of life. And secondarily, they needed a much wider general culture, both artistic and literary, but more select standards of style. He would exclude the mass of mediæval and modern and oriental examples from the school museum, and concentrate the mind of the student wholly upon the study of natural form, and upon its treatment by the Greeks between 500 and 350 B. c., with the best Florentine work and a few carefully chosen examples of thirteenth-century Gothic.