Puslapio vaizdai

be the portrait of a monarch painted by a republican. Yet it is the favorite of the Queen, and hangs immediately above and behind the chair she habitually occupies at dinner and luncheon, thus challenging almost perpetual comparison. In this cruel piece of realism the Queen wears rather her stately than her ordinary look, but the position and painting of the hands are simply masterly. It is in this Oak-room, or in her private sitting-room overlooking the Long Walk, that the Queen gets through the routine work of her exalted position during her residence at

Windsor. This Oak-room is, like all the truly private apartments at Windsor, completely shut in from the more public part of the castle, and can only be approached from the Grand Corridor. At Windsor, indeed, that most magnificent of royal residences, the problem is completely solved how to attend with the utmost severity to public business, to conduct a royal pageant on a scale which throws the festivities of Berlin and St. Petersburg into the shade, and to secure at a moment's notice the most perfect seclusion. Time.

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RECENT number of the "Quarterly Review" contained an article entitled "Reflection of English Character in English Art," in which certain charges made by Mr. Gladstone against the national disposition are met by the assertion that they are unfounded from the fact that the evil deplored is entirely absent from the art and literature of the country. The dominant faculty of any people will always be found, the "Quarterly" writer believes, in the unconscious tendencies of popular taste. He argues as follows:


that this master tendency will display itself in our REFLECTION OF NATIONAL CHARAC- art, and we have accordingly sought for traces of its TER IN LITERATURE AND ART. influence in our painting, our drama, and our fiction. The leading imaginative characteristics of a people, prompted by their genius in the manner supposed by Mr. Gladstone, are obvious. Coarse and vulgar as the instinct of material aggrandizement may be, it at least requires to be nourished on ideas of vehement action and extended imagination. We should expect in our painters the vigorous movement of Rubens, or the brutal force of Caravaggio; in our dramatists, the splendid extravagance of Marlowe ; in our novelists, the romantic conceptions, though not the tasteful execution, of Scott. With the idea, too, of empire are inseparably associated ideas of central authority, such as those which are expressed with so much majesty in the "Æneid." But what have we found, in fact, to be the characteristic features of modern English art? Domesticity, as shown in the almost exclusive devotion of our painting to in the narrow range of our fiction. genre subjects, in the prosaic tone of our drama, and

History is made up of politics, and in England, wherever there are politics, there is passion. The political action of a nation is doubtless the index of its character, but where the nature of its action is disputed, as at present, we must endeavor to find a clew to its character in some other quarter. Such a clew may, we think, be obtained by examining the tendencies of popular taste. The character of every great nation is reflected indirectly in its art and literature, as well as directly in its history. Poets, painters, sculptors, musicians, and architects show us the thoughts that pass through the mind of a people, and embody in an ideal form the objects that appear to it most noble, or beautiful, or worthy of pursuit. Art, again, shows the most sensitive sympathy with every social change which a nation undergoes. If, therefore, we can discover any masterful tendencies in our contemporary art, which can only be explained by the predominant influence of what is known to be a strong national passion, and, if these are also found to coexist with analogous forces in the political world, then we shall be able to form a much more satisfactory judgment as to the nature of our ruling passion than if we were to draw our conclusion from politics alone.

First, then, we may say with certainty that, if contemporary English art afford any indication of the dominant passion imputed to the nation by Liberal critics, or of any other absorbing and exclusive principle of life, it will be as untrue to the spirit of its traditions as Mr. Gladstone thinks the English people is to the spirit of the Constitution described by Pitt. What distinguishes English literature, for instance, is its balance of liberty and authority.

And now to apply the conclusions at which we have arrived. A dispute has arisen as to the true character of the English people. Mr. Gladstone has imparted to the world his own conception of that character. The assumption on which his argument proceeds is, that the Tories are making England false to her mission by flattering her dominant passion for extended empire. That this really is her dominant passion he does not attempt to prove by any evidence beyond his simple assertion: The sentiment of empire may be called innate in every Briton. It is part of our patrimony, born with our birth; dying only with our death; incorporating itself in the first elements of our knowledge, and interwoven with all our habits of mental action upon public affairs." If this be so, it is morally certain

The relation of literature and art to the prevailing tendencies of a people is certainly an interesting study, but, so far from this relation being either complete or trustworthy, a wide gulf, to our mind, really separates the great body of the community from all forms of aesthetic expression. Literature comes very much nearer to popular feeling than art does with all except the Latin races, and there have been periods when poets and painters have borne a measure of relation to popular tendencies, the poets sometimes fully and the painters to certain limited feelings and aspirations. But let us glance rapidly at art and literature as they stand to-day in their relations to popular taste.

In the United States there is really nothing in common between the people and our art, no common ground of sympathy or feeling, no common standard of judgment, no accepted base of appreciation or interchange of ideas. The art world is a world of its own, wherein the culture, the ideas, the aspirations, the purposes, are essentially different from those of the rest of the community. Even literary circles have for the most part little in common with art circles, poets and writers being generally a little more ignorant of art beyond its historical phase, and more indifferent to it, than any other class. Artists here simply address each other, and a small circle of admirers. The throngs that gather at the exhibitions, and the reports of art matters in the newspapers, do not disprove what we are saying, for people have a childlike fondness for pictures, and are always amused by illustrated periodicals or collections of story-telling paintings. American painters are commonly cautious, conventional, simple-minded, with no theatrical fondness for sensation or extravagance, loving their art in its minor chords, so to speak; appreciating delicacy and purity of expression much more than stirring action. Our people, on the other hand, are bold and restless, full of invention, de

The fact is that the larger number of artists and writers are too often Bohemians, with erratic tastes and wholly independent modes of thought, and for these reasons, if for no other, are not always calculated by their natural bent to show the age and body of the time, its "form and pressure." It is clear, we think, that national character must not be sought for in art if we would measure its depth and reach with fullness, and that the English reviewer has done no more than to make a special and ingenious plea which is interesting and suggestive, but misleading.

lighting in novelty, ambitious for great successes, art; but painters like Corot and Millet have nothing audacious in conception, and inclined to emphasis in common with the attributes usually accredited and exaggeration in all that they utter. Judging to French character-with those painters extravafrom our national characteristics, we should show gance and theatrical sensation being utterly unin our art, according to the "Quarterly Review," known. "the vigorous movement of Rubens"; in our dramatists, "the splendid extravagance of Marlowe"; in our novelists, "the romantic conceptions, though not the tasteful execution, of Scott." How completely the reverse of all this our painting, our stage, and our fiction are we all know full well. Our people, indeed, do not expect either art or literature to reflect their feelings or to express the passions that agitate them. It is true that literature has in a few instances influenced and even led strong currents of feeling, but at this moment there is neither a writer nor a painter in the land with any conspicuous hold upon the affections of the people. This assertion needs to be modified somewhat for New England, and the Southern people have shown an active sympathy for a few of their writers; but for the most part our people are without a literature that in any just degree reveals their tendencies, represents their passions, or excites their sympathies, or one with which they feel any deep concern. Art amuses them a little, literature somewhat more, but both are looked upon as rather idle and practically worthless things, which may in some degree be supported, but which have very little place in the earnest interests of life.

While other peoples come nearer into relation with their art than we do, no community wholly does so. The domesticity shown in English productions of which the "Quarterly" speaks is but one side of the British mind. Britons scarcely less than ourselves are restless and ambitious; they push colonizing schemes into remote quarters; their ships penetrate every sea; they have shown, and are showing, immense audacity, enterprise, and a spirit of aggrandizement—all of which has some place in their writings, but scarcely any in their art. Recently English artists and writers have exhibited a great fondness for classical themes; the magazines are full of discussions of Greek topics, and the exhibitions are characterized by paintings of Greek and Roman scenes, and yet it would be difficult to imagine anything more radically opposed than is the rugged, picturesque, and barbaric English character to the refined Greek.

In France writers have often a great hold upon multitudes of people, but they usually do not reflect the sober instincts and conventional tendencies of the middle class, which is the major part of the community. Individuals of the bourgeoise flit through French fiction (mostly for purposes of satire), but its general tone and sentiment are far different from the prudent and sedate tastes of this class, particularly as found in the provinces. A few writers, such as André Theuriet, have given us glimpses of this middle class, but it is quite certain that French romantic literature as a whole depicts phases of life that are exceptional, and reflects characteristics that are only in a small degree national. French art is doubtless nearer to national character than either British or American


ARTISTS and architects are accustomed to deplore the rigid and mathematical laying out of the streets in the upper part of New York, affirming that by the plan pursued suitable sites or spaces for grand structures are unattainable. Were it at any time desired to erect a cathedral upon the scale of that of Cologne, it would be impossible, we are told, unless, as was done with the Grand Central Depot, streets are closed and taken possession of for the purpose. Depth is possible, as some blocks are from seven to eight hundred feet long, but the width between each cross-street is not more than two hundred feet, less than half the width of St. Peter's at Rome. The new Roman Catholic Cathedral, recently dedicated, occupies one entire square, yet it is only half the length of St. Peter's, and if it covered the whole width of the square, it would be over thirty feet narrower than the cathedral at Cologne, or eighty-five feet less than the transept of St. Paul's, London. But as we could erect on the larger squares, should we ever desire to do so, cathedrals as big as Westminster Abbey, giving even more length if not greater width, we need not take our deficiencies in this particular very much to heart. As to sites, we are assured by certain critics that New York is wretchedly off, having nothing equal, for instance, to that of St. Paul's, London. It is true that the ground rises toward St. Paul's, and this may be the peculiar advantage it enjoys, for otherwise we do not see in what way its situation is superior to many sites in New York. The ground facing the public squares-the Battery, the City Hall Park, Union Square, Madison Square, Washington Square, Central Park-gives in many instances admirable sites for large buildings-but has not, unfortunately, often been selected for the purpose, while many imposing structures have been crowded into narrow streets. Good sites for buildings are by no means common in any city, some of the noblest structures in the world being hidden away among clustering houses that render a full view of them impossible. New York has generally too flat a surface, but otherwise we can not agree with the critics referred to that it

is worse off than cities generally. So far, however, it has signally failed to take possession of such advantages as its situation gives it.

The writers who complain of the lack of building sites dwell upon the waste spaces at the rear of the houses in the long blocks between the avenues. These spaces are declared to be of use solely for drying clothes; and one discontented person in the "American Architect " wants to see them thrown into small parks for the benefit and use of residents of houses bordering them. The rear yards of our dwellings are certainly far from being either as ornamental or rightly useful as they might be, but it would be unwise to curtail them. A little industry and taste would make them as elegant and pleasing as they are now distasteful. In old times the rear yard in New York was a very different thing from what it is now. The lots were all twenty-five feet wide, instead of as now from twelve to twenty; the houses were not usually more than forty-five feet deep; and hence there was a space big enough for a play-ground for children and for grass and flowers. These old-fashioned yards had usually vigorous grape-vines that clambered over framework to the upper stories of the house; there were flowering shrubs, sometimes fruit-trees, roses, geraniums, and other flowers; a well-kept grass-plat ornamented their center. What has become of these semi-rural spots-little green and charming spaces where children sported, and even sometimes afternoon tea was served? The rear spaces are not so large as they once were, houses now being deeper and on narrower lots, and such space as exists is for the most part in disorder. The grass-plat is worn and neglected; a few bushes and vines struggle for existence, and perhaps a lonely geranium tries to brighten the picture with a blossom or two. Taste and care are all that are needed to make these rear spaces fair and beautiful to see. Wonders can be done in the way of flowers in a very small area. Even a window-sill can be made radiant with beauty. The disposition to turn things to good account is the great point, without which no change of plan will accomplish the desired result. No doubt rear yards are neglected on account of our custom of frequently changing residences; but perhaps if people cultivated their gardens more, the inclination to move would be less marked. Landlords may take a hint from this, and realize that tasteful inclosures in the rear would have a money value as desirable features. A great deal is now being done in the way of encouraging household art. Ladies are covering their walls with painted china, their windows with strange devices in the way of curtains, their chair-backs with artistic embroidery. This mania to make the house beautiful might well be extended to all the surroundings, and work in the rear gardens might not only give us parterres of flowers to look at, but plant roses in the cheeks of the fair gardeners-a consummation in many cases devoutly to be wished. Will not our Society of Decorative Art and art schools for young women take up this subject, and instruct their pupils how to make beautiful the prospects that their win

dows look out upon? A little time and a very little money would do it all. Let us hope to see vines clambering up every house-side, blossoms peering in at every window, verdure clothing every fence-line, art and taste transforming the present unsightliness into grace and beauty.


THE lament comes from many quarters that overcivilization is making the educated classes despondent and melancholy. Weariness of life is eating, it is said, into the heart of society. The disease is intense in Russia, where a dreamy melancholy is described by all native writers as one of the features of cultured circles. It is a form of despondency that evinces itself in a disposition to brood over wrongs, and which lies, it is alleged, at the root of the present political disturbances. A similar melancholy, if we may believe certain writers, is spreading over England. The London "Spectator" has twice made the theme a topic for discussion. In Mr. James Payn's essay, "The Midway Inn," which the reader will find elsewhere in this number of the "Journal," the landlord of the inn, who is indulging in a monologue, declares "There is no such thing as high spirits anywhere," and thinks that the growth of education has destroyed all good fellowship. "Boys," he says, are so crammed with information that when they grow up there is absolutely no room in them for a joke." A poet writes in the new magazine, "Time," of "The Age of Despair," and says:


Too far our race has journeyed from its birth;
Too far Death casts his shadow o'er the earth.

Ah, what remains to strengthen and support Our hearts, since they have lost the trick of mirth? Mr. Mallock has asked gravely, in a series of essays, "Is Life worth living?" and the German novelist Lindau ceaselessly harps in his stories on the emptiness and worthlessness of everything. Poets and romancists, however, have always been disposed to take despairing views of things, and melancholy has frequently been cultivated as a fashion. Young Arthur in "King John" exclaims:

when I was in France,

Young gentlemen would be as sad as night Only for wantonness."

But this sort of affectation, is as old as human nature.

Is it solely for wantonness that sadness now overspreads the world? The melancholy of the poetsthat which the "Saturday Review" calls "Wertherism"-is doubtless a melancholy of the true Jaques characteristics-a whimsical egotism and selfish bitterness that finds its own praise by defaming the rest of mankind; but the sadness that comes over the world now seems to have arisen from mental strain, from excess of meditation and study. Years ago Emerson found in England numbers of "silent Greeks," men whose fastidious culture shrank from the collisions and contests of life, whose over-fastidiousness had paralyzed impulse and ambition, who

admired nothing and sought for nothing, because nothing could come up to the level of their lofty ideals. This indicates that scholarly melancholy is not a new thing, but has simply increased as education has extended to greater numbers.

Yet is it true that sadness is peculiarly the product of culture? The very incarnation of melancholy is to be found in Millet's pictures of French rustics. What a picture of sullen gloom is that of his "Sower"—a life without hope, without light, bound for ever to the wheel of dreary task! And yet this is an out-of-door laborer. We might expect melancholy to grow up in the shop amid the ceaseless din of machinery, but in primitive, picturesque labor why should there not abound the old joyousness? There is less oppression and injustice now: the laborer is protected; the fruits of his fields are garnered for himself, instead of for priest, king, or robber baron; and yet, if we may believe the painter, an intense gloom rests upon him. Can it be that, suffering less than his ancestors, he yet embodies the accumulations of sorrow and despair that have been borne by his race? Or is it that while still as lowly as his progenitors, he has caught visions of higher and better things, that time has taught him to think and compare, to discover all that is withheld from him, to see in himself the perpetual drudge kept for ever in the dust by the unjust discriminations of life? The English rustic, also, has ceased to be the merry fellow he was once-foregone all his old sports and pastimes, without really gaining compensation in education; but, having in a rude way learned to think, he has come into the possession of discontent and distrust.

It is no wonder that gloom should be the heritage of drudges of the fields and victims of tasteless labor; but a wonder, indeed, that education should bring a mildew upon the heart and brain of people who have all the world before them to choose from and enjoy. Indisputably, if this result be true, it is because education is wrong in its methods and ob

jects. It would be far different if nature were studied more and the artificial sentiments of the poets and romancists less. Melancholy comes of brooding and introspection, and hence if men were to look abroad rather than within, to open their eyes and hearts to the beauties and wonders of meadows and woods, of sky and sea, then despondency would be effectually exorcised. It is not knowledge wholly, but kinds of knowledge, that bring gloom and sadness. Naturalists are not disposed that way, nor men of science, nor any who study outward life instead of emotions and passions. Our literature is clearly too subjective; we should have back the old breezy, objective novel, the picturesque stir of Walter Scott, the robust energy of Cooper. Culture ought to chasten and enrich our whole being, filling us with Matthew Arnold's "sweetness and light." Is it not odd that one prophet should be preaching this beneficence as the outcome of the right use of the mind, while others are deploring the gloom that intellectualism is casting over the world? But in fact is it intellectualism? Are we not giving that name to emotional unrest, self-consciousness, and feverish desire? Intellectualism broadens, enlarges, exalts; all great, honest, healthful mental training and development can do mankind no harm; but new conditions, no doubt, involve new complications. Compensations always bring their evils; hence a too studious and introspective questioning may quicken melancholy into an epidemic. A little heroic treatment will stamp it out; nothing, indeed, could be better for the afflicted than a sharp misfortune or two. If this can not be obtained at will, let them try a wholesale dose of out-of-doors, or let them emigrate and colonize, or explore new countries, or take up a science, or create for themselves some good, sturdy purpose. The mystery of life will still remain a mystery, and the uncertainties of all things remain uncertainties-but what matter, if we do not brood upon them?


Books of the Day.

FTER the decay of Rome and the downfall of the Western Empire there is no epoch of history more interesting or more significant than that which has come to be known as the Renaissance. It is literally, as its name suggests, a period of re-birth -a revival or renewal of the long-suspended breath of civilization; and in it are to be sought the beginnings of the modern world, of the condition of things amid which we live. From the period of the Renaissance to our own time the story of mankind has been, on the whole, one of orderly, steady, and homogeneous progress or growth, and each successive step or stage can be traced, and its origin and sequence pointed out. Between the modern world, however, and that ancient world from which it is so

different and yet with which it has so much in common, there lies the great gulf of the Dark Ages; and the Renaissance is the dawn which closed that "double night of ages and of death" and ushered in the day whose warmth and light and accumulated treasures we now enjoy. To the Renaissance, therefore, belongs the interest which attaches in a peculiar degree to all beginnings, and it is undeniable that the period-its causes and characteristic phenomena-deserves far more attention than it has ever received at the hands of historians and students.

One branch of the subject Mr. J. Addington Symonds, previously well known for his studies in Greek and Italian literature and art, has endeavored to treat with a considerable degree of fullness in his

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