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parent, it becomes a source of pleasure; as, for instance, in the slender shafts and slight vaulting of Gothic architecture, which is delightful when, either by science or by tradition, we are assured of its strength, but otherwise would be offensive.

The omission of ornament where it is not to be seen, the counterfeit splendor of the freestone front and the beggarly nakedness of the rear, is such a gross, and at the same time so common an offence against correct taste, that we should be glad, if our space permitted, to copy some of our author's remarks on this point. He very judiciously allows the discontinuance of ornament where it could by no possibility be seen; but will have this done openly, and only in clear cases. It is destructive to Art to have it degraded to mere appearance : on the other hand, the desert flower that blooms unseen is no rule to Art, which is elevated above the accidentalness and waste of Nature.

The “ Lamp of Beauty” might have been expected to shed some light on the question somewhat vexed among the readers of the “Modern Painters,” whether or not Mr. Ruskin intended to hold up the imitation of Nature as the standard of Art: For ourselves, our opinion was very clear that he had no such thought, and we were much surprised to read here, (p. 58,) that " whatever in architecture is fair and beautiful is imitated from natural forms,” and (p. 86) “ forms which are not taken from natural objects must be ugly.” Now, whatever opinions have been entertained in this respect as to Painting and Sculpture, such assertions as to Architecture are to us, at least, both new and strange, since this alone of the plastic arts has no prototype in Nature. In decoration, no doubt, much is suggested by natural objects, but even here imitation is generally avoided, except in barbarous or debased styles. We still prefer to hold this as a slip of the pen or the fancy, and remember rather his former statement, (Modern Painters, I., 24,) that “ideas of truth are the foundation, and ideas of imitation the destruction of all art." If the beautiful be the imitated, then whatever is imitated must be beautiful.

Neither is Mr. Ruskin more happy in his definition of the Picturesque as distinguished from the Beautiful. He calls it (p. 156) Parasitical Sublimity. But, to make use of his own question on occasion of another definition, we should be “curious to trace the steps of any reasoning which, on such a theory, should account for the picturesqueness of an ass colt as opposed to a horse foal,” or, indeed, should account for it at

all. Picturesqueness we take to be simply the fitness of any thing to form part of a picture, implying only the requisite harmony or contrast with other objects, and not any beauty of the thing itself out of the combination.

Lest our strictures, from their number, should seem to outweigh our really thankful commendation of the work in general, we pass over some other matters that appear to us open to criticism. Much partisan praise and blame in matter architectural ; bigoted attacks on the Roman Church; crotchety talk against railroads, (even wishes that the men employed on them had been set to building “beautiful houses and churches" instead); much conservatism - run-mad, of all kinds, we omit.

The pervading feeling of the whole work as to the prospects of Architecture, (and it would sometimes seem as to all other prospects) is despair; an unwise feeling, which human nature will sometimes yield to, but which no considerate man will put into print, since there is never any ground for it.

If there is no chance for our ever having a good architecture, we may rest assured there is some reason, could we but find it, why it is best so. In reply to all complaints of the “utilitarianism of our age,” of the “want of taste in the peoplē,” &c., &c., we say, that first of all, such complaints are presumably in the wrong. All criticism of general and decided tendencies, of whole nations, will be found in all experience to have been fallacious; right, perhaps, in what it saw, erring from not seeing the compensation that kept the account square. Right in this case, for instance, in seeing the degeneracy of Architecture, as a fact, but wrong from not seeing what this fact proves. For looking at things in the large, the features we discern are necessary ones, and carved by the finger of Fate. Perhaps in the fulness of time it will be discerned that this building of railroads and mills was the thing most wanted in the building line just at present, and that the ends attained by the noble architecture of antiquity are now attained in some other way. If we look at Mr. Ruskin's requisites we shall see that the feeling by which he demands the artist shall be possessed is nothing more or less than — Religion. His demand, then, is that we shall be religious, and moreover, that we shall express our religion in the form of religious architecture. But we have better ways of expressing it. In the days of the grand architecture it was the best way or one of the best ways; it is not so now.

To enlarge upon this topic, however, would lead us too far. But thus much we may confidently assert, that granting that Architecture, as a Fine Art, holds at present a subordinate position, it is the part of no friend to Art to waste his strength in the hope of helping it up. For Art swims only with the current, and when the days of criticism come, and the educated and cultivated have possession of it, it is already dead and gone. Like Bentham, it bequeathes its body to the doctors. Our part clearly is to take what is given us with thankfulness and peace, and not be anxious to tinker at the order of the universe. If there be any thing more foolish than mourn. ing over what is dead, it is the attempt to revive it.

The present edition seems to be a faithful reprint of the English; the plates are facsimiles, with no appreciable difference in the execution. The mosaic copied on the cover (note 14) is omitted, and its place supplied by a Gothic window. Excepting this, we prefer the American edition, from its more convenient size and price, to the English.

ART. VIII. - SHORT REVIEWS AND NOTICES.

1.- Memoirs of Rev. Joseph Buckminster, D. D., and of his

Son, Rev. Joseph Stearns Buckminster. By Eliza BuckMINSTER LEE. Boston. 1849.

12mo. pp. XII. and 486.

It has been with feelings of no ordinary interest and delight that we have lingered about this charming work, – a graceful monument builded by genuine affection to the cherished memory of a father and a brother. It was well for the ancients to rear over the mortal remains of those they had loved and lost, the magnificent mausoleum, and by sculptured stone and marble beauty to express their sorrow and love for the departed; it was fitting for them thus to mourn for what they regarded as the cheerless repose of unwilling exiles from the face of Earth ; the fixed, dead, unproductive stone, inexorable as the Fates, seemed in unison with the voice that sounded in their unconsoled hearts from the life beyond the grave. But a deeper insight into the meaning of Life, and a more joyous trust in our own immortal destiny and a Father's care, render unsuitable for us what was appropriate to the younger days of the world ; the existence which has been dignified by usefulness and holiness and all sweet affections, closes not at all for others, more than for itself, when the fleshly garment, through which it expressed its activity to the eye, is laid beneath the sod. Some congenial heart, gathering with pious care and appreciating delicacy the scattered memorials of word and deed, which, all along its daily path, have been shed from the inner life of the beloved one, and preserving them in a simple memorial-urn, preserves for us the refreshing fragrance of those well-spent days. They, the seemingly departed, are still here, giving words of cheer and strength to those whose feet are yet soiled with the dust of every-day duties.

We cordially thank the authoress who, with so much delicacy, taste, and acute perception of beauty in sentiment, has placed before us the united lives of father and son. The whole book breathes of home; the domestic affections, and interests, anxieties, cares, and enjoyments are sketched with finest touches ; we feel welcomed to the midst of them; we sit in “ the little parlor”; mark the father's anxiety for the best welfare of his children; and, in the hearty purity and piety which have made the name of Joseph Stevens Buckminster sacred to so large a circle, we see the effect of that early religious environment. Naturally gifted with religious tendencies, the heart of the young boy was still furthered by that blessing in disguise which is usually spoken of as unmitigated evil — the removal of a lovely and pious mother by death. Her gentle care, ker unwearied patience, may be missed in the supply of physical wants, the indulgence of innocent, childish whims; but such a mother is buried from such a son to rise an angel in his heart of hearts; her continual presence there stimulates to exertion, strengthens in temptation, whispers peace in the little sorrows which come to all children, awakens in the young soul ideas of spiritual communion, and helps to make a home-reality of that Eternal Life which is to-day and here, and will be for ever.

To the influence of these associations in the home of his childhood, garnered there for his manhood's use, we should attribute much of that power which his beautiful life has had in the community. We look in vain in the volumes of his sermons for any thing to confirm the high estimation in which his preaching was held; we feel that the man was far greater than all his written words, and that the Truth and Beauty and Love, with which his great heart was overflowing, found their utterance so completely, so effectually, in countenance, gesture, tone, and the whole demeanour, that the words in which these realities were embodied were of secondary importance, proving how much more men are affected by real character than by fine actions or eloquent words.

The book is preëminently of New England. The letters from the father, and various little incidents scattered throughout, speak as distinctly of the domestic habits, the moral atmosphere, the general tone of feeling amid which her hardy sons have been nurtured, as her pine groves and the glowing beauty of her autumnal scenery tell of the sterility of her soil, and the sudden chilling frosts of her variable air. “Take care of your clothes, your health, your morals, your soul,” says the excellent father, at the close of an affectionate letter to the young Cambridge student; and the good man's economical injunctions were not lost on “the diligent boy, who, when he had saved all his pocket-money to buy a new pair of boots, finding it insufficient, was forced to have his old ones patched." This reminds us of the difficulties and trials through which many noble spirits among us, conscious of powers which would not sleep, yet cramped within the iron bands of poverty, have acquired for themselves, by unfaltering exertion and the indomitable energy of New England enterprise, a station of distinguished usefulness.

The stern conflict, too, in the father's soul, when he finds the religious faith of his dear children differing from his own standard in what he believed most essential, has been the unwritten story of many a New England home. To our Puritan fathers we can look back with profound respect, for the elevated tone of morality and the spirit of piety which still characterize their descendants ; but the stern and dark theology which narrowed their hearts, chilling the warm flow of the affections, is still too visible among us in its baneful effects to be looked upon without aversion. We are grieved for the affectionate parent, who could not see in his darling and admired son the evidences of a Christian character, because the technical terms of their intellectual belief differed; they were treading so conscientiously and earnestly the same pathway of light, and yet an imaginary barrier separated his child from liim. The correspondence which passed between them, when Joseph was preparing for the ministry, attests the lovingness of the father's heart and the unloveliness of his theology.

There are many pleasing sketches of persons and events scattered through the book. We close this imperfect notice by extracting a little gem, whose simple beauty will tempt the reader to look for more in the book itself.

“ They dwelt in a small, plain house, one little parlor of ten feet square containing all that was requisite for their comfort. The deacon himself tended a little shop in front of the parlor, filled with needles, pins, tapes, quality binding, snuff, - that most common luxury - with a pair of scales to weigh a copper's worth. The deacon always wore a full suit of very light drab broadcloth, with white cotton stockings and silver knee-buckles, and a full-bottomed white horsehair wig, always powdered. His exquisitely plaited cambric ruffles were turned back, while he was in the shop, under white linen sleeves or cuffs, and a white linen apron preserved the purity of the fine drab broadcloth. His solitary mate sat in the little three-cornered parlor, whose fire-place was an afterthought, and built into the corner, the bricks forming successive little shelves, where various small things could be kept warm. There she sat all day at her

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