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might have sense enough to admire than the most degenerate of their genius ; but the pride of caste would descendants. We discover somenever allow them to esteem it. thing of their way of living, which

Vanity is a bad patron, and Super- was far more genial and comfortable stition a much worse. It is a great than we are apt to suppose. We may mistake that Popery was the nurse form some notion of their prevailing of modern painting; the more rigid cast of features. Above all, the exRomanists are, and always were, as istence of such laborious luxuries of averse to real art as the Puritans the eye, is a consoling fact. To read themselves. Individual Popes, and the books called Histories, we might wealthy orders, doubtless, encou- imagine that murder and arson, tyraged painting ; but this supposed ranny and fraud, usurpation and permisappropriation of church-treasures secution, were the sole employments did not escape censure. Supersti- of mankind-that the great were all tion is the child of Fear—the basest, wicked, and the poor all miserable. cruellest, blindest, stupidest passion. It is pleasant, therefore, to find that in human nature. It represents the men have always had some leisure Deity as an ugly and malignant De- —that a few have ever been able to mon : sees nothing but evil and de- look out of their windows with calm, formity in the works of God. How, observant eyes—and that many can then, should it imprint beauty on the be amused with trifles in the worst works of man? "Idolatry, and her of times—that is, at all times—which, elder sister Allegory, have spawned thank God, are not half so bad as more monsters than ever sprung some malcontents would persuade from Medusa's Gorgon blood. No- us. Many of these curiosities were thing can be meaner or more hideous destroyed at the Reformation, which, than the daubs and dolls to which like all great changes, was brought the Papists fall down. Raphael's about by the combined agency of the Madonnas work no miracles. In best spirits and the worst. Whether truth, the church of Rome has been the havoc of that era proceeded from as much divided against itself, as misguided zeal, and indiscreet imitaever the Protestant Miscellany. There tion of the Israelites, or from the are High-church Catholics, and Low- mobbish love of destruction, incited, church Catholics, bigots, and libe- as usual, by cold-blooded speculators rals, poetical enthusiasts, vulgar fa- in plunder, for us it is most wise to natics, and Utilitarian prosemen, consider it as the price of a benefit, united, it may be, by a nominal ad- which could not be purchased too herence, to Lord Peter, but far dear. It is some consolation, too, enough from being of one mind, that we had no works of art worth either about religious painting or regretting. We have cathedrals still any thing else.

in beauty and perfection; and though After all, the most interesting art- some are in ruins, they are not less ists of the Middle Ages were not the honourable-perhaps more honourprofessors, with their omnigenous ed, and certainly more poetical and qualifications, but the monks and the picturesque. But the tapestry and ladies. The illuminated missals, and embroidery, the curious needlework, other manuscripts--as finely, pencil. the labours of the graphic loom, led as time and patience could make which employed the well-pricked them—as gay as gilt and glowing fingers of the dames of old, could colours must be—not always so de- excite no religious animosity; but corous as work of holy hand should worms, and damps, and fire, and be—have a value, which does not in- change of fashions, and perhaps more variably pertain to the chef-d'quvres than all, the gold and silver thread of the classic schools--one may learn which they contained, have mingled a great deal from them. From these, most of these products of domestic and the unceasing fulminations of the industry with the mass of things that pulpit against excess of apparel, to- were. But it is by no means true, gether with the yet more inefficient as Mr Cunningham asserts, that this sumptuary laws, we find that our branch of art is entirely neglected at wise ancestors were even more ex- present. The ladies do not, indeed, pensive, and far more absurd and in- work battle-pieces, or Scripturedecent, in arraying their persons, pieces, or naked gods, in worsted, mohair, or silk; but flowers, fruit, whom he has combined, what seldom and birds of gorgeous plumage, lions, meet, regular beauty, with the cast tigers, and giraffes, grow daily be- of thought,—dignity with benevoneath their hands; and very pretty lence,- the air of rank with the stamp they are. We have watched their of individuality. It is beautifully progress many a time. We can re- engraved in Southey's Colloquies, member, too, when the cozy parlour and is very like the apparition. Hans of a country inn, or the triangular did not flatter Henry, whom he has sanctum of a respectable shopkeeper, made as fat, sensual, cruel, and was never without some garniture clever, as the life itself; he could of this kind, with the fair artist's flatter, however, as King Harry found name (generally a pretty name) in- in the case of Anne of Cleves, whose geniously interwoven. We think, by Teutonic bulk drew forth that well. the way, that Delia, and Daphne, and known exclamation of the Defender Strephon, with all the paraphernalia of the Faith, which proves that kings of Cupids, arrows, crooks, and sheep, were less courteous in days of yore never look so natural as when stitch- than at present; a Flanders mare had ed in worsted. Needlework is the been too good a wife for him. He pastoral poetry of design. A snug had good brains, however, and knew room hung round with tapestry is something of value, if the followthe truest Arcadia.

ing anecdote be true: “ One day, But we loiter in these bypaths while the artist was painting in priand flowery lanes-fugit irrepara- vate the portrait of a favourite lady bile tempus-it is past twelve, and we for the king, a great lord unexpectare still in the 14th century. If you edly found his way into the chamber. please, we will pass on to the year The painter, a brawny, powerful 1526, when Holbein arrived in Eng- man, and somewhat touchy of temland ; and for the first time our dear per, threw the intruder down stairs, little isle entertained a great painter. bolted the door, ran to the king by a He was a native of Basle; but finding private passage, fell on his knees, the salubrious influences of native asked for pardon, and obtained it. air counteracted by an over-rating In came the courtier, and made his wife and an under-rating public, he complaint. By God's splendour,' came to the court of bluff King Harry, exclaimed the king, you have not to His first English patron was the Earl do with Hans, but with me. Of seven of Arundel-a title to which art owes peasants I can make seven lords, but something, and chronology more. cannot make one Hans Holbein.'”

Hans is commonly regarded as a It is traditionally asserted that Henry literal prosaic portrait-painter, who employed Holbein to paint the pore drew correctly what he saw, but saw traits of the fairest young ladies in only with every-day eyes, and made bis kingdom, that in case of the queen a dead map of the human counte- patient playing the provoked wife, nance,-devoid of all that makes

he might go and choose from his beauty charming, or irregularity cha- gallery. There is no knowing what racteristic. Those who have seen such a king might do,– but what his “ Dance of Death,” will not readi- need of portraits, when he could Jy believe that he wanted invention. command the originals ? He who could impart expression to The love of title and precedence a skull, and intellectual interest to is the besetting sin of womanhood, all varieties of corruption, could but surely no good woman would scarce be a mechanical matter-of- willingly have been Henry's wife

Neither is it true that even to be England's queen ? Bluehis portraits are without meaning, beard, or the Sultan Schahriar, or the though they may not be distinguished Prince of Camboy, “who nightly for grace. They are like what his stinks a queen to death,” would have sitters for the most part were, and been a preferable spouse. were content to be represented Holbein died of the plague in 1554. kings, queens, lords, and ladies, not Allan has thought it worth while to divinities, nor very amiable men and tell us, that he wrought with the left women. But when he had a worthy hand. He is perfectly right,- let the subject, he could do ample justice left hand not lose the credit of so witness his Sir Thomas More, in much excellence.

fact person.

“He had a strong frame, a swarthy and guilty reign of Mary.” Its place sensual face, and a neck like a bull." in popular estimation was probably His works were once more nume- low enough-the Romanist thought rous in England than at present; it mechanical, and the Protestant some were destroyed during the civil damnable. “ Sir Antonio More rewars, some sold abroad by the Puri- ceived from Philip for his portrait of tan Parliament, and many perished the Queen a chain of gold, with the when Whitehall was burned. That more substantial addition of L.400 his portraits are stiff, is historically a-year as painter to the King.” If a merit—they represent folks that Sir Antonio painted the traditional had nothing easy about them. With likeness of bloody Mary, he was no such costumes, such morals, such flatterer. She is old and ugly enough politics, and such religion, what for a frontispiece to the Book of Marcould people be but stiff ? The tyrs. Mr Cunningham has doubtgradual influence of truth, liberty, less sufficient vouchers for his facts ; and Christian charity, were needed but one would scarce have suspected to give elasticity to the limbs, and Philip of loving his wife well enough play to the features.

to give away chains for her vinegar It is no trivial circumstance in features; and if Sir Antonio received the history of art to record how ar- L.400, he was better paid than he tists were paid. Allan, we think, is could possibly deserve. Holbein's wrong in supposing that the arts pension was only two hundred filowere necessarily in a low condition, rins. when some artists were paid by the How happy had it been for Mary square foot. Duodecimals are not had she died a nun, or sunk unmore arbitrary than popular taste. crowned beneath the weight of royal Many have been the painters who sorrow! The comfort of a worse would have rejoiced to be remune- than widowed mother-the duteous rated by so equitable a standard. Be- daughter of a father who disowned sides, the instances he produces refer and bastardized her, the devoted conchiefly to the ornamenting of public fessor of an oppressed and plundered buildings, painted windows,&c.which church, she had been a saint to the have ever been consigned to the tra- generous Protestant no less than to ding branch of the profession. Paint- the sympathizing Catholic, had her ers are, and always were, better paid rival's success consigned her to the than. poets. Trading painters and cloister, or the overthrow of her retrading authors can only expect to ligion to a grave. The Princess Mary receive value for quantity. Litera- had been consecrated to memory had ture is not universally degraded be- the Queen Mary never reigned. Sir cause certain penmen are recompen. Antonio seems to have loved the sased at the rate of a penny a-line; vour of human sacrifice, for he acand are not splendid articles written companied Philip to Spain, and submonthly for ten and even five guineas sequently held an office under the per sheet ?

Duke of Alva, whose favour he conOf King Henry's personal taste, ciliated by portraits of favourite lawe have a fair sample in the written dies--no solitary instance of the Milinstructions which he left for his own tonic juxtaposition of “lust and hate.” monument. "The King shall appear At length he betook himself to the on horseback, of the stature of a good- receipt of custom in West Flanders, ly man, while over him shall appear and forsook an art to which he was the image of God the Father holding probably do ornament. the King's soul in his left hand, and Advancing to the golden days of his right hand extended in the act of good Queen Bess, we feel as one benediction.". The whole was to be that, after long wandering in the unof bronze, and the blasphemous ab- certain twilight of a subterraneous surdity was actually commenced. It ruin, and guessing at the mutilated is hardly candid to attribute to the images and outworn inscriptions, parsimony of Elizabeth, the non-com- steps at once into cheerful day, and pletion of such an insult to piety and hails familiar forms of living beauty: common sense.

We hear our own language-we find “ Painting maintained its place in ourselves among men of like passions popular estimation during the brief as ourselves. The age of Cressy and Poitiers, of Langland, Gower, and riety of hue and lineament, religion Chaucer, was the Soobhi Kazim of taught, confirmed, and consecrated England, that premature and short- the mighty truth, that “one touch of lived dawn which the fanciful Per- nature makes the whole world kin.” sian ascribes to the sun's peeping The daily goings on of our business through a hole in Mount Caucasus and bosoms began to partake of that which but forebodes and typifies the interest which of old pertained only real daybreak. An interim of deep to those massy operations, in which and perilous darkness ensued-the the bulk of mankind are and can be unseen righteousness of heaven made no more than blind agents or pashuman wickedness perform the need- sive sufferers. The kindly affections ful work which good men cannot do. which, according to the Houyhnm The strongholds of iniquity were philosophy of the heathens, and the shaken by the gloomy earthquake; Manichean dogmas of the monks were and then, the pure light that sets not at best but tolerated weaknesses or till even—that shall not set till angels venial sins, were sublimed to holy sing the vespers of this earth-came duties; and human creatures, hereforth in power and glory. Happier tofore considered but as the perishdays have been before and since, ing moments composing the permathan the days of Elizabeth. Much nent being of a commonwealth, disas we owe to the men of her time, covered in themselves a principle of it was no time to make us murmur duration, compared to which the at that irrevocable decree beyond boasted solidity of states and instituthe power of Jove to alter, which tions was a vain and a fleeting thing. forbids the past to return. It was a The controversies of the time, howtime to think, to dream, to read of ever profitless in themselves, gave a not to live in. But it is doubtful strength, an agility, a subtle and pewhether any period since the flood netrative quality to thought, whichhas been so favourable to the deve- now no longer hermetically sealed lopement of the poetic imagination. up in axioms, definitions, and formal It was the true age of chivalry. Chi- aphorisms-resumed its natural invalry never existed but in the ima- tercourse with the visible and the ginations of poets, and in the noble sentient. The reciprocal influences desires of men who aspired to realize of intellect and feeling displayed the inventions of the poets. The Che- themselves in act and in speech-in valier Bayard and Sir Pbilip Sidney prose and in poetry. Nor was this were only a more rational kind of era less opulent in the matériel of Quixotes — men brave by nature, imagination, than potent in the moactuated by impulses unconsciously rale. The imposing ceremonial of imbibed from romantic fiction, who the Romish church, though banished had conceived an idea, and died in and forbidden, yet lingered in the the attempt to make it an historic regret of many, and in the memory fact. But chivalry was only one ele- of all. The mask and antique pament in the orb of poetry. Religion geantry, the allegorical and symbolihad made every man think of him- cal spirit of the middle age, still reself-of himself not only as a living, mained to be immortalized by Spenbut as an immortal being. It had ser. The classes, degrees, and vocagiven an import to every motion, tions of society were still marked by every throb of the individual heart. the picturesque and dramatic disCharacter, which among the ancients tinctions of dress and manner, while was ever deemed a defect, a falling the ambitious affectation and ungainly away from the standard of abstract mimicry of the mounting commonhumanity, a theme of ridicule, the alty were endless topics of humour proper staff of satire and comedy, and ridicule. assumed a tragic dignity; it was seen The splendid apparel, the metaphothat each man involves in his own ric euphuism, the new-fangled oaths, peculiar nature a distinct ideal—and and elaborate gallantry of the young that the perfection of one is no more courtiers, who bore their manors on the perfection of another, than the their back, and wasted their sleepless beauty of the lily is the beauty of wits to coin new compliments, the the cedar. Yet, amid all this diver- grave splendour, the crafty wisdom, sity of ministrations, this endless va- the sententious speech, and politic

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piety of the sage statesman ; the pre- stellar configurations? The heart and
cise, square-cut, taciturn regularity passions of men entered into every
of the smooth-pated, velvet-capped pursuit; even the barren, unfeeling
citizen; the nicked-bearded, hufting, Îines of the mathematician were in-
hectoring, basket-hilted adventurer; terested with human fate, and ab-
the traveller with his foreign phan- stract numbers were powerful over
tasies, and unheard-of wonders, best happiness and misery. It is need-
believed when he was lying, and less to remark how much true
often discredited when he told the science is indebted to these fancies.
truth; the country gentleman who We speak of their value to the ima-
had newly stepped into the place of gination, for the poet Dee was a
a thinned and impoverished baron- better stargazer than Herschel, and
age; the idolized, but not yet en- Paracelsus a far greater chemist than
franchised females, in whose ward- Sir Humphry Davy. The quacks of
robe was no middle state between that day spiritualized every thing.
velvet and homespun woollen, in Those of our times are the earthiest
whose education no mean betwixt of all materialists.
the erudition of a divine and the ig- The lore of Greece and Rome, the
norance of a household drudger, beautiful shapes of the old mytho-
either calculated to govern a king- logy, which have lately been re-ad-
dom, or simply fit “to suckle fools mitted to verse, contributed not a
and chronicle small fees :"-these, little to the rich fancies of our earlier
and a hundred antics beside, not bards. They were not, then, polluted
forgetting the all-licensed fool, that by Cockneyism, or worn out by school
excellent substitute for a free press, versifiers, nor staled by loveless love-
made the world a mask of all pro- ditties, and laureate raptures unin-
fessions-a gay and gorgeous pro- spired by loyalty-they had all the
cession of fancy costume. Add to freshness of novelty, and the weighty
this, that two-thirds of the planet, reverence of age and association.
with numberless varieties of men, The more recent literature of
and much that was vast, magnifi- Spain, Italy, and France, was also
cent, beautiful, rich, and strange by rife in England. Our poets borrow-
land or sea, were but just disclosed ed much. What they deemed ex-
to Europe by voyagers and pilgrims, cellent they made their own with
whose personal deeds and sufferings Roman boldness. What was good
outdid romance, and made impos- was not spoiled to make it original ;
sibility seem light work. Natural for there were no reviewers in those
philosophy, too, had much of the days,-none of those indefatigable
sentimental and inysterious charac- bookworms,whowould wade through
ter which accords with poetry. the dullest folio in search of stolen
Enough of real science mingled with goods; and, to convict a contem-
it to draw respect to the supersti- porary of plagiarism, would even
tious alloy, which wrought on the read their Bible.
hopes and fears of the many. Astro- The sex and character of Eliza-
logy walked hand in hand with astro- beth herself was no weak ingredient
nomy ;-and the chemists besought in the poetic spirit of the time. Loy-
the spirits of the elements to im- alty and gallantry blended in the
part to their occult and suspected adoration paid her; and the supre-
enquiries, the elixir of life, and the macy which she claimed and exer-
transmuting stone. At once dupes cised over the church, invested her
and deceivers, they pretended to se- regality with a sacred unction that
crets which they knew that they did pertained not to feudal sovereigns.
not possess, and to extract from less it is scarce too much to say, that
learned fools, the means of perform- the Virgin-queen appropriated the
ing their costly and endless re- Catholic honours of the Virgin
searches, ever fancying that the pre- Mary. She was as great as Diana
sent experiment would make them of the Ephesians. The moon shone
masters of the earth. How large a but to furnish a type of her bright
field of allusion was supplied by the and stainless maidenhood. To mag-
mystic properties, signatures, anti- nify her greatness, the humility of
pathies, and sympathies of stones courtly adulation merged in the
and plants, by planetary hours, and ecstasies of Platonic love. She was

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