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“I should like to begin to learn to draw soon, for I am so fond of pictures."
“I never yet heard of any one who was not fond of pictures. Men like them, and children are delighted with them. A child is pleased with even such a picture as the one you have in your hand, not worth a farthing; while men often give a great deal of money for a painting. Not a week ago, I saw one that was valued at ten thousand pounds.'
“What a sum of money for a picture!"
“Yes, it is; but then it was an excellent picture:
The subject and design were bold and grand,
And freely painted by a master's hand. I like pictures myself; but, to speak the truth, I am most fond of those which are drawn without a pencil.”
“Without a pencil! that must be an odd way of drawing. How can anybody, even the greatest painter in the world, draw a picture without a pencil ?"
Oh, very easily; and make a good or a bad use of it, too, as I will explain to you. If I tell you of a large black and white dog, with a bushy tail and a brass collar round his neck, I paint you the picture of a dog without using a pencil, and you see it in your fancy."
“Yes, that I do. I can fancy that I see him now, with his brass collar, in the sunshine.”
“ That being the case, I will proceed to show you how I can make a good or a bad use of my picture, just as I please. If I tell you that this great dog, with a brass collar, was a gentle, noble, faithful creature, and never known to injure any one—that he had twice kept the house from being robbed, and also saved the lives of two children by pulling them out of the water when they were drowning—you would be sure to love the dog, and feel disposed to be kind to him.”
“That I should ; and he would deserve to be loved too."
“But if, instead of this, I were to tell you that the great dog with the brass collar was a fierce, vicious creature, that would fly in a moment at any one who offended him, I should make you afraid of him."
“ You would indeed. I would take care to keep out of the way of such a savage creature as that."
“ And if, in addition to this, I should say that he was a sad thief—that he went out in the night to worry poor defenceless sheepand that once meeting a pretty little rosyfaced child in the lane, he flew at her, and shook her, and would have killed her, had not her cries been heard—you would not only fear the dog, but hate him also.”
“I should indeed. Such a dog ought to be killed. I can see him now, shaking the poor little girl. Oh, if I could have thrown a large stone at him, just as he flew up at that little girl!”
“ You will readily admit now, Edwin, that it is very possible to draw a picture without a pencil, and turn it to a good or a bad purpose.”
“Yes, it is; and I wish you would draw me a great many pictures."
“Well, then, as you know that I have been spending some time in the country, and as I wish you to have a taste for the works of creation and rural life, if you like I will draw you some country pictures that may amuse and instruct you.'
“Of all things, that is what I should like.”
“As we go on, I have no doubt of your being entertained. Come, now for a picture. Barnard is a man of some property, living in the city, who now and then has occasion to spend a week in the country; but he has not been bronght up in the fear of God, nor has he any taste for rural life. When
from the city, his time hangs heavy on his hands. The rising of the sun he never sees; and its setting affords him no pleasure. He discerns no beauty in the natural creation, and walks about without an object; or idles within doors, with his hands in his pockets, longing to be once more in his counting-house, with his day-book and ledger before him.”
“ Such a man as that has no business in the country; he should never come out of the city.”
“Rushton is a man of a different kind; for he delights in the law of the Lord,' and is a dear lover of country scenes. When he
gazes on the green fields, the waving trees, and the flowing streams, his eye brightens, and he says, “The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof,' Psa. xxiv. 1.
When he looks up to the blue sky, his heart gladdens; he exclaims, 'The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork, Psa. xix. 1. He stands to admire the spreading oak, and then stoops to gather a simple flower, wondering to himself at the knowledge of Solomon, who could discourse on trees and plants, from the great cedar of Lebanon to the small hyssop that springeth from the wall, as well as on the beasts, and fowl, and creeping things, and fishes, repeating the words
•Whene er 1 gaze on earth and skies,
Inscribed on all creation round.' He climbs the hills and roams the valleys with delight; the flocks and herds add to his satisfaction; and the singing lark, the chattering jay, the cawing crow, and the hooting owl, all increase his enjoyment, till a song to
the praise of his Creator and Redeemer bursts from his lips." “ He is the very man to live among the
Barnard is miserable in the country, but Rushton is quite happy. I like these pictures very much; do give me another."
“Not now, Edwin, but another time: what I have taken in hand I will endeavour to perform. I will try to convince you that country pictures are worth looking at; and that the employment of drawing without a pencil may be made very instructive and entertaining.”