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frequent recurrence, and it is only in a certain sense that the rigorist despises them. The anchorite, who feeds on roots and water, stipulates that the former should be well boiled, and the latter pure; and few are prepared to imitate the monkish fanaticism of mingling objects of disgust with their food, to mortify the senses. The great error, then, in comparing the intellectual and the sensitive pleasures, is the setting the use of the former against the abuse of the latter. The true sensualist, or Epicurean, is as averse from excess as the stoic; for he knows that excess is incompatible with health and with happiness. The senses are the creation of the same power as the intellect, and they are subservient to ends no less important in the human economy. To forbid their exercise and enjoyment, is to oppose the will and intention of Him, who made not man in his own image for the sole purpose of suffering and privation.
An old Irish woman, walking with her naked feet over some flinty stones instead of the greensward, which offered itself to her acceptance, was asked why she chose this painful path. She replied, “Och ! sure, I'd do more than that for sweet Jasus !” The world is full of such old women.
I REMARKED, with pain, in many of my Italian friends, who have distinguished themselves by every species of sacrifice in the cause of liberality, an affected illiberality with respect to the arts. I have seen them turn with apparent disgust from the finest works of the greatest masters, when accompanying me to the Brera, the gallery at Florence, or the Vatican. They used to say, “ There is the cause of our ruin: we have preserved the elegant, at the expense of the useful. Raphael and Michael Angelo keep us under the Austrian yoke! Had the Russians loved the enfeebling arts, as we have done, they would never have burned their Moscow! The Venus de Medicis alone would have saved the Kremlin !"
Going one day to visit the now greatest sculptor of the age, Chantry, the gallant and celebrated General
Phaving accompanied me to the door, made his bow, observing, “ I have made a vow against the arts—the more perfect they are, the more mischievous."
British utilitarianism, like Italian patriotism, has sometimes taken the alarm at the unproductiveness of the arts, and asserted that they are not physically necessary to our existence. Yet if the arts do not lessen positive evil, they at least augment the number of our sensitive enjoyments; and after the first necessaries are supplied, all improvements in manufactures go but to that. Bread and water will support life-a hole in the earth will bid defiance to the elements—and a seal-skin in winter, and a few cockatoo feathers in summer, supply the coldest and the hottest regions with an adequate toilette. All beyond this is luxury, or means adopted to increase the sphere of pleasurable sensation, and to support a greater number of the species.
In this point of view, the fine arts are equally objects of statistic value with the useful manufactures. Their moral influence is an additional benefit. All declamation against the arts is folly, simply because they belong to the organization of man--to his love of pleasure and his tendency to imitation. He who produces a fine picture, still produces ; and under that utilitarian consideration, his labour is at least as valuable as that of a goldsmith. These modern utilitarians are the Calvinists of political economy, and they strip their doctrine of so many graces, and render it such a “ Praise-God-Barebones" sort of thing, that they will soon leave their church without a female disciple: and woe to the church, or the system, that is deserted by the women! They who would legislate for the world, must live in the world; and the best intentions, aided by the best talents, will be found inadequate to serve the great cause of humanity, if its schemes, though perfect in the abstract, are inapplicable in practice to the actual state of society.
“ Never did poet touch a pen to write,
Poets seldom make good lovers, except on paper : there is no serving God and mammon. The concentration of thought which goes to the higher flights of composition, allows the feeling but little play. There has been much dispute, whether great actors are the dupes of their own art; but the great actors themselves have honestly avowed that they owe their successes to their coolness and self possession; and the poets, if they were equally candid, would own themselves in the same predicament. They are not, however, often inclined to make the confession.
we must weep ourselves, before we can make our readers weep;” and Pope's, “He best can paint them, who shall feel them most," goes very nearly to the same tune.
Passion, though eloquent, is not descriptive ;