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ginative religion; or, finally, to what extent the independent creation of those great artists, who seem to have come, as it were, by a special providence just when most wanted.

In one sense, as we have seen, the death of classic art was the birth of the Christian. It was perhaps fortunate that the old civilisation should die out, in order that the new, unencumbered by the past, might be moulded into the spiritual types of the Christian faith. Nevertheless, Byzantine art, the extinction of the classic, formed for the Christian the matrix of its new birth. The Byzantine Madonna, described by M. Rio, as of “blackish hue, dressed in oriental manner, in a style much resembling that of the Chinese," was, in fact, the rude type and germ of that spiritual beauty in which she was at last exalted as the queen of heaven, and the worshipped of earth. With what ardour does the student trace the progressive steps from this first repulsive form to the last perfected beauty-from a Madonna painted by St Luke to the "Virgin most pure" of Angelico or Perugino "Thou resplendent star, which shinest o'er the main, blest Mother of our God, and ever Virgin Queen !”* With what tender watchfulness does the traveller in Italy mark the gradual transitions from the lowest type of womanhood to the purity which belongs to heavenly love, and that beauty which is religion! It were, indeed, a labour of no common interest to trace, with the progressive growth of Italian art and civilisation, the corresponding exaltation of each Christian portraiture; how the St John became more and more worthy of the Saviour's love; how St Peter grew into the rock of the Church; with what power and dignity St Paul bore the sword of the Spirit; and, finally, as the highest consummation, how divinity shone through the features of the Saviour's face.

The manner and the means by which Christian art thus rose into life, health, and beauty, out of the sicklied cradle of the dark ages, where it so long slumbered in the night-the

laws which thus governed its organic growth, open a sphere to criticism both subtle and extended. Entering on such a labour, we should trace and strive to determine those subtle laws of nature by which the immaterial thought and emotion so wondrously mould themselves into form and expression in the human countenance and frame. We should have to investigate the relation subsisting between representative minds and typical heads, to determine the development and the features suited to the prophet or the apostle; and thus ascending from the earthly to the heavenly, to construct out of men angels, and to transmute the natural body into the incorruptible body of the resurrection.

Thus we should deal with the motives of men and angels, with the laws which govern the natural kingdom of the earth, and sway the supernatural kingdom of the heavens. In this extended system of art - philosophy, as written in the progressive history of art-development, having determined the framework and functions of the body, natural and spiritual, we must penetrate beneath the surface to the phases and movements of the soul itself. In those greatest, because most difficult and most comprehensive, of art-creations, the last judgments, which, from the twelfth century down to the present times, have been continuously represented both in painting and sculpture, we find the souls of all created beings, men, angels, demons, under every possible emotion of surprise, ecstasy, or damnation. We need scarcely say that it becomes a question of much metaphysical subtlety, to determine how an angel would have acted, felt, or appeared when Christ, as judge, entered the heavenly choir-whether the righteous, when first they caught the splendour of the beatific vision, would have fallen on their knees in worship, have raised their hands in wonder, or covered their faces from excess of light; whether the lost, still as archangels, though ruined, would assemble in war against the Highest, or whether, as in the paintings of the middle ages, they at once should fall into the

See Ave Maris Stella, and see likewise Fra Angelico's Madonna della Stella, in the Sacristy of Sta Maria Novella, Florence.

form of demon- monsters stung by scorpions and tormented by flames. Such questions, we say, cease to be merely artistic, and become a portion of human and divine philosophy dependent upon the nature and attributes of God, men, and angels. Having thus dealt with the laws of man's material body, and of his immaterial spirit, in their relation to art-treatment, it were necessary to examine how art has, from age to age, conducted itself; what laws, whether natural or artificial, it has observed or violated; how far the bodily framework of art has been consonant with the material structure of the world; to what extent art's inner and spiritual existence has shown itself accordant with the spiritual laws which govern in man and actuate in God. Christian art thus regarded takes on in the entire range of its existence, as it were, an individual personality, possessing an individual body and soul capable of growth and of decay, cradled, as we have seen, in the fresco catacomb, or in the mosaic church, then walking the earth in strength and beauty, teaching men to live righteously and die blessedly; and again, as we have not now time to show, falling into decrepitude, and finally sinking into the common grave of Italian greatness, where it still lies in death, if without the hope of resurrection, at least leaving upon earth a blessed memory.

In this somewhat discursive paper we have treated of the vicissitudes and struggles of Christian art in those early days when the open grave was eager to receive the precarious birth which the cradle seemed in vain to nurture into life. We have seen that, the Church driven to the Catacombs, persecution not only involved Christian art in darkness, but threatened it with extinction. This first danger being passed, a second scarcely less fatal, and in duration more protracted, seemed to entail on the years of infancy the decrepitude of age. The nascent art, instead of starting into life with the vital impulse of the new

religion, became, for well-nigh one thousand years, implicated in the downfall and wreck of the Roman empire; and thus, as we have seen, Roman - Christian and Byzantine works long distorted and disgraced the beauty and the truth of the otherwise triumphant revelation. But when Italy, again rising out of ruins, asserted for a second time, in supremacy of genius, her right to the empire of the world, Christian art once more rose from the grave, and was borne exulting, on the topmost wave of the incoming civilisation. All the glory of Italy then fervently spoke in the language of art. The Italian clime, in its beauty and intensity; the Italian manners, in their grace and charm; the Italian mind, in its ardent warmth and fertile imagination; the Italian religion, in its passion for scenic show-all that constituted the wealth, and the glory, and the poetry of Italy, obtained through art adequate expression.

In the preceding narrative of the early stages of this national art, we have marked the laws which governed the vicissitudes both of its rise and fall-have seen how those laws were linked with the destiny of empires, and involved in the first principles of human action. In such a survey the rules of art are but the universal experience of mankind; the painted picture but a portion of the enacted life; the country of a people's home, the current of a people's history, their affections, their hopes, and their fears, all giving to art its character and expression. Thus, as we have shown, the philosophy of art is but a portion of the wider philosophy of man and of nature, having the two aspects of matter and of spirit-the two habitations of earth and of heaven and thus likewise have we seen that Christian art, uniting into one visible form these two aspects of matter and of spirit, found a habitation on earth, and gained its access to heaven, in the land of Italy.


OUDE which rhymes, O sons of the Gael and the Gaul, with the Sassenach cloud, and is distant in sound as in space from the "banks of bonny Doon "—is the eldest-born of Hindu antiquity. And when we talk of Hindu antiquities, it is no child's play. We will not stand up for the Four Yugs which Mr Mill has so magisterially "put down," that the old impostors must hang their heads to eternity; though, with submission, we remember to have read of ages of gold and silver, and brass and iron, which were more mercifully dealt with. If it be said that the Greek and Roman poets did not send abroad their fictions with a load of some millions of years on their backs, we might further humbly insinuate a doubt whether what has been called Hindu chronology was originally designed for anything of the sort. When it is said that the Satya Yug endured for 1,728,000 years-the Treta for 1,296,000-the Dwarpar for 864,000-and the Kali, or bad age, which weary mortals ever imagine to be reserved for themselves-is destined to fill 432,000 years, of which about 5000 are already passed, we recognise a descending ratio in the numbers, not unlike what is predicated of the moral qualities, of the respective ages. The sum of these several ages is 4,320,000 years-i. e. a tithe of the Kalpa, or "day of Brahm"-which constitutes the duration of the universe. Supposing, then, this proportion to indicate the position of humanity relative to the whole cosmogony, and 432,000 years to be assigned to its existing condition (a sum arrived at by inter-multiplying the days and the months of the prophetical year, which is equivalent to a hundred ordinary ones; 432,000), the preceding periods of greater virtue and happiness are found simply by multiplying the present age by 2, 3, and 4 respectively. By a similar sort of arithmetical allegory, human life is extended in the Satya Yug to 100,000 years; in the Treta it falls

360 × 12 + 100: =

to 10,000; in the Dwarpar to 1000; and in the Kali to 100-which latter number, by the way, contemptible as it doubtless appeared to the Hindu poet, is more than all the hygeists, homeopathists, hydropathists, and vegetarians of these northern islands have as yet been able to insure to their sinful inhabitants. The notion of representing the moral qualities of an age or a generation by assigning it a longer period of duration, does not much differ from that which represents a "great" prince, as literally taller and stouter than common men; and to this day the Hindu puppet drama constantly introduces a Rajah of a yard long, carried in his palanquin by bearers of three inches.

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But to leave these curiosities. Hindu antiquity shows itself a very respectable giant even under the shears of European Delilahs. Who were the Hindus? Where did they come from? and whence their appellation? Answer, if you can, ye orientalists and occidentalists, who are so familiar with "the land where all things are forgotten.' Sir W. Jones was of opinion they came from Iran; Klaproth is for the Caucasian Mountains; Schlegel for the Caspian Sea; while Kennedy locates the first community in the plains of the Euphrates. Yet no one, so far as we know, can point to a trace of them out of India itself. Topsy might "spect they growed there." Aboriginal, however, they were not; their own earliest writings describe them as invaders-Aryas they style themselves-and invoke curses on the Dasrus-the unclean idolaters, who had taken the liberty to preoccupy the country. And why called Hindu? from the Indus, says the Hon. Mountstuart Elphinstone, which was denominated Hindh, or blue, from the colour of its waters. Rather, quoth Colonel Tod, from Indu, the moon, whose children the first leaders claimed to be considered. The moon, by the way, in Sanscrit, as in German, is a man. The Rev. Dr Allen, again, an Ame

rican missionary of long standing, assures his countrymen that Hindu is the Persian for black, and was used by that conceited people to designate the "niggers" beyond the great river.

Now, of all the etymologies, we like the last the least; for although the Persians are at the present day some shades lighter in complexion than the generality of Hindus, yet the latter were undoubtedly of the Caucasian race, and originally a white people. Their earliest writings note this distinction in colour from the aboriginal races, affirming that Indra (the Brahminical Jove) drove out the Dasrus, and "divided the lands among his whitecomplexioned friends." Besides, the oldest names of nations are, in all reason, to be sought for in their own language, not in that of foreigners.

Between the other two derivations, who shall decide? No doubt the Indus, like any other large volume of water, might be called blue. Mr Gladstone's erudite and pleasant work on the Homeric age-a book worthy of Oxford and himselfshows that ancient poets were not particular to a shade; blue, and black, and red-the deep ruddy winecoloured hue-are flung about with perfect impartiality, indicating, in fact, not colour, properly speaking, but depth of shade. And assuredly in Asia, as well as in America, a people might well be denominated from the river on whose banks they dwelt. On the other hand, the river might as well be called from the people, as the people from the river; and this appears to have been the notion of the classical geographers. After all, who knows whether the first Hindus may not have indulged (like their kinsmen the Celts of Britain) in blue skins, so gaining their distinctive appellation from a personal appearance which still distinguishes the god Vishnu, but among mortals is known only, so far as our researches extend, to the clothweavers of Yorkshire. We may add that blue is the favourite, we believe, the religious, colour of the Sikhs.

To return, however, to dates. When did this mysterious race begin

its career? If you listen to themselves, they will tell you about two millions of years ago, when the Menu Vaivaswata, the son of the Sun, terminated the Satya Yug, leaving his son Ikshwaku to commence the second age. This was closed, after sixty-one princes succeeding in a direct line, by Rama, who at this rate may have been contemporary with Adam! Where is the Welsh pedigree equal to this? Descending to particulars, the Brahmins assure us that the Veda, their earliest sacred book, containing writings unquestionably of very different degrees of antiquity, was arranged in its present form by one Vyas or Vedvyas at a time corresponding with 3101 B.C., which again carries us back to the closing days of the father of mankind.*

Here, however, a piece of internal evidence presents itself, which seems tolerably decisive. The compiler of the Veda knew somewhat of astronomy, and happens to have noted the solstitial points of his time, which, on calculation, are found to fall in with the fourteenth century before the Christian era. This, then, is the true date of the Sanhita or collection of hymns which forms the older portion of the Veda and as the hymns themselves are of various dates, the oldest may fall little short of the time of Moses. At this rate the Hindus were already seated in Hindustan when the Israelites were fighting for a settlement in Canaan.

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Now this is no despicable antiquity. Nineveh looks like an old fellow when you go to the British Museum and gaze upon his disinterred remains. But the people of the winged bulls were but mushrooms compared to the Hindus. The first Assyrian empire, indeed, beats us hollow; but there is a gap of a thousand years or so between the dissolution of that empire and the rise of a second about the Hindu era; while it was under yet a third Assyrian dynasty, commencing three centuries later, and ending with the destruction of Nineveh, B.C. 606, that Mr Layard's antiquities were fabricated. What are such antiquities, we should like to know,

Creation, BC. 4004-939-3065.

compared with the Great War fought on the banks of the Ganges between the sons of king Pandu and the princes of Hastinapoora, fourteen or fifteen hundred years before Christ? Now, Oude was a kingdom before the Great War; in fact, the oldest of Hindu States. It was here the children of the sun reigned and warred with the children of the moon, who ruled the other bank of the Ganges, probably at the holy prayag (confluence), which Moslems and Feringhees call Allahabad. The sun holds a prominent place in the worship of the Brahmins -far more prominent than in the primitive Suktas, The moon was the parent of Bhudda, whence this contest possibly denotes the religious polemics of the day; and Oude may well be the birthplace, as it has long been the citadel, of the Brahminical heresy, which finally expelled the earlier and more simple theology.

Fifty-seven-some lists extend the number to seventy monarchs of solar descent reigned in Ayodhya (the ancient name for Oude) previous to Rama, or Ramchunder, the hero of the first great Hindu epic, and one of the incarnations of Vishnu. The Ramayana and the Mahabharat are the Iliad and Eneid of Sanscrit literature, and both are assigned to the age of the Veda. Two poems, or two editions, are extant under the former name, one of which, together with the Mahabharat, is ascribed to Vyasa; but the Ramayana more commonly known, was written by Valmiki: anyhow, the poem is as old as the Veda, and its hero may well have been contemporary with Moses. Some out-and-out lovers of the marvellous, indeed, insist that this sacred epic is a prophesy, written long before the incidents occurred, and that these were miraculously ordered to correspond in every particular with the visions of the poet! Adopting, however, the more natural theory that things existed before they were described, the Ramayana affords a marvellous insight into the then condition of Oude.

The story is simple enough :Rama, son of Dushuruth, King of Ayodhya, marries Seeta, the

lovely daughter of the King of Mithila; but falling into family troubles-which, in primitive times, affected princes no less than meaner mortals the royal couple fled to the jungle. Here Ravana, King of Singul-dwip (Ceylon), discovered and carried off the bride. Rama collects an army, and, assisted by his friend Hanuman, follows the ravisher to Ceylon, where he eventually recovers his wife. Returning to India, he has the further satisfaction of being certified, by the ordeal of fire, that the fair one had continued true during her captivity. Brahma appears to bless their re-union, and all goes as merry as a marriage bell, till Rama, troubled in mind for the death of a brother, who had unintentionally perished by his means, adopts the judicious expedient of throwing himself into a river; and instead of being buried in the cross roads without bell, book, or candle, is in the exalted euphuism of the poet, united to the Deity."


Such is the stuff into which the poet has woven the many-coloured thread of his fiction. Ravana becomes prince of the evil genii, who, by a succession of sacrifices, has accumulated such a credit to his account with the gods, that he expects shortly to overtop them all, and take their thrones to himself. The alarmed divinities invoke Vishnu to become incarnate for their relief. The god is described as flying on an eagle, shining like a cloud. He assents to the request, promising an incarnation of the small period of eleven thousand years. He is accordingly born in the son of Dashuruth. Rama, therefore, is a divine being throughout, sustaining the cause of the gods no less than his own. To keep up the marvellous, Hanuman and his army are turned into monkies, who tear up the hills with their powerful arms to make a causeway across the strait, over which Rama and his troops march comfortably into Ceylon. Several passages occur which indicate a far lower degree of civilisation in the Deccan (through which the expedition passed) than existed in Ayodhya. This city is described as founded by the Menu himself.

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