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this electrifying source of revivifying to the good sense contained in Mr. the too slumbering spirits. We would Eastlake's Reply. be able to walk “the great circle, and It seems to be scarcely a fable that be still at home.” We would create beauty (as often personified in roevery gradation of light, and every mantic poetry) is hid in an enchanted gradation of darkness, to suit or to castle that few can reach ; and those make every humour of the mind. We fortunate few either see but the skirts would have gardens such as few but of her robe, as she majestically passes Aladdin saw; and who less than a from corridor to corridor, or are so genie,or most consummate of geniuses, bewildered with the sight, that, having should complete our last unfinished worshipped with downward eyes, they window ?--unfinished ; for, with all can give but a poor account of that this, it would still be a blessing to “ vultus nimium lubricus aspici ;" have something to do. And a pleasant while many of the adventurers are at thing to be the lord, master, emperor, once overcome by the monsters of error in an architectural world of acres. that in every shape sentinel the bridge Who does not love the lordly spirit of and turret ; while others, scarcely on Wolsey ? but we would go beyond him the verge of the precincts, gather a —would, as well as the imperial palace, few flowers, and come away under have the poet's house, the painter's the delusion that they have entered house ; and in their works, all their the true garden of all enchantment. works (we are becoming as ambitious Some are fascinated with the “ false as Alnaschar), be in daily familiarity Duennas” that assume a shape of with the great and wise of every age. beauty, and lead them far away, to Our libraries-we speak plurally, in their utter bewilderment; and these the magnificence of the great idea— never return to the real pursuit. our picture galleries, statue-galleries, There are who meet with fellow adshould tax the skill of purveyors and venturers, accompany each other but architectural competitors without end. a short way, dispute about the route None that have ever yet been built or they should take, breathe a combatsupplied with treasures would suffice, ive atmosphere in the byepaths of for they are for cramped positions. error, and had rather slaughter each We would have no lack of space, and other than continue the adventure. would not mind building a room for a Such seems to have been the thought single work. The idea of magic to of Mr. Eastlake, in the commencement construct, only shows the real want of of his fragment “ On the Philosophy man. Magic is but a prenomen to of the Fine Arts," which he has genius. Did we learn all this ex- clothed in more sober prose becoming travagance from our early story-books the combatant for Truth--for Truth of princes and princesses, and their and Beauty are one. He has been fairy palaces—from Arabian tales, out upon the adventure--yet scarcely and, in later time, from the enchant- thinks himself safe from the weapons ments of Boyardo and Ariosto ? of combatants, old or new, the disWhatever were the sources—though it comfited or the aspirant, and expects should turn out to have been but an little credit will be given to the disold nurse--we are heartily thankful coveries he professes to have made. for these variable, fanciful treasures ; “ To hint at theories of taste,” he and, had we the riches, in reality asserts, " is to invite opposition. The would add a further extravagance of reader who gives his attention to them cost and fancy—a mausoleum to her at all is eager to be an objector ; he bewitching bones. We remember sets out by fancying that his liberty thinking Menelaus, as pictured in the is in danger, and instinctively prepares Agamemnon of Æschylus, happy even to resist the supposed aggression.” in his grief for the loss of Helen, in We would by no means break a lance that he paced his galleries gazing with one so skilful, and of such proofupon her statues.
armour, as that which this accom
plished combatant wears; but we For more practical views and uses, may venture to gather up the fragwe refer those who would build and ments of the broken lances that strew decorate houses of pretensions and taste the field, and patch them up for other
* Ma ritorniamo al nostro usato canto."
hands—nay, offer them, with the certain degree of weakness—a delicacy humility of a runner in the field, to almost amounting to it, at least-as Mr. Eastlake himself, who will, on good necessary to the idea of beauty; and occasion, show of what wood and they would ill agree with the perfect metal they are made. To carry on “ vitality” of our author. this idea of enchantment, it is possible But simply as to lines, we are inthat Mr. Eastlake may resemble the clined to believe with Burke, that happy prince in search of the ninth though the varied line is that in which statue. Eight had been set up (we beauty is found most complete, there are not quite sure of the number): there is no particular line which constitutes they stood on their pedestals of finest it. Mr. Eastlake, in referring that marble, but they were cold to the line to its resemblance to life, or to touch. The prince in the tale found the antagonistic principles that make the ninth he was commanded to dis- and destroy life, if we mistake not, cover to be a living beauty. If we cautiously abstracts this line of beauty mistake not, Mr. Eastlake considers from ideas of association; whereas beauty but the type of life. “ Life his whole argument, in form and is pre-eminently an element of beauty: matter, appears to be one of associathe word itself presents at once to tion only. But such an association of the imagination the ideas of move- life may be, if it existed, often dement, of energy, and of bloom: the structive of that impression which a fact itself constitutes the greatest and beautiful object is intended to make. most admirable attribute of nature.” Lassitude, death itself, may be beautiAgain, establishing the curve, though ful in form. When Virgil compares not the precise curve of Hogarth, Euryalus dying to the flower cut down as the line of beauty,“ a variously to the poppies drooping, weighed undulating curve may therefore be down with rain-he has in his eye proposed as the visible type of life: objects beautiful in themselves; rather such a form is constantly found in than life, they express Burke's idea nature, as the indication and concomi- of a certain weakness and faintness. tant of life itself. It was this which Inque humeros cervix collapsa recauibit Hogarth detected in various examples, Purpureus veluti cum fios succisus aratro, without tracing it to its source. His Languescit moriens; lassove papavera collo, illustrations are often excellent, but Demisere caput, pluviâ cùm fortè gravantur. the type itself he adopted was sin Perhaps Mr. Eastlake may reply, gularly unfortunate. His “ line of that the simile expresses privation of beauty” constantly repeats itself, and is life, and therefore shows the matter therefore devoid of variety or elasticity capable of receiving it; but this ap-the never failing accompaniments of pears further to involve the necessity perfect vitality. Variation, whether of association, which denies the beauty of line or of other elements, has on of the line per se. The idea of privaall hands been admitted as an ingre- tion is a sentiment; but the question dient of beauty. Mr. Burke's illustra- is, if there be a line of beauty indetion of the dove is good : “ Here we pendent of sentiment or association. . see the head increasing insensibly to Let us attempt to answer it by another the middle, from whence it lessens —the opposite. Is there a line of ugligradually until it mixes with the ness? We think there is not: if there neck ; the neck loses itself in a larger be, what line? certainly not a straight swell, which continues to the middle line (we must not here refer any to of the body, when the whole decreases an object). Perhaps we may not be again to the tail. The tail takes a very wrong in saying that a line per new direction, but it soon varies its se is one of " indifference"-similar to new course ; it blends again with that state of the mind before, as the other parts, and the line is perpe- Burke says, we receive either pain or tually changing above, below, upon pleasure. May we not further say every side.” Burke adds to this the that, very strictly speaking, there is other element--softness—which, we one line bui the straight—that suspect, Mr. Eastlake will admit only every figure is made up of its inclinain a minor degree ; for Mr. Burke tions, which are other or equivalent considers not only softness, but a to other lines? If there be any truth
in this, the “ line of beauty” (here may shift positions: we never lose adopting for a moment the word) sight of the correspondence, of the simiis not a single but a complicated larity. Every exterior swell in the limb thing: the straight line has no parts, has its corresponding interior swell. until we make them by divisions: the The enlargement by a joint is not onecurved line has parts by its deviations, sided. Every curve has its opposite. which constitute a kind of division, The face exemplifies it, which, as it without the abruptness which the is the most beautiful part, has the divided straight line would have. The least flexible power of shifting its organ of sight requires a moving in- symmetry. Mark how the oval is stinct: that instinct is curiosity ; but completed by the height of the forethat is of an inquiring, progressive head and the declination of the chin. nature. Without some variety, there- In nature it will be mostly found that, fore, in the object, it would die ere it when one line rises, there is an oppocould give birth to pleasurable sensa site that falls,—that where a line contion. It is too suddenly set to rest tracts to a point, its opposite contracts by a straight line per se; but when to meet it. And this is the pervading that line is combined with others, the principle of the curve carried out, and sense is kept awake, is exercised; and is most complete when the circle or it is from the exercise of a sense that oval is formed, for then the symmepleasure arises. Too sudden divi- trical or sympathetic line is perfected. sions, by multiplying one object, dis- Let us see how nature paints herself. tract; but in the curve, in the very Let us suppose the lake a mirror, as variety, the unity of the object is pre- her material answering to our canvas. served. A real cause may possibly We see this repetition varied only by here exist for what we will still call a faintness or law of perspective, a “line of beauty,” without referring which, to the eye, in some degree it at all to so complicated a machinery changes the line from its perfect exof thought as that of life, with its actness. As we see, we admire. There antagonistic principle, with which it is no one insensible to this beauty. continually contends. This is, doubt- Nay, we would go further, and say less, physically and philosophically that the artist cannot at random draw true; but it is altogether a thought any continuous set of lines that, as which gives beauty to the idea of the forms, shall be ugly, if he but apply line after we have contemplated it to them this imitation principle of not before. The line may rather give nature, which, as it is descriptive of the rise to and illustrate the philosophical thing, may be termed the principle of thought, than be made what it is by Reflexion, and which
rather that thought, which it altogether pre- choose, because it seems to include cedes.
two natural propensities not very unMr. Eastlake objects to Hogarth's like each other-imitation and symline that it repeats itself. We are pathy. We say“ not very unlike each not quite satisfied of the validity of other,” because they strictly resemble this objection: for we find a certain each other only in humanity. The repetition the constant rule of nature brute may have the one—imitation, -a repetition not of identity, but as in the monkey; but he imitates similarity-an imitation rather, which without sympathy, therefore we love constitutes symmetry—which, again, him not: and it is this lack which makes is a kind of correspondence, or, to his imitation mostly inischievous, for clothe it with a moral terni, a sym- evil acts are the more visible,—the pathy. To this symmetry, when a good discernible by feeling, by symfreedom of action is given, it but makes pathy. The sympathy of the symmea greater variety; for we never lose try of nature is its sentiment, and sight of the symmetry, the balancing may therefore be at least an ingredient quantity always remaining. Thus, in beauty, and thus exhibited in lines, though a man' move one arm up, Lines similar, that approach or recede the other down, the balance of the from each other, do so by means of symmetry is not destroyed by the their similarity in a kind of relation motion. We know that the alterna- to each other; and by this they action may take place,—that the arms quire a purpose, a meaning, as it were,
a sentient feeling, or, as we may say, sition. They are, like the two sides a sympathy. A line of itself is no- of Apollo's lyre, divided only by lines thing—it has no vital being, no form, that, through them, discourse music, until it bear relation to some other, harmony or agreement making one or, by its combination with another, out of many things. The painter hecomes a figure; and because it is a knows well that he requires his bafigure, it pleases, and we in some de- lancing lines to bring all intermediate gree sympathize with it, as a part, parts into the idea of an embracing with ourselves, of things created. whole. If any of Hogarth’s lines, as Thus the curve, or Hogarth's line of given examples in his plate (though beauty, which we assume to be made he gives the preference to one), had up of straight lines, whose joining is its corresponding, as in the caduceus, imperceptible, is the first designated it would at once become a beautiful figure of such lines, and in it we first line. recognise form, the first essential of We took occasion some years ago, organic being and beauty. It is like in a paper in Maga, to notice the order dawning through chaos,-life practice, according to this principle of not out of death, but out of that un- nature, followed by perhaps as great imaginable nothing before death was or a master of composition (of lines) as could be. It is the Aphrodite discard- any that art has produced-Gaspar ing the unmeaning froth and foam, and Poussin ; and we exemplified the rule rising altogether admirable. Now by reference to some of his pictures; again as to Hogarth's line-carried but and we remarked that, by this his a little further, it would be strictly ac- practice, he made more available for cording to this principle of Reflexion. variety and uniformity the space of Divide it by an imaginary line, and you his canvas. We have since, with see it as in a mirror. If the serpentine much attention, noticed the lines of line, then, as Hogarth called it, be a line nature, when most beautiful,--have of beauty, let us
see in what that line is watched the clouds, how they have rendered most beautiful. Let us take arched valleys, and promoted a corthe caduceus of Hermes as the mystic respondence of sentiment,—and how symbol of beauty. Here we see in woods, the receding and approachstrictly the principle of reflexion (for ing lines of circles have made the it matters not whether lateral or per- meetings and the hollows, which both pendicular), and here, as a separation, make space, and are agreeable. We how beautiful is the straight line ? are not setting forth our line of beauty. Take away either serpent, where is We would rather suggest that it is the beauty? We have a natural love possible the idea of the wave or curve, of order as well as of variety,—of ba- right in itself, may be carried to a lancing one thing with another. If still greater completeness. It may, in we remember, Hogarth falls into the fact, only be a part of beauty, which error of making it principle of art must scarcely be limited to å single to shun regularity, and recommends line, or rather figure. We should have a practice, which painters of archi- hesitated, lest we should seem to have tectural subjects have, as we think, hazarded a crude theory, if it bad erroneously adopted, of taking their appeared to be entirely in opposition views away from a central point. to Mr. Eastlake. We think, upon the The principle of reflexion of nature whole view, it rather advances his, would imply that they lose thereby and reconciles it as a part only with more than they gain, for they lose that that of Burke and Hogarth. The complete order which was in the design thing stated may be true, when the of the architect, and which, by not reason given for it may be untrue, or disturbing, so aids the sense of re at least insufficient. The notion of pose—a source of greatness as well as life and its antagonism is true ; but beauty. But to return to this Re- its application may be more ingenious, flexion. It has its resemblance to and in the nature of a similitude, than Memory, which gives pleasure simply an absolute foundation; for many by reflecting the past—by imitating similar referable correspondences of through sympathy. We are pleased ideas may be given, as the range of with similitudes, when placed in oppo- similitude is large. But the objection
to them is that they are mental, and cient artists studied the forms of inwill not, therefore, apply uncondition- ferior animals for the purpose of emally in a theory from which we set out bellishing the human. The bull and by abstracting association.
lion have been recognised in the heads Nor can we go so far as to carry of Jupiterand Hercules. Mr. Eastlake this idea of "life" into the theory of lays stress upon the necessity in colour.
avoiding, in representing the human, "Colour,” says Mr. Eastlake, “viewed every characteristic of the brute ; and under the ordinary effects of light and quotes Sir Charles Bell, who says, “ I atmosphere, inay be considered according hold it to be an inevitable consequence to the same general principles. It is of such a comparison, that they should first to be observed that, like forms, they discover that the perfection of the may or may not be characteristic, and human form was to be attained by that no object would be improved by avoiding what was characteristic of means, however intrinsically agreeable, the inferior animals, and increasing the which are never its own. Next, as to the proportions of those features which with which nature has clothed them in belong to man.”
This is doubtless well put; but greatest brilliancy during the period of consummate life and health. Bright red, there is an extraordinary fact that which, by universal consent, represents seems to remove this characteristic the idea of life (perhaps from its identity peculiarity from the idea of beauty, with the hue of the blood), is the colour however it may add it to the idea of which most stimulates the organs of perfection. Man is the only risible sight.”
animal: risibility may be said, thereWe doubt if any one colour, as we If so, far from attributing any beauty
fore, to be his distinguishing mark. doubted if any one line, is the colour to it, even when we admit its agreeof beauty : and as to red representing ability, we deny its beauty,--we even life, possibly by resemblance to blood, see in it distortion. Painters universpeaking to the eye of Art, we should
sally avoid representing it. They not say that redness is the best expo- prefer the nent of the beautiful of human life. If so, it is most seen in earliest in. Some have thought the smile, so suc
“Santo, onesto, e grave ciglio." fancy, when it positively displeases. Some have thought the smile, so sucThe young bird and young mouse create even disgust from this too visi- letting down of beauty into an inferior bie blood-redness.
grace. What is beauty ? is quite another
Perhaps the sum of the view question from that of whether there is taken by Mr. Eastlake may be best a line of beauty. Lines
shown by a quotation :may
be pleasing or displeasing, in a degree “We have now briefly considered the independent of the objects in which principal æsthetic attributes of the orthey happen to be. Lines that corre- ganic and inorganic world. We have spond in symmetry, as well as co
traced the influence of two leading prinlours which agree in harmony, may character in form, and the visible evi
ciples of beauty-the visible evidence of exist in disagreeable objects, leaving dence of the higher character of life. yet the question of beauty to be an
We have endeavoured to separate these swered; though beauty, whatever it from other auxiliary sources of agreeable is, may require this correspondence impressions—such as the effect of colours, of parts, this order, this sympathy in and the influences derived from the symmetry.
memory of the other senses. Lastly, all Burke has separated the sublime these elements have been kept independfrom the beautiful. Mr. Eastlake has, ent of accidental and remote associations, we suppose intentionally, with a view since a reference to such sources of inteto his ulterior object, in this fragment question ; and render the interpretation
rest could only serve to complicate the omitted any such distinction. He
of nature less possible. may be the more judicious in this, as
“ A third criterion remains; it is appliBurke admits ugliness into his Sub- cable to human beings, and to them only. lime.
Human beauty is then most complete, It has been supposed that the an- when it not only conforms to the arche