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with the sympathies of man.

His is one additional power. Nature and human nature alike have been his study, and their salient points of beauty and perfection are both familiar to him. His “Seven Lamps of Power," and "Modern Painters” both attest this. The thin robe of light and azure in the clouds, the delicate tinting of the flowers, the monadic life undulating in the atmosphere, the grandeurs of nature in her greater forms, also the life that lives in the eye of a man, the character that can sit upon his lifted forehead, or faintly elude observation in the life and the passion that may come from the very soul of his being and animate his whole form, all alike have been under the close observation of Ruskin, and can be produced again by his living pen. Humboldt and Miller are types of the Homers of prose, but Ruskin suggest the delicacy of Keats, the humor of Shakespeare, and the many-sidedness of Goethe, in his studies of art and feeling, and wisdom and intelligence of men, in the sculptured stone or upon the breathing can

Earnestness and utility are decided characteristics in all his imaginative works. His most powerful passages are always weighty and warm with the humanitarian feeling. He mingles poetry and art, the beat of an impetuous passion with a desire direct and immediate for the highest possible elevation of the human race. “ Modern Painters” deals more particularly with that secondary, the sensuous beauty of the world ; in his “ Seven Lamps of Power” he plunges boldly into unsustained and abstract regions of thought, and sees that divine beauty in man and the universe, which can only be felt, which cannot find embodiment or portraiture in material form.

In speaking of the portrait of a man under three different circumstances ; the first, the ordinary expression of feature; the second at the moment of the highest mental excitement; and the third, when his secret passions and all his highest faculties were brought into play at once—he says,

“ The first gives the accidents of body—the sport of climate, and food, and time— which corruption inhabits and the worm waits for. The second gives the stamp of the soul in the flesh; but it is the soul seen in the emotions which it shares with many which may not be characteristic of its essence—the result of habit, of education, and accident - a gloze, whether purposely worn or unconsciously assumed, perhaps totally contrary to all that is rooted and real in the mind that it conceals. The third has caught the trace of all that was most hidden and most mighty, when all hypocracy, and all habit, and all petty and passing emotion—the ice, and the bank, and the foam of the immortal river-were shivered, and broken, and swallowed up in the awakening of its inward strength ; when the call and claim of some divine motive had brought into visible being those latent forces and feelings which the spirit's own volition could not summon, nor its consciousness comprehend ; which God only knew, and God only could awaken.”

This passage glows with that intense feeling that lies too deep for distinct expression. You see in it a life, a passion, a power, a warm breathing struggling existence, which, by force of the impulse living within it, and giving it power, leaps forward and struggles into the individualism of expression. But it is indistinct and imperfect, and so are all the glimpses which we have of the imperishable and of the infinite. It is not an effort of the imagination to give an added beauty to the flower, or the features of the landscape, but it is an effort of the soul to express a hidden thought, and breathe out a strong passion, which is nourished in those still depths that seldom heave up their treasures to the light of day. In speaking of the old schools of art he says,

" A man accustomed to the broad, wide sea-shore, with its light breakers and free winds, and sounding rocks, and eternal sensation of tameless power, can scarcely but be angered when Claude bids him stand still on some paltry, clipped and chiselled quay, with porters and wheelbarrows running against him, to watch a weak, rippling, bound and barriered water that has not strength enough in one of its waves to upset the flowerpots on the wall, or even to fling one jet of spray over the confining stone. A man accustomed to the strength and glory of God's mountains, with their soaring and radiant pinnacles, and surging sweep of measureless distance, kingdoms in their valleys and climates upon their crests, can scarcely but be angered when Salvator bids him stand still under some contemptible fragment of splintering crag, which an Alpine snow wreath would smother in its first swell, with a stunted bush or two growing out of it, and a volume of manufactory smoke for a sky. A man accustomed to the grace and

infinity of nature's foliage, with every vista a cathedral, and every bough a revelation, can scarcely but be angered when Poussin mocks him with a black round mass of impenetrable paint diverging into feathers instead of leaves, and supported on a stick instead of a trunk.” This is strong with indignation at the shocking tameness of men who should see nature with the eye of the poet and the painter. To the dignity of the images which he conjures up, is added the dignity of the thought, and reason adopts the child to which imagination has given birth. He possesses the same lofty indignation against this tameness of the old masters that Bacon showed against the fallacies of Aristotle, and that Pitt hurled at his opponents in debate. Still it is possessed of an air of playfulness and ease in its dealings with nature, that indicates the man studious and appreciative of her works, the master in reproducing her spirit.

We cannot forbear quoting somewhat at length from what may be termed Ruskin's Paroxysms in his Modern Painters. He is comparing the scenes of nature with the genius of the old masters, and especially to Claude as an index of their deficiency in appreciating it.

Of Sunrise on the Alps he says, “ And then wait yet for one hour, until the East again becomes purple, and the heaving mountains, rolling against it in darkness, like waves of a wild sea, are drowned or gone in the glory of its beaming; watch the white glaciers blaze in their winding paths about the mountains, like mighty serpents with scales of fire, watch the columner peaks of solitary snow, kindling downwards, closer and closer, each, in itself a new morning ; their long avalanches cast down in keen streams brighter than lightning, sending each his tribute of driven snow, like alter smoke, to the heaven; the rose light of their silent domes flushing that heaven about them and above them, piercing with purer light through its purple lines of lifted cloud, casting a new glory on every leaf as it passes by, until the whole heaven-one scarlet canopy~is interwoven with a roof of waving flame, and tossing, vault beyond vault, as with the drifted wings of many companies of angels; and then, when you can look no more for gladness, and when you are bound down with fear and love of the Maker and Doer of this, tell me who has best delivered this His message unto

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man ?”

Again, “ The spirit of the hills is action ; that of the lowlands, repose ; and between these there is to be found every variety of motion and of rest, from the inactive plain, sleeping like the firmament, with cities for stars, to the fiery peaks, which, with heaving bosoms and exulting limbs, with the clouds drifting like hair from their bright foreheads, lift up their Titan hands to heaven, saying, 'I live forever.'”

In this passage is easily discovered the secret charm of Ruskin. The mobility and the subtlety of his intellect is such that it gives life to all things it touches, that it will lift inanimate nature with its dead weight of inertia, into forms of beauty and power. It is like the sunlight pouring in suddenly upon a dark landscape, when every object is flooded with a golden life, with a charm that warms while it attracts, that leaves you sad and alone when it disappears. Few English poets have had his power.

As an illustration of his subtlety in seeing into nature, he says, “ Standing for half an hour beside the fall of Schaffhausen, on the north side where the rapids are long, and watch how the vault of water first bends, unbroken, in pure polished velocity, over the arching rocks at the brow of the cataract, covering them with a dome of crystal twenty feet thick-so swift that its motion is

except when a foam globe from above darts over it like a falling star; and how the trees are lighted above it under all their leaves, at the instant that it breaks into foam, and how all the billows of that foam burn with a pure fire like so much shattering chrysoprase; and how, ever and anon, startling you with its bright flash, a jet of spray leaps hissing out of the fall like a rocket bursting in the wind, and driven away like dust, filling the air with light; and how, through the curdling wreaths of the restless, crushing abyss below, the blue of the water, paled by the foam in its body shows purer than the sky through white rain clouds ; while the shuddering iris stoops in tremulous stillness over all, fading and flushing alternately through the choking spray and shattered sunshine.

Ruskin's is not mere word painting, a mere superficial descriptive power. He sees something more than the exterior objects and forms of nature, he plunges into their laws, and follows their developments, and discovers the great moral lessons which they teach. We have sometimes

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doubted if his moral apprehensions, his abstract powers were not stronger than his descriptive, whether or not he were more at home with the moral than with the physical relations of the universe. He certainly possesses a wonderful power for conjuring up images of beauty from places that seem like solitary wastes to some minds, to most minds; and he will see history where most men will see nothing but a faded flower and a broken wall. Whenever he lights upon an object, it is not with a feeble grasp, but the subtle grasp of energeic power. The passages illustrative of his higher moral powers are frequent.

In contrasting memorable structures with quiet ones, he says, “ In passive moments, and with thrilling influence, the images of purer beauty, and of more spiritual power, will return in a fair and solemn company, and while the pride of many a stately palace, and the wealth of many a jewelled shrine, perish from our thoughts in a dust of gold, there will rise, through their dimness, the white image of some secluded marble chapel, by river or forest side, with the fretted flower work shrinking under its arches, as if under vaults of late fallen snow; in the vast weariness of some shadowy wall whose separate stones are like mountain foundations and yet numberless." Again, “ The life of a nation is usually like the flow of a lava stream, first light and fierce, then languid and covered, at last advancing only by the tumbling over and over of its frozen blocks." And again, “ In the edifices of man there should be found reverent worship and following—not only of the spirit which rounds the pillars of the forest and arches the vault of the avenue-which gives veining to the leaf, and polish to the shell, and grace to every pulse that agitates animal organism—but of that also which reproves the pillars of the earth, and builds

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her barren precipices into the coldness of the clouds, and lifts her shadowy cones of mountain purple into the pale arch of the sky; for these, and other glories more than these, refuse not to connect themselves, in his thoughts, with the work of his own hand; "the gray cliff loses not its nobleness when it reminds us of some Cyclopean waste of mural stone, the pinnacles of the rocky promontories arrange themselves, undegraded, into fantastic semblances of fortress towers, and even the awful cone of the far-off mountain has a melancholy mixed with that of its own solitude, which is cast

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VOL. XVIII.

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