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way, Art is a Teacher, and should not therefore be treated as a Buffoon, fit only to minister to vulgar curiosity or vacant laughter! I should, hardly, have laid stress on this matter, had I not observed it most strangely and exceptionably neglected, in the very places, where the recognition of a better principle alone, was the solitary excuse

for Art's introduction:- I mean in some of our Scientific and Literary Institutions. The Directing Committees of these would redden, like persons insulted, were one to recommend for the delectation of their members, on"any given evening, a reading of “ The Red Barn,” or a dissertation on “ Thomas and Jeremiah (to give the old extravaganza as dignified a style and title as possible !). Think, again, how a public of Art-Unionists would be insulted, were one to bring in for the edification of a soirée a tray of nodding Grimalkins, or green Parrots, or tombolas! But, the Music too often introduced on like occasions, is of its kind, little less trashy, than the matters just named would be. Yet no one seems outraged :-and, for aught I know, I shall be set down as professionally pedantic -a crotchet-monger this time, with a vengeance ! for saying, that now is the moment, when an effort, gentle, but not despotic, may be made to raise the taste in this as in every other transaction of and appendage to our daily life. There should be a wide difference between the scope and style of the singing at a Cyder Cellar (no contempt of this---coarse and aimless, though it seems!) and the song at a Whittington soireé ! Let it be also noted, that the musicians are, of all classes of artists, the most unhappily prone to condescend, for the purposes of immediate effect: and that to this is mainly ascribable the disrespect in which their calling so long lay in England. So, that those having authority will do well perpetually to lean in a contrary direction : and while they avoid with pious horror, every chance of boring their clients, may safely believe that the latter are more capable of enjoying what is good, than they were. The old Vauxhall ballad, the foolish ditty with which a Mrs. Fuggleston or a Miss Snivellicci could twenty years ago, bid all the sticks and umbrellas in the upper gallery “break out a-fresh "--poetically vulgar and musically ungrammatical-are no longer the only specimens of “sound married to sense which the young men and maidens of England can relish and enjoy!

But I stop-having said enough for those who understand me and too much for such as are distrustful vin ordinaire in the cellar, and new-fangled French innovations in the kitchen--such as would only allow their side a representation in the Reading Room—and would keep the Drawing-room quiet and empty, because - they hate crowds.” In time, they may be made to acquiesce in, if not to enjoy, the schemes of Entertainment above outlined : howsoever disposed they be for the moment to receive them with dear Mr. Burchell's monosyllable.

It but remains for me, to offer a few suggestions, as to the manner in which the above invaluable hints and excellent provisions can be forwarded and wrought out, by the Behaviour of the Members of our Cheap Club.

A WORD OR TWO ON GENIUS.

It is somewhat difficult to give an accurate definition of a principle so deep and subtle as that of genius. Perhaps we may not be wrong in describing it, as a power enabling its possessor to accomplish by a kind of mental instinct, those things which lie beyond the reach of the more laborious efforts of less gifted minds. It seems to be compounded of the most keen intuition and the most ardent love for the objects of its exercise, and to take equal root in the intellect and the feeling. The characteristics which distinguish it from mere talent, may not, perhaps, be obvious to a casual observer, but the most decided difference nevertheless exists. Talent is a particle of the mind ; a faculty limited to the comprehension of one, or more subjects. Genius is the tone, the character, the complexion of the whole mind; the amalgamation of thought, fancy, taste, and sensibility ; a creative energy, that admits of no partial exercise of its powers. Talent may be considered as a piece of mental machinery, which may be put in motion independently of the sympathy and co-operation of the imagination or the feeling ; genius may lie dormant, like rich ore in the mine, till application and labour have dug out the gold and impressed on it the stamp which entitles it to the recognition and esteem of men, but it must be the application of the heart the “ labour of love”-it will not work till the “grand agent has been applied—till the Promethean spark has fired the train of feeling, which then lives and breathes in the characters of Expression, immortal in its nature, whether it speaks in the truthful tints of the canvas, the changeless beauties of the marble goddess, or the burning words that stir the deep and hidden springs of the heart. Talent may be engaged on subjects of a purely practical nature, totally uncongenial with the spiritual essence we call soul. Genius draws its nourishment from the love of the beautiful, which is both its guiding star and sister spirit, and through that wide and rich field loves she to stray, finding sweet companionship in every form and hue and tone of loveliness or grandeur. Genius is versatile and comprehensive in its energies on those subjects which possess power or beauty sufficient to attract its eagle-gaze, but like that proud bird, it refuses to unclose its wing for an ignoble quarry. This, perhaps, may in some measure account for the tardiness and partiality with which its influence is sometimes acknowledged. Genius can only be fully appreciated by intellect of a corresponding order, and the mole-eyed plodder through the world's mud, regards as folly, those soarings of the spirit which extend beyond the limits of his own clay-born sympathies.

It is remarkable how slight a thing, to outward seeming, will awaken the slumbering power of genius ; the accent of a voice, the beaming of an eye, the rustling of a leaf, the falling of water, the twinkling of a star, are each and all as so many keys of the delicate instrument. Burns attributes his first inspiration to the “ witching smile and pauky een " of his winsome partner in the harvest field ; and it was the mute, but eloquent, encouragement of a mother's kiss, that dipped the brush of West in immortal colours. We should conceive it hardly possible for genius to dwell in the mind of any one, without the consciousness of its presence; still, we see that it is almost invariably accompanied by à child-like simplicity and a modest estimation of its efforts. It does not follow, that where genius exists it must necessarily be expressed.

“Many are poets who have never penned

Their inspiration, and perhaps the best—" their quick sympathy with the lovely, the humorous, and the ideal, and their devoted attachment to spirits of a kindred glow, constituting the tie of brotherhood with those who have tasted the sweet vanity of Fame. Men of genius have ever felt a sensitive anxiety as to the success of their works; and the dread of attracting the fierce notice of some critical hawk, may have pushed into silence the sweet melody of many a native wood-note wild,”

NO. XXXIII. - VOL. VI.

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and repressed many a tuneful record of the heart's eventful history. To witness, unmoved, the wanton disparagement or cruel calumniation of labours which have been sustained by hope and enthusiasm--to gaze calmly on the ruins of the bright fabric of expectations cherished so fondly and so long, is more than can be expected from such a mental constitution, and there have been those who, with a poisoned sting in their hearts, have turned from an unfeeling world, to hide in secret the pang by which they died. Speak, shades of injured and departed genius! has it not been thus with you? It would be superfluous to ask whether happiness can be compatible with overwrought susceptibility ; greatness of mind, as well as that of any other kind, must pay the price of its distinction, and the man of genius lays as much claim to our respect and veneration for his peculiar and unapproachable sorrows, as to our admiration of his brilliant and unattainable powers. We do not here allude to the trials and griefs of humanity generally, of which he has his full share, in common with other men, but to that fever of the soul, that un, slaked thirst of a heart which lives in a world of its own imaginings, too high and pure to be realised, and which at the moment of his proudest triumph, tells him that he is still—alone,—and he turns for a solace and companionship to the bright aerial shapes which minister to the yearnings of his unsatisfied heart, holding intercourse with them, till

“Of its own beauty is the mind diseased

And fevers into false creation. Where,
Where are the forms the sculptor's soul hath seized ?

In him alone. Can Nature show so fair?"
This is the unmistakeable badge which Genius sets on all her
children ; however they may differ in other respects, they all
bear a heart scorched with the flame of her own passion, felt
alike by him who has moved a nation's sympathies, and him who,

“ All unknown,

Sleeps with th' inglorious dead,

Forgot and gone.' There is a tendency in this matter-of-fact age to undervalue those things which have no direct practical bearing—to consider nothing important which is not visible and tangible ; imagination seems frightened back to her own sunny skies, by the rush and roar of the “go-ahead” world, and that kind of literature appears

to be most popular which professes to bring everything down to the understanding, rather than to exercise the spiritual faculties in their native regions. The same erroneous idea, we think, prevails in the system of instruction generally ; instead of letting a child feel its own powers, and revel in infantile delight at the unexplained wonders and fresh beauties which at once solicit and expand its mind, it must be early taught to become a “ useful member of society,” by having its little brain oppressed by an incubus of technical terms or pedantic phrases, and be compelled to acquire, by close and irksome attention, things which Nature would, at her own best time, instil with gentle yet impressive touch. We confess, we cannot in every respect accord with the oft-expressed sentiment,“ What great educational advantages are enjoyed by children in the present day?" In what do they consist -in forcing open with a hasty hand the young and tender buds of mind ?-in creating an unhealthy and injudicious emulation in precocious attainments ?-in exhausting the mental soil by crops too heavy for it ? Should we consider him wise, who would endeavour to plant an oak in a flower-pot? and is it quite judicious or beneficial to cloud the open brow of childhood with mannish thoughts, and to shadow with worldly wisdom, faces which “should not have borne this aspect yet for many a year

? The mental standard of succeeding generations must be the answer to these questions. The greatest men of whom the world could ever boast, have declared, at the close of their laborious lives, that they knew nothing. Poor neglected souls! We dare say there were no “Pestalozzian Systems ” in their day, or

- Philomathic Societies,” where sages, ten years old, revealed the hidden forms of Truth, or they would never have died in such a lamentable state of ignorance.

Let us return from this digression, and pay a visit to the studio of during his absence. Arrived at the top of the dark garret stairs, we open a low door, and there stands before us a work which turns the wretched attic into a temple; we are breathing an air hallowed by the presence of Soul personified, and we instinctively uncover, while gazing with mingled veneration and rapture on the more than mortal beauty which hushes, as it were, the very beating of our heart. The door opens and the artist enters; he sees us not, but seating himself languidly and wearily, he regards with a mournful expression the beauteous offspring of his imagination ; give it but a tongue,

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