Essays and Lectures
Part 3 out of 3
indeed a precious stone, this marble of yours, and only workmen of
nobility of invention and delicacy of hand should be allowed to
touch it at all, carving it into noble statues or into beautiful
decoration, or inlaying it with other coloured marbles: for 'the
true colours of architecture are those of natural stone, and I
would fain see them taken advantage of to the full. Every variety
is here, from pale yellow to purple passing through orange, red,
and brown, entirely at your command; nearly every kind of green and
grey also is attainable, and with these and with pure white what
harmony might you not achieve. Of stained and variegated stone the
quantity is unlimited, the kinds innumerable. Were brighter
colours required, let glass, and gold protected by glass, be used
in mosaic, a kind of work as durable as the solid stone and
incapable of losing its lustre by time. And let the painter's work
be reserved for the shadowed loggia and inner chamber.
'This is the true and faithful way of building. Where this cannot
be, the device of external colouring may indeed be employed without
dishonour - but it must be with the warning reflection that a time
will come when such aids will pass away and when the building will
be judged in its lifelessness, dying the death of the dolphin.
Better the less bright, more enduring fabric. The transparent
alabasters of San Miniato and the mosaics of Saint Mark's are more
warmly filled and more brightly touched by every return of morning
and evening, while the hues of the Gothic cathedrals have died like
the iris out of the cloud, and the temples, whose azure and purple
once flamed above the Grecian promontory, stand in their faded
whiteness like snows which the sunset has left cold.' - Ruskin,
SEVEN LAMPS OF ARCHITECTURE, II.
I do not know anything so perfectly commonplace in design as most
modern jewellery. How easy for you to change that and to produce
goldsmiths' work that would be a joy to all of us. The gold is
ready for you in unexhausted treasure, stored up in the mountain
hollow or strewn on the river sand, and was not given to you merely
for barren speculation. There should be some better record of it
left in your history than the merchant's panic and the ruined home.
We do not remember often enough how constantly the history of a
great nation will live in and by its art. Only a few thin wreaths
of beaten gold remain to tell us of the stately empire of Etruria;
and, while from the streets of Florence the noble knight and
haughty duke have long since passed away, the gates which the
simple goldsmith Ghiberti made for their pleasure still guard their
lovely house of baptism, worthy still of the praise of Michael
Angelo who called them worthy to be the Gates of Paradise.
Have then your school of design, search out your workmen and, when
you find one who has delicacy of hand and that wonder of invention
necessary for goldsmiths' work, do not leave him to toil in
obscurity and dishonour and have a great glaring shop and two great
glaring shop-boys in it (not to take your orders: they never do
that; but to force you to buy something you do not want at all).
When you want a thing wrought in gold, goblet or shield for the
feast, necklace or wreath for the women, tell him what you like
most in decoration, flower or wreath, bird in flight or hound in
the chase, image of the woman you love or the friend you honour.
Watch him as he beats out the gold into those thin plates delicate
as the petals of a yellow rose, or draws it into the long wires
like tangled sunbeams at dawn. Whoever that workman be, help him,
cherish him, and you will have such lovely work from his hand as
will be a joy to you for all time.
This is the spirit of our movement in England, and this is the
spirit in which we would wish you to work, making eternal by your
art all that is noble in your men and women, stately in your lakes
and mountains, beautiful in your own flowers and natural life. We
want to see that you have nothing in your houses that has not been
a joy to the man who made it, and is not a joy to those that use
it. We want to see you create an art made by the hands of the
people to please the hearts of the people too. Do you like this
spirit or not? Do you think it simple and strong, noble in its
aim, and beautiful in its result? I know you do.
Folly and slander have their own way for a little time, but for a
little time only. You now know what we mean: you will be able to
estimate what is said of us - its value and its motive.
There should be a law that no ordinary newspaper should be allowed
to write about art. The harm they do by their foolish and random
writing it would be impossible to overestimate - not to the artist
but to the public, blinding them to all, but harming the artist not
at all. Without them we would judge a man simply by his work; but
at present the newspapers are trying hard to induce the public to
judge a sculptor, for instance, never by his statues but by the way
he treats his wife; a painter by the amount of his income and a
poet by the colour of his neck-tie. I said there should be a law,
but there is really no necessity for a new law: nothing could be
easier than to bring the ordinary critic under the head of the
criminal classes. But let us leave such an inartistic subject and
return to beautiful and comely things, remembering that the art
which would represent the spirit of modern newspapers would be
exactly the art which you and I want to avoid - grotesque art,
malice mocking you from every gateway, slander sneering at you from
Perhaps you may be surprised at my talking of labour and the
workman. You have heard of me, I fear, through the medium of your
somewhat imaginative newspapers as, if not a 'Japanese young man,'
at least a young man to whom the rush and clamour and reality of
the modern world were distasteful, and whose greatest difficulty in
life was the difficulty of living up to the level of his blue china
- a paradox from which England has not yet recovered.
Well, let me tell you how it first came to me at all to create an
artistic movement in England, a movement to show the rich what
beautiful things they might enjoy and the poor what beautiful
things they might create.
One summer afternoon in Oxford - 'that sweet city with her dreaming
spires,' lovely as Venice in its splendour, noble in its learning
as Rome, down the long High Street that winds from tower to tower,
past silent cloister and stately gateway, till it reaches that
long, grey seven-arched bridge which Saint Mary used to guard (used
to, I say, because they are now pulling it down to build a tramway
and a light cast-iron bridge in its place, desecrating the
loveliest city in England) - well, we were coming down the street -
a troop of young men, some of them like myself only nineteen, going
to river or tennis-court or cricket-field - when Ruskin going up to
lecture in cap and gown met us. He seemed troubled and prayed us
to go back with him to his lecture, which a few of us did, and
there he spoke to us not on art this time but on life, saying that
it seemed to him to be wrong that all the best physique and
strength of the young men in England should be spent aimlessly on
cricket ground or river, without any result at all except that if
one rowed well one got a pewter-pot, and if one made a good score,
a cane-handled bat. He thought, he said, that we should be working
at something that would do good to other people, at something by
which we might show that in all labour there was something noble.
Well, we were a good deal moved, and said we would do anything he
wished. So he went out round Oxford and found two villages, Upper
and Lower Hinksey, and between them there lay a great swamp, so
that the villagers could not pass from one to the other without
many miles of a round. And when we came back in winter he asked us
to help him to make a road across this morass for these village
people to use. So out we went, day after day, and learned how to
lay levels and to break stones, and to wheel barrows along a plank
- a very difficult thing to do. And Ruskin worked with us in the
mist and rain and mud of an Oxford winter, and our friends and our
enemies came out and mocked us from the bank. We did not mind it
much then, and we did not mind it afterwards at all, but worked
away for two months at our road. And what became of the road?
Well, like a bad lecture it ended abruptly - in the middle of the
swamp. Ruskin going away to Venice, when we came back for the next
term there was no leader, and the 'diggers,' as they called us,
fell asunder. And I felt that if there was enough spirit amongst
the young men to go out to such work as road-making for the sake of
a noble ideal of life, I could from them create an artistic
movement that might change, as it has changed, the face of England.
So I sought them out - leader they would call me - but there was no
leader: we were all searchers only and we were bound to each other
by noble friendship and by noble art. There was none of us idle:
poets most of us, so ambitious were we: painters some of us, or
workers in metal or modellers, determined that we would try and
create for ourselves beautiful work: for the handicraftsman
beautiful work, for those who love us poems and pictures, for those
who love us not epigrams and paradoxes and scorn.
Well, we have done something in England and we will do something
more. Now, I do not want you, believe me, to ask your brilliant
young men, your beautiful young girls, to go out and make a road on
a swamp for any village in America, but I think you might each of
you have some art to practise.
We must have, as Emerson said, a mechanical craft for our culture,
a basis for our higher accomplishments in the work of our hands -
the uselessness of most people's hands seems to me one of the most
unpractical things. 'No separation from labour can be without some
loss of power or truth to the seer,' says Emerson again. The
heroism which would make on us the impression of Epaminondas must
be that of a domestic conqueror. The hero of the future is he who
shall bravely and gracefully subdue this Gorgon of fashion and of
When you have chosen your own part, abide by it, and do not weakly
try and reconcile yourself with the world. The heroic cannot be
the common nor the common the heroic. Congratulate yourself if you
have done something strange and extravagant and broken the monotony
of a decorous age.
And lastly, let us remember that art is the one thing which Death
cannot harm. The little house at Concord may be desolate, but the
wisdom of New England's Plato is not silenced nor the brilliancy of
that Attic genius dimmed: the lips of Longfellow are still musical
for us though his dust be turning into the flowers which he loved:
and as it is with the greater artists, poet and philosopher and
song-bird, so let it be with you.
LECTURE TO ART STUDENTS
IN the lecture which it is my privilege to deliver before you to-
night I do not desire to give you any abstract definition of beauty
at all. For we who are working in art cannot accept any theory of
beauty in exchange for beauty itself, and, so far from desiring to
isolate it in a formula appealing to the intellect, we, on the
contrary, seek to materialise it in a form that gives joy to the
soul through the senses. We want to create it, not to define it.
The definition should follow the work: the work should not adapt
itself to the definition.
Nothing, indeed, is more dangerous to the young artist than any
conception of ideal beauty: he is constantly led by it either into
weak prettiness or lifeless abstraction: whereas to touch the
ideal at all you must not strip it of vitality. You must find it
in life and re-create it in art.
While, then, on the one hand I do not desire to give you any
philosophy of beauty - for, what I want to-night is to investigate
how we can create art, not how we can talk of it - on the other
hand, I do not wish to deal with anything like a history of English
To begin with, such an expression as English art is a meaningless
expression. One might just as well talk of English mathematics.
Art is the science of beauty, and Mathematics the science of truth:
there is no national school of either. Indeed, a national school
is a provincial school, merely. Nor is there any such thing as a
school of art even. There are merely artists, that is all.
And as regards histories of art, they are quite valueless to you
unless you are seeking the ostentatious oblivion of an art
professorship. It is of no use to you to know the date of Perugino
or the birthplace of Salvator Rosa: all that you should learn
about art is to know a good picture when you see it, and a bad
picture when you see it. As regards the date of the artist, all
good work looks perfectly modern: a piece of Greek sculpture, a
portrait of Velasquez - they are always modern, always of our
time. And as regards the nationality of the artist, art is not
national but universal. As regards archaeology, then, avoid it
altogether: archaeology is merely the science of making excuses
for bad art; it is the rock on which many a young artist founders
and shipwrecks; it is the abyss from which no artist, old or young,
ever returns. Or, if he does return, he is so covered with the
dust of ages and the mildew of time, that he is quite
unrecognisable as an artist, and has to conceal himself for the
rest of his days under the cap of a professor, or as a mere
illustrator of ancient history. How worthless archaeology is in
art you can estimate by the fact of its being so popular.
Popularity is the crown of laurel which the world puts on bad art.
Whatever is popular is wrong.
As I am not going to talk to you, then, about the philosophy of the
beautiful, or the history of art, you will ask me what I am going
to talk about. The subject of my lecture to-night is what makes an
artist and what does the artist make; what are the relations of the
artist to his surroundings, what is the education the artist should
get, and what is the quality of a good work of art.
Now, as regards the relations of the artist to his surroundings, by
which I mean the age and country in which he is born. All good
art, as I said before, has nothing to do with any particular
century; but this universality is the quality of the work of art;
the conditions that produce that quality are different. And what,
I think, you should do is to realise completely your age in order
completely to abstract yourself from it; remembering that if you
are an artist at all, you will be not the mouthpiece of a century,
but the master of eternity, that all art rests on a principle, and
that mere temporal considerations are no principle at all; and that
those who advise you to make your art representative of the
nineteenth century are advising you to produce an art which your
children, when you have them, will think old-fashioned. But you
will tell me this is an inartistic age, and we are an inartistic
people, and the artist suffers much in this nineteenth century of
Of course he does. I, of all men, am not going to deny that. But
remember that there never has been an artistic age, or an artistic
people, since the beginning of the world. The artist has always
been, and will always be, an exquisite exception. There is no
golden age of art; only artists who have produced what is more
golden than gold.
WHAT, you will say to me, the Greeks? were not they an artistic
Well, the Greeks certainly not, but, perhaps, you mean the
Athenians, the citizens of one out of a thousand cities.
Do you think that they were an artistic people? Take them even at
the time of their highest artistic development, the latter part of
the fifth century before Christ, when they had the greatest poets
and the greatest artists of the antique world, when the Parthenon
rose in loveliness at the bidding of a Phidias, and the philosopher
spake of wisdom in the shadow of the painted portico, and tragedy
swept in the perfection of pageant and pathos across the marble of
the stage. Were they an artistic people then? Not a bit of it.
What is an artistic people but a people who love their artists and
understand their art? The Athenians could do neither.
How did they treat Phidias? To Phidias we owe the great era, not
merely in Greek, but in all art - I mean of the introduction of the
use of the living model.
And what would you say if all the English bishops, backed by the
English people, came down from Exeter Hall to the Royal Academy one
day and took off Sir Frederick Leighton in a prison van to Newgate
on the charge of having allowed you to make use of the living model
in your designs for sacred pictures?
Would you not cry out against the barbarism and the Puritanism of
such an idea? Would you not explain to them that the worst way to
honour God is to dishonour man who is made in His image, and is the
work of His hands; and, that if one wants to paint Christ one must
take the most Christlike person one can find, and if one wants to
paint the Madonna, the purest girl one knows?
Would you not rush off and burn down Newgate, if necessary, and say
that such a thing was without parallel in history?
Without parallel? Well, that is exactly what the Athenians did.
In the room of the Parthenon marbles, in the British Museum, you
will see a marble shield on the wall. On it there are two figures;
one of a man whose face is half hidden, the other of a man with the
godlike lineaments of Pericles. For having done this, for having
introduced into a bas relief, taken from Greek sacred history, the
image of the great statesman who was ruling Athens at the time,
Phidias was flung into prison and there, in the common gaol of
Athens, died, the supreme artist of the old world.
And do you think that this was an exceptional case? The sign of a
Philistine age is the cry of immorality against art, and this cry
was raised by the Athenian people against every great poet and
thinker of their day - AEschylus, Euripides, Socrates. It was the
same with Florence in the thirteenth century. Good handicrafts are
due to guilds, not to the people. The moment the guilds lost their
power and the people rushed in, beauty and honesty of work died.
And so, never talk of an artistic people; there never has been such
But, perhaps, you will tell me that the external beauty of the
world has almost entirely passed away from us, that the artist
dwells no longer in the midst of the lovely surroundings which, in
ages past, were the natural inheritance of every one, and that art
is very difficult in this unlovely town of ours, where, as you go
to your work in the morning, or return from it at eventide, you
have to pass through street after street of the most foolish and
stupid architecture that the world has ever seen; architecture,
where every lovely Greek form is desecrated and defiled, and every
lovely Gothic form defiled and desecrated, reducing three-fourths
of the London houses to being, merely, like square boxes of the
vilest proportions, as gaunt as they are grimy, and as poor as they
are pretentious - the hall door always of the wrong colour, and the
windows of the wrong size, and where, even when wearied of the
houses you turn to contemplate the street itself, you have nothing
to look at but chimney-pot hats, men with sandwich boards,
vermilion letter-boxes, and do that even at the risk of being run
over by an emerald-green omnibus.
Is not art difficult, you will say to me, in such surroundings as
these? Of course it is difficult, but then art was never easy; you
yourselves would not wish it to be easy; and, besides, nothing is
worth doing except what the world says is impossible.
Still, you do not care to be answered merely by a paradox. What
are the relations of the artist to the external world, and what is
the result of the loss of beautiful surroundings to you, is one of
the most important questions of modern art; and there is no point
on which Mr. Ruskin so insists as that the decadence of art has
come from the decadence of beautiful things; and that when the
artist cannot feed his eye on beauty, beauty goes from his work.
I remember in one of his lectures, after describing the sordid
aspect of a great English city, he draws for us a picture of what
were the artistic surroundings long ago.
Think, he says, in words of perfect and picturesque imagery, whose
beauty I can but feebly echo, think of what was the scene which
presented itself, in his afternoon walk, to a designer of the
Gothic school of Pisa - Nino Pisano or any of his men (22):
On each side of a bright river he saw rise a line of brighter
palaces, arched and pillared, and inlaid with deep red porphyry,
and with serpentine; along the quays before their gates were riding
troops of knights, noble in face and form, dazzling in crest and
shield; horse and man one labyrinth of quaint colour and gleaming
light - the purple, and silver, and scarlet fringes flowing over
the strong limbs and clashing mall, like sea-waves over rocks at
sunset. Opening on each side from the river were gardens, courts,
and cloisters; long successions of white pillars among wreaths of
vine; leaping of fountains through buds of pomegranate and orange:
and still along the garden-paths, and under and through the crimson
of the pomegranate shadows, moving slowly, groups of the fairest
women that Italy ever saw - fairest, because purest and
thoughtfullest; trained in all high knowledge, as in all courteous
art - in dance, in song, in sweet wit, in lofty learning, in
loftier courage, in loftiest love - able alike to cheer, to
enchant, or save, the souls of men. Above all this scenery of
perfect human life, rose dome and bell-tower, burning with white
alabaster and gold: beyond dome and bell-tower the slopes of
mighty hills hoary with olive; far in the north, above a purple sea
of peaks of solemn Apennine, the clear, sharp-cloven Carrara
mountains sent up their steadfast flames of marble summit into
amber sky; the great sea itself, scorching with expanse of light,
stretching from their feet to the Gorgonian isles; and over all
these, ever present, near or far - seen through the leaves of vine,
or imaged with all its march of clouds in the Arno's stream, or set
with its depth of blue close against the golden hair and burning
cheek of lady and knight, - that untroubled and sacred sky, which
was to all men, in those days of innocent faith, indeed the
unquestioned abode of spirits, as the earth was of men; and which
opened straight through its gates of cloud and veils of dew into
the awfulness of the eternal world; - a heaven in which every cloud
that passed was literally the chariot of an angel, and every ray of
its Evening and Morning streamed from the throne of God.
What think you of that for a school of design?
And then look at the depressing, monotonous appearance of any
modern city, the sombre dress of men and women, the meaningless and
barren architecture, the colourless and dreadful surroundings.
Without a beautiful national life, not sculpture merely, but all
the arts will die.
Well, as regards the religious feeling of the close of the passage,
I do not think I need speak about that. Religion springs from
religious feeling, art from artistic feeling: you never get one
from the other; unless you have the right root you will not get the
right flower; and, if a man sees in a cloud the chariot of an
angel, he will probably paint it very unlike a cloud.
But, as regards the general idea of the early part of that lovely
bit of prose, is it really true that beautiful surroundings are
necessary for the artist? I think not; I am sure not. Indeed, to
me the most inartistic thing in this age of ours is not the
indifference of the public to beautiful things, but the
indifference of the artist to the things that are called ugly.
For, to the real artist, nothing is beautiful or ugly in itself at
all. With the facts of the object he has nothing to do, but with
its appearance only, and appearance is a matter of light and shade,
of masses, of position, and of value.
Appearance is, in fact, a matter of effect merely, and it is with
the effects of nature that you have to deal, not with the real
condition of the object. What you, as painters, have to paint is
not things as they are but things as they seem to be, not things as
they are but things as they are not.
No object is so ugly that, under certain conditions of light and
shade, or proximity to other things, it will not look beautiful; no
object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not
look ugly. I believe that in every twenty-four hours what is
beautiful looks ugly, and what is ugly looks beautiful, once.
And, the commonplace character of so much of our English painting
seems to me due to the fact that so many of our young artists look
merely at what we may call 'ready-made beauty,' whereas you exist
as artists not to copy beauty but to create it in your art, to wait
and watch for it in nature.
What would you say of a dramatist who would take nobody but
virtuous people as characters in his play? Would you not say he
was missing half of life? Well, of the young artist who paints
nothing but beautiful things, I say he misses one half of the
Do not wait for life to be picturesque, but try and see life under
picturesque conditions. These conditions you can create for
yourself in your studio, for they are merely conditions of light.
In nature, you must wait for them, watch for them, choose them;
and, if you wait and watch, come they will.
In Gower Street at night you may see a letter-box that is
picturesque: on the Thames Embankment you may see picturesque
policemen. Even Venice is not always beautiful, nor France.
To paint what you see is a good rule in art, but to see what is
worth painting is better. See life under pictorial conditions. It
is better to live in a city of changeable weather than in a city of
Now, having seen what makes the artist, and what the artist makes,
who is the artist? There is a man living amongst us who unites in
himself all the qualities of the noblest art, whose work is a joy
for all time, who is, himself, a master of all time. That man is
* * * * * * * *
But, you will say, modern dress, that is bad. If you cannot paint
black cloth you could not have painted silken doublet. Ugly dress
is better for art - facts of vision, not of the object.
What is a picture? Primarily, a picture is a beautifully coloured
surface, merely, with no more spiritual message or meaning for you
than an exquisite fragment of Venetian glass or a blue tile from
the wall of Damascus. It is, primarily, a purely decorative thing,
a delight to look at.
All archaeological pictures that make you say 'How curious!' all
sentimental pictures that make you say, 'How sad!' all historical
pictures that make you say 'How interesting!' all pictures that do
not immediately give you such artistic joy as to make you say 'How
beautiful!' are bad pictures.
* * * * * * * *
We never know what an artist is going to do. Of course not. The
artist is not a specialist. All such divisions as animal painters,
landscape painters, painters of Scotch cattle in an English mist,
painters of English cattle in a Scotch mist, racehorse painters,
bull-terrier painters, all are shallow. If a man is an artist he
can paint everything.
The object of art is to stir the most divine and remote of the
chords which make music in our soul; and colour is indeed, of
itself a mystical presence on things, and tone a kind of sentinel.
Am I pleading, then, for mere technique? No. As long as there are
any signs of technique at all, the picture is unfinished. What is
finish? A picture is finished when all traces of work, and of the
means employed to bring about the result, have disappeared.
In the case of handicraftsmen - the weaver, the potter, the smith -
on their work are the traces of their hand. But it is not so with
the painter; it is not so with the artist.
Art should have no sentiment about it but its beauty, no technique
except what you cannot observe. One should be able to say of a
picture not that it is 'well painted,' but that it is 'not
What is the difference between absolutely decorative art and a
painting? Decorative art emphasises its material: imaginative art
annihilates it. Tapestry shows its threads as part of its beauty:
a picture annihilates its canvas: it shows nothing of it.
Porcelain emphasises its glaze: water-colours reject the paper.
A picture has no meaning but its beauty, no message but its joy.
That is the first truth about art that you must never lose sight
of. A picture is a purely decorative thing.
PROFESSIONAL models are a purely modern invention. To the Greeks,
for instance, they were quite unknown. Mr. Mahaffy, it is true,
tells us that Pericles used to present peacocks to the great ladies
of Athenian society in order to induce them to sit to his friend
Phidias, and we know that Polygnotus introduced into his picture of
the Trojan women the face of Elpinice, the celebrated sister of the
great Conservative leader of the day, but these GRANDES DAMES
clearly do not come under our category. As for the old masters,
they undoubtedly made constant studies from their pupils and
apprentices, and even their religious pictures are full of the
portraits of their friends and relations, but they do not seem to
have had the inestimable advantage of the existence of a class of
people whose sole profession is to pose. In fact the model, in our
sense of the word, is the direct creation of Academic Schools.
Every country now has its own models, except America. In New York,
and even in Boston, a good model is so great a rarity that most of
the artists are reduced to painting Niagara and millionaires. In
Europe, however, it is different. Here we have plenty of models,
and of every nationality. The Italian models are the best. The
natural grace of their attitudes, as well as the wonderful
picturesqueness of their colouring, makes them facile - often too
facile - subjects for the painter's brush. The French models,
though not so beautiful as the Italian, possess a quickness of
intellectual sympathy, a capacity, in fact, of understanding the
artist, which is quite remarkable. They have also a great command
over the varieties of facial expression, are peculiarly dramatic,
and can chatter the ARGOT of the ATELIER as cleverly as the critic
of the GIL BLAS. The English models form a class entirely by
themselves. They are not so picturesque as the Italian, nor so
clever as the French, and they have absolutely no tradition, so to
speak, of their order. Now and then some old veteran knocks at the
studio door, and proposes to sit as Ajax defying the lightning, or
as King Lear upon the blasted heath. One of them some time ago
called on a popular painter who, happening at the moment to require
his services, engaged him, and told him to begin by kneeling down
in the attitude of prayer. 'Shall I be Biblical or Shakespearean,
sir?' asked the veteran. 'Well - Shakespearean,' answered the
artist, wondering by what subtle nuance of expression the model
would convey the difference. 'All right, sir,' said the professor
of posing, and he solemnly knelt down and began to wink with his
left eye! This class, however, is dying out. As a rule the model,
nowadays, is a pretty girl, from about twelve to twenty-five years
of age, who knows nothing about art, cares less, and is merely
anxious to earn seven or eight shillings a day without much
trouble. English models rarely look at a picture, and never
venture on any aesthetic theories. In fact, they realise very
completely Mr. Whistler's idea of the function of an art critic,
for they pass no criticisms at all. They accept all schools of art
with the grand catholicity of the auctioneer, and sit to a
fantastic young impressionist as readily as to a learned and
laborious academician. They are neither for the Whistlerites nor
against them; the quarrel between the school of facts and the
school of effects touches them not; idealistic and naturalistic are
words that convey no meaning to their ears; they merely desire that
the studio shall be warm, and the lunch hot, for all charming
artists give their models lunch.
As to what they are asked to do they are equally indifferent. On
Monday they will don the rags of a beggar-girl for Mr. Pumper,
whose pathetic pictures of modern life draw such tears from the
public, and on Tuesday they will pose in a peplum for Mr. Phoebus,
who thinks that all really artistic subjects are necessarily B.C.
They career gaily through all centuries and through all costumes,
and, like actors, are interesting only when they are not
themselves. They are extremely good-natured, and very
accommodating. 'What do you sit for?' said a young artist to a
model who had sent him in her card (all models, by the way, have
cards and a small black bag). 'Oh, for anything you like, sir,'
said the girl, 'landscape if necessary!'
Intellectually, it must be acknowledged, they are Philistines, but
physically they are perfect - at least some are. Though none of
them can talk Greek, many can look Greek, which to a nineteenth-
century painter is naturally of great importance. If they are
allowed, they chatter a great deal, but they never say anything.
Their observations are the only BANALITES heard in Bohemia.
However, though they cannot appreciate the artist as artist, they
are quite ready to appreciate the artist as a man. They are very
sensitive to kindness, respect and generosity. A beautiful model
who had sat for two years to one of our most distinguished English
painters, got engaged to a street vendor of penny ices.
On her marriage the painter sent her a pretty wedding present, and
received in return a nice letter of thanks with the following
remarkable postscript: 'Never eat the green ices!'
When they are tired a wise artist gives them a rest. Then they sit
in a chair and read penny dreadfuls, till they are roused from the
tragedy of literature to take their place again in the tragedy of
art. A few of them smoke cigarettes. This, however, is regarded
by the other models as showing a want of seriousness, and is not
generally approved of. They are engaged by the day and by the
half-day. The tariff is a shilling an hour, to which great artists
usually add an omnibus fare. The two best things about them are
their extraordinary prettiness, and their extreme respectability.
As a class they are very well behaved, particularly those who sit
for the figure, a fact which is curious or natural according to the
view one takes of human nature. They usually marry well, and
sometimes they marry the artist. For an artist to marry his model
is as fatal as for a GOURMET to marry his cook: the one gets no
sittings, and the other gets no dinners.
On the whole the English female models are very naive, very
natural, and very good-humoured. The virtues which the artist
values most in them are prettiness and punctuality. Every sensible
model consequently keeps a diary of her engagements, and dresses
neatly. The bad season is, of course, the summer, when the artists
are out of town. However, of late years some artists have engaged
their models to follow them, and the wife of one of our most
charming painters has often had three or four models under her
charge in the country, so that the work of her husband and his
friends should not be interrupted. In France the models migrate EN
MASSE to the little seaport villages or forest hamlets where the
painters congregate. The English models, however, wait patiently
in London, as a rule, till the artists come back. Nearly all of
them live with their parents, and help to support the house. They
have every qualification for being immortalised in art except that
of beautiful hands. The hands of the English model are nearly
always coarse and red.
As for the male models, there is the veteran whom we have mentioned
above. He has all the traditions of the grand style, and is
rapidly disappearing with the school he represents. An old man who
talks about Fuseli is, of course, unendurable, and, besides,
patriarchs have ceased to be fashionable subjects. Then there is
the true Academy model. He is usually a man of thirty, rarely
good-looking, but a perfect miracle of muscles. In fact he is the
apotheosis of anatomy, and is so conscious of his own splendour
that he tells you of his tibia and his thorax, as if no one else
had anything of the kind. Then come the Oriental models. The
supply of these is limited, but there are always about a dozen in
London. They are very much sought after as they can remain
immobile for hours, and generally possess lovely costumes.
However, they have a very poor opinion of English art, which they
regard as something between a vulgar personality and a commonplace
photograph. Next we have the Italian youth who has come over
specially to be a model, or takes to it when his organ is out of
repair. He is often quite charming with his large melancholy eyes,
his crisp hair, and his slim brown figure. It is true he eats
garlic, but then he can stand like a faun and couch like a leopard,
so he is forgiven. He is always full of pretty compliments, and
has been known to have kind words of encouragement for even our
greatest artists. As for the English lad of the same age, he never
sits at all. Apparently he does not regard the career of a model
as a serious profession. In any case he is rarely, if ever, to be
got hold of. English boys, too, are difficult to find. Sometimes
an ex-model who has a son will curl his hair, and wash his face,
and bring him the round of the studios, all soap and shininess.
The young school don't like him, but the older school do, and when
he appears on the walls of the Royal Academy he is called THE
INFANT SAMUEL. Occasionally also an artist catches a couple of
GAMINS in the gutter and asks them to come to his studio. The
first time they always appear, but after that they don't keep their
appointments. They dislike sitting still, and have a strong and
perhaps natural objection to looking pathetic. Besides, they are
always under the impression that the artist is laughing at them.
It is a sad fact, but there is no doubt that the poor are
completely unconscious of their own picturesqueness. Those of them
who can be induced to sit do so with the idea that the artist is
merely a benevolent philanthropist who has chosen an eccentric
method of distributing alms to the undeserving. Perhaps the School
Board will teach the London GAMIN his own artistic value, and then
they will be better models than they are now. One remarkable
privilege belongs to the Academy model, that of extorting a
sovereign from any newly elected Associate or R.A. They wait at
Burlington House till the announcement is made, and then race to
the hapless artist's house. The one who arrives first receives the
money. They have of late been much troubled at the long distances
they have had to run, and they look with disfavour on the election
of artists who live at Hampstead or at Bedford Park, for it is
considered a point of honour not to employ the underground railway,
omnibuses, or any artificial means of locomotion. The race is to
Besides the professional posers of the studio there are posers of
the Row, the posers at afternoon teas, the posers in politics and
the circus posers. All four classes are delightful, but only the
last class is ever really decorative. Acrobats and gymnasts can
give the young painter infinite suggestions, for they bring into
their art an element of swiftness of motion and of constant change
that the studio model necessarily lacks. What is interesting in
these 'slaves of the ring' is that with them Beauty is an
unconscious result not a conscious aim, the result in fact of the
mathematical calculation of curves and distances, of absolute
precision of eye, of the scientific knowledge of the equilibrium of
forces, and of perfect physical training. A good acrobat is always
graceful, though grace is never his object; he is graceful because
he does what he has to do in the best way in which it can be done -
graceful because he is natural. If an ancient Greek were to come
to life now, which considering the probable severity of his
criticisms would be rather trying to our conceit, he would be found
far oftener at the circus than at the theatre. A good circus is an
oasis of Hellenism in a world that reads too much to be wise, and
thinks too much to be beautiful. If it were not for the running-
ground at Eton, the towing-path at Oxford, the Thames swimming-
baths, and the yearly circuses, humanity would forget the plastic
perfection of its own form, and degenerate into a race of short-
sighted professors and spectacled PRECIEUSES. Not that the circus
proprietors are, as a rule, conscious of their high mission. Do
they not bore us with the HAUTE ECOLE, and weary us with
Shakespearean clowns? Still, at least, they give us acrobats, and
the acrobat is an artist. The mere fact that he never speaks to
the audience shows how well he appreciates the great truth that the
aim of art is not to reveal personality but to please. The clown
may be blatant, but the acrobat is always beautiful. He is an
interesting combination of the spirit of Greek sculpture with the
spangles of the modern costumier. He has even had his niche in the
novels of our age, and if MANETTE SALOMON be the unmasking of the
model, LES FRERES ZEMGANNO is the apotheosis of the acrobat.
As regards the influence of the ordinary model on our English
school of painting, it cannot be said that it is altogether good.
It is, of course, an advantage for the young artist sitting in his
studio to be able to isolate 'a little corner of life,' as the
French say, from disturbing surroundings, and to study it under
certain effects of light and shade. But this very isolation leads
often to mere mannerism in the painter, and robs him of that broad
acceptance of the general facts of life which is the very essence
of art. Model-painting, in a word, while it may be the condition
of art, is not by any means its aim.
It is simply practice, not perfection. Its use trains the eye and
the hand of the painter, its abuse produces in his work an effect
of mere posing and prettiness. It is the secret of much of the
artificiality of modern art, this constant posing of pretty people,
and when art becomes artificial it becomes monotonous. Outside the
little world of the studio, with its draperies and its BRIC-E-BRAC,
lies the world of life with its infinite, its Shakespearean
variety. We must, however, distinguish between the two kinds of
models, those who sit for the figure and those who sit for the
costume. The study of the first is always excellent, but the
costume-model is becoming rather wearisome in modern pictures. It
is really of very little use to dress up a London girl in Greek
draperies and to paint her as a goddess. The robe may be the robe
of Athens, but the face is usually the face of Brompton. Now and
then, it is true, one comes across a model whose face is an
exquisite anachronism, and who looks lovely and natural in the
dress of any century but her own. This, however, is rather rare.
As a rule models are absolutely DE NOTRE SIECLE, and should be
painted as such. Unfortunately they are not, and, as a
consequence, we are shown every year a series of scenes from fancy
dress balls which are called historical pictures, but are little
more than mediocre representations of modern people masquerading.
In France they are wiser. The French painter uses the model simply
for study; for the finished picture he goes direct to life.
However, we must not blame the sitters for the shortcomings of the
artists. The English models are a well-behaved and hard-working
class, and if they are more interested in artists than in art, a
large section of the public is in the same condition, and most of
our modern exhibitions seem to justify its choice.
POEMS IN PROSE
ONE evening there came into his soul the desire to fashion an image
of THE PLEASURE THAT ABIDETH FOR A MOMENT. And he went forth into
the world to look for bronze. For he could think only in bronze.
But all the bronze of the whole world had disappeared, nor anywhere
in the whole world was there any bronze to be found, save only the
bronze of the image of THE SORROW THAT ENDURETH FOR EVER.
Now this image he had himself, and with his own hands, fashioned,
and had set it on the tomb of the one thing he had loved in life.
On the tomb of the dead thing he had most loved had he set this
image of his own fashioning, that it might serve as a sign of the
love of man that dieth not, and a symbol of the sorrow of man that
endureth for ever. And in the whole world there was no other
bronze save the bronze of this image.
And he took the image he had fashioned, and set it in a great
furnace, and gave it to the fire.
And out of the bronze of the image of THE SORROW THAT ENDURETH FOR
EVER he fashioned an image of THE PLEASURE THAT ABIDETH FOR A
THE DOER OF GOOD
It was night-time and He was alone.
And He saw afar-off the walls of a round city and went towards the
And when He came near He heard within the city the tread of the
feet of joy, and the laughter of the mouth of gladness and the loud
noise of many lutes. And He knocked at the gate and certain of the
gate-keepers opened to Him.
And He beheld a house that was of marble and had fair pillars of
marble before it. The pillars were hung with garlands, and within
and without there were torches of cedar. And He entered the house.
And when He had passed through the hall of chalcedony and the hall
of jasper, and reached the long hall of feasting, He saw lying on a
couch of sea-purple one whose hair was crowned with red roses and
whose lips were red with wine.
And He went behind him and touched him on the shoulder and said to
him, 'Why do you live like this?'
And the young man turned round and recognised Him, and made answer
and said, 'But I was a leper once, and you healed me. How else
should I live?'
And He passed out of the house and went again into the street.
And after a little while He saw one whose face and raiment were
painted and whose feet were shod with pearls. And behind her came,
slowly as a hunter, a young man who wore a cloak of two colours.
Now the face of the woman was as the fair face of an idol, and the
eyes of the young man were bright with lust.
And He followed swiftly and touched the hand of the young man and
said to him, 'Why do you look at this woman and in such wise?'
And the young man turned round and recognised Him and said, 'But I
was blind once, and you gave me sight. At what else should I
And He ran forward and touched the painted raiment of the woman and
said to her, 'Is there no other way in which to walk save the way
And the woman turned round and recognised Him, and laughed and
said, 'But you forgave me my sins, and the way is a pleasant way.'
And He passed out of the city.
And when He had passed out of the city He saw seated by the
roadside a young man who was weeping.
And He went towards him and touched the long locks of his hair and
said to him, 'Why are you weeping?'
And the young man looked up and recognised Him and made answer,
'But I was dead once, and you raised me from the dead. What else
should I do but weep?'
When Narcissus died the pool of his pleasure changed from a cup of
sweet waters into a cup of salt tears, and the Oreads came weeping
through the woodland that they might sing to the pool and give it
And when they saw that the pool had changed from a cup of sweet
waters into a cup of salt tears, they loosened the green tresses of
their hair and cried to the pool and said, 'We do not wonder that
you should mourn in this manner for Narcissus, so beautiful was
'But was Narcissus beautiful?' said the pool.
'Who should know that better than you?' answered the Oreads. 'Us
did he ever pass by, but you he sought for, and would lie on your
banks and look down at you, and in the mirror of your waters he
would mirror his own beauty.'
And the pool answered, 'But I loved Narcissus because, as he lay on
my banks and looked down at me, in the mirror of his eyes I saw
ever my own beauty mirrored.'
Now when the darkness came over the earth Joseph of Arimathea,
having lighted a torch of pinewood, passed down from the hill into
the valley. For he had business in his own home.
And kneeling on the flint stones of the Valley of Desolation he saw
a young man who was naked and weeping. His hair was the colour of
honey, and his body was as a white flower, but he had wounded his
body with thorns and on his hair had he set ashes as a crown.
And he who had great possessions said to the young man who was
naked and weeping, 'I do not wonder that your sorrow is so great,
for surely He was a just man.'
And the young man answered, 'It is not for Him that I am weeping,
but for myself. I too have changed water into wine, and I have
healed the leper and given sight to the blind. I have walked upon
the waters, and from the dwellers in the tombs I have cast out
devils. I have fed the hungry in the desert where there was no
food, and I have raised the dead from their narrow houses, and at
my bidding, and before a great multitude, of people, a barren fig-
tree withered away. All things that this man has done I have done
also. And yet they have not crucified me.'
THE HOUSE OF JUDGMENT
And there was silence in the House of Judgment, and the Man came
naked before God.
And God opened the Book of the Life of the Man.
And God said to the Man, 'Thy life hath been evil, and thou hast
shown cruelty to those who were in need of succour, and to those
who lacked help thou hast been bitter and hard of heart. The poor
called to thee and thou didst not hearken, and thine ears were
closed to the cry of My afflicted. The inheritance of the
fatherless thou didst take unto thyself, and thou didst send the
foxes into the vineyard of thy neighbour's field. Thou didst take
the bread of the children and give it to the dogs to eat, and My
lepers who lived in the marshes, and were at peace and praised Me,
thou didst drive forth on to the highways, and on Mine earth out of
which I made thee thou didst spill innocent blood.'
And the Man made answer and said, 'Even so did I.'
And again God opened the Book of the Life of the Man.
And God said to the Man, 'Thy life hath been evil, and the Beauty I
have shown thou hast sought for, and the Good I have hidden thou
didst pass by. The walls of thy chamber were painted with images,
and from the bed of thine abominations thou didst rise up to the
sound of flutes. Thou didst build seven altars to the sins I have
suffered, and didst eat of the thing that may not be eaten, and the
purple of thy raiment was broidered with the three signs of shame.
Thine idols were neither of gold nor of silver that endure, but of
flesh that dieth. Thou didst stain their hair with perfumes and
put pomegranates in their hands. Thou didst stain their feet with
saffron and spread carpets before them. With antimony thou didst
stain their eyelids and their bodies thou didst smear with myrrh.
Thou didst bow thyself to the ground before them, and the thrones
of thine idols were set in the sun. Thou didst show to the sun thy
shame and to the moon thy madness.'
And the Man made answer and said, 'Even so did I.'
And a third time God opened the Book of the Life of the Man.
And God said to the Man, 'Evil hath been thy life, and with evil
didst thou requite good, and with wrongdoing kindness. The hands
that fed thee thou didst wound, and the breasts that gave thee suck
thou didst despise. He who came to thee with water went away
thirsting, and the outlawed men who hid thee in their tents at
night thou didst betray before dawn. Thine enemy who spared thee
thou didst snare in an ambush, and the friend who walked with thee
thou didst sell for a price, and to those who brought thee Love
thou didst ever give Lust in thy turn.'
And the Man made answer and said, 'Even so did I.'
And God closed the Book of the Life of the Man, and said, 'Surely I
will send thee into Hell. Even into Hell will I send thee.'
And the Man cried out, 'Thou canst not.'
And God said to the Man, 'Wherefore can I not send thee to Hell,
and for what reason?'
'Because in Hell have I always lived,' answered the Man.
And there was silence in the House of Judgment.
And after a space God spake, and said to the Man, 'Seeing that I
may not send thee into Hell, surely I will send thee unto Heaven.
Even unto Heaven will I send thee.'
And the Man cried out, 'Thou canst not.'
And God said to the Man, 'Wherefore can I not send thee unto
Heaven, and for what reason?'
'Because never, and in no place, have I been able to imagine it,'
answered the Man.
And there was silence in the House of Judgment.
THE TEACHER OF WISDOM
From his childhood he had been as one filled with the perfect
knowledge of God, and even while he was yet but a lad many of the
saints, as well as certain holy women who dwelt in the free city of
his birth, had been stirred to much wonder by the grave wisdom of
And when his parents had given him the robe and the ring of manhood
he kissed them, and left them and went out into the world, that he
might speak to the world about God. For there were at that time
many in the world who either knew not God at all, or had but an
incomplete knowledge of Him, or worshipped the false gods who dwell
in groves and have no care of their worshippers.
And he set his face to the sun and journeyed, walking without
sandals, as he had seen the saints walk, and carrying at his girdle
a leathern wallet and a little water-bottle of burnt clay.
And as he walked along the highway he was full of the joy that
comes from the perfect knowledge of God, and he sang praises unto
God without ceasing; and after a time he reached a strange land in
which there were many cities.
And he passed through eleven cities. And some of these cities were
in valleys, and others were by the banks of great rivers, and
others were set on hills. And in each city he found a disciple who
loved him and followed him, and a great multitude also of people
followed him from each city, and the knowledge of God spread in the
whole land, and many of the rulers were converted, and the priests
of the temples in which there were idols found that half of their
gain was gone, and when they beat upon their drums at noon none, or
but a few, came with peacocks and with offerings of flesh as had
been the custom of the land before his coming.
Yet the more the people followed him, and the greater the number of
his disciples, the greater became his sorrow. And he knew not why
his sorrow was so great. For he spake ever about God, and out of
the fulness of that perfect knowledge of God which God had Himself
given to him.
And one evening he passed out of the eleventh city, which was a
city of Armenia, and his disciples and a great crowd of people
followed after him; and he went up on to a mountain and sat down on
a rock that was on the mountain, and his disciples stood round him,
and the multitude knelt in the valley.
And he bowed his head on his hands and wept, and said to his Soul,
'Why is it that I am full of sorrow and fear, and that each of my
disciples is an enemy that walks in the noonday?' And his Soul
answered him and said, 'God filled thee with the perfect knowledge
of Himself, and thou hast given this knowledge away to others. The
pearl of great price thou hast divided, and the vesture without
seam thou hast parted asunder. He who giveth away wisdom robbeth
himself. He is as one who giveth his treasure to a robber. Is not
God wiser than thou art? Who art thou to give away the secret that
God hath told thee? I was rich once, and thou hast made me poor.
Once I saw God, and now thou hast hidden Him from me.'
And he wept again, for he knew that his Soul spake truth to him,
and that he had given to others the perfect knowledge of God, and
that he was as one clinging to the skirts of God, and that his
faith was leaving him by reason of the number of those who believed
And he said to himself, 'I will talk no more about God. He who
giveth away wisdom robbeth himself.'
And after the space of some hours his disciples came near him and
bowed themselves to the ground and said, 'Master, talk to us about
God, for thou hast the perfect knowledge of God, and no man save
thee hath this knowledge.'
And he answered them and said, 'I will talk to you about all other
things that are in heaven and on earth, but about God I will not
talk to you. Neither now, nor at any time, will I talk to you
And they were wroth with him and said to him, 'Thou hast led us
into the desert that we might hearken to thee. Wilt thou send us
away hungry, and the great multitude that thou hast made to follow
And he answered them and said, 'I will not talk to you about God.'
And the multitude murmured against him and said to him, 'Thou hast
led us into the desert, and hast given us no food to eat. Talk to
us about God and it will suffice us.'
But he answered them not a word. For he knew that if he spake to
them about God he would give away his treasure.
And his disciples went away sadly, and the multitude of people
returned to their own homes. And many died on the way.
And when he was alone he rose up and set his face to the moon, and
journeyed for seven moons, speaking to no man nor making any
answer. And when the seventh moon had waned he reached that desert
which is the desert of the Great River. And having found a cavern
in which a Centaur had once dwelt, he took it for his place of
dwelling, and made himself a mat of reeds on which to lie, and
became a hermit. And every hour the Hermit praised God that He had
suffered him to keep some knowledge of Him and of His wonderful
Now, one evening, as the Hermit was seated before the cavern in
which he had made his place of dwelling, he beheld a young man of
evil and beautiful face who passed by in mean apparel and with
empty hands. Every evening with empty hands the young man passed
by, and every morning he returned with his hands full of purple and
pearls. For he was a Robber and robbed the caravans of the
And the Hermit looked at him and pitied him. But he spake not a
word. For he knew that he who speaks a word loses his faith.
And one morning, as the young man returned with his hands full of
purple and pearls, he stopped and frowned and stamped his foot upon
the sand, and said to the Hermit: 'Why do you look at me ever in
this manner as I pass by? What is it that I see in your eyes? For
no man has looked at me before in this manner. And the thing is a
thorn and a trouble to me.'
And the Hermit answered him and said, 'What you see in my eyes is
pity. Pity is what looks out at you from my eyes.'
And the young man laughed with scorn, and cried to the Hermit in a
bitter voice, and said to him, 'I have purple and pearls in my
hands, and you have but a mat of reeds on which to lie. What pity
should you have for me? And for what reason have you this pity?'
'I have pity for you,' said the Hermit, 'because you have no
knowledge of God.'
'Is this knowledge of God a precious thing?' asked the young man,
and he came close to the mouth of the cavern.
'It is more precious than all the purple and the pearls of the
world,' answered the Hermit.
'And have you got it?' said the young Robber, and he came closer
'Once, indeed,' answered the Hermit, 'I possessed the perfect
knowledge of God. But in my foolishness I parted with it, and
divided it amongst others. Yet even now is such knowledge as
remains to me more precious than purple or pearls.'
And when the young Robber heard this he threw away the purple and
the pearls that he was bearing in his hands, and drawing a sharp
sword of curved steel he said to the Hermit, 'Give me, forthwith
this knowledge of God that you possess, or I will surely slay you.
Wherefore should I not slay him who has a treasure greater than my
And the Hermit spread out his arms and said, 'Were it not better
for me to go unto the uttermost courts of God and praise Him, than
to live in the world and have no knowledge of Him? Slay me if that
be your desire. But I will not give away my knowledge of God.'
And the young Robber knelt down and besought him, but the Hermit
would not talk to him about God, nor give him his Treasure, and the
young Robber rose up and said to the Hermit, 'Be it as you will.
As for myself, I will go to the City of the Seven Sins, that is but
three days' journey from this place, and for my purple they will
give me pleasure, and for my pearls they will sell me joy.' And he
took up the purple and the pearls and went swiftly away.
And the Hermit cried out and followed him and besought him. For
the space of three days he followed the young Robber on the road
and entreated him to return, nor to enter into the City of the
And ever and anon the young Robber looked back at the Hermit and
called to him, and said, 'Will you give me this knowledge of God
which is more precious than purple and pearls? If you will give me
that, I will not enter the city.'
And ever did the Hermit answer, 'All things that I have I will give
thee, save that one thing only. For that thing it is not lawful
for me to give away.'
And in the twilight of the third day they came nigh to the great
scarlet gates of the City of the Seven Sins. And from the city
there came the sound of much laughter.
And the young Robber laughed in answer, and sought to knock at the
gate. And as he did so the Hermit ran forward and caught him by
the skirts of his raiment, and said to him: 'Stretch forth your
hands, and set your arms around my neck, and put your ear close to
my lips, and I will give you what remains to me of the knowledge of
God.' And the young Robber stopped.
And when the Hermit had given away his knowledge of God, he fell
upon the ground and wept, and a great darkness hid from him the
city and the young Robber, so that he saw them no more.
And as he lay there weeping he was ware of One who was standing
beside him; and He who was standing beside him had feet of brass
and hair like fine wool. And He raised the Hermit up, and said to
him: 'Before this time thou hadst the perfect knowledge of God.
Now thou shalt have the perfect love of God. Wherefore art thou
weeping?' And he kissed him.
(1) Plato's LAWS; AEschylus' PROMETHEUS BOUND.
(2) Somewhat in the same spirit Plato, in his LAWS, appeals to the
local position of Ilion among the rivers of the plain, as a proof
that it was not built till long after the Deluge.
(3) Plutarch remarks that the ONLY evidence Greece possesses of the
truth that the legendary power of Athens is no 'romance or idle
story,' is the public and sacred buildings. This is an instance of
the exaggerated importance given to ruins against which Thucydides
is warning us.
(4) The fictitious sale in the Roman marriage PER COEMPTIONEM was
originally, of course, a real sale.
(5) Notably, of course, in the case of heat and its laws.
(6) Cousin errs a good deal in this respect. To say, as he did,
'Give me the latitude and the longitude of a country, its rivers
and its mountains, and I will deduce the race,' is surely a glaring
(7) The monarchical, aristocratical, and democratic elements of the
Roman constitution are referred to.
(8) Polybius, vi. 9. [Greek text which cannot be reproduced]
(9) [Greek text which cannot be reproduced]
(10) The various stages are [Greek text which cannot be
reproduced], [Greek text which cannot be reproduced].
(11) Polybius, xii. 24.
(12) Polybius, i. 4, viii. 4, specially; and really PASSIM.
(13) He makes one exception.
(14) Polybius, viii. 4.
(15) Polybius, xvi. 12.
(16) Polybius, viii. 4: [Greek text which cannot be reproduced]
(17) Polybius resembled Gibbon in many respects. Like him he held
that all religions were to the philosopher equally false, to the
vulgar equally true, to the statesman equally useful.
(18) Cf. Polybius, xii. 25, [Greek text which cannot be reproduced]
(19) Polybius, xxii. 8.
(20) I mean particularly as regards his sweeping denunciation of
the complete moral decadence of Greek society during the
Peloponnesain War, which, from what remains to us of Athenian
literature, we know must have been completely exaggerated. Or,
rather, he is looking at men merely in their political dealings:
and in politics the man who is personally honourable and refined
will not scruple to do anything for his party.
(21) Polybius, xii. 25.
(22) THE TWO PATHS, Lect. iii. p. 123 (1859 ed.).
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