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FUTURE PUNISHMENT.

valent. Beside which, this whole argument proceeds on an
assumption the contrary of palpable fact. Look over the whole
field of the present or the past, and it will be found that no men
have insisted so earnestly on the actuality of the Holy Spirit's
influence in the human soul, as the men who have insisted the
most on the speciality of the Holy Spirit's inspiration in the
Experience has demonstrated that the latter
written word.
doctrine, so far from being antagonist to the former, is eminently
favourable to it—its surest guarantee. It is the men who narrow
the sphere of inspiration in the Scriptures, who narrow the idea
of divine influence everywhere. For ourselves, we believe in
both, and in both as being, up to a certain point, of the same

nature.

But the concluding portion of this volume touches on the Mr. Maurice finds in the doctrine of Future Punishment.' Romanist doctrine of an intermediate and purgatorial state, the needed amelioration of our Protestant teaching on this subject. Belief in the doctrine of the eternity of future suffering he distinctly and emphatically disavows. He does this mainly on the assumption, that the word 'eternal,' in this connexion, is used in contrast with the word 'temporal-and as not referring at all, in consequence, to the duration of pleasure or pain in a future state, but simply as denoting opposite conditions of being the terms 'eternal life' being used to denote the state of a soul loving God; and eternal death' to denote the state of a soul not loving God. We need say nothing about the value of a criticism of this description. That Mr. Maurice should, for a moment, suppose that it relieves him from his difficulty, betrays, in our view, a marvellous infirmity of judgment.

We can truly say, we began the reading of this volume with a disposition to think the best of it-to be pleased with it, as a whole, if possible. But this we find to be impossible. It disturbs everything within the range of theological opinion, without really amending anything. It never seems to abate difficulty in one form, without presenting that same difficulty in another form. It denounces evils said to be the natural result of our popular theology; and it ensures the recurrence of the same evils by the new theology which it would substitute in the place of the old. In a word, we have never met with so large a degree of zeal on The the side of innovation, allied with so small a degree of the forecast, breadth, and caution, necessary to its guidance. structure is, indeed, huge-colossal, but the basis, whether of authority or logic, on which it rests, is the most slender imaginable. We say thus much with regret; but we feel bound to say it.

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ART. VI.-The Stones of Venice. The Sea Stories. By JOHN RUSKIN. Vol. II.

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WE took leave of Mr. Ruskin at the close of his last interesting and suggestive volume, just as his gondola had reached the straggling line of low and confused brick buildings,' with the four or five domes, pale, and apparently at a greater distance, 'that rise over the centre of the line, that unpicturesque entrance from the canal of Mestre, to that most picturesque of all cities, whose half-buried, and almost unknown treasures of ancient art, are in the volume before us the theme of his deep and eager admiration; nor are we surprised that in the very first paragraph we should find hearty denunciations of the iron line' which has intercepted the noble landscape of approach to that fair city of the waters, once seen afar off rising from the blue lagoon. But at last, when upon the traveller's sight opened the long ranges of 'columned palaces, each with its black boat moored at the portal -each with its image cast down beneath its feet, upon that green 'pavement which every breeze broke into new fantasies of rich tesse'lation; when first at the extremity of the bright vista, the shadowy 'Rialto threw its colossal curve slowly forth from behind the palace of the Camerlenghi; . . . and when at last the boat darted forth upon the breadth of silver sea, across which the front of the ducal 'palace, flushed with its sanguine veins, looks to the snowy dome of our Lady of Salvation-then the strange beauty and glory of Venice burst upon the view,' and it was no marvel that the mind should be entranced by the visionary charm of a scene so beautiful and so strange, as to forget the darker truths of its history and being.

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And yet, the Venice of popular story, the Venice of modern fiction and drama, and the Venice of middle-age history, are wholly different-different as the palaces of the Renaissance are from the precious Byzantine structures on whose ruins they are built, or the noble Gothic dwellings now nodding in hopeless ruins.

'No prisoner whose name is worth remembering, or whose sorrow deserved sympathy, ever crossed that 'Bridge of Sighs,' which is the centre of the Byronic ideal of Venice; no great merchant of Venice ever saw that Rialto, under which the traveller now passes with breathless interest; the statue which Byron makes Faliero address, as of one of his great ancestors, was erected to a soldier of fortune a hundred and fifty years after Faliero's death; and the most conspicuous parts of the city have been so altered in the course of the last three centuries, that if Henry Dandolo or Francis Foscari could be summoned from their tombs, and stand each on the deck of his galley at the entrance of the Grand Canal-the mighty doges would not

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THE VENICE OF EARLY TIMES.

know in what spot of the world they stood, would literally not re-
cognise one stone of the great city, for whose sake and by whose ingra-
titude their grey hairs had been brought down with bitterness to the
The remains of their Venice lie hidden behind cumbrous
grave.
masses which were the delight of the nation in its dotage; hidden in
many a grass-grown court, and silent pathway, and lightless canal,
where the slow waves have sapped their foundations for five hundred
years, and must soon prevail over them for ever.'

It is, therefore, Venice as it was that we are called to contemplate; the lost city, more gorgeous a thousand-fold than that which now exists, yet not created in the day-dream of the prince, nor by the ostentation of the noble, but built by iron hands and 'patient hearts, contending against the adversity of nature and the 'fury of man.'

The story, how the foundations of Venice were laid by fugitives. from the main land of Italy, who, like the Hollanders ages later, sought in the sea a refuge denied to them on land, is well known ; but there was an older city nearer the shore, the mother of gorgeous Venice; but its sole remains now are four tenantless, ruined buildings, lying like a little company of ships becalmed This is Torcello. on a far-away sea."

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"Thirteen hundred years ago, the grey moorland looked as it does this day, and the purple mountains stood as radiantly in the deep dismany tances of evening; but on the line of the horizon there were strange fires mixed with the light of sunset, and the lament of voices mixed with the fretting of the waves on their edges of sand. The flames rose from the ruins of Altinum, the lament from the multitude of its people seeking, like Israel of old, a refuge from the sword in the paths of the sea.'

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And here they first settled, and here built the church among whose ruins, and upon their mouldering capitals Mr. Ruskin thinks he can recognise the gothic energy and love of life, mingled with the early Christian symbolism struggling daily 'into more vigorous expression.' In these (represented in plate II.) the acanthus, modified, but beautifully modified, from the strict Corinthian type, appears supported by a graceful range of vineleaves, exquisitely chiselled, the stalks cut clear, so that they might be grasped by the hand; and casting sharp, dark shadows, 'perpetually changing, across the bell of the capital behind them." The enthusiasm with which Mr. Ruskin expatiates upon these capitals has been ridiculed, most unjustly we think, whether their intrinsic beauty be considered, or their importance as marking, or nearly so, the period when the delicate fancies of gothic leafage were springing into new life;' those delicate fancies, those endless varieties of exquisite ornamentation which, ere long,

filled every land of western Christendom with new and hitherto unthought-of beauties.

Passing over the chapter on Murano, in which our author follows out his theory of incrustation,' about which many hard things have, with but little justice, been said; and his graphic description of its mosaic dome and pavement-the latter, in his mind, one of the most precious monuments in Italy; showing thus early, and in these rude chequers, which the bared knee of 'the Murano fisher wears in its daily bending, the beginning of 'that mighty spirit of Venetian colour which was to be consummated in Titian;' passing, though reluctantly, over this, we return to Venice, and, in the fourth chapter, enter St. Mark's.

Through the seven-feet wide alley, crowded with passengers, eating-houses, fruit-shops, and wine-shops, painted by our conductor with a minuteness worthy of Teniers; across the bridge, and through the 'Bocca di Piazza' into the shadow of the pillars, we follow him, for between these pillars open a great light, and as we advance slowly, the vast tower of St. Mark seems to lift itself visibly forth from the level field of chequered stones, and on ' each side the countless arches prolong themselves into ranged symmetry, as if the rugged and irregular houses had been struck 'back into sudden obedience and lovely order.'

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'And well may they fall back, for beyond these troops of ordered arches, there rises a vision out of the earth, and all the great square seems to have opened from it in a kind of awe, that we may see it far away-a multitude of pillars and white domes, clustered into a long low pyramid of coloured light, a treasure heap, it seems, partly of gold, partly of opal, and mother of pearl, hollowed beneath into five great vaulted porches, ceiled with fair mosaics, and beset with sculpture of alabaster, clear as amber, delicate as ivory-sculpture fantastic and involved, of palm leaves, and lilies, and grapes, and pomegranates, and birds clinging and fluttering among the branches, all turned together into an endless network of buds and plumes, and in the midst of it the solemn forms of angels, sceptred and robed to the feet, and leaning to each other across the gates, their figures indistinct among the gleaming of the golden ground through the leaves beside them, interrupted and dim, like the morning light as it faded back among the branches of Eden, when first its gates were angel-guarded long ago. And round the walls of the porches there are set pillars of variegated stones, jasper, and porphyry, and deep green serpentine spotted with flakes of snow, and marbles that half refuse, half yield, to the sunshine, Cleopatra like, their bluest veins to kiss;' their capitals rich with interwoven tracery, rooted knots of herbage, and drifting leaves of acanthus and vine, and mystical signs, all beginning and ending in the cross; and above them, in the broad archivolts, a continuous chain of language and of life-angels, and the signs of heaven, and the labours of men,

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ST. MARK'S ITS SPLENdour.

463

each in its appointed season upon earth, and above them another range of glittering pinnacles, mixed with white arches edged with scarlet flowers-a confusion of delight, amidst which the breasts of the Greek horses are seen blazing in their breadth of golden strength, and the St. Mark's lion, lifted on a blue field covered with stars, until at last, as if in ecstacy, the crests of the arches break into a marble foam, and toss themselves far into the blue sky, in flashes and wreaths of sculptured spray, as if the breakers of the Lido shore had been frost-bound before they fell, and the sea-nymphs had inlaid them with coral and amethyst.'

The exquisite beauty of this piece of 'word painting,' must be felt by every reader; but the exquisite beauty of the reality awakens no responsive feeling in the hearts of those who day by day'priest and laymen, soldier and civilian, rich and poor-pass it by. In the square the Venetian listlessly sips his coffee, and the bands of the Austrian regiments play there during vespers, the march drowning the miserere,' and the lowest of the population lie in its very porches, 'basking in the sun like lizards; and un'regarded children-every heavy glance of their young eyes full of 'desperation and stony depravity-gamble, fight, snarl, and sleep, 'hour after hour' there. Truly, the finest forms of church architecture are powerless enough, unaided by other and mightier influences.

But there was a time, long, long ago, in the history of Venice, when all this beauty spoke to the hearts of its people, and when the solemn mosaics, with their numberless scripture histories, breathed forth gentle monitions and awful warnings; and when, in the enforced absence of the written word, St. Mark's came to be regarded 'less as a temple to pray in, than as itself a vast illu'minated missal,' or rather, a vast pictorial Bible, 'bound with. 'alabaster instead of parchment, studded with porphyry pillars 'instead of jewels, and written within and without in letters of 'enamel and gold.' The minute description which Mr. Ruskin gives of this marvellous structure, so often passed over with faintest praise, sometimes even with scorn of its ugliness,'places vividly before us the amount of wealth and labour, and agelong endeavour which were bestowed upon it. Truly, the lamp of sacrifice' glowed brightly here, when, not in the days of her world-wide fame-days when

'she held the gorgeous East in fee, And was the safeguard of the West,' but in her earlier days of earnest toil and struggle to attain her lofty pre-eminence, she yielded, not 'that which cost (her) nothing,' but summoned artists from Byzantium to encrust the domes of her chief temple with glass-mosaic, precious as the jasper and

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