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making points that has more than anything else vitiated the whole body of Mr. Ruskin's literary work. The suggestion that there are really only two "orders:" those in which the bell of the capital is concave in section and the decoration in relief, and those in which the bell is convex and the decoration cut into it, is a really brilliant generalization, though, of course, it has nothing on earth to do with the real meaning of the word "order" as used in architecture. Like most of the author's generalizations, however, it is not the whole truth; the definition can hardly cover the type of capital of which the Ionic is the leading form; and that type is not going to be pushed aside: it has shown evident signs of the contrary. About the pointed arch Mr. Ruskin is hopelessly at fault in every way. He attaches a constructive value to the Venetian form of it which exists only in his own imagination; while on the other hand he entirely ignores the constructive origin of the pointed arch in the great styles of Gothic. "The Greeks gave the shaft, Rome the arch; the Arabs pointed and foliated the arch." That is a neat sentence, and has the advantage of connecting the pointed arch with the Venetians, who, no doubt, got their unscientifically constructed arches from Oriental sources. But does not Mr. Ruskin know that the large arches of Furness and Fountains and Kirkstall were pointed, for constructive reasons (while the smaller ones still remained round), by builders who had never heard of the Arabs, and to whom the East was an unattainable Ultima Thule? Every architect knows that now; but, of course, Mr. Ruskin cannot learn from people so ignorant of architecture as architects. . .

We have devoted our principal space to the fallacies of Mr. Ruskin's artistic teaching, because it is on that class of subject that he is most generally accepted as an authority. One might find much to say about the childish absurdities of his so-called Elements of Drawing, where everything is turned upside down to suit the author's whimsicality, and the pupil is offered directions for shading a square space evenly, and told to draw the branches of trees as a flat network of lines, without paying attention to any other feature in the first instance (the very way to train him to regard a thing wrongly from the commencement, we should say), and is told to get "any cheap work" containing outline plates of leaves and flowers to copy, "it does not matter whether good or bad." It matters a great deal; and Mr. Ruskin would probably have scouted the sentiment if it had come from any other teacher of youth. Much also might be said as to the verbose and eccentric directions for the practice of drawing given in the book with the affected title The Laws of Fésole (which, so far as they are laws, were no more laws of Fésole than of anywhere else), and its equally affected and far

fetched "axioms" and lessons in drawing from sixpences and pennies. There is a little more practical value in the treatise on elements of perspective; but the manner in which all these things are put is more like an attempt to interest an infant school in drawing than like serious instruction for sensible people; and indeed, "The Master" and his "Guild of St. George" are, in all their works and ways, as described by his own pen, exceedingly like a parcel of rather priggish children playing at being very good. The best thing in all these three books is the single and for once unaffected bit of advice, not to draw or color anything in nature, say grass or a stone even, in this or that manner, "because some one else tells you that is the way to do it;" but to "look at it and make it like what you see." That is a golden rule that deserves to be written up in every school of drawing; and it is indeed a pity that Mr. Ruskin has not oftener thus expressed real and broad truths about art in simple and unaffected language.

Of late years, however, the author has meddled more with social and economical subjects; and as early as 1851 he gave a hint of his intention to preach on other subjects than art, in the publication of the essay On Sheepfolds, a kind of protest against the purely clerical idea of the Christian Church, which most rational persons will concur in, but which was put forth by its author with the importance of one who is uttering some great new truth instead of putting a very commonplace piece of common sense in an unnecessarily eccentric manner. Since then Mr. Ruskin has at sundry times and in divers manners testified to the world upon subjects other than pure art criticism. His view of the situation, expressed under many various titles and various kinds of imagery, is substantially the same always, and amounts pretty much to this-that modern civilization, especially by means of steam and the industries which it has developed, has brutalized and laid waste our life; that England is getting ruined by ugli ness and greed of money, and the loss of all that might give joy and beauty to life; that in every respect "the former times were better than these;" that there is no salvation for us but in giving up machinery, and coalworking, and railway travelling (railways being, according to one of his latest epistolary utterances, "carriages of damned souls on the ridges of their own graves,") and returning to the simplicity and unsophisticated manners of some indefinite golden age of the past which he does not very clearly define. So far is this pessimistic theory carried, that even the weather is arraigned, and we had not long since the spectacle of Mr. Ruskin lecturing to a crowded audience at the London Institution, including some of the most eminent men of science of the day (who must have been singularly edified), to the effect that "the storm-cloud of the nineteenth century" was no longer the beneficent thunder-cloud of happier days, but a

bitter and blighting infliction, sent upon England as a punishment for her national sins.


Among the works which are professedly connected with what Mr. Ruskin is pleased to call "political economy," the only one which actually bears this title, but which has really little to do with political economy properly so called, viz., the Political Economy of Art, is more sober, more logical, more calmly written and judicious book than any of those which embody the writer's notions on political economy as usually understood; and compared with the mass of grotesque lamentations, far-fetched similes, moral stories, and scraps of art-criticism, with accounts of the writer's pecuniary dealings with the St. George's Society (affectedly called "Affairs of the Master") which are all bundled up together in that tremendous hodge-podge called Fors Clavigera, one may call the Political Economy of Art a reasonable and readable book. It is mainly occupied in considerations of the true value of art to a nation, and the means of making the best both of the art and of the artist; and there is much in this book that may be read with advantage by all who wish to take a serious view of art as a part of the business of life. There are considerations, crude enough, in regard to the effect of the spending of money in mere luxuries, which, however untrue and misleading in regard to the effects of this expenditure on the distribution of the means of existence, have certainly a moral value in so far as that they urge the principle that it is not worth while to pay people to do that which is not in itself of any value as contributing to the general enjoyment or bettering or beautifying of life. Mr. Ruskin has touched well upon this subject, too, in his lectures on engravings (comprised now under the title Ariadne Florentina) where he described the result of putting the unfortunate engraver to work at a considerable space of shadow produced by crosshatched lines, which means cutting a number of little square holes between the crossed lines in order to leave the lines in relief. He would urge that it is no humanity to encourage a form of art which can only be produced by such dull mechanical labor; though, after all, it may be questioned whether the wood-engraver would not prefer to continue his hatching at a fair remuneration rather than have the work all taken out of his hands and reproduced in "zincograph" by the aid of photography.

We have passed over lightly, Mr. Ruskin's political economy, inasmuch as it is too foolish and preposterous to take in any but absolute dunces. It is otherwise with his art criticism, which, being put forth with an air of authority and on subjects which the majority of readers have given little thought to, has got itself largely accepted. We think we have shown sufficient reasons why this acceptance should be at least very seriously reconsidered. We can hardly conclude without

reference to the very last utterances of Mr. Ruskin's which have appeared in print, the letters to some ladies published under the title Hortus Inclusus. We wish not to say a disrespectful word of the ladies, who we have no doubt are gentle souls with a true admiration of their idol; but they had better, for his sake, have kept this garden "inclusus" still. The letters indicate only too well the kind of worship Mr. Ruskin delights in, and the kind of sickly, self-conscious, effeminate sentimentality which has grown upon him more and more, and which is seen in these letters as such a foolish mixture of vanity, petulance, and childisbnsss, as any one possessed of any manliness of feeling would have regretted to have seen made public. This kind of writing is what might be expected, perhaps, from a man who has always specially courted the praises of women and of womanish men; who would wipe out from English literature so manly a writer as Thackeray; and who could complacently print in Fors Clavigera, for public edification, the schoolgirl's adulation, "It is good of you to keep on writing your beautiful thoughts, when everybody is so ungrateful and says such unkind, wicked things about you"-a quotation amusingly significant of the type of intellect to which Mr. Ruskin's vaticinations appeal, and the kind of incense which is as a sweet savor to him.

We regret to have to shock Mr. Ruskin's faithful followers, many of whom we have no doubt are honestly convinced of the intellectual and moral superiority of their idol, by saying "unkind, wicked things" about him. But when a writer so totally without logic or consistency in his so-called reasonings, and possessed by such abnormal vanity and folly of egotism, has by dint of mere verbal eloquence and phenomenal effrontery (for that is what Mr. Ruskin's assumed intellectual position amounts to) imposed himself on a whole generation as a teacher qualified to lecture de haut en bas on the whole circle of life and its greatest artistic and social problems, it is necessary that those who see good ground for refusing credence to his pretentions should express themselves in plain and decisive language. In one respect only we are prepared to give Mr. Ruskin nearly unqualified admiration, namely, in regard to his own artistic work as far as it has gone: with the exception of those unhappy illustrations to the Seven Lamps, his own drawing, of architecture especially, is admirable. When two or three of his own landscapes were exhibited some years ago in Bond Street along with his Turners, our impression at the time was that they were equal to most of the Turner drawings in that collection; at all events his drawings of portions of St. Mark's, exhibited more recently at the Society of Water-colors exhibition, were of the highest class, and such as indeed, of their kind, it would not be possible to surpass. In the preface to the Illustrations of Venetian Architecture he said, "Had I

supposed myself to possess the power of becoming a painter, I should have given every available hour of my life to its cultivation, and never have written a line." It is a thousand pities that, yielding to the only motive of misplaced modesty of which any evidence is to be found throughout his writings, he should have given up an effort which might have brought him solid and lasting reputation, to turn to the easier and, after all, apparently more congenial task of flooding the world with showy and inconsequential literary rhapsodies, and have gone far to reduce to mere prosaic fact one of his own innumerable paradoxes-"People can hardly draw anything without being of some use to themselves and others, and can hardly write anything without wasting their own time and that of others."-Edinburgh Review.


THE vast and varied procession of events which we call Nature affords a sublime spectacle and an inexhaustible wealth of attrac tive problems to the speculative observer. If we confine our attention to that aspect which engages the attention of the intellect, nature appears a beautiful and harmonious whole, the incarnation of a faultless logical process, from certain premises in the past to an inevitable conclusion in the future. But if she be regarded from a less elevated, but more human, point of view; if our moral sympathies are allowed to influence our judgment, and we permit ourselves to criticise our great mother as we criticise one another;-then our verdict, at least so far as sentient nature is concerned, can hardly be so favorable. In sober truth, to those who have made a study of the phenomena of life as they are exhibited by the higher forms of the animal world, the optimistic dogma that this is the best of all possible worlds will seem little better than a libel upon possibility. It is really only another instance to be added to the many extant, of the audacity of à priori speculators who, having created God in their own image, find no difficulty in assuming that the Almighty must have been actuated by the same motives as themselves. They are quite sure that, had any other course been practicable, He would no more have made infinite suffering a necessary ingredient of His handiwork than a respectable philosopher would have done the like. But even the modified optimism of the time-honored thesis of physico-theology, that the sentient world is, on the whole, regulated by principles of benevolence, does but ill stand the test of impartial confrontation with the facts of the case. No doubt it is quite true that sentient nature affords hosts of examples of subtle contrivances directed towards the production of

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