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Then on the ground his lazy limbs did fling.
Meanwhile the bees pass'd by him with my first.
My second dare I to your notice bring,

Or name to delicate ears that animal accurst ?

To all our earthly family of fools

My whole, resistless despot, gives the lawHumble and great, we kneel to it with awe; O'er camp and court, the senate and the schools, Our grand invisible Lama sits and rules,

By ministers that are its men of straw.

Sir Robert utters it in place of wit,

And straight the Opposition shouts "Hear, hear!" And, oh! but all the Whiggish benches cheer When great Lord John retorts it, as is fit.

In you, my Press,* each day throughout the year, On vast broad sheets we find its praises writ.

O wondrous are the columns that you rear, And sweet the morning hymns you roar in praise of it!

Sacred word! it is kept out of the dictionaries, as if the great compilers of those publications were afraid to utter it. Well, then, the funeral of Napoleon was a humbug, as Titmarsh wrote; and a still better proof that it was a humbug was this, that nobody bought Titmarsh's book, and of the 10,000 copies made ready by the publisher not above 3000 went off. It was a humbug, and an exploded humbug. Peace be to it! Parlons d'autres choses; and let us begin to discourse about the pictures without further shilly-shally.

I must confess, with a great deal of shame, that I love to go to the picture gallery of a Sunday after church, on purpose to see the thousand happy people of the working sort amusing themselves-not very wickedly, as I fancy-in the only day in the week on which they have their freedom. Genteel people, who can amuse themselves every day throughout the year, do not frequent the Louvre on a Sunday. You can't see the pictures

by all sorts of low-bred creatures. Yesterday, there were at the very least two hundred common soldiers in the place-little vulgar ruffians, with red breeches and three halfpence a-day, examining the pictures in company with fifteen hundred grisettes, two thousand liberated shop-boys, eighteen hundred and forty-one artist-apprentices, half-a-dozen of livery servants, and many scores of fellows with caps, and jackets, and copper-coloured countenances, and gold ear-rings, and large ugly hands, that are hammering, or weaving, or filing, all the week. Fi, done! what a thing it is to have a taste for low company! Every man of decent breeding ought to have been in the Bois de Boulogne, in white kid gloves and on horseback, or on hack-back at least. How the dandies just went prancing and curvetting down the Champs Elysées, making their horses jump as they passed the carriages, with their japanned boots glittering in the sunshine!

now

foaming, as if they too were in their best for Sunday; the trees are covered all over with little, twinkling, bright green sprouts; numberless exhibitions of Punch and the Fantoccini are going on beneath them; and jugglers and balancers are entertaining the people with their pranks. I met two fellows the other day, one with a barrel-organ, and the other with a beard, a turban, a red jacket, and a pair of dirty, short, spangled, white trousers, who were cursing each other in the purest St. Giles's English; and if I had had impudence or generosity enough, I should have liked to make up their quarrel over a chopine of Strasbourg beer, and hear the histories of either. Think of these fellows quitting our beloved country, and their homes in some calm nook of Field Lane or Seven Dials, and toiling over to France with their music and their juggling-traps, to balance cart-wheels and swallow knives for the amusement of our natural enemies! They are very likely at work at this minute, with grinning bonnes and conscripts staring at their skill. It is pleasant to walk by and see the nurses and the children so uproariously happy. Yonder is one who has got a halfpenny to give to the beggar at the crossing; several are riding gravely in little carriages drawn by goats. Ah, truly, the sunshine is a fine thing; and one loves to see the little people and the poor basking in it, as well as the great in their fine carriages, or their prancing cock-tailed horses.

In the midst of sights of this kind, you pass on a fine Sunday afternoon down the Elysian Fields and the Tuileries, until you reach the beforementioned low-bred crowd rushing into the Louvre.

Well, then, the pictures of this exhibition are to be numbered by thousands, and these thousands contain the ordinary number of chefsd'ouvre; that is to say, there may be a couple of works of genius, halfa-dozen very clever performances, a hundred or so of good ones, fifteen hundred very decent good or bad pictures, and the remainder atrocious. What a comfort it is, as I have often thought, that they are not all masterpieces, and that there is a good stock of mediocrity in this world, and that we only light upon genius now and

then, at rare angel intervals, handed round like tokay at dessert, in a few houses, and in very small quantities only! Fancy how sick one would grow of it, if one had no other drink!

Now, in this exhibition there are, of course, a certain number of persons who make believe that they are handing you round tokay-giving you the real imperial stuff, with the seal of genius stamped on the cork. There are numbers of ambitious pictures, in other words, chiefly upon sacred subjects, and in what is called a severe style of art.

The severe style of art consists in drawing your figures in the first place very big and very neat, in which there is no harm; and in dressing them chiefly in stiff, crisp, old-fashioned draperies, such as one sees in the illuminated missals and the old masters. The old masters, no doubt, copied the habits of the people about them; and it has always appeared as absurd to me to imitate these antique costumes, and to dress up saints and virgins after the fashion of the fifteenth century, as it would be to adorn them with hoops and red-heels such as our grandmothers wore; and to make a Magdalen, for instance, taking off her patches, or an angel in powder and a hoop.

It is, or used to be, the custom at the theatres for the gravedigger in Hamlet always to wear fifteen or sixteen waistcoats, of which he leisurely divested himself, the audience roaring at each change of raiment. Do the Denmark gravediggers always wear fifteen waistcoats? Let any body answer who has visited the country. But the probability is that the custom on the stage is a very ancient one, and that the public would not be satisfied at a departure from the legend. As in the matter of gravediggers, so it is with angels: they have and Heaven knows why

a regular costume, which every "serious" painter follows; and which has a great deal more to do with serious art than people at first may imagine. They have large white wings, that fill up a quarter of the picture in which they have the good fortune to be; they have white gowns that fall round their feet in pretty fantastical draperies; they have fillets round their brows, and their hair combed and neatly pomatumed down

the middle; and if they have not a sword, have an elegant portable harp of a certain angelic shape. Large rims of gold leaf they have round their heads always,-a pretty business it would be if such adjuncts were to be left out.

Now, suppose the legend ordered that every gravedigger should be represented with a gold-leaf halo round his head, and every angel with fifteen waistcoats, artists would have followed serious art just as they do now most probably, and looked with scorn at the miserable creature who ventured to scoff at the waistcoats. Ten to one but a certain newspaper would have called a man flippant who did not respect the waistcoats-would have said that he was irreverent for not worshipping the waistcoats.* But why talk of it? The fact is I have rather a desire to set up for a martyr, like my neighbours in the literary trade: it is not a little comforting to undergo such persecutions courageously. O Socrate! je boirai la cigue avec toi!" as David said to Robespierre. You too were accused of blasphemy in your time; and the world has been treating us poor literary gents in the same way ever since. There, now, is Bulw

But to return to the painters. In the matter of canvass covering, the French artists are a great deal more audacious than ours; and I have known a man starve all the winter through, without fire and without beef, in order that he might have the honour of filling five-and-twenty feet square of canvass with some favourite subject of his.

It is curious to look through the collection, and see how for the most part the men draw their ideas. There are caricatures of the late and early style of Raphael; there are caricatures of Masaccio; there is a picture painted in the very pyramidical form, and in the manner of Andrea del Sarto; there is a Holy Family, the exact counterpart of Leonardo da Vinci; and, finally, there is Achille Deveria-it is no use to give the names and numbers of the other artists, who are not known in Eng

land-there is Achille Deveria, who, having nothing else to caricature, has caricatured a painted window, and designed a Charity, of which all the outlines are half an inch thick.

Then there are numberless caricatures in colour as in form. There is a Violet Entombment-a crimson one, a green one; a light emerald and gambouge Eve; all huge pictures, with talent enough in their composition, but remarkable for this strange, mad love of extravagance, which belongs to the nation. Titian and the Venetians have loved to paint lurid skies and sunsets of purple and gold: here, in consequence, is a piebald picture of crimson and yellow, laid on in streaks from the top to the bottom.

Who has not heard a great, comfortable, big-chested man, with bands round a sleek double chin, and fat white cushion-squeezers of hands, and large red whiskers, and a soft roaring voice, the delight of a congregation, preaching for an hour with all the appearance and twice the emphasis of piety, and leading audiences captive? And who has not seen a humble individual, who is quite confused to be conducted down the aisle by the big beadle with his silver staff (the stalwart "drum-major ecclesiastic"); and when in his pulpit, saying his say in the simplest manner possible, uttering what are very likely commonplaces, without a single rhetorical grace or emphasis ?

The great, comfortable, red-whiskered, roaring cushion-thumper, is most probably the favourite with the public. But there are some persons who, nevertheless, prefer to listen to the man of timid, mild commonplaces, because the simple words he speaks come from his heart, and so find a way directly to yours; where, if perhaps you can't find belief for them, you still are sure to receive them with respect and sympathy.

There are many such professors at the easel as well as the pulpit; and you see many painters with a great vigour and dexterity, and no sincerity of heart; some with little dexterity, but plenty of sincerity; some one or two in a million who have both these

*Last year, when our friend published some article in this Magazine, he seemed to be agitated almost to madness by a criticism, and a very just one too, which appeared in the Morning Post. At present he is similarly affected by some strictures on a defunct work of his.

qualities, and thus become the great men of their art. I think there are instances of the two former kinds in this present exhibition of the Louvre. There are fellows who have covered great swaggering canvasses with all the attitudes and externals of piety; and some few whose humble pictures cause no stir, and remain in quiet nooks, where one finds them, and straightway acknowledges the simple, kindly appeal, which they make.

Of such an order is the picture entitled “La Prière,” by M. Trimolet. A man and his wife are kneeling at an old-fashioned praying-desk, and the woman clasps a little sicklylooking child in her arms, and all three are praying as earnestly as their simple hearts will let them. The man is a limner, or painter of missals, by trade, as we fancy. One of his works lies upon the praying-desk, and it is evident that he can paint no more that day, for the sun is just set behind the old-fashioned roofs of the houses in the narrow street of the old city where he lives. Indeed, I have had a great deal of pleasure in looking at this little quiet painting, and in the course of half-a-dozen visits that I have paid to it, have become perfectly acquainted with all the circumstances of the life of the honest missal illuminator and his wife, here praying at the end of their day's work in the calm summer evening.

Very likely M. Trimolet has quite a different history for his little personages, and so has every body else who examines the picture. But what of that? There is the privilege of pictures. A man does not know all that lies in his picture, any more than he understands all the character of his children. Directly one or the other makes its appearance in the world, it has its own private existence, independent of the progenitor. And in respect of works of art, if the same piece inspire one man with joy, that fills another with compassion, what are we to say of it, but that it has sundry properties of its own which its author even does not understand? The fact is, pictures "are as they seem to all," as Mr. Alfred Tennyson sings in the first volume of his poems.

Some of this character of holiness and devotion that I fancy I see in

M. Trimolet's pictures is likewise observable in a piece by Madame Juillerat, representing Saint Elizabeth, of Hungary, leading a little beggar-boy into her house, where the holy dame of Hungary will, no doubt, make him comfortable with a good plate of victuals. A couple of young ladies follow behind the princess, with demure looks, and garlands in their hair, that hangs straight on their shoulders, as one sees it in the old illuminations. The whole picture has a pleasant, mystic, innocent look; and one is all the better for regarding it. What a fine instinct or task it was in the old missal illuminators to be so particular in the painting of the minor parts of their pictures! the precise manner in which the flowers and leaves, birds and branches, are painted, give an air of truth and simplicity to the whole performance, and make nature, as it were, an accomplice and actor in the scene going on. For instance, you may look at a landscape with certain feelings of pleasure; but if you have pulled a rose, and are smelling it, and if of a sudden a blackbird in a bush hard by begins to sing and chirrup, your feeling of pleasure is very much enhanced most likely; the senses with which you examine the scene become brightened as it were, and the scene itself becomes more agreeable to you. It is not the same place as it was before you smelt the rose, or before the blackbird began to sing. Now, in Madame Juillerat's picture of the Saint of Hungary and the hungry boy, if the flowers on the young ladies' heads had been omitted, or not painted with their pleasing minuteness and circumstantiality, I fancy that the effect of the piece would have been by no means the same. Another artist of the mystical school, Monsieur Servan, has employed the same adjuncts in a similarly successful manner. One of his pictures represents St. Augustin meditating in a garden; a great cluster of rosebushes, hollyhocks, and other plants, are in the foreground, most accurately delineated; and a fine rich landscape and river stretch behind the saint, round whom the flowers seem to keep up a mysterious waving and whispering that fill one with a sweet, pleasing, indescribable kind of

awe-a great perfection in this style of painting.

In M. Aguado's gallery there is an early Raphael (which all the world declares to be a copy, but no matter). This piece only represents two young people walking hand-inhand in a garden, and looking at you with a kind of "solemn mirth" (the expression of old Sternhold and Hopkins has always struck me as very fine). A meadow is behind them, at the end of which is a cottage, and by which flows a river, environed by certain very prim-looking trees; and that is all. Well; it is impossible for any person who has a sentiment for the art to look at this picture without feeling indescribably moved and pleased by it. It acts upon you-how ? How does a beautiful, pious, tender air of Mozart act upon you? What is there in it that should make you happy and gentle, and fill you with all sorts of good thoughts and kindly feelings? I fear that what Doctor Thumpcushion says at church is correct, and that these indulgences are only carnal, and of the earth earthy; but the sensual effort in this case carries one quite away from the earth, and up to something that is very like hea

ven.

skilfully enough painted and intended to be religious, that have not the slightest effect upon me, no more than Doctor Thumpcushion's loudest and glibbest sermon.

Now the writer of this has already been severely reprehended for saying that Raphael at thirty had lost that delightful innocence and purity which rendered the works of Raphael of twenty so divine; and perhaps it may be the critic's fault, and not the painter's (I'm not proud, and will allow that even a magazine critic may be mistaken). Perhaps by the greatest stretch of the perhaps, it may be that Raphael was every whit as

Here is No. 1475, for instance,-a "Holy Family," painted in the antique manner, and with all the accessories before spoken of, viz. large flowers, fresh roses, and white stately lilies; curling tendrils of vines forming fantastical canopies for the heads of the sacred personages, and rings of goldleaf drawn neatly round the same. Here is the Virgin, with long, stiff, prim draperies of blue, red, and white; and old Saint Anne in a sober dress, seated gravely at her side; and Saint Joseph in a becoming attitude; and all very cleverly treated, and pleasing to the eye. But though this picture is twice as well painted as any of those before mentioned, it does not touch my heart in the least ; nor do any of the rest of the sacred pieces. Opposite the "Holy Family" is a great "Martyrdom of Polycarp," and the Catalogue tells you how the executioners first tried to burn the saint; but the fire went out, and the executioners were knocked down; then a soldier struck the saint with a sword, and so killed him. The legends recount numerous miracles of this sort, which I confess have not any very edifying effect upon me. Saints are clapped into boiling oil, which immediately turns cool; or their heads are chopped off, and their blood turns to milk; and so on. One can't understand why these continual delays and disappointments take place, especially as the martyr is always killed at the end; so that it would be best at once to put him out of his pain. For this reason, possi

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