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every work fulfils a promise of further development, given in the past, and renewed for the future. Were the group of the Wreck far inferior to what it now is—inferior in point of subject—inferior even in mechanical detail, wo should still prise it as indicating, like the productions of the early Eg! no tic school of sculpture, a certain subjective power infinitely more pleasing to the true critic than the elaborate works of a Bernini, which exhibit indeed the perfection of materialism, but where soul is wanting.
That which yet remains to be noticed, and upon which the critic may well remark we have not as yet touched, is the degree to which this work, apart from association and material excellence, appeals to our abstract sense of the beautiful, or Aesthetic perception. Many an artist, even when his mind is of a highly subjective order, imagines that when to an intonsely interesting subject he has joined the perfection of mechanical detail, he has attained to the Ideal—the elevated and spiritual. He fancies that he has done for his work what a happy idea or subject has done for him. But neither the beautiful in association nor the perfect in mechanical detail, or even the two combined, form that higher absolute beauty, which can only be appreciated by our intuitive perception of the beautiful in itself; the highest exponent of which in sculpture is grace.
To say that Mr. Brackett or any other artist has attained in his works the acme of grace were an absurdity. To say even that the artist himself is incapable of improving upon it in this respect, were to contradict our statement of the existence in him (or it) of the element of progressiveness; but to deny that grace exists in it were also to contradict our previous assertion of the number of lines of beauty in which it abounds.
To admit that an artist has produced something natural as life," or even in a somewhat higher sense, faultless, is to admit that he has created a work of art in a full sense. It is excellent in kind. To assert that he has produced a work which, in addition to this, awakes within us our sense of the beautiful, though never so faintly, is to admit the existence of something great and good, well worthy of preservation and regard. But we by no means blame those who, in addition to these allsufficient requisites, demand (unreasonably, it may be) a greater degree of grace, for it is merely an indication of the refinement of their Aesthetic sense.
The very indication of the existence of tho progressive element in a work of art, is not unfrequently of itself sufficient to stimulate our demand for grace. The consciousness of the power of the artist impels us to crave for more. Whence it comes that we are often better satisfied with an actually inferior production.
We admit that Mr. Brackett has in this work come fully up to the test originally proposed. More than this, he has to a degree superadded grace. Yet wo honestly wish that be had given us more of this latter quality; what there is, is barely commensurate to tho extraordinary beauty of the idea, and the remarkable excellence of its mechanical execution. We think that wo can partly Indicate the cause of this apparent deficiency, and to a degree palliate it. We have, it will be remembered, spoken of the linos of beauty as chiefly abounding in tho figure of the mother. To those unfamiliar with anatomy, or the peculiar appearance of corpses, there is much in the infant which appears unnatural, and consequently jars upon their sense of tho fit and beautiful. We may pardon the arm of the mother's being clasped about her child, but that tho child should to a certain decree reciprocate the position by clasping tho arm of the mother, appears as if the artist had striven to give to death some of that grace which belongs solely to life. Nor does it help to tell us that life is but recently extinct. The idea of the work in all its beauty demands that we be impressed by tho solemn mystery of death alone.
And yet to those familiar with such subjects, there is, literally, nothing incorrect in either of these attitudes. An infant, we are told, never appeiirs so dead as a grown person, and it is even possible that a correction of this,
which to many appears an error, would in reality vitiate its truth as a representation. It is an objection which disappears on an afterthought, and compels us to admit the existence of, if not more grace and beauty, at least a greater fidelity to nature than we had at first surmised.
But in art there should be no afterthoughts. The world at large knows very little of the true position of dead infants. A work of art may have—must have many points which can be appreciated only by tho learned, but there . should at the same time be in it as little as possible to perplex or repel the uninitiated.
The artist should endeavour as far as possible to reconcile that which is positively true in art, with the average sense of the beautiful, as entertained by the world at large. He should never truckle to the latter—never, as he bears a conscience, sacrifice tho former. As we proceed in a knowledge of art, much that once jarred our sensibilities disappears in an appreciation of the true; but how much better is it, when with nothing at the outset to unlearn, we simply keep onward in admiration. This is one of the great difficulties in art—one which many great souls have despised, but which we would in no wise condemn; nature throws no obstacle before any mind to an appreciation of her beauties, though a refined taste ever detects therein somewhat more than the careless and unthinking remark. Many an artist has died unknown— many a glorious work fallen still-born from the press from this neglect to combine that which the multitude can appreciate with the requisitions of high art. And yet this is a thing which every mind can compass, for myriads have done it—if not in one branch at least in another. Let the artist remember that his every work—like the Bible—should, figuratively, "be a stream in which the lamb can wade and the leviathan swim."
We have already asserted that all which is natural is not equally creditable, and we may with reference to certain points in the group also remark, that all which is natural is not on that account graceful. But we have also insisted—and some of the most celebrated paintings in existence bear us out—that great defects may exist in very great works, when they—the defects—do not predominate to that degree which jars upon our feelings and compel us to forget in them its higher merits. The deficiency as to grace in this production is not of that grave nature which would seriously interfere, in the mind of any one, with the enjoyment of its greater beauties.
StHl it must be borne in mind by both artist and observer, that the slightest deficiency of grace in a work, which from its very subject and style is eminently spiritual, is a defect of far greater importance than it would have been in a more romantic or material production. Be it remembered that in speaking of the qualifications requisite to constitute a work of Art, we have employed the term without any adjective whatever. But when we speak of Spiritual Art, we of course include that which forms it, tho principal clement of which, in an objective sense, is the abstractly beautiful.
It is a common error, that of considering the Beautiful and Artistic as synonymous terms. The former is by no means an essential clement in Romantic or Material productions, either of which may embody tho Beautiful or its opposite, in greater or lesser proportions, to give relief and character to the opposing force. The spirit of Rembrandt's paintings, or Rabelais' writings, is not as a whole towards the Beautiful, though both arc highly Artistic. Nor in tho Hells of Jerome Bosch and Breughel, of Orcagna and Quevedo, or even Dante, is this the prevailing element. Our perception of it can only bo touched by the most evident manifestations of order, harmony, and symmetry. It shuns all discord, all shadow, all relief. Nor should it ever be regarded as the characteristic which should as far as possible predominate in all art whatever. It is too good to govern a world by far too Manichaean for it. As long as pain and suffering, sin and sorrow exist, so long will shadows and discords retain their sway. As long as the grotesque, the fantastie, or the irregular, in any form whatever, find an appreeiator, So long will there be no permanency for the purely harmonious.
We can well imagine that at this point, a transcendental pvrfectionist would object to our assertion, grounding his views upon the absolute sympathy and blended nature of the good and the true—and not only the perfectionist, but many who follow (at a distance it may be) far humbler creeds and philosophies. They will argue, that as it Is our duty in this world and in Lipe to follow the dictates of a perfectly pure,unmixed Morality, so In Art we should carefully eliminate all that partokes of the wild, the dark, the painful, or perhaps even the humorous. Granting cheerfully the first position, we still by no means admit the second. The Good and Beautiful are indeed identical—but only in their primitive archetype—the Infinite, which lies far beyond the din, and roar, and action, of the objective and created. In this world they are only second cousins— often entirely estranged. A Doric temple, Is we take it the purest exponent of the Beautiful in Architecture, yet is In itself neither moral nor immoral—in an ethical sense, neither good nor bad. Only the most intensely refined minds experience (or fancy perhaps that they experience) in beholding it, emotions of this nature. The vert/ great majority of mankind would never be restrained In this world from committing a bad action, by the presence and influence of a beautiful object. The more intellectual would, we fear, find in the clashing Incongruity a stimulant and incentive.
But though the Good and the Beautiful are in this world no more identical than chalk and cheese (a very respectable number of philosophers to the contrary notwithstanding), we by no means assert that the slightest antagonism exists between them, or that the one may not, or should not be subordinated to the other. And not only subordinated, but in works of a spiritual nature—as in this of Brackett's, where we are by the subject lifted above the ordinary irregularities and oppositions of life, they should be as far as possible assimilated and raised to their original primitive identity.
Spiritualism has been too much neglected by our artists. Those who have striven to embody it in one or the other form have not unfrequently disgraced their efforts by mannerism, and theatrical affoctation. It demands, infinitely more than any other branch, the single effort of an intensely cultivated and thoughtful mind. If the artist do not possess this, let him become great in some other branch and think none the less of himself; for all works of Art are equal in point of dignity, to the critic who judges by the test of excellence in kind.
With this we conclude, trusting that all who may become familiar with "The Wreck," cither in its present or its future condition, will see no reason to dissent from the high opinion wo havo expressed of its merits, or lay undue stress upon its few and comparatively trifling de
general Introduction of the study into common schools. The work seems to be well executed. The object is one on which we cannot speak too strongly. We are professedly a nation of utilitarians; and yet no nation more strangely overlooks. In its system of popular education, branches of study of direct practical advantage. Drawing, as a part of elementary education, Is of much more practical use than geography or history. Vet, until very lately, it has been counted as one of the higher accomplishments, the acquisition of which should be reserved to the few, and be made as expensive as possible. We hope Mr. Minifie, and all others who are labouring to facilitate the acquisition of the art by making it cheap, will have all the success that their effort deserves.
Memoirs or The Lipe And Writings or Dr. Chalmers■ By Vie Rev. William tfunna. Harpert. Dr. Hanna has had a difficult task, to prepare such a life of Dr. Chalmen as would give general satisfaction. In the volume now presented, he has nut this difficulty in the only way practicable, viz., by making Chalmers to a great extent his own biographer. Happily, there were abundant materials for this in the great mass of letters, diaries, Ac., left in manuscript by the author. The work will be completed in three volumes.
The Annual or Scientipic Discovert. By David A. Wells, and George Bliss. Boston i Gould, Kendall, dh Lincoln. We approve most heartily of this work, both as to its plan, and the manner in which it is executed. It ia exactly what it professes to be, and we cannot better say what that is than in the words of the authors. *'It is/* say they, ** a year-book of facts in science and art, exhibiting the most important discoveries and improvements in mechanics, useful arts, natural philosophy, chemistry, astronomy, meteorology, zoology, botany, mineralogy, geology, geography, antiquities, etc., together with a list of recent scientific publications, a classified list of patents, obituaries of eminent scientific men, an index of important papers in scientific journals, reports, etc. The Annual of Scientific Discovery is designed for all those who desire to keep pace with the advancement of science and art. The groat and daily increasing number of discoveries in the different departments of science is such, and the announcement of them Is scattered through such a multitude of secular and scientific publications, that it is very difficult for any one to obtain a satisfactory survey of them, even had he access to all these publications. But the scientific journals, especially those of Europe, betides being many of them in foreign languages, have a very limited circulation in this country, and are therefore accessible to but very few. It Is evident, then, that an annual publication, giving a complete and condensed view of the progress of discovery In every branch of science and art, being, in fact, the spirit of the scientific journals of tho year, systematically arranged, so as to present at one view all the new discoveries, useful inventions, and improved processes of the past year, must be a most acceptable volume to every one, and greatly facilitate the diffusion of useful knowledge. As this work will be issued annually, the reading public may easily and promptly possess themselves of the most Important facts discovered or announced in these departments, from year to year." bar sale by Daniels d\ Smith.
Iiumeoldt's Cosmos. Harpers; 2 vols. 12mo^ unth a portrait. No man living, probably, is better qualified than the author of this work to sketch a physical description of the universe. This venerable octogenarian has been a distinguished light in science for sixty years, his first scientific essay having been published in 1790. Since that time he has been constantly adding to the stock of human knowledge by original researches, and has made himself it the same time master of the acquisitions of others in the various walks of scientific discovery. He himself states, that the idea of a physical description of the universe was present to his mind early in life. It was a work which ho felt he must accomplish, and he has devoted a lifetime to the accumulation of materials. It has occupied his thoughts for almost half a century. At length, in the evening of life, he has felt himself rich enough in the accumulation of thought, travel, reading, and experimental research, to reduce into form and reality the undefined vision that through so many long years had floated before him.
Hume's England. New York Edition. The Harpers have just brought out the first volume of Hume in a style corresponding in all respects to the Boston edition—which means, we suppose, that the public are to have the work at retaliatory rather than remunerating prices.
Cuba And The Cubans. New York: Samuel Hueston. This volume professes to give a sketch of the history of Cuba : its present social, political, and domestic condition; also, its relations to England and the United States. It oontains a map of the island, and a valuable digest of commercial and other statistics. The work is prepared with evident reference to "the Cuban question." For tale by J. W. Moore,
Chalmers' Posthumous Works. Harpers. The ninth volume of this inestimable series has been received from the publishers. It contains his prelections on Butler's Analogy, Paley's Evidences, Hill's Divinity, with several special addresses and lectures. Every additional volume of Chalmers' posthumous works increases our wonder, amounting at times to amazement, at the productive energies of this great man.
Bell's Dietetical And Medical Htdroloot. Philadelphia: Harrington a% Has well. This work is a complete treatise of baths and bathing, including cold, sea, warm, hot, vapour, gas, and mad (?) baths, the watery regimen generally, hydropathy, and pulmonary inhalation, with a sketch also of the history of bathing. While the work is, to some extent, scientific and professional, it is at the same time written in a style adapted to the common comprehension, and on a subject of universal Interest. Let not the unlettered reader be deterred from buying the book by the Doctor's uninviting and most formidable title. The work ought to have been called " Bxt/is and Bathing," for that is, In two words, a description of the book, and it ought to be in the hands of every ono who regards his own health, comfort, or decency.
Scenes Op The Civil War rs Hungart. Philadelphia: E. H. Butler & Co. Tho writer of this book is an Austrian officer. He sympathizes, of course, with tho government that employs htm, and feels towards the Magyars as the loyalists of 76 felt towards the American rebels. He worships the Ban Jellachich, and devoutly believes that Kossuth is—no better than he should be. Still, with all bis prejudices, he is a brave, dashing soldier, and a remarkably brilliant writer. His book is made up almost entirely of personal adventures, which are told with great spirit and freedom, and which give altogether the most lively idea of tho real character of the Hungarian struggle that we have yet seen.
Sketches Op Minnesota. By E. S. Seymour. Harpere. Mr. Seymour very significantly styles Minnesota u the New England of the West." This great territory Is destined soon to be filled up—it is even now filling up—with adventurers from that "hive" of statcs, from which have already swarmed so many thriving communities. Mr. Seymour's book consists of two parts. Tho first is a history of the territory, or a brief digest of all that has been known of it from the first visits of the early missionaries, and the fur traders, to the organization of the territorial government in 1819. The second and larger portion of his book consists of incidents of travel in the territory in 1849. The materials are all fresh, and the book is one of extraordinary interest.
The American Quarterly Register. By James Stryker. It seems to be a growing opinion that this periodical, professedly modelled after the British Annual Register, is superior to that celebrated work. Its statistics, and its digests of public affairs are prepared with admirable judgment, and with an industry and a candour worthy
of all praise. The volumes, unlike most works, increase In value as they increase in age. Each volume is valuable on the year of its delivery, for it is only by seeing at a glance the whole affairs of the year brought together that we get a correct impression of the whole. But twenty years hence, when particular occurrences shall have faded from the memory, and documents shall have been mislaid or lost, how much more valuable will be this contemporaneous and faithful record of public affairs,'enrlehed as it is with all the most important state papers, and with comprehensive statistical tables of every description.
Byrne's Dictignary Op Mechanics And Engineering. Jppletons. Nos. V. and VI. are received. Every intelligent mechanie, or rather every well-informed person of whatever profession, ought to have a copy of this work.
Shakespeare's Works. The Boston edition of Shakespeare is proceeding with uninterrupted punctuality. Part XII., the play of" All's Well That Ends Well," is received. The engraving of the heroine, Helena, is very beautiful. As the edition will probably have an immense sale, those purchasers who take the numbers as they come out, will have the advantage of early impressions of the plates.
Money Bags And Titles. Lippincott, Grambo i£ Co. This is one of the cleverest "hits" at tho follies of the age that we have seen for some time.
The Princeton Review. Philadelphia: J. W. Mitchell. —This sterling periodical is always weleome to our table. Wo feel sure, on opening its pages, of finding at least something original and instructive. In the number now before us, there is a review of Macaulay's England, written with marked ability; another, on the relations of religion to what are called diseases of the mind, in which tho fallacies of certain recent sophistries on this subject are pursued with a calm and steady logic that makes its perusal quite a refreshing intellectual exercise. Of the article on "English Diction," however, we feol constrained to say, we wish the author would practise better his own precepts. He argues very strenuously and very justly for the rights of Saxon vocables and idioms, whilo his own pages are crowded with words of Latin stock, and with syntax, we are sorry to say, neither Latin nor Saxon. Such an article is out of place in the Princeton Review.
The Adventures Op Davtd Copperpield. By Dickens. —Part I., including one-half of this work, is now published in a cheap form by Lea d! Blancluird, for 25 cts.
Tns Wilmingtons. By tho author of "Norman's Bridge," Ac., Ac. Harpers. No. 137 of tho Library of select novels. Price, 25 cents.
The History Op Pexdennis. By W. M. Thackeray. Harpers.—Part IV. of this work is received. It is published in handsome style, with numerous illustrations, on good paper, and in a readable type.
The Debtor's Daughter. By T. S. Arthur. Peterson. —Complete in one volume. Price, 25 cents.
The Lipe And Coerespondence Op Robert Southet. This publication, just commenced by the Harpers, and to be completed in six parts, will be a most acceptable accession to our literary history. Parts I. and IL, now received, carry tho life of Southey forward to his thirty-first year. It is thus far chiefly autobiographical.
The Ogilvies. New York. Harper a} Brothers. Price 25 cents, in paper covers. Unabridged from the original edition.
The Lipe Op John Calvin. By TTiomas H. Dyer. Harpers. A Life of Calvin has certainly been a want in theological literature. Whether Mr. Dyer's work will fill this want, remains to be seen. It shows much learning, and a certain earnestness of manner which carries the reader along despite the somewhat rugged character of the style. The conduct of tho great theologian in the matter of Servetus is handled In a way that will probably offend some of his admirers. The volume is adorned with an admirable meEzotint likeness of Calvin, by W. G. Jackman.
Webster's Quarto Dictignart. This work has assumed at length a permanent form. Whilst the great lexicographer lived, he continued at successive editions, to introduce additions. After his death, the whole work with his latest improvements underwent revision at the bands of his legal and literary executors, and assumed the shape in which it is now offered to the public . Those who buy the work now, have no fear of its being superseded and left comparatively useless on their hands by a new edition. As it is, it is likely to continue, without material change. We purposely say nothing of the general merits of Dr. Webster as a lexicographer. No scholar, whatever may be his opinion on this point, would feel his library to be complete without a copy of " The American Dictionary" unabridged.
We have been compelled, for a third time, to reprint the early numbers of the present volume. We feel certain now that we have enough to supply the demand. Those persons, therefore, who are still misapplied, may send on their orders. The present volume, ending with the June number, will contain the whole of Hardscrabble.
SUUM CUIQUE Is Cicero's most general formula for the expression of that great principle of Justice, which consists in giving to each his own. Our purpose in the present paragraph, however, is not so general, being limited in fact to the single object of " giving the devil his due"'—the printer's devil, we mean. A part, certainly, of the praise awarded to our Magazine for the beauty of its appearance Is due to the superior manner in which it is printed. Let any one scrutinise carefully the pages of the Magazine, and observe the clearness and uniformity of the impression, the exactness of the registering, the judiciousness and good taste displayed in the spacing and title-matter, and—what to authors and editors is still more highly prised—the rare accuracy of the proof-reading. As editor, we claim some credit for the appearance of the Magazine in these respects. Yet much is due also to the admirable arrangements of Mr. Sherman's printing-office—on office in which every department of the business, from the delivery of the copy to the banding over of the pressed sheets to the binder, is under an exact system—where, without confusion or the slightest appearance of hurry, about fifty hands are permanently employed, and more than forty reams of paper are printed daily, chiefly on the finer descriptions of work, such as the volumes of the United States Exploring Expedition, the Annuals, the Magazine, Ac. Among the achievements of this office, wc may mention the beautiful tinted engravings, such as M Spring," In the last number, and the "Washington Monument" In the present, which are printed by Mr. Sherman on a power press propellal by steam—the first time, in the history of the art, in any part of the world, that such a thing has been accomplished. But a few years since the proprietor of this establishment was a journeyman printer, satisfied if he could earn his eight dollars a week. Skill, fidelity in all his engagements, and untiring industry, have placed him at the head of his profession. His office, though not the largest in the United States, is a perfect model in all its departments.
CHEAP POSTAGE. This subject is again agitating the public mind. The newspaper press in every part of the country is urging the propriety of reducing letter postage to a uniform rate of two cents, and other postage in a like ratio. We do earnestly hope the public opinion on this subject may be so clearly and distinctly expressed, that Congress will be induced to pass a new postage law during the present session. No class of the community suffer such an unequal and oppressive taxation in this respect, as the mailsubscribers of the monthly periodicals. We hope every
one of our subscribers, who receives his Magazine by mail, will take the opportunity to let his wishes and opinions be known in the right quarter. In regard to the general argument, we find the question well put in the following paragraph by our friend, the Editor of the Saturday Courier.
"CAN POSTAGE BE REDUCED TO TWO CENTS t
"This is a question which is frequently asked by those who have not studied the subject; and it gives us pleasure to reply in the affirmative. The old rates of postage, prior to the law of 1K45, were so high that the people, refusing to send their letters by the mails, employed private expresses, which carried them much cheaper; and the consequences were, that the letters had decreased from twenty-seven to twenty-four millions, and the revenue in the same proportion. But, under the present rates, the number of letters has increased to sixty-two tnHUons the past year, and the revenue of the Post-Office, after paying all its expenses, has a surplus on hand of six hundred and ninety-one thousand dollars, and, at the end of this fiscal year, the Postmaster-General says there will be over a million of dollars to the credit of the Post-Offloe Department! So much, then, for the result of the present rates of postage.
"But some of our readers may still ask, Will a further reduction of two cents pay? We answer that this rate has been tried in Great Britain the last ten years, and the result has shown most conclusively that it not only paid the heavy cost of managing their Post-Office, but yielded a revenue to the Crown of four and a half millions of dollars the last year! A population of twenty-seven millions sent through the Post-Offloe three hundred and fifty-six millions of letters, which yielded a revenue of upwards often millions of dollars.
"Perhaps it will still be objected that the population of Great Britain is more dense and compact, and their territory small, compared with ours, and consequently the transportation of their mails cannot cost as much as in the United States, which has a sparse population, and a vast extent of territory. In reply to this, we have it from good authority that the transportation of the mails in the United States costs only ten per cent, more than in Great Britain, and the cost of the management of our Post-Office Department less than theirs by two and a half millions of dollars.'
"Hence we come to these conclusions, that if we have as cheap postage—say two cents—the population of our country, which is about twenty millions, will write as many letters as the people of Great Britain, if not more, and that wc will have in a short period not less than two hundred millions of letters per annum passing through our Post-Offloe. This will yield a revenue of four millions of dollars. Then, if Congress pays the PostOffice, as it should, the postage on franked matter, this, together with a reduced rate of postage on newspapers and periodicals, will he amply sufficient to meet all the expenses of the Post-Office Department, and to afford greater postal facilities to the people."
A OA AD.
The undersigned, Agent of the Washington National Monument Society, for the city and county of Philadelphia, has the honour to announce to his fellow-citizens, that, in the performance of the duty assigned him, he proposes soon to call on them, either personally or by his authorized agents, that all may enjoy the grateful privilege of contributing, according to their means and disposition, to this magnificent work, the enduring emblem of a nation's gratitude.
The friends of Constitutional Liberty will assuredly rejoice in this opportunity to inscribe their names on the tablets to be preserved in the monument, that after ages may know how universal was the veneration of the American people for the illustrious founder of their National Independence. John 0. Montoomxbt.
Philadelphia, April 10, 1850.