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carefully avoided. The undraped pictures and statues which were (wrongly or rightly, no matter here) the fashion in Charles's court, would have been to him "the abominations of the heathen," "vanities from which he must pray that his eyes might be turned away;" and even in his description of Vanity Fair, or of Madam Bubble, where most poetical imaginations would have thought it but part of their duty to hint, at least, at luxurious imagery, Bunyan is silent on the point: not from prudery-for he uses very plain old English words-but simply because such images never occurred to him.
For the same reasons, it seems to me, Mr. Bennett has been right in choosing for his manner one formed on the study of Durer and Holbein, and the other Teutonic draughtsmen who had little or no acquaintance with Greek and Italian art. A certain homeliness and hardihood (I had almost said coarseness) of outline, will best express the features which Bunyan's imagination or memory pictured to him. For the very history of painting proves, that till it has been saturated with Greek art, and, as it were, learnt to see through Greek eyes, the Teutonic mind is at least unconscious of that element of physical beauty which seems to consist in a secret but
perpetual tendency toward mathematical curve and proportion in outlines. As the standard of beauty is the same in both races, we must believe that the Teuton is influenced by this element as much as the Greek was. But the Greek alone analyzed and consciously reproduced it; and therefore it is to be employed in illustrating English books, only in proportion to the degree in which the author has been brought under the influence of Greek art. An illustrator of Spenser, for example, would be well repaid by a thorough study of the great Italian draughtsmen from 1500 to 1590-even more so, perhaps, than by studying Greek statuary, for it was with Italian eyes that Spenser learnt to see; while for the actual work of the burin, Marc Antonio, not Albert Durer, should be his master. But for "The Pilgrim's Progress" Marc Antonio would teach nothing, and Albert Durer be the best master; to the exclusion, of course, of all conventional archaisms and unnecessary uglinesses-things always and in all men detestable and
In like manner, all ambitious attempts at landscape drawing would be utterly out of place with regard to "The Pilgrim's Progress." In one illustrated edition which I have seen, fantastic mountain and forest scenery,
and grotesque and horrible combinations of it with demons and monsters, form a large part of the drawings. But such are no illustrations of Bunyan. They may be very pretty in themselves; but there is no evidence from the book that such pictures ever presented themselves to him. The poverty of his descriptive powers, the absence of anything like our modern "word-painting," is characteristic of the man. Born and bred in the monotonous midland, he has no natural images beyond the
pastures and brooks,
he saw about him.
the towns and country houses, which
He is as thoroughly
He is as thoroughly "naturalist" in
them as in his characters: but when he requires images. of a grander kind, he goes to Scripture for them; and his Delectable Mountains, "beautified with woods, vineyards, fruits of all kind, flowers also," are merely formed from that common repertory of the Puritans, without individuality of any kind. Why should they be? Bunyan had probably never seen a mountain in his life; and was much too honest a man to indulge his fancy without warrant of fact. The Bible supplied him with ideal imagery enough to suit him; to the Bible he went for it, and even to that modestly and sparingly enough, as may be seen by comparing his quasi idyllic account of the Shepherds and their country with Solomon's Song. His Valley of the Shadow of Death, in like wise, he
describes, not objectively, for the sake of the grand and terrible, but subjectively, for the sake of the man who passes through it, naming merely, and that without an epithet, all its satyrs and hobgoblins, snares, gins, and pitfalls.
There is, in fact, in Bunyan, the same insensibility to the beautiful and the awful in nature, which is noticeable in the early Christians, the mediæval monks, and perhaps in all persons under strong religious excitement. Where the unseen world is all in all, the visible world is only important in as far as it bears on the soul within; while to point out that bearing, the most conventional forms are sufficient.
To have heaped up, in the background of these illustrations, detailed natural scenes, would have been to mistake the difference between it and Spenser's "Fairy Queen." In that, the great allegory of the anti-Puritan party, man is considered as striving to do noble work in this world, not merely, as in "The Pilgrim's Progress," to pass through it on his journey to some better world; in the former, therefore, the proper background is the world itself, in all its forms, whether natural or artificial; in the latter, the world is renounced, and the
only background is the heaven toward which man is journeying.
This difference, of course, makes "The Pilgrim's Progress" a far narrower field for the artist than "The Fairy Queen"-a book which, perhaps, offers more noble and more varied subjects for the pencil than any other book in the world: one would, for Bunyan's sake, that this were the only point of contrast.
But it must be confessed, that Bunyan is inferior to Spenser in ethic, as well as in artistic beauty. As was to be expected from his idea of man's life, as an escape from hell, the virtues on which he insists are chiefly, if not altogether, those which have been named "the selfish virtues "-prudence, sound self-interest, and enduring determination; all good, but not exclusively "Christian graces." These, with a truly English honesty and plainness of speech, and a hearty and simple gratitude to his Divine Deliverer, constitute Bunyan's "Christian : but of those more godlike elements of character on which Spenser chiefly dwells, the elements which are called out by man's actual work in the world on behalf of others, not merely on behalf of himself,—of these Bunyan says but little. Of justice and faithfulness between man and