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The Pleasures of Life by Sir John Lubbock

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same, however, might be said of most other opportunities and privileges;
Knowledge and Strength, Beauty and Skill, may all be abused; if we neglect
or misuse them we are worse off than if we had never had them. Wealth is
only a disadvantage in the hands of those who do not know how to use it.
It gives the command of so many other things--leisure, the power of
helping friends, books, works of art, opportunities and means of travel.

It would, however, be easy to exaggerate the advantages of money. It is
well worth having, and worth working for, but it does not requite too
great a sacrifice; not indeed so great as is often offered up to it. A
wise proverb tells us that gold may be bought too dear. If wealth is to be
valued because it gives leisure, clearly it would be a mistake to
sacrifice leisure in the struggle for wealth. Money has no doubt also a
tendency to make men poor in spirit. But, on the other hand, what gift is
there which is without danger?

Euripides said that money finds friends for men, and has great (he said
the greatest) power among Mankind, cynically adding, "A mighty person
indeed is a rich man, especially if his heir be unknown."

Bossuet tells us that "he had no attachment to riches, still if he had
only what was barely necessary, he felt himself narrowed, and would lose
more than half his talents."

Shelley was certainly not an avaricious man, and yet "I desire money," he
said, "because I think I know the use of it. It commands labor, it gives
leisure; and to give leisure to those who will employ it in the forwarding
of truth is the noblest present an individual can make to the whole."

Many will have felt with Pepys when he quaintly and piously says, "Abroad
with my wife, the first time that ever I rode in my own coach; which do
make my heart rejoice and praise God, and pray him to bless it to me, and
continue it."

This, indeed, was a somewhat selfish satisfaction. Yet the merchant need
not quit nor be ashamed of his profession, bearing in mind only the
inscription on the Church of St. Giacomo de Rialto at Venice: "Around this
temple let the merchant's law be just, his weight true, and his covenants
faithful." [2]

If life has been sacrificed to the rolling up of money for its own sake,
the very means by which it was acquired will prevent its being enjoyed;
the chill of poverty will have entered into the very bones. The term Miser
was happily chosen for such persons; they are essentially miserable.

"A collector peeps into all the picture shops of Europe for a landscape of
Poussin, a crayon sketch of Salvator; but the Transfiguration, the Last
Judgment, the Communion of St. Jerome, and what are as transcendent as
these, are on the walls of the Vatican, the Uffizi, or the Louvre, where
every footman may see them: to say nothing of Nature's pictures in every
street, of sunsets and sunrises every day, and the sculpture of the human
body never absent. A collector recently bought at public auction in
London, for one hundred and fifty-seven guineas, an autograph of
Shakespeare: but for nothing a schoolboy can read Hamlet, and can detect
secrets of highest concernment yet unpublished therein." [3] And yet
"What hath the owner but the sight of it with his eyes." [4]

We are really richer than we think. We often hear of Earth hunger. People
envy a great Landlord, and fancy how delightful it must be to possess a
large estate. But, as Emerson says, "if you own land, the land owns you."
Moreover, have we not all, in a better sense--have we not all thousands of
acres of our own? The commons, and roads, and footpaths, and the seashore,
our grand and varied coast--these are all ours. The sea-coast has,
moreover, two great advantages. In the first place, it is for the most
part but little interfered with by man, and in the second it exhibits most
instructively the forces of Nature. We are all great landed proprietors,
if we only knew it. What we lack is not land, but the power to enjoy it.
Moreover, this great inheritance has the additional advantage that it
entails no labor, requires no management. The landlord has the trouble,
but the landscape belongs to every one who has eyes to see it. Thus
Kingsley called the heaths round Eversley his "winter garden;" not because
they were his in the eye of the law, but in that higher sense in which ten
thousand persons may own the same thing.

[1] Epictetus.

[2] Ruskin.

[3] Emerson.

[4] Solomon.

CHAPTER III.

HEALTH.

"Health is best for mortal man; next beauty; thirdly, well gotten
wealth; fourthly, the pleasures of youth among friends."

SIMONIDES.

CHAPTER III

HEALTH.

But if there has been some difference of opinion as to the advantage of
wealth, with reference to health all are agreed.

"Health," said Simonides long ago, "is best for mortal man; next beauty;
thirdly, well gotten wealth; fourthly, the pleasure of youth among
friends." "Life," says Longfellow, "without health is a burden, with
health is a joy and gladness." Empedocles delivered the people of Selinus
from a pestilence by draining a marsh, and was hailed as a Demigod. We are
told that a coin was struck in his honor, representing the Philosopher in
the act of staying the hand of Phoebus.

We scarcely realize, I think, how much we owe to Doctors. Our system of
Medicine seems so natural and obvious that it hardly occurs to us as
somewhat new and exceptional. When we are ill we send for a Physician; he
prescribes some medicine; we take it, and pay his fee. But among the lower
races of men pain and illness are often attributed to the presence of evil
spirits. The Medicine Man is a Priest, or rather a Sorcerer, more than a
true Doctor, and his effort is to exorcise the evil spirit.

In other countries where some advance has been made, a charm is written on
a board, washed off, and drunk. In some cases the medicine is taken, not
by the patient, but by the Doctor. Such a system, however, is generally
transient; it is naturally discouraged by the Profession, and is indeed
incompatible with a large practice. Even as regards the payment we find
very different systems. The Chinese pay their medical man as long as they
are well, and stop his salary as soon as they are ill. In ancient Egypt we
are told that the patient feed the Doctor for the first few days, after
which the Doctor paid the patient until he made him well. This is a
fascinating system, but might afford too much temptation to heroic
remedies.

On the whole our plan seems the best, though it does not offer adequate
encouragement to discovery and research. We do not appreciate how much we
owe to the discoveries of such men as Hunter and Jenner, Simpson and
Lister. And yet in the matter of health we can generally do more for
ourselves than the greatest Doctors can for us.

But if all are agreed as to the blessing of health, there are many who
will not take the little trouble, or submit to the slight sacrifices,
necessary to maintain it. Many, indeed, deliberately ruin their own
health, and incur the certainty of an early grave, or an old age of
suffering.

No doubt some inherit a constitution which renders health almost
unattainable. Pope spoke of that long disease, his life. Many indeed may
say, "I suffer, therefore I am." But happily these cases are exceptional.
Most of us might be well, if we would. It is very much our own fault that
we are ill. We do those things which we ought not to do, and we leave
undone those things which we ought to have done, and then we wonder there
is no health in us.

We all know that we can make ourselves ill, but few perhaps realize how
much we can do to keep ourselves well. Much of our suffering is
self-inflicted. It has been observed that among the ancient Egyptians the
chief aim of life seemed to be to be well buried. Many, however, live even
now as if this were the principal object of their existence.

Like Naaman, we expect our health to be the subject of some miraculous
interference, and neglect the homely precautions by which it might be
secured.

I am inclined to doubt whether the study of health is sufficiently
impressed on the minds of those entering life. Not that it is desirable to
potter over minor ailments, to con over books on illnesses, or experiment
on ourselves with medicine. Far from it. The less we fancy ourselves ill,
or bother about little bodily discomforts, the more likely perhaps we are
to preserve our health.

It is, however, a different matter to study the general conditions of
health. A well-known proverb tells us that every one is a fool or a
physician at forty. Unfortunately, however, many persons are invalids at
forty as well as physicians.

Ill-health, however, is no excuse for moroseness. If we have one disease
we may at least congratulate ourselves that we are escaping all the rest.
Sydney Smith, ever ready to look on the bright side of things, once, when
borne down by suffering, wrote to a friend that he had gout, asthma, and
seven other maladies, but was "otherwise very well;" and many of the
greatest invalids have borne their sufferings with cheerfulness and good
spirits.

It is said that the celebrated physiognomist, Campanella, could so
abstract his attention from any sufferings of his body, that he was even
able to endure the rack without much pain; and whoever has the power of
concentrating his attention and controlling his will, can emancipate
himself from most of the minor miseries of life. He may have much cause
for anxiety, his body may be the seat of severe suffering, and yet his
mind will remain serene and unaffected; he may triumph over care and pain.

But many have undergone much unnecessary suffering, and valuable lives
have often been lost, through ignorance or carelessness. We cannot but
fancy that the lives of many great men might have been much prolonged by
the exercise of a little ordinary care.

If we take musicians only, what a grievous loss to the world it is that
Pergolesi should have died at twenty-six, Schubert at thirty-one, Mozart
at thirty-five, Purcell at thirty-seven, and Mendelssohn at thirty-eight.

In the old Greek myth the life of Meleager was indissolubly connected by
fate with the existence of a particular log of wood. As long as this was
kept safe by Althaea, his mother, Meleager bore a charmed life. It seems
wonderful that we do not watch with equal care over our body, on the state
of which happiness so much depends.

The requisites of health are plain enough; regular habits, daily exercise,
cleanliness, and moderation in all things--in eating as well as in
drinking--would keep most people well.

I need not here dwell on the evils of drinking, but we perhaps scarcely
realize how much of the suffering and ill-humor of life is due to
over-eating. Dyspepsia, for instance, from which so many suffer, is in
nine cases out of ten their own fault, and arises from the combination of
too much food with too little exercise. To lengthen your life, says an old
proverb, shorten your meals. Plain living and high thinking will secure
health for most of us, though it matters, perhaps, comparatively little
what a healthy man eats, so long as he does not eat too much.

Mr. Gladstone has told us that the splendid health he enjoys is greatly
due to his having early learnt one simple physiological maxim, and laid it
down as a rule for himself always to make twenty-five bites at every bit
of meat.

"Go to your banquet then, but use delight,
So as to rise still with an appetite." [1]

No doubt, however, though the rule not to eat or drink too much is simple
enough in theory, it is not quite so easy in application. There have been
many Esaus who sold their birthright of health for a mess of pottage.

Moreover, it may seem paradoxical, but it is certainly true, that in the
long run the moderate man will derive more enjoyment even from eating and
drinking, than the glutton or the drunkard will ever obtain. They know not
what it is to enjoy "the exquisite taste of common dry bread." [2]

And yet even if we were to consider merely the pleasure to be derived from
eating and drinking, the same rule would hold good. A lunch of bread and
cheese after a good walk is more enjoyable than a Lord Mayor's feast.
Without wishing, like Apicius, for the neck of a stork, so that he might
enjoy his dinner longer, we must not be ungrateful for the enjoyment we
derive from eating and drinking, even though they be amongst the least
aesthetic of our pleasures. They are homely, no doubt, but they come
morning, noon, and night, and are not the less real because they have
reference to the body rather than the soul.

We speak truly of a healthy appetite, for it is a good test of our bodily
condition; and indeed in some cases of our mental state also. That

"There cometh no good thing
Apart from toil to mortals,"

is especially true with reference to appetite; to sit down to a dinner,
however simple, after a walk with a friend among the mountains or along
the shore, is no insignificant pleasure.

Cheerfulness and good humor, moreover, during meals are not only pleasant
in themselves, but conduce greatly to health.

It has been said that hunger is the best sauce, but most would prefer some
good stories at a feast even to a good appetite; and who would not like to
have it said of him, as of Biron by Rosaline--

"A merrier man
Within the limit of becoming mirth
I never spent an hour's talk withal."

In the three great "Banquets" of Plato, Xenophon, and Plutarch, the food
is not even mentioned.

In the words of the old Lambeth adage--

"What is a merry man?
Let him do what he can
To entertain his guests
With wine and pleasant jests,
Yet if his wife do frown
All merryment goes down."

What salt is to food, wit and humor are to conversation and literature.
"You do not," an amusing writer in the _Cornhill_ has said, "expect humor
in Thomas a Kempis or Hebrew Prophets;" but we have Solomon's authority
that there is a time to laugh, as well as to weep.

"To read a good comedy is to keep the best company in the world, when the
best things are said, and the most amusing things happen." [3]

It is not without reason that every one resents the imputation of being
unable to see a joke.

Laughter appears to be the special prerogative of man. The higher animals
present us with proof of evident, if not highly developed reasoning power,
but it is more than doubtful whether they are capable of appreciating a
joke.

Wit, moreover, has solved many difficulties and decided many
controversies.

"Ridicule shall frequently prevail,
And cut the knot when graver reasons fail." [4]

A careless song, says Walpole, with a little nonsense in it now and then,
does not misbecome a monarch, but it is difficult now to realize that
James I. should have regarded skill in punning in his selections of
bishops and privy councillors.

The most wasted of all days, says Chamfort, is that on which one has not
laughed.

It is, moreover, no small merit of laughter that it is quite spontaneous.
"You cannot force people to laugh; you cannot give a reason why they
should laugh; they must laugh of themselves or not at all.... If we think
we must not laugh, this makes our temptation to laugh the greater." [5]
Humor is, moreover, contagious. A witty man may say, as Falstaff does of
himself, "I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in
other men."

But one may paraphrase the well-known remark about port wine and say that
some jokes may be better than others, but anything which makes one laugh
is good. "After all," says Dryden, "it is a good thing to laugh at any
rate; and if a straw can tickle a man, it is an instrument of happiness,"
and I may add, of health.

I have been told that in omitting any mention of smoking I was overlooking
one of the real pleasures of life. Not being a smoker myself I cannot
perhaps judge; much must depend on the individual temperament; to some
nervous natures it certainly appears to be a great comfort; but I have my
doubts whether smoking, as a general rule, does add to the pleasures of
life. It must, moreover, detract somewhat from the sensitiveness of taste
and of smell.

Those who live in cities may almost lay it down as a rule that no time
spent out of doors is ever wasted. Fresh air is a cordial of incredible
virtue; old families are in all senses county families, not town families;
and those who prefer Homer and Plato and Shakespeare to hares and
partridges and foxes must beware that they are not tempted to neglect this
great requisite of our nature.

Most Englishmen, however, love open air, and it is probably true that most
of us enjoy a game at cricket or golf more than looking at any of the old
masters. The love of sport is engraven in the English character. As was
said of William Rufus, "he loves the tall deer as he had been their
father."

An Oriental traveler is said to have watched a game of cricket and been
much astonished at hearing that many of those playing were rich men. He
asked why they did not pay some poor people to do it for them.

Wordsworth made it a rule to go out every day, and he used to say that as
he never consulted the weather, he never had to consult the physicians.

It always seems to be raining harder than it really is when you look at
the weather through the window. Even in winter, though the landscape often
seems cheerless and bare enough when you look at it from the fireside,
still it is far better to go out, even if you have to brave the storm:
when you are once out of doors the touch of earth and the breath of the
fresh air gives you fresh life and energy. Men, like trees, live in great
part on air.

After a gallop over the downs, a row on the river, a sea voyage, a walk by
the seashore or in the woods

"The blue above, the music in the air,
The flowers upon the ground," [6]

one feels as if one could say with Henry IV., "Je me porte comme le Ponte
Neuf."

The Roman proverb that a child should be taught nothing which he cannot
learn standing up, went no doubt into an extreme, but surely we fall into
another when we act as if games were the only thing which boys could learn
upon their feet.

The love of games among boys is certainly a healthy instinct, and though
carried too far in some of our great schools, there can be no question
that cricket and football, boating and hockey, bathing and birdnesting,
are not only the greatest pleasures, but the best medicines for boys.

We cannot always secure sleep. When important decisions have to be taken,
the natural anxiety to come to a right decision will often keep us awake.
Nothing, however, is more conducive to healthy sleep than plenty of open
air. Then indeed we can enjoy the fresh life of the early morning: "the
breezy call of incense-bearing morn." [7]

"At morn the Blackcock trims his jetty wing,
'Tis morning tempts the linnet's blithest lay,
All nature's children feel the matin spring
Of life reviving with reviving day."

Epictetus described himself as "a spirit bearing about a corpse." That
seems to me an ungrateful description. Surely we ought to cherish the
body, even if it be but a frail and humble companion. Do we not own to the
eye our enjoyment of the beauties of this world and the glories of the
Heavens; to the ear the voices of friends and all the delights of music;
are not the hands most faithful and invaluable instruments, ever ready in
case of need, ever willing to do our bidding; and even the feet bear us
without a murmur along the roughest and stoniest paths of life.

With reasonable care, then, most of us may hope to enjoy good health. And
yet what a marvellous and complex organization we have!

We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made. It is

"Strange that a harp of a thousand strings,
Should keep in tune so long."

When we consider the marvellous complexity of our bodily organization, it
seems a miracle that we should live at all; much more that the innumerable
organs and processes should continue day after day and year after year
with so much regularity and so little friction that we are sometimes
scarcely conscious of having a body at all.

And yet in that body we have more than 200 bones, of complex and varied
forms, any irregularity in, or injury to, which would of course grievously
interfere with our movements.

We have over 500 muscles; each nourished by almost innumerable blood
vessels, and regulated by nerves. One of our muscles, the heart, beats
over 30,000,000 times in a year, and if it once stops, all is over.

In the skin are wonderfully varied and complex organs--for instance, over
2,000,000 perspiration glands, which regulate the temperature and
communicate with the surface by ducts, which have a total length of some
ten miles.

Think of the miles of arteries and veins, of capillaries and nerves; of
the blood, with the millions of millions of blood corpuscles, each a
microcosm in itself.

Think of the organs of sense,--the eye with its cornea and lens, vitreous
humor, aqueous humor, and choroid, culminating in the retina, no thicker
than a sheet of paper, and yet consisting of nine distinct layers, the
innermost composed of rods and cones, supposed to be the immediate
recipients of the undulations of light, and so numerous that in each eye
the cones are estimated at over 3,000,000, the rods at over 30,000,000.

Above all, and most wonderful of all, the brain itself. Meinert has
calculated that the gray matter of the convolutions alone contains no less
than 600,000,000 cells; each cell consists of several thousand visible
atoms, and each atom again of many millions of molecules.

And yet with reasonable care we can most of us keep this wonderful
organization in health; so that it will work without causing us pain, or
even discomfort, for many years; and we may hope that even when old age
comes

"Time may lay his hand
Upon your heart gently, not smiting it
But as a harper lays his open palm
Upon his harp, to deaden its vibrations."

[1] Herrick.

[2] Hamerton.

[3] Hazlitt.

[4] Francis.

[5] Hazlitt.

[6] Trench.

[7] Gray.

CHAPTER IV.

LOVE.

"Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,
And men below and saints above;
For love is heaven and heaven is love."

SCOTT.

CHAPTER IV.

LOVE.

Love is the light and sunshine of life. We are so constituted that we
cannot fully enjoy ourselves, or anything else, unless some one we love
enjoys it with us. Even if we are alone, we store up our enjoyment in hope
of sharing it hereafter with those we love.

Love lasts through life, and adapts itself to every age and circumstance;
in childhood for father and mother, in manhood for wife, in age for
children, and throughout for brothers and sisters, relations and friends.
The strength of friendship is indeed proverbial, and in some cases, as in
that of David and Jonathan, is described as surpassing the love of women.
But I need not now refer to it, having spoken already of what we owe to
friends.

The goodness of Providence to man has been often compared to that of
fathers and mothers for their children.

"Just as a mother, with sweet, pious face,
Yearns toward her little children from her seat,
Gives one a kiss, another an embrace,
Takes this upon her knees, that on her feet;
And while from actions, looks, complaints, pretences,
She learns their feelings and their various will,
To this a look, to that a word, dispenses,
And, whether stern or smiling, loves them still;--
So Providence for us, high, infinite,
Makes our necessities its watchful task,
Hearkens to all our prayers, helps all our wants,
And e'en if it denies what seems our right,
Either denies because 'twould have us ask,
Or seems but to deny, or in denying grants." [1]

Sir Walter Scott well says--

"And if there be on Earth a tear
From passion's dross [2] refined and clear,
'Tis that which pious fathers shed
Upon a duteous daughter's head."

Epaminondas is said to have given as his main reason for rejoicing at the
victory of Leuctra, that it would give so much pleasure to his father and
mother.

Nor must the love of animals be altogether omitted. It is impossible not
to sympathize with the Savage when he believes in their immortality, and
thinks that after death

"Admitted to that equal sky
His faithful dog shall bear him company." [3]

In the _Mahabharata_, the great Indian Epic, when the family of Pandavas,
the heroes, at length reach the gates of heaven, they are welcomed
themselves, but are told that their dog cannot come in. Having pleaded in
vain, they turn to depart, as they say they can never leave their faithful
companion. Then at the last moment the Angel at the door relents, and
their Dog is allowed to enter with them.

We may hope the time will come when we shall learn

"Never to blend our pleasures or our pride,
With sorrow of the meanest thing that feels." [4]

But at the present moment I am speaking rather of the love which leads to
marriage. Such love is the music of life, nay, "there is music in the
beauty, and the silver note of love, far sweeter than the sound of any
instrument." [5]

The Symposium of Plato contains an interesting and amusing disquisition on
Love.

"Love," Phaedrus is made to say, "will make men dare to die for their
beloved--love alone: and women as well as men. Of this, Alcestis, the
daughter of Pelias, is a monument to all Hellas; for she was willing to
lay down her life on behalf of her husband, when no one else would,
although he had a father and mother; but the tenderness of her love so far
exceeded theirs, that she made them seem to be strangers in blood to their
own son, and in name only related to him; and so noble did this action of
hers appear to the gods, as well as to men, that among the many who have
done virtuously she is one of the very few to whom they have granted the
privilege of returning to earth, in admiration of her virtue; such
exceeding honor is paid by them to the devotion and virtue of love."

Agathon is even more eloquent--

Love "fills men with affection, and takes away their disaffection, making
them meet together at such banquets as these. In sacrifices, feasts,
dances, he is our lord--supplying kindness and banishing unkindness,
giving friendship and forgiving anmity, the joy of the good, the wonder of
the wise, the amazement of the gods, desired by those who have no part in
him, and precious to those who have the better part in him; parent of
delicacy, luxury, desire, fondness, softness, grace, regardful of the
good, regardless of the evil. In every word, work, wish, fear--pilot,
comrade, helper, savior; glory of gods and men, leader best and brightest:
in whose footsteps let every man follow, sweetly singing in his honor that
sweet strain with which love charms the souls of gods and men."

No doubt, even so there are two Loves, "one, the daughter of Uranus, who
has no mother, and is the elder and wiser goddess; and the other, the
daughter of Zeus and Dione, who is popular and common,"--but let us not
examine too closely. Charity tells us even of Guinevere, "that while she
lived, she was a good lover and therefore she had a good end." [6]

The origin of love has exercised philosophers almost as much as the origin
of evil. The Symposium continues with a speech which Plato attributes in
joke to Aristophanes, and of which Jowett observes that nothing in
Aristophanes is more truly Aristophanic.

The original human nature, he says, was not like the present. The Primeval
Man was round, [7] his back and sides forming a circle; and he had four
hands and four feet, one head with two faces, looking opposite ways, set
on a round neck and precisely alike. He could walk upright as men now do,
backward or forward as he pleased, and he could also roll over and over at
a great rate, whirling round on his four hands and four feet, eight in
all, like tumblers going over and over with their legs in the air; this
was when he wanted to run fast. Terrible was their might and strength, and
the thoughts of their hearts great, and they made an attack upon the gods;
of them is told the tale of Otys and Ephialtes, who, as Homer says, dared
to scale heaven, and would have laid hands upon the gods. Doubt reigned in
the celestial councils. Should they kill them and annihilate the race with
thunderbolts, as they had done the giants, then there would be an end of
the sacrifices and worship which men offered to them; but, on the other
hand, the gods could not suffer their insolence to be unrestrained. At
last, after a good deal of reflection, Zeus discovered a way. He said;
"Methinks I have a plan which will humble their pride and mend their
manners; they shall continue to exist, but I will cut them in two, which
will have a double advantage, for it will halve their strength and we
shall have twice as many sacrifices. They shall walk upright on two legs,
and if they continue insolent and will not be quiet, I will split them
again and they shall hop on a single leg." He spoke and cut men in two,
"as you might split an egg with a hair."... After the division the two
parts of man, each desiring his other half, came together.... So ancient
is the desire of one another which is implanted in us, reuniting our
original nature, making one of two, and healing the state of man. Each of
us when separated is but the indenture of a man, having one side only,
like a flat-fish and he is always looking for his other half.

And when one of them finds his other half, the pair are lost in amazement
of love and friendship and intimacy, and one will not be out of the
other's sight, as I may say, even for a minute: they will pass their whole
lives together; yet they could not explain what they desire of one
another. For the intense yearning which each of them has toward the other
does not appear to be the desire of lover's intercourse, but of something
else, which the soul of either evidently desires and cannot tell, and of
which she has only a dark and doubtful presentiment.

However this may be, there is such instinctive insight in the human heart
that we often form our opinion almost instantaneously, and such
impressions seldom change, I might even say, they are seldom wrong. Love
at first sight sounds like an imprudence, and yet is almost a revelation.
It seems as if we were but renewing the relations of a previous existence.

"But to see her were to love her,
Love but her, and love for ever." [8]

Yet though experience seldom falsifies such a feeling, happily the reverse
does not hold good. The deepest affection is often of slow growth. Many a
warm love has been won by faithful devotion.

Montaigne indeed declares that "Few have married for love without
repenting it." Dr. Johnson also maintained that marriages would generally
be happier if they were arranged by the Lord Chancellor; but I do not
think either Montaigne or Johnson were good judges. As Lancelot said to
the unfortunate Maid of Astolat, "I love not to be constrained to love,
for love must arise of the heart and not by constraint." [9]

Love defies distance and the elements; Sestos and Abydos are divided by
the sea, "but Love joined them by an arrow from his bow." [10]

Love can be happy anywhere. Byron wished

"O that the desert were my dwelling-place,
With one fair Spirit for my minister,
That I might all forget the human race,
And, hating no one, love but only her."

And many will doubtless have felt

"O Love! what hours were thine and mine
In lands of Palm and Southern Pine,
In lands of Palm, of Orange blossom,
Of Olive, Aloe, and Maize and Vine."

What is true of space holds good equally of
time.

"In peace, Love tunes the shepherd's reed.
In war, he mounts the warrior's steed;
In halls, in gay attire is seen;
In hamlets, dances on the green.
Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,
And men below, and saints above;
For love is heaven, and heaven is love." [11]

Even when, as among some Eastern races, Religion and Philosophy have
combined to depress Love, truth reasserts itself in popular sayings, as
for instance in the Turkish proverb, "All women are perfection, especially
she who loves you."

A French lady having once quoted to Abd-el-Kader the Polish proverb, "A
woman draws more with a hair of her head than a pair of oxen well
harnessed;" he answered with a smile, "The hair is unnecessary, woman is
powerful as fate."

But we like to think of Love rather as the Angel of Happiness than as a
ruling force: of the joy of home when "hearts are of each other sure."

"It is the secret sympathy,
The silver link, the silken tie,
Which heart to heart, and mind to mind
In body and in soul can bind." [12]

What Bacon says of a friend is even truer of a wife; there is "no man that
imparteth his joys to his friend, but he joyeth the more; and no man that
imparteth his griefs to his friend, but he grieveth the less."

Let some one we love come near us and

"At once it seems that something new or strange
Has passed upon the flowers, the trees, the ground;
Some slight but unintelligible change
On everything around." [13]

We might, I think, apply to love what Homer says of Fate:

"Her feet are tender, for she sets her steps
Not on the ground, but on the heads of men."

Love and Reason divide the life of man. We must give to each its due. If
it is impossible to attain to virtue by the aid of Reason without Love,
neither can we do so by means of Love alone without Reason.

Love, said Melanippides, "sowing in the heart of man the sweet harvest of
desire, mixes the sweetest and most beautiful things together."

No one indeed could complain now, with Phaedrus in Plato's Symposium, that
Love has had no worshippers among the Poets. On the contrary, Love has
brought them many of their sweetest inspirations; none perhaps nobler or
more beautiful than Milton's description of Paradise:

"With thee conversing, I forget all time,
All seasons, and their change, all please alike.
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet
With charm of earliest birds; pleasant the sun
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams on herb, tree, fruit, and flower
Glistering with dew, fragrant the fertile earth
After soft showers; and sweet the coming on
Of grateful evening mild; then silent night
With this her solemn bird and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heaven, her starry train:
But neither breath of morn when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds, nor rising sun
On this delightful land, nor herb, fruit, flower
Glistering with dew, nor fragrance after showers,
Nor grateful evening mild, nor silent night
With this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon
Or glittering starlight, without thee is sweet."

Moreover, no one need despair of an ideal marriage. We unfortunately
differ so much in our tastes; love does so much to create love, that even
the humblest may hope for the happiest marriage if only he deserves it;
and Shakespeare speaks, as he does so often, for thousands when he says

"She is mine own,
And I as rich in having such a jewel
As twenty seas, if all their sands were pearls,
The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold."

True love indeed will not be unreasonable or exacting.

"Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind
That from the nursery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.
True! a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field,
And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.
Yet this inconstancy is such
As you too shall adore,
I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not honor more." [14]

And yet

"Alas! how light a cause may move
Dissension between hearts that love!
Hearts that the world in vain had tried,
And sorrow but more closely tied,
That stood the storm, when waves were rough,
Yet in a sunny hour fall off,
Like ships that have gone down at sea,
When heaven was all tranquillity." [15]

For love is brittle. Do not risk even any little jar; it may be

"The little rift within the lute,
That by and by will make the music mute,
And ever widening slowly silence all." [16]

Love is delicate; "Love is hurt with jar and fret," and you might as well
expect a violin to remain in tune if roughly used, as Love to survive if
chilled or driven into itself. But what a pleasure to keep it alive by

"Little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love." [17]

"She whom you loved and chose," says Bondi,

"Is now your bride,
The gift of heaven, and to your trust consigned;
Honor her still, though not with passion blind;
And in her virtue, though you watch, confide.
Be to her youth a comfort, guardian, guide,
In whose experience she may safety find;
And whether sweet or bitter be assigned,
The joy with her, as well as pain divide.
Yield not too much if reason disapprove;
Nor too much force; the partner of your life
Should neither victim be, nor tyrant prove.
Thus shall that rein, which often mars the bliss
Of wedlock, scarce be felt; and thus your wife
Ne'er in the husband shall the lover miss." [18]

Every one is ennobled by true love--

"Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all." [19]

Perhaps no one ever praised a woman more gracefully in a sentence than
Steele when he said of Lady Elizabeth Hastings that "to know her was a
liberal education;" but every woman may feel as she improves herself that
she is not only laying in a store of happiness for herself, but also
raising and blessing him whom she would most wish to see happy and good.

Love, true love, grows and deepens with time. Husband and wife, who are
married indeed, live

"By each other, till to love and live
Be one." [20]

For does it end with life. A mother's love knows no bounds.

"They err who tell us Love can die,
With life all other passions fly,
All others are but vanity.
In Heaven Ambition cannot dwell,
Nor Avarice in the vaults of Hell;
Earthly these passions of the Earth;
They perish where they have their birth,
But Love is indestructible;
Its holy flame forever burneth,
From Heaven it came, to Heaven returneth;
Too oft on Earth a troubled guest,
At times deceived, at times opprest,
It here is tried and purified,
Then hath in Heaven its perfect rest:
It soweth here with toil and care,
But the harvest time of Love is there.

"The mother when she meets on high
The Babe she lost in infancy,
Hath she not then, for pains and fears,
The day of woe, the watchful night,
For all her sorrow, all her tears,
An over-payment of delight?" [21]

As life wears on the love of husband or wife, of friends and of children,
becomes the great solace and delight of age. The one recalls the past, the
other gives interest to the future; and in our children, it has been truly
said, we live our lives again.

[1] _Filicaja_. Translated by Leigh Hunt.

[2] Not from passion itself.

[3] Pope.

[4] Wordsworth.

[5] Browne.

[6] Malory, _Morte d' Arthur_.

[7] I avail myself of Dr. Jowett's translation.

[8] Burns.

[9] Malory, _Morte d' Arthur_.

[10] Symonds.

[11] Scott.

[12] Scott.

[13] Trench.

[14] Lovelace.

[15] Moore.

[16] Tennyson.

[17] Wordsworth.

[18] Bondi. Tr. by Glassfors.

[19] Tennyson.

[20] Swinburne.

[21] Southey.

CHAPTER V.

ART.

"High art consists neither in altering, nor in improving nature; but
in seeking throughout nature for 'whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are pure;' in loving these, in displaying to the
utmost of the painter's power such loveliness as is in them, and
directing the thoughts of others to them by winning art, or gentle
emphasis. Art (caeteris paribus) is great in exact proportion to the
love of beauty shown by the painter, provided that love of beauty
forfeit no atom of truth."--RUSKIN.

CHAPTER V.

ART.

The most ancient works of Art which we possess are representations of
animals, rude indeed, but often strikingly characteristic, engraved on, or
carved in, stag's-horn or bone; and found in English, French, and German
caves, with stone and other rude implements, and the remains of mammalia,
belonging apparently to the close of the glacial epoch: not only of the
deer, bear, and other animals now inhabiting temperate Europe, but of
some, such as the reindeer, the musk sheep, and the mammoth, which have
either retreated north or become altogether extinct. We may, I think,
venture to hope that other designs may hereafter be found, which will give
us additional information as to the manners and customs of our ancestors
in those remote ages.

Next to these in point of antiquity come the sculptures and paintings on
Assyrian and Egyptian tombs, temples, and palaces.

These ancient scenes, considered as works of art, have no doubt many
faults, and yet how graphically they tell their story! As a matter of fact
a king is not, as a rule, bigger than his soldiers, but in these
battle-scenes he is always so represented. We must, however, remember that
in ancient warfare the greater part of the fighting was, as a matter of
fact, done by the chiefs. In this respect the Homeric poems resemble the
Assyrian and Egyptian representations. At any rate, we see at a glance
which is the king, which are officers, which side is victorious, the
struggles and sufferings of the wounded, the flight of the enemy, the city
of refuge--so that he who runs may read; while in modern battle-pictures
the story is much less clear, and, indeed, the untrained eye sees for some
time little but scarlet and smoke.

These works assuredly possess a grandeur and dignity of their own, even
though they have not the beauty of later art.

In Greece Art reached a perfection which has never been excelled, and it
was more appreciated than perhaps it has ever been since.

At the time when Demetrius attacked the city of Rhodes, Protogenes was
painting a picture of Ialysus. "This," says Pliny, "hindered King
Demetrius from taking Rhodes, out of fear lest he should burn the picture;
and not being able to fire the town on any other side, he was pleased
rather to spare the painting than to take the victory, which was already
in his hands. Protogenes, at that time, had his painting-room in a garden
out of the town, and very near the camp of the enemies, where he was daily
finishing those pieces which he had already begun, the noise of soldiers
not being capable of interrupting his studies. But Demetrius causing him
to be brought into his presence, and asking him what made him so bold as
to work in the midst of enemies, he answered the king, 'That he understood
the war which he made was against the Rhodians, and not against the
Arts.'"

With the decay of Greece, Art sank too, until it was revived in the
thirteenth century by Cimabue, since whose time its progress has been
triumphal.

Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human
happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the
mind. As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.

"In true Art," says Ruskin, "the hand, the head, and the heart of man go
together. But Art is no recreation: it cannot be learned at spare moments,
nor pursued when we have nothing better to do."

It is not only in the East that great works, really due to study and
labor, have been attributed to magic.

Study and labor cannot make every man an artist, but no one can succeed in
art without them. In Art two and two do not make four, and no number of
little things will make a great one.

It has been said, and on high authority, that the end of art is to please.
But this is a very imperfect definition. It might as well be said that a
library is only intended for pleasure and ornament.

Art has the advantage of nature, in so far as it introduces a human
element, which is in some respects superior even to nature. "If," says
Plato, "you take a man as he is made by nature and compare him with
another who is the effect of art, the work of nature will always appear
the less beautitiful, because art is more accurate than nature."

Bacon also, in _The Advancement of Learning_, speaks of "the world being
inferior to the soul, by reason whereof there is agreeable to the spirit
of man a more ample greatness, a more exact goodness, and a more absolute
variety than can be found in the nature of things."

The poets tell us that Prometheus, having made a beautiful statue of
Minerva, the goddess was so delighted that she offered to bring down
anything from Heaven which could add to its perfection. Prometheus on this
prudently asked her to take him there, so that he might choose for
himself. This Minerva did, and Prometheus, finding that in heaven all
things were animated by fire, brought back a spark, with which he gave
life to his work.

In fact, Imitation is the means and not the end of Art. The story of
Zeuxis and Parrhasius is a pretty tale; but to deceive birds, or even man
himself, is but a trifling matter compared with the higher functions of
Art. To imitate the _Iliad_, says Dr. Young, is not imitating Homer, but
as Sir J. Reynolds adds, the more the artist studies nature "the nearer he
approaches to the true and perfect idea of art."

"Following these rules and using these precautions, when you have clearly
and distinctly learned in what good coloring consists, you cannot do
better than have recourse to Nature herself, who is always at hand, and in
comparison of whose true splendor the best colored pictures are but faint
and feeble." [1]

Art, indeed, must create as well as copy. As Victor Cousin well says, "The
ideal without the real lacks life; but the real without the ideal lacks
pure beauty. Both need to unite; to join hands and enter into alliance. In
this way the best work may be achieved. Thus beauty is an absolute idea,
and not a mere copy of imperfect Nature."

The grouping of the picture is of course of the utmost importance. Sir
Joshua Reynolds gives two remarkable cases to show how much any given
figure in a picture is affected by its surroundings. Tintoret in one of
his pictures has taken the Samson of Michael Angelo, put an eagle under
him, placed thunder and lightning in his right hand instead of the jawbone
of an ass, and thus turned him into a Jupiter. The second instance is even
more striking. Titian has copied the figure in the vault of the Sistine
Chapel which represents the Deity dividing light from darkness, and has
introduced it into his picture of the battle of Cadore, to represent a
general falling from his horse.

We must remember that so far as the eye is concerned, the object of the
artist is to train, not to deceive, and that his higher function has
reference rather to the mind than to the eye.

No doubt

"To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess." [2]

But all is not gold that glitters, flowers are not all arrayed like the
lily, and there is room for selection as well as representation.

"The true, the good, and the beautiful," says Cousin, "are but forms of
the infinite: what then do we really love in truth, beauty, and virtue? We
love the infinite himself. The love of the infinite substance is hidden
under the love of its forms. It is so truly the infinite which charms in
the true, the good, and the beautiful, that its manifestations alone do
not suffice. The artist is dissatisfied at the sight even of his greatest
works; he aspires still higher."

It is indeed sometimes objected that Landscape painting is not true to
nature; but we must ask, What is truth? Is the object to produce the same
impression on the mind as that created by the scene itself? If so, let any
one try to draw from memory a group of mountains, and he will probably
find that in the impression produced on his mind the mountains are loftier
and steeper, the valleys deeper and narrower, than in the actual reality.
A drawing, then, which was literally exact would not be true, in the sense
of conveying the same impression as Nature herself.

In fact, Art, says Goethe, is called Art simply because it is not Nature.

It is not sufficient for the artist to choose beautiful scenery, and
delineate it with accuracy. He must not be a mere copyist. Something
higher and more subtle is required. He must create, or at any rate
interpret, as well as copy.

Turner was never satisfied merely to reach to even the most glorious
scenery. He moved, and even suppressed, mountains.

A certain nobleman, we are told, was very anxious to see the model from
whom Guido painted his lovely female faces. Guido placed his
color-grinder, a big coarse man, in an attitude, and then drew a beautiful
Magdalen. "My dear Count," he said, "the beautiful and pure idea must be
in the mind, and then it is no matter what the model is."

Guido Reni, who painted St. Michael for the Church of the Capuchins at
Rome, wished that he "had the wings of an angel, to have ascended unto
Paradise, and there to have beheld the forms of those beautiful spirits,
from which I might have copied my Archangel. But not being able to mount
so high, it was in vain for me to seek for his resemblance here below; so
that I was forced to look into mine own mind, and into that idea of beauty
which I have formed in my own imagination." [3]

Science attempts, as far as the limited powers of Man permit, to reproduce
the actual facts in a manner which, however bald, is true in itself,
irrespective of time and scene. To do this she must submit to many
limitations; not altogether unvexatious, and not without serious
drawbacks. Art, on the contrary, endeavors to convey the impression of the
original under some especial aspect.

In some respects, Art gives a clearer and more vivid idea of an unknown
country than any description can convey. In literature rock may be rock,
but in painting it must be granite or slate, and not merely rock in
general.

It is remarkable that while artists have long recognized the necessity of
studying anatomy, and there has been from the commencement a professor of
anatomy in the Royal Academy, it is only of late years that any knowledge
of botany or geology has been considered desirable, and even now their
importance is by no means generally recognized.

Much has been written as to the relative merits of painting, sculpture,
and architecture. This, if it be not a somewhat unprofitable inquiry,
would at any rate be out of place here.

Architecture not only gives intense pleasure, but even the impression of
something ethereal and superhuman.

Madame de Stael described it as "frozen music;" and a cathedral is a
glorious specimen of "thought in stone," whose very windows are
transparent walls of gorgeous hues.

Caracci said that poets paint in their words and artists speak in their
works. The latter have indeed one great advantage, for a glance at a
statue or a painting will convey a more vivid idea than a long and minute
description.

Another advantage possessed by Art is that it is understood by all
civilized nations, whilst each has a separate language.

Even from a material point of view Art is most important. In a recent
address Sir F. Leighton has observed that the study of Art "is every day
becoming more important in relation to certain sides of the waning
material prosperity of the country. For the industrial competition between
this and other countries--a competition, keen and eager, which means to
certain industries almost a race for life--runs, in many cases, no longer
exclusively or mainly on the lines of excellence of material and solidity
of workmanship, but greatly nowadays on the lines of artistic charm and
beauty of design."

The highest service, however, that Art can accomplish for man is to become
"at once the voice of his nobler aspirations, and the steady
disciplinarian of his emotions; and it is with this mission, rather than
with any aesthetic perfection, that we are at present concerned." [4]

Science and Art are sisters, or rather perhaps they are like brother and
sister. The mission of Art is in some respects like that of woman. It is
not Hers so much to do the hard toil and moil of the world, as to surround
it with a halo of beauty, to convert work into pleasure.

In science we naturally expect progress, but in Art the case is not so
clear; and yet Sir Joshua Reynolds did not hesitate to express his
conviction that in the future "so much will painting improve, that the
best we can now achieve will appear like the work of children," and we may
hope that our power of enjoying it may increase in an equal ratio.
Wordsworth says that poets have to create the taste for their own works,
and the same is, in some degree at any rate, true of artists.

In one respect especially modern painters appear to have made a marked
advance, and one great blessing which in fact we owe to them is a more
vivid enjoyment of scenery.

I have of course no pretensions to speak with authority, but even in the
case of the greatest masters before Turner, the landscapes seem to me
singularly inferior to the figures. Sir Joshua Reynolds tells us that
Gainsborough framed a kind of model of a landscape on his table, composed
of broken stones, dried herbs, and pieces of looking-glass, which he
magnified and improved into rocks, trees, and water; and Sir Joshua
solemnly discusses the wisdom of such a proceeding. "How far it may be
useful in giving hints," he says, "the professors of landscape can best
determine," but he does not recommend it, and is disposed to think, on the
whole, the practice may be more likely to do harm than good!

In the picture of Ceyx and Alcyone, by Wilson, of whom Cunningham said
that, with Gainsborough, he laid the foundation of our School of
Landscape, the castle is said to have been painted from a pot of porter,
and the rock from a Stilton cheese. There is indeed another version of the
story, that the picture was sold for a pot of porter and a cheese, which,
however, does not give a higher idea of the appreciation of the art of
landscape at that date.

Until very recently the general feeling with reference to mountain scenery
has been that expressed by Tacitus. "Who would leave Asia or Africa or
Italy to go to Germany, a shapeless and unformed country, a harsh sky, and
melancholy aspect, unless indeed it was his native land?"

It is amusing to read the opinion of Dr. Beattie, in a special treatise on
_Truth, Poetry and Music_, written at the close of the last century, that
"The Highlands of Scotland are in general a melancholy country. Long
tracts of mountainous country, covered with dark heath, and often obscured
by misty weather; narrow valleys thinly inhabited, and bounded by
precipices resounding with the fall of torrents; a soil so rugged, and a
climate so dreary, as in many parts to admit neither the amenities of
pasturage, nor the labors of agriculture; the mournful dashing of waves
along the firths and lakes: the portentous noises which every change of
the wind is apt to raise in a lonely region, full of echoes, and rocks,
and caverns; the grotesque and ghastly appearance of such a landscape by
the light of the moon: objects like these diffuse a gloom over the fancy,"
etc. [5]

Even Goldsmith regarded the scenery of the Highlands as dismal and
hideous. Johnson, we know, laid it down as an axiom that "the noblest
prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high road that leads him to
England"--a saying which throws much doubt on his distinction that the
Giant's Causeway was "worth seeing but not worth going to see." [6]

Madame de Stael declared, that though she would go 500 leagues to meet a
clever man, she would not care to open her window to see the Bay of
Naples.

Nor was the ancient absence of appreciation confined to scenery. Even
Burke, speaking of Stonehenge, says, "Stonehenge, neither for disposition
nor ornament, has anything admirable."

Ugly scenery, however, may in some cases have an injurious effect on the
human system. It has been ingeniously suggested that what really drove Don
Quixote out of his mind was not the study of his books of chivalry, so
much as the monotonous scenery of La Mancha.

The love of landscape is not indeed due to Art alone. It has been the
happy combination of art and science which has trained us to perceive the
beauty which surrounds us.

Art helps us to see, and "hundreds of people can talk for one who can
think; but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is
poetry, prophecy, and religion all in one.... Remembering always that
there are two characters in which all greatness of Art consists--first,
the earnest and intense seizing of natural facts; then the ordering those
facts by strength of human intellect, so as to make them, for all who look
upon them, to the utmost serviceable, memorable, and beautiful. And thus
great Art is nothing else than the type of strong and noble life; for as
the ignoble person, in his dealings with all that occurs in the world
about him, first sees nothing clearly, looks nothing fairly in the face,
and then allows himself to be swept away by the trampling torrent and
unescapable force of the things that he would not foresee and could not
understand: so the noble person, looking the facts of the world full in
the face, and fathoming them with deep faculty, then deals with them in
unalarmed intelligence and unhurried strength, and becomes, with his human
intellect and will, no unconscious nor insignificant agent in consummating
their good and restraining their evil." [7]

May we not also hope that in this respect also still further progress may
be made, that beauties may be revealed, and pleasures may be in store for
those who come after us, which we cannot appreciate, or at least can but
faintly feel.

Even now there is scarcely a cottage without something more or less
successfully claiming to rank as Art,--a picture, a photograph, or a
statuette; and we may fairly hope that much as Art even now contributes to
the happiness of life, it will do so even more effectively in the future.

[1] Reynolds.

[2] Shakespeare.

[3] Dryden.

[4] Haweis.

[5] Beattie, 1776.

[6] Boswell.

[7] Ruskin.

CHAPTER VI.

POETRY.

"And here the singer for his Art
Not all in vain may plead;
The song that nerves a nation's heart
Is in itself a deed."
TENNYSON.

CHAPTER VI.

POETRY.

After the disastrous defeat of the Athenians before Syracuse, Plutarch
tells us that the Sicilians spared those who could repeat any of the
poetry of Euripides.

"Some there were," he says, "who owed their preservation to Euripides. Of
all the Grecians, his was the muse with whom the Sicilians were most in
love. From the strangers who landed in their island they gleaned every
small specimen or portion of his works, and communicated it with pleasure
to each other. It is said that upon this occasion a number of Athenians on
their return home went to Euripides, and thanked him in the most grateful
manner for their obligations to his pen; some having been enfranchised for
teaching their masters what they remembered of his poems, and others
having procured refreshments, when they were wandering about after the
battle, by singing a few of his verses."

Nowadays we are none of us likely to owe our lives to Poetry in this
sense, yet in another we many of us owe to it a similar debt. How often,
when worn with overwork, sorrow, or anxiety, have we taken down Homer or
Horace, Shakespeare or Milton, and felt the clouds gradually roll away,
the jar of nerves subside, the consciousness of power replace physical
exhaustion, and the darkness of despondency brighten once more into the
light of life.

"And yet Plato," says Jowett, "expels the poets from his Republic because
they are allied to sense; because they stimulate the emotions; because
they are thrice removed from the ideal truth."

In that respect, as in some others, few would accept Plato's Republic as
being an ideal Commonwealth, and most would agree with Sir Philip Sidney
that "if you cannot bear the planet-like music of poetry ... I must send
you in the behalf of all poets, that while you live, you live in love, and
never get favor for lacking skill of a sonnet; and when you die, your
memory die from the earth, for want of an epitaph."

Poetry has often been compared with painting and sculpture. Simonides long
ago said that Poetry is a speaking picture, and painting is mute Poetry.

"Poetry," says Cousin, "is the first of the Arts because it best
represents the infinite."

And again, "Though the arts are in some respects isolated, yet there is
one which seems to profit by the resources of all, and that is Poetry.
With words, Poetry can paint and sculpture; she can build edifices like an
architect; she unites, to some extent, melody and music. She is, so to
say, the center in which all arts unite."

A true poem is a gallery of pictures.

It must, I think, be admitted that painting and sculpture can give us a
clearer and more vivid idea of an object we have never seen than any
description can convey. But when we have once seen it, then on the
contrary there are many points which the poet brings before us, and which
perhaps neither in the representation, nor even in nature, should we
perceive for ourselves. Objects can be most vividly brought before us by
the artist, actions by the poet; space is the domain of Art, time of
Poetry. [1]

Take, for instance, as a typical instance, female beauty. How labored and
how cold any description appears. The greatest poets recognize this; as,
for instance, when Scott wishes us to realize the Lady of the Lake he does
not attempt any description, but just mentions her attitude and then
adds--

"And ne'er did Grecian chisel trace
A Nymph, a Naiad, or a Grace,
Of finer form or lovelier face!"

A great poet indeed must be inspired; he must possess an exquisite sense
of beauty, and feelings deeper than those of most men, and yet well under
his control. "The Milton of poetry is the man, in his own magnificent
phrase, of devout prayer to that eternal spirit that can enrich with all
utterance and knowledge, and sends out his seraphim with the hallowed fire
of his altar, to touch and purify the lips of whom he pleases." [2] And if
from one point of view Poetry brings home to us the immeasurable
inequalities of different minds, on the other hand it teaches us that
genius is no affair of rank or wealth.

"I think of Chatterton, the marvellous boy,
The sleepless soul, that perish'd in his pride;
Of Burns, that walk'd in glory and in joy
Behind his plough upon the mountain-side." [3]

A man may be a poet and yet write no verse, but not if he writes bad or
poor ones.

"Mediocribus esse poetis
Non homines, non Di, non concessere columnae." [4]

Second-rate poets, like second-rate writers generally, fade gradually into
dreamland; but the great poets remain always.

Poetry will not live unless it be alive, "that which comes from the head
goes to the heart;" [5] and Milton truly said that "he who would not be
frustrate of his hope to write well hereafter in laudable things, ought
himself to be a true poem."

For "he who, having no touch of the Muses' madness in his soul, comes to
the door and thinks he will get into the temple by the help of Art--he, I
say, and his Poetry are not admitted." [6]

But the work of the true poet is immortal.

"For have not the verses of Homer continued 2500 years or more without the
loss of a syllable or a letter, during which time infinite palaces,
temples, castles, cities, have been decayed and demolished? It is not
possible to have the true pictures or statues of Cyrus, Alexander, Caesar,
no, nor of the kings or great personages of much later years; for the
originals cannot last, and the copies cannot but lose of the life and
truth. But the images of men's wits and knowledge remain in books,
exempted from the wrong of time and capable of perpetual renovation.
Neither are they fitly to be called images, because they generate still
and cast their seeds in the minds of others, provoking and causing
infinite actions and opinions in succeeding ages: so that if the invention
of the ship was thought so noble, which carrieth riches and commodities
from place to place, and consociateth the most remote regions in
participation of their fruits, how much more are letters to be magnified,
which, as ships, pass through the vast seas of time and make ages so
distant to participate of the wisdom, illuminations, and inventions, the
one of the other?" [7]

The poet requires many qualifications. "Who has traced," says Cousin, "the
plan of this poem? Reason. Who has given it life and charm? Love. And who
has guided reason and love? The Will."

"All men have some imagination, but
The Lover and the Poet
Are of imagination all compact.

* * * * *

"The Poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven,
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name." [8]

Poetry is the fruit of genius; but it cannot be produced without labor.
Moore, one of the airiest of poets, tells us that he was a slow and
painstaking workman.

The works of our greatest Poets are all episodes in that one great poem
which the genius of man has created since the commencement of human
history.

A distinguished mathematician is said once to have inquired what was
proved by Milton in his _Paradise Lost_; and there are no doubt still some
who ask themselves, even if they shrink from putting the question to
others, whether Poetry is of any use, just as if to give pleasure were not
useful in itself. No true Utilitarian, however, would feel this doubt,
since the greatest happiness of the greatest number is the rule of his
philosophy.

"We must not estimate the works of genius merely with reference to the
pleasure they afford, even when pleasure was their principal object. We
must also regard the intelligence which they presuppose and exercise." [9]

Thoroughly to enjoy Poetry we must not so limit ourselves, but must rise
to a higher ideal.

"Yes; constantly in reading poetry, a sense for the best, the really
excellent, and of the strength and joy to be drawn from it, should be
present in our minds, and should govern our estimate of what we
read." [10]

Cicero, in his oration for Archias, well asked, "Has not this man then a
right to my love, to my admiration, to all the means which I can employ in
his defence? For we are instructed by all the greatest and most learned of
mankind, that education, precepts, and practice, can in every other branch
of learning produce excellence. But a poet is formed by the hand of
nature; he is aroused by mental vigor, and inspired by what we may call
the spirit of divinity itself. Therefore our Ennius has a right to give to
poets the epithet of Holy, [11] because they are, as it were, lent to
mankind by the indulgent bounty of the gods."

"Poetry," says Shelley, "awakens and enlarges the mind itself by rendering
it the receptacle of a thousand unapprehended combinations of thought.
Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes
familiar objects be as if they were not familiar; it reproduces all that
it represents, and the impersonations clothed in its Elysian light stand
thenceforward in the minds of those who have once contemplated them, as
memorials of that gentle and exalted content which extends itself over all
thoughts and actions with which it co-exists."

And again, "All high Poetry is infinite; it is as the first acorn, which
contained all oaks potentially. Veil after veil may be undrawn, and the
inmost naked beauty of the meaning never exposed. A great poem is a
fountain forever overflowing with the waters of wisdom and delight."

Or, as he has expressed himself in his Ode to a Skylark:

"Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

"Like a poet hidden
In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,
Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not.

"Like a glow-worm golden
In a dell of dew,
Scattering unbeholden
Its aerial hue
Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view."

We speak now of the poet as the Maker or Creator--[Greek: poiaetaes]; the
origin of the word "bard" seems doubtful.

The Hebrews well called their poets "Seers," for they not only perceive
more than others, but also help other men to see much which would
otherwise be lost to us. The old Greek word was [Greek: aoidos]--the Bard
or Singer.

Poetry lifts the veil from the beauty of the world which would otherwise
be hidden, and throws over the most familiar objects the glow and halo of
imagination. The man who has a love for Poetry can scarcely fail to derive
intense pleasure from Nature, which to those who love it is all "beauty to
the eye and music to the ear."

"Yet Nature never set forth the earth in so rich tapestry as divers poets
have done; neither with so pleasant rivers, fruitful trees, sweet-smelling
flowers, nor whatsoever else may make the too-much-loved earth more
lovely." [12]

In the smokiest city the poet will transport us, as if by enchantment, to
the fresh air and bright sun, to the murmur of woods and leaves and water,
to the ripple of waves upon sand, and enable us, as in some delightful
dream, to cast off the cares and troubles of life.

The poet, indeed, must have more true knowledge, not only of human nature,
but of all Nature, than other men are gifted with.

Crabbe Robinson tells us that when a stranger once asked permission to see
Wordsworth's study, the maid said, "This is master's Library, but he
studies in the fields." No wonder then that Nature has been said to return
the poet's love.

"Call it not vain;-they do not err
Who say that, when the poet dies,
Mute Nature mourns her worshipper,
And celebrates his obsequies." [13]

Swinburne says of Blake, and I feel entirely with him, though in my case
the application would have been different, that "The sweetness of sky and
leaf, of grass and water--the bright light life of bird, child, and
beast--is, so to speak, kept fresh by some graver sense of faithful and
mysterious love, explained and vivified by a conscience and purpose in the
artist's hand and mind. Such a fiery outbreak of spring, such an
insurrection of fierce floral life and radiant riot of childish power and
pleasure, no poet or painter ever gave before; such lustre of green leaves
and flushed limbs, kindled cloud and fervent fleece, was never wrought
into speech or shape."

To appreciate Poetry we must not merely glance at it, or rush through it,
or read it in order to talk or write about it. One must compose oneself
into the right frame of mind. Of course for one's own sake one will read
Poetry in times of agitation, sorrow, or anxiety, but that is another
matter.

The inestimable treasures of Poetry again are open to all of us. The best
books are indeed the cheapest. For the price of a little beer, a little
tobacco, we can buy Shakespeare or Milton--or indeed almost as many books
as a man can read with profit in a year.

Nor, in considering the advantage of Poetry to man, must we limit
ourselves to its past or present influence. The future of Poetry, says Mr.
Matthew Arnold, and no one was more qualified to speak, "The future of
Poetry is immense, because in Poetry, where it is worthy of its high
destinies, our race, as time goes on, will find an ever surer and surer
stay. But for Poetry the idea is everything; the rest is a world of
illusion, of divine illusion. Poetry attaches its emotion to the idea; the
idea _is_ the fact. The strongest part of our religion to-day is its
unconscious Poetry. We should conceive of Poetry worthily, and more highly
than it has been the custom to conceive of it. We should conceive of it as
capable of higher uses, and called to higher destinies than those which in
general men have assigned to it hitherto."

Poetry has been well called the record "of the best and happiest moments
of the happiest and best minds;" it is the light of life, the very "image
of life expressed in its eternal truth;" it immortalizes all that is best
and most beautiful in the world; "it purges from our inward sight the film
of familiarity which obscures from us the wonder of our being;" "it is the
center and circumference of knowledge;" and poets are "mirrors of the
gigantic shadows which futurity caste upon the present."

Poetry, in effect, lengthens life; it creates for us time, if time be
realized as the succession of ideas and not of minutes; it is the "breath
and finer spirit of all knowledge;" it is bound neither by time nor space,
but lives in the spirit of man. What greater praise can be given than the
saying that life should be Poetry put into action.

[1] See Lessing's _Laocooen_.

[2] Arnold.

[3] Coleridge.

[4] Horace.

[5] Wordsworth.

[6] Plato.

[7] Bacon.

[8] Shakespeare.

[9] St. Hailare.

[10] Arnold.

[11] Plato styles poets the sons and interpreters of the gods.

[12] Sydney, _Defence of Poetry_.

[13] Scott.

CHAPTER VII.

MUSIC.

"Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the
mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life
to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is
good, just, and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but
nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form."--PLATO.

CHAPTER VII.

MUSIC.

Music is in one sense far more ancient than man, and the voice was from
the very commencement of human existence a source of melody: but so far as
musical instruments are concerned, it is probable that percussion came
first, then wind instruments, and lastly, those with strings: first the
Drum, then the Flute, and thirdly, the Lyre. The early history of Music
is, however, unfortunately wrapped in much obscurity. The use of letters
long preceded the invention of notes, and tradition in such a matter can
tell us but little.

The contest between Marsyas and Apollo is supposed by some to typify the
struggle between the Flute and the Lyre; Marsyas representing the archaic
Flute, Apollo the champion of the Lyre. The latter of course was
victorious: it sets the voice free, and the sound

"Of music that is born of human breath
Comes straighter to the soul than any strain
The hand alone can make." [1]

Various myths have grown up to explain the origin of Music. One Greek
tradition was to the effect Grasshoppers were human beings themselves in a
world before the Muses; that when the Muses came, being ravished with
delight, they sang and sang and forgot to eat, until "they died of hunger
for the love of song. And they carry to heaven the report of those who
honor them on earth." [2]

The old writers and commentators tell us that Pythagoras, "as he was one
day meditating on the want of some rule to guide the ear, analogous to
what had been used to help the other senses, chanced to pass by a
blacksmith's shop, and observing that the hammers, which were four in
number, sounded very harmoniously, he had them weighed, and found them to
be in the proportion of six, eight, nine, and twelve. Upon this he
suspended four strings of equal length and thickness, etc., fastened
weights in the above-mentioned proportions to each of them respectively,
and found that they gave the same sounds that the hammers had done; viz.
the fourth, fifth, and octave to the gravest tone." [3] However this may
be, it would appear that the lyre had at first four strings only:
Terpander is said to have given it three more, and an eighth was
subsequently added.

We have unfortunately no specimens of Greek or Roman, or even of Early
Christian music. The Chinese indicated the notes by words or their
initials. The lowest was termed "Koung," or the Emperor, as being the
Foundation on which all were supported; the second was Tschang, the Prime
Minister; the third, the Subject; the fourth, Public Business; the fifth,
the Mirror of Heaven. [4] The Greeks also had a name for each note. The
so-called Gregorian notes were not invented until six hundred years after
Gregory's death. The Monastery of St. Gall possesses a copy of Gregory's
Antiphonary, made about the year 780 by a chorister who was sent from Rome
to Charlemagne to reform the Northern music, and in this the notes are
indicated by "pneumss," from which our notes were gradually developed, and
first arranged along one line, to which others were gradually added. But I
must not enlarge on this interesting subject.

In the matter of music Englishmen have certainly deserved well of the
world. Even as long ago as 1185 Giraldus Cambrensis, Bishop of St.
David's, says, "The Britons do not sing their tunes in unison like the
inhabitants of other countries, but in different parts. So that when a
company of singers meet to sing, as is usual in this country, as many
different parts are heard as there are singers." [5]

The most ancient known piece of music for several voices is an English
four men's song, "Summer is a coming in," which is considered to be at
least as early as 1240, and is now in the British Museum.

The Venetian Ambassador in the time of Henry VIII. said of our English
Church music: "The mass was sung by His Majesty's choristers, whose voices
are more heavenly than human; they did not chant like men, but like
angels."

Speaking of Purcell's anthem, "Be merciful to me, O God," Burney says it
is "throughout admirable. Indeed, to my conception there is no better
music existing of the kind than the opening of this anthem, in which the
verse 'I will praise God' and the last movement in C natural are, in
melody, harmony, and modulation, truly divine music."

Dr. Burney says that Purcell was "as much the pride of an Englishman in
music as Shakespeare in productions of the stage, Milton in epic poetry,
Locke in metaphysics, or Sir Isaac Newton in philosophy and mathematics;"
and yet Purcell's music is unfortunately but little known to us now, as
Macfarren says, "to our great loss."

The authors of some of the loveliest music, and even in some cases that of
comparatively recent times, are unknown to us. This is the case for
instance with the exquisite song "Drink to me only with thine eyes," the
words of which were taken by Jonson from Philostratus, and which has been
considered as the most beautiful of all "people's songs."

The music of "God save the Queen" has been adopted in more than half a
dozen other countries, and yet the authorship is a matter of doubt, being
attributed by some to Dr. John Bull, by others to Carey. It was apparently
first sung in a tavern in Cornhill.

Both the music and words of "O Death, rock me to sleep" are said to be by
Anne Boleyn: "Stay, Corydon" and "Sweet Honey-sucking Bees" by Wildye,
"the first of madrigal writers." "Rule Britannia" was composed by Arne,
and originally formed part of his Masque of _Alfred_, first performed in
1740 at Cliefden, near Maidenhead. To Arne we are also indebted for the
music of "Where the Bee sucks there lurk I." "The Vicar of Bray" is set to
a tune originally known as "A Country Garden." "Come unto these yellow
sands" we owe to Purcell; "Sigh no more, Ladies" to Stevens; "Home, Sweet
Home" to Bishop.

There is a curious melancholy in national music which is generally in the
minor key; indeed this holds good with the music of savage races
generally. They appear, moreover, to have no love Songs.

Herodotus tells us that during the whole time he was in Egypt he only
heard one song, and that was a sad one. My own experience there was the
same. Some tendency to melancholy seems indeed inherent in music, and
Jessica is not alone in the feeling

"I am never merry when I hear sweet music."

The epitaphs on Musicians have been in some cases very well expressed.
Such, for instance, is the following:

"Philips, whose touch harmonious could remove
The pangs of guilty power and hapless love,
Rest here, distressed by poverty no more;
Here find that calm thou gav'st so oft before;
Sleep, undisturbed, within this peaceful shrine,
Till angels wake thee with a note like thine!"

Still more so that on Purcell, whose premature death was so irreparable a
loss to English music--

"Here lies Henry Purcell, who left this life, and is gone to that
blessed place, where only his harmony can be exceeded."

The histories of Music contain many curious anecdotes as to the
circumstances under which different works have been composed.

Rossini tells us that he wrote the overture to the "Gazza Ladra" on the
very day of the first performance, in the upper loft of the La Scala,
where he had been confined by the manager under the guard of four
scene-shifters, who threw the text out of the window to copyists bit by
bit as it was composed. Tartini is said to have composed "Il trillo del
Diavolo," considered to be his best work, in a dream. Rossini, speaking of
the chorus in G minor in his "Dal tuo stellato soglio," tells us: "While I
was writing the chorus in G minor I suddenly dipped my pen into a medicine
bottle instead of the ink. I made a blot, and when I dried this with the
sand it took the form of a natural, which instantly gave me the idea of
the effect the change from G minor to G major would make, and to this blot
is all the effect, if any, due." But these of course are exceptional
cases.

There are other forms of Music, which though not strictly entitled to the
name, are yet capable of giving intense pleasure. To the sportsman what
Music can excel that of the hounds themselves. The cawing of rooks has
been often quoted as a sound which has no actual beauty of its own, and
yet which is delightful from its associations.

There is, however, a true Music of Nature,--the song of birds, the whisper
of leaves, the ripple of waters upon a sandy shore, the wail of wind or
sea.

There was also an ancient impression that the Heavenly bodies give out
music as well as light: the Music of the Spheres is proverbial.

"There's not the smallest orb which thou beholdest
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubims;
Such harmony is in immortal souls
But while this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it." [6]

Music indeed often seems as if it scarcely belonged to this material
universe, but was

"A tone
Of some world far from ours,
Where music, and moonlight, and feeling are one." [7]

There is Music in speech as well as in song. Not merely in the voice of
those we love, and the charm of association, but in actual melody; as
Milton says,

"The Angel ended, and in Adam's ear
So charming left his voice, that he awhile
Thought him still speaking, still stood fixed to hear."

It is remarkable that more pains are not taken with the voice in
conversation as well as in singing, for

"What plea so tainted and corrupt
But, being seasoned with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil."

It may be true as a general rule that

"The man that hath no Music in himself
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;" [8]

but there are some notable exceptions. Dr. Johnson had no love of music.
On one occasion, hearing that a certain piece of music was very difficult,
he expressed his regret that it was not impossible.

Poets, as might have been expected, have sung most sweetly in praise of
song. They have, moreover, done so from the most opposite points of view.

Milton invokes it as a luxury--

"And ever against eating cares
Lap me in soft Lydian airs;
Married to immortal verse
Such as the meeting soul may pierce,
In notes with many a winding bout
Of linked sweetness long drawn out;
With wanton heed, and giddy cunning,
The melting voice through mazes running;
Untwisting all the chains that tie
The hidden soul of harmony."

Sometimes as a temptation; so Spenser says of Phaedria,

"And she, more sweet than any bird on bough
Would oftentimes amongst them bear a part,
And strive to passe (as she could well enough)
Their native musicke by her skilful art."

Or as an element of pure happiness--

"There is in Souls a sympathy with sounds;
And as the mind is pitched, the ear is pleased
With melting airs or martial, brisk or grave;
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touched within us, and the heart replies.
How soft the music of those village bells,
Falling at intervals upon the ear
In cadence sweet, now dying all away,
Now pealing loud again and louder still
Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on." [9]

As touching the human heart--

"The soul of music slumbers in the shell,
Till waked and kindled by the master's spell,
And feeling hearts--touch them but lightly--pour
A thousand melodies unheard before." [10]

As an education--

"I have sent books and music there, and all
Those instruments with which high spirits call
The future from its cradle, and the past
Out of its grave, and make the present last
In thoughts and joys which sleep, but cannot die,
Folded within their own eternity." [11]

As an aid to religion--

"As from the power of sacred lays
The spheres began to move,
And sung the great Creator's praise
To all the blessed above,
So when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The trumpet shall be heard on high.
The dead shall live, the living die,
And music shall untune the sky." [12]

Or again--

"Hark how it falls! and now It steals along,
Like distant bells upon the lake at eve.
When all is still; and now it grows more strong
As when the choral train their dirges weave
Mellow and many voiced; where every close
O'er the old minster roof, in echoing waves reflows.
Oh! I am rapt aloft. My spirit soars
Beyond the skies, and leaves the stars behind;
Lo! angels lead me to the happy shores,
And floating paeans fill the buoyant wind.
Farewell! base earth, farewell! my soul is freed."

The power of Music to sway the feelings of Man has never been more
cleverly portrayed than by Dryden in "The Feast of Alexander," though the
circumstances of the case precluded any reference to the influence of
Music in its noblest aspects.

Poets have always attributed to Music--and who would wish to deny it?--a
power even over the inanimate forces of Nature. Shakespeare accounts for
shooting stars by the attraction of Music:

"The rude sea grew civil at her song,
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres
To hear the Sea-maid's music."

Prose writers have also been inspired by Music to their highest eloquence.
"Music," says Plato, "is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe,
wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety
and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that
is good, just, and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but
nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form." "Music," said
Luther, "is a fair and glorious gift from God. I would not for the world
renounce my humble share in music." "Music," said Halevy, "is an art that
God has given us, in which the voices of all nations may unite their
prayers in one harmonious rhythm." Or Carlyle, "Music is a kind of
inarticulate, unfathomable speech, which leads us to the edge of the
infinite, and lets us for moments gaze into it."

Let me also quote Helmholtz, one of the profoundest exponents of modern
science. "Just as in the rolling ocean, this movement, rhythmically
repeated, and yet ever-varying, rivets our attention and hurries us along.
But whereas in the sea blind physical forces alone are at work, and hence
the final impression on the spectator's mind is nothing but solitude--in a
musical work of art the movement follows the outflow of the artist's own
emotions. Now gently gliding, now gracefully leaping, now violently
stirred, penetrated, or laboriously contending with the natural expression
of passion, the stream of sound, in primitive vivacity, bears over into
the hearer's soul unimagined moods which the artist has overheard from his
own, and finally raises him up to that repose of everlasting beauty of
which God has allowed but few of his elect favorites to be the heralds."

"There are but seven notes in the scale; make them fourteen," says Newman,
"yet what a slender outfit for so vast an enterprise! What science brings
so much out of so little? Out of what poor elements does some great master
in it create his new world! Shall we say that all this exuberant
inventiveness is a mere ingenuity or trick of art, like some game of
fashion of the day, without reality, without meaning?... Is it possible
that that inexhaustible evolution and disposition of notes, so rich yet so
simple, so intricate yet so regulated, so various yet so majestic, should
be a mere sound, which is gone and perishes? Can it be that those
mysterious stirrings of the heart, and keen emotions, and strange
yearnings after we know not what, and awful impressions from we know not
whence, should be wrought in us by what is unsubstantial, and comes and
goes, and begins and ends in itself? it is not so; it cannot be. No; they
have escaped from some higher sphere; they are the outpourings of eternal
harmony in the medium of created sound; they are echoes from our Home;
they are the voices of Angels, or the Magnificat of Saints, or the living
laws of Divine Governance, or the Divine Attributes; something are they
besides themselves, which we cannot compass, which we cannot utter, though
mortal man, and he perhaps not otherwise distinguished above his fellows,
has the gift of eliciting them."

Poetry and Music unite in song. From the earliest ages song has been the
sweet companion of labor. The rude chant of the boatman floats upon the
water, the shepherd sings upon the hill, the milkmaid in the dairy, the
ploughman at the plough. Every trade, every occupation, every act and
scene of life, has long had its own especial music. The bride went to her
marriage, the laborer to his work, the old man to his last long rest, each
with appropriate and immemorial music.

Music has been truly described as the mother of sympathy, the handmaid of
Religion, and will never exercise its full effect, as the Emperor Charles
VI. said to Farinelli, unless it aims not merely to charm the ear, but to
touch the heart.

There are many who consider that our life at present is peculiarly prosaic
and mercenary. I greatly doubt whether that be the case, but if so our
need for Music is all the more imperative.

Much as Music has already done for man, we may hope even more from it in
the future.

It is, moreover, a joy for all. To appreciate Science or Art requires some
training, and no doubt the cultivated ear will more and more appreciate

Book of the day: