Page images

he lived, thought, and worked, and in the other we see but and hence the pictures are produced independently. He a copy, and, however close that may be to the original, its does not create them; he merely chooses his positions, sup: value as a work of art is nil. No copyist can impart that plies the means, the light does the rest. As a matter of indescribable charm which the original possesses; he can course, there is in photography (as in all else) scope for simply render what he sees, which is not his individualism, the exercise of skill, taste, and knowledge, there being phobut another's, and is not art. The greater the mind, the tographers and photography, but art is something different greater the art. In the works of Michael Angelo we see to this. There can be no art without originality; the degree evidences of power, vast, sublime, a towering majesty of of imagination and refinement pervading each manifestation mind, which is impressed in unmistakable language upon of this originality or creative power will in a great measure all he has done, written so large that all men who behold his depend upon the peculiar properties of the imagination works, high and low, the ignorant and the learned, are alike possessed by each particular individual, being in its expresimpressed with the grandeur and sublimity of the concepsion high or low, refined or coarse, according to the degree tions of his mind, which qualities are the essence and sum of culture, knowledge, and experience each individual mind of all art. Where these qualities are absent, art does not is possessed of, apart entirely from manipulative skill. Hunexist.

dreds of men can copy who cannot originate or create; Coming down to our own times, with whose art produce these are not artists, nor art-workmen. tions we are more immediately concerned, we find that the Let us enter one of the numerous so-called art manufacterm art is being prostituted to purposes whose sole aim and tories, where so much of the sham cut furniture is made. end is money-making, therefore it is all the more necessary We there see men employed making furniture in the prethat we should understand what art really is.

vailing style, whatever may be fashionable at the time. The painter who from the unity of mind and hand One man is making one part, one another, and still yet creates is an artist (i.e. a creator of art). Whatever be the another part is being made by some one else, and in the subject of his work, pictorial or decorative, in which he aggregate reproducing mere fac-similes of what has been clearly and distinctly shows the motive which actuates and originated and created long ago. These men, with other governs him, and which is imprinted unmistakably on all he workmen so engaged, are no doubt, so far as their manipuladoes, then he is an artist; otherwise, he is simply a copying tive skill is concerned, the best of their kind, but they are machine, and not an art-creator or artist.

mere human machines, not allowed (even if they had the We hear much nowadays of art manufactures; there is power) to depart one iota from their model. Labor is no such thing, nor can there be. We have been taught that divided and sub-divided, and each individual workman is engravings are works of art. The engraving itself, the work compelled to go on grinding away at a stereotyped pattern, of the engraver on copper or other metal, may be a work of ad infinitum, until it becomes almost impossible for him to art, for although he may copy the work of some great master get out of the rut or groove; his inventive or creative powers and engrave it, yet the very nature of his work necessitates become blunted, or lost entirely. Now these men cannot by a creative power, in order to give a faithful rendering of the any stretch of language be called art-workmen, nor is the painter's work. Here, again, while the manipulative skill work they produce art-work. If a man adds to the article is indispensable, and must be acquired by long practice and he makes anything of detail, either in form, color, or as a experience, it is nought without the mind to comprehend decoration, and that addition is entirely his own original and control the hand which executes. Many of our great idea, his own creation, that man produces art-work, poor engravers have been and are true artists, but the copies and feeble it may be, but yet art, it being, however simple, taken from their works, which are called engravings, are a manipulation of the inventive and creative power posnot in themselves works of art, but are simply copies of a sessed by that individual man. work of art obtained by mechanical means, and do not This being admitted, let us get away from the cant of the require the aid of the artist, but can be, and are, produced day, and call a spade a spade. Art can invent and create, by persons not having one spark of artistic feeling in them. can construct and carve, can paint and draw, but art cannot

The same principle applies if we take music, which is be manufactured. termed one of the fine arts. It is the composer, the creator, and not the singer, who is the true artist; it is he whose Notes.- We are in receipt of the “ Mississippi Valley name goes down to posterity on the roll of fame. The Medical Monthly," published at Memphis, Tenn., and edited singer may be, and often is, a truly artistic expositor of the by Julius Wise, M.D. It is a magazine devoted exclusively great maestro's works, but after all he is but the expositor to the medical profession, containing lectures and essays on and not the creator, consequently holds but a secondary interesting cases, their treatment and cure. The copy before place in the temple of fame. The true artist is the origina- | us is number six of the first volume, and as it is yet young tor, the inventor. We might as well say that the printer the publisher has our best wishes for the success of his who prints the score is an artist; his is not a work of art, undertaking.-- We are also in receipt of a pamphlet from nor are the copies he produces works of art, and so it is the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Education, with engravings.

giving an interesting account of the progress of education Photography is not art; it is the result of scientific | in Belgium and Malta, and some statistics on illiteracy and principles applied through and by the aid of light to the crime in France. In reference to the latter, of over three production of sun-prints, and is, in fact, reduced to a mere thousand criminals arrested in one year for various crimes, mechanical process. There is no trace of the artist's mind, only five hundred could read and write well.


Home.- No word in any language conveys so many “I am very nearly sixty," was the reply. pleasing memories or satisfying thoughts as this little word, “Then,” said the precocious interlocutor, “your best days Home. It whispers to our hearts of cheery firesides, and are over." gently recalls those happy faces about the table when all the “I hope they are still to come," answered the gentle family circle is complete. The father, with admiring smile, philosopher. is listening proudly to his youngster's prattle, while mother. These two views of old age resume all that has been said darts her approving glances from behind the cozy tea-urn about it. A few look forward to the portion of years on and now and then gives some advice to these, her dear ones, the verge of life's last horizon as to a privileged span; the that will in after-years be light unto their feet.

majority avert their eyes from it, as from a dreary spaceAnd thus in such a home the youthsul minds of good and chilly and desolate. The young, with their buoyant animal great are framed and formed, so when temptations come spirits, their gay dreams of existence, feel separated by what they reap the good of such instruction and find the strength seems an impassable gulf from the time when pleasures will to battle with their tempter.

have worn themselves out; when hopes and passions will Strangely enough, a Frenchman has not at his command | be chilled; friends and loves departed; strength and beauty a single word that means home, nor any equivalent. He fied. To those in the heyday of activity the thought of old can say, “My house," or, “I will go to my wife," but he age seems as unrealizable and remote as the thought of has no home, and the lack of this restraining influence has death itself. When the prime of life is past, for the first greatly affected the morals of French society.

time, perhaps, the thought of old age rises like a cold moniIn this country its blessings are fully appreciated, and tor, and the heart's pulses get slackened and chilled by the every effort made to make home the abode of comfort, contemplation. So many projects still remain unfinished though not in comfort alone does the sweet influence lay, that have been begun, or are only planned out in the brain; but in that invisible bond of holy affection which binds one there is so much yet to be done; for the first time rises the member of a happy household to the other, and makes their question, “ Will there be time to do it all?” The shock of intercourse one of perpetual enjoyment.

beholding the shadow of old age coming across the waste of Let this element be lacking and all other attractions will life is perhaps keenest to the dreamer. So many of these sink into nothingness.

sit under the shadow of the hill of knowledge, listening to On the other hand, some homes are rendered distasteful the whispers of those who have climbed the summit. by the prim and scrupulously exact appearance of every Dreamers are imaginatively ambitious as a rule, and they apartment, which the mother of the household feels it her have fondly hugged the thought that they, too, would climb, bounden duty to maintain at all hazards. She will follow and talk on to the living after they are dead; and now, lo! her husband or the children about and pick up every raveling old age is coming, and the great work is not begun yet that they let fall, or straighten every misplaced chair, until the ' is to make them be remembered at the seast of existence constraints of such a home are irksome, and this husband or when their place at it will know them no more. Of all children will seek elsewhere the freedom their natures require. revolts against the activity and chill of years, that of the old

To obviate this it is essential not only that the fireside is the most depressing to witness. should be made comfortable, but that some amusement be also furnished to attract and keep ever alive the flame of

** Oh!

hat came down shower-like

Of friendship, love, and liberty this mutual love. A want which is chiefly supplied by

Ere I was old! literature.

Ere I was old-oh! woeful ere !" Every home should be graced by some journal that will furnish sufficient reading; but great care must be exercised says Coleridge. It is probable, therefore, that the large part in the selection of that journal, since our opinions and im- of the human race considers old age as an evil. But it is pressions are formed by what we read, especially in youth. one, as the Italian proverb has it, that all men desire to have

A perfect home, then, is where its inmates have every for themselves; and plentiful are the directions given by freedom that is consistent with a proper respect and regard which this evil may be attained by the cultivation of a sound for one another, and where they may find, in pleasant inter digestion, an equable temper, and the stern repression or course and the enjoyment of innocent pleasures, the requisite undue sensitiveness. recreation from daily labor.

In one of his witty maximes, where truth is uttered in a It is with the idea of assisting to attain this object that most delicate and compact form, that polite and smiling POTTER'S AMERICAN MONTHLY is designed, and as issue misanthropist, La Rochefoucauld, says, “Few men know follows issue, it strives to supply the great demand for pure how to age becomingly." Perhaps, if this art of underand refined, yet entertaining literature.

standing how to grow old were mastered, the saying of the

sage would be justified who placed his best days in his Grandmother's Part in the Family._"How old are declining years. It would then be indeed like the last act you ?" asked a small lad one day of an elderly gentleman. of a well-written play, to which it has been likened. The


climax is reached, the fate of the characters is decided; only pre-Raphaelitic memory for details of the old is dramatically here it is the portion of the passions and cares that have expressed. The love-story of a life related at its close is as ruled life that is pointed out. This love is extinguished; romantic and vivid as if the turning episode of existence had this absorbing ambition is put away like a worthless care; all happened yesterday; and yet it may all have taken place, that neglected aspiration is brought forward and placed in as the story told in that poem did, the very core of the heart. “ It is, then, all the comfort that I find in my old age," says Montaigne in one of his

"Seventy years ago, my darling, seventy years ago." immortal essays, “that it deadens many desires in me, and many cares that troubled life; care for the court and the

This appreciation of the value of days that, happening at

rare intervals, yet resume, in the long run, all life, instinctworld; care for wealth, greatness, science, health, for mysell.

ively draw the young to confide to the old in the great crisis The old age of the domineering egotist-of the cynic

of their existence. Sometimes we fancy the absence of exwhose mummified moral nature is embalmed in epigrams

pressions of violent grief in the aged is due to the drying up is only one degree less degrading than that of the voluptuary,

of their sympathies. Has not Tennyson found a deeper and whose white-faced terror of death would be piteous were it

a truer reason for it when he makes the grandmother say, in not revolting. There is a loveliness and a charm in old age

the poem to which we have already alluded, to whom accumulating years have brought wisdom and left

“But how can I weep for Willy ? he has gone but for an hourthe feelings young. Those dear, enchanting old people,

Gone for a minute, my son, from this room into the next; who can enjoy nature and sympathize with youth, laugh at I, too, shall go in a minute; what time have I to be vext ?" innocent jokes, and who have yet seen enough to understand pily—there is something of the priest and the patriarch in A witty Frenchman, M. Joubert, said that, “as in lise such characters. Their neighborhood to the next world there are four ages, so there are four corresponding loves. gives a sacredness to their personality; their experience of The child loves everything; the young man loves woman; this one makes them our surest guides in our perplexities. then comes the love of order; lastly the love of God.” Who They have traveled over lise's country, and understand the | will say that the days in which this supreme love is placed roads and the cross-roads thereof.

are not the best ?"

A. C. On the relation of the old to the young, Victor Hugo has treated in a poem entitled “L'Art d'être Grand-père." In / Growing old.—“ What is the secret of your long life ?” those fresh and genial pages he has celebrated the delight a asked Alexander, the young master of the world, of a peasant child can bring to the old man; the cheer, like hearkening numbering a hundred and sixty years. The reply was sigto the chirpings of a nestful of birds, its babble gives—the nificant, whether regarded as fact or symbol; it was simply: pure thought its innocence suggests—the phantasies its vivid “ Qil without and honey within." imagination kindles,

A sweet soul breathing good-will and hyblaan kindness; If the tie between the grandfather and child be so subtle, an external, suave, genial, unctuous, smoothing the roughit would seem that the one between it and the grandmother ness of every-day contact, will of itself insure long years. would be many-sided.

“Old age is unlovely," said the bard of Selma, to whom On the continent, where families, especially in country | life was worthless except as filled with the clash of arms and houses, live in a more patriarchal manner than here, and the prowess of contending warriors; but there is no charm in where it not unfrequently happens that we find three genera- our day in the ghastly crash of artillery and the deadly aim tions living under one roof, the rôle of the grandmother is of a Minié rifle, against which the ancient shield and perhaps more definite. Her experience directs the young armor of woven steel are as the spider's web. mother how to supply the first physical and mental needs of “The pitcher shall be broken at the fountain, desire shall the child; her days of leisurely quiet, spent away from the fail, and the grasshopper be a burden," is a sorry picture of bustle of life, give her greater opportunities of watching the man in any aspect, and for ages children havę pondered little one at its games, of listening to its prattle, and entering these paragraphs till they became ingrained, and cast melaninto its interests; her experienced and more unprejudiced choly shadows as the years lengthened. eyes may often discern the varied individualities growing up When a child of eight or nine years old, I chanced upon together in the family brood. And when the little maid a book of anecdotes, which seemed to me a treasure. I had steps from childhood into young girlhood, something, osten early imbibed a horror for the wrinkles and disabilities of like a mystic tie, unites her to the grandmother. To youth old people, who, it seemed to me, were neglected and and to old age the present has little import. The attractive. | solitary, while my own long-lived relatives never grew old, ness of life lies away from it. The calm anticipation, in a but were bright and intelligent to the last; and I attributed beautiful old age, of the life beyond the grave, exercises a this difference to the superior colloquial powers of the latter; singular power over youth. A venerable presence near the which was not a bad inference for a child. I explained to threshold of the other world is like an assurance of that my older sister this philosophy in this wise: other world to the young in the first fervor of religious “When most of people grow old, they are hideous; enthusiasm.

wrinkled, doubled up, and dull and disagreeable, I can't The vividness with which the old remember the notable / bear them. I mean to learn all I can out of this book, so days of their past is one of the most touching characteristics that I may have something to talk about, and be sunny of age. In Tennyson's poem, “ The Grandmother,” this sometimes.”

My sister shouted with laughter, for she was wisely happy armor as long as the field of action was open before them. in the present. After all, it does require a good degree of In our unheroic era men make the ultimate aim of life the philosophy to grow old, if such a thing need be. Even the accumulation of money, and they pine for a repose which genial Wordsworth selt this, and said:

they have not earned, and retire to their splendid houses and

regale themselves with the singing of birds and the lapsing “ Thus fares it oft in our decay

of waters-selfish creatures who are no better than so many But still the wiser mind

enthroned spiders.
Mourns less for what time takes away,
Than what he leaves behind."

No man or woman can be said to truly live who is void

of action that will benefit those around him on the great We all have an ideal of ourselves which we ought to destinies of the race, and this negation of sell is the fountain realize, and might do so, if we were not hindered and of youth in the search for which Ponce de Leon periled and debased by the kind of mediæval-age teaching that calls us ! at length lost his lise. “worms of the dust,” “ born in sin,” “tending to the grave," | The best patent of nobility is a long-lived ancestry. Tell etc., while, at the same time, all the glory of youth, beauty, | us of a man's grandfather and we will write his history. and strength of manhood are treated as misleading snares. In our day we see fewer old men and women creeping Suppose they are; suppose that, now and then, something be about our cities than in the country, for the reason that in done which a wise head or tender heart might wish other. the city there is more to stimulate the faculties, and people wise; he who never made a mistake is a monster, and will have no time to grow old; they have something better to do, lack human sympathy, for he is not akin to it. He is at best there is much to keep alive a harmless personal vanity. The a miserable negation, who never shook a moral bridge like Western boast of a man, “I can whip my weight in wilda traveling elephant, to see if it is sase before taking to the cats," was not so bad; physical strength is a thing to be depths. We can all pardon actual sin easier than preten proud of, and physical beauty also, and to decry either is tious virtue; the hypocrite is respectable in conventional mere mawkishness. I would rather foster the vanily of eyes, but nauseous to the eye of truth; therefore let us cherish years as a conservative element not to be despised. the glowing impulses of youth, and if some discomforts arise The armor of the olden time was an excellent method of therefrom, lend a helping hand to retrieve them. This keeping the backbone straight. There could be no bent brings us to the youthfulness of what is called old men, spine under the linked mail and heavy plates of steel; no whose peccadilloes shock our moral sense, and well they

contracted chest behind the stiff cuirass. A man was commay, if they grow out of a libidinous and depraved accumu pelled to walk erect and wear a manly aspect, and thus he lation of years. Such may be in the condition of Macbeth, defed the encroachments of age. without the ambitious wife to tempt to crime:

“Stately stepped he east the wall,

And stately stepped he west;
“My May of life

Full seventy years he now had seen,
Is fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf :

And scarce seven years of rest."
And that which should accompany old age,
As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but in their stead,

There is no help for a man when he begins to round up the
Curses, not loud, but deep."

back. A stoop is the index to the “long bourne.” Beware

of losing the manly stride. Sing songs to the gods, to the No cne is old whose heart is fresh and impulses noble. morning bright Apollo, the ancients would say, which means Such renew their youth like the eagle. A long life into the keep young, don't fret. Do your duty to God and man, and centuries is the right of a man who has good blood in his you will live on to the centuries. In the words of the fine veins, but this need not be coupled with old age. The dew old fellow of the long ago, use "honey within and oil of youth may lie like a consecrated chrism upon the man or without." the woman of a hundred years, who has obeyed the obvious! Aspiration is the fountain of perpetual youth, to find wbich laws of life, for it is the breaking of these laws that curtails Ponce de Leon periled life and fame, not knowing that the the number of years a man is entitled to live.

alembic of the old chemists was only a symbol of what We hear of people talk of retiring from the pursuits of science has since revealed, that obedience to the laws of life lise and living at ease. A busy career necessitates action. is the elixir to preserve it. The old blacksmith who kicked his anvil aside to live at Old men and women are the glory of the household ; they ease on the profits of his labor found it impossible to sleep invest it with sanctity. They tell better than a gallery of in his fine house, and stole out to sleep over the forge, where portraits of ancient worth and high endeavor; they tell of the sweet sleep of the laboring man came to him. The man the good stock of the race, the pure blood in the veins of or woman who has worked hands or brains through a long mens sano in corpore sano. period is disqualified for rest, and their only safety is in Women should rejoice when past the period of maternity, continuous action. Brain and muscle must keep their as the prelude to a nobler aspect of womanhood than that of habitual channel because all the forces of life are grooved to sex. She may be fat, fair, and forty, and a most charming run in that direction, and there is no let-up from toil for woman, but let her not degenerate into a croning, gossiping them.

old woman, no days regarded except as she is to be wrapped The old knights thought it shame to unbrace their armor in flannels—a sort of Spanish duenna or Salem witch. Let while manly service could be done, and they rode in heavy her be stately, with her aureole of white hairs; a guide to the household, a noble exponent of what is wisest and best in when madame was asked what had become of that old womanhood.

: gentleman who used to be so regular an attendant, she Every period of life may have its peculiar beauty. We answered, " It was my husband; he is dead.” slide so imperceptably into white hairs, the bloom of the Somebody once asked what kind of a man Mr. Jellaby cheek so gently facles, and the glow of the eye so yields to a was. This was the answer: “I don't know that I can softened intelligence, that we hardly realize what time is describe him to you better than by saying that he is the doing for us, the sly old encroacher stealing from us one | husband of Mrs. Jellaby." grace after another so adroitly; but we can stipulate that he L " Is he a nonentity ?” was the reply. shall not leave in place of what he takes any unwholesome, “I don't say that,” said the person addressed. “I can't untidy, unlovely substitute. Let us be grandly beautiful say that indeed, for I know nothing whatever of Mr. Jel. when we are no longer sweetly, seductively beautiful.

laby. He may be a very good man, but he is, so to speak, E. 0. S. merged-merged in the more shining qualities of his wife."

Can it be that we shall ever see the time when men, the Mrs. Jellaby.-What type of womanhood will be the long-time lords of creation, are to be merged in the more outcome of the countless influences now working in society, shining qualities of their wives? Will Smith ever cease to we have yet to learn. It will be a good while, no doubt, be known except as the husband of Mrs. Smith? And shall before we shall see a dominant type. Dickens lias been Brown fade into utter obscurity, unless he shines dimly by a censured, unjustly, I think, for giving the world the charac- reflected light as the husband of Mrs. Brown? Are we yet ter of Mrs. Jellaby. It would not be difficult, it seems to to speak of some harmless little man as the husband of our me, to find her counterpart in our American life; nor should beloved pastor? Shall we ever see a woman in the United his presentation of her make us think any worse of women States Senate, her husband meanwhile acting as her private who are interested in philanthropy and literature, whatever secretary? we may think of those who would take an active part in | Mrs. Jellahy's age is somewhere between forty and fifty. politics. Mrs. Jellaby is a woman of remarkable strength She will pardon me for making public what most ladies of character. Such women are now becoming far more prefer to let people guess, if they can. She has handsome common than they were when Dickens invented Mrs. Jel. eyes that always seem to be looking at something a long laby. Go where you will, you find such women anxious to way off. In fact, they can see distinctly nothing that is devote themselves entirely to the public. Let no woman of nearer than Africa. The floor of her room is generally this class think that I shall say a single word against her littered with papers—the débris of her extensive corresponddoing so-if she wants to. Mrs. Jellaby is “earnestly ence. She hopes, progressive woman that she is, in one devoted to the subject of Africa—with a view to the general year more to have from a hundred and fifty to two hundred cultivation of the coffee berry and the natives, and the families cultivating coffee and educating the natives of happy settlement, on the banks of the African rivers, of our Borioboola Gha, on the left bank of the Niger. De Quincey superabundant population.” Her pet hobby is philanthropy, speaks of two kinds of dinners-real and reputed. It would of the telescopic kind, -that is, of the kind which places the be hard to determine which variety Mrs. Jellaby's dinners objects of its solicitude as far off as possible, to the infinite belong to. They certainly are not considered a success by neglect of objects near at hand, as well as of all home her guests, though their deficiencies do not seem to trouble duties.

her at all. Her dish of potatoes will, somehow, get mislaid The mention of Mrs. Jellaby suggests the possibility, nay, in the coal-scuttle, and sometimes as many as four envelopes the strong probability, of a Mr. Jellaby, and, in speaking of will be seen foating upon the gravy at once. Her overhim, I do not wish to excite any apprehensions as to the whelming interest in the prosperity of Africa interferes probable condition of husbands generally, should the time somewhat with her housekeeping. ever come when all women shall become remarkable for In these days, when so much is said about culture and strength of character, and shall devote themselves to public progress and education, and when there is such a commoaffairs. Women remarkable for strength of character are tion and clashing of opinions on all subjects that nothing not always savored with remarkable husbands, nor is Mrs. seems firmly settled or ever likely to be, it may savor of oldTellaby. I think in his passive insignificance he must have fogyism to offer a plea for good housekeeping. Mrs. Jellaby been a cipher, but then let us be thankful that, in every-day was a good woman. She pitied the benighted Africans who lise, a cipher of a husband, who keeps on the right side of a were so unfortunate as to live in Borioboola Gha, on the number-one woman, does help in a very humble way to lest bank of the Niger. But her own home !— let us hope form a combination that counts ten in the world's multipli. that its counterpart cannot be found in our American everycation table. Mr. Jellaby must have resembled the husband day life, even if it requires a faith strong enough to remove of Márame Geoffrin, a Parisian lady, who kept her house mountains to keep such a hope alive. Philanthropy and an filled with literary company. Her husband, poor man, interest in public affairs are all well enough in every-day when reading books in double columns, would read a line . life. I confess to a decided partiality for those women who of the first column, and then pass directly on to the corre. can not only grace a tea-table with the charm of elegant sponding line of the second column. No wonder that, when manners and interesting conversation, but who, besides all asked for his opinion, he used to say that “the work seemed that, can, if occasion requires, set their tables with food that to him well enough, but a little abstract.

their own hands have prepared. By and by he was missed from his seat at the table, and Regarding the characters in the works of Dickens as

« PreviousContinue »