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him run his wretched career in either of the two small cities, and see what fruit would have grown on such a soil and in such an atmosphere.'
often engaged in literature or science to es-teresting and even inspiring, yet not so cape the pressure of anxiety, which strenu- splendid as to be overwhelming. We know ous mental labor permits us, at least tempo- from his conversations that he was quite rarily, to forget; but the circumstances which aware of the value of those little centres of surround us have invariably an influence of culture to Germany, and yet in one place he some kind upon our thinking, though the speaks of Béranger in the tone which seems connection may not be obvious. Even in the to imply an appreciation of the larger life of case of Goethe, who could study optics on Paris. 'Fancy," he says, "this same Bérana battle-field, his English biographer recog-ger away from Paris, and the influence and nizes the effect of the Frankfort life which opportunities of a world-city, born as the surrounded the great author in his childhood. son of a poor tailor, at Jena or Weimar; let "The old Frankfort city, with its busy crowds, its fairs, its mixed population, and its many sources of excitement, offered great temptations and great pasture to so desultory a genius. This is perhaps a case wherein cir- We cannot too frequently be reminded cumstances may be seen influencing the di- that we are nothing of ourselves, and by ourrection of character. . . . A large continuity selves, and are only something by the place of thought and effort was perhaps radically we hold in the intellectual chain of humanity uncongenial to such a temperament; yet one by which electricity is conveyed to us and cannot help speculating whether under other through us-to be increased in the transmiscircumstances he might not have achieved it. sion if we have great natural power and are Had he been reared in a quiet little old Ger- favorably situated, but not otherwise. A man town, where he would have daily seen child is born to the Vecelli family at Cadore, the same faces in the silent streets, and come and when it is nine years old is taken to Venin contact with the same characters, his cul- ice and placed under the tuition of Sebastian ture might have been less various, but it Zuccato. Afterwards he goes to Bellini's might perhaps have been deeper. Had he school, and there gets acquainted with anbeen reared in the country, with only the other student, one year his junior, whose changing seasons and the sweet serenities of name is Barbarelli. They live together and nature to occupy his attention when released work together in Venice; then young Barfrom study, he would certainly have been a barelli (known to posterity as Giorgione), different poet. The long summer afternoons after putting on certain spaces of wall and spent in lonely rambles, the deepening twi- squares of canvas such color as the world had lights filled with shadowy visions, the slow never before seen, dies in his early manhood uniformity of his external life necessarily and leaves Vecellio, whom we call Titian, to throwing him more and more upon the work on there in Venice till the plague stays subtler diversities of inward experience, his hand in his hundredth year. The genius would inevitably have influenced his genius came into the world, but all the possibilities in quite different directions, would have an- of his development depended upon the place imated his works with a very different spirit." and the time. He came exactly in the right We are sometimes told that life in a great place and precisely at the right time. To be capital is essential to the development of gen-born not far from Venice in the days of Belius, but Frankfort was the largest town lini, to be taken there at nine years old, to Goethe ever lived in, and he never visited have Giorgione for one's comrade, all this either Paris or London. Much of the sanity was as fortunate for an artistic career as the of his genius may have been due to his resi- circumstances of Alexander of Macedon were dence in so tranquil a place as Weimar, where for a career of conquest. he could shut himself up in his "gardenhouse" and lock all the gates of the bridge over the Ilm. "The solitude," says Mr. Lewes, "is absolute, broken only by the oc
CENT NEW STUDIO.
casional sound of the church clock, the music TO AN ARTIST WHO WAS FITTING UP A MAGNIFIfrom the barracks, and the screaming of the peacocks spreading their superb beauty in the park." Few men of genius have been Pleasure of planning a studio--Opinions of an outsider-Saint
happier in their surroundings than Goethe. He had tranquillity, and yet was not deprived of intellectual intercourse; the scenery within excursion-distance from his home was in
Bernard-Father Ravignan--Goethe's study and bed-room -Gustave Dort's studio-Leslie's painting-room-Turner's opinion-Habits of Scott and Dickens-Extremes goodVulgar mediocrity not so good-Value of beautiful views to literary men-Montaigne-Views from the author's windows.
NOTHING in the life of an artist is more agreeable than the building and furnishing of the studio in which he hopes to produce his most mature and perfect work. It is so pleasant to labor when we are surrounded by beauty and convenience, that painters find a large and handsome studio to be an addition to the happiness of their lives, and they usually dream of it, and plan it, several years before the dream is realized.
don't you see that it was just because Goethe had imaginative power of a strong and active kind that he cared nothing about what surrounded him when he worked? He had statues and pictures to occupy his mind when it was disengaged, but when he wrote he pre ferred that bare little cell where nothing was to be seen that could distract his attention for an instant. Depend upon it, Goethe acted in this matter either from a deliberate and most wise calculation, or else from the sure instinct of genius."
Only a few days ago I was talking on this very subject with an intellectual friend who is not an artist, and who maintained that the Whilst we were on this subject I thought love of fine studios is in great part a mere illu- over other instances, and remembered my sion. He admitted the necessity for size, and surprise on visiting Gustave Doré in his for a proper kind of light, but laughed at painting-room in Paris. Doré has a Gothic carved oak, and tapestry, and armor, and the exuberance of imagination, so I expected a knicknacks that artists encumber themselves painting-room something like Victor Hugo's with. He would have it that a mind thorough- house, rather barbarous, but very rich and ly occupied with its own business knew noth- interesting, with plenty of carved cabinets, ing whatever of the objects that surrounded and tapestry, and biblos, as they call picturit, and he cited two examples-Saint Bernard, esque curiosities in Paris. To my surprise, who travelled all day by the shore of Lake there was nothing (except canvases and Leman without seeing it, and the père Ravig- easels) but a small deal table, on which tubes nan, who worked in a bare little room with a of oil-color were thrown in disorder, and two common table of blackened pine and a cheap cheap chairs. Here, evidently, the pleasure rush-bottomed chair. On this I translated to of painting was sufficient to occupy the artist; him, from Goethe's life by Lewes, a passage and in the room where he made his illustrawhich was new to him and delighted him as a tions the characteristics were simplicity and confirmation of his theory. The biographer good practical arrangements for order, but describes the poet's study as "a low-roofed there was nothing to amuse the imagination. narrow room, somewhat dark, for it is lighted Mr. Leslie used to paint in a room which only through two tiny windows, and fur- was just like any other in the house, and nished with a simplicity quite touching to be- had none of the peculiarities of a studio. hold. In the centre stands a plain oval table Turner did not care in the least what sort of a of unpolished oak. No arm-chair is to be seen, room he painted in, provided it had a door, no sofa, nothing which speaks of ease. A and a bolt on the inside. Scott could write plain hard chair has beside it the basket in anywhere, even in the family sitting-room, which he used to place his handkerchief. with talk going forward as usual; and after Against the wall, on the right, is a long pear- he had finished Abbotsford, he did not write tree table, with bookshelves, on which stand in any of its rich and noble rooms, but in a lexicons and manuals. . . . On the side-wall simple closet with book-shelves round it. again, a bookcase with some works of poets. Dickens wrote in a comfortable room, well On the wall to the left is a long desk of soft lighted and cheerful, and he liked to have wood, at which he was wont to write. A funny little bronzes on his writing-table. sheet of paper with notes of contemporary history is fastened near the door. The same door leads into a bed-room, if bed-room it can be called, which no maid-of-all-work in England would accept without a murmur: it is a closet with a window. A simple bed, an armchair by its side, and a tiny washing-table with a small white basin on it, and a sponge, is all the furniture. To enter this room with any feeling for the greatness and goodness of him who slept here, and who here slept his last sleep, brings tears into our eyes, and makes the breathing deep."
When I had finished reading this passage, my friend exclaimed triumphantly, "There!
The best way appears to be to surround ourselves, whenever it can be conveniently done, with whatever we know by experience to be favorable to our work. I think the barest cell monk ever prayed in would be a good place for imaginative composition, and so too would be the most magnificent rooms in Chatsworth or Blenheim. A middling sort of place with a Philistine character, vulgar upholstery, and vulgar pictures or engravings, is really dangerous, because these things often attract attention in the intervals of labor and occupy it in a mean way. An artist is always the better for having something that may profitably amuse and occupy his
eye when he quits his picture, and I think it | southward that became like the aniline dyes is a right instinct which leads artists to sur- of deepest purple and blue, when the sky was round themselves with many picturesque and beautiful things, not too orderly in their arrangement, so that there may be pleasant surprises for the eye, as there are in nature. For literary men there is nothing so valuable as a window with a cheerful and beautiful prospect. It is good for us to have this re- And yet, wonderful as it was, that noble freshment for the eye when we leave off work and passionately beloved Highland scenery ing, and Montaigne did wisely to have his was wanting in one great element that a study up in a tower from which he had exten-writer imperatively needs. In all that natusive views. ral magnificence humanity held no place. There is a well-known objection to extensive Hidden behind a fir-clad promontory to the views, as wanting in snugness and comfort, north, there still remained, it is true, the gray but this objection scarcely applies to the es- ruin of old Kilchurn, and far to the southpecial case of literary men. What we want west, in another reach of the lake, the islandis not so much snugness as relief, refresh- fortress of Ardhonnel. But there was not a ment, suggestion, and we get these, as a gen-visible city with spires and towers, there eral rule, much better from wide prospects were only the fir-trees on the little islands than from limited ones. I have just alluded and a few gravestones on the largest. Beto Montaigne,—will you permit me to imitate yond, were the depopulated deserts of Breadthat dear old philosopher in his egotism and albane. describe to you the view from the room I Here, where I write to you now, it seems as write in, which cheers and amuses me con- if mankind were nearer, and the legends of tinually? But before describing this let me the ages written out for me on the surface of describe another of which the recollection is the world. Under the shadow of Jove's hill very dear to me and as vivid as a freshly-rises before me one of the most ancient of painted picture. In years gone by, had European cities, soror et æmula Romæ. She only to look up from my desk and see a noble bears on her walls and edifices the record of loch in its inexhaustible loveliness, and a sixty generations. Temple, and arch, and mountain in its majesty. It was a daily and pyramid, all these bear witness still, and so hourly delight to watch the breezes play do her ancient bulwarks, and many a stately about the enchanted isles, on the delicate sil- tower. High above all, the cathedral spire is very surface, dimming some clear reflection, drawn dark in the morning mist, and often or trailing it out in length, or cutting sharply in the clear summer evenings it comes across it with acres of rippling blue. It was brightly in slanting sunshine against the a frequent pleasure to see the clouds play steep woods behind. Then the old city arabout the crest of Cruachan and Ben Vorich's rays herself in the warmest and mellowest golden head, gray mists that crept upwards from the valleys till the sunshine suddenly caught them and made them brighter than the snows they shaded. And the leagues and leagues of heather on the lower land to the
gray in the evening-all save one orangestreak! Ah, those were spectacles never to be forgotten, splendors of light and glory, and sadness of deepening gloom when the eyes grew moist in the twilight and secretly drank their tears.
tones, and glows as the shadows fall. She reigns over the whole width of her valley to the folds of the far blue hills. Even so ought our life to be surrounded by the loveliness of nature surrounded, but not subdued.
WHAT KNOWLEDGE IS OF MOST WORTH?
past, but almost as much in our own era, that knowledge which conduces to personal wellbeing has been postponed to that which brings applause. In the Greek schools, music, poetry, rhetoric, and a philosophy which, unIr has been truly remarked that, in order of til Socrates taught, had but little bearing uptime, decoration precedes dress. Among on action, were the dominant subjects; while people who submit to great physical suffering knowledge aiding the arts of life had a very that they may have themselves handsomely subordinate place. And in our own universitattooed, extremes of temperature are borne ties and schools at the present moment the with but little attempt at mitigation. Hum- like antithesis holds. We are guilty of someboldt tells us that an Orinoco Indian, though thing like a platitude when we say that quite regardless of bodily comfort, will yet throughout his after-career a boy, in nine labor for a fortnight to purchase pigment cases out of ten, applies his Latin and Greek wherewith to make himself admired; and that to no practical purposes. The remark is trite the same woman who would not hesitate to that in his shop, or his office, in managing his leave her hut without a fragment of clothing estate or his family, in playing his part as on, would not dare to commit such a breach director of a bank or a railway, he is very of decorum as to go out unpainted. Voyagers little aided by this knowledge he took so many uniformly find that colored beads and trinkets years to acquire—so little, that generally the are much more prized by wild tribes than are greater part of it drops out of his memory; calicoes or broadcloths. And the anecdotes and if he occasionally vents a Latin quotation, we have of the ways in which, when shirts or alludes to some Greek myth, it is less to and coats are given, they turn them to some throw light on the topic in hand than for the ludicrous display, show how completely the sake of effect. If we inquire what is the real idea of ornament predominates over that of motive for giving boys a classical education, use. Nay, there are still more extreme illus- we find it to be simply conformity to public trations: witness the fact narrated by Capt. opinion. Men dress their children's minds as Speke of his African attendants, who strutted they do their bodies, in the prevailing fashabout in their goat-skin mantles when the ion. As the Orinoco Indian puts on his paint weather was fine, but when it was wet, took before leaving his hut, not with a view to any them off, folded them up, and went about direct benefit, but because he would be naked, shivering in the rain! Indeed, the ashamed to be seen without it; so, a boy's drillfacts of aboriginal life seem to indicate that ing in Latin and Greek is insisted on, not bedress is developed out of decorations. And cause of their intrinsic value, but that he may when we remember that even among ourselves most think more about the fineness of the fabric than its warmth, and more about the cut than the convenience--when we see that the function is still in great measure subordinated to the appearance-we have further reason for inferring such an origin.
It is not a little curious that the like relations hold with the mind. Among mental as among bodily acquisitions, the ornamental comes before the useful. Not only in times
not be disgraced by being found ignorant of them that he may have "the education of a gentleman "-the badge marking a certain social position, and bringing a consequent respect.
This parallel is still more clearly displayed in the case of the other sex. In the treatment
of both mind and body, the decorative element has continued to predominate in a greater degree among women than among men. Origi nally, personal adornment occupied the atten