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ginative religion ; or, finally, to what laws which thus governed its organic extent the independent creation of growth, open a sphere to criticism those great artists
, who seem to have both subtle and extended. Entering come, as it were, by a special provi- on such a labour, we should trace and dence just when most wanted. strive to determine those subtle laws
In one sense, as we have seen, the of nature by which the immaterial death of classic art was the birth of thought and emotion so wondrously the Christian. It was perhaps for- mould themselves into form and extunate that the old civilisation should pression in the human countenance die out, in order that the new, unen- and frame. We should have to invescumbered by the past, might be tigate the relation subsisting between moulded into the spiritual types of representative minds and typical the Christian faith. Nevertheless, heads, to determine the development Byzantine art, the extinction of the and the features suited to the prophet classic, formed for the Christian the or the apostle; and thus ascending matrix of its new birth. The Byzan- from the earthly to the heavenly, to tine Madonna, described by M. Rio, construct out of men angels, and to as of "blackish hue, dressed in ori- transmute the natural body into the ental manner, in a style much re- incorruptible body of the resurrecsembling that of the Chinese,” was, tion. Thus we should deal with the in fact, the rude type and germ of motives of men and angels, with the that spiritual beauty in which she laws which govern the natural kingwas at last exalted as the queen of dom of the earth, and sway the superheaven, and the worshipped of earth. natural kingdom of the heavens. In With wbat ardour does the student this extended system of art - philotrace the progressive steps from this sophy, as written in the progressive first repulsive form to the last per- history of art-development, having fected beauty--- from a Madonna determined the framework and funcpainted by St Luke to the “Virgin tions of the body, natural and spirimost pure” of Angelico or Perugino tual, we must penetrate beneath the
-“ Thou resplendent star, which surface to the phases and movements shinest o'er the main, blest Mother of of the soul itself. In those greatest, our God, and ever Virgin Queen !"* because most difficult and most comWith what tender watchfulness does prehensive, of art-creations, the last the traveller in Italy mark the gra- judgments, which, from the twelfth dual transitions from the lowest type century down to the present times, of womanhood to the purity which have been continuously represented belongs to heavenly love, and that both in painting and sculpture, we find beauty which is religion! It were, the souls of all created beings, men, indeed, a labour of no common in- angels, demons, under every possible terest to trace, with the progressive emotion of surprise, ecstasy, or damnagrowth of Italian art and civilisation, tion. We need scarcely say that it bethe corresponding exaltation of each comes a question of much metaphysical Christian portraiture; how the St subtlety, to determine how an angel John became more and more worthy would have acted, felt, or appeared of the Saviour's love ; how St Peter when Christ, as judge, entered the grew into the rock of the Church; heavenly choir-whether the rightwith what power and dignity St Paul eous, when first they caught the splenbore the sword of the Spirit; and, dour of the beatific vision, would finally, as the highest consummation, have fallen on their knees in worship, how divinity shone through the fea- have raised their hands in wonder, or tures of the Saviour's face.
covered their faces from excess of The manner and the means by light ; whether the lost, still as archwhich Christian art thus rose into life, angels, though ruined, would assemble health, and beauty, out of the sicklied in war against the Highest, or whether, cradle of the dark ages, where it so as in the paintings of the middle long slumbered in the night--the ages, they at once should fall into the
See A ve Maris Stella, and see likewise Fra Angelico's Madonna della Stella, in the Sacristy of Sta Maria Novella, Florence.
form of demon - monsters stung by religion, became, for well-nigh one scorpions and tormented by flames. thousand years, implicated in the Such questions, we say, cease to be downfall and wreck of the Roman merely artistic, and become a portion empire ; and thus, as we have seen, of human and divine philosophy de- Roman - Christian and Byzantine pendent upon the nature and attri- works long distorted and disgraced butes of God, men, and angels. Hav- the beauty and the truth of the othering thus dealt with the laws of man's wise triumphant revelation. But material body, and of his immaterial when Italy, again rising out of ruins, spirit, in their relation to art-treat- asserted for a second time, in suprement, it were necessary to examine macy of genius, her right to the emhow art has, from age to age, con- pire of the world, Christian art once ducted itself; what laws, whether na- more rose from the grave, and was tural or artificial, it has observed or borne exulting, on the topmost wave violated ; how far the bodily frame- of the incoming civilisation. All the work of art has been consonant with glory of Italy then fervently spoke the material structure of the world; in the language of art. The Italian to what extent artis inner and spirit- clime, in its beauty and intensity; ual existence has shown itself accord- the Italian manners, in their grace ant with the spiritual laws which and charm ; the Italian mind, in its govern in man and actuate in God. ardent warmth and fertile imaginaChristian art thus regarded takes on tion ; the Italian religion, in its pasin the entire range of its existence, sion for scenic show-all that conas it were, an individual personality, stituted the wealth, and the glory, possessing an individual body and and the poetry of Italy, obtained soul capable of growth and of decay, through art adequate expression. cradled, as we have seen, in the fresco In the preceding narrative of the catacomb, or in the mosaic church, early stages of this national art, we then walking the earth in strength have marked the laws which governand beauty, teaching men to live ed the vicissitudes both of its rise righteously and die blessedly; and and fall— have seen how those laws again, as we have not now time to show, were linked with the destiny of emfalling into decrepitude, and finally pires, and involved in the first prinsinking into the common grave of ciples of human action. In such a Italian greatness, where it still lies in survey the rules of art are but the death, if without the hope of resur- universal experience of mankind ; the rection, at least leaving upon earth a painted picture but a portion of blessed memory.
the enacted life; the country of a In this somewhat discursive paper people's home, the current of a people's we have treated of the vicissitudes history, their affections, their hopes, and struggles of Christian art in those and their fears, all giving to art its early days when the open grave was character and expression. Thus, as eager to receive the precarious birth we have shown, the philosophy of art which the cradle seemed in vain to is but a portion of the wider philonurture into life. We have seen that, sophy of man and of nature, having the Church driven to the Catacombs, the two aspects of matter and of persecution not only involved Chris- spirit, the two habitations of earth tian art in darkness, but threatened and of heaven : and thus likewise it with extinction. This first danger have we seen that Christian art, being passed, a second scarcely less uniting into one visible form these fatal, and in duration more protract- two aspects of matter and of spirit, ed, seemed to entail on the years of found a habitation on earth, and infancy the decrepitude of age. The gained its access to heaven, in the nascent art, instead of starting into land of Italy. life with the vital impulse of the new
OUDE—which rhymes, 0 sons of to 10,000 ; in the Dwarpar to 1000; the Gael and the Gaul, with the and in the Kali to 100—which latter Sassenach cloud, and is distant in number, by the way, contemptible sound as in space from the “ banks as it doubtless appeared to the of bonny Doon"—is the eldest-born Hindu poet, is more than all the of Hindu antiquity. And when we hygeists, homeopathists, hydropatalk of Hindu antiquities, it is no thists, and vegetarians of these child's play. We will not stand up northern islands have as yet been for the Four Yugs which Mr Mill has able to insure to their sinful inhabiso magisterially “put down,” that the tants. The notion of representing old impostors must hang their heads the moral qualities of an age or a to eternity; though, with submission, generation by assigning it a longer we remember to have read of ages. period of duration, does not much of gold and silver, and brass and differ from that which represents a iron, which were more mercifully great" prince, as literally taller dealt with. If it be said that the and stouter than common men; and Greek and Roman poets did not to this day the Hindu puppet send abroad their fictions with a drama constantly introduces a Rajah load of some millions of years on their of a yard long, carried in his palanbacks, we might further humbly quin by bearers of three inches. insinuate a doubt whether what But to leave these curiosities. has been called Hindu chronology Hindu antiquity shows itself a very was originally designed for anything respectable giant even under the of the sort. When it is said that the shears of European Delilahs. Who Satya Yug endured for 1,728,000 were the Hindus? Where did they years—the Treta for 1,296,000—the come from ? and whence their apDwarpar for 864,000—and the Kali, pellation ? Answer, if you can, ye or bad age, which weary mortals orientalists and occidentalists, who ever imagine to be reserved for are so familiar with "the land where themselves – is destined to fill 432,000 all things are forgotten.” Sir W. years, of which about 5000 are Jones was of opinion they came already passed, we recognise a de- from Iran; Klaproth is for the Causcending ratio in the numbers
, not casian Mountains; Schlegel for the unlike what is predicated of the Caspian Sea ; while Kennedy locates moral qualities, of the respective the first community in the plains of ages. The sum of these several ages the Euphrates. Yet no one, so far is 4,320,000 years-i. e. a tithe of the as we know, can point to a trace of Kalpa, 'or “day of Brahm "--which them out of India itself. Topsy constitutes the duration of the uni- might “ 'spect they growed there." verse. Supposing, then, this propor- Aboriginal, however, they were not ; tion to indicate the position of their own earliest writings describe humanity relative to the whole cos- them as invaders-Aryas they style mogony, and 432,000 years to be themselves—and invoke curses on assigned to its existing condition the Dasrus—the unclean idolaters, (a sum arrived at by inter-multiply- who had taken the liberty to preing the days and the months of the occupy the country. And why callprophetical year, which is equiva- ed Hindu? from the Indus, says lent to a hundred ordinary ones; the Hon. Mountstuart Elphinstone, 360 X 12 + 100 432,000), the pre- which was denominated Hindh, ceding periods of greater virtue and or blue, from the colour of its happiness are found simply by mul- waters. Rather, quoth Colonel Tod, tiplying the present age by 2, 3, and from Indu, the moon, whose chil4 respectively By a similar sort dren the first leaders claimed to be of arithmetical allegory, human life considered. The moon, by the way, is extended in the Satya Yug to in Sanscrit, as in German, is a man. 100,000 years; in the Treta it falls The Rev. Dr Allen, again, an Ame
rican missionary of long standing, its career ? If you listen to themassures his countrymen that Hindu selves, they will tell you about two is the Persian for black, and was millions of years ago, when the used by that conceited people to Menu Vaivaswata, the son of the designate the “ niggers” beyond the Sun, terminated the Satya Yug, leavgreat river.
ing his son Ikshwaku to commence Now, of all the etymologies, we the second age. This was closed, like the last the least; for although after sixty-one princes succeeding in the Persians are at the present a direct line, by Rama, who at this day some shades lighter in com- rate may have been contemporary plexion than the generality of with Adam! Where is the Welsii Hindus, yet the latter were un. pedigree equal to this ? Descending doubtedly of the Caucasian race, and to particulars, the Brahmins assure originally a white people. Their us that the Veda, their earliest earliest writings note this distinction sacred book, containing writings. unin colour from the aboriginal races, questionably of very different degrees affirming that Indra (the Brahminical of antiquity, was arranged in its Jove) drove out the Dasrus, and present form by one Vyas or Ved"divided the lands among his white- vyas at a time corresponding, with complexioned friends.” Besides, the 3101 B.C., which again carries us oldest names of nations are, in all back to the closing days of the father reason, to be sought for in their own of mankind.* language, not in that of foreigners. Here, however, a piece of in
Between the other two derivations, ternal evidence presents itself, which who shall decide ? No doubt thé seems tolerably decisive. The comIndus, like any other large volume piler of the Veda knew someof water, might be called blue. Mr what of astronomy, and happens Gladstone's erudite and pleasant to have noted the solstitial points of work on the Homeric age-a book his time, which, on calculation, are worthy of Oxford and himself— found to fall in with the fourteenth shows that ancient poets were not century before the Christian era. particular to a shade; blue, and black, This, then, is the true date of the and red - the deep ruddy wine- Sanhita or collection of hymns which coloured hue-are flung about with forms the older portion of the Veda perfect impartiality,-indicating, in and as the hymns themselves are of fact, not colour, properly speaking, various dates, the oldest may fall but depth of shade. And assuredly little short of the time of Moses. At in Asia, as well as in America, a this rate the Hindus were already people might well be denominated seated in Hindustan when the Israelfrom the river on whose banks they ites were fighting for a settlement in dwelt. On the other hand, the river Canaan. might as well be called from the Now this is no despicable antiquity. people, as the people from the river; Nineveh looks like an old fellow when and this appears to have been thé you go to the British Museum and notion of the classical geographers. gaze upon his disinterred remains. After all, who knows whether the But the people of the winged bulls first Hindus may not have indulged were but mushrooms compared to the (like their kinsmen the Celts of Hindus. The first Assyrian empire, Britain) in blue skins, so gaining indeed, beats us hollow; but there is their distinctive appellation from a a gap of a thousand years or so bepersonal appearance which still dis- tween the dissolution of that empire tinguishes the god Vishnu, but and the rise of a second about the among mortals is known only, so far Hindu era ; while it was under yet as our researches extend, to the cloth- a third Assyrian dynasty, commencweavers of Yorkshire. We may adding three centuries later, and ending that blue is the favourite, we believe, with the destruction of Nineveh, the religious, colour of the Sikhs. B.C. 606, that Mr Layard's antiquities
To return, however, to dates. were fabricated. What are such When did this niysterious race begin antiquities, we should like to know,
Creation, B.C. 4004 – 939=3065.
compared with the Great War lovely daughter of the King of fought on the banks of the Ganges Mithila; but falling into family between the sons of king Pandu troubles —which, in primitive times, and the princes of Hastinapoora, affected princes no less than meaner fourteen or fifteen hundred years mortals — the royal couple fled to before Christ ? Now, Oude was a the jungle. Here Ravana, King kingdom before the Great War ; in of Singul-dwip (Ceylon), discovered fact, the oldest of Hindu States. and carried off the bride. Rama It was here the children of the collects an army, and, assisted by sun reigned and warred with the his friend Hanuman, follows the children of the moon, who ruled the ravisher to Ceylon, where he evenother bank of the Ganges, probably tually recovers his wife. Returnat the holy prayag (confluence), which ing to India, he has the furMoslems and Feringhees call Allaha- ther satisfaction of being certibad. The sun holds a prominent fied, by the ordeal of fire, that the place in the worship of the Brahmins fair one had continued true during --far more prominent than in the her captivity. Brahma appears to primitive Suktas.
The moon was bless their re-union, and all goes as the parent of Bhudda, whence this merry as a marriage bell, till Rama, contest possibly denotes the religious troubled in mind for the death of polemics of the day ; and Oude a brother, who had unintentionally may well be the birthplace, as it perished by his means, adopts the has long been the citadel, of the judicious expedient of throwing himBrahminical heresy, which finally self into a river ; and instead of expelled the earlier and more simple being buried in the cross roads withtheology.
out bell, book, or candle, is in the Fifty-seven-some lists extend the exalted euphuism of the poet, “renumber to seventy
monarchs of united to the Deity.” solar descent reigned in Ayodhya Such is the stuff into which the (the ancient name for Oude) previous poet has woven the many-coloured to Rama, or Ramchunder, the hero thread of his fiction. Ravana beof the first great Hindu epic, and comes prince of the evil genii, who, one of the incarnations of Vishnu. by a succession of sacrifices, has The Ramayana and the Mahabharat accumulated such a credit to his are the Iliad and Æneid of Sanscrit account with the gods, that he exliterature, and both are assigned to pects shortly to overtop them all
, the age of the Veda. Two poems, and take their thrones to himself. or two editions, are extant under The alarmed divinities invoke Vishthe former name, one of which, nu to become incarnate for their together with the Mahabharat, relief. The god is described as is ascribed to Vyasa ; but the Ra- flying on an eagle, shining like a mayana more commonly known, was cloud. He assents to the request, written by Valmiki : anyhow, the promising
an incarnation of the small poem is as old as the Veda, and its period of eleven thousand years. hero may well have been contempo- He is accordingly born in the son of rary with Moses. Some out-and-out Dashuruth. Rama, therefore, is a lovers of the marvellous, indeed, in- divine being throughout, sustaining sist that this sacred epic is a the cause of the gods no less than his prophesy, written long before the To keep up the marvellous, incidents occurred, and that these Hanuman and his army are turned were miraculously ordered to cor- into monkies, who tear up the hills respond in every particular with with their powerful arms to make a the visions of the poet! Adopting, causeway across the strait, over however, the more natural theory which Rama and his troops march that things existed before they were comfortably into Ceylon. . Several described, the Ramayana affords passages occur which indicate a far a marvellous insight into the then lower degree of civilisation in the condition of Oude.
Deccan (through which the expediThe story is simple enough : tion passed) than existed in Ayodhya. Rama, son of Dushuruth, King This city is described as founded by of Ayodhya, marries Seeta, the the Menu himself.