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in cities and m men, tor which every modern _eart had begun at last to thirst, and Scott's, in its freshness and power, of all men's, most earnestly.
And in this love of beauty, observe, that (as I said we might except) the love of color is a leading element, his healthy mind being incapable of losing, under any modern false teaching, its joy in brilliancy of hue. Though not so subtle a colorist as Dante, which, under the circumstances of the age, he could not be, he depends quite as much upon color for his power or pleasure. And, in general, if he does not mean to say much about things, the one character which he will give is color, using it with the most perfect mastery and faithfulness, up to the point of possible modem perception. For instance, if he has a sea-storm to paint in a single line, he does not, as a feebler poet would probably have done, use any expression about the temper or form of the waves; does not call them angry or mountainous. He is content to strike them out with two dashes of Tintoret's favorite colors
"The blackening wave is edged with white;
There is no form in this. Nay, the main virtue of it is, that it gets rid of all form. The dark raging of the sea—what form has that? But out of the cloud of its darkness those lightning flashes of the foam, coming at their terrible intervals —you need no more.
Again: where he has to describe tents mingled among oaks, he says nothing about the form of either tent or tree, but only gives the two strokes of color:
"Thousand pavilions, white as snow,
That darkly huge did intervene,
And tamed the glaring while with green.''
Again: of tents at Flodden:
"Next morn the Baron climbed the tower,
Encamped on Flodden edge.
Along the dusky ridge."
Again: of trees mingled with dark rocks:
"Until, where Teith's young waters roll
Again: there is hardly any form, only smoke and ool >r in his celebrated description of Edinburgh:
"The wandering eye could o'er it go,
With gloomy splendor red;
The morning beams were shed,
And all the steep slope down,
Mine own romantic town I
And as each heathy top they kissed,
Yonder the shores of Fife you saw; •
And, broad between them rolled,
Like emeralds chased in gold."
I do not like to spoil a fine passage by italicizing it; but observe, the only hints at form, given throughout, are in the somewhat vague words, "ridgy," "massy," "close," and "high:" the whole being still more obscured by modern mystery, in its most tangible form of smoke. But the colors are all definite; note the rainbow band of them—gloomy or dusky red, sable (pure black), amethyst (pure purple), green, and gold—a noble chord throughout; and then, moved doubtless less by the smoky than the amethystine part of the group,
'- t\tz Eustace' heart felt closely pent,
And raised his bridle hand.
I need not multiply examples: the reader can easily trace for himself, through verse familiar to us all, the force of these color instincts. I will therefore add only two passages, not so completely known by heart as most of the poems in which they occur.
"'Twas silence all. He laid him down
s And throatwort, with its azure bell. And moss and thyme his cushion swell • There, spent with toil, he listless eyed
The course of Greta's playful tide;
Note, first, what an exquisite chord of color is given in the succession of this passage. It begins with purple and blue; then passes to gold, or cairngorm color (topaz color) ; then to pale grey, through which the yellow passes into black; and the black, through broken dyes of lichen, into green. Note, secondly,—what is indeed so manifest throughout Scott's landscape as hardly to need pointing out,—the love of rocks, and true understanding of their colors and characters, opposed as it is in every conceivable way to Dante's hatred and misun. derstanding of them.
I have already traced, in various places, most of the causes of this great difference: namely, first, the ruggedness of northern temper (compare § 8. ofjjie chapter on the Nature of Gothic in the Stones of Venice); then the really greater beauty of the northern rocks, as noted when we were speaking of the Apennine limestone; then the need of finding beauty among them, if it were to be found anywhere,—no well-arranged colors being any more to be seen in dress, but only in rock lichens; and, finally, the love of irregularity, liberty, and power, springing up in glorious opposition to laws of prosody, fashion, and the five orders.
The other passage I have to quote is still more interesting; because it has no form- in it at all except in one word (chalice), but wholly composes its imagery either of color, or of that delicate half-believed life which we have seen to be so important an element in modern landscape.
"The summer dawn's reflected hue