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landscape in it as above it. It is not the brown, muddy, dull thing we suppose it to be; it has a heart like ourselves, and in the bottom of that there are the boughs of the tall trees, and the blades of the shaking grass, and all manner of hues, of variable, pleasant light out of the sky; nay, the ugly gutter, that stagnates over the drain bars, in the heart of the foul city, is not altogether base; down in that, if you will look deep enough, you may see the dark, serious blue of faroff sky, and the passing of pure clouds. It is at your own will that you see in that despised stream, either the refuse of the street, or the image of the sky—so it is with almost all other things that we unkindly despise. When water, not in very great body, runs in a rocky bed much interrupted by hollows, so that it can rest every now and then in a pool as it goes along, it does not acquire a continuous velocity of motion. It pauses after every leap, and curdles about, and rests a little, and then goes on again; and if in this comparatively tranquil and rational state of mind it meets with an obstacle, as a rock or stone, it parts on each side of it with a little bubbling foam, and goes round; if it come to a step in its bed, it leaps it lightly, and then after a little plashing at the bottom, stops again to take breath. But if its bed be on a continuous slope, not much interrupted by hollows, so that it cannot rest, or if its own mass be so increased by flood that its usual resting-places are not sufficient for it, but that it is perpetually pushed out of them by the following current, before it has come to tranquillise itself, it of course gains velocity with every yard that it runs; the impetus got at one leap is carried to the credit of the next, until the whole stream becomes one mass of unchecked, accelerating motion. Now when water in this state comes to an obstacle, it does not part at it, but clears it like a race-horse; and when it comes to a hollow, it does not fill it up and run out leisurely at the other side, but it rushes down into it and comes up again on the other side, as a ship into the hollow of the sea. Hence the whole appearance of the bed of the stream is changed, and all the lines of the water altered in their nature. The quiet stream is a succession of leaps and pools; the leaps are light and springy, and parabolic, and make a great deal of splashing when they tumble into the pool, then we have a space of quiet curdling water, and another similar leap below. But the stream when it has gained an impetus takos the shape of its bed, never stops, is equally deep and equally swift everywhere, goes down into every hollow, not with a leap, but with a swing, not foaming, nor splashing, but in the bending line of a strong sea-wave, and comes up again on the other side, over rock and ridge, with the ease of a bounding leopard; if it meet a rock three or four feet above the level of its bed, it will neither part nor foam, nor express any concern about the matter, but clear it in a smooth dome of water, without apparent exertion, coming down again as smoothly on the other side; the whole surface of the surge being drawn into parallel lines by its extreme velocity, but foamless, except in places where the form of the bed opposes itself at some direct angle to such a line of fall, and causes a breaker; so that the whole river has the appearance of a deep and raging sea, with this only difference, that the torrent-waves always break backwards, and sea-waves forwards. Thus, then, in the water which has gained an impetus, we have the most exquisite arrangements of curved lines, perpetually changing from convex to concave, and vice versa, following every swell and hollow of the bed with their modu lating grace, and all in unison of motion, presenting perhaps the most beautiful series of inorganic forms which nature can possibly produce; for the sea runs too much into similar and concave curves with sharp edges, but every motion of the torrent is united, and all its curves are modifications of beau tiful line.

Every fountain and river from the inch-deep streamlet that crosses the village lane in trembling clearness, to the massy and silent march of the everlasting multitude of waters in Amazon or Ganges, owe their play, and purity, and power, to the ordained elevations of the earth. Gentle or steep, extended or abrupt, some determined slope of the earth's surface is of course necessary before any wave can so much as overtake one sedge in its pilgrimage; and how seldom do we enough consider, as we walk beside the margins of our pleasant brooks, how beautiful and wonderful is that ordinance, of which every blade of grass that waves in their clear water is a perpetual sign; that the dew and rain fallen on the face of the earth shall find no resting-place; shall find, on the contrary, fixed channels traced for them, from the ravines of the central crests down which they roar in sudden ranks of foam, to the dark hollows beneath the banks of lowland pasture, round which they must circle slowly among the stems and beneath the leaves of the lilies; paths prepared for them, by which, at some appointed rate of journey, they must evermore descend, sometimes slow and sometimes swift, but never pausing; the daily portion of the earth they have to glide over marked for them at each successive sunrise, the place which has known them knowing them no more, and the gateways of guarding mountains opened for them in cleft and chasm, none letting them in their pilgrimage; and, from far off, the great heart of the sea calling them to itself! Deep calleth unto deep. I know not which of the two is the more wonderful—that calm, gradated, invisible slope of the champaign land, which gives motion to the stream; or that passage cloven for it through the ranks of hill, which, necessary for the health of the land immediately around them, would yet, unless so supernaturally divided, have fatally intercepted the flow of the waters from far-off countries. When did the great spirit of the river first knock at those adamantine gates? When did the porter open to it, and cast his keys away for ever, lapped in whirling sand 2 I am not satisfied—no one should be satisfied—with that vague answer,-the river cut its way. Not so. The river found its way.

It was a maxim of Raffaelle's that the artist's object was to make things not as Nature makes them, but as she would make them; as she ever tries to make them, but never succeeds, though her aim may be deduced from a comparison of, her effects; just as if a number of archers had aimed unsuccessfully at a mark upon a wall, and this mark were then removed, we could by the examination of their arrowmarks point out the probable position of the spot aimed at, with a certainty of being nearer to it than any of their shots.

We have most of us heard of original sin, and may perhaps, in our modest moments, conjecture that we are not quite what God, or Nature, would have us to be. Raffaelle had something to mend in humanity: I should like to have seen him mending a daisy, or a pease-blossom, or a moth, or a mustard-seed, or any other of God's slightest works! If he had accomplished that, one might have found for him more respectable employment, to set the stars in better order, perhaps (they seem grievously scattered as they are, and to be of all manner of shapes and sizes, except the ideal shape, and the proper size); or, to give us a corrected view of the ocean, that at least seems a very irregular and improveable thing: the very fishermen do not know this day how far it will reach, driven up before the west wind. Perhaps some one else does, but that is not our business. Let us go down and stand on

the beach by the sea—the great irregular sea, and count whether the thunder of it is not out of time—one,—two:— here comes a well-formed wave at last, trembling a little at the top, but on the whole, orderly. So! Crash among the shingle, and up as far as this grey pebble! Now, stand by and watch. Another:—Ah, careless wave! why couldn't you have kept your crest on? It is all gone away into spray, striking up against the cliffs there—I thought as much—missed the mark by a couple of feet! Another:—How now, impatient one! couldn’t you have waited till your friend’s reflux was done with, instead of rolling yourself up with it in that unseemly manner? You go for nothing. A fourth, and a goodly one at last! What think we of yonder slow rise, and crystalline hollow, without a flaw? Steady, good wave! not so fast! not so fast! Where are you coming to? This is too bad; two yards over the mark, and ever so much of you in our face besides; and a wave which we had some hope of behind there, broken all to pieces out at sea, and laying a great white tablecloth of foam all the way to the shore, as if the marine gods were to dine off it! Alas, for these unhappy “arrow shots” of Nature ! She will never hit her mark with those unruly waves of hers, nor get one of them into the ideal shape, if we wait for a thousand years.


“And God said, Let the waters which are under the heaven be gathered unto one place, and let the dry land appear.” We do not, perhaps, often enough consider the deep signi ficance of this sentence. We are too apt to receive it as the description of an event vaster only in its extent, not in its

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