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“He who feels Beauty, but cannot intellectually recognise it, is ever dependent for this most joyous of emotions upon the vernal freshness of his senses; and as these grow dull, as youth flits past, the emotion of the beautiful gradually becomes a thing unknown. It is only through feeling that aesthetic emo. tion can touch such an one; and how soon, alas! does this medium between man and nature, between the soul and external things grow sluggish and torpid! But with him who has learned to know as well as to feel—whose soul is one clear sky of intelligence,—the case is far otherwise. Intellect brightens as the senses grow dull; and though the sensuous imagination pass into the yellow leaf as the autumn of life draws on, still will the Beautiful, having secured for itself a retreat in the intellect, naturally pass into immortality along with it. An old man, with closed eyes and flowing hair, would again, as in the days of ancient Greece, form the ideal of a poet; and the taste of the age of Pericles, enlightened by modern philosophy, and purified by Christianity, might again 7"etaarn.”
A higher aim even than this will, we trust, be attempted In our own country. True; Art is here yet in its infancy Its healthful, vigorous growth and development, will depend mainly upon the general cultivation of a correct Taste. We cannot expect our Artists to pursue high and noble aims until the standard of Taste is proportionably elevated.
For the study of nature, —the inseparable ally of Art,—no finer field can be found on the wide earth, than our own wide country;—and no better guide and interpreter, than JoHN RUSKIN.
L. C. T.
ANY material object which can give us pleasure in the simple contemplation of its outward qualities, without any direct and definite exertion of the intellect, I call in some way, or in some degree, beautiful. Why we receive pleasure from some forms and colors, and not from others, is no more to be asked or answered than why we like sugar and dislike wormwood. The utmost subtilty of investigation will only lead us to ultimate instincts and principles of human nature, for which no further reason can be given than the simple will of the Deity that we should be so created. We may, indeed, perceive, as far as we are acquainted with His nature, that we have been so constructed as, when in a nealthy and cultivated state of mind, to derive pleasure from whatever things are illustrative of that nature; but we do not receive pleasure from them because they are illustrative of it, nor from any perception that they are illustrative of it, but instinctively and necessarily, as we derive sensual pleasure from the scent of a rose. On these primary principles of our nature, education and accident operate to an unlimited extent; they may be cultivated or checked, directed or diverted, gifted by right guidance with the most acute and faultless sense, or subjected by neglect to every phase of error and disease. He who has followed up these natural laws of aversion and desire, rendering them more and more authoritative by constant obedience, so as to derive pleasure always from that which God originally intended should give him pleasure,