Our Artists in Italy





AMONG artists, William Page is a painter.

This proposition may seem, to the great public which has so long and so well known him and his works, somewhat unnecessary. There are few who are not familiar with his paintings. Whether these seem great or otherwise, whether the Venus be pure or gross, we may not here discuss; the public has, and will have, many estimates; yet on one point there is no difference of opinion, apparently. The world willingly calls him whose hand wrought these pictures a painter. It has done so as a matter of course; and we accept the title.

But perhaps the title comes to us from this man’s studio, charged with a significance elevating it above the simply selfevident, and rendering it worthy of the place we have given it as a germ proposition.

Not every one who uses pigments can say, “ I also am a painter.” To him who would make visible the ideal, there are presented the marble, the pencil, and the colors; and should he employ either of these, just in proportion to his obedience to the laws of each will he be a sculptor, a designer, or a painter; and the revelations in stone, in light and shade, or on canvas, shall be his witnesses forevermore,—witnesses of him not only as an artist, in view of his relation to the ideal world, but as possessing a right to the especial title conferred by the means which he has chosen to be his interpreter.

The world has too much neglected these means of interpretation. It has condemned the science which would perfect the art, as if the false could ever become the medium of the true. The art of painting has suffered especially from the influence of mistaken views.

Nor could it be otherwise. Color-manifestation, of all art-utterance, is the least simple. It requires the fulfilment of a greater number of conditions than are involved in any other art. He who has selected colors as his medium cannot with impunity neglect form; light and shade must be to him as important as they are to the designer in chiaro-scuro; while above all are the mystery and power of color.

There is perplexity in this. The science of form seems to be vast enough for any man’s genius. No more than he accomplishes is demanded of the genuine sculptor. His life has been grand with noble fulfilments. We, and all generations, hold his name in the sacred simplicity which has ever been the sign of the consummate. Men say, Phidias, Praxiteles, and know that they did greatly and sufficiently.

Yet with the science which these men had we combine elements equally great, and still truth demands the consummate. Hence success in painting has been the rarest success which the world has known. If we search its history page by page, the great canvas-leaves written over with innumerable names yield us less than a score of those who have overcome the difficulties of its science, through that, achieving art, and becoming painters.

Yes, many men have painted, many great artists have painted, without earning the title which excellence gives. Overbeck, the apostle artist, whose rooms are sacred with the presence of the divine, never earned that name. Nor did thousands who before him wrought patiently and earnestly.

We think that we have among us a man who has earned it.

What does this involve? Somewhat more than the ability critically to distinguish colors and to use them skilfully.

Although practice may discipline and develop this power, there must exist an underlying physiological fitness, or all study and experience will be unavailing. In many persons, the organization of the eye is such that there can be no correct perception of the value, relation, and harmony of hues. There exists often an utter inability to perceive differences between even the primary colors.

The late sculptor Bartholomew declared himself unable to decide which of two pieces of drapery, the one crimson and the other green, was the crimson. Nor was this the result of inexperience. He had been for years familiar not only with Nature’s coloring, but with the works of the best schools of art, and bad been in continual contact with the first living artists.

The instances of this peculiar blindness are exceptional, yet not more so than is the perfection of vision which enables the eye to discriminate accurately the innumerable tints derived from the three primitives.

Nothing can be finer than the sense of identity and harmony resulting from this exquisite organization. We have been told that there is a workman at the Gobelin manufactory who can select twenty-two thousand tints of the material employed in the construction of its famous tapestries. This capability is, of course, almost wholly dependent upon rare physical qualifications; yet it is the basis, the very foundation of a painter’s power.

Still, it is but the foundation. An “eye for color” never yet made any man a colorist.

Perhaps there can be no severer test of this faculty of perception than the copying of excellent pictures. And among the few successful copies which have been produced, Page’s stand unsurpassed.

The ability to perceive Nature, when translated into art, is, however, a possession which this painter shares with many. Nor is he alone in the skill which enables him to realize upon his own canvas the effects which some master has rendered.

It is in the presence of Nature itself that a power is demanded with which mechanical superiority and physical qualifications have little to do. Here the man stands alone, — the only medium between the ideal and the outward world, wherefrom he must choose the signs which alone are permitted to become the language of his expression. None can help him, as before he was helped by the man whose success was the parent of his own. Here is no longer copying.

In the first place, is to be found the limit of the palette. Confining ourselves to the externa], what, of all the infinitude of phenomena to which the vision is related, so corresponds to the power of the palette that it may become adequately representative thereof?

Passing over many minor points in which there seems to be an imperfect relation between Nature’s effects and those of pigments, we will briefly refer to the great discrepancy occasioned by the luminosity of light. In all the lower effects of light, in the illumination of Nature and the revelation of colored surfaces, in the exquisite play and power of reflected light and color, and in the depth and richness of these when transmitted, we find a noble and complete response on the palette. But somewhere in the ascending scale a departure from this happy relation begins to be apparent. The colorpropcrties of light are no longer the first. Another element — an element the essential nature of which is absorbed in the production of the phenomena of color — now asserts itself. Hitherto the painter has dealt with light indirectly, through the mediatorship of substances. The rays have been given to him, broken tenderly for his needs; — ocean and sky, mountain and valley, draperies and human faces, all things, from stars to violets, have diligently prepared for him, as his demands have arisen, the precious light. And while he has restrained himself to the representation of Nature subdued to the limit of his materials, he has been victorious.

Turner, in whose career can be found almost all that the student needs for example and for warning, is perhaps the best illustration of wise temperance in the choice of Nature to be rendered into art. Nothing can be finer than some of those early works wrought out in quiet pearly grays, — the tone of Nature in her soberest and tenderest moods. In these, too, may be observed those touches of brilliant color, — bits of gleaming drapery, perhaps, — prophetic flecks along the gray dawn. Such pictures are like pearls ; but art demands amber, also.

When necessity has borne the artist out of this zone, the peaceful domain of the imitator, he finds himself impelled to produce effects which are no longer the simple phases of color, but such as the means at his disposal fail to accomplish. In the simpler stages of coloring, when he desired to represent an object as blue or red, it was but necessary to use blue or red material. Now he has advanced to a point where this principle is no longer applicable. The illuminative power of light compels new methods of manipulation.

As examples of a thorough comprehension of the need of such a change in the employment of means, of the character of that change, of the skill necessary to embody its principles, and of utter success in the result, we have but to suggest the name and works of Titian.

But the laws which Titian discovered have been unheeded for centuries; and they might have remained so, had not the mind of William Page felt the necessity of their revival and use. To him there could be no chance-work. Art must have laws as definite and immutable as those of science; indeed, the body in which the spirit of art is developed, and through which it acts, must be science itself. He saw, that, it’ exact imitation of Nature be taken as the law in painting, there must inevitably occur the difficulty to which we have before referred,—that, above a certain point, paint no longer undergoes transfiguration, thereby losing its character as mere coloring material, — that, if the ordinary tone of Nature be held as the legitimate key-note, the scope of the palette would be exhausted before success could be achieved.

Any one of Turner’s latest pictures may serve to illustrate the nature of this difficulty. Although in his early practice he was remarkable for his judicious restraint, it is evident that the splendors of the higher phenomena of light had for him unlimited fascination ; and he may be traced advancing cautiously through that period of his career which was marked by the influence of Claude, toward what he hoped would prove, and perhaps believed to be, a realization of such splendors.

It must have been observed by those who have studied his later pictures, that, while the low passages of the composition are wonderfully fine and representative, all the higher parts, those supposed or intended to stand for the radiance of dazzling light, fail utterly in representative capacity. There is an abundance of the most brilliant pigment, but it is still paint, — unmitigated ochre and white lead. The spectator is obliged to recede from the picture until distance enables the eye to transmute the offending material and reconcile the conflicting passages.

To accomplish the result of rendering the quality and effect of high light was one of the problems to which Mr. Page years ago turned his attention ; and he found its solution in the transposition of the scale. The pitch of Nature could not be adopted as the immutable in art. That were impossible, unless art presumed to cope with Nature.

More than he, no man could respect the properties and qualities of the visible world. His ideas of the truthful rendering of that which became the subject of his pencil might seem preposterous to those who knew not the wonderful significaney which he attached to individual forms and tints. Yet, in imitation, where is the limit? What is possible ? Must there be any sacrifice ?

Evidently there must be; and of course it follows that the less important must be sacrificed. Nature herself has taught the artist that the most variable of all her phenomena is that of tone. Other truths of Nature have a character of permanency which the artist cannot modify without violating the first principles of art. He is Required to render the essential; and to render the essential of that which art cannot sacrifice, if it would, and continue art, he foregoes the non-essential and evanescent.

Not only is this permitted, — it is demanded. It is a law through which alone success is attainable. In obedience to it, Mr. Page adopts a key somewhat lower than that of Nature as a point of departure, using his degrees of color frugally, especially in the ascending scale. With this economy, when he approaches the luminous effects of Nature, he finds, just where any other palette would be exhausted, upon his own a reserve of high color. With this, seeking only a corresponding effect of light in that lower tone which assumes no rivalry with the infinite glory of Nature, he attains to a representation fully successful.

We would not have it understood that a mere transposition of the scale is all that is required to accomplish such a result; only this,—that in no other way can such a result be secured. To color well, to color so that forms upon the canvas give back tints like those of the objects which have served as models, is only half the work. Quality, as well as color, must be attained. Local, reflected, and transmitted color can be imitated ; but as in the attempt to represent light its luminousness is the element which defeats the artist, so, throughout Nature, quality, texture, are the elements which most severely test his power.

Could any indispensable truth be considered secondary, it might be assumed that rendering truthfully the qualities of Nature is the first and highest of art. The forms and colors of objects vary infinitely. It might be said that the law of all existence is, in these two particulars, that of change. From the time a human being is born until it disappears in the grave, from the day when the first leaves break the mould to that which sees the old tree fall, the form of each has been modified hourly.

But that which differentiates objects more completely than any other property is quality. The sky over us, and the waters of the earth, are subject to infinite variations. Yet, whether in the tiny drop that trembles at the point of a leaf or in the vast ocean-globe of our planet, in the torpor of forest-ponds or in the wrath of cataracts, water never loses its quality of wetness,—the open sky never that of dryness. These two characteristics are of course entirely the reverse of each other,— as unlike as are the properties of transparency and opacity, which they involve.

So, throughout Nature, one truth, that of texture, is the distinguishing ; and this distinctive element is that which cannot be sacrificed; for through it are Nature’s finest laws manifested. And the painter finds in his obedience to her demands his highest power over the material which serves him in his efforts to embody the true and the beautiful.

It is, then, this which compels us to estimate Mr. Page a painter,—a man especially organized for his profession,— chosen by its demands,—set apart, by his wonderful adaptation to its requirements, from all the world. In virtue of this specialty, the necessity arose early in his life to seek excellence in his department of art, — to search the depths of its philosophy and discover its vital principles, — to analyze its methods and expose its errors. It led him to investigate the relation between the phenomena of Nature and the effects of painting; it guided him to a clear perception of the laws of art-translation; above all, it compelled him to practise what he believed to be the true.

Thus much of the painter ; — now what of the artist ?

It does not necessarily follow, that, because a man is a great painter, he is also a great artist. Yet we may safely infer, that, if he has been true in one department of the several which constitute art, he cannot have been false in others. Should there be a shortcoming, it must be that of a man whose mission does not include that wherein he fails. Fidelity to himself is all we should demand. We say this for those who are disposed to depreciate what an artist actually accomplishes, because in some one point Turner or Overbeck surpasses him. Nor do we say it apologetically. The man, who, basing his action upon the evident purpose of the organization which God has given him, fulfils his destiny, requires no apology.

We have seen something of the faithfulness which has marked Mr. Page’s pursuit of excellence in the external of his art. He has wrought that which proves his claim to a broader title than that of painter. Were it not for the vagueness which involves the appellation of historical painter, it might be that. Even were we obliged to confine our interest and study to the portraiture which he has executed, we might, in view of its remarkable character, designate it as historical.

Than a really great portrait, no work of art can be more truly historical. We feel the subjectiveness of compositions intended to transmit facts to posterity,— and unless we know the artist, we are at a loss as to the degree of trust which we may place in his impressions. A true portrait is objective. The individuality of the one whom it represents was the ruling force in the hour of its production ; and to the spirit of a household, a community, a kingdom, or an age, that individuality is the key. There is, too, in a genuine portrait an internal evidence of its authenticity. No artist ever was great enough to invent the combination of lines, curves, and planes which composes the face of a man. There is the accumulated significance of a lifetime,— subtile traces of failures or of victories wrought years ago. How these will manifest themselves, no experience can point out, no intuition can foresee or imagine. The modifications are infinite, and each is completely removed from the region of the accidental.

But, although details and their combinations in the human face and form cannot be wrought from the imagination, the truthfulness or falsity of their representation is instantly evident. It is because of this, that the unity of a portrait carries conviction of its truth and of the unimpeachability of its evidence, that this phase of art becomes so valuable as history. Compared with the worth of Titian’s Philip II.,—the Madrid picture, of which Mr. Wild has an admirable study,— what value can be attached to any historical composition of its period ?

It has not been the lot of Mr. Page to paint a mighty man, so inlocked with the rugged forces of his age. His sitters have come from more peaceful, nobler walks of life,—and their portraits are beloved even more than they are admired. Not yet are they the pride of pompous galleries, but the glory and saintliness of homes. Could we enter these homes, and discuss freely the character of their treasures, we would gladly linger in the presence of the more precious. But so inseparably associated are they with their originals, so much more nearly related to them than to the artist, that no fitting analysis can be made of the representation without involving that of the individual represented.

Three portraits have, however, such wonderful excellence, and through this excellence have become so well known, that we may be forgiven for alluding to them. In a former paper, the writer spoke of the portrait of a man in his divinest development. The first of these three works is the representation of a woman, and is truly “ somewhat miraculous.” It is a face rendered impressive by the grandest repose, — a repose that pervades the room and the soul, — a repose not to be mistaken for serenity, but which is power in equilibrium. No brilliancy of color, no elaboration of accessories, no intricacy of composition attracts the attention of the observer. There is no need of these. But he who is worthy of the privilege stands suddenly conscious of a presence such as the world has rarely known. He feels that the embodiment before him is the record of a great Past, as well as the reflection of a proud Present,—a Past in which the soul has ever borne on through and above all obstacles of discouragement and temptation to a success which was its inheritance. He sees, too, the possibilities of the near Future ; how from that fine equipoise the soul might pass out into rare manifestations, appearing in the sweetness and simplicity of a little child, in the fearful tumultuousness of a Lady Macbeth, in the passionate tenderness of a Romeo, or in the Gothic grandeur of a Scotch sorceress,—in the love of kindred, in the fervor of friendship, and in the nobleness of the truest womanhood.

Another portrait—can it have been painted in this century ?— presents a widely different character. We have seen the rendering of a nature made too solemn by the possession of genius to admit of splendor of coloring. This picture is that of ripe womanhood, manifesting itself in the fulness of summer’s goldenest light. Color, in all its richness as color, in all its strength as a representative agent, in all its glory as the minister of light, in all its significance as the sign and expression of plenitude of life, — life at one with Nature; — thus we remember it, as it hung upon the wall of that noble room in the Roman home of Crawford.

A later portrait, and one artistically the finest of Mr. Page’s productions, although executed in Rome, has found a home In Cambridge. Here no grave subdual of color was called for, nor was there any need of its fullest power, — but, instead thereof, we have color in the purity of its pearl expression. A mild lustre, inexpressibly clear, seems to pervade the picture, and beam forth the revelation of a white soul. Shadows there are none, — only still softer light, to carry back the receding forms. But interest in technicalities is lost in the nobler sense of sweet influences. We are at peace in the presence of a peace which passeth all understanding. We are holy in the ineffable light of immortal holiness. We are blessed in the consciousness of complete harmony.

Surely, none but a great painter could have achieved such success; surely, no mere painter could thus have appealed, to us.

These works we have chosen to represent the artist’s power in the direction of portraiture,—not only because of their wonderful merit as embodiments of individualism, but to illustrate a law which has not yet had its due influence in art, but which must be the very life of its next revival, when painting shall be borne up until it marks the century.

We refer to the expressional power of color, — not the conventional significance whereby certain colors have been associated arbitrarily with mental conditions. This last has often violated all the principles of natural relation ; yet no fact is more generally accepted than this,—that colors, from the intensity of the primitives to the last faint tints derived therefrom, bear fixed and demonstrable relations to the infinite moods and phases of human life. As among themselves the hues of the palette exist in immutable conditions of positive affinity or repulsion, so are they all related to the soul as definitely in harmony or in discord. There has been imperfect recognition of this at various times in the history of painting since the age of Giotto,—the most notable examples having occurred in the Venetian school.

But even in that golden age of art, this property of color was but rarely perceived and called into use under the guidance of principles. Still, the sense of the value and the harmonies of colors was so keen among the Venetian artists, that, intuitively, subjects were chosen which required an expression admitting of tho most lavish use and magnificent display of color.

Paul Veronese, the splendor of whose conceptions seemed ever to select the pomp and wealth of banquets and ceremonies,—Giorgione, for whom the world revolved in an atmosphere of golden glory, — each had a fixed ideal of noble coloring ; and it is questionable whether either ever modified that ideal for the sake of any expressional purpose.

Titian, from whom no property or capability of color was concealed, could not forego the power which he secured through obedience to the law of its relation to the human soul. Were we asked which among pictures is most completely illustrative of this obedience, we should answer, “ The Entombment,” in the Louvre. Each breadth of color mourns,—sky and earth and all the conscious air are laden with sorrow.

In portraiture, however, the great master was inclined to give the full perfection of the highest type of coloring. That rich glow which is bestowed by the Venetian sun did, indeed, seem typical of the life beneath it; and Titian may have been justified in bringing thither those who were the recipients of his favors. One only did he not invite, — Philip II.; him he placed, dark and ominous, against a sky barred with blood.

Is it in virtue of conformity to law, and under the government of the principles of correspondence, that Mr. Page has wrought with mind and hand ?

Otherwise it cannot be; for, in the three portraits to which allusion has been made, such subtile distinctions ot character find expression in equally subtile differences of tint, that no touch could have been given from vague apprehensions of truth. No ambiguity perplexes the spectator ; he beholds the inevitable.

Other works than those of portraiture have won for Mr. Page the attention of the world. This attention has elicited from individuals praise and dispraise, dealt out promptly, and with little qualification. But we have looked in vain for some truly appreciative notice of the so-called historical pictures executed by this artist. We do not object to the prompt out-speaking of the public. So much is disposed of, when the mass has given or withheld its approval. We know whether or not the work appeals to the hearts of human beings. Often, too, it is the most nearly just of any which may be rendered. Usually, the conclusions of the great world are correct, while its reasonings are absurd. Its decisions are immediate and clear ; its arguments, subsequent and vague.

This measure, however, cannot be meted to all artists. A painter may appeal to some wide, yet superficial sympathy, and attain to no other excellence.

That Mr. Page might have Found success in this direction will not be denied by any one who has seen the engraving of a girl and lamb, from one of his early works. It is as sweet and tenderly simple as a face by Francia. But not only did he refuse to confine himself to this style of art, as, when that engraving is before us, we wish he had done,—he passed out of and away from it. And those phases which followed have been such as are the least fitted to stand the trial of public exhibition. His pictures do not command the eye by extraordinary combinations of assertive colors, — nor do they, through great pathos, deep tenderness, or any overcharged emotional quality, fascinate and absorb the spectator.

Much of the middle portion of this artist’s professional life is marked by changes. It was a period of growth, — of continual development and of obvious transition. Not infrequently, the transition seemed to be from the excellent to the crude. Nevertheless, we doubt not, that, through all vicissitudes, there has been a steady and genuine growth of Mr. Tape’s best artistic power, and that he has been true to his specialty.

We should like to believe that the Venetian visit ot 1853 was the closing of one period of transition, and the beginning of a new era in Mr. Page’s artistic career. It is pleasant to think of the painter’s pilgrimage to that studio of Titian, Venice,—for it was all his, — not in nebulous prophetic youth, — not before his demands had been revealed to his consciousness, — not before those twenty long years of solitary, hard, earnest work,—butin the full ripeness of manhood, when prophecy had dawned into confident fulfilment, when the principles of his science had been found, and when of this science his art had become the demonstration. It was fine to come then, and be for a while the guest of Titian.

There is evidence that he began after this visit to do what for years he had been learning to do,—yet, of course, as is ever the case with the earnest man, doing as a student, as one who feels all truth to be of the infinite.

The result has been a series of remarkable pictures. There are among these the specimens of portraiture, a few landscapes, and a number of ideal, or, as they have been called, historical works. Of these last named there is somewhat to be said; and those to which we shall refer are selected for the purpose of illustrating principles, rather than for that of description. These are all associated with history. There are three representations of Venus, and several renderings of Scriptural subjects.

If these pictures are valuable, they are so in virtue of elements which can be appreciated. To present these elements to the world, to appeal to those who can recognize them, is, it is fair to assume, the object of exposition. Not merely praise, but the more wholesome meed of justice, is the desire of a true artist; and as we deal with such a one, we do not hesitate to speak of’ his works as they impress us.

First of all, in view of the artist’s skill as a painter, it is well to regard the external of his work. Here, in both Scriptural and mythological subjects, there is little to condemn. The motives have been bravely and successfully wrought out; the work is nobly, frankly done. The superiority of methods which render the texture and quality of objects becomes apparent. There is no attempt at illusion; yet the representation of substances and spaces is faultless,—as, for instance, the sky of the “ Venus leading forth the Trojans.” Nor have we seen that chaste, pearly lustre of the most beautiful human skin so well rendered as in the bosom of the figure which gleams against the blue.

But there is a pretension to more than technical excellence in the mythological works; there is a declaration of physical beauty in the very idea; in both these and the Scriptural there is an assumption of historical value.

While we believe that the problem of physical beauty can be solved and demonstrated, and the representations of Venus can be proved to possess or to lack the beautiful, we choose to leave now, as we should be compelled to do after discussion, the decision of the question to those who raise it. It is of little avail to prove a work of art beautiful,—of less, to prove it ugly. Spectators and generations cannot be taken one by one and convinced. But where the operation of judgment is from the reasoning rather than from the intuitive nature, facts, opinions, and impressions may exert healthful influences.

The Venus of Page we cannot accept, — not because it may be unbeautiful, for that might be but a shortcoming,— not because of any technical failure, for, with the exception of weakness in the character of waves, nothing can be finer,

— not because it lacks elevated sentiment, for this Venus was not the celestial,—but because it has nothing to do with the present, neither is it of the past, nor related in any wise to any imaginable future.

The present has no ideal of which the Venus of the ancients is a manifestation. Other creations of that marvellous Greek mind might be fitly used to symbolize phases of the present. Hercules might labor now; there are other stables than the Augean ; and not yet are all Hydras slain. Armor is needed; and a Vulcan spirit is making the anvil ring beneath the earth-crust of humanity. But Venus, the voluptuous, the wanton, — no sensuousness pervading any religion of this era finds in her its fitting type and sign. She, her companions, and her paramours, with the magnificent religion which evolved them, were entombed centuries ago; and no angel has rolled the stone from the door of their sepulchre. They are dead; the necessity which called the Deistic ideal into existence is dead; the ideal itself is dead, since Paul preached in Athens its funeral sermon.

As history of past conditions, no value can be attached to representations produced in subsequent ages. In this respect all these pictures must be false. The best can only approximate truth. Yet his two pictures of Scriptural subjects—one from the remoteness of Hebrew antiquity, the other from the early days of Christianity — are most valuable even as history : not the history of the flight from Egypt, nor that of the flight into Egypt, but the history of what these mighty events have become after the lapse of many centuries.

Herein lies the difference between Mythology and Christianity: the one arose, culminated, and perished, soul and body, when the shadow of the Cross fell athwart Olympus; the other is immortal,—immortal as is Christ, immortal as are human souls, of which it is the life. No century has been when it has not found, and no century can be when it will not find, audible and visible utterance. The music of the "Messiah" reveals the relation of its age to the great central idea of Christianity. Frà Angelico, Leonardo, Bach, Milton, Overbeck, were the revelators of human elevation, as sustained by the philosophy of which Christ was the great interpreter.

Therefore, to record that elevation, to be the historian of the present in its deepest significance, is the noblest occupation. Dwelling, as an artist must dwell, in the deep life of his theme, his work must go forth utterly new, alive, and startling.

Thus did we find the “ Flight into Egypt ” a picture full of the spirit of that marvellous age, hallowed by the sweet mystery which all these years have given. Who of those who were so fortunate as to see this work of Mr. Page will ever forget the solemn, yet radiant tone pervading the landscape of sad Egypt, along which went the fugitives ? Nothing ever swallowed by the insatiable sea, save its human victims, is more worthy of lament than this lost treasure.

Thus, too, is the grandest work of Mr. Page’s life, the Moses with hands upheld above the battle. Were we on the first page instead of the last, we could not refrain from describing it. Yet in its presence the impulse is toward silence. We feel, that, viewed even in its mere external, it is as simple and majestic as the Hebrew language. The far sky, with its pallid moon,—the deep, shadowy valley, with its ghostly warriors,—the group on the near mountain, with its superb youth, its venerable age, and its manhood too strong and vital for the destructive years ;—in the presence of such a creation there is time for a great silence.