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again wins back his eye and spirit to the upper glory, till to his fixed and rapt contemplation the whole ether seems boundlessly widening with its multiplying stars. His happiness is not, as Pope translates it, that of the swain who “blesses the useful light," but the sublimed emotion of one who gazes on the repose of majestic simplicity
“ A presence that disturbs us with the joy
Of elevated thoughts." So is it with him who views the sublime creations of Raffaelle. They may strike him at first sight, or not; but it is the supreme test of their excellence that they never cease to expand to the expanding soul of the beholder, but continue to fill up the measure of the capacity which they themselves create. In our painter's Madonnas we see at first a female head of modest and downcast beauty, but soon the vision becomes intensified: A creature is before us, we know not and care not whether of humble or high estate, and of what era or country it never once enters into our minds to think ; we see in that brow the many thoughts of her who was constrained to watch with reverential expectation the looks and doings of her wonderful Babe, the gratitude of the favoured one, the awful humility of her who was overshadowed with the power of the Highest. On the same principle the Cartoons of Raffaelle are excellent ; for, though they admit not of the same rigid exclusion of the dissimilar which marks the perfect heavens, or the undivided representations of his own Madonnas, and though the harmonising use of their illustrative figures (how many and varied they are, too !) impresses on us at once the distinct meaning of each picture, yet such is the calm and contained demonstration of power, even in their strongest features, that their glory is at first only half revealed. Violent pain, mental or bodily, is tempered by heroic resistance, by grandeur, by native sweetness ; Pity waits upon Terror ; Horror is quenched in Beauty :
“ Calm pleasures there abide, majestic pains.". And while his lovely forms have all the celestial purity of the Grecian creations of art, over them is breathed that refining moral air which belongs alone to the Christian faith. That dignified putting-forth of power, of which I have spoken, how remarkable in the Apostle when he has smitten the Sorcerer with blindness. It is even more so in Peter, and in his brethren, who stand around in stately and austere composure, whilst at their feet is Ananias, curbed down at once beneath the crushing conquest of death. But herein is the true sublime : The severe and unexerted attitude of the denouncing Apostle, and the absence of wonder at his own stupendous privilege, exalt the inherent nature of faith, and of that Almighty power which, though called down by man, yet depends not on any human display. And thus the glory of Raffaelle, as a painter, is deep, quiet, and unobtrusive, coming forth only gradually on the expanding soul of the sympathetic beholder.
The arrangement and management of his books is a great matter with the Old Bachelor, whether he sort them according to size of volume and harmony of binding, or according to departments of subject-matter and his own method of reading. First, in my first “indispensable shelf, in the range of general literature, stand Shakspeare, Don Quixote (Motteux' translation, which is the best), Boswell's Life of Johnson, and Lockhart's Life of Scott. One never wearies of reading these four books. They form a library of themselves. Nay, Shakspeare himself
He is endlessly fresh and new : For it is characteristic of a first-rate poet, of this kind and compass, that, open him as oft as we may, we always find something that we never felt and appreciated fully before: One day we are in one mood, and another in another; and so, according to our respective moods, will be the vivid force with which congenial expressions of the poet strike us for the time being : And thus it is that these expressions seem new to us, though in literal fact we may have read them hundreds of times before, ay, and may also literally have borne them in our memories.
• One parting word, Brother Bachelor, in reference to your Library :You have retired, I presume, like myself, to “adjust your mantle ere you fall.” Have with you then, in addition to The Book, or rather in connexion with it, as complete a set as possible of the Old English Divines. They constitute a wondrous circle and cycle of hallowed literature : We have in them all that it is finest in imagination, reasoning, meditation, worship-all that can strengthen, and purify, and delight, and elevate the intellectual, moral, and religious nature of man. And ever as you read, and ever as you humbly hope you are growing better, bless that holy institution of a Church which has furnished you with such weapons of celestial temper, drawn from the armoury of the living God, to fight the good fight, and win immortal life.
APOLOGY FOR ARTHUR BONNINGTON. DR CALVERT, a medical practitioner in Our Village, a fine young man, died suddenly this autumn. He and I being on very intimate terms, he left me his literary MSS., to do with them what I thought best. One piece, however, he enjoined me to publish, as it referred to matters of fact, and went to vindicate the memory of a dear friend of his own, lately deceased : The following is the piece referred to :
APOLOGY FOR ARTHUR BONNINGTON.
ONE summer evening, being on a pedestrian excursion in the south of Scotland, I was overtaken by a violent thunderstorm, and made for shelter to a small village inn. I was on the point of entering it, when the voice of some one crying bitterly behind me made me pause and turn : It was a bareheaded, barefooted little boy, who came running along the twilight road. I questioned him of the cause of his crying, and he said he was frightened by the thunder. He had been sent, he farther told me, to a town some miles off, to get a surgeon for a gentleman who had fallen from his horse ; but he could not get one, as the only practitioner of the place was not at home, nor would be at home that night. On hearing this, I instantly determined to follow the boy, and see the hurt person, to whom I might be of some service. Despite the storm, we went on till we reached a small range of thatched cottages, near which, the boy told me, the accident happened ; and a horse tied at the door of one of them led us at once to the proper place. On entering, I saw my patient, a man apparently about thirty years of age, leaning back pale and exhausted upon a bed, and ministered to by a woman far advanced in life, whose appearance indicated that she had seen better days. I introduced myself as a graduate in medicine, who, having heard of the accident, and their messenger's want of success in procuring the aid of a surgeon, had volunteered his services if necessary.
The unfortunate gentleman, on hearing this, sat up and allowed me to examine his hurts, which I did carefully. Having done so, I bound up his head, which I found bruised on one side, almost to a fracture, and cut by the stones of the road, upon which he had fallen. The storm had now subsided, and my patient, contrary to my advice and the earnest entreaties of his hostess, expressed his determination to ride home without delay, as his house was distant only three miles. After giving the little messenger, who lived in the next cottage, his due guerdon, he turned to the kind old woman who fluttered over his departure with an earnest blessing, and an entreaty to know of his welfare on the morrow, and said to her :-“I will not offend you by speaking of remuneration, but God bless you for your kindness. "I will see you often. Yet, meanwhile, may I request to know to whose motherly care I have been so much indebted at this time ?"
I was proud of the name of Bonnington,” was the old woman's answer, when I was a wife, and the mother of my own Harry and Emily; but they are all gone from me long ago."
At this her wounded guest started as if he had been struck to the heart with a barbed arrow, and trembling violently, he turned half round imploringly to me; then fixing his gaze on the old woman before him, he gasped forth:—“Good God! what has brought me into this house ! Do you know who I am, my kind hostess ?"
“I think not, Sir. But I am afraid you are yet very unwell.”
“No wonder, no wonder, if you be indeed his motherthat boy Harry Bonnington's. Dare you guess who is in your
house this moment ?” “ Mysterious Providence !" said the woman, returning his gaze with equal intensity, “who is this one before
My name was Hastings once, do you know me now?” cried my patient, sinking back on a chair, and covering his face with his left hand, whilst he extended the other. “There is the bloody right hand," he added, 66 which made
childless." There was here a deep pause. The unhappy man sat with both his hands upon his face. Before him stood the bereaved mother, perplexed in the extreme, yet evidently struggling to overcome her strong emotions.
“ If God has brought about this meeting, fatal man to me,” she at length said, “let us each be wiser and better
This cannot be without perfect repentance and forgiveness, and we must mind our respective parts. What would
you have me say to you else ?' “ In truth, I do not know," was his answer. “I could tell you, indeed, why my face has long been pale ; but it is more becoming in me to go out of your presence without any parade of repentance. It was an awful deed, thou poor mother! But yet
the blow that has ruined us all was not meant for him.”
“ So she told me, my child Emily, when she pleaded for you before this heart, and gave a mitigated name to your offence. We are two in a strange relation to each other ; but if both of us may find the same mild Judge in Heaven