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Title: A Joy For Ever - (And Its Price in the Market)
Author: Ruskin, John, 1819-1900
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Joy For Ever - (And Its Price in the Market)" ***

                 "A JOY FOR EVER";
  _Delivered at Manchester, July 10th and 13th, 1857._


               JOHN RUSKIN, LL.D.,


     "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever."--KEATS.

               SIXTEENTH THOUSAND.
             [_All rights reserved_]
       Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & CO.
            At the Ballantyne Press



The title of this book,--or, more accurately, of its subject;--for no
author was ever less likely than I have lately become, to hope for
perennial pleasure to his readers from what has cost himself the most
pains,--will be, perhaps, recognised by some as the last clause of the
line chosen from Keats by the good folks of Manchester, to be written in
letters of gold on the cornice, or Holy rood, of the great Exhibition
which inaugurated the career of so many,--since organized, by both
foreign governments and our own, to encourage the production of works of
art, which the producing nations, so far from intending to be their "joy
for ever," only hope to sell as soon as possible. Yet the motto was
chosen with uncomprehended felicity: for there never was, nor can be,
any essential beauty possessed by a work of art, which is not based on
the conception of its honoured permanence, and local influence, as a
part of appointed and precious furniture, either in the cathedral, the
house, or the joyful thoroughfare, of nations which enter their gates
with thanksgiving, and their courts with praise.

"Their" courts--or "His" courts;--in the mind of such races, the
expressions are synonymous: and the habits of life which recognise the
delightfulness, confess also the sacredness, of homes nested round the
seat of a worship unshaken by insolent theory: themselves founded on an
abiding affection for the past, and care for the future; and approached
by paths open only to the activities of honesty, and traversed only by
the footsteps of peace.

The exposition of these truths, to which I have given the chief energy
of my life, will be found in the following pages first undertaken
systematically and in logical sequence; and what I have since written on
the political influence of the Arts has been little more than the
expansion of these first lectures, in the reprint of which not a
sentence is omitted or changed.

The supplementary papers added contain, in briefest form, the aphorisms
respecting principles of art-teaching of which the attention I gave to
this subject during the continuance of my Professorship at Oxford
confirms me in the earnest and contented re-assertion.



_April 29th, 1880._



The greater part of the following treatise remains in the exact form in
which it was read at Manchester; but the more familiar passages of it,
which were trusted to extempore delivery, have been written with greater
explicitness and fulness than I could give them in speaking; and a
considerable number of notes are added, to explain the points which
could not be sufficiently considered in the time I had at my disposal in
the lecture room.

Some apology may be thought due to the reader, for an endeavour to
engage his attention on a subject of which no profound study seems
compatible with the work in which I am usually employed. But profound
study is not, in this case, necessary either to writer or readers,
while accurate study, up to a certain point, is necessary for us all.
Political economy means, in plain English, nothing more than "citizen's
economy"; and its first principles ought, therefore, to be understood by
all who mean to take the responsibility of citizens, as those of
household economy by all who take the responsibility of householders.
Nor are its first principles in the least obscure: they are, many of
them, disagreeable in their practical requirements, and people in
general pretend that they cannot understand, because they are unwilling
to obey them: or rather, by habitual disobedience, destroy their
capacity of understanding them. But there is not one of the really great
principles of the science which is either obscure or disputable,--which
might not be taught to a youth as soon as he can be trusted with an
annual allowance, or to a young lady as soon as she is of age to be
taken into counsel by the housekeeper.

I might, with more appearance of justice, be blamed for thinking it
necessary to enforce what everybody is supposed to know. But this fault
will hardly be found with me, while the commercial events recorded daily
in our journals, and still more the explanations attempted to be given
of them, show that a large number of our so-called merchants are as
ignorant of the nature of money as they are reckless, unjust, and
unfortunate in its employment.

The statements of economical principles given in the text, though I know
that most, if not all, of them are accepted by existing authorities on
the science, are not supported by references, because I have never read
any author on political economy, except Adam Smith, twenty years ago.
Whenever I have taken up any modern book upon this subject, I have
usually found it encumbered with inquiries into accidental or minor
commercial results, for the pursuit of which an ordinary reader could
have no leisure, and by the complication of which, it seemed to me, the
authors themselves had been not unfrequently prevented from seeing to
the root of the business.

Finally, if the reader should feel induced to blame me for too sanguine
a statement of future possibilities in political practice, let him
consider how absurd it would have appeared in the days of Edward I. if
the present state of social economy had been then predicted as
necessary, or even described as possible. And I believe the advance from
the days of Edward I. to our own, great as it is confessedly, consists,
not so much in what we have actually accomplished, as in what we are now
enabled to conceive.


THE DISCOVERY AND APPLICATION OF ART                         1

_A Lecture delivered at Manchester, July 10th, 1857._



_Continuation of the previous Lecture; delivered
July 13th, 1857._


NOTE 1.--"FATHERLY AUTHORITY"                      151
     "        2.--"RIGHT TO PUBLIC SUPPORT"                 159
     "        3.--"TRIAL SCHOOLS"                           169
     "        4.--"PUBLIC FAVOUR"                           180
     "        5.--"INVENTION OF NEW WANTS"                  183
     "        6.--"ECONOMY OF LITERATURE"                   187
     "        7.--"PILOTS OF THE STATE"                     189
     "        8.--"SILK AND PURPLE"                         193


EDUCATION IN ART                                            213

ART SCHOOL NOTES                                            229

SOCIAL POLICY                                               240




_A Lecture delivered at Manchester, July 10, 1857._

1. Among the various characteristics of the age in which we live, as
compared with other ages of this not yet _very_ experienced world, one
of the most notable appears to me to be the just and wholesome contempt
in which we hold poverty. I repeat, the _just_ and _wholesome_ contempt;
though I see that some of my hearers look surprised at the expression. I
assure them, I use it in sincerity; and I should not have ventured to
ask you to listen to me this evening, unless I had entertained a
profound respect for wealth--true wealth, that is to say; for, of
course, we ought to respect neither wealth nor anything else that is
false of its kind: and the distinction between real and false wealth is
one of the points on which I shall have a few words presently to say to
you. But true wealth I hold, as I said, in great honour; and sympathize,
for the most part, with that extraordinary feeling of the present age
which publicly pays this honour to riches.

2. I cannot, however, help noticing how extraordinary it is, and how
this epoch of ours differs from all bygone epochs in having no
philosophical nor religious worshippers of the ragged godship of
poverty. In the classical ages, not only were there people who
voluntarily lived in tubs, and who used gravely to maintain the
superiority of tub-life to town-life, but the Greeks and Latins seem to
have looked on these eccentric, and I do not scruple to say, absurd
people, with as much respect as we do upon large capitalists and landed
proprietors; so that really, in those days, no one could be described as
purse proud, but only as empty-purse proud. And no less distinct than
the honour which those curious Greek people pay to their conceited poor,
is the disrespectful manner in which they speak of the rich; so that
one cannot listen long either to them, or to the Roman writers who
imitated them, without finding oneself entangled in all sorts of
plausible absurdities; hard upon being convinced of the uselessness of
collecting that heavy yellow substance which we call gold, and led
generally to doubt all the most established maxims of political economy.

3. Nor are matters much better in the Middle Ages. For the Greeks and
Romans contented themselves with mocking at rich people, and
constructing merry dialogues between Charon and Diogenes or Menippus, in
which the ferryman and the cynic rejoiced together as they saw kings and
rich men coming down to the shore of Acheron, in lamenting and
lamentable crowds, casting their crowns into the dark waters, and
searching, sometimes in vain, for the last coin out of all their
treasures that could ever be of use to them.

4. But these Pagan views of the matter were indulgent, compared with
those which were held in the Middle Ages, when wealth seems to have been
looked upon by the best men not only as contemptible, but as criminal.
The purse round the neck is, then, one of the principal signs of
condemnation in the pictured Inferno; and the Spirit of Poverty is
reverenced with subjection of heart, and faithfulness of affection, like
that of a loyal knight for his lady, or a loyal subject for his queen.
And truly, it requires some boldness to quit ourselves of these
feelings, and to confess their partiality or their error, which,
nevertheless, we are certainly bound to do. For wealth is simply one of
the greatest powers which can be entrusted to human hands: a power, not
indeed to be envied, because it seldom makes us happy; but still less to
be abdicated or despised; while, in these days, and in this country, it
has become a power all the more notable, in that the possessions of a
rich man are not represented, as they used to be, by wedges of gold or
coffers of jewels, but by masses of men variously employed, over whose
bodies and minds the wealth, according to its direction, exercises
harmful or helpful influence, and becomes, in that alternative, Mammon
either of Unrighteousness or of Righteousness.

5. Now, it seemed to me that since, in the name you have given to this
great gathering of British pictures, you recognize them as
Treasures--that is, I suppose, as part and parcel of the real wealth of
the country--you might not be uninterested in tracing certain commercial
questions connected with this particular form of wealth. Most persons
express themselves as surprised at its quantity; not having known before
to what an extent good art had been accumulated in England: and it will,
therefore, I should think, be held a worthy subject of consideration,
what are the political interests involved in such accumulations, what
kind of labour they represent, and how this labour may in general be
applied and economized, so as to produce the richest results.

6. Now, you must have patience with me, if in approaching the specialty
of this subject, I dwell a little on certain points of general political
science already known or established: for though thus, as I believe,
established, some which I shall have occasion to rest arguments on are
not yet by any means universally accepted; and therefore, though I will
not lose time in any detailed defence of them, it is necessary that I
should distinctly tell you in what form I receive, and wish to argue
from them; and this the more, because there may perhaps be a part of my
audience who have not interested themselves in political economy, as it
bears on ordinary fields of labour, but may yet wish to hear in what way
its principles can be applied to Art. I shall, therefore, take leave to
trespass on your patience with a few elementary statements in the
outset, and with the expression of some general principles, here and
there, in the course of our particular inquiry.

7. To begin, then, with one of these necessary truisms: all economy,
whether of states, households, or individuals, may be defined to be the
art of managing labour. The world is so regulated by the laws of
Providence, that a man's labour, well applied, is always amply
sufficient to provide him during his life with all things needful to
him, and not only with those, but with many pleasant objects of luxury;
and yet farther, to procure him large intervals of healthful rest and
serviceable leisure. And a nation's labour, well applied, is, in like
manner, amply sufficient to provide its whole population with good food
and comfortable habitation; and not with those only, but with good
education besides, and objects of luxury, art treasures, such as these
you have around you now. But by those same laws of Nature and
Providence, if the labour of the nation or of the individual be
misapplied, and much more if it be insufficient,--if the nation or man
be indolent and unwise,--suffering and want result, exactly in
proportion to the indolence and improvidence--to the refusal of labour,
or to the misapplication of it. Wherever you see want, or misery, or
degradation, in this world about you, there, be sure, either industry
has been wanting, or industry has been in error. It is not accident, it
is not Heaven-commanded calamity, it is not the original and inevitable
evil of man's nature, which fill your streets with lamentation, and your
graves with prey. It is only that, when there should have been
providence, there has been waste; when there should have been labour,
there has been lasciviousness; and wilfulness, when there should have
been subordination.[1]

[Note 1: Proverbs xiii. 23: "Much food is in the tillage of the
poor, but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment."]

8. Now, we have warped the word "economy" in our English language into a
meaning which it has no business whatever to bear. In our use of it, it
constantly signifies merely sparing or saving; economy of money means
saving money--economy of time, sparing time, and so on. But that is a
wholly barbarous use of the word--barbarous in a double sense, for it is
not English, and it is bad Greek; barbarous in a treble sense, for it is
not English, it is bad Greek, and it is worse sense. Economy no more
means saving money than it means spending money. It means, the
administration of a house; its stewardship; spending or saving, that is,
whether money or time, or anything else, to the best possible advantage.
In the simplest and clearest definition of it, economy, whether public
or private, means the wise management of labour; and it means this
mainly in three senses: namely, first, _applying_ your labour
rationally; secondly, _preserving_ its produce carefully; lastly,
_distributing_ its produce seasonably.

9. I say first, applying your labour rationally; that is, so as to
obtain the most precious things you can, and the most lasting things, by
it: not growing oats in land where you can grow wheat, nor putting fine
embroidery on a stuff that will not wear. Secondly, preserving its
produce carefully; that is to say, laying up your wheat wisely in
storehouses for the time of famine, and keeping your embroidery
watchfully from the moth: and lastly, distributing its produce
seasonably; that is to say, being able to carry your corn at once to the
place where the people are hungry, and your embroideries to the places
where they are gay; so fulfilling in all ways the Wise Man's
description, whether of the queenly housewife or queenly nation: "She
riseth while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a
portion to her maidens. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry, her
clothing is silk and purple. Strength and honour are in her clothing,
and she shall rejoice in time to come."

10. Now, you will observe that in this description of the perfect
economist, or mistress of a household, there is a studied expression of
the balanced division of her care between the two great objects of
utility and splendour: in her right hand, food and flax, for life and
clothing; in her left hand, the purple and the needlework, for honour
and for beauty. All perfect housewifery or national economy is known by
these two divisions; wherever either is wanting, the economy is
imperfect. If the motive of pomp prevails, and the care of the national
economist is directed only to the accumulation of gold, and of pictures,
and of silk and marble, you know at once that the time must soon come
when all these treasures shall be scattered and blasted in national
ruin. If, on the contrary, the element of utility prevails, and the
nation disdains to occupy itself in any wise with the arts of beauty or
delight, not only a certain quantity of its energy calculated for
exercise in those arts alone must be entirely wasted, which is bad
economy, but also the passions connected with the utilities of property
become morbidly strong, and a mean lust of accumulation merely for the
sake of accumulation, or even of labour merely for the sake of labour,
will banish at last the serenity and the morality of life, as
completely, and perhaps more ignobly, than even the lavishness of pride,
and the likeness of pleasure. And similarly, and much more visibly, in
private and household economy, you may judge always of its perfectness
by its fair balance between the use and the pleasure of its possessions.
You will see the wise cottager's garden trimly divided between its
well-set vegetables, and its fragrant flowers; you will see the good
housewife taking pride in her pretty table-cloth, and her glittering
shelves, no less than in her well-dressed dish, and her full storeroom;
the care in her countenance will alternate with gaiety, and though you
will reverence her in her seriousness, you will know her best by her

11. Now, as you will have anticipated, I am going to address you, on
this and our succeeding evening, chiefly on the subject of that economy
which relates rather to the garden than the farm-yard. I shall ask you
to consider with me the kind of laws by which we shall best distribute
the beds of our national garden, and raise in it the sweetest succession
of trees pleasant to the sight, and (in no forbidden sense) to be
desired to make us wise. But, before proceeding to open this specialty
of our subject, let me pause for a few moments to plead with you for the
acceptance of that principle of government or authority which must be at
the root of all economy, whether for use or for pleasure. I said, a few
minutes ago, that a nation's labour, well applied, was amply sufficient
to provide its whole population with good food, comfortable clothing,
and pleasant luxury. But the good, instant, and constant application is
everything. We must not, when our strong hands are thrown out of work,
look wildly about for want of something to do with them. If ever we feel
that want, it is a sign that all our household is out of order. Fancy a
farmer's wife, to whom one or two of her servants should come at twelve
o'clock at noon, crying that they had got nothing to do; that they did
not know what to do next: and fancy still farther, the said farmer's
wife looking hopelessly about her rooms and yard, they being all the
while considerably in disorder, not knowing where to set the spare
handmaidens to work, and at last complaining bitterly that she had been
obliged to give them their dinner for nothing. That's the type of the
kind of political economy we practise too often in England. Would you
not at once assert of such a mistress that she knew nothing of her
duties? and would you not be certain, if the household were rightly
managed, the mistress would be only too glad at any moment to have the
help of any number of spare hands; that she would know in an instant
what to set them to;--in an instant what part of to-morrow's work might
be most serviceably forwarded, what part of next month's work most
wisely provided for, or what new task of some profitable kind
undertaken; and when the evening came, and she dismissed her servants to
their recreation or their rest, or gathered them to the reading round
the work-table, under the eaves in the sunset, would you not be sure to
find that none of them had been overtasked by her, just because none had
been left idle; that everything had been accomplished because all had
been employed; that the kindness of the mistress had aided her presence
of mind, and the slight labour had been entrusted to the weak, and the
formidable to the strong; and that as none had been dishonoured by
inactivity, so none had been broken by toil?

12. Now, the precise counterpart of such a household would be seen in a
nation in which political economy was rightly understood. You complain
of the difficulty of finding work for your men. Depend upon it, the real
difficulty rather is to find men for your work. The serious question for
you is not how many you have to feed, but how much you have to do; it
is our inactivity, not our hunger, that ruins us: let us never fear that
our servants should have a good appetite--our wealth is in their
strength, not in their starvation. Look around this island of yours, and
see what you have to do in it. The sea roars against your harbourless
cliffs--you have to build the breakwater, and dig the port of refuge;
the unclean pestilence ravins in your streets--you have to bring the
full stream from the hills, and to send the free winds through the
thoroughfare; the famine blanches your lips and eats away your
flesh--you have to dig the moor and dry the marsh, to bid the morass
give forth instead of engulfing, and to wring the honey and oil out of
the rock. These things, and thousands such, we have to do, and shall
have to do constantly, on this great farm of ours; for do not suppose
that it is anything else than that. Precisely the same laws of economy
which apply to the cultivation of a farm or an estate, apply to the
cultivation of a province or of an island. Whatever rebuke you would
address to the improvident master of an ill-managed patrimony,
precisely that rebuke we should address to ourselves, so far as we
leave our population in idleness and our country in disorder. What would
you say to the lord of an estate who complained to you of his poverty
and disabilities, and when you pointed out to him that his land was half
of it overrun with weeds, and that his fences were all in ruin, and that
his cattle-sheds were roofless, and his labourers lying under the hedges
faint for want of food, he answered to you that it would ruin him to
weed his land or to roof his sheds--that those were too costly
operations for him to undertake, and that he knew not how to feed his
labourers nor pay them? Would you not instantly answer, that instead of
ruining him to weed his fields, it would save him; that his inactivity
was his destruction, and that to set his labourers to work was to feed
them? Now, you may add acre to acre, and estate to estate, as far as you
like, but you will never reach a compass of ground which shall escape
from the authority of these simple laws. The principles which are right
in the administration of a few fields, are right also in the
administration of a great country from horizon to horizon: idleness
does not cease to be ruinous because it is extensive, nor labour to be
productive because it is universal.

13. Nay, but you reply, there is one vast difference between the
nation's economy and the private man's: the farmer has full authority
over his labourers; he can direct them to do what is needed to be done,
whether they like it or not; and he can turn them away if they refuse to
work, or impede others in their working, or are disobedient, or
quarrelsome. There _is_ this great difference; it is precisely this
difference on which I wish to fix your attention, for it is precisely
this difference which you have to do away with. We know the necessity of
authority in farm, or in fleet, or in army; but we commonly refuse to
admit it in the body of the nation. Let us consider this point a little.

14. In the various awkward and unfortunate efforts which the French have
made at the development of a social system, they have at least stated
one true principle, that of fraternity or brotherhood. Do not be
alarmed; they got all wrong in their experiments, because they quite
forgot that this fact of fraternity implied another fact quite as
important--that of paternity, or fatherhood. That is to say, if they
were to regard the nation as one family, the condition of unity in that
family consisted no less in their having a head, or a father, than in
their being faithful and affectionate members, or brothers. But we must
not forget this, for we have long confessed it with our lips, though we
refuse to confess it in our lives. For half an hour every Sunday we
expect a man in a black gown, supposed to be telling us truth, to
address us as brethren, though we should be shocked at the notion of any
brotherhood existing among us out of church. And we can hardly read a
few sentences on any political subject without running a chance of
crossing the phrase "paternal government," though we should be utterly
horror-struck at the idea of governments claiming anything like a
father's authority over us. Now, I believe those two formal phrases are
in both instances perfectly binding and accurate, and that the image of
the farm and its servants which I have hitherto used, as expressing a
wholesome national organization, fails only of doing so, not because it
is too domestic, but because it is not domestic enough; because the real
type of a well-organized nation must be presented, not by a farm
cultivated by servants who wrought for hire, and might be turned away if
they refused to labour, but by a farm in which the master was a father,
and in which all the servants were sons; which implied, therefore, in
all its regulations, not merely the order of expediency, but the bonds
of affection and responsibilities of relationship; and in which all acts
and services were not only to be sweetened by brotherly concord, but to
be enforced by fatherly authority.[2]

[Note 2: See note 1st, in Addenda.]

15. Observe, I do not mean in the least that we ought to place such an
authority in the hands of any one person, or of any class or body of
persons. But I do mean to say that as an individual who conducts himself
wisely must make laws for himself which at some time or other may appear
irksome or injurious, but which, precisely at the time they appear most
irksome, it is most necessary he should obey, so a nation which means to
conduct itself wisely, must establish authority over itself, vested
either in kings, councils, or laws, which it must resolve to obey, even
at times when the law or authority appears irksome to the body of the
people, or injurious to certain masses of it. And this kind of national
law has hitherto been only judicial; contented, that is, with an
endeavour to prevent and punish violence and crime: but, as we advance
in our social knowledge, we shall endeavour to make our government
paternal as well as judicial; that is, to establish such laws and
authorities as may at once direct us in our occupations, protect us
against our follies, and visit us in our distresses: a government which
shall repress dishonesty, as now it punishes theft; which shall show how
the discipline of the masses may be brought to aid the toils of peace,
as discipline of the masses has hitherto knit the sinews of battle; a
government which shall have its soldiers of the ploughshare as well as
its soldiers of the sword, and which shall distribute more proudly its
golden crosses of industry--golden as the glow of the harvest, than now
it grants its bronze crosses of honour--bronzed with the crimson of

16. I have not, of course, time to insist on the nature or details of
government of this kind; only I wish to plead for your several and
future consideration of this one truth, that the notion of Discipline
and Interference lies at the very root of all human progress or power;
that the "Let-alone" principle is, in all things which man has to do
with, the principle of death; that it is ruin to him, certain and total,
if he lets his land alone--if he lets his fellow-men alone--if he lets
his own soul alone. That his whole life, on the contrary, must, if it is
healthy life, be continually one of ploughing and pruning, rebuking and
helping, governing and punishing; and that therefore it is only in the
concession of some great principle of restraint and interference in
national action that he can ever hope to find the secret of protection
against national degradation. I believe that the masses have a right to
claim education from their government; but only so far as they
acknowledge the duty of yielding obedience to their government. I
believe they have a right to claim employment from their governors; but
only so far as they yield to the governor the direction and discipline
of their labour; and it is only so far as they grant to the men whom
they may set over them the father's authority to check the
childishnesses of national fancy, and direct the waywardnesses of
national energy, that they have a right to ask that none of their
distresses should be unrelieved, none of their weaknesses unwatched; and
that no grief, nor nakedness, nor peril, should exist for them, against
which the father's hand was not outstretched, or the father's shield

[Note 3: Compare Wordsworth's Essay on the Poor Law Amendment Bill.
I quote one important passage: "But, if it be not safe to touch the
abstract question of man's right in a social state to help himself even
in the last extremity, may we not still contend for the duty of a
Christian government, standing _in loco parentis_ towards all its
subjects, to make such effectual provision that no one shall be in
danger of perishing either through the neglect or harshness of its
legislation? Or, waiving this, is it not indisputable that the claim of
the State to the allegiance, involves the protection of the subject?
And, as all rights in one party impose a correlative duty upon another,
it follows that the right of the State to require the services of its
members, even to the jeopardizing of their lives in the common defence,
establishes a right in the people (not to be gainsaid by utilitarians
and economists) to public support when, from any cause, they may be
unable to support themselves."--(See note 2nd, in Addenda.)]

17. Now, I have pressed this upon you at more length than is needful or
proportioned to our present purposes of inquiry, because I would not for
the first time speak to you on this subject of political economy without
clearly stating what I believe to be its first grand principle. But its
bearing on the matter in hand is chiefly to prevent you from at once too
violently dissenting from me when what I may state to you as advisable
economy in art appears to imply too much restraint or interference with
the freedom of the patron or artist. We are a little apt, though on the
whole a prudent nation, to act too immediately on our impulses, even in
matters merely commercial; much more in those involving continual
appeals to our fancies. How far, therefore, the proposed systems or
restraints may be advisable, it is for you to judge; only I pray you not
to be offended with them merely because they _are_ systems and

18. Do you at all recollect that interesting passage of Carlyle, in
which he compares, in this country and at this day, the understood and
commercial value of man and horse; and in which he wonders that the
horse, with its inferior brains and its awkward hoofiness, instead of
handiness, should be always worth so many tens or scores of pounds in
the market, while the man, so far from always commanding his price in
the market, would often be thought to confer a service on the community
by simply killing himself out of their way? Well, Carlyle does not
answer his own question, because he supposes we shall at once see the
answer. The value of the horse consists simply in the fact of your being
able to put a bridle on him. The value of the man consists precisely in
the same thing. If you can bridle him, or, which is better, if he can
bridle himself, he will be a valuable creature directly. Otherwise, in a
commercial point of view, his value is either nothing, or accidental
only. Only, of course, the proper bridle of man is not a leathern one:
what kind of texture it is rightly made of, we find from that command,
"Be ye not as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
whose mouths must be held in with bit and bridle." You are not to be
without the reins, indeed; but they are to be of another kind: "I will
guide thee with mine Eye." So the bridle of man is to be the Eye of God;
and if he rejects that guidance, then the next best for him is the
horse's and the mule's, which have no understanding; and if he rejects
that, and takes the bit fairly in his teeth, then there is nothing left
for him than the blood that comes out of the city, up to the

19. Quitting, however, at last these general and serious laws of
government--or rather bringing them down to our own business in hand--we
have to consider three points of discipline in that particular branch of
human labour which is concerned, not with procuring of food, but the
expression of emotion; we have to consider respecting art: first, how to
apply our labour to it; then, how to accumulate or preserve the results
of labour; and then, how to distribute them. But since in art the labour
which we have to employ is the labour of a particular class of men--men
who have special genius for the business--we have not only to consider
how to apply the labour, but, first of all, how to produce the labourer;
and thus the question in this particular case becomes fourfold: first,
how to get your man of genius; then, how to employ your man of genius;
then, how to accumulate and preserve his work in the greatest quantity;
and, lastly, how to distribute his work to the best national advantage.
Let us take up these questions in succession.

20. I. Discovery.--How are we to get our men of genius: that is to say,
by what means may we produce among us, at any given time, the greatest
quantity of effective art-intellect? A wide question, you say, involving
an account of all the best means of art education. Yes, but I do not
mean to go into the consideration of those; I want only to state the few
principles which lie at the foundation of the matter. Of these, the
first is that you have always to find your artist, not to make him; you
can't manufacture him, any more than you can manufacture gold. You can
find him, and refine him: you dig him out as he lies nugget-fashion in
the mountain-stream; you bring him home; and you make him into current
coin, or household plate, but not one grain of him can you originally
produce. A certain quantity of art-intellect is born annually in every
nation, greater or less according to the nature and cultivation of the
nation, or race of men; but a perfectly fixed quantity annually, not
increasable by one grain. You may lose it, or you may gather it; you may
let it lie loose in the ravine, and buried in the sands, or you may make
kings' thrones of it, and overlay temple gates with it, as you choose:
but the best you can do with it is always merely sifting, melting,
hammering, purifying--never creating.

21. And there is another thing notable about this artistical gold; not
only is it limited in quantity, but in use. You need not make thrones or
golden gates with it unless you like, but assuredly you can't do
anything else with it. You can't make knives of it, nor armour, nor
railroads. The gold won't cut you, and it won't carry you: put it to a
mechanical use, and you destroy it at once. It is quite true that in the
greatest artists, their proper artistical faculty is united with every
other; and you may make use of the other faculties, and let the
artistical one lie dormant. For aught I know, there may be two or three
Leonardo da Vincis employed at this moment in your harbours and
railroads: but you are not employing their Leonardesque or golden
faculty there,--you are only oppressing and destroying it. And the
artistical gift in average men is not joined with others: your born
painter, if you don't make a painter of him, won't be a first-rate
merchant, or lawyer; at all events, whatever he turns out, his own
special gift is unemployed by you; and in no wise helps him in that
other business. So here you have a certain quantity of a particular sort
of intelligence, produced for you annually by providential laws, which
you can only make use of by setting it to its own proper work, and which
any attempt to use otherwise involves the dead loss of so much human

22. Well then, supposing we wish to employ it, how is it to be best
discovered and refined? It is easily enough discovered. To wish to
employ it is to discover it. All that you need is, a school of trial[4]
in every important town, in which those idle farmers' lads whom their
masters never can keep out of mischief, and those stupid tailors'
'prentices who are always stitching the sleeves in wrong way upwards,
may have a try at this other trade; only this school of trial must not
be entirely regulated by formal laws of art education, but must
ultimately be the workshop of a good master painter, who will try the
lads with one kind of art and another, till he finds out what they are
fit for.

[Note 4: See note 3rd, in Addenda.]

23. Next, after your trial school, you want your easy and secure
employment, which is the matter of chief importance. For, even on the
present system, the boys who have really intense art capacity, generally
make painters of themselves; but then, the best half of their early
energy is lost in the battle of life. Before a good painter can get
employment, his mind has always been embittered, and his genius
distorted. A common mind usually stoops, in plastic chill, to whatever
is asked of it, and scrapes or daubs its way complacently into public
favour.[5] But your great men quarrel with you, and you revenge
yourselves by starving them for the first half of their lives. Precisely
in the degree in which any painter possesses original genius, is at
present the increase of moral certainty that during his early years he
will have a hard battle to fight; and that just at the time when his
conceptions ought to be full and happy, his temper gentle, and his
hopes enthusiastic--just at that most critical period, his heart is full
of anxieties and household cares; he is chilled by disappointments, and
vexed by injustice; he becomes obstinate in his errors, no less than in
his virtues, and the arrows of his aims are blunted, as the reeds of his
trust are broken.

[Note 5: See note 4th, in Addenda.]

24. What we mainly want, therefore, is a means of sufficient and
unagitated employment: not holding out great prizes for which young
painters are to scramble; but furnishing all with adequate support, and
opportunity to display such power as they possess without rejection or
mortification. I need not say that the best field of labour of this kind
would be presented by the constant progress of public works involving
various decoration; and we will presently examine what kind of public
works may thus, advantageously for the nation, be in constant progress.
But a more important matter even than this of steady employment, is the
kind of criticism with which you, the public, receive the works of the
young men submitted to you. You may do much harm by indiscreet praise
and by indiscreet blame; but remember the chief harm is always done by
blame. It stands to reason that a young man's work cannot be perfect. It
_must_ be more or less ignorant; it must be more or less feeble; it is
likely that it may be more or less experimental, and if experimental,
here and there mistaken. If, therefore, you allow yourself to launch out
into sudden barking at the first faults you see, the probability is that
you are abusing the youth for some defect naturally and inevitably
belonging to that stage of his progress; and that you might just as
rationally find fault with a child for not being as prudent as a privy
councillor, or with a kitten for not being as grave as a cat.

25. But there is one fault which you may be quite sure is unnecessary,
and therefore a real and blamable fault: that is haste, involving
negligence. Whenever you see that a young man's work is either bold or
slovenly, then you may attack it firmly; sure of being right. If his
work is bold, it is insolent; repress his insolence: if it is slovenly,
it is indolent; spur his indolence. So long as he works in that dashing
or impetuous way, the best hope for him is in your contempt: and it is
only by the fact of his seeming not to seek your approbation that you
may conjecture he deserves it.

26. But if he does deserve it, be sure that you give it him, else you
not only run a chance of driving him from the right road by want of
encouragement, but you deprive yourselves of the happiest privilege you
will ever have of rewarding his labour. For it is only the young who can
receive much reward from men's praise: the old, when they are great, get
too far beyond and above you to care what you think of them. You may
urge them then with sympathy, and surround them then with acclamation;
but they will doubt your pleasure, and despise your praise. You might
have cheered them in their race through the asphodel meadows of their
youth; you might have brought the proud, bright scarlet into their
faces, if you had but cried once to them "Well done," as they dashed up
to the first goal of their early ambition. But now, their pleasure is in
memory, and their ambition is in heaven. They can be kind to you, but
you nevermore can be kind to them. You may be fed with the fruit and
fulness of their old age, but you were as the nipping blight to them in
their blossoming, and your praise is only as the warm winds of autumn
to the dying branches.

27. There is one thought still, the saddest of all, bearing on this
withholding of early help. It is possible, in some noble natures, that
the warmth and the affections of childhood may remain unchilled, though
unanswered; and that the old man's heart may still be capable of
gladness, when the long-withheld sympathy is given at last. But in these
noble natures it nearly always happens that the chief motive of earthly
ambition has not been to give delight to themselves, but to their
parents. Every noble youth looks back, as to the chiefest joy which this
world's honour ever gave him, to the moment when first he saw his
father's eyes flash with pride, and his mother turn away her head, lest
he should take her tears for tears of sorrow. Even the lover's joy, when
some worthiness of his is acknowledged before his mistress, is not so
great as that, for it is not so pure--the desire to exalt himself in her
eyes mixes with that of giving her delight; but he does not need to
exalt himself in his parents' eyes: it is with the pure hope of giving
them pleasure that he comes to tell them what he has done, or what has
been said of him; and therefore he has a purer pleasure of his own. And
this purest and best of rewards you keep from him if you can: you feed
him in his tender youth with ashes and dishonour; and then you come to
him, obsequious, but too late, with your sharp laurel crown, the dew all
dried from off its leaves; and you thrust it into his languid hand, and
he looks at you wistfully. What shall he do with it? What can he do, but
go and lay it on his mother's grave?

28. Thus, then, you see that you have to provide for your young men:
first, the searching or discovering school; then the calm employment;
then the justice of praise: one thing more you have to do for them in
preparing them for full service--namely, to make, in the noble sense of
the word, gentlemen of them; that is to say, to take care that their
minds receive such training, that in all they paint they shall see and
feel the noblest things. I am sorry to say, that of all parts of an
artist's education, this is the most neglected among us; and that even
where the natural taste and feeling of the youth have been pure and
true, where there was the right stuff in him to make a gentleman of, you
may too frequently discern some jarring rents in his mind, and elements
of degradation in his treatment of subject, owing to want of gentle
training, and of the liberal influence of literature. This is quite
visible in our greatest artists, even in men like Turner and
Gainsborough; while in the common grade of our second-rate painters the
evil attains a pitch which is far too sadly manifest to need my dwelling
upon it. Now, no branch of art economy is more important than that of
making the intellect at your disposal pure as well as powerful; so that
it may always gather for you the sweetest and fairest things. The same
quantity of labour from the same man's hand, will, according as you have
trained him, produce a lovely and useful work, or a base and hurtful
one; and depend upon it, whatever value it may possess, by reason of the
painter's skill, its chief and final value, to any nation, depends upon
its being able to exalt and refine, as well as to please; and that the
picture which most truly deserves the name of an art-treasure is that
which has been painted by a good man.

29. You cannot but see how far this would lead, if I were to enlarge
upon it. I must take it up as a separate subject some other time: only
noticing at present that no money could be better spent by a nation than
in providing a liberal and disciplined education for its painters, as
they advance into the critical period of their youth; and that, also, a
large part of their power during life depends upon the kind of subjects
which you, the public, ask them for, and therefore the kind of thoughts
with which you require them to be habitually familiar. I shall have more
to say on this head when we come to consider what employment they should
have in public buildings.

30. There are many other points of nearly as much importance as these,
to be explained with reference to the development of genius; but I
should have to ask you to come and hear six lectures instead of two if I
were to go into their detail. For instance, I have not spoken of the way
in which you ought to look for those artificers in various manual
trades, who, without possessing the order of genius which you would
desire to devote to higher purposes, yet possess wit, and humour, and
sense of colour, and fancy for form--all commercially valuable as
quantities of intellect, and all more or less expressible in the lower
arts of iron-work, pottery, decorative sculpture, and such like. But
these details, interesting as they are, I must commend to your own
consideration, or leave for some future inquiry. I want just now only to
set the bearings of the entire subject broadly before you, with enough
of detailed illustration to make it intelligible; and therefore I must
quit the first head of it here, and pass to the second--namely, how best
to employ the genius we discover. A certain quantity of able hands and
heads being placed at our disposal, what shall we most advisably set
them upon?

31. II. APPLICATION.--There are three main points the economist has to
attend to in this.

First, To set his men to various work.

Secondly, To easy work.

Thirdly, To lasting work.

I shall briefly touch on the first two, for I want to arrest your
attention on the last.

32. I say first to various work. Supposing you have two men of equal
power as landscape painters--and both of them have an hour at your
disposal. You would not set them both to paint the same piece of
landscape. You would, of course, rather have two subjects than a
repetition of one.

Well, supposing them sculptors, will not the same rule hold? You
naturally conclude at once that it will; but you will have hard work to
convince your modern architects of that. They will put twenty men to
work, to carve twenty capitals; and all shall be the same. If I could
show you the architects' yards in England just now, all open at once,
perhaps you might see a thousand clever men, all employed in carving the
same design. Of the degradation and deathfulness to the art-intellect of
the country involved in such a habit, I have more or less been led to
speak before now; but I have not hitherto marked its definite tendency
to increase the price of _work_, as such. When men are employed
continually in carving the same ornaments, they get into a monotonous
and methodical habit of labour--precisely correspondent to that in which
they would break stones, or paint house-walls. Of course, what they do
so constantly, they do easily; and if you excite them temporarily by an
increase of wages, you may get much work done by them in a little time.
But, unless so stimulated, men condemned to a monotonous exertion,
work--and always, by the laws of human nature, _must_ work--only at a
tranquil rate, not producing by any means a maximum result in a given
time. But if you allow them to vary their designs, and thus interest
their heads and hearts in what they are doing, you will find them become
eager, first, to get their ideas expressed, and then to finish the
expression of them; and the moral energy thus brought to bear on the
matter quickens, and therefore cheapens, the production in a most
important degree. Sir Thomas Deane, the architect of the new Museum at
Oxford, told me, as I passed through Oxford on my way here, that he
found that, owing to this cause alone, capitals of various design could
be executed cheaper than capitals of similar design (the amount of hand
labour in each being the same) by about 30 per cent.

33. Well, that is the first way, then, in which you will employ your
intellect well; and the simple observance of this plain rule of
political economy will effect a noble revolution in your architecture,
such as you cannot at present so much as conceive. Then the second way
in which we are to guard against waste is by setting our men to the
easiest, and therefore the quickest, work which will answer the purpose.
Marble, for instance, lasts quite as long as granite, and is much softer
to work; therefore, when you get hold of a good sculptor, give him
marble to carve--not granite.

34. That, you say, is obvious enough. Yes; but it is not so obvious how
much of your workmen's time you waste annually in making them cut glass,
after it has got hard, when you ought to make them mould it while it is
soft. It is not so obvious how much expense you waste in cutting
diamonds and rubies, which are the hardest things you can find, into
shapes that mean nothing, when the same men might be cutting sandstone
and freestone into shapes that meant something. It is not so obvious how
much of the artists' time in Italy you waste, by forcing them to make
wretched little pictures for you out of crumbs of stone glued together
at enormous cost, when the tenth of the time would make good and noble
pictures for you out of water-colour.

35. I could go on giving you almost numberless instances of this great
commercial mistake; but I should only weary and confuse you. I therefore
commend also this head of our subject to your own meditation, and
proceed to the last I named--the last I shall task your patience with
to-night. You know we are now considering how to apply our genius; and
we were to do it as economists, in three ways:--

To _various_ work;

To _easy_ work;

To _lasting_ work.

36. This lasting of the work, then, is our final question.

Many of you may perhaps remember that Michael Angelo was once commanded
by Pietro di Medici to mould a statue out of snow, and that he obeyed
the command.[6] I am glad, and we have all reason to be glad, that such
a fancy ever came into the mind of the unworthy prince, and for this
cause: that Pietro di Medici then gave, at the period of one great epoch
of consummate power in the arts, the perfect, accurate, and intensest
possible type of the greatest error which nations and princes can
commit, respecting the power of genius entrusted to their guidance. You
had there, observe, the strongest genius in the most perfect obedience;
capable of iron independence, yet wholly submissive to the patron's
will; at once the most highly accomplished and the most original,
capable of doing as much as man could do, in any direction that man
could ask. And its governor, and guide, and patron sets it to build a
statue in snow--to put itself into the service of annihilation--to make
a cloud of itself, and pass away from the earth.

[Note 6: See the noble passage on this tradition in "Casa Guidi

37. Now this, so precisely and completely done by Pietro di Medici, is
what we are all doing, exactly in the degree in which we direct the
genius under our patronage to work in more or less perishable materials.
So far as we induce painters to work in fading colours, or architects to
build with imperfect structure, or in any other way consult only
immediate ease and cheapness in the production of what we want, to the
exclusion of provident thought as to its permanence and serviceableness
in after ages; so far we are forcing our Michael Angelos to carve in
snow. The first duty of the economist in art is, to see that no
intellect shall thus glitter merely in the manner of hoar-frost; but
that it shall be well vitrified, like a painted window, and shall be set
so between shafts of stone and bands of iron, that it shall bear the
sunshine upon it, and send the sunshine through it, from generation to

38. I can conceive, however, some political economist to interrupt me
here, and say, "If you make your art wear too well, you will soon have
too much of it; you will throw your artists quite out of work. Better
allow for a little wholesome evanescence--beneficent destruction: let
each age provide art for itself, or we shall soon have so many good
pictures that we shall not know what to do with them."

Remember, my dear hearers, who are thus thinking, that political
economy, like every other subject, cannot be dealt with effectively if
we try to solve two questions at a time instead of one. It is one
question, how to get plenty of a thing; and another, whether plenty of
it will be good for us. Consider these two matters separately; never
confuse yourself by interweaving one with the other. It is one question,
how to treat your fields so as to get a good harvest; another, whether
you wish to have a good harvest, or would rather like to keep up the
price of corn. It is one question, how to graft your trees so as to grow
most apples; and quite another, whether having such a heap of apples in
the storeroom will not make them all rot.

39. Now, therefore, that we are talking only about grafting and growing,
pray do not vex yourselves with thinking what you are to do with the
pippins. It may be desirable for us to have much art, or little--we will
examine that by-and-bye; but just now, let us keep to the simple
consideration how to get plenty of good art if we want it. Perhaps it
might be just as well that a man of moderate income should be able to
possess a good picture, as that any work of real merit should cost
500_l._ or 1,000_l._; at all events, it is certainly one of the branches
of political economy to ascertain how, if we like, we can get things in
quantities--plenty of corn, plenty of wine, plenty of gold, or plenty of

It has just been said, that the first great secret is to produce work
that will last. Now, the conditions of work lasting are twofold: it must
not only be in materials that will last, but it must be itself of a
quality that will last--it must be good enough to bear the test of time.
If it is not good, we shall tire of it quickly, and throw it aside--we
shall have no pleasure in the accumulation of it. So that the first
question of a good art-economist respecting any work is, Will it lose
its flavour by keeping? It may be very amusing now, and look much like a
work of genius; but what will be its value a hundred years hence?

You cannot always ascertain this. You may get what you fancy to be work
of the best quality, and yet find to your astonishment that it won't
keep. But of one thing you may be sure, that art which is produced
hastily will also perish hastily; and that what is cheapest to you now,
is likely to be dearest in the end.

40. I am sorry to say, the great tendency of this age is to expend its
genius in perishable art of this kind, as if it were a triumph to burn
its thoughts away in bonfires. There is a vast quantity of intellect and
of labour consumed annually in our cheap illustrated publications; you
triumph in them; and you think it so grand a thing to get so many
woodcuts for a penny. Why, woodcuts, penny and all, are as much lost to
you as if you had invested your money in gossamer. More lost, for the
gossamer could only tickle your face, and glitter in your eyes; it could
not catch your feet and trip you up: but the bad art can, and does; for
you can't like good woodcuts as long as you look at the bad ones. If we
were at this moment to come across a Titian woodcut, or a Dürer woodcut,
we should not like it--those of us at least who are accustomed to the
cheap work of the day. We don't like, and can't like, _that_ long; but
when we are tired of one bad cheap thing, we throw it aside and buy
another bad cheap thing; and so keep looking at bad things all our
lives. Now, the very men who do all that quick bad work for us are
capable of doing perfect work. Only, perfect work can't be hurried, and
therefore it can't be cheap beyond a certain point. But suppose you pay
twelve times as much as you do now, and you have one woodcut for a
shilling instead of twelve; and the one woodcut for a shilling is as
good as art can be, so that you will never tire of looking at it; and is
struck on good paper with good ink, so that you will never wear it out
by handling it; while you are sick of your penny-each cuts by the end of
the week, and have torn them mostly in half too. Isn't your shilling's
worth the best bargain?

41. It is not, however, only in getting prints or woodcuts of the best
kind that you will practise economy. There is a certain quality about an
original drawing which you cannot get in a woodcut, and the best part of
the genius of many men is only expressible in original work, whether
with pen or ink--pencil or colours. This is not always the case; but in
general, the best men are those who can only express themselves on paper
or canvas; and you will therefore, in the long run, get most for your
money by buying original work; proceeding on the principle already laid
down, that the best is likely to be the cheapest in the end. Of course,
original work cannot be produced under a certain cost. If you want a
man to make you a drawing which takes him six days, you must, at all
events, keep him for six days in bread and water, fire and lodging; that
is the lowest price at which he can do it for you, but that is not very
dear: and the best bargain which can possibly be made honestly in
art--the very ideal of a cheap purchase to the purchaser--is the
original work of a great man fed for as many days as are necessary on
bread and water, or perhaps we may say with as many onions as will keep
him in good humour. That is the way by which you will always get most
for your money; no mechanical multiplication or ingenuity of commercial
arrangements will ever get you a better penny's worth of art than that.

42. Without, however, pushing our calculations quite to this
prison-discipline extreme, we may lay it down as a rule in art-economy,
that original work is, on the whole, cheapest and best worth having. But
precisely in proportion to the value of it as a production, becomes the
importance of having it executed in permanent materials. And here we
come to note the second main error of the day, that we not only ask our
workmen for bad art, but we make them put it into bad substance. We
have, for example, put a great quantity of genius, within the last
twenty years, into water-colour drawing, and we have done this with the
most reckless disregard whether either the colours or the paper will
stand. In most instances, neither will. By accident, it may happen that
the colours in a given drawing have been of good quality, and its paper
uninjured by chemical processes. But you take not the least care to
ensure these being so; I have myself seen the most destructive changes
take place in water-colour drawings within twenty years after they were
painted; and from all I can gather respecting the recklessness of modern
paper manufacture, my belief is, that though you may still handle an
Albert Dürer engraving, two hundred years old, fearlessly, not one-half
of that time will have passed over your modern water-colours, before
most of them will be reduced to mere white or brown rags; and your
descendants, twitching them contemptuously into fragments between finger
and thumb, will mutter against you, half in scorn and half in anger,
"Those wretched nineteenth century people! they kept vapouring and
fuming about the world, doing what they called business, and they
couldn't make a sheet of paper that wasn't rotten."

43. And note that this is no unimportant portion of your art economy at
this time. Your water-colour painters are becoming every day capable of
expressing greater and better things; and their material is especially
adapted to the turn of your best artists' minds. The value which you
could accumulate in work of this kind would soon become a most important
item in the national art-wealth, if only you would take the little pains
necessary to secure its permanence. I am inclined to think, myself, that
water-colour ought not to be used on paper at all, but only on vellum,
and then, if properly taken care of, the drawing would be almost
imperishable. Still, paper is a much more convenient material for rapid
work; and it is an infinite absurdity not to secure the goodness of its
quality, when we could do so without the slightest trouble. Among the
many favours which I am going to ask from our paternal government, when
we get it, will be that it will supply its little boys with good paper.
You have nothing to do but to let the government establish a paper
manufactory, under the superintendence of any of our leading chemists,
who should be answerable for the safety and completeness of all the
processes of the manufacture. The government stamp on the corner of your
sheet of drawing-paper, made in the perfect way, should cost you a
shilling, which would add something to the revenue; and when you bought
a water-colour drawing for fifty or a hundred guineas, you would have
merely to look in the corner for your stamp, and pay your extra shilling
for the security that your hundred guineas were given really for a
drawing, and not for a coloured rag. There need be no monopoly or
restriction in the matter; let the paper manufacturers compete with the
government, and if people liked to save their shilling, and take their
chance, let them; only, the artist and purchaser might then be sure of
good material, if they liked, and now they cannot be.

44. I should like also to have a government colour manufactory; though
that is not so necessary, as the quality of colour is more within the
artist's power of testing, and I have no doubt that any painter may get
permanent colour from the respectable manufacturers, if he chooses. I
will not attempt to follow the subject out at all as it respects
architecture, and our methods of modern building; respecting which I
have had occasion to speak before now.

45. But I cannot pass without some brief notice our habit--continually,
as it seems to me, gaining strength--of putting a large quantity of
thought and work, annually, into things which are either in their nature
necessarily perishable, as dress; or else into compliances with the
fashion of the day, in things not necessarily perishable, as plate. I am
afraid almost the first idea of a young rich couple setting up house in
London, is, that they must have new plate. Their father's plate may be
very handsome, but the fashion is changed. They will have a new service
from the leading manufacturer, and the old plate, except a few apostle
spoons, and a cup which Charles the Second drank a health in to their
pretty ancestress, is sent to be melted down, and made up with new
flourishes and fresh lustre. Now, so long as this is the case--so long,
observe, as fashion has influence on the manufacture of plate--so long
_you cannot have a goldsmith's art in this country_. Do you suppose any
workman worthy the name will put his brains into a cup, or an urn, which
he knows is to go to the melting-pot in half a score years? He will not;
you don't ask or expect it of him. You ask of him nothing but a little
quick handicraft--a clever twist of a handle here, and a foot there, a
convolvulus from the newest school of design, a pheasant from Landseer's
game cards; a couple of sentimental figures for supporters, in the style
of the signs of insurance offices, then a clever touch with the
burnisher, and there's your epergne, the admiration of all the footmen
at the wedding-breakfast, and the torment of some unfortunate youth who
cannot see the pretty girl opposite to him, through its tyrannous

46. But you don't suppose that _that's_ goldsmith's work? Goldsmith's
work is made to last, and made with the men's whole heart and soul in
it; true goldsmith's work, when it exists, is generally the means of
education of the greatest painters and sculptors of the day. Francia was
a goldsmith; Francia was not his own name, but that of his master the
jeweller; and he signed his pictures almost always, "Francia, the
goldsmith," for love of his master; Ghirlandajo was a goldsmith, and was
the master of Michael Angelo; Verrocchio was a goldsmith, and was the
master of Leonardo da Vinci. Ghiberti was a goldsmith, and beat out the
bronze gates which Michael Angelo said might serve for gates of
Paradise.[7] But if ever you want work like theirs again, you must keep
it, though it should have the misfortune to become old-fashioned. You
must not break it up, nor melt it any more. There is no economy in that;
you could not easily waste intellect more grievously. Nature may melt
her goldsmith's work at every sunset if she chooses; and beat it out
into chased bars again at every sunrise; but you must not. The way to
have a truly noble service of plate, is to keep adding to it, not
melting it. At every marriage, and at every birth, get a new piece of
gold or silver if you will, but with noble workmanship on it, done for
all time, and put it among your treasures; that is one of the chief
things which gold was made for, and made incorruptible for. When we know
a little more of political economy, we shall find that none but
partially savage nations need, imperatively, gold for their currency;[8]
but gold has been given us, among other things, that we might put
beautiful work into its imperishable splendour, and that the artists who
have the most wilful fancies may have a material which will drag out,
and beat out, as their dreams require, and will hold itself together
with fantastic tenacity, whatever rare and delicate service they set it

[Note 7: Several reasons may account for the fact that goldsmith's
work is so wholesome for young artists: first, that it gives great
firmness of hand to deal for some time with a solid substance; again,
that it induces caution and steadiness--a boy trusted with chalk and
paper suffers an immediate temptation to scrawl upon it and play with
it, but he dares not scrawl on gold, and he cannot play with it; and,
lastly, that it gives great delicacy and precision of touch to work upon
minute forms, and to aim at producing richness and finish of design
correspondent to the preciousness of the material.]

[Note 8: See note in Addenda on the nature of property.]

47. So here is one branch of decorative art in which rich people may
indulge themselves unselfishly; if they ask for good art in it, they may
be sure in buying gold and silver plate that they are enforcing useful
education on young artists. But there is another branch of decorative
art in which I am sorry to say we cannot, at least under existing
circumstances, indulge ourselves, with the hope of doing good to
anybody: I mean the great and subtle art of dress.

48. And here I must interrupt the pursuit of our subject for a moment or
two, in order to state one of the principles of political economy,
which, though it is, I believe, now sufficiently understood and asserted
by the leading masters of the science, is not yet, I grieve to say,
acted upon by the plurality of those who have the management of riches.
Whenever we spend money, we of course set people to work: that is the
meaning of spending money; we may, indeed, lose it without employing
anybody; but, whenever we spend it, we set a number of people to work,
greater or less, of course, according to the rate of wages, but, in the
long run, proportioned to the sum we spend. Well, your shallow people,
because they see that however they spend money they are always employing
somebody, and, therefore, doing some good, think and say to themselves,
that it is all one _how_ they spend it--that all their apparently
selfish luxury is, in reality, unselfish, and is doing just as much
good as if they gave all their money away, or perhaps more good; and I
have heard foolish people even declare it as a principle of political
economy, that whoever invented a new want[9] conferred a good on the
community. I have not words strong enough--at least, I could not,
without shocking you, use the words which would be strong enough--to
express my estimate of the absurdity and the mischievousness of this
popular fallacy. So, putting a great restraint upon myself, and using no
hard words, I will simply try to state the nature of it, and the extent
of its influence.

[Note 9: See note 5th, in Addenda.]

49. Granted, that whenever we spend money for whatever purpose, we set
people to work; and passing by, for the moment, the question whether the
work we set them to is all equally healthy and good for them, we will
assume that whenever we spend a guinea we provide an equal number of
people with healthy maintenance for a given time. But, by the way in
which we spend it, we entirely direct the labour of those people during
that given time. We become their masters or mistresses, and we compel
them to produce, within a certain period, a certain article. Now, that
article may be a useful and lasting one, or it may be a useless and
perishable one--it may be one useful to the whole community, or useful
only to ourselves. And our selfishness and folly, or our virtue and
prudence, are shown, not by our spending money, but by our spending it
for the wrong or the right thing; and we are wise and kind, not in
maintaining a certain number of people for a given period, but only in
requiring them to produce during that period, the kind of things which
shall be useful to society, instead of those which are only useful to

50. Thus, for instance: if you are a young lady, and employ a certain
number of sempstresses for a given time, in making a given number of
simple and serviceable dresses--suppose, seven; of which you can wear
one yourself for half the winter, and give six away to poor girls who
have none, you are spending your money unselfishly. But if you
employ the same number of sempstresses for the same number of days,
in making four, or five, or six beautiful flounces for your own
ball-dress--flounces which will clothe no one but yourself, and which
you will yourself be unable to wear at more than one ball--you are
employing your money selfishly. You have maintained, indeed, in each
case, the same number of people; but in the one case you have directed
their labour to the service of the community; in the other case you have
consumed it wholly upon yourself. I don't say you are never to do so; I
don't say you ought not sometimes to think of yourselves only, and to
make yourselves as pretty as you can; only do not confuse coquettishness
with benevolence, nor cheat yourselves into thinking that all the finery
you can wear is so much put into the hungry mouths of those beneath you:
it is not so; it is what you yourselves, whether you will or no, must
sometimes instinctively feel it to be--it is what those who stand
shivering in the streets, forming a line to watch you as you step out of
your carriages, _know_ it to be; those fine dresses do not mean that so
much has been put into their mouths, but that so much has been taken out
of their mouths.

51. The real politico-economical signification of every one of those
beautiful toilettes, is just this: that you have had a certain number of
people put for a certain number of days wholly under your authority, by
the sternest of slave-masters--hunger and cold; and you have said to
them, "I will feed you, indeed, and clothe you, and give you fuel for so
many days; but during those days you shall work for me only: your little
brothers need clothes, but you shall make none for them: your sick
friend needs clothes, but you shall make none for her: you yourself will
soon need another and a warmer dress, but you shall make none for
yourself. You shall make nothing but lace and roses for me; for this
fortnight to come, you shall work at the patterns and petals, and then I
will crush and consume them away in an hour." You will perhaps
answer--"It may not be particularly benevolent to do this, and we won't
call it so; but at any rate we do no wrong in taking their labour when
we pay them their wages: if we pay for their work, we have a right to

52. No;--a thousand times no. The labour which you have paid for, does
indeed become, by the act of purchase, your own labour: you have bought
the hands and the time of those workers; they are, by right and justice,
your own hands, your own time. But have you a right to spend your own
time, to work with your own hands, only for your own advantage?--much
more, when, by purchase, you have invested your own person with the
strength of others; and added to your own life, a part of the life of
others? You may, indeed, to a certain extent, use their labour for your
delight: remember, I am making no general assertions against splendour
of dress, or pomp of accessories of life; on the contrary, there are
many reasons for thinking that we do not at present attach enough
importance to beautiful dress, as one of the means of influencing
general taste and character. But I _do_ say, that you must weigh the
value of what you ask these workers to produce for you in its own
distinct balance; that on its own worthiness or desirableness rests the
question of your kindness, and not merely on the fact of your having
employed people in producing it: and I say further, that as long as
there are cold and nakedness in the land around you, so long there can
be no question at all but that splendour of dress is a crime. In due
time, when we have nothing better to set people to work at, it may be
right to let them make lace and cut jewels; but as long as there are any
who have no blankets for their beds, and no rags for their bodies, so
long it is blanket-making and tailoring we must set people to work
at--not lace.

53. And it would be strange, if at any great assembly which, while it
dazzled the young and the thoughtless, beguiled the gentler hearts that
beat beneath the embroidery, with a placid sensation of luxurious
benevolence--as if by all that they wore in waywardness of beauty,
comfort had been first given to the distressed, and aid to the indigent;
it would be strange, I say, if, for a moment, the spirits of Truth and
of Terror, which walk invisibly among the masques of the earth, would
lift the dimness from our erring thoughts, and show us how--inasmuch as
the sums exhausted for that magnificence would have given back the
failing breath to many an unsheltered outcast on moor and street--they
who wear it have literally entered into partnership with Death; and
dressed themselves in his spoils. Yes, if the veil could be lifted not
only from your thoughts, but from your human sight, you would see--the
angels do see--on those gay white dresses of yours, strange dark spots,
and crimson patterns that you knew not of--spots of the inextinguishable
red that all the seas cannot wash away; yes, and among the pleasant
flowers that crown your fair heads, and glow on your wreathed hair, you
would see that one weed was always twisted which no one thought of--the
grass that grows on graves.

54. It was not, however, this last, this clearest and most appalling
view of our subject, that I intended to ask you to take this evening;
only it is impossible to set any part of the matter in its true light,
until we go to the root of it. But the point which it is our special
business to consider is, not whether costliness of dress is contrary to
charity; but whether it is not contrary to mere worldly wisdom: whether,
even supposing we knew that splendour of dress did not cost suffering or
hunger, we might not put the splendour better in other things than
dress. And, supposing our mode of dress were really graceful or
beautiful, this might be a very doubtful question; for I believe true
nobleness of dress to be an important means of education, as it
certainly is a necessity to any nation which wishes to possess living
art, concerned with portraiture of human nature. No good historical
painting ever yet existed, or ever can exist, where the dresses of the
people of the time are not beautiful: and had it not been for the lovely
and fantastic dressing of the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries,
neither French, nor Florentine, nor Venetian art could have risen to
anything like the rank it reached. Still, even then, the best dressing
was never the costliest; and its effect depended much more on its
beautiful and, in early times, modest, arrangement, and on the simple
and lovely masses of its colour, than on gorgeousness of clasp or

55. Whether we can ever return to any of those more perfect types of
form, is questionable; but there can be no more question that all the
money we spend on the forms of dress at present worn, is, so far as any
good purpose is concerned, wholly lost. Mind, in saying this, I reckon
among good purposes the purpose which young ladies are said sometimes
to entertain--of being married; but they would be married quite as soon
(and probably to wiser and better husbands) by dressing quietly, as by
dressing brilliantly: and I believe it would only be needed to lay
fairly and largely before them the real good which might be effected by
the sums they spend in toilettes, to make them trust at once only to
their bright eyes and braided hair for all the mischief they have a
mind to. I wish we could, for once, get the statistics of a London
season. There was much complaining talk in Parliament, last week,
of the vast sum the nation has given for the best Paul Veronese in
Venice--14,000_l._: I wonder what the nation meanwhile has given for its
ball-dresses! Suppose we could see the London milliners' bills, simply
for unnecessary breadths of slip and flounce, from April to July; I
wonder whether 14,000_l._ would cover _them_. But the breadths of slip
and flounce are by this time as much lost and vanished as last year's
snow; only they have done less good: but the Paul Veronese will last for
centuries, if we take care of it; and yet, we grumble at the price given
for the painting, while no one grumbles at the price of pride.

56. Time does not permit me to go into any farther illustration of the
various modes in which we build our statue out of snow, and waste our
labour on things that vanish. I must leave you to follow out the subject
for yourselves, as I said I should, and proceed, in our next lecture, to
examine the two other branches of our subject--namely, how to accumulate
our art, and how to distribute it. But, in closing, as we have been much
on the topic of good government, both of ourselves and others, let me
just give you one more illustration of what it means, from that old art
of which, next evening, I shall try to convince you that the value, both
moral and mercantile, is greater than we usually suppose.

57. One of the frescoes by Ambrozio Lorenzetti, in the town-hall of
Siena, represents, by means of symbolical figures, the principles of
Good Civic Government and of Good Government in general. The figure
representing this noble Civic Government is enthroned, and surrounded by
figures representing the Virtues, variously supporting or administering
its authority. Now, observe what work is given to each of these
virtues. Three winged ones--Faith, Hope, and Charity--surround the head
of the figure; not in mere compliance with the common and heraldic laws
of precedence among Virtues, such as we moderns observe habitually, but
with peculiar purpose on the part of the painter. Faith, as thus
represented ruling the thoughts of the Good Governor, does not mean
merely religious faith, understood in those times to be necessary to all
persons--governed no less than governors--but it means the faith which
enables work to be carried out steadily, in spite of adverse appearances
and expediencies; the faith in great principles, by which a civic ruler
looks past all the immediate checks and shadows that would daunt a
common man, knowing that what is rightly done will have a right issue,
and holding his way in spite of pullings at his cloak and whisperings in
his ear, enduring, as having in him a faith which is evidence of things

58. And Hope, in like manner, is here not the heavenward hope which
ought to animate the hearts of all men; but she attends upon Good
Government, to show that all such government is _expectant_ as well as
_conservative_; that if it ceases to be hopeful of better things, it
ceases to be a wise guardian of present things: that it ought never, as
long as the world lasts, to be wholly content with any existing state of
institution or possession, but to be hopeful still of more wisdom and
power; not clutching at it restlessly or hastily, but feeling that its
real life consists in steady ascent from high to higher: conservative,
indeed, and jealously conservative of old things, but conservative of
them as pillars, not as pinnacles--as aids, but not as idols; and
hopeful chiefly, and active, in times of national trial or distress,
according to those first and notable words describing the queenly
nation: "She riseth, _while it is yet night_."

59. And again, the winged Charity which is attendant on Good Government
has, in this fresco, a peculiar office. Can you guess what? If you
consider the character of contest which so often takes place among kings
for their crowns, and the selfish and tyrannous means they commonly take
to aggrandize or secure their power, you will, perhaps, be surprised to
hear that the office of Charity is to crown the King. And yet, if you
think of it a little, you will see the beauty of the thought which sets
her in this function: since, in the first place, all the authority of a
good governor should be desired by him only for the good of his people,
so that it is only Love that makes him accept or guard his crown: in the
second place, his chief greatness consists in the exercise of this love,
and he is truly to be revered only so far as his acts and thoughts are
those of kindness; so that Love is the light of his crown, as well as
the giver of it: lastly, because his strength depends on the affections
of his people, and it is only their love which can securely crown him,
and for ever. So that Love is the strength of his crown as well as the
light of it.

60. Then, surrounding the King, or in various obedience to him, appear
the dependent virtues, as Fortitude, Temperance, Truth, and other
attendant spirits, of all which I cannot now give account, wishing you
only to notice the one to whom are entrusted the guidance and
administration of the public revenues. Can you guess which it is likely
to be? Charity, you would have thought, should have something to do with
the business; but not so, for she is too hot to attend carefully to it.
Prudence, perhaps, you think of in the next place. No, she is too timid,
and loses opportunities in making up her mind. Can it be Liberality
then? No: Liberality is entrusted with some small sums; but she is a bad
accountant, and is allowed no important place in the exchequer. But the
treasures are given in charge to a virtue of which we hear too little in
modern times, as distinct from others; Magnanimity: largeness of heart:
not softness or weakness of heart, mind you--but capacity of heart--the
great _measuring_ virtue, which weighs in heavenly balances all that may
be given, and all that may be gained; and sees how to do noblest things
in noblest ways: which of two goods comprehends and therefore chooses
the greater: which of two personal sacrifices dares and accepts the
larger: which, out of the avenues of beneficence, treads always that
which opens farthest into the blue fields of futurity: that character,
in fine, which, in those words taken by us at first for the description
of a Queen among the nations, looks less to the present power than to
the distant promise; "Strength and honour are in her clothing,--and she
shall rejoice IN TIME TO COME."



_Continuation of the previous Lecture; delivered July 13, 1857._

61. The heads of our subject which remain for our consideration this
evening are, you will remember, the accumulation and the distribution of
works of art. Our complete inquiry fell into four divisions--first, how
to get our genius; then, how to apply our genius; then, how to
accumulate its results; and lastly, how to distribute them. We
considered, last evening, how to discover and apply it;--we have
to-night to examine the modes of its preservation and distribution.

62. III. ACCUMULATION.--And now, in the outset, it will be well to face
that objection which we put aside a little while ago; namely, that
perhaps it is not well to have a great deal of good art; and that it
should not be made too cheap.

"Nay," I can imagine some of the more generous among you exclaiming, "we
will not trouble you to disprove that objection; of course it is a
selfish and base one: good art, as well as other good things, ought to
be made as cheap as possible, and put as far as we can within the reach
of everybody."

63. Pardon me, I am not prepared to admit that. I rather side with the
selfish objectors, and believe that art ought not to be made cheap,
beyond a certain point; for the amount of pleasure that you can receive
from any great work, depends wholly on the quantity of attention and
energy of mind you can bring to bear upon it. Now, that attention and
energy depend much more on the freshness of the thing than you would at
all suppose; unless you very carefully studied the movements of your own
minds. If you see things of the same kind and of equal value very
frequently, your reverence for them is infallibly diminished, your
powers of attention get gradually wearied, and your interest and
enthusiasm worn out; and you cannot in that state bring to any given
work the energy necessary to enjoy it. If, indeed, the question were
only between enjoying a great many pictures each a little, or one
picture very much, the sum of enjoyment being in each case the same, you
might rationally desire to possess rather the larger quantity than the
small; both because one work of art always in some sort illustrates
another, and because quantity diminishes the chances of destruction.

64. But the question is not a merely arithmetical one of this kind. Your
fragments of broken admirations will not, when they are put together,
make up one whole admiration; two and two, in this case, do not make
four, nor anything like four. Your good picture, or book, or work of art
of any kind, is always in some degree fenced and closed about with
difficulty. You may think of it as of a kind of cocoanut, with very
often rather an unseemly shell, but good milk and kernel inside. Now, if
you possess twenty cocoanuts, and being thirsty, go impatiently from one
to the other, giving only a single scratch with the point of your knife
to the shell of each, you will get no milk from all the twenty. But if
you leave nineteen of them alone, and give twenty cuts to the shell of
one, you will get through it, and at the milk of it. And the tendency of
the human mind is always to get tired before it has made its twenty
cuts; and to try another nut: and moreover, even if it has perseverance
enough to crack its nuts, it is sure to try to eat too many, and to
choke itself. Hence, it is wisely appointed for us that few of the
things we desire can be had without considerable labour, and at
considerable intervals of time. We cannot generally get our dinner
without working for it, and that gives us appetite for it, we cannot get
our holiday without waiting for it, and that gives us zest for it; and
we ought not to get our picture without paying for it, and that gives us
a mind to look at it.

65. Nay, I will even go so far as to say that we ought not to get books
too cheaply. No book, I believe, is ever worth half so much to its
reader as one that has been coveted for a year at a bookstall, and
bought out of saved halfpence; and perhaps a day or two's fasting.
That's the way to get at the cream of a book. And I should say more on
this matter, and protest as energetically as I could against the plague
of cheap literature, with which we are just now afflicted, but that I
fear your calling me to order, as being unpractical, because I don't
quite see my way at present to making everybody fast for their books.
But one may see that a thing is desirable and possible, even though one
may not at once know the best way to it,--and in my island of Barataria,
when I get it well into order, I assure you no book shall be sold for
less than a pound sterling; if it can be published cheaper than that,
the surplus shall all go into my treasury, and save my subjects taxation
in other directions; only people really poor, who cannot pay the pound,
shall be supplied with the books they want for nothing, in a certain
limited quantity. I haven't made up my mind about the number yet, and
there are several other points in the system yet unsettled; when they
are all determined, if you will allow me, I will come and give you
another lecture, on the political economy of literature.[10]

[Note 10: See note 6th, in Addenda.]

66. Meantime, returning to our immediate subject, I say to my generous
hearers, who want to shower Titians and Turners upon us, like falling
leaves, "Pictures ought not to be too cheap;" but in much stronger tone
I would say to those who want to keep up the prices of pictorial
property, that pictures ought not to be too dear--that is to say, not as
dear as they are. For, as matters at present stand, it is wholly
impossible for any man in the ordinary circumstances of English life to
possess himself of a piece of great art. A modern drawing of average
merit, or a first-class engraving, may, perhaps, not without some
self-reproach, be purchased out of his savings by a man of narrow
income; but a satisfactory example of first-rate art--masterhands'
work--is wholly out of his reach. And we are so accustomed to look upon
this as the natural course and necessity of things, that we never set
ourselves in any wise to diminish the evil; and yet it is an evil
perfectly capable of diminution.

67. It is an evil precisely similar in kind to that which existed in the
Middle Ages, respecting good books, and which everybody then, I suppose,
thought as natural as we do now our small supply of good pictures. You
could not then study the work of a great historian, or great poet, any
more than you can now study that of a great painter, but at heavy cost.
If you wanted a book, you had to get it written out for you, or to write
it out for yourself. But printing came, and the poor man may read his
Dante and his Homer; and Dante and Homer are none the worse for that.
But it is only in literature that private persons of moderate fortune
can possess and study greatness: they can study at home no greatness in
art; and the object of that accumulation which we are at present aiming
at, as our third object in political economy, is to bring great art in
some degree within the reach of the multitude; and, both in larger and
more numerous galleries than we now possess, and by distribution,
according to his wealth and wish, in each man's home, to render the
influence of art somewhat correspondent in extent to that of literature.
Here, then, is the subtle balance which your economist has to strike: to
accumulate so much art as to be able to give the whole nation a supply
of it, according to its need, and yet to regulate its distribution so
that there shall be no glut of it, nor contempt.

68. A difficult balance, indeed, for us to hold, if it were left merely
to our skill to poise; but the just point between poverty and profusion
has been fixed for us accurately by the wise laws of Providence. If you
carefully watch for all the genius you can detect, apply it to good
service, and then reverently preserve what it produces, you will never
have too little art; and if, on the other hand, you never force an
artist to work hurriedly, for daily bread, nor imperfectly, because you
would rather have showy works than complete ones, you will never have
too much. Do not force the multiplication of art, and you will not have
it too cheap; do not wantonly destroy it, and you will not have it too

69. "But who wantonly destroys it?" you will ask. Why, we all do.
Perhaps you thought, when I came to this part of our subject,
corresponding to that set forth in our housewife's economy by the
"keeping her embroidery from the moth," that I was going to tell you
only how to take better care of pictures, how to clean them, and varnish
them, and where to put them away safely when you went out of town. Ah,
not at all. The utmost I have to ask of you is, that you will not pull
them to pieces, and trample them under your feet. "What!" you will say,
"when do we do such things? Haven't we built a perfectly beautiful
gallery for all the pictures we have to take care of?" Yes, you have,
for the pictures which are definitely sent to Manchester to be taken
care of. But there are quantities of pictures out of Manchester which it
is your business, and mine too, to take care of no less than of these,
and which we are at this moment employing ourselves in pulling to pieces
by deputy. I will tell you what they are, and where they are, in a
minute; only first let me state one more of those main principles of
political economy on which the matter hinges.

70. I must begin a little apparently wide of the mark, and ask you to
reflect if there is any way in which we waste money more in England than
in building fine tombs? Our respect for the dead, when they are _just_
dead, is something wonderful, and the way we show it more wonderful
still. We show it with black feathers and black horses; we show it with
black dresses and bright heraldries; we show it with costly obelisks and
sculptures of sorrow, which spoil half of our most beautiful cathedrals.
We show it with frightful gratings and vaults, and lids of dismal stone,
in the midst of the quiet grass; and last, and not least, we show it by
permitting ourselves to tell any number of lies we think amiable or
credible, in the epitaph. This feeling is common to the poor as well as
the rich; and we all know how many a poor family will nearly ruin
themselves, to testify their respect for some member of it in his
coffin, whom they never much cared for when he was out of it; and how
often it happens that a poor old woman will starve herself to death, in
order that she may be respectably buried.

71. Now, this being one of the most complete and special ways of wasting
money,--no money being less productive of good, or of any percentage
whatever, than that which we shake away from the ends of undertakers'
plumes,--it is of course the duty of all good economists, and kind
persons, to prove and proclaim continually, to the poor as well as the
rich, that respect for the dead is not really shown by laying great
stones on them to tell us where they are laid; but by remembering where
they are laid, without a stone to help us; trusting them to the sacred
grass and saddened flowers; and still more, that respect and love are
shown to them, not by great monuments to them which we build with _our_
hands, but by letting the monuments stand, which they built with _their
own_. And this is the point now in question.

72. Observe, there are two great reciprocal duties concerning industry,
constantly to be exchanged between the living and the dead. We, as we
live and work, are to be always thinking of those who are to come after
us; that what we do may be serviceable, as far as we can make it so, to
them, as well as to us. Then, when we die, it is the duty of those who
come after us to accept this work of ours with thanks and remembrance,
not thrusting it aside or tearing it down the moment they think they
have no use for it. And each generation will only be happy or powerful
to the pitch that it ought to be, in fulfilling these two duties to the
Past and the Future. Its own work will never be rightly done, even for
itself--never good, or noble, or pleasurable to its own eyes--if it does
not prepare it also for the eyes of generations yet to come. And its own
possessions will never be enough for it, and its own wisdom never enough
for it, unless it avails itself gratefully and tenderly of the treasures
and the wisdom bequeathed to it by its ancestors.

73. For, be assured, that all the best things and treasures of this
world are not to be produced by each generation for itself; but we are
all intended, not to carve our work in snow that will melt, but each and
all of us to be continually rolling a great white gathering snowball,
higher and higher--larger and larger--along the Alps of human power.
Thus the science of nations is to be accumulative from father to son:
each learning a little more and a little more; each receiving all that
was known, and adding its own gain: the history and poetry of nations
are to be accumulative; each generation treasuring the history and the
songs of its ancestors, adding its own history and its own songs: and
the art of nations is to be accumulative, just as science and history
are; the work of living men is not superseding, but building itself
upon the work of the past. Nearly every great and intellectual race of
the world has produced, at every period of its career, an art with some
peculiar and precious character about it, wholly unattainable by any
other race, and at any other time; and the intention of Providence
concerning that art, is evidently that it should all grow together into
one mighty temple; the rough stones and the smooth all finding their
place, and rising, day by day, in richer and higher pinnacles to heaven.

74. Now, just fancy what a position the world, considered as one great
workroom--one great factory in the form of a globe--would have been in
by this time, if it had in the least understood this duty, or been
capable of it. Fancy what we should have had around us now, if, instead
of quarrelling and fighting over their work, the nations had aided each
other in their work, or if even in their conquests, instead of effacing
the memorials of those they succeeded and subdued, they had guarded the
spoils of their victories. Fancy what Europe would be now, if the
delicate statues and temples of the Greeks--if the broad roads and
massy walls of the Romans--if the noble and pathetic architecture of the
middle ages, had not been ground to dust by mere human rage. You talk of
the scythe of Time, and the tooth of Time: I tell you, Time is
scytheless and toothless; it is we who gnaw like the worm--we who smite
like the scythe. It is ourselves who abolish--ourselves who consume: we
are the mildew, and the flame; and the soul of man is to its own work as
the moth that frets when it cannot fly, and as the hidden flame that
blasts where it cannot illuminate. All these lost treasures of human
intellect have been wholly destroyed by human industry of destruction;
the marble would have stood its two thousand years as well in the
polished statue as in the Parian cliff; but we men have ground it to
powder, and mixed it with our own ashes. The walls and the ways would
have stood--it is we who have left not one stone upon another, and
restored its pathlessness to the desert; the great cathedrals of old
religion would have stood--it is we who have dashed down the carved work
with axes and hammers, and bid the mountain-grass bloom upon the
pavement, and the sea-winds chant in the galleries.

75. You will perhaps think all this was somehow necessary for the
development of the human race. I cannot stay now to dispute that, though
I would willingly; but do you think it is _still_ necessary for that
development? Do you think that in this nineteenth century it is still
necessary for the European nations to turn all the places where their
principal art-treasures are into battle-fields? For that is what they
are doing even while I speak; the great firm of the world is managing
its business at this moment, just as it has done in past time. Imagine
what would be the thriving circumstances of a manufacturer of some
delicate produce--suppose glass, or china--in whose workshop and
exhibition rooms all the workmen and clerks began fighting at least once
a day, first blowing off the steam, and breaking all the machinery they
could reach; and then making fortresses of all the cupboards, and
attacking and defending the show-tables, the victorious party finally
throwing everything they could get hold of out of the window, by way of
showing their triumph, and the poor manufacturer picking up and putting
away at last a cup here and a handle there. A fine prosperous business
that would be, would it not? and yet that is precisely the way the great
manufacturing firm of the world carries on its business.

76. It has so arranged its political squabbles for the last six or seven
hundred years, that not one of them could be fought out but in the midst
of its most precious art; and it so arranges them to this day. For
example, if I were asked to lay my finger, in a map of the world, on the
spot of the world's surface which contained at this moment the most
singular concentration of art-teaching and art-treasure, I should lay it
on the name of the town of Verona. Other cities, indeed, contain more
works of carriageable art, but none contain so much of the glorious
local art, and of the springs and sources of art, which can by no means
be made subjects of package or porterage, nor, I grieve to say, of
salvage. Verona possesses, in the first place, not the largest, but the
most perfect and intelligible Roman amphitheatre that exists, still
unbroken in circle of step, and strong in succession of vault and arch:
it contains minor Roman monuments, gateways, theatres, baths, wrecks of
temples, which give the streets of its suburbs a character of antiquity
unexampled elsewhere, except in Rome itself. But it contains, in the
next place, what Rome does not contain--perfect examples of the great
twelfth-century Lombardic architecture, which was the root of all the
mediæval art of Italy, without which no Giottos, no Angelicos, no
Raphaels would have been possible: it contains that architecture, not in
rude forms, but in the most perfect and loveliest types it ever
attained--contains those, not in ruins, nor in altered and hardly
decipherable fragments, but in churches perfect from porch to apse, with
all their carving fresh, their pillars firm, their joints unloosened.
Besides these, it includes examples of the great thirteenth and
fourteenth-century Gothic of Italy, not merely perfect, but elsewhere
unrivalled. At Rome, the Roman--at Pisa, the Lombard--architecture may
be seen in greater or in equal nobleness; but not at Rome, nor Pisa, nor
Florence, nor in any city of the world, is there a great mediæval Gothic
like the Gothic of Verona. Elsewhere, it is either less pure in type or
less lovely in completion: only at Verona may you see it in the
simplicity of its youthful power, and the tenderness of its accomplished
beauty. And Verona possesses, in the last place, the loveliest
Renaissance architecture of Italy, not disturbed by pride, nor defiled
by luxury, but rising in fair fulfilment of domestic service, serenity
of effortless grace, and modesty of home seclusion; its richest work
given to the windows that open on the narrowest streets and most silent
gardens. All this she possesses, in the midst of natural scenery such as
assuredly exists nowhere else in the habitable globe--a wild Alpine
river foaming at her feet, from whose shore the rocks rise in a great
crescent, dark with cypress, and misty with olive: illimitably, from
before her southern gates, the tufted plains of Italy sweep and fade in
golden light; around her, north and west, the Alps crowd in crested
troops, and the winds of Benacus bear to her the coolness of their

77. And this is the city--such, and possessing such things as these--at
whose gates the decisive battles of Italy are fought continually: three
days her towers trembled with the echo of the cannon of Arcola; heaped
pebbles of the Mincio divide her fields to this hour with lines of
broken rampart, whence the tide of war rolled back to Novara; and now on
that crescent of her eastern cliffs, whence the full moon used to rise
through the bars of the cypresses in her burning summer twilights,
touching with soft increase of silver light the rosy marbles of her
balconies,--along the ridge of that encompassing rock, other circles are
increasing now, white and pale; walled towers of cruel strength,
sable-spotted with cannon-courses. I tell you, I have seen, when the
thunderclouds came down on those Italian hills, and all their crags were
dipped in the dark, terrible purple, as if the winepress of the wrath of
God had stained their mountain-raiment--I have seen the hail fall in
Italy till the forest branches stood stripped and bare as if blasted by
the locust; but the white hail never fell from those clouds of heaven as
the black hail will fall from the clouds of hell, if ever one breath of
Italian life stirs again in the streets of Verona.

78. Sad as you will feel this to be, I do not say that you can directly
prevent it; you cannot drive the Austrians out of Italy, nor prevent
them from building forts where they choose. But I do say,[11] that you,
and I, and all of us, ought to be both acting and feeling with a full
knowledge and understanding of these things; and that, without trying to
excite revolutions or weaken governments, we may give our own thoughts
and help, so as in a measure to prevent needless destruction. We should
do this, if we only realized the thing thoroughly. You drive out day by
day through your own pretty suburbs, and you think only of making, with
what money you have to spare, your gateways handsomer, and your
carriage-drives wider--and your drawing-rooms more splendid, having a
vague notion that you are all the while patronizing and advancing art;
and you make no effort to conceive the fact that, within a few hours'
journey of you, there are gateways and drawing-rooms which might just as
well be yours as these, all built already; gateways built by the
greatest masters of sculpture that ever struck marble; drawing-rooms,
painted by Titian and Veronese; and you won't accept nor save these as
they are, but you will rather fetch the house-painter from over the way,
and let Titian and Veronese house the rats.

[Note 11: The reader can hardly but remember Mrs. Browning's
beautiful appeal for Italy, made on the occasion of the first great
Exhibition of Art in England:--

    Magi of the east and of the west,
    Your incense, gold, and myrrh are excellent!--
    What gifts for Christ, then, bring ye with the rest?
    Your hands have worked well. Is your courage spent
    In handwork only? Have you nothing best,
    Which generous souls may perfect and present,
    And He shall thank the givers for? no light
    Of teaching, liberal nations, for the poor,
    Who sit in darkness when it is not night?
    No cure for wicked children? Christ,--no cure,
    No help for women, sobbing out of sight
    Because men made the laws? no brothel-lure
    Burnt out by popular lightnings? Hast thou found
    No remedy, my England, for such woes?
    No outlet, Austria, for the scourged and bound,
    No call back for the exiled? no repose,
    Russia for knouted Poles worked underground,
    And gentle ladies bleached among the snows?
    No mercy for the slave, America?
    No hope for Rome, free France, chivalric France?
    Alas, great nations have great shames, I say.
    No pity, O world, no tender utterance
    Of benediction, and prayers stretched this way
    For poor Italia, baffled by mischance?
    O gracious nations, give some ear to me!
    You all go to your Fair, and I am one
    Who at the roadside of humanity
    Beseech your alms,--God's justice to be done.
    So, prosper!


79. "Yes," of course, you answer; "we want nice houses here, not houses
in Verona. What should we do with houses in Verona?" And I answer, do
precisely what you do with the most expensive part of your possessions
here: take pride in them--only a noble pride. You know well, when you
examine your own hearts, that the greater part of the sums you spend on
possessions is spent for pride. Why are your carriages nicely painted
and finished outside? You don't see the outsides as you sit in them--the
outsides are for other people to see. Why are your exteriors of houses
so well finished, your furniture so polished and costly, but for other
people to see? You are just as comfortable yourselves, writing on your
old friend of a desk, with the white cloudings in his leather, and using
the light of a window which is nothing but a hole in the brick wall. And
all that is desirable to be done in this matter is merely to take pride
in preserving great art, instead of in producing mean art; pride in the
possession of precious and enduring things, a little way off, instead
of slight and perishing things near at hand. You know, in old English
times, our kings liked to have lordships and dukedoms abroad: and why
should not your merchant princes like to have lordships and estates
abroad? Believe me, rightly understood, it would be a prouder, and in
the full sense of our English word, more "respectable" thing to be lord
of a palace at Verona, or of a cloister full of frescoes at Florence,
than to have a file of servants dressed in the finest liveries that ever
tailor stitched, as long as would reach from here to Bolton:--yes, and a
prouder thing to send people to travel in Italy, who would have to say
every now and then, of some fair piece of art, "Ah! this was _kept_ here
for us by the good people of Manchester," than to bring them travelling
all the way here, exclaiming of your various art treasures, "These were
_brought_ here for us, (not altogether without harm) by the good people
of Manchester."

80. "Ah!" but you say, "the Art Treasures Exhibition will pay; but
Veronese palaces won't." Pardon me. They _would_ pay, less directly, but
far more richly. Do you suppose it is in the long run good for
Manchester, or good for England, that the Continent should be in the
state it is? Do you think the perpetual fear of revolution, or the
perpetual repression of thought and energy that clouds and encumbers the
nations of Europe, is eventually profitable for _us_? Were we any the
better of the course of affairs in '48? or has the stabling of the
dragoon horses in the great houses of Italy any distinct effect in the
promotion of the cotton-trade? Not so. But every stake that you could
hold in the stability of the Continent, and every effort that you could
make to give example of English habits and principles on the Continent,
and every kind deed that you could do in relieving distress and
preventing despair on the Continent, would have tenfold reaction on the
prosperity of England, and open and urge, in a thousand unforeseen
directions, the sluices of commerce and the springs of industry.

81. I could press, if I chose, both these motives upon you, of pride and
self-interest, with more force, but these are not motives which ought to
be urged upon you at all. The only motive that I ought to put before
you is simply that it would be right to do this; that the holding of
property abroad, and the personal efforts of Englishmen to redeem the
condition of foreign nations, are among the most direct pieces of duty
which our wealth renders incumbent upon us. I do not--and in all truth
and deliberateness I say this--I do not know anything more ludicrous
among the self-deceptions of well-meaning people than their notion of
patriotism, as requiring them to limit their efforts to the good of
their own country;--the notion that charity is a geographical virtue,
and that what it is holy and righteous to do for people on one bank of a
river, it is quite improper and unnatural to do for people on the other.
It will be a wonderful thing, some day or other, for the Christian world
to remember, that it went on thinking for two thousand years that
neighbours were neighbours at Jerusalem, but not at Jericho; a wonderful
thing for us English to reflect, in after-years, how long it was before
we could shake hands with anybody across that shallow salt wash, which
the very chalk-dust of its two shores whitens from Folkestone to

82. Nor ought the motive of gratitude, as well as that of mercy, to be
without its influence on you, who have been the first to ask to see, and
the first to show to us, the treasures which this poor lost Italy has
given to England. Remember, all these things that delight you here were
hers--hers either in fact or in teaching; hers, in fact, are all the
most powerful and most touching paintings of old time that now glow upon
your walls; hers in teaching are all the best and greatest of descendant
souls--your Reynolds and your Gainsborough never could have painted but
for Venice; and the energies which have given the only true life to your
existing art were first stirred by voices of the dead that haunted the
Sacred Field of Pisa.

Well, all these motives for some definite course of action on our part
towards foreign countries rest upon very serious facts; too serious,
perhaps you will think, to be interfered with; for we are all of us in
the habit of leaving great things alone, as if Providence would mind
them, and attending ourselves only to little things which we know,
practically, Providence doesn't mind unless we do. We are ready enough
to give care to the growing of pines and lettuces, knowing that they
don't grow Providentially sweet or large unless we look after them; but
we don't give any care to the good of Italy or Germany, because we think
that they will grow Providentially happy without any of our meddling.

83. Let us leave the great things, then, and think of little things; not
of the destruction of whole provinces in war, which it may not be any
business of ours to prevent; but of the destruction of poor little
pictures in peace, from which it surely would not be much out of our way
to save them. You know I said, just now, we were all of us engaged in
pulling pictures to pieces by deputy, and you did not believe me.
Consider, then, this similitude of ourselves. Suppose you saw (as I
doubt not you often do see) a prudent and kind young lady sitting at
work, in the corner of a quiet room, knitting comforters for her
cousins, and that just outside, in the hall, you saw a cat and her
kittens at play among the family pictures; amusing themselves especially
with the best Vandykes, by getting on the tops of the frames, and then
scrambling down the canvases by their claws; and on some one's informing
the young lady of these proceedings of the cat and kittens, suppose she
answered that it wasn't her cat, but her sister's, and the pictures
weren't hers, but her uncle's, and she couldn't leave her work, for she
had to make so many pairs of comforters before dinner. Would you not say
that the prudent and kind young lady was, on the whole, answerable for
the additional touches of claw on the Vandykes?

84. Now, that is precisely what we prudent and kind English are doing,
only on a larger scale. Here we sit in Manchester, hard at work, very
properly, making comforters for our cousins all over the world. Just
outside there in the hall--that beautiful marble hall of Italy--the cats
and kittens and monkeys are at play among the pictures: I assure you, in
the course of the fifteen years in which I have been working in those
places in which the most precious remnants of European art exist, a
sensation, whether I would or no, was gradually made distinct and deep
in my mind, that I was living and working in the midst of a den of
monkeys;--sometimes amiable and affectionate monkeys, with all manner of
winning ways and kind intentions,--more frequently selfish and
malicious monkeys; but, whatever their disposition, squabbling
continually about nuts, and the best places on the barren sticks of
trees; and that all this monkeys' den was filled, by mischance, with
precious pictures, and the witty and wilful beasts were always wrapping
themselves up and going to sleep in pictures, or tearing holes in them
to grin through; or tasting them and spitting them out again, or
twisting them up into ropes and making swings of them; and that
sometimes only, by watching one's opportunity, and bearing a scratch or
a bite, one could rescue the corner of a Tintoret, or Paul Veronese, and
push it through the bars into a place of safety.

85. Literally, I assure you, this was, and this is, the fixed impression
on my mind of the state of matters in Italy. And see how. The professors
of art in Italy, having long followed a method of study peculiar to
themselves, have at last arrived at a form of art peculiar to
themselves; very different from that which was arrived at by Correggio
and Titian. Naturally, the professors like their own form the best; and,
as the old pictures are generally not so startling to the eye as the
modern ones, the dukes and counts who possess them, and who like to see
their galleries look new and fine (and are persuaded also that a
celebrated chef-d'oeuvre ought always to catch the eye at a quarter of a
mile off), believe the professors who tell them their sober pictures are
quite faded, and good for nothing, and should all be brought bright
again; and, accordingly, give the sober pictures to the professors, to
be put right by rules of art. Then, the professors repaint the old
pictures in all the principal places, leaving perhaps only a bit of
background to set off their own work. And thus the professors come to be
generally figured, in my mind, as the monkeys who tear holes in the
pictures, to grin through. Then the picture-dealers, who live by the
pictures, cannot sell them to the English in their old and pure state;
all the good work must be covered with new paint, and varnished so as to
look like one of the professorial pictures in the great gallery, before
it is saleable. And thus the dealers come to be imaged, in my mind, as
the monkeys who make ropes of the pictures, to swing by. Then, every now
and then at some old stable, or wine-cellar, or timber-shed, behind
some forgotten vats or faggots, somebody finds a fresco of Perugino's or
Giotto's, but doesn't think much of it, and has no idea of having people
coming into his cellar, or being obliged to move his faggots; and so he
whitewashes the fresco, and puts the faggots back again; and these kind
of persons, therefore, come generally to be imaged, in my mind, as the
monkeys who taste the pictures, and spit them out, not finding them
nice. While, finally, the squabbling for nuts and apples (called in
Italy "bella libertà") goes on all day long.

86. Now, all this might soon be put an end to, if we English, who are so
fond of travelling in the body, would also travel a little in soul! We
think it a great triumph to get our packages and our persons carried at
a fast pace, but we never take the slightest trouble to put any pace
into our perceptions; we stay usually at home in thought, or if we ever
mentally see the world, it is at the old stage-coach or waggon rate. Do
but consider what an odd sight it would be, if it were only quite clear
to you how things are really going on--how, here in England, we are
making enormous and expensive efforts to produce new art of all kinds,
knowing and confessing all the while that the greater part of it is bad,
but struggling still to produce new patterns of wall-papers, and new
shapes of teapots, and new pictures, and statues, and architecture; and
pluming and cackling if ever a teapot or a picture has the least good in
it;--all the while taking no thought whatever of the best possible
pictures, and statues, and wall-patterns already in existence, which
require nothing but to be taken common care of, and kept from damp and
dust: but we let the walls fall that Giotto patterned, and the canvases
rot that Tintoret painted, and the architecture be dashed to pieces that
St. Louis built, while we are furnishing our drawing-rooms with prize
upholstery, and writing accounts of our handsome warehouses to the
country papers. Don't think I use my words vaguely or generally: I speak
of literal facts. Giotto's frescoes at Assisi are perishing at this
moment for want of decent care; Tintoret's pictures in San Sebastian, at
Venice, are at this instant rotting piecemeal into grey rags; St.
Louis's chapel, at Carcassonne, is at this moment lying in shattered
fragments in the market-place. And here we are all cawing and crowing,
poor little half-fledged daws as we are, about the pretty sticks and
wool in our own nests. There's hardly a day passes, when I am at home,
but I get a letter from some well-meaning country clergyman, deeply
anxious about the state of his parish church, and breaking his heart to
get money together that he may hold up some wretched remnant of Tudor
tracery, with one niche in the corner and no statue--when all the while
the mightiest piles of religious architecture and sculpture that ever
the world saw are being blasted and withered away, without one glance of
pity or regret. The country clergyman does not care for _them_--he has a
sea-sick imagination that cannot cross channel. What is it to him, if
the angels of Assisi fade from its vaults, or the queens and kings of
Chartres fall from their pedestals? They are not in his parish.

87. "What!" you will say, "are we not to produce any new art, nor take
care of our parish churches?" No, certainly not, until you have taken
proper care of the art you have got already, and of the best churches
out of the parish. Your first and proper standing is not as
churchwardens and parish overseers, in an English county, but as members
of the great Christian community of Europe. And as members of that
community (in which alone, observe, pure and precious ancient art
exists, for there is none in America, none in Asia, none in Africa), you
conduct yourselves precisely as a manufacturer would, who attended to
his looms, but left his warehouse without a roof. The rain floods your
warehouse, the rats frolic in it, the spiders spin in it, the choughs
build in it, the wall-plague frets and festers in it; and still you keep
weave, weave, weaving at your wretched webs, and thinking you are
growing rich, while more is gnawed out of your warehouse in an hour than
you can weave in a twelvemonth.

88. Even this similitude is not absurd enough to set us rightly forth.
The weaver would, or might, at least, hope that his new woof was as
stout as the old ones, and that, therefore, in spite of rain and ravage,
he would have something to wrap himself in when he needed it. But _our_
webs rot as we spin. The very fact that we despise the great art of the
past shows that we cannot produce great art now. If we could do it, we
should love it when we saw it done--if we really cared for it, we should
recognize it and keep it; but we don't care for it. It is not art that
we want; it is amusement, gratification of pride, present gain--anything
in the world but art: let it rot, we shall always have enough to talk
about and hang over our sideboards.

89. You will (I hope) finally ask me what is the outcome of all this,
practicable tomorrow morning by us who are sitting here? These are the
main practical outcomes of it: In the first place, don't grumble when
you hear of a new picture being bought by Government at a large price.
There are many pictures in Europe now in danger of destruction which
are, in the true sense of the word, priceless; the proper price is
simply that which it is necessary to give to get and to save them. If
you can get them for fifty pounds, do; if not for less than a hundred,
do; if not for less than five thousand, do; if not for less than twenty
thousand, do; never mind being imposed upon: there is nothing
disgraceful in being imposed upon; the only disgrace is in imposing;
and you can't in general get anything much worth having, in the way of
Continental art, but it must be with the help or connivance of numbers
of people who, indeed, ought to have nothing to do with the matter, but
who practically have, and always will have, everything to do with it;
and if you don't choose to submit to be cheated by them out of a ducat
here and a zecchin there, you will be cheated by them out of your
picture; and whether you are most imposed upon in losing that, or the
zecchins, I think I may leave you to judge; though I know there are many
political economists, who would rather leave a bag of gold on a
garret-table, than give a porter sixpence extra to carry it downstairs.

That, then, is the first practical outcome of the matter. Never grumble,
but be glad when you hear of a new picture being bought at a large
price. In the long run, the dearest pictures are always the best
bargains; and, I repeat, (for else you might think I said it in mere
hurry of talk, and not deliberately,) there are some pictures which are
without price. You should stand, nationally, at the edge of Dover
cliffs--Shakespeare's--and wave blank cheques in the eyes of the nations
on the other side of the sea, freely offered, for such and such canvases
of theirs.

90. Then the next practical outcome of it is--Never buy a copy of a
picture, under any circumstances whatever. All copies are bad; because
no painter who is worth a straw ever _will_ copy. He will make a study
of a picture he likes, for his own use, in his own way; but he won't and
can't copy. Whenever you buy a copy, you buy so much misunderstanding of
the original, and encourage a dull person in following a business he is
not fit for, besides increasing ultimately chances of mistake and
imposture, and farthering, as directly as money _can_ farther, the cause
of ignorance in all directions. You may, in fact, consider yourself as
having purchased a certain quantity of mistakes; and, according to your
power, being engaged in disseminating them.

91. I do not mean, however, that copies should never be made. A certain
number of dull persons should always be employed by a Government in
making the most accurate copies possible of all good pictures; these
copies, though artistically valueless, would be historically and
documentarily valuable, in the event of the destruction of the original
picture. The studies also made by great artists for their own use,
should be sought after with the greatest eagerness; they are often to be
bought cheap; and in connection with the mechanical copies, would become
very precious: tracings from frescoes and other large works are also of
great value; for though a tracing is liable to just as many mistakes as
a copy, the mistakes in a tracing are of one kind only, which may be
allowed for, but the mistakes of a common copyist are of all conceivable
kinds: finally, engravings, in so far as they convey certain facts about
the pictures, without pretending adequately to represent or give an idea
of the pictures, are often serviceable and valuable. I can't, of course,
enter into details in these matters just now; only this main piece of
advice I can safely give you--never to buy copies of pictures (for your
private possession) which pretend to give a facsimile that shall be in
any wise representative of, or equal to, the original. Whenever you do
so, you are only lowering your taste, and wasting your money. And if
you are generous and wise, you will be ready rather to subscribe as much
as you would have given for a copy of a great picture towards its
purchase, or the purchase of some other like it, by the nation. There
ought to be a great National Society instituted for the purchase of
pictures; presenting them to the various galleries in our great cities,
and watching there over their safety: but in the meantime, you can
always act safely and beneficially by merely allowing your artist
friends to buy pictures for you, when they see good ones. Never buy for
yourselves, nor go to the foreign dealers; but let any painter whom you
know be entrusted, when he finds a neglected old picture in an old
house, to try if he cannot get it for you; then, if you like it, keep
it; if not, send it to the hammer, and you will find that you do not
lose money on pictures so purchased.

92. And the third and chief practical outcome of the matter is this
general one: Wherever you go, whatever you do, act more for
_preservation_ and less for _production_. I assure you, the world is,
generally speaking, in calamitous disorder, and just because you have
managed to thrust some of the lumber aside, and get an available corner
for yourselves, you think you should do nothing but sit spinning in it
all day long--while, as householders and economists, your first thought
and effort should be, to set things more square all about you. Try to
set the ground floors in order, and get the rottenness out of your
granaries. _Then_ sit and spin, but not till then.

93. IV. DISTRIBUTION.--And now, lastly, we come to the fourth great head
of our inquiry, the question of the wise distribution of the art we have
gathered and preserved. It must be evident to us, at a moment's thought,
that the way in which works of art are on the whole most useful to the
nation to which they belong, must be by their collection in public
galleries, supposing those galleries properly managed. But there is one
disadvantage attached necessarily to gallery exhibition--namely, the
extent of mischief which may be done by one foolish curator. As long as
the pictures which form the national wealth are disposed in private
collections, the chance is always that the people who buy them will be
just the people who are fond of them; and that the sense of exchangeable
value in the commodity they possess, will induce them, even if they do
not esteem it themselves, to take such care of it as will preserve its
value undiminished. At all events, so long as works of art are scattered
through the nation, no universal destruction of them is possible; a
certain average only are lost by accidents from time to time. But when
they are once collected in a large public gallery, if the appointment of
curator becomes in any way a matter of formality, or the post is so
lucrative as to be disputed by place-hunters, let but one foolish or
careless person get possession of it, and perhaps you may have all your
fine pictures repainted, and the national property destroyed, in a
month. That is actually the case at this moment, in several great
foreign galleries. They are the places of execution of pictures: over
their doors you only want the Dantesque inscription, "Lasciate ogni
speranza, voi che entrate."

94. Supposing, however, this danger properly guarded against, as it
would be always by a nation which either knew the value, or understood
the meaning, of painting,[12] arrangement in a public gallery is the
safest, as well as the most serviceable, method of exhibiting pictures;
and it is the only mode in which their historical value can be brought
out, and their historical meaning made clear. But great good is also to
be done by encouraging the private possession of pictures; partly as a
means of study, (much more being always discovered in any work of art by
a person who has it perpetually near him than by one who only sees it
from time to time,) and also as a means of refining the habits and
touching the hearts of the masses of the nation in their domestic life.

[Note 12: It would be a great point gained towards the preservation
of pictures if it were made a rule that at every operation they
underwent, the exact spots in which they have been repainted should be
recorded in writing.]

95. For these last purposes, the most serviceable art is the living art
of the time; the particular tastes of the people will be best met, and
their particular ignorances best corrected, by painters labouring in the
midst of them, more or less guided to the knowledge of what is wanted by
the degree of sympathy with which their work is received. So then,
generally, it should be the object of government, and of all patrons of
art, to collect, as far as may be, the works of dead masters in public
galleries, arranging them so as to illustrate the history of nations,
and the progress and influence of their arts; and to encourage the
private possession of the works of _living_ masters. And the first and
best way in which to encourage such private possession is, of course, to
keep down the prices of them as far as you can.

I hope there are not a great many painters in the room; if there are, I
entreat their patience for the next quarter of an hour: if they will
bear with me for so long, I hope they will not, finally, be offended by
what I am going to say.

96. I repeat, trusting to their indulgence in the interim, that the
first object of our national economy, as respects the distribution of
modern art, should be steadily and rationally to limit its prices, since
by doing so, you will produce two effects: you will make the painters
produce more pictures, two or three instead of one, if they wish to make
money; and you will, by bringing good pictures within the reach of
people of moderate income, excite the general interest of the nation in
them, increase a thousandfold the demand for the commodity, and
therefore its wholesome and natural production.

97. I know how many objections must arise in your minds at this moment
to what I say; but you must be aware that it is not possible for me in
an hour to explain all the moral and commercial bearings of such a
principle as this. Only, believe me, I do not speak lightly; I think I
have considered all the objections which could be rationally brought
forward, though I have time at present only to glance at the main
one--namely, the idea that the high prices paid for modern pictures are
either honourable, or serviceable, to the painter. So far from this
being so, I believe one of the principal obstacles to the progress of
modern art to be the high prices given for good modern pictures. For
observe first the action of this high remuneration on the artist's mind.
If he "gets on," as it is called, catches the eye of the public, and
especially of the public of the upper classes, there is hardly any limit
to the fortune he may acquire; so that, in his early years, his mind is
naturally led to dwell on this worldly and wealthy eminence as the main
thing to be reached by his art; if he finds that he is not gradually
rising towards it, he thinks there is something wrong in his work; or,
if he is too proud to think that, still the bribe of wealth and honour
warps him from his honest labour into efforts to attract attention; and
he gradually loses both his power of mind and his rectitude of purpose.
This, according to the degree of avarice or ambition which exists in any
painter's mind, is the necessary influence upon him of the hope of great
wealth and reputation. But the harm is still greater, in so far as the
possibility of attaining fortune of this kind tempts people continually
to become painters who have no real gift for the work; and on whom these
motives of mere worldly interest have exclusive influence;--men who
torment and abuse the patient workers, eclipse or thrust aside all
delicate and good pictures by their own gaudy and coarse ones, corrupt
the taste of the public, and do the greatest amount of mischief to the
schools of art in their day which it is possible for their capacities to
effect; and it is quite wonderful how much mischief may be done even by
small capacity. If you could by any means succeed in keeping the prices
of pictures down, you would throw all these disturbers out of the way at

98. You may perhaps think that this severe treatment would do more harm
than good, by withdrawing the wholesome element of emulation, and giving
no stimulus to exertion; but I am sorry to say that artists will always
be sufficiently jealous of one another, whether you pay them large or
low prices; and as for stimulus to exertion, believe me, no good work in
this world was ever done for money, nor while the slightest thought of
money affected the painter's mind. Whatever idea of pecuniary value
enters into his thoughts as he works, will, in proportion to the
distinctness of its presence, shorten his power. A real painter will
work for you exquisitely, if you give him, as I told you a little while
ago, bread and water and salt; and a bad painter will work badly and
hastily, though you give him a palace to live in, and a princedom to
live upon. Turner got, in his earlier years, half a crown a day and his
supper (not bad pay, neither); and he learned to paint upon that. And I
believe that there is no chance of art's truly flourishing in any
country, until you make it a simple and plain business, providing its
masters with an easy competence, but rarely with anything more. And I
say this, not because I despise the great painter, but because I honour
him; and I should no more think of adding to his respectability or
happiness by giving him riches, than, if Shakespeare or Milton were
alive, I should think we added to _their_ respectability, or were likely
to get better work from them, by making them millionaires.

99. But, observe, it is not only the painter himself whom you injure, by
giving him too high prices; you injure all the inferior painters of the
day. If they are modest, they will be discouraged and depressed by the
feeling that their doings are worth so little, comparatively, in your
eyes;--if proud, all their worst passions will be aroused, and the
insult or opprobrium which they will try to cast on their successful
rival will not only afflict and wound him, but at last sour and harden
him: he cannot pass through such a trial without grievous harm.

100. That, then, is the effect you produce on the painter of mark, and
on the inferior ones of his own standing. But you do worse than this;
you deprive yourselves, by what you give for the fashionable picture, of
the power of helping the younger men who are coming forward. Be it
admitted, for argument's sake, if you are not convinced by what I have
said, that you do no harm to the great man by paying him well; yet
certainly you do him no special good. His reputation is established, and
his fortune made; he does not care whether you buy or not; he thinks he
is rather doing you a favour than otherwise by letting you have one of
his pictures at all. All the good you do him is to help him to buy a new
pair of carriage horses; whereas, with that same sum which thus you cast
away, you might have relieved the hearts and preserved the health of
twenty young painters; and if, among those twenty, you but chanced on
one in whom a true latent power had been hindered by his poverty, just
consider what a far-branching, far-embracing good you have wrought with
that lucky expenditure of yours. I say, "Consider it," in vain; you
cannot consider it, for you cannot conceive the sickness of heart with
which a young painter of deep feeling toils through his first
obscurity;--his sense of the strong voice within him, which you will not
hear;--his vain, fond, wondering witness to the things you will not
see;--his far-away perception of things that he could accomplish if he
had but peace, and time, all unapproachable and vanishing from him,
because no one will leave him peace or grant him time: all his friends
falling back from him; those whom he would most reverently obey rebuking
and paralysing him; and, last and worst of all, those who believe in him
the most faithfully suffering by him the most bitterly;--the wife's
eyes, in their sweet ambition, shining brighter as the cheek wastes
away; and the little lips at his side parched and pale, which one day,
he knows, though he may never see it, will quiver so proudly when they
call his name, calling him "our father." You deprive yourselves, by your
large expenditure for pictures of mark, of the power of relieving and
redeeming _this_ distress; you injure the painter whom you pay so
largely;--and what, after all, have you done for yourselves or got for
yourselves? It does not in the least follow that the hurried work of a
fashionable painter will contain more for your money than the quiet work
of some unknown man. In all probability, you will find, if you rashly
purchase what is popular at a high price, that you have got one picture
you don't care for, for a sum which would have bought twenty you would
have delighted in.

101. For remember always, that the price of a picture by a living artist
never represents, never _can_ represent, the quantity of labour or value
in it. Its price represents, for the most part, the degree of desire
which the rich people of the country have to possess it. Once get the
wealthy classes to imagine that the possession of pictures by a given
artist adds to their "gentility," and there is no price which his work
may not immediately reach, and for years maintain; and in buying at that
price, you are not getting value for your money, but merely disputing
for victory in a contest of ostentation. And it is hardly possible to
spend your money in a worse or more wasteful way; for though you may not
be doing it for ostentation yourself, you are, by your pertinacity,
nourishing the ostentation of others; you meet them in their game of
wealth, and continue it for them; if they had not found an opposite
player, the game would have been done; for a proud man can find no
enjoyment in possessing himself of what nobody disputes with him. So
that by every farthing you give for a picture beyond its fair
price--that is to say, the price which will pay the painter for his
time--you are not only cheating yourself and buying vanity, but you are
stimulating the vanity of others; paying, literally, for the cultivation
of pride. You may consider every pound that you spend above the just
price of a work of art, as an investment in a cargo of mental quick-lime
or guano, which, being laid on the fields of human nature, is to grow a
harvest of pride. You are in fact ploughing and harrowing, in a most
valuable part of your land, in order to reap the whirlwind; you are
setting your hand stoutly to Job's agriculture--"Let thistles grow
instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley."

102. Well, but you will say, there is one advantage in high prices,
which more than counter-balances all this mischief, namely, that by
great reward we both urge and enable a painter to produce rather one
perfect picture than many inferior ones: and one perfect picture (so you
tell us, and we believe it) is worth a great number of inferior ones.

It is so; but you cannot get it by paying for it. A great work is only
done when the painter gets into the humour for it, likes his subject,
and determines to paint it as well as he can, whether he is paid for it
or not; but bad work, and generally the worst sort of bad work, is done
when he is trying to produce a showy picture, or one that shall appear
to have as much labour in it as shall be worth a high price.[13]

[Note 13: When this lecture was delivered, I gave here some data for
approximate estimates of the average value of good modern pictures of
different classes; but the subject is too complicated to be adequately
treated in writing, without introducing more detail than the reader will
have patience for. But I may state, roughly, that prices above a hundred
guineas are in general extravagant for water-colours, and above five
hundred for oils. An artist almost always does wrong who puts more work
than these prices will remunerate him for into any single canvas--his
talent would be better employed in painting two pictures than one so
elaborate. The water-colour painters also are getting into the habit of
making their drawings too large, and in a measure attaching their price
rather to breadth and extent of touch than to thoughtful labour. Of
course marked exceptions occur here and there, as in the case of John
Lewis, whose drawings are wrought with unfailing precision throughout,
whatever their scale. Hardly any price can be remunerative for such

103. There is, however, another point, and a still more important one,
bearing on this matter of purchase, than the keeping down of prices to
a rational standard. And that is, that you pay your prices into the
hands of living men, and do not pour them into coffins.

For observe that, as we arrange our payment of pictures at present, no
artist's work is worth half its proper value while he is alive. The
moment he dies, his pictures, if they are good, reach double their
former value; but, that rise of price represents simply a profit made by
the intelligent dealer or purchaser on his past purchases. So that the
real facts of the matter are, that the British public, spending a
certain sum annually in art, determines that, of every thousand it pays,
only five hundred shall go to the painter, or shall be at all concerned
in the production of art; and that the other five hundred shall be paid
merely as a testimonial to the intelligent dealer, who knew what to buy.
Now, testimonials are very pretty and proper things, within due limits;
but testimonial to the amount of a hundred per cent. on the total
expenditure is not good political economy. Do not, therefore, in
general, unless you see it to be necessary for its preservation, buy the
picture of a dead artist. If you fear that it may be exposed to contempt
or neglect, buy it; its price will then, probably, not be high: if you
want to put it into a public gallery, buy it; you are sure, then, that
you do not spend your money selfishly: or, if you loved the man's work
while he was alive, and bought it then, buy it also now, if you can see
no living work equal to it. But if you did not buy it while the man was
living, never buy it after he is dead: you are then doing no good to
him, and you are doing some shame to yourself. Look around you for
pictures that you really like, and in buying which you can help some
genius yet unperished--that is the best atonement you can make to the
one you have neglected--and give to the living and struggling painter at
once wages, and testimonial.

104. So far then of the motives which should induce us to keep down the
prices of modern art, and thus render it, as a private possession,
attainable by greater numbers of people than at present. But we should
strive to render it accessible to them in other ways also--chiefly by
the permanent decoration of public buildings; and it is in this field
that I think we may look for the profitable means of providing that
constant employment for young painters of which we were speaking last

The first and most important kind of public buildings which we are
always sure to want, are schools: and I would ask you to consider very
carefully, whether we may not wisely introduce some great changes in the
way of school decoration. Hitherto, as far as I know, it has either been
so difficult to give all the education we wanted to our lads, that we
have been obliged to do it, if at all, with cheap furniture and bare
walls; or else we have considered that cheap furniture and bare walls
are a proper part of the means of education; and supposed that boys
learned best when they sat on hard forms, and had nothing but blank
plaster about and above them whereupon to employ their spare attention;
also, that it was as well they should be accustomed to rough and ugly
conditions of things, partly by way of preparing them for the hardships
of life, and partly that there might be the least possible damage done
to floors and forms, in the event of their becoming, during the master's
absence, the fields or instruments of battle. All this is so far well
and necessary, as it relates to the training of country lads, and the
first training of boys in general. But there certainly comes a period in
the life of a well-educated youth, in which one of the principal
elements of his education is, or ought to be, to give him refinement of
habits; and not only to teach him the strong exercises of which his
frame is capable, but also to increase his bodily sensibility and
refinement, and show him such small matters as the way of handling
things properly, and treating them considerately.

105. Not only so; but I believe the notion of fixing the attention by
keeping the room empty, is a wholly mistaken one: I think it is just in
the emptiest room that the mind wanders most; for it gets restless, like
a bird, for want of a perch, and casts about for any possible means of
getting out and away. And even if it be fixed, by an effort, on the
business in hand, that business becomes itself repulsive, more than it
need be, by the vileness of its associations; and many a study appears
dull or painful to a boy, when it is pursued on a blotted deal desk,
under a wall with nothing on it but scratches and pegs, which would have
been pursued pleasantly enough in a curtained corner of his father's
library, or at the lattice window of his cottage. Now, my own belief is,
that the best study of all is the most beautiful; and that a quiet glade
of forest, or the nook of a lake shore, are worth all the schoolrooms in
Christendom, when once you are past the multiplication table; but be
that as it may, there is no question at all but that a time ought to
come in the life of a well-trained youth, when he can sit at a
writing-table without wanting to throw the inkstand at his neighbour;
and when also he will feel more capable of certain efforts of mind with
beautiful and refined forms about him than with ugly ones. When that
time comes, he ought to be advanced into the decorated schools; and this
advance ought to be one of the important and honourable epochs of his

106. I have not time, however, to insist on the mere serviceableness to
our youth of refined architectural decoration, as such; for I want you
to consider the probable influence of the particular kind of decoration
which I wish you to get for them, namely, historical painting. You know
we have hitherto been in the habit of conveying all our historical
knowledge, such as it is, by the ear only, never by the eye; all our
notion of things being ostensibly derived from verbal description, not
from sight. Now, I have no doubt that, as we grow gradually wiser--and
we are doing so every day--we shall discover at last that the eye is a
nobler organ than the ear; and that through the eye we must, in reality,
obtain, or put into form, nearly all the useful information we are to
have about this world. Even as the matter stands, you will find that the
knowledge which a boy is supposed to receive from verbal description is
only available to him so far as in any underhand way he gets a sight of
the thing you are talking about. I remember well that, for many years of
my life, the only notion I had of the look of a Greek knight was
complicated between recollection of a small engraving in my pocket
Pope's Homer, and reverent study of the Horse Guards. And though I
believe that most boys collect their ideas from more varied sources and
arrange them more carefully than I did; still, whatever sources they
seek must always be ocular: if they are clever boys, they will go and
look at the Greek vases and sculptures in the British Museum, and at the
weapons in our armouries--they will see what real armour is like in
lustre, and what Greek armour was like in form, and so put a fairly true
image together, but still not, in ordinary cases, a very living or
interesting one.

107. Now, the use of your decorative painting would be, in myriads of
ways, to animate their history for them, and to put the living aspect of
past things before their eyes as faithfully as intelligent invention
can; so that the master shall have nothing to do but once to point to
the schoolroom walls, and for ever afterwards the meaning of any word
would be fixed in a boy's mind in the best possible way. Is it a
question of classical dress--what a tunic was like, or a chlamys, or a
peplus? At this day, you have to point to some vile woodcut, in the
middle of a dictionary page, representing the thing hung upon a stick;
but then, you would point to a hundred figures, wearing the actual
dress, in its fiery colours, in all actions of various stateliness or
strength; you would understand at once how it fell round the people's
limbs as they stood, how it drifted from their shoulders as they went,
how it veiled their faces as they wept, how it covered their heads in
the day of battle. _Now_, if you want to see what a weapon is like, you
refer, in like manner, to a numbered page, in which there are
spear-heads in rows, and sword-hilts in symmetrical groups; and
gradually the boy gets a dim mathematical notion how one scimitar is
hooked to the right and another to the left, and one javelin has a knob
to it and another none: while one glance at your good picture would show
him,--and the first rainy afternoon in the schoolroom would for ever fix
in his mind,--the look of the sword and spear as they fell or flew; and
how they pierced, or bent, or shattered--how men wielded them, and how
men died by them.

108. But far more than all this, is it a question not of clothes or
weapons, but of men? how can we sufficiently estimate the effect on the
mind of a noble youth, at the time when the world opens to him, of
having faithful and touching representations put before him of the acts
and presences of great men--how many a resolution, which would alter and
exalt the whole course of his after-life, might be formed, when in some
dreamy twilight he met, through his own tears, the fixed eyes of those
shadows of the great dead, unescapable and calm, piercing to his soul;
or fancied that their lips moved in dread reproof or soundless
exhortation? And if but for one out of many this were true--if yet, in a
few, you could be sure that such influence had indeed changed their
thoughts and destinies, and turned the eager and reckless youth, who
would have cast away his energies on the race-horse or the
gambling-table, to that noble life-race, that holy life-hazard, which
should win all glory to himself and all good to his country,--would not
that, to some purpose, be "political economy of art"?

109. And observe, there could be no monotony, no exhaustibleness, in the
scenes required to be thus portrayed. Even if there were, and you
wanted for every school in the kingdom, one death of Leonidas; one
battle of Marathon; one death of Cleobis and Bito; there need not
therefore be more monotony in your art than there was in the repetition
of a given cycle of subjects by the religious painters of Italy. But we
ought not to admit a cycle at all. For though we had as many great
schools as we have great cities (one day I hope we _shall_ have),
centuries of painting would not exhaust, in all the number of them, the
noble and pathetic subjects which might be chosen from the history of
even one noble nation. But, beside this, you will not, in a little
while, limit your youths' studies to so narrow fields as you do now.
There will come a time--I am sure of it--when it will be found that the
same practical results, both in mental discipline and in political
philosophy, are to be attained by the accurate study of mediæval and
modern as of ancient history; and that the facts of mediæval and modern
history are, on the whole, the most important to us. And among these
noble groups of constellated schools which I foresee arising in our
England, I foresee also that there will be divided fields of thought;
and that while each will give its scholars a great general idea of the
world's history, such as all men should possess--each will also take
upon itself, as its own special duty, the closer study of the course of
events in some given place or time. It will review the rest of history,
but it will exhaust its own special field of it; and found its moral and
political teaching on the most perfect possible analysis of the results
of human conduct in one place, and at one epoch. And then, the galleries
of that school will be painted with the historical scenes belonging to
the age which it has chosen for its special study.

110. So far, then, of art as you may apply it to that great series of
public buildings which you devote to the education of youth. The next
large class of public buildings in which we should introduce it, is one
which I think a few years more of national progress will render more
serviceable to us than they have been lately. I mean, buildings for the
meetings of guilds of trades.

And here, for the last time, I must again interrupt the course of our
chief inquiry, in order to state one other principle of political
economy, which is perfectly simple and indisputable; but which,
nevertheless, we continually get into commercial embarrassments for want
of understanding; and not only so, but suffer much hindrance in our
commercial discoveries, because many of our business men do not
practically admit it.

Supposing half a dozen or a dozen men were cast ashore from a wreck on
an uninhabited island, and left to their own resources, one of course,
according to his capacity, would be set to one business and one to
another; the strongest to dig and cut wood, and to build huts for the
rest: the most dexterous to make shoes out of bark and coats out of
skins; the best educated to look for iron or lead in the rocks, and to
plan the channels for the irrigation of the fields. But though their
labours were thus naturally severed, that small group of shipwrecked men
would understand well enough that the speediest progress was to be made
by helping each other,--not by opposing each other: and they would know
that this help could only be properly given so long as they were frank
and open in their relations, and the difficulties which each lay under
properly explained to the rest. So that any appearance of secrecy or
separateness in the actions of any of them would instantly, and justly,
be looked upon with suspicion by the rest, as the sign of some selfish
or foolish proceeding on the part of the individual. If, for instance,
the scientific man were found to have gone out at night, unknown to the
rest, to alter the sluices, the others would think, and in all
probability rightly think, that he wanted to get the best supply of
water to his own field; and if the shoemaker refused to show them where
the bark grew which he made the sandals of, they would naturally think,
and in all probability rightly think, that he didn't want them to see
how much there was of it, and that he meant to ask from them more corn
and potatoes in exchange for his sandals than the trouble of making them
deserved. And thus, although each man would have a portion of time to
himself in which he was allowed to do what he chose without let or
inquiry,--so long as he was working in that particular business which he
had undertaken for the common benefit, any secrecy on his part would be
immediately supposed to mean mischief; and would require to be accounted
for, or put an end to: and this all the more because whatever the work
might be, certainly there would be difficulties about it which, when
once they were well explained, might be more or less done away with by
the help of the rest; so that assuredly every one of them would advance
with his labour not only more happily, but more profitably and quickly,
by having no secrets, and by frankly bestowing, and frankly receiving,
such help as lay in his way to get or to give.

111. And, just as the best and richest result of wealth and happiness to
the whole of them would follow on their perseverance in such a system of
frank communication and of helpful labour;--so precisely the worst and
poorest result would be obtained by a system of secrecy and of enmity;
and each man's happiness and wealth would assuredly be diminished in
proportion to the degree in which jealousy and concealment became their
social and economical principles. It would not, in the long run, bring
good, but only evil, to the man of science, if, instead of telling
openly where he had found good iron, he carefully concealed every new
bed of it, that he might ask, in exchange for the rare ploughshare, more
corn from the farmer, or, in exchange for the rude needle, more labour
from the sempstress: and it would not ultimately bring good, but only
evil, to the farmers, if they sought to burn each other's cornstacks,
that they might raise the value of their grain, or if the sempstresses
tried to break each other's needles, that each might get all the
stitching to herself.

112. Now, these laws of human action are precisely as authoritative in
their application to the conduct of a million of men, as to that of six
or twelve. All enmity, jealousy, opposition, and secrecy are wholly, and
in all circumstances, destructive in their nature--not productive; and
all kindness, fellowship, and communicativeness are invariably
productive in their operation,--not destructive; and the evil principles
of opposition and exclusiveness are not rendered less fatal, but more
fatal, by their acceptance among large masses of men; more fatal, I say,
exactly in proportion as their influence is more secret. For though the
opposition does always its own simple, necessary, direct quantity of
harm, and withdraws always its own simple, necessary, measurable
quantity of wealth from the sum possessed by the community, yet, in
proportion to the size of the community, it does another and more
refined mischief than this, by concealing its own fatality under aspects
of mercantile complication and expediency, and giving rise to multitudes
of false theories based on a mean belief in narrow and immediate
appearances of good done here and there by things which have the
universal and everlasting nature of evil. So that the time and powers of
the nation are wasted, not only in wretched struggling against each
other, but in vain complaints, and groundless discouragements, and empty
investigations, and useless experiments in laws, and elections, and
inventions; with hope always to pull wisdom through some new-shaped slit
in a ballot-box, and to drag prosperity down out of the clouds along
some new knot of electric wire; while all the while Wisdom stands
calling at the corners of the streets, and the blessing of Heaven waits
ready to rain down upon us, deeper than the rivers and broader than the
dew, if only we will obey the first plain principles of humanity, and
the first plain precepts of the skies: "Execute true judgment, and show
mercy and compassion, every man to his brother; and let none of you
imagine evil against his brother in your heart."[14]

[Note 14: It would be well if, instead of preaching continually
about the doctrine of faith and good works, our clergymen would simply
explain to their people a little what good works mean. There is not a
chapter in all the book we profess to believe, more specially and
directly written for England than the second of Habakkuk, and I never in
all my life heard one of its practical texts preached from. I suppose
the clergymen are all afraid, and know their flocks, while they will sit
quite politely to hear syllogisms out of the epistle to the Romans,
would get restive directly if they ever pressed a practical text home to
them. But we should have no mercantile catastrophes, and no distressful
pauperism, if we only read often, and took to heart, those plain
words:--"Yea, also, because he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home,
who enlargeth his desire as hell, and cannot be satisfied,--Shall not
all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against
him, and say, 'Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his: and to
him that _ladeth himself with thick clay_'?" (What a glorious history in
one metaphor, of the life of a man greedy of fortune!) "Woe to him that
coveteth an evil covetousness that he may set his nest on high. Woe to
him that buildeth a town with blood, and establisheth a city by
iniquity. Behold, is it not of the Lord of Hosts that the people shall
labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very

The Americans, who have been sending out ships with sham bolt-heads on
their timbers, and only half their bolts, may meditate on that "buildeth
a town with blood."]

113. Therefore, I believe most firmly, that as the laws of national
prosperity get familiar to us, we shall more and more cast our toil into
social and communicative systems; and that one of the first means of our
doing so, will be the re-establishing guilds of every important trade in
a vital, not formal, condition;--that there will be a great council or
government house for the members of every trade, built in whatever town
of the kingdom occupies itself principally in such trade, with minor
council-halls in other cities; and to each council-hall, officers
attached, whose first business may be to examine into the circumstances
of every operative, in that trade, who chooses to report himself to them
when out of work, and to set him to work, if he is indeed able and
willing, at a fixed rate of wages, determined at regular periods in the
council-meetings; and whose next duty may be to bring reports before the
council of all improvements made in the business, and means of its
extension: not allowing private patents of any kind, but making all
improvements available to every member of the guild, only allotting,
after successful trial of them, a certain reward to the inventors.

114. For these, and many other such purposes, such halls will be again,
I trust, fully established, and then, in the paintings and decorations
of them, especial effort ought to be made to express the worthiness and
honourableness of the trade for whose members they are founded. For I
believe one of the worst symptoms of modern society to be, its notion of
great inferiority, and ungentlemanliness, as necessarily belonging to
the character of a tradesman. I believe tradesmen may be, ought to
be--often are, more gentlemen than idle and useless people: and I
believe that art may do noble work by recording in the hall of each
trade, the services which men belonging to that trade have done for
their country, both preserving the portraits, and recording the
important incidents in the lives, of those who have made great advances
in commerce and civilization. I cannot follow out this subject--it
branches too far, and in too many directions; besides, I have no doubt
you will at once see and accept the truth of the main principle, and be
able to think it out for yourselves. I would fain also have said
something of what might be done, in the same manner, for almshouses and
hospitals, and for what, as I shall try to explain in notes to this
lecture, we may hope to see, some day, established with a different
meaning in their name than that they now bear--work-houses; but I have
detained you too long already, and cannot permit myself to trespass
further on your patience except only to recapitulate, in closing, the
simple principles respecting wealth which we have gathered during the
course of our inquiry; principles which are nothing more than the
literal and practical acceptance of the saying which is in all good
men's mouths--namely, that they are stewards or ministers of whatever
talents are entrusted to them.

115. Only, is it not a strange thing, that while we more or less accept
the meaning of that saying, so long as it is considered metaphorical, we
never accept its meaning in its own terms? You know the lesson is given
us under the form of a story about money. Money was given to the
servants to make use of: the unprofitable servant dug in the earth, and
hid his lord's money. Well, we, in our political and spiritual
application of this, say, that of course money doesn't mean money: it
means wit, it means intellect, it means influence in high quarters, it
means everything in the world except itself. And do not you see what a
pretty and pleasant come-off there is for most of us, in this spiritual
application? Of course, if we had wit, we would use it for the good of
our fellow-creatures. But we haven't wit. Of course, if we had influence
with the bishops, we would use it for the good of the Church; but we
haven't any influence with the bishops. Of course, if we had political
power, we would use it for the good of the nation; but we have no
political power; we have no talents entrusted to us of any sort or kind.
It is true we have a little money, but the parable can't possibly mean
anything so vulgar as money; our money's our own.

116. I believe, if you think seriously of this matter, you will feel
that the first and most literal application is just as necessary a one
as any other--that the story does very specially mean what it
says--plain money; and that the reason we don't at once believe it does
so, is a sort of tacit idea that while thought, wit, and intellect, and
all power of birth and position, are indeed _given_ to us, and,
therefore, to be laid out for the Giver--our wealth has not been given
to us; but we have worked for it, and have a right to spend it as we
choose. I think you will find that is the real substance of our
understanding in this matter. Beauty, we say, is given by God--it is a
talent; strength is given by God--it is a talent; position is given by
God--it is a talent; but money is proper wages for our day's work--it is
not a talent, it is a due. We may justly spend it on ourselves, if we
have worked for it.

117. And there would be some shadow of excuse for this, were it not that
the very power of making the money is itself only one of the
applications of that intellect or strength which we confess to be
talents. Why is one man richer than another? Because he is more
industrious, more persevering, and more sagacious. Well, who made him
more persevering or more sagacious than others? That power of endurance,
that quickness of apprehension, that calmness of judgment, which enable
him to seize the opportunities that others lose, and persist in the
lines of conduct in which others fail--are these not talents?--are they
not, in the present state of the world, among the most distinguished and
influential of mental gifts? And is it not wonderful, that while we
should be utterly ashamed to use a superiority of body, in order to
thrust our weaker companions aside from some place of advantage, we
unhesitatingly use our superiorities of mind to thrust them back from
whatever good that strength of mind can attain? You would be indignant
if you saw a strong man walk into a theatre or a lecture-room, and,
calmly choosing the best place, take his feeble neighbour by the
shoulder, and turn him out of it into the back seats, or the street. You
would be equally indignant if you saw a stout fellow thrust himself up
to a table where some hungry children were being fed, and reach his arm
over their heads and take their bread from them. But you are not the
least indignant if, when a man has stoutness of thought and swiftness of
capacity, and, instead of being long-armed only, has the much greater
gift of being long-headed--you think it perfectly just that he should
use his intellect to take the bread out of the mouths of all the other
men in the town who are of the same trade with him; or use his breadth
and sweep of sight to gather some branch of the commerce of the country
into one great cobweb, of which he is himself to be the central spider,
making every thread vibrate with the points of his claws, and commanding
every avenue with the facets of his eyes. You see no injustice in this.

118. But there is injustice; and, let us trust, one of which honourable
men will at no very distant period disdain to be guilty. In some degree,
however, it is indeed not unjust; in some degree, it is necessary and
intended. It is assuredly just that idleness should be surpassed by
energy; that the widest influence should be possessed by those who are
best able to wield it; and that a wise man, at the end of his career,
should be better off than a fool. But for that reason, is the fool to be
wretched, utterly crushed down, and left in all the suffering which his
conduct and capacity naturally inflict?--Not so. What do you suppose
fools were made for? That you might tread upon them, and starve them,
and get the better of them in every possible way? By no means. They were
made that wise people might take care of them. That is the true and
plain fact concerning the relations of every strong and wise man to the
world about him. He has his strength given him, not that he may crush
the weak, but that he may support and guide them. In his own household
he is to be the guide and the support of his children; out of his
household he is still to be the father--that is, the guide and
support--of the weak and the poor; not merely of the meritoriously weak
and the innocently poor, but of the guiltily and punishably poor; of the
men who ought to have known better--of the poor who ought to be ashamed
of themselves. It is nothing to give pension and cottage to the widow
who has lost her son; it is nothing to give food and medicine to the
workman who has broken his arm, or the decrepit woman wasting in
sickness. But it is something to use your time and strength to war with
the waywardness and thoughtlessness of mankind; to keep the erring
workman in your service till you have made him an unerring one; and to
direct your fellow-merchant to the opportunity which his dulness would
have lost. This is much; but it is yet more, when you have fully
achieved the superiority which is due to you, and acquired the wealth
which is the fitting reward of your sagacity, if you solemnly accept the
responsibility of it, as it is the helm and guide of labour far and

119. For you who have it in your hands are in reality the pilots of the
power and effort of the State. It is entrusted to you as an authority to
be used for good or evil, just as completely as kingly authority was
ever given to a prince, or military command to a captain. And, according
to the quantity of it that you have in your hands, you are the arbiters
of the will and work of England; and the whole issue, whether the work
of the State shall suffice for the State or not, depends upon you. You
may stretch out your sceptre over the heads of the English labourers,
and say to them, as they stoop to its waving, "Subdue this obstacle that
has baffled our fathers, put away this plague that consumes our
children; water these dry places, plough these desert ones, carry this
food to those who are in hunger; carry this light to those who are in
darkness; carry this life to those who are in death;" or on the other
side you may say to her labourers: "Here am I; this power is in my hand;
come, build a mound here for me to be throned upon, high and wide; come,
make crowns for my head, that men may see them shine from far away;
come, weave tapestries for my feet, that I may tread softly on the silk
and purple; come, dance before me, that I may be gay; and sing sweetly
to me, that I may slumber; so shall I live in joy, and die in honour."
And better than such an honourable death it were that the day had
perished wherein we were born, and the night in which it was said there
is a child conceived.

120. I trust that in a little while there will be few of our rich men
who, through carelessness or covetousness, thus forfeit the glorious
office which is intended for their hands. I said, just now, that wealth
ill-used was as the net of the spider, entangling and destroying: but
wealth well used is as the net of the sacred fisher who gathers souls of
men out of the deep. A time will come--I do not think even now it is
far from us--when this golden net of the world's wealth will be spread
abroad as the flaming meshes of morning cloud are over the sky; bearing
with them the joy of light and the dew of the morning, as well as the
summons to honourable and peaceful toil. What less can we hope from your
wealth than this, rich men of England, when once you feel fully how, by
the strength of your possessions--not, observe, by the exhaustion, but
by the administration of them and the power,--you can direct the
acts--command the energies--inform the ignorance--prolong the existence,
of the whole human race; and how, even of worldly wisdom, which man
employs faithfully, it is true, not only that her ways are pleasantness,
but that her paths are peace; and that, for all the children of men, as
well as for those to whom she is given, Length of days is in her right
hand, as in her left hand Riches and Honour?


Note, p. 18.--"_Fatherly authority._"

121. This statement could not, of course, be heard without displeasure
by a certain class of politicians; and in one of the notices of these
lectures given in the Manchester journals at the time, endeavour was
made to get quit of it by referring to the Divine authority, as the only
Paternal power with respect to which men were truly styled "brethren."
Of course it is so, and, equally of course, all human government is
nothing else than the executive expression of this Divine authority. The
moment government ceases to be the practical enforcement of Divine law,
it is tyranny; and the meaning which I attach to the words "paternal
government," is, in more extended terms, simply this--"The executive
fulfilment, by formal human methods, of the will of the Father of
mankind respecting His children." I could not give such a definition of
Government as this in a popular lecture; and even in written form, it
will necessarily suggest many objections, of which I must notice and
answer the most probable.

Only, in order to avoid the recurrence of such tiresome phrases as "it
may be answered in the second place," and "it will be objected in the
third place," etc., I will ask the reader's leave to arrange the
discussion in the form of simple dialogue, letting _O._ stand for
objector, and _R._ for response.

122. _O._--You define your paternal government to be the executive
fulfilment, by formal human methods, of the Divine will. But, assuredly,
that will cannot stand in need of aid or expression from human laws. It
cannot fail of its fulfilment.

_R._ 122. In the final sense it cannot; and in that sense, men who are
committing murder and stealing are fulfilling the will of God as much as
the best and kindest people in the world. But in the limited and present
sense, the only sense with which _we_ have anything to do, God's will
concerning man is fulfilled by some men, and thwarted by others. And
those men who either persuade or enforce the doing of it, stand towards
those who are rebellious against it exactly in the position of faithful
children in a family, who, when the father is out of sight, either
compel or persuade the rest to do as their father would have them, were
he present; and in so far as they are expressing and maintaining, for
the time, the paternal authority, they exercise, in the exact sense in
which I mean the phrase to be understood, paternal government over the

_O._--But, if Providence has left a liberty to man in many things in
order to prove him, why should human law abridge that liberty, and take
upon itself to compel what the great Lawgiver does not compel?

123. _R._--It is confessed, in the enactment of any law whatsoever, that
human lawgivers have a right to do this. For, if you have no right to
abridge any of the liberty which Providence has left to man, you have no
right to punish any one for committing murder or robbery. You ought to
leave them to the punishment of God and Nature. But if you think
yourself under obligation to punish, as far as human laws can, the
violation of the will of God by these great sins, you are certainly
under the same obligation to punish, with proportionately less
punishment, the violation of His will in less sins.

_O._--No; you must not attempt to punish less sins by law, because you
cannot properly define nor ascertain them. Everybody can determine
whether murder has been committed or not, but you cannot determine how
far people have been unjust or cruel in minor matters, and therefore
cannot make or execute laws concerning minor matters.

_R._--If I propose to you to punish faults which cannot be defined, or
to execute laws which cannot be made equitable, reject the laws I
propose. But do not generally object to the principle of law.

_O._--Yes; I generally object to the principle of law as applied to
minor things; because, if you could succeed (which you cannot) in
regulating the entire conduct of men by law in little things as well as
great, you would take away from human life all its probationary
character, and render many virtues and pleasures impossible. You would
reduce virtue to the movement of a machine, instead of the act of a

124. _R._--You have just said, parenthetically, and I fully and
willingly admit it, that it is impossible to regulate all minor matters
by law. Is it not probable, therefore, that the degree in which it is
_possible_ to regulate them by it, is also the degree in which it is
_right_ to regulate them by it? Or what other means of judgment will you
employ, to separate the things which ought to be formally regulated from
the things which ought not? You admit that great sins should be legally
repressed; but you say that small sins should not be legally repressed.
How do you distinguish between great and small sins? and how do you
intend to determine, or do you in practice of daily life determine, on
what occasions you should compel people to do right, and on what
occasions you should leave them the option of doing wrong?

_O._--I think you cannot make any accurate or logical distinction in
such matters; but that common sense and instinct have, in all civilised
nations, indicated certain crimes of great social harmfulness, such as
murder, theft, adultery, slander, and such like, which it is proper to
repress legally; and that common sense and instinct indicate also the
kind of crimes which it is proper for laws to let alone, such as
miserliness, ill-natured speaking, and many of those commercial
dishonesties which I have a notion you want your paternal government to
interfere with.

_R._--Pray do not alarm yourself about what my paternal government is
likely to interfere with, but keep to the matter in hand. You say that
"common sense and instinct" have, in all civilised nations,
distinguished between the sins that ought to be legally dealt with and
that ought not. Do you mean that the laws of all civilised nations are

_O._--No; certainly not.

_R._--Or that they are perfect at least in their discrimination of what
crimes they should deal with, and what crimes they should let alone?

_O._--No; not exactly.

_R._--What _do_ you mean, then?

125. _O._--I mean that the general tendency is right in the laws of
civilised nations; and that, in due course of time, natural sense and
instinct point out the matters they should be brought to bear upon. And
each question of legislation must be made a separate subject of inquiry
as it presents itself: you cannot fix any general principles about what
should be dealt with legally, and what should not.

_R._--Supposing it to be so, do you think there are any points in which
our English legislation is capable of amendment, as it bears on
commercial and economical matters, in this present time?

_O._--Of course I do.

_R._--Well, then, let us discuss these together quietly; and if the
points that I want amended seem to you incapable of amendment, or not in
need of amendment, say so: but don't object, at starting, to the mere
proposition of applying law to things which have not had law applied to
them before. You have admitted the fitness of my expression, "paternal
government": it only has been, and remains, a question between us, how
far such government should extend. Perhaps you would like it only to
regulate, among the children, the length of their lessons; and perhaps I
should like it also to regulate the hardness of their cricket-balls: but
cannot you wait quietly till you know what I want it to do, before
quarrelling with the thing itself?

_O._--No; I cannot wait quietly; in fact, I don't see any use in
beginning such a discussion at all, because I am quite sure from the
first, that you want to meddle with things that you have no business
with, and to interfere with healthy liberty of action in all sorts of
ways; and I know that you can't propose any laws that would be of real

[Note 15: If the reader is displeased with me for putting this
foolish speech into his mouth, I entreat his pardon; but he may be
assured that it is a speech which would be made by many people, and the
substance of which would be tacitly felt by many more, at this point of
the discussion. I have really tried, up to this point, to make the
objector as intelligent a person as it is possible for an author to
imagine anybody to be who differs with him.]

126. _R._--If you indeed know that, you would be wrong to hear me any
farther. But if you are only in painful doubt about me, which makes you
unwilling to run the risk of wasting your time, I will tell you
beforehand what I really do think about this same liberty of action,
namely, that whenever we can make a perfectly equitable law about any
matter, or even a law securing, on the whole, more just conduct than
unjust, we ought to make that law; and that there will yet, on these
conditions, always remain a number of matters respecting which legalism
and formalism are impossible; enough, and more than enough, to exercise
all human powers of individual judgment, and afford all kinds of scope
to individual character. I think this; but of course it can only be
proved by separate examination of the possibilities of formal restraint
in each given field of action; and these two lectures are nothing more
than a sketch of such a detailed examination in one field, namely, that
of art. You will find, however, one or two other remarks on such
possibilities in the next note.

       *       *       *       *       *

Note 2nd, p. 21.--"_Right to public support._"

127. It did not appear to me desirable, in the course of the spoken
lecture, to enter into details or offer suggestions on the questions of
the regulation of labour and distribution of relief, as it would have
been impossible to do so without touching on many disputed or disputable
points, not easily handled before a general audience. But I must now
supply what is wanting to make my general statement clear.

I believe, in the first place, that no Christian nation has any business
to see one of its members in distress without helping him, though,
perhaps, at the same time punishing him: help, of course--in nine cases
out of ten--meaning guidance, much more than gift, and, therefore,
interference with liberty. When a peasant mother sees one of her
careless children fall into a ditch, her first proceeding is to pull him
out; her second, to box his ears; her third, ordinarily, to lead him
carefully a little way by the hand, or send him home for the rest of the
day. The child usually cries, and very often would clearly prefer
remaining in the ditch; and if he understood any of the terms of
politics, would certainly express resentment at the interference with
his individual liberty: but the mother has done her duty. Whereas the
usual call of the mother nation to any of her children, under such
circumstances, has lately been nothing more than the foxhunter's,--"Stay
still there; I shall clear you." And if we always _could_ clear them,
their requests to be left in muddy independence might be sometimes
allowed by kind people, or their cries for help disdained by unkind
ones. But we can't clear them. The whole nation is, in fact, bound
together, as men are by ropes on a glacier--if one falls, the rest must
either lift him or drag him along with them[16] as dead weight, not
without much increase of danger to themselves. And the law of right
being manifestly in this--as, whether manifestly or not, it is always,
the law of prudence--the only question is, how this wholesome help and
interference are to be administered.

[Note 16: It is very curious to watch the efforts of two
shop-keepers to ruin each other, neither having the least idea that his
ruined neighbour must eventually be supported at his own expense, with
an increase of poor rates; and that the contest between them is not in
reality which shall get everything for himself, but which shall first
take upon himself and his customers the gratuitous maintenance of the
other's family.]

128. The first interference should be in education. In order that men
may be able to support themselves when they are grown, their strength
must be properly developed while they are young; and the State should
always see to this--not allowing their health to be broken by too early
labour, nor their powers to be wasted for want of knowledge. Some
questions connected with this matter are noticed farther on under the
head "trial schools": one point I must notice here, that I believe all
youths, of whatever rank, ought to learn some manual trade thoroughly;
for it is quite wonderful how much a man's views of life are cleared by
the attainment of the capacity of doing any one thing well with his
hands and arms. For a long time, what right life there was in the upper
classes of Europe depended in no small degree on the necessity which
each man was under of being able to fence; at this day, the most useful
things which boys learn at public schools are, I believe, riding,
rowing, and cricketing. But it would be far better that members of
Parliament should be able to plough straight, and make a horseshoe, than
only to feather oars neatly or point their toes prettily in stirrups.
Then, in literary and scientific teaching, the great point of economy is
to give the discipline of it through knowledge which will immediately
bear on practical life. Our literary work has long been economically
useless to us because too much concerned with dead languages; and our
scientific work will yet, for some time, be a good deal lost, because
scientific men are too fond or too vain of their systems, and waste the
student's time in endeavouring to give him large views, and make him
perceive interesting connections of facts; when there is not one
student, no, nor one man, in a thousand, who can feel the beauty of a
system, or even take it clearly into his head; but nearly all men can
understand, and most will be interested in, the facts which bear on
daily life. Botanists have discovered some wonderful connection between
nettles and figs, which a cowboy who will never see a ripe fig in his
life need not be at all troubled about; but it will be interesting to
him to know what effect nettles have on hay, and what taste they will
give to porridge; and it will give him nearly a new life if he can be
got but once, in a spring time, to look well at the beautiful circlet of
white nettle blossom, and work out with his schoolmaster the curves of
its petals, and the way it is set on its central mast. So, the principle
of chemical equivalents, beautiful as it is, matters far less to a
peasant boy, and even to most sons of gentlemen, than their knowing how
to find whether the water is wholesome in the back-kitchen cistern, or
whether the seven-acre field wants sand or chalk.

129. Having, then, directed the studies of our youth so as to make them
practically serviceable men at the time of their entrance into life,
that entrance should always be ready for them in cases where their
private circumstances present no opening. There ought to be government
establishments for every trade, in which all youths who desired it
should be received as apprentices on their leaving school; and men
thrown out of work received at all times. At these government
manufactories the discipline should be strict, and the wages steady, not
varying at all in proportion to the demand for the article, but only in
proportion to the price of food; the commodities produced being laid up
in store to meet sudden demands, and sudden fluctuations in prices
prevented:--that gradual and necessary fluctuation only being allowed
which is properly consequent on larger or more limited supply of raw
material and other natural causes. When there was a visible tendency to
produce a glut of any commodity, that tendency should be checked by
directing the youth at the government schools into other trades; and the
yearly surplus of commodities should be the principal means of
government provisions for the poor. That provision should be large, and
not disgraceful to them. At present there are very strange notions in
the public mind respecting the receiving of alms: most people are
willing to take them in the form of a pension from government, but
unwilling to take them in the form of a pension from their parishes.
There may be some reason for this singular prejudice, in the fact of the
government pension being usually given as a definite acknowledgment of
some service done to the country;--but the parish pension is, or ought
to be, given precisely on the same terms. A labourer serves his country
with his spade, just as a man in the middle ranks of life serves it with
his sword, pen, or lancet: if the service is less, and therefore the
wages during health less, then the reward, when health is broken, may be
less, but not, therefore, less honourable; and it ought to be quite as
natural and straight-forward a matter for a labourer to take his
pension from his parish, because he has deserved well of his parish, as
for a man in higher rank to take his pension from his country, because
he has deserved well of his country.

130. If there be any disgrace in coming to the parish, because it may
imply improvidence in early life, much more is there disgrace in coming
to the government: since improvidence is far less justifiable in a
highly educated than in an imperfectly educated man; and far less
justifiable in a high rank, where extravagance must have been luxury,
than in a low rank, where it may only have been comfort. So that the
real fact of the matter is, that people will take alms delightedly,
consisting of a carriage and footmen, because those do not look like
alms to the people in the street; but they will not take alms consisting
only of bread and water and coals, because everybody would understand
what those meant. Mind, I do not want any one to refuse the carriage who
ought to have it; but neither do I want them to refuse the coals. I
should indeed be sorry if any change in our views on these subjects
involved the least lessening of self-dependence in the English mind: but
the common shrinking of men from the acceptance of public charity is
not self-dependence, but mere base and selfish pride. It is not that
they are unwilling to live at their neighbours' expense, but that they
are unwilling to confess they do: it is not dependence they wish to
avoid, but gratitude. They will take places in which they know there is
nothing to be done--they will borrow money they know they cannot
repay--they will carry on a losing business with other people's
capital--they will cheat the public in their shops, or sponge on their
friends at their houses; but to say plainly they are poor men, who need
the nation's help and go into an almshouse,--this they loftily
repudiate, and virtuously prefer being thieves to being paupers.

131. I trust that these deceptive efforts of dishonest men to appear
independent, and the agonizing efforts of unfortunate men to remain
independent, may both be in some degree checked by a better
administration and understanding of laws respecting the poor. But the
ordinances for relief and the ordinances for labour must go together;
otherwise distress caused by misfortune will always be confounded, as
it is now, with distress caused by idleness, unthrift, and fraud. It is
only when the State watches and guides the middle life of men, that it
can, without disgrace to them, protect their old age, acknowledging in
that protection that they have done their duty, or at least some portion
of their duty, in better days.

I know well how strange, fanciful, or impracticable these suggestions
will appear to most of the business men of this day; men who conceive
the proper state of the world to be simply that of a vast and
disorganized mob, scrambling each for what he can get, trampling down
its children and old men in the mire, and doing what work it finds
_must_ be done with any irregular squad of labourers it can bribe or
inveigle together, and afterwards scatter to starvation. A great deal
may, indeed, be done in this way by a nation strong-elbowed and
strong-hearted as we are--not easily frightened by pushing, nor
discouraged by falls. But it is still not the right way of doing things,
for people who call themselves Christians. Every so named soul of man
claims from every other such soul, protection and education in
childhood,--help or punishment in middle life,--reward or relief, if
needed, in old age; all of these should be completely and unstintingly
given; and they can only be given by the organization of such a system
as I have described.

       *       *       *       *       *

Note 3rd, p. 27.--"_Trial Schools._"

132. It may be seriously questioned by the reader how much of painting
talent we really lose on our present system,[17] and how much we should
gain by the proposed trial schools. For it might be thought that, as
matters stand at present, we have more painters than we ought to have,
having so many bad ones, and that all youths who had true painters'
genius forced their way out of obscurity.

[Note 17: It will be observed that, in the lecture, it is _assumed_
that works of art are national treasures; and that it is desirable to
withdraw all the hands capable of painting or carving from other
employments, in order that they may produce this kind of wealth. I do
not, in assuming this, mean that works of art add to the monetary
resources of a nation, or form part of its wealth, in the vulgar sense.
The result of the sale of a picture in the country itself is merely that
a certain sum of money is transferred from the hands of B, the
purchaser, to those of A, the producer; the sum ultimately to be
distributed remaining the same, only A ultimately spending it instead of
B, while the labour of A has been in the meantime withdrawn from
productive channels; he has painted a picture which nobody can live
upon, or live in, when he might have grown corn or built houses: when
the sale therefore is effected in the country itself, it does not add
to, but diminishes, the monetary resources of the country, except only
so far as it may appear probable, on other grounds, that A is likely to
spend the sum he receives for his picture more rationally and usefully
than B would have spent it. If, indeed, the picture, or other work of
art, be sold in foreign countries, either the money or the useful
products of the foreign country being imported in exchange for it, such
sale adds to the monetary resources of the selling, and diminishes those
of the purchasing nation. But sound political economy, strange as it may
at first appear to say so, has nothing whatever to do with separations
between national interests. Political economy means the management of
the affairs of _citizens_; and it either regards exclusively the
administration of the affairs of one nation, or the administration of
the affairs of the world considered as one nation. So when a transaction
between individuals which enriches A impoverishes B in precisely the
same degree, the sound economist considers it an unproductive
transaction between the individuals; and if a trade between two nations
which enriches one, impoverishes the other in the same degree, the sound
economist considers it an unproductive trade between the nations. It is
not a general question of political economy, but only a particular
question of local expediency, whether an article, in itself valueless,
may bear a value of exchange in transactions with some other nation. The
economist considers only the actual value of the thing done or produced;
and if he sees a quantity of labour spent, for instance, by the Swiss,
in producing woodwork for sale to the English, he at once sets the
commercial impoverishment of the English purchaser against the
commercial enrichment of the Swiss seller; and considers the whole
transaction productive only as far as the woodwork itself is a real
addition to the wealth of the world. For the arrangement of the laws of
a nation so as to procure the greatest advantages to itself, and leave
the smallest advantages to other nations, is not a part of the science
of political economy, but merely a broad application of the science of
fraud. Considered thus in the abstract, pictures are not an _addition_
to the monetary wealth of the world, except in the amount of pleasure or
instruction to be got out of them day by day: but there is a certain
protective effect on wealth exercised by works of high art which must
always be included in the estimate of their value. Generally speaking,
persons who decorate their houses with pictures will not spend so much
money in papers, carpets, curtains, or other expensive and perishable
luxuries as they would otherwise. Works of good art, like books,
exercise a conservative effect on the rooms they are kept in; and the
wall of the library or picture gallery remains undisturbed, when those
of other rooms are repapered or re-panelled. Of course this effect is
still more definite when the picture is on the walls themselves, either
on canvas stretched into fixed shapes on their panels, or in fresco;
involving, of course, the preservation of the building from all
unnecessary and capricious alteration. And, generally speaking, the
occupation of a large number of hands in painting or sculpture in any
nation may be considered as tending to check the disposition to indulge
in perishable luxury. I do not, however, in my assumption that works of
art are treasures, take much into consideration this collateral monetary
result. I consider them treasures, merely as permanent means of pleasure
and instruction; and having at other times tried to show the several
ways in which they can please and teach, assume here that they are thus
useful, and that it is desirable to make as many painters as we can.]

This is not so. It is difficult to analyse the characters of mind which
cause youths to mistake their vocation, and to endeavour to become
artists, when they have no true artist's gift. But the fact is, that
multitudes of young men do this, and that by far the greater number of
living artists are men who have mistaken their vocation. The peculiar
circumstances of modern life, which exhibit art in almost every form to
the sight of the youths in our great cities, have a natural tendency to
fill their imaginations with borrowed ideas, and their minds with
imperfect science; the mere dislike of mechanical employments, either
felt to be irksome, or believed to be degrading, urges numbers of young
men to become painters, in the same temper in which they would enlist or
go to sea; others, the sons of engravers or artists, taught the business
of the art by their parents, and having no gift for it themselves,
follow it as the means of livelihood, in an ignoble patience; or, if
ambitious, seek to attract regard, or distance rivalry, by fantastic,
meretricious, or unprecedented applications of their mechanical skill;
while finally, many men, earnest in feeling, and conscientious in
principle, mistake their desire to be useful for a love of art, and
their quickness of emotion for its capacity, and pass their lives in
painting moral and instructive pictures, which might almost justify us
in thinking nobody could be a painter but a rogue. On the other hand, I
believe that much of the best artistical intellect is daily lost in
other avocations. Generally, the temper which would make an admirable
artist is humble and observant, capable of taking much interest in
little things, and of entertaining itself pleasantly in the dullest
circumstances. Suppose, added to these characters, a steady
conscientiousness which seeks to do its duty wherever it may be placed,
and the power, denied to few artistical minds, of ingenious invention in
almost any practical department of human skill, and it can hardly be
doubted that the very humility and conscientiousness which would have
perfected the painter, have in many instances prevented his becoming
one; and that in the quiet life of our steady craftsmen--sagacious
manufacturers, and uncomplaining clerks--there may frequently be
concealed more genius than ever is raised to the direction of our
public works, or to be the mark of our public praises.

133. It is indeed probable, that intense disposition for art will
conquer the most formidable obstacles, if the surrounding circumstances
are such as at all to present the idea of such conquest to the mind; but
we have no ground for concluding that Giotto would ever have been more
than a shepherd, if Cimabue had not by chance found him drawing; or that
among the shepherds of the Apennines there were no other Giottos,
undiscovered by Cimabue. We are too much in the habit of considering
happy accidents as what are called 'special Providences'; and thinking
that when any great work needs to be done, the man who is to do it will
certainly be pointed out by Providence, be he shepherd or seaboy; and
prepared for his work by all kinds of minor providences, in the best
possible way. Whereas all the analogies of God's operations in other
matters prove the contrary of this; we find that "of thousand seeds, He
often brings but one to bear," often not one; and the one seed which He
appoints to bear is allowed to bear crude or perfect fruit according to
the dealings of the husbandman with it. And there cannot be a doubt in
the mind of any person accustomed to take broad and logical views of the
world's history, that its events are ruled by Providence in precisely
the same manner as its harvests; that the seeds of good and evil are
broadcast among men, just as the seeds of thistles and fruits are; and
that according to the force of our industry, and wisdom of our
husbandry, the ground will bring forth to us figs or thistles. So that
when it seems needed that a certain work should be done for the world,
and no man is there to do it, we have no right to say that God did not
wish it to be done; and therefore sent no men able to do it. The
probability (if I wrote my own convictions, I should say certainty) is,
that He sent many men, hundreds of men, able to do it; and that we have
rejected them, or crushed them; by our previous folly of conduct or of
institution, we have rendered it impossible to distinguish, or
impossible to reach them; and when the need for them comes, and we
suffer for the want of them, it is not that God refuses to send us
deliverers, and specially appoints all our consequent sufferings; but
that He has sent, and we have refused, the deliverers; and the pain is
then wrought out by His eternal law, as surely as famine is wrought out
by eternal law for a nation which will neither plough nor sow. No less
are we in error in supposing, as we so frequently do, that if a man be
found, he is sure to be in all respects fitted for the work to be done,
as the key is to the lock: and that every accident which happened in the
forging him, only adapted him more truly to the wards. It is pitiful to
hear historians beguiling themselves and their readers, by tracing in
the early history of great men the minor circumstances which fitted them
for the work they did, without ever taking notice of the other
circumstances which as assuredly unfitted them for it; so concluding
that miraculous interposition prepared them in all points for
everything, and that they did all that could have been desired or hoped
for from them; whereas the certainty of the matter is that, throughout
their lives, they were thwarted and corrupted by some things as
certainly as they were helped and disciplined by others; and that, in
the kindliest and most reverent view which can justly be taken of them,
they were but poor mistaken creatures, struggling with a world more
profoundly mistaken than they;--assuredly sinned against or sinning in
thousands of ways, and bringing out at last a maimed result--not what
they might or ought to have done, but all that could be done against the
world's resistance, and in spite of their own sorrowful falsehood to

134. And this being so, it is the practical duty of a wise nation, first
to withdraw, as far as may be, its youth from destructive
influences;--then to try its material as far as possible, and to lose
the use of none that is good. I do not mean by "withdrawing from
destructive influences" the keeping of youths out of trials; but the
keeping them out of the way of things purely and absolutely mischievous.
I do not mean that we should shade our green corn in all heat, and
shelter it in all frost, but only that we should dyke out the inundation
from it, and drive the fowls away from it. Let your youth labour and
suffer; but do not let it starve, nor steal, nor blaspheme.

135. It is not, of course, in my power here to enter into details of
schemes of education; and it will be long before the results of
experiments now in progress will give data for the solution of the most
difficult questions connected with the subject, of which the principal
one is the mode in which the chance of advancement in life is to be
extended to all, and yet made compatible with contentment in the pursuit
of lower avocations by those whose abilities do not qualify them for the
higher. But the general principle of trial schools lies at the root of
the matter--of schools, that is to say, in which the knowledge offered
and discipline enforced shall be all a part of a great assay of the
human soul, and in which the one shall be increased, the other directed,
as the tried heart and brain will best bear, and no otherwise. One
thing, however, I must say, that in this trial I believe all emulation
to be a false motive, and all giving of prizes a false means. All that
you can depend upon in a boy, as significative of true power, likely to
issue in good fruit, is his will to work for the work's sake, not his
desire to surpass his school-fellows; and the aim of the teaching you
give him ought to be, to prove to him and strengthen in him his own
separate gift, not to puff him into swollen rivalry with those who are
everlastingly greater than he: still less ought you to hang favours and
ribands about the neck of the creature who is the greatest, to make the
rest envy him. Try to make them love him and follow him, not struggle
with him.

136. There must, of course, be examination to ascertain and attest both
progress and relative capacity; but our aim should be to make the
students rather look upon it as a means of ascertaining their own true
positions and powers in the world, than as an arena in which to carry
away a present victory. I have not, perhaps, in the course of the
lecture, insisted enough on the nature of relative capacity and
individual character, as the roots of all real _value_ in Art. We are
too much in the habit, in these days, of acting as if Art worth a price
in the market were a commodity which people could be generally taught to
produce, and as if the _education_ of the artist, not his _capacity_,
gave the sterling value to his work. No impression can possibly be more
absurd or false. Whatever people can teach each other to do, they will
estimate, and ought to estimate, only as common industry; nothing will
ever fetch a high price but precisely that which cannot be taught, and
which nobody can do but the man from whom it is purchased. No state of
society, nor stage of knowledge, ever does away with the natural
pre-eminence of one man over another; and it is that pre-eminence, and
that only, which will give work high value in the market, or which ought
to do so. It is a bad sign of the judgment, and bad omen for the
progress, of a nation, if it supposes itself to possess many artists of
equal merit. Noble art is nothing less than the expression of a great
soul; and great souls are not common things. If ever we confound their
work with that of others, it is not through liberality, but through

       *       *       *       *       *

Note 4th, p. 28.--"_Public favour._"

137. There is great difficulty in making any short or general statement
of the difference between great and ignoble minds in their behaviour to
the 'public.' It is by no means _universally_ the case that a mean mind,
as stated in the text, will bend itself to what you ask of it: on the
contrary, there is one kind of mind, the meanest of all, which
perpetually complains of the public, and contemplates and proclaims
itself as a 'genius,' refuses all wholesome discipline or humble office,
and ends in miserable and revengeful ruin; also, the greatest minds are
marked by nothing more distinctly than an inconceivable humility, and
acceptance of work or instruction in any form, and from any quarter.
They will learn from everybody, and do anything that anybody asks of
them, so long as it involves only toil, or what other men would think
degradation. But the point of quarrel, nevertheless, assuredly rises
some day between the public and them, respecting some matter, not of
humiliation, but of Fact. Your great man always at last comes to see
something the public don't see. This something he will assuredly persist
in asserting, whether with tongue or pencil, to be as _he_ sees it, not
as _they_ see it; and all the world in a heap on the other side, will
not get him to say otherwise. Then, if the world objects to the saying,
he may happen to get stoned or burnt for it, but that does not in the
least matter to him; if the world has no particular objection to the
saying, he may get leave to mutter it to himself till he dies, and be
merely taken for an idiot; that also does not matter to him--mutter it
he will, according to what he perceives to be fact, and not at all
according to the roaring of the walls of Red Sea on the right hand or
left of him. Hence the quarrel, sure at some time or other to be started
between the public and him; while your mean man, though he will spit and
scratch spiritedly at the public, while it does not attend to him, will
bow to it for its clap in any direction, and say anything when he has
got its ear, which he thinks will bring him another clap; and thus, as
stated in the text, he and it go on smoothly together.

There are, however, times when the obstinacy of the mean man looks very
like the obstinacy of the great one; but if you look closely into the
matter, you will always see that the obstinacy of the first is in the
pronunciation of "I;" and of the second, in the pronunciation of "It."

       *       *       *       *       *

Note 5th, p. 56.--"_Invention of new wants._"

138. It would have been impossible for political economists long to have
endured the error spoken of in the text,[18] had they not been confused
by an idea, in part well founded, that the energies and refinements, as
well as the riches of civilised life, arose from imaginary wants. It is
quite true, that the savage who knows no needs but those of food,
shelter, and sleep, and after he has snared his venison and patched the
rents of his hut, passes the rest of his time in animal repose, is in a
lower state than the man who labours incessantly that he may procure for
himself the luxuries of civilisation; and true also, that the difference
between one and another nation in progressive power depends in great
part on vain desires; but these idle motives are merely to be
considered as giving exercise to the national body and mind; they are
not sources of wealth, except so far as they give the habits of industry
and acquisitiveness. If a boy is clumsy and lazy, we shall do good if we
can persuade him to carve cherry-stones and fly kites; and this use of
his fingers and limbs may eventually be the cause of his becoming a
wealthy and happy man; but we must not therefore argue that
cherry-stones are valuable property, or that kite-flying is a profitable
mode of passing time. In like manner, a nation always wastes its time
and labour _directly_, when it invents a new want of a frivolous kind,
and yet the invention of such a want may be the sign of a healthy
activity, and the labour undergone to satisfy the new want may lead,
_indirectly_, to useful discoveries or to noble arts; so that a nation
is not to be discouraged in its fancies when it is either too weak or
foolish to be moved to exertion by anything but fancies, or has attended
to its serious business first. If a nation will not forge iron, but
likes distilling lavender, by all means give it lavender to distil; only
do not let its economists suppose that lavender is as profitable to it
as oats, or that it helps poor people to live, any more than the
schoolboy's kite provides him his dinner. Luxuries, whether national or
personal, must be paid for by labour withdrawn from useful things; and
no nation has a right to indulge in them until all its poor are
comfortably housed and fed.

[Note 18: I have given the political economist too much credit in
saying this. Actually, while these sheets are passing through the press,
the blunt, broad, unmitigated fallacy is enunciated, formally and
precisely, by the common councilmen of New York, in their report on the
present commercial crisis. Here is their collective opinion, published
in the _Times_ of November 23rd, 1857:--"Another erroneous idea is that
luxurious living, extravagant dressing, splendid turn-outs and fine
houses, are the cause of distress to a nation. No more erroneous
impression could exist. Every extravagance that the man of 100,000 or
1,000,000 dollars indulges in adds to the means, the support, the wealth
of ten or a hundred who had little or nothing else but their labour,
their intellect, or their taste. If a man of 1,000,000 dollars spends
principal and interest in ten years, and finds himself beggared at the
end of that time, he has actually made a hundred who have catered to his
extravagance, employers or employed, so much richer by the division of
his wealth. He may be ruined, but the nation is better off and richer,
for one hundred minds and hands, with 10,000 dollars apiece, are far
more productive than one with the whole."

Yes, gentlemen of the common council; but what has been doing in the
time of the transfer? The spending of the fortune has taken a certain
number of years (suppose ten), and during that time 1,000,000 dollars'
worth of work has been done by the people, who have been paid that sum
for it. Where is the product of that work? By your own statements,
wholly consumed; for the man for whom it has been done is now a beggar.
You have given therefore, as a nation, 1,000,000 dollars' worth of work,
and ten years of time, and you have produced, as ultimate result, one
beggar. Excellent economy, gentlemen! and sure to conduce, in due
sequence, to the production of _more_ than one beggar. Perhaps the
matter may be made clearer to you, however, by a more familiar instance.
If a schoolboy goes out in the morning with five shillings in his
pocket, and comes home penniless, having spent his all in tarts,
principal and interest are gone, and fruiterer and baker are enriched.
So far so good. But suppose the schoolboy, instead, has bought a book
and a knife; principal and interest are gone, and book-seller and cutler
are enriched. But the schoolboy is enriched also, and may help his
school-fellows next day with knife and book, instead of lying in bed and
incurring a debt to the doctor.]

139. The enervating influence of luxury, and its tendencies to increase
vice, are points which I keep entirely out of consideration in the
present essay; but, so far as they bear on any question discussed, they
merely furnish additional evidence on the side which I have taken. Thus,
in the present case, I assume that the luxuries of civilized life are in
possession harmless, and in acquirement serviceable as a motive for
exertion; and even on those favourable terms, we arrive at the
conclusion that the nation ought not to indulge in them except under
severe limitations. Much less ought it to indulge in them if the
temptation consequent on their possession, or fatality incident to their
manufacture, more than counter-balances the good done by the effort to
obtain them.

       *       *       *       *       *

Note 6th, p. 74.--"_Economy of literature._"

140. I have been much impressed lately by one of the results of the
quantity of our books; namely, the stern impossibility of getting
anything understood, that required patience to understand. I observe
always, in the case of my own writings, that if ever I state anything
which has cost me any trouble to ascertain, and which, therefore, will
probably require a minute or two of reflection from the reader before it
can be accepted,--that statement will not only be misunderstood, but in
all probability taken to mean something very nearly the reverse of what
it does mean. Now, whatever faults there may be in my modes of
expression, I know that the words I use will always be found, by
Johnson's dictionary, to bear, first of all, the sense I use them in;
and that the sentences, whether awkwardly turned or not, will, by the
ordinary rules of grammar, bear no other interpretation than that I mean
them to bear; so that the misunderstanding of them must result,
ultimately, from the mere fact that their matter sometimes requires a
little patience. And I see the same kind of misinterpretation put on
the words of other writers, whenever they require the same kind of

141. I was at first a little despondent about this; but, on the whole, I
believe it will have a good effect upon our literature for some time to
come; and then, perhaps, the public may recover its patience again. For
certainly it is excellent discipline for an author to feel that he must
say all he has to say in the fewest possible words, or his reader is
sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words, or his reader
will certainly misunderstand them. Generally, also, a downright fact may
be told in a plain way; and we want downright facts at present more than
anything else. And though I often hear moral people complaining of the
bad effects of want of thought, for my part, it seems to me that one of
the worst diseases to which the human creature is liable is its disease
of thinking. If it would only just _look_[19] at a thing instead of
thinking what it must be like, or _do_ a thing instead of thinking it
cannot be done, we should all get on far better.

[Note 19: There can be no question, however, of the mischievous
tendency of the hurry of the present day, in the way people undertake
this very _looking_. I gave three years' close and incessant labour to
the examination of the chronology of the architecture of Venice; two
long winters being wholly spent in the drawing of details on the spot;
and yet I see constantly that architects who pass three or four days in
a gondola going up and down the Grand Canal, think that their first
impressions are just as likely to be true as my patiently wrought
conclusions. Mr. Street, for instance, glances hastily at the façade of
the Ducal Palace--so hastily that he does not even see what its pattern
is, and misses the alternation of red and black in the centres of its
squares--and yet he instantly ventures on an opinion on the chronology
of its capitals, which is one of the most complicated and difficult
subjects in the whole range of Gothic archæology. It may, nevertheless,
be ascertained with very fair probability of correctness by any person
who will give a month's hard work to it, but it can be ascertained no

       *       *       *       *       *

Note 7th, p. 147.--"_Pilots of the State._"

142. While, however, undoubtedly, these responsibilities attach to every
person possessed of wealth, it is necessary both to avoid any stringency
of statement respecting the benevolent modes of spending money, and to
admit and approve so much liberty of spending it for selfish pleasures
as may distinctly make wealth a personal _reward_ for toil, and secure
in the minds of all men the right of property. For although, without
doubt, the purest pleasures it can procure are not selfish, it is only
as a means of personal gratification that it will be desired by a large
majority of workers; and it would be no less false ethics than false
policy to check their energy by any forms of public opinion which bore
hardly against the wanton expenditure of honestly got wealth. It would
be hard if a man who has passed the greater part of his life at the desk
or counter could not at last innocently gratify a caprice; and all the
best and most sacred ends of almsgiving would be at once disappointed,
if the idea of a moral claim took the place of affectionate gratitude in
the mind of the receiver.

143. Some distinction is made by us naturally in this respect between
earned and inherited wealth; that which is inherited appearing to
involve the most definite responsibilities, especially when consisting
in revenues derived from the soil. The form of taxation which
constitutes rental of lands places annually a certain portion of the
national wealth in the hands of the nobles, or other proprietors of the
soil, under conditions peculiarly calculated to induce them to give
their best care to its efficient administration. The want of
instruction in even the simplest principles of commerce and economy,
which hitherto has disgraced our schools and universities, has indeed
been the cause of ruin or total inutility of life to multitudes of our
men of estate; but this deficiency in our public education cannot exist
much longer, and it appears to be highly advantageous for the State that
a certain number of persons distinguished by race should be permitted to
set examples of wise expenditure, whether in the advancement of science,
or in patronage of art and literature; only they must see to it that
they take their right standing more firmly than they have done hitherto,
for the position of a rich man in relation to those around him is, in
our present real life, and is also contemplated generally by political
economists as being, precisely the reverse of what it ought to be. A
rich man ought to be continually examining how he may spend his money
for the advantage of others: at present, others are continually plotting
how they may beguile him into spending it apparently for his own. The
aspect which he presents to the eyes of the world is generally that of
a person holding a bag of money with a staunch grasp, and resolved to
part with none of it unless he is forced, and all the people about him
are plotting how they may force him: that is to say, how they may
persuade him that he wants this thing or that; or how they may produce
things that he will covet and buy. One man tries to persuade him that he
wants perfumes; another that he wants jewellery; another that he wants
sugarplums; another that he wants roses at Christmas. Anybody who can
invent a new want for him is supposed to be a benefactor to society: and
thus the energies of the poorer people about him are continually
directed to the production of covetable, instead of serviceable, things;
and the rich man has the general aspect of a fool, plotted against by
the world. Whereas the real aspect which he ought to have is that of a
person wiser than others, entrusted with the management of a larger
quantity of capital, which he administers for the profit of all,
directing each man to the labour which is most healthy for him, and most
serviceable for the community.

       *       *       *       *       *

Note 8th, p. 148.--"_Silk and purple._"

144. In various places throughout these lectures I have had to allude to
the distinction between productive and unproductive labour, and between
true and false wealth. I shall here endeavour, as clearly as I can, to
explain the distinction I mean.

Property may be divided generally into two kinds; that which produces
life, and that which produces the objects of life. That which produces
or maintains life consists of food, in so far as it is nourishing; of
furniture and clothing, in so far as they are protective or cherishing;
of fuel; and of all land, instruments, or materials necessary to produce
food, houses, clothes, and fuel. It is specially and rightly called
useful property.

The property which produces the objects of life consists of all that
gives pleasure or suggests and preserves thought: of food, furniture,
and land, in so far as they are pleasing to the appetite or the eye; of
luxurious dress, and all other kinds of luxuries; of books, pictures,
and architecture. But the modes of connection of certain minor forms of
property with human labour render it desirable to arrange them under
more than these two heads. Property may therefore be conveniently
considered as of five kinds.

145. (1) Property necessary to life, but not producible by labour, and
therefore belonging of right, in a due measure, to every human being as
soon as he is born, and morally inalienable. As for instance, his proper
share of the atmosphere, without which he cannot breathe, and of water,
which he needs to quench his thirst. As much land as he needs to feed
from is also inalienable; but in well-regulated communities this
quantity of land may often be represented by other possessions, or its
need supplied by wages and privileges.

(2) Property necessary to life, but only producible by labour, and of
which the possession is morally connected with labour, so that no person
capable of doing the work necessary for its production has a right to it
until he has done that work;--"he that will not work, neither should he
eat." It consists of simple food, clothing, and habitation, with their
seeds and materials, or instruments and machinery, and animals used for
necessary draught or locomotion, etc. It is to be observed of this kind
of property, that its increase cannot usually be carried beyond a
certain point, because it depends not on labour only, but on things of
which the supply is limited by nature. The possible accumulation of corn
depends on the quantity of corn-growing land possessed or commercially
accessible; and that of steel, similarly on the accessible quantity of
coal and iron-stone. It follows from this natural limitation of supply
that the accumulation of property of this kind in large masses at one
point, or in one person's hands, commonly involves, more or less, the
scarcity of it at another point and in other persons' hands; so that the
accidents or energies which may enable one man to procure a great deal
of it, may, and in all likelihood will, partially prevent other men
procuring a sufficiency of it, however willing they may be to work for
it; therefore, the modes of its accumulation and distribution need to be
in some degree regulated by law and by national treaties, in order to
secure justice to all men.

Another point requiring notice respecting this sort of property is, that
no work can be wasted in producing it, provided only the kind of it
produced be preservable and distributable, since for every grain of such
commodities we produce we are rendering so much more life possible on
earth.[20] But though we are sure, thus, that we are employing people
well, we cannot be sure we might not have employed them _better_; for it
is possible to direct labour to the production of life, until little or
none is left for that of the objects of life, and thus to increase
population at the expense of civilization, learning, and morality: on
the other hand, it is just as possible--and the error is one to which
the world is, on the whole, more liable--to direct labour to the objects
of life till too little is left for life, and thus to increase luxury or
learning at the expense of population. Right political economy holds its
aim poised justly between the two extremes, desiring neither to crowd
its dominions with a race of savages, nor to found courts and colleges
in the midst of a desert.

[Note 20: This point has sometimes been disputed; for instance,
opening Mill's 'Political Economy' the other day, I chanced on a passage
in which he says that a man who makes a coat, if the person who wears
the coat does nothing useful while he wears it, has done no more good to
society than the man who has only raised a pineapple. But this is a
fallacy induced by endeavour after too much subtlety. None of us have a
right to say that the life of a man is of no use to _him_, though it may
be of no use to _us_; and the man who made the coat, and thereby
prolonged another man's life, has done a gracious and useful work,
whatever may come of the life so prolonged. We may say to the wearer of
the coat, "You who are wearing coats, and doing nothing in them, are at
present wasting your own life and other people's;" but we have no right
to say that his existence, however wasted, is wasted _away_. It may be
just dragging itself on, in its thin golden line, with nothing dependent
upon it, to the point where it is to strengthen into good chain cable,
and have thousands of other lives dependent on it. Meantime, the simple
fact respecting the coat-maker is, that he has given so much life to the
creature, the results of which he cannot calculate; they may be--in all
probability will be--infinite results in some way. But the raiser of
pines, who has only given a pleasant taste in the mouth to some one, may
see with tolerable clearness to the end of the taste in the mouth, and
of all conceivable results therefrom.]

146. (3) The third kind of property is that which conduces to bodily
pleasures and conveniences, without directly tending to sustain life;
perhaps sometimes indirectly tending to destroy it. All dainty (as
distinguished from nourishing) food, and means of producing it; all
scents not needed for health; substances valued only for their
appearance and rarity (as gold and jewels); flowers of difficult
culture; animals used for delight (as horses for racing), and such
like, form property of this class; to which the term 'luxury,' or
'luxuries,' ought exclusively to belong.

Respecting which we have to note, first, that all such property is of
doubtful advantage even to its possessor. Furniture tempting to
indolence, sweet odours, and luscious food, are more or less injurious
to health: while jewels, liveries, and other such common belongings of
wealthy people, certainly convey no pleasure to their owners
proportionate to their cost.

Farther, such property, for the most part, perishes in the using. Jewels
form a great exception--but rich food, fine dresses, horses and
carriages, are consumed by the owner's use. It ought much oftener to be
brought to the notice of rich men what sums of interest of money they
are paying towards the close of their lives, for luxuries consumed in
the middle of them. It would be very interesting, for instance, to know
the exact sum which the money spent in London for ices, at its desserts
and balls, during the last twenty years, had it been saved and put out
at compound interest, would at this moment have furnished for useful

Also, in most cases, the enjoyment of such property is wholly selfish,
and limited to its possessor. Splendid dress and equipage, however, when
so arranged as to produce real beauty of effect, may often be rather a
generous than a selfish channel of expenditure. They will, however,
necessarily in such cases involve some of the arts of design; and
therefore take their place in a higher category than that of luxuries

147. (4) The fourth kind of property is that which bestows intellectual
or emotional pleasure, consisting of land set apart for purposes of
delight more than for agriculture, of books, works of art, and objects
of natural history.

It is, of course, impossible to fix an accurate limit between property
of the last class and of this class, since things which are a mere
luxury to one person are a means of intellectual occupation to another.
Flowers in a London ball-room are a luxury; in a botanical garden, a
delight of the intellect; and in their native fields, both; while the
most noble works of art are continually made material of vulgar luxury
or of criminal pride; but, when rightly used, property of this fourth
class is the only kind which deserves the name of _real_ property, it is
the only kind which a man can truly be said to 'possess.' What a man
eats, or drinks, or wears, so long as it is only what is needful for
life, can no more be thought of as his possession than the air he
breathes. The air is as needful to him as the food; but we do not talk
of a man's wealth of air, and what food or clothing a man possesses more
than he himself requires must be for others to use (and, to him,
therefore, not a real property in itself, but only a means of obtaining
some real property in exchange for it). Whereas the things that give
intellectual or emotional enjoyment may be accumulated, and do not
perish in using; but continually supply new pleasures and new powers of
giving pleasures to others. And these, therefore, are the only things
which can rightly be thought of as giving 'wealth' or 'well being.' Food
conduces only to 'being,' but these to '_well_ being.' And there is not
any broader general distinction between lower and higher orders of men
than rests on their possession of this real property. The human race
may be properly divided by zoologists into "men who have gardens,
libraries, or works of art; and those who have none;" and the former
class will include all noble persons, except only a few who make the
world their garden or museum; while the people who have not, or, which
is the same thing, do not care for gardens or libraries, but care for
nothing but money or luxuries, will include none but ignoble persons:
only it is necessary to understand that I mean by the term 'garden' as
much the Carthusian's plot of ground fifteen feet square between his
monastery buttresses, as I do the grounds of Chatsworth or Kew; and I
mean by the term 'art' as much the old sailor's print of the _Arethusa_
bearing up to engage the _Belle Poule_, as I do Raphael's "Disputa," and
even rather more; for when abundant, beautiful possessions of this kind
are almost always associated with vulgar luxury, and become then
anything but indicative of noble character in their possessors. The
ideal of human life is a union of Spartan simplicity of manners with
Athenian sensibility and imagination; but in actual results, we are
continually mistaking ignorance for simplicity, and sensuality for

148. (5) The fifth kind of property is representative property,
consisting of documents or money, or rather documents only--for money
itself is only a transferable document, current among societies of men,
giving claim, at sight, to some definite benefit or advantage, most
commonly to a certain share of real property existing in those
societies. The money is only genuine when the property it gives claim to
is real, or the advantages it gives claim to certain; otherwise, it is
false money, and may be considered as much 'forged' when issued by a
government, or a bank, as when by an individual. Thus, if a dozen of
men, cast ashore on a desert island, pick up a number of stones, put a
red spot on each stone, and pass a law that every stone marked with a
red spot shall give claim to a peck of wheat;--so long as no wheat
exists, or can exist, on the island, the stones are not money. But the
moment as much wheat exists as shall render it possible for the society
always to give a peck for every spotted stone, the spotted stones would
become money, and might be exchanged by their possessors for whatever
other commodities they chose, to the value of the peck of wheat which
the stones represented. If more stones were issued than the quantity of
wheat could answer the demand of, the value of the stone coinage would
be depreciated, in proportion to its increase above the quantity needed
to answer it.

149. Again, supposing a certain number of the men so cast ashore were
set aside by lot, or any other convention, to do the rougher labour
necessary for the whole society, they themselves being maintained by the
daily allotment of a certain quantity of food, clothing, etc. Then, if
it were agreed that the stones spotted with red should be signs of a
Government order for the labour of these men; and that any person
presenting a spotted stone at the office of the labourers, should be
entitled to a man's work for a week or a day, the red stones would be
money; and might--probably would--immediately pass current in the island
for as much food, or clothing, or iron, or any other article, as a man's
work for the period secured by the stone was worth. But if the
Government issued so many spotted stones that it was impossible for the
body of men they employed to comply with the orders,--as, suppose, if
they only employed twelve men, and issued eighteen spotted stones daily,
ordering a day's work each,--then the six extra stones would be forged
or false money; and the effect of this forgery would be the depreciation
of the value of the whole coinage by one-third, that being the period of
shortcoming which would, on the average, necessarily ensue in the
execution of each order. Much occasional work may be done in a state or
society, by help of an issue of false money (or false promises) by way
of stimulants; and the fruit of this work, if it comes into the
promiser's hands, may sometimes enable the false promises at last to be
fulfilled: hence the frequent issue of false money by governments and
banks, and the not unfrequent escapes from the natural and proper
consequences of such false issues, so as to cause a confused conception
in most people's minds of what money really is. I am not sure whether
some quantity of such false issue may not really be permissible in a
nation, accurately proportioned to the minimum average produce of the
labour it excites; but all such procedures are more or less unsound;
and the notion of unlimited issue of currency is simply one of the
absurdest and most monstrous that ever came into disjointed human wits.

150. The use of objects of real or supposed value for currency, as gold,
jewellery, etc., is barbarous; and it always expresses either the
measure of the distrust in the society of its own government, or the
proportion of distrustful or barbarous nations with whom it has to deal.
A metal not easily corroded or imitated, it is a desirable medium of
currency for the sake of cleanliness and convenience, but, were it
possible to prevent forgery, the more worthless the metal itself, the
better. The use of worthless media, unrestrained by the use of valuable
media, has always hitherto involved, and is therefore supposed to
involve necessarily, unlimited, or at least improperly extended, issue;
but we might as well suppose that a man must necessarily issue unlimited
promises because his words cost nothing. Intercourse with foreign
nations must, indeed, for ages yet to come, at the world's present rate
of progress, be carried on by valuable currencies; but such
transactions are nothing more than forms of barter. The gold used at
present as a currency is not, in point of fact, currency at all, but the
real property[21] which the currency gives claim to, stamped to measure
its quantity, and mingling with the real currency occasionally by

151. The evils necessarily resulting from the use of baseless currencies
have been terribly illustrated while these sheets have been passing
through the press; I have not had time to examine the various conditions
of dishonest or absurd trading which have led to the late 'panic' in
America and England; this only I know, that no merchant deserving the
name ought to be more liable to 'panic' than a soldier should; for his
name should never be on more paper than he can at any instant meet the
call of, happen what will. I do not say this without feeling at the same
time how difficult it is to mark, in existing commerce, the just limits
between the spirit of enterprise and of speculation. Something of the
same temper which makes the English soldier do always all that is
possible, and attempt more than is possible, joins its influence with
that of mere avarice in tempting the English merchant into risks which
he cannot justify, and efforts which he cannot sustain; and the same
passion for adventure which our travellers gratify every summer on
perilous snow wreaths, and cloud-encompassed precipices, surrounds with
a romantic fascination the glittering of a hollow investment, and gilds
the clouds that curl round gulfs of ruin. Nay, a higher and a more
serious feeling frequently mingles in the motley temptation; and men
apply themselves to the task of growing rich, as to a labour of
providential appointment, from which they cannot pause without
culpability, nor retire without dishonour. Our large trading cities
bear to me very nearly the aspect of monastic establishments in which
the roar of the mill-wheel and the crane takes the place of other
devotional music; and in which the worship of Mammon or Moloch is
conducted with a tender reverence and an exact propriety; the merchant
rising to his Mammon matins with the self-denial of an anchorite, and
expiating the frivolities into which he may be beguiled in the course of
the day by late attendance at Mammon vespers. But, with every allowance
that can be made for these conscientious and romantic persons, the fact
remains the same, that by far the greater number of the transactions
which lead to these times of commercial embarrassment may be ranged
simply under two great heads--gambling and stealing; and both of these
in their most culpable form, namely, gambling with money which is not
ours, and stealing from those who trust us. I have sometimes thought a
day might come, when the nation would perceive that a well-educated man
who steals a hundred thousand pounds, involving the entire means of
subsistence of a hundred families, deserves, on the whole, as severe a
punishment as an ill-educated man who steals a purse from a pocket, or
a mug from a pantry.

[Note 21: Or rather, equivalent to such real property, because
everybody has been accustomed to look upon it as valuable; and therefore
everybody is willing to give labour or goods for it. But real property
does ultimately consist only in things that nourish body or mind; gold
would be useless to us if we could not get mutton or books for it.
Ultimately all commercial mistakes and embarrassments result from people
expecting to get goods without working for them, or wasting them after
they have got them. A nation which labours, and takes care of the fruits
of labour, would be rich and happy though there were no gold in the
universe. A nation which is idle, and wastes the produce of what work it
does, would be poor and miserable, though all its mountains were of
gold, and had glens filled with diamond instead of glacier.]

152. But without hoping for this excess of clear-sightedness, we may at
least labour for a system of greater honesty and kindness in the minor
commerce of our daily life; since the great dishonesty of the great
buyers and sellers is nothing more than the natural growth and outcome
from the little dishonesty of the little buyers and sellers. Every
person who tries to buy an article for less than its proper value, or
who tries to sell it at more than its proper value--every consumer who
keeps a tradesman waiting for his money, and every tradesman who bribes
a consumer to extravagance by credit, is helping forward, according to
his own measure of power, a system of baseless and dishonourable
commerce, and forcing his country down into poverty and shame. And
people of moderate means and average powers of mind would do far more
real good by merely carrying out stern principles of justice and honesty
in common matters of trade, than by the most ingenious schemes of
extended philanthropy, or vociferous declarations of theological
doctrine. There are three weighty matters of the law--justice, mercy,
and truth; and of these the Teacher puts truth last, because that cannot
be known but by a course of acts of justice and love. But men put, in
all their efforts, truth first, because they mean by it their own
opinions; and thus, while the world has many people who would suffer
martyrdom in the cause of what they call truth, it has few who will
suffer even a little inconvenience, in that of justice and mercy.






(_Read for the author before the National Association for the Promotion
of Social Science in the autumn of 1858; and printed in the Transactions
of the Society for that year, pp. 311-16._)

153. I will not attempt in this paper to enter into any general
consideration of the possible influence of art on the masses of the
people. The inquiry is one of great complexity, involved with that into
the uses and dangers of luxury; nor have we as yet data enough to
justify us in conjecturing how far the practice of art may be compatible
with rude or mechanical employments. But the question, however
difficult, lies in the same light as that of the uses of reading or
writing; for drawing, so far as it is possible to the multitude, is
mainly to be considered as a means of obtaining and communicating
knowledge. He who can accurately represent the form of an object, and
match its colour, has unquestionably a power of notation and
description greater in most instances than that of words; and this
science of notation ought to be simply regarded as that which is
concerned with the record of form, just as arithmetic is concerned with
the record of number. Of course abuses and dangers attend the
acquirement of every power. We have all of us probably known persons
who, without being able to read or write, discharged the important
duties of life wisely and faithfully; as we have also without doubt
known others able to read and write whose reading did little good to
themselves and whose writing little good to any one else. But we do not
therefore doubt the expediency of acquiring those arts, neither ought we
to doubt the expediency of acquiring the art of drawing, if we admit
that it may indeed become practically useful.

154. Nor should we long hesitate in admitting this, it we were not in
the habit of considering instruction in the arts chiefly as a means of
promoting what we call "taste" or dilettanteism, and other habits of
mind which in their more modern developments in Europe have certainly
not been advantageous to nations, or indicative of worthiness in them.
Nevertheless, true taste, or the instantaneous preference of the noble
thing to the ignoble, is a necessary accompaniment of high worthiness in
nations or men; only it is not to be acquired by seeking it as our chief
object, since the first question, alike for man and for multitude, is
not at all what they are to like, but what they are to do; and
fortunately so, since true taste, so far as it depends on original
instinct, is not equally communicable to all men; and, so far as it
depends on extended comparison, is unattainable by men employed in
narrow fields of life. We shall not succeed in making a peasant's
opinion good evidence on the merits of the Elgin and Lycian marbles; nor
is it necessary to dictate to him in his garden the preference of
gillyflower or of rose; yet I believe we may make art a means of giving
him helpful and happy pleasure, and of gaining for him serviceable

155. Thus, in our simplest codes of school instruction, I hope some day
to see local natural history assume a principal place, so that our
peasant children may be taught the nature and uses of the herbs that
grow in their meadows, and may take interest in observing and
cherishing, rather than in hunting or killing, the harmless animals of
their country. Supposing it determined that this local natural history
should be taught, drawing ought to be used to fix the attention, and
test, while it aided, the memory. "Draw such and such a flower in
outline, with its bell towards you. Draw it with its side towards you.
Paint the spots upon it. Draw a duck's head--her foot. Now a robin's--a
thrush's--now the spots upon the thrush's breast." These are the kinds
of tasks which it seems to me should be set to the young peasant
student. Surely the occupation would no more be thought contemptible
which was thus subservient to knowledge and to compassion; and perhaps
we should find in process of time that the Italian connexion of art with
_diletto_, or delight, was both consistent with, and even mainly
consequent upon, a pure Greek connexion of art with _arete_, or virtue.

156. It may perhaps be thought that the power of representing in any
sufficient manner natural objects such as those above instanced would be
of too difficult attainment to be aimed at in elementary instruction.
But I have had practical proof that it is not so. From workmen who had
little time to spare, and that only after they were jaded by the day's
labour, I have obtained, in the course of three or four months from
their first taking a pencil in hand, perfectly useful, and in many
respects admirable, drawings of natural objects. It is, however,
necessary, in order to secure this result, that the student's aim should
be absolutely restricted to the representation of visible fact. All more
varied or elevated practice must be deferred until the powers of true
sight and just representation are acquired in simplicity; nor, in the
case of children belonging to the lower classes, does it seem to me
often advisable to aim at anything more. At all events, their drawing
lessons should be made as recreative as possible. Undergoing due
discipline of hard labour in other directions, such children should be
painlessly initiated into employments calculated for the relief of toil.
It is of little consequence that they should know the principles of art,
but of much that their attention should be pleasurably excited. In our
higher public schools, on the contrary, drawing should be taught
rightly; that is to say, with due succession and security of preliminary
steps,--it being here of little consequence whether the student attains
great or little skill, but of much that he should perceive distinctly
what degree of skill he has attained, reverence that which surpasses it,
and know the principles of right in what he has been able to accomplish.
It is impossible to make every boy an artist or a connoisseur, but quite
possible to make him understand the meaning of art in its rudiments, and
to make him modest enough to forbear expressing, in after life,
judgments which he has not knowledge enough to render just.

157. There is, however, at present this great difficulty in the way of
such systematic teaching--that the public do not believe the principles
of art are determinable, and, in no wise, matters of opinion. They do
not believe that good drawing is good, and bad drawing bad, whatever any
number of persons may think or declare to the contrary--that there is a
right or best way of laying colours to produce a given effect, just as
there is a right or best way of dyeing cloth of a given colour, and
that Titian and Veronese are not merely accidentally admirable but
eternally right.

158. The public, of course, cannot be convinced of this unity and
stability of principle until clear assertion of it is made to them by
painters whom they respect; and the painters whom they respect are
generally too modest, and sometimes too proud, to make it. I believe the
chief reason for their not having yet declared at least the fundamental
laws of labour as connected with art-study is a kind of feeling on their
part that "_cela va sans dire_." Every great painter knows so well the
necessity of hard and systematized work, in order to attain even the
lower degrees of skill, that he naturally supposes if people use no
diligence in drawing, they do not care to acquire the power of it, and
that the toil involved in wholesome study being greater than the mass of
people have ever given, is also greater than they would ever be willing
to give. Feeling, also, as any real painter feels, that his own
excellence is a gift, no less than the reward of toil, perhaps slightly
disliking to confess the labour it has cost him to perfect it, and
wholly despairing of doing any good by the confession, he
contemptuously leaves the drawing-master to do the best he can in his
twelve lessons, and with courteous unkindness permits the young women of
England to remain under the impression that they can learn to draw with
less pains than they can learn to dance. I have had practical experience
enough, however, to convince me that this treatment of the amateur
student is unjust. Young girls will work with steadiest perseverance
when once they understand the need of labour, and are convinced that
drawing is a kind of language which may for ordinary purposes be learned
as easily as French or German; this language, also, having its grammar
and its pronunciation, to be conquered or acquired only by persistence
in irksome exercise--an error in a form being as entirely and simply an
error as a mistake in a tense, and an ill-drawn line as reprehensible as
a vulgar accent.

159. And I attach great importance to the sound education of our younger
females in art, thinking that in England the nursery and the
drawing-room are perhaps the most influential of academies. We address
ourselves in vain to the education of the artist while the demand for
his work is uncertain or unintelligent; nor can art be considered as
having any serious influence on a nation while gilded papers form the
principal splendour of the reception room, and ill-wrought though costly
trinkets the principal entertainment of the boudoir.

It is surely, therefore, to be regretted that the art-education of our
Government schools is addressed so definitely to the guidance of the
artizan, and is therefore so little acknowledged hitherto by the general
public, especially by its upper classes. I have not acquaintance enough
with the practical working of that system to venture any expression of
opinion respecting its general expediency; but it is my conviction that,
so far as references are involved in it to the designing of patterns
capable of being produced by machinery, such references must materially
diminish its utility considered as a general system of instruction.

160. We are still, therefore, driven to the same point,--the need of an
authoritative recommendation of some method of study to the public; a
method determined upon by the concurrence of some of our best painters,
and avowedly sanctioned by them, so as to leave no room for hesitation
in its acceptance.

Nor need it be thought that, because the ultimate methods of work
employed by painters vary according to the particular effects produced
by each, there would be any difficulty in obtaining their collective
assent to a system of elementary precept. The facts of which it is
necessary that the student should be assured in his early efforts, are
so simple, so few, and so well known to all able draughtsmen that, as I
have just said, it would be rather doubt of the need of stating what
seemed to them self-evident, than reluctance to speak authoritatively on
points capable of dispute, that would stand in the way of their giving
form to a code of general instruction. To take merely two instances: It
will perhaps appear hardly credible that among amateur students, however
far advanced in more showy accomplishments, there will not be found one
in a hundred who can make an accurate drawing to scale. It is much if
they can copy anything with approximate fidelity of its real size. Now,
the inaccuracy of eye which prevents a student from drawing to scale is
in fact nothing else than an entire want of appreciation of proportion,
and therefore of composition. He who alters the relations of dimensions
to each other in his copy, shows that he does not enjoy those relations
in the original--that is to say, that all appreciation of noble design
(which is based on the most exquisite relations of magnitude) is
impossible to him. To give him habits of mathematical accuracy in
transference of the outline of complex form, is therefore among the
first, and even among the most important, means of educating his taste.
A student who can fix with precision the cardinal points of a bird's
wing, extended in any fixed position, and can then draw the curves of
its individual plumes without measurable error, has advanced further
towards a power of understanding the design of the great masters than he
could by reading many volumes of criticism, or passing many months in
undisciplined examination of works of art.

161. Again, it will be found that among amateur students there is almost
universal deficiency in the power of expressing the roundness of a
surface. They frequently draw with considerable dexterity and vigour,
but never attain the slightest sense of those modulations in form which
can only be expressed by gradations in shade. They leave sharp edges to
their blots of colour, sharp angles in their contours of lines, and
conceal from themselves their incapacity of completion by redundance of
object. The assurance to such persons that no object could be rightly
seen or drawn until the draughtsman had acquired the power of modulating
surfaces by gradations wrought with some pointed instrument (whether
pen, pencil, or chalk), would at once prevent much vain labour, and put
an end to many errors of that worst kind which not only retard the
student, but blind him; which prevent him from either attaining
excellence himself, or understanding it in others.

162. It would be easy, did time admit it, to give instances of other
principles which it is equally essential that the student should know,
and certain that all painters of eminence would sanction; while even
those respecting which some doubt may exist in their application to
consummate practice, are yet perfectly determinable, so far as they are
needed to guide a beginner. It may, for instance, be a question how far
local colour should be treated as an element of chiaroscuro in a
master's drawing of the human form. But there can be no question that it
must be so treated in a boy's study of a tulip or a trout.

163. A still more important point would be gained if authoritative
testimony of the same kind could be given to the merit and exclusive
sufficiency of any series of examples of works of art, such as could at
once be put within the reach of masters of schools. For the modern
student labours under heavy disadvantages in what at first sight might
appear an assistance to him, namely, the number of examples of many
different styles which surround him in galleries or museums. His mind is
disturbed by the inconsistencies of various excellences, and by his own
predilection for false beauties in second or third-rate works. He is
thus prevented from observing any one example long enough to understand
its merit, or following any one method long enough to obtain facility in
its practice. It seems, therefore, very desirable that some such
standard of art should be fixed for all our schools,--a standard which,
it must be remembered, need not necessarily be the highest possible,
provided only it is the rightest possible. It is not to be hoped that
the student should imitate works of the most exalted merit, but much to
be desired that he should be guided by those which have fewest faults.

164. Perhaps, therefore, the most serviceable examples which could be
set before youth might be found in the studies or drawings, rather than
in the pictures, of first-rate masters; and the art of photography
enables us to put renderings of such studies, which for most practical
purposes are as good as the originals, on the walls of every school in
the kingdom. Supposing (I merely name these as examples of what I mean),
the standard of manner in light-and-shade drawing fixed by Leonardo's
study, No. 19, in the collection of photographs lately published from
drawings in the Florence Gallery; the standard of pen drawing with a
wash, fixed by Titian's sketch, No. 30 in the same collection; that of
etching, fixed by Rembrandt's spotted shell; and that of point work with
the pure line, by Dürer's crest with the cock; every effort of the
pupil, whatever the instrument in his hand, would infallibly tend in a
right direction, and the perception of the merits of these four works,
or of any others like them, once attained thoroughly, by efforts,
however distant or despairing, to copy portions of them, would lead
securely in due time to the appreciation of other modes of excellence.

165. I cannot, of course, within the limits of this paper, proceed to
any statement of the present requirements of the English operative as
regards art education. But I do not regret this, for it seems to me very
desirable that our attention should for the present be concentrated on
the more immediate object of general instruction. Whatever the public
demand the artist will soon produce; and the best education which the
operative can receive is the refusal of bad work and the acknowledgment
of good. There is no want of genius among us, still less of industry.
The least that we do is laborious, and the worst is wonderful. But there
is a want among us, deep and wide, of discretion in directing toil, and
of delight in being led by imagination. In past time, though the masses
of the nation were less informed than they are now, they were for that
very reason simpler judges and happier gazers; it must be ours to
substitute the gracious sympathy of the understanding for the bright
gratitude of innocence. An artist can always paint well for those who
are lightly pleased or wisely displeased, but he cannot paint for those
who are dull in applause and false in condemnation.



_Oct. 14th, 1873._[22]

166. It is to be remembered that the giving of prizes can only be
justified on the ground of their being the reward of superior diligence
and more obedient attention to the directions of the teacher. They must
never be supposed, because practically they never can become,
indications of superior genius; unless in so far as genius is likely to
be diligent and obedient, beyond the strength and temper of the dull.

[Note 22: This address was written for the Art Night Class,
Mansfield, but not delivered by me. In my absence--I forget from what
cause, but inevitable--the Duke of St. Albans honoured me by reading it
to the meeting.]

But it so frequently happens that the stimulus of vanity, acting on
minds of inferior calibre, produces for a time an industry surpassing
the tranquil and self-possessed exertion of real power, that it may be
questioned whether the custom of bestowing prizes at all may not
ultimately cease in our higher Schools of Art, unless in the form of
substantial assistance given to deserving students who stand in need of
it: a kind of prize, the claim to which, in its nature, would depend
more on accidental circumstances, and generally good conduct, than on

167. But, without any reference to the opinion of others, and without
any chance of partiality in your own, there is one test by which you can
all determine the rate of your real progress.

Examine, after every period of renewed industry, how far you have
enlarged your faculty of _admiration_.

Consider how much more you can see, to reverence, in the work of
masters; and how much more to love, in the work of nature.

This is the only constant and infallible test of progress. That you
wonder more at the work of great men, and that you care more for natural

You have often been told by your teachers to expect this last result:
but I fear that the tendency of modern thought is to reject the idea of
that essential difference in rank between one intellect and another, of
which increasing reverence is the wise acknowledgment.

You may, at least in early years, test accurately your power of doing
anything in the least rightly, by your increasing conviction that you
never will be able to do it as well as it has been done by others.

168. That is a lesson, I repeat, which differs much, I fear, from the
one you are commonly taught. The vulgar and incomparably false saying of
Macaulay's, that the intellectual giants of one age become the
intellectual pigmies of the next, has been the text of too many sermons
lately preached to you.

You think you are going to do better things--each of you--than Titian
and Phidias--write better than Virgil--think more wisely than Solomon.

My good young people, this is the foolishest, quite
pre-eminently--perhaps almost the harmfullest--notion that could
possibly be put into your empty little eggshells of heads. There is not
one in a million of you who can ever be great in _any_ thing. To be
greater than the greatest that _have_ been, is permitted perhaps to one
man in Europe in the course of two or three centuries. But because you
cannot be Handel and Mozart--is it any reason why you should not learn
to sing "God save the Queen" properly, when you have a mind to? Because
a girl cannot be prima donna in the Italian Opera, is it any reason that
she should not learn to play a jig for her brothers and sisters in good
time, or a soft little tune for her tired mother, or that she should not
sing to please herself, among the dew, on a May morning? Believe me,
joy, humility, and usefulness, always go together: as insolence with
misery, and these both with destructiveness. You may learn with proud
teachers how to throw down the Vendôme Column, and burn the Louvre, but
never how to lay so much as one touch of safe colour, or one layer of
steady stone: and if indeed there be among you a youth of true genius,
be assured that he will distinguish himself first, not by petulance or
by disdain, but by discerning firmly what to admire, and whom to obey.

169. It will, I hope, be the result of the interest lately awakened in
art through our provinces, to enable each town of importance to obtain,
in permanent possession, a few--and it is desirable there should be no
more than a few--examples of consummate and masterful art: an engraving
or two by Dürer--a single portrait by Reynolds--a fifteenth century
Florentine drawing--a thirteenth century French piece of painted glass,
and the like; and that, in every town occupied in a given manufacture,
examples of unquestionable excellence in that manufacture should be made
easily accessible in its civic museum.

I must ask you, however, to observe very carefully that I use the word
_manufacture_ in its literal and proper sense. It means the making of
things _by the hand_. It does not mean the making them by machinery.
And, while I plead with you for a true humility in rivalship with the
works of others, I plead with you also for a just pride in what you
really can honestly do yourself.

You must neither think your work the best ever done by man:--nor, on the
other hand, think that the tongs and poker can do better--and that,
although you are wiser than Solomon, all this wisdom of yours can be
outshone by a shovelful of coke.

170. Let me take, for instance, the manufacture of lace, for which, I
believe, your neighbouring town of Nottingham enjoys renown. There is
still some distinction between machine-made and hand-made lace. I will
suppose that distinction so far done away with, that, a pattern once
invented, you can spin lace as fast as you now do thread. Everybody then
might wear, not only lace collars, but lace gowns. Do you think they
would be more comfortable in them than they are now in plain stuff--or
that, when everybody could wear them, anybody would be proud of wearing
them? A spider may perhaps be rationally proud of his own cobweb, even
though all the fields in the morning are covered with the like, for he
made it himself--but suppose a machine spun it for him?

Suppose all the gossamer were Nottingham-made, would a sensible spider
be either prouder, or happier, think you?

A sensible spider! You cannot perhaps imagine such a creature. Yet
surely a spider is clever enough for his own ends?

You think him an insensible spider, only because he cannot understand
yours--and is apt to impede yours. Well, be assured of this, sense in
human creatures is shown also, not by cleverness in promoting their own
ends and interests, but by quickness in understanding other people's
ends and interests, and by putting our own work and keeping our own
wishes in harmony with theirs.

171. But I return to my point, of cheapness. You don't think that it
would be convenient, or even creditable, for women to wash the doorsteps
or dish the dinners in lace gowns? Nay, even for the most ladylike
occupations--reading, or writing, or playing with her children--do you
think a lace gown, or even a lace collar, so great an advantage or
dignity to a woman? If you think of it, you will find the whole value of
lace, as a possession, depends on the fact of its having a beauty which
has been the reward of industry and attention.

That the thing itself is a prize--a thing which everybody cannot have.
That it proves, by the _look_ of it, the _ability_ of its _maker_; that
it proves, by the _rarity_ of it, the _dignity_ of its _wearer_--either
that she has been so industrious as to save money, which can buy, say,
a piece of jewellery, of gold tissue, or of fine lace--or else, that she
is a noble person, to whom her neighbours concede, as an honour, the
privilege of wearing finer dresses than they.

If they all choose to have lace too--if it ceases to be a prize--it
becomes, does it not, only a cobweb?

The real good of a piece of lace, then, you will find, is that it should
show, first, that the designer of it had a pretty fancy; next, that the
maker of it had fine fingers; lastly, that the wearer of it has
worthiness or dignity enough to obtain what is difficult to obtain, and
common sense enough not to wear it on all occasions. I limit myself, in
what farther I have to say, to the question of the manufacture--nay, of
one requisite in the manufacture: that which I have just called a pretty

172. What do you suppose I mean by a pretty fancy? Do you think that, by
learning to draw, and looking at flowers, you will ever get the ability
to design a piece of lace beautifully? By no means. If that were so,
everybody would soon learn to draw--everybody would design lace
prettily--and then,--nobody would be paid for designing it. To some
extent, that will indeed be the result of modern endeavour to teach
design. But against all such endeavours, mother-wit, in the end, will
hold her own.

But anybody who _has_ this mother-wit, may make the exercise of it more
pleasant to themselves, and more useful to other people, by learning to

An Indian worker in gold, or a Scandinavian worker in iron, or an old
French worker in thread, could produce indeed beautiful design out of
nothing but groups of knots and spirals: but you, when you are rightly
educated, may render your knots and spirals infinitely more interesting
by making them suggestive of natural forms, and rich in elements of true

173. You know, for instance, the pattern which for centuries has been
the basis of ornament in Indian shawls--the bulging leaf ending in a
spiral. The Indian produces beautiful designs with nothing but that
spiral. You cannot better his powers of design, but you may make them
more civil and useful by adding knowledge of nature to invention.

Suppose you learn to draw rightly, and, therefore, to know correctly the
spirals of springing ferns--not that you may give ugly names to all the
species of them--but that you may understand the grace and vitality of
every hour of their existence. Suppose you have sense and cleverness
enough to translate the essential character of this beauty into forms
expressible by simple lines--therefore expressible by thread--you might
then have a series of fern-patterns which would each contain points of
distinctive interest and beauty, and of scientific truth, and yet be
variable by fancy, with quite as much ease as the meaningless Indian
one. Similarly, there is no form of leaf, of flower, or of insect, which
might not become suggestive to you, and expressible in terms of
manufacture, so as to be interesting, and useful to others.

174. Only don't think that this kind of study will ever "pay" in the
vulgar sense.

It will make you wiser and happier. But do you suppose that it is the
law of God, or nature, that people shall be paid in money for becoming
wiser and happier? They are so, by that law, for honest work; and as all
honest work makes people wiser and happier, they are indeed, in some
sort, paid in money for becoming wise.

But if you seek wisdom only that you may get money, believe me, you are
exactly on the foolishest of all fools' errands. "She is more precious
than rubies"--but do you think that is only because she will help you to
buy rubies?

"All the things thou canst desire are not to be compared to her." Do you
think that is only because she will enable you to get all the things you
desire? She is offered to you as a blessing _in herself_. She is the
reward of kindness, of modesty, of industry. She is the prize of
Prizes--and alike in poverty or in riches--the strength of your Life
now, the earnest of whatever Life is to come.



_Paper read before the Metaphysical Society, May 11th, 1875._[23]

175. It has always seemed to me that Societies like this of ours, happy
in including members not a little diverse in thought and various in
knowledge, might be more useful to the public than perhaps they can
fairly be said to have approved themselves hitherto, by using their
variety of power rather to support intellectual conclusions by
concentric props, than to shake them with rotatory storms of wit; and
modestly endeavouring to initiate the building of walls for the Bridal
city of Science, in which no man will care to identify the particular
stones he lays, rather than complying farther with the existing
picturesque, but wasteful, practice of every knight to throw up a feudal
tower of his own opinions, tenable only by the most active pugnacity,
and pierced rather with arrow-slits from which to annoy his neighbours,
than windows to admit light or air.

[Note 23: I trust that the Society will not consider its privileges
violated by the publication of an essay, which, for such audience, I
wrote with more than ordinary care.]

176. The paper read at our last meeting was unquestionably, within the
limits its writer had prescribed to himself, so logically sound, that
(encouraged also by the suggestion of some of our most influential
members), I shall endeavour to make the matter of our to-night's debate
consequent upon it, and suggestive of possibly further advantageous

It will be remembered that, in reference to the statement in the Bishop
of Peterborough's Paper, of the moral indifference of certain courses of
conduct on the postulate of the existence only of a Mechanical base of
Morals, it was observed by Dr. Adam Clarke that, even on such mechanical
basis, the word "moral" might still be applied specially to any course
of action which tended to the development of the human race. Whereupon I
ventured myself to inquire, in what direction such development was to be
understood as taking place; and the discussion of this point being then
dropped for want of time, I would ask the Society's permission to bring
it again before them this evening in a somewhat more extended form; for
in reality the question respecting the development of men is
twofold,--first, namely, in what direction; and secondly, in what social
relations, it is to be sought.

I would therefore at present ask more deliberately than I could at our
last meeting,--first, in what direction it is desirable that the
development of humanity should take place? Should it, for instance, as
in Greece, be of physical beauty,--emulation, (Hesiod's second
Eris),--pugnacity, and patriotism? or, as in modern England, of physical
ugliness,--envy, (Hesiod's first Eris),--cowardice, and selfishness? or,
as by a conceivably humane but hitherto unexampled education might be
attempted, of physical beauty, humility, courage, and affection, which
should make all the world one native land, and [Greek: pasa gê taphos]?

177. I do not doubt but that the first automatic impulse of all our
automatic friends here present, on hearing this sentence, will be
strenuously to deny the accuracy of my definition of the aims of modern
English education. Without attempting to defend it, I would only observe
that this automatic development of solar caloric in scientific minds
must be grounded on an automatic sensation of injustice done to the
members of the School Board, as well as to many other automatically
well-meaning and ingenious persons; and that this sense of the
injuriousness and offensiveness of my definition cannot possibly have
any other basis (if I may be permitted to continue my professional
similitudes) than the fallen remnants and goodly stones, not one now
left on another, but still forming an unremovable cumulus of ruin, and
eternal Birs Nimroud, as it were, on the site of the old belfry of
Christian morality, whose top looked once so like touching Heaven.

For no offence could be taken at my definition, unless traceable to
adamantine conviction,--that ugliness, however indefinable, envy,
however natural, and cowardice, however commercially profitable, are
nevertheless eternally disgraceful; contrary, that is to say, to the
grace of our Lord Christ, if there be among us any Christ; to the grace
of the King's Majesty, if there be among us any King; and to the grace
even of Christless and Kingless Manhood, if there be among us any

To this fixed conception of a difference between Better and Worse, or,
when carried to the extreme, between good and evil in conduct, we all,
it seems to me, instinctively and, therefore, rightly, attach the term
of Moral sense;--the sense, for instance, that it would be better if the
members of this Society who are usually automatically absent were,
instead, automatically present; or better, that this Paper, if (which
is, perhaps, too likely) it be thought automatically impertinent, had
been made by the molecular action of my cerebral particles, pertinent.

178. Trusting, therefore, without more ado, to the strength of rampart
in this Old Sarum of the Moral sense, however subdued into vague banks
under the modern steam-plough, I will venture to suppose the first of my
two questions to have been answered by the choice on the part at least
of a majority of our Council, of the third direction of development
above specified as being the properly called "moral" one; and will go on
to the second subject of inquiry, both more difficult and of great
practical importance in the political crisis through which Europe is
passing,--namely, what relations between men are to be desired, or with
resignation allowed, in the course of their Moral Development?

Whether, that is to say, we should try to make some men beautiful at the
cost of ugliness in others, and some men virtuous at the cost of vice in
others,--or rather, all men beautiful and virtuous in the degree
possible to each under a system of equitable education? And evidently
our first business is to consider in what terms the choice is put to us
by Nature. What can we do, if we would? What must we do, whether we will
or not? How high can we raise the level of a diffused Learning and
Morality? and how far shall we be compelled, if we limit, to exaggerate,
the advantages and injuries of our system? And are we prepared, if the
extremity be inevitable, to push to their utmost the relations implied
when we take off our hats to each other, and triple the tiara of the
Saint in Heaven, while we leave the sinner bareheaded in Cocytus?

179. It is well, perhaps, that I should at once confess myself to hold
the principle of limitation in its utmost extent; and to entertain no
doubt of the rightness of my ideal, but only of its feasibility. I am
ill at ease, for instance, in my uncertainty whether our greatly
regretted Chairman will ever be Pope, or whether some people whom I
could mention, (not, of course, members of our Society,) will ever be in

But there is no need, if we would be candid, to debate the principle in
these violences of operation, any more than the proper methods of
distributing food, on the supposition that the difference between a
Paris dinner and a platter of Scotch porridge must imply that one-half
of mankind are to die of eating, and the rest of having nothing to eat.
I will therefore take for example a case in which the discrimination is
less conclusive.

180. When I stop writing metaphysics this morning it will be to arrange
some drawings for a young lady to copy. They are leaves of the best
illuminated MSS. I have, and I am going to spend my whole afternoon in
explaining to her what she is to aim at in copying them.

Now, I would not lend these leaves to any other young lady that I know
of; nor give up my afternoon to, perhaps, more than two or three other
young ladies that I know of. But to keep to the first-instanced one, I
lend her my books, and give her, for what they are worth, my time and
most careful teaching, because she at present paints butterflies better
than any other girl I know, and has a peculiar capacity for the
softening of plumes and finessing of antennæ. Grant me to be a good
teacher, and grant her disposition to be such as I suppose, and the
result will be what might at first appear an indefensible iniquity,
namely, that this girl, who has already excellent gifts, having also
excellent teaching, will become perhaps the best butterfly-painter in
England; while myriads of other girls, having originally inferior
powers, and attracting no attention from the Slade Professor, will
utterly lose their at present cultivable faculties of entomological art,
and sink into the vulgar career of wives and mothers, to which we have
Mr. Mill's authority for holding it a grievous injustice that any girl
should be irrevocably condemned.

181. There is no need that I should be careful in enumerating the
various modes, analogous to this, in which the Natural selection of
which we have lately heard, perhaps, somewhat more than enough, provokes
and approves the Professorial selection which I am so bold as to defend;
and if the automatic instincts of equity in us, which revolt against the
great ordinance of Nature and practice of Man, that "to him that hath,
shall more be given," are to be listened to when the possessions in
question are only of wisdom and virtue, let them at least prove their
sincerity by correcting, first, the injustice which has established
itself respecting more tangible and more esteemed property; and
terminating the singular arrangement prevalent in commercial Europe that
to every man with a hundred pounds in his pocket there shall annually be
given three, to every man with a thousand, thirty, and to every man with
nothing, none.

182. I am content here to leave under the scrutiny of the evening my
general statement, that as human development, when moral, is with
special effort in a given direction, so, when moral, it is with special
effort in favour of a limited class; but I yet trespass for a few
moments on your patience in order to note that the acceptance of this
second principle still leaves it debatable to what point the disfavour
of the reprobate class, or the privileges of the elect, may advisably
extend. For I cannot but feel for my own part as if the daily bread of
moral instruction might at least be so widely broken among the multitude
as to preserve them from utter destitution and pauperism in virtue; and
that even the simplest and lowest of the rabble should not be so
absolutely sons of perdition, but that each might say for himself,--"For
my part--no offence to the General, or any man of quality--I hope to be
saved." Whereas it is, on the contrary, implied by the habitual
expressions of the wisest aristocrats, that the completely developed
persons whose Justice and Fortitude--poles to the Cardinal points of
virtue--are marked as their sufficient characteristics by the great
Roman moralist in his phrase, "Justus, et tenax propositi," will in the
course of nature be opposed by a civic ardour, not merely of the
innocent and ignorant, but of persons developed in a contrary direction
to that which I have ventured to call "moral," and therefore not merely
incapable of desiring or applauding what is right, but in an evil
harmony, _prava jubentium_, clamorously demanding what is wrong.

183. The point to which both Natural and Divine Selection would permit
us to advance in severity towards this profane class, to which the
enduring "Ecce Homo," or manifestation of any properly human sentiment
or person, must always be instinctively abominable, seems to be
conclusively indicated by the order following on the parable of the
Talents,--"Those mine enemies, bring hither, and slay them before me."
Nor does it seem reasonable, on the other hand, to set the limits of
favouritism more narrowly. For even if, among fallible mortals, there
may frequently be ground for the hesitation of just men to award the
punishment of death to their enemies, the most beautiful story, to my
present knowledge, of all antiquity, that of Cleobis and Bito, might
suggest to them the fitness on some occasions, of distributing without
any hesitation the reward of death to their friends. For surely the
logical conclusion of the Bishop of Peterborough, respecting the
treatment due to old women who have nothing supernatural about them,
holds with still greater force when applied to the case of old women who
have everything supernatural about them; and while it might remain
questionable to some of us whether we had any right to deprive an
invalid who had no soul, of what might still remain to her of even
painful earthly existence; it would surely on the most religious grounds
be both our privilege and our duty at once to dismiss any troublesome
sufferer who _had_ a soul, to the distant and inoffensive felicities of

184. But I believe my hearers will approve me in again declining to
disturb the serene confidence of daily action by these speculations in
extreme; the really useful conclusion which, it seems to me, cannot be
evaded, is that, without going so far as the exile of the inconveniently
wicked, and translation of the inconveniently sick, to their proper
spiritual mansions, we should at least be certain that we do not waste
care in protracting disease which might have been spent in preserving
health; that we do not appease in the splendour of our turreted
hospitals the feelings of compassion which, rightly directed, might
have prevented the need of them; nor pride ourselves on the peculiar
form of Christian benevolence which leaves the cottage roofless to model
the prison, and spends itself with zealous preference where, in the keen
words of Carlyle, if you desire the material on which maximum
expenditure of means and effort will produce the minimum result, "here
you accurately have it."

185. I cannot but, in conclusion, most respectfully but most earnestly,
express my hope that measures may be soon taken by the Lords Spiritual
of England to assure her doubting mind of the real existence of that
supernatural revelation of the basis of morals to which the Bishop of
Peterborough referred in the close of his paper; or at least to explain
to her bewildered populace the real meaning and force of the Ten
Commandments, whether written originally by the finger of God or Man. To
me personally, I own, as one of that bewildered populace, that the essay
by one of our most distinguished members on the Creed of Christendom
seems to stand in need of explicit answer from our Divines; but if not,
and the common application of the terms "Word of God" to the books of
Scripture be against all question tenable, it becomes yet more
imperative on the interpreters of that Scripture to see that they are
not made void by our traditions, and that the Mortal sins of
Covetousness, Fraud, Usury, and contention be not the essence of a
National life orally professing submission to the laws of Christ, and
satisfaction in His Love.


    "Thou shalt not covet; but tradition
    Approves all forms of Competition."



[Transcriber's note: entries here of page numbers followed by _n._
should indicate that references will be found in a note on that page
number. However, most of these references to notes on particular pages
are inaccurate. The direct page number links, however, are accurate.]

(_The references are made to the numbered paragraphs, not to the pages,
and are thus applicable to every edition of the book since that of

Accumulation of learning, its law, 73.

Accuracy and depth of study, distinct, 1857 _pref._

Admiration, increase of, a test of progress in art, 167.

Almsgiving, 142.
  "        parish, &c., 129.

Almshouses, decoration of, 115.
    "       prejudice of poor against, 129-30.

Alpine climbing, risks of, 151.

Ambition, in youth and age, 26.

America, absence of great art in, 87.
  "     bad shipbuilding in, 112 _n._
  "     commercial panic in, 151.

Ancestors, respect for their work insisted on, 72.

Architecture, Gothic, sculpture to be in easiest materials, 34.
  "           "    to be studied at Verona, 76.
  "        variety in, to be demanded, 32.
  "           "    cheapens the price, _ib._

Arcola, battle of, 77.

Arethusa, the, and the Belle-Poule engraving, 147.

[Greek: Aretê] and art, 155.

Art, cheap, its purchase, 40.
  "     "    great art not to be too cheap, and why, 62 _seq._
  "   demand for good, and the possibility of having too much, 38.
  "   dress, beauty of, essential to good art, 54.
  " education in (author's paper on), 153 _seq._
  " function of, to exalt as well as to please, 38.
  " -gift and art-study, 172.
  " good, to be lasting in its materials and power, 39.
  "   " to be done for and be worthy of all time, 46.
  " great, the expression of a great soul, 136.
  " has laws, which must be recognised, 157.
  " -intellect in a nation, cannot be created, 20-1.
  " its debt to Italy, 82.
  " labour and, 19.
  "   " the labour to be various, easy, permanent, 31 _seq._
  " literature and, the cost of, 67.
  " love of old, essential to produce new, 88.
  " materials of, to be lasting, 39, 42.
  " models in art schools, 162-4.
  " modern interest in, 168.
  "   "   " objects of, and old pictures, 86.
  " original work, the best to buy, 41.
  " permanency of--e.g., a painted window, 37.
  " -power a gift, 158.
  "   " in a nation, how to produce, 132.
  "   " waste of, on perishable things, 45.
  " preservation of works of, 73-4.
  "   " (1857) more important than production, 92.
  " price of good, 41. See s. Pictures.
  " progress in, tested by increased imagination, 167.
  " public to demand noble subjects of, 29.
  "   " effect of public demand on, 165.
  " repetition in, monotonous, 32.
  " schools, trial, 22-3.
  "   " provincial, to have good art-models, 169.
  " students, 153 seq.
  " -study will not "pay," 174.
  " test of good, will it please a century hence? 39.
  " value of, depends on artist's capacity, not education, 136.
  " variety of work, 32.
  " work, hard, needed for, 158.
  " works of, illustrate each other, 63.
  " works of, property in, 147.
  "  " provincial distribution of, 169.
  "  " their conservative effect, 132 _n._
  "  " to be lasting, 36.
  See s. Admiration, America, Architecture, Arethusa,
  Aretê, Artist, Beauty, Buildings, Cheapness, Colour,
  Criticism, Design, Diletto, Drawing, Dress, Education,
  Europe, Florence, France, Genius, Glass, Gold, Goldsmiths,
  Historical painting, Indian shawls, Italy, Jewels, Labour,
  Lace, Lombard, Marble, Mosaic, Painter, Philosophy, Pictures,
  Reverence, Schools, Trade, Wall-paper, War, Water colour, Wealth, Woodcuts.

Artist, education of the, to be a gentleman--_i.e._, feel nobly, 28.
  " encouragement of, in youth, 23.
  " goldsmith's work, good training for, 46.
  " greatest, have other powers than their art, 21.
  " jealousy among, 98.
  " modern training of, 132.
  " _nascitur non fit_, 20.
  " temper of, what, 132.
  " to be a good man, 28.
  " trial schools to discover, 22-3.
  See s. Dürer, Francia, Gainsborough, Ghiberti,
  Ghirlandajo, Giotto, Leonardo, Lewis, Lorenzetti,
  Michael Angelo, Rembrandt, Reynolds, Tintoret, Titian,
  Turner, Veronese, Verrocchio.

"Asphodel meadows of our youth," 26.

Athletic games and education, 128.

Austrians, in Italy, 78.

Author, his idea of a knight, when a child, 106.
  "   " teaching young lady to copy old MS., 180.
  life of:
    at Brantwood, April 29, 1880.
  " Manchester, July 10 and 13, 1857, 1, 61.
  " Metaphysical Society, 1875, 175.
  " Oxford, art teaching, _pref._ ix.
  " Working Men's College, 156.
  " Venice, 141 _n._
  " teaching of:
    misunderstood, 180.
    political economy, has read no modern books on, 1857 _pref._
    political influence of art, 1880 _pref._
    true wealth honoured by, 1.
    words fail him to express modern folly, 49.
  " books of, quoted, &c.:
  "   A Joy for Ever" contains germs of subsequent work, 1880 _pref._
      "  revision for press, 1857 _pref._
      " title, 1880 _pref._
    on his own writings, 140.
    they cost him pain, and he does not expect then to give pleasure,
      1880 _pref._

Barataria, the island of ("Don Quixote "), 65.

Beauty in art, on what based, vi.

Bible, The, to be realised as (not only called) God's Word 185.

  _Quoted, or referred to._
    Job iii. 3, "Let the day perish wherein I was born ... a child conceived,
     " xxxi. 40, "Let thistles grow instead of wheat," &c., 101.
    Ps. xxxii. 8, "I will guide thee with mine eye," 18.
     " xxxii. 9, "Be ye not as the horse or mule," 18.
     " c. 4, "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving," 1880 _pref._
    Prov. i. 20, "Wisdom uttereth her voice in the streets," 112 _n._
     " iii. 15, "Wisdom more precious than rubies," 174.
     " iii. 16, "Length of days are in her right hand," &c., 130.
     " iii. 17, "Her ways pleasantness and her paths peace," 120.
     " xiii. 23, "Much food is in the tillage of the poor," 7 _n._
     " xxxi. 15, "She riseth while it is yet night," 9, 58.
     " xxxi. 25, "Strength and honour are in her clothing," &c., 60.
    Hab. ii., its practical lessons, 112 n.
     " ii. 6, "Woe to him ... that ladeth himself with thick clay," 112 _n._
     " ii. 12, "Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood," 112 _n._
     " ii. 13, "The people weary themselves for vanity," 112 _n._
    Zach. vii. 9, 10, "Execute true judgment ... and let none imagine evil,"
      &c., 112 _n._
    Matt. vii. 16, "Gather figs of thistles," 133.
    Luke xix. 26, "To him that hath shall be given," 181.
     " xix. 27, "Those mine enemies bring hither and slay them before me, 183.
    2 Thess. iii. 10, "If any work not, neither shall he eat," 145.

Books, not to be too cheap, and why, 65.
  " numbers of, nowadays, and the result, 140.

Botany, what to learn in, 128.

Bridle of man, the Eye of God, 18.

Brotherhood--"All men are brothers," what it implies, 14.
  " politically and divinely, 121.

Browning, E. B., on Italy, 78 _n._

Buildings, public, their decoration, 104.

Capitalist, the, his command over men, 4.

Carlyle, T., on the value of horses and men, 18.
  " "keen words" of, _quoted_, 184.

Casa Guidi, windows of the, referred to, 36 _n._

Charity, crowning kingship (Siena fresco), 59.
  " in preserving health, not in protracting disease, 184.
  " is guidance, 127.
  " not a geographical virtue, 81.
  " true, defined, 118.

Charon, 3.

Chartres, 86.

Cheapness not to be considered in producing art, 37.
  " of good art, undesirable and why, 62 _seq._

Cheating disgraceful, but being cheated is not, 89.

Church-going and life, 14.
  " restoration, mania for, 86-7.

Clarke, Dr. Adam, at the Metaphysical Society, 176.

Cleobis and Bito, death of, 109.
  " story of, beautiful, 183.

Clergymen, to preach practically--_e.g._, on trade, 112 _n._

Cleverness, best shown in sympathy with the aims of others, 170.

Clough, Arthur, _quoted_, 185 _n._

Cocoa-nut, simile from a, as to the cheapness of good art, 64.

Colour, good, to be lasting, 44.
  " local, as an element of chiaroscuro, 162.

Commerce, cowardice and, 177.
  " frauds of, 151-2.
  " modern, 1857 _pref._ xi.

Competition, a bad thing in education, 135.

Conservatism, true, 58.

Country, serving one's, with plough, pen, and sword, 129.

Cricket, the game of, 128.

Criticism, mistaken blame worse than mistaken praise, 24.
  "  public, its effect on artists, 24.

Currency, national, its nature, 149.

Dante--_Inferno_, the purse round the neck as a sign of condemnation, 4.
  "   "  _Lasciate ogni speranza_, 93.

Deane, Sir T., on the Oxford Museum, 32.

Death, as a reward, 183.

Design, dependent on proportion, 160.
  "  study of, 159.
  "  subjects of, 172-3.

Development, the direction of human, 175.

Dialogue on "paternal government," 121.

Diamond-cutting, waste of time, 34.

Dictionary of classical antiquities, woodcuts in, 107.

"Diletto" and art, 155.

Diogenes, respected, 2-3.

Discipline the basis of progress, 16.

Discovery of men of genius, 20.

Disobedience destroys power of understanding, 1857 _pref._ x.

Drawing as a means of description, 153.
  "  lessons, 156.
  "  to be learnt, as reading or writing, 153, 158.
  "  to scale, to be learnt, 160.

Dress, art of, 47.
  " beautiful, essential to great art--_e.g._, its portraiture, 54.
  "  "  characteristics of, 54.
  "  "  a means of education, 54.
  "  best, not the costliest, 54.
  " employment of labour--_e.g._, ball-dresses, 50.
  " fashion in, wasted power of design, 45.
  " fine, the spoils of death, 53.
  "  " as a subject of expenditure, 146.
  "  " under what circumstance, right and wrong, 52.
  " lace, its value, 171.

Dürer's engravings, art-models, 169.
  "      "   permanency of, 42.
  "      "   crest with cock, as art-model, 164.
  "  woodcuts, 40.

Economy, its true meaning (application: accumulation: distribution), 8 _seq._
  "  the art of managing labour, 7, 8.
  "  the balance of splendour and utility, 10.
  "  does not mean saving money, 8.
  "  simile of farm life, 11.
  " the laws of, same for nation and individual, 12 _seq._
  See s. Almsgiving, Author, Capitalist, Charity, Cheating,
  Commerce, Currency, Education, Employment, England, Farm,
  Gentlemen, Gold, Labour, Land, Luxury, Money, National works,
  Panics, Parish relief, Pension, Political Economy, Poor, Poverty,
  Property, Trade, Wealth.

Education, best claimed by offering obedience, 16.
  "  drawing to be part of, 156.
  "  dress as a means of, 54.
  "  eye, the best medium of, 106.
  "  formative, not reformative only, 15.
  "  in Art, author's paper on, 153 _seq._
  "  liberty to be controlled by, 128.
  "  manual trade to be learnt by all youths, 128.
  "  modern, 135.
  "    "  in England, its bad tendency, 177.
  "  schools of, to be beautiful, 104-5.
  "  refinement of habits, a part of, 104.
  "  waste of, on dead languages, 128.
  "  young men, their, 134.

Edward I., progress since the days of, 1857 _pref._

Emotion, quickness of, is not capacity for it, 132.

Employment, may be claimed by the obedient, 16.

England, art-treasures in, their number, 5.
  "  modern, its ugliness, 176.
  "  the rich men of, their duty, 118-9.

English character, impulse and prudence of, 17.
  "   "   self-dependence, 130.

Envy, vile, 177.

Europe, no great art, except in, 87.

Examinations, their educational aim and value, 136.

Eye, the, nobler than the ear, and a better means of education, 106.

Faith, frescoes of, Ambrozio Lorenzetti, Siena, 57.
  "  kinds of, 57.

Famine, how it comes, 133.

Fancy, as essential to fine manufacture, 172.

Farm, metaphor of a, applied to national economy, 11.

Fashion, change of, as wasting power of design, 45.

Florence, art and dress of, 54.
  "  drawing at, 1400-1500, art-models, 169.

Fools, the wise to take of the, 118.

France, art in, great, and beautiful dress, 54.
  "  English prejudice against, 81.
  "  social philosophy in, "fraternité" a true principle, 14.

Francia, a goldsmith, 46.

Frescoes, whitewashing of Italian, 85.

Fraternity implies paternity, 14 (cp. Time and Tide, 177).

Funeral, English love of a "decent," 70.

Gainsborough, his want of gentle training, 28.
  "   learns from Italian art, 82.

Genius, men of, and art, four questions as to (production, employment,
            accumulation, distribution), 19.
  "      "  their early struggles, due to their starting on wrong work, 23.

Gentlemen, tradesmen to be accounted, 114.

Ghiberti's gates, M. Angelo on, 46.
  "  a goldsmith, 46.

Ghirlandajo, a goldsmith, 46.
  "   M. Angelo's master, 46.

Giotto's frescoes, Assisi, perishing for want of care, 86.
  "  discovered by Cimabue, 133.

Glass, cut, waste of labour on, 34.
  " painted, French 1200-1300, the best, 169.

God always sends men for the work, but we crush them, 133.
  " His work, its fulfilment by men, 122.

Gold, its uses, as a medium of exchange, 150.
  "  " incorruptible and to be used for lasting things, 46.
  "  " not therefore to be used for coinage, 46.

Goldsmiths, artists who have been, 46.
  " educational training for artists, 46 _n._
  " work of, 45 _seq._

Government, enforcement of divine law, 121.
  " in details, 122 _seq._
  " paternal, 14.
  "  "  "in loco parentis," 16 _n._
  "  " defined, 121.
  " principles of, at the root of economy, 11
  "  " Faith, Hope, Charity, 57.
  " to be conservative, but expectant, 58.
  " to form, not only reform, 15.
  "  to give work to all who want it, 129.

Great men and the public, 137
  " the work they are sent to do, 133

Greatness, the humility of, 137.

Greece, development of physical beauty, 176.

Guilds of trade, decoration of their buildings, 116 _seq._

Hesiod's "Eris", 176.

Historians, mistaken way of pointing out how great men are fitted for
  their work, 133.

Historical painting as a means of education, 106-7.

History, the study of mediæval, as well as ancient, insisted on, 109.

Horace, "justus, et propositi tenax," 182.
  "  "prava jubentium," _ib._

Horse and man, bridling of, 18.

Hospitals, decoration of, 114.

Housewife, her seriousness and her smile, 10.

Housewifery, perfect, 10.

Humility of greatness, 137.
  " the companion of joy and usefulness, 168.

Illustrations, modern, bad art of, 40.

Independence, dishonest efforts after, 131.

Indian shawls, design of, 173.

Industry, its duty to the past and future, 72.

Infidelity, modern, 177.

Invention, national, of new wants, 138.

Inventors, to be publicly rewarded, but to have no patents, 113.

Island, desert, analogy of a, and political economy, 110.

Italy, Austrians in, 78.
  " cradle of art, 82.
  " destruction of art in modern, 84.
  " modern art of, 85.
  " state of, 1857, 84.
  " thunderclouds in, "the winepress of God's wrath," 77.

Italian character, 84.

Jewels, cutting of, 52.
  " modern, bad and costly, 159.
  " property in, 146.

Jews, Christian dislike of, 81.

Keats, quoted, "a joy for ever," 1880 _pref._ ix-x.

King, the virtues of a (Siena fresco), 60.

Kingship, crowned by charity (Siena fresco), 59.
  " modern contempt for, 177.

Labour, a claim to property, 145.
  " constant, not intermittent, needed, 11.
  " end of, is happiness, not money, 174.
  "  "  to bring the whole country under cultivation,  12.
  " management of, _is_ economy, 7.
  " organisation of, no "out of work" cry, 11-12.
  "  " under government, planned, 127-31.
  " sufficiency of a man's labour for all his needs, 7.
      "   "   " nation's   "  its  "  7.

Labour, _continued_;--
  " waste of, in various kinds of useless art, cut-glass, mosaic, &c, 34.
  "  " dress, 50 _seq._

Lace-making, 52.
  "  machine and hand-made, 170.
  " value of, in its labour, 171.

Laissez-aller, a ruinous principle, 16.

Land, the laws of cultivation, the same for a continent as for an acre, 12.
  -owners, their duties, 143.

Law and liberty, 123.
  " most irksome, when most necessary, 15.
  " principles of, applied to minor things, 123.
  " should regulate everything it can, 126.
  " systems of, none perfect, 124.
  " to be protective, not merely punitive, 15.

Legislation, paternal, dialogue on, 121.

Leonardo da Vinci, an engineer, 21.
  "  "  " pupil of Verrocchio, 46.
  "  "  "work by, at Florence, 164.

Leonidas' death, 109.

Lewis, John, his work, and its prices, 102 n.

Liberalism in government, true, 58.

Liberty, law and, 123.
  " to be interfered with, for good of nation, 123-26.

Life, battles of early, for men of genius, 23.
  " ideal of, simplicity _plus_ imagination, 147.

Literature, cheap, modern, 65.

Lombard architecture at Pisa and Verona, 76.

London season, cost of, in dress, 55.

Look, people will not, at things, 141.

Lorenzetti, Ambrozio, his frescoes of "government" at Siena, 57.

Love and Kingship, _see_ s. Charity.

Luxury, articles of, as "property," 146.
  "  does not add to wealth, 48.
  " the influences of, 138.

Macaulay's false saying, "the giants of one age, the pigmies
    of the next," 168.

Magnanimity, the virtue of, its full meaning, 60.

Mammon worship, in English commercial centres, 151.

Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition 1858, 5, 69.
  "  " motto of, "A joy for ever," 1880 _pref._

Mansfield Art Night Class, address to, 1873, 166 _seq._

Manufacture, defined, 169.

Marathon, 109.

Marble, a better material for sculpture than granite, 34.

Marriage, desire for, in girls, 55.

Medici, Pietro de, orders M. Angelo's snow-statue, 36.

Menippus, 3.

Metaphysical Society, author, May 4, 1875, reads paper at, 175.

Michael Angelo, author's praise of, 36.
  "  " Ghirlandajo's pupil, 46.
  "  " on Ghiberti's gates, 46.
  "  " snow-statue, 36.

Mill, J. S., on wealth, 145_n._
  "  " on women, 180.

Misery, always the result of indolence or mistaken industry, 7.

Mistress, of a house, ideal, described, 9, 10.

Modernism, contempt for poverty and honour of wealth, 1 seq.
  _See_ s. Commerce, Education, England, Italy, Wealth.

Money, a document of title, 148.
  " God's gift and not our own, and why, 116 _seq._
  " great work never done for, 98, 102.
  " spending, is to employ labour, 48.
  " the way we spend it, important, 48-9.

Morality, mechanical basis of, 176.
  " not to be limited to a class, 182.

Moral sense, the, defined, 177.

Mosaic, Florentine, waste of labour, 34.

Motive, the only real, and rightness, 81.

Mourning, English love of, 70.

Museums, provincial, art-models for, 169.

National works, as a means of art employment, 24.

Nations in "brotherly concord and fatherly authority," 14.
  " energy of, to be directed, 16.
  " laws of, to be protective as well as punitive, 14.

Natural forms, as subjects of design, 172.
  " History, the study of, to be extended, 155.
  " Science, and drawing, 156.

New York, council of, on luxury, 138_n._

Nottingham lace, 170.

Novara, battle of, 77.

Obedience, to what we dislike, 1857 _pref._

Obstinacy of great men against the public, 137-8.

Overwork, decried, 11.

Oxford Museum, Sir T. Deane on the, 32.

Painter, poverty of early years, 100.
  " prices paid to a, 98.

Panics, commercial--_e.g._, 1857, 151.

Paper, necessity of good, for water-colour art, 43.

Parable, The Ten Talents, its practical application, 114-15.

Parents, noble delight of pleasing one's, possible only to the young, 27.

Paris, destruction of, 1870-1, 168.

Parish relief, no more _infra dig._ than State pensions, 129.

Patents, no, but private inventions to be publicly rewarded, 113.

Patriotism, what, 81.

Pensions, are Government alms, 129.

Peterborough, Bishop of, paper read at Metaphysical Society, 176, 183, 185.

Photography, as a means of providing art-models, 164.
  " collections of Florentine Gallery photos, _ib._

Pictures, copies of, to be made, but not to be bought, 90.
  " dealers, and old pictures, 85.
  " destruction of, 69.
  " galleries, in all great cities, 91.
  "  " their supervision and curators, 93.
  " pictorial method of education, 106 _seq._
  " price of, 101, 38.

Pictures, price of, _continued_:--
  "  " effect of high prices on artists and on art, 97 _seq._
  "  " by living artists, shows not value, but demand, 101.
  "  " by dead and living masters, 103.
  "  " modern prices, 38.
  "  " of oil and water-colour, 102 _n._
  "  " to be limited but not too cheap, 66, 95-6.
  " private possession of, its value, 93-4.
  " purchase of, private buyers to buy the works of living artists,
    the public those of dead, 103, 94, 5.
  "  " for ostentation, 101.
  "  " the government to buy great works, 89.
  " restoration of, notes of, to be kept for reference, 94 _n._
  "  " in Italy, 85.
  " sale of a picture, its politico-economical effect, 132 _n._
  " studies for, tracings, and copies of, to be kept, 90 _seq._

Pisa, architecture at, 76.
  " Campo Santo, The, 82.

Plate, changes of fashion in, deplored, 45.
  " gold and silver to be gradually accumulated, not melted down and
    remodelled, 46.

Ploughing, boys to learn, 128.

Political economists, their thrift, 89.
  " Economy, modern books on, 1857 _pref._
  "  " the aim of true, 145.
  "  " is citizen's economy, 1857 _pref._
  "  " definition and true meaning of, 132 _n._
  "  " first principles of, simple but misunderstood, 1857 _pref._
  "  " its questions to be dealt with one by one, 38.
  "  " study of, to be accurate, if not deep, 1857 _pref._
  "  " secrecy in trade bad, 110 _seq._
  "  " _See_ s. Economy.

Politics, English, 82.
  " European, 1848, 1857, 80.
  " _See_ s. Conservatism, Liberalism.

Poor, the, their right to State education and support, 127.

Poor, the, _continued_;--
  " are kept at the expense of the rich, 127 _n._
  " to be taken care of, 118.

Poverty, classical writers on, 2.
  " mediæval view of, 4.
  " modern contempt for, just and right, 1 _seq._

Posterity, thought for, 72.

Praise, only the young can enjoy, for the old are above it,
    if they deserve it, 26.

Pride, as a motive of expenditure, 79.

Prize-giving, a bad thing in education, 135.
  " its true value and meaning, 166.

Productive and unproductive transactions, 132 _n._

Progress, modern, since Edward I., 1857 _pref._

Property, division of, into things producing (_a_) life, (_b_) the objects of
    life, 144 _seq._
  " the right of, to be acknowledged, 142.

Providence, notion of a special, 133.

Public, the, favour of, 137.
  " great men and, 137.
  " impatient of what it cannot understand, 140-1.

Punishment, the rationale of human, 123.

Purse-pride, modern and ancient, 2.

Railway speed, 86.

Raphael's Disputation, 147.

Religion, national, its beauty, _pref._

Rembrandt's "spotted shell" as a model in etching, 164.

Renaissance architecture at Verona, 76.

Restraint, the law of life, 16.

Reverence for art, a test of art power, 167.

Reynolds, Sir J., learns much from Italian art, 82.
  " portraits of, models of art, 169.

Rich, the duty of the strong and, 118.

Riding, as part of education, 128.

Rowing, as part of education, 128.

St. Albans, Duke of, reads paper for author at Mansfield, 166 _n._

St. Louis' chapel at Carcassonne, painting, 86.

Salvation, not to be limited to a class, 182.

School Board, the, 177.

Schools of art, bare schoolrooms do not fix the attention, 105.
  "  " decoration of, reasons for, 104.
  "  " proposals for, 132.

Science, controversy in, too much nowadays, 175.
  " education in, 128.
  " the bridal city of, 175.

Selection, Natural, and Social Policy, paper by author, 175.

Shakespeare's Cliff, 89.

Siena, frescoes of Antonio Lorenzetti, 57.

Smith, Adam, 1857 _pref._

Soldiers of the ploughshare as well as of the sword, 15.

Speculation, commercial, 151.

Spider, web of a, 170.

Street, Mr., on the Ducal Palace, 141 _n._

Students in art, not to aim at being great masters, 168.

Surfaces, drawing of round, &c., 161.

Sympathy, the cleverness of, 170.

Systems, not easily grasped, 128.

Taste, defined, 154.
  " education of, 160.

Tennyson, _In Mem._ LV. "Of fifty seeds, she often brings but one to bear,"
    133 (_cp._ Time and Tide, 67).

Thought, not to take the place of fact, 141.

Time, man is the true destroyer, not, 74.

_Times_, The, Nov. 23, 1857, referred to, 138 _n._

Tintoret's St. Sebastian (Venice), perishing, 86.

Titian, eternally right, 157.
  " sketch by (Florence), 164.
  " woodcuts of, 70.

Tombs, English waste of money on, 78.

Trade, art-faculty, its employment in design in, 30.
  " freedom from rivalry, healthful, 110 _seq._
  " government direction of, 129.
  " guilds, decoration of their buildings, 110 _seq._

Trade, guilds, _continued_:--
  "     " under public management, 114.
  " secrecy of, bad, 110 _seq._
  " true co-operation in, what, 112.
  " youths to learn some manual, 128.

Tradesmen, their modern social position wrong, 114.

Truth, dependent on justice and love, 152.

Turner, prices of his pictures, when a boy, 98.
  " his want of gentle training, 28.

Ugliness, is evil, 177.

Usury, a "mortal sin," 185.

Utility, not to be the sole object of life, 10.

Vellum, for water-colour drawing, 43.

Venice, art of, aided by beautiful dress, 54.
  " Ducal Palace, chronology of the capital, 141 _n._

Verona, amphitheatre of, 76.
  " battle-fields of, 77.
  " greatest art-treasury in the world, 76 _seq._
  " typical of Gothic architecture, 76.

Veronese, P., eternally right, 157.
  "  "Family of Darius," purchased by National Gallery, for £14,000, 55.

Verrocchio, a goldsmith, 46.
  " master of Leonardo, 46.

Virtues, the, fresco of, by A. Lorenzetti, at Siena, 57.
  " winged (Siena), _ib._ _seq._

Wages, fixed rate of, advocated, 113, 129.

Wall-paper, 159.

Wants, the invention of new, 138.

War, destruction of works of art by, 75.

Water-colour drawings, perishable, and why, 42.
  "  " to be on vellum, not paper, 43.

Wealth, author's respect for true, 1.
  " duty and, 119-20.
  " earned and inherited, 143.

Wealth, _continued_:--
  " freedom of spending, to be allowed, 142.
  " how gained, 117.
  " means well-being, 147.
  " mediæval view of, 4.
  " modern honour paid to, 1, 2.
  " power of, 4.
  " principles of, 114 _seq._
  " works of art, how far they are, 132 _n._

Wealthy, the, "pilots of the State," 119, 142.
  "       " claims of the poor on, 143.
  "       " way in which they should spend their money, 143.

Wisdom, preciousness of, 174.

Women, education of, drawing, 158-9.
  " J. S. Mill on the position of, 180.

Woodcuts, cheap and nasty, 40.

Wordsworth's essay on the Poor Law Amendment Bill, 16 _n._

Workhouses, to be worthy their name, 114.

Working-men's College, drawing at the, 156.

Youth, encouragement good for, 26 _seq._
  " of a nation, to be guarded, 134.
  " work of a, necessarily imperfect, but blameable, if bold or slovenly, 25.



Edinburgh & London

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