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Title: A book of images
Author: - To be updated
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 book of images" ***

[Illustration: (cover)]


“=A Book of Images.=”--Page 14, Line 4.

    _The Publishers are asked to state that “The Brotherhood of the
    New Life” claims to be practical rather than visionary, and that
    the “waking dreams” referred to in the above passage are a purely
    personal matter._





  INTRODUCTION BY W. B. YEATS,                           7

  “BY THE CANAL,”                                       17

  “CHATEAU ULTIME,”                                     19

  “THE OLD PIER,”                                       21

  “NOTRE DAME DE PARIS,”                                23

  “TREES WALKING,”                                      25

  “LA RUE DES PETITS-TOITS,”                            27

  “LONELINESS,”                                         29

  “THE WAVE,”                                           31

  “NOCTURNE,”                                           33

  “THE GAP,”                                            35

  “THE VIADUCT,”                                        37

  “THE PATH TO THE MOON,”                               39

  “DIANA,”                                              41

  “ALL THY WAVES ARE GONE OVER ME,”                     43

  “MAMMON,”                                             45

  “ST. GEORGE,”                                         47

  “TEMPTATION,”                                         49

  “SANCTA DEI GENITRIX,”                                51

  “THE ANGEL OF DEATH,”                                 53

  “ASCENDING INTO HEAVEN,”                              55

  “ROSA MYSTICA,”                                       57

  “ASSUMPTIO,”                                          59

  “BE STRONG,”                                          61


In England, which has made great Symbolic Art, most people dislike
an art if they are told it is symbolic, for they confuse symbol and
allegory. Even Johnson’s Dictionary sees no great difference, for it
calls a Symbol “That which comprehends in its figure a representation
of something else;” and an Allegory, “A figurative discourse, in which
something other is intended than is contained in the words literally
taken.” It is only a very modern Dictionary that calls a Symbol “The
sign or representation of any moral thing by the images or properties
of natural things,” which, though an imperfect definition, is not
unlike “The things below are as the things above” of the Emerald Tablet
of Hermes! _The Faery Queen_ and _The Pilgrim’s Progress_ have been
so important in England that Allegory has overtopped Symbolism, and
for a time has overwhelmed it in its own downfall. William Blake was
perhaps the first modern to insist on a difference; and the other day,
when I sat for my portrait to a German Symbolist in Paris, whose talk
was all of his love for Symbolism and his hatred for Allegory, his
definitions were the same as William Blake’s, of whom he knew nothing.
William Blake has written, “Vision or imagination”--meaning symbolism
by these words--“is a representation of what actually exists, really or
unchangeably. Fable or Allegory is formed by the daughters of Memory.”
The German insisted in broken English, and with many gestures, that
Symbolism said things which could not be said so perfectly in any other
way, and needed but a right instinct for its understanding; while
Allegory said things which could be said as well, or better, in another
way, and needed a right knowledge for its understanding. The one gave
dumb things voices, and bodiless things bodies; while the other read a
meaning--which had never lacked its voice or its body--into something
heard or seen, and loved less for the meaning than for its own sake.
The only symbols he cared for were the shapes and motions of the body;
ears hidden by the hair, to make one think of a mind busy with inner
voices; and a head so bent that back and neck made the one curve, as in
Blake’s _Vision of Bloodthirstiness_, to call up an emotion of bodily
strength; and he would not put even a lily, or a rose, or a poppy into
a picture to express purity, or love, or sleep, because he thought
such emblems were allegorical, and had their meaning by a traditional
and not by a natural right. I said that the rose, and the lily, and
the poppy were so married, by their colour, and their odour, and their
use, to love and purity and sleep, or to other symbols of love and
purity and sleep, and had been so long a part of the imagination of the
world, that a symbolist might use them to help out his meaning without
becoming an allegorist. I think I quoted the lily in the hand of the
angel in Rossetti’s _Annunciation_, and the lily in the jar in his
_Childhood of Mary Virgin_, and thought they made the more important
symbols,--the women’s bodies, and the angels’ bodies, and the clear
morning light, take that place, in the great procession of Christian
symbols, where they can alone have all their meaning and all their

It is hard to say where Allegory and Symbolism melt into one another,
but it is not hard to say where either comes to its perfection; and
though one may doubt whether Allegory or Symbolism is the greater
in the horns of Michael Angelo’s _Moses_, one need not doubt that
its symbolism has helped to awaken the modern imagination; while
Tintoretto’s _Origin of the Milky Way_, which is Allegory without any
Symbolism, is, apart from its fine painting, but a moment’s amusement
for our fancy. A hundred generations might write out what seemed the
meaning of the one, and they would write different meanings, for no
symbol tells all its meaning to any generation; but when you have said,
“That woman there is Juno, and the milk out of her breast is making
the Milky Way,” you have told the meaning of the other, and the fine
painting, which has added so much unnecessary beauty, has not told it

       *       *       *       *       *

2. All Art that is not mere story-telling, or mere portraiture, is
symbolic, and has the purpose of those symbolic talismans which
mediæval magicians made with complex colours and forms, and bade
their patients ponder over daily, and guard with holy secrecy; for it
entangles, in complex colours and forms, a part of the Divine Essence.
A person or a landscape that is a part of a story or a portrait, evokes
but so much emotion as the story or the portrait can permit without
loosening the bonds that make it a story or a portrait; but if you
liberate a person or a landscape from the bonds of motives and their
actions, causes and their effects, and from all bonds but the bonds
of your love, it will change under your eyes, and become a symbol
of an infinite emotion, a perfected emotion, a part of the Divine
Essence; for we love nothing but the perfect, and our dreams make all
things perfect, that we may love them. Religious and visionary people,
monks and nuns, and medicine-men, and opium-eaters, see symbols in
their trances; for religious and visionary thought is thought about
perfection and the way to perfection; and symbols are the only things
free enough from all bonds to speak of perfection.

Wagner’s dramas, Keats’ odes, Blake’s pictures and poems, Calvert’s
pictures, Rossetti’s pictures, Villiers de Lisle Adam’s plays, and
the black-and-white art of M. Herrmann, Mr. Beardsley, Mr. Ricketts,
and Mr. Horton, the lithographs of Mr. Shannon, and the pictures
of Mr. Whistler, and the plays of M. Maeterlinck, and the poetry of
Verlaine, in our own day, but differ from the religious art of Giotto
and his disciples in having accepted all symbolisms, the symbolism of
the ancient shepherds and star-gazers, that symbolism of bodily beauty
which seemed a wicked thing to Fra Angelico, the symbolism in day and
night, and winter and summer, spring and autumn, once so great a part
of an older religion than Christianity; and in having accepted all the
Divine Intellect, its anger and its pity, its waking and its sleep, its
love and its lust, for the substance of their art. A Keats or a Calvert
is as much a symbolist as a Blake or a Wagner; but he is a fragmentary
symbolist, for while he evokes in his persons and his landscapes an
infinite emotion, a perfected emotion, a part of the Divine Essence, he
does not set his symbols in the great procession as Blake would have
him, “in a certain order, suited to his ‘imaginative energy.’” If you
paint a beautiful woman and fill her face, as Rossetti filled so many
faces, with an infinite love, a perfected love, “one’s eyes meet no
mortal thing when they meet the light of her peaceful eyes,” as Michael
Angelo said of Vittoria Colonna; but one’s thoughts stray to mortal
things, and ask, maybe, “Has her love gone from her, or is he coming?”
or “What predestinated unhappiness has made the shadow in her eyes?”
If you paint the same face, and set a winged rose or a rose of gold
somewhere about her, one’s thoughts are of her immortal sisters, Pity
and Jealousy, and of her mother, Ancestral Beauty, and of her high
kinsmen, the Holy Orders, whose swords make a continual music before
her face. The systematic mystic is not the greatest of artists, because
his imagination is too great to be bounded by a picture or a song, and
because only imperfection in a mirror of perfection, or perfection
in a mirror of imperfection, delight our frailty. There is indeed a
systematic mystic in every poet or painter who, like Rossetti, delights
in a traditional Symbolism, or, like Wagner, delights in a personal
Symbolism; and such men often fall into trances, or have waking
dreams. Their thought wanders from the woman who is Love herself, to
her sisters and her forebears, and to all the great procession; and
so august a beauty moves before the mind, that they forget the things
which move before the eyes. William Blake, who was the chanticleer
of the new dawn, has written: “If the spectator could enter into one
of these images of his imagination, approaching them on the fiery
chariot of his contemplative thought, if ... he could make a friend and
companion of one of these images of wonder, which always entreat him
to leave mortal things (as he must know), then would he arise from the
grave, then would he meet the Lord in the air, and then he would be
happy.” And again, “The world of imagination is the world of Eternity.
It is the Divine bosom into which we shall all go after the death of
the vegetated body. The world of imagination is infinite and eternal,
whereas the world of generation or vegetation is finite and temporal.
There exist in that eternal world the eternal realities of everything
which we see reflected in the vegetable glass of nature.”

Every visionary knows that the mind’s eye soon comes to see a
capricious and variable world, which the will cannot shape or change,
though it can call it up and banish it again. I closed my eyes a moment
ago, and a company of people in blue robes swept by me in a blinding
light, and had gone before I had done more than see little roses
embroidered on the hems of their robes, and confused, blossoming apple
boughs somewhere beyond them, and recognised one of the company by his
square, black, curling beard. I have often seen him; and one night a
year ago, I asked him questions which he answered by showing me flowers
and precious stones, of whose meaning I had no knowledge, and seemed
too perfected a soul for any knowledge that cannot be spoken in symbol
or metaphor.

Are he and his blue-robed companions, and their like, “the Eternal
realities” of which we are the reflection “in the vegetable glass of
nature,” or a momentary dream? To answer is to take sides in the only
controversy in which it is greatly worth taking sides, and in the only
controversy which may never be decided.

       *       *       *       *       *

3. Mr. Horton, who is a disciple of “The Brotherhood of the New Life,”
which finds the way to God in waking dreams, has his waking dreams, but
more detailed and vivid than mine; and copies them in his drawings as
if they were models posed for him by some unearthly master. A disciple
of perhaps the most mediæval movement in modern mysticism, he has
delighted in picturing the streets of mediæval German towns, and the
castles of mediæval romances; and, at moments, as in _All Thy waves
are gone over me_, the images of a kind of humorous piety like that
of the mediæval miracle-plays and moralities. Always interesting when
he pictures the principal symbols of his faith, the woman of _Rosa
Mystica_ and _Ascending into Heaven_, who is the Divine womanhood,
the man-at-arms of _St. George_ and _Be Strong_, who is the Divine
manhood, he is at his best in picturing the Magi, who are the wisdom
of the world, uplifting their thuribles before the Christ, who is
the union of the Divine manhood and the Divine womanhood. The rays
of the halo, the great beams of the manger, the rich ornament of the
thuribles and of the cloaks, make up a pattern where the homeliness
come of his pity mixes with an elaborateness come of his adoration.
Even the phantastic landscapes, the entangled chimneys against a white
sky, the dark valley with its little points of light, the cloudy and
fragile towns and churches, are part of the history of a soul; for
Mr. Horton tells me that he has made them spectral, to make himself
feel all things but a waking dream; and whenever spiritual purpose
mixes with artistic purpose, and not to its injury, it gives it a new
sincerity, a new simplicity. He tried at first to copy his models in
colour, and with little mastery over colour when even great mastery
would not have helped him, and very literally: but soon found that
you could only represent a world where nothing is still for a moment,
and where colours have odours and odours musical notes, by formal and
conventional images, midway between the scenery and persons of common
life, and the geometrical emblems on mediæval talismans. His images are
still few, though they are becoming more plentiful, and will probably
be always but few; for he who is content to copy common life need never
repeat an image, because his eyes show him always changing scenes, and
none that cannot be copied; but there must always be a certain monotony
in the work of the Symbolist, who can only make symbols out of the
things that he loves. Rossetti and Botticelli have put the same face
into a number of pictures; M. Maeterlinck has put a mysterious comer,
and a lighthouse, and a well in a wood into several plays; and Mr.
Horton has repeated again and again the woman of _Rosa Mystica_, and
the man-at-arms of _Be Strong_; and has put the crooked way of _The
Path to the Moon_, “the straight and narrow way” into _St. George_, and
an old drawing in _The Savoy_; the abyss of _The Gap_, the abyss which
is always under all things, into drawings that are not in this book;
and the wave of _The Wave_, which is God’s overshadowing love, into
_All Thy waves are gone over me_.

These formal and conventional images were at first but parts of his
waking dreams, taken away from the parts that could not be drawn; for
he forgot, as Blake often forgot, that you should no more draw the
things the mind has seen than the things the eyes have seen, without
considering what your scheme of colour and line, or your shape and kind
of paper can best say: but his later drawings, _Sancta Dei Genitrix_
and _Ascending into Heaven_ for instance, show that he is beginning to
see his waking dreams over again in the magical mirror of his art. He
is beginning, too, to draw more accurately, and will doubtless draw as
accurately as the greater number of the more visionary Symbolists, who
have never, from the days when visionary Symbolists carved formal and
conventional images of stone in Assyria and Egypt, drawn as accurately
as men who are interested in things and not in the meaning of things.
His art is immature, but it is more interesting than the mature art
of our magazines, for it is the reverie of a lonely and profound

                                                        W. B. YEATS.


























At the Unicorn Press.


    Three Lithographed Drawings by WILL ROTHENSTEIN. _In a Wrapper.
        Price_ =£2, 2s.= _each set_.

*⁎* These Portraits were made from sittings given in Paris in 1897.
Only fifty copies of each drawing were printed (by Mr. Way), and the
stones have been destroyed. Twenty-five sets (each drawing on hand-made
Van Guelder paper and signed by the Artist) now remain for sale.


    A Lithographed Drawing by WILL ROTHENSTEIN. _Price_ =£1, 1s.=

*⁎* No later Portrait than this appears to have been made. After the
first few trial proofs only fifty copies were printed, and the stone
has been destroyed. The few copies now offered are all numbered and
signed Artist’s Proofs.


    Sixteen Plates, each measuring 21 by 16 inches over all, with an
        Introduction by E. J. OLDMEADOW. Two hundred copies only.
        _Price_ =£2, 2s.= _net_.

                                                      [_Nearly ready._


    Drawn, engraved, and written by WILLIAM STRANG. _Fcap. 4to, in a
        binding designed by the Author. Price_ =2s. 6d.= _net_.

*⁎* “A Book of Giants” contains twelve original wood engravings,
accompanied by humorous verses. Admirers and collectors of Mr. Strang’s
etchings will hasten to acquire copies of this, his first published set
of woodcuts; but its interest for a wider public, and as a children’s
book, should be only a degree less great.

Twenty-five copies, printed from the original blocks, will be
hand-coloured by Mr. Strang. Particulars of this edition may be
obtained from the Publishers.


    Drawn by W. T. HORTON, and Introduced by W. B. YEATS. _Fcap. 8vo,
        boards. Price_ =2s. 6d.= _net_.

*⁎* This book contains twenty-four drawings, including a set of
Imaginary Landscapes and a number of Mystical Pieces.


    A Volume of Stories by RUDOLF DIRCKS. _Imperial 16mo, cloth,
        gilt._ =3s. 6d.=

=The Manchester Courier=:--“Mr. Dircks is one of the cleverest writers
of the day.... Sure analysis of character, artistic use of incident....
The volume will be highly valued by lovers of short stories.”

=The Star=:--“Good work. Mr. Dircks has insight and the courage to
efface himself; he is uncompromisingly true to his subjects; and he
knows to a hair’s-breadth what a short story can and cannot do.... Well
worth reprinting in the exquisite form given them by the publishers.”

=The Whitehall Review=:--“Great and nervous originality.... A masterly
observer.... A number of pictures of the emotions, drawn with a
fearless truth that is as delightful as it is rare, ... by a genuine


    By LOUIS BARSAC. _Imp. 16mo, bevelled and extra gilt. Price_
        =3s. 6d.= _net_. SECOND EDITION.

=The Outlook=:--“Mr. Barsac has a genuine gift of expression and a
refined sense of natural beauty.”

“J. D.” in =The Star=:--“The sonnets attain a particularly high level.
_The Earth Ship_ ... is splendidly imagined and splendidly wrought....
In all there is strong evidence of original poetical talent.”

=The New Age=:--“One of the most promising efforts of the younger muse
since the early volumes of Mr. William Watson and Mr. John Davidson.”


    A BOOK OF PRAYERS AND VERSES. _Medium 16mo, parchment, gilt
        top. Price_ =2s. 6d.= _net_.

                                                        [_Just ready._


    A Quarterly. _One Hundred pages, Pott 4to, boards. Price_ =1s.=
        _net, or_ =5s.= _per annum, post free_.

*⁎* Each number of _The Dome_ contains about twenty examples of Music,
Architecture, Literature, Drawing, Painting, and Engraving, including
several Coloured Plates. Among the Contributors to the first five
numbers are--Louis Barsac, Laurence Binyon, Vernon Blackburn, H. W.
Brewer, Ingeborg von Bronsart, L. Dougall, Olivier Destrée, Campbell
Dodgson, Edward Elgar, Charles Holmes, Laurence Housman, W. T. Horton,
Edgardo Levi, Liza Lehmann, Alice Meynell, J. Moorat, W. Nicholson,
Charles Pears, Stephen Phillips, Beresford Pite, J. F. Runciman, Byam
Shaw, Arthur Symons, Francis Thompson, F. Vielé-Griffin, Gleeson White,
J. E. Woodmeald, Paul Woodroffe, and W. B. Yeats.

Transcriber’s Notes

Italic text is enclosed in _underscores_. Boldface text is enclosed in
=equals signs=.

Simple typographical errors were corrected. Punctuation, hyphenation,
and spelling were made consistent when a predominant preference was
found in the original book; otherwise they were not changed.

The illustrations have no captions.

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