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In music there are hardly any limits at all ; we naïveté of Mallory, as he sets forth the passion can hardly imagine such a thing as a melody of Lancelot and Guinevere. Some, indeed, immoral in itself, though there are melodies might think that it was better to let us rest upwhich do not seem profaned when fitted to im- on the nobleness of Lancelot than to try to save moral words. Plastic art has less liberty, yet morality by demonstrating the superiority of even here almost everything is permitted short Arthur. Demonstration involves discussion, of the direct instigation of the senses to rebel- and discussion might leave us sceptical as to lion ; it is impossible to draw the line earlier whether Guinevere's second thoughts were when we have once sanctioned the representa- really best. There certainly are instances tion of the nude. After all, Eye Gate does not which show beyond question that abstractedness lead far into the town of Mansoul. It is only and simplicity of treatment are a better safewhen we come to the literature that the conflict guard than the best didactic intention. Madame becomes serious, and that honest artists wish to Bovary, not seductive in intention, is undenihandle matters which honest men of the world ably more deterrent in result than the episode wish to suppress. This points to a distinc of Paolo and Francesca ; but no one would tion which is not without practical value. Liter- dream of calling it more moral. ature is the most complex form of art, the form Of course it is possible to maintain that all which touches reality at most points, and there these distinctions are superfluous, that Plato fore the mind passes most easily from litera- and Savonarola were right ; that, no matter who ture back to life. And, therefore, what is dan- treats them, no matter how they may be purigerous in life is dangerous in literature, though fied by severe accuracy and æsthetic isolation it may be innocent in other forms of art which of treatment, still, dangerous subjects will be in themselves are more intense. The first im- always dangerous, that art, if permitted to exist pression of a great picture, or a great symphony, at all, should be rigidly and consistently subis more vivid than the first impression of a ordinate to edification, and that if a few supreme great poem ; it is, at the same time, more de- works should be allowed to subsist unmutilated, finite and more completely determined by the all production that fell short of supreme perintention of the artist. A great picture, a great fection should be carefully limited to drawingsymphony are in one way infinitely complex, room charades and nursery novelettes, and but both take their key-note from a single Sunday picture-books, just to keep children of movement of the subject. Few subjects are too all ages out of mischief. At any rate, this unsatisfactory to present at least one noble as- view has the merit of being thorough and intelpect, to strike at least one noble chord. In ligible ; it is infinitely more respectable than literature it is difficult to isolate the æsthetic the common view, if it is to be called a view, side of a subject so completely, because litera- which emancipates art from rational and ideal ture tells by the result of a great many incom- restrictions to subject it to restrictions which plete suggestions which the reader has to work are shifting and arbitrary, which allows it to out for himself, so that there is no security that call evil good and good evil, so long as it does he will be able to keep entirely within the in- not violate the conventionalities of the day, tention of the writer. And the writer, too, finds and thinks it is quite sufficiently stimulating if it harder to subordinate the intellectual and it can be got to show the world, or at any rate the emotional sides of his subject to the æsthe- the little piece of it the public likes to look at, tical ; and morality is certainly justified in pro- all couleur de rose. scribing anything that can make familiarity Only it is to be remembered that if we sacriwith those sides of an immoral subject less un-fice art to morality we must sacrifice other welcome and disgusting. Still it is possible things too. Comfort and liberty and intellito maintain a certain ideal abstractedness of gence, to say nothing of such trifles as wealth treatment even in literature which has its use. and luxury, have their temptations as well as Every one feels the difference between the dis- art, and Plato and Savonarola would gladly eased insolent pruriency with which Byron have sacrificed them all. The sacrifice might keeps flaunting the sin in our faces in all the be rewarded if it could be made; Rousseau loves of Don Juan, and the sad gracious thought it would be well to return to bar
barism to escape from the inevitable injustices view of Christian asceticism, that good works of civilization ; perhaps it might be well to re- done from a motive savouring so much of selfturn to the Thebaid to escape from its tempta- satisfaction were hardly virtuous at all. tions. But as we are too weak for the Thebaid But even the most picturesque heroism inwe do well to endure the temptations of the volves sacrifice and suffering, and no sacrifice world lest we should regret them, and among is without an element that is hardly attractive these the temptation of art is not the deadliest æsthetically. The comely corpse of the young because it is the sweetest. Even Plato thought warrior slain in the front of the battle, in Tyrthat virtue should be tested by pleasure as well tæus, is more satisfactory to the æsthetic sense as by pain, and therefore he directed that the than the soul of Hector flitting to Hades, wailcitizens of his ideal city should be proved by ing for the supple strength of the limbs it left seeing how they bore themselves when drunk in their young prime ; but morally the advanwith wine--surely it would have been better to tage is really on the side of Homer,-it is better make them drunk with beauty.
to look facts in the face. The saints of life Of course Plato wished to make them drunk wear no halo, the heroes of life wear no enwith beauty too. He thought concrete beauty chanted armour to keep them scathless to the was the fountain which could quench the asce- fatal hour that translates them to Valhalla, or tic's thirst.
Elysium, or Avalon. If it were so, life would “Lætificemur sobria
hardly be better, but it is a paradox to deny Ebrietate spiritus."
that it would be more beautiful ; and it would But all this while he was thinking of the beauty be a paradox to deny that most of the virtue not of art but of life. He did not underrate, which enables the world to go on is without any perhaps he overrated, the moral value of æsthe- |æsthetical value at all. Nor can we take refuge tic culture; but this high estimate of ästhetic in the convenient observation that human virwas quite compatible with a very low estimate tue is never quite perfect, that for the most part of art, which he regarded simply as providing it is grossly and glaringly imperfect ; for virtue instruments for a series of æsthetic exercises to may be all but perfect, and yet be dull, because be regulated in accordance with superior regu- t is painful, obscure, and, humanly speaking, lations, so that a poet had no more right to set
fruitless. Professor Jowett is quite right in up on his own account, and develop his pro
pointing out that a servant girl who spends her ducts for their own sake, than if he were a
wages on a peevish, slatternly mother, and a maker of flesh-gloves or dumb-bells. Conse- lazy, dissipated brother, is the heir of many bea quently he had no occasion to discuss the ar
titudes, but it does not follow that she is a tistic value of morality, though if he had done
“Beautiful Soul :" fine feelings go the way so he would hardly have been tempted to in- of fine phrases with those who have to do and dulge in an estimate of its æsthetic value so
suffer overmuch. one-sided as to be extravagant. One reason And the aspects of morality which have the of this one-sidedness was that Greek morality, highest æsthetic value are very far from having before the rise of Stoicism, treated the mass of the highest artistic value, for literary an at any human actions as indifferent ; to be left to na
The best that can be obtained from them ture or at best regulated by external conven- is a lyrical or semi-lyrical allusion, that may tionalities : consequently the notion of virtue light up a lower theme. To try to idealize a was not lowered by the dulness of duty, it was great deed is only painting the lily; to try to always identified with the rapturous ecstacy idealize a great purpose is to drift into a laby which accompanies great deeds, which are al- rinth of mere intellectualism. From this point ways exceptions even in the life that is fullest of view it is instructive to compare the “Idyls of them, or with the calm diffused satisfaction of the King' with the “Antigone” of Sophocles, which radiates over the whole of a fortunate and and to notice what proportion of the emotional praiseworthy life. Aristotle could still hold and artistic interest bears in each to the moral that virtue was virtuous in that its works were and intellectual interest. But if it can be anwrought toû kaloù éveka, "for the sake of the swered without a theory, an ideal problem is Beautiful.” Epictetus was not far from the better for literature than an ideal character
Wallenstein is lower æsthetically than Tell; is best in life, other forms of art by their greater artistically King Alfred is less valuable than detachment carry us away from life into fairyRichard III. The closing scene of the life of land, so that here too it is impossible to formuthe Emperor Maurice when his children were late an ideal relation between average art and butchered before his face, and he gave up the average morality, so that practical enthusiasts last rather than allow the nurse to sacrifice her can always maintain that what is given to art own, combines almost every element of ethical is taken from morality. Yet there is an ideal and ästhetical nobility. At first it seems dra- reason for their co-existence. Life has been matic, but what could dramatic art add to it? compared to a tapestry which is worked on the Stage effect perhaps, so far as it is due to the wrong side ; and after all it is this side which actor ; all that a poet could hope to do on his we see in morality ; in art we see not the right own account would be to prepare a character to side, for this is covered up as fast as it is finiculminate in such a sacrifice. The value of this shed, but perhaps some reflection of the pattern last is very doubtful. The æsthetical value of too much distorted to be valuable when the Joan of Arc's life lies in the historic moments tapestry is finished and fixed; till then it has which it would be impossible to adorn and a its use : those must work very earnestly who profanation to falsify. It is hardly worth while work the faster for looking upon the wrong side for literature to do what remains, and supple- alone. Of course it is unsatisfactory to have to ment pictures of concrete heroism with the most think of art and life co-existing in this state of delicate analysis of her feelings when the jealous co-operation that can hardly be distinFrench army was beginning to find her a guished from subdued antagonism; but after troublesome visionary, or when she was being all this is one of the minor discomforts of an brow-beaten into recantation in an English unsettled period in which nothing is satisfacdungeon. It might be done fifty ways ; but tory, though to healthy tempers much is hopeEtty's picture of her at the stake would always ful. To such a temper it would be one hopeful be worth them all. In the same way Dela- sign that we are beginning to recognize that, as roche's “ Christian Martyr" is a greater addi- it is ruin and madness to sacrifice morality to tion to the “Golden Legend” than Massinger's artistic eccentricities, so it is folly and loss to “Tragedy on Dorothea," and we need never sacrifice the normal development of art to moral expect to meet with a poem on Elijah which conventionalities. Though art must always shall light up the history in the way Mendels- contain something which is a snare to morality sohn's music does. Or to come down to a level and morality must always cultivate much which where the æsthetic value of morality is not on is simply an encumbrance to art, we may rest the heroic scale, who would not give all the upon the thought that absolute art and absoful books that can be written on Eugénie lute morality, though perfectly
inct, are alde Guérin for a portrait of one whose life with ways harmonious. All 'are bound to practise in its narrow limits was so beautiful? Or to morality, though the majority can never carry come lower yet, such æsthetical value as the it to its ideal stage ; it is the same with the pathos of common life possesses is better repre- majority of those who are called to cultivate art; sented by Frère than by Dickens, because Frère but by keeping their eyes on the unattainable, avowedly represents its momentary aspects, morality will catch some grace, art will be prewhereas Dickens would have been compelled, served from revolt and excess. By patience if he had not been inclined, to represent the and work we may hope to lift a happier genepicturesque and pathetic side of poverty as ration to a level when the question between something normal and habitual. The fact is, morality and art disappears: at all events we literature comes too near to life to rise above shall be lifted ourselves to a world where that life at its highest, or to keep above life at its question and many others are easily answered lowest ; it is confined to a middle region where and need not be asked. it can embellish without falsifying.
G. A. SIMCOX. And if literature has to turn away from what
WORK AND WAGES : Practically Illustrated. By from those who have originated and organized such
Thomas Brassey, M.P. New York : D. Apple movements, is most effective, because it deak with ton & Co. 1872.
the subject broadly. Thus, he does not confine bis This work is the result of a suggestion made by facts and reasons within the limits of his own connSir Arthur Helps to Mr. Thomas Brassey, that he try, but takes us to Mr. Krupp's famous engineering should write a paper on the subject of wages, taking establishment at Essen, with its army of between his illustrations from the facts brought out in writing 8,000 and 10,000 men, and shews that wages there to the Life of the late Mr. Brassey, the great railway day-workmen are only from 30 to 40 cents a day, and contractor, which was reviewed in these pages last to smiths, puddlers, carpenters, and masons, $11 to month. But, as usually happens when industrious $32 per month. He admits that provisions in some men, full of their subject, are beguiled to take pen in England, but he brings prominently forward the
districts of the Continent are somewhat cheaper than in hand, the paper expanded into a volume, and the facts introduced into it took a so much wider scope he says, 1,500 of the workmen live together in a bars
greater frugality of the German artizan. At Essen, than at first was contemplated, that a second book has had to be published, instead of a mere appendix food and lodging can be had for 20 cents a day,
rack, with one eating room in common, at which to the Life.
He shews that whereas no great manufacture of A thoughtful work on labour, as connected with the price of it, is ever valuable. For, like another heavy goods could, in olden times, be established
except on the seaboard, so that England's position old, old story, this, too, interests at some time or other every one of us.
was, as to these, the most central in Europe. Railways We are all work-people, have now changed this, and Russia can be supplied toiling for hire, and yet, in a sense, all masters, from the interior of France, Germany, or her own paying for service. Now, especially, that the world is being revolutionized, that the aspect of every de- great Empire, with what she could formerly, with partment of labour is changing or changed, should we most convenience, bring from England. He dwells be glad to receive a contribution which, by carefully funds, tariffs, and customs regulations possessed by
upon the greater knowledge of neighbouring markets, collating figures bearing on the subject, points out French and German manufacturers, when compared the direction in which the changes are being, or have
with the English, who are, moreover, less familiar been, made.
with Continental languages. He quotes authorities This, Mr. Thomas Brassey's work certainly does, and proves that, after all compensating conditions and does well. It is statistical, and, therefore, to have been allowed for, wages are at least 15 per many people, dry. It deals with an important cent. cheaper on the Continent than in England, branch of Political Economy, and so is in danger of while, without making such deductions, the differbeing neglected, as abstruse. Some books of this
ence is fully 30 per cent. He, therefore, cautions kind, if left upon the shelves by the general public, the English workmen to be careful, lest they, by uncan, at least, be introduced to them by condensations reasonable demands, throw in the way of English and reviews. But this work is itself a condensation, capital still greater difficulties than exist ; and by cleverly written ; it is itself a summary, well sum- stating that even now Profits are less in England than marized, and, therefore, a crux to a précis writer or
on the Continent, seeks to convince that wages, as reviewer. It must be read and re-read, entire, to be compared with other elements of cost, have reached appreciated ; and we trust that our recommenda- their limit, and urges that, as trades-unions cannot tion of it will not be neglected in this Dominion of have other than a temporary influence on the rate of Canada.
wages, it would be better that their organisations The volume opens with a chapter on Strikes and should be utilized for keeping a watchful eye on all Trades-unions, to which Mr. Thomas Brassey, in the that is taking place abroad, for educating in foreign interest of the working-men, is alike opposed ; and languages delegates, who should prepare for publicahis opposition, while strongly declared and well sup- tion frequent reports on the activity of labour and the ported by facts and arguments, taken, in most part, Auctuations in the rewards for labour in all conntries with which England has relations. Mr. Brassey rate of wages. This will be to many the most interhints—his political position, perhaps, hardly allows esting part of the whole work. The idea is not new, him to do more—that the suppression of intemper-bnt Mr. Brassey brings more varied illustrations to ance would be equivalent to a considerable advance bear upon his thesis, and gives, better than any in wages He states that there was, on the Great other author we have yet read, the various compenNorthern Railway, a celebrated gang of navvies, who sations which counterbalance the cost of labour. did more work in a day than any other gang on the He states that the wages of labourers on the North line, and always left off work an hour earlier. Every Devon Railway were at first 2s. a day, but were navvy in this powerful gang was a teetotaller. He gradually increased to 35., while the work was execontrasts with the draughts of the British workman cuted more cheaply at the latter rate. The brickthe favourite cup of coffee of the German. And we work of the Metropolitan Drainage Commission was are surprised that, among the Canadian notes in done more cheaply per yard, when wages were 1os., which his father's manuscripts are rich, he did not than when they were 6s. per day. Wages in Russia find reference made to the habits of the Canadian are nominally cheaper than in any other European lumbermen, the hardiest, hardest working, and, per country, but it costs as much to manufacture iron haps, most powerful set of white men on this Con- there as in England, where they are the highest. tinent, who seldom drink anything but tea as an Neither in France nor Belgium is the cost of extractaccompaniment to their salt pork and beans. ing coal reduced by the low price of labour. The
In his second chapter, Mr. Brassey swings off, with cost of producing pig iron, per ton, is greater in an easy transition, to the question of supply and deFrance than in Cleveland, Ohio, although the actual mand. He shews us the “fitter,” with a weekly labour is 20 per cent. cheaper. French shipwrights wage of 305. a week in England, receiving £200 a seem to receive only half as much as English, but the year in the Argentine Republic ; where, also, the ships built for the Mediterranean trade are built on farm labourer receives from 6s. 8d. to 8s. 3d. a day. the Thames rather than in France. Wages in GerHe glances at the Moldavian labourer of 1865, receiv- man cotton spinning factories are 50 per cent. lower ing 6%2d. a day in money, and an equivalent of 3%. than in England, but the number of hands in pro. a day in food. He shews us English navvies sent portion to machinery is larger, and the work turned out to work at the Callao docks at 8s. 3d. a day, off between 5-30 a.m. and 8 p.m. (the working day seduced to go into the service of an American rail. there), no more than in England from 6 a.m. to 6 way contractor in Peru at 225. 6d. per day. He p.m. Two Middlesex mowers will mow in a day as gives tables which shew the Bombay carpenter to much as six Russian serfs ; and, in spite of the dearhave been receiving 30s 4d. a month in 1830, and ness of provisions in England, the mowing of a 58s. in 1863. He glances at the crowds of labourers quantity of hay, which would cost the English farmer swarming up from the Abruzzi to work on the Ma- a shilling, would cost the Russian six or eight. remma Railway in winter, and from the interior of The English manufacturers, who pay a higher rate India, to be employed on the great railways there. of wages than these foreign competitors, still comHe draws attention for a moment to the poor pea- pete with the rest of the world successfully in point santry of the north of Sweden, who receive no wages of cheapness. The causes which redress the balance in money, but merely a limited supply of cast-off are cleverly enquired into by Mr. Brassey, and, in clothing, and a scanty quantity of meal, from the many cases, clearly traced. For these we refer the agents who visit them in summer, to purchase with reader to his pages. such wares the tar they have managed to make dur- The only other chapter we have room to refer to at ing the short days of their long winter-a condition any length, though they are all interesting, is the tenth, not much better than that of the Newfoundland on the influence of American wages on the English fishermen, who are always in debt to the store. I labour market. He handles this with much ability. keeper, who supplies their outfit, at his own price, \ He wishes to impress upon all, that men who have and who must be repaid in fish at his own price, too failed to earn a livelihood in the United Kingdom, -and concludes an interesting chapter, replete with would be equally certain to fail in 2 wider country, information, by a reflection, not unfavourable to the in which industry and energy are still more essential. British workman, who does not live where “employers The same class who would fail in London, would, are too poor to be generous, so that the desire to from the same cause, fail in the United States, he truly make the most of their small capital has altogether says, for, “if the reward of labour is more liberal, extinguished the virtue of charity and the spirit of more energy of character is required than in the more justice."
settled communities of the old world.” He cautions But the cost of labour, Mr. Brassey goes on to the over sanguine, and frankly states that the difprove in chapter iii., cannot be determined by the ference in wages on the Atlantic seaboard of America,