« НазадПродовжити »
As Academician Mr. Poynter has a share in the teaching in the Royal Academy. As art director his influence extends through the art schools and artisans' classes throughout the kingdom, even to the art teaching of the children in the elementary schools. In public, at the Social Science Congress at Liverpool and elsewhere, he has spoken words of sober sense to the nation in a simple, strong, authoritative way. If his influence and his words help to call forth something of the same spirit of fidelity and thoroughness in work as characterises himself, if he rouses higher aims and nobler ideals in the mass of workers, he will do what is sorely needed in these days of dilatory workmen and scamped work, when less work for more money is the constant cry. Much as it is to be regretted that the pressure of his official duties must limit the number of his own paintings, and possibly even may impair the quality of them by dividing his powers, yet to accomplish such a work of art as this on the canvas of humanity will be an even more enduring memorial than the noblest creation of his brush.
It is a difficult problem to forecast what is to become of the great army of artists that are being trained. Genius, of course, will make its own way—there seems no cause at present to fear that the world will be overstocked with that yet awhile. An ever-increasing number of trained students, also, are being absorbed into the various developments of art industry, to the great good of our technical results. Doubtless, too, many have taken up the study of art rather as an accomplishment to elevate and grace them in private life than for any practical end; but for the rest, those multitudes of men and women who may be seen shabbily dressed copying in picture galleries and museums, painting in the Botanical Gardens, and wherever else students can gain admittance, or planting their easels all over the country, what is to become of these ? Their productions are already such a drug in the market that one of the best known art auctioneers declared the other day that it was useless for him to attempt to sell anything that had not a name to back it up, as the work of unknown artists, even when good work, barely fetched the value of the frame. The perfection to which oleographs and photographs bave been brought is thrusting out this class of work, while, at the same time, the quantity of it is increasing. The colonies may afford an outlet for some of it, but doubtless before long the colonies will train their own artists. It seems premature to conclude that so much material should, as at first sight one might be drawn to judge, have to be wasted, or so many young enthusiasts doomed to disappointment. There are hundreds of painters whose work singly is of little value, and yet, if organised in hands, and working under the direction of men of genius, they might collectively produce public works of great utility and beauty. England might rival the ancient Egyptians in the abundance of her wall-paintings. We might have such temples of religion, and such nobly decorated
public buildings, as would make her the wonder of the world, and at no very extravagant cost. Many artists now half-starving, or eking out a scanty subsistence by any means in their power, would be glad to be engaged on such works for wages which would just insure them the necessaries of life.
A few artists employ young assistants in their studios. It was customary with the old masters to do so, and the practice might with advantage be extended in the present day. When the artist makes the cartoons and does the last finishing with his own hand, much of the intermediate work can be equally well performed by deputy, for there are many who can acquire manipulative skill, while but few possess the creative faculty. Thus a greater number of the best works would be produced, and so produced as to bring them within the means of many to purchase who cannot now afford the luxury of possessing noble works of art. These are but crude suggestions, but it is a subject that ought to be faced, and other and more practicable suggestions made, and something attempted to be done; for it will be a grievous blot on our civilization if the National Art Schools turn out a large proportion of their trained students merely to swell the ranks of middle-class destitu. tion by a new and highly-cultured army that no one cares to put in commission.
Professor Poynter is one of those rare persons who take office under Government on account of interest in the work offered to them, and not because a salary is attached to the post. Without being pragmatical, he is not likely to succumb to the traditions of that not most noble herd which, browsing in the comfortable pastures of the State, only too readily follows the accepted motto of Government service, “ Above all things, no zeal !”
IN THIS WORLD:
By MABEL COLLINS, Author of "An Innocent Sinner," &c.
Continued from Vol. I., page 697.
taken Ernestine's breath away; she
had allowed Laura to leave her, IN PRACTICE.
and had said no further word. ERNESTINE had now a two-fold But now, strengthened by her purpose in pursuing the labours of sojourn by the sea, she had reher profession with all her native turned with a burning resolution ardour.
in her heart. She did not underFirst came her grand enthusiasm stand what conditions Laura had for healing—that love of the art to fulfil. She turned her mind itself by which the true artist is from the subject, for she could see known.
no course of action which she could And then came a second motive adopt with regard to it. But a which grew stronger day by day. resolve burned strongly within her
Laura's revelation of the net- that she would not personally add work of money difficulties in which to Dr. Doldy's expenses—that she she and her uncle stood, and her would not be dependent on him. statement—vague indeed, but none The thought stung too deeply that, the less alarming because so vague by allowing herself to be main. --that certain conditions had to be tained in his household, she would fulfilled before her fortune could make herself one of those whose bring them freedom, filled Ernes. hopes and fears hung upon the tine's soul with a personal horror. obtaining of Laura's fortune. When Laura told her these things So she set herself vigorously to she had already put on her wed work. She took Dr. Doldy's houseding-ring; and she realised, as she hold in hand, and applied her sat in the fernery in her wedding intellectual abilities to the curtail. robe, that, unless she speedily ing of unnecessary expenses : she obtained some profitable practice visited some few patients who had of her own, she too would be already attached themselves to her; dependent upon Laura's inheri. she obtained permission to attend tance.
at certain operations performed by “Doubtless,” she had said to eminent surgeons, in order to carry herself, “ Laura calculates upon on her observations; and between this: she expects me to become her whiles she was fond of frequenting tool because she holds the key to the little ante-chamber which divi. my husband's ruin or success in ded her husband's consulting room her hands."
from her own. At first this pleased This thought had figuratively him very much: it was so charm
ingly new. It was so deliciously un- and so truly womanly in her daily like the solitariness of his past life to life: his wildest hopes of happi. rise from his chair whenever his room ness were being realised. was empty, and have the chance, His professional duties had be. by just looking through a door, of come so easy to him by long habit seeing a face which, as he believed that, though he returned to take was the most lovely that had ever up the routine of work, yet, with come from the Creator's hand. Ernestine performing so admirably Sometimes he would find it difficult all the part he desired her to his to convince himself that this dreamland was unbroken. chance really existed; and then, But Ernestine's nature was kept if he called her, and there was no alive by stings of which he knew answer—or if he rose and looked nothing. The desire to obtain into her room, and found it empty some foothold in her profession was - he was deeply disappointed; so deeper than he supposed, because that Ernestine's hoverings on the she had more reasons than he knew margin of his room were very of to aim at a success of her own. welcome, and he was merely She lived from day to day in a amused when she assured him, out certain dread of her first meeting of the simplicity of her heart, that with Laura alone ; her practical she only came there to try and efforts in the household were catch his manner-not for the prompted by something very diffepleasure of being near him. He rent from that desire to please him did not believe her, of course—what to which he attributed them. And man would ?
the feeling that her actions must Often when he looked into her often be misunderstood by him room—that room which he had so made her sensitive to the last carefully furnished and filled with degree. There was · but little his love—if she sat there, as he dreamland for her. Her mind, sometimes found her, alone, he indeed, was unnaturally wakeful; would pause and marvel at the and it was only when quite alone picture; for to him the commence with him that, in realising how ment of their home life was more completely he was still enwrapped filled with romance than any other in the glamour of their love, she part of their connection. The herself became conscious of the atmosphere of his existence received refreshment she found in it. a different colour when he found But, when she sat in her consult. that this woman, whose intelli- ing room, or haunted the little gence he admired and whose beauty ante-chamber, it was not to realise he worshipped, really took up a the near presence of one she loved. peaceful and domesticated life by To him that nearness was a conhis side. It was so delightful a tinual delight, and the least sound surprise to him to find Ernestine which reached his ears would call giving orders to the cook and his mind from the most difficult looking after the household, that and absorbing diagnosis; and the he began to think his idea that she patient, if chancing to gaze into his would speedily surrender any face, would wonder at the faint ambition in her profession and smile that passed over it. His mind settle down as his wife, was being bad momentarily turned aside from already proved true.
its work to realise the happiness · And it brought an additional which filled his heart. tinge of rose-colour to his existence E rnestine in her present state to find Ernestine so little assertive was incapable of any such temporary oblivion of work. She followed into her room as the patient left out his cases with an intense keen. his. ness, throwing upon each the light He found her sitting on a low of her recent studies and the expe. chair in the window, through which rience gained from observations the sunlight streamed upon her which she was daily making under bright hair and face so full of the guidance of the most skilful strong life. The contrast between operators and physicians.
her and the woman who had just She hardly ever mentioned medi. left him struck him strangely at cal or professional matters to him; the moment. very occasionally she would ask “I am often in wonder " he said, him for an explanation of some standing and looking down upon symptom in one of her own patients, her, “what makes you so different but she never made any remark from other women ; is it intellectual upon his. Only once did she break activity which gives you such a this rule. A lady of title had just vividness of life, or is it the natural left his consulting room, and possession of that life which Ernestine had been partly amused enables you to sustain the intellecand partly disgusted with the inter- tual activity ?” view. The lady told him how ill, “You know," she answered, how very ill she was; she hinted at “which I believe in. To think is domestic troubles which had over to live' once said a man who was whelmed her delicate organisation. almost wise. But don't talk of that Dr. Doldy with some difficulty ex- now; my intellectual activity tracted her symptoms from her and demands to know, just at present, made rapid 'notes of them ; and why you, an honest man, should tell while actually engaged in writing that lady that her nerves are these and mentally reviewing the shattered?” case, he, by a double brain action “Because it was medicinally which Ernestine marvelled at, was good for her : it pleased and soothed able to lean a little forward towards her.” the afflicted lady and say in deli His tone had changed. Ernescately respectful tones “Madam, tine looked questioningly up at your nerves are shattered-abso. him. She said nothing farther for lutely shattered-absolutely shat. a moment, and then put an inquiry tered !”
in a voice from which she had ex“Ah!” was the reply, in a deep tracted all the brightness. drawn voice of self-admiration, "I “What is the matter with her?” knew it. Oh, Doctor, is it possible “Nothing !” replied Dr. Doldy ; to restore me to anything like and, walking to another window, health ?”
looked out. “If you take the greatest care of “I thought, at least, she must yourself, I believe it will be possible. have had heart disease,” she said. But you must remember, Madam, For about a minute there was that your constitution is extremely silence, and then Dr. Doldy came delicate. You must treat yourself and sat down by her side and began as you would a rare Venetian vase ; to talk of something else. He was you must be preserved from any much too deeply in love to be contact too rough or sudden.” driven from the sunshine of her
Ernestine had overheard many society by unspoken disapproval. consultations not unlike this, and Ernestine said no more ; but she had made no remark ; but to-day treasured these things up in her Dr. Doldy had come straight heart. She began to understand.