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wanting in a knowledge of the figure, and incapable of portraying " the naked and elevated nature,” of being ignorant of “ the niceties of anatomy and elegance of outline.” The former critic certainly admits that there are few examples of “ naked nature” in his works. We will not argue Hogarth's capability for this description of drawing, no unworthy example, perhaps, of which may be found in the figure of the girl reclining near the priest in the Pool of Bethesda, nor do we deny the taste-educating influence of the “naked and elevated nature.” But must the artist be irretrievably shackled to this in the lessons he has to teach ? Hogarth aimed not to teach us taste, but higher lessons of morality, to show us the sterner realities of life. Instead of a nude Venus he gives us the gin-drinker in her loathsome raggedness. He did not aim to tickle our intellectual palate with visions of impossible perfection and studies of form, but to whip our moral sense with views of the possibilities of degradation; while in the innocence of some baby face, or in a glimpse of better nature, of some generous feeling or sympathy ennobling a woman's face into beauty, he would remind us of the capabilities for goodness. Truly, art is the representation and teaching of beauty ; and what beauty is higher than the beauty of virtue, in contrast to and triumphing over the ugliness of vice?
Deficient in a certain dignity and in imagination of this idealistic order, Hogarth naturally failed in Scriptural painting. His Paul before Felix, Moses and Pharaoh's Daughter, the Good Samaritan, and Pool of Bethesda, border more on the ridiculous than ascend to the sublime, and are, as Ireland remarks of the first
mentioned, “ destitute of elevation and sentiment."
The chief characteristics of his work may be summed up in inexhaustible fund of originality, invention, and variety, a power and force which is to be found in few other artists, and a facility of expression equally rare. Spirit and animation mark every stroke; and though in parts coarse, it must be remembered that the standard of refinement is different now. The teaching, however, is the same for then, now, and ever, though the language in which it is conveyed be obsolete. Not the least remarkable characteristic of Hogarth is his dramatic power. Allan Cunningham said he is "a great dramatist, second only to Shakespeare ;” and the great Drama of Life, that “poor player who frets and struts his hour upon the stage "-life,
with its toils and troubles, its cankering cares, its grim satires on man's wishings and strivings, its deadening crimes, its sharp punishments and vicissitudes, and, moreover, its little rose-gleams, its byewitnesses of good and joy, its unseen, unnoticed incidents of helping sympathy to the heart,—this is what Hogarth painted.
The test of genius is the sympathy which flows from it through the art—be it book, picture, or music—which it creates. Human nature is universal ; its chords are all attuned to one grand harmony, and that which can evoke music from these is great in a true sense. And this sympathy belongs pre-eminently to Hogarth. We cannot look on his works simply to admire them : they are too true for that. There is a deeper reference to the under-current of character which strikes too near home for dilettante trifling. And if sympathy be the test, enthusiasm must ever be the effect of real genius. The great, the true cannot be flirted with; it must be a grande passion, and such an entire feeling all great masters in art must produce. If Hogarth does possess this sympathy and bring forth this enthusiasm —and who can deny that he does ?—must he not be counted among those for whose living mankind is better, and whose working we can estimate at no cost, because it has no concern with our gettings or belongings, but with our being and nature ?
THE LOST CHILD.
UR home was in the wilderness: I dwelt
Far from the rush and roar of city life.
One autumn morn I drove a noble herd
We needed for awhile, and bade them bring
'Twas sunset ere I started. Oft I thought
Of people knew I carried gold, and notes,
Despite my fears, I speedily got down,
Onward in haste I rode, until I saw
Almost dead with fear,
“What is it, neighbours ?” I exclaimed; when one Old honest farmer said, “Oh, nothing now,
I hope, for what is that within your coat?”
And, though full many years have passed since then,
JOHN RYLEY ROBINSON.
REPORTS ON THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE.
GEOGRAPHY,-By E. C. RYE, F.Z.S., LIBR. R.G.S. FRICA still retains her hold upon the minds of geographers,
and although since our last report there is little of startling novelty to record, the details of various recent explorations which have come to hand will probably be both useful and interesting. A tribute must be paid, in the first place, to the memories of various African geographers recently passed away. Of these, Herr Rebmann is at once the oldest and the most noteworthy; he alone of the sad list has survived the varied dangers attending Æthiopian travel, dying in peace in his native land. Our present knowledge of the great lake system of Central Africa is due to him and Dr. Krapf, they being the first to collect and make known the native reports of the existence of an inland sea. He was sent out in 1846 to thc East