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form a nation on the coast of Africa, whereof
America might boast for ever. Americans
might so abolish slavery as to produce with
little or no costprobably with profit to
themselvesresults incomparably greater
than have been attained by England with a
vast expenditure of money. Our cousins are
capable of great works, and a great work lies
at their door. Heartily glad shall we be
when they shall begin to leave off whipping
their negroes, and shall set steadily to work to
whip the Britishers in the results to be
obtained out of enlightened efforts to give to the
slave freedom both of mind and body. This
victory over ourselves America may win, and
England shall be foremost in the celebration
of her triumph.



YELLOW, thumbed, devastated by flies and
time, stained with spots of oil and varnish,
broken-backed, dog's-eareda scurvy, lazar-
house copy which no bookstall-keeper would
look at, and at which the meanest of buttermen
would turn up his noseI have a book which
I love. It is the Reverend Mr. Pilkington,
his Dictionary of Painters. You know it, oh,
ye amateurs and cognoscenti in the fine arts,
seeking to verify the masters and the dates of
your favourite cavasses. You know it, ye
industrials of Cawdor Street, for it is your
grand book of reference, when your employé
Smith, painting a Holy Family and affixing
thereto the signature (pious fraud!) of
Dominichino or Zurbaran, runs the risk, if to
the signature he adds a date, of making a
slight mistake in chronology and dating his
work fifty years or so before the painter's
birth, or after his death. I have seen, ere
now, an original Rembrandt (with a flourish
to the R at which the boldest of sceptics
would not dare to cavil), dated 1560. I know
my Pilkington well, and of old, and I love it,
for it is full of shadows. I can keep good
shadowy company with it; now with the
élitethe R.A's of the old masters: Titian in
the Mocenigo Palace receiving his pencil
from the hands of Charles the Fifth, with a
condescending bow; Rubens riding abroad
with fifty gentlemen in his train; Rafaelle
lying in state with princes and cardinals
around, and his glorious Transfiguration at
the bed-head;—now, with the less prominent
celebrities: jovial, clever, worthless Adrian
Brouwer; Gian Bellini, so meek, so mild, and
so pious; honest Peter Claes, so great in
painting pots and pans and birch-brooms;
stolid old Dirk Stoop the battle painter.

Turn again, Pilkington, and let me summon
the shadow of Peter de Laar.

We are in Rome, in the year of grace
sixteen hundred and twenty-three, and in a
house in the Strada Vecchia. Light steals
with no garish glitter but with a chastened
mellowed softness, through a solitary window
into a grand old room. Not but what there
be other windows, and large ones too: but
they are all fastened and curtained up, that
so much light as is needed, and no more, shall
enter the painter's studio. Three large easels
I see, and a smaller one, far off, in a corner,
where a fair-haired boy is making studies, in
chalk, from a plaster bust on a pedestal.
There is old armour, old furniture, old
tapestry scattered about, and, above all, an
old painted ceiling, where a considerable
contingent from the denizens of Olympus once
disported themselves upon clouds, but are well
nigh invisible now through clouds of dust and
smoke from this lower earth. En revanche,
the gods and goddesses have descended to the
shelves, where, in plaster, and wanting some of
them a leg or an arm, they are as beautiful,
and more useful than above. The Venus of
Milo stands amicably side by side with
Actæon and his dogs, while in strange
proximity is the horned Moses of Michael
Angelo. There is a great velvet-covered
silver-clasped book of "Hours" on a prie
of carved oak, and in an ebon cabinet,
among strange poignards and quaint pieces of
plate, are a few books: a copy of Livy with a
passage kept open by an ivory rosary, some
dog's-eared sketch-books, and a parchment-
covered folio of St. Augustine's works, the
margins scrawled over with skeletons and
fragments of men with muscles in violent
relief. Nor are these last the only muscular
decorations of the apartment. One shelf is
entirely devoted to a range of phials,
containing anatomical preparations sufficiently
hideous to the view; and there stands, close
to a table where a serving lad with an
eminently French face is grinding colours on
a marble slab and humming an air the while,
a horrible figure as large as life, from which
the skin has been flayed off, showing the
muscles and arteries beneatha dreadful sight
to view. It may be of wax or of plaster, but I
would as soon not meet with it, if you please,
out of a dissecting-room, or a charnel-house.
A skeleton, toothe bones artistically wired
together, and supported on a tripodwould
evince that the occupant of the apartment
was not averse to the study of osteology. This
skeleton has no head, the place thereof being
supplied by a mask, a cardboard "dummy" of
a superlatively inane cast of beauty: the blue
eyes and symmetrical lips (curved into an
unmeaning and eternal simper), the pink cheeks,
and silken dolls' tresses, contrasting strangely
with the terribly matter-of-fact bones and
ligaments beneaththe moral to my lady's
looking-glass. This room might belong to a
surgeon who is fond of painting (for there are
more bones, and one or two real grinning
skulls about), or to a painter who is fond of
surgery; for the anatomical drawings which
crowd every vacant place, which are scrawled
on the walls and furniture in chalk and
charcoal and red cinnabar, bear trace of a
masterly eye and of an experienced hand.