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The world's good word ! the Institute !
Guizot receives Montalembert !
Eh? Down the court three lampions flare:
OH, to be in England now that April's there,
should think he never could recapture
St. 3. Guizot: François Pierre Guillaume Guizot, French statesman and his torian, b. 1787, d. 1874. Montalembert: Charles Forbes René, Comte de Montalembert, French statesman, orator, and political writer, b. 1810, d. 1870. Guizot receives Montalembert: i.e., on purely conventional grounds.
HOME THOUGHTS, FROM THE SEA.
Nobly, nobly Cape Saint Vincent to the north-west died away;
gray ; “Here and here did England help me, - how can I help England?".
say, Whoso turns as I, this evening, turn to God to praise and pray, While Jove's planet rises yonder, silent over Africa,
OLD PICTURES IN FLORENCE.
The morn when first it thunders in March,
The eel in the pond gives a leap, they say.
Of the villa-gate this warm March day,
In the valley beneath where, white and wide
Florence lay out on the mountain-side.
River and bridge and street and square
Lay mine, as much at my beck and call,
As the sights in a magic crystal-ball.
St. 1. washed by the morning water-gold: the water of the Arno, gilded by the morning sun;
“I can but muse in hope, upon this shore
Of golden Arno, as it shoots away
-Casa Guidi Windows.
And of all I saw and of all I praised,
The most to praise and the best to see
But why did it more than startle me?
Could you play me false who loved you so?
Yet it feels, I would have your fellows know!
To break a silence that suits them best,
St. 2. the startling bell-tower Giotto raised: the Campanile of the Cathedral, or Duomo, of Florence (La Cattedrale di S. Maria del Fiore), begun in 1334.
“The characteristics of Power and Beauty occur more or less in different buildings, some in one and some in another. But all together, and all in their highest possible relative degrees, they exist, as far as I know, only in one building of the world, the Campanile of Giotto:” - Ruskin. But why did it more than startle me? There's a rumor “that a certain precious little tablet which Buonarotti eyed like a lover" has been discovered by somebody. If this rumor is true, the speaker feels that Giotto, whom he has so loved, has played him false, in not favoring him with the precious find. See St. 30. “The opinion which his contemporaries entertained of Giotto, as the greatest genius in the arts which Italy in that age pose sessed, has been perpetuated by Dante in the lines in which the illuminator, Oderigi, says:
“In painting Cimabue fain had thought
“Giotto di Bondone was born at Del Colle, a village in the commune of Vespignano near Florence, according to Vasari, A.D. 1276, but more probably A.D. 1266. He went through his apprenticeship under Cimabue, and practised as a painter and architect not only in Florence, but in various parts of Italy, in free cities as well as in the courts of princes. On April 12, 1334, Giotto was appointed by the civic authorities of Florence, chief master of the Cathedral works, the city fortifications, and all public architectural undertakings, in an instrument of which the wording constitutes the most affectionate homage to the 'great and dear master.' Giotto died January 8, 1337." — Woltmann and Woermann's History of Painting.
For a good account of the Campanile, see Susan and Joanna Horner's Walks in Florence, v. I, pp. 62–66; Art. in Macmillan's Mag., April, 1877, by Sidney Colvin, - Giotto's Gospel of Labor.
But the thing grows somewhat hard to bear
When I find a Giotto join the rest.
Print the blue sky with twig and leaf
'Twixt the aloes, I used to learn in chief,
By a gift God grants me now and then,
For pleasure or profit, her men alive
But with empty cells of the human hive;
The church's apsis, aisle or nave,
Its face set full for the sun to shave.
Wherever an outline weakens and wanes
Stands One whom each fainter pulse-tick pains :
Each tinge not wholly escape the plaster,
St. 4. By a gift God grants me now and then: the gift of spiritual vision.
St. 6. “He sees the ghosts of the early Christian masters, whose work has never been duly appreciated, standing sadly by each mouldering Italian Fresco." — Dowden.
They are safe in heaven with their backs to it,
Round the works of, you of the little wit !
Now that they see God face to face,
But the wronged great souls — can they be quit
Where you style them, you of the little wit,
Not dreaming that Old and New are fellows:
Da Vincis derive in good time from Dellos.
And a handsome word or two give help,
And the puppy pack of poodles yelp.
Of brow once prominent and starry,
For his peerless painting? (see Vasari.)
St. 8. Much they reck of your praise and you! the Michaels and Rafaels. Leonardo da Vinci (b. at Vinci, in the Val d'Arno, below Florence, 1452); “in him the two lines of artistic descent, tracing from classic Rome and Christian Byzantium, meet." — Heaton's History of Painting. Dello di Niccolo Delli, painter and sculptor, fi. first half 15th cent.
St. 9. “Stefano is extolled by Vasari as having left Giotto himself far behind, but it is very difficult to ascertain what were really his works." — Heaton. “Stefano appears from Landinio's Commentary on Dante to have been called scimia