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“bronze chronicles of the time"—let posterity have them and know them in their “habits as they lived.” Do not cast metallic falsehoods—do not chisel granite lies. If a statue is worth anything it ought to give an idea of the person represented by it. If it fail in this, it may be a very fine piece of art, yet it is not what it was intended, and what it ought, to be. You erect a monument to a man—a statue of a man. Mark the distinction. Both may commemorate, but one represents, copies, communicates to those who have never seen the original, his appearance in feature and limb. A statue professes to be a portrait—it may be a work of high art also –but if the likeness be wanting, the principal requisition is absent. Now, clothes go very far in making up our notions of a man's appearance. Let any person who doubts just contemplate his most intimate friend jumping in or out of a bathing machine—I defy recognition at twenty yards. An entire change of costume is just as puzzling as no costume at all. Look at actors on and off the stage. Look at Richard the Third in an omnibus—at Shylock in a fourpenny steamer. Why then proceed, in what, from the very nature of their materials, must be the most long-lived portraits of our public men, to bewilder and mislead, and by an elaborate change of dress prevent the very objects from being fulfilled which a portrait-statue seeks to achieve. Posterity will be much more gratified by a peep at what Brummel's “fat friend" really was, than by being treated to an effigy which may be a tolerably correct one of George IV., or a tolerably correct one of Julius Caesar. I know I shall be answered by an outcry against the unpieturesque style of our dress, and the impossibility of using it for the purposes of art. Why, an ugly man who went to a miniature painter to have his likeness taken, might just as reasonably be turned away with the consolatory assurance that his features were too monstrous for “the purposes of art.” But the monstrosity is the look out of the sitter, not of the artist. His business is to perpetuate on canvass or ivory the copy which nature and its proprietor have set before him. Here is my face, let me have your copy of it. Our sculptors, however, have taken very good care not to reject commissions, because of the ugliness of the costumes in which those commissions ought naturally to be executed. They have adopted what they deem a compromise between the claims of taste and pocket. They do not turn the coated and trowsered man out of doors as an unfit subject for the divinity
which inspires every blow bestowed upon their chisels. No, they strip off the paletot and put on the toga, They sacrifiee what all must know to be abstract truth, for what some contend to be beauty. They give you a resemblance of a man, out of which they have been careful to chip out the most salient points of likeness. It is just as if a portrait-painter were to tell a gentleman,—“You are a particularly ugly and repulsive individual—you are lame and crooked—you have only one eye, and no nose at all to speak of. All this is very bad, very unpleasant to look upon—it will not do for art. Art meddles with beauty, not deformity. It soars; it does not stoop. I shall, therefore, paint you as an Apollo Belvidere.” Now this absurdity is committed every day in sculpture. “A coat and trowsers,” says the artist, “are ugly . things, destitute of all grace and beauty. I shall, therefore, represent you in a toga and buskins.” But it is not beauty or ideality we look for in statues of men, but truth. We want to see good portraits in stone or bronze. I should laugh at a Cromwell tricked out as might be a Centurion of the Fifth Legion. I want him as he lived and was seen by his contemporaries. I want him as he led his Iron Sides, or dictated to John Milton—jack boots on his legs, and a wart on his nose. Let me not be misunderstood. I do not disparage the ideal. I only want to keep the ideal from trespassing on the truthful. I quarrel not with fancy; but in cases where the mixture of fancy with fact would tend to mislead. I want to keep fancy distinct from fact. Both are good, but one may spoil the other. Erect a monument to a man, and idealise as much as you please —erect, if you are incurably toga-mad, a statue of a Roman, dedicated to an English hero; but if your design be to cut or mould the statue of an Englishman, let him be clothed as an Englishman. Copy his costume as you copy his features. You have no more right to take liberties with the one than with the other. The Romans did not clothe their statues with the dress of the Etrurians or the Egyptians; they left us the effigies of their statesmen and their warriors as they harangued in the senate, or conquered in the field. Let us do likewise. What is good enough for ourselves ought to be good enough for statues of ourselves. If the eye be offended by our unpicturesque costume cut in marble, why is the eye not equally offended at it cut in broad cloth 2 The admitted fact of the national dress not being remarkable for its display of the line of beauty, may or may not be a very good argument for changing the national dress, and putting the whole population into the costumes of Patricians, Equites, and Plebeians; but it is no argument at all for changing the offending habiliments merely in a few statues. Taste is none the gainer, and truth is all the loser by the arrangement. I can only imagine one thing more utterly ludicrous and preposterous than the fashion of putting female statues of the present day into mediaeval, and male statues into Roman costumes—and it is the converse of the arrangement. Just fancy Cato in a registered paletot, a figured shirt, and a winner of the Derby handkerchief; and Joan of Arc adorned with a jupon de crinoline, and a polkajacket ! At present most of our statues seem to be nothing more or less than blocks for the display of “Old Clo!”
DIVINITY FROM RAGS.
“HUMPH ! only this metal tea-spoon, two combs, this pewter pot (vich, mum, I've dodged round a corner for a precious hour), a twopenny coral necklace, and this—this bit o' bacon,” enumerated Togg, touching each article with the bowl of a small black pipe just taken from the mouth, and leering upon three or four miserable little urchins who had deposited these matters on the filthy, rickety table for inspection: “yer precious, ain't ye, for yer edication ?”
“Well, mums, I could do no more,” spoke the most precocious of the four, drawing back from the table to avoid an expected blow. “Peoples is uncommon wide awake now to their wittles, and don't lit anothing out o' the shadder o' their noses, that I'se knows, as was a dodging for four hours for a chickun; and win jist as I'se got it in grab, the missis took it in her own hed—that was pretty clear—to have a precious tit-bit for her own supper, and off she walks, and lit them as cotch it as would.” Togg moved uneasily in her dilapidated arm-chair, gave her head and its filthy tattered eap a shake, and, leering viciously on her precious pupils, aimed a furious blow, which, as is very often the case in human affairs,
didn't fall where it was intended, but on the weakest and most miserable of the party
“ Come there, don't yer be jist a gitting on that way, or else yer shall sing for a fire this precious night,” said a little, old, weazened creature, in face a man of thirty, in stature a boy of twelve, who, seated on the heaped and filthy hearth, was feeding the few sparks of fire in the grate with bits of wood and coal from a wet hempen bag that lay between his knees. “Yis, if yer 'd lit 'em come in my line, there 'd be a sumfen ; for mud ain't like daylight-it don't tell nothink ; and so don't yer be a doing that, for it was Sammy's fourpence as sint yer to bed winking last night.” So saying, the little old fellow heaped more wood upon the fire, till it crackled and roared perilously up the wide and dusky chimney. As all had slunk from within her reach except the firemender-Duckling as he was called—and a girl crouched in the chimney corner with an apron cast over her head, Togg proceeded to count up the value of the before-mentioned articles on the table; and as it presently appeared to exceed her expectations, and the fire now threw a glowing warmth around, she lighted her pipe with an air of leering complacency at the short thick candle that stood on the table in a blacking-bottle. Just then, as she was about to do her duty to society by some pretty little lesson for the morrow, to her four most diminutive pupils, already in a corner abstracted in the ethics of pitch-and-toss with shillings and sixpences that had never seen the inside of her blessed Majesty's Mint, the room-door was quickly thrust back, and a boy of perhaps fourteen, though a mere dwarf for that age, came in, followed by another much younger, and in a stride or two was beside the table, and had placed on it an uncut Stilton cheese. His dilated eyes and upheaving chest told the whole peril and history of the theft.
“My eye! Bella ! Bella! if Tummy ain't sparked up at last," roared Togg with vehement glee, as she gave her cap an ecstatic tweek, and turned round to the slipshod sleeper.
“Oh, ay !” exclaimed the thief's gaping little satellite, twisting his fists with vicious precocity, “it vos jolly-sich a precious prig; la ! la! Tummy can come out strong, that jist he can ; ” and Tom looked round and gloried in his popularity, with such witful eyes and face of intellect, that Togg vision had already raised up in the place of the cheese a heap of precious gold. What she was about to say in the extremity of exultation was lost by the entrance of Slimps, who, from possessing a threadbare coat and being tall, was usually considered the Apollo of the Togg cstablishment; and he, seeing the state of affairs at a glance (for the thief of men's good has his pretty little points of ambition as much as has the thief of political rights), lost no time in producing a very fat turkey from underneath the before-mentioned coat ; but, as this did not make any immediate sensation, there followed a string of sausages, a bottle of preserved cherries, and so on-all the fruit of the same gentlemanly, and leisurely, and supper-contemplating marauder ; and, combined, Togg majesty was propitiated, for she immediately exclaimed, “Well there, git yer pipes ; it shall be a roast and a quartern all round." As the Duckling was considered the out-and-out cook of the establishment, turkey-roasting responsibility was his, and, as his damp and dreary life amidst the sewers made him peculiarly relish the warmth and light of a fire, it was soon re-fed with the choicest morsels from his bag, and costly morsels too, that had perhaps their own dark mystery of crime and theft, though blanched and rotted in the sewerage many a year ; the turkey set to twirl, the gin sent for, and such small juveniles as were not yet elected to nobler things in the Togg establishment were sent immediately to prowl for butter for the basting, and pepper for the peppering, and any other little thing that might come conveniently to hand.
Tom—he had no other name-though not glorious in a coat like Slimps (for his whole wardrobe was thus :—a wristbandless shirt, a bracer of twine, and an extraordinary pair of corduroy trowsers, that in their pristine day had clearly served an agriculturist-medal-worth Mr. John Bull), was, in spite of the turkey and appendages, the hero of the night, and high in Togg favour. Clearly the boy was drunk with crime, for, revelling in the story of his guilt, he told it with matchless wit and humour ; his very eyes dropped merriment; and smoking his pipe, and quaffing his gin, and leering on the girl at his side, made even Togg majesty cry “What a boy!” and the cook time his laughter with the continuous basting of the turkey.
By the time the bird was done, the sausages fried, and the great potful of potatoes piled in an earthen pan, other slipshod girls had crept in, and other urchins, prematurely old in festered crime and guilt ; but, as their miserable earnings did not raise them to flavours so aristocratic as turkey, some slunk away to the rear to eat their filched scraps unheeded and uncared for ; others toasted bread and meat before the fire ; others begged the mere