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MODERN PILGRIMAGES. NO. V11I. The Studio of Canora. ' ' Lassh non
eran mossi i pi nostri anco Quand' ii1 connbbi quella ripa intorno,
Che dritte di salita avea manco, Esser di 111:11-1110 candido, ed
adorno D' intagli s, che non pur l'olicreto, Mala natura gli
averebbe scorno." Dante, Purgatorio, Canto lOth. Nc sutor ultra
crepidam?" No man beyond his last," said I to myself, as, visiting
the galleries and palaces of Rome, I felt an itching to put my
Gothicisms on paper. What has a fellow like me to do writing about
the arts, who sat in the tribune of the Florentine gallery without
experiencing any extraordinary delight? There were the boasts of
sculpture, the Medicean Venus, the Boxers, the Faun, the Apellino?
all very natural, in features and attitude as expressive as marble
can be; but they gave me no pleasure. They excited not one noble
feeling, recalled no glory of the past, and foretold none of the
future;?the massy blocks of Tarquin's cloaca and Rorriulus's brazen
wolf were more eloquent to me. Certainly a higher idea is
afterwards conceived by comparing these chef-fuemrts of art with
all others, and finding them so superior: this speaks difficulty
vanquished?speaks talent. But why admire a thing that pleases only
because it shows talent? Here the argument comes home: we of the
pen can admire, and sometimes do admire most voluminously, poems
and prose that are " sccca- ture" to the multitude, merely because
we espy genius therein; and the unfortunate wight is scouted, who
declares in most rational paradox, that he can see no beauty in
such things. The fact is, we must give and take; and while we are
as yet but learners in the school of connotsseurship, we must adopt
either much taciturnity or much pretension. The former would be
most advisable, but to...
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