But Did Not He Who Made The Appetite
For Food Make Also That For Beauty?
And while the former will perish
with the body, is not the latter immortal?
With all New England's
earnestness and practical efficiency, there is a long withering of the
soul's more ethereal part, - a crushing out of the beautiful, - which is
horrible. Children are born there with a sense of beauty equally
delicate with any in the world, in whom it dies a lingering death of
smothered desire and pining, weary starvation. I know, because I have
felt it. - One in whom this sense has long been repressed, in coming
into Paris, feels a rustling and a waking within him, as if the soul
were trying to unfold her wings, long unused and mildewed. Instead of
scorning, then, the lighthearted, _mobile_, beauty-loving French,
would that we might exchange instructions with them - imparting our
severer discipline in religious lore, accepting their thorough methods
in art; and, teaching and taught, study together under the great
Master of all.
I went with M. Belloc into the gallery of antique sculpture. How
wonderful these old Greeks I What set them out on such a course, I
wonder - anymore, for instance, than the Sandwich Islanders? This
reminds me to tell you that in the Berlin Museum, which the King of
Prussia is now finishing in high style, I saw what is said to be the
most complete Egyptian collection in the world; a whole Egyptian
temple, word for word - pillars, paintings, and all; numberless
sarcophagi, and mummies _ad nauseam!_ They are no more fragrant
than the eleven thousand virgins, these mummies!
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