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in the embellishment of Cairo, etc. The by me, and it is no answer to what I have written Suez Canal had nothing whatever to do with all upon the subject to say that it was the result of these expenses. And in conclusion it must not the investigations of a Committee of Inquiry, be forgotten that Egypt, in selling its stock to chosen from the Council of State, under the England at the price at which it was done, re- presidency of an important man. ceived 20,000,000 francs more than it originally I do not remember to have stated that all the gave.
money which the canal cost Egypt went into the FERDINAND DE LESSEPS.
treasury of the company. I simply endeavored March 25, 1880.
to show the cost thereof, and I said in the article, [We have received from Judge Morgan a long and I repeat it now: “In so far as Egypt is conarticle, written before the above reply came to hand, cerned, it matters not where it went; it is suffigiving the official authority for every statement made cient to know that Egypt had to pay it.” by him so far as regards the expenditures of the
The amount which the last 30,000,000 francs Suez Canal Company ; but, as we do not see that M. de Lesseps really disproves the figures given by cost is not denied. It is no answer to say that Judge Morgan, we do not now print it, but hold our
the sum was not taken from the Egyptian Treaselves ready to do so should it become necessary or
sury. The Government is paying it now in yeardesirable. We append, however, a note from Judge ly installments to England in sums of about Morgan, glancing briefly at the points made by M. £200,000 each. de Lesseps.]
I have not said that the canal was the only
cause of Egypt's financial ruin- I said and I reTo the Editor of Appletons' Journal.
peat it, that it was one of the causes thereofSir: I see little in M. de Lesseps's article to and a principal one besides; and it can be shown answer. I did not pretend to write “a history” by authentic documents that the enterprise which of the Suez Canal. The main object of my ef- was to have cost Egypt nothing has resulted fort was to show what the canal cost Egypt. in having taken from her, 'first and last, some The methods employed to that end were purely 500,000,000 francs; that the money it has cost her incidental, as was also my reference to them. would have built it, and that she has no canal.
To substantiate my statements I have fur- And in what way the money was spent by the nished you with all the data upon which I could, company, whether in the payment of interest or at the moment, lay my hands. But they are not not, is nothing to the purpose. The cost of the denied, and this is my justification.
work is in the near neighborhood of what I As to the effect which the canal has had up stated it to be. on the commerce of Egypt, I only expressed the But I regret to see that upon a question of opinion which was repeated to me, by every per- fact—though not of figures, or, as I believe, of son not interested in the canal, with whom I law or justice-I have made a mistake. conversed while I was in Egypt. The fact that
On p. 308 (“ Journal” for April) you will find, the railroad from Cairo to Suez is good stock “But inasmuch as the company claimed interdoes not disprove the statement. The ships est on the sums which they had paid to laborwith their passengers, passing through the canal, ers, up to the time when their further employsubstantiate it.
ment was prohibited, amounting, as they stated As regards the “pure invention" about the the sum, to 9,000,000 francs,” etc. workmen, it was not my invention. I only stated In reality, the interest claimed was upon what I had heard from persons who were on the ground that the change in the labor would prospot when they were at work. You will observe tract the work a year, and what was claimed was that the mode of working these people and the interest on the capital which would be employed pay which they were to receive are not denied, and for that additional time; and it was with this the statement that 4,500,000 francs had been cur
sum, prospectively due, that the Emperor comtailed out of the pay which was due to them has pensated the 4,500,000 francs which had been not even been alluded to. The effect upon them, reserved from the laborers. physically, is more graphically described in an
The fact is worse than the statement, and the article which I find in the “Springfield Republi- result is always the same, for the Government can,” which was intended, it would seem, as a
was awarded to pay for capital, the expenditure defense of the company: “ Villages were cut off, of which had not been made, and which in no families were destroyed, the prosperity of Egypt case was due. was lessered by the fearful sacrifice of life.” If
I take this occasion to say that the article was any official statistics have been kept of the num- written while I was in Egypt, and long before I ber of people who perished on the work, they was appointed Minister to Mexico. are, or should be, within reach of the officers of
Very truly yours, the company. Let them produce them.
P. H. MORGAN. The judgment of the Emperor was criticised WASHINGTON, April 1, 1880.
ble except to those who are acquainted with the classics ; SHAM ADMIRATION.
and “Tom Jones " is one of them. Many of the introCHERE is no sham so prevalent and yet so de- ductions to the chapters, not to mention a certain trav
testable as sham admiration in literature and estie of an Homeric battle, must needs be as wearisome art; and consequently many readers will rejoice in
to those who are not scholars as the spectacle of a bura recent paper by Mr. James Payn, in which he pro. This is still more the case with our old poets, especially
lesque is to those who have not seen the original play. tests cogently against this form of subjection and Milton. I very much doubt, in spite of the universal cowardice. There has arisen, he declares, “a well- chorus to the contrary, whether" Lycidas" is much adnigh universal habit of literary lying-of a pretense mired by readers who are only acquainted with English of admiration for certain works of which in reality literature ; I am quite sure it never touched their hearts we know very little, and for which, if we knew more, as, for example, " In Memoriam " does. we should perhaps care less,” which he in part at
I once beheld a young lady, of great literary taste and tributes to the English system of compulsory classic of exquisite sensibility, torn to pieces (figuratively) and education. But, while there is a great deal of bastard trampled upon by a great scholar for venturing to make
a comparison between those two poems. Its invocation admiration for the Greek and Latin poets, the Eng
to the Muses and the general classical air which pervades lish classics are only a little less made objects of it had destroyed for her the pathos of “Lycidas,” wherepretended liking.
as to her antagonist those very imperfections appeared There are certain books which are standard, and as
to enhance its beauty. I did not interfere, because the it were planted in the British soil, before which the great for her if I had, but my sympathies were entirely with
wretch was her husband, and it would have been worse majority of us bow the knee and doff the cap with a reverence that, in its ignorance, reminds one of fetich- her. Her sad fate-for the massacre took place in pubworship, and, in its affectation, of the passion for High lic-would, I was well aware, have the effect of making Art. The works without which, we are told at book- people lie worse than ever about Milton. On that same auctions, “no gentleman's library can be considered evening, while some folks were talking about Mr. Morcomplete,” are especially the objects of this adoration. ris's “ Earthly Paradise," I heard a scornful voice exclaim, “The Rambler,” for example, is one of them. I was “Oh! give me ‘Paradise Lost,'" and with that gentleonce shut up for a week of snow-storms in a mountain
man I did have it out. I promptly subjected him to inn, with “The Rambler” and one other publication. cross-examination, and drove him to that extremity that The latter was a “Shepherd's Guide,” with illustrations he was compelled to admit he had never read a word of of the way in which sheep are marked by their various Milton for forty years, and even then only in extracts owners for the purpose of identification : “Cropped near
from “ Enfield's Speaker." ear, upper key bitted far, a pop on the head and another
This habit of adhesion to received opinions at the tail head, ritted, and with two red strokes down strikes, as Mr. Payn well says, at the root of all inboth shoulders," etc. It was monotonous, but I confess that there were times when I felt it some comfort in hav. dependence of thought
, and is peculiarly unjust to ing that picture-book to fall back upon, to alternate with living authors. But, if there is far too much sham "The Rambler." ...
admiration in literature, it is yet fairly insignificant A good deal of this mock worship is of course due to beside the would-be passion for old art, and, in truth, abject cowardice. A man who says he doesn't like “The for all kinds of art. In nothing is Pretense so flaRambler” runs, with some folks, the risk of being grant, so unblushing, so radically ignorant, so free thought a fool; but he is sure to be thought that, for with pat but meaningless terms, so wholly senile and something or another, under any circumstances; and, at artificial. There is a class of art-admirers who are all events, why should he not content himself, when pedants, not merely without independent thought, “ The Rambler” is belauded, with holding his tongue but utterly without thought of any kind. They have and smiling acquiescence? It must be conceded that there are a few persons who really have read “The Ram- become learned in names and catalogues ; they know bler," a work, of course, I am merely using as a type of the place which artists fill in the estimation of con. its class. In their young days it was used as a school- noisseurs; they know where certain noted pictures book, and thought necessary as a part of polite educa- are, who painted them, and when they were painted; tion; and, as they have read little or nothing since, it is they can rattle off names of artists and talk about only reasonable that they should stick to their colors. periods of art with astonishing ease. But they have
Mr. Payn thinks that it is women who have the never in their lives been really stirred by any of the most courage in the expression of their literary opin- echo the commonly received opinions and criticisms,
works of art they praise so freely. Parrot-like, they ions, citing as evidence Harriet Martineau, who con and repeat with frigid exactness the traditional fessed to him that she found “ Tom Jones" a weari- theories that have come down to us, but, being igsome book ; and Charlotte Brontë, who declared that norant of the true principles of art, they can not for she could not read Jane Austen's novels with plea- their lives detect unaided the essential or genuine sure. He adds :
quality of any work before them. Everything with It may here be said that there are many English au- these people that is old is necessarily good, and everythors of old date, some of whose beauties are unintelligi- thing new is necessarily bad. From this class come hosts of would-be critics and historians-people who do not feel. Whether it is more agreeable to en. write guide-books to art, art manuals, dissertations counter the Philistinism that does not feel, or the on the old masters, and what not, performances that counterfeit that pretends to feel, we leave each readsolemnly and ponderously echo the stale ecstasies er to decide for himself. of enthusiastic but undiscriminating admirers.
Art writers who manufacture admiration for the market are commonly discreet enough not to betray
TAXING SAVINGS BANKS. themselves by glaring mistakes, but many persons in society who rave about High Art and the Old In the early part of the century a device known Masters are very apt, like untrained claqueurs, to as banks for savings came into existence in all the applaud in the wrong place. A great many old principal cities of Great Britain. The genesis of paintings are admired by artists solely because of these institutions had been a plan on the part of an their technical qualities—the arrangement of lines, English gentlewoman to encourage her tenantry in the balance of parts, the harmony of tints, the mas- habits of industry and economy, by promising a tery of difficulties in drawing, but which are admitted bounty on Christmas-day to all who would each to be inferior in their literary quality, that is, in the week deposit in her hands, for safe-keeping, a cerconception and vraisemblance of the scene depicted. tain proportion of their earnings. A Scotch clergyBut your imitator does not discern this difference, man, the Rev. Mr. Duncan, took up the idea and and admires, through thick and thin, good qualities extended it, organizing the first plan of an institution and bad qualities alike. In truth, it is only by com- for savings. The sole purpose was a benevolent one, prehending the artist's point of view that old art being simply to encourage the poor to save for future generally has any valuable significance whatever. emergencies a part of their earnings by paying them The Scriptural subjects especially, that so abound in a bounty for doing so. This bounty was not paid Europe, are for the most part simply repellent to from interest derived from investments of the funds every discerning mind not under subjection to cur- deposited, but from contributions of the benevolent. rent notions, not attitudinizing for the sake of effect, A little later we find savings banks organized under or not in the position of a student who sees in them laws of Parliament, which paid a stipulated interest, indications of growth or record of changes in the the Government guaranteeing subsidies sufficient for history of art. Beautiful they commonly are not. the purpose. Under this plan banks multiplied, unInspiring they are not. In any right sense, adequate til at last the Government bounty was withdrawn, or effective reproductions of the times or the events leaving them wholly to their own resources. They they are not. Full of absurdities, puerile in idea, went on prosperously nevertheless, and, although melodramatic and sensational, they often are ; but ceasing to be eleemosynary institutions, their moral some noted critics have found some special things in and benevolent character was still acknowledged and them to praise, and as a consequence intellectual recognized. Savings banks were not organized in apes everywhere fall down and worship them with- our own country until they had reached in England out reservation.
their fully developed form. Here they were from But sham admiration in art is by no means con- the beginning self-supporting and independent infined to those who prostrate themselves before old stitutions, organized under charters from the State, productions. There is another class that reverse the but in no way depending upon public bequests. But process and manufacture raptures over everything that, this fact, instead of lessening their primary benevobeing new, is also outré. In the school of painting lent character, simply increases it ; for it is assuredly that this class admires, everything that is established better that institutions should confer the good they is worthless, and nothing commendable but extrava- do without public expenditure than by means of it. gance and novelty. It has set up ugliness instead But the fact that savings banks do not now depend of beauty, the meaningless instead of meaning, in- upon State bounties has led many people to overcompleteness instead of completeness, rude slap-dash look their fundamental character, and has absolutely instead of masterly method ; and all these things are brought about schemes for taxing them. The State indiscriminately praised by a disorderly camp of fol- supports prisons and almshouses, and bestows large lowers.
sums upon charitable institutions of all kinds; but a It is not easy, doubtless, for one to maintain a system of savings which reduces the number of canjust and discreet ground in these things-to respect didates for almshouses and prisons, and renders the authority without surrendering one's independence service of the charitable less imperative, is looked to it; to distrust one's own knowledge and suscep- upon in the same light as a whisky-still, a tobaccotibilities without blindly following the lead of others; shop, or a dance-house, and is taxed. Now, what is to try honestly to appreciate everything we are called it that the State proposes to tax ? The slowly accuupon to admire, but bestowing praise only when we mulated savings of hard-working sewing-women; the genuinely feel it-it is doubtless difficult to hit this mite which widows put aside for their little ones in golden mean, but the main difficulty is, we do not time of sickness; the small savings which the illcommonly want to hit it. People are too often dog- paid artisan manages by strict self-denial to bring matic and self-sufficient, and refuse their franchise together; the innumerable small sums that sober from pure insensibility or from pure obstinacy; or and abstemious living withholds from the alehouse else they affect an appreciation which at heart they and the gin-palace; the little beginnings of capital
that industry brings together after desperate effort tempt for sentimentalism so far as to exclude sentias the foundation of better things in the future; the ment, and in their delight in rude strength have humble consecrated products of prudence, temper- forgotten that the real purpose of art is the illustraance, energy, thrift and wise forethought. These tion of beauty. “Among the best gifts bestowed are the elements of the wealth that a great State upon us is the sense of beauty, and first among the lays its hands upon for the purpose of taxation! To servants of beauty is art,” declares a recent writer on state the fact is to establish the rank injustice of the art; and he adds, “ The picture that does not fan proposition. The State does not tax churches, al- into a glow our sense of beauty, whether as connected though churches represent a good deal of wealth; with charm or glory, has no sufficient reason for exit does not tax schools, nor hospitals, nor asylums, istence." The italics here are our own. How many nor charitable guilds—it aids and encourages them of the paintings produced by the artists of the new all ; but it proposes to tax savings banks, which are school will stand this test? No doubt this question as beneficent in their practical operation as any or can also be asked of the pictures in the Academy all of these institutions. The savings banks of New Exhibition, but at least we see recognition there of York are not business schemes. They are not or- the prime necessity of beauty, and occasionally a ganized for profit. They do not issue stock and do painting may be said to have attained it. But our not pay dividends to stockholders. They are not in younger men seem to deny the principle. They any particular money-making devices, but are dis- produce works that are sometimes interesting in tinctly institutions of trust, and should be exempted technique, but they do not conceive things or paint from taxation as well as trust companies. It is, in- things that even touch our sense of beauty, let alone deed, impossible to understand why trust companies, “fan it into a glow.” In truth, they appear to conwhich are depositories for specific purposes of funds ceive things and paint things that shall purposely belonging to the richer classes, are not taxed, while deny the principle of beauty in art, that shall be ser. savings banks, which are depositories of funds be- vants of ugliness rather than servants of the elements longing to the poorer classes, should be expected that charm and delight. But these gentlemen will to pay taxes. The scheme to tax our savings banks find their ground permanently untenable. Mutual may, ere this reaches our readers, have been con- admiration may hold them together for a time, but summated, or may have come to naught, but the at- Mutual Admiration Societies are tolerably sure to tempt must in either case be characterized as emi- ultimately degenerate into societies of mutual disnently unwise and unjust.
gust. Artists can not flourish except by their hold on human sympathies and susceptibilities, by their
power to move the public heart. Judged by this THE SPRING EXHIBITIONS.
test, we do not see that the new school has made any
advance over last year. They still persist in disThe annual spring exhibitions of pictures are daining finish, imagining that brush-marks are acoccasions when we may properly take note of the ceptable instead of textures. Their flesh rarely looks progress or the variations that mark the course of like flesh, but commonly like fresh layers from the our national art. In using the term “national art,” palette. They are fond of painting turbulent skies, we are well aware that art in this country is gener. but it is whirls of paint and not sweep of clouds ally declared to be utterly without national character; that they give us. Their canvases, however, are albut, whether this is true or not, the question momen- ways vigorous, and are valuable as giving unqualifiedly tarily before us relates to those indications of move- the artist's own impressions, rather than artificial and ment and those manifestations of taste that pertain studied pretense. Their work, in its extreme forms, to our American group of painters, and consequently can never stand, but as a protest against opposite the subject has sufficient national significance to extremes of smoothness and lifeless imitation it will justify the use of the term.
do some good, and force freshening ideas into con. The exhibitions of the National Academy of De- ventional methods-advancing art just as pre-Raphasign and of the Society of American Artists are pecu- elitism advanced it, but, like pre-Raphaelitism, failliarly indicative of current artistic tendencies, the ing as a distinct method. latter embodying the latest and the most revolu- The Academy Exhibition is very large, and has tionary ideas in art, and the first displaying the con- more reputable pictures than usual, but the only servative principles of established methods, with striking subjects are four or five landscapes, and such modifications as current theories have produced. perhaps as many portraits. We can not say that the The old and the new school for the most part oc- portraits exhibit any new characteristics, but in some cupy hostile camps, and yet they manifestly need of the landscapes there is a distinct indication of each other. All reactionary movements go too far, modern thought. This is specially manifest in a just as all conservatism is too tenacious. The artists painting by Mr. Swain Gifford, representing a windof the new society are inspired by some very just swept plain on the coast, on which stands one solitary ideas. They have a great contempt for mere pretti. twisted tree. The subject is nothing, but the paint. ness, for emasculated art in all its forms, for senti- ing is everything; it shows that landscape art does mentalism and feebleness, for' mere smoothness and not really consist, as once supposed, in selecting polish, and they paint with great directness, simpli- place and picturesque conditions, but in method of city, and vigor. But they have carried their con- treatment, by means of sky and clouds and atmosphere and light (conditions found everywhere), beginning. The museum occupies a building that is painting a picture full of strange and subtile fascina. only a twelfth part of the structure as it will appear tions. This is the most important and significant when completed, and, although the spectacle that revelation, as it seems to us, that recent art has opens to the visitor as he enters the main hall is not made, and, Mr. Gifford's picture being an excellent strikingly extensive, it yet impresses him as a noble exemplification of it, we for this reason select it for segment of a large and promising whole. A great special mention. We could wish that the exhibi- museum can not be built up in a day nor in a gention gave us in other directions fresh suggestions; eration. The Metropolitan Museum starts with the but, for the most part, while there is much to please, Cesnola collections of Cypriote antiquities, which in there is little that is bold or new. “ It should be themselves are of almost priceless value; it has a expected from the artist," says a writer, “ that the large collection of Flemish paintings; a collection of sentiments, requirements, and aspirations of his coun- Oriental porcelain that is very noticeable; there are try should find worthy expression in the character ancient glass from Cyprus and old Venetian glass; of his work." This expectation has little realization a collection of old lace and embroideries; and some in anything that our artists are doing. A good many examples of modern sculpture. In addition to these painters show advance in technical skill
, and there there are many objects lent to the museum-statuary, are indications of larger artistic knowledge; but bronzes, porcelain, carved ivories, old books, and a there is almost no evidenee that art beyond its mere very extensive collection of modern paintings. The decorative form is coming into closer relations with loan-collection of pictures is of itself of immense inthe people, or is even attempting to reflect the long- terest, and gives New York the best permanent galings, sympathies, and emotions of the great turbulent lery it has ever had. We say permanent, because life that lies all around us.
the present collection will remain on exhibition until
next October, and we may depend, judging by the past, THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART. maintain the loan-gallery at its present standard.
on the generosity of collectors and private owners to The opening of the Metropolitan Museum of This museum has been projected on a large scale. Art in its new building in Central Park occurred on It has been planned with the ultimate expectation the Ist of April, certain notable official ceremonies that it will reach the dimensions of the great mutaking place two days earlier. Our citizens and visi- seums abroad, and attain a reputation in no wise intors to New York have long known the museum as ferior. This in itself is a satisfaction ; but, while we it stood in its temporary quarters in Fourteenth are glad that the scheme is a comprehensive one, it Street, but its installation in its present permanent is a pleasure to know that the part carried out has place must be, and will be, looked upon as the real its measure of completeness, which, so far as it goes, beginning of its career. It is a noble and worthy is of profound interest.
f the Day. all the reasons for regret furnished by the If this loss was but slightly repaired by Earl
Lord Macaulay left his “ History of England," per- history, the regret which it causes will hardly be dishaps none has been so keenly felt or so frequently sipated by the “History of the Reign of Queen expressed as that caused by the reflection that his Anne," which Dr. John Hill Burton, the historian pen dropped from his nerveless fingers when he was (and historiographer-royal) of Scotland, has just just at the threshold of what must necessarily have published. * To read a chapter of Burton immedibeen the culminating feature of his great work—the ately after a chapter of Macaulay is like passing story of the reign of Queen Anne. No one before from the brilliant sunshine and purple magnificence him was ever so qualified as he to give an adequate of the East to the foggy atmosphere and arid wastes and satisfactory account of that most brilliant and of an English down unreclaimed and scarcely enmomentous epoch in the modern history of England; croached upon by the civilizing hand of art. Dr. and in the nature of things it can hardly.be expected Burton's theory of history is that it should be “ that another writer with his peculiar qualifications plain, undecorated statement of well-ascertained for it will again address himself to the task. The facts"; but, while it will be candidly acknowledged vivid imagination and graphic pen which have given that he has gotten rid of the “decorations,” the immortal interest to the battle of the Boyne and the reader will hardly admit that the statements of fact siege of Londonderry would have found still more are thereby rendered "plain "—the truth being that congenial employment in describing the campaigns Dr. Burton's style is as pedantic and laboriously inof Marlborough; and, when one thinks of the manner in which he could and would have treated the
* A History of the Reign of Queen Anne. By John Augustan age of English literature, the loss becomes
Hill Burton, D. C. L. Edinburgh: William Blackwood almost too grievous to contemplate.
& Sons. Three Volumes. 8vo. Pp. 350, 352, 338.