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THE WORLD ROMANCE OF THE PRODIGAL SON.
Instead of twelve small pictures, such as those in Portfolio No. 1, I am publishing six twice the size, in order that they may be the more easily seen on the walls. When once the central episodes of the Life of Christ are excluded, there is nothing in the Gospel which embodies more of the essential truth of Christianity than the parable of the Prodigal Son. Nor is it only Christianity that this parable embodies; it is instinct with humanity. Men of all religions and of none recognise the pathos and the truth of the story, which touches the highest height and the lowest depth of human experience. It is a worldromance told in the compass of the shortest of short stories. It contains every ingredient that makes up the tragedy and the comedy of life-youth and age, wanton pleasure and sad remorse, feasting and starvation, opulence and poverty, reckless selfishness and humble penitence, the joy of life and the dregs of despair, the whole redeemed and glorified by the tender, forgiving love of the father. There is no parable like it in literature, no teaching more universal, more direct, or more true. The parable of the Prodigal Son is the storied commentary and explanation of the first words in the Lord's Prayer.
MURILLO FOR THE MULTITUDE.
Murillo, the Spanish artist, devoted his genius to the painting of a series of six pictures, which in six acts or scenes set forth the whole parable. These pictures have never been photographed or engraved, or rendered generally accessible to the public. Five of them for a long time belonged to Lord Dudley, but the gem of the collection, which was regarded as one of the treasures of the Vatican, belonged to the Pope. It was only in recent years that Lord Dudley was able, by arts into which it is well not to look too closely, to gain possession of the sixth picture. The whole set subsequently passed into the possession of Mr. Alfred Beit, and they now hang in his beautiful palace in Park Lane. I first saw them when dining with Mr. Beit and Mr. Fitzpatrick just before the outbreak of the present war, and was immensely struck with the life and vigour of the pictures. Hence when I began the publication of the Portfolios and I wanted a scripture subject for our Sunday-schools, I at once recalled these splendid Murillos. If Mr. Beit had been like many of my friends—friends who in their zeal to slay their brother Boer have excommunicated me for pleading for mercy, justice, and arbitration-I should have hesitated to apply to him for the privilege of reproducing the pictures of the Prodigal Son. But Mr. Beit being of the school of Mr. Rhodes, does not allow honest differences of opinion on political matters to prejudice his private friendships. He at once gave me leave to photograph the Murillos. And so it comes to pass that our Sunday-schools for the first time have the opportunity of securing copies of the six best pictures of the Prodigal Son in existence for the decoration of their walls.
Each of the pictures measures 13 ins. by 10 ins. without the margin. The full size of the plates for framing is 16 ins. by 13 ins. The set of six, framed complete in neat black frame and glazed, will be sent by parcel post to any one in the United Kingdom for a postal order or 7s. 6d. And with the six pictures of the Prodigal will be sent as a presentation plate a collotype reproduction of the Sistine Madonna, Raphael's masterpiece. friend and sympathiser with Sunday-school work wishes to help the Sunday-school in which he is interested, he can give the Prodigals to the Sunday-school and keep
the Madonna for himself. The Portfolio, unframed, will be sent anywhere in the United Kingdom for Is. 4d., or to any foreign address for Is. 6d.
A SUGGESTION FOR FRIENDS OF SUNDAY SCHOOLS.
It has occurred to me, as an old Sunday-school teacher, that the issue of this Portfolio affords superintendents and teachers an admirable opportunity of interesting their scholars in the decoration of their class-rooms. Why should not each class be asked to collect the sum necessary to buy, framed and glazed, the set of the Prodigal Son? Or, in poorer districts, why should not the same appeal be made to buy the Portfolio without frames? Fastened with drawing pins to the wall, they look very well. There is no class so poor but it could collect Is. 6d. Very few would find any difficulty in collecting 7s. 6d. A penny per head in a school of 100 would more than defray the cost of the set, framed and glazed. A penny a head in a school of twenty would more than pay the cost of the Portfolio. In a circular to the Sunday-schools I propose to issue a small collecting card, so that any scholar desirous of brightening the walls of the schoolroom can find an immediate and easy method of gratifying his pious ambitions. And at the foot of each picture bought by such means and presented to the school the name of the donor or collector might be written in a space left blank after the words, "Presented by "There are many, from the great Popes downwards, who are willing to do great things and give great sums for the adornment of sacred edifices, but they like to have their name inscribed thereupon. The collector could in all cases have the presentation plate for his pains, if, as sometimes would be the case, some of his fellow-teachers objected to the appearance of the Madonna on the walls of the schoolroom. The words "presented by" are only printed on the Prodigal Series supplied direct to schools which have raised the sum for the Portfolio in this fashion.
The Sistine Madonna is too well known to need any description. It has long been recognised as the most ideal type of proud motherhood and happy childhood that has ever been placed on canvas. The Prodigal Son Series can best be judged by a glance at the reproductions in miniature which form the frontispiece of this article. The diminutive size of the reproduction does no justice to the clearness and excellence of the picture. But they tell the story.
TEN PORTFOLIOS FOR TEN SHILLINGS.
A North Country Vicar, writing to me about Portfolio No. 1, says:—
I have just procured Part 1 of your Portfolio, and am fairly astounded at the beauty and tone of the thirteen pictures it contains. The working-classes have now absolutely no excuse for not possessing tasteful works of true art. I trust that such as these will quickly take the place of the daubs and caricatures so extensively found in the homes of the poor.
In the provision of cheap literature and art you have made yourself a national benefactor. I shall certainly recommend this Masterpiece Portfolio to my parishioners.
P.S.-Cheap as these pictures are surprisingly so-could any arrangements be made by which a man like myself could supply them to others without cost of carriage, etc.?
In answer to his postscript, I can only say that any one who will buy ten Portfolios can have them for 10s., carriage paid, to any one address in the United Kingdom, which will render it possible for our North Country friend to carry out his benevolent desire.
AN ARTIST'S TESTIMONY.
I have received many other letters from near and from far in praise of the contents of Portfolio No. 1. An artist writes from Hastings :
Allow me as an artist to add one more to the many congratulations you must have received on the excellent Portfolio of pictures you have issued. They are simply wonderful for the money, and for the most part very well chosen, though I think pictures like the "Israel in Egypt" too elaborate and confused in composition for reproduction on so small a scale.
If you can only, to use your own words, "introduce some elements of beauty in the daily lives of your fellow-men," and can, by the subtle yet far-reaching force of art, in any way "sweeten the temper, soften the heart, and soothe the nerves," you will have put past achievements in the shade, and have gone far (excuse me) to atone for your attitude on the present war!
If it is possible to obtain them, might I suggest "The Briar Rose" of Burne-Jones, and some of the late Albert Moore's pictures for pure beauty of line and composition, some of Turner's from the National Gallery, or a portfolio of famous statues, so that people might learn that there is something in a work of art besides the subject?
English people are, as a rule, so profoundly ignorant of even the elements of art, so much more literary than artistic both by nature and training, that subject is all they care for. If that interests them, they like a picture; if it does not, they dislike it. As for beauty of line, of colour, of composition-in fact, all things an artist strives for-they understand nothing about it; it is a dead letter to them.
I am only afraid the vulgarity of taste innate in the average Briton will still make him prefer his hideous chromos in sham gilt frames, and consider them more decorative than simple black and white. I have been invalided for some years, and obliged to pass most of my time in lodgings at various health resorts, and the awful chromos and terrible oil-daubs that invariably disfigure the walls have been a continual source of suffering. May your good endeavours bring forth fruit.
A LESSON FROM AMERICA.
The Art for Schools Association has been carrying on excellent work for some years past. But nothing that we
He suggests that the teachers should on stated occasions, say twice a month, explain to the pupils the motives that the artist has depicted in the composition of his pictures for the composition is the first thing to study in a work of art. The pupils will become skilful in interpreting pictures after the analysis of a few famous ones from the great masters."
A NEW PORTFOLIO FOR THE DAY SCHOOLS. This programme is, I fear, a little above the heads of us poor Britishers-at least at present. The immediate want most felt by our elementary school teachers is pictures, not of the classical order, but pictures which will interest their children and at the same time afford them texts on which to tell them stories. It has been specially impressed upon me that the Board schoolteacher wants to have good pictures of animals and living creatures, for the purpose of inculcating kindliness and sympathy in our dealings with our poor relations in fur and feathers. So, in order to meet this need, I have in preparation a third Portfolio, differing from both No. I and No. 2, in that it will be solely devoted to pictures of animals. By dispensing with a presentation plate, Portfolio No. 3 will contain eighteen beautiful reproductions of some of the best pictures of animals and birds that are accessible in any of our galleries. I do not expect to be able to publish No. 3 before the middle of August. May I suggest to managers of schools and others what a pleasant surprise it would be, both for teachers and scholars, if in the summer holidays the schoolroom were to be decorated by placing these eighteen pictures on the walls?
LEADING ARTICLES IN THE REVIEWS.
OUGHT WOMEN TO CYCLE, ROW, ETC.? AN INTERESTING FRENCH SYMPOSIUM. OUR enterprising contemporary, the Revue des Revues of Paris, henceforth to be known as La Revue et Revue des Revues, published in its July number a most interesting symposium upon "Women and Modern Sports."
The questions submitted to a great number of eminent persons were these :
1. Are women ceasing to be women through their devotion to the physical exercises known under the general head of Sports? 2. Are these out-of-door recreations a healthy diversion, or are they to be considered as a kind of infatuation prejudicial to her future?
The balance of opinion in the replies received was undoubtedly in favour of women enjoying themselves in out-of-door sports. Although few are quite so enthusiastic as M. Berenger, who sees in the movement a possible reconciliation of Minerva and Aphrodite, most of the women and many of the men are strongly opposed to excluding women from the healthful recreation supplied by out-of-door sports.
M. ZOLA ON THE CYCLING SKIRT.
The most elaborate reply is that of M. Emile Zola :
I am a partisan of all physical exercises which can assist in the development of woman, always providing that she does not abuse it. I am not speaking simply of physical beauty, but chiefly of moral development, the manifestations of individuality which the practice of sports brings more rapidly to young girls.
The bicycle, which one can take as a type par excellence of modern sport, seems to me to be capable of contributing in a large measure to this individual development.
As for the comradeship which sport quickly establishes between young men and young women, I think that it cannot but aid to better knowledge in view of marriage. I have always contended for mixed education, which as you know has had such splendid results in England and America. The bringing together of both sexes in youth gives excellent results.
As regards the costume of sportswomen, I do not find it so disgraceful as some pretend. It is comfortable, practical, and a well-built woman would always know how to show off her figure even if the costume in which she was dressed resembled somewhat that of a man. At bottom it is a question of fashion, which a clever costumier can change from day to day. I must confess that English women have reconciled me to the skirt. The provision centres of London are sufficiently far removed from the smiling cottages of the outskirts, to cause young ladies to go awheel for provisions in the morning, and however uninteresting they may be on foot, I always watched them pedalling to market with the greatest pleasure. Turn over the leaves in some drawing-room of an old album containing the portraits of the ancestors of the family, or better still before the time when photography was discovered, pass round the fashion plates of the time of the restoration, or of Louis Philippe, and you will hear the young ladies of to-day ask how people dared go out dressed in that way.
You fear that the introduction of sports amongst women will make them so virile that their companions will not show them that respectful deference, that particular courtesy towards all women, which is called gallantry. Reassure yourself. While retaining the observation of that politeness which is due to her, I do not think that one should see in woman an idol whom one should only address with timid respect. That familiarity which shocks you amongst sportsmen, is a manifestation of audacity, and audacity pleases women better than timidity.
THE QUEEN OF ROUMANIA.
I would allow all modern sports to woman if she remains gracious and sympathetic like Sakountala, if she succours the unhappy like Saint Genevieve, if she composes music like Saint Cecilia, if she spins like Queen Bertha, if she weaves like Penelope, if she embroiders like the ancient Roumanian Princesses, if she paints books of hours like Ann of Brittany, if she cares for the wounded like Florence Nightingale, if she makes verses like Margaret of Navarre and like the Empress Elizabeth of Austria.
As for courage in women I do not think there is need to recall Joan of Arc, or the daughter of the Dacian King, who used her arm in place of a bolt across the door which barred the last retreat of her Father Decebal, or the martyrs, or the mothers : the courage of woman is proved, she has no need of sport to convince the world of it.
If sport gives rise to any disquietude within me it is because I fear to see the chivalrous man slain by the modern Amazon. CARMEN SYLVA.
Modify your dreams, rather, gentlemen!
Sport is health. Therefore it is an element of happiness for the individual and for the race.
Thus riding, swimming, cycling, gymnastics, all these should form part of a young girl's education. I would like to see hunting excluded from sports, for, while I admit that it strengthens the muscles, I fear that it hardens the heart.
DR. MAX NORDAU.
Whatever she does, I believe that psychically a remains a woman. In sports, even of the most masculine character, she has other ambitions and other aspirations than man. The question of dress pre-occupies her. She tries to please by her prowess.
It is another form of coquetry, it is always coquetry. I have often thought that Diana, if she had worn a pretty hunting costume, would have been happy to have excited the admiration of Acteon. She had him slain simply because he had the indelicacy to look at her before the seamstress had done her work.
The adventures of Penthesilea prove, it seems to me, how much even the belligerent Amazon remains a woman even to die for love!
Why do women give themselves up to sport? I am not competent to answer this question; it should be asked of the
THE UNITED STATES OF EUROPE.
A NEW ROLE FOR FRANCE.
M. ANATOLE LEROY-BEAULIEU, the eminent member of the Institute, contributes to the Revue des Revues of June 1st a powerful and eloquent essay on The United States of Europe." He argues that a rapprochement of the European peoples is not only a possibility, it is also a political and economic necessity. Not even the most sceptical statesmen, he says, will venture to assert that Europe is condemned for ever to remain a mere geographical expression, and that all efforts to constitute a living and compact federation will always remain fruitless.
M. Mielle takes up the discussion in the Revue of June 15th, in an admirable paper entitled "Patriotism and Internationalism." He argues with fervour and conviction that the transformation is inevitable, and that France ought, as the international country par excellence, to take the initiative in bringing it about. France, says this fervid patriot, is the natural nucleus round which other nations would group themselves and form the United States of the future. In the fulfilment of that beau rôle, he declares, lies the secret of her glory and the fulfilment of her destinies. France must become the point of union of the peoples, the heart of Europe, the heart of the civilised world. Internationalism is the watchword of the future. It rests with Frenchmen to say whether it will be for them or against them. If France does not take the lead the task will inevitably be accomplished at her expense. France must be international or there will be no more France,
Shields in Warfare.
BEFORE Lord Roberts left for the front he kindly accepted a shield or breastplate of aluminium which was sent him by its inventor, Miss Helen S. Murphy. The Chinese since then have been making inquiries as to the supply in large numbers of this bullet-proof breastplate, although, with characteristic precaution, they wanted them doubly thick. Miss Murphy is one of our few women inventors, and she is naturally pleased at the thought that in these feminine days
it has been left for a lady
to replace Vulcan in forging the breastplate of Mars.
THE COUNTESS DE LA WARR contributes very interesting "Gleanings of the Past" to the May Humanitarian. Among other curious facts she mentions this :
In an old copy of the Spectator, published just when railroads were beginning, I have read an article in which the writer said that anyone must be mad who could believe that a speed of twenty miles an hour could ever be attained without danger to life. He added, you might just as well talk of being shot out of a cannon from Woolwich to London, as to hint at such a thing, that the mere fact of going through the air at that speed would kill you.
"To make holes in the ground," wrote one child..
"To account for the formation of its head," was the philosophy of another.
"It does it when it does what a cow does digests it food," is a profound but an unsatisfactory explanation.
"Its washing its face," shows more credulity than observation; while another discarded reasons, and declared in large round text-hand, regardless of grammar: "I have seen a number of rabbits wobblings its nose!"
Seven only answered the question rightly; but one child, although no inquiry was put concerning dogs, volunteered the information that "French puddles are kept for fancy, Irish terriers as ratters, but the boerhounds are kept for hunting the Boers."
"A game called 'Sister come to Quakers' meeting.'
"A laddie where I stayed. She was a kind and gentle laddie."
"The party which Mrs. Cartwright gave us."
Paddling at a place called flood gates."
She held the can
Watching a woman milking a cow. between her knees and pulled the milk out of the cow. I should like," adds this observer," to be a farmer."
"I also liked the way in witch I was treated and also liked the respectability of Mrs. Byfield my charge," writes one young prig; but many, both boys and girls, wrote the same sentiment in simpler language-a delightful tribute to our working-class homes.
AMONG the English periodicals containing articles on the Paris Exhibition are the Art Journal and the Temple Magazine for May.
GLIMPSES OF TRAVEL
IN OUT-OF-THE-WAY PLACES.
HOLIDAY-READING is an order of literature distinct yet undefined. Everyone has some sort of an idea of what he wants to read on his vacation-trip. He will he craves probably express his preference by negatives; "The for literature that is expansion and escape. common round, the daily task," and all connected with them are precisely what he most wishes avoid. He takes to poetry rarely. Fiction and works of humour more often form his mental fare. But he probably finds most congenial pasture in the travel papers of the magazines. They suit his mood, and take him furthest from use and wont. The July magazines show a quickening sense of these needs. They cater plentifully for hot weather and the holidays, and samples of the supply they offer may fitly find place here.
AMONG THE JUNGLE-FOLK.
About as far away as could well be from our crowded civilisation are the jungle-folk whom Mr. Edward A. Irving, writing from Perak, introduces to the readers of Blackwood as" primitive socialists." They call themselves the Upland people and inhabit the highlands of the Malay Peninsula. Mr. Irving got to know them by an Italian whom the British Government employs to keep a bridle-path clear of obstruction, and who in his turn employs the Upland people to do the work. They are small of stature, very few of the men over five feet; far from muscular; of brown skin and curly black hair; and not ill-looking. They live in one-roomed huts about fifteen feet by twelve, with walls about two feet high. Their livelihood was won by snaring and killing game, including rats; but the Italian official has brought them some of the rudiments of civilisation. "He has given them clothes, he has made them plant corn." The harvest supplies them with a mighty orgy of feasting. Every month he replenishes their stock of farinaceous food, tobacco and betel nut. He sees in them the archetype of what Italy ought to be, no political superiority, no use of service, of riches or of poverty, no soldiery, no police, no Pope. Mr. Irving is first impressed with their inoffensiveness :
Pugnacity seems to be an idea foreign to them. They possess a deadly weapon, the blow-pipe; but I never heard of its being turned against a fellow-man. It may be that the severity of their life has been sufficient to keep down their numbers: the jungle being wide enough for all, competition has never enforced The same the lesson that the fighter alone is fit to survive. But that gentleness governs their household relationships. which most strikes an Englishman on coming into contact with these little creatures, and which draws him at once towards them, is the remarkable openness and candour of their expression. They look at a stranger neither defiantly nor in any way cringing, but carefully and steadily, as if ready for unforeseen action on his part; but when they are reassured, with an expression that is dignified in its simplicity.
ON THE TRAIL OF THE MOOSE.
Another writer in Blackwood describes his adventures "mid the haunts of the Moose." This is his opening picture :
No camera can ever reproduce the still beauty of that morning scene when we left the train at 5 a.m. and made ready to leave the little outpost of civilisation. The cool autumn air, fragrant with a hundred scents from the surrounding woods, was still hazy with the smoke of forest-fires that had been smouldering all the summer. Through this gauze-like veil the maples and birches, already turned to gold and crimson beneath the touch of early frosts, shone with a strange luminous beauty that for miles in every direction lit up the ocean of trees with flaming patches of
The population is poor, but impressed the writer with its general expression of satisfaction, which she regards as a survival of the old prosperous days, before the deadly phylloxera appeared :
They are cheerful, light-hearted, sociable, and obliging, though they lack the pleasant politeness of the peasantry. They are proud and democratic, and assume towards everyone a tone of familiarity which it is not always easy to repress without appearing harsh or self-asserting. A little incident which I witnessed may be given as an illustration. A lady of rank, who was driving in her carriage on the main road, stopped her coachman, and addressing a vigneron at work close by, said, "Mon brave homme " (My good man), "what is the name of "Ma brave femme, c'est the village on the top of this hill?" Alluze, pour vous servir," he rejoined with a chuckle.
"No occasion for conviviality is neglected"; but the writer regrets the excessive consumption of wine which, though rarely producing outward signs of drunkenness, impairs the popular physique.
IN A MOORISH GARDEN.
"Moorish Memories" is a vivid sketch in Cornhill of He declares :the experience of a concession-hunter.
Morocco is the true land of rest, the country of to-morrow, whence are banished by Shereefian decree and national inclination all the discomforts attending ambition, progress, and punctuality. Here, disgusted with the haste of a hurrying world, sick of the obligations and exactions of a pretentious civilisation more tyrannous than the slavery of the East, the pilgrim on life's toilsome journey may rest as a storm-tossed vessel in a mangrove swamp-rest and rust and be thankful for the chance. In his Moorish garden, hammocked between two overladen orange trees, inhaling the fragrance of lime and lilac, shaded from the fiery enemy overhead by the cool verdure of mulberry, fig, and pomegranate, the wanderer may here realise the true art of living, with no regret for the past, no unrest about the future. What on earth do all these episodes of the civilised life signify to one breathing the atmosphere of Bible days, battling with mosquitoes and sun-rays, lost in a white crowd of worshippers of a creed that scorns innovation as it scorns women? Having, with a wet towel in lieu of white flag, patched up a truce with the sand-flies and mosquitoes, he muses