of the property, although he may possess the most humane

A paean, inspired by the sight, from the sea, of Cape Trafalgar and Gibraltar, both objects of patriotic pride to an Englishman; the one associated with the naval victory gained by the English fleet, under Nelson, over the combined French and Spanish fleets; the other, England's greatest stronghold.

of the property, although he may possess the most humane

The first four verses make a characteristic Turner picture.

of the property, although he may possess the most humane

The speaker in the monologue is looking down upon Florence, in the valley beneath, from a villa on one of the surrounding heights. The startling bell-tower Giotto raised more than startles him. (For an explanation of this, see note under Stanza 2.) Although the poem presents a general survey of the old Florentine masters, the THEME of the poem is really Giotto, who received the affectionate homage of the Florentines, in his own day, and for whom the speaker has a special love. The poem leads up to the prophesied restoration of Freedom to Florence, the return of Art, that departed with her, and the completion of the Campanile, which will vindicate Giotto and Florence together, and crown the restoration of freedom to the city, and its liberation from the hated Austrian rule.

of the property, although he may possess the most humane

Mrs. Browning's `Casa Guidi Windows' should be read in connection with this monologue. The strong sympathy which is expressed in the last few stanzas of the monologue, with Italian liberty, is expressed in `Casa Guidi Windows' at a white heat.

"We find," says Professor Dowden, "a full confession of Mr. Browning's creed with respect to art in the poem entitled `Old Pictures in Florence'. He sees the ghosts of the early Christian masters, whose work has never been duly appreciated, standing sadly by each mouldering Italian Fresco; and when an imagined interlocutor inquires what is admirable in such work as this, the poet answers that the glory of Christian art lies in its rejecting a limited perfection, such as that of the art of ancient Greece, the subject of which was finite, and the lesson taught by which was submission, and in its daring to be incomplete, and faulty, faulty because its subject was great with infinite fears and hopes, and because it must needs teach man not to submit but to aspire."

An unknown painter reflects, but without envy, upon the praise which has been bestowed on a youthful artist, -- what that praise involves. He himself was conscious of all the power, and more, which the youth has shown; no bar stayed, nor fate forbid, to exercise it, nor would flesh have shrunk from seconding his soul. All he saw he could have put upon canvas; "Each face obedient to its passion's law, Each passion clear proclaimed without a tongue."

And when he thought how sweet would be the earthly fame which his work would bring him, "the thought grew frightful, 'twas so wildly dear!" But a vision flashed before him and changed that thought. Along with the loving, trusting ones were cold faces, that begun to press on him and judge him. Such as these would buy and sell his pictures for garniture and household-stuff. His pictures, so sacred to his soul, would be the subject of their prate, "This I love, or this I hate, this likes me more, and this affects me less!" To avoid such sacrilege, he has chosen his portion. And if his heart sometimes sinks, while at his monotonous work of painting endless cloisters and eternal aisles, with the same series, Virgin, Babe, and Saint, with the same cold, calm, beautiful regard, at least no merchant traffics in his heart. Guarded by the sanctuary's gloom, from vain tongues, his pictures may die, surely, gently die.

"O youth, men praise so, -- holds their praise its worth? Tastes sweet the water with such specks of earth?"

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