This brings me to the third branch of my study, viz., the beautiful in art itself. Nature drunk in by the mind, as shown under the former head, is the seed for the production of a new world. - the world of art, which exists for the same purpose as its prototype, to satisfy the sense of beauty in the human breast. From a chaos of sensations previously awakened by the aspect of external nature in the mind of man, this new and fairer creation rises. A more perfect system, freed from the blemishes and faults of the first, is thus established in the sphere of art: the materials and principles, luxuriance and comprehensiveness, are derived from nature; while the fostering love of the beautiful, as the inspiration in the soul, gives it harmonious unity and depth

Art is therefore something more than a transcript of nature even in her highest charms: it is essentially spiritual. It does not come from nature direct, but is refined and exalted in the mind. If art were no more than a reproduction of nature, it would be the inferior, as the imitator must ever be behind the original. But art takes higher ground; she has a dignity peculiar to herself, an essence of her own, which wins her the advantage. Art appropriates the principles and elements of nature, but in their passage through the mind, a fresh image is stamped upon her types. They receive a new lustre from the soul, a ray of the beautiful from within. The artist may exercise his genius upon a perishable material, but something from the immortal part of himself has mingled in his conceptions, and this gives to works of art infinitely greater interest than their originals could have. The main difference between architecture and the other arts of design, is this - architecture springs out of physical necessity, while the other fine arts have beauty for their sole object. Architecture is the application of abstract beauty, as much of it as can be applied, to the embellishment of the useful, that is to say, to the forms and elements of necessity. § foreshadowed by nature herself.

But the disadvantage of architecture is, that the useful must, in some measure, qualify the beautiful. Painting and sculpture have beauty for their essence, but architecture is a clothing, or pervading, the useful with the spirit of the beautiful. It is, however, the human architect, so far as consistent with the different scale of his enterprise, following in the footsteps of the Divine. That the primitive wood cabin was its type, may well be questioned. Infancy is as much the type of manhood. Architecture has better types, a richer dower; it has all nature, from the human form and face, to the most insignificant plant or mineral: all yield ther lesson to the architect. It draws not literally, however, from them. It is not a direct, but an analogical imitation of nature.

But art, taken generally, is an imbodiment of an invisible archetype in the artist's mind, his beau ideal; but which he models upon nature as a basis: it is nature transfigured, glorified, by its contact with humanity. Of all created beings, man, particularly as refers to the manifestation of his mind and character, is the most interesting to man; an object, therefore, on which is impressed human feeling and intelligence, possesses, in consequence, a greater interest than by any other extraneous circumstances it could receive. Works of real art are the works of God brought through the mind of man; and therefore doubly "good," beautiful, and divine.

Art may, in this light, be considered as a supplement which the human mind adds to nature. It is a sequel to her original beauty. Like "the metamorphosis of things into higher organic forms," is their change from nature into art. The mind or imagination of the artist is a mirror that gives back the formal hues of nature, but heightened and refined: while painting and sculpture array with second life some glorious action, some heroic deed of the past, architecture clothes with new vitality and beauty the forms of external nature.

The sculptured Jupiters and Minervas of the ancients, and the rest of their petrified goddesses and nymphs, are therefore, as remarked under the preceding head, not copies from nature, but from a vision of beauty in the mind of the artist, inspired indeed by nature, but exalted in the mind, and possessing more of perfection than any individual.

But whilst showing the advantage of art over nature in this respect, let us do justice to the latter. The eye requires education and constant practice, even to see truly the beauties of nature. All does not lie upon the surface. In the lowest walk of art there is scope for the highest mind. The most gifted eye cannot exhaust the significance of any object, and "in the commonest human face," to quote Fuseli, "there is more than Raphael will take away with him."

We cannot compete with nature on the same ground. For the production, for instance, of powerful light and shade in a picture, an artist must take advantage of the local color of objects, and place dark ones in the shade, and white ones in the light; while, such is the intensity of light in nature, that she can produce her effects independently of local color. - effects more gorgeous and potent than the artist, with all the contrivances of art, and of science to boot, is able to reach.

Moreover, the effects in nature are nearly always fine. Natural objects, whether viewed singly, or in groups, must be almost invariably picturesque, for both the linear and aerial perspective operate upon them on the most unerring principles - an advantage which the artist, from some error in applying the science, may miss. Light and shade, and reflection, which the artist can but imperfectly comprehend and represent, are also, in nature, acting unerringly.

The artist of a fine perception, is, therefore, of all others, the least satisfied with what he produces, as he is the most capable of seeing the truthfulness and transcendancy of nature. He is also the most capable of seeing the immense distance between her commonplace, every-day effects, and those which she sometimes exhibits to the educated and poetic eye.