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adise than the craftsman who was baking tiles, cutting types, making wall paper and weaving carpets, until just now when the Master Workman called him to other tasks in His nearer presence ? An aristocracy of handicraftsmen, working for love of bringing into the world forms of beauty, would be a guild of poets of a noble sort; and none of the great inspired ones who have loved and sung of Truth, and agonized to express the hopes, the passions of the soul, who have held aloft the lamp of Beauty to illume the path for humankind,-none more worthily merit the laurel than those who serve humanity, obeying the call of the Spirit to wield the hammer and ply at the loom.
Only so, mark me well! only so will Art revive. The conception of the beautiful cannot be maintained apart from the realization of it. Neither can poets, architects nor painters be born so long as those whose task it is to give reality to their dreams are looked upon as less noble. The architect and the mason, the painter and the colourgrinder, the poet and the printer, must be fellows. The arts spring from the crafts. They are the flower and fruitage of the faithful creation of humble things, of honest devotion to Truth for love of it, widespread among the people. Art is not a thing which can be produced to order. Criticism, University Extension lectures (I give them myself, and know), the multiplication of copies of old pieces, -no amount of it all will produce a national Art. We shall never have any national Art until every village blacksmith and every village carpenter looks upon himself as an artist. No Art will arise
among us so long as the nation's workers are bound in a hateful servitude which keeps them making, their lives long, the heel of a boot, or the spindle of a chair, or some fiftieth part of something else. Certainly, also the Reverend Mr. Dearmer is right-it is vain to expect Art until our abominable catalogue slavery is abolished, so that when we want to furnish our houses or churches, we shall not order a No. 48 mantel, or a No. 34 altar, or-horrid wickedness —chalice 17 B, but shall turn a man loose (having men to turn loose) to make what need requires, but to make it in freedom, honouring the Spirit who will inspire the cunning workman still, as He did Bezaleel and Aholiab.
I am far from cherishing much expectation that all this, or anything like it, can be realized in any set way. I believe and hope only that as an ideal it may go abroad, to touch true hearts here and there, and somehow work out into reality of some form, perhaps unrecognizable by me. It is, however, conceivable that a deliberate effort to embody it in a visible brotherhood might succeed. If a number of Christian men and women were to accept the ideas which I have tried to set forth, might they not with advantage assemble and together work out a practical realization of them? Some might cultivate the ground, some build, some furnish houses, others give their labours to the craft or art or study in which they were skilled. A little foundry, a hand press and a loom might be set up. Honest manufactures, and then artistic ones, might be engaged in: making of furnishings for houses, churches, public buildings; of brasses, carven wood, organs, books (good ones in worthy editions), apparel (always tasteful, and, if possible,
beautiful and rich). In time, to the group would be added, or within it would be developed, painters, poets, students, novelists (but not of the problem novel), scientists, liv. ing simple lives amid beautiful things, working in freedom and joy, and stooping to receive no price for their achievements. Some would carry on experiments in the interests of medical science. Some would devote themselves to the law, appearing in courts for the defence of the poor, or formulating the extensions and refinements of the common law, which changed and changing conditions here so loudly demand. Some would translate; some would philosophize. Here would be rivalled the works of St. Maur, of Port Royal, of Merton in Surrey.
I do not assert that anything like this is practicable or possible, but I do assert that, if it were, it would furnish conditions under which crafts, sciences and arts would flourish as they have never flourished in this land.
At any rate, if not in such fashion of living, there must and there will—for the Spirit who teaches me to talk of it will lead, nay: already is leading, others to practise it-be exhibited this ideal incarnate variously in men, here one, there one; in men striving to surpass each other in service, despising the world's contemptible prizes and renouncing its vulgar, greedy way; living in plainness and contentment, and in godly leisure, with time to lie in the sun and to wander out of doors amid the big, fine-smelling things; working gleefully at any honest task; free sons of the earth, her own nobility, abiding in sweet places or roaming at will; learning to be pure and healthy, strong of leg and arm, keen of eye and dexterous; attuned again to Creation's harmony, knowing, and knowing how to picture, her moods and thoughts; men mighty and kind, simple men, giving their souls' throbs out, as anciently, to the great classic themes of Honour and Love and War.