Judge Bates, the Attorney-General, was one day very severe upon the modern ideal school of art, as applied to historic characters and events.
He instanced in sculpture, Greenough's Washington, in the Capitol grounds, which, he said, was a very good illustration of the heathen idea of Jupiter Tonans, but was the farthest possible remove from any American's conception of the Father of his Country.
Powell's painting in the Rotunda, De Soto discovering the Mississippi, and Mills's equestrian statue of Jackson, in front of the President's House, shared in his sarcastic condemnation.
He quoted from an old English poet — Creech, I think he said — with much unction:--
Whatever contradicts my sense I hate to see, and can but disbelieve.
Genius and talent, said he, on another occasion, are rarely found combined in one individual.
I requested his definition of the distinction.
Genius, he replied, conceives; talent executes.
Referring to Mr. Lincoln's never-failing fund of