She is beautiful enough, is not she, for that higher moment? But Dante! Yet who could paint a Dante, —and Dante in heaven? They give buthis shadow, as he walked in the forest-maze of earth. Then here is the Madonna del Pesce; not divine, like the Foligno, not deeply maternal, like the Seggiola, not the beatified ‘Mother of God’ of the Dresden gallery, but graceful, and ‘not too bright and good for human nature's daily food.’ And here is Raphael himself, the young seer of beauty, with eyes softly contemplative, yet lit with central fires,&c. There were gems, too, and medallions and seals, to be examined, each enigmatical, and each blended by rememtrances with some fair hour of her past life. Talk on art led the way to Greece and the Greeks, whose mythology Margaret was studying afresh. She had been culling the blooms of that poetic land, and could not but offer me leaves from her garland. She spoke of the statue of Minerva-Polias, cut roughly from an olive-tree, yet cherished as the heaven-descended image of the most sacred shrine, to which was due the Panathenaic festival.
The less ideal perfection in the figure, the greater the reverence of the adorer. Was not this because spiritual imagination makes light of results, and needs only a germ whence to unfold Olympic splendors?She spoke of the wooden column left standing from the ruins of the first temple to Juno, amidst the marble walls of the magnificent fane erected in its place:—
This is a most beautiful type, is not it, of the manner in which life's earliest experiences become glorified by our perfecting destiny?
In the temple of Love and the Graces, one Grace bore