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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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114 ROMAN DAYS.
people ; and as it loves its faith and its fatherland, it
loves its art, and understands her in all her stages ; for
they go together in their growth, through childhood’s
years, through youth and maturity. Slowly, but with
the sound, healthy spirit of a boy, art forces her way on-
ward through the technical obstructions that meet her;
for in the people, there is no class that has risen above
the level of the standpoint of the whole community ; no
higher aesthetic culture, used to something better, laughs
at the homely simplicity and derides the clumsy but lov-
ing toil of the unpractised hand, in the service of beauty ;
but every bit of progress the hand makes, every new
mastery of a technical hindrance, is seen by every one, and
is admired. In this way did Greek art, and indeed every
other that lived its own life and wrought earnestly, grow
up. The simplest peasant’s painting that shows a first
trace of talent, holds within it better hope of a spring-
time of beauty for the nation, than the most faithful
copies after the very greatest foreign master.
So the Romans came, and made themselves lords of
Greece ; and gradually learned to admire an art that in
its long since complete and perfect shape, seemed to
form a world by itself, that had not needed the coopera-
tion of the moral forces, for its rise and prosperity. They
took possession of its products as spoils of victory and
means of enjoyment, and turned contemptuously aside
from the humble expressions of a plastic sense in their
own countrymen and nearest neighbors. But true as it
is, that various ages and various peoples have to learn of
each other, it must be equally true that an art imported
from without, which stifles in the germ another that is
trying to spring up from native dispositions, can not
wholly and entirely be set down on the side of an intel-

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