A Walk from London to John O'Groat's eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 293 pages of information about A Walk from London to John O'Groat's.
He had no eye nor taste for colors.  If all the trees, if all the crops of grain, grass and roots on which he wrought his life long, had come out in brickdust and oil, it would have been all the same to him, if they had sold as high in the market, and beer and bread had been as cheap for the uniformity.  And yet he was the Turner of this great painting.  He is the artist that has made England a gallery of the finest agricultural pictures in the world.  And in no country in Christendom is High Art so appreciated to such pecuniary patronage and valuation as here.  In none is the genius of the Pencil so treasured, so paid, and almost worshipped as here.  The public and private galleries of Britain hold pictures that would buy every acre of the island at the price current of it when Elizabeth was queen.  One of Turner’s landscapes would pay for a whole Highland county at its valuation when Mary held her first court at Holyrood.

I sit here and look off upon this largest, loveliest picture the Blind Painter has given to England.  I note his grouping of the ivy-framed fields, of every size and form, panelling the gently-rounded hills, and all the soft slopes down to the foot of the valley; the silvery, ripe barley against the dark-green beans; the rich gold of the wheat against the smooth, blue-dashed leaves of the mangel wurzel or rutabaga; the ripening oats overlooking a foreground of vividly green turnips, with alternations of pasture and meadow land, hedges running in every direction, plantations, groves, copses sprinkled over the whole vista, as if the whole little world, clear up to the soft, blue fringe of the horizon, were the design and work of a single artist.  And this, and ten thousand pictures of the same genius, were the work of the Briarean-handed BLIND PAINTER, who still wears a smock-frock and hob-nailed shoes, and lives in a low, damp cottage, and dines on bread and cheese among the golden sheaves of harvest!

O, Mother England! thou that knightest the artists while living, and buildest their sepulchres when dead; thou that honorest to such stature of praise the plagiarists upon Nature, and clothest the copyists of patient Labor’s pictures in such purple and fine linen; thou whose heart is softening to the sweet benevolences of Christian charity in so many directions,—­wilt thou not think, with a new sentiment of kindness and sympathy, on this Blind Painter, who has tapestried the hills and valleys of thy island with an artistry that angels might look upon with admiration and wonder!

Wilt thou not build him a better cottage to live in?

Wilt thou not give him something better than dry bread and cold bacon for dinner in harvest?

Wilt thou not teach all his children to read the alphabet and the blessed syllables of the Great Revelation of God’s Love to man?

Wilt thou not make a morning-ward door in his dwelling and show him a future with a sun in it, in this world, as well as the world to come?

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A Walk from London to John O'Groat's from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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