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?