The pleasure we experience in contemplating the unity of design visible throughout the universe and the adaptation of the functions of every species of animal life to its appointed duty, becomes exalted when we turn our attention to the last and crowning work of creation, man. There we found the nature of capacity, although essentially perfect, yet circum- scribed by the purpose of its finite being ; while in man the combined perfections of the animal functions are made sub-servient to the great purposes of his condition, and subject to the working of his intellectual powers, moral feelings and a never-dying spirit.
In this view the study of the human figure becomes both important and interesting. And although the training of the hand and mind in order to represent it may require much perseverance, let us look forward to the time when, the principles having been learned, we shall be able, by the language of painting, to excite the sympathies and affections of others.
When the mind has become matured, and then for the first time takes an interest in drawing, it feels great difficulty in submitting itself to the dry study of rudiments and the labour necessary for the training of the hand, and after a few impatient struggles gives up the pursuit in despair. It may therefore be suggested to parents that early life is best adapted to this purpose, when the feeble hand will be unaffected by the vehemence of a feeling and enthusiastic mind.
And here it must be understood that, although a sister art to poetry, the pencil must not, like the pen, be taken up under the influence of impetuous feeling and with all the romance of an impassioned soul ; for then disappointment and failure are sure to succeed. Although its effect may be to excite the feelings, the means by which it works are of slow and gradual growth.
The first requisite in a pupil is a right mind. Partialities, prejudices and conceits will retard if they do not prevent the cultivation of taste and judgment. Patience and modesty must induce him to receive much on the faith of authority which he cannot as yet understand; and this must be accompanied by an unselfish honesty of purpose, which at the same time tests the truth of everything submitted to him.
In learning to draw the figure, the practice of continually copying from pictures conduces little to improvement farther