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346
n
IMPRESSMENT

-to different parts, and to, parts measured against the whole. The Impressionist painter does not allot so. much detail to a face in a full—length portrait as to a head alone..nor to twenty figures on a canvas as to one. Again, he indicates bythis treatment of planes and definitions whether themain subject of his picture is in the foreground or the distance. He persuades the eye to slip over hosts of near objects so that, as in life, it may hit a distant target, or concentrate its attack on what is near, while the distance falls away into a dim curtain. All those devices by which attention is directed and.distributed, and the importance in space of an object established, affect impressionistic composition.

It is an inevitable misunderstanding of painting which plays the game of art so closely up to the real .aspects of nature that its aim is that of mere exact copying. Painting like Manet's, accused of being realistic in 'this sense, sufficiently disproves the accusation when examined. Never did painting show a parti pris more pronounced, even more violent. The elisions and assertions by which Manet selects what he finds significant and beautiful in the complete natural image are startling to the stupid realist, and the Impressionist may best be described as the painter who out of the completed contents of vision constructs an image moulded upon his own interest in the thing seen and not on that of any imaginary schoolmaster. .Accepting the most complex terms of nature with their special emotions, he uses the same freedom of sacrifice as the man who 'at the other end of the scale expresses his interest in things by a few scratches of outline. The perpetual enemy of both is the eclectic, who works for possible interests not his own.

Some of the points touched on above will be found amplified in articles b the writer in The Albemarle (September 1892), the Fortniighily 1521/iew (June 1894), and The Artist (March-July 1896). An admirable exposition of Impressionism in this sense is R. A. M. Stevenson's The Art of Velasquez (1895). Mr Stevenson was trained in the school of Carolus Duran, where impressionist painting was reduced to a system. Mr Sargent's painting is a brilliant exam le of the system. (D. S. M.))


IMPRESSMENT, the name given in English to the exercise of the authority of the state to “ press ”[1] or compel the service of the subject for the defence of the realm. Every sovereign state must claim and at times exercise this power. The “ drafting ” of men for service in the American Civil War was a form. of impressment. All the monarchical, or republican, governments of Europe have employed the press at one time or another. All forms of conscription, including the English ballot for the militia, are but regulations of this sovereign right. In England impressment may be looked upon as an erratic, and often oppressive, way of enforcing the common obligation to serve in “ the host ” or in the posse comitatus (power of the county). In Scotland, where the feudal organization was very complete in the Lowlands, and the tribal organization no less complete in the Highlands, and where the state was weak, impressment was originally little known. After the union of the two parliaments in 1707, no distinction was made between the two divisions of Great Britain. In England the kings of the Plantagenet dynasty caused Welshmen to be pressed by the Lords Marchers, and Irish kerns to be pressed by the Lords Deputy, for their wars in France. Complaints were made by parliament of the oppressive use of this power as early as the reign of Edward III., but it continued to be exercised. Readers of Shakespeare will remember Sir John Falstaff's commission to press soldiers, and the manner, justified no doubt by many and familiar examples of the way in which the duty was performed. A small sum called imprest-money, or coat and conduct money, was given to the men when pressed to enable them to reach the appointed rendezvous. Soldiers were secured in this way by Queen Elizabeth, by King Charles I., and by the parliament itself in the Civil War. The famous New Model Army of Cromwell was largely raised by impressment. Parliament ordered the county committees to select recruits of “ years meet for their employment and well clothed.” After the Revolution of 1688 parliament occasionally made use of this resource. In 1779 a general press of all rogues and vagabonds in London to be drafted into the regiments was ordered. It is said that all who were not too lame to run away or too destitute to bribe the parish constable were swept into the net. As they were encouraged to desert by the undisguised connivance of the officers and men who were disgusted with their company, no further attempt to use the press for the army was made.

A distinction between the liability of sailors and of other men dates from the 16th century. From an act of Philip and Mary (1556) it appears that the watermen of the Thames claimed exemption from the press as a privileged body. They were declared liable, and the liability was clearly meant to extend to'-service as a soldier on shore. In the fifth year of Queen Elizabeth (1563) an act was passed to define the liability of the sailors. It is known as “ an Act touching politick considerations for the maintenance of the Navy.” By its term all fishermen and mariners were protected from being compelled “ to serve as any soldiers upon the Land or upon the Sea, otherwise than as a mariner, except itshall be to serve under any Captain of some ship or vessel, for landing to do some special exploit which mariners have been used to do.” The operation of the act was limited to ten years, but it was renewed repeatedly, and was at last indefinitely prolonged in the sixteenth year of the reign of Charles I. (1631). .By the Vagrancy Act of the close of Queen Elizabeth's 'reign (1597), disorderly serving-men and other disreputable characters, of whom a formidable list is given, were declared to be liable to be impressed for service in the fleet. The “ Takers," as they were called in early times, the Press Gang of later days, were ordered to present their commission to two justices of the peace, who were bound to pick out “ such sufficient number of able men, as in the said commission shall be contained, to serve Her Majesty as aforesaid.” The justices of the peace in the coast districts, who were often themselves concerned in the shipping trade, were not always zealous in enforcing the press. The pressed sailors often deserted with the " impress money ” given them. Loud complaints were made by the naval officers of the bad quality of the men sent up to serve in the king's ships. On the other hand, the Press Gangs were accused of extorting money, and of making illegal arrests. In the reign of Queen Anne (1703) an act was passed “ for the increase of Seamen and the better encouragement of navigation, and the protection of the Coal Trade.” The act which gave parish authorities power to apprentice boys to the sea exempted the apprentices from the press for three years, and until the age of eighteen. It especially reaffirmed the part of the Vagrancy Act of Elizabeth's reign which left rogues and vagabonds subject to be pressed for the sea service. By the act for the “ Increase of Mariners and Seamen to navigate Merchant Ships and other trading ships or vessels,” passed in the reign of George II. (1740), all men over fifty-five were exempted from the press together with lads under eighteen, foreigners serving in British ships (always numerous in war time), and landsmen who had gone to sea during their first two years. The act for “ the better supplying of the cities of London and Westminster with fish ” gave exemption to all masters of fishing-boats, to four apprentices and one mariner to each boat, and all landsmen for two years, except in case of actual invasion. By the act for the encouragement of insurance passed in 1774, the fire insurance companies in London were entitled to secure exemption for thirty watermen each in their employment. Masters and mates of merchant vessels, and a proportion of men per ship in the colliers trading from the north to London, were also exempt.

Subject to such limitations as these, all seafaring men, and

  1. It is now accepted generally that “ to press ” is a corruption of “ prest," as “ impress ” is of “ imprest," but the word was quite early connected with “press," to squeeze, crush, hence to compel or force. The “ prest " was a sum of money advanced (O. Fr. prester, modern prêter, to lend, Lat. praestare, to stand before, provide, become surety for, &c.) to a person to enable him to perform some undertaking, hence used of earnest money given to soldiers on enlistment, or as the " coat and conduct " money alluded to in this article. The methods of compulsion used to get men for military service naturally connected the word with “ to press ” (Lat. pressare, frequentative of premere) to force, and all reference to the money advanced was lost (see Skeat, Etym. Dict., 1898, and the quotation from H. Wedgwood, Dict. of Eng. Etym.).