Puslapio vaizdai

of the company of cultivated, thoughtful young men who are doing so much to honor architecture among us, and tell him what you want, and have him draw you a design. Then with your working-drawings go to the best house-carpenter you can find-if you want the best there is, or can be, find Mr. Matthias J. Miller, No. 126 Amity streetand ask him to carry out the design strictly, in good material, and in a workman-like way, and you will find your desires more than met. There is a pleasure in getting things this way that there is not and cannot be in going into shops and buying them. We get attached to our surroundings; we know their history and their character, and feel that we can depend on them. Mr. John F. Miller, who is too well-known for me to praise him, is one of the best-trained architects we have, and one of the most refined men in his taste, though he is, perhaps, more devoted to the Gothic than is likely to bring him favor in these days. He has designed many pieces of furniture for me, and his brother, Mr. Matt. Miller, has made them, and better work than Matt. Miller's was never done anywhere in any time that I know any thing about. The secret of his good workmanship is, not as he thinks, if he modestly thinks about it, that he went through the painful drill of apprenticeship, nor that he had a good master, nor even that he had been trained in the solid school of Leopold Eidlitz and his brother John, but that he loves his trade, believes in it, and puts all his mind, and heart, and character into it. The wood of which my furniture is made has been chosen by him with as much knowledge and care as Van Eyck would have used in selecting a panel for a picture, and, like the Deacon's one-horse shay, it will last till it can last no more, and then must all go to powder at once, for one piece is as perfect as another. The construction is as admirable as the material, and in it one may see the carpentry of the times of our great grandfathers brought back, for here are no make-shifts, no nails, nor glue-except where Saint Joseph himself would have ordered it; but the whole is held together by science and by conscience. If it might be, I would send some of his work to the Centennial-not, of course, for any brag, for what had I to do with it? but to praise him, and to show what work has been done by one American carpenter, taught and trained at home.

Of course, if we would give our carpenters more such work to do, there would be


more Matthias Millers than there are. would be greatly to our advantage to do so, and a good thing if we could learn to do without much of the sort of furniture made by so-called cabinet-makers. Matthias Miller tells me that he remembers when there was no such trade in New York as "cabinet-making;" when plain house-carpenters like himself made all the furniture that was made, and it was better designed and better made than the most of what is made even at expensive establishments in New York to-day. The trade of carpentry, however, is in such a state in this country to-day, that no carpenter I know can be trusted to design a piece of furniture, even of a very simple kind. But the expense of getting designs from an architect is comparatively small, and certainly the satisfaction in getting a good design, and having it well carried out, is great enough to make it worth the trouble and expense.

Cuts Nos. 6 and 7 are a little premature in this article. They are intended to go, No 6 with what is to be said about curtains and hangings, and No. 7 with some chat about screens, in the next article. They are both of them incidents in a story of real life which might be good to tell, if I were in for a serial tale. I dare say the reader will enjoy looking at Mr. Lathrop's little pictures quite as much as he would, if he knew more about this quaint Crusoeish hut and its occupants. He can, at all events, see that it looks a comfortable place, though not painfully proper and conventional. He shall learn more about it, if we can get permission, in the next article for this series. Meanwhile, if he should be led by it, to think it a good notion to divide a large room up by screens and curtains instead of always by formal and permanent partitions, the little picture will be doing a part of its duty. part of its duty. To many people a large room is a great pleasure. Indeed, I think, most people like to have plenty of space in which to move about, but as we all like privacy sometimes, and seclusion from the doings of others, if for no other end than to have the temptation to talk and to look about us removed, it is good to have easy ways of attaining our object. The long, narrow parlors that are such an affliction to New Yon housekeepers are much more elegantly divided by screens, which may be made as rich or as plain as we choose, or by curtains, than by the ordinary partition and sliding-door. For comfort and for coziness they often need to be divided, and

bit of old iron-work, a double candlestick picked up at a Christmas booth in Paris streets, and since, for many a day, found a most useful table companion to one who always works at night by candle-light. It lifts easily by the strong projecting handle, and is not to be upset.

I had promised myself, too, the amuse


Cuts Nos. 8 and 9 are étagères, both of Chinese make; one of them, No. 8, has a cupboard beneath it, and both of them are lifted from the floor by stands which are movable at pleasure. Both are handsome pieces; but No. 8 is of a more useful kind than No. 9, and better suited, perhaps, to a dining-room than to the parlor; certainly it would be found very useful in a room where there are tea-things, especially if they were pretty ones, to put under lock-andkey. No. 8 is of the black wood the Chinese so much affect, and which they carve and polish so skillfully. No. 9 is of a wood resembling mahogany, but without the magic translucent lights that make mahogany so noble a member of the wood family. Giorgione's and Titian's women, with their red-gold hair, may have been, after all, only the Hamadryads of the mahogany-tree, seen by the painters in vision. This Chinese wood is, however, less rich than mahogany; but it is handsome, and makes a good contrast to the darker piece. Both these shelves were bought at Sypher's, and were of moderate price; nor is there anything so rare about them as to make it impossible to meet their mates some day. But many of our readers will, we are sure, see how superior they are to the general run of furniture in the shops. The object on the top of No. 9 is a jade dish supported on a stand of carved oak, and over the shelves there hangs on the wall, a sconce of beaten brass for three candles, specimens of which are always to be seen at Cottier's and Tiffany's, and there are often excellent ones to be found at the rooms of the "Household

yet they often need also, when company | comes, to be left free from end to end. But, more of this by and by. The window and curtain in cut No. 6 are at the other end of the room shown in No. 7. In our formal way of hanging curtains from a so-called cornice, we lose the freedom and artistic movement of a piece of stuff such as this curtain is made of; it becomes a mere piecement of a tilt against pianos as we make of machinery, and calls the dumb-waiter them in this the present year of gracebrother, and the furnace-register sister. "bow-legged megatheriums," as somebody But, hung by rings and hooks to a brass has hit them off, the ugliest pieces of furnirod, and moved back and forth at pleasure, ture which we of this generation, fertile in it becomes another creature, and is second ugliness, have as yet succeeded in inventing. cousin at least to the pictures and casts. The first pianos were prettier than any that From being a pesky, troublesome, dust-col- have been made since, but they were too lecting member of the family, it is now a spindle-legged for real beauty, and owed docile, cheerful, neat-handed minister of too much to the color of the wood they sunlight and cool shade, no trouble to any- were made of, with its pretty inlayings and body, and only pleasant to live with. marquetry, and painted panels above the key-board-too little to the excellence of their form. A handsome piano, one that an artist could enjoy the sight of, does not exist to-day out of museums, nor is made by any one of the legion of manufacturers. But a piano, even a "square” or a “grand,” might be made a stately ornament to our drawing-rooms, and even the "uprights," which try to be as ugly as their fourfooted and hooved brethren, but cannot wholly succeed, might be made much better than they are, in artistic hands. I wish some one would try the experiment of a plain case, were it even of pine, and let it be decorated with color simply, after the fashion of the clavichord in cut No. II. This rests upon a stand, and the raised lid has a pastoral landscape with figures painted on the inside. There has been for some time at Goupil's a water-color by one of the new men, Rossi, in which a lady is seated at a piano, in the style of Louis XIV., very ornate with flourishing carving and gilding not exactly to be recommended, but having the inside of the lid delightfully painted with a dance of Cupids, or some sacred mystery of that sort. Why can't some of our young artists plot and plan to induce some one of the young piano-makers with his fortune to make, to combine with some clever designer, and devise a case for them to paint? The result might be delightful, and even if the first go-off were not wholly successful, it would show the way. It would be good to see a herd of the present heavyfooted antediluvians that stretch their huge bulks about our drawing-rooms, turned out of their luxurious quarters and sent lumberArt Company," in Boston. No. 1o is a jollying down the avenue, yielding place to

something that would seem more like an instrument of music. As it is now, the loveliest woman that sits down to play at a modern piano is a little dimmed; the instrument, instead of setting off her beauty, seems to do its best to disparage it.

No. II. was drawn on the block by Mr. Lathrop, from an etching that appeared in the "Zeitschrift für Bildende Kunst" (vol. vii., p. 8, 1872). The etching is by W.


I AM accustomed to make great use of an invaluable little volume, the "Brief Biographical Dictionary," and it contains one line that often arrests my attention, and has for me an inexhaustible charm. The plan of the book is simply to give in alphabetical order the name of each noted person, with his occupation, his biographer, and the dates of birth and death; thus preserving in the smallest space, as in an urn-full of white dust, the substance of each career. And among these condensed memorials-inserted between "Fleming, John, Scottish Naturalist," and "Fleming, Patrick, Irish Roman Ecclesiastic"-occurs this line:

"Fleming, Marjorie, Pet. (Life by J. Brown, M. D.) 1803-1811."

That is all; but it is to me as touching as the epitaphs of children in the Greek "Anthology." Those who have read in Dr. Brown's "Spare Hours" his delicious sketch of the fascinating little creature thus commemorated, will not wonder that her life of eight years obtained for her a niche in fame's temple as enduring as that of any of her maturer clansmen. Nay, what to us is a mere "Scottish Naturalist" or "Roman Ecclesiastic" beside "Pet Marjorie ?"

I would fain take this adoption of this rare little maiden into the Biographical Dictionary as an indication that we are beginning a more careful and reverent study of childish ways. It is wrong to leave this mine of quaintness and originality to be the mere wonder of a day in the household, when even the savants are beginning to talk about "Psychological Embryology," thus vouchsafing us two polysyllables, beneath whose protecting shadow we may enter on pleasant themes. Why should we praise Agassiz for spending four hours a day at the

Unger, after a picture by Gonzales Coques, which is in the Gallery at Cassel. It is called "Ein junger Gelehrter mit seiner Frau im Zimmer." The etching is one of Unger's best, but Mr. Henry Marsh's woodcut from Mr. Lathrop's reduction, is no less a masterpiece in its way. I had it done mainly for the clavichord, but it will be of much use to us with relation to other mat


microscope, watching the growth of a turtle's egg, and yet recklessly waste our opportunities for observing a far more wondrous growth? Or why should the scientific societies send agents to study the Chinook jargon, or the legends of the Flathead Indians, when the more delicious jargon of these more untamable little nomads remains unrecorded? Mr. G. P. Marsh has drawn important inferences as to language from the broken English of children; and there are themes of study, more absorbing still, in their broken and fantastic imaginations.

Care and duty hem us in so closely during maturer years, that we should become dry and desolate but for constantly recurring to the one period of life when the limitations of space and time do not oppress us, and the far off is as the near. The baby who puts out his little hand for the moon is compelled to draw it back empty, yet he puts it forth many times again. My friend's little daughter, after having the stars for the first time pointed out to her, requested next day to have "two little stars with sugar on them for breakfast.” And in their first dealings with human beings children set aside the petty barriers of generations and centuries in the same fine way. "Mamma," said in my hearing the little daughter of a certain poetess, "did I ever see Mr. Shakespeare?" It was at the dinner-table and between two bites of an apple. On another occasion the same child said with equal confidence, Mamma, did you ever know Cleopatra ?" There was no affectation about it; she was accustomed to seeing literary people and other notabilities at her mother's house; and Shakespeare and Cleopatra might have come and gone, arm in arm, without exciting her half so much as the arrival of a new


paper doll. Thus a child traveling with me, and seeing me salute, at a railway station, a certain Methodist minister of great dimensions, inquired, with casual interest, whether that was the Pope? To assign to the Pope his proper place in space, and to Shakespeare or his heroines their rightful position in time, what have children to do with such trifles? Matters more important claim their attention; are there not hoops and skipping-ropes and luncheon?


And when the imagination of children thus sets out on its travels, it embraces with the same easy sweep the whole realm of mythology and fairyland, still without questioning or surprise. A young gentleman of my acquaintance, aged seven, who had already traveled in Greece with his father, and who was familiar by hearsay with the Homeric legends, formed lately a plan of vast compass for summer entertainment. He proposed to his father that they should erect a hotel on one of the Plymouth (Massachusetts) hills, and should engage all the Greek gods and goddesses as permanent attractions for the possible boarders. suggested that these deities had been "turned out" so long that they would doubtless be glad to get places, and he could afford to pay them handsome salaries out of the profits. It was a part of the scheme that Agamemnon, Ulysses, and others, should also be engaged to "preach" at the hotel, giving in their discourses a narrative of the Trojan war. This course of lectures was to last ten years, and to be repeated in every decade; and finally Orpheus and the Nine Muses were to give a series of concerts for the benefit of the enterprise. This plan he devised for himself and quite independently of his father, but wished that gentleman to use his influence with the colleges toward securing the necessary spectators. This appeal was met by the generous pledge of a hundred tickets from Cambridge alone, whenever this "grand combination of attractions," as the programmes say, should be brought together.

In what land of blissful fancy do children dwell, when they build up such visions as this eager to talk about them, wounded if they are ridiculed, desolate if they are crushed, and yet never absolutely believing them to be wholly true? In maturer years we still yield ourselves with some readiness to fancy; we weep at the theater; actors themselves weep. Charles Lamb's friend Barbara S. remembered, in old age, how her neck had been scalded in childhood by

the hot tears that fell from the eyes of Mrs. Porter, as Isabella. It does not even require the illusion of the visible stage in order to produce such emotions. When Richardson was writing "Clarissa Harlowe" he had letters by scores, imploring him to save his heroine from impending despair, or to bring back Lovelace to virtue.

Pray, reform him; will you not save a soul, sir?" wrote one correspondent; and Colley Cibber vowed that he should lose his faith in a merciful Providence unless Clarissa were protected. Nor were these the mere whims of a fantastic period, for who does not remember the general groan of dismay among the young women of America when Miss Alcott, in her second volume, forbade the banns between Jo and Laurie. Yet how far do even these instances fall short of the intensity of childhood's emotions!

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I knew a little girl who was found sobbing in bed, one night, unable to close her eyes, long after her usual time of slumber. With much reluctance and after long crossexamination, she owned that her sorrow related solely to the woes of "Long Tail" and "Blue Eyes," two devoted rats, whose highly wrought adventures she had just been reading in a child's magazine. "Blue Eyes" had been caught in a trap, from which "Long Tail" had finally rescued her, but their sufferings had been so vividly described, that it was long before she could be induced to view it as anything but a real tragedy. Less easy of persuasion was a child once under my charge, a boy of twelve, unusually strong and active, spending almost his whole time in the open air, who was yet moved by the story of "Undine" to such exaggerated emotion, that he lay awake the greater part of the night, in an agony of tears, which grew worse and worse till I hit upon a happy thought, and imagined for him a wholly new ending to the tale,-bringing Undine out of the water and re-uniting her to Hildebrand, so that all should live happily ever after. Being offered this entirely ideal refuge from an equally ideal woe, my poor little pupil dried up his tears and was asleep in ten min


We are apt to be amazed that children should thus lend themselves to be profoundly moved by what they do not, after all, accept as truth. But what know they of real or unreal? The bulk of the world's assumed knowledge-as that the earth revolves around the sun is to them as remote from per


sonal verification as their fairy stories, and seems more improbable. They have to take almost everything for granted, and the faculty of "make-believe" is really in constant exercise, whether in study or play. "Only. the Encyclopedia to learn," said Lord Chatham, with doubtful encouragement, to his boy; but, so long as it is all hearsay, how is any one to draw the line where the wonders of the Encyclopedia end, and those of the "Arabian Nights" begin?

"I should think," said my little cousin to me, as he hung enraptured over the "Pilgrim's Progress,"" that those Apollyons must be a bad kind of fellows to have about!" He would have taken the same view of rattlesnakes, never having actually seen either species of monster. Sir Philip Sidney says, when speaking of the old theatrical practice of labeling the stage-scenery, "What child is there, that, coming to a play, and seeing 'Thebes' written on an old door, doth believe that it is Thebes ?" But all history, and art, and science are but so many stagedoors to the child, and they are all labeled Thebes, or something still more incomprehensible. Even Keats begins his classification of the universe with "things real, as sun, moon, and passages of Shakespeare." The truth is, that the child does not trouble himself to discriminate between the real and ideal worlds at all, but simply goes his way, accepts as valid whatever appeals to his imagination, and meanwhile lives out the day and makes sure of his dinner. Luckily, you can by no means put him off with any Barmecide delusion about that.

We do not sufficiently remember that the most hum-drum daily life is essentially ideal to an imaginative child, or is, at least, easily idealized. One secret of the charm of "Charles Auchester" is, that in the early chapters it describes the enchantment produced by music on many a susceptible child, portraying emotions such as many have experienced, but none had ever before dared to describe. There is nothing in it which overstates what I can remember to have felt in childhood when lying awake in bed, after dark, and listening to my sister's piano. It may have been a nightly ten minutes, at most, but I perceive now, in looking back, that the music lulled all childish sorrows to sleep, and drew a curtain of enchantment over the experience of every day. And even without such melodious aid, children will take the echoes of the most prosaic events and weave them into song and legend for themselves. How vivid the picture of the

lonely life of the Brontë household, with their nightly dramas, into which Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington enter, and the wayfaring man at the door is caught up into the romance. But a thousand such childish experiences are unrecorded. We go to visit the families of our friends, and find that we have long served as dramatis persone to their children. They have only heard of us, have never seen us; but they have long since painted us in their pictures, played us in their games, named dolls or boats after us, and taken us with them on imaginary voyages to the North Pole. They have supplemented their own lives, in short, by including in fancy the experiences of every life with which they have come in contact.

It is a common thing for children to live in some world of their own, apart from all their daily duties and belongings. In one household of my acquaintance, two little girls possess a private fairyland named "Blab." All their play hours are passed in it; its secrets are known to them only: even their parents are not admitted; but their baby sister, not yet two years old, is by birthright a citizen of the realm, and acts with great dignity her part in its pageants. They have invented for this enchanted land a language, both spoken and written,their father, it should be said, is an eminent linguist,—and they have devised novel combinations of letters, to express sounds not represented in the English tongue.

I knew another child who spent her summers on a charming estate by the sea-shore, with her grandfather for chief playmate. They jointly peopled with a fairy world the woods and rocks around them; every rocky cave, every hollow tree, every hole in the ground was full of enchantment. There were paths and ravines where it was forbidden to walk fast or speak aloud. The two playmates would steal off by themselves and hold secret converse, for hours, concerning these wonders, till, on one unlucky day, the elder conspirator forgot himself so far as to speak disrespectfully of the prime minister of the Court of Fairyland. No actual peril could have taken more apparent hold of the child's imagination. She walked up and down, wringing her hands, and endeavoring to propitiate the supposed wrath of these beings unseen, by such highly wrought appeals as this:

"I come to implore you in behalf of my beloved grandpapa! Spare him! O respectable Green Bird! do his doom lightly!”

Another child of my acquaintance created

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