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(Aunt Malvina being surgeon-in-chief pery old girl; considerable force; quite a and head-nurse in one) devoting all their pile-driver way with her, in fact, at times; time and skill to him, his legs dressed, his but no insight; no brains. There was the right wing in splints, his neck swathed and rub. How few were gifted that way! But swaddled up like diphtheritic sore throat. of course Jim had n't repeated the performFor two or three days it looked serious.
Why go over the same ground But Uncle Caleb laughed. "Never you twice? Only geniuses of the second order worry about Jim," he said; "he 'll come repeat; Jim, and Shakspere, never ! through without a dent on him. Why, But what pleased Jim most was that Malviny, you could feed that bird through he had now solved the old problem which a thrashin'-machine and never hurt him a had so troubled him as to the raison d'être mite. He 'd blow out through the straw- of such inharmonious matters as watercarrier chirp as a chickadee, declarin' it tanks, rip-saws, and gunpowder-kegs going was the loveliest little glade he'd been in about with lighted fuses. The truth wasyet, just the spot he'd been lookin' for." he had it thought out now, that at times
It was true. Jim was very much sur- Providence had a little too much to think prised (after he'd had time to get ac- about, and at such times needed help. That quainted with himself again) at our queer was the truth of it; needed help and adnotions about that battle. Injured? vice; and Jim would give it to him. Pshaw! A scratch or two, a feather here Perched upon the axle-end of creation, and there. But why this foolish fuss? which visibly stuck up through our doorYou 'd 'a' thought he was killed; you ex- yard, high above the roof-tree, he would pect that of women, but he supposed Billy watch the world go round, so intensely inand I had some sense. He had more fea- teresting it was, and from time to time, as thers than he wanted anyway, dog-days he looked, and found Providence puzzling coming on.
over some difficulty, wondering what on And what did I want to interfere for,- earth was to be done about it, Jim, peridiot!-spoiling his guard? Did I not see ceiving the root of the matter plainly, what a terrific right wing swing he had would kindly furnish a solution. handed Kartoffel at the climax? Knocked Thus the way of wisdom led on, windher half-way to the barn-yard gate.
ing and beautiful, over hill and dale, to Kartoffel? Oh, yes, Kartoffel was all the very prime ministership of heaven. right in her way; rather interesting, pep- Gifted bird! Well might he be pleased!
Commissioner-General of the United States of America to the Roman Art Exposition of 1911
F you can conceive of a valley running races; but Rome is the mother of the
at right angles to the Tiber in the cup world, and when she calls, her children of the hills beyond the Borghesi Gardens, come from every border. As one of the edged with Claude-like stone-pines and impassioned Romans said at a luncheon in bordered by yellow villas; and in the the "Castle of the Cæsars," "Rome is the depth of this valley the pleasure-houses cradle of art, and is jealous of her praise,” which twenty or thirty nations have dedi- and the cradle that has rocked us through cated to the glory of art and of Rome, our infancy holds us in its spell forever. shining white under the azure sky of Italy, with the Sabine Hills as a remote PERHAPS it is thus that through the berampart, then you have an impression of nign agencies of art the races of men are the art exposition made to celebrate fifty in the way to become better acquainted. years of Italian independence.
You would suppose that the globe-trotting In the midst of the group is the Pa- American had made himself pretty well lazzo delle Belle Arti, contributed by known to Europe; but no greater fallacy Rome and to remain a permanent me- ever existed. They know the outside of morial. On the slopes are England, Ja- us, our independence, our liberal purses, pan, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Austria, our dress, and our traveling needs; but the Russia, Belgium, Servia, France; and on reality of us is as far away from them as an eminence looking up and down the en
our shores. tire valley and across to the blue crests of An intelligent-enough Italian lady said the mountains the United States has built she had been three months in America. herself a house such as we in America call Where?” we inquired. a home. It is an adaptation of a house "The Philippine Islands." designed by Carrère & Hastings, and And that we were usually spoken of as while it necessarily loses some native traits “North Americans” leads to a quite merin submitting to the introduction of gal- cantile inference that some of our hustling leries, it is essentially a "tapistry-brick" business men might well draw. The volcountry house, dear to American senti- ume of trade from South America to Eument and to American landscape.
rope makes the distinction very necessary Hardly ever, I suppose, in the history to a Dutchman or an Italian, though, as I of the fine arts has a more general pil- frequently explained, it left us in the categrimage of the nations been made to any gory of the redman. Mecca of art. Paris and Chicago and St. But even the English, our racial couLouis have had their devotees of many sins, are slow enough to grasp us. Said
one very polite Lady (with a capital L) the German pavilion at the inauguration, in her inquiries about America:
one of the French officials hailed me with “I wonder if any of our other colonies good cheer in English: will become independent."
“How goes it?" I have thrown in these specimens of I supposed he referred to the crowd and "imperfect sympathies” as a prelude to the long waits for the king and queen to the statement that the knowledge of our be conducted from room to room; so I native art in Europe is as limited as that said: of our native life; and if I were to assert "Badly. How is it with you?" that, outside the narrow boundaries of "Same thing by me,” he said in broken France, our own acquaintance with the accents; and then I knew that he referred contemporary art of Europe and Asia is to the pictures. as restricted as theirs of us, I suppose On the other hand, a high German offiI should be severely corrected. But it is cial confided to me his opinion of the Engthe very purpose and value of such an lish art in the laconic words, “Too sweet.” exposition as this at Rome to enlighten But allowing for national prejudice, mankind about his fellow-man, and those there is, underneath all this and much who see the exposition, and see it thor- other kindred criticism, the real cause for oughly, will find as much profit from its objection which I have put forward: the neighborly uses as from its art.
art of Europe does not seem to be advanc
ing. It strikes me that it has a past, but As an impression is all that can be at- no visible future, and this leads to the retempted, I can only say how that art Alection that cannot fail to arise in every affected me at first, and how it appeared thinking mind which observes existing conto me afterward on a more careful analy- ditions: why is it that artists who are sis. As a whole, and without reference to living in daily touch with the great masseparate works or individual artists, I terpieces of the world fail to be influenced should briefly summarize it as disappoint- by their simplicity, their technical beauty, ing—not the exposition, nor the life and and their imaginative perfection? color and the babel of languages under One answer is, that the contemporary the unifying Roman walls, but the total mind gives up in despair the attempt to tendency, the spirit which the various originate beauty and truth equal to that groups unite in forming, the composite which the past has produced, and that its photograph of the art of the world as it only resource is the vulgarization of what exists to-day. This is disappointing be- was once pure and good. cause it shows no lofty ideals, and, if one Another answer is, that the race has may prophesy on such slippery ground, no advanced beyond ideals of beauty to ideals school in the making.
of political liberty, and that the two tenMy revered old friend Halsey C. Ives, dencies are incompatible. Dean of International Expositions, visited But neither of these theories is the last me in Rome, and after a day at the expo- word, and when one contemplates the sition I asked how it struck him.
healthy, sane, and temperate, as well as "Misguided energy," he said; "with beautiful, art of the United States, the inthe exception of America and England I telligent and advancing ideals of Great see no promise. If that is all it comes to Britain, and the clean and wholesome aims after forty years of effort, I wonder if my of Germany, neither of whom possesses time has been misspent.”
in common contact the great master-works And that is the feeling with which I of antique beauty as do the artists in Italy came away from my first tour through the and France and Spain, one must search pavilions. America easily leads; England elsewhere for an explanation of the decomes next, and Germany; then France generate art of continental Europe. far behind, and then all the rest as you choose. The spirit of the European work But I do not mean to tie all European is unprogressive, and its Zeitgeist is sad- art by the neck and cut off its head coldening.
lectively. I have been speaking generally, Yet every nationality thinks its own not specifically; of tendencies, not of indigeese are swans. As I walked through viduals. To come to individuals, I should
perhaps pick out Zuloaga, the Spanish and as well, over his prismatic matadors leader, as one of the significant personages and crazy-quilt donnas, and the size of his who stands forth conspicuously in this colossal canvases, the value of which is showing of the world's art. His lead is mentioned in dollars as denoting their arnot altogether due to the fact that the tistic claims. But the secret is there in Italian committee have done him the the corner, where two exquisite, large honor to invite him to have a gallery to charcoal drawings of early Paris days himself. If one or two of his canvases show that the artistic insanity of the oils were placed in company with a general is half-assumed, one could not venture collection, as in the case of our Abbott H. to say for the purpose of gaining réclame, Thayer, and George de Forest Brush, I though how else reconcile the recognition feel sure they would arrest the intelligent of real things, with the production of unobserver.
real ? They are not cheering in color and they And it is just this which characterizes are not rotund in form, but there is about the conscious work of all these capable them an air, a style, that cannot be re- men. You feel that they are embarrassed duced to words, but which, after all, is to say the simple words which they have the essence of art. His group, while often been taught at the knee of the madonnas, ugly in subject and degenerate in impulse, at the shrine of Perugini, and the simple may stand for the better sort of a bad sort threshold of Ghirlandajo and Pinturicchio. of tendency. He acknowledges artistic They are appalled by the genuine originalantecedents, but he is the creature of his ity of the masters. They have no ideas of age and of his entourage.
their own to express; hence they go the And so, in less artistic degree, it is with way madness lies. And thus we have that his fellow-countryman Aglada, whose title able artist and ingenious experimenter to particular remark is due perhaps more Mancini. He is a Roman who has been, to the committee's indulgence of a room I am told, much praised by Mr. Sargent, to himself than to his overwhelming merit. and justly for many qualities of surprising They are merry in the Roman press over technical adroitness. If you cannot paint his "green horse," and well they may be; with the inspired craftsmanship of Leo