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“The Pearl Necklace,” by Jan van der Meer
By CHARLES H. CAFFIN
O lift a melody of Wagner's from nation of blue and yellow, a favorite color its harmony is not harder
scheme of Meer's, whose preference in the composer than to take a detail out of the works of his maturity, of which this is ensemble of color, light, and shade cre- one, was for cool harmonies, saved from ated by an artist like Jan van der Meer. chillness by a little introduction of warm But that is what has happened here to the colors; in this picture, for example, the little lady in the gray satin and canary- dull, dark red of the chair and the lively colored jacket, edged with ermine, who note of scarlet in the hair. Upon this keeps her vigil before a hanging mirror in simple base, by modulating the tones of the Kaiser-Friedrich Museum of Berlin. the colors and the rhythms of greater and Here, alas! the mirror has disappeared, less degrees of light, in a dancing scale and all but a little of the intervening mass that runs from the opaque black of the of shadowed blue drapery heaped about frame of the mirror up to the white high the gleaming blue of a large Oriental jar. lights of the ermine, the artist has created Gone, too, is the slit of window through a harmony of relations that not only is which soft sunshine plays upon a saffron completely unified, but also has the lifecurtain, and then spreads in a web of vi- like quality of vibration. The picture brating luminosity over the bare, gray thrills as thrills a movement of music exwall. Not less lightly than one strand of ecuted by a string quartet. floss-silk lies upon another, the luminosity Meer had been forgotten even in his envelops the girl's profile, the blonde native city of Delft, and his few pictures hair drawn back by a scarlet ribbon, and - thirty in all — had been attributed to the fingers toying with the necklace of other painters, when early in the sixties pearls. The face is homely, no shapeli- of the last century his name and his fame ness is wedded to the plumpness of her were resuscitated by the French critic E. arms, no grace to her figure; yet there are J. T. Thoré, better known by his penfew little ladies in art for whom exists name, “W. Bürger.” It was then recogsuch a unanimity of admiration.
nized that the work of this artist, done She is part of one of her creator's choic- during a comparatively short life of fortyest harmonies, a standing instance of the three years (1632-1675) with exacting truth that beauty is not so much a positive taste and a skill of craftsmanship marvelas a relative thing, a product of values or ously accomplished, had anticipated with qualities organized into a unity of harmo- consummate realization the modern monious relations. The values or tone quali- tives of painting. He was hailed as par ties in this case are based upon the combi- excellence the painters' painter.
By MARY HEATON VORSE
Illustrations by Everett Shinn
derstood that this story is no burlesque, venomous counsels of Hemmingway, the but a straight record of fact. Indeed, I philosopher. Hemmingway sat upon his am almost afraid to write it, since the gen- piazza surrounded by beautiful children eration in which we live is as yet so wrong- of his own begetting, a charming and able minded that instead of extending sym- wife, whose eye was at once both humorpathy to Paul Brockway, as it should, it ous and cynical, and a philosophy that may be inclined to laugh at him. But harked back from some forgotten era of there is more than one young man walk
the nineteenth century. ing about upon two legs to-day who has “Women," he boomed, “need to be shared Paul's fate; many a young man
made love to; only by making love to who reads this will feel the blush of hot women can you get to know them. It 's shame mounting to his face as he remem- the only way for a man of intelligence to bers ignominious get-aways that he himself begin an acquaintance with a woman- to has been forced to make, awful palpitat- make love to her.” A beautiful blond ing moments when, torn with embarrass- child perched itself on each of his capament, chivalry, and false modesty, he has cious knees. Caressing their heads, he been forced into positions like Paul's. continued to talk convincingly a philos
This is frankly a story with a message; ophy of life suited to an earlier and lessfar from being written with levity, this is dangerous day. “Marriage,” he continpropaganda. I say it openly, I am not ued, with an optimism totally unsupported serving you a sugar-coated pill; so when by any fact, “as we now see it in its bindyou read the sad story of Paul Brockway, ing bourgeois phases, will shortly disappause and think. Face boldly the condi- pear. Men and women are too far apart. tions of life which actually confront us, More men should know more and which, because of the European War,
Don't you agree
Consuela?" He are going to grow steadily worse and appealed to that slender and deep-bosomed worse, and then set briskly about creating daughter of Neptune, Consuela Dare, a public opinion by which men may meet Paul's betrothed. Consuela turned a smolcircumstances of this kind with the grace dering eye on Hemmingway. and dignity of self-approval with which "No," she said coldly. women may meet them. Talk about a “Now, what Paul needs is to make love double standard of morality! Here 's a to some woman if he 's to make you happy, double standard with a vengeance. When
Consuela." it is all right and decent for women, why "I'll attend to being happy myself," it is made so fiendish, so soul-searing, so ig- said Consuela, darkly. At this Hemmingnominious, and so low-down for men, I way's wife laughed a short and mocking can't tell you. It is, and it ought not to laugh. Subtly it was turned against Hembe-not with the world as it is.
“But you, Consuela, you like to be made "Surely, Consuela, you 're not so bourlove to. I make love to you myself.” geoise,” inquired Hemmingway, “as not to
“Do you?” said Consuela, Alushing perceive that Paul has done this for you angrily under her tan.
alone?" “Don't you know it, Consuela? You "I can't stand Peggy DeWitt,” replied slapped me the last time I kissed you. Consuela, her bosom heaving, "and I will No, it was the time before the last that not see her make a monkey out of Paul!" you slapped me."
"You 're unreasonable," said Paul. He “How could I know you were doing did not like the phrase "make a monkey what you call ‘making love'!” said Con- of.” suela.
Consuela clenched her fists. Hemmingway's wife again laughed “I will not have you act like a fool with maddeningly.
girls I perfectly dislike," she asserted. "You 're very subtle, Consuela,” Hem- Despite Hemmingway's saying admirmingway went on, “and how shall an in- ingly, “I'd give ten years of my life to experienced man like Paul—"
have a girl love me like that,” they quar“I 'm not so darned inexperienced," reled. Paul broke in. Poor fellow, he was easily With a feeling that marriage was about drawn.
to shut confining jaws upon him and that Here it was that Peggy DeWitt spoke. he must have one little day of experience "Paul, don't you want some more ex
before that time arrived,- these ideas had perience ?" said she, putting her face about carefully been inserted there by Hemmingfour inches from his and smiling mock- way, Paul Aung himself into his motor. ingly into it.
“Don't come back,” said Consuela, "Sure!" said Paul.
flamingly, "until you can stop acting like “We 're both engaged," Peggy re- a fool.” “Which means,” Hemmingway minded him; "it 's our duty to enrich our interpreted, “until you can do everything lives for the partners of our joys. Come she tells you to.” ahead!" They disappeared, Paul having The automobile has had a profound the rejoicing emotion of a small boy play
the course of courtship. A ing hooky; besides, he had not relished the man can arrive and leave with a celerity fact that right under his eyes Consuela and unexpectedness that has been imposhad been Airting with Hemmingway. Ob- sible hitherto. Paul let the road lead him; viously he owed her one.
he did n't know this part of New England Paul Brockway had led an unusually well. Nightfall found him in a quiet and sheltered life. He had lived in groups of beautiful village. An old white church people where men preponderated over wo- with a lovely and aspiring tower fronted a men. Since leaving college, four years be- green common; the wide streets on each fore, he had spent time in some strange
side held a double row of elms. Even the places: he had been in the far North, he town hall had escaped burning up. No had gone to Africa with a moving-picture one knows why New England town halls man. On his latest return from the wild do burn up, but this has been for a long places of the earth he had seen Consuela time their characteristic. Ancient houses, and become engaged to her. He knew as their yards full of flowering shrubs, slumlittle about modern life or
bered under the shady elms. A motor-car Hemmingway, who, looking at it over a seemed almost an impertinence here, so frieze of his children's heads, could still much did one appear to have turned back talk in terms of the nineteenth century. the hand of time.
When Paul returned alone, with the Paul, whose senses and sensibilities had irritating look of a cat who has swallowed all been sharpened by the exciting occura canary, Consuela was there waiting for of the day, fancied himself in a him. The atmosphere was sultry.
fabled country. The town had a dream
like mellowness that ill accorded with the They burst out on him. They were fiction common to New England that had young; one could n't tell whether the fallen Paul's way. He asked the name of blonde or the brunette was older. They the town at the post-office, and was told were pretty, the brunette dimpled, allurthat it was Lebanon, a wooing word. It ing, with bold, laughing eyes. Her mouth was a town that called for companionship was made up as though for a kiss, and she and conversation. So, in a spirit of ad- stood nearer to Paul than there was any venture rather than of scorn for the small need. The blonde was slender, rose-leaf hostelry, he asked who it was in town that tinted, appealing. With a confiding gesmight give a night's lodging, and learned ture she sat down very near him in a little from a clerk in a store that the Kellogg attitude of drooping expectancy. To take girls took in summer folks sometimes. her hand would have been the most natu
The house that had been pointed out to ral thing in the world. him was a sweet, rambling place, with How it happened Paul never rememsweet things growing about it; flowers bered afterward, but he was soon in a and shrubs were in the yard. It was set game of romps, chasing Louise — for the back from the road, and one walked up a two were quaintly named Clara and Loulong brick path under sentinel sycamore- ise Kellogg-about the long lawn. She trees. On the front porch a lady was sit- dodged him through the syringa-bushes; ting. She was dressed, though Paul, natu- she led him a chase up a little hill, fauntrally, did not know that, in a filmying, alluring, making a pretense at repelsprigged dimity. Her beauty was of fra- ling. When he finally captured her in a gile delicacy; her dark eyes had a haunting grape arbor, what on earth was there for and melancholy look. There was that him to do but to kiss her, I ask you? He about her that charmed Paul and made did it; I never pretended that Paul Brockhim sorry
for her. He hoped that she was way shunned the obvious. When they Miss Kellogg. She was. He hoped - and came back, Louise protesting, pouting his tone was flattering-she had a room. with an innocent air, then before the rest The Aattery of his voice did not escape
insolently daring him to kiss her. her. It surprised from her a smile as dim The Lovely Lady had aged; the silent as moonlight on a lake.
years seemed to have slid over her in his There was a charming air of faded gen
absence. She sat quiet, composed, a gentility about the place; things had grown
Perhaps it was not their threadbare, as though loving hands had bounding vitality that had so wiped her overbrushed and overpolished them. Old out as their calm assumption of her bethings shone dimly, and made mellow and longing to another generation.'"Aunt," caressing notes of color. He sat at ease, "Aunt Miriam," "Auntie," dropped ceasedreaming no evil, thinking no guile, ut- lessly from their lips; and yet there was terly off his guard. A fine adventurous no line upon her brow, no dimming of her mood was that of poor Paul's. He was quiet color. She could not, Paul reflected, ready for anything.
have been a day over thirty, if she was He heard giggles within, young and that; but one could not imagine her gethoidenish laughter, voices saying:
ting kissed in a grape arbor on sight, as it “Is it alive? Where did you get it, were, and somehow that episode was more Aunt Miriam?"
exciting than the moonlit vistas of shy "Hush! hush! He 'll hear you." This companionship which friendship with her was from her whom Paul had already offered him. fatuously named "the Lovely Lady."
After dinner he found himself helping “In a motor-car, o-oh! o-oh! I like his her with the dishes. Then there were looks.”
more romps with Louise. She managed “ 'Sh!” Again the Lovely Lady's voice to do these things without giving the efmumbled something.
fect of any vulgarity. There was a spon