Puslapio vaizdai

painter of the " Decadence," as though he had painted only that one picture. How many times have I not heard young painters exclaim: "Couture-ah, yes, Couture of the Romans. But he died ages ago. Or, if he still vegetates some where, he must be very old indeed. No one has .heard of him for many a long year!" In reality, when Couture died, in March, 1879, he was not sixty-four years of age.

The truth is that Couture never ceased working, though he worked after a somewhat irregular fashion, giving himself numerous holidays. If he was neglected by the great mass of his countrymen, he was appreciated elsewhere. One of his most charming works, the "Falconer," of which I made a copy the size of the original, is in Germany. But most of his pictures were bought, I am glad to say, by Americans. It is rather odd that the "nation of shopkeepers," as ours is often termed, should have a love of art, and the instinct of the real amateur, more fully developed than many an Old World country. When Millet was still, if not unknown, at least violently criticized in France, America already possessed some of his best works. Barye found his most fervent admirers in the United States. Couture painted almost exclusively for Americans.

Couture married rather late in life, and had two children, both girls. He was adored by his wife and daughters, and his married life was a very happy one. Perhaps, with our ideas on such matters, we might consider that his theory of the superiority of the male creature, and his right to absolute devotion on the part of his womenfolk, was a reprehensible theory. But he made an excellent father and husband in spite of his conviction that a man was not made to be faithful to one woman, and that education for girls was a dangerous modern notion, not to be encouraged by a reasonable man.

In 1869 he purchased a country place at Villiers-le-Bel, a short distance from Paris. The house dated from the time of Francis I., and the garden, or rather park, was filled with grand old trees. Here he resided during the last ten years of his life, going to Paris only during a few months in winter. His peculiar ideas of happiness caused him to live in what other mortals might consider great discomfort. Under pretext that nature managed things for the best, he never allowed a gardener to work on his grounds. He was, besides, quite convinced that such hirelings made it a point to sell his vegetables and to steal his fruit. As a natural consequence the beautiful place went to ruin; the trees brought forth no fruit, and the earth yielded no vegetables. He himself took great delight in wearing peasant's garments and in walking in sabots-they at least had nothing to do with civilization! But as he had a thorough appre

ciation of the delights of a good table, he employed an excellent cook, and his devoted wife took care that his meals should be of the best and his truffles of the largest. But for the rest of the service a village girl was quite sufficient, and he deemed it by no means beneath their dignity to utilize his wife and daughters in domestic duties of the most active sort.

In his country retreat he was not, however, abandoned. Pupils gathered about him, living in the village so as to profit by the master's advice. Among these were many Americans. Mr. Ernest Longfellow, son of the poet, was of the number. Couture was an excellent master, and took great interest in the progress of his pupils. His great precept was, "Look at nature; copy nature." He published a little book full of good advice to young artists, giving the result of many years' experience. All his pupils were fond of him, which proves that the exterior peculiarities which sometimes shocked strangers were soon overlooked by those who were able to appreciate his sterling qualities. A man who is loved by the members of his family, to whom all his friends remain faithful, and who is appreciated by young people, is sure to be of a thoroughly lovable nature. Still, it must be owned that the first impression was not always quite agreeable. On one occasion an American, a rather shy and exquisitely polite gentleman, and a great admirer of Couture's talent, went, provided with a letter of introduction, to pay his respects to the master. The master was in his bath, but when his wife told him of the visit, "Let him come in!" exclaimed he, and, much to our countryman's confusion, he was received by Couture, soaking placidly in his bath. He rather splashed his visitor, for, like many Frenchmen, he gesticulated freely while conversing.

Couture was fond of telling the story of his first pupil. He was still a young man when, one morning, he heard a timid knock at his door. "Come in!" said he, in that big, gruff voice of his, scarcely calculated to encourage shy visitors. A young fellow, slightly deformed, dressed like a well-to-do countryman, entered, and, not without much hesitation and much stuttering, begged the painter to take him in as pupil. "I have no pupils; and I wish for none," was the discouraging answer. But the youth, if he was timid, was tenacious; he would be so discreet; his master need not feel his presence; all he asked for was a corner of the atelier from which he could see the great artist at work; he would make himself of use, wash the brushes, set the palette, run errands-do anything, in short, that was required of him. Couture continued to say no; the young man continued to plead. Finally the artist impatiently took up his pipe and found that his tobacco-pouch was

empty. "Go and buy me some tobacco!" he cried. The young man disappeared, reappearing soon; Couture smoked, was mollifiedand yielded.

This strange pupil remained with him for more than a year. Couture often wondered how he managed to live. He seemed poor, but he never borrowed money. He spent all his time working, without showing very great natural talent, and Couture's excellent heart was much concerned. How was that poor fellow ever to get salt for his porridge with his painting?

One day the pupil begged a great favor of his master-to let him invite him to dinner. Couture consented, and, to his amazement, the young man, dressed like a gentleman, took him to the best restaurant in Paris and ordered the best dinner that restaurant could provide.

The poor, humble pupil, who ran on his errands and washed his brushes, was a very rich amateur whose passion for painting had led him to seek the sincere and disinterested lessons of a master he admired. Later, Couture went to visit his ex-pupil in the latter's beautiful château in Normandy, which contained one of the finest collections of pictures and rare curiosities in all France. It is needless to say that the master was received with enthusiasm by the pupil. M. Dutuit (the pupil) left his magnificent collection, with a large endowment, to the city of Rouen. One of the pictures is a small whole length of Rembrandt, which I once copied.

Couture's method of giving a lesson to his pupils was as follows: While they looked on

he painted a head from the model, and while he painted made judicious remarks as to the drawing, the color, the light and shade. Some of these heads, dashed off in two hours, are charming. M. Barbedienne, Couture's great friend and admirer, possesses several of them. In the same collection are numerous drawings, sketches, half-finished pictures, most interesting to those who like to follow the workings of an original genius. Among these is the sketch for his picture, the "Love of Gold." Seated at a table, a man with a fiendish face grasps bags of gold, jewels, and precious stones; crowding about him, eager for the spoil, we see beautiful women, writers willing to sell their pen, artists their brushes, warriors their valor. Couture's love for symbolical painting grew with years, developed probably by solitude. In the very retired life which he led he did not follow the movement of modern art; he even refused to see what other artists did, declining to let them see his own works. Another of his symbolical pictures, of which M. Barbedienne possesses a large, nearly finished sketch, shows us a beautiful young woman seated in a carriage, whip in hand, driving, instead of horses, a group of men-among them a poet, a warrior, and a satyr-like old lover. I prefer, as a general thing, his simpler works. Among these I must speak of a little picture representing a boy carrying a tray on which are glasses full of wine or red syrup; his head is covered with a sort of white twisted cloth, and is singularly living and strongly painted. Couture's love of symbolical pictures sometimes carried him to the verge of caricature, as in his series of pictures

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of lawyers. He had two pet hatreds-lawyers and doctors. In M. Barbedienne's gallery are some very spirited drawings and sketches of lawyers speaking before the court, or sleeping during the discourse of their brother lawyers. As to doctors, he never would allow one in his house. He was so violent in his animosity that, when he fell ill, he refused all medical aid. And his was a terrible sort of disease, which could not be cured, although his sufferings might at least have been somewhat allayed.

My poor friend died of a cancer in the stomach on the 27th of March, 1879. His loss was a great sorrow to me. We had been young men together; we had seen years roll on without bringing any change in our mutual feelings, and when one of us experienced some success in life it was a joy to the other. For his talent I had a sincere and profound admiration; for his strong and manly nature the greatest sympathy. He was a friend in the broadest and best sense of the word.

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"I will be glad because it is the spring." AMY LEVY.

HALL I be glad because the year is young?


The shy, swift-coming green is on the trees;

The jonquil's passion to the wind is flung;

I catch the May-flower's breath upon the breeze.

The birds, aware that mating-time has come,

Swell their plumed, tuneful throats with love and glee;
The streams, beneath the winter's thraldom dumb,
Set free at last, run singing to the sea.

Shall I be glad because the year is young?

Nay; you yourself were young that other year:
Though sad and low the tender songs you sung,

My fond heart heard them, and stood still to hear.

Can I forget the day you said good-by,

And robbed the world and me for alien spheres ?
Do I not know, when wild winds sob and die,
Your voice is on them, sadder than my tears?

You come to tell me heaven itself is cold,—


The world was warm from which you fled
And moon and stars and sun are very old-
And you?-oh, you were young in last year's May:

Now you, who were the very heart of spring,

Are old, and share the secrets of the skies;

But I lack something that no year will bring,

Since May no longer greets me with your eyes.

Can I be glad, then, in the year's glad youth?

Nay; since for me the May has ceased to shine.
What shall I do but face the cruel truth?—

You made my spring; and now spring is not mine.

Louise Chandler Moulton.

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ACH advancing year makes more apparent the universality of a taste for aquatic sports among the American people. Yachting has ever been a growing pastime by the waters of the North Atlantic coast. We now find white sails in the least-expected places: yachts and yachters where but a few years ago the only sailers were the timid wild duck and the solemn mud-hen; boats upon waters that have scarcely ceased to ripple from the agitation of their first invasion by a launched vessel; butterfly canoes scudding over rivers that not a decade since knew no alien thing save the Indian's dugout; lakes upon which float shapely vessels of pattern so modern that they almost seem uncouth in their intrusion upon Nature's primeval landscape; sloops and cutters, schooners and catboats, every kind of sailing craft in short, that can be made to cater to the yachter's insatiate desire for sport. In yachting the United States takes first rank; her yachts and yachters outnumber and outsail those of all other countries. Few among the "land-lubbers" of the country, and not many yachters, realize the magnitude of this national pastime. The Queen's Cup races gave the sport a publicity which it never had before, but even these events did not bring to general public notice an adequate conception of the extent of this interest.

It is safe to estimate that there is at least one yacht to every ten thousand people in the land, and that an average yacht will carry at least ten persons. This means that there are at least six thousand yacht-owners in the country, and that sixty thousand people may participate in pleasure-sailing: a large number, surely, to be devoted to a sport which is necessarily confined to localities near the water, and which is an expensive pastime. The public hears much of vessels of the Volunteer and Grayling types, champions of the "big-boat" classes, but the real yachters of the land are the owners of small boats; in fact, the big-boat owner gener

ally keeps a small yacht in which to enjoy himself when he feels like being master of his own craft. A few statistics will render this quite plain.

Figures that are somewhat incomplete show that there are over 200 organized yacht-clubs in the United States, which enroll nearly 4000 yachts. Of these, less than one thirteenth are steam vessels, launches, etc., and not sailing-boats at all. One eleventh are classed as large yachts, including many steam and sail vessels, big schooners and sloops, all of more than forty feet water-line measurement. That is to say, of 4000 recorded yachts, five sixths are sailing vessels under 40 feet. This shows conclusively that the majority of American yachts are small boats that are managed by their owners. It is safe to assert that there are at least 2000 more small yachts which are not entered in clubs, and of which no exact record can be given.

The 200 clubs report a membership of over 7000 men, 4000 of whom are yacht-owners. Leaving out one sixth of them as owners of large and very costly vessels ranging in value from $5000 to perhaps $500,000 each, and assuming the average cost of the small yachts to be about $1000, which is a low figure, one finds that five sixths of these 4000 yachts represent an invested capital of over $3,300,000: a large sum when it is remembered that yachts never pay back anything in profit to their buyers, and that, like horses and carriages, they eat up a good deal of money all the time. The average dues, etc., of a yacht-club are about $25 a year, not counting extras. This, paid in by 7000 members of clubs, shows a revenue of $175,000 per annum, which really represents no part of the great cost of yachting, for every yacht-owner has to pay his own expenses, and the club dues are spent on shore. At a very low estimate the owner of a small yacht will spend $50 a month during the season of about five months. This means that the small-yacht sailers of the country spend at least $800,000 in a sea

son. How much their yachting costs the owners of the big boats it would be impossible to state; the sum is enormous.

A glance at the distribution of the yacht-clubs of the country will not be uninteresting, even to old and well-informed yachting men, and will prove beyond question that American yachting, like American education and American politics, is not the especial prerogative of any part of the country. A map of the United States will show that in certain regions there are lakes, many of which are not little ponds, such as charm the eye of the tourist in foreign lands, but large bodies of water admirably adapted for the sailing of yachts; and investigation proves that the yachts are there. Passing for the present those freshwater seas known as the Great Lakes, and directing attention to smaller and less generally known fresh waters, we find a lively interest in sailing in Minneapolis, whose people support a flourishing club of 200 members. Their fifty boats, some of them of the best Eastern design, ply from the clubhouse on Lake Minnetonka, which has an irregular shoreline nearly a hundred miles in the circuit. There is yachting also on the White Bear Lake near St. Paul, although no club exists there. In Wisconsin, in addition to the yachting interests on the borders of Lake Michigan and Green Bay, there is a club at Oshkosh, on Lake Winnebago; another at Oconomowoc, on La Belle Lake; and a third at Tomahawk Lake. These yacht clubs of two States are represented by an average of 40 boats each, which is as good a showing as some of

was that the only sail-boat known there was that most dangerous compound of two very different ideas, the rowboat with a sail. But proper principles in building have made it possible for the yachter to use the waters of this mountain-bordered lake, and a successful club has been established.

Lake Champlain is one of the most delightful yachting grounds anywhere away from the sea. At Burlington, on the Vermont shore, there is a large and ambitious yacht-club. Many of the earlier Champlain yachts were vessels bought in New York harbor, and thence towed up the Hudson River, and through the canal to the lake. In the once desert wastes of Utah is a remarkable body of water, the Great Salt Lake, upon which a few sloops and catboats, as well as steamers and rowboats, are to be seen.





the oldest clubs of New York harbor can The lake is about seventy-five miles long, has make.

Upon the lakes which form the central New York group there are yachts innumerable, and of every type known to the boat-sailer. The yacht-lovers of that region maintain three large and well-equipped clubs, whose members sail those often perilous waters; for lake-sailing is no boys' play, and one who would handle a yacht in treacherous inland waters must be a good sailor indeed, or his sailing time may be short. Lake George, because of its treacherous winds, was until recently considered unfit for sailing, and twenty years ago a sail-boat was rarely seen upon its waters. The trouble

many islands, and is a good sailing ground, except that the yachter must be wary of spray from the bow, since the water is so strongly charged with chemicals that a drop of it in the human eye will cause pain and inflammation.

Upon the five great lakes which form the chain of waterways from Duluth, Minnesota, to Kingston, Canada, floats a yachting fleet which is equal in all points of excellence to any in the world. These tempestuous freshwater seas are of uncertain temper, like the North Atlantic, and none but doughty seamen may go upon them in safety. Cleveland and Detroit, Milwaukee and Erie, each has its well

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