« AnkstesnisTęsti »
Terra Sanctæ Crucis upon it, or that he should have varied the Ruysch map, using either the one or the other as a symbol of Columbus the discoverer, has nothing of the improbable about it. To paint what was before one, regardless of chronology or exact historic truth, was the story of all the Renaissance art.
There is no record that Lotto ever was in Spain or ever saw Columbus. Such things were not matters of record. There are only some half-dozen dates in Lotto's whole life, and these come mainly from churches that had paid money for his pictures. From the different towns in which these dates appear it would seem that Lotto was a wanderer over Italy at least. From 1500 to 1503 no one knows where he was. He might have been in Spain, as he was, later on, in Rome and elsewhere. He may have sketched Columbus from life and never finished the picture until 1512. Such things were not infrequent then, nor are they now. It is more likely, however, that Trevisan, the intimate friend of Columbus, who had the elaborate map made for Malipiero, a map so large that he had to take it with him to Venice in his luggage, also brought with him some sketch or portrait of Columbus as a complement to the map and as
a present to Malipiero. Trevisan's one-sentence description of Columbus prefacing his "Libretto," and reading "Christopher Columbus, a Genoese, high and tall, red, very clever, with a long face," seems insufficient and meaningless unless accompanied by a sketch or portrait of the man. It is not improbable that such a sketch or portrait served as Lotto's model for this larger picture. Lotto was certainly well enough known in 1512 to obtain such an order from Malipiero or Trevisan. Later on his intimate companion, Palma Vecchio, was working for a branch of the Malipiero family; but whether Lotto ever did or did not can only be conjectured.
Such, in brief, is the present evidence for the Lotto Columbus. It is not conclusive, because the portrait has outlived its record, and stands to-day, like many another Renaissance portrait, the sole witness in itself for itself. The type, the costume, the attributes, the circumstances, point toward a likeness of Columbus; that is all. Circumstantial or hearsay evidence is all that has ever been brought forward for any portrait of Columbus, and perhaps it is not too much to say that the evidence for this one is quite as strong as for any other in existence. John C. Van Dyke.
"Western people have a proverbial saying that the blue-grass springs up wherever an Indian has stepped."-J. J. PIATT.
BLUE-GRASS dancing to your shadow
Lightly swaying o'er the sod, Do you spring up in the meadow Where an Indian foot has trod?
And is this the mystic sun-dance, Feathery-crested Dare-the-Wind? Or the thank-reel for abundance
Of tall maize in stacks to bind?
Doughty brave, afraid of no man
Ha, your blade is tipped with red! 'T is the blood of dusky foeman In some old-time battle shed.
Light and lissome, tall and slender,
Silent, Dare-the-wind, and sulky?
Alice Williams Brotherton.
THE CHOSEN VALLEY.-VI.
BY MARY HALLOCK FOOTE,
Author of "The Led-Horse Claim," "John Bodewin's Testimony," etc.
WITH PICTURE BY THE AUTHOR.
UDE be thankit!” cried Margaret, opening the door to Dunsmuir. "Come awa' in out o' the stour."
Again the dust-wind was raging up the valley, that last day of a pitiless September long remembered, even in a patient land, for its brazen days, and stifling nights, and ceaseless storming winds that brought no rain, but "stour."
Squaw Butte and the War Eagle had not been seen for weeks, so close fell the curtain of smoke from burning forests. Hundreds of acres to the north and east were on fire, turning the sun's light to a ground-glass glare, and troubling the heated atmosphere. The evening before a false wind blew up from the plains; the clouds sulked all night, and promised rain; next day a lurid sun peered forth and vanished. The desert wind arose, and the dust-cloud marched before it, and, as it drew near, fields and fences were blotted out of the landscape, houses looked like stranded hulks, and trees like staggering masts, and which was earth and which sky no eye could distinguish in the yellow darkness.
Dunsmuir had had what Margaret would have called a warning that his errand to the homestead must not wait. He traveled ahead of the storm, which broke upon the ranch at three of the afternoon. He could scarcely see the house from the stacks where he tied his horse. There was neither barn nor stable, no shelter for the few poor cattle, no roof to the well, no porch to the bare, little two-roomed cabin. Yet it was a home, and a great sorrow had come to it. Dunsmuir had no need to ask its nature. That helpless man-shape sunk in a chair, propped back, with a comforter tucked around him, was Job. His feet were in a tub of hot water, which steamed up into his white, drawn face, and eyes of speechless appeal turned from one to the other of the two who looked at him as if he were already not of this world. "When did this happen, poor woman?" said Dunsmuir, giving his sympathy, as we do, to the mourner before the sufferer.
"Deed, I think it's an hour sin' he was taken; but I cannae rightly say, I have been sae crazed wi' the storm an' the heat an' the sair wark o' handlin' him-ma puir mannie!"
The heat was something fearful. The house had been shut tight against the laden gusts, which shook the feeble door, and beat upon the windows, and cast the dust of the valley road. upon the roof, like ashes on the head of a mourner. Margaret had crammed the stove with dry sage-stumps in her haste to prepare the foot-bath; she had put mustard into the water, and the odor of it was sickening in the close-shut, reeking room. Her face was purple, shining with tears and perspiration, and twisted with grief. She knelt and lifted the pulseless feet into her lap, and dried them, and cried a little as she showed the towel-one of the fine ones "the child" had given her, with her mother's own maiden name wrought upon it. Dunsmuir helped her get the helpless bulk into a bed, in the other room, which Margaret had hastily spread with clean sheets; and again she could not pass over without calling attention to the comforts Dolly's mindfulness had supplied, so grateful now to her fond, simple heart. It pleased her that Job should lie upon the finest and softest of linen and feathers, provided by her whom they loved as their own child.
"He'll come out of it, Margaret," said Dunsmuir. "I think he knows me." And he went up close to Job, and spoke to him as to a child, asking him the question. They knew not how much of Job was there to hear, even without the power to answer. It were better he should remain without the doors of consciousness, than reënter, to behold the ruin that he was. Job made a feeble motion of his left hand toward the right, which lay as it had fallen when they placed him on his back in the bed. Dunsmuir lifted that awful dead member and laid it across his chest. A look of greater ease crept into the strange, familiar face on the pillow. "You know me, Job?" Dunsmuir persisted, in the forlorn attempt to comfort Margaret. "He knows me, see!" Job had fixed his eyes upon Dunsmuir's face with a stare that had something like intelligence in it. His mouth worked, but he could not articulate.
1 Copyright, 1892, by Mary Hallock Foote.
Still, it was plain that the stroke was not to be the final one. In the outer room, while the drear wind tormented the valley and blotted it from their sight, Dunsmuir made known his business. "Here," said he, "is the last of the money that 's so long overdue; and it comes none too soon, my poor woman. I suppose you would not have asked me for a penny, however ye were?"
"Indeed, an' I would," answered Margaret. "That's no way o' my pride. But ye need na cum'er yoursel' wi' us. We have made out vera weel, as ye can see. We have wantit for naething in reason. And I'm just thankfu' that we cam awa' here to oursel', as he was aye fleechin' an' beggin' me to do. He'd a hankerin' to set the place in order, or ere he left me to fend for mysel'. I'm thinkin' he'll have had his warnin'."
"You put shame upon us all, Margaret, when you talk of fending for yourself. Who was it stood by me in the mother's place to my children, with all the mother's cares, and none of her honors or blood rights? I shall never try to tell you how it fared with me to see you go out of my house without even your money wages in your pocket. You'll give us the right now to show you 're something more to us than a chance comer and goer. Come, I must have your promise that you'll let me know, from this forth, whatever you 're in want of. So far as I 'm able, I'll see that you get it."
By four o'clock the wind had moderated so that Dunsmuir was able to set out home again and to send a messenger for the doctor. He had proposed to come back himself and to spend the night; but Margaret seemed so distressed at his taking such unwonted trouble, that he wisely substituted the offer of Dolly's company, with a trusty man to stay by the ranch. It was easy to surprise Margaret's wishes now; she was off all her guards at once, and softened to the simple truthfulness of grief. She accepted what she wanted, and was fearless in refusing.
A fair, rosy evening followed the storm. There had been rain higher up, on the mountains, and the freshness had descended without the moisture; gusts of coolness scattered the dry roses and rustled the withering, vines. Philip very definitely proposed to be the man who should accompany Dolly and watch with her at the ranch. And Dunsmuir, who depended on him, though he might not own it, was thankful for his offer. Philip hurried to change his dress after dinner. He heard Dolly at the trunks in the attic, and went to the door, as once she had come, to see what was doing in there. She was hunting for an old dressing-gown of her father's, also for certain
pairs of fine woolen socks Margaret had knitted for him one Christmas when he had complained of cold feet, and he had unwittingly hurt her feelings by never wearing. She thought with awe of Job's condition, that he should need to be warmed in such weather. She was as red as a poppy with the heat and perhaps from other causes. She was in her dressing-sack; but to Philip's untutored eye there was no suggestion of dishabille in the pretty white jacket sprigged with roses, which showed a pair of arms he loved to look at, whether bare or sleeved. He longed to do all manner of wild homages to Dolly-to her arms and hands and feet and little fair head of tumbled hair. She was in a great fuss and hurry, trying one trunk after another; she grew troubled in her search, partly at Philip's help, which confused her and made it impossible to think or to remember.
In the third trunk they tried, the upper tray was filled with a large, soft, fragrant bundle that rustled richly and smelled of lavender and attar of roses.
"What can this be, laid away so preciously?" Philip smiled, with man-like curiosity, quickened by his flattered senses. “This must be the offering of the wise-hearted, in 'blue and purple and scarlet and fine linen.' Might one take a peep? This is surely the odor of sanctity."
Dolly shrinkingly owned that it might beit was her mother's wedding-dress. And Philip abased himself in silence. She permitted him to lift out the long tray, and, as he did so, one end caught, and came up with a jerk that sent a small parcel to the floor.
"Oh!" said she, " I must show you these Alan's and my christening things. You 'd never believe what pretty clothes I once wore, before I was a beggar-maid. But perhaps this is too childish?"
"I scarcely know you any more,"— Philip pretended offense,-"you have so many doubts and primmy notions. Once you were not afraid to be childish."
They bent together over the small, soft bundle as Dolly unpinned it on her lap, and displayed the ridiculous proportions of the tiny garments, doting with a seamstress's enthusiasm on their exquisite finish. She explained the mysteries of lace tuckers that folded down, and sleeves that looped up, and held one frock beneath her chin to show its sumptuous length from bib to hem of loveliest needlework, and every stitch set by hand. A subtle rich perfume, long laid away in the yellowing folds, stole forth upon the garret's tropic warmth. It spoke to them of memories merged in dreams, of a future tremulously foreshadowed. Philip, half intoxicated by the intimacy of these researches, was the only conscious one;
Dolly was simply girlishly flattered by his impassioned interest in her sartorial past. These pompous little robes had been the delight of her earliest visits to the attic; but the wedding-gown had ever been hedged about with careful ceremonies and precautions. No hands but Margaret's had ever ventured to unfold those lengths of shimmering satin and creamy drifts of lace, nor could Dolly realize that she was now sole keeper of the garments in which the sacred mother-past lay folded away. Something of this she tried to say; for Philip was one who seemed to understand everything.
"I have almost a guilty feeling, do you know, when I come here and rummage by myself. All the history of our poor house lies packed away in these trunks, ever since it stopped in the cañon, and nothing more happened. All my mother's happy girl-days were put away here, with her evening-gowns, and her pretty shoes, and fans, and sashes; and here"-Dolly laid her hand softly on the wedding-gown-" she was a bride; and here, a mother; and then it was all over, and Margaret locked her trunks and has kept the keys ever since. And we children never really knew her. We have no right here, do you think?" She was sitting on the closed trunk-lid, the keys hanging from her warm hand, blanched with the heat and tremulous from exertion. Transported by that unconscious "we," Philip bent and kissed the hand-only the little finger of it that lay apart. It was his one transgression. Dolly turned her face away; the tears sprang to her eyes. Poor Margaret! Had she forgotten Margaret, who never would have forgotten her? Her look put Philip far from her, and he was moved to say humbly: "Would you rather some one else went with you to the ranch? "
"Why should you think so? and who is there to go?"
Philip smiled; it was hard to wait. He looked at her troubled face, all flushed and weary with a childish abandonment, and thought of all the Rests, as many as the Joys of Mary, with which they could rest each other, She needed the rest of change; and quickly he was rapt away in his besetting dream, of two young student lovers,- he with the better grasp, she with the subtler feeling,-nesting in the old cities of art and learning, always referring their work to the special requirements of the life awaiting them at home. He felt himself not content to be merely a builder of ditches; he looked forward to being an administrator of waters in the new communities water should create, and here came in the human element which immensely enlarged the scope of his work and of her helpfulness. That night at the ranch Dolly watched him
fetch and carry for Margaret the wood and the water, and gravely consult with her about the chores. She heard him speaking words which seemed inspired by the most delicate discernment. She saw him with Job's head against his shoulder (in the name of all pity, what a contrast!) while Margaret fed medicines into the relaxed mouth that could neither protest nor thank her any more. She jealously watched for a sign of repugnance, or condescension, or relief when the ordeal was over, and saw him always simple, sensitive, and brotherly, through all the discomfort, and sorrow, and squalor of the night. She saw, above all, that Margaret accepted him with the sure instinct of grief, taking his presence and his most intimate services as much a matter of course as her own. Dolly was comforted in her instinctive faith. Her proofs were sufficient to herself. He might have come of shabby ancestry, he might have cared and ceased to care; none the less he was a friend, a gentleman, a comrade she could give her hand to in joy or sorrow, and her people were his people and her poor were his poor.
Philip went away next morning after breakfast, saying he would return or send some one in his place to spend the night. Breakfast had been early; at ten the doctor made his visit; the remainder of the day seemed endless. After the supper-things had been set away, Margaret lay down beside the sick man, and fell asleep. Whether Job slept or not Dolly could not be sure; he lay quiet with closed eyes. She went out and walked about the dusty premises, the roosting fowls inquiring. concerning her presence with querulous squalls and sidelong duckings. She walked from the door to the fence and back till she knew every weed by the path. At the gate she would stop and look up the cañon road; then she restricted her looking to every other time. Now and again she opened the cabin door and listened, and heard only the clock ticking and the kettle rising to a boil. She had wearied herself with walking, and was going in when she saw Philip dismounting at the gate; he had come across through the sage-brush. He walked beside his horse up the dusty path, and she went out gladly to meet him.
With an odd, embarrassed smile, in silence he handed her a letter. It was addressed to her father, and it had been opened.
"Did you know it was from Alan ?" "Oh, yes," said Philip; "your father read me parts of it." Dolly thought his manner very peculiar.
"If the news is bad, I wish you would tell me first."
"There is news; but I don't know if you will call it bad."
"Well, yes-rather. Will you not read the letter? There is nothing shocking in it."
"There are pages and pages! New York, September 25. Has n't he sailed yet?" "Won't you read the letter, Dolly?" "What is all this about Estelle? Who is Estelle, for pity's sake?" Dolly had gone to the root of the matter.
"Estelle Summercamp. Don't you remember-the people who were here last summer, whom Alan met on the train ?"
'Oh, that girl! Has he been with them all this time in New York? and is that why he has not written ? "
"It's hardly fair to Alan not to read what he has to say for himself. I 'm sure you 'll find it interesting."
Philip walked away, leading his horse. Dolly, angry and alarmed and sick with a new, ridiculous foreboding, read on, page after page of excited boyish narrative: I came, I saw, I conquered! Dolly was cold to his jubilance, for now she knew what was coming.
"She swears she is five-and-twenty." [This sentence caught her eye, as she hurried along.] "I don't believe it; she does n't look as old as I do, but she knows a precious lot more about every thing except riding. We ride every day in the Park; it's awfully dear, but they don't seem to think of the cost of anything, and she says she likes me on horseback. Amongst them they 've got about twelve hundred acres of land. I shall take up my land next theirs; Mr. Summercamp says they will have a railway station and a town directly on the lands. It's gone out that I 'm a younger son- British aristocrat-making money hand over fist in Texas cattle. They don't mind, but I think I see my father smile."
Dolly put down the letter with a flushed and burning face. She was too angry to cry. So Alan was to marry the girl with the laugh; they would go laughing through life together. And all this had been transacting while, in the cañon, days were counted till the coming of his letters, and her father walked the floor at night, as she had heard him, hoping and planning and wrestling for his son. She pushed the cabin door ajar, for she longed to talk it over with Margaret, who had the sure touch in trouble. All was still but Margaret's heavy breathing.
"Na, na," she muttered in her sleep, "he wad be shoggen a' to pieces. I could na bear
to see it."
The lump rose in Dolly's throat. She felt, as never in her life before, how poor they were in numbers, how isolated from larger circles where life was a bustling business, and people made new friends and broke with old ones every day. How easily Alan had affiliated
with all that seemed so hostile, so insolent, to herself! All the world to Dolly was made up of Summercamps, and their money and their plans and their pleasures. She had no heart to go on with Alan's rank rejoicings. In the stillness of that smitten place there was almost a ribald tone in his talk of dinners, and theaterparties, and roses at a dollar apiece, and new clothes, and new friends who had never heard of the cañon or the scheme. Philip came and sat beside her, unbuckling his spurs, and knocking off the dust on the door-step.
"Why do you take it so seriously?"
"She is five-and-twenty, and he is not nineteen, and they met on the train, and were engaged two days after they reached New York. And he thinks her father and mother are delighted. If they are, they are very strange people."
"Alan is a very sweet boy," said Philip. "Oh, he is, he is! He might have been," sobbed Dolly, breaking down. "But now he'll never be anything but a hanger-on of those people."
They are the same age inside." Philip tried to comfort her. "I spent a day with her myself, remember. She is very jolly, and clever as girls go, and you can't deny she is pretty. And they have a power of money." "So you think because she is pretty and rich must be all right!" cried Dolly, scornfully. "I think it might be much worse. Better not be too proud.'"
Her lips trembled. "I know very well what you mean. You think, with poor Alan, the most we can ask is to be defended from the worst. But, except for Pacheco and all her squalid connections, I'd sooner it had been Antonia."
"O Dolly, no! There are possibilities with a Miss Summercamp, but none with an Antonia. Miss Summercamp may be the very means appointed for Alan's discipline. Come, Dolly," he said, rising and offering his hand; " 'come, you must brace up, you know. You will have to comfort your father. He hates it rather worse than you do."
They walked on toward the gate together, Dolly clasping and twisting the letter in her nervous hands.
"Is n't it pitiful, is n't it absurd! One can't have even the comfort of calling it a sorrow! Alan could never do anything that was expected of him. And what will be the next thing, I wonder? Margaret has always said the price would be required of us, if ever we should get our great wish. The work is going on; all has come to pass that we used to pray for- but there is Alan's cap on the wall, and papa does not look as if success agreed with him."
"Dolly, you are not going back on the scheme?"