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Then, wheeling and facing his command, | milk-wagon was pressed into service, and his voice rang out, clear as a bugle:
"A-r-m-s, 'port! Double-time, march Ch-ar-ge, bayonets! Hurrah! Give 'em a yell, boys, and you can do it," added the colonel.
although the mob had gathered together again, and were besieging the depot, yet, after some delay, we succeeded in conveying him to his home. I saw him safe in bed, his hurt dressed; then, after bestowing a reward upon the colored boy who had rendered me such efficient service, I left him in charge of the doctor and his wife.
The latter was a small, plump yellow woman, with large, gentle black eyes, and the soft voice so often found among Vir
I cannot describe the shout which followed a clear, ringing, organized whoop; fresh and vibrant; of a perfectly distinct quality from the hoarse, undisciplined howl of the mob,-sounding cool and terrible, like the cry of an avenging angel. The mob turned and fled, appalled, melt-ginia "house" servants. After watching ing away like wax before the blue flame of the glittering bayonets, and the regiment entered the depot.
Then I took time to breathe, and remembered Thomas.
"He aint fur f'om yere," said the boy. "Right 'roun' d' corner."
And we passed out of the shelter of the door-way to a small, dirty alley, about twenty five yards distant, where I found the old man resting against a lamp-post, the blood streaming down his face from a ghastly wound in the head, and his eyes closed. I made the boy get some water, and after bathing his face for a few moments, I succeeded in rousing him.
"Is that you, Mist' Dunkin ?" he asked, faintly.
"Yes. How do you feel, Thomas ? " "Dey's tuhibul times down-street," he gasped. "I like to got kilt."
His voice was very faint and his hands very cold.
"Don't talk any more now," I said, chafing them in mine, while I wondered perplexedly how I should get him home. Presently he spoke again:
"But de papehs is all right, seh. I hilt on to 'um, sho'. Dey-dey couldn't git 'um nohow, wid all de smahtniss," he said, with feeble triumph. "Dey's right yeah in my wescut pocket." Then he added, with a sudden change of tone: "But I'd like to go home, Mist' Dunkin; Ailse'll be oneasy 'bout me."
I had to leave him with the boy while I went for a doctor and a vehicle, neither of which was easy to be had, but finally a
her as she assisted the surgeon to dress the wound, I came to the conclusion all of her talents were by no means "bound up in napkins," and I went home assured my faithful old messenger was left in very capable hands.
Next morning, directly after breakfast, I sallied forth to inquire concerning his condition. After passing along the crowded thoroughfares, where everybody was occupied with the riot, it was a relief to find myself turning into the obscure little street. where he lived.
"Here, at least, everything seems peaceful enough," I said, aloud, as I approached the house. I was just in the act of placing my foot on the one door-step, when the door was thrown violently open, and a tall black woman bounced out, colliding with me as she passed, her superior momentum thrusting me backward across the narrow pavement into the street. She was too excited to heed my exclamation of astonishment. I don't think she saw me, even, for she turned immediately and faced some one standing in the door-way, whom I now perceived to be Ailse, looking dreadfully frightened.
"Good-mornin', Mis' Wheatley," said the Amazon, with withering sarcasm; "goodmornin', madam. I think you'll know it the nex' time I darkens your doors, I think you will. Served me right, though, w'en I demeaned myself to come; I might 'a' knowed what treatment I'd 'eceive from you. Ef I hadn't ben boun' by solemn class-rules to pay some 'tention to Brother Wheatley's immortal soul," these words were uttered at the very top of her voice," you wouldn't 'a' caught me comin'; but I'll never come ag'in, never; so make yourself easy, Mis' Wheatley."
A shade of relief passed over Ailse's features as this assurance was repeated, and I coming forward at this moment, the representative of the church militant betook
herself off, while I entered and spoke to Ailse, who, fairly dazed, sank into a chair, and stared me helplessly in the face. There was a moment's silence, when she suddenly rose and offered me a seat, remarking, as she did so, that "Sisteh Ma'y Ann Jinkins ca'in' on so" made her forget her manners. "What is the matter?" said I.
"I dunno, seh, 'cep'n' she's mad 'cause docteh wont leave heh stay and talk to Mist' Wheatley; he made heh go, an' I s'pose hit kindeh put heh out."
"What was she doing?"
"Talkin', seh; jiss talkin' and prayin'." "And exciting the man into a fever," said the doctor, entering at that moment. "I came here half an hour ago," he continued, turning to me, "and found this woman-who really is a good nurse-turned out of her husband's room by that termagant who has just gone, and whom I found in the act of preparing the man for death, she having decided his hours on earth were numbered; in fact, I actually chanced in upon a species of commendatory prayer, which, if continued another half-hour,-and I have every reason to think it would have been,-would almost inevitably have ended the man's life."
"I suppose I had better not see him this morning, then," said I.
"Oh, yes; you can see him; he's doing well now, and if he doesn't talk too much, I think the sight of a cheerful face will do him good," and I left him giving some directions to Ailse, while I proceeded upstairs to the room where Thomas lay. He was awake, so I walked up to his bedside, and asked him how he felt.
"I'm tollubul, thankee, seh; de medicine makes me kind o' sleepy, that's all."
I seated myself beside him, there was a moment or two of silence, then he asked, fretfully:
"Whai-whaih's Ailse? I like to see the 'oman 'roun'; s'haint got no speshul great gif', but she's kind o' handy wen a body's sick."
"You don't seem to care so much for gifted women in a sick-room, Thomas?" I remarked, somewhat mischievously, after I had summoned his wife from down-stairs.
"Well, naw, seh," a little shamefacedly. "Not so much. You see, seh, dey-dey's mos' too much fu' a body, sich times. Dey will talk, cou'se dey will, an' 'livah 'scouhcis, an' a sick man he haint got de strenth toto supplicate in kine, an' hit kind o' mawtifies him, seh."
Once more there followed a silence, when I asked:
"Thomas, why didn't you give up those papers to the mob, when they attacked you last night? Your retaining them might have cost you your life. I didn't mean you
to endanger your life for them." He smiled slightly, as his glance met mine.
"I dunno, seh," he replied, with his old reflective air. "You tole me mos' pehticaleh to hole on to 'um, an' 'twouldn't be doin' my duty faithful to let 'um go 's long ez I could hole on to 'um."
"But suppose they had killed you ?” "Well, Mist' Dunkin, ef dey had, I hope I'd been ready to go. I ben tryin' to lead a godly an' Chris'chun life, ez Scripcheh sez, fu' fawty yeahs, now, an' I hope I'd a foun' dyin' grace at de las'. You see, seh, thing hoped me mos' was de thoughts of a tex' Bro' Moss preached on las' Sund'y; 'peahed like hit kep' on jinglin' in my hade all time dey was jawin' an' fightin' with me." "What text was it?" I asked.
But he was almost asleep, and his wife signaled me not to wake him. So I was stealing away toward the door, when he opened his eyes and murmured, drowsily:
"De tex', oh yes, seh. I fo'got-'twas a Scripcheh tex'-'Be thou faithful unto—' " He then turned over, settling himself comfortably in his pillows, and in a moment dropped asleep.
In due course of time, he made his appearance in the office again, being anxious to resume his duties," he said. But that blow on the head has proved to be a serious affair, affecting the old man's memory permanently, and giving a violent shock to his system, from which it will never entirely recover. He is no longer the clearheaded messenger he was, when he was wont to assert-no idle boast either-that he could "fetch an' cai' eq'il to any man." Now and then, in these latter days, he confuses things a little, always suffering the keenest mortification when he discovers his mistakes. As I said in the beginning, he is still our office-boy and messenger, although a smart young mulatto is hired to come betimes, make things tidy, and leave before the old man gets down, so his feelings mayn't be hurt. He sometimes remarks on our being the "cleanis' gentlemun in de wueld," but we contrive that no whisper of the real state of the case ever reaches his ear, and he is allowed to sweep and dust a little to satisfy his mind.
"HE resembles an elegant American," | says Claretie of Wereschagin. The readywriting Frenchman goes on to describe him as "tall" (which must be taken as a strictly relative term), "slender, quick, vigorous, with a long beard of blond foncé" (my poor palette of an English word-painter has no pigment for that tint), "a finely chiseled nose, blue-gray eyes," "sparkling" yet "dreamy' -"dreamy," yet somehow "glowing with VOL. XXII.-52.
fire"; and with "a high, full forehead, superbly modeled," for his crowning charm. This, then, though it is said of a Russian who has never seen the United States in his life, is the typical American of "Our First Families" in Parisian eyes.
America has yet to make his acquaintance; France and England-the former in particular-know him well. The exhibition of his works in the Rue Volney was
the event of the season. It was a Tour du | Persia shows her sorrow in one fashion,
Monde in oils. In one room you were in the thick of the Turco-Russian war; in another you explored British India; in a third, by means of photographs from the canvas, you explored mysterious Asia to the Kara Tau. Every composition was the work of Basil Wereschagin, and the exhibition represented almost the total outcome of his two-andtwenty years of painting, and of his eightand-thirty years of life.
Wereschagin was a stranger, and yet artistic Paris soon remembered that he was an old friend. He had passed through the Beaux Arts years before; and had left there one of those reputations which only require a touch to harmonize them with either fortune in after life. He was sauvage, in the French sense of shy, and very self-willed. There was danger in his look; he was the only new-comer in whose favor the lads waived their immemorial right to fag. Such characteristics, of course, might be equally prophetic of the career of a genius or a fool. Wereschagin having turned out a genius, his old fellow-students gave him a dinner, enlivened by joyous recollection of traits which showed that he could not possibly have been anything else.
He was born in the province of Novgorod, in 1842, of a well-to-do family of landowners. The son wished to be an artist; the father wished to make him an officer of marines. As the shortest way out of the difficulty, he became both. He passed his work-hours at the naval school, and his play-hours at a school of design, working at both so well, that he left the naval school as first scholar, and eventually won a silver medal at the Academy of Fine Arts. He entered the service, but only for a short time, and he was still two years under twenty when he left it to devote himself wholly to art. He had already had a peep at the world in the course of a short visit to London; he now found time to catch glimpses of Paris and the Pyrenees. A year after, he made a more serious excursion to the Caucasus, pen and pencil in hand. A capiA capital account of the trip, illustrated by himself, appeared in the Tour du Monde. He went from Stavropal to Tiflis, to Shusha, and far beyond, and everything he saw was almost as new to the world as to him. At Shusha he saw the Caucasian Tartars, a people whose chief delight in life is the ghastly ceremonial in honor of the martyrdom of Hussun and Hussein, which they celebrate with one-half of the Mohammedan world.
India in another; at Shusha they torture themselves within an inch of their lives. The Balafré, or Scar-Bearer, is the leading figure in this sacred rite. He turns his body into a pin-cushion for charms, stuck so closely together that, when his toilet is quite complete for the procession, you could hardly get an extra point into his quivering flesh. He carries a great saber in his hand, with which he gashes himself freely, lest by chance one nerve should be without its pang. A small boy training for the same exalted ministry follows at his heels, and pursues his theological studies by making a duplicate of every gash.
In 1864, Wereschagin took all his raw material of genius to Paris to be worked up. It was in two parts-one a good deal of rough, indiscriminate practice in rendering what he saw; the other, and the more valuable, the most downright sincerity in the way of looking at it. He went to Gérôme, and bluntly asked the great painter to take him in.
"Who sent you to me?" asked Gérôme, kindly.
"Your paintings," said the other; "I will learn of you or nobody."
This was, of course, enough, and for the next two or three years he worked at the Beaux Arts under this master. It was at this period that he made the school, by exception, break with its tradition of fagging. is the pride of these youngsters to take all the pride out of a "new man." He has to answer meekly to a nickname, bestowed at the moment of his entry on a swift artistic perception of his most painful physical defect. He has to show a cheerful alacrity of obedience to the order to pick up a fallen maul-stick, or to fetch a slice of sausage from the pork-butcher's for the midday meal. Refusal entails the most degrading punishment, and even the most severe, for there is a legend of the school that the infliction once resulted in death. There is no way out of it, no consolation but that all-sufficient one to the average mind, that the tormented will advance to the dignity of the tormentor on the entry of the next novice. Wereschagin, however, thought he saw a still shorter cut to freedom, by playing carelessly with a pocket revolver on the receipt of his first order of comic abasement. He was at once excused from further probation.
He was a hard-working student, though. he always showed a strong disposition to insist on working in his own way. When
Gérôme sent him to the antique, he was half the time slipping away to nature. He played truant from the Athenian marbles to flesh and blood. In the meantime he was true to the instinct-as yet you could hardly call it a principle-of wandering from the beaten track in search of subjects. Every vacation was passed, not at Asnières or Barbizon, but in the far east of Europe, or even in Persia, among those ragged races not yet set down in artistic black and white. He had been on the borders of a quite fresh field of observation in these journeys; and he was soon to enter it for a full harvest of new impressions. It was in 1867; Russia was sending an army into Central Asia, to punish the marauding Turkomans for the fiftieth time, and General Kauffmann, who commanded it, invited the painter to accompany him as an art volunteer. He was not to fight, but simply to look on. It was the very thing: Wereschagin at once took service on these terms with the expedition, and in faithfully following its fortunes, with many an artistic reconnaissance on his own account, he saw Asia to its core.
He started from Orenburg, and, skirting the northernmost point of the Sea of Aral, followed the line of forts which the Russians have named by numbers, like American streets. He passed through Chemkend, Tashkend, and Khojend, and entered Samarcand with the victorious host. Both
sides fought like demons. Wereschagin saw the fighting, sketched it, and often lent a hand in the work, though for his purpose heroism was a wicked waste of time. For centuries a thick veil had hidden all this region from the art world. Many a literary traveler had sketched it, but no painter really worthy of the name had as yet brought it to book. Wereschagin was the lifter of the veil.
He was on a virgin soil of the picturesque; there were sapphire lakes with shores of rose color, the finest mountains in nature, some of the broadest plains, and a people vegetating in the decay of an old civilization. In the cities he found abounding wealth in character, and he helped himself to it with both hands. His "Dervishes" might give point to a Benedictine of the tenth century in the art of getting through life with a minimum of care. The holy men, comfortably packed in layers of patchwork garments, all too seldom removed, would intone their morning song under his window. It was a song of praise, and it was also a song for breakfast. How were those burly frames to be kept in condition
without the eleemosynary morsel ? But to Wereschagin's ear it was something more than song or petition; it was a signal that the model was ready; and he set to work. With such sitters truthfulness must have
been catching; they are idle impostors, but no one will accuse them of trying to conceal the fact.
Besides these he saw the "swell" of the region, the owner of many camels, equipped for the chase. This gentleman does not himself hunt: he gets his falcon to hunt for him. It is the Eastern principle of sport-it is the Eastern principle of life. His dress is not made for movement; he has arrived at trowsers, but they are evidently only a petticoat-maker's second thought. The very falcon has been skillfully treated, to bring his nature into artistic keeping with the Eastern mind. In the earliest stage of that teaching-process they bind him to the wrist of an active boy, who is charged to shake him day and night. He must know no full and perfect rest, but be rattled to and fro, as it seems to him, forever, until his few ideas form a wretched amalgam of terror and powerless rage. Blindfolded, as he is all the time, and half-starved, the falcon at last begins to wonder whether things are quite what he used to think they were, and whether his old simple estimate of the sole facts of interest in nature-a free course, a bright morning, and a quarry in the blue-does not need enlargement by the addition of man's inhumanity to birds. Once he is brought to that point, the rest is easy. Scientific pedagogy may not disdain to borrow a hint from this simple process. Perhaps the readiest way of getting something into a man's mind is to begin by shaking something out. The politicians come next in Wereschagin's review. They are not the politicians who get the places, but the politicians who talk about them; and in Central Asia, as in most other parts of the world, they wear rags as the uniform of the order. While the balance of power in Turkestan is in question, how should a man find time to mend his clothes? Wereschagin saw them discussing the grave questions of the hour without the disadvantage of news to add to the multiplicity of issues. They have a horror of all angularity of mind, and where the sharpness of their impressions is not sufficiently worn down by nature, they take the edge off by a plentiful use of drugs. They are stupid, dirty, ignorant, and lazy, ready to be made the slaves of any man