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aware of anything that this class has done in the way of giving artistic character to dress. In fact, artists are often the worst dressed people in the community -not merely worst dressed in the way of neglect, but worst dressed in the selection of incongruous material and inharmonious colors. They are disposed to disdain the adornment of the person just as more practical people do. The traditional artist, with his long hair, his untrimmed beard, his stained velvet coat, his soiled fingers, his dilapidated sombrero, is almost wholly of the past. The few who still retain these peculiarities are not of the better rank, and their affectations of costume are now contemptuously laughed at by their fellows no less than by the "Philistines." The artists of the day may not like the dress-coat, but they commonly appear at social gatherings punctiliously dressed in the regulation garments. They are accustomed, however, to condemn them; and portrait-painters specially long for a more picturesque costume. Now, as artists are distinctly cultivated in the direction of taste, it is peculiarly their business to set an example of tasteful dressing. The pioneers in any reform must be men the world will be willing to follow. Artists and others who usually attempt to give us examples of picturesque dressing are too apt to be slovenly as well as picturesque; their decorated finger-nails have commonly extinguished all desire to imitate them in other particulars. Artists of mark have so far done nothing to improve or reform our apparel. Let them invent something that will serve as an artistic substitute for trousers-something that will not reveal all the bad points of legs as legs go in the generations of to-day, and which will yet be shapely and graceful. Let them devise something in the way of a coat that shall have elegance of form without the sacrifice of comfort. Artists are entering now very much more than formerly into purely decorative work-even into designing wall-papers and decorating dining-roomshence it would not be infra dig. for them to consider such a matter as the suitable appareling of the person. If they refuse to do this, if they assert that it is beneath them to study and plan costumes, then we submit that it becomes a matter of impertinence for critics to declaim against inartistic fashions which the artistic world accept with the rest of people, and make no effort to reform.
THE GROWTH OF ART.
THE writer whom we quoted in the preceding article has a good deal to say about the generally deplorable conditions of art in the present era. "It is to be lamented," he says, "that a nation which has distinguished herself as England has in arms, in adventure, in science, in poetry, in philosophy, in philanthropy, and in all else that relates to progress, should have no art that can be fairly placed on the same level." Elsewhere he declares that "in many respects the present age is far more advanced than preceding times, incomparably more full of knowledge; but the language of great art is dead, for general, noble beauty pervades life no more." Again
we are told that, "when the question of what belongs to the class of sensations appertaining to beauty comes into competition with the smallest amount of money interest, it is seldom a matter of a moment's consideration which shall be sacrificed. Few people hesitate to cut down a tree or grub up a hedgerow if twenty shillings a year will be gained by so doing."
One can with difficulty overcome a feeling of impatience which these lamentations evoke. It is no doubt true that art does not occupy the exalted place it did in ancient and mediæval times, but complaints of indifference and neglect in matters pertaining to art come at the present moment with singular injustice. There never was an era in England in which art stood in such high estimation as it does at pres
There may be now no individual painters that stand as high as Reynolds and Gainsborough and Constable, but the whole field of art is immensely enlarged, and its relation to the general public much closer. A fairly large literature in regard to art has of late years grown up-a literature of criticism and exposition. The rewards of artists have immensely increased. A passion for decoration and artistic adornment has sprung up everywhere. In many things art has broken down old conventional barriers and freed itself from academic traditions. Galleries and schools have multiplied-in London notably a gallery where all the more audacious and independent performances may compete for public favor with the traditional paintings of the Royal Academy. Many of us may be wholly out of sympathy with the strange canvases that according to report appear on the walls of the Grosvenor Gallery, but at least we must admit that they indicate great freedom and marked determination to be individual. The tendency now is to imitate nothing, to encourage each artist to express himself in his own way, to learn everything of the past, but to embody that learning in forms wholly prompted by the artist's heart of hearts.
As to the charge that "few people now hesitate to cut down a tree or grub up a hedgerow if twenty shillings a year will be gained by so doing," we do not recall any criticism so curiously wrong and unjust. If "noble beauty pervades life no more" in forms of art, it conspicuously does so in nature. Whatever else may be said against the culture of the present era, it at least has rediscovered nature-we say rediscovered in order to be modest, and not to dispute the claims of the ancients in this particular —and is filled with the love of grand and noble beauty. It really belongs to the present century to have found out the magnificence of mountain-scenery and the charms of all wild landscape; to have penetrated the mystery and the splendor of the sea; to have discerned the glory of the sky; to have brought into our parks and gardens the ease and grace of nature, to the exclusion of the stiff forms of artifice. The great susceptibility we have developed in this direction ought to go far to excuse us for insensibility in the way of costume and indifference to painted saints and Madonnas. All things are by comparison. If we compare the present era with ancient Greece or with Italy in the sixteenth century, we
THERE has been no better exemplification of the remarkable growth of taste, in the way of interior decoration, than that afforded recently by some of our theatres. First, we had the reconstruction by Mr. Daly of the structure in Broadway, near Thirty-second Street (which has known as many names, almost, as it possesses years). It was formerly a monument of ugliness; but Mr. Daly has transformed it into not merely a palace of beauty for that would be nothing new-but into a place wholly artistic in decoration, where all the latest ideas of drapery and color are manifested. It is even in the severity of its tones just a little somber, compared with the showy glitter that some of the other theatres display; but the effect is nevertheless eminently charming. The lobby, with its Eastlake fireplaces and rich draperies, is, for the first time in our theatres, made a place for promenade for ladies and gentlemen between the acts. Mr. Wallack has also this season put his house in fresh and charming order, banished from the remotest corner every semblance of gloom, and given the whole auditory an air of lightness and elegance that is very pleasing.
But transcending everything in the way of interior elegance is Mr. Mackaye's new Madison Square Theatre. We have used the word "elegance," but the term is scarcely appropriate, in consideration of its long identification with mere gilt and display. The Madison Square Theatre is decorated with that sense of color and harmony that enters into a great painting. Instead of calling in upholsterers with their conventional notions of decoration, Mr. Mackaye secured the aid of Mr. Louis C. Tiffany-one of the foremost of our younger painters, and noted as a colorist and as a result we have a revelation in beauty. We have all heard of Mr. Whistler's “Symphonies" in the Grosvenor Gallery, and here now we have a symphony of our own-a sort of poem in color, the subtile charm of which is wholly captivat
tion since they were written, two such works as the Memoirs of Prince Metternich and of Madame de Rémusat should be simultaneously divulged to the public. It is not only that they throw light upon the same period of history, and the same prominent actors in it; they complement and assist each other
ing. Mr. Mackaye has introduced some novelties. He has placed the orchestra above the stage, directly over the curtain, which gives a picturesque effect to that part of the house, but whether this arrangement will be practically advantageous remains to be seen. He has also constructed a wonderful double-tier stage, so arranged that, while one scene, stage and all, ascends among the flies, another stage, fully set, emerges from the depths below, thereby securing a complete change of scene in about two minutes' time. This is a very ingenious device, but we are now principally concerned in the decorations, which seem to us not a little significant. An era in which a poet like William Morris devotes himself to paper-hanging, an artist like La Farge gives his time to designs for walls and windows; when a wealthy Londoner decorates his dining-room with designs by Whistler, and artists bring their mature knowledge and artistic science to the draperies and colors of a theatre, must have revived the ancient art-spirit to a marked degree. That, with the evidences all around us of the rapid and widespread growth of a taste for art and beauty, there should be so many lamentations about the conditions of art and the poverty of taste, would be surprising, were it not well known that it is always in times of genuine movement that certain persons deplore the lack of movement. It has been well pointed out that just at the time when the social tendency is toward temperance that temperance organizations are most clamorous for total abstinence. It was not until the whole community became deeply concerned in the question of learning that we heard of schemes for compulsory education. And when there was really no art, no public concern in æsthetics at all, we heard no complaints about the indifference of the Anglo-Saxon mind to art-matters. It seems to be a pretty sure sign that, when a general lamentation begins about any given deficiency, a reform in that direction is already half accomplished.
Books of the
T can hardly fail to be regarded as a remarkable in a quite peculiar way, and they should be studied
together, in to get just
The Madison Square Theatre gives no indication of a taste for grand or high art, but for its purpose it seems to us not only wonderfully beautiful, but simply perfect. The only criticism to be made is, that the exquisite charm of the auditory tends to "kill" the scenery, which looks raw and crude in comparison. Artists should now be invited behind the curtain, with the purpose of working up the scenes and stage decorations to the standard of the rest of the house.
views of the events narrated, and the characters portrayed in them. Napoleon, for instance, who plays as dominant a part in the history of his times as that of Hamlet in the play, is regarded by the Prince and the Lady of Honor from view-points as widely separated as could possibly be imagined, but, in their
different ways, equally intimate and advantageous. For this reason, the conclusions in which they agree may be accepted as at least very close approximations to the truth; and yet the many important points in which they differ should suffice to show how necessary it is to be cautious in adopting statements or opinions that are not fortified by demonstrative evidence. In illustration of what we mean we may cite the fact that Prince Metternich asserts unqualifiedly that the marriage between Napoleon and Josephine was merely a civil marriage contracted with the express understanding that the union could be dissolved, and that he acted upon this conviction on the momentous occasion of Napoleon's divorce of Josephine and marriage with the Austrian Archduchess; while Madame de Rémusat discloses the well-kept secret that Napoleon and Josephine were remarried by Cardinal Fesch, at the express demand of the Pope, on the eve of the coronation.
Very soon after the death of Prince Metternich, it became known that he had left memoirs of his life and times which would be of inestimable value to the historian, and which would at some time be laid before the world. The nature of the memoirs was not revealed, nor the particular time of their publication, and it now appears that the latter point was left to the discretion of the author's son, Prince Richard Metternich, who was also to decide upon the special form in which they should be presented. Feeling that the lapse of twenty years after his father's death had placed a long-enough interval between those who participated in the events recorded and those who are to judge of them, Prince Richard entered last year upon the fulfillment of the task assigned him, and we have the first installment of his labors in the two volumes which are now attracting such widespread attention on both sides of the Atlantic. Before attempting to describe the contents or estimate the value of these volumes, we may mention that the papers constituting the "Memoirs " have been arranged by the editor in three sections, corresponding to the three following epochs: the first, from 1773 to 1815, beginning with the birth of Metternich and ending with the famous Congress of Vienna; the second, from 1816 to 1848, including a period of general peace, and ending with the Chancellor's retirement from political life; and the third, from 1848 to 1859, a period of repose, lasting till the death of the Chancellor, which took place on June 11, 1859. It is the first part that is now published, comprising the period from 1773 to 1815 *— the period which the Chancellor himself describes as the most important in his own life, as it was also in the history of the world.
The scope of the "Memoirs" being thus explained, together with the relation which the present installment bears to the entire work, our next step will naturally be to describe the materials of which
* Memoirs of Prince Metternich. 1773-1815. Edited by Prince Richard Metternich. Translated by Mrs. Alexander Napier. London Richard Bentley & Son. Two volumes. 8vo, pp. 430, 638.
the "Memoirs" are composed and the manner in which these materials are used. By far the most important of the materials is an "Autobiographical Memoir," written by Prince Metternich himself, but neither complete nor consecutive for the period it covers, being composed of three several parts or fragments, "which, however," as the editor says, "fit in so well together that, by simple arrangement, portions of the original text form a perfect whole for the first part of Metternich's life—that is, from the year 1773 to 1815." This memoir, even when taken as a whole, is the briefest possible résumé or outline of Metternich's career, intended by him to be deposited in the family archives as part of a collection of public and private papers which he labeled "Materials for the History of my Time." Added to it, without being welded with it, are explanatory notes by the editor, brief extracts from private letters and memoranda, and a copious collection of illustrative documents, most of them state papers from the public archives-the latter filling a portion of the first and the whole of the second volume. It will be readily seen from this that the materials are by no means homogeneous in character, and the reader very soon discovers that he is dealing with a work which is neither a history nor a biogra phy, but a mass of raw material out of which, if it were copious enough, history and biography might be made. Prince Richard Metternich has not felt justified in doing more than collect and arrange the data indicated by his father; and the confusion inseparable from a mere bundle of dissimilar papers has been but slightly remedied by the awkward edit ing which they have received at his hands. Facts and particulars which ought either to be incorporated in the text or placed as foot-notes are referred to in notes at the end of the volume, on turning to which the reader is referred to still another division of the work, contained most often in a separate volume. Furthermore, no definite views as to what was pertinent or otherwise appear to have presided over the selection of the documents which occupy such a disproportionate space. Many of them have the slightest possible connection with the autobiographical memoir. They are, in numerous cases, merely the reports and memoranda of a diplomatist, and they certainly do not escape the proverbial dullness of state papers. The historian, of course, must search for the grains of wheat, however hidden they may be in chaff; but we can scarcely conceive of a general reader caring to do more than turn the leaves of the second volume.
The Autobiographical Memoir, which is the only portion of the work for which the majority of readers will care, occupies about a third of the two volumes. Even it, though interesting for what it contains, is dull in manner, being written for the most part in the guarded language of diplomacy, which at times is direct and candid enough, and at other times a mere collocation of sententious words. That portion of it which, from the historical point of view, would possess the highest significance and value, is the chapter "On the History of the
outsider would never have attributed to conscience; but all such outsiders will be abashed when they are categorically informed by the Prince that it was conscience and nothing else which led and controlled him! Other novel and interesting facts which we learn from Prince Metternich about himself are, that he was "modest," "self-distrustful to a fault," "wholly devoid of ambition," disposed by preference to remain in private life and devote himself "to learning and science," and always dominated by the conviction that "True Strength lies in Right," which he adopted as the motto of his house. The entire autobiography shows that the Prince was peculiarly sensitive to the suspicion that he had been crafty and devious in his political methods; but the constant repetition of such phrases as we have quoted will be apt to tempt the reader to exclaim, "Methinks thou dost protest too much!"
Alliances of 1813-1814"; but this is no longer fresh, because, though not actually published when it was written in 1829, it was rendered accessible to all who cared for it, and was used almost entire by Thiers in his "History of the Consulate and the Empire." The only portion of the Memoirs that is thoroughly and entirely enjoyable is the short section which follows the Autobiography, and which is entitled "A Gallery of Celebrated Contemporaries." This contains a carefully elaborated portrait of the Emperor Napoleon, whom Metternich declares to have been "a man equally great as a statesman and as a general"; another almost equally studied and balanced portrait of the Emperor Alexander I. of Russia; and a loving sketch of the Emperor Francis II. of Austria. Metternich's portrait of Napoleon is more conventional than Madame de Rémusat's, and lacks the spicy personal details which give freshness and picturesqueness to the latter; nevertheless, One other point is worth commenting upon, perit is such a one as those who have studied that baf- haps. There is the constant assumption throughout fling character most deeply would be most likely to the Memoirs that Metternich alone understood the accept, and it certainly reflects credit upon the saga- French Revolution; yet the Memoirs themselves city and impartiality of him whom Napoleon re- furnish ample warrant for the assertion that, of all garded as his arch-enemy and antagonist. The por- the men then engaged in administering the public trait of the Emperor Alexander is a subtile piece of affairs of Europe, he comprehended it least and mispsychological analysis, and, whether adequate or conceived it most entirely. Metternich's idea-even not, really aids us in unraveling the tangled thread as expounded by him after thirty years' experience of European politics at that momentous epoch. The of the working (or rather non-working) of the theory sketch of the Emperor Francis is rather an apothe--was that Europe might and should return to preosis than a description, and the great Chancellor's cisely the condition of things that existed prior to feeling for his "master" seems to have been the one the Revolution-as if that tremendous cataclysm had touch of romance in his somewhat austere and stren- been a mere transient outburst of steam which could uous life. We should feel more confidence in these be suppressed by closing the throttle-valve! And it portraits, however, if we did not find the author of was largely owing to this radical misconception or them describing the notorious Prince-Regent (after the part of Metternich that the Congress of Vienna ward George IV. of England) as "possessed of a resulted in the attempt to fix permanently upon Eusound intelligence, which alone preserved him from rope the most monstrously artificial yoke that was being corrupted by the bad society in which he moved ever imposed upon civilized and progressive peoples. with ease himself, without ever permitting the slight- The present installment of the Memoirs closes est want of respect in others"; and Field-Marshal with the departure of Napoleon for St. Helena. The Prince Schwartzenberg, that cautious and common- succeeding installments can hardly possess even such place formalist, as obviously possessing “the chief elements of interest as are possessed by this, dealing qualities requisite for a great general." as they will with a period of comparative tranquillity and repose; but the entire work will be of great value to historians who must penetrate to the hidden causes of events.
After all, however, the character which is depicted with most minuteness in these Memoirs is that of Metternich himself; and the book may fairly be regarded as his apology for his life, though it is very far from being apologetic in tone. Those who were most familiar with the history of the time and with Metternich's part in it have been cruel or mistaken enough to characterize the Austrian Chancellor as "the wily Metternich"; but we now have from Metternich's own pen abundant testimony that he was the slave of consistency, that honor was the sole beacon-light by which he guided himself amid the perplexing paths which he was called upon to tread, and that he was, if possible, too completely under the dominion of conscience. "Conscience," indeed, is a favorite word with Prince Metternich, and in his capacity as an autobiographer he makes it perform almost as much drudgery as it must have done for him in his career as a diplomatist and statesman. It leads him at times, it is true, to acts which a mere
THERE is probably no other English man of letters who, having written so much, is now so little read, as Southey. Of the hundred volumes (more rather than less) that bore his name, by far the greater number have already sunk deeper than ever plummet sounded into the sea of oblivion, and most of the others are rather the occasional resource of the literary student than the companion of the general reader. Here and there one finds a well-thumbed copy of "The Doctor" or "The Book of the Church," and "The Life of Nelson" will always hold a high place among the minor prose classics; but the rest of the copious Southey literature has long been relegated to those dusty and seldom-dis
turbed shelves which furnish a refuge for what Lamb about the details of the copious literary work which calls the "books that are not books." extended over forty-five years-about the reception accorded particular books, or the relative estimate in which they were held at the time, or the causes of that sort of twilight obscurity into which they gradually passed-we get an excellent and really touching portrait of the man Southey in his various relations as husband, father, friend, and citizen. Such a life and such work as Southey's appeal but slightly to the popular imagination, and perhaps more slightly still to popular sympathy and regard; and it is no slight feat to have surrounded the austere figure of the shy and solitude-loving literary worker with that sentiment of respect and interest and affectionate regret from which no reader of Professor Dowden's memoir will ever quite free himself. It is impossible to withhold, nor does one wish to withhold, the profoundest homage of respect for the uncomplaining, unboastful, calm, and resolute self-abnegation with which Southey took upon himself the burden not only of his own family, but of the family of that erratic brother-in-law, S. T. Coleridge, whose sense of moral responsibility was in inverse ratio to the subtilty of his intellect and the brilliancy of his imagination; and a feeling of indignant pity which Southey himself never felt comes over us when we learn that, though he worked as author never worked before, and denied himself and his family in every possible way, it was not until late in life that he ever knew what it was to have a year's income in advance. But when we read further that touching letter in which, having heard that his friend John May had lost his fortune and was in distress, he promptly directed the transfer to him of six hundred and twenty-five pounds in consols (his all, and the slow savings of half a lifetime) when we read this, the sentiment of pity gives place to a sentiment of quite another kind; for we feel that the man who could do this, and do it so cordially, only regretting that it was not more, has escaped the worst and only really ignoble effects of that “hard, mechanic toil" which is so apt to sear the affections and wither the generous impulses of the heart. A better testimony to the elevation and worth of his character could not be had than the fact that when we read of the incident we know at once that Southey took a keener satisfaction in this noble act of generosity than he could have done in the acquisition or possession of any riches, however great.
And this leads us to the remark that it is the character or personality revealed in it that must give interest to any record of Southey's life; for the life itself is curiously destitute of events and incidents, and presents nowhere any splendor or picturesqueness of circumstance. "Of some lives," says Professor Dowden, “the virtue is distilled, as it were, into a few exquisite moments—moments of rapture, of vision, of sudden and shining achievement; all the days and years seem to exist only for the sake of such faultless moments, and it matters little whether such a life, of whose very essence it is to break the bounds of time and space, be long or short as measured by the falling of sand-grains or the creeping of a shadow. Southey's life was not one of these; its
It is the misfortune of Southey that, though he was unquestionably a poet, there is in his verse a curious lack of the mystic flavor and aroma of poetry -his muse seldom soars, and his poetry never " sings itself." It is always respectable, and has in its best estate a certain austere dignity and elevation; but the posterity to whose verdict he so confidently appealed appears to be, if possible, less appreciative than the contemporaries whose neglect ultimately dried up the overflowing fountain of his song. "Thalaba" and "Roderick" are still read by the curious (and read, we may add, with pleasure); but the praise of Landor and of Byron was sweeter to the author than any that has been accorded them since would have been. Even in prose, of which Southey was a truly great master, his work has suffered because of his never having associated it with a theme or subject worthy of its exquisite clearness, felicity, and grace. If he had been enabled to finish the "History of Portugal," for which such portentous accumulations of material had been made, it would probably have taken permanent rank among the great historical works of our language; but, unfortunately, Southey had to devote himself to what the public and the booksellers wanted rather than to what his own tastes and inclinations would have led him to, and his work partakes throughout of the sort of commonplaceness which seems inseparable from literature written to order and to meet the material needs of the hour. The " History of Brazil" made as much as could possibly be made out of so barren a theme; but it is, after all, a melancholy monument of misdirected industry and talent, and the apathy with which it was received discouraged the author from the prosecution of that greater work which might have consolidated and secured his fame.
It has been often and truly said, however, that Southey was much greater as a man than as an author; and, with this in view, Professor Dowden has done well in his little monograph on Southey* to direct his efforts chiefly to making us acquainted with the man whose personality lies behind the books that bore his name. "In such a memoir as the present," says Professor Dowden, "to glance over the contents of a hundred volumes, dealing with matters widely remote, would be to wander upon a vast circumference when we ought to strike for the center. If the reader come to know Southey as he read and wrote in his library, as he rejoiced and sorrowed among his children, as he held hands with good old friends, as he walked by the lake-side, or lingered to muse near some mountain-stream, as he hoped and feared for England, as he thought of life and death and a future beyond the grave, the end of this small book will have been attained."
This main purpose is consistently adhered to by Professor Dowden, and, though we learn very little
* English Men of Letters. Edited by John Morley. Robert Southey. By Edward Dowden. New York: Harper & Brothers. 12mo, pp. 197.