« AnkstesnisTęsti »
marks Miss Vivash, when the introductions are over. And, heeding her hosts no more than the
CHAPTER IV. Chinese monsters on the stove, she walks across to one of the window-curtains, then holds up a
“ CHAFF." point of its moth-eaten texture between her finger and thumb. “ If ever I leave Schloss Eg- HALF-PAST twelve is the accustomed dinnermont alive, I shall feel it a duty to carry away time at Schloss Egmont. Jeanne has passed her a piece of the drawing-room tapestries for the life, Mamselle Ange has spent over thirty years, British Museum-Specimen of Teutonic art- in the Black Forest; and, whatever English protaste, as shown in house-decoration.'"
clivities linger in their hearts, their frugal tastes, Mamselle Ange seats herself on the central, their hours-shall I add their blessed contentmost impossibly stiff - backed ottoman of the ment with themselves and with their lot ?—are Saal, arranges her flounces, and clears her throat German. in a short, dry fashion that Jeanne knows to be This evening, however, for the first time in prophetic.
Jeanne's experience, a seven-o'clock dinner is to “This drawing-room was furnished, as it be served. Frau Myer from the parsonage has now stands, when the Countess Dolores, one of given her help as regards the arrangement of the most noted beauties of her day, came here dishes. (The Herr Pastor spent a fortnight in as a bride. That was in 'forty-one."
Paris after his marriage, and his wife is still the “ 'Forty-one-of which century?" inquires acknowledged authority in taste throughout the Vivian, with artless impertinence. “The seven- district.) Hans the gardener, in rehabilitated livteenth-the eighteenth? Surely these tapestries ery, is to display his newly learned accomplishmust date longer back than a hundred and fifty ments as a waiter. The family plate, emanciyears ago ?”
pated, like Ange's fan, from silver paper and dark“ They date back to July, 1841, my dear young ness, decks the table. Elspeth the parlor-maid lady, ten years or so before you were born." has appareled herself in her noisiest walking
Vivian's cheeks fire. She has, in truth, left shoes, in her stiffest Sonntagschleife—those marher six-and-twentieth birthday some way behind, velous black-silk bows projecting like kite's wings and the subject of age and dates is distasteful to from either side of the forehead, with which the her, as Mamselle Ange, with fine feminine intui- Black Forest women seek to enhance the scanty tion, would seem to have discovered.
beauty Heaven has bestowed upon them. The “In 1841 Count Oloff brought his bride home, rusty tocsin, or alarm-bell, is rung for a good and the reception-rooms were redecorated ac- five minutes before dinner, rung by Hans's stout cording to her taste. Perhaps I might have arm with a will that sends forth bats and owls, counseled blue myself,” says Mamselle Ange, affrighted, from every ivied jutty, frieze, and but“ for I was blonde, and we washy blondes tress into the flaring amber of the western sunshe glances at Vivian's artificially ebon locks— light. “ can not stand the neighborhood of warm color. "I know, by experience, how most evil things The Countess Dolores had southern blood in her taste in the mouth,” says Vivian, when the queerveins; the complexion of a pomegranate ; darkly assorted party has met at table in the diningeyes that seemed to light the room up at a room—a table that would hold eighty, a room glance.—You never read the Duke de Rochefou- that would not be overcrowded by a hundred cauld's' Portraits,'Miss Vivash? So I should sup- guests. “Schloss Egmont gives me a new and pose. Dolores von Egmont is described there, horrible sensation. I realize what one might feel under the title of 'Nuage.' She was celebrated as the heroine of a three-volume novel. Blue in every court in Europe. I have seen kaisers, chambers, faded arras, owls, specters !” (This princes, ministers—I have seen,” says Ange, with a side-glance at Mamselle Ange's figure.) launching, it may be feared, from the vero into “I declare not an accessory is wanting.” the ben trovato, “the great Talleyrand himself, "Except the Prince Charming of the story," in this salon, at her feet."
remarks Sir Christopher. He has a voice at " How quite too awfully jolly!” responds once treble and tragic, enunciates his syllables in Beauty, with her drawl. “If the great Talley- a slow, methodical way that heightens, by conrand—whoever that venerable duffer may be—is trast, the ever-changing comedy of his face. still alive, pray have him over to Schloss Egmont “Rawdon Crawley having gone the way of all for my benefit.”
flesh, the world can scarce hope to be regaled The expression of Mamselle Ange's face is a with another · Novel without a Hero.'” study.
“Surely you could play the part by proxy,” cries Lady Pamela, in her off-hand fashion" play it, at least, until the Count von Egmont appears in person. You could not find a pleas- competition. They distribute dishes where plates anter occupation.”
should be; they plant plates in the center of the “Pleasant but dangerous—for the heroine,” table; they fling about coroneted Von Egmont says Kit Marlowe, with a genial little internal spoons as liberally as the personages in a fairysmile he has—the smile of a man who “fancies tale are wont to throw about gold and silver. himself” above all things. “I know my own They wipe their sunburned, exudating foreluck too well to put myself, vicariously, in an ab- heads. They talk aloud. They giggle. sent lover's shoes."
Jeanne can see that Miss Vivash and Lady At which innocent remark the Beauty's cheeks Pamela exchange glances. fire. She is not without a certain limited con- The situation is crucial; but worse, far worse, ventional aptness. No woman with wits, inten- is to come. Our good Mamselle Ange has not sified by a couple of rapidest London seasons, lived thirty years in the Wald without forgetting but must be posted in the second-hand persi- some of the axioms laid down by modern Chesflage, the acquired banter that pass muster, when terfields in handbooks of etiquette. She knots politics is stagnant, and the dog-days approach- her table-napkin firmly under her chin at the coming, for smartness. Here her sense of humor mencement of dinner, cuts up her meat with the ends. A jest, the approach to a jest, upon the bold action of a demonstrating surgeon, eats chersacred subject of her own charms, is to Miss ry jam liberally between every course, and helps Vivash a blasphemy—the only one, it may be herself to all such lighter matters as gravy, condiadded, at which she would be greatly disposed ments, or vegetables, upon the blade of her knife. to take umbrage.
“We are told by our masters, the penny-aPersiflage-our great-grandmothers used the liners," says Sir Christopher, pointedly addressword, and shone in the accomplishment. Shades ing himself to no one in particular, “that the of sprightliest Fanny Burney and Thrale ! can it avidity with which this generation flocks to sights be truly reproduced in the dreary compound of of horror is a sign of decadence. Old Romeslang and cynicism, the scoffing at all things gen- fine ladies-gladiators. My taste is pure and unerous or solemn, which the present generation corrupted. I have never been to an execution calls “chaff”? During the opening courses of or a bull-fight, to see Blondin or Zadkiel. My dinner, things go off smoothly. Hans and Elspeth blood runs cold at the thought of an innocent acquit themselves tolerably as long as Ange's fellow creature” (he gives a little shudder, and oft-repeated warnings ring freshly in their ears. sinks back in his chair) “risking his life for my The soup, the fish, are served with decent quiet- diversion.” ness. The guests talk briskly between themselves. Mamselle Ange at this moment is really perThat their discourse seems to lack edge, seems forming prodigies of valor as she swallows occasionally to lack meaning, results doubtless poached eggs and spinach from the blade of her from deficiency of apprehension in the hearers. knife-an honest, circular-shaped weapon, fashJudging from the effect produced upon each ioned doubtless at an epoch when to eat with other, 'tis a very feast of reason, a flow of soul, one's fork would have been looked upon througha jackdaws' parliament! The vast old room out the Fatherland as an effeminacy. She sees rings and reëchoes to their incessant peals of nothing of the little by-play going on between the laughter. What is the staple of their merri- guests, pays no more heed to Sir Christopher's ment? Buffoonery, it would seem, to the unini- attitude of sham horror than to Beauty's uptiated rather than wit ; heavily manufactured lifted brow, or the twinkle of mischievous fun in jokes whereof the point consists in the introduc- Lady Pamela's eyes. Let Ange be once occution of some one oft-reiterated current word; pied with her knife and fork, the former espepersonalities, scandals, compared to which the cially, and there is about her a quite Socratic reputations slain by Lady Sneerwell and Mr. disregard for all besides. Minor accidental surCrabtree had been as nothing.
roundings become This lasts for a time. Then the travelers'
. . small and undistinguishable, spirits flag; and, with a child's quick sensitive
Like far-off mountains turned into clouds." ness, Jeanne detects that Vivian is casting round her for fresher diversion than our poor Sir Little Jeanne suffers, as I believe children alone Harry's loss of honor, our sweet Lady Jane's are capable of suffering, beneath ridicule. Until loss of complexion, and other remembered mis- to-day Jeanne has regarded everything at Schloss fortunes of dearest absent friends. She has not Egmont-Ange's best flowered silk, the mothfar to seek. Hans and Elspeth, crimson with eaten curtains, the pastel goddesses, the broadheat, are fast lapsing into the stage of obdurate bladed knives—with the unquestioning faith of incapacity, at which, when fairly put upon his her age. She sees them, suddenly, as they must metal, the Black Forest peasant defies all honest appear through the double eye-glasses of Miss Vivian Vivash, and quivers as with a living, pas- tice, the remembrance of countless feminine crusionate shame!
elties recked upon herself, have brought to perAccompanying dessert comes art-talk. The fection. late Count von Egmont was himself an artist of The child feels every secret of her life-such no mean merit, and the Speise-saal is decorated innocent secrets as they are-pierced through by with frescoes, painted under his direction, in those pale eyes, those double glasses. Every memory of Germany's greatest classic poets. separate bead in her luckless necklace seems to Above the music-gallery are medallions repre- burn like a coal of fire round her throat. senting the leading scenes in Wieland's “Obe- “ These primitive customs really take one ron." From an opposite side, the Virgin, life- back centuries,” drawls Beauty, without removsized, appears at the pillow of the sleeper Herder. ing her gaze from her victim's face. “I rememBeneath a portrait of Schiller are groups from ber my grandmamma telling how, in her young “ Jeanne d'Arc" and " Marie Stuart.” A huge days, the female infant invariably received a coral mythological tableau from the second part of necklace from its godfather and godmother. In“Faust” covers the whole side of the room deed, I think it stood, like King Charles in the dedicated to Goethe. These frescoes, executed oak, in the rubric.—Pray, Mamselle Ange, as we by a well-known Munich copyist, are from de- are speaking on serious subjects, shall we have signs in the archducal palace at Weimar-de- an opportunity of attending Anglican service on signs classical throughout Germany. To Miss Sundays ? One would like to study the manners Vivash and her friends they are caviare. Miss and customs of the British settler with imparVivash, during the past season, has deeply stud- tiality." ied her own likeness, in oil and in chalk, at the It takes Ange long to answer the question. Royal Academy. She has also coached herself in A person with normal convolutions of brain the history of “ Andromeda" (the title of a pic- might reply briefly that there exists neither Anture for which she and other town beauties sat glican church nor Anglican service within a radias models), and has visited, chiefly on wet Sun- us of a dozen miles. Mamselle Ange's mental prodays, the studios of several fashionable painters cesses, like her millinery, have in them some latent of note. What greater knowledge of the fine labyrinthine twist which forces her ever into the arts, unless they be connected with bismuth, an- use of twenty words where one would be suffitimony, and pearl-powder, should poor, half-edu- cient. Irrelevant anecdotes, dating back to her cated Beauty need? What should she know of own confirmation ; outlying sketches, in the main Goethe, Schiller—of paintings that never hung unfavorable, of Continental chaplains, their wives, in Burlington Street-of an artist not introduced their characters, their debts; a dissertation on to her at the annual conversazione of the Royal the relative merits of the Calvinist and Lutheran Academy?
beliefs, with a passing fling at what she is pleased Ignorance, however, as in some other cases to term the Materialism made Easy of the daywe wot of, does but lend a sharper edge to ad- all these things does she manage, by fair means verse criticism. Was ever such grouping seen or foul, to bring in, Miss Vivash listening, with -such chiaroscuro, such anatomy? At last, half-closed eyes, with yawns that she is not at round the throat of one of the ruddy-locked the smallest trouble to dissemble. At length, nymphs in “Oberon,” Vivian descries what she just as Ange pauses for breath rather than lack affirms to be a coral necklace—in truth, a wreath of subject matter, a ring comes at the outer, selof crimson roses; but Beauty's eyesight is con- dom-used bell of the Schloss. veniently defective when she lists.
“A visitor at the big gate!" exclaims little “I declare this is quite too adorably quaint,” Jeanne, her cheeks reddening. putting up her double eye-glass, as is her cus- “ It must be the ladies from the Residenz," tom whenever she would be more than com- cries Mamselle Ange. “Luckily, the guest-room monly supercilious. “Coral necklaces with hair for once is in order. The ladies from the Resito match, are evidently the last thing out in the denz, or the Herr Baron von Katzenellenbogen.” grand duchy of Baden."
And then the door of the dining-room opens, And, posing her head a little on one side, she and on the threshold—dusty, travel-stained, more encounters Jeanne's dark, imploring glance with poverty-stricken in his dress than usual—there her stoniest stare-a stare that lengthened prac- appears the master-Wolfgang.
(To be continued.)
FRENCH AND ENGLISH PICTURES.
FTER all, France is a bigger country than growing in profusion in the long beds, and almost
England.” Such was the trite reflection concealing the pedestals of the statues; everywhich I made to console myself for the impres- where flowers and seats, and groups of people sion produced by the first glimpse of the Paris standing before the statues, chattering and laughSalon; and, such is the power of platitude, that ing, smoking, whispering criticisms, or eating, but it did bring to me some small amount of con- neither angry, hurried, nor tired. And when you solation. But when one comes to consider the leave this hall and ascend to the galleries above, matter carefully, there does not seem to be any you still meet with the same amount of fresh air very potent reason why the size of the country and possibility of free movement. The rooms should render the arrangement of its picture-gal- are so large and lofty, and there are so many of leries superior in proportion to that size, but them, that they are never really crowded; and rather the reverse would seem likely to be the even on Thursday and Sunday, when the people case, and the smaller country would be expected are admitted without payment, the pictures can to provide adequate accommodation for its works at all times be comfortably seen.
What reason of art with greater facility. Taking other things is there in the order of things why all this should to be equal, it must be easier to find room for a not be the case in England ? I will tell you ; for, thousand pictures than for five thousand, and strange as it may seem, this trivial question of the London must be small and poor indeed if she nature and arrangement of the exhibition, leads can not afford the space or the money to show us down to the main cause of the difference beher artists' work in a decently satisfactory man- tween French and English art. The reason for ner. We know, however, that in truth London our indifference to the bad arrangement of our is neither small nor poor, and that when money picture-galleries is that we do not care for our is required for any adequate object it flows in pictures. It would shock us if the Prince and from many sources almost too profusely. Is it Princess of Wales were to live, say, in an inn on possible, therefore, that we do not consider it to the Edgware Road, but we should see no inconbe an adequate object that the works of our gruity in housing our best pictures in any waterartists should be properly displayed, that the ac- tight room, no matter how unsightly or how incommodation for such works and those who come convenient. Pictures or statues are nothing to to see them should be ample, and that even the us, except appropriate objects to fill spaces on minor wants of the visitors-as, for instance, our walls and dark corners in our drawing-room; rest, fresh air, sensible refreshment, and perhaps and, were we able, we should degrade all the even the possibility of a few whiffs of pipe or best art of England to the decoration of a sofa cigar-should all be considered carefully? And or the pattern of a plate. That is the real reason if we do not consider this to be necessary or de- why we can only have uncomfortable picture-galsirable, would it not be well if we were to pause leries, inadequate alike for the artists and the for a moment in our admiration for pictures, and spectators. We have, we think, gone beyond ask ourselves why we are thus minded—why we art, have advanced into high intellectual regions crowd a gallery as if it were a railway station, whence we can afford to look down upon the provide eatables and drinkables of a kind which pretty plaything which has in former ages raised is unknown except during the mad five minutes the enthusiasm, heightened the joy, and soothed which we spend at a railway refreshment bar, the sorrow of every civilization that has left its why we shut out the fresh air, and restrict the mark upon the world's history; and so we are seats, and forbid smoking as severely as at a growing daily more contemptuous of art, more Dorcas meeting ?
wrong-headed in our way of looking at its influThink how different all this is at Paris ! You ence and its aims. Rightly understood, the presstroll up the Champs-Elysées till you come to a ent fashion for art patronage is even a worse sign building which is about as large as Charing Cross than the neglect that preceded it; for the fashion Railway Station, and you pay your franc and en- is founded upon no real love or wish for what is ter. Surely this can not be a picture-gallery! beautiful and true, but only on a sort of desire No one takes away your umbrella or your cigar, to present to the world the sight of an enlightand you advance into an enormous hall, roofed ened public who encourage in a generous manner with glass, and filled with flowers and statues— all the refinements of life. flowers of every conceivable kind, not displayed This is the first contrast between the Salon in boxes or arranged in glasses or bouquets, but and the Academy: that the first with all its errors -and, as we shall proceed to show, they are when he paints "the long fields of barley and of very many and very great—is still the work of rye, that clothe the wold and meet the sky," than men who have in their hearts the right feeling for when he shows us the fairy barge moving across art, even when they fail to grasp its expression; the still lake to the island-valley of Avillion. and the second is the work of those who do not Thus the essential function of poetry is not to in their hearts care for art or understand its describe the things which have “not entered into power. And in each case the real moving agency the heart of man," but to glorify those that have, is the way in which the nation thinks; for it is to shed the inconceivable light over things not the nation which moves the artists as well as pro- only conceivable, but even common, to touch duces them, and you can no more have a body of with the glory and the dream our most prosaic good artists when all right feeling for art has facts. been lost, or is yet unborn in the hearts of the This is the chief power of poetry; and if you people, than you can have fruit and flowers from examine the great masters, from Homer to Tena tree without the sun and air which nourish its nyson, you will always find their principal beauty growth.
to lie in the fact that they have been essentially And now I can fancy that my readers will be human in their sympathies. Now think for a likely to remark that I am all wrong in this asser- moment of music. Certainly it is evident that tion, that art is not really cared for and under- the mission is widely different. You may gladstood by the English people, and they will point den men's hearts with a tune on a fiddle, or rouse triumphantly to the wall-papers, dados, lustered their warlike energies with the clashing of cympottery, and art needlework, and ask if all that bals and the braying of trumpets, or wake their does not show the fondness of the people for art. laughter with merry ditties; but when you come So I will venture to devote a few words to the to music at its utmost height, you make men neiexplanation of what seems to me to be the func- ther glad, nor angry, nor mirthful, and, if you do tion of the highest art; for it is only by clearly not make them sad, it is only because you arouse understanding that, that we can form any correct in them the thoughts that “lie too deep for tears." judgment as to our own or our neighbors' merits Notice that the great contrast of poetry and music or shortcomings. To do this, we must consider is, that in the first the poet illuminates his reader very briefly the relation in which painting stands with some of his own wisdom, in the second the to the sister arts of poetry and music. In Les- hearer illuminates himself. The poet may direct sing's “ Laocoon,” the chief book which has treat- our thoughts into a new channel of fuller knowled of this relation in any adequate manner, paint- edge; the musician reveals to us depths of feeling and sculpture are placed in an inferior relation ing which lie behind our thoughts, unknown and to poetry, the author limiting their expressional unsuspected. The one changes, the other creates. value to one instant of time, and thence drawing Thus, while a recited poem will say the same various conclusions as to the inferior rank they thing to all who hear it, a piece of great music must necessarily hold to an art which may cover will say as many things as there are hearers. Its an almost infinite series of actions. So far as interpretation will depend entirely upon the perthis goes, it is undoubtedly correct; but it does sonality to whom it is addressed; or, rather, it not go far enough to express the truth, as may be has no interpretation at all, and is but a means seen from thinking for a moment of the scope of of creating within another's mind some conceppoetry. In the highest developments of this art, tion which has no actual resemblance to the crewe find that the chief merit is that of placing ating power. What poetry and music do perordinary events and actions before us in a manner fectly, painting does in a lesser degree, combining which throws a new light upon them—the thought the work of both. It will express an old story or or the action being precise and definite in it- thought in a new way, so as to add to its meanself, no matter how many avenues of thought ing; and it will do more than this, for it will take and feeling it may open up-and, taken as a rule, up the province of music after having exhausted we discover that in the greatest poets the more that of poetry, and express in the harmonies of simple is the material, the more powerful is its form and color that which finds perfect expreseffect. Thus the new light which Shelley throws sion only in the harmonies of sound. Thus, for upon the song of the skylark, or the manner in instance, you may express perfectly in poetry the which Homer paints the simple love of Hector beauty of a fresh spring day, and you may exand Andromache, is of greater value than when press in music the gladness of heart which such the one describes the divinities of the air, or the a day arouses; but in painting alone can you other the revels of the gods. Newman's “Dream combine the two, and express alike the gladness of St. Gerontius ” is magnificent poetry, but it is and the beauty of the scene. The two great far inferior to his expression of simple faith in divisions of the best painting might be called the "Lead, kindly light"; and Tennyson is greater musical and the poetical—the latter including