Puslapio vaizdai

itself into something so pygmy as to be scarcely dently thinking them too far from the highway worthy of consideration, or perhaps into mere to be useful as monuments. While rambling nihilism. Such were my feelings when gazing among them I startled a large herd of antelopes, on the stony tome, notwithstanding the fact that but, as I did not expect to meet any life in such the people whose names it contained had es- a locality, they were lost among the numerous tablished an empire unprecedented in richness, labyrinths before I could get a shot at them. I opened up unknown phases of life, and developed learned, subsequently, that large numbers of a literature as new as it was strange in incident these animals frequent the city during the sumand strong in contrast. My reverie over, I moved mer, as it affords them plenty of food and water, onward a few yards, and came suddenly upon and a safe retreat from the wolves, which conthe city. At a first glance it seemed to be a stantly harass them in more exposed situations. mere mass of granite crags huddled together Even the young can escape their enemies in this without order or system, and certainly resembled, spot, unless they are fairly hunted down by suto my eyes, at least, anything but a city. After perior speed. Having exhausted the resources gazing at it steadily for a few minutes, I began of the place, I moved to the granitoid mountain to note its outline more in detail, and to separate in the rear, and from its summit had a fine view its angles and curves into their proper positions, of the panorama spread out below. The sun and by this means I was enabled to get a fair was now low, and his rays, glinting the top and idea of its general character,

struggling through the crevices of the crags, That the formation of the rocks is both caused them to resemble more closely the old quaint and picturesque was evident in a short architectural structures of Italy, with their unextime, but the striking resemblance which it is said pected angles, curves, towers, and gables, which to bear to a city did not impress me as quickly. seem to have been hurled together in the most By trying to make comparisons, I found that I inextricable confusion. could soon single out-or I thought I could—the Wearied with my day's rambling, I was returntowers, domes, minarets, and castellated ruins of ing to my hostelry in a listless manner, when, in a mediæval city, and the cabins, shanties, and passing out of the city by a new route, I was startepées of the residents of the Western borders. tled by the appearance of three men, who were The appearance of the place is certainly very digging a hole at the base of a huge crag. I striking, owing to the many-shaped outlines of certainly did not expect to meet any of the huthe crags, and their arrangement and distribu- man family in this wild and lonely retreat, and, tion. Yet I felt somewhat disappointed, owing least of all, white men, so I was not a little surto the highly gilded tales I had heard of its won- prised at the apparition. I looked around for derful approach to the work of man. I could their camp, but could see nothing resembling it see no streets in any direction, except that indi- except a roll of blankets, on which three recated by a small rivulet whose course through volvers, ready for prompt use, and three bowie the rocks was marked by a thin line of foliaceous knives in their scabbards were laid. Their work shrubbery. Moving closer to it, I soon learned and accessories looked very suspicious, and this a lesson in optics, by being promptly made aware induced me to watch them with keen interest, to that reflected light from many objects produces learn, if possible, what could be the motive for a visual chaos that it is impossible to bring into indulging in such seemingly strange proceedings. order. What seemed to me a mere confused After carefully surveying my surroundings, I semass of crags at a distance, on nearer approach lected a large rock which overlooked their posiresolved themselves into the actual forms I had tion, and, climbing with much difficulty to its tried to depict by force of imagination, so that summit, I laid my rifle on a line with their heads, my surprise as well as my pleasure was by no and prepared to await developments. I supmeans insignificant. While still inferior to the posed they were robbers, engaged either in digideal I had formed in my mind, yet I certainly ging for, or preparing to bury, some treasure; felt amply repaid for the labor and time I had and this suspicion was heightened by their cosexpended in reaching this natural city.

tume, and the fact that all wore Mexican spurs, The area of the city proper is perhaps two although I could see no horses. I waited and square miles. It occupies a niche in a moun- watched for half an hour, but seeing them busy tain-side, and this causes the rocks to look quite as ever I concluded they were miners engaged small at a distance, owing to the altitude of the in prospecting for gold; and this induced me to background; but when beside them their tower- descend from my hard perch and approach them, ing forms and massive foundation impress one but not without taking the precaution to move immediately. I clambered through and over cautiously, so as to make as little noise as posthem in every direction, but I could find very few sible, to keep between them and their weapons, names impressed upon them, the pioneers evi- and to have my rifle ready for instant use in case my presence was considered an intrusion. By receiving the first moonbeams of the evening over moving carefully, and taking advantage of every their right shoulder and choosing the spot where shelter afforded by rock and shrub, I was within they first struck the earth; and, as a last resource, ten yards of them ere I was detected; but that had consulted a clairvoyant or spiritualist, and was no sooner done than the three jumped out they were then digging in the spot which they simultaneously, and attempted to run for their supposed she recommended. They were very pack. Receiving a peremptory command to halt sanguine of success in their last effort; but it or accept the consequences, they complied reluc- is needless to add that it proved a failure, so tantly, and a conversation ensued which, in less the treasure remains undiscovered to this day, than five minutes, caused a suspension of all though many have sought it. This incident was hostile intentions, and ended in our shaking hands, the only feature previously lacking in the picture and laughing at the scare we had all enjoyed. to give it the air of wild romance which so read

From their conversation I learned that they ily accorded with the lonely landscape, so I was were prospecting for a large treasure said to have not a little pleased to encounter it for its artistic been buried somewhere near the city, about two effect alone. Thanking the men for their very inyears previously, by a party of highwaymen, who teresting tale, I bade them a good evening, and had robbed the Montana stage, which contained went on to the station. I left there the next the mails, and Wells, Fargo & Co.'s express-box, morning, and wended my way into southern said to hold many thousand dollars in gold-dust. Utah, where I tarried a few months; and while The exact amount was supposed to be one hun- there I heard that another expedition, with a dred and sixty thousand dollars. The freeboot- capital of ten thousand dollars, and accompanied ers were subsequently caught, tried, and sent to by a spiritualistic medium, had been organized the California Penitentiary for life; and while to search for the treasure; but thus far its rethere, one of them, who did not expect to live long, covery has not been announced. told an official of the prison, who had shown him The tourist passing through Idaho will be some kindness, where the treasure was buried. repaid by a visit to this rude, wild, and rockHe sought it assiduously for several weeks, but built city ; but as it lacks grandeur, or beauty of could not find it. A company of capitalists in surroundings, it will never be a Mecca for those San Francisco then went to search for it, but lovers of nature whose tastes incline them to genafter spending several thousand dollars, and two tleness and warmth of color. Being devoid of years' time, they were compelled to retire as any pleasing accessories of gorse or coppice, unsuccessful as their predecessor. The party luxuriant verdure, or brilliant flowers, having nowhom I met were the next to undertake its re- thing in reality to present, except eccentric masscovery, and, though they had been digging in es of cold, gray, dull granite and whitish-green every possible direction for two months, they clumps of artemisia, it leaves an impression of had found no trace of it. They had tried divin- weariness on the mind that is felt for some days ing-rods, throwing stones at random and digging after a visit. Its silence is oppressive, and this, where they fell, scattering water over the ground combined with its tattered, dismantled look, with a full sweep of the pail, and digging where causes one to associate it with wolves and bats it ended; they had even tried dreaming about it; and ghostly owls.


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Lo, the spring of life slips by,

Frozen winter comes apace ;
Strength is minished silently,

Care writes wrinkles on our face ;
Blood dries up and courage fails us,

Pleasure dwindles, joys decrease,
Till old age at last assails us

With his troop of illnesses.

* Translated from the “Carmina Burana," p. 137.

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dity in art which were made in this department 'Take them away lest my passions overcome me!' several months ago. We received, at the time the because this would indicate a morbid excess of sex. article was published, several communications from ual susceptibility”—as indeed beyond all doubt it subscribers and others, both in approval and in con- would. He thinks that a sure criterion of pure demnation of our utterances, but we did not think it art would be that when a picture or statue expresses worth while then to recur to the subject. Recently, no sensual emotion in itself it ought to excite none however, the theme has been revived in several places, in the beholder. “Let one,” he says, “in whom and, as it is obvious that a very radical difference of evil thoughts are engendered by the contemplation opinion exists as to the morality or immorality of of a pure and chaste undraped figure take heed to the nude in art, we must solicit the attention of our himself at once, for he is in danger." This may be readers while we attempt a little further elucidation true, but the notion that only distinctly impure works of the question. One of the communications with of art are morally injurious can not be sustained by which we were favored pronounced our former brief the facts. Lewd statues and paintings commonly article a very extraordinary production, and consid- furnish their own antidote, for they excite nothing ered it one which called for an earnest protest. “No but disgust in the mind of every spectator not hopeone will dispute,” the writer says, " that a delinea- lessly depraved. People are repelled by works of tion of a nude female figure may be—as the artist this kind, while the subtile fascinations of better prowills-either the embodiment of innocence, clothed ductions often allure and stimulate the imagination. on with chastity,' or on the other hand suggestive in But while this correspondent deplores our attievery feature and muscle of lewdness," and he thinks tude, others warmly commend it. “I can not rethat many well-meaning persons confound the two frain,” begins one note, which by the handwriting classes. It is not clear how these two classes of pic- we should judge to be from a lady, “ from sending tures and statues can be confounded by well-meaning an appreciative and grateful response to your artipersons if one class is clothed with chastity and the cle • The Nude in Art,'" and then proceeds to deother suggestive in every feature of lewdness. If clare that the presence of nude works of art in public classes of art-productions really indicated their moral galleries is an insult to those ladies who frequent or immoral quality as distinctly and effectually as them. “I speak in strong terms,” the writer says, our correspondent states, they would not, we should “because I feel strong in my convictions. A few say, be confounded by any but ill-meaning persons. years since I was traveling in Europe, and with othOur correspondent would not have “any one gaze ers visiting many of the famous art-buildings. I

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said to myself, ‘Now, if there is any reason why I tions of the Almighty is always offensive to good should bury such objections as I hold, I will strive taste, and at best is rather presumptuous; but in to do so, for what I may learn while having this this instance the bad taste of the sentence is suppleopportunity.' I tried to be brave and bold, and swal- mented by bad logic. How came it that the human low my convictions; but, in spite of all heroic ef- figure is covered ? Are not clothes the sign and forts, I was soon compelled to see that its effects are badge of the Fall, the stamp of the evil that is in most emphatically dangerous and demoralizing. To us? The worthy doctor should not have so readily convince myself, I often took a seat where I was un- put in the hands of his opponents the means for observed, and not far from some one of the subjects retort. in question ; and, while apparently studying my cata- Among the various replies Dr. Crosby's article has logue, I watched carefully the manners and looks of called forth is one in “ The Home Journal," in which the visitors. It was interesting to notice with what there is a lofty vein of that Higher Criticism at sudden haste mothers would turn and call the atten- which “The Spectator" has recently leveled a few tion of their daughters to some other object, or how sharp shafts. The writer affirms not only “the right quickly the eyes of a young lady would drop, and of the artist to set forth in marble or on canvas the she would turn and appear not to notice what had form of man as originally created,” but that in so pained and mortified her. But this was not what doing he “is an efficient worker in the domain convinced me most, for I think the natural modesty of moral culture.” He assures us that "the lower of most ladies impels them, for very shame, to pass and more sensual order of sentiments look chiefly to such objects unnoticed. I was disgusted to see a an alluring use of drapery," and that “the human certain indecent boldness with which many (gentle- figure does not readily lend itself to a low art-momen ?) visitors would stay and comment, making tive. The body of man, this symbol of the highest coarse and lewd remarks of course, not intended beauty of nature, this temple of the Holy Ghost, into be overheard, but they were, nevertheless—and spires by its simplicity, nobleness, and purity of line, putting themselves in a position to watch young la- a certain restraint and involuntary reverence even dies as they came near, and seeming to take a satanic upon the sensualizing artist.” “It is not,” he goes delight in their uncomfortable and mortified posi. on to say, “ by debarring modern art from its hightion."

est domain, the representation of the human ideal It will be promptly said by the defenders of nude in that purity of beauty which is its own garment, art that the persons described by our correspondent that genuine art-culture is to be fostered. The aim were depraved, and to the depraved even innocent of this culture is to open the insight to that mystical things become corrupt. But the communication is unity of the spiritual, intellectual, and sensuous elevaluable as a contrast to the one which precedes it, ments of our nature which is its divine ideal.” Furand as evidence of how wholly apart many persons ther we are told that because art "seeks to make are in their convictions in this matter. This evi- imaginatively and sensuously present the ideal unity dence, however, is at every hand. The Rev. Dr. of the higher life; because it would realize the diHoward Crosby recently published, in “ The Chris- vine prototypes in their beautiful simplicity ; betian at Work,” an essay in which he sharply con- cause, therefore, it is privileged to display, in its undemns the prevalence of nude art. “Under a sick concealed dignity and charm, without thought of ening cant about high art,” he says, “ Christians are shame, that human form which is made in the image filling their parlors with statuary and paintings cal- of God-it is, therefore, that art holds a place, as an culated to excite the lowest passions of the young agency of spiritual culture, side by side and one There is a natural pruriency that is charmed with with all pure and undefiled religion." All this is this dilettanteism among indecent things, as the po- so magnificent that one is a little dazed, and is in lite distance to which refinement can go in licen- mortal fear that he is in some way excluded by natiousness. It would be apposite to ask how many ture from comprehending the exalted ideals and puryouth it is unable to restrain within these bounds, poses thus set forth. How spiritual culture is to be after having thus far inflamed their desires." It is furthered by sensuous delineations of physical beaunot a question, the reverend doctor thinks, “whether ty, by the alluring fascinations of Venuses and Juit is possible to have a white-marble nudity that would nos, it is hard to say, but this, of course, is because be pure to every mind - to this all will agree the questioner is wholly carnal-minded. He might but whether Christians can approve of nudities in point out that Venus, the goddess of beauty, is the every degree of color to represent life in every atti- most frequently chosen subject for delineation, and tude of wantonness, whether in the name of Art this distinctly because she is the ideal of voluptuous they can meddle with such filthy subjects as Leda female beauty, but he would only be scoffed at. And and the Swan, Danae, Venus and Adonis, etc., and yet it is the fact that not one nude work of art in a not be defiled.” This is very well, and perhaps the hundred has any thought of spiritual beauty or indistinction here made will suit our correspondent tellectual beauty, or springs from any desire to glofirst quoted in his classification of pure and lewd art. rify the human body “as the temple of the Holy The reverend doctor has excited derision in one sen. Ghost," but all are solely and wholly conceived and tence. God,” he says, “has clearly shown us that executed as portraits of physical, sensuous beauty, the human body is to be covered." This common never as something ethereal, spiritual, or divine. clerical custom of dogmatically declaring the inten- “The Home Journal" in this matter is simply ec.


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