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I quitted him without revealing who I really was, to have been written as it were at one breath, so that and I told no one of my visit. In fact, the Principal many people regard it as his masterpiece, wearied was right (added my master) as a question of mo- him extremely in the composing. The poet, who rality; falsehood is much more amusing than truth, lived as a lion and a man of fashion, much preferred and has sometimes a greater probability. I had had writing love-sonnets, and displaying his gorgeous a vision like Musset's, and had made acquaintance waistcoats and marvelous pantaloons on the boulewith the young man dressed in black, who was as vards, to shutting himself up before a lamp and like me as a brother.
blackening fair sheets of paper. Besides, in his
character of romanticist he detested prose, and reGautier's school friendship with Gérard de garded it as in the last degree Philistine. When he Nerval, his initiation in the “ Petit cénacle,” his
came in, therefore, his father used to turn the key presence in the red waistcoat at the first repre- on him while he set him his task. “You will not sentation of “Hernani,” and all the rest of it, are come out,” cried he through the closed door, “ until well known from his own account. But as he you have written ten pages of 'Maupin.'” Somehas sometimes been accused of remaining silent times Théophile resigned himself, sometimes he got when he should have praised the god of his for- through the window. At other times it was his mer and constant idolatry under the empire, it is mother who let him out by stealth, always anxious fair to give the following story, to which it need and fearing lest her son should be fatigued by so only be added that M. Victor Hugo's own words much work. sufficiently refute the slander. “ Votre main n'a
Here again is a curiously characteristic remipas quitté ma main,” he writes to Gautier :
niscence of the connection which existed between On the 21st of June, 1867, the Comédie Française Gautier and Balzac: reproduced “ Hernani.” Théophile Gautier was the
When Curmer was thinking of his publication, principal attraction in this reproduction. He was seen in his box smiling, grown young again, without Balzac for a contribution. The great novelist agreed
“ Les Français peints par eux-mêmes," he applied to his red waistcoat, but still with his long lion's mane of hair, giving the signal, and, as it were, the tradi
to give his assistance on one condition-namely, tion of the applause. But it was asked how the that the work should contain a study on himself, and critic of the “ Moniteur,” in his position of official was not this condition included in the spirit of the
that this study should be written by Théophile. writer, would manage to speak of the author of the “ Châtiments” in the Journal of the Imperial Gov. title, “Les Français peints par eux-mêmes"? Cur
mer agreed. Balzac instantly hurried to the Rue de ernment. The next day Théophile Gautier himself brought his article to the “Moniteur.” They begged the order. It came like a lark from the sky ready
Navarin, where Gautier lived, and informed him of him to moderate the eulogy, and to soften its enthusiastic tone. Without making the slightest objec. Balzac, "- for this study on myself.” Théophile had
roasted. “I will pay you five hundred francs,” said tion, he took up a sheet of blank paper, and wrote on it his resignation. Then, having made them take with his usual timidity did not dare to ask for the
soon furnished it and carried it to the publisher, but him to the Minister of the Interior, he laid before M. de Lavalette his article and resignation. “Choose," money due to him. A week, then a fortnight passed, said he. The Minister ordered the article to be in. still no news of Balzac. At last one morning he
appeared. “I do not know how to thank you," he serted without altering a word of it.
said to his friend ; “your study is a masterpiece. As The next thing that I shall extract ought to I think you may be in want of money, I have brought amuse the most ferocious decriers of his tabooed you the sum agreed upon," and he laid down two book :
hundred and fifty francs.
" But,” Gautier ventured to say, “ I thought you It would be a mistake to believe that the roman- told me five hundred. I must have misunderstood tic outpourings of Théophile and the boldness of his you." pen displeased his family. Pierre Gautier was, as I “Not the least in the world ; I did tell you five have already said, a great admirer of the literary and hundred. But consider a moment. If I had not artistic ideas of his son. As for the mother, it is existed, you could never have said all the good of needless to say that she lived in a continual state of me which you have said ; that is clear. Then, had dumb ecstasy, in the contemplation of this handsome there been no article of yours, there would have been young man with waving hair, who was gaining in the no money. I take half of the sum as the subject world every imaginable success. Never was child treated, and I give you the rest as the author treatmore spoiled, more petted, more admired by his fam- ing. Is not that just ? " ily. Paternal authority never interfered except to “As Solomon himself,” replied Gautier, who remind the idle writer of the page begun and the many years after, in telling me the story, declared end to be attained. Théophile Gautier wrote “Ma- that Balzac was perfectly right. demoiselle de Maupin ” in the room which he occupied in his parents' house in the Place Royale. This Besides innumerable personal anecdotes of work, full of spirit and animation, and which appears this kind, the book contains many illustrations,
even more interesting, of literary idiosyncrasy. literary profession in France. In a single inOne of M. Bergerat's notes is that Gautier, who stance, as students of his works know, he put scarcely ever altered a phrase in his manuscript, his theory into practice, and the result was “ La never would insert any punctuation in it. He Belle Jenny -a remarkable book, for which I held stops and accents as a detail of the printer's am glad to see that M. Bergerat, with all his business. Unfortunately, printers—may I add hero-worship, has little more affection than I editors ?-can not be induced to take this ad- have myself. The criticism of M. Emile de Gimirably reasonable point of view. Another in- rardin, for whom it was written, is charming. teresting detail is Gautier's idea of a style-school, He had allowed Gautier to write it as a tour de which seems to have been quite serious, and not force, and the author, if not the editor, was fully to have resembled Baudelaire's possibly borrowed satisfied with the result. In the pride of his theory of “poetry in twenty lessons." Gautier heart Gautier wanted to go on ad infinitum, had a perfectly just idea of the services he had after the fashion of the kind of author whose rendered to French, and the following passages, work he was imitating. “Est-ce que l'abonné allowance being made for his lively and pictu- ne trouve pas qu'il en ait pour son argent ?” he resque language, do not exaggerate these ser- asked of the editor of the “ Presse.” “Mon vices one whit:
ami,” replied that experienced person, “c'est ça, My own part in this literary revolution was very franchement : il est géné par le style.”
et ce n'est pas ça. L'abonné ne s'amuse pas plainly marked out. I was to be the painter of the company. I threw myself vigorously into the quest few poetical waifs and strays, which have not as
M. Bergerat has inserted in his volume not a for adjectives; I dug up charming and even admirable ones, which it would be impossible to do yet found their way into collections of Gautier's without any longer. I foraged in the sixteenth cen
works. The best of these is not suitable for tury, to the great scandal of the subscribers of the quotation here, though some day or other it will Théâtre Français, the academicians, and the close. doubtless take its place among the other jewels shaven bourgeois, as Petrus calls them. I came of the “ Emaux et Camées." There is, howevback with my basket laden. I laid on the palette er, one piece which must be quoted: all the tints of dawn and the shades of sunset ; I
“Sur un coin d'infini traînant son voile d'ombre gave back to you red, dishonored by politicians; I
La terre obscure allume à l'éternel cadran, composed poems in white major, and when I saw
Sirius, Orion, Persée, Aldebaran, that the result was good, that the best writers fol
Et fait le ciel splendide en le rendant plus sombre. lowed my lead, and that the professors basked in their chairs, I delivered my famous axiom, “ He “On voit briller parmi les étoiles sans nombre whom any thought, however complex, any vision, L'énorme Jupiter dont un mois vaut notre an, even were it the most apocalyptic, surprises, without
Et Vénus toute d'or, et Mars peint de safran, words to express it, is not a writer." And the goats Et Saturne alourdi par l'anneau qui l'encombre. have been separated from the sheep, the supporters
“ A ces astres divers se rattache un destin : of Scribe from the disciples of Hugo, in whom
Jupiter est heureux, Mars hargneux et mutin, dwells all genius. Such is my part in the quest.
Vénus voluptueuse et Saturne morose. “I know not,” said my master one day to me, Moi, mon étoile est bleue et luit même en plein "what posterity will think of me, but I fancy that I
jour shall at least have been useful to the language of my
Près d'une oreille sourde à mes soupirs d'amour own country. It would be positive ingratitude to re- Sur le ciel d'une joue adorablement rose !"* fuse to me, after death, the modest merit of a philol.
* Mr. Edgar Fawcett has furnished us with a trans. ogist. Ah, my dear child,” he added, smiling, “if
lation of this sonnet.-EDITOR APPLETONS' JOURNAL. we only had as many piasters or rubles as the words I have rescued from Malherbe ! You young people
Above the vague earth, set in darkening skies,
Eternal constellations gaze toward man, will thank me some day when you see what an in
Sirius, Orion, Perseus, Aldebaran, strument I have left in your hands, and you will de
And heaven more splendid beams while shadows rise. fend my memory against those literary diplomatists who, having no ideas to express, and no wit to make
Amid the unnumbered star-throngs one espies the most of, wish to reduce us to the hundred words
Great Jupiter, with his month our year in span, of the language of Racine. Attend to this, that you
The all-golden Venus, Mars, deep-red to scan, may remember it at a future day; the day that I am
Or Saturn, ringed with weighty and cumbrous guise. acknowledged as a classic, thought will be very near These differing stars by fate are each controlled : attaining its full freedom in France !"
Happy is Jupiter, Mars fierce and bold,
Venus voluptuous, Saturn grim and bleak. In another place I find a curious account of
For me, my star is blue, and shines by day Gautier's belief in his powers of writing the Beside an ear deaf to the love I pay, roman-feuilleton, the one lucrative branch of the And on the adored heaven of a rosy cheek !
I can not help remembering, as I read over this earlier work. Throughout his life Gautier was splendid sonnet, with its majestic alexandrines, literally what he has been called, a "parfait maso full of color, of varied harmony, of stately gicien és lettres françaises.” Yet the magic was, grace, of fervent passion, that we have just been after all, like most of such magic, the result of told that French has no adequate form for high continual work. Unlike many other men of letpoetry. A dissertation on this thesis is, perhaps ters, Gautier was constantly reading. M. Berfortunately, not called for here. Nor would it be gerat tells us that when he was not talking, eatin place even to examine the characteristics of ing, or writing, he was always reading, and that Gautier himself as a poet. I could wish for no- nothing came amiss to him down to mere scraps thing better than an opportunity of so doing, and waifs of printed waste-paper. The progress But I shall be perfectly content to rest upon the of his fatal illness was marked by nothing so fourteen lines of this sonnet-a mere waif, be it much as by the cessation of this inveterate habit. repeated, casually written and casually preserved— These miscellaneous readings were undoubtedly the capacities of the alexandrine for high poetry. part of the great “adjective-hunt," as he was In a formal defense of that magnificent metre wont to phrase His copia verborum was thus (none the less magnificent because it has acci- constantly fed and increased, while at the same dentally failed to be much cultivated in English), time his unceasing practice in writing made the scores and thousands of examples might be pro- store one of constantly circulating capital, and duced far more convincing. In a formal discus- not a mere useless accumulation. There never sion of Gautier's own poetry, the “Comédie de seems to have been a time when even the most la Mort” and “ Le Thermodon,” the lines on Cor- minute question of literary practice, a rhymeneille, and many of the “ Emaux et Camées,” the hunt or the like, had not a vivid interest for him. “Elegy on Clémence," and many another early Thus his occupation, however he might occalyric must rank above and before it. But as it is sionally groan at and complain of it, was in practo my hand here, I am content with it as a vin- tice an unfailing source of pleasure, of relief from dication of Gautier and of the alexandrine. ennui, of alternatives from self-regarding cares.
If the comparison of the lives of two men of It was a strong tower which successfully kept such different talents as Lever and Gautier has out the enemy, until sheer physical collapse any lessons for us, it seems to be this, that devo- ceased to make it any longer defensible. On the tion to art has its rewards. There is the secret other hand, it would be difficult to find in Lever of a whole life's consolations in Gautier's boast any trace of love for or interest in his art as an -a boast perfectly justified—“ I defy you to write art. It seems to have been always a means to the feuilleton I shall write to-morrow in the lan- an end, or rather to half a hundred different guage of Racine and Boileau.” He knew that ends, pursued with less or more zest for the time, he had added to the accomplishments of his own but rarely falling in with any possible or cohelanguage, and, what is more, that he had added rent plan of life. Though he was a man of letto its capabilities. Perhaps it would be impos- ters, his interests were nothing so little as literary. sible to name any one in this century who has The wildest absurdities of the “ Jeunes-France" done this to such an extent as Gautier. From and the “Bousingots" were somehow or other very early days his works have always been the connected with literary questions. Lever's youthspecial delight of men of letters in his own coun- ful escapades and later dissipation had nothing try. He has, in a different sense, occupied the to do with literature at all, and might have been position of “
poet's poet " which has been as- and were shared in by persons of no taste or insigned in our own language to Spenser, and thus terest in literature whatever. There is a famous his influence has been multiplied and strength- sentence of Thackeray's which has sometimes ened almost indefinitely. To those who read the excited a good deal of surprise : "No class of preface of “Mademoiselle de Maupin " now, for- men talk of books or, as a rule read, books so getting its date, admiration of it may not be little as literary men.” It is not true of England mixed with a feeling of surprise at the extraordi- now perhaps, but it certainly was true of Engnary novelty and originality of the style. But to land then. It has never since France possessed capable readers in 1836, it must have been simply a literature been true of France, and the differa revelation. It was as entirely new as the man- ence is strikingly illustrated in comparing these ner with which a few years before Macaulay had two volumes. M. Bergerat's book is almost comsurprised Jeffrey, and it had few or none of the posed of literary conversations, souvenirs, jests. drawbacks from which Macaulay's brilliant argot Here the hero is defending a thesis against M. suffered. But if we skip thirty years, and turn Taine or M. Renan, there expounding another to the “Capitaine Fracasse,” we shall find a style for the benefit of M. Bergerat, everywhere talkof equal or greater brilliancy, which yet is not in ing of books, the way to write books, and the the least mannered or copied from the writer's merits of books when written. In Dr. Fitzpatrick's volumes, on the other hand, there is hardly apparently deliberately purposed to expire, while a single literary opinion cited of Lever's, and, ex- correcting a proof. The person concerned was cept the obligatory notice of his own books, something of a coxcomb, and his taste in selectscarcely anything that can be said to possess lit- ing that particular branch of literary employment erary interest. It might as well be the life of a was certainly peculiar. But there was something politician or a man of business, for any interest not altogether inappropriate in the assertion of that its subject seems to have taken in things devotion to the employment to which he had literary. !t is quite possible that there may be given himself up. something to be said in favor of this. The con- The spirit of Congreve's famous speech to centration of men of letters and art in literary Voltaire has never, at least since Voltaire's time, and artistic sets and cliques has obvious disad- commended itself to men of letters across the vantages, of which the talking of "shop" is not Channel. With us literature has, until very rethe worst. It tends, no doubt, to promote a cently, hardly been even a profession, still less an severance between the different lines of thought art having a recognized guild and brotherhood of and intellectual occupation in the nation. The cultivators. It would be considered an affectaeternal hatred sworn to the bourgeois is not a tion, and a hardly pardonable affectation in any necessary or a beneficial phenomenon either to one who had not produced capital works in some the bourgeois himself or the man of letters. Al- popular department of literature, to take the though the tendency of French politics since the name of a man of letters at all. There may, I Revolution to open political positions to literary have said, be a good many reasons against, as men of distinction may have made some com- well as for, the definite constitution and herding pensation, it is still probable that the divorce be- together of a body of gens de lettres. But it tween the Philistine and the anti-Philistine there certainly has one result which can not be denied. is wider than with us. This divorce is at any It leads to the display of much greater merit of rate not good for the Philistine himself, while it the purely literary kind in the discharge of meremay tend to force his opponent into Bohemian ly miscellaneous literary work. The French jourways and habits which he might very well avoid. nalist, novelist, dramatist, may be and often is a But that it has done good to literature there can man of far less education and information than be no doubt. With very few exceptions, the ser- his English compeer, but at least he does not vice of the English literary man is rendered more often produce such slovenly and formless work. or less half-heartedly. He is a journalist, a poli- Also it has another good result which has been tician, a man of the world, an historian, a dram- sufficiently indicated already in this review of the atist first, and a man of letters afterward. He memorials of a great man of letters. It gives wants to influence public opinion, to get into the littérateur all the essentials of a religion, the good society, to establish his family comfortably, fellow-feeling, the cardinal doctrines, the preto do everything, in short, rather than live in scribed hatreds which go to make up a regular companionship with the Muses, and with a few cult. It is an excellent thing to have a religion of the elect of their worshipers. Sometimes, of any kind, and particularly excellent when the no doubt, he achieves all these ends more or less relish of miscelaneous good things is fading, and completely; sometimes he fails very completely pleasure, if it has to be found at all, must be indeed. In the latter case the art which he has sought in quiet occupations and in the performcultivated only with a half devotion naturally does ance of daily tasks. The game of the hunter of not do much for him at the last. There is a story adjectives never becomes scarce, and his interest of a French man of letters who expired, and had and energy in the quest never desert him.
VIVIAN THE BEAUTY.
BY MRS. EDWARDES,
OUGHT WE TO VISIT HER?" ETC.
the gloom. Not a vibration of sound is there in CHAPTER X.
air or on earth. Not a fir-needle throughout the
vast expanse of neighboring forests seems to stir. HERE, OR ELSEWHERE.
As Wolfgang speaks, comes a sudden pul
sating flood of white light, enabling him and his T. ULRICH'S clock has struck twelve ere companion to discern every familiar object around
Jeanne and the housekeeper start on their —the stiff juniper-hedges of the garden, the moat, nocturnal mission of seeing that “all is safe”: the bridge, far away, the granite, fir-girt summits an empty form, gone through by Ange at every of the Blauen Mountains—with dazzling clearseason of the year with stoic, albeit fruitless, ness. Then again sinks down a darkness that punctuality. They try kitchen-windows, faith- can be felt, the sickly ray from Ange's lantern fully barred hours ago by Hans and Elspeth ; alone enabling them to discern each other's faces; they shake casement-windows, which opened at and then, after a pause, during which neither their widest could not admit a child of six ; they master nor pupil speaks, comes another break of look behind impossible screens, they set in order light, longer, more exquisitely heaven-clear, than wires that, in case of burglarious attack, would, the last. it is supposed by the faithful, communicate with “It is a night when one should be abroad in a bell in Ange's chamber. And then they turn the forest,” says Wolfgang, inhaling a mighty their attention to the front door, left wide open draught of air-cool, sparkling air, freshly drawn at the time of Wolfgang's arrival, and through from the cisterns of midnight. “Often, as a boy, which a dozen robbers abreast might at any mo- have I spent the hours, from midnight to sunrise, ment of the evening have invaded Schloss Eg- watching such lightnings as these.” mont, had they listed.
Here, in the valley of the Höllenthal?" “Yes, yes,” says Ange, giving abrupt utter- Jeanne asks him, startled. ance to some distant train of mental speculation, “Here—or elsewhere. What matter longi“there is a screw loose about that master of tude and latitude ? Nature is the same, whether yours, child. He has not the manners of his sta- you look at her among Black Forest firs or the tion, or the modesty either—the modesty, that is olive and ilex groves of the Alban Hills.” to say, that once belonged to the lower classes ; " It is a great deal too late for honest folk to and, if this kind of thing goes on much longer, I be out of their beds,” remarks Ange, establishshall think it right . . . Heaven save and protecting herself well within the door. “You have a us, Jeanne-a man!"
long walk still before you, Mr. Wolfgang, and, if Ange sinks shivering and panting against the you take my advice, will lose no time in starting. first support that presents itself (Ange, who has — Jeanne, my dear, come in. We wish Mr. Wolfalways declared herself to be, on an emergency, gang, do we not, a very good night ?” worth a regiment of soldiers, who has a hundred Ange's figure is looking more grotesquely restories to tell of her own presence of mind, her bellious to the laws of gravitation than usual. It own desperate valor at different past crises of is said that M. Doré gets suggestions for outlines life). That support is-Mr. Wolfgang's arms. from the shadows cast by morsels of crumpled
“I was just smoking my last cigar in the paper on a sunlit floor. The profile of Ange's dark," he remarks, quietly depositing Ange and figure at this moment might, assuredly, hint forth her emotions on a bench that stands outside the any number of weird combinations to an imagidoor.—“ Have you noticed the summer light- native mind. Her cap, her curls, have suffered nings, Fräulein Jeanne ? Watch them for a min- during her quasi-faint; the flounces of her comute, here with me. Even for the Black Forest pany silk bristle forth, fantastically irregular. the effects of sudden silver and purple are some- Little Jeanne notes a quick smile cross Wolfthing magic."
gang's face. During the last couple of hours heaven's face “What! Do you consider this a fitting hour has grown overclouded. It is warm as noon; for me to start across the mountains ?" he beintensely dark, save where, ever and anon, a fire- gins good-humoredly. fly's transitory metallic radiance flashes through "I consider nothing at all about fitting or