Puslapio vaizdai

all these reasons I believe that you are and last and most of all, I am making this the man to lead in this.

appeal on behalf of the nation itself. I am making this appeal on behalf of a Without the literature that radiates truth profession which is dear to me for more as well as beauty, that soul must wither. reasons than that it is my own-the art of The time has come, I feel, when this interpreting man to himself by means of nation, for the saving of its own soul, the divine power that lies hidden in the must give serious and loving thought to word. I am making it on behalf of men its poets and men of letters. Some one and women who are striving against tre- whom the people trust must take the first mendous odds to give this nation a poetry step in the new direction: there is to-day equaling in worth and glory that of any probably no one whom they trust to a other nation in the world. But I trust greater extent than you, and I can think that you at least will perceive that, first of no other fitter for the task I suggest.



This poem, which was put into type at the same time as the volume "Jocoseria" (1883), was not eventually published, but came to light, in its form as a rough-printed proof of what is known as galley-slip, among the poet's papers offered at the sale of the Browning collections in May, 1913. It shows many of the grotesque abridg·ments of Browning not at his best, and bears a certain relation to the last two stanzas of his well-known poem "Popularity," though it seems as applicable to modern tendencies as to those of the poet's own time. It seems almost as if the great poet were keenly appraising from beyond the grave our modern minor men.—The EDITOR.

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For in rushed straightway loon and lout, “So here 's your health to watered port! Mere serving-men who skulked without: Thanks; mine is sherry of a sort. Our masters turn their backs,

Claret, though thinnish, clear. And now 's the time to taste and try My Burgundy 's the genuine stuff, What meat lords munch, and by and by Bettered and bittered just enough

What wine they swill — best smacks.” By mixing it with beer." So said, so dine: first, hunger spends O England (I awoke and laughed), Its rage on victual, odds and ends;

True wine thy lordly poets quaffed, But seeing that rage appeased,

Yet left - for what cared they ! “Now for the lords' wine,” all agree,

Each glass its heel-tap, flavoring sup “Kept from the like of you and me! For funkeys when, to liquor up, Wet whistles, chins once greased!

In swarmed-who, need I say!



Author of “At Bethlehem," etc.



ME. DE VANNOZ closed her "Why do you not ascribe it to the

lorgnon with a snap, and her eye- American manner, my child ?" she inlids drooped with an obvious ballast of quired pleasantly, thereby checking an indisapproval. To the uninitiated observer, cipient mumble to that effect. She shook Mme. de Vannoz might have seemed rash her head and smiled at his confusion, and in assuming the seat of the scornful. At he felt, as usual, much younger than he certain hours of the day she was accus- did in any other circumstances-younger tomed to surrender her person to the even than before his mirror. hands of her maid with an unfeigned in- It seemed to Seymour that one could difference as to the result. Nise, conven- call it by no harsher name than thoughttionally Parisian to the finger-tips, repro- lessness, the thing that the older woman duced in this delightfully plastic material disparaged. The girl was pretty, and her ideal of a lady of the great world. To more than pretty; her guileless intensity a Puritan eye, the result at first glance radiated life and love and joy. It seemed savored somewhat more of the half-world. to him that her spontaneous little caresses. Only at first glance, however; there was of hand and voice were as innocent in an austere quality about the woman her- their exuberance as were the clinging tenself, an almost disembodied impersonality, drils of a vine. She sent them out freely, that nullified all the elaborate armor of heedless of where they clung; it was the coquetry. She was a writer of interna- lavishness of her own nature spending ittional reputation, a mind honored by the self in endearments upon the world at most brilliant minds of her acquaintance; large. She walked now along the terrace, not all the labors of Nise could make her with her arm about the waist of another a woman to be regarded by other women girl. One could see the ingenuous little with suspicion and a touch of envy, by squeeze with which she occasionally emmen with a smirk and a furtive inter- phasized a word of her chatter. At the change of glances. The girl at whom the end of the terrace, toward the lake, a lorgnon had been leveled was as natural young man was kneeling, teaching a dog of coloring as a flower, and would have to shake hands. He held up a lump of felt it as reprehensible to show a powdery sugar as an inducement to obedience. He nose as a shiny one. Nevertheless, Mme. called over his shoulder a laughing greetde Vannoz, gazing at her, settled herself ing to the two girls, the taller of whom in the Siege Perilous with a judicial com- was his bride. They stopped beside him, posure. She lifted her brows, puffing out and, still enlaced, stooped to encourage a sharp breath like a reversed sniff—the the pupil; the little girl whom they were kind of sound that challenges an answer. watching bent the closer of the two, her The answer came from the young man hand outstretched to fondle the dog's beside her. He, too, was looking at the curly head. That brought the soft curve girl, but with eyes very different from of her bosom very near the young man's those of his companion.

shoulder; a strand of her wind-ruffled hair “Please don't!” he remonstrated invol- might have brushed his cheek. He dropped untarily. “You don't understand. That's the sugar, and the dog eagerly approprionly thoughtlessness.”

ated it. It was at this point that Mme. Vme. de Vannoz looked at him, but de Vannoz closed her lorgnon. not through the lorgnon; her eye in a “The dog had not given his paw," she state of nature had a whimsical twinkle. said. "Do you know why he got the “It was



sugar? Ah, yes, you know.” Seymour A sudden fierceness flamed through the bit his lip, aware with keen resentment of careful art of her face. “Is your mother a rich suffusion about the ears.

alive? No? And if she were, she could last night, was it not?” she went on. give you no help in this; she would be as “From my little garden one sees much. innocent as you. See, my child, I underYou were on the terrace—” She took his stand that girl-me; she is what we call arm and drew him toward the nook by a flammeuse. She is the type that drives the lake; the other party had gone on into our boys to absinthe and cocottes; she the hotel garden, the dog leaping and lights the fire, but she never means to be barking about them. Mme. de Vannoz burned in it. And seldom is; it is the paused at the stone balcony overhanging others who suffer. The worst of it is, the water.

that if you ask her to marry you, she will “Here," she said. Seymour flushed do it, that one. I know. And not for again.

love; do not cheat yourself. The flam“You must n't blame her for that,” he meuse does not love; she drives a shrewd protested. “It was all my fault. She bargain; and she is always cold-cold at had no idea-"

the heart." “Thoughtless, in a word-your own, "Stop!" cried Seymour. word," returned Mme. de Vannoz. “It cruel, and you don't understand." may be. She is still very young, like your- The savage earnestness went out of her self, and at first one does not think; one eyes, leaving the twinkle somewhat sadonly feels. But one thing 'I tell you, my der, but more whimsical than ever. child: it is not well to be thoughtless with “And I am only a clumsy old woman the husband of a friend."

who treads upon the toes of your illusions,” Seymour winced as if she had struck she said. “Forgive me; je vous aimed him; she drew away a little, and her hand amitié, bien entendu, and I spoke as I would fell from his arm.

have spoken to a son of my own. But“Do you think


love her ?" she one cannot save others from pain. I know asked, and there was a hoarse tenderness that so well in my mind; but, see, I have in her voice like the lower notes of a cello. not yet learned it with my heart. One Behind her, far up the lake, the Dent du can help only when the harm has been Midi rose inconceivably white against the done. I have told that in so many stories darkening blue; despite the cynicism from -- besides my own.” She Aung back her which he had shrunk, despite the painted head with a short laugh. “And you are mask and the clinging draperies that be thinking only that I do not understand !" trayed an all-too-perfect corseting, she She turned away abruptly, and went toseemed to Seymour as aloof from human ward the cottage, trailing her delicate emweakness and even from human feeling as broideries along the path with a superb those pinnacles of snow. Had she been negligence. The shrubs of the miniature always the unmoved analyst, he won- garden hid her from him, and she had not dered; and for the first time in their ac- looked back. quaintance he thought of M. de Vannoz, Seymour stood where she had left him, and wondered what he had been like. bewildered and disturbed. All day he

Do you think that you love her?" she had been obsessed by vague and whirling repeated.

memories of the evening before; somehow “I don't know what else can it be?” the girl had been so near, so unconsciously he blurted boyishly.

alluring, that before he had known what “No, you would not know," said Mme. was coming he had caught her in his arms, de Vannoz, slowly. “There is a sort of and his lips had found hers. It did not sacred imbecility that goes with inno- occur to him that the finding had been cence; because your head swims at a wo- easy.

Then she had freed herself, and man's touch, you think she is your mate, run into the house, but not in anger, evisoul and body." Her shoulders contracted dently, for all day her glances had been in a shrug that was half a shiver. “If graciously forgiving and-he Aung the you only knew! And yet I would not door of his mind violently shut in the face have you like some of my own kindred, of the thought that there had been an inwho are imbeciles without the innocence." vitation in her eyes. As he did so, he felt a childish hatred for Mme. de Vannoz, tering. It was like an hour of delirium, without whom that thought would never wildly painful and as wildly delicious, have intruded. She had caught the but- wholly unreal. She bade him good night terfly of his romance in her strong, ruth- with the rest; it was his habit to stay less hand, and now that she had released alone on the terrace till late. Musing it, its frail wings fluttered only feebly, happily on her swift, backward smile, he and showed the disfiguring prints of her saw neither the hand she laid carelessly fingers. He resented it like a sacrilege, on the shoulder of her friend's husband, for to him this experience was holy. nor the white scarf she had left lying near Younger lads than he might have laughed his own hand. He turned toward the lake, at his unsophistication. The lovely ladies as the door closed on the gay company, of the classics had engrossed his attention without a glance toward the bench whence to the exclusion of their flesh-and-blood they had risen; and presently he realized prototypes; and since men are not wont to that he was staring at the serene inacdesire a woman who has ceased to beckon cessibility of the Dent du Midi. Eager to that desire, his devotion to Mme. de pity took him by the throat at the thought Vannoz from the moment of his arrival of Mme. de Vannoz. How cruelly life had marked no deviation from his custom. must have dealt with her to make her see Often and deeply as he looked into her its lovely miracles with such darkened eyes unshielded by the lorgnon, it was as eyes! He felt sure that her husband had a young seer might study the crystal; and been unworthy; only a broken heart, he she knew, with a deep gladness in the thought, could speak so bitterly, and he, knowledge, that the touch of her hand or her friend, had given her nothing better even of her lips would no more perturb than blind anger! He turned quickly tohim than the touch of a page of Dante. ward her cottage; the windows were still

Now his calm world was convulsed by a glowing warmly, and a glance at his sudden invasion of reality; for the first time watch told him it was not yet eleven. She he found himself made aware of his youth had not dined at the hotel; perhaps she and his manhood by a woman's presence. had been dining out, perhaps-perhaps He repeated as in a dream:

she had been hurt by his resentment, for,

after all, she had meant to be kind. “I thrilled to feel her influence near; Spurred by penitent tenderness, he entered I struck my fag at sight.

the little garden. Her starry silence smote my ear

Mme. de Vannoz had not dined out, Like sudden guns at night.”

nor had the memory of Seymour's resent

ment remained with her long enough to The fact that the girl was not greatly hurt. As she left him, a new idea sudaddicted to silence did not impress him; denly unfolded before her in a dazzling he whispered the words to himself now, completeness; and when she swept into as he stood on the terrace, and the memory the cottage, her head high, her eyes wide of the evening before quickened to a fore- and shining, Nise immediately savored the shadowing of the evening that was to pleasures of a free evening. Swiftly, excome, which was at that moment Alushing pertly, she undid her elaborate work, with the white peaks with its rosy beginning. only one remark from her mistress : “My Unsuspected pulses hammered tumultu- warm dressing-gown; I shall work late." ously in his temples. If this sweet tem- It was quite another Mme. de Vannoz pest of body and spirit was not love, of about whom the robe of crimson velvet what had all the poets sung?

was wrapped; but Nise did not object to The evening came; but not the moment that. Different standards of beauty were he hoped for, and yet feared in some re- permissible for the day and for the night. mote corner of his subconsciousness. She As she sat now at her writing-table, her stayed so near the others that they were flushed cheeks and parted lips glowing in never alone together; and yet, somehow, the warm light, her white throat softened they were always side by side, their hands by the veil of her unbound hair, her shadcontinually chancing to meet, the warmth owy eyes searching far depths, she seemed and fragrance of her so shaking him that a girl about to write her first love-letter, he held his teeth set for fear of their chat- thought Nise, not a widow who lived like




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