Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

not only of founding a school of American cari- the comic journalism which embodies and surcature, but of establishing successful comic jour- rounds it, owe their existence. It is an internalism in America. He has had able disciples esting fact that among the many imitators of and coadjutors in Gillam, Taylor, Opper, Dal- “Puck" which have appeared in various places

, • ” rymple, and others, and an invaluable associate during the past few years, one is established in and helper on the literary side in H.C. Bunner; Berlin. It is modeled closely after the original, but he was the pioneer, and it is to the con- is named “ Lustige Blaetter,” and, after an exstantly growing power of his strong, sure hand istence of three years, is now regarded as an esthat the cartoon of to-day, and the success of tablished success.

Joseph B. Bishop

NEPTVNE

THE ATLANTIC STEAMSHIP.

I
SAW thee stride upon the tossing sea

What time the pinions of all sail-borne craft
Were buffeted by mocking gales that laughed

And beat them down into the spumy lee;
But onward thou didst urge, erect and free,

In the gale's teeth; and streaming far abaft,
A league-long, darkling banner thou didst waft,
Signal of elemental victory.

A demiurgic triumph thou dost gain;

An equal god within thy breast is pent
To him who moves upon the whitening main;

Thou thronest with great Neptune, and art bent
To quell the empire of the stormy rain,

And work old ocean's utter vanquishment!

Titus Munson Coan.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

By HENRY B. FULLER. 1

Author of “The Chevalier of Pensieri - Vani.” 1. NEUCHÂTEL: LAKE-DWELLERS, ANCIENT AND MODERN. HE Chatelaine of La Trinité had laid her parasol on the church

yard's rugged little parapet, and her glance, ranging across the red-roofed town beneath her and the shimmering lake beyond,

now rested fondly on the long line of snow-peaks that faintly finished the prospect toward the south. No sound mingled with the odorous freshness of a serene June morning save the jolting of a single wagon over the stony little street far below, and the decorous diversions of half a dozen children under the big walnut-tree that rose from the grass-plot before the cathedral door. Neither of these, however, had interfered with her brief inspection of the shiny little red book which she still held in her hand, and which she was just on the point of passing back to her companion with a smile that was more or less arch, and which a shade of deference prevented, perhaps, from being a trifle quizzical. This person, a young lady whose general effect was that of bright and restless elegance, took back the volume with the least shade of embarrassment, laid it on top of the parasol, and, giving the Chatelaine a quick interrogatory glance, seemed to put herself unreservedly into her friend's hands. She had purchased the book three days before in Paris; it contained a list of acceptable inns, a sectional map capable of being extended far beyond the cover inclosing it, a thoughtful essay on Alpine geology, and other features of interest to the conscientious and determined tourist. But Miss West now promptly and definitively renounced it, with an instant apprehension that the Chatelaine had tacitly undertaken to make any such commonplace assistance superfluous. And this, in effect, was what the Chatelaine's smile really

amounted to. She lightly threw the book of ready reference aside, picked up her parasol again, gaily extended it toward the longdrawn panorama of the Bernese Oberland, in discreet burlesque of that didactic person through whom pointer and blackboard complement each other, and proceeded to an immediate redemption of her promise.

Now, as a matter of fact, the learnerwho had come through the Val Moutier only yesterday, and was totally guiltless of Switzerland, aside from the Jura - might have got much the same instruction from a certain mute mentor within the town itself; for there is a quiet old quay in Neuchâtel, bordered by a row of ancient, high-bred mansions, and shaded by a generous growth of

little brass-plated dial enjoys a close intimacy young American had been received on the prewith all the points of the compass, and faithfully vious evening in one of those dim, fatigued, indicates the name and quality of every peak reticent old mansions down there on the edge that rears itself above the low foot-hills that of the water, the Governor, winding his way close in the lake on its farther side. But Miss into the dusky drawing-room through numerous West, of course, knew nothing as yet of this cases filled with specimens and preparations, fount of information; besides, what platform and gazing down upon her with the benevolent could be more advantageously placed than her interest which the professor is sometimes obpresent one, or what pedagogue more capable served to show for his subject, had told her of and sympathetic? So the voice and the sun- his little farm and its perennial crop of antiquishade of the Chatelaine went on in perfect ac- ties, and had assured her of the pleasure it gave cord and understanding as she marshaled the him to be able to start their brief course of inwhole snowy host with conscientious exacti- struction so nearly at the beginning. tude: the Mönch, the Eiger, the broad-bosomed This kindly old gentleman, who was ending Jungfrau; the Breithorn, the Schreckhorn, the his life at Neuchâtel, had spent the beginnings Wetterhorn, the Finsteraarhorn; Mont Blanc, of it at Potsdam and Sans-Souci amidst a certhe serrated Dent du Midi, the sharp tip of the tain circle whose extreme altitude I must leave Matterhorn; and finally, best and grandest of to your conjecture. He had considered himall despite its sixty miles of distance, her own self born to la haute politique, and one of his Mountain. And her eye sparkled, and her man- early efforts, more daring than discreet, had ner took on an added warmth, for beneath those ended in a banishment, more or less honorable, spreading snow-fields stood her ancestral home, to Neuchâtel, then under Prussian rule. But and in her mind's eye she saw again the high even in this circumscribed field political activand rugged valley where her ordinary courtesy ity was practicable enough for him; he harassed title took on a tinge of actuality, and through a succession of North German governors with whose confines she swayed it, in a certain mod- suggestions and advice, and once, on the occaest, graceful fashion, as chatelaine indeed. sion of a sudden and unexpected interregnum,

All this time a sedate, serviceable, middle- himself held the château a few months as acting aged person was pacing with a kind of steady governor. For all this, however, he never wore shuffle along the walk at the back edge of the the title officially, and he was seldom addressed plateau, whence she varied an occasional glance in such manner to his face; but any one who toward her charge by a comparison of the twin had a point to gain, or an ax to grind, never spires of the church as they rose before the lessened his chances of success by whispering huddled roofs of the château just behind, or behind the old gentleman's back some such by now and then catching a sidelong glimpse, word as, “Yes; but would this please the Govthrough the battlements of the wall she grazed, ernor ? ” or “ Perhaps so; but what will the of the foundations of the château itself, as they Governor say to anything like that?" He rose from the vineyards that covered the slopes might properly have been called the Professor; of the ravine; and to her it became apparent, but when it comes to a question of title the as the Chatelaine stepped hither and thither one bird in the bush may be preferred to any with her firm, springy, self-assured tread,— Miss number in hand. West following with her wavering high heels The Governor might have returned to Berand her rattling passementerie as best she lin years and years ago, but Neuchâtel pleased might, — that something, out of sight, indeed, him well enough; besides, where was the ideal but still at just the present moment more en- cosmopolite to be found if not in a German grossingly interesting than anything actually en with French affiliations? In the governor's cidence, was the matter that her young mis- chair he had attempted a military severity, and tress had set herself to elucidate. The mat- in his correspondence he was inclined to aim at ter was simply this: the Chatelaine's godfather, anacidulous wit- Frederick and Voltaire rolled the Governor, had a little plantation between into one, you understand; but, when all's said, Morat and Avenches,-a trifle of eight or ten he remained simply a genial old gentleman, actes, — where, in such intervals of leisure as his with an inordinate fondness for butterflies anda scientific employments permitted, he engaged keen relish for his joke. In earlier years — years in the cultivation of Roman antiquities; and when he had regarded himself as quite a piece it was her effort precisely to locate this inter- on the board, years a backward glance toward esting tract, which was shut out from view by which almost revealed him to himself in the the range of hills which separates the Lake of murky guise of a conspirator— he had been Morat from the Lake of Neuchâtel, that thrust accustomed to read all the most ponderous out the Chatelaine's arm and brought such political publications of the Continent; but in an expression of painstaking peering to the the course of time he tired, as everybody must, face of her guest. And when, as her guest, this of those journalistic Jeremiahs who saw the

VOL. XLIV.-31.

[ocr errors]

heavens falling every time two emperors came the Governor personally, in any reputable work within fifty miles of each other, and most of his on Swiss antiquities. Well, the Governor read reading of late had been of a lighter nature. this old volume from the classic past, and read He had a sympathetic familiarity with most of it very carefully; then he re-read it; then he the comic sheets from “ Kladderadatsch" to began to edit it, with emendations and annota“Pungolo," and found them, he declared, quite tions; and at length the day came when he as trustworthy as the more serious ones, and felt himself impelled to add an appendix to infinitely more amusing. And if, as the years it — an appendix, like the original work, in rolled on, the politician was overshadowed by stone and mortar. And the material for this the naturalist, it was not that he loved man less was close at hand. If you have ever spent any but nature more, and his conspiracies against time around Neuchâtel you may recall some the powers that be were diverted toward the of the more striking peculiarities of the JurasPower that immemorially has been. He de- sic formations. A little scrambling over the lighted in the insect world— when the insects Chaumont, or even a ramble on the slopes were impaled in rows and correctly labeled; above St. Blaise, will show you how readily he exulted in the winged creation when the these rocks, block-shaped and lichen-grown, creatures themselves were properly stuffed and may take upon themselves the aspect of the anmounted; he was overjoyed to bask in the great tique, or even of the prehistoric. Heap a hunsmile of nature — when that smile could be dred of these upon one another in separating modified a trifle by the use of a little geological two pastures, and you have the relics of some hammer. And the Chatelaine, who had passed human habitation antedating history. Pile anan educational youth at Neuchâtel, and had other lot a little more liberally and judiciously accompanied her learned relative on many a and with a little more of conscious art, and you scientific tramp, was as familiar with the various produce a something which the alert and symimplements employed in the cosmical toilet as pathetic mind has no difficulty in connecting was the old gentleman himself.

with the first historic civilization known to the Now on this very morning, and at the pre- land. And the mind of the Governor was a cise time when the Chatelaine was giving mind of this order. Beginning in a somewhat Aurelia West her introduction to the Alpine tentative way, he came in the course of a few world, the Governor, with a crumpled letter years, with the help of a kindred spirit, a fanciin his hand, was pacing his library in a state ful young stone-cutter at Morat, to be the posof extreme excitement. This letter had come sessor of such an array of baths, barracks, villas, from the steward of his little inclosure on the and temples,- overlapping, outcrowding Lake of Morat, and though the Governor's that only one other tract of equal size in all the reading of it caused the immediate summon- world, the Roman Forum itself, could parallel ing of his chief neophyte from his own study, this instance of infinite riches in a little room. yet it is gratifying to recall that on receipt of it One year Aventicum Novum would be a he was entirely alone. For within two minutes wealthy and favored suburb of the older and after tearing open the envelop he had aban- larger place, when villas would spring up and doned himself to an ecstasy of joy such as might spread around, and bas-reliefs and mosaic pavehave been considered extreme even in one fifty ments were likely to develop. Another year it years his junior. While he did not actually would be simply an extreme military outpost jump out of his slippers, he did give his head from which to keep a sharp eye on the aboriga triumphant wag that sent his skull-cap tum- ines on the opposite side of the lake, a state bling to the floor; and he started in a rapid of things calculated to produce little beyond walk to and fro through the big room, keyed barracks and mile-stones. On a third year the up to a pitch of excitement that made him all same quarter was likely to be given over to the regardless of a certain succession of reflections worship of some particular divinity especially in the long mirror at the end of it—a fortu- affected by old campaigners; and to such a nate circumstance, since where there are no period as this was due a certain temple coneyes there is no spectacle, just as where there sisting of two and a half Corinthian columns are no ears there is no sound.

and an ell or more of entablature; and along As I have said, the Governor's cultivation of with the temple went a single strayed pine Roman ruins was carried on within a mile or which had been partly persuaded, partly cotwo of Avenches; and Avenches is simply the erced, into a semblance of the flat-spreading ancient Aventicum, the capital of the Helvetii

, Southern type, as well as a fractured marble the city beloved of Vespasian, and the most bench set in a bower of laurel. You will judge considerable of the Roman settlements in from the Governor's temple that most of his Switzerland - the tale of whose amphitheaters edifices consisted of ninety-nine parts of imagiand temples, and basilicas and towered walls, nation to one part of reality - a proportion you will find told, since you may never meet that I would most earnestly recommend to any propagator of ruins. Indeed, one who is unable oped rows of rotting piles deeply embedto see a complete basilica in a short, low ridge ded in the slime and marl of the shore, of battered masonry hardly rising above the sur- it means one thing, and only one-lakeface of the ground, or to pave an entire forum dwellings. Let him but communicate in the course of one forenoon, should avoid this this simple fact to his godchild, and her particular department of husbandry.

mind would start up into throbbing acDuring this current season the Governor's en- tivity as had his; like a rocket her ergies were bent on nothing less than a marmo- thought would rush forth over a hundred rata on the edge of the lake, a wharf at which yards of narrow, spindling causeway to the stone used in the construction of Aventicum explode brilliantly far out above the water the Elder had been landed after a rafting across in all the coruscations that must envelop from the shore below Mont Vully. To confess a newly discovered lake-village through the exact truth, the Governor's purpose here the imagery instantly conjured up in the was less esthetic than practical; he wished to scientific mind when fired by fancy. She, enlarge his little property at the expense of the too, would instantaneously drive down shallows before it, and he hoped that the build- a hundred thousand tree-trunks — oak, ing of a suitable landing-place might come to beech, fir, all trussed and wattled, which make Aventicum Novum an occasional port of would quickly become overspread with a call. Operations had been going on for two or broad acreage of rude planking, which in three days with a greatly enlarged force of work- turn would be covered over with a layer men, as many as five being occupied at one time of beaten earth and em-a necessary increase when the manual part bedded gravel. From this of the undertaking so nearly equaled the ima- platform a multitude of ginative part of it. And it was the director of huts would rise, built of this little force who had sped those startling tid- brush and saplings, smearings to his master in his library at Neuchâtel. ed over with clay, and

On receipt of these tidings, the Governor roofed with bark and lost no time. He shook off his dressing-gown, straw and rushes. The shrugged himself into his street-coat, called cattle would be stabled loudly for his hat and gloves and walking- between, and the freestick, detached his chief disciple from a case running pigs would feed of beetles, and with him sallied forth. His first their fatness on acorns and impulse was to find his confrères at the college; beechnuts. The women his second led him in search of the Chatelaine. would grind their wheat She would know, would feel, would sympa- and barley between their thize. For when you possess a little foothold mealing-stones, and each on a lake in western Switzerland, and when would bake her cakes and your men report that excavations have devel- boil her bison-meat on her

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
« AnkstesnisTęsti »