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fancies that he buys, with a reserved seat, the right to enter and disturb an audience at any time in the evening. All noise at, or near, the door of entrance should be as far as possible from the speaker, the singer, and the actor. And as we have introduced the matter of reserved seats, we may as well go
farther and say that no reserved seat should ever be sold that carries any right beyond the minute when a performance is announced to begin. The difficulties of hearing in a hall grow more out of the disturbances made by late comers than from acoustic defects in the halls of audience.
THE OLD CABINET.
I WAS talking the other day with a man of high character and position, but of a nature gentle and unassuming, rather than sturdy or trenchant. He was telling me, with great ardor, the best news that a man can communicate with regard to his children, namely, that he was sure that his boys, who had grown old enough for the test, had proved themselves thoroughly honest. He did not use the term in any commonplace or quibbling sense,-it had a full and vital meaning. The talk turned upon this matter of honesty, and its extraordinary scarcity. It has been impressed upon my mind by the circumstance that since our casual meeting, I was startled one morning by the announcement, in the newspapers, of his death. I remember that my friend told me that in his young days,-long before he became a clergyman of the Episcopal Church,-he was engaged in a mercantile business in another city. It was his place to attend to the paying of certain charges or duties upon goods, and sometimes it was necessary for him to correct mistakes that had been made in the interests of the firm. This he did as incident to his office,-but he told me that he knew at the time that if his honesty had been discovered by the reputable house which employed him, he would have lost his place. I cannot say that his own conscientiousness should have carried him farther and made him face the issue with his employers, because I do not know all the circumstances. But the story is valuable as illustrating a certain tone which is felt by young persons employed in many business houses that show an unspotted record to the world.
-WE shall have plenty of self-glorification during this Centennial year. A certain amount of it will be timely in a double sense. It has got to be the fashion in some classes to underrate the country of one's birth. This is the result of two things: conceit and ignorance. Among the most patriotic Americans that we are acquainted with, are two men who were born, one at the top of the map of Europe, and the other at the foot of it. They have a keener and more intelligent and grateful sense of the advantages of America than any Fourth of July parrot that you ever heard chatter about education, liberty, and all the other Institutions. They certainly had wider experience of the comparative advantages of the New and the Old World than the Americans who have skimmed over Europe or boarded long enough in London to catch the Cockney inflection.
A decent amount of glorification, then,—the more intelligent, of course, the better,-is no bad thing at this time.
But the more one knows of the moral and mental caliber of the men who organize rapine, elevate expediency and mediocrity, scout the personal virtues and make the laws at the capital of the nation and the capital of every State in the Union; the more one knows of the manner in which our cities are governed, especially by reformers; the way justice is administered in our courts; the vulgar, selfish, and dishonest methods of a large part of the secular and religious press,-the more, in a word, one knows of the disease below the surface in all this fair outward form, the more one prefers Baunscheidt to Buncombe.
-'TWAS on a pleasant day, some fifteen years ago, that an architect by the name of Baunscheidt was sitting near an open window in his house, in the little village of Endenich, on the Kreuzberg, near Bonn. The gout in his arm ceased its twinges for a while, and he fell asleep. When he woke up, it was to find that a cloud of gnats had settled upon the exposed limb. He brushed them away, and that was the end of the matter, until a few hours afterward an eruption appeared; which after some time disappeared, and with it the whole, or a great part, of the pain from which Mr. B. had been suffering. Our gouty architect, being of an investigating turn of mind, set himself to work to discover, if might be, the connection between the gnats and the cure, and the result was a small and curious instrument somewhat resembling an air-gun, by means of which twenty-four needles are shot into the skin of the patient, after which the oil of ants is applied, an eruption takes place and he is cured, according to the inventor, of pretty much any one of the usual mortal ailments.
A New York physician went to see the ingenious architect at his home on the Kreuzberg, when he told him the tale here told to you. Baunscheidt's "Lebenswecker," if it does not cure everything, has been found effective in the hands of several American physicians, in many stubborn cases of rheumatism and neuralgia.
-AND YET, when Mr. James Russell Lowell lately applied that many-pointed instrument to the national epidermis, the family and friends of the patient made a great and ridiculous hubbub; here, they said, is a doctor who does not know his business; behold, cried they, a piece of ignorant and brutal quackery.
One tender-hearted but silly fellow went so far as to publish a poetical address to Mr. Lowell, expressing a sense of injury and surprise that that high poet should step down from his pedestal and fall to abusing his country in such a low and unexampled fashion. But he did not give the poet up entirely; he might live to see the error of his ways, and still do something which the gentleman of the address could conscientiously (and, we suppose, poetically) approve.
Some minds find it strangely difficult to understand that the great hater and the great lover can exist as one person. The carper, the croaker, the man with the "melancholy liver complaint," nobody need listen to. But when the writer of our one great national poem sounds a note like that of Lowell's in "The World's Fair, 1876," and "Tempora mutantur," only the ignorant can doubt that he has a right to be heard. But in what age or country were the prophets not stoned in the streets?
-Now, here is John Burroughs. Why does not some one stone him in the streets for daring to criticise his country in the very face and eyes of the Centennial? 'England," quoth he, "is a mellow country, and the English people are a mellow people. They have hung on the tree of nations a long time, and will, no doubt, hang as much longer. We are pitched several degrees higher in this country. By contrast, things here are loud, sharp, and garish. Our geography is loud, the manners of the people are loud; our climate is loud, very loud, so dry and sharp, and full of violent changes and contrasts. Hear him! he even speaks disrespectfully of our climate; certainly, that is worse than what Mr. Lowell says about Tweed. But, behold the wanderer's return! How good things looked to him after even so brief an absence! "The brilliancy, the roominess, the deep transparent blue of the sky, the clear, sharp outlines, the metropolitan splendor of New York, and especially of Broadway; and, as I walked up that great thoroughfare and noted the familiar physiognomy and the native nonchalance and independence, I experienced the delight- that only the returned traveler can feel,-the instant preference of one's own country and countrymen over all the rest of the world."
-IT is very refreshing to read descriptions of nature which are neither sentimental nor patronizing. John Burroughs is one of the half dozen, or less, American prose writers who are now adding anything vital, by means of books, to the thought and life of this country. What he says of the writings of another is true of his own-they give "a new interest in the fields and woods, a new moral and intellectual tonic, a new key to the treasure-house of nature." Much has been said in praise of the man who can teach us how to make two blades of grass grow where one has grown before. There can be no doubt that higher praise is due him who shows us how to gain something better than hay from that green blade. The art of happiness seems in danger of being lost. Our religion, which should be a joy-bringer, is too often a source of misery and remorse. Perplexity, discontent and pain dog the
But we can all
steps of the follower of pure art. go out of doors, and be happy if we give ourselves up to the teaching and example of such a master as the author of "Winter Sunshine." Perhaps, while out of doors and happy, we may stumble upon a more genuine art, and a healthier religion.
-To return to the subject with which we started— there is a definition of honesty in Sir Thomas Wyatt's letters to his son, that widens the word so that it may well cover the entire conduct of life. The Honesty which the courtier-poet inculcates is, "Wisdom, Gentleness, Soberness, desire to do Good, Friendliness to get the love of many, and Truth above all the rest. A great part," he says, "to have all these things is to desire to have them. And although glory and honest name are not the very ends wherefore these things are to be followed, yet surely they must needs follow them as light followeth fire, though it were kindled for warmth." Again, says the poet; "If you will seem honest, be honest; or else seem as you are. Seek not the name without the thing; nor let not the name be the only mark you shoot at: that will follow though you regard it not; yea! and the more you regard it, the less." "Honest name," says Sir Thomas, “is goodly; but he that hunteth only for that, is like him that had rather seem warm than be warm, and edgeth a single coat about with a fur." "Seekest thou great things for thyself?" says Jeremiah, "Seek them not." And Emerson in his last book: "What you are stands over you the while, and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary."
THE subject of originality in literature may be discussed under three general heads: Ist, accidental resemblance of thought; 2d, appropriation and assimilation of thought, conscious or unconscious; 3d, imitation of form, conscious or unconscious.
It is only the shallow critic who mistakes the meaning of the phrase original, and is forever detecting quotation or plagiarism. There are more parallel passages, and there is less plagiarism, in the world than most persons dream of. The simple fact is, that all truth is one; whoever has the genius to break through the shells of things and make his way into their very center and heart, brings back the same report as his deep-seeing neighbor. The character of the report varies with the individual; but sometimes it happens to vary little or not at all from his neighbor's story, and then comes the unwise critic with his charge of larceny.
As for actual borrowing, the "assimilating power" of original minds, the final word on this subject seems to have been said, either originally or by quotation, in Emerson's late essay on "Quotation and Originality," although Emerson and Lowell had each already nearly covered the ground Doubtless the commentator's business of finding the original suggestion for every passage in the most famous books has been overdone. It seems to be true, however, that the greatest writers have been the most gigantic borrowers. But says Emerson, "Genius borrows nobly." He quotes Marmontel's "I pounce on
what is mine, wherever I find it," and Bacon's "I take all knowledge to be my province," and Landor's retort that Shakespeare was "more original than his originals." Says Lowell: "Chaucer, like Shakespeare, invented almost nothing. Wherever he found anything directed to Geoffrey Chaucer, he took it and made the most of it." The question, according to Lowell, is whether an author have original force enough to assimilate all he has acquired, or that be so over-mastering as to assimilate him. "If the poet turn out the stronger, we allow him to help himself from other people with wonderful equanimity." That is the point. Let your little man try this game, and see what will come of it!
Now as to the matter of form. There are two kinds of imitation in art-one the habit of small and superficial minds, the other of profound and poetic natures. It is not very difficult to tell which is which. The shallow critic is shown as often by his mistaking the natural imitation of an original mind for empty echo, as he is in mistaking pretentious copies for great originals. But on this subject Shelley has expressed the exact thought of all persons of experience and insight with regard to the special art of which he was a great master, and therefore a great critic. "As to imitation," he says, "poetry is a mimetic art. It creates, but it creates by combination and representation. One great poet is a masterpiece of nature, which another not only ought to study, but must study.
A poet is the combined product of such internal powers as modify the nature of others; and of such external influences as excite and sustain these powers; he is not one, but both. Every man's mind is, in this respect, modified by all the objects of nature and art; by every word and every suggestion which he ever admitted to act upon his consciousness; it is the mirror upon which all forms are reflected, and in which they compose one form. Poets, not otherwise than philosophers, painters, sculptors, and musicians, are, in one sense, the creators, and in another, the creations, of their age. From this subjection the loftiest do not escape."
While the greatest writers are, in a certain fine sense, imitative, they are especially so in the earliest and most impressible stages of their development when the imitation is sometimes of set purpose, and sometimes totally unconscious. An interesting and generally unsuspected case of youthful imitation may be found among the early poems of Longfellow, apparently written under the influence of Thanatopsis-a poem which appears in that remarkable first book of Bryant's. This volume contains also "The Water-Fowl" and a number of Bryant's most celebrated poems. The author's copyright, it has been said, brought him, all told, about the sum of $8.
-I HAVE thought an interesting and instructive essay might be written on the defects in the celebrated works of genius. Not for the mere purpose of pointing them out,-Heaven forbid!-but to show of how little consequence they are. One might think such a lesson altogether trite and unnecessary; but every once in a while the community is subject to the disturbance of some noisy
tyro who has found "defects" in Dante, or Shakespeare, or Milton, or Michael Angelo, or Raphael, or some other man not so famous, but whose artistic personality the world likes, and likes for good reasons. The fact is, that there are few or no perfect works of art; and the grander the work in physical and spiritual dimensions, and in its impression upon mankind, the more apt are defects to show themselves. In a sense, surely, the mightiest creation we know anything about-the thing that we call Creation itself-is full of and loaded down with defects. Minds that dwell unduly upon the defects, great or small, in works of art, betray thereby their own narrowness and lack of power. The successive generations of gentle and discriminative souls that we call "the world" find no stumbling-block in the defects of genius, and take no interest in those of mediocrity.
In the new book about and by the English painter Haydon, just now attracting attention, is a remark on this subject which is to the point. Haydon's son and biographer asks what painter's works are without imperfections: Titian, Carlo Dolci, Raphael, Michael Angelo, Rubens, Guido, The Caracci, Velasquez, Murillo, Correggio, Reynolds? “All the painted works that ever were are more or less imperfect. There is only a portion of excellence in the finest of them, and that is what we have to search out and study. Having once traced that, we may look for defects if we please. That is the lowest step, not the first in criticism."
THE career of Haydon affords encouragement to those interested in art in this country. If not as great a painter as Wordsworth and others thought him, he doubtless had more force and originality than those by whom he was opposed, and had certainly better views on art than most Englishmen of his time.* He did more than any other man to secure the Elgin marbles to the nation, and to establish their position in the estimation of the world. He advocated and put in practice correct principles of art instruction, making the human figure the basis of study; he urged the establishment of public schools of design on the principle of governmental aid, but not direction; and in season and out of season he took the side of high, imaginative art in opposition to mere portrait painting and pot-boiling. It should be added that he was an enthusiast, and had a most galling and indiscreet way of telling the truth. Such poets as Wordsworth, Keats, and Mrs. Browning wrote sonnets to him; the nobility and "art patrons " of that day neglected him; the Academy not only had no room for him in its ranks, but fought him tooth and nail; and, finally, driven to the wall, beaten, disheartened, perplexed, he ended a generous and earnest life by his own desperate hand.
It is to be hoped that some competent critic will give us a fresh estimate of Haydon's qualities as a painter. The sketches that his son has had reproduced in the present volumes are, most of them, singularly disappointing, and the same may be said in general of those engravings from his works with which we are familiar in this country. The English edition is imported by Scribner, Welford & Armstrong.
But it is evident enough that the part which the Academy played in this tragedy was not an abnormal one.
It would be strange indeed if in every Academy of Art there were not wise and liberal men; and these may even constitute a numerical majority. But the tendency of Academies as institutions,-the influence of the class of artists who give the tone to the official action, seems to be inevitably in the direction of monopoly and obstruction.
Human nature is the same in London, Paris, and New York. The new man, if he is subservient to the reigning influences, need not be kept down. The new man, with his own strong, creative individuality, is an offense in the nostrils. And he may well be an offense,-for his success means death to the powers that be. Between Academic precedent and stupidity and error, and young originality, and genius and truth, there can be no compromise.
Or, to put it in another way,—for the new men are not always men of talent, nor are all the obstructionists by any means dull,—the supremacy of new and strange methods (strange to the Academy if not to art) is by no means an issue to be calmly awaited by those who have led, and are leading, the vogue. It is a question, not of prestige only, but of dollars and cents.
I have said that the new man, subservient to the reigning influences, need not be kept down; but there is still another motive which, sometimes unconsciously, and sometimes avowedly, leads to unfriendliness, and even to direct opposition. It is the same motive that in former times restricted the number of apprentices in the trades. "Why," it is asked, "should we educate a lot of young people to take the bread out of our mouths?"
The English Academy knew what it was about when it fought Haydon and his revolutionary principles.
The French Academy knew what it was about when for years it kept Rousseau away from the sight and appreciation of its own public,-Rousseau, with his deep and tender sense of the nature that one sees out of doors, instead of the faded and garish creature of the ateliers.
The spectacle presented to-day in New York of an Academy which has succeeded in driving its pupils away from its own well-equipped galleries to seek at oppressive cost a bare but hospitable asylum in a deserted photograph gallery,—such a spectacle would be discouraging, indeed, had not experience proved that from institutions such as the National Academy of Design the young art of a nation cannot hope for generous and intelligent support.
HOME AND SOCIETY.
SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR LAYING OUT SMALL PLACES.
On my way to town one morning a few weeks ago, I happened to come across an old friend, of whom I had lost sight for several years. Our accidental meeting after so long a separation brought back to both of us numerous incidents of our early friendship; and, in comparing notes of the singular changes that have taken place, I learned, to my surprise, that my friend was a married man, living in easy circumstances—having, as he expressed it, a treasure of a wife and four children, and all of them highly delighted at the prospect of moving to the country in the spring. He then informed me that he had leased a place for five years, with the privilege of buying at a fixed price at the termination of the lease. This country home contained one acre of ground, with a new cottage and barn upon it, situated upon the line of the New Jersey Central Railroad, and just forty minutes by steam from New York. My friend's plans were to move out to his new home in the spring, and he was fully bent on making it his permanent place of residence, provided that the place and surroundings suited his fancy, and the locality was not infested with mosquitoes, or fever and ague. He said, in response to a question, that there wasn't a stick or a stone laid down on the place in the way of improvement, outside of good substantial board fences on two sides
and the rear of the lot, with a neat picket fence in front of the house, the latter standing back one hundred and twenty feet from the sidewalk. "Now that I am really going there," said my friend, "I want to turn every foot of the ground to the best advantage, and, if possible, make it attractive as well as productive-if I can do so without spending a fortune in the attempt, and without learning, when it is too late, that my strawberries and green peas will cost me four times the price that I could buy them for in the neighboring market." In making some further inquiry about what he had mapped out, I found that his idea was, in a general way, to have the ground in front of and around the house laid down to grass; farther back between the house and barn (the latter stands in the rear of the lot), to lay out a good-sized vegetable and fruit garden, especially for small fruits; for, said he, "in their season I want plenty of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and currants, on the table three times a day. If with these, when the ground is enriched and properly prepared, I can grow apples, pears, peaches, and cherries, besides having the luxury of pure fresh milk and eggs daily, it will be an achievement that I will feel proud of, I can assure you. However, besides these useful products, and my enthusiasm in the endeavor to produce them, I must not forget the promise I made my wife, that she should have good, dry, and serviceable walks around the house and barn, and also a spot here and there in the grass-plat for her
special purpose, where she can 'potter' with her | heart's content with some flowering shrubs, annuals, and things that will grow and bloom through the fine weather. Some such things as these, with a few vines and climbing-roses to plant in front of the piazza, will more than satisfy her. Now," said the novice, "I have given you a brief outline of what I think I want, and in return I want you, as an old friend who understands these matters about gardening and fruit-growing and their practical workings, to tell me just how to begin, without spending too much money or spending it foolishly. However, I want the work done in such a way that when it is finished it will be thorough and lasting. This information you can give me verbally, or else write it out and let it come through SCRIBNER'S MONTHLY. Coming through this channel, hundreds of novices will be benefited as well as myself, by such practical suggestions about laying out and planting the ground around suburban homes."
With the view of presenting some useful hints on practical gardening to beginners situated as my friend is, I propose to give from time to time in the MONTHLY, seasonable directions about fruit and flower-growing, offering in advance of planting time approved lists of large and small fruits, flowers, and vegetables, with such other matter as may seem desirable.
GARDEN WALKS.-In starting to lay out and put to rights a new place, either in the town or country, one of the first steps to be taken is to plan for serviceable garden walks. These should be constructed in such a way that they are always free from mud or stagnant water, no matter how much rain may fall in a given time, or what the condition of the weather may be at any season of the year. To attain these ends, thorough drainage is imperative. The cheapest and best way to do this is to dig out the soil the width of the walk, and to a depth of about two and a half feet. At this depth begin by laying a foundation layer of large stones, fitted closely together. A second layer, smaller in size, should follow the first, and so on, having each succeeding layer of stones smaller in size than the preceding one, until the space is filled nearly level with the surrounding surface. A top coating of coarse cinders, and these covered with a few inches in depth of gravel and fine sand, will complete the job, and will give a substantial walk, that will always be dry underfoot. It will improve the walk and the appearance at the same time, if the clinkers and the sand on the top are rolled down firmly; and in the course of a week or two, when the material settles, it may be found necessary to add some more gravel and sand, to even the surface.
DRAINING.-Gardening is a simple art, if the conditions are just right. These are, in general terms, thorough drainage (natural or artificial), deep culture, and heavy manuring. With these right to start, and with good seeds and ordinary culture, the results are usually satisfactory. But, if one or more of these conditions is neglected, the crops are discouragingly uncertain. When the soil is of a sandy loam, with a gravelly or open subsoil, artificial
drainage will be an unnecessary expense; but, if you have a clay loam, with a tenacious subsoil retentive of water, underdrain by all means, before starting, either to lay down a grass-plat, or prepare for a vegetable or fruit garden. Underdraining has of late years become so general in almost every section of the country, that it would seem superfluous to give minute details for this kind of work. It may be well, however, to state that for ordinary purposes, when there is sufficient fall to carry the water off, two-inch sole or round pipe tiles are considered the best for garden or field use. Next to these, common hemlock boards "ripped" through the center, and then nailed together in the form of the letter A, will answer any purpose. The distance apart, and the depth at which underdrains should be made, depend on the character of the soil. On ordinary clay soils, thirty feet between the drains and two and a half feet deep will be just about right.
The important points in laying drain-pipes are, Ist, to have a solid and level bottom to lay the pipes or boards upon, with sufficient fall to carry off the water; and, 2d, to cover over securely the "joints" of the pipes, by an inverted sod or other material, before filling in the soil, so as to prevent the fine silt from working into the drain and obstructing the passage of water.
HOW TO MAKE A LAWN.-There is nothing that will add so much to the general attractiveness of a town or country home, as a properly kept plat of grass. It makes no matter how small in size it may be; if kept cut often enough, it becomes a constant source of pleasure to the owner. In laying out new suburban places, the grass-plat around the house is usually made up by sodding. This is not by any means the cheapest or best way to get a stand of grass for garden decoration. Sods for this purpose are, as a rule, cut from some worn-out pasture, neg. lected public "common," or may be the roadsideplaces where the finer qualities of grasses have, perhaps, long since been crowded out by the rank growth of the coarser sorts-grasses wholly unfitted for lawn purposes. The surest way, although it may take a longer time, is to sow the seed of an approved selection of grasses that are known to make a good turf, and that will, if frequently cut, give that velvety surface for which English lawns are noted. It should be clearly understood that these finer qualities of grasses will only thrive on soil in good heart. It will be time and money thrown away to sow these grasses on poor soil. The soil should be made deep, mellow, and rich, by frequent stirrings and liberal applications of well-rotted yard manure, bone-dust, or superphosphate of lime. These fertilizers should be thoroughly mixed in with the surface soil before the grass seed is sown. This can readily be done while smoothing and leveling the top of the ground, and then may be sown thickly the following list of grasses: Kentucky Blue Grass (Poa pratensis), Red Top Grass (Agrostis vulgaris), Sweet-Scented Vernal (Anthoxanthum odoratum), and Creeping Bent Grass (Agrostis stolonifera). These should be mixed in about equal parts, and sowed broadcast and raked in