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A HUNGARIAN DANCER (FIG. 1)
more impressive than had been achieved by any one of his predecessors. These single figures were necessarily presented all on the same plane, and the startling and successful innovation of the Franco-Russian draftsmanship was his skilful use of perspective, a device which had not occurred to any of those in whose footsteps he was following. Even Lemercier de Neuville had presented his ballet-dancers in a flat row. What Caran d'Ache did was to bring before us company after company of the Old Guard, and troop after troop of cuirassiers, the profiles diminishing in height as the figures receded from the eye. He attained to an effect of solidity and even of immensity far beyond anything ever before achieved by any earlier exhibitor of shadows. He succeeded in suggesting space and of manoeuvering before the astonished eyes of the entranced spectator a vast mass of men under arms, marching forward resolutely in serried ranks to victory or to death.
M. Jules Lemaître, the most openminded of French dramatic critics, and the most hospitable in his attitude toward the minor manifestations of theatric art, has recorded that this Napoleonic epic of Caran d'Ache communicated to him not only an emotion of actual grandeur, but also the thrill of war itself. He declared that "by the exactness of the perspective preserved in his long files of soldiers, Caran d'Ache gives us the illusion of number and of a number immense and indefi
A HUNGARIAN DANCER (FIG. 2)
This explains the mechanism of the shadow picture shown in Fig. 1.
FROM A SHADOW PICTURE BY LEMERCIER DE NEUVILLE
nite. And by the automatic movement which sets all his troops in action at once, he gives us the illusion of a single soul, of a communal thought animating innumerable bodies, and thereby he evokes in us the impression of measureless power. . . . His silent poem, with its sliding profiles, is, I think, the only epic in all French literature." And those who are familiar with the other French efforts to attain to lyric largeness, and who have had also the unforgetable felicity of beholding Caran d'Ache's marvelous projection of the Napoleonic legend, will be prepared to admit that M. Lemaître has not overstated the
What the Franco-Russian artist had done was to reveal the alluring possibilities placed at the command of the shadowpantomimist by the ingenious employment of perspective; and there remained only one more step to be taken for the final development of the art to its ultimate capacity. This was the addition of color, and this step was taken by an associate of Caran d'Ache in the exhibitions given at the Chat Noir-M. Henri Rivière. Color could be added in two ways. In the first place, the outlines of lanterns and of battle-flags could be cut out, and slips of appropriately tinted paper could be inserted
in the openings, so that the light might shine through. This relieved the monotony of the uniformity of the sable figures, and added a note of amusing gaiety. But this was an innovation of very limited scope, and it could have been earlier utilized in the flat figures of Lemercier de Neuville, for example, if he had happened to think of it. Far wider in its artistic possibilities was the second of M. Rivière's improvements. For the ordinary lamp which cast a steady glow on the white screen whereon the profile figures appeared he substituted a magic lantern, the painted slides of which enabled him to supply an appropriately colored background. Then he went further, and employed two magic lanterns, superimposed, and these enabled him to get the effect of "dissolving views" whereby he could vary his background at will. The immediate result of this ingenious improvement was that the artist could at will bestow upon his shadow-pantomime not a little of the richness of color which delights our eyes in the stained glass of the medieval cathedrals.
dering Jew," another was "The Prodigal Son," and a third was "The Temptation of Saint Anthony," all legends of combined dramatic and pictorial appeal. Yet the most effective of all the experiments in this new form was due not to M. Rivière himself, but to the collaboration of two of his disciples, M. Fragerolle and M. Vignola. This was the "Sphinx," in which the artists most adroitly combined all the advantages of the original flat profiles, and the long files of figures in perspective such as Caran d'Ache had employed, with varied backgrounds due to the aid of the magic lantern first utilized by M. Rivière. Of all human monuments no one has had so marvelous a series of spectacles pass before its sightless eyes as the Sphinx, reclining impassive at the edge of the desert at the foot of the pyramids. Race after race has descended into the valley of the Nile and lingered for a little space, a few centuries more or less, and departed at last. Conqueror after conqueror has come and gone again; and the Sphinx has kept its inscrutable smile.
visage of the lion with a woman's head towers aloft, permanent and immutable, while the joyous procession of Egyptian dancers and soldiers and priests celebrates. the completion of the statue itself. Then we are witnesses of the fierce invasion of the Assyrians, with the charge of their chariots and their horsemen, and we behold the rout of the natives while their capital burns in the distance. Next we gaze at the departure of the Jews, led by Moses, and laden with the spoils of the Egyptians. After the Hebrews have gone, Sesostris appears, to be greeted by a glad outpouring of the populace. Yet soon the Persians descend on Egypt with their castellated elephants and their immense hordes of fighting men. Still the Sphinx looks down, implacable and immovable, and the Greeks in turn take the valley of the Nile for their own. One of their daughters, Cleopatra, floats past in her galley by night; and in the morning she extends her hospitality to the Roman, Cæsar or Antony. And while the Latins are the rulers of the land of Egypt, the Virgin and her Son, with the patient ass that bears a precious burden, skirt the sandy waste and go on their way to the Holy Land, leaving the Sphinx behind them as they journey forward in the green moonlight. After long centuries the Arabs break in with their brilliant bands of horsemen; and a little later the Crusaders
By permission of Hachette et Cie, Paris
PLAN SHOWING THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SHADOW-PICTURE THEATER
come to give them battle. More long centuries elapse, and suddenly Napoleon emerges at the head of the troops of the French republic. Then we have the Egypt of to-day, with the British soldiers parading before the feet of the Sphinx; and finally the recumbent statue appears to us once more and for the last time, when the light of the sun is going out, and the world
is emptied of its population again, and the ice is settling down on the Sphinx, alone amid freezing desolation. And this last vision is projected upon the screen by the magic lantern alone, without the aid of any profile figures, since man has ceased to be.
Here we have a true epic poem, simple, yet grandiose, and possible only to the improved shadow-pantomime of France at the end of the nineteenth century, even if this art is only a logical evolution from the gallanty-show of Séraphin. "This humble black profile," said M. Jules Lemaître, "which had been thought fit at best of a few comic effects to amuse little children only, has been diversified and colored; it has been made beautiful, serious, tragic; by the multiplication of the devices it has been rendered capable of giving us a powerful impression of collective life; and the artists who have developed it have known how to make it translate to our eyes the great spectacles of history and the sweeping movement of multitudes."
BY KATE JORDAN
Author of "The Creeping Tides," "Time, the Comedian," etc.
OMMY PERKINS was out of Princeton only six months, and was beginning life in a stock-broker's office. His time there was spent before a small sliding-window with brass bars, where he took in and put out insignificant, oblong slips of paper, wrote in a small hand in a big book, and kept constantly glancing up at the round clock. He was twenty-two and, as it happened, he received the exact sum of his years in dollars every Saturday afternoon. Tommy felt this to be a melancholy coincidence, and often said so, but always added that, unlike millionaires, he had "both his health and his hair."
He could have managed very well if he had not been so incurably hospitable. It was sometimes ghastly having the tastes of a prodigal on "twenty-two per." It was also a terrifying sort of impudence for him to try to rig up a counterfeit of "chambers" instead of ingloriously boarding, or having a furnished room, with meals anywhere. His men friends, who were either unimaginative economists or rich, told him so, and Tommy would reply after this fashion:
"There 's only one way I can explain my craze to get rid of cash. Although I'm only five feet six and a tow-headed, raspberry blond, I guess I 'm the reincarnation of one of those lavish Roman emperor Johnnies who melted pearls in vinegar and all that sort of thing; for I assure you that to have my friends sitting around my own mahogany, while they watch me stir something in my own chafing-dish and touch glasses of fairly good stuff at my own expense, is the only thing that makes my life worth living. To balance this To balance this madness, for a week after a spree I fill up in places that are all white tiles and nickel, like a well-fitted bath-room, and where the juggling of dishes has the noise of a ton of coal rushing down a shaft. You can't change me. As the bad lady says in erotic fiction, 'I am-what I am.'
Tommy did not know that this craving for his own things about him was really the home instinct in him struggling to live against the ugly and expedient. It took Clarissa Van Doorn to find this out and tell him so. We may as well start with a definite idea of Clarissa, because, although a girl of to-day, she had not even the shakiest foothold on the present scheme of things. To meet her at a romping subscription dance was like stepping from a ballet, all red light and brass band, into a Dutch garden as still as a church in a late, yellowing afternoon.
Clarissa's family was old-so very old it was a wonder that it still managed to live. It did so only in a tottering way, in the debilitated Van Doorn mansion on Stuyvesant Square to which in the thirties. her grandfather had brought his bride, and which Clarissa's aunt now rented out in furnished floors to professors and Anglican clergymen. Clarissa was a stenographer, but a stenographer de luxe. She had four patrons, all wealthy society women who had been her mother's friends, and every day from ten to four she wrote their letters on thick, crested paper. It will be understood now how Clarissa, though a working-girl, went to dances where she met young men like Tommy, who, though poor, was some day to inherit the considerable fortune of his grandfather, Admiral Perkins.
The fine and ancient quality of the Van Doorns, who had been too proud to marry any but own cousins for generations, showed in Clarissa's type. She was like a faded sampler. She was like a breath of lavender that steals from a long-closed chest. She was like a tune on a spinet whose orange-colored keys have gone flat. She was like a sedate, chintzy room, with windows looking east, where nothing is ever disturbed, that every one admires, but few would presume to live in.
Tommy, from sheer amazement, had,
as he expressed it, "fallen for her" at their first meeting. The demureness of her sprigged mull dancing-gown; the sleekness of her dust-pale, parted hair; the dove-like peace in her vaguely colored eyes; the luminous delicacy of her skin all down her egg-shaped face; the bonelessness and smallness of her narrow hands, with nails of unpolished and convex perfection-all these things operated on Tommy their fairy-like spell.
When he said to her, "Shall we take a turn?" and she had answered, "I should be most pleased," he had guided her about with a religious feeling. She was so frail he held hardly anything. He found himself wondering where her digestive apparatus could possibly find room, but checked the thought as unseemly. She smelled faintly of old rose-leaves. Her breath was like musk. She kept her bluewhite eyelids down. Tommy went into a dream as he danced. It was the year 1840. He was his own grandfather, wearing a stock and side-whiskers, and he was dancing with Queen Victoria when she
"I thank you sincerely, Mr. Perkins," he heard Clarissa say as he led her back to the aunt who kept the lodging-house de luxe. "You dance with such exquisite grace."
It was unfitting that Tommy should have given a jolt like a calf, and said to this merely, "Do I-honest?" But he did, and all the way home could have kicked himself. As he kept thinking, he had had his chance to register on her memory a gem like, "Oh, Miss Van Doorn, you compliment my poor efforts too effusively!" But he did n't-he did n't, and there was an end to it.
He began cultivating Clarissa. From the beginning his English grew purer and purer. When he knew her very well he told her of his rooms and how he had enjoyed "picking up stuff here and there" for them. It was then that she confided to him that she likewise had an adoration for furniture and old, egg-shell china. This became a bond between them. She told him she would inherit only some of the colonial, family pieces in the Stuyvesant Square house, so that in the meanwhile all her savings went on bargains at auctions. She could tell and pick sagaciously, for she had become a connoisseur.
More than that, she had hired a room in a ramshackle storage-house not far from where she lived, and in that she was slowly placing one by one her secret trea
It was with inward tremblings that Tommy asked her to visit him for the first time, for tea at his "diggings," one Sunday afternoon. This was after his engagement to her. How this, by the way, had come about Tommy never clearly knew. But on a holiday when she had taken him to the Metropolitan Museum, and they were sitting before Bastien-Lepage's "Jeanne d'Arc," he had told her that she was an ennobling influence in his life. Then he had seen a tear tremble on her lowered lashes, and had said:
"I love you. But I don't suppose you could love me!"
"I do," she had sighed.
"But I'd have a cheek to ask you to become engaged," Tommy had begun to explain. "You see, I only get twentytwo per-"
She had looked shocked. mild eyes sought his fully.
"Are you not asking me to become your wife, Mr. Perkins?" she had said, and he felt her tremble.
"What else?" Tommy had twittered with agility, conquering a feeling of stagefright. "Only-we 'll have to wait."
"That will not be hard," Clarissa had said with meek happiness, and leaning back with a sigh of content. "It will give us a chance to collect befitting furniture and china for our home."
So on this Sunday she was coming to Tommy's "chambers" accompanied by two Van Doorn cousins. The address was really a rooming-house on lower Madison Avenue, but the "top floor front," which had formerly held the regulation iron bed, oak bureau, and so forth, had been changed into a "den." In the middle of this, at four o'clock, Tommy stood looking about while trying to pull thoughtfully at a modicum of white fuzz next to the dimpled corner of his mouth. He felt satisfied with what he and the negro house-man had done in touching up and getting tea ready. What Tommy called his "etiolated facial effect" did not extend to his mouth, of a healthy coral, which