Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 06 Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Artists by Hubbard, Elbert

and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.


Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Artists

















And with all this vast creative activity, he recognized only one self-imposed limitation--beauty. Hence, though his span of life was short, his work is imperishable. He steadily progressed: but he was ever true, beautiful and pure, and freer than any other master from superficiality and mannerism. He produced a vast number of pictures, elevating to men of every race and of every age, and before whose immortal beauty artists of every school unite in common homage. --_Wilhelm Lubke_

[Illustration: Raphael]

The term "Preraphaelite" traces a royal lineage to William Morris. Just what the word really meant, William Morris was not sure, yet he once expressed the hope that he would some day know, as a thousand industrious writers were laboring to make the matter plain.

Seven men helped William Morris to launch the phrase, by forming themselves into an organization which they were pleased to call the "Preraphaelite Brotherhood."

The word "brotherhood" has a lure and a promise for every lonely and tired son of earth. And Burne-Jones pleaded for the prefix because it was like holy writ: it gave everybody an opportunity to read anything into it that he desired.

Of this I am very sure, in the Preraphaelite Brotherhood there was no lack of appreciation for Raphael. In fact, there is proof positive that Burne-Jones and Madox Brown studied him with profit, and loved him so wisely and well that they laid impression-paper on his poses. This would have been good and sufficient reason for hating the man; and possibly this accounts for their luminous flashes of silence concerning him. The Preraphaelite Brotherhood, like all other liberal organizations, was quite inclined to be illiberal. And the prejudice of this clanship, avowedly founded without prejudice, lay in the assumption that life and art suffered a degeneration from the rise of Raphael. In art, as in literature, there is overmuch tilting with names--so the Preraphaelites enlisted under the banner of Botticelli.

Raphael marks an epoch. He did what no man before him had ever done, and by the sublimity of his genius placed the world forever under obligations to him. In fact, the art of the Preraphaelites was built on Raphael, with an attempt to revive the atmosphere and environment that belonged to another. Raphael mirrored the soul of things--he used the human form and the whole natural world as symbols of spirit. And this is exactly what Burne-Jones did, and the rest of the Brotherhood tried to do. The thought of Raphael and of Burne- Jones often seems identical; in temperament, disposition and aspiration they were one. That poetic and fervid statement of Mrs. Jameson, that Burne-Jones is the avatar of Raphael, contains the germ of truth. The dream-women of Burne-Jones have the same haunting and subtle spiritual wistfulness that is to be seen in the Madonnas of Raphael. Each of these men loved a woman--and each pictured her again and again. Whether this woman had an existence outside the figment of the brain matters not: both painted her as they saw her-- tender, gentle and trustful.

When jealous and o'erzealous competitors made the charge against Raphael that he was lax in his religious duties, Pope Leo the Tenth waived the matter by saying, "Well, well, well!--he is an artistic Christian!" As much as to say, he works his religion up into art, and therefore we grant him absolution for failure to attend mass: he paints and you pray--it is really all the same thing. Good work and religion are one.

The busy and captious critics went away, but came back next day with the startling information that Raphael's pictures were more Pagan than Christian. Pope Leo heard the charge, and then with Lincoln- like wit said that Raphael was doing this on his order, as the desire of the Mother Church was to annex the Pagan art-world, in order to Christianize it.

The charges of Paganism and Infidelity are classic accusations. The gentle Burne-Jones was stoutly denounced by his enemies as a Pagan Greek. I think he rather gloried in the contumely, but fifty years earlier he might have been visited by a "lettre de cachet," instead of a knighthood; for we can not forget how, in Eighteen Hundred Fifteen, Parliament refused to pay for the Elgin Marbles because, as Lord Falmouth put it, "These relics will tend to prostitute England to the depth of unbelief that engulfed Pagan Greece." The attitude of Parliament on the question of Paganism finds voice occasionally even yet by Protestant England making darkness dense with the asseveration that Catholics idolatrously worship the pictures and statues in their churches.

The Romans tumbled the Athenian marbles from their pedestals, on the assumption that the statues represented gods that were idolatrously worshiped by the Greeks. And they continued their work of destruction until a certain Roman general (who surely was from County Cork) stopped the vandalism by issuing an order, coupled with the dire threat that any soldier who stole or destroyed a statue should replace it with another equally good.

Lord Elgin bankrupted himself in order to supply the British Museum its crowning glory, and for this he achieved the honor of getting himself poetically damned by Lord Byron. Monarchies, like republics, are ungrateful. Lord Elgin defended himself vigorously against the charge of Paganism, just as Raphael had done three hundred years before. But Burne-Jones was silent in the presence of his accusers, for the world of buyers besieged his doors with bank-notes in hand, demanding pictures. And now today we find Alma-Tadema openly and avowedly Pagan, and with a grace and loveliness that compel the glad acclaim of every lover of beautiful things.

We are making head. We have ceased to believe that Paganism is "bad." All the men and women who have ever lived and loved and hoped and died, were God's children, and we are no more. With the nations dead and turned to dust, we reach out through the darkness of forgotten days and touch friendly hands. Some of these people that existed two, three or four thousand years ago did things so marvelously grand and great that in presence of the broken fragments of their work we stand silent, o'erawed and abashed. We realize, too, that long before the nations lived that have left a meager and scattered history hewn in stone, lived still other men, possibly greater far than we; and no sign or signal comes to us from those whose history, like ours, is writ in water.

Yet we are one with them all. The same Power that brought them upon this stage of Time brought us. As we were called into existence without our consent, so are we being sent out of it, day by day, against our will. The destiny of all who live or have lived, is one; and no taunt of "paganism," "heathenism" or "infidelity" escapes our lips. With love and sympathy, we salute the eternity that lies behind, realizing that we ourselves are the oldest people that have tasted existence--the newest nation lingers away behind Assyria and Egypt, back of the Mayas, lost in continents sunken in shoreless seas that hold their secrets inviolate. Yes, we are brothers to all that have trod the earth; brothers and heirs to dust and shade-- mayhap to immortality!

In the story of "John Ball," William Morris pictured what to him was the Ideal Life. And Morris was certainly right in this: The Ideal Life is only the normal or natural life as we shall some day know it. The scene of Morris' story was essentially a Preraphaelite one. It was the great virtue (or limitation) of William Morris that the Dark Ages were to him a time of special light and illumination. Life then was simple. Men worked for the love of it, and if they wanted things they made them. "Every trade exclusively followed means a deformity," says Ruskin. Division of labor had not yet come, and men were skilled in many ways. There was neither poverty nor riches, and the idea of brotherhood was firmly fixed in the minds of men. The feverish desire for place, pelf and power was not upon them. The rise of the barons and an entailed aristocracy were yet to come.

Governments grant men immunity from danger on payment of a tax. Thus men cease protecting themselves, and so in the course of time lose the ability to protect themselves, because the faculty of courage has atrophied through disuse. Brooding apprehension and crouching fear are the properties of civilized men--men who are protected by the State. The joy of reveling in life is not possible in cities. Bolts and bars, locks and keys, soldiers and police, and a hundred other symbols of distrust, suspicion and hate, are on every hand, reminding us that man is the enemy of man, and must be protected from his brothers. Protection and slavery are near of kin.

Before Raphael, art was not a profession--the man did things to the glory of God. When he painted a picture of the Holy Family, his wife served as his model, and he grouped his children in their proper order, and made the picture to hang on a certain spot on the walls of his village church. No payment was expected nor fee demanded--it was a love-offering. It was not until ecclesiastics grew ambitious and asked for more pictures that bargains were struck. Did ever a painter of that far-off day marry a maid, and in time were they blessed with a babe, then straightway the painter worked his joy up into art by painting the Mother and Child, and presenting the picture as a thank-offering to God. The immaculate conception of love and the miracle of birth are recurring themes in the symphony of life. Love, religion and art have ever walked and ever will walk hand in hand. Art is the expression of man's joy in his work; and art is the beautiful way of doing things. Pope Julius was right-- work is religion when you put your soul into your task.

Giotto painted the "Mother and Child," and the mother was his wife, and the child theirs. Another child came to them, and Giotto painted another picture, calling the older boy Saint John, and the wee baby Jesus. The years went by and we find still another picture of the Holy Family by this same artist, in which five children are shown, while back in the shadow is the artist himself, posed as Joseph. And with a beautiful contempt for anachronism, the elder children are called Isaiah, Ezekiel and Elijah. This fusing of work, love and religion gives us a glimpse into the only paradise mortals know. It is the Ideal--and the Natural.

The swift-passing years have lightly touched the little city of Urbino, in Umbria. The place is sleepy and quiet, and you seek the shade of friendly awnings to shield you from the fierce glare of the sun. Standing there you hear the bells chime the hours, as they have done for four hundred years; and you watch the flocks of wheeling pigeons, the same pigeons that Vasari saw when he came here in Fifteen Hundred Forty-one, for the birds never grow old. Vasari tells of the pigeons, the old cathedral--old even then--the flower- girls and fruit-sellers, the passing black-robed priests, the occasional soldier, and the cobbler who sits on the curbstone and offers to mend your shoes while you wait.

The world is debtor to Vasari. He was not much of a painter and he failed at architecture, but he made up for lack of skill by telling all about what others were doing; and if his facts ever faltered, his imagination bridged the break. He is as interesting as Plutarch, as gossipy as Pepys, and as luring as Boswell.

A slim slip of a girl, selling thyme and mignonette out of a reed basket, offered to show Vasari the birthplace of Raphael; and a brown-cheeked, barefoot boy, selling roses on which the dew yet lingered, volunteered a like service for me, three hundred years later.

The house is one of a long row of low stone structures, with the red-tile roof everywhere to be seen. Above the door is a bronze tablet which informs the traveler that Raphael Sanzio was born here, April Sixth, Fourteen Hundred Eighty-three. Herman Grimm takes three chapters to prove that Raphael was not born in this house, and that nothing is so unreliable as a bronze tablet, except figures. Grimm is a painstaking biographer, but he fails to distinguish between fact and truth. Of this we are sure, Giovanni di Sanzio, the father of Raphael, lived in this house. There are church records to show that here other children of Giovanni were born, and this very naturally led to the assumption that Raphael was born here, also.

Just one thing of touching interest is to be seen in this house, and that is a picture of a Mother and Child painted on the wall. For many years this picture was said to be the work of Raphael; but there is now very good reason to believe it was the work of Raphael's father, and that the figures represent the baby Raphael and his mother. The picture is faded and dim, like the history of this sainted woman who gave to earth one of the gentlest, greatest and best men that ever lived. Mystery enshrouds the early days of Raphael. There is no record of his birth. His father we know was a man of decided power, and might yet rank as a great artist, had he not been so unfortunate as to have had a son that outclassed him. But now Giovanni Sanzio's only claim to fame rests on his being the father of his son. Of the boy's mother we have only obstructed glances and glimpses through half-flung lattices in the gloaming. Raphael was her only child. She was scarce twenty when she bore him. In a sonnet written to her, on the back of a painting, Raphael's father speaks of her wondrous eyes, slender neck, and the form too frail for earth's rough buffets. Mention is also made of "this child born in purest love, and sent by God to comfort and caress."

The mother grew aweary and passed away when her boy was scarce eight years old, but his memories of her were deeply etched. She told him of Cimabue, Giotto, Ghirlandajo, Leonardo and Perugino, and especially of the last two, who were living and working only a few miles away. It was this spiritual and loving mother who infused into his soul the desire to do and to become. That hunger for harmony which marked his life was the heritage of mother to child.

When an artist paints a portrait, he paints two--himself and the sitter. Raphael gave himself; and as his father more than once said the boy was the image of his mother, we have her picture, too. Father and son painted the same woman. Their hearts went out to her with a sort of idolatrous love. The sonnets indited to her by her husband were written after her death, and after his second marriage. Do then men love dead women better than they do the living? Perhaps. And then a certain writer has said: "To have known a great and exalted love, and have had it flee from your grasp--flee as a shadow before it is sullied by selfishness or misunderstanding--is the highest good. The memory of such a love can not die from out the heart. It affords a ballast 'gainst all the sordid impulses of life, and though it gives an unutterable sadness, it imparts an unspeakable peace."

Raphael's father followed the boy's mother when the lad was eleven years old. We know the tender, poetic love this father had for the child, and we realize somewhat of the mystical mingling in the man's heart of the love for the woman dead and her child alive. Reverencing the mother's wish that the boy should be an artist, Giovanni Sanzio, proud of his delicate and spiritual beauty, took the lad to visit all the other artists in the vicinity. They also visited the ducal palace, built by Federigo the Second, and lingered there for hours, viewing the paintings, statuary, carvings, tapestries and panelings.

The palace still stands, and is yet one of the most noble in Italy, vying in picturesqueness with those marble piles that line the Grand Canal at Venice. We know that Giovanni Sanzio contributed by his advice and skill to the wealth of beauty in the palace, and we know that he was always a welcome visitor there. From his boyhood Raphael was familiar with these artistic splendors, and how much this early environment contributed to his correct taste and habit of subdued elegance, no man can say. When Giovanni Sanzio realized that death was at his door, he gave Raphael into the keeping of the priest Bartolomeo and the boy's stepmother. The typical stepmother lives, moves and has her being in neurotic novels written by very young ladies.

Instances can be cited of great men who were loved and nurtured and ministered to by their stepmothers. I think well of womankind. The woman who abuses a waif that Fate has sent into her care would mistreat her own children, and is a living libel on her sex.

Let Lincoln and Raphael stand as types of men who were loved with infinite tenderness by stepmothers. And then we must not forget Leonardo da Vinci, who never knew a mother, and had no business to have a father, but who held averages good with four successive stepmothers, all of whom loved him with a tender, jealous and proud devotion.

Bartolomeo, following the wish of the father, continued to give the boy lessons in drawing and sketching. This Bartolomeo must not be confused with the Bartolomeo, friend of Savonarola, who was largely to influence Raphael later on. It was Bartolomeo, the priest, that took Raphael to Perugino, who lived in Perugia. Perugino, although he was a comparatively young man, was bigger than the town in which he lived. His own name got blown away by a high wind, and he was plain Perugino--as if there was only one man in Perugia, and he were that one. "Here is a boy I have brought you as a pupil," said the priest to Perugino. And Perugino glancing up from his easel answered, "I thought it was a girl!"

The priest continued, "Here is a boy I have brought you for a pupil, and your chief claim to fame may yet be that he worked here with you in your studio." Perugino parried the thrust with a smile. He looked at the boy and was impressed with his beauty. Perugino afterwards acknowledged that the only reason he took him was because he thought he would work in well as a model.

Perugino was the greatest master of technique of his time. He had life, and life in abundance. He reveled in his work, and his enthusiasm ran over, inundating all those who were near. Courage is a matter of the red corpuscle. It is oxygen that makes every attack; without oxygen in his blood to back him, a man attacks nothing--not even a pie, much less a blank canvas. Perugino was a success; he had orders ahead; he matched his talent against titles; power flowed his way. Raphael's serious, sober manner and spiritual beauty appealed to him. They became as father and son. The methodical business plan, which is a prime aid to inspiration; the habit of laying out work and completing it; the high estimate of self; the supreme animation and belief in the divinity within--all these Raphael caught from Perugino. Both men were egotists, as are all men who do things. They had heard the voice--they had had a "call." The talent is the call, and if a man fails to do his work in a masterly way, make sure he has mistaken a lazy wish for a divine passion. There is a difference between loving the muse and lusting after her.

Perugino had been called, and before Raphael had worked with him a year, he was sure he had been called, too. The days in Perugia for Raphael were full of quiet joy and growing power. He was in the actual living world of men, and things, and useful work. Afternoons, when the sun's shadows began to lengthen towards the east, Perugino would often call to his helpers, especially Raphael, and Pinturicchio, another fine spirit, and off they would go for a tramp, each with a stout staff and the inevitable portfolio. Out along the narrow streets of the town, across the Roman arched bridge, by the market-place to the terraced hillside that overlooked the Umbrian plain, they went; Perugino stout, strong, smooth-faced, with dark, swarthy features; Pinturicchio with downy beard, merry eyes and tall, able form; and lingering behind, came Raphael. His small black cap fitted closely on his long bronze-gold hair; his slight, slender and graceful figure barely suggested its silken strength held in fine reserve--and all the time the great brown eyes, which looked as if they had seen celestial things, scanned the sky, saw the tall cedars of Lebanon, the flocks on the slopes across the valley, the scattered stone cottages, the fleecy clouds that faintly flecked the deep blue of the sky, the distant spire of a church. All these treasures of the Umbrian landscape were his. Well might he have anticipated, four hundred years before he was born, that greatest of American writers, and said, "I own the landscape!" In frescos signed by Perugino in the year Fourteen Hundred Ninety- two--a date we can not forget--we see a certain style. In the same design duplicated in Fourteen Hundred Ninety-eight, we behold a new and subtle touch--it is the stroke and line of Raphael.

The "Resurrection" by Perugino, in the Vatican, and the "Diotalevi Madonna" signed by the same artist, in the Berlin Museum, show the touch of Raphael, unmistakably. The youth was barely seventeen, but he was putting himself into Perugino's work--and Perugino was glad. Raphael's first independent work was probably done when he was nineteen, and was for the Citta di Castello. These frescos are signed, "Raphael Urbinas, 1502." Other lesser pictures and panels thus signed are found dated Fifteen Hundred Four. They are all the designs of Perugino, but worked out with the painstaking care always shown by very young artists; yet there is a subtle, spiritual style that marks, unmistakably, Raphael's Perugino period.

The "Sposalizio," done in Fifteen Hundred Four, now in the Brera at Milan, is the first really important work of Raphael. Next to this is the "Connestabile Madonna," which was painted at Perugia and remained there until Eighteen Hundred Seventy-one, when it was sold by a degenerate descendant of the original owner to the Emperor of Russia for sixty-five thousand dollars. Since then a law has been passed forbidding any one on serious penalty to remove a "Raphael" from Italy. But for this law, that threat of a Chicago syndicate to buy the Pitti Gallery and move its contents to the "lake front" might have been carried out.

The Second Period of Raphael's life opens with his visit to Florence in Fifteen Hundred Four. He was now twenty-one years of age, handsome, proud, reserved. Stories of his power had preceded him, and the fact that for six years he had worked with Perugino and been his confidant and friend made his welcome sure.

Leonardo and Michelangelo were at the height of their fame, and no doubt they stimulated the ambition of Raphael more than he ever admitted. He considered Leonardo the more finished artist of the two. Michelangelo's heroic strength and sweep of power failed to win him. The frescos of Masaccio in the Church of Santa Carmine in Florence he considered better than any performance of Michelangelo: and as a Roland to this Oliver, we have a legend to the effect that Raphael once called upon Michelangelo and the master sent down word from the scaffold, where he was at work, that he was too busy to see visitors, and anyway, he had all the apprentices that he could look after!

How much this little incident biased Raphael's opinion concerning Michelangelo's art we can not say: possibly Raphael could not have told, either. But such things count, I am told, for even Doctor Johnson thought better of Reynolds' work after they had dined together.

It seems that Fra Bartolomeo was one of the first and best friends Raphael had at Florence. The monk's gentle spirit and his modest views of men and things won the young Umbrian; and between these two there sprang up a friendship so firm and true that death alone could sever it.

The deep religious devotion of Bartolomeo set the key for the first work done by Raphael at Florence. Most of the time the young man and the monk lived and worked in the same studio. It was a wonderfully prolific period for Raphael; from Fifteen Hundred Four to Fifteen Hundred Eight he pushed forward with a zest and an earnestness he never again quite equaled. Most of his beautiful Madonnas belong to this period, and in them all are a dignity, grace and grandeur that lift them out of ecclesiastic art, and place them in the category of living portraits.

Before this, Raphael belonged to the Umbrian School, but now his work must be classed, if classed at all, as Florentine. The handling is freer, the nude more in evidence, and the anatomy shows that the artist is working from life.

Bartolomeo used to speak of Raphael affectionately as "my son," and called the attention of Bramante, the architect, to his work. The beauty of his Madonnas was being discussed in every studio, and when the "Ansidei" was exhibited in the Church of Santa Croce, such a crowd flocked to see the picture that services had to be dismissed. The rush continued until a thrifty priest bethought him to stand at the main entrance with a contribution-box and a stout stick, and allow no one to enter who did not contribute good silver for "the worthy poor."

Bartolomeo acknowledged that his "pupil" was beyond him. He was invited to add a finishing touch to the Masaccio frescos; Leonardo, the courtly, had smiled a gracious recognition, and Michelangelo had sneezed at mention of his name. Bramante, back at Rome, told Pope Julius the Second, "There is a young Umbrian at Florence we must send for."

Great things were happening at Rome about this time: all roads led thitherward. Pope Julius had just laid the cornerstone of Saint Peter's, and full of ambition was carrying out the dictum of Pope Nicholas the Fifth, that "the Church should array herself in all the beauteous spoils of the world, in order to win the minds of men."

The Renaissance was fairly begun, fostered and sustained by the Church alone. The Quattrocento--that time of homely peace and the simple quiet of John Ball and his fellows--lay behind.

Raphael had begun his Roman Period, which was to round out his working life of barely eighteen years, ere the rest of the Pantheon was to be his.

Before this his time had been his own, but now the Church was his mistress. But it was a great honor that had come to him, greater far than had ever before been bestowed on any living artist. Barely twenty-five years of age, the Pope treated him as an equal, and worked him like a packhorse. "He has the face of an angel," cried Julius, "and the soul of a god!"--when some one suggested his youth.

Pope Leo the Tenth, of the Medici family, succeeded Julius. He sent Michelangelo to Florence to employ his talents upon the Medicean church of San Lorenzo. He dismissed Perugino, Pinturicchio and Piero Delia Francesca, although Raphael in tears pleaded for them all. Their frescos were destroyed, and Raphael was told to go ahead and make the Vatican what it should be.

His first large work was to decorate the Hall of the Signatures (Stanza della Segnatura), where we today see the "Dispute." Near at hand is the famous "School of Athens." In this picture his own famous portrait is to be seen with that of Perugino. The first place is given to Perugino, and the faces affectionately side by side are posed in a way that has given a cue to ten thousand photographers.

The attitude is especially valuable, as a bit of history showing Raphael's sterling attachment to his old teacher. The Vatican is filled with the work of Raphael, and aside from the galleries to which the general public is admitted, studies and frescos are to be seen in many rooms that are closed unless, say, Archbishop Ireland be with you, when all doors fly open at your touch. The seven Raphael tapestries are shown at the Vatican an hour each day; the rest of the time the room is closed to protect them from the light. However, the original cartoons at South Kensington reveal the sweep and scope of Raphael's genius better than the tapestries themselves.

Work, unceasing work, filled his days. The ingenuity and industry of the man were marvelous. Upwards of eighty portraits were painted during the Roman Period, besides designs innumerable for engravings, and even for silver and iron ornaments required by the Church. Pupils helped him much, of course, and among these must be mentioned Giulio Romano and Gianfrancesco Penni. These young men lived with Raphael in his splendid house that stood halfway between Saint Peter's and the Castle Angelo. Fire swept the space a hundred years later, and the magnificence it once knew has never been replaced. Today, hovels built from stone quarried from the ruins mark the spot. But as one follows this white, dusty road, it is well to remember that the feet of Raphael, passing and repassing, have, more than any other one street of Rome, made it sacred soil.

We have seen that Bramante brought Raphael to Rome, and Pope Leo the Tenth remembered this when the first architect of Saint Peter's passed away. Raphael was appointed his successor. The honor was merited, but the place should have gone to one not already overworked. In Fifteen Hundred Fifteen Raphael was made Director of Excavations, another office for which his esthetic and delicate nature was not fitted. In sympathy, of course, his heart went out to the antique workers of the ancient world, on whose ruins the Eternal City is built; but the drudgery of overseeing and superintendence belonged to another type of man.

The stress of the times had told on Raphael; he was thirty-five, rich beyond all Umbrian dreams of avarice, on an equality with the greatest and noblest men of his time, honored above all other living artists. But life began to pall; he had won all--and thereby had learned the worthlessness of what the world has to offer. Dreams of rest, of love and a quiet country home, came to him. He was betrothed to Maria di Bibbiena, a niece of Cardinal Bibbiena. The day of the wedding had been set, and the Pope was to perform the ceremony.

But the Pope regarded Raphael as a servant of the Church: he had work for him to do, and moreover he had fixed ideas concerning the glamour of sentimentalism, so he requested that the wedding be postponed for a space.

A request from the Pope was an order, and so the country house was packed away with other dreams that were to come true all in God's good time.

But the realization of love's dream did not come true, for Raphael had a rival. Death claimed his bride.

She was buried in the Pantheon, where within a year Raphael's wornout body was placed beside hers; and there the dust of both mingle.

The history of this love-tragedy has never been written; it lies buried there with the lovers. But a contemporary said that the fear of an enforced separation broke the young woman's heart; and this we know, that after her death, Raphael's hand forgot its cunning, and his frame was ripe for the fever that was so soon to burn out the strands of his life.

Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Perugino and Fra Bartolomeo had all made names for themselves before Raphael appeared upon the scene. Yet they one and all profited by his example, and were the richer in that he had lived.

Michelangelo was born nine years before Raphael and survived him forty-three years.

Titian was six years old when Raphael was born, and he continued to live and work for fifty-six years after Raphael had passed away.

It was a cause of grief to Michelangelo, even to the day of his death, that he and Raphael had not been close, personal and loving friends, as indeed they should have been.

The art-world was big enough for both. Yet Rome was divided into two hostile camps: those who favored Raphael; and those who had but one prophet, Michelangelo. Busybodies rushed back and forth, carrying foolish and inconsequential messages; and these strong yet gentle men, both hungering for sympathy and love, were thrust apart.

When Raphael realized the end was nigh, he sent for Perugino, and directed that he should complete certain work. His career had begun by working with Perugino, and now this friend of a lifetime must finish the broken task and make good the whole. He bade his beloved pupils, one by one, farewell; signed his will, which gave most of his valuable property to his fellow-workers; and commended his soul to the God who gave it. He died on his birthday, Good Friday, April Sixth, Fifteen Hundred Twenty, aged thirty-seven years. Michelangelo wore mourning upon his sleeve for a year after Raphael's death. And once Michelangelo said, "Raphael was a child, a beautiful child, and if he had only lived a little longer, he and I would have grasped hands as men and worked together as brothers."


The world, perhaps, contains no other example of a genius so universal as Leonardo's, so creative, so incapable of self- contentment, so athirst for the infinite, so naturally refined, so far in advance of his own and subsequent ages. His pictures express incredible sensibility and mental power; they overflow with unexpressed ideas and emotions. Alongside of his portraits Michelangelo's personages are simply heroic athletes; Raphael's virgins are only placid children whose souls are still asleep. His beings feel and think through every line and trait of their physiognomy. Time is necessary to enter into communion with them; not that their sentiment is too slightly marked, for, on the contrary, it emerges from the whole investiture; but it is too subtle, too complicated, too far above and beyond the ordinary, too dreamlike and inexplicable. --_Taine in "A Journey Through Italy"_

[Illustration: Leonardo]

There is a little book by George B. Rose, entitled, "Renaissance Masters," which is quite worth your while to read. I carried a copy, for company, in the side-pocket of my coat for a week, and just peeped into it at odd times. I remember that I thought so little of the volume that I read it with a lead-pencil and marked it all up and down and over, and filled the fly-leaves with random thoughts, and disfigured the margins with a few foolish sketches.

Then one fine day White Pigeon came out to the Roycroft Shop from Buffalo, as she was passing through. She came on the two-o'clock train and went away on the four-o'clock, and her visit was like a window flung open to the azure.

White Pigeon remained at East Aurora only two hours--"not long enough" she said, "to knock the gold and emerald off the butterfly's beautiful wings."

White Pigeon saw the little book I have mentioned, on my table in the tower-room. She picked it up and turned the leaves aimlessly; then she opened her Boston bag and slipped the book inside, saying as she did so:

"You do not mind?"

And I said, "Certainly not!"

Then she added, "I like to follow in the pathway you have blazed."

That closed the matter so far as the little book was concerned. Save, perhaps, that after I had walked to the station with White Pigeon and she had boarded the car, she stepped out upon the rear platform, and as I stood there at the station watching the train disappear around the curve, White Pigeon reached into the Boston bag, took out the little book and held it up.

That was the last time I saw White Pigeon. She was looking well and strong, and her step, I noticed, was firm and sure, and she carried the crown of her head high and her chin in. It made me carry my chin in, too, just by force of example, I suppose--so easily are we influenced. When you walk with some folks you slouch along, but others there be who make you feel an upward lift and skyey gravitation--it is very curious!

Yet I do really believe White Pigeon is forty, or awfully close to it. There are silver streaks among her brown braids, and surely the peachblow has long gone from her cheek. Then she was awfully tanned --and that little mole on her forehead, and its mate on her chin, stand out more than ever, like the freckles on the face of Alcibiades Roycroft when he has taken on his August russet.

I think White Pigeon must be near forty! That is the second book she has stolen from me; the other was Max Muller's "Memories"--it was at the Louvre in Paris, August the Fourteenth, Eighteen Hundred Ninety- five, as we sat on a bench, silent before the "Mona Lisa" of Leonardo.

This book, "Renaissance Masters," I didn't care much for, anyway. I got no information from it, yet it gave me a sort o' glow--that is all--like that lecture which I heard in my boyhood by Wendell Phillips.

There is only one thing in the book I remember, but that stands out as clearly as the little mole on White Pigeon's forehead. The author said that Leonardo da Vinci invented more useful appliances than any other man who ever lived, except our own Edison.

I know Edison: he is a most lovable man (because he is himself), very deaf--and glad of it, he says, because it saves him from hearing a lot of things he doesn't wish to hear. "It is like this," he once said to me: "deafness gives you a needed isolation; reduces your sensitiveness so things do not disturb or distract; allows you to concentrate and focus on a thought until you run it down--see?"

Edison is a great Philistine--reads everything I write--has a complete file of the little brownie magazine; and some of the "Little Journeys" I saw he had interlined and marked. I think Edison is one of the greatest men I ever met--he appreciates Good Things.

I told Edison how this writer, Rose, had compared him with Leonardo. He smiled and said, "Who is Rose?" Then after a little pause he continued, "The Great Man is one who has been a long time dead--the woods are full of wizards, but not many of them know that"; and the Wizard laughed softly at his own joke.

What kind of a man was Leonardo? Why, he was the same kind of a man as Edison--only Leonardo was thin and tall, while Edison is stout. But you and I would be at home with either. Both are classics and therefore essentially modern. Leonardo studied Nature at first hand --he took nothing for granted--Nature was his one book. Stuffy, fussy, indoor professors--men of awful dignity--frighten folks, cause children to scream, and ladies to gaze in awe; but Leonardo was simple and unpretentious. He was at home in any society, high or low, rich or poor, learned or unlearned--and was quite content to be himself. It's a fine thing to be yourself!

Thackeray once said, "If I had met Shakespeare on the stairs, I know I should have fainted dead away!" I do not believe Shakespeare's presence ever made anybody faint. He was so big that he could well afford to put folks at their ease.

If Leonardo should come to East Aurora, Bertie, Oliver, Lyle and I would tramp with him across the fields, and he would carry that leather bag strung across his shoulder, just as he ever did when in the country. He was a geologist and a botanist, and was always collecting things (and forgetting where they were).

We would tramp with him, I say, and if the season were right we would go through orchards, sit under the trees and eat apples. And Leonardo would talk, as he liked to do, and tell why the side of fruit that was towards the sun took on a beautiful color first; and when an apple fell from the tree he would, so to speak, anticipate Sir Isaac Newton and explain why it fell down and not up.

That leather bag of his, I fear, would get rather heavy before we got back, and probably Oliver and Lyle would dispute the honor of carrying it for him.

Leonardo was once engaged by Cesare Borgia to fortify the kingdom of Romagna. It was a brand-new kingdom, presented to the young man by Pope Alexander the Sixth. It was really the Pope who ordered Leonardo to survey the tract and make plans for the fortifications and canals and all that--so Leonardo didn't like to refuse. Cesare Borgia had the felicity of being the son of the Pope, but the Pope used to refer to him as his nephew--it was a habit that Popes once had. Pope Alexander also had a daughter--by name, Lucrezia Borgia-- sister to Cesare and very much like him, for they took their diversion in the same way.

Leonardo started in to do the work and make plans for fortifications that should be impregnable. He looked the ground over thoroughly, traveling on horseback, and his two servants followed him up in a cart drawn by a bull, which Leonardo calmly explains was a "side- wheeler."

Leonardo carried a big sketchbook, and as he made plans for redoubts, he made notes to the effect that crows fly in flocks without a leader, and wild ducks have a system and fly V shape, with a leader that changes off from time to time with the privates. Also, a waterfall runs the musical gamut, and the water might be separated so as to play a tune. Also, the leaves turn to gold through oxidation, and robins pair for life.

Leonardo also wrote at this time on the movements of the clouds, the broken strata of rocks, the fertilization of flowers, the habits of bees, and a hundred other themes which fill the library of notebooks that he left.

Meanwhile, Cesare Borgia was getting a trifle impatient about the building of his forts. Two years had passed when Cesare and his father met with an accident not uncommon in those times. The precious pair had indulged in their Borgian specialty for the benefit of a certain cardinal, whom they did not warmly admire, though the plot seems to have been chiefly the work of Cesare. By mistake they drank the poisoned wine prepared for the cardinal, and the Pope was cut off amidst a life of usefulness, his son surviving for a worse fate. Pope Julius the Second coming upon the scene, speedily dispossessed the Borgias, and the idea of the new kingdom was abandoned.

Leonardo evidently did not go into mourning for the Pope. He had a bullock-cart loaded with specimens, sketches and notebooks, and he set to work to sort them out. He was very happy in this employment-- being essentially a man of peace--and while he made forts and planned siege-guns he was a deal more interested in certain swallows that made nests and glued the work into a most curious and beautiful structure, and when the birds were old enough to fly, tore up the nest, pushing the wee birds out to "swim in the air" or perish.

I made some notes about Leonardo's bird observations in the back of that "Renaissance" book that White Pigeon appropriated. I can not recall just what they were--I think I'll hunt White Pigeon up the next time I am in Paris, and get the book back.

When that painstaking biographer, Arsene Houssaye, was endeavoring to fix the date of Leonardo da Vinci's birth, he interviewed a certain bishop, who waived the matter thus: "Surely what difference does it make, since he had no business to be born at all?"--a very Milesian-like reply. Houssaye is too sensible a man to waste words with the spiritually obese, and so merely answered in the language of Terence, "I am a man and nothing that is human is alien to me!"

The gentle Erasmus when a boy was once taunted by a schoolfellow with having "no name." And Erasmus replied, "Then, I'll make one for myself." And he did.

No record of Leonardo's birth exists, but the year is fixed upon in a very curious way. Caterina, his mother, was married one year after his birth. The date of this marriage is proven, and the fact that the son of Piero da Vinci was then a year old is also shown. As the marriage occurred in Fourteen Hundred Fifty-three, we simply go back one year and say that Leonardo da Vinci was born in Fourteen Hundred Fifty-two.

Most accounts say that Caterina was a servant in the Da Vinci family, but a later and seemingly more authentic writer informs us that she was a governess and a teacher of needlework. That her kinsmen hastened her marriage with the peasant, Vacca Accattabriga, seems quite certain: they sought to establish her in a respectable position. And so she acquiesced, and avoided society's displeasure, very much as Lord Bacon escaped disgrace by leaving "Hamlet" upon Shakespeare's doorstep.

This child of Caterina's found a warm welcome in the noble family of his father. From his babyhood he seems to have had the power of winning hearts--he came fresh from God and brought love with him. We even hear a little rustle of dissent from grandmother and aunts when his father, Piero da Vinci, married, and started housekeeping as did Benjamin Franklin "with a wife and a bouncing boy."

The charm of the child is again revealed in the fact that his stepmother treated him as her own babe, and lavished her love upon him even from her very wedding morn.

Perhaps the compliment should go to her, as well as to the child, for the woman whose heart goes out to another woman's babe is surely good quality. And this was the only taste of motherhood that this brave woman knew, for she passed out in a few months.

Fate decreed that Leonardo should have successively four stepmothers, and should live with all of them in happiness and harmony, for he always made his father's house his own.

Leonardo was the idol of his father and all these stepmothers. He had ten half-brothers, who alternately boasted of his kinship and flouted him. Yet nothing could seriously disturb the serenity of his mind. When his father died, without a will, the brothers sought to dispossess Leonardo of his rights, and we hear of a lawsuit, which was finally compromised. Yet note the magnanimity of Leonardo--in his will he leaves bequests to these brothers who had sought to undo him!

Of the life of the mother after her marriage we know nothing. There is a vague reference in Vasari's book to her "large family and growing cares," but whether she knew of her son's career, we can not say. Leonardo never mentions her, yet one writer has attempted to show that the rare beauty of that mysterious face shown in so many of Leonardo's pictures was modeled from the face of his mother.

No love-story comes to us in Leonardo's own life--he never married. Ventura suggests that "on account of his birth, he was indifferent to the divine institution of marriage." But this is pure conjecture. We know that his great contemporaries, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian and Giorgione, never married; and we know further that there was a sentiment in the air at that time, that an artist belonged to the Church, and his life, like that of the priest, was sacred to her service.

Like Sir William Davenant, Leonardo was always proud of the mystery that surrounded his birth--it differentiated him from the mass, and placed him as one set apart. Well might he have used the language put into the mouth of Edmund in "King Lear." In one of Leonardo's manuscripts is found an interjected prayer of thankfulness for "the divinity of my birth, and the angels that have guarded my life and guided my feet"

This idea of "divinity" is strong in the mind of every great man. He recognizes his sonship, and claims his divine parentage. The man of masterly mind is perforce an Egotist. When he speaks he says, "Thus saith the Lord." If he did not believe in himself, how could he make others believe in him? Small men are apologetic and give excuses for being on earth, and reasons for staying here so long, and run and peek about to find themselves dishonorable graves. Not so the Great Souls--the fact that they are here is proof that God sent them. Their actions are regal, their language oracular, their manner affirmative. Leonardo's mental attitude was sublimely gracious--he had no grievance or quarrel with his Maker--he accepted life, and ever found it good. "We are all sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be."

Philip Gilbert Hamerton, who wrote "The Intellectual Life," names Leonardo da Vinci as having lived the richest, fullest and best- rounded life of which we know. Yet while Leonardo lived, there also lived Shakespeare, Loyola, Cervantes, Columbus, Martin Luther, Savonarola, Erasmus, Michelangelo, Titian and Raphael. Titans all-- giants in intellect and performance, doing and daring, and working such wonders as men never worked before: writing plays, without thought of posterity, that are today the mine from which men work their poetry; producing comedies that are classic; sailing trackless seas and discovering continents; tacking proclamations of defiance on church-doors; hunted and exiled for the right of honest speech; welcoming fierce flames of fagots; falling upon blocks of marble and liberating angels; painting pictures that have inspired millions! But not one touched life at so many points, or reveled so in existence, or was so captain of his soul as was Leonardo da Vinci.

Vasari calls him the "divinely endowed," "showered with the richest gifts as by celestial munificence" and speaks of his countenance thus: "The radiance of his face was so splendidly beautiful that it brought cheerfulness to the hearts of the most melancholy, and his presence was such that his lightest word would move the most obstinate to say 'Yes' or 'No.'"

Bandello, the story-teller who was made a Bishop on account of his peculiar talent, had the effrontery to put one of his worst stories, that about the adventures of Fra Lippo Lippi, into the mouth of Leonardo. This rough-cast tale, somewhat softened down and hand- polished, served for one of Browning's best-known poems. Had Bandello allowed Botticelli to tell the tale, it would have been much more in keeping. Leonardo's days were too full of work to permit of his indulging in the society of roysterers--his life was singularly dignified and upright.

When about twenty years old Leonardo was a fellow-student with Perugino in the bottega of good old Andrea del Verrocchio. It seems the master painted a group and gave Leonardo the task of drawing in one figure. Leonardo painted in an angel--an angel whose grace and subtle beauty stand out, even today, like a ray of light. The story runs that good old Verrocchio wept on first seeing it--wept unselfish tears of joy, touched with a very human pathos--his pupil had far surpassed him, and never again did Verrocchio attempt to paint.

In physical strength Leonardo surpassed all his comrades. "He could twist horseshoes between his fingers, bend bars of iron across his knees, disarm every adversary, and in wrestling, running, vaulting and swimming he had no equals. He was especially fond of horses, and in the joust often rode animals that had never before been ridden, winning prizes from the most daring." Brawn is usually purchased at the expense of brain, but not so in this case. Leonardo was the courtier and diplomat, and all the finer graces were in his keeping, even from boyhood. And a recent biographer has made the discovery that he was called from Florence to the Court of Milan "because he was such an adept harpist, playing and singing his own compositions."

Yet we have the letter written by Leonardo to the Duke of Milan, wherein he commends himself, and in humility tells of a few things he can do. This most precious document is now in the Ambrosian Library at Milan. After naming nine items in the way of constructing bridges, tunnels, canals, fortifications, the making of cannon, use of combustibles and explosives--known to him alone--he gets down to things of peace and says: "I believe I am equaled by no one in architecture in constructing public and private buildings, and in conducting water from one place to another. I can execute sculpture, whether in marble, bronze or terra cotta, and in drawing and painting I believe I can do as much as any other man, be he who he may. Further, I could engage to execute the bronze statue in memory of your honored father. And again, if any of the above-mentioned things should appear impossible or overstated, I am ready to make such performance in any place or at any time to prove to you my power. In humility I thus commend myself to your illustrious house, and am your servant, Leonardo da Vinci."

And the strange part of all this is that Leonardo could do all he claimed--or he might, if there were a hundred hours in a day and man did not grow old.

The things he predicted and planned have mostly been done. He knew the earth was round, and understood the orbits of the planets-- Columbus knew no more. His scheme of building a canal from Pisa to Florence and diverting the waters of the Arno, was carried out exactly as he had planned, two hundred years after his death. He knew the expansive quality of steam, the right systems of dredging, the action of the tides, the proper use of levers, screws and cranes, and how immense weights could be raised and lowered. He placed a new foundation under a church that was sinking in the sand and elevated the whole stone structure several feet. But when Vasari seriously says he had a plan for moving mountains (aside from faith), I think we had better step aside and talk of other things.

And all this time that he was working at physics and mathematics, he was painting and modeling in clay, just for recreation.

Then behold the Duke of Milan, the ascetic and profligate, libertine and dreamer, hearing of him and sending straightway for Leonardo because he is "the most accomplished harpist in Italy"!

So Leonardo came and led the dance and the tourney, improvised songs and planned the fetes and festivals where strange animals turned into birds and gigantic flowers opened, disclosing beautiful girls.

Yet Leonardo found time to plan the equestrian statue of Francisco Sporza, the Duke's father, and finding the subject so interesting he took up the systematic study of the horse, and dived to the depths of horse anatomy in a way that no living man had done before. He dissected the horse, articulated the skeletons of different breeds for comparison, and then wrote a book upon the subject which is a textbook yet; and meanwhile he let the statue wait. He discovered that in the horse there are rudimentary muscles, and unused organs-- the "water-stomach" for instance--thus showing that the horse evolved from a lower form of life--anticipating Darwin by three hundred years.

The Duke was interested in statues and pictures--what he called "results"--he didn't care for speculations or theories, and only a live horse that could run fast interested him. So to keep the peace, the gracious Leonardo painted portraits of the Duke's mistress, posing her as the Blessed Virgin, thus winning the royal favor and getting carte-blanche orders on the Keeper of the Exchequer. As a result of this Milan period we have the superb portrait, now in the Louvre, of Lucrezia Crivelli, who was supposed to be the favorite of the Duke.

But the Duke was a married man, and the good wife must be placated. She had turned to religion when her lover's love grew cold, just as women always do; and for her Leonardo painted the "Last Supper" in the dining-room of the monastery which was under her especial protection, and where she often dined.

The devout lady found much satisfaction in directing the work, which was to be rather general and simply decorative. But the heart of Leonardo warmed to the task and as he worked he planned the most famous painting in the world. All this time Leonardo had many pupils in painting and sculpture. Soon he founded the Milan Academy of Art. At odd times he made designs for the Duke's workers in silver and gold, drew patterns for the nuns to embroider from, and gave them and the assembled ladies, invited on the order of the Duke's wife, lessons in literature and the gentle art of writing poetry.

The Prior of the monastery watched the work of the "Last Supper" with impatient eyes. He had given up the room to the lumbering scaffolds, hoping to have all cleaned up and tidy in a month, come Michaelmas. But the month had passed and only blotches of color and black, curious outlines marred the walls. Once the Prior threatened to remove the lumber by force and wipe the walls clean, but Leonardo looked at him and he retreated.

Now he complained to the Duke about the slowness of the task. Leonardo worked alone, allowing no pupil or helper to touch the picture. Five good, lively men could do the job in a week--"I could do it myself, if allowed," the good Prior said. Often Leonardo would stand with folded arms and survey the work for an hour at a time and not lift a brush; the Prior had seen it all through the keyhole!

The Duke listened patiently and then summoned Leonardo. The painter's gracious speech soon convinced the Duke that men of genius do not work like hired laborers. This painting was to be a masterpiece, fit monument to a wise and virtuous ruler. So consummate a performance must not be hastened; besides there was no one to pose for either the head of Christ or of Judas. The Christ must be ideal and the face could only be conjured forth from the painter's own soul, in moments of inspiration. As for Judas, "Why, if nothing better can be found--and I doubt it much--I believe I will take as model for Judas our friend the Prior!" And Leonardo turned to the Prior, who fled and never again showed his face in the room until the picture was finished.

The Prior's complaint, that Leonardo had too many irons in the fire, was the universal cry the groundlings raised against him. "He begins things, but never completes them," they said.

The man of genius conceives things; the man of talent carries them forward to completion. This the critics did not know. It is too much to expect the equal balance of genius and talent in one individual. Leonardo had great talent, but his genius outstripped it, for he planned what twenty lifetimes could not complete. He was indeed the endless experimenter--his was in very truth the Experimental Life. His incentive was self-development--to conceive was enough--common men could complete. To try many things means Power: to finish a few is Immortality.

God's masterpiece is the human face. A woman's smile may have in it more sublimity than a sunset; more pathos than a battle-scarred landscape; more warmth than the sun's bright ray; more love than words can say.

The human face is the masterpiece of God.

The eyes reveal the soul, the mouth the flesh, the chin stands for purpose, the nose means will. But over and behind all is that fleeting Something we call "expression." This Something is not set or fixed, it is fluid as the ether, changeful as the clouds that move in mysterious majesty across the surface of a summer sky, subtle as the sob of rustling leaves--too faint at times for human ears--elusive as the ripples that play hide-and-seek over the bosom of a placid lake.

And yet men have caught expression and held it captive. On the walls of the Louvre hangs the "Mona Lisa" of Leonardo da Vinci. This picture has been for four hundred years an exasperation and an inspiration to every portrait-painter who has put brush to palette. Well does Walter Pater call it, "The Despair of Painters." The artist was over fifty years of age when he began the work, and he was four years in completing the task.

Completing, did I say? Leonardo's dying regret was that he had not completed this picture. And yet we might say of it, as Ruskin said of Turner's work, "By no conceivable stretch of imagination can we say where this picture could be bettered or improved upon."

Leonardo did not paint this portrait for the woman who sat for it, nor for the woman's husband, who we know was not interested in the matter. The painter made the picture for himself, but succumbing to temptation, sold it to the King of France for a sum equal to something over eighty thousand dollars--an enormous amount at that time to be paid for a single canvas. The picture was not for sale, which accounts for the tremendous price that it brought.

Unlike so many other works attributed to Leonardo, no doubt exists as to the authenticity of "La Gioconda." The correspondence relative to its sale yet exists, and even the voucher proving its payment may still be seen. Fate and fortune have guarded the "Mona Lisa"; and neither thief nor vandal, nor impious infidel nor unappreciative stupidity, nor time itself has done it harm. France bought the picture; France has always owned and housed it; it still belongs to France.

We call the "Mona Lisa" a portrait, and we have been told how La Gioconda sat for the picture, and how the artist invented ways of amusing her, by stories, recitations, the luring strain of hidden lutes, and strange flowers and rare pictures brought in as surprises to animate and cheer.

That Leonardo loved this woman we are sure, and that their friendship was close and intimate the world has guessed; but the picture is not her portrait--it is himself whom the artist reveals.

Away back in his youth, when Leonardo was a student with Verrocchio, he gave us glimpses of this same face. He showed this woman's mysterious smile in the Madonna, in Saint Anne, Mary Magdalen, and the outlines of the features are suggested in the Christ and the Saint John of the "Last Supper." But not until La Gioconda had posed for him did the consummate beauty and mysterious intellect of this ideal countenance find expression.

There is in the face all you can read into it, and nothing more. It gives you what you bring, and nothing else. It is as silent as the lips of Memnon, as voiceless as the Sphinx. It suggests to you every joy that you have ever felt, every sorrow you have ever known, every triumph you have ever experienced.

This woman is beautiful, just as all life is beautiful when we are in health. She has no quarrel with the world--she loves and she is loved again. No vain longing fills her heart, no feverish unrest disturbs her dreams, for her no crouching fear haunts the passing hours--that ineffable smile which plays around her mouth says plainly that life is good. And yet the circles about the eyes and the drooping lids hint of world-weariness, and speak the message of Koheleth and say, "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity."

La Gioconda is infinitely wise, for she has lived. That supreme poise is only possible to one who knows. All the experiences and emotions of manifold existence have etched and molded that form and face until the body has become the perfect instrument of the soul.

Like every piece of intense personality, this picture has power both to repel and to attract. To this woman nothing is either necessarily good or bad. She has known strange woodland loves in far-off eons when the world was young. She is familiar with the nights and days of Cleopatra, for they were hers--the lavish luxury, the animalism of a soul on fire, the smoke of curious incense that brought poppy- like repose, the satiety that sickens--all these were her portion; the sting of the asp yet lingers in her memory, and the faint scar from its fangs is upon her white breast, known and wondered at by Leonardo who loved her. Back of her stretches her life, a mysterious, purple shadow. Do you not see the palaces turned to dust, the broken columns, the sunken treasures, the creeping mosses and the rank ooze of fretted waters that have undermined cities and turned kingdoms into desert seas? The galleys of Pagan Greece have swung wide for her on the unforgetting tide, for her soul dwelt in the body of Helen of Troy, and Pallas Athene has followed her ways and whispered to her the secrets even of the gods.

Aye! not only was she Helen, but she was Leda, the mother of Helen. Then she was Saint Anne, mother of Mary; and next she was Mary, visited by an Angel in a dream, and followed by the Wise Men who had seen the Star in the East.

The centuries, that are but thoughts, found her a Vestal Virgin in Pagan Rome when brutes were kings, and lust stalked rampant through the streets. She was the bride of Christ, and her fair, frail body was flung to the wild beasts, and torn limb from limb while the multitude feasted on the sight.

True to the central impulse of her soul the Dark Ages rightly called her Cecilia, and then Saint Cecilia, mother of sacred music, and later she ministered to men as Melania, the Nun of Tagaste; next as that daughter of William the Conqueror, the Sister of Charity who went throughout Italy, Spain and France and taught the women of the nunneries how to sew, to weave, to embroider, to illuminate books, and make beauty, truth and harmony manifest to human eyes. And so this Lady of the Beautiful Hands stood to Leonardo as the embodiment of a perpetual life; moving in a constantly ascending scale, gathering wisdom, graciousness, love, even as he himself in this life met every experience halfway and counted it joy, knowing that experience is the germ of power. Life writes its history upon the face, so that all those who have had a like experience read and understand. The human face is the masterpiece of God.


In Leonardo's "Treatise on Painting," only one contemporary is named--Sandro Botticelli.... The Pagan and Christian world mingle in the work of Botticelli; but the man himself belonged to an age that is past and gone--an age that flourished long before men recorded history. His best efforts seem to spring out of a heart that forgot all precedent, and arose, Venus-like, perfect and complete, from the unfathomable Sea of Existence. --_Walter Pater_

[Illustration: Botticelli]

One Professor Max Lautner has recently placed a small petard under the European world of Art, and given it a hoist to starboard, by asserting that Rembrandt did not paint Rembrandt's best pictures. The Professor makes his point luminous by a cryptogram he has invented and for which he has filed a caveat. It is a very useful cryptogram; no well-regulated family should be without it--for by it you can prove any proposition you may make, even to establishing that Hopkinson Smith is America's only stylist. My opinion is that this cryptogram is an infringement on that of our lamented countryman, Ignatius Donnelly.

But letting that pass, the statement that Rembrandt could not have painted the pictures that are ascribed to him, "because the man was low, vulgar and untaught," commands respect on account of the extreme crudity of the thought involved. Lautner is so dull that he is entertaining.

"I have the capacity in me for every crime," wrote that gentlest of gentle men, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Of course he hadn't, and in making this assertion Emerson pulled toward him a little more credit than was his due. That is, he overstated a great classic truth.

"If Rembrandt painted the 'Christ at Emmaus' and the 'Sortie of the Civic Guard,' then Rembrandt had two souls," exclaims Professor Lautner.

And the simple answer of Emerson would have been, "He had."

That is just the difference between Rembrandt and Professor Lautner. Lautner has one flat, dead-level, unprofitable soul that neither soars high nor dives deep; and his mind reasons unobjectionable things out syllogistically, in a manner perfectly inconsequential. He is icily regular, splendidly null.

Every man measures others by himself--he has only one standard. When a man ridicules certain traits in other men, he ridicules himself. How would he know that other men were contemptible, did he not look into his own heart and there see the hateful things? Thackeray wrote his book on Snobs, because he was a Snob--which is not to say that he was a Snob all the time. When you recognize a thing, good or bad, in the outside world, it is because it was yours already.

"I carry the world in my heart," said the Prophet of old. All the universe you have is the universe you have within.

Old Walt Whitman, when he saw the wounded soldier, exclaimed, "I am that man!" And two thousand years before this, Terence said, "I am a man, and nothing that is human is alien to me."

I know just why Professor Lautner believes that Rembrandt never could have painted a picture with a deep, tender, subtle and spiritual significance. Professor Lautner averages fairly well, he labors hard to be consistent, but his thought gamut runs just from Bottom the weaver to Dogberry the judge. He is a cauliflower--that is to say, a cabbage with a college education.

Yes, I understand him, because for most of the time I myself am supremely dull, childishly dogmatic, beautifully self-complacent.

I am Lautner.

Lautner says that Rembrandt was "untaught," and Donnelly said the same of Shakespeare, and each critic gives this as a reason why the man could not have done a sublime performance. Yet since "Hamlet" was never equaled, who could have taught its author how? And since Rembrandt at his best was never surpassed, who could have instructed him?

Rembrandt sold his wife's wedding-garments, and spent the money for strong drink.

The woman was dead.

And then there came to him days of anguish, and nights of grim, grinding pain. He paced the echoing halls, as did Robert Browning after the death of Elizabeth Barrett when he cried aloud, "I want her! I want her!". The cold gray light of morning came creeping into the sky. Rembrandt was fevered, restless, sleepless. He sat by the window and watched the day unfold. And as he sat there looking out to the east, the light of love gradually drove the darkness from his heart. He grew strangely calm--he listened, he thought he heard the rustle of a woman's garments; he caught the smell of her hair--he imagined Saskia was at his elbow. He took up the palette and brushes that for weeks had lain idle, and he outlined the "Christ at Emmaus"--the gentle, loving, sympathetic Christ--the worn, emaciated, thorn-crowned, bleeding Christ, whom the Pharisees misunderstood, and the soldiers spat upon.

Don't you know how Rembrandt painted the "Christ at Emmaus"? I do. I am that man.

Shortly after Sandro Botticelli had painted that distinctly pagan picture, "The Birth of Venus," he equalized matters, eased conscience and silenced the critics, by producing a beautiful Madonna, surrounded by a circle of singing angels. Yet George Eliot writes that there were wiseacres who shook their heads and said: "This Madonna is the work of some good monk--only a man who is deeply religious could put that look of exquisite tenderness and sympathy in a woman's face. Some one is trying to save Sandro's reputation, and win him back from his wayward ways."

In the lives of Botticelli and Rembrandt there is a close similarity. In temperament as well as in experience they seem to parallel each other. In boyhood Botticelli and Rembrandt were dull, perverse, wilful. Both were given up by teachers and parents as hopelessly handicapped by stupidity. Botticelli's father, seeing that the boy made no progress at school, apprenticed him to a metalworker. The lad showed the esteem in which he held his parent by dropping the family name of Filipepi and assuming the name of Botticelli, the name of his employer.

Rembrandt's father thought his boy might make a fair miller, but beyond this his ambition never soared. Botticelli and Rembrandt were splendid animals. The many pictures of Rembrandt, painted by himself, show great physical vigor and vital power.

The picture of Botticelli, by himself, in the "Adoration of the Magi," reveals a powerful physique and a striking personality. The man is as fine as an Aztec, as strong and self-reliant as a cliff- dweller. Character and habit are revealed in the jaw--the teeth of the Aztecs were made to grind corn in the kernel, and as long as they continued grinding dried corn in the kernel, they had good teeth. Dentists were not required until men began to feed on mush.

Botticelli had broad, strong, square jaws, wide nostrils, full lips, large eyes set wide apart, forehead rather low and sloping, and a columnar neck that rose right out of his spine. A man with such a neck can "stand punishment"--and give it. Such a neck is only seen once in a thousand times. Men with such necks have been mothered by women who bore burdens balanced on their heads, boycotted the corsetier, and eschewed all deadly French heels.

Do you know the face of Oliver Goldsmith, the droop of the head, the receding chin and the bulging forehead? Well, Botticelli's face was the antithesis of this.

Most of the truly great artists have been men of this Stone Age-- quality men who dared. Michelangelo was the pure type: Titian who lived a century (lacking one year) was another. Leonardo was the same fine savage (who in some miraculous way also possessed the grace of a courtier). Franz Hals, Van Dyck, Rembrandt and Botticelli were all men of fierce appetites and heroic physiques. They had animality plus that would have carried them across the century-mark, had they not drawn checks on futurity, in a belief that their bank- balance was unlimited.

Botticelli and Rembrandt kept step in their history, both receiving instant recognition in early life and becoming rich. Then fashion and society turned against them--the tide of popularity began to ebb. One reinforced his genius with strong drink, and the other became intoxicated with religious enthusiasm. Finally, both begged alms in the public streets; and the bones of each filled a pauper's grave.

Ruskin unearthed Botticelli (Just as he discovered Turner), and gave him to the Preraphaelites, who fell down and worshiped him. Whether we would have had Burne-Jones without Botticelli is a grave question, and anyway it would have been another Burne-Jones. There would have been no processions of tall, lissome, melancholy beauties wending their way to nowhere, were it not for the "Spring." Ruskin held up the picture, and the Preraphaelites got them to their easels. At once all original "Botticellis" were gotten out, "restored" and reframed. The prices doubled, trebled, quadrupled, as the brokers scoured Europe. By the year Eighteen Hundred Eighty-six every "Botticelli" had found a home in some public institution or gallery, and no lure of gold could bring one forth.

At Yale University there is a modest collection of good pictures. Among them is a "Botticelli": not a great picture like the "Crowned Madonna" of the Uffizi, or "The Nativity" of the National Gallery, but still a picture painted by Sandro Botticelli, beyond a doubt. Recently, J. Pierpont Morgan, alumnus of Harvard, conceived the idea that the "Botticelli" at Yale would look quite as well and be safer if it were hung on the walls of the new granite fireproof Art- Gallery at Cambridge. Accordingly, he dispatched an agent to New Haven to buy the "Botticelli." The agent offered fifty thousand dollars, seventy-five, one hundred--no. Then he proposed to build Yale a new art-gallery and stock it with Pan-American pictures, all complete, in exchange for that little, insignificant and faded "Botticelli.". But no trade was consummated, and on the walls of Yale the picture still hangs. Each night a cot is carried in and placed beneath the picture. And there a watchman sleeps and dreams of that portrait of the Duchess of Devonshire by Gainsborough, stolen from its frame, lost for a quarter of a century, and then rescued by one Colonel Patrick Sheedy (philanthropist and friend of art), for a consideration, and sold to J. Pierpont Morgan, alumnus of Harvard (and a very alert, alive and active man).

A short time ago, there shot across the artistic firmament a comet of daring and dazzling brightness. Every comet is hurling onward to its death: destruction is its only end: and upon each line and tracery of the work of Aubrey Beardsley is the taint of decay.

To deny the genius of the man were vain--he had elements in his character that made him akin to Keats, Shelley, Burns, Byron, Chopin and Stephen Crane. With these his name will in brotherhood be forever linked. He was one made to suffer, sin and die--a few short summers, and autumn came with yellow leaves and he was gone. And the principal legacy he left us is the thought of wonder as to what he might have been had he only lived!

Aubrey Beardsley's art was the art of the ugly. His countenances are so repulsive that they attract. The psychology of the looks, and leers, and grins, and hot, hectic desires on the faces of his women is a puzzle that we can not lay aside--we want to solve the riddle of this paradox of existence--the woman whose soul is mire and whose heart is hell. Many men have tried to fathom it at close range, but we devise a safer plan and follow the trail in books, art and imagination. Art shows you the thing you might have done or been. Burke says the ugly attracts us, because we congratulate ourselves that we are not it.

The Madonna pictures, multiplied without end, stand for peace, faith, hope, trustfulness and love. All that is fairest, holiest, purest, noblest, best, men have tried to portray in the face of the Madonna. All the good that is in the hearts of all the good women they know, all the good that is in their own hearts, they have made to shine forth from the "Mother of God." Woman has been the symbol of righteousness and faith.

On the other hand, it was a woman--Louise de la Ramee--who said, "Woman is the instrument of lust." Saint Chrysostom wrote, "She is the snare the Devil uses to lure men to their doom." I am not quite ready to accept the dictum of that old, old story that it was the woman who collaborated with the serpent and first introduced sin and sorrow into the world. Or, should I believe this, I wish to give woman due credit for giving to man the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge--the best gift that ever came his way. But the first thought holds true in a poetic way: it has always been, is yet, and always will be true, that the very depths of degradation are sounded only by woman. As poets, painters and sculptors have ever chosen a woman to stand for what is best in humanity, so she has posed as their model when they wanted to reveal the worst.

This desire to depict villainy on a human face seems to have found its highest modern exponent in Aubrey Beardsley. With him man is an animal, and woman a beast. Aye, she is worse than a beast--she is a vampire. Kipling's summing up of woman as "a rag and a bone and a hank of hair" gives no clue to the possibilities in way of subtle, reckless reaches of deviltry compared with a single, simple, outline drawing by Beardsley. Beardsley's heroines are the kind of women who can kill a man with a million pin-pricks, so diabolically, subtly and slyly administered that no one but the victim would be aware of the martyrdom--and he could not explain it.

As you enter the main gallery of statuary at the Luxembourg, you will see, on a slightly raised platform, at the opposite end of the room, the nude figure of a man. The mold is heroic, and the strong pose at once attracts your attention. As you approach closer you will see, standing behind the man, the figure of a woman. Her form is elevated so she is leaning over him and her face is turned so her lips are about to be pressed upon his. You approach still closer, and a feeling of horror flashes through you--you see that the beautiful arms of the woman end in hairy claws. The claws embrace the man in deadly grasp, and are digging deep into his vitals. On his face is a look of fearful pain, and every splendid muscle is tense with awful agony.

Now, if you do as I did, you will suddenly turn and go out into the fresh air--the fearful realism of the marble will for the moment unnerve you.

This is the piece of statuary that gave Philip Burne-Jones the cue for his painting, "The Vampire," which picture suggested the poem, by the same name, to Rudyard Kipling.

Aubrey Beardsley gloated on the Vampire--she was the sole goddess of his idolatry.

No wonder it was that the story of Salome attracted him! Salome was a woman so wantonly depraved that Beardsley, with a touch of pious hypocrisy, said he dared not use her for dramatic purposes, save for the fact that she was a Bible character.

You remember the story: John the Baptist, the strong, fine youth, came up out of the wilderness crying in the streets of Jerusalem, "Repent ye! Repent ye!" Salome heard the call and looked upon the semi-naked young fanatic from her window, with half-closed, catlike eyes. She smiled, did this idle creature of luxury, as she lay there amid the cushions on her couch, arid gazed through the casement upon the preacher in the street. Suddenly a thought came to her! She arose on her elbow--she called her slaves.

They clothed her in a gaudy gown, dressed her hair, and led her forth.

Salome followed the wild, weird, religious enthusiast. She pushed through the crowd and placed herself near the man, so the smell of her body would reach his nostrils, and his eyes would range the swelling lines of her body.

Their eyes met. She half-smiled and gave him that look which had snared the soul of many another. But he only gazed at her with passionless, judging intensity, and repeated his cry, "Repent ye, Repent ye, for the day is at hand!"

Her reply, uttered soft and low, was this: "I would kiss thy lips!"

He turned away and she reached to seize his garment, repeating, "I would kiss thy lips--I would kiss thy lips!" He turned aside and forgot her, as he continued his warning cry, and went his way.

The next day she waylaid the youth again; as he came near she suddenly and softly stepped forth and said in that same low voice, "I would kiss thy lips!"

He repulsed her with scorn. She threw her arms about him and sought to draw his head down near hers. He pushed her from him with sinewy hands, sprang as from a pestilence, and was lost in the pressing throng.

That night she danced before Herod Antipas, and when the promise was recalled that she should have anything she wished, she named the head of the only man who had ever turned away from her--"The head of John the Baptist on a charger!"

In an hour the wish is gratified. Two eunuchs stand before Salome with a silver tray bearing its fearsome burden. The woman smiles--a smile of triumph--as she steps forth with tinkling feet. A look of pride comes over the painted face. Her jeweled fingers reach into the blood-matted hair. She lifts the head aloft, and the bracelets on her brown, bare arms fall to her shoulders, making strange music. Her face presses the face of the dead. In exultation she exclaims, "I have kissed thy lips!"

The most famous picture by Botticelli is the "Spring," now in the Academy at Florence. The picture has given rise to endless inquiry, and the explanation was made in the artist's day, and is still made, that it was painted to illustrate a certain passage in Lucretius. This innocent little subterfuge of giving a classic turn to things in art and literature has allowed many a man to shield his reputation and gloss his good name. When Art relied upon the protecting wing of the Church, the poet-painters called their risky little things, "Susannah and the Elders," "The Wife of Uriah," or "Pharaoh's Daughter." Lucas van Leyden once pictured a Dutch wench with such startling and realistic fidelity that he scandalized a whole community, until he labeled the picture, "Potiphar's Wife."

When the taste for the classics began to be cultivated, we had "Leda and the Swan," "Psyche," "Phryne Before the Judges," "Aphrodite Rising From the Sea," and, later, England experienced quite an artistic eruption of Lady Godivas. Literature is filled with many such naive little disguises as "Sonnets From the Portuguese," and Robert Browning himself caught the idea and put many a maxim into the mouth of another, for which he preferred not to stand sponsor.

Botticelli painted the "Spring" for Lorenzo the Magnificent, to be placed in the Medici villa at Castello. The picture, it will be remembered, represents seven female figures, a flying cupid, and a youth. The youth is a young man of splendid proportions; he stands in calm indifference with his back to the sparsely clad beauties, and reaches into the branches of a tree for the plenteous fruit. This youth is a composite portrait of Botticelli and his benefactor, Lorenzo. The women were painted from life, and represent various favorites and beauties of the court. The drawing is faulty, the center of gravity being lost in several of the figures, and the anatomy is of a quality that must have given a severe shock to the artist's friend, Leonardo. Yet the grace, the movement and the joyous quality of Spring are in it all. It is a most fascinating picture, and we can well imagine the flutter it produced when first exhibited four hundred years ago.

Two figures in the picture challenge attention. One of these represents approaching maternity--a most daring thing to attempt. This feature seems to belong to the School of Hogarth alone--a school which, let us pray, is hopelessly dead.

Cimabue and several of his pupils painted realistic pictures representing Mary visiting Elizabeth, but the intense religious zeal back of them was a salt that saved from offending. Occasionally, the staid and sober Dutch successfully attempted the same theme, and their stolidity stood for them as religious zeal had done for the early Italians--we pardon them simply because they knew no better than to choose a subject that is beyond the realm of art.

The restorers and engravers have softened down Botticelli's intent, which was originally well defined, but we can easily see that the effect was delicate and spiritual. The woman's downcast gaze is full of tenderness and truth. That figure when it was painted was history, and must have had a very tender interest for two persons at least. Had the painter dared to suggest motherhood in that other figure--the one with the flowered raiment--he would have offended against decency, and the art-sense of the world would have stricken his name from the roster of fame forever, and made him anathema. More has been written and said, and more copies made of that woman in the flowered dress in the "Spring" than of any other portrait I can remember, save possibly the "Mona Lisa."

The face is not without a certain attractiveness; the high cheek- bones, the narrow forehead, and the lines above her brow show that this is no ideal sketch--it is the portrait of a woman who once lived. But the peculiar mark of depravity is the eye: this woman looks at you with a cold, calm, calculating, brazen leer. Hidden in the folds of her dress or in the coil of her hair is a stiletto--she can find it in an instant--and as she looks at you out of those impudent eyes, she is mentally searching out your most vulnerable spot. In this woman's face there is an entire absence of wonder, curiosity, modesty or passion. All that we call the eternally feminine is obliterated.

"Mona Lisa" is infinitely wise, while this woman is only cunning. All the lure she possesses is the lure of warm, pulsing youth--grown old she will be a repulsive hag. Speculation has made her one of the Borgias, for in the days of Botticelli a Borgia was Pope, and Cesare Borgia and his court were well known to Botticelli--from such a group he could have picked his model, if anywhere. Ruskin has linked this unknown wicked beauty with Machiavelli. But Machiavelli had a head that outmatched hers, and he would certainly have left her to the fool moths that fluttered around her candle. Machiavelli used women, and this woman has only one ambition, and that is to use men. She represents concrete selfishness--the mother-instinct swallowed up in pride, and conscience smothered by hate. Certainly sex is not dead in her, but it is perverted below the brute. Her passion would be so intense and fierce that even as she caressed her lover, with arm about his neck, she would feel softly for his jugular, mindful the while of the stiletto hidden in her hair. And this is the picture that fired the brain of Aubrey Beardsley, and caused him to fix his ambition on becoming the Apostle of the Ugly.

To liken Beardsley to Botticelli, however, seems indeed a sin. The master was an artist, but Beardsley only gave chalk talks. His work is often crude, rude and raw. He is only a promise, turned to dust. Yet let the simple fact stand for what it is worth, that Beardsley had but one god, and that was Botticelli. Most of the things Beardsley did were ugly; many of the things Botticelli did were supremely beautiful.

Yet in all of Botticelli's work there is a tinge of melancholy--a shade of disappointment. The "Spring" is a sad picture. On the faces of all his tall, fine, graceful girls there is a hectic flush. Their cheeks are hollow, and you feel that their beauty is already beginning to fade. Like fruit too much loved by the sun, they are ready to fall.

Botticelli had the true love nature. By instinct he was a lover, proof of which lies in the fact that he was deeply religious. The woman he loved he has pictured over and over again. The touch of sorrow is ever in her wan face, but she possessed a silken strength, a heroic nature, a love that knew no turning. She had faith in Botticelli, and surely he had faith in her. For forty years she was in his heart; at times he tried to dislodge her and replace her image with another; but he never succeeded, and the last Madonna he drew is the same wistful, loving, patient face--sad yet proud, strong yet infinitely tender.

In that piece of lapidary work, "How Sandro Botticelli Saw Simonetta in the Spring," is a bit of heart psychology which, I believe, has never been surpassed in English.

Simonetta, of the noble house of Vespucci, was betrothed to Giuliano, brother of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Simonetta was tall, stately--beautiful as Venus, wise as Minerva and proud as Juno. She knew her worth, realized her beauty, and feeling her power made others feel it, too.

On a visit to the villa of the Medici at Fiesole she first saw Sandro Botticelli at an evening assembly in the gardens. She had heard of the man and knew his genius. When they suddenly met face to face under the boughs, she noted how her beauty startled him. His gaze ranged the exquisite lines of her tall form, then sought the burnished gold of her hair. Their eyes met.

First of all this man was an artist: the art-instinct in him was supreme: after that he was a lover.

Simonetta saw he had looked upon her merely as a "subject." She was both pleased and angry. She, too, loved art, but she loved love more. She was a woman. They separated, and Simonetta inwardly compared the sallow, slavish scion of a proud name, to whom she was betrothed, with this God's Nobleman whom she had just met. Giuliano's words were full of soft flattery; this man uttered an oath of surprise under his breath, on first seeing her, and treated her almost with rudeness.

She fought the battle out there, alone, leaning against a tree, listening to the monotonous voice of a poet who was reading from Plato. She felt the disinterested greatness of Sandro, she knew the grandeur of his intellect--she was filled with a desire to be of service to him. Certainly she did not love him--a social abyss separated them--but could not her beauty and power in some way be allied with his, so that the world should be made better?

"Shame is of the brute dullard who thinks shame," came the resonant voice of the reader. The words rang in her ears. Sandro was greater than the mere flesh--she would be, too. She would pose for him, and thus give her beautiful body to the world--beauty is eternal! Her action would bless and benefit the centuries yet to come. She was the most beautiful of women--he the greatest of artists. It was an opportunity sent from the gods! Instantly she half-ran, seeking the painter. She found him standing apart, alone. She spoke eagerly and hotly, fearing her courage would falter before she could make known her wish: "Ecco, Messer Sandro," she whispered, casting a furtive look about--"who is there in Florence like me?"

"There is no one," calmly answered Sandro.

"I will be your Lady Venus," she went on breathlessly, stepping closer--"You shall paint me rising from the sea!"

Very early the next morning, before the household was astir, Sandro entered the apartments of the lady Simonetta. She was awaiting him, leaning with feigned carelessness against the balustrade, arrayed from head to toe in a rose-colored mantle. One bare foot peeped forth from under the folds of the robe.

Neither spoke a word.

Sandro arranged his easel, spread his crayons on the table, and looked about the room making calculations as to light.

He motioned her to a certain spot. She took the position, and as he picked up a crayon and examined it carelessly she raised her arms and the robe fell at her feet.

Sandro faced her, and saw the tall, delicate form, palpitating before him. The rays of the morning sun swept in between the lattices and kissed her shoulder, face and hair.

For an instant the artist was in abeyance. Then from under his breath he exclaimed: "Holy Virgin! what a line! Stay as you are, I implore you--swerve not a hair's breadth, and soon you shall be mine forever!"

The pencil broke under his impetuous stroke. He seized another and worked at headlong speed. The woman watched him with eyes dilated. She was agitated, and the pink of her fair skin came and went. Her face grew pale, and she swayed like a reed.

All the time she watched the artist, fearfully. She was at his mercy!

Ah God! he was only an artist with the biggest mouth in all Florence! She noted how he tossed the hair from his eyes every moment. She saw the heavy jaw, the great, broad-spreading feet, the powerful chest. His smothered exclamations as he worked filled her with scorn. What had she done? Who was she, anyway, that she should thus bare her beauty before such a creature? He had not even spoken to her! Was she only a thing? She grew deadly pale and reeled as she stood there. Two big tears chased each other down her cheeks. The painter looking up saw other tears glistening on her lashes. He noted her distress.

He dropped his crayon and made a motion as if to advance to her relief.

A few moments before and he might have folded her mantle about her and assisted her to a seat--then they would have talked, reassured each other, and been mutually understood. To be understood--to be appreciated--that is it!

It was too late, now--she hated him.

As he advanced she recovered herself.

She pointed her finger to the door, and bade him begone.

Hastily he huddled his belongings into a parcel, and without looking up, passed out of the door. She heard his steps echoing down the stairway, and soon from out the lattice she saw him walk across the court and disappear. He did not look up!

She threw herself upon her couch, buried her face in the pillows and burst into tears.

In one short week word came to Sandro that Simonetta was dead--a mysterious quick fever of some kind--she had refused all food--the doctors could not understand it--the fever had just burned her life out!

Let Maurice Hewlett tell the rest:

"They carried dead Simonetta through the streets of Florence, with her pale face uncovered and a crown of myrtle in her hair. People thronging there held their breath, or wept to see such still loveliness; and her poor parted lips wore a patient little smile, and her eyelids were pale violet and lay heavy on her cheek. White, like a bride, with a nosegay of orange-blossoms, and syringa at her throat, she lay there on her bed, with lightly folded hands and the strange aloofness and preoccupation all the dead have. Only her hair burned about her like molten copper.

"The great procession swept forward; black brothers of Misericordia, shrouded and awful, bore the bed or stalked before it with torches that guttered and flared sootily in the dancing light of day.

"Santa Croce, the great church, stretched forward beyond her into the distances of gray mist and cold spaces of light. Its bare vastness was damp like a vault. And she lay in the midst listless, heavy-lidded, apart, with the half-smile, as it seemed, of some secret mirth. Round her the great candles smoked and flickered, and mass was sung at the High Altar for her soul's repose. Sandro stood alone, facing the shining altar, but looking fixedly at Simonetta on her couch. He was white and dry--parched lips and eyes that ached and smarted. Was this the end? Was it possible, my God! that the transparent, unearthly thing lying there so prone and pale was dead? Had such loveliness aught to do with life or death? Ah! sweet lady, dear heart, how tired she was, how deadly tired! From where he stood he could see with intolerable anguish the somber rings around her eyes and the violet shadows on the lids, her folded hands and the straight, meek line to the feet. And her poor wan face with its wistful, pitiful little smile was turned half-aside on the delicate throat, as if in a last appeal: Leave me now, O Florentines, to my rest. Poor child! Poor child! Sandro was on his knees with his face pressed against the pulpit and tears running through his fingers as he prayed.

"As he had seen her, so he painted. As at the beginning of life in a cold world, passively meeting the long trouble of it, he painted her a rapt Presence floating evenly to our earth. A gray, translucent sea laps silently upon a little creek, and in the hush of a still dawn the myrtles and sedges on the water's brim are quiet. It is a dream in halftones that he gives us, gray and green and steely blue; and just that, and some homely magic of his own, hint the commerce of another world with man's discarded domain. Men and women are asleep, and as in an early walk you may startle the hares at their play, or see the creatures of the darkness--owls and night-hawks and heavy moths--flit with fantastic purpose over the familiar scene, so here it comes upon you suddenly that you have surprised Nature's self at her mysteries; you are let into the secret; you have caught the spirit of the April woodland as she glides over the pasture to the copse. And that, indeed, was Sandro's fortune. He caught her in just such a propitious hour. He saw the sweet wild thing, pure and undefiled by touch of earth; caught her in that pregnant pause of time ere she had lighted. Another moment and a buxom nymph of the grove would fold her in a rosy mantle, colored as the earliest wood- anemones are. She would vanish, we know, into the daffodils or a bank of violets. And you might tell her presence there, or in the rustle of the myrtles, or coo of doves mating in the pines; you might feel her genius in the scent of the earth or the kiss of the west wind; but you could only see her in mid-April, and you should look for her over the sea. She always comes with the first warmth of the year. But daily, before he painted, Sandro knelt in a dark chapel in Santa Croce, while a priest said mass for the repose of Simonetta's soul."

George Eliot gives many a side-glimpse of the art life of Florence in the days of the luxury-loving Medici. She saturated herself in Italian literature and history; and the days of Fra Angelico, Fra Lippo Lippi and Fra Girolamo Savonarola are bodied forth from lines deeply etched upon her heart.

When you go to Florence carry "Romola" in your side-pocket, just as you take the "Marble Faun" to Rome. "Romola" will certainly make history live again and pass before your gaze. The story is unmistakably high art, for from the opening lines of the proem you hear the slow, measured wing of death; and after you have read the volume, forever, for you, will the smoke of martyr-fires hover about the Piazza Signoria, and from the gates of San Marco you will see emerge that little man in black robe and cowl--that homely, repulsive man with the curved nose, the protruding lower lip, the dark, leathery skin--that man who lured and fascinated by his poise and power, whose words were whips of scorpions that stung his enemies until they had to silence him with a rope; and as a warning to those whom he had hypnotized, they burned his swart, shrunken body in the public square, just as he had burned their books and pictures.

Sandro Botticelli, the painter, who made sensuality beautiful, ugliness seductive, and the sin-stained soul attractive, renounced all and followed the Monk of San Marco--sensuality and asceticism at the last are one. When the procession headed for the Piazza Signoria, where the fagots were piled high, Sandro stood afar off and his heart was wrung in anguish, as he saw the glare of the flames gild the eastern sky. And this anguish was not for the friends who had perished--no, no, it was for himself; the thought that he was unworthy of martyrdom filled his mind--he had fallen at the critical moment. Basely and cravenly he had saved himself. By saving all he lost all. To lose one's self-respect is the only calamity. Sandro Botticelli had failed to win the approval of his Other Self--and this is defeat, and there is none other. He might have sent his soul to God on the wings of victory, in glorious company, but now it was too late--too late!

From this time forth he ceased to live--he merely existed. Into his soul there occasionally shot gleams of sunshine, but his nerveless hands refused to do the bidding of his brain. He stood on crutches, hat in hand, at church-doors, and asked for alms. Sometimes he would make bold to tell people of wonderful pictures within, over the altar or upon the walls; and he would say that they were his, and then his hearers would laugh aloud, and ask him to repeat his words, that others, too, might laugh. Thus dwindled the passing days; and for him who had painted the "Spring" there came the chilling neglect of Winter, until Death in mercy laid an icy hand upon him, and he was still.


See the hovering ships on the wharves! The Dannebrog waves, the workmen sit in circle under the shade at their frugal breakfasts; but foremost stands the principal figure in this picture; it is a boy who cuts with a bold hand the lifelike features in the wooden image for the beakhead of the vessel. It is the ship's guardian spirit, and, as the first image from the hand of Albert Thorwaldsen, it shall wander out into the wide world. The swelling sea shall baptize it with its waters, and hang its wreaths of wet plants around it; nor night, nor storm, nor icebergs, nor sunken rocks shall lure it to its death, for the Good Angel that guards the boy shall, too, guard the ship upon which with mallet and chisel he has set his mark. --_Hans Christian Andersen_

[Illustration: Thorwaldsen]

The real businesslike biographer begins by telling when his subject "first saw the light"--by which he means when the man was born. In this instance we will go a bit further back and make note of the interesting fact that Thorwaldsen was descended from an ancestor who had the rare fortune to be born in Rhode Island, in the year Ten Hundred Seven.

Wiggling, jiggling, piggling individuals with quibbling proclivities, and an incapacity for distinguishing between fact and truth, may maintain that there was no Rhode Island in the year Ten Hundred Seven. Emerson has written, "Nothing is of less importance on account of its being small." And so I maintain that, in the year Ten Hundred Seven, Rhode Island was just where it is now, and the Cosmos quite as important. Let Pawtucket protest and Providence bite the thumb--no retraction will be made!

About the year Eighteen Hundred Fifteen the Secretary of the Rhode Island Historical Society wrote Thorwaldsen, informing him that he had been elected an honorary member of the Society, on account of his being the only known living descendant of the first European born in America. Thorwaldsen replied, expressing his great delight in the honor conferred, and touched feelingly on the fact that while he had been elected to membership in various societies in consideration of what he had done, this was the first honor that had come his way on account of his ancestry. To a friend he said, "How would we ever know who we are, or where we come from, were it not for the genealogical savants!" In a book called "American Antiquities," now in the Library at Harvard College, and I suppose accessible in various other libraries, there is a genealogical table tracing the ancestry of Thorwaldsen. It seems that, in the year Ten Hundred Six, one Thorfinne, an Icelandic whaler, commanded a ship which traversed the broad Atlantic, and skirted the coast of New England. Thorfinne wintered his craft in one of the little bays of Rhode Island, and spent the Winter at Mount Hope, where the marks of his habitat endure even unto this day.

The statement to the effect that when the Indians saw the ships of Columbus, they cried out, "Alas, we are discovered!" goes back to a much earlier period, like many another of Mark Twain's gladsome scintillations. So little did Thorfinne and his hardy comrades think of crossing the Atlantic in search of adventure, that they used to take their families along, as though it were a picnic. And so Fate ordered that Gudrid, the good wife of Thorfinne, should give birth to a son, there at Mount Hope, Rhode Island, in the year Ten Hundred Seven. And they called the baby boy Snome. And to Snome, the American, the pedigree of Thorwaldsen traces. In a lecture on the Icelandic Sagas, I once heard William Morris say that all really respectable Icelanders traced their genealogy to a king, and many of them to a god. Thorwaldsen did both--first to Harold Hildestand, King of Denmark, and then, with the help of several kind old gran'mamas, to the god Thor. His love for mythology was an atavism. In childhood the good old aunties used to tell him how the god Thor once trod the earth and shattered the mountains with his hammer. From Thor and the World his first ancestor was born, so the family name was Thor-vald. The appendix "sen," or son, means that the man was the son of Thor-vald; and in some way the name got ossified, like the name Robinson, Parkinson, Peterson or Albertson, and then it was Thorwaldsen.

Men who are strong in their own natures are very apt to smile at the good folk who chase the genealogical aniseed trail--it is a harmless diversion with no game at the end of the route. And on the other hand, all men, like Thorwaldsen, who teach cosmic consciousness, recognize their Divine Sonship. Such men feel that their footsteps are mortised and tenoned in granite; and the Power that holds the worlds in space and guides the wheeling planets, also prompts their thoughts and directs their devious way. They know that they are a necessary part of the Whole. Small men are provincial, mediocre men are cosmopolitan, but the great souls are Universal.

Two islands, one city and the open sea claim the honor of being the birthplace of Bertel Thorwaldsen. The date of his birth ranges, according to the authorities, from Seventeen Hundred Seventy to Seventeen Hundred Seventy-three--take your choice. His father was an Icelander who had worked his passage down to Copenhagen and had found his stint as a wood-carver in a shipyard where it was his duty to carve out wonderful figureheads, after designs made by others. Gottschalk Thorwaldsen never thought to improve on a model, or change it in any way, or to model a figurehead himself. The cold of the North had chilled any ambition that was in his veins. Goodsooth! Such work as designing figureheads was only for those who had been to college, and who could read and write! So he worked away, day after day, and with the help of the goodwife's foresight and economy, managed to keep out of debt, pay his tithes at church and lead a decent life.

Little Bertel used to remember when, like the Peggottys, they lived in an abandoned canal-boat that had been tossed up on the beach. Bertel carried chips and shavings from the shipyard for fuel, and piled them against the "house." One night the tide came up in a very unexpected manner and carried the chips away, for the sea is so very hungry that it is always sending the tide in to shore after things. It was quite a loss for the poor wood-carver and his wife to have all their winter fuel carried away; so they cuffed little Bertel soundly (for his own good) for not piling the chips up on the deck of the boat, instead of leaving them on the shifting sand.

This was the first great cross that came to Bertel. He had a few others afterwards, but he never forgot the night of anguish and the feeling of guilt that followed the losing of the shavings and chips.

Some weeks after, another high tide came sweeping in, and lapped and sniffed and sighed around the canal-boat as if it were trying to tug it loose and carry the old craft and all the family out to sea. Little Bertel hoped the tide would fetch it, for it would be kind o' nice to get clear out away from everybody and everything--where there were no chips to pick up. His mother could supply a quilt for a mainsail and he would use his shirt for a jib, and they would steer straight for America--or somewhere.

But lest the dream should come true, Gottschalk and his wife talked the matter over and concluded to abandon the boat, before it got sunk into the sand quite out of sight. So the family moved into a little house on an alley, half a mile away from the shipyard--it was an awful long way to carry chips.

The second calamity that came into the life of little Bertel was when he was eight years old. He and several companions were playing about the King's Market, where there was an equestrian statue of Charles the Twelfth.

The boys climbed up on to the pedestal, cut various capers there, and finally they challenged Bertel to mount the horse behind the noble rider. By dint of much boosting from several boys older than himself, he was at last perched on the horse. Then his companions made hot haste to run away and leave him in his perilous position. Just then, as unkind Fate would have it, a pair of gendarmes came along on the lookout for anything that might savor of sedition, contumacy or contravention. They found it in little Bertel clutching tearfully to the royal person of Charles the Twelfth, twelve feet above the ground. Quickly they rushed the lad off to the police- station, between them, each with a firm grip upon his collar.

Victor Hugo once said, "The minions of the law go stolidly after vice, and not finding it, they stolidly take virtue instead."

Besides an awful warning "never to do this thing again," from a judge in a ferocious wig, the boy got a flogging at home (for his own good), although his father first explained that it was a very painful duty to himself to be obliged to punish his son. The son volunteered to excuse his father, and this brought the youngster ten extra lashes for being so smart.

Long years after, at Rome, Thorwaldsen told the story to Hans Christian Andersen about being caught astride the great bronze horse at Copenhagen, and of the awful reprimand of the judge bewigged.

"And honestly now: I'll never tell," said Andersen with a sly twinkle in his blue eyes--"did you ever repeat the offense?"

"Since you promise not to divulge it, I'll confess that forty-three years after my crime of mounting that horse, I had occasion to cross King's Market Square at midnight. I had been out to a little social gathering, and was on my way home alone. I saw the great horse and rider gleaming in the pale moonlight. I recalled vividly how I had occupied that elevated perch and been hauled down by the scandalized and indignant officers. I remembered the warning of the judge as to what would happen if I ever did it again. Hastily I removed my coat and hat and clambered up on the pedestal. I seized a leg of the royal person, and swung up behind. For five minutes I sat there mentally defying the State, and saying unspeakable things about all gendarmes and Copenhagen gendarmes in particular."

I have a profound respect for boys. Grimy, ragged, tousled boys in the street often attract me strangely. A boy is a man in the cocoon --you do not know what it is going to become--his life is big with possibilities.

He may make or unmake kings, change boundary-lines between States, write books that will mold characters, or invent machines that will revolutionize the commerce of the world. Every man was a boy--I trust I shall not be contradicted--it is really so. Wouldn't you like to turn Time backward, and see Abraham Lincoln at twelve, when he had never worn a pair of boots?--the lank, lean, yellow, hungry boy--hungry for love, for learning, tramping off through the woods for twenty miles to borrow a book, and spelling it out crouching before the glare of the burning logs.

Then there was that Corsican boy, one of a goodly brood, who weighed only fifty pounds when ten years old; who was thin and pale and perverse, and had tantrums, and had to be sent supperless to bed, or locked in a dark closet because he wouldn't "mind"! Who would have thought that he would have mastered every phase of warfare at twenty-six, and when told that the Exchequer of France was in dire confusion, would say: "The finances? I will arrange them!"

Distinctly and vividly I remember a squat, freckled boy who was born in the "Patch" and used to pick up coal along the railroad-tracks in Buffalo. A few months ago I had a motion to make before the Court of Appeals. That boy from the "Patch" was the judge who wrote the opinion, granting my petition.

Yesterday I rode horseback past a field where a boy was plowing. The lad's hair stuck out through the top of his hat; one suspender held his trousers in place; his form was bony and awkward; his bare legs and arms were brown and sunburned and briar-scratched. He swung his horses around just as I passed by, and from under the flapping brim of his hat he cast a quick glance out of dark, half-bashful eyes, and modestly returned my salute. When his back was turned I took off my hat and sent a God-bless-you down the furrow after him.

Who knows?--I may go to that boy to borrow money or to hear him preach, or to beg him to defend me in a lawsuit; or he may stand with pulse unhastened, bare of arm, in white apron, ready to do his duty, while the cone is placed over my face, and Night and Death come creeping into my veins. Be patient with the boys--you are dealing with soul-stuff--Destiny awaits just around the corner. Be patient with the boys!

Bertel Thorwaldsen was fourteen years old. He was pale and slender, and had a sharp chin and a straight nose and hair the color of sunburned tow. His eyes were large, set wide apart and bright blue; and he looked out upon the world silently, with a sort o' wistful melancholy. He helped his father carve out the wonderful figureheads that were to pilot the ships across strange seas and bring good luck to the owners.

"A boy like that should be sent to the Academy and taught designing," said one of the shipowners one day as he watched the lad at his work. Gottschalk shook his head dubiously. "How could a poor man, with a family to support, and provisions so high, spare his boy from work! Aye, wasn't he teaching the lad a trade himself, as it was?"

But the shipowner fumbled his fob, and insisted, and to test the boy he had him work with his designers. And he compromised with the father by having Bertel sent to the Academy half a day at a time.

At the school one of the instructors remembered Bertel, on account of his long yellow hair that hung down in his eyes when he leaned over the desk; also his dulness in every line except drawing and clay-modeling. The newspapers one day announced that a certain young Master Thorwaldsen had been awarded a prize for clay-modeling.

"Is that your brother?" asked the teacher next day. "It is myself, Herr Chaplain," replied the boy, blushing to the roots of his yellow hair.

The Chaplain coughed to conceal his surprise. He had always thought this boy incapable of anything. "Herr Thorwaldsen," he said, severely, "you will please pass to the first grade!" And to be addressed as "Herr" meant that you really were somebody. "He called me 'Herr'!" said Bertel to his mother that night--"He called me 'Herr'!"

About this time we find the painter Abildgaard taking a special interest in young Bertel, giving him lessons in drawing and painting, and encouraging him in his modeling. In fact, Thorwaldsen has himself explained that all of his "original" designs about this time were supplied by Abildgaard. The interest of Abildgaard in the boy was slightly resented by the young man's parents, who were afraid that their son was getting above his station. Abildgaard has left a record to the effect that at this time Thorwaldsen was very self-contained, reticent, and seemingly without ambition. He used to postpone every task, and would often shirk his duties until sharp reminders came. Yet when he did begin, he would fall on the task like one possessed, and finish it in an hour. This proved to Abildgaard that the stuff was there, and down in his heart he believed that this sleepy lad would some day awake from slumber.

Anyway, Abildgaard used to say, long years after, "What did I tell you?" Gottschalk was paid by the piece for his carving; he was getting better pay now, because he did better work, his employer thought. Bertel was helping him. The family was getting quite prosperous.

When Bertel had secured, between sleepy spells, about all the prizes for clay-modeling and sketching that artistic Copenhagen had to offer, he started for Rome, armed with a three-year traveling scholarship. This prize proved to be a pivotal point. The young man had done good work, and seemingly without effort; but he was sadly lacking in general education--and worse, he apparently had no desire to learn.

He was twenty-six years of age when he sailed for Rome on the good ship "Thetis." The scholarship he had won four years before, but through disinclination to press his claims, and the procrastination of officialism, the matter was pigeonholed. It might have gone by default had not Abildgaard said "Go!" and loudly.

Thorwaldsen was a sort of charity passenger on the ship--taken on request of the owner--and it was assumed that he would make himself useful. But the captain of the craft left him a recommendation to the effect that "The young fellow Thorwaldsen is the laziest man I ever saw." The ship was on a trading tour, and lingered along various coasts and put into many harbors; so nine months went by before Bertel Thorwaldsen found himself in the Eternal City.

"I was born March Eighth, Seventeen Hundred Ninety-seven," Thorwaldsen used to say. That was the day he reached Rome. Antonio Canova, the sculptor, was then at the height of his popularity. Thorwaldsen's first success was the model for a statue of Jason, which was highly praised by Canova, and Bertel received the commission to execute it in marble from Thomas Hope, a wealthy English art patron. From this time forth, Thorwaldsen's success was assured.

His scholarship provided only for three years' residence; but twenty-three years were to elapse before he should again see his childhood's home--as for his parents, he had looked into their eyes for the last time.

The soul grows by leaps and bounds, by throes and throbs. A flash! and a glory stands revealed for which you have been groping blindly through the years. Well did Thorwaldsen call the day of his arrival in Rome the day of his birth! For the first time the world seemed to unfold before him. On the voyage thither, the captain of the "Thetis" had offered to prepare him for his stay in Rome by teaching him the Italian language; but the young sculptor was indifferent. During the months he was on shipboard, he might have mastered the language; this came back to him as he stood in the presence of Saint Peter's, and realized that he was treading the streets once trod by Michelangelo. He spoke only "Sailor's Latin," a composite of Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Icelandic. The waste of time of which he had been guilty, and the extent of all that lay beyond, pressed home upon him.

Of course we know that the fallow years are as good as the years of plenty; the silent Winter prepares the soil for Spring; and we know, too, that the sense of unworthiness and the discontent that Thorwaldsen felt during his first few weeks at Rome were big with promise.

The antique world was a new world to him; he knew nothing of mythology, nothing of history, little of books. He began to thirst for knowledge, and this being true, he drank it in. Little men spell things out with sweat and lamp-smoke, but others there be who absorb in the mass, read by the page, and grow great by simply letting down their buckets.

This fair-haired descendant of a Viking bold had the usual preliminary struggle, for the Established Order is always resentful toward pressing youth. He worked incessantly: sketched, read, studied, modeled, and to help out his finances copied pictures for prosperous dealers who made it their business thus to employ 'prentice talent.

But a few years and we see Thorwaldsen occupying the studio of Flaxman, and more than filling that strong man's place. For specimens of Flaxman's work examine your "Wedgwood"; and then to see Thorwaldsen's product, multiply Flaxman by one hundred. One worked in the delicate and exquisite; the other had a taste for the heroic: both found inspiration in the Greek.

It will not do to claim for Thorwaldsen that he was a great and original genius. He lacked that hirsute, independent quality of Michelangelo, and surely he lacked the Attic invention. He was receptive as a woman, and he builded on what had been done. He moved in the line of least resistance--made friends of Protestant and Catholic alike; won the warm recognition of the Pope, who averred, "Thorwaldsen is a good Catholic, only he does not know it." He kept clear of all factions, and with a modicum more of will, might have been a very prince of diplomats. But as it was, he evolved into a prince of artists.

Soon after his advent in Rome, Thorwaldsen met, at the country-house of his friend, critic and benefactor Zoega, a young woman who was destined to have a profound influence upon his life. Anna Maria Magnani was lady's maid and governess in the Zoega household. She was a beautiful animal: dark, luminous, flashing eyes, hair black as the raven's wing, and a form that palpitated with passion--a true daughter of the warm, sun-kissed South.

The young sculptor of the yellow locks danced with the signorina at the rustic fetes upon the lawn. She spoke no Danish, and his Italian was exceedingly limited, but hand pressed hand and they contrived to make themselves understood. She volunteered to give him lessons in Italian; this went well, and then she posed for him as a model.

What should have been at best or worst a mere incident in the artist's life ripened into something more. Intellectually and spiritually they lived in different worlds, and in sober moments both realized it. An arrangement was entered into of the same quality and kind as Goethe and Christine Vulpius assumed. Only this woman had moments of rebellion when she thirsted for social honors. As his wife, Thorwaldsen knew that she would be a veritable dead- weight, and he sought to loosen her grasp upon him. An offer of marriage came to her from a man of means and social station. Thorwaldsen favored the mating, and did what he could to hasten the nuptials. But when the other man had actually married the girl and carried her away, he had a sick spell to pay for it--he wasn't quite so calloused in heart as he had believed. Like many other men, Thorwaldsen found that such a tie is not easily broken.

Anna Maria thought she loved the man she had married, and at least she believed she could learn to do so. Alas! after six months of married life she packed up and came back to Rome, declaring that, though her husband was kind and always treated her well, she would rather be the slave and servant of Thorwaldsen than the wife of any man on earth. The sculptor hadn't the heart to turn her away. More properly, her will was stronger than his conscience. Perhaps he was glad, too, that she had come back! The injured husband followed, and Anna Maria warned the man to be gone, and emphasized the suggestion with the gleam of a pearl-handled stiletto; and by the same token kept all gushing females away from the Thorwaldsen preserve.

Thorwaldsen never married, and there is no doubt that his engagement to Miss Mackenzie, a most excellent English lady, was vetoed by Anna Maria and her pearl-handled stiletto.

One child was born to Anna Maria and Thorwaldsen--a girl, who was legally acknowledged by Thorwaldsen as his daughter. When prosperity came his way some years later, he deposited in the Bank of Copenhagen a sum equal to twenty thousand dollars, with orders that the interest should be paid to her as long as she lived.

Unlike Byron's daughter Allegra, born the same year only a few miles away, who died young and for whose grave at Harrow the poet had carved the touching line, "I shall go to her, but she will not return to me," the daughter of Thorwaldsen grew up, was happily married and bore a son who achieved considerable distinction as an artist. Thus the sculptor's good fortune attended him, even in circumstances that work havoc in most men's lives--he disarmed the Furies with a smile!

Many visitors daily thronged the studio of Thorwaldsen. He had one general reception-room containing casts of his work, and many curious things in the line of art. His servant greeted the callers and made them at home, expressing much regret at the absence of his master, who was "out of the city," etc. Meanwhile, Thorwaldsen was hard at it in a back room, to which only the elect were admitted. The King of Bavaria, a genuine artist himself in spirit, who spent much time in Rome, conceived a great admiration for Thorwaldsen. He walked into the atelier where the sculptor was at work one day and hung around his neck by a gold chain the "Cross of the Commander," a decoration never before given to any but great military commanders.

King Louis had a very unkinglike way of doing things, and used to go by the studio and whistle for Thorwaldsen and call to him to come out and walk, or drive, ride or dine.

"I wish that King would go off and reign--I have work to do," cried the sculptor rather impatiently.

Envious critics used to maintain that there were ten men in Rome who could model as well as Thorwaldsen, "but they haven't yellow hair that falls to their shoulders, and heaven-blue eyes with which to snare the ladies."

The fact must be admitted that the vogue of Thorwaldsen owed much to the remarkable social qualities of the man. His handsome face and fine form were supplemented by a manner most gentle and winning; and whether his half-diffident ways and habit of reticence were natural or the triumph of art was a vexing problem that never found solution.

He was the social rage in every salon. And his ability to do the right thing at the right time, seemingly without premeditation, made him a general favorite. For instance, if he attended a fete given by the King of Bavaria, he wore just one decoration--the decoration of Bavaria. If he attended a ball given by the French Ambassador, in the lapel of his modest black velvet coat he wore the red ribbon that tokens the Legion of Honor. When he visited the Villa of the Grand Duchess Helena of Russia, he wore no jewel save the diamond- studded star presented to him by the Czar. At the reception given by the "English Colony" to Sir Walter Scott, the great sculptor wore a modest thistle-blossom in his lapel, which caused Lord Elgin to offer odds that if O'Connell should appear in Rome, Thorwaldsen would wear a sprig of shamrock in his hat and say nothing. The thistle caught Sir Walter, and the next day when he came to call on the sculptor he saw a tam-o-shanter hanging on the top of an easel and a bit of plaid scarf thrown carelessly across the corner of the picture below. The poet and the sculptor embraced, patting each other on the back, called each other "Brother" and smiled good-will. But as Thorwaldsen could not speak English and Sir Walter spoke nothing else, they merely beamed and ran the scale of adjectives, thus: Sublimissio! Hero! Precious! Plaisir! La Grande! Delighted! Splendide! Honorable! Then they embraced again and backed away, waving each other good-by.

Thorwaldsen had more medals, degrees and knighthoods than Sir Walter ever saw, but he would allow no prefix to his name. Denmark, Russia, Germany, Italy, France and the Pope had outdone themselves in doing him honor. All these "trifles" in the way of decorations he kept in a specially prepared case, which was opened occasionally for the benefit of lady visitors. "The girls like such things," said Thorwaldsen, and smiled in apology.

Shelley found his way to Thorwaldsen's studio, and made mention that the Master was a bit of a poseur. Byron came, and as we know, sat for that statue which is now at Cambridge. The artist sought to beguile the melancholy sitter with pleasant conversation, but the author of "Don Juan" would have none of it, and when the work was completed and unveiled before him, he exclaimed in disappointment, "I look far more unhappy than that!"

Thorwaldsen was a musician of no mean quality, and there was always a piano in his studio, to which he often turned for rest. When Felix Mendelssohn was in Rome he made the sculptor's workshop his headquarters, and sometimes the two would play "four hands," or else Thorwaldsen would accompany the "Song Without Words" upon his violin.

Gradually the number of the "elect" seemed to grow. It was regarded as a great sight to see the Master at his work. And by degrees Thorwaldsen reached a point where he could keep right along at his task and receive his friends at the same time.

The man at his work! There is nothing finer. I have seen men homely, uncouth and awkward when "dressed up," who were superb when at their work. Once I saw Augustus Saint Gaudens in blouse and overalls, well plastered with mud, standing on a ladder hard at it on an equestrian statue, lost to everything but the task in hand--intoxicated with a thought, working like mad to materialize an idea. The sight gave me a thrill!--one of those very few unforgetable thrills that Time fixes ever the more firmly in one's memory.

To gain admittance to the workroom of Thorwaldsen was a thing to boast of: proud ladies schemed and some sought to bribe the trusty valet; but to these the door was politely barred. Yet the servant, servantlike, was awed by titles and nobility.

"The Duchess of Parma!" whispered the valet one day in agitation-- "the Duchess of Parma--she has followed me in and is now standing behind you!"

Thorwaldsen could not just place the lady: he turned, bowed, and gazed upon a stout personage who was slightly overdressed. The lady quite abruptly stated that she had called to make arrangements to have a statue, or a bust at least, made of herself. That Thorwaldsen would be proud to model her features seemed quite fixed in her mind. The artist cast her a swift glance and noted that Nature had put small trace of the classic in the lady's modeling. He mentally declined the commission, and muttered something about being "so delighted and honored, but unluckily I am so very busy," etc. "My husband desires it," continued the lady, "and so does my son, the King of Rome--a title, I hope, that is not strange to you!"

It swept over Thorwaldsen, like a winter's wave, that this big, brusk, bizarre woman before him was Maria Louisa, the second wife of Napoleon. He knew her history: wedded at nineteen to Napoleon--the mother of L'Aiglon at twenty--married again in unbecoming haste to Count Niepperg Nobody, with whom she had been on very intimate terms, as soon as word arrived of Napoleon's death at Saint Helena, and now raising a goodly brood of Nobodies! The artist grew faint before this daughter of kings who had made a mesalliance with Genius--he excused himself and left the room.

Thorwaldsen was a hero-worshiper by nature, and Napoleon's memory loomed large to him on the horizon of the ideal. Needless to say, he never modeled the features of Maria Louisa Hapsburg, but her visit fired him with a desire to make a bust of Napoleon, and the desire materialized is ours in heroic mold.

Some time after this, Thorwaldsen designed a monument to the Duke of Leuchtenberg, Eugene de Beauharnais, son of the Empress Josephine.

The days went in their fashion, and the Count Niepperg passed away, as even Counts do, for Death recognizes no title; and Maria Louisa was again experiencing the pangs of widowhood. She sent word for Thorwaldsen to come and design the late lamented a proper tomb, something not unlike that which he had done for the son of Josephine--money was no object in the Hapsburg family!

Very few commissions were declined by Thorwaldsen. He was a good businessman and often had a dozen men quietly working out his orders, but he wrote to Maria Louisa begging to be excused--and as a relief to his feelings, straightway modeled another bust of Napoleon. This bust was sold to Alexander Murray, Byron's publisher, and is now to be seen in Edinburgh. Strange, is it not, that the home of "The Scotch Greys," tumbled by Fate and Napoleon into an open grave, should do the Little Man honor! And Thorwaldsen, the man of peace, was bound to the man of war by the silken thread of sentiment.

Thorwaldsen was the true successor of Canova--his career was inaugurated when Canova gave him his blessing. The triumphs of the lover of Pauline Bonaparte were transferred to him. He accepted the situation with all of its precedents.

Thorwaldsen spent forty-two years of his life at Rome, but Denmark never lost her hold upon him during this time. The King showered him with honors and gave him every privilege at his command.

The Danish Ambassador always had special instructions "not to neglect the interests and welfare of our brother, Chevalier Thorwaldsen, Artist and Sculptor to the King."

For years, in the Academy at Copenhagen, rooms were set apart for him, and he was solicited to return and occupy them, and by his gracious presence honor the institution that had sent him forth. Only once, however, did he return, and then his stay was brief. But from time to time he presented specimens of his work to his native city, and various casts and copies of his pieces found their way to the "Thorwaldsen Room" at the Academy; so there gradually grew up there a "Thorwaldsen Museum."

Now the shadows were lengthening toward the east. The Master had turned his seventieth milestone, and he began to look backward to his boyhood's home as a place of rest, as old men do. A Commissioner was sent by the King of Denmark with orders to use his best offices to the end that Thorwaldsen should return; and plans were made to evolve the Thorwaldsen Room into a complete museum.

The result of these negotiations brought about the Thorwaldsen Museum--that plainly simple, but solidly built structure at Copenhagen, erected by the city, from plans made by the Master. Here are shown over two hundred large statues and bas-reliefs, copies and originals of the best things done in that long and busy life.

Thorwaldsen left his medals, decorations, pictures, books and thousands of drawings and sketches to this Museum--the sole property of the municipality. The building is arranged in the form of a square, with a court, and here the dust of the Master rests. No artist has ever had a more fitting tomb, designed by himself, surrounded by the creations of his hand and brain. These chant his elegy and there he sleeps.

Good looks, courtesy and social accomplishments are factors in our artistic career that should not be lightly waived. Thorwaldsen won every recognition that is possible for men to win from other men-- fame, honor, wealth. In way of success he tasted all the world can offer. He built on Winckelmann, Mengs and Canova, inspired by a classic environment, and examples of work done by men turned to dust centuries before. In many instances Thorwaldsen followed the letter and failed to catch the spirit of Greece; this is not to his discredit--who has completely succeeded in revitalizing the breath of ancient art?

Thorwaldsen won everything but immortality. It sounds harsh, but let us admit it; he was at best a great imitator, however noble the objects of his imitation. A recent writer has tried to put him in the class with "John Rogers, the Pride of America," but this is manifestly unfair. As an artist he ranks rather with Powers, Story and Palmer.

Never for a moment can he be compared with Saint Gaudens, or our own French; Bartlett and Ward surpass him in general skill and fertility of resources. All is comparative--Thorwaldsen's fame floats upon the wave, far astern. We are making head.

We have that superb "Night," so full of tenderness and spirit, done in tears (as all the best things are). The "Night" is not to be spoken of without its beautiful companion-piece, the "Morning." Each was done at a sitting, in a passion of creative energy. Yet when the roll of all Thorwaldsen's pieces is called, we see that his fame centers and is chiefly embodied in "The Lion of Lucerne."

I suppose it need not longer be concealed that in Switzerland you can purchase copies and models of Thorwaldsen's "Lion of Lucerne." Some are in marble, some in granite, some in bronze, a great many are in wood--carved while you wait--and at my hotel in Lucerne we used to have the noble beast on the table every morning at breakfast, done in butter.

The reproductions are of all sizes, from heroic mold to watch-charms and bangles. Sculptors have carved this lion, painters have painted it, artists have sketched it, but did you ever see a reproduction of "The Lion of Lucerne"? No, dearie, you never did, and never will. No copy has a trace of that indefinable look of mingled pain and patience, which even the broken spear in his side can not disturb-- that soulful, human quality which the original has. No; every copy is a caricature. It is a risky thing to try to put love in a lion's face!

An intelligent young woman called my attention to the fact that the psychological conditions under which we view "The Lion" are the most subtle and complete that man can devise; and these are the things that add the last touch to art and cause us to stand speechless, and which make the unbidden tears start. The little lake at the foot of the cliff prevents a too near approach; the overhanging vines and melancholy boughs form a dim, subduing shade; the falling water seems like the playing of an organ in a vast cathedral; and last, the position of the lion itself, against the solid cliff, partakes of the miraculous. It is not set up there for people to look at: it is a part of the mountain, and the great seams of the strata running through the figure lend the spirit of miracle to it all. It seems as though God Himself had done the work, and the surprise and joy of discovery are ours as we stand uncovered before it.

One must concede the masterly framing and hanging of the picture, but beyond all this is the technical skill, giving the look of woe that does not tell of weakness, as woe usually does, but strength and loyalty and death without flinching in a righteous cause: symbolic of the Swiss Guard that died at their post, not one of the three hundred wavering, there at the King's palace at Paris--all dead and turned to dust a century past, and this lion, mortally wounded, mutely pleading for our tears!

We pay the tribute.

And the reason we are moved is because we partake of the emotions of the artist when he did the work; and the reason we are not moved by any models or copies or imitations is because there is small feeling in the heart of an imitator. Great art is born of feeling! In order to do, you must feel.

If Thorwaldsen had done nothing else, "The Lion" would be monument enough. We remember William Cullen Bryant, like Dante Gabriel Rossetti, for one poem; Poe for three. Thoreau wrote only one essay the world will cherish; and "keeping Ruskin's 'Sesame and Lilies' and 'The Golden River,' we can let the rest go," says Augustine Birrell.

Thorwaldsen paid the penalty of success. He should have tasted exile, poverty and heartbreak--not to have known these was his misfortune. And perhaps his best work lay in keeping alive the classic tradition; in educating whole nations to a taste for sculpture; in turning the attention of society from strife to art, from war to harmony. His were the serene successes of beauty, the triumphs of peace.


If ever this nation should produce a genius sufficient to acquire to us the honorable distinction of an English School, the name of Gainsborough will be transmitted to posterity, in this history of art, among the very first of that rising name. --_Sir Joshua Reynolds_

[Illustration: Gainsborough]

Most biographies are written with intent either to make the man a demigod or else to damn him as a rogue who has hoodwinked the world. Of the first-mentioned class, Weems' "Life of Washington" must ever stand as the true type. The author is so fearful that he will not think well of his subject that he conceals every attribute of our common humanity, and gives us a being almost devoid of eyes, ears, organs, dimensions, passions. Next to Weems, in point of literary atrocity, comes John S. C. Abbott, whose life of Napoleon is a splendid concealment of the man.

Of those who have written biographies for the sake of belittling their subject, John Gait's "Life of Byron" occupies a conspicuous position. But for books written for the double purpose of downing the subject and elevating the author, Philip Thicknesse's "Life of Gainsborough" must stand first. The book is so bad that it is interesting, and so stupid that it will never die. Thicknesse had a quarrel with Gainsborough, and three-fourths of the volume is given up to a minute recital of "says he" and "says I." It is really only an extended pamphlet written by an arch-bore with intent to get even with his man.

The writer regards his petty affairs as of prime importance to the world, and he shows with great care, and not a single flash of wit, how all of Thomas Gainsborough's success in life was brought about by Thicknesse. And then, behold! after Thicknesse had made the man by hand, all he received for pay was ingratitude and insolence! Thicknesse was always good, kind, unselfish and disinterested; while Gainsborough was ungrateful, procrastinating, absurd and malicious-- this according to Thicknesse, who was on the spot and knew. Well, I guess so!

Brock-Arnold describes Thicknesse as "a fussy, ostentatious, irrepressible busybody, without the faintest conception of delicacy or modesty, who seems to think he has a heaven-born right to patronize Gainsborough, and to take charge of his affairs."

The aristocratic and pompous Thicknesse presented the painter to his friends, and also gave much advice about how he should conduct himself. He also loaned him a fiddle and presented him a viola da gamba, and often invited him to dinner. For these favors Gainsborough promised to paint a portrait of Thicknesse, but never got beyond washing in the background. During ten years he made thirty-seven excuses for not doing the work, and as for Mrs. Gainsborough, she once had the temerity to hand the redoubtable Thicknesse his cocked hat and cane and show him the door. From this, Thicknesse is emboldened to make certain remarks about Mrs. Gainsborough's pedigree, and to suggest that if Thomas Gainsborough had married a different woman he might have been a different painter. Thicknesse, throughout the book, thrusts himself into the breach and poses as the Injured One.

On reading "the work" it is hard to believe it was written in sober, serious earnest--it contains such an intolerable deal of Thicknesse and so little of Gainsborough. The Mother Gamp flavor is upon every page. Andrew Lang might have written it to show the literary style of a disgruntled dead author.

And the curious part is that, up to Eighteen Hundred Twenty-nine, Thicknesse held the stage, and many people took his portrait of Gainsborough as authentic. In that year Allan Cunningham put the great painter in his proper light, and thanks to the minute researches of Fulcher and others, we know the man as though he had lived yesterday.

The father of Gainsborough was a tradesman of acute instincts. He resided at Sudbury, in Suffolk, seventy miles from London. It was a time when every thrifty merchant lived over his place of business, so as to be on hand when buyers came; to ward off robbers; and to sweep the sidewalk, making all tidy before breakfast. Gainsborough pere was fairly prosperous, but not prosperous enough to support any of his nine children in idleness. They all worked, took a Saturday night "tub," and went to the Independent Church in decent attire on Sunday.

Thomas Gainsborough was the youngest of the brood, the pet of his parents, and the pride of his big sisters, who had nursed him and brought him up in the way he should go. In babyhood he wasn't so very strong; but love and freedom gradually did their perfect work, and he evolved into a tall, handsome youth of gracious manner and pleasing countenance. All the family were sure that Tom was going to be "somebody."

The eldest boy, John, known to the town as "Scheming Jack," had invented a cuckoo-clock, and this led to a self-rocking cradle that wound up with a strong spring; next he made a flying-machine; and so clever was he that he painted signs that swung on hinges, and in several instances essayed to put a picture of the prosperous owner on the sign.

The second son, Humphrey, was a brilliant fellow, too. He made the model of a steam-engine and showed it to a man by the name of Watt, who was greatly interested in it; and when Watt afterward took out a patent on it, Humphrey's heart was nearly broken, and it might have been quite, but he said he had in hand half a dozen things worth more than the steam-engine. As tangible proof of his power, he won a prize of fifty pounds from the London Society for the Encouragement of Art, for a mill that was to be turned by the tides of the sea. The steam-engine would require fuel, but this tide-engine would be turned by Nature at her own expense. In the British Museum is a sundial made by Humphrey Gainsborough, and it must stand to his credit that he made the original fireproof safe. From a fireproof safe to liberal theology is but a step, and Humphrey Gainsborough became a Dissenting Clergyman, passing rich on forty pounds a year.

The hopes of the family finally centered on Thomas. He had assisted his brother John at the sign-painting, and had done several creditable little things in drawing 'scutcheons on coach-doors for the gentry. Besides all this, once, while sketching in his father's orchard, a face cautiously appeared above the stone wall and for a single moment studied the situation. The boy caught the features on his palette, and transferred them to his picture. The likeness was so perfect that it led to the execution of the thief who had been robbing the orchard, and also the execution of that famous picture, finished many years after, known as "Tom Peartree."

The orchard episode pleased the Gainsboroughs greatly. A family council was held, and it was voted that Thomas must be sent to London to study art. The girls gave up a dress apiece, the mother retrimmed her summer bonnet for the Winter, the boys contributed, and there came a day when Tom was duly ticketed and placed on top of the great coach bound for London. Good-bys were waved until only a cloud of dust was seen in the distance.

Gainsborough went to "Saint Martin's Drawing Academy" at London, and the boys educated him. The art at the "Academy" seems to have been very much akin to the art of the Writing Academies of America, where learned bucolic professors used to teach us the mysteries of the Spencerian System for a modest stipend. The humiliation of never knowing "how to hold your pen" did much to send many budding geniuses off on a tangent after grasshopper chirography, but those who endured unto the end acquired the "wrist movement." They all wrote alike. That is to say, they all wrote like the professor, who wrote just like all Spencerian professors. So write the girls in Melvil Dewey's Academy for Librarians, at Albany--God bless them all!--they all write like Dewey.

Thomas Gainsborough at London seems to have haunted the theaters and coffeehouses, and whenever there were pictures displayed, there was Thomas to be found. To help out the expense-account, he worked at engraving and made designs for a silversmith. The strong, receptive nature of the boy showed itself, for he succeeded in getting a goodly hold on the art of engraving, in a very short time. He absorbed in the mass.

But he tired of the town--he wanted freedom, fresh air, the woods and fields. Hogarth and Wilson were there in London, but the Academy students never heard of them. And if Gainsborough ever listened to Richardson's famous prophecy which inspired Hogarth and Reynolds, to the effect that England would soon produce a great school of art, we do not know it.

The young man grew homesick; he was doing nothing in London--no career was open to him--he returned to Sudbury after an absence of nearly two years. He thought it was defeat, but his family welcomed him as a conquering hero. He was eighteen and looked twenty--tall, strong, fair-haired, gentle in manner, gracious in speech.

Two of his sisters had married clergymen, and were happily situated in neighboring towns; his brother Humphrey was "occupying the pulpit," and causing certain local High Churchmen to have dreams of things tumbling about their ears.

The sisters and mother wanted Tom to be a preacher, too--he was so straight and handsome and fine, and his eyes were so tender and blue!

But he preferred to paint. He painted in the woods and fields, by streams and old mills, and got on good terms with all the flocks of sheep and cattle in the neighborhood.

The art of landscape-painting developed from an accident. The early Italian painters used landscape only as a background for figures. All they pictured were men, women and children, and to bring these out rightly they introduced scenery. Imagine a theater with scenes set and no person on the stage, and you get the idea of landscape up to the time of Gainsborough. Landscape! it was nothing--a blank.

Wilson first painted landscapes as backgrounds for other men to draw portraits upon. A marine scene was made merely that a Commodore might stand in cocked hat, a spyglass under his arm, in the foreground, while the sun peeps over the horizon begging permission to come up. Gradually these incomplete pictures were seen hanging in shop-windows, but for them there was no market. They were merely curios.

Gainsborough drew pictures of the landscape because he loved it. He seems to be the first English artist who loved the country for its own sake. Old bridges, winding roadways, gnarled oaks, cattle grazing, and all the manifold beauties of quiet country life fascinated him. He educated the collector, and educated the people into a closer observation and study of Nature. Gainsborough stood at the crossways of progress and pointed the way.

With Hogarth's idea that a picture should teach a lesson and have a moral, he had no sympathy. And with Reynolds, who thought there was nothing worth picturing but the human face, he took issue. Beauty to him was its own excuse for being. However, in all of Gainsborough's landscapes you find the human interest somewhere--man has not been entirely left out. But from being the one important thing, he sinks simply into a part of the view that lies before you. Turner's maxim, "You can not leave man out," he annexed from Gainsborough. And Corot's landscapes, where the dim, shadowy lovers sit on the bankside under the great oaks--the most lovely pictures ever painted by the hand of man--reveal the extreme evolution from a time when the lovers occupied the center of the stage, and the landscape was only an accessory.

And it is further interesting to note that the originator of English landscape-painting was also a great portrait-painter, and yet he dared paint portraits with absolutely no scenery back of them--a thing which up to that time was done only by a man who hadn't the ability to paint landscape. Thus do we prove Rabelais' proposition, "The man who has a well-filled strongbox can surely afford to go ragged."

Thomas Gainsborough, aged nineteen, was one day intently sketching in a wood near Sudbury, when the branches suddenly parted and out into a little open space stepped Margaret Burr. This young woman had taken up her abode in Sudbury during the time the young man was in London, and he had never met her, although he had probably heard her praises sounded. Everybody around there had heard of her. She was the handsomest woman in all Suffolk--and knew it. She lived with her "uncle," and the gossips, who looked after these little things, divided as to whether she was the daughter of one of the exiled Stuarts, or the natural child of the Duke of Bedford. Anyway, she was a true princess, in face, form and bearing, and had an income of her own of two hundred pounds a year. Her pride was a thing so potent that the rustic swains were chilled at the sight of her, and the numerous suitors sighed and shot their lovesick glances from a safe distance.

Let that pass: the branches parted and Margaret stepped out into the open. She thought she was alone, when all at once her eyes looked full into the eyes of the young artist--not a hundred feet away. She was startled; she blushed, stammered and tried to apologize for the intrusion. Her splendid self-possession had failed her for once--she was going to flee by the way she had come. "Hold that position, please--stand just as you are!" called the artist in a tone of authority.

Even the proudest of women are willing to accept orders when the time is ripe; and I am fully convinced that to be domineered over by the right man is a thing all good women warmly desire.

Margaret Burr, the proud beauty, stood stock-still, and Thomas Gainsborough admitted her into his landscape and his heart.

This is not a love-story, or we might begin here and extend our booklet into a volume. Suffice it to say that within a few short months after their first meeting the young woman, being of royal blood, exercised her divine right and "proposed." She proposed just as Queen Victoria did later. And then they were married--both under twenty--and lived happily ever after.

It is a great mistake to assume that pride and a high degree of commonsense can not go together. Margaret knew how to manage. After a short stay in Sudbury the couple rented a cottage at Ipswich for six pounds a year--a dovecot with three rooms. The proud beauty would not let the place be profaned by a servant: she did all the work herself; and if she wanted help, she called on her husband. Base is the man who will not fetch and carry for the woman he loves. They were accounted the handsomest and most distinguished couple in all Sudbury; and when they attended church, there was so much craning of necks and so many muffled exclamations of admiration, that the clergyman made it a point not to begin the service until they were safely seated.

They were very happy: they loved each other, and so loved life and everything and everybody, and God's great green out-o'-doors was their playhouse. Margaret's income was quite sufficient for their needs, and mad ambition passed them by. Gainsborough drew pictures and painted and sketched, and then gave his pictures away.

Music was his passion, and whenever at the concerts held round about there the player did exceptionally well, Gainsborough would proffer a picture in exchange for the instrument used. In this way the odd corners of their house got filled with violins, lutes, hautboys, kettledrums and curious stringed things that have died the death and are now extinct. At this time, if any one had asked Gainsborough his profession, he would have said, "I am a musician."

Fifteen years had slipped into the eternity that lies behind--"years not lost, for we can turn the hourglass and live them all over in sweet memory," once said Gainsborough to his wife. The constant sketching had developed much skill in the artist's hand. Thicknesse had come puffing alongside, and insisted out of pure friendliness on taking the artist and wife in tow. They laughed at him behind his back, and carried on conversation over his head, and dropped jokes at his feet by looks and pantomime, and communicated in cipher--for true lovers always evolve a code.

Thicknesse was sincere and serious, and surely was not wholly bad-- even Mephisto is not bad all of the time. Mrs. Gainsborough once said she would prefer Mephisto to Thicknesse, because Mephisto had a sense of humor. Very often they naturally referred to Thicknesse as "Thickhead"--the joke was too obvious to let pass entirely, until each "took the pledge," witnessed by Gainsborough's favorite terrier, "Fox."

Thicknesse had a Summer House at Bath, and thither he insisted his friends should go. He would vouch for them and introduce them into the best society. He would even introduce them to Beau Nash, "the King of Bath," and arrange to have Gainsborough do himself the honor of painting the "King's" picture. Two daughters nearing womanhood reminded Mr. and Mrs. Gainsborough that an increase in income would be well; and Thicknesse promised many commissions from his friends, the gentry.

The cheapest house they could find in Bath was fifty pounds a year. "Do you want to go to jail?" asked Mrs. Gainsborough of her husband when he proposed signing the lease. The worldly Thicknesse proposed that they should take this house at fifty pounds a year, or else take another at one hundred fifty at his expense. They decided to risk it at the rate of fifty pounds a year for a few months, and were duly settled.

Thicknesse was very proud of his art connections. He had but one theme--Gainsborough! People of note began to find their way to the studio of the painter-man in the Circus.

Gainsborough was gracious, handsome and healthy--fresh from the country. He met all nobility on a frank equality--God had made him a gentleman. His beautiful wife, now in her early thirties, was much sought in local society circles.

Everybody of note who came to Bath visited Gainsborough's studio.

Garrick sat to him and played such pranks with his countenance that each time the artist looked up from his easel he saw a new man. "You have everybody's face but your own," said Gainsborough to Garrick, and dismissing the man he completed the picture from memory. This portrait and also pictures of General Honeywood, the Comedian Quin, Lady Grosvenor, the Duke of Argyle, besides several landscapes, were sent up to the Academy Exhibition at London.

George the Third saw them and sent word down that he wished Gainsborough lived in London, so he could sit to him.

The carrier, Wiltshire, who packed the pictures and took them up to London, had a passion for art that filled his heart, and he refused to accept gold, that base and common drudge 'twixt man and man, for his services in an art way. And so Gainsborough presented him with a picture. In fact, during the term of years that Gainsborough lived at Bath, he gave Wiltshire, the modest driver of an express-cart, a dozen or more pictures and sketches. He gave him the finest picture he ever painted: that portrait of the old Parish Clerk. Gainsborough was not so good a judge of his own work as Wiltshire was. Wiltshire kept all the "Gainsboroughs" he could get, reveled in them during his long life, basked and bathed his soul in their beauty, and dying, bequeathed them to his children.

Had Wiltshire been moved by nothing but keen, cold, worldly wisdom-- which he wasn't--he could not have done better. Even friendship, love and beauty have their Rialto--the appraiser footed up the Wiltshire estate at more than fifty thousand pounds.

Gainsborough found himself with more work than he could very well care for, so he raised his prices for a "half-length" from five pounds to forty; and for a "full-length" from ten pounds to one hundred, in order to limit the number of his patrons. It doubled them. His promised picture of Thicknesse was relegated behind the door, and a check was sent the great man for five hundred pounds for his borrowed viola da gamba and other favors.

But Thicknesse was not to be bought off. He took charge of the studio, looked after the visitors, explaining this and that, telling how he had discovered the artist and rescued him from obscurity, giving scraps of his history, and presenting little impromptu lectures on art as he had found it.

The fussy Thicknesse used to be funny to Mr. and Mrs. Gainsborough, but now he had developed into a nuisance. To escape him, they resolved to turn the pretty compliment of King George into a genuine request. They packed up and moved to London.

The fifty pounds a year at Bath had seemed a great responsibility, but when Gainsborough took Schomberg House in Pall Mall at three hundred pounds, he boasts of his bargain. About this time "Scheming Jack" turns up asking for a small loan to perfect a promising scheme. The gracious brother replies that although his own expenses are more than a thousand pounds a year, he is glad to accommodate him, and hopes the scheme will prosper--which of course he knew it would not, for success is a matter of red corpuscle.

Almost immediately on reaching London the Royal Academy recognized Gainsborough's presence by electing him a member of its Council. However, he never attended a single meeting. He did not need the Academy. Royalty stood in line at his studio-doors, and he took his pick of sitters. He painted five different portraits of the King, various pictures of his children, did the rascally heir-apparent ideally, and made a picture of Queen Charlotte that Goldsmith said "looked like a sensible woman."

He painted portraits of his lovely wife, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Burke, Walpole, the dictator of Strawberry Hill, and immortalized the hats worn by the smashing, dashing Duchess of Devonshire. One of these pictures of Her Grace comes very close to us Americans, as it was cut from the frame one dark, foggy night in London, sealed up in the false bottom of a trunk and brought to New York. Here it lay for more than twenty years, when Colonel Patricius Sheedy, connoisseur and critic, arranged for its delivery to the heirs of the original owners on payment of some such trifle as twenty-five thousand dollars. This superb picture, with its romantic past, was not destined to traverse the Atlantic again; for thanks to the generosity of J. Pierpont Morgan, it has now found a permanent home at Harvard College.

It is only a little way back from civilization to savagery. We live in a wonderful time: the last twenty-five years have seen changes that mark epochs in the onward and upward march. To mention but two, we might name the almost complete evolution of our definition as to what constitutes "Christianity"; and in material things, the use of electricity, which has worked such a revolution as even Jules Verne never conjured forth.

Americans are somewhat given to calling our country "The Land of the Free"--as if there were no other. But the individual in England today has greater freedom of speech and action than the individual has in America. In every large city of America there is an extent of petty officialism and dictation that the English people would not for a day endure. Our policemen, following their Donnybrook proclivities, are all armed with clubs, and allowing prenatal influences to lead, they unlimber the motto, "Wherever you see a head, hit it," on slight excuse. In Central Park, New York, for instance, the citizen who "talks back" would speedily be clubbed into silence--but try that thing in Hyde Park, London, if you please, and see what would follow! But, thank heaven, we are working out our salvation all the time--things are getting better, and it is the "dissatisfied" who are making them go. Were we satisfied, there would be no progress. During the sixty-one years of Gainsborough's life, wondrous changes were made in the world of thought and feeling. And the good natured but sturdy quality of such as he was the one strong factor that worked for freedom. Gainsborough was never a tuft-hunter: he toadied to no man, and his swinging independence refused to see any special difference between himself and the sleek, titled nobility. He asked no favors of the Academy, no quarter from his rivals, no grants from royalty. This dissenting attitude probably cost him the mate of the knighthood which went to Sir Joshua, but behold the paradox! he was usually closer to the throne than those who lay in wait for honors. Gainsborough sought for nothing--he did his work, preserved the right mental attitude, and all good things came to him.

It is a curious thing to note that while England was undergoing a renaissance of art, and realizing a burst of freedom, Italy, that land so long prolific in greatness, produced not a single artist who rose above the dull and commonplace. Has Nature only just so much genius at her disposal?

The reign of the Georges worked a blessed, bloodless revolution for the people of England. They reigned better than they knew. Gainsborough saw the power of the monarch transferred to the people, and the King become the wooden figurehead of the ship, instead of its Captain. So, thanks to the weakness of George the Third and the short-sighted policy of Lord North, America achieved her independence about the same time that England did hers.

Theological freedom and political freedom go hand in hand, for our conception of Deity is always a pale reflection of our chief ruler. Did not Thackeray say that the people of England regarded Jehovah as an infinite George the Fourth?

Gainsborough saw Whitefield and Wesley entreating that we should go to God direct; Howard was letting the sunshine into dark cells; Clarkson, Sharp and Wilberforce had begun their crusade against slavery, and their arms and arguments were to be transferred a hundred years later to William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips and Henry Ward Beecher, who bought "Beecher Bibles" for Old John Brown, Osawatomie Brown, whose body, no longer needed, was hanged on a sour-apple tree while his soul goes marching on.

In the realm of letters, Gainsborough saw changes occur no less important than in the political field. Samuel Johnson bowled into view, scolding and challenging the Ensconced Smug; Goldsmith scaled the Richardson ghetto and wrote his touching and deathless verse; Fielding's saffron comedies were produced at Drury Lane; Cowper, nearly the same age as the artist, did his work and lapsed into imbecility, surviving him sixteen years; Richardson became the happy father of the English Novel; Sterne took his Sentimental Journey; Chatterton, the meteor, flashed across the literary sky; Gray mused in the churchyard and laid his head upon the lap of earth; Burns was promoted from the Excise to be the idol of all Scotland. The year that Gainsborough died, Napoleon, a slim slip of a youth seventeen years old, was serving as a sub-lieutenant of artillery; while Wellington had just received his first commission and was marching zigzag, by the right oblique, to meet him eighteen miles from Brussels on the night of a ball sung into immortality by Byron; Watt had invented the steam-engine, thanks to Humphrey Gainsborough; Arkwright had made his first spinning-frame; Humphrey Davy was working at problems (with partial success) to be solved later by Edison of Menlo Park; Lord Hastings was tried, and it was while listening to the speech of Sheridan--the one speech of his life, the best words of which, according to his butler, were, "My Lords, I am done"--that Gainsborough caught his death o' cold.

Gainsborough never went abroad to study; he painted things at home, and painted as he saw them. He never imagined he was a great artist, so took no thought as to the future of his work. He set so little store on his pictures that he did not think even to sign them. The masterpiece that satisfied him was never done.

His was a happy life of work and love, with no cloud to obscure the sun, save possibly now and then a bumptious reproof from Sir Thicknesse or the occasional high-handed haughtiness of a Hanging Committee. Thus passed his life in work, music, laughter and love; but to music he ever turned for rest. He made more money than all of his seven brothers and sisters combined, five times over, and divided with them without stint. He educated several of his nieces and nephews, and one nephew, Gainsborough Dupont, he adopted and helped make an acceptable artist.

Of that peculiarly-to-be-dreaded malady, artistic jealousy, Gainsborough had not a trace. His failure to court Sir Joshua's smile led foolish folks to say he was jealous--not so! he was simply able to get along without Sir Joshua, and he did. Yet he admired Reynolds' works and admired the man, but was too wise to force any close personal relationship.

He divided with West, the American, the favor of the Court, and with Romney and Reynolds the favor of the town. He got his share, and more, of all those things which the world counts worth while. The gratitude of his heart was expressed by his life--generous, kind, joyous--never cast down except when he thought he had spoken harshly or acted unwisely-loyal to his friends, forgetting his enemies.

He did a deathless work, for it is a work upon which other men have built. He prepared the way for those who were to come after.

It is a great privilege to live, to work, to feel, to endure, to know: to realize that one is the instrument of Deity--being used by the Maker to work out His inscrutable purposes; to see vast changes occur in the social fabric and to know that men stop, pause and consider: to comprehend that this world is a different place because you have lived. Yes, it is a great privilege to live! Gainsborough lived--he reveled in life, and filled his days to their brim, ever and always grateful to the Unknown that had guided his hand and led him forth upon his way.

It is a great privilege to live!


Among the notable prophets of the new and true--Rubens, Rembrandt, Claude Lorraine--Velasquez was the newest and certainly the truest from our point of view. He showed us the mystery of light as God made it. --_Stevenson_

[Illustration: Velasquez]

There be, among writing men, those who please the populace, and also that Elect Few who inspire writers. When Horace Greeley gave his daily message to the world, every editor of any power in America paid good money for the privilege of being a subscriber to the "Tribune." The "Tribune" had no exchange-list--if you wanted the "Tribune" you had to buy it, and the writers bought it because it wound up their clocks--set them agoing--and they either carefully abstained from mentioning Greeley or else went in right valiantly and exposed his vagaries.

Greeley may have been often right, and we now know he was often wrong, but he infused the breath of life into his words--his sentences were a challenge--he made men think. And the reason he made men think was because he himself was a thinker.

Among modern literary men, the two English writers who have most inspired writers are Carlyle and Emerson. They were writers' writers. In the course of their work, they touched upon every phase of man's experience and endeavor. You can not open their books anywhere and read a page without casting about for your pencil and pad. Strong men infuse into their work a deal of their own spirit, and their words are charged with a suggestion and meaning beyond the mere sound. There is a reverberation that thrills one. All art that lives is thus vitalized with a spiritual essence: an essence that ever escapes the analyst, but which is felt and known by all who have hearts that throb and souls that feel.

Strong men make room for strong men. Emerson and Carlyle inspired other men, and they inspired each other--but whether there be warrant for that overworked reference to their "friendship" is a question. Some other word surely ought to apply here, for their relationship was largely a matter of the head, with a weather-eye on Barabbas, and three thousand miles of very salt brine between them. Carlyle never came to America: Emerson made three trips to England; and often a year or more passed without a single letter on either side. Tammas Carlyle, son of a stone-mason, with his crusty ways and clay pipe, with personality plus, at close range would have been a combination not entirely congenial to the culminating flower of seven generations of New England clergymen--probably not more so than was the shirt-sleeved and cravatless Walt, when they met that memorable day by appointment at the Astor House.

Our first and last demand of Art is that it shall give us the artist's best. Art is the mintage of the soul. All the whim, foible, and rank personality are blown away on the winds of time--the good remains.

Of artists who have inspired artists, and who being dead yet live, Velasquez stands first.

"Velasquez was a painters' painter--the rest of us are only painters." And when the man who painted "Symphonies in White" further explained that a picture is finished when all traces of the means used to bring about the end have disappeared--for work alone will efface the footsteps of work--he had Velasquez in mind.

The subject of this sketch was born in the year Fifteen Hundred Ninety-nine, and died in Sixteen Hundred Sixty. And while he lived there also lived these: Shakespeare, Murillo, Cervantes, Rembrandt and Rubens.

As an artist and a man Velasquez was the equal, in his way, of any of the men just named. Ruskin has said, "Everything that Velasquez does may be regarded as absolutely right." And Sir Joshua Reynolds placed himself on record by saying, "The portrait of Pope Innocent the Tenth by Velasquez, in the Doria Gallery, is the finest portrait in all Rome." Yet until the year Seventeen Hundred Seventy-six, a date Americans can easily remember, the work of Velasquez was scarcely known outside of Spain. In that year Raphael Mengs wrote: "How this painter, greater than Raphael or Titian, truer far than Rubens or Van Dyck, should have been lost to view is more than I can comprehend. I can not find words to describe the splendor of his art!"

But enthusiasts who ebulliate at low temperature are plentiful. The world wagged on in its sleepy way, and it was not until Eighteen Hundred Twenty-eight that an Englishman, Sir David Wilkie, following up the clue of Mengs, began quietly to buy up all the stray pictures by Velasquez he could find in Spain. He sent them to England, and the world one day awoke to the fact that Velasquez was one of the greatest artists of all time. Curtis compiled a list of two hundred seventy-four pictures by Velasquez, which he pronounces authentic. Of these, one hundred twenty-one were owned in England, thirteen in France, twelve in Austria and eight in Italy. At least fifteen of the English 'oldings have since been transferred to America; so, outside of England and Spain, America possesses more of the works of this master than any other country. But of this be sure: no "Velasquez" will ever leave Spain unless spirited out of the country between two days--and if one is carried away, it will not be in the false bottom of a trunk. Within a year one "Velasquez" was so found secreted at Cadiz, and the owner escaped prison only by presenting the picture, with his compliments, to the Prado Museum at Madrid. The release of the prisoner, and the acceptance of the picture, were both a bit irregular as a matter of jurisprudence; but I am told that lawyers can usually arrange these little matters--Dame Justice being blind in one eye.

There seems to have been some little discussion in the De Silva family of Seville as to whether Diego should be a lawyer, and follow in his father's footsteps, or become an artist and possibly a vagrom. The father had hoped the boy would be his helper and successor, and here the youngster was wasting his time drawing pictures of water-jugs, baskets of flowers, old women and foolish folk about the market!

Should it be the law-school or the studio of Herrera the painter?

To almost every fond father the idea of discipline is to have the child act just as he does. But in this case the mother had her way, or, more properly, she let the boy have his--as mothers do--and the sequel shows that a woman's heart is sometimes nearer right than a man's head.

The fact that "Velasquez" was the maiden name of his mother, and was adopted by the young man, is a straw that tells which way the vane of his affections turned. Diego was sixteen and troublesome. He wasn't "bad"--only he had a rollicksome, flamboyant energy that inundated everything, and made his absence often a blessing devoutly to be wished. Herrera had fixed thoughts about art and deportment. Diego failed to grasp the beauty and force of these ideas, and in the course of a year he seems to have learned just one thing of Herrera--to use brushes with very long handles and long bristles. This peculiarity he clung to through life, and the way he floated the color upon the canvas with those long, ungainly brushes, no one understood; he really didn't know himself, and the world has long since given up the riddle. But the scheme was Herrera's, improved upon by Velasquez; yet not all men who paint with a brush that has a handle eight feet long can paint like Velasquez.

In Herrera's studio there were often heated arguments as to merits and demerits, flat contradictions as to facts, and wordy warfare that occasionally resulted in broken furniture. On such occasions, Herrera never hesitated to take a hand and soundly cuff a pupil's ears, if the master thought the pupil needed it.

Velasquez has left on record the statement that Herrera was the most dogmatic, pedantic, overbearing and quarrelsome man he ever knew. Just what Herrera thought of the young man Velasquez, we unfortunately do not know. But the belief is that Velasquez left Herrera's studio on request of Herrera.

He next entered the studio of the rich and fashionable painter, Pacheco. This man, like Macaulay, had so much learning that it ran over and he stood in the slop. He wrote a book on painting, and might also have carried on a Correspondence School wherein the art of portraiture would be taught in ten easy lessons.

In Madrid and Seville are various specimens of work done by both Herrera and Pacheco. Herrera had a certain style, and the early work of Velasquez showed Herrera's earmarks plainly; but we look in vain for a trace of influence that can be attributed to Pacheco. Velasquez at eighteen could outstrip his master, and both knew it. So Pacheco showed his good sense by letting the young man go his own pace. He admired the dashing, handsome youth, and although Velasquez broke every rule laid down in Pacheco's mighty tome, "Art As I Have Found It," yet the master uttered no word of protest.

The boy was bigger than the book.

More than this, Pacheco invited the young man to come and make his home with him, so as the better to avail himself of the master's instruction. Now, Pacheco (like Brabantio in the play) had a beautiful daughter--Juana by name. She was about the age of Velasquez, gentle, refined and amiable. Love is largely a matter of propinquity: and the world now regards Pacheco as a master matchmaker as well as a master painter. Diego and Juana were married, aged nineteen, and Pacheco breathed easier. He had attached to himself the most daring and brilliant young man he had ever known, and he had saved himself the annoyance of having his studio thronged with a gang of suitors such as crowded the courts of Ulysses.

Pacheco was pleased.

And why should Pacheco not have been pleased? He had linked his name for all time with the History of Art. Had he not been the teacher and father-in-law of Velasquez, his name would have been writ in water, for in his own art there was not enough Attic salt to save it; and his learning was a thing of dusty, musty books.

Pacheco's virtue consisted in recognizing the genius of Velasquez, and hanging on to him closely, rubbing off all the glory that he could make stick to himself.

To the day of his death Pacheco laid the flattering unction to his soul that he had made Velasquez; but leaving this out of the discussion, no one doubts that Velasquez plucked from oblivion the name and fame of Pacheco.

"Those splendid blonde women of Rubens are the solaces of the eternal fighting-man," writes Vance Thompson. The wife of Velasquez was of the Rubens type: she looked upon her husband as the ideal. She believed in him, ministered to him, and had no other gods before him. She had but one ambition, and that was to serve her lord and master.

Her faith in the man--in his power, in his integrity and in his art --corroborated his faith in himself. We want One to believe in us, and this being so, all else matters little.

Velasquez seems a type of the "eternal fighting-man"--not the quarrelsome, quibbling man, who draws on slight excuse, but the man with a message, who goes straight to his destination with a will that breaks through every barrier, and pushes aside every obstacle. With the savage type there is no progression: the noble red man is content to be a noble red man all his days, and the result is that in standing still he is retreating off the face of the earth. Not so your "eternal fighting-man"--he is scourged by a restlessness that allows him no rest nor respite save in his work.

Beware when a thinker and worker is let loose on the planet!

In the days of Velasquez, Spain had but two patrons for art: Royalty and the Church.

Although nominally a Catholic, Velasquez had little sympathy with the superstitions of the multitude. His religion was essentially a Natural Religion: to love his friends, to bathe in the sunshine of life, to preserve a right mental attitude--the receptive attitude, the attitude of gratitude--and to do his work: these things were for him the sum of life. His passion was art--to portray his feelings on canvas and make manifest to others the things he himself saw. The Church, he thought, did not afford sufficient outlet for his power. Cherubs that could live only in the tropics, and wings without muscles to manipulate them, did not mean much to him. The men and women on earth appealed to him more than the angels in Heaven, and he could not imagine a better paradise than this. So he painted what he saw: old men, market-women, beggars, handsome boys and toddling babies. These things did not appeal to prelates--they wanted pictures of things a long way off. So from the Church Velasquez turned his gaze toward the Court of Madrid.

Velasquez had been in the studio of Pacheco at Seville for five years. During that time he filled the days with work--joyous, eager work. He produced a good many valuable pictures and a great many sketches, which were mostly given away. Yet today, Seville, with her splendid art-gallery and her hundreds of palaces, contains not a single specimen of the work of her greatest son.

It was a rather daring thing for a young man of twenty-four to knock boldly at the gates of Royalty. But the application was made in Velasquez's own way. All of his studies, which the critics tauntingly called "tavern pieces," were a preparation for the life and work before him. He had mastered the subtlety of the human face, and had seen how the spirit shines through and reveals the soul.

To know how to write correctly is nothing--you must know something worth recording. To paint is nothing--you must know what you are portraying. Velasquez had become acquainted with humanity, and gotten on intimate terms with life. He had haunted the waysides and markets to good purpose; he had laid the foundation of those qualities which characterize his best work: mastery of expression, penetration into character, the ability to look upon a face and read the thoughts that lurk behind, the crouching passions, and all the aspirations too great for speech. To picture great men you must be a great man.

Velasquez was twenty-four--dark, daring, silent, with a face and form that proclaimed him a strong and valiant soul. Strong men can well afford to be gentle--those who know can well cultivate silence.

The young man did not storm the doors of the Alcazar. No; at Madrid he went quietly to work copying Titians in the gallery, and incidentally painting portraits--Royalty must come to him. He had faith in his power: he could wait. His wife knew the Court would call him--he knew it, too--the Court of Spain needed Velasquez. It is a fine thing to make yourself needed.

Nearly a year had passed, and Velasquez gave it out quietly that he was about to return to his home in Seville. Artistic Madrid rubbed its eyes. The Minister of State, the great Olivarez, came to him with a commission from the King and a goodly payment in advance, begging that, as soon as he had made a short visit to Seville, he should return to Madrid. Apartments had already been set aside for him in the Alcazar Palace. Would he not kindly comply?

Such a request from the King was really equal to an order. Velasquez surely had no intention of declining the compliment, since he had angled for it most ingeniously; but he took a little time to consider it. Of course he talked it over with his wife and her father, and we can imagine they had a quiet little supper by themselves in honor of the event.

And so in the month of May, Sixteen Hundred Twenty-three, Diego de Silva Velasquez duly became a member of the Royal Household, and very soon was the companion, friend, adviser and attendant of the King--that post which he was to hold for thirty-six years, ere Death should call him hence.

"The farmer thinks that place and power are fine things, but let him know that the President has paid dear for his White House," said the sage of Concord.

The most miserable man I ever knew was one who married a rich woman, managed her broad acres, looked after her bonds and made report of her stocks. If the stocks failed to pay dividends, or the acres were fallow, my friend had to explain why to the tearful wife and sundry sarcastic next of kin.

The man was a Jeffersonian Democrat and preached the Life of Simplicity, because we always preach about things that are not ours. He rode behind horses that had docked tails, and apologized for being on earth, to an awful butler in solemn black.

The man had married for a home--he got it. When he wanted funds for himself, he was given dole, or else was put to the necessity of juggling the Expense-Account.

If he wished to invite friends to his home, he had to prove them standard-bred, morally sound in wind and limb, and free from fault or blemish.

The good man might have lived a thoroughly happy life, with everything supplied that he needed, but he acquired the Sanitarium Habit, for which there is no cure but poverty. And this man could not be poor even if he wanted to, for there were no grounds for divorce. His wife loved him dearly, and her income of five thousand dollars a month came along with startling regularity, willy-nilly.

Finally, at Hot Springs, Death gave him treatment and he was freed from pain.

From this o'ertrue incident it must not be imagined that wealth and position are bad things. Health is potential power. Wealth is an engine that can be used for good if you are an engineer; but to be tied to the flywheel of an engine is rather unfortunate. Had my friend been big enough to rise supreme over horses with docked tails, to subjugate a butler, to defy the next of kin and manage the wife (without letting her know it), all would have been well.

But it is a Herculean task to cope with the handicap of wealth. Mediocre men can endure failure; for, as Robert Louis the beloved has pointed out, failure is natural, but worldly success is an abnormal condition. In order to stand success you must be of very stern fiber, with all the gods on your side.

The Alcazar Palace looked strong, solid and self-sufficient on the outside. But inside, like every Court, it was a den of quibble, quarrel, envy, and the hatred which, tinctured with fear, knocks an anvil-chorus from day-dawn to dark.

A thousand people made up the household of Philip the Fourth. Any one of these could be dismissed in an hour--the power of Olivarez, the Minister, was absolute. Very naturally there were plottings and counterplottings.

A Court is a prison to most of its inmates; no freedom is there-- thought is strangled and inspiration still-born. Yet life is always breaking through. When locked in a cell in a Paris prison, Horace Greeley wrote, "Thank God, at last I am free from intrusion."

"Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage," laughed Lovelace. Have not some of the great books of the world been written in prison? Things work by antithesis; and if your discipline is too severe, you get no discipline at all. Puritanical pretense, hypocrisy and a life of repression, with "thou shalt not" set on a hair-trigger, have made more than one man bold, genuine and honest. Draw the bow far enough this way, and your arrow will go a long way that. Forbid a man to think for himself or to act for himself, and you may add the joy of piracy and the zest of smuggling to his life. In the Spanish Court, Velasquez found life a lie, public manners an exaggeration, etiquette a pretense, and all the emotions put up in sealed cans. Fashionable Society is usually nothing but Canned Life. Look out for explosions! Velasquez held the balance true by an artistic courage and an audacity of private thought that might not have been his in a freer atmosphere. He did not wear his art upon his sleeve: he outwardly conformed, but inwardly his soul towered over every petty annoyance, and all the vain power of the fearing and quibbling little princes touched him not.

Spain, under the rule of Philip the Second, grew great. Her ships sailed every sea--the world contributed to her wealth. Art comes after a surplus has accumulated and the mere necessaries of life have been provided. Philip built great palaces, founded schools, gave encouragement to the handicrafts, and sent his embassies scouring the world for the treasures of Art. The King was a practical man, blunt, farseeing, direct. He knew the cost of things, studied out the best ways, ascertained right methods. He had the red corpuscle, the deep convolution, and so was King. His ministers did his bidding.

The grim sarcasm of entailed power is a thing so obvious that one marvels it has escaped the recognition of mankind until yesterday. But stay! Men have always seen its monstrous absurdity--hence the rack.

The Spanish Inquisition, in which Church and State combined against God, seems an awful extreme to show the depths of iniquity to which Pride married to Hypocrisy can sink. Yet martyrdom has its compensation. The spirit flies home upon the wings of victory, and in the very moment of so-called defeat, the man has the blessed consolation that he is still master of his fate--captain of his soul.

The lesson of the Inquisition was worth the price--the martyrs bought freedom for us. The fanged dogs of war, once turned loose upon the man who dared to think, have left as sole successor only a fat and harmless poodle, known as Social Ostracism. This poodle is old, toothless and given over to introspection; it has to be fed on pap; its only exercise is to exploit the horse-blocks, doze in milady's lap, and dream of a long-lost canine paradise. The dog- catcher awaits around the corner.

Philip the Third was an etiolated and perfumed dandy. In him culture had begun to turn yellow. Men who pride themselves upon their culture haven't any of which to speak. All the beauties of art, this man thought, were exclusively for him and his precious company of lisping exquisites and giggling, mincing queans. The thought that those who create beauty are also they who possess it, never dawned upon this crack-pated son of tired sheets.

He lived to enjoy--and so he never enjoyed anything.

Surfeit and satiety overtook him in the royal hog-wallow; digestion and zest took flight. Philip the Third speedily became a wooden Indian on wheels, moved by his Minister of State, the Duke of Lerma.

Huge animals sustain huge parasites, and so the Court of Philip the Third, with its fools, dwarfs, idiots and all of its dancing, jiggling, juggling, wasteful folly, did not succeed in wrecking the land. When Philip the Third traveled, he sent hundreds of men ahead to beat the swamps, day and night, in the vicinity of his royal presence, so as to silence the frogs. He thought their croaking was a personal matter meant for him.

I think he was right.

How the Lords of Death must chuckle in defiant glee when they send malaria and night into the palaces of the great through cracks and crevices! Philip's bloated, unkingly body became full of disease and pain; lingering unrest racked him; the unseen demons he could not exorcise, danced on his bed, wrenched his members and played mad havoc with each quivering nerve. And so he died. Then comes Philip the Fourth, immortal through his forty portraits painted by Velasquez. Philip was only fourteen when his father died. He was a rareripe, and showed strength and decision far beyond his years. His grandfather, Philip the Second, was his ideal, and he let it be known right speedily that his reign was to be one of moderation and simplicity, modeled along the lines of Philip the Great.

The Duke of Lerma, Minister of State, who had so long been the actual ruler of Spain, was deposed, and into his place slipped the suave and handsome Olivarez, Gentleman-in-Waiting to the young King.

Olivarez was from Seville, and had known the family of Velasquez. It was through his influence that Diego so soon got the nod of Royalty. The King was eighteen, Velasquez was twenty-four, and Olivarez not much older--all boys together. And the fact that Velasquez secured the appointment of Court Painter with such ease was probably owing to his dashing horsemanship, as much as to his being a skilful painter.

At Harvard once I saw a determined effort made to place a famous "right tackle" in the chair of Assistant Professor of Rhetoric. The plan was only given over with great reluctance, when it was discovered that the "right tackle" was beautifully ignorant of the subject he would have to tackle. Even then it was argued he could "cram"--keeping one lesson in advance of his class.

But Olivarez knew Velasquez could paint, and the artist's handsome face, stalwart frame and fearless riding did the rest. The young King was considered the best horseman in Madrid: Velasquez and Olivarez took pains never to outdo him in the joust.

The biography of Olivarez as a study of life is a better subject far than either the life of Velasquez or the King. Their lives were too successful to be interesting. Olivarez is a fine example of a man growing great through exercise. Read history and behold how commonplace men have often had greatness thrust upon them and met the issue. I have seen an absurd Class B lawyer elevated into a judgeship, and rise to the level of events, keeping silence, looking wise, hugging his dignity hard, until there came a time when the dignity really was a fair fit. Trotters often need toe-weights to give them ballast and balance--so do men need responsibility. We have had at least three commonplace men for President of the United States, who live in history as adequately great--and they were. Various and sundry good folk will here arise and say the germ of greatness was in these men all the time, awaiting the opportunity to unfold. And the answer is correct, right and proper; but a codicil should then be added to the effect that the germ of greatness is in every man, but we fall victims of arrested development, and success or society, like a worm i' the bud, feeds on our damask cheek.

Philip was nipped in the bud by falling into the protecting shadow of Olivarez. The Prime Minister provided boar-hunts and tourneys and masquerades and fetes. Philip's life of simplicity faded off into dressing in black--all else went on as before. Philip glided into the line of least resistance and signed every paper that he was told to sign by his gracious, winning, inflexible Minister--the true type of the iron hand in the velvet glove. From his twentieth year, after that first little flurry of pretended power, the novelty of ruling wore away; and for more than forty years he never either vetoed an act or initiated one. His ministers arranged his recreations, his gallantries, his hours of sleep. He was ruled and never knew it, and here the Richelieu-like Olivarez showed his power. It was anything to keep the King from thinking, and Spain, the Mother of Magnificence, went drifting to her death.

There were already three Court Painters when Velasquez received his appointment. They were Italians appointed by Philip the Third. Their heads were full of tradition and precedent, and they painted like their masters, who had been pupils of men who had worked with Titian--beautiful attenuations three times reduced. We only know their names now because they raised a pretty chorus of protest when Velasquez appeared at the palace. They worked all the wires they knew to bring about his downfall, and then dwindled away into chronic Artistic Jealousy, which finally struck in; and they were buried. That the plots, challenges and constant knockings of these underling court painters ever affected Velasquez, we can not see. He swung right along at prodigious strides, living his own life--a life outside and beyond all the pretense and vanity of place and power.

The King came by a secret passage daily to the studio to watch Velasquez work. There was always a chair for him, and the King even had an easel and sets of brushes and palette with which he played at painting. Pacheco, who had come up to Madrid and buzzed around encroaching on the Samuel Pepys copyright, has said that the King was a skilled painter. But this statement was for publication during the King's lifetime.

When Velasquez could not keep the King quiet in any other way, it seems he made him sit for his picture. The studio was never without an unfinished portrait of the King. From eighteen to fifty-four he sat to Velasquez--and it is always that same tall, spindle-legged, impassive form and the dull, unspeaking face. There is no thought there, no aspiration, no hope too great for earth, no unrequited love, no dream unrealized. The King was incapable of love as he was of hate. And Velasquez did not use his art to flatter: he had the artistic conscience. Truth was his guiding star. And the greatness of Velasquez is shown in that all subjects were equally alike to him. He did not select the classic or peculiar. Little painters are always choosing their subjects and explaining that this or that may be pretty or interesting, but they will tell you it is "unpaintable" --which means that they can not paint it.

"I can write well on any topic--all are alike to me!" said Dean Swift to Stella.

"Then write me an essay on a broomstick," answered Stella.

And Swift wrote the essay--full of abstruse reasons, playful wit and charming insight.

The long, oval, dull face of Philip lured Velasquez. He analyzed every possible shade of emotion of which this man was capable, and stripped his soul bare. The sallow skin, thin curling locks, nerveless hands, and unmeaning eyes are upon the walls of every gallery of Christendom--matchless specimens of the power to sink self, and reveal the subject.

That is why Whistler is right when he says that Velasquez is the painters' painter. "The Blacksmith" by Whistler shows you the blacksmith, not Whistler; Rembrandt's pictures of his mother show the woman; Franz Hals gives you the Burgomaster, not himself. Shakespeare of all writers is the most impersonal--he does not give himself away.

When Rubens painted a portrait of Philip the Fourth he put a dash of daring, exuberant health in the face that was never there. The health and joy of life was in Rubens, and he could not keep it off his palette. There is a sameness in every Rubens, because the imagination of the man ran over, and falsified his colors; he always gives you a deal of Rubens.

But stay! that expression, "sinking self," is only a figure of speech. At the last, the true artist never sinks self: he is always supreme, and towers above every subject, every object, that he portrays. The riotous health and good-cheer of Rubens marked the man's limitations. He was not great enough to comprehend the small, the delicate, the insignificant and the absurd. Only a very great man can paint dwarfs, idiots, topers and kings. And so the many- sidedness of the great man continually deceives the world into thinking that he is the thing with which he associates; or, on the other hand, we say he "sinks self" for the time, whereas the truth is that in his own nature he comprehends the Whole. Shakespeare being the Universal Man, we lose him in the labyrinth of his winding and wondrous imagination. The greater comprehends the less.

The beginner paints what he sees; or, more properly, he paints what he thinks he sees. If he grows he will next paint what he imagines, as Rubens did. Then there is another stage which completes the spiral and comes back to the place of beginning, and the painter will again paint what he sees.

This Velasquez did, and this is what sets him apart. The difference between the last stage and the first is that the artist has learned to see.

To write is nothing--to know what to write is much. To paint is nothing--to see and know the object you are attempting to portray is everything.

"Shall I paint the thing just as I see it?" asked the ingenue of the great artist. "Why, yes," was the answer, "provided you do not see the thing as you paint it."

The King and the Painter grew old together. They met on a common ground of horses, dogs and art; and while the King used these things to kill time and cause him to forget self, the Painter found horses and dogs good for rest and recreation. But art was for Velasquez a religion, a sacred passion.

Nominally the Court Painter ranked with the Court Barber, and his allowance was the same. But Velasquez ruled the King, and the King knew it not. Like all wasteful, dissolute men, Philip the Fourth had spasms of repentance when he sought by absurd economy to atone for folly.

We are all familiar with individuals who will blow to the four winds good money, and much of it, on needless meat and drink for those who are neither hungry nor athirst, and take folks for a carriage-ride who should be abed, and then the next day buy a sandwich for dinner and walk a mile to save a five-cent carfare. Some of us have done these things; and so occasionally Philip would dole out money to buy canvas and complain of the size of it, and ask in injured tone how many pictures Velasquez had painted from that last bolt of cloth! But Velasquez was a diplomat and humored his liege; yet when the artist died, the administrator of his estate had to sue the State for a settlement, and it was ten years before the final amount due the artist was paid. After twenty years of devotion, Olivarez-- outmatched by Richelieu in the game of statecraft--fell into disrepute and was dismissed from office. Monarchies, like republics, are ungrateful.

Velasquez sided with his old friend Olivarez in the quarrel, and thus risked incurring the sore displeasure of the King. The King could replace his Minister of State, but there was no one to take the place of the artist; so Philip bottled his wrath, gave Velasquez the right of his private opinion, and refused to accept his resignation.

There seems little doubt that it was a calamity for Velasquez that Philip did not send him flying into disgrace with Olivarez. Had Velasquez been lifted out on the toe of the King's displeasure, Italy would have claimed him, and the Vatican would have opened wide its doors. There, relieved of financial badgering, in the company of his equals, encouraged and uplifted, he might have performed such miracles in form and color that even the wonderful ceiling of the Sistine Chapel would have faded into the mediocre.

And again he might not--what more idle and fascinating than such speculation?

That the King endured the calm rebuke of Velasquez, when Olivarez was deposed, and still retained the Painter in favor, was probably because Rubens had assured the King that Velasquez as an artist was the master of any man in all Europe.

Velasquez made two trips to Italy, being sent on royal embassies to purchase statuary for the Prado Gallery, and incidentally to copy pictures. So there is many a Veronese, Tintoretto and Titian now in the Prado that was copied by Velasquez.

Think of the value of a Titian copied by Velasquez! And so faithfully was the copying done, even to inserting the signature, initials and date, that much doubt exists as to what pictures are genuine and what copies.

When Rubens appeared at the Court of Madrid, sent by the Duke of Mantua, with presents of Old Masters (done by himself), I can not but imagine the quiet confession, with smiles and popping of corks, that occurred when the wise and princely Rubens and the equally wise and princely Velasquez got together in some private corner.

The advent of Rubens at Madrid sent a thrill through the entire Court, and a lesser man than Velasquez would have quaked with apprehension when he found the King sitting to Rubens for a portrait in his own studio.

Not so Velasquez--he had done the King on canvas a score of times; no one else had ever been allowed to paint the King's portrait--and he was curious to see how the picture would come out.

Rubens, twenty-two years the senior of Velasquez, shrank a bit, it seems, from the contest, and connoisseurs have said that there is a little lack of the exuberant, joyous Rubensesque quality in the various pictures done by the gracious Fleming in Spain.

The taunt that many of the pictures attributed to Rubens were done by his pupils loses its point when we behold the prodigious amount of work that the master accomplished at Madrid in nine months--a dozen portraits, several groups, a score of pictures copied. And besides this, there was time for horseback rides when the King, Rubens and Velasquez galloped away together, when they climbed mountains, and when there were fetes and receptions to attend. Rubens was then over fifty, but the fire of his youth and that joyous animation of the morning, the years had not subdued.

Velasquez had many pupils, but in Murillo his skill as a teacher is best revealed. Several of his pupils painted exactly like him, save that they neglected to breathe into the nostrils of their work the breath of life. But Velasquez seems to have encouraged Murillo to follow the bent of his moody and melancholy genius--so Murillo was himself, not a diluted Velasquez.

The strong, administrative ability of Velasquez was prized by the King as much as his ability as a painter, and he was, therefore, advanced to the position of Master of Ceremonies. In this work, with its constant demand of close attention to petty details, his latter days were consumed. He died, aged sixty-one, a victim to tasks that were not worth the doing, but which the foolish King considered as important as painting deathless pictures.

So closely was the life of his wife blended with his own that in eight days after his passing she followed him across the Border, although the physicians declared that she had no disease. Husband and wife were buried in one grave in a church that a hundred years later was burned and never rebuilt. No stone marks their resting- place; and none is needed, for Velasquez lives in his work. The truth, splendor and beauty that he produced are on a hundred walls-- the inspiration of men who do and dare--the priceless heritage of us who live today and of those who shall come after.


The sun sinks more and more behind the horizon. Bam! he throws his last ray, a streak of gold and purple which fringes the flying clouds. There, now it has entirely disappeared. Bien! bien! twilight commences. Heavens, how charming it is! There is now in the sky only the soft vaporous color of pale citron--the last reflection of the sun which plunges into the dark blue of the night, going from green tones to a pale turquoise of an unheard-of fineness and a fluid delicacy quite indescribable.... The fields lose their color, the trees form but gray or brown masses.... the dark waters reflect the bland tones of the sky. We are losing sight of things--but one still feels that everything is there--everything is vague, confused, and Nature grows drowsy. The fresh evening air sighs among the leaves-- the birds, these voices of the flowers, are saying their evening prayer. --_Corot's Letter to Graham_

[Illustration: Corot]

Most young artists begin by working for microscopic effects, trying to portray every detail, to see every leaf, stem and branch and reveal them in the picture.

The ability to draw carefully and finish painstakingly is very necessary, but the great artist must forget how to draw before he paints a great picture; just as every strong writer must put the grammar upon the shelf before he writes well. I once heard William Dean Howells say that any good, bright High-School girl of sixteen could pass a far better examination in rhetoric than he could--and the admission did Mr. Howells no discredit.

"Would you advise me to take a course in elocution?" once asked a young man with oratorical ambitions of Henry Ward Beecher.

"Yes, by all means. Study elocution very carefully, but you will have to forget it all before you ever become an orator," was the answer.

Corot began as a child by drawing very rude, crude, uncertain pictures, just such pictures as any schoolboy can draw. Next he began to "complete" his sketches, and work with infinite pains. If he sketched a house he showed whether the roof was shingled or made of straw or tile; his trees revealed the texture of the bark and showed the shape of the leaf, and every flower contained its pistil and stamens, and told the man knew his botany. Two of his pictures done in Rome in his twenty-ninth year, "The Colosseum" and "The Forum," now in the Louvre, are good pictures--complete in detail, painstaking, accurate, hard and tight in technique. They are bomb- proof--beyond criticism--absolutely safe. Have a care, Corot! Keep where you are and you will become an irreproachable painter. That is to say, you will paint just like a hundred other French painters. There will be a market for your wares, the critics will approve, and at the Salon your work will never be either enskyed nor consigned to the catacombs. Society will court you, fair ladies will smile and encourage. You will be a success; your name will be safely pigeonholed among the unobjectionable ones, and before your wind- combed shock of hair has turned to silver, you will be supplanted by a new crop of fashion's favorites.

It is a fact worth noting that the two greatest landscape-painters of all time were city-born and city-bred. Turner was born in London, the son of a barber, and Fate held him so in leash that he never got beyond the sound of Bow Bells until he was a man grown. Corot was born in Paris, and his first outdoor sketch, made at twenty-two, was done amidst the din and jostle of the quays of the Seine.

Five strong men made up the Barbizon School, and of these, three were reared in Paris--Paris the frivolous, Paris the pleasure- loving. Corot, Rousseau and Daubigny were children of the Metropolis.

I state these facts in the interests of truth, and also to ease conscience, for I am aware that I have glorified the country boy in pages gone before, as if God were kind to him alone.

Turner made over a million dollars by the work of his hands (reinforced by head and heart); and left a discard of nineteen thousand sketches to the British Nation. Was ever such an example of concentration, energy and industry known in the history of art? Corot, six feet one, weight two hundred, ruddy, simple, guileless, singing softly to himself as he walked, in peasant blouse, and sabot-shod, used to come up to Paris, his birthplace, two or three times a year, and the gamins would follow him on the streets, making remarks irrelevant and comments uncomplimentary, just as they might follow old Joshua Whitcomb on Broadway in New York.

British grandees often dress like farmers, for pride may manifest itself in simplicity, but the disinterested pose of Camille Corot, if pose it was, fitted him as the feathers fit a wild duck. If pose is natural it surely is not pose: and Corot, the simplest man in the world, was regarded by the many as a man of mannerisms. His work was so quiet and modest that the art world refused to regard it seriously. Corot was as unpretentious as Walt Whitman and just as free from vanity.

During the War of the Rebellion, Whitman bankrupted himself in purse and body by caring for the stricken soldiers. At the siege of Paris, Corot could have kept outside the barriers, but safety for himself he would not accept. He remained in the city, refused every comfort that he could not divide with others, spent all the money he had in caring for the wounded, nursed the sick by night and day, listened to the confessions of the dying, and closed the eyes of the dead. To everybody, especially the simple folk, the plain, the unpretentious, the unknown, he was "Papa Corot," and everywhere did the stalwart old man of seventy-five carry hope, good-cheer and a courage that never faltered.

Corot, like Whitman, had the happiness to have no history.

Corot used paint just as if no one had ever painted before, and Whitman wrote as if he were the first man who had ever expressed himself in verse--precedent stood for naught. Each had all the time there was; they were never in a hurry; they loafed and invited their souls; they loved all women so well that they never could make choice of one; both were ridiculed and hooted and misunderstood; recognition came to neither until they were about to depart; and yet in spite of the continual rejection of their work, and the stupidity that would not see, and the ribaldry of those who could not comprehend, they continued serenely on their way, unruffled, kind-- making no apologies nor explanations--unresentful, with malice toward none, and charity for all.

The world is still divided as to whether Walt Whitman was simply a coarse and careless writer, without either skill, style or insight; or one with such a subtle, spiritual vision, such a penetration into the heart of things, that few comparatively can follow him.

During forty years of Corot's career the critics said, when they deigned to mention Corot at all, "There are two worlds, God's World and Corot's World." He was regarded as a harmless lunatic, who saw things differently from others, and so they indulged him, and at the Salon hung his pictures in the "Catacombs" with many a sly joke at his expense. The expression, "Corot Nature," is with us yet.

But now the idea has gradually gained ground that Camille Corot looked for beauty and found it--that he painted what he saw, and that he saw things that the average man, through incapacity, never sees at all. Science has taught us that there are sounds so subtle that our coarse senses can not recognize them, and there are thousands of tints, combinations and variations in color that the unaided or uneducated eye can not detect.

If Corot saw more than we, why denounce Corot? And so Corot has gradually and very slowly come into recognition as one who had power plus--it was we who were weak, we who were faulty, not he. The stones that were cast at him have been gathered up and cemented into a monument to his memory.

The father of Camille Corot was a peasant who drifted over to Paris to make his fortune. He was active, acute, intelligent and economical--and when a Frenchman is economical his economy is of a kind that makes the Connecticut brand look like extravagance.

This young man became a clerk in a drygoods-store that had a millinery attachment, as most French drygoods-stores have. He was precise, accurate, had a fair education, and always wore a white cravat. In the millinery department of this store was employed, among many others, a Swiss girl who had come up to Paris on her own account to get a knowledge of millinery and dressmaking. When this was gained she intended to go back to Switzerland, the land of liberty and Swiss cheese, and there live out her life in her native village making finery for the villagers for a consideration.

She did not go back to Switzerland, because she very shortly married the precise young drygoods-clerk who wore the white cravat.

The Swiss are the most competent people on this globe of ours, which is round like an orange and slightly flattened at the poles. There is less illiteracy, less pauperism, less drunkenness, more general intelligence, more freedom in Switzerland than in any other country on earth. This has been so for two hundred years: and the reason, some say, is that she has no standing army and no navy. She is surrounded by big nations that are so jealous of her that they will not allow each other to molest her. She is not big enough to fight them. Being too little to declare war, she makes a virtue of necessity and so just minds her own business. That is the only way an individual can succeed--mind your own business--and it is also the best policy with a nation.

The way the Swiss think things out with their heads and materialize them with their hands is very wonderful. In all the Swiss schools the pupils draw, sew, carve wood and make things. Pestalozzi was Swiss, and Froebel was more Swiss than German. Manual Training and the Kindergarten are Swiss ideas. All of our progress in the line of pedagogy that the years have brought has consisted in carrying Kindergarten Ideas into the Little Red Schoolhouse, and elsewhere. The world is debtor to the Swiss--the carmine of their ideas has tinted the whole thought-fabric of civilization.

The Swiss know how.

Skilled workmen from Switzerland are in demand everywhere.

That Swiss girl in the Paris shop was a skilled needlewoman, and the good taste and talent she showed in her work was a joy to her employers. There are hints that they tried to discourage her marriage with the clerk in the white cravat. What a loss to the art world if they had succeeded! But love is stronger than business ambition, and so the milliner married the young clerk, and they had a very modest little nest to which they flew when the day's work was done.

In a year a domestic emergency made it advisable for the young woman to stay at home, but she kept right along with her sewing. Some of the customers hunted her up and wanted her to do work for them.

When the stress of the little exigency was safely passed, the young mother found she could make more by working at home for special customers. A girl was hired to help her, then two--three.

The rooms downstairs were secured, and a show-window put in. This was at the corner of the Rue du Bac and the Pont Royal, within sight of the Louvre. It is an easy place to find, and you had better take a look at the site the next time you are in Paris--it is sacred soil.

Corot has told us much about his mother--a Frenchman is apt to regard his father simply as a necessary though often inconvenient appendage, possibly absorbing the idea from the maternal side of the house--but his mother is his solace, comforter and friend. The mother of Corot was intelligent, industrious, tactful; sturdy in body and strong in mind.

In due course of time she built up a paying business, bought the house in which they lived, and laid by a goodly dot for her son and two daughters. And all the time Corot pere wore the white cravat, a precise smile for customers and an austere look for his family. He held his old position as floorwalker and gave respectability to his good-wife's Millinery and Dressmaking Establishment.

The father's ambition for Camille was that he should become a model floorwalker, treading in the father's footsteps; and so, while yet a child, the boy was put to work in a drygoods-store, with the idea of discipline strong in mind.

And for this discipline, in after-years Corot was grateful. It gave him the habit of putting things away, keeping accurate accounts, systematizing his work; and throughout his forty years or more of artistic life, it was his proud boast that he reached his studio every morning at three minutes before eight.

Young Corot's mother had quite a little skill as a draftsman. In her business she drew designs for patterns, and if the prospective customer lacked imagination, she could draw a sketch of the garment as it would look when completed.

Savage tribes make pictures long before they acquire an alphabet; so do all children make pictures before they learn to read. The evolution of the child mirrors the evolution of the race. Camille made pictures just as all boys do, and his mother encouraged him in this, and supplied him copies.

When he was set to work in the drygoods-store he made sketches under the counter and often ornamented bundles with needless hieroglyphics. But these things did not necessarily mean that he was to be a great artist--thousands of drygoods-clerks have sketched and been drygoods- clerks to the end of their days. But good drygoods-clerks should not sketch too much or too well, else they will not rise in their career and some day have charge of a Department.

Camille Corot did not get along at haberdashery--his heart was not in it. He was not quite so bad as a certain budding, artistic genius I once knew, who clerked in a grocery-store, and when a woman came in and ordered a dozen eggs and a half-bushel of potatoes, the genius counted out a dozen potatoes, and sent the customer a half- bushel of eggs.

Then there was that absent-minded young drug-clerk who, when a stranger entered and inquired for the proprietor, answered, "He's out just at present, but we have something that is just as good."

Corot hadn't the ability to make folks think they needed something they did not want--they only got what they wanted, after much careful diplomacy and insistence. These things were a great cross to Corot pere, and the dulness of the boy made the good father grow old before his time--so the father alleged. Were the woes of parents written in books, the world would not be big enough to contain the books. Camille Corot was a failure--he was big, fat, lazy, and tantalizingly good-natured. He haunted the Louvre, and stood open- mouthed before the pictures of Claude Lorraine until the attendants requested him to move on. His mother knew something of art, and they used to discuss all the new pictures together. The father protested: he declared that the mother was encouraging the boy in his vacillation and dreaminess.

Camille lost his position. His father got him another place, and after a month they laid him off for two weeks, and then sent him a note not to come back. He hung around home, played the violin, and sang for his mother's sewing-girls while they worked. The girls all loved him--if the mother went out and left him in charge of the shop, he gave all hands a play-spell until it was time for Madame to return. His good nature was invincible. He laughed at the bonnets in the windows, slyly sketched the customers who came to try on the frivolities, and even made irrelevant remarks to his mother about the petite fortune she was deriving from catering to dead-serious nabobs who discussed flounces, bows, stays, and beribboned gewgaws as though they were Eternal Verities.

"Mamma is a sculptor who improves upon Nature," one day Camille said to the girls." If a woman hasn't a good form Madame Corot can supply her such amorous proportions that lovers will straightway fall at her feet." But such jocular remarks were never made to the father-- in his presence Camille was subdued and suspiciously respectful. The father had "disciplined" him--but had done nothing else.

Camille had a companion in Achille Michallon, son of the sculptor, Claude Michallon. Young Michallon modeled in clay and painted fairly well, and it was he who, no doubt, fired the mind of young Corot to follow an artistic career, to which Corot the elder was very much opposed.

So matters drifted and Camille Corot, aged twenty-six, was a flat failure, just as he had been for ten years. He hadn't self-reliance enough to push out for himself, nor enough will to swing his parents into his way of thinking. He was as submissive as a child; and would not and could not do anything until he had gotten permission--thus much for discipline.

Finally, in desperation, his father said: "Camille, you are of an age when you should be at the head of a business; but since you refuse to avail yourself of your opportunities and become a merchant, why, then, I'll settle upon you the sum of three hundred dollars a year for life and you can follow your own inclinations. But depend upon it, you shall have no more than I have named. I am done--now go and do what you want."

The words are authentic, being taken down from Corot's own lips; and they sound singularly like that remark made to Alfred Tennyson by his grandfather, "Here is a guinea for your poem, and depend upon it, this is the first and last money you will ever receive for poetry."

Camille was so delighted to hear his father's decision that he burst into tears and embraced the austere and stern-faced parent in the white cravat.

Straightway he would begin his artistic career, and having so announced his intention to the sewing-girls in an impromptu operatic aria, he took easel and paints and went down on the towpath to paint his first outdoor picture.

Soon the girls came trooping after, in order to see Monsieur Camille at his work. One girl, Mademoiselle Rose, stayed longer than the rest. Corot told of the incident in Eighteen Hundred Fifty-eight--a lapse of thirty years--and added: "I have not married--Mademoiselle Rose has not married--she is alive yet, and only last week was here to see me. Ah! what changes have taken place--I have that first picture I painted yet--it is the same picture and still shows the hour and the season, but Mademoiselle Rose and I, where are we?"

Turner and Corot trace back to the same artistic ancestor. It was Claude who first fired the heart of the barber's boy, and it was Claude who diluted the zeal of Camille Corot for ribbons and haberdashery.

Turner stipulated in his will that a certain picture of his should hang on the walls of the National Gallery by the side of a "Claude Lorraine"; and today in the Louvre you can see, side by side, a "Corot" and a "Claude." These men are strangely akin; yet, so far as I know, Corot never heard of Turner. However, he was powerfully influenced by Constable, the English painter, who was of the same age as Turner, and for a time, his one bitter rival.

Claude had been dead a hundred years before Constable, Turner or Corot was born. But time is an illusion; all souls are of one age, and in spirit these men were contemporaries and brothers. Claude, Corot and Turner never married--they were wedded to art. Constable ripened fast; he got his reward of golden guineas, and society caught him in its silken mesh. Success came faster than he was able to endure it, and he fell a victim to fatty degeneration of the cerebrum, and died of an acute attack of self-complacency.

It was about the year Eighteen Hundred Thirty-two that Constable gave an exhibition of his work in Paris--a somewhat daring thing for an Englishman to do. Paris had then, and has yet, about the same estimate of English art that the English have now of ours--although it is quite in order to explain in parentheses that three Americans, Whistler, Sargent and Abbey, have recently called a halt on English ribaldry as applied to American artists.

But John Constable's exhibit in Paris met with favor--the work was singularly like the work of Claude Lorraine, the critics said. And it was, for Constable had copied Claude conscientiously. Corot saw the Englishman's pictures, realized that they were just such pictures as he would like to paint, and so fell down and worshiped them. For a year he dropped Claude and painted just like Constable.

There was a time when Turner and Constable painted just alike, for they had the same master; but there came a day when Turner shoved out from shore, and no man since has been able to follow him.

And no one can copy Corot. The work that he did after he attained freedom and swung away from Claude and Constable has an illusive, intangible, subtle and spiritual quality that no imitator can ever catch on his canvas. Corot could not even copy his own pictures--his work is born of the spirit. His effects are something beyond skill of hand, something beyond mere knowledge of technique. You can copy a Claude and you can copy a Constable, for the pictures have well- defined outline and the forms are tangible. Claude was the first painter who showed the shimmering sunlight on the leaves, the upturned foliage of the silver poplar, the yellow willows bending beneath the breeze, the sweep of the clouds across the sky, the play of the waves across the seashore, the glistening dewdrops on the grass, the soft stealing mists of twilight.

Constable did all this, too, and he did it as well as Claude, but no better. He never got beyond the stage of microscopic portrayal; if he painted a dewdrop he painted it, and his blades of grass, swaying lily-stems, and spider-webs are the genuine articles.

Corot painted in this minute way for many years, but gradually he evolved a daring quality and gave us the effect of dewdrops, the spider-threads, the foliage, the tall lilies, without painting them at all--he gives you the feeling, that is all, stirs the imagination until the beholder, if his heart be in tune, sees things that only the spiritual eye beholds.

The pale, silvery tones of Corot, the shadowy boundaries that separate the visible from the invisible, can never be imitated without the Master's penetration into the heart of Nature. He knew things he could never explain, and he held secrets he could not impart. Before his pictures we can only stand silent--he disarms criticism and strikes the quibbler dumb. Before a Corot you had better give way, and let its beauty caress your soul. His colors are thin and very simple--there is no challenge in his work, as there is in the work of Turner. Greens and grays predominate, and the plain drab tones are blithe, airy, gracious, graceful and piquant as a beautiful young Quaker woman clothed in the garb of simplicity and humility--but a woman still. Corot coquettes with color--with pale lilac, silver gray, and diaphanous green. He poetizes everything he touches--quiet ponds, clumps of bushes, whitewashed cottages, simple swards, yellow cows, blowsy peasants, woodland openings, stretching meadows and winding streams--they are all full of divine suggestion and joyous expectancy. Something is just going to happen--somebody is coming, some one we love--you can almost detect a faint perfume, long remembered, never to be forgotten. A Corot is a tryst with all that you most admire and love best--it speaks of youth, joyous, hopeful, expectant youth. The flavor is Grecian, and if the Greeks had left us any paintings they would all have been just like Corot's.

The bubbling, boyish good-cheer that Corot possessed is well shown in a letter he once wrote to Stevens Graham. This letter was written, without doubt, in that fine intoxication which comes after work well done; and no greater joy ever comes to a mortal in life than this.

George Moore tells somewhere of catching Corot in one of these moods of rapture: the Master was standing alone on a log in the woods, like a dancing faun, leading an imaginary orchestra with silent but tremendous gusto. At other times, when Corot captured certain effects in a picture, he would rush across the fields to where there was a peasant plowing, and seizing the astonished man, would lead him over and stand him before the canvas crying: "Look at that! Ah, now, look at that! What did I tell you! You thought I never could catch it--Oho, aha, ohe, tralala, la, la, la, loo!"

This willingness to let the unrestrained spirit romp was strong in Corot--and it is to be recommended. How much finer it is to go out into the woods and lift up your voice in song, and be a child, than to fight inclination and waste good God-given energy endeavoring to be proper--whatever that may be!

Corot never wrote anything finer than that letter to his friend Graham, and, like all really good things, it was written with no weather-eye on futurity. The thought that it might be published never came to him, for if it had, he would probably have produced something not worth publishing. It was scribbled off with a pencil, hot from the heart, out of doors, immediately after having done a particularly choice bit of work. Every one who writes of Corot quotes this letter, and there are various translations of it. It can not be translated literally, because the language in which it was written is effervescent, flashing, in motion like a cascade. It defies all grammar, forgets rhetoric, and simply makes you feel. I have just as good a right to translate this letter as anybody, and while I will add nothing that the spirit of the text does not justify, I will omit a few things, and follow my own taste in the matter of paragraphing.

So here is the letter:

A landscapist's day is divine. You are jealous of the moments, and so are up at three o'clock--long before the sun sets you the example.

You go out into the silence and sit under a tree, and watch and watch and wait and wait.

It is very dark--the nightingales have gone to bed, all the mysterious noises of night's forenoon have ceased--the crickets are asleep, the tree-toad has found a nest--even the stars have slunk away.

You wait.

There is scarcely anything to be seen at first--only dark, spectral shapes that stand out against the blue-black of the sky.

Nature is behind a veil, upon which some masses of form are vaguely sketched. The damp, sweet smell of the incense of Spring is in the air--you breathe deeply--a sense of religious emotion sweeps over you--you close your eyes an instant in a prayer of thankfulness that you are alive.

You do not keep your eyes closed long, though--something is about to happen--you grow expectant, you wait, you listen, you hold your breath--everything trembles with a delight that is half-pain, under the invigorating caress of the coming day.

You breathe fast, and then you hold your breath and listen.

You wait.

You peer.

You listen.

Bing! A ray of pale yellow light shoots from horizon to zenith. The dawn does not come all at once: it steals upon you by leaps and subtle strides like deploying pickets.

Bing! Another ray, and the first one is suffusing itself across an arc of the purple sky.

Bing, Bing! The east is all aglow.

The little flowers at your feet are waking in joyful mood.

The chirrup of birds is heard. How they do sing! When did they begin? You forgot them in watching the rays of light.

The flowers are each one drinking its drop of quivering dew.

The leaves feel the cool breath of the morning, and are moving to and fro in the invigorating air.

The flowers are saying their morning prayers, accompanied by the matin-song of the birds.

Amoretti, with gauzy wings, are perching on the tall blades of grass that spring from the meadows, and the tall stems of the poppies and field-lilies are swaying, swaying, swaying a minuet motion fanned by the kiss of the gentle breeze.

Oh, how beautiful it all is! How good God is to send it! How beautiful! how beautiful!

But merciful easel! I am forgetting to paint--this exhibition is for me, and I'm failing to improve it. My palette--the brushes--there! there!

We can see nothing--but you feel the landscape is there--quick now, a cottage away over yonder is pushing out of the white mist. To thine easel--go!

Oh! it's all there behind the translucent gauze--I know it--I know it--I know it!

Now the white mist lifts like a curtain--it rises and rises and rises.

Bam! the sun is risen.

I see the river, like a stretch of silver ribbon; it weaves in and out and stretches away, away, away.

The masses of the trees, of the meads, the meadows--the poplars, the leaning willows, are all revealed by the mist that is reeling and rolling up the hillside.

I paint and I paint and I paint, and I sing and I sing and I paint!

We can see now all we guessed before.

Bam, Bam! The sun is just above the horizon--a great golden ball held in place by spider-threads.

I can see the lace made by the spiders--it sparkles with the drops of dew.

I paint and I paint and I sing and I paint.

Oh, would I were Joshua--I would command the sun to stand still.

And if it should, I would be sorry, for nothing ever did stand still, except a bad picture. A good picture is full of motion. Clouds that stand still are not clouds--motion, activity, life, yes, life is what we want--life!

Bam! A peasant comes out of the cottage and is coming to the meadow.

Ding, ding, ding! There comes a flock of sheep led by a bellwether. Wait there a minute, please, sheepy-sheepy, and a great man will paint you.

All right then, don't wait. I didn't want to paint you anyway

Bam! All things break into glistening--ten thousand diamonds strew the grasses, the lilies and the tall stalks of swaying poppies. Diamonds on the cobwebs--diamonds everywhere. Glistening, dancing, glittering light--floods of light--pale, wistful, loving light: caressing, blushing, touching, beseeching, grateful light. Oh, adorable light! The light of morning that comes to show you things-- and I paint and I paint and I paint.

Oh, the beautiful red cow that plunges into the wet grass up to her dewlaps! I will paint her. There she is--there!

Here is Simon, my peasant friend, looking over my shoulder.

"Oho, Simon, what do you think of that?"

"Very fine," says Simon, "very fine!"

"You see what it is meant for, Simon?"

"Me? Yes, I should say I do--it is a big red rock."

"No, no, Simon, that is a cow."

"Well, how should I know unless you tell me," answers Simon.

I paint and I paint and I paint.

Boom! Boom! The sun is getting clear above the treetops.

It is growing hot.

The flowers droop.

The birds are silent.

We can see too much now--there is nothing in it. Art is a matter of soul. Things you see and know all about are not worth painting--only the intangible is splendid.

Let's go home. We will dine, and sleep, and dream. That's it--I'll dream of the morning that would not tarry--I'll dream my picture out, and then I'll get up and smoke, and complete it, possibly--who knows!

Let's go home.

* * * * *

Bam! Bam! It is evening now--the sun is setting. I didn't know the close of the day could be so beautiful--I thought the morning was the time.

But it is not just right--the sun is setting in an explosion of yellow, of orange, of rouge-feu, of cherry, of purple.

Ah! it is pretentious, vulgar. Nature wants me to admire her--I will not. I'll wait--the sylphs of the evening will soon come and sprinkle the thirsty flowers with their vapors of dew.

I like sylphs--I'll wait.

Boom! The sun sinks out of sight, and leaves behind a tinge of purple, of modest gray touched with topaz--ah! that is better. I paint and I paint and I paint.

Oh, Good Lord, how beautiful it is--how beautiful! The sun has disappeared and left behind a soft, luminous, gauzy tint of lemon-- lemons half-ripe. The light melts and blends into the blue of the night.

How beautiful! I must catch that--even now it fades--but I have it: tones of deepening green, pallid turquoise, infinitely fine, delicate, fluid and ethereal.

Night draws on. The dark waters reflect the mysteries of the sky-- the landscape fades, vanishes, disappears--we can not see it now, we only feel it is there.

But that is enough for one day--Nature is going to sleep, and so will we, soon. Let us just sit silent a space and enjoy the stillness.

The rising breezes are sighing through the foliage, and the birds, choristers of the flowers, are singing their vesper-songs--calling, some of them, plaintively for their lost mates.

Bing! A star pricks its portrait in the pond.

All around now is darkness and gloom--the crickets have taken up the song where the birds left off.

The little lake is sparkling, a regular ant-heap of twinkling stars.

Reflected things are best--the waters are only to reflect the sky-- Nature's looking-glass.

The sun has gone to rest; the day is done. But the Sun of Art has arisen, and my picture is complete.

Let us go home.

The Barbizon School--which, by the way, was never a school, and if it exists now is not at Barbizon--was made up of five men: Corot, Millet, Rousseau, Diaz and Daubigny.

Corot saw it first--this straggling little village of Barbizon, nestling there at the foot of the Forest of Fontainebleau, thirty- five miles southeast of Paris. This was about the year Eighteen Hundred Thirty. There was no market then for Corot's wares, and the artist would have doubted the sanity of any one who might have wanted to buy. His income was one dollar a day--and this was enough. If he wanted to go anywhere, he walked; and so he walked into Barbizon one day, his pack on his back, and found there a little inn, so quaint and simple that he stayed two days.

The landlord quite liked the big, jolly stranger. Hanging upon his painting outfit was a mandolin, a harmonica, a guitar and two or three other small musical instruments of nondescript pedigree. The painter made music for the village, and on invitation painted a sketch on the tavern-wall to pay for his board. And this sketch is there even to this day, and is as plain to be seen as the splash of ink on the wall at Eisenach where Martin Luther threw the ink-bottle at the devil.

When Corot went back to Paris he showed sketches of Barbizon and told of the little snuggery, where life was so simple and cheap.

Soon Rousseau and Diaz went down to Barbizon for a week's stay-- later came Daubigny.

In the course of a few years Barbizon grew to be a kind of excursion point for artistic and ragged Bohemians, most of whom have done their work, and their little life is now rounded with a sleep.

Rousseau, Diaz and Daubigny, all younger men than Corot, made comfortable fortunes long before Corot got the speaker's eye; and when at last recognition came to him, not the least of their claim to greatness was that they had worked with him.

It was not until Eighteen Hundred Forty-nine that Jean Francois Millet with his goodly brood was let down from the stage at Barbizon, to work there for twenty-six years, and give himself and the place immortality. For when we talk of the Barbizon School, we have the low tones of "The Fagot-Gatherer" in mind--the browns, the russets and the deep, dark yellows fading off into the gloom of dying day.

And only a few miles away, clinging to the hillside, is By, where lived Rosa Bonheur--too busy to care for Barbizon, or if she thought of the "Barbizon School" it was with a fine contempt, which the "School" returned with usurious interest.

At the Barbizon Inn the Bohemians used to sing songs about the Bonheur breeches, and "the Lady who keeps a Zoo." The offense of Rosa Bonheur was that she minded her own business, and sold the "Horse Fair" for more money than the entire Barbizon School had ever earned in its lifetime.

Only two names loom large out of Barbizon. Daubigny, Diaz and Rousseau are great painters, and they each have disciples and imitators who paint as well as they; but Corot and Millet stand out separate and alone, incomprehensible and unrivaled.

And yet were ever two artists more unlike! Just compare "The Dancing Sylphs" and "The Gleaners." The theme of all Millet's work is, "Man goeth forth to his labors unto the evening." Toil, hardship, heroic endurance, plodding monotony, burdens grievous to be borne--these things cover the canvases of Millet. All of his deep sincerity, his abiding melancholy, his rugged nobility are there; for every man who works in freedom simply reproduces himself. That is what true work is--self-expression, self-revelation. The style of Millet is so strongly marked, so deeply etched, that no man dare imitate it. It is covered by a perpetual copyright, signed and sealed with the life's blood of the artist. Then comes Corot the joyous, Corot the careless, Corot who had no troubles, no sorrows, no grievances, and not an enemy that he recognized as such. He even loved Rosa Bonheur, or would, he once said, "If she would only chain up her dog, and wear woman's clothes!" Corot, singing at his work, unless he was smoking, and if he was smoking, removing his pipe only to lift up his voice in song: Corot, painting and singing--"Ah ha--tra la la. Now I 'll paint a little boy--oho, oho, tra lala la loo--lal loo-- oho--what a nice little boy--and here comes a cow; hold that, bossy --in you go for art's dear sake--tra la la la, la loo!"

Look at a Corot closely and listen, and you can always hear the echo of the pipes o' Pan. Lovers sit on the grassy banks, children roll among the leaves, sylphs dance in every open, and out from between the branches lightly steps Orpheus, harp in hand, to greet the morn. Never is there a shadow of care in a Corot--all is mellow with love, ripe with the rich gift of life, full of prayer and praise just for the rapture of drinking in the day--grateful for calm, sweet rest and eventide.

Corot, eighteen years the senior of Millet, was the first to welcome the whipped-out artist to Barbizon. With him Corot divided his scanty store; he sang and played his guitar at the Millet hearthstone when he had nothing but himself to give; and when, in Eighteen Hundred Seventy-five, Millet felt the chill night of death settling down upon him, and the fear that want would come to his loved ones haunted his dreams, Corot assured him by settling upon the family the sum of one thousand francs a year, until the youngest child should become of age, and during Madame Millet's life.

So died Jean Francois Millet.

In Eighteen Hundred Eighty-nine "The Angelus" was bought by an American Syndicate for five hundred eighty thousand francs. In Eighteen Hundred Ninety it was bought back by agents of the French Government for seven hundred fifty thousand francs, and now has found a final resting-place in the Louvre.

Within a few months after the death of Millet, Corot, too, passed away.

Corot is a remarkable example of a soul ripening slowly. His skill was not at its highest until he was seventy-one years of age. He then had eight years of life and work left, and he continued even to the end. In his art there was no decline.

It can not be said that he received due recognition until he was approaching his seventy-fifth year, for it was then, for the first time, that the world of buyers besieged his door. The few who had bought before were usually friends who had purchased with the amiable idea of helping a worthy man.

During the last few years of Corot's life, his income was over fifty thousand francs a year--"more than I received for pictures during my whole career," he once said. And then he shed tears at parting with the treasures that had been for so long his close companions.

"You see, I am a collector," he used to say, "but being poor, I have to paint all my pictures myself--they are not for sale."

And probably he would have kept his collection unbroken were it not that he wanted the money so much to give away.

Of the painters classed in the Barbizon School, it is probable that Corot will live longest, and will continue to occupy the highest position. His art is more individual than Rousseau's, more poetic than that of Daubigny, and in every sense more beautiful than that of Millet. When Camille Corot passed out, on the Twenty-second of February, Eighteen Hundred Seventy-five, he was the best-loved man in Paris. Five thousand art-students wore crape on their arms for a year in memory of "Papa Corot," a man who did his work joyously, lived long, and to the end carried in his heart the perfume of the morning, and the beneficent beauty of the sunrise.


What genius disclosed all these wonders to thee? All the fair images in the world seem to have sprung forward to meet thee, and to throw themselves lovingly into thy arms. How joyous was the gathering when smiling angels held thy palette, and sublime spirits stood before thy inward vision in all their splendor as models! Let no one think he has seen Italy, let no one think he has learnt the lofty secrets of art, until he has seen thee and thy Cathedral at Parma, O Correggio! --_Ludwig Tieck_

[Illustration: Correggio]

There is no moment that comes to mortals so charged with peace and precious joy as the moment of reconciliation. If the angels ever attend us, they are surely present then. The ineffable joy of forgiving and being forgiven forms an ecstacy that well might arouse the envy of the gods. How well the theologians have understood this! Very often, no doubt, their psychology has been more experimental than scientific--but it is effective. They plunge the candidate into a gloom of horror, guilt and despair; and then when he is thoroughly prostrated--submerged--they lift him out and up into the light, and the thought of reconciliation possesses him.

He has made peace with his Maker!

That is to say, he has made peace with himself--peace with his fellowmen. He is intent on reparation; he wishes to forgive every one. He sings, he dances, he leaps into the air, clasps his hands in joy, embraces those nearest him, and calls aloud, "Glory to God! Glory to God!" It is the moment of reconciliation. Yet there is a finer temperament than that of the "new convert," and his moment of joy is one of silence--sacred silence.

In the Parma Gallery is the painting entitled, "The Day," the masterpiece of Correggio. The picture shows the Madonna, Saint Jerome, Saint John and the Christ-child. A second woman is shown in the picture. This woman is usually referred to as Magdalene, and to me she is the most important figure in it. She may lack a little of the ethereal beauty of the Madonna, but the humanness of the pose, the tenderness and subtle joy of it, shows you that she is a woman indeed, a woman the artist loved--he wanted to paint her picture, and Saint Jerome, the Madonna and the Christ-child are only excuses.

John Ruskin, good and great, but with prejudices that matched his genius, declared this picture "immoral in its suggestiveness." It is so splendidly, superbly human that he could not appreciate it. Yet this figure of which he complains is draped from neck to ankle--the bare feet are shown--but the attitude is sweetly, tenderly modest. The woman, half-reclining, leans her face over and allows her cheek, very gently, to press against that of the Christ-child. Absolute relaxation is shown, perfect trust--no tension, no anxiety, no passion--only a stillness and rest, a gratitude and subdued peace that are beyond speech. The woman is so happy that she can not speak, so full of joy that she dare not express it, and a barely perceptible tear-stain upon her cheek suggests that this peace has not always been. She has found her Savior--she is His and He is hers.

It is the moment of reconciliation.

The Renaissance came as a great burst of divine light, after a thousand years of lurid night. The iron heel of Imperial Rome had ground individuality into the mire. Unceasing war, endless bloodshed, slavery without limit, and rampant bestiality had stalked back and forth across Europe. Insanity, uncertainty, drudgery and crouching want were the portion of the many. In such a soil neither art, literature nor religion can prosper.

But now the Church had turned her face against disorder, and was offering her rewards for excellence and beauty. Gradually there came a feeling of safety--something approaching security. Throughout Italy, beautiful, stately churches were being built; in all the little principalities, palaces were erected; architecture became a science. The churches and palaces were decorated with pictures, statues filled the niches, memorials to great ones gone were erected in the public squares. It was a time of reconciliation--peace was more popular than war--and where men did go to war, they always apologized for it by explaining that they fought simply to obtain peace.

Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo and Botticelli were doing their splendid work--work palpitating with the joy of life, and yet upon it was the tinge of sorrow, the scars of battles fought, the tear- stains that told of troubles gone. Yet the general atmosphere was one of blitheness, joyous life and gratitude for existence. Men seemed to have gotten rid of a great burden; they stood erect, they breathed deeply, and looking around them, were surprised to perceive that life was really beautiful, and God was good.

In such an attitude of mind they reached out friendly hands toward each other. Poets sang; musicians played; painters painted, and sculptors carved. Universities sprang into being--schools were everywhere. The gloom was dispelled even from the monasteries. The monks ate three meals a day--sometimes four or five. They went a- visiting. Wine flowed, and music was heard where music was never heard before. Instead of the solemn processional, there were Barnabee steps seen on stone floors--steps that looked like ecclesiastical fandango. The rope girdles were let out a trifle, flagellations ceased, vigils relaxed, and in many instances the coarse horsehair garments were replaced with soft, flowing robes, tied with red, blue or yellow sashes of silk and satin. The earth was beautiful, men were kind, women were gracious, God was good, and His children should be happy--these were the things preached from many pulpits.

Paganism had got grafted on to Christianity, and the only branches that were bearing fruit were the pagan branches. The old spirit of Greece had come back, romping, laughing in the glorious Italian sunshine. Everything had an Attic flavor. The sky was never so blue, the yellow moonlight never before cast such soft, mysterious shadows, the air was full of perfume, and you had but to stop and listen any time and anywhere to hear the pipes o' Pan.

When Time turned the corner into the Sixteenth Century, the tide of the Renaissance was at its full. The mortification of the monasteries, as we have seen, had given place to a spirit of feasting--good things were for use. The thought was contagious, and although the Paulian idea of women keeping silence in all due subjection has ever been a favorite one with masculine man, yet the fact is that in the matter of manners and morals men and women are never far apart--there is a constant transference of thought, feeling and action. I do not know why this is. I merely know that it is so. Some have counted sex a mistake on the part of God; but the safer view is for us to conclude that whatever is, is good; some things are better than others, but all are good. That is what they thought during the Renaissance. So convent life lost its austerity, and as the Council of Trent had not yet issued its stern orders commanding asceticism, prayers were occasionally offered accompanied by syncopated music.

The blooming daughters of great houses were consigned to convents on slight excuse. "To a nunnery go, and quickly, too," was an order often given and followed with alacrity. Married women, worn with many cares, often went into "retreat"; girls tired of society's whirl; those wrung with hopeless passion; unmanageable wives; all who had fed on the husks of satiety; those who had incurred the displeasure of parents or kinsmen, or were deserted, forlorn and undone, all these found rest in the convents--provided they had the money to pay. Those without money or influential friends simply labored as servants and scullions. Rich women contracted the "Convent Habit"; this was about the same thing as our present dalliance known as the "Sanitarium Bacillus"--which only those with a goodly bank-balance can afford to indulge. The poor, then as now, had a sufficient panacea for trouble: they kept their nerves beneath their clothes by work; they had to grin and bear it--at least they had to bear it.

In almost every town that lined the great Emilian Highway, that splendid road laid out by the Consul Marcus Emilius, 83 B. C., from Rimini and Piacenza, there were convents of high and low degree-- some fashionable, some plain, and some veritable palaces, rich in art and full of all that makes for luxury. These convents were at once a prison, a hospital, a sanitarium, a workshop, a school and a religious retreat. The day was divided up into periods for devotion, work and recreation, and the discipline was on a sliding scale matching the mood of the Abbess in charge, all modified by the prevailing spirit of the inmates. But the thought that life was good was rife, and this thought got over every convent-wall, stole through the garden-walks, crept softly in at every grated window, and filled each suppliant's cell with its sweet, amorous presence.

Yes, life is good, God is good! He wants His children to be happy! The white clouds chase each other across the blue dome of heaven, the birds in the azaleas and in the orange-trees twitter, build nests and play hide-and-seek the livelong day. The balmy air is flavored with health, healing and good-cheer.

Life in a convent had many advantages and benefits. Women were taught to sew and work miracles with the needle; they made lace, illumined missals, wove tapestries, tended the flowers, read from books, listened to lectures, and spent certain hours in silence and meditation. To a great degree the convents were founded on science and a just knowledge of human needs. There were "orders" and degrees that fitted every temperament and condition.

But the humble garb of a nun never yet changed the woman's heart that beats beneath--she is a woman still.

Every night could be heard the tinkle of guitars beneath bedroom- windows, notes were passed up on forked sticks, and missives freshly kissed by warm lips were dropped down through lattices; secret messengers came with letters, and now and again rope ladders were in demand; while not far away, there were always priests who did a thriving business in the specialty of Gretna Green.

Every sanitarium, every great hotel, every public institution--every family, I was going to say--has two lives: the placid moving life that the public knows, and the throbbing, pulsing life of plot and counterplot--the life that goes on beneath the surface. It is the same with the human body--how bright and calm the eye, how smooth and soft the skin, how warm and beautiful this rose-mesh of flesh! But beneath there is a seething struggle between the forces of life and the disintegration--and eventually nothing succeeds but failure.

Every convent was a hotbed of gossip, jealousy, hate and seething strife; and now and again there came a miniature explosion that the outside world heard and translated with emendations to suit.

Rivalry was rife, competition lined the corridors, and discontent sat glum or rustled uneasily in each stone cell. Some of the inmates brought pictures, busts and ornaments to embellish their rooms. Friends from the outside world sent presents; the cavalier who played the guitar beneath the window varied his entertainment by gifts; flowers filled the beautiful vases, and these blossoms were replaced ere they withered, so as to show that true love never dies.

Monks from neighboring monasteries preached sermons or gave lectures; skilled musicians came, and sang or played the organ; noblemen visited the place to examine the works of art, or to see fair maids on business, or consult the Abbess on matters spiritual. Often these visitors were pressed to remain, and then receptions were held and modest fetes given and banquets tendered. At intervals there were fairs, when the products made by the marriage of the hand and brain of the fair workers were exhibited and sold.

So life, though in a convent, was life, and even death and disintegration are forms of life--and all life is good.

The Donna Giovanni Piacenza was appointed Abbess of San Paola Convent, Parma, in Fifteen Hundred Seven. The Abbess was the daughter of the nobleman Marco. Donna Giovanni was a woman of marked mental ability; she had a genius for management; a wise sense of diplomacy; and withal was an artist by nature and instinct.

The Convent of San Paola was one of the richest and most popular in the Emilia.

The man to whose influence the Abbess owed most in securing her the appointment was the Cavaliere Scipione, a lawyer and man of affairs, married to the sister of the Abbess.

As a token of esteem and by way of sisterly reciprocity, the Abbess soon after her appointment called the Cavaliere Scipione to the position of Legal Adviser and Custodian of the Convent Funds. Before this the business of the institution had been looked after by the Garimberti family; and the Garimberti now refusing to relinquish their office, Scipione took affairs into his own hands and ran the chief offender through with his sword. Scipione found refuge in the Convent, and the officers of the law hammered on the gates for admission, and hammered in vain.

Parma was split into two factions--those who favored the Abbess Giovanni and those who opposed her.

Once at midnight the gates were broken down and the place searched, for hiding cavaliers, by the Governor of the city and his cohorts, to the great consternation of the nuns.

But time is the great healer, and hate left alone is shortlived, and dies a natural death. The Abbess was wise in her management, and with the advice and assistance of Scipione, the place prospered. Visitors came, delegations passed that way, great prelates gave their blessing, and the citizens of Parma became proud of the Convent of San Paola.

Some of the nuns were rich in their own right, and some of these had their rooms frescoed by local artists to suit their fancies. Strictly religious pictures were not much in vogue with the inmates --they got their religion at the chapel. Mythology and the things that symbolized life and love were the fashion. On one door was a flaming heart pierced by an arrow, and beneath in Italian was the motto, "Love while you may." Other mottoes about the place were, "Eat, drink and be merry"; "Laugh and be glad." These mottoes revealed the prevailing spirit.

Some of the staid citizens of Parma sent petitions to Pope Julius demanding that the decree of strict cloistration be enforced against the nuns. But Julius sort of reveled in life himself, and the art spirit shown by the Abbess was quite to his liking. Later, Leo the Tenth was importuned to curb the festive spirit of the place, but he shelved the matter by sending along a fatherly letter of advice and counsel.

About this time we find the Abbess and her Legal Adviser planning a scheme of decoration that should win the admiration or envy--or both--of every art-lover in the Emilia. The young man, Antonio Allegri, from Correggio should do the work. They had met him at the house of Veronica Gambara, and they knew that any one Veronica recommended must be worthy of confidence. Veronica said the youth had sublime talent--it must be so. His name, Allegri, meant joy, and his work was charged with all his name implied. He was sent for, and he came--walking the forty miles from Correggio to Parma with his painter's kit on his back.

He was short of stature, smooth-faced and looked like a good-natured country bumpkin in his peasant garb, all decorated with dust. He was modest, half-shy, and the nuns who peered at him from behind the arras as he walked down the hallway of the Convent caused his countenance to run the chromatic scale.

He was sorry he came, and if he could have gotten away without disgrace he surely would have started straight back for Correggio. He had never been so far away from home before, and although he did not know it he was never to get farther away in his life. Venice and Titian were to the east a hundred miles; Milan and Leonardo were to the north about the same distance; Florence and Michelangelo were south ninety miles; Rome and Raphael were one hundred sixty miles beyond; and he was never to see any of these. But the boy shed no tears over that; it is quite possible that he never heard of any of these names just mentioned, save that of Leonardo. None loomed large as they do now--there were painters everywhere, just as Boston Common is full of poets. Veronica Gambara had told him of Leonardo-- we know that--and described in glowing words and with an enthusiasm that was contagious how the chief marks of Leonardo's wonderful style lay in the way he painted hands, hair and eyes. The Leonardo hands were delicate, long of finger, expressive and full of life; the hair was wavy, fluffy, sun-glossed, and it seemed as if you could stroke it, and it would give off magnetic sparks; but Leonardo's best feature was the eye--the large, full-orbed eye that looked down so that you really never saw the eye, only the lid, and the long lashes upon which a tear might glisten. Antonio listened to Veronica with open mouth, drinking it all in, and then he sighed and said, "I am a painter, too." He set to work, fired with the thought of doing what Leonardo had done--hands, hair and eyes--beautiful hands, beautiful hair, beautiful eyes! Then these things he worked upon, only he never placed the glistening tear upon the long lash, because there were no tears upon his own lashes. He had never known sorrow, trouble, disappointment or defeat.

The specialty of Allegri was "putti"--tumbling, tumultuous, tricksy putti. These cherubs symboled the joy of life, and when Allegri wished to sign his name, he drew a cherub. He had come up out of a family that had little and expected nothing. Then he needed so little--his wants were few. If he went away from home on little journeys, he stopped with peasants along the way and made merry with the children and outlined a chubby cherub on the cottage-wall, to the delight of everybody; and in the morning was sent on his way with blessings, Godspeeds, and urgent invitations to come again. Smiles and good-cheer, a little music and the ability to do things, when accompanied by a becoming modesty, are current coin the round world over. Tired earth is quite willing to pay for being amused.

The Abbess Giovanni showed Antonio about the Convent, and he saw what had already been done. He was appreciative, but talked little. The Abbess liked the youth. He suggested possibilities--he might really become the great painter that the enthusiastic Veronica prophesied he would some day be.

The Abbess gave up one of her own rooms for his accommodation, brought him water for a bath, and at supper sat him at the table at her own right hand.

"And about the frescos?" asked the Abbess.

"Yes, the frescos--your room shall be done first. I will begin the work in the morning," replied Antonio. The confidence of the youth made the Abbess smile.

Many of our finest flowers are merely transplanted weeds. Transplantation often works wonders in men. When Fate lifted Antonio Allegri out of the little village of Correggio and set him down in the city of Parma, a great change came over him. The wealth, beauty and freer atmosphere of the place caused the tendrils of his imagination to reach out into a richer soil, and the result was such blossoms of beauty, so gorgeous in form and color, that men have not yet ceased to marvel.

The Convent of San Paola is a sacred shrine for art-lovers--they come from the round world over, just to see the ceiling in that one room--the room of the Abbess Giovanni, where Antonio Allegri, the young man from Correggio, first placed his scaffolds in Parma.

The village of Correggio is quite off the beaten track of travel. You will have to look five times on the map before you can find it. It is now only a village, and in the year Fourteen Hundred Ninety- four, when Antonio Allegri was born and Cristoforo Colombo, the Genoese, was discovering continents, it was little better than a hamlet. It had a church, a convent, a palace where dwelt the Corregghesi--the Lords of Correggio--and stretching around the square, where stood the church, were long, low, stone cottages, whitewashed, with trellises of climbing flowers. Back of these cottages were little gardens where the peas, lentils, leeks and parsley laughed a harvest. There were flowers, flowers everywhere-- none was too poor to have flowers. Flowers are a strictly sex product and symbol the joy of life; and where there are no flowers, there is little love. Lovers give flowers--and they are enough--and if you do not love flowers, they will refuse to blossom for you. "If I had but two loaves of bread, I'd sell one of them and buy white hyacinths to feed my soul"--that was said by a man who loved this world, no less than the next. Do not defame this world--she is the mother that feeds you, and she supplies you not only bread, but white hyacinths to feed your soul.

On market-day in every Italian town four hundred years ago, just as now, the country women brought big baskets of vegetables and also baskets of flowers. And you will see in those markets, if you observe, that the people who buy vegetables usually buy sprays of mignonette, bunches of violets, roses upon which the dew yet sparkles, or white hyacinths. Loaves alone are not quite enough--we want also the bread of life, and the bread of life is love, and didn't I say that flowers symbol love?

And I have noted this, in those old markets: often the pile of flowers that repose by the basket of fruit or vegetables is to give away to the customers as tokens of good-will. I remember visiting the market at Parma one day and buying some cherries, and the old woman who took my money picked up a little spray of hyacinth and pinned it to my coat, quite as a matter of course. The next day I went back and bought figs, and got a big moss-rose as a premium. The peculiar brand of Italian that I spoke was unintelligible to the old woman, and I am very sure that I could not understand her, yet the white hyacinths and the moss-rose made all plain. That was five years ago, but if I should go back to Parma tomorrow, I would go straight to the Market-Place, and I know that my old friend would reach out a brown calloused hand to give me welcome, and the choicest rose in her basket would be mine--the heart understands.

That spirit of mutual giving was the true spirit of the Renaissance, and in the forepart of the Sixteenth Century it was at its fullest flower. Men gave the beauty that was in them, and Vasari tells of how at Correggio the peasants, who had nothing else to give, each Sunday brought flowers and piled them high at the feet of the Virgin.

There were painters and sculptors at the village of Correggio then; great men in their day, no doubt, but lost now to us in the maze of years. And there was, too, a little court of beauty and learning, presided over by Veronica Gambara. Veronica was a lover of art and literature, and a poet of no mean quality. Antonio Allegri, the son of the village baker, was a welcome visitor at her house. The boy used to help the decorators at the church, and had picked up a little knowledge of art. That is all you want--an entrance into the Kingdom of Art, and all these things shall be added unto you. Veronica appreciated the boy because he appreciated art, and great lady that she was, she appreciated him because he appreciated her. Nothing so warms the cockles of a teacher's heart as appreciation in a pupil. The intellect of the village swung around Veronica Gambara. Visitors of note used to come from Bologna and Ferrara just to hear Veronica read her poems, and to talk over together the things they all loved. At these conferences Antonio was often present. He was eighteen, perhaps, when his sketches were first shown at Veronica's little court of art and letters. He had taken lessons from the local painters, and visiting artists gave him the benefit of advice and criticism. Then Veronica had many engravings and various copies of good pictures. The boy was immersed in beauty, and all he did he did for Veronica Gambara. She was no longer young--she surely was old enough to have been the boy's mother, and this was well. Such a love as this is spiritualized under the right conditions, and works itself up into art, where otherwise it might go dancing down the wanton winds and spend itself in folly.

Antonio painted for Veronica. All good things are done for some one else, and then after a while a standard of excellence is formed, and the artist works to please himself. But paradoxically, he still works for others--the singer sings for those who hear, the writer writes for those who understand, and the painter paints for those who would paint just such pictures as he, if they could. Antonio painted just such pictures as Veronica liked--she fixed the standard and he worked up to it.

And who then could possibly have foretold that the work of the baker's boy would rescue the place from oblivion, so that anywhere where the word is mentioned, "Correggio" should mean the boy Antonio Allegri, and not the village nor the wide domain of the Corregghesi!

The distinguishing feature of Correggio's work is his "putti." He delighted in these well-fed, unspanked and needlessly healthy cherubs. These rollicksome, frolicsome, dimpled boy babies--and that they are boys is a fact which I trust will not be denied--he has them everywhere!

Paul Veronese brings in his omnipresent dog--in every "Veronese," there he is, waiting quietly for his master. Even at the "Assumption" he sits in one corner, about to bark at the angels. The dog obtrudes until you reach a point where you do not recognize a "Veronese" without the dog--then you are grateful for the dog, and surely would scorn a "Veronese" minus the canine attachment. We demand at least one dog, as our legal and inborn right, with every "Veronese."

So, too, we claim the cherubs of Correggio as our own. They are so oblivious of clothes, so beautifully indifferent to the proprieties, so delightfully self-sufficient! They have no parents; they are mostly of one size, and are all of one gender. They hide behind the folds of every apostle's cloak, peer into the Magdalen's jar of precious ointment, cling to the leg of Saint Joseph, make faces at Saint Bernard, attend in a body at the "Annunciation"--as if it were any of their business--hover everywhere at the "Betrothal," and look on wonderingly from the rafters, or make fun of the Wise Men in the Stable.

They invade the inner Courts of Heaven, and are so in the way that Saint Peter falls over them, much to their amusement. They seat themselves astride of clouds, some fall off, to the great delight of their mates, and still others give their friends a boost over shadows that are in the way.

I said they had no parents--they surely have a father, and he is Correggio; but they are all in sore need of a mother's care.

I believe it was Schiller who once intimated that it took two to love anything into being. But Correggio seems to have performed the task of conjuring forth these putti all alone; yet it is quite possible that Veronica Gambara helped him. That he loved them is very sure--only love could have made them manifest. This man was a lover of children, otherwise he could not have loved putti, for he sympathized with all their baby pranks, and sorrows as well.

One cherub bumps his head against a cloud and straightway lifts a howl that must have echoed all through Paradise. His mouth is open to its utmost limit; tears start from between his closed eyes, which he gouges with chubby fists, and his whole face is distorted in intense pigmy wrath. One might really feel awfully sorry for him were it not for the fact that he sticks out one foot trying to kick a playfellow who evidently hadn't a thing to do with the accident. He's a bad, naughty cherub--that is what he is, and he deserves to have his obtrusive anatomy stung, just a little, with the back of a hairbrush, for his own good.

This same cherub appears in other places, once blowing a horn in another's ear; and again he is tickling a sleeping brother's foot with a straw. These putti play all the tricks that real babies do, and besides have a goodly list of "stunts" of their own. One thing is sure, to Correggio heaven would not be heaven without putti; and the chief difference that I see between putti and sure-enough babies is, that putti require no care and babies do.

Then putti are practical and useful--they hold up scrolls, tie back draperies, carry pictures, point out great folks, feed birds, and in one instance Correggio has ten of them leading a dog out to execution. They carry the train of the Virgin, assist the Apostles, act as ushers, occasionally pass the poorbox, make wreaths and crowns--but, I am sorry to say, sometimes get into unseemly scuffles for first place.

They have no wings, yet they soar and fly like English sparrows. They are not troubled with nerv. pros. or introspection. What they feed upon is uncertain, but sure it is that they are well nourished. A putti needs nothing, not even approbation.

In the dome of the Cathedral at Parma, there is a regular flight of them to help on the Ascension. They mix in everywhere, riding on clouds, clinging to robes, perching on the shoulders of Apostles-- everywhere thick in the flight and helping on that glorious anabasis. Away, away they go--movement--movement everywhere--right up into the blue dome of Heaven! As you look up at that most magnificent picture, a tinge of sorrow comes over you--the putti are all going away, and what if they should never come back!

A little girl I know once went with her Mamma to visit the Cathedral at Parma. Mother and daughter stood in silent awe for a space, looking up at that cloud of vanishing forms. At last the little girl turned to her mother and said, "Mamma, did you ever see so many bare legs in all the born days of your life?"

Some years ago in a lecture John La Farge said that the world had produced only seven painters that deserved to rank in the first class, and one of these is Correggio. The speaker did not name the other six; and although requested to do so, smilingly declined, saying that he preferred to allow each auditor to complete the list for himself.

One person present made out this list of seven Immortals, and passed the list to Edmund Russell, seated near, for comments. This is the list: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Titian, Rembrandt, Correggio, Velasquez, Corot.

Mr. Russell approved the selection, but added a note claiming the privilege to change and substitute names from time to time as his mood might prompt. This seems to me like a very sensible verdict. "Who is your favorite author?" is a question that is often asked. Just as if any one author ever got first place in the mind of a strong man and stuck there! Authors jostle each other for first place in our hearts. We may have Emerson periods and Browning periods, when they alone minister to us; and so also pictures, like music, make their appeals to mood.

This peaceful, beautiful May day, as I write this at my cabin in the woods, Correggio seems to me truly one of the world's marvelous men. He is near, very dear, and yet before him I would stand silent and uncovered.

He did his work and held his peace. He was simple, modest, unobtrusive and unpretentious. He was so big that he never knew the greatness of his work, any more than the author of Hamlet knew the immensity of his.

Correggio was never more than a day's journey from home--he toiled in obscurity and did work so grand that it made its final appeal only to the future. He never painted his own portrait, and no one else seemed to consider him worth while; his income was barely sufficient for his wants. He was so big that following fast upon his life came a lamentable decline in art: his personality being so great that his son and a goodly flock of disciples tried to paint just like him. All originality faded out of the fabric of their lives, and they were only cheap, tawdry and dispirited imitators. That is one of the penalties which Nature exacts when she vouchsafes a great man to earth--all others are condemned to insipidity. They are whipped, dispirited and undone, and spontaneity dies a-borning. No man should try to do another man's work. Note the anatomical inanities of Bernini in his attempts to out-Angelo Michelangelo.

In this "rushing-in" business, keep out, or you may count as one more fool.

Correggio struck thirteen because he was himself, and was to a great degree even ignorant and indifferent to what the world was doing. He was filled with the joy of life; and with no furtive eye on the future, and no distracting fears concerning the present, he did his work and did it the best he could. He worked to please himself, cultivated the artistic conscience--scorning to create a single figure that did not spring into life because it must. All of his pictures are born of this spirit.

Good old Guido of Parma, afar from home, once asked, with tear- filled eyes, of a recent visitor there--"And tell me, you saw the Cathedral and the Convent of San Paola--and are not the cherubs of Master Correggio grown to be men yet?"

It is only life and love that give love and life. Correggio gave us both out of the fulness of a full heart. And growing weary when scarce forty years of age, he passed out into the Silence, but his work is ours.


And if in our day Raphael must give way to Botticelli, with how much greater reason should Titian in the heights of his art, with all his earthly splendor and voluptuous glow, give place to the lovely imagination of dear old Gian Bellini, the father of Venetian Art? --_Mrs. Oliphant, in "The Makers of Venice"_

[Illustration: Bellini]

It is a great thing to teach. I am never more complimented than when some one addresses me as "teacher." To give yourself in a way that will inspire others to think, to do, to become--what nobler ambition! To be a good teacher demands a high degree of altruism, for one must be willing to sink self, to die--as it were--that others may live. There is something in it very much akin to motherhood--a brooding quality. Every true mother realizes at times that her children are only loaned to her--sent from God--and the attributes of her body and mind are being used by some Power for a Purpose. The thought tends to refine the heart of its dross, obliterate pride and make her feel the sacredness of her office. All good men everywhere recognize the holiness of motherhood--this miracle by which the race survives.

There is a touch of pathos in the thought that while lovers live to make themselves necessary to each other, the mother is working to make herself unnecessary to her children. The true mother is training her children to do without her. And the entire object of teaching is to enable the scholar to do without his teacher. Graduation should take place at the vanishing-point of the teacher.

Yes, the efficient teacher has in him much of this mother-quality. Thoreau, you remember, said that genius is essentially feminine; if he had teachers in mind his remark was certainly true. The men of much motive power are not the best teachers--the arbitrary and imperative type that would bend all minds to match its own may build bridges, tunnel mountains, discover continents and capture cities, but it can not teach. In the presence of such a towering personality freedom dies, spontaneity droops, and thought slinks away into a corner. The brooding quality, the patience that endures, and the yearning of motherhood, are all absent. The man is a commander, not a teacher; and there yet remains a grave doubt whether the warrior and ruler have not used their influence more to make this world a place of the skull than the abode of happiness and prosperity. The orders to kill all the firstborn, and those over ten years of age, were not given by teachers.

The teacher is one who makes two ideas grow where there was only one before.

Just here, before we pass on to other themes, seems a good place to say that we live in a very stupid old world, round like an orange and slightly flattened at the poles. The proof of this seemingly pessimistic remark, made by a hopeful and cheerful man, lies in the fact that we place small premium in either honor or money on the business of teaching. As, in the olden times, barbers and scullions ranked with musicians, and the Master of the Hounds wore a bigger medal than the Poet Laureate, so do we pay our teachers the same as coachmen and coal-heavers, giving them a plentiful lack of everything but overwork.

I will never be quite willing to admit that this country is enlightened until we cease the inane and parsimonious policy of trying to drive all the really strong men and women out of the teaching profession by putting them on the payroll at one-half the rate, or less, than what the same brains and energy can command elsewhere. In this year of our Lord, Nineteen Hundred Two, in a time of peace, we have appropriated four hundred million dollars for war and war-appliances, and this sum is just double the cost of the entire public-school system in America. It is not the necessity of economy that dictates our actions in this matter of education--we simply are not enlightened.

But this thing can not always last--I look for the time when we shall set apart the best and noblest men and women of earth for teachers, and their compensation will be so adequate that they will be free to give themselves for the benefit of the race, without apprehension of a yawning almshouse. A liberal policy will be for our own good, just as a matter of cold expediency; it will be Enlightened Self-interest.

With the rise of the Bellinis, Venetian art ceased to be provincial, blossoming out into national. Jacopo Bellini was a teacher--mild, gentle, sympathetic, animated. His work reveals personality, but is somewhat stiff and statuesque: sharp in outline like an antique stained-glass window. This is because his art was descended from the glassworkers; and he himself continued to make designs for the glassworkers of Murano all his life. Considering the time in which he lived he was a great painter, for he improved upon what had gone before and prepared the way for those greater than he who were yet to come. He called himself an experimenter, and around him clustered a goodly group of young men who were treated by him more as comrades than as students. They were all boys together--learners, with the added dignity which an older head of the right sort can lend.

"Old Jacopo" they used to call him, and there was a touch of affection in the term to which several of them have testified. All of the pupils loved the old man, who wasn't so very old in years, and certainly was not in heart. Among his pupils were his two sons, Gentile and Gian, and they called him Old Jacopo, too. I rather like this--it proves for one thing that the boys were not afraid of their father. They surely did not run and hide when they heard him coming, neither did they find it necessary to tell lies in order to defend themselves. A severe parent is sure to have untruthful children, and perhaps the best recipe for having noble children is to be a noble parent.

It is well to be a companion to your children, and just where the idea came in which developed into the English boarding-school delusion, that children should be sent away among hirelings-- separated from their parents--in order to be educated, I do not know. It surely was not complimentary to the parents. Old Jacopo didn't try very hard to discipline his boys--he loved them, which is better if you are forced to make choice. They worked together and grew together. Before Gian and Gentile were eighteen they could paint as well as their father. When they were twenty they excelled him, and no one was more elated over it than Old Jacopo. They were doing things he could never do: overcoming obstacles he could not overcome--he clapped his hands in gladness, did this old teacher, and shed tears of joy--his pupils were surpassing him! Gian and Gentile would not admit this, but still they kept right on, each vieing with the other. Vasari says that Gian was the better artist, but Aldus refers to Gentile as "the undisputed master of painting in all Venetia." Ruskin compromises by explaining that Gentile had the broader and deeper nature, but that Gian was more feminine, more poetic, nearer lyric, possessing a delicacy and insight that his brother never acquired. These qualities better fitted him for a teacher; and when Old Jacopo passed away, Gian drifted into his place, for every man is gravitating straight to where he belongs.

The little workshop of one room now was enlarged: the bottega became an atelier. There were groups of workrooms and studios, and a small gallery that became the meeting-place for various literary and artistic visitors at Venice. Ludovico Ariosto, greatest of Italian poets, came here and wrote a sonnet to "Gian Bellini, sublime artist, performer of great things, but best of all the loving Teacher of Men."

Gian Bellini had two pupils whose name and fame are deathless: Giorgione and Titian. There is a fine flavor of romance surrounds Giorgione, the gentle, the refined, the beloved. His was a spirit like unto that of Chopin or Shelley, and his death-dirge should have been written by the one and set to music by the other--brothers doloroso, sent into this rough world unprepared for its buffets, passing away in manhood's morning. Yet all heard the song of the skylark. Giorgione died broken-hearted, through his ladylove's inconstancy. He was exactly the same age as Titian, and while he lived surpassed that giant far, as the giant himself admitted. He died aged thirty-three, the age at which a full dozen of the greatest men of the world have died, and the age at which several other very great men have been born again--which possibly is the same thing. Titian lived to be a hundred, lacking six months, and when past seventy used to give alms to a beggar-woman at a church- door--the woman who had broken the heart of Giorgione. He also painted her portrait--this in sad and subdued remembrance of the days agone.

The Venetian School of Art has been divided by Ruskin into three parts: the first begins with Jacopo Bellini, and this part might be referred to as the budding period. The second is the flowering period, and the palm is carried by Gian Bellini. The period of ripe fruit--o'erripe fruit, touched by the tint of death--is represented by four men: Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto and Paul Veronese. Beyond these four, Venetian Art has never gone, and although four hundred years have elapsed since they laughed and sang, enjoyed and worked, all we can do is wonder and admire. We can imitate, but we can not improve.

Gian Bellini lived to be ninety-two, working to the last, always a learner, always a teacher. His best work was done after his eightieth year. The cast-off shell of this great spirit was placed in the tomb with that of his brother Gentile, who had passed out but a few years before. Death did not divide them.

Giovanni Bellini was his name. Yet when people who loved beautiful pictures spoke of "Gian," every one knew who was meant, but to those who worked at art he was "The Master." He was two inches under six feet in height, strong and muscular. In spite of his seventy summers his carriage was erect and there was a jaunty suppleness about his gait that made him seem much younger. In fact, no one would have believed that he had lived over his threescore and ten, were it not for the iron-gray hair that fluffed out all around under the close- fitting black cap, and the bronzed complexion--sun-kissed by wind and weather--which formed a trinity of opposites that made people turn and stare.

Queer stories used to be told about him. He was a skilful gondolier, and it was the daily row back and forth from the Lido that gave him that face of bronze. Folks said he ate no meat and drank no wine, and that his food was simply ripe figs in the season, with coarse rye bread and nuts. Then there was that funny old hunchback, a hundred years old at least, and stone-deaf, who took care of the gondola, spending the whole day, waiting for his master, washing the trim, graceful, blue-black boat, arranging the awning with the white cords and tassels, and polishing the little brass lions at the sides. People tried to question the old hunchback, but he gave no secrets away. The master always stood up behind and rowed, while down on the cushions rode the hunchback, the guest of honor.

There stood the master erect, plying the oar, his long black robe tucked up under the dark blue sash that exactly matched the color of the gondola. The man's motto might have been, "Ich Dien," or that passage of Scripture, "He that is greatest among you shall be your servant." Suspended around his neck by a slender chain was a bronze medal, presented by vote of the Signoria when the great picture of "The Transfiguration" was unveiled. If this medal had been a crucifix, and you had met the wearer in San Marco, one glance at the finely chiseled features, the black cap and the flowing robe and you would have said at once the man was a priest, Vicar-General of some important diocese. But seeing him standing erect on the stern of a gondola, the wind caressing the dark gray hair, you would have been perplexed until your gondolier explained in serious undertone that you had just passed "The greatest Painter in all Venice, Gian, the Master."

Then if you showed curiosity and wanted to know further, your gondolier would have told you more about this strange man.

The canals of Venice are the highways, and the gondoliers are like 'bus-drivers in Piccadilly--they know everybody and are in close touch with all the secrets of State. When you get to the Giudecca and tie up for lunch, over a bottle of Chianti, your gondolier will tell you this: The hunchback there in the gondola, rowed by the Master, is the Devil, who has taken that form just to be with and guard the greatest artist the world has ever seen. Yes, Signor, that clean-faced man with his frank, wide-open, brown eyes is in league with the Evil One. He is the man who took young Tiziano from Cadore into his shop, right out of a glass-factory, and made him a great artist, getting him commissions and introducing him everywhere! And how about the divine Giorgione who called him father? Oho!

And who is Giorgione? The son of some unknown peasant woman. And if Bellini wanted to adopt him, treat him as his son indeed, kissing him on the cheek when he came back just from a day's visit to Mestre, whose business was it? Oho!

Besides that, his name isn't Giorgione--it is Giorgio Barbarelli. And didn't this Giorgio Barbarelli, and Tiziano from Cadore, and Espero Carbonne, and that Gustavo from Nuremberg, and the others paint most of Gian's pictures? Surely they did. The old man simply washes in the backgrounds and the boys do the work. About all old Gian does is to sign the picture, sell it and pocket the proceeds. Carpaccio helps him, too--Carpaccio, who painted the loveliest little angel sitting crosslegged playing the biggest mandolin you ever saw in your life.

That is genius, you know--the ability to get some one else to do the work, and then capture the ducats and the honors for yourself. Of course Gian knows how to lure the boys on--something has to be done in order to hold them. Gian buys a picture from them now and then; his studio is full of their work--better than he can do. Oh, he knows a good thing when he sees it. These pictures will be valuable some day, and he gets them at his own price. It was Antonello of Messina who introduced oil-painting into Venice. Before that they mixed their paints with water, milk or wine. But when Antonello came along with his dark, lustrous pictures, he set all artistic Venice astir. Gian Bellini discovered the secret, they say, by feigning to be a gentleman and going to the newcomer and sitting for his picture. He it was who discovered that Antonello mixed his colors with oil. Oho!

Of course not all of the pictures in his studio are painted by the boys--some are painted by that old Dutchman what's-his-name--oh, yes, Durer, Alberto Durer of Nuremberg. Two Nuremberg painters were in that very gondola last week just where you sit--they are here in Venice now, taking lessons from Gian, they said. Gian was up there at Nuremberg and lived a month with Durer--they worked together, drank beer together, I suppose, and caroused. Gian is very strict about what he does in Venice, but you can never tell what a man will do when he is away from home. The Germans are a roystering lot--but they do say they can paint. Me? I have never been there--and do not want to go, either--there are no canals there. To be sure, they print books in Nuremberg. It was up there somewhere that they invented type, a lazy scheme to do away with writing. They are a thrifty lot--those Germans--they give me my fare and a penny more, just a single penny, and no matter how much I have talked and pointed out the wonderful sights, and imparted useful information, known to me alone--only one penny extra--think of it!

Yes, printing was first done at Mayence by a German, Gutenberg, about sixty years ago. One of Gutenberg's workmen went up to Nuremberg and taught others how to design and cast type. This man Alberto Durer helped them, designing the initials and making title- pages by cutting the design on a wooden block, then covering this block with ink, laying a sheet of paper upon it, and placing it in a press; then when the paper is lifted off it looks exactly like the original drawing. In fact, most people couldn't tell the difference, and here you can print thousands of them from the one block!

Gian Bellini makes drawings for title-pages and initials for Aldus and Nicholas Jenson. Venice is the greatest printing-place in the world, and yet the business began here only thirty years ago. The first book printed here was in Fourteen Hundred Sixty-nine, by John of Speyer. There are nearly two hundred licensed printing-presses here, and it takes usually four men to a press--two to set the type and get things ready, and two to run the press. This does not count, of course, the men who write the books, and those who make the type and cut the blocks from which they print the pictures for illustrations. At first, you know, the books they printed in Venice had no title-pages, initials or illustrations. My father was a printer and he remembers when the first large initials were printed --before that, the spaces were left blank and the books were sent out to the monasteries to be completed by hand.

Gian and Gentile had a good deal to do about cutting the first blocks for initials--they got the idea, I think, from Nuremberg. And now there are Dutchmen down here from Amsterdam learning how to print books and paint pictures. Several of them are in Gian's studio, I hear--every once in a while I get them for a trip to the Lido or to Murano.

Gentile Bellini is his brother and looks very much like him. The Grand Turk at Constantinople came here once and saw Gian Bellini at work in the Great Hall. He had never seen a good picture before and was amazed. He wanted the Senate to sell Gian to him, thinking he was a slave. They humored the Pagan by hiring Gentile Bellini to go instead, loaning him out for two years, so to speak.

Gentile went, and the Sultan, who never allowed any one to stand before him, all having to grovel in the dirt, treated Gentile as an equal. Gentile even taught the old rogue to draw a little, and they say the painter had a key to every room in the palace, and was treated like a prince.

Well, they got along all right, until one day Gentile drew the picture of the head of John the Baptist on a charger.

"A man's head doesn't look like that when it is cut off," said the Turk contemptuously. Gentile had forgotten that the Turk was on familiar ground.

"Perhaps the Light of the Sun knows more about painting than I do!" said Gentile, as he kept right on at his work.

"I may not know much about painting, but I'm no fool in some other things I might name," was the reply. The Sultan clapped his hands three times: two slaves appeared from opposite doors. One was a little ahead of the other, and as this one approached, the Sultan with a single swing of the snickersnee snipped off his head. This teaches us that obedience to our superiors is its own reward. But the lesson was wholly lost on Gentile Bellini, for he did not remain even to examine the severed head for art's sake. The thought that it might be his turn next was supreme, and he leaped through a window, taking the sash with him. Making his way to the docks he found a sailing-vessel loading with fruit, bound for Venice. A small purse of gold made the matter easy--the captain of the boat secreted him, and in four days he was safely back in Saint Mark's giving thanks to God for his deliverance.

No, I didn't say Gian was a rogue--I only told you what others say. I am only a poor gondolier--why should I trouble myself about what great folks do? I simply tell you what I hear--it may be so, and it may not; God knows! There is that Pascale Salvini. He has a rival studio, and when that Genoese, Cristoforo Colombo, was here and made his stopping-place at Bellini's studio, Pascale told every one that Colombo was a lunatic and Bellini another, for encouraging him to show his foolish maps and charts. Now, they do say that Colombo has discovered a new world, and Italians are feeling troubled in conscience because they did not fit him out with ships instead of forcing him to go to Spain.

No, I didn't say Bellini was a hypocrite--Pascale's pupils say so, and once they followed him over to Murano--three barca-loads and my gondola besides. You see it was like this: Twice a week, just after sundown, we used to see Gian Bellini untie his boat from the landing there behind the Doge's palace, turn the prow, and beat out for Murano, with no companion but that deaf old caretaker. Twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays--always at just the same hour, regardless of weather--we would see the old hunchback light the lamps, and in a few moments the Master would appear, tuck up his black robe, step into the boat, take the oar, and away they would go. It was always to Murano, and always to the same landing--one of our gondoliers had followed several times, just out of curiosity.

Finally it came to the ears of Pascale that Gian took this regular trip to Murano. "It is a rendezvous," said Pascale; "worse than that, an orgy among those lacemakers and the rogues of the glassworks. Oh, to think that Gian should stoop to such things at his age--his pretended asceticism is but a mask--and at his age!"

The Pascale students took it up, and once came in collision with that Tiziano of Cadore, who they say broke a boat-hook over the head of one of them who had spoken ill of the Master.

But this did not silence the talk, and one dark night, when the air was full of flying mist, one of Pascale's students came to me and told me that he wanted me to take a party over to Murano. The weather was so bad that I refused to go--the wind blew in gusts, sheet-lightning filled the eastern sky, and all honest men, but poor belated gondoliers, had hied them home.

I refused to go.

Had I not seen Gian the painter go not half an hour before? Well, if he could go, others could, too.

I refused to go--except for double fare.

He accepted and placed the double fare in silver in my palm. Then he gave a whistle and from behind the corners came trooping enough swashbuckler students to swamp my gondola. I let in just enough to fill the seats and pushed off, leaving several standing on the stone steps cursing me and everything and everybody.

As my good boat slid away into the fog and headed on our course, I glanced back and saw the three barca-loads following in my wake.

There was much muffled talk, and orders from some one in charge to keep silence. But there was passing of strong drink, and then talk, and from it I gathered that these were all students from Pascale's, out on one of those student carousals, intent on heaven knows what! It was none of my business.

We shipped considerable water, and several of the students were down on their knees praying and bailing, bailing and praying.

At last we reached the Murano landing. All got out, the barcas tied up, and I tied up, too, determined to see what was doing. The strong drink was passed, and a low heavy-set fellow who seemed to be captain charged all not to speak, but to follow him and do as he did. We took a side-street where there was little travel and followed through the dark and dripping way, fully a half-mile, down there in that end of the island called the sailors' bagnio, where they say no man's life is safe if he has a silver coin or two. There was much music in the wine-shops and shouts of mirth and dancing feet on stone floors, but the rain had driven every one from the streets.

We came to a long, low stone building that used to be a theater, but was now a dance-hall upstairs and a warehouse below. There were lights upstairs and sounds of music. The stairway was dark, but we felt our way up, and on tiptoe advanced to the big double door, from under which the light streamed.

We had received our orders, and when we got to the landing we stood there just an instant. "Now we have him--Gian the hypocrite!" whispered the stout man in a hoarse breath. We burst in the doors with a whoop and a bang. The change from the dark to the light sort of blinded us at first. We all supposed that there was a dance in progress of course, and the screams from women were just what we expected, but when we saw several overturned easels and an old man, half-nude, and too scared to move, seated on a model throne, we did not advance into the hall as we intended. That one yell we gave was all the noise we made. We stood there in a bunch, just inside the door, sort of dazed and uncertain. We did not know whether to retreat or to charge on through the hall as we had intended. We just stood there like a lot of driveling fools.

"Keep right at your work, my good people! Keep right at your work!" called a pleasant voice. "I see we have some visitors."

And Gian Bellini came forward. His robe was still tucked up under the blue sash, but he had laid aside his black cap, and his tumbled gray hair looked like the aureole of a saint. "Keep right at your work," he said again, and then came forward and bade us welcome and begged us to have seats.

I dared not run away, so I sat down on one of the long seats that were ranged around the wall. My companions did the same. There must have been fifty easels, all ranged in a semicircle around the old man who posed as a model. Several of the easels had been upset, and there was much confusion when we entered.

"Just help us to arrange things--that is right, thank you," said Gian to the stout man who was captain of our party. To my astonishment the stout man was doing just as he was bid, and was pacifying the women students and straightening up their easels and stools.

I was interested in watching Gian walking around, helping this one with a stroke of his crayon, saying a word to that, smiling and nodding to another. I just sat there and stared. These students were not regular art-students, I could see that plainly. Some were children, ragged and barelegged; others were old men who worked in the glass-factories, and surely with hands too old and stiff to ever paint well. Still others were young girls and women of the town. I rubbed my eyes and tried to make it out!

The music we heard I could still hear--it came from the wine-shop across the way. I looked around--and what do you believe? My companions had all gone. They had sneaked out one by one and left me alone.

I watched my chance, and when the Master's back was turned I tiptoed out, too. When I got down on the street I found I had left my cap, but I dare not go back after it. I made my way down to the landing, half running, and when I got there not a boat was to be seen--the three barcas and my gondola were gone.

I thought I could see them, out through the mist, a quarter of a mile away. I called aloud, but no answer came back but the hissing wind. I was in despair--they were stealing my boat, and if they did not steal it, it would surely be wrecked--my all, my precious boat!

I cried and wrung my hands. I prayed! And the howling winds only ran shrieking and laughing around the corners of the buildings.

I saw a glimmering light down the beach at a little landing. I ran to it, hoping some gondolier might be found who would row me over to the city. There was one boat at the landing and in it a hunchback, sound asleep, covered with a canvas. It was Gian Bellini's boat. I shook the hunchback into wakefulness and begged him to row me across to the city. I yelled into his deaf ears, but he pretended not to understand me. Then I showed him the silver coin, the double fare, and tried to place it in his hand. But no, he only shook his head.

I ran up the beach, still looking for a boat.

An hour had passed.

I got back to the landing just as Gian came down to his boat. I approached him and explained that I was a poor worker in the glass- factory, who had to work all day and half the night, and as I lived over in the city and my wife was dying, I must get home. Would he allow me to ride with His Highness? "Certainly--with pleasure, with pleasure!" he answered, and then pulling something from under his sash he said, "Is this your cap, signor?" I took my cap, but my tongue was paralyzed for the moment so I could not thank him.

We stepped into the boat, and as my offer to row was declined, I just threw myself down by the hunchback, and the prow swung around and headed toward the city.

The wind had died down, the rain had ceased, and from between the blue-black clouds the moon shone out. Gian rowed with a strong, fine stroke, singing a "Te Deum Laudamus" softly to himself the while. I lay there and wept, thinking of my boat, my all, my precious boat!

We reached the landing--and there was my boat, safely tied up, not a cushion or a cord missing. Gian Bellini? He may be a rogue as Pascale says--God knows! How can I tell--I am only a poor gondolier.


It is a duty incumbent upon upright and credible men of all ranks, who have performed anything noble or praiseworthy, to truthfully record, in their own writing, the principal events of their lives. --_Benvenuto Cellini_

[Illustration: Cellini]

"The man who is thoroughly interested in himself is interesting to other people," Wendell Phillips once said.

Good healthy egotism in literature is the red corpuscle that makes the thing live. Cupid naked and unashamed is always beautiful; we turn away only when some very proper person perceives he is naked and attempts to better the situation by supplying him a coat of mud. The Diary of Marie Bashkirtseff, wherein are many morbid musings and information as to the development of her mind and anatomy, is intensely interesting; Amiel's Journal holds us with a tireless grasp; the Confessions of Saint Augustine can never die; Jean Jacques Rousseau's book was the favorite of such a trinity of opposites as Emerson, George Eliot and Walt Whitman; Pepys' Diary is so dull it is entertaining; and the Memoirs of Benvenuto Cellini have made a mediocre man immortal.

Cellini had an intense personality; he was skilful as a workman; he told the truth as he saw it, and if he ever prevaricated it was simply by failing to mention certain things that he considered were no credit to anybody. But his friendships were shallow; those he respected most, say Michelangelo and Raphael, treated him as Prince Henry finally did Falstaff, never allowing him to come within half a mile of their person on penalty. He was intimate with so many women that he apologized for not remembering them; he had no interest in his children, and most of his plans and purposes were of a pattypan order. Yet he wrote two valuable treatises: one on the art of the goldsmith and the other on the casting of bronze; there is also an essay on architecture that contains some good ideas; and courtier that he was, of course wrote some poetry, which is not so bad as it might be. But the book upon which his reputation rests is the "Memoirs," and a great book it is. All these things seem to show that a man can be a great author and yet have a small soul. Haven't we overrated this precious gift of authorship just a trifle?

Taine said that educated Englishmen all write alike--they are all equally stupid. And John Addington Symonds, an educated Englishman, and the best translator of Cellini, wrote, "Happily Cellini was unspoiled by literary training." Goethe translated Cellini's book into German and paid the doughty Italian the compliment of saying that he did the task out of pure enjoyment, and incidentally to improve his literary style.

Cellini is not exactly like us, and when we read his book we all give thanks that we are not like him, but every trait that he had large, we have in little. Cellini was sincere; he never doubted his own infallibility, but he points out untiringly the fallibilities in various popes and everybody else. When Cellini goes out and kills a man before breakfast, he absolves himself by showing that the man richly deserved his fate. The braggart and bully are really cowards at the last. A man who is wholly brave would not think to brag of it. He would be as brave in his calm moments as in moments of frenzy--take old John Brown, for instance. But when Cellini had a job on hand he first worked himself into a torrent of righteous wrath. He poses as the injured one, the victim of double, deep-dyed conspiracies, and so he goes through life afraid of every one, and is one of whom all men are afraid.

Every artist has occasional attacks of Artistic Jealousy, and happy is the man who contents himself with the varioloid variety. Cellini had three kinds: acute, virulent and chronic.

Berloiz has worked the man up into a strong and sinewy drama, several others have done the same, but it will require the combined skill of Rostand, Mansfield and Samuel Eberly Gross to ever do the character justice.

John Morley says, "There is nothing worse than mettle in a blind horse." So one might say there is nothing worse than sincerity in a superstitious person. Benvenuto Cellini is the true type of a literary and artistic Bad Man. Had he lived in Colorado in Eighteen Hundred Seventy, the Vigilance Committee would have used him to start a graveyard.

But he is so open, so simple, so candid, that we laugh at his lapses, admire his high resolves, sigh at his follies, sympathize with his spasms of repentance, and smile a misty smile at one who is humorous without meaning to be, who was deeply religious but never pious, who was highly conscientious, undoubtedly artistic, and who blundered through life, always in a turmoil, hopelessly entangled in the web of Fate, committing every crime, justifying himself in everything, and finally passing out peacefully, sincerely believing that he had lived a Christian life.

Benvenuto Cellini was born in Florence, in the year Fifteen Hundred, the day after the feast-day of All Souls, at four-thirty precisely in the afternoon.

The name Benvenuto means welcome: the world welcomed Benvenuto from the first. When five years of age he seized upon a live scorpion that he found in the yard and carried it into the house. His father seeing the deadly creature in his hand sought to get him to throw it away, but he only clung the tighter to the plaything. The parent then grabbed a pair of shears and cut off the tail, mouth and claws of the scorpion, much to the wrath of the child.

Shortly after this he was seated by his father's side looking into a brazier of coals. All at once they saw a salamander in the fire, wiggling about in playful mood, literally making its bed in hell. Many men go through life without seeing a single salamander; neither Darwin, Spencer, Huxley nor Wallace ever saw one; they are so rare that occasionally there be men who deny their existence, for we are very apt to deny the existence of anything we have not seen. In truth, Benvenuto never saw but this one salamander, but this one was enough: coupled with the incident of the scorpion it was an augury that the boy would have a great career, be in many a hot position, and march through life triumphant and unscathed--God takes care of His own.

The father of Benvenuto was a designer, a goldsmith and an engineer, and he might have succeeded in a masterly way in these sublime arts had he not early in life acquired the habit of the flute. He played the flute all day long, and often played the flute in the morning and the fife at night. As it was the flute that had won him his gracious wife, he thanked God for the gift and continued to play as long as he had breath.

Now, it was his ambition that his son should play the flute, too, as all fond fathers regard themselves as a worthy pattern on which their children should model their manners and morals. But Benvenuto despised the damnable invention of a flute--it was only blowing one's breath through a horn and making a noise--yet to please his father he mastered the instrument, and actuated by filial piety he occasionally played in a way that caused his father and mother to weep with joy. But the boy's bent was for drawing and modeling in wax. All of his spare time was spent in this work, and so great was his skill that when he was sixteen he was known throughout all Florence. About this time his brother, two years younger than himself, had the misfortune one day to be set upon by a gang of miscreants, and was nigh being killed when Benvenuto ran to his rescue and seizing his sword laid around him lustily. The miscreants were just making off when a party of gendarmes appeared and arrested all concerned. The rogues were duly tried and sentenced to banishment from the city.

Benvenuto and his brother were also banished.

Shortly after this Benvenuto found himself at Pisa on the road to Rome. He was footsore, penniless, and as he stood gazing into the window of a goldsmith the proprietor came out and asked him his business. He replied, "Sir, I am a designer and goldsmith of no mean ability."

Straightway the man, seeing the lad was likely and honest, set him to work. The motto of the boy at this time was supplied by his father. It ran thus: In whatsoever house you be, steal not and live honestlee.

Seeing this motto, the proprietor straightway trusted him with all the precious jewels in the store. He remained a year at Pisa, and was very happy and contented in his work, for never once did he have to play the flute, nor did he hear one played. Nearly every week came loving letters from his father begging him to come home, and admonishing him not to omit practise on the flute.

At the end of a year he got a touch of fever and concluded to go home, as Florence was much more healthful than Pisa.

Arriving home his father embraced him with tears of unfeigned joy. His changed and manly appearance pleased his family greatly. And straightway when their tears were dried and welcomes said, his father placed a flute in his hands and begged him to play in order that he might see if his playing had kept pace with his growth and skill in other ways.

The young man set the instrument to his lips and played an original selection in a way that made his father shout with joy, "Genius is indispensable, but practise alone makes perfect!"

Michelangelo was born twenty-five years before Cellini; their homes were not far apart. In the Gardens of Lorenzo the Magnificent, Michelangelo had received that strong impetus toward the beautiful that was to last him throughout his long and arduous life.

When Cellini was eighteen the Master was at Rome, doing the work of the Pope, the pride of all artistic Florence, and toward the Eternal City Cellini looked longingly. He haunted the galleries and gardens where broken fragments of antique and modern marbles were to be seen, and stood long before the "Pieta" of Michelangelo in the Church of Santa Croce, wondering if he could ever do as well.

About this time he tells us that he copied that famous cartoon of Michelangelo's, "Soldiers Bathing in the Arno," made in competition with Leonardo for the decoration of the Palazzo Vecchio, which he declares marks the highest pitch of power attained by the Master. While at this work there appeared in Florence one Pietro Torrigiano, who had been an exile in England for over twenty years. The visitor held Cellini's drawing in his hand, studied it carefully and remarked: "I know this man Michelangelo Buonarrotti--we used to draw and work together under the tutorship of Masaccio. One day Buonarrotti annoyed me and I dealt him such a blow on the nose that I felt the flesh, cartilage and bone go down under my knuckles like a biscuit. It was a mark he will carry to his grave."

These words were truth, save that Michelangelo was struck with a mallet and not the man's hand. And it was for the blow that Torrigiano had to flee, and seemingly, with the years, he had gotten it into his head that he left Florence of his own accord, and his crime was a thing of which to boast. Voltaire once said that beyond doubt the soldier who thrust the spear into the side of the Savior went away and boasted of the deed. Torrigiano's name is forever linked with that of Michelangelo. Thus much for the pride of little men who make a virtue of a vice.

But the boast of Torrigiano caused Cellini to grow faint and sick, then to burn with hate. He snatched the drawing from the other's hand, and might have deprived Torrigiano of all the nose he possessed, had not better counsel prevailed. Ever after Cellini avoided the man--for the man's own good.

That art was a passion to this stripling is plain. It was his meat and drink--with fighting for dessert. One of his near companions was Francisco, grandson of Fra Lippo Lippi, and another chum was Tasso, at this time a youth of nineteen--his own age. Tasso became a great artist. Vasari tells of him at length, and sketches his career while in the employ of Cosimo de Medici.

One day Benvenuto and Tasso were walking after their work was done, and discussing as usual the wonderful genius of Michelangelo. They agreed that some day they must go to him at Rome. They were near the gate of the city that led out on the direct road to the Eternal City. They passed out of the gate still talking earnestly.

"Why, we are on the way now," said Tasso.

"And to turn back is an ill omen--we will go on!" answered Benvenuto.

So they kept on, each one saying, "And what will our folks say tonight?"

By night they had traveled twenty miles. They stopped at an inn, and in the morning Tasso was so lame he declared he could not proceed. Benvenuto insisted, and even threatened.

They trudged forward, and in a week the spire of Saint Peter's (the wondrous dome was yet to be) lifted itself out of the fog, and they stood speechless and uncovered, each devoutly crossing himself.

Benvenuto had a trade, and as skilled men are always needed he got work at once. Tasso filled in the time carving wood. They did not see Michelangelo--that worthy was too busy to receive callers, or indulge the society of adventurous youths. Cellini does not say much about this, but skips two years in a page, takes part in a riot and flees back to Florence. He enters into earnest details of how 'leven rogues in buckram suits reviled him as he passed a certain shop. One of them upset a handcart of brick upon him. He dealt the miscreant a blow on the ear. The police here appeared and as usual arrested the innocent Happy Hooligan of the affair. Being taken before the Magistrates he was accused of striking a free citizen. Cellini insisted he had only boxed the man's ears, but many witnesses in chorus averred that he had struck the citizen in the face with his clenched fist. "I only boxed his ears," exclaimed Cellini above the din. The Magistrates all burst out laughing, and adjourned for dinner, warning Cellini to remain where he was until they came back --hoping he would run away.

He sat there thinking over his sad lot, when a sudden impulse seizing him he darted out of the palace, and ran swiftly for the house of his enemies. He drew his knife, and rushing in among them where they were at dinner, upset the table and yelled, "Send for a confessor, for none of you will ever need a doctor when I get through with you!"

Several women fainted, the men sprang through windows, and the chief rogue got a slash that went straight for his heart. He fell down, and Cellini thinking the man was dead started for the street. At the door he was greeted by all those who had jumped through the windows, reinforced by others. They were armed with shovels, tongs, skillets, clubs, sticks and knives. He laid about him right and left, but the missiles descended in such showers that he lost his knife and cap, first sending to the earth a full dozen of the rogues.

Running to the house of a priest Cellini begged to confess the murder, and told of how he had acted only in self-defense. Being shrived, for a consideration, he awaited the coming of the constabulary. But they did not come, for the man who thought he had been stabbed got only a slash through his jacket, and no one was seriously hurt, except one of the men who jumped through a window and sprained his ankle. But so unjust were the Magistrates that Cellini had to flee from the city or he would have been sentenced to the army and sent God knows where, to fight the Moors.

Max Nordau has a certain amount of basis for his proposition that genius and madness are near allied, but it will hardly do, however, to assume that they are the same thing. Cellini at times showed a fine flaring up of talent that might be called genius--he could do exquisite work--yet there were other times when he certainly was "queer." These queer periods might account for his occasional fusing of memory and imagination, and the lapses of recollection entirely concerning things he did not wish to remember. The Memoirs were begun when he was fifty-eight and finished when he was sixty-three: thus many years had elapsed between the doing and the recording. The Constable Bourbon was killed at the siege of Rome: Cellini was present at the siege and killed several men: therefore what more probable than that Cellini killed the Constable? Cellini calmly records that it was he who did the deed. He also tells that he killed William, Prince of Orange; in fact, he killed at least one man a day for many weeks. At this distance of time we should be quite willing to take his word for it, just as we would, most certainly, if he had told us these things face to face.

In one incidental paragraph he records that he christened a son, and adds: "So far as I can remember this was my first child." He drops the record there, never once alluding to the child's mother, nor what became of the child, which if it lived was a man grown at the time Cellini was writing.

His intense hatred toward all who were in direct competition with him, his references to them as cheese-mites, beasts, buzzards and brigands, his fears of poison, and suspicions that they had "curdled his bronze"; his visitations by spirits and angels, mark him as a man who trod the borderland of sanity. If he did not like a woman or she did not like him--the same thing--she was a troll, wench, scullion, punk, trollop or hussy. He had such a beautiful vocabulary of names for folks he did not admire, that the translator is constantly put to straits to produce a product that will not be excluded from the mails.

If you want to know how things were done when knighthood was in flower, you can find out here. Or should you be possessed of literary longing and have a desire to produce some such cheerful message for humanity as "A Gentleman of France," "Monsieur Beaucaire," or "Under the Red Robe," you can sink your shaft in Cellini's book and mine enough incidents in an hour to make a volume, with a by-product of slag for several Penny Shockers.

Yet Cellini has corroborated history on many points, and backed up the gossipy Vasari in a valuable way. It is very doubtful whether either of these gentlemen had ever the felicity of reading the other's book, unless there be books in Elysium--as Charles Lamb thought there were--but sure it is that they render sidelights on the times that are much to our profit. Vasari and Cellini had been close friends in youth, working and studying together. Vasari was a poor artist and a commonplace architect, but he seemed to have social qualities that bridged the gulf where his talent broke off short. In the Palazzo Vecchio are several large specimens of his work that must have been once esteemed for their own sake. Now their chief value lies in the fact that they are a Hop-Smith production, having been painted by a pleasing writer and a charming gentleman, and so we point them out with forefinger and bated breath.

Cellini's hate of Vasari proves, also, that the Gossipy One stood well with the reigning powers, otherwise Benvenuto would not have thought to condemn his work and allude to the man as a dough-face, trickster, lickspittle, slanderer, vulture, vagrom, villain, vilifier and gnat's hind-foot. Cellini threatened to kill the man several times: he denounced him in public and used to call after him on the street, referring to him cheerfully as a deep-dyed rogue. Had either of these men killed the other, it would have been a loss to letters; but certain it is that Vasari was much more of a gentleman than Cellini. That Vasari was judicial in his estimates of men is shown by his references to Cellini, whom he speaks of as "A skilled artist, of active, alert and industrious habits, who produced many valuable works of art, but who unfortunately was possessed of a most unpleasant temper."

Men are so fallible in their estimates of contemporaries that one man's statement that another is a rogue does not in the slightest change our views of that man. What we are, that we see: the epithets a man applies to another usually fit himself better, and this is the thought in mind when we read what Cellini says of Vasari and Bandinelli. These men were commonplace artists, but pretty good men; Cellini was a better artist than either, but not a desirable tenant for the upper flat in your house if you chanced to reside below.

Cellini was landed behind grated bars many times, but usually managed to speedily escape. However, in his thirty-eighth year, he found himself in a dungeon of Sant' Angelo, that grim fortress that he had fought so vigorously to defend.

More than one homicide the Recording Angel had marked up against him, but men took small note of these things, and even Pope Paul had personally blessed him and granted him absolution for all the murders he had committed or might commit--this in consideration of his distinguished services in defense of the Vatican.

The charge against him now was the very humdrum one of stealing treasure that he was supposed to guard. That he was innocent there is no doubt: whatever the man was, he was no thief. The charge against him was a trumped-up one to get him out of the way. He was painfully in evidence--he talked like a windmill, and in his swaggering he had become inconvenient, if not dangerous, to some who were close to political greatness. No one caring for the job of killing him, they locked him up, for the good of himself and society. It probably was the intention to keep him under key for only a few weeks, until his choler would subside; but he was so saucy, and sent out such a stream of threats to all concerned, that things reached a point where it was unsafe to liberate him.

So he was kept in the Castle for over two years, during which time he once escaped, broke his leg in the effort, was recaptured and brought back.

A prison is not wholly bad--men in prison often have time to study and think, where before such things were impossible. At least they are free from intrusion. Cellini became deeply religious--he read his Bible and the lives of the saints. Ministering angels came to him, and spirits appeared and whispered words of comfort. The man became softened and subdued. He wrote poetry, and recorded his thoughts on many things. In the meantime, his accuser having died, he was given his liberty. He was a better and a wiser man when he came out than when he went in, although one fails to find that he was exactly grateful to his captors.

In prison he planned various statues of a religious order. It was in prison, too, that he thought out the Perseus and Medusa. In prison, works like the Pieta were his ambition, but when freedom came the Perseus was uppermost in his mind. Every great work of art is an evolution--the man sees it first as a mere germ--it grows, enlarges, evolves. The Perseus of Cellini was a thought that took years to germinate. The bloody nature of the man and his love of form united, and the world has this wonderful work of art that stands today exactly where its creator placed it, in the Loggia de' Lanzia--that beautiful out-of-door hall on the Piazza Signora at Florence. The naked man, wearing his proud helmet, one foot on the writhing body of the wretched woman, sword in right hand and in the left the dripping head, is a terrible picture. Yet so exquisite is the workmanship that our horror soon evaporates into admiration, and we gaze in wonder. Probably the history of no great work of art has ever been more painstakingly presented than the story of the making of this statue by Cellini. Again and again he was on the point of smashing the clay to chaos, but each time his hand was stayed. Months passed, years went by, and innumerable difficulties were in the way of its completion. Finally he figured out a method to cast it in bronze. And of its final casting no better taste of the man's quality can be given than to let him tell the story himself. Says Cellini:

I felt convinced that when my Perseus was accomplished, all my trials would be turned to high felicity and glorious well-being.

Accordingly I strengthened my heart, and with all the forces of my body and my purse, employing what little money still remained to me, I set to work. First I provided myself with several loads of pine- wood from the forests of Serristori. While these were on their way, I clothed my Perseus with the clay which I had prepared many months beforehand, in order that it might be duly seasoned. After making its clay tunic (for that is the term used in this art) and properly arming and fencing it with iron girders, I began to draw the wax out by means of slow fire. This melted and issued through numerous air- vents I had made; for the more there are of these, the better will the mold fill. When I had finished drawing off the wax, I constructed a funnel-shaped furnace all round the model of my Perseus. It was built of bricks, so interlaced, the one above the other, that numerous apertures were left for the fire to exhale at. Then I began to lay on wood by degrees, and kept it burning two whole days and nights.

At length, when all the wax was gone and the mold was well baked, I set to work at digging the pit in which to sink it. This I performed with scrupulous regard to all the rules of art. When I had finished that part of my work, I raised the mold by windlasses and stout ropes to a perpendicular position, and suspending it with greatest care one cubit above the level of the furnace, so that it hung exactly above the middle of the pit, I next lowered it gently down into the very bottom of the furnace, and had it firmly placed with every possible precaution for its safety. When this delicate operation was accomplished, I began to bank it up with the earth I had excavated; and ever as the earth grew higher, I introduced its proper air-vents, which were little tubes of earthenware, such as folks use for drains and such-like purposes. At length, I felt sure that it was admirably fixed, and that the filling-in of the pit and the placing of the air-vents had been properly performed. I also could see that my work-people understood my method, which differed very considerably from that of all other masters in the trade. Feeling confident, then, that I could rely upon them, I next turned to my furnace, which I had filled with numerous pigs of copper and other bronze stuff. The pieces were piled according to the laws of art, that is to say, so resting one upon another that the flames could play freely through them, in order that the metal might heat and liquefy the sooner. At last I called out heartily to set the furnace going. The logs of pine were heaped in, and, what with the unctuous resin of the wood and the good draft I had given, my furnace worked so well that I was obliged to rush from side to side to keep it from going too fast. The labor was more than I could stand; yet I forced myself to strain every nerve and muscle. To increase my anxieties, the workshop took fire, and we were afraid lest the roof should fall upon our heads; while from the garden such a storm of wind and rain kept blowing in, that it perceptibly cooled the furnace.

Battling thus with all these untoward circumstances for several hours, and exerting myself beyond even the measure of my powerful constitution, I could at last bear up no longer, and a sudden fever, of the utmost possible intensity, attacked me. I felt absolutely obliged to go and fling myself upon my bed. Sorely against my will having to drag myself away from the spot, I turned to my assistants, about ten or more in all, what with master-founders, hand-workers, country fellows, and my own special journeymen, among whom was Bernardino Mannellini, my apprentice through several years. To him in particular I spoke: "Look, my dear Bernardino, that you observe the rules which I have taught you; do your best with all dispatch, for the metal will soon be fused. You can not go wrong; these honest men will get the channels ready; you will easily be able to drive back the two plugs with this pair of iron crooks; and I am sure that mold will fill miraculously. I feel more ill that I ever did in all my life, and verily believe that it will kill me before a few hours are over." Thus with despair at heart, I left them, and betook myself to bed.

No sooner had I got to bed, than I ordered my serving-maids to carry food and wine for all the men into the workshop; at the same time I cried, "I shall not be alive tomorrow!" They tried to encourage me, arguing that my illness would pass over, since it came from excessive fatigue. In this way I spent two hours battling with the fever, which steadily increased, and calling out continually, "I feel that I am dying."

My housekeeper, who was named Mona Fiore da Castel del Rio, a very notable manager and no less warmhearted, kept chiding me for my discouragement; but, on the other hand, she paid me every kind attention which was possible. However, the sight of my physical pain and moral dejection so affected her, that, in spite of that brave heart of hers, she could not refrain from shedding tears; and yet, so far as she was able, she took good care I should not see them. While I was thus terribly afflicted, I beheld the figure of a man enter my chamber, twisted in his body into the form of a capital S. He raised a lamentable, doleful voice, like one who announces his last hour to men condemned to die upon the scaffold, and spoke these words: "O Benvenuto! your statue is spoiled, and there is no hope whatever of saving it!" No sooner had I heard the shriek of that wretch than I gave a howl which might have been heard in hell. Jumping from my bed, I seized my clothes and began to dress. The maids, and my lad, and every one who came around to help me, got kicks or blows of the fist, while I kept crying out in lamentation: "Ah! traitors! enviers! This is an act of treason, done by malice prepense! But I swear by God that I will sift it to the bottom, and before I die will leave such witness to the world of what I can do as shall make a score of mortals marvel."

When I got my clothes on, I strode with soul bent on mischief toward the workshop; there I beheld the men, whom I had left erewhile in such high spirits, standing stupefied and downcast. I began at once and spoke: "Up with you! Attend to me! Since you have not been able or willing to obey the directions I gave you, obey me now that I am with you to conduct my work in person. Let no one contradict me, for in cases like this we need the aid of hand and hearing, not of advice."

When I had uttered these words, a certain Maestro Alessandro broke silence and said, "Look you, Benvenuto, you are going to attempt an enterprise which the laws of art do not sanction, and which can not succeed." I turned upon him with such fury that he and all the rest of them exclaimed with one voice: "Oh then! Give orders! We will obey your least commands, so long as life is left to us." I believe they spoke thus feelingly because they thought I must fall shortly dead upon the ground. I went immediately to inspect the furnace, and found that the metal was all curdled; an accident which we expressed by being "caked." I told two of the hands to cross the road, and fetch from the house of the butcher Capretta a load of young oak- wood, which had lain dry for above a year. So soon as the first armfuls arrived, I began to fill the grate beneath the furnace. Now oak-wood of that kind heats more powerfully than any other sort of tree; and for this reason, where a slow fire is wanted, as in the case of gun-foundry, alder or pine is preferred. Accordingly, when the logs took fire, oh! how the cake began to stir beneath that awful heat, to glow and sparkle in a blaze! At the same time I kept stirring up the channels, and sent men upon the roof to stop the conflagration, which had gathered force from the increased combustion in the furnace; also I caused boards, carpets, and other hangings to be set up against the garden, in order to protect us from the violence of the rain.

When I had thus provided against these several disasters, I roared out first to one man and then to another: "Bring this thing here! Take that thing there!" At this crisis, when the whole gang saw the cake was on the point of melting, they did my bidding, each fellow working with the strength of three. I then ordered half a pig of pewter to be brought, which weighed about sixty pounds, and flung it into the middle of the cake inside the furnace. By this means, and by piling on wood and stirring now with pokers and now with iron rods, the curdling mass rapidly began to liquefy. Then, knowing I had brought the dead to life again, against the firm opinion of those ignoramuses, I felt such vigor fill my veins that all those pains of fever, all those fears of death, were quite forgotten.

All of a sudden an explosion took place, attended by a tremendous flash of flame, as though a thunderbolt had formed and been discharged amongst us. Unwonted and appalling terror astonished every one, and me more even than the rest. When the din was over and the dazzling light extinguished, we began to look each other in the face. Then I discovered that the cap of the furnace had blown up, and the bronze was bubbling over from its source beneath. So I had the mouths of my mold immediately opened, and at the same time drove in the two plugs which kept back the molten metal.

But I noticed that it did not flow as rapidly as usual, the reason being probably that the fierce heat of the fire we kindled had consumed its base alloy. Accordingly I sent for all my pewter platters, porringers and dishes, to the number of some two hundred pieces, and had a portion of them cast, one by one, into the channels, the rest into the furnace. This expedient succeeded, and every one could now perceive that my bronze was in most perfect liquefaction, and my mold was filling; whereupon they all with heartiness and happy cheer assisted and obeyed my bidding, while I, now here, now there, gave orders, helped with my own hands, and cried aloud: "O God! Thou that by Thy immeasurable power didst rise from the dead, and in Thy glory didst ascend to heaven!" ... even thus in a moment my mold was filled; and seeing my work finished, I fell upon my knees, and with all my heart gave thanks to God. After all was over, I turned to a plate of salad on a bench there, and ate with hearty appetite, and drank together with the whole crew. Afterwards I retired to bed, healthy and happy, for it was now two hours before morning, and slept as sweetly as though I had never felt the touch of illness. My good housekeeper, without my giving any orders, had prepared a fat capon for my repast. So that, when I rose, about the hour for breaking fast, she presented herself with a smiling countenance, and said: "Oh! is that the man who felt that he was dying? Upon my word, I think the blows and kicks you dealt us last night, when you were so enraged, and had that demon in your body as it seemed, must have frightened away your mortal fever!"

All my poor household, relieved in like measure from anxiety and overwhelming labor, went at once to buy earthen vessels in order to replace the pewter I had cast away. Then we dined together joyfully; nay, I can not remember a day in my whole life when I dined with greater gladness or a better appetite.

Though forms may change, nothing dies. Everything is in circulation. Men, as well as planets, have their orbits. Some have a wider swing than others, but just wait and they will come back. Not only do chickens come home to roost, but so does everything else. The place of Cellini's birth was also the place of his death. The limit of his stay in one place, at one time, it seems, was about two years. The man was a sort of human anachronism--he had in his heart all the beauty and passion of the Renaissance, and carried, too, the savagery and density of the Dark Ages. That his skill as a designer and artificer in the fine metals saved him from death again and again, there is no doubt. Princes, cardinals, popes, dukes and priests protected him simply because he could serve them. He designed altars, caskets, bracelets, vases, girdles, clasps, medals, rings, coins, buttons, seals--a tiara for the Pope, a diadem for an Emperor. With minute and exquisite things he was at his best. The final proof that he was human and his name frailty lies in the fact that he was a busybody.

As he worked he always knew what others about him were doing. If they were poor workmen, he encouraged them in a friendly way; if they were beyond him and out of his class, like Michelangelo, he was subservient; but if they were on his plane he hated them with a hatred that was passing speech.

There was usually art and a woman hopelessly mixed in his melees. In his migrations he swung between Florence, Pisa, Mantua and Rome, and clear to France when necessary. When he arrived in a town he would soon become a favorite with other skilled workers. Naturally he would be introduced to their lady friends. These ladies were usually "complaisant," to use his own phrase. Soon he would be on very good terms with one or more of them; then would come jealousies; he would tire of the lady, or she of him more probably; then, if she took up with a goldsmith, Benvenuto would hate the pair with a beautiful hatred. He would be sure that they were plotting to undo him: he would listen to their remarks, lie in wait for them, watch their actions, quietly question their friends. Then suddenly some dark night he would spring upon them from behind a corner and cry, "You are all dead folk!" And sometimes they were.

Then Cellini would fly without leaving orders where to forward his mail. Getting into another principality, he was comparatively safe-- the place he left was glad to get rid of him, and the new princeling who had taken him up was pleased to secure his skill. Under the new environment, with all troubles behind, he would begin a clean balance-sheet, full of zest and animation.

The human heart does not change. Every employing printer, lithographer and newspaper-publisher knows this erratic, brilliant, artistic and troublesome man. He does good service for just so long, then the environment begins to pall upon him: he grows restless, suspicious, uncertain. He is looking for a chance to bolt. Strong drink comes in to hasten the ruction. There is a strike, a fight, an explosion, and our artistic tramp finds himself on the sidewalk.

He goes away damning everybody. In two years, or less, he comes back, penitent. Old scores are forgotten, several of the enemy are dead, others have passed on into circulation, and the artistic roustabout is given a desk or a case.

Cellini's book is immensely interesting for various reasons, not the least of which is that he pictures, indirectly, that restlessness and nostalgia which only the grave can cure. And at the last our condemnation is swallowed up in pity, and we can only think kindly of one who was his own worst enemy, who succeeded in a few things, and like the rest of us, failed in many.


As an illustrator, Abbey combined daintiness with a fair measure of dramatic feeling for the pose. A modicum of old Benjamin West's tendency to the grandiose would have done Abbey no harm; but if his imagination balked at the higher flights often attained by Gustave Dore, and sometimes by Elihu Vedder, yet there is a charm in his sobriety, there is something which compels our respect in the workmanlike method, in the evidences of thoroughness which appeared in all he wrought. Some of his Shakespeare figures linger in the memory like that of Iago as played by Edwin Booth, or that of Rosalind as played by Modjeska. --_Charles de Kay_

[Illustration: Abbey]

Edwin A. Abbey was born in Philadelphia (not of his own choosing) in the year Eighteen Hundred Fifty-two. His parents were blessed in that they had neither poverty nor riches. Their ambition for Edwin was that he should enter one of the so-called Learned Professions; but this was not to the boy's taste. I fear me he was a heretic through prenatal influences, for they do say that he was a child of his mother. This mother's mind was tinted with her Quaker associations until she doubted the five points of Calvinism and had small faith in the Thirty-nine Articles. She was able to think for herself and act for herself; and as she perceived that the preachers were making a guess, so she discovered that doctors with bushy eyebrows, who wore dogskin gloves in Summer and who coughed when you asked them a question--gaining time to formulate a reply--didn't know much more about measles, mumps, chicken-pox and whooping-cough than she did herself. Philadelphia has always had a plethora of Medical Journals and dogmatic doctors. Living in Philadelphia and having had a little experience with doctors, Mrs. Abbey let them severely alone and prescribed the pediluvium, hop-tea, sulphur and molasses and a roll-up in warm blankets for everything--and with great success. Beyond this she filled the day with work and kept everybody else at work. The moral of Old Deacon Buffum, "Blessed is the man who has found some one to do his work," had no place in her creed. To her, every one had his work that no other could do, and every day had its work which could not be done any other day, and success and health and happiness lay in doing well whatever you attempted.

Having eliminated two of the Learned Professions from her ambitions for her boy, the Law was left as the only choice.

To be a Philadelphia lawyer is a proud and vaulting ambition. Philadelphia lawyers are exceedingly astute, and are able to confuse the simplest propositions, thus hopelessly befogging judge and jury. On the banks of the Schuylkill all jurors are provided with dice so as to decide the cases with perfect justice--small dice for little cases and large dice for big ones. Philadelphia lawyers carry green bags full of briefs, remarkable for everything but brevity; also statutes, recognizances, tenures, double-vouchers, fines, recoveries, indentures, not to mention quiddities, quillets, quirks and quips. Philadelphia lawyers have high foreheads and many clients. Lawyers are educated men, looked up to and respected by all--this was the Abbey idea. Of course, it will be observed that it was an idea that could be held by people only who had viewed lawyers from a safe distance.

Fortunately for the Abbeys, they had really no more use for the lawyers than they had for the two other Learned Professions. Their idea of a lawyer was gained from seeing one pass their house every morning at nine forty-five, for ten years. He wore a high hat, and carried a gold-headed cane in one hand and a green bag in the other. He lived on Walnut Street, below Ninth in a three-story house with white marble steps and white shutters, tied with black strips of bombazine in token of the death of a brother who passed out in infancy.

Edwin should be a lawyer, and be an honor to the family name.

But alas! Edwin was small and had a low forehead and squint eyes. He didn't care for books--all he would do was draw pictures. Now, all children make pictures--before they can read, they draw. And before they can draw they get the family shears and cut the pictures out of "Harper's Weekly." This boy cut pictures out of "Harper's Weekly" when he wore dresses, and when George William Curtis first filled the Easy Chair. Edwin cut out the pictures, not because they were especially bad, but because he, like all other children, was an artist in the germ; and the artist instinct is to detach the thing, lift it out, set it apart, and then give it away.

All children draw pictures, I said, and this is true, but most children can be cured of the habit by patience and an occasional box on the ear, judiciously administered. All children are sculptors, too; that is to say, they want to make things out of mud or dough or wax or putty; but no mother who sets her heart on clean guimpes and pinafores can afford for a moment to indulge in such inclinations. To give children dough, putty and the shears would keep your house in a pretty litter--lawksadaisy!

Mrs. Abbey hid the shears, put the "Harper's" on a high shelf and took the boy's pencils away, and threw the putty out into Fourth Street, below Vine. Then the boy had tantrums, and as a compromise got all his playthings back.

Yes, this squat, beetle-browed, and bow-legged boy had his way. Beetle-browed, bow-legged folks usually do. Caesar and Cromwell had bow-legs, so had Napoleon, and so have Pierpont Morgan and James J. Hill. Charles the First was knock-kneed. Knock-knees are a deformity; bow-legs an accident. Bulldogs have bow-legs; hounds are knock-kneed. Bow-legs mean will plus--a determination to do--the child insists on walking before the cartilage has turned to bone. Spirit is stronger than matter--hence the Greek curve.

Little Edwin Abbey ran the Abbey household and drew because he wanted to--on sidewalks, white steps, kitchen-wall, or the fly- leaves in books.

Rumor has it that Edwin Abbey did not get along very well at school --instead of getting his lessons he drew pictures, and thirty years ago such conduct was proof of total depravity. Like the amateur blacksmith who started to make a horseshoe and finally contented himself with a fizzle, the Abbeys gave up theology and law, and decided that if Edwin became a good printer it would be enough. And then, how often printers became writers--then editors and finally proprietors! Edwin might yet own the "Ledger" and have a collection of four hundred seventy-two clocks.

Through a mutual friend, Mr. Childs was interviewed and Edwin was set to work in the Typesetting Department of the "Ledger." Evenings and an hour three times a week he sketched in the free class at the Academy of Art.

How long he remained in the newspaper work, I do not know, but there came a day when Mr. Childs and his minions, having no use for Edwin, gave him a letter of recommendation to the Art Department of "Harper's Weekly."

That George W. Childs had a really firm friendship for young Abbey, there is no doubt. He followed his career with fatherly interest, and was the first man, so far as I know, who had the prophetic vision to see that he would become a great artist. George W. Childs was a many-sided man. He had a clear head for business, was a judge of human nature, a patron of the arts, a collector of rare and curious things, and wrote with clearness, force and elegance. Men of such strong personality have decided likings, and they also have decided aversions. The pet aversion of Childs was tobacco. All through the "Ledger" office were startling signs, "No smoking!" It was never, "Please do not smoke," or "Smoking interferes with Insurance!" Not these--the order was imperative. And the mutability of human affairs, as well as life's little ironies, is now shown in the fact that the name and fame of George W. Childs is deathless through a wonderful five-cent cigar.

Whether the use of tobacco had anything to do with young Abbey's breaking with his "Ledger" friends, is a question. Tradition has it that Childs extracted from the youth a promise, on his going away, that he would never use the weed. The Union Square records fail us at times, but it is believed that Abbey kept his promise for fully three weeks.

"Edwin Abbey learned to swim by jumping into deep water," says Henry James. A young man in the Art Department of an absurdly punctual periodical, before the Era of the Halftone, just had to draw, and that was all there was about it.

Things were happening uptown, downtown, over in Boston, and out as far as Buffalo--and the young men in the Art Department were sent to make pictures. The experience of a reporter develops facility--you have to do the assignment. To write well and rapidly on any subject, the position of reporter on an old-time daily approached the ideal. Even the drone became animated, when the copy must be in inside of two hours. The way to learn to write is to write. But young men will not write of their own free will; the literary first-mate in way of a Managing Editor with a loaded club of expletives is necessary. Or, stay! there is another way to stimulate the ganglionic cells and become dexterous in the cosmic potentiality--the Daily Theme sent to a woman who thinks and feels. That is the way that Goethe acquired his style. There were love-letters that crossed each other daily, and after years of this practise--the sparks a-flying--Goethe found himself the greatest stylist of his day. Love taught him.

To write for a daily paper is a great drill, only you must not keep at it too long or you will find yourself bound to the wheel, a part of the roaring machinery.

Combine the daily paper with the daily love-letter and you have the ideal condition for forming a literary style; and should you drop out one, why, cleave to the second, would be the advice of a theorist.

To draw pictures is simply one way of telling a story. Abbey told the story, and there was soon evidence in better work that he was telling it for Some One. Get a complete file of "Harper's Weekly," say from Eighteen Hundred Seventy-two to Eighteen Hundred Ninety, and you can trace the Evolution of the Art of Edwin Abbey. If any of the Abbey pictures have been removed, the books are chiefly valuable as junk; but if the set can be advertised, as I saw one yesterday, "with all of Abbey's drawings, warranted intact," the set of books commands a price. People are now wisely collecting "Harper's" simply because Abbey was once a part of the Art Department. And the value of the books will increase with the years, for they trace the gradual but sure evolution of a great and lofty soul.

Edwin Abbey was nineteen years old when he accepted a position--more properly, secured a job--in the Art Department of Harper's. The records of the office show his salary was seven dollars a week--but it did not stay at that figure always. The young man did not get along well at school, and he was not a success as a printer; but he could focus his force at the end of a pencil, and he did. Transplantation often turns a weed into a flower. It seems a hard saying and a grievous one, but the salvation of many a soul turns on getting away from one's own family. They are wise parents that do not prove a handicap to their children. The good old-fashioned idea was that parents were wholly responsible for their children's coming into the world, and that, therefore, they owned them body and soul until they reached their majority--and even then the restraint was little removed. "Well, and what are you going to make of William?" and "To whom are you going to marry Fanny?" were once common questions. And all the while the fact remains that the child is not God's gift to parents. Children are only God-given tenants. Use them well if you would have them remain with you as the joy of love and life and light. Give the child love and then more love and then love and freedom to live his God-given life. Then all the precepts you would give him for his own good, he will absorb from you and you need not say a word. Trying to teach a child by telling him is worthless and puts you in a bad light. A child has not lost his heavenly vision and sees you as you are, not minding what you say.

At Harper's Abbey came into competition with strong men. In the office was a young fellow by the name of Reinhart and another by the name of Alexander--they used to call him Alexander the Great, and he has nearly proved his title.

A little later came Howard Pyle, Joseph Fennel and Alfred Parsons. Young Abbey did his work with much good-cheer, and sought to place himself with the best. For a time he drew just like Alexander, then like Reinhart; next, Parsons was his mentor. Finally he drifted out on a sea of his own, and this seems to have been in the year of the Centennial Exhibition. Harper's sent the young man over to Philadelphia, or perhaps he went of his own accord; anyway, he haunted the art-rooms at the Exhibition, and got a lesson there that spurred his genius as it had never been spurred before.

He was then twenty-four years old. His salary had been increased to ten dollars a week, fifteen, twenty-five: if he wanted money for "expenses" he applied to the cashier. There is more good honest velvet in an Expense-Account than in the Stock Exchange, which true saying has nothing to do with Abbey. At the "Centennial" Abbey discovered the Arthurian Legend--fell over it, just as William Morris fell over the Icelandic Sagas when past fifty. Abbey had been called the "Stage-Coachman" at Harper's, because he had developed a faculty for picturing old taverns at that exciting moment when horses were being changed and the driver, in a bell-crowned white hat and wonderful waistcoat, tosses his lines to a fellow in tight hair-cut and still tighter breeches, and a woman in big hoops gets out of the stage with many bandboxes and a birdcage. The way Abbey breathed into the scene the breath of life was wonderful--just a touch of comedy, without caricature! "If it is in Seventeen Hundred Seventy-six, give it to Abbey," said the Managing Editor, with a growl--for Managing Editors, being beasts, always growl.

Abbey and Parsons had walked to Philadelphia and back, taking two weeks for the trip, sketching on the way stagecoaches, taverns, tall houses and old wooden bridges, all pinned together--just these and nothing else, save Independence Hall. Later, they went to Boston and did Faneuil Hall, inside and out, King's Chapel and the State House, and a house or two out Quincyway, including the Adams cottage, where lived two Presidents, and where now resides one William Spear, the only honorary male member of the Daughters of the Revolution. Mr. Spear dominates the artistic bailiwick and performs antique antics for Art's sake: it was Mr. Spear who posed as Tony Lumpkin for Mr. Abbey.

Abbey had done Washington Irving's Knickerbocker tales and the various "Washington's Headquarters." He worked exclusively in black and white--crayon, pencil or pen and ink. His hand had taken on a style--powdered wigs, spit-curls, hoops, flaring sunbonnets, cocked hats and the tallyho! These were his properties. He worked from model plus imagination. He had exhausted the antique in America--he thirsted to refresh his imagination in England. The Centennial Exhibition had done its deadly work--Abbey and Parsons were dissatisfied--they wanted to see more. Back of the stagecoach times lay the days of the castle. Back of the musket was the blunderbuss, and back of these were the portcullis, the moat, the spear and coats of mail.

A deluxe edition of "Herrick" was proposed by the Publishing Department: some say the Art Department made the suggestion. Anyway, there was a consultation in the manager's office, and young Abbey was to go to England to look up the scene and with his pencil bring the past up to the present.

Abbey was going to England, that is just all there was about it, and Harper and Brothers did not propose to lose their hold upon him. Salary was waived, but expenses were advanced, and the understanding was that Abbey was Harper's man. This was in Eighteen Hundred Seventy-eight, with Abbey's twenty-sixth birthday yet to come. Abbey had gone around and bidden everybody good-by, including his old-time chum, Alfred Parsons. Parsons was going to the dock to see him off.

"I wish you were going, too," said Edwin, huskily. "I believe I will," said Alfred, swallowing hard. And he did.

The Managing Editor growled furiously, but to no avail, for the Cunarder that bore the boys was then well out toward the Banks.

It was an American that discovered Stratford; and it is the Peter's pence of American tourists that now largely support the town. At Stratford, Washington Irving jostles the Master for the first place, and when we drink at the George W. Childs fountain we piously pour a libation to all three.

Like all bookish and artistic Americans, when Abbey and Parsons thought of England they thought of Shakespeare's England--the England that Washington Irving had made plain.

Washington Irving seemed very close to our young men--London held them only a few days and then they started for Stratford. They went afoot, as became men who carried crayons that scorned the steam- horse. They took the road for Oxford and stopped at the tavern where the gossips aver that the author of "Love's Labor's Lost" made love to the landlord's wife--a thing I never would believe, e'en though I knew 't were true. From Oxford the young men made their way to storied Warwick, where the portcullis is raised--or lowered, I do not remember which--every evening at sundown to tap of drum. It is the same old Warwick Castle that Shakespeare knew; the same cedars of Lebanon that he saw; the same screaming peacocks; the same circling rooks and daws, and down across the lazy Avon over the meadows the same skylark vibrates the happy air.

Young Abbey saw these things, just as Washington Irving saw them, and he saw them just as the boy William Shakespeare saw them.

Nine miles from Warwick lies Stratford. But at Stratford the tourist is loosed; the picnicker is abroad; the voice of the pedant is heard in the land, and the Baconian is upon us. Abbey and Parsons stopped at the Red Horse Inn and slept in the room that Washington Irving occupied, and they do say now that Irving occupied every room in the house. Stratford was not to the liking of our friends. They wanted to be in the Shakespeare country for six months, that was what the Managing Editor said--six months, mind you. But they did not want to study the tourist. They wanted to be just a little off the beaten track of travel, away from the screech of the locomotive, where they could listen and hear the echoes of a tallyho horn, the crack of the driver's whip, and the clatter of the coming stagecoach.

The village of Broadway is twelve miles from Stratford, and five miles from the nearest railway-station. The worst thing about the place for a New-Yorker is the incongruity of the name.

In Broadway not a new house has been built for a century, and several of the buildings date back four hundred years. Abbey and Parsons found a house they were told was built in Fifteen Hundred Sixty-three. The place was furnished complete, done by those who had been dust a hundred years. The rafters overhead were studded with handmade nails, where used to hang the flitches of bacon and bunches of dried herbs; the cooking would have to be performed in the fireplace or in the Dutch oven; funny little cupboards were in the corners; and out behind the cottage stretched a God's half-acre of the prettiest flower-garden ever seen, save the one at Bordentown where lived Abbey's ladylove.

The rent was ten pounds a year. They jumped at it--and would have taken it just the same had it been twice as much.

An old woman who lived across the street was hired as housekeeper, and straightway our artists threw down their kits and said, like Lincoln, "We have moved." The beauty and serene peace of middle England is passing words. No wonder the young artists could not paint for several weeks--they just drank it in.

Finally they settled down to work--Seventeenth-Century models were all around, and a look up the single street would do for a picture. Parsons painted what he saw; Abbey painted what he saw plus what he imagined.

Six months went by, and the growls of the Managing Editor back in New York were quieted with a few sketches. Parsons had tried water- color with good results; and Abbey followed with an Arthurian sketch--a local swain as model.

Several pictures had been sent down to London--which is up--and London approved. Abbey was elected a member of "The Aquarellists," just as a little later the Royal Academy was to open its doors, unsolicited, for him.

Two years had gone, and new arrangements must be made with Harper's. Abbey returned to America with a trunkful of sketches--enough good stuff to illustrate several "Herricks." He remained in New York eight months, long enough to see the book safely launched, and to close up his business affairs in Philadelphia.

And the Shakespeare country has been his home ever since.

An artist's work is his life--where he can work best is his home. Patriotism isn't quite so bad as old Ursa Major said, but the word is not to be found in the bright lexicon of Art. The artist knows no country. His home is the world, and those who love the beautiful are his brethren.

Abbey has remained in England, not that he loves America less, nor England more, but because the Shakespeare country has a flavor of antiquity about it that fits his artistic mood--it is a good place to work. An artist's work is his life.

At "Morgan Hall," Fairford, only a few miles from where Abbey first made his home in England, he now lives and works. Near by lives Mary Anderson, excellent and gentle woman, wife and mother, who used to storm the one-night stands most successfully. The place is old, vine-clad, built in sections running over a space of three hundred years. So lost is it amid the great spreading beeches that you have to look twice before you see the house from the road.

Happily married to a most worthy woman whose only thought is to minister to her household, the days pass. That Mrs. Abbey never doubts her liege is not only the greatest artist, but the greatest man in all England, is a most pleasing fact. She believes in him, and she gives him peace. The Kansas Contingent may question whether a woman's career is complete who thus lives within her home, and for her household, but to me the old-fashioned virtues seem very hard to improve upon. Industry, truth, trust and abiding loyalty--what a bulwark of defense for a man who has a message for the world!

There is a goodly brood of little Abbeys--I dare not say how many. I believe it was nine a year ago, with an addition since. They run wild and free along the hedgerows and under the beeches, and if it rains there are the stables, kennels and the finest attic that ever was.

Back of the house and attached to it Mr. Abbey has built a studio forty feet wide by seventy-five long, and twenty feet high. It is more than a studio--it is a royal workshop such as Michelangelo might have used for equestrian statues, or cartoons to decorate a palace for the Pope. Dozens of pictures, large and small, are upon the easels. Arms, armor, furniture, are all about, while on the shelves are vases and old china enough to fill the heart of a collector to surfeit. In chests and wardrobes are velvets, brocades and antique stuffs and costumes, all labeled, numbered and catalogued, so as to be had when wanted.

This studio was built especially to accommodate the paintings for the Boston Public Library. The commission was given in Eighteen Hundred Ninety, and the last of the decorations has just been put in place, in this year of grace, Nineteen Hundred One. Abbey's paintings in the Boston Public Library cover in all something over a thousand square feet of space, and form quite the noblest specimen of mural decoration in America.

Orders were given to John S. Sargent and Puvis de Chavannes at the same time that contracts were closed with Abbey. Chavannes was the first man to get his staging up and the first to get it down. He died two years ago, so it is hardly meet to draw a moral about the excellence of doing things with neatness and dispatch. Sargent's "Prophets" cover scarcely one-tenth of the space assigned him, and the rest is bare white walls, patiently awaiting his brush. Recently he was asked when he would complete the task, and he replied, "Never, unless I learn to paint better than I do now--Abbey has discouraged me!"

I need not attempt to describe Abbey's work in the Boston Library--a full account of it can be found in the first magazine you pick up. But it is a significant fact that Abbey himself is not wholly pleased with it. "Give me a little time," he says, "and I'll do something worth while."

These words were spoken half in jest, but there is no doubt that the artist, now in the fulness of his powers, in perfect health, in love with life, sees before him work to do of such vast worth that all that lies behind seems but a preparation for that which is yet to come.

The question is sometimes asked, "What becomes of all the Valedictorians and Class-Day Poets?" I can give information as to two parties for whom inquiry is made: the Valedictorian of my Class is now a worthy Floorwalker in Siegel, Cooper and Company's; and I was the Class-Day Poet. Both of us had our eyes on the Goal. We stood on the threshold and looked out upon the World preparatory to going forth, seizing it by the tail and snapping its head off for our own delectation.

We had our eyes fixed on the Goal--it might better have been the Gaol.

It was a very absurd thing for us to fix our eyes on the Goal. It strained our vision and took our attention from our work.

To think of the Goal is to travel the distance over and over in your mind and dwell on how awfully far off it is. We have so little mind --doing business on such a small capital of intellect--that to wear it threadbare looking for a far-off thing is to get hopelessly stranded in Siegel, Cooper and Company's.

Siegel, Cooper and Company's is all right, too, but the point is this--it wasn't the Goal!

A goodly dash of indifference is a requisite in the formula for doing a great work.

Nobody knows what the Goal is--we are sailing under sealed orders. Do your work today, doing it the best you can, and live one day at a time. The man that does this is conserving his God-given energy, and not spinning it out into tenuous spider-threads that Fate will probably brush away.

To do your work well today is the surest preparation for something better tomorrow--the past is gone, the future we can not reach, the present only is ours. Each day's work is a preparation for the next.

Live in the present--the Day is here, the time is Now.

Edwin A. Abbey seems to be the perfect type of man, who by doing all his work well, with no vaulting ambitions, has placed himself right in the line of evolution. He is evolving into something better, stronger and nobler all the time. That is the only thing worth praying for--to be in the line of evolution.


Art happens--no hovel is safe from it, no Prince may depend upon it, the vastest intelligence can not bring it about, and puny efforts to make it universal end in quaint comedy, and coarse farce. --_The "Ten-o'Clock" Lecture_

[Illustration: Whistler]

The Eternal Paradox of Things is revealed in the fact that the men who have toiled most for peace, beauty and harmony have usually lived out their days in discord, and in several instances died a malefactor's death. Just how much discord is required in God's formula for a successful life, no one knows, but it must have a use, for it is always there.

Seen from a distance, out of the range of the wordy shrapnel, the literary scrimmage is amusing. "Gulliver's Travels" made many a heart ache, but it only gladdens ours. Pope's "Dunciad" sent shivers of fear down the spine of all artistic England, but we read it for the rhyme, and insomnia. Byron's "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers" gave back to the critics what they had given out--to their great surprise and indignation, and our amusement. Keats died from the stab of a pen, they say, and whether 't was true or not we know that now a suit of Cheviot is sufficient shield. "We love him for the enemies he has made"--to have friends is a great gain, but to achieve an enemy is distinction.

Ruskin's "Modern Painters" is a reply to the contumely that sought to smother Turner under an avalanche of abuse; but since the enemy inspired it, and it made the name and fame of both Ruskin and Turner, why should they not hunt out the rogues in Elysium and purchase ambrosia?

Whistler's "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies" is a bit of sharpshooter sniping at the man who was brave enough to come to the rescue of Turner, and who afterward proved his humanity by adopting the tactics of the enemy, working the literary stinkpot to repel impressionistic boarders.

No friend could have done for Whistler what Ruskin did. Before Ruskin threw an ink-bottle at him, as Martin Luther did at the Devil, he was one of several; after the bout he was as one set apart.

When we think of Whistler, if we listen closely we can hear the echo of shrill calls of recrimination, muffled reveilles of alarm-- pamphlet answering unto pamphlet across seas of misunderstanding-- vituperations manifold, and recurring themes of rabid ribaldry--all forming a lurid Symphony in Red.

John Davidson has dedicated a book to his enemy, thus:

"Unwilling Friend, let not thy spite abate: help me with scorn, and strengthen me with hate."

The general tendency to berate the man of superior talent would seem to indicate, as before suggested, that disparagement has some sort of compensation in it. Possibly it is the governor that keeps things from going too fast--the opposition of forces that holds the balance true. But almost everything can be overdone; and the fact remains that without encouragement and faith from without, the stoutest heart will in time grow faint and doubt itself. It hears the yelping of the pack, and there creeps in the question, "What if they are right?" Then come the longing and the necessity for the word of praise, the clasp of a kindly hand, and the look that reassures.

Occasionally the undiscerning make remarks, slightly tinged with muriatic acid, concerning the ancient and honorable cult known as the Mutual Admiration Society. My firm belief is, that no man ever did or can do a great work alone--he must be backed up by the Mutual Admiration Society. It may be a very small Society--in truth, I have known Chapters where there were only two members, but there was such trust, such faith, such a mutual uplift, that an atmosphere was formed wherein great work was done.

In Galilee even the Son of God could do no great work, on account of the unbelief of the people. "Fellowship is heaven and lack of fellowship is hell," said William Morris. And he had known both.

Some One must believe in you. And through touching finger-tips with this Some One, we may get in the circuit, and thus reach out to all. Self-Reliance is very excellent, but as for independence, there is no such thing. We are a part of the great Universal Life; and as one must win approval from himself, so he must receive corroboration from others: having this approval from the Elect Few, the opinions of the many matter little.

How little we know of the aspirations that wither unexpressed, and of the hopes that perish for want of the right word spoken at the right time! Out in the orchard, as I write, I see thousands and thousands of beautiful blossoms that will never become fruit for lack of vitalization--they die because they are alone.

Thoughts materialize into deeds only when Some One vitalizes by approval. Every good thing is loved into life.

Great men have ever come in groups, and the Mutual Admiration Society always figures largely. To enumerate instances would be to inflict good folks with triteness and truism. I do not wish to rob my reader of his rights--think it out for yourself, beginning with Concord and Cambridge, working backward adown the centuries.

There are two Whistlers. One tender as a woman, sensitive as a child--thirsting for love, friendship and appreciation--a dreamer of dreams, seeing visions and mounting to the heavens on the wings of his soaring fancy. This is the real Whistler. And there has always been a small Mutual Admiration Society that has appreciated, applauded and loved this Whistler; to them he has always been "Jimmy."

The other Whistler is the jaunty little man in the funny, straight- brimmed high hat--cousin to the hat John D. Long wore for twenty years. This man in the long black coat, carrying a bamboo wand, who adjusts his monocle and throws off an epigram, who confounds the critics, befogs the lawyers, affronts millionaires from Colorado, and plays pitch and toss with words, is the Whistler known to newspaperdom. And Grub Street calls him "Jimmy," too, but the voice of Grub Street is guttural and in it is no tender cadence--it is tone that tells, not the mere word: I have been addressed with an endearing phrase when the words stabbed. Grub Street sees only the one man and goes straightway after him with a snickersnee. To use the language of Judge Gaynor, "This artistic Jacques of the second part protects the great and tender soul of the party of the first part."

That is it--his name is Jacques: Whistler is a fool. The fools were the wisest men at court. Shakespeare, who dearly loved a fool, belonging to the breed himself, placed his wisest sayings into the mouths of men who wore the motley. When he adorned a man with cap and bells, it was as though he had given bonds for both that man's humanity and intelligence.

Neither Shakespeare nor any other writer of good books ever dared depart so violently from truth as to picture a fool whose heart was filled with pretense and perfidy. The fool is not malicious. Stupid people may think he is, because his language is charged with the lightning's flash; but these be the people who do not know the difference between an incubator and an eggplant.

Touchstone, with unfailing loyalty, follows his master with quip and quirk into exile. When all, even his daughters, had forsaken King Lear, the fool bares himself to the storm and covers the shaking old man with his own cloak; and when in our day we meet the avatars of Trinculo, Costard, Mercutio and Jacques, we find they are men of tender susceptibilities, generous hearts and lavish souls.

Whistler shakes his cap, flourishes his bauble, tosses that fine head, and with tongue in cheek, asks questions and propounds conundrums that pedantry can never answer. Hence the ink-bottle, with its mark on the walls at Eisenach, and at Coniston.

Every man of worth is two men--sometimes many. In fact, Doctor George Vincent, the psychologist, says, "We never treat two persons in exactly the same manner." If this is so, and I suspect it is, the person we are with dictates our mental process and thus controls our manners--he calls out the man he wishes to see. Certain sides of our nature are revealed only to certain persons. And I can understand, too, how there can be a Holy of Holies, closed and barred forever against all except the One. And in the absence of this One, I can also understand how the person can go through life, and father, mother, brothers, sisters, friends and companions never guess the latent excellence that lies concealed. We defend and protect this Holy of Holies from the vulgar gaze.

There are two ways to guard and keep alive the sacred fires; one is to flee to convent, monastery or mountain and there live alone with God; the other is to mix and mingle with men and wear a coat of mail in way of manner.

Women whose hearts are well-nigh bursting with grief will often be the gayest of the gay; men whose souls are corroding with care-- weighted down with sorrow too great for speech--are often those who set the table in a roar.

The assumed manner, continued, evolves into a pose. Pose means position, and the pose is usually a position of defense. All great people are poseurs.

Men pose so as to keep the mob back while they can do their work. Without the pose, the garden of a poet's fancy would look like McKinley's front yard at Canton in the fall of Ninety-six. That is to say, without the pose the poet would have no garden, no fancy, no nothing--and there would be no poet. Yet I am quite willing to admit that a man might assume a pose and yet have nothing to protect; but I stoutly maintain that pose in such a one is transparent to every one as the poles that support a scarecrow, simply because the pose never becomes habitual.

With the great man pose becomes a habit--and then it is not a pose. When a man lies and admits he lies, he tells the truth.

Whistler has been called the greatest poseur of his day; and yet he is the most sincere and truthful of men--the very antithesis of hypocrisy and sham. No man ever hated pretense more.

Whistler is an artist, and the soul of the man is revealed in his work--not in his hat, nor yet his bamboo cane, nor his long black coat, much less the language which he uses, Talleyrand-like, to conceal his thought. Art has been his wife, his children and his religion. Art has said to him, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," and he has obeyed the mandate.

That picture of his mother in the Luxembourg is the most serious thing in the whole collection--so gentle, so modest, so appealing, so charged with tenderness. It is classed by the most competent critics of today along with the greatest works of the old masters. We find upon the official roster of the fine arts of France this tribute opposite the name of Whistler, "Portrait of the mother of the author, a masterpiece destined for the eternal admiration of future generations, combining in its tone-power and magnificence the qualities of a Rembrandt, a Titian, a Velasquez." The picture does not challenge you--you have to hunt it out, and you have to bring something to it, else 't will not reveal itself. There is no decrepitude in the woman's face and form, but someway you read into the picture the story of a great and tender love and a long life of useful effort. And now as the evening shadows gather, about to fade off into gloom, the old mother sits there alone, poised, serene: husband gone, children gone--her work is done. Twilight comes. She thinks of the past in gratitude, and gazes wistfully out into the future, unafraid. It is the tribute that every well-born son would like to pay to the mother who loved him into being, whose body nourished him, whose loving arms sustained him, whose unfaltering faith and appreciation encouraged him to do and to become. She was his wisest critic, his best friend--his mother!

The father of Whistler the artist, Major George Washington Whistler, was a graduate of West Point, and a member of the United States Corps of Engineers. He was an active, practical and useful man--a skilful draftsman and mathematician, and a man of affairs who could undertake a difficult task and carry it through to completion.

Such men are always needed, in the army and out of it. Responsibility gravitates to the man who can shoulder it. Such men as Major Whistler are not tied to a post--they go where they are needed.

When George Washington Whistler was a cadet at West Point, there came to visit the place Doctor Swift and his beautiful young daughter, Mary. She took the Military School by storm; at least, she held captive the hearts of all the young men there--so they said. And in very truth the heart of one young man was prisoner, for Major Whistler married Miss Swift soon after.

To them were born Deborah, the Major's only daughter, who married Doctor Seymour Hayden of London, a famous surgeon and still more famous etcher; George, who became an engineer and railway manager; and two years later, Joseph.

And when Joe was two years old, this beautiful wife, aged twenty- three, passed away, and young Major Whistler and his three babies were left alone.

At West Point Whistler had a friend named McNeill, son of Doctor C. D. McNeill, of Wilmington, North Carolina--a classmate--with whom he had been closely associated since graduation. McNeill had a sister, Anna Matilda, a great soul, serious and strong. At length Whistler took his motherless brood--including himself--to her and she accepted them all. I bow my head to the stepmother who loves into manhood and womanhood children whom another has loved into life. She must have a great heart already expanded by love to do this. Naturally the mother-love grows with the child--that is what children are for, to enlarge the souls of the parents. But at the beginning of womanhood, Anna Matilda McNeill was great enough to enfold in her heart and arms the children of the man she loved and make them hers.

In the year Eighteen Hundred Thirty-four, Major Whistler and his wife were living in Lowell, Massachusetts, where the Major was superintending the construction of the first of those wonderful waterways that tirelessly turn ten thousand spindles.

And Fate would have it so, that here at Lowell, in a little house on Worthing Street, was born the first of the five sons of Major Whistler and his wife, Anna Matilda. And they called the name of the child James Abbott McNeill Whistler--an awful big name for a very small baby.

About the time this peevish little pigmy was put into short dresses, his father resigned his position in the United States Army to accept a like position with the Czar of Russia. The first railroad constructed in Russia, from Moscow to Saint Petersburg, was built under the superintendence of Major Whistler, who also designed various bridges, viaducts, tunnels and other engineering feats for Adam Zad, who walks like a man, and who paid him princely sums for his services.

Americans not only fill the teeth of royalty, but we furnish the Old World machinery, ideas and men. For every twenty-five thousand men they supply us, we send them back one, and the one we send them is worth more than the twenty-five thousand they send us. Schenectady is today furnishing the engines and supplying engineers to teach engineers for the transcontinental Siberian railway. When you take "The Flying Scotchman" from London to Edinburgh you ride in a Pullman car, with all the appurtenances, even to a Gould coupler, a Westinghouse air-brake, and a dusky George from North Carolina, who will hit you three times with the butt of a brush-broom and expect a bob as recompense. You feel quite at home.

Then when you see that the Metropolitan Railway of London is managed by a man from Chicago, and that all trains of "the underground" are being equipped with the Edison incandescent light; and you note further that a New York man has morganized the transatlantic steamship-lines, you agree with William T. Stead that, "America may be raw and crude, but she is producing a race of men--men of power, who can think and act." Coupled with the Englishman's remarkable book, "The Americanization of the World," there is an art criticism by Bernard Shaw, who comes from a race that will not pay rent, strangely enough living in London, content, with no political aspirations, who says, "The three greatest painters of the time are of American parentage--Abbey, Sargent and Whistler; and of these, Whistler has had greater influence on the artists of today than any other man of his time."

But let us swing back and take a look at the Whistlers in Russia. Little Jimmy never had a childhood: the nearest he came to it was when his parents camped one Summer with the "construction gang." That Summer with the workers and toilers, among the horses, living out of doors--eating at the campfire and sleeping under the sky--was the boy's one glimpse of paradise. "My ambition then was to be the foreman of a construction gang--and it is yet," said the artist in describing that brief, happy time to a friend.

The child of well-to-do parents, but homeless, living in hotels and boarding-houses, is awfully handicapped. Children are only little animals, and travel is their bane and scourge. They belong on the ground, among the leaves and flowers and tall grass--in the trees or digging in sand piles. Hotel hallways, table-d'hote dinners and the clash of travel, are all terrible perversions of Nature's intent.

Yet the boy survived--eager, nervous, energetic. He acquired the Russian language, of course, and then he learned to speak French, as all good Russians must. "He speaks French like a Russ," is the highest compliment a Parisian can pay you.

The boy's mother was his tutor, companion, playmate. They read together, drew pictures together, and played the piano, four hands.

Honors came to the hard-working engineer--decorations, ribbons, medals, money--and more work. The poor man was worked to death. The Czar paid every honor to the living and dead that royalty can give. When the family left Saint Petersburg with the body of their loved one, His Imperial Majesty ordered his private carriage to be placed at their disposal. And honors awaited the dead here. A monument in the cemetery at Stonington, Connecticut, erected by the Society of American Engineers, marks the spot where he sleeps. The stricken mother was back in America, and James was duly entered at West Point. The mother's ideal was her husband--in his life she had lived and moved--and that James should do what he had done, become the manly man that he had become, was her highest wish.

The boy was already an acceptable draftsman, and under the tutelage of Professor Robert Weir he made progress. West Point does not teach such a soft and feminine thing as picture-painting--it draws plans of redoubts and fortifications, makes maps, and figures on the desirability of tunnels, pontoons and hidden mines. Robert Weir taught all these things, and on Saturdays painted pictures for his own amusement. In the rotunda of the Capitol at Washington is a taste of his quality--the large panel entitled, "The Departure of the Pilgrims."

Tradition has it that young Whistler assisted his teacher on this work.

Weir succeeded in getting his pupil heartily sick of the idea of grim-visaged war as a business. He hated the thought of doing things on order, especially killing men when told. "The soldier's profession is only one remove from the business of Jack Ketch, who hangs men and then salves his conscience with the plea that some one told him to do it," said Whistler. If he remained at West Point he would become an army officer and Uncle Sam or the Czar would own him and order him to do things.

Weir declared he was absurd, but the Post Surgeon said he was nervous and needed a change. In truth, West Point disliked Jimmy as much as he disliked West Point, and he was recommended for discharge. Mother and son sailed away for London, intending to come back in time for the next term.

The young man took one souvenir from West Point that was to stand by him. In a sham battle, during a charge, his horse went down, and the cavalcade behind went right over horse and rider. When picked up and carried out of the scrimmage, Cadet Whistler was unconscious, and the doctors said his skull was fractured. However, his whipcord vitality showed itself in a quick recovery; but a white lock of hair soon appeared to mark the injured spot, to be a badge of distinction and a delight to the caricaturist forever. In London the mother and son found lodgings out towards Chelsea. No doubt the literary traditions attracted them. Only a few squares away lived Rossetti, with a wonderful collection of blue china, giving lessons in painting. There were weekly receptions at his house, where came Burne-Jones, William Morris, Madox Brown and many other excellent people. Down a narrow street near by, lived a grumpy Scotchman, by the name of Carlyle, whose portrait Whistler was later to paint, and although Carlyle had no use for Rossetti, yet Mrs. Whistler and her boy liked them both. It came time to return to America if the young man was to graduate at West Point. But they decided to go over to Paris so James could study art for a few months.

They never came back to America.

Whistler, the coxcomb, had Ruskin haled before the tribunal and demanded a thousand pounds as salve for his injured feelings because the author of "Stones of Venice" was colorblind, lacking in imagination, and possessed of a small magazine wherein he briskly told of men, women and things he did not especially admire.

The case was tried, and the jury decided for Whistler, giving him one farthing damages. But this was success--it threw the costs on Ruskin, and called the attention of the world to the absurdity of condemning things that are, at the last, a mere matter of individual taste.

Whistler was once asked by a fellow artist to criticize a wondrous chromatic combination that the man had thrown off in an idle hour. Jimmy adjusted his monocle and gazed long. "And what do you think of it?" asked the painter standing by. "Oh, just a little more green, a little more green [pause and slight cough] but that is your affair."

Whistler painted the "Nocturne," and that was his affair. If Ruskin did not think it beautiful, that was his affair; but when Ruskin went one step further and accused the painter of trying to hoodwink the world for a matter of guineas, attacking the man's motives, he exceeded the legitimate limits of criticism, and his public rebuke was deserved. In matter of strictest justice, however, it may be as well to say that Whistler was quite as blind to the beauty of Ruskin's efforts for the betterment of humanity as Ruskin was to the excellence of Whistler's pictures. And if Ruskin had been in the humor for litigation he might have sued Whistler and got a shilling damages because Whistler once averred: "The Society of Saint George is a scheme for badgering the unfortunate, and should be put down by the police. God knows the poor suffer enough without being patronized!"

Mr. Whistler was once summoned as a witness in a certain suit where the purchaser of a picture had refused to pay for it. The cross- examination ran something like this:

"You are a painter of pictures?"


"And know the value of pictures?"

"Oh, no!"

"At least you have your own ideas about values?"


"And you recommended the defendant to buy this picture for two hundred pounds?"

"I did."

"Mr. Whistler, it is reported that you received a goodly sum for this recommendation--is there anything in that?"

"Oh, nothing, I assure you [yawning]--nothing but the indelicacy of the suggestion."

The critics found much joy, several years ago, in tracing out the fact that Whistler spent a year at Madrid copying Velasquez. That he, like Sargent, has been benefited and inspired by the sublime art of the Spaniard there is no doubt, but there is nothing in the charge that he is an imitator of Velasquez, save the indelicacy of the suggestion.

It was a comparison of Velasquez and Whistler, and a warm assurance that his name would live with that of the great Spaniard, that led Whistler to launch that little question, now a classic, "Why drag in Velasquez?"

The great lesson that Whistler has taught the world is to observe; and this he got from the Japanese. Lafcadio Hearn has said that the average citizen of Japan detects tints and shades that are absolutely unseen by Western eyes. Livingston found tribes in Africa that had never seen pictures of any kind, and he had great difficulty in making them perceive that the figure of a man, drawn on a piece of paper a foot square, really was designed for a man.

"Man big--paper little--no good!" was the criticism of a chief. The chief wanted to hear the voice of the man before he would believe it was meant for a man. This savage chief was a great person, no doubt, in his own bailiwick, but he lacked imagination to bridge the gap between a real man and the repeated strokes of a pencil on a bit of paper.

The Japanese--any Japanese--would have been delighted by Whistler's "Nocturne." Ruskin wasn't. He had never seen the night, and therefore he declared that Whistler had "flung a pot of paint in the face of the public."

That men should dogmatize concerning things where the senses alone supply the evidence, is only another proof of man's limitations. We live in a peewee world which our senses create and declare that outside of what we see, smell, taste and hear there is nothing. It is twenty-five thousand miles around the earth--stellar space is not computable; and man can walk in a day about thirty miles. Above the ground he can jump about four feet. In a city his unaided ear can hear his friend call about two hundred feet. As for smell, he really has almost lost the sense; and taste, through the use of stimulants and condiments, has likewise nearly gone. Man can see and recognize another man a quarter of a mile away, but at the same distance is practically color-blind.

Yet we were all quite willing to set ourselves up as standards until science came with spectroscope, telephone, microscope and Roentgen ray to force upon us the fact that we are tiny, undeveloped and insignificant creatures, with sense quite unreliable and totally unfit for final decisions.

Whistler sees more than other men. He has taught us to observe, and he has taught the art world to select.

Oratory does not consist in telling it all--you select the truth you wish to drive home; in literature, in order to make your point, you must leave things out; and in painting you must omit. Selection is the vital thing.

The Japanese see one single lily-stalk swaying in the breeze and the hazy, luminous gray of the atmosphere in which it is bathed--just these two things. They give us these, and we are amazed and delighted.

Whistler has given us the night--not the black, inky, meaningless void which has always stood for evil; not the darkness, the mere absence of light, the prophet had in mind when he said, "And there shall be no night there"--not that. The prophet thought the night was objectionable, but we know that the continual glare of the sun would quickly destroy all animal or vegetable life. In fact, without the night there would be no animal or vegetable life, and no prophet would have existed to suggest the abolition of night as a betterment. In the night there are flowers that shed their finest perfume, lifting up their hearts in gladness, and all nature is renewed for the work of the coming day. We need the night for rest, for dreams, for forgetfulness. Whistler saw the night--this great, transparent, dark-blue fold that tucks us in for one-half our time. The jaded, the weary and the heavy-laden at last find peace--the day is done, the grateful night is here.

Turner said you could not paint a picture and leave man out. Whistler very seldom leaves man out, although I believe there is one "Nocturne" wherein only the stars and the faint rim of the silver moon keep guard. But usually we see the dim suggestion of the bridge's arch, the ghostly steeples, lights lost in the enfolding fog, vague purple barges on the river, and ships rocking solemnly in the offing--all strangely mellow with peace, and subtle thoughts of stillness, rest, dreams and sleep.

The critics have all shied their missiles at Whistler, and he has gathered up the most curious and placed them on exhibition in a catalog entitled, "Etching and Dry Points." This document gives a list of fifty-one of his best-known productions, and beneath each item is a testimonial or two from certain worthies who thought the thing rubbish and said so.

If you want to see a copy of the catalog you can examine it in the "treasure-room" of most any of the big public libraries; or should you wish to own one, a chance collector in need of funds might be willing to disengage himself from a copy for some such trifle as twenty-five dollars or so.

Whistler's book, "The Gentle Art," contains just one good thing, although the touch of genius is revealed in the title, which is as follows: "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, as pleasingly exemplified in many instances wherein the serious ones of this earth, carefully exasperated, have been prettily spurred on to unseemliness and indiscretion, while overcome by an undue sense of right."

The dedication runs thus: "To the rare Few who early in life have rid themselves of the Friendship of the Many, these pathetic papers are inscribed."

The one excellent thing in the book is the "Ten o'Clock" lecture. It is a classic, revealing such a distinct literary style that one is quite sure its author could have evolved symphonies in words, as well as color, had he chosen. However, this lecture is a sequence, leaping hot from the heart, and would not have been written had the author not been "carefully exasperated and prettily spurred on, while overcome by an undue sense of right." Let us all give thanks to the enemy who exasperated him. There is a great temptation to produce the lecture entire, but this would be to invite a lawsuit, so we will have to be content with a few scrapings from the palette:

Listen! There never was an artistic period.

There never was an Art-Loving Nation.

In the beginning, men went forth each day--some to do battle, some to the chase; others, again, to dig and to delve in the field--all that they might gain and live, or lose and die. Until there was found among them one, differing from the rest, whose pursuits attracted him not, and so he stayed by the tents with the women, and traced strange devices with a burnt stick upon a gourd.

This man, who took no joy in the way of his brethren--who cared not for conquest, and fretted in the field--this designer of quaint patterns--this deviser of the beautiful--who perceived in Nature about him curious curvings, as faces are seen in the fire--this dreamer apart was the first artist.

And when, from the field and afar, there came back the people, they took the gourd--and drank from out of it.

And presently there came to this man another--and, in time, others-- of like nature, chosen by the gods--and so they worked together; and soon they fashioned, from the moistened earth, forms resembling the gourd. And with the power of creation, the heirloom of the artist, presently they went beyond the slovenly suggestion of Nature, and the first vase was born, in beautiful proportion.

* * * * *

And the Amateur was unknown--and the Dilettante undreamed of.

And history wrote on, and conquest accompanied civilization, and Art spread, or rather its products were carried by the victors among the vanquished from one country to another. And the customs of cultivation covered the face of the earth, so that all peoples continued to use what the artist alone produced.

And centuries passed in this using, and the world was flooded with all that was beautiful, until there arose a new class, who discovered the cheap, and foresaw a fortune in the facture of the sham.

Then sprang into existence the tawdry, the common, the gewgaw.

The taste of the tradesman supplanted the science of the artist, and what was born of the million went back to them, and charmed them, for it was after their own heart; and the great and the small, the statesman and the slave, took to themselves the abomination that was tendered, and preferred it--and have lived with it ever since.

And the artist's occupation was gone, and the manufacturer and the huckster took his place.

And now the heroes filled from the jugs and drank from the bowls-- with understanding--noting the glare of their new bravery, and taking pride in its worth.

And the people--this time--had much to say in the matter--and all were satisfied. And Birmingham and Manchester arose in their might, and Art was relegated to the curiosity-shop.

* * * * *

Nature contains the elements, in color and form, of all pictures, as the keyboard contains the notes of all music.

* * * * *

The artist is born to pick, and choose, and group with science these elements, that the result may be beautiful--as the musician gathers his notes, and forms his chords, until he bring forth from chaos glorious harmony.

To say to the painter, that Nature is to be taken as she is, is to say to the player, that he may sit on the piano.

That Nature is always right, is an assertion, artistically, as untrue, as it is one whose truth is universally taken for granted. Nature is very rarely right, to such an extent even, that it might almost be said that Nature is usually wrong: that is to say, the condition of things that shall bring about the perfection of harmony worthy a picture is rare, and not common at all.

* * * * *

The sun blares, the wind blows from the east, the sky is bereft of cloud, and without, all is of iron. The windows of the Crystal Palace are seen from all points of London. The holiday-maker rejoices in the glorious day, and the painter turns aside to shut his eyes.

How little this is understood, and how dutifully the casual in Nature is accepted as sublime, may be gathered from the unlimited admiration daily produced by a very foolish sunset.

The dignity of the snow-capped mountain is lost in distinctness, but the joy of the tourist is to recognize the traveler on the top. The desire to see, for the sake of seeing, is, with the mass alone, the one to be gratified, hence the delight in detail.

But when the evening mist clothes the riverside with poetry, as with a veil, and the poor buildings lose themselves in the dim sky, and the tall chimneys become campanili, and the warehouses are palaces in the night, and the whole city hangs in the heavens, and fairyland is before us--then the wayfarer hastens home; the workingman and the cultured one, the wise man and the one of pleasure, cease to understand, as they have ceased to see, and Nature, who for once has sung in tune, sings her exquisite song to the artist alone--her son and her master--her son in that he loves her, her master in that he knows her.

To him her secrets are unfolded, to him her lessons have become gradually clear. He looks at the flower, not with the enlarging lens, that he may gather facts for the botanist, but with the light of the one who sees in her choice selection of brilliant tones and delicate tints, suggestions of infinite harmonies.

He does not confine himself to purposeless copying, without thought, each blade of grass, as commended by the inconsequent, but in the long curve of the narrow leaf, corrected by the straight, tall stem, he learns how grace is wedded to dignity, how strength enhances sweetness, that elegance shall be the result.

In the citron wing of the pale butterfly, with its dainty spots of orange, he sees before him the stately halls of fair gold, with their slender saffron pillars, and is taught how the delicate drawing high upon the walls shall be traced in tender tones of orpiment, and repeated by the base in notes of graver hue.

In all that is dainty and lovable he finds hints for his own combinations, and thus is Nature ever his resource and always at his service, and to him is naught refused.

Through his brain, as through the last alembic, is distilled the refined essence of that thought which began with the Gods, and which they left him to carry out.

Set apart by them to complete their works, he produces that wondrous thing called the masterpiece, which surpasses in perfection all that they have contrived in what is called Nature; and the Gods stand by and marvel, and perceive how far away more beautiful is the Venus of Melos than was their own Eve.

* * * * *

And now from their midst the Dilettante stalks abroad. The Amateur is loosed. The voice of the Aesthete is heard in the land, and catastrophe is upon us.

* * * * *

Where the Artist is, there Art appears, and remains with him--loving and fruitful--turning never aside in moments of hope deferred--of insult--and of ribald misunderstanding; and when he dies she sadly takes her flight: though loitering yet in the land, from fond association, but refusing to be consoled.

With the man, then, and not with the multitude, are her intimacies; and in the book of her life the names inscribed are few--scant, indeed, the list of those who have helped to write her story of love and beauty.

From the sunny morning, when, with her glorious Greek relenting, she yielded up the secret of repeated line, as with his hand in hers together they marked in marble, the measured rhyme of lovely limb and draperies flowing in unison, to the day when she dipped the Spaniard's brush in light and air, and made his people live within their frames, that all nobility, and sweetness, and tenderness, and magnificence should be theirs by right, ages had gone by, and few had been her choice.

* * * * *

Therefore have we cause to be merry!--and to cast away all care-- resolved that all is well--as it ever was--and that it is not meet that we should be cried at, and urged to take measures.

Enough have we endured of dulness! Surely are we weary of weeping, and our tears have been cozened from us falsely, for they have called us woe! when there was no grief--and where all is fair!

We have then but to wait--until, with the mark of the Gods upon him --there come among us again the chosen--who shall continue what has gone before. Satisfied that, even were he never to appear, the story of the beautiful is already complete--hewn in the marbles of the Parthenon, and broidered, with the birds, upon the fan of Hokusai, at the foot of Fujiyama.