Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

as

tary Greek in his first year in a public his cosmopolitan sympathies, he re Franco-Austrian government by a speech school; it is amazing on the part of mains always "a sublimated tourist.” of Garibaldi. Four hundred were taken a young man who has matriculated at Here is a passage which seems to in- prisoners under his hotel window; and a British university. As Mr. Brooks dicate that the author of "The Re

he observes, I often wondered what a

demonstration meant.. This is a pretty says: “It gives color to the statement naissance” and “Italian Sketches” was, made by him and by his critics that at any rate, no more competent an ob

and picturesque specimen.' This amazing

sociological insensibility might be con- he was by nature inaccurate in rudi server than a critic:

sistent in an artist; in a historian it is, ments."

to say the least, singular. And it is all In 1862, after he had been elected

“Of all the throbbing modern life of the more singular when we recall the Fellow of Magdalen, he had a seri- the nation, social, religious, political, of sympathy of Symonds with historical libous illness which made him for three

erators like Savonarola and Campanella. years unable to use either eyes or

Human evolution, the liberation of men, brain for severe study. “What effect

was indeed an animating principle of his this had,” writes Mr. Brooks, “on the

entire critical and religious philosophy. ultimate work of a mind naturally weak

Are we forced to conclude then that his

major sympathies were, in fact, purely in its grasp of rudiments and con

literary? His life at Davos seems to bestantly impressionable may be imagined

lie that, but the self-conscious pursuit of by anyone who has formed an idea of

the picturesque is perilous to the most Symonds's place in English criticism.”

genuine types of intellectual integrity. "Truly, there is something catlike

Certainly this tourist attitude toward Italy, about modern pagans,” remarks Mr.

a kind of museum filled only with Brooks, commenting upon Swinburne's

beautiful dead things, gives a false perbiting criticism of Symonds's “In the

spective even to his magnum opus.Key of Blue.” The adjective may have been suggested by his previous quota

In his concluding chapter, Mr. tions, those of Symonds's observations

Brooks writes that he finds in Symonds on the work of his brother “Platonist,"

"a defect of power and also a defect Walter Pater. Writing of “Marius the

of coherence.” Epicurean," Symonds said: "I shrink

The writings of Symonds, he insists, from approaching Pater's style, which

do not stand together as do those of has a peculiarly disagreeable effect

Arnold or Ruskin. There has never upon my nerves—like the presence of

been a collected edition of his works, a civet-cat.” And five years later he

and even the idea of such a thing, wrote: "I tried Pater's 'Appreciations'

we are told, is inconceivable for the to-day, and found myself wandering

following reasons: “With all their comabout among the 'precious' sentences,

munity of tone and subject, their just as tho I had lost myself in a sugar

marked evolution of style, their concane plantation.” Mr. Brooks adds that This pen-and-ink sketch of John Addington sistently delivered message, they lack

Symonds, in a neo-platonic attitude, was no one could have been so acutely an by Samuel Richards and is now in the Art Insti

that highest unifying bond of personnoyed by Pater's style who was not tute of Indianapolis.

ality. Some of them are isolated pophimself on the perilous edge of pre

ular handbooks, others are esoteric and ciosity, and that Symonds was often all that is Italy, he is almost as oblivious for the few, others again are merely preserved from preciosity only by the as the holiday tripper. The very years mediocre and have been forgotten. Inother extreme of half-heedless improv- during which he was busily passing in dividually they appeal to many different ization.

and out of Italy, with eager, open eyes, types of mind. Taken together they Mr. Brooks calls Symonds "a victim were the years of Italy's greatest crisis.

do not supply any composite human of our modern passion for the pictur- his diary to any sense of great occurYet the solitary published reference in

demand, nor are they powerful enough esque,” and says that with all his inrences is a tell-tale entry of 1862. He

to create any such demand. They are tense feeling for individual men and was in Milan, and the people had been

indeed rather the product of energy women, his passion for comradeship, stirred to a demonstration against the than of power.”

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

THE MONA LISA SMILE

made

[ocr errors]

S

THE BEST POEM EVER WRITTEN IN THE

ENGLISH LANGUAGE OME twenty-five poets were dernity, selected Chaucer's "Ballad of above the inquiry, 'Who is the biggest asked by the New York Times Good Counsel” and Shakespeare's poet, novelist or prize-fighter?' tho not Sunday Magazine to name the 146th Sonnet. Gilbert Keith Chester- quite so low down as that deepest deep best short poem that they had ton, treating the matter with charac- of literary valuation, 'Who is the big

read in the English language. teristic levity, named Blake's “Tiger” gest seller ?'” Six of them were unable or unwilling and the immortal limerick that begins Here are the other poets who voted to decide on any one poem and of the “There was a young lady from Niger." and the poems they selected: Witter others only two voted for the same Those who did not name their favor- Bynner, Wordsworth's "She Dwelt poem. That poem was Keats's “Ode ites were Henry Mills Alden, Charles Among the Untrodden Ways”; Bliss on a Grecian Urn.”

Buxton Going, Thomas Hardy, Bran- Carman, Wordsworth's “Daffodils”; Each of three poets named two poems der Matthews, Curtis Hidden Page and Madison Cawein, Poe's “To One in between which they were unable to Ella Wheeler Willcox. Mr. Hardy, in- Paradise”; John Erskine, Scott's choose. William Stanley Braithwaite deed, was so severe with the idea of “Proud Maisie Is in the Wood”; Theo' named Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn” the symposium as to say: "This attempt dosia Garrison, Lang's “Lost Love”;

and Shelley's “The World's Great to appraise by comparison is, if you Arthur Guiterman, Shelley's “OzymanAge Begins Anew.” John Masefield, will allow me to say so, one of the lit dias of Egypt”; Thomas S. Jones, Jr., strangely enough considering his mo erary vices of the time, only a little Keats's “Odeon Melancholy”; Joyce

Kilmer, Patmore's “The Toys”; Richard Le Gallienne, Keats's “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”; Edwin Markham, Tennyson's "Tears, Idle Tears"; James Whitcomb Riley, Longfellow's "The Bridge"; Clinton Scollard, Keats's “Ode on a Grecian Urn”; George Sterling, Keats's “The Eve of St. Agnes”; Charles Hanson Towne, Keats's “Ode on a Grecian Urn”; Thomas Walsh, Milton's sonnet “On His Blindness”; Edward J. Wheeler, Blanco White's sonnet on Night.”

In addition to this list, the Times tabulated also the names of poems which the poets who contributed to the symposium mentioned as among the best in the language, some of those who were unwilling to single out one special favorite mentioning a dozen poems that they considered of equal merit. There are sixty-eight poems by forty poets on this supplemental list, and not John Keats but Robert Browning has the place of honor in it, five

"WIERCURY, GOD OF MERCHANDISE, of his poems being mentioned, and one

LOOK ON US WITII KINDLY EYES" of these—“God's in His Heaven," from “Pippa Passes”—being mentioned twice. inquiry, the compiler of the symposium it seems, when they reviewed their poetic Matthew Arnold is a close second, five in the Times says in part:

experiences; ‘A Ditty in Praise of Eliza, of his poems being mentioned. The

Queen of the Shepherds,' goes unpraised, most popular poem on this supplemen

“Some of the omissions in the list of of the magical refrain ‘Sweete Themmes !

nor are the poets of to-day appreciative tal list, however, is Shelley's "To a

favorite poems are surprising. For inSkylark,” which four poets placed stance, Edmund Spenser is traditionally

runne softly till I end my Song.' among their favorites.

“Shakespeare himself fares rather badly, the 'poets' poet.' Yet none of the modCommenting on the results of the ern followers of his craft thought of him, only one of his poems being on the list of

twenty: Also faring badly are Milton, Christina Rossetti, William Morris, Whittier, Lowell, Sidney Lanier, Walt Whitman, Ben Jonson, William Butler Yeats, Alice Meynell, Robert Burns, Thomas Moore, George Meredith. These are a few of the poets whom every one might reasonably expect to find mentioned in the letters received in answer to the N. Y. Times's question. Yet not one of these was named by a of the twenty-fiye contributors to the symposium.”

[graphic]

It is not probable that many of the poets endeavored to apply fixed standards of criticism. Most of them merely named their favorite poems and undoubtedly that was what the Times expected them to do. Mr. Thomas Walsh, however, in defending his choice of Milton's "On His Blindness," Wrote:

11 C11111

“It seems to me that some objectivity of judgment in reply to your query might result from a rigid control of personality on the part of your criticsa sort of ascetical exercize of restraint regarding 'what appeals to me,' a relinguishment (as far as may be) of the

et tuumi so dominant in recent criticism, and a return to an envisagement, cold and comfortless, perhaps, of literary standards that are set to reproach us across a thousand years."

Desirable as this "objectivity of judgment” may be, it cannot be denied that some of the most interesting letters in the symposium are those which simply express and justify a personal taste.

FROM OLYMPUS BY RAIL Arrived at Forty-second Street, Alcmene's son submits to a slight operation.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

A RAILWAY'S HOUSEHOLD GODS When you look at the new clock in the Grand Central Station you see Hercules attentive to Mercury's celebration of the Twentieth-Century Limited

and you notice that not even Minerva finds a time-table easy to decipher.

continent. Because of the height at the figure, it seems to have all the light- fications. This portal was usually decowhich it is placed the amazing size of ness of flight owing to its poise and

rated and elaborated into an Arch of the gracefully poised Mercury and its

to the sweep of its graceful draperies. Triumph, erected to some naval or miliattendant figures is not at first realized Peering out from behind Mercury is

tary victory, or to the glory of some great by the beholder. But a writer in the

personage. The city of to-day has no an eagle with outstretched wings. On New York Tribune gives some statis- the right arc of the arch is a figure elaboration, as a pretext to such glori

wall surrounding that may serve, by tics of this important and interesting of Hercules and on the left one of fication, but none the less the gateway work. Minerva, holding a scroll.

must exist, and in the case of New York The weight of the façade, it seems, None of the figures is detached from and other cities it is through a tunne is 1,500 pounds. It is sixty-six feet the wall. They are simply the carved which discharges the human flow in the long and forty-eight feet high. The faces of huge blocks. According to very center of the town. central figure is twenty-seven feet six the specifications the blocks were to

"Such is the Grand Central Terminal inches high. The right arm of the be twelve feet four inches square and

and the motive of its façade is an attempt

to offer a tribute to the glory of comfigure extends eleven feet from the four feet thick. The center of gravbody, the big toe and the thumb are ity is behind Mercury.

merce as exemplified in that institution

The architectural composition consists of each as long as a man's forearm. The Mr. Whitney Warren, the architect

three great portals crowned by a sculpenormous weight of the figure has of the Grand Central Terminal, in dis

tural group, the whole to stand as a monumade it necessary for the steel girders cussing the group with the Tribune ment to the glory of commerce as typin the roof of the station to be strength- reporter, made this explanation of its ified by Mercury, supported by moral and ened with concrete. symbolism:

physical energy-Minerva and Hercules

THE COCK-FIGHT IN HAPPY VALLEY-A SCENE

OF MEXICAN LIFE TO-DAY

Happy Valley is Valle Allegre, in northern Mexico. The cock-fight, such as it was, was witnessed by John Reed, during his recent sojourn with the soldiers of Villa. He tells about it in The Masses. It wasn't much of a fight, to be sure, but the scene of happy-golucky life in a country we think of as prostrate beneath its troubles is an unforgettable one and it is artistically described.

[ocr errors]

T HAPPENED to be the day of the with flowers and grass growing on them, “Ah, no, señor. A caballero of your fiesta of the Santos Reyes, and, of blue feather of smoke waving from the age is in the prime of life. But tell me, course, nobody worked in Valle Al- chimneys, and occasional palms sticking Is it true what I hear, that the Maderistas legre. The cock-fight was to take up between. They fell away to the yel- are now at Mapimi?” place at high noon in the open space low plain where the horse-races are run, “Si, señor. Soon Villa will take Tor

back of Catarino Cabrera's drinking and beyond that the barren mountains reon, they say, and then it is only a matter shop-almost directly in front of Dionysio crouched, tawny as lions, then faintly of a few months before the revolution is Aguirre's, where the long burro pack- blue, then purple and wrinkled, notched accomplished.” trains rest on their mountain journeys, and jagged across the fierce, bright sky. "I think that. Yes. But tell me; I have and the muleteers swap tale over their Straight down and away through the great respect for your opinion. Which tequila.

arroyo one saw a great valley, like an cock would you advise me to bet on?” At one, the sunny side of the dry ar elephant's hide, where the heat-waves We approached the combatants and royo that is called a street was lined with buck-jumped.

looked them over, while their owners double rows of squatting peons-silent, A lazy smoke of human noises floated clamored in our ears. They sat upon the dreamily sucking their cornhusk cigarets up: roosters crowing, pigs grunting, bur- curbing negligently herding their birds as they waited. The bibulously inclined ros giving great racking sobs, the rustling apart. It was getting toward three of the drifted in and out of Catarino's, whence crackle of dried cornstalks being shaken afternoon. came a cloud of tobacco smoke and a out of the mesquite tree, a woman sing "But will there be a cock-fight?” I strong reek of aguardiente. Small boys ing as she mashed her corn on the stones, asked them. played leap-frog with a large yellow sow, the wailing of a myriad babies.

“Quien sabe?” drawled one. and on opposite sides of the arroyo the The sun fairly blistered. My friend The other murmured that possibly it competing roosters, tethered by the leg, Atanacio sat upon the sidewalk thinking would be mañana. It developed that the crowed defiantly.

of nothing. His dirty feet were bare steel spurs had been forgotten in El Oro, One of the owners, an ingratiating, except for sandals, his mighty sombrero and that small boy had gone after them business-like professional, wearing san was of a faded dull brick color, em on a burro. It was six miles over the dals and one cerise sock, stalked around broidered with tarnished gold braid, and mountains to El Oro. with a handful of dirty bank-bills, shout- his serape was of the pottery blue one However, no one was in any hurry, so ing:

sees in Chinese rugs, and decorated with we sat down also. Appeared then Cata“Diez pesos, señores! Only ten dol- yellow suns. He rose when he saw me. rino Cabrera, the saloon-keeper, and also lars!”

We removed our hats and embraced after the Constitutionalist jefe politico of Valle It was strange; nobody seemed too the Mexican fashion, patting each other Allegre, very drunk, walking arm ir arm poor to bet ten dollars.

on the back with one hand while we shook with Don Priciliano Saucedes, the former It came on toward two o'clock, and still the other,

jefe under the Diaz government. Dor no one moved, except to follow the sun “Buenos tardes, amigo,” he murmured, Priciliano is a fine-looking, white-haired a few feet as it swung the black edge of “How do you seat yourself?”.

old Castilian who used to deflower the the shadow eastward. The shadow was “Very well, much thanks. And you? young women of the village and lend very cold, and the sun white hot. How have they treated you?”

money to the peons at twenty per cent. On the edge of the shadow lay Igna "Delicious. Superlative. Thanks. I Don Catarino is a former schoolmaster, cio, the violinist, wrapped in a tattered have longed to see you again.”

an ardent revolutionist-he lends money serape, sleeping off a drunk. He can play “And your family? How are they?" at a slightly less rate of usury to the same one tune when intoxicated— Tosti's “Good (It is considered more delicate in Mexico parties. Don Catarino wears no collar, By.” When very drunk he also remem not to ask about one's wife, because so but he sports a revolver and two cartridge bers fragments of Mendelssohn's “Spring few people are married.)

belts. Don Priciliano during the first Song.” In fact, he is the only high-brow “Their health is of the best. Great, revolution was deprived of most of his musician in the whole State of Durango, great thanks. And your family?”

property by the Maderistas of the town, and possesses a just celebrity. Ignacio "Bien, bien! I saw your son with the and then strapped naked upon his horse used to be brilliant and industrious—his army at Jimenez. He gave me many, and beaten upon his bare back with the sons and daughters are innumerable—but many remembrances of you. Would you flat of a sword. the artistic temperament was too much desire a cigaret?”

“Aie!” he says to my question. “The for him.

“Thanks. Permit me a light. You are revolution! I have most of the revolution The color of the street was red-deep, in Valle Allegre many days?"

upon my back!” rich, red clay—and the open space where “For the fiesta only, señor.”

And the two pass on to Don Priciliano's the burros stood olive drab. There were “I hope your visit is fortunate, señor. house, where Catarino is courting a beaubrown crumbling adobe walls and squat My house is at your orders.”

tiful daughter. houses, their roofs heaped high with yel "Thanks. How is it that I did not see Then, with the thunder of hoofs, dashes low cornstalks or hung with strings of you at the baile last night, señor? You, up the gay and gallant young Jesus Trired peppers. A gigantic green mesquite who were always such a sympathetic ano, who was a captain under Orozco. tree, with roots like a chicken's foot, was dancer !”

But Valle Allegre is a ten days' ride to thatched on every branch with dried hay “Unhappily Juanita is gone to visit her the railroad, and politics are not a burnand corn.

mother in El Oro, and now, therefore, I ing issue there; so Jesus rides his stolen Below, the town fell steeply down the am a platonico. I grow too old for the horse with impunity around the streets. arroyo, roofs tumbled together like blocks, señoritas."

He is a large young man with shining

[blocks in formation]

teeth, a rifle and bandolier and leather prolonged indefinitely in order to take to with the steel spurs. It seems that he had trousers fastened up the side with buttons himself a wife the fourteen - year - old got into a card game at El Oro, and had as big as dollars—his spurs are twice that daughter of a village aristocrat.

temporarily forgotten. his errand.
big. They say that his dashing ways, and They say that his wedding'was magnifi But of course nothing was said about
the fact that he shot Emetario Flores in cent beyond belief, two priests officiating it. He had arrived, which was the im-
the back, have won him the hand of Dolo- and the service lasting an hour more than portant thing. We formed a wide ring
res, youngest daughter of Manuel Pare- necessary. But this may have been good in the open space where the burros stood,
des, the charcoal contractor. He plunges economy on Adolfo's part, since he al- and the two owners began to “throw”
down the arroyo at a gallop, his horse ready had one wife in Chihuahua, another their birds. But at the first onslaught the
tossing bloody froth from the cruel curb. in Parral, and a third in Monterey, and fowl upon which we had all bet our money

Captain Adolfo Melendez, of the Con- of course had to placate the parents of the spread its wings, and, to the astonishment
stitutionalist army, slouches around the bride. He had now been away from his of the assembled company, soared scream-
corner in a new, bottle-green, corduroy regiment three months, and told me sim- ing over the mesquite tree and disappeared
uniform. He wears a handsome gilded ply that he thought they had forgotten toward the mountains.
sword which once belonged to the Knights all about him by now.

Ten minutes later the two owners unof Pythias. Adolfo came to Valle Al At half-past four a thunder of cheers concernedly divided the proceeds before legre on a two weeks' leave, which he announced the arrival of the small boy our eyes, and we strolled home content.

THE CAPTIVES OF SKUTARI-A STORY OF

WILD ALBANIA

On this savage tale, told in the original—the Servian dialect—in the form of a ballad, the mountaineers of Montenegro have nourished their patriotism for nearly a century. It furnishes a vivid glimpse into the racial and religious hatreds that have turned the Balkan regions time and again into the despair of the great powers. The translation into English has been done by M. E. Durham for the London Nation.

T.
T

[merged small][ocr errors]

HREE captives of the Brda must die. What is it that is the bitterest is Vuksan, Voyvoda of Rovatz? His
(Brda Mountains of Monte- of all in leaving this life?”

men have ransomed him from our Vezir.
negro) lamented aloud in the Then spake Lijesh, Voyvoda of Piperi: Let him step forth and go home.”
prison of Skutari. Loudly they “Oh, Vuksan, my brother-truly I will But Vuksan heard him heedfully.

lamented and bitter was their tell thee. I have built me a little tower. Slowly he stepped forth to the doorway plight.

I have wedded a young wife. My little and cried: "Oh, thou young headsman, The Pasha of Skutari had lured them tower is masterless. My young wife is thou, my brother in God-help me off to white Skutari—had plighted his faith- unkissed and uncherished. And this, to with my silver toka (a cuirass) lest thou and then had cast them into his dark me, is the bitterest of all.”

sully the silver with blood !" dungeon. There were Lijesh, Voyvoda Then spake Vaso of the Vasojevich: Up came the young headsman. Then, of Piperi, Vaso of the Vasojevich, and "Oh, Vuksan, thou my sworn brother, in as doth a gray falcon—Vuksan fell upon Vuksan, Voyvoda of Rovatz.

Vasojevich have I two aged parents. On him. God and a warrior's luck were with Then said Vuksan of Rovatz: “Oh my me alone do they depend for bread. him. He tore the handjar from the young brethren—ye my sworn brothers in God They will wander forth alone and a headsman. He smote off the heads of all and St. John-to-day is Friday, the holy hungered. And this, to me, is the bitter three headsmen. day of the Turks. They are gathering est of all!”.

Oh, my brother, if thou could'st but before the Mosque and they will surely Loudly spake Vuksan of Rovatz: have seen him ! slay us all three. Unless God help us, we "Shame on ye, my brethren! Ye lament Vuksan rushed through white Skutari shall die like dogs. To-day is St. Ilija’s a tower, and a love, and aged parents. and left a bloody track behind him. Dear (Elijah's) day. Have we never a little To me, the bitterest of all is that we must God, we thank thee for all things! piaster, nor a golden ducat, that we may die like dogs, with never a fight for life!" He left a bloody track behind him, and buy wine and drink to the glory of God Just then came to the prison three he came to the bridge on the Boyana. to-day and forever?"

bloody headsmen. And the first stepped And on the bridge were the Kadi and the But never a little piaster nor golden forth and cried in a loud voice: "Where Hodja and thirty young Turks. ducat had they—but only the silver hand- is Lijesh, Voyvoda of Piperi? His young And the Kadi cried aloud: “Get thee jar (short sword) of Vuksan, Voyvoda wife has ransomed him from our Vezir. back, Vuksan, of Rovatz! There is no of Rovatz.

Let him step forth and go home !" way out for thee here !" And from the window cried Vuksan : This had Lijesh scarce dared hope. He And Vuksan answered: "If there be no "Oh thou merchant of Skutari—thou my stepped forth swiftly. And the heads way forward, neither is there any way brother in God—I ask thee not for the man severed his head from his body with back! Have a care, oh ye Turks!” price of my handjar, it is worth thirty one blow.

He cut down the Kadi and the Hodja, ducats-I ask only for a plenty of red Then cried the second headsman in a and of the young Turks those that were wine, that three. Voyvodas of the Brda loud voice: "Where is Vaso, of the Vaso- saved threw themselves into the Boyana. may take communion and drink to the jevich? His aged parents have ransomed And Vuksan crossed the bridge. God glory of God!”

him of our Vezir. Let him step forth and and a warrior's luck were with him. The And, because he was bidden in God's go home.”

night received him, and he fled by Rumia, name, the Skutarene hearkened to him, This had Vaso scarce dared hope. He till he came to the house of that gray and brought a plenty of red wine. stepped forth swiftly—and the headsman falcon Gjuro Kapich.

And when the Voyvodas had drank, severed his head from his body with one And Gjuro received him and lent him thus spake Vuksan of Rovatz: "Oh my blow.

a saddle-horse and rode with him back sworn brothers in God and St. John-we Then cried the third headsman: “Where to Rovatz.

« AnteriorContinuar »