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and also awakens the appreciation of the where speech was useless, therefore our hearer. (Here opens a most tempting actors and orators ought to chant. As side-vista of talk about song, worded mu- well might they insist that we must bring sic, its powers, its relations, its limita- back the masks, and the chorus, and the tions; that, however, “is another story.”) choric dances. I love scholarship as I But if the coloring of sculpture goes be do music; but the new wine of modern yond this and is laid on imitatively, then life, thought, culture, and feeling canthe sculpture and painting are both de- not be held in those old forms, any more graded by the effort at unnatural union, than one can bring back that national and the result sinks to the level of wax- spirit which enabled a fool who could work, which has its own place and its win a foot-race to lift his name into the own interest in exhibitions like Madame national chronology. We do not want Tussaud's, but which is not fine art. And that spirit revived, any more than we in a precisely similar way, the union at- wish for that old Bowery school of acttempted in music-drama, though proved ing, once so popular, which our musicto be a failure as fine art, may and does drama acting in some points so much find a legitimate place and interest of resembles. its own in the shapes of operetta, light Many a time have all these arguments opera, opera bouffe, musical extravagan- been earnestly placed before music lovers za, et id omne genus, in which“
in the effort to show them that serious thing goes” because nothing is serious. grand opera and music-drama bave no
Some claimants have told me that the reasonable basis as works of art; and almusic-drama absurdities, crudities, and most as many times have I been met, not crimes against nature are to be accepted by answering arguments, but by simple seriously as conventions (I suppose this statements, such as “But I truly think includes their beloved leit Motif) which thus,” “I enjoy this,” “I like that,” are employed to convey serious and valu- “I admire the other." Here comes in able ideas; but this view just as surely the old adage de gustibus. It is useless brings the music-drama down, and to the to argue in such cases, but I have somelower level of decorative art, which also times been tempted to say, by way of deals with conventions and unnaturali- rejoinder, that the stoners of Stephen ties, and very successfully too, but which truly thought they were doing God seris not fine art.
vice ; and by way of reductio ad absurOthers assert that the music-drama dissimum, that some men still enjoy of our day is a regeneration of the lyric chewing tobacco ; that some neighbordrama or tragedy of the Greeks; and hoods are known to like molasses on that because the alliance of their recita- their pork ; that some nations are known tions of dramatic poetry with their music to admire — three hundred pounds of was an accepted art form in that glori- flesh on the female form. This latter ous period, therefore the marriage of our method seems the surest and quickest dramatic acting with our music must be way of opening such blinded eyes to see accepted as a justified art form. Cer- that the acknowledgment of perverted tainly this claim has sometimes been pre- thoughts and vitiated tastes never in the sented with a fascinating display of least justifies them, and that their exscholarship, and with erudite instances istence is no excuse whatever for their arrayed in seductive graces of thought persistence against proof and against the and language. But as well might they truth of nature. claim that because Greek actors and ora- Here at last devotion to truth and to tors chanted, in order to make them- candor compels me to a confession of a selves heard in those vast open theatres little remnant of indwelling sin, perhaps
of a little backsliding, since, in spite of ing may be prophesied because it is all this reason and conviction, I find
founded on a falsehood; for “ Magna est self still so much the victim of surviving veritas et prevalebit,” and when it does. vitiated tastes and habits as to get a good then farewell to serious opera, with all deal of musical enjoyment from much other falsehoods in art. that has been here condemned, espe- May we all strive to limit our lovings, cially if I shut my eyes to the acting, and to turn our likings to the true flowers which, however, I seldom do ; never if of art, and not allow our affections to fix there is a spectacle, or a tableau, or even themselves on any parasitic growths, lest a ballet.
haply we should be found fighting against But all the same I do firmly believe truth, — which sounds so very much like that serious grand opera or music-drama a sermon that I will close with another is an artistic blunder ; that it is
ap- pious wish (but alas! without any hope): proaching recognition as such ; and that that by it the theatric devil may be cast even in this stage of the world's thought out from a few of the claimants, and they
a about art it is almost an anachronism. be turned from the errors of their ways Except in the spectacular form, its pass- to a true and reasonable art faith.
William F. Biddle.
THE FLIGHT OF THE ARROW.
THE life of man
Is an arrow's flight,
Into darkness again ;
Perhaps to pain !
There must be Something,
Above, or below;
A mighty Bow,
A sleepless Eye
Fly, and fly;
Why we live and die.
R. H. Stoddard.
THE WHIRLIGIG OF FORTUNE.
I CANNOT remember when the uncon- of comparison when I went to school. querable longing for Paris first took pos- The boys had no need to go out of their session of me. I am sometimes inclined way for the proverbial Job's turkey or to think that, in spite of my Yankee line- church mouse, with my poverty's pictuage, I must have been born with it; for
resqueness always before them; but they when I was a very small boy my brain were considerate enough not to taunt me bore a highly colored impression, largely with what I could not help ; and very fanciful, of that city's principal features, soon, with two or three exceptions, they and I could have passed a creditable ex- passed out of my life, getting on in the amination upon the darkest scenes of its world by divers pleasant paths, while I, history, which had for me a mysterious, with the necessity of earning my pittance absorbing interest. Later, this interest constantly goading me, entered a countdeepened into a passion, so that Franceing-room by the lowest round of the merbecame my nation by right of choice, if cantile ladder. There for a time, withnot of birth, and its capital 'the one place out perceptible advancement, I ground of all others that I desired not merely to out a wretched existence, developing only see, but to know. Of course, by that time a capacity for patient waiting that was I had accustomed myself to think solely truly pathetic in view of the impossible of the delusive pinchbeck Second Em- day-dream that sustained me; this bepire Paris, through which Napoleon the ing none other than the grand tour itself, little bowled luxuriously behind his out- with Paris for its goal. So I watched the riders, the light-hearted ringleader in a ships of my employers discharge upon the perpetual masquerade. Now and then musty wharves, and faithfully kept tally a fortunate friend went off for a peep of precious cargoes that were not mine, at the show, and came back bringing me confident that some bright morning my the latest news of it, with the freshest own ship would come in. At last, as I knick-knack from the Rue de Rivoli in have already hinted, it came and went, golden lacquer that soon grew tarnished clearing for the Fortunate Islands with in our uncongenial climate. Long be- my effects on board. I was not clad, to fore the settled purpose to take my own
be sure, in all the independent luxury of part in the revel seemed to approach its purple and fine linen which the dream accomplishment, I had acquired a small had foreshadowed. But when dreams collection of such articles de Paris, and come true in this world, they do it by might have drawn a warning moral from halves, generally speaking. their dingy surfaces but that my eyes In fact, I was not an independent passtill held the glamour of youth in them. senger at all, but a mere shipment, duly When I took down my Æsop, it was entered and labeled like a bale of meronly to read the fable; to me the appli- chandise. A certain American banking cation was tiresome and profitless. firm in Paris had sent out for a junior
Everything comes to him who waits, clerk, who was to be young, active, quick even though he be the poorest of earth’s at figures, and, above all, home-made. creatures ; and the Garners, in point of Hearing of this, I applied for the place, worldly goods, stood almost at the foot and, thanks to my youth, to my fairly of the respectable class in our communi- good address, and especially, perhaps, to ty. Indeed, I have heard that “as poor my family name, which, I am proud to as Tim Garner” was a favorite form say, has long been a synonym for hon
esty, I obtained it. The pay was small, no talk of its abandonment. The new
- smaller by a good deal than that I house had justified itself, much as a boy earned at home, but it was clearly in- does, when, coming to man's estate, he timated that the house of Markham & leaves the parental roof and takes his Wade, while binding itself by no extra- life into his own hands. vagant promises, would do better for me All London winters are gloomy, and later on, if I gave satisfaction. In this that one was peculiarly so.
I suppose hint I found a golden hope ; for these we had no more black fog than usual, men had begun as I was beginning, and though for weeks together the sun never were still young enough to remember the shone ; but the war news was not exhil. struggle of that earlier time. Their en- arating, and the town swarmed with viable reputation for liberality in small French refugees, whose mournful faces matters influenced me even more than attended us everywhere. Mainly on the report of their financial standing, their account the newspapers were given which was undoubtedly good. The fee- over to the wildest rumors, according to ble opposition of my timorous female which Paris, thrown into a light blaze relatives, who would have preferred to every few days by the Prussian shells, keep me by them a little longer, I speed- must be little better than a vast ruin. ily overruled, and, bidden to decide the “ At that moment the Arc de Triomphe question for myself, decided for Paris, crumbled and fell” was the favorite re
that cabalistic word which, cast into port of the nameless eye-witness charged the scale against far greater odds, alone with the agreeable duty of keeping our would have carried the day.
excitement at the proper pitch. Since all I had but just turned twenty when, old regular communication was cut off, we in aims and expectations, but very young had often no means of disproving him, in worldly experience, I was thus packed but could only pace the sombre London off for France, with a sudden, desperate streets and wonder if our luxurious rezuncertainty about the date of my arrival de-chaussée in the Rue Saint-Arnaud there. For this first Atlantic passage was really an ash-heap ; until letters by of mine occurred in the autumn of 1870, balloon-post from our beleaguered staff and the cloud of war hung thick over there would relieve our minds, at the Paris, which was already in a state of same time filling our cramped office with siege. My plans, consequently, under anxious Frenchmen eager to pick up any went a change at the last moment, and, crumb of comfort. in obedience to a cable message from the Though the prospect of my transferhouse which I already called mine, I ence seemed now more than ever reproceeded to Paris by way of London, mote, I remained still booked for Paris, where Markham & Wade had estab- hoping to enter the French house upon lished their headquarters for the time resumption of its business, which, natbeing. It was a queer, shabby make- urally, during the siege was altogether shift of a place in the Strand, into which suspended. Meanwhile I had my new they moved for a month or two at most, trade to learn, and soon mastered its as was then supposed. But the situation rudiments in days of laborious detail across the Channel grew painfully com- that commonly extended far into the plicated ; and our London business in- night. My best friends in all the Loncreased proportionately, until by the end don force were Flack, the head bookof the winter the temporary shelter, en- keeper, who held me ever in his eye, larged and renovated, had become a and Sam Ryeder, whose desk adjoined tower of strength, our chief source of mine. The former, a simple, fatherly supply and profit. Thereafter we heard Warwickshire man of fifty-odd troubled
years, waddled like a duck under a bur- wit and keen intelligence could talk upon den of flesh that would have made the almost any subject convincingly. But fortune of a Falstaff. I could not im- when it came to action, his heart got the agine why he should have failed utterly better of his head and made him a danin his youthful attempt to be an actor, gerous guide. His landscapes were all until I learned that he had ventured out sunlight; and without shadows there upon the provincial boards in the rôle of could be no pitfalls, - he would not hear Hamlet. Then I understood it all, and of them. Of course, a sanguine dispohim with it. This unhappy little inci- sition like this is no defect so long as dent furnished the key to his character, things go well, and of late they had which was remarkable for nothing ex- combined themselves to Sam's advancept a total lack of the reasoning power. tage amazingly. Just before my arrival, Throughout his checkered career – I some suggestion of his, attracting the heard the whole sad story little by little partners' notice, was carried out at once,
, - he had persistently taken things wrong and promotion with increase of pay folend foremost, simply because he could lowed it. Advancement, when it once not determine which the
set in, being rapid in the house of MarkEven in bookkeeping, that happy hunting ham & Wade, every one now felt that ground of the unsuccessful, Mr. Flack Sam Ryeder's star was in the ascendant, went entirely by precedents, and at the while nobody grudged him his small turning of a new leaf frankly confessed stroke of luck. We all liked him; and
; his helplessness, like a mere beginner. as I had been placed in his immediate His boyish simplicity made friends for charge to acquire the ways of the office, him in spite of himself. The dogged there soon sprang up between us an inticheerfulness underlying it was probably macy, long unbroken, that is still among not the result of a definite intention to my cheeriest remembrances of those farmake the best of adversity. It arose, I off foreign days. He found lodging for
Ι am convinced, from the fact that he could me next his own,
a "two-pair back” see his way to getting three reasonably in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, good meals for the day and the morrow; where we stretched our legs and minds beyond that Mr. Flack assuredly never together over the cindery hard-coal fire, looked.
after a late dinner, substantial but cheap, Sam Ryeder was of so different a in some minor restaurant of the Strand. complexion that at first sight it seemed On Sundays we dined better, sometimes as if no stronger contrast to Mr. Flack's at Hampton Court or Kew; and I can ineffectiveness could possibly be con- even recall one monumental meal of ours ceived, though in reality the two natures on the terrace at the Star and Garter, possessed striking points of resemblance. which cost us rigid economy at lunchA compact little American whose years eon - bars for a whole fortnight.
The were but twenty-seven, unaggressive in palate seems to have a special chamber his nationality, of pleasant manners and in the memory, where flavors of choice well-modulated speech, he had made a dishes, eaten long ago, are preserved, brilliant start in life that proved but a unmingled and intact, with startling disflash in the pan; then, buffeted about tinctness. the world, he had suffered many re- Sam and I had other tastes in comverses, without losing a particle of the mon beside these material ones. We enthusiasm which, though it was a per- admired English books, but scoffed at petual delight to others, stood between English pictures, and we deplored the him and his own
He knew smoke-stained ugliness of London. Inmany men, many lands, and with ready clining to gayety as a flower does to the