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felt. The editor doubtless despised American affairs, but he was compelled to think about them. The course of the London "Times" with regard to America is at least partly representative of English feeling. Now the American in London who "takes in ""The Times" perceives its attitude to be that of profound interest in American affairs, alternating with fits of fright or disgust. For ten days the columns of "The Times" will be teeming with correspondence and telegrams from, editorials and communications concerning, the United States. The regular correspondent (writing from Philadelphia) will supply fuller details of news already telegraphed; one or two specially commissioned traveling correspondents will send columns of description of American agriculture and manufactures; the paper will contain reports of speeches made in praise of the New World by members of Parliament returning from their travels; the commercial columns will be full of American matters; our cattle, our beef, our crops, the rapid payment of our national debt, an essay by Dr. Beard in the "Atlantic," will afford subjects for editorials, and letters to the editor-and the general tone will be one of compliment. But, at the end of the tenth day, the editor seems to have said to himself: "Go to! We have heard enough in favor of America. It is time to take that too bumptious community to task." Then the overgrown boy is, so to speak, laid across the old lady's knees and spanked. The Thunderer thunders, and the air is clear once more.
In America there is no very marked division of opinion on the subject of England. Even those who scornfully demand, "What have we to do with abroad?" generally hurry abroad with their families as quickly as they can, and in proportion to population as many tourists hail from Oshkosh as from New York. America, in fact, has not only hereditary ties with the Old World, but all sorts of romantic associations with her. Though in little danger of entangling and warlike alliances, and, therefore, not intimately acquainted with all the details of foreign diplomacy, America still takes a living interest in the public affairs, the social life, the literary and art movements of the whole world. Paris is a cosmopolitan city, because all the world goes to enjoy itself in Paris. But one has only to read the Parisian journals to see how essentially "provincial," or rather how narrow and self-centered, is the Parisian mind. What in New York would be called the "city department" extends over nearly the whole paper. The telegraphic | and other news from "America" and from other countries is amusingly inadequate. What does the Parisian care for "abroad," until there is danger of "abroad" crossing the Rhine and starting for Paris?
London, though not so cosmopolitan as Paris as a place of residence or sojourn, is, however, more cosmopolitan in its tastes. It is hospitable in the reception of ideas from all parts of the earth; it has an equal welcome for German philosophy, Asiatic poetry, and the "Comédie Française." It
knows Longfellow by heart, and delights as well in Omar Khayam. London is not hospitable in a merely perfunctory manner; its intellectual welcome is genuine and hearty. We doubt if London would, under the same circumstances, treat German music, for instance, as Paris treats it to-day. The critics of the British press are, as a rule, men of education, with scholarly views and, consequently, of generous instincts-under conviction they do not find it difficult to say of something foreign: "This is better than our own.'
But New York is perhaps even more eclectic in its tastes than London. An article on the scenes of Dickens's novels is read not only more widely in America than in England, but with perhaps a more keen curiosity and relish. All Americans are by nature “Passionate Pilgrims,”—the Old World is a lodestone that is always drawing them to it; their spirits go on pilgrimage if their bodies cannot. The impulse to move, that brought their ancestors here, is an ineradicable tendency. There is besides an alertness and receptivity in the national mind that makes it open to the widest range of impressions. An American magazine, though its leading desire may be the development of American authors, and the chronicling and depicting of American thought, scenes, and enterprise, must still, if it wishes to keep its hold upon public attention at home, satisfy the appetite of its readers for knowledge of the past and present of the "Old World." It is not surprising, therefore, that American magazines should find large audiences in another country speaking the same language.
We have said that there are two main opinions in England concerning America; we should speak of a third which, though naturally not so widely held, is nevertheless the most correct, and the most valuable for Americans to understand. It is that of wise and observant men who have taken the trouble to acquaint themselves with the facts, and who appreciate our national faults as well as our national virtues. Obviously the thing most needed to-day in America is intelligent self-criticism; but along with this we should welcome the remorseless criticism of sympathetic friends. Upon this subject we do not propose to enter now. We wish, however, to conclude by calling attention to a kindred subject-namely, one reason for the willingness of some of the ablest of English writers to publish originally in American periodicals. This reason is the growing conviction that although hitherto, and naturally enough, she has not produced as many first-class authors contemporaneously as has Great Britain, nevertheless America, with her fifty millions of people, is the country of readers, and. too, of intelligent readers. A letter was recently received in New York from one of the most eminent of English scholars, in which the writer speaks not only for himself but for another English author. The writer says that his friend "would rather write for an American public than in an English magazine"; and, he adds, “naturally we feel that we speak to a larger body of thinking and reading men."
HOME AND SOCIETY.
Some Old-Fashioned Things Worth Reviving.
THE GUITAR.-STRINGED INSTRUMENTS IN CHURCH MUSIC.-THE DAGUERREOTYPE. THE OLD VALENTINES.
THE other evening I was one of a merry company met for friendly chat and to hear a little music, in a house associated in my mind with memories of my youth. Since those happy days, a younger generation has succeeded to the occupancy of the old-fashioned house, and new steps are on the stairs, new faces greet me at the door-new faces, but with the lineaments of the old, and voices in which still is heard the hospitable welcome that always made the house dear. I never pass an evening in that house but I feel myself in a double existence. The old time is there, not alongside the new, but within it, and the memory of other days runs through the present hour like the air of a familiar melody through the variations woven about it by a skillful musician. The old days are as real as if they had never been shattered into new forms of beauty in the kaleidoscope of time.
Thus, on this evening, my memory was busy with the old associations, while my eyes were busy with the scene about me, when a laughing, entreating chorus of young voices was heard with melodious "Oh, do's," and "Just once, dear Doctor," and soon there came the response in the shape of a tinkling shower of notes from a guitar! A guitar in a modern drawing-room interposed between Chopin and Mendelssohn! And, then, the two rich voices that blended with the instrument, and in a time of gas and telephone, furnaces and elevated, railroads, awoke the echoes of long ago with "Meet me by moonlight, alone." Who wrote the music and the words? His name is no doubt forgotten, and can one praise it, without fear of being laughed at ? But I thought, that evening, I had never heard anything sweeter. A husband and wife were singing in delightful accord; perhaps such voices would have made a poorer song welcome yet why should I shrink from the learning of the connoisseurs? If Wagner himself were here, yet would I defend my delight in the lovely song.
Have we not too long restricted ourselves to the piano-forte as an accompaniment in our parlor music? Would not some other instrument be welcome even in our public concerts? It is true the violoncello, the violin, and the harp, not to mention the cornet (that most unsuitable instrument for any room, public or private), are often heard by themselves, and break up, agreeably enough, the formality of public concerts, but I should like to see them oftener-all but the cornet-and in our parlors. I think we should gain in more ways than one, by the substitution of the older instruments for their clumsy successor.
In the advocacy of greater freedom and simplicity in our daily life, this matter of music becomes an important element in the discussion. We need to cultivate more the off-hand, the spontaneous, to give more scope to individual expression in our ways
of meeting-for it cannot be denied that our "lunches, ""afternoon teas," "dinners," " 'receptions," and "parties" have a very monotonous family likeness. We laugh at our Irish fellow-citizens for their inability to make of their St. Patrick's day procession anything but an unpictorial nuisance, with its mile o" black coats, tall hats, and green horse-collars, but we do no better ourselves in our own public celebrations and in our own private entertainments. We seem very much afraid of the pretty and the picturesque, and while everywhere we “take our pleasures sadly," there are some circles where the slightest approach to anything like "having a good time" is considered the worst possible taste. Reading in
Margaret Fuller's Journal" the other day, I came upon a good hit at this class. She is describing her visit to Carlyle : "I assure you there was never anything so witty as Carlyle's description of
It was enough to kill one with laughing. I, on my side, contributed a story to his fund of anecdote on this subject, and it was fully appreciated. Carlyle is worth a thousand of you for that; he is not ashamed to laugh when he is amused, but goes on in a cordial human fashion."
This modern formality, and too frequent absence of hearty enjoyment in our social meetings, formulates itself in our music, which, like everything else nowadays, is become so learned and laborious that instead of being a relaxation it is only a continuation of the day's tasks to listen to it. And this is increased by the ponderous instrument on which most of the music is made-the piano-forte. Now, I am not going to take the side of the Philistines and throw stones at scientific music: I enjoy it as much as anybody; only, I like it in the places where it belongs; I think it intolerable when it is "tolerable"; and I find it a defect in the so-called "musical people" that they will not admit that the field of music is a wide one, with all sorts of flowers growing in it, the dandelions quite as delightful in their proper corner as the roses in theirs. It is different with lovers of the arts of painting and sculpture. The people who know best and most admire Titian and Angelo, Raphael and the Greeks, are the quickest to perceive the merit there is in minor things,-the grace of a Tanagra statuette, the virile force in a head by Warner, to see that Bauer works in the true spirit of the Renaissance, and that Ryder is as much a born picture-maker as if he had been baptized in Venice. That is, in the arts of painting and sculpture, the study of the greatest and the love of their work seems to open the eyes to perceive what is really excellent in any painter or sculptor-old or new. But, with the worshipers of the great composers, the opposite is usually the case: one who admires Bee. thoven, Wagner, Berlioz, Liszt, finds himself, or pretends to find himself, actually incapacitated for the enjoyment of anything else in music. I know such
people, who express themselves in all the forms of disapprobation, from quiet contempt to loud indignation, if one ventures to speak of Sullivan or Clay. Should the unwary so much as mention " Pinafore," the amazement and surprise of the devotee of the music of the future is not confined to the expression of his eyes, but breaks forth in words of open scorn; and of late they are beginning to shake their heads sadly at the names of Mendelssohn and Mozart. Mozart, however, I believe has long been taboo in the best circles.
Now, this is all very well; it takes all sorts of people to make up a world, and I make no sort of objection to the whims and notions I come acrosshaving no doubt plenty of my own. But I like to watch healthy human nature asserting itself, and it is amusing to see how naturally, as naturally as ducks take to water, any assembly of really bright, intelligent people will welcome the happy accident of something breaking up the monotonous formality to which, by the mere force of fashion, they had surrendered themselves. There could not have been found anywhere in our city a circle of more intelligent, better educated people than made the party I spoke of in the beginning of this article, and yet had it not been for the unexpected appearance of Dr.
-'s guitar the evening would have passed just like any one of twenty others,-never fashionably formal, that is not the way at this house; but the elements, after all, are the same there as in more formal houses-chat and chat, a wall-flower or two for background to youth and beauty, then a little piano-forte with perhaps some singing, more or less hard to bear; then more chat, more piano; then filing off to supper by twos, and, when the banquet, whether a trifling, foolish one, or the usual masterpiece of costly commonplace, has been dispatched, the multitudinous " good-night." This predestined order the guitar broke up, and it was pleasant to any "lover of happy human faces" to see how the tinkling music, accompanied by the rich and softly soaring voices, proved the solvent to the mild formality that had us all in thrall.
Besides the character of the music that acted on us so genially, there was another charm in the guitarplaying the picturesque charm of the instrument itself, and the necessity it implies of freedom, grace, and picturesqueness in the attitudes and movements of the performer. It is very hard for a performer on the piano to play a picturesque or even graceful part. Of course there are differences, and a woman may easily be graceful seated at the piano as anywhere else. But, to appear so, she must sit so that the audience can see her figure sidewise. If she face the audience (the best way for the voice), then she is cut in two; if she sit with her back to us, as is common enough, we are reminded that there is but little expression even in the best of backs; indeed, the picturesque element has to be frankly surrendered when the player is at this ungainly instrument. A few painters have made St. Cecilia seated at the organ, but the organ is easily made pictorial. Only one, as I remember, has brought in the piano-Mr. Whistler, who made a very interesting picture of a
lady playing twilight songs at the piano, with a little girl listening; but it was twilight, and in the gathering shadows the piano was made to disappear.*
But the guitar, the harp, the violin, the 'cellohow easily they lend themselves to the movements of grace and beauty, how their lines blend with the lines of the human form! Great painters have seen their opportunity in the harmony between the shape of these instruments and the forms of the body, and Raphael did not think it unbecoming to give Apollo a violin to charm the Muses with on Olympus. Bellini, and Francia, and Bartolommeo set angels at the Virgin's feet with the lute in their hands, and no one thinks it ungraceful or undignified. So Veronese, in his "Marriage in Cana," makes a group of artists playing on musical instruments. He himself appears playing on the 'cello, and behind him Tintoretto, playing on another, while Titian works away at the bass-viol and Bassano uses the flute. This group adds immensely to the pictorialness of the picture, if, indeed, it be not itself the picture. But fancy the four men playing a quartette on two piano-fortes! Even their splendid brocaded dresses would hardly suffice to carry off such a performance. An artist may always be sure of getting something into his picture if he can only, by hook or crook, make one of these stringed instruments play a part in it. Mr. Maynard, last year, gave great piquancy to his strong and graceful portrait of a young lady by making her tuning her meditations to the zim-zim of a banjo. And I remember the portrait a now-forgotten painter made of my cousin in my childhood days,
she was not my cousin by blood, but I was pleased to call her so, and it would have been an odd sort of boy who should have lost his chance to call such a beauty his cousin out of prudish deference to the genealogists. O— painted her in a white satin dress, with her sloe-black hair wreathed about her head, her neck and shoulders bare, and her fine arms wreathed about a gilded harp. I remember it as a fine picture, but perhaps it would not seem so now.
There is another place where I wish we could see a return to the old use of these shapely stringed instruments-that is, in the churches. This is as old as the world-old as Egypt, or as Israel, to say nothing of Rome and medieval Italy, and medieval Europe everywhere. Oh, the flying, hovering, resting angels, with harps, and lyres, and violins, and zitherns, to say nothing of bagpipes, and cymbals, and pipes, and trumpets, that smile down at us in eternal cheerfulness from bossed roof and spandrel, and capital and choir-stall, and the storied door-ways of the churches from end to end of Europe! Why not ask them back again to infuse some poetry, and beauty, and cheerfulness into our dull, funereal rites? I remember, as far back as I can remember anything, going to a church in Dorchester, Mass., where my parents "attended meeting," and seeing, in the singing gallery, the musicians accompanying the singers with violins and the 'cello-I think there must have been an organ, too. And a few weeks ago I went to the
* See SCRIBNER for August, 1879, page 485.
church of St. Mary the Virgin, here in New York, to see the beautiful decorations with which Mr. Cottier has enriched the choir; and there was a regular band of musicians sitting in full sight, led by a young man duly clad in a surplice along with the rest of the assistants. The music at this church is as fine as one can hear anywhere. I have rarely had such pleasure, but the sight of these instrumental performers was a pleasure to the eyes, added to the satisfaction the music gave the ear.
In other churches they have instrumental performers assisting the choir-boys and the men and women of the choir, but I do not know where else these are placed so as to be seen. Miss Maud Morgan, I believe, plays upon the harp at St. Thomas's Church, but all that one sees is the graceful fern-like scroll of the top of her harp moving back and forth above the curtained screen that hides the choir. If we want to see how graceful the lady is, with her Ariadne-like head bound about with Greek fillets, we must see it in Mr. Olin Warner's bust of her.
I have left myself no time to speak of some other old-fashioned things I wish might be revived besides stringed instruments. There is the daguerreotype, for one. How much more beautiful than any photograph were those silvery, refined pictures which were the first children of Daguerre's invention! I well remember the first one seen in this city, whether taken here or brought from Paris I do not now remember. It was brought to the office of my father, who all his life was interested in everything that concerned the minor arts, and there I saw it in company with many more, for, as may be supposed, it awakened great curiosity. I suppose the main reason why the daguerreotype was abandoned was the difficulty one had in seeing the pictures well. The silvered plate made itself a mirror, and you saw yourself when you wanted to see your friend. But, this defect apart, it is certainly true that the daguerreotype excelled the photograph in delicacy and transparency of the shadows and in the exquisite refinement of the lines, the best untouched photograph looking coarse beside a good daguerreotype. I believe that if some practitioner would take up the older process again there would be many who would like to have specimens of it, even if they did not prefer it altogether to the newer method. For children, the daguerreotype process is very desirable and something elusive and shadowy, insisting on our looking closer and penetrating into the transparent depths with our eyes, gives movement and life to the image. There is nothing of this variety in the photograph.
And the pretty valentines of long ago—are they gone into Time's wallet of oblivion with New-Year's calls, and many another thing we once thought well of? The modern valentines-if valentines be really sent at all any longer-are merely members of the great card family that is now emigrating from some frivolous region to our shores, and threatens to be as troublesome as locusts. There is getting to be no distinction between cards nominally for one purpose, and cards for another. An Easter card may
do for a birthday, or a Christmas card for a NewYear memento, and any card may be sent on St. Valentine's Day, and the receiver be none the wiser. But the old cards were stately or elaborately elegant affairs-lace-paper and roses, and all the paraphernalia of the god of Love-hearts and darts, arrows and mischievous eye-beams, shot from a forest of ambrosial curls and lighting up laughing cheeks. They were too costly and too elegant to be sent without a motive, and the happy receiver had no excuse for being puzzled too long over the problem of "whence " or "why." How delicate was the question of which to choose from the stationer's costly store; nothing could really be too good, nor, for that matter, could anything be too costly-if only we had the money to pay for it. And how hard, too, was the task of addressing it; for, while the sender must in reason disguise his hand, he must not disguise it too cleverly! Who knew if, disguised too skillfully, the writing might not look like his rival's? Then, should it be trusted to the postman, to be mixed up in a bag with letters from everybody to everybody; or, should it be given to a special messenger, and the sweet secret thus endangered? And the dear girl to whom we sent it; how tremblingly she received it! how, if it came by post, all the family felt they had a right in it, and fingered it, guessed at the sender, and teased the shy maiden, till the roses sprang from the paper to her cheeks, and drove the lilies from the field. Then to her chamber, where quick fancy followed her, and shut the door and saw it read with her lovely eyes, and kissed with her pouting lips, and slipped under her pillow for a charm against vexing dreams. But, nowadays, we buy them by the dozen, in lots of assorted patterns, slip them into perfunctory envelopes, stamp them, address them, and trust them to the postman, who, as he pulls them out of the letter-box, wishes St. Valentine had never been canonized, and is glad when the day's business of sending love-tokens to all the world is fairly over, and he is free to give a fagged and belated kiss to his wife and little ones.
There is one thing more-a trifle this time-that is, something more trifling than the rest-which I think we might bring back with profit, and that is the working of samplers. This was certainly a pretty way of learning one's letters and how to write one's name; and neatness, order, and the combination of colors were taught in the tranquil hours devoted to the sampler as the little one sat at her mother's knee, far more pleasantly than these things could be gained in any other way. How many memories, dear in after years, were worked into these threads! These small squares were gardens, and the pinks and roses that were dispersed among the more matter-of-fact letters keep the fragrance of childhood's skies long after the hands that planted them are dust. Perhaps some day we shall be tired of living by machinery, and running a race with Time, and shall be willing to linger a little by Life's road-way, and chat with Time as he flies.
CULTURE AND PROGRESS.
Reminiscences by Thomas Carlyle.*
HERE is Carlyle's Wahrheit und Dichtung at last. It will be read with eager curiosity by many thousands of readers, at first perhaps with some disappointment; since it is not in form a systematic autobiography, such as the public had been expecting, but a series of memorial notices of his own chief intimates,-his father, his wife, Edward Irving, and Lord Jeffrey; with brief sketches in the appendix of Southey and Wordsworth, and incidentally of many others. It amounts, however, to an autobiography. The author's reminiscences of his friends are strung upon a thread of his own personal experience and are arranged in such shape as to leave his editor little to do beyond printing the manuscripts as he found them. When the gaps are filled out by aid of the mass of letters and other material in Mr. Froude's hands, and when those most competent to speak shall have added their reminiscences of Carlyle to Carlyle's reminiscences of others, we shall have a continuous life of the great Scotchman. And this will, after all, form only a commentary on his works, in which there is already such a high measure of self-revelation. Meanwhile, these reminiscences are, in their candor touching facts and impressions, indiscreet enough to satisfy the 'most arrant gossip. There must be a number of persons still living who will read certain pages of this volume with feelings of surprise, to say the least. Lord Jeffrey's daughter, for example, if now living, as she was in 1866 when the following words were written,-may hardly be thankful for the publicity with which she is held up as an inferior specimen to either of her parents; abstruse, suspicious, timid, enthusiastic; and at length, on the death of her parents and of her good old jargoning husband, Empson (a long-winded Edinburgh Reviewer, much an adorer of Macaulay, etc.), became quite a morbid, exclusive character, and lives withdrawn among her children at Harrowgate and such places," a retirement which evidently avails her little in this instance.
Lovers of Carlyle will find much in these reminiscences to confirm their feeling toward their hero; and so will those to whom he has been a stumblingblock and a wagging of the head. The man is all there his deep, fiery soul; his rugged veracity and independence; his grim humor; his reverence and his scorn; his arrogance, blindness, and unreason. The noblest tenderness of his nature comes out in his tributes to his father and his wife. The former was a mason of Ecclefechan, a man of antique worth, pious with the piety of the peasant sire in Burns's "Cotter's Saturday Night," and with a mind-though in the inarticulate, unconscious stage of development-to which his son avers that he had met few
* Reminiscences by Thomas Carlyle. Edited by James Anthony Froude. London: Longmans, Green & Co. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
equal. All that Carlyle writes of his father is unspeakably touching. Take this passage as one of many:
"Oh, when I think that all the area in boundless space he had seen was limited to a circle of some fifty miles diameter (he never in his life was farther or elsewhere so far from home as at Craigen puttoch), and all his knowledge of the boundless time was derived from his Bible, and what the oral memories of old men could give him, and his own could gather; and yet, that he was such, I could take shame to myself. I feel to my father-so great though so neglected, so generous also toward me-a strange tenderness, and mingled pity and reverence, peculiar to the case, infinitely soft and near my heart. Was he not a sacrifice to me? Had I stood in his place, could he not have stood in mine, and more? Thou good father! well may I forever honer thy memory. Surely that act was not without its reward. And was not nature great, out of such materials to make such a man?"
But it was toward his wife, more especially, that the whole love of his heart went out, and a cry of lamentation for her loss-" a background of infinite wail"-sounds through the entire book. She seems indeed to have been a most high-spirited, helpful, and every way lovable woman, and to have been the only ray of light in the black melancholy which gradually became his life-element. For forty years she stood by his side, bravely aiding and comforting; her valiant little economies and practicalities alone making it possible for him to carry on his literary work.
"I doubt, candidly, if I ever saw a nobler human soul than this which (alas, alas, never rightly valued till now!) accompanied all my steps for forty years. Blind and deaf that we are: oh, think, if thou yet love anybody living, wait not till death sweep down the paltry little dust-clouds and idle dissonances of the moment, and all be at last so mournfully clear and beautiful, when it is too late!"
But apart from these family relations and from his friendship for Edward Irving,-—for whose large, joyous nature the atrabilious young scholar seems to have had from the first a genuine love and admiration,-apart from these relations, the reader carries away from this autobiography an unpleasant impression of its author. We confess to having read Carlyle of late years with ever increasing dissent and even exasperation. Since the "Latter-day Pamphlets" he had become a common scold; gone all-to use a Carlylese expression-gone all to shriekiness and dyspepsia. His denunciation of sham, flunkeyism, wordiness, "giggery," etc., powerful as satire beyond any satire with which this century is acquainted, is, as philosophy, altogether misleading and wide of the truth. His pessimism had no scientific basis like Schopenhauer's, but sprang from temperament and causes entirely personal. His root of bitterness was-as these reminiscences make evident—nothing else than literal