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er there be æsthetic "moments" they | heaven, the calm and greyness of evening shall cease; whether there be thirst for on the lagoons, the pathos of a marble knowledge even this shall sometimes city crumbling to its grave in mud and seem vanity; but the sense of humor brine. never faileth. The ancient legend had it that at the bottom of Pandora's box, and the sole anodyne for the troop of ills which had escaped from under its halfopened lid, lay hope; but if hope were man's only consolation for the miseries of his earthly lot, he would be nowadays in a desperately evil case. Fortunately, however, the mythologist was mistaken. Zeus never mocked the race of mortals quite so cruelly as this; nor had the fatal act of Epimetheus quite so illusory a compensation. The anodyne which really lay at the bottom of the casket was not hope, but humor. H. D. TRAILL.
From Fraser's Magazine.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS AND FAMILIARITY.
It is easy to feel and to say something obvious about Venice. The influence of this sea-city is unique, immediate, and unmistakable. But to express the sober truth of those impressions which remain when the first astonishment of the Venetian revelation has subsided, when the spirit of the place has been harmonized through familiarity with our habitual mood, is difficult.
Venice inspires at first an almost Corybantic rapture. From our earliest visits, if these have been measured by days rather than weeks, we carry away with us the memory of sunsets emblazoned in gold and crimson upon cloud and water; of violet domes and bell-towers etched against the orange of a western sky; of moonlight silvering breeze rippled breadths of liquid blue; of distant islands shimmering in sunlitten haze; of music and black gliding boats; of labyrinthine darkness made for mysteries of love and crime; of statue-fretted palace fronts, of brazen clangor and a moving crowd; of pictures by earth's proudest painters, cased in gold on walls of council chambers where Venice sat enthroned a queen, where nobles swept the floors with robes of Tyrian brocade. These reminiscences will be attended by an ever-present sense of loneliness and silence in the world around; the sadness of a limitless horizon, the solemnity of an unbroken arch of
These first impressions of Venice are true. Indeed they are inevitable. They abide, and form a glowing background for all subsequent pictures, toned more austerely, and painted in more lasting hues of truth upon the brain. Those have never felt Venice at all who have not known this primal rapture--or who perhaps expected more of color, more of melodrama, from a scene which nature and the art of man have made the richest in these qualities. Yet the mood engendered by this first experience is not destined to be permanent. It contains an element of unrest and unreality which vanishes upon familiarity. From the blare of that triumphal bourdon of brass instruments emerge the delicate voices of violin and clarinette. To the contrasted passions of our earliest love succeed a multitude of sweet and fanciful emotions. It is my present purpose to recapture some of the impressions made by Venice in more tranquil moods. Memory might be compared to a kaleidoscope. Far away from Venice I raise the wonder-working tube, allow the glittering fragments to settle as they please, and with words attempt to render something of the patterns I behold.
A LODGING IN SAN VIO.
I HAVE escaped from the hotels with their bustle of tourists and crowded tables d'hôte. My garden stretches down to the Grand Canal, closed at the end with a pavilion, where I lounge and smoke and watch the cornice of the Prefettura fretted with gold in sunset light. My sittingroom and bedroom face the southern sun. There is a canal below, crowded with gondolas, and across its bridge the good folk of San Vio come and go the whole day long- men in blue shirts with enormous hats, and jackets slung on their left shoulder; women in kerchiefs of orange and crimson. Barelegged boys sit upon the parapet, dangling their feet above the rising tide. A hawker passes, balancing a basket full of live and crawling crabs. Barges filled with Brenta water or Mirano wine take up their station at the neighboring steps, and then ensues a mighty splashing and hurrying to and fro of men with tubs upon their heads. The brawny fellows in the wine-barge are red
from brows to breast with drippings of the | swan-like movement of the gondola. In vat. And now there is a bustle in the one of these boats-called by him the quarter. A barca has arrived from St. "Fisolo" or "Sea-Mew"- my friend had Erasmo, the island of the market-gardens. started with Antonio, intending to row It is piled with gourds and pumpkins, the whole way to Chioggia, or, if the cabbages and tomatoes, pomegranates breeze favored, to hoist a sail and help and pears a pyramid of gold and green himself along. After breakfast, when and scarlet. Brown men lift the fruit the crew for my gondola had been assemaloft, and women bending from the path- bled, Francesco and I followed with the way bargain for it. A clatter of chaffer- signora. It was one of those perfect ing tongues, a ring of coppers, a Babel of mornings which occur as a respite from hoarse sea-voices, proclaim the sharpness | broken weather, when the air is windless of the struggle. When the quarter has and the light falls soft through haze on been served, the boat sheers off dimin- the horizon. As we broke into the lagoon ished in its burden. Boys and girls are behind the Redentore, the islands in front left seasoning their polenta with a slice of us, S. Spirito, Poveglia, Malamocco,. of zucca, while the mothers of a score of seemed as though they were just lifted families go pattering up yonder court- from the sea-line. The Euganeans, far yard with the material for their husbands' away to westward, were bathed in mist, supper in their handkerchiefs. Across and almost blent with the blue sky. the canal, or more correctly the Rio, opens Our four rowers put their backs into their a wide, grass-grown court. It is lined on work, and soon we reached the port of the right hand by a row of poor dwellings, Malamocco, where a breeze from the swarming with gondoliers' children. A Adriatic caught us sideways for a while. garden wall runs along the other side, This is the largest of the breaches in the over which I can see pomegranate-trees Lidi, or raised sand-reefs, which protect in fruit and pergolas of vines. Far be- Venice from the sea: it affords an enyond are more low houses, and then the trance to vessels of draught like the sky, swept with sea-breezes, and the masts steamers of the Peninsular and Oriental of an ocean-going ship against the dome Company. We crossed the dancing waveand turrets of Palladio's Redentore. This lets of the port, but when we passed unis my home. By day it is as lively as a der the lee of Pelestrina the breeze failed, scene in "Masaniello." By night, after and the lagoon was once again a sheet of nine o'clock, the whole stir of the quarter undulating glass. At S. Pietro on this has subsided. Far away I hear the bell island a halt was made to give the oarsof some church tell the hours. But no men wine, and here we saw the women at noise disturbs my rest, unless perhaps a their cottage doorways making lace. The belated gondolier moors his boat beneath old lace industry of Venice has recently the window. My one maid, Catina, sings been revived. From Burano and Pelesat her work the whole day through. My trina cargoes of hand-made imitations of gondolier, Francesco, acts as valet. He the ancient fabrics are sent at intervals wakes me in the morning, opens the shut- to Jesurun's magazine at S. Marco. He ters, brings sea-water for my bath, and is the chief impresario of the trade, emtakes his orders for the day. "Will it ploying hundreds of hands, and speculatdo for Chioggia, Francesco?" "Sissig. ing for a handsome profit in the foreign nore! The signorino has set off in his market on the wretched price he gives sandolo already with Antonio. The sig his workwomen. nora is to go with us in the_gondola." "Then get three more men, Francesco, and see that all of them can sing.”
TO CHIOGGIA WITH OAR AND SAIL.
THE sandolo is a boat shaped like the gondola, but smaller and lighter, without benches, and without the high steel prow or ferro which distinguishes the gondola. The gunwale is only just raised above the water, over which the little craft skims with a rapid bounding motion, affording an agreeable variation from the stately
Now we are well lost in the lagoons Venice no longer visible behind; the Alps and Euganeans shrouded in a noonday haze; the lowlands at the mouth of Brenta marked by clumps of trees ephemerally faint in silver silhouette against the filmy, shimmering sky. Form and color have disappeared in light-irradiated vapor of an opal hue. And yet instinctively we know that we are not at sea; the different quality of the water, the piles emerging here and there above the surface, the suggestion of coast-lines scarcely felt in this infinity of lustre, all remind us that our voyage is confined to the
charmed limits of an inland lake. torious Doria here with boats on which length the jutting headland of Pelestrina the nobles of the Golden Book had spent was reached. We broke across the Porto their fortunes. Pietro Doria boasted that di Chioggia, and saw Chioggia itself ahead with his own hands he would bridle the a huddled mass.of houses low upon the bronze horses of St. Mark. But now he water. One by one, as we rowed steadily, found himself between the navy of Carlo the fishing-boats passed by, emerging Zeno in the Adriatic and the flotilla led from their harbor for a twelve hours' by Vittore Pisani across the lagoon. It cruise upon the open sea. In a long line was in vain that the Republic of St. they came, with variegated sails of orange, George strained every nerve to send him red, and saffron, curiously chequered at succor from the Ligurian sea; in vain the corners, and cantled with devices in that the lords of Padua kept opening comcontrasted tints. A little land-breeze car-munications with him from the mainland. ried them forward. The lagoon reflected their deep colors till they reached the port. Then, slightly swerving eastward on their course, but still in single file, they took the sea and scattered, like beautiful, bright-plumaged birds, who from a streamlet float into a lake, and find their way at large according as each wills.
From the 1st of January, 1380, till the
The signorino and Antonio, though want of wind obliged them to row the whole way from Venice, had reached Chioggia an hour before, and stood waiting to receive us on the quay. It is a quaint town, this Chioggia, which has always lived a separate life from that of Venice. Language and race and customs have held the two populations apart, from those distant years when Genoa and the Republic of St. Mark fought their duel to the death out in the Chioggian harbors, down to these days, when your Venetian gondolier will tell you that the Chioggoto loves his pipe more than his donna or his wife. The main canal is lined with sub- Not far from the landing-place a balusstantial palaces, attesting to old wealth traded bridge of ample breadth and large and comfort. But from Chioggia, even bravura manner spans the main canal. more than from Venice, the tide of mod- Like everything at Chioggia, it is dirty and ern luxury and traffic has retreated. The has fallen from its first estate. Yet place is left to fishing folk and builders neither time nor injury can obliterate of the fishing craft, whose wharves still style or wholly degrade marble. Hard by form the liveliest quarter. Wandering the bridge there are two rival inns. At about its wide deserted courts and calli, one of these we ordered a sea dinner we feel the spirit of the decadent Vene- crabs, cuttlefishes, soles, and turbots tian nobility. Passages from Goldoni's which we ate at a table in the open air. and Casanova's memoirs occur to our Nothing divided us from the street except memory. It seems easy to realize what a row of Japanese privet-bushes in hooped they wrote about the dishevelled gaiety tubs. Our banquet soon assumed a someand lawless license of Chioggia in the what unpleasant similitude to that of days of powder, sword-knot, and soprani. Dives, for the Chioggoti, in all stages of Baffo walks beside us in hypocritical com- decrepitude and squalor, crowded round posure of bag-wig and senatorial dignity, to beg for scraps indescribable old whispering unmentionable sonnets in his women, enveloped in their own petticoats dialect of re and ga. Somehow or an- thrown over their heads; girls hooded other that last dotage of St. Mark's de- with sombre black mantles; old men crepitude is more recoverable by our fancy wrinkled beyond recognition by their than the heroism of Pisani in the four-nearest relatives; jabbering, half-naked teenth century. From his prison in block- boys; slow, slouching fishermen with aded Venice the great admiral was sent clay pipes in, their mouths and philosophforth on a forlorn hope, and blocked vic-ical acceptance on their sober foreheads.
That afternoon the gondola and san- I stay here I shall become a colorist!" dolo were lashed together side by side. A somewhat similar tale is reported of a Two sails were raised, and in this lazy fashionable English decorator. While fashion we stole homewards, faster or on a visit to friends in Venice he avoided slower according as the breeze freshened every building which contains a Tintoor slackened, landing now and then on retto, averring that the sight of Tintoislands, sauntering along the sea-walls retto's pictures would injure his carefully which bulwark Venice from the Adriatic, trained taste. It is probable that neither and singing-those at least of us who anecdote is strictly true. Yet there is a cerhad the power to sing. Four of our Ve- tain epigrammatic point in both; and I netians had trained voices and memories have often speculated whether even Venof inexhaustible music. Over the level ice could have so warped the genius of water, with the ripple plashing at our keel, Poussin as to shed one ray of splendor on their songs went abroad, and mingled his canvases, or whether even Tintoretto with the failing day. The barcaroles and could have so sublimed the prophet of serenades peculiar to Venice were, of Queen Anne as to make him add dramatic course, in harmony with the occasion. passion to a London drawing-room. AnyBut some transcripts from classical operas how, it is exceedingly difficult to escape were even more attractive, through the from color in the air of Venice, or from dignity with which these men invested Tintoretto in her buildings. Long, dethem. By the peculiarity of their treat-lightful mornings may be spent in the enment the recitativo of the stage assumed joyment of the one and the pursuit of the a solemn movement, marked in rhythm, other by folk who have no classical or which removed it from the commonplace pseudo-mediæval theories to oppress into antiquity, and made me understand how cultivated music may pass back by natural, unconscious transition into the realm of popular melody.
The sun sank, not splendidly, but quietly in banks of clouds above the Alps. Stars came out, uncertainly at first, and then in strength, reflected on the sea. The men of the Dogana watch-boat challenged us and let us pass. Madonna's lamp was twinkling from her shrine upon the harbor-pile. The city grew before us. Stealing into Venice in that calm, stealing silently and shadowlike, with scarce a ruffle of the water, the masses of the town emerging out of darkness into twilight, till San Giorgio's gun boomed with a flash athwart our stern, and the gas-lamps of the Piazzetta swam into sight; all this was like a long enchanted chapter of romance. And now the music of our men had sunk to one faint whistling from my friend of tunes in harmony with whispers at the prow.
Then came the steps of the Palazzo Venier, and the deep-scented darkness of the garden. As we passed through to supper, I plucked a spray of yellow Banksia rose, and put it in my button-hole. The dew was on its burnished leaves, and evening had drawn forth its perfume.
A STORY is told of Poussin, the French painter, that when he was asked why he would not stay in Venice, he replied, "If
Tintoretto's house, though changed, can still be visited. It formed part of the Fondamenta dei Mori, so called from having been the quarter assigned to Moorish traders in Venice. A spirited carving of a turbaned Moor leading a camel charged with merchandise remains above the water-line of a neighboring building, and all about the crumbling walls spout flowering weeds-samphire and snap-dragon and the spiked campanula, which shoots a spire of sea-blue stars from chinks of Istrian stone.
The house stands opposite the Church of Santa Maria dell' Orto, where Tintoretto was buried, and where four of his chief masterpieces are to be seen. This church, swept and garnished, is a triumph of modern Italian restoration. They have contrived to make it as commonplace as human ingenuity could manage. Yet no malice of ignorant industry can obscure the treasures it contains the pictures of Cima, Gian Bellini, Palma, and the four Tintorettos, which form its crowning glory. Here the master may be studied in four of his chief moods: as the painter of tragic passion and movement, in the huge "Last Judgment;" as the painter of impossibilities, in "The Vision of Moses upon Sinai; as the painter of purity and tranquil pathos, in "The Miracle of St. Agnes;" as the painter of Biblical history brought home to daily life, in "The Presentation of the Virgin." Without leaving the Madonna dell' Orto, a student can explore his genius in all its depth and
breadth; comprehend the enthusiasm he merely the just man, innocent, silent, beexcites in those who seek, as the essen- fore his accusers. The stationary, whitetials of art, imaginative boldness and draped figure raised high above the agisincerity; understand what is meant by tated crowd, with tranquil forehead slightadversaries who maintain that, after all,ly bent, facing his perplexed and fussy Tintoretto was but an inspired Gustave judge, is more than man. We cannot say Doré. Between that quiet canvas of "The perhaps precisely why he is divine. But Presentation," so modest in its cool greys Tintoretto has made us feel that he is. and subdued gold, and the tumult of fly. In other words, his treatment of the high ing, ruining, ascending figures in the theme chosen by him has been adequate. "Judgment," what an interval there is! How strangely the white lamb-like maiden, kneeling beside her lamb in the picture of St. Agnes, contrasts with the dusky gorgeousness of the Hebrew women despoiling themselves of jewels for the golden calf! Comparing these several manifestations of creative power, we feel ourselves in the grasp of a painter who was essentially a poet, one for whom his art was the medium for expressing before all things thought and passion. Each picture is executed in the manner suited to its tone of feeling, the key of its conception.
We must seek the Scuola di San Rocco for examples of Tintoretto's liveliest imagination. Without ceasing to be Italian in his attention to harmony and grace, he far exceeded the masters of his nation in the power of suggesting what is weird, mysterious, upon the border-land of the grotesque. And of this quality there are three remarkable instances in the Scuola. No one but Tintoretto could have evoked the fiend in his "Temptation of Christ." It is an indescribable hermaphroditic genius, the genius of carnal fascination, with outspread, downy, rose-plumed wings, and flaming bracelets on the full, plump Elsewhere than in the Madonna dell' arms, who kneels and lifts aloft great Orto there are more distinguished single stones, smiling entreatingly to the sad, examples of Tintoretto's realizing faculty. grey Christ seated beneath a rugged pent"The Last Supper," in San Giorgio, for house of the desert. No one again but instance, and "The Adoration of the Shep-| Tintoretto could have dashed the hot herds" in the Scuola di San Rocco illus-lights of that fiery sunset in such quivertrate his unique power of presenting ing flakes upon the golden flesh of Eve, sacred history in a novel, romantic framework of familiar things. The most commonplace circumstances of ordinary life have been employed to portray in the one case a lyric of mysterious splendor; in the other, an idyll of infinite sweetness. Divinity shines through the rafters of that upper chamber, where round the low, large table the apostles are assembled in a group translated from the social customs of the painter's days. Divinity is shed upon the straw-spread manger, where Christ lies sleeping in the loft, with shepherds crowding through the room beneath.
A studied contrast between the simplicity and repose of the central figure and the tumult of passions in the multitude around may be observed in "The Miracle of St. Agnes." It is this which gives dramatic vigor to the composition. But the same effect is carried to its highest fulfilment, with even a loftier beauty, in the episode of “Christ before the Judgment-seat of Pilate," at San RocCO. Of all Tintoretto's religious pictures that is the most profoundly felt, the most majestic. No other artist succeeded as he has here succeeded in presenting to us God incarnate. For this Christ is not
half-hidden among laurels, as she stretches forth the fruit of the fall to shrinking Adam. No one but Tintoretto, till we come to Blake, could have imagined yonder Jonah, summoned by the beck of God from the whale's belly. The monstrous fish rolls over in the ocean, blowing portentous vapor from his trump-shaped nostril. The prophet's beard descends upon his naked breast in hoary ringlets to the girdle. He has forgotten the past peril of the deep, although the whale's jaws yawn around him. Between him and the outstretched finger of Jehovah calling him again to life there runs a spark of unseen spiritual electricity.
To comprehend Tintoretto's touch upon the pastoral idyll we must turn our steps to San Giorgio again, and pace those meadows by the running river in company with his manna-gatherers. Or we may seek the Accademia, and notice how he here has varied "The Temptation of Adam by Eve," choosing a less tragic motive of seduction than the one so powerfully rendered at San Rocco. Or in the Ducal Palace we may take our station, hour by hour, before The Marriage of Bacchus and Ariadne." It is well to leave the very highest achievements of art, un