« VorigeDoorgaan »
tion, rendered her utterances very effec. for a long time past, and which now, it is tive. She had a singular power of finding understood, goes to a public museum un. out what would be interesting and popu- der the provisions of her will. It is much lar, and of making the most of it when to her credit that, in spite of strong views found. Her American lectures have been on certain subjects, as, for example, on published in a volume, entitled “ Pharaohs, what are called “women's rights," she Fellahs, and Explorers." The fascination Dever became a faddist. She avoided of the subject as she treated it is undeni- extremes in Egyptology as in everything able. The book reads, as young ladies else ; and this is the more remarkable say, like a novel, and every line deepens when we remember her enthusiastic temour regret for her loss. Miss Edwards perament. She contrived to import senwas never a very profound scholar. She timent ioto hieroglyphics; but her books took up the study too late in life. But she are deserving of special praise for the did more to make it popular than half-a- small percentage of error they contain. dozen greater scholars have been able to Any one may be entertaining at the ex. do. Hers was pre-eminently the role of pense of truth. But Miss Edwards kept interpreter. Keepiog herself informed of her warmth within bouods, and never“ ran the latest and best opinions, she promul-away” with her subject. Pyramid inches, gated them to wide circle of readers who the great time passage theory, the psalms stood wholly outside the pale, and one of of David as recorded on Cleopatra's her greatest merits was, that she knew to Needle — none of these things attracted a nicety how much her audience could her even for a moment; but it will be long take in and enjoy, and never overstepped indeed before we have another such exthe limit.
ponent of recondite learning. One other It is a matter for sincere regret, even characteristic should be mentioned. Miss among the more scientific students and Edwards never fought. Living in the discoverers, that she should have departed midst of controversies, she always kept from her labors in the full maturity of her herself aloof. The sweetness of her tempowers. She never quite recovered the per in this respect set an example to many loss of the old friend with whom she had who intellectually were her superiors. visited Egypt, and who died only a few When, not very long ago, she had to trans. months ago. A period of anxiety was late and edit the work of a foreign Egypsucceeded by one of overwhelming grief, tologist, many or most of whose opinions aod ber sensitive, highly strung nature ran counter to her strongest convictions, proved unequal to the strain. To the last she managed to do it. in such a way as she was interested in her favorite pursuit, both to state plainly her own views and at and the first use to which she put the the same time to avoid any adverse reflecCivil List pension accorded to her at the tions on the author. The beatitude of beginning of the year, was to add to the the peace-makers assuredly belonged to collection which she had been gathering her.
SIR PROVO WALLIS. — Admiral of the Chevreul, was called to his account very soon Fleet Sir Provo Wallis has at length gone to after his age became the talk of Europe. Sir join his old companions in glory. He died in Provo Wallis must have had several distinct his one hundred and first year. His birthday strata of memories or of associations, each attracted becoming attention last year, and suggestive of a very remote past. In 1791, we were then reminded that he took part in the year of his birth, Abercrombie was defeatthe action between the Chesapeake and the ing Tippoo Saib, and Burke was quarrelling Shannon in 1813. That was not all he did with Charles James Fox. He could not refor his country by a very long way, but it was member these things, but the talk about them quite enough to make him conspicuous in his may have formed part of the first English
He has not long survived his St. speech that fell on his ear. For all effects of Martin's Summer of fame. If centenarians historical perspective, such events will serve were wise, or, at any rate, if they were super- just as well as the Norman Conquest. In stitious, they would keep their hundredth that same year, 1791, the buckle-makers of birthdays both by and to themselves. Death Birmingham were petitioning against the use seems anxious to show that his memory is not of shoe-strings. This gives an excellent effect at fault whenever he hears of these celebra of remoteness - both in the buckles and in tions. Tho venerable French savant, M. 'the petition.
Fifth Series, Volame LXXIX.
No. 2506. – July 9, 1892.
CONTENTS. I. THE FRENCH DECADENCE, .
Quarterly Review, II. AUNT ANNE,
Temple Bar, III. SKETCHES FROM EASTERN TRAVEL. Conclusion,
Blackwood's Magazine, IV. AN OVER-ADMINISTERED NATION,
Macmillan's Magazine, V. SOCIETY IN CORSICA,
National Review, VI. ROSEMARY FOR REMEMBRANCE. Conclusion,
Temple Bar, VII. PUNCH'S UNDERSTUDY,
TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION. For EIGHT DOLLARS remitted directly to the Publishers, the LIVING AGB will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage.
Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post-office money-order, if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do so. Drafts, checks, and moncy-orders should be made payable to the order of LITTELL & Co.
Single copies of the Living AGE, 18 cents.
A BACHELOR'S BALLADE. Din falls the light o'er all the dreaming They haunt me at “drums" and at dances, woods;
They hunt me wherever I hic, Athwart the distant western sky are gleams Cold Clara, and frolicsome Frances, Of gold and amber; pearly rose-edged clouds, Mild Mary, and volatile Vi: Looking so passing fair, one almost dreams. Blue, brown, grey, and hazel-hued eye
My rent-roll all lovingly scan, The opening gate of Paradise hath lent
What care I? for “cast is the die,” Some tinge of glory to the dying day;
I am not a “marrying man.” And earth-bound souls, with longing, ling'ring gaze,
The spell of those eloquent glances, Would fain rise up and move along that The charm of that murmured reply, way.
The skili of those subtle advances,
I do not attempt to deny;
I'm young, and I'm wealthy, but I -
If callousness value enhances,
Oh, mine is the feeblest of chances,
Their arts and ensnare me who can!
The body of them I defy, The shadows deepen on the distant hills;
I am not a "marrying man." The highest peaks but touched with ling'ring light;
ENVOY. And down their purpling sides, soft misty Dan Cupid, your fetters I fly, clouds
Yet cannot escape from your ban; Wrap all the valleys in a dusky night. Cruel Laura Trefusis knows why
I am not a “marrying man. And far away the murmur of the sea,
Temple Bar. And moonlit waves breaking in foamy line. So Night - God's Angel, Night - with silvery
wings, Fills all the earth with loveliness divine. Chambers' Journal.
GRAHAM. MOTHER, I cannot mind my wheel;
My fingers ache; my lips are dry.
No longer could I doubt him true.
All other men may use deceit;
He always said my eyes were blue,
And often swore my lips were sweet.
Various the roads of life — in one
We go, and “Is he gone?”
Is all our best friends say. The red has yet a deeper stain
How many voices gaily sing, For your kind eyes that, late by night,
O happy morn! - happy spring Grew sad at London's motley sight
Of life! Meanwhile there comes o'er me Beneath the gaslit driving rain.
A softer voice from memory,
And says, “ If loves and hopes have flown And now again I fear you start
With years -- think, too, what griefs are To find that sorry comedy
gone.” Re-written on a rose's heart: 'Tis yours alone to read apart,
Mild is the parting year, and sweet Who have such eyes to weep and see. The odors of the falling spring.
Life passes on more rudely fleet,
But this, Diana - ah, who knows ! I wait its close, 1 court its gloom,
The tear that would have sooth'd it all.
W. S. LANDOR
From The Quarterly Review.
says to him, with less pity than disdain : THE FRENCH DECADENCE..
“What, you had already resolved to die? No reader of Balzac will have forgotten Your suicide is but delayed.” The rest the old curiosity shop to which, in the of the story tells how his words came opening pages of “ La Peau de Chagrin,” true. Raphaël de Valentin, the ruined man of It is a parable of which the subject well genius, pays a desperate visit. Raphaël might be that upbappy Guy de Maupashas made up his mind that at nightfall he sant, whose insanity, coupled with an atwill fling himself over the Pont Royal into tempt on his own life, sent a thrill through the Seine. But meanwhile he wanders the best society in Europe, not many listlessly along the streets : loiters in front months ago. He has painted for our inof shop-windows ; remarks the air and struction, if likewise to the amazement of features of a lady making purchases all serious minds, the France and the Paris within; and at last, stumbling against the of to-day. And he has fallen a victim to entrance of the bric-à-brac merchaot's, the passions and follies which he so vivmakes a voyage of exploration among his idly described. During twelve or fourteen treasures. It is a house of many stories, years, poured out upon an audience full to overflowing. The young man looks never weary of listening, as many as one upon all the strange, beautiful, and costly hundred and fifty stories, long and short, things which have been swept up from grave and gay, to suit all tempers save the the graves of fifty generations, – the pan- modest and the philosophic. He had orama, so life-like yet so phantasmal, of proved himself the most admirable story. ages that have vanished; their artistic teller of our generation, provided we look leavings in bronze, marble, ivory, steel, only to the workmanship, and disregard and gold; the colors and shapes in which the moral. Thus, to pursue our comparithey took delight; the vestures of all hues son, we may liken him to the explorer of and tissues where with they girt their some quaint museum in which things old beauty round about; the gods which they and new lie side by side, fantastically worshipped; the amulets, seals, and talis. shapen yet true to life, and giving back mans wherein they sought protection the world in miniature. Nay more, Mauagainst evil and the unknown. And the passant was the painter of a gallery of poet's imagination — for he is of that pictures, to which many eyes were drawn. sensitive race already troubled, be- But he was also, uoluckily for himself, a comes yet more chaotic, lending to these pilgrim in search of the miraculous, the dead thiogs a factitious and uncertain life. talismanic, desperately seeking after new They glare at him with uncanny vision; pleasures, though to purchase them imthey move and throb as with an awaken. plied, as with Raphaël de Valentin, the ing pulse ; they seem to promise and over- very shrinking of the warp and woof of life power in the same moment. Then, like a and mental suicide. figure out of some ghostly world, the owner Thus, like M. Ernest Regan, Victor of these marvels comes upon the scene. Hugo, and George Sand, he continues the He listens in a sarcastic, slightly cynical story of French literature as it goes down mood to Raphaël's story; offers him, but that steep descent, along which it has been at the youth's own risk, that formidable hurrying these many years. And if we aod victorious talisman of the wild ass's dwell for a moment on his sudden fame skin; and when he spatches it eagerly, and no less sudden collapse — which we
1. Contes et Nouvelles, and other Novels. Par do with a reluctance easily imaginable Guy de Maupassant. Paris, 1891.
the reason is, that not only in distin. 2. Lettres à George Sand.
guished French circles, but even, to some Paris, 1884. 3. Portraits et Sorvenirs Littéraires. Par Th. extent, among ourselves, it has been Gautier. Paris, 1885.
thought a mark of modern culture to be + Essais et Psychologie Contemporaine. Par Paul acquainted with the world he sketches. Bourget. Paris, 1891.
5. Feuilles Détachées. Par Ernest Renan. Paris, This we look upon as, in every sense, a 1892.
mistake, which would never be tolerated
Par G. Flaubert.
by sound judges of literature. There can color which shall display it most becombe no charm where manliness and human ingly, and draped it in severe or lovely feeling are so conspicuously absent. Yet folds ! No wonder if, uoder such coatinneither the critic nor the historian can ued excitement, the nerves grow irritable afford to neglect the signs which are every and the brain is set on fire. Then comes day multiplying of the French decadence. hysteria, la névrose, with its strange disThey prophesy of moral catastrophe, quietude, its sleeplessness and hallucinawhile they hasten it on, according to the tions, its indefinable anguish, morbid Virgilian lines :
caprice, and fantastic depravity; with its Sin maculæ incipient rutilo immiscerier igni,
motiveless likes and dislikes, its energy Omnia tum pariter vento nimbisque videbis and prostration, its longing after excitants, Fervere: non illa quisquam me nocte per and its disgust for wholesome food. altum
Shall we call the picture of literary deIre, neque a terra moneat convellere funem. cadence over-charged ? By DO
None, indeed, of the lugubrious tales The proof is that, although sketched more Maupassant invented can exceed his own thao twenty years ago, it corresponds with in melancholy. Once more we are re. fatal precision to the case we have before minded of the diseased men of letters us. Guy de Maupassant might have sat who before him have been the world's for this portrait in Gautier's studio. At wonder, — Gérard de Nerval, Murger, the comparatively early age of two-andBaudelaire, Edgar Poe, Heine, Lenau. forty, his inexhaustible genius has been These belong to our own time; and in the suddenly shattered to pieces. It was his background mightier figures are huddled own doing, says the world; let him blame together, whimperiog, or laughing, or none but himself. His own doing, cerfixed in deadly silence, - Swift, and Pas- tainly; yet not altogether. The vivid cal, and Tasso, and ought we not to in temperament which betrayed Maupassant clude Rabelais, the shameless jester whose to his ruin might, in a happier state of finest wit sinks down and expires in foul. society, have kept its tone, instead of be. est fancies?
ing infected with leprosy, and deprived, Well has Théophile Gautier observed, by the atheism all round it, of a refuge in in speaking of his enigmatic friend Bau- its utmost need. Victor Hugo wrote delaire (whose sense of beauty was trans- “ Les Misérables” to show that it is formed to a passion for things most civilization which creates its own thieves horrible), that literature has ever been, for and scoundrels. Be that as it may, we the genuine artist, a Via Dolorosa. Espe. shall not be stating a paradox, when we cially in modern times is the saying veri. affirm that the sensual unbelief of the fied that to him “Every sensation is the Parisian world must answer for the mental subject of analysis." He becomes un- disease to which so many others like Mau. consciously a double person, like those passant have succumbed. The philosohypnotized or insane creatures whose pher in his diamond panoply of pure uoity of being seems to have melted into reason may laugh its arrows to scorn. groups of lower and conflicting existences, Not so the artist, who is, like a child, imat once the despair and the attraction of pressionable and even fantastic. As medical science. If the artist, says Gau. Maupassant himself has remarked, the tier, cannot find another corpse, he will sense which is strongest in the story-teller stretch himself on the marble slab of the is that of sight; that is to say, a height. dissecting-room, and, by a prodigy freened power of vision, fixing itself on the quent in literature, plunge the scalpel into shows of things, and discerning the truth his own heart. Cost what it may, he will by means of subtle changes in eye, and seize the Protean idea which is forever lip, and feature. It is, in short, a kind of escaping him, and put his knee on its feminine intuitior, in which the French breast. But, even then, how long and have ever excelled, but which brings with arduous will the struggle be until he has it the daogers of all excited feeling, as clothed it in the fitting style, given it the l experience sorrowfully proves.