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This censure does not apply to “Ur- | aristocracy and priesthood. They formed sula." Here in a condensed narrative is this club as a bulwark against such brought before us with bold and power- enemies, and they were ever true to their ful strokes the Zurich of Zwingli's day, cause, asked for no reward for their exerintroducing the religious and political tions, and placed all individual advantages changes wrought by this reformer. Kel- in the background if these came into conler's story deals chiefly with the Anabap- flict with their consciences. But now that tist movement, which he regards as one since 1848 the new constitution seemed of the inevitable ugly excrescences pro- to have guaranteed all they had struggled duced by every great revolution, and he for, there were fewer political matters to produces with horrible fidelity the delir- discuss, and hence domestic troubles were ious speeches and deeds of this misguided also brought forward and talked over with faction. In this story the plot is nothing, great impartiality at their meetings. On the accessories are everything, “The the night that the story opens, the subject Flag of the Seven Upright Ones" is per- under discussion was a visit the club as fect all round, and a worthy pendant to a body proposed to pay to the next shootthe “Romeo and Juliet of the Village.” ing.fête at Aarau, the first held since the Plot, treatment, mise en scène, all are origi- new constitution came into force. It was nal and equally excellent, and give full the evening of the club's political life scope to Keller's peculiar talents. His how could they close it more worthily than best quips and quirks, his best vein of by such a demonstration ? A member drollery, his gentle satire, his tenderness, proposed that they should march to Aarau are all represented here. In the “ Romeo with a flag of their own, another that they and Juliet,” the fathers' hatred separated should present a handsome prize at the the children: here the fathers were the fête. Both proposals were accepted, and best of friends, but they did not wish the the details hotly discussed. The design young people to marry because the one of the flag did not occupy them long, but was rich and the other poor. For the what was the gift to be? The seven father of Karl Hediger was only a tailor, staunch friends, whose friendship all politiwhile Hermine Frymann's was a master cal agitations and divergencies had not carpenter, who owned a stately house and shaken, nearly fell out over this deliberayard on the lake, and could afford to give tion. For while seeking to do an honor his daughter a dowry. The two had to their country they also sought to do known each other since childhood, and it a little stroke of business for themselves. was hard that they should suddenly be Kuser, the silversmith, proposed they forbidden to meet. But so it had been should present a silver cup that he had resolved at the last meeting of the Club bad by him for years, and which he would of the Seven Upright Ones. This club sell them cheap for the glory of the consisted of seven worthy friends who fatherland. Syfrig, the blacksmith, recmet twice a week alternately at the house ommended an ornamental plough which of two of their number who were innkeep- he had exhibited at the last agricultural ers. They were all tradesmen, ardent show. Bürgi, the cabinetmaker, offered politicians, patriots, lovers of freedom, a four-post bedstead he had made for a and stern home despots. Born in the last couple whose wedding never took place. century, they had witnessed as children This last proposition, however, raised the downfall of the old times and the only ridicule. Then followed Pfister, one birth-throes of the new, and had held to- of the innkeepers, with a warm commengether manfully during the agitated peri- dation of his-red Schweizerblut of '34; od of Swiss history, when aristocrats and and Erismann, the farmer, proposed a Jesuits threatened the unity and goodfel- young cow of pure breed, but who was lowship of the little State, until in 1848, known to be a kicker. At last a cup was after the eighteen days' war with the decided upon, but it was to be made and Sonderbund, Switzerland broke forever designed for the occasion. This matter with the Jesuits and revived to new settled Frymann brought forward his strength and unity. Some of these men grievance, that Hediger's son was courtcame from the former subject States of ing his daughter, and he explained to bim the confederacy, and remembered how how he could not do with a poor son-inas children they had to kneel down by the law. Hediger by no means took his roadside when a coachful of dignitaries friend's frankness amiss; they were quite passed; others had been related to im- agreed that the match was undesirable. prisoned or executed revolutionists, and They would not become relations; they all were filled with a burning hatred of reiterated they would remain friends
no more and no less. The other mem- | humor. He makes us smile at his charbers twitted them gently with their acters without injury to their dignity. resolve, and asked them if they were so While we are amused at the weaknesses very sure that young love could be checked of poor humanity, we never lose our by convention, and were willing to bet respect for the persons in whom these . that Cupid's wiles would prove too strong weaknesses are embodied. We smile for the fathers. Not so; they persisted gently over the heads of the seven up.
were they not of the number of the up- right veterans, while at the same time right and firm, and would they not be so their creator forces us to bow down with still? But the young couple were resolved respect for their integrity and highnot to be parted thus easily. July and minded purposes. the shooting-festival approached, the cup We must still say a word about Keller's and flag were ready, when it dawned on manner, which is no less his own than the club that their gift must be intro- his matter. He handles the German landuced by a speech. But who should hold guage with rare skill; no conventional this ? All hung back, none would under- phrases, no rhetorical flourishes, no affectake the task. At last by lot it fell to tations or mannerisms disfigure his pages. Frymann. For days beforehand he was His style is simple and unadorned, and miserable, could think of nothing to say hence perfectly in keeping with the but fierce and inappropriate invectives homely republican nature of his characagainst the Jesuits. The great day ters; yet withal so pithy, piquant, quaint, arrived, the little faithful band drove to that the most ordinary expressions acquire Aarau in a four-horse omnibus, they a new force under his pen, and the whole marched in procession, Frymann carrying effect is far removed from commonplace. the flag with a face as though he were go- Not the least of Keller's charms lies in ing to execution. They neared the con- his style, his happy mode of narration. federate tent, and at the last moment his Such, briefly, is the Swiss writer whose courage failed him, and he declared he remarkable originality we have tried could not speak : and so this glorious and faintly to indicate. patriotic expedition seemed likely to end
HELEN ZIMMERN. in failure. But Hermine had foreseen some such catastrophe when she bade Karl be sure to come to Aarau for the fête. He now volunteered to be spokes
From The Saturday Review, man for the band, and Frymann himself was the first to assent, and hand him over the flag. Karl then pronounced an THERE are some slang phrases which, admirable discourse, in which he ex- if possibly objectionable, are certainly plained with tender humor the aims and expressive. We are not prepared to trace purposes of these seven grey-headed men, the origin of the expression which forms and offered their gift to the fatherland. the subject of this article, but we believe Applause greeted his words; the seven that most of our readers will allow that it marched away from the tent, pleased would accurately describe the condition with themselves and him. The friends in which, on more than one occasion in seconded Frymann's proposal to give his the course of their lives, they have found daughter to this worthy youth ; and at themselves. Without attempting a defilast, not without difficulty, the proud and nition of the expression, we appeal to sternly radical Hediger also gave his con- every one who has experienced the sensent, on the condition that Frymann sation which it describes, to say whether should allow the pair no more money than or not he enjoyed himself under the cirwas good for them. The story, of which cumstances. The worst of such a condithis is the bald outline, is full of freshness tion is that in most cases it involves a and beauty. It is easy to see that what certain amount of disappointment. It Keller describes here is a reflection of the may occasionally overtake us when we men and scenes among which he moves, expected nothing else, but it comes more and the picture of Swiss life as here pre- commonly when we had hoped for far sented will be new to most readers who better things. People often imagine that, know little or nothing of the distinctive if they could only get the entrée into some feelings and modes of life of this little envied clique, their position and happipeople. It also contains strongly empha- ness would be assured for the terms of sized a distinctive feature of Keller's their natural lives. At last the muchgenius. This is the genial nature of his desired opportunity presents itself, and
OUT OF IT.
they enter the celestial portals. Their rity is pointed out to him, he feels as if a surroundings when they find themselves star had fallen from his little heaven, so there may possibly surpass their fondest disappointing are the fleshly appearances wishes, but as regards themselves, all is of these great writers in comparison with . not satisfactory; on the contrary, they are the ideals which he had previously formed conscious of a complete though inde- of them. He is sent in to dinner with scribable failure, and they collapse with the daughter of a savant. He tries to the lugubrious acknowledgment that some say somethi clever on the staircase, and how they feel “out of it.” They are tells an amusing literary anecdote as soon painfully conscious that they have nothing as he is seated at the dinner-table; but in common with the inhabitants of their “Yes," “ No,” and “Really," seem to conlonged-for paradise; and these exalted be- stitute the entire vocabulary of his comings give them clearly to understand that panion. As he cannot succeed in interthey look upon them as flies in their oint. esting the fair creature, he tries his other ment. To have the cup of happiness neighbor. This is a lady with a long snatched from one's grasp just as one is skinny neck, whose dress resembles a putting it to one's lips is mortifying, and flimsy yellow sack. He talks books and the sense of disappointment of one's magazines to her for a few minutes, and fondest hopes is even worse. In these receives a little cold encouragement. She days, “ society,” in one form or another, then smiles for the first time, and quietly is the inost run after of all will-o'-the- says, “You seem to have read a great wisps, and there are many thousands of deal of rubbish.” After this he relapses people whose highest desire is to be on into silence for a time, and has leisure to a familiar footing with some coterie which observe the literati devouring their food. more especially recommends itself to There is a famous poet at the opposite their tastes. They are ever on the watch end of the table, but all that he can see for an opportunity of inserting the thin of him is that he is fat, and has a long end of the wedge into the desired set. grey beard. There is a red-whiskered There is great diversity of opinion as to man, and there is a red-nosed man, and what is the most delectable of earthly he knows that one of them is a writer and circles; but one or two descriptions, taken politician of high reputation ; but he at random, will easily exemplify the com- could not quite make out from his host's mon experience of searchers after social description before dinner whether the perfection.
nose or the whiskers belonged to the There are many people, for instance, genius. Immediately opposite to him who read a little, talk a great deal, and sits a well-known writer of articles in the think scarcely at all, and yet imagine magazines, whom his host told him he themselves to be literary, and entertain ought to know. This, gentleman is apan ardent longing to get into a literary parently a clergyman, and does not look set. After anxious and weary struggles very clean. He never has the opportuthey obtain the acquaintance of an in- nity of getting a single word with him tellectual lion-hunter, and, by dint of per- during the evening. A famous novelist severance, induce this being to invite is in full view. Her books are intellecthem to meet some literary people. We tual, with a strong flavor of the romantic. will imagine a would-be member of such There is a spirit in them that yearns for a clique going to a dinner-party of this the days to come when modern science description. He congratulates himself shall have torn away the veils of prejuthat the golden gates are at last about to dice and superstition, and the new gospel open to him, and he feels that, after all, shall be fearlessly preached. She wears patience and dogged perseverance are a false front, and seems uninterested in always rewarded in the end. He is about anything except her dinner. Near her to find himself among congenial spirits, sits the writer of some amusing but and his own true worth is going to be for naughty novels. She has a stern face, the first time appreciated. Instead of and looks like a severe governess. The feeling that he is going amongst strangers, idea of facing these viragos when they he rather seems to be returning to his own shall be let loose in the drawing-room is brethren and his father's house. On en- terrifying to our novice; but it is some tering the drawing-room; the first thing temporary relief to his mind when they that strikes him is the ugliness of most leave the room, and the men draw up to of his fellow-guests. His genial host one end of the table. He finds, however, takes him by the arm, and confidentially that nobody cares to talk to him or to tells him "who's who.”. As each celeb- hear what he has to say; so he might as “ do company
well have saved himself the trouble of outsiders are absolutely ignorant. The cramming up all the leading weeklies and subjects talked of are chiefly the inci. monthlies for the occasion. The whole dents of the day's shooting, or the details party listen to the conversation of two of a practical joke played in the house men who "talk like books,” as unlearned the night before, or the doings of some people sometimes say. The most igno- friends of the family who are mentioned rant man in England who would hold his by their Christian names only. The host tongue would have made an excellent and hostess are genial ough to the member of a literary party of this kind, newcomers, but they introduce them to and our novice begins to be conscious nobody, and talk of little but the common that he can scarcely have been invited on friends to whom their acquaintance is account of his prodigious talents. In the due. This is so much the case that they drawing-room he finds that the guests almost seem to say, “We should certainly break up into little groups, and converse not have called upon you at all if Lady confidentially, and he himself is left to Plantagenet had not asked us to do so, his own devices. At last a charitable and we have undergone the nuisance of savant takes pity upon him and enters having you to dinner (once) to please her into a conversation on topics which he only.” When the dining-room is desertthinks suited to the inferior intellect of a ed, most of the party, both male and poor creature evidently belonging to the female, go into the billiard or music outer world. Although the experience is rooms, while only the unhappy outsiders, humiliating, even talk of this kind is bet- the hostess, and one aged lady remain to ter than none; but it is scarcely begun
» in the drawing-room. when silence is ordered that one of the The new neighbors naturally feel that, company may give a recitation in French, though present in body, they are, socially and soon after tliat the party breaks up: speaking, out of the whole thing, and the As he drives home the aspirant feels that servant who announces that their carriage his entrance into literary society has been is at the door, seems like an angel of far from a marked success, and he owns mercy come to their relief. to bimself that he had never in his life To be suddenly thrown amongst a fast felt so much "out of it" as he did during set is to ordinary people much the same the last three hours. If this is the way thing as to be thrown on dry land would in which the learned spend their even be to a fish. The very language of his ings he would rather dine at his club, and new acquaintances is to him incompreit seems probable that the men and wom. hensible. A great deal of their talk is en of letters whom he has just left will made up of apparently unmeaning phraoffer no obstacle to his doing so.
ses and scraps from comic songs. Their When a man takes a good house in a social intercourse consists of a rough good country neighborhood, armed with horse-play, in which the ladies join with The best introductions, and is invited im- even greater spirit than the men. In this mediately to dine at the best house in happy coterie there seem to be two or that best of neighborhoods, he has every three " butts, who positively take a reason for self-congratulation; but let us pleasure in being affronted for the amuseobserve how he passes his evening. The ment of the company, while there are one chances are that he finds a large party, or two ladies who appear to be privileged and that he and his wife and the curate to say or do whatever they please, and to are the only guests who are not staying insult any of the men either by word or in the house. The names of the ladies, act, according to their fancy. A person written on slips of paper, are thrown into who has not been fully initiated into these a china bowl, and the gentlemen draw and the other mysteries of this wonderful them like lots, in order to see who they confraternity is made to feel painfully are to take into the dining-room. The conscious that he is an outsider, and he stranger finds himself between two ladies is certain to receive no attention or hoswhom he has never seen before, nor is pitality beyond mere meat and drink. We likely to see again, while his wife is be- will cite only one other instance of occatween the London doctor and the agent sions when one is likely to feel “out of of the Irish estate. The party in the it.” A friend invites our wife to luncheon. house have their own jokes and interests. She implores her to come any day or At the mention of some apparently mean. every day. Whenever they meet, she ingless words there is immense amuse- pesters her to come over at the earliest ment, concerning the origin of which the opportunity without the formality of sending a previous notice. At last our wife their compass at will. In the voice espetakes her at her word, and drives (five cially, although a few exceptional singers miles) to the house of her importunate can, so to speak, acrobatize in music to acquaintance. Another and more inti- the wonder of the public, yet the really mate friend of the hostess happens to good and usable part of even their comhave arrived a few minutes earlier, and it pass for every-day work is comparatively is at once evident that a mistake has been limited, and if they are called upon frecommitted, although it is too late for re- quently to sing either at their highest or treat. Throughout luncheon, as well as lowest, the voice rapidly deteriorates, and before and after, the hostess talks almost wonder is changed to compassion. Vioentirely to her more honored guest, and lins even cannot afford to be “screwed on prétence of taking the latter to her up or down” too much, and rather prefer bedroom for a minute to give her a little altering the thickness of their strings, sal-volatile for her headache, remains clos- with by no means a general improvement eted with her for three-quarters of an of effect. The thin strings are particuhour, leaving her other guest to amuse larly objectionable in instruments only herself with the reflection that she is too prone to be played cuttingly. And altogether “out of it.”
clarinets and oboes, and even trumpets, It may be that in our times well-bred when they are made short and narrow for people are not so flagrantly rude to those high pitch, are only fit to be heard out of whose company they dislike as they used doors, as in military bands. to be in days gone by. There may be The whole secret of the difficulty lies none of the coarse rebuffs or duel-pro- in this : musical notes do not represent voking insults which were common in the fixed and determinate sounds. The latter part of the last century; but it sounds collectively, when once the sysseems to us that neither is the gentleman tem of the scale is determined, are indeed of our time so courteous as the man of fixed relatively to one sound, but that one the old school; and if the man of breed- has varied and does vary immensely.. It ing of the present day is under no circum- has become quite an antiquarian problem stances so offensive as was his progenitor to determine what sounds the writer of when put out, he far more frequently suc- a piece of music attributed to his notes. ceeds in making those whom he does not This problem has to a great extent been care to please feel uncomfortable, unwel solved by Mr. Alexander J. Ellis in a come, and, in the slang phraseology of paper recently read before the Society of the period, thoroughly out of it. And if Arts and abstracted below, and we wish the man of modern times is an offender here to draw attention to the practical in this respect, the woman is often even result of his labors. more guilty. She revels in the art of Very little turns upon the music of more being politely disagreeable, and enjoys than three hundred years ago. It must nothing so much as seeing others feel be transposed, as is common with Orthemselves to be in a false position. lando Gibbons's church music, and writ.
ten in notes which at the current value will indicate sounds lying within the power of the singer.
There is comparatively little of such music, and hence it is
not difficult to reproduce it in the reMUSICAL PITCH.
quired form. It is only convenient to ALTHOUGH the outside world knows note in passing how very widely the little about it, the question of musical meaning of the notes then differed from pitch causes great anxiety to the public ours, Gibbons using a pitch which Mr. singer, to the conductor of operas and Ellis estimates as a whole fourth above choirs, and to musical-instrument makers Handel's. But this does not apply to the generally. Musical instruments are di- great mass of classical music which has vided into two classes : those with fixed appeared since the beginning of the cighand those with variable tones. The first teenth century. When equal temperacomprises organs and pianos and most ment (a babe of less than forty years old brass and wood wind-instruments. The in England, as Mr. Ellis's facts establish) trombone, the bowed instruments, and has a notation of its own, as has recently the human voice are variable. Even the been proposed in Germany, and ceases latter, however, can vary only within nar. to wear the clothes which Salinas derow limits, so that they cannot extend signed in 1577, then it will become neces.