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so much English purposely for the occa- Wild boars are fairly plentiful ; one was sion.
brought to our hotel at Ajaccio, bought Treating their salute as genuine, I re- for 20 francs, and duly eaten at table turned it with equal politeness, which per- d'hôte. The flesh was dark, and the flavor haps disconcerted them as much as any, uninteresting. For my part, I much prething else I could have done.
fer the fat, domestic pig. Corté is the starting-point for the as- On Captain G-'s property, close to cents of Monte d'Oro and Rotondo. We Ajaccio, in a cave some 600 feet above did not ourselves attempt any mountain his house, and which, more than once in · climbing ; I am therefore unable to give the last eight or ten years, has been, to my readers any notion of the views to be the proprietor's knowledge, the shelter of enjoyed from the summits of these snow- bandits--I saw the marks of two wild clad giants, though doubtless—as the boar, which, just then, were every night guide-books say—they "would well repay ravaging Captain G--'s shrubberies for the toil of the ascent.
acorns and roots, the havoc being sadly One of our polite friends there spon- apparent here and there. taneously offered us his donkey to ride, I conclude the hunter watches for them and his services as guide, if we would at- at night in an open space, for the scrub is teinpt the summit of Monte Rotondo, so thick that it would be impossible to get 9,068 feet, “la montagne la plus haute a shot at them in the daytime except by presque du monde,'' as be proudly assured driving, and pig-sticking woudd be out of
We declined his offer and consider the question. ately forebore to crush him under the Perhaps the most lucrative sport in the 29,000 feet of Mt. Everest, or even bruise island is the blackbird shooting. There his patriotic pride with the height of Mt. are numbers of them on the hill-sides, and Blanc.
they feed on the arbutus berries. The Though we saw several shooting-boxes bodies are boned and made into patés de among the forests on the top of the passes, merle, and a very succulent pâté I was told I do not think, from what I could learn, it is. I was unable to taste it myself, as that I should advise any one to go to Cor- the vendors of Ajaccio were all sold out sica purely for sport.
of last season's make. Of course, first and foremost comes the With the exception of goldfinches, sismoufflon ; he is not legendary, but he is kins, and brown and green linnets, small very scarce, and difficult to get at. Nor birds were scarce. I saw a few hoopoes has he long silky hair, as described in one near the coast, and a couple of jays high of the guide-books, but he has a hide with up in a pine forest. close, short hair like a red deer, but lighter One very handsome bird I had never in color and finer in texture. A pair of seen before, and though I saw a stuffed massive horps curl over toward the middle one in Bastia, the shopman could not tell of bis back, and he has short legs like a me its name ; indeed, he declared it was goat.
not a Corsican bird at all. It was about You may camp out for a week in sum- the size of a gray shrike, with a longish mer, when the moufflon come down from tail; on its neck and breast it was brillthe tops, and yet not get a shot, or even iant with the blue sheen of a kingfisher's
It is said that the hunter, more- back, while its own back was of the same over, does not care to take you to, or put reddish cinnamon the kingfisher's you in, the best place for a shot, but I breast. It had a thin beak, slightly fancy a system of payment by results curved, like a bee-eater's, and was eviwould, at all events, secure this for you. dently hawking gnats in the sunshine when The moufflon is, I understand, more plenti- I first saw it. There were about six of ful in Sardinia.
them in a flock, and now and then one In the way of smaller game, there are would light on the telegraph wires along hares, duck, woodcock, and snipe ; the the road. latter are snared by the natives with horse- Trout, from all I could hear, are fairly hair nooses—at least, so I was told by a plentiful in many of the rivers, but of no sportsman who was plucking the tail of great size. Froin the specimens I saw at one of our horses as it stood at a wayside table d'hôte, I should say that a 4-1b. fish inn, for making filéts for the very purpose. would be above the average. There are, NEW SERIES. – Vol. LI., No. 3.
however, lakes among the mountains A certain Miss Campbell, styled in which may hold fish of a larger size. I Ajaccio, where she had a villa, the queen did hear of at least two Englishmen who of Corsica, and who died about eighteen were staying at certain places purposely months ago, bad for years devoted herself for fishing ; but Englishmen on the sub- to the task of collecting, chiefly by means ject of sport are so enthusiastic, that I of dredging apparatus every possible varicannot say that the fact itself is sufficient ety. The result I was permitted to sce warranty for full baskets.
by the present owner, and the collection One of the minor characteristics of Cor. truly would rejoice the heart of a consica is the Corsican dog. Not that there chologist, while so beautifully were they is anything characteristic in the sense of set out in their numerous cases round the peculiarity of breed—far from it; the room that one hardly knew whether to ad. peculiarity consists rather in each dog ex- mire more, the shells themselves or the hibiting in its own proper person signs of taste and industry shown in arranging every conceivable variety, but so beauti- them. fully blended as to defy the acutest ob- Having brought my readers to Corsica, server to say what breed any particular perhaps I ought to see them well off the animal is meant for. Nature, indeed, island again, and I strongly recommend seems to have been so careless of the them to choose the short sea passage of single type that the only dog I saw with six hours from Bastia to Legborn. The any pretensions to breeding was the bull boats are small but the sea is generally dog belonging to the English Consul, and smooth, being protected on most sides that was a recent importation.
from the swell of the main Mediterranean. There is, however, a perceptible sport- On a fine sunny day, the voyage is a ing strain, whether of setter, spaniel, or pleasure and no penance, except to those pointer, the latter perhaps predominating ; deterinined few who insist upon being ill for
your Corsican is a keen sportsman, and even before the ship has cast off from the to be a successful one he must have a chien
quay de chasse. The strain crops out in the No prettier view, during our whole three most unexpected and ridiculous ways ; weeks in Corsica did we see than the island you will see the spike tail-as the Yankees of Caprera, close to which we passed about call it-of a pointer adorning the stern of half way on our passage. We saw it first a dog in face and size like a pug or a ter- mistily blue in the distance, but ever growrier ; or a creature, with something like ing sharper in outline as we approached, the head of a setter, tending sheep. and changing to a deep purple. When
I asked of a peasant carrying a gun abreast of the island, the colors of the (most of them do) what sort of game he rocks were simply marvellous in their shot. “Oh, it is close time now,” he re- variety and vividness of hue, gray, yellow plied, “shooting is défendu ; besides,' and red, and here and there a deeper red he added naïvely, “ at present I have no where a landslip on the precipitous edge dog."
of the cliff showed the soil.
There was On the whole, dogs have a good time no beach, and these glorious rocks rose in Corsica. Owners appear fond and straight up into the sunshine out of a dark proud of their animals, and non-owners, sapphire sea. For a brief moment, one as long as the principle of love me, love of our fellow passengers thought that here my dog prevails, and the vendetta obtains, at last he had found the Éden he had are also very careful of canine rights. Alonged for. Alas, his dreams were shortcertain man who had been badly bitten in lived, for on rounding the first headland the leg, was inconsiderate enough to shoot we came abruptly on a convict settlement. the dog ; his wife paid the penalty with
Every prospect pleases and only man is vile, her life, within a fortnight.
No notice of Corsica, however short, we murmured, as the shadow of a clond should omit mention of the shells in which floated across the bright yellow grass on her coasts are so rich. In variety, and the upper slopes of the island.-National delicacy of shape and coloring, they are Review. equal to the wonders of the tropical seas.
MARIE BASHKIRTSEFF: A PERSONAL REMINISCENCE.
BY MARION HEPWORTH DIXON.
Six years ago, when the October leaves less the city of the seven hills which gave were falling on the boulevards, a young birth to that determination which fixed consumptive girl passed from among us. her artistic career ; it was the city of the Death found her comparatively unknown. seven bills which saw the miscarriage of A painter here and there had whispered her pathetic, because ill-placed love. The her praises ; a great lady bad, perhaps, girl's amazing truthfulness, her portentous taken her by the hand ; but outside some naïveté- -as Mr. Gladstone in his notes on such small clique in l'aris the name of Marie Bashkirtseff has it-carry us with Marie Bashkirtseff was a name, and a name her inch by inch on her bootless errands only. Like a score of other girls, she had to her lovable, but shifty Roman scapeworked at art, had been hung on the line grace. The episode begins of course, as in the Salon, and had received a tardy such things will, with a waltz, a mask, a
mention honorable."* With this small bunch of roses ; it ends again, as such stir, with these scant honors, the matter things have a knack of doing, with useless might have dropped—had it not been for reproaches, with still more useless regrets. the pathos of her ending and a bundle of And yet-and yet one feels in reading manuscript in a drawer. The dead girl this woman's journals, that Rome was, had left a diary. It is this journal with and always remained, the city where she which the world is ringing now, and which had loved. She returned again and again it is hardly too much to say is likely to to it in her thoughts, the thoughts so carry the fame of Marie Bashkirtseff over minutely, so laboriously recorded in these the face of the civilized globe. She speaks, pages. · L'amour fait paraître le monde in a word, to the artistic instinct of the tel qu'il devrait être” she exclains in ber world. The lightning strokes which lay own exalted language ; in her instance no bare a human soul in these volumes make doubt it colored that particular little corthe book one of extraordinary interest. In ner of the earth where cardinals are prone it we find a woman self-revealed, a woman to have nephews. She wrote of Rome as who, almost for the first time in history, a lover writes of his mistress, and as her has had the courage to present us with a graceless gallant assuredly never wrote to real woman, as distinguished from the sham her. How she hungered after the Eternal women of books.
City, hungered after it when her shifted The outward events of the girl's life, as aspirations compelled her--for her very is so often the case with those who are nature in this respect was a tyranny-to busy with things of the inward existence, toil and labor under the chilly northern can be told in a dozen lipes.
skies of Paris. Rome and Love, Paris A child of the Caucasus, the little Rus- and Art, these two volumes might be lasian spent her youth at Nice. It was belled ; for the home life of Nice, her there she learned to love the splendor of momentary return as a stranger to her the south, the mysteries of the silver olive- native Russia, her wanderings in Spain, all groves, the blue of the passionate skies. these things, after all, were but as shadows A summer moon rising over the Mediter. thrown on a screen. One is tempted to ranean, the winter sun, the wind in the dwell on the human side of Marie Bashpalm-trees, the enchantment of the sap- kirtseff's character all the more because phire sea, all these things seemed to burn she does that side but scant justice in these themselves into the servid heart of the confessions. The glitter of the dissecting girl. Like Balzac, Marie Bashkirtseff knife misleads even the practised eye of loved Nice and Naples, but more than Mr. Gladstone, whom we find saying : Nice and Naples she loved Rome. Rome “ She did not possess the finer graces uplifted this strangely constituted being which we signify by the epithet feminine," like no other city on earth. It was doubt- and again, referring to her character,
“Wonder it will stir, but not confidence ; * It was after Marie Bashkirtseff's death that her pictures were hung in the Luxem. admiration, but not quite a loving admirabourg.
tion. Mademoiselle Bashkirtseff attracts
and repels alternately, and perhaps repels the fever which was in her for saying as much as she attracts ;” and yet again, what she had to say ; for, strangely enough, “Wedlock would have been a troublesome her gifts as a writer satisfied her not at all. incident; she holds it at arms' length.' Again and again in the journal we read
The writer of these lines saw in her a her lamentations over her feeble pen. much more human figure. She was am- Pregnant with thought, teeming with sugbitious, proud, restless ; she was more gestion, rich with all the complex meaning than all this :--but she was above all of modern life as are these pages, we yet things a woman. Like the author of the feel, with her, that they but poorly express Comédie Humaine (one is constantly re- the extraordinary vitality of this young minded of Balzac in these pages by the girl. When we think of her as egotistigirl's passionate admiration of him), her cal, we must remember that this diary-desire was to be celebrated and to be loved. worthy as it is of a Tolstoi-was to her The two volumes before us give her too little more than a human document." short life's struggle to attain first the one This modesty of the autobiographer was and then the other. Fame she had also strikingly apparent in the woman. touched ere her fatal disease closed upon This musician-for Marie Bashkintseft her; if not actually grasped in her short could hold a room spellbound with her lifetime, it lay infallibly buried in her still. phrasing of Chopin-this musician, sculphidden journals. But love ? From her tor, painter, writer had none of the airs passionate outeries-outeries wrung from and graces of a inerely clever woman. A her when her powers were failing, when simplicity, mingled with a quaint, a deshe already stood within the twilight land lightful whimsicality, were markedly hers. of death-love in the fulness and strength In her presence, it is true, one was conin which she desired it, we know eluded scious of being face to face with a perher to the last.
sonality, but it was not the uncomfortable There is more than pathos in the sort of personality which mounts a pedesthought. It accounts for many defects in tal, but rather the kind with whom we dethe journal, for faults which strike even sire to sit down and chat by the fire. She the casual reader, to whom these volumes was womanish in her wit, her refinement, will probably convey the notion of exces- her coquetry; womanish in her pruderies, sive self-will, very likely of an almost re- in her audacities, her chatter, her silences, pellent self-love. Yet the egotism of the in her gayety, and, more than all, in her artist is a byword ; the egotism of the still more abundant sadness. Slightly sick and, as we all know, especially of the above the medium height-above the love-sick, are common phenomena. In height of the average Frenchwoman I these volumes Marie Bashkirtseff is, in should say, for they do not yet grow fespite of her lusty protestations to the con- male gendarmes over the Channel-Marie trary, love-sick and sick in turn. When Bashkirtseff bore that something ethereal we think of this Russian girl's failings we and spiritual in her face which seems the must remember that her time was short. birthright of those who die young. An It was but a poor race with death which exquisitely moulded figure, the arm and she ran, a break-neck start in which the hand of a statue, the foot of a Spaniard, finish was a foregone conclusion. How to the blond hair and penetrating eye of the achieve something in the short time which Northerner, all these things did not conrernained to her : that was her absorbing stitute in Marie Bashkirtseff wbat is called thought. To read--she was a deep and in every-day parlance," a pretty woman." omnivorous reader ; to see-she was an I doubt if the ordinary waltzer would have acute and minute observer ; to learn, to essed to be introduced to her at a ball. travel :-all these things were necessities That she had a bewitching pallor—an to her ; but no less than such powers of opaqueness of skin-tone peculiar to the absorption had she the wish, and above all North ; a grace, a distinction, a fascinathe gift, of expressing herself. At first tion, a power which was felt in her very the mode varied and vacillated, as it often gentleness, all these things must be ad. does with natures so handsomely endowed. mitted by those who had the privilege of As a child she must dance, as a girl sing, knowing her. Her shapeliness, her graas a woman paint and model. Each in its ciousness, were peculiarly hers, much more um scrved her mood, and ministered to hers than the cherry lips, the rounded
cheek of the pretty” girl of drawing- in the atelier Julien, giving her time, when
I have spoken of her gracious- she had already begun to guess that her ness, of her more than approachableness, working days were numbered. And how yet in her very sociability there was a kind she worked! To labor was a passion with of aloofness, of detachment, which had her ; to toil at whatever she took in hand, little to do with the malady she so con. a kind of ferocious joy. stantly deplored. At the age of twenty At the present day I am told Monsieur Marie Bashkirtseff was already slightly Julien's students are a thousand strong. deaf. And this was her crowning grief. The ateliers have been moved to an airy, She could bear to die-to leave a world even an aristocratic quarter, and overcrowdthat held so much for her ; but to become ing and bad ventilation are a thing of the deaf—that was another matter. To hear past. Marie Bashkirtseff's experiences in imperfectly for this ardent creature meant the Passage des Panoramas were of a dif. to become dull, and stupid, and old. The ferent kind. It was not a bed of roses woman in her revolted at the thought, and, that this petted and idolized young
Russian as I have already said, there was a great girl made for herself during the last seven deal of the woman in this Russian girl. or cight years of her life. From the teemThe supremacy of sex proclaimed itself in ing, tearing outer boulevard a passage, her voice, which was ever soft and gentle, resembling a down-at-heel Burlington Arthough the spoken word was incisive. cade, and which was remarkable only for
Half the chann of her individuality lay its emporiums of sham jewelry, and the in this very femininity. It endeared her, unctuous, greasy smell of its frequent catper haps, to her every-day companions in ing-houses, gave on to a tortuous flight of the Passage des Panoramas, more than all steps. This dark, winding, and evil- . her splendid talents. Her very freaks and smelling stairway was the entrance of the moods brought with them the air of an- atelier Julien. A fitting entrance, pero other and more delicate world. A gala haps, it was, for it prepared the visitor for night at the opera ; a vision of a Greuze the stuffiness, the grime, the ill-odors of toilette ; a panier filled with roses—all the building above. It was here, in a these evanescent Parisian joys had their room partly partitioned off so as to form charm for the hard-worked Bohemian of an ante-chamber and an office for the masthe studios. Yet the girl was far from ter, that from thirty to fifty students conboasting or prating. Indeed, if any envy gregated every day. Closed windows, a existed between Mlle. Marie,
fierce charcoal stove, the indescribable called her in the studio, and her comrades, smells of oil paints, turpentine, rags, and, it lay on the side of the spoiled young at luncheon-time, of scraps of eatables, Russian for the simpler lives, the more ar- could hardly have conduced to the health tistic milieu which she imagined was theirs. of the strongest ; yet I cannot recall one It bas been said that we are never so good word of complaint that ever fell from Maor so bad, so happy or so unhappy, as we rie Bashkirtseff. She was a spoiled child paint ourselves, and this tendency to over- --that is to say, an adult the least wellstate the case I find in Marie Bashkirtseff's equipped to stand the knocks and rubs of journals. The colors are lurid and graphic, the world ; and yet the inconveniences, the light and shade Reinbrandtesque, but the hardships of the studio routine seemed in this vivid picture of a human soul I miss to affect her not at all. Her eyes were, many of the subtler half-tints. The grays perhaps, elsewhere. The artist in her, at are often wanting. The woman was so any rate, enabled her to see what was good much more human than the portrait. With and ignore what was evil in this haphazard a fine scorn, in real life, for bourgeois pre- · Bohemian life. tensions and middle-class prejudices, she Indeed, one would but poorly undercould be kind, helpful, almost tender with stand this elastic and versatile temperament the ignorant and ill-advised.
I have seen
has since found success in another walk in life her aiding the least promising new-comer
-gives an example of Marie Bashkirtseff's
ready tact and discernment. Crossing to the * The visiting master, the Adonis of the dejected artist's easel, she gave one of her studio, M. Tony Robert Fleury (already a swift, penetrating glances at the stranger's middle-aged Adonis in 1880), was sometimes face, and tapping the unsatisfactory canvas unnecessarily severe with beginners. The in. exclaimed: “Oh, no! you are much cleverer itial drubbing of one student-a foreigner who than that !"