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were to ignore the more childish what drastic etiquette of Parisian social side of her character. That big natures life. She desired only the freedom of have such a side was amply demonstrated expressing herself in her art; and this only the other day by that astute writer freedom—though cut off before her twenwho chooses to call himself “John A'ty-fourth year—this extraordinary Russian Dreams. The question was of the au- attained. Such an achievement would only thor of The Muster of Ballantrae, who have been possible to the abnormally preaccording to this living witness, is the cocious, but this, more than all things, most famous of buffoons when the mood Marie Bashkirtseff was. There is more takes him, swearing and even dancing for than a mere witticism in the saying that hours among his intimates till be is pleased this wonderful creature was at least fifteen to pass from this “ maddest of fooling” years old when she was born.
As a baby to transcendencies of wisdom in talk.'
she amuses a room full of people, at twelve This glimpse behind the scenes helps my she is hysterically in love, at sixteen she task. From this picture I shall be the indulges in a grande passion, and by more readily believed when I describe the twenty assumes, in affairs of the heart at pessimist and sceptic of the journal as the any rate, an attitude of Olympian indifferveriest madcap of a girl. By its light we And as it is with her intelligence, shall the better see this penetrating thinker, so it is with her physical form. At twelve this ofttimes self-accuser atop a studio she looks sixteen, at sixteen twenty. AD table, swinging her mahlstick and the pret- evidently lovely child, she was a fascinattiest possible patent leather shoes as she ing woman in her teens, but already in chaffed her companions, serenaded them 1880 much of her youthful beauty had with her guitar, or lured them off to a gone. The small features (which had champagne luncheon or to the Bois. Like nothing of the Tartar in them, as might Mr. Robert Louis Stevenson, she had her be supposed from one of her portraits), wholesome flashes of idleness : moments the modelling of her fine form, the exqui. when the success of a Laferrière gown was site drawing of the bust were unchanged; more to her than the Prix de Rome, when but the disease which was to make such she would exchange her working blouse havoc with her young life bad her already for velvet and sables, or spirit herself off in its grip, and plainly showed its hold on to the Quartier Latin to play pranks with her. The daintiness of her womanhood, her friend and boon companion, Prince the cunning of her speech, the indomitaBojidar Karageorgewitch. In these moods ble courage of her spirit were there, but she would exclaiin, after returning from the fever pace at which she toiled, and some great reception, “ Voyez-vous, Savoir lived, and thought, was already wearing être folle. Tout est là." At such times away the body. she could tie the coveted " mention hon- Such a woman cannot but die in harness. orable" to the tail of her pet dog, or, in No small compromises are possible to her. Russia, would up and away in peasant She admits of no half-and-half. Nothing guise on some madcap errand with a tail but the best would satisfy Marie Bashkirtof scatter-brained admirers.
seff, this demand for the superlative in life Her very love of contrast arose doubt- being carried eren into the trivialities—for less from the contradiction of her nature. such I suppose plain folk would call them She worshipped her art with a curious of the society she frequented, of the fidelity, but she had room in the immense clothes she wore.
She asked comparabreadth and charity of her mind for ap- tively nothing of the fancy side of existpreciating a hundred other things besides ence, but when it came to a question of her own particular work. Politics, music, society one sees that she cared for little literature she had more than a passing that was second-rate. This feeling was affection for. There were moments, even, typical of everything she did. Her work when she found time for regret that she challenged all the world. While she achad not gone to balls like other girls ! cepted no quarter, she gave none. She There was absolutely nothing of the prig sacrificed her life rather than renounce about this astoundingly learned maiden. her ambition, and this, after all, is the Sbe had no wish to pose as an eccentric, best explanation of her views. and though she fretted under it, had little There are personalities which of necesdesire to emancipate herself from the some- sity command an audience. The writer,
the artist, if he have the stuff of such an spiritual matters she neither denies nor one in him, speaks a voice which is un- affirms. She cries to God in her agony derstood. Too often, it is true, it is to a and her loneliness, but no special answer coterie, to a sect only that he speaks. The is vouchsafed her. A void is before her, novelist may proclaim a fashionable and the future is veiled. It is with a kind of momentary belief—or more probably at fierce recklessness that she tries to pluck the hour we write, an unbelief ; the artist from the tangible, visible world around may trick us with some audacity of theme; her, something enduring, perhaps that but these qualities are, after all, ephemeral. very immortality which seems denied to With genius it is another matter. Here her in a life to come. “ To die,” she we tread on different ground. Prejudices, exclaims when she feels death's grip upon creeds, tonguesmall the barriers invented her, “oh, my God, to die like a dog, as by man for the misunderstanding of bis a hundred thousand women have died fellow man—seem to disappear as by the whose names are hardly graven on their touch of some magic wand. Genius in tombstones !” Not hers is the serenity of this sense has neither country nor religion ; those devout and happy ones who know before it, men of the most widely differ. by faith. Her wings beat themselves out ent temperaments must needs stand cap in against the darkness; the lips stiffen while hand. It is a question of some such na- they ask the life-long question, “Why?!! ture here. Soine find Marie Bashkirtseff The cruelty of death was often before her, intensely Russian : those who knew her even when it was a question of other lives fourd her curiously cosmopolitan. And than her own. She sees the abnormality, in this sbe is typical of her day. As she the grim irony of the destroyer when Gamis free from prejudice, so she is untainted betta falls, and more than ever when her by thosedare I say the word ?—those ideal painter, Bastien Lepage, begins to narrowing, influences which so often go droop before her eyes. So
many conhand-in-hand with patriotism. No small- cierges,” she says in her drolly pathetic ness of creed, no puny aspirations, were way, “ so many concierges enjoy excellent this young girl's. Her very faults are an health.” But when she is herself stricken, epitome of the age. All the restlessness, something of resignation comes, and the the fever, the longings, the caprices, the detachment froin life which she had felt in ambitions, the large-mindedness, the the proudest moments of her triumphs, doubts, the waywardness, the abnegations, may well have been hers in death. — Conthe fervors, the belief, and the scepticism temporary Review. of the nineteenth century are here. In
THE BALLAD OF THE KING'S JEST.
When springtime flushes the desert grass,
And the tribesmen bellowed to hasten the food ;
We cleansed our beards of the matton-grease,
“ Hot-foot southward, forgotten of God,
“ Then Gholam Hyder, the Red Chief, smiled,
my men may hear.'
“Friend of my heart, is it meet or wise To warn a king of his enemies?
“A guard was set that he might not flee-
power of God, who alone is great,
“ Heart of my heart, is it meet or wise
THE FUTURE OF ENGLISH MONARCHY.
BY FRANK H. HILL.
More than a generation has passed since He had to know not only the divisions of the Prince Consort declared in a speech a battle, but divisions in the House of upon a public occasion that Constitutional Commons. Defeat meant recall. To Government was under a heavy trial. The these considerations, quite as much as to popular imagination converted the phrase any peculiarity of his own genius and charinto a very different one, wbich the popu- acter, was due the exaggerated caution lar memory bas retained. The husband with which critics, competent from the and most intimate and influential counsel- military point of view, but not underlor of the Queen was thought to have de- standing the political conditions of the clared that representative institutions were problem he had to solve, sometimes reon their trial.: To be on one's trial may proach him. sometimes be a very heavy trial, especially The purpose of the Prince Consort's when there is no great confidence in the ver- speech, thougb he did not, so far as I dict and sentence which may follow. To know, refer to the precedent of Welling. be under a heavy trial is the condition from ton's campaigns, was to point this old time to time of all men and of all things moral. It is no derogation from the auhuman. The Prince Consort's words were thority of Parliaments, or from the legitiused in the crisis and agony of the Crimcan mate influence of the free newspaper
in war, and he dwelt with emphasis on the the free country, to show forbearance tow-difficulties which are inseparable from our ard and confidence fin men engaged on Parliamentary system, and from that last their behalf in an enterprise of pith and result of civilization, a free newspaper in moment. If you have a giant's strength a free country. During a period of war you are not bound at every moinent to be and of negotiation secrecy is essential, showing that you are gigantically strong. and it is all but impossible. The Prince The House of Commons can at any mosaid nothing which had not been urged ment make and unmake Ministries. The with emphasis by the Duke of Wellington obligation on it is the stronger to select nearly half a century before. Wellington only the right moment for making and unin the Peninsular war had to carry on a making them. Standing aloof from parParliamentary as well as a military cam- ties and representing the stable and perpaign. Napoleon, he said, could run great manent element in the Constitution which risks for the chance of decisive successes. is not affected by general elections, ParNo one in France could censure or recall liamentary divisions, and votes of want of him. But Wellington could not afford to confidence, the Prince Consort in 1855 lose a single battle, and that was why he was probably the only man in England never lost one. He could only fight when who could deliver with authority words he was certain to win. His successes were which it was necessary should be spoken, cavilled at and minimized by perhaps the but which nevertheless it required no most unpatriotic Opposition that ever slight courage to speak. The nation had played the part of a doleful chorus to a been taught in a phrase, which perhaps great drama which had a kingdom for a contains as much truth as anyone can stage. His strategy and tactics were ad- reasonably expect to find in half a dozen versely criticised by politicians who had not words, but which certainly does not coneven the bookish theories of Othello's tain the whole doctrine of Constitutional arithmetical lieutenant. As Chatham Monarchy in England, that the Queen boasted that he had conquered America reigns but does not govern. A Speaker in Germany, so the_rump of a faction of the House of Cominons once said that hoped to conquer Downing Street in he had only eyes to see, and ears to hear, Spain. The consequence was that Well- and a tongue to speak, what the House of ington had to keep almost as close an eye Commons bade him see and hear and say. upon the movements of Parliamentary Similarly, the Queen, it is thought, can parties at home as on the movements of only think and speak as the Ministry of Napoleon and his generals in the field. the day bids her think and speak. The