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 UNDER THE HILL

A ROMANTIC NOVEL


                    “LA CHALEUR DU BRANDON VENUS”
                                              Le Roman til la Rose, v. 22051



                                  UNDER THE HILL                    153

                                                      TO
              THE MOST EMINENT AND REVEREND PRINCE
                                  GIULIO POLDO PEZZOLI
                CARDINAL OF THE HOLY ROMAN CHURCH
            TITULAR BISHOP OF S. MARIA IN TRASTAVERE
                   ARCHBISHOP OF OSTIA AND VELLETRI
                               NUNCIO TO THE HOLY SEE
                                                      IN
                            NICARAGUA AND PATAGONIA
                                 A FATHER TO THE POOR
            A REFORMER OF ECCLESIASTICAL DISCIPLINE
                                A PATTERN OF LEARNING
                         WISDOM AND HOLINESS OF LIFE
         THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED WITH DUE REVERENCE
                                BY HIS HUMBLE SERVITOR
         A SCRIVENER AND LIMNER OF WORLDLY THINGS
                                    WHO MADE THIS BOOK
                                     AUBREY BEARDSLEY

Most Eminent Prince,
    I KNOW not by what mischance the writing of epistles dedicatory has
fallen into disuse, whether through the vanity of authors or the humility or
patrons. But the practice seems to me so very beautiful and becoming that I
have ventured to make an essay in the modest art, and lay with formalities
my first book at your feet.  I have it must be confessed many fears lest I
shall be arraigned of presumption in choosing so exalted a name as your own
to place at the beginning of this history ; but I hope that such a censure will
not be too lightly passed upon me, for if I am guilty it is but of a most
natural pride that the accidents of my life should allow me to sail the little
pinnace of my wit under your protection.

154                                  THE SAVOY

    But though I can clear myself of such a charge, I am still minded to
use the tongue of apology, for with what face can I offer you a book treating
of so vain and fantastical a thing as love ?  I know that in the judgment of
many the amorous passion is accounted a shameful thing and ridiculous ; indeed
it must be confessed that more blushes have risen for love’s sake than for
any other cause and that lovers are an eternal laughing-stock.  Still, as
the book will be found to contain matter of deeper import than mere venery,
inasmuch as it treats of the great contrition of its chiefest character, and
of canonical things in certain pages, I am not without hopes that your
Eminence will pardon my writing of a loving Abbé, for which extravagance
let my youth excuse me.

    Then I must crave your forgiveness for addressing you in a language
other than the Roman, but my small freedom in Latinity forbids me to
wander beyond the idiom of my vernacular.  I would not for the world
that your delicate Southern ear should be offended by a barbarous assault
of rude and Gothic words ; but methinks no language is rude that can
boast polite writers, and not a few such have flourished in this country in
times past, bringing our common speech to very great perfection.  In the
present age, alas !  our pens are ravished by unlettered authors and
unmannered critics, that make a havoc rather than a building, a wilderness
rather than a garden.  But, alack !  what boots it to drop tears upon the
preterit ?

    It is not of our own shortcomings though, but of your own great
merits that I should speak, else I should be forgetful of the duties I have
drawn upon myself in electing to address you in a dedication.  It is of
your noble virtues (though all the world know of ʼem), your taste and
wit, your care for letters, and very real regard for the arts that I must
be the proclaimer.

    Though it be true that all men have sufficient wit to pass a
judgment on this or that, and not a few sufficient impudence to print the
same (these last being commonly accounted critics), I have ever held that
the critical faculty is more rare than the inventive.  It is a faculty your

                                  UNDER THE HILL                    155

Eminence possesses in so great a degree that your praise or blame is
something oracular, your utterance infallible as great genius or as a beautiful
woman.  Your mind, I know, rejoicing in fine distinctions and subtle
procedures of thought, beautifully discursive rather than hastily conclusive,
has found in criticism its happiest exercise.  It is a pity that so perfect
a Mecænas should have no Horace to befriend, no Georgics to accept ;
for the offices and function of patron or critic must of necessity be
lessened in an age of little men and little work.  In times past it was
nothing derogatory for great princes and men of State to extend their
loves and favour to poets, for thereby they received as much honour as
they conferred.  Did not Prince Festus with pride take the masterwork of
Julian into his protection, and was not the Æneis a pretty thing to offer
Cæsar ?

    Learning without appreciation is a thing of naught, but I know-
not which is greatest in you—your love of the arts, or your knowledge
of ʼem.  What wonder then that I am studious to please you, and
desirous of your protection.  How deeply thankful I am for your past
affections you know well, your great kindness and liberality having far
outgone my slight merits and small accomplishment that seemed scarce to
warrant any favour.  Alas ! ʼtis a slight offering I make you now, but if
after glancing into its pages (say of an evening upon your terrace) you
should deem it worthy of the remotest place in your princely library, the
knowledge that it rested there would be reward sufficient for my labours,
and a crowning happiness to my pleasure in the writing of this slender
book.

    The humble and obedient servant of your Eminence,

                                                                        AUBREY BEARDSLEY.



                      UNDER THE HILL

                                                 CHAPTER I

    THE Abbé Fanfreluche, having lighted off his horse, stood doubtfully for
a moment beneath the ombre gateway of the mysterious Hill, troubled
with an exquisite fear lest a day’s travel should have too cruelly undone the
laboured niceness of his dress.  His hand, slim and gracious as La Marquise
du Deffand’s in the drawing by Carmontelle, played nervously about the gold
hair that fell upon his shoulders like a finely-curled peruke, and from point to
point of a precise toilet the fingers wandered, quelling the little mutinies of
cravat and ruffle.

    It was taper-time ; when the tired earth puts on its cloak of mists and
shadows, when the enchanted woods are stirred with light footfalls and slender
voices of the fairies, when all the air is full of delicate influences, and even
the beaux, seated at their dressing-tables, dream a little.

    A delicious moment, thought Fanfreluche, to slip into exile.

    The place where he stood waved drowsily with strange flowers, heavy
with perfume, dripping with odours.  Gloomy and nameless weeds not to be
found in Mentzelius.  Huge moths, so richly winged they must have banqueted
upon tapestries and royal stuffs, slept on the pillars that flanked either side of
the gateway, and the eyes of all the moths remained open and were burning
and bursting with a mesh of veins.  The pillars were fashioned in some pale
stone and rose up like hymns in the praise of pleasure, for from cap to base,
each one was carved with loving sculptures, showing such a cunning invention
and such a curious knowledge, that Fanfreluche lingered not a little in reviewing
them.  They surpassed all that Japan has ever pictured from her maisons
vertes, all that was ever painted in the cool bath-rooms of Cardinal La Motte,
and even outdid the astonishing illustrations to Jonesʼs “Nursery Numbers.”

This line block reproduction of a pen-and-ink drawing is in portrait orientation. The image is of a full-length figure of a man standing centrally within a forest. The man stands in the foreground and rises three-quarters up the page. The man stands with his body facing the viewer and face slightly turned to the right side of the page. He is surrounded by plants around his feet and has a forest behind him. In the left bottom corner there is a large lily blooming. In the right bottom corner there is a fern growing. The man stands in the centre of the page. His feet are clothed in horizontally striped boots that lace up the front and reach halfway up the shin. His skin shows through between the top of the boots and the bottom of the pants, which stop at the bottom of the kneecap. The pants are high-waisted and are horizontally striped, matching the boot design. Around his waist is a fabric belt with scalloped edges that ties on his left hip and has the excess material hanging almost to the ground. Some small plants are wrapped around the knot of the belt and hang down as well. A closed fan hangs off of a chain that also attaches to his belt near the knot. About halfway down his thighs there are two tassels hanging from loops on the side of the pants. His top is also striped horizontally. At his neck is a large white bow with long flaps hanging down in two tiers. The man has a large striped shawl covering his shoulders and back. His right arm is bent in at the elbow and is covered by the shawl but visibly holding onto the edge of the material to keep it on his shoulders. His left arm is covered as well and his left forearm has a large cuff on it with fur on the edges and his hand popping out. The cuff has a stemmed rose laid on top and a bow pattern embroidered. A bow made of ribbon hangs down from the bottom of the cuff. Through the cuff his hand grips a staff angled down diagonally to the right of the page with a tassel hanging from the top. The man’s face is shown in three-quarters profile. He has narrowed eyes and pursed lips. His head is topped with a large wig of curled hair that falls to his shoulders. Attached to the back of his head is a big plume of feathers. The ornamented neck of a guitar sticks out from behind his back on the right side. To the left of the man a pot peeks out in the mid-ground. It has a fern plant growing out of it. Along the left page edge, and behind the planter pot, a spiraled column shows through from behind leaves. In the top left corner of the page there is a small pair of legs standing on a flower bunch that is wrapped around the column. The legs stick out below a butterfly whose body faces the viewer straight on. Whether this pair of legs is meant to be attached to the butterfly or the butterfly has simply flown in front of the body above the legs for that moment is unclear. Immediately to the left of the man’s right elbow is another butterfly resting on a branch. Up the right side of the page tall flower stalks grow. Some of the stocks bloom into sunflowers and others into lilies. The forest fills the background, save for a little space between treetops towards the left, which shows the sky in the distance.

                                  UNDER THE HILL                    159

    “A pretty portal,” murmured the Abbé, correcting his sash.

    As he spoke, a faint sound of singing was breathed out from the
mountain, faint music as strange and distant as sea-legends that are heard
in shells.

    “The Vespers of Helen, I take it,” said Fanfreluche, and struck a
few chords of accompaniment, ever so lightly, upon his little lute.  Softly
across the spell-bound threshold the song floated and wreathed itself about
the subtle columns, till the moths were touched with passion and moved
quaintly in their sleep.  One of them was awakened by the intenser notes
of the Abbe’s lute-strings, and fluttered into the cave.  Fanfreluche felt it
was his cue for entry.

    “Adieu,” he exclaimed with an inclusive gesture, and “good-bye,
Madonna,” as the cold circle of the moon began to show, beautiful and
full of enchantments.  There was a shadow of sentiment in his voice as
he spoke the words.

    “Would to heaven,” he sighed, “I might receive the assurance of a
looking-glass before I make my debut ! However, as she is a Goddess, I
doubt not her eyes are a little sated with perfection, and may not be
displeased to see it crowned with a tiny fault.”

    A wild rose had caught upon the trimmings of his ruff, and in the
first flush of displeasure he would have struck it brusquely away, and most
severely punished the offending flower.  But the ruffled mood lasted only a
moment, for there was something so deliciously incongruous in the hardy
petal’s invasion of so delicate a thing, that Fanfreluche withheld the finger
of resentment and vowed that the wild rose should stay where it had clung
—a passport, as it were, from the upper to the under world.

    “The very excess and violence of the fault,” he said, “will be its
excuse”; and, undoing a tangle in the tassel of his stick, stepped into the
shadowy corridor that ran into the bosom of the wan hill—stepped with
the admirable aplomb and unwrinkled suavity of Don John.

160                                  THE SAVOY

                                                 CHAPTER II

    Before a toilet that shone like the altar of Nôtre Dame des Victoires,
Helen was seated in a little dressing-gown of black and heliotrope.  The
coiffeur Cosmé was caring for her scented chevelure, and with tiny silver
tongs, warm from the caresses of the flame, made delicious intelligent curls
that fell as lightly as a breath about her forehead and over her eyebrows,
and clustered like tendrils round her neck.  Her three favourite girls,
Pappelarde, Blanchemains and Loreyne, waited immediately upon her with
perfume and powder in delicate flaçons and frail cassolettes, and held in
porcelain jars the ravishing paints prepared by Châteline for those cheeks
and lips that had grown a little pale with anguish of exile.  Her three
favourite boys, Claud, Clair and Sarrasine, stood amorously about with salver,
fan and napkin.  Millamant held a slight tray of slippers, Minette some tender
gloves, La Popeliniere—mistress of the robes—was ready with a frock of
yellow and yellow, La Zambinella bore the jewels, Florizel some flowers,
Amadour a box of various pins, and Yadius a box of sweets. Her doves,
ever in attendance, walked about the room that was panelled with the gallant
paintings of Jean Baptiste Dorat, and some dwarfs and doubtful creatures sat
here and there lolling out their tongues, pinching each other, and behaving
oddly enough. Sometimes Helen gave them little smiles.

    As the toilet was in progress, Mrs. Marsuple, the fat manicure and
fardeuse, strode in and seated herself by the side of the dressing-table, greeting
Helen with an intimate nod.  She wore a gown of white watered silk with
gold lace trimmings, and a velvet necklet of false vermilion.  Her hair hung
in bandeaux over her ears, passing into a huge chignon at the back of her
head, and the hat, wide-brimmed and hung with a vallance of pink muslin,
was floral with red roses.

    Mrs. Marsuple’s voice was full of salacious unction ; she had terrible
little gestures with the hands, strange movements with the shoulders, a short
respiration that made surprising wrinkles in her bodice, a corrupt skin, large
horny eyes, a parrot’s nose, a small loose mouth, great flaccid cheeks, and chin
alter chin. She was a wise person, and Helen loved her more than any

This line-block reproduction of a pen-and-ink drawing is in portrait orientation. The image is of a room or boudoir that includes one woman getting ready and other people standing around her, while small men fight and play music. In the foreground are three small men. In the bottom left corner an ornamented chair legs sticks out slightly. To the right of the chair leg is the first small man, about half the height of any of the women in the image. He has his back to the viewer and is wearing baggy, vertically striped pants, and a long sleeve shirt with ruffles on the edges. He has a hunchback. On his feet he wears slippers with lifted toes. His face is turned slightly to the right and a partial profile is visible. On his head he wears a large dark bonnet. He has a cello in his left hand and a bow in the right. To the right of the man is an ornamented music stand with an open book of sheet music rested on top. To the right of the music stand, in the foreground, are the other two small men. The man closest to the music stand is dressed in slippers and a long tunic that has a spiral pattern embroidered on it. He is leaning to the right and reaching out with both arms to grab the other man. He has elf ears and long hair, some of which is being pulled by the man to the right. He also has the other man’s foot kicking at his face. The other man is facing the viewer. He has his right leg lifted up and is in the midst of kicking the other man’s face. His right hand is holding the chunk of the other man’s hair. He is wearing dark, baggy, horizontally striped pants, and a long sleeve shirt. He has a long pointy beard, mustache, and bushy eyebrows. His mouth is open and in a smile. His head is topped with a huge wig. The front of the wig has the hair pulled straight up vertically and the sides are lined with large coils. At the top of the wig is a garland of flowers and a plume of feathers. With his wig on he takes up nearly half the height of the page. Behind the wig is an older woman seated in a chair, facing to the left of the page. She is heavier-set and wearing slippers with a long gown that has a line of ruffles on the skirt. She has her arms on the chair armrests and in her left hand is a walking stick resting on the ground. She has a flower pinned to her chest and her face appears in profile. The back of her head is cut off by the frame. She is wearing tassel earrings and a headpiece with a few flowers on top and a light veil hanging down to her chin in front of her face. On the far left side of the page, also in the mid-ground, is a small man seated on the floor with his legs crossed. He has on vertically striped tights and a plain pair of slippers. He is wearing short pants and a top coat with ruffles at the bottom. He wears a large necktie and a big, dark, and curly wig. He seems to be underneath a table. Directly to the right of him is a tall ornamental candle holder that has flower garlands wrapped up around it and crystal pieces hanging off at the top. Above the man and to the left of the candle holder, a dress is hanging from a coat rack that is mostly out of the frame. The dress is long and ruffled. A table, the one that the man seems to be underneath, sits to the right of the dress and is topped with a perfume flask and a small jewelry box. A woman sits in a chair to the right of it, turned towards the viewer but slightly angled towards the left side of the page. She is dressed in a long skirt with a ruffled bottom and flower garlands that loop around above the ruffles. She has on a corset that rises to just below her chest. Her breasts are shown bare. Around her neck she has a transparent chiffon bow. She has on an open dressing gown decorated with a floral design, and it falls all the way to the ground. Her hair is short and curly, and a person to her right has their hands in it. In her left hand and resting on her lap is a handheld mirror. Behind the woman and taking up the top left corner of the page is a three-piece ornamented standing mirror, and in front of it are the long candles coming from the top of the ornamented holder. A wall is directly behind the mirror. The person who has their hands in the seated woman’s hair is dressed in all black. Their face is completed covered in a mask except for their eyes. The person is wearing a tight long sleeve shirt and pants. More in the background and to the right of the dark figure are four people standing. The person on the far left is a woman, visible only from the waist up and wearing a floral patterned gown. She has on a tight scarf and is looking towards the left side of the page at the masked figure. She has on a large wig of coiled hair with a big leaf protruding out with an assortment of other florals on top. To her right is a woman fully visible. She is wearing a ballroom gown with a big skirt and long sleeves. The dress has a low neckline and she is holding a goblet with her left hand. She has on a big wig with straight hair and a chain of pearls hangs down from the top where many flowers and plumes rise up. To her right, the upper body of a man is visible. He is turned towards the left side of the page with a three-quarters profile visible. He has on a neck piece with big ruffles and holds a decorated box. He has a small twirled mustache and long wavy hair. To the right of him is half the upper body of another man, cut off by the frame. This man is shirtless and his head is turned to the left side of the page. He has long wavy hair. Behind the four figures that make up the right side background is a wall.

                                  UNDER THE HILL                    163

other of her servants, and had a hundred pet names for her, such as Dear
Toad, Pretty Poll, Cock Robin, Dearest Lip, Touchstone, Little Cough Drop,
Bijou, Buttons, Dear Heart, Dick-dock, Mrs. Manly, Little Nipper, Cochon-
de-lait, Naughty-naughty, Blessed Thing, and Trump.  The talk that passed
between Mrs. Marsuple and her mistress was of that excellent kind that passes
between old friends, a perfect understanding giving to scraps of phrases their
full meaning, and to the merest reference a point.  Naturally Fanfreluche the
newcomer was discussed a little.  Helen had not seen him yet, and asked a
score of questions on his account that were delightfully to the point.

    The report and the coiffing were completed at the same moment.

    “Cosmé,” said Helen, “you have been quite sweet and quite brilliant,
you have surpassed yourself to-night.”
“Madam flatters me,” replied the antique old thing, with a girlish
giggle under his black satin mask.  “Gad, Madam ; sometimes I believe
I have no talent in the world, but to-night I must confess to a touch of the
vain mood.”

    It would pain me horribly to tell you about the painting of her face ;
suffice it that the sorrowful work was accomplished ; frankly, magnificently,
and without a shadow of deception.

    Helen slipped away the dressing-gown, and rose before the mirror in
a flutter of frilled things.  She was adorably tall and slender.  Her neck
and shoulders were wonderfully drawn, and the little malicious breasts
were full of the irritation of loveliness that can never be entirely compre-
hended, or ever enjoyed to the utmost.  Her arms and hands were loosely,
but delicately articulated, and her legs were divinely long.  From the hip to
the knee, twenty-two inches ; from the knee to the heel, twenty-two inches,
as befitted a Goddess.  Those who have seen Helen only in the Vatican,
in the Louvre, in the Uffizi, or in the British Museum, can have no idea
how very beautiful and sweet she looked.  Not at all like the lady in
“Lemprière.”

    Mrs. Marsuple grew quite lyric over the dear little person, and pecked
at her arms with kisses.

164                                  THE SAVOY

    “Dear Tongue, you must really behave yourself,” said Helen, and called
Millamant to bring her the slippers.

    The tray was freighted with the most exquisite and shapely pantoufles,
sufficient to make Cluny a place of naught.  There were shoes of grey and
black and brown suède, of white silk and rose satin, and velvet and sarcenet;
there were some of sea-green sewn with cherry blossoms, some of red with
willow branches, and some of grey with bright-winged birds.  There were
heels of silver, of ivory, and of gilt ; there were buckles of very precious
stones set in most strange and esoteric devices ; there were ribbons tied and
twisted into cunning forms ; there were buttons so beautiful that the button-
holes might have no pleasure till they closed upon them ; there were soles of
delicate leathers scented with maréchale, and linings of soft stuffs scented
with the juice of July flowers.  But Helen, finding none of them to her mind,
called for a discarded pair of blood-red maroquin, diapered with pearls. These
looked very distinguished over her white silk stockings.

    Meantime, La Popeliniere stepped forward with the frock.
    “I shan’t wear one to-night,” said Helen.  Then she slipped on her
gloves.

    When the toilet was at an end all her doves clustered round her feet
loving to froler her ankles with their plumes, and the dwarfs clapped their
hands, and put their fingers between their lips and whistled.  Never before
had Helen been so radiant and compelling.  Spiridion, in the corner, looked
up from his game of Spellicans and trembled.

    Just then, Pranzmungel announced that supper was ready upon the fifth
terrace. “Ah!” cried Helen, “I’m famished!”

                                                 CHAPTER III

    SHE was quite delighted with Fanfreluche, and, of course, he sat next
her at supper.
    The terrace, made beautiful with a thousand vain and fantastical things,
and set with a hundred tables and four hundred couches, presented a truly

                                  UNDER THE HILL                    165

splendid appearance.  In the middle was a huge bronze fountain with three
basins.  From the first rose a many – breasted dragon and four little loves
mounted upon swans, and each love was furnished with a bow and arrow.
Two of them that faced the monster seemed to recoil in fear, two that were
behind made bold enough to aim their shafts at him.  From the verge of
the second sprang a circle of slim golden columns that supported silver doves
with tails and wings spread out.  The third, held by a group of grotesquely
attenuated satyrs, was centered with a thin pipe hung with masks and roses
and capped with children’s heads.

    From the mouths of the dragon and the loves, from the swans’ eyes,
from the breasts of the doves, from the satyrs’ horns and lips, from the masks
at many points, and from the childrens’ curls, the water played profusely,
cutting strange arabesques and subtle figures.

    The terrace was lit entirely by candles.  There were four thousand of
them, not numbering those upon the tables.  The candlesticks were of a
countless variety, and smiled with moulded cochonneries.  Some were twenty
feet high, and bore single candles that flared like fragrant torches over the
feast, and guttered till the wax stood round the tops in tall lances.  Some,
hung with dainty petticoats of shining lustres, had a whole bevy of tapers
upon them devised in circles, in pyramids, in squares, in cuneiforms, in
single lines regimentally and in crescents.

    Then on quaint pedestals and Terminal Gods and gracious pilasters of
every sort, were shell-like vases of excessive fruits and flowers that hung
about and burst over the edges and could never be restrained.  The orange-
trees and myrtles, looped with vermilion sashes, stood in frail porcelain pots,
and the rose-trees were wound and twisted with superb invention over trellis
and standard.  Upon one side of the terrace a long gilded stage for the
comedians was curtained off with Pagonian tapestries, and in front of it the
music-stands were placed.
    The tables arranged between the fountain and the flight of steps to the
sixth terrace were all circular, covered with white damask, and strewn with
irises, roses, kingcups, colombines, daffodils, carnations and lilies ; and the

166                                  THE SAVOY

couches, high with soft cushions and spread with more stuffs than could
be named, had fans thrown upon them.

    Beyond the escalier stretched the gardens, which were designed so elabo-
rately and with so much splendour that the architect of the Fêtes d’Armailhacq
could have found in them no matter for cavil, and the still lakes strewn with
profuse barges full of gay flowers and wax marionettes, the alleys of tall
trees, the arcades and cascades, the pavilions, the grottoes and the garden-
gods—all took a strange tinge of revelry from the glare of the light that fell
upon them from the feast.

    The frockless Helen and Fanfreluche, with Mrs. Marsuple and Claude
and Clair, and Farcy, the chief comedian, sat at the same table.  Fanfreluche,
who had doffed his travelling suit, wore long black silk stockings, a pair of
pretty garters, a very elegant ruffled shirt, slippers and a wonderful dressing-
gown ; and Farcy was in ordinary evening clothes.  As for the rest of the
company, it boasted some very noticeable dresses, and whole tables of quite
delightful coiffures.  There were spotted veils that seemed to stain the skin,
fans with eye-slits in them, through which the bearers peeped and peered ;
fans painted with figures and covered with the sonnets of Sporion and the
short stories of Scaramouch ; and fans of big, living moths stuck upon mounts
of silver sticks.  There were masks of green velvet that make the face look
trebly powdered : masks of the heads of birds, of apes, of serpents, of dolphins,
of men and women, of little embryons and of cats ; masks like the faces of
gods ; masks of coloured glass, and masks of thin talc and of india-rubber.
There were wigs of black and scarlet wools, of peacocks’ feathers, of gold and
silver threads, of swansdown, of the tendrils of the vine, and of human hair :
huge collars of stiff muslin rising high above the head ; whole dresses of ostrich
feathers curling inwards ; tunics of panthers’ skins that looked beautiful over
pink tights ; capotes of crimson satin trimmed with the wings of owls ; sleeves
cut into the shapes of apocryphal animals : drawers flounced down to the
ankles, and necked with tiny, red roses ; stockings clocked with fetes galantes,
and curious designs ; and petticoats cut like artificial flowers.  Some of the
women had put on delightful little moustaches dyed in purples and bright

                                  UNDER THE HILL                    169

greens, twisted and waxed with absolute skill ; and some wore great white
beards, after the manner of Saint Wilgeforte.  Then Dorat had painted extra-
ordinary grotesques and vignettes over their bodies, here and there.  Upon a
cheek, an old man scratching his horned head ; upon a forehead, an old
woman teased by an impudent amor ; upon a shoulder, an amorous singerie ;
round a breast, a circlet of satyrs ; about a wrist, a wreath of pale, unconscious
babes; upon an elbow, a bouquet of spring flowers; across a back, some sur-
prising scenes of adventure ; at the corners of a mouth, tiny red spots ; and
upon a neck, a flight of birds, a caged parrot, a branch of fruit, a butterfly, a
spider, a drunken dwarf, or, simply, some initials.

    The supper provided by the ingenious Rambouillet was quite beyond
parallel.  Never had he created a more exquisite menu.  The consommé im-
promptu alone would have been sufficient to establish the immortal reputation
of any chef.  What, then, can I say of the Dorade bouillie sauce maréchale, the
ragoût aux langues de carpes, the ramereaux à la charnière, the ciboulettc de gibier
à l’espagnole, the pâté de cuisses d’oie aux pois de Monsalvie, the queues d’agneau au
clair de lune, the artichauts à la grecque, the charlotte de pommes à la Lucy Waters,
the bombes à la marée, and theglaces aux rayons d’or ?  A veritable tour de cuisine
that surpassed even the famous little suppers given by the Marquis de Réchale
at Passy, and which the Abbé Mirliton pronounced “impeccable, and too good
to be eaten.”

    Ah ! Pierre Antoine Berquin de Rambouillet ; you are worthy of your
divine mistress !

    Mere hunger quickly gave place to those finer instincts of the pure
gourmet, and the strange wines, cooled in buckets of snow, unloosed all the
décolleté spirits of astonishing conversation and atrocious laughter.

    As the courses advanced, the conversation grew bustling and more
personal.  Pulex and Cyril, and Marisca and Cathelin, opened a fire of
raillery, and a thousand amatory follies of the day were discussed.

    From harsh and shrill and clamant, the voices grew blurred and
inarticulate.  Bad sentences were helped out by worse gestures, and at one
table Scabius expressed himself like the famous old knight in the first part

This line-block reproduction of a pen-and-ink drawing is in portrait orientation. It shows two figures walking on a balcony outdoors towards the right side of the page and holding bowls above their heads. In the foreground the two figures stand and reach the halfway point of the page in height. The figure on the left is a woman, turned to face the right, showing only the profile of her face and body. She is wearing slippers with a fabric ball on the toe. She has on short pants striped horizontally which stop just below her knee. She is also wearing a short sleeve shirt and the sleeves are capped off at the edge with braided fabric. There is a decorative floral design on her top of flower bulbs floating around. At her waist is a shawl made of darker fabric than the rest of her outfit. The shawl has a vine traversing it with embroidered flowers blooming from it. She has a fabric belt that secures the shawl at her hips. From this belt, a chain hangs down and holds a long fan dangling horizontally in the air. Her hair falls down to her mid-back in dark waves. Her arms are raised above and in front of her in about a ninety degree angle. In her upturned hands is a shallow wave-patterned bowl. To the right of the woman is a figure with a male face and hooves who is similarly turned to the right and visible in profile. He has horse hooves and horse legs emerging from the bottom of his baggy pants. The pants and his long sleeve shirt are identically patterned with vertical lines of flower garlands. A sash of material is tied around his waist and knotted at his back. He has long and pointy elf-like ears that arch backwards. His nose is downturned and stubby. He has on a pointed bonnet with the similar flower garland pattern to his clothing. From the back of his head a long curved stick points out and upwards. On this stick there are several ornaments that look like flowers stacked one upon the other. Atop the stick a quail is perched. The quail looks down towards the woman. The man’s arms are also at about a ninety degree upwards angle, and he too holds a bowl. His bowl is double the size of the woman’s. It holds huge bunches of fruits such as grapes and berries. A squash is visible in the bowl too. Leaves and vines are mixed into the bowl with the fruits. The woman and male creature are both walking on a large deck surface that is tiled in a checker pattern, with borders around each box. The deck has a stone railing made of two long horizontal slabs with thick stone spindles between them. Towards the left edge of the page the stone railing has a large urn resting on it, but only half in the frame. There is a decorative stone piece on the front of the pillar at the right end of the railing, just to the right of the male figure. It is an insect-like creature with wings and legs. Above the insect stone work, on the top edge of the railing, a beast is shown laying down onto its front paws. The creature is horned and in profile facing the same way as the two figures. The last pillar, which is below the creature, marks off the end of the deck and the transition into stairs leading down. The railing continues downwards at a diagonal to the right edge of the page. Behind the deck and railing is a garden area. A tall garden arbor stands behind the rail and many vines with flowers grow up and around it. Behind the arbor in the background is a small pond and further backgrounded still is a large columned building with a pointed roof. A dark forest surrounds the building in the background.

170                                  THE SAVOY

    of the “Soldier’s Fortune” of Otway.  Bassalissa and Lysistrata tried to
pronounce each other’s names, and became very affectionate in the attempt ;
and Tala, the tragedian, robed in roomy purple, and wearing plume and
buskin, rose to his feet, and, with swaying gestures, began to recite one of
his favourite parts.  He got no further than the first line, but repeated it
again and again, with fresh accents and intonations each time, and was only
silenced by the approach of the asparagus that was being served by satyrs
dressed in white.

MLA citation:

Beardsley, Aubrey. “Under the Hill.” The Savoy, vol. 1 January 1896, pp. 151-170. Savoy Digital Edition , edited by Christopher Keep and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2018-2020. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019. https://1890s.ca/savoyv1-beardsley-hill/