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NO. 1


IT is hoped that “THE SAVOY” will be a periodical of an exclusively
literary and artistic kind. To present Literature in the shape of its letter-
press, Art in the form of its illustrations, will be its aim. For the attainment
of that aim we can but rely on our best endeavours and on the logic of our
belief that good writers and artists will care to see their work in company
with the work of good writers and artists. Readers who look to a new
periodical for only very well-known or only very obscure names must permit
themselves to be disappointed. We have no objection to a celebrity who
deserves to be celebrated, or to an unknown person who has not been seen
often enough to be recognised in passing. All we ask from our contributors
is good work, and good work is all we offer our readers. This we offer
with some confidence. We have no formulas, and we desire no false unity
of form or matter. We have not invented a new point of view. We are
not Realists, or Romanticists, or Decadents. For us, all art is good which
is good art. We hope to appeal to the tastes of the intelligent by not
being original for originality’s sake, or audacious for the sake of advertise-
ment, or timid for the convenience of the elderly-minded. We intend to
print no verse which has not some close relationship with poetry, no fiction
which has not a certain sense of what is finest in living fact, no criticism
which has not some knowledge, discernment, and sincerity in its judgment.
We could scarcely say more, and we are content to think we can scarcely
say less.



EDITORIAL NOTE       .       .       .        .       .        .       .        .       .        .        5
ON GOING TO CHURCH.   An Article by G. BERNARD SHAW         .          .         13
TO NANCY.   A Story by FREDERICK WEDMORE       .       .        .        .        .      31
MANDOLINE.   A Poem, translated by Arthur Symons from the Fêtes
       Galantes of PAUL VERLAINE (illustrated)
      .        .        .        .        .       .       42
A GOOD PRINCE.   An Article by MAX BEERBOHM        .         .        .        .       45
THE EYES OF PRIDE.  A Story by ERNEST DOWSON        .           .           .         51
THE THREE MUSICIANS.   A Poem by AUBREY BEARDSLEY(illustrated)      .      65
    .       .        .        .       .        .       .        .       .        .       .       .      67
TWO LOVE POEMSThe Shadowy Horses:  The Travail of Passion.
        By W.B. YEATS
       .        .       .       .       .        .       .        .        .        .      83
DIEPPE: 1895.   An Article by ARTHUR SYMONS (illustrated)     .        .        .       84
ELLEN.   A Story by RUDOLF DIRCKS    .       .       .        .       .        .        .        103
SEA-MUSIC.   A Poem by MATHILDE BLIND        .         .        .       .        .        111
     .        .       .        .       .        .       .        .       .        112
A GLASS OF WHISKEY.   A Story by HUMPHREY JAMES        .        .        .       127
IMPENITENTIA ULTIMA.   A Poem by ERNEST DOWSON       .         .        .     131
THE BINDING OF THE HAIR.   A Story by W.  B.  YEATS        .        .       .       135
ON CRITICISM AND THE CRITIC.   An Essay by SELWYN IMAGE      .       .     141
THE WANDERERS.   A Poem by ARTHUR SYMONS       .        .       .         .       149
        (Chapters  I, II,  and  III, illustrated by the Author)
        .        .        .        .      151




COVER       By AUBREY BEARDSLEY      .       .      .       .      .       .      .       .      
TITLE PAGE       By AUBREY BEARDSLEY      .       .      .       .      .      .      .        3
CONTENTS PAGE        By AUBREY BEARDSLEY      .       .      .       .      .       .     7
A LITHOGRAPH.       By C. H. SHANNON      .       .      .      .       .      .       .       29
MANDOLINE.       A Wood-Engraving from a Water-Colour Drawing by
      .       .      .      .       .      .      .       .      .      .       .      43
REGENT STREET, LONDON.       After a Pen-and-Ink Drawing by JOSEPH
        .       .      .       .      .       .      .       .      .       .      .       .        49
THE THREE MUSICIANS       By AUBREY BEARDSLEY       .       .      .      .        64
TAILPIECE       By AUBREY BEARDSLEY       .      .       .      .       .      .      .        66
LA PARISIENNE.       By LOUIS OURY       .      .      .       .      .      .       .      .    81
THE BATHERS.       By AUBREY BEARDSLEY       .      .       .      .       .      .        87
THE MOSKA.       By AUBREY BEARDSLEY      .      .       .      .      .       .      .      91
CHLOE.       By W. ROTHENSTEIN       .      .       .      .      .       .       .       .        109
THE OLD CHARTIST.       By F. SANDYS. Reproduced from Once a Week      .      119
HAROLD.       By F. SANDYS. Reproduced from Once a Week       .      .       .         120
A DRAWING.       By J. MCNEILL WHISTLER.      Reproduced from Once a Week      121
       after the Drawing by MAX BEERBOHM
       .      .       .      .      .       .      .      125
       After the Oil-Painting by JACQUES L. BLANCHE       .      .      .       .      .        133
A HEAD.       After a Crayon Drawing by J. LEMMEN (printed in sanguine)      .     139
THE FLYING ASS:      a Scene from Voltaire’s La Pucelle.       Reproduced
       in half-tone from an Etching by W. ROTHENSTEIN
       .        .       .        .        147
THE ABBE       By AUBREY BEARDSLEY       .      .       .      .      .      .        .        157
THE TOILET       By AUBREY BEARDSLEY      .      .       .      .      .      .       .       161
THE FRUIT-BEARERS       By AUBREY BEARDSLEY      .      .       .      .      .       167
A LARGE CHRISTMAS CARD       By AUBREY BEARDSLEY       .       .        .         

      The Whole of the Reproductions in this Volume, in line and half-tone blocks, and
                                    the two wood engravings, are by MR. PAUL NAUMANN.



AS a modern man, concerned with matters of fine art and living in
London by the sweat of my brain, I dwell in a world which, unable
to live by bread alone, lives spiritually on alcohol and morphia. Young and
excessively sentimental people live on love, and delight in poetry or fine
writing which declares that love is Alpha and Omega ; but an attentive
examination will generally establish the fact that this kind of love, ethereal
as it seems, is merely a symptom of the drugs I have mentioned, and
does not occur independently except in those persons whose normal state
is similar to that induced in healthy persons by narcotic stimulants. If
from the fine art of to-day we set aside feelingless or prosaic art, which
is, properly, not fine art at all, we may safely refer most of the rest to
feeling produced by the teapot, the bottle, or the hypodermic syringe. An
exhibition of the cleverest men and women in London at five p.m., with
their afternoon tea cut off, would shatter many illusions. Tea and coffee
and cigarettes produce conversation ; lager beer and pipes produce routine
journalism ; wine and gallantry produce brilliant journalism, essays and
novels ; brandy and cigars produce violently devotional or erotic poetry;
morphia produces tragic exaltation (useful on the stage) ; and sobriety
produces an average curate’s sermon. Again, strychnine and arsenic may
be taken as pick-me-ups ; doctors quite understand that “tonics” mean
drams of ether; chlorodyne is a universal medicine ; chloral, sulphonal
and the like call up Nature’s great destroyer, artificial sleep ; bromide
of potassium will reduce the over-sensitive man of genius to a con-
dition in which the alighting of a wasp on his naked eyeball will not
make him wink ; haschisch tempts the dreamer by the Oriental glamour of
its reputation ; and gin is a cheap substitute for all these anodynes.
Most of the activity of the Press, the Pulpit, the Platform and the Theatre

14                              THE SAVOY

is only a symptom of the activity of the drug trade, the tea trade, the
tobacco trade and the liquor trade. The world is not going from bad to
worse, it is true ; but the increased facilities which constitute the advance
of civilisation include facilities for drugging oneself. These facilities wipe
whole races of black men off the face of the earth ; and every extension
and refinement of them picks a stratum out of white society and devotes
it to destruction. Such traditions of the gross old habits as have reached
me seem to be based on the idea of first doing your day’s work and then
enjoying yourself by getting drunk. Nowadays you get drunk to enable
you to begin work. Shakespere’s opportunities of meddling with his nerves
were much more limited than Dante Rossetti’s ; but it is not clear that
the advantage of the change lay with Rossetti. Besides, though Shakespere
may, as tradition asserts, have died of drink in a ditch, he at all events
conceived alcohol as an enemy put by a man into his own mouth to steal
away his brains ; whereas the modern man conceives it as an indispensable
means of setting his brains going. We drink and drug, not for the pleasure
of it, but for Dutch inspiration and by the advice of our doctors, as duellists
drink for Dutch courage by the advice of their seconds. Obviously this
systematic, utilitarian drugging and stimulating, though necessarily “moderate”
(so as not to defeat its own object), is more dangerous than the old boozing
if we are to regard the use of stimulants as an evil.

As for me, I do not clearly see where a scientific line can be drawn
between food and stimulants. I cannot say, like Ninon de l’Enclos, that a
bowl of soup intoxicates me ; but it stimulates me as much as I want to be
stimulated, which is, perhaps, all that Ninon meant. Still, I have not failed
to observe that all the drugs, from tea to morphia, and all the drams, from
lager beer to brandy, dull the edge of self-criticism and make a man content
with something less than the best work of which he is soberly capable. He
thinks his work better, when he is really only more easily satisfied with him-
self. Those whose daily task is only a routine, for the sufficient discharge of
which a man need hardly be more than half alive, may seek this fool’s
paradise without detriment to their work; but to those professional men whose

                      ON GOING TO CHURCH                                         15

art affords practically boundless scope for skill of execution and elevation
of thought, to take drug or dram is to sacrifice the keenest, most precious
part of life to a dollop of lazy and vulgar comfort for which no true man of
genius should have any greater stomach than the lady of the manor has for
her ploughman’s lump of fat bacon. To the creative artist stimulants are
especially dangerous, since they produce that terrible dream-glamour in which
the ugly, the grotesque, the wicked, the morbific begin to fascinate and
obsess instead of disgusting. This effect, however faint it may be, is always
produced in some degree by drugs. The mark left on a novel in the Leisure
Hour by a cup of tea may be imperceptible to a bishop’s wife who has
just had two cups ; but the effect is there as certainly as if De Quincey’s
eight thousand drops of laudanum had been substituted.

A very little experience of the world of art and letters will convince
any open-minded person that abstinence, pure and simple, is not a practicable
remedy for this state of things. There is a considerable commercial demand
for maudlin or nightmarish art and literature which no sober person would
produce, the manufacture of which must accordingly be frankly classed
industrially with the unhealthy trades, and morally with the manufacture
of unwholesome sweets for children or the distilling of gin. What the victims
of this industry call imagination and artistic faculty is nothing but attenuated
delirium tremens, like Pasteur’s attenuated hydrophobia. It is useless to
encumber an argument with these predestined children of perdition. The
only profitable cases are those to consider of people engaged in the
healthy pursuit of those arts which afford scope for the greatest mental
and physical energy, the clearest and acutest reason and the most elevated
perception. Work of this kind requires an intensity of energy of which no
ordinary labourer or routine official can form any conception. If the dreams
of Keeleyism could be so far realised as to transmute human brain energy
into vulgar explosive force, the head of Shakespere, used as a bombshell,
might conceivably blow England out of the sea. At all events, the succession
of efforts by which a Shaksperean play, a Beethoven symphony, or a Wagner
music-drama is produced, though it may not overtax Shakespere, Beethoven

16                              THE SAVOY

or Wagner, must certainly tax even them to the utmost, and would be as
prodigiously impossible to the average professional man as the writing of an
ordinary leading article to a ploughman. What is called professional work
is, in point of severity, just what you choose to make it, either commonplace,
easy and requiring only extensive industry to be lucrative, or else dis-
tinguished, difficult and exacting the fiercest intensive industry in return,
after a probation of twenty years or so, for authority, reputation and an
income only sufficient for simple habits and plain living. The whole
professional world lies between these two extremes. At the one, you
have the man to whom his profession is only a means of making himself
and his family comfortable and prosperous : at the other, you have the man
who sacrifices everything and everybody, himself included, to the perfection
of his work—to the passion for efficiency which is the true master-
passion of the artist. At the one, work is a necessary evil and
moneymaking a pleasure : at the other, work is the objective realisation of
life and moneymaking a nuisance. At the one, men drink and drug
to make themselves comfortable : at the other, to stimulate their working
faculty. Preach mere abstinence at the one, and you are preaching nothing
but diminution of happiness. Preach it at the other, and you are proposing
a reduction of efficiency. If you are to prevail, you must propose a sub-
stitute. And the only one I have yet been able to hit on is—going to

It will not be disputed, I presume, that an unstimulated saint
can work as hard, as long, as finely and, on occasion, as fiercely, as
a stimulated sinner. Recuperation, recreation, inspiration seem to come to
the saint far more surely than to the man who grows coarser and fatter
with every additional hundred a year, and who calls the saint an ascetic.
A comparison of the works of our carnivorous drunkard poets with those
of Shelley, or of Dr. Johnson’s dictionary with that of the vegetarian Littré,
is sufficient to show that the secret of attaining the highest eminence either
in poetry or in dictionary compiling (and all fine literature lies between the
two), is to be found neither in alcohol nor in our monstrous habit of bringing

                      ON GOING TO CHURCH                                         17

millions of useless and disagreeable animals into existence for the express
purpose of barbarously slaughtering them, roasting their corpses and eating
them. I have myself tried the experiment of not eating meat or drinking tea,
coffee or spirits for more than a dozen years past, without, as far I can
discover, placing myself at more than my natural disadvantages relatively to
those colleagues of mine who patronise the slaughter-house and the distillery.
But then I go to church. If you should chance to see, in a country church-
yard, a bicycle leaning against a tombstone, you are not unlikely to find me
inside the church if it is old enough or new enough to be fit for its
purpose. There I find rest without languor and recreation without excitement,
both of a quality unknown to the traveller who turns from the village church
to the village inn and seeks to renew himself with shandygaff. Any place
where men dwell, village or city, is a reflection of the consciousness of every
single man. In my consciousness there is a market, a garden, a dwelling, a
workshop, a lover’s walk—above all, a cathedral. My appeal to the master-
builder is: Mirror this cathedral for me in enduring stone; make it with
hands; let it direct its sure and clear appeal to my senses, so that when my
spirit is vaguely groping after an elusive mood my eye shall be caught by the
skyward tower, showing me where, within the cathedral, I may find my way
to the cathedral within me. With a right knowledge of this great function
of the cathedral builder, and craft enough to set an arch on a couple of pillars,
make doors and windows in a good wall and put a roof over them, any
modern man might, it seems to me, build churches as they built them in the
middle ages, if only the pious founders and the parson would let him. For
want of that knowledge, gentlemen of Mr. Pecksniff’s profession make
fashionable pencil-drawings, presenting what Mr. Pecksniff’s creator elsewhere
calls an architectooralooral appearance, with which, having delighted the
darkened eyes of the committee and the clerics, they have them translated into
bricks and masonry and take a shilling in the pound on the bill, with the
result that the bishop may consecrate the finished building until he is black
in the face without making a real church of it. Can it be doubted by the
pious that babies baptised in such places go to limbo if they die before

18                              THE SAVOY

qualifying themselves for other regions ; that prayers said there do not count ;
nay, that such purposeless, respectable-looking interiors are irreconcilable with
the doctrine of Omnipresence, since the bishop’s blessing is no spell of black
magic to imprison Omnipotence in a place that must needs be intolerable to
Omniscience? At all events, the godhead in me, certified by the tenth
chapter of St. John’s Gospel to those who will admit no other authority,
refuses to enter these barren places. This is perhaps fortunate, since they
are generally kept locked ; and even when they are open, they are jealously-
guarded in the spirit of that Westminster Abbey verger who, not long ago,
had a stranger arrested for kneeling down, and explained, when remonstrated
with, that if that sort of thing were tolerated, they would soon have people
praying all over the place. Happily it is not so everywhere. You may now
ride or tramp into a village with a fair chance of finding the church-door open
and a manuscript placard in the porch, whereby the parson, speaking no less
as a man and a brother than as the porter of the House Beautiful, gives you
to understand that the church is open always for those who have any use for
it. Inside such churches you will often find not only carefully-cherished work
from the ages of faith, which you expect to find noble and lovely, but
sometimes a quite modern furnishing of the interior and draping of the altar,
evidently done, not by contract with a firm celebrated for its illustrated
catalogues, but by someone who loved and understood the church, and who,
when baffled in the search for beautiful things, had at least succeeded in
avoiding indecently commercial and incongruous ones. And then the search
for beauty is not always baffled. When the dean and chapter of a cathedral
want not merely an ugly but a positively beastly pulpit to preach from—
something like the Albert Memorial canopy, only much worse—they always
get it, improbable and unnatural as the enterprise is. Similarly, when an
enlightened country parson wants an unpretending tub to thump, with a few
pretty panels in it and a pleasant shape generally, he will, with a little
perseverance, soon enough find a craftsman who has picked up the thread
of the tradition of his craft from the time when that craft was a fine art—
as may be done nowadays more easily than was possible before we had

                      ON GOING TO CHURCH                                         19

cheap trips and cheap photographs*—and who is only too glad to be allowed
to try his hand at something in the line of that tradition. Some months ago,
bicycling in the west country, I came upon a little church, built long before
the sense of beauty and devotion had been supplanted by the sense of
respectability and talent, in which some neat panels left by a modern carver
had been painted with a few saints on gold backgrounds, evidently by some
woman who had tried to learn what she could from the early Florentine
masters and had done the work in the true votive spirit, without any taint of
the amateur exhibiting his irritating and futile imitations of the celebrated-artist
business. From such humble but quite acceptable efforts, up to the master-
piece in stained glass by William Morris and Burne-Jones which occasionally
astonishes you in places far more remote and unlikely than Birmingham or
Oxford, convincing evidence may be picked up here and there that the decay of
religious art from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth was not caused by any
atrophy of the artistic faculty, but was an eclipse of religion by science and com-
merce. It is an odd period to look back on from the churchgoer’s point of view
—those eclipsed centuries calling their predecessors “the dark ages,” and trying
to prove their own piety by raising, at huge expense, gigantic monuments in
enduring stone (not very enduring, though, sometimes) of their infidelity.
Go to Milan, and join the rush of tourists to its petrified christening-cake
of a cathedral. The projectors of that costly ornament spared no expense to
prove that their devotion was ten times greater than that of the builders of
San Ambrogio. But every pound they spent only recorded in marble that
their devotion was a hundred times less. Go on to Florence and try San
Lorenzo, a really noble church (which the Milan Cathedral is not),


* At the bookstall in the South Kensington Museum, any young craftsman, or other person,
can turn over hundreds of photographs taken by Alinari, of Florence, from the finest work in the
churches and palaces of Italy. He will not be importuned to buy, or grudged access to the port-
folios, which are, fortunately, in charge of a lady who is a first-rate public servant. He can,
however, purchase as many of the photographs as he wants for sixpence each. This invaluable
arrangement, having been made at the public expense, is carefully kept from the public knowledge,
because, if it were properly advertised, complaints might be made by English shopkeepers who
object to our buying Alinari’s cheap photographs instead of their own dear photographs of the
Great Wheel at Earl’s Court.

20                              THE SAVOY

Brunelleschi’s masterpiece. You cannot but admire its intellectual command
of form, its unaffected dignity, its power and accomplishment, its masterly
combination of simplicity and homogeneity of plan with elegance and
variety of detail : you are even touched by the retention of that part of the
beauty of the older time which was perceptible to the Renascent intellect before
its weaning from heavenly food had been followed by starvation. You under-
stand the deep and serious respect which Michael Angelo had for Brunelleschi
—why he said “I can do different work, but not better.” But a few minutes’
walk to Santa Maria Novella or Santa Croce, or a turn in the steam-tram
to San Miniato, will bring you to churches built a century or two earlier;
and you have only to cross their thresholds to feel, almost before you have
smelt the incense, the difference between a church built to the pride and
glory of God (not to mention the Medici) and one built as a sanctuary
shielded by God’s presence from pride and glory and all the other burdens
of life. In San Lorenzo up goes your head—every isolating advantage you
have of talent, power or rank asserts itself with thrilling poignancy. In the
older churches you forget yourself, and are the equal of the beggar at
the door, standing on ground made holy by that labour in which we
have discovered the reality of prayer. You may also hit on a church
like the Santissima Annunziata, carefully and expensively brought up
to date, quite in our modern church-restoring manner, by generations
of princes chewing the cud of the Renascence ; and there you will
see the worship of glory and the self-sufficiency of intellect giving way
to the display of wealth and elegance as a guarantee of social
importance—in another word, snobbery. In later edifices you see how
intellect, finding its worshippers growing colder, had to abandon its dignity
and cut capers to attract attention, giving the grotesque, the eccentric, the
baroque, even the profane and blasphemous, until, finally, it is thoroughly
snubbed out of its vulgar attempts at self-assertion, and mopes conventionally
in our modern churches of St. Nicholas Without and St. Walker Within,
locked up, except at service-time, from week’s end to week’s end without ever
provoking the smallest protest from a public only too glad to have an

                      ON GOING TO CHURCH                                         21

excuse for not going into them. You may read the same history of the
human soul in any art you like to select ; but he who runs may read it in
the streets by looking at the churches.

Now, consider for a moment the prodigious increase of the population of
Christendom since the church of San Zeno Maggiore was built at Verona,
in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Let a man go and renew himself
for half an hour occasionally in San Zeno, and he need eat no corpses, nor
drink any drugs or drams to sustain him. Yet not even all Verona, much
less all Europe, could resort to San Zeno in the thirteenth century ; whereas,
in the nineteenth, a thousand perfect churches would be but as a thousand
drops of rain on Sahara. Yet in London, with four millions and a quarter of
people in it, how many perfect or usable churches are there? And of the
few we have, how many are apparent to the wayfarer? Who, for instance,
would guess from the repulsive exterior of Westminster Abbey that there are
beautiful chapels and a noble nave within, or cloisters without, on the
hidden side?

I remember, a dozen years ago, Parson Shuttleworth, of St. Nicholas
Cole Abbey in the city, tried to persuade the city man to spend his mid-day
hour of rest in church ; guaranteeing him immunity from sermons, prayers
and collections, and even making the organ discourse Bach and Wagner,
instead of Goss and Jackson. This singular appeal to a people walking in
darkness was quite successful: the mid-day hour is kept to this day; but
Parson Shuttleworth has to speak for five minutes—by general and insistent
request—as Housekeeper, though he has placed a shelf of books in the
church for those who would rather read than listen to him or the organ.
This was a good thought ; for all inspired books should be read either in
church or on the eternal hills. St. Nicholas Cole Abbey makes you feel, the
moment you enter it, that you are in a rather dingy rococo banqueting-room,
built for a city company. Corpulence and comfort are written on every stone
of it. Considering that money is dirt cheap now in the city, it is strange that
Mr. Shuttleworth cannot get twenty thousand pounds to build a real church.
He would, soon enough, if the city knew what a church was. The twenty

22                              THE SAVOY

thousand pounds need not be wasted, either, on an “architect.” I was
lately walking in a polite suburb of Newcastle, when I saw a church— a
    new church—with, of all things, a detached campanile ; at sight of which
I could not help exclaiming profanely : “How the deuce did you find your
way to Newcastle?” So I went in and, after examining the place with
much astonishment, addressed myself to the sexton, who happened to be
about. I asked him who built the church, and he gave me the name of
Mr. Mitchell, who turned out, however, to be the pious founder—a ship-
builder prince, with some just notion of his princely function. But this
was not what I wanted to know ; so I asked who was the—the word stuck
in my throat a little—the architect. He, it appeared, was one Spence. “Was
that marble carving in the altar and that mosaic decoration round the chancel
part of his design?” said I. “Yes,” said the sexton, with a certain surliness
as if he suspected me of disapproving. “The ironwork is good,” I remarked,
to appease him ; “who did that?” “Mr. Spence did.” “Who carved that
wooden figure of St. George?” (the patron saint of the edifice). “Mr.
Spence did.” “Who painted those four panels in the dado with figures in
oil?” “Mr. Spence did : he meant them to be at intervals round the
church, but we put them all together by mistake.” “Then, perhaps, he
designed the stained windows, too?” “Yes, most of em.” I got so irritated
at this—feeling that Spence was going too far—that I remarked sarcas-
tically that no doubt Mr. Spence designed Mr. Mitchell’s ships as
well, which turned out to be the case as far as the cabins were
concerned. Clearly, this Mr. Spence is an artist-craftsman with a
vengeance. Many people, I learnt, came to see the church, especially in
the first eighteen months; but some of the congregation thought it too
ornamental. (At St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, by the way, some of the
parishioners objected at first to Mr. Shuttleworth as being too religious.)
Now, as a matter of fact, this Newcastle church of St. George’s is not
ornamental enough. Under modern commercial conditions, it is impossible
to get from the labour in the building-trade that artistic quality in the
actual masonry which makes a good mediæval building independent of

                      ON GOING TO CHURCH                                         23

applied ornament. Wherever Mr. Spence’s artist’s hand has passed over
the interior surface, the church is beautiful. Why should his hand not pass
over every inch of it? It is true, the complete finishing of a large church
of the right kind has hardly ever been carried through by one man. Some-
times the man has died: more often the money has failed. But in this
instance the man is not dead ; and surely money cannot fail in the most
fashionable suburb of Newcastle. The chancel with its wonderful mosaics, the
baptistry with its ornamented stones, the four painted panels of the dado, are
only samples of what the whole interior should and might be. All that cold
contract masonry must be redeemed, stone by stone, by the travail of the
artist-churchmaker. Nobody, not even an average respectable Sabbath-
keeper, will dare to say then that it is over-decorated, however out of place
in it he may feel his ugly Sunday clothes and his wife’s best bonnet.
Howbeit, this church of St. George’s in Newcastle proves my point, namely,
that churches fit for their proper use can still be built by men who follow
the craft of Orcagna instead of the profession of Mr. Pecksniff, and built
cheaply, too ; for I took the pains to ascertain what this large church
cost, and found that £30,000 was well over the mark. For aught
I know, there may be dozens of such churches rising in the country ; for
Mr. Spence’s talent, though evidently a rare and delicate one, cannot be
unique, and what he has done in his own style other men can do in theirs,
if they want to, and are given the means by those who can make money,
and are capable of the same want.

There is still one serious obstacle to the use of churches on the very
day when most people are best able and most disposed to visit them. I
mean, of course, the services. When I was a little boy, I was compelled
to go to church on Sunday ; and though I escaped from that intolerable
bondage before I was ten, it prejudiced me so violently against churchgoing
that twenty years elapsed before, in foreign lands and in pursuit of works
of art, I became once more a churchgoer. To this day. my flesh creeps
when I recall that genteel suburban Irish Protestant church, built by
Roman Catholic workmen who would have considered themselves damned

24                              THE SAVOY

had they crossed its threshold afterwards. Every separate stone, every pane
of glass, every fillet of ornamental ironwork— half-dog-collar, half-coronet— in
that building must have sowed a separate evil passion in my young heart.
Yes ; all the vulgarity, savagery, and bad blood which has marred my literary
work, was certainly laid upon me in that house of Satan! The mere nullity
of the building could make no positive impression on me : but what could,
and did, were the unnaturally motionless figures of the congregation in their
Sunday clothes and bonnets, and their set faces, pale with the malignant
rigidity produced by the suppression of all expression. And yet these people
were always moving and watching one another by stealth, as convicts com-
municate with one another. So was I. I had been told to keep my restless
little limbs still all through those interminable hours ; not to talk ; and, above
all, to be happy and holy there and glad that I was not a wicked little boy
playing in the fields instead of worshipping God. I hypocritically acquiesced ;
but the state of my conscience may be imagined, especially as I implicitly
believed that all the rest of the congregation were perfectly sincere and good.
I remember at that time dreaming one night that I was dead and had gone
to heaven. The picture of heaven which the efforts of the then Established
Church of Ireland had conveyed to my childish imagination, was a waiting
room with walls of pale sky-coloured tabbinet, and a pew-like bench running all
round, except at one corner, where there was a door. I was, somehow, aware
that God was in the next room, accessible through that door. I was seated
on the bench with my ankles tightly interlaced to prevent my legs dangling,
behaving myself with all my might before the grown-up people, who all
belonged to the Sunday congregation, and were either sitting on the bench
as if at church or else moving solemnly in and out as if there were
a dead person in the house. A grimly-handsome lady who usually sat in a
corner seat near me in church, and whom I believed to be thoroughly con-
versant with the arrangements of the Almighty, was to introduce me presently
into the next room—a moment which I was supposed to await with joy and
enthusiasm. Really, of course, my heart sank like lead within me at the
thought ; for I felt that my feeble affectation of piety could not impose on

                      ON GOING TO CHURCH                                         25

Omniscience, and that one glance of that all-searching eye would discover
that I had been allowed to come to heaven by mistake. Unfortunately for
the interest of this narrative, I awoke, or wandered off into another dream,
before the critical moment arrived. But it goes far enough to show that
I was by no means an insusceptible subject : indeed, I am sure, from other
early experiences of mine, that if I had been turned loose in a real church,
and allowed to wander and stare about, or hear noble music there instead
of that most accursed Te Deum of Jackson’s and a senseless droning of
the Old Hundredth, I should never have seized the opportunity of a great
evangelical revival, which occurred when I was still in my teens, to begin
my literary career with a letter to the Press (which was duly printed),
announcing with inflexible materialistic logic, and to the extreme horror of
my respectable connections, that I was an atheist. When, later on, I was
led to the study of the economic basis of the respectability of that and similar
congregations, I was inexpressibly relieved to find that it represented a mere
passing phase of industrial confusion, and could never have substantiated its
claims to my respect if, as a child, I had been able to bring it to book. To
this very day, whenever there is the slightest danger of my being mistaken
for a votary of the blue tabbinet waiting-room or a supporter of that morality
in which wrong and right, base and noble, evil and good, really mean
nothing more than the kitchen and the drawing-room, I hasten to claim
honourable exemption, as atheist and socialist, from any such complicity.

When I at last took to church-going again, a kindred difficulty beset me,
especially in Roman Catholic countries. In Italy, for instance, churches are
used in such a way that priceless pictures become smeared with filthy tallow-
soot, and have sometimes to be rescued by the temporal power and placed in
national galleries. But worse than this are the innumerable daily services
which disturb the truly religious visitor. If these were decently and intelli-
gently conducted by genuine mystics to whom the Mass was no mere rite
or miracle, but a real communion, the celebrants might reasonably claim
a place in the church as their share of the common human right to its
use. But the average Italian priest, personally uncleanly, and with chronic

26                              THE SAVOY

catarrh of the nose and throat, produced and maintained by sleeping and
living in frowsy, ill-ventilated rooms, punctuating his gabbled Latin only
by expectorative hawking, and making the decent guest sicken and shiver
every time the horrible splash of spitten mucus echoes along the vaulting
from the marble steps of the altar : this unseemly wretch should be seized
and put out, bell, book, candle and all, until he learns to behave himself.
The English tourist is often lectured for his inconsiderate behaviour in
Italian churches, for walking about during service, talking loudly, thrusting
himself rudely between a worshipper and an altar to examine a painting,
even for stealing chips of stone and scrawling his name on statues. But
as far as the mere disturbance of the services is concerned, and the often
very evident disposition of the tourist—especially the experienced tourist—
to regard the priest and his congregation as troublesome intruders, a week
spent in Italy will convince any unprejudiced person that this is a perfectly
reasonable attitude. I have seen inconsiderate British behaviour often enough
both in church and out of it. The slow-witted Englishman who refuses to
get out of the way of the Host, and looks at the bellringer going before it
with “Where the devil are you shoving to?” written in every pucker of his
free-born British brow, is a familiar figure to me ; but I have never seen any
stranger behave so insufferably as the officials of the church habitually do.
It is the sacristan who teaches you, when once you are committed to tipping
him, not to waste your good manners on the kneeling worshippers who are
snatching a moment from their daily round of drudgery and starvation to be
comforted by the Blessed Virgin or one of the saints ; it is the officiating
priest who makes you understand that the congregation are past shocking by
any indecency that you would dream of committing, and that the black looks
of the congregation are directed at the foreigner and the heretic only, and
imply a denial of your right as a human being to your share of the use of
the church. That right should be unflinchingly asserted on all proper occasions.
I know no contrary right by which the great Catholic churches made for the
world by the great church-builders should be monopolised by any sect as
against any man who desires to use them. My own faith is clear : I am

                      ON GOING TO CHURCH                                         27

a resolute Protestant ; I believe in the Holy Catholic Church ; in the Holy
Trinity of Father, Son (or Mother, Daughter) and Spirit ; in the Com-
munion of Saints, the Life to Come, the Immaculate Conception, and the
everyday reality of Godhead and the Kingdom of Heaven. Also, I believe
that salvation depends on redemption from belief in miracles; and I regard
St. Athanasius as an irreligious fool—that is, in the only serious sense of
the word, a damned fool. I pity the poor neurotic who can say, “Man
that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of
misery,” as I pity a maudlin drunkard ; and I know that the real religion
of to-day was made possible only by the materialist-physicists and atheist-
critics who performed for us the indispensable preliminary operation of
purging us thoroughly of the ignorant and vicious superstitions which were
thrust down our throats as religion in our helpless childhood. How those who
assume that our churches are the private property of their sect would think
of this profession of faith of mine I need not describe. But am I, therefore,
to be denied access to the place of spiritual recreation which is my inheritance
as much as theirs? If, for example, I desire to follow a good old custom
by pledging my love to my wife in the church of our parish, why should I
be denied due record in the registers unless she submits to have a moment
of deep feeling made ridiculous by the reading aloud of the naive impertinences
of St. Peter, who, on the subject of Woman, was neither Catholic nor Christian,
but a boorish Syrian fisherman. If I want to name a child in the church, the
prescribed service may be more touched with the religious spirit—once or
twice beautifully touched—but, on the whole, it is time to dismiss our prayer-
book as quite rotten with the pessimism of the age which produced it. In
spite of the stolen jewels with which it is studded, an age of strength and
faith and noble activity can have nothing to do with it : Caliban might have
constructed such a ritual out of his own terror of the supernatural, and such
fragments of the words of the saints as he could dimly feel some sort of
glory in.

My demand will now be understood without any ceremonious formulation
of it. No nation, working at the strain we face, can live cleanly without

28                              THE SAVOY

public-houses in which to seek refreshment and recreation. To supply that
vital want we have the drinking-shop with its narcotic, stimulant poisons, the
conventicle with its brimstone-flavoured hot gospel, and the church. In the
church alone can our need be truly met, nor even there save when we leave
outside the door the materialisations that help us to believe the in-
credible, and the intellectualisations that help us to think the unthink-
able, completing the refuse-heap of “isms” and creeds with our vain lust for
truth and happiness, and going in without thought or belief or prayer or any
other vanity, so that the soul, freed from all that crushing lumber, may open
all its avenues of life to the holy air of the true Catholic Church.


                                                                        Weymouth, 29th September.

    IT happens that I have seen much of you, Nancy, at an eventful
moment—eventful for yourself I mean, in your life and your career—
and here, because I like you, and like to think of and reflect on you, there
is written down, straight and full, the record of my impression : concealing
nothing, though written to yourself : a letter absolutely frank, looking all
facts in the face; for, young though you are, you are intelligent enough
to bear them. My letter you may find tedious, perhaps, but at all
events unusual ; for letters, even when detailed, generally omit much, hide
some part of a thought—put the thing in a way that pleases the writer,
or is intended to please the receiver. Here am I at the end of my first
page, Nancy, and all preface ! Well, I shall recall, to begin with, how it
was that I met you.

    Acquit me, please, of any general love of your over-praised Music Hall.
Neither it nor the Theatre counts for much in my life. I like you personally :
I imagine a Future for you ; but I am not anxious for “the status of the
profession.” Life, it is just possible, has other goals than that of being
received in smart drawing-rooms—whatever art you practice, its practice is your
reward. Society, my dear, has bestowed of late upon the stage “lover” an
attention that is misplaced. We are getting near the end of it : the cabotin,
in a frock coat, no longer dominates the situation at afternoon teas. Youths
from the green-room have, in the Past, over the luncheon-table, imparted
to me, with patronage, their views about Painting ; to me, Nancy, to your old
friend, who has painted for thirty years—a full Academician one year since, with
but few honours (as men call them) left to gain : few years, alas ! in which to
live to gain them. Child as you are, your common sense—that neatly-balanced
little mind of yours, so unusually clear—that neatly-balanced mind assures

32                              THE SAVOY

you that it is not the profession you follow, but what you have been able to
do in it, and what you really are, that gives you—I mean, of course, gives
any one—legitimate claim to be in privileged places, to be motioned to
the velvet of the social sward. “Artist,” indeed ! As well expect to be received
with welcome for having had sufficient capital to buy a camp stool and a few
feet of German moulding with which to frame a canvas sent to the Dudley
Gallery, as to be suffered to dictate and to dogmatise in virtue of a well-worn
coat and an appearance at a London theatre !

    You have read so far, and yet I have not reminded you how it was
that you and I came to know each other. It was just two years ago, in
this same town from which I write to you. I saw a photograph that
struck me, at the door of your place of entertainment—at the door of the
“People’s Delight.” The face was young—but I have known youth. Pretty,
it was— but a fashionable portrait-painter lives with prettiness. It was so
monstrously refined !

    At three o’clock, they said, there would be an entertainment— Miss
Nancy Nanson would certainly be seen. And in I went, with a companion—
old Sir James Purchas, of Came Manor— my host more than once in these
parts. Sir James, you know, is not a prey to the exactions of conventionality,
and there was no reason why the humble entertainment your lounge and
shelter offered to the tripper should not afford us half an hour’s amusement.

    The blazing September afternoon you recollect— September with the
glare of the dog days. The “people,” it seemed, were not profiting that day
by the “People’s Delight,” for the place was all but empty—everyone out of
doors—and we wandered, not aimlessly indeed, but not successfully, among
those cavernous, half-darkened regions, among the stalls for fruits and sweets
and cheap jewelry, in search of a show. A turn, and we came suddenly on
rows of empty chairs placed in front of a small stage, with drawn curtain ;
and, at a money-taker’s box (for reserved seats, as I supposed)—leaning over
the money-taker’s counter, in talk with someone who came, it may be, from
a selling-stall—there was a child, a little girl. Sir James touched my arm,
directing my attention to her, and I took the initiative—said to the little girl :

                                TO NANCY                                                     33

“We came to see Miss Nancy Nanson. You can tell us, perhaps, when is the
show going to begin?” “There won’t be any entertainment this afternoon,”
the girl answered; “because, you see, there isn’t any audience. I am Miss
Nancy Nanson.” The dignity of the child !

    The fact was, you remember, that photograph at the entrance gave the
impression of a girl of seventeen ; and I did not at all connect it with the
figure of the well-spoken, silver-voiced, elegant child, who proved to be your-
self—since then my model and my youthful friend. But the moment you
spoke, and when my eyes, still not quite used to the obscurity, took in your real
face and those refined expressions, the identity was established, though the
photograph, with its dexterous concealment, showed more the Nancy Nanson
you were going to be, than the Nancy Nanson you were. I was pleased,
nevertheless ; and we talked about yourself for a few minutes ; and when you
said (because I asked you) that there would be an entertainment next day, I
told you we would come to see it, certainly. And Sir James was indulgent.
And I am a man of my word.

    And now there is a bit we can afford to hurry over ; for the next
stage of our acquaintance does not advance, appreciably, the action of your
story. We came ; we saw your entertainment : your three turns : singing,
dancing: and pretty enough it was ; but yet, so-so. You were such a pleasant
child, of course we applauded you—so refined, yet singing, tolerably, such
nonsense. Even then, it was your charming little personality, you know—it
was not your performance that had in it attractiveness. Next day, I left the

    For two years after that, I never saw Miss Nancy Nanson, “vocalist and
dancer” ; only once heard of and read of you—only once, perhaps, thought of
you. The once was last Christmas—your name I saw was advertised in a
pantomime played by “juveniles.” I might, it is just possible, have gone to see it.
But the average “juvenile !”—think !—and then, the influenza and the weather !

    Well ! this present glowing September, Nancy—glowing and golden as
it was two years ago—brought me again, and very differently, into touch
with you. The Past is over. Now I fix your attention—for you are still

34                              THE SAVOY

patient with me—I fix your attention on the Present, and I point out
to you, in detail—I realise to myself—how the time is critical, eventful ;
how you stand, Nancy, upon a certain brink. I am not going to prophecy
what you may be ; but I tell you what you are. The real You, you know :
something better and deeper than that which those seven pastels, any or all of
them together, show you—my delighted notes of your external beauty ; touched,
I think, with some charm of grace that answers well to your own ; and
mimicking, not badly, the colours and contours of your stage presence.
Nothing more. Chance gleams—an artist’s “snap-shots” at Miss Nancy
Nanson, vocalist and dancer, at sixteen. (Sixteen yesterday.) But you—No!

    This present September—a fortnight since—I came again to Weymouth ;
this time alone ; putting up at the old “Gloucester” (it was George the Third’s
house) from which I write to you ; and not at Came Manor in the neighbour-
hood. In the Weymouth of to-day one is obliged, in nearly every walk, to
pass the “People’s Delight”—your cheap vulgarity, my dear, that the great
Georgian time would have resented. I passed it soon, and the two names
biggest upon the bills were, “Achilles, the Strong Man”—there are things in
which even a decayed watering place cannot afford to be behind the
fashion—”Achilles, the Strong Man,” then, and “Miss Nancy Nanson.”
Again did I go in ; took the seat, exactly, that I had taken two years since,
in the third row of chairs ; and while a band of three made casual, lifeless,
introductory music, I waited for the show.

    The curtain rose presently on a great, living, breathing, over-energetic
statue—a late Renaissance bronze, by John of Bologna, he seemed—that
muscular piece of colour and firm form, that nigger, posed effectively,
and of prodigious force. “John of Bologna”—but you never heard of him!
Then he began his operations—Achilles, the Strong Man—holding, and
only by his teeth, enormous weights ; and rushing round with one, two,
hundredweight, as if it were a feather ; lifting, with that jaw of his, masses
of iron ; crashing them on the stage again, and standing afterwards with
quivering muscles, heaving chest. Applause—I joined in it myself in
common courtesy—and then the curtain fell.

                                TO NANCY                                                     35

    A wait. The band struck up again—it was your first turn. A slim
and dainty figure, so very slight, so very young, in a lad’s evening dress,
advanced with swiftness towards the footlights, and bowed in a wide
sweep that embraced everyone. Then you began to sing—and not too well,
you know—a song of pretty-enough sentiment ; the song of a stripling whose
sweetheart was his mother. His mother, she sufficed for him. It suited
your young years. A tender touch or two, and with a boy’s manliness.
Applause! You vanished.

    You vanished to return. In a girl’s dress this time, with movements
now more swift and now more graceful. Another song, and this time dancing
with it. It was dancing you were born for. “She has grown another being—
and yet with the old pleasantness—in these two years,” I thought. “A child
no longer.” In colour and agility you were a brilliant show. I have told you
since, in talking, what I thought of you. You were not a Sylvia Grey, my dear ;
still less that other Sylvia Voltaire praised, contrasting her with the Camargo.
The Graces danced like Sylvia, Voltaire said—like the Camargo, the wild
nymphs. No ! you were not Voltaire’s Sylvia, any more than you were
Sylvia Grey. Sylvia Grey’s dance is perfect, from the waist upwards—as
an observant actress pointed out to me, with whom I saw it. Swan-like in
the holding and slow movement of the head and neck ; exquisite in the
undulations of the torso. Where Sylvia Grey ends—I mean where her
remarkableness ends (for she has legs like another, I take it)—you, my dear,
begin. But you want an Ingres to do you justice. The slimness of the
girl, and what a fineness, as of race ; and then, the agility of infinite practice,
and sixteen young years !

    A third turn—then it was that you were agile most of all. The flying
feet went skyward. Black shoes rushed, comet-like, so far above your head,
and clattered on the floor again ; whilst against the sober crimson of the
background curtain—a dull, thin stuff, stretched straightly—gleamed the white
of moving skirts, and blazed the boss of brightest scarlet that nestled some-
where in the brown gold of your head. Then, flushed and panting, it
was over.

36                              THE SAVOY

    Next day, in a gaunt ante-room, or extra chamber, its wooden floor
quite bare, and the place furnished only with a couple of benches and a
half-voiceless semi-grand piano—the wreck of an Erard that was great once
—in that big, bare room, Nancy, where my pastels since have caught
your pose in lilac, rose and orange, but never your grave character, I came
upon, and closely noted, and, for a quarter of an hour, talked to, a sedate
young girl in black—a lady who, in all her bearing, ways, gesture, silver
voice, was as refined as any, young or old, that I have been in contact
with in my long life—and I have lived abundantly amongst great ladies, from
stately, restful Quakeress to the descendant of the “hundred Earls.” No one
is more refined than you. This thing may not last with you. Whether it
lasts depends, in great measure, upon the life you lead, in the strange world
opening to you. Your little craft, Nancy, your slender skiff, will have some
day to labour over voluminous seas.

    You remember what you told me, in the great ante-room, standing
by the wreck of the Erard, that your fingers touched. All your life
to that time. You were frankness absolutely ; standing there in your
dull, black frock that became you to perfection ; standing with hat of
broad, black straw—the clear-cut nose, the faultless mouth, the bright-brown
hair curled short about your head, and the limpid look of your serene eyes,
steadily grey. It was interesting, and amusing too, your story. I told you,
you remember, how much you had got on, how changed you were, what
progress I had noticed. And you said a pretty “Thank you.” It was clear
that you meant it. We were friends. I asked who taught you—so far
as anything can be taught in this world, where, at bottom, one’s way is,
after all, one’s own. You said, your mother. And I told you I’d seen your
name in some London Christmas play-bill. “I had a big success,” you said.
What a theatrical moment it was !—the one occasion in all my little dealings
with you in which I found the traditions of “the profession” stronger with you
than your own personal character. Now, your own personal instinct is to be
modest and natural; the traditions of “the profession” are to boast. You did
boast, Nancy! You had a big success, had you? Perhaps, for yourself ;

                                TO NANCY                                                     37

I do not say you failed. But the piece—my dear, you know it was a frost.
Did it run three weeks? Come now! And someone, out of jealousy, paid
four guineas—she or her friends did—to get you a bad notice somewhere
in back-stairs journalism. And they got it, and then repented of it. You
were friends with them afterwards. But what a world, Nancy !—a world
in which, for four guineas, a scoundrel contributes his part towards damning
your career !

    You remember, before I asked if I might make some sketches of you,
you were turning over a song that had been sent you by “a gentleman at
Birmingham.” He had had it “ruled” for you, and wanted you to buy it
for three pounds. It was “rather a silly song,” you thought. I settled
myself quietly to master the sense, or, as was more probable, the nonsense, of
it. My dear, it was blank rubbish ! But you were not going to have it,
you said. “Mamma would never buy a song I didn’t like and take to.”
That was well, I thought. And then you slowly closed the ruined Erard, and
were going away. But on the road down-stairs, remember, I persuaded you to
ask your mother that you might give me sittings. I told you who I was. And
in the gaunt ante-room, lit well from above, I had a sitting next day. It
was the first of several. And your mother trusted me, and trusted you, as
you deserve to be trusted. And we worked hard together, didn’t we ?—you
posing, and I drawing. And there are seven pastels which record— tant bien
que mal, my dear— the delightful outside of you, the side the public might itself
see, if it had eyes to really see—the flash of you in the dance, snow-white or
carmine ; and I got all that with alacrity—”swift means” I took, to “radiant
ends”—the poise of the slim figure, the white frock slashed with gold, the
lifted foot, and that gleam of vivid scarlet in your hair against the background
of most sober crimson.

    This tranquil Sunday I devote to writing to you, is the day after
your last appearance at the “People’s Delight.” You and your mother,
very soon, you tell me, leave Weymouth and your old associations—it is your
home, you know—and you leave it for ever. The country, you admit, is
beautiful, but you are tired of the place. I don’t much wonder. And you

38                              THE SAVOY

leave it—the great bay, the noble chalk downs, the peace of Dorset and
its gleaming quiet—you leave it for lodgings in the Waterloo Road. For
you must be among the agents for the Halls. Though you have been
upon the Stage since you were very little, you have but lately, so you
say, put your heart into it. Well! it is not unnatural. But no more
Sunday drives into the lovely country, recollect, with your brother, who is
twenty-one and has his trade ; and your uncle, who is in a good way of
business here, you said—your uncle, the plumber.

    And so, last night being your last night, Nancy, it was almost like
a Benefit. As for your dancing, you meant, I knew, to give us the cup
filled—yes, filled and running over. I had noticed that, on some earlier
evening, when Little Lily Somebody—a dumpling child, light of foot, but with
not one “line” in all her meaningless, fat form—when Little Lily Somebody
had capered her infantile foolishness, to the satisfaction of those who rejoice
in mere babyhood, someone presented her with a bouquet. And you
danced, excellently, just after her—you, height and grace, slimness and
soul—and someone, with much effusion, handed you up a box of chocolates.
And you smiled pleasantly. I saw there was a little conflict in your mind,
however, between the gracious recognition of what was well-enough meant, and
the resentment—well, the resentment we can hardly call it : the regret, at all
events—at being treated so very visibly as a child—and yesterday you were to
be sixteen ! So I myself—who, if this small indignity had not been offered
you, might conceivably have given you, in private, at all events, a basket
of fine fruit—I meant to offer you flowers. It might have been fruit, I say,
if smuggled into the ante-room where I had done my pastels ; for I had seen
you once there, crunching, quite happily, imperfect apples between perfect
teeth—your perfect teeth, almost the only perfect things, Nancy, in an
imperfect world.

    But it had to be flowers. So I sent round to the dressing-room, just
as you were getting ready, two button-holes merely—wired button-holes—
of striped carnations, red or wine-coloured. They were not worn in your
first turn. They were not worn in your second. In your third turn, I

                                TO NANCY                                                     39

espied them at your neck’s side, in the fury of your dance. Already there are
people, I suppose, who would have thought those striped carnations happy—
tossed, tossed to pieces, in the warmth of your throat.

    Your second turn, last night, you know, was in flowing white, slashed
with gold—old-gold velvet—with pale stockings. The third—when the
Bowers died happy in your riot—in pure white alone, with stockings
black. You remember the foot held in your hand, as you swing round upon
the other toe—and one uplifted leg seen horizontal, in its straight and modelled

    My dear—what were my little flowers? Who could have known—
when you had finished—the great things still to come? When the applause
seemed over, and the enthusiasm of some lieutenant from Dorchester was,
as I take it, abated and suppressed—when the applause was over, a certain
elocutionist (Mr. Paris Brown, wasn’t it?) brought you again upon the stage,
and saying it was your last appearance, made you some presentation:
a brooch from himself, “of no intrinsic value” he informed us— I willingly
believed him—a bracelet from I don’t know who—that had an “intrinsic
value,” I surmise—and a bouquet, exquisite. It was “From an admirer,”
Mr. Paris Brown, the elocutionist, read out, from an accompanying card.
Then he congratulated you upon your Past ; prophesied as to your Future ; and,
in regard to the presents to you, he said, in words that were quite happily
chosen—because, Nancy, they were reticent while they were expressive—
“She is but a— girl ; and she has done her duty by the management. Long
may she be a credit to her father and mother !” Your mother I was well
aware of—your mother I respect ; and you, you love her. But your father
—he was invented, I think, for the occasion, as an additional protection,
should the designs upon you of the admirer from Dorchester prove to be not
altogether such as they ought to be. The precaution was unnecessary ; it
was taking Time by the forelock. Our young friend looked ingenuous,
and smitten grievously—you seem so big upon the stage, Nancy—so grown
up, I mean. I could, I think, have toned down his emotions, had I told
him you were a bare sixteen.

40                              THE SAVOY

    Nancy, there is—for me—a certain pathos in this passage of yours
from childhood into ripening girlhood; a book closed, as it were ; a phase
completed ; an ending of the way. “What chapter is to open? Nancy Nanson
—what phase or facet of her life,” I ask myself, “is now so soon to be
presented? What other way, what unfamiliar one, is to follow her blameless
and dutiful childhood?” I had a restless night, Nancy. Thinking of this,
one saw—ridiculously perhaps—a presage in the first bouquet, a threat in
the first bracelet—in the admirer’s card. Would she be like the rest?
—at least, too many. Besmirched, too?

    Remember, Nancy, I am no Puritan at all. I recognise Humanity’s
instincts. There is little I do not tolerate. I recognise the gulf that
separates the accidentally impolitic from the essentially wrong. But we
owe things to other people—to the World’s laws. We have responsi-
bilities. Noblesse oblige ; and all superiority is Noblesse. “She must not be like
the rest,” I said, last night, in broken dreams ; “dining, winking, leering even,
since sold at last and made common.” In broken dreams, last night—or in
wakeful hours—your feet tossed higher ; your gay blood passed into the place
—electrical, overpowering. You can be so grave and sweet, you know ; and
you can be so mad.

    Have you ever lain awake, in the great, long darkness, and watched in
the darkness a procession—the people of your Past and all your Future?
But you have no Past. For myself, I have watched them. My mother, who
is long gone ; those who were good to me, and whom I slighted ; the relations
who failed me ; the friend I lost. And the uncertain figures of the Future !
But the line of the Future is short enough for me—for you, it is all
yours. Last night, it seemed to me, the dark was peopled with your
enemies ; with your false friends, who were coming—always coming—the
unavoidable crowd of the egotistic destroyers of youth. Their dark hearts,
I thought, look upon her as a prey : some of them cruel, some of them
cynical, yet some of them only careless. And I wished that last night
had not come—your sixteenth birthday—with the applause and gifts and
menacing triumph.

                                TO NANCY                                                     41

    There are women, perhaps, men cannot wrong—since they have
wronged themselves too much. “This is a good girl,” I said ; and my
over-anxious mind—in real affection for her—cries out to all the horrid
forces of the world : “Leave Nancy!”

    Nancy, when you read this, you smile—and naturally—at your most
sombre friend. You think, of course, with all the reckless trust, courageous
confidence, of girlhood, “So superfluous! So unnecessary!”

    Go the straight way !   .   .   . Whatever way you go, I shall always
be your friend.

                                                                        FREDERICK WEDMORE.


(From the “Fêtes Galantes” of Paul Verlaine).

            THE singers of serenades
                  Whisper their faded vows
        Unto fair listening maids
            Under the singing boughs.

            Tircis, Aminte, are there,
                  Clitandre is over-long,
        And Damis for many a fair
            Tyrant makes many a song.

            Their short vests, silken and bright,
                 Their long, pale, silken trains,
        Their elegance of delight,
            Twine soft, blue, shadowy chains.

            And the mandolines and they,
                 Faintlier breathing, swoon
        Into the rose and grey
            Ecstasy of the moon.

                                           ARTHUR SYMONS.


    I FIRST saw him one morning of last summer, in the Green Park.
Though short, even insignificant, in stature and with an obvious
tendency to be obese, he had that unruffled, Olympian air, which is so
sure a sign of the Blood Royal.  In a suit of white linen he looked
serenely cool, despite the heat.  Perhaps I should have thought him, had
I not been versed in the Almanach de Gotha, a trifle older than he is.
He did not raise his hat in answer to my salute, but smiled most
graciously and made as though he would extend his hand to me, mistaking
me, I doubt not, for one of his friends.  A member of his suite, however,
said something to him in an undertone, whereat he smiled again and took
no further notice of me.

    I do not wonder the people idolise him.  His almost blameless life has
been passed among them, nothing in it hidden from their knowledge.  When
they look upon his dear presentment in the photographer’s window— the
shrewd, kindly eyes under the high forehead, the sparse locks so carefully
distributed— words of loyalty only and of admiration rise to their lips.
For of all princes in modern days he seems to fulfil, most perfectly, the
obligation of princely rank.  Nήπɩος he might have been called in the heroic
age, when princes were judged according to their mastery of the sword or
of the bow, or have seemed, to those mediaeval eyes that loved to see a
scholar’s pate under the crown, an ignoramus.  We are less exigent now.
We do but ask of our princes that they should live among us, be often
manifest to our eyes, set a perpetual example of a right life. We bid
them be the ornaments of our State.  Too often they do not attain to
our ideal.  They give, it may be, a half-hearted devotion to soldiering, or
pursue pleasure merely— tales of their frivolity raising now and again the
anger of a public swift to envy them their temptations.  But against this

46                              THE SAVOY

admirable Prince no such charges can be made.  Never (as yet, at least) has
he cared to “play at soldiers.”  By no means has he shocked the Puritans.
Though it is no secret that he prefers the society of ladies, not one breath of
scandal has ever touched his name.  Of how many English princes could
this be said, in days when Figaro, quill in hand, inclines his ear to every

    Upon the one action that were well obliterated from his record
I need not long insist.  The wife of an aged ex-Premier came to have an
audience and pay her respects.  Hardly had she spoken, when His Royal
Highness, in a fit of unreasoning displeasure, struck her a violent blow
with his clenched fist.  The incident is deplorable, but belongs, after all,
to an earlier period of his life ; and, were it not that no appreciation
must rest upon the suppression of any scandal, I should not have referred
to it. For the rest, I find no stain, soever faint, upon his life.  The
simplicity of his tastes is the more admirable for that he is known to
care not at all for what may be reported in the newspapers.  He has
never touched a card, never entered a play-house.  In no stud of racers
has he indulged, preferring to the finest blood – horse ever bred a certain
white and woolly lamb with a blue riband at its neck. This he is never
tired of fondling.  It is with him, like the roebuck of Henri Quatre,
wherever he goes.

     Suave and simple his life is ! Narrow in range, it may be, but
with every royal appurtenance of delight !  Round the flower-garden at
Sandringham runs an old wall of red brick, streaked with ivy and topped
infrequently with balls of stone.  By the iron gates, that open to a vista of
flowers, stand two kind policemen, guarding the Prince’s procedure along that
bright vista.  As his perambulator rolls out of the gate of St. James’s Palace,
he stretches out his tiny hands to the scarlet sentinels.  An obsequious retinue
follows him over the lawns of the White Lodge, cooing and laughing, blowing
kisses and praising him.  Yet his life has not been all happy. The afflictions
that befall royal personages always touch very poignantly the heart of the
people and it is not too much to say that all England watched by the

                                 A GOOD PRINCE                                    47

cradle-side of Prince Edward in those hours of pain, when first the little
battlements rose about the rose-red roof of his mouth.  Irreiterate be the
horror of that epoch !

     As yet, when we know not even what his first words will be, it is
too early to predict what verdict posterity will pass upon him.  Already he
has won the hearts of the people; but, in the years which, it is to be hoped,
still await him, he may accomplish more.  Attendons ! He stands alone
among European princes— but, as yet, only with the aid of a chair.

                                                                               MAX BEERBOHM.




To A. F.
            “Pluck out the eyes of pride; thy lips to mine ?
            Never, though I die thirsting! Go thy ways!”
                                                                        GEORGE MEREDITH.


“ DO as you please— it’s all one to me : yet I think you will live to regret
     He spoke sullenly, with well-affected indifference, standing on the hearth-
rug, his hands in his pockets, looking down at her ; and yet there was a note
of irresolution, of potential suffering in his voice, which was absent from her reply :
    “If I do, I will tell you.”
    “That is just what you will never do.”
    “Perhaps not.” She was actually indifferent, or her dissimulation was
more profound than his, for the blank coldness of her speech lit a spark of
irritation in him.
    “And, all the same, I think you will regret it— every day of your
life.   .   .   .    By God ! you are making a great mistake, Rosalind !”
    “Is it all coming over again ?” murmured the girl, wearily.  “And,
after all, it’s your own choice.”
    He flushed angrily. He was in evening dress, and he fidgeted with his
tie for a moment, before he held out his hand with stiff courtesy.
    “Good-bye,” he said ; and “Good-bye, Mr. Seefang !” the girl answered,
listlessly.  He dropped her impassive hand, and went slowly towards the door.
Then he remembered he had brought his hat with him into the drawing-room,
and he came back again, and placed it mechanically under his arm.  “Well,
good-bye, Rosalind !” he said again.  This time she made no response, and he
was really gone when she raised her eyes again.   .   .   .   

52                              THE SAVOY

    When he opened the hall door, emerged into the square, he paused to
light a cigar before he plunged into the fog, rank and yellow and raw, which
engulfed him.  A clock struck eleven.  It was actually so late ; and he began
to look round, vaguely, for a hansom, reflecting that their rapid talk—certainly,
it had been fruitful in momentous consequences—had lasted for over an hour.
He decided that all the cabs would have disappeared ; the square railings, ten
yards in front of him, were invisible ; he shrugged his shoulders— a gesture
habitue! with him, in which, just now, lassitude and a certain relief were
mingled— and, doggedly and resolutely, he set his face eastwards, to accom-
plish on foot: his return journey to the Temple.   .   .   .    As he went, his mind
was recasting his past life, and more especially the last six months of it, during
which he had been engaged to Rosalind Lingard.  Well ! that was over at
last, and he was unable to add that it had been pleasant while it lasted.
Pleasant? Well, no!  but it had been an intoxicating experience—a delirious
torture.  Now he was a free man, and he tried to congratulate himself,
reminding himself of all the phrase implied.  Yes ; he was free again— free
to his old pleasures and his old haunts, to his friends and his former wan-
dering life, if he chose ; above all, free to his art—his better passion.   .   .   .   
And, suddenly, into his meditation there floated the face of the girl on the
sofa, impassively beautiful and sullen, as it had been framed to his vision
when he last held her hand, and he ground his teeth and cursed aloud.

    He began to remember how, all along, he had forecasted this end of his
wooing.  What an ill-omened affair it had been from the first !  He was yet
uncertain whether he loved or hated her most.  That he had loved her at all
was the Miracle.  But, even now, he knew that he had loved her, with a love
that was not child’s-play—it had come for that—but, like his genius,
faulty yet tremendous.

    There was a great deal of Seefang ; even the critics of his pictures admitted
it ; and everything about him was on a large scale.  So that when he had fallen
in love with Rosalind Lingard, after three days’ acquaintance, he had done so
supremely, carried away by a strange hurricane of sensual fascination and
spiritual rapture.  Meeting her first at a sparsely-attended table d’hôte in a

                           THE EYES OF PRIDE                                    53

primitive Breton village where he was painting, he had promptly disliked her,
thought her capricious and ill-tempered.  Grudgingly, he had admitted that
she was beautiful, but it was a beauty which repelled him in a girl of his
own class, although he would have liked it well enough in women of less title
to respect, with whom he was far too well acquainted.

    If he had ever thought of marriage—and it must have been remotely—
during his fifteen years of manhood, spent so pleasantly in the practice of an art
in which his proficiency had met recognition and in the frank and unashamed
satisfaction of his vigorous appetites, he had dreamed of a girl most unlike
Rosalind Lingard ; a girl with the ambered paleness and the vaguely virginal
air of an early Tuscan painting, who would cure him of his grossness and
reform him.  For he had, still, intervals of depression—generally when he had
spoiled a canvas—in which he accused himself of living like a beast, and
hankered, sentimentally, for the love of a good woman.  And yet, Rosalind
Lingard, with her ambiguous charm, her adorable imperfection, had been this
woman—the first to dominate him by something more than the mere rose and
white of her flesh.  Masterful as he had been with the others, he was her
slave, if it was still his masterfulness which bound her to him, for a pliant
man would have repelled her, and she had dreamed of being loved tyrannically.
A few days had sufficed.  A juxtaposition somewhat out of the common—a
slight illness of her aunt, Mrs. Sartorys, with whom she was travelling—
having thrown them together, a discovery which he made suddenly, that if
she was capricious she could yet be charming, and that her audacity was
really the perfection of her innocence—these were the material agents of his
subjection.  To the lovers, as they became speedily, inevitable fate and the
god who watches over little lovers were held alone responsible.  The best of
Seefang’s character, in which the fine and the gross were so strangely mingled,
leapt to meet the promise in her eyes.  Their vows were exchanged.   .   .   .   

    He crossed Piccadilly Circus, debating whether he should go home at once
or turn into his club and have an hour’s poker ; finally, he decided to make
for the Temple   .   .   .    And he told himself again that it was over.  In retro-
spect, their love seemed like a long quarrel, with a few intervals of reconciliation.

54                              THE SAVOY

But there had been a time, at the very beginning, when life was like Eden ;
when he was so buoyant that he felt as if his head must touch the sky.  He
left his easel and wandered with them through Morbihan : his knowledge of
the country, so sad and cold and poor, and yet so pictorial, made him their
cicerone to nooks which elude the ordinary tourist.  Actually, they were not
betrothed, but they anticipated the official sanction ; and, indeed, no opposition
was expected even by Mrs. Sartorys ; though, formally, Rosalind’s guardian,
a learned lawyer—an abstract idea, even, to his ward—was to be consulted.
Seefang had his fame, his kinship with the peerage, to set off against the girl’s
fortune, which was considerable.  Had he been less eligible, Mrs. Sartorys,
a weak, placid woman, professionally an invalid, would have been equally sub-
missive.  As it was, she allowed them the license of an engagement, stipulating
merely for a postponement which was nominal.  They rambled alone together
over the ruddy moorland as it pleased them.  Once he said to her :
    “If your guardian damns me, will you make a curtsy and dismiss me,
Rosalind ?”
    They had come to a pause in their walk ; the sun was merciless, and
they had wandered off the road to seek shade ; the girl had seated herself on
a bank under a silver-birch tree, Seefang was standing over her.  She shook
her head.
    “No ! if I’ve ever wanted anything since I was a child, I’ve cried and
stormed till I got it.”
    “You give yourself a fine character.”
    “I’m not a nice girl, I’ve told you so before.”
    “Nice!” he looked at her gravely.  “I don’t care about niceness.”
    “What do you care for”
    “You as you are,” he said deliberately : “proud, capricious, not very
sweet of temper, and—I suspect—”
    Her eyes challenged him, he completed his phrase: “A bit of a flirt!”
    “And yet you—”
    “And yet I love you; good God! what am I myself?”
    She glanced at him with a sort of mocking tenderness.

                           THE EYES OF PRIDE                                    55

    “You are very proud,” she said ; “capricious, I don’t know ; but stubborn
and headstrong ; I think you can be very cruel, and I am sure you have
been very wicked.”
    “And yet?——”” he imitated her phrase softly.  They were quite alone
with the trees and the birds, and instinctively their lips met.  Presently she
resumed, a trifle sadly, her eyes contemplating vaguely the distant valley.
    “I’m only a girl— not twenty.  You are thirty-eight, thirty-eight!  You
must have kissed so many, many women before me.”
    He touched her hand very softly, held it while he went on : “Never
mind the past, Rosalind.  I’ve lived as other men. If I’ve been stupid, it
was because I had never known you. When a man has been in heaven he
is in no hurry to get back anywhere else. I’m yours, and you know it—
body and soul— and they are a poor bargain, my child ! ever since— since
Ploumariel.”  She flushed and her head drooped towards him ; at Ploumariel
they had crossed the great climacteric.  When she looked up, the sun, moving
westwards, lit up the valley opposite them, illuminated the white stones of a
village cemetery.  Her eyes rested upon it.  Presently she said :
    “Oh, my dear, let us be kind to each other, bear and forbear   .   .   .   
That’s the end of it all.”
    For a moment he was silent : then he leant over and kissed her hair.
    “Rosalind, my darling, I wish we were dead together, you and I, lying
there quietly, out of the worry of things.”
    It was a fantastic utterance, an odd and ominous mood to interrupt
their foolish talk of plighted lovers ; it never recurred.  But just now it came
back to him like an intuition.  It is so much easier to die for the woman you
love than to live with her.  They could talk of bearing and forbearing, but
much tolerance was in the nature of neither.  They were capable of
generosity, but even to themselves they could not be just.  Both had known
speedily how it must end.  He was impatient, tyrannical ; she, capricious
and utterly a woman ; their pride was a great Juggernaut, beneath whose car
they threw, one by one, their dearest hopes, their happiness and all that
they cared most for in life.  Was she a coquette ? At least she cared for

56                              THE SAVOY

admiration, encouraged it, declined to live her life as he would have it.  His
conviction that small sacrifices which he asked of her she refused, not from
any abiding joy the possession gave her, but in sheer perverseness, setting
her will against his own, heightened his estimation of the offence. That his
anger was out of all proportion to her wrongdoing he knew, and his know-
ledge merely inflamed his passionate resentment.  She, on her side, was
exacting, jealous of his past life ; he was faithfully her lover, and he felt
aggrieved, perhaps unjustly, that woman-like she took constancy too much
for granted, was not more grateful that he did not lapse.  And neither could
make concessions : they hardened their hearts, were cold of eye and tongue
when a seasonable softening would have flung them each in the other’s arms.
When they were most divided, each was secretly aware that life without the
other would be but a savourless dish.  For all that, they had ended it.  She
had flung him back his liberty, and he had accepted it with a bitter word
of thanks.  They had said, if they had not done, irrevocable things   .   .   .   

    Seefang let himself into his chambers and slammed the oak behind
him ; the room smelt of fog, the fire had gone out, and, just then, the lack
of it seemed the most intolerable thing in life. But he sat down, still in his
ulster, lighting the candle to dispel the gloom, and faced his freedom more
deliberately than he had done before.  He began to think of his work, and
he was surprised at discovering how utterly he had neglected it during the
last six months.  There is nothing so disorganising as a great passion, nothing
so enervating as a virtuous one.  He went to bed, vowing that he would
make amends.  His art ! that he should ever have forgotten it !  None of the
other women had interfered with that, the women who had amused him,
satisfied the animal in him, but whom he had not loved.  She alone had
made him forget it. He had a sense of ingratitude towards his art, as to a
person who has always stood by one, whom at times one has not valued,
and whom one finds, after some calamity, steadfast and unchanged.  His art
should stand him in good stead now ; it should help him to endure his life, to
forget her and be strong.  Strength ! that was the great thing ; and he knew
that it appertained to him. He fell asleep murmuring that he was glad he

                           THE EYES OF PRIDE                                    57

was strong   .   .   .   strong   .   .   .    Two months later Seefang went abroad ;
he had made arrangements for a prolonged absence.  He had not seen Miss
Lingard ; if an acquaintance, who was ignorant of the rupture, asked after
her, he looked vacant, seemed to search his memory to give the name a
connotation. Then he remarked indifferently that he believed Mrs. Sartorys
was out of town.  He was working hard, contemplated work more arduous
still.  Every now and then he drew himself up and reminded himself that
he had forgotten her.

    For two years he was hardly heard of : he was believed to be travelling
in Spain, living in some secluded village. Then he was in London for a
month : he exhibited, and critics were unanimous in their opinion that he had
never done better work—at which he smiled. They declared he had not been
in vain to the land of Velasquez and Goya. It was at this time that he
heard of Miss Lingard’s marriage with Lord Dagenham ; that nobleman had
carried away his bride to an obscure Scandinavian capital, where he was
diplomatically engaged. Seefang was curious enough to turn over the pages
of Debrett, and discovered that the bridegroom was sixty ; it enabled him to
credit the current rumour that he was dull. He went on smiling and was
abroad for another three years.


    He had known they would meet when he first heard that the Dagenhams
were in town.  Lord Dagenham had abandoned diplomacy with stays and any
semblance of being young ; he was partly paralysed, and was constantly to be
seen in a bath-chair in Kensington Gardens.  But the lady went everywhere,
and Seefang made much the same round ; their encounter was merely a
question of time. He faced it with equanimity, or its tolerable imitation : he
neither feared it nor hoped for it.  And the season was but a few weeks old
when it came about. At the dinner-table he faced her almost directly.

    Five years ! Her beauty was richer, perhaps ; it had acquired sombre
tones like an old picture ; but she was not perceptibly altered, hardly older.
She was straight and tall, had retained something of her slim, girlish figure ;

58                              THE SAVOY

and, as of old, her beauty had a sullen stain on it ; in the languid depths of
her dark eyes their fate was written ; her full mouth in repose was scornful.
He finished his soup, talked to his neighbour, mingled in the conversation ;
one of his remarks sent a little ripple of well-bred laughter down the table,
and he noticed that she joined in it.  But her eyes avoided him, as they had
done when she bowed to him formally in the drawing-room.  They had not
spoken.  A vague feeling of irritation invaded him.  Was there another woman
in the world with hair like that, so dark and multitudinous ?  He had promised
himself to forget her, and it seemed to him that the promise had been kept.
Life had been amusing, full of experience, lavish and expansive. If one
supreme delight were impossible, that had not seemed to him a reason for
denying himself any lesser joys which offered—joys, distractions.  How
successful he had been !  And the tide of his irritation rose higher.  His
mind went back to the days when he had first known her.  She had forgotten
them, no doubt, but they were good while they lasted—yes, they were good.
But what a life they would have led !—how thankful he should have been
for his escape !  From time to time he fidgeted nervously with his tie.  Like
a great wave of anguish his old desire swept over him.

    To Lady Dagenham, if she had not seemed to notice him, his presence
there, facing her, was the one fact which possessed her mind during that
interminable dinner-party.  She had to perfection the gift of being rude
urbanely, and she had begun by repressing any intentions of her neighbour
on the right to be conversational.  Her neighbour on the left talked for
three ; she preserved appearances by throwing him smiles, and at mechanical
intervals an icy monosyllable.  “Yes,” and “Yes,” said her lips, and her
eyes, which looked everywhere else—above, below, beside him—saw only
Seefang   .   .   .    He was changed ; older, coarser, bigger, she thought.  Large
he had always been ; but to-night he loomed stupendous. Every now and
then his deep voice was borne across to her—that remained the same, his
voice was always pleasant.  And she missed no detail—his hair was thinner,
it was streaked, like his moustache, with gray ; his eyes were clouded, a
trifle blood-shot ; his laugh was cynical and easy.  She noticed the one ring

                           THE EYES OF PRIDE                                    59

he wore, a curious, absinthe-coloured opal, when he moved his left hand, large,
but well-shaped and white.  She remembered the ring and his affection for
opals.  Had that been the secret of his luck—their luck? He was not
noticeably pitiable, but instinctively she fell to pitying him, and her com-
passion included herself.  Skeleton fingers groped out of the past and
throttled her.  At a familiar gesture, when his hand went up to his tie, a
rush of memories made her giddy.  Was the past never done with ? And
why wish things undone or altered ?  He was a cross, brutal fellow; stupid
and self-indulgent.  Why had they ever met ?  They were too much alike
And she was sorry for him, sorry if he still cared, and sorrier if, as was more
likely, he had forgotten ; for she was aware that the strength which puts
away suffering is more costly than acquiescence in unhappiness.  A sudden
tenderness came over her for him ; it was not with the man she was angry,
but with fate, the powers which had made them what they were, self-
tormentors, the instruments of their own evil. As she rose from the table
with the other women, she dropped one glance at him from her sombre, black
eyes.  And they met his in a flash which was electric.

    When he came upstairs, rather tardily, it was with a certain relief that
he failed to discover in either of the two large rooms, which opened into one
another, the face which he sought.  In the first of them, a young Hungarian
musician of note was just taking his seat at the piano.  The air was heavy
with the smell of flowers, full of soft vibrations—the frou-frou of silken skirts,
the rustle of posturing fans.  He moved into the second room.  It was a
parched, hot night, and the windows had been left open ; the thin lace
curtains protecting them were stirred imperceptibly.  With a strange, nervous
dread on him that was also an intuition, he pushed them aside and stepped
on to the spacious balcony.  Half-a-dozen people were sitting or standing
there, and he distinguished her profile, marble white and strangely cold, in the
subdued shine of the electric lights.  An elderly-looking young man with a
blonde moustache was talking with her.  He took his station by them, joined
mechanically in the conversation, looking not at her, but at the long, low
line of the park in front of them with its background of mysterious trees.

60                              THE SAVOY

Presently a crash of chords came from within—the Hungarian had begun
his performance.  People began to drift inside again ; Lady Dagenham and
the blonde young man—a little anxious, for he was due in the House,
concerned for a division—were the last loiterers.  For the second time their
eyes met, and there was a note of appeal in them.

    “Please don’t let me keep you, Mr. Rose   .   .   .    Mr. Seefang   .   .   .   We
are old friends, and I haven’t seen him for years   .   .   .    Mr. Seefang will look
after me.”

    When they were alone together he came over to her side, and they stood
so for a moment or two in silence : he was so close to her that he could
smell the misty fragrance of her hair, hear the sighing of her bosom.  The
tense silence preyed on them ; to break it at any cost, he said, at last :
“Rosalind !” Her white face was turned towards him, and he read the
passion in it as in a book.  And, “Rosalind !” he said again, with a new
accent, more strenuously.

    “So you have come back”—her rich voice was under control, but there
was a vibration in it which spoke of effort—“come back to England? Your
fame preceded you long ago. I have often heard of you, and wondered if we
should ever meet.”
    Did you ever wish it ?”
    “It is always pleasant to meet old friends,” she answered, mechanically.
    “Pleasant !” He laughed harshly. “There is no pleasure in it, Lady
Dagenham.” She glanced at him uneasily, for, unconsciously, he had raised his
voice. “And friends, are we friends—how can we be friends, you and I ?”
    “At least—not enemies,” she murmured.

    He was silent for a moment, looking out at the blurred mass of the
park, but seeing only her face, the face of her youth, softened and idealised,
so that five years seemed as yesterday, and the anger and bitterness, which
had driven them apart, chimeras.

    “At Ploumariel, up the hill to Sainte-Barbe” ; he spoke softly, as
it were to himself, and the natural harshness of his voice was modulated.
“Do you remember the wood, the smell of pines and wild thyme ?  The

                           THE EYES OF PRIDE                                    61

pine-needles crackled under your little feet.  How warm it was !  You were
tired at the end of the climb ; you sat on a boulder to rest, while I fetched
you milk from the cottage by the chapel— fresh milk in a big, yellow bowl,
too big for your little fingers to cling to.  You laughed ; and I held it to
your mouth, and you made me drink too, and I drank where the print of
your lips had been, and your lips were sweet and fresh — ”

    “Seefang!” she laid a white finger on his mouth, beseechingly, and
he trembled ; then let her hand rest on his with something of a caress.
“What is the use, Seefang?— what is the use? Do you think I have
forgotten ?   .   .   .   That was over and done with years and years ago.  It is
no use maddening ourselves.  We have so little, little time.  Even now,
someone may interrupt us at any moment ; we may not meet again— tell me
about yourself, your life, all these years.  I know you are a great artist ;
have you been happy ?”

    “I have made a name,” he said, shortly, “in more than one sense.  If
I were to speak, my voice might lie to you.  Look me in the face— that will
answer you.”
    Almost childishly she obeyed him, scrutinised the dark, strong face,
harsh and proud, with engrained lines of bitterness and ill-temper set upon
it even in repose.
     “You have answered me,” she said, with a little moan.
     “I have always longed for you, Rosalind, even when it seemed I had
forgotten you most   .   .   .   And you—?”
    She cut him short quickly.
    “I have not been over happy,” she said.
    “Then your husband—?”
    “My husband has been kind to me.  I have done—tried to do my
duty to him.“

    A fresh silence intervened, nervous and uneasy : each feared to dissipate
it, for each was instinctively conscious of what gulfs of passion lay beneath
it, irretrievable chasms into which one unstudied phrase, one word at random,
might hurl them both.  She was the first to make the venture.

62                              THE SAVOY

    “Can we not be friends, you and I ?” And, innocently as
she had spoken, the words had not fallen before she was conscious of her
error ; and his arms were round her, crushing the frail lace of her bodice,
and their lips had joined, and the thrill in her blood had belied her
    “Oh, why did we do it, what was the good of it, why did we ever
meet ?” she moaned, when the passionate moment had passed, and they were
left face to face together, stupefied, yet with the mask of convention upon
them once more, if set a little awry.
    “Because,—because—” he faltered.  “Oh, my darling, how can we
ever be friends ?  Oh, my love, my one love, anything but that !   .   .   .   There
is only one end of it—or two—one of two, and you know that, Rosalind !  My
clever, cross darling, you were always clever—always understood.  That is
why I liked you.”
    She stood free of him again ; her hands deftly, nervously restored one of
her black, ruffled tresses.
    “How little you liked me, after all !” she said at last.
    And she saw, with a keen delight in her power to hurt him, with more
pain at the hurt she did herself, the harsh and sneering lines round his
mouth and nostrils darken into prominence, the latent brute in his face
    “There was little enough to like in you, was there, Rosalind ? But, by
God ! I did—I loved you, yes, I love you   .   .   .   Look at the park, Rosalind !
It’s a mist, and dark ; you can guess at the trees, believe in the grass ;
perhaps it’s soft—and new there,—it’s vague and strange   .   .   .   would you
plunge into it now with me, darling—into the darkness ?  How this music
and people tire me since I’ve seen you   .   .   .   would you ? Cool and vague
and strange !   .   .   .   No, you wouldn’t—nor would I, even if it were possible.
You need not answer.  It would not do.  There, or here, we should hurt
each other as we always have—and shall, this side of the grave.  That
is why I said there was only one end of it, or two, and this is the one
you choose.”

                           THE EYES OF PRIDE                                    63

    Once more, she laid her hand on his, and went on, her fingers caressing,
absently, the opal of his ring.
    “Don’t be angry, Seefang, we have so little time—if it must be so.
Life is so short.  Besides, we’ve changed, grown older ; we might be kinder
to each other now.  What are you going to do?”
    “I shall live as I have done—go abroad, perhaps, a little sooner—
what else ?”
    “Oh, why ?” she cried instinctively.  “What is the good?”
“Would you have me come and see you ?  When are you at home ?
What is your day ?” he asked, with an inflection, the irony of which
escaped her.
    “If you are reasonable, why not ?” she queried.
    He took up her hand and kissed it very gently, and, as it might have
been a child’s, retained it in his own.
    “Because I am not that kind of man,” he said; “because I know
myself, and the world, and the world’s view of me ; because of my other
name, out of paint; because—”
    She pulled herself away, petulantly : withdrew from him with a sullen
    “How little you must respect me ! You need not have told me that
your reputation is infamous : I have heard of it : is it true, then ?”
“It is true that I love you. As for what they say—” he broke off
with a little suppressed laugh. “You see we are beginning to quarrel, we
are generating a misunderstanding—and, as you said, there is so little time.
The music is quite over, and we may be invaded any moment.”
“And I begin to feel chill,” she said.
He helped to arrange her cloak around her, lifted aside the curtain to
allow her passage.
    “So this is the end ?” she said, lightly ; and her subtile voice had
grown expressionless.
    “Yes,” he replied, dully ; “this is the very end.”

                                                                                                Ernest Dowson.


Page with ornament
The Database of Ornament

                               ALONG the path that skirts the wood,
                                      The three musicians wend their way,
                               Pleased with their thoughts, each other’s mood,
                                  Franz Himmel’s latest roundelay,
The morning’s work, a new-found theme, their breakfast and the summer day.

                               One’s a soprano, lightly frocked
                                      In cool, white muslin that just shows
                               Her brown silk stockings gaily clocked,
                                  Plump arms and elbows tipped with rose,
And frills of petticoats and things, and outlines as the warm wind blows.

                               Beside her a slim, gracious boy
                                      Hastens to mend her tresses’ fall,
                               And dies her favour to enjoy,
                                  And dies for réclame and recall
At Paris and St. Petersburg, Vienna and St. James’s Hall.

                               The third’s a Polish Pianist
                                      With big engagements everywhere,
                               A light heart and an iron wrist,
                                  And shocks and shoals of yellow hair,
And fingers that can trill on sixths and fill beginners with despair.

                               The three musicians stroll along
                                      And pluck the ears of ripened corn,
                                Break into odds and ends of song,
                                  And mock the woods with Siegfried’s horn,
And fill the air with Gluck, and fill the tweeded tourist’s soul with scorn.

                               The Polish genius lags behind,
                                      And, with some poppies in his hand,
                               Picks out the strings and wood and wind
                                  Of an imaginary band,
Enchanted that for once his men obey his beat and understand.

66                              THE SAVOY

                               The charming cantatrice reclines
                                      And rests a moment where she sees
                               Her château’s roof that hotly shines
                                  Amid the dusky summer trees,
And fans herself, half shuts her eyes, and smoothes the frock about her knees.

                               The gracious boy is at her feet,
                                      And weighs his courage with his chance;
                               His fears soon melt in noonday heat.
                                  The tourist gives a furious glance,
Red as his guide-book grows, moves on, and offers up a prayer for France.

                                                                                   Aubrey Beardsley.


    ZOLA’S name—a barbarous, explosive name, like an anarchist’s bomb—
has been tossed about amid hoots and yells for a quarter of a century.
In every civilised country we have heard of the man who has dragged
literature into the gutter, who has gone down to pick up the filth of the
streets, and has put it into books for the filthy to read. And in every
civilised country his books have been read by the hundred thousand, what-
ever judgment must be passed on the millions who have drunk of this moral
sewage. But popularity failed to silence the hooting ; in England, the
classic land of self-righteousness, the decree went forth that this thing must
be put an end to, and amid general acclamation the English publisher of
such garbage was clapped into gaol. There was only a slight pause in the
outcry, more a pause of stupefaction than of reconciliation, when it was
known that many respected novelists in Europe and America looked up
humbly to this scavenger as to a master ; or again, when a metaphysician
stood up in the Concord School of Philosophy and boldly classed him with
Jesus and the great masters of moral irony ; or once more, when the garbage-
monger himself was welcomed as an honoured guest in the city which had
imprisoned his publisher and prohibited his books, and when it was known
that he was standing, with some hope, at the sacred portals of the French

    To-day, Zola’s great life-work is completed. At the same time, the
uproar that it aroused has, to a large extent, fallen silent. Not that there
is any general agreement as to the rank of the author of the Rougon-
Macquart series ; but the storms that greeted it have worn themselves out,
and it is recognised that there are at least two sides to this as to other
questions. Such a time is favourable to the calm discussion of Zola’s
precise position.

68                              THE SAVOY

    The fundamental assertion of those who, in their irreconcilable oppo-
sition to Zola, have rightly felt that abuse is not argument, has always been
that Zola is no artist. The matter has usually presented itself to them as a
question of Idealism versus Realism. Idealism, as used by the literary critic,
seems to mean a careful selection of the facts of life for artistic treatment,
certain facts being suited for treatment in the novel, certain other facts
being not so suited; while the realist, from the literary critic’s point of
view, is one who flings all facts indiscriminately into his pages. I think
that is a fair statement of the matter, for the literary critic does not define
very clearly ; still less does he ask himself how far the idealism he advocates
is merely traditional, nor, usually, to what extent the manner of presentation
should influence us. He does not ask himself these questions, nor need we
ask him, for in the case of Zola (or, indeed, of any other so-called “realist”)
there is no such distinction. There is no absolute realism, merely various
kinds of idealism : the only absolute realism would be a phonographic record,
illustrated photographically, after the manner of Edison’s kinetoscope.
Zola is just as much an idealist as George Sand. It is true that he
selects very largely from material things, and that he selects very profusely.
But the selection remains, and where there is deliberate selection there must
be art. We need not trouble ourselves here—and I doubt whether we are
ever called upon to trouble ourselves—about “Realism” and “Idealism.” The
questions are : Has the artist selected his materials rightly? Has he
selected them with due restraint ?

    The first question is a large one, and, in Zola’s case at all events,
it cannot, I think, be answered on purely aesthetic grounds ; the second
may be answered without difficulty. Zola has himself answered it ; he
admits that he has been carried away by his enthusiasm, and perhaps, also,
by his extraordinary memory for recently-acquired facts (a memory like a
sponge, as he has put it, quickly swollen and quickly emptied) ; he has
sown details across his page with too profuse a hand. It is the same
kind of error as Whitman made, impelled by the same kind of enthusiasm.
Zola expends immense trouble to get his facts ; he has told how he

              ZOLA: THE MAN AND HIS WORK                                    69

ransacked the theologians to obtain body and colour for “La Faute de l’Abbé
Mouret,” perhaps the best of his earlier books. But he certainly spent
no more preliminary labour on it than Flaubert spent on “Madame Bovary,”
very far less than Flaubert spent on the study of Carthage for ” Salammbô.”
but the results are different ; the one artist gets his effects by profusion
and multiplicity of touches, the other by the deliberate self-restraint with
which he selects and emphasises solely the salient and significant touches.
The latter method seems to strike more swiftly and deeply the ends of
art. Three strokes with the brush of Frans Hals are worth a thousand
of Denner’s. Rich and minute detail may impress us, but it irritates and
wearies in the end. If a man takes his two children on to his knees,
it matters little whether he places Lénore on his right knee and Henri
on his left, or the other way about ; the man himself may fail to know
or to realise, and the more intense his feelings the less likely is he to
know. When we are living deeply, the facts of our external life do not
present themselves to us in elaborate detail ; a very few points are focal
in consciousness (to use Professor Lloyd Morgan’s terminology), while the
rest are marginal in subconsciousness. A few things stand out vividly at
each moment of life; the rest are dim. The supreme artist is shown by
the insight and boldness with which he seizes and illuminates these bright
points at each stage, leaving the marginal elements in due subordination.
Dramatists so unlike as Ford and Ibsen, novelists so unlike as Flaubert and
Tolstoi, yet alike impress us by the simple vividness of their artistic effects.
The methods adopted by Zola render such effects extremely difficult of
attainment. Perhaps the best proof of Zola’s remarkable art is the skill with
which he has neutralised the evil effects of his ponderous method. In using
the dramatic form, as in “Thérèse Raquin,” the method, obviously, will not
work, and Zola makes no attempt to get it to work, but is content to adopt
fairly simple means to reach effects which, in their way, are certainly tremendous
enough. But in his most characteristic novels, as “L’Assommoir,” “Nana,”
“Germinal,” his efforts to attain salient perspective in the mass of trivial or
technical details—to build a single elaborate effect out of manifold details—are

70                              THE SAVOY

often admirably conducted. Take, for instance, the Voreux, the coal-pit
which may almost be said to be the hero of “Germinal” rather than any
of the persons in the book. The details are not interesting, but they are
carefully worked up, and the Voreux is finally symbolised as a stupendous
idol, sated with human blood, crouching in its mysterious sanctuary. When-
ever Zola wishes to bring the Voreux before us, this formula is repeated. And
it is the same, in a slighter degree, with the other material personalities of the
book. Sometimes, in the case of a crowd, this formula is simply a cry. It
is so with the Parisian mob who yell “À Berlin!” in the highly-wrought con-
clusion to “Nana” ; it is so with the crowd of strikers in “Germinal” who
shout for bread. It is more than the tricky repetition of a word or a gesture,
overdone by Dickens and others ; it is the artful manipulation of a carefully-
elaborated, significant phrase. Zola seems to have been the first who has,
deliberately and systematically, introduced this sort of     leit-motiv into literature
as a method of summarising a complex mass of details, and bringing the
impression of them before the reader. In this way he contrives to minimise
the defects of his method, and to render his complex detail focal. He some-
times attains poignantly simple effects by the mere repetition of a     leit-motiv
at the right moment. And he is able at times, also, to throw aside his detailed
method altogether, and to reach effects of tragic intensity. The mutilation of
Maigrat’s corpse is a scene which can scarcely have been described in a
novel before. Given the subject, Zola’s treatment of it has the strength,
brevity, and certainty of touch which only belong to great masters of art.
That Zola is a great master of his art, “L’Assommoir” and “Germinal”—
which, so far as I have read Zola, seem his two finest works—are enough to
prove. Such works are related to the ordinary novel much as Wagner’s music-
dramas are related to the ordinary Italian opera. Wagner reaches a loftier height
of art than Zola; he had a more complete grasp of all the elements he took in
hand to unite. Zola has not seen with sufficient clearness the point of view
of science, and its capacity for harmonising with fiction ; nor has he, with
perfect sureness of vision, always realised the ends of art. He has left far too
much of the scaffolding standing amid his huge literary structures ; there is

                  ZOLA: THE MAN AND HIS WORK                                    71

too much mere brute fact which has not been wrought into art. But, if Zola
is not among the world’s greatest artists, I do not think we can finally deny
that he is a great artist.

    To look at Zola from the purely artistic standpoint, however, is scarcely to
see him at all. His significance for the world generally, and even for literature,
lies less in a certain method of using his material—as it may be said to lie,
for example, in the case of the Goncourts—than in the material itself, and
the impulses and ideas that prompted his selection of that material. These
growing piles of large books are the volcanic ejecta of an original and exuberant
temperament. To understand them we must investigate this temperament.

    A considerable and confused amount of racial energy was stored up in
Zola. At once French, Italian and Greek—with a mother from the central
Beauce country of France, more fruitful in corn than in intellect, and a father of
mixed foreign race, a mechanical genius in his way, with enthusiastic energies
and large schemes—he presents a curious combination of potential forces,
perhaps not altogether a very promising combination. One notes that the
mechanical engineer in the father seems to have persisted in the son, not
necessarily by heredity, but perhaps by early familiarity and association.
Young Zola was by no means a brilliant schoolboy, though he once won a
prize for memory ; such ability as he showed was in the direction of science ;
he had no literary aptitudes. He seems to have adopted literature chiefly
because pen and ink come handiest to the eager energies of a poor clerk.
It is scarcely fanciful to detect the mechanical aptitudes still. Just as all
Huxley’s natural instincts were towards mechanics, and in physiology he
always sought for the “go” of the organism, so Zola, however imperfect
his scientific equipment may be, has always sought for the “go” of the
social organism. The history of the Rougon-Macquart family is a study
in social mathematics : given certain family strains, what is the dynamic
hereditary outcome of their contact?

    To the making of Zola there went, therefore, this curious racial blend,
as a soil ready to be fertilised by any new seed, and a certain almost
instinctive tendency to look at things from the mechanical and material point

72                              THE SAVOY

of view. To these, in very early life, a third factor was added of the first
importance. During long years after his father’s death, Zola, as a child and
youth, suffered from poverty, poverty almost amounting to actual starvation,
the terrible poverty of respectability. The whole temper of his work and
his outlook on the world are clearly conditioned by this prolonged starvation
of adolescence. The timid and reserved youth—for such, it is said, has been
Zola’s character both in youth and manhood—was shut up with his fresh
energies in a garret while the panorama of the Paris world was unfolded
below him. Forced by circumstances or by temperament to practise the
strictest chastity and sobriety, there was but one indulgence left open to him,
an orgy of vision. Of this, as we read his books, we cannot doubt that he
fully availed himself, for each volume of the Rougon-Macquart series is an
orgy of material vision.*

    Zola is still said to be chaste, and he is still sober—though we are
told that his melancholy morose face lights up like a gourmet’s at dinner
time—but this early eagerness to absorb the sights as well as the sounds, and
one may add the smells, of the external world, has at length become moulded
into a routine method. To take some corner of life, and to catalogue every
detail of it, to place a living person in it, and to describe every sight and
smell and sound around him, although he himself may be quite unconscious of
them—that, in the simplest form, is the recipe for making a roman expérimental.
The method, I wish to insist, was rooted in the author’s experience of the
world. Life only came to him as the sights, sounds, smells, that reached his
garret window. His soul seems to have been starved at the centre, and to
have encamped at the sensory periphery. He never tasted deep of life, he

* “Mes souvenirs,” he told a psychological interviewer, “ont une puissance, un relief
extraordinaire ; ma mémoire est énorme, prodigieuse, elle me géne; quand j’évoque les objets
que j’ai vus, je les revois tels qu’ils sont réellement avec leurs lignes, leurs formes, leurs
couleurs, leurs odeurs, leurs sons ; c’est une matérialisation à outrance ; le soleil qui les
éclairait m’éblouit presque ; l’odeur me suffoque, les détails s’accrochent à moi et m’em-
pêchent de voir l’ensemble. Aussi pour le ressaisir me faut il attendre un certain temps.
Cette possibilité d’évocation ne dure pas très longtemps ; le relief de l’image est d’une
exactitude, d’une intensité inouïes, puis l’image s’efface, disparait, cela s’en va.” This descrip-
tion suggests myopia, and it is a fact that Zola has been short-sighted from youth ; he first
realised it at nineteen. His other senses, especially smell, are very keen.

                  ZOLA: THE MAN AND HIS WORK                                    73

stored up none of those wells of purely personal emotion from which great
artists have hoisted up the precious fluid which makes the bright, living blood
of their creations. How different he is in this respect from the other great
novelist of our day, who has also been a volcanic force of world-wide sig-
nificance ! Tolstoi comes before us as a man who has himself lived deeply, a
man who has had an intense thirst for life, and who has satisfied that thirst.
He has craved to know life, to know women, the joy of wine, the fury of
battle, the taste of the ploughman’s sweat in the field. He has known all
these things, not as material to make books, but as the slaking of instinctive
personal passions. And in knowing them he has stored up a wealth of
experience from which he drew as he came to make books, and which bear
about them that peculiar haunting fragrance only yielded by the things which
have been lived through, personally, in the far past. Zola’s method has been
quite otherwise : when he wished to describe a great house he sat outside the
palatial residence of M. Menier, the chocolate manufacturer, and imagined
for himself the luxurious fittings inside, discovering in after years that his
description had come far short of the reality; before writing “Nana,” he
obtained an introduction to a courtesan, with whom he was privileged to
lunch; his laborious preparation for the wonderful account of the war of 1870,
in “La Débâcle,” was purely one of books, documents, and second-hand
experiences; when he wished to write of labour he went to the mines and to
the fields, but never appears to have done a day’s manual work. Zola’s
literary methods are those of the parvenu who has tried to thrust himself in
from outside, who has never been seated at the table of life, who has never
really lived. That is their weakness. It is also their virtue. There is no
sense of satiety in Zola’s work as there is in Tolstoi’s. One can understand
how it is that, although their methods are so unlike, Tolstoi himself regards
Zola as the one French novelist of the day who is really alive. The starved
lad, whose eyes were concentrated with longing on the visible world, has
reaped a certain reward from his intellectual chastity ; he has preserved his
clearness of vision for material things, an eager, insatiable, impartial vision.
He is a zealot in his devotion to life, to the smallest details of life. He has

74                              THE SAVOY

fought like the doughtiest knight of old-world romance for his lady’s honour,
and has suffered more contumely than they all. “On barde de fer nos
urinoirs!” he shouts in a fury of indignation in one of his essays ; it is a
curious instance of the fanatic’s austere determination that no barrier shall
be set up to shut out the sights and smells of the external world. The
virgin freshness of his thirst for life gives its swelling, youthful vigour to his
work, its irrepressible energy.

    It has, indeed, happened with this unsatisfied energy as it will happen
with such energies ; it has retained its robustness at the sacrifice of the
sweetness it might otherwise have gained. There is a certain bitterness in
Zola’s fury of vision, as there is also in his gospel of “Work! work! work!”
One is conscious of a savage assault on a citadel which, the assailant now
well knows, can never be scaled. Life cannot be reached by the senses alone ;
there is always something that cannot be caught by the utmost tension
of eyes and ears and nose; a well-balanced soul is built up, not alone on
sensory memories, but also on the harmonious satisfaction of the motor and
emotional energies. That cardinal fact must be faced even when we are
attempting to define the fruitful and positive element in Zola’s activity.

    The chief service which Zola has rendered to his fellow artists and
successors, the reason of the immense stimulus he supplies, seems to lie in
the proofs he has brought of the latent artistic uses of the rough, neglected
details of life. The Rougon-Macquart series has been to his weaker brethren
like that great sheet knit at the four corners, let down from Heaven full of
four-footed beasts and creeping things and fowls of the air, and bearing in it
the demonstration that to the artist as to the moralist nothing can be called
common or unclean. It has henceforth become possible for other novelists to
find inspiration where before they could never have turned, to touch life with
a vigour and audacity of phrase which, without Zola’s example, they would
have trembled to use, while they still remain free to bring to their work the
simplicity, precision, and inner experience which he has never possessed.
Zola has enlarged the field of the novel. He has brought the modern
material world into fiction in a more definite and thorough manner than it

                  ZOLA: THE MAN AND HIS WORK                                    75

has ever been brought before, just as Richardson brought the modern
emotional world into fiction ; such an achievement necessarily marks an
epoch. In spite of all his blunders, Zola has given the novel new power and
directness, a vigour of fibre which was hard indeed to attain, but which,
once attained, we may chasten as we will. And in doing this he has put out of
court, perhaps for ever, those unwholesome devotees of the novelist’s art who,
worked out of their vacuity, have neither inner nor outer world to tell of.

    Zola’s delight in exuberant detail, it is true, is open to severe criticism.
When, however, we look at his work, not as a great art but as an important
moment in the evolution of the novel, this exuberance is amply justified.
Such furious energy in hammering home this demonstration of the artistic
utility of the whole visible modern world may detract from the demonstrator’s
reputation for skill ; it has certainly added to the force of the demonstration.
Zola’s luxuriance of detail has extended impartially to every aspect of life he
has investigated, to the working of a mine, to the vegetation of the Paradou,
to the ritual of the Catholic Church. But it is not on the details of inanimate
life, or the elaborate description of the industrial and religious functions of
men, that the rage of Zola’s adversaries has chiefly been spent. It is rather
on his use of the language of the common people and on his descriptions
of the sexual and digestive functions of humanity. Zola has used slang—the
argotof the populace—copiously, chiefly indeed in “L’Assommoir” which
is professedly a study of low life, but to a less extent in his other books. A
considerable part of the power of “L’Assommoir,” in many respects Zola’s
most perfect work, lies in the skill with which he uses the language of the
people he is dealing with ; the reader is bathed throughout in an atmosphere
of picturesque, vigorous, often coarse argot. There is, no doubt, a lack of
critical sobriety in the profusion and reiteration of vulgarisms, of coarse oaths,
of the varied common synonyms for common things. But they achieve the
end that Zola sought, and so justify themselves.

    They are of even greater interest as a protest against the exaggerated
purism which has ruled the French language for nearly three centuries, and
while rendering it a more delicate and precise instrument for scientific
purposes, has caused it to become rather bloodless and colourless for the

76                              THE SAVOY

artist’s purposes, as compared with the speech used by Rabelais, Montaigne,
and even Molière, the great classics who have chiefly influenced Zola. The
romantic movement of the present century, it is true, added colour to the
language, but scarcely blood ; it was an exotic, feverish colour which has not
permanently enriched French speech. A language rendered anaemic by over-
clarification cannot be fed by exotic luxuries but by an increase in the
vigorous staples of speech, and Zola was on the right track when he went
to the people’s common speech, which is often classic in the true sense
and always robust. Doubtless he has been indiscriminate and even inac-
curate in his use of argot, sometimes giving undue place to what is of merely
temporary growth. But the main thing was to give literary place and
prestige to words and phrases which had fallen so low in general estimate,
in spite of their admirable expressiveness, that only a writer of the first
rank and of unequalled audacity could venture to lift them from the mire.
This Zola has done ; and those who follow him may easily exercise the
judgment and discretion in which he has been lacking.

    Zola’s treatment of the sexual and the digestive functions, as I pointed
out, has chiefly aroused his critics. If you think of it, these two functions
are precisely the central functions of life, the two poles of hunger and love
around which the world revolves. It is natural that it should be precisely
these fundamental aspects of life which in the superficial contact of ordinary
social intercourse we are for ever trying more and more to refine away
and ignore. They are subjected to an ever-encroaching process of attenuation
and circumlocution, and as a social tendency this influence is possibly
harmless or even beneficial. But it is constantly extending to literature
also, and here it is disastrous. It is true that a few great authors—
classics of the first rank—have gone to extremes in their resistance to this
tendency. These extremes are of two kinds : the first issuing in a sort
of coprolalia, or inclination to dwell on excrement, which we find to a
slight extent in Rabelais and to a marked extent in the half-mad Swift ;
in its fully-developed shape this coprolalia is an uncontrollable instinct found
in some forms of insanity. The other extreme is that of pruriency, or the
perpetual itch to circle round sexual matters, accompanied by a timidity

                  ZOLA: THE MAN AND HIS WORK                                    77

which makes it impossible to come right up to them ; this sort of impotent
fumbling in women’s placket-holes finds its supreme literary exponent in
Sterne. Like coprolalia, when uncontrolled, prurience is a well-recognised
characteristic of the insane, leading them to find a vague eroticism every-
where. But both these extreme tendencies have not been found incom-
patible with the highest literary art. And, moreover, their most pronounced
exponents have been clerics, the conventional representatives of the Almighty.
However far Zola might go in these directions, he would still be in what is
universally recognised as very good company. He has in these respects
by no means come up with Father Rabelais and Dean Swift and the Rev.
Laurence Sterne; but there can be little doubt that, along both lines, he has
gone farther than a perfectly well-balanced artist would go. On the one
hand he over-emphasises what is repulsive in the nutritive side of life, and
on the other hand, with the timid obsession of chastity, he over-emphasises
the nakedness of flesh. In so doing, he has revealed a certain flabbiness
in his art, although he has by no means diminished his service in widening
the horizon of literary speech and subject. Bearing in mind that many
crowned kings of literature have approached these subjects quite as closely
as Zola, and far less seriously, it does not seem necessary to enter any
severer judgment here.

    To enlarge the sphere of language is an unthankful task, but in the
long run literature owes an immense debt to the writers who courageously
add to the stock of strong and simple words. Our own literature during
the last two centuries has been terribly hampered by the social tendency
of life to slur expression, and to paraphrase or suppress all forceful and
poignant words. If we go back to Chaucer, or even to Shakespeare, we
realise what power of expression we have lost. It is enough, indeed, to
turn to our English Bible. The literary power of the English Bible is
largely due to the unconscious instinct for style which happened to be in
the air when it was chiefly moulded, to the simple, direct, unashamed vigour
of its speech. If some of the stories of the Old Testament were presented
to us under some trifling disguise on week-days we should declare that they
were filthier than the filthiest things in Zola ; and, certainly, if the discovery

78                              THE SAVOY

of the Bible had been left for us to make, any English translation would
have to be issued at a high price by some esoteric society for fear lest it
should fall into the hands of the British matron. It is our British love
of compromise, we say, that makes it possible for a spade to be called a
spade on one day of the week, but on no other ; our neighbours, whose
minds are more logically constituted, call it le cant Britannique. But our
mental compartments remain very water-tight, and on the whole we are
even worse off than the French who have no Bible. For instance, we have
almost lost the indispensable words “belly” and “bowels,” both used so
often and with such admirable effect in the Psalms ; we talk of the “stomach,”
a word which is not only an incorrect equivalent, but at best totally inapt
for serious or poetic uses. Anyone who is acquainted with our old literature,
or with the familiar speech of the common folk, will recall numberless similar
instances of simple, powerful expressions which are lost or vanishing from
literary language, leaving no available substitute behind. In modern literary
language, indeed, man scarcely exists save in his extremities. For we take
the pubes as a centre, and we thence describe a circle with a radius of some
eighteen inches—in America the radius is rather longer—and we forbid any
reference to any organ within that circle, save that maid-of-all-work the
“stomach” ; in other words, we make it impossible to say anything to the
point concerning the central functions of life. It is a question how far any
real vital literature can be produced under such conditions.

    In considering Zola, we are constantly brought back to the fact that
most of the things that he has tried to do have been better done by more
accomplished artists. The Goncourts have extended the sphere of language
even in the direction of slang, and have faced many of the matters that
Zola has faced, and with far more delicate, though usually more shadowy, art ;
Balzac has created as large and vivid a world of people, though drawing more
of it from his own imagination ; Huysmans has greater skill in stamping the
vision of strange or sordid things on the brain; Tolstoi gives a deeper
realisation of life ; Flaubert is as audaciously naturalistic, and has, as well,
that perfect self-control which should always accompany audacity. And in
Flaubert, too, we find something of the same irony as in Zola.

                  ZOLA: THE MAN AND HIS WORK                                    79

    This irony, however, is a personal and characteristic feature of Zola’s
work. It is irony alone which gives it distinction and poignant incisiveness.
Irony may be called the soul of Zola’s work, the embodiment of his moral
attitude towards life. It has its source, doubtless, like so much else that is
characteristic, in his early days of poverty and aloofness from the experiences
of life. There is a fierce impartiality—the impartiality of one who is outside
and shut off—in this manner of presenting the brutalities and egoisms and
pettinesses of men. The fury of his irony is here equalled by his self-
restraint. He concentrates it into a word, a smile, a gesture. Zola believes,
undoubtedly, in a reformed, even perhaps a revolutionised, future of society,
but he has no illusions. He sets down things as he sees them. He has no
tendernesses for the working-classes, no pictures of rough diamonds. We
may see this very clearly in “Germinal.” Here every side of the problem
of modern capitalism is presented: the gentle-natured shareholding class
unable to realise a state of society in which people should not live on
dividends and give charity ; the official class with their correct authoritative
views, very sure that they will always be needed to control labour and
maintain social order; and the workers, some brutalised, some suffering like
dumb beasts, some cringing to the bosses, some rebelling madly, a few
striving blindly for justice.

    There is no loophole in Zola’s impartiality ; the gradual development of
the seeming hero of “Germinal,” Étienne Lantier, the agitator, honest in his
revolt against oppression, but with an unconscious bourgeois ideal at his heart,
seems unerringly right. All are the victims of an evil social system, as Zola sees
the world, the enslaved workers as much as the overfed masters ; the only
logical outcome is a clean sweep—the burning up of the chaff and straw,
the fresh furrowing of the earth, the new spring of a sweet and vigorous
race. That is the logical outcome of Zola’s attitude, the attitude of an
optimist, or at all events a meliorist, who regards our present society as a
thoroughly vicious circle. His pity for men and women is boundless ; his
disdain is equally boundless. It is only towards animals that his tenderness
is untouched by contempt; some of his most memorable passages are con-
cerned with the sufferings of animals. The New Jerusalem may be fitted

80                              THE SAVOY

up, but the Montsou miners will never reach it ; they will fight for the first
small, stuffy, middle-class villa they meet on the way. And Zola pours out
the stream of his pitiful, pitiless irony on the weak, helpless, erring children
of men. It is this moral energy, combined with his volcanic exuberance,
which lifts him to a position of influence above the greater artists with whom
we may compare him.

    It is by no means probable that the world will continue to read Zola
much longer. His work is already done ; but when the nineteenth century is
well past it may be that he will still have his interest. There will be plenty
of material, especially in the newspapers, for the future historian to reconstruct
the social life of the latter half of the nineteenth century. But the material
is so vast that these historians will possibly be even more biassed and one-
sided than our own. For a vivid, impartial picture—on the whole a faithful
picture—of certain of the most characteristic aspects of this period, seen in-
deed from the outside, but drawn by a contemporary in all its intimate and
even repulsive details, the reader of a future age can best go to Zola. What
would we not give for a thirteenth century Zola ! We should read with
painful, absorbed interest a narrative of the Black Death as exact as that of
nineteenth century alcoholism in “L’Assommoir.” The story of how the serf
lived, as fully told as in “La Terre,” would be of incomparable value. The
early merchant and usurer would be a less dim figure if “L’Argent ” had been
written about him. The abbeys and churches of those days have in part
come down to us, but no “Germinal” remains to tell of the lives and thoughts
of the men who hewed those stones, and piled them, and carved them. How
precious such record would have been we may realise when we recall the
incomparable charm of Chaucer’s prologue to “The Canterbury Tales.” But
our children’s children, with the same passions alive at their hearts under
incalculably different circumstances, will in the pages of the Rougon-Macquart
series find themselves back again among all the strange, remote details of a
vanished world. What a fantastic and terrible page of old-world romance !

                                                                                  HAVELOCK ELLIS.


                           THE SHADOWY HORSES

I HEAR the shadowy horses, their long manes a-shake,
Their hoofs heavy with tumult, their eyes glimmering white ;
The North unrolls above them clinging, creeping night,
The East tells all her secret joy before daybreak,
The West weeps in pale dew, and sighs, passing away,
The South would cover them with roses of crimson fire :
O vanity of sleep, hope, dream, endless desire;
The horses of disaster plunge in the desolate clay.
Beloved, let your eyes half close, and your heart beat
Over my heart, and your hair fall about my breast
Drowning Love’s lonely hour in deep twilight of rest ;
And hide their tossing manes and their tumultuous feet.

                           THE TRAVAIL OF PASSION

WHEN the flaming, lute-thronged angelic door is wide ;
When an immortal passion breathes in mortal clay,
Out hearts endure the plaited thorn, the crowded way,
The knotted scourge, the nail-pierced hands, the wounded side,
The hissop-heavy sponge, the flowers by Kidron stream :
We will bend down, and loosen our hair over you
That it may drop faint perfume and be heavy with dew,
Lillies of death-pale hope, roses of passionate dream.

                                                                                    W. B. Yeats.

DIEPPE: 1895


    I WENT to Dieppe this summer, with the intention of staying from
Saturday to Monday.  Two months afterwards, I began to wonder,
with a very mild kind of surprise, why I had not yet returned to London.
And I was not the only one to fall under this inexplicable fascination.
There is a fantastical quality in Dieppe air which somehow turns us
all, at our moments, into amiable and enthusiastic lunatics.  Relays of
friends kept arriving, I as little as they knew why ; and some of
them, like myself, never went back.  Others, forced to live mostly in
London, and for the most part content to live there, went backwards and
forwards every week.  What is it, in this little French watering-place, that
appeals so to the not quite conventional Englishman, brings him to it, holds
him in it, brings him back to it so inevitably ?  Nothing, and everything ; an
impalpable charm, the old-fashioned distinction of a little town which has still,
in its faded lawns by the sea, in the line of white hotels beyond the lawns,
something of that 1830 air which exhales for us from a picture of Bonington.
And then Dieppe is so discreetly, and with such self-respect, hospitable to
us English : so different from the vulgar friendliness of Boulogne, with its
“English chop-houses” insulting one’s taste at every step.  Dieppe receives
us with perfectly French manners, offers us politeness, and exacts it on our
part, and pleases a sensitive and appreciative Englishman because it is so
charming in such a French way.  And then life, if you will but abandon
yourself to the natural current of things, passes in a dream.  I do not quite
know why, but one cannot take things seriously at Dieppe.  Only just on
the other side of that blue streak is England : England means London. At
the other end of a short railway-line is Paris.  But all that is merely so
many words : the mind refuses to grasp it as a fact.  One’s duties, probably,

                           DIEPPE : 1895                                    85

call one to London or Paris, one’s realisable pleasures ; everything but the
moment’s vague, immense, I say again, inexplicable, satisfaction, which broods
and dawdles about Dieppe.

    At Dieppe the sea is liberal, and affords you a long sweep from the
cliffs on the left to the pier on the right.  A few villas nestle under the
cliffs ; then comes the Casino, which takes its slice of the plage with
excellent judgment.  Built of peppermint-coloured brick, it sprawls its length
insolently above the sea.  It is quite nice, as casinos go ; it is roomy,
and has some amusing chandeliers hung up by ribbons ; and the terrace
is absolutely charming.  If you are insular enough to wish it, you can sit
and drink brandies and sodas all day ; if you would do in France as the
French do, you can sit nearer the parapet, with an awning stretched
above your head, and look out drowsily over the sea, which is worth
looking at here, opalescent, full of soft changes ; and you can chat with
as many of the beautés de plage, Polish princes, and distinguished artistic
people as you happen to know.  There is the Prince de Sagan, with
his irreproachable button-hole ; the Comtesse de Greffulhe is standing on
the estacade ; Massenet and Saint-Saëns are sitting on the chairs yonder ;
Cléo de Mérode, the 1830 beauty of the Opera, whose photograph you
have seen in every shop window in Paris, is taking her bath, wearing
the prettiest little black socks, yellow gloves, and a thin, many-twisted
gold chain about her neck.  All around you, bright in the bright sun,
there is a flow of soft dresses, mostly in sharp, clear colours, vivid yellows
and blues and whites, the most wonderful blues, more dazzling than the
sea. And there are delicious hats, floating over the hair like clouds ; great
floating sleeves, adding wings to the butterfly.  I adore beautiful summer
dresses, and here at Dieppe you have all the fashions and felicities of a
whole summer.

    Ah ! but the plage, on a sunny morning in mid-season, what a feast
of colour, of movement, of the most various curiosities !  The plage has its
social laws, its social divisions, an etiquette almost as scrupulous as a drawing-
room.  All the space in front of the Casino is tacitly reserved for the people

86                              THE SAVOY

who subscribe to the Casino, and who are moving up and down the wooden stair-
case from the terrace to the beach all day long.  Beyond that limit the plage
is plebeian, and belongs to everybody.  Women sit about there with shawls
and babies and paper parcels.  At the bathing hours it is a little more select,
for some people, with full liberty of choice, prefer to bathe there.  Outside
the Casino there are fewer people, but one is more or less smart, and the
barons and beautés de plage are alike here.  In front of the double row of
bathing machines there is a line of little private boxes.  Smart women sit
on exhibition in every compartment, wearing their best hats and smiles,
sometimes pretending to read or sew : as if one did anything but sit on
exhibition, and flirt, and chatter, and look at the bathers !  There is a
constant promenade along the shifting and resounding pathway of boards
laid over the great pebbles ; chairs are grouped closely all along the plage
between this promenade and the sea ; there is another little crowd on the
estacade, from which the bathers are diving.  The bright dresses glitter in
the sunlight, like a flower garden ; white peignoirs, bright and dark bathing
costumes, the white and rose of bare and streaming flesh, passing to and fro,
hurriedly, between the bathing machines and the sea.  The men, if they have
good figures, look well ; they have at least the chance of looking well.  But
the women !  Rare, indeed, is the woman who can look pretty, in her toilette
or herself, as she comes out of the sea, wraps herself in a sort of white
nightgown, and staggers up the beach, the water running down her legs.
Even at the more elegant moment when she drops her peignoir at the sea’s
edge, before stepping in, it is hard for her, with the best intentions on her
part and the best of wishes on ours, to look desirable.  She is often wise
enough to wear corsets ; without them, even an excellent figure may appear
a little extreme, in one direction or another.  It is with a finer taste, after
all, that in England the women are not allowed to bathe with the men,
are kept out of sight as much as possible.  A sentimental sensualist should
avoid the French seaside.  He will be pained at seeing how ridiculous a
beautiful woman may look when she has very few clothes on.  The lines
of the body are lost or deformed ; there is none of the suggestion of ordinary

                           DIEPPE : 1895                                    87

The line block reproduces a pen-and-ink drawing in portrait orientation.                     There are three figures standing on a rocky beach. In the foreground and on the                     left side is a woman with her back towards the viewer, facing the water. She                     takes up the whole height of the image and a third of the width. She is dressed                     in a layered frock that tightens at the waist with a large bow tied at her back                     and falling nearly to the ground. The skirt has three tiers of material, with                     two small bows symmetrically placed. The top has two tiers with the small bows                     on each tier and a frilly neckline that has a stringy bow tied at the back of                     her neck. Her hair is tied back in two curly columns with a floral hairpiece at                     the top of her head and above that a large brimmed hat tilted forward down over                     her face. The hat has lace plumed up to a point. Her head is turned slightly to                     the right, and it gives a one-quarter view of her profile. To her right in the                     foreground is a pebbled beach. The other two figures are in the mid-ground. In                     the centre a young man stands with his back to the water and front facing the                     viewer. His face is turned slightly to face the woman on the left of the page.                     He is wearing undergarments and pantaloons, and holding a piece of cloth behind                     him with both hands. He has on slippers with bows at the toes and knee-high                     socks with a bow on each at the top outside edge. His pantaloons or breeches                     have a floral design and triangularly cut edges falling at the knee. On top he                     wears a corset-like top that has the matching floral pattern of flowers in                     vertical lines with tiny arrows. The edge of the top at the waist is also cut                     in triangles. The top is off-the-shoulder and the sleeve is short with                     triangular edges. He has a long necklace looping down to below his chest. His                     hair is short and curly, with a small, brimless cap on top. To the right of him                     is another woman. She is similarly dressed in undergarments, facing the viewer                     but turned to look at the man beside her. She has her dress draped over her                     left arm. She wears bow slippers also, but her undergarments are plain and                     baggier with the same off-the-shoulder neckline and short sleeves. She has                     longer hair falling out slightly from beneath a large hat with a bow at her                     forehead. Behind the women is the pebble beach until three-quarters up the page                     when the shore begins and a lake or sea takes up the background with a horizon                     line just before the top of the page. On the top left of the page, just to the                     right of the dressed woman’s head, a line of birds fly towards the centre in                     the distance.

costume, only a grotesque and shapeless image, all in pits and protuberances,
for which Nature should be ashamed to accept responsibility.  Complete
nudity, there is no doubt, has its charm, though of a somewhat primitive kind ;

88                              THE SAVOY

but this state of being undressed and yet covered, in this makeshift, unmilliner-
like way, it is too barbarous, Mesdames, for the tolerance of any gentleman
of taste.


    THE Casino has many charms. You can dance there, listen to music,
walk or sit on the terrace in the sun, write your letters in the reading-
room on the very pictorial paper which is so carefully doled out to you ;
but it is for none of these things that the Casino exists, it is in none of
these things that there lies the unique fascination of the Casino, for those
to whom the Casino has a unique fascination.  The Casino, properly
speaking, is only a gorgeous stable for the little horses which run away
with all the money of the visitors, to heap up the golden hoards of
Mr. Isidore Bloch, late of Monte Carlo.  All the rooms in the Casino open
into the room of the green tables ; all the alleys of the gardens lead there.
In the intervals of the concert, if you wish to stroll for a few minutes on
the terrace, you have to pass through the room ; you see the avid circle
about the tables, the swish of the horses ; you hear the monotonous “Faites
vos jeux, Messieurs   .   .   .   Les jeux sont faits   .   .   .   Rien ne va plus,”
and then, after the expectant pause, the number : “L’as, numero un.”
And in time, however strong, or however idle, or however indifferent you
are, you will be drawn into that fascinated circle, you will be seized by
the irresistible impulse, you will begin to play.  The fascination of
gambling, to the real amateur of the thing, is stronger than any other
passion.  Men forget that a beautiful woman is sitting opposite to them ;
women do not so much as notice that a more beautiful toilette than their
own has just come into the room.  I have seen the most famous professional
beauties of Paris sit at those green tables, and not a soul has looked at
them except the croupiers and myself.

    I said the impulse was irresistible. I have proved it on myself.
Gambling in the abstract has no charms for me ; I can go to the races with-
out the slightest inclination to take the odds ; it annoys me when little

                           DIEPPE : 1895                                    89

newspaper boys rush up to me as if expecting me to buy their papers because
they are the first to shout “All the win-ner!”  I lounged about the room of
the Petits Chevaux for weeks without putting on more than two or three two-
franc pieces, which I contentedly lost.  I saw my friends winning and losing
every afternoon and every evening ; I saw them leaving the tables with their
pockets bulging with five-franc pieces ; I heard them discussing lucky numbers ;
I saw the strength of the passion which held them by the urgency and the
futility of their remorse when they had lost ; I heard them saying to me, “It
will be your turn next,” and I laughed, certain of myself. I put on a few
francs to please a charming lady whom it had pleased to tempt me, and I
found myself waiting with more interest for the turn of her head as she
smiled up to me, from time to time, over her shoulder, than for the turn
of the little horse past the winning post.  I knew by that that the demon
of play had not bitten me ; I felt absolutely safe.

    Well, of course, I succumbed, and the sensation I experienced was
worth the price I paid for it.  While I played, nothing existed but the play ;
the money slipped through my fingers, I gathered it in, flung it forth, with
an absorption so complete that my actions were almost mechanical.  My
brain seemed to act with instantaneous energy ; no sooner had I willed than
my fingers were placing the coins here, and not there, I knew not why,
on the table.  I followed no system, and I never hesitated.  I then knew for
the first time the strength of convictions for which there is not even the
pretence of a foundation.  While my money lasted, and I saw it flowing to
me and from me so capriciously, I felt what I think must have been the
intoxication of abandoning oneself to Fate, with an astonishing sense of
superiority over ordinary mortals, from whom I was almost more absolutely
removed than if I had been moving in a haschisch dream.  And in the exalta-
tion, the absorption, of this dream, in which I was acting with such reckless
and causeless certainty, there was no really disillusioning shock, either when
I lost or when I won.  My excitement was so great that I accepted these
accidents as merely points in a progress.  After a time I did not even play
for the sake of winning.  I played for the sake of playing.

90                              THE SAVOY

    After all, Petits Chevaux is the merest amateur gambling ; the serious
people who play baccarat next door, in the club, would laugh at it, and
rightly, from the gambler’s point of view.  The interest of the thing is in its
revelation of the universal humanity of the gambling instinct, which comes
out so certainly and so unexpectedly in the people who gamble once in the
year, for a few scores or a few hundreds of francs.  And those green tables
are so admirable in the view they afford of the little superstitions which exist
somewhere in the background of all minds.  This table is lucky to such a
person, that column to another.  The women swear by the croupiers, and
will take any amount of trouble to get a seat by the side of the one they
prefer.  And the croupiers, little miserable engines of Fate, sit with folded
hands and intent eyes, impassive, supercilious, like little Eastern gods, raking
in the money without satisfaction, and tossing you your winnings with an air
of disdain.  Yet they, too, in spite of their air of supremacy, are entirely at
the mercy of a moment’s caprice.  A croupier at whose table too much is
won is liable to instant dismissal ; at the best, they earn their five hundred
francs a month only during the few months of the season, and the most
imposing of all the croupiers at the tables now has just appealed to a lady
who plays there, offering himself and his wife as servants.


    ON certain afternoons there is a Bal des Enfants at the Casino.  You
cannot imagine anything more delicious.  All around the room sit children, in
their white dresses, their little, thin, black and yellow legs set forth gravely.
They are preoccupied with their fans, their sashes, their gloves ; their hair
is beautifully done all over their heads, and falls down their backs.  The
little boys, in velvet and navy suits, march to and fro, very solemnly, a
little awkwardly, bow, and choose partners.  The bigger girls (some of them
are thirteen or fourteen) jump up, cross the room hurriedly, with the nervous
movement of young girls walking, tossing their hair back from their shoulders ;
they form little groups, laugh and nod to the grown-up people who stand
about the door ; and every now and then pounce on a tiny sister, and pull

                           DIEPPE : 1895                                    91

about her dress until its set suits them.  In the middle of the room stand
two absurd persons : the blonde Jew with the immense pink nose, the golden
beard and moustaches, who acts as master of the ceremonies : he tries to
assume a paternal air, his swollen eyes dart about nervously ; and the middle-
aged lady with eyeglasses, who is more immediately concerned with the

This line block reproduction of a pen-and-ink drawing is in a square box,                           bordered by a double-lined frame. The image shows the full-length figure of a                           woman in profile and the word “MOSKA” [caps] appears to the left about                           one-third down the page. The woman is turned to the left side of the page,                           facing the text “MOSKA” [caps]. She takes up the entire height of the image and                           is centered, taking up about half the width. She is wearing dark slippers with                           a small bow at the toe of each. Her legs are bare underneath a knee-length                           dress. The dress is very puffy, with no visible waistline, and an A-line                           silhouette. The bottom edge at the knee is made of chiffon ruffles. The side to                           the right of the page has six white buttons that start at her midline and go                           straight down getting smaller towards the bottom of the dress. The sleeve is                           long and diagonally striped. In the hand visible to the viewer from her left                           side she holds a closed fan. The neck of her dress has slight ruffling and her                           long curly hair cascades down to below her midline. A bow sits on top of her                           forehead.

children’s conduct.  She is frankly anxious, fussy and occupied.  The orchestra
is about to begin, and in the middle of the room a little helpless ring of very
tiny children, infants, begins to walk gravely round and round ; the tiny people
hold one another’s hands, wonderingly, and toddle along with their heads
looking over their shoulders, all in opposite directions.  The dance has

92                              THE SAVOY

begun : it is the Moska, with its funny rhythm, its double stamp of the
heels.  Some of the children dance charmingly, with a pretty exactness in
the trip and turn of the toes, the fling of the leg.  There are adorable frocks,
marvellous faces.  They turn, turn, stop short, stamp their heels and turn
again.  The whole thing is so gay and simple and artificial, these little, got-up
people who are playing at being their elders.  It is so pretty altogether and
so exciting, that I could watch it for hours.  Nothing is more exciting than
to see children masquerading.  I am always disposed to take them, as they
would be taken, very seriously, to think of them almost as of men and women.
As if they were not so far more attractive than any possible men and women !
I hate to think of those long, thin legs getting stouter, and being covered up
in skirts ; of all that floating hair being twisted up into coils and bundled
together obscurely at the back of the head.  I can see the elder sisters of
these enchanting little absurdities standing beside me at the door.  How
uninteresting they are. how little they invite the wandering of even the
vaguest emotion !


    BUT all Dieppe is not to be seen at the Casino, and, perhaps, not the
most intimate part of Dieppe.  I had the good fortune to live in the very
heart of the town, just outside the principal doorway of the Église Saint-
Jacques.  I have never in my live had a more genuine, and, in its way,
profound sensation than my daily and nightly view of that adorable old
church, a somewhat flamboyant Gothic, certainly, which I grew to love and
wonder at with an intimacy that was entirely new to me.  To look out last
thing at night, before getting into bed, and see the grey stone flowering
there before me, rising up into the stars as if at home there, and so full
of solid shadow about its base, broadly planted on the solid earth ; to rise
in the morning and look out on the same grey mass, white in parts, and
warm in the early sunlight ; there never was a décor which pleased me so
much, which put so many dreams into my head.  Every Gothic church is
a nest of dreams, and the least religiously – minded of men has his moments
of devotion, of spiritual exaltation, before so delicate and so enduring a work

                           DIEPPE : 1895                                    93

of men’s hands in praise of God.  Sight and thought are lost in it ; one
feels its immensity as one feels the immensity of the sea.  And it was as
dear to me as the sea itself, this church of the patron saint of fishermen,
who leans upon his staff, a sensual Jewish person with fleshy lips and
a smile which is somewhat sneering, in the arch of the doorway.
During the first part of my stay, the fineness, the supremacy, the air of
eternity of the church, were curiously accentuated by a horrid little fair
which installed itself at the church’s very base, in every corner of the many-
cornered ground about it.  All day long, into the late evening, the wooden
horses went swaying round to the noise of two or three tunes which dinned
themselves into one’s brain ; a transformation show of Joan of Arc, just
below my window, had a drum and a cornet at the door, an advertisement
I could well have spared of the little, proud girl who stood outside, so
seriously, in her pink tights, her tin helmet and breast-plate.  A peep-show,
a few steps further on, in which you saw the murder of M. Carnot and the
degradation of M. Dreyfus, had a piano, which was played with diligence.
Shots were fired all day long in the “Tir des Salons,” which stood just this
side of the “Théâtre Moderne,” which had a small band.  Then, all around,
clinging still closer to the skirts of the church, were caravans and tents, in
which all these motley people lived and slept and did their cooking.  They
swarmed about it like a crowd of insects, throwing up their little mounds
in the earth ; and the church rose calmly, undisturbed, almost unconscious
of the very existence of the swarm, as the Eternal Church rises out of the
agitations and feverish coming-and-going of the world and the fashions of
the world.

    The fair was horrid, an oppression, a nightmare; it kept me from work,
from sleep, from the decent charity we owe our fellow mortals ; I could not
hear myself talk ; but as there is no experience in the world which has
not its contribution, if we choose to take it, to our sense of the agreeable,
I managed to snatch a few amusing sensations out of even this discomfort.
I had my own little romance in the fair, the most trifling, the most absurd
of little romances that ever was.  Still !  One evening I chanced to go into

94                              THE SAVOY

one of the shooting-galleries, the “Tir des Salons” it was ceremoniously
called, in company with one or two idle friends, and as I fired, fruitlessly
enough, at the dancing bubbles on the fountain, I noticed that the girl who
loaded my musket for me was a little, blonde person with dancing blue
eyes, frizzly golden hair, a cheeky little nose, which was cheeky and yet
exquisite, and a perfectly golden complexion. She was about fifteen years
of age : I like youth.  We chatted and laughed together a good deal, and
I stayed longer in the “Tir” than I had intended.  From that time I could
never pass the door (which I was obliged to do several times a day) without
my little friend rushing forward, all smiles, clapping her hands to me, or
dancing up and down on both feet : I spent no more money there, so her
liking for me was scarcely interested.  Occasionally I would stop and chat,
if she were alone in the place ; but a mother would generally appear
somewhere in the dark at the back, call to her in a harsh voice, and she
would have to leave me, with a little piteous grimace.  She liked to look
at my books and papers, and would not shake hands if her hands seemed to
her too dirty.  One day, as I was looking out of my window, I saw her
little face at the tiny window of one of the caravans down below ; it was
the living-waggon of the family : and sometimes she used to sit on the
doorstep mending her stockings, and she would wave the stockings gaily to
me in the air as I sat at my window writing.  I liked to look out and see
her there ; it was a sort of company.

    One morning I woke up to find that the peep-show was taking down
its boards : the fair, at last, was really going away.  I can never see the
preparations for even the most welcome moving without a certain sadness ;
but never had any moving been so welcome to me.  I was no longer to hear
those three tunes, the waltz, the “Gardes Municipaux,” and “Daisy Bell.”
I should be able to sleep, to write, to hear myself talk.  And I heaved a
sigh of relief.

    And then, with a smile, I almost sighed as I saw the little hand of the
girl at the “Tir” waving to me from the door of her caravan.  I was really
sincerely sorry that my little friend was going away.  I thought of going

                           DIEPPE : 1895                                    95

downstairs to say good-bye to her, to tell her I was sorry she was going ;
but I was sure she would know that, and, besides, was it worth the trouble?
So I nodded, and went on with my dressing.

    When I came back to my room that afternoon her little show was still
standing ; it was the last one left.  All the afternoon I sat at my window
writing, and whenever I glanced down below the little yellow person was
smiling up at me, with some pretty little gesture, in the midst of her work.
She worked very hard, carrying about heavy beams and mattresses and all
kinds of domestic and professional objects.  When all the packing was
finished, the old grandfather came and sat down in his chair in the middle
of the road, put on his spectacles, and began to read his newspaper.  The
whole family grouped itself elegantly about the caravan, and my little person
perched herself on the doorstep in the old way, and once more began to
mend her stockings.  She was very tired, very glad to have finished her
heavy work ; and when I looked down she would wave her stockings to me
(if no one was looking) with that gay little air which pleased me so much.
I held up the sheet on which I had been writing verses.  She danced up and
down, and beckoned to me to give it to her. I shook my head and went on

    That was the last I saw of her.  The next morning I awoke suddenly with
a start and, without quite knowing why, sprang out of bed and rushed to
the window.  The noise of heavy wheels had awakened me, and I was just in
time to see the hindward half of my little friend’s caravan heave slowly
round the corner.  I fancied her looking up at my empty window, waving
her hand for the last time, wishing I would wake up and look out and
say good-bye to her.  I would have given so much to have been there
at the window just five minutes earlier.  It would have pleased her, the
gay little person whose name I never knew, my little friend, whom I
liked because she liked me.

96                              THE SAVOY


    Very characteristic of Dieppe, I thought, and certainly quite unlike
anything you can see in England, is the aspect of the Place Nationale on
a market-day, with its statue of Duquesne, so brilliant and vivid in his
great, flapping hat, standing there in the middle ; it reminded me somewhat
of the Good-Friday fair at Venice, which is held round the Goldoni statue
near the Rialto.  But the colours, despite the strong sunlight, are far from
Venetian.  At the cathedral end of the square are the butchers ; then come
the vegetables, splashes of somewhat tawdry green, all over the ground, and
up and down the stalls.  The vegetables reach nearly as far as the statue ;
just this side of it begin the clothes and commodities, which give its fair-like
air to the market.  Stalls alternate with ground-plots, all alike covered with
cheap trousers, flannel shirts, heavy boots and carpet shoes, braces, foulards,
handkerchiefs, stays, bright ribbons, veils, balls of worsted, shoe-laces, and,
above all, dress-pieces of every sort of common and trumpery pattern.  The
women stop, handle them, draw them out, and the saleswoman waits with a
long pair of scissors in her hand to cut off a slice here, a slice there.  One
dainty little covered stall has nothing but white Norman caps, laid in rows
and hung in rows, one after another.  White-capped old peasant-women stop
in front of it, compare the frilling with their own, and try to make a bargain
out of a sou.  Not far off is an open and upturned umbrella full of white
babies’ caps and stomachers.  A dazzling collection of tin spoons and gilt
studs lies on the ground beside it, and the proprietors squat on their heels
close by.  After the clothes comes a little assemblage of baskets, brushes,
and tin-pails and saucepans, dazzlingly white in the sun.  Then come the
poultry, crates and baskets of dead and living fowls and ducks and geese,
with a few outside specimens ; and then, as we reach the street, where
the market flows all the way up and down, from the quay to the Café des
Tribunaux, we have the fruit and flowers ; the fruit all in pale yellows,
with the vivid red of tomatoes ; the flowers mainly white and red, with a
row of small palms along the pavement.  And as one follows the crowded
alleys between the stalls one elbows against slow, staring country-people,

                           DIEPPE: 1895                                    97

the blither natives of the town, the well-dressed visitors, and now and
again a little lounging line of sailors or fishermen in their sea-stained
drab or brown.

    The second-hand section of the market is strewn all around the
cathedral, mainly about its front, and along the Rue de l’Oranger.  Looking
down from my window facing the portal, the whole ground seems carpeted
with old clothes, so old, so dirty, so discoloured, that one wonders equally
how they could have got there, and how those who have brought them
can possibly imagine that they will ever find purchasers.  There are coats
and trousers, petticoats and bodices, stockings, bed-covers, and even mattresses
(once a whole four-poster was placed on the pavement, which it completely
rilled, just outside my door) ; everything that can be folded is folded neatly,
with a great economy of space ; and at intervals are collections of boots laid
along side by side, eccentricities of rusty iron, which always look so amusing
and so useless ; old books, prints, frames, vases, tall hats, lamps, clocks
under glass cases, crockery and concertinas.  There is a collection of earthen-
ware, which is new ; some tea-pots, ribbons and tin pans are also new.
Keyond, where the Rue Ste. Catherine narrows back to the arcade at the side
of the church, the market-carts are laid in rows, resting on their shafts. Few
people pass.  I have never actually seen anything bought, though I would
not take upon myself to say that it never happens.


    The most absolutely romantic spot in Dieppe, a spot more absolutely
romantic to its square inch than anything I ever saw, is the little curiosity-
shop in the Rue de la Barre.  You look in through a long sort of covered
alley, lined on both sides with old tables, and mirrors, and bookshelves, and
huge wooden effigies of saints, and plaster casts, and scraps of modern car-
pentry, and you see at the farther end what looks like a garden of antiquities,
in which all the oddities of the earth seem to be growing up out of trees and
clinging on to vines, tier above tier.  You go in a little way, and you see,
first, an upper floor facing you, all the front covered with glass, in which are


98                              THE SAVOY

laid out the most precious items, the inlaid tables, the Empire clocks, the
Louis XV. chairs.  You go in a little further still, and you find yourself in
the garden of antiquities, which is even more fantastic and impossible than
its first aspect had intimated.  It fills the square of a little court, round which
curls a very old house trailed over with vines and creepers : a house all
windows and doors, one of the doors opening on a spiral stone staircase like
the staircase of a tower.  At the further end there is a glass covering, like
an unfinished conservatory ; creepers stretch across underneath the glass,
and, in a huge mound, piled quite up to the creepers so that they are
covered with its dust, I know not what astonishing bric-à-brac, a mound
which fills the whole centre of the court.  There are chairs and tables,
beds, bundles, chests, pictures in frames, all sorts of iron things, and,
very conspicuously, two battered wooden representations of the flames of
hell (as I imagine), the red paint much worn from their artichoke – like
shoots.  All around the walls, wherever there is room for a nail between
a window and a vine-branch, something is hung, plaster bas-reliefs and masks,
Louis XVI. mirrors, lanterns, Japanese prints, arm-chairs without seats ;
frankly, an incredible rigmarole.  I saw few desirable objects, but the charm
of the whole place, its unaccountability, its absurd and delightful romanticism,
made up in themselves a picture which hardly needed to be painted, it was
so obviously a picture already.


    ONE of the most characteristic corners of Dieppe lies in the unfashion-
able end of the town, the fisher quarter by the harbour, where the boats
come in from Newhaven.  Where the basin narrows to a close passage, just
before you are past the pier, and in the open sea, there are two crucifixes,
one on either side, guarding Dieppe.  The boats lie all along the quay, their
masts motionless above the water, and it is along the quay that the train from
Paris comes crawling in its odd passage through the town ; a curious
spectacle, as one sits at the cafe under the arcade.  Arcades, reminding one
of Padua, run along the townward side of the quay ; they are stocked with
cheap restaurants, most with tiny balconies on the first floor, just under the

                           DIEPPE : 1895                                    99

roof of the arcades, and all with spread tables in the passage-way itself;
waiters and women stroll up and down continually, touting for customers.
From one of the little balconies you can look across the fish-market, beyond
the masts, across the water, to the green hill opposite, with its votive church
on the summit.  The picture is framed in the oval of one of the arches, and
it looks curiously theatrical, and charmingly so, over the heads of the fisher-
people and townsfolk who throng below.  The crier passes, beating his drum ;
sometimes, about dinner-time, a company of strolling musicians, a harpist, his
wife and daughter who play violins—the little one with an air of professional
distinction—linger outside one of the cafés.  Along the quay, which stretches
out towards the pier, is a broken line of old, many-coloured houses ; there
are endless little restaurants, hotels, and cafés, meant mainly for the sailors,
and two cafés concerts of the seaside sort, with a piano (the pianist in one of
them has been an organist in Paris ; drinks, of course, and reproaches
destiny), the usual platform, and the usual enormous women, hoarse, strident,
and décolletées, who collect your pennies in a shell after every song. There
is a night café, too, on the quay, which you can enter at any hour ; you tap
on the glass door, a curtain is drawn back, and, if you are not an agent, you
will have no difficulty in entering.  An agent, when he makes his tour of
inspection, has sometimes to wait a little, while a pack of drinkers is hurriedly
bundled out at the back door.  M. Jean’s licence appears to be somewhat
vague ; the report that an agent is at the door causes a charming little thrill
of excitement among his customers.  Some of his customers, who are fisher-
men, I do not altogether like ; their friendliness was a little boisterous ; and,
sometimes, when they lost their temper, M. Jean would knock them down,
and roll them, quite roughly, out of the door.  On the other side of the
water, on the Pollet, as it is called, you find the real home of the fisher-
men, in those little battered houses, twisting around all sorts of odd corners,
climbing up all sorts of odd heights, some of them with wooden beams along
the front, all dirty with age, all open to the street, all with swarms of
draggled, blue-eyed, gold-haired children playing around their doors.  In a
few corners one sees women making nets, once quite an industry, now

100                              THE SAVOY

fallen into some disuse.  The whole place is thick with dust, faded with
years, shrivelled with poverty ; it is a part of Dieppe which is among the
most curious, among the most picturesque, but scarcely among the most


    THE charm of Dieppe !  No, I can never give the real sense of that
charm to anyone who has never experienced it ; for myself, it is not even easy
to realise all the elements which have gone to make up the happiness of
these two summer months here.  It always rests me, in body and mind,
to be near the sea ; and then Dieppe is so placid and indulgent, lets you
have your way with it, is full of relief for you, in old corners and cool
streets, warm and cool at once, if you take but five steps from the Rue
Aguado, modern and fashionable along the sea front, dazzling with sunlight,
into any one of the little streets that branch off from it townwards. And
if the sun beats on you again as you come out into the square about the
Église Saint-Jacques you have but to go inside—better still, if you seek
the finer interior of Saint-Remy—and, suddenly, you have the liquid coldness
of stone arches that have never felt the sun.  And then the sea, at night,
from the jetty ; the vast space of water, fading mistily into the unseen limits
of the horizon, a boat, a sail, just distinguishable in its midst, the lights
along the shore, the glow of the Casino, with all its windows golden, an
infinite softness in the air.  I have spent all night wandering about the
beach, I have traced every change in sea and sky from twilight to sunrise,
inconceivable delicacies of colour, rarities of tone.  And what dreams have
floated up in the smoke of my cigarette, mere smoke that will never reach
the stars !  What memories I have evoked, what inspiring conversations
I have had, in the cool of the evening, on that jetty !  And the country
round Dieppe, rarely as I went into it, that, too, means something for me :
Puys, where I went to see Alexandre Dumas, in the house in which his
father died, the house where so many of his own plays have been written ;
Pourville, the road along the cliffs, Varengeville, with its deep, enchanting

                           DIEPPE : 1895                                    101

country lanes, its little sunken ways through the woods, its strange, stiff
little pine woods on the heights; the Manoir d’Ango, now degraded into
a farm, but still with its memories of Francis I. and Diane de Poitiers,
whose faces one sees, cheek by cheek, on a double medallion ; the Manoir
d’Ango, with its delicate approach through soft alleys of trees, and past a
little shadowed pool; Arques, with its Italian landscape, so cunningly
composed about the ruined castle on the hill.  There is nothing in or
near Dieppe which does not, in one way or another, appeal to me ; nowhere
that I do not feel at home.  And the friends I have made, or found, or
fancied, at Dieppe, men and women of such varying charm and interest !
The most amiable soul in all the world resides, I think, in the Anglo-
maniac French painter in whose châlet I spent, so agreeably, so much of
my time, in the studio where he paints the passing beauties as they fly.
Was there not, too, the hospitable Norwegian painter, with the heart of
a child in the body of a giant, who lives with his frank and friendly wife
in the villa on the hill, where I spent so many good-tempered evenings ?
And the young English painter, who was my chief companion, a temperament
of 1830, né romantique, in whose conversation I found the subtle super-
ficialities of a profoundly sensitive individuality, it was an education in
the fine shades to be with him.  The other younger Englishman, an artist
of so different a kind, came into our little society with a refreshing and
troubling bizarrerie ; all that feverish brilliance, the boyish defiance of
things, the frail and intense vitality, how amusing and uncommon it was !
And there were the two French poets, again so different from one another ;
elegant and enthusiastic youth, and the insistent reflectiveness of a mind
which was above all reasoning.  And then the charming women one met
as they flitted to and fro between Dieppe and Paris and London and
Monte Carlo; in especial, that flashing vision, to whom I here once more
render my homage : the little French lady whose mother had been one of
the Court beauties of the Second Empire ; the adorable profile de mouton,
with the hysterical piquancy of a mouth, perfect in repose, which would
never rest, and which could be so exquisitely fluent with naughty words

102                              THE SAVOY

and the malice of a truly feminine soul.  Heartless, exquisite, posing little
person I found you more sympathetic than you thought ; and if you see
these lines, they are to tell you that I was really sorry when you went
away so suddenly with your Russian grande dame, for whose talents I had
so great an admiration.  And there was Jane Hading, whom I went to
see in the little, stifling dressing-room, scarcely more than a cupboard, of
the tiny theatre, where she was playing Dumas’ somewhat sentimental
argument in drama, “La Princesse de Bagdad.” Never had I seen the
grave and yet Parisian beauty of the woman at so amusing an advantage,
as there, in that absurd little dressing-room, where I had to squeeze myself
into a corner, while the actress stood, hot and impatient, in front of the
long glass, in which from time to time I caught the charm of a somewhat
pre-occupied smile, as the dresser stitched and pinned the separate fragments
of a bodice which was to be so magnificently torn off, with so considerable
a view of such superb shoulders, in the fine, exciting scene of the second
act.  And there was the divine De Mérode, with her slim, natural, and yet
artificial elegance, her little, straight face, so virginal and yet so aware,
under the Madonna-like placidity of those smooth coils of hair, drawn over
the ears and curved along the forehead ; De Mérode, who, more than
anyone else, sums up Dieppe for me.  How many other beautiful faces
there were, people one never knew, and yet, meeting them at every
hour, at dinner, on the terrace of the Casino, at the tables, in the sea,
one seemed to know them almost better than one’s friends, and to be known
by them just as well.  Much of the charm of life exists for me in the
unspoken interest which forms a sort of electric current between oneself
and strangers.  It is a real emotion to me, satisfying, in a sense, for the
very reason that it leaves one unsatisfied.  And of this kind of emotion,
Dieppe, in the season, is bewilderingly abundant.  Is it, after all, surprising
that I should have come to Dieppe with the intention of staying from
Saturday to Monday, and that I should have stayed for two months ?

                                                                                                Arthur Symons.


    SHE had now been a waitress at the little café off Cheapside for some-
thing over two years ; her circumstances had not changed during that
time ; she herself had scarcely changed ; her features had, perhaps, developed
a little and become more defined, her manner less hesitating—and that was
all.  That was all, at least, that was noticeable.  A great change, however,
had occurred in her between then and now that was not noticeable ; that
silent, miraculous change, so imperceptible, so profound, which works in a
woman between the ages of eighteen and twenty.

    She had come during those two years to have an exaggerated, almost a
morbid idea of her own want of good looks ; she had observed that regular
frequenters of the café—young city-clerks, journalists and the rest—avoided
the series of marble-topped tables at which she served for those which were
attended by other girls smarter and prettier ; she rarely received the little
attentions which the other girls among themselves proclaimed.  It was the
stray customer, the bird of passage, who kept her busy.  But, as a matter
of fact, it was not her want of good looks that kept the younger men aloof;
it was something in her manner, an absence, perhaps, of that fictitious spirit
of gaiety, of that alert responsiveness, which men find so arresting in
women.  Really, she was not at all bad-looking.

    Still, this neglect ate into her heart a little.  She regretted her want
of adaptability, of the faculty of being able to assume all those charming (as
they seemed to her) little airs and graces, partly natural, partly cultivated,
which so became the other girls ; she, it is true, rather despised these
coquetries of her companions, but her own deficiencies of the sort made her
feel at times particularly dull and stupid and angry with herself.  One or
two of the girls at the café had, during her time, married one or two of the

104                              THE SAVOY

young men who came there, and would afterwards pay an occasional visit
to the place, certainly in pretty frocks, and, to all appearance, radiant and
happy.  But these girls were fortunate.  Others, again, had suddenly dis-
appeared, and none knew whither ; but as their disappearance happened to
be simultaneous with a break in the regular attendance of certain customers,
dark stories were whispered to which the non-appearance of the missing
ones seemed to lend colour.

     After a while, Ellen did not mind so much being neglected ; the smart
of the sting became less and less painful, till finally, she rather, if anything,
preferred escaping the attentions which fell to the share of the other girls.
This may have been partly owing to the view which she came to take of
men ; her position had provided her with opportunities for arriving at a
generalisation, and she came to think of men as either silly or wicked—silly,
when they were attracted by the trivial insincerities of the girls in the café ;
wicked, when they took advantage of their rarer simplicity.  She did not
conceive, now, that she would ever fall in love, that anyone would ever fall
in love with her.
    All the same, as the two years advanced, Ellen began to feel a curious
isolation of the heart, an emptiness which she never attributed to the absence
of a lover.  Besides, she had an intuitive suspicion that she possessed qualities
which would be fatal to her retaining the affections of a husband, that there
would be little joy for her in the companionship which would place her in the
position of a wife.  Not that she thought anything very clearly about these
things ; the vague emotions and sensations which moved her, the detached
things which floated in her mind had not yet found the relief which comes
with realisation ; her impulses were not remotely guided by self-consciousness.
A sense of loneliness oppressed her, which was not diminished by the com-
panionship of her fellow servants at the café, and she wanted companionship
of some sort.  It was dreadful for her at times to feel so much alone, to feel
that there was nothing in the world, in this great London, which she really
cared for ; that there was no one, since the death of her father and mother,
who really cared for her.

                                        Ellen                                    105

    She had this sense of loneliness even in the busiest time of the day,
when an enormous wave of traffic swept by outside the café, and, inside, all
was stir and movement.  Even amid all this stir and din, when she was
occupied in flitting from one tabic to another, in taking orders and attending
to them, even at such moments her thoughts would be playing to another
tune, her soul would be filled with unrest and impatience.  Life, indeed,
became a great struggle for her.  Sometimes she said to herself that she
would run away—from she knew not what, where she knew not to ; and
sometimes she wished very sincerely that she were dead.

       .   .   .   She had seen many strange faces during those two years ;
at last it began to dawn upon her that one of these faces which had
been strange was becoming familiar : a face with a fair, pointed beard and
blue eyes.  Beyond, however, merely ordering what he wanted, he had not
spoken to her ; it was improbable that he had noticed her ; but his regular
attendance at the tables at which she served began to attract the attention
of the other girls, who derived some entertainment from hinting to Ellen
that she was carrying on a flirtation, a suggestion which happened to be
sufficiently inappropriate to appeal to their sense of humour.  It was in
keeping with Ellen’s temperament that no romantic ideas entered her head
at this point, where, possibly, the least susceptible of her companions would —
as women will—have woven a complete fabric of foolish sentiment.  Still, as
he continued to come regularly, she began involuntarily to feel a certain
liking for him ; the fact of his never attempting to enter into any sort of
conversation with her had its not unpleasant side for her.  So, by-and-by,
they both seemed to begin to know each other in this silent way.  And yet
there came moments when Ellen felt somehow that she would like to talk
to him, like to tell him all about herself, and what she felt.  His presence
accentuated a dimly-realised need for self-expression, of pouring into some ear
the flood of vague sentiments which possessed her.  She could not talk to the
other girls ; they would not understand, or they would laugh at her ; but she
could, she felt, talk to this fair-bearded man with the blue eyes.  But not at
the café ; she would rather remain silent for ever than do that.  Then, how ?

106                              THE SAVOY

    This idea of speaking to him, of sharing with him her whole confidence,
seized upon her, and developed with an intensity which caused her ceaseless
perturbation and pain.

    After a little time, indeed, they drifted, naturally enough, into a con-
ventional intercourse, almost monosyllabic, uninteresting, which seemed to
her hopelessly trivial—but how to advance beyond it !  Once or twice she
thought she observed a look of interrogation in the blue eyes, a look which
invited her confidence, and, at the same time, occasioned her a poignant
feeling of self-consciousness—there, at the café, while meeting the significant
glances, the partly ironical, partly suggestive, glances of her companions.
No ! she could not speak to him there; she had nothing to say to him there.
Yet it was hard to resist the appeal of his eyes.
“You are looking pale.  Do you go out much?” he said to her one day.
“No ; only home and back.”
“Ah ! you should.”
“We don’t close till seven,” she said.  Then, their eyes meeting, she
continued irresistibly : “Will you meet me to-night ?”

    It was not till an hour or so later that she realised that she was to
meet him that evening at the principal entrance to St. Paul’s ; that she
realised that she herself had made the appointment.  She had leapt the
barrier, and was shocked at the extent of her daring, a little humiliated
even ; yet, above everything, singularly elated and careless.  She had never
breathed so freely.

    But when they met, the need for self-expression was no longer apparent ;
she only felt stupid and shy.  He suggested that they should go to a theatre
or to an exhibition at Earl’s Court, but she would not go to either place.
Then they walked along the Embankment, between Blackfriars’ Bridge and
Charing Cross.  He talked a good deal, but she hardly caught or understood
what he said, and was quietly irresponsive.  There was in his manner an
air of familiarity which slightly repelled her ; she began to wish that she had
not, after all, asked him to meet her ; to think of abruptly leaving him.  Once
he put his arm through hers, and was surprised at the startled expression

                                        Ellen                                    107

which sprang to her face as she quickly drew apart from him.  After this
his manner changed, and she felt more at ease.  The incident had defined
her attitude.

    Reaching the gardens on the Embankment, near Charing Cross, they
entered a gate and sat on one of the seats.  There were some children playing
about on the path whose antics amused her, and led her to talk about her
own childhood, to tell him of those dear, half-forgotten things which everyone
remembers so well, of that dim world of curious fancies which all of us at
one time inhabited.  He was sympathetic, and they talked on so in the fading
light until it was time for the gates of the garden to be closed.  As they
passed through them, their intimacy had become as natural and easy as she
could have dared to hope.

    They crossed the Strand and penetrated the maze of streets which lead
in the direction of King’s Cross, where she had her lodging.  And now all
the things that had lain in her mind, all the incoherent emotions that had
possessed her, became coherent and simple, derived shape and form in the
attempt to express them.  She told him all about her present life, about the
other girls in the café and their sentimental episodes.  She told him of the
feeling of loneliness, of abstraction, of the vague itching at her heart which
never ceased.

At last they reached a house in one of the outlying streets of Regent

    “I don’t know why I asked you to meet me to-night,” she said,
stopping at the door of this house ; “I don’t know what is the matter
with me. But I wanted to speak to someone. And I couldn’t speak to
the other girls ; they would only have made fun of me, I think. I feel
happier now that I have had a nice long talk with someone — still — there
is something—something—” She paused a moment, and then proceeded,
rather abruptly : “I don’t want to be married, the same as most girls do ;
I don’t like men, as a rule—at least, not in that way   .   .   .   besides, I think
I should always be happier remaining as I am at present, working for
myself, independent.”

108                              THE SAVOY

    She gave a little shriek of delight at a thought which suddenly occurred
to her, a flash of mental illumination, which enabled her to divine the source
of all her perplexities, which instantly enabled her to solve the problem of her
happiness ; a thought which filled her poor, empty heart. “I think,” she
said, softly, “if I had a baby, my very own, I should want nothing—nothing
in this world more than that !” Her lips quivered and tears came into her
eyes, exquisitely tender tears.

    She then turned to the door and opened it with a latch-key.
    “Are you living alone ?” he asked.
    “Yes, quite alone,” she said, retreating into the passage without
    He followed her a couple of paces, and then stood with one foot on
the doorstep.  He looked into the passage, but could not make out whether
she were standing there in the dark or not.  He wondered if she were
standing there.  Then taking the handle of the door he drew it gently to,
and went down the street.

                                                                                                Rudolf Dircks.


            The voices of the whispering woods are still;
            No truant brook runs chattering to the stream;
            Like heaven’s own likeness, mirrored in a dream,
            The sea coils round each jutting rock and hill.
            Nay, hark! what faint aërial harpings thrill
            The lonely bay; what choral voices seem
            To float around and melt like rolling steam
            On air as quiet as a windless mill.

            No holy chant in hushed cathedral naves
            Had ever such unearthly harmony,
            As these mysterious chords ineffable
            That peal from organ-pipes of fluted caves,
            Reverberate in hollow mountain shell,
            The music of the everlasting sea.

                                                              Mathilde Blind

    [This sonnet is founded on a singular experience I had at Wooda Bay in North
Devon. While leaning over the cliff I was startled by hearing sounds as of harps and
violins blending with muffled organ notes, and human voices soaring above the music. The
effect was magical, and must have been due to an echo produced by the wave-hollowed


    THE most perfect English art in black and white was done between the
years 1860 and 1870.  What an absurdity ! of course ; for Blake was
absurd, Alfred Stevens ridiculous, Keene ignored, Whistler a joke.  And yet,
when the amateur tires of his postage-stamp and the young lady with no
books wearies of her book-plate, when all the sham Bartolozzis have been
shipped to America and the Japanese print outweighs the bank-note, then
the English illustration of 1860 may possibly be invented, and Art may be
once again upon the town.  I use the date 1860, but I ask for as much
latitude as one is granted in speaking of the Romanticists and 1830, with
whom the men of 1860 are worthy to be ranked.

    No matter how little we like to acknowledge it, many of our luxuries
and necessities come from Germany ; and it is to Germany that one turns
for the inspiration of modern illustration, and to Adolph Menzel as its
prophet.  When, in the late thirties, Menzel was working on his various
versions of “Frederick the Great,” seeing the results obtained in Curmer’s
“Paul et Virginie,” he confided some of the designs he had drawn upon the
wood-block to an Anglo-French firm of wood engravers, Andrew Best Leloir ;
but he was not satisfied with the results, which may be seen in the earlier
part of Kugler’s “Frederick the Great” ; so he trained his own engravers—
Kreutzchmar, Bentworth, Unzelmann, the Vogels—and between them they
produced those triumphs of German art which gave the direct inspiration to
modern English illustration.  They are : “The Life of Frederick,” 1840 :
“The Uniforms of the Army of Frederick,” 1852, a supplement ; “The
Works of Frederick,” 1850 ; “The Heroes of War and Peace,” 1856.
These books, I have been informed—and I have been told the facts by
the artists and engravers and publishers themselves—did have their effect
in the following ten years, if they did not produce a sensation in England

            A GOLDEN DECADE IN ENGLISH ART      113

immediately on their appearance in Germany, or even on their re-publication
here, for “The Life of Frederick the Great,” Kugler’s “Geschichte Fried-
richs des Grossen,” 1840, was issued here by Bohn in 1845 as “A Pictorial
History of Germany,” though the others have never appeared in English
dress.  The first book which shows this influence is William Allingham’s
“The Music Master,” 1855; and I maintain that Rossetti in his drawings—
that is, in his method of drawing for engraving as shown in this book—must
have been inspired by Menzel, for no book like it had been illustrated in
England, nor had similar illustrations been made previously in this country.
Rossetti, Millais and Arthur Hughes did the drawings.  Rossetti furnished
the frontispiece: “A youth listening in rapt mood to the chaunt of three
mystic women—the maids of Elfin Mere.”  Burne-Jones then thought it
the most beautiful drawing, for an illustration, that he had ever seen.  Yet
Mr. W. M. Rossetti says his brother was highly dissatisfied, and regarded
the woodcut (of course it was a wood engraving) by Messrs. Dalziel as a
decided travesty of his work.  What would he have thought had it been done
a little earlier ?

    Next year, 1856, Samuel Palmer—who had been following the tradition
of Blake and that lovely decorator, Calvert—illustrated one chapter : “The
Distant Hills,” for Adams’s “Sacred Allegories,” with nine drawings.  Three
or four of these must rank with Turner.  Palmer has given the effect of the
setting sun over great landscape as no one ever did before, as no one has
attempted since.
    The year 1857 is a memorable one—the year of Moxon’s “Tennyson”;
the herald of Millais’ genius as an illustrator.  The book contains the
famous Rossetti drawings and Holman Hunt’s best design, “The Lady
of Shallot” : but the rest of the illustrations are weak, poor, commonplace.
The engravings, of which one hears little that is good, are by Dalziel and
Linton.  It is most interesting to compare the engraving of “Sir Galahad”
—from the Rossetti drawing done by Linton, which is quite characterless so
far as the work of Rossetti goes (or, rather, Lintonesque, save in the small
heads, which are very good)—with the first drawing in the “Palace of

114                              THE SAVOY

Art,” by Dalziel, also after Rossetti, which is brilliant and individual by
comparison.  Yet Rossetti himself, so his brother says, preferred the Linton
to the Dalziel.

    Mr. Ruskin backs Rossetti, too, in his denunciation of the engravers ;
but this is not of much importance, as in a few years, just after the very
best work had been done, he attacked artists and engravers both, saying :
“Cheap popular art cannot draw for you beauty, sense, honesty ; but every
species of distorted vice—the idiot, the blackguard, the coxcomb, the paltry
fool, the degraded woman—are pictured for your honourable pleasure on every
page.  These are favourably representative of the entire art industry of the
modern Press.” This is a criticism of these men and these books.

    In the same year, a book, the illustrated edition of which is quite un-
heard of—Willmot’s “Sacred Poetry”—was published.  In this was maintained
an all-round standard of greater merit in design and engraving even than in
the “Tennyson,” for among the contributors were Madox Brown, Tenniel,
Harvey, Foster, Arthur Hughes, Harding, Millais and Gilbert, engraved by
Dalziel : there were fewer Academicians, and the men knew better how to
draw on wood.

    In 1858, John Gilbert, even then the Nestor of English illustration,
obtained his chance, and the magnificent “Shakespeare,” also engraved by
Dalziel, was commenced, and continued during the two following years.  This
is Gilbert’s masterpiece, and still remains the finest complete illustrated edition
of Shakespeare.  It came out in parts, and is probably the first example,
among these books, of the present popular fashion of issuing books in parts.

    If 1857 was notable, 1859 is destined to become historic, for it marks
the starting of Once a Week, soon to become synonymous with good illus-
tration.  The first volume is more an array of names than a distinguished
accomplishment.  Millais did eight drawings for it, not one of which can be
compared with his designs for the “Tennyson”; though he was beginning
that series of studies of the costume and furniture of the period, the crinoline.
the chignon and the what-not, that we now find so amusing.  Harvey did
one drawing, and there are a number by Phiz, Leech, Tenniel, and many

            A GOLDEN DECADE IN ENGLISH ART      115

crude things signed “Keene” which are commonplace.  They were all engraved
by Swain, or, as Keene himself put it, they fell before the graver of Swain.
After this, Keene appears continuously, always more and more interesting ; but,
save for his “Caudle Lectures,” 1865, he is scarcely a book illustrator.  Yet
his fame is secure, his position as an illustrator is acknowledged.

    I have said already that it is to these books and magazines that we
must turn for all that is left of the English illustration of the sixties ; for
this reason, the final finished drawings were made on the wood-block, and,
consequently, engraved all to pieces ; and, save those wood-blocks, most of
which have vanished, and, possibly, some engravers’ proofs and the prints
in the magazines and books themselves, there is absolutely nothing else left.
Therefore the world, which always wants what it cannot have, may some day
understand how important are these early volumes.

    To the first number of the Cornhill, 1860, Thackeray, more or less
worked over by ghosts and engravers, contributed the illustrations for “Lovel
the Widower.” But, in the second or third number, Millais was called in,
and then G. A. Sala, to complete the work.  Frederick Sandys illustrated the
“Legend of the Portent” ; this is, so far as I know, his first appearance as a
book illustrator ; the lithographed burlesque of “Sir Isumbras” is earlier.  And
the volume ends with Millais’ splendid “Was it not a Lie?” an illustration to
“Framley Parsonage.”  From that time forward Millais gives character and
distinction to its pages.  The grace of the crinoline, the beauty of the frock-
coat and the top hat, the daintiness of the pantalette, are shown in every
number, while the pre-aesthetic houses are full of interest.  It is curious
to note that either Thackeray or the publisher refused to mention the names
of the artists in any way.  Millais and Sala alone signed their designs with
their monograms.  Sir Frederick Leighton, I imagine, contributed the “Great
God Pan” (signed ” L.”) in the second volume ; while his drawings for
“Romola” were also among the special attractions in 1863.  Richard Doyle
began his “Birdseye Views of Society” in the third ; but it was not until
more than half-way through this volume that the initials “F. W.” appeared
on what were supposed to be Thackeray’s drawings—or, rather, it was

                                                                                                8— 2

116                              THE SAVOY

not until then that the great author acknowledged his failure as an illus-
trator.  But in one of his “Roundabout Papers,” eventually, he admitted
his indebtedness to Walker with the best grace in the world.  The first
drawing in the Cornhill signed by Walker—a fact interesting enough
to be recorded—faces page 556, in the volume for 1861 : it is the “Nurse
and Doctor,” an illustration to Thackeray’s “Philip.”

    Good Words also was started in 1860, and attracted certain young
Scotsmen—Orchardson, Pettie, Graham, MacWhirter.  Even Punch was
brilliant then, and its excellence was due to Du Maurier and Keene ; a
Du Maurier, however, that one would not recognise to-day.

    I do not know of any notable books in 1861, though G. H. Bennett’s
magnum opus, Quarles’ “Emblems,” appeared in that year, and, I believe, was
popular.  But in 1862, Miss Rossetti’s “Poems,” illustrated by her brother
with two drawings, came out ; Rossetti also designed the cover.  The illustra-
tions can hardly be called satisfactory as illustrations, for the two Lizzies are
quite different—the first, a country girl; the second, a stately Rossetti woman.
The second edition contains two more drawings, which were added in 1866.
William Morris engraved the frontispiece to this book, signed “M MF & Co.”

    The illustrations for these magazines and books were done in a curious
but very interesting way ; the entire work was undertaken by two firms,
Messrs. Dalziel and Swain.  They commissioned the drawings from the
artists, and then engraved them ; the method seems to have been so
successful, that the engravers, notably the Dalziels, not only employed artists
to make drawings and then engraved the blocks themselves, but became their
own printers as well.  It was in this manner that they produced the books
which are bound to become the admiration and despair of the intelligent and
artistic collector.  When the books were printed they were sold to a publisher,
who merely put his imprint on them ; but to this day they are known as
“Dalziel’s Illustrated Editions,” that is, when they are known at all.  The first
important book of the series which I have seen is Birket Foster’s “Pictures
of English Landscape,” 1863 (Routledge), printed by Dalziel, with “Pictures
in Words,” by Tom Taylor.  The binding is atrocious ; the paper is spotting

            A GOLDEN DECADE IN ENGLISH ART      117

and losing colour ; but the drawings must have been exquisite, and here and
there the ink is spreading and giving a lovely tone, like that of an etching, to
the prints on the pages.  This autumn it was revived, by Nimmo, with literary
selections by Mr. John Davidson ; of course there is no mention of the fact
that the engravings were made thirty-two years ago. In the same year,
F. Shields did a shilling edition of Defoe’s “Plague,” containing six drawings,
engraved by Swain and Moreton ; this must be one of the earliest of illus-
trated shilling publications ; it contains Mr. Shield’s best designs.  The
dead-pit, into which, by the flaring light of torches, the bodies are being
shot from a cart, is like Rembrandt in its power.

    In 1864, Messrs. Dalziel, who had already in the previous year engraved
the designs for Good Words, published in a volume Millais’ “Parables of Our
Lord,” through Routledge.  This book, issued in an atrocious binding
described as elaborate (and it truly is), bound up so badly that it has broken
all to pieces, and printed with a text in red and black, contains much of
the strongest work Millais ever did.  Nothing could excel in dramatic
power, or in effect of light, “The Enemy Sowing Tares,” and the “Lost
Piece of Silver,“ or in beauty of line or realistic treatment of the foreground,
“The Sower,”—to mention but three blocks where so many are so good.  The
whole book is excellent, and is now excessively rare in its first edition.  In
this year also, W. J. Linton illustrated Mrs. Lynn Linton’s “Lake Country”
(Smith, Elder & Co.), drawing and engraving the pictures ; it is a curious
book, and exemplifies, I suppose, Mr. Linton’s methods ; of which I may say,
I had rather he engraved his own designs than mine.

    But 1865 is the most notable year of all.  To it belongs Dalziel’s
illustrated “Arabian Nights’ Entertainments,” originally published in parts,
and, later, in two volumes, with text and pictures enclosed in horrid
borders (Ward & Lock).  In this book, A. Boyd Houghton first showed
what a really great man he was.  He clearly proved himself a master in
technique as well as in imagination, and, although he had as fellow illus-
trators Sir J. E. Millais, J. D. Watson, Sir John Tenniel, G. J. Pinwell
and Thomas Dalziel, Houghton towers above them all. Mr. Lawrence

118                              THE SAVOY

Housman, in an able article on him in Bibliographica, well says : “Among
artists and those who care at all deeply for the great things of Art, he cannot
be forgotten ; for them, his work is too much an influence and a problem ; and
though, officially, the Academy shuts its mouth at him   .   .   .   certain of
its leading lights have been heard unofficially to declare ߵthat he was the
greatest artist who has appeared in England in black and white.ߴ Technically,
his work, always in line, with a brush or pencil, is most simple and powerful ;
the values of white asserted by the yard.  Broad white upon black, black
upon broad white ; yet there is searching draughtsmanship, marvels of subtle
modelling, and always the strange realism that gives rags their squalor, limbs
the hairiness of life.”

    In 1865, also, Houghton’s “Home Thoughts and Home Scenes” was
published by Routledge.  It is much less imaginative than his later work,
but contains, perhaps, more that is beautiful, studies of child-life, charm-
ingly seen, beautifully drawn.  After this, he worked prodigiously, and yet
excellently.  His edition of “Don Quixote” (Warne), as a whole rather
over rated, yet fine in parts, must be sought for now in the most out-of-the-
way places.  Very Spanish in character is the frontispiece ; and his rendering
of local colour in his books is all the more remarkable since I have heard he
never was in Spain or the East.  Easier to find are his “Kriloff’s Fables,”
slight sketches published by Strahan in 1869.  Best known of all are his
drawings in the early numbers of the Graphic—the American series—which
were not all published, I think, before he died.  If some of them are
grotesque, almost even to caricature, they are amazingly powerful ; and,
being the largest engraved works left, show him, fortunately, at his best.
His original drawings scarcely exist at all ; they were nearly all done on the
wood ; and though, at times, he made several versions of each, he seems to
have destroyed all except the one that pleased him, and this disappeared in
the engraving.

    Another event was the publication of Ward & Lock’s edition of Gold-
smith, in which G. J. Pinwell revealed his marvellous powers ; but Pinwell’s
most important work is for a late date.

            A GOLDEN DECADE IN ENGLISH ART      119

    In 1865, there must have been almost as many good illustrated magazines
published in England alone as there are to-day in the whole world.  Besides
Good Words, the Cornhill, and Once a Week, there were London Society, the
Shilling Magazine, the Argosy, and the Quiver.  The uniform edition of Dickens
was also being issued ; illustrated by C. Green, Luke Fildes, Marcus Stone,
J. Mahoney and F. Barnard.

This line-block reproduction of a wood-engraved image appears in landscape orientation. There is one man gazing off into the distance with a detailed landscape illustrated around him. The man stands in the foreground to the left of the page, facing towards the right side and leaned forward onto a tall engraved stone beside a bridge. He takes up about the whole left side of the page in height, and one-quarter of the page width. The man has his right leg wrapped around in front of his left, clothed in knee-high boots and loose pants. He is wearing a long sleeve shirt and has his coat hung over his right shoulder. He has on a long cap and stringy pieces of hair fall forward onto his face, which is visible in profile. His right arm has the forearm resting on the stone, while only his left elbow leans on the stone and left hand cups his left cheek. The stone pillar he leans on rises to about his waist, or three-quarters up from the bottom of the page, and it tapers off slightly towards the top. The pillar has two vertical lines engraved on the outer edges and the letters “F” “A,” and “S”—the artist Frederick Augustus Sandys’ monogram--are engraved backwards on the centre of the block (likely due to a failure to reverse the letters for the wood engraver). A log with plants growing out of it is leaning on the front of the stone pillar. The foreground is otherwise filled with large leaves and reeds. Behind the man on the left and travelling in a line diagonally up towards the right side of the page is a simple wooden bridge. The bridge has railings made of wood pieces running horizontally in two lines with a few vertical support pieces above the bridge base. Water fills the mid-ground underneath the bridge, reflective of the sky in distorted shading. Bushes line the shore on the far side of the bridge, rising up to the man’s shoulder in height on the page. Behind the bushes are trees forming a forest in the central background, and there is a house to the right peeking out between trees. In the top right corner of the page, or the right background, is a less treed area with logs on the ground and a tent set up. There is also a hill lined with some bushes and trees and a few simple buildings before the skyline in the farthest distance. In the top left corner, the left background, there are also trees and hills rising up to meet a thin skyline.

    F. Sandys is, in imaginative power, the greatest of all these artists ;
in technique he is the legitimate successor of Durer, in popularity he is a
hopeless failure.  He has never illustrated a book : so far as I know, he
made but few drawings specially for books : these few are contained in
Willmot’s “Sacred Poetry,” 1863, “Life’s Journey.” the “Little Mourner.”
and Dalziel’s “Bible Gallery.”

This line-block reproduction of a wood-engraved image is in portrait orientation. A man stands tall in the middle of the image on top of a hill, holding onto a scarf billowing in the strong wind and looking at a crow sitting on a branch. The man spans from the base to the top of the page in height and takes up about half of the width. In the foreground are various plants and twigs springing up and covering his feet. One plant rises up taller than the others on the left, reaching about his waist in height. The man is centered in the page. He is wearing a baggy coat that reaches the ground but is split slightly at the waist to reveal a sliver of her long, lighter-coloured robe. The coat has baggy sleeves that hang far below his left arm, which is positioned up horizontally across his body. He is holding onto a scarf that billows behind him on the left side of the page. His right arm is crossed underneath his left. The coat he wears is tied together at the neck with a single button. His hair is wavy and blown back from his face in a sort of mane from the wind. His face is turned towards the right of the page and tilted slightly up, showing a three-quarters profile. He looks at a crow that sits slightly above eye-level on a branch extending out from the top right corner of the page. The crow is bigger than the man’s head and looks back at him, leaning forward on the branch. The branches of an evergreen tree with pine needles stick out below the bare branch upon which the crow sits. In the background of the man and the crow is a faintly outlined city made up of many little houses, which seem to be at the bottom of the hill they are on. Behind the city is a skyline with a few clouds and a dark upper edge. In the bottom left corner a small logo appears in a doubly-lined square that has the letters “F” “A” and “S” scripted over top of each other; this is the monogram signature of the artist, Frederick Augustus Sandys. In the bottom right corner the word “SWAIN” [caps] appears in a light colour contrasted with the dark ferns behind it; this is the signature of the wood engraver.

            A GOLDEN DECADE IN ENGLISH ART      121

    In 1861, a number of his drawings were printed in Once a Week
“Yet once more let the Organ play,” “Three Statues of Ægina,” and others.  In
every one is seen the hand of the man able to carry on the tradition of
Durer, and yet bring it into line with modern methods.  So far as I am

This line-block reproduction of a wood-engraved image is in portrait orientation. The image shows a woman seated on the deck of a ship in the water, with land in the distant horizon. The woman fills about the bottom right quadrant of the page. She sits facing the right side of the page, showing the profile of her face looking out to sea over the hull. She is wearing a large, light-coloured gown that puffs out into a big skirt. She has a dark shawl wrapped around her arms and the back of the skirt. One of her arms, the left, is leaning on the rail of the ship and the other is bent, holding up the shawl. She has on a bonnet that covers the back of her head and her bangs peek out from the front. The bonnet ties underneath her chin and the ties hang down the front of her dress. To the right of the woman’s face in the background appear four seagulls flying above the water and towards the skyline. The deck extends behind her. The railing continues towards the left side of the page upwards and diagonally. The ropes that hold the ship’s masts are tied off on the hooks that line the railing in the mid-ground and to the left of the woman. There are eight ropes that tie off, cutting vertically through the middle and left side of the page. The deck drops slightly lower after a few steps down and then continues out of sight towards the left. More ropes are shown attached to the distant railing but are mostly cut off from the frame on the left edge of the page. Behind the rail, ropes, and the woman is the watery background. The water rises to about three-quarters up the page, showing slight waves rising throughout. Behind the water the outline of a landscape appears lightly sketched to represent a body of land that has mountains and valleys. The sky has one sketched cloud and is above the land for a small portion of the page. The artist’s name, “Whistler,” appears scrawled in the bottom left corner of the page diagonally aimed down to the right, and the engraver’s signature, “Swain,” appears at centre bottom.

aware, Ruskin never mentions him ; how far this was owing to the famous
Sir Isumbras caricature, “The Nightmare,” I do not know.  All the spirit
of early German art breathes through his drawings.  But it is during the
next year, 1862, that Sandys, becoming accustomed to the wood-block, did

122                              THE SAVOY

some of his most powerful work—“The Old Chartist,” “Harold,” and
“King Warwulf,” in Once a Week.  In “The Old Chartist” there is the real
Durer feeling in the distant landscape, but the trees are better than Durer’s
trees, and the figure is one that Sandys has seen for himself.  But in all
his work there is this evidence of things seen and studied.  1862 was his
most productive year; in 1863 there are but four drawings; none in 1864; in
1865, a magnificent “Amor Mundi,” for Miss Rossetti’s poem, printed in the
April number of the Shilling Magazine.  After that there are only one or two,
and then he disappears.  There are many drawings by him on paper, but
it is safe to say no man who did so few drawings on wood ever made such
a reputation.  True, Whistler only did four in Once a Week (1861-2), among
them the charming design printed in this article, but he was known as an
etcher and painter at the time.  Whistler also contributed to a “Catalogue of
Blue and White,” published by Ellis Elvey, in 1878, illustrated by auto-
types, which will one day rank with Jacquemart’s books ; but this was only
issued in a very limited edition.

    After 1865, we find that the books contain better illustrations than the
magazines, attracting the better men by the greater care with which they
were printed and the larger size of the pages.  However, Du Maurier, Keene,
Lawless, Millais and Small still contributed regularly to the magazines.

    Expensive gift-books by Houghton, Pinwell, North and Walker were
then commenced, perfectly new drawings being used for their illustration.
In 1866, “A Round of Days” was issued by Routledge ; Walker, North,
Pinwell, and E. Dalziel come off best in this gorgeous morocco-covered
volume, especially Dalziel, who contributes a striking nocturne ; the beauty of
night, discovered by Whistler, being duly appreciated by these illustrators.
Houghton’s edition of “Don Quixote” is another of the books of 1866.

    In 1867, “Wayside Posies” and Jean Ingelow’s “Poems” were published
by Routledge and Longmans respectively.  These two books reach the high-
water mark of English illustration ; in them, North and Pinwell surpass
themselves—the one in landscape, the other in figure—and Edward Dalziel
is quite amazing in studies of mist and rain, which I imagine were, at the

            A GOLDEN DECADE IN ENGLISH ART      123

time, absolutely unnoticed by the critics.  The drawings of the school,
however, must have been popular, for Smith, Elder & Co. reprinted the
Walkers from the Cornhill in a “Gallery,” in 1864; Strahan, in 1866,
collected the Millais drawings in a portfolio; and in 1807, “Touches of
Nature,” also from the magazines, printed, it is said, from the original
blocks.  Possibly this was meant as an atonement for the shabby way in
which the artists had been treated in the magazines.

    In 1868, “The North Coast,” by Buchanan, was issued by Routledge ;
much good work by Houghton is hidden away in its pages.  The next year
the Graphic was started, and these books virtually ceased to appear.  There
were some spasmodic efforts to produce new ones, most notable of which
were Whymper’s magnificent “Scrambles amongst the Alps,” containing
J. Mahoney’s best drawings and Whymper’s best engravings, Tenniel’s
editions of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass,” Miss
Rossetti’s “Sing-Song,” illustrated by Arthur Hughes, 1872, and “His-
torical and Legendary Ballads” (Chatto & Windus), 1876, made up from
the early numbers of the magazines, and specially interesting because of
the rare drawings by Whistler and Sandys which are included.  It is
almost the only book in which one can find the work of these two men,
although their drawings were not done originally for it, as the editor would
like one to believe.

    The Graphic printed a Portfolio in 1877, made up from early numbers.
In 1878, “Nature Pictures,” drawn by J. H. Dell and engraved by Patterson,
was issued ; as an example of what facsimile wood-engraving is capable of, it
is amazing, the most elaborate penwork being wonderfully facsimiled in wood.

    Dalziels produced at least two books later on, magnificent India proofs
of “English Rustic Pictures,” printed from the original blocks by Pinwell
and Walker, done for the books I have mentioned (this volume is undated) ;
and the “Bible Gallery” (1881), the drawings for which had been made long
before and kept back till they could be photographed on wood.  Many of
these drawings, which a few years ago they vainly tried to sell, are now among
the treasures of South Kensington.  All the best-known artists contributed

124                              THE SAVOY

to the “Bible Gallery,” yet the result was not altogether a success.  The
most conspicuously good drawings are by Ford Madox Brown, Leighton,
Burne-Jones, Sandys, Poynter, Houghton and Dalziel.  It is the last great
English book illustrated by a band of artists and engravers working together.
Whether the results are satisfactory or not, the fact remains that the
engravers were most enthusiastic, and encouraged the artists as no one has
done since in the making of books ; and the artists were the most distinguished
draughtsmen who have ever appeared in England.  In the early numbers of
the Graphic there are also many marvellous designs by these men, and
by Green, Fildes, Linton, Macbeth and Herkomer.  In fact, in not a few
cases the most distinguished work of the present R.A.’s is to be found, in
black and white, in the Graphic.

    I am perfectly aware that this is by no means a complete list of the
books of what I have called the 1860 period.  It is but an attempt to
point out the great value and importance of the illustrations contained in
these books, many of which, so far as their pictures go, are as important as
those of the fifteenth century.  Yet no record of them has been made ; they
are almost unknown, save to artists.  Among artists, however, there is a
rapidly-growing admiration for English art of this period, and in ten years’
time these books will be rightly considered the treasure-houses of the golden
decade of English art.

                                                                                                Joseph Pennell.


    “I mind the man that gave me my first glass of whiskey,” said Johnny
Mullen, the tailor. “I hadn’t a red nose then, or eleven half-starved
children. I was a cub down at Omagh, doing my first tailoring ; and it was
my own uncle, God forgive him! I wish I was a cub again. I’d never get
married. I’m not a man to have a houseful of children. I’m too much of a

    “Hold up off the counter, Johnny, dear,” said Mrs. Mulvany, “if you
don’t want to break every tumbler I have in the house.”

    “Come over here, Johnny, and sit down on the form between me and
Williamson,” said pensioner Higgins against the wall, “and tell us about
the night you and Peter Hogan drank the half-gallon.”

    “I’m a bad villain of a man,” said Johnny, sitting down. “I might
have come to something, and I turned out bad. There was a good man
lost in me, and I turned out bad.”

    “Ah, no, you did not, Johnny,” said Mrs. Williamson’s husband.
“You’re a brave enough man as it is.”

    “I tell you I’m not, Williamson, and I ought to know better than you.
I tell you I’m not.”

    “I tell you you are, Johnny. There’s worse people than you.”

    “Williamson, Williamson, you know nothing about it. Damn all you
know about it. I turned out a bad man.”

    “That’ll do now, Johnny, that’ll do. I was always your friend, and
there wasn’t often high words between us, and you can afford to talk me
down. But it is not everyone would do it. It is not everyone would
venture. All right now, Johnny, all right.”

    “Ay, but it’s me has been the bad scoundrel of a man entirely. This
uncle of mine wasn’t a drop’s blood to me. He was my uncle by marriage,
and he didn’t know anything better. ‘Here, Johnny, my son,’ says he,

128                              THE SAVOY

‘you’re a smart, cliver cub, and the makings of a good tailor. Drink it up,’
says he, ‘for it’ll make a man of you.’ Ay, boys dear, and so it did. It
did make the quare man of me, the quare bad baste of a man.”

    Williamson was holding his tongue, but he was listening, and this
provocation was nearly too much for him.

    “I seen the time, Johnny,” he said, “people wouldn’t crow me down.
I seen the time”—and he went on with his eyes shut, and as if talking
to himself—”Ay, that was the fist could break noses”; and he held it up.
“That was once upon a time. There was the fist could break noses. Even
yet, maybe, Johnny, even yet. Ay, there’s the fist could break noses. There’s
the fist could break noses.”

    “It made the quare man of me,” says Johnny; “the quare bad baste
of a man.”

    “Whist, Johnny, whist!” put in Higgins, who was always for peace.
“Don’t go on like that, man. Don’t provocate him, for you’re not his
match, anyway.”

    “I never seen the day I was afeard of a boy like Williamson,” said

    “Was I ever threacherous to you yet, Johnny? ” said Williamson.
“No, Johnny, never. Never, Johnny, never. But I never was afeard of
you, either, and I amn’t now. But was I ever threacherous to you yet?”

    “Oh! look at this for rascality!” said Mrs. Mulvany. “They’ll murder
one another yet, the villains, that could not have the decency to go and fight
outside. They’ll ruin my house. Archy Higgins, put up them tumblers at
once, unless you want every vessel in my house to be broken into bits and
the place disgraced for ever with such blackguardly conduct, for you’re worse
than them. It’s a shame for you, a man of your time of life.”

    “Oh! Mrs. Mulvany, dear, sure it’s not my fault. Sure I’m doing
nothing but trying to sinder them, and they won’t let go one another’s necks.”

    “Come here, child, and run for the police,” said Mrs. Mulvany, “to
get this drunken crew out of my house. However they managed to crowd
in, all three of them, at once. It’s bad enough, goodness knows, to have

                      A GLASS OF WHISKEY                                     129

one or two of them in the same house at the same time, but three rascals of
the drunkenest feather in all the country, to think they’d come in and walk
on a body like this. A party, besides, that has hardly ever a penny in their
own pocket, and is always wanting to have credit or to drink on other people.
Poor Mrs. Williamson! indeed I pity her, but I don’t blame her. A nice
thing, indeed, if she had to give away her substance ; though the man is not
the undecentest of them if he had it, and is quiet enough if he wasn’t

    Higgins had got them to let each other go.

    “Did ever I act threacherous to you, Johnny?”

    “No matter now, Williamson ; no matter,” says Johnny.

    “Och! Johnny, dear, whist, will you,” says Higgins, “and go no further
with it. Sure. Williamson’s able-bodied, and you’re only a light man, anyway,
and always was.”

    Johnny reached for Williamson again.

    “You ought to have been a Catholic, Williamson,” he said; “you ought
to have been a Catholic. The grandfather before you was a papish, and a
good one too, and a decent man.”

    “I was born and reared a Protestant, Johnny, and a decent one. Your
uncle, Johnny Mullen, was in jail.”

    “He was in jail decently, Williamson. If my uncle was in jail he was
in it decently. He was in it for poteen-making.”

    “They’re clawing one another again!” cried Mrs. Mulvany. “Lord
have mercy on us! or what is the world coming to. I’ll go away and shut
the door and leave you to yourselves, you good-for-nothing pack. Higgins,
you’ll pay for this blackguard work some day or other. Couldn’t you go and
call some of the Mullen’s ones to come and take home their father? Mrs.
Williamson, but I pity you! for you have a bad pill to deal with—though he’s
a quiet enough man in drink if he was let alone.”

    “I never was threacherous with you, Johnny, yet ; and I never
yet saw them I’d listen to saying a bad word against you,” said

130                              THE SAVOY

    “Williamson, it was me that stood up for you at the election times, the
evening that they wanted your blood for breaking in and spoiling the meeting.
And they’d have had it, too, only your woman came and fetched you away.
But I stood up for you, Williamson, and I’d stand up for you the morrow.”

    “Now they’re going to hug one another,” said Mrs. Mulvany ; “and
they’ll be crying in a minute, and it’ll go on like this all evening. And there’s
nothing on earth I hate so much to see in two men. I’d far easier stand
them fighting and killing one another. Archy Higgins, if you don’t take
them pair away out of that, you’ll never enter my door again. Here, Johnny
Mullen, your Jennie is on the street looking for you. Go on out home with
her like a good man. You and Williamson may stay there, Higgins, as long
as you like, for you’re peaceable enough if let alone, and poor Mrs. Williamson
has other things to think of than keeping a good-for-nothing man out of her
way. But that Johnny Mullen!—I don’t like the sight of him. He’d sit in
your house from morning to night to provoke you looking at him, and him
never has a halfpenny to spend after Monday morning is over.”

    “Ay, I wish I was a cub again,” Johnny said, going home, “I’d never
get married, anyway.” The little daughter Jennie was accustomed to the
fool talk of him. “I wish I was a cub again, I’d never have got—ay, maybe
I would ; ay, likely I would; but things wouldn’t, maybe, be like this.”

                                                                                  Humphrey James.


BEFORE my light goes out for ever, if God should give me a choice
     of graces,
    I would not reck of length of days, nor crave for things to be ;
But cry : “One day of the great lost days, one face of all the faces,
    Grant me to see and touch once more, and nothing more to see.”

For, Lord, I was free of all Thy flowers, and I chose the world’s sad roses,
     And that is why I must eat my bread in bitterness and sweat ;
But at Thy terrible Judgment Seat, when this my tired life closes,
     I am ready to reap whereof I sowed, and pay my righteous debt.

But once before the sand is run and the silver thread is broken,
     Give me a grace and cast aside the veil of dolorous years ;
Grant me one hour of all mine hours, and let me see for a token
    Her pure and pitiful eyes shine out, and bathe her feet with tears.

Her pitiful hands should calm, and her hair stream down and blind me
     Out of the sight of night and out of the reach of fear,
And her eyes should be my light, while the sun went out behind me ;
    And the viols in her voice be the last sound in mine ear.

Before the ruining waters fall, and my soul be carried under,
     And Thine anger cleave me through, as a child cuts down a flower,
I will praise Thee, Lord ! in Hell, while my limbs are racked asunder,
    For the last sad sight of her face and the little grace of an hour.

                                                                               ERNEST DOWSON.

“Thaulow : The Norwegian Painter

and his Family”


Jacques L. Blanche.


THE men-at-arms of the young queen Dectira, and of the old and foolish
king Lua, had lighted a line of fires from Bulben to the sea and set
watchmen by every fire ; and built a long house with skin-covered wattles
for the assembly, and smaller houses to sleep in, and dug round them a deep
ditch, close to the place where the Lis of the Blindman was built in later
times; and now they sat in the long house waiting the attack of the clans
coming down from the plain of Ith, and listened to the bard Aodh, who
recited a battle-tale of the wars of Heber and Heremon. The tale was
written upon thin slips of wood, which the bard held before him like a fan,
grasping them above the brazen pivot, and only laid down when he would
take up the five-stringed cruit from the ground at his feet and chaunt hastily,
and with vehement gesture, one of the many lyrics woven into the more
massive measure of the tale. Though the bard was famous, the old
and foolish king did not listen, but leaned his head upon the central
pillar and snored fitfully in a wine-heavy sleep ; but the young queen
sat among her women, straight and still like a white candle, and listened
as though there was no tale in the world but this one, for the enchantment
of his dreamy voice was in her ears; the enchantment of his changing
history in her memory : how he would live now in the Raths of kings,
now alone in the great forest ; how rumour held him of the race of the bard
for whom the tribes of Heber and Heremon cast lots at the making of the
world ; how, despite the grey hairs mingling before their time with the dark
of his beard, he was blown hither and thither by love and anger ; how,
according to his mood, he would fly now from one man and with blanched
face, and now prove himself of a preternatural bravery alone against many;
and, above all, how he had sat continually by her great chair telling of
forays and battles to hearten her war-beaten men-at-arms, or chaunting
histories and songs laden with gentler destinies for her ears alone, or, more
often still, listening in silence to the rustling of her dress.

136                              THE SAVOY

    He sang now of anger and not of love, for it was needful to fill the
hearts of her men-at-arms with thirst of battle that her days might have
peace ; yet over all the tale hovered a mournful beauty not of battle, and
from time to time he would compare the gleam of a sword to the bright-
ness of her eyes ; or the dawn breaking on a morning of victory to the
glimmering of her breast. As the tale, and its lyrics, which were like the
foam upon a wave, flowed on, it wrapped the men-at-arms as in a tide of
fire, and its vehement passages made them clash their swords upon their
shields and shout an ever-more clamorous approval. At last it died out in a
chaunt of triumph over battle-cars full of saffron robes and ornaments of
gold and silver, and over long lines of youths and maidens with brazen
chains about their ankles ; and the men shouted and clashed their swords
upon their shields for a long time. The queen sat motionless for a while,
and then leaned back in her chair so that its carved back made one dark
tress fall over her cheek. Sighing a long, inexplicable sigh, she bound
the tress about her head and fastened it with a golden pin. Aodh gazed at
her, the fierce light fading in his eyes, and began to murmur something over
to himself, and presently taking the five-stringed cruit from the ground, half
knelt before her, and softly touched the strings. The shouters fell silent, for
they saw that he would praise the queen, as his way was when the tales were
at an end ; and in the silence he struck three notes, as soft and sad as though
they were the cooing of doves over the Gates of Death.

    Before he could begin his song, the door which led from the long room
into the open air burst open and a man rushed in, his face red with running,
and cried out :

    “The races with ignobly bodies and ragged beards, from beyond the Red
Cataract, have driven us from the fires and have killed many !”

    The words were scarcely from his mouth before another man struck
against him, making him reel from the door, only to be thrust aside by
another and another and another, until all that remained of the watchmen
stood in the centre of the hall, muddy and breathless, some pouring wine into
horns from the great stone flagon that stood there, and some unhooking their
bronze helmets and shields and swords from the pillars. The men about the

                      THE BINDING OF THE HAIR                                    137

queen had already taken their helmets and shields and swords from pillars
and walls, and were now armed ; but the queen sat on straight and still, and
Aodh half knelt before her, with bowed head, and touched the five-stringed
cruit slowly and dreamily.

    At last he rose with a sigh, and was about to mix among the men-at-
arms when the queen leaned forward, and, taking him by the hand, said, in
a low voice:

    “O Aodh, promise me to sing the song before the morning, whether
we be victors or weary fugitives !”

    He turned, with a pale face, and answered :

    “There are two little verses in my heart, two little drops in my flagon,
and I swear by the Red Swineherd that I will pour them out before the
morning for the Rose of my Desire, the Lily of my Peace, whether I have
living lips or fade among the imponderable multitudes !”

    Then he took down his wicker shield covered with hide, and his helmet
and sword, from a pillar, and mixed among the crowd that poured, shouting,
through the great door.

    Nobody remained in the long room except the queen and her women
and the foolish king, who slept on, with his head against a pillar.

    After a little, they heard a far-off ringing of bronze upon bronze, and the
dull thud of bronze upon hide, and the cries of men, and these continued for
a long time, and then sank into the silence. When all was still, the queen
took the five-stringed cruit upon her knees and began touching the strings
fitfully and murmuring stray lines and phrases out of the love songs of Aodh;
and so sat until about two hours before dawn, when the tramp of feet told the
return of the men-at-arms. They came in slowly and wearily, and threw
themselves down, clotted with blood as they were, some on the floor, some
on the benches.

    “We have slain the most, and the rest fled beyond the mountains,” said
the leader ; “but there is no part of the way where there was not fighting,
and we have left many behind us.”

    “Where is Aodh?” said one of the women.

    “I saw his head taken off with a sword,” said the man.

138                              THE SAVOY

    The queen rose and passed silently out of the room, and, half crossing
the space within the ditch, came where her horses were tethered, and bade
the old man, who had charge of their harness and chariot, tell none, but come
with her and seek for a dead man. They drove along the narrow track in the
forest that had been trod by marauders, or by those sent to give them battle,
for centuries; and saw the starlight glimmer upon the helmets and swords of
dead men troubling a darkness which seemed heavy with a sleep older than
the world. At last they came out upon the treeless place where the servile
tribes had fought their last desperate battle before they broke. The old man
tied the reins to a tree and lit a torch, and the two began to search among
the dead. The crows, which had been tearing the bodies, rushed up into the
air before them with loud cawing, and here and there the starlight glimmered
on helmet or sword, or in pools of blood, or in the eyes of the dead.

    Of a sudden, a sweet, tremulous song came from a bush near them. They
hurried towards the spot, and saw a head hanging from the bush by its dark
hair; and the head was singing, and this was the song it sung—

                        “Fasten your hair with a golden pin,
                           And bind up every wandering tress;
                               I bade my heart build these poor rhymes:
                        It worked at them day out, day in,
                           Building a sorrowful loveliness
                               Out of the battles of old times.

                        “You need but lift a pearl-pale hand,
                           And bind up your long hair and sigh;
                                And all men’s hearts must burn and beat;
                        And candle-like foam on the dim sand,
                           And stars climbing the dew-dropping sky,
                               Live but to light your passing feet.”

    And then a troop of crows, heavy like fragments of that sleep older
than the world, swept out of the darkness, and, as they passed, smote those
ecstatic lips with the points of their wings, and the head fell from the bush
and rolled over at the feet of the queen.

                                                                                     W. B. YEATS.


    UNDER my window in the foggy, dripping street, those little imps, the
newspaper-boys, are making the hour horrisonant with their yells.
What voices the urchins develop, at what tender years ! You and I,
Mr. Editor, we could not advertise our wares so penetratingly, though we
strove till our throats cracked over it.  I hear there is a movement on
foot for the suppression, or at least the discipline, of these too-raucous
vendors of our news ; and with all one’s jealousy of the law’s interference,
it would be difficult reasonably, perhaps, to oppose this exercise of it.  Yet,
after all, how much are these rude and hideous cries of a piece with the
thoroughfares they resound in, or, for the matter of that, with how much of
our manners at large ! You will remember a charming series of seventeenth-
century engravings, by Hollar, portraying for us the street-cries of that day.
Such picturesque gentlemen and ladies, they assuredly must have advertised
and insinuated their goods with choice words and musical falls, daintily
appropriate.  Nay, I am, alas ! old enough to recall out of the memory of
childhood a lingering tradition of such things—the “Buy-a-broom,” the
“Buy my sweet, blooming lavender,” girls.  The latter cry may, indeed,
yet be heard, now and again, actually here off Holborn, on an August
morning ; but its sweet strangeness has something almost too pathetic in it,
so that its delicate melody seems to jar on one, as a Corot might on the
hoarding of an underground station.  I recollect running incontinent out
into the street the first time it fell on my ears three years since.  From
a poor lad, painfully making way with his one leg and a crutch, came
those musical tenor notes ; and his apparently slight hold on life went far
from amiss with that old-world fragrance, that old-world melody.  Here,
surely, was the last of a generation, a feeble relic, like a flame flickering

142                              THE SAVOY

yet a moment or two, of vanished tastes and habits, an echo at its dying.
Away, my poor fellow, out of this boisterousness and hurry ; leave us, and
flit away to the leisurely and quiet shades !

    Not, indeed, that I would lend myself to the vulgarity of a mere
shrewish scolding and belittling of our own day.  That is a cheap indigna-
tion which leads a man to defame recklessly his age and country ; nay, it
is a scurvy trick, anyhow, to befoul one’s own nest.  When the tale of the
centuries comes to be made up, I have little misgiving but that we nine-
teenth-century folk shall cut a decent-enough figure.  But certainly it would
be fanaticism, the drunkenness of a sheer conceit, to proclaim our time
altogether, or indeed in some ways comparatively, as in se ipso totus, teres,
atque rotundus.  Those very providences which have been vouchsafed to give
us our distinction, our scientific and mechanical advances, I mean, are, as
yet, themselves the provocatives of certain blemishes in us, directly and
indirectly.  We have fed on strong and strange meat somewhat gluttonously,
and suffer by consequence from an indigestion, as one might say.  It is no
sound appreciativeness, therefore, of our real condition, of our unquestionable
virtues, which induces in some of us so determined a self-satisfaction, that
either we deny the deficiencies detected in us, or treat them airily as of
no moment.  You shall have your friend Practicus hold you by the button in
Shaftesbury Avenue, while he descants with enthusiasm on the improvements
there of these past dozen years, and is moved even to some æsthetic fervour
(for, somewhere in him, he, too, has a dormant sense of beauty) by that
magical London atmosphere, which is for ever transmuting our world for
us from mysterious glory to glory.  Nor is it necessary, nor is it consonant
with truth, to gainsay him ; the most one can say is, that there seems to
be another side to things.  In some matters, Nature is the most indulgent
mother imaginable ; and however we deform our surroundings, she comes
with her tender cunning and transfigures them into loveliness.  To her
effective resourcefulness there is, indeed, no end ; she plays over our mean
buildings, our reckless contrivances to secure convenience, or to trumpet our
way in the world, and, as though she were saying to us, “You foolish little

            OF CRITICISM AND THE CRITIC              143

creatures ! you fancy beauty doesn’t matter for you, and so it is in despite
of you that I must work my miracles of grace,” out of chaos she brings
a charm unspeakable.  Let us go down on our knees and thank her
but, also, let us have an eye to our own souls.  The true citizen would
fain sec the thoroughfares of his town line and fair of themselves, needing
no trickery of light or mist to commend them.  To-day it is pathetic to
observe with what a makeshift we have come to be content.  As we
hurry to and fro ʼtwixt our paltry buildings, the last device we can hit
upon to relieve their mean stupidity, to amuse ourselves amid their depression,
to refresh ourselves amid the prevailing dirt and din, is to paper them with
placards, staring, grotesque, salacious.  How excellently with it all goes the
ragamuffin yonder, shouting “Ixtree Speshall !” Dirty, ragged, cracked-voiced,
impudent young scamp, how significant a product you are of our aims and
methods ! My poor, belated lavender-seller of the soft notes and the dulcet
melody, your modesty is an anachronism, your tunefulness a discord, the ears
that had leisure to listen to you have been dust this many a day.

    But you remind me, Mr. Editor, that my title has something about
“Criticism and the Critic.” Ah ! pardon me, I have been wandering afield ;
though not quite so far, perhaps, as you take it to be.  However, I started
on this communication with the thought of a newspaper in my head, a
somewhat fresh variety of literary and artistic journal, the idea of which
a friend suggests to me, and which it may be worth someone’s while to
consider.  The characteristics of his adventure may be explained briefly.
As the terms are ordinarily understood, this paper would have no principles
and no policy. He proposes that the Editor should have no further care
than to see that his writers possess individuality and can express it, and
that they run him not into a libel-action.  The writers shall have no
further care than to say precisely what each of them thinks and feels on
the matter in hand, unhampered by the least concern of supporting any
tradition, or by a dread of contradicting, even flatly, what someone else, or
their own selves, may have written in the same paper.  Each of them, there-
fore, would have a free hand entirely, with that one proviso of blanching the

144                              THE SAVOY

libel-court.  He would write in the first person, and in the style his humour
smiled upon at the moment.  He would sign his article always, but sign
it, as the whim took him, either with his name, or with a nom-de-guerre, or
with an initial ; and he would be free to change his signature as the
occasion prompted him.  Such, briefly, is my friend’s proposal.

    I conceive that the ideas working in his brain, and leading him to the
above suggestions, are somewhat as follows ; and though even to contem-
plate adding to the burden of our current journals is dangerously near to
criminality, I confess to feeling some force in what I believe he would
authorise me to set forth as the grounds of his position.

    Somebody has somewhere said, that in criticism the great thing is for
the critic to get himself out of the way.  There is much pertinence in the
remark ; yet here, as so often, one may state precisely its opposite with a
pertinence by no means less.  Individuality is the one interesting, real thing
in the universe.  If a man is worth listening to at all (and, when one can
get at him, I expect there breathes not a soul but is), let us hear what
he thinks and feels, what he likes and hates, and let us hear it his own
way.  For the attainment of this end the tyranny of the editorial “we”
is fatal ; but fatal, too, is the antithesis, that on every occasion a man should
write over his own signature, or over a signature known to be his.  The
ideal function of criticism is indeed to discern the true character of the thing
criticised ; but when we get off mere facts, as in the arts, such criticism
is to mortals for the most part impossible ; when we assume to deliver
it we are ludicrously, irritatingly impertinent.  To learn, however, how
a man is affected by this or that specimen of the arts at the moment
before him, entertains and stimulates me; and the entertainment, the stimula-
tion, are heightened if he has time and opportunity to express himself to a
nicety.  In some ways, therefore, his written impression of such matters is
of finer value and delight than even his conversation on them, for it is
hardly less personal, while it is more considered, more clear and precise.
My friend’s insistence that in his proposed paper everybody shall write in
the first person, but still over what signature or signatures he chooses,

            OF CRITICISM AND THE CRITIC              145

seems to secure at once an individuality of utterance, and to allow a man
that freedom in expressing himself which, on occasion, is in danger, if his
real name must serve for finale.  I do not deny that it is foolish in us
to be so under the spell of a mere pronoun, and of the magnificent,
magisterial air accompanying it, as to let them appal us by their authority,
or fret us into a petulant rebellion.  We are aware that it is but a Mr. Jones
or a Mr. Briggs swaggering under that pretentious mask ; and if these
gentlemen gave themselves such airs when we sat together, they would
impose upon us no more than any other coxcomb.  But human nature is
weak, and much at the mercy of appearances.  When Mr. Jones and
Mr. Briggs stand, stripped of their mystery, face to face with us, we meet
them on equal terms ; and their credit, their limits of attraction, or of
irritation, are proportioned fairly enough to their naked worth.

                                                                                                Selwyn Image.

A Scene from Voltaire’s “La Pucelle”

Etched by

Will Rothenstein


            WANDERING, ever wandering,
            Their eyelids freshened with the wind of the sea
            Blown up the cliffs at sunset, their cheeks cooled
            With meditative shadows of hushed leaves
            That have been drowsing in the woods all day,
            And certain fires of sunrise in their eyes.

            They wander, and the white roads under them
            Crumble into fine dust behind their feet,
            For they return not ; life, a long white road,
            Winds ever from the dark into the dark,
            And they, as days, return not ; they go on
            For ever, with the travelling stars ; the night
            Curtains them, being wearied, and the dawn
            Awakens them unwearied; they go on.
            They know the winds of all the earth, they know
            The dust of many highways, and the stones
            Of cities set for landmarks on the road.
            Theirs is the world, and all the glory of it,
            Theirs, because they forego it, passing on
            Into the freedom of the elements ;
            Wandering, ever wandering,
            Because life holds not anything so good
            As to be free of yesterday, and bound
            Towards a new to-morrow ; and they wend
            Into a world of unknown faces, where

150                              THE SAVOY

            It may be there are faces waiting them,
            Faces of friendly strangers, not the long
            Intolerable monotony of friends.

            The joy of earth is yours, O wanderers,
            The only joy of the old earth, to wake,
            As each new dawn is patiently renewed,
            With foreheads fresh against a fresh young sky.
            To be a little further on the road,
            A little nearer somewhere, some few steps
            Advanced into the future, and removed
            By some few counted milestones from the past ;
            God gives you this good gift, the only gift
            That God, being repentant, has to give.

            Wanderers, you have the sunrise and the stars ;
            And we, beneath our comfortable roofs,
            Lamplight, and daily fire upon the hearth,
            And four walls of a prison, and sure food.
            But God has given you freedom, wanderers!

                                                                        Arthur Symons.



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

                                  UNDER THE HILL                    153

                                  GIULIO POLDO PEZZOLI
                               NUNCIO TO THE HOLY SEE
                            NICARAGUA AND PATAGONIA
                                 A FATHER TO THE POOR
                                A PATTERN OF LEARNING
                         WISDOM AND HOLINESS OF LIFE
                                BY HIS HUMBLE SERVITOR
                                    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

    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

    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

    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:

The Savoy, vol. 1 January 1896. Savoy Digital Edition, edited by Christopher Keep and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2018-2020. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019.