Imatges de pàgina
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wheeled half round toward his guest,) would have sneered, but toward whose a portrait of Raphael and one of Beet- graceful folds, and soft, rich hues, the hoven Aanked a copy of the Avon bust study-wearied eye turned ever gratefulof Shakespeare; and where the wall- ly. The two friends sat silently for some paper peeperl through this thick array minutes in ruminative mood, till Grey, of works of literature and art, it showed turning suddenly to Tomes, asked, a tint of soft tea-green. In the middle “ What does Iago mean, when he says of the room a large library-table groaned of Cassio, beneath a mass of books and papers, some • He hath'a daily beauty in his life, of them arranged in formal order, others

That makes me ugly'? disarranged by present use into that irreg- “ How can you ask the question ? ular order which seems chaotic to every Tomes replied; adding, after a moment's eye but one, while for that one the dis- pause," he means, more plainly than any placement of a single sheet would insure other words can tell, that Cassio's truthful perplexity and loss of time. But neither nature and manly bearing, his courtesy, spreading table nor towering cases seem- which was the genuine gold of real kinded to afford their owner room enough to ness brought to its highest polish, and not store his printed treasures. Books were a base alloy of selfishness and craft galeverywhere. Below the windows the vanized into a surface-semblance of such recesses were filled out with crowded worth, his manifest reverence for and shelves; the door of a closet, left ajar, love of what was good and pure and noshowed that the place was packed with ble, his charitable, generous, unenvious books, roughly or cheaply clad, and pam- disposition, his sweetness of temper, and phlets. At the bottom of the cases, books his gallantry, all of which found expresstretched in serried files along the floor.

sion in face or action, made a character Some had crept up upon the library- so lovely and so beautiful that every daily steps, as if, impatient to rejoin their observer of them both found him, lago, companions, they were mounting to the hateful and hideous by comparison.” shelves of their own accord. They in- Grey. I suspected as much before I vaded all accessible nooks and crannies had the benefit of your comment; which, of the room; big folios were bursting out by the way, ran off your tongue as glibly from the larger gaps, and thin quartos as if you were one of the folk who protrickling through chinks that otherwise fess Shakespeare, and you were threatwould have been choked with dust; and ening the world with an essay on Otheleven from the mouldings above the doors

lo. But sometimes it has seemed to me bracketed shelves thrust out, upon which as if these words meant more ; Shake rows of volumes perched, like penguins speare's mental vision took in so much. on a ledge of rock. In fact, books flock- Was the beauty of Cassio’s life only a ed there as martlets did to Macbeth's cas- moral beauty ? tle ; there was “no jutty frieze or coigne

Tomes. For all we know, it was. of vantage” but a book had made it his Grey. I say, perhaps, or —

:

No,-Cas“pendent bed," — and it appeared “his sio has seemed to me not more a gallant procreant cradle” too; for the children, soldier and a generous spirit than a cultiin calling the great folios“ papa-books " vated and accomplished gentleman; he, and “mamma-books," seemed instinc- indeed, shows higher culture than any tively to have hit upon the only way of other character in the tragedy, as well as accounting for the rapid increase and finer natural tastes; and I have thought multiplication of volumes in that apart- that into the scope of this phrase, “ daily ment.

beauty," Shakespeare took not only the Upon this scene the light fell, tempered honorable and lovely traits of moral paby curtains, at the cheapness and sim- ture, to which you, and perhaps the rest plicity of which a fashionable upholsterer of the world with you, seem to limit it,

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but all the outward belongings and sur- great fisherman of Galilee, had it been roundings of the personage to whom it is my happy fortune to live within sound applied. For these, indeed, were a part of his voice ? of his life, of him,- and went to make up, Tomes. Ay, if it had been a fine voice, in no small measure, that daily beauty in perhaps you might. which he presented so strong a contrast Grey. But as to Saint Paul I have to Iago. Look at “mine Ancient” close- less doubt, or none. I believe that he ly, and see, that, with all his subtle craft, appeared the gentleman of taste and culhe was a coarse-mannered brute, of gross ture that he was. tastes and grovelling nature, without a Tomes. When he made tents ? and spark of gallantry, and as destitute of when he lived at the house of one Simon, courtesy as of honor. We overrate his

a tanner ? very subtlety; for we measure it by its Grey. Why not? What had those effects, the woful and agonizing results it accidents of Paul's life to do with Paul, brings about; forgetting that these, like except as occasions which elicited the all results, or resultants, are the product flexibility of his nature and the extent of at least two forces, - the second, in of bis capacity and culture ? this instance, being the unsuspecting and Tomes. In making tents ? Tent-makimpetuous nature of Othello. Had lago ing is an honest and a useful handicraft; undertaken to deceive any other than but I am puzzled to discover how it such a man, he would have failed. Why, would afford opportunity for the exhibieven simple-hearted Desdemona, who sees tion of the talents of such a man as Paul. so little of him, suspects him; that poor Grey. Not his peculiar talents, pergoose, Roderigo, though blind with vanity haps; though, on that point, those who and passion, again and again loses faith sat under the shadow of his canvas were in him; and his wife knows him through better able to judge than we are. For and through. Believe me, he had no a man will make tents none the worse touch of gentleness, not one point of for being a gentleman, a scholar, and a contact with the beautiful, in all his na- man of taste,-- but, other things being ture, — while Cassio's was filled up with equal, the better. Your general intelgentleness and beauty, and all that is ligence and culture enter into your

abilakin to them.

ity to perform the humblest office of daily Tomes. His weakness for wine and life. An educated man, who can use his women among them ?- But thanks for hands, will make an anthracite coal-fire your commentary. I am quite eclipsed. better and quicker after half a dozen On you go, too, in your old way, trying trials than a raw Irish servant after a to make out that what is good is beauti- year's experience; and many a lady ful,- no, rather that what is beautiful is charges her housemaid with stupidity and good.—Do you think that Peter and Paul obstinacy, because she fails again and were well-dressed ? , I don't believe that again in the performance of some oft-exyou would have listened to them, if they plained task which to the mistress seems

“ so simple,” when there is no obstinacy Grey. I'm not sure about St. Peter,— in the case, and only the stupidity of a or whether it was necessary or proper

poor neglected creature who had been that he should have been well-dressed, taught nothing till she came to this counin the general acceptation of the term. try, not even to eat with decency, and, You forget that there is a beauty of fit- since she came, only to do the meanest

Beside, I have listened, deferen- chores. As to living with a tanner, I tially and with pleasure, to a fisherman am no Brahmin, and believe that a man in a red shirt, a woollen hat, and with his may not only live with a tanner, but be trousers tucked into cow-hide boots; and a tanner, and have all the culture, if not why should I not have listened to the all the learning and the talent, of Simon's

were not.

ness.

eye and

guest. Thomas Dowse pointed the way bear upon it. What do you think of for many who will go much farther upon your red savage, who, making no pro-visit than he did.

ion for even his animal needs, but mereTomes. The tanners are obliged to ly supplying them for the moment as he you. But of what real use is that pro- can, and living in squalor, filth, and excess of intellectual refinement upon which treme discomfort, yet daubs himself with you set so high a value ? How much grease and paint, and decorates his head better is discipline than culture ! Of with feathers, his neck with bear's claws, how much greater worth, to himself and and his feat with gaudily-stained poreuto the world, is the man who by physical pine's quills ? What of your black barand mental training, the use of his mus- barian, whose daily life is a succession of cles, the exercise of his faculties, the re- unspeakable abominations, and who emstraint of his appetites, - even those men- bellishes it by blackening his teeth, tattal appetites which you call tastes, — has tooing his skin, and wearing a huge ring acquired vigor, endurance, self-reliance, in the gristle of his nose ? Either of self-control! Let a man be pure and them will give up his daily food, and run honorable, do to others as he would have the risk of starvation, for a glass bead them do to him, and, in the words of the or a brass button. This desire for ornaold Church of England Catechism, “learn ment is plainly, then, no fruit of indiand labor truly to get his own living in vidual development, no sign of social that state of life to which it has pleased progress; it has no relations whatever God to call hiin," and what remains for with them, but is merely a manifestation him to do, and of time in which to do it, of that vanity, that lust of the is of very small importance.

pride of life, which we are taught to beGrey. You talk like what you are.

lieve inherent in all human nature, and Tomes. And that is -?

which the savage exhibits according to Grey. Pardon me, - a cross between his savageness, the civilized man accorda Stoic and a Puritan:- morally, I mean. ing to his civilization.

Tomes. Don't apologize. You might Grey. You're a sturdy fellow, Tomes, say many worse things of me, and few but not strong enough to draw that conbetter. But telling me what I am does clusion from those premises, and make it not disprove what I say.

stay drawn.

The savage does order his Grey. Do you not see?

you cannot

life in the preposterous manner which fail to see, that, after the labor of your you have described ; but he does it behuman animal has supplied his mere an

cause he is a savage.

He has not the imal needs, provided him with shelter, wants of the civilized man, and therefore food, and clothes, he must set himself he does not wait to supply them before about something else. Having made life he seeks to gratify others. When man endurable, he will strive to make it com- rises in the scale of civilization, his whole fortable, according to his notions of com- nature rises. You can't mount a ladder fort. Comfort secured, he will seek pleas- piecemeal; your head will go up first, ure; and among the earliest objects of his unless you are an acrobat, and choose to endeavors in this direction will be that go up feet foremost ; but even if you are form of pleasure which results from the Gabriel Ravel, your whole boily must embellishment of his external life; the needs ascend together. The savage

is craving that he then supplies being just comfortable, not according to your noas natural, that is, just as much an inev- tions of comfort, but according to his itable result of his organization, as that Comfort is not positive, but relawhich first claimed his thought and la- tive. If, with your present habits, you bor.

could be transported back only one hunTomes. A statement of your case en- dred years to the best house in London, tirely inconsistent with the facts that -a house provided with all that a prince

Own.

ly revenue could then command, - you and the other see a critical catalogue of would find it, with all its splendor, very the beauties of her person and her cosuncomfortable in many respects.

The tume in all the daily papers. Such are luxuries of one generation become the the social benefits of what you call the comforts of the next, the necessaries of desire to be a part of the world's beauty. life to the next; and what is comfort for Grey. Far from it! They have no any individual at any period depends on relation to each other. You mistake the the manner in which he has been brought occasion for the cause, the means for the up. So, too, the savage decorates him- motive. Your alphabet is in fault. Such self after his own savage tastes. His a set of vain, frivolous, dishonest, mean, smoky wigwam or his filthy mud but is hypocritical, and insufferably vulgar letno stronger evidence of his barbarous ters would be turned out of any respectcondition than his party-colored face, or able, well-bred spelling-book. Vanity, the hoop of metal in his nose. Call this frivolity, dishonesty, meanness, hypocridesire to enjoy the beauty of the world sy, and vulgarity can be exhibited in all and to be a part of it the lust of the eye, the affairs of life, not excepting those or whatever name you please, you will whose proper office is to sweeten and to find, that, with exceedingly rare excep- beautify it; but it does not need all your tions, it is universal in the race, and that logical faculty to discover that there is its gratification, although it may have an not, therefore, any connection between a indirectly injurious effect on some indi- pretty bonnet, or an elegantly furnished viduals, tends to harmonize and human- house, and the disposition to snub and ize mankind, to lift them above debasing sneer at those who are without them, pleasures, and to foster the finer social between dishonesty and the desire to live feelings by promoting the higher social handsomely and hospitably,— between a enjoyments.

cultivated taste for the fine arts and hyTomes. Yes; it makes Mrs. A. snub pocrisy or a vulgar desire for notoriety Mrs. B. because the B.-bonnet is within a and consequence. hair's breadth's less dlanger of falling down Tomes. Perhaps so. But they are very her back, or is decorated with lace made often in each other's company. by a poor bonnetless girl in one town of Grey. And then, of course, the evil Europe, at a time when fashion has de- taints the reputation of the good, even clared that it should bloom with flowers with thinking men like you; and how made by a poor shoeless girl in another: much more with those who have your it instigates Mrs. C. to make a friendly prejudices without your sense!. But note call on Mrs. D. for the purpose of exult- well that they are not oftener in coming over the inferior style in which her pany — these tastes and vices — than honhouse is furnished: it tempts F. to over- esty and meanness, good-nature and reach his business friend, or to embezzle clownishness, sincerity and brutality, hoshis employer's money, that he may live pitality and debauchery, chastity and the in a house with a brown-stone front and absence of that virtue without which all give great dinners twice a month : and it others are as nothing. And let me resustains G. in his own eyes as he sits at mind you, by the way, that we of this F.'s table stimulating digestion by in- age and generation make it our business, ward sneers at the vulgar fashion of the in fact, feel it our duty, to violate the new man's plate or the awkwardness of injunction of the English Catechism, and bis attendants : and perhaps, worse than get out of that state of life in which we all, it tempts H. to exbibit his pictures, find ourselves, into a better, as soon as and Mrs. I. to exhibit herself, “ for the possible. And even old Mother Church benefit of our charitable institutions," in does not insist upon content so strongly order that the one may read fulsome eu- as you made her seem to do; she speaks logies of his munificence and his taste, of the state of life to which her catechu.

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men “shall” be, not " has” been, called; his notion of their deserts. But he and and thus makes it possible for a dean to they are dead and buried long ayo. Let resolve to be content with a bishoprie, them rest. We should much rather have and a bishop to muse upon the complete you tell us whether his poor countrymen satisfaction with which he would grasp of to-day are to have their liberty when an archbishop's crosier, without forfeiture that ugly Emperor beats the Austrians ; of orthodoxy.

for beat them he surely will.

Grey. That is a subject of great mo Tomes would doubtless have replied; ment, and one in which I, perhaps, feel but at this point the attention of the dis- no less interest than you; but did you putants was attracted by the rustle of never think that the question, whether silk; there was a light, quick tap at the these thousands of Italians have liberty glass-door which separated the den of or even food to-day, is one of a few books from the middle room, and before months', or, at most, a few years', conan answer could be given the emblazon- cern, while the soul's experience of that ed valves opened partly, and a sweet, one Italian who died more than five hundecided voice asked, “ Please, may we dred years ago will be a fruitful theme come in? or” (and the speaker opened forever? the doors wide) “ are you and Mr. Tomes Mrs. Grey. Why, so it will! I never so absorbed in construing a sentence in a did think of that. And now I'll not think book that nobody ever reads, that ladies of it. Here we are just come from a must give place to lexicons ? "

wedding, and before you ask us how the “ Enter, of course,” cried Grey, “and bride looked, or even what she had on, save me from annibilation by Tomes's you begin to talk to us about that grim next reply, and both of us from our joint old Florentine, who looks like a hardstupidity."

featured Scotch woman in her husband's And so Mrs. Grey entered, and there night-cap, and who wrote such a succes were salutations, and presentation of Mr. sion of frightful things! Where is all Tomes to Miss Laura Larches, and intro- your interest in Kitty Jones? I've seen duction to each other of the same gentle- you talk to her by the half-hour, and man and Mr. Carleton Key, who attend- heard you say she is a charming woman; ed the ladies. Abandoning the only four and now she marries, - and you not onchairs in the room to the others, Mrs. ly won't go to the wedding, but you don't Grey sank down upon a hassock with ask a word about it. a sigh of satisfaction, and was lost for a Grey. You seem to forget, Nelly, that moment in the rising swell of silken-crest- I saw one wedding all through, and, ined waves of crinoline. Emerging in an- deed, bore as prominent a part in it as other moment as far as the shoulders, she one of my downtrodden sex could aspire turned a look of intelligence and inqui- to; and as the Frenchman said, who went ry upon her husband, who said, “When on an English fox-chase, “ Une fois, c'est you came in, Tomes and I were talking assez ; I am ver' satisfy.” The marriage about

service I can read in ten minutes whenMrs. Grey. Something very important, ever I need its solare; rich morningI've no doubt; but we've your own con- dresses are to be seen by scores in the fession that you were stupid, and I've no Academy of Music at every matinée, as notion of permitting a relapse. You garnish to Verdi's music; and as to Miss were doubtless discussing your favorite Kitty Jones, I am sure that she, like all subject, Dante, who, as far as I can dis- brides, never looked so ill as she did tocover, was more'a politician than a poet, day. I would do anything in my power and went to his Inferno only for the to serve her, and would willingly walk pleasure of sending the opposite party a mile to have half an hour's chat with there, and quartering them according to her; but to-day I could not serve her, nor

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