Lapas attēli
[ocr errors]

Maurice, you

And now can you still be cruel enough the memory of her vanished vision, she to wish me to go to Rome?" asked Maurice, looked up at Maurice and said, “It is a some little time after Claire had disappeared. beautiful dream, but an impossible one. "

“Oh, Maurice, indeed you must go. “Impossible—why impossible?” Think of all the glorious visions the very Because you must carry out the plan of name of Rome can conjure up-Rome, study and travel you have laid down, unwhere the statues seem to bring the gods trammelled by any ties that could interfere themselves to dwell with us, and the paint

You must have no responsibilities ings lift us in spirit to heaven! How or duties that could prevent you from wholly often have you told me that you felt your soul devoting yourself to your art, and becoming grow larger, and all your powers expand at a great painter." the mere thought of beholding her treasures; 6 And would not that be easier to me if and what would the reality be? Oh, yes, you were always with me, my Marguerite? must go to Rome.”

Your nature is nobler than mine, your am"And leave you?"

bition far loftier and purer—" “My heart will be with you, Maurice, and “Maurice !" exclaimed Marguerite, lookyou will know that it shares in all your ing at him with her earnest eyes,

no one labours and all your triumphs.

but you would say so, and you must never "Marguerite," said Maurice, "listen to say it again." me. If you would consent to marry me at “But why not, my Marguerite—you are my once, and we were both to work hard and muse, my inspiration ; with your smile to save money, in a year we might go to Rome encourage me, your praise to reward me, no together ! Would not that be delightful? difficulty could daunt me, no failure make Does not your heart beat with joy at the me despair, no triumphs seem too mighty for very thought? Oh, Marguerite, say yes

me to achieve." say that it shall be so !"

"Maurice, all my thoughts, all my hopes, To visit Italy, that fairy land of the earth, will be with you; my love will be always to feast her eyes and her soul on its trea- yours, my spirit always beside you; and sures of art, and to visit it with Maurice- when you come back, I will crown you with to share his thoughts, to lighten his labours my praise, and fancy that I am indeed the by her love, to work by his side ; to live muse you have called me. But Fame will that life of bliss. “rounded, complete, full- have crowned you long before.” orbed," which the perfect union of two “Your praise must always be the sweetest, hearts and minds can give, and to live it my Marguerite, and think, if I go to Rome, beneath Italian skies—was indeed a tempt- how long it will be till I can read it in your ing vision.

Her soul seemed to spring eyes ! How can you bear to have me away toward that sunny clime as a bird soars to

from you all those long years ?” its native land, and in fancy she stood “ I shall have your letters to live on; and

. already in the Vatican with Maurice beside you know what Thekla says :her, gazing on the marvellous works of the greatest of all those

“The game of life

Looks cheerful when we carry in our hearts “Who charged cloth-threads with fire of souls

The inalienable treasure—". electrical"

You gave me that treasure when you gave me till their beauties sank into her satisfied soul, your

love." “a joy for ever!" But the next minute, “Oh, my Marguerite, it is your love that she awoke to reality, and giving a sigh to is the priceless treasure. But I want you as



well as your love. I am not patient, and

CHAPTER VII. four years is a long time time to wait.”

And again he pleaded, as only lovers plead, WHAT CHRISTIAN KNELLER SAID. that she would consent to marry him at once.

OTHINGcould exceed Christian Knel“Dear Maurice," said Marguerite, “do not tempt me any more. If there were guerite had promised to be Maurice Valaze's nothing else to prevent it, I could never wife as soon as he returned from Rome. leave my father.”

Never very observant, his perceptions in this “I wish I had never determined to go to case were blunted by his belief that MargueItaly,” said Maurice, gloomily.

rite was unchangeably wedded to art and But after a while he brightened at the pic- would never give any other bridegroom a ture Marguerite drew of his successful career claim on her devotion, and his silent convicabroad, and his triumphant return, and grew tion that the world did not contain any one sanguine and happy as before ; while Mar- worthy of her—if such a one might be found, guerite stifled her own regrets, and thought Maurice Valazé was certainly not the man. only of cheering and encouraging her lover. “My poor little Marguerite,” he said,

“And you are not a bit afraid that I shall after the first surprise was over, “after all, forget you among the beautiful Italian signor thy heart is as soft as that of any other girl, inas ?" asked Maurice, gaily.

and thou hast fallen in love with Maurice's “ Not a bit, Maurice,” and Marguerite handsome face and sweet words. But art smiled brightly. “I am yours now, and you thou sure thou dost really love him? He are mine, and I know we shall always be does not deserve it.” long to each other; though I must wonder “Father, I thought you liked Maurice," all my life how your fastidious taste could exclaimed Marguerite. pardon your poor Marguerite her want of “Ard so I do. He is a good fellow, a beauty!"

pleasant companion, full of fine fancies, and Maurice knew nothing of Emerson's "Her- with a rare gift of words; but the firm will, mione," or he might have remembered the the large intellect, the great soul, without opening lines of that exquisite little poem,- which I used to think no attractions could

win my Marguerite's proud heart, he possess“Ifit be, as they said, she was not fair,

es not. I'll tell thee what, he has the true Beauty's not beautiful to me"

soul of a troubadour, and he ought to have but he told her passionately that she was to been a singer of songs, instead of a painter him the ideal of all that was good and lovely of pictures. Like the old Provençal trouon earth ; and now as he gazed on her face, vères, he is brave, gay, generous, ready of always so sweet, yet so noble in its expres- hand and word, frank, courteous, and gentle; sion, he beheld it radiant with the glow of but like them, too, he is light, weak, fickle” happy love, and the light of that genius "Father, father," cried Marguerite, start which in all moments of intense feeling ing up as if an arrow had pierced her heart, shone through her features: it was little won- “how can you say such cruel things ?-how der that she seemed fair in his eyes. Others can you believe them? You do not know besides a lover might have thought her so.

Maurice. He has the finest mind, the loftiest genius, the noblest aims in life that man could have. But

you do not mean what you have said ; you cannot have so misunderstood his glorious and beautiful nature.”

"Enough, child, enough," said Christian told him with her loving heart beaming in Kneller, with a heavy sigh ; “I see thou her happy eyes, that she would never leave dost indeed love him. If he does not him, and that Maurice had promised they change his mind in Italy, let him be thy hus- should all live together in the dear old house, band in God's name ; and if he loves and from which, and all its associations, she well prizes thee only half as much as thy old knew her father could never have borne to father, thou mayest not be unhappy after all.” | be separated.

"Oh, he does love me,” exclaimed Mar- Christian Kneller said little in reply ; but guerite, coming back to her fatheragain and sit- he smoked his pipe quietly, and let Marting down beside him;" he will love me and guerite weave her bright fancies of future prize me even as much as you could wish, bliss unchecked, and Marguerite was perdear father.” And persuading herself that it fectly happy. was his dread of losing her that had made the good old man for once in his life unjust, she

To be continued.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]



HE conditions, under which Christian opment and of the changes it has undergone.

art was cultivated in the early centu- The corruptions of doctrine, the rise of dogries, were eminently unfavourable to its mas, the strifes of heresiarchs and schismatics highest development. It was not, like pagan are all reflected therein.

are all reflected therein. The frescoes of the art, the æsthetic exponent of a dominant re- catacombs are illustrations, inestimable in ligion ; enjoying the patronage of the great value, of the pure and lofty character of that and wealthy ; adorning the numerous tem- primitive Christianity of which they were ples of the gods and the palaces and ban- the offspring. The very intensity of that quet chambers of emperors and senators; old Christian life under repression and percommemorating the virtues of patriots and secution created a more imperious necessity heroes, and bodying forth the conceptions for religious symbolism, as an expression of poets and seers. There was no place in of its deepest feelings, and as a common the Christian system for such representations sign of the faith. Early Christian art, thereas the glorious sun-god, Apollo, or the lovely fore, was not realistic and sensuous, but Aphrodite, or the sublime majesty of Jove, ideal and spiritual. Of the unknown artists which are still the unapproached chefs of the catacombs, no less than those of the d'aun of the sculptor's skill. The beauti- Rénaissance, may it be said: ful myths of Homer and Hesiod were re

They never moved their hand garded with abhorrence ; and the Christian Till they had steeped their inmost soul in prayer.” converts from paganism shrank, as from The decoration of these subterranean sacrilege, from any representation of the su- crypts is the first employment of art by the preme object of their worship.

early Christians of which we have any reNevertheless the testimony of the catacombs mains. A universal instinct leads us to gives evidence that art was not, as has fre- beautify the sepulchres of our departed. quently been asserted, entirely abjured by This is seen alike in the rude funereal totem the primitive believers on account of its of the American savage, in the massive

dolatrous employment by the pagans. They mausolea of the Appian Way, and in the rather adopted and purified it for Christian magnificent Moorish tombs of the Alhampurposes, just as they did the diverse ele- bra. It is not, therefore, remarkable that ments of ancient civilization. It was not the primitive Christians adorned with relitill the increasing power and growing opu- gious paintings, expressive of their faith and lence of the Church, led to the more lav- hope, the graves of the dead, or in times of ish employment of art, that it called forth persecution traced upon the martyr's tomb the condemnation of the Fathers of the third the crown and palm, the emblems of victory, and fourth centuries.

or the dove and olive branch, the beautiful The art of any age is an outgrowth and symbol of peace. eflorescence of an internal living principle ;

It must not, however, be supposed that and as is the tree so is its fruit. The icono- the first beginnings of Christian art were graphy of the early centuries of Christianity rude and formless essays, such as we see is. therefore, a pictorial history of its devel- among barbarous tribes. The primitive be

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »