1839-1908 Ouida.

Wisdom, wit, and pathos : selected from the works of Ouida online

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Illustrated Covers, Ttvo Sliillitiffs each.



By JUSTIN MCCARTHY.

Dear Lady Disdain. i Linley Rochford.

Waterdale Neighbours. Donna Quixote.

My Enemy's Daughter.; The Comet of a Season

A Fair Saxon. . Maid of Athena.

Miss Misanthrope I Camiola.

By Mrs. MACDONELL. Quaker Cousins.

By KATHARINE S. MACQUOID.
The Evil Eye. | Lost Eose.

By W. H. MALLOCK. The New Republic.

By FLORENCE MARRYAT.
Open ! Sesame I I Written in Fire.

Fighting the Air. | A Little Stepson.

A Harvest of Wild Oats.
J. MASTER MAN Half-a-dozen Daughters
BRANDER MATTHEWS.-Secret of Sea

By JEAN MIDDLEMASS.

Touch and Go. | Mr. Dorillion.

By Mrs. MOLESWORTH.

Hathercourt Rectory.
ByD. CHRISTIE MURRAY.
A Life's Atonement. I BytheGate of the Sen
A Model Father. Val Strange. | Hearts

Joseph's Coat. The Way of the World.

Coals of Fire. Bit of Human Nature.

First Person Singular. ; Cynic Fortune.
By ALICE O'H AN LON. The Unforeseen.

By Mrs. OLIPHANT.
Whiteladles | The Primrose Path.

The Greatest Heiress in England

f By Mrs. O'REILLY. Phoebe's Fortunes.

By OUIDA.



Held In Bondage.
Strathmore.
Chandos. | Idalla.
Under Two Flags.
Cecil Castlemaine.
Tricotrin. | Pack.
Folle Farlne.
A Do? of Flanders.
Two Wood Shoes



PascareL | Slima.
In a Winter City.
Ariadne. Moths.
Friendship Pipistrello
A Village Commune.
Bimbi. I In Maremma
Wanda. | Frescoes.
Princess Napraxine.
Othmar.



By M. AGNES PAU L. Gentle and Simple.
By JAMES PAYN.

Lost Sir Massiugberd. Like Father.Ltke Son.

A Perfect Treasure. A Marine Residence.

Bentinck's Tutor. Married Beneath Him

Murphy's Master. Mirk Abbey.

A County Family. Not Wooed, but Won.

At Her Mercy. 200 Reward.



A Woman's Vengeance.
Cecil's Tryst.
The Clyffards of Clyfle.
Family Scapegrace.
Foster Brothers.
Found Dead. | Halves.
The Best of Husbands.
Walter's Word.
Fallen Fortunes.
What He Cost Her.
Humorous Stories.
Gwendoline's Harvest.
The Talk of the Town.
By C. L. PIRKIS.



Less Black than We're

Painted.
By Proxy.
Under Ona Roof.
High Spirits.
Carlyon's Year.
A Confidential Agent.
Some Private Views.
From Exile.
A Grape from a Thorn
For Cash Onlv I Kit.
The Canon's Ward.
Holiday Tasks.

Lady Lovelace



By E. C. PRICE.

Valentina. I The Foreigners

Mrs. Lancaster's Rival. | Gerald.

By CHARLES READE.
Never too Late to Mend Course of True Love
Hard Cash.
Peg Woffington.
Christie Johnstons.
Griffith Gan



Put Y'rself in His Place.
The Double Marriage.
Love Little , Love Long.
Foul Play.
Cloister and the Hearth.



Autobiog. of a Thief.
ATerribleTeinptation
The Wanderinu Heir.
A Woman-Hater



A Simpleton.
Singleheart & Double-

face.

Good Stories
The Jilt. | Readiana.



By EDGAR A. POE.
The Mystery of Marie Roget.
By Mrs. J. H. RIDDELL.



Her Mother's Darling
Uninhabited House.
The Mystery in Palace



Weird Stories.
Fairy Water.
The Prince of Wales'i
Garden Party.



-dens.

By F. W. ROBINSON.

Women are Strange. I The Hands of Justice.

By JAMES RUNCIMAN.

Skippers and Shellbacks.

Grace Balmaign's Sweetheart.

Schools and Scholars.

By W. CLARK RUSSELL.

Round th Galley Fire. I On the Fo'k'sle Head.

In the Middle Watch. | A Voyage to the Cape

BAYLE ST. JOHN. A Levantine Family.

By G. A. SALA.

Gaslight and Daylight

By JOHN SAUNDERS.

Bound ta the Wheel. I The Lion in the Path.

One Against the World. | The Two Dreamer*.

Guv Waterman

By KATHARINE SAUNDERS.
Joan Merryweather. I Sebastian.
The High Mills. | Heart Salvage.

Margaret ana Elizabeth.
By GEORGE R. SIMS.
Rogues and Vagabonds. I The Ring o' Bells
Mary Jane's Memoirs. | Mary Jane Married.
By ARTHUR SKETCHLEY.

A Match in the Dark.

By T. W. SPEIGHT.

The Mysteries of Heron Dyke.

By R. A. STERNDALE.

The Afghan Knife.

By R. LOUIS STEVENSON.

Hew Arabian Nights. | Prince Otto.

By BERTHA THOMAS.

Cressida. I Proud Maisie. | The Violin-Player.

By W. MOY THOMAS.

A Fight for Life.
By WALTER THORNBURY.

Tales for the Marines.
By T. ADOLPHUS TROLLOPE.

Diamond Cut Diamond.
By ANTHONY TROLLOPE.
The Way We Live Now The Land-Leaguers.
American Senator. Mr. Scarborough's

Frau Frohmann. Family.

Marion Fay. John Caldigate.

Kept in the Dark. The Golden Lion.

By FRANCES ELEANOR TROLLOPE.
Anne Furness. | Mabel's Progress.

Like Ships upon the Sea.

By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Farnell's Folly.

By IVAN TURGENIEFF, &c.

Stories from Foreign Novelists.

By MARK TWAIN.



Tom Sawyer.
A Trami> Abroad.
Stolen Whit- Elephant.
Life on the Mississippi

By C. C. FRASER-TYTLER

Mistress Judith.
By SARAH TYTLER.



APleasure Trip on the
Continent of Europe
Huckleberry Finn.
Prince and Pauper.



What SheCameThrough



The Bride's Pass.



Boautyand the Beast. St. Mungo's City.
Noblesse Oblige. Lady Bell.

Citoyenne Jacqueline. Disappeared.

By J. S. WINTER.

Cavalry Life. | Regimental Legend*.

By Lady WOOD. Sabina.

By EDMUND YATES.
Castaway. ! The Forlorn Hope. | Land at Last



2} London : CHATTO & WINDUS, Piccadilly, W.




WISDOM, WIT, AND PATHOS



OF



O U I D A.



LEERH -ENP-LEERJI -TMiyfc




OUIDA'S NOVELS,



Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 35. 6d. each ; post 8vo,
illustrated boards, 2s. each.



Held in Bondage.

Strathmore.

Chandos.

Under Two Flags.

Cecil Castlemaine's Gage.

Idalia.

Tricotrin.

Puck.

Folle Farine.

Two Little Wooden Shoes.

A Dog of Flanders.

Pascarel.

Signa.



Ariadne.

In a Winter City.

Friendship.

Moths.

Bimbi.

Pipistrello.

In Maremma.

A Village Commune.

Wanda.

Frescoes.

Princess Napraxino.

Othmar.



Guilderoy. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 35. 6d.



Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos, selected from the Works of
OUIDA by F. SYDNEY MORRIS. Small crown 8vo, cloth
extra, 5$. CHEAPER EDITION, illustrated boards, 25.

LONDON : CHATTO AND WINDUS, PICCADILLY.



WISDOM, WIT, AND PATHOS



SELECTED FROM THE WORKS



OUIDA



BY F. SYDNEY MORRIS




A NEW EDITION



CHATTO & WINDUS, PICCADILLY

1890



BALLANTYNE, HANSON AND CO.
EDINBURGH AND LONDON



CONTENTS.



SELECTIONS FROM

PAGE

ARIADNE I

CHANDOS 32

FOLLE-FARINE 48

IDALIA 97

A VILLAGE COMMUNE 106

PUCK IIS

TWO LITTLE WOODEN SHOES . . . . . .158

FAME 177

MOTHS 182,354

IN A WINTER CITY 189

A LEAF IN THE STORM 2O5

A DOG OF FLANDERS 209

A BRANCH OF LILAC 2l6

SIGNA . . . 220

TRICOTRIN 264

A PROVENCE ROSE 288

PIPISTRELLO 291

HELD IN BONDAGE 294

PASCAREL 296

IN MAREMMA 335

UNDER TWO FLAGS -. 363

STRATHMORE 417

FRIENDSHIP 427

WANDA . 452




presented to the

LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN DIEGO

by
FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY



MR. JOHN_C._ROSE_

donor




ONE grows to love the Roman fountains as sea-born
men the sea. Go where you will there is the water ;
whether it foams by Trevi, where the green moss grows
in it like ocean weed about the feet of the ocean god, or
whether it rushes reddened by the evening light, from the
mouth of an old lion that once saw Cleopatra ; whether
it leaps high in air, trying to reach the gold cross on St.
Peter's or pours its triple cascade over the Pauline granite ;
whether it spouts out of a great barrel in a wall in old
Trastevere. or throws up into the air a gossamer as fine
as Arachne's web in a green garden way where the lizards
run, or in a crowded corner where the fruit-sellers sit
against the wall ; in all its shapes one grows to love the
water that fills Rome with an unchanging melody all
through the year.



A ND indeed I do believe all things and all traditions.
** History is like that old stag that Charles of France
found out hunting in the woods once, with the bronze
collar round its neck on which was written, " Caesar mihi
hoc donavit." How one's fancy loves to linger about
that old stag, and what a crowd of mighty shades come
thronging at the very thought of him ! How wonderful
it is to think of that quiet grey beast leading his lovely

A



2 WISDOM, WIT, AND PATHOS OF QUID A.

life under the shadows of the woods, with his hinds and
their fawns about him, whilst Caesar after Caesar fell and
generation on generation passed away and perished !
But the sciolist taps you on the arm. " Deer average
fifty years of life ; it was some mere court trick of course
how easy to have such a collar made ! " Well, what
have we gained ? The stag was better than the sciolist.



T IFE costs but little on these sunny, silent shores ; four
*-' walls of loose stones, a roof of furze and brambles,
a fare of fish and fruit and millet-bread, a fire of driftwood
easily gathered and all is told. For a feast pluck the
violet cactus ; for a holiday push the old red boat to sea,
and set the brown sail square against the sun nothing
can be cheaper, perhaps few things can be better.

To feel the western breezes blow over that sapphire
sea, laden with the fragrance of a score of blossoming
isles. To lie under the hollow rocks, where centuries
before the fisher folk put up that painted tablet to the
dear Madonna, for all poor shipwrecked souls. To climb
the high hills through the tangle of myrtle and tamarisk,
and the tufted rosemary, with the kids bleating above
upon some unseen height. To watch the soft night close
in, and the warning lights shine out over shoals and
sunken rocks, and the moon hang low and golden in the
blue dusk at the end there under the arch of the boughs.
To spend long hours in the cool, fresh, break of day,
drifting with the tide, and leaping with bare free limbs
into the waves, and lying outstretched upon them, glanc-
ing down to the depths below, where silvery fish are glid-
ing and coral branches are growing, and pink shells are
floating like roseleaves, five fathoms low and more. Oh !
a good life, and none better, abroad in the winds and
weather, as Nature meant that every living thing should



ARIADNE. 3

be, only, alas, the devil put it into the mind of man to
build cities ! A good life for the soul and the body : and
from it this sea-born Joy came to seek the Ghetto !



YV7ITH a visible and physical ill one can deal; one
" can thrust a knife into a man at need, one can
give a woman money for bread or masses, one can run
for medicine or a priest. But for a creature with a face
like Ariadne's, who had believed in the old gods and
found them fables, who had sought for the old altars and
found them ruins, who had dreamed of Imperial Rome
and found the Ghetto for such a sorrow as this, what
could one do ?



SOME said I might have been a learned man, had I
taken more pains. But I think it was only their
kindness. I have that twist in my brain, which is the
curse of my countrymen a sort of devilish quickness at
doing well, that prevents us ever doing best ; just the
same sort of thing that makes our goatherds rhyme per-
fect sonnets, and keeps them dunces before the alphabet.



IF our beloved Leopardi, instead of bemoaning his fate
in his despair and sickening of his narrow home,
had tried to see how many fair strange things there
lay at his house door, had tried to care for the troubles
of the men that hung the nets on the trees, and the
innocent woes of the girl that carried the grass to the
cow, and the obscure martyrdom of maternity and widow-
hood that the old woman had gone through who sat
spinning on the top of the stairs, he would have found
that his little borgo that he hated so for its dulness had



4 WISDOM, WIT, AND PATHOS OF QUID A.

all the comedies and tragedies of life lying under the
sound of its tolling bells. He would not have been less
sorrowful, for the greater the soul the sadder it is for the
unutterable waste, the unending pain of life. But he
would never have been dull : he would never have de-
spised, and despising missed, the stories and the poems
that were round him in the millet fields and the olive
orchards. There is only one lamp which we can carry
in our hand, and which will burn through the darkest
night, and make the light of a home for us in a desert
place : it is sympathy with everything that breathes.



INTO other lands I wandered, then, and sought full
* half the world. When one wants but little, and has
a useful tongue, and knows how to be merry with the
young folk, and sorrowful with the old, and can take the
fair weather with the foul, and wear one's philosophy like
an easy boot, treading with it on no man's toe, and no
dog's tail ; why, if one be of this sort, I say, one is, in
a great manner, independent of fortune ; and the very
little that one needs one can usually obtain. Many years
I strayed about, seeing many cities and many minds, like
Odysseus ; being no saint, but, at the same time, being no
thief and no liar.



A RT was dear to me. Wandering through many
** lands, I had come to know the charm of quiet
cloisters; the delight of a strange, rare volume; the
interest of a quaint bit of pottery ; the unutterable loveli-
ness of some perfect painter's vision, making a glory in
some dusky, world-forgotten church : and so my life was
full of gladness here in Rome, where the ass's hoof ring-
ing on a stone may show you that Vitruvius was right,



ARIADNE.



where you had doubted him ; or the sun shining down
upon a cabbage garden, or a coppersmith's shreds of
metal, may gleam on a signet ring of the Flavian women,
or a broken vase that may have served vile Tullia for
drink.



A RT is, after nature, the only consolation that one
*T has at all for living.



T HAVE been all my life blown on by all sorts of
* weather, and I know there is nothing so good as the
sun and the wind for driving ill-nature and selfishness
out of one.



A NYTHING in the open air is always well ; it is
** because men now-a-days shut themselves up so
much in rooms and pen themselves in stifling styes,
where never the wind comes or the clouds are looked at,
that puling discontent and plague-struck envy are the
note of all modern politics and philosophies. The open
air breeds Leonidas, the factory room Felix Pyat.



T LIT my pipe. A pipe is a pocket philosopher, a
* truer one than Socrates. For it never asks ques-
tions. Socrates must have been very tiresome when one
thinks of it.



T HAVE had some skill in managing the minds of
crowds ; it is a mere knack, like any other ; it be-
longs to no particular character or culture. Arnold of



6 WISDOM, WIT, AND PATHOS OF QUID A.

Brescia had it, and so had Masaniello. Lamartine had it,
and so had Jack Cade.

TT is of use to have a reputation for queerness ; it
gains one many solitary moments of peace.



"CRSILIA was a good soul, and full of kindliness ; but
charity is a flower not naturally of earthly growth,
and it needs manuring with a promise of profit.



""THE soul of the poet is like a mirror of an astro-
loger : it bears the reflection of the past and of the
future, and can show the secrets of men and gods ; but
all the same it is dimmed by the breath of those who
stand by and gaze into it.



""V^OU are not unhappy now?" I said to her in fare-

1 well.

She looked at me with a smile.

" You have given me hope ; and I am in Rome, and I
am young."

She was right. Rome may be only a ruin, and Hope
but another name for deception and disappointment; but
Youth is supreme happiness in itself, because all possi-
bilities lie in it, and nothing in it is as yet irrevocable.



""THERE never was an ^Eneas ; there never was a

* Numa ; well, what the better are we ? We only

lose the Trojan ship gliding into Tiber's mouth, when the



ARIADNE.



woodland thickets that bloomed by Ostia were reddening
with the first warmth of the day's sun ; we only lose the
Sabine lover going by the Sacred Way at night, and
sweet Egeria weeping in the woods of Nemi ; and are
by their loss how much the poorer !

Perhaps all these things never were.

The little stone of truth, rolling through the many
ages of the world, has gathered and grown grey with the
thick mosses of romance and superstition. But tradition
must always have that little stone of truth as its kernel ;
and perhaps he who rejects all, is likelier to be wrong
than even foolish folk like myself who love to believe all,
and who tread the new paths, thinking ever of the ancient
stories.



'T'HERE can be hardly any life more lovely upon
earth than that of a young student of art in Rome.
With the morning, to rise to the sound of countless bells
and of innumerable streams, and see the silver lines of the
snow new fallen on the mountains against the deep rose of
the dawn, and the shadows of the night steal away softly
from off the city, releasing, one by one, dome and spire, and
cupola and roof, till all the wide white wonder of the place
discloses itself under the broad brightness of full day ; to
go down into the dark cool streets, with the pigeons flut-
tering in the fountains, and the sounds of the morning
chants coming from many a church door and convent
window, and little scholars and singing children going by
with white clothes on, or scarlet robes, as though walking
forth from the canvas of Botticelli or Garofalo ; to eat
frugally, sitting close by some shop of flowers and birds,
and watching all the while the humours and the pageants
of the streets by quaint corners, rich with sculptures of
the Renaissance, and spanned by arches of architects
that builded for Agrippa, under grated windows with



8 WISDOM, WIT, AND PATHOS OF QUID A.

arms of Frangipanni or Colonna, and pillars that Apollo-
dorus raised ; to go into the great courts of palaces, mur-
murous with the fall of water, and fresh with green leaves
and golden fruit, that rob the colossal statues of their
gloom and gauntness, and thence into the vast chambers
where the greatest dreams that men have ever had, are
written on panel and on canvas, and the immensity and
the silence of them all are beautiful and eloquent with
dead men's legacies to the living, where the Hours and
the Seasons frolic beside the Maries at the Sepulchre, and
Adonis bares his lovely limbs, in nowise ashamed because
S. Jerome and S. Mark are there ; to study and muse>
and wonder and be still, and be full of the peace which
passes all understanding, because the earth is lovely as
Adonis is, and life is yet unspent ; to come out of the
sacred light, half golden, and half dusky, and full of many
blended colours, where the marbles and the pictures live,
sole dwellers in the deserted dwellings of princes ; to
come out where the oranges are all aglow in the sunshine,
and the red camellias are pushing against the hoary head
of the old stone Hermes, and to go down the width of the
mighty steps into the gay piazza, alive with bells tolling,
and crowds laughing, and drums abeat, and the flutter of
carnival banners in the wind ; and to get away from it all
with a full heart, and ascend to see the sun set from the
terrace of the Medici, or the Pamfili, or the Borghese
woods, and watch the flame-like clouds stream home-
wards behind S. Peter's, and the pines of Monte Mario
grow black against the west, till the pale green of evening
spreads itself above them, and the stars arise ; and then,
with a prayer be your faith what it will a prayer to the
Unknown God, to go down again through the violet-
scented air and the dreamful twilight, and so, with un-
speakable thankfulness, simply because you live, and this
is Rome so homeward.



ARIADNE.



'T'HE strong instinctive veracity in her weighed the
* measure of her days, and gave them their right
name. She was content, her life was full of the sweetness
and strength of the arts, and of the peace of noble occupa-
tion and endeavour. But some true instinct in her taught
her that this is peace, but is not more than peace. Happi-
ness comes but from the beating of one heart upon
another.



T^HERE was a high wall near, covered with peach-
trees, and topped with wistaria and valerian, and
the handsome wild caperplant ; and against the wall
stood rows of tall golden sunflowers late in their blooming ;
the sun they seldom could see for the wall, and it was
pathetic always to me, as the day wore on, to watch
the poor stately amber heads turn straining to greet their
god, and only meeting the stones and the cobwebs, and
the peach-leaves of their inexorable barrier.

They were so like us ! straining after the light, and
only finding bricks and gossamer and wasps'-nests ! But
the sunflowers never made mistakes as we do : they never
took the broken edge of a glass bottle or the glimmer of
a stable lanthorn for the glory of Helios, and comforted
themselves with it as we can do.



"P\EAR, where we love much we always forgive, because
*~^ we ourselves are nothing, and what we love is all.



""THERE is something in the silence of an empty room
* that sometimes has a terrible eloquence : it is like
the look of coming death in the eyes of a dumb animal ;
it beggars words and makes them needless.



lo WISDOM, WIT, AND PATHOS OF OVID A.

\W"HEN you have said to yourself that you will kill
any "one, the world only seems to hold yourself and
him, and God who will see the justice done.



YWHAT is it that love does to a woman? without it
she only sleeps ; with it, alone, she lives.



A GREAT love is an absolute isolation, and an
absolute absorption. Nothing lives or moves or
breathes, save one life : for one life alone the sun rises
and sets, the seasons revolve, the clouds bear rain, and
the stars ride on high ; the multitudes around cease to
exist, or seem but ghostly shades ; of all the sounds of
earth there is but one voice audible; all past ages have
been but the herald of one soul ; all eternity can be but
its heritage alone.



T S Nature kind or cruel ? Who can tell ?

The cyclone comes, or the earthquake ; the great
wave rises and swallows the cities and the villages, and
goes back whence it came ; the earth yawns, and devours
the pretty towns and the sleeping children, the gardens
where the lovers were sitting, and the churches where
women prayed, and then the morass dries up and the
gulf unites again. Men build afresh, and the grass
grows, and the trees, and all the flowering seasons come
back as of old. But the dead are dead : nothing changes
that!

As it is with the earth, so it is with our life ; our own
poor, short, little life, that is all we can really call our
own.



ARIADNE. it



Calamities shatter, and despair engulfs it ; and yet
after a time the chasm seems to close ; the storm
wave seems to roll back ; the leaves and the grass re-
turn ; and we make new dwellings. That is, the daily
ways of living are resumed, and the common tricks of
our speech and act are as they used to be before disaster
came upon us. Then wise people say, he or she has
"got over it." Alas, alas ! the drowned children will not
come back to us ; the love that was struck down, the
prayer that was silenced, the altar that was ruined, the
garden that was ravished, they are all gone for ever,
for ever, for ever ! Yet we live ; because grief does not
always kill, and often does not speak.



T CREPT through the myrtles downward, away from
the house where the statue lay shattered. The
earliest of the nightingales of the year was beginning her
lay in some leafy covert hard by, but never would he
hear music in their piping again; never, never: any
more than I should hear the song of the Faun in the
fountain.

For the song that we hear with our ears is only the
song that is sung in our hearts.

And his heart, I knew, would be for ever empty and
silent, like a temple that has been burned with fire, and
left standing, pitiful and terrible, in mockery of a lost
religion, and of a forsaken god.



]Vyi EN and women, losing the thing they love, lose
* much, but the artist loses far more ; for him are
slaughtered all the children of his dreams, and from him



Online Library1839-1908 OuidaWisdom, wit, and pathos : selected from the works of Ouida → online text (page 1 of 39)