Gamaliel Bradford.

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" A blossom twinkling from a ruined wall :
Old stones, young love, and sunshine over all."




Published October IQ04

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H. F. B.








^ II.

























In the Arena ....
Mrs. Barton receives
The Countess Markovski
Off with the Old Love
The Wolf and the Lamb
The Casting of Pearls
On the Pincian

" As I ride, as I RIDE "

His Father's Son

A Hint of Eros ....

The Villa of Hadrian .

Love in Ruins ....

Chopin and Suicide .

A Conversion ....

The Song of the Siren .

A Tutored Savage

A Bit of Shadow .

A Duel

Edgar speaks his Mind .
The Magic of the Moon .
A Business Proposition .
Will you walk into my Parlor

The Crisis

An Arch^ological Failure
The Tutor's Audit .
What came of it All* .







It was at Rome, in the Colosseum, on a morning
early in November, near the very close^of the nine-
teenth century. The sun was bright and warm, as
it is in Rome, even at that season ; and the ruined
walls stood out sharp against an absolutely cloud-
less sky. A young American was sitting about
halfway up the south side of the building, with
sketching paraphernalia about him, — easel, can-
vas, brushes, etc. ; but the canvas was quite blank,
and the young man was leaning back, gazing idly,
with his hands clasped behind his head, apparently
absorbing the picture before he painted it. He was
a well-dressed young man, with an air of ease and
opulence about him, which did not suggest the
painting of pot-boilers. Large of frame and almost
heavy of features and expression, he yet had a
something of good-humor and shrewdness in his
face, which made you feel that he would be a plea-
sant companion. As that is all he is called upon


to be in this narrative, it is unnecessary to discuss
him further.

The scene at which he gazed had those con-
trasted elements which give modern Rome so much
of its piquancy. Around, below, and above, were
the enormous heaps of stone which have been sung
and painted and described so often that to describe
them again is a mere insult to the intelligent
reader ; but their sombre background was relieved
here and there by bits and patches of flitting and
fleeting mortality. Probably the painter would
have liked to seize and hold upon his canvas some
one or several of these. At any rate, he seemed to
enjoy the contemplation of them.

Below him, on the same side, were two old ladies
and an old gentleman, trying to get themselves
into the local atmosphere, with the aid of Baedeker.
The gentleman would read a passage, while the
ladies put their heads close to his and to the book.
Then he would look up and around with a puzzled
air. A few gestures of conjecture, of conference,
of contradiction would follow, and would gradually
resolve themselves into a smile of weary content-
ment. Then another dose of Baedeker.

On the other side of the amphitheatre, another
elderly gentleman and a young lady were doing the
ruins with a guide. The latter led his victims rap-
idly from one point to another, and chattered and
gesticulated furiously. The young lady absorbed it
all with solemn reverence. The gentleman toiled


after them up the steep steps and over the rugged
platforms ; and you could see, with the naked eye,
that he heartily wished himself back in Wall Street.

Farther away still, high on the top tier of seats,
three merry girls were laughing and flirting with a
fashionable youth. Their gay gowns fluttered like
blossoms against the blue sky ; and one had a red
parasol that flashed and flickered like a tongue
of fire. What did they care for old ruins and the
might of Roman glory and the dead splendors of
the world?

Then the place was stormed by a party of Cook's
tourists, booked to do it in twenty-eight minutes,
by the watch. They were personally conducted by
a tall, lank gentleman with a black suit, a little
threadbare, and a white tie, who had evidently
been bred a minister, until he stumbled into this
nobler form of edification. He halted his flock in
a central spot beneath our observer, and began the
usual lecture, ground out with the indifference of
a performer on the hand-organ. A scrap or two
drifted up to the young man's idle ears. " Ladies
and gentlemen — magnificent ruins — blood of a
thousand victims — all the sins of the Pagan world
— pomp, luxury, and heathen splendor." It was
" Quo Vadis " in little. And, as the orator called
their attention to one spot, and then to another, the
personally conducted moved their duU and patient
faces all together, like the spectators at a tennis


Our artist friend, after watching this spectacle
for a few moments, turned his eyes toward the en-
trance of the amphitheatre and saw an acquaint-
ance. This was a young man of twenty-seven or
eight, tall and well-made, rather light in complex-
ion, with a cane in his hand, and cigar in his
mouth. His dress was carelessly worn and not
costly ; but no one would have doubted his being a
gentleman. The painter, as soon as he beheld this
newcomer, sat upright and uttered a shrill whistle,
which sharply interrupted the minister's sermon
and made his hearers waste ten seconds, by look-
ing in a direction not allowed for in their itin-

The young man below also looked up, paused in
uncertainty for a moment, then waved his hand in
sign of recognition and rapidly made his way to
the whistler's side.

" Hullo, Morris ! " he cried. " You here still —
and painting?"

" I have n't been here, or painting, all the time
since you left, Gordon, my boy. That is a good
while ago."

" Three years — only."

" Three years ! Hear him ! Do you know all the
things that might happen in three years ? Where
have you been ? Painting somewhere else ? "

" No. I discovered that art was not my proper
vocation. Do you still think it yours, Morris ? "

" No, Rob. It is my avocation — one of them.


My vocation Is amusing myself. I labor in it from
morning till night — with poor success."

" But, Dick, I thought you would have been out
of this long ago. When I left, you said you were
going back to New York, sick of bad luck, bad
victuals, and bad pictures, or something of that

" You 've got a memory like a graphophone,"
Morris answered, puffing his cigar. " I did think
then, for a while, that I would go back to America
and work. But, you see, my aunt turned up. She 's
awfully rich, my aunt. She 's taken a fancy to me,
which I 've never been able to account for. She
wants me to stay — and I stay."

" Manifest destiny," said Gordon, smiling ; and
his smile was full of a wonderful charm of mingled
intelligence and naivete.

"Just so. But tell me about yourself, Rob.
What are you back here for ? "

" Well," replied the other thoughtfully, " I 'm
all changed from what I was." He gazed across
the amphitheatre at the girl with the red parasol,
who was gazing at him. " No more frolic and
foolery, no more champagne and suppers with the

" What ! " cried Morris, in horror. " Not a
clergyman surely ? "

" No, worse than that. I 'm a private tutor."

" A private tutor ! Heaven forbid ! How did it
happen ? "


" Do you really want to hear it, you know ?
It 's more tiresome tlian a novel."

" Oh, no, I hardly think so. Make it as brief as

" It 's quite simple," Gordon went on, speaking
with broken phrases, punctuated with whiffs of
smoke. " When I left here three years ago, I had
no money and no real estate, except a little on
canvas. I wonder how it would seem to have

" I wonder," echoed his companion.

" But your aunt, my friend."

" But the devil, my friend. Go on."

" I sold my canvases in Boston. It is astonish-
ing what people will buy there. But the money
didn't carry me very far and I didn't seem to
have anything to do. I tried to paint portraits
and I got some swell sitters — mondaines de la
derniere elegance, in fact. The very thought of
them chills my blood. I painted them as I saw
them. It didn't please them somehow. The art
of portraiture seems to be to paint people as
you don't see them, and that does n't please me.
They were good to me, though."

" Of course they were," interrupted Morris.
" Women always are good to you."

" Are they ? " asked Gordon simply.

His companion shrugged his shoulders. For a
moment they were both silent. The sky was filling
with soft white clouds, and every now and then


one of them rolled its shadow over the vast arena
and dulled the radiance of the red parasol. In a
few minutes Gordon went on again.

" One of my victims was a Mrs. Keith, who was
New England all over ; taU, thin, severe, sedate.
She did n't object to my style of painting ; but all
such things were vain frivolity to her, and the por-
trait was merely to be hung in the rooms of her
club. All she wanted was to get it over. While I
was painting her, I got acquainted with her bro-
ther, Harrison Payne. He was tall and thin too ;
but he was different. He had been brought up,
like her, with sin and Sunday-schools ; but he
broke away and went out West, when he was
young, made a fortune, married a — I don't know
who — lost her, and finally came back to Boston
with his son, to live near his sister."

"Payne?" said Morris thoughtfully. "Do I
know him ? "

" Your aunt does, I 'm sure. He was a railroad
man, a speculator — is now. Everything he touches
is gold — and it does him no more good than it did
Midas. He can't spend money, does n't know how."

" Lamentable ignorance," murmured Morris.
" Go on. I feel the climax approaching."

" He took a fancy to me, for some mysterious

" Birds of a feather ? " suggested the Hstener,
with amiable sarcasm.

" I suppose so. Asked me to dine with him, to


drive with him, to stay with him. Finally, he
asked me to take charge of his son.'*

" And the son is " —

" An oaf, a bumpkin, greener than a day in
June. And the most curious shade of green ; for
the driest sere and yeUow is all mixed with it. He
is an infant of a hundred and fifty. He knows ab-
solutely nothing of the world's ways, except that
he has the greatest contempt for them. He has all
the vices, but he is too mean to be vicious. As for
money, he worships it. You can't imagine how
shrewd he is about getting it ; and he sticks to
it like glue. Nothing is more amusing than the
struggle between his desire for pleasure and his
dread of the cost of it."

" But, my friend," interjected Morris, much in-
terested, " you are playing a oomedy. It is charm-
ing, the idea of your tutoring this young person.
You, a butterfly, who have always flitted from one
pretty thing to another, with no notion of what
money means, or of ever denjdng yourself any-

" Charming ! Oh, yes, delicious ! I don't always
find it so myself ; but he does. For he is shrewd
about everything, keen, subtle, with a mind reaUy
good for something, only twisted, distorted, per-
verted in the oddest fashion imaginable. His
mother must have been a queer one ; for his father
is a gentleman; sharp, rough, crude, but a true


" Well, but what did he think you could make
of such a creature ? "

" I don't know. He was discouraged and dis-
gusted. I suppose he thought I had the few virtues
Edgar has n't — as yet — and that I might impart
them to him. He wanted me to make him a man
of the world, to give him manners and ease and
polish and address, and all that sort of thing. He
said he wanted me to keep him out of mischief
too. It was a lovely bit of irony. It is he who
feels bound to keep me out of mischief. And then,
he wanted me to marry him."

" To marry him ? "

" Oh, yes, that is the prettiest part of it. When
Mr. Payne lived in Chicago he had a very inti-
mate friend, named Stanton. This Stanton had
an only daughter, who is said to be a lovely girl.
Now, the two fathers have always entertained the
idea of marrying their children, if it could be
brought about. The Stan tons have been abroad
for two years, and Mr. Payne's plan was, that I
should bring Edgar here to Rome, and that he
should meet the charming Priscilla. Then, you
see, they fall in love at once and the business is

" Delightful programme ! " laughed Morris.

" Delightful ! You can imagine how it is likely
to work and what my position is. Shall I say to
the young lady : ' This is an oaf, beware of him ' ?
Shall I say : ' This charming youth is guaranteed


to possess all human perfections. Try him and you
will immediately order another bottle. If not found
in every respect satisfactory, the goods may be
thrown back on our hands ' ? "

" If the girl is a sensible girl and the fellow is
all you make him out to be, I don't think you need
say anything to her whatever."

" Just so. And what am I to say to Papa
Payne ? "

They smoked on for a few minutes in silence.
The sun rose higher, and the white clouds and roll-
ing shadows thickened. The Cook's tourists had
long ago gone the way of all such flesh, and the
red parasol had flickered itself from view. Other
varied groups had wandered in and out, setting
their picturesque modern colors against the gray,
eternal background.

" How do you happen to be here now ? " in-
quired Morris, at length. " Why have n't you got
your puppy in leash ? "

" Heavens, man, don't grudge me a few minutes'
breathing space ! If I did n't get it occasionally, I
should burst. As for leash, it is he that holds it,
not I. Just now he is writing a long letter to his
fond papa, describing my shortcomings — espe-
cially my extravagance. He can't put up with my
extravagance. So I took the opportunity to slip

Another pause and more idle observation of the


" How about the Countess Markovski?" asked
Morris, again breaking the silence.

"Antonia la bella? Is she here? Ah, don't
mention her to me. What have I to do with coun-
tesses any more, and princesses, and such cattle ?
Does she ever speak of me ? "

" Never."

" Forgotten ! "

" On the contrary, remembered. If she had for-
gotten you, she would be sure to inquire after you

" Ah, I see, still wise in the ways of women."

" No, my friend, not Solomon, the typical ami
des femmes^ could boast of being that ;,but anxious
to learn, anxious to learn."

" Well, I have put all such thoughts behind
me," said the troubled tutor. " My ears are sealed
forever to the voice of the serpent. But I must be
about my business. My precious charge is wait-

The artist packed up his paraphernalia ; and the
two young men, descending the steps leisurely, left
the amphitheatre, and made their way towards the
Piazza di Spagna.



A FEW days after the above interview, Gordon re-
ceived cards for himself and his charge for Mrs.
Barton's Thursday evenings. Mrs. Barton was
Morris's aunt. She was a stout, elderly personage,
who, at something over forty, had married a
wealthy bachelor of fifty-five. After they had lived
contentedly together for ten years, Mr. Barton died
suddenly of pneumonia and left his wife mistress
of over half a million dollars. She was, therefore,
" rich, fortunate, and jolly," as old Burton says,
and set herself to travel the remaining stages of
life's journey with as much variety and amusement
as abundant means and a good digestion would
afford her. She was a perfectly ordinary person,
with an extraordinary desire to be thought other-
wise, which was the most ordinary thing about her.
She was inclined to literature, and had published
several volumes of verse, the illustrations of which
were charming. She loved also to appear as a
female Maecenas, and to gather around her such
literary men, painters, sculptors, musicians, etc., as
liked a good dinner and a little flattery, to be paid
for in kind. There were a few of this description


then at Rome, and I daresay there are still — and

The atmosphere of Mrs. Barton's Thursdays was
a sort of imitation Bohemianism. We respectable
people tasted there the divine pleasure of Lazarus,
reposing in Abraham's bosom and viewing the
damned afar off. We felt that it was all just a
little fast, even when it was abominably slow.
Mrs. Barton boasted that her position was such
that she could invite every one : the white sheep,
with the very heaviest fleece, because they were
the proper thing ; the black sheep from pure Chris-
tian charity ; and even a goat or two occasionally,
since we all take more joy in one sinner that re-
penteth, or even that may repent, than in ninety
and nine that have never gone astray. Mrs. Barton
belonged to that not uncommon species of woman,
which, while living and breathing by convention
and nothing else, loves to boast that it is emanci-
pated from all social prejudices.

On the first Thursday evening after Gordon had
received his card, Mrs. Barton was sitting in her
drawing-room, ready for all comers. Her apartment,
on the Via Sistina, was quietly but luxuriously
furnished, in a style which showed preparation
for a long residence. The harmonious coloring
of the rooms, the careful selection of the pictures
(some of them hired, to be sure, but most obtained
at a sacrifice from artist friends, for the good lady
had a keen eye to business) indicated long training,


if not original taste. Everything was comfortable,
with that comfort which only Americans under-

Mrs. Barton, dressed in plain, but rich black
satin, an English matron's cap on her smooth gray
hair, chatted idly with Dick Morris, pending the
arrival of guests.

" So you think Rob Gordon will come, Richard ? "

" Come ! Did any one ever know him to stay
away from good wine and pretty women ? "

" But, this young fellow, Payne " —

" This young fellow, Payne, may come or he
may not."

" They do say odd things about him, certainly,"
murmured Mrs. Barton.

" They certainly do," assented her nephew.
" But nothing half odd enough, as you will agree,
when you see him. Of all the dry, hopeless, rotten-
before-they-' re-ripe specimens — never mind — he
may make a Roman lion, after all."

They were interrupted here by the entrance of
guests : an American bishop, with his wife and

Mrs. Barton had traveled with them in Switzer-
land, and was delighted to secure them for one
Thursday at least. The bishop was a stout, light-
haired, smooth-faced man, of exceeding affability.
His wife was null. His daughter was one of the en-
ergetic kind, who manage church fairs and friendly
societies. She at once attacked Morris on the con-


dition of the poor in Rome, and sniffed scornfully
when he represented himself as one of them.

By this time the rooms were filling up, and Mrs.
Barton was rising to the occasion. There were
Americans of every description. The millionaire
from the West elbowed the professor from Cam-
bridge. Cool young men, with hair parted behind,
and London clothes, flirted with airy young ladies
from New York and San Francisco. Artists of
every kind talked humbly about the weather with
possible purchasers, or sneered at humanity in cor-
ners, from behind a single eyeglass.

Then there were the English ; for Mrs. Barton
had lived long in London : English girls, with their
stiff backs, and their haughty " no trespassing "
expression ; English old maids, forever hovering
round Romanism, like moths round a candle, and
never coming quite near enough to singe their
wings ; and a real baronet. Sir Thomas Shapleigh,
with Lady Shapleigh. It was a joy to hear the
Americans " Sir Thomasing " the poor, dull, pom-
pous old man, who looked as if he wished his
smart New York wife would let him go home to

There were foreigners too : a Pole, with all the
picturesque beggarliness of that charming nation ;
several Germans, with high mustaches and an opin-
ion of themselves to match ; one or two Italian
priests, looking for " verts ; " a French count, and
other Frenchmen and Italians, painters, musicians,


or what not, gesticulating furiously, and ogling the

Altogether, it was a gay and jovial scene; and
every moment it grew more so, as more people
came crowding in. The rooms were hot and close,
and the noise of breezy chatter filled the air, now
and then a sharp, clear laugh ringing high above
the rest. Little groups made their way to the sup-
per-room and partook of salads, ices, and cham-

One of the most interesting figures was that of
a little old man, who could never have been more
than five feet four or five, and who was bent and
bowed so that he seemed shorter still. His fine
white hair waved disorderly about his high fore-
head ; and an expression of childlike, almost saintly
simplicity animated his clean-shaven face, with its
broad, delicate mouth and deep-set eyes. This was
Mr. Edwin Stanton, uncle of the lady who was in-
tended for Gordon's precious charge. Uncle Edwin,
as his numerous relatives, and some who were not
his relatives, loved to call him, was one of the most
curious and delightful objects to be seen in that
mixed Roman world. A Puritan of Puritans by
birth and early association, brought up in the
heart of New England abolitionism and transcen-
dentalism, and fully partaking of both these by-
gone fanaticisms, he yet mingled with them a pecul-
iar sensitiveness and delicacy, all his own. He
would have blended the sweetness of Greece with


the uprightness of Jerusalem ; and in his own per-
son he instinctively did blend them. Morbidly sen-
sitive of conscience, he was morbidly sensitive in
aesthetic matters also, and wished that souls and
bodies both should be both good and beautiful. He
was made up of contradictions, which gave him all
his charm. For instance, he believed himself to be,
and probably was, unsocial and averse to the com-
pany of men ; yet no one had more friends, no one
cared more to see his friends and be about among
them, no one was more loyal to those he loved, or
more interested in all their concerns. Again, no
one better loved his home, Concord, and its broad
fields and sunny hillsides, and vast meadows stretch-
ing out beside the lazy Musketaquid ; yet, when he
was in Concord, he always wished he was in Rome ;
and, when he was in Rome, he always wished he
was in Concord. Doubtless, we all have something
of that strain ; but in few is it discernible, in all its
variations, with such quaint and adorable simplicity.
This pure and gentle figure seemed almost piti-
fully out of place in the faded splendors and cheap
pretensions of Mrs. Barton's drawing-room. Yet
Mr. Stanton evidently enjoyed himself hugely.
He traveled from one group to another, with a
peculiar, unsteady, ambling gait, which was very
characteristic ; made some little, amiable jest, and
then rubbed his hands together and chuckled.
Everybody greeted him kindly and smilingly, every-
body loved him.


"Mr. Stanton," said Mrs. Barton, catching him
on one of his peregrinations, " we hear that you
have a charming niece coming to Rome shortly."

" I hear so myself," was the genial answer.
" But I have never seen her. Her father went
West when he was quite young. He has visited us
at home from time to time; but Priscilla never

" Well, they say she is as pretty as a picture."

" She must get it from her mother, then. Good
looks are not the strong point of our family."

" Fie, Mr. Stanton ! You always stand up for
the family, you know."

" I never like any one to abuse them but my-
seK." And the old gentleman put his hands on

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