Paulist Fathers.

The Century, Volume 21 online

. (page 66 of 78)
Online LibraryPaulist FathersThe Century, Volume 21 → online text (page 66 of 78)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


the simplicity of its arrangements.

S. B. H.

Servants* Rooms and Quarters.

Servants' rooms should be papered, painted, kal-
somined, curtained, and fitted up with nicety in every
detail, with harmony in color, with womanly regard
for womanly needs. Each maid should have a bed
to herself; the blankets, spreads, and sheets passing
from time to time under the eye of the mistresSk
The floor should be stained or oiled, and beside each
cot should be laid a neat strip of carpet, or of the
English " Napier " matting, in stripes of maroon
and ^ru hemp, — than which one can find nothing
mor^ neat and durable. A dressing-glass in a good
light, a chest of drawers for clothes, a pin-cushion,
a picture or two, low splint-bottom chairs, and ample
washing apparatus, are little enough to bestow on
the comfort of your maids, upon whom so much of



your own comfort daily and hourly depends. Let
them hang up their palms, and their pbotognpb
of cousins in Sunday clothes. Instead of t oeci-
ribbon, bestow upon them from time to time tlittk
vase, a gay Japanese box, a " Holy Family," or a woA-
basket. Give them a helping hand, and yoa will be
astonished at the steady growth of just appredstioiL
Below-stairs, so much depends upon the temper
and tendencies of the queen of the Idtdien— ^
cook — ^it is almost impossible to make aoj gen-
eral rule for the ordering of our scnrants' hoot
life. That the kitchen may be made an abode
of pleasantness, every one can attest who has invaikd
that " haunt of ancient peace " in a New EngM
country dwelling. There unite all thin^ svcet>
smelling, appetizing, wholesome (barring the pies !^^
heart-cheering. The tins shine lUte the finest sflw*
ware ; the very boards are fragrant This is notoBfr
mon in New York kitchens ; but a great deal n^
be done to render those under-ground prisons kss
gloomy. The servants* sitting-room, generally fctad
in houses where a number of maids are kept, en be
made inviting at very small cost One is apt to aader-
rate the influence of a pot of scarlet geraniuns iaa
basement window, behind dear white mosHn cortaiBS,
open to catch every wandering shaft of sonshise. Ld
your cook even keep her parrot, if his voice do net
penetrate too sharply to the regions abore. Coo*
pliment her neat shelves of blue diina, dxxsc ber
kitchen oil-doth with a view to brightening ber
domain, buy for her pretty striped Algerian coOos
table-doths, leave a chair or two bdow that ait aot
as hard as the nether mill-stone, when tired bcses
seek a moment of repose. Depend npon it, tbest
little acts of thoughtfidness will come back to yoi io
your roasts, in your gravies, and yoor poddinp.
even if there were no higher motive for dispbjiig
them.

Constance Gary Haiiiso!!.

Prises for Decorative Art and Ncedle-wwk.

The Sodety of Decorative Art of New York te
issued a drcular, offering the following pri«s fa »
competition to dose April 27, 1881 :

$500 for the best, $100 for the second best, des^
for a portiere or Mrindow-hanging.

$200 for the best, $50 for the second best, des^
for screens, of not less than three panels.

$125 for the best, $25 for the second best, doiji
for frieze or band, applicable to table-ooTer, hobI^
quin, or other decorative purposes.

Seven additional spedal prizes, netting $300. ^
offered for the best table-cover ; for the best ad
most artistic example of needle- work not indadedia
the above competition; for the best design in otiJ*
work on silk ; for the best design in outlfaie work «
linen; for the best example of drawn work; fcf *
best figure design suitable for a panel, and fcc^
best color treatment in the above designs.

The competition is subject to conditioas i**
rules which may be learned upon addressing •Po'
Design Competition, Sodety of Decorative M }»
East 19th street New York Qty."



Digitized by



v^oogk



CULTURE AND PROGRESS,



79S



CULTURE AND PROGRESS.



The New Edition of Dr. Schliemann's
**Mycen« and Tiryns."*

The principal facts of Dr. Schliemann's wonderful
discoveries at Mycenae have now been before the
pablic of Europe and America for several years;
tnd the splendid volume describing them, which was
poblished in 1877, has been earnestly studied and
minutely discussed by multitudes of critics. In the
light of history, philology, archaeology, and whatever
odier sdence mig^t hope to solve any of the strange
problems it presents. But the result has still been
to excite curiosity rather than to allay it. The dis-
coverer's own theory of the origin of the treasures
disclosed has not, indeed, been generally received,
bat DO other has been framed which can claim to
have supplanted it; and the author makes this fact
somewhat defiantly conspicuous by reprinting, in his
Dew edition, the entire matter of the earlier one,
whOe he adds to it an account of the most important
contributions which recent scholarship has made to
the question of the true place of Mycenae in history,
and its relations to andent civilization.

These additions consist mainly of inquiries, by
Professor A. H. Sayce, of the University of Oxford,
and Professor J. P. Mahafiy, the historian of Greek
literature, into the date of the destruction of Mycenae.
These hig^ authorities agree in the conclusion that
the date in question cannot have been so late as the
Persian war; nor, indeed, later than the second
Messenian war, which began 685 B. c. ; while the
state of the arts, as shown by the articles rescued,
seems to be most closely connected with that attained
b Babylon in the sixteenth century B. c. Such
authoritative judgments as these, while they do not
determine the questions suggested by these discover-
ies, are yet a complete answer to all criticism which
has denied or doubted either their extreme antiquity
or their vast importance. As a whole, they are
unique as a collection of works of prehistoric art
fbcnd in Greek soil ; the best and substantially the
only key we have to the earliest period of that mag-
nificent civilization which, ii^ later ages, suddenly
enriched the world, and became the wonder and envy
of all time. Whatever shall be determined here-
tfter concerning Dr. Schliemann's Homeric fancies
and historical dreams, his heroic devotion to the pur-
suit of truth, his candor and generosity in serving
knowledge rather than self-interest, entitle him to
gratitude, which is sure to be felt more deeply by
posterity than by ourselves. And his book, the
fresh and authentic description, not only of his dis-
coveries, but of the romantic course of struggle and
inquiry of which they were the reward, will grow in



^Mycetue: a narntttre of Researches and Discoveries at
M yocMB and Ttryns. By Dr. Henry Schliemann, dtisen of
ibe United States of America: author of "Troy and its

Remains,' - - — -

Chmeei L,

Clsditooe, -— ^-. ^ r

(Xtier iDustntions. A new edition, with important additioiu and
New Yoric : Charles Scribners Sons. 1880.



iicQ ocatcs 01 Amenca; auinor 01 " iroy ana its
/' "Ithaque, le P^ponnise et Troie/' and "Le
: le Jappn.'' The pre&ce by the Right-Hon. W. E.
«, M. r. Maps, pums, and more than seven hundred



value and interest, whether the mystery of their
origin be solved, or they remain forever a fascinating
riddle.

Readers of this new edition will be especially in-
terested in the discovery, described in appendix D,
that the blade of a two-edged bronze sword, formerly
pictured covered with rust, as it was found, is one of
the most significant works of art in the collection.
The rust has been removed, disclosing gold plating
on both sides, with engraved figures of men and
animals drawn ajiid grouped with effect We are
assured that no inscriptions of any kind have been
found at Mycenae, and it seems certain that the
Greeks of that period had no alphabet. But no
reader whose eye falls on the plates representing
the sides of this sword can fail to read in them, with
a plainness no alphabet could increase, the legend,
"The lion is king of beasts, but man is lord of
creation."

It is gratifying to obsenre that the new edition is
published at a greatly reduced price, though it in-
cludes all the beautiful illustrations and maps ; for it
seems to indicate that the demand for the work is
already very large, and that it will now reach a much
wider public, carrying with it an intelligent interest
in a branch of study which, in its present compre-
hensive form, is the peculiar pursuit of our own
times — that of the origin of civilization.

Jamea*a " Washington Square.*'

Unless it be Mr. Thomas Hardy, there is no one
now writing novels in English who brings to the '
task so complete a training and so fine a hand as
Mr. Henry James, Jr. The English writer has ele-
ments of superiority which it • may be never in the
life of Mr. James to equal ; he has an imaginative
side that the American lacks. But merely as an
artist in the management of a novel, Mrt James can
readily afford to give him odds. The comparison
between the two comes to be instituted all the more
easily and naturally, since they have been publishing
novels side by side in the same great popular maga-
zine, " Harper's." Mr. James is especially renuurk-
able for the patient care which he bestows upon his
style, and the elaboration of his notes on modern
society. More cool-headed than Hawthorne, and
quite as industrious, he stores away the most minute
observations on the daily conduct of people of all
kinds. It is not the exceptional person who inter-
ests him particularly ; he is rather occupied with
cataloguing his impressions of commonplace charac-
ters such as one meets every day. In that respect
he is eminently an observer such as the present
quarter of the century has to show in other paths of
research ; men who are not rebuffed by the dryness
of a task, or the amount of time involved in an ex-



N* Washinffton Square. By Heniy ^ames, Jr., author of
"Daisy MiUer," "An International Episode," etc, etc Illus-
trated by George du Maurier. New York: Harper &
Brothers. x88i.



Digitized by V^OOQlC



Digitized by



Googit



CULTURE AND PROGRESS.



797



i^( s of government mean

u ■ to be vacated by one set

. - 1 Hither; that this or that

■ hs, or for, perhaps, a term

•iC, and a big official house in

A ; that there are to be pleasant

: i( h to put nice young men. It is

- i'lot woinen should have a keen in-

lal i>art of politics, and should have

. . Mr. Disraeli has always taught his

i.T>> uho are ambitious that they should

' .\ ' -men. He says of his Vivian Grey,

rice, that he was a young man who knew

ich uf the world to make this mistake.

n undoubtedly do get private-secretaryships

:iauo!is, and there are times when they may

an ally to a cabinet position ; whether many

:ue[n are serious critics of such matters as war

1 t^eace abroad and popular progress at home, we

;.ot know. One cannot help thinking that Mr.

-oeli, while professing to admire, is slyly making

. of his Zenobia.

In Myra and Lady Monfort we have women of
-mewbat the same character as Zenobia. But
bey have little consistency or life. They are, of
oorse, worldly women, and in his description of
'(yra the author is at his old trick of imparting a
me dress to what are, after all, very commonplace
Addcnts. Myra is a yoimg woman who takes the first
'fler she has from a man of fortune and position, and
urries a person twice her age. She is no better nor
rorse than other equally prudent and sensible young
rooien who do the same thing. But Mr. Disraeli
brows about his adjectives in such a way as to make
t seem something different.
Mr. Bertie Tremaine is a discerning, if somewhat
bia and loose, sketch of a certain dass of persons,
toy one fiBuniliar with English society will know a
■If-dozen people like him. They are of a kind
rhich does not exist in this country. They can
oly be found in an old society, which contains a
rcat assemblage of people who are idle, and are
eat upon amusing themselves, some in a frivolous
ad some in a solemn way. People who have to
rork may be dull and have few thoughts, but they
re apt to be genuine and unaffected. But we
ke Mr. Bertie Tremaine and his dass. We like
^ote mild-mannered young men one meets at Eng-
sh dinner-tables, with their amiable generalities
od their pleasant devotion to the abstract.
Mr. Bertie Tremaine becomes a member of the
loose of Commons at the same time with Endy-
uon. The following reference to Mr. Tremaine's
■reer in the House, we have no doubt, is a leaf from
tt recollections of the author. One can see Mr.
Israeli sitting with his chin on his chest, and listen-
^ to a real Mr. Bertie Tremaine, the humor of the
ue-sightcd man of genius stirred by his observa-
OQ of that gentleman. Notice of a question, we are
>kl, was sometimes poblidy given by Mr. Bertie Tre-
Kine, " so abstruse in its nature and so quaint in its
Kpression, that the House never comprehended it,
od the unfortunate minister who had to answer, even
itfa twenty-four hours' study, was obliged to com-



mence his reply by a conjectural interpretation of the
query formally addressed to him." Mr. Bertie Tre-
maine is a gentleman who considers himself already
as good as a prime minister, is much vexed with the
subject of his cabinet, and says of Mr. Vigo (evidentiy
Poole, the tailor), " I think I will offer him India."
In his manner of regarding himself as a serious per-
sonage, there are people in this coimtry who resemble
Mr. Bertie Tremaine. We wonder how many dtizens
there are of this republic who have seriously consid-
ered the exigency of their election to the Presidency,
have been mudi puzzled by' the question of the
policy they should pursue in that event, and of the
men they should call to their aid.

In his character of St. Barbe (apparenUy meant for
Thackeray), Mr. Disraeli does not present himself to
advantage. We are not about to write an essay on
the duty of forgiveness. All good people are agreed
that it is not right to cherish a revengeful spirit, and
we suppose one ought not to do so. But still, people
will be revengeful. A disposition to remember inju-
ries and to get even with enemies, is a quality which
a man may have, and yet hold a good place in
sodety, and retain the respect and regard of friends.
But though men will not cease to be revengeful
because the Bible says they should forgive their ene-
mies, there are still circumstances which, with most
men, have the effect of subduing the fierce recollection
of injuries. Among these are success and the lapse of
time. It is now nearly twenty years since Thackeray
died, and in the meantime Mr. Disraeli has become
one of the greatest men in Europe ; has been made a
Knight of the Garter, and has obtained a variety of
distinctions which even he, lavish as he is with his pen,
would have been chary of giving to the hero of one
of his novels. Under these drcumstances, most men
would have forgotten, or half forgotten, an animosity
which was a generation old. And we are not pre-
pared to say that it is a* spirit of revenge which
has dictated the character of St Barbe. Mr.
Disraeli may have merely been satisfying the proper
critical instinct to describe a character which he has
keenly i^rehended. If that is the case, however,
the description should have been complete. It is, of
course, evident that St Barbe is a description of
Thackeray, or of what the author believes Thackeray
to have been. That it is an incomplete and unjust
character of the man, no one can doubt The blame
is very likely true, as fiur as it goes. It is very
evident that Thackeray was a man upon whom social
distinctions had a great influence, and whose nature
it was to feel most intensely the relation in which he
stood to individuals and the world. That he was
morbidly egotistical, the reader of his works may see
with half an eye. He may have had his share, or more
than his share, of envy. It is a general human fiuling ;
and one of the world's mistakes is td suppose that
people who produce great books, and who, from fear
of its opinion, talk a little too much like saints, are
destitute of those evil temptations of which all
are conscious. But Mr. Disraeli fails entirely to
credit Thackeray with that poetry, that power of
pathos and sympathy, and that generosity of feeling,
which he possessed. The character as it stands b a



Digitized by V^OOQlC



Digitized by



Googit



CULTURE AND PROGRESS,



799



It ladung all organic coherence. In Roman
dety, epigrams and profound observations keep
nstantly buzzing abont one's ears, until they be>
me positively oppressive, and a comfortably dull
id commoni^ace (riend, who has no opinions re-
crding the date of the catacombs and the precise
rection of the Via Sacra, is hailed as a godsend.
Ticn we venture to conjecture that George Flem-
g has absorbed some of the unclaimed brilliancy
tth which the Roman atmosphere is charged, we
e really paying her a compliment ; for that kind

absorption requires sensitive intellectual antennae
td a considerable degree of aesthetic culture. If
te only had succeeded in incorporating her really
riking remarks on ardueology, history, art, etc,
to the organism of her story, we should not have
ivanced any hjrpothesis as to their probable origin,
evertheless, there are at least a hundred passages

the present book which prove that George Flem-
ig prefers being somebody else to being her-
^ If she has any confidence in her own style and
sr own thought, it is a pity that she should on
rery page remind us that she has chosen George
liot as her model. In the first place, the very divis-
A of the novel into ** boo^s," with separate titles
ad quotations from poets and political economists
n the fly-leaf of each ** book," seems to have been
Bggcsted by " Middlemarch " or « Daniel Deronda " ;
len, again, the titles of these divisions, *'A Girl's
hoice" and "In Deep Water," recall the exactly
■rallel titles of Books II. and III. in *< Daniel
>cronda,"—" Meeting Streams" and "Maidens
^booting. " But in order to convince the reader who
( fiuniliar with George Eliot's elaborate, and some-
mes a little cumbrous style, as well as the spirit of
cr writings, we quote the following passages, which
Imost read like parodies on the ph^osophical reflec-
ons of the great Englishwoman :

" In the twilight, the bitter, immutable mouth of
M dead |>oet seemed to smile with implacable nega-
00 from its forgotten comer among the dustermg
*vcs of a new spring." (Page 27. )

"For those earliest impressions of hers were
Q inextricably interwoven with enthusiastic recol-
ictions of a larger ideal' of life, and devotion,
k1 duty, than commonly fidls to a girl's share."

" He was frowning, and this unchecked evidence
f bad temper seemed to give the last affirmative
>Qch to the assurance of liking and sympathetic
Mierstanding which had sprung up between them."

We are told that Hardinge's bright presence was
ke I change in the weather; very nearly the same
bscrvation is made by George Eliot about Lydgate,
'hose coming was •* like a change of light" Octave's
^iroat and chin were " flower-like " ; so were Rosa-
mond's in " Middlemarch." George Fleming's pecul-
^ mannerism in the use of her adverbs may possibly
^ be ascribed to the influence of her model : thus,
^ rivers "run broadly," the heath "glimmers
■Icly," processions " defile blackly," etc

On page 236, the admirable apoUiegm : " But two
*PP7 people always imply the misery of a shadowy



third," recalls a little too distinctly Browning's verse
in the poem " By the Fireside" :

" If you join two lives, diere is oft a scar,

They are one and one, with a shadowy third: " etc

Such resemblances can hardly be accidental, espe-
cially as the author takes occasion to quot6 Brown-
ing on the fly-leaf of her " Book II." We do not
desire, however, to convey the impression that all
George Fleming's brilliancy is reflected or borrowed,
although we confess that where so much is imitation
it is puzzling to decide what is really originaL Thus,
for instance, the following observations, for which
we should like to give the author full credit, have,
nevertheless, an indefinable flavor of George Eliot :

" We all have our ideals. It is possible that even
our least worthy actions may arouse some admirintr
and imitadve echo in some subordinate mind."
{Pafi« 82).

"Let us not fall into the common error of estimat-
ing suffering by its apparent intensity; I think it
highly probable that tnere have been noartyrs who
would nave found it impossible to submit to chronic
rheumatism."

In conclusion, let us confess that we are quite at a
loss to account for the singular transformation which
this author has undergone since writing " Kismet"
It is a very common phenomenon, that a young
writer begins by echoing the great masters of song
and romance, and then gradually discovers his own
individuality, and learns to express it But for an
author who made her d^hut with a striking and inter-
esting romance to end as an imitator is, we believe,
a very unusual occurrence. And still, when diis is
said, we have a feeling that we have not done full
justice to George Fleming. A woman who can
write such a charming bit of characterization as that of
Madame Raimondi (pages 208 and 209), or such a
strong and vivid piece of description as that of the
sheep passing outside the windows where Regina is
dying (pages 328 and 329), must certainly have some-
thing in her which is worth expressing. But, the
next time, let her discard all models, and speak with
the simplicity and force which, we trust, are still at
her conmiand.

Bggleaton'a Pamoua Amtrican Indlaiia.*

Until very recently, Americans have unwisely
underrated the dramatic dignity and interest of their
early history, discovering in it few of those elements
of picturesque heroism which attract every school-
boy to the story of Alfred and the Danes, John and
his obstinate barons. As a matter of &ct, no such
interest ever gathered around the birth of any other
nation. The imagination of Europe, already stimu-
lated by the splendid intellectual impulse of the
Renaissance, was captivated by the possibilities of
the new continent miraculously opened for tlie reali-
zation of those dreams of wealth, progress, and a new

• 1. Red Eagle. By George Gary Eggleston. a. Te-
cumseh and the Shawnee Prophet. 3. Brant and Red Jacket.
4. Montesuma and the Conquest of Mexico. <. Pocahontas.
By Edward Eggleston and lilUe Eggleston Seelye. New
Yofk: DoddrMeadftCo.



Digitized by



Googit



8oo



CULTURE AND PROGRESS.



sodal state which hang, half laminoos and half
misty, over the mind of the Old World. No voya-
gers returning in Greek galleys, no Norsemen
bringing home strange tales of the Mediterranean,
were ever welcomed with such eager cariosity as
were the early explorers of America, laden with
Indian trophies and with gold And when spas-
modic exploration gives place to permanent colo-
nization, the interest deepens, and the drama on-
fblds in act after act of straggle, and bloodshed,
and conquest, until the growing sense of a great his-
torical tragedy becomes almost painfuL No other
tragedy on so vast a scale and stage has been
enacted in historic times. The inexorable operation
of the law of the survival of the fittest is felt from
the beginning, like the consciousness of doom in
which a Greek tragedy darkens to its dose. There
are, too, elements of interest in this story which one
misses entirely in those histories which are rich
mainly in the heroisms and achievements of individ-
oal actors.

He who would glean wisely in a field so wide as
this must possess in marked degree the sense of
historic proportion, so as not to waste on efMsodes
space which ought to be given to significant charac-
ters and events. The writers of these volumes have
evidently made carefiil study of the ground, and
have chosen points of view from which the movement
of eveilts is seen in orderly and dramatic sequence.
Thus, in accordance with this plan, in *< Montezu-
ma " they describe the rash but splendid conquest of
Mexico byCortez; in ** Pocahontas '' they tell the
story of early voyages and explorations in search of
gold, the strange adventures of that redoubtable war-
rior. Captain John Smith, the charming episode of
Pocahontas, and the settlement of Virginia; in
** Brant and Red Jacket" they outline effectively the
incessant warfare between civilization and barbarism
which desolated central and northern New York,
enriching them with historic and legendary associa-



Online LibraryPaulist FathersThe Century, Volume 21 → online text (page 66 of 78)