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The Power Of One

For no monarchy is so absolute, but it is circumscribed with laws; but when the executive power is in the law-makers, there is no further check upon them; and the people must suffer without a remedy, because they are oppressed by their representatives. If I must serve, the number of my masters, who were born my equals, would but add to the ignominy of my bondage. The nature of our government, above all others, is exactly suited both to the situation of our country, and the temper of the natives; an island being more proper for commerce and for defence, than for extending its dominions on the Continent; for what the valour of its inhabitants might gain, by reason of its remoteness, and the casualties of the seas, it could not so easily preserve: And, therefore, neither the arbitrary power of One, in a monarchy, nor of Many, in a commonwealth, could make us greater than we are.

Both my nature, as I am an Englishman, and my reason, as I am a man, have bred in me a loathing to that specious name of a republic; that mock appearance of a liberty.

It is true, that vaster and more frequent taxes might be gathered, when the consent of the people was not asked or needed; but this were only by conquering abroad, to be poor at home; and the examples of our neighbours teach us, that they are not always the happiest subjects, whose kings extend their dominions farthest. Since therefore we cannot win by an offensive war, at least, a land war, the model of our government seems naturally contrived for the defensive part; and the consent of a people is easily obtained to contribute to that power which must protect it. Felices nimium, bona si sua norint, Angligenae! And yet there are not wanting malcontents among us, who, surfeiting themselves on too much happiness, would persuade the people that they might be happier by a change. It was indeed the policy of their old forefather, when himself was fallen from the station of glory, to seduce mankind into the same rebellion with him, by telling him he might yet be freer than he was; that is more free than his nature would allow, or, if I may so say, than God could make him. We have already all the liberty which freeborn subjects can enjoy, and all beyond it is but licence.

But if it be liberty of conscience which they pretend, the moderation of our church is such, that its practice extends not to the severity of persecution; and its discipline is withal so easy, that it allows more freedom to dissenters than any of the sects would allow to it. In the meantime, what right can be pretended by these men to attempt innovation in church or state?

John Dryden

Who made them the trustees, or to speak a little nearer their own language, the keepers of the liberty of England? If their call be extraordinary, let them convince us by working miracles; for ordinary vocation they can have none, to disturb the government under which they were born, and which protects them. He who has often changed his party, and always has made his interest the rule of it, gives little evidence of his sincerity for the public good; it is manifest he changes but for himself, and takes the people for tools to work his fortune. Yet the experience of all ages might let him know, that they who trouble the waters first, have seldom the benefit of the fishing; as they who began the late rebellion enjoyed not the fruit of their undertaking, but were crushed themselves by the usurpation of their own instrument.

Neither is it enough for them to answer, that they only intend a reformation of the government, but not the subversion of it: on such pretence all insurrections have been founded; it is striking at the root of power, which is obedience. Every remonstrance of private men has the seed of treason in it; and discourses, which are couched in ambiguous terms, are therefore the more dangerous, because they do all the mischief of open sedition, yet are safe from the punishment of the laws. These, my lord, are considerations, which I should not pass so lightly over, had I room to manage them as they deserve; for no man can be so inconsiderable in a nation, as not to have a share in the welfare of it; and if he be a true Englishman, he must at the same time be fired with indignation, and revenge himself as he can on the disturbers of his country. And to whom could I more fitly apply myself than to your lordship, who have not only an inborn, but an hereditary loyalty? The memorable constancy and sufferings of your father, almost to the ruin of his estate, for the royal cause, were an earnest of that which such a parent and such an institution would produce in the person of a son.

But so unhappy an occasion of manifesting your own zeal, in suffering for his present majesty, the providence of God, and the prudence of your administration, will, I hope, prevent; that, as your father’s fortune waited on the unhappiness of his sovereign, so your own may participate of the better fate which attends his son. The relation which you have by alliance to the noble family of your lady, serves to confirm to you both this happy augury. For what can deserve a greater place in the English chronicle, than the loyalty and courage, the actions and death, of the general of an army, fighting for his prince and country? The honour and gallantry of the Earl of Lindsey is so illustrious a subject, that it is fit to adorn an heroic poem; for he was the protomartyr of the cause, and the type of his unfortunate royal master.

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The Marks Of Kingly Sovereignty

It is indeed their interest, who endeavour the subversion of governments, to discourage poets and historians; for the best which can happen to them, is to be forgotten. But such who, under kings, are the fathers of their country, and by a just and prudent ordering of affairs preserve it, have the same reason to cherish the chroniclers of their actions, as they have to lay up in safety the deeds and evidences of their estates; for such records are their undoubted titles to the love and reverence of after ages. Your lordship's administration has already taken up a considerable part of the English annals; and many of its most happy years are owing to it. His Majesty, the most knowing judge of men, and the best master, has acknowledged the ease and benefit he receives in the incomes of his treasury, which you found not only disordered, but exhausted. All things were in the confusion of a chaos, without form or method, if not reduced beyond it, even to annihilation; so that you had not only to separate the jarring elements, but (if that boldness of expression might be allowed me) to create them.

Your enemies had so embroiled the management of your office, that they looked on your advancement as the instrument of your ruin.

John Bryden

And as if the clogging of the revenue, and the confusion of accounts, which you found in your entrance, were not sufficient, they added their own weight of malice to the public calamity, by forestalling the credit which should cure it. Your friends on the other side were only capable of pitying, but not of aiding you; no further help or counsel was remaining to you, but what was founded on yourself; and that indeed was your security; for your diligence, your constancy, and your prudence, wrought most surely within, when they were not disturbed by any outward motion. The highest virtue is best to be trusted with itself; for assistance only can be given by a genius superior to that which it assists; and it is the noblest kind of debt, when we are only obliged to God and nature. This then, my lord, is your just commendation, and that you have wrought out yourself a way to glory, by those very means that were designed for your destruction: You have not only restored but advanced the revenues of your master, without grievance to the subject; and, as if that were little yet, the debts of the exchequer, which lay heaviest both on the crown, and on private persons, have by your conduct been established in a certainty of satisfaction.

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An action so much the more great and honourable, because the case was without the ordinary relief of laws; above the hopes of the afflicted and beyond the narrowness of the treasury to redress, had it been managed by a less able hand. It is certainly the happiest, and most unenvied part of all your fortune, to do good to many, while you do injury to none; to receive at once the prayers of the subject, and the praises of the prince; and, by the care of your conduct, to give him means of exerting the chiefest (if any be the chiefest) of his royal virtues, his distributive justice to the deserving, and his bounty and compassion to the wanting. The disposition of princes towards their people cannot be better discovered than in the choice of their ministers; who, like the animal spirits betwixt the soul and body, participate somewhat of both natures, and make the communication which is betwixt them.

A king, who is just and moderate in his nature, who rules according to the laws, whom God has made happy by forming the temper of his soul to the constitution of his government, and who makes us happy, by assuming over us no other sovereignty than that wherein our welfare and liberty consists; a prince, I say, of so excellent a character, and so suitable to the wishes of all good men, could not better have conveyed himself into his people's apprehensions, than in your lordship's person; who so lively express the same virtues, that you seem not so much a copy, as an emanation of him. Moderation is doubtless an establishment of greatness; but there is a steadiness of temper which is likewise requisite in a minister of state; so equal a mixture of both virtues, that he may stand like an isthmus betwixt the two encroaching seas of arbitrary power, and lawless anarchy. The undertaking would be difficult to any but an extraordinary genius, to stand at the line, and to divide the limits; to pay what is due to the great representative of the nation, and neither to enhance, nor to yield up, the undoubted prerogatives of the crown. These, my lord, are the proper virtues of a noble Englishman, as indeed they are properly English virtues; no people in the world being capable of using them, but we who have the happiness to be born under so equal, and so well-poised a government;—a government which has all the advantages of liberty beyond a commonwealth, and all the marks of kingly sovereignty, without the danger of a tyranny.


The Relation Of Art To Nature

During all the great periods of art able men have striven earnestly to attain a knowledge of character and beauty and to achieve their truthful representation. Even when the purpose of the artist has been to express some specific idea or to record some incident or historical event, the work has lived, not because of the idea conveyed or the interest which attaches to the subject, but because it has portrayed character in a powerful manner, or because it has expressed the qualities of beauty which are inherent in nature. Upon these qualities, as they have been understood and translated by the artist, has depended the life of every great painting and work of sculpture. I believe this to be a fundamental and far reaching truth, accepted almost universally by painters and sculptors. This, I know, is equivalent to saying that the chief value of a work of art lies in its power to give aesthetic pleasure.

These observations may suggest a question as to the relative importance of a work of art which tells a story or records historical events as compared with one which appeals solely to the aesthetic sense or the love of beauty. Human language, it would seem to me, is the logical method for conveying thought from one mind to another and offers direct, untrammelled mental contact without the intervention of form or design of any kind, while the representation of beauty for beauty’s sake alone is the more direct and effective way of creating and stimulating in the human heart a love of nature and art.

This, however, is not the question considered in this work. The question raised is simply this:

Has the artist, in representing the evanescent effects of nature, the manifold beauties and harmonies with which we are surrounded in this world, or predominant character as expressed by man, exceeded nature either by virtue of his exceptional power or as a result of any personal quality which he may impart to the work?

It is also manifestly true that the greatness of a work of art must depend upon the mental power of the artist, that power which enables him to apprehend or discover the essential qualities existing in nature. It is equally true that every artist, even though wholly absorbed in the effort to reveal the truth and beauty which exist in nature, expresses in some degree his own personality. He does this inevitably, first, by the type of subject he chooses to study and represent, and, second, but in a less important degree, by the technical manner employed. This is, of course, well understood by every one. It is not for a moment disputed. But beyond and above this personal expression stands, as the chief and highest purpose of the artist, the representation of truth and character as these do actually exist.

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While the painter has used his art to record history, to tell stories, and to express emotions and convictions, his chief mission is to extract from nature her many beautiful forms and harmonies and to present these in pleasing fashion. In this way the artisan, drawing upon the great multitude of beautiful forms and colours exhibited by nature and so lavishly spread everywhere in the animal and plant creations, cunningly fashions patterns and combinations, weaving these into rugs and adapting them to the many beautiful objects with which we are familiar.

Notwithstanding these accepted facts, I am convinced that the great works of the painter and sculptor, those of supreme importance, rest not upon any of these devices or expressions of art, but upon the faithful, unerring and masterly representation of character and beauty as these do actually exist. The masterpieces of art as they live today in the national art galleries of the world establish this fact. They seem to possess a common factor without regard to subject or period which unites in a common family the great paintings of the entire history of art. This factor I believe to be the quality of truth. These great works owe their existence to the fact that they faithfully represent some great outstanding type, or because they truthfully reveal the characteristic and essential beauty of nature expressed in one of her many moods. They are important just in proportion as their masters have understood these qualities and recorded their impressions on canvas and in marble.



Aubé is another sculptor of acknowledged eminence who ranges himself with M. Rodin in his opposition to the Institute. His figures of "Bailly" and "Dante" are very fine, full of a most impressive dignity in the ensemble, and marked by the most vigorous kind of modelling. One may easily like his "Gambetta" less. But for years Rodin's only eminent fellow sculptor was Dalou. Perhaps his protestantism has been less pronounced than M. Rodin's. It was certainly long more successful in winning both the connoisseur and the public. The state itself, which is now and then even more conservative than the Institute, has charged him with important works, and the Salon has given him its highest medal. And he was thus recognized long before M. Rodin's works had risen out of the turmoil of critical contention to their present envied if not cordially approved eminence. But for being less energetic, less absorbed, less intense than M. Rodin's, M. Dalou's enthusiasm for nature involves a scarcely less uncompromising dislike of convention. He had no success at the École des Beaux Arts. Unlike Rodin, he entered those precincts and worked long within them, but never sympathetically or felicitously.

The rigor of academic precept was from the first excessively distasteful to his essentially and eminently romantic nature. He chafed incessantly. The training doubtless stood him in good stead when he found himself driven by hard necessity into commercial sculpture, into that class of work which is on a very high plane for its kind in Paris, but for which the manufacturer rather than the designer receives the credit. But he probably felt no gratitude to it for this, persuaded that but for its despotic prevalence there would have been a clearer field for his spontaneous and agreeable effort to win distinction in. He greatly preferred at this time the artistic anarchy of England, whither he betook himself after the Commune—not altogether upon compulsion, but by prudence perhaps; for like Rodin, his birth, his training, his disposition, his ideas, have always been as liberal and popular in politics as in art, and in France a man of any sincerity and dignity of character has profound political convictions, even though his profession be purely æsthetic. In England he was very successful both at the Academy and with the amateurs of the aristocracy, of many of whom he made portraits, besides finding ready purchasers among them for his imaginative works. The list of these latter begins, if we except some delightful decoration for one of the Champs-Élysées palaces, with a statue called "La Brodeuse," which won for him a medal at the Salon of 1870. Since then his production has been prodigious in view of its originality, of its lack of the powerful momentum extraneously supplied to the productive force that follows convention and keeps in the beaten track.

His numerous peasant subjects at one time led to comparison of him with Millet, but the likeness is of the most superficial kind. There is no spiritual kinship whatever between him and Millet.

Dalou models the Marquis de Dreux-Brézé with as much zest as he does his "Boulonnaise allaitant son enfant;" his touch is as sympathetic in his Rubens-like "Silenus" as in his naturalistic "Berceuse." Furthermore, there is absolutely no note of melancholy in his realism—which, at the present time, is a point well worth noting. His vivacity excludes the pathetic. Traces of Carpeaux's influence are plain in his way of conceiving such subjects as Carpeaux would have handled. No one could have come so closely into contact with that vigorous individuality without in some degree undergoing its impress, without learning to look for the alert and elegant aspects of his model, whatever it might be. But with Carpeaux's distinction Dalou has more poise. He is considerably farther away from the rococo. His ideal is equally to be summarized in the word Life, but he cares more for its essence, so to speak, than for its phenomena, or at all events manages to make it felt rather than seen. One perceives that humanity interests him on the moral side, that he is interested in its significance as well as its form. Accordingly with him the movement illustrates the form, which is in its turn truly expressive, whereas occasionally, so bitter was his disgust with the pedantry of the schools, with Carpeaux the form is used to exhibit movement. Then, too, M. Dalou has a certain nobility which Carpeaux's vivacity is a shade too animated to reach. Motive and treatment blend in a larger sweep. The graver substance follows the planes and lines of a statelier if less brilliant style. It has, in a word, more style.

I can find no exacter epithet, on the whole, for Dalou's large distinction, and conscious yet sober freedom, than the word Venetian. There is some subtle phrenotype that associates him with the great colorists. His work is, in fact, full of color, if one may trench on the jargon of the studios.

It has the sumptuousness of Titian and Paul Veronese. Its motives are cast in the same ample mould. Many of his figures breathe the same air of high-born ease and well-being, of serene and not too intellectual composure. There is an aristocratic tincture even in his peasants—a kind of native distinction inseparable from his touch. And in his women there is a certain gracious sweetness, a certain exquisite and elusive refinement elsewhere caught only by Tintoretto, but illustrated by Tintoretto with such penetrating intensity as to leave perhaps the most nearly indelible impression that the sensitive amateur carries away with him from Venice. The female figures in the colossal group which should have been placed in the Place de la République, but was relegated by official stupidity to the Place des Nations, are examples of this patrician charm in carriage, in form, in feature, in expression. They have not the witchery, the touch of Bohemian sprightliness that make such figures as Carpeaux's "Flora" so enchanting, but they are at once sweeter and more distinguished. The sense for the exquisite which this betrays excludes all dross from M. Dalou's rich magnificence. Even the "Silenus" group illustrates exuberance without excess: I spoke of it just now as Rubens-like, but it is only because it recalls Rubens's superb strength and riotous fancy; it is in reality a Rubens-like motive purged in the execution of all Flemish grossness. There is even in Dalou's fantasticality of this sort a measure and distinction which temper animation into resemblance to such delicate blitheness as is illustrated by the Bargello "Bacchus" of Jacopo Sansovino. Sansovino afterward, by the way, amid the artificiality of Venice, whither he went, wholly lost his individual force, as M. Dalou, owing to his love of nature, is less likely to do. But his sketch for a monument to Victor Hugo, and perhaps still more his memorial of Delacroix in the Luxembourg Gardens, point warningly in this direction, and it would perhaps be easier than he supposes to permit his extraordinary decorative facility to lead him on to execute works unpenetrated by personal feeling, and recalling less the acme of the Renaissance than the period just afterward, when original effort had exhausted itself and the movement of art was due mainly to momentum—when, as in France at the present moment, the enormous mass of artistic production really forced pedantry upon culture, and prevented any but the most strenuous personalities from being genuine, because of the immensely increased authoritativeness of what had become classic.


Battle Of Constantine

It is a sure mark of narrowness and defective powers of perception to fail to discover the point of view even of what one disesteems. We talk of Poussin, of Louis Quatorze art—as of its revival under David and its continuance in Ingres—of, in general, modern classic art as if it were an art of convention merely; whereas, conventional as it is, its conventionality is—or was, certainly, in the seventeenth century—very far from being pure formulary. It was genuinely expressive of a certain order of ideas intelligently held, a certain set of principles sincerely believed in, a view of art as positive and genuine as the revolt against the tyrannous system into which it developed. We are simply out of sympathy with its aim, its ideal; perhaps, too, for that most frivolous of all reasons because we have grown tired of it.

But the business of intelligent criticism is to be in touch with everything. "Tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner," as the French ethical maxim has it, may be modified into the true motto of æsthetic criticism, "Tout comprendre, c'est tout justifier." Of course, by "criticism" one does not mean pedagogy, as so many people constantly imagine, nor does justifying everything include bad drawing. But as Lebrun, for example, is not nowadays held up as a model to young painters, and is not to be accused of bad drawing, why do we so entirely dispense ourselves from comprehending him at all? Lebrun is, perhaps, not a painter of enough personal importance to repay attentive consideration, and historic importance does not greatly concern criticism.

But we pass him by on the ground of his conventionality, without remembering that what appears conventional to us was in his case not only sincerity but aggressive enthusiasm.

If there ever was a painter who exercised what creative and imaginative faculty he had with an absolute gusto, Lebrun did so. He interested his contemporaries immensely; no painter ever ruled more unrivalled. He fails to interest us because we have another point of view. We believe in our point of view and disbelieve in his as a matter of course; and it would be self-contradictory to say, in the interests of critical catholicity, that in our opinion his may be as sound as our own. But to say that he has no point of view whatever—to say, in general, that modern classic art is perfunctory and mere formulary—is to be guilty of what has always been the inherent vice of protestantism in all fields of mental activity.

Nowhere has protestantism exhibited this defect more palpably than in the course of evolution of schools of painting. Pre-Raphaelitism is perhaps the only exception, and pre-Raphaelitism was a violent and emotional counter-revolution rather than a movement characterized by catholicity of critical appreciation. Literary criticism is certainly full of similar intolerance; though when Gautier talks about Racine, or Zola about "Mes Haines," or Mr. Howells about Scott, the polemic temper, the temper most opposed to the critical, is very generally recognized. And in spite of their admirable accomplishment in various branches of literature, these writers will never quite recover from the misfortune of having preoccupied themselves as critics with the defects instead of the qualities of what is classic. Yet the protestantism of the successive schools of painting against the errors of their predecessors has something even more crass about it. Contemporary painters and critics thoroughly alive, and fully in the contemporary æsthetic current, so far from appreciating modern classic art sympathetically, are apt to admire the old masters themselves mainly on technical grounds, and not at all to enter into their general æsthetic attitude. The feeling of contemporary painters and critics (except, of course, historical critics) for Raphael's genius is the opposite of cordial. We are out of touch with the "Disputa," with angels and prophets seated on clouds, with halos and wings, with such inconsistencies as the "Doge praying" in a picture of the marriage of St. Catherine, with the mystic marriage itself. Raphael's grace of line and suave space-filling shapes are mainly what we think of; the rest we call convention. We are become literal and exacting, addicted to the pedantry of the prescriptive, if not of the prosaic.

Take such a picture as M. Edouard Detaille's "Le Rêve," which won him so much applause a few years ago. M. Detaille is an irreproachable realist, and may do what he likes in the way of the materially impossible with impunity.

Sleeping soldiers, without a gaiter-button lacking, bivouacking on the ground amid stacked arms whose bayonets would prick; above them in the heavens the clash of contending ghostly armies—wraiths born of the sleepers' dreams. That we are in touch with. No one would object to it except under penalty of being scouted as pitiably literal. Yet the scheme is as thoroughly conventional—that is to say, it is as closely based on hypothesis universally assumed for the moment—as Lebrun's "Triumph of Alexander." The latter is as much a true expression of an ideal as Detaille's picture. It is an ideal now become more conventional, undoubtedly, but it is as clearly an ideal and as clearly genuine. The only point I wish to make is, that Lebrun's painting—Louis Quatorze painting—is not the perfunctory thing we are apt to assume it to be. That is not the same thing, I hope, as maintaining that M. Bouguereau is significant rather than insipid. Lebrun was assuredly not a strikingly original painter. His crowds of warriors bear a much closer resemblance to Raphael's "Battle of Constantine and Maxentius" than the "Transfiguration" of the Vatican does to Giotto's, aside from the important circumstance that the difference in the latter instance shows development, while the former illustrates mainly an enfeebled variation. But there is unquestionably something of Lebrun in Lebrun's work—something typical of the age whose artistic spirit he so completely expressed.

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10 Unforgettable Sailing Destinations

In the time of Spanish rule, and for many years afterwards, the town of Sulaco—the luxuriant beauty of the orange gardens bears witness to its antiquity—had never been commercially anything more important than a coasting port with a fairly large local trade in ox-hides and indigo. The clumsy deep-sea galleons of the conquerors that, needing a brisk gale to move at all, would lie becalmed, where your modern ship built on clipper lines forges ahead by the mere flapping of her sails, had been barred out of Sulaco by the prevailing calms of its vast gulf. Some harbours of the earth are made difficult of access by the treachery of sunken rocks and the tempests of their shores. Sulaco had found an inviolable sanctuary from the temptations of a trading world in the solemn hush of the deep Golfo Placido as if within an enormous semi-circular and unroofed temple open to the ocean, with its walls of lofty mountains hung with the mourning draperies of cloud.

  • Nullam id dolor id nibh ultricies
  • Ornare Dolor Elit Magna Sem
  • Sociis natoque penatibus et magnis 
  • Ascetur ridiculus mus
  • Donec ullamcorper nulla
  • Non metus auctor fringilla

On one side of this broad curve in the straight seaboard of the Republic of Costaguana, the last spur of the coast range forms an insignificant cape whose name is Punta Mala. From the middle of the gulf the point of the land itself is not visible at all; but the shoulder of a steep hill at the back can be made out faintly like a shadow on the sky. On the other side, what seems to be an isolated patch of blue mist floats lightly on the glare of the horizon. This is the peninsula of Azuera, a wild chaos of sharp rocks and stony levels cut about by vertical ravines. It lies far out to sea like a rough head of stone stretched from a green-clad coast at the end of a slender neck of sand covered with thickets of thorny scrub. Utterly waterless, for the rainfall runs off at once on all sides into the sea, it has not soil enough—it is said—to grow a single blade of grass, as if it were blighted by a curse. The poor, associating by an obscure instinct of consolation the ideas of evil and wealth, will tell you that it is deadly because of its forbidden treasures. The common folk of the neighbourhood, peons of the estancias, vaqueros of the seaboard plains, tame Indians coming miles to market with a bundle of sugar-cane or a basket of maize worth about threepence, are well aware that heaps of shining gold lie in the gloom of the deep precipices cleaving the stony levels of Azuera.

Tradition has it that many adventurers of olden time had perished in the search. The story goes also that within men’s memory two wandering sailors—Americanos, perhaps, but gringos of some sort for certain—talked over a gambling, good-for-nothing mozo, and the three stole a donkey to carry for them a bundle of dry sticks, a water-skin, and provisions enough to last a few days.

On the second evening an upright spiral of smoke (it could only have been from their camp-fire) was seen for the first time within memory of man standing up faintly upon the sky above a razor-backed ridge on the stony head. The crew of a coasting schooner, lying becalmed three miles off the shore, stared at it with amazement till dark. A negro fisherman, living in a lonely hut in a little bay near by, had seen the start and was on the lookout for some sign. He called to his wife just as the sun was about to set. They had watched the strange portent with envy, incredulity, and awe.

The impious adventurers gave no other sign. The sailors, the Indian, and the stolen burro were never seen again. As to the mozo, a Sulaco man—his wife paid for some masses, and the poor four-footed beast, being without sin, had been probably permitted to die; but the two gringos, spectral and alive, are believed to be dwelling to this day amongst the rocks, under the fatal spell of their success. Their souls cannot tear themselves away from their bodies mounting guard over the discovered treasure. They are now rich and hungry and thirsty—a strange theory of tenacious gringo ghosts suffering in their starved and parched flesh of defiant heretics, where a Christian would have renounced and been released. These, then, are the legendary inhabitants of Azuera guarding its forbidden wealth; and the shadow on the sky on one side with the round patch of blue haze blurring the bright skirt of the horizon on the other, mark the two outermost points of the bend which bears the name of Golfo Placido, because never a strong wind had been known to blow upon its waters.

On crossing the imaginary line drawn from Punta Mala to Azuera the ships from Europe bound to Sulaco lose at once the strong breezes of the ocean. They become the prey of capricious airs that play with them for thirty hours at a stretch sometimes. Before them the head of the calm gulf is filled on most days of the year by a great body of motionless and opaque clouds. On the rare clear mornings another shadow is cast upon the sweep of the gulf. The dawn breaks high behind the towering and serrated wall of the Cordillera, a clear-cut vision of dark peaks rearing their steep slopes on a lofty pedestal of forest rising from the very edge of the shore. Amongst them the white head of Higuerota rises majestically upon the blue. Bare clusters of enormous rocks sprinkle with tiny black dots the smooth dome of snow. Then, as the midday sun withdraws from the gulf the shadow of the mountains, the clouds begin to roll out of the lower valleys. They swathe in sombre tatters the naked crags of precipices above the wooded slopes, hide the peaks, smoke in stormy trails across the snows of Higuerota. The Cordillera is gone from you as if it had dissolved itself into great piles of grey and black vapours that travel out slowly to seaward and vanish into thin air all along the front before the blazing heat of the day. The wasting edge of the cloud-bank always strives for, but seldom wins, the middle of the gulf. The sun—as the sailors say—is eating it up. Unless perchance a sombre thunder-head breaks away from the main body to career all over the gulf till it escapes into the offing beyond Azuera, where it bursts suddenly into flame and crashes like a sinster pirate-ship of the air, hove-to above the horizon, engaging the sea.


Many Puzzles Of The Oddyssey

The “Odyssey” (as every one knows) abounds in passages borrowed from the “Iliad”; I had wished to print these in a slightly different type, with marginal references to the “Iliad,” and had marked them to this end in my MS. I found, however, that the translation would be thus hopelessly scholasticised, and abandoned my intention. I would nevertheless urge on those who have the management of our University presses, that they would render a great service to students if they would publish a Greek text of the “Odyssey” with the Iliadic passages printed in a different type, and with marginal references. I have given the British Museum a copy of the “Odyssey” with the Iliadic passages underlined and referred to in MS.; I have also given an “Iliad” marked with all the Odyssean passages, and their references; but copies of both the “Iliad” and “Odyssey” so marked ought to be within easy reach of all students.

Any one who at the present day discusses the questions that have arisen round the “Iliad” since Wolf’s time, without keeping it well before his reader’s mind that the “Odyssey” was demonstrably written from one single neighbourhood.

and hence (even though nothing else pointed to this conclusion) presumably by one person only—that it was written certainly before 750, and in all probability before 1000 B.C.—that the writer of this very early poem was demonstrably familiar with the “Iliad” as we now have it, borrowing as freely from those books whose genuineness has been most impugned, as from those which are admitted to be by Homer—any one who fails to keep these points before his readers, is hardly dealing equitably by them. Any one on the other hand, who will mark his “Iliad” and his “Odyssey” from the copies in the British Museum above referred to, and who will draw the only inference that common sense can draw from the presence of so many identical passages in both poems, will, I believe, find no difficulty in assigning their proper value to a large number of books here and on the Continent that at present enjoy considerable reputations. Furthermore, and this perhaps is an advantage better worth securing, he will find that many puzzles of the “Odyssey” cease to puzzle him on the discovery that they arise from over-saturation with the “Iliad.” In “The Authoress of the Odyssey”, I wrote:

For roughly the Return occupies eight Books, and Penelope and the Suitors sixteen.

I believe this to be substantially correct. Lastly, to deal with a very unimportant point, I observe that the Leipsic Teubner edition of 894 makes Books ii. and iii. end with a comma. Stops are things of such far more recent date than the “Odyssey,” that there does not seem much use in adhering to the text in so small a matter; still, from a spirit of mere conservatism, I have preferred to do so. Why [Greek] at the beginnings of Books ii. and viii., and [Greek], at the beginning of Book vii. should have initial capitals in an edition far too careful to admit a supposition of inadvertence, when [Greek] at the beginning of Books vi. and xiii., and [Greek] at the beginning of Book xvii. have no initial capitals, I cannot determine. No other Books of the “Odyssey” have initial capitals except the three mentioned unless the first word of the Book is a proper name.

Butler’s Translation of the “Odyssey” appeared originally in 1900, and The Authoress of the Odyssey in 1897. In the preface to the new edition of “The Authoress”, which is published simultaneously with this new edition of the Translation, I have given some account of the genesis of the two books. The size of the original page has been reduced so as to make both books uniform with Butler’s other works; and, fortunately, it has been possible, by using a smaller type, to get the same number of words into each page, so that the references remain good, and, with the exception of a few minor alterations and rearrangements now to be enumerated so far as they affect the Translation, the new editions are faithful reprints of the original editions, with misprints and obvious errors corrected—no attempt having been made to edit them or to bring them up to date.

Blog Science


She started to carry the notebooks and sketchbooks over to where Selim von Ohlmhorst was sitting, and then, as she always did, she turned aside and stopped to watch Sachiko. The Japanese girl was restoring what had been a book, fifty thousand years ago; her eyes were masked by a binocular loup, the black headband invisible against her glossy black hair, and she was picking delicately at the crumbled page with a hair-fine wire set in a handle of copper tubing. Finally, loosening a particle as tiny as a snowflake, she grasped it with tweezers, placed it on the sheet of transparent plastic on which she was reconstructing the page, and set it with a mist of fixative from a little spraygun. It was a sheer joy to watch her; every movement was as graceful and precise as though done to music after being rehearsed a hundred times.

"Hello, Martha. It isn't cocktail-time yet, is it?" The girl at the table spoke without raising her head, almost without moving her lips, as though she were afraid that the slightest breath would disturb the flaky stuff in front of her.

"No, it's only fifteen-thirty. I finished my work, over there. I didn't find any more books, if that's good news for you."

Sachiko took off the loup and leaned back in her chair, her palms cupped over her eyes.

"No, I like doing this. I call it micro-jigsaw puzzles. This book, here, really is a mess. Selim found it lying open, with some heavy stuff on top of it; the pages were simply crushed." She hesitated briefly. "If only it would mean something, after I did it."

There could be a faintly critical overtone to that. As she replied, Martha realized that she was being defensive.

"It will, some day. Look how long it took to read Egyptian hieroglyphics, even after they had the Rosetta Stone."

Sachiko smiled.

"Yes. I know. But they did have the Rosetta Stone."

"And we don't. There is no Rosetta Stone, not anywhere on Mars. A whole race, a whole species, died while the first Crò-Magnon cave-artist was daubing pictures of reindeer and bison, and across fifty thousand years and fifty million miles there was no bridge of understanding.

"We'll find one. There must be something, somewhere, that will give us the meaning of a few words, and we'll use them to pry meaning out of more words, and so on. We may not live to learn this language, but we'll make a start, and some day somebody will."

Sachiko took her hands from her eyes, being careful not to look toward the unshaded light, and smiled again. This time Martha was sure that it was not the Japanese smile of politeness, but the universally human smile of friendship.

"I hope so, Martha: really I do. It would be wonderful for you to be the first to do it, and it would be wonderful for all of us to be able to read what these people wrote. It would really bring this dead city to life again." The smile faded slowly. "But it seems so hopeless."

"You haven't found any more pictures?"

Sachiko shook her head. Not that it would have meant much if she had. They had found hundreds of pictures with captions; they had never been able to establish a positive relationship between any pictured object and any printed word. Neither of them said anything more, and after a moment Sachiko replaced the loup and bent her head forward over the book.


The House On The Borderland

Far around there spreads a waste of bleak and totally inhospitable country; where, here and there at great intervals, one may come upon the ruins of some long desolate cottage—unthatched and stark. The whole land is bare and unpeopled, the very earth scarcely covering the rock that lies beneath it, and with which the country abounds, in places rising out of the soil in wave-shaped ridges.

I have said that the river is without name; I may add that no map that I have hitherto consulted has shown either village or stream. They seem to have entirely escaped observation: indeed, they might never exist for all that the average guide tells one. Possibly this can be partly accounted for by the fact that the nearest railway station (Ardrahan) is some forty miles distant. It was early one warm evening when my friend and I arrived in Kraighten. We had reached Ardrahan the previous night, sleeping there in rooms hired at the village post office, and leaving in good time on the following morning, clinging insecurely to one of the typical jaunting cars.

“Yet, in spite of its desolation, my friend Tonnison and I had elected to spend our vacation there. He had stumbled on the place by mere chance the year previously, during the course of a long walking tour.”

It had taken us all day to accomplish our journey over some of the roughest tracks imaginable, with the result that we were thoroughly tired and somewhat bad tempered. However, the tent had to be erected and our goods stowed away before we could think of food or rest. And so we set to work, with the aid of our driver, and soon had the tent up upon a small patch of ground just outside the little village, and quite near to the river.

Then, having stored all our belongings, we dismissed the driver, as he had to make his way back as speedily as possible, and told him to come across to us at the end of a fortnight. We had brought sufficient provisions to last us for that space of time, and water we could get from the stream. Fuel we did not need, as we had included a small oil-stove among our outfit, and the weather was fine and warm.

It was Tonnison’s idea to camp out instead of getting lodgings in one of the cottages. As he put it, there was no joke in sleeping in a room with a numerous family of healthy Irish in one corner and the pigsty in the other, while overhead a ragged colony of roosting fowls distributed their blessings impartially, and the whole place so full of peat smoke that it made a fellow sneeze his head off just to put it inside the doorway.

Tonnison had got the stove lit now and was busy cutting slices of bacon into the frying pan; so I took the kettle and walked down to the river for water. On the way, I had to pass close to a little group of the village people, who eyed me curiously, but not in any unfriendly manner, though none of them ventured a word.

As I returned with my kettle filled, I went up to them and, after a friendly nod, to which they replied in like manner, I asked them casually about the fishing; but, instead of answering, they just shook their heads silently, and stared at me. I repeated the question, addressing more particularly a great, gaunt fellow at my elbow; yet again I received no answer. Then the man turned to a comrade and said something rapidly in a language that I did not understand; and, at once, the whole crowd of them fell to jabbering in what, after a few moments, I guessed to be pure Irish. At the same time they cast many glances in my direction. For a minute, perhaps, they spoke among themselves thus; then the man I had addressed faced ’round at me and said something. By the expression of his face I guessed that he, in turn, was questioning me; but now I had to shake my head, and indicate that I did not comprehend what it was they wanted to know; and so we stood looking at one another, until I heard Tonnison calling to me to hurry up with the kettle. Then, with a smile and a nod, I left them, and all in the little crowd smiled and nodded in return, though their faces still betrayed their puzzlement.

It was evident, I reflected as I went toward the tent, that the inhabitants of these few huts in the wilderness did not know a word of English; and when I told Tonnison, he remarked that he was aware of the fact, and, more, that it was not at all uncommon in that part of the country, where the people often lived and died in their isolated hamlets without ever coming in contact with the outside world.

“I wish we had got the driver to interpret for us before he left,” I remarked, as we sat down to our meal. “It seems so strange for the people of this place not even to know what we’ve come for.”

Tonnison grunted an assent, and thereafter was silent for a while.

Later, having satisfied our appetites somewhat, we began to talk, laying our plans for the morrow; then, after a smoke, we closed the flap of the tent, and prepared to turn in.

“I suppose there’s no chance of those fellows outside taking anything?” I asked, as we rolled ourselves in our blankets.

Tonnison said that he did not think so, at least while we were about; and, as he went on to explain, we could lock up everything, except the tent, in the big chest that we had brought to hold our provisions. I agreed to this, and soon we were both asleep.


Some Seasons Later

I admit that even among amateurs this is rather small talk, but it brings me to this point: in the passage of water down a ravine of its own making, this line of Nature astir may repeat itself again and again but is commonly too inaffable, abrupt, angular, to suggest the ogee. In that middle part of it where the descent is swift it may be more or less of a plunge, and after the plunge the water is likely to pause on the third turn, in a natural pool, before resuming its triple action again. And so, in my ravine, some seasons later, I ventured to detain the overflow of my first pool on a second and a third lingering place, augmenting the water supply by new springs developed in the bottoms of the new pools.

The second pool has a surface of a thousand square feet, the third spans nineteen hundred, and there are fish in all three, hatched there—”pumpkin-seed” included, but also trout—among spontaneous bulrushes, pond-lilies, flags, and dainty water-weeds; and sometimes at night, when the reflected glory of a ten-o’clock full moon shines up from it to the stone exedra on the lawn, I seem to have taken my Praxitelean curves so directly from Nature that she thinks she took them herself from me and thanks me for the suggestion.

Please observe that of great gardens, or of costly gardens whether great or only costly, we here say nothing. Our theme is such a garden as a householder may himself make and keep or for which, at most, he needs professional advice only in its first planning, and for its upkeep one gardener, with one occasional helper in pressing seasons or in constructional work.

Constructional work. Dams, for example. In two of my dams I built cores of concrete and thus made acquaintance with that interesting material. Later I pressed the acquaintanceship, made garden and grove seats, a table or two, a very modest fountain for a single jet of water in my highest, smallest fish-pool, and even a flight of steps with a pair of gaîne-shaped pedestals—suggested by a sculptor friend—at their top. The exedra I mentioned just now is of concrete. The stuff is a temptation to be wary of. Theordinary gray sort—I have touched no other—is a humble medium, and pretentious designs in humble materials are one of the worst, and oldest, of garden incongruities. In my ventures with concrete I have studied for grace in form but grace subordinated to stability, and have shunned embellishment. Embellishment for its own sake is the easiest and commonest sin against good art wherever art becomes self-conscious. It is having a riotous time just now in concrete. I have rarely seen a commercial concrete garden-seat which was not more ornate than I should want it for my own acre. I happen to have two or three articles in my garden which are a trifle elaborate but they are of terra-cotta, are not home-made and would be plainer could I have found them so.

A garden needs furniture only less than a house, and concrete is a boon to “natural” gardening, being inexpensive, rustic, and imperishable. I fancy a chief reason why there is such inconsiderate dearth of seats and steps in our American amateur gardens is the old fashion—so well got rid of at any cost—of rustic cedar and hickory stairs and benches. “Have none of them,” was Colonel Waring’s injunction; “they are forever out of repair.”

But I fear another reason is that so often our gardens are neither for private ease nor social joy, but for public display and are planned mainly for street exhibition. That is the way we commonly treat garden fountains! We make a smug show of unfenced, unhedged, universal hospitality across a sidewalk boundary which nevertheless we hold inviolate—sometimes by means of a painted sign or gas-pipe—and never say “Have a seat” to the dearest friend in any secluded nook of our shrubberies, if there is such a nook. How many of us know a fountain beside an embowered seat where one,—or two,—with or without the book of verses, can sit and hear it whisper or watch the moonlight cover it with silent kisses? In my limited experience I have known of but two. One is by the once favorite thought-promoting summer seat of Augustus Saint-Gaudens on his own home acre in Vermont; the other I need not particularize further than to say that it is one[Pg 23] of the things which interlock and unify a certain garden and grove.