Imágenes de páginas

to chant through the nose his trans- one sees how bathed he is in the sense lations of the Psalms, but it was woe- of English words their harmony and fully puzzled at his salacity, and the balance, that the man is entirely Engtown was very soon too hot to hold lish, that no other nation could have him in his exile. And as for the com- produced him, and that (alas!) he will mon, partial, and ignorant histories of be most difficult for foreigners to the time, written in our tongue, they understand. You will not translate generally make him a kind of back- into French or any other language (I slider, who might have been a Hugue quote hopelessly from a memory ten Dot (and-who knows?-have thrown

years old) the Sacrament to beasts with the best

the stars of them) save that, unhappily, he did

Creeping along the edges of the hills, not persevere. Whatever they say of him and some have hardly heard of Nor can you translate, so as to give its him) one thing is quite certain: that own kind of sweetness they do not understand him, and that

Dieu te doint if they did they would like him still

Santé bonne-Ma Mignonne. less than they do.

He was national in the rapidity of Apart from this place in letters, see the gesture of his mind as in that of how national he is in what he does! bis body. In his being attracted here He buys two bits of land, he talks of and there, watching this and that sud- them continually, sees to them, visits denly, like a bird.

them. They are quite little bits of He was national in his power of

land. He calls one Clément, and the sharp recovery from any emotion back other Marot! Here is a whimsicality into his normal balance.

you would not find, I think, among He was national in that he depended

another people. apon companions, and stood for a

He has the hatred of excess in art crowd, and deplored all isolation. He which is the chief æsthetic character was national in that he had nothing

of the French; he has the tendency to strenuous about him, and that he was

excess in opinion or in general expresamiable, and if he had heard of sion which is their chief political fault. "earnest" men, he would have laughed It is thus, then, that I think he should at them a little, as people who did not be regarded and that I would desire to see the whole of life.

present him. It is thus, I am sure, that He was especially national (and it is he should be read if one is to know here that the poet returns) in that most why he has taken so great a place in national of all things—a complete the reverence and the history of the sympathy with the atmosphere of the

French people. native tongue. Thus men debate a

And it is in this aspect that he may good deal upon the poetic value of worthily introduce much greater Wordsworth, but it is certain, when things, the Pléiade and Ronsard. The Pllot.

Hilaire Bellac,



The name of William Wetmore Story do not doubt without much hesitation has come to be (and was indeed before He does not conceal, but exhibits with his death, in 1895) associated less with an amiable irony, the limitations (as the products of his chisel and pen he conceives them) of Story as an arthan with the Barberini Palace, for tist. With the temperament and the forty years the centre of English and personal and social conditions with American society in Rome. The older which they interacted, these limitations of “Maga's" readers at least keep a constitute what Mr. James calls Story's niche in their grateful remembrance "case," and he cannot help weighing for "Graffiti d'Italia," the "Conversa- and pondering it, as he would one of tions in a Studio," and other writings his own creation, though never, be it of his, vivacious and versatile, which said, with any failure in loyalty to a first appeared in these pages. The friendship. His portrait, as may be Cleopatra and the Libyan Sibyl (to imagined, is not an example of the mention the two best known of his photographer's inferior art. The obmarbles only) would seem to have in vious features are nowhere obviously them the essence of popularity, so far rendered. Mr. James

comes as the work of the sculptor ever is any nearer doing that than when he popular, for any uncritical generation, speaks of Story as carrying about with and not merely for that which admired him everywhere in his wide circle "his them so ardently in the Roman Court handsome, charming face, his high ani. of the Exhibition of 1862. His sculp- mation, his gaiety, jocosity, mimicry, tured memorials of great men, being and even more than these things, his mostly of the great among his own interest in ideas, in people, in everycountrymen, serve as memorials for thing-his vivacity of question, answer, himself in America chiefly; yet here demonstration, disputation." It may daily occasion to remember him is as well be said at once that the bioggiven to the thousands who pass and raphy is not specially one to reward repass his dignified statue of George the literary ragpicker: the "finds" in it Peabody, now a little gray and grim, at any rate are not of a scandalous in the shadow of the London Royal kind. One can anticipate also the obExchange. Fame, however, in its in- jection, which literary collectors and exorable way, has fixed his place, not gossips like to keep on tap, that it confor his statues and books, but for his tains little that is new; the critics in friendships, and justly has associated this case referring specially to the pro with him in it his wife. It is not W. vision it makes, or rather fails to make, W. Story whom it keeps alive so much in the way of "facts." Let us quote as “the Storys," as indeed it is they, here, from the biography itself, Mr. quite as much at least as the artist James's recollection, à propos no less a and the poet, who live in the letters person than Abraham Hayward, of . and records of their circle and con- lesson he learned in his earlier London temporaries.

days,-the lesson "that the talk easily In this verdict Mr. Henry James, recognized in London as the best to Story's biographer," has acquiesced, we the dellvery and establishment of the

· Willian Wetmere Story and his Friends. Tron Letten, Dlarles, and Recollections.


Henry James, Edinburgh and London: William
Blackwood & Sons. 1903.

greatest possible number of facts, or in a point of arrival, once he has mount. other words the unwinding, with or ed his winged steed. Draughts of the without comment or qualification, of idea, wandering winds of fancy, circuthe longest possible chain of 'stories.'' late between its solidities, to such a The passage is to the point, and also lightening of the mass, indeed, that admirably exemplifies the alternative sometimes it seems it must float above fare which Mr. James himself pro- our matter-of-fact heads. vides:

Mr. James, in a word, has essayed

in these very charming and individual "One associated Mr. Hayward," he

volumes a task harder even than that of says, "and his recurrent, supereminent laugh thus with the story, and virtu- painting a portrait-as opposed to taking ally, I noted, with the story alone

a photograph, or as it is vulgarly called, taking that product no doubt also, a "likeness"-of an American of high when needful, in the larger sense of culture and very varied artistic gifts. the remarkable recorded or disputed

His ampler purpose is to reproduce contemporary or recent event, cases as

Story among his friends, and to repro to which the speaker was in possession

duce him and them as constituting, or of the rights.' What at all events remained with one was a contribution, of

as representing, at least, "a vanished a kind, to the general sense that facts, society." In particular, Story is taken facts, and again facts, were still the as the type of those precursors who thing dearest to the English mind even have made Europe easier for later in its hours of ease. I indeed remem

generations of Americans. The old ber wondering if there were not to be

relation, social, personal, æsthetic, of revealed to me, as for the promotion

the American to Europe is to Mr. of these hours, some other school of talk, in which some breath of the mind

James's view as charming a subject itself, some play of paradox, irony,

as the student of manners, morals, perthought, imagination, some wandering sonal adventures, the history of taste, wind of fancy, some draught, in short, the development of a society, need of the idea, might not be felt as circu

wish to take up; and one, moreover, lating between the seated solidities, for

that never has been "done." the general lightening of the mass. This would have been a school hand

he explains, a boxful of old papers, ling the fact rather as the point of de

personal records and relics, all relating parture than as the point of arrival, to the Storys, having been placed in the horse-block for mounting the his hands, "in default of projecting winged steed of talk rather than as the

more or less poetically such an experlstable for constantly riding him back

ence as I have glanced at-the AmeriThe 'story,' in fine, in this other order,-and surely so more worthy of

can initiation in a comparative histhe name,-would have been the intel

toric twilight-I avail myself of an exlectual reaction from the circumstance isting instance, and gladly make the presented, an exhibition interesting, most of it." The entertainment, he amusing, vivid, dramatic, in proportion has to admit, is particularly subjective. to the agility, or to the sincerity, of The biography, in consequence, opens the intellect engaged. But this alter

out and flowers, as it were, in auto native inquiry, I may conclude, I am

To Mr. still conducting."

biography of the biographer.

James's wistful eyes the lot of these Readers of this biography will find pioneers fell upon golden days, on the that Mr. James, at any rate, does not vision of which his fancy dwells with fail to handle the fact as a point of a playful tenderness. So that in these departure; his difficulty rather, as he volumes his business is not only with roefully admits, is to get back to it as Story's "case" and with those of his

And so,



friends; but taking a further subtle at the siege of Louisburg, and on its step, he occupies himself-fancifully, fall was rewarded with the grant of a ironically, shyly, under our enjoying whole county in Maine. Young Story eyes—with his own peculiar "case" as was ten years of age when his parents the custodian of this boxful of ghosts left Salem, where he was born, and whom it is his pious duty to evoke! went to Cambridge (near Boston), Low

First of these delightful evocations ell's birthplace. Salem, and its judge, comes that of the New England life "by his type and above all by what we amidst which William Story

have called his amenity,” remind Mr. brought up. It was represented for James of something once said to him him by his father, a judge of the Su- by an accomplished French critic, preme Court of the United States and a lawyer of world-wide repute, and in who, much versed in the writings of no way, says his biographer, could it Englishmen and Americans, had been have been better expressed than in the

dilating with emphasis and with surcharacter and career of that distin

prise upon the fine manner of Haw

thorne, whose distinction was so great, guished man. “All the light, surely, whose taste, without anything to acthat the Puritan tradition had to give,

count for it, was so juste. “Il sortait de it gave, with free hands, in Judge Boston, de Salem, de je ne sais quel Story-culture, courtesy, liberality, hu- trou"-and yet there he was, full-blown manity, at their best, the last finish of and finished. So it was, my friend the type and its full flower." He

surely would have said, with the elder

Story. He came, practically, out of never visited England, though once to

the same hole as Hawthorne, and might wards the end of his life he was so

to the alien mind have been as great near sailing that the invitations were

a surprise. "out" on this side to the most luminous lights of the law to meet him at the Young Story entered Harvard, of tables of Lord Denman and Lord course, and perhaps to appreciate the Brougham. Mr. James, as may be proper quality of the biographer's refimagined, catches for purposes of con- erences to his college life one must trast the simpler conditions of life have known something of it in detail the homeliness of the ways and the from other sources, which not admirable manners-of this "lovable wanting. Out of it at any rate sprang great man”; who, as he says, wore Story's marriage at twenty-three with this character on the very basis of his Miss Emelyn Eldredge, the happiest of world, as it stood, without borrowing unions, and friendships that were to a ray, directly, from any other; yet of be lifelong with, among others, Charles whom it was told that, to the surprise Sumner and J. R. Lowell, whose young of an English traveller one evening at wife also belonged to the sunny circle Cambridge, Massachusetts, he was able of these Arcadian days, the vision of promptly to "place" some small street which he himself has fixed in his in London of which the name had come "Fireside Travels." Our volumes conup in talk, but of which the traveller tain many letters from both men, Sumwas ignorant. Judge Story, in other ner's always "going a little large" we words, knew his London because, even may think, but full of the writer's at that then prodigious distance from personality, and Lowell's gay, sincere, it, he had a feeling for it. Story's heart-warming, as all things about mother was the daughter of another Lowell seem to be, and of course inAmerican judge, and the granddaugh- veterately punning. Nine years after ter of General Waldo who commanded graduating at Harvard were occupied


in the study and practice of Law by Brownings' house, and there she also day and all the Arts by night. The was struck down, and for a while lay Story of the many-editioned “Story on at death's door. It was this little maid, Contracts" was the same Story who in her convalescence, whom Thacksang, danced, made verses, mimicked, eray, seated on the edge of her bed, painted and modelled, causing the elder between daylight and dusk, amused by folk of Cambridge and Boston to shake reading, chapter by chapter, his as yet their heads over his irresponsibility, unpublished “The Rose and the Ring." and even Lowell to laugh at him (as And to the same occasion partly refer we have read somewhere) for wishing the following touching recollections of to be an Admirable Crichton. So that another visitor:he was thirty, married, and successfully entered upon a legal career be

Hans Andersen, whose private interfore, changing the plan of his life, he

est in children and whose ability to

charm them were not less marked than settled in Rome, fairly launched on his

his public, knew well his way to the "long marmorean adventure,” as Mr.

house, as later to Palazzo Barberini (to Henry James calls it.

the neighborhood of which the "ImproTo continue following the biographic visatore" was able even to add a outline, the first stage of that adven- charm); where the small people with ture was one of discouragement in his

whom he played enjoyed, under his

spell, the luxury of believing that he work, which ended with the enthusias

kept and treasured-in every case and tic recognition and purchase for large

as a rule—the old tin soldiers and prices of the Cleopatra and the Libyan

broken toys received by him, in acSibyl, already referred to, in the 1862 knowledgment of favors, from impulExhibition. But these years anchored sive infant hands. Beautiful the queer him in Italy, in spite of one or two at.

image of the great benefactor moving tempts to slip away. The correspon

about Europe with his accumulations

of these relics. Wonderful too our dence and diaries belonging to them

echo of a certain occasion—that of a show the rapid widening of interests

children's party, later on-when, after and friendships that bound the Storys he had read out to his young friends to it. In Florence, a month or two "The Ugly Duckling," Browning struck only after sailing from Boston, they up with “The Pied Piper"; which led met Mr. and Mrs. Browning, who were

to the formation of a grand march soon to find and move into Casa Guidi,

through the spacious Barberini apart

ment, with Story doing his best on a and there sprang up immediately a

fute in default of bagpipes. warm and intimate attachment between the two households, as one had Save Lowell's, no name is so conlearned already from Mrs. Browning's stantly recurring in these pages as the published letters. In one of these to

Brownings. Story sends the former a Mrs. Jameson, it may be remembered, crisp little sketch of them as they apoccurs a touching reference to the

peared to him at the beginning of their death of Story's six-year-old boy, the acquaintance:ache of which loss never was quite removed for the father. The verses en

He . . . straight black hair, small titled “The Sad Country," among his

eyes, wide apart, which he twitches later lyrics, are evidently, as his biog

constantly together, a smooth face, a

slightly aquiline nose, and manners rapher notes, “the persistent echo, after

nervous and rapid, ... has a great years, of the least endurable of the

vivacity, but not the least humor, some writer's bereavements." When the boy sarcasm, considerable critical faculty, took ill his sister was sent over to the and very great frankness and friendli

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