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was Rimmer's fate, on the other hand, to peculiarly adapted for the conveyance of work in solitude, with very little sym- such thoughts. This reiterated Oriental pathetic fellowship or appreciation, amid rhyme has been successfully employed the prosaic surroundings of the western by various German poets. Platen, a world.
master of form, expresses the spirit of A lack of earnestness has rightfully it well when he introduces his Gaselen been charged to the great body of our with the lines, artists. They have acquired a most diffi
“ Im wasser wogt die Lilie, die blanke, hin und cult language, but they have no thoughts her, to express in it. In former days artists Doch irrst du, Freund, so bald du sagst, sie
schwanke hin und her! treated what affected them most thor
Es wurzelt ja so fest ihr Fuss im tiefen Meeresoughly; the figures and events of relig- grund, ion and mythology were their themes.
Ihr Haupt nur wiegt ein lieblicher Gedanke hin
und her!" To-day the love of nature has been keenly developed, and we have great land- The water-lily on the wave is playing to and fro, scape painters. We have called upon But, friend, thou errst when thou dost say she's
straying to and fro! our poets to treat the great features of
Her feet are rooted firm and fast in ground nineteenth-century life. We likewise see beneath the lake ; our artists of the highest imaginative re- A lovely thought her beauteous head is swaying
to and fro. sources dealing with modern interpretations of the problems of existence. The group of leading thoughts in the William Rimmer and Elihu Vedder, like Rubaiyát, floating aerially and ever reHawthorne with his mystic genius, are current, are given appropriate form in true growths of our soil ; and although the rhyme which, after the break in the their country lacks an historic back- third line, is ever brought back in the ground and its physical environment is fourth, like the lily's swaying head semost prosaic, after all, it is the land cured by its anchored stem. of freedom and antrammeled thought. Mr. Vedder, as an artist interpreter Like them, why should not others lift of Omar Khayyam, is the peer of Mr. themselves above the barren plain of Fitzgerald. He has revealed new depths their physical surroundings, and give of meaning in the words of the great their thoughts free wing in the realms Persian poet-astronomer. He calls his of ideality ?
work" an accompaniment of drawings," The mind has its bounds, as the sea a music-suggestive term of the broadest has, and the command, Thus far shalt significance. The conventional accomthou reason, and no farther, has been paniment is but a support to the song, set up against it. That the flood-mark a dull groundwork of which the hearer was reached ages ago appears to be is hardly aware. But in the hands of demonstrated by Omar Khayyám, whose a master-composer the accompaniment universality of intellect is evinced by a threads and pervades the song: giving singular freedom from the limitations new meaning to its melody; grasping, and prejudices of contemporary creeds perhaps, the whole scheme; and reachand philosophies. When Edward Fitz- ing, through the tone-sense, depths of gerald translated the Rubáiyát, he gave the heart and soul to which words alone a new classic to the English literature. could not appeal. Something analogous We feel that while other translations Mr. Vedder has accomplished here. His may be more literal they cannot so com- drawings rise from the rank of mere pletely represent the spirit of the poet. comments to embodiments of the poet's Fitzgerald was fortunate in preserving meaning; and frequently they carry the the form of the verse, which appears imagination beyond the poet to the real problem which gave him inspiration. chaplet of prickly leaves, and second by The scope of the poem affords him the the pardon giving and imploring hands adequate range and compass for seizing entangled in the broken threads of life upon and imprisoning in art thoughts as they are stretched up to heaven, it accustomed to soar to the thither side of may be easy to fancy the treatment of space. Weirdness is a word which oc- the same themes from the standpoint of curs to all who know Mr. Vedder's work, life's morning, afternoon, and evening : and yet it is but vaguely indicative of the stormy passions of youth, the quiet the mystic spirituality of its character, acceptance of fate by maturity, and the allied to which is a striking demonic ele- philosophic contemplation of age which ment. With all the magnitude of their now and then reverts to the half-solved conception and the power of their im- problems of earlier days. Youth is not agery, these drawings possess an infinite all joy or heedlessness. Amid the gaytenderness, a grace and loveliness, which ety, the recklessness, the exuberance, of mark a close human sympathy as well vitality occur the great problems of life. as the utterances of a stern and inexora- But they are received with stormy unble fate.
rest; iron-handed fate is met with fuThe work is full of symbolic touches : tile scorn, with rebellious bitterness. So some are evident at a glance, some will we see in this part the facts and the be found upon a short acquaintance, a problems of life stated in their various few are explained in the notes, while phases, from the keynote of the work, others will reveal themselves only to the
“Waste not your hours, nor in the vain pursuit careful student. Upon the cover appears Of This and That endeavor and dispute ; one of the most significant conceits. Better be jocund with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter Fruit,". This pervades the work: the mysterious swirl of life, gradually gathering its where, in the frontispiece, Omar is forces from infinity ; then a halting and shown in the midst of his joyous coma reverse of the movement, as in the panions looking down upon the coneddy of a stream, denoting the brief quering warrior, the miser, the scientist, moment of existence; followed by the and the priest, to the mighty conclusion dissipation of the forces as gradually as of this part, with the Sphinx crouching they gathered.
amid the desolation of the wrecked Possibly as many meanings may yet world, her enigma, be read out of Omar's clear, crystalline
“A moment guess'd — then back behind the Fold verses as out of Shakespeare or Goethe's Immers'd of Darkness round the Drama rollid Faust. In Mr. Vedder's drawings there Which, for the pastime of Eternity,
He does Himself contrive, enact, behold." is a wealth of subtle suggestions which indicate how thoroughly the artist has There are charming scenes of youth absorbed and assimilated the work. It and loveliness, idyllic, gay, and elegiac has been aptly compared to a symphony, as well. Opposed to life in its fullest with its leading themes, its divisions, and vigor are glimpses of desolation and its variations in treatment; running the death in its most awful sublimity. The gamut of human thought and passion, mysteries of the universe and of eterfrom the sparkling present to the vast- nity are presented. The scene where ness of eternity, from the heights of “the phantom caravan has reached the aspiration to the depths of despair. Nothing it set out from,” with the
In the three symphonic movements, stream of earth's millions face to face as we might call them, into which the with eternity, some with averted, inwork is divided by Mr. Vedder, marked dignant eyes, others unmoved, is a picfirst by the bitter cup of life with a ture of tremendous power. This, the VOL. LV. — NO. 327.
last of four grand pictures of death, He knows about it all - He knows - He precedes the Sphinx and the dead world,
knows !" whose hopelessness is relieved by a flash
Then there is the mighty conception of lightning in the sky, which tells of a of the Recording Angel unheeding the greater power than Fate.
hands uplifted in agony from below; The problems stated in the first part later we are shown the Last Man with are discussed in the second. The inev. Love dead at his feet, but Evil, in the itable is accepted, and the judgments of form of the serpent, still alive to whisFate are calmly examined by one who per in his ear. Love affrighted at the has struck from the calendar " unborn sight of Hell, the Magdalen and Eve To-morrow and dead Yesterday." The follow, accompanying the quatrain, pleasures of life are enjoyed as they “Oh, Thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make
And ev'n with Paradise devise the Snake: come. The wine-cup confutes the “two
For all the sin wherewith the Face of Man and seventy jarring sects," and the
Is blacken'd - Man's Forgiveness give-and mighty Mahmúd, a powerful figure of take!" great beauty, — Bacchus, - scatters with This makes the culmination of the his whirlwind sword “the misbelieving second division, which is closed by the and black horde of fears and sorrows picture of the uplifted and imploring that infest the soul.” A voluptuous hands. dark-eyed maid appears beneath a vine In the third “ movement,” as Mr. with the question, —
Vedder has treated the problem, the “Why, be this juice the growth of God, who dare poet has concluded that he is neither Blaspheme the twisted tendril as a snare ? altogether responsible nor irresponsible,
A Blessing, we should use it, should we not ? but in a large measure self-dependent, And if a Curse — why then, who set it there ? "
under restrictions. The simile of the In this mood we behold the Present Potter “ thumping his wet clay” is inlistening to the voices of the Past, in troduced much like a prefatory motif. the guise of a graceful boy holding to The series of pictures which continue his ear a sea-shell. In the same calm through this passage, recalling the scripspirit we are shown a mighty conception tural “ Hath not the potter power over of the three Fates, whose coiled - up the clay ?” are exceedingly interesting thread of life, distaff, and shears laid in their interdependent relationship. It aside show that they have finished with is the pot’s discussion of the maker's inthis world and are dealing with the uni- tent, and the artist's fancy has invested verse ; casting out their cloud-nets into the plastic shapes with characteristics space, and seizing the planets, which are of usefulness or simply ornamentation, laid by at their feet, to be dealt with by but so delicately expressed as not to be the controlling powers. With this we in the least obtrusive. It is in this diread, —
vision of the poem that the oft-return“We are no other than a moving row
ing half-confidence in the prevalence of Of magic Shadow-shapes that come and go good over evil in the world asserts itself, Round with this sun-illumin'd Lantern held
as in the stanza, In Midnight by the Master of the Show.
"Why,' said another, 'some there are who tell "Impotent pieces of the Game He plays
Of one who threatens he will toss to Hell Upon this Checker-board of Nights and Days :
The luckless Pots he marr'd in making. – Hither and thither moves, and checks, and
He is a Good Fellow, and 't will all be well.'” And one by one back in the Closet lays.
In these drawings of the Potter Mr.
Vedder has given his figures and acces“The Ball no question makes of Ayes and Noes, But Right or Left as strikes the Player goes;
sories a decided Oriental character, — a And He that toss'd you down into the Field, feature which he has heretofore consid
ered sufficiently emphasized by unde- shaped into a double pipe, upon which monstrative hints. From the close of some accompaniment is possible. The this simile to the last quatrain the poet gnarled roots on the one side and the seems to be considering life through the flag tops on the other form the upper experience and with the enlightened extremities of the unique initial, while mind of age ; and here are some of Mr. the Persian wine-cup that marks the full Vedder's most masterly efforts. Omar's stop recalls the poet again; for Omar grave, with its “
snare of vintage,” sang, marked by a slab, upon which are cut Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide, a lute with broken strings, an inverted
And wash the body whence the Life has died,
And lay me shrouded in the living Leaf cup, and behind all the mysterious
By some not unfrequented Garden-side, “ swirl," is followed by a drawing which brings back in full force the temptations
" That ev’n my buried ashes such a snare
Of Vintage shall fling up into the air of youth; then comes the regret, “ Yet
As not a true believer passing by ah, that Spring should vanish with the But shall be overtaken unaware." Rose," and in the next two drawings The poet's wish was not in vain. The the end. That the conclusion is an- vine that sprang from his ashes is nounced by drawings which are worthy spreading over the world. Tales of its of their position is a triumph for the ar- beauty are heard in all lands, and many tist, for he has steadily accelerated the are the believers who rest in its shade interest from page to page, and made and gratefully share the bounty of its his climax fitting. The two drawings fruit. accompany the stanzas,
The fact that one so readily falls into * Ah Love ! could you and I with him conspire considering the drawings from a literary To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
point of view is in itself, we think, Would not we shatter it to bits - and then Remould it nearer to the Heart's Desire. exceeding high praise of Mr. Vedder's
work. Seldom it is, alas ! that an artist "And when like her, O Sáki, you shall pass enriches his picture with enough inspiAmong the Guests star-scatter'd on the Grass, And in your blissful errand reach the spot
ration to arouse his friends to that state Where I made one — turn down an empty glass." of sympathy which is absolutely neces
The former, in resentment of the in- sary to those who would express a truly evitable order, is accompanied by a mag- valuable opinion on the work, as well nificent drawing representing Age uplift- as to those who would more thoroughly ing youthful Love, who, cast down by enjoy meditation and recollection of it. the presence of evil, looks with horror That picture is of little actual worth to at the ill-omened bird of prey, which the world which, having no trace of inhas been driven from its victim. The spiration whereon to place a recognized drawing for the last stanza depicts the value, demands position simply as a blissful errand of Sáki. Then follow drawing. Is it not true of all great the notes in ornamental borders. Mr. artists that their pictures appeal so diVedder's explanation of the initial with rectly to the soul of the observer that which he has signed all his drawings is the mind accepts drawing for what it most ingenious and characteristic. At really is, -a means to the end ? We the end of the volume this signature is think it will be found that Mr. Vedder's enlarged to the size of a full-page illus- pictures make their appeal in the same tration, and with this added dignity we way. perceive for the first time that the sim- The mechanical execntion of the book ple initial has a meaning all its own. is worthy of a word. The plates seem The broken ends of a reed, torn up by to reproduce the drawings with little or the wind, have been lashed together and no loss, and in one or two cases with some trifling gain, which now and then making, and has been tried here for the follows reduction and translation into first time in large and difficult plates. If one color. This adaptation of an im- the promise made by this addition to our proved gelatine-printing method, made illustrative methods is kept, we may hope directly from original drawings, is a new to see other magnificent pictures confeature in American illustrated book- tribute intimately to literary enjoyment.
CULTURE OF THE OLD SCHOOL.
The Gentleman's Magazine, — both of bricabrac at Strawberry Hill, but the the name and the thing belong to a by- modern editor of a scientific age must gone time. A hundred and more years classify his specimens and sort each to ago the magazine was the property of its own case, just as he adds an index cultivated persons, just as later on it at the end. To us, however, these was the reviewers', and now is the peo- volumes will be less books of reference ple's. Quanto mutatus, one involuntarily than sources of amusement and informafalls into saying, not with regret, but tion, not about things as they are, but because in consequence of this change about the light in which the old masters there is in these opening volumes of of the liberal arts once saw them ; if we the series that is to preserve the sal- can only get a fair look into their wainvage of the wealthiest periodical in Eng scoted studies, that will be enough for lish a peculiar quality, not perhaps to one day. be called classical, but analogous thereto, The old magistri liberalium artium, - a unique mark, the seal and the brand indeed, they were; though, as standards that suggest age and arouse whatever in- now run, they were an unscholarly lot. stincts of literary epicurism linger among Yet with what an air they wore their us. The best, the characteristic, portions patches of Roman learning! With what of this serial are nearer the Queen Anne a natural ease and the amiable vanity than the Victorian style, both in liter- of an antiquary, as they looked on at ature and in social traits. In many a the rural sports and traditionary cuspassage one feels that Addison is not
toms of the yeomanry, would they warm far off, and that Macaulay, who was the their memories with reminiscences of first true heir of his high and mighty the festal days and rites they had read seat on the throne of the British mid- of in Ovid ! The mythology of antiquity dle class, is as yet unthought of. Some was their “ open sesame” to the curiosithing of the variety that is essential to ties of May-day and weddings and hara complete impression of the tastes of vest homes. The modern investigator our reading great-grandsires is lost by smiles at their apt quotations from the the method of grouping the extracts by classics, and from the Welsh or Scottish topics ; the virtuoso's collection thus pro- scene described his thoughts fly farther vided misses the charm of being random and wider to the old Erse laws, the hilland helter-skelter, as in the crowded country of primitive India, and the raids rooms of Walpole’s wonderful treasury of Australian aborigines in the obscure
1 The Gentleman's Magazine Library. Being a Manners and Customs. Vol. II., Dialect, Provclassified collection of the chief contents of the erbs, and World-Lore. Boston: Houghton, Miflin Gentleman's Magazine from 1731 to 1868. Edited & Co. by GEORGE LAURENCE GOMME, F. S. A. Vol. I.,