« PoprzedniaDalej »
a great injustice to have his must have afforded him some pleashortcomings pointed out, as well as sure in the doing: and we submit his merits praised. • Damn the fel, that the gratification thus prolow; why doesn't he back his friends?' Ruskin once happened to overhear cured, and the bondless applause, some one say of himself, and he left for example, of two • Saturday Reoff from that date writing criticisms view,' ought to be taken into acon contemporary painters. That is count, as well as the passive pleawhat I have heard
times sure of looking at the leaves in directly and indirectly during the autumn-which is perhaps too last decade."
fine for flesh and blood. We may say, however, in re- The comments thus made are spect to Mr Ruskin, in, as it were, often very judicious and somea parenthesis, that he has a curious times instructive, and they will gift, when he does not back his give much of the lively pleasure friends, of saying the most stinging of a personal talk and discussions, things possible about them in that to readers interested in art and exquisite diction of his; and also its professors, which means, of that he does back his friends—as course, to most educated persons. for instance the Tuscan young lady What is said of Leighton, Burne, and other protégés—in the most un- Jones, and Rossetti, is extremely abashed and superlative manner; good and discriminating, for inbut this by the way. " It does stance; but what have Miss Kate not much matter," adds Mr Quil- Greenaway and Mr du Maurier ter, with a mournful sentiment, to do among these big names? which perhaps is a little excessive Still more, what the—anything in the circumstances, and breathes Mr Quilter pleases--has M. Tisof "a blight, what the world sot to do in this bead-roll of says of one; and though it matters the greatest artists of the time? more that our personal affections « Tissot has but one rival in and sympathies should be withered England, nainely, Alma Tadema," or stunted, even that may be borne he says; at which we feel a shriek silently. Sun and sky still remain, of horror burst from our lips. and the smell of the grasses in the No command of colour or comspring, and the silence of summer's position can justify a comparison full-green life, and the colour of between one of the most scholarly the leaves in autumn." Let Mr and refined of painters and the Quilter cheer up ! There are con- dashing author of so many obnoxisolations, no doubt, in store for ous studies from the fashion-books him more substantial than the very mal portés indeed, and put smell of the grasses. He has upon the meretricious shoulders written (and printed) a very pretty of ladies from the demi-monde. book, with much in it that will be Mr Quilter ought to be ashameit delightful for the cultivated classes of himself for making such a comto talk over and discuss : and parison, according even to his though he tells us what an anguish own tenets—which reject the mere it is to point out the shortcomings art for art theory, and demand of his neighbours, and how his meaning and thought and mofriends fall away from him, and tive, as well as mere“ technical abuse and isolation are his lot, he mastery,” in every piece of painted yet proceeds to touch up these canvas which claims to be called friends with many
neat little a picture. points and pricks, such as no doubt We will find only one other
fault with Mr Quilter, and that trifle with the lightest and the is not his own, but his quotation smallest possible for a moment. from Emerson, which is repeated What does the reader think, talkin various portions of his book, ing of poetry, of the following and which seems to us to be false lines ?-all through both in its statement and its theory
“ Dance, yellows and whites and reds,
Lead your gay orgy-leaves, stalks, “ As Emerson has finely said of the
heads, artist :
Astir with the wind in the tulip beds. • The hand that rounded Peter's dome, And groined the aisles of Christian There's sunshine : scarcely a wind at all Rome,
Disturbs starved grass and daisies small
On a certain mound by the churchyard Wrought in a sad sincerity,
wall. Himself from God he could not free, He builded better than he knew,
Daisies and grass be my heart's bed
fellows, T) conscious stone to beauty grew.'
On the mound wind spares and
shine mellows, It is pretty to see the American Dance ye reds and whites and yellows!” Apostle, and Mr Quilter after him, condescending to patronise Michel We ask again, with bated breath, Angelo. “ He builded better than what does this jingle mean? Is he knew"-did he?—that great it a jingle of some profound harrugged, splendid immortal ! And mony too high for our compreMr Emerson knows better and hension ? for it is signed by the pats him on the back for it, and name of ROBERT BROWNING, and an English critic repeats the pat. it is the principal contribution to Did ever modern presumption and a funny but a pretty little book opaqueness of vision go further? called by the not very appropriate The great Tuscan who “rounded title of the New Amphion, and Peter's dome" (it was early in designed to help the young men the history of American culture of Edinburgh University to get when this was written, and perhaps themselves a club. Why our young Mr Emerson did not know who men, outnumbering Oxford and he was) was the last man in the Cambridge, and able to make world to free himself from God, their professors the richest men and without doubt that fine cupola in professorial Christendom, should suspended itself in the noble fir- not be able to get a club for mament of his imagination with themselves, is a question which a thousand times more grandeur may be asked in passing: but than mortal skill could ever work this is not the matter which out in marble or stone.
chiefly occupies us. If Amphion And pray, to drop into a much piped like Mr Browning, do the lower question, where did Mr Quil- gentlemen of the Fancy Fair think ter or his poet find “groined aisles” that the most doddered old willow in · Rome? The man who quotes in the Meadows would have lifted this pharisaical nonsense makes a leg, or the simplest shrub in the himself responsible for it.
Princes Street Gardens danced to We
are going to be serious his music: or still less likely, that before we conclude, and discuss the stones in Craigleith quarries higher things : so let us pause and would have made one hop towards
1 The New Amphion : being the book of the Edinburgh University Union Fancy Fair.
the building of the necessary wall? dress, always cheerful and ready We are of opinion that these sober with his tag of Greek. His pleaslisteners, not to be taken in by a ant twitter enlivens the band, who
would have remained un- otherwise dull enough. It moved, demanding as we do what was pretty, no doubt, the Fancy it means. Is the red an illusion Fair, and the book is pretty for to the student's gown, which, how- the trifle it is; but we doubt if it ever, does not boast that lively col- is very much to the credit of our our in Edinburgh (but Mr Brown- old Úniversity to seek advanceing might not know), and the ment even in social life by such white and yellow to the robes of means. the ladies crowding to their favour- We have said that we have left ite celebration, the bazaar, which graver themes to the last. One is to this age what Ranelagh and of them comes to us, a piece of Vauxhall were to our fathers? The history warm from the very makquestion is one too abstruse to be ing, in Major von Huhn's account answered; but it shows what is of Bulgaria. Though professing the poet's opinion of his own com- to be merely a history of the war position, and the respect he has for between Bulgaria and Servia, this the intellect of the North.
book will be found to contain It is too much, perhaps, to ex- a great deal of interesting and pect a happy inspiration from un- instructive matter relating to the fortunate persons of the literary previous condition of the former persuasion required to contribute country, and the progress it has to such a collection. Mr Andrew made since 1878. He had already Lang sends a vituperation of the visited Bulgaria as the special Dog, which is scarcely in his best correspondent of the Cologne Gastyle; and Mr Robert Louis Stev- zette' at the time of the Russoenson does a similar thing for the Turkish war, when he formed but student, himself chiefly intended, a poor opinion of the people. of which the same may be said. Instead of an interesting oppressAnd Mrs Oliphant, with grand- ed nationality, he found a collecmotherly sentiment, essays, so far tion of ignorant, well-to-do boors, as we can make out, to awaken the who would probably have been interest of the young men in the very well contented to form perfectly unnecessary tremors of Russian province, but could not be two mothers, who had no occasion expected to constitute a State of to disturb themselves at all-a their own. Russian influence conthing which no doubt sometimes tinued alsolutely predominant for happens among careful women, a considerable time after the forbut calls for little sympathy. mation of the two Bulgarian States, Professor Blackie, as is appropriate, and it seems only to be by her own carries off the honours of the day. incalculable folly that Russia has He is like a jovial bird springing ever lost that influence. The Bulfrom bough to bough, singing his garians were grateful to the Czar, song,--now it is to May, now to a and quite willing to live under his fair lady, anon to a fairer lady's control in peace and quietness. Of
i The struggle of the Bulgarians for National Independence: a Military and Political History of the War between Bulgaria and Servia in 1885. Translated from the German of Major A. von Huhn. London: John Murray.
Turkey nobody thought; it is true part of which Major von Huhn that the Bulgarians owed a tribute attributes to the excellent ruler to the Sultan, but as they did not who has brought to his adopted pay it, that was not of much im- country not only victory but portance. In Eastern Roumelia Victorias, who has given enlightthere was,
indeed, a Turkish ment to the whole people and Governor-General; but that official European caps to the hotel porters, seems to have been much in the who has banished bigotry and same position as the unfortunate brought in beer. Yes; after leavnobleman who lately held the ing Bulgaria six years ago in a pitiable post of Gladstonian Lord state of semi-barbarism, Major von Lieutenant of Ireland. As a rule Huhn landed at Lompalanka in these governors seem to have acted , 1885 and found the people drinkvery sensibly; finding it uselessing beer, “real, excellent beer, even to pretend to be the supreme straight from the cask and cooled power in the State, they lived on ice !" Verily Prince Alexquietly in their official residence, ander is a great man. and drew their salaries, which were On the Eastern Roumelian relarge and regularly paid, and made volution Major von Huhn has as little reference to the Sultan as much to say, and his account of that possible, so as not to provoke any mysterious transaction, coming as open expressions of disloyalty. it does from the fountainhead, is The real ruler all the time was worthy of serious attention. That the Russian consul-general at the actual revolution was the work Philippopolis, and a very arbitrary of a small body of men, who were and imperious ruler he was.
in no sense the authorised delegates In Bulgaria affairs in of their countrymen, but were the much the same state, and the true representatives of the national intention was that the nation spirit, he has no doubt. Prince should be governed from St Peters- Alexander's reasons for accepting burg through the " bon jeune the government of the country are prince,” who was to be merely given in his own words. From his the mouthpiece of Russia. This statement it appears that he had supremacy, however, was wantonly assured—and honestly assuredthrown away by the insolent and M. de Giers at Franzenbad tyrannical conduct of the Russian that such movement officials, who treated Bulgaria like immediately contemplated, to his “a tribe of Turkomans, who can knowledge, though the desire for simply be ruled with the knout,” unity was widely spread among and insulted Prince Alexander to the people of both States. Hardly, his face. The good young Prince however, had he got back to was thus driven into another Bulgaria before he received incourse of action, and determined telligence of the plot, when he to start a nation on his own ac- immediately despatched a count, and, as Major von Huhn fidential envoy to Philippopolis to puts it, “turn his subjects into dissuade the leaders if possible * Bulgarians.'' How he succeeded from carrying it out. The envoy in this object is shown by the arrived too late, the revolt had enormous progress that Bulgaria broken out, and the Prince was has since made in every way, called upon to assume the governsocial and political, the greater ment. An immediate decision was
necessary, and he accepted, fully therefore I have not acceded to this realizing the risk of the step he request. Will you betray my trust thus took, but considering that in you?' The Mufti replied, My greater dangers would attend his Prince, we know how you have acted refusal, notably the probable out- and we see how ready you are to con
to our co-religionists in Bulgaria, break of a religious civil war ciliate us ; as long as you are in East between Bulgarians and Moham- ern Roumelia no Mohammedan will medans. "I alone,” he says, take up arms against you.' And no “ was in a position to keep the one ever did.” movement within peaceful bounds, and to prevent it from leading to The account of the war itself, excesses. Without me anarchy with its startling changes of forwould be rampant; with me peace tune, is minute and vivid. Throughand order were assured. That is out the story, the central figure why I accepted."
is Prince Alexander, of whose We may quote here the follow- many good qualities the gallant ing striking instance of the young Major can hardly say enough. Prince's insight and practical wis- Not only was he brave and full dom:
of resource, but merciful, anxious “ I cannot help telling a story at to pacify and quiet disturbance ; this point which does honour to both springing down from his post of parties--the Prince and the Moham- observation in horror at the remedans, and which proves that one can sults of the murderous fire of sometimes do more by straightforward his own batteries, and cursing and true confidence, than by the most the needless war that made such artful tricks. During the first days no one in the province could tell what
carnage necessary; or changing attitude the Prince had assumed to- at once from the soldier to the wards Mohammedans at Philippopo. statesman, and dictating circular lis, and consequently telegrams were notes to the Powers avec accomreceived from every prefect in the paynement de trompettes, or rather country which were all pretty much of shells and musket-balls; or of the same substance, and to this again, charging the German correeffect : * All our men capable of bearing arms having now left their vil. spondent not to omit to chronicle lages, there is a universal fear lest the gallant behaviour of the enemy's the Mohammedans, who are left alone artillery. His appearance throughbehind, should fall upon the Chris- out is that of a man, gallant, chivtians. Amongst the former threat- alrous, and humane, adored by his ening symptoms are already noticed, own soldiers, and so highly reand we cannot be answerable for spected by the enemy, that but anything, unless we receive authority, for the interference of for which we now pray, to disarm Powers, he might have been King
greater the Mohammedans.' mous demand, the Prince telegraphed of Servia as well as Prince of back that he most distinctly refused Bulgaria—not by conquest, but by the desired permission. Then he free election. We seem rather to sent for the Mufti of Philippopolis, be reading of a hero of romance and showed him all the telegrams of than a character in plain unvarthe prefects. The Mufti read and nished history, grew pale. You see,' said the Prince, 'what I am asked to do : I
The affairs of Bulgaria are likely have always been very weli satisfied to prove of immense importance with my Mohammedan subjects. I in Europe, even if there were not have every confidence in you, and this charm of personal and roman