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Wo catch a glimpse of her, in considering me a being who was those early years, playing the absolutely sure to beconie, one day, piano to her listening grandinother everything that is most beautiful in a great white-and-gold salon; brilliant, and nagnificent. Mamnia
weut to a Jew, who told fortunes : see the three-year-old baby "You have two children,' he said to playing with dolls dressed as kings her: “the boy will be like every one and queens; we see her, at five else ; the girl will be a star."" years of age, decked in lace and flowers, representing Pepita, and The extract is worth quoting for dancing before the assembled the admirable illustration it affords household. At ten, she was al- of Marie's later style, as well as for ready weaving day - dreams of the revelation of clean-edged, alfuture glory and
most brutal, analysis, combined pleasant girl-dreams of house and with continuous, unconquerable children, but rather the ambition striving after theatrical effect. to make a name, to live after She posed continually-it was her death. This is her striking char- nature to pose; but she was also acteristic, her devouring thought fundamentally truthful and clearalmost from babyhood. And eyed, impatient of superficialities, everything conspired to nourish striving in later years with painful this growing egoism. The adoring passion to fathom herself; slow in care of the whole family increased learning that to fathom herself she her pride and self-consciousness, must fathom the Infinite. What while it failed to develop her a picture, too, of her early milieu affections. Religion in that house- do these few lines contain! The lold was mere superstition; the household (including herself) immoral atmosphere was impregnated pregnated with French novels rowitli romanticism. One of her mantic and naturalistic; the child governesses ran off after some of less than ten considered as affaire de coeur. “She might have & prodigy by her family and said good-bye, and left us quite by strangers, self-conscious, selfnaturally,” says Marie ; “but the centred, with no overshadowing Slav character ingrafted with intelligence to guide her and deFrench civilisation and romantic velop her on normal lines; finally, literature is an odd concern (une the superstition which penetrated drôle de machine)." As femme her relations and clung even to malheureuse this lady immediately Marie herself during the whole of adored the little girl who had been her life. confided to her.
age of ten a great exodus
took place. Marie, her grand“As for me, I returned her adoration from a spirit of pose, already!
aunt, mother, cousin, And my family, credulous and affect: brother, doctor, servants, dogs, ed (poseuse), thought that her de- and endless baggage, left Russia parture would have made me ill ; to travel through Europe. By they looked at me compassionately way of Vienna, Baden, Geneva, that day, and I think that grand- the caravan found its way to Nice, mamma even had a special soup made where, in the beginning of 1873, -a soup adapted to invalids." I felt myself grow quite pale at such a
the family was installed in a villa display of feeling. I was a slight
whose large garden gave on to the weakly child, and not pretty. But
Promenade des Anglais. Marie that did not hinder everybody from was now twelve, and had begun
the diary that is now accessible being (banale créature) if I mildew in print to all the world. After (moiris) eternally! Marry and have having written on for some time children! Every washerwoman can
do as much. What is it I want? without any other object than the
Ah! you know well. I want glory!" satisfaction of that desire of selfanalysis, that love of definite clear Glory was the lodestar of her ness which was one of her great life; yet no superficial glory; characteristics, the girl began to rather, that close desire Plato perceive the psychological value of attributes to none but the noblest which her journal might prove- minds, in the passage of the Symshould she live long enough—to posium,' of which the above extract future students of human nature, instantly reminds us. to future “ Zolas, Goncourts, or Let us turn to the diary itself, Maupassants.” She would leave and examine the human document her mind and soul to these mental thus voluntarily offered to our indissectors in the interest of their spection. science, as one might leave his The first volume, and especially body to the doctors. “I myself,” the first part of the first volume, she says in the preface she wrote is turgid, for it represents that
am perhaps of small "space of life between childhood interest to you.
But do not think and mature age in which,” in the it is I, think it is a human being words of Keats, “the soul is in who is telling you all his impres- a fernient, the character undesions from infancy onward. It is cided, the way of life uncertain, very interesting as a human docu- the ambition thick-sighted; thence ment.” And so this strange being proceeds inawkishness, and” began to make to herself a public. is thousand bitters." Yet, lik the A concrete public was ever before turgidity of the Endymion, it is a her mind's eye; it became the god turgidity which attracts by reason before whom, as a duty, she laid of the promise it contains. bare, every crening, her innost The book opens in the midst of soul—a self-created god, infinitely a romantic affection for an English more real to her than the Being duke who was staying in the enwhom she addressed as Dieu in her virons of Nice. Marie had never prayers, but failed to find in her spoken to him; he probably hardly religion — the god who was to knew of her existence; but the girl crown her memory with the fame was attracted by the aristocratic she so eagerly desired. Her aspi- assurance of his manners (“il a dos rations, together with the just self- Néron," she says of him), and d3criticism with which they were so termined that she could not be curiously associated, are plainly happy except in marrying him ! seen in
the following extract, “Oinon Dieu !" she exclaims again which occurs near the beginning and again, “ give me the Duke of of the diary :
H-! I will love him, and
make him lappy; I shall be happy “ This poor diary, which contains too; I will help the poor.” She all these aspirations towards the light, will cultivate her splendid voice, all these élans which would be con; captivate and subdue him, enter sidered the élans of an imprisoned genius if the end were crowned with the great world to reign as queen. success, and which will be looked on His name sends the blood to her as the delirious vanity of an ordinary cheeks; to see him drive past en
sures her happiness for the whole presenting herself for the B.Sc. day; his ultimate inarriage pro- examination. That all this was duces a state of "jealousy, love, thorough work we see plainly, for envy, deception, wounded vanity, in after-years we find her reading which would have done honour the masterpieces of Greek and to any woman forcibly robbed Latin with the same pleasure as of a real flesh-and-blood lover. those of Russian
Freuch; Readers naturally may object that criticising Livy she would this is the mere foolish romanticism Tourguenieff ; revelling in “ Hauof any young woman who has let”; enjoying to the full the developed early and read many true humanity of Homer's story novels. Any young woman might of Ulysses and Nausicaa. Truly dream in this way. True : but she was no conventional type of "any young woman” would not love-sick girl. Rather there had have had the force of will to keep begun in her, cven at that early the whole experience to herself; age, the terrible battle of the there would have been a confidante, giants which was to devastate her a pleasant hugging of the romantic whysique; to rob her of her voice, grief; dreansings, sickly poetry, some extent of her learning; perlaps a languid idleness. In to develop the constitutional ten
there was nothing of dency to consumption; and finally, the kind. Marie laughed, saug, to leave her exliausted body a played, danced, dressed, seemed prey to the slight illness which the gayest of the gay, amused produced her premature death. every one by her wit, and then Even at that early age wo retired to her own room to shed the intense painful striving after bitter tears of passionate dis- reality (with its accompanying deappointment. It is doubtful wlie- sire for culture—" to know the ther even her mother knew what best that has been written on all was passing within her. Hers subjects"), united, or rather opwas a strenuous, active life, filled posed to the love of effect which with movement social and intel- is the distinguishing feature of the lectual. We see her, in her diary, artistic temperament; a longing visiting her friends, playing Men- for affection combined with a proud delssohn and Bach, singing, walk- reserve which prevented her from ing with her dogs, working herself showing feeling; a desire for pasinto nervous fevers on account of sionate love contradicted by a the unpunctuality of her English growing habit of mental analysis teacher (" Thirteen years old !” which made a love wellnigh imshe exclaims. “If I lose time now, possible. “I was made to be very what shall I become?”); dismiss- happy,” she says three months being the said English governess on fore her death; “but,” she adds her refusal to explain a rule of in words which might stand at the arithinetic; making out for herself head of her diary as mottoa programme of studies such as to astonish the censeur at the lycée "Pourquoi-dans ton cuvre céleste,
Tant d'éléments, si peu d'accord ?". at Nice, to wliom she applied for professors. English, French, We are, however, interpreting Italian, Greek, Latiu, chemistry her earlier by her later life. At were, we learn incidentally, among thirteen these chaotic elements of her studies ; she even thinks of character are to be found chiefly
as possibilities. We feel that the me into a bad humour, if any one shape her life assumes during the thwarts me in anything, if I tire next few years will decide whether myself, good - bye to my beauty ! these elements will develop to
Nothing more fragile than 1 am.
When I am happy, tranquil, then that utmost capacity for discord only am I adorable. When I am which renders such a character vexed, I might rather be called ugly. an attractive psychological study, I expand in happiness as flowers in or whether they will smoulder on the sunlight. I shall be seen-there under the influence, say, of is plenty of time.
I am like happy marriage, and raise her Hagar in the desert ; I wait and
desire a living soul.” but little above the average
of clever, even brilliant, women of Meanwhile, however, while society. With a clear-sightedness awaiting the “living soul,” this really curious at an age when very nineteenth century Hagar most girls think their decisions goes off to Paris, and the combat final and their characters formed between her artistic and society especially girls who live in an natures (if one may be allowed atmosphere of adoration such as the expression), comes out very that to which Marie was accus- strongly. She is first of all transtomed, she recognises that she is ported by the bustle, the hurry, still in a state of flux: “I am the sense of life. “I love Paris not yet an entire woman,” she and my heart beats; I want to says, “but I shall become one." live faster, faster, faster;" and
But to return to the diary. then she adds, as though the shaThirteen years of age saw Marie dow of the cross fell over her: changed from the “slight, weakly, “It is true; I fear this desire to plain child,” to a blooming girl, live by steam is the presage of a rejoicing in the plenitude of life, short life.” Then the artistic side healthily conscious of her attrac- gets the upper hand, and she pines tions, paganly frank in her ex- for the beauties of Nice.
At pression of this consciousness. Paris' “ there is neither morning She is not vain, but openly pleased nor evening. In the morning with herself, without comparing everything is being swept (on herself to others. A naive passage balaye), and in the evening these shows the milieu of adoration in horrible lamps exasperate me.” which she lived, and her own She goes on to recall the clear, curious self-appreciation.
fresh mornings at Nice; the early
runs, hatless, with her dogs, on pass the day in admiring me; the Promenade des Anglais ; the mamma admires me, the Princess G. cool evenings; the moonlit sea; admires me ; she continually says I the solitude of her own chamber. am like mamma, or her daughter ; now this is the greatest compliment In September we find Marie in
The stay in Paris was but short. any one can pay ine. The fact is, I ani really pretty. At Venice, in the 'Florence for the centenary of great hall of the Ducal Palace, the Michael Angelo, and have the picture ou the ceiling represents earliest indications of her future Venus as a large, fair, fresh-culoured characteristic as an artist. It is
I recall that painting. My the first time she has seen anyphotographs will never be able to
thing worth the name of art. give a correct inpressivu of me. The colonr is wanting, and my fresh
She rushes to the Pitti, and ness, my incuinparable whiteness, are
spends long hours there with her my chief beauty. But if auy one puts patient aunt. True child of her
age, she cannot admire Raphael. was close upon her.
" It will be “Must I say it? I dare not. said that if I had been married at People will cry me down. Well, seventeen years of age I should be then, in confidence. Raphael's like other people. A great misMadonna della Seggiola,' does
does take ! To have been married like not please me. The Virgin's face everybody else I must have been a
pale (washed out), the com- different being.” At the age of plexion is not natural.” She pre- fifteen, however, the traditional fers Titian's “ Madeleine," and pic- marriage idea had not yet been tures of Rubens, Van Dyck, vanquished, was not indeed conSalvator Rosa, Paolo Veronese. sciously opposed to the more in“Is not the aim of painting to dependent views to which the copy nature ?” she asks, in words freedom of her education and the which foreshadow the deeper, truer breadth of her reading were giving realism of her maturer life.
birth. With characteristic energy Up to the present time, how- she took matters, with apparent unever, art is but one among Marie's consciousness, into her own hands. manifold pursuits, and perhaps the She looked about deliberately for one to which, living as she was some one to love and marry, yet in an absolutely inartistic milier, she was no vulgar adventurer, no she gives least time and thought. novel-fed dreanier. No vulgar Under the ever-increasing stress adventurer—for while she sought of her desire for glory, her thoughts wealth and position, she would not turn to her diary, to her voice, to
sell herself for them to a loveless a splendid marriage, which should match ; no novel-fed dreamer-beplace her attainments in the full cause, though she committed, in light of a brilliant society. She the first place, the grave mistake had not yet recognised that the of supposing that a deliberately powers seething within her were sought love could be a veritable such as must embody themselves healthy passion, she was at the in independent action; she suffer- same time sufficiently clear-sighted ed as all true souls suffer when to perceive her mistake, and sufthey grope blindly after their life- ficiently resolute to do herself the work. And yet, with the incon- violence requisite to conquer the sistency natural to this chaotic fictitious feelings she had evoked. mingling of incongruous elements, It was at Rome, whither the she seems already dimly to recog- whole fainily went for the Carnival nise that she must work out her of 1876, that Marie attracted the own salvation—that no reflected attention of the nephew of a wellglory will be sufficient to satisfy knowu cardinal, a handsome young her craving. “Let no one think fellow, with the dark eyes and these are merely the tears of an nervous muscular figure likely to unmarried girl," she says again and attract a girl of Marie's physique. again. “If I die young, soon, The license of carnival time; endand if by ill-luck this diary is not less opportunities of meeting in burnt, people will say, 'Poor child ! society, where Marie's music and she has loved, and all her despair caustic wit already made her a comes from that.' Let them say prominent figure; rides across the 80 ; I have no wish to prove the Campagna ; an accident in which .contrary, for the inore I talk the Marie, nearly thrown, was saved less I shall be believed." And by Pietro,—all served to raise a later on, when renown as a painter storm of passion in the man. And