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mandolin, and piano) and hier in man's costume (ending by shootfine voice delighted a society ing a crow !), or takes her place, where music seems to have been gun in hand, alone in the damp little known; her painting (we thicket with a couple of dogs, find her painting portraits of her lying in ambush for the wolves brother and his friends) raised her which it is the peasants' duty to father's admiration of her to the beat up. Her intellectual nature highest possible pitch. We see needed the relief of the fatiguing her the centre of an admiring reality of this bodily activity, just crowd, who fête her and worship as her society life found rest in her; she is carried in a carpet contact with the poorer classes. when tired; she holds her court “ You know j'adore m'encanailler," on the stairs like Goethe's Elenore, she says quite untranslatably; “I like stairs," she remarks in this and goes on to describe how she connection, “because one ascends." mixes with the peasants, is within Books were at a discount; society a little of dancing with them; life entirely to the fore. Yet it how she dresses in the costume was not the society life of an or. of a peasant maiden, and is disdinary coquette, much as she de covered by her father sitting with lighted in coquetry at this epoch; her brother at the door of the vil. for the character sketches she gives
lage inn. of her admirers show a faculty of During her stay in Russia, too, observation, and increased we have the first exhibition of knowledge of human nature, the enthusiastic interest in politics which would not only be remark which she displayed in later yearst able in any person of mature age, It was the time of the Bulgarian but which reveal the enormous atrocities, of the war between strides her own character had Turkey and Servia, and of the made in development since she great pan-Slavist agitation. The went to Rome in the spring of Russians were clamouring for war, that same year. To dazzle by her streaming over the frontier tó toilets and accomplishments was,
serve as volunteers in the Servian however, by no means sufficient army.
“On the reverse of the for Marie's restless nature. She bill for lunch,” she writes immethrew herself with energy into all diately after entering Russia, the outdoor sports in which her
“there is printed a despairing father delighted, determined to appeal to the Russian peoplo surpass all others of her sex in and clergy, on behalf of the slav Russian active life, and to conquer Committee at Moscow. This heartthe timidity inherent in her rending appeal was put into my nature—thoroughly enjoying the hand this morning. I am keeping novelty of the purely animal pleas- it.” She longs to subscribe to the ure to be found in riding, fishing, fund; is enraged with the Ozar for or shooting Now she success not declaring war; cries and shouts fully mounts an unbroken horse, with the crowd at the sight of the “partly to spite my own coward volunteers who are leaving the ice, partly to fill up the newsbags station at Poltawa, and is indigof those dandies from Poltawa ;” nant that her companions remain now she rates herself for fearing a unmoved; hears her father adgun, and sets to work to practise dressing his peasants (on the law shooting; now it is a hunting concerning horses, as it happens), party in which she walks for miles and immediately jumps to the con
clusion he must be haranguing in Russia ; the mother is with them for the Servians. It is the him when he dies. first indication of the wider, more So Marie was again at Nice with impersonal feelings which in after- her “two mothers,” grandfather, years urge her to frequent visits cousin, and doctor; enjoying the to Versailles; which provoke in- garden and the sea, playing with dignant tears on the death, of the her. dogs, haranguing her fishPrince Imperial ; which overwhelm women and market-women. The her with grief at the untimely old restlessness had taken possesremoval of Gambetta ; which sion of her; she plunged with nearly produce a fainting fit redoubled vigour into reading of wher the artist Julian, to see every description. Gradually her if she is capable of emotion, artistic nature asserted itself more tells her that the Czar has and more strongly at the expense been assassinated.
of the social side. “I must cling But Marie was not happy in to painting,” she had said already Russia.
in Rome ; and now : “I grow “This life makes my flesh creep
every day more enthusiastic for (m'horripile)," she says.
The days painting;
and again : “ You pass; I ani losing precious time in think I still want to go into the the best years of my life. Evenings world? No, no longer. I am passed en famille, charming pleasaut- em bittered, fretted (dépitée), and ries, a gaiety of which I myself am turn artist as the discontented the moving spirit.
But what ennui! Not a word of sense, not a
turn republicans." Like a wail phrase that shows a cultivated man.
come the melancholy words: “I I am a pedant, unhappily, have a fever for study, and no and love to hear talk of the ancients one to guide me." The discontent anıl of science.
Is there culminated in a long talk with anything of the kind here ? Cards her mother, and a decision of and nothing else. I would shut my- which Marie tells in the self up to read, but, my aim being to following words :make myself liked, that would be a strange method of attaining it."
“I have decided to remain at Paris, Heartily glad, therefore, was shall go to enjoy myself at the waters
where I shall study, and whence I she, when in November she started in the sunımer. Fancies are exhaustwith her father to return to Paris. ed; Russia has failed; I am correctThere they met her mother, and ed for good. I feel that the moment
This is Marie's work was speedily undone. has at last conie to stop. The mother, as we gather from
no passing resolution like so many the diary, was a passive, yielding others, but definitive.” woman, capable of great devotion, It proved the determining mobut entirely wanting in the firm- ment in Marie's life. Of the tra ness, forbearance, and tact, in that ditional marriage idea we hear intellectual grip of another's char- after this but little. She had acter, which had enabled Marie refused offer after offer which fell to dominate her father. The short of her ideal ; it was becomquarrels broke out again, and ing more and more apparent that M. Bashkirtseff soon returned to the glory she desired must be selfRussia. Yet relations were de- earned, that the surging energy cideilly improved. Twice after within her could not be dominated warls we find him in France ; except by strenuous independent Marie and her mother visit him work-work which should gather
up all her powers, and give her is very original to converse with the that feeling of unity in herself for good God, but that does not make
Him which all many-sided natures long
any the kinder to me.” as for their haven of rest. She
We find her telling her beads, would have apostrophised Work
and hitting her head on the paveas Wordsworth did Duty
ment at each bead; or again, “My hopos no more must change their quietly reasoning away the exist
ence of the soul. Now she is I long for a repose that ever is the lifted up to the seventh heaven
in an ecstasy of belief ; again, she. There was, however, a reason shyly remarks that she felt the for this imperious necessity of first pain in her right lung while serious work very different from her father and mother were so the oft-expressed desire of glory- fervently praying for her recovery a reason unformulated, probably in that specially favoured church unsuspected, by Marie herself. at Kharkhoff. We may surely The loosening of conventional re believe that this fluctuation of religious beliefs was awakening in ligious belief, this want of the her, as it does in all veracious spiritual excitement which acts natures, a deepened feeling of the as a safety-valve to most women, value of human nature as human had much to do with the frenzied nature, and, working in union with zeal with which she sought realisin her impetuousity, was already be- in heart. An indolent. inactive ginning to produce an almost fren- religion was not akin to her nature, zied desire to reach the living yet that was the religion which bottom of the world around her. She had been accustomed from The religion imbibed from her childhood to see before her. family had never been much more than fetishism, her God a being if God wills—by the help of God.
“Mamma always speaks of God : whose duty it was to make her One calls on God so often ouly to happy in return for pilgrimage escape from all kinds of little duties. and almsgiving an essentially That is neither faith nor devotion : a artificial religion, not likely to weakness, the cowardice of the idle, persist in an analytical mind sub- indolent, incapable. 'If it is written ject to the strain and stress of that such a thing will happen, it will nineteenth - century life in the of exerting herself.
happen,' she says, to avoid the trouble
'If everything great centres of civilisation.
were written beforehand, God would "My God !" she says, quits at the only be a constitutional president, and beginning of her diary,“ if you let
our wishes, vices, virtues, niere sine
cures.'' me live as I should like, I promise you, if you take pity on me, to go Deprived, then, both ly her from Kharkhoff to Kieff on foot. If you satisfy my ambition and make analytical mind and by the loftime quite happy, I promise to go to
ness of her ideals of religion, and Jerusalem, and do the tenth part of of the ability to make a good the road on foot."
match, Marie, in the autumn of
1878, settled in Paris to begin the as the unreality is artistic career which was to prove beginning to dawn on her, she her consolation until her death. says :
Painting was the only form of art “Now I will and
open to her. Her voice was God to arrange this affair for me. It irrevocably gone in consequence of
a chronic laryngitis. From the volumes in the mouths of such beginning it seems to have been masters of the art. “Reassure fluctuating; it went and came, and yourself,” said Julian three days she received it back after each after her entry, "you will not be "attack of hoarseness with tears of long on the road.” joy, the value of which singers
“And when," Marie goes will be well able to appreciate.
mamma cane to fetch me at five “It is as though a mother should o'clock, he said something like the find living, in her arms, a child following: 'I thought it was the cawhom she believed to be dead, and price of a spoilt child, but I must condead through her own fault,” says fess that she really works, has plenty · Marie in one such transport. But of will, and is well gifted. If this at Rome the terrible cough began; continues, her works will be fit for the
Salon in three months.'”. chest and larynx were both affected: “You know, doctor, I
Such words of praise were to spit blood, and must be looked to." Marie the sine qua non of success"Oh, mademoiselle, if you persist ful work; they were a mental in writing till three o'clock in champagne, needful to counteract the morning you will have every the desponding tendency so curimalady under the sun." But to ously blended with her ambition. preach calm to Marie was to im- They never elated her unduly; pose moderation on some devouring they simply made her see clearly. conflagration; and her answer to the warning was—her Paris life.
“Do not think I do wonders beOctober 1878 saw her first entry says. “Jam wanting in experience,
cause M. Julian is astonished," she into Julian's art academy, and an but what I do is correct and like the immediate grip of her work, which original. As to the execution, it is greatly astonished Julian, and what one might expect after a week's Robert Fleury, the teacher in her work. All my conipanions draw better
than I do. What makes me think section. It was certainly an ex
I shall do better than they is that, traordinary thing that a vivacious though I feel their nerit, I should girl of seventeen, whose position not be content to do as they do; whereenabled her to go into society as as most beginners say, 'If I could only much as she wished, should work draw like So-and-so, or So-and-so !"* for eight and nine hours a day in a
Yet, if M. Julian did not praise, small, close, ugly studio, with a fervour not to be surpassed by
but blamed her, or if even his those whose art was their bread. words of praise were not glowing “All that in an hour !" cried enough, her fears got the better M. Robert Fleury, correcting one
of her, she ceased calculating the of her sketches, but she must be number of months which she would
need to make herself renowned, furious (enragée).” Her powers and began to think that, after all, were at once apparent; so plainly she had mistaken her vocation ; so, in fact, that it took some time to convince both Julian and Robert neither could she judge herself Fleury that she had never worked fairly again until she had proseriously at art before. “You did voked a renewal of the praise all that alone ?” is the constant
which was her medicine. She
brooded on blame, and passed and somewhat incredulous demand during the first few days of her lightly over praise. studio-life, to be followed by en “What a much greater impression couragements to work which spoke disagreeable things make than pleas
ant ones !” she says epigrammatically renounce myself, I do not understand in this connection. For the last how Julian and Tony (Robert Fleury] month I heard nothing but encourage- can say what they do. I am nothing, ments, except once, a fortnight ago; I have nothing dans le ventre (ö this morning I am scolded, and I only Zola !). Beside Breslau I feel like remember this morning ; but it is so a thin, fragile card-board box near in everything and always. A thou- a massive, richly sculptured oaken sand persons applaud, one only hisses, chest." and one hears that one more than the
She envies Bresiau her milieu, thousand."
where persons and things are Most characteristically Marie artistic. " The milieu is half the proceeds to grow jealous of the talent while one is a pupil," she successes of the most gifted and says later, comparing Breslau's advanced artist in the studio. advantages in this respect with
the constant friction and nervous “Breslau has been working in the studio for two years, and she is twenty, tension to which she herself is while I am seventeen ; but Breslau subjected through her efforts to had drawn a great deal before coming control her impatience at the here. And I, wretch! I have only philistinism of her family, through been drawing for a fortnight. How her struggles to feel and show well Breslau draws !"
gratitude for the numberless marks Her artistic life resolves itself of devotion which the fundamental henceforth in great measure into want of sympathy between herself a race with Breslau.
“ In two or
and her “mothers" rendered inthree months I shall draw as she tensely galling to her spirit of does—that is to say, very well." independence. But she puts her She compares all her work with finger on the real difference beBreslau's; she is continually pull. tween herself and Breslau, and ing herself up to ask herself reveals the cause of the fever of how Breslau drew at the corre- her work in the words in which sponding stage of her studies. she comments on a success atWhen her painting seems at a tained by Breslau while she herstandstill (she was encouraged to self was too ill to work. begin to paint very soon after “Besides, it's not my fault. One entering the studio) she consoles must act according to one's nature. herself with the thought that She is entirely devoted to her art; as Breslau too, was said at first to be for me, I invent dresses, I dream of no colourist; “yet now,” she adds, draperies, bodices, triumphs in sowith the artistic appreciation of a
She follows her bent,
I mine. But my powers åre cramped generous
“now, 'her tones by it." sing.' She is glad to have found Art and society, — she could rea rival worthy of her.
“ With the others," she says, “I should
nounce neither; must be first in have gone to sleep.
and lost her life in the
struggle. -“This girl,” she writes later on in In the studio she escaped from one of her moments of despairing de- the artificial atmosphere which had pression—" this girl is a power; she hitherto stifled her full developis not the only one, of course, but we come from the same cage, not to say of true equality which sustained
ment, to find herself in an element from the same nest, and I divined and foresaw it, and told you so in her, braced her, and encouraged the very first days, I, ignorant being her powers to their fullest energy as I was then. "I despise myself, I of expression.