« НазадПродовжити »
but think that this exerts a good with a laugh; "I never knew influence on all. There!. I have he had any. He was the most done.
thorough aristocrat, as he was one Mal. Well, you have made a of the ahlest men, I ever knew." long speech, and I will not say Bel. I have always heard that there is no truth in what you urge. he was a very remarkable man. But really is there anything more
Mal. In every way.
At the absurd than a Frenchman with his Bar he was facile princeps among Legion of Honour on his overcoat, a group of eloquent and able men, on his undercoat, on his dressing- equally powerful with the Bench gown, on his waistcoat? I honestly and the jury—a severe student and believe that if you strip him naked laborious worker in his profession, you will find it pasted or tattooed and a man of indomitable perseon his breast. Dissect him, and verance and industry. With all on his heart would be written Le- this, he was a great fop in his gion of Honour, as Calais on Mary dress, and had the folly to assume, of England's heart.
before the Bar and Bench, a careBel. Very true; but none the less contempt of study. After less the red ribbon is a great working all night on a case, he power in the hands of the Govern- would present himself in court ment; and if a Frenchman is ridi- finically dressed in the height of culous in our eyes in the mode in the fashion, with the air of a man which he wears it and in the pride who had given but slight attention he takes in it, all the more it shows to the case he was to argue, and that the ribbon is a power. For begin his argument in an artificial my own part, it amuses me exces- tone of voice and manner, as if he sively, but that is no reason why were but slightly interested in it. it should be abandoned.
But as he went on, his air and Mal. You are an abominable manner changed; he threw off this, aristocrat.
affectation, and showed such masBel. I think I should be a fool tery of details, such consummate if, knowing I could secure the best power in marshalling his argument, services of any one by giving him such power of illustration and eloso trifling a thing as a ribbon, I quence, as to carry everything beshould refuse to do so.
fore him. The jury, which had Mal. You remind me of an anec- begun by smiling, became spell'dote which Mr Justice Story used bound. The Court and Bar listened to tell of William Pinckney, the with profound attention; and when distinguished lawyer. On his re- he took his seat, it was no easy turn to America, after having rep- task to counteract the impression resented his country as Minister which he had left. in England, he came to see the Bel. Eloquence seems to be a judge, and talking over with him thing of the past. We have behis impressions of life and society come more practical and more there, he said, “Were it not for commonplace than we used to be. my republican prejudices, I know We do not believe in eloquence. of no position more enviable than Would it be possible now, for inthat of a peer of the realm of Great stance, for any man to produce Britain, with a large rent roll. such an effect upon the House of Were it not for my republican Commons as Sheridan did in his prejudices." "His republican prin- great speeches? That cold, august, ciples !” the judge used to repeat, and critical body was then so
moved by him, that tears ran events, one is not in constant fear down the cheeks of some of the lest he break down utterly ; but members; and such was the im- the Englishman so stumbles and pression he made, that after he corrects himself, so hesitates over took his seat all further discussion all his sentences, that it is with a for the time was impossible, and sense of relief that we see him take the House was forced to adjourn his seat. Of course there are noble in order to recover its composure, exceptions to all this in both So, too, in the Senate in America. countries; and I confess that I Some of the great speeches of am on the English side in preferWebster carried grave senators ring business - like and practical away with the vigour and earnest- statements and arguments, even ness of their eloquence, and changed though they are flat, to windy talk the whole aspect of the question and strained phrases. There is But we are lower-toned now, have certainly little or no eloquence less enthusiasm, and, I am afraid, in the House of Commons at the less heart than in the olden days. present day; but there is prac
Bel. Oh, oh! Given the elo- tical debate and discussion, howquent man, you would find the
ever dull. seme impression again. The truth Bel. Yes ; but men who are by is, we have not the eloquent man; nature eloquent are cowed by the and surely there is nothing moreun- House of Commons, and often do pleasantnay, more ludicrous and not dare to give vent to the enrepulsive-than that wordy and thusiasm they feel. The fashion inflated counterfeit of eloquence has changed from what it was in which is sometimes heard in the time of Sheridan, and I doubt America, in which there is such a whether the House would now lispennyworth of brains and thought ten to his speeches. We have to such a monstrous quantity of changed our manners and speech as verbiage. Not that the Ameri- well as our dress. We go in for cans are not facile and good the useful and the practical. We speakers generally. The difficulty affect slang in our conversation, is, that they are too facile. They and indifference in our opinions. let their words run away with We understate everything, and their thoughts. They orate : their object to enthusiasm.
We wear swelling sentences are for the most cutaways and trousers, and earnpart sham; they do not rise out estness is not exactly good style. of the heart and mind, and pour People stare if you are enthusiasforth from necessity and with an ticmas much as if you wore tunics. inborn strength. They are all · Life is no longer picturesque but pumped up, and there is nothing monotonous, and the critical spirit more hateful than this. Eloquence is so in vogue that every one is is not a garment which can be put in fear of what may be said and on to thought at will.
thought of what they do. Not to Mal. If in America oratory is do “ the thing” that is expected routhing and inflated, in England is to make yourself a conspicuous it is flat and commonplace, hesi- target for the shafts of all, and tating, and generally so conscious everybody is expected to do what that it is painful to the listener. others are doing. This destroys The American has a great gift individuality and monotonises of what the Chinese would call character. Once England was full “Talkee! talkee !” and at all of characters; now all are cut out
on the same pattern, all spcak Mal. Women's costumes are betalike, all dress alike. The eccen ter, But women always manage tric Englishman at home is almost to look well in anything. No a thing of the past.
matter how hideous any fashion Mal. What a picture! It is a is, it is always thought becoming. horrible age, as the present always But a beautiful woman will be is to those who are living in it. I beautiful despite her dress—not don't, however, think we are worse because the dress is becoming to than our fathers or grandfathers. the person, but the person to the They railed at their age as much dress. They so lend their grace as we at ours. But in one respect and charın to it, that they rob it I agree we have not changed of its ugliness. We can't help lovthings for the better, and that is ing thein whatever they wear. in our dress. Still we naturally Bel. All costumes are going out. abuse the present. The world Manchester invades the secretest always has and will.
village of the Abruzzi ; and even recall to your memory soine lines the peasants are now abandoning from an anonymous poem of the their dress. Oi rilisation has trilatter part of the sixteenth century, umphed over picturesqueness; the or the early half of the seventeenth. stove · pipe black hat is making It is the old complaint that the its way to the Pyramids; and the times are growing worse :
formal coats and uncouth trousers
of the West are iurading the East, “ Our ladies in those days In civil habit went;
and driving out the flowing oriental Broadclots was then worth praise,
robes. The world is getting frightAnd gave the best content. fully monotonous and ugly. ColFrench fashions then were scorned, ours are going out, and man is
Fond fangles then none knew ; ondeavouring as far as he can to Then modesty women adorned make himselt hideous. Think of When this old cap was new !"
the old Florentine streets, of the Bel. Man's dress is frightful— Rialto at Venice, of the Mart of without dignity, beauty, or con Genoa, of the Forum of Rome, of venience.
the Piazze of Sicily and Naples, Mal. No; not without convc of Siena and Milan and Pisa, and nience.
Mantua and Verona, in the golden Bel. Yes; without convenience. days of their prosperity, in the It is nothing but habit which time of their republics and monmakes trousers
tolerable. archies, what picturesquenes3, They swell at the knee and the what variety of costume, what hip, they drag up the leg, they brilliancy of colour, what animagather all the moisture and mud tion there was! How splendidly about the ancles and shoes, and their figures grouped together in are in every way as inconvenient the streets and market places! All as they are ugly. The proof of it was picture wherever one looked. is, that if we go out to shoot or Gorgeous colours flashed in the ride or march, we change thenı if sunlight. Rich robes swept the we can. Every soldier can march pavements. Dignified figures movfarther in a day with his trousers ed along, in costumes befitting the pulled up and tied under the majesty of man and the beauty knee, so as to afford the leg full of women. Remeinber the old Venplay, than if he wear them down etian and Florentine and Sienese over his shoes.
pictures which report the aspect
of their cities in those days, and that its expectations are not ancontrast them with the dull mon- swered. Art is forced to fly to otonous vulgarity that now char- the past and to ideal regions, for acterises their street-life. Are we daily life offers few subjects which any better for all this change? can satisfy the painter or the Have we gained anything by the sculptor. sacrifice of all this variety and Bel. The present always has to beauty? Compare the England of those who live in it a touch of the to-day with England in the time prosaic. There is a friend of mine of Elizabeth simply for costume.
who insists that in this age sculpNever have men been so badly ture has no right to exist that it dressed as in this nineteenth cen- is all reminiscence, and that real tury. Prose has triumphed over statues are a thing of the past. poetry, ugliness
beauty. Mal. That is encouraging to What a loss to art! Great deeds sculptors.
Rut thank Heaven, are still done. Great men live then, that we have the past to and move and act. Great events live in and to work with and occur—full of interest, and fraught I am not sure that this is not in with great consequences. But how certain views an advantage. There represent them in art? The heart is always in every sphere enough may beat as high, the purpose be to do if we know how to do it. as noble, the act in itself as grand; If the forms in which we cast our but how can you represent it in thoughts are old, the feeling and art, vulgarised by trousers, and passion we put into them, may be debased to the eye by our modern new. Love and sorrow, and life dresses? This great man, who illu- and death, and mirth and all the mined our age by his wit, his wis- varieties of passion still exist, and dom, his courage, his foresight, his human nature is the same for generosity, deserves a statue ; but how can art represent what the Bel. There is a good deal of raind craves, so long as he wears human nature in man. But, come, our dress?
you must not work any more. Mal. The sculptor is forced into These folds are all right. utter falsification of the fact on Mal. I wish I thought so; but the one hand, by representing him they never will be right until I as he never appeared; or utter fal- think so. sification of all ideal demands on Bel. You've looked at it too the other, by a literal and prosaic long. Wait till to-morrow, and portraiture. And between these see it with a fresh eye. two stools the poor sculptor must Mal. And pull it all down. fall. The public demands what is Bel. At all events, leave it now, impossible, and then is dissatisfied and let us have our walk.
ISFAHÁN TO BUSHIRE.?
ROADS AND RESOURCES OF SOUTHERN PERSIA.
By Colonel MARK SEVER B-LL, V.C., A.D.C., Royal Engineers.
The main postal route from Is- eighteen tall arches of brick and fahán to the Gulf is vid Shíráz; stone, and finished our first stage to Shíráz the road offers no diffi- at Bágh-i-Wahsh, a village of 120 culties over the 320 iniles of its families and 51 ploughs. Such a length. Beyond this, however, for village in the Mahal-i-Lánján is about 50 miles, it is exceedingly rated at 300 tománs per annum. bad. The total distance by this with our carpet and bed spread route is 520 miles. It is possible on the house-top, we listened to to convert it into a cart-track, and what the Kut-Khúdá of the place its difficulties are less than on the and his fellows had to say for line between Isfahán and Shústar themselves, and drank of the icy vid Ardal - 275 miles, of which cold water drawn from the well in 90 miles are very difficult. The the courtyard below. Our con600 miles of comparatively desert versation soon took its usual turn, route between Isfahán and Tarbat- "ruin of trade by exactions,” &c., i-Haidari offer no terrors or diffi- &c. The stately women passed culties to caravans of camels, which and repassed with their earthen can accomplish the journey in about water-jars on their heads; and did twenty-seven days. By the Kárún our village maidens but know route, then, Khúrásán can be what upright forms and elegant reached in about forty-five days limbs this custom engenders, they of actual travelling—a time that would follow this example of their compares favourably with the land Eastern sisters, much to the imjourney from Bandar Abbás, also provement of their figures. All the about forty five days, and estab- lands about here are what is termlishes the fact that Shústar is cap- ed “Khorlasey”—i.e., the property able of becoming the port, not only of the Sháh; when the lands are for Isfahán, Tihrán, and Hamadán, owned by the villagers they are &c., but also for Khúrásán. With called “urbábi.” The plain in improved tracks, Tabriz likewise which this village stands, from 7 comes within its influence (600 to 8 miles broad from north to miles).
south, was a garden in the time of Leaving Julfa on the 27th May, Shah Abbás, of which royal enour path led through the cultivated closure the walks were still appabelt of country known as the rent. Within the gardens stood a Lower Lánján, a well-populated menagerie, and hence was derived district, covered with fruit-gardens the present name of the villageand pigeon-towers, and containing the Garden of Wild Beasts.' The 300 or 400 villages. At 10 miles second day's march took us by easy we crossed the river Zaindarúd gradients over the Gardan-i-Ris by a bridge, 150 yards long, with (the summit of which incline has
i See “ A Visit to the Karún River and Kúm,” in the April number, and “Kúm to Isfahan,” in the June number, of Blackwood's Magazine.'