Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Chippewa Indians. On the well pro- “ We will do our best, dear papa," vided table of Don Gil however, no replied Carlota. “But you need not such abominations were visible; but, begin to anticipate Don Miguel's reon the contrary, a light repast, suited proaches, for which you will have to the climate and the hour, and in ample leisure to prepare, as we mean which a judicious mixture of Spanish to keep Cecilia a long, long time before and French cookery was visible. On we will so much as hear her talk of a side-table were various kinds of fruit going.” and sweetmeats, intended for the des. I am sure I hope so," said Don sert. The purple fig, bursting with Gil, " and for the present, at least, juicy ripeness, and disclosing its bright you have excellent auxiliaries in your pink contents, the refreshing grape, design of retaining our fair and wel. the portly melon, the cold-blooded come guest a captive, for the high-road pasteque, with its seeds like flattened between this and Miranda is infested beads of jet, were there; whilst in large with Carlist guerilla parties. Only coolers of that porous earth which three days back they stopped a party gives so icy a chill to the wine, were of travellers, and, after putting to fight placed the produce of some of the their small escort, stripped them of choicest vineyards of southern Spain. every thing, and even carried off seve

The persons assembled round the ral, whom they still retain till ransupper.table were five in number- somed.” Don Gil and his lady, a motherly kind The conversation now began to run of person, possessed of a respectable upon the horrors of the civil war, the degree of obesity, and their two daugh- dangerous state of the roads, and the ters, lively girls, who, without being depredations committed by the Carexactly handsome, had in their favour lists. Don Gil had been to Santander those iwo good points which in Span- that morning, and had numerous incia ish women often atone for want of dents to relate, and atrocities to des. regularity of feature, namely, fine cant upon, which he had gleaned from eyes and hair.

They might even the Madrid papers and the flying rehave passed for pretty, had they not ports of the day. To all these the been utterly thrown into the shade by ladies listened with attentive ears and the presence of a friend who had been quaking hearts, until their imaginations for some time on a visit at the house. became so excited that they almost Although the extreme loveliness of fancied themselves in the midst of the this lady lost some of its piquant bril- dangers they had heard recounted. At liancy by a tinge of melancholy that length, after a long and slightly exwas not natural to her, yet even un- aggerated account of some excesses der its least favourable aspect it was committed in Lower Arragon by Casufficient to deprive of all notice beau- brera and his followers, who were ties of much greater pretensions than represented to have killed, if not eaten, either Carlota or Francisca Mendez. an incredible number of Christinos,

Vamos, Doña Cecilia!" exclaim the narrator paused, apparently thinked the good-natured master of the ing that his listeners must have supped house; “ Vamos, senorita, mia! you do full of horrors; and, producing a frag. but small honour to the humble fare ment of maize leaf and a little finely of us Montaneses.* Let me urge you cut tobacco, proceeded to manufacture to taste this old pajarete. 'Tis a wine the cigaretto, in which it was his wont suited to a lady's palate, although its to indulge before retiring to rest. mellow sweetness is almost too lus- " Gracios à Dios !said Senora cious for the taste of men. But how Mendez, after a pause of some durais this, girls," added he, turning to his tion, during which the excellent wodaughters, " can you find no means of man, who was somewhat of the slowest driving away the clouds from your of thinkers, had been pondering on friend's brow? When last she was all she had heard; “ Gracios à Dios ! here, no bird could be gayer, I shall in our quiet corner of Castile we have fear to let her return to her father not had much to suffer from this with this pale sad countenance. My terrible war, and we can eat and old friend Requena will think we have drink, lie down and rise up, without cast a spell over her."

the dread of finding ourselves, at any

* The part of Old Castile in which Santander stands is called La Montana, or the mountain, and its inhabitants Montaneses, or mountaineers.

nor

a

moment, in the power of a band of Don Gil appeared somewhat taken remorseless savages.".

aback when he cast his eyes on the Scarcely had the last word been

paper. uttered, when Don Gil, who was * The sum is large,” said he,“ sitting opposite his wife, beheld a have I the fifth part of it by me. sudden and most extraordinary change Surely less will do." take place in her appearance. Every « Not a maravedi,” was the answer. particle of blood seemed to leave her 66 Trifle not with us, Senor. You are face, her eyes became fixed and staring, a merchant, I believe, and have doubther lower jaw dropped, and she sank less correspondents in France. For back in her chair as though seized the amount that you are unable to with some sudden illness. Nor would

pay in gold or silver, you can give an it be safe to affirm that the counte- order on Bayonne or Bordeaux. But nance of the jovial merchant him- beware of practising any deception. self preserved its usual ruddy tinge, If your order is paid you shall not bo when, following the direction of his molested again, but if the contrary, wife's gaze, he saw standing in the this will not be our last visit." doorway, and only a few feet from the Making a virtue of necessity, the back of his chair, a fully armed and unlucky Don Gil took up a bougie, most truculent-looking Carlist. At and, accompanied by the Carlist, left the same instant a piercing shriek was the room, in order to seek what was uttered by the young ladies, as the necessary to satisfy the unexpected curtain of one of the open windows demand made upon him. The two was put aside, and a second intruder other intruders seated themselves at of similar appearance to the other the end of the table nearest the door, stepped into the room. To complete and began to address some commonthe tableau, a prodigious scufiling of place remarks and compliments to feet was heard in the corridor, which, the ladies, first expressing their regret drawing nearer and nearer, was ex- for the alarm they had caused them. plained by the pell-mell entrance of But the latter were still too terrified the old serving-man and three women, to reply otherwise than by mono. composing Don Gil's country esta- syllables, and under such circumstanblishment, closely pursued by a third ces the conversation seemed likely to Carlist, pistol in hand, which, how- die a natural death, when a new perever, he replaced in his belt so soon sonage appeared upon the scene. This as he crossed the threshold of the was the Carlist who had been detach. supper-room. The man who had ed to reconnoitre the neighbourhood, hitherto guarded the doorway now and now rejoined his comrades. stepped forward.

" All is quiet without,” cried he, as ** There is no cause for alarm, he entered the room, “and if you are Senoras," said he in a most courteous ready, we have nothing to do but detone. “ Our business is with this part as peaceably as we came." gentleman, who I presume is the Then, becoming aware of the premaster of the house."

sence of ladies, he raised his boina And he turned to Don Gil, who with much courtesy of manner, and, bowed assent, and, emboldened by the in so doing, the light of a large lamp mild address of the Carlist, ventured suspended from the ceiling fell full to enquire, though in rather a tre. mulous voice, what he could do to At the first sound of that voice, serve his new acquaintance.

Doña Cecilia had given a violent A very small matter, Senor,' re- start; but when, by the action of liftplied the other, "and by doing it ing his cap, the features of the young quickly, and with a good grace, you officer became distinctly visible, she will oblige us, and avoid the oc- sprang from her chair, uttering the currence of any thing unpleasant to name of Arnold. yourself or these ladies.” And taking “ Cecilia!" exclaimed the Carlist, a paper from his pocket, he presented and, rushing forwards, he clasped her it to Don Gil.

in his arms. “Soon as you have counted out the Greatly astounded and scandalized sum there set down,” continued he, were the Senora Mendez and her “we will wish you good-night, and daughters-and greatly astonished and

-withdraw both ourselves and the troops amused the companions of the fortuthat at present surround the house.' nate Arnold. The latter led Cecilia

[ocr errors]

upon his face.

[ocr errors]

into the recess of a window, and for plundered greatly to multiply the three or four minutes a conversation number of the plunderers. After a which, although a whispered one, did time, one of those strange rumours not appear to be the less animated, which might be propagated by voices was carried on between them. This in the air, so impossible does it seem parley terminated, Arnold spoke a to be ever to discover their authors, word to his comrades in a low tone, or trace them to any source, obtained and the lady left the room.

much credit at Santander. It was to Don Gil and the Carlist who had the effect, that no Carlists had ever accompanied him now reappeared. approached Mendez' house, but that “ I am sorry to put you or your fa- the persons who had deprived him of mily under any restraint,” said the what was a very trifling sum to a man latter, " but we are about to depart, of his wealth, were four young Polish and must naturally take measures to and German officers, who, having ensure an unmolested retreat. You served in the French legion étranger, will therefore not be offended, I trust, and despairing of ever obtaining their if we secure the door of this apart- arrears of pay from the impoverished ment on the outside. Within a mo

Spanish government, had taken this derate distance of the windows, a few novel and somewhat unprincipled of our men will remain, and if, during means of repaying themselves the the space of one hour, any person were price of their blood and their services to attempt to leave the room or give -an act certainly only to be palliated the slightest alarm, the consequences by their position as exiles, rendering would be such as I should deeply re- the money that was due to them acgret. That time expired, you will be tually necessary to their very existperfectly at liberty to act in whatever ence. manner you

think
proper.”

Don Gil's first care, after seeing the As may be supposed, this caution troops depart, as he thought, on the took away any inclination to disobey track of his spoilers, was to write to the parting injunction of the unwel- Miranda to Cecilia's father, informing come visiters, and a very long hour him of his daughter's extraordinary was suffered to elapse before send elopement, and, being aware of his ing round a servant to unfasten friend's hasty temper, he awaited the the room door. The first thing reply in some trepidation. Owing to done was to institute a search for the unsafe state of the road, an unCecilia, but she was no where to usually long time elapsed before he be found, and it was evident from received it, and he was then agreeably the disappearance of part of her ward- surprised to learn that Don Miguel robe, that she did not intend to return had heard from his daughter, who, he speedily, if at all. Innumerable con- said, had been ransomed from her . jectures were hazarded as to the mo- captors, and was then in France, tives of her extraordinary conduct; where she was to remain a short time but the ladies were wearied with the in the house of a friend. There was events of the night, and at length a tone of vexation, however, running retired to their bedrooms. Don Gil through the letter, and an evident caused his horse to be saddled, and disinclination to enter into details, that before morning reached Santander, puzzled Senora Mendez, who shook whence strong detachments were im- her head, and appeared to think it mediately sent out in pursuit of the strange that Don Miguel made no alluCarlist force, by which he stated his sion to Cecilia's recognition of the house to have been attacked. But all Carlist, and to her having voluntaresearches were fruitless, and, strange rily accompanied him, circumstances to say, in none of the neighbouring which had been duly communicated to villages or hamlets could tidings be her father. A few weeks later came obtained of the marauders, nor had any another letter from old Requena, anCarlist troops been seen or heard of nouncing his daughter's marriage with for some days past. This, added to a foreign officer of high birth and the circumstance that no footmarks great merit, and about the same time or other traces of the presence of a Don Gil received from an unknown large body of men were visible in the hand the exact sum of which he had neighbourhood of Don Gil's habita- been robbed on the memorable night tion, made many persons say that of Cecilia's elopement. terror and surprise had caused the

a

EXHIBITIONS.

In our last, we complained of the give them their proper effect. Those attractive glare of modern exhibitions, who think that bright blues, bright and compared their force upon the reds, and bright yellows, as little sight to the magnetic mountain that mixed as may be, will give them drew the nails out of Sinbad's ship. power, greatly err; for as they have That in this lies a fault of our Eng. a limited, so have they a poor palette. lish painters, we entertain not the And they who think they can make up slightest doubt. They begin upon too

for the force which a nice distinction high a scale, and there is not the due of half-tone, and the opposition of proportion of half-tones in their works. cool and warm, in indefinite degrees, They aim at force, we think, by wrong and relatively in all colours, would means the greatest contrast of crude give them, by splashes of asphaltum colours, and of extreme dark opposed and black in juxtaposition to crude to extreme light. It is similar to the white or yellow, are like the ranters practice in much of our modern music, on the stage, who overact their parts ---it wants the half-tone: there is too throughout, for lack of the nice dismuch of the bang-bang, and the higher, crimination of the delicate lights and brilliant, and sometimes scarce audible shades of character, which mostly, notes. The very term “ brilliant," in after all, blend themselves with human music, has been borrowed from the sympathies. The eye of the painter sister art; but in neither art is the true and of the public becomes vitiated by brilliancy thus obtained: true brilliancy false colouring-it loses its power of is not mere light—that may be opaque; nice distinction. We have heard picit is from within, and deep, and per

tures called monotonous and colourvading to the upper surface; it is the less which have in them ten times whole luminous contexture, as of pre. more varieties and gradations than cious stones. It throws out light from those which have been praised for itself, and is the more beautiful as all colour. It is easy at one glance to other light about it is subdued. Such see the crude and positive; but the was and such is the luminous quality undefined, the nameless, yet thoroughof the pictures by Titian, and by Cor. ly effective, mostly lying in the more reggio; and in landscape of Claude hidden magic of half-tone, court not and of Poussin, and indeed more or the attention of eyes that do not haless of every master of the old schools bitually take much of their sense from of great name and fame. And un- judgment and feeling. We discard questionably Sir Joshua Reynolds and too much the power of quietness, the founders of the English school which is great, and often greatest, as did aim at giving to their pictures a means of rendering violence more this quality. We have, since their violent. There can be nothing grand day, been continually deserting their that shall not have in it something of practice. They, that is, the old Ve- repose; and there is something in renetian, the Italian, and the earlier pose which is always great. When English, did not think that good Virgil makes his Laocoon bellow like colouring consisted in laying on the a bull, we have little more sympathy canvass as much crude blue, red, and for the Priest of Neptune than for the yellow, as possible, and in forcible brute. The silence, the repose of sufcontrast, but in the blending and ju- fering would have better dignified the dicious use of the mixed colours-tints priest; when he roars, he is even bethat it is sometimes difficult to define, low ourselves, for we fancy we could and give a name to, that yet have an

bear inconceivable and matchless grace and « Clamores simul horrendos ad sidera beauty. Power we conceive to con

tollit; sist in this, in the being able to multi. Quales mugitus, fugit cum saucius aram ply, by combination, colours which, Taurus, et incertam excussit cervice as they are in a great measure the securim." creation of the worker, and through We think, then, that a great part of him only made perceptible, are with- the fatigue of which the visiters to our out names. Here is the power of the exbibitions complain, is to be attripalette--the genius of the painter will buted to that false principle of colour.

was

ing adopted by our painters, which bright though he be, and his crisped discards repose, and which aims at mantle floats and flickers in the air, it a glare and vividness and too high is not with too sudden and vivid a lights. Let any one walk across from flash of light or of colour—the loveli. the Academical Exhibition to the ness of the repose of that golden age National Gallery to be convinced that may not be so violently broken in this fault does exist, and is not the ne- upon. You perceive that the will cessary effect of an exhibition. It is and vigorous action of the God Bactrue the National Gallery has not so chus are fully characterised without many pictures; but still it is not a such disturbance. There is the allmatter of more or less fatigue, but joyous bachanalian company, and the there is a positive refreshment to the young triumphant fawn.god trailing eye and mind in quitting the one set the mountain victim's head-all in low of rooms for the other.

We mean

tones, and yet would you say that all not to assert that all the pictures in is not joyous ? There is no effort to the one gallery are good, any more bring out any thing by forced conthan we do that all in the other are trast. The young fawn.god, so globad—but that in general the opposing rious, is not made conspicuous ; his principles upon which both those of character is in his air and attitude, his one and the other were painted are position, and his doing, not forced into manifest. Now, while in the Na- observation by blues, and reds, and tional Gallery, let us seek the cause of high lights—it is in fact all in shade. this general effect by adverting to one And what an indescribable colour is or two pictures. We will take the the sky and distance !-the sky is not most gorgeous-for gorgeous painting blue, as we call blue, yet what azure is what we aim at; let us look at the more beauteous, and the light Bacchus and Ariadne of Titian; and clouds, how deep they are! The whole for landscape, the embarkation of St picture is perfectly fabulous, poetically Ursula. These are works of the fabulous, and so made by the pervagreatest richness of colouring. If you ding subdued tones. We are in the have not practised your eye, you will habit of hearing Titian spoken of as scarcely believe how much of these a great colourist. He was so, it is pictures is half tone, how little of po- true ; but he was much more-he was sitive unmixed colour is in them, and great as a composer. Nothing can that in neither of them is an atom of be more effective than his manner of our high lights. Try by this test-to telling a story: His grouping is perthe brightest and lightest parts hold fect; and so the action of his indivi. a piece of white paper, imagine you dual figures. Now, let us look at the. see only that colour against which Claude. " The embarkation of St Uryou place it, as if it were on your sula." And let all flimsy flashy landpalette ; you would perhaps call it scape painters, that would paint the dirty; you would say it could not be warm sun by raw flake wbite, or bright; remove your paper, go to the chrome yellow, blush for their ignoproper distance, and what do you see? rance, not knowing how all this lumi. that it is bright, luminous, and clear: nous effect is made by subdued tones. try in like manner all the tones, and

white paper against the then examine the manner of the glaz- sun, or any other part of the sky. ing, and you will find how the whole How deep it is!—this is no mere sur

We give these two face painting, there is nothing crude ; subjects, because they possess, what it and could you cut out an inch of this is supposed we mostly strive to ac- luminous sky, and show it as a sample, quire, gorgeous brilliancy and air. it would do about as well as the brick The atmosphere in the Titian is quite did for the house. Show it where of the “ golden age,” when gods you will, few would believe that was might walk the earth-the earth en- part of a clear luminous sky. But riched and under a glory fit to receive look at the picture as a whole, and such visitants, and why not call it the mark how wonderfully bright-brilpoetical glory? All the landscape, liant, if you like the word better-it sky, and background, are in repose, is. Then you will observe there is repose yet luminous, throwing out, no flashy colouring, no affected force even from the depths, their own lights. to make the figures tell they are all The action of the godhead, in his vio- in half tone. If painters, who follow lence, has yet its repose of confidence ; another method, throw nature in your

Put your

power is effected.

« ZurückWeiter »