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sweetness of the lips, the dimple in the throat, the shadow of the breast on the fragment of the round arm, the projection of the knee toward you. Your impression is intensive, and those perfect outlines are half forgotten in richness of detail, in the brilliance and daring of her modeling. Or, reverse this, let the side-light come from your left. The image is instantly softer; the shadows are less obvious, the lights are broader and merge into each other. It is like a change of mood; and the motionless, flexible, buxom creature, full weight on light foot, seems much more shy and musing.

All these have been with the full opposition of the front view. Return now, for a moment more, to the side-light from your right, and keep that illumination constant while we try other points of view, turning the statue by degrees in a circle away from the light. With this motion, the draped projection of the left knee accentuates itself, and the crevices of shadow on the bare torso enrich and deepen and mingle until a totally new impression strikes you with the figure in profile, its back to the light, and the front of the body outlined in narrow shadow. There is thus a richer coquetry of the tilted head; the body is sharply and gracefully slender; and on the forward knee the slipping draperies are deepened into something like the breadth of modern costume.

If you turn her until the armless shoulder seems to touch the chin, so that the head inclines directly away from you, you find that the back is charming too; you take new delight in those delicate flat contours that run from the shoulder blades to the neck, where is the loose lock of hair; and when she has turned entirely away from you, you will have to hunt out new words for the new impression. The artful richness of the hair is now more evident, and the bold oblique curves of the draperies, so fine a correction and balance of the figure's sway to the right. From this point of view the figure is most completely given, with the profile of the right side following down the straight curves of the draped right leg. And in that smooth flat rondure of the bare back you get an impression of firm and frank good health, the clear sweet excellence of the flesh, together with an added quality about the whole pose; it looks virginal, abstracted, pensive; it has a dear humility, it is almost comically tender; and out of the unfamiliar look upon so familiar a creature you get new admiration and new pity.

And last, finishing the circle, bring her around to the profile facing the light. This is the side of the arm, and the straight leg; and in profile here one gets the sharpest impress of her lightness. The pose is buoyant indeed; perfectly natural, relaxed, resting, but full of motion suspended, like a bird just perched. And the pretty head thrust forward and the face's profile here without a shadow are most youthful and animated. Have I tired you out? There are yet a hundred

a choices and chances with the Venus. Put her between two windows, and watch the play of reflections and cross-lights. Light the lamp over her head, or at her feet, and see how differently her beauty expresses itself. Change the color of the light, or of the background, and see how she adapts herself to the change. She's constantly changing. Custom cannot stale her infinite variety. She steals this moment and that into your vision; she is harmony and attune for your mood, rest for your weariness, dignity for your discouragement, pride for your defeat; and most of all she is the right correction for that contempt of all the flesh which is ours in bad moments. Vulgarity,-she's not thinking of you !-vulgarity whose other name is prudery, cannot shame her into a detected wanton. Tragedy cannot frighten back into folly, nor hate nor death, the right loveliness that she is. This is what we were when we lived. We no more than half knew it, but we were beautiful.

III

Do you see how relative a thing is description? How it is again and again one of the successive moments of narration? How it is a thing of countless choices, as we have proved our statement of the truth to be, and how it must adapt itself to this statement? Do you see how it is the vocabulary of your idea ? And how then shall you describe? Why, describe as it seems to you in the story.

We read a pleasantly gossiping history of how Chopin composed, say, a particular nocturne; how he got lost in the Catacombs, was it?--that's those swinging progressions and resolutions from minor to minor; until he came upon a midnight procession of monks in the underground cloister, candles, and chants,—that's the hymn-like interlude. But you or I could make as good an interpretation if we should say it is the wind blowing, and in the lull of the wind a bird singing; or it is waves rolling under a gray sky, and the interlude a burst of sunlight. All such attempts to limit and fix the meaning of any art must fail. The reduction to absurdity is seen in those dreadful "descriptive” pieces we still hear occasionally: “The Storm," say; the pianist's hands flying up and down the keyboard in an increasing agitation, that's the wind; the pianist suddenly sitting on the bass keys, thunder; running a finger down the keyboard and your spine, lightning; and interluding a few chords from the "Rock of Ages” for religion, you know, and all that sort of thing. I once knew a little girl who composed such a descriptive piece. I think it was as good as any. First a little bird sang—that was a melody of three notes in the C major of this life; then the kangaroo came in, entering the stage from the bass notes and creeping stealthily up several octaves; then the hunter entered with the treble notes, and pursued the kangaroo back down the keyboard. This simple chase was terminated by a full-handed crash-the gun, of course; and last, after an impressive interval, the little bird sang again.

Well, but, you say, didn't even MacDowell, our best, do just that? In those suites he composed for the orchestra, aren't there winds in leaves, and echoes from cliffs, and all sorts of quaint birds and elves and oboes, in the music of the haunted forest? Yes; but I hold that this music does not depend for its meaning upon this interpretation; that it is complete in itself, and unexhausted by any one translation, that you never quite thus get its meaning out, and that other interpretations may easily be found which are quite as true to its progression. Above all, it is beautiful, reaching through discords and transitions its final harmony, plotting it all into a narration, as surely as a problem in mathematics reaches its quotation. It is life for a moment heard, and heard beautiful.

In what we are doing, nothing but the image of the word will keep the idea. Words are not as musical as tones, neither are they as colorful as pigments; far less vivid than either of these, they have nevertheless a much greater inclusion, they have something of the power of both. As you have been trying to find out the truth, you have been trying to find out the words that will contain and interpret that truth. Do not be misled. There is no such thing as an inexpressible idea; it is not an idea until it is expressed. The word "indescribable" is merely a proclamation of defeat. Describe as you go, describe in every word. There's no standard description; things change their appearance every minute; and, most of all, no one can describe for you.

IV

Two young people were of such constant comradeship that they went everywhere together as a matter of course, and without need or thought of specific engagements. boy and a girl, there was no more sentimentality in their fellowship than if they had been of one sex. So it seemed,

east, to the boy. So it was managed, no doubt, by the girl. He thought as little of hurting his friend as he would have done if his friend had been a boy, when he invited another girl, who bantered him into it, to go with him to a certain formal dance. The two friends together had not considered the dance, and this was equivalent, by their code, to a decision not to go. But the girl appeared also at the dance. She had had no invitation, because it was thought by the others that, of course, if she intended to come at all, she would come with her usual companion. But she had telegraphed to an old friend to come from another town and be her escort and partner. A girl of distinguished presence, she had never presumed upon it; but for this occasion she spent a month's allowance on her gown alone. She proved to be the feature of the dance; the sympathetic and delighted company fell at once into her train; and her dance-book was so immediately filled with engagements that there was no dance left when her old comrade came to ask for one.

In this bare record of an actual occurrence I have already been compelled carefully to describe, and you, no doubt, will have visualized far beyond the words I

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