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my ability, she said, and regretted that she had been denied the power which I possessed. As soon as I had finished the drawing, I placed my initials, and the date, on the back of it, and begged her acceptance of it. She received it with emotion. It was my first nibble at the bait.
But I will not spend time to tell of the events of that morning. We went from Dante's head to Michel Angelo's house, and thence to the Uffizzi gallery, and rounded to at the Hotel de New York about an hour before dinnertime.
Pour moi, I was glad to get to my room. I was tired-almost tired out; and, besides, I wished to reflect on the words of Doudney, which had, I confess, made a deep impression, and I was glad both of rest and time for a quiet ponder.
"Here am I"-said I, as I stretched myself on the lounge-" a poor painter, with just money enough to carry me through a brief tour of Italy and back to New York in the second cabin. When I arrive there, I shall have, as capital, a stock of paints and brushes, some little skill at using them, but not a paragraph of reputation, and hardly a single friend. She, who once inspired me to win fame and friends and her own sweet smiles, is heedless of the poor young artist: her father's wealth attracts suitors whom I can never hope to rival." (There, now, Mrs. R-you spoiled a splendid paragraph with your illtimed interruption! I am confident that if you had allowed yourself to-Well, well; we won't discuss that all over again.) And I went on complaining to myself of the sad fate which compelled me to paint out my heart for bread and butter, and groaned to think of that last picture which was ticketed "for sale" in Williams & Stevens's window.
On the other hand, here is well, here are forty thousand pounds and Miss Caley! Alas, the conjunc
tion! And yet I have seen worse matches made. She is in excellent health (a "decline" would be preferable, however), and she is passionately fond of art, and she-might be older, and she has forty thousand pounds! No more contriving, then, to spread the smallest possible amount of money over the broadest possible surface of time: no more of the drudgery of art; no more selling of the creations of weary hours for haggled pittances of dealers' prices; but-it was time to dress for dinner.
At table, it became convenient for me to occupy a seat next to Miss Caley; but we conversed but little, for Doudney was jovially voluble, and talked enough for all of us. He had made the acquaintance of a Mr. Brown, a splendid billiard-player, and he had taken a quiet turn up by the square of San Marco, and had a look through the Grand Duke's stables. "Splendid white Arab mare thur! Head finer than a bit of sculptuer! Eyes like a child's! Legs clean and straight, and such a pastern!"
After dinner, at Mrs. D.'s invitation, I accompanied my friends to their parlor, and when seated there, Miss Caley
A WELCOME GHOST.
assumed the lead in conversation, and, for some good reason, Doudney retired into ignoble silence. He ventured, however, to take out his cigar-case, and to indulge in semi-audible winks at me. Miss Caley soon noticed his actions, and, turning to me, remarked, very blandly,
"I have heard that you artists all smoke. Is it so? Doudney, offer Mr. R— a cigar. I often envy you gentlemen the pleasure you seem to take in smoking."
Surprise gave a momentary lift to Doudney's eyebrows, and he immediately came and pressed his case into my hands, winking, as he did so, "with the whole upper half of his body." It was as much as to say: There's for you, my boy! Go in and win!
Our cigars lighted, conversation became free and pleasant. Miss Caley eulogized, magnified, and glorified every. thing pertaining to art, in a manner which reminded me of that lady whose epitaph recorded the facts that "She was bland, passionate, and deeply religious;" that "she painted in watercolors, and sent several pictures to the exhibition;" that "she was second cousin to Lady Mary Jones;" and that, "of such is the kingdom of heaven."" The tendency of her remarks was so laudatory of artists-"heaven-inspired beings"-that I was obliged to remain silent; to reply to her by even the usual "Yes," was more than my modesty would allow. With many of her expressions of opinion, I could and did heartily coincide. Florence was the home of her heart: I coincided. She wished that she might spend her life there another coincidence chimed in
from me. She must purchase a villa just out of the city, somewhere; spend her winters there; surround herself with the society of artists; have a gallery, and become a patron of art: (coincidence No. 3). She did not wish to think of Rome. Pecuniary circumstances enabled me to coincide fully with the last remark. But at this point Mrs. Doudney ventured to put in a word about Easter and the illumination, and Mr. D.
asserted that about the only thing (?) he cared now to see in Italy, was the Pope: and so the conversation turned on the execution of what had been their plan of going to Rome for the ceremonies of the Holy Week. Concerning going to Rome, I had nothing to say; for the question of my going was settled by the state of my account with Maquay & Packenham. To save myself from exposure, I turned the subject on Dante; whereupon, Miss Caley produced my sketch, and demanded the admiration for it of her relatives. I must have other sketches, she said, and, with a singular admixture of command and entreaty in the tone of her voice, she bade me go and bring my collection. I was only too glad to go; so I went to my room for my portfolio.
On the way, I cursed the fortune which forbade my accompanying them to Rome, and wished a small share of
PAINT VERSUS PELF.
the £40,000 already in my possession. Aud I thought—a villa on the road to Fiesole, with a studio in a room with a northern aspect; or, a home there, and a studio next to White's, near the garden Torrigiani; time and means to study in the academy, and to copy pictures in the galleries, and similar etceteras. In my abstraction, I nearly forgot to take from the portfolio a horrid caricature of Miss Caley, made a day or two after I first saw her at table. If I had left that in!
On my return, my sketches were examined with numerous exclamationpoints of delight.
among modern painters. I never saw such happy effects in light and shade." And other adulatory and eulogistic criticisms.
A shade of sadness must have crossed my face; for I thought-ah! how sadly!-of what I might do, and of what seemed denied to me. Thoughts, too, of home and of you, Annie-despairing thoughts, crowded my aching heart. The inspiration of the love I had so long yet so hopelessly borne for you, had not yet entirely burned out in my brain. Yet, not for her, the proud, cold-hearted girl,
AGE BUYS BEAUTY.
would I win fame, but to show her that the poor artist she despised was one whom even she might care to recognize as gifted with genius, if not with wealth. I cannot put in words the emotions which made me silent and sad in the presence of my admiring friend. She must have noticed the seriousness upon my face, and my silence; for she closed the portfolio abruptly, and gave me an opportunity to wish her good-evening.
I had hardly left the room when Doudney joined me, and began, with "uncommon" earnestness, to shake both my hands, with alternations of patting me on the back vehemently.
positively prohibited the smoking of ono within the reach of her noserather a long one it is, and a sharp one, too. Come, now, none of this deuced melancholy ! You are sure to win. My wife has a pair of eyes of her own, and from what she says, I see the villa, and all that-eh, my boy! all in a lovely perspective; and the summers up in Westmoreland, where she owns the neatest little place; and a month or so at Paris, at Meurice's, if you like; and everything, generally, all your own way (Doubtful, that! thought I). Yes,
"My dear boy, didn't I say so! Did you see me wink to you when I gave you my cigar-case? Upon my word, now, she never could bear a cigar before.
my boy, it's as good as settled, and you'll do the walking hereafter. I'm discharged. thank my stars! I'll give you warning that you'll earn your money. You've had a taste of it; but it is very healthy exercise, and you'll need it after confinement in your studio, you know. Now we'll go down to Rome, by sea, I say, and as soon as the Pope gets through his grand performances, we'll get him to marry you, and then Mrs. Doudney and I will leave you to spend your honeymoon--you lucky dog!where you like, and we'll get back to Westmoreland, please God, by the express train."
"Deuce a bit of it! nonsense about it! Go on to Rome with us, take her all over the city; I shan't be in you way. Talk pictures to her, make sketches for her, and all that."
"But, my friend, I can't afford to go to Rome. I am poor, I must tell you, and-"
"Poor? That's just the reason for investing what you have, in this stock. It's in the market for just such buyers as yourself. Take it at your own price."
"But listen to me! I must be frank with you. I have exactly three pauls in my pocket-for I have just paid my bill here up to this date-and until my next remittance comes-about a fortnight from now-I shall be living here on appearances. And when that comes, and one other, I shall have seen the
last of it. I must turn back towards Havre, and manage to save enough to get me home from there in the steerage of some ship or other. You see that my going to Rome with you, is out of the question."
Mr. D. made me no reply. hands were plunged in his pockets, and his mind in thought. Suddenly starting from his reverie
"I forgot;" said he, "my wife told me to inquire about the washing. She has lost a night-cap, or something of the kind. Excuse me. I'll see you about this to-morrow morning. Au revoor!"-and I was left to my meditations.
I spent that night in strange thoughts, and stranger dreams. But I shall not inflict them on you, Anuie. You will be anxious to hear the story, and as it is getting late, I shall omit several splendid opportunities for sentimental reveries, "and all that," as Doudney would say, and hurry on with the
The next morning, at breakfast, Miss Caley informed us that she had made
days we toiled along, with rain, or snow, and wind, all day, and detestable quarters, in dreary old alberghi, at night. Early in the journey, I caught cold, while tramping in the rain with Miss Caley, to see the interior of some miserable village church-I forget where -and this grew into a fever. During the last two days I was unable to hold up my head, and when we entered the Porta del Popolo, and Miss Caley whispered to me, " We are in Rome,," I raised my head from her shoulder, gazed one
suggest, or her purse procure. My nurse was an elderly contadina-you remember her portrait in my sketchbook, in Albanian costume. The Doudneys came in as often as they were permitted to. "Miss Caley regards you as her own property, my boy, and she guards her treasure like a miser, and all that," said Doudney, one day, when we were alone.
My feelings towards my benefactress, at that time--. Well, I see you don't care to hear about the feelings, and I'll go on with the story.
It was on a sunny afternoon, in early April, that Miss Caley and I were sitting on a turfy mound, near the grave of Keats, in the English buryingground.
How pleasantly comes to me the memory of that Italian afternoon! A mellow haziness softened the tone of the grand old ruins around us, and the mild sunlight gave a rich golden hue to nearer objects. The lyre, with chords half broken, which hangs over the daisydotted grave of "poor Keats," made sad minor music beneath the flow of the harmony of audible light and fragrance, and my convalescent languor added to my susceptibilities for the enjoyment of the peculiar beauties of the time and place. With all this, a consciousness of the tender debt of gratitude which I owed to the kind friend who sat by my side, affected my very heart, and you cannot wonder, Annie, that I took her willing hand in mine and-.
moment about me, and knew no more until I awoke one morning, as it were from sleep, beneath the curtains of a comfortable bed. Miss Caley sat near the bed, looking at the papers in my portfolio, but I had not strength to speak to her. In utter weakness, I closed my eyes again, and thanked God for life and friends. At a later hour, as she leaned over me, and parted my hair, and kissed my forehead, I whispered, "God bless you!" which startled her into a glow of surprise and happiness.
I need not dwell on the incidents of my convalescence. Indeed, when I think of all that happened during that Roman experience of mine, I am unwilling to speak of all the acts of tender, thoughtful kindness with which Miss Caley busied herself for me. Everything was done that her heart could
Just at that crisis, up came the Doudneys. They had left us at the gate of the burying-ground, to continue their ride towards the aqueduct, and had returned at an interesting moment. As soon as they joined us, Miss Caley seized the arm of her sister, and they wandered off among the grave-stones. Doudney and I were thus left together, and he improved the occasion by indulging in a high degree of general congratulations.
"I know all about it," said he, with a compound wink and a tenderish poke at