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title: 'New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, August 05, 1906, Page 6, Image 16',
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BY WAL.TKR SAVAGE I,ANIK>n,
Tell m<> not what too well I know
About the bard of Sirmio.
Yes. in Thalia's son
Such stains there are — as when a Grace
Sprinkles another's laughing face
With nectar, and runs on.
£oc A-'cav^lork SxibiTiia
SUNDAY. AUGUST 5, 1000.
gtmething of what a veteran novelist might
Im. expected to say. in face of the rubbish writ
ten about his craft, finds delightfully satirical
expression in "Harper's" this month. The oi'
cupiint of The Easy Chair glances, in his humor
ous way. at tht; behavior of reviewers of a cer
tain sort in the presence of what we may call
a v. .ran novelist's novel. They tell him, to
begin with, that it is not virile, that it does not
laake the reader feel as if some one had taken
liini by the throat, shaken him up, thrown him
into the air, and trampled him under foot We
are to imagine the veteran as saying "I hope
I'm a gentleman, even when I'm writing a
novel." But it is idle to retort in thus vein. The
veteran has other sins to explain away. He is
not a "stylist," he knows nothing about the
manufacture of epigrams. And then there is
the question of passion. Of that be is crassly
Ignorant Says the great-niece of the veteran
novelist in this droll but seriously suggestive
paper, as she overhauls her kinsman's last story:
"1 don't believe there's a single place where he
crushes her to his heart, or presses his lips to
hers in a long kiss. He kisses her cheek once,
but 1 don't call that anything. Why. in lots of
the books nowadays the girls themselves cling
to the men in a close embrace, or put their
Mouths tenderly to theirs — well, of course, it
sounds rather disgusting." <>f coarse it does,
but what would you have, when a mysterious
court has somewhere decided that if your books
arc to sell you must make them "virile"? We
are grateful to Mr. llowells for his good hu
mored but shrewd attack upon a i>estileut ab
li is a long time since some one— the late W.
E. Henley, we believe— talked about "the tract
disguised as a novel" and thereby supplied crit
icism with a useful phrase, since then this type
of fiction has been mightily belabored, and it is
scorned by every novelist who considers him
self an "artist"— and we are all "artists" now
adays. Nevertheless, we sometimes wonder if
there was ever a time wnen so many tracts
were published, disguised as novels, as are pub
lished in our own time. We are not thinking
of books like "The Jungle," in which the re
formatory purpose wears next to no disguise at
all. We are thinking rather of the excessively
artistic works of novelists who would shudder
if you were to tell them that they were engaged
in practising nothing more nor less than the
gentle art erf problem mongering. We read of a
new story, presently to appear, that it is a
study of character and its development and
that it also depicts "a conflict between two re
tigiotis ideals." This sounds innocent enough,
but experience teaches that novels of tin's sort
wear a fearfully factitious air. that the authors
r>f them are very apt to reveal themselves — with
an unconsciousness lending the last touch of
buinor to the matter— as tractarians of the most
pronounced character. They are all for art and
the world well lost, they are nothing if not cre
ative, imaginative, and so on, but they occupy
themselves as strenuously with the proving of
v case as though they were commissioned hy
Koine unimpeachable authority to mend the
ma nners or morals of the world. What they
do is often very clever and entertaining. It is
often, too, artistic- after a fashion. But we
like to think of how comically embarrassed
Pome of these superior persons would be if
they were suddenly made to realize just what
Uicy had been doing.
A writer in "The Spectator" pats his finger
Ci<i>n whiit lie considers the most important
characteristic of good criticism, "the power of
opening out before the reader new and unex
plored tr;ict-i of stimulating thought." It is a
good saying. This power is always active
uiiioiigst the masters of criticism. Why is it so
seldom to be observed among our latter day
essayists and commentators? Often, no doubt.
because the writer has a commonplace mind
imd could not be expected, under any cirenm-
Btniices, to stimulate the reader, but, as it bap
pous, a really thoughtful critic will as fre
quently amaze, you by the utterly uninspiring
nature of his work. We suspect that this might
be traced to the prevalence of theory and of a
kind of cowardice that springs from too pious
n respect foi theory. Writers get into the hal>it
of thinking too much of the particular "school"
Which most appeals to them, they get to mistak
ing formulas for everlasting principles, and thus
t\e fiud them writing for their own little circle
of "specialists." The author of an essay on
sonio literary classic is so fearful of dissatisfy
ing a certain audience, clearly defined in his
mind, that he shrinks from letting himself go.
He lias no desire to stir his reader. What be
tv:'.nt.s is to t>c apnlauded by some professorial
magnate for having proved that th" classic in
lucstioii was ejected from his home for non
payrifent of rent, not on November L'sth. 1»!4"J,
'jut on the second of January in the following
fear. Crith.-s who might do a good deal to make
their rradcrs think are terrorized by an ab
lurdly overwrought sense of responsibility into
boring their readers half to death.
NEW-YOEK, DAILY TRITU SUNDAY, ATC.rST 5. 1006.
\i:ir art hooks.
English Gothic, Scottish Painting
and Some Other Themes.
GOTHIC AR-'HITrTCn'RE IN KNOL.AND An
Analysis of the Origin and Development of Enß
lish Church Architecture from (he .Norman
Conquest to the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
By Francis Bond. With IJH illustrations, com
prising 755 photographs, sketches ai..l measured
drawings and 4«9 plans, sec-tions. diagrams and
mouldings. Bvo. pp. xxii. 752. Imported by
Charles Scrihner"B Sons.
THE SCOTTISH SCHOOL. OF PAINTINO. Ry
William D. McKay. R. S. A. Illustrate!. J2mo.
pp. xii. 369. Imported by Charles Scribner s
THE ENGLISH WATER COLOUR PAINTERS.
By A. J. Kinberg. Illustrated. Mmo, pp. xxi,
189. K. P. Dutton & Co.
THE DRAWINGS OF DAVID COX. With intro
duction by A. J. Finberg (Modern Master
l»ruiiKhtsmen). 4to. pp. xix. ii. Imported by
Charles Scribner"s Sons.
DRAWINGS OF LEONARDO T>A VINCI. With
introduction by C. Lewis Hind (Drawmga of the
Oreat M;isters). 4to. pp. xviii, 4S. Imported by
Charles Scribner's Sons.
WILLIAM STRANO: CATALOGUE OF HIS
lOTCHED WORK. Illustrated with 471 repro
ductions. With an introductory essay by
I^aurence Binyon. Bvo, pp. xvi. 210. The Mac
WHISTLER AND OTHERS. By Frederick Wed
more. 12mo. pp xviil. 222. Imported by Chaikes
Mr. Bond's book about English Gothic ought
to be in the hands of every student of liichitect-
ure. It is a thoroughgoing study, and it brims
over with common sense, a quality rarely culti
vated by writers on the subject. Take, for ex
ample, the vexed question of the periods. Writ
ers on the mediaeval architecture of England
have generally insisted that there were four,
Norman, Early English, Decorated and Perpen
dicular, but Mr. Homl boldly asserts that these
famous four periods are "mere figments of the
imagination." and he is right. "The whole clas
sification," he adds, "is mischievous :u? well as
baseless. Tin- novice is led to believe that archi
tecture stopped at the end of each of the four
periods, turned over a new leaf, and began again
de ui)io." The purpose of this volume is to elu
cldate the gradual evolution of English Gothic
through one stage of construction after another,
the essentially subtle character of the different
transitional phases of the story being brought
out clearly and without dogmatism. We have
no intention of summarizing the author's vo
luminous analysis. The very minuteness of
his method would make this, under any cir
cun. stances, a wearisome task. Moreover, the
main p.->int is to emphasise the sane and lumi
nous manner in which Mr. Bond has handled
a technical subject, depriving it of many of its
terrors, ami, in short, making architecture not
only a useful but an interesting study. He
adds to his text an invaluable chronology of
English churches, and he gives us a wealth of
illustrations, including measured drawings as
well as collotypes raid halftones from photo
graphs. We regret that the work has not been
split into two volumes, which would have made
it ti.ucii more convenient, especially for the gen
eral reader, who is not. as a rule, easily be
guiled into the study of architectural literature.
Nevertheless. In any form this scholarly, sym
pathetic, and altogether rational book would
deserve a cordial welcome.
"The Scottish School of Painting." the latent
volume in the admirable "Library of Art." is
one of those publications which have their origin
less in any tangible need than in local pride. A
much smaller lw»ok. entitled, more accurately.
"Painting in Scotland." would have answered
the purpose equally well. A school of painting,
if it is to ha of any serious significance to the
world at large, must be much more than an ag
gregmUon of individuals born in the same coun
try and practising the same profession. It must
have amounted to something. It must have
brought forth men of sata It must have
added an appreciable quantity of really sillent
work to the gpntnl siiM:k. Mr. McKay, the au
thor of the book before us. does not sufficiently
grasp the importance of these points. "The
Arts." he declares, "are col.ired by th«- tempera
ment, beliefs and outward envirorim.nt of the
peoples amonff iliiim they flourish." but then
he poes on to say that "there has certainly been,
and there is to-day, a Scottish School of Paint
ing." His loyalty to this idea, through a long
narrative, excites our admiration, but it cannot
obscure the fact that disinterested appreciation
of the "Scottish School" must inevitably lasotve
itself Into appreciation of but one painter. Henry
Raeburn. Xo doubt there are other artists in
the list. Wilkie. Nasmyth, John Phillip and so
(From the drawing by L«Donardo Da Vinci.)
on. who command a certain respect, but of all
Scotch painters Raeburn is the only one who
can be called a master, and with the best will
in the world to find Mr. McKay readable and
edify ins we end by finding- him a little dull. and.
on the whole, superfluous. The series in wTut h
this volume appears has maintained from the
start so excellent a standard that we arc sorry
to see included in it a work of such trifling In
A field of investigation in which it is a simple
matter to carry zeal too far is traversal with
exemplary discretion by Mr. A. J. Finberg in
"The Knglish Water Colour Painters." Th.' Eng
lish have long had a peculiar flnir for this one of
the most delifrlitful if the mediums of art. and
though they have seldom exploited it with the
vivacious brilli-tnce ma<l<» fimiliar on the Con
tinent, their own conservative and singularly
pure method has a lasting charm. Mr. Flnberg
glances rapidly across the works cf Gainsbor
ough and Sandby, Cozens and Girtin. Turner.
Cox and IH' Wint. and if he is sometimes a
shade more pleased with his rouutrym n than a
foreigner would be, be is, in the main, as we
have said, a trustworthy guide. There is Just
enough biographical matter introduced to lend
the rst olt'd human Interest to his critical in
quiry. The s.»>.i illustrations characteristic of
•The Popular Library of Art" art*fSuly included
This is a creditable contribution to tl: minor
literature of art. We may tpriatety men
tion here the volume of "Drawings of David
Cox." for which Mr. Flnberg has written a pleas
ant introduction. The well made full page re
protluctions show C«>x at his b«st. His draw
ings L>ftcii have a bold and massive quality
which would be unsusperteA
pictures. ** 7CI ■-. "*
Even more to be prised by ,_^
draftsmanship | 3 the voltsaa '^••J*
Leonardo I>a Vinci." Mr. a iTn^T*"
J troductlon. Sfannlj overstates tL****i
; saying that "although. l n tteftet.! "*>
Urn! and The Virgin of the Roe****
Anne/ it is an liiainiallns] toaj,-****!
have be. n quite as highly esteemed^^
his work except the drawings been **
it is in the drawings tkal we realS ]?5!?«
of 'that continent called Leonard? _£*•*
s.lectt .1 from the glorious body (tf t '» *'
fugitive work, Includes, in estiao^J"*
fae-similes, mm of his noblest priyj *
frontispiece, printed in re.l. we fcawTfr ?
nificent profile of a v.; rri.»r. in theß-^
scum. which in style l 3 In subject wl^*
power. Th»n. heading the collect!^ 1
eight plates, we have the supen> JL*
Isabella dTEste, in the louvre. and tlta*
lowed i>y ->ne masterpiece after another t-^
scapes and grotesques, by stu<lles of Jl*
of hands, by bits of drapery, sketch^/
mals and all manner of souvenirs of t>< ? '
who was. tike Shak»s;.»;trc. in ColeriiW *^
myriad-minded. \\\- wish there coaM **
other volume devoted to Leonardo is tha '
Mr. Binyon's '-ortipilation. "WUttan m.
Catalogue of His Etched Work." is a<w
tribute to an artist who may not be in *&"
rank, but is at any rate conspicuous » *.
ond and is always interesting. Mr. Stra^T"
essentially modern type, intelligent. ■»
and prodigiously clever. He is one of
ciples of Lpgros. and he has never iSajp
the influem «• of that powerful prnmn. :
subjection to his master was -vident w»».
exhibition of bJ plates was first hrkl ha»
fifteen years aso. an-l it is just as p!a«'^
Yet we felt then, and we feel now tha:*
Strang rould not h»lp but be himself to »'
tain extent. n>> matter how far he went'i*
lation of a stroi artist. Thnugi he aa
affected in his work r.ot by I^^roe alo»
by Durer. by Goya and by others, he b,
variably communicated to his etchings a -»
sombre tone, a certain flour sentiment, *•
have helped him. after all. to the striking
personal note. His eclectic style exerts, 3
long run. Urn charm of an individual kj 1 *
few of his plates show a true instinct for fc,
of f4>rm. Generally, however, he goes v
for what hi rugged, oven tragic. His wt,
full of thought, and this we may say no-.
when^ his imaginative compositions isj
mantic illustrations are concerned, bw wiii
erence t«> his austerely -:-.o<Jelled portraits '
present catalogue forms an admirable Btpi,
tion to his art. for every oae of the 471 Mrs
recorded— dating from 1988 to 1904-a y
duced in a small but astonishingly aha
halftone. It is an oaea question aa ta i
degree of popularity may accrue to t!» s
from the publication of this volume. Ye
readily imagine the distaste which ni£ ,
provoked in some quarters by types so bleu
those which Mr. Staraaa seems to prefer
the uncompromising force of his drafts-^
ship constitutes a further barrier to his ac^
ance everywhere. But for those collectotji
find a special satisfaction in the stranger. -
unconventional fipur- s in modern ait I
Strang's work is hooad to have a value, i
ought to a«M that in v» rything that ire:
careful manufacture this catalogue isaaaai
Mr. Frederick Wedmore is a sympathttif ;
painstaking writer on art subjects, but «
not quite see why he has published his aft
called "Whistler and Otheia,** It is made %
pretty odds and ends, of notes long aad •
on this or that hvrittng subject. For exK
Mr. "Wedmore once saw Rorcmey's portrr
Lady Hamilton reading the "Gazette." tit ;:
ure now owned, we believe, by Mr. Morgan..
this is what hi has U-> say about it: "Ess
plicity of beauty Iwella with us, and £toe
artist who produced it we heed ask ser.
more, tlreat it may not bo, but ir. its light ■
it is charming, and, like all that Komaey i
us. it is without offence." This is all very*
V>ut it scarcely deserves the luxury of fir.c p
and paper, of handsome l>im!ing. which has Sr
lavished upon it anil upon many other s:=£:
unimportant observations. In mere length)
"Wedmore's opening- essay, the one on WKs!
has greater pretensions than this note en E
ney. and he addresses himself wiih saimescr:
neaa to a few i.ther themes, n-»tab!y to fi
provided by Boudin an.i Fantin-Latunr. 6yC
stable and by the pain tors of Norwich. But
where dees he rise above the level if ttajs
criticism, which, having served its parvw
newspaper or magazine, calls for no tsi
••////• Wild boar?
From The Athenaeum.
The Wild Doar of th* Ardennes, witt*
the English reader ia most famuiar tea*
novel of --Quentin DurwardV; has always.;.
identified with William d- la Man*. A u
scholar. Baron de fh.-str. t de haneife W
to the conclusion that the title shouM F -
belong to William's elder brother Everari -
v. , ,1... sons of John de la Marct U-
Arvnbvrg. who owiu.; 11. -sbacne an. l^»:
fhority extended to Bastogne MJMf 8 :;,.
Ardennes. William was ,S,-si«naU-d tne *»*
whUe Everard. L..T.1 of VilU.ice and »t .n~.
•.vasC.oven of the Duchy of Luxmbou., ■.
r r...,f v.i-n nhich H-r,.n U- •.■»?« t "*i^ W
lie., is that th, money struck b> Eje^
Xhc dMlnet.lmprf>si..ii ->f a N«r un*£^.
<»n the other hand, the '''' in *J tTW ±:lZv
at Lieec show only his »wn emW. tnea«
very long and thick, like a mane.