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By George Cabot Lodge

SPIRIT immortal of mortality,
Imperishable faith, calm miracle

Of resurrection, truth no tongue can tell,
No brain conceive-now witnessed utterly
In this new testament of earth and sea,-
To us thy gospel! Where the acorn fell
The oak-tree springs: no seed is infidel!
Once more, O Wonder, flower and field and tree
Reveal thy secret and significance!-

And we who share unutterable things
And feel the foretaste of Eternity,

Haply shall learn thy meaning and perchance
Set free the soul to lift immortal wings
And cross the frontiers of infinity.



By Edith Wharton


HE studio faced north, looking out over a dismal reach of roofs and chimneys, and rusty fire-escapes hung with heterogeneous garments. A crust of dirty snow covered the level surfaces, and a December sky with more snow in it lowered over them.

The room was bare and gaunt, with blotched walls and a stained uneven floor. On a divan lay a pile of "properties"limp draperies, an Algerian scarf, a motheaten fan of peacock feathers. The janitor had forgotten to fill the coal-scuttle overnight, and the cast-iron stove projected its cold flanks into the room like a black iceberg. Ned Stanwell, who had just added his hat and great-coat to the miscellaneous heap on the divan, turned from the empty stove with a shiver.

"By Jove, this is a little too much like the last act of Bohême," he said, slipping into

his coat again after a vain glance at the coal-scuttle. Much solitude, and a lively habit of mind, had bred in him the habit of audible soliloquy, and having flung a shout for the janitor down the seven flights dividing the studio from the basement, he turned back, picking up the thread of his monologue. "Exactly like Bohême, really

that crack in the wall is much more like a stage-crack than a real one-just the sort of crack Mungold would paint if he were doing a Humble Interior."

Mungold, the fashionable portraitpainter of the hour, was the favourite object of the younger men's irony.

"It only needs Kate Arran to be borne in dying," Stanwell continued with a laugh. "Much more likely to be poor little Caspar, though," he concluded.

His neighbour across the landing-the little sculptor, Caspar Arran, humorously called "Gasper" on account of his bronchial asthma-had lately been joined by a sister, Kate Arran, a strapping girl, fresh

from the country, who had installed herself in the little room off her brother's studio, keeping house for him with a chafingdish and a coffee-machine, to the mirth and envy of the other young men in the building. Poor little Gasper had been very bad all the autumn, and it was surmised that his sister's presence, which he spoke of growlingly, as a troublesome necessity devolved on him by the inopportune death of an aunt, was really an indication of his failing ability to take care of himself. Kate Arran took his complaints with unfailing good-humour, darned his socks, brushed his clothes, fed him with steaming broths and foaming milk-punches, and listened with reverential assent to his irterminable disquisitions on art. Every one in the house was

and lately Stanwell had penetrated farther, even to the inmost recesses of her anxiety about her brother's career. Caspar had recently had a bad blow in the refusal of his magnum opus-a vast allegorical group

by the Commissioners of the Minneapolis Exhibition. He took the rejection with Promethean irony, proclaimed it as the


Turned from the empty stove with a shiver.-Page 696.

sorry for little Gasper, and the other fellows liked him all the more because it was so impossible to like his sculpture; but his talk was a bore, and when his colleagues ran in to see him they were apt to keep a hand on the door-knob and to plead a pressing engagement. At least they had been till Kate came; but now they began to show a disposition to enter and sit down. Caspar, who was no fool, perceived the change, and perhaps detected its cause; at any rate, he showed no special gratification at the increased cordiality of his friends, and Kate, who followed him in everything, took this as a sign that guests were to be discouraged.

There was one exception, however: Ned Stanwell, who was deplorably goodnatured, had always lent a patient ear to Caspar, and he now reaped his reward by being taken into Kate's favour. Before she had been a month in the building they were on confidential terms as to Caspar's health, VOL. XXXVI.-78

clinching proof of his ability, and abounded in reasons why, even in an age of such crass artistic ignorance, a refusal so egregious must react to the advantage of its object. But his sister's indignation, if as glowing, was a shade less hopeful. Of course Caspar was going to succeed-she

knew it was only a question of time-but she paled at the word and turned imploring eyes on Stanwell. Was there time enough? It was the one element in the combination that she could not count on; and Stanwell, reddening under her look of interrogation, and cursing his own glaring robustness, would affirm that of course, of course, of course, by everything that was holy there was time enough-with the mental reservation that there wouldn't be, even if poor Caspar lived to be a hundred.

"Vos that you yelling for the shanitor, Mr. Sdanwell?" inquired an affable voice through the doorway; and Stanwell, turning with a laugh, confronted the squat figure of a middle-aged man in an expensive fur coat, who looked as if his face secreted the oil which he used on his hair.

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the stove. Come in, but for heaven's sake well, who had re-entered the studio, could don't take off your coat."

Mr. Shepson glanced about the studio with a look which seemed to say that, where so much else was lacking, the absence of a fire hardly added to the general sense of destitution.

"Vell, you ain't as vell fixed as Mr. Mungold-ever been to his studio, Mr. Sdanwell? De most exquisite blush hangings, and a gas-fire, choost as natural

"Oh, hang it, Shepson, do you call that a studio? It's like a manicure's parlour-or a beauty-doctor's. By George," broke off Stanwell, "and that's just what he is!"

"A peauty-doctor?"

"Yes-oh, well, you wouldn't see," murmured Stanwell, mentally storing his epigram for more appreciative ears. "But you didn't come just to make me envious of Mungold's studio, did you?" And he pushed forward a chair for his visitor.

The latter, however, declined it with an affable motion. "Of gourse not, of gourse not-but Mr. Mungold is a sensible man. He makes a lot of money, you know."

"Is that what you came to tell me?" said Stanwell, still humorously.

"My gootness, no-I was downstairs looking at Holbrook's sdained class, and I shoost thought I'd sdep up a minute and take a beep at your vork."

"Much obliged, I'm sure—especially as I assume that you don't want any of it." Try as he would, Stanwell could not keep a note of eagerness from his voice. Mr. Shepson caught the note, and eyed him shrewdly through gold-rimmed glasses.

"Vell, vell, vell-I'm not prepared to commit myself. Shoost let me take a look round, vill you?"

not help drawing a sharp breath as he saw the picture-dealer pausing with tilted head before this portrait: it seemed, at one moment, so impossible that he should not be struck with it, at the next so incredible that he should be.

Shepson cocked his parrot-eye at the canvas with a desultory "Vat's dat?" which sent a twinge through the young


"That? Oh-a sketch of a young lady," stammered Stanwell, flushing at the imbecility of his reply. "It's Miss Arran, you know," he added, "the sister of my neighbour here, the sculptor."

"Sgulpture? There's no market for modern sgulpture except tombstones," said Shepson disparagingly, passing on as if he included the sister's portrait in his condemnation of her brother's trade.

Stanwell smiled, but more at himself than Shepson. How could he ever have supposed that the gross fool would see anything in his sketch of Kate Arran? He stood aside, straining after detachment, while the dealer continued hi: und of exploration, waddling up to the cases on the walls, prodding with 's stock no those stacked in corners, paying pering sideways like a great bird rummet. seed. He seemed to find little nutrians. the course of his search, for the sound emitted expressed a weary distaste mana directed effort, and he completed ais am without having thought it worth wh draw a single canvas from its obscu1i

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As his visits always had the same rest. Stanwell was reduced to wondering why he had come again; but Shepson was not the man to indulge in vague roamings "With the greatest pleasure-and I'll through the field of art, and it was safe to give another shout for the coal."

Stanwell went out on the landing, and Mr. Shepson, left to himself, began a meditative progress about the room. On an easel facing the improvised dais stood a canvas on which a young woman's head had been blocked in. It was just in that happy state of semi-evocation when a picture seems to detach itself from the grossness of its medium and live a wondrous moment in the actual; and the quality of the head in question-a vigorous dusky youthfulness, a kind of virgin majesty lent itself to this illusion of vitality. Stan

conclude that his purpose would in due course reveal itself. His tour brought him at length face to face with the painter, where he paused, clasping his plump gloved hands behind his back, and shaking an admonitory head.

"Gleffer-very gleffer, of course-I suppose you'll let me know when you want to sell anything?"

"Let you know?" gasped Stanwell, to whom the room grew so glowingly hot that he thought for a moment the janitor must have made up the fire.

Shepson gave a dry laugh. "Vell, it

doesn't sdrike me that you want to nowdoing this kind of thing, you know!" And he swept a comprehensive hand about the studio.

"Ah," said Stanwell, who could not keep a note of flatness out of his laugh.

"See here, Mr. Sdanwell, vot do you do it for? If you do it for yourself and the other fellows, vell and good-only don't ask me round. I sell pictures, I don't theorize about them. Ven you vant to sell, gome to me with what my gustomers vant. You can do it you're smart enough. You can do most anything. Vere's dat bortrait of Gladys Glyde dat you showed at the Fake Club last autumn? Dat little thing in de Romney sdyle? Dat vas a little shem, now," exclaimed Mr. Shepson, whose pronunciation became increasingly Semitic in moments of excitement.

Stanwell stared. Called upon a few months previously to contribute to an exhibition of skits on well-known artists, he had used the photograph of a favourite musichall "star" as the basis of a picture in the pseudo-historical style affected by the popular portrait-painters of the day.

"That thing?" he said contemptuously. "How on earth did you happen to see it?" "I see everything," returned the dealer with an oracular smile. "If you've got it here let me look at it, please."

It cost Stanwell a few minutes' search to unearth his skit—a clever blending of dash and sentimentality, in just the right proportion to create the impression of a powerful brush subdued to mildness by the charms of the sitter. Stanwell had thrown it off in a burst of imitative frenzy, begin ing for the mere joy of the satire, but gradually fascinated by the problem of producing the requisite mingling of attributes. He was surprised now to see how well he had caught the note, and Shepson's face reflected his approval.

"By George! Dat's something like," the dealer ejaculated.

"Like what? Like Mungold?" Stanwell laughed.

"Like business! Like a big order for a bortrait, Mr. Sdanwell-dat's what it's like!" cried Shepson, swinging round on him.

Stanwell's stare widened. "An order for me?"

"Vy not? Accidents vill happen," said

Shepson jocosely. "De fact is, Mrs. Archer Millington wants to be bainted— you know her sdyle? Well, she prides herself on her likeness to little Gladys. And so ven she saw dat bicture of yours at de Fake Show she made a note of your name, and de udder day she sent for me and she says: 'Mr. Shepson, I'm tired of Mungold-all my friends are done by Mungold. I vant to break away and be orishinal-I vant to be done by the bainter that did Gladys Glyde.'”

Shepson waited to observe the result of this overwhelming announcement, and Stanwell, after a momentary halt of surprise, brought out laughingly: "But this is a Mungold. Is that what she calls being original?"

"Shoost exactly," said Shepson, with unexpected acuteness. "That's vat dey all want-sonething different from what all deir friends have got, but shoost like it all de same. Dat's de public all over! Mrs. Millington don't want a Mungold, because everybody's got a Mungold, but she wants a picture that's in the same sdyle, because dat's de sdyle, and she's afraid of any oder!"

Stanwell was listening with real enjoyment. "Ah, you know your public," he murmured.

"Vell, you do, too, or you couldn't have painted dat," the dealer retorted. “And I don't say dey're wrong-mind dat. I like a bretty picture myself. And I understand the way dey feel. Dey're villing to let Sargent take liberties vid them, because it's like being punched in de ribs by a King; but if anybody else baints them, they vant to look as sweet as an obituary." He turned earnestly to Stanwell. "The thing is to attract their notice. Vonce you got it they von't gif you dime to sleep. And dat's why I'm here to-day-you've attracted Mrs. Millington's notice, and vonce you're hung in dat new ball-room-dat's vere she vants you, in a big gold panelvonce you're dere, vy, you'll be like the Pianola-no home gompleat without you. And I ain't going to charge you any commission on the first job!”

He stood before the painter, exuding a mixture of deference and patronage in which either element might predominate as events developed; but Stanwell could see in the incident only the stuff for a good story.

"My dear Shepson," he said, "what are you talking about? This is no picture of mine. Why don't you ask me to do you a Corot at once? I hear there's a great demand for them still in the West. Or an Arthur Schracker-I can do Schracker as well as Mungold," he added, turning around a small canvas at which a paint-pot seemed to have been hurled with violence from a considerable distance.

Shepson ignored the allusion to Corot, but screwed his eyes at the picture. "Ah, Schracker-vell, the Schracker sdyle would take first rate if you were a foreigner-but, for goodness sake, don't try it on Mrs. Millington!"

Stanwell pushed the two skits aside. "Oh, you can trust me," he cried humorously. "The pearls and the eyes very large the extremities very small. Isn't that about the size of it?"

"Dat's it-dat's it. And the cheque as big as you vant to make it! Mrs. Millington vants the picture finished in time for her first baity in the new ball-room, and if you rush the job she won't sdickle at an extra thousand. Vill you come along with me now and arrange for your first sitting?" He stood before the young man, urgent,

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paternal, and so imbued with the importance of his mission that his face stretched to a ludicrous length of dismay when Stanwell, administering a good-humoured push to his shoulder, cried gaily: "My dear fellow, it will make my price rise still higher when the lady hears I'm too busy to take any orders at present-and that I'm actually obliged to turn you out now because I'm expecting a sitter!"

It was part of Shepson's business to have a quick ear for the note of finality, and he offered no resistance to Stanwell's friendly impulsion; but on the threshold he paused to murmur, with a regretful glance at the denuded studio: "You could haf done it, Mr. Sdanwell-you could haf done it!"


KATE ARRAN was Stanwell's sitter; but the janitor had hardly filled the stove when she came in to say she could not sit. Caspar had had a bad night: he was depressed and feverish, and in spite of his protests she had resolved to fetch the doctor. Care sat on her usually tranquil features, and Stanwell, as he offered to go for the doctor, wished he could have

Prodding with his stick at those stacked in corners.-Page 698.

caught in his picture the wide gloom of her brow. There was always a kind of Biblical breadth in the expression of her emotions, and today she suggested a text from Isaiah.

"But you're not busy?" she hesitated, in the full voice which seemed tuned to a solemn rhetoric.

"I meant to be-with you. But since that's off I'm quite unemployed."

She smiled interrogatively. "I thought perhaps you had an order. I met Mr. Shepson rubbing his hands on the landing."

"Was he rubbing his hands? Well, it was not over me. He says that from the style of my pictures he doesn't suppose I want to sell."

She looked at him superbly. "Well, do you?"

He embraced his bleak walls in a circular gesture. "Judge for yourself!"

"Ah, but it's splendidly furnished!"

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