chapter xl a few days later mrs. carey went to thestation to see philip off. she stood at the door of the carriage,trying to keep back her tears. philip was restless and eager. he wanted to be gone."kiss me once more," she said. he leaned out of the window and kissed her. the train started, and she stood on thewooden platform of the little station, waving her handkerchief till it was out ofsight. her heart was dreadfully heavy, and the fewhundred yards to the vicarage seemed very,
very long. it was natural enough that he should beeager to go, she thought, he was a boy and the future beckoned to him; but she--sheclenched her teeth so that she should not cry. she uttered a little inward prayer that godwould guard him, and keep him out of temptation, and give him happiness and goodfortune. but philip ceased to think of her a momentafter he had settled down in his carriage. he thought only of the future. he had written to mrs. otter, the massiereto whom hayward had given him an
introduction, and had in his pocket aninvitation to tea on the following day. when he arrived in paris he had his luggageput on a cab and trundled off slowly through the gay streets, over the bridge,and along the narrow ways of the latin quarter. he had taken a room at the hotel des deuxecoles, which was in a shabby street off the boulevard du montparnasse; it wasconvenient for amitrano's school at which he was going to work. a waiter took his box up five flights ofstairs, and philip was shown into a tiny room, fusty from unopened windows, thegreater part of which was taken up by a
large wooden bed with a canopy over it of red rep; there were heavy curtains on thewindows of the same dingy material; the chest of drawers served also as a washing-stand; and there was a massive wardrobe of the style which is connected with the goodking louis philippe. the wall-paper was discoloured with age; itwas dark gray, and there could be vaguely seen on it garlands of brown leaves. to philip the room seemed quaint andcharming. though it was late he felt too excited tosleep and, going out, made his way into the boulevard and walked towards the light.
this led him to the station; and the squarein front of it, vivid with arc-lamps, noisy with the yellow trams that seemed to crossit in all directions, made him laugh aloud with joy. there were cafes all round, and by chance,thirsty and eager to get a nearer sight of the crowd, philip installed himself at alittle table outside the cafe de versailles. every other table was taken, for it was afine night; and philip looked curiously at the people, here little family groups,there a knot of men with odd-shaped hats and beards talking loudly and
gesticulating; next to him were two men wholooked like painters with women who philip hoped were not their lawful wives; behindhim he heard americans loudly arguing on art. his soul was thrilled.he sat till very late, tired out but too happy to move, and when at last he went tobed he was wide awake; he listened to the manifold noise of paris. next day about tea-time he made his way tothe lion de belfort, and in a new street that led out of the boulevard raspail foundmrs. otter. she was an insignificant woman of thirty,with a provincial air and a deliberately
lady-like manner; she introduced him to hermother. he discovered presently that she had beenstudying in paris for three years and later that she was separated from her husband. she had in her small drawing-room one ortwo portraits which she had painted, and to philip's inexperience they seemed extremelyaccomplished. "i wonder if i shall ever be able to paintas well as that," he said to her. "oh, i expect so," she replied, not withoutself-satisfaction. "you can't expect to do everything all atonce, of course." she was very kind.
she gave him the address of a shop where hecould get a portfolio, drawing-paper, and charcoal. "i shall be going to amitrano's about ninetomorrow, and if you'll be there then i'll see that you get a good place and all thatsort of thing." she asked him what he wanted to do, andphilip felt that he should not let her see how vague he was about the whole matter."well, first i want to learn to draw," he said. "i'm so glad to hear you say that.people always want to do things in such a hurry.i never touched oils till i'd been here for
two years, and look at the result." she gave a glance at the portrait of hermother, a sticky piece of painting that hung over the piano."and if i were you, i would be very careful about the people you get to know. i wouldn't mix myself up with anyforeigners. i'm very careful myself."philip thanked her for the suggestion, but it seemed to him odd. he did not know that he particularly wantedto be careful. "we live just as we would if we were inengland," said mrs. otter's mother, who
till then had spoken little. "when we came here we brought all our ownfurniture over." philip looked round the room. it was filled with a massive suite, and atthe window were the same sort of white lace curtains which aunt louisa put up at thevicarage in summer. the piano was draped in liberty silk and sowas the chimney-piece. mrs. otter followed his wandering eye."in the evening when we close the shutters one might really feel one was in england." "and we have our meals just as if we wereat home," added her mother.
"a meat breakfast in the morning and dinnerin the middle of the day." when he left mrs. otter philip went to buydrawing materials; and next morning at the stroke of nine, trying to seem self-assured, he presented himself at the school. mrs. otter was already there, and she cameforward with a friendly smile. he had been anxious about the reception hewould have as a nouveau, for he had read a good deal of the rough joking to which anewcomer was exposed at some of the studios; but mrs. otter had reassured him. "oh, there's nothing like that here," shesaid.
"you see, about half our students areladies, and they set a tone to the place." the studio was large and bare, with graywalls, on which were pinned the studies that had received prizes. a model was sitting in a chair with a loosewrap thrown over her, and about a dozen men and women were standing about, some talkingand others still working on their sketch. it was the first rest of the model. "you'd better not try anything toodifficult at first," said mrs. otter. "put your easel here.you'll find that's the easiest pose." philip placed an easel where she indicated,and mrs. otter introduced him to a young
woman who sat next to him."mr. carey--miss price. mr. carey's never studied before, you won'tmind helping him a little just at first will you?"then she turned to the model. "la pose." the model threw aside the paper she hadbeen reading, la petite republique, and sulkily, throwing off her gown, got on tothe stand. she stood, squarely on both feet with herhands clasped behind her head. "it's a stupid pose," said miss price."i can't imagine why they chose it." when philip entered, the people in thestudio had looked at him curiously, and the
model gave him an indifferent glance, butnow they ceased to pay attention to him. philip, with his beautiful sheet of paperin front of him, stared awkwardly at the model.he did not know how to begin. he had never seen a naked woman before. she was not young and her breasts wereshrivelled. she had colourless, fair hair that fellover her forehead untidily, and her face was covered with large freckles. he glanced at miss price's work. she had only been working on it two days,and it looked as though she had had
trouble; her paper was in a mess fromconstant rubbing out, and to philip's eyes the figure looked strangely distorted. "i should have thought i could do as wellas that," he said to himself. he began on the head, thinking that hewould work slowly downwards, but, he could not understand why, he found it infinitelymore difficult to draw a head from the model than to draw one from hisimagination. he got into difficulties.he glanced at miss price. she was working with vehement gravity. her brow was wrinkled with eagerness, andthere was an anxious look in her eyes.
it was hot in the studio, and drops ofsweat stood on her forehead. she was a girl of twenty-six, with a greatdeal of dull gold hair; it was handsome hair, but it was carelessly done, draggedback from her forehead and tied in a hurried knot. she had a large face, with broad, flatfeatures and small eyes; her skin was pasty, with a singular unhealthiness oftone, and there was no colour in the cheeks. she had an unwashed air and you could nothelp wondering if she slept in her clothes. she was serious and silent.when the next pause came, she stepped back
to look at her work. "i don't know why i'm having so muchbother," she said. "but i mean to get it right."she turned to philip. "how are you getting on?" "not at all," he answered, with a ruefulsmile. she looked at what he had done."you can't expect to do anything that way. you must take measurements. and you must square out your paper."she showed him rapidly how to set about the business.philip was impressed by her earnestness,
but repelled by her want of charm. he was grateful for the hints she gave himand set to work again. meanwhile other people had come in, mostlymen, for the women always arrived first, and the studio for the time of year (it wasearly yet) was fairly full. presently there came in a young man withthin, black hair, an enormous nose, and a face so long that it reminded you of ahorse. he sat down next to philip and noddedacross him to miss price. "you're very late," she said."are you only just up?" "it was such a splendid day, i thought i'dlie in bed and think how beautiful it was
out."philip smiled, but miss price took the remark seriously. "that seems a funny thing to do, i shouldhave thought it would be more to the point to get up and enjoy it.""the way of the humorist is very hard," said the young man gravely. he did not seem inclined to work.he looked at his canvas; he was working in colour, and had sketched in the day beforethe model who was posing. he turned to philip. "have you just come out from england?""yes."
"how did you find your way to amitrano's?""it was the only school i knew of." "i hope you haven't come with the idea thatyou will learn anything here which will be of the smallest use to you.""it's the best school in paris," said miss price. "it's the only one where they take artseriously." "should art be taken seriously?" the youngman asked; and since miss price replied only with a scornful shrug, he added: "butthe point is, all schools are bad. they are academical, obviously. why this is less injurious than most isthat the teaching is more incompetent than
elsewhere.because you learn nothing...." "but why d'you come here then?" interruptedphilip. "i see the better course, but do not followit. miss price, who is cultured, will rememberthe latin of that." "i wish you would leave me out of yourconversation, mr. clutton," said miss price brusquely. "the only way to learn to paint," he wenton, imperturbable, "is to take a studio, hire a model, and just fight it out foryourself." "that seems a simple thing to do," saidphilip.
"it only needs money," replied clutton.he began to paint, and philip looked at him from the corner of his eye. he was long and desperately thin; his hugebones seemed to protrude from his body; his elbows were so sharp that they appeared tojut out through the arms of his shabby coat. his trousers were frayed at the bottom, andon each of his boots was a clumsy patch. miss price got up and went over to philip'seasel. "if mr. clutton will hold his tongue for amoment, i'll just help you a little," she "miss price dislikes me because i havehumour," said clutton, looking meditatively
at his canvas, "but she detests me becausei have genius." he spoke with solemnity, and his colossal,misshapen nose made what he said very quaint.philip was obliged to laugh, but miss price grew darkly red with anger. "you're the only person who has everaccused you of genius." "also i am the only person whose opinion isof the least value to me." miss price began to criticise what philiphad done. she talked glibly of anatomy andconstruction, planes and lines, and of much else which philip did not understand.
she had been at the studio a long time andknew the main points which the masters insisted upon, but though she could showwhat was wrong with philip's work she could not tell him how to put it right. "it's awfully kind of you to take so muchtrouble with me," said philip. "oh, it's nothing," she answered, flushingawkwardly. "people did the same for me when i firstcame, i'd do it for anyone." "miss price wants to indicate that she isgiving you the advantage of her knowledge from a sense of duty rather than on accountof any charms of your person," said clutton.
miss price gave him a furious look, andwent back to her own drawing. the clock struck twelve, and the model witha cry of relief stepped down from the stand. miss price gathered up her things."some of us go to gravier's for lunch," she said to philip, with a look at clutton."i always go home myself." "i'll take you to gravier's if you like,"said clutton. philip thanked him and made ready to go.on his way out mrs. otter asked him how he had been getting on. "did fanny price help you?" she asked."i put you there because i know she can do
it if she likes. she's a disagreeable, ill-natured girl, andshe can't draw herself at all, but she knows the ropes, and she can be useful to anewcomer if she cares to take the trouble." on the way down the street clutton said tohim: "you've made an impression on fanny price.you'd better look out." philip laughed. he had never seen anyone on whom he wishedless to make an impression. they came to the cheap little restaurant atwhich several of the students ate, and clutton sat down at a table at which threeor four men were already seated.
for a franc, they got an egg, a plate ofmeat, cheese, and a small bottle of wine. coffee was extra. they sat on the pavement, and yellow tramspassed up and down the boulevard with a ceaseless ringing of bells."by the way, what's your name?" said clutton, as they took their seats. "carey.""allow me to introduce an old and trusted friend, carey by name," said cluttongravely. "mr. flanagan, mr. lawson." they laughed and went on with theirconversation.
they talked of a thousand things, and theyall talked at once. no one paid the smallest attention toanyone else. they talked of the places they had been toin the summer, of studios, of the various schools; they mentioned names which wereunfamiliar to philip, monet, manet, renoir, pissarro, degas. philip listened with all his ears, andthough he felt a little out of it, his heart leaped with exultation.the time flew. when clutton got up he said: "i expect you'll find me here this eveningif you care to come.
you'll find this about the best place forgetting dyspepsia at the lowest cost in the quarter." chapter xli philip walked down the boulevard dumontparnasse. it was not at all like the paris he hadseen in the spring during his visit to do the accounts of the hotel st. georges--hethought already of that part of his life with a shudder--but reminded him of what hethought a provincial town must be. there was an easy-going air about it, and asunny spaciousness which invited the mind to day-dreaming.
the trimness of the trees, the vividwhiteness of the houses, the breadth, were very agreeable; and he felt himself alreadythoroughly at home. he sauntered along, staring at the people;there seemed an elegance about the most ordinary, workmen with their broad redsashes and their wide trousers, little soldiers in dingy, charming uniforms. he came presently to the avenue del'observatoire, and he gave a sigh of pleasure at the magnificent, yet sograceful, vista. he came to the gardens of the luxembourg:children were playing, nurses with long ribbons walked slowly two by two, busy menpassed through with satchels under their
arms, youths strangely dressed. the scene was formal and dainty; nature wasarranged and ordered, but so exquisitely, that nature unordered and unarranged seemedbarbaric. philip was enchanted. it excited him to stand on that spot ofwhich he had read so much; it was classic ground to him; and he felt the awe and thedelight which some old don might feel when for the first time he looked on the smilingplain of sparta. as he wandered he chanced to see miss pricesitting by herself on a bench. he hesitated, for he did not at that momentwant to see anyone, and her uncouth way
seemed out of place amid the happiness hefelt around him; but he had divined her sensitiveness to affront, and since she had seen him thought it would be polite tospeak to her. "what are you doing here?" she said, as hecame up. "enjoying myself. aren't you?""oh, i come here every day from four to five.i don't think one does any good if one works straight through." "may i sit down for a minute?" he said."if you want to."
"that doesn't sound very cordial," helaughed. "i'm not much of a one for saying prettythings." philip, a little disconcerted, was silentas he lit a cigarette. "did clutton say anything about my work?"she asked suddenly. "no, i don't think he did," said philip."he's no good, you know. he thinks he's a genius, but he isn't. he's too lazy, for one thing.genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains.the only thing is to peg away. if one only makes up one's mind badlyenough to do a thing one can't help doing
it."she spoke with a passionate strenuousness which was rather striking. she wore a sailor hat of black straw, awhite blouse which was not quite clean, and a brown skirt.she had no gloves on, and her hands wanted washing. she was so unattractive that philip wishedhe had not begun to talk to her. he could not make out whether she wantedhim to stay or go. "i'll do anything i can for you," she saidall at once, without reference to anything that had gone before."i know how hard it is."
"thank you very much," said philip, then ina moment: "won't you come and have tea with me somewhere?"she looked at him quickly and flushed. when she reddened her pasty skin acquired acuriously mottled look, like strawberries and cream that had gone bad."no, thanks. what d'you think i want tea for? i've only just had lunch.""i thought it would pass the time," said philip."if you find it long you needn't bother about me, you know. i don't mind being left alone."at that moment two men passed, in brown
velveteens, enormous trousers, and basquecaps. they were young, but both wore beards. "i say, are those art-students?" saidphilip. "they might have stepped out of the vie deboheme." "they're americans," said miss pricescornfully. "frenchmen haven't worn things like thatfor thirty years, but the americans from the far west buy those clothes and havethemselves photographed the day after they arrive in paris. that's about as near to art as they everget.
but it doesn't matter to them, they've allgot money." philip liked the daring picturesqueness ofthe americans' costume; he thought it showed the romantic spirit.miss price asked him the time. "i must be getting along to the studio,"she said. "are you going to the sketch classes?" philip did not know anything about them,and she told him that from five to six every evening a model sat, from whom anyonewho liked could go and draw at the cost of fifty centimes. they had a different model every day, andit was very good practice.
"i don't suppose you're good enough yet forthat. you'd better wait a bit." "i don't see why i shouldn't try.i haven't got anything else to do." they got up and walked to the studio. philip could not tell from her mannerwhether miss price wished him to walk with her or preferred to walk alone. he remained from sheer embarrassment, notknowing how to leave her; but she would not talk; she answered his questions in anungracious manner. a man was standing at the studio door witha large dish into which each person as he
went in dropped his half franc. the studio was much fuller than it had beenin the morning, and there was not the preponderance of english and americans; norwere women there in so large a proportion. philip felt the assemblage was more thesort of thing he had expected. it was very warm, and the air quickly grewfetid. it was an old man who sat this time, with avast gray beard, and philip tried to put into practice the little he had learned inthe morning; but he made a poor job of it; he realised that he could not draw nearlyas well as he thought. he glanced enviously at one or two sketchesof men who sat near him, and wondered
whether he would ever be able to use thecharcoal with that mastery. the hour passed quickly. not wishing to press himself upon missprice he sat down at some distance from her, and at the end, as he passed her onhis way out, she asked him brusquely how he had got on. "not very well," he smiled."if you'd condescended to come and sit near me i could have given you some hints.i suppose you thought yourself too grand." "no, it wasn't that. i was afraid you'd think me a nuisance.""when i do that i'll tell you sharp
enough."philip saw that in her uncouth way she was offering him help. "well, tomorrow i'll just force myself uponyou." "i don't mind," she answered.philip went out and wondered what he should do with himself till dinner. he was eager to do somethingcharacteristic. absinthe! of course it was indicated, andso, sauntering towards the station, he seated himself outside a cafe and orderedit. he drank with nausea and satisfaction.
he found the taste disgusting, but themoral effect magnificent; he felt every inch an art-student; and since he drank onan empty stomach his spirits presently grew very high. he watched the crowds, and felt all menwere his brothers. he was happy. when he reached gravier's the table atwhich clutton sat was full, but as soon as he saw philip limping along he called outto him. they made room. the dinner was frugal, a plate of soup, adish of meat, fruit, cheese, and half a
bottle of wine; but philip paid noattention to what he ate. he took note of the men at the table. flanagan was there again: he was anamerican, a short, snub-nosed youth with a jolly face and a laughing mouth. he wore a norfolk jacket of bold pattern, ablue stock round his neck, and a tweed cap of fantastic shape. at that time impressionism reigned in thelatin quarter, but its victory over the older schools was still recent; andcarolus-duran, bouguereau, and their like were set up against manet, monet, anddegas.
to appreciate these was still a sign ofgrace. whistler was an influence strong with theenglish and his compatriots, and the discerning collected japanese prints.the old masters were tested by new standards. the esteem in which raphael had been forcenturies held was a matter of derision to wise young men. they offered to give all his works forvelasquez' head of philip iv in the national gallery.philip found that a discussion on art was raging.
lawson, whom he had met at luncheon, satopposite to him. he was a thin youth with a freckled faceand red hair. he had very bright green eyes. as philip sat down he fixed them on him andremarked suddenly: "raphael was only tolerable when he paintedother people's pictures. when he painted peruginos or pinturichioshe was charming; when he painted raphaels he was," with a scornful shrug, "raphael." lawson spoke so aggressively that philipwas taken aback, but he was not obliged to answer because flanagan broke inimpatiently.
"oh, to hell with art!" he cried. "let's get ginny.""you were ginny last night, flanagan," said lawson."nothing to what i mean to be tonight," he answered. "fancy being in pa-ris and thinking ofnothing but art all the time." he spoke with a broad western accent."my, it is good to be alive." he gathered himself together and thenbanged his fist on the table. "to hell with art, i say.""you not only say it, but you say it with tiresome iteration," said clutton severely.
there was another american at the table.he was dressed like those fine fellows whom philip had seen that afternoon in theluxembourg. he had a handsome face, thin, ascetic, withdark eyes; he wore his fantastic garb with the dashing air of a buccaneer. he had a vast quantity of dark hair whichfell constantly over his eyes, and his most frequent gesture was to throw back his headdramatically to get some long wisp out of the way. he began to talk of the olympia by manet,which then hung in the luxembourg. "i stood in front of it for an hour today,and i tell you it's not a good picture."
lawson put down his knife and fork. his green eyes flashed fire, he gasped withrage; but he could be seen imposing calm upon himself."it's very interesting to hear the mind of the untutored savage," he said. "will you tell us why it isn't a goodpicture?" before the american could answer someoneelse broke in vehemently. "d'you mean to say you can look at thepainting of that flesh and say it's not good?""i don't say that. i think the right breast is very wellpainted."
"the right breast be damned," shoutedlawson. "the whole thing's a miracle of painting." he began to describe in detail the beautiesof the picture, but at this table at gravier's they who spoke at length spokefor their own edification. no one listened to him. the american interrupted angrily."you don't mean to say you think the head's good?" lawson, white with passion now, began todefend the head; but clutton, who had been sitting in silence with a look on his faceof good-humoured scorn, broke in.
"give him the head. we don't want the head.it doesn't affect the picture." "all right, i'll give you the head," criedlawson. "take the head and be damned to you." "what about the black line?" cried theamerican, triumphantly pushing back a wisp of hair which nearly fell in his soup."you don't see a black line round objects in nature." "oh, god, send down fire from heaven toconsume the blasphemer," said lawson. "what has nature got to do with it?no one knows what's in nature and what
isn't! the world sees nature through the eyes ofthe artist. why, for centuries it saw horses jumping afence with all their legs extended, and by heaven, sir, they were extended. it saw shadows black until monet discoveredthey were coloured, and by heaven, sir, they were black. if we choose to surround objects with ablack line, the world will see the black line, and there will be a black line; andif we paint grass red and cows blue, it'll see them red and blue, and, by heaven, theywill be red and blue."
"to hell with art," murmured flanagan."i want to get ginny." lawson took no notice of the interruption. "now look here, when olympia was shown atthe salon, zola--amid the jeers of the philistines and the hisses of the pompiers,the academicians, and the public, zola said: 'i look forward to the day when manet's picture will hang in the louvreopposite the odalisque of ingres, and it will not be the odalisque which will gainby comparison.' it'll be there. every day i see the time grow nearer.in ten years the olympia will be in the
louvre." "never," shouted the american, using bothhands now with a sudden desperate attempt to get his hair once for all out of theway. "in ten years that picture will be dead. it's only a fashion of the moment.no picture can live that hasn't got something which that picture misses by amillion miles." "and what is that?" "great art can't exist without a moralelement." "oh god!" cried lawson furiously."i knew it was that.
he wants morality." he joined his hands and held them towardsheaven in supplication. "oh, christopher columbus, christophercolumbus, what did you do when you discovered america?" "ruskin says..."but before he could add another word, clutton rapped with the handle of his knifeimperiously on the table. "gentlemen," he said in a stern voice, andhis huge nose positively wrinkled with passion, "a name has been mentioned which inever thought to hear again in decent society.
freedom of speech is all very well, but wemust observe the limits of common propriety. you may talk of bouguereau if you will:there is a cheerful disgustingness in the sound which excites laughter; but let usnot sully our chaste lips with the names of j. ruskin, g. f. watts, or e. b. jones." "who was ruskin anyway?" asked flanagan."he was one of the great victorians. he was a master of english style.""ruskin's style--a thing of shreds and purple patches," said lawson. "besides, damn the great victorians.whenever i open a paper and see death of a
great victorian, i thank heaven there's onemore of them gone. their only talent was longevity, and noartist should be allowed to live after he's forty; by then a man has done his bestwork, all he does after that is repetition. don't you think it was the greatest luck inthe world for them that keats, shelley, bonnington, and byron died early? what a genius we should think swinburne ifhe had perished on the day the first series of poems and ballads was published!" the suggestion pleased, for no one at thetable was more than twenty-four, and they threw themselves upon it with gusto.they were unanimous for once.
they elaborated. someone proposed a vast bonfire made out ofthe works of the forty academicians into which the great victorians might be hurledon their fortieth birthday. the idea was received with acclamation. carlyle and ruskin, tennyson, browning, g.f. watts, e. b. jones, dickens, thackeray, they were hurried into the flames; mr.gladstone, john bright, and cobden; there was a moment's discussion about george meredith, but matthew arnold and emersonwere given up cheerfully. at last came walter pater."not walter pater," murmured philip.
lawson stared at him for a moment with hisgreen eyes and then nodded. "you're quite right, walter pater is theonly justification for mona lisa. d'you know cronshaw? he used to know pater.""who's cronshaw?" asked philip. "cronshaw's a poet.he lives here. let's go to the lilas." la closerie des lilas was a cafe to whichthey often went in the evening after dinner, and here cronshaw was invariably tobe found between the hours of nine at night and two in the morning.
but flanagan had had enough of intellectualconversation for one evening, and when lawson made his suggestion, turned tophilip. "oh gee, let's go where there are girls,"he said. "come to the gaite montparnasse, and we'llget ginny." "i'd rather go and see cronshaw and keepsober," laughed philip. chapter xlii there was a general disturbance.flanagan and two or three more went on to the music-hall, while philip walked slowlywith clutton and lawson to the closerie des lilas.
"you must go to the gaite montparnasse,"said lawson to him. "it's one of the loveliest things in paris.i'm going to paint it one of these days." philip, influenced by hayward, looked uponmusic-halls with scornful eyes, but he had reached paris at a time when their artisticpossibilities were just discovered. the peculiarities of lighting, the massesof dingy red and tarnished gold, the heaviness of the shadows and the decorativelines, offered a new theme; and half the studios in the quarter contained sketchesmade in one or other of the local theatres. men of letters, following in the painters'wake, conspired suddenly to find artistic value in the turns; and red-nosed comedianswere lauded to the skies for their sense of
character; fat female singers, who had bawled obscurely for twenty years, werediscovered to possess inimitable drollery; there were those who found an aestheticdelight in performing dogs; while others exhausted their vocabulary to extol the distinction of conjurers and trick-cyclists. the crowd too, under another influence, wasbecome an object of sympathetic interest. with hayward, philip had disdained humanityin the mass; he adopted the attitude of one who wraps himself in solitariness andwatches with disgust the antics of the vulgar; but clutton and lawson talked ofthe multitude with enthusiasm.
they described the seething throng thatfilled the various fairs of paris, the sea of faces, half seen in the glare ofacetylene, half hidden in the darkness, and the blare of trumpets, the hooting ofwhistles, the hum of voices. what they said was new and strange tophilip. they told him about cronshaw. "have you ever read any of his work?""no," said philip. "it came out in the yellow book." they looked upon him, as painters often dowriters, with contempt because he was a layman, with tolerance because he practisedan art, and with awe because he used a
medium in which themselves felt ill-at-ease. "he's an extraordinary fellow. you'll find him a bit disappointing atfirst, he only comes out at his best when he's drunk." "and the nuisance is," added clutton, "thatit takes him a devil of a time to get drunk."when they arrived at the cafe lawson told philip that they would have to go in. there was hardly a bite in the autumn air,but cronshaw had a morbid fear of draughts and even in the warmest weather sat inside."he knows everyone worth knowing," lawson
explained. "he knew pater and oscar wilde, and heknows mallarme and all those fellows." the object of their search sat in the mostsheltered corner of the cafe, with his coat on and the collar turned up. he wore his hat pressed well down on hisforehead so that he should avoid cold air. he was a big man, stout but not obese, witha round face, a small moustache, and little, rather stupid eyes. his head did not seem quite big enough forhis body. it looked like a pea uneasily poised on anegg.
he was playing dominoes with a frenchman,and greeted the new-comers with a quiet smile; he did not speak, but as if to makeroom for them pushed away the little pile of saucers on the table which indicated thenumber of drinks he had already consumed. he nodded to philip when he was introducedto him, and went on with the game. philip's knowledge of the language wassmall, but he knew enough to tell that cronshaw, although he had lived in parisfor several years, spoke french execrably. at last he leaned back with a smile oftriumph. "je vous ai battu," he said, with anabominable accent. "garcong!"
he called the waiter and turned to philip."just out from england? see any cricket?"philip was a little confused at the unexpected question. "cronshaw knows the averages of everyfirst-class cricketer for the last twenty years," said lawson, smiling. the frenchman left them for friends atanother table, and cronshaw, with the lazy enunciation which was one of hispeculiarities, began to discourse on the relative merits of kent and lancashire. he told them of the last test match he hadseen and described the course of the game
wicket by wicket. "that's the only thing i miss in paris," hesaid, as he finished the bock which the waiter had brought."you don't get any cricket." philip was disappointed, and lawson,pardonably anxious to show off one of the celebrities of the quarter, grew impatient. cronshaw was taking his time to wake upthat evening, though the saucers at his side indicated that he had at least made anhonest attempt to get drunk. clutton watched the scene with amusement. he fancied there was something ofaffectation in cronshaw's minute knowledge
of cricket; he liked to tantalise people bytalking to them of things that obviously bored them; clutton threw in a question. "have you seen mallarme lately?"cronshaw looked at him slowly, as if he were turning the inquiry over in his mind,and before he answered rapped on the marble table with one of the saucers. "bring my bottle of whiskey," he calledout. he turned again to philip."i keep my own bottle of whiskey. i can't afford to pay fifty centimes forevery thimbleful." the waiter brought the bottle, and cronshawheld it up to the light.
"they've been drinking it. waiter, who's been helping himself to mywhiskey?" "mais personne, monsieur cronshaw.""i made a mark on it last night, and look at it." "monsieur made a mark, but he kept ondrinking after that. at that rate monsieur wastes his time inmaking marks." the waiter was a jovial fellow and knewcronshaw intimately. cronshaw gazed at him. "if you give me your word of honour as anobleman and a gentleman that nobody but i
has been drinking my whiskey, i'll acceptyour statement." this remark, translated literally into thecrudest french, sounded very funny, and the lady at the comptoir could not helplaughing. "il est impayable," she murmured. cronshaw, hearing her, turned a sheepisheye upon her; she was stout, matronly, and middle-aged; and solemnly kissed his handto her. she shrugged her shoulders. "fear not, madam," he said heavily."i have passed the age when i am tempted by forty-five and gratitude."he poured himself out some whiskey and
water, and slowly drank it. he wiped his mouth with the back of hishand. "he talked very well." lawson and clutton knew that cronshaw'sremark was an answer to the question about mallarme. cronshaw often went to the gatherings ontuesday evenings when the poet received men of letters and painters, and discoursedwith subtle oratory on any subject that was suggested to him. cronshaw had evidently been there lately."he talked very well, but he talked
nonsense.he talked about art as though it were the most important thing in the world." "if it isn't, what are we here for?" askedphilip. "what you're here for i don't know.it is no business of mine. but art is a luxury. men attach importance only to self-preservation and the propagation of their species. it is only when these instincts aresatisfied that they consent to occupy themselves with the entertainment which isprovided for them by writers, painters, and
poets." cronshaw stopped for a moment to drink.he had pondered for twenty years the problem whether he loved liquor because itmade him talk or whether he loved conversation because it made him thirsty. then he said: "i wrote a poem yesterday."without being asked he began to recite it, very slowly, marking the rhythm with anextended forefinger. it was possibly a very fine poem, but atthat moment a young woman came in. she had scarlet lips, and it was plain thatthe vivid colour of her cheeks was not due to the vulgarity of nature; she hadblackened her eyelashes and eyebrows, and
painted both eyelids a bold blue, which was continued to a triangle at the corner ofthe eyes. it was fantastic and amusing.her dark hair was done over her ears in the fashion made popular by mlle. cleo de merode.philip's eyes wandered to her, and cronshaw, having finished the recitation ofhis verses, smiled upon him indulgently. "you were not listening," he said. "oh yes, i was.""i do not blame you, for you have given an apt illustration of the statement i justmade.
what is art beside love? i respect and applaud your indifference tofine poetry when you can contemplate the meretricious charms of this young person."she passed by the table at which they were sitting, and he took her arm. "come and sit by my side, dear child, andlet us play the divine comedy of love." "fichez-moi la paix," she said, and pushinghim on one side continued her perambulation. "art," he continued, with a wave of thehand, "is merely the refuge which the ingenious have invented, when they weresupplied with food and women, to escape the
tediousness of life." cronshaw filled his glass again, and beganto talk at length. he spoke with rotund delivery.he chose his words carefully. he mingled wisdom and nonsense in the mostastounding manner, gravely making fun of his hearers at one moment, and at the nextplayfully giving them sound advice. he talked of art, and literature, and life. he was by turns devout and obscene, merryand lachrymose. he grew remarkably drunk, and then he beganto recite poetry, his own and milton's, his own and shelley's, his own and kitmarlowe's.
at last lawson, exhausted, got up to gohome. "i shall go too," said philip. clutton, the most silent of them all,remained behind listening, with a sardonic smile on his lips, to cronshaw'smaunderings. lawson accompanied philip to his hotel andthen bade him good-night. but when philip got to bed he could notsleep. all these new ideas that had been flungbefore him carelessly seethed in his brain. he was tremendously excited.he felt in himself great powers. he had never before been so self-confident.
"i know i shall be a great artist," he saidto himself. "i feel it in me." a thrill passed through him as anotherthought came, but even to himself he would not put it into words:"by george, i believe i've got genius." he was in fact very drunk, but as he hadnot taken more than one glass of beer, it could have been due only to a moredangerous intoxicant than alcohol. > chapter xliii on tuesdays and fridays masters spent themorning at amitrano's, criticising the work
done. in france the painter earns little unlesshe paints portraits and is patronised by rich americans; and men of reputation areglad to increase their incomes by spending two or three hours once a week at one ofthe numerous studios where art is taught. tuesday was the day upon which michelrollin came to amitrano's. he was an elderly man, with a white beardand a florid complexion, who had painted a number of decorations for the state, butthese were an object of derision to the students he instructed: he was a disciple of ingres, impervious to the progress ofart and angrily impatient with that tas de
farceurs whose names were manet, degas,monet, and sisley; but he was an excellent teacher, helpful, polite, and encouraging. foinet, on the other hand, who visited thestudio on fridays, was a difficult man to get on with. he was a small, shrivelled person, with badteeth and a bilious air, an untidy gray beard, and savage eyes; his voice was highand his tone sarcastic. he had had pictures bought by theluxembourg, and at twenty-five looked forward to a great career; but his talentwas due to youth rather than to personality, and for twenty years he had
done nothing but repeat the landscape whichhad brought him his early success. when he was reproached with monotony, heanswered: "corot only painted one thing. why shouldn't i?" he was envious of everyone else's success,and had a peculiar, personal loathing of the impressionists; for he looked upon hisown failure as due to the mad fashion which had attracted the public, sale bete, totheir works. the genial disdain of michel rollin, whocalled them impostors, was answered by him with vituperation, of which crapule andcanaille were the least violent items; he
amused himself with abuse of their private lives, and with sardonic humour, withblasphemous and obscene detail, attacked the legitimacy of their births and thepurity of their conjugal relations: he used an oriental imagery and an orientalemphasis to accentuate his ribald scorn. nor did he conceal his contempt for thestudents whose work he examined. by them he was hated and feared; the womenby his brutal sarcasm he reduced often to tears, which again aroused his ridicule;and he remained at the studio, notwithstanding the protests of those who suffered too bitterly from his attacks,because there could be no doubt that he was
one of the best masters in paris. sometimes the old model who kept the schoolventured to remonstrate with him, but his expostulations quickly gave way before theviolent insolence of the painter to abject apologies. it was foinet with whom philip first camein contact. he was already in the studio when philiparrived. he went round from easel to easel, withmrs. otter, the massiere, by his side to interpret his remarks for the benefit ofthose who could not understand french. fanny price, sitting next to philip, wasworking feverishly.
her face was sallow with nervousness, andevery now and then she stopped to wipe her hands on her blouse; for they were hot withanxiety. suddenly she turned to philip with ananxious look, which she tried to hide by a sullen frown."d'you think it's good?" she asked, nodding at her drawing. philip got up and looked at it.he was astounded; he felt she must have no eye at all; the thing was hopelessly out ofdrawing. "i wish i could draw half as well myself,"he answered. "you can't expect to, you've only justcome.
it's a bit too much to expect that youshould draw as well as i do. i've been here two years."fanny price puzzled philip. her conceit was stupendous. philip had already discovered that everyonein the studio cordially disliked her; and it was no wonder, for she seemed to go outof her way to wound people. "i complained to mrs. otter about foinet,"she said now. "the last two weeks he hasn't looked at mydrawings. he spends about half an hour on mrs. otterbecause she's the massiere. after all i pay as much as anybody else,and i suppose my money's as good as theirs.
i don't see why i shouldn't get as muchattention as anybody else." she took up her charcoal again, but in amoment put it down with a groan. "i can't do any more now. i'm so frightfully nervous."she looked at foinet, who was coming towards them with mrs. otter.mrs. otter, meek, mediocre, and self- satisfied, wore an air of importance. foinet sat down at the easel of an untidylittle englishwoman called ruth chalice. she had the fine black eyes, languid butpassionate, the thin face, ascetic but sensual, the skin like old ivory, whichunder the influence of burne-jones were
cultivated at that time by young ladies inchelsea. foinet seemed in a pleasant mood; he didnot say much to her, but with quick, determined strokes of her charcoal pointedout her errors. miss chalice beamed with pleasure when herose. he came to clutton, and by this time philipwas nervous too but mrs. otter had promised to make things easy for him. foinet stood for a moment in front ofclutton's work, biting his thumb silently, then absent-mindedly spat out upon thecanvas the little piece of skin which he had bitten off.
"that's a fine line," he said at last,indicating with his thumb what pleased him. "you're beginning to learn to draw." clutton did not answer, but looked at themaster with his usual air of sardonic indifference to the world's opinion."i'm beginning to think you have at least a trace of talent." mrs. otter, who did not like clutton,pursed her lips. she did not see anything out of the way inhis work. foinet sat down and went into technicaldetails. mrs. otter grew rather tired of standing.
clutton did not say anything, but noddednow and then, and foinet felt with satisfaction that he grasped what he saidand the reasons of it; most of them listened to him, but it was clear theynever understood. then foinet got up and came to philip."he only arrived two days ago," mrs. otter hurried to explain. "he's a beginner.he's never studied before." "ca se voit," the master said."one sees that." he passed on, and mrs. otter murmured tohim: "this is the young lady i told you about."
he looked at her as though she were somerepulsive animal, and his voice grew more rasping."it appears that you do not think i pay enough attention to you. you have been complaining to the massiere.well, show me this work to which you wish me to give attention."fanny price coloured. the blood under her unhealthy skin seemedto be of a strange purple. without answering she pointed to thedrawing on which she had been at work since the beginning of the week. foinet sat down."well, what do you wish me to say to you?
do you wish me to tell you it is good?it isn't. do you wish me to tell you it is welldrawn? it isn't.do you wish me to say it has merit? it hasn't. do you wish me to show you what is wrongwith it? it is all wrong.do you wish me to tell you what to do with it? tear it up.are you satisfied now?" miss price became very white.she was furious because he had said all
this before mrs. otter. though she had been in france so long andcould understand french well enough, she could hardly speak two words."he's got no right to treat me like that. my money's as good as anyone else's. i pay him to teach me.that's not teaching me." "what does she say?what does she say?" asked foinet. mrs. otter hesitated to translate, and missprice repeated in execrable french. "je vous paye pour m'apprendre."his eyes flashed with rage, he raised his voice and shook his fist.
"mais, nom de dieu, i can't teach you.i could more easily teach a camel." he turned to mrs. otter."ask her, does she do this for amusement, or does she expect to earn money by it?" "i'm going to earn my living as an artist,"miss price answered. "then it is my duty to tell you that youare wasting your time. it would not matter that you have notalent, talent does not run about the streets in these days, but you have not thebeginning of an aptitude. how long have you been here? a child of five after two lessons woulddraw better than you do.
i only say one thing to you, give up thishopeless attempt. you're more likely to earn your living as abonne a tout faire than as a painter. look."he seized a piece of charcoal, and it broke as he applied it to the paper. he cursed, and with the stump drew greatfirm lines. he drew rapidly and spoke at the same time,spitting out the words with venom. "look, those arms are not the same length. that knee, it's grotesque.i tell you a child of five. you see, she's not standing on her legs.that foot!"
with each word the angry pencil made amark, and in a moment the drawing upon which fanny price had spent so much timeand eager trouble was unrecognisable, a confusion of lines and smudges. at last he flung down the charcoal andstood up. "take my advice, mademoiselle, trydressmaking." he looked at his watch. "it's twelve.a la semaine prochaine, messieurs." miss price gathered up her things slowly.philip waited behind after the others to say to her something consolatory.
he could think of nothing but:"i say, i'm awfully sorry. what a beast that man is!"she turned on him savagely. "is that what you're waiting about for? when i want your sympathy i'll ask for it.please get out of my way." she walked past him, out of the studio, andphilip, with a shrug of the shoulders, limped along to gravier's for luncheon. "it served her right," said lawson, whenphilip told him what had happened. "ill-tempered slut." lawson was very sensitive to criticism and,in order to avoid it, never went to the
studio when foinet was coming."i don't want other people's opinion of my work," he said. "i know myself if it's good or bad.""you mean you don't want other people's bad opinion of your work," answered cluttondryly. in the afternoon philip thought he would goto the luxembourg to see the pictures, and walking through the garden he saw fannyprice sitting in her accustomed seat. he was sore at the rudeness with which shehad met his well-meant attempt to say something pleasant, and passed as though hehad not caught sight of her. but she got up at once and came towardshim.
"are you trying to cut me?" she said."no, of course not. i thought perhaps you didn't want to bespoken to." "where are you going?""i wanted to have a look at the manet, i've heard so much about it." "would you like me to come with you?i know the luxembourg rather well. i could show you one or two good things." he understood that, unable to bring herselfto apologise directly, she made this offer as amends."it's awfully kind of you. i should like it very much."
"you needn't say yes if you'd rather goalone," she said suspiciously. "i wouldn't."they walked towards the gallery. caillebotte's collection had lately beenplaced on view, and the student for the first time had the opportunity to examineat his ease the works of the impressionists. till then it had been possible to see themonly at durand-ruel's shop in the rue lafitte (and the dealer, unlike his fellowsin england, who adopt towards the painter an attitude of superiority, was always pleased to show the shabbiest studentwhatever he wanted to see), or at his
private house, to which it was notdifficult to get a card of admission on tuesdays, and where you might see picturesof world-wide reputation. miss price led philip straight up tomanet's olympia. he looked at it in astonished silence. "do you like it?" asked miss price."i don't know," he answered helplessly. "you can take it from me that it's the bestthing in the gallery except perhaps whistler's portrait of his mother." she gave him a certain time to contemplatethe masterpiece and then took him to a picture representing a railway-station."look, here's a monet," she said.
"it's the gare st. lazare." "but the railway lines aren't parallel,"said philip. "what does that matter?" she asked, with ahaughty air. philip felt ashamed of himself. fanny price had picked up the glib chatterof the studios and had no difficulty in impressing philip with the extent of herknowledge. she proceeded to explain the pictures tohim, superciliously but not without insight, and showed him what the paintershad attempted and what he must look for. she talked with much gesticulation of thethumb, and philip, to whom all she said was
new, listened with profound but bewilderedinterest. till now he had worshipped watts and burne-jones. the pretty colour of the first, theaffected drawing of the second, had entirely satisfied his aestheticsensibilities. their vague idealism, the suspicion of aphilosophical idea which underlay the titles they gave their pictures, accordedvery well with the functions of art as from his diligent perusal of ruskin he understood it; but here was something quitedifferent: here was no moral appeal; and the contemplation of these works could helpno one to lead a purer and a higher life.
he was puzzled. at last he said: "you know, i'm simplydead. i don't think i can absorb anything moreprofitably. let's go and sit down on one of thebenches." "it's better not to take too much art at atime," miss price answered. when they got outside he thanked her warmlyfor the trouble she had taken. "oh, that's all right," she said, a littleungraciously. "i do it because i enjoy it. we'll go to the louvre tomorrow if youlike, and then i'll take you to durand-
ruel's.""you're really awfully good to me." "you don't think me such a beast as themost of them do." "i don't," he smiled. "they think they'll drive me away from thestudio; but they won't; i shall stay there just exactly as long as it suits me.all that this morning, it was lucy otter's doing, i know it was. she always has hated me.she thought after that i'd take myself off. i daresay she'd like me to go.she's afraid i know too much about her." miss price told him a long, involved story,which made out that mrs. otter, a humdrum
and respectable little person, had scabrousintrigues. then she talked of ruth chalice, the girlwhom foinet had praised that morning. "she's been with every one of the fellowsat the studio. she's nothing better than a street-walker. and she's dirty.she hasn't had a bath for a month. i know it for a fact."philip listened uncomfortably. he had heard already that various rumourswere in circulation about miss chalice; but it was ridiculous to suppose that mrs.otter, living with her mother, was anything but rigidly virtuous.
the woman walking by his side with hermalignant lying positively horrified him. "i don't care what they say.i shall go on just the same. i know i've got it in me. i feel i'm an artist.i'd sooner kill myself than give it up. oh, i shan't be the first they've alllaughed at in the schools and then he's turned out the only genius of the lot. art's the only thing i care for, i'mwilling to give my whole life to it. it's only a question of sticking to it andpegging away." she found discreditable motives foreveryone who would not take her at her own
estimate of herself.she detested clutton. she told philip that his friend had notalent really; it was just flashy and superficial; he couldn't compose a figureto save his life. and lawson: "little beast, with his red hair and hisfreckles. he's so afraid of foinet that he won't lethim see his work. after all, i don't funk it, do i? i don't care what foinet says to me, i knowi'm a real artist." they reached the street in which she lived,and with a sigh of relief philip left her.
chapter xliv but notwithstanding when miss price on thefollowing sunday offered to take him to the louvre philip accepted.she showed him mona lisa. he looked at it with a slight feeling ofdisappointment, but he had read till he knew by heart the jewelled words with whichwalter pater has added beauty to the most famous picture in the world; and these nowhe repeated to miss price. "that's all literature," she said, a littlecontemptuously. "you must get away from that." she showed him the rembrandts, and she saidmany appropriate things about them.
she stood in front of the disciples atemmaus. "when you feel the beauty of that," shesaid, "you'll know something about painting."she showed him the odalisque and la source of ingres. fanny price was a peremptory guide, shewould not let him look at the things he wished, and attempted to force hisadmiration for all she admired. she was desperately in earnest with herstudy of art, and when philip, passing in the long gallery a window that looked outon the tuileries, gay, sunny, and urbane, like a picture by raffaelli, exclaimed:
"i say, how jolly!do let's stop here a minute." she said, indifferently: "yes, it's allright. but we've come here to look at pictures." the autumn air, blithe and vivacious,elated philip; and when towards mid-day they stood in the great court-yard of thelouvre, he felt inclined to cry like flanagan: to hell with art. "i say, do let's go to one of thoserestaurants in the boul' mich' and have a snack together, shall we?" he suggested.miss price gave him a suspicious look. "i've got my lunch waiting for me at home,"she answered.
"that doesn't matter.you can eat it tomorrow. do let me stand you a lunch." "i don't know why you want to.""it would give me pleasure," he replied, smiling. they crossed the river, and at the cornerof the boulevard st. michel there was a restaurant."let's go in there." "no, i won't go there, it looks tooexpensive." she walked on firmly, and philip wasobliged to follow. a few steps brought them to a smallerrestaurant, where a dozen people were
already lunching on the pavement under anawning; on the window was announced in large white letters: dejeuner 1.25, vincompris. "we couldn't have anything cheaper thanthis, and it looks quite all right." they sat down at a vacant table and waitedfor the omelette which was the first article on the bill of fare.philip gazed with delight upon the passers- by. his heart went out to them.he was tired but very happy. "i say, look at that man in the blouse.isn't he ripping!" he glanced at miss price, and to hisastonishment saw that she was looking down
at her plate, regardless of the passingspectacle, and two heavy tears were rolling down her cheeks. "what on earth's the matter?" he exclaimed."if you say anything to me i shall get up and go at once," she answered.he was entirely puzzled, but fortunately at that moment the omelette came. he divided it in two and they began to eat. philip did his best to talk of indifferentthings, and it seemed as though miss price were making an effort on her side to beagreeable; but the luncheon was not altogether a success.
philip was squeamish, and the way in whichmiss price ate took his appetite away. she ate noisily, greedily, a little like awild beast in a menagerie, and after she had finished each course rubbed the platewith pieces of bread till it was white and shining, as if she did not wish to lose asingle drop of gravy. they had camembert cheese, and it disgustedphilip to see that she ate rind and all of the portion that was given her. she could not have eaten more ravenously ifshe were starving. miss price was unaccountable, and havingparted from her on one day with friendliness he could never tell whether onthe next she would not be sulky and
uncivil; but he learned a good deal from her: though she could not draw wellherself, she knew all that could be taught, and her constant suggestions helped hisprogress. mrs. otter was useful to him too, andsometimes miss chalice criticised his work; he learned from the glib loquacity oflawson and from the example of clutton. but fanny price hated him to takesuggestions from anyone but herself, and when he asked her help after someone elsehad been talking to him she would refuse with brutal rudeness. the other fellows, lawson, clutton,flanagan, chaffed him about her.
"you be careful, my lad," they said, "she'sin love with you." "oh, what nonsense," he laughed. the thought that miss price could be inlove with anyone was preposterous. it made him shudder when he thought of heruncomeliness, the bedraggled hair and the dirty hands, the brown dress she alwayswore, stained and ragged at the hem: he supposed she was hard up, they were all hard up, but she might at least be clean;and it was surely possible with a needle and thread to make her skirt tidy.philip began to sort his impressions of the people he was thrown in contact with.
he was not so ingenuous as in those dayswhich now seemed so long ago at heidelberg, and, beginning to take a more deliberateinterest in humanity, he was inclined to examine and to criticise. he found it difficult to know clutton anybetter after seeing him every day for three months than on the first day of theiracquaintance. the general impression at the studio wasthat he was able; it was supposed that he would do great things, and he shared thegeneral opinion; but what exactly he was going to do neither he nor anybody elsequite knew. he had worked at several studios beforeamitrano's, at julian's, the beaux arts,
and macpherson's, and was remaining longerat amitrano's than anywhere because he found himself more left alone. he was not fond of showing his work, andunlike most of the young men who were studying art neither sought nor gaveadvice. it was said that in the little studio inthe rue campagne premiere, which served him for work-room and bed-room, he hadwonderful pictures which would make his reputation if only he could be induced toexhibit them. he could not afford a model but paintedstill life, and lawson constantly talked of a plate of apples which he declared was amasterpiece.
he was fastidious, and, aiming at somethinghe did not quite fully grasp, was constantly dissatisfied with his work as awhole: perhaps a part would please him, the forearm or the leg and foot of a figure, a glass or a cup in a still-life; and hewould cut this out and keep it, destroying the rest of the canvas; so that when peopleinvited themselves to see his work he could truthfully answer that he had not a singlepicture to show. in brittany he had come across a painterwhom nobody else had heard of, a queer fellow who had been a stockbroker and takenup painting at middle-age, and he was greatly influenced by his work.
he was turning his back on theimpressionists and working out for himself painfully an individual way not only ofpainting but of seeing. philip felt in him something strangelyoriginal. at gravier's where they ate, and in theevening at the versailles or at the closerie des lilas clutton was inclined totaciturnity. he sat quietly, with a sardonic expressionon his gaunt face, and spoke only when the opportunity occurred to throw in awitticism. he liked a butt and was most cheerful whensomeone was there on whom he could exercise his sarcasm.
he seldom talked of anything but painting,and then only with the one or two persons whom he thought worth while. philip wondered whether there was in himreally anything: his reticence, the haggard look of him, the pungent humour, seemed tosuggest personality, but might be no more than an effective mask which coverednothing. with lawson on the other hand philip soongrew intimate. he had a variety of interests which madehim an agreeable companion. he read more than most of the students andthough his income was small, loved to buy books.
he lent them willingly; and philip becameacquainted with flaubert and balzac, with verlaine, heredia, and villiers de l'isleadam. they went to plays together and sometimesto the gallery of the opera comique. there was the odeon quite near them, andphilip soon shared his friend's passion for the tragedians of louis xiv and thesonorous alexandrine. in the rue taitbout were the concertsrouge, where for seventy-five centimes they could hear excellent music and get into thebargain something which it was quite possible to drink: the seats were uncomfortable, the place was crowded, theair thick with caporal horrible to breathe,
but in their young enthusiasm they wereindifferent. sometimes they went to the bal bullier. on these occasions flanagan accompaniedthem. his excitability and his roisterousenthusiasm made them laugh. he was an excellent dancer, and before theyhad been ten minutes in the room he was prancing round with some little shop-girlwhose acquaintance he had just made. the desire of all of them was to have amistress. it was part of the paraphernalia of theart-student in paris. it gave consideration in the eyes of one'sfellows.
it was something to boast about. but the difficulty was that they hadscarcely enough money to keep themselves, and though they argued that french-womenwere so clever it cost no more to keep two then one, they found it difficult to meet young women who were willing to take thatview of the circumstances. they had to content themselves for the mostpart with envying and abusing the ladies who received protection from painters ofmore settled respectability than their own. it was extraordinary how difficult thesethings were in paris. lawson would become acquainted with someyoung thing and make an appointment; for
twenty-four hours he would be all in aflutter and describe the charmer at length to everyone he met; but she never by anychance turned up at the time fixed. he would come to gravier's very late, ill-tempered, and exclaim: "confound it, another rabbit! i don't know why it is they don't like me.i suppose it's because i don't speak french well, or my red hair. it's too sickening to have spent over ayear in paris without getting hold of anyone.""you don't go the right way to work," said flanagan.
he had a long and enviable list of triumphsto narrate, and though they took leave not to believe all he said, evidence forcedthem to acknowledge that he did not altogether lie. but he sought no permanent arrangement. he only had two years in paris: he hadpersuaded his people to let him come and study art instead of going to college; butat the end of that period he was to return to seattle and go into his father'sbusiness. he had made up his mind to get as much funas possible into the time, and demanded variety rather than duration in his loveaffairs.
"i don't know how you get hold of them,"said lawson furiously. "there's no difficulty about that, sonny,"answered flanagan. "you just go right in. the difficulty is to get rid of them.that's where you want tact." philip was too much occupied with his work,the books he was reading, the plays he saw, the conversation he listened to, to troublehimself with the desire for female society. he thought there would be plenty of timefor that when he could speak french more glibly. it was more than a year now since he hadseen miss wilkinson, and during his first
weeks in paris he had been too busy toanswer a letter she had written to him just before he left blackstable. when another came, knowing it would be fullof reproaches and not being just then in the mood for them, he put it aside,intending to open it later; but he forgot and did not run across it till a month afterwards, when he was turning out adrawer to find some socks that had no holes in them.he looked at the unopened letter with dismay. he was afraid that miss wilkinson hadsuffered a good deal, and it made him feel
a brute; but she had probably got over thesuffering by now, at all events the worst of it. it suggested itself to him that women wereoften very emphatic in their expressions. these did not mean so much as when men usedthem. he had quite made up his mind that nothingwould induce him ever to see her again. he had not written for so long that itseemed hardly worth while to write now. he made up his mind not to read the letter. "i daresay she won't write again," he saidto himself. "she can't help seeing the thing's over.after all, she was old enough to be my
mother; she ought to have known better." for an hour or two he felt a littleuncomfortable. his attitude was obviously the right one,but he could not help a feeling of dissatisfaction with the whole business. miss wilkinson, however, did not writeagain; nor did she, as he absurdly feared, suddenly appear in paris to make himridiculous before his friends. in a little while he clean forgot her. meanwhile he definitely forsook his oldgods. the amazement with which at first he hadlooked upon the works of the
impressionists, changed to admiration; andpresently he found himself talking as emphatically as the rest on the merits ofmanet, monet, and degas. he bought a photograph of a drawing byingres of the odalisque and a photograph of the olympia. they were pinned side by side over hiswashing-stand so that he could contemplate their beauty while he shaved. he knew now quite positively that there hadbeen no painting of landscape before monet; and he felt a real thrill when he stood infront of rembrandt's disciples at emmaus or velasquez' lady with the flea-bitten nose.
that was not her real name, but by that shewas distinguished at gravier's to emphasise the picture's beauty notwithstanding thesomewhat revolting peculiarity of the sitter's appearance. with ruskin, burne-jones, and watts, he hadput aside his bowler hat and the neat blue tie with white spots which he had worn oncoming to paris; and now disported himself in a soft, broad-brimmed hat, a flowingblack cravat, and a cape of romantic cut. he walked along the boulevard dumontparnasse as though he had known it all his life, and by virtuous perseverance hehad learnt to drink absinthe without distaste.
he was letting his hair grow, and it wasonly because nature is unkind and has no regard for the immortal longings of youththat he did not attempt a beard. chapter xlv philip soon realised that the spirit whichinformed his friends was cronshaw's. it was from him that lawson got hisparadoxes; and even clutton, who strained after individuality, expressed himself inthe terms he had insensibly acquired from the older man. it was his ideas that they bandied about attable, and on his authority they formed their judgments.
they made up for the respect with whichunconsciously they treated him by laughing at his foibles and lamenting his vices."of course, poor old cronshaw will never do any good," they said. "he's quite hopeless." they prided themselves on being alone inappreciating his genius; and though, with the contempt of youth for the follies ofmiddle-age, they patronised him among themselves, they did not fail to look upon it as a feather in their caps if he hadchosen a time when only one was there to be particularly wonderful.cronshaw never came to gravier's.
for the last four years he had lived insqualid conditions with a woman whom only lawson had once seen, in a tiny apartmenton the sixth floor of one of the most dilapidated houses on the quai des grands augustins: lawson described with gusto thefilth, the untidiness, the litter. "and the stink nearly blew your head off.""not at dinner, lawson," expostulated one of the others. but he would not deny himself the pleasureof giving picturesque details of the odours which met his nostril. with a fierce delight in his own realism hedescribed the woman who had opened the door
for him. she was dark, small, and fat, quite young,with black hair that seemed always on the point of coming down.she wore a slatternly blouse and no corsets. with her red cheeks, large sensual mouth,and shining, lewd eyes, she reminded you of the bohemienne in the louvre by franz hals.she had a flaunting vulgarity which amused and yet horrified. a scrubby, unwashed baby was playing on thefloor. it was known that the slut deceivedcronshaw with the most worthless
ragamuffins of the quarter, and it was amystery to the ingenuous youths who absorbed his wisdom over a cafe table that cronshaw with his keen intellect and hispassion for beauty could ally himself to such a creature. but he seemed to revel in the coarseness ofher language and would often report some phrase which reeked of the gutter.he referred to her ironically as la fille de mon concierge. cronshaw was very poor.he earned a bare subsistence by writing on the exhibitions of pictures for one or twoenglish papers, and he did a certain amount
of translating. he had been on the staff of an englishpaper in paris, but had been dismissed for drunkenness; he still however did odd jobsfor it, describing sales at the hotel drouot or the revues at music-halls. the life of paris had got into his bones,and he would not change it, notwithstanding its squalor, drudgery, and hardship, forany other in the world. he remained there all through the year,even in summer when everyone he knew was away, and felt himself only at ease withina mile of the boulevard st. michel. but the curious thing was that he had neverlearnt to speak french passably, and he
kept in his shabby clothes bought at labelle jardiniere an ineradicably english appearance. he was a man who would have made a successof life a century and a half ago when conversation was a passport to good companyand inebriety no bar. "i ought to have lived in the eighteenhundreds," he said himself. "what i want is a patron. i should have published my poems bysubscription and dedicated them to a nobleman.i long to compose rhymed couplets upon the poodle of a countess.
my soul yearns for the love of chamber-maids and the conversation of bishops." he quoted the romantic rolla,"je suis venu trop tard dans un monde trop vieux." he liked new faces, and he took a fancy tophilip, who seemed to achieve the difficult feat of talking just enough to suggestconversation and not too much to prevent monologue. philip was captivated.he did not realise that little that cronshaw said was new.his personality in conversation had a curious power.
he had a beautiful and a sonorous voice,and a manner of putting things which was irresistible to youth. all he said seemed to excite thought, andoften on the way home lawson and philip would walk to and from one another'shotels, discussing some point which a chance word of cronshaw had suggested. it was disconcerting to philip, who had ayouthful eagerness for results, that cronshaw's poetry hardly came up toexpectation. it had never been published in a volume,but most of it had appeared in periodicals; and after a good deal of persuasioncronshaw brought down a bundle of pages
torn out of the yellow book, the saturday review, and other journals, on each ofwhich was a poem. philip was taken aback to find that most ofthem reminded him either of henley or of swinburne. it needed the splendour of cronshaw'sdelivery to make them personal. he expressed his disappointment to lawson,who carelessly repeated his words; and next time philip went to the closerie des lilasthe poet turned to him with his sleek smile: "i hear you don't think much of my verses."philip was embarrassed.
"i don't know about that," he answered."i enjoyed reading them very much." "do not attempt to spare my feelings,"returned cronshaw, with a wave of his fat hand."i do not attach any exaggerated importance to my poetical works. life is there to be lived rather than to bewritten about. my aim is to search out the manifoldexperience that it offers, wringing from each moment what of emotion it presents. i look upon my writing as a gracefulaccomplishment which does not absorb but rather adds pleasure to existence.and as for posterity--damn posterity."
philip smiled, for it leaped to one's eyesthat the artist in life had produced no more than a wretched daub.cronshaw looked at him meditatively and filled his glass. he sent the waiter for a packet ofcigarettes. "you are amused because i talk in thisfashion and you know that i am poor and live in an attic with a vulgar trollop whodeceives me with hair-dressers and garcons de cafe; i translate wretched books for the british public, and write articles uponcontemptible pictures which deserve not even to be abused.but pray tell me what is the meaning of
life?" "i say, that's rather a difficult question.won't you give the answer yourself?" "no, because it's worthless unless youyourself discover it. but what do you suppose you are in theworld for?" philip had never asked himself, and hethought for a moment before replying. "oh, i don't know: i suppose to do one'sduty, and make the best possible use of one's faculties, and avoid hurting otherpeople." "in short, to do unto others as you wouldthey should do unto you?" "i suppose so.""christianity."
"no, it isn't," said philip indignantly. "it has nothing to do with christianity.it's just abstract morality." "but there's no such thing as abstractmorality." "in that case, supposing under theinfluence of liquor you left your purse behind when you leave here and i picked itup, why do you imagine that i should return it to you? it's not the fear of the police.""it's the dread of hell if you sin and the hope of heaven if you are virtuous.""but i believe in neither." "that may be.
neither did kant when he devised thecategorical imperative. you have thrown aside a creed, but you havepreserved the ethic which was based upon it. to all intents you are a christian still,and if there is a god in heaven you will undoubtedly receive your reward.the almighty can hardly be such a fool as the churches make out. if you keep his laws i don't think he cancare a packet of pins whether you believe in him or not.""but if i left my purse behind you would certainly return it to me," said philip.
"not from motives of abstract morality, butonly from fear of the police." "it's a thousand to one that the policewould never find out." "my ancestors have lived in a civilisedstate so long that the fear of the police has eaten into my bones.the daughter of my concierge would not hesitate for a moment. you answer that she belongs to the criminalclasses; not at all, she is merely devoid of vulgar prejudice." "but then that does away with honour andvirtue and goodness and decency and everything," said philip."have you ever committed a sin?"
"i don't know, i suppose so," answeredphilip. "you speak with the lips of a dissentingminister. i have never committed a sin." cronshaw in his shabby great-coat, with thecollar turned up, and his hat well down on his head, with his red fat face and hislittle gleaming eyes, looked extraordinarily comic; but philip was toomuch in earnest to laugh. "have you never done anything you regret?""how can i regret when what i did was inevitable?" asked cronshaw in return. "but that's fatalism.""the illusion which man has that his will
is free is so deeply rooted that i am readyto accept it. i act as though i were a free agent. but when an action is performed it is clearthat all the forces of the universe from all eternity conspired to cause it, andnothing i could do could have prevented it. it was inevitable. if it was good i can claim no merit; if itwas bad i can accept no censure." "my brain reels," said philip."have some whiskey," returned cronshaw, passing over the bottle. "there's nothing like it for clearing thehead.
you must expect to be thick-witted if youinsist upon drinking beer." philip shook his head, and cronshawproceeded: "you're not a bad fellow, but you won'tdrink. sobriety disturbs conversation. but when i speak of good and bad..."philip saw he was taking up the thread of his discourse, "i speak conventionally.i attach no meaning to those words. i refuse to make a hierarchy of humanactions and ascribe worthiness to some and ill-repute to others.the terms vice and virtue have no signification for me.
i do not confer praise or blame: i accept.i am the measure of all things. i am the centre of the world.""but there are one or two other people in the world," objected philip. "i speak only for myself.i know them only as they limit my activities. round each of them too the world turns, andeach one for himself is the centre of the universe.my right over them extends only as far as my power. what i can do is the only limit of what imay do.
because we are gregarious we live insociety, and society holds together by means of force, force of arms (that is thepoliceman) and force of public opinion (that is mrs. grundy). you have society on one hand and theindividual on the other: each is an organism striving for self-preservation.it is might against might. i stand alone, bound to accept society andnot unwilling, since in return for the taxes i pay it protects me, a weakling,against the tyranny of another stronger than i am; but i submit to its laws because i must; i do not acknowledge their justice:i do not know justice, i only know power.
and when i have paid for the policeman whoprotects me and, if i live in a country where conscription is in force, served inthe army which guards my house and land from the invader, i am quits with society: for the rest i counter its might with mywiliness. it makes laws for its self-preservation,and if i break them it imprisons or kills me: it has the might to do so and thereforethe right. if i break the laws i will accept thevengeance of the state, but i will not regard it as punishment nor shall i feelmyself convicted of wrong-doing. society tempts me to its service by honoursand riches and the good opinion of my
fellows; but i am indifferent to their goodopinion, i despise honours and i can do very well without riches." "but if everyone thought like you thingswould go to pieces at once." "i have nothing to do with others, i amonly concerned with myself. i take advantage of the fact that themajority of mankind are led by certain rewards to do things which directly orindirectly tend to my convenience." "it seems to me an awfully selfish way oflooking at things," said philip. "but are you under the impression that menever do anything except for selfish reasons?"
"yes.""it is impossible that they should. you will find as you grow older that thefirst thing needful to make the world a tolerable place to live in is to recognisethe inevitable selfishness of humanity. you demand unselfishness from others, whichis a preposterous claim that they should sacrifice their desires to yours.why should they? when you are reconciled to the fact thateach is for himself in the world you will ask less from your fellows.they will not disappoint you, and you will look upon them more charitably. men seek but one thing in life--theirpleasure."
"no, no, no!" cried philip.cronshaw chuckled. "you rear like a frightened colt, because iuse a word to which your christianity ascribes a deprecatory meaning. you have a hierarchy of values; pleasure isat the bottom of the ladder, and you speak with a little thrill of self-satisfaction,of duty, charity, and truthfulness. you think pleasure is only of the senses;the wretched slaves who manufactured your morality despised a satisfaction which theyhad small means of enjoying. you would not be so frightened if i hadspoken of happiness instead of pleasure: it sounds less shocking, and your mind wandersfrom the sty of epicurus to his garden.
but i will speak of pleasure, for i seethat men aim at that, and i do not know that they aim at happiness.it is pleasure that lurks in the practice of every one of your virtues. man performs actions because they are goodfor him, and when they are good for other people as well they are thought virtuous:if he finds pleasure in giving alms he is charitable; if he finds pleasure in helping others he is benevolent; if he findspleasure in working for society he is public-spirited; but it is for your privatepleasure that you give twopence to a beggar as much as it is for my private pleasurethat i drink another whiskey and soda.
i, less of a humbug than you, neitherapplaud myself for my pleasure nor demand your admiration." "but have you never known people do thingsthey didn't want to instead of things they did?""no. you put your question foolishly. what you mean is that people accept animmediate pain rather than an immediate pleasure.the objection is as foolish as your manner of putting it. it is clear that men accept an immediatepain rather than an immediate pleasure, but only because they expect a greater pleasurein the future.
often the pleasure is illusory, but theirerror in calculation is no refutation of the rule. you are puzzled because you cannot get overthe idea that pleasures are only of the senses; but, child, a man who dies for hiscountry dies because he likes it as surely as a man eats pickled cabbage because helikes it. it is a law of creation. if it were possible for men to prefer painto pleasure the human race would have long since become extinct.""but if all that is true," cried philip, "what is the use of anything?
if you take away duty and goodness andbeauty why are we brought into the world?" "here comes the gorgeous east to suggest ananswer," smiled cronshaw. he pointed to two persons who at thatmoment opened the door of the cafe, and, with a blast of cold air, entered. they were levantines, itinerant vendors ofcheap rugs, and each bore on his arm a bundle.it was sunday evening, and the cafe was very full. they passed among the tables, and in thatatmosphere heavy and discoloured with tobacco smoke, rank with humanity, theyseemed to bring an air of mystery.
they were clad in european, shabby clothes,their thin great-coats were threadbare, but each wore a tarbouch.their faces were gray with cold. one was of middle age, with a black beard,but the other was a youth of eighteen, with a face deeply scarred by smallpox and withone eye only. they passed by cronshaw and philip. "allah is great, and mahomet is hisprophet," said cronshaw impressively. the elder advanced with a cringing smile,like a mongrel used to blows. with a sidelong glance at the door and aquick surreptitious movement he showed a pornographic picture.
"are you masr-ed-deen, the merchant ofalexandria, or is it from far bagdad that you bring your goods, o, my uncle; andyonder one-eyed youth, do i see in him one of the three kings of whom scheherazadetold stories to her lord?" the pedlar's smile grew more ingratiating,though he understood no word of what cronshaw said, and like a conjurer heproduced a sandalwood box. "nay, show us the priceless web of easternlooms," quoth cronshaw. "for i would point a moral and adorn atale." the levantine unfolded a table-cloth, redand yellow, vulgar, hideous, and grotesque. "thirty-five francs," he said.
"o, my uncle, this cloth knew not theweavers of samarkand, and those colours were never made in the vats of bokhara.""twenty-five francs," smiled the pedlar obsequiously. "ultima thule was the place of itsmanufacture, even birmingham the place of my birth.""fifteen francs," cringed the bearded man. "get thee gone, fellow," said cronshaw. "may wild asses defile the grave of thymaternal grandmother." imperturbably, but smiling no more, thelevantine passed with his wares to another table.
cronshaw turned to philip."have you ever been to the cluny, the museum? there you will see persian carpets of themost exquisite hue and of a pattern the beautiful intricacy of which delights andamazes the eye. in them you will see the mystery and thesensual beauty of the east, the roses of hafiz and the wine-cup of omar; butpresently you will see more. you were asking just now what was themeaning of life. go and look at those persian carpets, andone of these days the answer will come to you."
"you are cryptic," said philip."i am drunk," answered cronshaw. chapter xlvi philip did not find living in paris ascheap as he had been led to believe and by february had spent most of the money withwhich he started. he was too proud to appeal to his guardian,nor did he wish aunt louisa to know that his circumstances were straitened, since hewas certain she would make an effort to send him something from her own pocket, andhe knew how little she could afford to. in three months he would attain hismajority and come into possession of his small fortune.
he tided over the interval by selling thefew trinkets which he had inherited from his father. at about this time lawson suggested thatthey should take a small studio which was vacant in one of the streets that led outof the boulevard raspail. it was very cheap. it had a room attached, which they coulduse as a bed-room; and since philip was at the school every morning lawson could havethe undisturbed use of the studio then; lawson, after wandering from school to school, had come to the conclusion that hecould work best alone, and proposed to get
a model in three or four days a week. at first philip hesitated on account of theexpense, but they reckoned it out; and it seemed (they were so anxious to have astudio of their own that they calculated pragmatically) that the cost would not be much greater than that of living in ahotel. though the rent and the cleaning by theconcierge would come to a little more, they would save on the petit dejeuner, whichthey could make themselves. a year or two earlier philip would haverefused to share a room with anyone, since he was so sensitive about his deformedfoot, but his morbid way of looking at it
was growing less marked: in paris it did not seem to matter so much, and, though henever by any chance forgot it himself, he ceased to feel that other people wereconstantly noticing it. they moved in, bought a couple of beds, awashing-stand, a few chairs, and felt for the first time the thrill of possession. they were so excited that the first nightthey went to bed in what they could call a home they lay awake talking till three inthe morning; and next day found lighting the fire and making their own coffee, which they had in pyjamas, such a jolly businessthat philip did not get to amitrano's till
nearly eleven.he was in excellent spirits. he nodded to fanny price. "how are you getting on?" he askedcheerily. "what does that matter to you?" she askedin reply. philip could not help laughing. "don't jump down my throat.i was only trying to make myself polite." "i don't want your politeness.""d'you think it's worth while quarrelling with me too?" asked philip mildly. "there are so few people you're on speakingterms with, as it is."
"that's my business, isn't it?""quite." he began to work, vaguely wondering whyfanny price made herself so disagreeable. he had come to the conclusion that hethoroughly disliked her. everyone did. people were only civil to her at all fromfear of the malice of her tongue; for to their faces and behind their backs she saidabominable things. but philip was feeling so happy that he didnot want even miss price to bear ill- feeling towards him.he used the artifice which had often before succeeded in banishing her ill-humour.
"i say, i wish you'd come and look at mydrawing. i've got in an awful mess.""thank you very much, but i've got something better to do with my time." philip stared at her in surprise, for theone thing she could be counted upon to do with alacrity was to give advice.she went on quickly in a low voice, savage with fury. "now that lawson's gone you think you'llput up with me. thank you very much.go and find somebody else to help you. i don't want anybody else's leavings."
lawson had the pedagogic instinct; wheneverhe found anything out he was eager to impart it; and because he taught withdelight he talked with profit. philip, without thinking anything about it,had got into the habit of sitting by his side; it never occurred to him that fannyprice was consumed with jealousy, and watched his acceptance of someone else'stuition with ever-increasing anger. "you were very glad to put up with me whenyou knew nobody here," she said bitterly, "and as soon as you made friends with otherpeople you threw me aside, like an old glove"--she repeated the stale metaphorwith satisfaction--"like an old glove. all right, i don't care, but i'm not goingto be made a fool of another time."
there was a suspicion of truth in what shesaid, and it made philip angry enough to answer what first came into his head."hang it all, i only asked your advice because i saw it pleased you." she gave a gasp and threw him a sudden lookof anguish. then two tears rolled down her cheeks.she looked frowsy and grotesque. philip, not knowing what on earth this newattitude implied, went back to his work. he was uneasy and conscience-stricken; buthe would not go to her and say he was sorry if he had caused her pain, because he wasafraid she would take the opportunity to snub him.
for two or three weeks she did not speak tohim, and, after philip had got over the discomfort of being cut by her, he wassomewhat relieved to be free from so difficult a friendship. he had been a little disconcerted by theair of proprietorship she assumed over him. she was an extraordinary woman. she came every day to the studio at eighto'clock, and was ready to start working when the model was in position; she workedsteadily, talking to no one, struggling hour after hour with difficulties she could not overcome, and remained till the clockstruck twelve.
her work was hopeless. there was not in it the smallest approacheven to the mediocre achievement at which most of the young persons were able aftersome months to arrive. she wore every day the same ugly browndress, with the mud of the last wet day still caked on the hem and with theraggedness, which philip had noticed the first time he saw her, still unmended. but one day she came up to him, and with ascarlet face asked whether she might speak to him afterwards."of course, as much as you like," smiled philip.
"i'll wait behind at twelve."he went to her when the day's work was over. "will you walk a little bit with me?" shesaid, looking away from him with embarrassment."certainly." they walked for two or three minutes insilence. "d'you remember what you said to me theother day?" she asked then on a sudden. "oh, i say, don't let's quarrel," saidphilip. "it really isn't worth while."she gave a quick, painful inspiration. "i don't want to quarrel with you.
you're the only friend i had in paris.i thought you rather liked me. i felt there was something between us.i was drawn towards you--you know what i mean, your club-foot." philip reddened and instinctively tried towalk without a limp. he did not like anyone to mention thedeformity. he knew what fanny price meant. she was ugly and uncouth, and because hewas deformed there was between them a certain sympathy.he was very angry with her, but he forced himself not to speak.
"you said you only asked my advice toplease me. don't you think my work's any good?""i've only seen your drawing at amitrano's. it's awfully hard to judge from that." "i was wondering if you'd come and look atmy other work. i've never asked anyone else to look at it.i should like to show it to you." "it's awfully kind of you. i'd like to see it very much.""i live quite near here," she said apologetically."it'll only take you ten minutes." "oh, that's all right," he said.
they were walking along the boulevard, andshe turned down a side street, then led him into another, poorer still, with cheapshops on the ground floor, and at last stopped. they climbed flight after flight of stairs.she unlocked a door, and they went into a tiny attic with a sloping roof and a smallwindow. this was closed and the room had a mustysmell. though it was very cold there was no fireand no sign that there had been one. the bed was unmade. a chair, a chest of drawers which servedalso as a wash-stand, and a cheap easel,
were all the furniture. the place would have been squalid enough inany case, but the litter, the untidiness, made the impression revolting. on the chimney-piece, scattered over withpaints and brushes, were a cup, a dirty plate, and a tea-pot. "if you'll stand over there i'll put themon the chair so that you can see them better."she showed him twenty small canvases, about eighteen by twelve. she placed them on the chair, one after theother, watching his face; he nodded as he
looked at each one."you do like them, don't you?" she said anxiously, after a bit. "i just want to look at them all first," heanswered. "i'll talk afterwards."he was collecting himself. he was panic-stricken. he did not know what to say. it was not only that they were ill-drawn,or that the colour was put on amateurishly by someone who had no eye for it; but therewas no attempt at getting the values, and the perspective was grotesque.
it looked like the work of a child of five,but a child would have had some naivete and might at least have made an attempt to putdown what he saw; but here was the work of a vulgar mind chock full of recollectionsof vulgar pictures. philip remembered that she had talkedenthusiastically about monet and the impressionists, but here were only theworst traditions of the royal academy. "there," she said at last, "that's thelot." philip was no more truthful than anybodyelse, but he had a great difficulty in telling a thundering, deliberate lie, andhe blushed furiously when he answered: "i think they're most awfully good."
a faint colour came into her unhealthycheeks, and she smiled a little. "you needn't say so if you don't think so,you know. i want the truth." "but i do think so.""haven't you got any criticism to offer? there must be some you don't like as wellas others." philip looked round helplessly. he saw a landscape, the typical picturesque'bit' of the amateur, an old bridge, a creeper-clad cottage, and a leafy bank."of course i don't pretend to know anything about it," he said.
"but i wasn't quite sure about the valuesof that." she flushed darkly and taking up thepicture quickly turned its back to him. "i don't know why you should have chosenthat one to sneer at. it's the best thing i've ever done.i'm sure my values are all right. that's a thing you can't teach anyone, youeither understand values or you don't." "i think they're all most awfully good,"repeated philip. she looked at them with an air of self-satisfaction. "i don't think they're anything to beashamed of." philip looked at his watch.
"i say, it's getting late.won't you let me give you a little lunch?" "i've got my lunch waiting for me here." philip saw no sign of it, but supposedperhaps the concierge would bring it up when he was gone.he was in a hurry to get away. the mustiness of the room made his headache. chapter xlvii in march there was all the excitement ofsending in to the salon. clutton, characteristically, had nothingready, and he was very scornful of the two heads that lawson sent; they were obviouslythe work of a student, straight-forward
portraits of models, but they had a certain force; clutton, aiming at perfection, hadno patience with efforts which betrayed hesitancy, and with a shrug of theshoulders told lawson it was an impertinence to exhibit stuff which should never have been allowed out of his studio;he was not less contemptuous when the two heads were accepted.flanagan tried his luck too, but his picture was refused. mrs. otter sent a blameless portrait de mamere, accomplished and second-rate; and was hung in a very good place.
hayward, whom philip had not seen since heleft heidelberg, arrived in paris to spend a few days in time to come to the partywhich lawson and philip were giving in their studio to celebrate the hanging oflawson's pictures. philip had been eager to see hayward again,but when at last they met, he experienced some disappointment. hayward had altered a little in appearance:his fine hair was thinner, and with the rapid wilting of the very fair, he wasbecoming wizened and colourless; his blue eyes were paler than they had been, andthere was a muzziness about his features. on the other hand, in mind he did not seemto have changed at all, and the culture
which had impressed philip at eighteenaroused somewhat the contempt of philip at twenty-one. he had altered a good deal himself, andregarding with scorn all his old opinions of art, life, and letters, had no patiencewith anyone who still held them. he was scarcely conscious of the fact thathe wanted to show off before hayward, but when he took him round the galleries hepoured out to him all the revolutionary opinions which himself had so recentlyadopted. he took him to manet's olympia and saiddramatically: "i would give all the old masters exceptvelasquez, rembrandt, and vermeer for that
one picture.""who was vermeer?" asked hayward. "oh, my dear fellow, don't you knowvermeer? you're not civilised.you mustn't live a moment longer without making his acquaintance. he's the one old master who painted like amodern." he dragged hayward out of the luxembourgand hurried him off to the louvre. "but aren't there any more pictures here?"asked hayward, with the tourist's passion for thoroughness."nothing of the least consequence. you can come and look at them by yourselfwith your baedeker."
when they arrived at the louvre philip ledhis friend down the long gallery. "i should like to see the gioconda," saidhayward. "oh, my dear fellow, it's only literature,"answered philip. at last, in a small room, philip stoppedbefore the lacemaker of vermeer van delft. "there, that's the best picture in thelouvre. it's exactly like a manet." with an expressive, eloquent thumb philipexpatiated on the charming work. he used the jargon of the studios withoverpowering effect. "i don't know that i see anything sowonderful as all that in it," said hayward.
"of course it's a painter's picture," saidphilip. "i can quite believe the layman would seenothing much in it." "the what?" said hayward."the layman." like most people who cultivate an interestin the arts, hayward was extremely anxious to be right. he was dogmatic with those who did notventure to assert themselves, but with the self-assertive he was very modest. he was impressed by philip's assurance, andaccepted meekly philip's implied suggestion that the painter's arrogant claim to be thesole possible judge of painting has
anything but its impertinence to recommendit. a day or two later philip and lawson gavetheir party. cronshaw, making an exception in theirfavour, agreed to eat their food; and miss chalice offered to come and cook for them. she took no interest in her own sex anddeclined the suggestion that other girls should be asked for her sake.clutton, flanagan, potter, and two others made up the party. furniture was scarce, so the model standwas used as a table, and the guests were to sit on portmanteaux if they liked, and ifthey didn't on the floor.
the feast consisted of a pot-au-feu, whichmiss chalice had made, of a leg of mutton roasted round the corner and brought roundhot and savoury (miss chalice had cooked the potatoes, and the studio was redolent of the carrots she had fried; fried carrotswere her specialty); and this was to be followed by poires flambees, pears withburning brandy, which cronshaw had volunteered to make. the meal was to finish with an enormousfromage de brie, which stood near the window and added fragrant odours to all theothers which filled the studio. cronshaw sat in the place of honour on agladstone bag, with his legs curled under
him like a turkish bashaw, beaming good-naturedly on the young people who surrounded him. from force of habit, though the smallstudio with the stove lit was very hot, he kept on his great-coat, with the collarturned up, and his bowler hat: he looked with satisfaction on the four large fiaschi of chianti which stood in front of him in arow, two on each side of a bottle of whiskey; he said it reminded him of a slimfair circassian guarded by four corpulent eunuchs. hayward in order to put the rest of them attheir ease had clothed himself in a tweed
suit and a trinity hall tie.he looked grotesquely british. the others were elaborately polite to him,and during the soup they talked of the weather and the political situation. there was a pause while they waited for theleg of mutton, and miss chalice lit a cigarette."rapunzel, rapunzel, let down your hair," she said suddenly. with an elegant gesture she untied a ribbonso that her tresses fell over her shoulders.she shook her head. "i always feel more comfortable with myhair down."
with her large brown eyes, thin, asceticface, her pale skin, and broad forehead, she might have stepped out of a picture byburne-jones. she had long, beautiful hands, with fingersdeeply stained by nicotine. she wore sweeping draperies, mauve andgreen. there was about her the romantic air ofhigh street, kensington. she was wantonly aesthetic; but she was anexcellent creature, kind and good natured; and her affectations were but skin-deep. there was a knock at the door, and they allgave a shout of exultation. miss chalice rose and opened.
she took the leg of mutton and held it highabove her, as though it were the head of john the baptist on a platter; and, thecigarette still in her mouth, advanced with solemn, hieratic steps. "hail, daughter of herodias," criedcronshaw. the mutton was eaten with gusto, and it didone good to see what a hearty appetite the pale-faced lady had. clutton and potter sat on each side of her,and everyone knew that neither had found her unduly coy. she grew tired of most people in six weeks,but she knew exactly how to treat
afterwards the gentlemen who had laid theiryoung hearts at her feet. she bore them no ill-will, though havingloved them she had ceased to do so, and treated them with friendliness but withoutfamiliarity. now and then she looked at lawson withmelancholy eyes. the poires flambees were a great success,partly because of the brandy, and partly because miss chalice insisted that theyshould be eaten with the cheese. "i don't know whether it's perfectlydelicious, or whether i'm just going to vomit," she said, after she had thoroughlytried the mixture. coffee and cognac followed with sufficientspeed to prevent any untoward consequence,
and they settled down to smoke in comfort. ruth chalice, who could do nothing that wasnot deliberately artistic, arranged herself in a graceful attitude by cronshaw and justrested her exquisite head on his shoulder. she looked into the dark abyss of time withbrooding eyes, and now and then with a long meditative glance at lawson she sigheddeeply. then came the summer, and restlessnessseized these young people. the blue skies lured them to the sea, andthe pleasant breeze sighing through the leaves of the plane-trees on the boulevarddrew them towards the country. everyone made plans for leaving paris; theydiscussed what was the most suitable size
for the canvases they meant to take; theylaid in stores of panels for sketching; they argued about the merits of variousplaces in brittany. flanagan and potter went to concarneau;mrs. otter and her mother, with a natural instinct for the obvious, went to pont-aven; philip and lawson made up their minds to go to the forest of fontainebleau, and miss chalice knew of a very good hotel atmoret where there was lots of stuff to paint; it was near paris, and neitherphilip nor lawson was indifferent to the railway fare. ruth chalice would be there, and lawson hadan idea for a portrait of her in the open
air. just then the salon was full of portraitsof people in gardens, in sunlight, with blinking eyes and green reflections ofsunlit leaves on their faces. they asked clutton to go with them, but hepreferred spending the summer by himself. he had just discovered cezanne, and waseager to go to provence; he wanted heavy skies from which the hot blue seemed todrip like beads of sweat, and broad white dusty roads, and pale roofs out of which the sun had burnt the colour, and olivetrees gray with heat. the day before they were to start, afterthe morning class, philip, putting his
things together, spoke to fanny price. "i'm off tomorrow," he said cheerfully."off where?" she said quickly. "you're not going away?"her face fell. "i'm going away for the summer. aren't you?""no, i'm staying in paris. i thought you were going to stay too.i was looking forward...." she stopped and shrugged her shoulders. "but won't it be frightfully hot here?it's awfully bad for you." "much you care if it's bad for me.where are you going?"
"moret." "chalice is going there.you're not going with her?" "lawson and i are going.and she's going there too. i don't know that we're actually goingtogether." she gave a low guttural sound, and herlarge face grew dark and red. "how filthy! i thought you were a decent fellow.you were about the only one here. she's been with clutton and potter andflanagan, even with old foinet--that's why he takes so much trouble about her--and nowtwo of you, you and lawson.
it makes me sick." "oh, what nonsense!she's a very decent sort. one treats her just as if she were a man.""oh, don't speak to me, don't speak to me." "but what can it matter to you?" askedphilip. "it's really no business of yours where ispend my summer." "i was looking forward to it so much," shegasped, speaking it seemed almost to herself. "i didn't think you had the money to goaway, and there wouldn't have been anyone else here, and we could have workedtogether, and we'd have gone to see
things." then her thoughts flung back to ruthchalice. "the filthy beast," she cried."she isn't fit to speak to." philip looked at her with a sinking heart. he was not a man to think girls were inlove with him; he was too conscious of his deformity, and he felt awkward and clumsywith women; but he did not know what else this outburst could mean. fanny price, in the dirty brown dress, withher hair falling over her face, sloppy, untidy, stood before him; and tears ofanger rolled down her cheeks.
she was repellent. philip glanced at the door, instinctivelyhoping that someone would come in and put an end to the scene."i'm awfully sorry," he said. "you're just the same as all of them. you take all you can get, and you don'teven say thank you. i've taught you everything you know.no one else would take any trouble with you. has foinet ever bothered about you?and i can tell you this--you can work here for a thousand years and you'll never doany good.
you haven't got any talent. you haven't got any originality.and it's not only me--they all say it. you'll never be a painter as long as youlive." "that is no business of yours either, isit?" said philip, flushing. "oh, you think it's only my temper.ask clutton, ask lawson, ask chalice. never, never, never. you haven't got it in you."philip shrugged his shoulders and walked out.she shouted after him. "never, never, never."
moret was in those days an old-fashionedtown of one street at the edge of the forest of fontainebleau, and the ecu d'orwas a hotel which still had about it the decrepit air of the ancien regime. it faced the winding river, the loing; andmiss chalice had a room with a little terrace overlooking it, with a charmingview of the old bridge and its fortified gateway. they sat here in the evenings after dinner,drinking coffee, smoking, and discussing there ran into the river, a little way off,a narrow canal bordered by poplars, and along the banks of this after their day'swork they often wandered.
they spent all day painting. like most of their generation they wereobsessed by the fear of the picturesque, and they turned their backs on the obviousbeauty of the town to seek subjects which were devoid of a prettiness they despised. sisley and monet had painted the canal withits poplars, and they felt a desire to try their hands at what was so typical offrance; but they were frightened of its formal beauty, and set themselvesdeliberately to avoid it. miss chalice, who had a clever dexteritywhich impressed lawson notwithstanding his contempt for feminine art, started apicture in which she tried to circumvent
the commonplace by leaving out the tops of the trees; and lawson had the brilliantidea of putting in his foreground a large blue advertisement of chocolat menier inorder to emphasise his abhorrence of the chocolate box. philip began now to paint in oils.he experienced a thrill of delight when first he used that grateful medium. he went out with lawson in the morning withhis little box and sat by him painting a panel; it gave him so much satisfactionthat he did not realise he was doing no more than copy; he was so much under his
friend's influence that he saw only withhis eyes. lawson painted very low in tone, and theyboth saw the emerald of the grass like dark velvet, while the brilliance of the skyturned in their hands to a brooding ultramarine. through july they had one fine day afteranother; it was very hot; and the heat, searing philip's heart, filled him withlanguor; he could not work; his mind was eager with a thousand thoughts. often he spent the mornings by the side ofthe canal in the shade of the poplars, reading a few lines and then dreaming forhalf an hour.
sometimes he hired a rickety bicycle androde along the dusty road that led to the forest, and then lay down in a clearing.his head was full of romantic fancies. the ladies of watteau, gay and insouciant,seemed to wander with their cavaliers among the great trees, whispering to one anothercareless, charming things, and yet somehow oppressed by a nameless fear. they were alone in the hotel but for a fatfrenchwoman of middle age, a rabelaisian figure with a broad, obscene laugh. she spent the day by the river patientlyfishing for fish she never caught, and philip sometimes went down and talked toher.
he found out that she had belonged to aprofession whose most notorious member for our generation was mrs. warren, and havingmade a competence she now lived the quiet life of the bourgeoise. she told philip lewd stories."you must go to seville," she said--she spoke a little broken english."the most beautiful women in the world." she leered and nodded her head. her triple chin, her large belly, shookwith inward laughter. it grew so hot that it was almostimpossible to sleep at night. the heat seemed to linger under the treesas though it were a material thing.
they did not wish to leave the starlitnight, and the three of them would sit on the terrace of ruth chalice's room, silent,hour after hour, too tired to talk any more, but in voluptuous enjoyment of thestillness. they listened to the murmur of the river. the church clock struck one and two andsometimes three before they could drag themselves to bed.suddenly philip became aware that ruth chalice and lawson were lovers. he divined it in the way the girl looked atthe young painter, and in his air of possession; and as philip sat with them hefelt a kind of effluence surrounding them,
as though the air were heavy with somethingstrange. the revelation was a shock. he had looked upon miss chalice as a verygood fellow and he liked to talk to her, but it had never seemed to him possible toenter into a closer relationship. one sunday they had all gone with a tea-basket into the forest, and when they came to a glade which was suitably sylvan, misschalice, because it was idyllic, insisted on taking off her shoes and stockings. it would have been very charming only herfeet were rather large and she had on both a large corn on the third toe.philip felt it made her proceeding a little
ridiculous. but now he looked upon her quitedifferently; there was something softly feminine in her large eyes and her oliveskin; he felt himself a fool not to have seen that she was attractive. he thought he detected in her a touch ofcontempt for him, because he had not had the sense to see that she was there, in hisway, and in lawson a suspicion of superiority. he was envious of lawson, and he wasjealous, not of the individual concerned, but of his love.he wished that he was standing in his shoes
and feeling with his heart. he was troubled, and the fear seized himthat love would pass him by. he wanted a passion to seize him, he wantedto be swept off his feet and borne powerless in a mighty rush he cared notwhither. miss chalice and lawson seemed to him nowsomehow different, and the constant companionship with them made him restless.he was dissatisfied with himself. life was not giving him what he wanted, andhe had an uneasy feeling that he was losing his time. the stout frenchwoman soon guessed what therelations were between the couple, and
talked of the matter to philip with theutmost frankness. "and you," she said, with the tolerantsmile of one who had fattened on the lust of her fellows, "have you got a petiteamie?" "no," said philip, blushing. "and why not?c'est de votre age." he shrugged his shoulders.he had a volume of verlaine in his hands, and he wandered off. he tried to read, but his passion was toostrong. he thought of the stray amours to which hehad been introduced by flanagan, the sly
visits to houses in a cul-de-sac, with thedrawing-room in utrecht velvet, and the mercenary graces of painted women. he shuddered. he threw himself on the grass, stretchinghis limbs like a young animal freshly awaked from sleep; and the rippling water,the poplars gently tremulous in the faint breeze, the blue sky, were almost more thanhe could bear. he was in love with love. in his fancy he felt the kiss of warm lipson his, and around his neck the touch of soft hands.
he imagined himself in the arms of ruthchalice, he thought of her dark eyes and the wonderful texture of her skin; he wasmad to have let such a wonderful adventure slip through his fingers. and if lawson had done it why should nothe? but this was only when he did not see her,when he lay awake at night or dreamed idly by the side of the canal; when he saw herhe felt suddenly quite different; he had no desire to take her in his arms, and hecould not imagine himself kissing her. it was very curious. away from her he thought her beautiful,remembering only her magnificent eyes and
the creamy pallor of her face; but when hewas with her he saw only that she was flat- chested and that her teeth were slightly decayed; he could not forget the corns onher toes. he could not understand himself. would he always love only in absence and beprevented from enjoying anything when he had the chance by that deformity of visionwhich seemed to exaggerate the revolting? he was not sorry when a change in theweather, announcing the definite end of the long summer, drove them all back to paris. chapter xlviii
when philip returned to amitrano's he foundthat fanny price was no longer working there.she had given up the key of her locker. he asked mrs. otter whether she knew whathad become of her; and mrs. otter, with a shrug of the shoulders, answered that shehad probably gone back to england. philip was relieved. he was profoundly bored by her ill-temper. moreover she insisted on advising him abouthis work, looked upon it as a slight when he did not follow her precepts, and wouldnot understand that he felt himself no longer the duffer he had been at first.
soon he forgot all about her.he was working in oils now and he was full of enthusiasm. he hoped to have something done ofsufficient importance to send to the following year's salon.lawson was painting a portrait of miss chalice. she was very paintable, and all the youngmen who had fallen victims to her charm had made portraits of her. a natural indolence, joined with a passionfor picturesque attitude, made her an excellent sitter; and she had enoughtechnical knowledge to offer useful
criticisms. since her passion for art was chiefly apassion to live the life of artists, she was quite content to neglect her own work. she liked the warmth of the studio, and theopportunity to smoke innumerable cigarettes; and she spoke in a low,pleasant voice of the love of art and the art of love. she made no clear distinction between thetwo. lawson was painting with infinite labour,working till he could hardly stand for days and then scraping out all he had done.
he would have exhausted the patience ofanyone but ruth chalice. at last he got into a hopeless muddle."the only thing is to take a new canvas and start fresh," he said. "i know exactly what i want now, and itwon't take me long." philip was present at the time, and misschalice said to him: "why don't you paint me too? you'll be able to learn a lot by watchingmr. lawson." it was one of miss chalice's delicaciesthat she always addressed her lovers by their surnames.
"i should like it awfully if lawsonwouldn't mind." "i don't care a damn," said lawson. it was the first time that philip set abouta portrait, and he began with trepidation but also with pride.he sat by lawson and painted as he saw him paint. he profited by the example and by theadvice which both lawson and miss chalice freely gave him.at last lawson finished and invited clutton in to criticise. clutton had only just come back to paris.from provence he had drifted down to spain,
eager to see velasquez at madrid, andthence he had gone to toledo. he stayed there three months, and he wasreturned with a name new to the young men: he had wonderful things to say of a paintercalled el greco, who it appeared could only be studied in toledo. "oh yes, i know about him," said lawson,"he's the old master whose distinction it is that he painted as badly as themoderns." clutton, more taciturn than ever, did notanswer, but he looked at lawson with a sardonic air."are you going to show us the stuff you've brought back from spain?" asked philip.
"i didn't paint in spain, i was too busy.""what did you do then?" "i thought things out. i believe i'm through with theimpressionists; i've got an idea they'll seem very thin and superficial in a fewyears. i want to make a clean sweep of everythingi've learnt and start fresh. when i came back i destroyed everything i'dpainted. i've got nothing in my studio now but aneasel, my paints, and some clean canvases." "what are you going to do?""i don't know yet. i've only got an inkling of what i want."
he spoke slowly, in a curious manner, asthough he were straining to hear something which was only just audible. there seemed to be a mysterious force inhim which he himself did not understand, but which was struggling obscurely to findan outlet. his strength impressed you. lawson dreaded the criticism he asked forand had discounted the blame he thought he might get by affecting a contempt for anyopinion of clutton's; but philip knew there was nothing which would give him morepleasure than clutton's praise. clutton looked at the portrait for sometime in silence, then glanced at philip's
picture, which was standing on an easel. "what's that?" he asked."oh, i had a shot at a portrait too." "the sedulous ape," he murmured.he turned away again to lawson's canvas. philip reddened but did not speak. "well, what d'you think of it?" askedlawson at length. "the modelling's jolly good," said clutton."and i think it's very well drawn." "d'you think the values are all right?" "quite."lawson smiled with delight. he shook himself in his clothes like a wetdog.
"i say, i'm jolly glad you like it." "i don't.i don't think it's of the smallest importance." lawson's face fell, and he stared atclutton with astonishment: he had no notion what he meant, clutton had no gift ofexpression in words, and he spoke as though it were an effort. what he had to say was confused, halting,and verbose; but philip knew the words which served as the text of his ramblingdiscourse. clutton, who never read, had heard themfirst from cronshaw; and though they had
made small impression, they had remained inhis memory; and lately, emerging on a sudden, had acquired the character of a revelation: a good painter had two chiefobjects to paint, namely, man and the intention of his soul. the impressionists had been occupied withother problems, they had painted man admirably, but they had troubled themselvesas little as the english portrait painters of the eighteenth century with theintention of his soul. "but when you try to get that you becomeliterary," said lawson, interrupting. "let me paint the man like manet, and theintention of his soul can go to the devil."
"that would be all very well if you couldbeat manet at his own game, but you can't get anywhere near him. you can't feed yourself on the day beforeyesterday, it's ground which has been swept dry.you must go back. it's when i saw the grecos that i felt onecould get something more out of portraits than we knew before.""it's just going back to ruskin," cried lawson. "no--you see, he went for morality: i don'tcare a damn for morality: teaching doesn't come in, ethics and all that, but passionand emotion.
the greatest portrait painters have paintedboth, man and the intention of his soul; rembrandt and el greco; it's only thesecond-raters who've only painted man. a lily of the valley would be lovely evenif it didn't smell, but it's more lovely because it has perfume. that picture"--he pointed to lawson'sportrait--"well, the drawing's all right and so's the modelling all right, but justconventional; it ought to be drawn and modelled so that you know the girl's alousy slut. correctness is all very well: el greco madehis people eight feet high because he wanted to express something he couldn't getany other way."
"damn el greco," said lawson, "what's thegood of jawing about a man when we haven't a chance of seeing any of his work?"clutton shrugged his shoulders, smoked a cigarette in silence, and went away. philip and lawson looked at one another."there's something in what he says," said philip.lawson stared ill-temperedly at his picture. "how the devil is one to get the intentionof the soul except by painting exactly what one sees?"about this time philip made a new friend. on monday morning models assembled at theschool in order that one might be chosen
for the week, and one day a young man wastaken who was plainly not a model by profession. philip's attention was attracted by themanner in which he held himself: when he got on to the stand he stood firmly on bothfeet, square, with clenched hands, and with his head defiantly thrown forward; the attitude emphasised his fine figure; therewas no fat on him, and his muscles stood out as though they were of iron. his head, close-cropped, was well-shaped,and he wore a short beard; he had large, dark eyes and heavy eyebrows.he held the pose hour after hour without
appearance of fatigue. there was in his mien a mixture of shameand of determination. his air of passionate energy excitedphilip's romantic imagination, and when, the sitting ended, he saw him in hisclothes, it seemed to him that he wore them as though he were a king in rags. he was uncommunicative, but in a day or twomrs. otter told philip that the model was a spaniard and that he had never sat before."i suppose he was starving," said philip. "have you noticed his clothes? they're quite neat and decent, aren'tthey?"
it chanced that potter, one of theamericans who worked at amitrano's, was going to italy for a couple of months, andoffered his studio to philip. philip was pleased. he was growing a little impatient oflawson's peremptory advice and wanted to be by himself. at the end of the week he went up to themodel and on the pretence that his drawing was not finished asked whether he wouldcome and sit to him one day. "i'm not a model," the spaniard answered. "i have other things to do next week.""come and have luncheon with me now, and
we'll talk about it," said philip, and asthe other hesitated, he added with a smile: "it won't hurt you to lunch with me." with a shrug of the shoulders the modelconsented, and they went off to a cremerie. the spaniard spoke broken french, fluentbut difficult to follow, and philip managed to get on well enough with him. he found out that he was a writer. he had come to paris to write novels andkept himself meanwhile by all the expedients possible to a penniless man; hegave lessons, he did any translations he could get hold of, chiefly business
documents, and at last had been driven tomake money by his fine figure. sitting was well paid, and what he hadearned during the last week was enough to keep him for two more; he told philip,amazed, that he could live easily on two francs a day; but it filled him with shame that he was obliged to show his body formoney, and he looked upon sitting as a degradation which only hunger could excuse. philip explained that he did not want himto sit for the figure, but only for the head; he wished to do a portrait of himwhich he might send to the next salon. "but why should you want to paint me?"asked the spaniard.
philip answered that the head interestedhim, he thought he could do a good portrait. "i can't afford the time.i grudge every minute that i have to rob from my writing.""but it would only be in the afternoon. i work at the school in the morning. after all, it's better to sit to me than todo translations of legal documents." there were legends in the latin quarter ofa time when students of different countries lived together intimately, but this waslong since passed, and now the various nations were almost as much separated as inan oriental city.
at julian's and at the beaux arts a frenchstudent was looked upon with disfavour by his fellow-countrymen when he consortedwith foreigners, and it was difficult for an englishman to know more than quite superficially any native inhabitants of thecity in which he dwelt. indeed, many of the students after livingin paris for five years knew no more french than served them in shops and lived asenglish a life as though they were working in south kensington. philip, with his passion for the romantic,welcomed the opportunity to get in touch with a spaniard; he used all hispersuasiveness to overcome the man's
reluctance. "i'll tell you what i'll do," said thespaniard at last. "i'll sit to you, but not for money, for myown pleasure." philip expostulated, but the other wasfirm, and at length they arranged that he should come on the following monday at oneo'clock. he gave philip a card on which was printedhis name: miguel ajuria. miguel sat regularly, and though he refusedto accept payment he borrowed fifty francs from philip every now and then: it was alittle more expensive than if philip had paid for the sittings in the usual way; but
gave the spaniard a satisfactory feelingthat he was not earning his living in a degrading manner. his nationality made philip regard him as arepresentative of romance, and he asked him about seville and granada, velasquez andcalderon. but miguel bad no patience with thegrandeur of his country. for him, as for so many of his compatriots,france was the only country for a man of intelligence and paris the centre of theworld. "spain is dead," he cried. "it has no writers, it has no art, it hasnothing."
little by little, with the exuberantrhetoric of his race, he revealed his ambitions. he was writing a novel which he hoped wouldmake his name. he was under the influence of zola, and hehad set his scene in paris. he told philip the story at length. to philip it seemed crude and stupid; thenaive obscenity--c'est la vie, mon cher, c'est la vie, he cried--the naive obscenityserved only to emphasise the conventionality of the anecdote. he had written for two years, amidincredible hardships, denying himself all
the pleasures of life which had attractedhim to paris, fighting with starvation for art's sake, determined that nothing shouldhinder his great achievement. the effort was heroic."but why don't you write about spain?" cried philip. "it would be so much more interesting.you know the life." "but paris is the only place worth writingabout. paris is life." one day he brought part of the manuscript,and in his bad french, translating excitedly as he went along so that philipcould scarcely understand, he read
passages. it was lamentable. philip, puzzled, looked at the picture hewas painting: the mind behind that broad brow was trivial; and the flashing,passionate eyes saw nothing in life but the obvious. philip was not satisfied with his portrait,and at the end of a sitting he nearly always scraped out what he had done. it was all very well to aim at theintention of the soul: who could tell what that was when people seemed a mass ofcontradictions?
he liked miguel, and it distressed him torealise that his magnificent struggle was futile: he had everything to make a goodwriter but talent. philip looked at his own work. how could you tell whether there wasanything in it or whether you were wasting your time? it was clear that the will to achieve couldnot help you and confidence in yourself meant nothing. philip thought of fanny price; she had avehement belief in her talent; her strength of will was extraordinary.
"if i thought i wasn't going to be reallygood, i'd rather give up painting," said philip."i don't see any use in being a second-rate painter." then one morning when he was going out, theconcierge called out to him that there was a letter. nobody wrote to him but his aunt louisa andsometimes hayward, and this was a handwriting he did not know.the letter was as follows: please come at once when you get this. i couldn't put up with it any more.please come yourself.
i can't bear the thought that anyone elseshould touch me. i want you to have everything. f. pricei have not had anything to eat for three days.philip felt on a sudden sick with fear. he hurried to the house in which she lived. he was astonished that she was in paris atall. he had not seen her for months and imaginedshe had long since returned to england. when he arrived he asked the conciergewhether she was in. "yes, i've not seen her go out for twodays."
philip ran upstairs and knocked at thedoor. there was no reply.he called her name. the door was locked, and on bending down hefound the key was in the lock. "oh, my god, i hope she hasn't donesomething awful," he cried aloud. he ran down and told the porter that shewas certainly in the room. he had had a letter from her and feared aterrible accident. he suggested breaking open the door. the porter, who had been sullen anddisinclined to listen, became alarmed; he could not take the responsibility ofbreaking into the room; they must go for
the commissaire de police. they walked together to the bureau, andthen they fetched a locksmith. philip found that miss price had not paidthe last quarter's rent: on new year's day she had not given the concierge the presentwhich old-established custom led him to regard as a right. the four of them went upstairs, and theyknocked again at the door. there was no reply.the locksmith set to work, and at last they entered the room. philip gave a cry and instinctively coveredhis eyes with his hands.
the wretched woman was hanging with a roperound her neck, which she had tied to a hook in the ceiling fixed by some previoustenant to hold up the curtains of the bed. she had moved her own little bed out of theway and had stood on a chair, which had been kicked away.it was lying on its side on the floor. they cut her down. the body was quite cold.