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April 3rd, 2019


Recently I had been in South Africa, just put up some photo to the National Geographic; had a privileged to meet with Queen of Sheba there.

MY ZAZZLE STORE IS OPEN - Atlantic Ocean Wall Art

December 8th, 2018

MY ZAZZLE STORE IS OPEN - Atlantic Ocean Wall Art

Why one would not to have an Atlantic Ocean Wall Art?

See more :

1) Atlantic Ocean Wall Art boosts productivity

2) Atlantic Ocean Wall Art stimulates creativity

3)Atlantic Ocean Wall Art reduces stress

4) Atlantic Ocean Wall Art enhances communication

5)Atlantic Ocean Wall Art speaks volumes about you/ your company

According to a survey conducted by a workplace design consultancy firm, 83% of employees claimed that artwork was important in the work environment. However, think beyond aesthetics. If a picture is worth a thousand words, carefully consider what your walls convey. If they're bare, the message might be “we haven't quite got our act together.” On the other hand, if they're vibrant and lined with evocative, richly-hued art, they might say “we're smart and dynamic.” You get the picture.

More from this artist:



Exclusive Items :

Just Beautiful Art Book 24 Characteristics of a Genius

December 2nd, 2018

Just Beautiful Art Book 24 Characteristics of a Genius

Proud announcement :-)

Please take a look of all the pages of my
ART book - all pages -preview:

My  ART book site for shop:

The Original Copyright for the quotes and ART book -here

December 2nd, 2018

The Original Copyright for the quotes and ART book -here


For the quotes on the ART work is
Grateful acknowledgment is made to Barrios,A'  for his  permission to use his research data.                                                                                               
Reference: Barrios,A. National Enquires 1980  

ORIGNIAL DOCUMENT CORRESPONDENCE AS BELOW:                                              
Subject: Request permission to print -from Dr. Alfred A. Barrios

To: Dr. Alfred A. Barrios

Reference::24 Qualities That Geniuses Have in Common was an article written by Dr. Barrios that was first printed by the National Enquirer in 1980
I am writing to request permission to print the following material:
Pages as they appear in your publication: 24 Qualities That Geniuses Have in Common was an article written by Dr. Barrios that was first printed by the National Enquirer in 1980
This material is to appear as originally published  in the following work that the Krisztina Toth Photographer is presently preparing for publication:
/Title: Krisztina Toth : Be The Light -The 24 Characteristic of a Genius
Proposed date of publication: 17/07/2014
Remarks: Coffee Table book (On each page one of the qualities of the geniuses with an ART work photography on the other side of the page; 50 pages in total.)
I request non-exclusive world rights, including electronic rights, but only as part of my volume, in all languages, for all editions, and in all media.
If you are the copyright holder, may I have your permission to reprint the above material in my book?
If you do not indicate otherwise, I will use the usual scholarly form of acknowledgement, including publisher, author, title, etc.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. 
Sincerely yours,
Krisztina Toth
The above request is hereby approved on the conditions specified below, and on the understanding that full credit will be given to the source."
Date: 2014-07-12 14:53 GMT-04:00
Subject: Re: Request permission to print -from Dr. Alfred A. Barrios

    ... I think the simplest way to go about what you have in mind is to use the scholarly form of acknowledgement. When I quote from an article all I usually do is give the reference information (e.g., Barrios, A., National Enquirer, No.., 1979.)
Or you could quote my use of these characteristics of genius in my book Towards Greater Freedom and Happiness.(Barrios, 1978) In the book I also point out these are the characteristics of the self-actualized person,  - showing how to bring everyone to that high a level.
Dr. Barrios"

My ART book - all pages -preview:

My  ART book site for shop:

Kindle Book Publishing

December 2nd, 2018

Kindle Book Publishing

Making - with  KINDLE Publishing- books
Hey, Kris here from GeniusFeeling
I hope you are enjoying 2018 as much as I am.
I'm really excited to share the results of a recent coaching client I have.
(*I'm not selling coaching in this email) I just want you to see how we got Stefan from zero to $20k/month. Here is how: Stefan and I started working together in July of 2013.
He was having moderate success with Kindle. Since then, he exploded up to $20k/month Basically, now he outsources writers to create Kindle ebooks for him for $22/each. And he already has 100 of these books he didn't write, making him monthly residuals of over $10k/mo. 
Here is exactly how he's doing it: Stefan and I collaborated on that site and funnel together, and it is working like crazy. 
I've never seen anything like it, and I personally know several people earning nice passive income directly from this product.
Best, Kris
My ART book - all pages -preview:
My  ART book site for shop:

10 things you like about this... - Photography Masterclass

December 2nd, 2018

10 things you like about this... - Photography Masterclass

10 things you like about this... - Photography Masterclass..



Here are ten reasons to join Photography Masterclass today...

1. It's still on sale - over 30% off the usual price

2. It literally walks you through using a DSLR camera, step by step, from exposure to focus, to ISO and white balance, and EVERYTHING in between

3. The ideas and principles are broken down to apply to any DSLR camera you will ever own or borrow - brand doesn't matter

4. If you feel stuck or unsure of how to improve your photography skills this provides direction, no matter if you're a beginner, hobbyist or semi-professional

5. Even if you just bought a DSLR and have no prior knowledge you'll be taking photographs that look like you've been using the camera for years

6. The advanced methods are broken down into step-by-step simplicity and demonstrated clearly so anyone can take advantage of them

7. The Masterclass creator, Evan Sharboneau, has helped literally millions of people. His customers often remark how quickly their skills improve regardless of past experience

8. Even people who hate watching tutorials find the Masterclass enjoyable, because the material is presented casually with "paint by numbers" examples

9. This isn't a typical class because you're given a detailed overview of every step in the photography process; selecting a camera, learning how to use it, lighting and flashes, composition, software, and more

10. It's not just for basic everyday photography - you'll also learn how to take landscape photos, portraits, sports, and other situations too

11. The methods taught are the exact techniques used by Evan to kickstart and maintain his photography career - including being published around the world

Actually... that's eleven reasons to treat yourself to something that can actually help you become a better photographer in less than 12 hours.

Remember, you'll be able to choose what lessons are most interesting to begin, and you'll have lifetime access to everything else in the course too.

Here's the link:

Thank you for your attention, have a great day!

Talk soon
My ART book - all pages -preview:
My  ART book site for shop:
Photography site (coming soon)
products site:

Pencil Drawing Made Easy

December 2nd, 2018

Pencil Drawing Made Easy

I thought I would fire off a quick email to let you know about an awesome pencil drawing course that a friend of mine has just released.
The course is a very comprehensive video series containing 13 lessons plus a heap of bonuses. Each lesson is two hours long so you can even draw with if you want. The first few lessons get you off to a flying start with all the basics being covered. You will be amazed at what you will be able to draw after even just these lessons.
From there you move on to portrait drawing. This is easily the most comprehensive portrait series I have ever seen. You not only learn all the basics (eye, mouth, etc.) like all the other courses do. This course goes way beyond that! You will learn how to draw the neck, cheeks, chins, beards, moustaches, hands, clothing, even hyper realistic portraits are covered.
What I really like about the course is that you aren't just shown how to draw each picture, Nolan actually explains his thinking behind what he is drawing. That allows you to draw for example ANY ear and not just the class ear.
The course is currently available at a huge discount - less than half price. I don't think the price is going to stay there for very long as it's way too cheap for what you get (32 hours of video lessons plus pdf downloads).
Go check it out before the introductory offer ends:
Talk soon,
My ART book - all pages -preview:
My  ART book site for shop:

Free E-book - The Phantom Of The Opera-gift

November 30th, 2018

Free E-book - The Phantom Of The Opera-gift

The Phantom of the Opera
Gaston Leroux

Author of "The Mystery of the Yellow Room" and "The Perfume of the Lady
in Black"




{plus a "bonus chapter" called "THE PARIS OPERA HOUSE"}

The Phantom of the Opera



The Opera ghost really existed. He was not, as was long believed, a
creature of the imagination of the artists, the superstition of the
managers, or a product of the absurd and impressionable brains of the
young ladies of the ballet, their mothers, the box-keepers, the
cloak-room attendants or the concierge. Yes, he existed in flesh and
blood, although he assumed the complete appearance of a real phantom;
that is to say, of a spectral shade.

When I began to ransack the archives of the National Academy of Music I
was at once struck by the surprising coincidences between the phenomena
ascribed to the "ghost" and the most extraordinary and fantastic
tragedy that ever excited the Paris upper classes; and I soon conceived
the idea that this tragedy might reasonably be explained by the
phenomena in question. The events do not date more than thirty years
back; and it would not be difficult to find at the present day, in the
foyer of the ballet, old men of the highest respectability, men upon
whose word one could absolutely rely, who would remember as though they
happened yesterday the mysterious and dramatic conditions that attended
the kidnapping of Christine Daae, the disappearance of the Vicomte de
Chagny and the death of his elder brother, Count Philippe, whose body
was found on the bank of the lake that exists in the lower cellars of
the Opera on the Rue-Scribe side. But none of those witnesses had
until that day thought that there was any reason for connecting the
more or less legendary figure of the Opera ghost with that terrible

The truth was slow to enter my mind, puzzled by an inquiry that at
every moment was complicated by events which, at first sight, might be
looked upon as superhuman; and more than once I was within an ace of
abandoning a task in which I was exhausting myself in the hopeless
pursuit of a vain image. At last, I received the proof that my
presentiments had not deceived me, and I was rewarded for all my
efforts on the day when I acquired the certainty that the Opera ghost
was more than a mere shade.

On that day, I had spent long hours over THE MEMOIRS OF A MANAGER, the
light and frivolous work of the too-skeptical Moncharmin, who, during
his term at the Opera, understood nothing of the mysterious behavior of
the ghost and who was making all the fun of it that he could at the
very moment when he became the first victim of the curious financial
operation that went on inside the "magic envelope."

I had just left the library in despair, when I met the delightful
acting-manager of our National Academy, who stood chatting on a landing
with a lively and well-groomed little old man, to whom he introduced me
gaily. The acting-manager knew all about my investigations and how
eagerly and unsuccessfully I had been trying to discover the
whereabouts of the examining magistrate in the famous Chagny case, M.
Faure. Nobody knew what had become of him, alive or dead; and here he
was back from Canada, where he had spent fifteen years, and the first
thing he had done, on his return to Paris, was to come to the
secretarial offices at the Opera and ask for a free seat. The little
old man was M. Faure himself.

We spent a good part of the evening together and he told me the whole
Chagny case as he had understood it at the time. He was bound to
conclude in favor of the madness of the viscount and the accidental
death of the elder brother, for lack of evidence to the contrary; but
he was nevertheless persuaded that a terrible tragedy had taken place
between the two brothers in connection with Christine Daae. He could
not tell me what became of Christine or the viscount. When I mentioned
the ghost, he only laughed. He, too, had been told of the curious
manifestations that seemed to point to the existence of an abnormal
being, residing in one of the most mysterious corners of the Opera, and
he knew the story of the envelope; but he had never seen anything in it
worthy of his attention as magistrate in charge of the Chagny case, and
it was as much as he had done to listen to the evidence of a witness
who appeared of his own accord and declared that he had often met the
ghost. This witness was none other than the man whom all Paris called
the "Persian" and who was well-known to every subscriber to the Opera.
The magistrate took him for a visionary.

I was immensely interested by this story of the Persian. I wanted, if
there were still time, to find this valuable and eccentric witness. My
luck began to improve and I discovered him in his little flat in the
Rue de Rivoli, where he had lived ever since and where he died five
months after my visit. I was at first inclined to be suspicious; but
when the Persian had told me, with child-like candor, all that he knew
about the ghost and had handed me the proofs of the ghost's
existence--including the strange correspondence of Christine Daae--to
do as I pleased with, I was no longer able to doubt. No, the ghost was
not a myth!

I have, I know, been told that this correspondence may have been forged
from first to last by a man whose imagination had certainly been fed on
the most seductive tales; but fortunately I discovered some of
Christine's writing outside the famous bundle of letters and, on a
comparison between the two, all my doubts were removed. I also went
into the past history of the Persian and found that he was an upright
man, incapable of inventing a story that might have defeated the ends
of justice.

This, moreover, was the opinion of the more serious people who, at one
time or other, were mixed up in the Chagny case, who were friends of
the Chagny family, to whom I showed all my documents and set forth all
my inferences. In this connection, I should like to print a few lines
which I received from General D----:


I can not urge you too strongly to publish the results of your inquiry.
I remember perfectly that, a few weeks before the disappearance of that
great singer, Christine Daae, and the tragedy which threw the whole of
the Faubourg Saint-Germain into mourning, there was a great deal of
talk, in the foyer of the ballet, on the subject of the "ghost;" and I
believe that it only ceased to be discussed in consequence of the later
affair that excited us all so greatly. But, if it be possible--as,
after hearing you, I believe--to explain the tragedy through the ghost,
then I beg you sir, to talk to us about the ghost again.

Mysterious though the ghost may at first appear, he will always be more
easily explained than the dismal story in which malevolent people have
tried to picture two brothers killing each other who had worshiped each
other all their lives.

Believe me, etc.

Lastly, with my bundle of papers in hand, I once more went over the
ghost's vast domain, the huge building which he had made his kingdom.
All that my eyes saw, all that my mind perceived, corroborated the
Persian's documents precisely; and a wonderful discovery crowned my
labors in a very definite fashion. It will be remembered that, later,
when digging in the substructure of the Opera, before burying the
phonographic records of the artist's voice, the workmen laid bare a
corpse. Well, I was at once able to prove that this corpse was that of
the Opera ghost. I made the acting-manager put this proof to the test
with his own hand; and it is now a matter of supreme indifference to me
if the papers pretend that the body was that of a victim of the Commune.

The wretches who were massacred, under the Commune, in the cellars of
the Opera, were not buried on this side; I will tell where their
skeletons can be found in a spot not very far from that immense crypt
which was stocked during the siege with all sorts of provisions. I
came upon this track just when I was looking for the remains of the
Opera ghost, which I should never have discovered but for the
unheard-of chance described above.

But we will return to the corpse and what ought to be done with it.
For the present, I must conclude this very necessary introduction by
thanking M. Mifroid (who was the commissary of police called in for the
first investigations after the disappearance of Christine Daae), M.
Remy, the late secretary, M. Mercier, the late acting-manager, M.
Gabriel, the late chorus-master, and more particularly Mme. la Baronne
de Castelot-Barbezac, who was once the "little Meg" of the story (and
who is not ashamed of it), the most charming star of our admirable
corps de ballet, the eldest daughter of the worthy Mme. Giry, now
deceased, who had charge of the ghost's private box. All these were of
the greatest assistance to me; and, thanks to them, I shall be able to
reproduce those hours of sheer love and terror, in their smallest
details, before the reader's eyes.

And I should be ungrateful indeed if I omitted, while standing on the
threshold of this dreadful and veracious story, to thank the present
management the Opera, which has so kindly assisted me in all my
inquiries, and M. Messager in particular, together with M. Gabion, the
acting-manager, and that most amiable of men, the architect intrusted
with the preservation of the building, who did not hesitate to lend me
the works of Charles Garnier, although he was almost sure that I would
never return them to him. Lastly, I must pay a public tribute to the
generosity of my friend and former collaborator, M. J. Le Croze, who
allowed me to dip into his splendid theatrical library and to borrow
the rarest editions of books by which he set great store.


Chapter I Is it the Ghost?

It was the evening on which MM. Debienne and Poligny, the managers of
the Opera, were giving a last gala performance to mark their
retirement. Suddenly the dressing-room of La Sorelli, one of the
principal dancers, was invaded by half-a-dozen young ladies of the
ballet, who had come up from the stage after "dancing" Polyeucte. They
rushed in amid great confusion, some giving vent to forced and
unnatural laughter, others to cries of terror. Sorelli, who wished to
be alone for a moment to "run through" the speech which she was to make
to the resigning managers, looked around angrily at the mad and
tumultuous crowd. It was little Jammes--the girl with the tip-tilted
nose, the forget-me-not eyes, the rose-red cheeks and the lily-white
neck and shoulders--who gave the explanation in a trembling voice:

"It's the ghost!" And she locked the door.

Sorelli's dressing-room was fitted up with official, commonplace
elegance. A pier-glass, a sofa, a dressing-table and a cupboard or two
provided the necessary furniture. On the walls hung a few engravings,
relics of the mother, who had known the glories of the old Opera in the
Rue le Peletier; portraits of Vestris, Gardel, Dupont, Bigottini. But
the room seemed a palace to the brats of the corps de ballet, who were
lodged in common dressing-rooms where they spent their time singing,
quarreling, smacking the dressers and hair-dressers and buying one
another glasses of cassis, beer, or even rhum, until the call-boy's
bell rang.

Sorelli was very superstitious. She shuddered when she heard little
Jammes speak of the ghost, called her a "silly little fool" and then,
as she was the first to believe in ghosts in general, and the Opera
ghost in particular, at once asked for details:

"Have you seen him?"

"As plainly as I see you now!" said little Jammes, whose legs were
giving way beneath her, and she dropped with a moan into a chair.

Thereupon little Giry--the girl with eyes black as sloes, hair black as
ink, a swarthy complexion and a poor little skin stretched over poor
little bones--little Giry added:

"If that's the ghost, he's very ugly!"

"Oh, yes!" cried the chorus of ballet-girls.

And they all began to talk together. The ghost had appeared to them in
the shape of a gentleman in dress-clothes, who had suddenly stood
before them in the passage, without their knowing where he came from.
He seemed to have come straight through the wall.

"Pooh!" said one of them, who had more or less kept her head. "You see
the ghost everywhere!"

And it was true. For several months, there had been nothing discussed
at the Opera but this ghost in dress-clothes who stalked about the
building, from top to bottom, like a shadow, who spoke to nobody, to
whom nobody dared speak and who vanished as soon as he was seen, no one
knowing how or where. As became a real ghost, he made no noise in
walking. People began by laughing and making fun of this specter
dressed like a man of fashion or an undertaker; but the ghost legend
soon swelled to enormous proportions among the corps de ballet. All
the girls pretended to have met this supernatural being more or less
often. And those who laughed the loudest were not the most at ease.
When he did not show himself, he betrayed his presence or his passing
by accident, comic or serious, for which the general superstition held
him responsible. Had any one met with a fall, or suffered a practical
joke at the hands of one of the other girls, or lost a powderpuff, it
was at once the fault of the ghost, of the Opera ghost.

After all, who had seen him? You meet so many men in dress-clothes at
the Opera who are not ghosts. But this dress-suit had a peculiarity of
its own. It covered a skeleton. At least, so the ballet-girls said.
And, of course, it had a death's head.

Was all this serious? The truth is that the idea of the skeleton came
from the description of the ghost given by Joseph Buquet, the chief
scene-shifter, who had really seen the ghost. He had run up against
the ghost on the little staircase, by the footlights, which leads to
"the cellars." He had seen him for a second--for the ghost had
fled--and to any one who cared to listen to him he said:

"He is extraordinarily thin and his dress-coat hangs on a skeleton
frame. His eyes are so deep that you can hardly see the fixed pupils.
You just see two big black holes, as in a dead man's skull. His skin,
which is stretched across his bones like a drumhead, is not white, but
a nasty yellow. His nose is so little worth talking about that you
can't see it side-face; and THE ABSENCE of that nose is a horrible
thing TO LOOK AT. All the hair he has is three or four long dark locks
on his forehead and behind his ears."

This chief scene-shifter was a serious, sober, steady man, very slow at
imagining things. His words were received with interest and amazement;
and soon there were other people to say that they too had met a man in
dress-clothes with a death's head on his shoulders. Sensible men who
had wind of the story began by saying that Joseph Buquet had been the
victim of a joke played by one of his assistants. And then, one after
the other, there came a series of incidents so curious and so
inexplicable that the very shrewdest people began to feel uneasy.

For instance, a fireman is a brave fellow! He fears nothing, least of
all fire! Well, the fireman in question, who had gone to make a round
of inspection in the cellars and who, it seems, had ventured a little
farther than usual, suddenly reappeared on the stage, pale, scared,
trembling, with his eyes starting out of his head, and practically
fainted in the arms of the proud mother of little Jammes.[1] And why?
Because he had seen coming toward him, AT THE LEVEL OF HIS HEAD, BUT
fireman is not afraid of fire.

The fireman's name was Pampin.

The corps de ballet was flung into consternation. At first sight, this
fiery head in no way corresponded with Joseph Buquet's description of
the ghost. But the young ladies soon persuaded themselves that the
ghost had several heads, which he changed about as he pleased. And, of
course, they at once imagined that they were in the greatest danger.
Once a fireman did not hesitate to faint, leaders and front-row and
back-row girls alike had plenty of excuses for the fright that made
them quicken their pace when passing some dark corner or ill-lighted
corridor. Sorelli herself, on the day after the adventure of the
fireman, placed a horseshoe on the table in front of the
stage-door-keeper's box, which every one who entered the Opera
otherwise than as a spectator must touch before setting foot on the
first tread of the staircase. This horse-shoe was not invented by
me--any more than any other part of this story, alas!--and may still be
seen on the table in the passage outside the stage-door-keeper's box,
when you enter the Opera through the court known as the Cour de

To return to the evening in question.

"It's the ghost!" little Jammes had cried.

An agonizing silence now reigned in the dressing-room. Nothing was
heard but the hard breathing of the girls. At last, Jammes, flinging
herself upon the farthest corner of the wall, with every mark of real
terror on her face, whispered:


Everybody seemed to hear a rustling outside the door. There was no
sound of footsteps. It was like light silk sliding over the panel.
Then it stopped.

Sorelli tried to show more pluck than the others. She went up to the
door and, in a quavering voice, asked:

"Who's there?"

But nobody answered. Then feeling all eyes upon her, watching her last
movement, she made an effort to show courage, and said very loudly:

"Is there any one behind the door?"

"Oh, yes, yes! Of course there is!" cried that little dried plum of a
Meg Giry, heroically holding Sorelli back by her gauze skirt.
"Whatever you do, don't open the door! Oh, Lord, don't open the door!"

But Sorelli, armed with a dagger that never left her, turned the key
and drew back the door, while the ballet-girls retreated to the inner
dressing-room and Meg Giry sighed:

"Mother! Mother!"

Sorelli looked into the passage bravely. It was empty; a gas-flame, in
its glass prison, cast a red and suspicious light into the surrounding
darkness, without succeeding in dispelling it. And the dancer slammed
the door again, with a deep sigh.

"No," she said, "there is no one there."

"Still, we saw him!" Jammes declared, returning with timid little
steps to her place beside Sorelli. "He must be somewhere prowling
about. I shan't go back to dress. We had better all go down to the
foyer together, at once, for the 'speech,' and we will come up again

And the child reverently touched the little coral finger-ring which she
wore as a charm against bad luck, while Sorelli, stealthily, with the
tip of her pink right thumb-nail, made a St. Andrew's cross on the
wooden ring which adorned the fourth finger of her left hand. She said
to the little ballet-girls:

"Come, children, pull yourselves together! I dare say no one has ever
seen the ghost."

"Yes, yes, we saw him--we saw him just now!" cried the girls. "He had
his death's head and his dress-coat, just as when he appeared to Joseph

"And Gabriel saw him too!" said Jammes. "Only yesterday! Yesterday
afternoon--in broad day-light----"

"Gabriel, the chorus-master?"

"Why, yes, didn't you know?"

"And he was wearing his dress-clothes, in broad daylight?"

"Who? Gabriel?"

"Why, no, the ghost!"

"Certainly! Gabriel told me so himself. That's what he knew him by.
Gabriel was in the stage-manager's office. Suddenly the door opened
and the Persian entered. You know the Persian has the evil eye----"

"Oh, yes!" answered the little ballet-girls in chorus, warding off
ill-luck by pointing their forefinger and little finger at the absent
Persian, while their second and third fingers were bent on the palm and
held down by the thumb.

"And you know how superstitious Gabriel is," continued Jammes.
"However, he is always polite. When he meets the Persian, he just puts
his hand in his pocket and touches his keys. Well, the moment the
Persian appeared in the doorway, Gabriel gave one jump from his chair
to the lock of the cupboard, so as to touch iron! In doing so, he tore
a whole skirt of his overcoat on a nail. Hurrying to get out of the
room, he banged his forehead against a hat-peg and gave himself a huge
bump; then, suddenly stepping back, he skinned his arm on the screen,
near the piano; he tried to lean on the piano, but the lid fell on his
hands and crushed his fingers; he rushed out of the office like a
madman, slipped on the staircase and came down the whole of the first
flight on his back. I was just passing with mother. We picked him up.
He was covered with bruises and his face was all over blood. We were
frightened out of our lives, but, all at once, he began to thank
Providence that he had got off so cheaply. Then he told us what had
frightened him. He had seen the ghost behind the Persian, THE GHOST
WITH THE DEATH'S HEAD just like Joseph Buquet's description!"

Jammes had told her story ever so quickly, as though the ghost were at
her heels, and was quite out of breath at the finish. A silence
followed, while Sorelli polished her nails in great excitement. It was
broken by little Giry, who said:

"Joseph Buquet would do better to hold his tongue."

"Why should he hold his tongue?" asked somebody.

"That's mother's opinion," replied Meg, lowering her voice and looking
all about her as though fearing lest other ears than those present
might overhear.

"And why is it your mother's opinion?"

"Hush! Mother says the ghost doesn't like being talked about."

"And why does your mother say so?"


This reticence exasperated the curiosity of the young ladies, who
crowded round little Giry, begging her to explain herself. They were
there, side by side, leaning forward simultaneously in one movement of
entreaty and fear, communicating their terror to one another, taking a
keen pleasure in feeling their blood freeze in their veins.

"I swore not to tell!" gasped Meg.

But they left her no peace and promised to keep the secret, until Meg,
burning to say all she knew, began, with her eyes fixed on the door:

"Well, it's because of the private box."

"What private box?"

"The ghost's box!"

"Has the ghost a box? Oh, do tell us, do tell us!"

"Not so loud!" said Meg. "It's Box Five, you know, the box on the
grand tier, next to the stage-box, on the left."

"Oh, nonsense!"

"I tell you it is. Mother has charge of it. But you swear you won't
say a word?"

"Of course, of course."

"Well, that's the ghost's box. No one has had it for over a month,
except the ghost, and orders have been given at the box-office that it
must never be sold."

"And does the ghost really come there?"


"Then somebody does come?"

"Why, no! The ghost comes, but there is nobody there."

The little ballet-girls exchanged glances. If the ghost came to the
box, he must be seen, because he wore a dress-coat and a death's head.
This was what they tried to make Meg understand, but she replied:

"That's just it! The ghost is not seen. And he has no dress-coat and
no head! All that talk about his death's head and his head of fire is
nonsense! There's nothing in it. You only hear him when he is in the
box. Mother has never seen him, but she has heard him. Mother knows,
because she gives him his program."

Sorelli interfered.

"Giry, child, you're getting at us!"

Thereupon little Giry began to cry.

"I ought to have held my tongue--if mother ever came to know! But I
was quite right, Joseph Buquet had no business to talk of things that
don't concern him--it will bring him bad luck--mother was saying so
last night----"

There was a sound of hurried and heavy footsteps in the passage and a
breathless voice cried:

"Cecile! Cecile! Are you there?"

"It's mother's voice," said Jammes. "What's the matter?"

She opened the door. A respectable lady, built on the lines of a
Pomeranian grenadier, burst into the dressing-room and dropped groaning
into a vacant arm-chair. Her eyes rolled madly in her brick-dust
colored face.

"How awful!" she said. "How awful!"

"What? What?"

"Joseph Buquet!"

"What about him?"

"Joseph Buquet is dead!"

The room became filled with exclamations, with astonished outcries,
with scared requests for explanations.

"Yes, he was found hanging in the third-floor cellar!"

"It's the ghost!" little Giry blurted, as though in spite of herself;
but she at once corrected herself, with her hands pressed to her mouth:
"No, no!--I, didn't say it!--I didn't say it!----"

All around her, her panic-stricken companions repeated under their

"Yes--it must be the ghost!"

Sorelli was very pale.

"I shall never be able to recite my speech," she said.

Ma Jammes gave her opinion, while she emptied a glass of liqueur that
happened to be standing on a table; the ghost must have something to do
with it.

The truth is that no one ever knew how Joseph Buquet met his death.
The verdict at the inquest was "natural suicide." In his Memoirs of
Manager, M. Moncharmin, one of the joint managers who succeeded MM.
Debienne and Poligny, describes the incident as follows:

"A grievous accident spoiled the little party which MM. Debienne and
Poligny gave to celebrate their retirement. I was in the manager's
office, when Mercier, the acting-manager, suddenly came darting in. He
seemed half mad and told me that the body of a scene-shifter had been
found hanging in the third cellar under the stage, between a farm-house
and a scene from the Roi de Lahore. I shouted:

"'Come and cut him down!'

"By the time I had rushed down the staircase and the Jacob's ladder,
the man was no longer hanging from his rope!"

So this is an event which M. Moncharmin thinks natural. A man hangs at
the end of a rope; they go to cut him down; the rope has disappeared.
Oh, M. Moncharmin found a very simple explanation! Listen to him:

"It was just after the ballet; and leaders and dancing-girls lost no
time in taking their precautions against the evil eye."

There you are! Picture the corps de ballet scuttling down the Jacob's
ladder and dividing the suicide's rope among themselves in less time
than it takes to write! When, on the other hand, I think of the exact
spot where the body was discovered--the third cellar underneath the
stage!--imagine that SOMEBODY must have been interested in seeing that
the rope disappeared after it had effected its purpose; and time will
show if I am wrong.

The horrid news soon spread all over the Opera, where Joseph Buquet was
very popular. The dressing-rooms emptied and the ballet-girls,
crowding around Sorelli like timid sheep around their shepherdess, made
for the foyer through the ill-lit passages and staircases, trotting as
fast as their little pink legs could carry them.

[1] I have the anecdote, which is quite authentic, from M. Pedro
Gailhard himself, the late manager of the Opera.

Chapter II The New Margarita

On the first landing, Sorelli ran against the Comte de Chagny, who was
coming up-stairs. The count, who was generally so calm, seemed greatly

"I was just going to you," he said, taking off his hat. "Oh, Sorelli,
what an evening! And Christine Daae: what a triumph!"

"Impossible!" said Meg Giry. "Six months ago, she used to sing like a
CROCK! But do let us get by, my dear count," continues the brat, with
a saucy curtsey. "We are going to inquire after a poor man who was
found hanging by the neck."

Just then the acting-manager came fussing past and stopped when he
heard this remark.

"What!" he exclaimed roughly. "Have you girls heard already? Well,
please forget about it for tonight--and above all don't let M. Debienne
and M. Poligny hear; it would upset them too much on their last day."

They all went on to the foyer of the ballet, which was already full of
people. The Comte de Chagny was right; no gala performance ever
equalled this one. All the great composers of the day had conducted
their own works in turns. Faure and Krauss had sung; and, on that
evening, Christine Daae had revealed her true self, for the first time,
to the astonished and enthusiastic audience. Gounod had conducted the
Funeral March of a Marionnette; Reyer, his beautiful overture to
Siguar; Saint Saens, the Danse Macabre and a Reverie Orientale;
Massenet, an unpublished Hungarian march; Guiraud, his Carnaval;
Delibes, the Valse Lente from Sylvia and the Pizzicati from Coppelia.
Mlle. Krauss had sung the bolero in the Vespri Siciliani; and Mlle.
Denise Bloch the drinking song in Lucrezia Borgia.

But the real triumph was reserved for Christine Daae, who had begun by
singing a few passages from Romeo and Juliet. It was the first time
that the young artist sang in this work of Gounod, which had not been
transferred to the Opera and which was revived at the Opera Comique
after it had been produced at the old Theatre Lyrique by Mme. Carvalho.
Those who heard her say that her voice, in these passages, was
seraphic; but this was nothing to the superhuman notes that she gave
forth in the prison scene and the final trio in FAUST, which she sang
in the place of La Carlotta, who was ill. No one had ever heard or
seen anything like it.

Daae revealed a new Margarita that night, a Margarita of a splendor, a
radiance hitherto unsuspected. The whole house went mad, rising to its
feet, shouting, cheering, clapping, while Christine sobbed and fainted
in the arms of her fellow-singers and had to be carried to her
dressing-room. A few subscribers, however, protested. Why had so great
a treasure been kept from them all that time? Till then, Christine
Daae had played a good Siebel to Carlotta's rather too splendidly
material Margarita. And it had needed Carlotta's incomprehensible and
inexcusable absence from this gala night for the little Daae, at a
moment's warning, to show all that she could do in a part of the
program reserved for the Spanish diva! Well, what the subscribers
wanted to know was, why had Debienne and Poligny applied to Daae, when
Carlotta was taken ill? Did they know of her hidden genius? And, if
they knew of it, why had they kept it hidden? And why had she kept it
hidden? Oddly enough, she was not known to have a professor of singing
at that moment. She had often said she meant to practise alone for the
future. The whole thing was a mystery.

The Comte de Chagny, standing up in his box, listened to all this
frenzy and took part in it by loudly applauding. Philippe Georges
Marie Comte de Chagny was just forty-one years of age. He was a great
aristocrat and a good-looking man, above middle height and with
attractive features, in spite of his hard forehead and his rather cold
eyes. He was exquisitely polite to the women and a little haughty to
the men, who did not always forgive him for his successes in society.
He had an excellent heart and an irreproachable conscience. On the
death of old Count Philibert, he became the head of one of the oldest
and most distinguished families in France, whose arms dated back to the
fourteenth century. The Chagnys owned a great deal of property; and,
when the old count, who was a widower, died, it was no easy task for
Philippe to accept the management of so large an estate. His two
sisters and his brother, Raoul, would not hear of a division and waived
their claim to their shares, leaving themselves entirely in Philippe's
hands, as though the right of primogeniture had never ceased to exist.
When the two sisters married, on the same day, they received their
portion from their brother, not as a thing rightfully belonging to
them, but as a dowry for which they thanked him.

The Comtesse de Chagny, nee de Moerogis de La Martyniere, had died in
giving birth to Raoul, who was born twenty years after his elder
brother. At the time of the old count's death, Raoul was twelve years
of age. Philippe busied himself actively with the youngster's
education. He was admirably assisted in this work first by his sisters
and afterward by an old aunt, the widow of a naval officer, who lived
at Brest and gave young Raoul a taste for the sea. The lad entered the
Borda training-ship, finished his course with honors and quietly made
his trip round the world. Thanks to powerful influence, he had just
been appointed a member of the official expedition on board the Requin,
which was to be sent to the Arctic Circle in search of the survivors of
the D'Artoi's expedition, of whom nothing had been heard for three
years. Meanwhile, he was enjoying a long furlough which would not be
over for six months; and already the dowagers of the Faubourg
Saint-Germain were pitying the handsome and apparently delicate
stripling for the hard work in store for him.

The shyness of the sailor-lad--I was almost saying his innocence--was
remarkable. He seemed to have but just left the women's apron-strings.
As a matter of fact, petted as he was by his two sisters and his old
aunt, he had retained from this purely feminine education manners that
were almost candid and stamped with a charm that nothing had yet been
able to sully. He was a little over twenty-one years of age and looked
eighteen. He had a small, fair mustache, beautiful blue eyes and a
complexion like a girl's.

Philippe spoiled Raoul. To begin with, he was very proud of him and
pleased to foresee a glorious career for his junior in the navy in
which one of their ancestors, the famous Chagny de La Roche, had held
the rank of admiral. He took advantage of the young man's leave of
absence to show him Paris, with all its luxurious and artistic
delights. The count considered that, at Raoul's age, it is not good to
be too good. Philippe himself had a character that was very
well-balanced in work and pleasure alike; his demeanor was always
faultless; and he was incapable of setting his brother a bad example.
He took him with him wherever he went. He even introduced him to the
foyer of the ballet. I know that the count was said to be "on terms"
with Sorelli. But it could hardly be reckoned as a crime for this
nobleman, a bachelor, with plenty of leisure, especially since his
sisters were settled, to come and spend an hour or two after dinner in
the company of a dancer, who, though not so very, very witty, had the
finest eyes that ever were seen! And, besides, there are places where
a true Parisian, when he has the rank of the Comte de Chagny, is bound
to show himself; and at that time the foyer of the ballet at the Opera
was one of those places.

Lastly, Philippe would perhaps not have taken his brother behind the
scenes of the Opera if Raoul had not been the first to ask him,
repeatedly renewing his request with a gentle obstinacy which the count
remembered at a later date.

On that evening, Philippe, after applauding the Daae, turned to Raoul
and saw that he was quite pale.

"Don't you see," said Raoul, "that the woman's fainting?"

"You look like fainting yourself," said the count. "What's the matter?"

But Raoul had recovered himself and was standing up.

"Let's go and see," he said, "she never sang like that before."

The count gave his brother a curious smiling glance and seemed quite
pleased. They were soon at the door leading from the house to the
stage. Numbers of subscribers were slowly making their way through.
Raoul tore his gloves without knowing what he was doing and Philippe
had much too kind a heart to laugh at him for his impatience. But he
now understood why Raoul was absent-minded when spoken to and why he
always tried to turn every conversation to the subject of the Opera.

They reached the stage and pushed through the crowd of gentlemen,
scene-shifters, supers and chorus-girls, Raoul leading the way, feeling
that his heart no longer belonged to him, his face set with passion,
while Count Philippe followed him with difficulty and continued to
smile. At the back of the stage, Raoul had to stop before the inrush
of the little troop of ballet-girls who blocked the passage which he
was trying to enter. More than one chaffing phrase darted from little
made-up lips, to which he did not reply; and at last he was able to
pass, and dived into the semi-darkness of a corridor ringing with the
name of "Daae! Daae!" The count was surprised to find that Raoul knew
the way. He had never taken him to Christine's himself and came to the
conclusion that Raoul must have gone there alone while the count stayed
talking in the foyer with Sorelli, who often asked him to wait until it
was her time to "go on" and sometimes handed him the little gaiters in
which she ran down from her dressing-room to preserve the spotlessness
of her satin dancing-shoes and her flesh-colored tights. Sorelli had
an excuse; she had lost her mother.

Postponing his usual visit to Sorelli for a few minutes, the count
followed his brother down the passage that led to Daae's dressing-room
and saw that it had never been so crammed as on that evening, when the
whole house seemed excited by her success and also by her fainting fit.
For the girl had not yet come to; and the doctor of the theater had
just arrived at the moment when Raoul entered at his heels. Christine,
therefore, received the first aid of the one, while opening her eyes in
the arms of the other. The count and many more remained crowding in
the doorway.

"Don't you think, Doctor, that those gentlemen had better clear the
room?" asked Raoul coolly. "There's no breathing here."

"You're quite right," said the doctor.

And he sent every one away, except Raoul and the maid, who looked at
Raoul with eyes of the most undisguised astonishment. She had never
seen him before and yet dared not question him; and the doctor imagined
that the young man was only acting as he did because he had the right
to. The viscount, therefore, remained in the room watching Christine
as she slowly returned to life, while even the joint managers, Debienne
and Poligny, who had come to offer their sympathy and congratulations,
found themselves thrust into the passage among the crowd of dandies.
The Comte de Chagny, who was one of those standing outside, laughed:

"Oh, the rogue, the rogue!" And he added, under his breath: "Those
youngsters with their school-girl airs! So he's a Chagny after all!"

He turned to go to Sorelli's dressing-room, but met her on the way,
with her little troop of trembling ballet-girls, as we have seen.

Meanwhile, Christine Daae uttered a deep sigh, which was answered by a
groan. She turned her head, saw Raoul and started. She looked at the
doctor, on whom she bestowed a smile, then at her maid, then at Raoul

"Monsieur," she said, in a voice not much above a whisper, "who are

"Mademoiselle," replied the young man, kneeling on one knee and
pressing a fervent kiss on the diva's hand, "I AM THE LITTLE BOY WHO

Christine again looked at the doctor and the maid; and all three began
to laugh.

Raoul turned very red and stood up.

"Mademoiselle," he said, "since you are pleased not to recognize me, I
should like to say something to you in private, something very

"When I am better, do you mind?" And her voice shook. "You have been
very good."

"Yes, you must go," said the doctor, with his pleasantest smile.
"Leave me to attend to mademoiselle."

"I am not ill now," said Christine suddenly, with strange and
unexpected energy.

She rose and passed her hand over her eyelids.

"Thank you, Doctor. I should like to be alone. Please go away, all of
you. Leave me. I feel very restless this evening."

The doctor tried to make a short protest, but, perceiving the girl's
evident agitation, he thought the best remedy was not to thwart her.
And he went away, saying to Raoul, outside:

"She is not herself to-night. She is usually so gentle."

Then he said good night and Raoul was left alone. The whole of this
part of the theater was now deserted. The farewell ceremony was no
doubt taking place in the foyer of the ballet. Raoul thought that Daae
might go to it and he waited in the silent solitude, even hiding in the
favoring shadow of a doorway. He felt a terrible pain at his heart and
it was of this that he wanted to speak to Daae without delay.

Suddenly the dressing-room door opened and the maid came out by
herself, carrying bundles. He stopped her and asked how her mistress
was. The woman laughed and said that she was quite well, but that he
must not disturb her, for she wished to be left alone. And she passed
on. One idea alone filled Raoul's burning brain: of course, Daae
wished to be left alone FOR HIM! Had he not told her that he wanted to
speak to her privately?

Hardly breathing, he went up to the dressing-room and, with his ear to
the door to catch her reply, prepared to knock. But his hand dropped.
He had heard A MAN'S VOICE in the dressing-room, saying, in a curiously
masterful tone:

"Christine, you must love me!"

And Christine's voice, infinitely sad and trembling, as though
accompanied by tears, replied:

"How can you talk like that? WHEN I SING ONLY FOR YOU!"

Raoul leaned against the panel to ease his pain. His heart, which had
seemed gone for ever, returned to his breast and was throbbing loudly.
The whole passage echoed with its beating and Raoul's ears were
deafened. Surely, if his heart continued to make such a noise, they
would hear it inside, they would open the door and the young man would
be turned away in disgrace. What a position for a Chagny! To be
caught listening behind a door! He took his heart in his two hands to
make it stop.

The man's voice spoke again: "Are you very tired?"

"Oh, to-night I gave you my soul and I am dead!" Christine replied.

"Your soul is a beautiful thing, child," replied the grave man's voice,
"and I thank you. No emperor ever received so fair a gift. THE ANGELS

Raoul heard nothing after that. Nevertheless, he did not go away, but,
as though he feared lest he should be caught, he returned to his dark
corner, determined to wait for the man to leave the room. At one and
the same time, he had learned what love meant, and hatred. He knew
that he loved. He wanted to know whom he hated. To his great
astonishment, the door opened and Christine Daae appeared, wrapped in
furs, with her face hidden in a lace veil, alone. She closed the door
behind her, but Raoul observed that she did not lock it. She passed
him. He did not even follow her with his eyes, for his eyes were fixed
on the door, which did not open again.

When the passage was once more deserted, he crossed it, opened the door
of the dressing-room, went in and shut the door. He found himself in
absolute darkness. The gas had been turned out.

"There is some one here!" said Raoul, with his back against the closed
door, in a quivering voice. "What are you hiding for?"

All was darkness and silence. Raoul heard only the sound of his own
breathing. He quite failed to see that the indiscretion of his conduct
was exceeding all bounds.

"You shan't leave this until I let you!" he exclaimed. "If you don't
answer, you are a coward! But I'll expose you!"

And he struck a match. The blaze lit up the room. There was no one in
the room! Raoul, first turning the key in the door, lit the gas-jets.
He went into the dressing-closet, opened the cupboards, hunted about,
felt the walls with his moist hands. Nothing!

"Look here!" he said, aloud. "Am I going mad?"

He stood for ten minutes listening to the gas flaring in the silence of
the empty room; lover though he was, he did not even think of stealing
a ribbon that would have given him the perfume of the woman he loved.
He went out, not knowing what he was doing nor where he was going. At
a given moment in his wayward progress, an icy draft struck him in the
face. He found himself at the bottom of a staircase, down which,
behind him, a procession of workmen were carrying a sort of stretcher,
covered with a white sheet.

"Which is the way out, please?" he asked of one of the men.

"Straight in front of you, the door is open. But let us pass."

Pointing to the stretcher, he asked mechanically: "What's that?"

The workmen answered:

"'That' is Joseph Buquet, who was found in the third cellar, hanging
between a farm-house and a scene from the ROI DE LAHORE."

He took off his hat, fell back to make room for the procession and went

Chapter III The Mysterious Reason

During this time, the farewell ceremony was taking place. I have
already said that this magnificent function was being given on the
occasion of the retirement of M. Debienne and M. Poligny, who had
determined to "die game," as we say nowadays. They had been assisted
in the realization of their ideal, though melancholy, program by all
that counted in the social and artistic world of Paris. All these
people met, after the performance, in the foyer of the ballet, where
Sorelli waited for the arrival of the retiring managers with a glass of
champagne in her hand and a little prepared speech at the tip of her
tongue. Behind her, the members of the Corps de Ballet, young and old,
discussed the events of the day in whispers or exchanged discreet
signals with their friends, a noisy crowd of whom surrounded the
supper-tables arranged along the slanting floor.

A few of the dancers had already changed into ordinary dress; but most
of them wore their skirts of gossamer gauze; and all had thought it the
right thing to put on a special face for the occasion: all, that is,
except little Jammes, whose fifteen summers--happy age!--seemed already
to have forgotten the ghost and the death of Joseph Buquet. She never
ceased to laugh and chatter, to hop about and play practical jokes,
until Mm. Debienne and Poligny appeared on the steps of the foyer, when
she was severely called to order by the impatient Sorelli.

Everybody remarked that the retiring managers looked cheerful, as is
the Paris way. None will ever be a true Parisian who has not learned
to wear a mask of gaiety over his sorrows and one of sadness, boredom
or indifference over his inward joy. You know that one of your friends
is in trouble; do not try to console him: he will tell you that he is
already comforted; but, should he have met with good fortune, be
careful how you congratulate him: he thinks it so natural that he is
surprised that you should speak of it. In Paris, our lives are one
masked ball; and the foyer of the ballet is the last place in which two
men so "knowing" as M. Debienne and M. Poligny would have made the
mistake of betraying their grief, however genuine it might be. And
they were already smiling rather too broadly upon Sorelli, who had
begun to recite her speech, when an exclamation from that little madcap
of a Jammes broke the smile of the managers so brutally that the
expression of distress and dismay that lay beneath it became apparent
to all eyes:

"The Opera ghost!"

Jammes yelled these words in a tone of unspeakable terror; and her
finger pointed, among the crowd of dandies, to a face so pallid, so
lugubrious and so ugly, with two such deep black cavities under the
straddling eyebrows, that the death's head in question immediately
scored a huge success.

"The Opera ghost! The Opera ghost!" Everybody laughed and pushed his
neighbor and wanted to offer the Opera ghost a drink, but he was gone.
He had slipped through the crowd; and the others vainly hunted for him,
while two old gentlemen tried to calm little Jammes and while little
Giry stood screaming like a peacock.

Sorelli was furious; she had not been able to finish her speech; the
managers, had kissed her, thanked her and run away as fast as the ghost
himself. No one was surprised at this, for it was known that they were
to go through the same ceremony on the floor above, in the foyer of the
singers, and that finally they were themselves to receive their
personal friends, for the last time, in the great lobby outside the
managers' office, where a regular supper would be served.

Here they found the new managers, M. Armand Moncharmin and M. Firmin
Richard, whom they hardly knew; nevertheless, they were lavish in
protestations of friendship and received a thousand flattering
compliments in reply, so that those of the guests who had feared that
they had a rather tedious evening in store for them at once put on
brighter faces. The supper was almost gay and a particularly clever
speech of the representative of the government, mingling the glories of
the past with the successes of the future, caused the greatest
cordiality to prevail.

The retiring managers had already handed over to their successors the
two tiny master-keys which opened all the doors--thousands of doors--of
the Opera house. And those little keys, the object of general
curiosity, were being passed from hand to hand, when the attention of
some of the guests was diverted by their discovery, at the end of the
table, of that strange, wan and fantastic face, with the hollow eyes,
which had already appeared in the foyer of the ballet and been greeted
by little Jammes' exclamation:

"The Opera ghost!"

There sat the ghost, as natural as could be, except that he neither ate
nor drank. Those who began by looking at him with a smile ended by
turning away their heads, for the sight of him at once provoked the
most funereal thoughts. No one repeated the joke of the foyer, no one

"There's the Opera ghost!"

He himself did not speak a word and his very neighbors could not have
stated at what precise moment he had sat down between them; but every
one felt that if the dead did ever come and sit at the table of the
living, they could not cut a more ghastly figure. The friends of
Firmin Richard and Armand Moncharmin thought that this lean and skinny
guest was an acquaintance of Debienne's or Poligny's, while Debienne's
and Poligny's friends believed that the cadaverous individual belonged
to Firmin Richard and Armand Moncharmin's party.

The result was that no request was made for an explanation; no
unpleasant remark; no joke in bad taste, which might have offended this
visitor from the tomb. A few of those present who knew the story of
the ghost and the description of him given by the chief
scene-shifter--they did not know of Joseph Buquet's death--thought, in
their own minds, that the man at the end of the table might easily have
passed for him; and yet, according to the story, the ghost had no nose
and the person in question had. But M. Moncharmin declares, in his
Memoirs, that the guest's nose was transparent: "long, thin and
transparent" are his exact words. I, for my part, will add that this
might very well apply to a false nose. M. Moncharmin may have taken
for transparency what was only shininess. Everybody knows that
orthopaedic science provides beautiful false noses for those who have
lost their noses naturally or as the result of an operation.

Did the ghost really take a seat at the managers' supper-table that
night, uninvited? And can we be sure that the figure was that of the
Opera ghost himself? Who would venture to assert as much? I mention
the incident, not because I wish for a second to make the reader
believe--or even to try to make him believe--that the ghost was capable
of such a sublime piece of impudence; but because, after all, the thing
is impossible.

M. Armand Moncharmin, in chapter eleven of his Memoirs, says:

"When I think of this first evening, I can not separate the secret
confided to us by MM. Debienne and Poligny in their office from the
presence at our supper of that GHOSTLY person whom none of us knew."

What happened was this: Mm. Debienne and Poligny, sitting at the
center of the table, had not seen the man with the death's head.
Suddenly he began to speak.

"The ballet-girls are right," he said. "The death of that poor Buquet
is perhaps not so natural as people think."

Debienne and Poligny gave a start.

"Is Buquet dead?" they cried.

"Yes," replied the man, or the shadow of a man, quietly. "He was
found, this evening, hanging in the third cellar, between a farm-house
and a scene from the Roi de Lahore."

The two managers, or rather ex-managers, at once rose and stared
strangely at the speaker. They were more excited than they need have
been, that is to say, more excited than any one need be by the
announcement of the suicide of a chief scene-shifter. They looked at
each other. They, had both turned whiter than the table-cloth. At
last, Debienne made a sign to Mm. Richard and Moncharmin; Poligny
muttered a few words of excuse to the guests; and all four went into
the managers' office. I leave M. Moncharmin to complete the story. In
his Memoirs, he says:

"Mm. Debienne and Poligny seemed to grow more and more excited, and
they appeared to have something very difficult to tell us. First, they
asked us if we knew the man, sitting at the end of the table, who had
told them of the death of Joseph Buquet; and, when we answered in the
negative, they looked still more concerned. They took the master-keys
from our hands, stared at them for a moment and advised us to have new
locks made, with the greatest secrecy, for the rooms, closets and
presses that we might wish to have hermetically closed. They said this
so funnily that we began to laugh and to ask if there were thieves at
the Opera. They replied that there was something worse, which was the
GHOST. We began to laugh again, feeling sure that they were indulging
in some joke that was intended to crown our little entertainment.
Then, at their request, we became 'serious,' resolving to humor them
and to enter into the spirit of the game. They told us that they never
would have spoken to us of the ghost, if they had not received formal
orders from the ghost himself to ask us to be pleasant to him and to
grant any request that he might make. However, in their relief at
leaving a domain where that tyrannical shade held sway, they had
hesitated until the last moment to tell us this curious story, which
our skeptical minds were certainly not prepared to entertain. But the
announcement of the death of Joseph Buquet had served them as a brutal
reminder that, whenever they had disregarded the ghost's wishes, some
fantastic or disastrous event had brought them to a sense of their

"During these unexpected utterances made in a tone of the most secret
and important confidence, I looked at Richard. Richard, in his student
days, had acquired a great reputation for practical joking, and he
seemed to relish the dish which was being served up to him in his turn.
He did not miss a morsel of it, though the seasoning was a little
gruesome because of the death of Buquet. He nodded his head sadly,
while the others spoke, and his features assumed the air of a man who
bitterly regretted having taken over the Opera, now that he knew that
there was a ghost mixed up in the business. I could think of nothing
better than to give him a servile imitation of this attitude of
despair. However, in spite of all our efforts, we could not, at the
finish, help bursting out laughing in the faces of MM. Debienne and
Poligny, who, seeing us pass straight from the gloomiest state of mind
to one of the most insolent merriment, acted as though they thought
that we had gone mad.

"The joke became a little tedious; and Richard asked half-seriously and
half in jest:

"'But, after all, what does this ghost of yours want?'

"M. Poligny went to his desk and returned with a copy of the
memorandum-book. The memorandum-book begins with the well-known words
saying that 'the management of the Opera shall give to the performance
of the National Academy of Music the splendor that becomes the first
lyric stage in France' and ends with Clause 98, which says that the
privilege can be withdrawn if the manager infringes the conditions
stipulated in the memorandum-book. This is followed by the conditions,
which are four in number.

"The copy produced by M. Poligny was written in black ink and exactly
similar to that in our possession, except that, at the end, it
contained a paragraph in red ink and in a queer, labored handwriting,
as though it had been produced by dipping the heads of matches into the
ink, the writing of a child that has never got beyond the down-strokes
and has not learned to join its letters. This paragraph ran, word for
word, as follows:

"'5. Or if the manager, in any month, delay for more than a fortnight
the payment of the allowance which he shall make to the Opera ghost, an
allowance of twenty thousand francs a month, say two hundred and forty
thousand francs a year.'

"M. Poligny pointed with a hesitating finger to this last clause, which
we certainly did not expect.

"'Is this all? Does he not want anything else?' asked Richard, with
the greatest coolness.

"'Yes, he does,' replied Poligny.

"And he turned over the pages of the memorandum-book until he came to
the clause specifying the days on which certain private boxes were to
be reserved for the free use of the president of the republic, the
ministers and so on. At the end of this clause, a line had been added,
also in red ink:

"'Box Five on the grand tier shall be placed at the disposal of the
Opera ghost for every performance.'

"When we saw this, there was nothing else for us to do but to rise from
our chairs, shake our two predecessors warmly by the hand and
congratulate them on thinking of this charming little joke, which
proved that the old French sense of humor was never likely to become
extinct. Richard added that he now understood why MM. Debienne and
Poligny were retiring from the management of the National Academy of
Music. Business was impossible with so unreasonable a ghost.

"'Certainly, two hundred and forty thousand francs are not be picked up
for the asking,' said M. Poligny, without moving a muscle of his face.
'And have you considered what the loss over Box Five meant to us? We
did not sell it once; and not only that, but we had to return the
subscription: why, it's awful! We really can't work to keep ghosts!
We prefer to go away!'

"'Yes,' echoed M. Debienne, 'we prefer to go away. Let us go.'"

"And he stood up. Richard said: 'But, after all all, it seems to me
that you were much too kind to the ghost. If I had such a troublesome
ghost as that, I should not hesitate to have him arrested.'

"'But how? Where?' they cried, in chorus. 'We have never seen him!'

"'But when he comes to his box?'


"'Then sell it.'

"'Sell the Opera ghost's box! Well, gentlemen, try it.'

"Thereupon we all four left the office. Richard and I had 'never
laughed so much in our lives.'"

Chapter IV Box Five

Armand Moncharmin wrote such voluminous Memoirs during the fairly long
period of his co-management that we may well ask if he ever found time
to attend to the affairs of the Opera otherwise than by telling what
went on there. M. Moncharmin did not know a note of music, but he
called the minister of education and fine arts by his Christian name,
had dabbled a little in society journalism and enjoyed a considerable
private income. Lastly, he was a charming fellow and showed that he
was not lacking in intelligence, for, as soon as he made up his mind to
be a sleeping partner in the Opera, he selected the best possible
active manager and went straight to Firmin Richard.

Firmin Richard was a very distinguished composer, who had published a
number of successful pieces of all kinds and who liked nearly every
form of music and every sort of musician. Clearly, therefore, it was
the duty of every sort of musician to like M. Firmin Richard. The only
things to be said against him were that he was rather masterful in his
ways and endowed with a very hasty temper.

The first few days which the partners spent at the Opera were given
over to the delight of finding themselves the head of so magnificent an
enterprise; and they had forgotten all about that curious, fantastic
story of the ghost, when an incident occurred that proved to them that
the joke--if joke it were--was not over. M. Firmin Richard reached his
office that morning at eleven o'clock. His secretary, M. Remy, showed
him half a dozen letters which he had not opened because they were
marked "private." One of the letters had at once attracted Richard's
attention not only because the envelope was addressed in red ink, but
because he seemed to have seen the writing before. He soon remembered
that it was the red handwriting in which the memorandum-book had been
so curiously completed. He recognized the clumsy childish hand. He
opened the letter and read:


I am sorry to have to trouble you at a time when you must be so very
busy, renewing important engagements, signing fresh ones and generally
displaying your excellent taste. I know what you have done for
Carlotta, Sorelli and little Jammes and for a few others whose
admirable qualities of talent or genius you have suspected.

Of course, when I use these words, I do not mean to apply them to La
Carlotta, who sings like a squirt and who ought never to have been
allowed to leave the Ambassadeurs and the Cafe Jacquin; nor to La
Sorelli, who owes her success mainly to the coach-builders; nor to
little Jammes, who dances like a calf in a field. And I am not
speaking of Christine Daae either, though her genius is certain,
whereas your jealousy prevents her from creating any important part.
When all is said, you are free to conduct your little business as you
think best, are you not?

All the same, I should like to take advantage of the fact that you have
not yet turned Christine Daae out of doors by hearing her this evening
in the part of Siebel, as that of Margarita has been forbidden her
since her triumph of the other evening; and I will ask you not to
dispose of my box to-day nor on the FOLLOWING DAYS, for I can not end
this letter without telling you how disagreeably surprised I have been
once or twice, to hear, on arriving at the Opera, that my box had been
sold, at the box-office, by your orders.

I did not protest, first, because I dislike scandal, and, second,
because I thought that your predecessors, MM. Debienne and Poligny, who
were always charming to me, had neglected, before leaving, to mention
my little fads to you. I have now received a reply from those
gentlemen to my letter asking for an explanation, and this reply proves
that you know all about my Memorandum-Book and, consequently, that you
are treating me with outrageous contempt. IF YOU WISH TO LIVE IN

Believe me to be, dear Mr. Manager, without prejudice to these little

Your Most Humble and Obedient Servant,

The letter was accompanied by a cutting from the agony-column of the
Revue Theatrale, which ran:

O. G.--There is no excuse for R. and M. We told them and left your
memorandum-book in their hands. Kind regards.

M. Firmin Richard had hardly finished reading this letter when M.
Armand Moncharmin entered, carrying one exactly similar. They lo

Free E-book - Alice S Adventures In Wonderland - Gift

November 30th, 2018

Free E-book -  Alice S Adventures In Wonderland - Gift


Lewis Carroll


CHAPTER I. Down the Rabbit-Hole

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the
bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the
book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in
it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or

So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the
hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure
of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and
picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran
close by her.

There was nothing so VERY remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so
VERY much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, ‘Oh dear!
Oh dear! I shall be late!’ (when she thought it over afterwards, it
occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time
it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually TOOK A WATCH
OUT OF ITS WAISTCOAT-POCKET, and looked at it, and then hurried on,
Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had
never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch
to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field
after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large
rabbit-hole under the hedge.

In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how
in the world she was to get out again.

The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then
dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think
about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep

Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had
plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was
going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what
she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then she
looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with
cupboards and book-shelves; here and there she saw maps and pictures
hung upon pegs. She took down a jar from one of the shelves as
she passed; it was labelled ‘ORANGE MARMALADE’, but to her great
disappointment it was empty: she did not like to drop the jar for fear
of killing somebody, so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as
she fell past it.

‘Well!’ thought Alice to herself, ‘after such a fall as this, I shall
think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they’ll all think me at
home! Why, I wouldn’t say anything about it, even if I fell off the top
of the house!’ (Which was very likely true.)

Down, down, down. Would the fall NEVER come to an end! ‘I wonder how
many miles I’ve fallen by this time?’ she said aloud. ‘I must be getting
somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four
thousand miles down, I think--’ (for, you see, Alice had learnt several
things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this
was not a VERY good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there
was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over)
‘--yes, that’s about the right distance--but then I wonder what Latitude
or Longitude I’ve got to?’ (Alice had no idea what Latitude was, or
Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.)

Presently she began again. ‘I wonder if I shall fall right THROUGH the
earth! How funny it’ll seem to come out among the people that walk with
their heads downward! The Antipathies, I think--’ (she was rather glad
there WAS no one listening, this time, as it didn’t sound at all the
right word) ‘--but I shall have to ask them what the name of the country
is, you know. Please, Ma’am, is this New Zealand or Australia?’ (and
she tried to curtsey as she spoke--fancy CURTSEYING as you’re falling
through the air! Do you think you could manage it?) ‘And what an
ignorant little girl she’ll think me for asking! No, it’ll never do to
ask: perhaps I shall see it written up somewhere.’

Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do, so Alice soon began
talking again. ‘Dinah’ll miss me very much to-night, I should think!’
(Dinah was the cat.) ‘I hope they’ll remember her saucer of milk at
tea-time. Dinah my dear! I wish you were down here with me! There are no
mice in the air, I’m afraid, but you might catch a bat, and that’s very
like a mouse, you know. But do cats eat bats, I wonder?’ And here Alice
began to get rather sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamy
sort of way, ‘Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?’ and sometimes, ‘Do
bats eat cats?’ for, you see, as she couldn’t answer either question,
it didn’t much matter which way she put it. She felt that she was dozing
off, and had just begun to dream that she was walking hand in hand with
Dinah, and saying to her very earnestly, ‘Now, Dinah, tell me the truth:
did you ever eat a bat?’ when suddenly, thump! thump! down she came upon
a heap of sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over.

Alice was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on to her feet in a moment:
she looked up, but it was all dark overhead; before her was another
long passage, and the White Rabbit was still in sight, hurrying down it.
There was not a moment to be lost: away went Alice like the wind, and
was just in time to hear it say, as it turned a corner, ‘Oh my ears
and whiskers, how late it’s getting!’ She was close behind it when she
turned the corner, but the Rabbit was no longer to be seen: she found
herself in a long, low hall, which was lit up by a row of lamps hanging
from the roof.

There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked; and when
Alice had been all the way down one side and up the other, trying every
door, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering how she was ever to
get out again.

Suddenly she came upon a little three-legged table, all made of solid
glass; there was nothing on it except a tiny golden key, and Alice’s
first thought was that it might belong to one of the doors of the hall;
but, alas! either the locks were too large, or the key was too small,
but at any rate it would not open any of them. However, on the second
time round, she came upon a low curtain she had not noticed before, and
behind it was a little door about fifteen inches high: she tried the
little golden key in the lock, and to her great delight it fitted!

Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not
much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage
into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of
that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and
those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head through the
doorway; ‘and even if my head would go through,’ thought poor Alice, ‘it
would be of very little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could
shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only knew how to begin.’
For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately,
that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really

There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little door, so she went
back to the table, half hoping she might find another key on it, or at
any rate a book of rules for shutting people up like telescopes: this
time she found a little bottle on it, [‘which certainly was not here
before,’ said Alice,) and round the neck of the bottle was a paper
label, with the words ‘DRINK ME’ beautifully printed on it in large

It was all very well to say ‘Drink me,’ but the wise little Alice was
not going to do THAT in a hurry. ‘No, I’ll look first,’ she said, ‘and
see whether it’s marked “poison” or not’; for she had read several nice
little histories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild
beasts and other unpleasant things, all because they WOULD not remember
the simple rules their friends had taught them: such as, that a red-hot
poker will burn you if you hold it too long; and that if you cut your
finger VERY deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never
forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked ‘poison,’ it is
almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.

However, this bottle was NOT marked ‘poison,’ so Alice ventured to taste
it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour
of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot
buttered toast,) she very soon finished it off.

* * * * * * *

* * * * * *

* * * * * * *

‘What a curious feeling!’ said Alice; ‘I must be shutting up like a

And so it was indeed: she was now only ten inches high, and her face
brightened up at the thought that she was now the right size for going
through the little door into that lovely garden. First, however, she
waited for a few minutes to see if she was going to shrink any further:
she felt a little nervous about this; ‘for it might end, you know,’ said
Alice to herself, ‘in my going out altogether, like a candle. I wonder
what I should be like then?’ And she tried to fancy what the flame of a
candle is like after the candle is blown out, for she could not remember
ever having seen such a thing.

After a while, finding that nothing more happened, she decided on going
into the garden at once; but, alas for poor Alice! when she got to the
door, she found she had forgotten the little golden key, and when she
went back to the table for it, she found she could not possibly reach
it: she could see it quite plainly through the glass, and she tried her
best to climb up one of the legs of the table, but it was too slippery;
and when she had tired herself out with trying, the poor little thing
sat down and cried.

‘Come, there’s no use in crying like that!’ said Alice to herself,
rather sharply; ‘I advise you to leave off this minute!’ She generally
gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it),
and sometimes she scolded herself so severely as to bring tears into
her eyes; and once she remembered trying to box her own ears for having
cheated herself in a game of croquet she was playing against herself,
for this curious child was very fond of pretending to be two people.
‘But it’s no use now,’ thought poor Alice, ‘to pretend to be two people!
Why, there’s hardly enough of me left to make ONE respectable person!’

Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under the table:
she opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on which the words
‘EAT ME’ were beautifully marked in currants. ‘Well, I’ll eat it,’ said
Alice, ‘and if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the key; and if it
makes me grow smaller, I can creep under the door; so either way I’ll
get into the garden, and I don’t care which happens!’

She ate a little bit, and said anxiously to herself, ‘Which way? Which
way?’, holding her hand on the top of her head to feel which way it was
growing, and she was quite surprised to find that she remained the same
size: to be sure, this generally happens when one eats cake, but Alice
had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way
things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on
in the common way.

So she set to work, and very soon finished off the cake.

* * * * * * *

* * * * * *

* * * * * * *

CHAPTER II. The Pool of Tears

‘Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that
for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English); ‘now I’m
opening out like the largest telescope that ever was! Good-bye, feet!’
(for when she looked down at her feet, they seemed to be almost out of
sight, they were getting so far off). ‘Oh, my poor little feet, I wonder
who will put on your shoes and stockings for you now, dears? I’m sure
_I_ shan’t be able! I shall be a great deal too far off to trouble
myself about you: you must manage the best way you can;--but I must be
kind to them,’ thought Alice, ‘or perhaps they won’t walk the way I want
to go! Let me see: I’ll give them a new pair of boots every Christmas.’

And she went on planning to herself how she would manage it. ‘They must
go by the carrier,’ she thought; ‘and how funny it’ll seem, sending
presents to one’s own feet! And how odd the directions will look!


Oh dear, what nonsense I’m talking!’

Just then her head struck against the roof of the hall: in fact she was
now more than nine feet high, and she at once took up the little golden
key and hurried off to the garden door.

Poor Alice! It was as much as she could do, lying down on one side, to
look through into the garden with one eye; but to get through was more
hopeless than ever: she sat down and began to cry again.

‘You ought to be ashamed of yourself,’ said Alice, ‘a great girl like
you,’ (she might well say this), ‘to go on crying in this way! Stop this
moment, I tell you!’ But she went on all the same, shedding gallons of
tears, until there was a large pool all round her, about four inches
deep and reaching half down the hall.

After a time she heard a little pattering of feet in the distance, and
she hastily dried her eyes to see what was coming. It was the White
Rabbit returning, splendidly dressed, with a pair of white kid gloves in
one hand and a large fan in the other: he came trotting along in a great
hurry, muttering to himself as he came, ‘Oh! the Duchess, the Duchess!
Oh! won’t she be savage if I’ve kept her waiting!’ Alice felt so
desperate that she was ready to ask help of any one; so, when the Rabbit
came near her, she began, in a low, timid voice, ‘If you please, sir--’
The Rabbit started violently, dropped the white kid gloves and the fan,
and skurried away into the darkness as hard as he could go.

Alice took up the fan and gloves, and, as the hall was very hot, she
kept fanning herself all the time she went on talking: ‘Dear, dear! How
queer everything is to-day! And yesterday things went on just as usual.
I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the
same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a
little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is, Who
in the world am I? Ah, THAT’S the great puzzle!’ And she began thinking
over all the children she knew that were of the same age as herself, to
see if she could have been changed for any of them.

‘I’m sure I’m not Ada,’ she said, ‘for her hair goes in such long
ringlets, and mine doesn’t go in ringlets at all; and I’m sure I can’t
be Mabel, for I know all sorts of things, and she, oh! she knows such a
very little! Besides, SHE’S she, and I’m I, and--oh dear, how puzzling
it all is! I’ll try if I know all the things I used to know. Let me
see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and
four times seven is--oh dear! I shall never get to twenty at that rate!
However, the Multiplication Table doesn’t signify: let’s try Geography.
London is the capital of Paris, and Paris is the capital of Rome, and
Rome--no, THAT’S all wrong, I’m certain! I must have been changed for
Mabel! I’ll try and say “How doth the little--“’ and she crossed her
hands on her lap as if she were saying lessons, and began to repeat it,
but her voice sounded hoarse and strange, and the words did not come the
same as they used to do:--

‘How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

‘How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spread his claws,
And welcome little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!’

‘I’m sure those are not the right words,’ said poor Alice, and her eyes
filled with tears again as she went on, ‘I must be Mabel after all, and
I shall have to go and live in that poky little house, and have next to
no toys to play with, and oh! ever so many lessons to learn! No, I’ve
made up my mind about it; if I’m Mabel, I’ll stay down here! It’ll be no
use their putting their heads down and saying “Come up again, dear!” I
shall only look up and say “Who am I then? Tell me that first, and then,
if I like being that person, I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay down here
till I’m somebody else”--but, oh dear!’ cried Alice, with a sudden burst
of tears, ‘I do wish they WOULD put their heads down! I am so VERY tired
of being all alone here!’

As she said this she looked down at her hands, and was surprised to see
that she had put on one of the Rabbit’s little white kid gloves while
she was talking. ‘How CAN I have done that?’ she thought. ‘I must
be growing small again.’ She got up and went to the table to measure
herself by it, and found that, as nearly as she could guess, she was now
about two feet high, and was going on shrinking rapidly: she soon found
out that the cause of this was the fan she was holding, and she dropped
it hastily, just in time to avoid shrinking away altogether.

‘That WAS a narrow escape!’ said Alice, a good deal frightened at the
sudden change, but very glad to find herself still in existence; ‘and
now for the garden!’ and she ran with all speed back to the little door:
but, alas! the little door was shut again, and the little golden key was
lying on the glass table as before, ‘and things are worse than ever,’
thought the poor child, ‘for I never was so small as this before, never!
And I declare it’s too bad, that it is!’

As she said these words her foot slipped, and in another moment, splash!
she was up to her chin in salt water. Her first idea was that she
had somehow fallen into the sea, ‘and in that case I can go back by
railway,’ she said to herself. (Alice had been to the seaside once in
her life, and had come to the general conclusion, that wherever you go
to on the English coast you find a number of bathing machines in the
sea, some children digging in the sand with wooden spades, then a row
of lodging houses, and behind them a railway station.) However, she soon
made out that she was in the pool of tears which she had wept when she
was nine feet high.

‘I wish I hadn’t cried so much!’ said Alice, as she swam about, trying
to find her way out. ‘I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by
being drowned in my own tears! That WILL be a queer thing, to be sure!
However, everything is queer to-day.’

Just then she heard something splashing about in the pool a little way
off, and she swam nearer to make out what it was: at first she thought
it must be a walrus or hippopotamus, but then she remembered how small
she was now, and she soon made out that it was only a mouse that had
slipped in like herself.

‘Would it be of any use, now,’ thought Alice, ‘to speak to this mouse?
Everything is so out-of-the-way down here, that I should think very
likely it can talk: at any rate, there’s no harm in trying.’ So she
began: ‘O Mouse, do you know the way out of this pool? I am very tired
of swimming about here, O Mouse!’ (Alice thought this must be the right
way of speaking to a mouse: she had never done such a thing before, but
she remembered having seen in her brother’s Latin Grammar, ‘A mouse--of
a mouse--to a mouse--a mouse--O mouse!’) The Mouse looked at her rather
inquisitively, and seemed to her to wink with one of its little eyes,
but it said nothing.

‘Perhaps it doesn’t understand English,’ thought Alice; ‘I daresay it’s
a French mouse, come over with William the Conqueror.’ (For, with all
her knowledge of history, Alice had no very clear notion how long ago
anything had happened.) So she began again: ‘Ou est ma chatte?’ which
was the first sentence in her French lesson-book. The Mouse gave a
sudden leap out of the water, and seemed to quiver all over with fright.
‘Oh, I beg your pardon!’ cried Alice hastily, afraid that she had hurt
the poor animal’s feelings. ‘I quite forgot you didn’t like cats.’

‘Not like cats!’ cried the Mouse, in a shrill, passionate voice. ‘Would
YOU like cats if you were me?’

‘Well, perhaps not,’ said Alice in a soothing tone: ‘don’t be angry
about it. And yet I wish I could show you our cat Dinah: I think you’d
take a fancy to cats if you could only see her. She is such a dear quiet
thing,’ Alice went on, half to herself, as she swam lazily about in the
pool, ‘and she sits purring so nicely by the fire, licking her paws and
washing her face--and she is such a nice soft thing to nurse--and she’s
such a capital one for catching mice--oh, I beg your pardon!’ cried
Alice again, for this time the Mouse was bristling all over, and she
felt certain it must be really offended. ‘We won’t talk about her any
more if you’d rather not.’

‘We indeed!’ cried the Mouse, who was trembling down to the end of his
tail. ‘As if I would talk on such a subject! Our family always HATED
cats: nasty, low, vulgar things! Don’t let me hear the name again!’

‘I won’t indeed!’ said Alice, in a great hurry to change the subject of
conversation. ‘Are you--are you fond--of--of dogs?’ The Mouse did not
answer, so Alice went on eagerly: ‘There is such a nice little dog near
our house I should like to show you! A little bright-eyed terrier, you
know, with oh, such long curly brown hair! And it’ll fetch things when
you throw them, and it’ll sit up and beg for its dinner, and all sorts
of things--I can’t remember half of them--and it belongs to a farmer,
you know, and he says it’s so useful, it’s worth a hundred pounds! He
says it kills all the rats and--oh dear!’ cried Alice in a sorrowful
tone, ‘I’m afraid I’ve offended it again!’ For the Mouse was swimming
away from her as hard as it could go, and making quite a commotion in
the pool as it went.

So she called softly after it, ‘Mouse dear! Do come back again, and we
won’t talk about cats or dogs either, if you don’t like them!’ When the
Mouse heard this, it turned round and swam slowly back to her: its
face was quite pale (with passion, Alice thought), and it said in a low
trembling voice, ‘Let us get to the shore, and then I’ll tell you my
history, and you’ll understand why it is I hate cats and dogs.’

It was high time to go, for the pool was getting quite crowded with the
birds and animals that had fallen into it: there were a Duck and a Dodo,
a Lory and an Eaglet, and several other curious creatures. Alice led the
way, and the whole party swam to the shore.

CHAPTER III. A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale

They were indeed a queer-looking party that assembled on the bank--the
birds with draggled feathers, the animals with their fur clinging close
to them, and all dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable.

The first question of course was, how to get dry again: they had a
consultation about this, and after a few minutes it seemed quite natural
to Alice to find herself talking familiarly with them, as if she had
known them all her life. Indeed, she had quite a long argument with the
Lory, who at last turned sulky, and would only say, ‘I am older than
you, and must know better’; and this Alice would not allow without
knowing how old it was, and, as the Lory positively refused to tell its
age, there was no more to be said.

At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of authority among them,
called out, ‘Sit down, all of you, and listen to me! I’LL soon make you
dry enough!’ They all sat down at once, in a large ring, with the Mouse
in the middle. Alice kept her eyes anxiously fixed on it, for she felt
sure she would catch a bad cold if she did not get dry very soon.

‘Ahem!’ said the Mouse with an important air, ‘are you all ready? This
is the driest thing I know. Silence all round, if you please! “William
the Conqueror, whose cause was favoured by the pope, was soon submitted
to by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late much
accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and Morcar, the earls of
Mercia and Northumbria--“’

‘Ugh!’ said the Lory, with a shiver.

‘I beg your pardon!’ said the Mouse, frowning, but very politely: ‘Did
you speak?’

‘Not I!’ said the Lory hastily.

‘I thought you did,’ said the Mouse. ‘--I proceed. “Edwin and Morcar,
the earls of Mercia and Northumbria, declared for him: and even Stigand,
the patriotic archbishop of Canterbury, found it advisable--“’

‘Found WHAT?’ said the Duck.

‘Found IT,’ the Mouse replied rather crossly: ‘of course you know what
“it” means.’

‘I know what “it” means well enough, when I find a thing,’ said the
Duck: ‘it’s generally a frog or a worm. The question is, what did the
archbishop find?’

The Mouse did not notice this question, but hurriedly went on, ‘“--found
it advisable to go with Edgar Atheling to meet William and offer him the
crown. William’s conduct at first was moderate. But the insolence of his
Normans--” How are you getting on now, my dear?’ it continued, turning
to Alice as it spoke.

‘As wet as ever,’ said Alice in a melancholy tone: ‘it doesn’t seem to
dry me at all.’

‘In that case,’ said the Dodo solemnly, rising to its feet, ‘I move
that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more energetic

‘Speak English!’ said the Eaglet. ‘I don’t know the meaning of half
those long words, and, what’s more, I don’t believe you do either!’ And
the Eaglet bent down its head to hide a smile: some of the other birds
tittered audibly.

‘What I was going to say,’ said the Dodo in an offended tone, ‘was, that
the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.’

‘What IS a Caucus-race?’ said Alice; not that she wanted much to know,
but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that SOMEBODY ought to speak,
and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.

‘Why,’ said the Dodo, ‘the best way to explain it is to do it.’ (And, as
you might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tell
you how the Dodo managed it.)

First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, [‘the exact
shape doesn’t matter,’ it said,) and then all the party were placed
along the course, here and there. There was no ‘One, two, three, and
away,’ but they began running when they liked, and left off when they
liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However,
when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again,
the Dodo suddenly called out ‘The race is over!’ and they all crowded
round it, panting, and asking, ‘But who has won?’

This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of thought,
and it sat for a long time with one finger pressed upon its forehead
(the position in which you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures
of him), while the rest waited in silence. At last the Dodo said,
‘EVERYBODY has won, and all must have prizes.’

‘But who is to give the prizes?’ quite a chorus of voices asked.

‘Why, SHE, of course,’ said the Dodo, pointing to Alice with one finger;
and the whole party at once crowded round her, calling out in a confused
way, ‘Prizes! Prizes!’

Alice had no idea what to do, and in despair she put her hand in her
pocket, and pulled out a box of comfits, (luckily the salt water had
not got into it), and handed them round as prizes. There was exactly one
a-piece all round.

‘But she must have a prize herself, you know,’ said the Mouse.

‘Of course,’ the Dodo replied very gravely. ‘What else have you got in
your pocket?’ he went on, turning to Alice.

‘Only a thimble,’ said Alice sadly.

‘Hand it over here,’ said the Dodo.

Then they all crowded round her once more, while the Dodo solemnly
presented the thimble, saying ‘We beg your acceptance of this elegant
thimble’; and, when it had finished this short speech, they all cheered.

Alice thought the whole thing very absurd, but they all looked so grave
that she did not dare to laugh; and, as she could not think of anything
to say, she simply bowed, and took the thimble, looking as solemn as she

The next thing was to eat the comfits: this caused some noise and
confusion, as the large birds complained that they could not taste
theirs, and the small ones choked and had to be patted on the back.
However, it was over at last, and they sat down again in a ring, and
begged the Mouse to tell them something more.

‘You promised to tell me your history, you know,’ said Alice, ‘and why
it is you hate--C and D,’ she added in a whisper, half afraid that it
would be offended again.

‘Mine is a long and a sad tale!’ said the Mouse, turning to Alice, and

‘It IS a long tail, certainly,’ said Alice, looking down with wonder at
the Mouse’s tail; ‘but why do you call it sad?’ And she kept on puzzling
about it while the Mouse was speaking, so that her idea of the tale was
something like this:--

‘Fury said to a
mouse, That he
met in the
“Let us
both go to
law: I will
I’ll take no
denial; We
must have a
trial: For
really this
morning I’ve
to do.”
Said the
mouse to the
cur, “Such
a trial,
dear Sir,
no jury
or judge,
would be
“I’ll be
judge, I’ll
be jury,”
old Fury:
try the

‘You are not attending!’ said the Mouse to Alice severely. ‘What are you
thinking of?’

‘I beg your pardon,’ said Alice very humbly: ‘you had got to the fifth
bend, I think?’

‘I had NOT!’ cried the Mouse, sharply and very angrily.

‘A knot!’ said Alice, always ready to make herself useful, and looking
anxiously about her. ‘Oh, do let me help to undo it!’

‘I shall do nothing of the sort,’ said the Mouse, getting up and walking
away. ‘You insult me by talking such nonsense!’

‘I didn’t mean it!’ pleaded poor Alice. ‘But you’re so easily offended,
you know!’

The Mouse only growled in reply.

‘Please come back and finish your story!’ Alice called after it; and the
others all joined in chorus, ‘Yes, please do!’ but the Mouse only shook
its head impatiently, and walked a little quicker.

‘What a pity it wouldn’t stay!’ sighed the Lory, as soon as it was quite
out of sight; and an old Crab took the opportunity of saying to her
daughter ‘Ah, my dear! Let this be a lesson to you never to lose
YOUR temper!’ ‘Hold your tongue, Ma!’ said the young Crab, a little
snappishly. ‘You’re enough to try the patience of an oyster!’

‘I wish I had our Dinah here, I know I do!’ said Alice aloud, addressing
nobody in particular. ‘She’d soon fetch it back!’

‘And who is Dinah, if I might venture to ask the question?’ said the

Alice replied eagerly, for she was always ready to talk about her pet:
‘Dinah’s our cat. And she’s such a capital one for catching mice you
can’t think! And oh, I wish you could see her after the birds! Why,
she’ll eat a little bird as soon as look at it!’

This speech caused a remarkable sensation among the party. Some of the
birds hurried off at once: one old Magpie began wrapping itself up very
carefully, remarking, ‘I really must be getting home; the night-air
doesn’t suit my throat!’ and a Canary called out in a trembling voice to
its children, ‘Come away, my dears! It’s high time you were all in bed!’
On various pretexts they all moved off, and Alice was soon left alone.

‘I wish I hadn’t mentioned Dinah!’ she said to herself in a melancholy
tone. ‘Nobody seems to like her, down here, and I’m sure she’s the best
cat in the world! Oh, my dear Dinah! I wonder if I shall ever see you
any more!’ And here poor Alice began to cry again, for she felt very
lonely and low-spirited. In a little while, however, she again heard
a little pattering of footsteps in the distance, and she looked up
eagerly, half hoping that the Mouse had changed his mind, and was coming
back to finish his story.

CHAPTER IV. The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill

It was the White Rabbit, trotting slowly back again, and looking
anxiously about as it went, as if it had lost something; and she heard
it muttering to itself ‘The Duchess! The Duchess! Oh my dear paws! Oh
my fur and whiskers! She’ll get me executed, as sure as ferrets are
ferrets! Where CAN I have dropped them, I wonder?’ Alice guessed in a
moment that it was looking for the fan and the pair of white kid gloves,
and she very good-naturedly began hunting about for them, but they were
nowhere to be seen--everything seemed to have changed since her swim in
the pool, and the great hall, with the glass table and the little door,
had vanished completely.

Very soon the Rabbit noticed Alice, as she went hunting about, and
called out to her in an angry tone, ‘Why, Mary Ann, what ARE you doing
out here? Run home this moment, and fetch me a pair of gloves and a fan!
Quick, now!’ And Alice was so much frightened that she ran off at once
in the direction it pointed to, without trying to explain the mistake it
had made.

‘He took me for his housemaid,’ she said to herself as she ran. ‘How
surprised he’ll be when he finds out who I am! But I’d better take him
his fan and gloves--that is, if I can find them.’ As she said this, she
came upon a neat little house, on the door of which was a bright brass
plate with the name ‘W. RABBIT’ engraved upon it. She went in without
knocking, and hurried upstairs, in great fear lest she should meet the
real Mary Ann, and be turned out of the house before she had found the
fan and gloves.

‘How queer it seems,’ Alice said to herself, ‘to be going messages for
a rabbit! I suppose Dinah’ll be sending me on messages next!’ And she
began fancying the sort of thing that would happen: ‘“Miss Alice! Come
here directly, and get ready for your walk!” “Coming in a minute,
nurse! But I’ve got to see that the mouse doesn’t get out.” Only I don’t
think,’ Alice went on, ‘that they’d let Dinah stop in the house if it
began ordering people about like that!’

By this time she had found her way into a tidy little room with a table
in the window, and on it (as she had hoped) a fan and two or three pairs
of tiny white kid gloves: she took up the fan and a pair of the gloves,
and was just going to leave the room, when her eye fell upon a little
bottle that stood near the looking-glass. There was no label this time
with the words ‘DRINK ME,’ but nevertheless she uncorked it and put it
to her lips. ‘I know SOMETHING interesting is sure to happen,’ she said
to herself, ‘whenever I eat or drink anything; so I’ll just see what
this bottle does. I do hope it’ll make me grow large again, for really
I’m quite tired of being such a tiny little thing!’

It did so indeed, and much sooner than she had expected: before she had
drunk half the bottle, she found her head pressing against the ceiling,
and had to stoop to save her neck from being broken. She hastily put
down the bottle, saying to herself ‘That’s quite enough--I hope I shan’t
grow any more--As it is, I can’t get out at the door--I do wish I hadn’t
drunk quite so much!’

Alas! it was too late to wish that! She went on growing, and growing,
and very soon had to kneel down on the floor: in another minute there
was not even room for this, and she tried the effect of lying down with
one elbow against the door, and the other arm curled round her head.
Still she went on growing, and, as a last resource, she put one arm out
of the window, and one foot up the chimney, and said to herself ‘Now I
can do no more, whatever happens. What WILL become of me?’

Luckily for Alice, the little magic bottle had now had its full effect,
and she grew no larger: still it was very uncomfortable, and, as there
seemed to be no sort of chance of her ever getting out of the room
again, no wonder she felt unhappy.

‘It was much pleasanter at home,’ thought poor Alice, ‘when one wasn’t
always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about by mice and
rabbits. I almost wish I hadn’t gone down that rabbit-hole--and yet--and
yet--it’s rather curious, you know, this sort of life! I do wonder what
CAN have happened to me! When I used to read fairy-tales, I fancied that
kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one!
There ought to be a book written about me, that there ought! And when I
grow up, I’ll write one--but I’m grown up now,’ she added in a sorrowful
tone; ‘at least there’s no room to grow up any more HERE.’

‘But then,’ thought Alice, ‘shall I NEVER get any older than I am
now? That’ll be a comfort, one way--never to be an old woman--but
then--always to have lessons to learn! Oh, I shouldn’t like THAT!’

‘Oh, you foolish Alice!’ she answered herself. ‘How can you learn
lessons in here? Why, there’s hardly room for YOU, and no room at all
for any lesson-books!’

And so she went on, taking first one side and then the other, and making
quite a conversation of it altogether; but after a few minutes she heard
a voice outside, and stopped to listen.

‘Mary Ann! Mary Ann!’ said the voice. ‘Fetch me my gloves this moment!’
Then came a little pattering of feet on the stairs. Alice knew it was
the Rabbit coming to look for her, and she trembled till she shook the
house, quite forgetting that she was now about a thousand times as large
as the Rabbit, and had no reason to be afraid of it.

Presently the Rabbit came up to the door, and tried to open it; but, as
the door opened inwards, and Alice’s elbow was pressed hard against it,
that attempt proved a failure. Alice heard it say to itself ‘Then I’ll
go round and get in at the window.’

‘THAT you won’t’ thought Alice, and, after waiting till she fancied
she heard the Rabbit just under the window, she suddenly spread out her
hand, and made a snatch in the air. She did not get hold of anything,
but she heard a little shriek and a fall, and a crash of broken glass,
from which she concluded that it was just possible it had fallen into a
cucumber-frame, or something of the sort.

Next came an angry voice--the Rabbit’s--‘Pat! Pat! Where are you?’ And
then a voice she had never heard before, ‘Sure then I’m here! Digging
for apples, yer honour!’

‘Digging for apples, indeed!’ said the Rabbit angrily. ‘Here! Come and
help me out of THIS!’ (Sounds of more broken glass.)

‘Now tell me, Pat, what’s that in the window?’

‘Sure, it’s an arm, yer honour!’ (He pronounced it ‘arrum.’)

‘An arm, you goose! Who ever saw one that size? Why, it fills the whole

‘Sure, it does, yer honour: but it’s an arm for all that.’

‘Well, it’s got no business there, at any rate: go and take it away!’

There was a long silence after this, and Alice could only hear whispers
now and then; such as, ‘Sure, I don’t like it, yer honour, at all, at
all!’ ‘Do as I tell you, you coward!’ and at last she spread out her
hand again, and made another snatch in the air. This time there were
TWO little shrieks, and more sounds of broken glass. ‘What a number of
cucumber-frames there must be!’ thought Alice. ‘I wonder what they’ll do
next! As for pulling me out of the window, I only wish they COULD! I’m
sure I don’t want to stay in here any longer!’

She waited for some time without hearing anything more: at last came a
rumbling of little cartwheels, and the sound of a good many voices
all talking together: she made out the words: ‘Where’s the other
ladder?--Why, I hadn’t to bring but one; Bill’s got the other--Bill!
fetch it here, lad!--Here, put ‘em up at this corner--No, tie ‘em
together first--they don’t reach half high enough yet--Oh! they’ll
do well enough; don’t be particular--Here, Bill! catch hold of this
rope--Will the roof bear?--Mind that loose slate--Oh, it’s coming
down! Heads below!’ (a loud crash)--‘Now, who did that?--It was Bill, I
fancy--Who’s to go down the chimney?--Nay, I shan’t! YOU do it!--That I
won’t, then!--Bill’s to go down--Here, Bill! the master says you’re to
go down the chimney!’

‘Oh! So Bill’s got to come down the chimney, has he?’ said Alice to
herself. ‘Shy, they seem to put everything upon Bill! I wouldn’t be in
Bill’s place for a good deal: this fireplace is narrow, to be sure; but
I THINK I can kick a little!’

She drew her foot as far down the chimney as she could, and waited
till she heard a little animal (she couldn’t guess of what sort it was)
scratching and scrambling about in the chimney close above her: then,
saying to herself ‘This is Bill,’ she gave one sharp kick, and waited to
see what would happen next.

The first thing she heard was a general chorus of ‘There goes Bill!’
then the Rabbit’s voice along--‘Catch him, you by the hedge!’ then
silence, and then another confusion of voices--‘Hold up his head--Brandy
now--Don’t choke him--How was it, old fellow? What happened to you? Tell
us all about it!’

Last came a little feeble, squeaking voice, [‘That’s Bill,’ thought
Alice,) ‘Well, I hardly know--No more, thank ye; I’m better now--but I’m
a deal too flustered to tell you--all I know is, something comes at me
like a Jack-in-the-box, and up I goes like a sky-rocket!’

‘So you did, old fellow!’ said the others.

‘We must burn the house down!’ said the Rabbit’s voice; and Alice called
out as loud as she could, ‘If you do. I’ll set Dinah at you!’

There was a dead silence instantly, and Alice thought to herself, ‘I
wonder what they WILL do next! If they had any sense, they’d take the
roof off.’ After a minute or two, they began moving about again, and
Alice heard the Rabbit say, ‘A barrowful will do, to begin with.’

‘A barrowful of WHAT?’ thought Alice; but she had not long to doubt,
for the next moment a shower of little pebbles came rattling in at the
window, and some of them hit her in the face. ‘I’ll put a stop to this,’
she said to herself, and shouted out, ‘You’d better not do that again!’
which produced another dead silence.

Alice noticed with some surprise that the pebbles were all turning into
little cakes as they lay on the floor, and a bright idea came into her
head. ‘If I eat one of these cakes,’ she thought, ‘it’s sure to make
SOME change in my size; and as it can’t possibly make me larger, it must
make me smaller, I suppose.’

So she swallowed one of the cakes, and was delighted to find that she
began shrinking directly. As soon as she was small enough to get through
the door, she ran out of the house, and found quite a crowd of little
animals and birds waiting outside. The poor little Lizard, Bill, was
in the middle, being held up by two guinea-pigs, who were giving it
something out of a bottle. They all made a rush at Alice the moment she
appeared; but she ran off as hard as she could, and soon found herself
safe in a thick wood.

‘The first thing I’ve got to do,’ said Alice to herself, as she wandered
about in the wood, ‘is to grow to my right size again; and the second
thing is to find my way into that lovely garden. I think that will be
the best plan.’

It sounded an excellent plan, no doubt, and very neatly and simply
arranged; the only difficulty was, that she had not the smallest idea
how to set about it; and while she was peering about anxiously among
the trees, a little sharp bark just over her head made her look up in a
great hurry.

An enormous puppy was looking down at her with large round eyes, and
feebly stretching out one paw, trying to touch her. ‘Poor little thing!’
said Alice, in a coaxing tone, and she tried hard to whistle to it; but
she was terribly frightened all the time at the thought that it might be
hungry, in which case it would be very likely to eat her up in spite of
all her coaxing.

Hardly knowing what she did, she picked up a little bit of stick, and
held it out to the puppy; whereupon the puppy jumped into the air off
all its feet at once, with a yelp of delight, and rushed at the stick,
and made believe to worry it; then Alice dodged behind a great thistle,
to keep herself from being run over; and the moment she appeared on the
other side, the puppy made another rush at the stick, and tumbled head
over heels in its hurry to get hold of it; then Alice, thinking it was
very like having a game of play with a cart-horse, and expecting every
moment to be trampled under its feet, ran round the thistle again; then
the puppy began a series of short charges at the stick, running a very
little way forwards each time and a long way back, and barking hoarsely
all the while, till at last it sat down a good way off, panting, with
its tongue hanging out of its mouth, and its great eyes half shut.

This seemed to Alice a good opportunity for making her escape; so she
set off at once, and ran till she was quite tired and out of breath, and
till the puppy’s bark sounded quite faint in the distance.

‘And yet what a dear little puppy it was!’ said Alice, as she leant
against a buttercup to rest herself, and fanned herself with one of the
leaves: ‘I should have liked teaching it tricks very much, if--if I’d
only been the right size to do it! Oh dear! I’d nearly forgotten that
I’ve got to grow up again! Let me see--how IS it to be managed? I
suppose I ought to eat or drink something or other; but the great
question is, what?’

The great question certainly was, what? Alice looked all round her at
the flowers and the blades of grass, but she did not see anything that
looked like the right thing to eat or drink under the circumstances.
There was a large mushroom growing near her, about the same height as
herself; and when she had looked under it, and on both sides of it, and
behind it, it occurred to her that she might as well look and see what
was on the top of it.

She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over the edge of the
mushroom, and her eyes immediately met those of a large caterpillar,
that was sitting on the top with its arms folded, quietly smoking a long
hookah, and taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything else.

CHAPTER V. Advice from a Caterpillar

The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence:
at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed
her in a languid, sleepy voice.

‘Who are YOU?’ said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied,
rather shyly, ‘I--I hardly know, sir, just at present--at least I know
who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been
changed several times since then.’

‘What do you mean by that?’ said the Caterpillar sternly. ‘Explain

‘I can’t explain MYSELF, I’m afraid, sir’ said Alice, ‘because I’m not
myself, you see.’

‘I don’t see,’ said the Caterpillar.

‘I’m afraid I can’t put it more clearly,’ Alice replied very politely,
‘for I can’t understand it myself to begin with; and being so many
different sizes in a day is very confusing.’

‘It isn’t,’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Well, perhaps you haven’t found it so yet,’ said Alice; ‘but when you
have to turn into a chrysalis--you will some day, you know--and then
after that into a butterfly, I should think you’ll feel it a little
queer, won’t you?’

‘Not a bit,’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Well, perhaps your feelings may be different,’ said Alice; ‘all I know
is, it would feel very queer to ME.’

‘You!’ said the Caterpillar contemptuously. ‘Who are YOU?’

Which brought them back again to the beginning of the conversation.
Alice felt a little irritated at the Caterpillar’s making such VERY
short remarks, and she drew herself up and said, very gravely, ‘I think,
you ought to tell me who YOU are, first.’

‘Why?’ said the Caterpillar.

Here was another puzzling question; and as Alice could not think of any
good reason, and as the Caterpillar seemed to be in a VERY unpleasant
state of mind, she turned away.

‘Come back!’ the Caterpillar called after her. ‘I’ve something important
to say!’

This sounded promising, certainly: Alice turned and came back again.

‘Keep your temper,’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Is that all?’ said Alice, swallowing down her anger as well as she

‘No,’ said the Caterpillar.

Alice thought she might as well wait, as she had nothing else to do, and
perhaps after all it might tell her something worth hearing. For some
minutes it puffed away without speaking, but at last it unfolded its
arms, took the hookah out of its mouth again, and said, ‘So you think
you’re changed, do you?’

‘I’m afraid I am, sir,’ said Alice; ‘I can’t remember things as I
used--and I don’t keep the same size for ten minutes together!’

‘Can’t remember WHAT things?’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Well, I’ve tried to say “HOW DOTH THE LITTLE BUSY BEE,” but it all came
different!’ Alice replied in a very melancholy voice.

‘Repeat, “YOU ARE OLD, FATHER WILLIAM,”’ said the Caterpillar.

Alice folded her hands, and began:--

‘You are old, Father William,’ the young man said,
‘And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head--
Do you think, at your age, it is right?’

‘In my youth,’ Father William replied to his son,
‘I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.’

‘You are old,’ said the youth, ‘as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door--
Pray, what is the reason of that?’

‘In my youth,’ said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
‘I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment--one shilling the box--
Allow me to sell you a couple?’

‘You are old,’ said the youth, ‘and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak--
Pray how did you manage to do it?’

‘In my youth,’ said his father, ‘I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.’

‘You are old,’ said the youth, ‘one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose--
What made you so awfully clever?’

‘I have answered three questions, and that is enough,’
Said his father; ‘don’t give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I’ll kick you down stairs!’

‘That is not said right,’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Not QUITE right, I’m afraid,’ said Alice, timidly; ‘some of the words
have got altered.’

‘It is wrong from beginning to end,’ said the Caterpillar decidedly, and
there was silence for some minutes.

The Caterpillar was the first to speak.

‘What size do you want to be?’ it asked.

‘Oh, I’m not particular as to size,’ Alice hastily replied; ‘only one
doesn’t like changing so often, you know.’

‘I DON’T know,’ said the Caterpillar.

Alice said nothing: she had never been so much contradicted in her life
before, and she felt that she was losing her temper.

‘Are you content now?’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Well, I should like to be a LITTLE larger, sir, if you wouldn’t mind,’
said Alice: ‘three inches is such a wretched height to be.’

‘It is a very good height indeed!’ said the Caterpillar angrily, rearing
itself upright as it spoke (it was exactly three inches high).

‘But I’m not used to it!’ pleaded poor Alice in a piteous tone. And
she thought of herself, ‘I wish the creatures wouldn’t be so easily

‘You’ll get used to it in time,’ said the Caterpillar; and it put the
hookah into its mouth and began smoking again.

This time Alice waited patiently until it chose to speak again. In
a minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth
and yawned once or twice, and shook itself. Then it got down off the
mushroom, and crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it went,
‘One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you
grow shorter.’

‘One side of WHAT? The other side of WHAT?’ thought Alice to herself.

‘Of the mushroom,’ said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it
aloud; and in another moment it was out of sight.

Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the mushroom for a minute, trying
to make out which were the two sides of it; and as it was perfectly
round, she found this a very difficult question. However, at last she
stretched her arms round it as far as they would go, and broke off a bit
of the edge with each hand.

‘And now which is which?’ she said to herself, and nibbled a little of
the right-hand bit to try the effect: the next moment she felt a violent
blow underneath her chin: it had struck her foot!

She was a good deal frightened by this very sudden change, but she felt
that there was no time to be lost, as she was shrinking rapidly; so she
set to work at once to eat some of the other bit. Her chin was pressed
so closely against her foot, that there was hardly room to open her
mouth; but she did it at last, and managed to swallow a morsel of the
lefthand bit.

* * * * * * *

* * * * * *

* * * * * * *

‘Come, my head’s free at last!’ said Alice in a tone of delight, which
changed into alarm in another moment, when she found that her shoulders
were nowhere to be found: all she could see, when she looked down, was
an immense length of neck, which seemed to rise like a stalk out of a
sea of green leaves that lay far below her.

‘What CAN all that green stuff be?’ said Alice. ‘And where HAVE my
shoulders got to? And oh, my poor hands, how is it I can’t see you?’
She was moving them about as she spoke, but no result seemed to follow,
except a little shaking among the distant green leaves.

As there seemed to be no chance of getting her hands up to her head, she
tried to get her head down to them, and was delighted to find that her
neck would bend about easily in any direction, like a serpent. She had
just succeeded in curving it down into a graceful zigzag, and was going
to dive in among the leaves, which she found to be nothing but the tops
of the trees under which she had been wandering, when a sharp hiss made
her draw back in a hurry: a large pigeon had flown into her face, and
was beating her violently with its wings.

‘Serpent!’ screamed the Pigeon.

‘I’m NOT a serpent!’ said Alice indignantly. ‘Let me alone!’

‘Serpent, I say again!’ repeated the Pigeon, but in a more subdued tone,
and added with a kind of sob, ‘I’ve tried every way, and nothing seems
to suit them!’

‘I haven’t the least idea what you’re talking about,’ said Alice.

‘I’ve tried the roots of trees, and I’ve tried banks, and I’ve tried
hedges,’ the Pigeon went on, without attending to her; ‘but those
serpents! There’s no pleasing them!’

Alice was more and more puzzled, but she thought there was no use in
saying anything more till the Pigeon had finished.

‘As if it wasn’t trouble enough hatching the eggs,’ said the Pigeon;
‘but I must be on the look-out for serpents night and day! Why, I
haven’t had a wink of sleep these three weeks!’

‘I’m very sorry you’ve been annoyed,’ said Alice, who was beginning to
see its meaning.

‘And just as I’d taken the highest tree in the wood,’ continued the
Pigeon, raising its voice to a shriek, ‘and just as I was thinking I
should be free of them at last, they must needs come wriggling down from
the sky! Ugh, Serpent!’

‘But I’m NOT a serpent, I tell you!’ said Alice. ‘I’m a--I’m a--’

‘Well! WHAT are you?’ said the Pigeon. ‘I can see you’re trying to
invent something!’

‘I--I’m a little girl,’ said Alice, rather doubtfully, as she remembered
the number of changes she had gone through that day.

‘A likely story indeed!’ said the Pigeon in a tone of the deepest
contempt. ‘I’ve seen a good many little girls in my time, but never ONE
with such a neck as that! No, no! You’re a serpent; and there’s no use
denying it. I suppose you’ll be telling me next that you never tasted an

‘I HAVE tasted eggs, certainly,’ said Alice, who was a very truthful
child; ‘but little girls eat eggs quite as much as serpents do, you

‘I don’t believe it,’ said the Pigeon; ‘but if they do, why then they’re
a kind of serpent, that’s all I can say.’

This was such a new idea to Alice, that she was quite silent for a
minute or two, which gave the Pigeon the opportunity of adding, ‘You’re
looking for eggs, I know THAT well enough; and what does it matter to me
whether you’re a little girl or a serpent?’

‘It matters a good deal to ME,’ said Alice hastily; ‘but I’m not looking
for eggs, as it happens; and if I was, I shouldn’t want YOURS: I don’t
like them raw.’

‘Well, be off, then!’ said the Pigeon in a sulky tone, as it settled
down again into its nest. Alice crouched down among the trees as well as
she could, for her neck kept getting entangled among the branches, and
every now and then she had to stop and untwist it. After a while she
remembered that she still held the pieces of mushroom in her hands, and
she set to work very carefully, nibbling first at one and then at the
other, and growing sometimes taller and sometimes shorter, until she had
succeeded in bringing herself down to her usual height.

It was so long since she had been anything near the right size, that it
felt quite strange at first; but she got used to it in a few minutes,
and began talking to herself, as usual. ‘Come, there’s half my plan done
now! How puzzling all these changes are! I’m never sure what I’m going
to be, from one minute to another! However, I’ve got back to my right
size: the next thing is, to get into that beautiful garden--how IS that
to be done, I wonder?’ As she said this, she came suddenly upon an open
place, with a little house in it about four feet high. ‘Whoever lives
there,’ thought Alice, ‘it’ll never do to come upon them THIS size: why,
I should frighten them out of their wits!’ So she began nibbling at the
righthand bit again, and did not venture to go near the house till she
had brought herself down to nine inches high.

CHAPTER VI. Pig and Pepper

For a minute or two she stood looking at the house, and wondering what
to do next, when suddenly a footman in livery came running out of the
wood--(she considered him to be a footman because he was in livery:
otherwise, judging by his face only, she would have called him a
fish)--and rapped loudly at the door with his knuckles. It was opened
by another footman in livery, with a round face, and large eyes like a
frog; and both footmen, Alice noticed, had powdered hair that curled all
over their heads. She felt very curious to know what it was all about,
and crept a little way out of the wood to listen.

The Fish-Footman began by producing from under his arm a great letter,
nearly as large as himself, and this he handed over to the other,
saying, in a solemn tone, ‘For the Duchess. An invitation from the Queen
to play croquet.’ The Frog-Footman repeated, in the same solemn tone,
only changing the order of the words a little, ‘From the Queen. An
invitation for the Duchess to play croquet.’

Then they both bowed low, and their curls got entangled together.

Alice laughed so much at this, that she had to run back into the
wood for fear of their hearing her; and when she next peeped out the
Fish-Footman was gone, and the other was sitting on the ground near the
door, staring stupidly up into the sky.

Alice went timidly up to the door, and knocked.

‘There’s no sort of use in knocking,’ said the Footman, ‘and that for
two reasons. First, because I’m on the same side of the door as you
are; secondly, because they’re making such a noise inside, no one could
possibly hear you.’ And certainly there was a most extraordinary noise
going on within--a constant howling and sneezing, and every now and then
a great crash, as if a dish or kettle had been broken to pieces.

‘Please, then,’ said Alice, ‘how am I to get in?’

‘There might be some sense in your knocking,’ the Footman went on
without attending to her, ‘if we had the door between us. For instance,
if you were INSIDE, you might knock, and I could let you out, you know.’
He was looking up into the sky all the time he was speaking, and this
Alice thought decidedly uncivil. ‘But perhaps he can’t help it,’ she
said to herself; ‘his eyes are so VERY nearly at the top of his head.
But at any rate he might answer questions.--How am I to get in?’ she
repeated, aloud.

‘I shall sit here,’ the Footman remarked, ‘till tomorrow--’

At this moment the door of the house opened, and a large plate came
skimming out, straight at the Footman’s head: it just grazed his nose,
and broke to pieces against one of the trees behind him.

‘--or next day, maybe,’ the Footman continued in the same tone, exactly
as if nothing had happened.

‘How am I to get in?’ asked Alice again, in a louder tone.

‘ARE you to get in at all?’ said the Footman. ‘That’s the first
question, you know.’

It was, no doubt: only Alice did not like to be told so. ‘It’s really
dreadful,’ she muttered to herself, ‘the way all the creatures argue.
It’s enough to drive one crazy!’

The Footman seemed to think this a good opportunity for repeating his
remark, with variations. ‘I shall sit here,’ he said, ‘on and off, for
days and days.’

‘But what am I to do?’ said Alice.

‘Anything you like,’ said the Footman, and began whistling.

‘Oh, there’s no use in talking to him,’ said Alice desperately: ‘he’s
perfectly idiotic!’ And she opened the door and went in.

The door led right into a large kitchen, which was full of smoke from
one end to the other: the Duchess was sitting on a three-legged stool in
the middle, nursing a baby; the cook was leaning over the fire, stirring
a large cauldron which seemed to be full of soup.

‘There’s certainly too much pepper in that soup!’ Alice said to herself,
as well as she could for sneezing.

There was certainly too much of it in the air. Even the Duchess
sneezed occasionally; and as for the baby, it was sneezing and howling
alternately without a moment’s pause. The only things in the kitchen
that did not sneeze, were the cook, and a large cat which was sitting on
the hearth and grinning from ear to ear.

‘Please would you tell me,’ said Alice, a little timidly, for she was
not quite sure whether it was good m

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It is always interesting and profitable to get the views of workmen on
their work, and on the principles which guide them in it; and in
bringing together these sayings of artists Mrs. Binyon has done a very
useful thing. A great number of opinions are presented, which, in their
points of agreement and disagreement, bring before us in the most
charming way the wide range of the artist's thought, and enable us to
realise that the work of the great ones is not founded on vague caprice
or so-called inspiration, but on sure intuitions which lead to definite
knowledge; not merely the necessary knowledge of the craftsman, which
many have possessed whose work has failed to hold the attention of the
world, but also a knowledge of nature's laws.

"The Mind of the Artist" speaks for itself, and really requires no word
of introduction. These opinions as a whole, seem to me to have a harmony
and consistency, and to announce clearly that the directing impulse must
be a desire for expression, that art is a language, and that the thing
to be said is of more importance than the manner of saying it. This
desire for expression is the driving-force of the artist; it informs,
controls, and animates his method of working; it governs the hand and
eye. That figures should give the impression of life and spontaneity,
that the sun should shine, trees move in the wind, and nature be felt
and represented as a living thing--this is the firm ground in art; and
in those who have this feeling every effort will, consciously or
unconsciously, lead towards its realisation. It should be the
starting-point of the student. It does not absolve him from the need of
taking the utmost pains, from making the most searching study of his
model; rather it impels him, in the examination of whatever he feels
called on to represent, to look for the vital and necessary things: and
the artist will carry his work to the utmost degree of completion
possible to him, in the desire to get at the heart of his theme.

"Truth to nature," like a wide mantle, shelters us all, and covers not
only the outward aspect of things, but their inner meanings and the
emotions felt through them, differently by each individual. And the
inevitable differences of point of view, which one encounters in this
book, are but small matters compared with the agreement one finds on
essential things; I may instance particularly the stress laid on the
observation of nature. Whether the artist chooses to depict the present,
the past, or to express an abstract ideal, he must, if his work is to
live, found it on his own experience of nature. But he must at every
step also refer to the past. He must find the road that the great ones
have made, remembering that the problems they solved were the same that
he has before him, and that now, no less than in Dürer's time, "art is
hidden in nature: it is for the artist to drag her forth."



This little volume, it need hardly be said, does not aim at being
complete, in the sense of representing all the artists who have written
on art. It is hoped, however, that the sayings chosen will be found
fairly representative of what painters and sculptors, typical of their
race and time, have said about the various aspects of their work.
quotations whose names may inadvertently have been omitted.



An able painter by his power of penetration into the mysteries of his
art is usually an able critic.

_Alfred Stevens._[1]

[Footnote 1: The Belgian painter, not the English sculptor.]


Art, like love, excludes all competition, and absorbs the man.



A good painter has two chief objects to paint, namely, man, and the
intention of his soul. The first is easy, the second difficult, because
he has to represent it through the attitudes and movements of the limbs.
This should be learnt from the dumb, who do it better than any other
sort of person.

_Leonardo da Vinci._


In my judgment that is the excellent and divine painting which is most
like and best imitates any work of immortal God, whether a human figure,
or a wild and strange animal, or a simple and easy fish, or a bird of
the air, or any other creature. And this neither with gold nor silver
nor with very fine tints, but drawn only with a pen or a pencil, or with
a brush in black and white. To imitate perfectly each of these things in
its species seems to me to be nothing else but to desire to imitate the
work of immortal God. And yet that thing will be the most noble and
perfect in the works of painting which in itself reproduced the thing
which is most noble and of the greatest delicacy and knowledge.

_Michael Angelo._


The art of painting is employed in the service of the Church, and by it
the sufferings of Christ and many other profitable examples are set
forth. It preserveth also the likeness of men after their death. By aid
of delineations the measurements of the earth, the waters, and the stars
are better to be understood; and many things likewise become known unto
men by them. The attainment of true, artistic, and lovely execution in
painting is hard to come unto; it needeth long time and a hand practised
to almost perfect freedom. Whosoever, therefore, falleth short of this
cannot attain a right understanding (in matters of painting) for it
cometh alone by inspiration from above. The art of painting cannot be
truly judged save by such as are themselves good painters; from others
verily is it hidden even as a strange tongue. It were a noble occupation
for ingenious youths without employment to exercise themselves in this




Give thou to God no more than he asketh of thee; but to man also, that
which is man's. In all that thou doest, work from thine own heart,
simply; for his heart is as thine, when thine is wise and humble; and he
shall have understanding of thee. One drop of rain is as another, and
the sun's prism in all: and shalt not thou be as he, whose lives are the
breath of One? Only by making thyself his equal can he learn to hold
communion with thee, and at last own thee above him. Not till thou lean
over the water shalt thou see thine image therein: stand erect, and it
shall slope from thy feet and be lost. Know that there is but this means
whereby thou mayst serve God with man.... Set thine hand and thy soul to
serve man with God....

Chiaro, servant of God, take now thine Art unto thee, and paint me thus,
as I am, to know me; weak, as I am, and in the weeds of this time; only
with eyes which seek out labour, and with a faith, not learned, yet
jealous of prayer. Do this; so shall thy soul stand before thee always,
and perplex thee no more.



I know that this world is a world of imagination and vision. I see
everything I paint in this world, but everybody does not see alike. To
the eyes of a miser a guinea is far more beautiful than the sun, and a
bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a
vine filled with grapes. The tree which moves some to tears of joy, is
in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way.... To
the eye of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.



Painting is nothing but the art of expressing the invisible by the



The picture I speak of is a small one, and represents merely the figure
of a woman, clad to the hands and feet with a green and grey raiment,
chaste and early in its fashion, but exceedingly simple.

She is standing: her hands are held together lightly, and her eyes set
earnestly open.

The face and hands in this picture, though wrought with great delicacy,
have the appearance of being painted at once, in a single sitting: the
drapery is unfinished. As soon as I saw the figure, it drew an awe upon
me, like water in shadow. I shall not attempt to describe it more than I
have already done, for the most absorbing wonder of it was its
literality. You knew that figure, when painted, had been seen; yet it
was not a thing to be seen of men.



A great work of high art is a noble theme treated in a noble manner,
awakening our best and most reverential feelings, touching our
generosity, our tenderness, or disposing us generally to seriousness--a
subject of human endurance, of human justice, of human aspiration and
hope, depicted worthily by the special means art has in her power to
use. In Michael Angelo and Raphael we have high art; in Titian we have
high art; in Turner we have high art. The first appeals to our highest
sensibilities by majesty of line, the second mainly by dignified
serenity, the third by splendour especially, the Englishman by a
combination of these qualities, but, lacking the directly human appeal
to human sympathies, his work must be put on a lower level.




Rhythmic vitality, anatomical structure, conformity with nature,
suitability of colouring, artistic composition, and finish.

_Hsieh Ho_ (Chinese, sixth century A.D.).


In painting, the most troublesome subject is man, then landscape, then
dogs and horses, then buildings, which being fixed objects are easy to
manage up to a certain point, but of which it is difficult to get
finished pictures.

_Ku K'ai-Chih_ (Chinese, fourth century A.D.).


First it is necessary to know what this sort of imitation is, and to
define it.


It is an imitation made with lines and with colours on some plane
surface of everything that can be seen under the sun. Its object is to
give delight.

Principles which may be learnt by all men of reason:

No visible object can be presented without light.

No visible object can be presented without a transparent medium.

No visible object can be presented without a boundary.

No visible object can be presented without colour.

No visible object can be presented without distance.

No visible object can be presented without an instrument.

What follows cannot be learnt, it is born with the painter.

_Nicholas Poussin._


"In painting, and above all in portraiture," says Madame Cavé in her
charming essay, "it is soul which speaks to soul: and not knowledge
which speaks to knowledge."

This observation, more profound perhaps than she herself was aware, is
an arraignment of pedantry in execution. A hundred times I have said to
myself, "Painting, speaking materially, is nothing but a bridge between
the soul of the artist and that of the spectator."



The art of painting is perhaps the most indiscreet of all the arts. It
is an unimpeachable witness to the moral state of the painter at the
moment when he held the brush. The thing he willed to do he did: that
which he only half-heartedly willed can be seen in his indecisions: that
which he did not will at all is not to be found in his work, whatever
he may say and whatever others may say. A distraction, a moment's
forgetfulness, a glow of warmer feeling, a diminution of insight,
relaxation of attention, a dulling of his love for what he is studying,
the tediousness of painting and the passion for painting, all the shades
of his nature, even to the lapses of his sensibility, all this is told
by the painter's work as clearly as if he were telling it in our ears.



The first merit of a picture is to feast the eyes. I don't mean that
the intellectual element is not also necessary; it is as with fine
poetry ... all the intellect in the world won't prevent it from being bad
if it grates harshly on the ear. We talk of having an ear; so it is not
every eye which is fitted to enjoy the subtleties of painting. Many people
have a false eye or an indolent eye; they can see objects literally, but
the exquisite is beyond them.



I would like my work to appeal to the eye and mind as music appeals to
the ear and heart. I have something that I want to say which may be
useful to and touch mankind, and to say it as well as I can in form and
colour is my endeavour; more than that I cannot do.



Give me leave to say, that to paint a very beautiful Woman, I ought to
have before me those that are the most so; with this Condition, that
your Lordship might assist me in choosing out the greatest Beauty. But
as I am under a double Want, both of good Judgment and fine Women, I am
forced to go by a certain Idea which I form in my own Mind. Whether this
hath any Excellence of Art in it, I cannot determine; but 'tis what I
labour at.



I mean by a picture a beautiful romantic dream of something that never
was, never will be--in a light better than any light that ever shone--in
a land no one can define or remember, only desire--and the forms
divinely beautiful--and then I wake up with the waking of Brynhild.



I love everything for what it is.



I look for my tones; it is quite simple.



Many people imagine that art is capable of an indefinite progress toward
perfection. This is a mistake. There is a limit where it must stop. And
for this reason: the conditions which govern the imitation of nature are
fixed. The object is to produce a picture, that is to say, a plane
surface either with or without a border, and on this surface the
representation of something produced by the sole means of different
colouring substances. Since it is obliged to remain thus circumscribed,
it is easy to foresee the limit of perfectibility. When the picture has
succeeded in satisfying our minds in all the conditions imposed on its
production, it will cease to interest. Such is the fate of everything
which has attained its end: we grow indifferent and abandon it.

In the conditions governing the production of the picture, every means
has been explored. The most difficult problem was that of complete
relief, depth of perspective carried to the point of perfect illusion.
The stereoscope has solved the problem. It only remains now to combine
this perfection with the other kinds of perfection already found. Let no
man imagine that art, bound by these conditions of the plane surface,
can ever free itself from the circle which limits it. It is easy to
foresee that its last word will soon have been said.



In his admirable book on Shakespeare, Victor Hugo has shown that there
is no progress in the arts. Nature, their model, is unchangeable; and
the arts cannot transcend her limits. They attain completeness of
expression in the work of a master, on whom other masters are formed.
Then comes development, and then a lapse, an interval. By-and-by, art is
born anew under the stimulus of a man who catches from Light a new



The painter ... does not set his palette with the real hues of the
rainbow. When he pictures to us the character of a hero, or paints some
scene of nature, he does not present us with a living man in the
character of the hero (for this is the business of dramatic art); nor
does he make up his landscape of real rocks, or trees, or water, but
with fictitious resemblances of these. Yet in these figments he is as
truly bound by the laws of the appearance of those realities, of which
they are the copy (and very much to the same extent), as the musician is
by the natural laws and properties of sound.

In short, the whole object of physical science, or, in other words, the
whole of sensible nature, is included in the domain of imitative art,
either as the subjects, the objects, or the materials of imitation:
every fine art, therefore, has certain physical sciences collateral to
it, on the abstractions of which it builds, more or less, according to
its nature and purpose. But the drift of the art itself is something
totally distinct from that of the physical science to which it is
related; and it is not more absurd to say that physiology or anatomy
constitute the science of poetry or dramatic art than that acoustics and
harmonics are the science of music; optics, of painting; mechanics, or
other branches of physical science, that of architecture.



After all I have seen of Art, with nothing am I more impressed than with
the necessity, in all great work, for suppressing the workman and all
the mean dexterity of practice. The result itself, in quiet dignity, is
the only worthy attainment. Wood-engraving, of all things most ready for
dexterity, reads us a good lesson.

_Edward Calvert._


Shall Painting be confined to the sordid drudgery of facsimile
representations of merely mortal and perishing substances, and not be as
poetry and music are, elevated into its own proper sphere of invention
and visionary conception? No, it shall not be so! Painting, as well as
poetry and music, exists and exults in immortal thoughts.



If any man has any poetry in him, he should paint, for it has all been
said and written, and they have scarcely begun to paint it.

_William Morris._


Long live conscience and simplicity! there lies the only way to the true
and the sublime.



All the young men of this school of Ingres have something of the pedant
about them; they seem to think that merely to be enrolled among the
party of serious painters is a merit in itself. Serious painting is
their party cry. I told Demay that a crowd of people of talent had done
nothing worth speaking of because of all these factious dogmas that they
get enslaved to, or that the prejudice of the moment imposes on them.
So, for example, with this famous cry of _Beauty_, which is, according
to the world's opinion, the goal of the arts: if it is the one and only
goal, what becomes of men who, like Rubens, Rembrandt, and northern
natures in general, prefer other qualities? Demand of Puget purity,
beauty in fact, and it is good-bye to his verve. Speaking generally, men
of the North are less attracted to beauty; the Italian prefers
decoration; this applies to music too.



At the present time the task is easier. It is a question of allowing to
everything its own interest, of putting man back in his place, and, if
need be, of doing without him. The moment has come to think less, to aim
less high, to look more closely, to observe better, to paint as well but
differently. This is the painting of the crowd, of the townsman, the
workman, the parvenu, the man in the street; done wholly for him, done
from him. It is a question of becoming humble before humble things,
small before small things, subtle before subtle things; of gathering
them all together without omission and without disdain, of entering
familiarly into their intimacy, affectionately into their way of being;
it is a matter of sympathy, attentive curiosity, patience. Henceforth,
genius will consist in having no prejudice, in not being conscious of
one's knowledge, in allowing oneself to be taken by surprise by one's
model, in asking only from him how he shall be represented. As for
beautifying--never! ennobling--never! correcting--never! These are lies
and useless trouble. Is there not in every artist worthy of the name a
something which sees to this naturally and without effort?



I send you also some etchings and a "Woman drinking Absinthe," drawn
this winter from life in Paris. It is a girl called Marie Joliet, who
used every evening to come drunk to the Bal Bullier, and who had a look
in her eyes of death galvanised into life. I made her sit to me and
tried to render what I saw. This is my principle in the task I have set
before me. I am determined to make no book-illustration but it shall be
a means of contributing towards an _effect of life_ and nothing more. A
patch of colour and it is sufficient; we must leave these childish
thoughts behind us. Life! we must try to render life, and it is hard

_Félicien Rops._


So this damned Realism made an instinctive appeal to my painter's
vanity, and deriding all traditions, cried aloud with the confidence of
ignorance, "Back to Nature!" _Nature!_ ah, my friend, what mischief that
cry has done me. Where was there an apostle apter to receive this
doctrine, so convenient for me as it was--beautiful Nature, and all that
humbug? It is nothing but that. Well, the world was watching; and it saw
"The Piano," the "White Girl," the Thames subjects, the marines ...
canvases produced by a fellow who was puffed up with the conceit of
being able to prove to his comrades his magnificent gifts, qualities
which only needed a rigorous training to make their possessor to-day a
master, instead of a dissipated student. Ah, why was I not a pupil of
Ingres? I don't say that out of enthusiasm for his pictures; I have
only a moderate liking for them. Several of his canvases, which we have
looked at together, seem to me of a very questionable style, not at all
Greek, as people want to call it, but French, and viciously French. I
feel that we must go far beyond this, that there are far more beautiful
things to be done. Yet, I repeat, why was I not his pupil? What a master
he would have been for us! How salutary would have been his guidance!



It has been said, "Who will deliver us from the Greeks and Romans?" Soon
we shall be saying, "Who will deliver us from realism?" Nothing is so
tiring as a constant close imitation of life. One comes back inevitably
to imaginative work. Homer's fictions will always be preferred to
historical truth, Rubens' fabulous magnificence to all the frippery
copied exactly from the lay figure.

The painter who is a machine will pass away, the painter who is a mind
will remain; the spirit for ever triumphs over matter.



A little book by the Russian soldier and artist Verestchagin is
interesting to the student. As a realist, he condemns all art founded on
the principles of picture-makers, and depends only on exact imitation,
and the conditions of accident. In our seeking after truth, and
endeavour never to be unreal or affected, it must not be forgotten that
this endeavour after truth is to be made with materials altogether
unreal and different from the object to be imitated. Nothing in a
picture is real; indeed, the painter's art is the most unreal thing in
the whole range of our efforts. Though art must be founded on nature,
art and nature are distinctly different things; in a certain class of
subjects probability may, indeed must, be violated, provided the
violation is not disagreeable.

Everything in a work of art must accord. Though gloom and desolation
would deepen the effects of a distressing incident in real life, such
accompaniments are not necessary to make us feel a thrill of horror or
awaken the keenest sympathy. The most awful circumstances may take place
under the purest sky, and amid the most lovely surroundings. The human
sensibilities will be too much affected by the human sympathies to heed
the external conditions; but to awaken in a picture similar impressions,
certain artificial aids must be used; the general aspect must be
troubled or sad.



The remarks made on my "Man with the Hoe" seem always very strange to
me, and I am obliged to you for repeating them to me, for once more it
sets me marvelling at the ideas they impute to me. In what club have my
critics ever encountered me? A Socialist, they cry! Well, really, I
might answer the charge as the commissary from Auvergne did when he
wrote home: "They have been saying that I am a Saint-Simonian: it's not
true; I don't know what a Saint-Simonian is."

Can't they then simply admit such ideas as may occur to the mind in
looking at a man doomed to gain his living by the sweat of his brow?
There are some who tell me that I deny the charm of the country. I find
in the country much more than charm; I find infinite splendour; I look
on everything as they do on the little powers of which Christ said, "I
say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of
these." I see and note the aureole on the dandelion, and the sun which,
far away, beyond the stretching country, spends his glory on the clouds.
I see just as much in the flat plain; in the horses steaming as they
toil; and then in a stony place I see a man quite exhausted, whose gasps
have been audible since morning, who tries to draw himself up for a
moment to take breath. The drama is surrounded by splendours. This is no
invention of mine; and it is long since that expression "the cry of the
earth" was discovered. My critics are men of learning and taste, I
imagine; but I cannot put myself into their skins, and since I have
never in my life seen anything but the fields, I try to tell, as best I
can, what I have seen and experienced as I worked.



One of the hardest things in the world is to determine how much realism
is allowable in any particular picture. It is of so many different kinds
too. For instance, I want a shield or a crown or a pair of wings or what
not, to look real. Well, I make what I want, or a model of it, and then
make studies from that. So that what eventually gets on to the canvas is
a reflection of a reflection of something purely imaginary. The three
Magi never had crowns like that, supposing them to have had crowns at
all, but the effect is realistic because the crown from which the
studies were made is real--and so on.



Do you understand now that all my intelligence rejects is in immediate
relation to all my heart aspires to, and that the spectacle of human
blunders and human vileness is an equally powerful motive for action in
the exercise of art with springs of tranquil contemplation that I have
felt within me since I was a child?

We have come far, I hope, from the shadowy foliage crowning the humble
roof of the primitive human dwelling, far from the warbling of the birds
that brood among the branches; far from all these tender things. We left
them, notwithstanding, the other day; and even if we had stayed, do you
think we should have continued to enjoy them?

Believe me, everything comes from the universal; we must embrace to give

Whatever interest one may get from material offered by a period,
religion, manners, history, &c., in representing a particular type, it
will avail nothing without an understanding of the universal agency of
atmosphere, that modelling of infinity; it shall come to pass that a
stone fence, about which the air seems to move and breathe, shall be, in
a museum, a grander conception than any ambitious work which lacks this
universal element and expresses only something personal. All the
personal and particular majesty of a portrait of Louis XIV. by Lebrun or
by Rigaud shall be as nothing beside the simplicity of a tuft of grass
shining clear in a gleam of sunlight.



Of all the things that is likely to give us back popular art in England,
the cleaning of England is the first and the most necessary. Those who
are to make beautiful things must live in a beautiful place.

_William Morris._


On the whole, one must suppose that beauty is a marketable quality, and
that the better the work is all round, both as a work of art and in its
technique, the more likely it is to find favour with the public.

_William Morris._



With the language of beauty in full resonance around him, art was not
difficult to the painter and sculptor of old as it is with us. No
anatomical study will do for the modern artist what habitual
acquaintance with the human form did for Pheidias. No Venetian painted a
horse with the truth and certainty of Horace Vernet, who knew the animal
by heart, rode him, groomed him, and had him constantly in his studio.
Every artist must paint what he sees, rather every artist must paint
what is around him, can produce no great work unless he impress the
character of his age upon his production, not necessarily taking his
subjects from it (better if he can), but taking the impress of its life.
The great art of Pheidias did not deal with the history of his time, but
compressed into its form the qualities of the most intellectual period
the world has seen; nor were any materials to be invented or borrowed,
he had them all at hand, expressing himself in a natural language
derived from familiarity with natural objects. Beauty is the language of
art, and with this at command thoughts as they arise take visible form
perhaps almost without effort, or (certain technical difficulties
overcome) with little more than is required in writing--this not
absolving the artist or the poet from earnest thought and severe study.
In many respects the present age is far more advanced than preceding
times, incomparably more full of knowledge; but the language of great
art is dead, for general, noble beauty, pervades life no more. The
artist is obliged to return to extinct forms of speech if he would speak
as the great ones have spoken. Nothing beautiful is seen around him,
excepting always sky and trees and sea; these, as he is mainly a dweller
in cities, he cannot live enough with. But it is, perhaps, in the real
estimation in which art is held that we shall find the reason for
failure. If the world cared for her language, art could not help
speaking, the utterance being, perhaps, simply beautiful. But even in
these days when we have ceased to prize this, if it were demanded that
art should take its place beside the great intellectual outflow of the
time, the response would hardly be doubtful.



You refer to the use and purpose of the liberal arts; not a city in
Europe, at present, is fulfilling them. And if any one in Melbourne were
now to produce, even on a small scale, a picture fulfilling the
conditions of liberal art, then Melbourne might take the lead of
civilised cities. But it is not the ambition of leading, nor the
restlessness of a competitive spirit that may accomplish this.

A good poem, whether painted or written, whether large or small, should
represent _beautiful life_. Are you able to name any one who has
conceived this beauty of the life of men? I will not complicate the
requirements of painted poesy by speaking of the music of colour with
which it should be clothed; black and white were enough. The very
attempt to express the confession of love were fulfilment sufficient.

_Edward Calvert._


So art has become foolishly confounded with education, that all should
be equally qualified. Whereas, while polish, refinement, culture, and
breeding are in no way arguments for artistic result, it is also no
reproach to the most finished scholar or greatest gentleman in the land
that he be absolutely without eye for painting or ear for music--that in
his heart he prefer the popular print to the scratch of Rembrandt's
needle, or the songs of the hall to Beethoven's "C Minor Symphony."

Let him have but the wit to say so, and not let him feel the admission a
proof of inferiority.

Art happens--no hovel is safe from it, no prince may depend on it, the
vastest intelligence cannot bring it about, and puny efforts to make it
universal end in quaint comedy and coarse farce.

This is as it should be; and all attempts to make it otherwise are due
to the eloquence of the ignorant, the zeal of the conceited.



Art will not grow and flourish, nay it will not long exist, unless it be
shared by all people; and for my part I don't wish that it should.

_William Morris._


No, art is not an element of corruption. The man who drinks from a
wooden bowl is nearer to the brute that drinks from a stone trough than
he who quenches his thirst from a crystal cup; and the artist who gave
the glass its shape, impressed as in a mould of bronze by the simple
means of a second's breath and yet more cheaply than the fashioning of
the wooden bowl, has done more to ennoble and improve his neighbour than
any inventor of a system: in his work he gives him the use and the
enjoyment of things for which orators can only create a craving.

_Jules Klagmann._


The improviser never makes fine poetry.



Agatharcus said to Zeuxis--For my part I soon despatch my Pictures. You
are a happy Man, replies Zeuxis; I do mine with Time and application,
because I would have them good, and I am satisfyed, that what is soon
done, will soon be forgotten.


Art is not a pleasure trip. It is a battle, a mill that grinds.




Raphael and Michael Angelo owe that immortal fame of theirs, which has
gone out into the ends of the earth, to the passion of curiosity and
delight with which this noble subject inspired them.

No man who has not studied the sciences can make a work that shall bring
him great praise, save from ignorant and easily satisfied persons.

_Jean Goujon._


He that would be a painter must have a natural turn thereto.

Love and delight therein are better teachers of the Art of Painting than
compulsion is.

If a man is to become a really good painter he must be educated thereto
from his very earliest years. He must copy much of the work of good
artists until he attain a free hand.

To paint is to be able to portray upon a flat surface any visible thing
whatsoever that may be chosen.

It is well for any one first to learn how to divide and reduce to
measure the human figure, before learning anything else.



The painter requires such knowledge of mathematics as belongs to
painting, and severance from companions who are not in sympathy with
his studies, and his brain should have the power of adapting itself to
the tenor of the objects which present themselves before it, and he
should be freed from all other cares. And if, while considering and
examining one subject, a second should intervene, as happens when an
object occupies the mind, he ought to decide which of these subjects
presents greater difficulties in investigation, and follow that until it
becomes entirely clear, and afterwards pursue the investigation of the
other. And above all he should keep his mind as clear as the surface of
a mirror, which becomes changed to as many different colours as are
those of the objects within it, and his companions should resemble him
in a taste for these studies; and if he fail to find any such, he should
accustom himself to be alone in his investigations, for in the end he
will find no more profitable companionship.



If you are fond of copying other Men's Work, as being Originals more
constant to be seen and imitated than any living Object, I should rather
advise to copy anything moderately carved than excellently painted: For
by imitating a Picture, we only habituate our Hand to take a mere
Resemblance; whereas by drawing from a carved Original, we learn not
only to take this Resemblance, but also the true Lights.

_Leon Battista Alberti._


There are a thousand proofs that the old masters and all good painters
from Raphael onwards executed their frescoes from cartoons and their
little easel pictures from more or less finished drawings.... Your model
gives you exactly what you want to paint neither in character of drawing
nor in colour, but at the same time you cannot do without him.

To paint Achilles the most goodly of men, though you had for your model
the most abject you must depend on him, and can depend on him for the
structure of the human body, for its movement and poise. The proof of
this is that Raphael used his pupils in his studies for the movements of
the figures in his divine pictures.

Whatever your talents may be, if you paint not from your studies after
nature, but directly from the model, you will always be a slave and your
pictures will show it. Raphael, on the contrary, had so completely
mastered nature and had his mind so full of her, that instead of being
ruled by her, one might say that she obeyed him and came at his command
to place herself in his pictures.



No one can ever design till he has learned the language of Art by making
many finished copies both of Nature, Art, and of whatever comes in his
way, from earliest childhood. The difference between a bad artist and a
good is, that the bad artist _seems_ to copy a great deal, the good one
_does_ copy a great deal.



If you deprive an artist of all he has borrowed from the experience of
others the originality left will be but a twentieth part of him.

Originality by itself cannot constitute a remarkable talent.



I am convinced that to reach the highest degree of perfection as a
painter, it is necessary, not only to be acquainted with the ancient
statues, but we must be inwardly imbued with a thorough comprehension of



First of all copy drawings by a good master made by his art from nature
and not as exercises; then from a relief, keeping by you a drawing done
from the same relief; then from a good model, and of this you ought to
make a practice.



I wish to do something purely Greek; I feed my eyes on the antique
statues, I mean even to imitate some of them. The Greeks never
scrupled to reproduce a composition, a movement, a type already received
and used. They put all their care, all their art, into perfecting an
idea which had been used by others before them. They thought, and
thought rightly, that in the arts the manner of rendering and expressing
an idea matters more than the idea itself.

[Illustration: _Rubens_ THE CASTLE IN THE PARK _Hanfstaengl_]

To give a clothing, a perfect form to one's thought is to be an
artist ... it is the only way.

Well, I have done my best and I hope to attain my object.

_L. David._


Who amongst us, if he were to attempt in reality to represent a
celebrated work of Apelles or Timanthus, such as Pliny describes them,
but would produce something absurd, or perfectly foreign to the
exalted greatness of the ancients? Each one, relying on his own powers,
would produce some wretched, crude, unfermented stuff, instead of an
exquisite old wine, uniting strength and mellowness, outraging those
great spirits whom I endeavour reverently to follow, satisfied, however,
to honour the marks of their footsteps, instead of supposing--I
acknowledge it candidly--that I can ever attain to their eminence even
in mere conception.



[You have stated that you thought these Marbles had great truth and
imitation of nature; do you consider that that adds to their value?]

It considerably adds to it, because I consider them as united with grand
form. There is in them that variety that is produced in the human form,
by the alternate action and repose of the muscles, that strike one
particularly. I have myself a very good collection of the best casts
from the antique statues, and was struck with that difference in them,
in returning from the Elgin Marbles to my own house.



It is absolutely necessary that at some moment or other in one's career
one should reach the point, not of despising all that is outside
oneself, but of abandoning for ever that almost blind fanaticism which
impels us all to imitate the great masters, and to swear only by their
works. It is necessary to say to oneself, That is good for Rubens, this
for Raphael, Titian, or Michael Angelo. What they have done is their own
business; I am not bound to this master or to that. It is necessary to
learn to make what one has found one's own: a pinch of personal
inspiration is worth everything else.



From Phidias to Clodion, from Correggio to Fragonard, from the greatest
to the least of those who have deserved the name of master, Art has been
pursuing the Chimæra, attempting to reconcile two opposites--the most
slavish fidelity to nature and the most absolute independence of her, an
independence so absolute that the work of art may claim to be a
creation. This is the persistent problem offered by the unstable
character of the point of view at which it is approached; the whole
mystery of art. The subject, as presented in nature, cannot keep the
place which art with its transforming instinct would assign it; and
therefore a single formula can never be adequate to the totality of
nature's manifestations; the draughtsman will talk of its form, a
colourist of its effect.

Considered in this light, nature is nothing more than one of the
instruments of the arts, in the same category with their principles,
elements, formulas, conventions, tools.



One must copy nature always, and learn how to see her rightly. It is for
this that one should study the antique and the great masters, not in
order to imitate them, but, I repeat, to learn to see.

Do you think I send you to the Louvre to find there what people call
"le beau idéal," something which is outside nature?

It was stupidity like this which in bad periods led to the decadence of
art. I send you there to learn from the antique how to see nature,
because they themselves are nature: therefore one must live among them,
and absorb them.

It is the same in the painting of the great ages. Do you think, when I
tell you to copy, that I want to make copyists of you? No, I want you to
take the sap from the plant.



The strict copying of nature is not art; it is only a means to an end,
an element in the whole. Art, while presenting nature, must manifest
itself in its own essence. It is not a mirror, uncritically reflecting
every image; it is the artist who must mould the image to his will; else
his work is not performed.



Nature contains the elements, in colour and form, of all pictures, as
the keyboard contains the notes of all music. But the artist is born to
pick, and choose, and group with science, these elements, that the
result may be beautiful; as the musician gathers his notes, and forms
his chords, until he bring forth from chaos glorious harmony.

To say to the painter that Nature is to be taken as she is, is to say to
the player that he may sit on the piano.



When you have thoroughly learnt perspective, and have fixed in your
memory all the various parts and forms of things, you should often amuse
yourself when you take a walk for recreation, in watching and taking
note of the attitudes and actions of men as they talk and dispute, or
laugh or come to blows one with another, both their actions and those of
the bystanders who either intervene or stand looking on at these things;
noting these down with rapid strokes in this way, in a little
pocket-book, which you ought always to carry with you. And let this be
of tinted paper, so that it may not be rubbed out; but you should change
the old for a new one, for these are not things to be rubbed out but
preserved with the utmost diligence; for there is such an infinite
number of forms and actions of things that the memory is incapable of
preserving them, and therefore you should keep those (sketches) as your
patterns and teachers.



Two men stop to talk together: I pencil them in detail, beginning at the
head, for example; they separate and I have nothing but a fragment on my
paper. Some children are sitting on the steps of a church; I begin,
their mother calls them; my sketch-book becomes filled with tips of
noses and locks of hair. I make a resolution not to go home without a
whole figure, and I try for the first time to draw in mass, to draw
rapidly, which is the only possible way of drawing, and which is to-day
one of the chief faculties of our moderns. I put myself to draw in the
winking of an eye the first group that presents itself; if it moves on I
have at least put down the general character; if it stops, I can go on
to the details. I do many such exercises, and have even gone so far as
to cover the lining of my hat with lightning sketches of opera-ballets
and opera scenery.



There is my model (the artist pointed to the crowd which thronged a
market-place); art lives by studying nature, not by imitating any



When you have clearly and distinctly learned in what good colouring
consists, you cannot do better than have recourse to nature herself, who
is always at hand, and in comparison of whose true splendour the best
coloured pictures are but faint and feeble.

However, as the practice of copying is not entirely to be excluded,
since the mechanical practice of painting is learned in some measure by
it, let those choice parts only be selected which have recommended the
work to notice. If its excellence consists in its general effect, it
would be proper to make slight sketches of the machinery and general
management of the picture. Those sketches should be kept always by you
for the regulation of your style. Instead of copying the touches of
those great masters, copy only their conceptions. Instead of treading in
their footsteps, endeavour only to keep the same road. Labour to invent
on their general principles and way of thinking. Possess yourself with
their spirit. Consider with yourself how a Michael Angelo or a Raffaelle
would have treated this subject; and work yourself into a belief that
your picture is to be seen and criticised by them when completed. Even
an attempt of this kind will rouse your powers.



What do you mean--that you have been working, but without success? Do
you mean that you cannot get the price you ask? then sell it for less,
till, by practice, you shall improve, and command a better price. Or do
you only mean that you are not satisfied with your work? nobody ever was
that I know, except J---- W----. Peg away! While you're at work you must
be improving. Do something from Nature indoors when you cannot get out,
to keep your hand and eye in practice. Don't get into the way of working
too much at your drawings away from Nature.

_Charles Keene._


The purpose of art is no other than to delineate the form and express
the spirit of an object, animate or inanimate, as the case may be. The
use of art is to produce copies of things; and if an artist has a
thorough knowledge of the properties of the thing he paints he can
assuredly make a name. Just as a writer of profound erudition and good
memory has ever at his command an inexhaustible supply of words and
phrases which he freely makes use of in writing, so can a painter, who
has accumulated experience by drawing from nature, paint any object
without a conscious effort. The artist who confines himself to copying
from models painted by his master, fares no better than a literatus who
cannot rise above transcribing others' compositions. An ancient critic
says that writing ends in describing a thing or narrating an event, but
painting can represent the actual forms of things. Without the true
depiction of objects, there can be no pictorial art. Nobility of
sentiment and such-like only come after a successful delineation of the
external form of an object. The beginner in art should direct his
efforts more to the latter than to the former. He should learn to paint
according to his own ideas, not to slavishly copy the models of old
artists. Plagiarism is a crime to be avoided not only by men of letters
but also by painters.

_Okio_ (Japanese, eighteenth century).


I remember Dürer the painter, who used to say that, as a young man, he
loved extraordinary and unusual designs in painting, but that in his old
age he took to examining Nature, and strove to imitate her as closely as
he possibly could; but he found by experience how hard it is not to
deviate from her.

_Dürer_ (quoted by Melancthon).


I have heard painters acknowledge, though in that acknowledgment no
degradation of themselves was intended, that they could do better
without Nature than with her; or, as they expressed it themselves, _that
it only put them out_. A painter with such ideas and such habits, is
indeed in a most hopeless state. _The art of seeing Nature_, or, in
other words, the art of using models, is in reality the great object,
the point to which all our studies are directed. As for the power of
being able to do tolerably well, from practice alone, let it be valued
according to its worth. But I do not see in what manner it can be
sufficient for the production of correct, excellent, and finished
pictures. Works deserving this character never were produced, nor ever
will arise, from memory alone; and I will venture to say, that an artist
who brings to his work a mind tolerably furnished with the general
principles of art, and a taste formed upon the works of good artists,
in short, who knows in what excellence consists, will, with the
assistance of models, which we will likewise suppose he has learnt the
art of using, be an over-match for the greatest painter that ever lived
who should be debarred such advantages.



Do not imitate; do not follow others--you will always be behind them.



Never paint a subject unless it calls insistently and distinctly upon
your eye and heart.



I should never paint anything that was not the result of an impression
received from the aspect of nature, whether in landscape or figures.



You must interpret nature with entire simplicity and according to your
personal sentiment, altogether detaching yourself from what you know of
the old masters or of contemporaries. Only in this way will you do work
of real feeling. I know gifted people who will not avail themselves of
their power. Such people seem to me like a billiard-player whose
adversary is constantly giving him good openings, but who makes no use
of them. I think that if I were playing with that man, I would say,
"Very well, then, I will give you no more." If I were to sit in
judgment, I would punish the miserable creatures who squander their
natural gifts, and I would turn their hearts to work.



Sensation is rude and false unless _informed_ by intellection; and,
however delicate be the touch in obedience to remote gradation, yet
knowledge of the genus necessarily invests the representation with
perspicuous and truthful relations that ignorance could not possibly
have observed. Hence--Paint what you see; but know what you see.

_Only paint what you love in what you see_, and discipline yourself to
separate this essence from its dumb accompaniments, so that the accents
fall upon the points of passion. Let that which must be expressed of the
rest be merged, syncopated in the largeness of the _modulation_.

Boldly dare to omit the impertinent or irrelevant, and let the features
of the passion be modulated in _fewness_.

Not a touch without its meaning or its significance throughout the
courses. There is no disgrace, but on the contrary, honour, be the
touches never so few, if studied. By determined refusal to touch
vaguely, and with persistence in the slowness of thoughtful work, a
noble style may be at length obtained: swift as sublime.

_Edward Calvert._


I started on Monday, 25th August, for Honfleur, where I stayed till 5th
September in the most blessed condition of spirit.

There I worked with my head, with my eyes, harvesting effects in the
mind; then, going over everything again, I called up within myself the
figures desired for the completion of the composition. Once I had evoked
all this world from nothingness, and envisaged it, and had found where
each thing was to be, I had to return to Paris to ask for nature's
authorisation and make sure of my advance. Nature justified me, and, as
she is kind to those who approach her reverentially, gave me of her
grace without stint.

_Puvis de Chavannes._


I wish to tell you, Francisco d'Ollanda, of an exceedingly great beauty
in this science of ours, of which perhaps you are aware, and which, I
think, you consider the highest, namely, that what one has most to work
and struggle for in painting, is to do the work with a great amount of
labour and study in such a way that it may afterwards appear, however
much it was laboured, to have been done almost quickly and almost
without any labour, and very easily, although it was not. And this is a
very excellent beauty. At times some things are done with little work in
the way I have said, but very seldom; most are done by dint of hard work
and appear to have been done very quickly.

_Michael Angelo._



Every successful work is rapidly performed; quickness is only execrable
when it is empty--small. No one condemns the swiftness of an eagle.

To him who knows not the burden of process--the attributes that are to
claim attention with every epocha of the performance--all attempt at
swiftness will be mere pretence.

_Edward Calvert._


I am planning a large picture, and I regard all you say, but I do not
enter into that notion of varying one's plans to keep the public in good
humour. Change of weather and effect will always afford variety. What if
Van der Velde had quitted his sea-pieces, or Ruysdael his waterfalls, or
Hobbema his native woods? The world would have lost so many features in
art. I know that you wish for no material alteration, but I have to
combat from high quarters--even from Lawrence--the plausible argument
that _subject_ makes the picture. Perhaps you think an evening effect
might do; perhaps it might start me some new admirers, but I should lose
many old ones. I imagine myself driving a nail; I have driven it some
way, and by persevering I may drive it home; by quitting it to attack
others, though I may amuse myself, I do not advance beyond the first,
while that particular nail stands still. No man who can do any one thing
well will be able to do any other different thing equally well; and this
is true of Shakespeare, the greatest master of variety.



To work on the _Ladye_. Found part of the drapery bad, rubbed it out,
heightened the seat she sits on, mended the heads again; did a great
deal, but not finished yet. Any one might be surprised to read how I
work whole days on an old drawing done many years since, and which I
have twice worked over since it was rejected from the Royal Academy in
'47, and now under promise of sale to White for £20. But I cannot help
it. When I see a work going out of my hands, it is but natural, if I see
some little defect, that I should try to mend it, and what follows is
out of my power to direct: if I give one touch to a head, I give myself
three days' work, and spoil it half-a-dozen times over.

_Ford Madox Brown._


In literature as in art the rough sketches of the masters are made for
connoisseurs, not for the vulgar crowd.

_A. Préault._


It is true sketches, or such drawings as painters generally make for
their works, give this pleasure of imagination to a high degree. From a
slight, undetermined drawing, where the ideas of the composition and
character are, as I may say, only just touched upon, the imagination
supplies more than the painter himself, probably, could produce; and we
accordingly often find that the finished work disappoints the
expectation that was raised from the sketch; and this power of the
imagination is one of the causes of the great pleasure we have in
viewing a collection of drawings by great painters.



I have just been examining all the sketches I have used in making this
work. How many there are which fully satisfied me at the beginning, and
which seem feeble, inadequate, or ill-composed, now that the paintings
are advanced. I cannot tell myself often enough that it means an immense
deal of labour to bring a work to the highest pitch of impressiveness
of which it is capable. The oftener I revise it, the more it will gain
in expressiveness.... Though the touch disappear, though the fire of
execution be no longer the chief merit of the painting, there is no
doubt about this; and again how often does it happen that after this
intense labour, which has turned one's thought back on itself in every
direction, the hand obeys more swiftly and surely in giving the desired
lightness to the last touches.



Let us agree as to the meaning of the word "finished." What finishes a
picture is not the quantity of detail in it, but the rightness of the
general effect. A picture is not limited only by its frame. Whatever be
the subject, there must be a principal object on which your eyes rest
continually: the other objects are only the complement of this, they are
less interesting to you; and after that there is nothing more for your

There is the real limit of your picture. This principal object must seem
so to the spectator of your work. Therefore, one must always return to
this, and state its colour with more and more decision.




He was a great Master, but he often spoil'd his Pieces by endeavouring
to make them Perfect; he did not know when he had done well; a Man may
do too much as well as too little; and he is truly skilful, who knew
what was sufficient.




A picture must always be a little spoilt in the finishing of it. The
last touches, which are intended to draw the picture together, take off
from its freshness. To appear before the public one must cut out all
those happy accidents which are the joy of the artist. I compare these
murderous retouchings to those banal flourishes with which all airs of
music end, and to those insignificant spaces which the musician is
forced to put between the interesting parts of his work in order to lead
on from one motive to another or to give them their proper value.

Re-touching, however, is not so fatal to a picture as one might think,
when the picture has been well thought out and worked at with deep
feeling. Time, in effacing the touches, old as well as new, gives back
to the work its complete effect.



A picture, the effect of which is true, is finished.



You please me much, by saying that no other fault is found in your
picture than the roughness of the surface; for that part being of use
in giving force to the effect at a proper distance, and what a judge of
painting knows an original from a copy by--in short, being the touch of
the pencil which is harder to preserve than smoothness, I am much better
pleased that they should spy out things of that kind, than to see an eye
half an inch out of its place, or a nose out of drawing when viewed at a
proper distance. I don't think it would be more ridiculous for a person
to put his nose close to the canvas and say the colours smelt offensive,
than to say how rough the paint lies; for one is just as material as the
other with regard to hurting the effect and drawing of a picture.



The picture[2] will be seen to the greatest advantage if it is hung in a
strong light, and in such a manner that the spectator can stand at some
distance from it.


[Footnote 2: Probably the "Blinding of Samson."]


Don't look at a picture close, it smells bad.



Try to be frank in drawing and in colour; give things their full relief;
make a painting which can be seen at a distance; this is indispensable.



If I might point out to you another defect, very prevalent of late, in
our pictures, and one of the same contracted character with those you so
happily illustrate, it would be that of the _want of breadth_, and in
others a perpetual division and subdivision of parts, to give what their
perpetrators call space; add to this a constant disturbing and torturing
of everything whether in light or in shadow, by a niggling touch, to
produce fulness of subject. This is the very reverse of what we see in
Cuyp or Wilson, and even, with all his high finishing, in Claude. I have
been warning our friend Collins against this, and was also urging young
Landseer to beware of it; and in what I have been doing lately myself
have been studying much from Rembrandt and from Cuyp, so as to acquire
what the great masters succeeded so well in, namely, that power by which
the chief objects, and even the minute finishing of parts, tell over
everything that is meant to be subordinate in their pictures. Sir Joshua
had this remarkably, and could even make _the features of the face_ tell
over everything, however strongly painted. I find that repose and
breadth in the shadows and half-tints do a great deal towards it.
Zoffany's figures derive great consequence from this; and I find that
those who have studied light and shadow the most never appear to fail in



The commonest error into which a critic can fall is the remark we so
often hear that such-and-such an artist's work is "careless," and "would
be better had more labour been spent upon it." As often as not this is
wholly untrue. As soon as the spectator can _see_ that "more labour has
been spent upon it," he may be sure that the picture is to that extent
incomplete and unfinished, while the look of freshness that is
inseparable from a really successful picture would of necessity be
absent. If the high finish of a picture is so apparent as immediately to
force itself upon the spectator, he may _know_ that it is not as it
should be; and from the moment that the artist feels his work is
becoming a labour, he may depend upon it it will be without freshness,
and to that extent without the merit of a true work of art. Work should
always look as though it had been done with ease, however elaborate;
what we see should appear to have been done without effort, whatever may
be the agonies beneath the surface. M. Meissonier surpasses all his
predecessors, as well as all his contemporaries, in the quality of high
finish, but what you see is evidently done easily and without labour. I
remember Thackeray saying to me, concerning a certain chapter in one of
his books that the critics agreed in accusing of carelessness;
"Careless? If I've written that chapter once I've written it a dozen
times--and each time worse than the last!" a proof that labour did not
assist in his case. When an artist fails it is not so much from
carelessness: to do his best is not only profitable to him, but a joy.
But it is not given to every man--not, indeed, to any--to succeed
whenever and however he tries. The best painter that ever lived never
entirely succeeded more than four or five times; that is to say, no
artist ever painted more than four or five _masterpieces_, however high
his general average may have been, for such success depends on the
coincidence, not only of genius and inspiration, but of health and mood
and a hundred other mysterious contingencies. For my own part, I have
often been laboured, but whatever I am I am never careless. I may
honestly say that I never consciously placed an idle touch upon canvas,
and that I have always been earnest and hard-working; yet the worst
pictures I ever painted in my life are those into which I threw most
trouble and labour, and I confess I should not grieve were half my works
to go to the bottom of the Atlantic--if I might choose the half to go.
Sometimes as I paint I may find my work becoming laborious; but as soon
as I detect any evidence of that labour I paint the whole thing out
without more ado.


[Illustration: _Millais_ LOVE _By permission of F. Warne & Co._]


I think that a work of art should not only be careful and sincere, but
that the care and sincerity should also be evident. No ugly smears
should be allowed to do duty for the swiftness which comes from long
practice, or to find excuse in the necessity which the accomplished
artist feels to speak distinctly. That necessity must never receive
impulse from a desire to produce a


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