« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
nothing of the matter. Bounding all over the country may be seen the jack-rabbit and the cottontail; and, alas! there is no mistaking the passage of the skunk! Coyotes disturb the peace of the night, and eat as many chickens as they can capture. Wild cats are found in some of the cañons, and now and again a mountainlion descends from its solitary heights and prowls round the barns. Deer are found in the mountains, and are said to be very good eating. Speaking of food reminds one of the fish of the Pacific. They are abundant cer
tainly, and inspire one with the enthusiasm of Izaak Walton, but they are not specially dainty or delicate. The barracuda is the best; the Spanish mackerel is passable, and the yellow-tail is rather like a solid beefsteak of coarse fibre. The best one can say of them is that they are not worthy to come out of such a beautiful ocean. For time after time our thoughts return gratefully to the memory of the Pacific, its blueness, its freshness, and all its indescribable charm. It may well stand for our ideal of perfection in nature.
OUTDOOR LIFE FOR WOMEN.
Southern California is the very land for outdoor life, and, apart from riding and driving, and bicycling and camping, there are many occupations and interests which come well within the scope of even delicate women. In fact, a year of healthy country life in Southern California would probably do far more to restore many ailing people to health than several seasons spent in sanitoriums and cure-resorts. To begin with, one learns to do without pampering luxuries, learning also to make the best of everything, and above all, being generally at a consider able distance from a doctor. These are immense advantages for some invalids, especially for rich ones, who have never known what it was "to have a single wish denied."
A woman, however, can do a great deal of satisfactory and useful work on a ranch. She can pick the lemons, oranges, olives, apricots, or peaches; she
sucker the trees; she can undertake the anxious task of pruning. She can superintend the
curing of olives and lemons, and see after the packing and despatching of the fruit.
One girl who came from the East from a busy life, and had more leisure than she needed here, conceived the excellent idea of starting a strawberry-ranch, and has made such a capital success out of it, and brought such beautiful fruit to the market, that others have been only too glad to follow her example. Another lady has turned her attention to the culture of pampas - grass, and is reported to have won good returns for her labour and outlay. Then one hears of tired-out teachers giving up their school-work and taking to nursery gardening with all
its various developments. Amateur gardening is a great resource in itself, and the satisfaction of seeing such quick and rich results from one's efforts is quite indescribable. Given a fair supply of water, one may soon have the pleasure of a beautiful garden, with every variety of rose and carnation: wistaria, honeysuckle, plumbago, and stephanotis will
grow almost like weeds; in fact, anything and everything will grow as though in fairyland. So that gardening in Southern California does not mean "hope deferred making the heart sick"; it means something quite unusual in the way of comfort and encouragement, together with the knowledge that one is creating picturesque surroundings for the homestead.
With regard to camping, a few words of caution may not be out of place. Delicate women are likely to come back worse than they were when they started out, unless their men folk are willing to take upon themselves the whole burden of the work, or unless they can afford to have a Chinaman with them or some other kind of servant, thus giving them the chance to rest, and get the good from the open-air life. Otherwise they are always over-fatigued and can enjoy nothing, and would be far wiser if they remained at home.
Walking is not one of the pleasures of outdoor life in Southern California. Neither the climate nor the country is suitable for it, although botanists who are strong enough for the exertion scramble about everywhere, searching for treasures and fighting determinedly through the thickly-grown brush; but most of them take a horse or pony when possible, for no one would choose to walk here if other means of getting about were within reach. Lovers of flowers
can, however, make a very fair and characteristic collection by merely gathering what grows by the roadside, or by just taking a few steps up the slopes and laying hands on anything which strikes the fancy there. But there is no strolling about amongst shady trees and by the side of running brooks, and many people will find this a great deprivation, which it undoubtedly is. Driving is a necessity as well as a pleasure of everyday life; and one soon becomes accustomed to going for miles and miles over roads which after a dry season are full of "chuck-holes." Nothing could be more enjoyable than starting out on a typical Californian day, with a nice little team and all the dogs scampering along joyously, and plenty of provisions, and the fierce determination not to return until you feel inclined. The sense of freedom is delightful; and, moreover, the most delicate invalid need not be afraid of these expeditions, and will find that the more she drives, the more she can drive, for there is some curious life-giving power in the air which prevents over - exhaustion and aids quick recovery from ordinary fatigue.
On account of the many interests and occupations inseparable from country life in Southern California, all of them enticing us into the open air, we feel more than justified in urging visitors to give themselves the best chances of recovering their health in the country rather than in the towns.
THE CELTIC RENASCENCE.
WHAT is called "the Celtic Movement," in recent literature, is, no doubt, part of the general agitation in Celtdom. But the form, and aims, and ideas of the "Celtic Renascence" come from the influence of two men - M. Renan, who may be called the Moses of the proceedings, and Mr Matthew Arnold, who was the eloquent Aaron. We shall briefly examine their part, mainly prophetic, before criticising the conquering legions who now march under Mr William Sharp, Miss Fiona Macleod (who may be aptly likened to the inspired Miriam), Professor Geddes, and other leaders, through the Promised Land of New Celtic Literature.
Monsieur Renan was the original conductor of the march. After Macpherson's 'Ossian' took its present lowly place in critical opinion, after Scott's Highlanders made their final charge—
"And cast the useless targe aside, And with both hands the claymore plied"
Celtic studies were mainly left to Celtic scholars in Ireland, England, France, Germany, and Wales. But Monsieur Renan, a Breton and a scholar, was also a vulgarisateur, a populariser of many things. In his Essais de Morale et de Critique' (1859) he republished (the piece has recently been translated by Mr Hutchison) his "La Poésie des Races Celtiques," also a study of "The Poetry of the Exhibition." In the latter work he blamed those who "limit their sympathies to forms of the past"; in the former he dwelt on the Poetic Past of the Celts.
had a great, or at all events a copious, literature. M. Renan praised Owen Jones's collection, the 'Myvyrian Archæology,' and the delightful 'Mabinogion' translated by Lady Charlotte Guest. He expatiated on the secular distressfulness of the Gael and Cymry: de la vient sa tristesse. Infinite delicacy, a thirst for the ideal not to be quenched by whisky,-these are other Celtic qualities. "Call not their taste for intoxication a gross indulgence; never was а more sober people"! The Celt, being ideal, must get drunk: it is part of the pleasant unconscious poetry of his nature, as Harold Skimpole says; whereas your beery Teuton-German, Scotch, or English-is a mere sensual lout. "The Bretons sought in hydromel what St Brandan and Peredur pursued in their own manner, the vision of the world invisible." We "drink for drinkee," they "drink for drunkee," as the negro said.
In this comparative psychology of liquor we may, perhaps, detect a slight national bias. The Celtic genius, on the whole, is "neither glad nor sad"—ni triste, ni gaie. There is in the Celt no Teutonic enivrement de carnage, as in the Norse or German sagas, or the works of Mr Haggard, which opinion of M. Renan's we conceive to be incorrect. The Celtic blood is responsible for Jeanne d'Arc (of whose Celtic origin nothing can even be conjectured). out knowing it, she was more Celtic than Christian." This is a very fair specimen of Neo-Celtic assumption. It is based on the Fairies of Domremy: now fairies are not specially Celtic, and Jeanne professed her entire dis
belief in them at her trial. "She charm us in the poetry of the was prophesied of by Merlin"; Celt. These beauties come of the but, contrary to the orthodox loneliness, the contact with naopinion of the contemporary ture, the fond dwelling on the clergy, before the Council of Con- past, the living in fantasy, which stance, Jeanne boldly declared circumstances have forced on both that of Merlin she had the poorest Celts and Finns. They are rather opinion. "She did not recognise the result of environment and of Pope or Church,"-though she ap- history than of race, the Celts pealed to the Pope and the Coun- being " Aryans" like the rest of cil of Basel! In a note M. Renan us, and the Finns being Ugrians. moderates these Celtic opinions, Into the problematic lore about later exaggerated by Henri the distinctive shapes of the Celtic Martin. Still, we already per- and Teutonic skulls we must deceive the Celtic tendency to claim cline to go; it is quite enough to whatever is excellent in a certain talk of "Celtic, Teutonic, and way as Greek genius," as of a thing determined by race. The Celtic genius is emotional, Mr Arnold said, and unscientific, though, if necessary, Neo-Celts could doubtless prove Celtic blood in Newton and Darwin as easily as in Dean Swift and Mr Louis Stevenson. "The Celt has not produced great poetical works," but his poetry has "an air of greatness," and "snatches of singular beauty and power."
Celtic," even if the facts are wrong, and the so-called Celt, La Pucelle, is a native of the more or less originally Teutonic Marches. For the rest, M. Renan justly asserts for his Celts delicacy of fancy, love of the pre-Christian supernatural, and high antiquity of tradition, all these blending into the great Arthurian cycle of
Mr Arnold followed, and expanded, M. Renan's ideas in his 'Lectures on the Study of Celtic Literature' (1867). With much that Mr Arnold said every lover of literature, and of a life not wholly "practical," will agree. His information, though he had not the Celtic tongues, was wider than the rather scanty lore which M. Renan displayed. But he ar gued in the usual way. He quoted Taliesin's lines on his own metamorphoses, as essentially Celtic, and did not observe the very similar and equally poetical passage in the "Kalewala," the "epic poem" (so called) of the Finns. Now Finns are not Celts, yet the features of delicacy, love of nature, love of the supernatural and of magic, and the tone of defeated melancholy, which charm us in Finnish old popular poetry, are precisely the things which
From the Celtic element in our population (according to Mr Arnold) English poetry got style, melancholy, natural magic. Or, if not from the Celtic element, Mr Arnold asks, then whence did it get them? We shall not, with some ethnologists, say "from a Finnish substratum." The ethnological question as to what proportion of Celtic blood survived "the English conquest," outside of Wales, Cornwall, and the Highlands, nobody can answer. There would be intermarriages twelve hundred years ago. But, when the Celtic language and Celtic personal names vanished, the surviving Celts would sink into the lowest grades of the population. What have these grades done for poetry south of Tweed? Almost nothing! Their
ballads and tales are notoriously flat and prosaic, doubtless the result of circumstances and of surroundings. But it is plain that such Celts as survived the English conquest would chiefly, if not exclusively, survive in what is the least imaginative and poetical of social strata. This they have not leavened, as far as our knowledge goes, and it is therefore unlikely that they leavened most the classes which have produced English poetry, the very classes into which they must have survived least.
Finding style in Icelandic literature, and not in the 'Nibelungen Lied,' Mr Arnold actually deduced it from Celtic settlers in Iceland, before the Norse occupation! Lord Strangford denied the facts, but Neo-Celts may make what they can out of Icelandic and Scandinavian contact with the Islands and Ireland.1 Mr Arnold then places Milton, Taliesin, and Pindar among poets "intoxicated with the passion for the passion for style." But Pindar was not a Celt; and what proof have we, except his "passion for style," that Milton owed anything to Celtic blood? If we have, in Celtic poetry, Llywarch Hen's passionate aversion to old age, we have also that of Alcæus, of Mimnermus, of the author of Ecclesiastes, none of them Celtic precisely. If we have "the If we have "the Titanic" in Manfred and Lara, we have it in Prometheus. Eschylus was not a Celt, nor was Alfieri or Leopardi, perhaps. To be sure, Miss Fiona Macleod talks of a "Hellenic Celt," but these are idle words.
"the faithful way of handling nature, the Greek way, and the magical way," which is Celtic. Keats had "the Greek way," but Keats was not a Greek, and could not read Greek. If he had also the Celtic way, is that because he was a Celt-because of "the Celtic element"? If he could get the Greek way, untaught of and undescended from Greeks, why in the world should he not be born with the Celtic way, with no aid from a drop of Celtic blood? Shakespeare had "the Greek note" as well as "the Celtic note," and, as a Greek element in Elizabethan England is out of the question, we must suppose that it is not race which gives Greek potentialities to Englishmen. Then why should race give them Celtic potentialities? Macaulay was Celtic enough-a reverend Highland ancestor of his tried to sell Prince Charles yet Mr Arnold selects Macaulay as a contemner of Celtic MSS., and as a prize Philistine. Where does Celticism come in here? But if Macaulay had written like Keats, the Neo-Celts would have explained his gift as a Celtic inheritance.
The sum of Mr Arnold's argument is this: he finds certain qualities in Celtic poetry, he does not find them in German, though he does discover a few in Icelandic poetry. He recognises them all in the poetry of England (where there must be some Celtic blood), and he attributes these qualities to the Celtic element in the English, and even in the Icelanders. That these qualities exist in poetry where Celtic elements of race do not occur (as among Finns and Mr Arnold now discriminates Slavs), that Greek qualities abound
1 Islay appears to be on Mr Arnold's side as to a Celtic settlement in Iceland. Mr Craigie, in Arkiv för Nordisk Filologi,' x. 149, shows that Celts learned much from Scandinavians, and taught very little.