« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
I do? Friendship? Yes, but is friend- to write any more. "My musical-box ship a very musical subject?"
is shut," he used to say. “I began to think of 'Faust' as a I repeated to him the remark of a subject for an opera when I was twen- friend: “Gounod's music is the music ty, and I wrote it at thirty-eight in that lifts me to heaven, and it is the two and a half years. So in this way music that will be sung in heaven." it is certainly the chief work of my "Well,” he said, laughing, "I hope the life."
music of heaven will be a good deal “What is hard is that when we have better than mine.” Going on in the become most worthy and most capable same strain he said that he hoped that of doing good we must die. But per- he should be near his friends in heaven, haps it is that God is determined to "For what should I do with all the show that He can do without our help, commonplace people there?” that He has no need of men to carry Some reviews of his "Requiem" came out His work and His will. Yes, it is in. I said that I hoped some day to hard, too, to see the young and gifted hear it perfectly performed. He antaken away from us; but they may swered: “One day my 'Requiem' will have left their mark, they may have be perfectly performed, on the day of impressed something of good and noble my death. Then will be my supreme on some other soul and so their mission revenge on my critics; I shall say to is accomplished. I have in Paris a them, “You are dead, but I live.'' dear friend whom I have known ever "The critics," he added, “have always since she and her husband were chil- been against me; they have had a sysdren, and they are to me as my own tem, namely, to bury every new work children, and every year for some time of mine and then, after a while disinter I passed some months with her in her it so as to kill the next one." château in the country. We used to It was very interesting to hear him take long walks in the summer in the teaching his choir. Once he said to park and talk about all things, art, them: "Now in this part I want you music, religion, life, death, philosophy. to sing as if you were silent; it seems And she once asked me, as you do, a paradox, but I want you to imitate why I did not write a book on all this? silence by your singing. If I sing like But that I could not do; I could not that no one need be silent, but if I sing write as I talk; music is my book. But like this all the room must be in siif what I may say does good to those lence.” who hear it, so much the better. I told Though he always had a word of my friend that if she, having a good praise for them Gounod's patience was memory, could write down what I say, tried by the not unnatural ambition she could make what use of it she of amateurs to sing his music to him. liked; but I cannot write it down.” I remember his face while a gentleman
“I am sometimes in the greatest state with a rather nice voice but a wooden of hope and joy, and sometimes in de- style, performed “Salve dimora." He spair in darkness. It has always been was delighted, however to meet with this struggle in me between light and real talent. We introduced to him a darkness. L'équilibre—it is that we boy of eleven named Claude Jacquinot strive after and that we never quite whose clever playing on the violin we attain; we are always rocking to one side or to the other."
1 In the end Gounod modestly suggested In his dark moments Gounod always
that no music of his own should be performed
at his funeral. The mass was sung to a Grethought that he would never be able
bad beard at a musical party given by we have, we have it only that we may the late Mrs. Pitt Byrne. Received give it. I had the honor and happiness with a kiss of encouragement, the little of knowing Mendelssohn. It was in fellow performed Gounod's “Ave 1843, five years before his death. When Maria,” accompanied by the composer. I was in Berlin, his sister, Mme. HenClaude was modest, but not in the least sel, whom I bad known at Rome, gave Dervous; he played afterwards an elab- a letter of introduction to her orate tour de force, and ihen a little brother at Leipzig. I was with him piece of his own. The Master presse.) for four days, from morning to evenhim to his heart; “This is a good boy!" ing. Ah, he was so good! What he he said; “now we will have the sister- was to me I cannot tell you. He conpiece to that, a little song I wrote when voquait (How do you say that in EngI was thirteen,”—which proved to be lish, convoked?) the Choral Society, the charming "Fauvette." I mentioned which was en vacances, for me only! that it was my recollection of the in- And he gave me the score of his symterview between Mendelssohn and “the phony in A, the one dedicated to the wonderful boy Joachim” that had led Queen of England; you know it?" Here to our arranging the present meeting. he hummed the opening motive. “Is “In this you were his godmother," said it not lovely? Mendelssohn was an angel Gounod. Then, turning to the boy, he upon earth. But what he was is shown continued: “I bless him; if my wishes in his works; you may all know what are realized he will have a great future. he was." But you must always remember that On hearing that Dr. H. was acquaintthe more you learn the more you will ed with the Mendelssohn family at bave to learn." To the parents, who Berlin, Gounod asked after each of were now much excited, he said: “If the surviving members, and especially your son is as good as his organization
the "stern-faced” Paul, who had been he will be a great source of glory and Dr. H.'s pupil in mathematics. happiness to you. I give him my bless- To wind up the afternoon, we had ing. I wish that I could give him all "Abraham's Request” and “The Song that I have in me, all that is here," of Solomon," two of Gounod's most and he touched his forehead. Claude
beautiful sacred songs beautifully sung. told him that he was writing an opera,
When there was no one to play the of which the overture and many of the
violoncello accompaniment to “The songs were ready; Gounod told him Song of Solomon" Gounod used to hum to bring them the next time he came. it, and the deep expression which he Then the boy said something which
threw into the notes was never equalled Gounod could not make out, so he asked to my hearing even by that touching me to explain. It was this: "I wish instrument. I may here recall that I you could have all the money Mr. C. heard him say more than once that he gets for your writings.” This practical thought English was the best language observation from lips like a cherub's for religious music. He much admired brought us all down to earth.
the severer school of English Church Some one present remarked how kind music, as, for instance, the anthems Gounod was to show such interest in of Dr. Wesley and of his father Samuel the young violinist. To this he replied: Wesley. "We should all help each other; what
One winter at London I was ill with
a cold at our hotel in Suffolk Street, ? I soon lost sight of the!Jacquinots, but I
Pall Mall East, the same in which Anbelieve that Claude won honorable though not extraordinary distinction in France. thony Trollope died, and which he celeIf
brated in one of his novels by describ pas ici. People nowadays write poetry
worth who give it. I need with recited nearly all the scene.
rows which we innocently sufrer, are Another day he brought a little ma- surely for this earth only. As to les chine for spraying the throat; he had damnés-c'est autre chose. Mais enin, gone to some particular chemist to buy il y a une parole de Notre Seigneur à it as it was a French invention. We laquelle je pense toujours. Il disait showed him a book of poems by Louis ‘Mon Père, je n'ai pas perdu un de Dierz; he read one or two, but did not ceux que vous m'avez confiés excepté like them. . "Bad style, bad style,” he le fils de perdition' (qui est, je crois, said. "If I do not strongly accentuate Judas). Pas un! Ainsi, j'espère qu'il the words you cannot understand what n'y a pas beaucoup de monde en enis meant, but if I do, hear how unmusi- fer." cal the sound is! This poet follows On the nineteenth of that February Victor Hugo too much. I admire Vic- there was a Wagner Con ert, a novelty tor Hugo very much, but not his imi- then. Gounod happening to say the tators. The tendency of modern French day before that he would like to go to poets is to exaggeration. Now what is it, we asked him to come with us, to difficult in art is not what we give which he readily assented. At the forth, but what we hold back. It is to agent's we were told that all the good say to everything that is exaggerated, places were sold, but when it was to every immature thought, to every- hinted that M. Gounod would be of the thing that is not true, vous n'entrerez party three excellent seats in the mid
dle of the front row were produced. Is it suited for the stage? There is The concert began with the overture to more process than finality in his music, "Tannhauser," —"a fine work, but un and he is too fond of exhausting the orpeu trop violent." After a song from chestra all at once. Violence, impetus, “Rienzi” there was a selection from is not strength. Look at the Greek art! “Lohengrin," all of which Gounoj There is a saying of Tertullian, the liked, but most of all the prelude to the Father of the Church, 'God can be third act; several times he sail in a patient because He is Eternal.' And low voice, “That is beautiful, that is you remember in the Scriptures when beautiful." But a piece from
the God spoke to Elijah, He was not in the “Meistersinger” he did not like at all. storm nor in the whirlwind but in the
After the concert he returned with still, sweet breeze. Now look at Mous to the hotel and took chocolate with zart's “Don Juan." The statue ad
"The public,” he said, “moved vances to seize the guilty one [here he much faster than the individual, and hummed the music and imitated the actherefore the individual must place tion) without hurry as without halting, himself before his age if he desires not tranquil and inevitable as eternal justo be behind it. Wagner has some idea tice.” of this sort; it is a necessity which A few weeks later we left London every true artist must realize. Great for the country. I like to see people men may be said to be for every age come but I hate to see them go," said save their own; small men are for their Gounod, when we took leave of him. own and none other."
"J'ai porté le deuil depuis vingt heures "The coloring of some of Wagner's pour votre départ.” morceaux is splendid," he continued; it It was a prophetic mourning, for we is intensely mystical, but is it scenical? saw him no more. Macmillan's Magazine.
They tell us that a tiny grain of sand
C. D. W.
OLD AND NEW JAPAN.*
of the country will inevitably appear
less rich than our own, less fruitful, We read that in the year 1153, when resembling rather, in its sterility, that the failure of the princely dynasty of of barbarous peoples. The pretty fanthe Fujiwara had pitted against each cies of Japanese art cannot atone for other the families of the Taira and the the horrors of that time. Among a peoMinamoto, a monster alighted on the ple in whom a humanity which may roof of the imperial palace. He had fairly be called exquisite, is often the head of an ape, the body of a tiger found united with positive cruelty, and the tail of a serpent. We recognize delicate little women, with painted lips the animal. It is the old original feu- and pointed finger-tips received from dalism in a new shape, and for four the soldiers in besieged castles, gory centuries to come it will rend by its tur- severed heads which they carefully bulence, its ferocity and its perfidy, the label, that every man may be able to territory of Japan. One after another recognize his own trophies when paythe shoguns, who are its offspring, will time arrives. They even go so far as endeavor to master it, and to restore to blacken the teeth of the victims; for, for their own benefit the centralization since none but the princes of the imof the empire. But however manly perial family and nobles attached to the themselves, they have but effeminate court had a right to this adornment, children. They are only vice-emperors, the warrior willingly took the benefit and the regents whom they appoint be- of such a trick. “We were not afraid come shoguns to them. Nevertheless, of the heads," wrote one of these womupon two occasions, unity was all but en, “we were used to sleeping in the realized. The Hojo, in the thirteenth smell of blood." century, repelled an invasion of the It is true that the greatest nations Mongols, unhappily the only one. In also have emitted these abominable the fifteenth century the genius of
exhalations, but in their case a trace Japan attained to perfection through of metaphysical intoxication has usually patience, and wrought lovely miracles mingled with the enthusiasm of carin silk and lacquer. Then the shogun- nage. Our crusades, our religious ate also succumbed, every province of wars, our wars of races, our Jacqueries the empire erected itself into a separate -what a list! Their battle-fields conkingdom, the great monasteries became tinually remind one of the man who fortresses, and anarchy supervened. climbed a pile of corpses to get a wider
Similar spectacles are afforded by view. Here the heaps of dead are prothe history of mediæval Europe. But digiously high, but the victors who when we reflect that for four hundred scale them see only the same CONyears Japan was forging souls on the tracted horizon. The conquests of Jaanvil of civil war, yet never struck pan were bounded by a vicious circle; out one new idea, one of those flashes and her native intellect contributed which light up the universal conscience, nothing to the universal store. one of those truths or even one of those Nevertheless, the love of fighting ren. noble errors which lay bare the primi- dered the spirit of the country at once tive bases of humanity, the heroic history intrepid and adroit. The sons and •Translated for The Living Age.
daughters of the samurai were trained