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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (May 1, 1889)
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At last Giavanna and I stood before the completed
picture. "It is perfect" she said with a deep sigh of satis
faction. "I knew you could do it." "Yes it is like you".
I answered "It is almost more beautiful, for you are so very
pale and the portrait is warm with color. I am glad that
so much beauty has been restored to the world and yet and
yet, I cannot account for the agony I feel. I " "Ah, that
will pass" she answered lightly, but with a remorseful glance
at me. "Dear Nicolo, Guido Rcni tried to paint that por
trait but it was beyond his power. You arc greater than he.
Docs not that suffice you? Think how-the world will praise
you." "Rcni," I cried, with a sudden gasp, "has been dead
for centuries child." "I should have said," she answered with
a sudden start, " that his picture was similar to yours.
Do you remember that tradition they tell to this day about
us, Nicole; how years and years and years ago I sat as your
model for the Beatrice which Guido Rcni afterward painted?
And his portrait was not equal to yours in merit although
yours was slill unfinished when you disappeared. Ah I see
you remember." "But what has that to do with us now?"
I asked, while a dull horror began to freeze the blood in my
veins. "Only this," she answered evasively: "It was bev-
ond even his talent to you, now an unknow n artist, it has
brought immortal fame. You have gained for the world the
beauty of the lost Beatrice. Your highest ambition has been
granted you. Are you still unsatisfied?" "What is the
beauty of the Beatrice to me? Why should I care for the
acclamations of the universe. When you arc slipping from
me. The burden on my heart tells me that you are going
from me soon forever." She came close to me with a
rush of sudden emotion and caught my hands. "Oh I have
wronged you," she said with a sob; I did not mean it. I
thought the fame would pay you. My bitter mistake my
pride has ruined you. Foigive! Oh dearest Nicoli,
My brain was on fire. Almost blind with hopeless sor
row. I stopped to kiss her but staggered and fell. I was
dimly conscious that she moaned when she leaned over me,
tenderly brushed back my hair with her cold fingers. I saw
her indistinctly when she passed down the path for the last
time, pause, waver and then pass on again with bowed head.
Torpidly I watched her until she became a shapeless purple
object among the trees. Almost :naudible was the song of
her gay gondolier as they floated past to the far beyond.
Then life went out.
At dawn a cold, damp breeze awoke me. I arose bewil
dered. All things had changed. My new summer house
was two hundred and fifty years old, black, rotten, falling in
decay. A few shreds in the corner showed all that was left
of my hammock. A peach tree which had been in full bloom
lay across the thieshold in rotten fragments. Every living
thing on the path to the marble landing was sere and dead.
I alone remained unchanged. With a bitter cry of pain I
turned to go but my eyes met those of a pictured face which
were gazing out from a heap of debris in the corner. With
a heavy heart I noticed that the canvas was covered with
dust and mould and worm eaten at the corners. Then in a
rush of wild despair I realized that before me stood the orig
inal Beatrice completed and that I had gained immortal
May L. Roberts.
Do not fail to send for catalogue and specimens of pen
manship to the Lincoln Business College and" Institute of
Penmanship, Short-Hand and Typewriting, Lincoln, Neb,
Charles Dudley Warner is publishing a story in the
Harper's which bids fairs to be very interesting. It is called
"A Little Journey in the World," and to judge from a very
brief glance at one number is fully in keeping with the high
standard of this author's other works. Warner, while he
has probably not so many readers as some writers, yet can
count on the sincerity of those who do read his books.
The author ot "Ben Hur" has written or compiled a
tale which he calls a story of "The Boyhood of Christ."
This was a year or two ago, and now the story is published
in book form by Harper Bros. It is too soon for the book to
be in general circulation in the West, but one thing is cer
tain, it will have a wide circulation on account of the fame
of its writer. "The Fair God" and "Ben Hur" arc very
good introductions to the reading public.
While Mr. Howclls did not set the world afire by his
"Rise of Silas Lapham," yet he probably did enough in that
production to entitle him to consideration now that he has
written something else. "Annie Kilburn"isabook announced
from this author's pen. Whatever people may say about the
lack of interest in Howell's writings, or however much one
may feel exasperated with his carelessness of incident, the
fact remains that he is extraordinarily successful. And so
long as he is that he can afford to laugh at critics and
J. Kcnimore Cooper was one of those men who arc fated
not to sec the full success of their work, or who are destined
to be forever misunderstood. Be this the result of what it
may, ill luck, or lack of ability, it is certain that not much of
it has remained to his relative, Constance Fejiimore Woolson,
the author of "Anne," "East Apgejs" and "For the Major."
'Jupiter Lights' will not diminish her popularity in the lerst,
and will in all probability tend to increase it. It is certainly
improbablc.but not entirely impossible that the works of Miss
Woolson may revive interest enough in Cooper's writings to
give that author the place to which his genius entitles him.
Albion W. Tourgce in the North American Review, in an
exceedingly clear article, discusses the "Claim of Realism."
According to him the "realist" is one who seeks to depict
truth by defining it, one who would arbitrarily say "that is
false," or "this is true." He is "like one who goes in the
middle of a street, refusing to see what is in the gutter."
He Jays down a plan, calls it "truth," and expect everything
to conform to it. On tha other hand says Judge Tourgee,
the "naturalist" shows things as they exist, and if they are
sometimes shocking in their grossness, it is the fault of the
portrayed, not the portrayer. Good is shown to be better,
and evil to be worse, by the very contrast between them.
Altogether the argument (that the realist tries to define Inde
finable truth) is very well written.
This century is to Americans the century of centennials.
And now nearly the last of the great anniversaries is coming
and will soon be past. A hundred years of successful gov
ernment seems a great blessing, and so the nation offers
thanks. The 30th ol April, 1889, will be the anniversary of
the inauguration of the first president ol the United States.
Now in all probability all information that can be gathered
on the subject oi that first inauguration will be valuable, so
Thc Hesperian recommends to its readers the April Cent-