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Old Aunt Lapaccia trussed me with one How say I?— nay, which dog bites, which
hand, (Its fellow was a stinger as I knew) His bone from the heap of offal in the And so along the wall, over the bridge, 90
street, By the straight cut to the convent. Six Why, soul and sense of him grow sharp words there,
alike, While I stood munching my first bread He learns the look of things, and none the that month:
less “So, boy, you ’re minded,” quoth the good for admonition from the hunger-pinch. fat father,
I had a store of such remarks, be sure, Wiping his own mouth, 't was refection- Which, after I found leisure, turned to time,
use. “ To quit this very miserable world ? I drew men's faces on my copy-books, Will you renounce" ... " the mouthful Scrawled them within the antiphonary's of bread ?" thought I;
marge, By no means ! Brief, they made a monk Joined legs and arms to the long musicof me;
notes, I did renounce the world, its pride and Found eyes and nose and chin for A's and
greed, Palace, farm, villa, shop, and banking- And made a string of pictures of the world house,
Betwixt the ins and outs of verb and noun, Trash, such as these poor devils of Medici On the wall, the bench, the door. The Have given their hearts to - all at eight monks looked black. years old.
“Nay," quoth the Prior, “turn him out, Well, sir, I found in time, you may be d'ye say? sure,
In no wise. Lose a crow and catch a lark. 'T was not for nothing — the good bellyful, What if at last we get our man of parts, The warm serge and the rope that goes all We Carmelites, like those Camaldolese round,
And Preaching Friars, to do our church up And day-long blessed idleness beside !
140 “ Let's see what the urchin's fit for " - And put the front on it that ought to be !" that came next.
And hereupon he bade me daub away. Not overmuch their way, I must confess. Thank you! my head being crammed, the Such a to-do! They tried me with their
walls a blank, books;
Never was such prompt disemburdening. Lord, they'd have taught me Latin in pure | First, every sort of monk, the black and waste !
white, Flower o' the clove,
I drew them, fat and lean: then, folk at All the Latin I construe is “amo," I love!
.church, But, mind you, when a boy starves in the From good old gossips waiting to confess streets
Their cribs of barrel-droppings, candleEight years together, as my fortune was,
ends, — Watching folk's faces to know who will To the breathless fellow at the altar-foot,
Fresh from his murder, safe and sitting The bit of half-stripped grape-bunch he
With the little children round him in a And who will curse or kick him for his
Of admiration, half for his beard and half Which gentleman processional and fine, For that white anger of his victim's son Holding a candle to the Sacrament,
Shaking a fist at him with one fierce arm, Will wink and let him lift a plate and Signing himself with the other because of
Christ The droppings of the wax to sell again, 120 (Whose sad face on the cross sees only Or holla for the Eight and have him
After the passion of a thousand years)
Till some poor girl, her apron o'er her head, Why put all thoughts of praise out of our (Which the intense eyes looked through)
head came at eve
With wonder at lines, colors, and what On tiptoe, said a word, dropped in a loaf,
not ? Her pair of earrings and a bunch of flowers Paint the soul, never mind the legs and (The brute took growling), prayed, and so
arms ! was gone.
Rub all out, try at it a second time. I painted all, then cried “'T is ask and Oh, that white smallish female with the have;
breasts, Choose, for more 's ready!” — laid the She's just my niece . . . Herodias, I would ladder flat,
say, And showed my covered bit of cloister Who went and danced and got men's heads wall.
cut off ! The monks closed in a circle and praised Have it all out !” Now, is this sense, I loud
ask? Till checked, taught what to see and not to A fine way to paint soul, by painting body see,
So ill, the eye can't stop there, must go Being simple bodies, —“That 's the very
And can't fare worse ! Thus, yellow does Look at the boy who stoops to pat the for white dog!
When what you put for yellow's simply That woman 's like the Prior's niece who
And any sort of meaning looks intense To care about his asthma: it's the life !" When all beside itself means and looks But there my triumph's straw-fire flared
naught. and funked;
Why can't a painter lift each foot in turn, Their betters took their turn to see and Left foot and right foot, go a double step, say:
Make his flesh liker and his soul more like, The Prior and the learned pulled a face Both in their order ? Take the prettiest And stopped all that in no time. “How ?
face, what's here?
The Prior's niece ... patron-saint - is it Quite from the mark of painting, bless us
so pretty all !
You can't discover if it means hope, fear, Faces, arms, legs, and bodies like the true | Sorrow or joy? won't beauty go with these ? As much as pea and pea ! it's devil's- | Suppose I've made her eyes all right and game!
blue, Your business is not to catch men with Can't I take breath and try to add life's show,
flash, With homage to the perishable clay, 180 And then add soul and heighten them threeBut lift them over it, ignore it all,
fold? Make them forget there's such a thing as Or say there's beauty with no soul at all – flesh.
(I never saw it- put the case the same-) Your business is to paint the souls of men - If you get simple beauty and naught else, Man's soul, and it's a fire, smoke ... no, You get about the best thing God invents: it's not ...
That's somewhat: and you 'Il find the soul It's vapor done up like a new-born babe
you have missed, (In that shape when you die it leaves your Within yourself, when you return him mouth)
thanks. It's ... well, what matters talking, it's “Rub all out!” Well, well, there's my the soul !
life, in short, Give us no more of body than shows sonl! And so the thing has gone on ever since. Here's Giotto, with his Saint a-praising | I'm grown a man no doubt, I've broken God,
bounds: That sets us praising, - why not stop with You shonld not take a fellow eight years him ?
And make him swear to never kiss the May they or may n't they? all I want 's the girls.
thing I 'm my own master, paint now as I please — Settled forever one way. As it is, 260 Having a friend, you see, in the Corner You tell too many lies and hurt yourself: house!
You don't like what you only like too much, Lord, it's fast holding by the rings in You do like what, if given you at your front
word, Those great rings serve more purposes You find abundantly detestable. than just
For me, I think I speak as I was taught; To plant a fiag in, or tie up a horse ! 230 I always see the garden and God there And yet the old schooling sticks, the old A-making man's wife: and, my lesson grave eyes
learned, Are peeping o'er my shoulder as I work, I The value and significance of flesh, The heads shake still — “ It 's art's decline, I can't unlearn ten minutes afterwards. 269
my son ! You're not of the true painters, great and You understand me: I'm a beast, I know. old;
But see, now — why, I see as certainly Brother Angelico 's the man, you 'll find; As that the morning-star 's about to shine, Brother Lorenzo stands his single peer: What will hap some day. We've a youngFag on at flesh, you 'll never make the i ster here third !”
Comes to our convent, studies what I do, Flower o' the pine,
Slouches and stares and lets no atom drop: You keep your mistr . . . manners, and I'll His name is Guidi – he'll not mind the stick to mine!
monks — I'm not the third, then: bless us, they must They call him Hulking Tom, he lets them know !
talk Don't you think they're the likeliest to He picks my practice up — he'll paint know,
apace, They with their Latin ? So, I swallow my I hope so — though I never live so long, rage,
I know what's sure to follow. You be Clench my teeth, suck my lips in tight, and
- 280 paint
You speak no Latin more than I, belike; To please them - sometimes do and some- | However, you 're my man, you 've seen the times don't;
world For, doing most, there's pretty sure to – The beauty and the wonder and the come
power, A turn, some warm eve finds me at my The shapes of things, their colors, lights saints —
and shades, A laugh, a cry, the business of the world - Changes, surprises, - and God made it all ! (Flower o' the peach,
- For what? Do you feel thankful, ay or Death for us all, and his own life for each !)
no, And my whole soul revolves, the cup runs For this fair town's face, yonder river's over,
line, The world and life's too big to pass for a The mountain round it and the sky above, dream,
Much more the figures of man, woman, And I do these wild things in sheer despite,
child, And play the fooleries you catch me at, These are the frame to? What's it all In pure rage! The old mill-horse, out at
To be passed over, despised ? or dwelt upon, After hard years, throws up his stiff heels Wondered at ? oh, this last of course! - you Although the miller does not preach to him But why not do as well as say, — paint these The only good of grass is to make chaff. | Just as they are, careless what comes of it? What would men have? Do they like God's works — paint any one, and connt it grass or no
To let a truth slip. Don't object, “His Expect another job this time next year, works
For pity and religion grow i' the crowd Are here already; nature is complete: Your painting serves its purpose !” Hang Suppose you reproduce her – (which you the fools !
can't) There 's no advantage ! you must beat her, - That is — you 'll not mistake an idle then."
word For, don't you mark ? we're made so that Spoke in a huff by a poor monk, God wot, we love
Tasting the air this spicy night which turns First when we see them painted, things we The unaccustomed head like Chianti wine! have passed
Oh, the church knows I don't misreport me, Perhaps a hundred times nor cared to see;
340 And so they are better, painted — better to It's natural a poor monk out of bounds us,
Should have his apt word to excuse himWhich is the same thing. Art was given
self: for that;
And hearken how I plot to make amends. God uses us to help each other so,
I have bethought me: I shall paint a piece Leuding our minds out. Have you noticed, ... There 's for you! Give me six months, now,
then go, see Your cullion's hanging face ? A bit of Something in Sant'Ambrogio's! Bless the chalk,
nuns! And trust me but you should, though! They want a cast o' my office. I shall How much more,
paint If I drew higher things with the same truth! | God in the midst, Madonna and her babe, That were to take the Prior's pulpit-place, Ringed by a bowery, flowery angel-brood, Interpret God to all of you! Oh, oh, 311 Lilies and vestments and white faces, sweet It makes me mad to see what men shall do As puff on puff of grated orris-root 351 And we in our graves! This world 's no When ladies crowd to Church at midsumblot for us,
mer. Nor blank; it means intensely, and means And then i' the front, of course a saint or good:
twoTo find its meaning is my meat and drink. Saint John, because he saves the Floren“Ay, but you don't so instigate to prayer !”
tines, Strikes in the Prior: “ when your mean Saint Ambrose, who puts down in black ing's plain
and white It does not say to folk — remember matins, The convent's friends and gives them a long Or, mind you fast next Friday!” Why, day, for this
And Job, I must have him there past misWhat need of art at all? A skull and
The man of Uz (and Us without the z Two bits of stick nailed crosswise, or, what's Painters who need his patience). Well, all best,
these A bell to chime the hour with, does as well. Secured at their devotion, up shall come I painted a Saint Laurence six months since Out of a corner when you least expect, At Prato, splashed the fresco in fine style: As one by a dark stair into a great light, “ How looks my painting, now the scaf Music and talking, who but Lippo! I! fold's down?”
Mazed, motionless, and moonstruck - I'm I ask a brother: “Hugely,” he returns —
the man ! “ Already not one phiz of your three slaves Back I shrink — what is this I see and Who turn the Deacon off his toasted side,
hear? But's scratched and prodded to our heart's | I, canght up with my monk's-things by miscontent,
take, The pious people have so eased their own | My old serge gown and rope that goes all With coming to say prayers there in a rage:
round, We get on fast to see the bricks beneath. 11, in this presence, this pure company!
Where's a hole, where's a corner for es Oh, I'll content him, but to-morrow, · cape ?
Love! Then steps a sweet angelic slip of a thing I often am much wearier than you think, Forward, puts out a soft palm – “Not so This evening more than usual, and it seems fast!”
As if — forgive now — should you let me sit - Addresses the celestial presence, “nay - Here by the window with your hand in He made you and devised you, after all,
mine Though he's none of you! Could Saint And look a half-hour forth on Fiesole, John there draw
Both of one mind, as married people use, His camel-bair make up a painting-brush? Quietly, quietly the evening through, We come to brother Lippo for all that, I might get up to-morrow to my work Iste perfecit opus !” So, all smile
Cheerful and fresh as ever. Let us try, 19 I shuffle sideways with my blushing face To-morrow, how you shall be glad for this! Under the cover of a hundred wings
Your soft hand is a woman of itself, Thrown like a spread of kirtles when you 're | And mine the inan's bared breast she curls gay
inside. And play hot cockles, all the doors being Don't count the time lost, neither; you shut,
must serve Till, wholly unexpected, in there pops For each of the five pictures we require: Tbe hothead husband! Thus I scuttle It saves a model. So! keep looking so off
My serpentining beauty, rounds on rounds! To some safe bench behind, not letting go - How could you ever prick those perfect The palm of her, the little lily thing
ears, That spoke the good word for me in the Even to put the pearl there! oh, so sweet — nick,
My face, my moon, my everybody's moon, Like the Prior's niece ... Saint Lucy, I Which everybody looks on and calls his, 30 would say.
And, I suppose, is looked on by in turn, And so all's saved for me, and for the While she looks — no one's: very dear, no church
less. A pretty picture gained. Go, six months Yon smile? why, there's my picture ready hence !
made, Your hand, sir, and good-by: no lights, no There's what we painters call our harmony! lights!
A common grayness silvers everything, The street's bushed, and I know my own All in a twilight, you and I alike way back,
- You, at the point of your first pride in me Don't fear me! There's the gray begin (That's gone you know), — but I, at every ning, Zooks!
point; My youth, my hope, my art, being all
toned down ANDREA DEL SARTO To yonder sober pleasant Fiesole. 40
There's the bell clinking from the chapelCALLED “THE FAULTLESS PAINTER"
That length of convent-wall across the way But do not let us quarrel any more, Holds the trees safer, huddled more inside; No, my Lucrezia; bear with me for once: The last monk leaves the garden; days deSit down and all shall happen as you wish.
crease, You turn your face, but does it bring your And autumn grows, autumn in everything. heart?
Eh? the whole seems to fall into a shape I'll work then for your friend's friend, never | As if I saw alike my work and self fear,
And all that I was born to be and do, Treat his own subject after his own way, A twilight-piece. Love, we are in God's Fix his own time, accept too his own price,
hand. And shut the money into this small hand | How strange now looks the life he makes When next it takes mine. Will it ? ten
us lead; derly ?
| So free we seem, so fettered fast we are!