Графични страници
PDF файл

as if you in.

journey's short, and what | through the web of that tremendous plot the working has either on up at its end ?”

out, the unity of moral law,— Zeus' lesson to morWas he to have wg all his own ? No. Aunt tals: “ Learning through sorrow.” But the tired soul Jessie attended to that. She felt not the slightest refused to follow it. Clytemnestra, Iphigenia! What compunction at keeping him from his family till past were the crimes of the avenging queen, or the sacrifione of the morning, but she had no idea of defying cial death of the murdered virgin, to this heart of a far “the proprieties” by leaving her niece to say good-by after day, bleeding with its own wound! Sorrowfully to the gentleman alone, at that unusual hour. One she shook her head over the words of Agamemnon:long glance of the burdened eyes, one faint pressure

“Fame lifts of the delicate hand, one word of murmured farewell —

High her clear voice. To be of humble mind his, his only, these — and Cyril King was again on the

Is God's best gift.” street under the morning stars.

“ I have never found it,” she said. “ Are these the “ Home !” “Home is where the heart is;" and surely

sad, prophetic notes of truth?” his, that moment, was not in the lodging-house. He

“ But be the issue as it may, would not go near it; he could not, not in his present

Eternal fate will hold its way : state of feeling. Putting his hand on his pocket he felt

Nor lips that pray, nor eyes that weep, for the key of his committee-room. He found it.. He

Nor cups that rich libations stecp, would go to it, and there on the sofa spend the few

Soothe those dark Powers' relentless ire, hours left before daybreak.

Whose altars never flame with hallowed fire." Slowly — how slowly!- the night dragged on, while | Her boy moaned in his sleep. She went to him, Agnes slept not. Cyril's absence from dinner was not threw herself on the couch beside him, took him into her remarkable. Another “member" at the table saw him arms, and thus, overcome with exhaustion, at the early before he left the Hall of Representatives. “He went morning, sank into a troubled sleep. It was full day, away before adjournment,” the gentleman said. “The | and she had not wakened. The unshaded morning House was in committee of the whole.' He could | light from below the lifted curtain fell full on her face, leave as well as not, so he told me that he would go and as Cyril King stood and gazed upon her. attend to some important business of his own. Still he She was his wife. Not the lustrous beauty by whose said nothing of not being back to dinner.”

side he sat last night; but this wan and weary woman Agnes held the hand of her boy, and every time the on whom the revealing sunlight now shone in so cruelly, door of the lower hall opened, her pulse quickened bringing out in keen distinctness every line which pain and her heart beat fast with hope. The sunset reds and grief, working outward, had left in heavy trace touched with rosy glow the walls of her room, and upon her face. Before the sensuous, pleasure-loving slowly faded out into the cold gray of dusk at last. A man, the faded woman is ever at painful disadvantage, servant came and lit the lamps.

Cyril King! Who could have made bim believe, once, “ It is evening already; he must come in a moment,” | in the days when he wooed the innocent girl beneath she said. The hall bell gave a sudden, peremptory the maples of Ulm, that some time, further on, he could ring. How well she knew it, - it was like no other, stand and gaze upon her face as he was gazing now? the evening ring of the carrier of the congressional With indifference? With more than indifference; with mail. A servant brought into the room Cyril's portion, a keen, cruel criticism; seeing with artistic vision every a huge packet of newspapers, and of yellow-enveloped / defect, seeing with eyes unsoftened by one lingering letters from his faithful constituents, tied with red tape. thrill of tenderness. He was tired of her, thoroughly His evening mail — he was always in to look over that. tired of her! But half conscious of it, he had never He ne ist come in a moment, now. Never before did | owned this to himself before. The conviction transfixed the bull ring and the front hall door open and shut so him now, without apology and without reservation. often, it seemed to her. How many times she started | Was it not enough that she could not fill his life, withwith hope, — belief, almost, - to sink back in disap. 1 out her presuming to send from his sight one who was pointment. She heard a step on the stairs, a clear, | the delight of his eyes ? This was her offense, this was quick step. It was Cyril's, she was sure. It came it which had suddenly in him turned indifference into near, nearer. It was at the door. “ Cyril !" she cried. | bardness of heart. His thought and his feeling full It passed on; it was gone, ending at a distant door. l of another, what could this poor wife do or say now, She pressed her face against the window-pane. The which haply might touch some chord in his nature, flickering street lamp, with its plank of light wavering reaching back to that supreme moment of youth when out to the corner, revealed no familiar form drawing he wooed her, loved her, and made her his own! If near to the house. Once, for an instant, she caught a that word or that deed existed, she knew it not. With glimpse of the figure of a man. It must be he! No, the most sensitive sense of fitness in all her dealings it was only a watchman strolling leisurely along his | with others, she had no power of finesse with him. nightly "beat.” She had not dared to look at the time She awoke. The long night of loving vigils, the sear before. She was so afraid the hour was later even | ing tears, the true, deserted heart, all spoke togetber. than it seemed. She looked now. It was one o'clock. “ Cyril! You have come. Where were you ? "

“ Cyril, where are you? ” she moaned aloud. “Il “Busy. When I got through, it was so late I stayed cannot feel that harm has befallen you. Something in my committee-room.” seems to say to me that you are safe — somewhere, but “I wanted you so. I wanted you to look at little where ? Not with her. No, that is impossible now. | Cyr. He seemed so feverish. Look at him. Does But where? What keeps you ? Has ill come to you? | he seem very sick to you?” my husband, my husband !”.

| “No. Why are you forever in a fidget about that She took a book and sat down beside the shaded 1 child ? He would be well enough if you would let lamp. It contained the story of Orestes, which she | him alone. He has taken cold. Children are alway. began the day before. She tried to read; tried to trace I taking cold, and getting over it if they are not dosed.


"I expected you last night. I was sure you must | He went to the door, knocked, and waited with tense muscome. Why didn't you come ?” with a troubled air. / cles and an aching brow. “I told you I was busy; beside, Linda said that you

Boldwood had not been outside his garden since his was going to the lecture.”

meeting with Bathsheba in the road to Yalbury. Silent

and alone, he had remained in moody meditation on * Linda! lecture !” and her voice quivered with

woman's ways, deeming as essentials of the whole sex the resentment now. “Linda seldom tells the truth of me.

accidents of the single one of their number he had ever And you know that I would go to no lecture without closely beheld. By degrees a more charitable temper had

pervaded him, and this was the reason of his sally to-night. * More's the pity.” He looked amused. He was He had come to apologize and beg forgiveness of Bathsheba thinking that he had never seen Agnes look so ugly as

with something like a sense of shame at his violence, havshe did this moment, sitting upon the couch with the

ing but just now learnt that she had returned — only from

a visit to Liddy as he supposed, the Bath escapade being gray light pouring upon her face. This consciousness

quite unknown to him. filled him, as he gazed upon her coolly and deliberately,

He inquired for Miss Everdene. Liddy's 'manner was still holding his morning cigar smouldering between his odd, but he did not notice it. She went in, leaving him teeth.

standing there, and in her absence the blind of the room She read his thoughts. They stung her.

containing Bathsheba was pulled down. Boldwood augured "How coldly, how critically you look upon me!”

ill from that sign. Liddy came out. she exclaimed. “How tenderly I have thought of

“My mistress cannot see you, sir," she said.

The farmer instantly went out by the gate. He was unyou!” and she burst into tears.

forgiven — that was the issue of it all. He had seen her "Scene!” he sneered. “ Well, I am used to it; cry

who was to him simultaneously a delight and a torture, away."

sitting in the room he had shared with her as a peculiarly " Why do I live!” she moaned. “You spent your privileged guest only a little earlier in the summer, and evening with her. I am sure of it. It was all the

she had denied him an entrance there now. same to you that your child was sick, that your wife

Boldwood did not hurry homeward. It was ten o'clock watched alone the whole night through, — you was

at least, when, walking deliberately through the lower part with her! Oh, why do I live!”

of Weatherbury, he heard the carrier's spring-van enter

ing the village. The van ran to and from a town in a "I am sure I don't know — to torment me, I sup northern direction, and it was owned and driven by a pose.”

Weatherbury man, at the door of whose house it now Not a pulse in his heart moved toward her. She pulled up. The lamp fixed to the head of the hood illudid not look pretty. There were purple rings around | minated a scarlet and gilded form, who was the first to her eyes. Her nose was red. She troubled him; she

alight. - was in his way.

« Ah!” said Boldwood to himself, “come to see her (To be continued.)


Troy entered the carrier's house, which had been the place of his lodging on his last visit to his native place.

Boldwood was moved by a sudden determination. He FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD. hastened home. In ten minutes he was back again, and

made as if he were going to call upon Troy at the carrier's. CHAPTER XXXIV. HOME AGAIN : A JUGGLER. But as he approached, some one opened the door and came

out. He heard this person say “ Good night” to the That same evening at dusk Gabriel was leaning over

inmates, and the voice was Troy's. This was strange, Coggan's garden-gate, taking an up-and-down survey be coming so immediately after his arrival. Boldwood, howfore retiring to rest.

ever, hastened up to him. Troy had what appeared to be A vehicle of some kind was softly creeping along the a carpet-bag in his hand — the same that he had brought grassy margin of the lane. From it spread the tones of with him. It seemed as if he were going to leave again two women talking. The tones were natural and not at all this very night. suppressed. Oak instantly knew the voices to be those of Troy turned up the hill and quickened his pace. BoldBathsheba and Liddy.

wood stepped forward. The carriage came opposite and passed by. It was “ Sergeant Troy?. Bliss Everdene's gig, and Liddy and her mistress were the 6 Yes - I'm Sergeant Troy." only occupants of the seat. Liddy was asking questions " Just arrived from Melchester, I think?about the city of Bath, and her companion was answering “ Just arrived from Bath.” them listlessly and unconcernedly. Both Bathsheba and “I am William Boldwood." the horse seemed weary.

“ Indeed." The exquisite relief of finding that she was here again, The tone in which this word was uttered was all that safe and sound, overpowered all reflection, and Oak could had been wanted to bring Boldwood to the point. only luxuriate in the sense of it. All grave reports were " I wish to speak a word with you," he said. forgotten.

" What about ?He lingered and lingered on, till there was no difference “ About her who lives just ahead there — and about a between the eastern and western expanses of sky, and the | woman you have wronged.” timid hares began to limp courageously round the dim hil “ I wonder at your impertinence," said Troy, moving locks. Gabriel might have been there an additional half on. hour when a dark form walked slowly by. “ Good night, “Now look here,” said Boldwood, standing in front of Gabriel,” the passer said.

him, “ wonder or not, you are going to hold a conversation

with me." "Good night, sir,” said Gabriel.

Troy heard the dull determination in Boldwood's voice, oldwood likewise vanished up the road, and Oak looked at his stalwart frame, then at the thick cudgel he shortly afterwards turned indoors to bed.

carried in his hand. He remembered it was past ten Farmer Boldwood went on towards Miss Everdene's o'clock. It seemed worth while to be civil to Boldwood.

• He reached the front, and approaching the en 66 Very well, I'll listen with pleasure," said Troy, placuce, saw a light in the parlor. The blind was not drawn ing his bag on the ground, "only speak low, for somebody 11, and inside the room was Bathsheba, looking over or other may overhear us in the farm-house there." e papers or letters. Her back was towards Boldwood. ' " Well then - I know a good deal concerning your –

It was Boldwood.


[ocr errors]

Fanny Robin's attachment to you. I may say, too, that I “I did,” said Boldwood, and here they are — fifty to believe I am the only person in the village, excepting sovereigns." He handed Troy a small packet. Gabriel Oak, who does know it. You ought to marry her.” “You have everything ready – it seems that you calcu

“I suppose I ought. Indeed, I wish to, but I cannot.” | lated on my accepting them," said the sergeant, taking the 6. Why?"

packet. Troy was about to utter something hastily: he then “I thought you might accept them,” said Boldwood. checked himself and said, “I am too poor." His voice was “You've only my word that the programme shall be adchanged. Previously it had had a devil-may-care tone. hered to, whilst I at any rate have fifty pounds." It was the voice of a trickster now.

“ I had thought of that, and I have considered that if I Boldwood's present mood was not critical enough to no | can't appeal to your honor I can trust to your — well mix tice tones. He continued, “I may as well speak plainly : shrewdness we'll call it — not to lose five hundred pounds and understand, I don't wish to enter into the questions of in prospect, and also make a bitter enemy of a man who is right or wrong, woman's honor and shame, or to express willing to be an extremely useful friend." any opinion on your conduct. I intend a business trans- “Stop, listen !" said Troy in a whisper. action with you."

A light pit-pat was audible upon the road just above , "I see," said Troy. “ Suppose we sit down here."

them. An old tree-trunk lay under the hedge immediately oppo “ By George — 'tis she,” he continued. “I must go on site, and they sat down.

and meet her.” “I was engaged to be married to Miss Everdene," said “ She — who ?Boldwood, “but you came and”

“ Bathsheba." “ Not engaged," said Troy.

“Bathsheba — out alone at this time o' night!” said “ As good as engaged.”.

Boldwood in amazement, and starting up. “ Why must “If I had not turned up she might have become en you meet her?gaged to you.”

“She was expecting me to-night -- and I must non * Hang might !”

speak to her, and wish her good-by, according to your “Would, then."

wish.” “If you had not come I should certainly — yes, certainly “I don't see the necessity of speaking." - have been accepted by this time. If you had not seen “It can do no harm -- and she'll be wandering about, her you might have been married to Fanny. Well, there's looking for me, if I don't. You shall hear all I say to her. too much difference between Miss Everdene's station and It will help you in your love-making when I am gone." your own for this flirtation with her ever to benefit you by “ Your tone is mocking.”. ending in marriage. So all I ask is, don't molest her any “Oh no. And remember this, if she does not know more. Marry Fanny. I'll make it worth your while.” what has become of me, she will think more about me than “ How will you ?"

if I tell her flatly I have come to give her up." “ l’ll pay you well now, I'll settle a sum of money upon “Will you confine your words to that one point? her, and I'll see that you don't suffer from poverty in the Shall I hear every word you say?” future. I'll put it clearly. Bathsheba is only playing with “Every word. Now sit still there, and hold my carpetyou : you are too poor for her, as I said ; so give up wast bag for me, and mark what you hear." ing your time about a great match you'll never make for a The light footstep came closer, balting occasionally, as moderate and rightful match you may make to-morrow; if the walker listened for a sound. Troy whistled a double take up your carpet-bag, turn about, leave Weatherbury note in a soft, fluty tone. now, this night, and you shall take fifty pounds with you. “ Come to that, is it !” murmured Boldwood, uneasily. 3 Fanny shall have fifty to enable her to prepare for the “ You promised silence," said Troy. wedding, when you have told me where she is living, and “I promise again.” she shall have five hundred paid down on her wedding Troy stepped forward. day."

“ Frank, dearest, is that you ?” The tones were BathIn making this statement Boldwood's voice revealed only sheba's. too clearly a consciousness of the weakness of his position, “Oh God!" said Boldwood. his aims, and his method. His manner had lapsed quite “Yes," said Troy to her. from that of the firm and dignified Boldwood of former “ How late you are,” she continued tenderly. “ Did you times; and such a scheme as he had now engaged in he come by the carrier ? I listened and heard his wheels en. would have condemned as childishly imbecile only a few tering the village, but it was some time ago, and I had almonths ago. We discern a grand force in the lover which most given you up, Frank.” he lacks whilst a free man ; but there is a breadth of vision “I was sure to come,” said Frank. “You knew I should, ! in the free man which in the lover we vainly seek. Where did you not?there is much bias there must be some narrowness, and “Well, I thought you would,” she said playfully; "and, love, though added emotion, is subtracted capacity. Bold Frank, it is so lucky! There's not a soul in my house but wood exemplified this to an abnormal degree : he knew me to-night. I've packed then all off, so nobody on earth nothing of Fanny Robin's circumstances or whereabouts, will know of your visit to your lady's bower. Liddy he knew nothing of Troy's possibilities, yet that was what wanted to go to her grandfather's to tell him about her he said.

holiday, and I said she might stay with them till to-morrow “I like Fanny best,” said Troy ; " and it, as you say, — when you'll be gone again.” Miss Everdene is out of my reach, why I have all to gain “Capital,” said Troy." But, dear me, I had better go by accepting your money, and marrying Fan. But she's back for my bag : you run home whilst I fetch it, and I'll only a servant.”

promise to be in your parlor in ten minutes." “Never mind - do you agree to my arrangement ? ”

“ Yes." She turned and tripped up the hill again. “I do."

During the progress of this dialogue there was a ner“ Ah !” said Boldwood, in a more elastic voice. “Oh, vous twitching of Boldwood's tightly closed lips, and his Troy, if you like her best, why then did you step in here face became bathed in a clammy dew. He now started and injure my happiness ?

forward towards Troy. Troy turned to him and took up “I love Fanny best now," said Troy. “But Bathsh the bag. Miss Everdene inflamed me, and displaced Fanny for a “Shall I tell her I have come to give her up and cannot time. It is over now."

marry her ? " said the soldier, mockingly. “Why should it be over so soon ? And why then did “No, no; wait a minute. I want to say more to you — you come here again ?

more to you," said Boldwood, in a hoarse whisper. “ There are weighty reasons. Fifty pounds at once, you “Now," said Troy, " you see my dilemma. Perhaps 1

I am a bad man — the victim of my impulses — led away to


do what I ought to leave undone. I can't, however, marry • Two notes and a sovereign. But before I leave you I tem both. And I have two reasons for choosing Fanny. must have a paper signed ” First, I like her best, upon the whole, and second, you “Pay me the money, and we'll go straight to her parrike it worth my while."

| lor, and make any arrangement you please to secure my At the same instant Boldwood sprang upon him, and compliance with your wishes. But she must know nothing bed him by the neck. Troy felt Boldwood's grasp slowly of this cash business." tightening. The move was absolutely unexpected.

“ Nothing, nothing," said Boldwood, hastily. “Here is "A moment,” he gasped. “You are injuring her you the sum, and if you'll come to my house we'll write out the love."

agreement for the remainder, and the terms also." "Well, what do you mean?” said the farmer.

* First we'll call upon her.” “Give me breath," said Troy.

“ But why ? Come with me to-night, and go with me. Boldwood loosened his hand, saying, “ By Heaven, I've to-morrow to the surrogate's.” a mind to kill you!”

“ But she must be consulted; at any rate informed." ** And ruin her."

“ Very well; go on." * Save her.”

They went up the hill to Batbsheba's house. When “Oh, how can she be saved now, unless I marry her ?they stood at the entrance, Troy said, “ Wait here a mo

Boldwood groaned. He reluctantly released the soldier, | ment.” Opening the door, he glided inside, leaving the and flung him back against the hedge. “Devil, you tor- | door ajar. tore me!” said he.

Boldwood waited. In two minutes a light appeared in Troy rebounded like a ball, and was about to make a the passage. Boldwood then saw that the chain had been dash at the farmer; but he checked himself, saying fastened across the door. Troy appeared inside, carrylightly,

ing a bedroom candlestick. " It is not worth while to measure my strength with you. “What, did you think I should break in ? ” said BoldIndeed it is a barbarous way of settling a quarrel. I shall wood, contemptuously. shortly leave the army because of the same conviction. “Oh no ; it is merely my humor to secure things. Will Now, after that revelation of how the land lies with Bath you read this a moment ? I'll hold the light.” sheba, 'twould be a mistake to kill me, would it not ?"

Troy handed a folded newspaper through the slit be· 'Twould be a mistake to kill you,” repeated Boldwood tween door and doorpost, and put the candle close. mechanically, with a bowed head.

“ That's the paragraph,” he said, placing his finger on a " Better kill yourself.”

line. *Far better.”

Boldwood looked and read :" I'm glad you see it.”

“MARRIAGES. " Troy, make her your wife, and don't act upon what I arranged just now. The alternative is dreadful, but take

“On the 17th inst., at St. Ambrose's Church, Bath, by

the Rev. G. Mincing, B. A., Francis Troy, only son of the Bathsheba ; I give her up. She must love you indeed to

| late Edward Troy, Esq., M. D., of Weatherbury, and sersell soul and body to you so utterly as she has done. Wretched woman - deluded woman - you are, Bath

geant 11th Dragoon Guards, to Bathsheba, only surviving sheba!”

daughter of the late Mr. John Everdene, of Casterbridge.” " But about Fanny ?" " Bathsheba is a woman well to do," continued Boldwood

“ This may be called Fort meeting Feeble, hey, Boldin nervous anxiety, “and, Troy, she will make a good wife,

wood ?” said Troy. A low gurgle of derisive laughter and, indeed, she is worth your hastening on your marriage

followed the words. with her!”

The paper fell from Boldwood's hand. Troy continued:"But she has a will, — not to say a temper, — and I shall

“ Fifty pounds to marry Fanny. Good. Twenty-one be a mere slave to her. I could do anything with poor

pounds not to marry Fanny, but Bathsheba. Good. Fanny Robin."

Finale: already Bathsheba's husband. Now, Boldwood, "Troy," said Boldwood, imploringly, “I'll do anything

yours is the ridiculous fate which always attends inter

ference between a man and his wife. And another word. for you, only don't desert her; pray don't desert her, Trop.my

Bad as I am, I am not such a villain as to make the mar"Which, poor Fanny ?”

riage or misery of any woman a matter of huckster and "No; Bathsheba Everdene. Love her best! Love her

sale. Fanny has long ago left me. I don't know where tenderly! How shall I get you to see how advantageous

she is. I have searched everywhere. Another word yet. it will be to you to secure her at once ? ”.

You say you love Bathsheba : yet on the merest apparent "I don't wish to secure her in any new way.”

evidence you instantly believe in her dishonor. A fig for Boldwood's arm moved spasmodically towards Troy's

such love! Now that I've taught you a lesson, take your person again. He repressed the instinct, and his form

money back again.” drooped as with pain.

"I will not; I will not !” said Boldwood, in a hiss. Troy went on :

“ Anyhow I won't have it,” said Troy, contemptuously. "I shall soon purchase my discharge, and then "

He wrapped the packet of gold in the notes, and threw the “But I wish you to hasten on this marriage.

whole into the road.

It will be better for you both. You love each other, and you must

Boldwood shook his clenched fist at him. “ You juggler let me help you to do it."

of Satan! You black hound! But I'll punish you yet; " How?"

mark me, I'll punish you yet!” "Why, by settling the five hundred on Bathsheba in

Another peal of laughter. Troy then closed the door, stead of Fanny, to enable you to marry at once.

and locked himself in.

No, she Wouldn't have it of me; I'll pay it down to you on the

Throughout the whole of that night Boldwood's dark wedding day.”

form might have been seen walking about the hills and Troy paused in secret amazement at Boldwood's wild

downs of Weatherbury, like an unhappy Shade in the and purblind infatuation. He carelessly said, “ And am I

Mournful Fields by Acheron. to have anything now ?

(To be continued.) “Yes, if you wish to. But I have not much additional with me. I did not expect this ; but all I have is

GIUSEPPE VERDI. Boldwood, more like a somnambulist than a wakeful nan, pulled out the in

There is no country in the present day more prolific of out the large canvas bag he carried by way of operatic composers than Italy, and yet very few of them

| ever attain to a hearing beyond the little theatre of their twenty-on e pounds more with me,” he said. i native town. In their case the prophet has no honor out


a purse, and searched

"I have twenty-one


of his own country. The names of Ponchielli, of Petrella, / Parisian audience at the Grand Opera under the title and of Gobatti, are known perhaps to a few stray travellers “ Jérusalem," on the 26th of November, 1848. In England or musical amateurs, but have scarcely penetrated beyond the spirited and dramatic trio, “ Qual volutta," is still the confines of the peninsula. Even Verdi, by far the most heard in the concert-room, and the tenor air, “La mia celebrated of modern Italian composers, and in many re- | letizia,” has long been ground on the barrel organ; bei spects the greatest composer whom Italy has produced, has otherwise the music failed to please here, though both in gained a favorable hearing for a very few works, and is France and Italy the work has proved successful." perhaps best known by those by which he would the least nani,” founded on Victor Hugo's well-known drama, w care to be remembered, and has been almost as persistently produced at Venice in March, 1844, with immense sucerseb decried as Wagner himself. And yet his career has shown The poet objected to the title, and to gratify his scruple a remarkable amount of talent, and perseverance inferior to the name was changed to “Il Proscritto " and the scene that of no other musician.

transferred from Spain to Italy. Victor Hugo's wrath : Giuseppe Verdi was born on the 9th of October, 1814, very short-lived, and “ Ernani” soon resumed its rightf at Busseto, a little village of the Duchy of Parma. His name. It was the first opera by Verdi which was playe: parents were in a humble rank of life and unable to pro in England, but neither on the occasion of its first production vide him with any better musical instruction than that af- at Her Majesty's in 1845, or on those of its subsequentra forded him by Provesi, the organist of the village church. vivals, has it ever obtained more than a very limited amount Happily, however, ainong the inhabitants of Busseto was of popular favor in this country. one more discerning and at the same time in better circum For seven years Verdi had next to encounter a series of stances than those around him. Signor Antonio Barezzi, reverses and habitual ill-success, which would have broken a name which deserves well to be handed down to poster down the spirit of most men. Out of nine operas, one, ity among the few real patrons of art, was able to see in the only gained any favor at the time of production, and most crude efforts of young Verdi traces of the talent he was af- them failed utterly, or have been revived occasionally only terwards to display, and generously offered to defray the to gratify the caprices of individual artists. “I due f a expenses of his education at the Conservatoire of Milan. cari,” given at the theatre “ Argentina" of Rome, in Yo Verdi accepted the offer, and proceeded to Milan in the vember, 1844, partly owing to a bad and repulsive libretta summer of 1833, but was met at the very outset with a re failed utterly, and was scarcely more successful in England pulse. Francesco Basili, at that time director of the Con « Giovanna d'Arco," produced at Milan in February, 1847 servatoire, repelled, as it was said, by the cold and unsym in which the librettist makes the Maid of Orleans the mis pathetic looks of the applicant, flatly refused to admit him tress of the Dauphin, was coldly received, and even the to any of his classes. Verdi was however not discouraged. efforts of Madame Patti, owing to whose desire to appear He placed himself under the tuition of Lavigna the maestro in armor the work was produced at the Théatre Italien al cembalo, or pianist at the great theatre of La Scala, a Paris in 1868, on a grand scale, failed to make it a success musician who did little more than look over and correct the The music, though unequal, was admitted to contain maag compositions of his pupils. For three years Verdi worked beauties, but the bad taste of the libretto was utterly ra here under the direction of Lavigna, writing pieces of vari- | pulsive to the French. “ Alzira," brought out at Naples in ous styles, among them being a “ Stabat Mater," but to 1845, is known only by name. “ Attila," produced originally the want of more thorough instruction and more careful | at Venice in March, 1846, and in London at Her Majesty'. guidance may be traced many of those inequalities of man- / on March the 14th, 1846, was a dreary failure. “Macbeth," ner and crude writing which so many critics blame in his unappreciated at Florence in March, 1847, has lately been operas.

revived successfully at Milan, and is not unfrequently given His first début as a composer took place on the 17th of by Mr. Mapleson's troupe in the provinces, notably at Duke November, 1839, when his romantic opera “ Oberto, Conte | lin. «I Masnadieri,” founded on “ The Robbers” of Schil di San Bonifazio" was produced at La Scala. The influ | ler, was brought out in London by Mr. Lumley on July the ence of Bellini, especially of his “ Norma," was noticeable 20, 1847, having been offered by the composer, in subsum in the work, which showed moreover signs of that dramatic tution for an opera on the subject of “ King Lear," which spirit which runs through all Verdi's operas, and “ Oberto" he was commissioned to write. Although Jenny Lind was received with much favor. His second attempt was ) sang the music of the leading part, “I Masnadierl," the less fortunate. “Un giorno di regno," brought out at La only part she ever created fell flat, and fared but little Scala in the December of the next year, was performed only better when given not long ago at Paris. once. Verdi, however, and his librettist, Felice Romani, A slight gleam of light in the success of " Jérusalem" ! remodelled the work, and under the title of “Il finto Stan- / at Paris, in 1848, cheered Verdi, but the clouds soon selislao" it was brought out at Milan again in the following tled down again. “Il Corsaro," played at Trieste in the year. The work was deficient in verve and geniality. Hu- October of the same year, and the “ Battaglia di Les mor, except in very few instances, such as the convent nano,” produced at Rome in January, 1849,enjoyed each scene in the last act of “ La Forza del Destino,” is not a l one brief and stormy night of existence. “Luisa Miller, characteristic of Verdi, and opera bouffe not in his line. the book taken from Schiller's “ Kabale und Liebe," by the The opera is curious, however, as showing the germs of best of Verdi's librettists, Cammarano, was well receive many of his celebrated orchestral effects. But his failure on its first production at Naples, in December, 1819, 80 was amply redeemed in the March of 1843, when “ Na- has been heard both in London and in Paris, but "Sti bucco” was brought out and enthusiastically received. lio," brought out at Trieste, in the November of 1sou; The part of the king still remains a favorite with dramatic proved a most complete fiasco, the last of the long and dise baritones, and Ronconi especially found ample opportuni astrous sequence. ties for acting in it. The music is however noisily written, The turn of the tide of fortune soon arrived. The drafull of ear-piercing passages for the brass instruments, and, mas of Victor Hugo were again laid under contribution form except a melodious chorus of captives, is now but little a libretto, and this time the ghastly tragedy of “Le Roi heard. The work was produced in Paris in 1845, and in s'amuse” was selected. Francis I. was changed into London in 1846, the name on the last occasion being Duke of Mantua, the other characters received Italian changed to “Nino,” in order to avoid shocking religious | names, and “Rigoletto" was played for the first time ab susceptibilities. It has never proved very attractive here, Venice on the 11th of March, 1851. The opera is, per owing in a great degree to the slightness of the tenor part, haps, the best Verdi has ever written. Unpleasant as the and on the occasion of its revival for Signor Corsi's début story is, the music is vividly dramatic. The reckless, gay" in 1857 was received with complete indifference.

ety of “ Questa o quella," the tender pathos of " E il son During the next two years Verdi produced two compara dell'anima," and « Veglia o donna," the dramatic scene tively successful works. “I Lombardi," brought out at where the Jester is searching for his daughter, and the Milan on the 3d of February, 1843, found its way to Lon- | mirably constructed quartet in the last act, one of the don in 1846, and, greatly expanded, was introduced to a best bits of writing in its way, in the whole range of the

« ПредишнаНапред »