Selected References to Pamela Colman Smith

 

 

From J.B. Yeats: Letters to his son W.B. Yeats and Others 1869-1922, edited with a memoir by Joseph Hone, E.P. Dutton & Company, Inc. New York, 1946

 

18 To W.B. Yeats

 

3 Blenheim Road, Bedford Park, Monday (1899)

 

My dear Willie-I am most awfully grateful to you for the £5-and if you only knew how opportune its arrival is. We are now poorer by £50 a year than we were, as last Xmas the firm gave us the last of the £500 bequeathed by your grandfather (William Pollexfen).

 

I am however extremely hopeful. The practice I have had in portraits has not been without good results. I am perfectly convinced that a portrait well placed would go near curing all my maladies.

 

I hear from Ashe King (novelist and Irish correspondent of Truth) that Dr. Nicholl (editor of British Weekly) is going to have his portrait done. I am now doing a portrait of that very pretty girl, Nannie Farrar (now Mrs. Smith) partly for practice, partly for renown--Nannie of course can't pay.
I have finished two black and whites which you would like-the titles are suggestive 'Love's Farewell' and 'A Haunted Chamber'. I have even thought of sending over to you 'Love's Farewell', as if you liked it your might be able to 'push it' some where or other.

 

Pamela Smith and father are the funniest-looking people, the most primitive Americans possible, but I like them much. Pamela (Miss Smith her father always said even when addressing her) is bringing out a book of Jamaica folklore. Her work whether a drawing or telling of a piece of folklore is very direct and sincere and therefore original--its originality being its naïveté. I should feel safe in getting her to illustrate anything. She does not draw well, but has the right feeling for line and expression and colour. Her dressing is not a decorative success. The bluest of blue dresses, you feel disposed to call it scarlet, blue seems in this connection such a mild word. She sits as above--the hat is straw, with great black cork feathers sticking up out of it. (drawing sent to WBY but not reproduced in this volume) She looks exactly like a Japanese. Nannie says this Japanese appearance comes from constantly drinking iced water. You at first think her rather elderly, you are surprised to find out that she is very young, quite a girl. I would say of her as was said of Robespierre--she will go far because she believes in all her ideas, this time artistic ideas. I don't think there is anything great or profound in her, or very emotional or practical. She has the simplicity and naïveté of an old dry as dust savant--a savant with a child's heart. (Pamela Colman Smith lived in London for many years and was associated with Gilbert Murray, Arthur Symons, WB Yeats and others in an endeavor to found a Theatre of Beauty. She was a delightful person full of talent, and on her mother's side was related to the author of the Brer Rabbit stories.)

 

I tried to get them to stay for supper but they would only pay their visits and be gone. . . .

 

Solitude reigns in Bedford Park. All are at the seaside--all that is of any account, like a North-American wigwam when the braves are out on the warpath.
Jack and his wife are to be here next Thursday on their way to spend some time on the Broads, where Jack no doubt will find many subjects--Yours affectionately--J.B. Yeats

106 From Lily Yeats

Dundrum, Co. Dublin June 18th, 1913

My dear Papa--I did not get a moment the week I was in London. Will try now to send you a fine long letter.

I stayed with Pixie in London, got there the night before the sale, [. . . . .].

Pixie is as delightful as ever and has a big-roomed flat near Victoria Station with black walls and orange curtains. She is now an ardent and pious Roman Catholic, which has added to her happiness but taken from her friends. She now has the dullest of friends, selected entirely because the are R.C., converts most of them, half educated people, who want to see both eyes in a profile drawing. She goes to confession every Saturday--except the week I was there--she couldn't think of any sins, so my influence must have been very holy. I heard the other day of a priest who said that confessing nuns was like being eaten alive by ducks.--Your affectionate daughter--(signed) Lily Yeats

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From The Craftsman Magazine, March 1907

 

ALS IK KAN: NOTES: REVIEWS

NOTES

The great need in American art just now seems to be imagination. Our artists are becoming extraordinarily good painters. They are developing a free, generous technique without whimsicality or impertinence, as often happens on the Continent, where novelty without bigness wins so much applause. Our landscape men in expression and methods of handling color are equaling the best; our portrait painters are daily growing into work that no longer permits Sargent and Whistler to seem alone at a large exhibit.

But where indeed shall we look for the work done at white heat, with imagination forcing it from brain to canvas with relentless power, without reference to tradition or foreign standards? How often do you see a picture that thrills you with the tremendous sweep of the artist's feeling and insight? How many American artists are painting the big natural and materialist forces that are battling in a new civilization? Or how many are drifting out into dreamland and seeing visions and speaking as prophets in strange symbols?

We have long been afraid, so long imitative in art, that we seem for the time to have lost the power to see beyond the usual, to use imagination, or to understand the use of it. We are even at first rather suspicious of the use of it.

And so it has taken us eight years or more to see in the small paintings and drawings of Pamela Colman Smith anything more than an erratic mind, unappreciative of the traditions of the Latin Quarter and Munich, and ususally the few who went to see her work, but scoffed or yawned. But Miss Smith continued to paint fluently the visions she saw. The obvious world did not exist for her; but in sea and air, in water, on high mountain top, through deep valleys, out of the mystery and thrill of great music she found inspiration byeond her time to use.

Eveyr great emotion threaded through her soul into lines on small canvases, every enchantment of sound, every unsolved splendor of nature pressed upon her, wrenched her mind until her brush had worked the expressions of inspiration, which were exhibited in New York in January at the Secession Gallery, through the appreciative kindness of Albert (sic) Stieglitz.

Mr. Stieglitz frankly confessed that when Miss Smith dropped in one day at the galleries, he did not know her name; but, being an artist, he did know what imagination meant. The exhibit, which was to have lasted a week, was exteneded ten days and thronged with visitors, and I understand that fully one-half the main collection was sold, while nearly all of the most significant magazines purchased the right for reproduction of one or several drawings. The collection of Shakespeare drawings could have been sold individually twice over, but Miss Smith feels that the value of these paintings is enhanced as a collection, and is only willing to part with them as a whole.

The first few days of the exhibit, the galleries were visited by few but reporters and an occasional friend or art lover, and then some one said "Blake" and "Beardsley," and it became known that Miss Smith (a Massachusetts girl) was living in London, that Whistler had once said of her, "She does not know how to draw or paint, and she does not need to do either." And Yeats, too (whom we used for a few weeks' fad in America, scarcely knowing his greatness) had praised her, and then the galleries were crowded, and among the many were some few who really cared and felt that at last the veil of tradiiton was being lifted from art, that it had been given this girl to see far and speak eloquently; for these tiny canvases left one with a sense of living among vast mountains, at the edge of shoreless oceans, in the heart of wild cadences, and close to the profound sorrow and pain and madness of all ages.

A strange riotous imagination dominates all her work, not fancy so much as an unknown, overwhelming, compelling force that would have its say without delay, without much regard to ways and means, the means at times seeming almost confused, or at least unconsidered, as if the hurry of inspiration had been too great and had twisted and crowded the method in its fantastic course.

Miss Smith herself can not tell you why she has used blue on one painting and red on another and pale tints for another. It is so these things were when "she saw them." She is not working out conscious symbolism in either color or composition; but all the world is alive to her. The waves are strange human shapes, trailing forms of women with loose locks, and the hills and mountains are strange, mighty eternal figures, looking out over the world with mysterious eyes set under majestic brows.

If you look at the creation of this wild fancy with imagination, you are stirred, thrilled, and you grow little by little to understand, you wake to the wonder of that other vast country not seen with busy, commercial American eyes.

It is an interesting comment that while the mention of William Blake in connection with Pamela Smith's work did much to stimulate the artistic public to interest and enjoyment, it is a matter of fact that many of the paintings exhibited had been done before she had ever seen a drawing of Blake's; all the Shakespeare drawings were done prior to her knowledge of Blake and other significant imaginative work as well, more than enough to establish her powerful originality; although she is to-day, as are all real artists, a great admirer and champion of Blake.

Beardsley is another source to which her inspiration has been attributed, or possibly her methods of work rather than inspiration, but as a matter of record, she has studied Beardsley's work no more than that of any other man who has thought, and the mechanical process of drawing is to her more or less a sub-conscious effort. She thinks no more of her brush or pencil in work than one would of how to walk in starting out to reach a destination. It is because of this, perhaps, that she has been accused of being "naively crude," of possessing a means not great enough for the end, "of lack of mastery." Perhaps!

But what is, after all, the first great requisite in art, the heart that makes it alive? If describable, it is imagination, fancy, the gift of seeing visions. Then let us thankfully accept it, when on occasion it is granted to us. There are many "finished" products all about us to which we may devote our dull moments; surely the critic can spare us Pamela Smith for our day-dreams.

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From The Craftsman Magazine, October 1913

THE FAIRY FAITH AND PICTURED MUSIC OF PAMELA COLMAN SMITH: BY M. IRWIN MACDONALD

DO sane, well-balanced and cultured poeple believe in fairies? Hardly anyone would admit it in so many words, but does not a large part of our modern literature, painting and music prove that, whether it is acknowledged or not, the majority of mankind has a keen and imperishable interest in the invisible world that lies beyond the ken of objective consciousness? In the days when life was less involved in the network of material things, men accepted the reality of the subjective world as simply as they did that of the things apprehended by the senses, because their perception was unclouded by inherited skepticism. Wise men and seers who had mastered the secrets of Nature by penetrating into her hidden places knew that the realm which alone is evident to our bodily senses lies like a landlocked bay at the edge of a boundless ocean teeming with conscious and intelligent life. Unlettered peasants who lived in the fields and woods and were much alone knew there were fairies, sprites and goblins because they felt them all around and now and again they saw them. Poets knew it as children do, because they lived so close to the heart of things that the veil was very thin. We all know the faith of the past. We know, also, how the clouds gathered and the gulf widened when mankind grew so busy with its own affairs and so wise in its own conceit of them that everything pertaining to the unseen kingdoms of Nature was dismissed contemptuously as folk-lore or superstition.

The question now is: are we once more bridging the gulf? We seem to be doing so, and in many ways. We are forever hovering about the borderland, only we call it psychical research, occultism, experimental psychology, and such high-sounding names. When we venture over the edge, we adopt Kipling's device in the matter of the sea-serpent and call it fiction. But the fact remains the same. We are becoming less academic in our attitude toward folk-lore, and are beginning to realize that a belief which is rooted in the life of every nation belongs to the collective experience of humanity and cannot die out.

Thinkers like Schelling, Villanis, Edward Carpenter and William James have prepared the way and shown the possbility of reconciling the visions of seers and transcendentalists, and the beliefs of the folk in all ages, with the materialistic knowldge of average mankind. And now William Butler Yeats and his colleagues in the Celtic Revival are translating mysticism into plain language by openly avowing their belief in fairies and their knowledge that such beings exist. This avowal is something quite different from the literature of fantasy or the speculations of philosophers, because it states what purports to be a simple fact that may be proven by anyone who cares to go about it in the right way. Another step has been taken by Mr. W.Y. Evans Wentz, who has just published in England a book which deals exhaustively with the fairy faith as a living thing today, and this book is vouched for by authorities in the Universities of Oxford and Rennes. But the most direct evidence of a belief in the actuality and occasional visibility of subjective beings is given by Pamela Colman Smith, who not only asserts that she sees such beings and the countries in which they dwell, but makes pictures of what she sees.

THESE pictures are strangely convincing. Perhaps that is why such crowds of people went to see a collection of them that was exhibited in a New York gallery last spring. Although well done, they were not specially remarkable for technique. There were hundreds of as good or better pictures shown in other galleries at the same time. But there was something about them that appealed irresistibly to the mysticism that, consciously or unconsciously, occupies so large a place in human nature. The note of simplicity and sincerity was unmistakable. A few were paintings, boldly decorative in design and blazing with color, but by far the greater part were drawings in pencil or India ink. Of these, some were mere hasty sketches, evidently dashed upon paper within the space of a few minutes and left to stand as the record of strong but fleeting impressions; others showed a more careful working out of similar impressions. But without exception the subjects were fantastic and unearthly, baffling the understanding while quickening the imagination into flame. They were glimpses into an unknown world,--that land of fantasy where color takes the place of our clumsier modes of expression, and forms are as elusive as mist and as fanciful as a dream; in other words, fairyland.

The key that unlocks this world to Pamela Colman Smith is music. She is not a musician herself, nor does she care greatly for music for its own sake. But the rhythm of it, and the changing harmonies, stir certain subconscious depths in her and so enable her to enter the realm which lies beyond ordinary consciousness and to bring to the light visions and sensations which might otherwise struggle in vain for utterance. She sees music, rather than hears it, and she expresses--as perfectly as she can and with the liberal directness of a child,--exactly what she sees.

 

 

 

There is nothing supernatural about this effect of rhythmic, harmonious sound. Many of us have actually experienced it, for all people whose senses are profoundly stirred by music see vague visions and feel the color of the tones. But we are so used to ignoring our subconscious impressions that for the most part they remain vague and formless as clouds and are forgotten as soon as the stimulus has passed. Our minds are not ordinarily attuned to the reception and comprehension of such impressions, far less to giving them forth again in objective form. Herein lies all the difference. We all share the hidden life, but only the few have the power to express it or make it visible. Great poets, artists and musicians have it, and children are so close to it that they try sometimes to make the grown folk see and understand what is so real to them. But they have not the power. Their visions are laughed at as fancies or punished as falsehoods, and so imagination--the priceless image-making power of the mind--takes flight and the land of fantasy fades into nothingness.

But, given the open mind and vivid perception of the child, and the power of expression that comes from long training in the coordination and control of both conscious and subconscious faculties, as well as in the technique of art, and pictures like these cease to be inexplicable. It is simply another application of the powers held in the old time by the master weavers of Kashmir. The story goes that an English traveler in India once went to see the weaving of the royal shawls. As the weavers worked, they sang,--one of the endless crooning chants that swing like a pendulum to the strange syncopated rhythm of the East. Going close to the looms, he saw that the brilliant, intricate web was being woven without chart or pattern of any kind. He asked the master weaver how such a thing could be. The old man answered: "Sahib, we see the colors and patterns as we sing, and so we weave the shawl." Pamela Colman Smith sees the thronging images as she listens, and so she makes her pictures.

THESE visions are not in any sense the obvious pictures of operatic or programme music. When the composer explains his own emotions or spells out his ideas, her mental canvas remains a blank. Abstract music alone comes to her in pictures, and the more remote and elusive is the expression of the thought or feeling of the composer, the more clearly defined is its symbolic presentation to her inner vision. Grieg, for example, bring to her nothing but the everyday pleasure of listening to pleasant, obvious melodies in which his message is clearly spoken and the colors are brightly and thickly laid on. Wagner, with his colossal images of gods and heroes, and the profuoundly sensuous appeal of his stupendous orchestrations, brings a strong response from her, it is true,--but it is passionate revolt from all that the music means. There are no pictures in it to her, only a confused blur of violent antagonism.

But when the music is in harmony with her own innermost being, the gates to the Otherworld are thrown wide, and for the time she is one with the beings that in Celtic lands are called "The Silent Ones" or "The People of Peace." Not always the same people or the same land; the regions that are revealed to her differ as widely as did those seen by Swedenborg in his subconscious journeyings, and vary according to the inspiration of the composer, but always she sees what the music endeavors to express. It was said of Schumann that he saw thoughts and emotions symbolized in pictures, and then told in tones what the eyes beheld. For this woman the tones are resolved again into pictures, and every line reveals the emotional content of the music.

The pictures are wholly symbolic, not in the conventional sense, but as the natural expression of one who puts thought and feeling into symbolic forms rather than into tones or words. One feels that there is no effort to interpret what the music may mean, but rather the spontaneous portrayal of the same vision or emotion that inspired the composer. That both spring from the same source is revealed by the pictures themselves, for each one shows the peculiar individual quality of the music of which it is the visible form. Not only do the subjects differ widely in character as the inspiration changes, but the very method of handling differs. Even the quality of line in the original sketches, which is broad, powerful and sweeping when it represnts Beethoven's titanic emotions, becomes dainty and precise under the influence of Mozart, sensual and freakish in the portrayal of certain moods of Richard Strauss, and vague, delicate and at times austere when it endeavors to define and fix the well-nigh formless musical fancies of Debussy.

Yet, by a strange contradiction, it is the music of Debussy that reveals the most glowing, vivid pictures in the collection. The pencil drawings made at the time may outline the merest suggestion of wan, unearthly forms, but when the imagination of the artist is aroused and begins to build consciously upon the memory of the vision, the result is a painting that glows with jeweled color. Debussy himself says that both drawings and paintings are his dreams made visisble, and always keeps a porfolio of them at hand.

They come in strange forms, the fancies of this dreamer who strives always to express in his music the inexpressible,--to make his hearers feel as he does the glamour of color, perfume, lights in a murky sky, the rush of the wind, the bodiless might of the sea,--this tone-poet whose never-ending search is for some way to bring back to humanity its lost sense of the invisible. That is why the pictures of his music belong wholly to the land of faerie. The like of "L'Isle Joyeuse" never was seen on earth, but those who look long at the picture know that in the Country of the Young,--the Land of the Living Heart, as it used to be called,--there must be just such a happy isle, bathed in burning sapphire light and towering high out of a peacock hued sea. Maeldün saw the fair, strange isle as he voyaged in the Western Sea, and they told him it was the Island of Joy. The Greeks, too, dreamed of islands like this, far out in the unknown ocean that rimmed their world, and called them the Islands of the Blest.

AND in this fairy world the elements are dimly personified, just as men who were simple and closely akin to Nature personified them ages ago. Not in allegorical figures, solid and fleshly, such as we see in so-called imaginative and symbolical paintings, but in mist-wreaths and falling rain, sunbeams, clouds and snow that contain hardly more than the suggestion of a hidden personality. This is what Debussy is always hinting at, and this is what is mirrored forth in the pictures of his fugitive fancies. One is of a garden in the rain, where the drenched brilliance of the flowers gleams dimly through the gray shadows of the rain. It is a passing shower, such as might fall from any summer cloud, and yet it gathers into tall shadowy forms that trail draperies of mist over the blossoms which they seem to bless with outstretched arms. These rain-forms appear in many pcitures, moving singly or in groups through lush green meadows, and they are always the same. Clouds, too, come as dancing figures, fleecy and dazzling-white against the blue sky, and the airy forms are what every child sees, for they are only clouds. The snowflakes whirl into huge diaphanous forms that dance madly against the black night sky, and the west wind sweeps through the heavens with the rush of a hurricane, a colossal goddess veiled in the flaming purple and gold of a tropic sunset.

Sometimes the visions are wholly of the borderland, where it shines momentarily through the cloud of the material world. A shepherd boy, pixy-led over the heather-covered hills in the luminous twilight, plays his pipe for the circle of pixies that frolic at his knee. Or the "seven towers of faerie" appear for a moment amid tossing sunset clouds, that part far enough to allow just a glimpse of the Land of Heart's Desire. Again, a ship comes sailing out of the darkness over the curling purple-blue waves of a fairy sea,--a ship that embodies all the dreams of child-humanity as to what the golden treasure-ship of pure romance might be. It is a gorgeous myth of sea-adventure, a towering galleon with flame-colored sails swelling in the strong wind that impels it onward, and sides overlaid with plates of beaten gold.

But when the curtain rolls up on the world of Beethoven there is an end of fairy fancies. This is a titanic world that saw the beginning of time,--a world of tossing seas, trackless deserts and mountains that pierce the skies. It is peopled with kingly forms that move with slow stateliness or remain motionless, lost in brooding thought. They never dance. There is always the suggestion of storm; of the possible war of elemental forces, yet as a whole the visions are sternly reposeful. The feeling is that of overwhelming strength, either held in leash by some unseen force, or quiescent after a storm of emotion. The action is expressed in great swinging curves that image forth the rhythmic surge of the music. The lighter moods of Beethoven, the occasional buffoonery, seldom appear. It is the grave splendor of his spirit that dominates the forms in which the varying melodies are made manifest. Perhaps the most purely symbolic of all these springs from a movement in the Sonata Appassionata. In this, a stormy sea beats heavily against the shore, threatening to engulf the towers and spires of a distant city. But for the moment their force is gathered together in one gigantic billow that rears itself like a serpent, and the crest of this billow curls over into the semblance of a woman's face,--dreaming, wistful, with great eyes set wide apart and the delicate pointed chin of utter femininity.

Deeply symbolic also is the presentation of Cesar Franck's emotional, passionately religious preludes, fugues and chorales, with their rich, somber coloring and their sense of spiritual unrest. The most significant of these is the "Call to Earth," which images the imperious urge toward objective existence. Three godlike figures have heard the call and yielded to their destiny. One, clad in gleaming robes and with crowned head still touching the clouds, stand on the earth erect and stately, but in the drooping, dreaming face is seen the numbing influence that slowly lulls the spirit into the stupor of physical existence. Another towering form in the far background is stumbling forward, drawn down as with invisible cords to the waiting earth, but with arms flung up to heaven as if imploring succor. The third has fallen prone and already is blending with the earth so that it is hardly distinguishable from the swale in which it lies. Only the jewels of its robes and the white uncoscious face catch the gleams of celestial light from its former home.

Exactly the opposite chord is struck by Richard Stauss, and the pictures here are merry, elvish, richly sensuous. But they are imaginative rather than visionary,--Don Quixote tilting at maliciously frolicking windmills, or Till Eulenspiegel dancing recklessly in the wake of a bounding nymph, both mad with the intoxication of the music, which seems to roll around them in the form of billowing, jocund clouds. It is all of the earth, well spiced with genial deviltry. Russian and Slav music also appears in pictures that are sensuous and imaginative. They are either freakishly fantastic or luxuriously melancholy. The very lines of the pictures which delineate Tchaikovsky's chronic despair droop even as his themes droop, in the intrancement of soul-satisfying woe. Dvorák, though, hearty-humored and close to Nature, gives to the world music that appears as dancing, blossomed-crowned creatures that are not so much dryads as trees endowed with conscious life and the power of movement.

Some of Schumann's music takes forms that are wholly human. A movement of the Second Symphony, for instance, brings to light a vigorous youth, tall and strong, pulsating with the sheer joy of life as he springs upward to the effort of casting into the air the falcon that perches on his outstretched arm. But for the most part the element of fantasy is dominant. A phrase form the First Symphony takes the shape of a gaunt old tree, with bare branches blown by the wind; yet the tree is a woman, helpless in the grip of mortal anguish, rooted fast to an abhorred spot and bending before the strong wind of destiny. A Nachtstück (No. 4) shadows forth a towering peak against the primrose sky of dawn. Up the mountainside toil weary, shadowy forms,--the dreams of humanity returning home.

Pamela Colman Smith is so naturally a mystic that she has but little intellectual interest in mysticism. From childhood she has had the gift of the "second sight" which is common among the Celtic peasants of Ireland, Scotland and Brittany, and she believes in what she sees as simply and implicitly as they do. She never thinks of this power as clairvoyance, or exploits it as such, but uses it precisely as she does the senses and faculties which are common to all. In temperament and personality she is as much of an anachronism as was William Morris, for like him she belongs to an earlier age, but the only outward evidence of this is a childlike and utterly unconventional sincerity which finds expression with fearless freedom. She does not dabble in psychology, as is the fashion now, and she knows next to nothing of philosophical theories, transcendental or otherwise. Her understanding and knowledge are wholly intuitional. Perhaps this is why she sees so much that is hidden from the ordinary sight.

ENVIRONMENT and early training had much to do with the development of her strange and vivid individuality. Her interest in folk-lore, which has so vitally affected her achievements in the realm of the subconscious, began in Jamaica, where she passed her girlhood. Even then, music came to her in pictures, and she drew little dancing figures and elfin landscapes as she heard the melodies, but she visualized nothing in that place of romantic and horrible memories, although she felt intensely the oppression and excitement of its psychic atmosphere. She listened to many tales and legends of the unseen world, told by witchlike old women in the firelight,--because in Jamaica no one dares to speak of such things in the broad light of day,--and she made a collection of them which she published as a book of Jamaican folk-lore, but she saw nothing of it at that time.

After the years in Jamaica, the family went to England. There her fancy, as expressed in pictures, turned mainly to the quaint and whimsical. The preternaturally good little children of the early Victorian period appealed so keenly to her sense of humor that we have hundreds of tiny pen sketches of these small, smug beings in hoopskirts and sandals,--or in roundabouts and skeleton trousers as the case may be,--romping most decorously or listening with extreme propriety to the moral and improving tales recounted by a mother, aunt or governess, who beamed with virtue and delicate sensibility. Or, we have a bold, bad pirate struggling in the too-loving grasp of a group of roguish, sea-green mermaids, while a tubby, broad-beamed galleon scuttles away like an indignant hen, looking back with an expression of horror and righteous wrath in every porthole.

It was at this period that the young artist followed Walter Crane, founded herself upon him and luxuriated in decorative conceptions and gorgeous color. The influence of the famous illustrator is still glimpsed in her work, but it is now so overlaid by her own individuality that one finds little more than an occasional reminder of the way Walter Crane used to see things. He never saw them half so humorously, though, as did his young disciple. It was not intentional or obvious humor. She seldom caricatured things for sake of caricaturing; apparently made no effort to draw funny pictures; but she looked at life with such a mirthful quirk in her own vision that every line of these quaint daring sketches fairly rippled with laughter.

It was when she went to Ireland that the power of her early childhood returned to her. Again environment played its part, for she was the friend and close associate of the group of poets and playwrights who are restoring Celtic literature and tradition to the world. On the Continent, her friends were Maeterlinck, Debussy and others who were endeavoring, each in his own way, to pierce the veil that hid the subjective world. Pamela Colman Smith had not the great creative power of these men, but it soon became evident that she had something quite are rare,--the power to see clearly the invisible realm of which they all dreamed. She entered it or shut it out at will, but when music opened the gates everything became clear to her inner vision. She learned to distinguish the elementals of the earth, air, fire and water,--the gnomes, goblins, wraiths, leprechauns, pixies, salamanders and people of the sea. But most often in Ireland she saw the Sidhe, the invisible children of Dana who were conquered, but not driven out, by the sons of Miled. It is this towering and godlike race which, in Ireland, is closest to the objective world and has most to do with the affairs of men. The peasants,--and the poets,--call them the People of Peace, the Gentry or the Silent Ones, and without them there would not be much left of Celtic legendary lore. Most of the invisible races seem to be as unconscious of their human neighbors as men are of them, but the Sidhe play a part more like that of the ancient gods of Greece. They figure prominently in the pictures of Pamela Colman Smith. If one asks her why she paints them all radiant and glowing, and apparently twenty or thirty feet high, she answers simply that it is the way they look. And if her impression is a hallucination produced by the effect of traditional belief and repeated description sinking into the subconscious mind, the hallucination is fairly widespread. Mr. Wentz gives in his book, "The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries," incident after incident of actual encounters with the Sidhe, vouched for by such sober and substantial men as college professors, lawyers, physicians, clergymen and civil engineers, to say nothing of farmers and country people.

If the pictures of Pamela Colman Smith are mere figments of an unusually lively imagination, she is a genius, for they are handled with a simplicity and conviction that neither Watts nor Rossetti, Böcklin nor Arthur Davies, have attained in all their sumptuous imaginings or abstruse symbolism. If they are the result of actual visions that come to her because of her gift of the "second sight," they are still more interesting as an evidence that the folk traditions which have lived stubbornly through centuries of scornful disbelief may, after all, be founded on truths which we are on the verge of discovering anew. As to the fairy faith itself, most of us are willing to echo the wish of Andrew Lang, that:

"Folk to come, ayont the sea,

May hear the yowl of the Banshie,

And frae the water-kelpie flee,

Ere a' things cease,

And island bairns may stolen be

By the Folk o' Peace.

Faith, they might steal me, wi' ma will,

And, ken'd I ony Fairy hill,

I'd lay me down there, snod and still,

Their land to win,

For, man, I've maistly had my fill

O' this world's din."

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From Bohemia in London, by Arthur Ransome, Chapman & Hall, Limited, London, 1907, pp 49-63.

 

‘A Chelsea Evening’

. . . The end of it was that he fell in love with an audience so silent, so appreciative, and decided that he must really have me with him that night, at the house of a lady who once a week gave an open party for her friends. I was wanted, it was clear, as a foil to his brilliance. It was at least an adventure, and I agreed to come. What was the lady’s name, I asked, and what was she?

He was too impatient to go on with his harangue to tell me anything except that she was an artist, and that at her rooms I would meet the best poets and painters and men and women of spirit in the town. “Indeed,” he added, “I go there myself, regularly, once a week.”

A red-haired serving maid brought up tea at this moment, before he had again got fairly into the wing of his discourse, and he withheld his oratory to give directions for us, as to the quantities of milk and sugar we should mix for him, together with a little general information on the best methods of drinking tea. The Japanese set a chair by the sofa for him, and I carried him his cup and saucer, and a plate of bread and butter from the table. He ate and drank in silence for a moment, and then broke out again in florid talk about slavery on sugar plantations, the text being the two lumps which, at his orders, had been placed in his saucer. After tea, he went on talking, talking, talking, until eight in the evening, when he went upstairs to put on a clean collar and to rearrange his hair.

Presently he reappeared, with a curl above his forehead. He suggested that we should start. The Japanese excused himself from accompanying us, and went down to the river to make studies for some painting upon which he was engaged. We set off together down the Fulham Road, in the most beautiful light of a summer evening. There was a glow in the sky that was broken by the tall houses, and the tower of the workhouse lifted bravely up into the sunset. Below, in the blue shadows of the street, people were moving, and some of the shops had lights in them. It was a perfect night, and completely wasted on the actor, and indeed on me too, for I was intent on observing him. Now and again, as he strode along the pavement, a girl would turn to look at his tall figure, and it was plain that he noticed each such incident with pleasure. When we came among the shops, he would now and again do his best to catch sight of himself in the glasses of the windows, and occasionally, to this end, would stop with a careless air, and light a cigarette, or roll one, or throw one away into the road. The whole world was a pageant to him, with himself a central figure.

 

At last we turned to the right, between houses with narrow gardens and little trees in front of them, and then to the right again, till we stopped at the end of a short street. “Her name is Gypsy,” he said dramatically. “No one ever calls her anything else.” Then he swung open the garden gate, walked up the steps of the house, and knocked vigorously on the door. Through a window on the left I had caught a glimpse of a silver lamp, and a brazen candlestick, and a weird room in shaded lamplight. I was tiptoe with excitement. For I was very young.

 

Some one broke off in a song inside, and quick steps shuffled in the passage. The door was flung open, and we saw a little round woman, scarcely more than a girl, standing in the threshold. She looked as if she had been the same age all her life, and would be so to the end. She was dressed in an orange-coloured coat that hung loose over a green skirt, with black tassels sewn all over the orange silk, like the frills on a red Indian’s trousers. She welcomed us with a little shriek. It was the oddest, most uncanny little shriek, half laugh, half exclamation. It made me very shy. It was obviously an affectation, and yet seemed just the right manner of welcome from the strange little creature, “goddaughter of a witch and sister to a fairy,” who uttered it. She was very dark, and not thin, and when she smiled, with a smile that was peculiarly infectious, her twinkling gypsy eyes seemed to vanish altogether. Just now at the door they were the eyes of a joyous excited child meeting the guests of a birthday party.

 

The actor shook hands, and, in his annoying laughable dramatic manner, introduced me as “a clever young man who has read philosophy.” I could have kicked him.

 

“Come in!” she cried, and went shuffling down the passage in that heavy parti-coloured dress.

 

We left our hats and followed her into a mad room out of a fairy tale. As soon as I saw it I knew she could live in no other. It had been made of two smaller chambers by the removal of the partition wall, and had the effect of a well-designed curiosity shop, a place that Gautier would have loved to describe. The walls were dark green, and covered with brilliant coloured drawings, etchings and pastel sketches. A large round table stood near the window, spread with bottles of painting inks with differently tinted stoppers, china toys, paperweights of odd designs, ashtrays, cigarette boxes, and books; it was lit up by a silver lamp, and there was an urn in the middle of it, in which incense was burning. A woolly monkey perched ridiculously on a pile of portfolios, and grinned at the cast of a woman’s head, that stood smiling austerely on the top of a black cupboard, in a medley of Eastern pottery and Indian goods. The mantel-shelves, three stories high, were laden with gimcracks. A low bookcase, crammed and piled with books, was half hidden under a drift of loose pieces of music. An old grand piano, on which two brass bedroom candlesticks were burning, ran back into the inner room, where in the darkness was a tall mirror, a heap of crimson silks, and a low table with another candle tray. Chairs and stools were crowded everywhere, and on a big blue sofa against the wall a broadly whiskered picture dealer was sitting, looking at a book of Japanese prints.

 

We had scarcely been introduced to him, and settled into chairs, while the little woman in the orange coat was seating herself on a cushion, when a quick tap sounded on the window-pane. “The Birds,” she cried, and ran back into the passage. A moment or two later she came back, and a pair of tiny artists, for all the world like happy sparrows, skipped into the room. The actor knew them, and welcomed them in his magnificent way. They were the Benns, and had but recently married; she modeled in clay and wax, and he was a painter newly come from Paris. Two people better deserving their nickname would be hard to find. They flitted about the place, looking at the new prints hung on the walls, at the new china toy that Gypsy had been unable to deny herself, and chattering all the time. Benn and I were soon friendly, and he presently asked me to visit his studio. Just as he gave me a card with his address upon it, for which he had to ask his wife, he was caught by a sudden remembrance, and turning about asked Gypsy pointblank across the broadside of conversation, “I say, you haven’t such a thing as a big sword, have you?” Oh yes, but she had, and in a minute the two little people were looking at a gigantic two-edged sword, as long as either of them, that hung from a hook on the wall. The actor, with a delighted exhibition of grace and height, reached it easily down, and Benn was for swinging it at once, with all the strength that he had, if his wife had not instantly brought him to sense and saved the place from devastation. Instead, he described the picture he was painting. The central figure, he told us, was to be an old knight looking regretfully at the armour and weapons he had used in his youth. This was the very sword for his purpose.

 

Just then there was another tap, and two women came in together. The first was a tall dark Scottish girl, with a small head and a beautiful graceful neck, very straight and splendid (I called her the Princess at once in my fantastic boyhood), and the other a plump jolly American.

 

As soon as the shaking of hands was all over, some one asked Gypsy for a song. “Got very little voice to-night,” she coughed, “and everybody wants something to drink first. But I’ll sing you a song afterwards.” She went through to the table with the glasses in the inner room. “Who is for opal hush?” she cried, and all, except the American girl and the picture dealer, who preferred whisky, declared their throats were dry for nothing else. Wondering what the strange-named drink might be, I too asked for opal hush, and she read the puzzlement on my face. “You make it like this,” she said, and squirted lemonade from a siphon into a glass of red claret, so that a beautiful amethystine foam rose shimmering to the brim. “The Irish poets over in Dublin called it so; and once, so they say, they went all round the town, and asked at every public-house for two tall cymbals and an opal hush. They did not get what they wanted very easily, and I do not know what a tall cymbal may be. But this is the opal hush.” It was very good, and as I drank I thought of those Irish poets, whose verses had meant much to me, and sipped the stuff with reverence as if it had been nectar from Olympus.

 

When everyone had their glasses, Gypsy came back into the front part of the room, and, sitting in a high-backed chair that was covered with gold and purple embroideries, she cleared her throat, leant forward so that the lamplight fell on her weird little face, and sang, to my surprise, the old melody:

“O the googoo bird is a giddy bird,

No other is zo gay.

O the googoo bird is a merry bird,

Her zingeth all day.

Her zooketh zweet flowers

To make her voice clear,

And when her cryeth googoo, googoo,

The zummer draweth near.”

Somehow I had expected something else. It seemed odd to hear that simple song drop word by word in the incense-laden atmosphere of that fantastic room.

 

After that she chanted in a monotone one of the poems from Mr. Yeats’s “Wind Among the Reeds”:

“I went out into the hazel wood,

Because a fire was in my head,

And cut and peeled a hazel wand,

And hooked a berry to a thread.”

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

And then the stately Scottish girl sat down at the old piano, and after playing an indolent little melody over the faded yellow keys, brought out in tinkling sweetness the best of all the songs that have every come to London from the sea. Nearly all the company knew it by heart and sang together:

“Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies,

Adieu and farewell to you, ladies of Spain;

For we’ve received orders for to sail for Old England,

And we may never see you, fair ladies, again.

 

“So we’ll rant and we’ll roar, like true British sailors,

We’ll range and we’ll roam over all the salt seas,

Until we strike anchor in the channel of Old England;

FromUshant to Seilly ‘tis thirty-five leagues.”

It is no wonder that such a lad as I was then should find the scene quite unforgettable. There was the beautiful head of the pianist, swaying a little with her music, and the weird group beside her—Gypsy in the orange coat leaning over her shoulder, the two small artists, on tiptoe, bending forward to remind themselves of the words, the hairy picture-dealer smiling on them benignantly, the actor posing against the mantelpiece, the plump American leaning forward with her elbows on the table, her chin in her hands, a cigarette between her lips, with the background of that uncanny room, with the silver lamp, the tall column of smoke from the incense urn, and the mad colours, that seemed, like the discordant company, to harmonise perfectly in those magical surroundings.

 

When the song was done, the actor told me how its melody had been taken down from an old sailor in this very room. The old fellow, brought here for the purpose, had been shy, as well he might be, and his mouth screwed into wrinkles so that no music would come from it. At last they made him comfortable on a chair, with a glass and a pipe, and built a row of screens all round him, that he might not be shamed. After a minute or two, when the smoke, rising in regular puffs above the screens told them that he had regained his peace of mind, some one said, “Now, then!” and a trembling whistling of the tune had given a musician the opportunity to catch the ancient melody on the keyboard of the piano. They had thus the pride of a version of their own, for they did not know until much later that another had already been printed in a songbook.

 

Presently the American girl begged for a story. Gypsy had spent some part of her life in the Indies, and knew a number of the old folk tales, of Annansee the spider, another Brer Rabbit in his cunning and shrewdness, and Chim Chim the little bird, and the singing turtle, and the Obeah Woman, who was a witch, “wid wrinkles deep as ditches on her brown face.” She told them in the old dialect, in a manner of her own. Fastening a strip of ruddy tow about her head, so that it mingled with her own black hair, she flopped down on the floor, behind a couple of lighted candles, and, after a little introductory song that she had learned from a Jamaican nurse, told story after story, illustrating them with the help of wooden toys that she had made herself. She told them with such precision of phrasing that those who came often to listen soon had them by heart, and would interrupt her like children when, in a single word, she went astray. To hear her was to be carried back to the primitive days of story-telling, and to understand, a little, how it was that the stories of the old minstrels were handed on from man to man with so little change upon the way.

 

That was my first evening of friendliness in Chelsea. For a long time after that I never let a week pass without going to that strange room to listen to the songs and tales, and to see the odd parties of poets and painters, actors and actresses, and nondescript irregulars who were there almost as regularly as I. Sometimes there would be half a dozen of us, sometimes twenty. Always we were merry. The evening was never wasted. There I heard poetry read as if the ghost of some old minstrel had descended on the reader, and shown how the words should be chanted aloud. There I heard stories told that were yet unwritten, and talk that was so good that it seemed a pity that it never would be. There I joined in gay jousts of caricature. There was a visitors’ book we filled with drawings and rhymes. Every evening that we met we used its pages as a tournament field,

“And mischievous and bold were the strokes we gave,

And merrily were they received.”

There, too, we used to bring our work when we were busy upon some new thing, a painting, or a book, and work on with fresh ardour after cheers or criticism.

 

The party broke up on that first night soon after the stories. We helped Gypsy to shut up the rooms and dowse the lights, and waved our good-nights to her as we saw her disappear into the house next door where she lodged.

 

At the corner of the street the Benns and I were alone, to walk the same way. We went down the Fulham Road together, those two small people chattering of the new picture, and I, swinging the great sword that was to pose for it, walking by the side of them, rejoicing in my new life and in the weight and balance of the sword, a little pleased, boy that I was, to be so much bigger than they, and wondering whether, if I swung the sword with sufficient violence, I had the slightest chance of being rebuked by a policeman for carrying a drawn weapon in the streets.

 

 

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From The Autobiography of Arthur Ransome, prologue and Epilogue by Rupert Hart-Davis, Jonathan Cape Ltd, 1976, pp 87-89.

 

I owed a great deal to Yoshio Markino, for taking me to the house of Miss Pamela Colman Smith in the Boltons. She was an artist who had been discovered in Jamaica (or perhaps on a visit to America) by Ellen Terry who had brought her to England. She had a weekly ‘evening’ in her studio and I was soon one of the fortunate ones with a permanent invitation. There were always actors and actresses at these evenings, and sometimes Ellen Terry herself would illumine the whole room just by being there. Here I met for the first time W. B. Yeats whose poems Pixie (as our hostess was called by everybody) used to read aloud so well that even now, fifty years later, I cannot read them to myself without hearing her read them to me. A strange mixture of people came to those evenings. Ellen Terry brought the Craigs and my cousin Christabel Marshall who, as Christopher St John, translated Sudermann’s play The Good Hope That was staged by Ellen Terry, when the whole party at her invitation went to Hammersmith to see it. Yeats used to bring Irish players from the Abbey Theatre, and he had given the name of ‘opal hush’ to the innocuous blend of claret and fizzy lemonade that we used to drink. Poets came there and read their poetry, but none as well as Pixie herself read ‘The Happy Townland” or “I went out to the hazel wood’. I took Gordon Bottomley there and, though Pixie was afterwards wicked enough to mimic the grave solemnity of his slow speech, she knew him for a poet and invited him to come again. Miss Nona Stewart, sitting at an eighteenth-century instrument that may have been a spinet or a harpsichord, used to sing the song of ‘Spanish Ladies’ to music that had been written down in that very room, when Masefield brought a shy old sailor, who had been dumb in the light of all those candles and with so many strangers waiting to hear him, sat invisible and whistled the delicate old tune, slightly different from the version more generally known.

 

Sooner or later would come the turn of the Anansi stories. These were the Negro tales that Pixie had heard as a child in Jamaica. She told them in the dialect in which she had heard them. Each story began in the same way” ‘In a long before time before Queen Victoria came to reign over we …’ Then would come the story, ‘Der lib in de bush one black fat shiny spider call Anansi …’ or ‘Der lib in de bush one king an’ dis king him hab one BEARD!’ Pixie used to squat down on the floor to tell these stories, playing while she told them with small wooden figures she had made and painted to represent the characters. The stories were very easy to remember, being real folk-tales handed down by word of mouth. Everything forgettable had been filtered from them through the years. Trying one day to tell someone what they were like, I began with ‘In a long before time before …’ etc. and found that the rest followed without any effort on my part. For many years in many places I used to tell these stories that I first heard in Pixie’s studio in the Boltons, and again and again have come back to find the children to whom I had told them telling them for themselves, and more than once I have heard the children of the children to whom I had told them telling the stories they had heard from their mothers and telling them, they too with some echo of Pixie’s Jamaican accents, though they had never heard Pixie nor even heard me repeating them at second hand. I think I learned more of the art of narrative from those simple folk-tales than ever from any book.

 

Among the pleasantest of the people who used to come to those weekly evenings were an American artist and his English wife, Alphaeus and Peggotty Cole, who had a studio between Edith Grove and Gunter Grove on the south side of the Fulham Road. He was a son of Timothy Cole who will be remembered for his wood-engravings of old masters that were published month by month in the American Century Magazine. Alphaeus had had a strange childhood, dragged hither and thither about Italy from one gallery to another by his father’s choice of pictures to engrave. He went back to America in the end and there became, I believe, a most successful portrait painter. (*Alphaeus and Peggotty Cole wrote to me from New York in 1957, he then aged eighty and a National Academician, and still busy painting portraits.) In those young days in Chelsea his taste was all for cardinals with a fine play of sunlight from a window over their scarlet robes. He painted with great technical skill and immense industry and the peak of his year was varnishing day at the Royal Academy, where he was a frequent exhibitor. His wife was from the north of England and was a modeller in clay. They were nearly as poor as I and all through my time in Chelsea we used to celebrate together the sale of a picture or a story. Close to the World’s End there was a small wine-shop where, on great days, we would buy for one shilling and three-pence a large flagon of Australian burgundy to enliven a supper of macaroni cheese, and on still greater days we would go sailing into town, all three of us, on the top of a horse-drawn omnibus, and have one-and-sixpenny table d’hote dinners at Roche’s or the Maison Brice in Old Compton Street, Soho. They had small justification for their faith in me, but it was a great help to me to know they had it and when Peggotty, who was strong on the social side of a painter’s life, gave an ‘at home’ in their studio for the benefit of some American visitor who was likely to buy a picture from Timothy Cole’s son, I used to go round and do my part in making the buyer feel that he was lucky to get it.

 

P 157

 

. . . I had mad e up my mind to learn enough Russian to be able to read Russian folklore in the original and to tell those stories in the simple language that they seemed to need. For ten years I had been repeating to the children of my friends (and to grow-up friends) the Jamaican stories that I had heard from Pixie Colman Smith and I believed that in so doing I had learnt a method that could be applied to quite other material.

 

From "Cleverness, Art, and an Artist," by Gardner Teall, Brush and Pencil VI, 1900

The inklings of Genius are seldom found lurking in the academic, and when genius assumes the stiff and somber mantle of this ancient attribution it is rated to its worth by reason of its own being rather than by reason of its assumption of any garb whatsoever. Even in this day of unusual movements in art, when an appreciative atmosphere is radiated for the benefit of those certain daring ones who illumine it with their brilliance, it is not an ordinary thing to find one so absolutely untrammeled by Traditions of the Schools, so unhampered by the whimperings of convention in art, so undeterred by any dictates of precedent from venturing farther afield, and one so masterfrully conquering color and tactfully forcing an allegiance of it to purpose which has come whole-souled, as has Pamela Colman Smith, whose work stands unique in America, and certainly as unique everywhere. Metaphysicians, logicians, and all those other "icians" whose delight in life rests in monolizing on what may or may not have been, what may or may not be, tell us that one may be an artist without the necessity of having the ability of manual interpretation; wherefore I take it technique is a secondary matter, although it is a dangerous thing to declare it as dogma. One need not take into especial consideration the question of draughtsmanship in these clever drawings and color illustrations by Pamela Colman Smith, because it would be rather open to controversy, but any one of any artistic perception will delight in the quality of the lines of these pictures, though the lines are not of the same defined sort that characterized the drawings of Aubrey Beardsley, nor do they show any imitation of Japanese methods, although probably receiving some inspiration from them; but they are original, and the drawings are unique in that they show an unusual conception of composition, and their subtle humor is refined yet vigorous. Indeed, this vigor, both of composition and color, is the striking characteristic. This artist has been doing these delightful essays in the short space of a year or two, and the accomplishment is therefore more remarkable, and the promise is given that greater things may be looked for from her brush and pencil in a time to come. However, the absolute candor with which these drawwings and sketches have been put forth makes it possible to consider them just as they are. The colored drawings cannot be appreciated through the interpretations of black and white, and their exquisite brilliancy, reached in a manner that would startle any plodding artist or technician, can scarecely be described by words. We are accustomed to know that the prints by William Nicholson will partake of the quiet tones of the buffs, browns, of old rose, dull blues, and faded greens, all massed with black (where even the orange cadmium hair in the print of the "divine Sarah" is unusual to Nicholson), as we can look for the liquid, thin tints of Andhré des Gachons' color-prints. Pamela Colman Smith is versatile, yet in no sense of the word the imitator of the methods of Nicholson, Andhré des Gachons, nor of any other colorist. If you should enjoy the great privilege of a peep into her studio - a great room joyously free from the commonplaces that have come to make one studio generally representative of every other one, a room where art is living rather than imprisoned - you will see over in a corner by the window a little table quite quivering with curious bottles, saucers of pigment, vivid inks, Chinese whites, blacks, and indigoes, while one little corner of it is a veritable chemical emporium. Before this material panegyric of paint the clever artist sits, and dipping a Japanese brush in this place or in that, fixes her inimitable creations deftly and definitely and without the affectation of pottering. Here were made the illustrations for the Irving and Terry book, "Widdecombe Fair," (sic) and "Fair Vanity," brought out by Doubleday and McClure Company, and the "Annancy Stories," written and pictured by this illustrator (who is quite as clever at writing), published by R. H. Russell. "Widdecombe Fair" (sic) and "Fair Vanity" are quite unique in their colored illustrations, inasmuch as these were printed by a process of stenciling never before seen in this country. In this manner the prints were made to reproduce more nearly the original colors and qualities of the drawings than any other process could have brought them to do.

From time to time a bookplate or a color print, complete in itself, will find its way from taht studio nesst up inder the sky; nor is it all work and no play there. A wonderful toy theater, quite aesthetic, and rich enough in its appointments to have delighted poor Ludwig of Bavaria, stands at the other side of the windows. All the scenery and the decorations of the proscenium were wrought by the artist herself. Quaint ballads from many a volume of forgotten lore are staged here, and I have never seen a more gorgeous presentation on any sage. The knights and ladies of the buskin are first drawn on stiff paper and colored, then cut out and made to lead upright lives with a bit of glue and proper manipulation. Oh, that some of our modern playwrights might come here for a lesson in dramatic construction, or that the scenic artists of to-day did not feel that they could not learn a new thing or two! Here a professional stage costumier might well gasp envious gaspings; and you should see the procession of over three hundred figures called forth when Henry Morgan, private et cetera, is knighted by Charles II. for "bravery on the high seas." It is marvelous, and when you come away you feel that art is a tangible thing after all, tangible because it has been brought before you in an enjoyable way; and in the sanctity of your own chamber when you look over your possession of some of Pamela Colman Smith's prints you will not think of saying, "Who ever saw dangly fingers like that on any creature?" or, "What funny toes!" but you will feel that you have something beautiful and enjoyable, therefore soemthing which must be art.

Illustrations are as follows: Top right: A Scene from "Henry Morgan"; Top Left: Sketch (possibly Henry Irving); Middle Right: Stage Scenery; Second Left: "Mrs Anne Oldfield Accepts the Apology of Mr Nathan Oldworthy, of Coventry" from Irving and Terry Souvenir; Bottom Right: Stage Background; End Right and Left: Miniature Figures for the Play of "Henry Morgan"

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