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Acquaintance With Birds Acquaintance With Birds

Acquaintance With Birds
One of the things I should have liked, I said to myself to-day, as I rode past one of the dreadful little fowling-places on the ridge of our hills, would have been to become acquainted with birds.... The wish is simple, but quite without hope for a dweller in Tuscany , what with poverty and lawlessness, peasants' nets and city 'prentices' guns, there are no birds whose acquaintance you can make. You hear them singing and twittering, indeed ver a clump of garden ilexes or a cypress hedge offers them protection; but they never let themselves be seen, for they know... Essays - Post by : Eric_Louviere - Date : November 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 3529

The Cook-shop And The Fowling-place The Cook-shop And The Fowling-place

The Cook-shop And The Fowling-place
In the street of the Almond and appropriately close to the covered-over canal (Rio Terra) of the Assassins, there is a cook-shop which has attracted my attention these two last months in Venice. For in its window is a row of tiny corpses--birds, raw, red, with agonised plucked little throats, the throats through which the sweet notes came. And the sight brings home to me more than the suggestion of a dish at supper, savoury things of the size of a large plum, on a cushion of polenta.... I had often noticed the fowling-places which stand out against the sky like... Essays - Post by : imported_n/a - Date : November 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 3292

Ravenna And Her Ghosts Ravenna And Her Ghosts

Ravenna And Her Ghosts
My oldest impression of Ravenna, before it became in my eyes the abode of living friends as well as of outlandish ghosts, is of a melancholy spring sunset at Classe. Classe, which Dante and Boccaccio call in less Latin fashion Chiassi, is the place where of old the fleet (classis) of the Romans and Ostrogoths rode at anchor in the Adriatic. And Boccaccio says that it is (but I think he over-calculates) at three miles distance from Ravenna. It is represented in the mosaic of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo, dating from the reign of Theodoric, by a fine city wall of gold... Essays - Post by : leadcow - Date : November 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 1528

About Leisure About Leisure

About Leisure
Sancte Hieronyme, ora pro nobis! Litany of the Saints.I Hung in my room, in such a manner as to catch my eye on waking, is an excellent photograph of Bellini's St. Jerome in his Study. I am aware that it is not at all by Bellini, but by an inferior painter called Catena, and I am, therefore, careful not to like it very much. It occupies that conspicuous place not as a work of art but as an aid to devotion. For I have instituted in my mind, and quite apart from the orthodox cultus, a special devotion... Essays - Post by : sedan55 - Date : November 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 3517

Old Italian Gardens Old Italian Gardens

Old Italian Gardens
I There are also modern gardens in Italy, and in such I have spent many pleasant hours. But that has been part of my life of reality, which concerns only my friends and myself. The gardens I would speak about are those in which I have lived the life of the fancy, and into which I may lead the idle thoughts of my readers. It is pleasant to have flowers growing in a garden. I make this remark because there have been very fine gardens without any flowers at all; in fact, when the art of gardening reached its height, it... Essays - Post by : ghuffman - Date : November 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 3516

On Modern Travelling On Modern Travelling

On Modern Travelling
I There is one charming impression peculiar to railway travelling, that of the twilight hour in the train; but the charm is greater on a short journey, when one is not tired and has not the sense of being uprooted, than on a long one. The movement of the train seems, after sunset, particularly in the South where night fall is rapid, to take a quality of mystery. It glides through a landscape of which the smaller details are effaced, as are likewise effaced the details of the railway itself. And that rapid gliding brings home to one the instability of... Essays - Post by : lee.millward - Date : November 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 1649

Tuscan Midsummer Magic Tuscan Midsummer Magic

Tuscan Midsummer Magic
I "Then," I said, "you decline to tell me about the Three Kings, when their procession wound round and round these hillocks: all the little wooden horses with golden bridles and velvet holsters, out of the toy boxes; and the camelopard, and the monkeys and the lynx, and the little doll pages blowing toy trumpets. And still, I know it happened here, because I recognise the place from the pictures: the hillocks all washed away into breasts like those of Diana of the Ephesians, and the rows of cypresses and spruce pines--also out of the toy box. I know it happened... Essays - Post by : randomstuff - Date : November 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 1957

The Lie Of The Land The Lie Of The Land

The Lie Of The Land
NOTES ABOUT LANDSCAPES I I want to talk about the something which makes the real, individual landscape--the landscape one actually sees with the eyes of the body and the eyes of the spirit--the landscape you cannot describe. That is the drawback of my subject--that it just happens to elude all literary treatment, and yet it must be treated. There is not even a single word or phrase to label it, and I have had to call it, in sheer despair, the lie of the land: it is an unnamed mystery into which various things enter, and I feel as if I... Essays - Post by : James_Albert - Date : November 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 2664

In Praise Of Old Houses In Praise Of Old Houses

In Praise Of Old Houses
I My Yorkshire friend was saying that she hated being in an old house. There seemed to be other people in it besides the living.... These words, expressing the very reverse of what I feel, have set me musing on my foolish passion for the Past. The Past, but the real one; not the Past considered as a possible Present. For though I should like to have seen ancient Athens, or Carthage according to Salambô, and though I have pined to hear the singers of last century, I know that any other period than this of the world's history would be... Essays - Post by : andrewpearson - Date : November 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 2958

Limbo Limbo

Limbo
Perocchè gente di molto valore Conobbi che in quel Limbo eran sospesi.I It may seem curious to begin with Dante and pass on to the Children's Rabbits' House; but I require both to explain what it is I mean by Limbo; no such easy matter on trying. For this discourse is not about the Pious Pagans whom the poet found in honourable confinement at the Gate of Hell, nor of their neighbours the Unchristened Babies; but I am glad of Dante's authority for the existence of a place holding such creatures as have just missed a necessary... Essays - Post by : bclarkeco - Date : November 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 1179

Postscript Or Apology Postscript Or Apology

Postscript Or Apology
I have had the sense that now, before these foregoing pages be definitely printed--before what have been living thoughts and feelings be irrevocably composed and stiffened, embalmed, distinctly and unmistakably prepared to last, as things are permitted to last, only in death--I have had the sense that while yet I can, I must say one or two more things. But now, I can scarcely tell why, it seems to me as if there could by no means be anything to say. It is a mood, due to the moment and place. All about me there is broad, scarce-flickering shadow on the... Essays - Post by : linkspar - Date : October 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 1025

A Dialogue On Poetic Morality A Dialogue On Poetic Morality

A Dialogue On Poetic Morality
God sent a poet to reform His earth.--A. MARY F. ROBINSON. "And meanwhile, what have you written?" asked Baldwin, tickling the flies with his whip from off the horse's head, as they slowly ascended, in the autumn afternoon, the hill of Montetramito, which with its ilex and myrtle-grown black rocks, and its crumbling mounds the bright green spruce pine clings to the washed-away scarlet sand, separates the green and fertile plain of Lucca from the marshes of the Pisan sea-shore. The two friends had met only an hour or so before at the foot of the Apennine pass, and would... Essays - Post by : snchai - Date : October 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 2512

Ruskinism, The Would-be Study Of A Conscience Ruskinism, The Would-be Study Of A Conscience

Ruskinism, The Would-be Study Of A Conscience
I give a place to the following pages, because, for all the difference of form, this essay is of the same sort, has had the same kind of origin, as the so seemingly incongruous studies with which it is bound up. For this also is the rough putting together of notes made at various times and in various phases of study; it is a series of self-questionings and answers, of problems, perhaps only half-formulated and half-solved, which have arisen round one man, one artist, one art philosophy, even as in the adjoining essays they have arisen around some one statue, or... Essays - Post by : pearlventures - Date : October 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 2467

In Umbria, A Study Of Artistic Personality In Umbria, A Study Of Artistic Personality

In Umbria, A Study Of Artistic Personality
... grande, austera, verde, Da le montagne digradanti in cerchio, L'Umbria guarda.--CARDUCCI.The autumn sun is declining over the fields and oak-woods and vineyards of Umbria --in the wide undulating valley, inclosed by high rounded hills, bleak or dark with ilex, each with its strange terraced white city, Assisi, Spello, Spoleto, Todi--the Tiber winds lazily along, pale green, limpid, scarce rippled over its yellow pebbles, screened by long rows of reeds, and thinned, yellowing poplars, reflecting dimly the sky and trees, the pointed mediaeval bridges and the crenelated towers on its banks; so clear and placid that you can scarcely bring... Essays - Post by : Bulleke - Date : October 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 2357

Cherubino, A Psychological Art Fancy Cherubino, A Psychological Art Fancy

Cherubino, A Psychological Art Fancy
It is a strange and beautiful fact that whatsoever is touched by genius, no matter how humble in itself, becomes precious and immortal. This wrinkled old woman is merely one of thousands like herself, who have sat and will sit by the great porcelain stove of the Dutch backshop, their knitting or their bible on their knees. There is nothing to make her recollected; yet we know her after two centuries, even as if we had seen her alive, because, with a few blurred lines and shadows hastily scratched on his etching plate, it pleased the whim of Master Rembrandt to... Essays - Post by : itTiger - Date : October 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 1904

Chapelmaster Kreisler Chapelmaster Kreisler

Chapelmaster Kreisler
A STUDY OF MUSICAL ROMANTICISTS. There is nothing stranger in the world than music: it exists only as sound, is born of silence and dies away into silence, issuing from nothing and relapsing into nothing; it is our own creation, yet it is foreign to ourselves; we draw it from out of the silent wood and the silent metal, it lives in our own breath, yet it seems to come to us from a distant land which we shall never see, and to tell us of things we shall never know. It is for ever striving to tell us something, for... Essays - Post by : w3matic - Date : October 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 2143

Faustus And Helena Faustus And Helena

Faustus And Helena
NOTES ON THE SUPERNATURAL IN ART. There is a story, well-known throughout the sixteenth century, which tells how Doctor Faustus of Wittemberg, having made over his soul to the fiend, employed him to raise the ghost of Helen of Sparta, in order that she might become his paramour. The story has no historic value, no scientific meaning; it lacks the hoary dignity of the tales of heroes and demi-gods, wrought, vague, and colossal forms, out of cloud and sunbeam, of those tales narrated and heard by generations of men deep hidden in the stratified ruins of lost civilisation, carried in the... Essays - Post by : coinn - Date : October 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 3389

Orpheus And Eurydice Orpheus And Eurydice

Orpheus And Eurydice
THE LESSON OF A BAS-RELIEF. No Greek myth has a greater charm for our mind than that of Orpheus and Eurydice. In the first place, we are told by mythologists that it is a myth of the dawn, one of those melancholy, subdued interpretations of the eternal, hopeless separation of the beautiful light of dawn and the beautiful light of day, which forms the constantly recurring tragedy of nature, as the tremendous struggle between light and darkness forms her never-ending epic, her Iliad and Nibelungenlied. There is more of the purely artistic element in these myths of the dawn than in... Essays - Post by : Maureen - Date : October 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 1071

The Child In The Vatican The Child In The Vatican

The Child In The Vatican
There were a lot of children in the Vatican this morning: small barbarians scarce out of the nursery, who should have been at home, at their lessons, or reading fairy books, or carpentering, or doll-educating, or boat-sailing, or amusing themselves in the hundred nondescript ways which we seem to forget (remembering only ready-made toys and ready-made stories) when we grow up. Some were left to their own devices, and scampered, chattering and laughing, through the gallery; jumping up three steps at a time, clambering up to windows, running round isolated statues, feretting into all the little nook and corner rooms, peeping... Essays - Post by : vicki - Date : October 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 1766

The Garden Of Life The Garden Of Life

The Garden Of Life
"Cela est bien dit," repondit Candide; "mais ilfaut cultiver notre jardin."--ROMANS DE VOLTAIRE. This by no means implies that the whole of life is a garden or could be made one. I am not sure even that we ought to try. Indeed, on second thoughts, I feel pretty certain that we ought not. Only such portion of life is our garden as lies, so to speak, close to our innermost individual dwelling, looked into by our soul's own windows, and surrounded by its walls. A portion of life which is ours exclusively, although we do occasionally lend its key to a... Essays - Post by : hallmark - Date : April 2011 - Author : Vernon Lee - Read : 1567