THE PAGAN REVIEW
August 15, 1892
. . . . . . . . . Foreword.
W.S. Fanshawe: The Black Madonna.
Geo. Gascoigne: The Coming of Love.
Willand Dreeme: The Pagans: a Romance.
Lionel Wingrave: An Untold Story.
James Marazion: The Rape of the Sabines.
Wm. Windover: Dionysos in India.
[ S: “Pastels in Prose.” ]
* As the circulation of The Pagan Review will be decided
the number of subscribers, and as no special effort is to be made
to attract “the general reader,” the only sure way of obtaining
copies, as well as of assisting the venture, is by subscription in
THE PAGAN REVIEW
Each number . . . . . . . . One Shilling.
SUBSCRIPTION: Each number, 9d. ; Despatch, 3d.
copies will be delivered, post-paid to Subscribers
invariably in advance of all other copies—
YEAR: 12 Shillings.
BY THE HALF-YEAR: 6 Shillings.
⁂ All who remit one shilling for this first number can be
registered as Subscribers for One Year on payment of 10 Shillings,
or for the Half-Year on payment of 5 Shillings.
⁂ In the event of the Magazine not living to its allotted
term, such portion of each Subscriber’s remittance as shall not
have been taken over on account of copies sent will be duly
THE PAGAN REVIEW will appear on the 15th of each month, in
pamphlet form of 64 pages.
It will publish nothing save by writers who theoretically
practically have identified, or are identifying themselves with “the
To be Ordered only from W.H. Brooks, Buck’s Green, RUDGWICK,
* If filled up, please send to address as below.
THE PAGAN REVIEW.
Name in Full: ________________________________________
Permanent Address: ___________________________________
For One Year _________________________________
For Six Months _______________________________
* If subscription be sent herewith, fill
in amount and initial here ( ____________________ )
[If no wish to the contrary be expressed, any subscription remitted—
unless remittance for current number be sent separately—will be understood
to include this number: thus, a subscription for one year will be from and
inclusive of No. I. (See Editorial Notes at end of current number.]
⁂ALL COMMUNICATIONS TO BE ADDRESSED TO THE ASSISTANT EDITOR:—
MR. W.H. BROOKS,
BUCK’S GREEN, RUDGWICK, SUSSEX.
Editorial prefaces to new magazines
great stress on the effort of the directorate, and all
concerned, to make the forthcoming periodical popular.
We have no such expectation: not even, it may be
added, any such intention. We aim at thorough-going
unpopularity: and ther is every reason to believe
that, with the blessed who expect little, we shall not be
In the first place, THE PAGAN REVIEW is frankly
pagan: pagan in sentiment, pagan in convictions,
pagan in outlook. This being so, it is a magazine
only for those who, with Mr. George Meredith, can ex-
claim in all sincerity—
“O sir, the truth, the truth! is’t in the skies,
Or in the grass, or in this heart of ours?
But O, the truth, the truth! . . . . “—
and at the same time, and with the same author, are
not unready to admit that truth to life, external and
internal, very often
“. . . . . . is not meat
For little people or for fools.”
To quote from Mr. Meredith once more:
“. . . . . these things are life:
And life, they say, is worthy of the Muse.”
But we are well aware that this is just what “they”
don’t say. “They”, “the general public”, care very
little about the “Muse” at all; and the one thing they
never advocate of wish is that the “Muse” should be so
indiscreet as to really withdraw from life the approved
veils of Convention.
Nevertheless, we believe that there is a by no means
numerically insignificant public to whom THE PAGAN
REVIEW may appeal; though our paramount difficulty
will be to reach those who, owing to various circum-
2 THE PAGAN REVIEW
stances, are out of the way of hearing aught concerning
the most recent developments in the world of letters.
THE PAGAN REVIEW conveys, or is meant to convey,
a good deal by its title. The new paganism is a potent
leaven in the yeast of the “younger generation”, without
as yet having gained due recognition, or even any suffi-
ciently apt and modern name, any scientific designation.
The “new paganism,” the “modern epicureanism,” and
kindred appellations, are more or less misleading. Yet,
with most of us, there is a fairly definite idea of what
we signify thereby. The religion of our forefathers has
not only ceased for us personally, but is no longer in
any vital and general sense a sovereign power in the
realm. It is still fruitful of vast good, but it is none
the less a poer that was rather than a power that is.
The ideals of our forefathers are not our ideals, except
where the accidents of time and change can work no
havoc. A new epoch is about to be inaugurated, is,
indeed, in many respects, already begun; a new epoch
in civil law, in international comity, in what, vast
and complete though the issues be, may be called
Human Economy. The long half-acknowledged, half-
denied duel between Man and Woman is to cease,
neither through the victory of hereditary overlordship
nor the triumph of the far more deft and subtle if
less potent weapons of the weaker, but through a frank
recognition of copartnery. This new comradeship will
be not less romantic, less inspiring, less worthy of the
chivalrous extremes of life and death, than the old
system of overlord and bondager, while it will open
perspectives of a new-rejoicing humanity, the most
fleeting glimpses of which now make the hearts of
true men and women beat with gladness. Far from
wishing to disintegrate, degrade, abolish marriage, the
“new paganism” with fain see that sexual union
become the flower of human life But, first, the rubbish
must be cleared away; the anomalies must be replaced
by just inter-relations; the sacredness of the individual
must be recognized; and women no longer have to look
upon men as usurpers, men lo longer to regard
women as spiritual foreigners.
These remarks, however, must not be taken too liter-
ally as indicative of the literary aspects of THE PAGAN
REVIEW. Opinions are one thing, the expression of
them another, and the transformation or reincarna-
tion of them through indirect presentment another still.
This magazine is to be a purely literary, not a
philosophical, partisan, or propagandist periodical.
We are concerned here with the new presentment of
things rather than with the phenomena of change and
growth themselves. Our vocation, in a word, is to
give artistic expression to the artistic “inwardness”
of the new paganism; and we voluntarily turn aside
here from such avocations as chronicling every ebb
and flow of thought, speculating upon every fresh sur-
prising derelict upon the ocean of man’s mind, or
expounding well or ill on the new ethic. If those who
sneer at the rallying cry, “Art for Art’s sake,” laugh
at our efforts, we are well content; for even the lungs
of donkeys are strengthened by much braying. If, on
the other hand, those who, by vain pretensions and
paradoxical clamour, degrade Art by making her
merely the more or less seductive panoply of mental
poverty and spiritual barrenness, care to do a grievous
wrong by openly and blatantly siding with us, we are
still content; for we recognise that spiritual byways
and mental sewers relieve the Commonwealth of much
that is unseemly and might breed contagion. THE
PAGAN REVIEW, in a word, is to be a mouthpiece—we
are genuinely modest enough to disavow the definite
article–of the younger generation. In its
pages there will be found a free exposition of the myriad
aspects of life, in each instance as adequately as possible
reflective of the mind and literary temperament of the
writer. The pass-phrase of the new paganism is ours:
Sic transit gloria Grundi. The supreme interest of Man
is—Woman: and the most profound and fascinating
problem to Woman is Man. This being so, and quite
unquestionably so with all the male and female pagans
of our acquaintance, it is natural that literature domi-
nated by the various forces of the sexual emotion should
prevail. Yet, though paramount in attraction, it is,
4 THE PAGAN REVIEW
after all, but one among the many motive forces of
life; so we will hope not to fall into the error of some
of our French confreres and be persistently and even
supernaturally awake to the functional activity and
blind to the general life and interest of the common-
wealth of sould and body. It is LIFE that we preach, if
perforce we must be taken as preachers at all; Life to
the full, in all its manifestations, in its heights and
depths, precious to the uttermost moment, not to be bar-
tered even when maimed and weary. For here, at any
rate we are alive; and then, alas, after all—
“how few Junes
Will heat our pulses quicker. . . “
“Much cry for little wool”, some will exclaim. It
may be so. Whenever did a first number of a new
magazine fulfil all its editor’s dreams or even inten-
tions? “Well, we must make the best of it, I suppose.
‘Tis nater after all, and what pleases God”, as Mrs.
Durbeyfield says in “Tess of the Durbervilles.”
Have you read that charming roman à quatre, the
“Croix de Berny?” If so, you will recollect the fol-
lowing words of Edgar de Meilhan (alias Théophile
Gautier), which I (“I” standing for editor, and asso-
ciates, and pagans in general) now quote for the delec-
tation of all readers adversely minded or generously
inclined, or dubious as to our real intent—with blithe
hopes that they may be the happier therefor: “Frankly,
I am in earnest this time. Order me a dove-coloured
vest, apple-green trousers, a pouch, a crook; in short
the entire outfit of a Lignon Shepherd. I shall have a
lamb washed to complete the pastoral.”
This is “the lamb.”
⁂ Readers are requested to note the administra-
tional remarks on the inside of the cover (p. ii.), and the
Forecast and Editorial intimations printed at the end
of the text.
THE BLACK MADONNA.
The blood-red sunset turns the dark fringes of the
forest into a wave of flame. A hot river of light streams
through the aisles of the ancient trees, and, falling over the
shoulder of a vast, smooth slab of stone that rises solitary
in this wilderness of dark growth and sombre green, pours
in a flood across an open glade and upon the broken columns
and inchoate ruins of what in immemorial time had been
a mighty temple, the fane of a perished god, or of many
gods. As the sun rapidly descends, the stream of red
light narrows, till, quivering and palpitating, it rests like
a bloody sword upon a colossal statue of black marble,
facing due westward. The statue is that of a woman,
and is as of the Titans of old-time.
A great majesty is upon the mighty face, with its
moveless yet seeing eyes, its faint inscrutable smile.
Upon the triple-ledged pedestal, worn at the edges like
swords ground again and again, lie masses of large white
flowers, whose heavy fragrances rise in a faint blue
vapour drawn forth with the sudden suspiration of the
earth by the first twilight-chill.
In the great space betwixt the white slab of
hurled thither, or raised, none knoweth when or how-is
gathered a dark multitude, silent, expectant. Many are
Arab tribesmen, the remnant of a strange sect driven
southward; but most are Nubians, or that unnamed
swarthy race to whom both Arab and Negro are as chil-
dren. All, save the priests, of whom the elder are clad in
white robes and the younger girt about by scarlet sashes,
are naked. Behind the men, at a short distance apart, are
the women; each virgin with an ivory circlet round the
neck, each mother or pregnant woman with a thin gold
band round the left arm. Between the long double-line
of the priests and the silent multitude stands a small
group of five youths and five maidens; each crowned with
6 THE PAGAN REVIEW
heavy drooping white flowers; each motionless, morose;
all with eyes fixt on the trodden earth at their feet.
The younger priests suddenly strike together square
brazen cymbals, deeply chased with signs and letters
of a perished tongue. A shrill screaming cry goes
up from the people, followed by a prolonged silence.
Not a man moves, not a woman sighs. Only a shiver
contracts the skin of the foremost girl in the small
central group. Then the elder priests advance slowly,
CHORUS OF THE PRIESTS:
We are thy children, O mighty Mother!
We are the slain of thy spoil, O Slayer!
We are thy thoughts that are fulfilled, O Thinker!
Have pity upon us!
Have pity upon us! Have pity upon us! Have pity
Thou wast, before the first child came through the dark
[gate of the womb!
Thou wast, before ever woman knew man!
Thou wast, before the shadow of man moved athwart
Thou wast, and thou art!
Have pity upon us! Have pity upon us! Have pity
Hail, thou who art more fair than the dawn, more dark
Hail thou, white as ivory or veiled in shadow!
Hail, thou of many names, and immortal!
Hail, Mother of God, Sister of the Christ, Bride of the
Have pity upon us? Have pity upon us! Have pity
THE BLACK MADONNA 7
O moon of night, O morning star! Consoler! Slayer!
Thou, who lovest shadow, and fear, and sudden death!
Who art the smile that looketh upon women and children!
Who hath the heart of man in thy grip as in a vice;
Who hath his pride and strength in thy sigh of yestereve;
Who hath his being in thy breath that goeth forth, and
Have pity upon us! Have pity upon us! Have pity
We knew thee not, nor the way of thee, O Queen!
But we bring thee what thou loved’st of old, and for ever!
The white flowers of our forests and the red flowers of
Take them and slay not, O Slayer!
For we are thy slaves, O Mother of Life,
We are the dust of thy tired feet, O Mother of God!
As the white-robed priests advance slowly towards
the Black Madonna, the younger tear off their scarlet
sashes, and seizing the five maidens, bind them together,
left arm to right, and hand to hand. Therewith the
victims move slowly forward till they pass through the
ranks of the priests, and stand upon the lowest edge of the
pedestal of the great statue. Towards each steppeth, and
behind each standeth, a naked priest, each holding a
narrow irregular sword of antique fashion.
THE ELDER PRIESTS:
O Mother of God!
THE YOUNGER PRIESTS:
O Slayer, be pitiful!
O Mother of God! O Slayer! be merciful!
THE MULTITUDE (in a loud screaming voice):
Have pity upon us! Have pity upon us! Have pity
The last blood-red gleam fades from the Black
donna, and flashes this way and that for a moment from
8 THE PAGAN REVIEW
the ten sword-knives that cut the air and plunge between
the shoulders and to the heart of each victim. A wide
spirt of blood rains upon the white flowers at the base of
the colossal figure; where also speedily lie, dark amidst
welling crimson, the swarthy bodies of the slain.
Behold, O Mother of God,
The white flowers of our forests and the red flowers of
Have pity, O Compassionate,
Be merciful, O Queen!
Have pity upon us! Have pity upon us! Have pity
But at the swift coming of the darkness, the priests
hastily cover the dead with the masses of the white
flowers; and one by one, and group by group, the mul-
titude melteth away. When all are gone save the young
chief, Bihr, and a few of his following, the priests pros-
trate themselves before the Black Madonna, and pray to
her to vouchsafe a sign.
From the mouth of the carven figure cometh a hollow
voice, sombre as the reverberation of thunder among
THE BLACK MADONNA:
THE PRIESTS (prostrate):
Wilt thou slay, O Slayer?
THE BLACK MADONNA:
THE PRIESTS (in a rising chant):
Wilt thou save, O Mother of God?
THE BLACK MADONNA:
Can one see thee, and live?
THE BLACK MADONNA:
At the Gate of Death.
Whereafter, no sound cometh from the statue, already
dim in the darkness that seems to have crept from the
THE BLACK MADONNA 9
forest. The priests rise, and disappear in silent groups
under the trees.
The thin crescent moon slowly rises. A phosphorescent
glow from orchids and parasitic growths shimmers inter-
mittently in the forest. A wavering beam of light falls
upon the right breast of the Black Madonna; then
slowly downward to her feet; then upon the motionless
figure of Bihr, the warrior-chief. None saw him steal
thither: none knoweth that he has braved the wrath of
the Slayer; for it is the sacred time, when it is death to
enter the glade.
BIHR (in a low voice):
Speak, Spirit that dwelleth here from of old . . .
Speak, for I would have speech with thee. I fear thee
not, O Mother of God, for the priests of the Christ who
is thy son say that thou wert but a woman. . .
And it may be—it may be—what say the children of
the Prophet: that there is but one God, and he is Allah.
(Deep silence. From the desert beyond the forest
comes the hollow roaring of lions.)
BIHR (in a loud chant):
To the north and to the east I have seen many figures
like unto thine, gods and goddesses: some mightier than
thee—vast sphinxes by the flood of Nilus, gigantic faces
rising out of the sands of the desert. And none spake,
for silence is come upon them; and none slays, for the
strength of the gods passes even as the strength of men.
come snarling cries, 1ong-drawn howls, and the
low moaning sigh of the wind.)
For I will not be thrall to a woman, and the priests shall
not bend me to their will as a slave unto the yoke. If
thou thyself art God, speak, and I shall be thy slave to
do thy will . . . . Thrice have I come hither at
the new moon, and thrice do I go hence uncomforted
. . . .What voice was that that spoke ere the
victims died? I know not; but it hath reached mine
ears never save when the priests are by. Nay (laughing
low), O Mother of God, I—
10 THE PAGAN REVIEW
(Suddenly he trembles all over and falls on his
for from the blackness above him cometh a voice:)
THE BLACK MADONNA:
What would’st thou?
Have mercy upon me, O Queen!
THE BLACK MADONNA:
What would’st thou?
I worship thee, Mother of God! Slayer and Saver!
THE BLACK MADONNA:
What would’st thou?
Show me thyself, thyself, even for this one time, O
Strength and Wisdom!
Deep silence.. The wind in the forest passes away
with a faint wailing sound. The dull roaring of lions
rises and falls in the distance. A soft yellow light
illumes the statue, as though another moon were rising
behind the temple.
A great terror comes upon Bihr the Chief, and he
falls prostrate at the base of the Black Madonna.
His eyes are open, but they see not, save the burnt
spikes of trodden grass, sere and stiff save where damp
with newly-shed blood; and deaf are his ears, though
he waits for he knoweth not what sound from above.
Suddenly he starts, and the sweat mats the hair on
his forehead when he feels a touch on his right shoulder.
Looking slowly round he sees beside him a woman, tall,
and of a lithe and noble body. He seeth that her skin
is dark, yet not of the blackness of the south. Two
spheres of wrought gold cover her breasts, and from the
serpentine zone round her waist is looped a dusky veil
spangled with shining points. In her eyes, large as
those of the desert-antelope, is the loveliness and the
pathos and the pain of twilight.
Art thou—Art thou—
THE BLACK MADONNA:
I am she whom thou worshippest.
THE BLACK MADONNA 11
BIHR(looking at the colossal statue, irradiated by the
strange light that cometh he knows not whence;
and then at the beautiful apparition by his side.)
Thou art the Black Madonna, the Mother of God?
THE BLACK MADONNA:
Thou sayest it.
Thou hast heard my prayer, O Queen!
THE BLACK MADONNA:
BIHR(Taking heart because of the sweet and thrilling
humanity of the goddess.)
O Slayer and Saver, is the lightning thine and the fire
that is in the earth? Canst thou whirl the stars as
from a sling, and light the mountainous lands to the
south with falling meteors? O Queen, destroy me not,
for I am thy slave, and weaker than thy breath: but
canst thou stretch forth thine hand and say yea to the
lightning, and bid silence unto the thunder ere it breeds
the bolts that smite? For if—
THE BLACK MADONNA:
I make and I unmake. This cometh and that goeth,
and I am—
And thou art—
THE BLACK MADONNA:
I was Ashtaroth of old. Men have called me many
names. All things change, but I change not. Know
me, O Slave! I am the Mother of God. I am the Sister
of the Christ. I am the Bride of the Prophet.
BIHR (with awe):
And thou art the very Prophet, and the very Christ, and
the very God! Each speaketh in thee, who art older
THE BLACK MADONNA:
I am the Prophet.
Hail, O Lord of Deliverance!
12 THE PAGAN REVIEW
THE BLACK MADONNA:
I am the Christ, the Son of God.
Hail, O most Patient, most Merciful!
THE BLACK MADONNA:
I am the Lord thy God.
Hail, Giver of Life and Death!
THE BLACK MADONNA:
Yet here none is; for each goeth or each cometh as I
will. I only am eternal.
BIHR(Crawling forward, and kissing her feet.)
Behold, I am thy slave to do thy will: thy sword to slay:
thy spear to follow: thy hound to track thine enemies.
I am dust beneath thy feet. Do with me as thou wilt.
THE BLACK MADONNA:(Slowly, and looking at him strangely.)
Thou shalt be my High Priest. . . . .Come back
to-morrow an hour after the setting of the sun.
As Bihr the Chief rises and goeth away into the
shadow she stareth steadily after him; and a deep fear
dwells in the twilight of her eyes. Then, turning, she
standeth awhile by the slain bodies of the victims of the
sacrifice; and having lightly brushed away with her foot
the flowers above each face, looketh long on the mystery
of death. And when at last she glides by the great
statue and passes into the ruins beyond, there is no
longer any glow of light, and a deep darkness covereth
the glade. From the deeper darkness beyond comes the
howling of hyenas, the shrill screaming of a furious beast
of prey, and the sudden bursting roar of lion answering
When the dawn breaks, and a pale, wavering light
glimmers athwart the great white slab of stone that,
on the farther verge of the forest, faces the Black
Madonna, there is nought upon the pedestal save a ruin
of bloodied trampled flowers, though the sere yellow
grass is stained in long trails across the open. The dawn
withdraws again, but ere long suddenly wells forth, and
THE BLACK MADONNA 13
it is as though the light wind were bearing over the
forest a multitude of soft grey feathers from the breasts
of doves. Then the dim concourse of feathers is as
though innumerable leaves of wild-roses were falling,
falling, petal by petal uncurling into a rosy flame that
wafts upward and onward. The stars have grown sud-
denly pale, and the fires of Phosphor burn wanly green in
the midst of a palpitating haze of pink. With a great
rush, the sun swings through the gates of the East, tossing
aside his golden, fiery mane as he fronts the new day.
And the going of the day is from morning silence
unto noon silence, and from the silence of the afternoon
unto the silence of the eve. Once more, towards the
setting of the sun, the multitude cometh out of the
forest, from the east and from the west, and from the
north and from the south: once more the Priests sing the
sacred hymns: once more the people supplicate as with
one shrill screaming voice, Have pity upon us! Have
pity upon us! Have pity upon us! Once more the
victims are slain of little children who might one day
shake the spear and slay, five; and of little children who
would one day bear and bring forth, five.
Yet again an hour passeth after the setting of the
sun. There is no moon to lighten the darkness and the
silence; but a soft glow falleth from the temple, and
upon the mall who kneels before the Black Madonna.
But when Bihr, having no sign vouchsafed, and hearing
no sound, and seeing nought upon the carven face,
neither tremour of the lips nor life in the lifeless eyes,
suddenly seeth the goddess, glorious in her beauty that
is as of the night, coming towards him from out of the
ruins, his heart leapeth within him in strange joy and
dread. Scarce knowing what he doth, he springeth to
his feet, trembling as a reed that leaneth
against the flank of a lioness by the water-pool.
BIHR (yearningly, with supplicating arms):
Hail, God! . . . .Goddess, Most Beautiful!
She draws nigh to him, looking at him the while
of the deep twilight of her eyes.
THE BLACK MADONNA:
What would’st thou?
14 THE PAGAN REVIEW
BIHR(Wildly, stepping close, but halting in dread.)
Thou art no Mother of God, O Goddess, Queen, Most
THE BLACK MADONNA:
What would’st thou, O blind fool that is so in love with
Make me like unto thyself, for I love you!
Deep silence. From afar, on the desert, comes the
dull roaring of lions by the water-courses; from the
forest a murmurous sound as of baffled winds snared
among the thick-branched ancient trees.
BIHR(Sobbing as one wounded in flight by an arrow.)
For I love thee: I—love-thee! I—
Deep silence. A shrill screaming of a bird fascinated
by a snake comes from the forest. Beyond, from the
desert, a long, desolate moaning and howling, where the
THE BLACK MADONNA:
When . .did . . thy folly . .this madness
. . come upon thee . . O Fool?
O Most Beautiful! Most Beautiful! Thou—Thou—
will I worship!
THE BLACK MADONNA:
Go hence, lest I slay thee!
Slay, O Slayer, for thou art Life and Death!
. . . But I go not hence. I love thee! I love thee! I love
THE BLACK MADONNA:
I am the Mother of God.
I love thee!
THE BLACK MADONNA:
God dwelleth in me. I am thy God.
I love thee!
THE BLACK MADONNA 15
THE BLACK MADONNA:
Go hence, lest I slay thee!
Thou tremblest, O Mother of God! Thy lips twitch,
thy breasts heave, O thou who callest thyself God!
THE BLACK MADONNA:(raising her right arm menacingly.)
Go hence, thou dog, lest thou look upon my face no more.
Then suddenly, with bowed head and shaking limbs,
Bihr the Chief turneth and passes into the forest. And
as he fades into the darkness, the Black Madonna stareth
a long while after him, and a deep fear broodeth in the
twilight of her eyes. But by the bodies of the slain
children she passes at last, and with a shudder looks
not upon their faces, but strews the heavy white flowers
more thickly upon them.
The darkness cometh out of the darkness, billow
welling forth from spent billow on the tides of night.
On the obscure waste of the glade nought moves, save
the gaunt shadow of a hyena that crawls from column
to column. From the blackness beyond swells the long
thunderous howl of a lioness, echoing the hollow blasting
roar of a lion standing, with eyes of yellow flame, on the
summit of the great slab of smooth rock that faces the
And when the dawn breaks, and long lines of
grey wavelets ripple in a flood athwart the black-green
sweep of the forest, there is nought upon the pedestal
but red flowers that once were white, rent and scattered
this way and that. The cool wind moving against the
east ruffles the opaline flood into a flying foam of pink,
wherefrom mists and vapours rise on wings like rosy
flames, and as they rise their crests shine as with
blazing gold, and they fare forth after the Morn that
leads towards the Sun.
And the going of the day is from morning silence
unto noon silence, and from the silence of the afternoon
unto the silence of eve. Once more towards the setting
of the sun, the multitude cometh out of the forest, from
the east and from the west, and from the north and from
the south. Once more the priests sing the sacred
16 THE PAGAN REVIEW
hymns: once more the people supplicate as with one
shrill screaming voice, Have pity upon us! Have pity
upon us! Have pity upon us! Once more the vic-
tims are slain: five chiefs of captives taken in war, and
unto each chief two warriors in the glory of youth.
Yet an hour after the setting of the sun. Moonless
the silence and the dark, save for the soft yellow light
that falleth from the temple, and upon the man who,
crested with an ostrich-plume bound by a heavy circlet
of gold, with a tiger-skin about his shoulders, and with
a great spear in his hand, standeth beyond the statue
and nigh unto the ruins, where no man hath ventured
BIHR (with loud triumphant voice):
Come forth, my Bride!
Deep silence, save for the sighing of the wind among
the upper branches of the trees, and the panting of the
flying deer beyond the glade.
BIHR(striking his spear against the marble steps.)
Come forth, Glory of my eyes! Come forth, Body of
Deep silence. Then there is a faint sound, and the
Black Madonna stands beside Bihr the Chief. And the
man is wrought to madness by her beauty, and lusteth
after her, and possesseth her with the passion of his eyes.
THE BLACK MADONNA:(Trembling, and strangely troubled.)
What would’st thou?
THE BLACK MADONNA (slowly):
Young art thou, Bihr, in thy comeliness and strength
to be so in love with death.
Who giveth life, and who death? It is not thou, nor I.
THE BLACK MADONNA (shuddering):
It cometh. None can stay it.
Not thou? Thou can’st not stay it, even?
THE BLACK MADONNA 17
THE BLACK MADONNA (whisperingly):
Nay, Bihr; and this thing thou knowest in thy heart.
O Mother of God! O Sister of Christ! O Bride of the Prophet!
THE BLACK MADONNA:(putting her hand to her heart.)
What would’st thou?
THE BLACK MADONNA:
I am the Slayer, the Terrible, the Black Madonna.
And lo, thy God laugheth at thee, even as at me, and
mine. And lo, I have come for thee; for I am become
His Prophet, and thou art to be my Bride!
As he finisheth he turns towards the great Statue of
Black Madonna and, laughing, hurls his spear against its
breast, whence the weapon rebounds with a loud clang.
Then, ere the woman knows what he has done, he leaps
to her and seizes her in his grasp, and kisses her upon
the lips, and grips her with his hands till the veins sting
in her arms. And all the sovereignty of her lonely
godhood passeth from her like the dew before the hot
breath of the sun, and her heart throbs against his side
so that his ears ring as with the clang of the gongs
of battle. He sobs low, as a man amidst baffling waves;
and in the hunger of his desire she sinks as one who
Together they go up the long flat marble steps:
together they pass into the darkness of the ruins.
From the deeper darkness beyond cometh no sound, for
the forest is strangely still. Not a beast of prey comes
nigh unto the slain victims of the sacrifice, not a vulture
falleth like a cloud through the night. Only, from afar,
the dull roaring of the lions cometh up from the water-
courses on the desert.
And the wind that bloweth in the night cometh with
rain and storm, so that when the dawn breaks it is as a
sea of sullen waves grey with sleet. But calm cometh
out of the blood red splendour of the east.
18 THE PAGAN REVIEW
And on this, the morning of the fourth and last day
the Festival of the Black Madonna, the multitude of her
worshippers come forth from the forest, singing a glad
song. In front go the warriors, the young men brandish-
ing spears, and with their knives in their left hands slicing
the flesh upon their sides and upon their thighs: the men
of the north clad in white garb and heavy burnous, the
tribesmen of the south naked save for their loin-girths,
but plumed as for war.
But as the priests defile beyond them upon the glade,
a strange new song goeth up from their lips; and the
people tremble, for they know that some dire thing hath
THE PRIESTS (chanting):
Lo, when the law of the Queen is fulfilled, she
from her people awhile. For the Mother of God loveth
the world, and would go in sacrifice. So loveth us the
Mother of God that she passeth in sacrifice. Behold,
she perisheth, who dieth not! Behold, she dieth, who
is immortal !
Whereupon a great awe cometh on the multitude, as
they behold smoke, whirling and fulgurant, issuing from
the mouth and nostrils of the Black Madonna. But this
awe passeth into horror, and horror into wild fear, when
great tongues of flame shoot forth amidst the wreaths
of smoke, and when from forth of the Black Madonna
come strange and horrible cries, as though a mortal
woman were perishing by the torture of fire.
With shrieks the women turn and fly; hurling their
spears from them, the men dash wildly to the forest,
heedless whither they flee.
But those that leap to the westward, where the great
white rock standeth solitary, facing the Black Madonna,
see for a moment, in the glare of sunrise, a swarthy,
naked figure, with a tiger-skin about the shoulders,
crucified against the smooth white slope. Down from the
outspread hands of Bihr the Chief trickle two long
wavering streamlets of blood: two long streamlets of
blood drip, drip, down the white glaring face of the
rock, from the pierced feet.
THE COMING OF LOVE.
In and out the osier beds, all along the
Lifts and laughs the soft south wind, or swoons among
But ah, whose following feet are these that bend the gold
Who laughs so low and sweet? Who sighs—and
Flower of my heart, my darling, why so slowly
Lift’st thou thine eyes to mine, deep wells of gladness?
Too deep this new-found joy, and this new pain too holy—
Or is there dread in thy heart of this divinest mad-
Who sighs with longing there?—who laughs alow—
Whose following feet are these that bend the gold marsh-
Who comes upon the wind that stirs the heavy seeding
In and out the osier beds, and hither through the
Flower of my heart, my dream—who whispers near so
Whose is the golden sunshine-net o’erspread for cap-
Lift, lift thine eyes to mine who love so wildly, madly—
Those eyes of brave desire, deep wells o’erbrimmed
“Ma contrée de dilution n’existe pour aucun
touriste et jamais guide ou médecin ne la
GEO. EECKHOUD. Kermesses.
“Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the
fields; let us lodge in the villages.”
Song of Solomon.
“. . . . . lo! with a little rod
I did but touch the honey of romance—
And must I lose a soul’s inheritance?”
The wind and the sunshine. I think of them always
when I whisper to myself her name—the name I loved
best to can her by. To others she was Claire Auriol;
to a privileged few she was Sans-Souci. To myself, and
myself only, she was—ah, Sweet-Heart, no, the word is
ours, and ours only, for ever.
We ought to have been born gipsies. Certainly we
both loved the sunshine, and the blithe freedom
of nature, with a passion. It was under the trees, under
the deep blue wind-swept sky, that we first realised
each had won from the other a lifetime of joy. True, it
was still winter. The snow lay deep by the hedges, and
we had to slip through many a drift before we reached
the lonely woodland height whither we were bound.
But was there ever snow so livingly white, so lit with
golden glow? Was ever summer sky more gloriously
blue? Was ever spring music sweeter than that exqui-
site midwinter hush, than that deep suspension of breath
before the flood of our joy?
THE PAGANS 21
How poignantly bitter-sweet was our separation so
soon thereafter! You had to rejoin your brother in
Paris, and resume your painting in his studio; and I
had to go to the London I hated so much, there to
write concerning things about which I cared not a straw,
while my heart was full of you, and my eyes saw you
everywhere, and my ears were haunted day and night
by echoes of your voice.
And oh, what joy it was when at last I had enough
money in hand to be independent of London, if not for
good, at least for a year or so; and when once more I
found myself in Paris. What joy to meet you again:
to find that we had not changed: that it was not all a
dream: that we loved each other more than ever.
What happy days those were in that bygone spring!
I wonder if ever two people were happier? Yes; we
were, when we left Paris behind us, and went away
together, as light-hearted as the April birds, as free as
the wind itself. But even in Paris, what glad hours we
had! Ah, those Sunday breakfasts at Suresnes, by the
riverside: those idle mornings on the sunlit grass at
Longchamp, or amid the elms and chestnuts of St. Cloud:
those happy days at Fontainebleau or Rambouillet:
those hours on the river when even forlorn Ivry seemed
a lovely and desirable place: those hours, at twilight,
in the Luxembourg Gardens, when the thrush would
sing as, we were sure, never nightingale sang in forest-
glade, or Wood of Broceliande: those hours in the
galleries, above all before our beloved Venus in the
Louvre: ah, beautiful hours, gone for ever, and yet im-
mortal, because of the joy that they knew and whereby
they live and are even now fresh and young and sweet
with their exquisite romance.
And that day, that golden day, when we said that we
would waste no more of the happy time of youth, but
go away together, and live our life as seemed to us best!
Can I ever forget how I came round to the studio in
the little Hôtel Soleil du Midi, shining white in the
22 THE PAGAN REVIEW
sunshine as a chalk cliff, but dappled and splashed all
over with bluish shadows from the great chestnuts of
the Luxembourg Gardens: and how I found you alone,
and in tears, before that too flattering portrait of me
which you had painted so lovingly, through such joyous
hours, with beneath it, in fantastic letters which you
would persist were Old German, but bore no resemblance
to any known caligraphy, the blithe couplet—
“Douce nuit et joyeux jour,
O Chevalier de bel amour.”
How angry you were with your brother Raoul because he
had told you he did not approve of your free Bohemian
life—because he had mocked your “douces nuits” and
“joyeux jours”—and had told you at last that you
must choose between him and your “chevalier de bel
amour:” the real, not the painted, one.
Is it all a dream? How well I remember how beauti-
ful she looked, as she stood before the easel which held
my portrait, her palette and brushes lying on a low
paint-daubed table beside her, her hands clasped as
they hung despondingly before her. Let me essay her
portrait, though there is no fear that I can flatter her,
dear heart, as she flattered me. Tall she was, and grace-
ful as a mountain-ash, or as a wild deer, or as a wave
upon the sea, or any other beautiful thing that one
loves to look upon for its exquisiteness of poise and
movement. It was this characteristic, I think, that first
made me liken her in my mind to a flower; and that
was the origin of a name I often called her by, and that
she loved to hear, White Flower. Not that, in a sense,
the word “white” was literally apt. She was not blonde,
and her skin, though fair and soft, was in keeping with
the rich dark of her hair and sweeping eyebrows and
long lashes. Paler than ivory, it was touched with a
delicious brown, the kiss of sunshine and fresh air; and
yet was so sensitive that it would redden at a moment—
a flush so lovely and blossom-like that her beauty be-
came at once bewilderingly enhanced by it. White,
certainly, were the teeth that gleamed like hawthorn-
THE PAGANS 23
buds behind the wild roses of her curved lips, and pink
and white the small sensitive ears that clung like
swallows under the eaves of her shadowy hair: but
lovely as dusk was she otherwise. Her lustrous dark
hair, that looked quite black at night, had a crisp and
a wave in it that caught all manner of wandering lights ;
so that, in full sunlight, and sometimes by firelight or
even lampiight, it seemed as though shot with bronze.
It rose in an upward wave from her broad white brow,
and was gathered together in a bewitching mass behind
in a way that I am sure was hers only. Her features
were more southern than northern in their classic sweep
and cut, and yet, northerner that I am, I loved them
the more for certain delicious inconsistencies and irregu-
larities. Her face, indeed, might almost have been
thought too square-set about the lower part but for
the loveliness of the general contour and the redeeming
sweetness and beauty of the mouth. Her eyes—those
eyes which have so often thrilled me beyond words,
those deep lustrous springs into which I have gazed so
often, fascinated by the strange joy, the strange longing,
a longing that was often pathos, and by the still stranger
melancholy that I could never quite divine, and of which
Claire herself was mostly unconscious—her eyes are in-
describable. They varied from a rich velvety darkness,
like the colour of midsummer twilight on cloudless eves,
when the hour is still what in the north they call “the
edge o’ dark,” to a clear brown-grey or grey-brown, of
that indeterminate light and sparkle one sees in moun-
tain streams that wimple over sunny shallows of moss
and pebbles. In certain lights they had that lustrous
green ray which has ever been beloved by poets and
painters. Lovely, mysterious eyes they were at all times;
though possibly none felt their mystery save myself, for
they were clear and fresh as the sunlit sea, as daring
as a flashing sword, as dauntless as a martyr’s before
the affront of death. Even in the drawing, even in
the photograph of her that I have before me now, I
find this quality of mysterious unfathomableness. It is,
indeed, more obvious there—in the photograph pre-
eminently—than it was in life. Even a stranger look-
ing upon this phantom-face might wonder what manner
24 THE PAGAN REVIEW
of girl, or woman, the original actually was; whether a
bright or a sombre spirit dwelt in those darkly reticent
The poise of her head, the rhythmic sway and carriage
of her body, every motion, every gesture, made a fresh
delight for all who looked at her. I have travelled much,
and seen the peasant-women of Italy and Greece, but
have never elsewhere so realised the poetry of human
motion. Claire might have served a sculptor as an ideal
model of Youth. She was slight in figure, and yet so
lithe and strong that she could outwalk and even out-
climb many a robust man. Whether we tramped many
miles together, or rambled through woods or by river-
sides, we never seemed to tire, till all at once we felt
the wish or need of rest. Certainly we never tired each
other. I think this was due to our absolute fitness for
each other. All lovers say that each was made for the
other, but in the nature of things there must be few
who are such counterparts as Claire and I were. In
everything. from temperament to height, she was to me
all that the eyes of the soul and the eyes of the body
desired in deep comradeship and love.
Then the charm of her blithe, brave spirit! How
often have I called her Sunshine; how often Dawn, and
Morning? For she was ever to me the living symbol,
nay, the perfect incarnation of the joy and beauty of
life. I have never met any woman so fearless; few so
self-reliant, so sunnily joyous while so easily wrought to
We were happy in our recognition of the fact that
we could be, as we latterly were, all in all to each
other; that each was for the other the supreme lure,
the summoning joy, in the maze of life.
When I entered the little studio that day, in the for-
saken but sunny and charming old hotel where Claire
and Victor Auriol lived, I knew at once that something
was far wrong; for Sans-Souci, as she was called by
intimate acquaintances among her artist friends, was
the last person to give way to tears on a slight excuse.
For tears there were in those beautiful eyes, though
THE PAGANS 25
but one or two had fallen from the long lashes. In a
few words she told me all.
Victor was tired of living with her, and had sought
many excuses recently to justify his ill-mannered hints.
Though both were artists, no two persons could be more
unlike. He was rigid, formal, conventional; without
intellectual breadth or even sympathy; with coarse, if
not actually depraved, tastes, which he possessed and
tantalised rather than gratified. When, a year or two
before I first met them, during what I called my literary
apprenticeship in Paris (though I am afraid I haunted
the book-shelves on the left bank of the Seine, and,
above all, the librairie of Léon Vanier, that literary
sponsor of so many of les jeunes, much more than more
academic resorts), their father had followed to the grave
their Irish mother—and Marcel Auriol was himself, I
should add, half English, or rather Scottish, despite his
French name—and left his two children a moderate
competency. But the conditions of the heritage were
unfair; for while the annual income of six thousand
francs was to be looked upon as equally between Victor
and Claire so long as they lived together, Claire was to
have but two thousand if she married, and only one
thousand if this marriage were not one approved of by
her brother, or if she voluntarily lived apart trom him.
Now, as it happened, Victor had a lust of gold that
blunted his sense of honour, and he was eager to part
from his sister, in whose company be was ever uneasy,
and to appropriate the lion’s share of the inheritance.
To do him justice, he might have acted otherwise if
Claire had been different from what he knew her. He
comforted his conscience with the sophistries that
Claire’s drawings were more saleable than his own, and
that therefore she did not need the money so much
as he did; that she was beautiful, and would certainly
make a good match; that he was really meeting her
half-way, since her great craving was for independence.
Still, it was with a certain bitterness, perhaps even a
certain clinging regret, that Sans-Souci (a name, by the
way, her brother hated) had listened to him that morn-
ing, when he had given his ultimatum. She was, he
demanded, to go with him to the little house at Sceaux
26 THE PAGAN REVIEW
he thought of taking, and there to act as housekeeper;
to be content with this life, and to give up once and for
all her Bohemian ways; and, above all, to see no more,
and to have no further communication with, “that
arrogant and offensive Scot, Wilfrid Traquair, kinsman
though he be”—in other words, the present writer!
All this was but a mean way of forcing Claire’s hand.
Victor Auriol knew well that she would refuse to accede
to his demands; and though she was not blind to his
intent she disdainfully refused to plead or argue for
And the end of it was that they had agreed to part.
Victor had, with convenient suddenness, decided to give
up the Sceaux house and to remain in the Hôtel Soleil
du Midi. With a promptness that betrayed how calcu-
lated everything had been, he explained to his sister
that by her own folly she would hencetorth be entitled
to but one thousand francs annually; and that, in view
of all the circumstances, the separation must be a com-
plete one. In other words, Claire was to go; with the
consciousness that the manner of her going, her imme-
diate destination, and her future movements were alike
matters of indifferent moment to her brother.
It was then and there, in that sunny studio, with the
white doves fluttering their wings on the wide green
sill beside the open window, that Sans-Souci and I
decided to fulfil one of our happy dreams and go away
It was on the morrow following this decision of ours
that Sans-Souci said good-bye (and, as it happened, a
lifelong farewell) to her brother. She had packed up
all her few belongings that she cared to keep, and sent
them to the care of a friend in the Rue Grégoire de
Tours, that narrow, inconspicuous byway from the great
Boulevard St. Germain, so well known to the poorer stu-
dents and artists of the neighbourhood. When I reached
the court of the Hôtel Soleil du Midi I saw her standing
there, talking quietly to the concierge as if she were
about to go forth only to return again, as of yore.
I was too glad, too wildly elated, to express anything
of the overmastering happiness that I felt in seeing her
there, alone, and ready to go forth with me—in the
THE PAGANS 27
recognition that the past night, so interminable in its
sleepless anxiety, was not a fantastic dream.
“Where are your things, Claire?” was all that I said,
in a low and somewhat constrained voice: “I mean
your bag, or whatever you have.”
She looked at me half surprisedly with her clear,
steadfast eyes, as she replied, quite simply and naturally,
and as though the concierge were not beside us:
“Why, Will, dear, I did as we arranged, and sent them
to Pierre Vicaire’s, near the Pont des Arts. You said
you would do the same, and that we would call there on
our way to the hirondelle for Charenton.”
“Of course, of course,” I muttered confusedly, and
half turned as if eager to go—as indeed I was, particu-
larly as I had just caught sight of Victor Auriol’s dark,
forbidding face behind a thin lace curtain at one of the
With a low laugh, sweet as the sound of rain after a
drought, Sans-Souci slipped her hand into mine.
“At last—at last,” she breathed in a
while her dear eyes shone with a strange light. Then,
turning, and waving her hand to the concierge, she bade
him a blithe good-bye.
“Au revoir—adieu—adieu, M. Bonnard.
Do not wait
too long before thou takest that little inn in Barbizon
that you dream of! Adieu!
“Aha!” cried the man, with a roguish smile: “mon-
sieur et madame contemplent une mariage au treizième
But just as by a side glance I noticed the slight flush
in Claire’s face, M. Bonnard’s wife handed me a note on
my passing her open doorway. I guessed rather than
knew that it was from Victor Auriol. It was addressed
in the following fantastic fashion:—
Á Monsieur Wilfrid Traquair,
A hearty shout of laughter from Sans-Souci and my-
self must have reached his ears. Just before we emerged
upon the street, I glanced back and saw him abruptly
28 THE PAGAN REVIEW
withdraw his face from behind the lace curtain at the
open window. The contents of the note ran thus:
“MONSIEUR: That my sister has chosen to unite
herself with a beggarly Scot is her pitiable misfortune:
that she has done so without even the decent veil of
marriage is her enormity and my disgrace. Henceforth
I know as little of the one as of the other, and I beg
you to understand that neither you nor the young
woman need ever expect the slightest tolerance, much
less practical countenance, from me. You are both at
liberty to hold, and carry out, the atrocious opinions (for
I will not flatter you by calling them convictions) upon
marriage which you entertain or profess to entertain: I,
equally, am at liberty to abstain from the contagion of
such unpleasant company, and to insist henceforth upon
an insurmountable barrier between it and myself.
“VICTOR MARIE AURIOL.”
The next moment we had hailed and sprung into a
little open voiture, and in another minute had lost sight
of the Hôtel Soleil du Midi. Outcasts we were, but two
more joyous pagans never laughed in the sunlight, two
happier waifs never more fearlessly and blithely went
forth into the green world.
(To be continued.)
AN UNTOLD STORY.
When the dark falls, and as a single star
The orient planets blend in one white ray
A-quiver through the violet shadows far
Where the rose-red still lingers mid the grey:
And when the moon, half-cirque arm around her
Casts on the upland pastures shimmer of green:
And the marsh-meteors the frail lightnings follow,
And wave laps into wave with amber sheen—
O then my heart is full of thee, who never
From out thy beautiful mysterious eyes
Givest one glance at this my wild endeavour,
Who hast no heed, no heed, of all my sighs:
Is it so well with thee in thy high place
That thou canst mock me thus even to my face?
Dull ash-grey frost upon the black-grey fields:
Thick wreaths of tortured smoke above the town:
The chill impervious fog no foothold yields,
But onward draws its shroud of yellow brown.
No star can pierce the gloom, no moon dispart:
And I am lonely here, and scarcely know
What mockery is “death from a broken heart'”
What tragic pity in the one word: Woe.
But I am free of thee, at least, yea free!
No more thy bondager ‘twixt heaven and hell!
No more there numbs, no more there shroudeth me
The paralysing horror of thy spell:
No more win’st thou this last frail worshipping
For twice dead he who dies this second death.
THE RAPE OF THE SABINES.
A flame of blood-red light streamed, a flying
from Monte Catillo, over the olive heights of Tivoli, to
Frascati and the flanks of the Albans. Westward, the
Campagna was shrouded in violet gloom. The tallest
of the pines and cypresses in Hadrian’s Villa, catching
the last of the sunset-glow, burned slowly to their
summits, like torches extinguished by currents of air
from below. Between Castel Arcione and the base of
the Sabines, where the intermingling summits sweep
upward frolll the Montecelli to Palombara, and thence
by giant Subiaco to the innumerable peaks and ranges
of the mountain-land beyond, lay a white mist, wan as
the sheen of a new moon on burnt grass—save in the
direction of the ancient Lago de’ Tartari, where it hung
heavy and darkly grey, dense as it was with the sulphur-
fumes of the Acquae Albulae.
On the flat, before the upward swell to Tiveli
the hill-road curves to the left, the via Palombara-
Marcellina. To the right there is a rough path, striking
off waveringly betwixt the Palombara road and the
highway from Rome to Tivoli: at first like a bridle-way,
then but a sheep-path or dried-up course of a hill-torrent.
Following this, one enters the wild and lonely Glen of
the Shepherds, though seldom does any shepherd wander
there, and even the solitary goatherd rarely descends
from the steep heights of Sterpara that overhang it from
The nightingales were in full song. One after
had called through the dusk with clear, thrilling notes:
one after another had swung a sudden lilt of music
across the myrtles, through the thickets of wild rose and
honeysuckles, over the clustered arbutus, and down by
the birch-hollows, where the narrow stream crawled
suffocatingly through fern-clumps and tufted grasses.
Close to where some stunted, decrepit olives clung
THE RAPE OF THE SABINES 31
despairingly to a bank of fissured soil rose a wild mag-
nolia, whose white blooms gleamed in the twilight like
ivory discs. Suddenly, from where its topmost sprays still
retained a dusky green hue, a thrush sprang violently
into the air and darted westward against the crimson
light, clattering loudly and shrilly like a heavily-feathered
arrow whistling towards the already blood-strewn flanks
of a beast of prey. A nightingale among the myrtles
near flew earthward, dipping his breast against the dewy
anemones that clustered in the shadow; but ere the
spray whence he had slipt like a rain-drop had ceased
its last tremulous vibration he was swinging, with out-
spread wings, upon a branch of the deserted magnolia.
Then came a loud summoning cry, a few low calls, and
all at once a burst of ecstatic song. In a few moments
all was still around, save for the shrilling of the locusts
and the distant croaking of frogs. But suddenly, and
in the midst of his love-song, the nightingale ceased,
gave a broken, dissonant cry, and with a rapid tilt and
poise of his wings was lost in the under-dark like a
Something stirred under the lower boughs of the
nolia. A small, dark figure crept on out, and then a boy
of some ten or twelve years rose to his feet, stretched
himself warily, ran his hands through his shaggy black
hair, and began to mutter to himself. All at once he
inclined his head and listened intently. Before he could
sink back to his shelter, two young men stepped noise-
lessly from behind the higher olives, the taller of the
two coming rapidly forward.
“Do not be afraid, Guido,” he exclaimed, as he saw
the boy alert for flight; “it is I—Andrea Falcone.”
“Marco Vaccaro, of course. Who other, per Bacco?“
“You are late, elder-brothers.”
“We could not get here earlier, unobserved. There
is time enough. What is the message? “
While he was speaking his companion drew near.
Both young men were singularly handsome, with clear-
cut features, dark, eloquent eyes, and faces pale as
blanched ivory. Lithe and vigorous mountaineers, they had
all the grace and dignity of the Roman peasant;
32 THE PAGAN REVIEW
and though they had the Campagna melancholy in
their faces, each had that alert look common to all the
Sabine muleteers. Everyone in the Montecelli knew
the cousins Andrea Falcone and Marco Vaccaro; and in
the hill-town of S. Angelo in Capoccia itself, there was no
question as to their pre-eminence in all things that,
locally, constituted good fortune. Not only was the story
of their deep friendship well known—a friendship so
close that one would never go far without the other, to
the extent that if a rich forestiero wanted one of them
as a guide up Subiaco, he would perforce have to engage
both—but, the gossips of the hill-villages were each and
all aware of the love Andrea and Marco bore for Vittoria
and Anita, the daughters of Giovan’ Antonio Della Porta,
the vintner and ex-brigand of that remote and highest
hill-town of the Sabines, San Polo de’Cavalieri. Naturally,
it was delightful food for these gossips when a feud broke
out between the muleteers of San Polo and of Palombara
and San Angelo, in consequence of which neither Andrea
nor Marco dare set foot in the vicinage of the town—not
only because old Della Porta swore that, whether they
willed or no, his daughters should marry none but men
of pure Sabine blood, and certainly no accurst Roman
contadini (for all their hill-folk talk!), but also because
a league of San Polo youths and men, headed by Simone
Gaetano and Gregorio da Forma, had sworn to poniard
any” Angelinis” they found within the village boundaries.
It was quite natural that Gregorio da Forma and Gae-
tano should be the active ministers in this league of hate,
for the former was desirous of Anita Della Porta and
Simone lusted after the beautiful Vittoria. But both
girls were closely watched, and though they had several
times managed to meet their lovers in the woods, or amid
the copses of the Glen of the Shepherds, such encounters
were no longer possible. The girls had, indeed, but one
ally, but one emissary—their young half-brother, Guido.
Guido loved his sisters; but he had another bond of
fellowship—hatred of their morose and tyrannical father.
Twice had Vittoria and Anita tried to evade those who
kept an eye on them: once by attempted flight to
Vicovara and once across Ponte Rotto to Castel Ma-
dama—for they had imagined success impossible by
THE RAPE OF THE SABINES 33
way of Palombara. It was after the last occasion that
old Della Porta had publicly proclaimed the approaching
marriage of his daughters with Simone Gaetano and
Gregorio da Forma.
The Sabine women can be as quick with their long,
thin hair-daggers as the Sabine men with their poniards.
A girl of the Sabines, moreover, does not hesitate to use
her dagger in offence as well as in self-defence; and,
when the blood-vow is once sworn, the steel, as the
saying is, sweats with thirst.
It was at the risk of their lives, then, that
Falcone and his friend and kinsman, Marco, were met
in the Glen of the Shepherds, within an easy eagle’s-
flight of San Polo. If any muleteer on Sterpara or
goatherd on the slopes should see them, the cry would
go from coign to coign, and find a score of fierce echoes
in the dark narrow streets of the mountain vilbge. As
for Guido, he ran the chance of a flaying from his father,
or eyen a knifing from cruel, treacherous Simone or from
“What is the message?” repeated Andrea,
while Marco eyed the neighbourhood like a hawk, and
Guido stood as taut and eager as a goat about to leap.
“There is none, elder brother. I could not see either
Vittoria or Anita. But this is their last night.”
“Their last night? How?” interjected Marco, in a
startled but suppressed voice.
“The last night of their virginity,” said Guido,
“To-morrow Vittoria will be wed to Simone and Anita
A silence fell upon the men: a frost of passion,
that seemed to paralyse even gesture or glance.
“Have they been true women?” said Andrea, at last,
in a thick, husky voice.
“True women?” repeated Guido, interrogatively, his
great black eyes flashing half-inquiringly, half-sus-
“Ay, true women. Have they sworn the virgin-vow?”
“Yes: they swore it last night, and before me as
witness. It was in the moonlight, by the old fountain
I beyond the church.”
“Upon both the blade and the hilt?”
34 THE PAGAN REVIEW
“Si, si, si: and upon their crucifixes also.”
Andrea turned and looked at Marco with a meaning
“Ecco, Marco: it will be a wet wedding.”
“It will be—and the wet as red as to-night’s
But—per Cristo, Andrea mio, you know the hill-saying:
When ’tis wet, who can say there shall be no flood?”
“Ay: so. Their kinsfolk would not hold Vittoria and
Anita free of their blood-ban if once they be wedded.”
“Giovan’ Antonio—Holy Virgin, he would kill them
himself for it! “
Suddenly the boy Guido, slipping a rough wooden
cross from his neck, stepped close to the young men.
“Will you swear upon it, Andrea Falcone and Marco
Vaccaro. that henceforth I am your younger brother:
and that your home in San Angelo in Capoccia shall be
my home: and your kin my kin: and we be one ever-
more in the curse and in the blessing? Already you
are my elder-brothers, but you have not sworn. Will
you swear now ?
“Why, Guido, my brother?”
“For I have that to say which being said makes me
no more of my father’s household or even of San Polo.”
“Thou art my brother for evermore, Guido Della
Porta,” said Andrea, solemnly, kissing the cross and
making the sacred sign upon his forehead and upon his
When Marco had done likewise, Guido looked
fully around, and then with downcast eyes and trembling
hands whispered that he was breaking a solemn vow
which he had perforce taken that very day.
“Speak, boy,” muttered Marco, hoarsely.
Fear not,” said Andrea, more gently: “Father
pietro will absolve thee to-morrow, or as soon as you can
come to San Angelo.”
“I heard—I heard—my father laughing with Simone
Gaetano. When I looked through the chink in the
great barn, I saw that Gregorio da Forma was also there,
with his hand at his mouth half-covering his black
beard. Simone’s smooth, fat face was agleam with
sweat, and he rubbed his bald forehead again and again.
though his eyes narrowed and widened like a cat’s in
THE RAPE OF THE SABINES 35
the twilight. All the time I watched, Simone never
ceased to wipe his brows, and never once did Gregorio
take away his hand from his mouth.”
“The cursed traitor knows his weak member,”
tered Marco, savagely. “Aha! Signore Gregorio da
Forma. I know that which would bring you to the
hangman in Rome, or the knife anywhere where men
say Garibaldi and Italia in one breath!”
“Hush, Marco; don’t be a fool! The traitors’ death
is already arranged by God. The ink which was black
is turning red, and the hour is at hand. Guido, say
what you have to say.”
“Ecco, my elder-brothers: I
heard this thing. My
father at first would have nought to say to comfort
Simone and Gregorio when they told him of the rumour
that Vittoria and Anita had sworn the virgin-vow against
them. But at last Simone, miserly though he be, won
him over. He promised him”—
“Corpo di Cristo, Guido,”
broke in Andrea; “never
mind that. Tell us, quick, what your father agreed to.”
“He said that, if he got what he wished, Simone and
Gregorio might laugh at the girls’ vows, for he would
see that his good friends did not marry virgins.”
Both Andrea and Marco started, and each
clasped his knife.
“Yes, I swear it. My father, may God forgive him,
said that no one should be in the house to-night, after
the feast which he is to give is over; and that Simone
and Gregorio might take that which would be theirs by
law on the morrow. The virgin-vow would thus
be made useless as old straw, as void as yesterday’s wind.
There would be none to interfere. If the girls
“Basto! Enough!” shouted
while Marco made a low, hissing noise like a wind-eddy
upon ice. “Is this thing to be done to-night? Ay, so:
I believe you. No, no: I want to hear no more. What
does anything else matter. We must be there, too,
Marco—if we have to go to our death at the same time.
“Come: there is no time to lose,” was all that
replied; though, after a moment’s hesitation, he stooped
36 THE PAGAN REVIEW
and whispered in his cousin’s ear. Andrea smiled grimly.
“What time was the supper to be, Guido?” he asked.
“As soon as the sun had set. And all are to go
to their homes by nine at latest. There is to be a
sunrise-Sacrament to-morrow, and everyone will be
abed early. Vittoria and Anita will not sit long with
the men; but go to their room, where my father will
doubtless lock them in.”
“But you can get into the room by your attic?”
“Ay: and out easily enough by the window
looking the Vicolo da Pozza.”
“Do your sisters know anything of this?”
“No. Not yet.”
“Then, Guido, make your way back as quickly and
secretly as you can. Tell Vittoria and Anita all you
know. Tell them we are here”—
“And that they are to escape with me by the window
and join you in the wood,” broke in Guido, with eager
“No,” said Andrea, quietly; while Marco gave a low
laugh. “Tell them to wait in their room till we
come. Now, go. And see: make us a sign when we
can slip in unperceived by the hole in the wall at the
old Piazza del Giove. We can get into your house by
the empty palazzo next it. Then you will take us to
your sisters’ room.”
“It may be death for all of us, Andrea.”
“Even so. Now go, Guido; and the saints be with
The boy hesitated a moment, and then,
leapt from thicket to thicket till he was out of sight
in the undergrowth.
Andrea and Marco followed slowly, keeping in the
shadow as much as possible. They interchanged few
words, and then only in whispers. An hour passed
thus; during which they reached the upper end of the
Glen of the Shepherds and ascended the steep, wooded
heights of Monte di San Polo. From where they crouched
they could see clearly the black mass of the western side
of the village rising sheer, like a smooth cliff of basalt,
and without apparent inlet. But they knew where the
hole in the ruinous wall was, close by the deserted
THE RAPE OF THE SABINES 37
Piazza del Giove; and they kept their gaze upon the
spot, passionately intent for the signal from Guido.
The great clock in the tower struck the second
after eight. The cousins looked at each other, but said
nothing for some minutes.
“If Guido should play us false—no, St. Mark forgive
me, he won’t do that” —muttered Marco, at last—”but
if he should have been caught, or even unable to get
“Sst: look there!”
“There. See, it is the second time.”
As Andrea spoke, a small circle of flame again
round the disc of the hole in the wall.
“That is the third time, Marco. It is Guido. Let
us go. Remember—everything—our lives—depend
upon our discretion. I know the way best. Follow me.”
As silently as foxes the twain crept from the last
skirt of undergrowth, and up the short stony ascent
that led apparently against a blank precipice of stone
wall. For a moment, when close, Andrea hesitated, but
a low whistle guided him aright; and in a few minutes
he and Marco were in San Polo. A few seconds more,
and they were in the old deserted house that adjoined
the Casa Della Porta.
Again and again the door of Della Porta’s house
opened, and soon nearly all the guests were gone. At
last all had bidden good-night except Simone Gaetano
and his friend Gregorio. With a sullen curse, as though
half-ashamed of himself, Giovan’ Antonio threw a key
on the table.
“There, take it, my merry sposi. What’s the odds!
‘Tis but a night here or a night there! But, look you
—no undue violence, you know! For myself, I am dead
beat with sleep, and don’t expect to hear a sound till
With that, and another malediction by way of
night, the beetle-browed vintner flung himself into a
huge rush-chair by the hearth-place. He had begun to
snore lustily, when, just as his companions were moving
from the room, he called angrily:
38 THE PAGAN REVIEW
“Don’t forget to lock and bar the door, you fools!
Do you want all San Polo to keep you company?”
Simone stepped forward, and saw to the fastenings.
Gregorio filled two tankards with wine, one with white,
one with red.
“Here, camerado mio,” he whispered, as Simone
joined him; “here’s vino bianco for you to drink your
Vittoria’s health, lovely blonde that she is; and here’s
my bumper of dark marino to the black hair and black
eyes of my beautiful Anita!”
Then, softly and cautiously, like the cowards and
marauders they were, they stole upstairs. Each started
violently when the silence was suddenly broken by the
tower-clock striking the first quarter after nine.
“Aha! the little birds, they will think it is their
father,” whispered Simone, as Gregorio gently inserted
the key in the lock, and noiselessly turned it.
When the door opened, they saw the two beds, as
white amidst the gloom as innocent childhood. A new
fear came upon them. If one of the girls had laughed,
or even screamed, it would have been a relief. Each
vaguely realised that he was doubly a coward, for now
each was appalled by his own cowardice. When a
wavering shaft of moonlight, that had been gilding the
stone-carving above the window, stole into the room, a
dread came upon them that the girls slept, and had
prayed, and that God watched them.
But just then something happened that made Simone’s
heart leap within him.
The moonbeam, wavering across the bed ill the left
ner of the room, passed across the face of Vittoria, making
her mass of blonde hair like a drift of melted amber. But
her eyes were open, and looking straight at him.
“Vittoria! It is I—your
husband. Do not be afraid, my little one! I want to
kiss you only—for the sake of good luck to-morrow.”
Silence, save for a quick breathing that, pulsated
through the room.
Two dark figures moved swiftly forward, Simone to
the left, Gregorio to the right.
THE RAPE OF THE SABINES 39
There was a. strange shuffiing sound for a moment.
Both men stopped abruptly, glanced towards each other,
took courage, and moved on again.
Then all at once two hoarse screams rang through
the room, as Simone and Gregorio simultaneously felt
themselves seized in a savage, relentless grip and
dragged on to the bed.
“What would’st thou with my wife-to-be, Simone
Gaetano?” cried Andrea, as with one arm he pinioned
his shivering rival, and with the other pressed a knife
against his breast.
“What would’st thou with my bride-elect, Gregorio
da Forma?” snarled Marco savagely, as with his left
hand he pulled back his foe’s head till he could look
into the staring eyes, and with his right hand pressed
his poniard against his heaving side.
The next moment a suppressed scream, and, almost
at the same time, a hoarse choking sob sounded horribly
through the room.
It took Andrea and Marco a few minutes only to
prop the dead men, one in one bed, one in the other,
with their dusky-white faces visible in the gloom, pil-
lowed behind, and as though ready to greet expected
Egidio Gaetano, riding on his mule down the steep
bridle-path of La Scarpellata, from his tavern at high-
set San Filippo, with intent to breakfast with his kins-
man Simone on the morrow of his marriage, thought
he had never seen a lovelier night, a more glorious
dawn. Far away, above the Campagna, hung the moon
like a vast yellow flower slowly sinking into blue depths.
Eastward, beyond Soracte and above the Ciminian Forest,
the stars grew paler, with more languid pulsations,
or icy steadfastness. In the woodlands straight below
the nightingales sang bewilderingly, and in the nearer
thickets a maze of fireflies made the dusk starred like
a great city by night.
When the sudden fires of day flamed up behind the
shoulder of Subiaco, and fell upon the landscape before
40 THE PAGAN REVIEW
him in flowing amber and marvellous flushes, he was so
rapt by the great beauty that he did not note, in an
ilex grove to his left, four sleeping figures, two here,
and two there; Vittoria, white as a windflower, in the
arms of Andrea; Anita, dark as a violet, pillowed against
the breast of Marco.
A hundred yards further, at the joining of the
path from San Polo de’ Cavalieri, he came upon a boy,
so steadfastly intent in his gaze southward that he heard
“What news from San Polo, Guido mio?” cried the
good Egidio genially. But to his surprise the boy gave
him nought save a flash from his dark eyes, and the
next moment was up and away, leaping and running
like a young goat.
“What takes the young rascal! He’s on the way
to San Angelo! Ha! Ha! What an idea. Some marriage
prank he’s up to, I’ll be bound. Ah, Dio mio, that I
was twenty years younger, and in Simone’s place! I
wouldn’t even mind being in worthy Signor Gregorio’s
for that matter! Cristo, these lovely Sabine women
of ours! No wonder tho men came out of Rome and
stole them long ago before the good Popes heard about
it! Aha, Signori Andrea and Marco, good cousins,
brave cavaliers, dauntless knights-errant, where are you
now? You may whistle, my lads! No carrying off
the Sabine women nowadays, ha, ha!”
The wind, rising from the ferns and leaping through
the long grass, blew a foam of white blossoms upon the
rider and his mule. High up in the golden sunlight
the sweet penetrating flute-notes of the boy-shepherds
called blithely from steep to steep.
“God be thanked,” exclaimed Egidio as he came in
sight of San Polo, still coldly white, like an unopened
flower; “God be thanked, though I be old and fat, love
is a good thing. Ah, Simone, you rogue! Eh? what,
When the Oread awoke by the hill-tarn the
of the noon was over. The sweet fresh mountain-air,
fragrant with thyme and gale and blossoming heather,
balsamic with odours of pine and fir, blew softly across
the leagues of ling. The sky was of a deep, lustrous,
wind-washed azure, with a vast heart of sapphire, tur-
quoise-tinct where it caught the sun-flood southerly and
westerly. A few wisps of thin white vapour appeared
here and there, curled like fantastic sleighs or sweeping
aloft like tails of wild horses; then quickly became atten-
uated, or even all at once and mysteriously disappeared.
Far and near the grouse called, or rose from hollows in
the heather in abrupt flurries of flight, beating the hot
air with their wings with the echoing whirr of a steamer’s
paddles. The curlews wheeled above the water-courses,
crying plaintively; whence also came ever and again
the harsh resonance of the heron’s scream. Echoing
along the heights that rose sheer above the tarn rang
the vanishing whistling voice of the whaup, and, faint
but haunting-sweet as remote chimes, rose and fell in
the mountain-hollows the belling of the deer. A myriad
life thrilled the vast purple upland. Not a yard of
heather that was not as much alive, as wonderful and
mysterious, as a continent. The air palpitated with
the innumerable suspirations of plant and flower, insect
and bird and beast. Deep in the tarn the speckled
trout caught the glint of the wandering sunray; far
* “The Oread” is a fragment of a similarly-named section from a
forthcoming volume by Mr. Charles Verlayne, entitled “LA MORT
S’AMUSE,” which, with a fantastic connecting thread of narrative, con-
sists of a series of “Barbaric Studies,” in each of which a recreation of
an antique type is attempted, but in striking contrast with and direct
relation to the life of today. Mr. Verlayne’s motive is at least original,
if, possibly in its treatment, as Paul Verlaine said of a certain piéce
de fantasie by Rimbaud, un peu posterièure à cette époque.
ED. The Pagan Review.
42 THE PAGAN REVIEW
upon the heights the fleeces of the small hill-sheep
seemed like patches of snow in the sunlight: remote,
on the barren scaur beyond the highest pines, the eagle,
as he stared unwaveringly upon the wilderness beneath
him, shone resplendent as though compact of molten
gold inlaid with gems.
Every sound, every sight, was part of the
very life of
the Oread. All was beautiful: all was real. The high,
thin, almost inaudible scream of the eagle: the cluck
of the low-flying grouse: the floating note of the yellow-
hammer: the wind whistling through the gorse or whis-
pering among the canna and gale. and through the
honey-laden spires of heather: the myriad murmur from
the leagues of suns wept ling and from the dim grassy
savannahs that underlay that purple roof: each and all
were to her as innate voices.
For a long time she lay in a happy
suspension of all
thought or activity. Her gaze was fascinated by the
reflection of herself in the tarn. Lovely was the image.
The soft, delicately-rounded, white limbs, the flower-like
body, seemed doubly white against the wine-dark purple
of the bell-heather and the pale amethyst of the ling.
The large dark eyes dreamed upward from the white
face in the water like purple-blue pansies. Beautiful
as was the sunshine in the wind-lifted golden hair, that
was about her head as a glory of morning, eyen more
beautiful was the shimmer of gold and fleeting amber
shot through the rippled surface and clear-brown under-
calm of the tarn; where also was mirrored, with a subtler
beauty than above, the large sulphur-butterfly that
poised upon its yellow wings as it clung to her left
breast, ivory-white, small, and firm, immaculately curved
as the pale globed shells of Orient seas.
Dim inarticulate thoughts passed through
of the Oread as she lay visionarily intent by the moun-
tain-pool. Down what remote avenues of life she seemed
to look: from what immemorial past seemed to arise,
like flying shadows at dawn, recollections of the fires
of sunrise kindling along the mountain-summits, of the
flames of sunset burning from the beech-forests to the
last straggling pines aud thence to the rose-coloured
snows of the remotest peaks, of the long splendid
THE OREAD 43
pageant of day and night, of the voicing of the undying
wind, and the surpassing wonder of the interchange and
outgrowth of the seasons, from equinoctial clamour of
the spring to autumnal Euroclydon. Yet ever and again
drifted through her mind vague suggestions of life still
nearer to herself: white figures, seen in vanishing
glimpses of unpondered all-unconscious reverie, that
slipt from tree to tree in the high hill-groves, or leapt
before the wind upon the heights, with flying banners
of sunlit hair, or stooped to drink from the mountain-
pools which the deer forsook not at their approach.
Who, what, was this white shape, upon whose milky
skin the ruddy light shone as he stood on a high boulder
at sundown and looked meditatively upon the twilit
valleys and darksome underworld far below? Who were
these unremembered yet familiar sisters, so flowerlike
in their naked beauty, gathering moon flowers for gar-
lands, while their straying feet amid the dewy grass
made a silver shimmer as of gossamer-webs by the
waterfalls? Who was the lovely vision, so like that
mirrored in the tarn before her, who, stooping in the
evergreen-glade to drink the moonshine-dew, suddenly
lifted her head, listened intently, and smiled with such
wild shy joy?
What meant those vague half-glimpses,
ing illusive reminiscences of a past that was yet un-
Troubled, though she knew it not,
plexed, vaguely yearning with that nostalgia for her
ancestral kind which bad been born afresh and deeply
by the contemplation of her second self in the mountain-
pool, the Oread slowly rose, stretched her white arms,
with her hands spraying out her golden hair, and gazed
longingly into the blue haze at the hills.
Suddenly she started, at the irruption of
sound that was as it were caught up by the wind and
flung from corrie to corrie. It was not like the fall of
a stone, and it sounded strangely near. Stooping, she
plucked a sprig of gale: then, idly twisting it to and
fro, walked slowly till where a mountain-ash, ablaze with
scarlet berries, leant forward trom a high heathery bank
overlooking a wide hollow in the moors. A great dragon-
44 THE PAGAN REVIEW
fly spun past her like an elf’s javelin. The small
brown bees circled round her and brushed against her
hair, excited by this new and strange flower that moved
about like the hill-sheep or the red deer. As she stood
under the shadow of the rowan and leant against its
gnarled trunk, two small blue butterflies wavered up
from the heather and danced fantastically above the
wind-sprent gold of her hair. She laughed, but frowned
as a swift swept past and snapt up one of the azure
dancers. With a quick gesture she broke off a branch
of the rowan, but by this time the other little blue
butterfly had wavered off into the sunlight.
Holding the branch downward she smiled as
saw the whiteness of her limbs beneath the tremulous
arrowy leaves and the thick clusters of scarlet and
vermilion berries. When the gnats, whirling in aerial
maze, came too near she raised the rowan-branch and
slowly waved them back: but suddenly her arm stiffened,
and she stood motionless, rigid, intent.
On the moor-swell beneath her, a few
away, browsed a majestically antlered stag and three or
four hinds: on the ridge beyond, quite visible from
where she stood, half crouched half lay an animal she
had never seen before. Her heart leapt within her:
for lo, here was another such as herself. No longer was
there but one Oread among the high hills. And yet—
and yet—there was some difference. It—he—
But here she saw her fellow Oread lift a
stick to his
shoulder: the next moment there was a flash, a little
cloud of smoke. and a terrifying explosive sound. With
mingled curiosity and dread she sprang aside from the
tree, and stood upon the verge of the slope. But now
a new terror came upon her, for almost simultaneously
she saw the stag stumble, throw back its head, recover,
and then, with a piercing bleating cry, roll over on the
Much she could not understand: who or
creature like herself was: why he too was not white-
skinned, but furred like a fox or the wild cattle: or
why and how he dealt death with noise and flame by
means of a stick. But suddenly all the passion of love
for the wild things of which she was one overcame her
THE OREAD 45
—a fury of resentment against this wanton slayer of
the beautiful deer who did no harm, this stealthy
murderer who seemed unable to leap or run. With a
shrill protesting cry she leapt down the slope, and
darted towards the spot where a young man, dazed
with bewilderment, stood staring at the extraordinary
apparition which the slaying of the stag seemed to have
Strange thoughts flashed through the
mind. Was this lovely vision of womanhood a creation
of his perverted brain: was she some lost wanderer
upon the hills, bereft of her wits: was she, indeed, as
she looked, some supernatural creature, to consort with
whom, or even parley with, would be certain death?
She stopped when she was about twenty
him, suddenly abashed by a new fear, a profound amaze-
ment. He seemed, truly, an Oread like herself. Dark
though he was, with dark hair and dark eyes, and fair
and glad and welcome to look upon as was his face—
such a face as she vaguely realised she had been re-
calling, or dreaming of, when she lay by the tarn—
yet was he so extraordinary otherwise. A fur or shaggy
hide appeared to cover him from the neck downwards:
nevertheless it was as though it hung loosely upon his
body. Certainly he was better worth looking at, she
thought, than her own image in the mountain-pool:
and if only—
As for him, his wild amazement gradually
realisation that the beautiful naked girl before him was
a real creature of flesh and blood. With this recog-
nition came a surge of passionate admiration for her
Dropping his gun, the young sportsman
vanced. The Oread looked at him mistrustfully, but at
the same time instinctively noted that he moved with
infinitely less ease and freedom than she did. Slowly
raising the rowan-branch, she waved to him to come
nearer; but when suddenly he broke into a run she
turned and fled.
Almost immediately she was out of sight.
man stopped, stared, rubbed his eyes, and then with a
muttered exclamation, sprang forward in pursuit.
46 THE PAGAN REVIEW
As soon as he gained the slope where grew
tree, he caught a glimpse of the Oread again. as she
stood motionless amidst a little sea of tall bracken. He
approached more cautiously this time, so as not to alarm
her; and as he drew nearer tried to allure her by
awkward signs of good-will. She greeted his entice-
ments with low, sweet, mocking laughter, and he could
see by the mischievous light in her beautiful eyes that
she fully realised her ability to evade him, and that she
enjoyed his discomfiture.
Then he did a foolish thing. Overcome
and excitement, and determined to capture at all hazards
this beautiful apparition, whether mortal woman or fay,
he rapidly unfastened and threw off his thick tweed
With a shrill cry of terror she took a
step or two
backward, her lovely body quivering with fear at this
awful sight of a creature depriving itself of its hide. The
next moment she was off like the wind, her long hair
streaming behind her, all ashine in the sunglow.
With panting breath and shaking limbs her
fled after her in vain chase. From slope to slope and
corrie to corrie he raced as though for his life; but at
last nature could no longer stand the strain, and he fell
forward exhausted. When, stumbling and breathing
hard like a driven deer narrowly escaped from the
hounds, he looked eagerly beyond and about him, not a
sign was there of the lovely vision he had so madly
followed. Yet for leagues in front of him and to either
side was nothing but the purple moor! He could scarce
believe that she could absolutely disappear therein!
Still, nowhere was she visible.
Then it was that a great fear came upon
him that he
had gone mad. Shaking and trembling, he once more
scanned the whole reach of his vision, but, seeing nought,
turned and made his way downward again. Once, twice
indeed, he thought he heard a rumour as of someone
following him, and even a sound as of low, mocking
laughter. But he would not look behind. Already he
feared this thing, this phantasm of his brain.
It was not till he came upon his
discarded coat that
some measure of reasonableness reassured him. He
THE OREAD 47
knew he was not mad: he knew he had seen and
sued a real woman; and yet—
Just then he caught sight of the tarn
the Oread had rested during the noon heats. With a
cry of relief he went towards it, and then, having given
one backward glance, threw off all his clothes and sprang
into the cool, deep water. What a delight it was, after
his fever-heat and weariness: how absurd the idea of
madness, as with strong strokes he swam to and fro!
At last, refreshed, and in his right
mind, he emerged,
and stood, with outstretched arms, among the heather,
so that he might the more readily dry in the sunlight
and soft wind. So heedless was he that he failed to
perceive the slow advance, close behind him, of his
With utmost ease the Oread had evaded
equal ease she had followed him unobserved during his
ignominious retreat, and had watched him from a fern-
clump not more than a few score yards away. When
he suddenly threw off his clothes, a fresh access of fear
had almost made her fly again; but she had controlled
herself, as much from contempt of the inferior creature
as from passionate curiosity. But when he plunged
into the water, and swam like an otter, and came out
once more gleaming white as herself, she realised that
here was the true Oread. He had been ridiculously
disguised, that was all; had tried, mayhap, to ape some
other animal. All fear left her.
She knew nothing now but a glad,
a rapture of companionship. With outstretched arms,
and a sweet, loving look in her eyes, she went forward
to greet her longed-for mate.
Warmed by the sun, and with a low, glad
of sheer content, the young man turned to where his
He was face to face with the Oread.
* * * * *
DIONYSOS IN INDIA.
Fragment of a Lyrical Drama)
Verge of an upland glade among the Himalayas
. . . . . . . . . Hark! I
It is the wind
Leaping against the sunrise, on the heights.
No, no, yon mountain-springs—
Hark, Hark, O Hark!-
Are budding into foam-flowers: see, they fall
Laughing before the dawn—
DIONYSOS IN INDIA 49
O the sweet music!
(Timidly peeping over a cistus, uncurling into
Dear brother, say oh say what fills the air!
The leaves whisper, yet is not any wind:
I am afraid.
Be not afraid, dear child:
There is no gloom.
But silence: and—and—then,
The birds have suddenly ceased: and see, alow
The gossamer quivers where my startled hare—
Slipt from my leash—cow’rs ‘mid the foxglove-
His eyes like pansies in a lonely wood! [bells,
O I am afraid—afraid—though glad:—
I know not.
Never yet an evil God
Forsook the dusk. Lo, all our vales are filled
With light: the darkest shimmers in pale blue:
Nought is forlorn: no evil thing goeth by.
50 THE PAGAN REVIEW
They of the hills: they say
That a lost God—
Hush, Hush: beware!
There is no god in the blue empty air?
There is a lifting up of joy:
The morning moves in ecstasy. Never!
O never fairer morning dawned than this.
Somewhat is nigh!
May be: and yet I hear
Nought, save day’s familiar sounds, nought see
But the sweet concourse of familiar things.
Speak on, though never a single leaf but hears,
And, like the hollow shells o’ the twisted nuts
That fall in autumn, aye murmuringly holds
The breath of bygone sound. We know not when—
To whom—these little wavering tongues betray
Our heedless words, wild wanderers though we be.
What say the mountain-lords?
DIONYSOS IN INDIA 51
That a lost God
Fares hither through the dark, ever the dark.
Not the blank hollows of the night:
Blind is he, though a God: forgotten graves
The cavernous depths of his oblivious eyes.
His face is as the desert, blanched with ruins.
His voice none ever heard, though whispers say
That in the dead of icy winters far
Beyond the utmost peaks we ever clomb
It hath gone forth—a deep, an awful woe.
What seeks he?
No one knoweth.
Yet a God,
Ai so: and I have heard beside
That he is not as other Gods; but from vast age—
So vast, that in his youth those hills were wet
With the tossed spume of each returning tide—
He hath lost knowledge of the things that are,
All memory of what was, in that dim Past
Which was old time for him: and knoweth nought,
Nought feels, but inextinguishable pain,
52 THE PAGAN REVIEW
Titanic woe and burden of long aeons
Of unrequited quest.
But if he be
Of the Immortal Brotherhood, though blind,
How lost to them ?
I know not, I. ‘Tis said—
Lython the Centaur told me, in those days
When he had pity on me in his cave
Far up among the hills-that the Lost God
Is curs’d of all his kin, and that his curse
Lies like a cloud about their golden home:
So evermore he goeth to and fro—
The shadow of their glory. . . . . . .
Ai, he knows
The lost beginnings of the things that are:
We are but morning-dreams to him, and Man
But a fantastic shadow of the dawn:
The very Gods seem children to his age,
Who reigned before their birth-throes filled the sky
With the myriad shattered lights that are the stars.
Where reigned this ancient God?
Old Lython said
His kingdom was the Void, where evermore
Silence sits throned upon Oblivion.
DIONYSOS IN INDIA 53
What wants he here?
He hateth Helios,
And dogs his steps. None knoweth more.
Aha! I heed no dotard god! Behold,
My ears betrayed me not: O hearken now!
Brother, O brother, all the birds are wild
With song, and through the sun-splashed wood
A sound as of a multitude of wings.
The sun, the sun! the flowers in the grass!
Oh, the white glory!
‘Tis the Virgin God!
Hark, hear the hymns that thrill the winds of morn,
Wild paeans to the light! The white processionals!
They come! They come! . . . . . . .
“PASTELS IN PROSE.”*
Notwithstanding the fact that, as Mr. W. D. Howells
has stated in the charming and too brief note which
stands as preface to this volume of prose poems, modern
invention has found a way of fixing the chalks so that
the graceful and beautiful crayon-drawings known as
pastels need no longer be perilollsly iragile possessions,
the” pastel” will no doubt always remain the type of
the most delicate form of art. It has a charm all its
own. The oil-painting may have a depth and solidity far
beyond it, the drawing in water-colours a lucid brilliancy
which it cannot match, the etching a subtlety of tone un-
surpassable; but the pastel can combine something of the
special qualities of the etching, the water-colour drawing,
and the painting, and has at the same time a wayward
fascination,a kind of virginal beauty, all its own. No better
name than “Pastels,” therefore, could be given to those
short studies of poetic impression expressed in prose, which
are already a new “form” in contemporary literature.
One must not examine a pastel too closely, nor must one
look to it for more than a swift and fortunate impression-
istic portrayal; for the artist who knows his medium
will not attempt to do with it what Lucas Cranach or
Van Eyck, for instance, did with their medium, what in
in our own day the “Preraphaelites” professed to do as
a matter of principle. Suggestion, not imitation, is the
aim of the pastel-artist, who must, in any hazard, be what
is somewhat too vaguely called an impressionist. He is
not to be a novelist or an essayist in paint, but to be
content to reproduce as truly as he can by suggestion a
poignant artistic emotion, leaving to others to educe
from it any story, lesson, or meaning they choose to find
in it. The thrush flinging his music joyously upon the
eddies of the spring-wind, without thought of who may
PASTELS IN PROSE 55
hear or how it may be judged, is a true artist-type. It
is when the painter or writer, like the needy street-
musician who increases or moderates the tone of his
barrel-organ according to the supposed taste of his
audience, produces for the sake of others, and in accord-
ance with their and not his own standards, that he
disproves himself an artist and becomes the mere manu-
facturer. The cant of altruism in art is at once ludicrous
and mischievous. The artist must produce for himself;
not for others. The others benefit—as those do who
listen to the thrush’s song, though the singer may be
unconscions of or indifferent to their presence, his song
being not the less sweet though there be none to applaud.
In France, the prose-poem, which, it is perhaps neces-
sary to say, is quite distinct from what is ordinarily
known as poetical prose, is now a literary species as
definable and recognisable as the sonnet, or the rondeau,
or the villanelle. It existed in a haphazard, vagrant
sort till Baudelaire, whose example inspired many of the
writers who came after him, though it is probable that
to the incomparable “Prose-Poems” of Turgenieff is due
the fulness and variety of the tide of this new poetry
which has advanced so rapidly of late. No doubt we may
find herein the fundamental reason of the present vogue
of Walt Whitman among the Parisian writers and cul-
tured public. He is translated in part only, and what
with wise selection and thoroughly artistic rendering,
much of his work takes on a refined and delicate beauty
which is apt to surprise even the most thorough admirers
of “the good grey poet.” No one has surpassed the
greatest of the Russian novelists in the production of
the prose-poem. The very essence of this species is, so
to say, its irresponsibility. Its significance may be pro-
found, but must not be obtruded. To “adorn” a poem-
in-prose with a “moral” would be as barbaric as the act
of the individual who painted gaudy hues and immense
spots on the superb flawless tail of a white peacock. It
must be brief: otherwise the impression is apt to be
confused. It must be complete in itself: for the quoted
specimen of poetic-prose is seldom a prose-poem, though
examples could be culled from Ruskin, De Quincey, and
other writers, of course. But the true prose-poem is not
56 THE PAGAN REVIEW
merely a happy passage in an environment of unemo-
tional prose: it is a consciously-conceived and definitely-
executed poetic form. There may even be in it, there
are often, in fact, variations and repetitions of effect,
multiplications of identical lines, corresponding to the
repetitive effects in the villanelle and all poems of the
rondeau-kind: as, for instance, in the following “Noc-
“I stood on a lonely promontory when the dusk
had dreamed itself
into a starless gloom: and as gazed the moonshine stole across the sea.
From under a dark cloud it wavered, and then passed stealthily away
into the deeper darkness beyond the headland. The moonlight that
stole out of the dark into the dark was as a smile apon the face of a
beautiful daughter of Egypt asleep by the lotus-covered shallows of
Nilus. And as I watched the moonshine steal across the sea, I heard
the voice of the unseen tide crying faintly afar off, wave to wave, though
the crests lapsed into the moving hollows with as little sound as the
breathing of a dusky maid adream by the lotus-covered shallows of Nilus.
“In my dreams I see oftentimes that beautiful
daughter of Egypt
asleep by the lotus-covered shallows of Nilus; and the sound of her
breathing is faint as when the wave-crests lapse into the moving hollows
beneath them, far out on the solitary seas covered with the darkness.
Sometimes a faint cry passes like a wounded bird from the shadow of her
lips: is it a faint cry from her shadowy lips, or the voice of the unseen
tide, thin and shrill, afar off? And sometimes she smiles. Then once
more I stand on a lonely promontory when the dusk has dreamed itself
into a starless gloom, and the moonshine steals dimly athwart remote
gulfs of darkness. From under vast glooms it wavers slow, and then
passes stealthily away, as I—as she—shall pass: Whither?”
To select a still shorter example, this time from
“Pastels in Prose;” one of Mlle. Judith Gauthier’s
“On my flute, tipped with jade, I sang a song
to mortals; but the
mortals did not understand.
“Then I lifted my flute to the heavens, and I
sang my song to the
Sages. The Sages rejoiced together, they danced on the glistening
clouds. And now mortals understand me, when I sing to the accom-
paniment of my flute tipped with jade.”
But, of course, as ill all poetry, the first essential is
faculty of rarified expression. The motive may or may
not be romantic or picturesque ill itself: the expression
of it will be a poem if the author’s impression be keen
to poignancy, and if hiR faculty of utterauce correspond
to his sensitiveness. Thus, the life of the streets, of
crowds, the common-places of our ordinary existence,
afford motives as well as do Vales of Tempe or Ronces-
PASTELS IN PROSE 57
valles. To the artist, it is not what he sees, but how he
sees, how he feels, how he expresses his sudden wayward
fancy or new thought borne upward on strange spiritual
or mental tides. There may even be no “picture” of
any kind: all may depend upon the charm of words,
surrounding, like the Doves of Venus, a beautiful thing
in their midst. I may give two instances of this rare
and most difficult prose-poem, though the space at my
command prevents either from being quoted in full.
Both are by the late Emile Hennequin:—
“In our crazed brains words are visions,
ideals rather than images,
desires rather than reminiscences. How distant these ideals, how painful
“There is no woman who gives us the radiant
dream that lurks behind
the word Woman; there is no wine that realises the intoxication imagined
in the word Wine; there is no gold, pale gold or dusky gold, that gives
out the tawny fulguration of the word Gold; there is no perfume that
our deceived nostrils find equal to the word Perfume; no blue, no red
that figures the tints with which our imaginations are coloured; all is
too little for the word All; and no nothingness is an empty enough
vacuity as to be that arch-terrorist word, Nothing.
“What is to be done, O my mind, with these
reduced and dim images of our thonghts, sticks of which we have made
thyrses, banjos of which we have made citherns, aquarelles that we have
anilinized, dreams opiated by us?”
From the strange and powerful poem, “The Earth,”
the first portion may be quoted, though the remainder
is in some respects even finer:—
“Eddying through the blue or black heavens of
nights and of days, full
in her deep hollows of the tumultuous water of the seas, turgid and flat,
the earth curves, sinuates and rises, dry under the fresh air, firm and
mobile, jutting forth in mountains, falling away in plains, brown and
all woven with the silver woof of rivers and lakes, green and all bristling
with trees, with plants, with grass.”
But, after all, perhaps these are the exceptions that
prove the rule: the rule that a complete vision, a com-
plete emotion, however momentary and even uncertain,
be definitely conveyed in suggestion. As Mr. Howells
says in the charming little preface already alluded to,
“the poet fashions his pretty fancy on his lonely inspira-
tion; sets it well on the ground, poises it, goes and
leaves it. The thing cannot have been easy to learn,
and it must always be most difficult to do; for it implies
the most courageous faith in art, the finest respect for
others, the wisest self-denial.”
58 THE PAGAN REVIEW
The selection in this volume is made from the writings
of Louis Bertrand, Paul Leclercq, Theodore de Banville,
Alphonse Daudet, Villiers de L’Isle-Adam, George Auriol,
Judith Gauthier, J. K. Huysmans, Ephraim Mikhael,
Pierre Quillard, Rodolphe Darzens, Beaudelaire, Achille
Delaroche, Stephane Mallarmé, Emile Hennequin, Adrien
Rémacle, Maurice de Guérin, Paul Masy, Catulle Mendès,
Henri de Regnner, and one or two others. Several of
the poems were written specially for this book: those
of MM. Catulle Mendès and Stephane Malarmé are
versions from the final proof sheets of new volumes by
the two poets: and the six by Emile Hennequin were
specially selected for the translators by Madame Henne-
quin from among hitherto unpublished MSS. by that
most brilliant and remarkable poet and critic. A word
of emphatic praise must be given to the translator, Mr.
Stuart Merrill—himself (he is a Franco-American) a
French poet of standing, having won high regard by his
first volume of poetry, “Les Gammes.” Needless to say,
none but a thorough artist could have rendered these
prose-poems adequately. His translations are works of
rare and delicate art; the work of a poet inspired by
One word more from Mr. Howells. The prose-poem,
as written in France. has, he says, come to stay. “It is
a form which other languages must naturalise: and we
can only hope that criticisms will carefully guard the
process, and see that it is not vulgarised or coarsened
in it. The very life of the form is its aerial delicacy: its
soul is that perfume of thought, of emotion, which these
masters here have never suffered to become an argu-
ment. They must be approached with sympathy by
whoever would get all their lovely grace, their charm
that comes and goes like the light in beautiful eyes.”
The publishing season of 1892 is memorable for the
commercial success of a biographical and philosophical
book, The History of David Grieve: for the reluctantly
allowed literary and library success of a great work
of fiction, Tess of the D’ Urbervilles: and for the disastrous
failure of the latest production of a great poet, The
Sisters. Of these, Mrs. Humphry Ward’s novel is
indeed, as has been claimed, monumental. In this
country monuments are erected to the memory of the
departed only. The powerful and beautiful and emi-
nently significant romance by Mr. Thomas Hardy has one
drawback—for the mentally and spiritually anaemic:
it is sane, vigorous, full-blooded, robust, with the pulse
of indomitable youth. It is a book to read, to re-read,
to ponder, to be proud of. Its author has at last won
the bâton of a Field-Marshal in the army of contem-
porary novelists. Mr. Swinburne, on the other hand,
has given a further and now serious impetus to the
retrograde movement of his great reputation. He is
a poet of, at his best, so rare and high a genius that
many readers, during perusal of The Sisters, will be
tempted to believe in the Doppelganger legend. Who
is Mr. Swinburne’s double? It is an undesirable co-
partnery. The lesser man, who had already satisfied
us of his inability to sustain the honour done him,
should now retire. Mr. Swinburne has played double-
dummy with him long enough.
The Sisters is the production of a
It has fine things that might almost be written by
Webster, or at least by Cyril Tourneur, if one or other
of these dramatists be thought of as a contemporary,
and maugre that special quality of spiritual audacity
and intellectual bravura so characteristic of each, and
that Mr. Swinburne himself at one time possessed. On
the other hand, it has pages of drawing-room realism,
of “Friendship’s-Offering” sentiment, of a dulness un-
equalled by anything in “the new humour.” It has
passages that would make love impossible of continu-
60 THE PAGAN REVIEW
ance: lovers can understand “speaking silence” but
not diction where cherished commonplaces are choked
in struggling rhetoric. There are other passages that
I recommend to the tender mercies of the University
Extension-Lecturer. He can then lay horrid pitfalls
for the unwary, for who among them will be able to
say if the given excerpts be execrable verse or villainous
prose? There are lines, alas, which excruciate the ear:
lines worthy of Byron at his worst, of a fibrelessness so
perverse, of so maladroit a turn, that the ear of the
metricist revolts. And yet Mr. Swinburne is a prince
of his craft in knowledge and skill! No: it is the
mysterious double who hath done this thing. It is a
bitter thing to tell a poet that we prefer his prose, but
even a recantatory essay on Byron or Whitman—the two
magnificent derelict comets of modern poetry whose tails
have been so carefully pulled by Mr. Swinburne while
under the impression. that he was grappling with the
luminaries in front—would be preferable to The Sisters.
For no one need read Mr. Swinburne the critic of modern
men, but everyone must read Mr. Swinburne the poet.
If The Sisters be a poor play it
many beautiful passages, lyrical interludes of surpassing
grace. To read the lyric “Love and Sorrow met in
May” is to rejoice that we have a great poet still
among us. When this drama itself is known only of
rust and the moth, the flawless lyric it enshrines shall
have put on immortality as a garment.
The half-year that is over has been further note-
worthy for two new books by Mr. George Meredith: if,
indeed, the reprint of his superb Modern Love, with
later additions, can be called a new book. His novel,
One of Our Conquerors, has sown discord among the
faithful. Enthusiasts call it manna: the cavillers will
have it that it is a St. John’s feast with a multiplicity
of hard locusts to a small benefice of wild honey. One
can certainly discern in it George Meredith at his best:
it is easier, however, to find him in his least winsome
aspect. He is the electric light among contemporary
illuminators of our darkness.
CONTEMPORARY RECORD 61
The Poet Laureate is what no other like dignitary
has been: the most consummate poetic artist of his
time. He is Sovereign of the Victorians. But he is not
a dramatist, though he can sometimes write dramatically.
His Foresters is a lovely pastoral, with some happy
songs; but the England of Robin Hood is just what we
do not find reflected in its exqusitely polished mirror.
This drama is even more a Court-of-Victoria-fin-de-
siecle rendering of the wild life it nominally represents
than the “Idyls of the King” are of the Arthurian past.
As a stage play The Foresters is eminently suited to
please British and American audiences, having neither
intensity of vision, overmastery of passion, vigour of dia-
logue, nor convincing verisimilitude.
Lord Lytton, who lisped in his father’s fiction, died a
writer of verse. He was a worthy private citizen; as a
public man, an ornamental Imperialist; as a diplomatist,
a sign-post to warn new-comers to take the other way.
He was saved from being a bad Oriental by being an
As a poet, he was . . . . . . a worthy son of his father.
A greater than many Lyttons passed away in
the person of Walt Whitman. This great pioneer of a
new literature has so many faults in the view of
most of his contemporaries that they cannot discern the volcano
beneath the scoriæ. Let us defy mixt metaphors, and
add that we believe those who come after us will
look upon him as the Janitor of the New House Beautiful.
Meanwhile all Whitmaniacs (the courteous appellation
is not ours) must rejoice in the convincing, if unconscious,
tribute paid with so much delicacy and graciousness
by the writer of a certain famous Athenœum critique.
Mr. Hall Caine has written The
Scapegoat. He has also
re-written it. The experiment reflects credit on him as a
conscientious workman, but is in other respects an awful
example to set to the young. Horrible possibilities are
suggested. Burke and Hare will be outdone in the resur-
recting business. Mudie will have to start duplicate shelves,
62 THE PAGAN REVIEW
the upper marked As they Were, the lower As they Are.
The dead will arise and walk in a new ghastliness.
The Naulahka proves that two clever men can
procure an abortion.
Mr. Mallock’s Human Document
should be filed at
once. It can then be put away.
In Robert Louis Stevenson’s new books, Across the
Plains and The Wrecker, there are wells of pure delight.
The sunshine of genius is in both, though the former is
but a series of collected papers and the latter a romance
of adventure. The delight of these books cancels the
deep disappointment of the “South-Sea Letters.” There
are pages of “The Lantern-Bearers” and “Fontaine-
bleau” which ought to be committed to memory by
every aspirant in the literary life.
The novel of the year, in France—a year given over
to strange aberrations from the well-defined “stream of
tendency” of the French mind, from a lurid colour-study
by the Flemish-Parisian Huysmans to the serene cold-
bloodedness of Maurice Barrès, or the scientific romancing
of J. H. Rosny—is Zola’s recently published La Débâcle.
It should be read not only as perhaps the most mature
and splendid effort of a great writer—a great writer who
has reached the Temple of Fame through seas of mud,
and, unfortunately, has brought a good deal with him,
even to the white steps of the portico; but also as a work
likely to have a remarkable effect on the political temper
and ideals of the French people. La Débâcle may prove
to be a factor of supreme international significance, in
the relations of France and Germany. In this country,
even, it will attract almost as much attention as the
marriage of a duke or the misdemeanour of an actress.
Maurice Maeterlinck—who stabbed himself with a bod-
kin in Les Sept Princesses—has, in Pelle-as et Melisande,
opened a vein. There is just a chance it is not an artery.
Next month a word to les jeunes here.
THE PAGAN REVIEW.
In the next number of The Pagan
Review there will be an
article entitled, “The New Paganism,” by H. P. Siwäarmill,
which will have not only a general purport but will, in all essen-
tial respects, reflect the principles of which this magazine is the
indirect literary exponent.
In the immediately succeeding numbers will also appear
by several of the younger men, known and unknown; including,
it is hoped, a continuation of Mr. Wm. Windover‘s ” Dionysos
One or two short stories dealing with striking and
episodes of contemporary Italian and Greek life, are promised
by Mr. James Marazion, whose “Rape of the Sabines” appears
in this number. The first will probably be a strange Greek
story, entitled, “The Last of the Mysti.” Another contributor
to the current issue, Mr. Charles Verlayne, will be represented
by a further instalment of his Barbaric Studies, from his forth-
coming romance, “LA MORT S’AMUSE.” If VISTAS be still
unpublished on the appearance of our second number, Mr.
W. S. Fanshawe may contribute another “dramatic interlude”
from that volume, akin in method, if not in subject or manner,
to his “Black Madonna.” From the pen of Mr. John Lafarge
readers will have, in due course, some novel sketches and strange
experiences of “Foreign London.”
“THE PAGANS”—for which, as motto, we fancy, rather than
the quotations given by Mr. Willand Dreeme, the words of
Pistol: “A foutra (or the world, and worldlings base! I speak
of Africa, and golden joys!”—will be continued.
Although there will be few translations in The Pagan Review—
for it is intended that it will be, above all else, national, and not
a French bastard, or mixt-breed of any kind—there will be occa-
sional foreign contributors. In particular there will appear,
either next number or in the third, the first part of a singularly
unconventional psychological romance—a romance, that is, in
externals, for it is understood to be essentially an autobiography.
Although written by one who is of the younger generation only
64 THE PAGAN REVIEW
in heart and mind, readers will find in this revelation of a
woman’s life by Mme. Rose Désirée Myrthil both true paganism
of spirit and modernity of temperament. There will also appear
at intervals in The Pagan Review studies of the most noteworthy
among the younger writers of other countries; and the collabo-
ration of some of the most typical poets and romancists of the
new movement in France and Belgium has been secured. In
the monthly “Contemporary Record” it is intended to give
suggestive if succinct summaries of what is being done here
and abroad by les jeunes, a term which, it may again be pointed out,
does not necessarily imply mere youthfulness in years.
The Editor has been promised stories, episodes,
of which, in part or complete, he has already considered—by
several known and unknown writers, besides the above named
authors; but he is prepared to consider proposals as to MSS.
other than those from writers who have already mustered
under the banner of The Pagan Review or from authors who
have been invited to contribute. Stamps for repostage if
necessary and addressed cover must be sent with all MSS. The
following stipulations should also be borne in mind: (1.) No
fiction can be considered, except short stories characterised by
distinct actuality, whether” romantic” or “realistic”; and in no
instance must these exceed 3.000 words, while 2,000, or even
1,000 constitute a preferable length. (2.) Contributions must
not have appeared elsewhere; or, if this rule be broken, it must
be with the cognizance and approval of the Editor. (3.) No
translations are wished, as the limited space for translations is
already pledged in advance for an indefinite period. (4.) Con-
troversial and political matter will not be considered; nor
such articles as “A Study of Robert Elsmen“, “The Poetry
of Mr. Lewis Morris “, “Art at the Royal Academy”, et hoc
genus omne. It will be well, in a word, for the sake of all
concerned, for would-be contributors to understand that this
magazine does not aim to be a popular monthly on familiar lines,
and that by far the greater part of what is currently submitted
to the consideration of magazine-editors is at once unsuitable
for and undesired by The Pagan Review.
All communications to be addressed to Mr. W. H. Brooks
(Assistant-Editor, The Pagan Review); but those which deal
with literary suggestions, or are concerned with literary contri-
butions, invited or voluntarily submitted, should be marked
“Editorial.” Letters, MSS., &c., to be addressed simply:—
Mr. W. H. Brooks,
THE PAGAN REVIEW.
PUBLISHED BY W.H. BROOKS, RUDGWICK, SUSSEX.
Subscription: Twelve Months, Post-paid, 12-/
Six Months, „ „ 6-/
Three Months, „ „ 3-/
* Subscribed copies MAY be the only
obtainable copies. In
any case, they will be send to subscribers in advance of all other
⁂ FOREIGN orders may be despatched, if more
through M. Léon Vanier, Libraire-Editeur, 19, Quai St. Michel,
AMERICAN: through Messrs. Chas. Webster & Co, 67, Fifth
Avenue, New York.
THE TOWER OF SILENCE:
A Drama, in Prose
By GEORGE GASCOIGNE.
“Of deeds most dreadful none greater than this
which thou hast done.”
⁂ As this Drama, which deals with a very terrible
incident and with a strange psychical problem, may be issued
only privately, there may be some readers of The Pagan Review
who may care to have their names put on record in advance as
subscribers on publication. Only a few copies will be disposable
in any case. (Price, Five Shillings.)
[To be issued privately.]
I. The Passion of Pere Hilarion.
II. The Birth of a Soul.
III. The Coming of the Prince.
IV. A Northern Night.
V. The Black Madonna.
VII. The Fallen God.
VIII. The Last Quest.
IX. The Lute Player
The Passing of Lilith.
Some of these pieces are “dramatic interludes” of the outer
of the life of the soul (NOS. II, VI, VII, and VIII). With the latter should
be included “The Lute Player” and “The Passing of Lilith,” though
less dramatic in form. “The Black Madonna,” a study in contemporary
barbarism, appears in this number of The Pagan Review.
⁂The Edition (which will be ready for subscribers in a few
is limited to 200 copies. Numbered copies, price 5-/ post-paid, are to be
had ONLY FROM THE AUTHOR, Mr. W.S. FANSHAWE, c/o Mr. W.H. Brooks,
Buck’s Green, Rudgwick, Sussex. Lest any miscarriage or delay occur,
owing to Mr. Fanshawe’s absence abroad, Mr. Brooks has kindly under-
taken to attend to any correspondence. W.S.F.
NEW BOOKS IN PREPARATION.
La Mort s’Amuse
by Charles Verlayne
The Hazard of Love
by JAMES MARAZION.
by RICHARD LE GALLIENNE.
Dionysos in India:
A Lyrical Drama,
by WM. WINDOVER.
Living Scottish Poets:
(including Mr. Robert Buchanan, Mr. Andrew
Lang, Mr. R.L. Stevenson, Mr. William Sharp,
Dr. Walter C. Smith &, &.)
by Sir GEORGE DOUGLAS, Bart.
The Pagan Review, vol. 1, August 1892. The Pagan Review Digital Edition, edited by Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2010. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2021. https://1890s.ca/tpr-all/