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bet had to go to a murky little hall from the minarets of Agra and Delhi to called the Tennys Ball, where half a the home of Big Ben, from the camdozen girls vied with each other in hit- panili of Ravenna and Torcello, St. ting a ball with a racket into holes in a Mark's and St. Giorgio Maggiore, to board some four yards distant, and you the spire of Salisbury, from the Giralda put your money on Lilly or Minnie, at Seville to the belfry at Bruges, but Mary or Rosie, as your fancy directed. none remains in the memory more As a substitute for the brave efforts of graciously than Siena's twain. They are battitore and spalla in the realgame, they not quite so imposing as their cousins were poor indeed; but the odds can be at Florence Giotto's tower and the even greater than at pallone, which, tower of the Palazzo Vecchio; but they as a medium of speculation, must be are not less beautiful. Indeed, the very disappointing to a gambler of any Torre del Mangio has a loveliness lackpluck.
ing at the Palazzo Vecchio; it springs Siena's dominating structures, as upward with such ease, it is so slender seen from any distance, are its two love- and so light-hearted. ly towers — the black and white marble The Torre del Mangio, which takes campanile of the Duomo, rising so its name from the figure, now no more, confidently above the great cathedral that used to strike the hours, was built itself, which, in its turn, crowns a pre- by the brothers Di Rinaldo, of Perugia, cipitous rock; and the Torre del Mangio in the first half of the fourteenth of red brick, which, in the same way, century. It is three hundred and thirty completes the Palazzo Pubblico, on the feet high, of red brick for the first long border of the great Piazza del Campo, fight, and then there is a white-stone or, as it now is, the Piazza Vittorio corbeled capital, and above that a Emmanuele, where the palia races are
white-stone crown which in itself run, and where is a reconstruction of would add glory to any ordinary buildthe fountain that won for Jacopo della ing. On the top of all is the great bell Quercia — who stands to Siena much in an iron cage. The triumph of the in the same relation as Brunelleschi to Torre del Mangio is the more remarkFlorence and Sansovino to Venice - able when one realizes that it rises, so to his name of Jacopo della Fonte. speak, from the lowlands, and yet from Jacopo's hand is to be seen everywhere, a distance is so commandingly lofty, but never to more advantage than in although then it has to bear comparison the font in the Baptistery, to which with the campanile of the Duomo, Ghiberti and Donatello also contrib- which is helped by its naturally exalted uted. Two of the four putti that Dona- position. The campanile is as decoratello designed are missing. According tive as the Torre del Mangio is simple; to Herr Baedeker, — who ought to it is built of white and black marble in know, one of them is now in the horizontal stripes, and, but for an Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin, ingenious and entirely successful archiand it would be interesting to learn how tectural device, might have been restit found its way there. The whereabouts less and heavy. This device was to of the other is a mystery, and I can graduate the framework of the winthink of few more fascinating commis- dows of which there are six on each sions to hand to Dr. Sherlock Holmes of the four façades - so that in the top than to trace it to its present home. story there are six arches, in the fifth
I have had the good fortune to see five, in the forth four, and so on down many beautiful towers in the world, to the lowest window of all, which is
but a single narrow one. They are myself in the Piazza del Campo a little graduated also in height, the top ones before twelve, I stood in a doorway being the highest. The result is that opposite the Torre del Mangio to see the eye is carried upward toward an ex- what happened there when the gun went panding and more impressive effect off. Standing there, I noticed that the with each change. It is as though the myriad holes left in the brickwork of wider windows lift the narrower. the tower, either for scaffolding or for
Coming to Siena, as one often does, the fixing of the marble veneer that from Venice or Florence, there is one may, or may not, have been intended, strange lack. You know how, in St. were now the homes of jackdaws, Mark's Square, in Venice, when the whose sharp cries to each other filled clock strikes noon the gun at the arsenal the air just as they do in an English
sometimes before it, sometimes in cathedral close. At noon I expected to the middle, and often when the notes see every jackdaw fly out, with some of have finished booms out, and all the the same affectation of fright-or at pigeons rise in a gray wind; you know any rate, surprise — as the Venetian how, in Florence, where time is of more pigeons; but I was disappointed, for importance than in the Adriatic City of there was no gun. The clock struck, the Sun, as the noonday gun is heard and that was all. I must say that I every man's head is for a moment bent disapprove of this. Every Italian city - not in devotion, but in consultation should have its noonday gun. The lack of his watch. Well, in Siena, finding of it is Siena's only defect.
BY PERCY RIPLEY
High lifted up, high lifted up,
And looking up, and looking up,
In darkness root, in shadow crown,
LIFE, LETTERS, AND THE ARTS
MR. WELLS RETORTS
WRITERS of memoirs who introduce gret that so glorious a landscape and living personalities into their pages such graceful arches as characterized cannot count on the immunity to the stone bridges should be marred correction they would enjoy if they by a rectangular iron railway structure confined themselves to the great dead. crossing the stream in the foreground. And even within the limits of such 'Mr. H. G. Wells interrupted him. daring, they can choose between toying ““Oh!” exclaimed he, dramatically, with explosives and leaving them alone. "how can you utter such words! To me Apparently the first alternative was the a railway has the elements of sublimity one Mr. Poultney Bigelow chose in his - it represents the finest quality of our recent volume, Seventy Summers. Ac- people — it is eloquent — it means
cording to Mr. H. G. Wells, venting his Progress!" indignation in the columns of the Daily Herald, Mr. Bigelow is guilty of having misrepresented him unconscionably in a passage relating a conversation at Lady Russell's in London.
These are the offending paragraphs from Mr. Bigelow's book:
"Mr. H. G. Wells radiated material prosperity and mental serenity. Of all the roomful at Lady Russell's, where were several notable artists in brush no less than pen, he was perhaps the only one who would have been picked out by a physiognomist as a lucky stockbroker or traveling salesman. He chatted pleasantly of the fabulous amounts forced on him by paradoxical publishers; of his recently published Outline of History; of the hundreds of periodicals in every corner of the world clamoring for his pages.
*Verily, it was all as in a fairy tale gone mad! We stood in a window recess with a splendid view of the Thames from Westminster down to the Tower, and one of us — I think
H. G. WELLS it was Anthony Hope - expressed re
(Low in the New Statesman)
“The blow was a comparatively light him. But he carried off a resentment. one to a New Yorker; but Anthony I find newspapers sent to me with Hope winced; his eyebrows lifted just a marked paragraphs, and I discover that little, and on his lips rested the enig- Mr. Poultney Bigelow has produced matical smile that Leonardo da Vinci reminiscences of Seventy Summers and immortalized on the Gioconda.'
made me the hero of an "amusing Not unnaturally, Mr. Wells has story.” Mr. Poultney Bigelow gets taken umbrage at this piece of report- his own back for the chagrin about ing, and written to the Daily Herald these quite imaginary "prices” and in the following terms:
my disentangling manner. His “amus'Some little while ago, I met a Mr. ing story” is written in verjuice. Poultney Bigelow at Lady Russell's 'I am represented as a large travelflat in London. He sought an introduc- ling-salesman sort of person pervading tion to me, and commenced forthwith Lady Russell's party with violent to saw at me with ill-mannered in- boasting about these same “prices" quiries about my “sales," my income, that so gall Mr. Bigelow, – that is the
, and suchlike impertinences. He had sort of person he wanted me to be, and got hold of some nonsense about the that is the sort of person he means me extraordinary "prices” paid to me, to be if lying can do it, — and when and he pressed me about these stories. the “refained” remarks about CharIn some way they had made him mali- ing Cross Bridge come in — they are
very generously ascribed to Sir An'I did my best to convey to him that thony Hope Hawkins, who is quite inhe had as much right to pester me capable of such stupidities - I am about these things as to ask where I represented as endangering the furnihad bought my trousers, or whether I ture by dramatic gestures and declaring had an overdraft at my bank. After that a railway “represents the finest a time I succeeded in stunning or killing quality of our people; it is eloquent these tentatives to vulgarity, and then it means Progress!” he proceeded to discuss the view from “Thereupon Sir Anthony Hope HawLady Russell's window.
kins, whom I do not remember there 'Change of topic meant no change of at all, is said to have smiled like the quality in his discourse. Charing Gioconda, — Anthony must practise Cross Bridge was ugly, materialistic, this, — and the incident terminated. rectangular. (To people like Mr. 'Now, it would do little harm to have Bigelow anything curved is
Mr. Bigelow repeating this silly story beautiful than anything rectangular.) to the sort of people who frequent
““That bridge,” said I, exasperated him, or to have him writing it down beyond endurance, "at sundown, or in a costly book of reminiscences that in twilight, can be the most beautiful only the very strangest people will and romantic thing in the world. read. But tales of this sort have a Have you no eyes? There was an fatal fascination for the journalist, American named Whistler, who could and I find Mr. Bigelow's bit of malihave made even you see the loveliness cious twaddle spreading. of it. And have you never thought of 'I may be oversensitive, but I do all that has gone to and fro on it, since not like to have this quotation going first it was made?”
from paper to paper and a false picture After that I somehow got rid of Mr. of myself as a shouting, boasting nuiBigelow, and thought no more about sance at tea-parties circulated far and
wide, simply because I failed to delight of affairs in his home - a disillusion openly in Mr. Poultney Bigelow. Con that vented itself in such lines as these: sidering what a bore he was, and how 'So this is our country! What on earth rude he was, I was quite decent to him. made me protest that I and my people I suppose the thing is a libel, and a were friends? Now it looks as if I had damaging libel, but life is too short to no need of them — and they had still chase libels.
less need of me!' 'I launch this paragraph, therefore, The
he wrote after his return in pursuit of his anecdote and leave the to Russia are the painful record of a affair to the gods. If these explanations heartbreaking process of accepting this can overtake and pin themselves on to fact — this fundamental cleavage in Mr. Bigelow's “amusing story" for purpose between a poet and his people. good, I feel that the latter will lose If Esenin's genius had been less aulittle of its interest and much of its thentic than it was, he could no doubt harm. American papers, please copy.' have survived this knowledge; as it
was, he had lost the sense of playing a significant intellectual rôle - and he
was capable of playing no other. One A RUSSIAN POET
day this winter he opened his veins The suicide, the other day, of the young
and bled to death. His suicide called Russian poet, Sergei Esenin, was the
forth expressions of sincere grief, not tragic culmination of a stormy, bril- only from the official organs at home, liant, and unhappy career, not unlike but from the emigrant papers abroad — the popular conception of a poet's life.
and the subjects on which these two At the time of the Bolshevist revolu- unite are very rare indeed. tion, Esenin had left Russia to wander
It is said that when Esenin's body about Europe and America in a boister- was carried past Pushkin's monument ous happy-go-lucky way, and had made on the way to the cemetery in Moscow, himself conspicuous in more than one
where the Government arranged a capital as a whole-hearted supporter of stately official funeral, the pallbearers the Soviet régime. But for some six
who were probably fellow poets years — during which he became the made a complete round of the monuhusband of a famous dancer and the ment, as if allowing Esenin, whose hero of many picturesque escapades
genius had been cut off as prematurely he was sufficiently content with his
as had that of Russia's greatest poet, voluntary expatriation.
to take leave of his spiritual ancestor. In 1923 Esenin began to feel the stirrings of a restless homesickness for the distressful country he had abandoned so cavalierly. On his return he
THE 'ROSENKAVALIER' AS A MOVIE was met with open arms and lionized as the poet of the Revolution. It
It THREE men of distinguished talents, if looked as if he had an excellent chance not of genius, participated in the proof becoming a kind of poet laureate. duction of one of the most interesting Nothing of the sort did in fact happen. artistic events of the winter in Europe Esenin, the son of a poor peasant, born the film version of Richard Strauss's in a remote and primitive village, light opera, Der Rosenkavalier. The experienced nothing but the bitterest original book, modified by the author disillusion in contemplating the state for the new purpose, was the work of