Anthony Van Dyck by Elbert Hubbard

Story type: EssayHis pieces so with live objects strive,That both or pictures seem, or both alive.Nature herself, amaz’d, does doubting stand,Which is her own and which t …

Story type: Essay

His pieces so with live objects strive,
That both or pictures seem, or both alive.
Nature herself, amaz’d, does doubting stand,
Which is her own and which the painter’s hand,
And does attempt the like with less success,
When her own work in twins she would express.
His all-resembling pencil did outpass
The magic imagery of looking-glass.
Nor was his life less perfect than his art.
Nor was his hand less erring than his heart.
There was no false or fading color there,
The figures sweet and well-proportioned were.

Cowley’s “Elegy on Sir Anthony Van Dyck”

The most common name in Holland is Van Dyck. Its simple inference is that the man lives on the dyke, or near it. In the good old days when villagers never wandered far from home, the appellation was sufficient, and even now, at this late day, it is not especially inconsistent.

In Holland you are quite safe in addressing any man you meet as Van Dyck.

The ancient Brotherhood of Saint Luke, of Antwerp, was always an exclusive affair, but during the years between Fifteen Hundred Ninety-seven and Sixteen Hundred Twenty-three there were twenty-seven artists by the name of Van Dyck upon its membership register. Out of these two dozen and three names, but one interests us.

Anthony Van Dyck was the son of a rich merchant. He was born in the year Fifteen Hundred Ninety-nine–just twenty-two years after the birth of Rubens. Before Anthony was ten years old the name and fame of Rubens illumined all Antwerp, and made it a place of pilgrimage for the faithful lovers of art of Northern Europe.

The success of Rubens fired the ambition of young Van Dyck. His parents fostered his desires, and after he had served an apprenticeship with the artist Van Balen, a place was secured for him in the Rubens studio. For a full year the ambitious Rubens took small notice of the Van Dyck lad, and possibly would not have selected him then as a favorite pupil but for an accident.

Rubens reduced his work to a system. While in his studio he was the incarnation of fire and energy. But at four o’clock each day he dismissed his pupils, locked the doors, and mounting his horse, rode off into the country, five miles and back.

One afternoon, when the master had gone for his usual ride, several of the pupils returned to the studio, wishing to examine a certain picture, and by hook or by crook gained admittance. On an easel was a partly finished canvas, the paint fresh from the hands of the master. The boys examined the work and then began to scuffle–boys of sixteen or seventeen always scuffle when left to themselves. They scuffled so successfully that the easel was upset, and young Van Dyck fell backwards upon the wet canvas, so that the design was transferred to his trousers.

The picture was ruined.

The young men looked upon their work aghast. It meant disgrace for them all.

In despair Van Dyck righted the easel, seized a brush, and began to replace the picture ere it could fade from his memory. His partners in crime looked on with special personal interest and encouraged him with words of lavish praise. He worked to within ten minutes of the time the master was due; and then all made their escape by the window through which they had entered.

The next day, when the class assembled, the pupils were ordered to stand up in line. Then they were catechized individually as to who had replaced the master’s picture with one of his own.

All pleaded ignorance until the master reached the blond-haired Van Dyck. The boy made a clean breast of it all, save that he refused to reveal the names of his accomplices.

“Then you painted the picture alone?”

“Yes,” came the firm answer that betokened the offender was resolved on standing the consequences.

The master relieved the strained tension by a laugh, and declared that he had only discovered the work was not his own by perceiving that it was a little better than he could do. Accidents are not always unlucky–this advanced young Van Dyck at once to the place of first assistant to Peter Paul Rubens.

* * * * *

Commissions were pouring in on Rubens. With him the tide was at flood. He had been down to Paris and had returned in high spirits with orders to complete that extensive set of pictures for Marie de Medici; he also had commissions from various churches; and would-be sitters for portraits waited in his parlors, quarreling about which should have first place.

Van Dyck, his trusted first lieutenant, lived in his house. The younger man had all the dash, energy and ambition of the older one. He caught the spirit of the master, and so great was his skill that he painted in a way that thoroughly deceived the patrons; they could not tell whether Rubens or Van Dyck had done the work.

This was very pleasing to Rubens. But when Van Dyck began sending out pictures on his own account, properly signed, and people said they were equal to those of Rubens, if not better, Rubens shrugged his shoulders.

There was as little jealousy in the composition of Peter Paul Rubens as in any artistic man we can name; but to declare that he was incapable of jealousy, as a few of his o’er-zealous defenders did, is to apply the whitewash. The artistic temperament is essentially feminine, and jealousy is one of its inherent attributes. Of course there are all degrees of jealousy, but the woman who can sit serenely by and behold her charms ignored for those of another, by one who yesterday sat at her feet making ballad to her eyebrow and sighing like a furnace, does not exist on the planet called Earth.

The artist, in any line, craves praise, and demands applause as his lawful right; and the pupil who in excellence approaches him, pays him a compliment that warms the cockles of his heart. But let a pupil once equal him and the pupil’s name is anathema. I can not conceive of any man born of woman who would not detest another man who looked like him, acted like him, and did difficult things just as well. Such a one robs us of our personality, and personality is all there is of us.

The germ of jealousy in Rubens’ nature had never been developed. He dallied with no “culture-beds,” and the thought that any one could ever really equal him had never entered his mind. His conscious sense of power kept his head high above the miasma of fear.

But now a contract for certain portraits that were to come from the Rubens studio had been drawn up by the Jesuit Brothers, and in the contract was inserted a clause to the effect that Van Dyck should work on each one of the pictures.

“Pray you,” said Rubens, “to which Van Dyck do you refer? There are many of the name in Antwerp.”

The jealousy germ had begun to develop.

And about this time Van Dyck was busying himself as understudy, by making love to Rubens’ wife. Rubens was a score of years older than his pupil, and Isabella was somewhere between the two–say ten years older than Van Dyck, but that is nothing! These first fierce flames that burn in the heart of youth are very apt to be for some fair dame much older than himself. No psychologist has ever yet just fathomed the problem, and I am sure it is too deep for me–I give it up. And yet the fact remains, for how about Doctor Samuel Johnson–and did not our own Robert Louis fall desperately in love with a woman sixteen years his senior? Aye, and married her, too, first asking her husband’s consent, and furtherance also being supplied by the ex-husband giving the bride away at the altar. At least, we have been told so.

Were this sketch a catalog, a dozen notable instances could be given in which very young men have been struck hard by women old enough to have nursed them as babes.

Van Dyck loved Isabella Rubens ardently. He grew restless, feverish, lost appetite and sighed at her with lack-luster eye across the dinner-table. Rubens knew of it all, and smiled a grim, sickly smile.

“I, too, love every woman who sits to me for a portrait. He’ll get over it,” said the master. “It all began when I allowed him to paint her picture.”

Busy men of forty, with ambitions, are not troubled by Anthony Hope’s interrogation. They glibly answer, “No, no, love is not all–it’s only a small part of life–simply incidental!”

But Van Dyck continued to sigh, and all of his spare time was taken up in painting pictures of the matronly Isabella. He managed to work even in spite of loss of appetite; and sitters sometimes called at the studio and asked for “Master Van Dyck,” whereas before there was only one master in the whole domain.

Rubens grew aweary.

He was too generous to think of crushing Van Dyck, and too wise to attempt it. To cast him out and recognize him openly as a rival would be to acknowledge his power. A man with less sense would have kicked the lovesick swain into the street. Rubens was a true diplomat. He decided to get rid of Van Dyck and do it in a way that would cause no scandal, and at the same time be for the good of the young man.

He took Van Dyck into his private office and counseled with him calmly, explaining to him how hopeless must be his love for Isabella. He further succeeded in convincing the youth that a few years in Italy would add the capsheaf to his talent. Without Italy he could not hope to win all; with Italy all doors would open at his touch.

Then he led him to his stable and presented him with his best saddle-horse, and urged immediate departure for a wider field and pastures new.

A few days later the handsome Van Dyck–with a goodly purse of gold, passports complete, and saddlebags well filled with various letters of introduction to Rubens’ Italian friends–followed by a cart filled with his belongings, started gaily away, bound for the land where art had its birth.

“With Italy–with Italy I can win all!” he kept repeating to himself as he turned his horse’s head to the South.

* * * * *

The first day’s ride took the artistic traveler to the little village of Saventhem, five miles from Brussels. Here he turned aside long enough to say good-by to a fair young lady, Anna Van Ophem by name, whom he had met a few months before at Antwerp.

He rode across the broad pasture, entered the long lane lined with poplars, and followed on to the spacious old stone mansion in the grove of trees.

Anna herself saw him coming and came out to meet him. They had not been so very well acquainted, but the warmth of a greeting all depends upon where it takes place. It was lonely for the beautiful girl there in the country: she welcomed the handsome young painter-man as though he were a long-lost brother, and proudly introduced him to her parents.

Instead of a mere call he was urged to put up his horse and remain overnight; and a servant was sent out to find the man who drove the cart with the painter’s belongings, and make him comfortable.

The painter decided that he would remain overnight and make an early start on the morrow.

And it was so agreed.

There was music in the evening, and pleasant converse until a late hour, for the guest must sit up and see the moon rise across the meadow–it would make such a charming subject for a picture!

So they sat up to see the moon rise across the meadow.

At breakfast the next morning there was a little banter on the subject of painting. Could not the distinguished painter remain over one day and give his hosts a taste of his quality?

“I surely will if the fair Anna will sit for her portrait!” he courteously replied.

The fair Anna consented.

The servant who drove the cart had gotten on good terms with the servants of the household, and was being initiated into the mysteries of making Dutch cheese.

Meanwhile the master had improvised a studio and was painting the portrait of the charming Anna.

After working two whole days he destroyed the canvas because the picture was not keyed right, and started afresh. The picture was fairish good, but his desire now was to paint the beautiful Anna as the Madonna.

Van Dyck’s affections having been ruthlessly uprooted but a few days before, the tendrils very naturally clung to the first object that presented itself–and this of course was the intelligent and patient sitter, aged nineteen last June.

If Rubens could not paint the picture of a lady without falling in love with her, what should be expected of his best pupil, Van Dyck?

Pygmalion loved into life the cold marble which his hand had shaped, and thus did Van Dyck love his pictures into being. All portrait-painters are sociable–they have to be in order to get acquainted with the subject. The best portrait-painter in America talks like a windmill as he works, and tries a whole set round of little jokes, and dry asides and trite aphorisms on the sitter, meanwhile cautiously noting the effect. For of course so long as a sitter is coldly self-conscious, and fully mindful that he is “being took,” his countenance is as stiff, awkward, and constrained as that of a farmer at a dinner-party.

Hence the task devolves upon the portrait-artist to bring out, by the magic of his presence, the nature of the subject. “In order to paint a truly correct likeness, you must know your sitter thoroughly,” said Van Dyck.

The gracious Rubens prided himself on his ability in this line. He would often spend half an hour busily mending a brush or mixing paints, talking the while, but only waiting for the icy mood of the sitter to thaw. Then he would arrange the raiment of his patron, sometimes redress the hair, especially of his lady patrons, and once we know he kissed the cheek of the Duchess of Mantua, “so as to dispel her distant look.” I know a portrait-artist in Albany who is said to occasionally salute his lady customers by the same token, and if they protest he simply explains to them that it was all in the interest of art–in other words, artifice for art’s sake.

After three days at the charming old country-seat at Saventhem, Van Dyck called his servant and told him to take the shoes off of the saddle-horse, and turn it and the cart-horse loose in the pasture. He had decided to remain and paint a picture for the village church.

And it was so done.

The pictures that Van Dyck then painted are there now in the same old ivy-grown, moss-covered church at Saventhem. The next time you are in Brussels it will pay you to walk out and see them.

One of the pictures is called “Saint Martin Dividing His Cloak With Two Beggars.” The Saint is modestly represented by Van Dyck himself, seated astride the beautiful horse that Rubens gave him.

The other picture is “The Holy Family,” in which the fair Anna posed for the Virgin, and her parents and kinsmen are grouped around her as the Magi and attendants.

Both pictures reveal the true Van Dyck touch, and are highly prized by the people of the village and the good priests of the church. Each night a priest carries in a cot and sleeps in the chancel to see that these priceless works of art are protected from harm. When you go there to see them, give the cowled attendant a franc and he will unfold the tale, not just as I have written it, but substantially. He will tell you that Van Dyck stopped here on his way to Italy and painted these pictures as a pious offering to God, and what boots it after all!

More than once have the village peasants collected, armed with scythes, hoes and pitchforks, to protect these sacred pictures from vandalism on the part of lustful collectors or marauding bands of soldiers.

In Eighteen Hundred Fourteen, a detachment of French soldiers killed a dozen of the villagers, and a priest fell fighting for these treasures on the sacred threshold, stabbed to his death. Then the vandals tramped over the dead bodies, entered the church, and cut from its frame Van Dyck’s “Holy Family” and carried the picture off to Paris. But after Napoleon had gotten his Waterloo (only an hour’s horseback ride from Saventhem), the picture was restored to the villagers on order of the Convention.

Rubens waited expectantly, thinking to have news from his brilliant pupil in Italy. He waited a month. Two months passed, and still no word. After three months a citizen reported that the day before he had seen Van Dyck, aided by a young woman, putting up a picture in the village church at Saventhem.

Rubens saddled his horse and rode down there. He found Van Dyck and his lady-love sitting hand in hand on a mossy bank, in a leafy grove, listening to the song of a titmouse. Rubens did not chide the young man; he merely took him one side and told him that he had stayed long enough, and “beyond the Alps lies Italy.” He also suggested that Anthony Van Dyck could not afford to follow the example of his illustrious Roman namesake who went down into Egypt and found things there so softly luxurious that he forgot home, friends, country–all! To remain at Saventhem would be death to his art–he must have before him the example of the masters.

Van Dyck said he would think about it; and Rubens took a look at his old saddle-horse rolling in the pasture or wading knee-deep in clover, and rode back home.

In a few days he sent Chevalier Nanni down to the country-seat at Saventhem, to tell Van Dyck that he was on his way to Italy and that Van Dyck had better accompany him.

Van Dyck concluded to go. He made tearful promises to his beautiful Anna that he would return for her in a year.

And so the servant, who had become an expert in the making of Dutch cheese, caught the horses out of the pasture, and having rebroken them, the cavalcade started southward in good sooth.

* * * * *

It was four years before Van Dyck returned. He visited Milan, Florence, Verona, Mantua, Venice and Rome, and made himself familiar with the works of the masters. Everywhere he was showered with attention, and the fact that he was the friend and protege of Rubens won him admittance into the palaces of the nobles.

The four years in Italy widened his outlook and transformed him from a merely handsome youth into a man of dignity and poise.

Great was his relief when he returned to Antwerp to hear that the pretty Anna Van Ophem of Saventhem had been married three years before to a worthy wine merchant of Brussels, and was now the proud mother of two handsome boys.

Great was the welcome that Van Dyck received at Antwerp; and in it all the gracious Rubens joined. But there was one face the returned traveler missed: Isabella had died the year before.

The mere fact that a man has been away for several years studying his profession gives him a decided prestige when he returns. Van Dyck, fresh from Italy, exuberant with life and energy, became at once the vogue.

He opened a studio, following the same lines that Rubens had, and several churches gave him orders for extensive altarpieces.

Antwerp prided herself on being an artistic center. Buyers from England now and then appeared, and several of Rubens’ pictures had been taken to London to decorate the houses and halls of royalty.

Portrait-painting is the first form of art that appeals to a rude and uncultivated people. To reproduce the image of a living man in stone, or to show a likeness of his face in paint, is calculated to give a thrill even to a savage. There is something mysterious in the art, and the desire to catch the shadow ere the substance fades is strong in the human heart. One reason that sacred art was so well encouraged in the Middle Ages was because the faces portrayed were reproductions of living men and women. This lent an intense personal interest in the work, and insured its fostering care. Callous indeed was the noble who would not pay good coin to have himself shown as Saint Paul, or his enemy as Judas. In fact, “Judas Receiving the Thirty Pieces of Silver” was a very common subject, and the “Judas” shown was usually some politician who had given offense.

In Sixteen Hundred Twenty-eight, England had not yet developed an art-school of her own. All her art was an importation, for although some fine pictures had been produced in England, they were all the work of foreigners–men who had been brought over from the Continent.

Henry the Eighth had offered Raphael a princely sum if he would come to London and work for a single year. Raphael, however, could not be spared from Italy to do work for “the barbarians,” and so he sent his pupil, Luca Penni. Bluff old Hans Holbein also abode in England and drew a goodly pension from the State.

During the reign of Mary and her Spanish husband, Philip, several pictures by Titian arrived in London, via Madrid. Then, too, there were various copies of pictures by Paul Veronese, Murillo and Velasquez that long passed for original, because the copyist had faithfully placed the great artist’s trademark in the proper place.

Queen Elizabeth held averages good by encouraging neither art nor matrimony–whereas her father had set her the example of being a liberal patron of both. If Elizabeth never discovered Shakespeare, how could she be expected to know Raphael?

About Sixteen Hundred Twenty, the year the “Mayflower” sailed, Paul Vensomer, Cornelis Jannsen and Daniel Mytens went over to England from the Netherlands and quickly made fortunes by painting portraits for the nobility. This was the first of that peculiar rage for having a hall filled with ancestors. The artists just named painted pictures of people long gone hence, simply from verbal descriptions, and warranted the likeness to give satisfaction.

Oh, the Dutch are a thrifty folk!

James the First had no special eye for beauty–no more than Elizabeth had–but a few of his nobles were intent on providing posterity with handsome ancestors, and so the portrait-painter flourished.

An important move in the cause of literature was made by King James when he placed Sir Walter Raleigh in the Tower; for Raleigh’s best contributions to letters were made during those thirteen years when he was alone, with the world locked out. And when his mind began to lose its flash, the King wisely put a quietus on all danger of an impaired output by cutting off the author’s head.

Still, there was no general public interest in art until the generous Charles appeared upon the scene. Charles was an elegant scholar and prided himself on being able to turn a sonnet or paint a picture; and the only reason, he explained, why he did not devote all his time to literature and art was because the State must be preserved. He could hire men to paint, but where could one be found who could govern?

Charles had purchased several of Rubens’ pieces, and these had attracted much attention in London. Receptions were given where crowds surged and clamored and fought, just to get a look at the marvelous painting of the wonderful Fleming. Such gorgeous skill in color had never before been seen in England.

Charles knighted Rubens and did his best to make him a permanent attache of his Court; but Rubens had too many interests of a financial and political nature at home to allow himself to be drawn away from his beloved Antwerp.

But now he had a rival–the only real rival he had ever known. Van Dyck was making head. The rival was younger, handsomer, and had such a blandishing tongue and silken manner that the crowd began to call his name and declare he was greater than Caesar.

Yet Rubens showed not a sign of displeasure on his fine face–he bowed and smiled and agreed with the garrulous critics when they smote the table and declared that all of Van Dyck’s Madonnas really winked.

He bided his time.

And it soon came, for the agent of Lord Arundel, that great Maecenas of the polite arts, came over to Flanders to secure treasures, and of course called on Rubens.

And Rubens talked only of Van Dyck–the marvelous Van Dyck.

The agent secured several copies of Van Dyck’s work, and went back to England, telling of all that Rubens had told him, with a little additional coloring washed in by his own warm imagination.

To discover a genius is next to being one yourself. Lord Arundel felt that all he had heard of Van Dyck must be true, and when he went to the King and told him of the prodigy he had found, the King’s zeal was warm as that of the agent, for does not the “messianic instinct” always live?

This man must be secured at any cost. They had failed to secure Rubens, but the younger man had no family ties, no special property interests, neither was he pledged to his home government as was Rubens.

Straightway the King of England dispatched a messenger urging Anthony Van Dyck to come over to England. The promised rewards and honors were too great for the proud and ambitious painter to refuse. He started for England.

* * * * *

In stature Van Dyck was short, but of a very compact build. He carried the crown of his head high, his chin in, and his chest out. His name is another added to that list of big-little men who had personality plus, and whose presence filled a room. Caesar, Napoleon, Lord Macaulay, Aaron Burr and that other little man with whom Burr’s name is inseparably linked, belong to the same type. These little men with such dynamic force that they can do the thinking for a race are those who have swerved the old world out of her ruts–whether for good or ill is not the question here.

When you find one of these big-little men, if he does not stalk through society a conquering Don Juan it is because we still live in an age of miracles.

Women fed on Van Dyck’s smile, and pined when he did not deign to notice them. He was royal in all his tastes–his manner was regal, and so proud was his step that when he passed forbidden lines, sentinels and servants saluted and made way, never daring to ask him for card, passport or countersign.

He gloried in his power and worked it to its farthest limit.

Unlike Rembrandt, he never painted beggars; nor did he ever stoop as Titian did when he pictured his old mother as a peasant woman at market, in that gem of the Belle d’ Arte at Venice; nor did he ever reveal on his canvas wrinkled, weather-worn old sailors, as did Velasquez.

He pictured only royalty, and managed, in all his portraits, to put a look of leisure and culture and quiet good-breeding into the face, whether it was in the original or not. In fact, he fused into every picture that he painted a goodly modicum of his own spirit. You can always tell a Van Dyck portrait; there is in the face a self-sufficiency, a something that speaks of “divine right”–not of arrogance, for arrogance and assumption reveal a truth which man is trying to hide, and that is that his position is a new acquirement. Van Dyck’s people are all to the manner born.

He was thirty-three years old when he arrived in England.

King Charles furnished the painter a house at Blackfriars, fronting the Thames, to insure a good light, and gave him a summer residence in Kent. All his expenses were paid by the State, and as his tastes were regal the demands on the public exchequer were not small. His title was, “Principal Painter in Ordinary to the King and Queen of England.”

Van Dyck had worked so long with Rubens that he knew how to use ‘prentice talent. He studied by a system and turned off a prodigious number of canvases. The expert can at once tell a picture painted by Van Dyck during his career in England: it lacks the care and finish that was shown in his earlier years. Yet there is a subtle sweep and strength in it all that reveals the personality of the artist.

Twenty-two pictures he painted of King Charles that we can trace. These were usually sent away as presents. And it is believed that in the seven years Van Dyck lived in England he painted nearly one thousand portraits.

The courtly manner and chivalrous refinement of the Fleming made him a prime favorite of Charles. He was even more kingly than the King.

In less than three months after he arrived in England Charles publicly knighted him, and placed about his neck a chain of gold to which was attached a locket, set with diamonds, containing a picture of the King.

A record of Van Dyck’s affairs of the heart would fill a book. His old habit of falling in love with every lady patron grew upon him. His reputation went abroad, and his custom of thawing the social ice by talking soft nonsense to the lady on the sitter’s throne, while it repelled some allured others.

At last Charles grew nettled and said that to paint Lady Digby as “The Virgin” might be all right, and even to turn around and picture her as “Susanna at the Bath” was not necessarily out of place, but to show Margaret Lemon, Anne Carlisle and Catherine Wotton as “The Three Graces” was surely bad taste. And furthermore, when these same women were shown as “Psyche,” “Diana” and the “Madonna”–just as it happened–it was really too much!

In fact, the painter must get married; and the King and Queen selected for him a wife in the person of a Scottish beauty, Maria Ruthven.

Had this proposition come a few years before, the proud painter would have flouted it. But things were changed. Twinges of gout and sharp touches of sciatica backed up the King’s argument that to reform were the part of wisdom. Van Dyck’s manly shape was tending to embonpoint: he had evolved a double chin, the hair on his head was rather seldom, and he could no longer run upstairs three steps at a time. Yes, he would get married, live the life of a staid, respectable citizen, and paint only religious subjects. Society was nothing to him–he would give it up entirely.

And so Sir Anthony Van Dyck was married to Maria Ruthven, at Saint Paul’s Cathedral, and the King gave the bride away, ceremonially and in fact.

Sir Anthony’s gout grew worse, and after some months the rheumatism took an inflammatory turn. Other complications entered, which we would now call Bright’s Disease–that peculiar complaint of which poor men stand in little danger.

The King offered the Royal Physician a bonus of five hundred pounds if he would cure Van Dyck: but if he had threatened to kill the doctor if the patient died, just as did the Greek friends of Byron, when the poet was ill at Rome, it would have made no difference.

A year after his marriage, and on the day that Maria Ruthven gave birth to a child, Anthony Van Dyck died, aged forty years. Rubens had died but a few months before.

The fair Scottish wife did not care to retain her illustrious name at the expense of loneliness, and so shortly married again. Whom she married matters little, since it would require a search-warrant to unearth even the man’s name, so dead is he. But inasmuch as the brilliant Helena Fourment, second wife of Rubens, whose picture was so often painted by her artist-husband, married again, why shouldn’t Madame Van Dyck follow the example?

It is barely possible that Charles Lamb was right when he declared that no woman married to a genius ever believed her husband to be one. We know that the wife of Edmund Spenser became the Faerie Queene of another soon after his demise, and whenever Spenser was praised in her presence she put on a look that plainly said, “I could a tale unfold.”

My own opinion is that a genius makes a very bad husband. And further, I have no faith in that specious plea, “A woman who marries a second time confers upon her first husband the highest compliment, for her action implies that she was so happy in her first love that she is more than willing to try it again.”

I think the reverse is more apt to be the truth, and that the woman who has been sorely disappointed in her first marriage is anxious to try the great experiment over again, in order if possible to secure that bliss which every daughter of Eve feels is her rightful due.

Maria Ruthven lived to rear a goodly brood of children, and Samuel Pepys records that she used to send a sort o’ creepy feeling down the backs of callers by innocently introducing her children thus: “This is my eldest daughter, whose father was Sir Anthony Van Dyck, of whom you have doubtless heard; and these others are my children by my present husband, Sergeant Nobody.” Van Dyck’s remains are buried in Saint Paul’s Cathedral. A very fine monument, near the grave of Turner, marks the spot; but his best monument is in the examples of his work that are to be found in every great art-gallery of the world.

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