BRASS YS. BRAINS.
The Career of J. Byron Smythe, of
BY MARY K. BRYAM.
8o Mr. J. Byron Smythe has written a book.
Here it is—bound in purple, with the national
spread eagle hovering over a forlorn-looking
woman among a hecatomb of books, stamped in
gilt upon the cover. And here, on the title-page,
is the author’s name, followed by a smirking
dedication of ‘ this humble volume' to the ‘ wri
ter's distinguished friend—Mr. Jonathan Hunks’
—the rich old cotton-bags of Alabama, who never
read a book through m his life and never will.
And as I live, here is also an engraved likeness
of the distinguished Mr. Smythe himself—with
his legs crossed in token of his independence,
his hair tumbled Byronically back, like the fea
thers of a frizzled chicken in a high wind, his
hand supporting his forehead, and his eyes in a
‘fine frenzy rolling.’ The picture is recogniza
ble, though the flattering'artist has dignified the
snub into a Grecian and given a Marie Stuart
gray to the nondescript eyes, as well as a Turk
ish luxuriance to the scanty mustache and a look
of intellectual superiority to the ficy, impudent
Oh ! as I gaze upon this face (to quote from
my poetical friend, Miss Matilda Milkins), what
reminisoences of the past it brings to my mind !
It carries me back on the wings of fond memory,
(still quoting Miss Matilda) to the time when
said Byron coolly asked me to give him the
one slice of plum pie, in my school bucket,
and before I, confounded by his impudence,
could timidly venture a remonstrance,
“With his finger and thumb
He picked out the plum’’—pie.
Also, to the many times I have heard his drawl
ing voice, asking my mother for the ‘ loan’ of a
few peaches, or of half the oysters, his sharp eye
had detected her in buying. These youthful pe
culiarities were prophetical of Byron’s future
character. The impudence ot the boy, became
the sublime assurance of the man; the indefati-
gable-not-to-be-put-downativeness of the tow
headed ten-year-older, became one oi the prin
cipal elements of the success that he has achiev
ed. For has be not been brilliantly successful ?
Has be not written a book? To be sure, it is
difficult to tell what it is about. 'Soul Pic
tures, drawn by the lightning pencil of thought,’
is the title, and I have read through as much of
it as my weak stomach could bear, without hav
ing any definite impression made upon me, ex
cept a soreness of the cerebellum, as though all
that unceasing string of meaningless words had
been so many sledge-hammers playing Yankee
Doodle upon my brain. But this, of course, is
my own fault. It is the fault of my own stu
pidity, that I cannot perceive the superior ex
cellences of Mr. Smythe’s book. * Soul Pictures’
is no doubt a splendid thing. The newspapers
have all said so, and are not newspapers as
true as preaching, and editors as fully to be re
lied upon as Moses and the prophets? Yea
verily. Besides, did not my charming friend,
Matilda Milkins, pronounce the book a ‘ sweet
thing,’ and Matilda writes poetry, and is of
course a competent judge.
But the man ! J. Byron Smythe himself! I
have said I had the ever-to-be-grateful-for honor
of his acquaintance, though I must confess it
was before his brow was encircled by laurels,
or by anything but a napless hat. He was
•leemes Smith then—a sallow chap, with hemp-
coiored hair and a visage like a little shriveled
up crab apple—who passed his time in lolling
about the village stores, sucking molasses candy,
that he had wheedled some big boy, or bullied
some little fellow into letting him have. I feel
proud to remember that my dear father, with
his customary shrewdness, foresaw the future
career of this embryo genius.
‘ Wife,' he said, as he gravely pointed to mas
ter J. Byron, who was kicking up his ragged
boots on the bench in front of Grubbins' grog-
gery, ‘That boy will never make anything but a
poet, or a pickpocket.'
The fulfillment of this prophecy is before me.
Here it is in these two hnndred and fifty pages
of short lines, beginning with capital letters,
which is all that is requisite for modern poetry;
and here, on the initial page, is a ‘Soul Picture,’
which is a fair sample of the rest of the gallery.
“ Oh 1 press me in thy enow white arms.
My only life, my only love;
Oh I let me clasp thy blushing charms.
And envy not the saints above.
Let thy white bosom beat to mine.
Thy red, ripe lips to mine be pressed,
Thy shining tresses bathe my neck,
Like Blanc by morning mists caressed."
Ahem! Dear me ! how very voluptuous! and
my sweet friend Matilda Milkins has marked it
all around with a pencil. She told me it thrilled
her bosom with delightfully poetic emotions. I
have no doubt it did.
But here again I am off the track—wandered
away from the man to the book. That comes of
being an editor. It is a singular fact that we
quill and scissors individuals come to regard
books and papers as actual flesh and blood per
sonages—not the work of certain men and wo
men, but as the bona fide men and women them
Very different are the impressions made upon me
by this dainty book of my distinguished friend,
J. Byron Smythe. It is very gratifying to have
had a personal acquaintance with a ‘distinguish
ed character;’ so that, at a literary re-union,
when Mr. Augustus Flimsy, clasping his white
fingers in such a manner as to give you a dis
tinct view of his seal ring, exclaims, ‘Oh! Mrs.
, have you seen the photograph of that di
vine Jessie Jumps way, who has written Buch
sweet poetry and such thrilling stories ?* You
cau draw yourself up and reply sententiously,
that you knew Miss Jessie very well; indeed,
you may say, intimately; and that you will
never forget your dying day, how fond the sweet
dear used to be of pickled encumbers.
But about J. Byron Smythe: I mean some day
to immortalize myself and make my fortune by
writing his autobiography—beginning with him
<in the usual style) as an infant in long clothes,
and with a face like a boiled beet, and carrying
him on through the vicissitudes of babyhood,
where his genius early displayed itself in a ro
mantic determination to stay awake and squall
all night—to the climax of his fortunes, when
his distinguished pump soles were planted upon
Fame's topmost pinnacle, with the everlasting
bays of immortality encircling his brow, the
shades of the undying Homer and Shakspere
smiling upon him, and an admiring world duck
ing and nodding aronnd him like ao many did
dles in a thunder-storm. At present, however, I
intend only to speak of one or two little incidents
connected with the history of my renowned
friend—incidents, whioh have been reealled to
my mind by the reception of his book.
Shakspere has contemptuously asked, ‘What’s
in a name ?’ We answer that, in the instance
we speak of there waa much. Had not the lite
rary predilections of Mr. Smythe’s maternal pa
rent, indooed her to bestow upon her first-born
the name of the famous, but naughty poet, in all
probability, he would never have awakened to a
consciousness of hi8 own genins, and this valu
able addition to literature would never have
enriched my book table, or inspired this authen
As it was, the namesake of the illustrious By
ron wss led to oonsider himself a kind of step-
. child of the Muses, and early felt within him
‘the ‘stirrings of the gift divine.’ The first evi
dence of this appeared (while the juvenile poet
was at oollege) in the album of a young lady and
with the original title of “I‘li think of thee,“
Afterwards, the poet's corner of that brilliant
paper, the “Weekly Cimitar,“ was enriched by
an effusion from him, over the signature of
Forthwith, dreams of fame visited the soul of
Philander. He wore dilapidated linen and friz
zled hair, and kept his nails in mourning; be
paddled in the dew“at the middle of the night,"
with his arms folded on his chest and his eyes
fixed upon the melancholly moon; he looked ab
stracted when in company, and, when recalled
to the earth by his less etherial companions, re
covered himself with a little tragio start and a
toss back of his long, tangled hair. In short, he
played the poet of the Byronic school to perfec
tion, and was accordingly adored by the roman
tic young ladies of Roschill Seminary, who pro
nounced the ridiculous capers he cut the
“eccentricities of genius,"and considered them,
in the highest degree, poetical and proper. In
tarn, he spent whole hours of study time con
cocting impromptus to repeat, on the presenta
tion of a flower or some other fol de rol to these
his numerous bread-and-butter admirers. His
self-confidence was the most remarkable quality
of his very remarkable mind. He never for a
moment entertained a doubt of his genius, or
of the brilliant destiny he saw awaiting him. He
was troubled with none of the misgivings which
are erroneously attributed to scribblers, and to
poets in particular—a class of individuals who
possess more consumate assurance than any
other in the world—Jew peddlers always ex
Having become disgusted with the “slowness”
of the collegiate course, as well as, with the
want—on the part of the Faculty—of a proper
appreciation of genius. J. Byron shook off the
dost of his feet at the University, and having
presented his photograph with accompaning ver
ses, to each of the disconsolate damsels of Rose
Hill Seminary, and published in the Cimitar, a
farewell sonnet, in which was poured forth all
the bitterness and scorn of a heart that “had
not loved the world, nor the world it”—having,
I repeat, thus began a career analogous to that
of Shelly, Byron and other geniuses, Philander
returned to the village, which he had honored
by condescending to be born in, and set about
accomplishing his destiny. He spent six months
in going through the farce called the Study of
Law—whicb consists of lounging about on sofas
and coaches, in a very dirty dressing gown,
smoking bad cigars and committing to memory
a few technical terms. Then the interesting
little hnmbug of admission to the bar was gone
through with, and J. Byron was enrolled as a
member of the legal profession—which import
ant fact was duly announced to the public
at large, by a huge door plate, as brazen as the
face of him, whose name it bore. The brass
plate informed the people that J. Byron would
practice in the counties of A. B. C., etc. This,
however, was easier said than done. The conn-
ties mentioned showed no disposition to let J.
Byron practice in them; few and far between
were his clients, and, despite undoubted talents
for the profession (namely, his assurnnee and
his inventive, or as it is sometimes uncharita
bly termed lying faculty,) Mr. Smythe soon dis
covered that the practice of law did not always
ensne upon admission to the bar.
This was another instance of non-appreciated
genius; but the predestined author of “Soul
Pictures” was not to be discouraged. He com
miserated the ignorance of the “dull, low herd
of common minds” aronnd him, but did not for
a moment lose his exalted opinion of bis own
talents, or his faith, in his own success. He
talked as largely, strutted (no other word can
express it,) in as grand style, swnnghis galvan
ized watch chain with as careless an air, nodded
as familiarly to Judges and distinguished mem
bers, and as patronizingly to his brother sprouts,
as though he counted his clients by scores in
stead of units, and as if the rolls of tape-bonnd
parchment, which he carried nnder his arm, as
he harried in a business-like manner through
the streets during conrt-time, were not every
one of them, either blank or manuscripts of his
own delicate poems.
Bat matters had approached a crisis, and one
night J. Byron borrowed a couple of cigars, and
instead of sitting up as usual, perspiring over
a compound composed of unequal parts of Shin-
burne, Shelly and the balderdash of his own
brain, which he called writing a poem—he ‘ sat
himself down and resolutely looked his destiny
in the face ’ <as Miss Milkins expresses it in her
last * pome.’
Before the smoke of the last wretched little
roll of tobacco, had settled in his hair, he had
arrived at a conclusion, and formed an idea
worthy of his brilliant intellect Immediately,
he proceeded to give it an airing, and, in a
speech next night, (whose audience consisted
of two old maids, the black sexton, one woman
and two babies, three giggling school girls,
ditto yonng men and one deaf eld gentleman,)
he laid before the “enlightened citizens” of his
“native town” the grand project of establishing
a newspaper in their midst. Of coarse, it was
to be a purely philanthropic enterprise, whose
sole object was the intellectual and moral good
of the world in general, and the citizens of
Tarnipville in particular. But, alas ! for man’s
ingratitude to man. The people shrugged their
shoulders and intimated that Byron should have
been christened Barnum after the distingnished
individual who reduced humbuggery to a
science, but that, though he was quite cunning
for so young a fox—they were a leetle too sharp
to stick their fingers in his trap—they knew too
much about him.
So some of them showed themselves quite
liberal in giving advice and encouraging the
idea that had crept into the ambitious brain of
Byron, while others contemptuonsly called it a
fool’s crotchet, and all concurred in buttoning
their coats more closely over their beloved
pocket books, and shaking their heads at sight
of a subscription paper—preferring to “wait
and see if the thing would come to anything.”
Bat this failure did not overwhelm our hero;
he was born under no weak planet, and waa not
made of the stuff that could be put down. He
quitted Turnipville in disgust, and conceived
the grand idea of taking by Btorm the neighbor
ing county seat-a village rejoicing in the eu
phonious appellation of Goobertown. He had
printed a number of flaring red and yellow
placards, announcing that a new era would take
place in letters that the literary Gazette of the
South—of the world—destined to rival the New
York Ledger, the Tribune, Courier Journal and
all the fastest nags on the race track of newspa-
perdom, would be published by J. Byron
Smythe, and that the city of Goobertown was
honored by being choBen as the place where
this literary prodigy should be published.
These notices were pasted upon every Bign
board, groggery, eating house and post-office in
the country, and a number of them meeting the
good people of Goobertown at every corner of
the street, electrified them completely, and
created snoh an excitement—according to Miss
Tattle, the spinier Oracle—as had not been
seen in Goobertown, sinoe General Harrison’s
election. It was a new era in the history of the
village, for, shut in by sand hills and pine
ridges, Goobertown had not kept pace with the
fast spirit of the age. The ereotion of a steeple
to its one meeting house had been an event of
so muoh m iment, as to produce an exoitem ent,
that did not subside for weeks, and now a news
paper to be published in its precincts!—a news
paper too, of snoh grand pretensions, and her
alded by snoh gorgeous plaoards ! Half the
worthy citizens were a little in the dark as to what
was going to happen, and rather ooinoided with
the negroes and children, in thinking that it
was some new fangled show or circus that was
coming to town.
(TO BZ CONTINUKn.)
Parties, Balls, Dinings, Marriages,
and other Amusements.
LIFE IN THE SOUTH.
The ‘Ion’ met Thursday afternoon at Mafc r
The Irving Club had an interesting meeting at
Col. Nat Hammond’s, Friday uight
Atlanta has certainly been charming this sea
son, but we never are dull, even in July. ’Tia
said that the city has been gayer than at any
period sinoe the war.
There was another of those delightful hops at
the garrison Wednesday evening. The music
is the finest furnished in the State.
It is reported that one of oar most popular
physicians is soon to wed a Milledgeville belle.
Have you decided on your costume for the
Young Men’s masquerade? for, of course, you
will not miss the treat of the season. The com
mittee are making grand preparations, and it
will be the last ball of the season.
Lent will soon be here, and there will be a
lull in festivities—no more balls, fairs, souci
receptions, and attractions at the theatre. Well,
the girls need a rest.
The Atlanta Amateur Minstrels really ought
to give one of their performances in Columbus.
Henry Geoutchins isjanxious to start a troupe,
but Frank Gunby is absent, and Ed Shepherd
is not well.
Atlanta is now entertaining two of Macon's
belles. They are among the most universally
admired of the many fair visitors to our city
The large congregation at St. Philip's last
Sunday morning, was an evidence oi the joy
felt at Mr. Foute’s determination to stay among
Miss Alice Cohen was married on the ‘20th to
Mr. J. R. Polak, of Savannah. Both are ex
ceedingly popular, and their return home will
be a source of much pleasure to their hosts of
The ‘Rossini’ will present II Trovatore next
Monday night The caste is fine, and we are
sure of a tare musical treat.
The receipts ot the Mistletoe Bough are
thought to be some three hundred dollars. The
ladies generously donated half of the proceeds
to the Benevolent Home.
Mrs. Walter We6ms is visiting Savannah.
Two minstrel troupes occupy DeGive’s this
Brignoli Opera Troupe will give ‘Don Pas-
qualo’ next Tuesday night.
At the ball in Marietta, last Monday night,
Cap. Jeyner was the belle. The girls presented
him with a cake half as big as the town.
The Nickel Club held a delightful meeting
Wednesday evening at the residence of Mrs. P.
Mr. Clayton proposes to deliver his lecture on
the Closer-to-my-bosom-come-Club, on the night
of the 5th of March. It will be ‘rich, rare and
Mrs. Julia Whistler died at Newport, Ky., last
week, at the age of ninety-one. She was a grand
aunt of Miss Philip H. Sheridan.
Miss Minnie MoKinney, of Richmond, Va.,
committed suicide on the 18th. The alleged
cause was trouble with a gentleman to whom
she was engaged to be married.
Daniel Webster’s mansion in Marshfield, Mass.,
was burned Thursday.
J. Willoughby Reade, the elooutionist, was
booked for Louisville last week.
Prof. Eichborn’s Louisville orchestra has been
engaged for the Mardi Gras festivities in Mem
phis, and will give a concert at the Memphis
Theatre Sunday evening, March 3.
Frank Mayo as Davy Crockett will give two
entertainments in Memphis this week. He al
ways attracts large audiences.
Mr. Raskin has entrusted to the Fine Art So
ciety of London, for exhibition at the Grosvenor
Gallery, the whole of his collection of Turner
drawings, more than a hundred in number, and
is himself preparing an explanatory catalogue.
General di Cesnola has just published a book
giving a plain, practical and graphic account ot
his life and work in Cyprus. The volume is
provided with colored maps—everything in fact
that can elucidate the text.
Mr. J. M. Dickinson, of Nashville, a student
of Liepsic University, gave a very lucid and in
teresting lecture on “Student Life in Saxony,”
in that city last week. He is a young man of
John W. Iliff, the Colorado Cattle King, died
at his residence in Denver on the 16th inst.
Philosophy and Utility of Phrenology
EX PEOF. J. M. GAEST.
Through the States.
Miss Alice L. Hoyt, of Nashville, Tenn., was
married last week to R. S. Trneheart, of St.
Louis. The matrimonial knot was tied by the
bride’s father, Rev. L. A. Hoyt. D. D., pastor of
the First Presbyterian Cinrtfeij'lwFha bride is a
great favorite in Nashville society.
Hon. Albert Buford died at his residence near
Pnlaski, Tenn., on the 10th inst.
Mrs. McIntosh, of Pulaski, Tenn., accompa
nied by her charming daughter is visiting
friends in Nashville.
C. E. Dexter and wife, of Columbus, Ga., cel
ebrated their silver wedding on the 19th inst.
La Grange had two marriages in one day last
week. Miss Mary D. Bacon, was married to
Thomas H. Lippitt, and the same afternoon, W.
B. Cotter, a prosperous young merchant, was
united to Mrs. Tuggle, of Mobile, a niece of Hon.
W. C. Tuggle.
Crawfordville, Ga., has caught the fever for
•Clubs.’ At the last meetiag of the Literary
Club, Capt. Frank Huger, Major J. B. Camming
and J. R. Randall recited original poems.
W. W. Reilly, of Americus, died on the 12th
Sir Peter Coats and daughter are making an
extensive tour through the South. These noted
foreigners express themselves as highly delight
ed with the Southern people. They spent sev
eral days in New Orleans, and went from there
to Columbns, Ga., to visit its extensive factories.
Miss Sallie Cockrill, of Nashville, is visiting
Memphis, the guest of Miss Maggie Rogers.
Mrs. D. C. Bacon, of Savannah, is dead. She
was the daughter of Col. Thomas Holcombe.
Cel. John D. Logan, the founder of the San
Antonio Herald, died last week.
Daniel Weathers, the oldest person in Talbot
county died on the 13th.
The Ladies’ Aid Society gave asupperin Grif
fin this week, and netted $228.45.
Mother Theresa, of the order of Carmelite
Nuns, died in their convent in Baltimore in her
eighty-first year. She was known to the world as
Mrs. Mary Hannah Sswall. H«r father was Col.
Sewall, of Gen. Washington’s staff.
Clara Morris’ own version of Jane Eyre, now
being performed in New York, is pronounced a
A young lady in Wisconsin refused an offer of
marriage recently on the ground that her father
was not able to support a large family.
The Danbury News wishes to know why wo
men, unlike men, do not have parties on their
twenty-first birthday. Why, because it would
weaken their chances of marriage.
Another Welsh fasting girl has come to light.
She is about fifteen years of age, and is said not
to have eaten or drank anything since the 30th
of last Cctober.
Rachel H. Whipp has gone to the Ohio State
prison for seven years. She married a wealthy
but aged widower with the expectation that he
would die soon and lsave her all his property.
He, however, had a stronger lease upon life than
she had bargained for, so she attempted to hang
him, thinking people would believe he had com
Two New England women have celebrated the
hundredth anniversary of their birth within the
past lev days— Mrs. Elizabeth T. Weston, of
Peteraboro, N. H., and Mrs. Lucy Nioholls, of
Toe wile of Col. Bob Ingersoll is thus describ
ed by the Times, of Chiosgo: “Mrs. Ingersoll
is tall, has a prominent nose, large dark eyes,
heavy dark hair, arranged high in a twist, wears
rich jewelry, copies nobody’s dress or manner,
does jnst aa sue pleases and asks no odds.”
The late Joel Hart’s group in marble, “Woman
Triumphant,” which he left half-out, has been
finished by his executors. Miss Saul, the En
glish seulptor, and E. A. Selsbee, of Boston.
Mrs. Susan A. S. Weiss, in Scribner, gives
some kindly reminiscences of Edgar A. Poe. He
appeared to her in her own home and in society
as pre-eminently a gentleman. When pleased
nothing oould exceed the charm of his manner
—to his own sex oordial; to ladies marked by a
sort of chivalrous, respectful courtesy.
The term Phrenology is derived from the
Greek phren, mind, and logos, word, or dis
course, and literally means the Science of Mind,
or Mental Philosophy. But it differs very ma
terially from the popular system of Mental
Philosophy taught in oar schools and colleges.
Phrenology is based upon the principle that
the brain is the organ of the mind, or the phys
ical instrument of thought and feelings, and
refers all mental phenomena to cerebral develop
ments and conditions. Mental Philosophy, on
the contrary, discusses the powers of the human
mind without reference to the brain or the
physical constitntion of man. Indeed the an
cient philosophers with whom Mental Philoso
phy originated, were grossly ignorant of the
true relations existing between the body and
the mind. They entertained the opinion that
the mind is located in some particular portion
of the body, bnt some supposed it resides in the
stomach, some in the lungs and others in the
heart. The question as to the true location of
the mind was unsettled for ages, till about one
hnndred years ago, Dr. Gall, of Vienna, for ever
set the question at rest by establishing, beyond
a doubt, tne truth of three dictinct propositions
with reference to the relations existing between
the mind and the brain:
1st The mind is located in the brain, or, in
other words, the brain is the organ of the mind.
2d. Different portions of the brain perform
different mental functions or faculties.
3d. The relative size of the different portions
or organs of the brain indicate the relative
strength of the different faculties or powers of
the mind. Upon these principles Dr. Gall
established the new science of the mind, and
caiied it Phrenology, from the Greek, as above
Since the days of Gall much contention has
arisen between his followers and the adherents
to the old mental philosophy. All admit the
truth of the general principles of Phrenology,
but, from the difficulty of determining the dev
elopments of the brain, it is argued that Phren
ology can never become a science or an art. In
other words, the metaphysicians contend that
character cannot be determined with any degree
of accuracy by manipulating the sknll, and that
the professions of phrenologists in this respect
are mere pretensions that cannot be sustained
by facts. The phrenologists, on the other hand,
argne that Mental Philosophy has no foundation
as a science, but that phrenology is based upon
strictly scientific principles.
A science is a statement of the principles or
laws that govern the operations of any depart
ment of nature; bnt as we have no knowledge
whatever of the lawB or principles that govern
the mind as a separate entity, or as independent
of the brain, we can have no science of the
mind, that treats of the mind without regard to
the physical organization. In other words the
mind has no existence in this life, except as the
function of the brain, and no science or hnman
knowledge can reach the mind, except a3 it
manifests its powers through the brain. Through
every stage of human life from the cradle to the
grave, the mind, in all its varied and wonderful
manifestations is governed by fixed, organic
laws; and phrenology being a faithful exposition
of those laws is 03 much entitled to the dignity
of a science, as anatomy and physiology, or any
It is a self evident fact that there is an inse
parable connection existing between the mind
and the body. The mind cannot exist (nnder
the conditions of this life) without the body;
neither can the body exist without the mind,
the organization of one always depending npon
the organization of the other.
To establish the principles of phrenology we
have only to show that these relations between
mind and body are governed by fixed laws.
Law reigns supreme throughout the realms of
universal nature. Nothing can take place in
the universe, except in the obedience to eternal
law. Hence the mind of man in its various
manifestations through the animal organism, is
governed by certain fixed, organic laws, which
we are able to understand and define, and which
constitute the science of phrenology, and which
embrace all knowledge that pertains to man as
an animal, as an intellectual and as a spiritual
Bat the truth of phrenology does not rest
alone npon theoretical demonstrations. Phren
ology is pre-eminently a scienoe based npon
facts. Dr. Gall did not discover from reasoning
or from accident that the brain is the organ of
the mind, bat he proved from facts that the
developments of the brain indicate the charac
ter of the man, whioh of necessity establishes
the dootrine that the brain is the organ of the
Many attemps have been made to overthrow
phrenology by theory, bnt theories, however
ingenions, avail nothing against established
(to bs continued. )
Actress, Painter and Sculptor.
The greatest living actress in France, (there
fore, in the world, say all Frenchmen) is Mile.
Sarah Bernhardt. Like Rachel, whom she al
most equals, she is of the Jewish race. A
sketch of her by Sarcey shows us the Jewish
mother holding the hand of the little, thin-
faced, dark, brilliant-eyed child at the door of
the Paris Consevatoire, the great French school
for musical and dramatic art. If she can only
be admitted as a pupil, thinks the mother; the
wonderful eyes of the ohild are full of hope,
eagerness and will. The examiners before
whom she is to appear are the most eminent
composers, actors and writers of the age. t>ae
of benevolent face and keen eyes is struck by
something in the child’s face; he oalls on her
for a specimen of her recitation. She has learn
ed nothing new or brilliant, but she steps out
and begins a well known fable of LaFontaine.
Before three lines are given in her quaint, self-
forgetting way, the old man pats her on the
head: “You’ll do,” he says, and his word bus
weight among his fellows. She is admitted to
the Conservatory, where she gains a prize, and
passes, at one bound, to the chief theatre—the
Francais. There she meets with anything but a
smooth progress. She is snubbed, put ti<»au,
misrepresented, ridiculed by mediocrity aud
envy. When, in spite of these, she rises from
unimportant roles and has important parts as
signed her, she still suffers criticism and de
traction. She will not act according to tradi
tion; she will not follow beaten paths. In vain
they insisted on the deliberation, th6 pomp and
solemnity of the ancient manner. She would
follow her ideas of art, if it drove her, as it did,
from the theatre Francais. She left, but sue
said to them, in effdet, as another of her strong-
hearted race—Disraeli—had said: “The time
will come when you shall hear me!” The time
came, years afterwards, when her success was
assured—when she had created a style for her
self that all pronounced vivid, unique, orig
inal. She was implored to return to tne Frau-
cais. She went on improving. At last she
challenged the immortal memory of Ricbel by
essaying the great actress’ role of Pu:e Ire.
She bore off the honors in the first three acts.
The fourth nearly killed her, as every great per
formance does, owing to the delicacy of her
physique; but what she had done was enough.
There was no party of opposition left. She was
hailed as the first actress in France, aud she
subsequently confirmed the verdict by her per
formance of the “Fille de Roland," aud the
When she stood on this summit in the mimic
world, and there were no fresh crowns to be won
as an actress, her insatiable ambition, her fever
ish energy, her versatile and unbounded genius
led her to essay success in another direction.
She sent to the salon a group of statuary of her
carving, and the French were forced to stop in
their applause of the actress to admire the skill
and genius of the sculptress.
Then she took np the brush aud painted pic
tures of more than ordinary merit It is by her
artistic work that she seems most enthusiasti
cally absorbed. She has fitted her up a superb
room—half studio, half drawing-room—where
she works untiringly over the canvas and the
marble. At twelve her coupe is at the door to
take her to rehearsal at the Francais. The re
hearsals there are tedious, laborious. Often
she swoons at them, but 3he is back again, and
by five she is ready to receive visitors.
Not only is she actress, painter and sculptor,
and in the last has won a medal from the Salon,
but she has a novel on the stocks, a poem in
manuscript. Her new picture of Tribulet, the
jester, weeping over the dead body of his
daughter, is looked for with much eagerness.
It is not yet finished. Her studio is unique. It
is very broad, very lofty, lit both by the cathe
dral-window and by skylight. It is tapestried
in velvet. It contains easels, unfinished pic
tures, busts in the rough, daintily-fashioned
chairs, fauteuds, satin couches, vases big as
sentry-boxes, which may have come direct from
the sale of the furniture and effects of the leader
of the “Forty Thieves.” And to add to the va
riety of effects, towering tropical plants aud a
fireplace worthy, in breadth and depth, of a
castle of the middie ages.
Of the personelle of the great actress,
Clairin’s celebrated portrait conveys a vivid
idea and renders the nameless charm of the
woman better than any of the numerous por
traits of her that have been exhibited.
She sits on a couch, as she sits in the “Etran
gere, ” an excessively frail but graceful shape, its
outline half lost, half revealed, beneath masses
of drapery, trailing far beyond her feet in sta
tuesque folds. Above it a thiunish face of in
tense power, with delicately cut features,
framed, as it were, in a wild, luxuriant growth
of hair, falling low on the forehead, and form
ing a depth of shade to enhance the brilliancy
of the eyes. Yon praise her becanse she looks
as a picture, you praise the picture because it
looks like the life. For any attempt to describe
the quality of her charm,* grace must be the
first and last word—grace in dietion, grace in
dress, in gesture, attitude, regard; if still ano
ther word be wanted, distinction is the ouly one
that can be found.
Never was there a more busy life than this
brilliant woman leads. Work seems to be her
element. Her will iB as strong as her physique
is fragile; energy is feverishly intense. lu the
versatility and activity of her genius, she is a
Racy Political Tit-Hits.
Speaker Sam. Randall presents the comical
appearanoe of the long-eared animal inertive
between two bales, while the wicked former is
slipping op from the background to break his
back with a club.
Sam. tells the people of Pennsylvania he is a
red-hot friend to tariff. And the oantioos, cun
ning inhabitants of Pennsylvania ask him why
he didn’t manage different in his committee ap
pointments. And Sam. stands stnpid between
his tariff cry and his anti-tariff appointments,
and the horny-handed Pennsylvanian spits on
the end of his bludgeon and prepares to make a
political oorpse.—[Don Pint.
The Philadelphia Times disposes of the day’s
doings in the capital thus briefly:
“Congress killed time at the usual rate yester
day, and did little else. It is a rare thing that
either branch really does any business nowa
days, and a spicy bit of dialogue is a godsend to
A romance in politics showed up last week in
the appointment, by Gov. Halliday, of Algernon
Sidney McRae to the police foroe of the State
capital at Richmond. McRae was once Senator
from that district, and afterwards professor of
anatomy at the Richmond Medical College.
Frank Rooney, a witness before the legislative
committee on the recent labor troubles in Cali
fornia, says: “I think the cause of the whole
trouble has been Mayor Bryant and the civil
authorities. I would like to show how by their
orders the police broke up a meeting m Horti
cultural Hall, and I have several witnesses to tes
tify as to the way they used clubs on innocent
Willis wants to abolish the Government Print
ing Office. Now if he will abolish Congress al
together, I think we conld survive it The G >v-
ernment Printing Office employs hundreds of
men and women who wonld otherwise s veil the
mob of destitute people now on onr hands, and
it does good work, too; few people know h >w
muoh. I did not myself until lately, when I
went all through it, and saw what an immense
amount of work was done. Now if Mr. Willis
wants to economize, and really in his beart of
hearts believes in it, let him move the passage
of a bill—and the whole oonntry will support
that member of Congress—like tne members of
Parliament in England, serve without any sal
ary, the honor being considered quite enough,
though it might be a mooted question as to
where the honor ties in the oaae. I am speaking
S nerally, for I have some warm friends up in
o Cave, but I cannot help poking fan at thou