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incongruous towers. From the hieron or holy place behind the iconostasis in the main church the hegoumenos brought out the most cherished possession of Lavra, a fragment of the true cross set in a priceless reliquary of pure gold and studded with diamonds and jewels, which was originally presented by the imperial founder, Nicephorus. Almost all the monasteries on Mount Athos possess fragments of the true cross similarly encased, and authenticated by irreproachable documents. A beautiful dado of Damascene or Rhodian tiles adorns two of the transepts of this church; and the floor is paved with marble and mosaic patterns, as ancient and uneven as that of St. Mark's at Venice. The library of Lavra is contained behind glass cases in two apartments, one for the MSS., the other for the bound books. Here we saw the early illustrated MS. on botany mentioned by Robert Curzon, and a New Testament that once belonged to the Emperor Alexius. In the cruciform refectory we observed an arrangement also presented at Vatopedion, viz., the horseshoe-shaped marble tables, with their bases fronting outwards, and with grooves indented in the marble tops for the running off of water. There were twenty-one of these tables, principally of the same shape, with wooden benches round them. In the right transept is depicted the death of St. Athanasius, not the familiar father of that name, but a pious hermit who retired hither in the tenth century. Here also is depicted St. Ignatius Theophoros being torn in the arena by lions; one of these animals has decisively closed its upper and lower jaw upon the saint's right shoulder, but the holy man has just sent the other spinning. It was with regret that we bade adieu to the holy fathers of Lavra and descended by a steep.path to the harbor of the monastery, a tiny little cove protected by a wall and a bold Byzantine tower, which seemed to be better suited to feudal warfare or a corsair's stronghold than to the retreat of harmless piety and grey-haired innocence.
In a quiet and beautiful bay, facing towards the north-east, stands upon a slope above the seashore the magnificent monastery of Vatopedion, now the largest, the most richly appointed, and the best preserved of all the Greek establishments. Seawards it presents a most striking appearance, being as large as a small town. From terraces of vineyards and orchards rise its lofty white walls with double balconies, its moss-tiled roofs, and immense keep. None of the monasteries, inside or
outside, suggests so fair an idea of what the larger monasteries must have been in the ante-Tudor days in England.
In the gateway we were received by the secretary in the absence of the hegoume. nos, and were conducted as usual to the main church. It stands in the big quadrangle, which is one of the most picturesque places that I ever saw. Situated on the hill-slope, it is paved with grass-grown stones and surrounded by a medley of buildings, painted blue and white and chocolate color, with a big stone belfry tower, and many staircases, domes, and kiosques. Outside the church is an immense marble font, the canopy of which is supported by a double row of marble pillars. In the outer portico are three fine Byzantine mosaics of the same style as those at Ravenna and St. Mark's. A semi-circular panel over the door depicts Christ, the Virgin, and St. John, and there are oblong panels on either side. In a corner stands a picture of the six emperors who were the chief benefactors of Vatopedion, the middle and most prominent place being assigned to Theodosius the Great and Cantacuzene. The interior of the church is the most resplendent that I saw on Athos. The painted walls and domes, the floor of tesselated marble and mosaic, the rich red gilding of the altar screen, the glass-framed and flashing icons, the inlaid lecterns and doors, and the superb brocade hangings give an impression of devotional splendor hard to equal. The treasures of the hieron were eagerly displayed to us by the holy fathers, who were delightfully proud of their possessions. From cupboards containing silver shrines and reliquaries, painted icons, and silver censers without number, were especially extracted the head of St. John Chrysostom and the girdle of the Virgin Mary, which it ap pears that St. Thomas, having missed his opportunity in the lower world, was despatched to Heaven to fetch. Here, too, was standing an old English grandfather clock, bearing the superscription, M. Dexter, London. There are twenty-three churches or chapels in all within the walls of Vatopedion; and the present establishment consists of one hundred and eighty monks and thirty probationers, making with the attendants a total of two hundred and fifty. We were shown in due course the library, kept in admirable order, the hospital fitted with large, clean bedsteads, the apothecary's shop, the private apart. ment of the secretary, which might have been the rooms of a somewhat austere Oxford don, and the refectory, restored
to tinned sardines. Flocks of sheep and goats are driven in from the mainland, and large boxes of hens' eggs hail from the same quarter, the exclusion of the female sex being rigidly applied to all members of the animal world whose entry to Athos is capable of detection. We kept a sharp lookout everywhere for female cats or dogs; but I am bound to say that we detected not the slightest infringement of this gruesome rule.
at the end of the last century, and fitted | cannot be bought there, from leather boots with thirty large marble tables like those at Lavra. The corridors were broad, stone-paved, and scrupulously clean; and everything bore the air of good management and comfort. The visitors' book, which had been kept for thirty years, contained many English names, including the officers of two British men-of-war. The monks who escorted us were men of high culture and courtly manners, speaking Italian, and understanding French and German; and Vatopedion in every respect appeared to present us with an image of monastic life at its best and purest such as probably can now be seen nowhere else in Europe.
Outside the monastery lies the graveyard, overgrown with wild flowers and studded with small wooden crosses. Its restricted space is rendered ample for the demands made upon it, by the custom of burying the bodies without coffins and of exhuming what remains after the lapse of three years, when the skulls and bones are collected and added to a now formidable heap in a vault beneath the mortuary chapel. On a hill near Vatopedion stand up the roofless and windowless walls of a college which was once founded here in connection with the monastery, but which was deserted after the War of Independence, and has since crumbled into pictur esque ruin.
Pantocrator, or the Monastery of the Almighty, situated upon a rock above the sea, but less romantic than its neighbor, the stately Stauronicates, was one of the smaller monasteries which we visited. From here we undertook a most pleasant excursion of an hour and a quarter on muleback to Karyes, which is situated on the eastern side of the spinal ridge of Athos, commanding a glorious view of the wooded declivities sloping to the blue sea, of the island of Imbros right opposite, and seemingly only twenty miles distant instead of seventy, and of the jagged peaks of Samothrace further to the north. The road which we pursued wound through scenery such as I have already described; and in the Elysian valleys between the hills were scattered smiling cottages and farmhouses, orchards, vineyards, and arable plots. Unceasing music was in the air, and an eternal summer suffused the scene with soft radiance.
Karyes is a big little town, its main street bright with shops where all the necessaries of life are offered for sale. It is the universal provider of the peninsula, and there is scarcely a commodity that
After paying our respects to the Turkish governor of Karyes, who was fat, talkative, and quite unable to understand why we should dishonor the town with a stay of anything less than several days, we visited the old church—the most ancient in Athos whose structural design and flat terraced roof recall the early Christian basilica; and the council chamber of the Synod, which we were disappointed to find a very ordinary apartment with a divan running round it, and a table for the secretary. One or two of the hegoumenoi were already in Karyes for an approaching meeting; and the abbot of the Iberon, a noble old gentleman, with aquiline features and Aaronic beard, whom Rembrandt would at once have enlisted as a sitter, was the most splendid figure that we saw on the peninsula.
An hour's walk brought us down to the sea again, to the imposing buildings of the Iberon, so called because its recruits are gathered from the Georgian district and Caucasia, formerly known as Iberia, lying between the Black and Caspian Seas. This monastery bears a close resemblance to that of Vatopedion, being almost as large in dimensions, and containing many evidences of prosperity and wealth. A. fire destroyed several of its buildings twenty-five years ago, but these have since been restored; and new marble altars and offerings in the church testify to the liberality of recent patrons. The main church is painted a chocolate color outside, and con. tains the customary assortment of cupolas and domes. In the hieron we were shown, besides the ordinary relics, the leg and part of the back of the woman of Samaria, who must have been tall of stature, and who in her lifetime can never have seen jewels one-hundredth part of the value of those by which her last vestiges are now adorned. Here also are a great number of skulls of the illustrious departed, and some gorgeous vestments. An adjoining church contains the oldest icon on Mount Athos, the dim features of the Virgin and Child emerging obscurely from a per
"All my pictures!" echoed Drummond ruefully.
fect coruscation of jewels. A succession day, but don't regard it in that light, I of devotees have decorated the image entreat you; just make up your mind that with glittering necklaces, collars, diadems, you won't be disturbed by me, and let me aigrettes, brooches, crosses, and stars. I have a look at all your pictures." fully expected to hear that this painting was the product of St. Luke, who is believed to have excelled with the brush, but “Yes, all your pictures; the more the the monks of Iberon would appear to have better; but where are they?" And he missed this excellent opportunity. We examined the room in surprise, for usually had no time to see the library, which Rob- at this season of the year he could not ert Curzon described as the most richly even shake his friend's hand without havstocked on Athos fifty years ago; but uponing to pick his way delicately through my asking whether it still retained its pre-eminence, the answer was returned, "By the help of God it is so."
groves of easels with pictures on them. To-day all the spare easels were run into one corner and untenanted; and, so far as Erroll could see, Drummond had nothing in hand but the one small picture on which he was working. This was, however, so improbable that Erroll glanced around to see how many canvases were standing on the floor with their faces turned to the walls; how many empty frames were waiting for their reception; how much preparation, in fact, was being made for the various picture-shows which would burst into being with the rapidly approaching month of May.
As we left the monastery a singularly discordant peal of bells in the campanile was rung in our honor, a wooden semandron or signal-board having been similarly banged at Karyes; and the polite and amiable monks, of whose affability here as elsewhere it is impossible to speak in exaggerated terms, accompanied us down to the large Byzantine watch-tower on the beach. I told the acting hegoumenos that I had been more than once in Tiflis, and in the country from which presumably the majority of his flock was derived. You needn't look for pictures here," "Ah," he said, "I lived many years my-growled Drummond, "for I have got self in Tiflis," and then after a pause none." "and do the beautiful ladies still exist there?" "Yes," I said, "they do," and (fired by the holy man's encouragement), "may I ask if your Holiness sometimes cherishes an affectionate recollection of their charms?" "Yes," he replied, with a pathetic twinkle in his eye, "I have, indeed, sometimes an ἀνάμνησις.
With which pleasant interchange of humor I bade, and I now repeat, a regretful adieu to the holy fathers of Athos. May their shadows never be less!
GEORGE N. CURZON.
From Longman's Magazine.
THE time of year was February, the day still in its youth, the sun was shining brightly, when Mr. Edward Erroll, happening to have a spare hour on his hands, strolled into a friend's studio, near Langham Place, to see how he was "getting on with his pictures. Drummond was, of course, painting, and the look which he gave the intruder was by no means encouraging. Erroll, being not easily daunted, only said, "Good-morning, Drummond; I know that coming in now seems like being determined to take off the cream of your
"What! none for the Academy?"
"How unwise!" said Erroll, taking the most comfortable seat that he could find. You were ill-treated last year, but why should that go on? Any year might bring you a rattling success.'
"It's not likely anyhow, I can't send. Don't think that I am not mortified, but it can't be helped. I must make up my mind to lose one year of artistic life." "And why, pray?"
"Because that fellow Clarke has lured away my model, and I can do nothing till she comes back. It is abominable of her to go; it is infamous of him to take her: but that's how it is. I do believe the design is good. You shall see it."
So saying, Drummond went into an inner room and brought out a canvas.
"Good heavens, man, how well that comes!" cried Erroll. "You really ought to finish it. It is a classical subject, and I hate classical subjects; the design is original, and you know how imprudent I think it to paint original pictures, but I never in my life saw anything more masterly. What is it, and why on earth don't you get another model and finish it?"
"It is Creusa just as she is about to put on the garment which will shrivel up her
youth and beauty. She is turning it over, and wondering at its strange magnificence. I don't finish the picture because I can't - it is a grievous vexation to me."
"But you can if you like, and you must, for if it were well hung it would make your fortune."
"It wouldn't be hung-it would be rejected."
"That might happen, of course, but I don't believe it would; anyhow, it is your duty to finish it, for you are one of the heaven-sent prophets who have a distinct message to deliver."
"Obadiah hid an hundred men of the Lord's prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them on bread and water; this poor prophet would be hidden away in the cellars of the Academy, and have to make a shift to provide himself with bread and water."
"And if it were so, you might suck comfort out of your rejection. Original work is always difficult of comprehension. You seem to forget that it is by no means easy to recognize a prophet when he does appear, and to my mind you have always been in far too great a hurry to show that you were one. It is a great mistake for any young man who is original to give the least hint of it until he is landed in a position which gives him the right to show his pictures. Till then he should play dark horse. I mean he should never paint according to the spirit which is in him until he has made a real and well but tressed-up success by glorious and most unmistakable mediocrity. For one person who can recognize a prophet there are tens of thousands who would infinitely rather be without him, and adore commonplaceness. It is an excellent gift- he who has it is certain of glory, honor, and prize-money, and what can mortal man have that is better?"
"You don't know what you are saying - you would not like me to be commonplace," said Drummond.
"I don't suppose you could if you tried," answered Erroll provokingly. "It would be just as hard for you to be commonplace as it would for a commonplace man to be original-besides, it requires something very like genius to hit on the kind of commonplaceness that is certain to be popular. Look at the painters who were the gods of our father's idolatry - you might fret your soul out in trying to be as bad and as highly thought of as they were, and at last reproduce their work exactly, and yet never be noticed at all-there is a fashion even in commonplaceness."
"I don't want to be popular. I have no desire of any kind but to paint my picture as well as I can according to my own idea of what is best, and to have permission to show it."
"You must paint one before you can show it; so, for heaven's sake, get to work; it is madness to lose a year of your artistic life in this way-perfect madness. Finish this if you want to send one of your original works do anything you like, so long as you do something. I saw Stukeley last night—that's partly what brought me here to-day. I could see that he was well disposed to you, and quite aware that there was something in your work which gave it a right to be seen. He said that he was on the hanging committee this year, so just think what a chance you are losing if you don't send in. Now I am going, but if you don't take what I have said to heart and set to work with an Academy picture at once, all I can say is that you are your own worst enemy. Good-morning."
"Perhaps he is right," thought Drummond, as soon as he was alone. "I dare say he is, but what can I do? This thing that I have on the easel would be lost at the Academy, and this other which might have done me credit can't be finished until Clarke lets me have my model back. It was disgraceful of her to go- I shall never feel comfortable about her again."
Then he fell to perusing the lines in his deserted picture, and it was so impossible not to see that they were good, that they restored him to peace with himself, only his vexation at being unable to finish it grew more and more intense. "It would be such a good thing for me if I could send it," he thought; "I am almost certain that they would hang it it would sell if they put it in a good place, and then for another year at least I could work without anxiety. I will write a moving appeal to Clarke — I dare say he is not a bad fellow, after all. I will tell him exactly how I am situated, and get him to let me have my model if only for ten days."
"Dear Clarke," he wrote, "how are you getting on with your picture? Would it be possible
At this moment he was aware of a knock at his door; there was something unusual about it-it was not like the easy confidence of a model's knock, and none of his brother artists were likely to be abroad at that hour. While this thought was in his mind the knock was repeated, and this time even more faintly.
"Come in," he said, but no one came,
so he went to the door and opened it. A |
"Certainly I will," said Drummond, with eyes riveted to her face, while in imagination he was painting her, and painting with delight.
She hesitated. "What is it?" he asked. "Pray don't mind speaking."
"You must excuse me if I am taking a liberty," she said, never raising her frightened eyes from the ground, though their lashes were quite long enough to be a protection. "I was told that you - that artists, I mean sometimes wanted models, so I came; at least I thought I might perhaps come to see if you happened to want one now, and if I was at all the kind of person that you would ever care to paint."
"Ever care to paint!" She was exactly what he wanted. She was a thousand times better than Miss Hetty Harris at her very best. An h-dropping London model may by the painter's craft be turned into Helen of Troy, or Joan of Arc, but here was a girl who could lead him and inspire him.
"Of course you will do," he said; “you will do admirably. You are exactly what I want for a picture which is at a standstill because I have not been able to have the only model who would suit."
She raised her eyes now they were light, golden-brown eyes, with dark eyelashes and eyebrows she looked somewhat re-assured. "And there was something else," she began, and stopped.
"Yes," he said encouragingly. "Go
"Do you-oh, I can't say it - I am
"Pay them, do you mean?" he sug gested, thinking she must be young at the business. "Oh, yes! I always pay them; it is eighteenpence an hour. I will give you ten and sixpence for three or four hours daily."
"Oh, ten and sixpence !" she repeated, with an air that betokened leisurely consideration of how much ten and sixpence would buy.
"Yes; but you must not fail me till my picture is done; that's why I am giving you more,"
"For how many weeks should I have to promise to come?
"Three, for certain, and perhaps longer; but we need not be so particular, need we; you will come as long as I want you?"
"I will come as long as I can. I promise you faithfully to come for three weeks." "All right," said Drummond joyously. "Come inside, and I will get to work at once."
"Should I have to be here early?" she inquired before entering the studio; "for I am afraid I couldn't."
"At half past nine," he said.
Very well," said Drummond; "if you can't, you can't, and it shall be eleven; but remember that it won't do for me to be left in the lurch when once I have begun to paint you. You must make a definite bargain with me. You promise to come every day for the next three weeks at eleven, and after that we can, if necessary, make a new arrangement."
"That is much the best," she said, with an air of relief. "I do promise; I will come every day for three weeks at eleven; working days of course I mean, not Sundays."
"You have sat before?"
"No," she answered, and then altered it to, "Yes, I have sat before, but I am not a professional model."
Drummond was used to people who said that they were not professional models, and took occasion to reveal that they were daughters of colonels in the army, or of physicians who had not been able to heal themselves, and had left a struggling family behind them. He was wont to deal tenderly with these tender growths of fiction, but it was quite possible that what this girl was saying was no fiction, for she