foot on Spanish soil. Barrès and others who loved your country picked out certain singularities from time to time. It is their right and duty, as artists, to do so. You appear very vulnerable indeed when you protest so vehemently. Should we say that Flaubert was a bad Frenchman because he made fun of certain people in Normandy? What the devil- how about a little liberty for art?'

'Carmen was the first of a series of works,' objected my friend, 'in which Spain is represented as a country of gypsies, guitar-players, and bullfighters. Haven't we just as many engineers and lawyers and doctors as any other country? Why are n't they ever mentioned?'

'It is only natural that people should mention what is peculiar to you. Your engineers, doctors, and lawyers would have to be unique in some way or other to attract attention. Another thing, Don Celestino: how many times have you yourself exclaimed in the delirious hyperbole of your race, "Seville is the city for joy. No factories, no strikes, no politics, no cares. Nothing but women, the manzanilla, poetry, bullfights, and moonlight serenades!" How often you and your like have said the same thing in newspaper articles, in songs, and in speeches. Seville is wise enough to post announcements in the St. Sebastian Station for the benefit of Frenchmen and Englishmen, advertising Holy Week. Yet you are furious because a foreigner when he has left your country speaks of Seville as a city without factories or politics. "We not have any politics or factories?" you exclaim. "Nothing in all Spain but penitents wearing cowls? Those Frenchmen represent us as savages.'

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Don Celestino still seemed unconvinced; but discussions are not made to convince people.

'Well,' I said, wishing to bring mat

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ters to a head, 'from a strictly literary point of view, what is your opinion of Carmen?'

'I admire M. Mérimée's magnificent artistic conscience. No doubt M. Mérimée possessed a masterly style and manner, and a personality that illuminated every page he wroteotherwise France would not have bestowed such renown upon him. Well, this man voluntarily relinquished all his natural gifts when he decided to put the story of Carmen in the mouth of an old scholar, in order to remain true to life. Without movement, without éclat, without emotion, he has related this drama of passion. Not a picture, not a cry, not a striking feature, not a reflection that strikes deeply.

'I admit he was a man of spiritall Frenchmen are; but he never wanted to let his own spirit appear. I admit he was a psychologist-all Frenchmen are; but he did not put much psychology into the character of Carmen. We think we are going to have Carmen explained to us when Don José kills her, but within ten lines the book is finished -finished at the very point where it really begins. A weak story from the first line to the last, it seems to have been put together by a librarian. This business of an artist sacrificing his own nature to the personal prejudices of the author seems to me just as admirable as a pretty actress who disfigures herself to play an ugly part.'

'Don Celestino,' I replied, 'I believe that you are joking in a very cruel way.' 'Not at all. Only the French know how to joke.'

He smiled.

'My dear sir,' he continued, 'Spain is a little detached geographically from the rest of Europe, and in every Spaniard you will find some of this detachment. We like to remain ourselves. We don't care much what goes on in

Europe. We don't care to throw in our lot either with the War of Nations or with the League of Nations. We display our women freely, but they seldom - if you will pardon my saying soindulge in any intimacies with Frenchmen. We sleep with the doors of our houses open, but the grille leading into the patio is firmly closed. When a visitor comes to our house we say, "This house is yours," for if we invite him we invite him to our circle. That is why we are pleasant to foreigners pleasant, that is, as anyone is who, out of courtesy, begs pardon for being different, or even does not seek to bring out differences that set him off from the rest of the world.'

'I thought I understood you a minute ago. You told me most amiably that Carmen was one of the most

atrocious examples of a brilliant type of thing.'

'I told you it was a masterpiece.' 'I quite understand the most atrocious kind of masterpiece one can find.'

It was now two o'clock. We parted company before lunch. For my part, I was offended. Should I let him speak ill of the glory of France, should I let him insult a great man who has had a street named after him, and say nothing in reply? I launched into a closely reasoned defense of Mérimée. The preface to Carmen that had been demanded of me became a vigorous eulogy. Unfortunately, however, as I am about to set it down here, I discover that it would run far beyond the space that the honorable editor has put at my disposal.



[TO-DAY is the birthday of Charles Dickens. Mr. Francesco Berger, who is one of the few survivors of those who knew Dickens intimately, was born in London of Italian parentage and studied music in Munich, Trieste, and Leipzig, being a pupil of Ricci, Plaidy, Moscheles, and Hauptmann. He has composed operas, Masses, overtures, and songs, and is also well known as a pianist. He is professor of pianoforte at the Guildhall School of Music, and formerly held the same office at the Royal Academy of Music. He writes here of his personal memories of Dickens.]

1 From the Manchester Guardian (Independent Liberal daily), February 7

WHEN, about 1852, I had gone to Leipzig, then, as now, the centre of Germany's book trade, the chief market of the German cloth industry, and the pivot of German musical life, I formed an intimacy with Dickens's eldest son, Charles. I was there to prosecute my musical education after having done so in Italy, and he was there to acquire the language, having already mastered French, and we were both of about the same age, not yet twenty-one. On my return to my native London, where my Italian father-naturalized naturalized as an Englishman had kept house for many years, the great novelist received his son's friend with open arms, and

from that moment until his death never abated his lively interest in my career, although I was his junior by nearly a generation and quite a beginner in my profession. Many of the happiest hours of a not altogether uneventful life have I spent with the Dickens family in their residence, Tavistock House, Tavistock Square.

And when in a particular summer they all migrated to Boulogne I was of their party. One evening after dinner Dickens, Wilkie Collins, and I visited a fair that was then being held in the town, and Dickens carried his youngest son astride on his shoulders, that he might not be crushed by the crowd, and might survey the booths, see the men belaboring the big drums, and enjoy the colored gas lamps and the bustle and hum of the scene from his elevated position. Our stay in Boulogne came to a somewhat abrupt ending by reason of the outbreak there of an epidemic then new to the medical profession but now disastrously known as diphtheria. Doctors of that day were puzzled as to its treatment, and visitors fled from wherever it raged, as they had done a few years before from cholera-infected districts.

Dickens had several well-marked characteristics, one of which was his ability to concentrate his entire fervent nature upon any work that his willing hands and boundless sympathies undertook. Whether presiding at a public banquet or acting melodrama or farce, whether arranging theatrical performances or concerts for the benefit of widows or orphans of departed friends, whether dancing 'Sir Roger' to my playing the tune or brewing punch for guests at his hospitable board - it was always the same. He never spared himself in the least. He did whatever it was as energetically, not to say furiously, as if he had never done anything else in his life.

Dickens was preeminently the champion of children, especially of boys. There is hardly a book of his in which some boy does not figure as the poor, pitiably neglected, uncared-for, ill-used, misunderstood, crippled, hungry object claiming our warmest commiseration, arousing our indignation at his maltreatment. If the lives of our little ones to-day are brighter and more hopeful than they were formerly, it is largely due to the powerful, the fearless, the persistent pen of Charles Dickens.

Without calling him a gourmet or a gourmand or a glutton, or anything else that begins with a g except the great, the generous, the glorious genius he was, there can be no doubt that he had a keen appreciation of the benefit of good and abundant food for both spirit and body. Many scenes in his books describe feasts of eating and drinking which make one's mouth water; and when he had business matters to discuss with a trusted friend it was his habit to invite him to 'have a chop' with him, which generally expanded into something more than that modest morsel. Among his favorite hostels, The Spaniards, in Hampstead, was one, and a certain humble coffeehouse close to Covent Garden was another.

At his house in Tavistock Square he gave during at least two Christmas seasons a theatrical performance, for which a stage with every accessory had been erected in the back garden, with access from the house. For these occasions his friend Wilkie Collins wrote The Lighthouse and The Frozen Deep, and I was invited to compose an original overture to each, to arrange incidental music, and to preside at the piano, with the coöperation of a very small orchestra. I did so. John Forster read the prologue written by Dickens,

whom we at that time spoke of as 'the manager,'-Stanfield painted the

scenery and curtain, and Dickens acted the leading part, associated with the author, Mark Lemon, Augustus Egg, Marcus Stone, and members of his family, W. H. Wills acting as prompter. Of the first-named play we afterward gave a performance at Campden House, the residence of Colonel Waugh in Kensington; and of the second one, by special request of Queen Victoria, a private performance was given at the Gallery of Illustrations in Regent Street, which Her Majesty attended with the Prince Consort, the King of the Belgians, and about a hundred ladies and gentlemen of the Court, the public being excluded. Her Majesty, wishing to thank Dickens for the pleasure he had afforded her, remained in the building till he had exchanged the ragged garments of the final scene for ordinary evening dress. Even in those early days this country was sufficiently democratic for a sovereign to wait the convenience of an actor in order to grasp his hand and express her appreciation of his performance.

During the days that preceded the production of The Frozen Deep he once wished to discuss some of its details with me, and invited me to dine with him at the Garrick Club, which did not then stand where it stands to-day. The dinner hour was four o'clock quite a fashionable one in those years. We had not proceeded far with our meal when a man entered the room who was tall, square-shouldered, and wore spectacles over a somewhat ugly nose. My host


rose, went to meet him, and brought him to our table, introducing me as his reliable musical conductor. It was William Makepeace Thackeray, and I don't suppose there are many men living who can boast of having dined with two such literary giants at one sitting.

In personal appearance Dickens was neither exceptionally tall nor remarkably short, neither stout nor thin, but just 'comfortable' looking. He dressed well there was no slovenly or eccentric Bohemianism about his clothes. In his day black velvet waistcoats were much worn, and he often appeared in one, allowing his gold watch-chain, which depended from his neck, to dangle on its black velvet cushion. His laughter was deliciously rolling and contagious, his speaking voice rich and musical, his handshake was almost fierce in its grip, and his general bearing dignified without a trace of selfconsciousness.

To read his books is to know the man; there is little in Dickens that his books do not reveal. The books that Dickens wrote none else could have written; and he could not possibly have written them differently. This world no longer holds him in the flesh, but in spirit he is as much with us to-day as he was generations ago. The good, the wise, the truthful, and, above all, the human, that were his distinguishing features have already worked greatly for the benefit of humanity, and will continue to bear rich fruit in the future.



[THIS is the first account that has come to our attention of a journey over the new last link of the transcontinental railway, completed in 1925, which connects Buenos Aires, via Bolivia, with Peru and the Pacific port of Mollendo.]

As our little train toiled toward the Bolivian border through the bright green but hot and deserted valleys of Jujuy, the northwesternmost state of Argentina, I watched with a sense of pleasant anticipation the black thunderclouds gather over the summits of the distant Andes, for they promised rain and coolness. As we wound steadily upward, the coolness came of its own accord; the mountains crowded in closer and became wild and barren; and preliminary gusts of wind, accompanied by pelting drops, gave us a foretaste of what was coming. Just as we reached the table-land, about noon, the heavens opened.

Black as jet were the clouds that clung to the neighboring mountainsides. Here and there a couple of miserable Indian huts cowered dismally in the misty landscape, and patches of snow appeared at times upon the higher slopes. Occasionally a bedraggled ass or mule was visible standing patiently, tail to the storm, with lowered head and with rivulets dripping from its body. We were now between eleven and twelve thousand feet above the sea. I felt the altitude,

1 From Kölnische Zeitung (Conservative daily), November 23, 25

and the melancholy of the puna rested on my soul.

It was gloaming, and a pouring rain was falling, when the train drew in to the little border station, La Quiaca, forty-eight hours from Buenos Aires. The water drummed upon the galvanized-iron roof of our humble shelter like rattling shrapnel, while the steady roll of thunder down the valleys resembled heavy artillery fire in the distance. It was uncomfortably cold. My head ached and my heart throbbed violently on account of our altitude. I lapsed into uneasy slumber, reproaching myself for my folly in ever coming to Bolivia, and thanking my stars that a train was going back to Argentina in the morning.

Dawn brought a different world, however, for the storm had blown over. A warm sun beamed from a crystal firmament, the pure thin air of the plateau bathed the landscape with its brilliant clarity, and the sharp contours of the distant mountains stood out with marvelous distinctness. Indian women in wonderfully picturesque garb drove pack trains past the door, and I realized that I was on the threshold of a land too interesting to miss. So the train returned to Jujuy without me.

Until a few months ago the nearest station on the Bolivian railways could be reached from La Quiaca only on mule-back, or by a precarious automobile journey, during which the travelers had to ford foaming rivers, skirt yawning chasms, and ascend dizzy precipices. Last August, in honor

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