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soft eyes seem to turn fondly from her own child towards her who had gathered the first full vintage of her husband's love. She it was who placed this picture over his grave. Behind them is Rubens himself, in full armour, waving the banner of St George. How proudly, how grandly he speaks the consciousness of power! Furl thy triumphant banner, great, glorious Peter Paul Rubens, thy victory is won. Put off thy gorgeous armour; thy battle is over. Lay that noble head down in the dust by the wife of thy youth; thy immortality is secured. Pilgrims shall come and bow at thy shrine, fitting worshippers. From the banks of the Tamar shall come one whose soul was instinct with grace and beauty. From beside a river sluggish as the Scheldt-from beneath the shadow of a cathedral magnificent as thy own, shall come one on whose sickly frame and heavy brow genius had shed a ray whose brightness is not dimmed even beside thine. Nor shall other pilgrims be wanting. A Cockney shall pack up his carpet-bag, roll down Brixton Hill in an omnibus, book himself by the "Baron Osy," and where Reynolds and Etty bowed in reverend worship, Ruskin shall stand and scoff.

I had been looking for some time at "The Communion of St Francis," in the Musée, when, as I turned away, I observed a young man engaged in copying Valentino's "Le Brelan." There was something peculiar about him which attracted my attention, and when I came nearer I discovered that he was painting, not with his hands, but with his feet. A short cloak or cape hung over his shoulders and concealed his want of arms; he held his brush between the first and second toes of his right foot; his palette, maul-stick, and a sheaf of spare brushes, were held not ungracefully in the left, and he worked rapidly, easily, and well. When the clock struck twelve and announced the hour at which the pictures in the cathedral are open for exhibition, he laid down his

brush, cleaned his palette, packed up his colours and brushes (all with his feet), and then put on his shoes and walked out of the Museum. A quarter of an hour afterwards I found him again seated in the cathedral busily engaged on a copy of "The Descent from the Cross." One of the stones of the floor under his stool had slightly sunk, making his seat unsteady, and as he was obliged to balance himself without any assistance from his feet, which were engaged upon his picture, this of course required immediate remedy. He took out his handkerchief, folded it into a little compact bundle, and tucked it under the leg of his stool, and then resumed his work. An accidental circumstance now gave me an opportunity of entering into conversation with him his manner was easy and gentlemanly, and his remarks those of a cultivated and intelligent man. There was neither embarrassment from any consciousness of his misfortune, nor display of the marvellous skill which enabled him to overcome it. He used his feet in every way as most men use their hands, and it seemed as natural and easy to him to do so. Yet, what struck me as very remarkable, though painting with great delicacy and skill, his foot looked all the time just as awkward an instrument as one's own. After some conversation he offered me his card, put his foot in his pocket, took out one of those little wallets which everybody now carries, slipped the elastic band off with his toe, selected a card from several, placed it on the back of the case, put his foot again into his pocket, took out a pencil, and in a far better hand than the compositor has to decipher before this article can go to press, added the address, "Anvers, 5o Section, 126 Rue des Images," to the name of "Charles Felu, Artiste Peintre." So completely had he overcome all appearance of awkwardness that a lady whom I happened to sit next to at the table d'hôte told me that she had conversed with him for a considerable time without dis

covering that his legs were not arms. I have no doubt he shaves himself, for, contrary to the prevailing custom amongst artists,

"His chin, new reaped, Showed like a stubble field at harvesthome;"

a light mustache being the only evidence of beard that was allowed to remain on an intelligent, pensive, and rather handsome face.

My day at Antwerp ended in the comfortable Hôtelrie of Saint Antoine, to whose courtyard I was welcomed by the gambols of three

little white Spitz dogs who might have known that their grandmamma, little Madame Blanche, used to coax me, years ago, out of the greater portion of the sugar which was des tined for my café noir, and who were quite ready to pay me the same disinterested attention themselves. As I sat in the old courtyard and watched the smoke of my cigar curling up amongst the leaves of the orange-trees, I determined to ask the readers of Maga to sympathise with the pleasure I had enjoyed during my day in Antwerp. PEREGRINE.


NOBLE in presence, though a cloud of grief
Hung shadowy-dark upon his brows; all else
Redundant with warm youth; his radiant locks
Fair as a girl's, when stealing shades embrown
The wavy yellow, and the fine glint of gold,
Like fire-dust, sparkles in her sunlit hair;
The while, from underneath his brooding brows,
Flashed eager expectation, mixed with pain,
And wonder, and delight—a surging sea,
Phaethon, by the Sun's great portals stood.
There paused he, for a while incredulous
Of that huge architecture piled by gods;
For such to earthly houses seemed that pile,
As field or forest, when a bird escapes,
To the one room which was his world.
He clomb the mighty threshold, and right on,
Through court, and vestibule, and shining hall,
And many a sweep of golden gallery

Fared, as men walk an unfamiliar road

But soon

In dreams, not doubting-till he reached the King.

Him found he throned beneath a mimic sky
Cerulean, tricked with beaded adamant
For stars, and here and there ethereal steam
Curled into cloud, or, what than snowy cloud
Is fairer, of the ambrosial mists that move
In the god-haunted regions far from earth.
There, in mid choir, the orb of Artemis,
Lamp of the night, hung silvern, like that moon
Watched through her tears by a deserted maid
All night, who never tires of watching it,
But feigns a friendliness in that cold eye,
That only feeling heart in all the world.
Such, and so beautiful in form and face,
Most lustrous of her starry satellites,

Shone the soft image of the lunar queen ;
Who there and then had vanquished Phaethon
With passion, but that his enraptured eyes
Clung to the amber daïs, and to him
The sun-god, throned upon a lucent chair
Of ivory, compact with studs of gold,

Most wondrous; and beneath his raiment's hem
Peered a rich work of pearl and chrysolith,
Fit entertainment for the feet of gods,
But all how void and bare to him that sat
In night-imaginations, clothed with calm
Unutterable, through all his ample heart.
Sated with office and the fiery cares
That haunted his day-labour. For, indeed,
Couched in those large and melancholy eyes,
Brooded an awful emphasis of rest;

That tranquil self-perfection, without pain,
Which, in their far-off musings, mortal men,
Though eloquently nurtured, find no name
To intimate, not even in sacred verse.
So that, in sense and soul preoccupied
With state thus grand, the child of Clymene
Knew not, nor heeded if he knew, the hours,
Discoursing harp with harp celestial song;
Nor where the Seasons stood with lifted arms
Columnar to the broad blue canopy-

Spring, flowery-zoned, and Summer, wreathed with corn;
Autumn, with vine-blood splashed from heel to thigh;
And Winter, bending over beard of snow.

So, ere he well returned into himself,

From the weird influx of those dreamy orbs,


Went forth the voice of Phoebus :-" Phaethon,
Hither of mortal foot the first arrived,

Not strange, to no inhospitable halls
Thou comest; rather as a child comes back
From distant lands, this many a year desired.
Falsely he spake, who taught that Deity
Hath force to override a father's love.

I too have marked, 'mid yonder evil brood,
Dark under-questionings, and close surmise,
Lip-muffled, tamper with thy name and mine.
Heard have these ears the open taunts of men,
Who brand me in their petty blasphemies,
The forged pretext of thy mother's shame,
Bid thee go prove thy bright original.

Courage thou shalt not hence without a boon,
One that may well their slanderous tongues confound.
Thou from these realms demand whatever gift,
And I thy father will see justice done.

Spare not, but ask-I swear by ninefold Styx,
Dread oath, inviolable to gods and men."

Then leapt the heart of Phaethon for joy;
For now before him, circumstantial, true,
Loomed the fulfilment of old phantasies
Nourished in airy boyhood, on the banks
Of rivers or in bowery solitudes,


Whether by thought mapped out, or lighted on
Through lofty visitation felt in sleep;

And readily he drew near unto his sire

And spake, appealing to that swerveless oath :

"My father, for thy words rhyme well with hope.
Not questionless till now, if this be true,
And I thy child indeed, sprung from thy loins,
Shame were it to respond unroyally

To thy most royal prelude, and to ask
Aught facile or profanely pitched too low
For thy large heart and the reflected pomp
Whereof to-day I am called an inheritor.
That were an argument of craven blood,
Not worthy my great lineage. But do thou
Make me but once the splendid charioteer
Vicegerent of thy wain, the lamp of worlds ;
So shall my vast renown of embassage
Flash wide conviction both on gods and men,
And those false tongues put down eternally
Who vex the child of the Eternal Sun."

He ended; but the brows of Phoebus lowered;
And, stung with the anguish of a god, he spake :-

"Child, thou hast asked a hard and a perilous thing, A thing to be denied even to Zeus.

Woe worth the moment when I swore by Styx

To this most dire completion of a will

So wayward! Thou hast asked a boonless boon,
Not knowing that thou dost aspire to die,
Scared with a ruinous elemental roar
Too late, and sepulchred in floods of fire.
For who of mortal or immortal brood
May wield at will the horses of the Sun,
Not lightly tamed, even by me, their lord?
O glean a little wisdom while thou mayest!
Is there not somewhere something to be found,
Sufficient to wipe out this fatal boon?"

So Phoebus; but the child of Clymene
Stood firm, appealing to the swerveless oath;
And all night long Apollo, with knit brows,
Heavy of soul and sore disquieted,

Through his wide palace wandered up and down;
And, like the erring phantasm of a man
Slain traitorously and cast into the deep,
Who, for the dread want of a little earth,
Cannot find rest, so rest was none for him.
But the other, dreaming of the day's emprise,
Couched without care and in the bloom of sleep,
Lay till the early twilight, then rose up
Flushed for the boon, and found his glorious sire
Pacing beneath a pillared portico,

Still pausing when he passed the silver plains
Of two huge valves, embossed with graven gold,
Work of Hephaestus, and descript with all


Which earth and heaven and Nereid-haunted deep
Foster in wave or field or azure sky.

And ever as he paused he sighed, as if
Boding but little good to anything

In earth or heaven or Nereid-haunted


Soon conscious of his child, he turned, and there
Urging divine dissuasion, half in tears,

Spake; but that other would not. And they moved
Together, led by rosy-fingered Dawn,

In silence, till they reached the empyreal gates,
Which, to weird lutes receding, gave to view
Authentic heaven surpassing voice or dream ;
For lo! the awful chariot of the Sun,
Flaring upon their front, itself a sun,
Wrought from metallic ores unutterable;
And all the streaming surface intersown
With rainbow-flames of keen-eyed jewellery,
And the long burnished axle thick with gold,
And wheels, a countless order, each like each,
Armed with a central star, and diamond-rimmed,
Blinding to men, save whom the gods keep whole.
For as with us plain earth is soiled and dull,
Matched with the marquetry of Indian kings,
So blurred and swarthy to celestial gems
Are earth-born ruby, pearl, or amethyst,
Opal, and tender sapphire, queen of stones.
Far up the vault a dazzling pavement, arched
Of diamond, chymic wonder, tracked with lines
Thrice-glistering, the diurnal route of wheels,
Scaled to the zenith; and on either side
The myriad constellations sprang like flowers
Glassed in the cloudless hyaline. Anon
Came forth that famous team, caparisoned,
Four, and each fulminous with glancing flame,
Yet childlike, each, to the light-handed Hours
Who held him. Twain about the golden pole,
Obsequious to long use, their station took,
And twain, with gleaming traces, in the van,
And in a moment they were linked for speed.

But Phaethon stood silent-that white reach
Thwarting the blue serene, a belt of fire,
And all the flaming equipage unrolled,
In their essential lustre, form, and size,
So far transcended the pale counterfeit

Nursed in his dream and once he half drew back
For terror; nor the faint recoil escaped

The Sun-god, who made parley yet once more :

"Son, for thine hour is coming, not yet come,
Let for dear life a noble prudence trench
On blind unwisdom rushing to its doom.
Fly from this venture-for I know that Death
Will ride at thy right hand upon the Car.
Yet, yet, take warning; ask another boon."

He ended; but the child of Clymene,

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