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The Cabaret: Its Origin, Its Rise and Its Decline

I. The Chat Noir, the First and the most Famous of the Cabarets

CABARETS, wine-houses and coffee houses are as old as the Rocky Mountains. And ever since they came into existence surely there have been singers and players of instruments who have given here, to their own and to the amusement of others, samples of their merry art. But the institution which we call today the cabaret — the Frenchman says, "cabaret chantant" — came into existence on the 18th of November, 1881, on that memorable day on which the painter, Rodolphe Salis, opened his famous Chat Noir at No. 84 Boulevard Rochechouart. Painters, poets and musicians — all kinds of elements constituting the intellectual proletariat, driven out of the old revered Quartier Latin, which was being modernized at that time, packed up their belongings and emigrated to the outer boulevard, to the sacred mountain, the Montmarte, the "Butte sacree."

At the beginning, Salis was only the landlord in whose place the "Hydropaths" assembled once every week. The only credit he could get in those days was that he induced this assembly of artists, among whom was Emilie Goudeau, to move from the left bank of the Seine to the Montmarte. Every Friday they assembled. They played, they sang and they laughed. Every guest who happened to come was welcome, no matter whether he took active part in the entertainment or whether he remained a listener. Very soon all Paris was talking about the "Black Cat," and the fact that there still could be found Bohemian life — that kind of Bohemian life known to all from Henri Murger's novels.

But for the rapid success of this cabaret and its being known in the largest circles of Paris, Salis had to thank the weekly he started to publish, "Le Chat Noir." Here the Parisians could see for the first time the marvelous caricatures of Riviere, Steinlen, Willette, Henri Somn and Caran d'Ache; there were poems and short pieces in prose by Auriol, Alphonse Allais and many others whose names are well-known since, in French letters. Salis proved to be a wonderful organizer. He always gave Paris something new to laugh about, as, for instance, that famous feast, "La Soupe et le Boeuf," and his memorable celebrations of the 14th of July.

Every Parisian had to see at least once this cabaret, and each new guest was welcomed by the "Cabaretier — gentilhomme" with dignified, well-set oration. Salis knew always how to attract new talents to his house. And very soon nights were turned to days and the same happy merriment could be found in the "Black Cat" at any hour of the day. Salis did not charge admission fees. But the prices paid for the "consommation" — mostly a stein of beer — were exorbitant; five, ten, twenty or more francs were paid for one glass of beer.

Whole Paris was enthusiastic; with the exception of just that part of the city which Salis made famous — the "Butte sacree." The "Sacred Mountain" had been for years the undisputed property of the toughest and the roughest population of Paris. Prostitutes and their protectors had here their hiding-places. These people looked upon the artists as intruders. They were their declared enemies since the first night the "Black Cat" opened its doors. They were ready to defend their rights with knife and gun. The different gangs were not satisfied with holding up guests on their way to the cabaret, but they even attacked the "Black Cat" itself. Salis laughed at first, but after one hard fight in which several of his guests were wounded, one of his waiters killed, and he himself had received half a dozen stiletto wounds, he gave up and decided to move away.

Salis bought in the street Victor-Masse — in those days it was the Rue de Laval — the good-looking house of Alfred Stevens, the painter, and equipped it with the help of his friends, magnificently for the purpose it should serve. H. Pille designed the front with its monstrously big black cats; the lanterns and a show-piece were done by Gasset, and in the vestibule was the marvelous Venus of Houdon. To the left the salle des gardes, a beautiful room with a big-window, the "Te deum laudamus," by Willette. There were pictures by Steinlen, by Riviere and many others. There were thousands of curiosities — things really worth while seeing. On the first floor were situated the "council-chambers," the real cabaret of the artists. On the second floor, the banquet hall where the famous shadow plays took place. The walls were covered with works of art. Anybody who knows modern Parisian art of today would be surprised how the "Seigneur de Chatnoirville-en-Vexin" saw the talent and recognized the artists fifteen and twenty years ahead of the world and of contemporaries. After Salis' death in 1897, the works of art in the "Chat Noir" were partly auctioned off by his heirs, and while the coming-off of the auction was unknown, still 116,000 francs were realized. Salis had paid a few years before, a few glasses of beer for some of the most valuable works of art in his house. But surely none of the artists entertained an unfriendly memory of him, because it was he who made known the light-living artist folk of the Montmartre to Paris, to France and to the world. And today, while many of these artists own wonderfully-appointed houses of their own, they will not deny that Rodolphe Salis, Baron de la Tour de Naitre, laid the foundation to their future success.

The removal of the "Black Cat" to its new home was an event for Paris. At midnight the emigration of the artists from the Boulevard Rochechouart started. At first came two heralds followed by the music band, then Salis himself in the garb of a Roman dictator. Two men in gorgeous livery followed him, carrying the standard of the "Black Cat," 'bearing the motto: "Montjoye-Montmartre." Four men in green academic coats embroidered with palm leaves, carried solemnly Willette's big picture "Parce Domine," while in a seemingly endless row of carriages the other works of art were transferred to the new home. Then came hundreds of artists with burning torches in their hands, and music again, and people, hoards of people.

Salis' wonderful success had to have imitators. Artistide Bruant, the greatest poetic talent of the "Butte" and one of the founders of the "Black Cat," separated from his master after Salis left the Montmartre and started a cabaret of his own; he called it "Le Mirliton," and conducting a weekly of the same name, created fame of his own. Hundreds of other cabarets came and went in the course of years. But only at few of them are noteworthy to future generations: "Le Chien Noir," "La Puree" and "Aux-4'-z-Arts." As well as Salis with his "Chat Noir" so went the proprietors of these cabarets with their artists and their papers for short trips through the country, and very soon nearly every city in France had its own cabaret. Then they went out to the neighboring foreign countries. They went at first to French-speaking countries, as Belgium, Tunis, Algeria and Switzerland. A few of them toured very successfully Germany and Austria and left there the first seed, from which in the last decade of the nineteenth century sprang a crop of cabarets. Most of them were short-lived. The French had always featured rather the artistic element than anything else. The German cabaret degenerated very soon after its institution into commercial propositions linked closely with the demi-monde, becoming an important factor of the not-healthy and not-desired night life.

What was the charm that brought tout Paris to the cabaret? — this peculiar, indefinable charm? Wouldn't you think that the public would rather hesitate to frequent places where every man at his entering was greeted as "muffle" (clown), and every lady as "binette" (funny mug) and "gueule" (gossip), as it happened every night in Bruant's Mirliton? Of course, Salis welcomed his guests with ''my prince," but his was the same contempt for the philistines as in the roughness of Bruant, who would interrupt his song, turning to the man who had whispered to his neighbor, "Shut up, you beast, if I am singing." And still, the most exclusive society of Paris was anxious to gain a ticket of admission to the gala evenings of Salis in the "Chat Noir," and on such evenings the same carriages with liveried footmen could be seen in front of the "Black Cat" as on the gala evenings before the grand opera.

The new, the one thing that seemed to magnetize the public was: here they could meet face to face the artists whose works could be found on stages, in concerts, in art exhibits and in bookstores — real living poets, painters, musicians and sculptors — not just one, like at some evening affair, but a whole bunch of them, all moving around freely in their own home, in their real own element. Such attraction could not be found in any salon of Paris.

Montmartre gave them an offering which could not be found anywhere else in the whole world. Just as they came from the street, these artists mounted the stage, declaimed or sang their poems and said just what they pleased to say. Nothing was sacred to them — not even the three-times-holy public before whom every halfway-sensible show manager, actor, singer or artist bows reverently.

Paris seemed to breathe a different air at the Montmartre. And they never had dreamt that there was so much originality, so much unexpected and so many wonderfully enjoyable intramuras of Paris.

The Bruno Players

THE presentation of "Miss Julia," the first performance of the Bruno Players, on last Monday, in Charles Edison's Little Thimble Theatre at 10 Fifth Avenue, was a success. August Strindberg wanted a small stage for his play. He wanted a small audience. He did not want actors on the stage, but real people. And he wanted for listeners just that number of men and women that could possibly be addressed by an individual without losing the intimacy of a face to face talk.

The Play

"Miss Julia" is a tragedy. It is a tragedy which is not so accentuated as that it could not play a painful part in our own life.

There are a man and a woman, stripped of all the garb which tradition and convention have created during nineteen centuries. All bars erected by social standing and different births — in short every barrier that is man-made — are set aside on this one Midsummer Eve, in this one night.

Mid-summer Eve, the people's festival according to the old Scandinavian sagas; all distinctions properly guided by human standards and by laws that seem almost supernatural have been thrown away. Man and woman meet on a new basis. They are just man and just woman, such as were their savage ancestors. They have stepped for once, far out of their own personalities.

They are viewing their own lives — objectively. They help one another to wash their soiled linen while the audience sits there and looks on and listens. There is no time either to feel sympathetic or to become antagonized. Life's evolution is too logical and too constricted in its sequence to permit meditation upon plot and upon the people impersonating men and women on the stage. There was life upon that stage, real, merciless life with all its elements, with all its oppressing seriousness and its relieving comedy.

Strindberg knows no plots. But life does not know them either. Strindberg knows life. He tells it just as it happens. The characters of his play create troubles and tragedies for themselves exactly as we do in our own lives. They are subjected to the same influences of their fellow men and women that we are in our own lives. There are only three characters on the stage, but in reality there are a good many more. We can almost see the honest good Count, whom the daughter would not dishonor, not even if she must give her life to save him from that certain knowledge. We see her mother, the hysteric upstart, making a mess of her life, and we feel the hand of God throughout the entire play. "Evil revenges itself on earth. The powers of nature equalize themselves to an equilibrium which makes living possible for us." This is the motive of Strindberg in all of his plays, and supremely in "Miss Julia."

And these people on the stage that upset their entire lives in the course of fifteen minutes, take the consequences just as we do in real life.

If you read newspapers, you know that one commits suicide because he has done something in the course of a few short hours which erases all the years he had lived on earth up until then; another one goes to jail, and still another one lives out his life after others have cleared his path by what they thought they had to do.

Miss Julia could not live on. Remember similar cases you have read in newspapers, or that you know have happened in families with which you are acquainted. Think of those women that you know have committed suicide . . . !

Do you not think it is real life — what Strindberg enrolls before us in his one-act play?

"Ugly?" As the esteemed critic of a daily paper says.

Of course it is ugly. But do you think it is nicer to cover it up with pink silk? Do you think that a putrid corpse will smell better if we give it a pompous burial and cover it with blanket of lilies of the valley and strew it with tuberoses?

Strindberg knew that the odor of a corpse is very strong. But he also knew that it would not do to sprinkle it with Mary Garden perfume. The perfume will evaporate, and the odor will be the stronger and the much more unbearable. He stripped it of its funeral regalia, he put it up on public exhibition, and very soon even those less sensitive will keep far away. There is no better object lesson than anatomical destruction.

The corpse will decay, returning to its natural chemical substances. Mother Earth will absorb whatever there is essential for growth and reproduction. A new life will sprout in due time, where once there was the poor disintegrated corpse.

The Players

The three members of the assembly which were the valet "Jean" and ''Miss Julia," the young countess, and "Christine," the count's cook, were just these three persons. What does it matter if you know that Mr. Langdon Gillet was some time ago a "Romeo," or this one or that one in some other play's? What does it matter that Miss Laura Arnold has had a successful, stage career, and that Miss Alive Baker played character parts for a few years as a recognized celebrity up on other stages?

There they were on a little platform (nine by eighteen) without scenic or light effects, without all that stage machinery that seems so essential upon our stages today for the success of a play. They had dared to undertake it, and believed that good acting is all that is required for the imagination of the audience, to keep it spellbound throughout the play and allow the audience to see into horrors, to make it laugh without being funny and to dismiss it in deep thoughts. The show causes meditating upon life in general, and upon their own lives. It dares  ask where is there life without tragedy? Who would imagine the woman who could not point out to you in some place or another a corpse laid out covered with purple and white flowers, sprinkled with heavily scented perfumes?

The Bruno Players do not count their success by comparing ticket stubs. and the cash in the box office, but by, reading the facets of their audiences.

London Letter

                                        London Office of BRUNO'S WEEKLY,
                                        18 St. Charles Square, New Kensington
                                                                                                February 10, 1916,

I WILL begin with the worst thing that has happened to us since last l wrote and, then look for the best. The closing of the museums, and particularly of the British Museum has aroused much criticism. It is done, so we are told, in the name of economy, but the saving effected is so trifling that the loss of dignity and art morale seems to make it hardly worth while.

To those among us who have made the British Museum a center of study and research in common the loss is quite personal. It is true that the Library is to remain open, but the beautiful Greek galleries are to be closed. We shall not see the Demeter of Knidos again until after the war, nor the Mourning Woman, nor the great figures from the Sacred Way. Will these relics of divine Greece think that a new Dark Ages has come upon the world now that no poets or artists ever come to pay them homage? I should well like to be the first visitor to look upon them again in that day when peace throws open once more the doors of their prison. It seems to me that in such a moment one might well experience something of the thrill which Schliemann knew when he discovered the tomb of the Atridae at Mykenae. Perhaps that may seem to you an exaggeration, but to the student at the British Museum these magnificent galleries of Greek and Egyptian statuary, vases and gems make up a great deal in one's life, and to go for a turn with a friend round the galleries after a couple of hours or so study in the library was a pleasure we shall greatly miss.

A museum which to the visiting stranger seems the most confusing and least hospitable place in the world becomes curiously intimate to the man who goes there every day. In a sense, as a friend remarked to me the other day, the British Museum has for the students who use it regularly something of the character of a University. We shall all of us miss a great deal of that. The only consolation is that the Library remains open.

I don't know whether you are tired of Shaw, or whether you cherish any illusions any more about any of our literary figures. I'm afraid not many of us do over here. The war has finally exposed most of the men about whom there was any hope or doubt. Wells, Bennett, Chesterton, Belloc and others have proved themselves the most garrulous kind of journalists, and Shaw has contributed nothing much to add to his reputation. The best thing one can say about him is that he has kept more silent than the others who for the most part have been posing as military critics or economists with little other qualifications than a desire to keep their evenings up to pre-war standards. Belloc, who has inspired a young poet to write a book about him, has earned, so they say, fabulous sums as a military expert. Nearly all his predictions have been falsified, but he still goes on at it

But to revert to Shaw, with whom I began this paragraph, I read a rather fresh explanation of his psychology the other day in "New Ireland," a clever little literary weekly published in Dublin. The writer, Ernest Kempster, finds in Bernard Shaw the typical Irish protestant whose loyalty to England is taken for granted by the average Englishman but is by no means understood. According to the writer of the article this loyalty arises mainly from self-interest and not from any racial sympathy, and has this curious result that while the Ulsterman or Irish loyalist may detest the Irish Nationalist he is attached to him by a greater racial sympathy than he is to the English. "Sometimes," says the writer, "this feeling comes out in the form of violent Irish patriotism when in England on the part of men whose contempt for Ireland when at home never lacks an excuse for its expression. At other times more discretion is shown; the outwardly staunch Loyalist, admitting, in private that whenever he goes to England he feels himself a foreigner."

From this we can see how Shaw was able to acquire his attitude of detached observer in England, disavowing connection with Ireland, yet admitting no particular love of England.

Greeley Pays Poe for Contributions to Tribune with Promissory Note

NOT always did the "Tribune" pay its contributors upon acceptance of their stories, nor the week after publication as it is customary today. Horace Greeley, the founder and famous editor, paid for poetry he purchased from Edgar Allan Poe for use in his journal with a promissory note which was drawn on October 24, 1845.

                                                                                                                                    New York, October 24, 1845.
        Sixty days after date I promise to pay Edgar A, Poe, or his order, fifty dollars for value received,
            $50.00 due Dec. 26th.

                                                                                                                                    Horace Greeley,
                                                                                                                                    62 Nassau Street,
                                                                                                                                    Corner Spruce

Frances Walker, a Spokane musician, was the proprietor of this valuable document in which the best known editor of the middle of the last century paid the best known poet for his contributions, before it became the possession of Mr. Patrick F. Madigan, and one of the most valuable pieces in his collection of Poe autographs. It was given to Mr. Walker twenty-five years ago by Mrs. John F. Cleveland, a sister of Horace Greeley, and widow of John F. Cleveland, who was for many years treasurer of the New York Tribune Company.

The Poet's Income

Another letter of Poe, dated New York, January 18, 1849, and also in the possession of Mr. Madigan, permits us a view behind the scenes of a literary work shop of the early fifties. It is addressed to John R. Thompson, the editor of the ''Southern Literary. Messenger," one of the most powerful literary magazines of the time. Poe offers his services as a
critic at the rate of two dollars the page, providing Mr. Thompson obliges himself to take not less than five pages each month. The irony of fate was never better exemplified than in this very circumstance connected with the life of Edgar Allan Poe. The manuscript which he was offering at two dollars a page is now worth two hundred and fifty. The very letter in which he offers to sell it at that sum was purchased a short time ago for five hundred dollars.


August Strindberg

August Strindberg, by Gulbransson


New York, Jan. 13, '49.
                                                        My dear Sir:

Accept my thanks for the two Messengers containing Miss Talley's 'Genius.' I am glad to see that Griswold, although imperfectly, has done her justice in his late 'Female Poets of America.'

Enclosed I send you the opening chapter of an article called 'Marginalia,' published, about three years ago, in 'The Democratic Review.' I send it that, by glancing it over, especially the preparatory remarks, you may perceive the general design, which I think is well adapted to the purposes of such a magazine as yours, affording great scope for variety or critical or other comment. I may add that 'Marginalia,' continued for five or six chapters, proved as popular as any papers written by me. My object in writing you now is to propose that I continue the papers in the "MESSENGER," running them through the year, at the rate of 5 pages each month, commencing with the March number. You might afford me, as before, I presume, $2 per page.

One great advantage will be that, at a hint from yourself, I can touch, briefly, any topic you might suggest; and there are many points affecting the interest of Southern letters, especially in respect to Northern neglect or misrepresentation of them, which stand sorely, in need of touching. If you think well of my proposal, I will send you the two first numbers (10 pp.) immediately on receipt of a letter from you. You can pay me at your convenience, as the papers are published or otherwise.

Please re-enclose me the printed papers, when you have done with them.

                                                        Very truly yours,
                                                                            Edgar Allan Poe

Jno. R. Thompson, Esq.

P. S. — I am about to bestir myself in the world of letters rather more busily than I have done for three or four years past, and a connection which I have established with 2 weekly papers may enable me, now & then, to serve you in respect to 'The Messenger.'

From Catulus

            DEAR LOVE, if it were mine
                    To kiss for evermore
                    With kisses millionfold
                Those honeyed eyes of thine;
                I would not have my fill;
                    Although the harvest store
                    Of kisses were untold
                As the dry cornstalks, still
                I would not have my fill.

XCVI

            CALVUS, if aught expressive of our woe
                    Find place or welcome in the voiceless tomb,
            When we recall the loves of long ago,
                    And weep lost friendships of a bygone, day;
            Joy for thy love must surely then outweigh
                    Quintilla's sorrow for her early doom.

Nicotean Ethics

        MY life is bitter with thy love — thy throat
                Is girt about with golden, strange Egyptian words:
        Thy white robe binds thee fiercely, and I dote
                Upon thy russet eyes, more mild than eyes of birds.

        But still they worship not, and as in scorn
                Desert thee for thy sister's nuder, nut-brown grace:
        Once and again the Idler thro' the Corn
                Turns to regard thine ivory wasted face.

        Thy sister queens it with a royal zone
                That shames the rigor of thy modest gold tattoo;
        Her brown form seems begotten out of Stone,
                Recalling Jean Peyral's liaison with Fatou.
                                          L.C.

Raplated Platitudes

Fashion is because fools are.

How hardly shall the woman with a sculpturesque arm defy the opportunity that dares her to expose it to the admiring gaze of the eager eye of any "man sort of thing."

Whatever else we lack, we've nver a lack of fools, alack!

Now you can't generally just about most always, quite frequently, every once in a while, sometimes exactly tell what there really is, deep bidden, beind the mask of a woman's face, tho the devil seems . to guess right more often than some better folks.
                                        Julius Doerner

A Man-trap

        "Vir" is a man and "gin" a trap,
                        In Latin, as translated;
            Combine the two and thus you snap
                "A man-trap" — so. 'tis stated.

            But glad a man has ever been
                In such a trap to wriggle,
            And seeing this, it is no sin,
                For girls to giggle, giggle.
                                        Will Visscher

Woman

MESANGE said:

"Will you bet with me dear, that you are thinking of me just now?"

"Really, I didn't. My thoughts were far, far away."

"Yes, you did."

"Really I did not."

"Well then, what were you thinking of, if I might, ask?

"I was thinking of a little rose budding in a bush of thorns."

"Now, — you see, I won my bet. You surely cannot deny that I with my childish mouth and with my roguishness look exactly like a blooming wild rose bush?"

I smiled and I acknowledged my defeat.

"Do you want to bet again, sweetheart, that you are thinking of me, right now, at this moment?"

"Oh really, I am not. I assure you I am not thinking of you."

"Yes you are!"

"Surely not!"

"What are you thinking of, if I might ask?"

"I thought of a lark singing among crumpled reeds and heaths, and circling high up to the blue clouds."

"Now you see that I have won again, because you surely won't have the audacity to say that my voice is not so much alike to the singing of a bird as not to be easily mistaken one for the other?"

There was nothing else for me but to bow and to acknowledge again her victory.

Some time elapsed in silence and Mesange said: "Would you wish to bet with me again, dearest, that you are thinking of me right now. Let us bet once more for the last time."

"I am sorry to acknowledge that I am not thinking of you in the least."

"Oh yes, you are!"

"Really, I am not."

"May I ask what you are thinking of?"

'*I am thinking of the very true swallow who loves with the same love in the same nest always and forever."

Mesange burst out in a merry laugh and said: "Surely this last time I have lost the bet."

After the French of Catulle Mendes, by Guido Bruno

In Our Village

THERE was a good deal of talk in the newspapers and magazines of last month, again and again, about this "Bohemianism," and the "Bohemians" in our Village. Who is it you call a "bohemian"? The public in general seems to think that this term applies to every man who wears long hair, a flying black necktie, indulges heavily in the absorption of alcoholic liquids, smokes cigarettes, has rather lax views about the relations between men and women, and then, in his leisure hours, he perhaps paints or writes poetry. Or they think of women with short hair that wear some of those Roman striped silk garments that Martine & Martine manufacture in Switzerland and Wanamaker sells in his basement; that smoke cigarettes, believe nolens volens in free love, talk very cleverly about things usually out of the scope of a woman's conversation, and then — they, too — paint or write some poetry.

I wonder if any one knows where the word "bohemian" originated? And why it is almost always closely linked with the Latin Quartiers of Paris (not only in the famous novel of Henri Murger)? If fire had not destroyed my Garret I could now refer to my files about the origin of the word "bohemian" and could give you not only the facts, but the names and dates correctly. If I had time, I could take a trip to the Public Library and find it there. But I have neither of them, and so I leave it to you, if you are sufficiently interested, to look it up.

The first University of the world was founded in 1346 in Paris, and now I miss the name of that Bohemian King who played an important part at the Court of Paris at that time as heir apparent. This University in Paris was everything but an educational institution of the conception of our own days. Troubadours, scientists, "wayfaring students," as they were called, had found here a thriving abode, where royal grants for them provided generously for their daily needs and an assembly of fellow-seekers after the Truth and the ideal permitted them an exchange of ideas and of values which was universal. Their language was the classic, and less classic Latin. The part of the city which they chose for their habitation was soon called by the other population of Paris, the Latin Quarters. The great amount of Bohemians which the Bohemian Prince through his generosity invited to make pilgrimage to this new Dorado of everybody "learned," had settled again as a little community inside of the Latin Quartiers. They all were men of the world. They all had traveled from the farthest South to the extremist North of Europe. Their habits of living were marked by their Slavonic temperament, their hot blood and their melancholy and sentimentality, which did not permit an early parting whenever they had gathered for learned discussions . . . and they were not believers of temperance restrictions of any kind.

To lead "the bohemian life in the Latin Quartiers" soon became an expression all over Europe, just as much misunderstood and misapplied in the days of yore as it is today.

It is not what we do, but what we are. A "bohemian" is but does not act, in order to qualify as such.

But there are things that we cannot explain in words.

Personally, I despise the expression, "bohemian," and I know that everybody else will also, who feels "bohemia" or "Greenwich Village," or some "other republic in the air."

Mrs. Pendington and Mrs. Kunze, the proprietors of the Candlestock tea-room, — that fantastic little lunch room where one can eat a well-prepared meal in clean and pleasant surroundings without the annoyance of shrieks, laughter, loud talking and noises that seem to be the necessary accessories of every other similar place in our Village, perhaps in order to create "bohemian atmosphere," — have arranged for dancing for the patrons of their tea room every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights from eight until eleven. Mrs. Pendington and Mrs. Kunze act as patronesses in the palatial localities situated above their shop. The house was a mansion some years ago of a family who knew how to build in order to please their eyes as well as to make themselves feel comfortable. Good music provides the incentive for everybody that has some rhythm in his organism and loves to express it. These parties, are strictly en famille, and not a commercial undertaking.

Mr. Charles Keeler, the Californian poet, who has made Greenwich. Village his temporary home while in New York, will recite selections from his own poems at the exhibit of "Historical Costumed Dolls," arranged by the Kings' County Historical Society on Tuesday evening. Mr. Keeler, whose new book "VICTORY," will be published in the course of two or three weeks by Laurence Gomme, in his Little Bookshop around the corner, is writing at present a New York play.

Hippolite Havel, who published seven numbers of his unique magazine "THE REVOLT," the publication which was denied the mailing privilege in the United States, contemplates publishing a monthly magazine devoted to the same interests as was "THE REVOLT." He has opened an office on old historical Grove Street, where Tom Paine lived the last years of his life and where he died.

Books and Magazines of the Week

CHARLES KEELER was sitting there in my garret, and he told me about his wanderings in Japan. About the little inns in cities whose names are not placed on the maps printed in our country, and where the white foreign man is a mythical personage. He told me about the big cities where Europe's and America's influence made a half-breed of the royal nation of the East. He told me about the Japanese woman reporter who had had her education in an American university, and her training on a San Francisco paper, and who called on him in Tokyo, and who led him to the widow and to the children of our Lafcadio Hearn.

"It was seven years to the hour since Lafcadio's death that I entered the Japanese garden planted on a hill on whose top stood the little Japanese home where he had found rest and peace and love until his dying hour. Miss Okuma struck the gong before the entrance to the house, and, after a short conversation with a maid that had answered the call, a young, tall man appeared, a Japanese of the finest type, with wonderful dark, dreamy eyes, eyes that arrested involuntarily everybody's attention. On his knees and hands, in Japanese fashion, he welcomed us, invited us to be his mother's guests. . . . It was the oldest son of Hearn who extended to us the hospitality of his roof. We took off our shoes and entered. Mats were on the floors, in a niche the bronze statue of a goddess . . the interior of a Japanese home. A little maid brought pillows, a little taburet with the tea things and Mrs. Hearn, in a blue kimono with white flowers, extended to us the welcome of her husband's home. In his substitution she was our hostess. Mrs. Hearn is a lady of about fifty years of age. Her features are gentle and refined. Around her eyes are the fine wrinkles which tell us of pain and of sorrow, and around her mouth that sublime expression of resignation, the surest link between the happy, past and the present that has to be lived, even if the most essential things of life seem to have gone — gone yonder where there is no coming back."

"We sipped our tea and we exchanged pleasantries, as the Japanese etiquette requires. And in tripped the three other children, the sacred legacy of Lafcadio Hearn to his Japanese wife. A girl of about twelve years and two smaller children. They all smiled pleasantly after they had learned that the visitor came from far away back, from where the father had come."

"She invited us to view the library, the room where Lafcadio Hearn had worked and had died. It, too, was a simple Japanese room, but bookcases lined the walls and a little desk where Hearn used to sit and to write was in the same condition as on the day the master left it forever. There was the bottle with ink — American ink, Stafford's blue ink, several pen holders. Some wonderful sheets of Japanese paper, white and soft, which he had used exclusively for his work, lay on the much used blotting paper. The window was wide open and the branches of a little cherry tree reached through the frame into the room. Mrs. Hearn had followed my eyes and remarked that seven years ago, on the morning of Hearn's death, this tree had bloomed for the second time in the season — something that had never happened before in her little garden. She said this without any commentary — a simple statement, but it was so impressive. And then she led me to one corner of the room and pointed to the only addition she has made to the furnishings since Hearn's departure from earthly life. It was a shrine with his likeness, with a receptacle for incense before it. Every evening she said if the stars appear on the nightly sky, and before the children retire they come into this room before the shrine, burn incense before the likeness of the father, and talk to him. They tell him all they have done during the day, and they relate to him all those stories of love and of affection the mother had told them. So if their voice finds its way to his spirit he might know that he lives among them, that he is the head of his family, even if he cannot return the affection and they cannot listen to his voice."

"The son is being educated in a nearby English school in addition to the Japanese training he receives from his mother. He told me he wishes to be a teller of tales and of stories like his father used to be, and that the ambition of his life is to become a writer. He is very shy and does not talk English. It seems he is afraid of the sound of this language, which is not spoken in Hearn's home. Mrs. Hearn never spoke English, and Hearn only very little Japanese, but they had a language of their own, she said, and they understood each the other perfectly. I asked young Hearn if he ever tried to write a story and he said that he has a book with many stories, and that he tells fairy tales to his younger sisters every evening. I asked him if he wouldn't write for me a little tale in English so I could show it after my return to the countrymen of his deceased father. He disappeared in another room and came back in a very short time with this story."
                                        G. B.

Uguisu (A Japanese Nightingale)

By the Son of Lafcadio Hearn
(Among the dozen of best stories, designated as suck by Edward O'Brien, the short story anthologist of the Boston "Transcript," was one written by the nineteen-year-old son of Lafcadio Hearn, who is living in the Japanese home of his mother, being brought up as a Japanese, and whose one wish is to be able sometime to come over to the country of his father, to America, and to become here a literary man. The story was published in one of last year's issues of "Greenwich Village," and Charles Keeler is in possession of the original manuscript.)

I GUESS it was when I was six or seven years old. It was spring.

One morning I got up early, and put on my tiny zori (straw shoes) and from the little back door I took a narrow pathway to a plain.

The pale purple mist spread out silently. I stood still. Before me the mountain's foot was shaded and upward from the middle part faded from sight. "Its like the picture of the kakemono (hanging picture) which is in my house," I thought childishly in my little heart, and looked at it. The young grass all around was soft and looked very green, and wet with dew.

Swiftly and silently passed through the mist a little bird come down to a quite near clump of grass. I walked step by step about the clump, but there was no bird. I felt unhappy and dreary, and I began to want to go home.

When I went quietly on the way to my house stepping on the soft young grass which I felt it a pity to tread on, from somewhere came "Hohokekyo!"

I turned around to find the whereabouts of the bird. I was in a maze, but just then the mist cleared. So, yonder appeared one dressed in uguisu (nightingale color, "green color") cloth, with white leggings and white tabi (short socks) straw sandals on her feet and Sugegasa (hat made of reeds) on her head, embracing a Gehkin ("moon harp;" a little round harp). It was a young singing girl who came stepping alone in the silence.
                                        K. Koizumi

Bruno's Weekly, published weekly by Charles Edison, and edited and written by Guido Bruno, both at 58 Washington Square, New York City. Subscription $2 a year.
   
Entered as second class matter at the Post Office of New York, N. Y., October 14th, 1916. under the Act of March 3d, 1879.


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