Author Pillion, Louise. Author Reinach, Salomon. Author Brocard, Henry. Author Van Robais, A. Author Puig Y Cadalfach, J. Notes Extract from the Bulletin monumental, nos. Author Cornell, Henrik. Notes Appears to be an extract from a journal. Author Pulignani, M. Faloci ; Barret, P. Author Lafon, Victor. Author Lauer, Ph. Notes Extract from the Revue de l'art ancien et moderne. Author Varille, Mathieu. Notes A 1-page handwritten letter dated 2 January and signed by the author is inserted between p. Notes Note under title indicates this was a lecture held by the Wissenschaftlichen verein zu Berlin, 31 January Author Dufresne, D.
Author Caillette de L'Hervilliers, Edmond. Author Caillette de L'Hervilliers. Author Jourdain, M. Notes [Extract from the Bulletin monumental, vol. Author Prost, Bernard. Notes Appears to be an extract from a journal article. Author Fleury, Ed. Author Kornerup, J. Author Roman, J.
Kaléidoscope - L'actualité des livres
Read at the meetings held 1 December and 12 January Page 51 appears to be an insertion; it is typewritten in another font. Author Socard, Alexis. Author Sabatier, J. Author Prou, Maurice. Author Koechlin, Raymond. Author Chal[illegible], Re[nee? Notes Inserted between front flyleaf and title page of Joseph-H. Notes Caption under the picture says "Che [illegible] porta Processionalmonte la Domenica di Passione da [illegible] P. Serviti di S. Maria in V[illegible] di Roma". Notes Printed by Imp.
Perhaps an illustration in a series? Notes T. This item does not seem to fit thematically with the contents of this box unless perhaps as a comparison to portaits of the Virgin's seven so. Notes 3 exact copies. Author de la Richardiere, B. Notes Printed by Victor Janet. Notes The number is printed under the image. Author Bucherez, [M. Author Gaidoz, H.
Notes 37 items in all, 26 of which are contained in an envelope. The envelope and remaining 11 items are contained in a folder labelled "La Vierge aux 7 glaives". Author le Chanoine Lucot, M. Author M. Notes Extract from the Messager, November Author Denais, Joseph.
Author Marsaur, L. Author Verrinot, D. Author de Montremy, F. Notes 2 copies of this item. Author Roverso, Parroco D. Author Depoin, J. Author le Chanoine Marsaux, M. Author de Liguori, Alphonse. Author Mortier, R. Alternate title above appears on cover. Author de Saint-Laurent, H. Author Milliet, Et. Author Leroy, F. Notes Extract from the Illustration, 18 April Author Thorel, Oct. Lecture given at the meeting on 8 June Author Marsaux, [M. Author Chartraire, E.
Author Marsaux, [L]. Author Courivault de la Villate, Ch. Author Voillery, Ph. Author Marignan, A. Maurice Wilmotte. Author Torr, Cecil. Author de Lasteyrie, F. Notes Appears to be an extract from a journal; handwritten note at bottom of first page indicates 4th series, vol.
Notes Reprint from [Analecta Bollandiana, vol. The article critiques H. Gaidoz's previous studies of the myth and image of Notre-Dame des sept-douleurs. Author George, J. Notes 8th series. Author Charbonneau-Lassay, L. Notes Paper-clipped to L. Author Duval, Chanoine. Author de Schodt, [M. Notes Attached to this item are two bibliographic notes for other articles by de Schodt. Notes This item is a large picture of the Virgin Mary under which is printed a devotional prayer. Author Bernard, G.
Author Huby, P. Notes An unfavourable review of H. Author Aigueperse, A. Notes Article is incomplete. Notes Le vendredi-saint en Espagne is printed on p.
Author Flamand, G. Author De Closmadeuc, G. Author Hermet, F. Author Corre, A. Author Breuil, H ;Obermaier, H. Notes Extract from L'Anthropologie, vol. Alternate title appears on cover. Author de Baye, J. Notes Extract from L'anthropologie, vol. Author Balfour, Henry. Notes Extract from Bulletin hispanique, vol.
Cover indicates only H.
Breuil as author, but table of contents on inside front cover lists both authors indicated above and the articl. Author Maska, Ch. Notes Extract from L'anthropologie, no. Author Schoetensack, O. Author van Gennep, A. Notes Extract from the Archives de psychologie, vol. Author Westcott, Wm. Notes First page indicates this was a paper read before the Metropolitan College, S. Privately printed. Author de Zeltner, Fr.
Author de Paniagua, A. Author Martel, E. Author Capitan, L. Author Cartailhac, E. Notes Pages Author Breuil, [M. Author Hirmenech, H. Author Regnault, Felix. First page of text bears the alternate title above. Lecture given at the public meeting on 9 December Author Boule, Marcellin. Author Lalanne, Gaston. Author Lalanne, G. Notes Extract from the Revue scientifique, 19 October Author de Miklucho-Maclay, Nicolas. Author Chauvet, Gustave. Notes Reprint from the Midland Naturalist, vol. Footnote on first page indicates that this paper was read before the Oxford Natural History Society, 28 January Author Ballet, Dr.
Author MacCurdy, George Grant. Notes Reprint from the Popular science monthly, July Notes From the Smithsonian report for , pp. Publication no. Author Putnam, F. Notes An abstract of a paper presented before the section of anthropology, A. Author Pottier, E. Author Passemard, E. Notes 5th series. Notes 10th series. Footnote on first page indicates this was read at the meeting on 29 December Author Hamy, E. Author Lalanne;H. Breuil, [G. Author Lods, Adolphe.
Author Contenau, G. Author Dhorme, P. Notes Extract of Revue Biblique, Author Flach, Jacques. Notes Extract of Revue historique, vol. Author d'Alviella, Goblet. Author Scheil, V. Author Menant, Joachim. Author de Saussure, L. Notes Appears to be from "sections V et VI" of the proceedings, pp. Notes Published by the author.
Presented to the Academy in December Appendix pp. Author de Charency, H. Notes 2 copies, one of which preserves original page numbers pp. Author Linden, Herman Vander. Notes  pp. Author Martin, Th. Author de Vertus, A. Notes Appears to be an extract from a journal or a book in a series with continuous pagination pages are numbered  Author Hassib, Hassan Chevky. Author Delphin, M. Notes Offprint from Sphinx, vol. Author Lajard, Felix. Notes Extract from the Journal asiatique, August Notes Extract from the Bulletino di bibliografia e di storia delle scienze matematiche e fisiche, vol.
Author [Letronne, M. Notes Article incomplete. Notes The last page of this article appears to be a typed copy of the last page of the original publication. Notes 1st series, 1st part. Author Le Carguet, H. Author Schaudel, Louis. Author le Baron De Bonstetten, M. Author Chervin. Printed in Tours by P. Author Brunhes, M. Brunhes [pp. Notes pp. Author D'Alviella, Goblet. Author Gauckler, Paul. Author de Guer, Ch Guerlin. Notes 2 copies. Author Bedir-Khan, Kamuran. Notes This issue also contents: Le Cour, Paul.
Discours; Le Cour, Paul. Author Budai, E. Author Chauvet, G. Notes It also contents: D. La coexistence: d'Anuit et de Huy d'Anuit et de Enhuy. Notes It is the part of the: Chauvet, G. Aneut, Anuit. Author Carteron, Edmond. Author Roblin, Justin. Author Kohlbrugge, J. Author Wirth, Oswald. Notes Cover gives alternate publication date of Author Groult, Edmond. Author Judas, A. Author Lizeray, Henri. Author Scott-Elliot, W. Notes Translator: Sinnett, A. Notes Book appears to be missing pages at the end. Author von Noroff, A. Author Salmon, Philippe. Special issue. Author Le Cour, Paul. Author Rutot, A.
Notes Bound with notes from the public meeting held 16 December pp. Author Gruyer, Paul. Author de Varigny, Henri. Author Nicolas, Michel. Notes Handwritten bibliographic notes. Author Bleynie, F. Author Chabot, J. Notes Thesis for Theology. Author Sabaiter, M. Notes University of Paris. Author Arnaud, E. Author Drach, D. Author Bruston, C. Author Galle, A. Notes Translation.
Author Morin, Dom G. Author Amelli, Dom. Author Naville, M. Author du Pasquier, Robert. Notes Printed in Saint-Amand by Destenay, Author Balland, Justin. Author Sharpe, Samuel. Author de Xivrey, J. Author Bruston, Ch. Author De Puchesse, G. Author Esslie, [M.
Author Virolleaud, Ch. Author Lessevich, Wladimir. Notes Extract from the Revue internationale de Sociologie. Author Couchoud, Paul-Louis. Notes Extract from the Mercure de France, 1 January Notes 1-page letter dated 21 June from P. Couchoud saying he has only one sample copy of this article. Author Goethals, Augustin. Author Alfaric, Prosper. Notes Extract from the Revue de l'histoire des religions, vol. Author Stahl, R. Author Niemojewski, Andzej. Author Marucchi, Horace.
Author Lameere, Nelly. Notes 50th year. Author Prat, Ferdinand. Notes First page of this article is missing. Author Deonna, Waldemar. Notes Extract from the Revue internationale de la Croix-Rouge, 15th year, nos. Author James, Constantin. Notes Extract from the Stations d'hiver in the 8th edition of Guide aux eaux.
Author Schulz-Milsom, E. Author Seston, Edouard. Author Siegrist, Gustave-Adolphe. Notes Printed in Paris by Imprimerie Moquet, Author le marquis de Fortia d'Urban, M. Author de Pavly, Jean. Author Lelorrain, Charles. Author Berthet, M. Author Barral, Jean. Notes Preface by Ch. Notes Extract from the Revue de linguistique, Author Duval, Rubens. Author Clermont-Ganneau, Ch.
Author Rosenberg, D. Archives Online at Indiana University. Search within this document:. Christopher St. Want to learn more? Do you have a question about this collection? Would you like to view the original items in this collection? Are you seeking permission to publish or reproduce items in this collection? Henri Gaidoz Collection, , bulk midth to early- 20th centuries. Usage Restrictions Materials in this collection do not circulate. Provenance Purchased from Librairie M. Gerchel who died in Paris in Box HG [Statut[es? Item Number Notes -page hand-copied manuscript relating to an extract of the register of the grand counsel of the king, dated [p.
Paris: Ponthieu, Box HG La barbe du chanoine Belcier. Bordeaux: Imprimeries Gounouilhou, . Paris: H. Welter, Paris: Imp. Beauvais: D. Box HG Histoire de la barbe et des cheveux en Normandie. Rouen: A. Lebrument, Box HG Observations sur les offrandes que les anciens faisaient de leur chevelure, soit aux dieux, soit aux morts.
Paris: Lottin de Saint-Germain, Item Number Notes A 2-page advertisement from the author defending his work is inserted between p. Laupp'schen Buchhandlung, Item Number Notes 5 loose-leaf sheets of bibliographic records for items relating to the sacrifice of hair and tonsure are inserted between p. Paris: Imprimerie de Herhan, Nancy: Lucien Wiener, Item Number Notes At head of title: Coutumes et usages lorrains.
Imprimerie Nationale, Angers: Imprimerie Burdin et Cie, Box HG "Les cheveux et la barbe. Item Number Notes Two-thirds of the last page has been copied by hand. Box HG "Un cas de pilosisme chez une jeune Laotienne. Box HG "[Article review]. Item Number Notes Review of A. Item Number Notes 2nd series.
Nourry with enclosures - plates of illustrations to accompany M. Nourry's article in Aesculape]. Paris, Item Number Notes 2 pieces in addition to the manuscript: first piece - small drawing of human arm, and second piece - big drawing of arm being used for magic purposes Subjects Anatomy, Folklore of the Human Body Arm in Magic. Box HG Le sang dans le rite. Box HG Essai sur le sang. Montpellier: Jean Martel, Box HG De la vie du sang au point de vue des croyances populaires. Montpellier: De Boehm, Paris: Chacornac, [? Bureaux du correspondant, Lyon: Imprimerie Nouvelle, Paris: Ernest Leroux, Box HG Neuchatel, Subjects Anatomy, Folklore of the Human Body.
Box HG Dissertation nouvelle sur un sujet ancien, 2nd edition. Mossy, XI, 96 pages. Angers, Paris: Imprimerie Librairie de E. Ghio, Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, Manceaux, Box HG Les pendus. Box HG Une mutilation dentaire rare, les dents en crochets. Paris: La Semaine Dentaire, Item Number Notes Extracto do fasc. Le Mans: Monnoyer, . Subjects Animals Folklore of Animals. Box HG "Les animaux symboliques. Grasse: Imprimerie E. Imbert et Cie. Item Number Notes 2nd series, 20th year. Box HG Sur la nomenclature morderne de la faune grecque.
Paris: Maisonneuve et Cie. Box HG Le bestiaire berrichon. Moulins: Imp. Box HG De quelques noms d'animaux en langue basque. Lille: Imprimerie Lefebvre-Ducrocq, Nancy: Imprimerie G. Caen: Henri Delesques, Item Number Notes Extract from the Bulletin monumental, Item Number Notes Extract from Romania, vol. Box HG The language used in talking to domestic animals. Washington, D. Paris: A. Leleux, Paris: Librairie A.
Paris: J. Item Number Notes No. Caen: Imprimerie Le Blanc-Hardel, Box HG Sulle imagini del dio silvano e del dio fauno. Roma: Tipografia Tiberina, Vaillant-Carmanne, Box HG Recherches sur la faune des Gaules et sur les origines qui s'y rapportent. Metz: Typographie Rousseau-Pallez, Moulins: Imprimerie C. Desrosiers, Les Sables-d'Olonne: Imprimerie T.
Caen: Imprimerie F. Le Blanc-Hardel, Berlin: Wiegandt und Hempel, Box HG Trois tapisseries de Bruxelles. Box HG Le bestiaire de Monza. Bruges: Imp. Box HG Bijdragen en Mededeelingen July Item Number Notes Entire journal issue. Gleiwitz: Reinhard David, Paris: Deterville, Item Number Notes Advertisement for the book. Box HG "Notes : The last believer in the phoenix. Box HG "Mythological birds ethnologically considered. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History, Paris: Imprimerie G. Maurin, . Item Number Notes Followed by "Bibliographie," p.
Box HG "Mythologie populaire : le coq : suite. Item Number Notes 9th year. Box HG "Mythologie populaire : le coq : suite et fin. Box HG La feuille des jeunes naturalistes Rennes ; Paris: Imprimerie Oberthur, April Item Number Notes 5th series, 44th year. Box HG Les poissons. Paris: Klincksieck, Paris: Imprimerie du commerce, Bourges: Imp. Berlin: Paul Gerh Heinersdorff, Berlin: A. Item Number Notes Appears to be an offprint from a journal. Item Number Notes Extract from the Revue celtique, p. Box HG Note sur des bijoux barbares en forme de mouches. Paris: Librairie Nilsson, Box HG De l'origine des macreuses.
Versailles: Imp. CERF, Box HG Zoologie antique et lampes romaines. Paris: Didier et Ce. Box HG Essais et notes sur Virgile. Paris: Librairie C.
Klincksieck, Paris: Emile Larose, Item Number Notes Extract from the Revue d'ethnographie et traditions populaires, no. Item Number Notes Extract from the Revue tunisienne. Item Number Notes Appears to be a chapter of a book or an extract from a journal. Box HG Sur l'origine de la tradition des fourmis qui ramassent l'or.
Copenhague: Imprimerie de Bianco Luno, Box HG Les poissons de mer : noms vulgaires, proverbes, dictons, formulettes, superstitions. Item Number Notes Two copies. Patoux, Chasseignac, Bar-le-Duc: Imprimerie Contant-Laguerre. Vannes: Imprimerie Eug. Lafolye, Box HG Recherches historiques sur la coquille des imprimeurs. Item Number Notes Extract from the Acad. Box HG "The devil-fish and its relatives. New York: D. Appleton and Company, January Item Number Notes 7th series. Subjects Animals Folklore of Animals--Mammals. Nogent-le-Rotrou: Imprimerie de A.
Gouverneur, Item Number Notes Entire journal issue October Box HG "Le roi Hugon. Box HG Le journal des chasseurs : toutes les chasses, tous les chiens  Sceaux: Imp.
Charaire, Item Number Notes Entire journal issue 5 July , missing pages , inclusive. Item Number Notes From the meeting held 29 November Paris: Le Normant, Box HG Histoire symbolique et iconographique du lion ; [Bulletin monumental]. Poitiers: Imprimerie de Henri Oudin, Paris: Imprimerie de L.
Tinterlin et Ce. Item Number Notes On cover: 7th series, 5th year, no. Hamburg: J. Richter, Item Number Notes Extract from Sphinx, vol. Item Number Notes Handwritten memo from the author inserted between first page and front cover of this item. Wien: Carl Gerold, Mamers: Imprimerie Fleury, Paris: Masson et Cie. Item Number Notes New edition. Rennes: Imprimerie de H. Vatar, Box HG Essai sur l'histoire naturelle du lynx.
Box HG Il carattere demoniaco del porco e del cinghiale : nell'inferno Dantesco : nell'egizio e nella tradizione poplare. Castelvetrano: Lorenzo Settimo Lentini, Paris: Librairie Dumoulin ; Librairie I. Loones, . Box HG Le bouc des lupercales. Item Number Notes Extract from the Revue de l'histoire des religions. Mechelen: L. Godenne, Paris: Gide et J. Baudry, Box HG [Remarks on the Gryphon herladic and mythological].
Archaeologia or miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity published by the Society of antiqua Subjects Animals Folklore of Animals--Monsters and Symbolic Animals. Box HG Vouivres et saints sauroctones. Item Number Notes Published in in Vienne. Bordeaux: Typ. Troyes: Imprimerie et lithographie Dufour-Bouquot, Mons: Leroux, Libraire, Gand: L. Hebbelynck, Chartres: Petrot-Garnier, Libraire, Item Number Notes Extract from the Revue celtique, vol. Roumanille, Metz: Imprimerie et lithographie Delhalt, Arles: Imprimerie de D.
Garcin, Item Number Notes With a series of explanatory notes in French. Paris: Librairie Ernest Leroux, Washington: Government Printing Office, Item Number Notes Reprint no. Trani: V. Vecchi, Leide: E. Brill, Item Number Notes Extract from the T'oung-pao, 2nd series vol. Box HG Il "drago" nella leggenda di S. The news was re- ceived while this book was passing through the press, too late to be incorporated in the text. I wish here to express my great admira- tion for his work, and my gratitude for an encouragement which even under the heavy weight of illness he did not stint to give.
By his death France loses one of the greatest and most sincere artists of his generation. Paul Fort. And I felt that I had a right to include him among French poets since he wrote in French. Now, the name of Emile Verhaeren is not only the best known name of my group, but a very well known name indeed. Newspapers and magazines are full of his fame, various publishers are issuing translations of his poems, and a translation of a German biography of him appeared a year ago.
But the most impor- tant thing which time has effected in his regard is to divorce him forever from the stream of French literature. He ranks now, not only as the prophet of a new era, but as the authentic voice of a dead era. The Belgium he portrays has been devastated by war, and so completely crushed that at the moment it can hardly be said to exist. And even if in time the invaders are driven out, and Belgium is able to continue herself politically, it will be long before 3 4 Six French Poets she will have leisure to devote her energies again to the arts. When that time does come, we may be very sure that it will be a different civilization with which the arts will have to deal.
The pathetic splendour of circumstance, therefore, must always hang over Verhaeren's work, and enhance its natural greatness still farther.
Future ages will not only study him as a great poet, but as an accurate por- trayer of life in Belgium before the war. His artistic value, for many years at least, is bound to be overshadowed by his historic value. He stands out as the finest flower of a ruined country, and as such can never again be contemplated as merely walking step by step with the writers of any other country, no matter how great. At present, however, the war is still too new to be regarded in this per- spective ; to us who are living not only to-day, but in such close relation to yesterday, it is enough to point out what must be Verhaeren's future position, and then return and consider him as he has hitherto appeared to our own generation.
To-day, Verhaeren is a man sixty years old, with twenty-three volumes of poems, three volumes of plays, and four volumes of prose to his credit. He has been writing for over thirty years, and has had a great influence upon young writers all over the world. It is in this connection which we shall con- sider him here. What future work he will do will belong to that after- the- war period which we can Emile Verhaeren 5 only dimly foresee.
At the actual time of writing, Verhaeren has fled to England, where he has found an asylum and sympathetic friends. Vigorous as he is, the poems which he may write there will belong to a new epoch in his career, and with them future students of his work will have to deal. Our con- sideration of him ends with the war. In understanding Verhaeren, one must first under- stand the conditions into which he was born. One of the great interests in his poetry is the effect it has had in changing and modifying those conditions. In , Hippolyte Taine wrote — in his chapter on "The Painting in the Low Coun- tries" in his "Philosophy of Art" — "to-day this literature hardly exists.
Such fecundity is astonishing, and has called out a large number of volumes devoted to the study of so remarkable a phenomenon. And all since , a period of little more than thirty years! Albert Heumann points out that "a fecund and independent literature commonly exists in a country of perfect material prosperity, and of an absolute political autonomy.
Since , when Belgium forced herself upon the Powers as a separate nation and elected a king to suit herself, she has enjoyed extraordinary prosperity. The enormous energy of the people has developed their unusual natural facilities to the fullest extent. There are the coal fields in the Boisinage district near Mons, and in the neighbourhood of Liege. There are iron mines, and iron and steel works, at Charleroi and Liege.
There are quarries of marble, granite, and slate. Ghent is the capital of a vast textile industry ; and lace is manufactured all over the country, Brussels point being famous throughout the world. But this is not all, Belgium carries on or, alas! Antwerp is one of the largest and most important ports in the world. And again, this is not all, for Belgium is an agricultural country chiefly, and where everything is on so superlative a scale, " chiefly" means a great deal.
In fact, it has about six and one-half millions of acres under cul- tivation. In this little bit of a country, less than half as big as the state of Maine, such an acreage is enormous. But side by side with this booming modernism lives the other Belgium — mystic, superstitious — where moss-grown monasteries stand beside sluggish canals, and the angelus rings across flat, wind-blown Emile Verhaeren 7 fields. Belgium is a strange mixture of activities, races, and opinions.
Roman Catholics and Socialists dispute for control of the government, and authors write and publish in German and French, some fanatics even insist on doing so in Flemish, and agitate to have Flemish taught in the schools, a desire with which the Celtic movement in Ireland has made us familiar. His father, Gustave Verhaeren, was the. His mother was a Mile. Debock, a na- tive of Saint-Amand, where her brother was pro- prietor of an oil plant. And presumably Gustave Verhaeren chose to live in Saint-Amand on account of his wife's connection in the country.
The Ver- haerens were probably of Dutch extraction, but the Debocks were certainly French some centuries before, it is needless to say, as both families can be traced to different parts of Belgium in the eighteenth century. Curiously enough, only French was spoken in Gustave Verhaeren's household, and the servants all came from Liege.
Emile Verhaeren has never known Flemish, although he took some lessons in it from the schoolmaster in the village, when he was seven years old. Saint-Amand stands in a country of wide hori- 8 Six French Poets zons, where windmills stretch out their arms to the sky, and broad clouds sweep over it, trailing their shadows on the flat plain below.
It is a grey, northern country, of fogs and strong winds. All these things impressed themselves upon the little Verhaeren's brain, and became a natural part of his consciousness, and the objects of his greatest love. As the boy Constable is said to have grown familiar with clouds, and to have acquired a love for them, in tending his father's windmill, so the boy Ver- haeren must have got his knowledge of weather and skies while wandering along the level, paved roads of East Flanders, buffeted by the wind and washed by the sun, or while lying in bed listening to the rain splash on tiled roofs, and patter against the shutters.
His poems are full of weather. They are almost a "line-a-day" book of temperatures and atmospheres. Take this of a violent wind, for in- stance : Un poing d'effroi tord les villages ; Les hauts clochers, dans les lointains, Envoient l'echo de leurs tocsins Bondir de plage en plage. Take this, of clouds : Et Septembre, la-haut, Avec son ciel de nacre et d'or voyage, Et suspend sur les pres, les champs et les hameaux Les blocs etincelants de ses plus beaux nuages.
Or this, of a little river : L'entendez-vous, l'entendcz-vous Le menu not sur les cailloux? II passe et court et glisse, Et doucement dedie aux branches, Qui sur son cours se penchent, Sa chanson lisse. Gustave Verhaeren, his wife and little son, lived in a cottage of their own, with a garden blazing full of flowers. Behind it stretched the fields of yellow wheat, and close beside it ran the slow river. In one of his last books, Verhaeren has described his childhood. He tells us how he played in the great barns, and climbed steeples, and listened to the maids singing old Flemish songs at their washing.
He describes himself sitting with the watchmaker and marvelling at the little wheels of the watches, io Six French Poets and standing on the bank of the river and looking at the heavy cargo boats sail by. Je me souviens du village pres de l'Escaut, D'ou Ton voyait les grands bateaux Passer ainsi qu'un reve empanache de vent Et merveilleux de voiles.
Le soir en cortege sous les etoiles. By and by, he was sent to school in Brussels for two years, at the Institute Saint Louis ; and when he was thirteen or fourteen, he entered the Jesuit College of Sainte-Barbe in Ghent. Here, a few years later, came Maeterlinck also, but whether the boys met there I have not been able to find out. It had been decided in the family that Emile should enter his uncle's oil works, and succeed to the business. In the pleasant way of families from time immemorial, this had apparently been arranged without consulting Emile's wishes in the matter.
At twenty, the boy had finished his college course, and he did come back to Saint-Amand and go into the oil works for a year. But the life was most distasteful to him ; he needed to see the world, to measure himself intellectually with other young men, and there is no reason to suppose that he showed the slightest taste or ability for business. In order, however, to find some plausible reason for his dislike of the work, he pleaded to be allowed to study law.
Whether he had tried writing at this Emile Verhaeren 1 1 period and felt any desire to become a poet, I do not know. But to persuade a practical father and uncle to consent to his giving up a lucrative business in order to become a poet, would not be a simple task. And certainly in asking to become a lawyer, Emile stood more chance of having his wish granted.
It was granted. And young Verhaeren left home again to study law at the University of Lou vain. At Louvain, Verhaeren really did study law, strangely enough, and was graduated in But he did many other things also. He danced at Kermesses, drank beer, got drunk, and generally overdid things with the true Flemish ardour, whether for work or play. Among his fellow students there were various other tentative poets. Together they got up a little paper called La Semaine, and Ver- haeren published several pieces in it, under the pseudonym of "Rodolph. Here was Verhaeren, a full-fledged barrister, enter- ing the office of Edmond Picard in Brussels.
But his heart was not in the work, and he conducted the one or two quite unimportant cases he had to plead so half-heartedly, that Maitre Picard, himself, advised him to give up the law. Brought up as a Roman Catholic, educated in a Jesuit college, he had been ardent and devout. Yet, even then, the Jesuits had failed to persuade him to become a priest. Now, with every year, his zest for living grew, his mind expanded and dared, and Catholicism dropped away from him forever.
The mystic side of the Flemish character was to show itself in quite a different form, and only much later. In Brussels, Verhaeren found a set of young men, eager like himself, anxious to stamp themselves into literature. Zola's realistic novels were just begin- ning to be discussed in Belgium, and Camille Le- monnier was the interpreter of this new naturalism. And just as a whole generation of younger writers in France adopted Zola's theories, so did they attract the younger writers of Belgium. And really the protest was necessary to down that long set of sen- timental hypocrisies known in England as " Victo- rian.
UBC Theses and Dissertations
In order to flaunt the banner of free, realistic art, with no taboos as the current slang of the reviews calls it , a remarkable and intelligent young man, Max Waller, poet and writer of short stories, got up a review entitled La Jeune Belgique, In its effect on Belgian letters, this review has been com- pared to the Mercure de France and its place in Emile Verhaeren 13 French literature. The early death of the founder of La Jeune Belgique kept it from becoming the world-famous periodical it might have been.
While it existed, it gave an opening for many remarkable young men, among others, Verhaeren. A pleasant anecdote is told of him at this time, how one rainy day he clumped into Lemonnier's lodgings never having met Lemonnier, by the way , and blurted out, "Je veux vous lire des vers! Lemonnier encouraged him, criticised him, and, shortly after, the book was published. Then the storm broke, and howled about Verhaeren.
The book was strong, vivid, brutal. It was as violent, as coarse, as full of animal spirits, as the pictures of Breugel the Elder, Teniers, or Jan Steen. As one of the critics said, U M. Verhaeren pierced like an abscess. The battle waged furiously. All those adherents of the old order of sentimental idealization fell upon the book, and in the columns of U Europe Lemonnier strongly defended it. And really it is a startling book, written with a sort of fury of colour. The red, fat flesh tints of Rubens have got into it, and the pages seem hot and smoky with perspiration. The desire to paint seems engrained in the Flemish character; M.
Heu- 14 Six French Poets man declares that all Belgian writers, whether of poetry or prose, are painters. But, also, it must not be forgotten that they are Flemish painters, and their palettes are hot and highly coloured. In his poem, Les Vieux Maitres, Verhaeren speaks of these old masters as painting "les fureurs d'estomac, de ventre et de debauche. They are marvellously done, blazing with colour and bla- tant with energy. Metrically, Les Flamandes is not particularly in- teresting, being written in the ordinary French alexandrine.
The interest of the book lies in its treatment of subjects. Many of the most remark- able poems must be read in their context, but there is a series of interiors, little Flemish genre pictures, which show the vivid style in which the whole is written. Le foyer y brillait comme une rouge flaque, Et ses flammes, mordant incessamment la plaque, Y rongeaient un sujet obscene en fer fondu.
Le feu s'ejouissait sous le manteau tendu Sur lui, comme l'auvent par-dessus la baraque, Dont les clairs bibelots en bois, en cuivre, en laque, Crepitaient moins aux yeux que le brasier tordu. Emile Verhaeren 15 Les rayons s'echappaient comme un jet d'emeraudes, Et, ci et la, part out donnaient des chiquenaudes De clarte vive aux brocs de verre, aux plats d' email. A voir sur tout relief tomber des etincelles, On eut dit — tant le feu s'emiettait par parcelles — Qu'on vannait du soleil a travers un vitrail. Notice how wonderfully bright and sparkling it all is, — "the snapping of light in the glasses" and the fire "crumbling itself into sparks.
Les Flamandes appeared in , and it was not until that Verhaeren's next book, Les Moines, published by quite a different firm, came out. Why Verhaeren changed his publisher, we do not know. Why he changed his whole manner of writing can be guessed. I have said that the Flemish character is made up of two parts, one composed of violent and brutal animal spirits, the other of strange, unreasoning mysticism. This is shown by the fact that along the line of material prosperity the Belgians have advanced with leaps and bounds, while on the line of abstract ideas, of philosophical or scientific en- lightenment, they have contributed almost nothing to the world.
Their aspirations toward a broader point of view led them only to the Utopia of the 16 Six French Poets materialistic socialist. Verhaeren himself, with all his effort and achievement, can never quite free himself from the trammels of the material. Because the idealistic side of the Belgian mind is feeble and poor, and cannot get along without the swaddling clothes of superstition, Belgian mysticism is charm- ing, poetic, but — gets us nowhere.
Whether Verhaeren wrote Les Moines to satisfy the need of expression for this gentler side of his nature, whether his painter's eye was fascinated by the pictorial value of old monasteries and quiet monks, or whether he wished to prove to the world that he could do things that were not violent, it is impossible to say. None of his biographers has suggested the last reason. Presumably they would consider it beneath him, but I see no cause to sup- pose so great a man as Verhaeren to be in any way inhuman. And certainly to show the world that he has more than one string to his lute is a very natural desire in a young poet.
Les Moines is a sad book, a faded book. The monasteries are here, but bathed in the light of a pale sunset. As a boy, Verhaeren used often to go to the Bernhardine Monastery at Bornhem with his father. In order to renew his impressions of cloister life before writing this book, he passed three weeks at the monastery of Forges, near Chimay, and much of the book was written there.
There is nothing in Les Moines to detain us here. Emile Verhaeren 17 It is a book of delicate etchings, pensive and melan- choly, and again written in French alexandrines. In this book, more than in Les Flamandes, Verhaeren seems to be feeling his way. Then Verhaeren broke down. He had travelled a great deal, had been to France, Germany, Spain, and England.
That he had been overdoing, over- thinking, is obvious. At any rate, he succumbed to what seems to have been a bad attack of nervous prostration, with gastric complications. Herr Zweig, in his exhaustive biography, spends a great deal of time in telling us how he had to have the door-bell taken off because he could not bear its ringing, and how the people in the house had to go about in felt slippers. Herr Zweig is delighted with Les Soirs, Les Debacles, and Les Flambeaux Noirs, published respectively in , , and , because he considers them so remarkable a portrayal of an unusual state of mind, and says they must be " priceless to pathologists and psychologists.
I do not suppose there is a person who will read these lines, who has not either been there himself or had a friend who has. That Verhaeren should have written three books during his illness is not surprising. Writers always write, no matter how ill they are. With them it is so natural a function that it tires them less than to 1 8 Six French Poets do anything else. I could adduce a host of examples to prove this point, but two will do : Francis Park- man and Robert Louis Stevenson.
I will quote two poems from Les Soirs, not be- cause of their interest to the pathologist and psy- chologist, but because they are such remarkable pictures, and because they show that wedding of sound to sense which is to become one of Verhaeren's most characteristic powers. Gares de suie et de fumee, ou du gaz pleure Ses spleens d'argent lointain vers des chemins d' eclair, Ou des betes d 'ennui baillent a l'heure Dolente immensement, qui tinte a Westminster. Et ces quais infinis de lanternes fatales, Parques dont les fuseaux plongent aux profondeurs, Et ces marins noyes, sous les p Stales Des fleurs de boue ou la flamme met des lueurs.
Et ces chales et ces gestes de femmes soules, Et ces alcools de lettres d'or jusques aux toits, Et tout a coup la mort, parmi ces foules ; O mon ame du soir, ce Londres noir qui traine en toi! Emile Verhaeren 19 See how long and slow the cadence is, and the heavy consonants make the poem knock and hum like the Westminster bells he mentions. It almost seems as though Big Ben must have been striking when he wrote the poem.
This intermixture of sound with pure painting is one of Verhaeren's most remarkable traits. In this next poem, Le Moulin, we have another sombre landscape, but the whole movement is different; from the first line we are conscious of sound, but it is no longer the insistent beating which underlies Londres; it is a sort of sliding, a faint, rushing noise. Any one reading the first stanza aloud cannot fail to be conscious of it. It is this presence of sounds in his verse, quite apart from the connotations of his words, which gives Verhaeren's work its strange, magic reality, and makes it practically impossible to translate.
Depuis l'aube, ses bras, comme des bras de plainte, Se sont tendus et sont tombes ; et les voici Qui retombent encor, la-bas, dans l'air noirci Et le silence entier de la nature eteinte. Autour d'un pale etang, quelques huttes de hetre Tres mis emblement sont assises en rond ; Une lampe de cuivre est pendue au plafond Et patine de feu le mur et la fenetre.
Et dans la plaine immense, au bord du not dormeur, Elles fixent — les tres soufTreteuses bicoques! Before we leave these three books, I want to give one more poem, La Morte, which is a sort of end dedication to Les Flambeaux Noirs. Here, at last, Verhaeren begins to use that extraordinary vers libre for which he is afterwards to be so noted. Some poets seem capable of expressing themselves per- fectly in the classic alexandrine, some can use both old and new forms according to the content of the poem.
Verhaeren's intimate friend, Henri de Re- gnier, is remarkable for this. But the alexandrine has never seemed to fit Verhaeren. His tumultuous nature seems cramped by its limitations. Figure the "Siegfried Idyl" played by an orchestra of flutes, and harps, and tambourines, and you will see what Eniile Verhaeren 21 I mean; or imagine Schumann's "Fantasie, Op. Verhaeren's vers libre is always rhymed.
And in a language so abounding in rhyme as the French, that is no handicap to the free poet. Not only does Verhaeren use end rhymes, he cannot resist the joy of internal rhymes. But I am anticipating, for in La Morte, as you will see, there are very few internal rhymes, although his fondness for alliteration and assonance begins to be noticeable.
For the rest, La Morte is a beautiful, foggy picture, sad, but with a kind of sadness which is already beginning to enjoy itself in a sombre sort of way. In other words, Verhaeren is beginning to get well, but he is not quite willing to admit it yet. Des ponts de bronze, ou les wagons Entrechoquent d'interminables bruits de gonds Et des voiles de bateaux sombres Laissent sur elle, choir leurs ombres. Sans qu'une aiguille, a son cadran, ne bouge, Un grand beffroi masque de rouge La regarde, comme quelqu'un Immensement de triste et de defunt.
Elle est morte n'en pouvant plus, L'ardeur et les vouloirs moulus, Et c'est elle qui s'est tuee, Infiniment extenu6e. Au long des funebres murailles, Au long des usines de fer Dont les marteaux tonnent T eclair, Elle se traine aux funerailles. Ce sont des quais et des casernes, Des quais tou jours et leurs lanternes, Immobiles et lentes filandieres Des ors obscurs de leurs lumieres : Ce sont des tristesses de pierres, Maison de briques, donjon en noir Dont les vitres, mornes paupieres, S'ouvrent dans le brouillard du soir ; Emile Verhaeren 23 Ce sont de grands chantiers d'affolement, Pleins de barques demantelees Et de vergues ecartelees Sur un ciel de crucifiement.
En sa robe de joyaux morts, que solennise L'heure de pourpre a l'horizon, Le cadavre de ma raison Traine sur la Tamise. Elle s'en va vers les hasards Au fond de l'ombre et des brouillards, Au long bruit sourd des tocsins lourds, Cassant leur aile, au coin des tours. Derriere elle, laissant inassouvie La ville immense de la vie ; Elle s'en va vers l'inconnu noir Dormir en des tombeaux de soir, La-bas, ou les vagues lentes et fortes ; Ouvrant leurs trous illimites, Engloutissent a toute eternite : Les mortes. In one line of this poem Verhaeren has given us the real cause of his illness.
His reason has died, he says, " from knowing too much. The mystic and the modern man have been struggling within him. It is this struggle which has forced so many French poets back to the Catholic Church. But Verhaeren was made of more resisting stuff. The struggle downed 24 Six French Poets him, but did not betray him. He fell back into no open arms ; by sheer effort he pushed himself up on his feet. I should have said that for some reason or other, Verhaeren spent most of these years of illness in London. His biographers imagine that the fog and gloom, what one of them calls the " melancholy scenery of industrial cities," was in harmony with his mood.
Perhaps this is true, and if so I think we are right in believing that his state of mind had more to do with his illness than the poor digestion to which it is usually attributed. However that may be, Verhaeren got better. He came out of his illness, as is usually the case with strong people, a sane, more self-reliant man. He left the obscurity of London side streets to plunge into the stream of active life in the cities of his native Belgium.
In 1 89 1, Verhaeren published two volumes of poems, with two different publishers. Verhaeren is feeling the zest of life again, but it is a more spiritual zest than before, if one can use the term for such a very materialistic spirituality. Verhaeren is waking up, as it were, like a man stretching his arms, not yet fully awake. Saint Georges is probably the best known poem of the volume ; it begins charmingly : r Emile Verhaeren 25 Ouverte en large eclair, parmi les brumes, Une avenue ; Et Saint Georges, fermentant d'ors, Avec des plumes et des ecumes, Au poitrail blanc de son cheval, sans mors, Descend.
L' equipage diamentaire Fait de sa chute, un triomphal chemin De la pitie du ciel, vers not re terre. But it has too few of Verhaeren's peculiar excellen- cies to be worth quoting in full. As my purpose in this book is to show and study each poet's individual characteristics, I shall only quote those poems which most evidently illustrate them.
And now we have come to Verhaeren's great period ; to the books which have made him the great- est poet of Belgium, and one of the greatest poets of the world. In these three books we have all Verhaeren's excellencies in rich profusion. Here are the towns, with their smoking factories, crowded streets, noisy theatres, and busy wharves ; here are the broad, level plains of Flanders starred with windmills, the little villages and farms, and the slow river where fishermen come. And here are painted a whole gallery of trades : cabinet-makers, blacksmiths, millers, rope-walkers.
We see the 26 Six French Poets peasants selling everything they possess to follow the long, white roads to the city — white tentacles for the swallowing city. And weather! In these volumes, Verhaeren first shows that remarkable series of weather pieces to which I referred in the beginning of this essay. Verhaeren had found him- self. At a time when France was in the midst of Symbolisme; when nature, divorced from the pa- thetic fallacy, made little general appeal ; when every-day life was considered dull, and not to be thought about if possible ; — Verhaeren wrote of nature, of daily happenings, and of modern inven- tions.
He not only wrote, he not only sang ; he shrieked, and cut capers, and pounded on a drum. Writing in French, Verhaeren has never been able to restrain himself within the canons of French taste. His effervescing nature found the French clarity and precision, that happy medium so cherished by the Gallic mind, as hampering as he would have found Greek artistic ideals had he lived several centuries earlier.
He must put three rhymes one after the other if he felt like it ; he must have a couple of assonances in a line, or go on alliterating down half a page. There was nothing in his nature to make the ideas of the Symbolist es attractive to him ; he would none of them. The mysticism of which I have spoken modified itself into a great humanitarian realization. He believed in mankind, in the future. Not precisely nothing is precise Emile Verhaeren 27 with Verhaeren , but vaguely, magnificently, with all the faith his ancestors had placed in the Church.
A Frenchman would have felt constrained to put some definiteness into these hopes. To give some form to what certainly amounted to a religion. Verhaeren was troubled by no such teasing diffi- culty. He simply burned with a nebulous ardour, and was happy and fecund. This is one of the reasons why Verhaeren's poetry is so much better understood and appreciated by Englishmen and Americans — Anglo-Saxons in short — and by Ger- mans, than any other French poetry. There is a certain Teutonic grandeur of mind in Verhaeren which is extremely sympathetic to all Anglo-Saxons and Germans.
Where the French intellect seems coldly analytic and calm, Verhaeren charms by his fiery activity. One of the devices which Verhaeren employs with consummate skill, is onomatopoeia, or using words which sound like the things described. This is at once wedded to, and apart from, the sort of sound I have mentioned above. He carries this effect through whole poems, and it is one of the reasons for the vividness of his poems on nature. Elle s'efnle ainsi, depuis hier soir, Des haillons mous qui pendent, Au ciel maussade et noir. Elle s'etire, patiente et lente, Sur les chemins, depuis hier soir, Sur les chemins et les venelles, Continuelle.
Au long des lieues, Qui vont des champs, vers les banlieues, Par les routes interminablement courbees, Passent, peinant, suant, fumant, En un profil d'enterrement, Les attelages, baches bombees ; Dans les ornieres regulieres Paralleles si longuement Qu'elles semblent, la nuit, se joindre au firmament, L'eau degoutte, pendant des heures ; Et les arbres pleurent et les demeures, Mouilles qu'ils sont de longue pluie, Tenacement, indefinie.
Emile Verhaeren 29 Les rivieres, a travers leurs digues pourries, Se degonflent sur les prairies, Ou flotte au loin du foin noye ; Le vent gifle aulnes et noyers ; Sinistrement, dans l'eau jusqu'a mi-corps, De grands bceufs noirs beuglent vers les cieux tors ; Le soir approche, avec ses ombres, Dont les plaines et les taillis s'encombrent, Et c'est tou jours la pluie La longue pluie Fine et dense, comme la suie. La longue pluie, La pluie — et ses fils identiques Et ses ongles systematiques Tissent le vetement, Maille a maille, de denument, Pour les maisons et les enclos Des villages gris et vieillots : Linges et chapelets de loques Qui s'emloquent, Au long de batons droits ; Bleus colombiers colles au toit ; Carreaux, avec, sur leur vitre sinistre, Un emplatre de papier bistre ; Logis dont les gouttieres regulieres Forment des croix sur des pignons de pierre ; Moulins plantes uniformes et mornes, Sur leur butte, comme des cornes ; Clochers et chapelles voisines, 30 Six French Poets La pluie, La longue pluie, Pendant l'hiver, les assassine.
La pluie, La longue pluie, avec ses longs fils gris, Avec ses cheveux d'eau, avec ses rides, La longue pluie Des vieux pays, Eternelle et torpide! The long sweeping V s of the first stanza give the effect of the interminable lines of rain in an extraor- dinary manner, and the repetition of Even apart from the beauty and surprise of the rhymes, the movement of this poem, and its pictorial quality, make it one of Verhaeren's masterpieces.
I only wish I had space to give them all. Two other poems in this book I cannot pass by. They are pictures of village life, full of feeling and understanding, and rich in that pictorial sense which never deserts Verhaeren. The first one, Le Meunier, Entile Verhaeren 31 is made up of the beauty of terror — terror worked up, little by little, from the first line to the last. Verhaeren is no mere descriptive poet. Neither is he a surface realist.
His realism contains the psy- chologic as well as the physiologic. Spadeful by spadeful, the earth rattles down on the coffin, and with each spadeful the grave-diggers terror grows, with the silence of the night, and the gradual per- vading, haunting, of the personality of the dead miller, all about, till "the wind passes by as though it were someone," and the grave-digger throws down his spade and flees.
After that, " total silence comes. Le soleil chut sous les ombres suspectes. Au village la-bas, Personne au mort n'avait prete deux draps. Au village la-bas, Nul n'avait dit une pridre. Au village la-bas, Personne au mort n'avait sonne le glas. Au village la-bas, Aucun n'avait voulu clouer la biere. Le fossoyeur se sentit seul Devant ce defunt sans linceul Dont tous avaient garde la haine Et la crainte, dans les veines. II effrayait par le silence Dont il avait, sans bruit, Tisse son existence ; II effrayait encor Par les yeux d'or De son moulin tout a coup clairs, la nuit. L'universelle inquietude Peuplait de cris la solitude ; En voiles noirs et bruns, Le vent passait comme quelqu'un ; Tout le vague des horizons hostiles Se precisait en frolements febriles Jusqu'au moment ou, les yeux fous, Jetant sa beche n'importe ou, Avec les bras multiples de la nuit En menaces, derriere lui, Comme un larron, il s'encourut.
Very different is Les Meules Qui Brtilent. A splendid impressionist picture, with the burning hay-ricks starting up, one after the other, out of the blackness. Elle est immense — et comme un trousseau rouge Qu'on agite de sulfureux serpents, Les feux — ils sont passants sur les arpents Et les fermes et les hameaux, ou bouge, De vitre a vitre, un caillot rouge. Et le silence apres la peur — quand, tout a coup, la-bas Formidable, dans le soir las, Un feu nouveau remplit les fonds du crepuscule?
Tandis qu'au loin, obstinement silencieux, Des fous, avec de la stupeur aux yeux — regardent. Le vent chasse des cailloux d'or, Dans un dechirement de voiles. Le feu devient clameur hurlee en flamme Vers les echos, vers les la-bas, Sur l'autre bord, ou brusquement les au-dela Du fleuve s'eclairent comme un songe : Toute la plaine? One strange thing about Verhaeren is his true greatness. No matter how onomatopoeic he be- comes, no matter how much he alliterates, or what- ever other devices he makes use of, he never becomes 38 Six French Poets claptrap.
Every young poet knows how dangerous the methods I am speaking of are, with what terrible ease they give a poem a meretricious turn, and immediately a certain vaudevillian flavour has crept in. No matter what Verhaeren does, his work remains great, and full of what Matthew Arnold calls " high seriousness.
A great genius will disobey all rules and yet produce works of art, perforce. Verhaeren' s message has become so much a part of our modern temper that we hardly realize how new and original it was in poetry twenty years ago. Jules Romain in La Vie Unanime has gone Ver- haeren one better, but would he have been there at all if Verhaeren had not preceded him? Remy de Gourmont, over-subtilized French intellect that he is, thinks that Verhaeren hates the groaning towns, the lonely villages. Which only proves that even remarkable minds have their limitations. A brood- ing Northerner, Verhaeren sees the sorrow, the travail, the sordidness, going on all about him, and loves the world just the same, and wildly believes in a future in which it shall somehow grind itself back to beauty.
Les Villes Tentaculaires is full of this sordidness, a sordidness overlaid with grandeur, as iridescent colour plays over the skin of a dying fish. But it is also full of the constant, inevitable pushing on, the movement, one might call it, of change. Comme un torse de pierre et de metal debout, Avec, en son mystere immonde, Le cceur battant et haletant du monde, Le monument de Tor, dans les tenebres, bout. Autour de lui, les banques noires Dressent des lourds frontons que soutiennent, des bras ; Les Hercules d'airain dont les gros muscles las Semblent lever des coffres-forts vers la victoire.
Le carrefour, d'ou il erige sa bataille, Suce la fievre et le tumulte De chaque ardeur vers son aimant occulte ; Le carrefour et ses squares et ses murailles Et ses grappes de gaz sans nombre, Qui font bouger des paquets d 'ombre Et de lueurs, sur les trottoirs.
Tant de reves, tels des feux roux, Entremelent leur flamme et leurs remous, De haut en bas, du palais fou! Le gain coupable et monstrueux 40 Six French Poets S'y resserre, comme des noeuds, Et son desir se dissemine et se prop age Partant chauffer de seuil a seuil, Dans la ville, les contigus orgueils. Les comptoirs lourds grondent comme un orage, Les luxes gros se jalousent et ragent Et les faillites en tempetes, Soudainement, a coups brutaux, Battent et chavirent les tetes Des grands bourgeois monumentaux. L'apres-midi, a tel moment, La fievre encore augmente Et penetre le monument Et dans les murs fermente.
On croit la voir se raviver aux lampes Immobiles, comme des hampes, Et se couler, de rampe en rampe, Et s'ameuter et eclater Et crepiter, sur les paliers Et les marbres des escaliers. Une fureur reenflammee Au mirage d'un pale espoir, Monte parfois de Tentonnoir De bruit et de fumee, Ou Ton se bat, a coups de vols, en bas. Langues seches, regards aigus, gestes inverses, Et cervelles, qu'en tourbillons les millions traversent, Echangent la, leur peur et leur terreur. La hate y simule l'audace Emile Verhaeren 41 Et les audaces se depassent ; Des doigts grattent, sur des ardoises, L'affolement de leurs angoisses ; Cyniquement, tel escompte l'eclair Qui casse tin peuple au bout du monde ; Les chimeres sont volantes au clair ; Les chances fuient ou surabondent ; Marches conclus, marches rompus Luttent et s'entrebutent en disputes ; L'air brule — et les chiffres paradoxaux, En paquets pleins, en lourds trousseaux, Sont rejetes et cahotes et ballottes Et s'effarent en ces bagarres, Jusqu'a ce que leurs sommes lasses, Masses contre masses, Se cassent.
Tels jours, quand les debacles se decident, La mort les paraphe de suicides Et les chutes s'effritent en ruines Qui s'illuminent En obseques exaltatives. Mais, le soir meme, aux heures blemes, Les volontes, dans la fievre, revivent ; L'acharnement sournois Reprend, comme autrefois. On se trahit, on se sourit et Ton se mord Et Ton travaille a d'autres morts.
La haine ronfle, ainsi qu'une machine, Autour de ceux qu'elle assassine. On mele avec l'honneur l'escroquerie, Pour amorcer jusqu'aux patries Et ameuter vers Tor torride et infamant, L'universel affolement. Oh Tor! De l'or! Et, plus feroce encor que la rage de l'or, La foi au jeu mysterieux Et ses hasards hagards et tenebreux Et ses arbitraires vouloirs certains Qui restaurent le vieux destin ; Le jeu, axe terrible, ou tournera autour de l'aventure, Par seul plaisir d'anomalie, Par seul besoin de rut et de folie, La-bas, ou se croisent les lois d'efTroi Et les supremes desarrois, Eperdument, la passion future.
Emile Verhaeren 43 Comme un torse de pierre et de metal debout, Avec, en son mystere immonde, Le cceur battant et haletant du monde, Le monument de Tor dans les tenebres bout. The dramatic intensity of this poem equals that of Le Meunier. And this is Verhaeren' s third great gift : the dramatic. I have already spoken of his visualizing gift, of his power of reproducing sound in words ; the third side of his greatness is the sense of drama. In spite of the decoration in La Bourse, in spite of such lines, beautiful in themselves, as La-bas!
Verhaeren is not a didactic poet. He does not suggest a way out. He states, and hopes, and firmly believes ; that is all. And always remember, in thinking of Verhaeren's work in the light of his philosophy, that he is first of all an artist, a painter, and he must always take a painter's delight in pure painting.
For those people who prefer a more clear, more classic style of poetry, Verhaeren has no charm. His colours are bright and vague like flash-lights thrown on a fog. But his force is incontestable, and he hurls along upon it in a whirlwind of extraordinary poetry. Of Verhaeren's life from now on, there is little to say. He is a poet, and a poet's life is in creating poems. On his return to Belgium, he threw himself into active life and was immediately seduced by the Socialist doctrines then just being felt in Belgium.
He seconded M. Vandevelde and others in starting a democratic movement, and went so far as to be- come a member of the "Comite de la Maison du Peuple. Of course, I mean that was what he did before the war. That Verhaeren must have married sometime before is clear, because Les Heures Claires, published in that year, is the first of a series of love poems, of which Les Heures de V Apres-midi, published in , and Les Heures du Soir, published in 1, are the other volumes.
Verhaeren's love story has evidently been tran- quil and happy. The poems are very sweet and graceful, but it must be confessed not of extreme importance. They are all written in regular metre, which seems almost typical of their calm and un- original flow. Verhaeren does not belong to the r Entile Verhaeren 45 type of man to whom love is a divine adventure. He has regarded it as a beneficent haven in which to repair himself for new departures.
No biographer mentions who Madame Verhaeren was, or anything about her, except to pay her the tribute of under- standing and cherishing a great man. That she has been a helpmeet to him in every way these poems prove. We have reached the last stage of Verhaeren' s career. The stage of powers ripening, growing, solidifying. His part is taken ; he has learnt his peculiar medium, and formulated his ideas.
His final volumes, many though they are, merely show him writing still remarkable poems along the lines he has chosen. There is no diminution of his genius, and his fecundity is extraordinary. Four volumes of poems entitled Toute la Flandre, appeared at intervals from 1 90 1 to And there are one or two other small volumes. Remember, Verhaeren has written twenty- three volumes of poems, and to speak of them all in detail would require an entire volume. I only wish it were possible to give something from each of these books.
But I must content myself with one more quotation from his last book, Les Bles Mouvants. It will show that Verhaeren has 46 Six French Poets lost nothing of his great vigour, and that the rage for justice which made him a socialist still burns in him. Elle est a nous, elle est a nous, Depuis la porte aux longs verrous Jusqu'aux faites des cheminees. Emile Verhaeren 47 — Allez-vous-en, allez-vous-en, L'auberge entiere est aux passants. Allez-vous-en, allez-vous-en, Et sachez bien Que notre droit, c'est notre faim.
What Verhaeren has done for poetry is this. He has made it realize the modern world. He has shown the grandeur of everyday life, and made us understand that science and art are never at variance. He has shown that civic consciousness is not neces- sarily dry and sterile, but can be as romantic as an individual.
And he has done all this without once saying it directly, by force of the greatest and most complete art. Then we were engaged with a great poet. A man of large and exuberant nature, whose work was remarkable for its originality, force, dramatic power, and fecundity. Now we are going to con- sider a minor poet of delicate and graceful talent, whose entire poetical output is contained in three volumes.
It is chamber-music, as tenuous and plaintive as that played by old eighteenth century orchestras, with their viole da gamba and haut- bois d 'amour. Albert Samain would seem to lack his century, were it not that one cannot help feeling that in no century would the shy, solitary, diffident man have been at home. Centuries are strangely alike for those living them, they only change their values when their outlines are blurred by distance. The qualities which make a man great are the same in all ages.
Samain would have been a minor poet in the ninth century as he was in the nineteenth. In the biography of the poet by Leon Bocquet, there is a preface by Francis Jammes. He says : " Albert 51 52 Six French Poets Samain's forehead wrinkled like my mother's — from the bottom up. His arm had the elegant ges- ture of a stork which moves its foot backward. His face and body were slender. At times his blue eyes, behind his glasses, became heavenly, that is to say they looked up and whitened. Albert Samain was a swan.
I am hardly expressing myself figuratively here. He had the harmonious stiffness and the gaze of a swan. Not the sharp, furious, wounded gaze of the bird of prey, but the impassive gaze of the sacred bird which flies, in high relief, on the frieze of some temple, the gaze which only re- flects the appearance of things floating away beneath it in the water of the stream. He had the cold and sad attitude of the swan too. Swan, the friend of shade. I see him, sailing, spread out, over the lake in Le Jar din de V Infante.
He does not listen to the whispers of this splendour which he himself has created, nor to the rising sea of his fame. He only listens to the bells of a church which ring in the distance — I do not know where, in a country which is not mine, in a country where the things are which one does not see. He only hears the chimes of this Flemish church, of this church in which an old woman is praying. But the whole description, fanciful though it is, gives a Albert Samain 53 better picture of the man than pages of biography and straightforward analysis could do.
Chronique de l'année - Persée
Samain is said to have looked like a Spaniard, and certainly his photographs might be those of some Spanish grandee ; there is the haughty, spare figure of the Spaniard, and the sad, proud face of slender lines. We must not forget that Flanders was for some time owned by Spain, and that Lille only became a part of France in , when Louis XIV besieged it and forced it to surrender. His family were Flemish, and from time im- memorial had lived in the town or its suburbs, so that Samain's Spanish appearance was probably no mere accident, but the result of a remote heredity.
His family belonged to the large class of the minor bourgeoisie. At the time of his birth, his father, Jean-Baptiste Samain, and his mother, Elisa-Hen- riette Mouquet, conducted a business in " wines and spirits" at 75 rue de Paris. Some distant ancestral strain seems to have had more effect upon Samain than his immediate surroundings ; certainly, the ancestor who gave him his figure and colouring seems to have given him his character also, for no trace of the influences which usually mould the small shop- keeper's son to fit his father's routine are visible in him.
This is the more surprising, as all the ease and 54 Six French Poets assurance which he might have derived from his father's owning his own business were promptly swept away by the death of his father when he was fourteen. At this time, Samain was in the third class in the Lycee at Lille. His father's death found him the eldest of three children, with a widowed mother whom he must help to support the family.
Noblesse oblige, whether another trait of his Spanish ancestor or merely derived from the fine thriftiness of the French bourgeoisie, was always strong in Samain. He left school and entered the office of a banker, where he seems to have held the position of errand-boy. From there he went into the business of sugar-broking, in what capacity is not stated, but it would seem to have been at the bottom of the ladder, as was natural at his age. That the work was very hard is evident, for Samain says : "I was very miserable there for many years, working from half-past eight in the morning until eight at night, and on Sundays until two.
In spite of his twelve hours of work there were off times — the twelve other hours, only some of which could be spent in sleep ; and the Sunday afternoons. A provincial town offers very little in the way of amusement to an intelligent young man. Samain was hardly the sort of fellow to enjoy cock-fights, or find pleasure in lounging in Albert Samain 55 cafes ogling the passers-by.
There was the Museum, but museums do not last forever as an inspiring relaxation, and for a young fellow of eighteen or thereabouts wandering round a museum is usually a lonely joy. The boys with whom he had gone to school had passed on to the University; and besides, what could they have to do with an under- clerk in a business house!
Samain was too proud to push against cold shoulders. He simply with- drew more and more into himself, and laid the foundation for that sadness from which he could never afterwards entirely free himself. If circumstances separated him from his old schoolfellows, his tastes and also his taste re- moved him from his fellow clerks. A single friend he made, however — a M.
Victor Lemoigne. This man not only was his friend, he believed in him, a precious necessity to a young writer. For Samain at last confided to him that he wrote verses. It must have been the greatest comfort to tell some- body, for Samain had been writing in silence and solitude for some time. But he had not only been writing, he had been training himself for a writer, and in that best of all methods, studying foreign tongues.
If there were no amusements in Lille, there was at least a library. And in the absence of any other distractions Samain spent long hours there. Per- haps it was lucky that nothing else exerted a strong 56 Six French Poets enough pull to make his going there in the least difficult.
He studied, and endeavoured to complete his arrested education. Of course, he read rather vaguely, as people do without a teacher, but he succeeded in perfecting himself in Greek and Eng- lish so that he could read them both fluently. He delighted in English, and afterwards liked to give his poems English titles, and put English words into the middle of them. Edgar Allan Poe was one of his greatest admirations and inspirations. Years after he wrote: "I have been reading Poe this week.
Decidedly, he must be classed among the greatest. The power of his conceptions, the mag- nificence of his hypotheses, the marvellous force of his imagination, always contained and held in check by an extraordinary will, make him an almost unique figure in art. If the word perfection can ever be used, it is in such a case. He liked the poems which Samain showed him, and at once de- cided that the young man was sure of a glorious future. There is no doubt that these over-confident and admiring friends do a young writer as much good as harm.
Adverse or carping criticism often dis- courages to the point of sterilization, while even ill-judged praise gives confidence and the strength to go on. In a man of Samain's diffident tempera- Albert S amain 57 ment, such full-blooded encouragement must have been of the greatest value. But, as the desire to learn, to talk, to mix in an intellectual life, grew upon him, more and more did Samain find the life of a little clerk in the provinces insupportable.
It is truer of France than of any other country that its capital is the centre of its entire intellectual life. Samain had paid a flying visit to Paris in , to see the Exposition. Even more than at ordinary times, the Paris of an Exposition year dazzles, and snaps, and glows. After his return to the wearisome dulness of Lille, Samain thought of it as the Mecca of all his dreams. It lured like the Pot of Gold at the end of the Rainbow.
As luck would have it, in July, , his firm decided to send him to its Paris house. He was to be only a transient addition, but he intended to stay if he could, and on express- ing this wish to his superiors it was acceded to, and his salary raised to francs a year.
It might seem now as though things were at last coming Samain's way. Here he was, transplanted to Paris, and with the exciting possibility of having some famous literary celebrity living just round the corner. But in cities like Paris, " round the corner" might just as well be across the Channel.
Albert Samain was living in Paris, which, as a thought, must have given him considerable satisfaction ; but the satisfaction began and ended in the realms of the idea. Now, he was at his office from nine in the morning until after midnight. Only once or twice a week did he even have some hours of freedom in the evening. And then there was no energy left to do any good work. So Samain lived in Paris more solitarily than he had done in Lille, for there was no M. Lemoigne there. And he could not work so well because he had less time. They were not cheerful letters which he sent back to M.
They were bitter, discouraged letters. He must change his business, there was no other way ; but to what? The faithful Lemoigne was instant in suggestion. His friend must try journalism ; and, succeeding in that, have leisure for greater literary effort. It must have been a constant strain for Lemoigne to push his friend along, and his patience and effort were remarkable. Samain always held back, and was discouraged before he began.
But Lemoigne firmly insisted. Poor Samain hastily wrote a paper on Offenbach and took it to the Figaro. It was not liked. Then he wrote to the editors of Gil Bias, and the Beaumarchais. His letters were not an- swered. So that seemed to be an end to journalism in Paris. Samain was willing to give it up. Lemoigne was not. If Paris would not see his friend's genius, Lille should. Really Lemoigne's unswerving faith Albert Samain 59 is very beautiful, and it is a satisfaction to realize how abundantly it was justified. There was at this time in Lille a weekly called Le Bonhomme Flamand.
It amounted to very little, as, of course, Lemoigne knew, but Samain must be printed.