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wandering ...with truong ngoc hanh / the masters...

The Masterpieces ( of ).../ The Masterpieces , excerpts ( about..).

The Masters
The Masterpieces ( of )/ The masterpieces, excerpts ( about ) ...

 
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Kawailoa

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la langue francaise que je sais...
       Je m' eveille des les premieres lueurs du soleil perforant la vitre de ma chambre. Je dois ecrire quelques choses pour contempler le gouvernement et le peuple francais. Le peuple a la Generosite  de supporter mon pays, le Vietnam. Le montant est superieur que l' aide des autres pays en Europe.... au environ plus de 300 millions dollars. Le Vietnam etait colonie de la France. L' aide n' est pas grande a ce moment du Vietnam, mais l' action est respectable. Je dois ecrire quelques choses  J' ai deja pense pour certain temps dans le passe, mais, j' ai oublie...
        Le Francais est fier pour sa langue! C' est vrai, je veux montrer cette fierte pour la noblesse de ce peuple...                    
                                                                                anonyme, Noel 2009
 
        Malgre la petite etendue du pays  de France, la langue francaise est devenu la langue universelle par excellence. Tout le monde sait que c' est la langue des diplomates, des savants et de la bonne societe du monde entier; par consequent, il est interessant d' examiner un peu les raisons de sa popularite.
        L' explication n' est pas difficile a trouver; son rang eleve parmi les autres languages est du a sa facilite, a sa clarte, et a la simplicite de sa construction. Mais d' ou viennent ses qualites? Il faudrait d' abord remonter a ses origines pour en trouver les raisons.
       Quand Jules Cesar conquit la Gaule, les Gaulois  parlaient une language celtique. Les soldats et les marchants romains parlaient une langue latine. Le latin avait ete perfectionne par une longue serie d' auteurs celebres, eux - memes fortement influences par le grec, la grande language litteraire de l' antiquite.
       On s' etonne de voir avec quelle rapidite les Gaulois abandonnaient completement leur language maternelle pour accepter le latin, parle par les consequents romains.
       Nous voyons donc qu' au commencement la langue francaise etait le latin populaire transforme et modifie par la bouche des Gaulois  dont la tendance generale etait de garder les syllabes qui frappaient leurs oreilles, c' est-a-dire les syllabes toniques, et les laisser tomber celles qu' ils entendaient le moins, c' est-a-dire les syllabes atones. Naturellement, chaque region de la  Gaule transforma le latin a sa maniere; de la, une serie de dialectes tout a fait  differentes les uns des autres. Pourtant, on peut distinguer nettement deux groupes de dialectes: d' un cote, les dialectes de la langue d' oil ( de hoc ille ) ainsi nommes parce que les dialectes de ce groupe se servaient du mot " oil " pour dire " oui ", c' est dans le Nord  de la France que se parlaient ces dialectes. De l' autre cote,  il y avait les dialectes de la langue d' oc, ainsi nommes parce que ceux-ci se servaient du mot " oc" ( de hoc ) pour dire  " oui "; ces dialectes se parlaient dans le Midi de la France. Il resulta de cette situation que les Francais du Nord eurent bientot  une peine infinie a se faire comprendre des Francais de  Midi ou d' une autre region eloignee.
       Comme nous le verrons en lisant le precis de l' histoire de la France ( nous verrons dans " Oiseaui Amnesique "  dans quelques prochains jours ); Paris, grace a sa superiorite politique, sociale, intellectuelle  et commerciale, devint la partie de la France la plus importante. En consequence, les Francais des autres regions prirent l' habitude de se servir du dialecte de la capital dans leurs regions mutuelles, ce qui fit que le dialecte parisien devint la langue du pays entier. C' est ainsi que les Francais des differentes regions parlaient le dialecte de paris, le Francais,.. a cote de leurs dialecte particulier local; cet etat de choses curieux existe encore de nos jours, surtout en Bretagne, ou beaucoup de petits Bretons  sont obliges d' apprendre le francais a l' ecole comme s' ils apprenaient une langue etrangere.
        Au  Moyen Age, la langue se simplifia au point qu' elle ne garda que deux cas, le nominatif et l' accusatif. A l' epoque de la Renaissance, le Francais s' etait reduit a un seul cas.
        Jusqu' a ce moment - la, le latin etait la langue litteraire et celle des savants; le francais etait considere comme une langue vulgaire, incapable d' exprimer des idees scientifiques ou litteraires. Mais un grand nombre d' ecrivains se poserent en chevaliers de cette langue francaise et travaillerent se bien a son developpement qu' a la fin du siezieme siecle, elle fut acceptee a l' egale du latin, dont ces auteurs se servirent comme modele pour le perfectionnement du francais.
       A paritr de cette epoque, on trouve une longue suite d' ecoles litteraires, composees des plus grands genies, qui, avec l' aide de l' Academie Francaise, fondee par Richelieu en 1634, s' attacherent a polir, perfectionner et simplifier la langue francaise se bien qu' elle est aujourd' hui  l' instrument le plus parfait, le plus simple et le plus elegant qui soit au monde, pour l' expression de la Pensee.
 
                                                              anonyme
 
Lily pads

the masterpieces ..( of )..
 
victor hugo...(1802-1885 )
       Victor Hugo, a multi talented Man, besides his skill in poetry with well known masters: Les Feuilles d'Autome, 1831; Les Chatiments, 1853; Les Cotemplations,1856; la Legende des Sciecles, 1859-1883; L'art d'etre Grand-pere,1877; Notre Dame de Paris,novel, 1831; Les Miserable, novel,1862; Quatre-vingt-treize,novel, 1874; Hernani, drame,1830; Ruy-Blas, drame,1838.
      He was the spiritual sovereign of the XIX century with hsi others skills as historian, philosopher, patriot, poet, dramatist...His spiritual service has been in its inmost essence, in its highest development, the service of a healer and a conforterthe work of the redeemer and a prophet. Above all other apostles who have brought us each the glad tidings of his peculiar gaspel, the free gifts of his special inspiration, has this one deserved to be called by most beautiful and tender of all human tittles- the son of consolation. His burning wrath and scorn unquenchable were fed with light and heat from the inexhaustible dayspring of his love- a fountain of everlasting and unconsuming fire. We know of no such great poet, of no such good man so great in genius: not though  Milton and Shelley, our greatest lyric singer and our single epic poet,remain with us for signs and examples of devotion as heroic and self sacrifice as pure. And therefore it is but simply reasonable that not those alone should mourn for him who have been reared and nurtured on the fruits of his creative spirit: that those also whom he wrought and fought for, but who know him only as their champion and then friend- they that cannot read him, but remember how he labored in their cause, that their children might fare otherwise than they- should bear no unequal part in the burden of this infinite and worldwide sorrow...
                                                                     anonymous 
 
 
                                                                            extase
                                                    ( Et j'entends une grande voix. Apocalyse ).
 
 
                                               J' etais seul pres de flots, par une nuit d'etoiles.
                                               Pas un nuage aux cieux, sur les mers pas de voiles,
                                               Mes yeux plongeaient plus loin que le monde reel.
                                               Et les bois, et les monts, et toute la nature,
                                               Semblaient interroger, dans un confus mormure
                                                Les flots des mers, les feux du ciel.
 
                                               Et les etoiles d'or, legions infinies,
                                               A voix haute, a voix basse, avec mille harmonies,
                                               Disaient, en inclinant leurs couronnes de feu;
                                               Et les flots bleus, que rien ne gouverne et n'arrete,
                                               Disaient, en recourbant l'ecume de leur crete:
 
                                                       - C' est le Seigneur, le Seigneur Dieu!
 
                                                                                       victor hugo
 
 
 

Decorative iron gate

 
                                                                 la bataille de waterloo
 
        C' etait un grand poeme..meme l' auteur n' avait pas de meme opinion politique avec Napoleon Bonaparte. Victor Hugo presentait merveilleusement la scene de la Bataille de Waterloo... avec la peine supreme de Napoleon.
        Waterloo etait la ville au Sud de Bruxelle, Belgique, qui etait en temoignage d' une bataille sanglante que le regime de Napoleon a efface... Dans les trois jours avec grande bataille, 15-18 Juin 1815. L'armee de Napoleon est detruite par la combinaison de force d'Angleterre,  d'Allemagne et de la force  Dutch-Belgique, sous le controle du Duke de Wellington.
       La bataille a pour but de Napoleon de saisir le gouvernement francais pour la deuxieme fois, et enfin de conquerir l'Europe. Le 1 Mars, 1815, il revenait d l'Ile Elba, ou il etait en exile par la force d' Alliance, qui l'a battu pour la premiere fois de lson Empire. Dans les 100 jours consecutifs, il tachait de revitaliser sa force, mais il devait rendre la force d' Alliance par absence de support a son pays.
        Au environ du milieu de Juin, sa force a prepare pour la bataille a Belgique, Il semblait que sa force pouvait conquerir la force d' Alliance..par la pire guidance de la force d' Alliance. Quand la bataille etait a peu pres finie du 18 Juin 1815, une grande armee de Prusse assimilait avec la force d' Alliance  de Willington (deja fatiguee !...). Napoleon a battu, il quittait l'armee pour revenir a Paris, et abandonnait le trone. Le 15, Juin, il rendait la force d'Angleterre, qui l'a transporte vers l' Ile Saint Helene. Il est mort en 1821 a cette place. 
 
                                                                                      anonyme
 
 
                             Le soir tombait; la lutte etait ardente et noire,
                             Il avait l'offensive et presque la victoire;
                             Il tenait Willington accule sur un bois.
                             Sa lunette a la main, il observait parfois
                             Le centre du combat, point obscur ou tressaille
                             La melee, effroyable et vivante broussaille,
                             Et parfois l'horizon, sombre comme la mer.
                             Soudain, joyeux, il dit : Grouchy! - C' etait Blucher,
                             L' espoir changea de camp, le combat changea d'ame,
                             La mele en hurlant grandit comme une flamme.
                             La batterie anglaise ecrasa nos carres.
                             La plaine, ou frissonnaient les drapeaux dechires,
                             Ne fut plus, dans les cris des mourants qu' on egorge,
                             Qu' un gouffre flamboyant, rouge comme des pans de murs
                             Tombaient, ou se couchaient comme des epis murs
                             Les hauts tambours - majors aux panaches enormes,
                             Ou l' on entrevoyait des blessures difformes!
                             Carnage affreux! moment fatal! L' homme inquiet
                             Sentit que la bataille entre ses mains pliait.
                             Derriere un mamelon la garde etait massee,
                             La garde, espoir supreme et supreme pensee!
                             "  Allons! faites donner la garde!" cria - t - il.
                             Et, lanciers, grenadiers aux guetres de coutil,
                             Dragons que Rome eut pris pour des legionaires,
                             Cuirassiers. canonniers qui trainaient des tonnerres,
                             Portant le noir colback ou le casque poli,
                             Tous, ceux de Friedland et ceux de Rivoli,
                             Comprenant qu' ils allaient mourir dans cette fete,
                             Saluerent leur dieu, debout dans la tempete.
                             Leur bouche, d' un seul cri, dit: vive l' empereur!
                             Puis, a pas lents, musique en tete, sans fureur,
                             Tranquille, souriant a la mitraille anglaise,
                             La garde imperiale entra dans la fournaise.
                             Helas! Napoleon sur sa garde penche,
                             Regardait, et, sitot qu 'ils avaient debouche
                             Sous les sombres sanons crachant des jets de soufre,
                             Voyait, l' un apres de l' autre, en cet horrible gouffre,
                             Fondre ces regiments de granit et d' acier
                             Comme fond une cire au souffle d' un brasier.
                             Ils allaient, l' arme au bras, front haut, graves, stoiques.
                             Pas un ne recula. Dormez, morts heroiques!
                             Le reste de l' armee hesitait sur leurs corps
                             Et regardait mourir la garde.- C 'est alors
                             Qu' elevant tout a coup sa voix desesperee,
                             La Deroute, geante a la face effaree,
                             Qui, pale, epouvantant les plus fiers bataillons,
                             Changeant subitement les drapeaux en haillons,
                             A de certains moments, spectre fait de fumees,
                             Se leve grandissante au milieu des armees,
                             La Deroute apparut au soldat qui s' emeut,
                             Et, se tordant les bras, cria: Sauve qui peut!
                             Sauve qui peut! - affront! horreur! - toutes les bouches
                             Criaient; a travers champs, fous, eperdus, farouches,
                             Comme si quelque souffle avait passe sur eux,
                             Parmi les lourds caissons et les fourgons poudreux,
                             Roulant dans les fosses, se cachant dans les seigles,
                             Jetant shakos, manteaux, fusils, jetantles aigles,
                             Sous les sabres prussiens, ces veterans, o deuil!
                             Tremblaient, hurlaient, pleuraient, couraient! - En un clin d'oeil,
                             Comme s' envole au vent une paille enflammee,
                             S' evanouit ce bruit qui fut la grande armee,
                             Et cette plaine, helas, ou l' on reve aujourd' hui,
                             Vit fuir ceux devant qui l' univers avait fui!
                             Quarante ans sont passes, et ce coin de la terre,
                             Waterloo, ce plateau funebre et solitaire,
                             Ce champ sinistre ou Dieu mela tant de neants,
                             Tremble encor d' avoir vu la fuite des geants!
                                                                                            victor hugo
 
                             the battle of Waterloo
 
                            Night was falling; the fight was hot and black,
                            He had the initiative, and almost the victory;  
                            He had Willington backed up against a wood.
                            His field-glass in his hand, he observed sometimes
                            The center of the battle, obscure spot where shudders
                            The melee, appalling and living underbrush,
                            And at times the horizon, dark like the sea.
                            Suddenly, in joy, he said:" Grouchy!" - It was Blucher.
                            Hope changed sides, the battle changed character,
                            The melee, screaming, rose up like a flame. 
                            The English artillery flattered our squares.
                            The plain, where fluttered the tattered banners,
                            Was no longer, in the cries of the dying who were being butchered,
                           ( Anything other ) than a flaming abyss, red like a forge;
                            An abyss where regiments, like sections of wall,
                            Were falling; where were lying like ripe ears of corn
                            The tall drum - majors with their enormous plumes,
                            Where one glimpsed misshapen wounds ! 
                            Hideous carnage! fatal moment! The anxious man
                            Felt that the battle was unfolding in his hands,
                            Behind a hillock the guard was massed.
                            The guard, hope supreme and supreme ideal!
                           "Let's  go! Send in the guard!" he cried.
                            And, lancers, grenadiers with gaiters of twill,
                            Dragoons whom Rome would have taken for legionnaires,
                            Cuirassiers, cannoneers, who dragged their thunders,
                            Wearing black busby or polished helmet,
                            All, (veterans) of  Friedland, (veterans) of Rivoli
                            Understanding that they were going to die at this feast,
                            (All) saluted their God, erect in the storm.
                            Their mouth, in one single shout, said: ( Long) live the  Emperor!
                            Then, with slow steps,music at head, without excitement.
                            Tranquil. smiling at the English fire,
                            The Imperial Guard entered the furnace.
                            Alas! Napoleon, leaning on his Guard,
                            Watched, and, as soon as they had come out
                            Under the somber cannon spitting bursts of brimstone,
                            Saw, one after the other, in this gruesome abyss,
                            Melt these regiments of granite and steel
                            As melts a (piece of) wax in the breath of the brazier.
                            They went, weapon in hand, head high, grave, impassive.
                            Not one flinched, Sleep, brave dead!
                            The rest of the army wavered at (thesight of) their corpses
                            And watched the guard die - It was then
                            That, raising all at once her despairing voice,
                            Rout, a giantess with frightened face,
                            Who, pale, terrifying the proudest bataillons,
                            Transforming all at once the banners to rags,
                            At certain moments, a specter made of smoke
                            Looms large in the midst of the armies,
                            Rout appeared to the soldier, who took fright
                            And, wringing his hands, cried: Save (himself) who can!
                            Escape who can! - Shame! Horror! - All mouths
                            Cried out; Cross - country,mad, distracted, savage,
                            As if some breath had passed over them,
                            Among the heavy powder - chests and the dusty wagon,
                            Rolling in the ditches, hiding among the rye,
                            Dropped shakos, overcoasts, muskets, dropping the eagle (standards),
                            Beneath the Prussian sabers, these veterans, O sorrow!
                            They trembled, they shouted, they wept, they ran! In the twinkling of an eye,
                            As takes flight in the wind a straw afire,
                            Vanished this din that had been the Grand Army,
                            And this plain, alas, where one dreams today,
                            Saw flee those before whom the world had fled!
                            Forty years have passed, and this corner of the earth,
                            Waterloo, this plateau dismal and lonely,
                            This sinister field where God mingled so many nothings,
                            Still trembles at having witnessed the flight of the giants!
 
                                                                victor hugo
                                                         translated by.. anonymous..
                                                                                       

                     Victor Hugo ecrivait plusieurs oeuvres caracteristiques...
                              
                                      Poesie:
                                        Les Feuilles d' Automne,1831
                                        Les Chatiments, 1853
                                        Les Contemplations, 1856
                                        La Legende des Siecles, 1859 - 1883
                                        L'  Art  d' etre  grand-pere,1877
 
                                      Nouvelles:
                                        Notre - Dames de Paris, 1831
                                        Les Miserables, 1862
                                        Quatre-vingt-treize, 1874
 
                                      Drame :
                                        Hernani, 1830
                                        Ruy-Blas, 1838
                                          
                              
                       
                         

Birch bark

alfred de musset  ( 1810- 1857) ...
        Musset was beyond question one of the first poets of our days. If the poetic force is mesured by the quality of the inspiration- by its purity, intensity and closely personal savour- Alfred de Musset's place is surely very high. He was, so to speak, a thoroughly personal poet. He was not the poet of nature, of the universe, of reflection, of morality, of history; he was the poet simply of certain order of personal emotions, and his charm is in the frankness and freedom, the grace and harmony, with which he expresses these emotions. The affairs of the heart- these were his province; in no other verses has the heart spoken more characteristically...
        He had passion. There is in most poetry a great deal of reflection, of wisdom, of grace, of art, of genius; but there is little of this peculiar property of Musset's When it occurs we feel ot to be extremely valuable; it touches us beyond anything else...
       He verse is not chiselled and pondered, and in spite of an ineffable natural grace it lacks the positive qualities of cunning workmanship... To our own sense Museet's exquisite feeling makes up for one-half the absence of finish, and ineffable grace we spoke of just now makes up for the other half. His sweetness of passion, of which the poets who have succeeded him have so little, is a more precious property than their superior science. His grace is often something divine; it is in his grace that we must look for his style...
 
                                                                      anonymous 
 
 
      Alfred  Musset  ecrivait des belles oeuvres..
 
                                 Poesie:
                                       Premieres poesies, 1829 - 1835
                                       Les Nuits, 1835 - 1837
                                       Poesies Nouvelles, 1836 - 1852
 
                                 Roman fictif :
                                       La Confession d' un enfant du siecle, 1836
                                       Contes et Nouvelles,  1838 - 1853
            
                                 Drame:
                                       Fantasio, 1833
                                       On ne badine pas avec l' amour, 1834
                                       Il ne faut juger de rien, 1836
 
 
                                                            sur une morte
 
                                                            Elle etait belle si la Nuit
                                                            Qui dort dans la sombre chapelle
                                                            Ou Michel-Ange a fait son lit
                                                            Immobile peut etre belle.
 
                                                            Elle etait bonne, s'il suffit
                                                            Qu'en passant la main s'ouvre et donne,
                                                            Sans que Dieu n'ait rien vu, rien dit:
                                                            Si l'or sans pitie fait l'aumone,
 
                                                            Elle pensait, si le vain bruit
                                                            D'une voix douce et cadencee,
                                                            Comme le ruisseau qui gemit,
                                                            Peut faire croire a la pensee,
 
                                                            Elle priait, si deux beaux yeux,
                                                            Tantot s'attachant a la terre,
                                                            Tantot se levant vers les cieux,
                                                            Peuvent s'appeler la priere.
 
                                                            Elle aurait souri, si la fleur
                                                            Qui ne s'est point epanouie
                                                            Pouvait s'ouvrir a la fraicheur
                                                            Du vent qui passe et qui l'oublie.
 
                                                            Elle aurait pleure, si sa main,
                                                            Sur son coeur froidement posee,
                                                            Eut jamais dans l'agile humain
                                                            Senti la celeste rosee.
 
                                                            Elle aurait aime, si l'orgueil,
                                                            Pareil a la lampe inutile
                                                            Qu'on allume pres d'un cercueil,
                                                            N'eut veille sur son coeur sterile.
 
                                                            Elle est morte et n'a point vecu.
                                                            Elle faisait semblant de vivre.
                                                            De ses mains et tombe le livre
                                                            Dans lequel elle n'a rien lu.
                                                                                  
                                                                                     alfred de musset
                                                                                       

Stone 1

 
jean - jacques rousseau (1712-1778)...
      Jean Jacque Rousseau was a multitalented author. He wrote many fiends during his lifetime. For example: Philosophical: Discours sur l'origine et les fondaments de l'integrite parmi les hommes, 1754; Le Contrat social,1762; Emile,1762; Novel: Julie ou la Nouvelle Heloise, 1761; Autobiography : Les Confessions, written between 1764 and 1770.
      Rousseau was the first... to believe - half unconsciously, perhaps, and yet with a profound conviction - that the individual thing in the world.
     This belief, no doubt, would have arisen in Europe, in some way or other, if Rousseau had never lived; but it was he who clothed it with the splendour of genius; and by the passion of his utterance, sowed it far and wide in the hearts of men. In two directions his influence was enormous. His glowing conception of individual dignity and individual rights as adhering, not to a privileged few, but to the whole mass of humanity, seized upon the imagination of France, supplied a new and potent stimulus to the movement toward political change, and produced a deep effect upon the develo-ment of the Revolution. But it is in literature, and those emotions of real life which find their natural outlet in literature, that the influence of Rousseau's spirit may be most clearly seen.. A man's feelings are his very self, and it is around them that all that is noblest and profoundest in our literature seems naturally to centre. A great novelist is one who can penetrate and describe the feelings of others; a great poet is one who can invest his own with beauty and proclaim them to the world. We have come to set a value upon introspection which was quite unknown in the eighteenth century - unknown, that is, until Rousseau, in the most valuable and characteristic of his works, his Confessions, started the vast current in literature and in sentiment which is still flowing to-day..
                                                                         anonymous  
 
 
                                                             souvenirs de jeunesse 
                                                               Extrait  des   "Confessions"
 
                   Je sentis avant de penser: c'est le sort commun de l'humanite. Je l'eprouvai plus qu'un autre. J'ignore ce que je fis jauqu'a cinq ou six ans; je ne sais comment j'appris a lire; je ne me souviens que mes premieres lectures et de leur effet sur moi: c'est le temps d'ou je date sans interruption la conscience de moi-meme. Ma mere avait laisse des romans. Nous nous mimes a les lire apres souper, mon pere et moi. Il n'etait question d'abord que de m'exercer a la lecture par les livres amusants; mais bientot l'interet devint si vif, que nous lisions tout a tout sans relache, et passions les nuits a cette occupation. Nous ne pouvions jamais quitter qu'a la fin du volume. Quelquefois mon pere, entendant le matin les hirondelles, disait tout honteux: Allons nous coucher; je suis plus enfant que toi.
 
                    En peu de temps j'acquis, par cette dangereuse methode, non seulement une extreme facilite a lire et a m'entendre, mais une intelligence unique a mon age sur les passions. Je n'avais aucune idee des choses, que tous les sentiments m'etaient deja connus. Je n'avais rien concu, j'avais tout senti. Ces emotions confuses, que j'eprouvais coup sur coup.'alteraient point la raison que je n'avais pas encore; mais elles m'en formerent une d'une autre trempe, et me donnerent de la vie humaine des notions bizarres et romantiques, dont l'experience et la reflexion n'ont jamais bien pu me guerir.
 
                   Les romans finirent avec l'ete 1719. L'hiver suivant, ce fut autre chose. La bibliotheque de ma mere epuisee, on eut recours a la portion de celle de son pere qui nous etait echue. Heureusement, il s'y trouva de bons livres, et cela ne prouvait guere etre autrement;cette bibliotheque ayant ete formee par un ministre, a la verite, etsavant meme, car c'etait la mode alors, mais homme de gout et d'esprit. L'Histoire de l'Eglise et de l'Empire, par Le Sueur, Le Discours de Bossuet, sur l'Histoire universelle, les Hommes illustres, de Plutarque; L'Historie de Venise,par Nani, les Metamorphses d'Ovide, La Bruyere, Les Mondes de Fontenelle, ses Dialogue des morts, et quelques tomes de Moliere, furent transportes dans le cabinet de mon pere, et je les lui lisais tous les jours, durant son travail. J'y pris un gout rare et peut-etre unique a cet age. Plutarque surtout devint ma lecture favorite. Le plaisir que je prenais a le relire sans cesse me guerit un peu des romans. De ces interessantes lectures, des entretiens qu'elles occasionnaient entre mon pere et moi, se forma cet esprit libre et republicain, ce caractere indomptable et fier, impatient et joug et de servitude, qui m'a tourmente qout le temps de ma vie dans les situations les moins propres a lui donner l
essor. Sans cesse occupe de Rome et d'Athenes, vivant pour ainsi dire avec leurs grands hommes, ne moi-meme citoyen d'une republique, et fils d'un pere dont l'amour de la patrie etait la pluys forte passion, je m'en enflammais a son exemple, je me croyais Grec ou Romain; je devenais le personnage dont je lisais la vie: le recit des traits de constance et d'intrepidite qui m'avaient frappe me rendait les yeux etincelants et la voix forte. Un jour que je racontais a table l'aventure de Scaevola, on fut effraye de me voir avancer et tenir la main sur un rechaud pour representer son action.
 
                   J'avais les defauts de mon age; j'etais babillard, gourmand, quelquefois menteur. J'aurais vole des fruits, des bonbons, de la mangeaille; mais jamais je n'ai pris plaisir a faire du mal, du degat, a charger les autres, a tourmenter de pauvres animaux.
 
                    Comment serais-je devenu mechant, quand je n'avais sous les yeux que des exemples de douceur, et autour de moi que les meilleures gens du monde? Mon pere, ma tante, ma mie, mes parents, nos amis, nos voisins, tout ce quim'environnait ne m'obeissait pas de la verite, mais m'aimait, et moi je les aimais de meme. Mes volontes etaient si peu excitees et si peu contrariees, qu'il ne me venait pas dans l'esprit d'en avoir. Je puis juger que jusqu'a mon asservissement sous un maitre, je n'ai pas su ce que c'etait qu'une is fantaisie. Hors le temps que je passais a lire ou ecrire aupres de mon pere, et celui ou ma vie me menait promener, j'etais toujours avec ma tante, a la voir border, a l'entendre chanter, assis ou debout a cote d'elle, et j'etais content. Son enjouement, sa douceur, sa figure agreable, m'ont laisse de si fortes impressions, que je voisencore son air, son regard, son attitude: je me souviens de ses petits propos caressants; je dirais comment elle etait vetue et coiffee, sans oublier les deux crochets que ses cheveux noirs faisaient sur ses tempes, selon la mode de ce temps-la.
 
                  Je suis persuade que je lui dois le gout ou plutot la passion pour la musique, qui ne s'est bien developpee en moi que longtemps apres. Elle savait une quantite prodigieuse d'airs et de chansons qu'ell chantait avec un filet de voix fort douce. La senerite d'ame de cette excellente fille eloignait d'elle et de tout ce qui l'environnait, la reverie de tristesse. L'attrait que son chant avait pour moi fut tel que non seulement plusieurs de ses chansons me sonttoujours restees dans la memoire, mais qu'il m'en revient meme, aujourd'hui que je l'ai perdue, qui, totalement oubliees depuis mon enfance, se retracent a mesure que je vieillis, avec un charme que je ne puis exprimer. Dirait-on que moi, vieux radoteur, ronge de soucis et de peines, je me surprends quelquefois a pleurer comme un enfant en marmottant ces petits airs d'une voix deja cassee et tremblante? Il y en un surtout qui m'est bien revenu tout entier quant a l'air; mais la seconde moiti des paroles s'est constamment refusee a tous mes efforts pour me rappeler, quoiqu'il m'en revienne confusement the rimes. Voice le commencement et ce que j'ai pu me rappeler du rest:
                                                                  Tircis, je n'ose
                                                           Ecouter ton chalumeau
                                                                  Sous l'ormeau.
                                                          Car on en cause
                                                                  Deja dans notre hameau.
                                                          .........................................
                                                          .......................  un berger
                                                          .....................   s'engager,
                                                          .......................sans danger,
                                                          Et toujours l'epine est sous la rose.
 
                  Je cherche ou est le charme attendrissant que mon coeur trouve a cette chanson: c'est un caprice auquel je ne comprends rien; mais il m'est de toute impossibilite de la chanter jusqu'a la fin sans etre arrete par mes larmes. J'ai cent fois projete d'ecrire a Paris pour faire chercher le reste des paroles, si tant est que quelqu'un le connaisse encore. Mais je suis presque sur que le plaisir que je prends a me rappeler cet air s'evanouirait en partie, si j'avais la preuve que d'autres que ma pauvre tant Suson l'ont chante.
 
                   Telles furent les premieres affections de mon a la vie; ainsi commencait a se former ou a se montrer en moi ce coeur a la fois si fier et si tendre, ce caractere effemine, mais pourtantindomptable, qui, flottant toujours entre la faiblesse et le courage, entre la mollesse et la virtu, m'a jusqu'a bout mis en contradiction avec moi-meme, et a fait que l'abstinence et la jouissance, le plaisir et la sagesse, m'ont egalement echappe.
 
                   Ce train d'education fut interrompu par un accident dont les suites ont influe sur le reste de ma vie. Mon pere eut un demeleavec un M.Gautier, capitaine de France et apparente dans le Conseil. Ce Gautier, homme insolent et lache, saigna du nez, et pour se venger, accusa mon pere d'avoir mis l'epee a la main dans la ville. Mon pere, qu'on voulut envoyer en prison, s'obstinait a vouloir que, selon la loi, l'accusateur y entrat aussi bien que lui: n'ayant pu l'obtenir, il aima mieux sortir de Geneve, et s'expatrier pour le rest de sa vie, que de ceder sur un point ou l'honneur et la liberte lui paraissaient compromis.
 
                   Je restai sous la tutelle de mon oncle Bernard, alors employe aux fortifications de Geneve. Sa fille ainee etait morte, mais il avaitun fils de meme age que moi. Nous fumes mis ensemble a Bossey, en pension chez le ministre Lambercier, pour y apprendre avec le latin tout le menu fatras dont on l'accompagne sous le nom d'education.
 
                   Deux ans passes au village adoucirent un peu mon aprete romaine et me ramenerent a l'etat d'enfant. A geneve, ou l'on ne m'imposait amusement; a Bossey, le travail me fit aimet les jeux qui lui servaient de relache. La campagne etait pour moi si nouvelle, que je ne pouvais me lasser d'em jouir. Je pris pour elle un gout si vif, qu'il n'a jamais pu s'eteindre.
 
                  M.Lambercier etait un homme fort raisonnable, qui, sans negliger notre instruction, ne nous chargeait point de devoirs extremes. La preuve qu'il s'y prenait bien est que, malgre mon averion pour la gene, je ne me suis jamais rappele avec degout mes heures d'etude. et que, si je n'appris pas de lui beaucoup de choses, ce que j'appris je l'appris sans peine et n'en ai rien oublie.
 
                  La simplicite de cette vie champetre me fitun bien d'un prix inestimable en ouvrant mon coeur a l'amitie. Jusqu' alors je n'avais connu que des sentiments eleves, mais imaginaires. L' habitude de vivre ensemble dans un etat apisible m'unit tendrement a mon cousin Bernard. En peu de temps j'eus pour lui des sentiments plus affectueux que ceux que j'avais eus pour mon frere, et qui ne se sont jamais effaces. C'etait un grand garcon frot efflanque, fort fluet, aussi doux d'esprit que faible de corps, et qui n'abusait pas trop de la predilection qu'on avait pour lui dans la maison comme fils de mon tuteur. Nos travaux, nos amusements, nos gouts, etaient les memes; nous etions seuls, nous etions de meme age, chacun des deux avait besoin d'un camarade; nous separer etait, en quelque sorte, nous aneantir. Quoique nous eussions peu d'occasions de faire preuve de notre attachement l'un pour l'autre, il etait extreme, et non seulement nous ne pouvions vivre un instant separes, mais nous n'imaginions que nous puissions jamais l'etre. Dans nos etudes, je lui souffrais sa lecon quand il hesitait; quand mon theme etait fait, je l'aidais a faire le sien, et dans nos amusements, mon gout plus actif lui servait toujours de guide. Enfin nos deux caracteres s'accordaient si bien, et l'amitie qui nous unissait etait si vraie, que, dans plus de cinq ans que nous fumes presque inseparables, tant a Bossey qu'a geneve, nous nous battimes souvent, je l'avoue, mais jamais on n'eut besoin de nous separer, jamais une seule fois nous ne portames l'un contre l'autre aucune accusation. Ces remarques sont, si l'on veut, pueriles, mais il en resulte pourtant un exemple peut etre unique depuis qu'il existe des enfants.
 
                   La maniere dont je vivais a Bossey me convenait si bien, qu'il ne lui a manque que de durer plus longtemps pour fixer absolument mon caractere. Les sentiments tendres, affectuex, paisible, en faisant le fond. Je crois que jamais individu de notre espece n'eut naturellement moins de vanite que moi. J'etais doux;mon cousin l'etait; ceux qui nous gouvernaient l'etaient eux-memes. Pendantdeux ans entiers je ne fus ni temoin ni victime d'un sentiment violent. Tout nourissait dans mon coeur les dispositions qu'il recut de la nature. Je ne connaissais rien d'aussi charmant que de voir tout le monde content de moi et de toute chose. Je me souviendrai toujours qu'au temple, repondant au catechisme, rien ne me troublait plus, quand il m'arrivait d'hesiter, que de voir sur le visage de Mlle Lambercier des masques d'inquietude et de la peine. Cela seul m'affligeait plus que la honte de manquer en public, qui m'affectait pourtant extremement; car quoique peu sensible aux louanges, je le fus toujours beaucoup a la honte, et je puis dire ici que l'atente des reprimandes de Mlle Lambercier me donnait moins d'alarmes que la crainte de la chagriner.
 
Stone 4

                   J'etudiais un jour seul ma lecondans la chambre contigue a la cuisine. La servante avait mis secher a la plaque les peignes de Mlle Lambercier. Quand ell revint les prendre, il s'en trouva un dont tout un cote de dents etait brise. A qui s'en prendre de ce degat? personne autre que moi n'etait entre dans la chambre. On m'interroge: je nie d'avoir touche le peigne. m.et Mlle Lambercier se reunissent, m'exhortent, me pressent, me menacent; je persiste avec opiniatrete; mais la conviction etait trop forte, elle l'emporta sur toutes mes protestations, quoique ce fut pour la premiere fois qu'on m'eut trouve tant d'audace a mentir. La chose fut prise au serieux; elle meritait de l'etre. La mechancete, le mensonge, l'obstination, parurent egalement dignes de punition. on ecrivit a mon oncle Bernard; il vint. Mon pauvre cousin etait charge d'un autre delit, non moins grave; nous fumes enveloppes dans la meme execution. Elle fut terrible.
 
                   On ne put m'arracher l'aveu qu'on exigeait. Repris a plusieurs fois et mis dans l'etat le plus affreux, je fus inebranlable. J'aurais souffert la mort, et j'y etais resolu. Il fallut que la force meme cedat au diabolique entetement d'un enfant, car on n'appela pas autrement ma constance. Enfin je sortis de cette cruelle epreuve en pieces, mais triomphant.
 

Raindrops on golden mock orange bush

     
                     Il y a maintenant pres de cinquante ans de cette aventure, et je n'ai pas peur d'etre, aujourd'hui puniderechet pour le meme fait; eh bien, je declare a la face du ciel que j'en etais innoncent, que je n'avais ni casse, ni touche le peigne, que je n'avais pas approche de la plaque, et que je n'y avais pas meme songe. Qu'on ne me demande pas comment ce degat se fit: je l'ignore et ne puis le comprendre; ce que je sais tres certainement, c'est que j'en etais innoncent.
 
                    Qu'on se figure un caractere timide et docile dans la vie ordinaire, mais ardent, fier,indomptable dans les passions, un enfant toujours gouverne par la voix de la raision, toujours traite avec douceur, equite, complaisance, qui n'avait pas meme l'idee de l'injustice, et qui, pour la premiere fois,en eprouve une si terrible de la part precisement des gens qu'il cheritet qu'il respecte le plus: quel renversement dans son coeur, dans sa cervelle, dans tout son petit etre intelligent et moral! Je dis qu'ons'imagine tout cela, s'il est possible, car pour moi, je ne me sens pas capable de demeler, de suivre la moindre trace de ce qui se passait alors en moi.
 
                    Je n'avais pas encore assez de raison pour sentir combien les apparences me condamnaient, et pour me mettre a la place des autres. Je me tenais a la mienne, et tout ce que je sentais, c'etait la rigueur d'un chatiment effroyable pour un crime que je n'avais pas commis. la douleur du corps, quoique vive, m'etait peu sensible;je ne sentais que lidignation, la rage, le desespoir. Mon cousin, dans un cas a peu pres semblable. et qu'onavait puni d'une faute involontaire comme d'un acte premedite, se mettait en fureur a mon exemple, et se montait, pour ainsi dire, a mon unisson.Tous deux dans un meme lit nous nous embrassions avec des transports convulsifs, npous etouffions, et quand nos jeunes coeurs un peu soulages pouvaient exhaler leur colere, nous nous levions sur notre seant, et nous nous mettions tous deux a crier cent fois de toute notre force: Carniflex! carniflex! carniflex!
 
                   Je sens en ecrivant ceci que mon pouls s'eleve encore; ces moments me seront toujours presents quand je vivrais cent mille ans. Ce premier sentiment de la violence et de l'injustice est reste si profondement grave dans mon ame, que toutes les idees qui s'y rapportent me rendent ma premiere emotion, et ce moment, relatif a moi dans son origine, a pris une telle consistance en lui-meme, et s'est tellement detache de tout interet personnel, que mon coeur s'enflamme au spectacle ou au recit de toute actioninjuste, quel qu'en soit l'objet et en quelque lieu qu'elle se commettre, comme si l'effet en retombait sur moi. Quand je lis les cruautes d'untyran feroce, je partirais volontiers pour aller poignader ce miserable, dusse-je cent fois y perir. Je me suis souvent mis en nage a poursuivre a la course ou a coups de pierre un coq, une vache, un chien, un animal que je voyais en tourmenter un autre, uniquement parce qu'il se sentait le plus fort. Ce mouvement peut m'etre naturel, et je crois qu'il l'est; mais le souvenir profond de la premiere injustice que j'ai soufferte y fut trop longtemps et trop fortement lie pour ne l'avoir pas beaucoup renforce.
 
                   La fut le terme de la serenite de ma vie enfantine. Des ce moment je cessai de jouir d'un bonheur pur, et je sens aujourd'hui meme que le souvenir des charmes de mon enfance s'arrete la!..
                                                        
                                                                          jean-jacques rousseau
      
                Il ecrivait des brillantes oeuvres:
 
                           Philosophie:
                                 Discours sur l' origine et les fandements de l' inegalite parmi les hommes, 1754
                                 Le Contrat Social, 1762
                                 Emile, 1762
                            
                          Nouvelle :
                                Julie, ou la Nouvelle Heloise , 1761
 
                          Autobiograhie:
                                 Les Confessions,  ecrivait entre 1764 - 1770, publiee 1781 - 1788
                                    

Stone 6

charles baudelaire  (1821-1867)...
         Baudelaire has had great passion in his poetry.
         Music, Spleen, perfumes -" color, sound, perfumes call to each other as deep to deep; perfumes like the flesh of children, soft as hautboys, green like the meadows" - criminals, outcasts, the charm of childhood, the horrors of love, pride, and rebellion.
        Eastern landscapes, cats, soothing and false; cats, the true companions of lonely poets; haunted clocks, silvering dusks, and gloomier themes this strange-souled poet this " Dante, pacer of the shore", of Paris has celebrated in finely wrought verse and profound phrases. In a single line he contrives atmosphere; the very shape of his sentence, the ring of syllabes, arouses the deepest emotion.
       The master of harmonic undertones is Baudelaire. His successors have excelled him in making their music more fluid, more singing, more vaporous - all young French poets pass through their Baudelairian greensickness - but he alone knows the secrets of moulding those metalic, free sonnets, which have the resistance of bronze; and of the despairing music that flames from the mouths of lost souls, trembling on the wharves of hell. "He is the supreme master of irony and troubled voluptuousness..." stated James Huneker.
        Baudelaire wrote many forms of poetry: Les Fleurs du mal,1857; Poemes , Petis poemes en prose, 1861-1862; Translations from Edgar Poe: Histoires extraordinaires, 1856 etc...He wrote also many Essays: Salons; Delacroix;Theophile Gautier; Richard Wagner, etc...
 
                                              harmonie du soir  
 
                                               Voici venir les temps ou vibrant sur la tige
                                                    Chaque fleur s'evapore ainsi qu'un encensoir;
                                                     Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir;
                                                    Valse melancolique et langoureux vertige!
 
                                                    Chaque fleur s'evapore ainsi qu'un encensoir;
                                                     Le violon fremit comme un coeur qu'on afflige;
                                                     Valse melancolique et langoureux vertige!
                                                     Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir.
 
                                                     Le violon fremit comme un coeur qu'on afflige,
                                                     Un coeur tendre, qui hait le neant vaste et noir!
                                                     Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir;
                                                     Le soleil s'est noye dans son sang qui se fige...
 
                                                     Un coeur tendre, qui hait le neant vaste et noir,
                                                     Du passe lumineux recueille tout vestige!
                                                     Le soleil s'est noye dans son sang qui se fige...
                                                     Ton souvenir en moi luit comme un ostensoir!
 
                                                                                         charles baudelaire
 
 
                                             ------------------------------
 
                                                correpondances
 
                                La Nature est un temple ou de vivants piliers
                                Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles;
                                L' homme y passe a travers des forets de symboles
                                Qui l' observent avec des regards familiers.
                                Comme de longs echos qui de loin se confondent
                                Dans une tenebreuse et profonde unite,
                                Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarte,
                                Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se repondent.
                                Il  est des parfums frais comme des chairs d'  enfants,     
                                Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies,
                                - Et d' autres, corrompus, riches et triomphants,
                                Ayant l'expansion des choses infinies,
                                Comme l' ambre, le muse, le benjoin et l' encens,
                                Qui chantent les transports de l' esprit et des sens.
 
                                                            charles baudelais
 
                                                correspondences
 
                                Nature is a temple where living pillars
                                Sometimes allow confused words to be uttered;
                                Man passes there through forest of symbols
                                That follow him with their familiar glances.
                                Like long echoes that are mingled from afar
                                In the dark and deep unison,
                                Vast as the night or as the light ( of day ),
                                So are commingled perfumes, colors, and sounds.
                                There are perfumes cool as children' s flesh,
                                Sweet as oboes,  green as prairies,
                                - And others, corrupt, rich, and triumphant.
                                Having the range of things infinite,
                                Like amber, musk, benzoin, and incense.
                                That sing the transports of the spirit and the senses.
 
                                                           charles baudelais
                                                          translated by anonymous
          
                 Il ecrivait plusieurs oeuvres, mais on reconnait bien...
                          
                                Poesie:
                                   Les Fleurs du mal, 1857
                                   Poemes et Petits poemes en prose, 1861 - 1862
                                 
                                Traductionles oeuvres de  Edgar Allan Poe:
                                    Histoires extraordinaires, 1856
                                    etc...
 
                                Essais:
                                     Salons,
                                     Delacroix,
                                     Theophile Gautier,
                                     Richard Wagner,
                                     etc...
                                                                  

River Stonel

paul verlaine ..
       Paul Verlaine ( 1844-1896) is well known with the poems..
       Poemes saturniens (1866) Fetes galantes ( 1869), La Bonne Chanson ( 1870) Romances sans paroles ( 1874) Sagesse 1881)
      We can read the critics of Harold Nicolson on Verlaine:..."A sudden sense of intimacy is attained by the skilful use of association, by the vivid insertion of inanimate objects, trivial in themselves, but at the same time significant with derived emotions. The device of association is not, however, the only method by which Verlaine attains to the peculiarintimacy of his manner. He secures a similar effect by the garrulous confidences of his poems, by the way in which he renders the casual moods and habits of his life interesting and emotional. The troubles and pleasure of his daily experience, the rain and the sunshine, some trees shivering in a January wind, the warm feel of the south wall, the rattle of the train at night-time, the flare of gas-jets at street corners, the music of merry-go-round, the silence of the white wall, the drip of rain-drops upon the tiles;- all these are set to plaintive music, are made to become an emotional reality...
      " He knew full well that his peculiar poetic quality was not attuned to the grandiose, he knew the the deeper emotions would always elude him, and he preferred, therefore, to deal with the more incidental sensations, and to reflect in them the passions and tragedies in which his life was involved. In this he was abundantly right: the miror key can convey its message only by the indirect method; in order to be wistful one must above all be elusive.
..     " At its best, his gift for treating emotionally the casual sensations of the moment is unequalled, and its influence on French poetry was to be immense..."
 
                                                                             anonymous  
 
 
                                                         la lune blanche 
 
                                                             La lune blanche
                                                             Luit dans le bois;
                                                             De chaque branche
                                                             Part une voix
                                                             Sous la ramee..
 
                                                             O bien-aimee.
 
                                                             L'etang reflete,
                                                             Profond miroir,
                                                             La silhouette
                                                             Du saule noir
                                                             Ou le vent pleure...
 
                                                             Revons, c'est l'heure.
 
                                                            Un vaste et tendre
                                                            Apaisement
                                                            Semble descendre
                                                            Du firmament
                                                            Que l'astre irise...
 
                                                            C'est l'heure exquise.
 
                                                                 paul verlaine
 
          Il ecrivait des oeuvres, que nous savons bien ...
 
                          Poemes saturmiens, 1866 
                          Fetes galantes,1869
                          La bonne chanson, 1870
                          Romances sans paroles, 1874
                          Sagesse, 1881 
 
 
 
pierre de ronsard ( 1524-1585)
       Ronsard is one of a few masters of the sonnet.
        It is probably safe to say that he used it with more variety of effect than any other poet, and yet without seeming to force its character. He makes it descriptive, epigrammatic, epic, philosophic, elegiac, edyllic, dramatic; he even makes its purely lyrical. Then there are the lyrics - lyrics that have almost the cutting pathos of the Greek anthology in its regrets for fleeting youth and life, or the light sincerely of Herrick, or even snatches of that preculiar grace and hauting naturalness of exquisite melody which give to our early Elizabethans the sweetest note in all the gamut of song. Ronsard 's mastery of form, in an almost unformed language, is marvellous. He was the first creator of more than a hundred different lyric stanzas - the most prolific enventor of rhythms, perhaps, in the history of Poetry.
        Ronsard is well known with his characteristic works : Odes; Sonnets, Hymnes; Amour; Melanges; 1547-1560. La Franciade, 1572, an epic poem. 
 
                                                                    anonymous
 
 
                                          ode de cassandre
 
                                               Mignonne, allons voir si la rose
 
                                         Qui ce matin avait declose
                                         Sa robe de pourpre au soleil,
                                         A point perdu, cette vepree,
                                         Les plis de sa robe  pourpree
                                         Et son teint au votre pareil.
 
 
                                               Las! voyez comme en peu d'espace,
 
                                         Mignonne, elle a dessus la place,
                                         Las, las! ses beautes laisse choir;
                                         O vraiment maratre Nature,
                                         Puisqu'une telle fleur ne dure
                                         Que du matin jusque s au soir!
 
 
                                              Donc, si vous me croyez, mignonne,
 
                                         Tandis que votre age fleuronne
                                         En sa plus vette nouveaute,
                                         Cueillez, cueillez votre jeunesse:
                                         Comme a cette fleur, la veillesse
                                         Fera tenir votre beaute.
 
                                                                    pierre de ronsard
 

Stone 6

anatole france  (1844-1924)...
       Jacques-Anatole Thibault est le vrai nom du celebre auteur francais,  Anatole France.  Il naquit a Paris en 1844,  et y mourut en 1924.  Pendant la derniere moitie de son existence,  il fut considere comme le plus grand ecrivain francais, representant  le style et l' esprit francais portes a leur plus haut point. On trouve dans ses oeuvres une philosophie un peu ironique,  adoucie par une grande tolerance.  Ses ouvrages les plus connus sont:  Le Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard,  Le Livre de mon Ami,  L' Ile des Pingouins,  Thais,  qui a fourni le sujet d' un opera celebre.  Les idees qui se trouvent dans le conte suivant ne sont pas tout a fait caracteristique d' Anatole France;  mais ...au style on reconnait vite la main du Grand Maitre...
                                                                               anonyme
 
 
                                              le jongleur de notre - dame  
 
 
        Au temps du roi Louis IX,  il y avait en France un pauvre jongleur,  natif de Compiegne,  nomme Barnabe ,  qui allait par les villes,  faisant des tours de force et d'adresse.
        Les jours de foire,  il etendait sur la place publique un vieux tapis tout use, et,  apres avoir attire les passants par des propos amusants qu' il  tenait d' un vieux jongleur et auxquels il ne changeait jamais rien,  il prenait des attitudes qui n' etaient pas naturelles,  et il mettait une assiette en equilibre sur son nez.  La foule le regardait d' abord avec indifference.  Mais quand,  se tenant sur les mains,  la tete en bas,  il jetait en l' air et rattrapait avec ses pieds six boules de cuivre qui brillaient au soleil,  ou quand,  se renversant jusqu' a ce que sa nuque touchat ses talons,  il donnait a son corps la forme d' une roue parfaite et jonglait,  dans cette posture,  avec douze couteaux,  un murmure d'admiration s'elevait dans la foule et les pieces de monnaie pleuvaient sur le tapis.
    Pourtant, comme la plupart de ceux qui vivent de leurs talents,  Barnabe de Compiegne avait grand' peine de vivre.
    Gagnant son pain a la sueur de son front,  il portait plus que sa part des miseres attachees a la faute d' Adam,  notre pere.
    Encore ne pouvait - il travailler autant qu' il aurait voulu.  Pour montrert son beau savoir,  comme aux arbres pour donner des fleurs et des fruits,  il lui fallait la chaleur du soleil et la lumiere du jour.  En hiver,  il n' etait plus qu' un arbre depouille de ses feuilles et a moitie mort.  La terre glacee etait dure au jongleur.  Et il souffrait du froid et de la faim dans la mauvaise saison.  Mais,  comme il avait du coeur simple,  il supportait ses maux avec patience.
    Il n'avait jamais reflechi a l' origine des richesses,  ni a l' inegalite des conditions humaines.  Il comptait fermement que,  si ce monde est mauvais,  l' autre ne pourrait manquer d' etre bon,  et cette esperance le soutenait.  Il n' imitait pas les mauvais gens,  qui ont vendu leur ame au diable.  Il ne blasphemait jamais le nom de Dieu:  il vivait honnetement.
   A la verite,  il n' avait pas l' esprit tourne au mal,  mais il luien coutait plus de renoncer aux boissons.  Car,  sans manquer a la moderation. il aimait a boire quand il faisait chaud.  C' etait un homme de bien,  craignant Dieu et tres devot a la sainte Vierge.
  Il ne manquait jamais,  quand il entrait dans une eglise,  de s'agrenouiller devant l' image de la Mere de Dieu et de lui adresser cette priere:
 
   " Madame, prenez soin de ma vie jusqu' a ce qu' il plaise a Dieu que je meure. et quand je serai mort, faites -moi avoir les joies du paradis."
 
   Or, un certain soir, apres une journee de pluie, tandis qu' il s' en allait, triste et fatigue, portant sous son bras ses boules et ses couteaux caches dans son vieux tapis, et cherchant quelque grange pour s' y coucher sans souper, il vit sur la route un moine qui suivait du meme chemin, et le saluat poliment. Comme ils marchaient du meme pas, ils se morent a echanger des propos.
  -  Compagnon, dit le moine, d' ou vient que vous etes habille tout de vert? Ne serait -ce point pour faire le personnage d' un fou dans quelque mystere ?
 -  Pas du tout, mon Pere, repondit Barnabe. Tel que vous me voyez, je me nomme Barnabe, et je suis jongleur de mon etat. Ce serait le plus bel etat du monde si l' ony mangeait tous les jours.
  -  Ami Barnabe, repit du moine,  prenez garde a ce que vous dites. Il n' y a pas plus bel etat que d' etre moine. On y celebre les louanges de Dieu, de la Vierge et des saints, et la vie du religieux est un perpetuel cantique au Seigneur.
    Barnabe  repondit:
  -  Mon Pere, je confesse que j' ai parle comme un ignorant. Votre etat ne peut se comparer au mien et, quoiqu' il y ait du merite a dancer en tenant au bout du nez un sou en equilibre sur un baton, ce merite n' approche pas du votre. Je voudrais bien comme vous, mon Pere, chanter tous les jours l' office et surtout l'  office de la tres sainte Vierge, a qui j' ai voue une devotion particuliere. Je renoncerais bien volontiers a l' art dans lequel je suis connu de Soisson a Beauvais, dans plus de six cents villes et villages, pour embrasser la vie des moines.
     Le moine fut touche de la simplicite du jongleur, et, comme il ne manquait pas de finesse, il reconnut en Barnabe  un de ces hommes de bonne volonte de qui Notre -Seigneur a dit.." Que la Paix soit avec eux sur la terre! ". C'est pourquoi il lui repondit:
    -Ami Barnabe, venez avec moi, et je vousferai entrer dans le couvent dont je suis prieur. Le bon Dieu m'a mis sur votre chemin pour vous mener dans la voie du salut.
   C'est ainsi que Barbabe devint moine. Dans le couvent ou il fut recu, les religieux celebraient le culte de la sainte Vierge et chacun employait a la servir tout le savoir et toute l' habilete que Dieu lui avait donnes
   Le prieur, pour sa part, composait des livres qui traitaient des vertus de la Mere de Dieu.
   Le Frere  Maurice copiait ces traites d' une main savante.
   Le Frere  Alexandre  y peignait de fines miniatures. On y voyait la Reine du ciel, assise sur le trone de Salomon , au pied duquel veillent quatre lions; autour de sa tete nimbee voltigeaient sept colombes, qui sont les ept dons du Saint -Esprit: dons de crainte, de piete, de science, de force, de conseil, d' intelligence et de sagesse. Elle avait pour compagnes six vierges aux cheveux d' or: l' Humilite, la Prudence, la Retraite, le Respect, la Virginite et l' Obeissance. C' etait des ames qui imploraient, pour leur salut et non, certes, en vain, sa toute-puissante faveur.
   Le Frere Alexandre representait sur une autre page Eve en face de Marie. afin qu' on vit en meme temps la faute et le pardon, la femme humiliee et la Vierge exaltee.
   Le Frere  Marbode  etait egalement un des plus temdres enfants de Marie.  Il taillait sans cesse des images de pierre,  en sorte qu' il avait la barbe,  et les cheveux blancs de poussiere;  mais il etait plein de force et de joie dans un age avance,  et visiblement,  la Reine du paradis protegeait la vieillesse de son enfant. Marbode  la presentait assise sur une chaise,  le front entoure d' un nimbe.  Parfois aussi il la figurait sous les traits d' un enfant plein de grace,  et elle semblait dire  " Seigneur, vous etes mon Seigneur! ".
   Il y avait aussi, dans le couvent, des poetes qui composaient, en latin, des hymnes en l' honneur de la vierge Marie, et meme il s' y trouvait un Picard qui mettait les miracles de Notre-Dame en langue vulgaire et en vers rimes.
   Voyant un tel concours de louanges et d' oeuvres, Barnabe  se lamentait de son ignorance et de sa simplicite.
  -  Helas, pensait-il en se promenant seul dans le petit jardin sans ombre du couvent, je suis bien malheureux de ne pouvoir, comme mes freres, louer dignement la sainte Mere de Dieu, a laquelle 'j' ai promi la tendresse de mon coeur. Helas! helas! je suis unhomme rude et sans art, et je n' ai pour votre service, Madame la Vierge, ni sermons, ni traites bien divises selon les regles, ni fines peintures, ni statues exactement tailles, ni vers comptes par pieds. Je n' ai rien, helas!.
   Il se plaignait de la sorte et s' abandonnait a la tristesse. Unsoir que les moines se reposaient en conversant, il entendit l' und' eux conter l' histoire d' un religieux qui ne savait reciter autre chose qu' Ave Maria. Ce religieux etait meprise pour son egnorance; mais, etant mort, il lui sortitde la bouche cinq roses en l' honneur des cinq lettresdu nom de Marie, et sa saintete fut ainsi manifestee.
  En ecoutant ce recit, Barnabe  admira une fois de plus la bomnte de la Vierge; mais il ne fut pas console par le bel exemple de cette mort, car son coeur etait plein de zele, et il voulait servir la gloire de sa dame qui est aux cieux. Il en cherchait le moyen sans pouvoir  le trouver et il se desolait chaque jour davantage, quand un matin, s'etant reveille tout joyeux, il courut a la chapelle et y demeura seul pendant plus d'une heure Il y retourna apres diner. Et, a compter de ce moment, il allait chaque jourdans cette chapelle, a l' heure ou elle etait deserte, et il y passait une grande partie du temps que les autres moines consacraient aux arts liberaux et aux arts mecaniques. Il n' etait pas triste et il ne se plaignait plus.
     Une conduite si singuliere eveilla la curiosite des moines.
     On se damandait, dans le couvent, pourquoi le Frere Barnabe faisait des retraites se frequentes.
     Le prieur, dont le devoir est de ne rien ignorer de la conduite de ses religieux, resolut d' observer Barnabe pendant ses solitudes. Un jour donc que celui-ci etait renferme. comme a son ordinaire, dans la chapelle, le prieur vint, accompagne de deux anciens du couvent, observer, a travers les ouvertures de la porte, ce quise passait a l' interieur.
      Ils virent  Barnabe qui, devant l' autel de la sainte Vierge, la tete en bas, les pieds en l' air, jonglait avec six boules de cuivre et douze couteaux. Il faisait, en l' honneur de la sainte Mere du Dieu, les tours qui lui avaient valu le plus de louanges. Ne comprenant pas que cet homme simple mettait ainsi son talent et son savoir au service de la sainte Vierge, les deux anciens criaient au sacrilege.
    Le prieur savait que Barnabe avait l'ame inconcente; mais il le croyait tombe en demence. Ils s'appretaient tous trois a le tirer vivement de la chapelle, quand il virent la salute Vierge descendre les marches de l'autel pour venir essuyer d'un apn de son manteau bleu la sueur qui tombait du front de son jongleur.
 
                                                          anatole france
 
 
            Nous savons bien quelques de ses oeuvres:
 
                    Nouvelles:
                        Le crime de Sylvester Bonard, 1881
                        Le livre de mon ami, 1885
                       Thais, 1890
                        La Rotisserie  de la reine Pedauque, 1893
                        Histoire contemporaine, 1896 - 1901
                        L' Ile des pingouins, 1908
                        Les Dieux ont soif, 1912
                        L' Elui de nacre, 1892
                        Crainquebille, 1904
                        Putois, 1904
                        Riquet et plusieurs recits profitables, 1904
                     
                    Litterature philosophique :
                        Le jardin d' Epicure, 1895
 
                    Critique:
                        La vie litteraire, 1889 - 1892
 
                   

Swamplands

alphonse daudet...
      Alphonse Daudet, quoique ne a Nimes en Languedoc, est considere comme un auteur provincal. En effet, son oeuvre principale, Les lettres de mon Moulin, qui sont une serie de contes ecrits dans son moulin situe pres d' Arles, en Provence, reuinit les legendes et les caracteristiques de ce pays pictoresque.
     La Mule de Pape, tiree des  Lettres de mon Moulin, est une histoire inventee pour faire revivre un vieux proverbe ou dicton provencal. Ce conte est tout a fait caracteristique de l' auteur et en meme temps un exemple excellent de son style.
    En general, avec som melange de sensibilite et d' ironie, avec une sorte de tendresse pour ses creations originales, on peut comparer  Alphonse Daudet a  CharlesDickens. Ses oeuvres les plus importantes sont: Contes du Lundi, Tartarin de Tarascon, Tartarin sur les Alpes, Le Petit Chose.  Ses contes principaux sont:  La Chevre de M. Seguin, La Derniere Classe, La Mule du Pape; sa piece pricipale: l' Arlesienne.
                     
                                                                   anonyme
 
                     
                                         le bon pape 
 
       Il y en a un surtout, un bon vieux, qu' on appelait Boniface.  Oh! celui-la, que de larmes on a versees en Avignon quand il est mort! C' etait un prince si aimable, si gentil! Il vous riait si bien du haut de sa mule! Et quand vous passiez pres de lui, il vous donnait sa benediction si poliment! Le seul amour qu' on lui ait jamais connu, a ce bon pere, c'etait sa vigne, une petite vigne qu' il avait plantee lui-meme a trois lieues d' Avignon.
     Tous les dimanches, en sortant de vepres, le digne homme allait lui faire sa cour; et quand il etait la-haut, assis au bon soleil, samule pres de lui, ses cadeaux tout autour, alors il faisait ouvrir une bouteille de ce beau vin, couleur de rubis et il le buvait par petits coups, en regardant sa vigne d' un air attendre.  Puis, la bouteille videe, le jour tombant, il rentrait joyeusement a la ville, suivi de tout son chapitre, et lorsqu' il passait sur le pont d' Avignon au milieu des tambourins et des farandoles, sa mule, mise en train par la musique, prenait un petit trot, tandis que lui-meme il marquait le pas de la danse avec sa barrette ce qui scandalisait fort ses cadeaux, mais faisait dire a tout le peuple: " Ah! le bon prince! Ah! le brave pape! ".
 
                                                       alphonse daudet
         

Sunset Over Water

the masterpieces..  (excerpts ) about...
 
how the piece becomes the masterpiece ?
      The Masterpiece contain the best materials on which the human mind can work in order to gain insight, understanding, and wisdom. The Masterpieces in its own way raises the recurrent basic questions which men must face. Because these questions are never completely solved, these Masterpieces are the sources and monuments of a continuing intellectual tradition.
      Carl Van Doren one referred ( The Masterpieces) in the great Books as"..never have to written again...". They are the rare, perfect achievements of sustained excellence. Their beauty and clarity show that they are masterpieces of the fine as well as of the liberal arts. These Masterpieces are justifiably called great whether they are Masterpiece of Science, Poetry, Theology, Mathematics, or Politics.
      The richesse of these Masterpeices shows itself in the many levels of meaning they contain. They lend themselves to a variety of interpretations. This doesn't mean that they are ambiguous or that their integrity is compromised. The different interpretations complement one another and allow the readers to discover the unity of the work from a variety of perspectives. We need not read other Masterpieces more than once to get all that they have to say. But we can always go deeper into great Materpieces. As sources of enlightenment, they are enexhautible.
       The interest in many Masterpieces is limited to a definite period of history. They do not possess the universal appeal that results from dealing with the fundamental questions which confront men in all times and places and in a waythat men in all times and places can understand. Masterpieces, on the contrary, transcend the provincial limits of their origin. They remain as world literature. The ones we are sure are great are the ones men everywhere turn to again and again through the centuries.
       In view of this, it is often said that the Masperpieces must pass the test of time. This is quite true. But it is not the passage of time that makes the piece, Masterpiece. They were great when they were written. An enduring interest in the Mastepiece merely confirms its greatness. We may consider some contemporary pieces, Master, but we can not be sure. Their excellence still remains to be proved before the tribunal of the ages.
      Mark Twain once remarked that.."the greatbooks ( with the Masterpieces ) are the books that everyone wished he had read, but no one wants to read..." People eish they had read them because they are the indispensable material of the liberal education. They shy away from reading them because these Masterpieces require thought. And thinking is hard. It is probably one of the most painful things that humain beings are called upon to do...
       The Materpeices are not easy to read. No one should expect to understand them very well on the first reading, or even to master them fully after many readings. I have often said that they are the Pieces which are over everyone's head all of the time. That is why they must be read and reread. That is also why they are good for us. Only the things which are over our head can lift us up.
       Like all the other good things in life, what the Masterpieces have to offer is hard to get. But it is precisely bacause Masterpieces are difficult that they are more readableand more worth reading that other pieces. It is precisely because they raise the problems which they do not finally answer that they can provoke us to think, inquire, and discuss. It is precisely because their difficulty challanges our skill in reading that they can help us to improve that skill. It is precisely because they often challange our accepted prejudices and our established opinions that they can help to develop our critical faculties.
       The difficulty of these Masterpieces comes not from the fact that they are poorly written or badly conceived, but rather from the fact that they are che clearest and simplest writting about the most difficult themes that confront the human mind. They deal with these themes in the easiest possible way. These  lie these  greatnesses.
 
                                                                                                         anonymous
                                

Stone 3

shakespeare...
          It is sometimes forgotten that William Shakespeare,  whose work inpires   millions of scolarly words each year,  was the most popular dramatist of his time,  not least with the undereducated classes. His vision is immense..  His heroes are men of action like Henry V,  introspective philosophers like Hamlet,   romantic and passionate lower like Romeo,  over ambitious noblemen like Macbeth.  This fact is important for explaining much of nature in his art and also about his continuing writing position of the most famous writers in the world.  His plots ... magical,  romantic,  realistic,  or tragic, are the combinaison of these  elements:... His characters exist in the whole real world,  at once,  then  in the shadowy world with  the imagination of the creator! Shakespeare's people,  though indisputably of their time and place,  wether Venetian clown or Danish prince,  are recognizably in the literature of  the XVI th and XVII th centuaries.  But most importantly they embody a spirit of humanity which has remained essentially unchanged to the present day.  Nowaday,  no one can write as Shakespeare wrote,  but everyone may recognize the quality of his world without difficulty.
          The most advantages as a writer did have  Shakespeare.   He is the most sensitive playwright who ever lived,  but his sensitivity was tempered by the comparative poverty of his childhood,  and his struggle to find the place in the theatre. Althought we know very little for his early life,  but we know sur,  he was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564,  that his father,  once a man of substance and position in town,  lost his money and went into debt.   And that as result, Shakespeare was taken away from school and put to work.   He married Anne Hathaway,  a woman eight years older than himself,  in 1582,  when he was 18.  They had a child in 1583,  and twins in 1585, ...in the same year,  it is probable that they moved to London,  where Shakespeare first  started working in the theatre with the job- so tradition has it-  of holding horses for  twopence a day.
          There are no records about this period of his life,  but an established playwright, George Peele,  by 1592,  sounded a note of alarm about a young-actor-playwright who could beat the recognized playwrights at their own game. He called him a  "Johannes Fac Totum",  or ..a jack-of-all-trades,  which suggested that Shakespeare's main task in his company was to rewrite old plays for more up-to-date presentation.
        But truly,   he did not  rework old dramas;   it is from this early period that his first plays probably date..  Love's Labour's Lost,  The Comedy of  Errors, Two Gentlemen of Verona,   the three parts of  Henry VI,  Andronicus  and  Richard III.  The plays above are simply  those which most agree were written first.  Not surprisingly,  none of these plays constitutes his best work,  or even approaches it,  with the exception of  Richard III    Even when he died leaving only these plays,  he would have been a major Elizabethan dramatist.   The most impressive about the early plays is that they are full of ideas , thematic and stylistic., which were to be developed later.  Love's Labour'sLost and  The Comedy of Errors are pure comedies,  but they are full of wit, surprise and delightful invention...
        Richard II ,  which tells of  the Duke of  Gloucester's usurpation of power by murder,  marks a transitionary period in Shakespeare's works :  here we see the first emergence of the  Heros  of  Shakespeare.   In this case,  a villain,  sly,  clever and unscrupulous,  yet not entirely unsympathetic.   He points the way to more complex characters like... Macbeth, ...Iago of Othello, and... Edmund of  King Lear.   These later villains reveal their vices and their virtues naturally as the play unfolds.  Gloucester, more crudely,  is made to reveal himself in an introductory speech:
           
                                  '... Why I,  in this weak,  piping time of peace,
                                       Have no delight to pass away the time,
                                       Unless to spy my shadow in the sun,
                                       And descant on mine own deformity:
                                       And therefore,  since I cannot prove a lover,
                                       To entertain these fair,  well-spoken days,
                                       I am determined to prove a villain
                                       And hate the idle pleasures of these days
                                       Plots have I laid,  inductions dangerous.....'
 
            It is  generally  thought that  Shakespeare wrote his two long poems   " Venus and Adonis "  and   " The Rape of Lucrece ".  round about 1592,   as well as the sonnets and other smaller poems.   We  must understand that ,  different with others artists with expression love for the lower  by  painting or  writing letter,  Shakespeare exprimed by  Sonnet  in this case.    This break from being a popular and reasonably sucessful  young playwright  to becomng a private poet  is surprising when the circumstances of his life are taken into account.   The plague hit London in this year.  To escape it,  Shakespeare probably joined a band of travelling players,  presenting old tragedies and farces to audiences in the provinces.  From being rewriter of plays for  a  cultured audience , 
        Shakespeare became merely another actor ( and not,  it is thought, a very good one ),  playing in stock favorite pieces which the country audiences wanted to see in their  unchanged state.  So, he found a patron - a young Earl of Southhampton -  and wrote the two long poems,  and probably the sonnets for him.. His sonnets, "the master of all trades"  are among the most beautiful poems  in  English.  Some are advised to the young man, some  other to the famous    " Dark Lady".  Their identity remains a mystery.   Some are reproachful,   some full of gratitude, some melancholy,   some gay.    Like the other good sonnets,   they are delicate but not flimsy,  and are never simply fanciful.   Shakespeare was too much of a realist for that. At time, he   is    deliberately anti-romantic. satirizing the high flown sonnets of his contemporaries :
 
                                  My mistress'eyes are nothing like the sun;
                                   Coral is far more red than the lip'red;
                                   If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; *
                                   If hairs be wires, blackwires grow on her head.
                                   I have seen rosesdamsk'd, red and white,
                                   But no much roses see I in her cheeks...**
                                                                               
                                                                                        ( Sonnet 130)
 
 ( Note: *   Oh!...  genial playwright!...
 
          It is assumed that Shakespeare returned to London and to the theatre about 1594.  The period from that year to 1602,  when  Hamlet  was completed,  is knowns as his " middle period" and refers both to his life and to his work.  It is to this period,  that the bulk of his plays have been ascribed. 
         These are in tentative chronological order: Romeo and Juliet,   Richard II,   A Midsummer Night's dream,  King John,  The Merchant of Venice,   The Taming of the Shrew,  Henry IV, part I and II ,  Henry V,  The Merry Wives of Windsor,  Much Ado about Nothing,  Julius Cesar,  As You Like It, Twelfth Night,  Alls' Well That Ends  Well,  Trilus and Cessida,  Mesure for Mesure  and Hamlet..
         Though bracketed between  Romeo and Juliet  ,  his first tragedy,  and  Hamlet ,  his first great tragedy,   the period is best remembered and best  loved for its comedies.  Most popular of all the Shakespeare's time,  though less so now,  were the two parts of  Henry IV  and  Henry V.  The reason was the character  of Prince Hal ( King Henry V of the last play ) and his dronking companion, Sir John Falstaff. The combination of the passionate, wilful, libertine prince and the gross, good-humoured, drunken old knight captured the imagination of Elizabethan audiences. Here is  Falstaff, looking forward to the time when his" Hal" shall be King....
 
                     " Mary,  then,  sweet wag,  when thou art king,  let not us that are squires of the night' body be called thieves of the day's beauty;  let us be Diana' foresters,  gentlemen of the shade,  minions of the moon;  and let men say,  we be men of  good goverment  , being governed as the sea is,  by our noble mistress th moon,  under whose countenance we steal..."
 
          But this riotous companionship was doomed to end when the prince became king,  and Falstaff does not appear in  Henry V  ( though Shakespeare was later force to resurrect him, by popular and royal acclaim, in  The Merry Wives of Windsor )  except in the speeches of his friends,  who report him dying of a broken heart.  For Henry could no longer afford to waste his nights in drinking - he became the proud king ( Henry V) who led his country to victory in France.
         Most popular now are the romantic comedies,  plays like  A midsummer Night's Dream,   As you like It,   and  Twelfth Night.  The first of these displays Shakespeare in his most magical mood;  the wood in which the action takes place  is as full of surprises and as magical as a poet's mind itself -  it is the kind of light hearted prototype of Prospero's enchanted island in  The Tempest,  Twelfth Night, ...On the other hand,  thought romantic in form,  approaches nearer to harsh reality.  Sir Toby and his companions are roistering tavern-knights;  Feste, the clown,  is cynical, detached and even melancholy....We are not to see a more " bitter fool" until the fool of  King Lear...Though the play'stone is in general light-hearted, and ends happily, it touches on issues, like the faithlessness of woman, which were to become important themes for Shakespeare in his " tragic" period....
         Two of the late plays of this period were Troilus and Cressida  and  Measure for Measure.  These have come to be known as ' problem plays",  for though the first has a " sad" ending and the second a " happy ending",  they are not tragedy or comedy. Rather than " problem",  it may be better to say they are " realist" plays :  in them,  good or evil,  happiness and melancholy,  true and false are mixed, as they are in life.  In both,  too,  there is the feeling that the society is fundamentally corrupt,  and all men's actions are equivocal. In Troilus,  Prince Troilus is faced with this unpalatable fact when he sees himself betrayed by Cressida :
 
                                                   "This she? no, this is Diomed's Cressid.
                                                    If beauty have a soul, this is not she;
                                                    If souls guide vows, if vows be sanctimony,
                                                    If sanctimony be the god's delight,
                                                    If there be rule in unity itself,
                                                    This is not she. O madness of discourse,
                                                    That cause sets up with and against itself!"
 
            Hamlet  marks at once the end of this period and the begining of the last,  in which four great tragedies  Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth  and   King Lear  were written....Also to this period belong the bitter-sweet last   Antony and  Cleopatra, Coriolanus,   Timon of Athens,  Pericles,   Cymbeline,   The Winter's Tales  and the culminating glory,   The Tempest.
           Prince Hamlet is the finest and last example of the Shakespearean man,  a charater whom,  we may assume, was modelled  on his creator 's  conception of himself; he was the only Shakespearean character as one crtic has said, who could have written Shakespeare's plays. He acts decisively only twice, both times in rage when he killed first Polonius ( in mistake for king)  and then the king himself.  The rest of the time he is brooding,  introspective,  unsure.  The famous soliloquy :
 
                                      " To be, or not to be, that is the question.
                                        Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
                                        The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
                                        Or by opposing, end them "
 
     is indicative of his nature 
 
        He is philosopher,  a man of peace who find himself in a tragedic situation  and is forced to act against his nature.  Above all,  he is entirely aware of his situation...
       The other tragic figures- Macbeth, Othello and Lear - are not in this kind.  Their tragedy is brought upon them partly  by the tragic flaw in their own natures and partly  by cruel chance.  To a greater or lesser degree they are unaware of their true character until too late. Macbeth and  Othello commit murder before they realize  quite what they are doing,  and Lear undergoes terrible humiliation  before he can recognize  true love from false.  Here is  Othello 's  "moment  of truth ",  after he realizes he has killed his beloved  Desdemona through mistaken suspicion :
 
                                       ".... then,  must  you  speak,
                                       Of one that  lov'd not wisely,  but  too well ;
                                       Of one not easily jealous,  but,  being wrought,
                                       Perplex ' d  in  the extreme ;  of one whose hand
                                       Like the  base Indian,  threw a  pearl away
                                       Richer than all  his tribe. "
 
          These  tragedies  were written  when Shakespeare  was at the height of  his powers,  a  full mature  and  tremendously popular artist.   He had become  wealthy through;  his art  and redeemed  the family  fortunes ; he had purchased one of the best house in Stratford and had received a coat of arms of which he was very proud. Shakespeare's  last play  nevertheless  reflect  the sadness of a man  who is declining into old age.  They are never sentimental,  but rather seem to contain a  half-wistful delight  in the beauty of an art  he knew he would soon be unable to practise.  This finds a  fitting  summation  in the speech of  Prospero:
 
                                  " Our reveals now are ended. These our actors,
                                    As I foretold you, were all spirits and
                                    Are melted into air, into thin air ;
                                    And, like the baseless fabric of the vision,
                                    The cloud- capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
                                    The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
                                   Yea, all which it inherit, shall disolve
                                   And , like this insubstantial pageant faded
                                   Leave not a  rack behind. We are such stuff
                                   As dreams are made on, and our little life
                                   Is rounded  with a sleep."
 
            Shakespeare's death was in 1616.   
 
            He propably  wrote nothing  later than 1613.   It is tempting to adduce from this  that he  himself  knew that  his creative life was over,  and  considered  The Tempest   to be  its culmination,  before his own life was  " rounded with sleep".   It was  a little life - his writtings all took place within the space of 20 yeras -   but it proved to be the richest life  of any writer who has ever lived.....
 
                                                              anonymous
                                                  ... according to  " the  Arts "
 
 
les impressionistes francais ...
          In  the  expression  of  the Art  in XIX  century,   the  painters were formed a group,  otherwise,  a phenomenon ,  which  changed   the world of  expressing Art ... for good.!...  It  wasn ' t  a work of ...a  person ,  but ...a group.   I would like  to present ...this  fantastic  group of  artists,   who  have had  influence for-ever in  the Art.
          In 1894,  the painter  Gustave Cailebotte  besqueathed  67 impressionist paintings   to  the Louvre in Paris.   Official  embarrassment and  public reaction was characterized  by the words of  an Academician ...:" Only  great moral depravity  could bring  the State  to accept such  rubbish.  These artists are   all anarchists  and mad men."    Such  hostile opposition  had faced   the Impressionist painters  since  their first  collective exhibition  in 1874.
          They  were not  the first  French painters to challenge  bourgeois public taste and  the traditional values  of  Academic art.   Gustave Courbet,  with his  agressive opposition to  long-standing artistic conventions in the 1850  and Edouard Manet  in the 1860's  had set the precedent.   Manet had been the key figure in the famous Salon des Refuges  of 1863,  where works rejected by the offical.   Salon were hung.  His intention   was to create an   art free of conventional artifice.    He wanted to paint directly   from the subject,  guided only by   his visual sensations and   his aesthetic sensibility.   In this lay   his great originality and in these respects   he anticipated the Impressionists ...
         Without  the decorum of Classical Idealism,  Manet ' s nude  appeared vulgar and indecent;  without any strong narrative  or  allegorical basis,  his  figure compositions  seemed  pointless.   Technically,  his paintings lacked most of  the solid attributes of draughtsmanship,  perspective  and  refined tonal modelling of  contemporary  Academic  Art.
        When  the Impressionists came to the  critic ' s attention,   they were immediately  linked with  Manet,  as much for their break with  convention as for any specific common ground.   He was widely thought to be  their leader.   At the first group exhibition in 1874,  all the  important Impressionist Painters -  Monet ,  Renoir,  Pissarro  and  Sisley -   were among the 31 artists who took part.   Manet refused to exhibit with them.   He retained an extraordinary sense of obligation to the Salon as  " the real field of Battle ",   but he supported them  morally and financially  when he could. His notoriety naturelly endowed him with an  elevated status in the eyes of young radicals.  He was an art of sensation;   he painted what he saw , true to his responses.  This was central to their  own concept of painting.
         The Impressionists painted on the spot,  in the open air.  Their concern was with the  light,  color and  atmosphere in nature.  With this principal interest,  Manet has little in common.  The real ancestors of the Impressionists were the  XiX century landscape painters :  Constable and Turner in England,  Corot,  Courbet ,  and the Barbizon painters  in France  ( the name of Barbizon comes from the village of Barbizon near the Forest de Fontainebleay , where  Theodore Rousseau,  Millet,  Corot,  Daubigny,  Diaz  and others worked in  the mid XIX century.)
         The  young impressionists met in Pris in the 1860s.  Claude Monet (1840-1926),   Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) and  Alfred Sisley (1839-1899),  fellow students at the Ecole des Beaux Arts,  made   several painting excursions  to Fontainebleau during these years and came into  personal contact with  the Barbizon painters.  Camille Pissarro (1830-1903),  older and at this stage a more isolated figure, was more influenced by  Courbet and Corot.  The sort of advice these young men received from the older generation of painters  predisposed them  to break completely with the concepts of  their Academic tutors in Paris.   Courbet advised them to " sit down anywhere and paint what you like...";   Corot insisted that  the first impression of the subject  was all-important and  that this alone should determine   the painting's values.  Monet received similar advice from  Boudin,  painter of seascapes from his  home-town  Le Havre.
         The  young impressionists have had  more agressive manner from technique thru colors in the painting. . We know  also,  Impressionism began by the paint  of still- life and Nature.   I must present right away,   if not,  I will forget.   All of them are the masters of Impressionism.  In the book  Della Pittura  ( About Picture),  published in 1436 , Leon Alberti   mentioned about...  the first  scientific treatise  on perspective. Widely used by  Italian Painters such as Piero della Francesca  and Paolo Uccelo ,  the theories were of limited value to the problem of landscape.
         More helpful was his " magic box" device,  the camera obscura ,  which was much used by the XVII th  century  and XVIII th century  Venetian and Duch landscape masters.  The analysis of landscape structures,  specially geological and botanical,  was among the many scientific interests of  Leonardo de Vinci ( 1452-1519)  He made many  intricate drawings  of  rock formation and  panoramic landscapes.   Most of these remained in his  personal sketch books,  and as a result,  his influence on  landscape painting was  not specially strong,   except perhaps through the backgrownds to his  Mona Lisa   and   The Virgin if the Rocks.   In general,   however,  the field of  landscape painting is one in which the   High Renaissance had comparative little to  contribute.
        It  was  in  northern Europe,   relatively  unaffected by Italian humanist culture,  that  landscape painting  really began  to develop as a mode of painting in its own right.  Conrad Witz's  Miraculous Draught of Fishes ,  painted in 1444,  shows the view of Geneva and the distant  Alps.  It is one of the first pictures in which the landscape predominates  and  represents a specific place.
         Flemish landscape realism  and the  landscape construction of Italian artists like Piero della Franscesca  fuse in the work of Giuvanni Bellini ( 1431-1516) .  It's time to mention  Italian artists TO CONTRIBUTE MY RESPECT TO THE POPE, JOHN PAUL II ,  EVEN HE IS OF POLAND,  when  HE PASSED AWAY  ON APRIL 2, 2005 AT AGE OF 84.  The emotional response of  Bellini  to light effects creates strong poetic overtoness to his keen observation of places.   Many of his landscape backgrounds can be identified among the towns of Veneto.   More than any other early painter,  Bellini foreshadowed in his work the achievements of  seventeen-and-eighteen-century landscapemasters. 
           In the North,  the wild,  hell-fire backgrounds of Hiemymus  Bosch  ( 1450-1516)  and Mattthias Gunewald (1475-1528)  exemplify a quite different  approach to landscape;    his little St  George in Munich is one of the  first romantic landscape pictures.
        The Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel ' s ( c.1525-1569)  contribution to landscape is specially important.   While most of his work is similar to the fantasy world of Bosch,  it is clear that  he felt compelled  to record details of the countryside,  the saisons and  all the human activities associated with them.  The result  was a series of landscapes showing  the cycle of the months of the year and  included in these are sections of marine painting to which  Brueghel made a significant contribution ( e.g  Storm at Sea , now in Vienna).
         Peter Paul Rubens  ( 1577-1640)   brought to landscape the same splendid energy that invests all his paintings.   He handled the forms  of  landscape  with  high sensitivity,   characteristically using  spirals and arcs as the basic geometry.  The theatrical effects of nature - rainbows in  stormy skies,  meteors,  bursts of sunshine and cataracts of water - delighted him.
          By the early seventeenth century,  Rome had become the principal center of art.   Distinguished painters  from the North  formed colonies there.  Two of  France's greatest painters,  Claude Lorrain ( 1600-1682)  and Nicolas Poussin  ( 1593-1665) spent almost the whole of their working lives in Rome.
          For Poussin,  landscape was frequently just a  setting for the drama enacted by the figures in the foreground ,  but  towards the end of his life the landscape itself began to play the dominant role,  contributing to the mood and sentiment of the subject matter.  His aim was to impose classical order on  the direct experience of nature.
         Claude Lorrain  by comparison,  was a dreamer,  musing on themes from antiquity yet depending on a strong emotional response to the ever-changing aspects of nature.  This is especially well demonstrated in his water-color drawings,  which are some of the most beautiful of all landscapes.  The magical qualities of light to be seen in his work later  affected the development of  English artist J.M.W. Turner  (1775-1851)
          Seventeenth-century academics thought  that painting should be judged by its moral,  historical and  philosophical content    Such theories were not helpful to the development of landscape.  Not surprisingly,  during this century the main centre for this art was the Low Countries,  where there was little or no classical tradition. Protestantism here discouraged religious painting,   and respectable, midde - class patrons  were far more interested in straightforward pictorial records than idealized compositions.
          These painters from the Low Countries seem to have been magnetically drawn to the image of their countrysides :  it was a flat landscape of vast skies and waterways, calculated to arouse an interest  in atmospheric effet.   The generalizations typical of so much  earlier painting were useless in solving the problems of  place,  time and weather  which had to be faced by the Dutch painters of sea and sky and flat,  receding plains.   Van Goyen ( 1596-1656),  Jacob Ruidael  (1629-1682),  Meindert  Hobbema (1638-1709) and  Aelbert Cuyp  (1620-1691) are the great figures, with   Jan van der Cappelle ( 1624-1679),   Adriaen  and   Willem van de Velde  (1633-1707)    representing the    best of   the marine  painters.
 

Water lily

          Rembrandt van Ryn  (1606-1669)  also painted  a dozen or so  impressive landscapes,  but they are so charged with  "inwardness"  that they are landscapes of the spirit  rather than r epresentative examples of the Dutch style.
         England in the late  eighteenth century  was much affected by the example of  Dutch landscape and marine art.  East Anglia, with its long- standing commercial ties  with  the  Low Countries and  a countryside similar in parts to that of  Holland,   became   the source of much  English landscape painting.   Thomas Gainsborough  ( 1727-1788), John Crome  ( 1768-1821) ,   and John Constable  ( 1776-1837)  were all influenced by  the  Dutch masters.
         Constable and Turner were themselves amongst  the great formative influences in  the development of landscape and marine painting.  The whole field of nineteenth century landscape painting is fore shadowed in their work.  Constable speaks of the art painting as being " scientific" as well as " poetic",  and in his vaste output of sketches ha made many  scrupulous notes about  cloud formations and  condition of frost and dew.  Scientific observation led to  a  freshness and naturalization in his work.   Nature moved him deeply and,  in his later years his landscape paintings came to express his own inner life.
         These pictures were incidentally to have a deep influence,  some 30 or 40 years later,  upon the French Romantics.  The methods adopted by  Constable and Turner greatly extended  the technical range of painting.  Such techniques as glazing( applying a transparent layer of oil paint over  a solid one,  so modifying the color of the first ), and impasto  ( when the paint is so thiskly applied,  by brush or palette knife,  that is stands up from the canvas in lumps)  were used with a new freedom.
         French artists throughout the nineteenth century responded with enthousiasm to the work of Constable and Turner.  Their example and genius inspired a new flowering of romantic painting in France, influencing Eugine Delacroix  ( 1798-1863),  Jean-Francois Millet  (1814-1875)  and later,  the Impressionists .
        Heralding the astonishing landscape achievements of mid-ninettenth century France was the work of  Jean-Baptiste Corot  (1796-1875),  Gustave Courbet  (1819-1877)  and Eugine Boudin ( 1824-1898).  The Impressionist painters who followed them learnt  much from their direct way of responding to landscape.  Corot was able to approach landscape without the prejudgements of earlier landscape conventions. Boudin exerted a similar influence through his pupil  Monet   Courbet used paint richly ans sensuously,  and spread his impasto so as to give his landscapes and seascapes a superb massive effet.  Monumental cliffs,  curling waves, dense foliage--- all become vividly real.
         From the systematic study of color and visual perception evolved Impresionism,  a new theory  and practice of painting,  increasingly removed from the simple description of a scene.  One group of artists,  among them  George Seurat  ( 1859-1891)  and Paul Signac  ( 1863-1935) constructed pictures from pointilles,  myriads of tiny points of pure color.  To the eye of the viewer,  the points seem to fuse to create subtler colors.
        Paul Gaugin  (1848-1903)  used landscape symbols as ways of expresssing thoughts,  dreams,  and recollections rather than as a report of direct experience.  Similarly,  the art of Vincent van Gogh  (1853-1890)  became increasingly a reflection of inner turbulence and final chaotic despair,  rather than of the external world.  These three different viewpoints -  the technical innovations of Seurat,  the decorative symbolism of Gaugin,   and the passionate immediacy of Van Gogh,  were all influential in the work of a group known as the Nabis  ( prophets)  which included Bonnard  and Vuilard ,  andof the Fauves  (wild beasts)  such as Matisse Derain,   Marquet   and others...
         Paul Cezanne  ( 1839-1906), though he too had an early Impressionist phase,  turned his attention to controlling color so that it came to indicate spatial relationships.  He also constructed forms on the canvas  in an organized manner recalling the disciplined classism of Poussin .  His landscapes were massive and solid.  He sais of them " Our art should enable us to feel Nature as eternal " .
        The first half of twentieth century unleashed violence that shook Man' s confidence in the image of Nature as eternal.  Perhaps it is as a result of this uncertainty that landscape painting has declined.  No national schools have emerged since 1900,  but a number of individual artists continued to repond to landscape.
        Among the first exploratory works of Cubism  are several based on the landscapes around the hill towns of Spain, the French Pyrenees and Provence.  The landscapes of Kokosschka  fuse the color qualities of late Impresionism and the resltless of Northern Impressionism.- Soutine ' s  landscapes carry these intensities to their furthest extreme- and many of the Surrealist painters used landscapes as a setting for their fantasies.
         In France, Jacques Villon, Dunoyer de Segonzac Jacques Villon,  and Nicolas de Stael   continued the landscape tradition in their various ways, while in America an artist like Milton Avery  has made highly personal extensions of the shapes and emblems of Gaugin' s landscape.
         In England, Paul Nash  and Graham Sutherland  have developed a lanscape of symbols ( introduced over a century earlier in the visionary works of Samuel Palmer),  and Ivon Hitchens has caught the mood of the Sussex countryside in subtletics of color.  They are swept on to the canvas withh all the freshness of his deep knowledge and love of the area where he has lived nearly all his life.  All these artists use landscape as a sounding-board for their own emotinal or intellectual concerns.  rarher than as a means of expressing a faith in the stability of the natural order.
        The graduation  from these precedents and theoretical standpoints to the first Impressionist painting of the early 1870. was the conbined achievement of  Monet  and Renoir .  Both were gifted with a rare facility of touch. Renoir, trained as porcelain painter, painted from the start with a almost abandoned enjoyment of his medium and with a very original and delicate sense of color.  Monet, the dominant figure of Impressionism throughout the movement' s history, also possesseded a prodigious ability to achieve a likeness.  Through his inspired judgement of tone values in the simplified main areas and the judicious placing of a few points of emphatic light and color, he effortlessly reapized Cora' s concept of nature contained in an "atmospheric envelope" .
         For a while in 1865-1866, he attempted to reconcile this sort of spontaneous perception with large scale figure compositions, emulating the  pastorale idea of Manet' s    Dejeuner sur l' Herbe  and conforming more to the Salon tradition of paintings with some sort of agreable narrative theme.  This whole idea conflicted with his basic principle of an immediate visual rapport   between the artist and his subject, and after several attemps,  he abandonned the idea.  By 1869,  he and  Renoir were revolved to paint only in front of the subject,  to paint small,  portable pictures and above all,  to concentrate all their resources on one single objective:  to capture the unique moment of experience.
         As Impressionism matured,  the actual identity of the subject became less important.   Monet wrote that you should  " try to forget what objects you have before you "   and record only the colored shaped your eye could see.   In effect,  the elusive nature of perception itself became their subject.
         In this extreme sense,  Impressionist landscape painting of the 1870' stood for the most limited objective of all European art.  Their painting had no intellectual or conceptual framework,  no symbolic or narrative subject-matter.   What is more,  they abandonned  all traditional concepts of technique  that they evolved,  part conscious,  part intuitive,  was revolutionary in two respects :  in its colors and  in the freedom of its brush-marks.
        To take color first: because of the unprejuduced honesty of their vision,  they actually saw color in the new way.   It is genrally true to say that before the Impressionists,  color in  painting  was tied to the concept  " known  "  local colors.   If an object was seen and known to be red,  then it was painted red in all circumstances.  Apart from variations of color in the interest of expression this tonal system had not been seriously questioned since its perfection in the fifteenth century.
         In the course of their intensive investigations of natural appearances,  it became increasingly apparent to Monet and Renoir that  color was in reality not constant :  that a shadow cast on any object did not just darken,  but actually changed its visible color.  They recogn ized that all colors in nature were conditioned by light and atmospheric conditions,  and  were constant subject to change.   When they introduced these ideas into their painting,   a perspetive crtic ealized that their color was  "so true and so natural that one might well find it false".
         What applies to the impermanence of color under atmospheric conditions also applies to the impermanence form. The realization of three dimentional solidity and stability is another " know" rationalization of perception.  The destruction of this second constant of traditional art. - form   was the essence of the other technical revolution, achieved by the Impressionists.  This was the loose,  separate and " unfinished" quality of their brushwork,   with no contours,  no stable boundaries....
        By comparison with any painting exhibited previously, the 1870 paintings of Monet and Renoir were " extraordinarily incomplete and indefinite. " disant of an conservative  spectator...." They did not present the viewer with comprehensive reconstruction of a visual experience, but with the simutaneous impact of many fragmentary sensations. The pleasurable shock of recongnition that we experience when our eyes and minds collate these sensations to some extent reproduces our purelyvisual experience when suddenly confronted with an unfamiliar view." critizied the author..., then ..."In the same way a familiar Impressionist painting can never quite recapture that first stimulation moment of confrontation. In this sense, Impressionism is an extreme form of Illusion.
         For this view, I'm not agreed with the critics.  Under the vision of great painters, we must eliminate the uncessary details....  For them,  we must close our eyes and imagine which remaining in the dark....
       Cezanne later criticized  Monet as  "only one eye...",  and "certainly his paintings were not the synthetic products of eye and mind..."   We are not led into the picture from one object to another;  there is no sequence,  no focal climax.  The whole surface is equally articulate,  or rather equally inarticulate,  alive with incomplete raw material....
       The separate brush-strokes contribute to the sense of immediate spontaneity;   they carry s sense of breathless gesture..  To some extent they were a matter of expediency;   the short life of a particular atmospheric condition demanded rapid execution.... But...they also allowed the painter to separate component colors and to preserve the shimmering vibration of the complementaries by inviting the colors to blend in the viewer's eye rather than on the painter's palette.   Monet's seascape are full of iridescent greys made from small interwoven marks of  yellow,  pink,  violet and blue. But their use of complementatires was never scientific or systematic.  Their whole way of working called for rapid selection and instant decisions.
         Knowing this, it is obvious that we can talk od " an Impressionist technique" only in a very  loose sens, Although their ambitionwas objectively, the very nature of a first visual impression is intimately personal. The subdued sensitivity of Sisley and the more considered formality of Pissarro  set themslightly apart from the extreme attitudes of Monet  and Renoir  Their technique is less audacious, their color less spectacular. The choice of subject too,varied with temperament. Pissarro's domestic peasants, Renoir's gay Parisian life and Monet's railways and boulevards are personal and original aspects of the late nineteenth-century painters' repertoire.
         Edgar Degas (1834-1917),   who shared in their exhibitions and is always linked with the movement,  " was scarcely an Impressionist at all  ".... He despised spontaneous open-air painting and was  " a draughtsman with the true Academic's instinct for experimentresearch and completeness"...  " His affinity with the Impressionists lay in his brilliant perception of light and arrested movement. "   This is a idea objectively  for Degas .    With me,  Degas,  Renoir,  Pissarro  and  Monet   are the very  talented  painters,  who created a great impression for the painting modern.  For me also,  the great inspiration  is  more important  than the reseach,  or academic background .. For example . .. the painting " la danseuse"   one of the excellent inspiration of painting of  Degas , ...Affinity de Degas  with Impressionists lay in his  brilliant perception of light and  arrested movement.   Exclusively a figure painter,  his paintings,  pastels and drawing of contemporary life married his accuracy of vision to  the Classical sense of design,  closer to   Manet  than   Monet .
         Pissarro alone contributed to all eight Impressionists exhibitions;  to him it was almost a matter of moral and political principle.  By 1886,  the year of the last exhibition,  the homogeneity of the original group had dissolved and the mood of progressive painting in Paris had been transformed.
        The 1880 were the heroic decade what is called Post-Impressionism.  The art of its great figures, Cesanne, Seurat, Van Gogh,   and  Gaugin,  all bears some relationship to Impressionism....For all of them,  the latter  was inadequate..." only a way of seeing " to Cezanne,  too scientific for the " Neo-Impressionist" Seurat ,  too scientific for Gaugin,  too" sloppily painted" and objective for Van Gogh .  All reacted to some extent against  the " Impressionists" concern with appearances.   Within the Impressionist group itself,  Renoir 's   later Classicism  and  Pissarro 's  flirtation with Neo-Impressionism  were symptomatic of the dissatisfied 1880s,  leaning towards a more monumental form of sonstructive painting.   But it is also true that the technical revolutions of Impressionism already anticipated this new concern in surface organization.
         The heightened color and gestural brushmarks drew unprecedented attention to the picture surface. The Impressionist surface was an intricate tapestry of colored stitches. As outraged critics complained, you were aware of the colored marks before you recognized the subject.
          The more systematic organization of paintings by Seurat, Cezanne  and  Van Gogh  derives directly from the fabrics of marks that Monet  and Renoir  created.  The idealistic vision behind these works was also an expression and an enrichment of the Impressionist act of looking.  Only Gaugin ,  who exhibited at four of their exhibitions, completely abandonned both the objective vision and their small-unit technique.
         While others were withdrawing from the exclusive Impressionist disciplines, Monet  in the 1880s concentrated more and more tightly on exclusive momentary appearances. To overcome the problems of atmospheric change,  he evolved the technique of painting a series of pictures of each subject,  changing canvases in time with nature.   In the 1890s,  during the Poplars  series,  he worked for only seven minutes at the time on each canvasbefore changing, and became terrified of reworking the Rouen Cathedral   pictures for fear of damging the accuracy of the original impression.  For a serie of Thames pictures around 1900,  he had at one point over 90 canvases stacked against the wall by his side.
        The discipline of his ambition created intolerable strain and anguished frustration (' The sunset so fast I can't follow it'..).  Right up to his death in 1926, he considered himself an Impressionist,  but in his late paintings of his water garden at Giverny, he heightenned perception  achieved the intensity of the nature mystic. Painted on mural scale, his images drift informally across the surface. vast expressive decorations. The rarefied atmosphere of these last canvases is comparable to the ecstatic vision of nature in VanGogh's Arles  landscapes and Cezanne's paintings of Mont-Saint Victoire .
       The heritage of Impressionism is many sided.  Man's way of looking at things was irrevocably conditioned by the acute Impressionist vision.  In the artist's social context, the group's collective gesture of independence created a lasting precedent. Historically their art was a conclusion and a beginning: both a consummation of the European tradition of illusory naturalism and a daring advance in the fields of coolor and sensation....
                                                                                          anonymous
 
 
homer ...
        Homer has had a special  situation in the literature of the world, even  in the past.!...The poems , as mentioned by many great authors, were wrtten by imagination!...But laterly, the events of Troy or others were found. For this reason, the idea of real story that Homer 's wrtting were eventually true! But the problem is still in searched for more evidence!...However, Homer had a great talent for wrtting theses masterpieces!...
         Before of calling "epic "poet,  the literary people used to call  " heroic" poet  in the ancient time...for the poets of  having a lot of talent ...like Homer!...Listen to Aristotle for his definition for epic poet..." They differ  ( the historian and the poet ) in  this, that ...the one speaks of things which have happened, and the other,... of things that might  have happened!..For poetry speaks more of universals, but historian of particulars!..."."
         No doubt,  Homer had a special talent for telling about history in the past through his two well known pieces of all times! ...Iliad and ...Odyssey, which inspired a lot of talent artists to perform many masterpieces of Arts later!
          We invite you to se Homer !...and how ...created he  the  influence in the World of Art!....
                                                                                       anonymous
 
 
          When  Vergil  wrote in the  Aeneid  about the fall of the great city of Troy ( which, it seems certain, was an actual event )  it was not meant to be a document of the procdings of the war but rather a glorification of heroic deds,both those of men and of the gods.
        The authors of the early poems are usually unknown;  it is possible,  for instance, that Homer is a convenient and reverential name for a collection of poets.  It is only in comparatively later centuries,  in a literate culture,   that poetry is ascribed to a particular author.  The early heroic epics were composed by bard-poets and sung or recited for the enjoyment of everyone- they were an early form of popular entertainment !..
         The works of anonymous poets inspired authors of the later centuries to follow their example and copy the form they gave their works.  The last epics,  like   Milton's Paradise Lost,  were conceived as piece of literature,  more often than not aimed at litarate,  educated readers  who would buy a copy and read it privately,  or in the company of friends.  These " literay" epics  were written in an ornamental style,  whereas the earlier heroic poems tended to be more direct...
          Heroic poetry has ben composed pratically everywhere;  hundreds of examples still exist,  although many more hundreds has ben lost for ever.  They were either transcribed because of their popularity,  as with Homer's works,  or are still remembered and repeated to this day.  Heroic poems were handed down the generations from father to son,  from master to pupil.  The bard's function was to entertain;  often his audience was composed of aristocrats and in primitive society ...these aristocrats would wish to hear of the deds of heroes,  of skill in war and of honour betwen... friend and enemy.  Homer's  liad   is full of detailed descriptions of skill in the use of weapons,  and so are the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf   and the medieval Spanish  Poema de mio Cid...Men accustomed to war would take great pleasure in this description from the  Iliad : " Deiphobus... came up close to Idomeneus and let fly a shining lance.  But  Idomeneus was lơoking out and avoided the bronze spear by  sheltering behind the rounded shield he alway carried.  It was built of concentric rings of oxhide and of glittering bronze,  and was fitted with a couple of crossbars.  He crouched under cover of this,  and the bronze spear flew over him,  drawing a dep note from the shield  as it grazed the edge...."
          Heroic poems are of course concerned with the deds of heroes :  Achilles,  Hector,  Patroclus  in the  Iliad,...  Odysseus in the  Odyssey,... Beowulf  in Beowulf, ...Roland  in The Song of Roland..and so on....These heroes are all primarily fighting men,  though there are more ways of winning glory than in battle!...Odysseus,  for example, shows his heroism by  his endurance,  his patience and  his intelligence as well as by  his courage.   One of the hero's main concerns is to preserve and extend his honour;  much of the heroic poem is concerned with descriptions of how the hero proved his honour in different dangerous situations.
         The deds of the hero in pursuit of honour often appear to us to be exceptionally brutal;  but  this brutality is often the reaction of the grievous personal loss  which the hero can only exorcize  by violence towards his ennemies.   When the  Norse hero, Volund,  escapes from his tormentor Nithuth , he savagely kills the latter's children and sends their mutilated bodies back to their parents:
 
                                          Their skull, once hid by their hair, he lơok,
                                          Set them in silver, and sent them to Nithuth;
                                          Gems full fair from their eyes he fashioned
                                          To Nithuth's wife so wise he gave them.
 
         Volund  finds his way from Germanic legend  into Anglo-Saxon mythology as  Wayland the Smith.  Again,  Achilles, stricken with grief by the death of his friend  Patroclus,  slaughters scores of Trojan chielftains with no thought of mercy!...
         The other side of the epic hero's honour is one more readily calculated  to win sympathy from modern readers;  it was contained in the unwritten code of battle which forbad extremes of brutality,  even to deadliest ennemies;  Achilles the Grek treats Priam, king of  Troy,  with great honour,  when the latter comes to him to beg for the return of the body of his son Hector.   Roland,  the Christian knight,  while hating his heathen foe,  doesn't deprive them of their rights as human beings once he has captured them.
        One of the most warlike of all peoples were the  Norsemen,  whose raids into Britain in the early Miđdle Ages caused the priests to create a special prayer : " From the fury of the Norsemen, gơod Lord deliver us!..."    Many of their legends are recorded in the  Sagas,  which belong to the twelfth and thirtnth centuries.  The  Eđdas of Iceland deal with the same material - these legends find an echo in the first British heroic poetry  which is based on tales brought in by  Saxon invaders in the fifth and sixth centuries....
          Epic heroes,  whether Grek,  Norse or Anglo-Saxon,  pagan or Christian, share many qualities :  one of the most notable traditions in epic poetry is that... the hero has a close companion,  a hero second in courage only to himself.  Achilles  has Patroclus in the Iliad;   Roland, Oliver  in  The song of Roland;  Gilgamesh, Enkidu  in the Sumerian poem Gilgamesh,  and so on... The friend is often killed in the course of the story,  causing grief  to the hero and often stirring him to his finest action!...
         The virtue that epic poetry must maintain above all others is that of a strong narrative.  With a few exceptions,  such as Beowulf ,  which contains many elements of lament, the heroic epics contain no moralizing.  This is achieved in large part by giving spches to the main characters of the poem,  allowing the audiences to draw their own conclusions. In some poetry,  notably in the Norse poems of the Elder Eđda ,  these speches constitute poems in their own right;  in other examples,  the form of the poetry is almost entirely dramatic,  rather like a primitive verse play with a few narrative interpolations to help the story along...
         Heroic, epic poetry is still practised in some part of the world.  Examples can be found... in Russia,  where the Ryabinin family keps the tradition alive,... in Yugoslavia, Grce, and in many part of Asia ănd some part of Africa.   It  continues in the form it has always taken,  depending for its existence on the passing down of the bardic skills from father to son.  It functions best in societies which have remained for the most part illiterate and tribal.  It can hardly be written in the modern society,  since it assumes a code of honour in action which has ceased for many centuries.  The only heroic poems composed in Britain were Beowulf,  The Battle of Maldon, and  Brunanburh in the Anglo-Saxon period .
          The literary of artificial epic lasted longer in the West.  Though based upon the form of the heroic epic,  it is not so much concerned with the deds of heroes as with endowing its events with the grandeur of epic status. The gơd example is also one of the earliest -  the Aeneid,  written by  Vergil  in the first century before Christ. The Aeneid  is  highly conscious imitation of Homer's work : its hero, Aeneas, was a Trojan prince who plays a minor part in the  Iliad .  Vergil,  an intensely patriotic Roman, wanted to give his countrymen a mythology as respectable as that of anciet Grece.  And so Aeneas makes a voyage from Troy to Italy lasting seven years, a voyage very similar to  Odysseus' journey home in the  Odyssey.  Finally he lands on the banks of the Tiber and defeats the Italians. Aeneas was the son of Anchise, a mortal, but his mother was Aphrodite, a gođdess. Consequently the father of Rome could claim devine parentage, and was a fitting progenitor of a race of heroes!...
         Though containing much heroic material,  the  Aeneid   is written in a cultivated, literary style;  its appeal  was primarily to an educated class and it lacks the simplicity as well as the strength of Homer's narration... Yet for the very raison that he was literary poet,  Vergil set a style of literary epic;  it is significant that the Italian poet Dante,  in his greatest work,  the Divine Comedy,   chose Vergil as his guide through the Underworld...
         The Divine Comedy is epic in length.  Its intention, too, is epic.  It comprises three books, one each on Heaven,  Hell and Purgatory .  In allegorical terms it affirms Dante's  ethical and political conception of the world and the duties of Man.  It is also an exciting adventure story,  for the poet,  in his descent into.  Hell, meets terrible monsters and ghosts of men punished eternally for their earthly crimes...
         There are some grounds for comparing the Divine Comedy  with Milton's Paradise Lost .  Both poets set out to write a poem of epic dimensions- Milton's poem was to achieve " Things unattempted yet in prose or rime!",  and both poems have a sense of adventure about them.  The battle betwn the forces of God and the force of Satan. ending in Satan's fall to Hell is forcefully described in the following lines:
  
                                               And now thir mightiest quell'd, the battel swerved,
                                              With many an inrode gor'd; deformed rout
                                              Enter'd and foul disorder: all th ground
                                              With shivered armour strew'n, and on a heap
                                              Chariot and Chariotr lay overturned
                                              And fierce foaming Steeds.
 
           Milton replaced the old warrior heroes by heroes whose functions were more carefully defined. Despite  he makes  a show of maintening a well-balanced struggle betwn God and Satan, the issue is predeterminated. Again, Satan is not entirely unsympathetic portrait, there is none of the old objectivity in Milton's treatment of his protagonists. This in not the human conflict, undertaken for the glory of it, but a deeply serious struggle over the soulof the mortal Man.
          Dante and Milton  did not aim primarily to tell the history, as the ancient bards did. Dante  felt that only through poetry could he express his vision of a spiritual renewal of the whole humanity. Milton , more sternly, wished to " justifie the wayes of God to the Men!" ;  both were preoccupied with a vision of Man's spiritual nds and their poems are calculated, by use of character and style, to achieve an allegory of the human condition.
        Of course, allegory had no place in the heroic epic and spiritual example set by the bards was confined to advice on the wisdom of propitiating the capricious gods. Again, the litarary epic differs from the heroic model by chơsing idealized heroes : though Homer's heroes  perform almost supernatural feats of courage and strength, they are very human:  they boast,  sulk,  cheat  and run away  when occasion demands it. Spencer ,  the only other English poet whose work The Faerie Queene, can be called epic, set out to create an idealized representation of Queen Elizabeth  and " to fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline...". To achieve his end, he used tales of medieval chivalry for complex symbolic purposes.
 
the mock - heroic poem...
        Spencer  had a vision of the good society, and his poem is a model to all who would learn how to live in such a society. Its narrative, far from being taut and fast-moving, flows along at the very leisurely pace. The language is modelled on the gentle cadences of Italian poetry  of the time, and is pleasant to read even now.
       Later examples of epic are hard to find. The " Augustan Age ", the eighteenth century,  produced no more than mock-heroic poems like Pope's The Rape of the Lock ,  which applied the elevated language of Greek heroic poetry  to the trivial subject.  The poem depends for its considerable wit on the description of the capture of a lock of a beauty's hair by an amorous beau in grandiose language. Pope, the most brilliant poet of his generation, knew that the epic form could exist only in this way for his time.
         While Byron  and Browning  both wrote long poems in teh nineteenth century, none of their work was " epic " in the original sense of the word. Longfelơw 's Hiawatha has more of the epic mood than any other.; it deales with a warrior-hero and with the original race of the American contiment ,  and it was, at least in part,  epic in intention . But its treatment is more lyrical tha heroic.
         Despite epic, whether heroic or literary, is no longer written outside a few societies, the epics of the past have never been so popular. New translations of Homer appear every few years in Britain alone, and much reseach is being done on the legends of tribes and races now almost forgotten. This popularity is more than a cult: a society in which great deeds are becoming increasingly rare is likely to gain more and more pleasure from reading of the prowess of the heroes of antiquity...
 
                                                                                     anonymous
 
 
taoism and buddhism in china...
         The occidental culture is based on the logic. The logic began many centuries before  Chirst.
         The most well known logical system was of Pythagore!... He would like to apply the mathematics in the demonstration of the presence of universe. His logic also well known by his great knownledge of mathematics.!... Even out of date by the development of  sciences in our times,  this famous logic had great influence on Plato, an another great thinker, and  his disciple Aristotle.!  The difference between Plato and Aristotle was... Plato believed faitfully the  rational mathematics!,... instead of experimental sciences as Aristotle did!... We can not ingnore the questions and responses of Socrate for his disciples. , it was the key of logic system of Plato.  It was also great logic of great thinker. After discussion "sur la table ronde" avec... Truong Ngoc Diep , ...Truong thi Sen,... Truong thi Hue,...  Truong thi Hong Nhung, ..Truong thi Tuyet Mai, ... Truong thi Quynh Huong,.. Truong Ngoc Minh, ...Truong thi Thien Huong, ..Truong Quang Minh,..and... Truong Ngoc Tung, ... We all agreed that .., the good philosophic system  demands a great knownledge of mathematics!... For example... one well known logic system:  " All man must die,  Socrate is man,  he must die.!.".. This logic is not in our generation, but from Plato, of many centuries before our era.. The occidental logic system is the foundation of the occidental culture!...or we can say, ...for the culture of the world!
         Otherwise, the oriental cuture is different.!  For most literary people of the West, the oriental culture,  considered  the oriental culture, specially... the culture of china ...is mystery!... As we say in the begining of this site,   " the oriental culture is magnificent,  if we have the common sense! " Their fact was presented in the " raw material",  the readers have to have good knownledge for appreciating this beauty!  For example,  the famous story of the oriental culture...A mother would like her son well educated,  by selling her house and moved to the place close to the school!  Finally, her son was ..a great philosophe in the past of china culture!.... Applying this story with the logical system of occidental culture, we might say: " Influence of the ambiance in the development of the culture!".. For this reason, the oriental culture is difficult to catch up, if we are not in the mood  to accept the facts!...
          Buddhism is coming from India for many centuries , but the religion had been changed, and becoming of the China itself.  Taoism is come from China. I would like to present in this topic because of the similarity of both religions., also their different aspects!.. The comprehension of this topic, demands us a great knownledge also!.  I would like to present the  "raw material"  for your thinking!  They are great doctrines of religions in China in many centuries, even in our times! ..but also well known for long, by the " depth of the spirit of the creators!..".
                                                                                        anonymous  
 
 
  taoism...
        The age of confusion which follwed the fall of the Han Empire eriod of great importance in the history of religion in China. The 3rd and the 4th centuries AD,an era of turmoil and war, saw the rise and development of the two religions systems which henceforward offered the only alternatives to Confucian orthodoxy. The introduction and  spread of Buddhism is described in the last section of this topic; here a brief survey of the progress made by its chief rival, Taoism, will be made.
         The transformation of Taoism into a religion was one result of the triumph of the Confucian school, now established as the state protected orthodox philosophy. The nesw Confusianism, as it emerged at the hands of the Han scholars, was entirely divorced from the ancient magical rite of the wu magicians. The sholars who exalted the moral virtues and placed them under the patronage of the supreme deity, T'ien,(Heaven), grudgedany favours shown to the hetereodox deities worshipped by the wu priests... Taoism, with its doctrine of non-action, its mysticism, and its disregard of the rites and ceremonies esteemed by the Confucians, was equally frowned upon by the orthodox scholars. Both Taoism and the cults of the wu priesthood were deeply rooted in the cultural life of the Chinese. The rather arid doctrines of the Confucian scholars had little appeal for the mass of the people. It was not unatural, therefore , that the principal heterodox philosophy. Taoism should join force with the popular religion which Confucianism had rejected.
         This alliance, from which later Taoism, a religion more than a philosophic school, was born, was stimulated by the appearance of the new rival, Buddhism.  Both Buddhism and Taoist philosophy denied the value of the world of appearances, and directed their appeal to the mystical side of human nature. Since this religious instinct was neglected by Confucian orthodoxy, it was inevitable that the new creeds should awaken a widespread response. Buddhism offered the hope of  Nirvana, or eternal happiness in the Western  Paradise. Taoism , which had hitherto known no doctrine after life. promised the achievement of immortality by alcheministic practices. Thus the cults which the magicians had populirised at the Court of the Emperor Wu where now systematised by Taoist interpretations and systhesised into a comprehensive pantheon rivalling, and often borrowing from, Buddhist legend and lore.
         Traditionally the new movement is ascribed to Chang Tao-ling, a native of Chekiang province- the stronghold of the wu cults- who lived in the reign of Kuang Wu Ti , first    Emperor of the Later Han dynasty. Chang Tao-ling is said to have been born in A.D. 34 and to have lived till A.D.156, a space of one hundred and twenty two years, which, to say the least, appeares improbable. Most of his life was spent in retirement upona mountain, where he studied alchemy and sought the drug of immortality. Taoist tradition regards him as the first  Tien's Shih  or  Heavenly Teacher (a title sometimes translated as "pope" ) and he is said to have achieved immortality and ascended to Heaven on the dragon. There are indeed, few historical facts about Chang Tao-ling was a descendant of  Chang Liang ,a general of  Liu P' ang, founder of the Han dynasty, and this Chang Liu-P'ang, was himself a scion of an ancient family in the Han state. ( Han state is not the same as the han dynasty. The former was one of the Three Tsin , the state among which the old Tsin kingdom had been divided. The supposed pedogree of the Chang Taoist popes is a fiction designed to rival the real antiquity of the K'ung family, descended from Confucius.)
         Although the stories about  Chang Tao-ling are manifestly legend, it is robable that about this time the Taoist philosophy began to assimilate the practices of the  wu  cults. and the  wu  themselves became known as  Tao Shih,  or  Taoist Teachers. Side by side with the growing infusion of magical practices, there persisted a pure school of Taoist teaching which continued to attract scholars and poets who found Confucian doctrine unsatisfying. Early in the  Tsin dynasty ( A.D 265-316 ) , there was  a famous coterie of Taoist scholars who called themselves the  Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grave. Their lives and outlook area chacateristic of the Taoism of this period, expressing the revolt against the formalism of Confucianism and the turmoil of contemporary politics. The historians, who are, of course, Confucians, thus describe the activities of the Seven Sages :
 
                 " They all revered and esalted the Void and Non-Action and disregarded the rites and law. They drunk wine to excess and disdained the affairs of this world...".
 
          The leader of the club,  Hsi K'ang ( A.D. 223-262 ), was put to death by Ssu-ma Chao, father of the first Court of Wei, the northern state of the Three Kingdoms period. Hsi K'ang was in the habit of expounding his doctrines to his disciples and had achieved a very great reputation. Ssu-ma Chao, came to listen to him, but Hsi K'ang made no attempt to treat a minister with ceremony; indeed, he did not appear to notice his presence. Ssu-ma Chao was offended, and later hearing that Hsi K'ang in the letter to his friend Shan T'ao had spoken slighingly of T'ang and Wu, the hero founders of the ancient Shang and Chou dynasties, the minister made this a pretext to execute Hsi K'ang as one of who..."disturbed the times and confused right doctrine.". The real cause of his enmity was thatas he himself was contemplating usurping the throne of his nominal sovereign, the Emperor of the Wei dynasty, he considered that Hsi K'ang slighting reference to T'ang and Wu was a covet criticism of himself, these ancient heroes being, in the opinion of the Taoist, usurpers, not legitimate heirs to the throne.
         Shan T'ao, Hsi K'ang friend, was alsoone of the Seven Sages, and a native of the southern kingdom of Wu. Under the Tsindynasty he held high office as president of the Board of Civil Service. He seems to have been less excentric than his friends. Liu Ling, another of the Seven, was a great drinker. He used to declare that to a drunken man the " affairs of the world appear as much duckweed in the river..". He rode about the capital in a small cart drawn by deer, with a servant following with a large pot of wine. Another servant carried a spade, and had orders to dig a grave and bury his master forthwith without ceremony, wherever he chanced to die.  Yuan Chi  and Yuan Hsien  wereuncle and nephew, and like Liu Ling were heavy drinkers. They were both famous musicians although soldiers by profession. Yuan Hsien had a shameless passion for a lady's serving maid. On one occasion, when he was entertaining guests, he saw the lady send the maid away. Rising without apology, he hastily borrowed one of the guest's horse and pursued the young woman, bringing her back on his crupper.
         Yuan Chi, his uncle, though sincerely attached to his mother, and sick with grief at her death, scandalised the scholars by drinking heavily throughout the period of mourning.  Wang Jung and  Hsiang Hsiu , the other members of the  Bamboo Grove, were both scholars of distinction. Wang Yung's brother as magistrate of the town in the northern provinces, put into practice the Taoist theory of government by  Non-Action, with results which were a conspicuous success. Hsiang Hsiu  wrote the best known commentary of the work of  Chuang Tzu, although, as he died before it was complete, it has generally been wrongly attributed to Kuo Hsiang, who only completed the unfinished portion.
         All the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove cultivated these eccentricities as a deliberate protest against Confucian formality and the elaborate rites with the scolars wished to surround every human activity. Behind the facade of drunken eccentricity they pursued the true Taoist ideals of simplicity and harmony with the rhythm of life. In their writings which took the form of commentaries on the Taoist classic, they developed the philosophic side of the doctrines which Chuang Tzu  had propounded. Wang Pi ( A.D.2was26-249 ), a writer who lived in the periof of the Three Kingdoms, after the fall of the Han Empire, devoted himself to the branch of Taoism. His commentary on the Tao Te Ching  shows that the higher interpretation of the old Taoist writers was still understood in the III rd century. Indeed the philosophic charactere of Taoism never entirely disappeared even when the new religious and magic type of Taoism had gained the ascendant. In the tenets of more than one of the Buddhist Schools, and particularly in the Ch'an School, Taoist influence is very evident.
         Only a few years after the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove there flourished a Taoist writer who emphasised the new magical element which was transforming the old philosophy. Ko Hung, who wrote under the pseudo name of  Pao P'u Tzu, was a native of  Kiangsu,  a contemporary of Tsin Yuan Ti , the first Emperor to re-establish the capital at Nanking after the fall of Lo-Yang to the invading Hsiung Nu.  Ko Hung wrote a book in two sections, an " inner " treatise which deals at length with the alchemistic processes by which the drug of immortality may be made, and the transmutation of cinnabar and mercury into gold. His "outer " treatise deals with matters of philosophy and government on Taoist lines.
         The inner treatise is of considerable interest as early evidence of the extent to which the theory of alchemy had been developed asnd associated with Taoism. After arguing at some length that the long-lived animals demonstrated the possibility of man attaining immortality, since if animals could live so long, man with the aid of knowledge and power could certainly surpass mere brutes, Ko Hung gives several instances of men and women wha had attained immortality in the past. One chapter of his book is devoted to methods of attaining immortality, for whichhe gives recipes. These drugs were not only believed to be capable of postponing death of centuries, but also rejuvenated the body. The results to be expected were that:
 
     " White hair will become black, lost teeth will grow again, the strength of the body will be renewed. He who takes it will never grow old, an old man will become a youth once more, he will live for ever and not die." ( Pao P'u Tzu, Nei Pien 4. )
 
          These drugs, and others of a similar nature, enabled to immortal to walk through fire without being burned, to walk on the surface of water without sinking, to rise into the air, to command the spirits and demons, and to revive the dead.
          In conjunction with the study to procure immortality Ko Hung devotes much space to the method of making gold, which it was hoped could be produced by chemical action. He gives most definite and precise instructions about this process, though he does not actually say whether he had succeeded in making gold himself. As an example of the chemical knowledge and methodes of his time his process is instructive: " Process for make Gold "...
         Ko Hung  also wrote about spell magic, and gives specimens to charms which were of use to those who dwelt in out-of-the-way places, mountains or forests. These he recommended should be pasted upon the door, beams and pillars of the house. 
       The new school of alchemistic Taoism  also prospered in the northern empire under the Wei dynasty ( AD 386-557), where it received  imperial patronage. In AD 415 a certain K'ou Ch'ien-chih, a man of good family and younger brother of a provincial governor, who had dwelt for some years as a hermit on Mt.Sung in Honan, had a vision in  which Lao Tzu  appeared  to him. From the divine founder of Taoism K'ou received a new book of doctrine in twenty rolls, and also was appointed T'ien Shih, or Celestial Teacher , chief of the Taoists among mortal men. This incedent sifficiently refutes the claim of the Chang family to have held the rank of T'ien Shih from father to son since the time of their supposed ancestor Chang Tao-ling. In A.D. 423 K'ou had a further vision in which the great grand son of Lao Tzu, himself an immortal, appeared to give further instructions and confirm K'ou's position as T'ien Shih.
          In A.D. 428, K'ou Ch'ien-chih left his retreat on Mt.Sung and came to the Court of the Wei Emperor T'ai Wu  ( A.D. 424-452), which was then established near Ta T'ung Fu T in north Shansi. The Emperor welcomed K'ou and accepted him as the chief of the Taoists. He and his disciples were lodged at the public expense, and a temple built for them ouside of the capital. The new cult was highly honored, the Emperor himself paid a visit to the temple in the year A.D.442, and received a book of charms. After this every Emperor of the Wei Dynasty used to proceed to the Taoist temple at his accession and obtain a charm book.
          A few years later, in A.D. 448, K'ou Ch'ien-chih died, but the death of their leader did not destroy the faith of the disciples. Indeed, it was the cause of renewed honors.
 
         " After his death his corpse stretched and when the disciples measured it, it was found to be 8 ft 3 in. in length, but after three days it began to shrink and when coffined was no more than 6 in long. Then the disciples believed him to be one who had attained immortality on death, and had become transformed and disappeared as an immortal."
 
         Taoism prospered under the Wei   dynasty, and when the capital was moved to Lo Yang  in Honan, the Taoist temple was established there.  Numerous other adepts appeared, though none attained the fame of Kou Choien-shih.  It was to be expected that the Taoists should resent the competition of Buddhism, which, being an alien creed, offended the conservative sense of the nationally minded Chinese,nevertheless the Taoists  found it wise to compromise with the intruder to some extent. K'ou Ch'ien-chih, it would appear, described Buddha as one who had found the Tao among the " western barbarians " ( Indians ) and become an immortal. As such he might be honored, though not of course in a manner equal to Lao Tzu  or other Taoist immortals of superior rank.  
         The rivalry of Buddhism and Taoism was the cause of persecutions which fell equally upon both relogions. Taoism had escaped the persecution directed against Buddhism by the Emperor of the Wei  dynasty in A.D. 444. In fact, the Taoists inspired this movement on the grounds that Buddhism was an alien creed, which had no tradition connection with the golden age so beloved by all Chinese scholars. In A.D. 555 the ruler of the northern Ch'i  State,  which occupied the north-eastern provinces, called a congress of Buddhists and Taoists with the idea of the unifying the two rival religions.  The priests of Buddha having proved victorious in the argument, the Emperor ordered all Taoist proests to shave their heads and become Buddhist monks. There was at first some opposition, but when four recalcitrant Taoists had been put to death, the others " obeyed the decree" and therefor there " were no Taoists in the Ch'i domain".  
          The persecution, hoever, was not of long duration, for not many years, when the north had passed under the rule of another dynasty, the Northern Chou ,  the two religions seem to have been as flourishing as ever. In A.D. 574 the Emperor of that dynasty issued a decree procribing both Taoism and Buddhism. The priests and monks were made to return to secular life, their scriptures were burnt and the images of Buddha and the Taoist divinities smashed. A fey years later in A.D. 579 his successor reversed this policy and restored the temples of both cults, and it is improbable that these short lived persecutions had much effet except in the vicinity of the capital. Throughout the period of division the new Taoist cult gained steadily in influence both with the mass of the people, and also in Court circles. Taoism does not seem to have suffered any persecution in the southern empire, while the influences of Taoist priests and magicians at the Court of Nanking  was a factor of importance.
          By the end of the VIth century, Taoism  was firmly established in its new form as a popular cult,  the rival of Buddhism . It had also adopted the pseudo-sciences of alchemy and astrology as an integral part of the system. The object of the Taoist devotee was to achieve immortality by means of magical practices and carefully compounded drugs. If this high aim was beyond his powers, he might at least hope to gain weath by making goldor failing that, to prolonghis life by the study of drugs less potent than that of immortality. The consequences of this new turn to Taoist speculations were far more important than has usually been admitted.
         Alchemy and medicine became identified with Taoism. and Taoism was an unorthodox cult, opposed by the scholars of the Confucian school. When Taoism was favored by the Court , the Confucian hostility could be ignored, but when Taoism lost this support,  the weight of the Confucian influence was against it. Taoism therefore gradually became a despised popular religion, regarded as gross superstition by the schoolars and educated classes. As alchemy and medicine were the stock-in-trade of the Taoist rpiest, there sciences shared the contempt lavished upon Taoist teaching. Alchemy, though its hopes were too high and its methods unsound, was none the less the parent of true scientific chemistry. In China all such sciences incurred the derision which was meted out to Taoism as the superstitious cult of the " stupid people ". Medicine, which was inspired by Taoist ideas about the elixir vitae, shared this neglect. Educated persons left such practices to Taoists, who were more and more frequently men of low origin and little learning.
 
      This was the cause of the divorce between learning ans science which prevented the Chinese from discovering the principles of the exact sciences.
      
          Dicoveries were made, but they were left to the Taoism Priests. The magnetic compass was used to determine the favorable location of graves. Gunpowder had been discovered by Taoist investigators in their search for the philosopher's stone, yet until the Mongol invaders put it to the uses of war, the Chinese had only employed explosives in fire crackers, used to scare away evil influences. Science, anything which smacked of alchemy or the drug of immortality, was treated as a charlatanism only fit for the ignorant and lowly. The Scholar should concern himself with book learning, litarature, history, poetry- but not with science.
  

Architectural statues, Bangkok

buddhism... 

           Prior to the contact with European civilisation in the XIX century,  Buddhism was by far the most important cultural influence of foreign origin introduced into China in the historical period.
          The effect of Buddhism upon  Chinese thought,  art,  and the customs of daily life is comparable to the influence of christianity upon the nations of the west.  Buddhism is the only foreign element in the Chinese culture which has penetrated every class of society,  maintained its hold over long centuries,  and become accepted as an essential part of the national civilisation.  Politically the history of China can be broadly divided the feudal and i perial periods,  and in religious history there is a Buddhist and pre-Buddhist age.
         The new creed not only altered the religious system of China;  it familiarised the Chinese with the pre-Buddhist Indian philosophies and religions,  and in the realm of art it served as the conduit by which Hellenistic influence flowed eastward across Central Asia.  So many sided and powerful a force as Indian Buddhism could not fail to modify the Chinese civilisation profoundly,  but in the end it was Buddhism,  rather than Chinese culture,  which underwent the greatest transformation.  The merits of Indian philosophy have been much discussed in the west where the have found vigourous defenders,  but to the Chinese,  a people with an intensely practical side to their character,  the illimitable vagueness of Indian speculation proved unpalatable.  As time passed they began to interpret Buddhism doctrine in terms of moral virtues already familiar from the Chou School of philosophy.  Chinese Buddhism reshaped under these strong native influences took a form which bears only a faint and superficial resemblance to the Indian system from which it sprang.
 
                         The Chinese artists who were called upon to illustrate episodes in the life of Buddha naturally portrayed the Indian sage in surroundings with which they familiar, just as the Italian primitives painted the Christian saints in the costumes of renaissance Italy. One famous picture shows Buddha attending the dead-bed of his father, King Sudhodana, in the typical Chinese Palace hall.
 
                          The exact nature of the original Indian doctrine is itself very uncertain. Buddhism, when it reached China in the Irst century A>D>, was already an old religion, with some four or five centuries of history behind it. The dates of  Gautama Buddha's life are not precisely known. It has indeed been argued that no such person ever existed, or if he did, he was not the founder of Buddhism, but a reformer who reshaped an ancient creed. This controversy must be left to Indian historians ans Sanskrit scholars. Conservative opinion regards Gautama as a historical personage, who probably lived and preached in Northern India in the first half of the Vth century B.C., the date of his death being either 479 or 477  B.C. No contemporary evidence eother of his life or teaching exists in any language. The monuments of King Asoka, circa 272 - 231 B.C , attest the existence and flourishing state of Buddhism in India at that time, but the evidence of these inscriptions does not always confirm the theology of the most conservative Buddhist School, the Hinayana.
         At an unknown date, usually believed to be in the early part of the Irst century A.D.. Buddhism split into two opposing camps, Hinayana and Mahayana, the Lesser and Greater Vehicle, respectively.   The Hinayana  do not themselves accept this opprobrious epithet, applied to them by their advesaries. The Hinayan, who today are the Buddhists of Ceylon, Burma et Thailand, hold to what they believe to be the true and simple doctrine of  Gautama, and regard the Mahayana common with the primitive doctrine. Modern scholars have been inclined to dispute the traditionally accepted view. It is now contended that  Mahayana Buddhism, though perhaps not holding closely to the teaching of Gautama, is none the less founded upon a religious system as ancient as the Buddha, if not earlier, incorporating beliefs long current in India, but which were ignored, or perhaps opposed, by the primitive Buddhists.
          In the Hinayana system, Gautama is the Buddha, the sole Buddha, who now reposes for ever Nirvana - the absence of desire and striving - having left to mankind a simple rule by which they may attain a like bliss, either at the end of their present incarnation, or at most at the end of seven incarnations. The creed knows no prayers,invacations or offerings, for Buddha is not God, but man who has attained perfection and thrown off the Karma of sin, which dooms mankind to successive reincarnations in the world of pain and sorrow.
         Whether Mahayana Buddhism was reshaped under Hellenistic influences which took a less melancholy view of human existence, or whether it represented the Indian taste fir cosmic speculation ( which Gautama condemned as profitless ) the Great Vehicule framed what is in effect an entirely new religion. Gautama now becomes merely one reincarnation in the vast series of Buddhas stretchingfrom an illimitable past into an equally infinite future. Not only on ths worldbut inother worlds numerous as the sands of the Ganges. Buddhas have live and preached at intervals separated by myriads of years, from the time past human calculation. This world is but a speck in space and an instant in time; it will past  away and  Maitreya will be the Buddha of the next period.
         In the later developments of Mahayana Buddhism, the Buddhas past and to come gradually become gods of transcendent power, hearkening to the prayers of mankind, responding to invocations, delighting in offerings and incense. Ultimately  Amida or Amidabha Buddha, a personage unknown to the early Buddhist scrptures and conjectured to be a revival of the Indian Brahma or the Zoroastrian Ahura- Mazda, beame the object of almost exclusive devotion, and his pure paradise, the Western Heaven, the goal to which the pious may aspire. Nirvana and Gautama Buddha are almost forgotten.
          It was Mahayana Buddhism which was introduced into China in the year A.D. 65 in the reign of Han Ming Ti, of the later Han Dynasty. The Hinayana system, though known to the Chinese, never gained any wide currency in the Far East, and died out there altogether in the Xth century. Both forms of Buddhism are extinct in their native India, where they succumbed under the brutal impact of Islamic invasion and the subtle opposition of the ancient Hindu religion. According to the Chinese history, the Emperor Han Ming Ti dreamed that there was a powerful divinity in the west, and sent an embassy to bring his cult to China. The ambassador travelled to India and returned with Buddhist images and Sankrit books, which were translated into Chinese at Lo Yang by two Indian monks who had accompanied the envoy. These two Indians were Kasyapa - Matanga and  Dharma - aranya, listed in the index of the authors of the Chinese Tripitaka, orcollection of Buddhist Scriptures, as the first to translate Buddhist works into Chinese. They worked at the White Horse Manastery ouside Lo Yang, so called from the white horse which carried the sacred books from India to China. This monastery, Pai Ma Ssu, or rather one upon the same site, still exists.
          It is probable that some knowledge of Buddhism had arlreadybeen acquired by the Chinese envoys to Central Asia and Bactria. for that region, now purely Mohammedan, was an early and active centre of Buddhism. It is even probable that the first Buddhist mission came from ane of these countries, and not from India proper. The Han Emperors, as has been mentioned in an earlier  chapter, were keen religious innovators, and were always prepared to welcome a new deity. But the welcome given by the  Court to Buddhism remained without any influence on the nation as a whole in the Han period. Buddhism was a curiosity of the capial, its teaching was in the hands of foreigners, and it doesn't appear to have exercised any notable influence either on the masses or upon the educated class, which was strongly Confucian. This early imperial patronage of foreign monks is exactly comparable to the welcome accorded to  the first Catholic missionaries by the Ming Emperors and theirfirsr successors of the Manchu dynasty. In both cases the first contact led to no visible results.
         The translation of  Buddhist works and the propagation of the faith in the Han period were  almost entirely the work of foreigners. Only one China author or translator appears in the list. The others were drawn from a variety of nations in Central Asia, Indians, Turanians, Parthians, Kushans   , like the equally international recruitment of the ranks of the Christian Missionaries in modern China. The vogue of Buddhism was in fact confined to the Court, and its teaching firmly opposed by the Confucian scholar class, who formed the dominant party among the educated and had the administration of the empire in their hands. Had the centralised empire endured, relying as it did on this scholar class, it is probable that Buddhism would never have taken form root in China, and would have withered away as  Nestorian Christianity, introduced and flourishing in the T'ang dynasty ( VII th to X th centuries) disappeared, leaving as its only record the famous Ch'ang An tablet.
         The fall of the Han Empire, and the partitions and barlarian invasions which followed, opened the roed to Buddhism, and effected a religious revolution which was the most significant development in what the historians of Confucian tradition described as an "Age of Confusion". While Indian translators, assisted byan increasing number of Chinese colleguescontinued to wrokd upon the vast task of rendering the Sankirit originals into Chinesethe northern Tartar dynasts extended their favor to Buddhist monks in the conquered provinces. The Confucian scholars had for the most part fled south when Lo Yang fell. Those who remained in the north were not favored by the invaders, who rightly suspected this class of secret loyalty to the Chinese Emperor and hostility to the conquerors. The new sovereigns, needing the assistance of the literate class, found in the Buddhists and Taoists, who had been the opponents of the orthodox Confucians, a body of scholarly men who were trustworthy and loyal.
          In the IVth  and Vth centuries A.D., there was an immense expansion of Buddhism in northern China. This area being in contact with the  Central Asdiatic trade route, bu which communication with India was made, it was naturally the region to which the Indian missionaries of Buddhism paid the greatest attention. The petty kingdoms of northern China under their short lived Tungus and Hun dynasties were distinguished in the richness and productivity of their Buddhist schools, by which alone they are remembered. At Ch'ang An in A.D. 401-412, then the capital of the small state of later Chin,the celebrated Kumarajiva, a monk of Indian descent born in Central Asia, worked and taught, spreading the doctrines of new schools of Buddhism, hitherto unknown in China.
        Nevertheless the Buddhists did not enjoy uninterrupted favour. Inspired usually by Taoist opposition, persecutions were directed against them in all the states of China, but, fortunately for Buddhism, the persecutions were not simutaneous, and did not endure for long. In A.D. 446 the ruler Wei ,the northern empire, issued an edict against the Buddhists, but as his rival in the Chinese Empire was prepared to receive them, the monks were able to escape its effects. A few years later, Buddhism was at the height of its favour in Wei, andwas enjoying the fruitful patronage of the great Buddhist Emperor Liang Wu Ti  of the southern Chinese Empire. These persecutions never resembled those so familiar from western religious history. There were no burnings, no torture or massacre of the faithful. At most the authorities ordered the destruction of some or all of the monasties, and forced monks and nuns to return to family life, sometimes by the expedient, repugnant to all good Buddhists, of mating the monks and nuns themselves.
         These ineffective amd intermittent persecutions failed to arrest the progress of the new religion. In A.D.405 the historians cofess that nine out of every ten families in the northern empire had embraced the Buddhist faith. The proportion is significant, for the non-Buddhist tenth fairly represents the educated class of Confucian scholars and Taoist sectaries who alone remained detached from the new religion. The mass of the people, finding in Buddhist a religion which offered them in the next world all that they lacked in their present existence, had adopted the practice of the foreign faith, even if the dogma and theory were but little understood.
         A hundred years later, in A.D.500, it is admitted that the whole of China, north and south alike, was Buddhist. That is to say, Buddhist rites and ceremonies were everywhere pactised; temples and monasteries had arisen en every district; priests and nuns were numerous and hightly respected. A few Confucian scholars refused for themselves the salvation which their own families and particularly the women, eagerly embraced. The Taoists, borrowing shamelessly  from the rival religion, maintained a more effective opposition.
         It wpuld be a mistake to represent this national conversion as a complete break with the religious past, such as marked the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity. Strange as it may seem to westerners, the Chinese have a capacity for believing, or at least honouring, several apparently imcompatible doctrines at the same time. It is the most remarkable manifestation of the national gift for compromise. At the present time the vast majority of Chinese honour Confucius, worhip Amida Buddha, and use Paoist rites without any sense of incompatibility. " Three ways to one goal " they say. It would, however, be correct to treat this attitude as a mere materialist desire to be on the safe side, a kind of triple insurance against calamity.
          In the Far East religion has never assumed the categorical absolutism of the western religions deriving from Judaism. Neither Bus=ddha, nor Confucius, nor the Taoist sages even said: Thou shalt have none other gods but me" Buddhism, in itMahayana form, accepts, and at the same tome ignores, the complicated pantheon of Hinduism. The gods exist, but the worship of them is not the best way to escape from the cycle of reincarnation and attain everlasting repose in the Western Para
        Confucius , who undoubtedly revered the deities of his own time, refrained from proclaimingtham as the only true gods, perhaps because alien systems were unknown to him. For the men of his time worship of the gods consisted in a strict fulfilment of certain ritual acts, and was not associated with ideas of personal salvation.       
      Taoism, in becoming a religion rather than a philosophy accepted any and every deity and made them its own, with an appropriate place and function in the celestial hierarchy. Buddha himself did not escape this fate.

China Garden

          It is significant that this tolerant attitude was never adopted by the Chinese converts to Islam. The Mohamedan Chinese regard all their Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist compatriots as unbelievers with whom the Moslem will not intermarry. True to the exclusive attitude which Islam borrowed from Judaism, they remain a class apart.
        Buddhism, therefore, although accepted by the Chinese people did not displace the older gods and the worship of the ancestral, spirits. The Buddhist emperors continued to worship Heaven, and the gods of the soil and grain. Taoism en riched its pantheon with Buddhist and Hindu deities of Indian origin. Nevertheless, early Chinese Buddhism retained its corporate character and regarded the native systems as opponents.
       The prieshood were perhaps exclusively Buddhist, venerating only theThree Precious Ones, Buddha, The Law, and The Priesthood. The present tolerance which has wholly submerged Buddhism in a tripartite system in which Confucianism and Taoism hold equal rank, had not then quenched the faith and vigour of the missionary priests.

Stone 5

          The translation of Sanskrit books was continued by a succession of monks and laymen, both Indian and Chinese, and with the wider knowledge of Sanskrit, the literay quality of the translations, which had at first been poor, began to improve.
         Earnest pilgrims, not content with the partial versionbs known in China, understook hazardous voyages across the breadth of Asia in search of purer sources. In A.D. 399 Fa Hsiena Chinese Monk of Ch'ang An,travelled aroxx the Central Asia to India, and had left a region known to-day as Chinese Turkestan, where he found Buddhism in the flourishing state, the pilgrim crossed the Hindu Kush and made his way into India through Afghanistan. At that time, before the rise of Islam, the region now famous for its fantical Mohammedanism  was the center of Buddhism, the cities adorned with pagodas and monasteries from which some of the most famous doctors of the faith had come. In India itself, Buddhism, though still aa active force, was already showing signs of the decay which ultimately destroyed it. Many of the famous sites and centres of Buddhist learning were already desolate or dying.

                           After several years in India, Fa Hsien sailed from Bengal to Ceylon, then as now, a country ofHinayana Buddhism. From Ceylon ( new name Sri Lanka) the adventurous pilgrim took ship for Java which he reached after narrowly escaping shipwreck.  
 
                          This country was not Buddhist at that time. At last Fa Hsien returned to China by sea, landing on the Shantung coast after a perilous voyage, in which, the captain having lost his reckoning, the travellers passed seventy days at sea without sighting land, and finally reached the Chinese coast hundreds of miles north of their proper destination, which was Canton. Fa Hsien has been fifteen years away from his native land. After his return he settled at Nanking, the capital of the southern empire, and devoted his remaining years to translating the  numerous books which he had brought home through so many dangers.

       A hundred years later, Liang Wu Ti,  the most famous Emperor of the Southern Chinese realm, took Buddhism under his protection.
      By his orders and under his patronage the first Tripitaka or collection of all Buddhist scriptures was prepared and published in the year A.D.517. Ten years later,the Emperor himself, in spite of the protests of the Court, enrolled himself as a monk and entered a monastery at the capital. He  was only persuaded with difficulty to return to the throne, and insisted on paying the monks a large sum as a ransom for leaving their order. Two years later, in A.D. 529,he once more renounced the world, and was again persuaded to leave the monastery after paying a further large ransom. Confucian historians console themselves by pointing out that this great ruler by neglecting his empire exposed it to the perils of rebellion and himself died at the age of 86 when the capital had fallen into the hands of the soldier of fortune. In the northern empire Buddhism was honored in equal measure. In A.D.533, Hsiao Wu, ruler of the Wei state, then dominant the north, isued a second edition of the Tripitaka, shortly after the Empress Hu in this dynasty. a fervent Buddhist, had spent vast sums in building temples and monasteries.
       As the knowledge of  Sanskrit works translated into Chinese spread, the Chinese monks obtained a better understanding of the diverse schools of doctrine into which Indian Buddhism had long been divided. Manuy of these schools were introduced into Chinaand some developed new branches on purely Chinese iniative. Of these the most distinctive was the Ch'an, the Chinese name for the Indian Dhyana. The Ch'an school claimthat their systemwas founded by the Indian monk Boddhidarma., who was living at  Lo Yang between A.D. 516 and 534. It is, however, more than doubtful where Boddhidarma, who is described in the contemrary account as a Persian, was in reality as important a person as the Ch'an believe. His life story, as preserved in Ch'an tradition,is almost wholly legendary, although some of the details, such as his miraculous passage of the Yangtze on the reed, have become famous folk tales, and have inspired a long succession of artists.
        The Ch'an school laid the greatest stress upon contemplation as the only and essential road to enlightenment. The duty of man was to discover, by contemplation, the germ of Buddhahood, which lies laten in every humain-being. As soon as this discovery is made,the enlightened one attains the status of a Buddha in this life, without needing a reincarnation. The school cared little for theology, and avoided written tracts, relying on the personal oral teaching of master and disciple. It was vigorously opposed by all the other schools, who regarded its tenets as heretical. Nevertheless, the Ch'an school flourushed both in China,and later, in Japan.
        There can be little doubt, although certain Ch'an tenets were of Buddhist origin, much of the theory and practice of the sect came from Chinese Taoism,  Indeed, stripped of its Buddhist terminology, Ch'an seemes to bear a very close resemblance to the Taoist teaching of Chuang Tzu and the Tao Te Ching. Already, by the VIth century,the pervasive force of Chinese thought was coloring Indian Busshism with hue, but Indian schools ans sects continued to win converts and enjoy high favour at the Cort of the Buddhist Emperors of that period...
       In A.D. 563, the Indian monk Paramartha introduced the only Hinayana School which flourished in China.  This school, known in India as Sarvastivida, and in China as Chiu She Tsung, was conservative, clinging to the Hinayana doctrines, which were regarded as the most authentic tradition of Gautama's teaching. Although this school made some appeal to scholars and intellectuals, it naver captureed the popular approval and died out in the X th century, when the rise of what was in fact a new religion, Amidism Buddha, changed the whole character of  Chinese Buddhism.

Drought

         Toward the end of the period of partition Chih K'ai, a Chinese monk of the great monastery at T'ien T'ai, near Ning Po in Chekiang province, founded the purely Chinese school which is usually known as T'ien T'ai,and in Japanese Tendai.
        The tenets of this school clearly reflect its  Chinese origin. Chih K'ai tried to reconcile the diverse accounts of Buddha's teaching by a compromise which treated the texts as a series, each proper only to its context. Apparent contradictions could thus be explained by interpreting the text in accordance with the supposed occasion of its delivery and the nmatter with which it dealt. The teaching could be divided into an early and developed doctrine, which had gradually been expounded to the disciples as their enlightenment processed. It further reconciled the Mahayana theory of ultimate Buddhahood for true believers by teaching that every man had in him the capacity to attain Buddhahood if he nourished this side of his nature.

          The influence of Confucian Ideas  on the interpretation of difficult and inconvenient texts by some theory of the occasion on which they were uttered, is plain in the teacching of the T'ien T'ai school.
       Perhaps on account of its attitude of compromise, it made a wide appeal to the Chinese and became one of the most flourishing schools of Buddhism in the Far East. It was not until the 14th century, when Amidism had almost entirely replaced early Buddhism, that the T'ien T'ai school began to decline.Chih K'ai, its founder, an able and fluent writer, dies in  597 before Christ shortly after the reunion of the empire under the Sui dynasty.
       Amidism, the ultimately dominant school of Buddhism, or rather the new religion which displaced the tradional Buddhism of the early period, was introduced into China during these centuries, bur did not at first meet with much favor. It was not until the monk Kumarajiva translated the work known to the Chinese as theAmida Classic ( A Mi To Ching, in Sankrit Sukhavati-vyuha ) that the new cult began to spred. Further works translated a few years later helped to popularise the Amida, or Amitabha ,a personage unknown to early Buddhist dogma. He is not a man, but a deity of the lotus, in the marvelous paradise Sukhavati, the Chinese call Hsi T'ien, The Western Heaven.
       The road to salvation is no longer the arduous life of Abstention and contemplation which Gautama had preached. To escape the torments of hell and be reborn in the Western Paradise it is only necessary to invoke the name of Amida. A higher edeal was indeed offered to those who found this semple rule of life too easy. The new ideal was no longer Nirvana, hte extinction of desire and the relief of all suffering, it was to become a Buddha by devoting the whole activity of terrestrial life to benevolence towards all men. Thus, Kuan Shih Yin  or  Kuan Yin , originally the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, became the goddess of mercy," who hears the cry of the world", as the Chinese name indicates. She is the compassionate Bodhisattva who, when about to enter into Buddhahood, turned back to listen to the cry of suffering which rose up from the earth, and vowed to postpone her own eternal deification until every living creature had been raised in the scale of existence to her own subblime elevation.
       Three other major Bodhisattvas share the veneration paid to Kuan Yin, although their functions and characters are not very clearly differentiated from hers. Ti Tsang ( Kshitigarbha) is the divinity who, renouncing Buddhahood as Kuan Yin had done, devotes his existence to alleviating the suffering of souls condemned to pass acon in hell. The Buddhist doctrine does not admit of eternal punishment, but erring souls are condemned to suffer torments in hell for very long ages to expiate the crimes they commit on earth.Ti Tsang had power over Yen Wang, the King of Hell, and can deliver or mitigate the tortures of the damned.Wen Shu ( Manjusri) and  P'u Hsien are associated in China with the sacred mountains Omei in Szechuan and Wu T'ai Shan in Shansi respectively.
       They two are Bodhisattvas who renounced Buddhahood in order to assist imperfect mankind in the long ascent to divinity. Maitreya,in Chinese Mi Lo Fo ,often called the "laughing Buddha" is not strictly speaking either a Buddha or a Bodhisattva. He is the Buddha to come, who will be reborn on earth for the last time as Bodhisattva, who like Gautama will achieve the supreme height in that existence.

Autumn leaves

          Amidism, in which the cult of these Bodhisattvas  play a conspicuous part, did not gain the ascendency it now enjoys until several centuries after the period of partition, when it was first introduced into China. Constantly advancing in popular favor, it was the first disregarded in scholarly circles, and it was not until the 10th century, at the end of the T'ang dynasty, that the cult of Amida Buddha outstripped all others.
        The reunion of the north and south under the Sui dynasty in A.D.589 and the consolidation of the second unified empire by the T'ang in A.D.618 gave Buddhism a new impetus Although Confucian scholars attempted to enforce mesures limiting the numbers of priests and monasteries, their efforts met with only fleeting success, and Buddhism flourishing under the patronage of the Court, became established as a national religion which continued ti throw outvigorous new branches. The Sui sovereigns ordered the publicationof three new editions of the Tripitaka in the short space of two decades. Early in the T'ang dynasty the celebrated pilgrim Yuan Chuang ( known also under the name Hsuan Tsang ,or Hiuen Tsang) set out on a voyage to India as famous as that of his predecessor Fa Hsien
         Starting from Ch'ang An, Yuan Chuang made his way across Turkestan to Samarkand.  Most of these countries were still strongly Buddhist, as they had been two hundred years before in Fa Hsien's day. Yuan Chuang trvalled into India by way of Afghanistan, where he found Buddhism flourishing. He visited Kashmir, and was hospitably entertained at the Court of the great Hindu King, Harshavardhana or Siladitya,  at  Kanauj, not far from the modern Lucknow in the United Provinces. Siladitya had heard of the fame and glory of the great T'ang T'ai Tsung, the real founder of the T'ang dynasty, who was then on the throne. He treated Yuan Chuang with great consideration, and made many inquiries about China and its famous ruler. The pilgrim, who was a man of good family and personally acquainted with the Emperor, was able to answer these questions with many details.
         After an absence of sixteen years, Yuan Chuang returned to China by the land route, bringing with him no less than 657 Indian Texts, a number of images of the saints and Buddhas made of precious material and curious workmanship, and 150 genuine relics of the Buddha. It is not often that one finds so well documented an account of the introduction of new artistic influences as this importation of Indian and Central Asiatic works of art.Yuan Chuang also brought back to China the teaching of a new school, the Madhyamayana.which preached a subjective idealism. The ego alone is real, the universe, being the product of thought, is imaginary. This school had a certain success in the T'ang period, but died out under the constant pressure of the allconquering Amidism.
         Yuan Chuang, who was received with great honnours on his return, enjoyed the favour and friendship of the Emperor T'ai Tsung, and spent the rest of his days at the labour of translating the books he had brought from India, and in composing, at the Emperor's wish. a record of his travels. He died, nineteen years after his return to China, in A.D.664.
         The Hua Yen Tsung, another school which appealed to many Chinese by reason of its agreement with certain edeas already well known from Taoist writers,was propagated by the Chinese Monk, Tu Shun, a contemporary of Yuan Chuang, though a much older man. He died at the age of 84, in A>D>640. His school claimed to preach the higher and complete doctrine of Buddhism. It accepted the Mahayanist belief in the multitude of Buddhas, past and future, and the doctrine, taken up by Amidism,  that all may become Buddha in the course of time. Its principal tenet, which agreed with Taoist philosophy, was the belief in anabsolute unity transcending all divergencies, in which even contraries were seen to bebut forms of the Primal One.
         The speculative philosophy of these schools before long provoked a positive reaction among the practical minded Chinese.Tao Hsuan, who died A>D> 667, was also a contemporary of Yuan Chuang. He founded the Lu Tsung, a purely Chinese school which returned to the primitive Buddhist standpoint. Philosophic speculation was decried as contrary to the true teaching of Buddha. Leaving theory aside, Tao Hsuan and his disciples concentrated on the practice of benevolence. The duty of the true Buddhist they declared, was to arrive at the profession of universal benevolence. These ideas bear a strong Confucian impress. On that account, perhaps, the Lu Tsung has always appealed to Chinese Buddhists and succeeded in resisting the influence of Amidism and maintaining itself to the present time. Its influence on morality andpublic conduct has been considerable and beneficent. With the decay of other schools under the influence of Amidism this doctrine gradually gathered to itself all the more intellectual elements de Chinese Buddhism.
         In the next century, the last important addition to the schools of early Buddhism was made by two Indian monks,Vajrabodhi, a Brahman by caste, who worked between A>D> 719-732 and his disciple Amogha , also a Brahman, who died in China in A>D>774. These Indians were responsible for introducing Tantrism, the form of Buddhisme which has conserved the greatest part of pre-Buddhistic Hinduism. Strongly influenced byYogi doctrine and the cult of Siva,the sect makes unse of formulae of magic power called in Hindi, mantra; in Chinese,chen yen " true words", and of the Yogi respiratory exercises which produce self hypnotism. It recongnises a kind of trinity composed ofGautama Buddha, Amida, and Vairocana,who form a single Buddha. This sect also venerates Siva and his bride Vajrapati and numerous other INdians deities and demons. It has had a considerable influence, and an unfortunate kind, on Chinese superstition, and still flourishes. In reality, Tantrism is the only Buddhism by name, being a compound of Sivaism and other Hindu cults, with a flavour of Buddhism and a foundation of still more ancient animism.Amogna , who was mainly responsible for its success in China, made a voyage to Ceylon ( Sril anka) and India to obtain the books of his sect. On his return he enjoyed high flavour, was given titles and the rank of minister and spent his life in translating the books which ha had brought from the west.
          By the end of the T'ang dynasty Buddhism, considerably modified by Chinese ideas and beliefs, had won a lasting place in Chinese culture, from which it has never been displaced. Although constanly opposed by Confucian scholars such as Han Yu ( A.D. 768-824) in the T'ang period, and a long succession of men in later ages, the mass of the people accepted Buddhism after their fashion, and gave Buddha an equal place with the national sages and deities. Although the Court favoured Buddhism, and largely endowed monasteries and temples, the Buddhist Church, perhaps on account of its own divisions and loose organisation never acquired political power and domination comparable to the Christian Churches in Europe. Even at the height of Buddhist favour, the political power remained in the hand of laymen who were Confucian in training, even if Buddhist in sympathy and the practice of daily life...
 
                                                                                     anonymous                                        

Stone 9

catullus..
      Gaous Valerius was born about 84 BC( before Christ) at Verona, Cisalpine Gaul, and dead in54 BC He was a Roman poet whose expressions of Love and hated are generally considered the finest lyric poetry of ancient Rome. In 25 of his poems he speaks of his love for a woman he called Lesbia, whose identity is uncertain. Other poems by Catullus are scurrilous outburst of contempt or hated for Julius Caesar and lesser personages.
       Catullus was a great poet.The translation of his poems demanded the collaboration of many great authors in many centuries. Most of them are the great authors in England, included Byron, Grant, Burton, Amhurst, Flecker,...I have plan of writing this topic for long, but I had to have time to collect all documents! A little late, but more details for this great poet... I would like to invite you to see how great this poet was!...
       Gaius Valerius Catullus came up to Rome in his early twenties, shortly before Pompey and Julis Caesar consolidated their power and interests within the bonds of the first triumvirate. His father owned property in Versula and a substantial country willa on Sirmio, a peninsula which juts boldly out into Lake Garda. For that reason,his framily could surely claim a considerable degree of local importance.
       Born and reared exclusively in the neighborhood of Verona, Catullus breathed throughout his early years the fresh and invigorating air of mountains whose slopes glitted under snow in Winter and reflected, during other seasons, the green and golden hues of cultivated field and quarry. Natural beauty as luxuriant as anything Italy has to offer confronted him on all sides where silver olive groves point up the darker shadows of vineyard, mulberry, laurel and cypress against a white and cobalt background of lake and snow-capped Alps. Small wonder, under such circumstances, that throughout his later life he ever yearned to rest from care once more in his beloved villa on the strand of Sirmio, from whence, as a boy, he had first journeyed down into Versona to attend school.
        Here he acquired most of the fashionable vices common to schoolboys in every age, as he pored over the intellectual riches of the dying Greek world. Who were his companions during these salad days? After the lapse of two thousand years we can no longer tell, but the names of Cato, Caelius, Quintius breed tantalizing speculation. Valerius Cato held aloft the light of Hellenistic literry tradition as father of thart school of new poets,known patronizingly in Roman society as The Youngsters. Wheter Catullus actually studied under him at Venora...we do not know. But be that as it may, the young man most assuredly moved south to Rome with excellent credentials.... a highly educated, sensitive ans sophistocated fellow--- in the year  62 B.C. Here he soon established himself as a member in good standing of Cato's circle of young poets, orators, lawyers and amateur politicians. Eldest among these was Furius Bibaculus, who once celebrated his mentor's poverty in playful lines characterictic of the entire group to which he belonged:
 
                                                 If you should see my Cato's shed,
                                                 the peeling timbers painted red,
                                                 the vegetable garden there,
                                                 you'd wonder how the man could rise
                                                 to such a kinship with the wise.
                                                Three colewort daily, half a pound
                                                 of meal, some grapes, have been the fare
                                                 that brings him to life's furthest bound.
 
        Furius was Cisalpine, a fellow countryman and contemporary of Catullus. He had a faculty for making enemies, among them Julius Caesar. His sharp tongue and irregular moral practices may well have disturbed even Catullus, who was himself far grom squeamish in such matters.
       More appealing than Furius was Gaius Licinius Calvus, orator and poet- a mite of a man and the best of all the good companions whom Catullus loved. Although he died when only thirty-five years of age, yet his precise and lucid oratorical style won him fame, while he lived, to rival that of Cicero. A fiery and nervous temperament left its mark upon  Roman Literature in a few scraps of verse and in the occasional reference of a contemporary or later author to his influence and ability. Above all, however, he comes to life in the verses of Catullus, who shared with him such an intimate mutual devotion as only two passionately sensitive spirits could comprehend and enjoy.
       Succeeding centuries, which treated Calvus none too kindly, have obscured altogether the identity of Veranius and Fabullus, who might alone compete with him for the poet's affection. Although we know not who they were, we can recognize other friends without much difficulty:Helvius Cinna of Brescia,the poet; Quintilius Varus of Cremona, the critic; Cornelius Nepos of Verona, and the stripling poet and soldier, Cornificius. All of these men reflected the spirit and ideals of their master,Valerius Cato.
       At the same time, this group, included an occasinal representative of the finest patrician stock to be found in all Rome. Such as Manlius Torquatus of ancient leneage, son of a man who had been consul in the year 65 B.C. As a wealthy young dilettante, he had much to offer. He dabbled in poetry, law and epicurean philosophy. he was sympathetic and hospitable. Indeed, his fine house may perhaps have harbored Catullus at a most critical moment in the poet's life. Each bolstered and encouraged the other, alike in ectasy and bereavement, as only thrue friends can do.
       In his lifetime, Catullus was a poet'spoet, addressing himself to fellow craftman(docti, or scholarly poet), especially to his friend Licinius Calvus,who is often posthumously commemorated along with him.

Evergreen branches

          But  Manlius  had another associate less estomable than Catullus, Marcus Caelius Rufus was a shrewed and determined adventure. A small fortune gave him the start in life he needed. Tall frame and fair complexion, charm and a handsome face concealed his lack of scruple. In a letter to Cicero, Caelius plainly dosclosed the frivolous and dissilute nature of the society in which he circulated:
      
                                     Nothing new whatever has happened, unless
                                     you want me to send you such gossip as
                                     follows, and I'm sure you do. Young
                                     Cornificius is bettrothed to Orestilla's
                                     daughter. Paula Valeria... has divorced
                                     her husband without explanation on the
                                     very day he returned from his province...
                                     Servius Ocella would never have persuaded
                                     anyone that he had seduced anything, if
                                     he hadn't been caught twice in three days.
                                     You'll ask " Where"? The very last place,
                                     on my word, that I could have wished ! "
 
           These, then, were the men whose company  Catullus relished. If stormy quarrels  arose among them. emotions shared in common could always reunite them again in the future. Scorn and hatred of Caesar, contempt for Pompey provided a bond. Cicero befriended many of them. Hence they moved freely in the highest of social and political circles. Taste and distate, when phrased in fulsome eulogy or salvage lampoon, provided them with many an esteemed ally or dangerous foe. Self-interest was the mainspring of these political relationships, which shifted with the wind. A woman's heart could hardly have been more fickle.
        Catullus  found the comparison an easy one to make. As a young man, either at Verona or at Rome, he met the beautiful and depraved but intellectually brilliant Clodia,  who both by descent and by marriage was connected with two of the most venerable and distinguished senatorial families. When Catullus first saw her mature beauty and at the zenith of her political power. Catullus was several years her junior. In spite of this fact, he fell passionately in love- apparently from the very moment when  they frist met. This love engrossed his entire physical body as well as his entire intellect and soul. 

Frosted leaves

           As he speaks to us of it today across the centuries, the tragic story of his relationship with Cloria remains one of the most celebrated love affairs in all western litterature. We may well wonder how any man, and especially a Roman, could record his emotions with such a startling and naked intensity. Some see in this a Celtic, rather than a Latin quality.
          It is hardly necessary, on the other hand, to assume Celtic influence in order to account for the impression made upon Catullus by a beautiful, heartless and licentious woman of the world. Youth in  Verona had already left him as skilled in the mere mechanics of physical passion as he was unaware of the heights of which a genuine and deeply felt love can aspire. Confronted with such as experience for the first time, he was caught off balance. Before he could recover his equilibrium, he bacame hopelessly  involved in a chain of psychological crises, during which he confided to his closest friends ( and hence to all furure ages since his day ) a record of some of the profoundest emotions which  the human heart can feel.
         Throughout this period, he never once addressed Clodia by her actual name, but referred to her only as Lesbia - and it is by that name that she ever since been known. The first poem he addressed to her reveales the profoundly i=universal aspects of his arts. Some men doubtless will never experience the exaltation of a genuine love which consumes all the energies alike of heart, body, soul and mind. But among those who have been so transported few will fail to respond - from personal experience, even today, two thousand years after Catullus  died - to the straggering sensations which swept over this young Roamn when he faced, for the first time in his life, emotional maturity; he is changed to a god he who lookes on her, godlike he shines when he 's seated beside her, immortal joy to graze and hear the fall of her sweet laughter...
   
                                Limbs are pierced with fire and the heavy tongue fails,
                                ears resound with noise of distant storms shakin
                                this earth, eyes gaze on stars that fall forever into deep midnight. 

Lily pads

          The passion thus proclaimed was gradually reciprocated. Soon the young poet was noit only gazing upon his mistress, but was touching her and could beg her - not for one kiss, but for a million
          Life was kind in these early days. Catullus  could afford to enjoy it; nor was he the sort of young man limit his enjoyment to love alon. In addition, there were the pleasures of a good party washed down with the bottle of the best Falernian wine...
   
                                                Boy, thou minister of pleasure,
                                                With the old Falerman draught,
                                                Fill me up a stronger measure
                                                Stronger than  was ever qualified.
                                                Postuma, our mistress fair,
                                                Who' s as drunk as any seed
                                                Which the purple grape doth bear
                                                So commands, and we must heed.
 
                                                                          catullus
                                             translated by anonymous

River Stonel

the renaissance in italy...
     
    I would like to put this text in wandering... " avec truong ngoc hanh/artsliberaux ", but finally I must put in this place,...This was the very important event in the world not only  in  italy, but also for all countries in Europe, then.. in the world. for many centuries  That is the renaissance, a kind of overhaul all domains of arts  during that period.                                                  
 
   The RENAISSANCE signifies for us the marvellous achievements of men like Michel-angelo, Leonaredo de Vinci, Raphael-  men who beautified their cities under the patronage of an enthusiastic aristocracy and a wealthy merchant class. But what does the term mean and where did it come from?
  Renaissance means literally rebirth, and defines the extraordinary revival of art and letters in  Italy  from  XIV th to XVI th century undere the influence of classical models. The term gained currency after it was used in works like Jacob Burckhardt' s Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, first published in 1860.
   It has gradually accumulated many connotations which are not strcitly correcxt. In popular opinion,  the  Renaissance   is thought to incorporate ideas of Classicisme which are totally at odds with the tradition of the Middle Ages. This is an exaggeration. As far as Italy  was concerned, it has always, although with varying emphasis, seen itself as the inheritor of ancient  Rome  and its culture. Nicola Pisano ( 1220- 1284 ),a medieval  Italian sculptor, must have used as a model for his Baptistry at Pisa an antique  sarcophagus now in the Camp Santo ( cemetery ) in the same city. This is deduced from the fact that the panels round the top of the pulpit contain figures  which parkedly resemble those on the sarcophagus.
 
legacy of the middle ages...
         It was not only in Italy  that the art of antiquity was a continuing force in the Middle Ages. inThe sculp[ted figures representing the Annunciation and the Visitation, which decorate the central portal of the west facade of  Rheims Cathedral in France, were made about 30 years before Nicola' s pulpit. They have long been admired for their noble Classicism for their draperies which hang like those of sculpted  Ancient Romans, for their realism and movement, again reminiscent of the achievements of antique art.
       When  Charlemagne  was made Holy Roman Emperor  in 800 he set about reforming not only his administration but the whole culture of his kingdom, taking imperial Rome of antiquity as a model. But it must be admitted that the art which was one of the results of his policy was only superficially classical compared with the deeper understanding of classical art shown in all other medieval Classicism. That there was so much Classicism in the Middle Ages is not surprising when one remembers how much closer in time they were to antiquity.
      Another popular view, which claims for the Renaissance an abruptly new concern with first-hand observation from Nature, is equally misleading. Such a concern can beshown time and time again in medieval art. The margins of illuminated manuscripts and the carving in Gothic cathedrals show plenty of direct observation and understanding of natural froms. The leaves, carved out of rtone in the late XIII th century, around the capitals of the chapter-house inSoutwell Cathedral in England, are famous for their truth to nature as well as for their perfect integration with the architecture of the building.
    A further misconception is that between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance there is an absolute difference between mysticism and logic. One has only to remember medieval theologians like  Thomas Aquina, who tempered mystical Christianity with classical philosophy, or the virtual fetish made of logic in medieval disputations.
    This is not to belittle the stupendous achievements of the Renaissance, but an arttempt to see the period in the context of history. One of its most distinguishing points is the emphasis placed on the individual and his personal achievement. To Medieval Man, history was a continous evolution from the creation of the world up tohis own time. With the Renaissance,the new era began.
    The mind was stimulated bythe discovery of classical texts, which were studied with enthousiasm by humanists all over the country. Men turned from the contemplation of God to the apprehension of their dignity as human beings. The imagination was stirred by tales of adventure overseas, new lands charted and conquered. Everywhere new ideas were springing to life, fertilizing the minds of the cultured, the aristocracy and the merchant class alike. Curiosaity was rife; a new spirit, was abroad. Inevitably this eagerness for new experience found its expression in art.
    The idea of a breakdown in the continuum of the Middle Ages  and the cultural rebirth had been introduced as early as the fourteenth century by the Italian poet Petrarch ( 1304-1374 ). He4 called his own times deplorable and traced their determination from the rot that set in with the conversion of the Emperor Constantine to Christianity in 313 and the subsequent loss of the culture and values of antiquity.
 
the high renaissance
         What Petrarch wanted was a political regeneration of Italy and a purification of Latin diction, patriotic ans scholarly goals respectively. Renaissance art, however, was not just an academic and archaecological imitation of antiquity, but rather a discovery of its very soul, for nothing less could give the Renaissance full scope for its originality. Petrarch made no mention of fine art in the context but hios idea of a rebirth was taken up by other Italians who applied it to this field.
        Giotto, the Florentine painter who died in 1337, was hailed by the poet Boccaccio as having " brought to light that art which had been buried for many centuries through the error of those who painted more to delight the eye of the ignorant than to please the intellect of the wise..". Others praised Giotto for his life - like qualities, for his convincingly rounded figures set in an illusion of space.
       This combination of truth to nature and provision of intellectual pleasure, which has aptly been called scientific naturalism,  is an aspect of the pursuit of truth which characterized all the giants of the Renaissance, scientists, artists, men of letters alike.
       These men were concerned with the responsibility of the human individual for his own life. They put a new onus on man instead of leaving everything to God. certainly the Middle Ages  were interested in nature, and had their rationalists, too, but the men of the Renaissance redefined these ideas philosophically. To the Renaissance, the Middle Ages were cowed by their attitude to God. The Reanissance had more faith in its own physical apprehension of the world and in its intellectual understanding: hence such pictures as the Flemish painter Jan Van Eyrick' s Arnolfini Marriage Group, a virtual hymn of praise to first-hand observation. Pre- Renaissance art was not interested in such tangible reality for its own sake. The carved leaves whci decorate Southwell chapter-house are not simply objective facts, they are there in order to symbolize the variety of God' s kingdom.
     This new philosophical stance, hinted at by Petrarch, and expanded by the hunamists of early XVth century Florence, is the key to the understamnding of the Renaissance. The humanists wanted not only to equal the culture of antiquity but to better it. This was to be achieved by the synthesis of antique and modern knowledge and the shedding of what they claimed to bne the handicap of medieval attitudes, the barbarism of the Goths and the Greeks ( as they called the Byzantines ).
     By the end of the XV th century, Petrarch' s idea of a regeneration for his country and its Latin language had broadened out into a rebirth not only for painting and the rest of the fine arts, but for the culture gerenally, including the natural sciences.
    It was probably the architect Brunelleschi ( 1377 - 1446 )  who first formulated tha laws of perspirative, with which the Renaissance artists could rationalize pictorial space. Although he retains the long save of Gothic churches in his church of San Lorenzo in  Florence, a glance  as the ground plan of the church will reveal a highly ordered geometrical system in which all subdivisions are neat fractions of larges areas. Eveything seems under tight control and to human scale.
    A Gothic church would have proportions suggesting upward movement rather than enclosed space. Although his columns and capitals, for example, have a classical air. Brunelleschi was not committed to the out - of - out antiquarian attitude of his immediate successors, the architects Alberti, and  Michelozzo.  He was more interested in practical problems of construction; so his dome for Florence Cathedral may use a technique of brickwork taken fron antiquity, but its form pointed and therefor Gothic in style.
     Bramante' s ( 1444 - 1514 ) dome for his circular Tempietto ( little church ) of  San Pietro in Montorio, built in Rome in 1502, is hemispherical, a form much more closed in feeling than the still slightly upward-reaching Florentine dome. This compact quakuty of the later work is further emphasized by the repetition in the upper floor of the ratio of height to width found in the ground floor. The building is like a piece of sculpture, and makes Brunelleschi' s San Lorenzo look rambling in comparison.
     It is Bramante' s  building, therefore, which recalls the massive volume of classical temples, and in this he marks a high point in the emulation of antiquity. This zenith of Renaissance aspiration has become known as the High Renaissance and corresponding manifestations to its architectural embodiment can be found in painting.
     But before dealing with them, the work of an earlier Renaissance painter should be mentioned at least by way of contrast: Masaccio, a Florentine who lived from 1401 until only about 1428, painted towards the end of his short life, on the wall  in the Brancacci chapel of the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, a  Trinity which clearly shows his debt to Brunelleschi' s perspectival system. It is not only in this respect that he goes beyond Giotto, but also in the way the figures are modelled in light and dark, giving them a monumentality over and above that achieved by the earlier painter.
    But in spite of this development in the convincing illusion of space and volume, his painting in turn looks old - fashioned when compared with the work of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael, all High Renaissance painters. The dates usually given for the High Renaissance are 1500 until 1527 ( the sack of Rome ).
 

Swamplands

 
a dictionary of poses..
         Michelangelo' s  preliminary  drawings for  a picture of the battle of  Cascina scheduled for the  Florentine Town Hall,  which we know only from a  copy,  replaced Masaccio's frescoes in the  Brancacci  chapel as  a kind of  texbook  for young  painters. This was because the rules of proportion, perspective and anatomy were exhibited with amazing skill and variety in the  Michelangelo' s work. The picture is almost a dictionary of poses and makes Masaccio seem statistic and wooden in comparison.
       To modern eyes the later picture may seem too much of a good thing, but to the  Renaissance  it seemed as if antique art, which it regarded as a previous incarnation of scientific rules of proportion and anatomy, had been gloriously surpassed.
       The objective study of Nature and the overtaking of antiquity are inseparable at this stage in Renaissance art. While Giotto' s pictures, to the earliest humanists, were merely more life-like  than earlier art, by Michelangelo' s day life-likeness and the look of antiquity were thought to be the same thing. For this life-likeness is not the realism of, for example, seventeenth century Duch genre painters, but rather a distillation of reality apprehended as much through averages of proportion as with the naked eye. Renaissance Man' s reality was to a high degree idealized.
     If  Michelangelo  seems to be showing off in his battle of  Cascina drawing, Leonardo in his Virgin and Child with St Anne  of about 1508-1510,  has reached a point of perfect balance. His figure composition has all the complexity of the Michelangelo  drawing in the innumerable directions of the limbs and trunks of bodies, but they are all contained within an almost single image, which gives a greater feeling of balance than the Michelangelo  drawing.  There is also the balance between convincing depth and two-dimensinal designs.
   This same perfect balance is shown in Raphael 's School of Athens fresco in Pope Julius II 's library in the Vatican, painted between 1508 - 1511. Gathered round Plato and  Aristotle  in the picture are representatives of the accumulated wisdom of philosophy. The scene is an allegorical one, and is not intended to represent any particular time or place, but is an expression of Raphael' s own philosophy of painting. The whole great construction, figures and architecture, clicks into place when the spectator stands in front of the centrally placed vanishing - point of the perspective system. It appealed to his intellect to confirm the artist' s apprehension of the rational world.
    In Venice in the early 1520s,  Titian  painted a Bacchanalian  show for Duke  Alfonso d' Este of Farrara,  The Bacchus and Ariadne  now in the National Gallery in London.  The remove from  Raphael' s  exalted realm of  Plato and Aristotle  and their philosophical collegues in the  School of Athens  is accompanied by the Venetian' s  correspondingly joyful brush-work, in oil, not fresco, and his lavish effects of color. Not only is the  High Renaissance  achievement of the  truly classical figure style still very evident but now tye figures are galvanized into robust movement, not the artificial, stylized movement in the paintings of some of his contemporaries, such as Bronzino,  but a naturalistic dance whose vigor gives a foretaste of Baroque...
 
                                                                                          anonymous  

Sea water

the famous operas...
 
 Aida
       (  Gloria...al  Egit  to...ad  I  side....)    by   Giuseppe Verdi,  was first performed in Cairo,  in  Italian,  in 1871.  It was written to celebrate the opening of the  Suez Canal.  The scene is  Egypt  in the time of the  Pharaohs.   During one of the wars between  Egypt  and Ethiopia,  The Ethiopian princess   Aida  has been taken prisoner.  Her rank unknown, she has been given to the Egyptian pricess  Amneris   a a slave.  Aida  and  Radames,  a young egyptian captain, fall in love.  The jealous Amneris  also loves   Radames.
     The Ethiopian army is advancing upon the  Nile valley again.  The goddess  Isis  announces,  through the high priest   Ramfis,  that  Radames  will command the Egyptian army.   Radames  returns victorious.  The prisoners are freed at his request, and the grateful  King of Egypt declares  Radames  his successor and the husband - to - be of  Amneris.
     Amonasro,  Aida'  s father, is kept as hostage ( The Egyptians are unaware that he is the king of Ethiopia ). Amonasro  et  Aida  meet secretly, Amonasro  confides that the Ethiopians are about to strike again.  He forces  Aida  to get from  Radames the name of  the pass the Egyptians  are about to march through. Aida  tricks  Radames  into revealing the secret, but  Amneris  overhears and denounces  Radames  as a traitor. She begs him to confess and promises to help himif he will give up  Aida.  He refuses and is condemned to be buried alive. As he is sealed in his tomb,  Aida  emerges from the shadows. She has stolen into the tomb to die with him.
 
Amahl  and the Night Visotors...
       by  Gian Carlo Menotti,  had its word premiere over NBC television in  New York City  on  Christmas Eve, 1951.  It was sung in English.  The story takes place in  Judea  at the time of  Christ' s birth .  The Three Wise Men ( les rois...Kaspar,   Melchior,  and  Balthazar  )  and their page are on their way to worship at the manger in  Bethlehem... They stop for the night at the hunble hut of   Amahl,  a crippled shepherd boy, and his mother.
    Amahl  and his mother gaza with wonder at the beautiful gifts the kings are taking to the  Christ child.  In the morning, as the kings prepare to leave,  Amahl  begs to send his crutch, his most precious possession. As he lifts it, he walks without help. A miracle has  happened. With the crutch tied to the back,  Amahl  gaily joins the three kings in their pilgrimage.
 
Andrea Chenier......
       by   Umberto Giordano,  was first performed in Milan  in Italian  in  1896.  It takes place in  Paris   before and during the  French Revolution.   At a ball  given by the  Countess of Coigny  and her daughter,  Madeleine,  le poete  Andrea  Chenier recites a poem.   The poem is attually an attack on the rich and horrifies the guests. A mob of beggars bursts in,  deamnding charity.  Gerard,  a servant with revolutionary sympathies, joins them.
   Chenier  remains a Paris  during the Reign of Terror.  An unknown woman has written to him. The writer arrives. It  is   Madeleine   avow  their love and plan to escape.
   Gerard,  now a revolutionary leader,  is forced to sign an accusation against  Chenier,  formerly his friend.  He. too,  is in love with  Madeleine  and promises  to help her,  but the revolutionary tribunal sentences Chenier  to death.  Madeleine  wishes to die with her beloved.  She beribes a jailer to put her name on the death list.  She joins  Chenier  in prison, and together they go to the guillotine.
 
The Barbe  of Seville ...
       by   Gioacchino  Rossini,  was forst performed in  Rome  in Italian  in 1816. It is based on a play by  Pierre Beaumarchais.  The  opera   takes place in  Seville  in the XVII th  century.
    Count  Almaviva   has fallen in love with   Rosina,  the beautiful ward of   Dr. Bartolo.  The Count does not want  Rosina  to be influence by his high rank,  so he pretends to be a poor student.  He serenades her, and with the help of  Figaro,  a barber and jack - of - all trades,  he gains admission to the house in various disguises.  He enters as  the student  Lindoro,   a drunken soldier, and as a substitute for the music teacher,  Don Basilio.
     Dr. Batolo   want to marry his rich ward.  With  Don  Basilio' s  help he has a marriage contract made out.  But  Figaro  and the Count bride  Don Basilio  to change the name on the contract, and   Almaviva  and   Rosina  are  married.  Dr. Bartolo   accepts it philosophically when he learns  that the groom is really Count Almaviva  and does not want   Rosina ' s  dowry.
 
The Bartered Bride......
      by   Bedrich Smetana,  was first performed in  Prague  in  Czech  in  1866.  The scene is laid in a  Bohemian village   in the XIXth century.   Marie  loves  Hans,  a stranger in the village,  but  is to marry   Wenzel,  son of the rich landowner  Micha.  The marriage was arranged by the marriage broker,  Kezal,  and  Marie' s  father,  Kruschina.  The timid, stuttering  Wenzel  meets   Marie  without knowing who she is.   She warns him against his intended.  He forgets his cares when a circus troupe appears and he falls in love with  Esmeralda,  a tightrope dancer.
      Hans   meanwhile has received 300 crowns from   Kezal   as an inducement to give up   Marie.   He has accepted only on condition that   Marie  marry   Micha' s son.   Marie  is heartbroken when she learns of  this agreement.   But   Micha at length recognizes  Hans  as his long - absent eldest son.   Hans  explains that since the contract specifies that   Marie  must marry  Micha' s son,  his  Micha' s  eldest son - will be   Marie' s   husband.
 
 La Boheme......
      by  Giacomo Puccini ,  was first performed in  Turin   in  Italian  in 1896. Il takes place in the Latin Quarter of Paris  in 1830.  Four poor young bohemians share a cold attic room.  The poet   Rodolfo,  the painter   Marcello,  and the philosopher   Colline   build a fire with precious possessions in order  to keep warm.  The musician  Schaunard   enters,  laden with food and fuel.   They celebrate , and three of them leave with the landlord,  Benoit,  while   Rodolfo  remains.   Mimi,   a neighbor,  comes to and ask for the light for her candle.  She and  Rodolfo  decide they are in love and leave to join their friends at the  Cafe Momus.
      Musetta,  once  Marcello' s  sweethart, appears with her new admirer,  Alcindoro.  When she sees  Marcello   again, she sends   Alcindoro   on an errand so she can join  Marcello.
      Mimi  and   Rodolfo   find life difficult.  They separate but are reconciled,  while   Musetta  and   Marcello  quarrel bitterly.
     Both couples  are separated when  Muretta   brings the desperately ill  Mimi  into the attic room.  The others leave to find a doctor, and Mimi  and  Rodolfo   recall their past happiness.  The others return.  While  Musetta  prays,  Mimi  dies.
 
Boris Godunov.....
       by  Modest Mussorgsky,  was first performed in  St. Petersburg  in  Russian  in 1874. It is based on the actual episodes in Russian history   from 1598  to  1605.  Dimitri,  heir to the Russian throne, has been murdered by order of   Boris,  regent of the later czar,   the feeble - minded   Feodor .  As the  opera   opens,  crowds kneeling in the square pray that   Boris  will accept the Russian Crown.   When he agrees,  he is crowned with great pomp ans splendor.   Boris,  however,  has secret pangs of conscience.
     Meanwhile, the monk  Grigory,  inspired by the account of  Dimitri' s  murder told to him by  the historian  Pimen,  decides to appear as  Dimitri.  He escapes from the monastery and reaches the Lithuanian border.
     In the  Kremlin,  Czar  Boris  sends his children out of the room.  Alone,  he muses bitterly on the problems he faces and his visions of the murdered  Dimitri.   Prince  Shuisky   arrives with a report on the false   Dimitri   and the rebellion he is organizing.  Boris   demands assurance that   Dimitri  is dead.  Shuisky   recounts the gory details.  Alone again,  Boris    is in great agony and prays to be purged of his guilt.
   In  Poland,  the false   Dimitri   has fallen in love with   Marina.   She urges him to lead the attack   against   Moscow,   so he can seize the throne  and make her  queen.
   At a session in the   Kremlin,  the boyars (  Russian nobleman )  discuss what judgement shall be meted out  to the traitor, the false  Dimitri  .   Boris  appears and hears old  Pimen  tell of a miraculous healing that took place at   Dimitri' s   tomb.  Boris   recovers from  his frenzy and calls for his son   Feodor.  He counsels   Feodor    agains traitor, designates him as his successor,  and dies.
   In the forest of  Kromy,  peasants curse   Boris.   The false  Dimitri   appears with his soldiers.  The people  acclaim him and follow him as he starts for   Moscow.   Only a simpleton remains,  singing dolefully of the coming doom of Russia.
  ( This is the version in current use at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and at the  Bolshoi Opera in Moscow.   In other versions, the scene in the forest of Kromy follows the Polish scene, and the opera ends with the death of Boris  ).  

 Carmen ...
       by    George  Bizet,  was first performed  in Paris  in French ...(  L' amour est un oiseau rebelle... Que nulne peut apprivoiser...)  in  1875.  It takes place about 1820 in and near  Seville, Spain.   Carmen,  a fiercy gypsy,  is attracted by   Don Jose,  corporal of the guard outside the factory where she works.  She throws him a rose.  When she has a fight with a co - worker and is arrested, she induces  Don Jose to unitie her bonds and let her go.   Don Jose  is sent to prison for allowing  Carmen  to escape.  When he is released, he meets  Carmen  at tavern.  Now passionately in love with the beautiful gypsy,   he deserts the army to join her band of smugglers.  Micaela,  his chilhood sweethart,  find him and calls him  to the bedside of his dying mother.
     The fickle  Carmen    tires of  Don Jose  and takes up with the toreador  Escamillo .  Whe  Don Jose  returns and pleads for her loves,  she refuses him and he kills her with a  dagger.  
 
 Cavalleria  Rusticana....
       .by  Pietro Mascagni,   was  first performed in  Rome  in  Italian in  1890. It takes place on an  Easter  morning late  in XIX th century, in a  Sicilian  village. Off stage, Turiddu   is heard singing the praises of  Lola,  his onetime sweetheard, who is now married tp  Alfio.   Santuzza,  who is engaged to  Turiddu,  complains to   Lucia,  his mother,  that  Turiddu  is again seeing  Lola.  Turiddu  becomes angry when  Santuzza   accused him of infidelity and throws her to the ground.  The jealous  Santuzza  tells  Alfio  that his wife has been unfaithful.  Alfio  vows vengeance.
       Turiddu   invites everyone to have a drink at  Mamma Lucia' s  tavern.  Alfio  refuses, and  Turiddu   challenges him to a duel. Bidding his mother farewell and asking her to look after  Santuzza.  Turiddu  goes off to meet  Alfio.  Moments later a horrified villager exclaims that  Turiddu  has been murdered, and  Santuzza   falls fainting to the ground.
 
 La Cenerentola ...( Cinderella )..
       by Gioacchino Rossini,  was first performed in  Rome  in  Italian  in  1817.   Clorinda  and   Thisbe,  daughters of   Don  Magnifico,  mistreat their stepsister,  whom they call  Cinderella.   The philosopher   Alidoro,  friend  of Prince  Ramino,  disguises himself as a beggar and goes to the door of   Don  Magnifico' s ramshackle mansion.  The sisters chase him  away, but  Cinderella  gives him food.  Alidoro,  much taken with  Cinderella' s  beauty and charm, outfits her properly for the ball at which the Prince is to choose his bride.
       The Prince changes clothes with his valet,  Dandini.   Cinderella' s  stepsisters, certain that Ramino  will choose one of them, swarm all over the disguished  Dandini.  Cinderella  falls in love with his  supposed underling and gives him one of her bracelets.  Later, when the Prince takes shelter at  Magnifico' s  during a storm, he recognizes the bracelet on  Cinderella'  s  arm.  The lovers are happily united. The Princess, on her wedding day, forgives her stepsisters and stepfather, who have treated her so badly.
 
 Cosi Fan Tutte......
       by   Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  was first performed in  Vienna in Italian  in  1790. It takes place in  Naples  in the XVIII th century.  Don Alfonso  lays a wager with  Ferrando  and  Guglielmo  that their fiancees.   Fiordiligi   and  Dorabella , are no more to be trusted than any other women. He then announces to the girls, who are sisters, that their sweetharts have benn ordered off to the wars.  There is a touching scene of farewell, though  Despina   their maid, pooh - poohs their lamentations.
    Enlisting   Despina' s aid,  Don Alfonso   introduces two wealthy young "  Albanians "  ( Ferrando  and   Guglielmo  in disguise ) , who pretend to become enamored of the sisters. Time and again the sisters repulse their foreign suitors.  At last  Dorabella  succumbs to the entreaties of one, and finally  Fiordiligi  yields to the other.  As the double weeding is about to be performed, with  Despina  disguised as a notary, officiating, military music is heard. The "  Albanians"  disappear. Ferrando  and Guglielmo return without their disguises, revealing that they were the  Albanians.  The siters blame  Don Alfonso  and   Despina   for leading them  astray.  The old philosopher convinces them that what has happened has been for the best, and all ends happily.
 
 Don Carlos.....
       by  Giuseppe Verdi,  was first performed in  Paris  in  Italian  in 1867. A second version was first performed in  Milan  in  1884.  The story takes place in  Spain  in the 16th century.  Don  Carlos,  son and heir of   Philipp II,   has been betrothed to   Elizabeth of Valois.   When  they meet for the first time, they fall deeply in love, only to learn shortly that for reasons of state Elizabeth  must marry  Philip.  The royal marriage is solemnized, but   Don  Carlos  cannot overcome his love for   Elizabeth.  His friend   Rodrigo  advises him to go to  Flanders.
     Later,  Carlos  appears at the head of a delegation of  Flemings  to ask the King  for mercy.  Wen the King   refuses,  Carlos draws his sword and vows to be their savior, but   Rodrigo  disarms him on the  King' s order. The Princess Eboli,  who  loves  Carlos  but whom he has rejected, denounces him to the  King,  and the Grand Inquisitor insists that   Carlos  be imprisoned.
     Freed from prison,  Don  Carlos goes to the tomb of  Emperor Charles V  to meet   Elizabeth,   but the  King   discovers them and turns his son over to the  Inquisition.  A monk dressed in the  Emperor' s  clothes steps out of the tomb and leads   Don Carlos  to safety.
 
Don Giovanni....
      .by   Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  was first performed  in  Prague  in  Italian  in  1787.  It takes place in  Seville, Spain  in 17 th century .  Don Giovanni' s life is a series of amorous conquests. He tries to seduce  Donna Ana  and kills her father, the Commandant,  in the scuffle that follows. He encounters Elvira,  a former love, while  Leporello,  his servant, lists his master' s conquests. He makes passes at  Zerlina,  bride of the peasant Masetto,  and even goes so far as to exchange clothes with  Leporello.  But Donna Ana,  her fiance,  Don Ottavio,  and   Elvira,  bent on  ven geance, harry him into a graveyard near a tatue of the late Cammandant, which he mockingly invites to dinner. At the dinner, the Cammandant' s statue appears.  Since   Don Giovanni  refuses to mend his ways, the Commandant consigns him to the fiery regions below.  Anna, Elvira, Ottavio  and  Zerlina  rejoice over  Don Giovanni' s fate.
 
 Eugene Onegin..
      .by  Peter Ilyich  Tchaikovsky,  was first performed in  Moscow in Russian  in 1879..  It is based on a  poem by the famous Russian poet  Aleksander Pushkin.   It takes place in  St. Peterburg  about  1815.  Tatiana  and  Olga  are singing to their mother,  Madame Larina,   when Lenski  and  Eugene Onegin  arrive.  Lenski  is in love with  Olga,  and  Tatiana  with  Onegin. Later,  Tatiana  sleepless, writes to  Ornegin,  telling him how much she loves him.   But   Onegin,  in responding to the letter, tells  Tatiana   that he is not  the man for her and she must forget him.
      At  Tatiana' s  birthday ball  Onegin  pays attention to  Olga.  This arouses  Lenski' s jalousy. The men quarrel, and   Lenski  chalenges   Onegin to aduel. The duel takes  place, and   Lenski  is killed.
     Six years later,  Onegin  attends a reception at Prince Gremin' s  palace and is astonished to learn that the beautiful Princess  Gremina  is  Tatiana.  He knows now that he loves her.  He sends her a message, and they meet.  Onegin  pleads for her love,  Tatiana   wavers, for she is still in love with him, but gains control of herself and sends him away forever.
 
 Falstaff...
       by  Giuseppe Verdi,  was first performed in  Milan  in Italian,  in 1893. It is based on  Shakespeare' s  Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV.   The action takes place in  Windsor, England,  in the XV th century.  Sir John Falstaff,  now old and fat, still fancies himself a lady - killer. He sends love letters to two respectable matrons of   Windsor,  attempting to set up rendezvous with them.-  separately, of course,  Mistress Page  and  Mistress Ford  compare  Falstaff' s  letters and find them identical.   They decide to punish  Falstaff  with the help of  Dame Quickly.  Through plots and counterplots, disguises and complicated tricks, they discredit  Falstaff  .  Everyone has agreat laught at the fat knight' s expense.
 
Faust..
      .by  Charles Gounod,  was first performed in  Paris  in  French  in 1859. It is based on a poem by the famous German writer  Johann von Goethe.   The  opera   takes place in  Germany  in the XVI th century.  The elderly  Faust   makes a deal with  Mephistopheles.  In exchange for  Faust' s  soul, his youth will be restored and he will meet the beautiful  Marguerite.
      At the fair,  Valentin,  Marguerite' s brother  worried about leaving her  unprotected while he is in the Army.  Siebel,  who is in love with her, promises to watch over her.  Mephistopheles  joins the crowd, performs magic, fights, and withdroaws when the soldiers raise their swords in the form of a cross.  Faust  meets  Marguerite, and she loses her heart to him.
     When the war is over,  Valentin  returns and  Faust kill him in a duel.  Marguerite,  conscience - stricken, kill her newborn child and is put into prison to await execution.  Faust  and Marguerite urge her to escape. On the threshold of death,  Marguerite  prays for forgiveness.  She dies, angel voices sing of her redemption, and   Mephistopheles  drags  Faust  to his doom.
 
Fidelio..
        by  Ludwig van Beethoven,  was first performed in  Vienna  in  Germany in 1805.  It takes place in a prison near  Seville  in the 18th century. Florestan, a Spanish nobleman, has been thrown into prison by Pizzaro, a political annemy and the prison governor, Florestan is chained to a wall in the deep dungeon and is slowly starving to death. Hoping to save him, his devoted wife, Leonora disguises herself as a young man. She takes the name Fidelio  and becomes the assistant of  Rocco,  the chief jailer.  Rocco' s daughter, Marcellina, fails in love with the handsome  Fidelio, to the dismay of her suitor,  Jacquino,  and of Leonora  herself.
    Learning that the prime minister is about to inspect the prison,  Pizarro   determines to silence  Forestan  forever.  He sent  Rocco  and  Fidelio   to dig  a grave for him in the dungeon.  Fidelio  throws herself between him and Florestan, and threatens  Pizarro   with a pistol.  At this moment trumpets sound, heralding the arrival of the prime minister. He orders all prisoners released and brought before him. He is shocked to find  Florestan  there in such a state, but he is full of admiration for Leonora' s  courage.  Pizarro  is arrested and led away in chains while  Leonora  removes the fetters that bind her husband.
 
Der fliegende  Hollander..
       .by  Richard Wagner,   was first performed in  Dresden  in   German  in  1843.  It takes place in the 18th century on the Norvegian coast, where the Dutchman' s  ghost ship comes to shore after 7 years at sea. He is condemned  to  sail the seas  forever, unless he can find a woman who will love him. He is permitted to go ashore once every 7 years.
       The Dutchman meets  Daland , captain of the Norwegean ship, and begs for the night' s lodging  in his home.  Dland' s daughter,  Senta,  has long been obsessed by the legend of the Dutchman.  When she sees him, they realize they are destined for each other.
       Erik, Senta' s fiance, pleads with her to return to him. The Dutchman, feeling that if  Senta can be untrue to  Erik she would be false to him too, decides to set sail again. When his ship leaves to harbor,  Senta  throws herself into the sea.  The Dutchman' s ship disappears beneath the waves, and he and  Senta, clasped in each other' s arms, rise slowly out of the sea..
 
 La Forza del destino..
       .by  Giuseppe Verdi, was first performed in  St. Petersburg  in  Italian  in  1862. It takes place in  Spain  and  Italy  at the end of 18 th century.  Leonora  and  Alvaro  are in love. They are about to elope when her disapproving father, the  Marquis  discovers them.  Alvaro, submitting to him, throws down his pistol. It explodes, fatally wounding the Marquis, who dies cursing  Leonora.

      Leonora,  disguised as  a man,  seeks  Alvaro   in the mountain village.  In the crowd she discivers her brother,  Carlo,  who has sworn to kill her and  Alvaro . She flees to the monastery and is given haven in the mountain cave.
     Alvaro,  under the assumed name, is with the Spanish Army in  Italy.  He save  Carlo' s  life, without knowing who he is, and the two men become devoted friends.  When Alvaro  is wounded in battle,  Carlo  discovers his identity.  As soon as Alvaro  has recovered,  Carlo  insists on the duel, but they are separated by fellow soldiers.
     Fie years later  Carlo has located Alvaro  in a monastery.  He comes seeking vengence, demanding that  Alvaro  fight.  Eventually, aroused by  Carlo' s bitter insults,  Alvaro  seizes a sword, and they rush out of the monastery,  Alvaro  wounds  Carlo mortally and summons a hermit from a cave.  It is  Leonora .  She rushes to her dying  brother, who stabs her in the heart. With her last breath she begs  Alvaro   to find salvation in religion.
 
Hansel  and   Gretel
       by Engelbert Humperdinck,  was first performed in Weimar  in German in 1893.  It takes placein a forest in  Germany,  in  the distant past.  Hansel  and   Gretel ,  children of a poor broom - maker, are hungry.  Their mother scolds them for playing  instead of working aqnd sends tehm into the woods to gather strawberries.  The children pick strawberries and eat them, but they become lost in the woods as darkness falls. The sandman  puts them  to sleep while angels watch over them.
      In the morning,  Hansel  and  Gretel  come upon a little gingerbread house and begin to nible at it. A witch comes out, locks Hansel in case,  and sets  Gretel  to doing housework.  When the witch tries to shove Gretel in the oven, the children trick herand push her in instead. The oven explodes, and the witch witch in burned to a crisp. All her victims change from gingerbread back into children. The parents arrive, and all ends happily.
 
l' Heure espagnole..
        by Maurice Ravel,  was first performed in  Paris  in  French  in 1911. It takes place in 18th century  Spain.  While  Torquemada,  a clockmaker, attends  to clocks in the town, his wife, Concepcion, entertains a succession of lovers in his shop. When each new lover arrives, Concepcion  hides the old one in one of his grandfather clocks.
     When  Torquemada  returns from his work, he finds two lovers in clocks  and another one with  Concepcion. He accepts their explanation that they are only customers. The opera  ends  with everybody in gay spirits, asking the audience to remember that   " this is Spain ".
 
Lohengrin..
        .by  Richard Wagner, was first performed in  Weimar  in  German  in  1850. It is based on medieval legends. It taples place in  Antwerp  in the early 10th century.  King Henry  of  Germany  find  Brabant  in turmoil. The regent,  Telramund,  has accused  Elsa   of murdering the heir, her brother,  Gottfried.  Telramund  now claims the throne.  Elsa  denied the accusation. Her champion will be a knight who has appeared in her dreams.
     A boat drawn by a swan appears, bearing the knight  Lohengrin.  He promises to champion Elisa  and marry her, on condition that she never ask who he is or where he came from.  Lohengrin  defeats  Telramund  and his wife, Ortrud,  scheme  to discredit  Lohengrin.  Elsa  assures  Lohengrin  of her trust, but later, when they are alone, she insists that he reveal his identity.  Telramund  bursts in.  Lohengrin  kills him.
    Sadly,  Lohengrin leads  Elisa to  King Henry  and confesses that he is a knight of the  Holy Grail,  son of Parsifal.  Having revealed his secret, he must now return to  Montsalvat,  home of the  Grail.  His swan is  Gottfried,  transformed by her own black magic.  Lohengrin restores the boy to human form and departs in his boat, now drawn by the dove of the Holy Grail.
 
 Lucia di Lammermoor..
       ( Alfin son tua, alfin seimio,..)  by  Gaetano Donizetti,  was first performed in  Naples in Italian in  1835.  It is based on  Sir Walter Scott' s novel  The Bride of  Lammermoor.  The scene is laid in  Scotland  in the later 17 th or early  18th century.  Edgardo of Ravenwood   and  Lucia Ashton  of  Lamermoor  love each other, through their families are deadly enemies.  Before leaving for  France,  Edgardo  wishes to visit  Lord Henry, Lucia' s  brother, and confess their love.  Lucia  insists this would be useless, and the two pledge eternal fidelity.
     Henry Ashton  has learned of the affair and is determined to crush it.  He forges a letter to convince  Lucia that  Edgardo  is unfaithful and informs her that only if she marries  Lord Arthur  Bucklaw can their house be saved from ruin.  Lucia yields, but when  Edgardo  returns and curses the whole Lammermoor family, she goes insane. She kills her husband in the bridal chamber and dies in anguish.  When  Edgardo  learns  Lucia' s death and of her innocence, he kills himself upon her grave...
 
 Madama  Butterfly...  
       by  Giacomo Pucini, was first performed in  Milan  in Italian  in 1904.  It takes place in Nagasaki, Japan,  in the late 19th century.  Lieutenant  Pinkerton  of the United States Navy  enters into a Japanese marriage with  Cio - Cio - San, Madame Butterfly,  despite objections from the American Consult, Sharpless.  Pinkerton  does not take the marriage seriously, but the girl believes it to be binding and has even renounced her religion. They enter their new life happily.  Son, however,  Pinkerton  has to go back to America.
      For 3 years, Butterfly  is faithful, certain he will return " one fine day ".  She refuses a rich suitor.  When  Sharpless  tries to tell her that   Pinkerton has married an  American wife, a cannon announces the arrival of the  Abraham Lincoln,  Pinkerton ' s ship.  Butterfly, her child, and her maid,  Suzuki,  await  Pinkerton.  He and  Sharpless  arrive and tell  Suzuki  the truth.  Butterfly,  expecting to see  Pinkerton,  encounters his Americain wife,  Kate,  instead.  Butterfly accepts  the truth calmly and tells Kate  she may have a child in half an hour.
    When they return,  Butterfly  is dead by her own hand...
 
The  Magic  Flute...  
       by  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  was first performed in  Vienna  in   German  in 1791.  t takes place in ancient  Memphis, Egypt.   

in       Sarastro,  the wise high priest of  Isis  and   Osiris ,  has taken  Pamina  to the temple to release her from the influence of her mother, the  evil  Queen of the Night.  The Queen  induces young  Princess  Tamino  to go in search of her daughter and free her from   Sarastro.  Tamino,  accompanied by  Papageno,  a bird catcher, accomplishes his tash after various trials.  But he becomes the friend  of   Sarastro,  whose wisdom and mildness he has learned to admire.  Tamino  and   Pamina   are united as the cheers of the multitude hail the triumph of light.
 
 Manon..
       .by  Jules Massenet,  was first performed  in  Paris  in  French in  1884. It is based on a novel by  Abbe Prevost.   The  opera   takes place in  Amiens, and  Paris  and on the road to  Le Havre  in 1721.  Pretty,  flighty  Manon Lescaut  is destined by her family for  a convent.  She goes to  Amiens  to meet her cousin,  Lescaut  who will escort her. At the inn, she captivates Finance Minister Guillot,  but when the  Chevalier des Gieux  enters, it is love of first sight.  They elope  in the coach Guillot  had offered  Manon.
      Manon  and   Guillot   live happily  in  Paris,  but the  Count des Grieux,  the  Chevalier' s father, disapproves of their plans to marry. He had his son kidnapped. At the festival the  Count  reveals that his son is planning to enter the priesthood.  The  Count  is just much opposed to his son' s becoming a priest as he was to his marrying  Manon. At the seminary the  Count  tries to stop his son from entering the Church, but he is unsuccessful.  Manon  arrives.  Des Grieux  can not resist her entreaties, and they live together.
    Later, Des Grieux  gambles with fabulous success. Guillot  accuses him of cheating and has him and  Manon  arrested. The  Count has him quickly released, but  Manon  is convicted and sentenced to deportation.  Des Grieux  and  Lescaut   bribe the escorting officers to release  Manon.  Now desperately ill,  she tries to respond to the  Chevalier' s  pleas to escape but dies in his arms on the road to  Le Havre...
 
 Le Marriage of Figaro..
       by   Wolfgang  Amadeus  Mozart,   was first performed in  Vienna  in  Italian  in  1786. The events of the story come after those in  The Barber of Seville, by  Giocchino Rossini.  Both are based on the play by  Pierre Beaumarchais.  The  scene is  Count Almaviva' s castle near  Seville , Spain  in the 17th century. The Count  and  Rosina  have been married some years.  Figaro,  now the army. Cherubino  jumps out of the window to avoid being discovered in the Countess' s bedroom,  and  Figaro takes the blame.
      Marcellina, Dr. Bartolo' s housekeeper, is suing Figaro  for breach of promise.  They discover, however, that  Figaro is actually  Marcellina 's  long - lost son.  That obstacle removed,  Figaro  and  Susanna  are married. Now the  Countess and  Susanna conspire to trap the staying Count.  They exchange clothes to keep a rendezvous.  The Count  makes love to the  Countess, thinking she is  Susanna,  dressed as the  Countess,  to make the  Count  jealous.  The substitution revealed, the  Count  apologizes to the  Countess, and both couples are happily reunited...
 
 Martha...
       by  Friedrich von Flotow,  was first performed in  Vienna  in  German  in 1847.  The story takes place in  Richmond, England,  during the reign of  Queen Anne ( 1702 - 1714 ). Lady Harriet, maid of honor to  Queen Anne  is bired. She decides to go to  Richmond Fair  with her maid. Nancy, and her cousin,  Sir Tristram Mickleford.  They dress as peasant girls and a country squire.
         At the Fair servant girls offer their services to the farmers for a year.  Plunkett,  a young farmer,  and  Lionel,  his foster brother, hire  Harriet  and  Nancy  and take them to farmhouse.  Harriet  says her name is  Martha. Nancy  says her name is  Julia.  The men try to teach them to spin, and  Lionel  and  Harriet, Plunkett  and  Nancy,  find they are growing fond of each other. During the night  Sir Tristram  rescues the girls.
       The four meet again, by chance, in  Richmond Park. Harriet  and  Nancy are in their fine clothes which confuses  Plunkett  and  Lionel. Lionel is taken away by the guards for disturbing a lady.
       Harriet  discovers that  Lionel is really the son of the  Earl of Derby.  She tells  Lionel  and asks his pardon for what she has done, but he remains angry with her.  To win him back, she arranges another  Richmond Fair.  She and   Nancy  pretend to be servant girls again, and  Lionel  and  Plunkett  hire them -  as their wives...
 
 The Masked Ball...
       by Giuseppe Verdi,  was first performed in  Rome  in  Italian  in  1859.  It is based on a historical incident.  It is based on the historical incident.  King  Gustavus III  of  Sweden  was assassinated by  Count Anckarstrom  at  the masked ball in  Stoclholm  in 1792.   Verdi   changed the locale from the  Swedish court   to colonial  Boston. The King  became  Riccardo, Earl of   Warwick,  governor of the colony.  Anckarstrom  became   Renato,  the governor' s private secretary.  Both  Boston  and  Stockholm,  and even   Naples,  have since been used for the setting, but   Verdi' s substitute names are generally kept.
        Riccado,  King of Sweden,  is secretely in love  with  Amelia,  wife of his secretary,  Renato,  Riccado  and   Amelia   disguised, each visit  Ulrica,  the fortune - teller.  Ulrica  tells  Amelia  of an herb that will cure her secret love and predicts that  Riccado  will bwe assassinated.   As   Amelia searches for the magic herb,  Riccado  appears.  They declare their hopeless love.  Renato  discovers  Amelia  with  Riccado.  In his jealousy he joins a group of conspirators and assassinates the  King  at the masked ball.  He learns too late of his wife' s innocence, but he is forgiven by the dying  King...
 
Die Meistersinger von  Numberg...( The Mastersingers of Numberg ) 
       by  Richard  Wagner,  was first performed in  Munich  in  German,  in 1868.  It takes place in  Nuremberg, Germany,  in the mid - 16th century. Most of the caracteres are actual historic persons.
       The knight Walther von Stolzing has fallen in love with  Eva Pogner.  Because her father has promised her hand to the winner of the singing prize, he asks the mastersingers for permission to enter the competition.  Beckmesser,  the town clerk, who is infatuated with  Eva,  maliciously marks up so many errors at   Walther' s trial that the mastersingers refuse to let him enter the contest.  Later, when  Beckmesser  comes to serenade  Eva,  Hans Sachs,   the cobbler, sings and hammers lustily, arousing the neighborhood.  The street fills with people.  Eva  and Walther  decide to clope , but  Sachs  restrains themHe leads  Walther  into the house, and eventually quiet is restored.
      In the morning,  Walther  describes a dream he has had, and  Sachs   writes it down as  Walther  sings.  Beckmesser   find the paper, and thinking it is by  Sachs, pockets it.  At the song contest, Beckmesser performs from the stolen manuscript and is laughed off the platform.  Sachs  announces that the song is not his but   Walther' s.  Walther  sings it and wins both the mastersingers'  laurel and  Eva' s hand...
 
 Norma...
       by  Vincenzo Bellini,  was first performed in  Milan in  Italian  in  1831. It takes place in  Gaul  during the Roman occupation., about 50 B.C. Norma, high priestess of the Druids, has broken her sacred vows.  She loves  Pollione, the  Roman proconsul, and has borne him two children.  Pollione  has now tired of  Norma.  He tells Flavio,  his centurion,  that his new love is  Adalgisa,  a lesser priestess.  Not knowing this,  Norma  tries to prevent a war that would place  Pollione  in danger.  She acts agains the wishes of her father,  Oroveso, the Archdruid.
        Adalgisa  innoncently  confesses to  Norma  her love for a Roman, the faithless  Pollione.  Norma  considers murdering her children, but maternal pity causes her to confide them to  Adalgisa' s care. Adalgisa  refuses, swearing that she has renounced  Pollione  forever.  Pollione  refuses to forsake  Adalgisa  and tries to force to go away with him.
      Norma  calls for war,  Pollione  is caught entering the sacred temple.  Norma  confesses thatshe had broken her vows and must be the sacrificial victim. Pollione  now understands the depth of her devotion and asks to share her fate. Norma and  Pollione mount the funeral pyre together.
 
Orfeo ed  Euridice...
       by  Christoph Willibald Gluck, was first performed in  Vienna in  Italian  in 1762.

          It is based on an accident Greek legend. At the tomb of  Euridice, Orfeo,  the great musician, and his friends mourn her ultimely death.  Orfeo  prays to the gods to restore his wife and is ready to go to  Hades  to regain her.  Amor, god of love, appears and tells him that the gods have decided to permit him to enter  Hades,  and return with  Euridice,  on one condition. He must not gaze upon her face until they are safely back.
   At the gateway to  Hades the  Furies are so moved by  Orfeo' s  music that he is allowed throught the portals into the Elysian  fields. Here he finds  Euridice.  Taking her by the hand, he begins the journey back.  Euridice  begs for just one glance, and eventually  Orfeo  yields. He turns and embraces her.  She collapses instantly, lifeless.   Orfeo is desparate and is about to plunge a dagger into his heart when  Amor  appears and stays his hand. Believing that Orfeo  has suffered enough,  Amor restores  Euridice  to life...
 
Otello...
      by  Giuseppe Verdi,  was first performed in  Milan  in  Italian  in 1887. It is based on  Shakespeare's famous play  Otello. It takes place at the seaport on  Cyprus  in the late 15th century. Otello, the governor of  Cyprus  and commander of the  Venetian fleet, returns triumphant after defeating the  Turkish Navy. He is acclaimed the the crowd, among whom is Otello' s aide,  Iago. Iago  is resentful that Otello has chosen Cassio  as his lieutenant. He is determined de destroy Otello.  He induces Cassio to drink heavily and duel with  Montano,  the former governor of the island. Otello  removes  Cassio  from hic command.  Iago  advises  Cassio  to ask Desdemona, Otello' s wife, to intercede for him.
    When  Otello  appears,  Iago  arouses his jealousy.  He arranges for  Otello to find one of  Desdemona' s handkershiefs in  Cassio' s  possession.. Otello  takes this as evidence of Desdemona 's  unfaithfulness. Desdemona who loves Otello  dearly, protests her innocence. But he is conviced of her guilt and strangles her. Emilia, Iago's  wifwe, reveals Iago' s  treachery. At last convinced of his wife' s innocence,  Otello stabs himself and falls death across  Desdemona' s  body...
 
I  Pagliacci, 
       by  Ruggiero Leoncavallo,  was first performed in Milan  in Italian in 1892. It takes place in a village in Italy in the 1800's
       Torio, a clown, explains that he is a Prologue and that the play to be witnessed is the real story about real people. The curtain then opens. Canio, the head of the theatrical troupe, announces a performance for the evening and goes off to the inn, leaving his wife, Nedda, alone. Tonio  tries to make love to her and is driven off. Then Silvio , a villager, appears and she promises to elope with him after the show.
      When  Nedda  refuses to tell Canio the identity of her lover, he attacks her with a dagger.  Beppe,  another member of the troupe, savec her. Canio remarks on his tragic plight, for he must appear in a comedy while his heart is breaking. At the performance  Harlequin ( Beppe ) serenades Columbine ( Nedda ) and drives Taddeo ( Tonio ) away. They are interrupted by Columbine' s husband,Paglioccio ( Canio ), who demands the name of his wife's lover. She refuses to tell him, and he kills her with a dagger. When Silvio tries to help Nedda, Canio slays him, too. Then  Canio tells the horrified audience..." The comedy is ended..".
 
 Parsifal...
       by  Richard Wagner, was first performed in Bayreuth  in German in 1882. It takes place in the Middle Ages in the Pyrenees mountains in northern Spain. The aging King Titurel had entrusted the Holy Grail  to his son, Amfortas. But  Amfortas has sinned. He succumbed to the wiles of the enchantress  Kundry, in the power of the evil sorcerer  Klingsor. Klingsor  wounded  Amfortas  with his own sacred spear. Gurnemanz, the knight of  Grail, believes that the wound can be healed only by recovery of the sacred relic.
     Parsifal  appears in the forest by Montsalvat Castle and is taken into the hall of the  Holy Grail to witness the knights at Communion.  He watches the ceremony without understanding it, and  Gurnemanz drives him away.
     In the enchanted garden near  Khingsor' s castle Parsifal spurns  Kundry.  When Klingsor hurls the sacred spear at him,  Pasifal  grasps it and makes the sign of the cross with it, whereupon the garden withers and the castle falls in ruins.
     After wandering for many years, Parsifal  returns to  Montsalvat on  Good Friday. He baptizes Kundry and heals Amfortas' wound with the sacred spear, thus redeeming the brotherhood of the Knights of the Grail...
 
 Pelleas  et  Melisande...
        by  Claude Debussy,  was first performed in  Paris  in  French  in 1902. It is  set innthe mythical kingdom of  Allemonde  in lengendary times.  Golaud   has met and married  Melisande, a mysterious girl  he found wandering in the forest. He takes her home to the gloomy castle of his grand - father,  Arkel.  As  Melisande  and  Pelleas,  Golaud' s   brother , sit by the fountain, ashe tosses  her wedding ring  in the air and it drops into the water.  Golaud  misses the ring,  Melisande  says she dropped it by the sea.  Golaud  asks her to find it.  She and  Pelleas  look for it and meet thre blind beggars.
        At the castle Melisande 's  long hair becomes entwined in some vines as she talks with  Pelleas.  Golaud  discovers them and suspects that they are in lovers.  He set his son,  Yniold,  to spy on them.  Golaud  warms  Pelleas  to spare  Melisande  any excitement, since she is soon to have a child.  Pelleas  must leave and commes to bid  Melisande  farewell.  For the first time they declare their love for each other.  Golaud  finds them, kills  Pelleas,  and pursues  Melisande. Melisande  gives birth to a daughter prematurely. She forgives  Golaud,  insists that the love she and  Pelleas  had for each other was inoncent, and dies...
 
 Peter Grimes...
         by  Benjamen Britten,  was first performed in  London  in  1945. It takes place in a small fishing village on the eastern coast of  England  about  1830.
       Peter Grimes,  a fisheman, is unpopular in the village. When his apprentice dies, the villagers accuse him of murder.  But the verdict of the coroner' scourt is accidental death.  Only Ellen Orford,  the schoolteacher, believes in Peter.  They love each other, but  Peter  feels he does not have enough money to marry her.
      Peter  takes on another apprentice.  When the villagers march menacingly on  Peter' s hut, the boy rushes out of the hut onto the cliftf above the sea, loses his footing, and dies.
     The gossipy villagers mutter again about murder.  Peter  is haunted by the death of his only refuge. He sails out to sea and sinks the boat too far out for him to be rescued.
 
 Porgy  and Bess...
          by   George Gersgwin,  was first performed in  Boston in  English in 1935.

      It takes places in  Catfish Row , Charleston, South Carolina,  in the recent past.  Crown,  a stevedore, quarrels with a man during a crap game and kills him.  Crown  escapes, while his girl, Bess,  takes refuge with  Porgy,  a crippled beggar.
     Bess,  completely reformed, is happy with  Porgy, but somewhat against her better judgement, she goes to a lodge picnic at  Kittiwah Island. Crown  has been hiding on the Island and persuades  Bess  to stay with him. She returns a few days later, delirious and ill. But she recovers and promises Porgy  never to leave him.
     Crown  arrives back to town. He is looking for  Bess  when   Porgy   stabs him. The police take in  Porgy  as a witness, but he is freed a few days later. Meanwhile  Sportin' Life,  a New York dope peddler, has convinced  Bess   that   Porgy  is gone for good and takes her to New York with him. Porgy   set out to find her...
 
Rigoletto...
          by   Giuseppe Verdi,  was first performed  in  Venice  in  Italian  in 1851.   It takes place in  Mantua  in the 16th century.  The Duke of Mantua  covets every female he sees.  His hunchbacked jester.  Rigoletto,  assists him in his amorous intrigues and taunts the husbands.  The courtiers vow vengeance on the jester, and  Count Monterone,  whose daughter hasbeen dishonored by the  Duke,  curses  Rigoletto.
      Rigoletto' s daughter,  Gilda, has been kept hidden by her father in the secluded house. The  Duke  enters and, pretending to be a poor student, makes love to  Gilda.  Thinking she is  Rigoletto' s  mistress, the hostile noblemen abduct  Gilda.
      At the place  Rigoletto  acknowledges that   Gilda  is his daughter.  Gilda   admits her shame but implores  Rigoletto  to pardon the  Duke,  whom she loves.   Rigoletto  shows   Gilda  the  Duke  flirting with  Maddalena,  sister of the bandit  Sparafucile,  whom  Rigoletto  has to hire to murder the  Duke.  Dressed  as a man,  Gilda  returns and hears  Sparafucile  promise  Maddalena   to spare the  Duke  if someone takes his place before midnight.  Gilda  enters.  She is stabbed and put in a sack for   Rigoletto, as agreed. Rigoletto hears the  Duke  singing in the distance. He opens the sack and finds the dying  Gilda.   She asks his pardon and dies.  Rigoletto  cries out in despair that   Count Monterone' s  curse has been fulfilled...
 
Der  Ring  des  Nibelungen...
         is  a cycle of four music dramas by   Richard Wagner.  The chasracters in the  Ring  cycle  are the gods of ancient Germanic folklore.  Wotan   is the head of god and occasionally appears in mortal form.  Fricka  is his wife and the goddess of marriage.  Freya,  Fricka' s sister,  is the goddess of youth and beauty.  Loge  is the god of fire  and deceit.  Erda  is the goddess of the earth.  Donner   is the god of thunder.  They dwell in   Asgard,  in the place called  Valhalla.   The   Valkyries   are the nine daughters of   Wotan  and   Erda.  They guard the gods and carry slain earthly heroes to  Valhalla.  The  Nibelungs   are the race of dwarfs  who live underground in  Nibelheim.
 
      1 - Das Rheingold  is the first of the four operas and a prelude to the cycle.  It was first performed in  Munich  in  German   in 1869.
      The evil - looking dwarf  Alberich,  King of the   Nibelungs,  shouts his renunciation of love and makes off with the magic gold, which the three Rhine maidens  had been guarding.  His brother, Mime,  fashions from it a golden ring whose possessor may rule the world and a magic helmet ( Tarnhelm )  that allow its wearer to assume any form.  The giants  Fasolt  and  Fafner   have finished   Wotan' s  and   Fricka' s  palace,  Valhalla,  and demand   Freya  in payment.  Loge   susgests the gold   as a substitute.  By tricky Wotan   secures the  Tarnhelm   from  Alberich   and forces  the captive dwarf to bring from his caverns all the wealth of the  Nebelung,  Alberich  pyut a curse on the ring.  Fasolt  is killed when the giants fight over it.  Now the gods can enter  Valhalla...
 
       2 -  In   Die Walkure,  the second opera, first  performed in  Munich  in  German  in  1870.,  the weaponless  Siegmund   takes refuge in the hut of   Hunding  and his wife,  Sieglinde.  Siegmund  and  Sieglinde  fall in love, thought they realize  that they  are the  Walsungs,  two children of   Wotan.  Siegmund   wrenches free the great sword. Nothung  that Wotan  had thurst  into a tree for him to retrieve, and the two rush away.
      Wotan  commands his favorite daughter,  Brunnhilde,   to protect  Siegmund  in his coming fight with  Hunding.  But  Fricka  demands that   Siegmund   be punished for breaking the marriage laws.  Wotan  reverses his instructions, but  Brunnhilde   disobeys.  Wotan  intervenes,  wuith his spear breaks  Siegmund' s  sword.  Hunding  kills   Siegmund  and  is himself  killed by   Wotan.  Brunnhilde   gathers up  Siegmund ' s  broken sword.  After her sister Valkyries refuse to help her, she sends  Siegmund  away to bear Siegmund' s  child.  Wotan  pities  Brunnhilde,  but she  must be punished. Deprive of her godhood, she will be protected by a circle of flame.  The first masn who penetrates the fire and awakens her will become her husband.  Wotan  places  Brunnhilde  on the rock and orders  Loge  to  surround her with flames...
 
      3 -  Siegfried,  the third opera,  was first performed in  Bayreuth   in  German   in   1876.   It tells the story of   Siegfried,  son of   Sieglinde  and   Siegmund.   Sieglinde  died   when   Siegfried    was born, and he has been raised by  Mime.
            Mime  tries vainly to men the sword that   Sieglinde  had left for her son.   Siegfried  demands information from  Mime,  about his origin.  Mime  tells him of  Sieglinde  and   Siegmund  and shows him the broken sword, an invincible weapon if it can be mended.  Wotan,  as  the  Wanderer , appears   and tells  Mime  that only a man without fear can forge  Nothung,  Siegfried   forges  Nothung.
          The Wanderer  has told  Alberich  that  Siegfried   will capture the ring.  He urges the dwarf to convince   Fafner,  now the dragon who guards the  Niberlung  treasure, to give it up  before he is killed.  Siegfried,  led by  Mime  appears and slays  Fafner  with  Nothung. A drop of  Fafner' s  blood  enables  Siegfried   to understand   the language   of the fiorest bird.  On its advice, he takes possession of the ring and  Tarnhelm.  He kills Mime  when  the dwarf   tries to poison him. 
        The bird sings of a  beautiful maiden asleep on the rock, waiting to be  wakened  by the hero.  Siegfried  encounters  The Wanderer  on the way  and breaks his spear with  Nothung.  He passes through the flames that ring the rock and bends over   Brunnhilde.   She awakens at his kiss and greets the hero ecstatically.
 
     4 - Gotterdammerung,..  the fourth opera,  first performed in   Bayreuth  in  German  in  1876,  the rope of destiny breaks as the Norms weave, foretelling the downfall of   Valhalla  and the end of the gods.  Siegfried  and  Brunnhilde ,  emerge from the cave. zhe gives her a ring, and she gives him  her horse...Grane.  In the hall of  Gibichungs, Hagen,  son of  Alberich,  tells him half brother,  Gunther,  that he must marry  Brunnhilde,  and that   Gutrune,  his half sister, must marry  Siegfried.  Siegfried   arrives.  Hagen  brews a potion to destroy his memory of women.  Gutrune gives it to Siegfried.  He has no recollection of   Brunnhilde, and woos Gutrune.
         Siegfried assumes to guise of  Gunther,  overpowers  Brunnhilde,  and forces the ring from her finger.  Brunnhilde  realizes that  Siegfried  has betryed her and plots revenge with  Gunther  and  Hagen.
        By the  Rhine  the maidens beg  Siegfried   to return the ring, warning him of its curse.  Hagen   gives him another potion, restoring his memory.  Siegfried  tells of his life and his marriage to  Brunnhilde.  Hagen  plunges a spear into his back and he dies, singing a farewell to  Berunnhilde.   Gutrune  accuses  Gunther  of  Siegfried' s   murder. He denies it and accuses  Hagen,  who admits it and demands the ring on  Siegfried' s  finger. Gunther  says the ring is his, and   Hagen  kills him. The arm of  Siegfried rises as if in warning.
       Brunnhilde  commands that a funeral pyre be built. The  Rhine  maidens have told her of  Hagen' s  treachery and  Siegfried' s  innocence. She mounts  Grane  and rides into the flames. The ahll collapses, and the  Rhine overflows  The  Rhine  maidens recover their ring from  Brunnhilde' s  dead hand and drag  Hagen  to his death when he tries to seize it.  In the distance,  Valhalla  is in flames. It is the end of the gods.
 
 Der  Rosenkavalier ..
          by    Richard Strauss,  was first performed in  Dresden  in  German  in 1911.  It talkes place in Vienna in the 18th century during the reign of   Maria Theresa  .Young  Octavian,  Count Rofrano,  is telling the  Marschallin,  the Princess  von Werdenberg,  how much he loves her,  when  the  Marschallin' s  cousin.  Baron Ochs von  Lerchenau,  arrives. Octavian  hides.  Ochs has decided  to marry  Sophie,  daughter of the newly rich  Herr von Faninal,  and seeks a cavalier to present the traditional silver rose.  The  Marschallin  suggests  Octavian,  who has meanwhile disguised  himself as her maid,  Mariandel, and reappeared.  The Baron  tries to arrange a meeting with  Mariandel.
      The  Marschallin   receives callers and petitioners.  She muses on her lost youth and sends  Octavian  away.  Octavian  presents the silver rose to  Sophie.  She is disgusted by the vulgar  Ochs. and flatly refuses to marry him.  Ochs  gets  the note from   Mariandel  suggesting  a rendezvous.  They meet at  a disreputable inn  where Ochs  is harassed by a serie of pranks.  The police,  Faninal,  and  Sophie  are summoned.  Octavian  removes his disguise. The Marschallin  arrives.  She forces  Ochs  to give up  Sophie,  and lamenting  that her vow to yield  Octavian  must be kept so soon, unites  Sophie  and  Octavian, to thier great joy.
 
Salome...
         by  Richard  Strauss,  was first performed in  Dresden  in  German  in 1905.   It is based on a play of    Oscar  Wilde.  The story takes  place on the terrace of   Herod' s  palace about A.D. 30.
       Jokanaan  is a prisoner in the dungeon.   Salome,  daughter of  Herodias,  pleads  with the captain of the guard to let her see the prisoner.  She is fascinated by   Jokanaan,  but the prophet cries out  that she is cursed and returns to his dungeon.
       Herod  and  Herodias,  his wife, appear.  When   Herod   asks  Salome  to dance,  she says she will if he willswear to grant her anything she desires.  She performes her  Dance of Seven  Veils  and then asks for  Jokanaan'  s  head  on a silver platter. As she exults over the head,  Herod,  horrfied by her behavior, commands his soldiers to kill her...
 
Samson et Dalila...
         by   Camile Saint - Saens,  was first performed in Weimar  in  French  in  1877.  It is based on a Biblical story and takes place in  Gaza  in  Palestine   about 1150 B.C.
         Samson,  mighty leader of the  Israelites,  who are in bondage to the  Philistines,  conforts his people  by predicting early victory.  When  Abimelech,  the satrap, or ruler, of  Gaza,  threatens them,  Samson slays him.  The   Philistines  flee when the victorious Israelites  intone a hymn of praise.
         The high priest commands  Dalila  to deliver   Samson  to the  Philistines.  Samson  falls in love with her and confesses that the secret  of his strenght  is his hair.  Dalila  lulls him to sleep and cuts off his hair.  She turns the now powerless hero over to the   Philistines,  who blind him.
         The remorseful   Samson  is chained like an animal to the millstone and forced to turn it.  A child leads  him to the temple for the   Philistines'  victory celebration.  He prays for a return of his former strenght. His prayer is answered.  Grasping the pillars, he brings the temple down on himself and the  Philistines.
 
 The Tales of Hoffmann...
         by  Jacques Offenbach,  was first performed in  Paris  in  French  in 1881.  It takes place  in  Nuremberg, Venice  and  Munich  in the 19th century.
          At  Luther ' s Tavern,   Lindorf,  a rival of the poet  Hoffmann,  intercepts a note from  Stella,  an opera singer, inviting   Hoffmann   to meet her after the performance.   Hoffmann,  accompanied by his friend  Nicklausse,   enters and tells the story of his three lovers.
          The first was  Olympia,  a mechanical doll created by the scientist  Spalanzani  and the magician  Coppelius.   When Coppelius   smashed her,  Hoffmann  found  that he had been in love with clockwork.
          The second was  Giulietta,  a courtesan in the power of the magician  Dapertutto, Giulietta  had a lover, but   Hoffmann  killed him in a duel.  Giulietta  then ran off with another man.
          The third was  Antonia,  a singer who had consumption. Urged on by  Dr. Miracle,  she fell dead while singing.
         Stella  arrives at the tavern, finds  Hoffmann drunk, throws him a flower, and goes off with  Lindorf,  Hoffmann' s enemy.
          The roles of  Lindorf, Coppelius, Dapertutto,  and  Dr. Miracle  are played by the same person...
 
 Tannhauser..
        . by   Richard Wagner,  was first performed in  Dresden  in  German  in  1845.  It takes place in  Venusberg   and in around   Wartburg cattle, Thuringia, Germany,  in the early 13th century.  The minstrel - knight  Tannhauser   has tired of his life with  Venus  and begs the goddess to allow him to return to his own world. He wil trust in the  Virgin Mary  for his salvation. At the mention of this name,  Venus  and her realm disappear.  Tannhauser finds himself near  Wartburg Cattle,  listening  to the singing of pilgrims on their way to Rome.
         Wolfram  and other knights appear and welcome  Tannhauser  after his year' s mysterious absence.  Princess  Elizabeth,  in seclusion since his disappearance, greets  Tannhauser  joyfully.
         A song contest begins,  Wolfram  sings a hymn to unselfish love, but   Tannhauser  bursts into wild song, praising   Venus  and life in the  Venusberg.   Elizabeth  protects  Tannhauser  from the horrified assembly, and he is allowed to join the pilgrims and seek the pope' s forgiveness.
         Elizabeth    awaits the returning pilgrims,  Tannhauser is not among them. He commes later and tells  Wolfram  that the pope refused him absolution. He will go again to  Venusberg.
        Elizabeth  has died of her grief.   Tannhauser  sinks down before her bier and dies, redeemed ar last.  A group of pilgrims comes, bearing the pope' s staff. It has blossomed with new leaves, a sign of God' s forgiveness.
 
Tosca...
        by  Giacomo Puccini,  was first performed  in  Rome in  Italian  in  1900.  Angelotti,  an escaped political prisoner, takes refuge in the church where  Mario Cavaradossi  is working on the painting of  Mary Magdalen.  Mario  discovers   Angelotti, an old friend, and arranges for him to hide at the villa. They are interrupted by  Mario' s love,  Floria Tosca,  a singer, who  is jealous of the painting because  Mario  had used other woman as his model.  Later, after   Angelotti   has left,  Baron Scarpia,  the chief of police, arouses  Tosca' s  suspicious   by a fan he discovers.
             Mario,  suspected of aiding  Angelotti,  is taken into custody and tortured while  Tosca  listens.  She cannot bear his suffering and reveals  Angelotti' s hiding place, to  Mario' s fury.  Scarpia  condemns  him to be executed.
             Scarpia   avows his passion for  Tosca  and promises freedom  for  Mario   when she yields.  But after  Scarpia   gives an order for a mock execution  and writes out a safe - conduct pass,  Tosca  stabs him. She then escapes.
              Mario is writing a farewell letter to  Tosca  when  she arrives and tells him of the mock execution. But the execution turns out to be real.  Mario  lies dead.  As  Scarlia' s  men come to arrest her,  Tosca  jumps over the parapet to her death....
 
La Traviata...
          by  Giuseppe Verdi,  was first performed  in  Venice  in  Italian  in 1853.  It is based on the famous play  La Dame aux Camelias, by  Alexandre Dumas fils.  It takes place in  Paris.  The frail  Violetta Valery  meets  Alfredo  Germont  and for love of him abandons her questionable life. They  lead an idyllic existence in the country until  Alfredo  learns by accident that  Violetta   has been selling her possessions to support them.  He rushes off to  Paris  to raise the money to pay their debts.
         His father arrives and tells  Violleta  that the future of   Alfredo   and the fortunes of his sister will be destroyed by his connection with her.  With growing remorse,  she heeds the elder  Germont   and leaves  Alfredo.  giving as explanation a desire for  her former gay existence.
          Grief - stricken,  Violleta  plunges back into her old life.  When she meets  Alfredo  at the party, he insults her and quarrels with  Baron  Douphol, her admirer.
         Violleta  is now seriously ill.  The elder  Germont,  moved by compassion and realizing   that   Violleta' s  love for  Alfredo is sincere,  consents to their reunion.  Alfredo  hastens  to her, understanding at last  that   Violleta  has sacrified herself for his sake.  He negs her forgiveness, but it is too late, and she dies in his arms.
 
 Tristan  und  Isolde...
         by  Richard Wagner,   was  first performed in  Munich in  German  in  1865.  It is based on a medieval legend and takes place aboard ship, in  Cornwall,  and in  Brittany  in legendary times.  The knight  Tristan  has been sent to bring  Isolde, intended  bride of  King Mark,  from  Ireland  to   Cornwall.  Isolde  falls in love with  Tristan,  though she recognizes him as the knight  whose life she had spared after he had killed her fiance,  Morold.  When  Tristan   spurns her,  Isolde  directs   Brangane,  her lady - in - waiting, to prepare the death position. But   Brangane  substitutes a love position.  Tristan  and  Isolde  both drink of it and fall helplessly in love.
         In  Cornwall, Isolde,  now married to  King Mark,  continues to meet  Tristan.  The  King  is suspicious  and returns from a hunting trip to find them together.  Tristan  is seriously wounded by  Melot,  one of the  King' s  courtiers,  Kurvenal,  Tristan' s  henchman, takes him to his castle in  Brittany.  Isolde  joins him there, and he dies in her arms.  King Mark  has also followed, intending to forgive the pair. But  Kurvenal,  not knowing this, intervenes and is killed by  Melot.  Isolde  bids her lover farewell and falls dead on his body...
 
Il Trovatore..
         .by  Giuseppe Verdi,  was first performed in  Rome  in  Italian  in 1853.  It takes place in  Aragon  and   Biscay, Spain,  in the mid - 15th century.  Leonora,  lady - in - waiting to the  Queen,  is wooed by two men.  Count di  Luna  and   Manrico,  a troubadour, believed   to be the son of the gypsy  Azucena . Azucena  has vowed  vengeance   against  Count di Luna  because his father ,  believing  that  Azucena' s mother had bewitched  his young son, had her burned.  Azucena had kidnapped the child, intending  to kill him, but as she tells Manrico,  she hurled her own child into the fire by mistake.
          On learning that  Leonora  loves  Manrico,  the  Count  challenges  him to the duel.  Manrico  overcomes the  Count  but  spares his life. Both intercept  Leonora  as she enters a convent, and  Manrico rushes to her rescue and is captured.  Leonora  decides to buy his freedom by supposedly yielding to the  Count.  She is taken poison and dies in Manrico' s  arms. The   Count   orders  Manrico to the scaffold, but the final triumph is  Azucena' s.  The  Count  has killed his own brother..
 
Turandot...
         by   Giacoma Puccini  ( completed by  Franco Alfano ) ,  was first performed  in  Milan in  Italian  in  1926.  It  tales place in  Peking, China in legendary times. The beautiful Princess  Turandot  has made it known  that she will wed any nobleman  who can answer three riddles.  Failure will be punished by death.  May unlucky wooers have already put on death by the cruel Princess before  Calaf, a  Tartar prince, arrives and guesses al thre answers correctly. Turandot  begs to be released  from her promise, but  Calaf  refuses, unless she can uncover his true identity before the next morning.
             Calaf' s father,  Timur,  an exiled Tartar King, and a loving handmaiden, Liu,  come seeking him. They are tortured at the Princess' command, but the faithful  Liu  kills herself  rather than reveal Calaf' s name.  Calaf' s  wooing finally melts the ice in  Turandot' s heartand she surrenders  to him., announcing that his name is  Love..
 
 Wozzeck...
         by  Alban Berg,  was first performed in  Berlin in German  in 1925.  It takes place in a town in   Germany  about 1820.
            Wozzeck,  a poor soldier, works for extra money  for his mistress,  Marie ,  and their child. He barbers his captain and serves as guinea pig for a mad doctor, whose strange diet gives  Wozzeck  hallucinations.
            Marie  takes up with a handsome drum major.  She defies  Wozzeck ,  who sees her dancing with the drum major.  Later, in the barracks, the drum major taunts  Wozzeck  about  Marie and beats him.
           Marie  repents of her unfaithfulness and seeks comfort from the Bible.  She goes for a walk with  Wozzeck.  He kills her with a knife.
          Returning to the scene,  Wozzeck  searches for a knife, find it, and throws it into a pond.  He wades out to recover it and drowns.  The captain and the doctor hear his cries for help, pause momentarily, then hurry away. Soem children tell  Marie' s son of her death, but he does not understands.  He rides after them on his hobbyhorse...
 
                                                                                       anonymous

Franz Joseph Glacier

aristotle' s notion of poetry..
        This excerpts are the Notion of Poetry of Aristotle . We surprise for his brillant knowledge for different fields  from... Sciences, Philosophy, Literature, included Poetry...As we know, Aristotle was living from 384- 322 B.C. He was one of the three great philosophers at that time. He wrote many excellent pieces on different topics.
 
                  You might see this topic with more details  at 
 
                      http://tnghcailay.tripod.com/philosophie
                                 section: Aristotle
       and    
                     http://hanh73554.tripod.com/introduction
                                 section: Aristotle
 
 one ...
        I propose to treat of Poetry  in itself and of its various kinds, noting the essential quality of each; to inquire into the structure of the plot as requisite to a good poem; into the number and nature of the parts of which a poem is composed; and similarly into whatever else falls within the same inquiry. Following, then the order of nature, let us begin with the principles which come first.
       Epic Poetry and Tragedy, Comedy also and Dithyrambic Poetry, and the music of the flute and the lyre in most of their forms, are all in their general conception modes of imitation. They differ, however, from one another in three respects - the medium, the objects, the manner or mode of imitation, being in each case distinct.
       For as there are persons who, by conscious art or mere habit, imitate and represent various objects through the medium of color  and form , and again by the voice; so in the arts above mentioned, taken as a whole, the imitation is produced by rhythm, language, or "harmony " either singly or combined.
 
two...
    Since the object of imitation are men in action, and these men must be either of a higher or a lower type ( for moral chanracter mainly anwers to these divisions, goodness and badness being the distinguishing marks of moral differences ), it follows that we must represent men either as better than in real life, or as worse, or as they are... Homer, for example, makes men better than they are; Cleophon as they are;  Hegemon, the Thasian, the inventor of parodies, and Nicochares, the author of the  Deiliad, worse than they are...
 
three...
        There is still a third difference - the manner in which each of these objects may be imitated. For the medium being the same, and the objects the same, the poet may imitate by narration - in which case he can either take another personality as Homer  does, or speak in his own person, inchnged - or he may present all his characters as living and moving before us.
       These, then, as we said at the beginning, are the three differences which distinguish artistic imitation - the medium, the objects and  the manner. So that fromone point of view, Sophocles is an imotator of the same kind as Homer -  for both imitate higher types of character; from another point of view, of the same kind as Aristophanes -  for both imitate persons acting and doing. Hence, some say, the name of " drama " is given to such poems, as representing action..
      This may suffice as to the number and nature of the various modes of imitation.
 
four...
      Poetry in general seems to have sprung from two causes, each of them lying deep in our nature. First, the instinct of imitation is implanted in man from childhood, one difference between him and other animals being that he is the most imitative of living creatures, and through imitation learns his earliest lessons; and no less universal is the pleasure felt in things imitated. We have evidence of this in the facts of experience. Objects which in themselves we view with pain, we delight to contemplate when reproduced with minute fidelity; such as the forms of the most ignoble animals and of dead bodies. The cause of this again is, that to learn gives the liveliest pleasure, not only to philosophers but to men in general; whose capacity, however, of learning is more limited. Thus the reason why men enjoy seeing a likeness is, that in contemplating it they find themselves learning or interferring, and saying perhaps.." Ah, that is he ". For of you happen not to have seen the original, the pleasure will be due not to the imitation  as such, but to the execution, the coloring, or some such other cause.
      Imitation, then, is one instinct of our nature. Next there is the instinct of " harmony "  and rhythm, metres being manifestly sections of rhythm. Persons, therefore, starting with this natural gift developed by degrees their special aptitudes, till their rude improvisisations gave birth to Poetry.
      Poetry now diverged in two directions, according to the individual character of the writers. The graves spirits imitated noble actions, and the actions of good men. The more trivial sort imitated the actions of meaner persons, at first composing satires, as the former did hymns to the gods and the praises of famous men...But when Tragedy and Comedy came to light, the two classes of poets still followed their natural bent : the lampooners  because writers of Comedy, and the Epic Poets  were succeeded by Tragedians; since the drama  was larger  and higher form of Art..
 
five..
      Comedy is, as we have said, an imitation of characters of a lower type - not, however, in the full sense of the world bad, the Ludicrous being merely  a subdivision of the ugly. It consists in some defect or ugliness which is not painful or destructive. To take an obvious example, the comic mask is ugly and distorted, but does not imply pain..
     Epic Poetry  agrees with Tragedy in so faras it is an.imitation in verse of characters of a higher type. They differ, in that Epic Poetry admits but one kind of metre, and narrative in form. They differ, again, in their length forTragedy endeavors, as far as poccible, to confine itself to a single revolution of the sun, or but slightly to exceed this limit; whereas the Epic action  has no limits of time. This , then, is a second point of difference; though at first the same freedom was admitted in Tragedy as in  Epic Poetry.
        Of their constituent parts some are common to both, some peculiar to  Tragedy; however therefore, knows what is good or bad Tragedy, knows also about Epic Poetry . All the elements of an Epic Poem are found in  Tragedy, but the elements of a Tragedy  are not all found in the Epic Poem.
 
six...
       ...Let us now discuss Tragedy, resuming its formal definition, as resulting from what has been already said.
       Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action, that is serious, complete, and or a certainmagnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions. By " language embellished " I mean language into which rhythm, " harmony ", and song enter; By " the several kinds in separate partd ", I mean, that some parts are rendered through the medium of verse alone, others again with the aid of song.
       Now as trgic implies persons acting, it necessarily follows, in the first place, that Spectacular equipment will be part of  Tragedy. Next,  Song and Dictation, for these are the medium of  Imitation. By Dictation, I mean the mere metrical arrangement of the words: as for Song, it is  a term whose sense every one understands.
       Again,  Tragedy  is the Imitation of an Action; and an action implies personal agents, who necessarily possess certain distinctive qualities both of Character - and  Thoughtt; for it is by these that we qualify actions themselves, and these - thought and character - are the two natural causes  from which actions spring, and on actions again all sucess or failure depends. Hence, the plot  is the imitation of the action: - for by plot I here mean the arrangement  of the incidents, By character, I mean the virtue of which we ascribe certain qualities to the agents. Thought is required wherever a statement is proved, or it may be, a general truth enunciated. Every Tragedy, therefore, must have six parts, which parts determine its quality - namely,  Plot, Character, Diction, Thought, Spectacle, Song.  Two of the parts constitute  the medium of imitation, one the manner, and three the objects of imitation. And these complete the list. These elements have been employed , we may say, by the poets  to the man; in fact, every play contains  Spectacular Elements as well as  Character, Plot, Diction, Song, and  Thought
           But most important of all is the structure of the incidents. For  Tragedy is an imitation, not of men, but of an action and of life, and life consists in action , and its end is  a mode of action, not a quality.  Now character   determines men' s qualities, but it is by their actions that they are happy  or the reverse. Dramatic action, therefore, is not with a view to the representation of character; character comes in as subsidiary  to the actions. Hence the incidents  and the plot are the end of the  Tragedy; and the end is the chief thing of all. Again, without action there cannot be a Tragedy, there may be without character... Again, if you string together a set of speeches expressive of character, and well finished in point of diction and thought , you will not priduce the essential tragic effect nearly ao well as with a play which, however deficient in these respects, yet has a plot and artistically constructed incidents. Besides which, the most powerful elements of emotional interest in Tragedy -Peripeteia or Reversal of the Situation, and  Recognition Scenes - are parts of the plot.  A further proofs is, that novices in the art attain to finish of diction and precision of portraiture before they can construct the plot. It is the same with almost all the early poets.
        The Plot , then, is the first principle, and , as it were, the Soul of the Tragedy: Character holds the second place ...
        Third in order is Thought - that is, the faculty of saying what is possible and pertinent in given circumstances. In the case of oratory , this is the function of the political art and of the art of rhetoric: and so indeed the older poets make their characters speak the language of civic life; the poets of our time, the language of rhetoricians. Character  is that which reveals moral purpose, showing  what kind of things a man chooses or avoids. Speechs , therefore, which do not make this manifest, or in which the speaker does not choose or avoid anything whatever, are not expressive of character. Thought , on the other hand, is found where something is proved to be or not to be, or a general maxim is enunciated...
 
seven...
        These principes being established, let us now discuss the proper structure of the  Plot, since this is the first and most important thing in Tragedy.
        Now, according to our definition, Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is complete, and whole, and of a certain magnitude; for there may be a whole that is wanting in magnitude. A whole is that which has a beginning, a middle and an end. A beginning  is that which does not itself follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be. An end, on the contrary, is that which itself naturally follows some other thing, either by necessity, or as a rule, but has nothing following it. A  middle  is that which follows something as some other thing follows it. A well constructed plot, therfore must neither begin nor end at haphazard, but conform to these principles.
         Again, a beautiful object, whether it be a living organism or any whole composed of parts, must not only have an orderly arrangement of parts, but must also be of  a certain magnitude; for beauty  depends on magnitude and order. Hence every small animal organisms cannot be beautiful; for the view of it is confused, the object being seen in an almost imperceptable moment of time.. Not again, can one of vast size  be beutiful; for as eye cannot take it all in at once, the unity and the sense of the whole is lost for the spectator; as for instance if there were one of the thousand miles long. As, therefore, in the case of animate bodies and organisms a certain magnitude is necessary, and a magnitude  which may be easily embraced in one view; so in the plot, a certain length  is necessary, and a length which can be easily embraced by the memory. The limit of length in relation to dramatic competition and sensuous presentment, in no part of artistic theory. For had it been the rule for a hundred  tragedies to compete together, the performance would heve been regulated by the water - clock, - as indeed we are told was formerly done. But the limit as fixed by the nature of the drama itself is this: - the greater the length, the more beautiful will the piece be by reason of its size, provided that the whole be  perspicuous. And to define the matter roughly, we may say that the proper magnitude is comprised within such limits, that the sequence of events, according to the law of probability law  or necessary, will admit of a change from bad fortune to good, or from good fortune to bad.
 
eight
       Unity of plot does not, as some persons think, consist in the unity of the hero...In composing the Odyssey ( Homer ) did not include all the adventures of  Odysseus - such as his wound on Parnassus, or his feigned madness at the mustering of the host - incidents between which there was no necessary or probable connection: but he made the Odyssey,  and likewise the Iliad, to centre round an action that in our sense of the word is one. As therefore, in the other imitative arts, the imitationj is one when the object imitated is one, so the plot, being an imitation of an action, must imitate one action and that a whole, the structural union of the parts being such that, if any one of them is displaced or removed, the whole will be disjoined and disturbed. For a thing whose presence or absence make no visible difference, is not an organic part of the whole.
 
nine
        It is, moreover, evident from what has been said, what has happened, but what may happen - what is possible according to the law of probability or necessity. The poet  and the historian  differ not by writing in verse or in prose. The work of Herodotus  might be put onto verse, and it would still be a species of history, with metre no less than without it. The true difference is that one relates what has happened, the other what may happen. Poetry, therefore, is a more philosophical and a higher thing than history: for  poetry  tends to express the universal , history the particular . By the universal,  I mean how a person  of a certain type will on occasion speak or act, according to the law of probabily or necessarity, and it is  this universality at which poetry aims in the names she attaches to the personages.
       Of all plots and actions, the epeisodic are the worst. I call a plot " epeisodic " in which the episodes or acts succeed one another without probable or necessary sequence. Bad poets  compose such pieces by their own fault, Good poets, to please the players; for, as they write show pieces for competition, they stretch the plot beyond its capacity, and are often forced to break the natural continuity.
      But again, Tragedy  is an immitation not only of a complete action, but of events inspiring fear or pity. Such an effect is best produced when the events come on us by surprise; and the effect is heightened when, at the same time, they follow as cause and effect. The tragic wonder  will then be greater than if they happened of themselves or by accident; for even coincidences are most striking when they have an air of design. We may instance the statue of Mitys at Argos, which fell upon  his murderer while he was a spectator at the festival, and killed him. Such events seem not to be due to mere chance. Plots, therefore, constructed on these principles are necessarily the best.
ten...
         Plots  are either  Simple or  Complex, for the actions in real life, of which the plots  are an immitation, obviously show a similar distinction. Anaction which is one and continuous  in the sens above defined, I call Simple, when the change of fortune takes place without Reversal of Situation and without Recognition.
        A Complex Action is one in which the change is accompanied by such Reversal ,or by Recognition or by both. These last should arise  from the internal structure of the  Plot, so that what follows shoud be necessary or probable result of the predicting action. It makes all the difference whether  any given event is a case of propter hoc or post hoc.
 
eleven...
       Reversal of the situation  is a change by which the action veers round to its opposite, subject alway to our rule of probability or necessary. Thus in the Oedipus  the messenger comes to cheer Oedipus  and free him from his alarms about his mother, but by revealing who he is, he produces the opposite effect. Again in the Lynceus, Lynceus is being  led away to his death, and Danaus goes with him, meaning to slay him; but the outcome of the preceding  incidents is that Danaus is killed and Lynceus saved.
      Recognition, as the name of indicates, is a change from ignorance to knowledge, producing love or hate between the persons, destined by the poet  for good or bad fortune. The best form of recognition is coincident with  a Reversal of the Situation, as in the Oedipus.
 
twelve..
       ( No specific text for the Poetry )
 
thirteen..
      As the sequel to what has already been said, we must proceed to consider what the poet  should aim at, and what he should avoid, in constructing his plots; and by what means the specific effect of  Tragedy will be produced.  
      A perfect Tragedy  shoukld, as we have seen, be arranged not on the simple, but on the complex  plan. It should, moreover, imitate actions which excite pity and fear,  this being the disctinctive mark of tragic imitation. It follows plainly, in the first place, that the change of fortune presented must not be the spectacle of a virtuous man brought from prosperity to adversity: for this moves neither pity nor fear, it merely shocks us. Nor, again, that of a bad man passing from adversity to prosperity: for nothing can be more single tragic quality; it neither satisfies the moral sense nor calls forth pity or fear. Nor, again, should the downfall of the utter villain be exhibited. A  plot of this kind would, doubtless, satisfy the moral sense , but it would inspire weither pity nor fear; for pity  is aroused by unmerited misfortune, fear by the misfortune of a man like ourselves.  Such  an event, therefore, neither  will be neither pitiful nor terrible. There remains, then,  the character between these two extremes, that of a man who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty. He must be one who is hightly renowned and prosperous, a personage like Oedipus, Thyestes, or other illustrious men of such families.
      A well constructed plot  should, therefore, be single in its issue, rather than double as some maintain. The change of fortune should be not from bad to good, but, reversely, from good to bad. it should come great error or frailty, in a  character either such as we have described, or better rather than worse. The practice of the stage bears out our view. Ar first the poets recounted any legend that came to their way. Now the best Tragedies are founded on the story of a few houses, on the fortunes of Alcmaeon, Oedipus, Orestes, Meleager, Thyestes, Telephus, and those others who have done or suffered something terrible. ATragedy, then, to be perfect according to the rules of art should be of this construction.
 
fourteen..
       Fear and Pity may be aroused by spectacular means; but they may also result from the inner structure of the piece, which is the better way, and indicates a superior poet. For the plot ought to be so constructed that, even without the aid of the eye, he whohears the tale told will thrill with horror and melt to pity at what takes place. This is the impression we should receive from hearing the story of the Oedipus. But to produce this effect by the mere spectacle is a less artistic method, not dependent on extraneous aids. Those who employ spectacular means to create a sense not of terrible but only of the monstrous, are strangers to the purpose of Tragedy : for we must not demand of Tragedy any and every kind of pleasure, but only that which is proper  to it. And since the pleasure  which the poet should afford is that which comes from pity and fear  through imitation., it is evident that this quality must be impressed upon the incidents.
       Let us tnen determine what are circumstances which strike us as terrible or pitiful.
       Action capable of this effect must happen between persons  who are either friends or enemies or indifferent to one another. If an enemy kills an enemy, there is nothing to excite pity either in the act or the intention, except so far as the suffering in itself is pitiful. So again with indifferent persons. But when the tragic incident occurs between those who are near or dear to one another, of, for example, a brother kills, or intends to kill, a brother, a son his father, a mother her son, a son his mother, or any other deed of the kind is done, there are the situations to be looked for by the poet. He may not indeed destroy the framework of  the received legends, the fact, for instance, that Clytemnestra was slain by Orestes and Eriphyle by Alemaeon, but  he ought to show invention of his own, and skillfully handle the traditional material. Let us explain more clearly what is meant by skillful handling.
        The action may be done consciously and with knowledge of the persons, in the manner of the older poets. It is thus too that Euripides makes Medea slay her children, Or, again, the deed of horror may be done, but done in ignorance, and the tie of kinship or friendship be discovered afterwards. The Oedipus of  Sophocles is an example. Here, indeed, the incident is outside de drama proper; but cases occur where it falls within the action of the play: one may cite the Alcmaeon of Astydamas, or Telegonus  in the Wounded Odysseus.  Again, there is a third case, to be about to do an irreparable deed through ignorance, and makes the discovery before it is done. There are the only possible ways.
        For the deed must either be done or not doe, and that writtingly or unwrittingly. But of all these ways, to be about to act knowing the persons, and then not to act, is the worst. It is shocking without being tragic, for no disaster follows. It is, therefore, never, or very rarely, found on Poetry. One instance, however, is in the Antigone, where Haemon threatens to kill Creon. The next and better way, is that the deed should be perpetrated. Still better, that it should be perpetrated in ignorance, and the discovery made afterwards. There is  then nothing to shock us, while the discovery  produces a starting effect. The last case is the best, as when in the  Cresphontes Merope is about to slay her son, but, recognising  who he is, spares his life. So in the Iphigenia, the sister  recognises the brother just in time. Again in the Helle, the son recognizes the mother when on the pouint of giving her up. This, then, is why a few families only, as has been already observed, furnish the subject of Tragedy. It was not art, but happy chance, that led the poets in search of subjects to impress the tragic  quality upon their plots.  They are compelled , therefore, to have recourse to those houses whose history contains moving incidents like these.
        Enough has now been said concerning the structure of the incidents, and the right kind of plot.
 
fifteen..
         In the respect of  Character  there are four things to be at.
             First,  and most  important, it must be good . Now any speech or action that manifests moral purpose of any kind will be expressive of Character: the Character will be good if the purpose is good. This rule is relative to each class. Even a woman may be good, and also a slave; though the woman may be said to be an inferor being, and the slave quite worthless.
             The Second thing to aim at the propriety . There is  a type of manly valor, but valor in a woman , or unscrupulous  cleverness , is inapproprate.
             Thirdly, character must be true to life: for this is a distinct thing from goodness and propriety, as here described.
             The fourth point is consistency: for though the subject of the imitation, who suggested the type, be inconsistent, still he must be consistently inconsistent.
         As in the structure of the plot, so too in the portraiture of Character, the poet should always aim either at ne necessary or the probable. Thus a person of given character  should speak or act in the given way, by the rule either of necessity or of probability; just as this event should follow that  by necessary or probable  sequence.
        Again, since  Tragedy  is an imitation of persons who are  above the common level, the example of good  portrait - painters  should  be followed. They, while reproducing the distinctive form of the original, make a likeness which is true to life and yet more beautiful. So too the poet, in representing men who are irascible or indolent, or have other defects of character, should preserve the type ond yet ennoble it. In this way, Achille  is portraued by Agathon and Homer.
 
sixteen...
        ( no specific expression for the Poetry )
 
seventeen..
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eighteen...
        Every Tragedy falls into two parts: Complication and Unravelling or Denouement. Incidents extraneous to the action are frequently combined with a portion of the action proper, to form the Complication;  the rest is the Unravelling. By the Complication, I mean all that extends from the  beginning  of the action to the part which marks the turning - point  to good or bad fortune. The Unravelling is that  which extends from the beginning  of the change to an end.
 
nineteen...
      ...Under  Thought  is included  every effect  which has to be produced  by speech, the subdivisions being - proof and refutation; the excitation of the feelings, such as pity, fear, anger and the like; the suggestion of importance  or its opposite. Now, it is evident  that the dramatic incidents must be treated  from the same points of view as the dramatic speeches, when the object  is to evoke  the sense  of pity, fear, importance  or  probability. The only difference is,  that the incidents should speak for themselves without verbal exposition; while  the effects aimed at in speech should be produced by the speaker, and as  a result of the speech. For what were the business of a speaker, if the Thought were revealed quite apart from what he says.
 
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twenty one..
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twenty two...
       ...But the greatest thing by far is to have  a command of metaphor. This alone cannot be imported by another; it is the mark of genius. for to make good metaphors imples an eye for ressemblance...
 
twenty three...
        As to that poetic imitation which is narrative in form and emplys a single metre, the plot manifestly ought, as in Tragedy, to be  constructed on dramatic principles. It should have for its subject a single action, whole  and complete, with the beginning, a middle, and an end. It will thus, resemble  a living organism in all its unity, and produce the leasure proper to it. It will differ in structure from historical compositions, which of necessary present not a single action, but a single period,and all that happened within that period to one person or to many, little connected together  as the events may be. For as the sea-fight at Salamiand the battle with the Carthaginians in Sicily took place at the same time, but did not tend to any one result, so in the sequence of events, one thing sometimes follows another, and yet no single result is thereby produced. Such is the practice, we may say, of most poets.
 
twenty four...
        Again, Epic Poetry must have as many kinds as Tragedy: it  must be simple, or complex, or " ethical "  or  " pathetic ". The parts also, with the exception or song and spectacle, are the same; for it requires  Reversal of the Situation, Recognitions, and  Scenes of Suffering. Moreover, the thoughts and the diction must be artistic. In all these respects,  Homer  is our earliest and sufficient model. Indeed each of his poems has a twofold character. The Iliad is at one simple and " pathetic ", and the  Odysseus complex ( for Recognition scenes  run through it ), and at the same time " ethical ". Moreover, in diction and thought they are supreme.
      Epic Poetry  differs from Tragedy in the scale on which it is constructed, and in its metre. As regards scale or length, we have already laid down an adequate limit: the beginning and the end must be capable of being brought within a single view. This condition will be satisfied by poems on a smaller scale than the old epics, andanswering in ligth to the group of Tragedies presented at the single sitting.
      Epic Poetry has however, a great - a special - capacity for enlarging its dimensions, and we can see the reason. In Tragedy we cannot imitate  several lines of actions carried on at one in the same time; we must confine ourselves to the action on the stage and the part taken by the players. But in Epic Poetry, owing of the narrative form, many events simultaneously transacted can be presented, and these, if relevant to the subject, add mass and dignity to the poem. The  Epic has here an advantage, and one that conduces to grandeur of effect, to diverting the mind of the hearer, and relieving the story with varying episodes. For sameness of incident soon produces satiety, and makes Tragedies  fail on the stage.
      Homer, admirable in all respects, has the special merit of being the only poet only who rightly appreciates the parts he should take himself. The Poet  should speak as little as possible in his own person, for it is not this that makes an imitator. Other poets  appear themselves upon the scene throughout, and imitate but little and rarely. Homer, after a few prefatory words, at once brings in a man, or woman, or other personage; none of them wanting in characteristic qualities, but each with a character of his own.
      The element of the wonderful is required in  Tragedy. The irratiional, on which the wonderful depends for its chief effects, has wider scope in  Epic Poetry, because there the person acting is not seen . Thus, the pursuit of Hector would be ludicrous of placed upon the stage, the Greeks  standing still and joining in the pursuit, and  Achilles  waving them back. But in the Epic Poem, the absurdity  passes unnoticed. Now the wonderful is pleasing: as  may be inferred from the fact that every one tells a story with some addition of his own, knowing that his hearers like it.
       Accordingly, the poet  should prefer probable impossibilities to improbable possibilities. The tragic plot must not be composed of irrational parts. Everything irrational should, if possible, be excluded; or, at all events, it should lie outside the action of the play ( as, in the Oedipus, the hero' s  ignorance as to the manner of  Laius'  death ); not within the drama - as in the Electra, the messenger' s account of the Pythian games; or, as in the Mysians, the man who has come from Tegea to Mysia and is still speechless. The  Plea that otherwise the plot would have been ruined; is ridiculous; such a plot should not in the first instance be constructed. But once the irrational has been introduced and an air or likelihood imparted to it, we must accept it in spite of  the absurdity. Take  even the irrational incidents in the Odyssey,  where Odysseus is left upon the shore of  Ithaca. How intolerable even these might have been would be apparent if an inferior poet  were to treat the subject. As it is, the absurdity  is veiled by the poetic charm with which the poet invested it.
        The diction should be elaborated in the pause s of the action, where there is no expression of character or thought. For, conversely, character and thought  are merely obscured  by the diction that is over brilliant.
 
                                                                      Aristotle
                                                           ( trahslated by anonymous )
                                            

Stone Wall 4

Marble 5