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A Holiday in the Happy Valley with Pen and Pencil

And how can I possibly paint a picture without a campanile


Then

upward I fared till, treading the clear heights, I found one frantically painting the peaks and pinnacles of the mountains in weird stipples of alternate red and blue.

"Great heavens!" I exclaimed, "what disordered manner is this!"

The artist glanced swiftly at me, and said disdainfully: "I am a modern of the moderns, and if you cannot see that mountains are like that, it is your fault--not mine. Go back, you stand too close."

And as I went back I looked over my shoulder, and, truly, the flaring rose-colour had blended amicably with the blue, and I admitted that perhaps Segantini was not so mad as he looked.

A little lower down a stout Scotchman painted a flowery valley. The flowers were many and bright, but not so garish as they appeared to him, and I hinted as much; but he scorned my criticism.

"Mon," he shouted, "I painted the Three Graces, an' they made me an Academeesian. I painted a flowery glen in the Tyrol (dearie me, but thae flowers cost me a fortune in blue paint), and it was coft for the Chantry Bequest, and hoo daur _you_ talk to me?"

Then I departed hurriedly and came upon four men, two of them with long beards, and all with unkempt hair, laboriously depicting a blue pine, needle by needle, and every one in its proper place. I asked them if theirs was not a

very troublesome way of painting.

They looked at one another with earnest blue eyes, and remarked that here was evidently a Philistine who knew not Cimabue and cared not a jot for Giotto; and the first said: "Sir, methinks he who would climb the golden stairs should do so step by step;" and the second said, sadly: "We are but scapegoats, truly, being cast forth by the vindictive Victorians of our day."

The third murmured in somewhat broken English.

"Victoria Victrix, Beata Beatrix,"

whereby I recognised him to be a poet, if not a painter.

But the fourth--an energetic-looking man with a somewhat arrogant manner--said briskly: "Perchance the ass is right; these pine needles are becoming monotonous, and I have seventeen million four hundred and sixty-two thousand five hundred and eleven more to do. Beshrew me if I do not take to pot-boiling!"

Down by the water-side a lady sat, sketching in water-colours for dear life; around her lay a litter of half-finished works, scattered like autumn leaves in Vallombrosa. I approached her, quite friendly, and offered to gather them up for her--at least some of them, saying soothingly, for I saw she was in a temper--

"Dear, dear, Clara, why, what _is_ the matter?"

"I am painting the Venice of the East," she cried petulantly, "but for the life of me I can't see a campanile, and how can I possibly paint a picture without a campanile?"

I understood that, of course, she couldn't, so I stole away softly on tip-toe, leaving her turning doungas into gondolas for all she was worth.


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