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In Bohemia with Du Maurier The First Of A Series Of Reminiscences   By: (1833-1917)

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IN BOHEMIA WITH DU MAURIER

THE FIRST OF A SERIES OF REMINISCENCES

BY

FELIX MOSCHELES

WITH 63 ORIGINAL DRAWINGS

BY

G. DU MAURIER

ILLUSTRATING THE ARTIST'S LIFE IN THE FIFTIES

LONDON T. FISHER UNWIN

The few introductory words to this volume were written, and the last proofs posted, shortly before the fatal news overtook me in lovely Venice. My world, resplendent with sunshine, was suddenly lost in darkness. The most lovable of men, whose presence alone sufficed to make life worth living to all those near and dear to him, was gone from amongst us. His hand was no longer to hold those pens the finely pointed one that drew, the freely flowing one that wrote. His well earned rest was not to be enjoyed on earth.

Now that all is changed, the joyous note of these pages jars upon me. How differently would I attune the story of our student days, were I to write it to day in loving memory of my friend!

But as it stands, so it must go forth. The book, cordially endorsed by him, is printed and all but issued; he would not let me recall it, I know. He himself, in his kindly, simple way, had enjoyed my resuscitation of our early recollections, and had here and there lent a helpful hand even to the correcting of the proofs.

To write of him and of his qualities of heart and mind as I would now venture to record them, I must wait till the heavier clouds have cleared away and left the picture, I would draw once more to stand out brightly in the background of Time.

FELIX MOSCHELES.

October, 1896.

IN BOHEMIA WITH DU MAURIER

PREFACE.

"You'll see that I've used up all your Mesmerism and a trifle more in my new book," said du Maurier to me, some time before he published his "Trilby"; and that remark started us talking of the good old times in Antwerp, and overhauling the numerous drawings and sketches in which he so vividly depicted the incidents of our Bohemian days. It seemed to me that some of those drawings should be published, if only to show how my now so popular friend commenced his artistic career. In order that they should not go forth without explanation, I wrote the following pages.

The Bohemia I have sought to coerce into book shape, is not the wild country, peopled by the delightfully unconventional savages, so often described, but a little cultivated corner of the land, as I found it in Antwerp, a mere background to the incidents I had to relate. Such as it is, it may perhaps serve here and there to point to the original soil from which were eventually to spring some of the figures so familiar to us to day.

To me it was a source of enjoyment to evoke these memories, and if I publish them, it is because I strongly feel that pleasures shared are pleasures doubled. Sociably inclined as I always was, I am truly glad to have the opportunity of giving a hearty welcome to those who may care to join my friend and myself in our ramblings and our "tumblings."

CONTENTS.

PART I. 17

PART II. 69

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

"FOR EVER AND A DAY" Frontispiece

THE ATELIER GLEYRE 18

MY BLOUSE 20 ( From an oil sketch by Matthew Maris. )

PEGGY AND DU MAURIER AT THE RAILWAY STATION IN MALINES 27

FROM DU MAURIER'S PAINTING 30

MOSCHELES ET MOI SI NOUS AVIONS ÉTÉ DU BEAU SEXE 32

SI NOUS AVIONS ÉTÉ BEAUX 32

MOSCHELES ET MOI SI NOUS N'AVIONS PAS ÉTÉ ARTISTES 33

SI NOUS AVIONS ÉTÉ CHEVAUX 33

F. S'IL ÉTAIT CHEVAL 33

SI NOUS AVIONS ÉTÉ MILITAIRES 34

"CE SACRÉ VÉSICATOIRE" 35

ISABEL DU MAURIER 35

MOSCHELES, OR MEPHISTOPHELES? WHICH 40

"INSPIRATION PAPILLOTIQUE" 42

DU MAURIER IMPROVISING 43

HOW RAG TRIES TO DÉSILLUSIONER CARRY ON BOBTAIL, AND BOBTAIL TRIES TO DITTO DITTO ON RAG 44

THE INGENIOUS USE WHICH RAG MAKES OF BOBTAIL'S PLIABLE HAT 46

"BESHREW THEE, NOBLE SIR RAGGE! LET US TO THE FAIR TOBACCONISTE" 49

"SALUT À LA GENTE ET ACCORTE PUCELLE" 50

A MESMERIC SÉANCE IN MRS... Continue reading book >>




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