Studio: international art — 23.1901

Seite: 186
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Patten IVilson


The witty account of the visit paid to El
Dorado by Candide and his valet is a story in
which all artists may find a very useful meaning.
It is at haphazard, whilst in search of Miss Cune-
gund, that Voltaire's wanderers reach that miracu-
lous country where diamonds are not more highly
valued than green leaves, and where the human
mind is brightened with intelligence for upwards
of eight-score years and ten. In this paradise,
befriended by the king, and agape with pleased
astonishment, Candide and Cacambo spend a
month. Then ambition returns to them, and they
resolve to be no longer happy. "If we remain
here," says Candide, " we shall be only as others
are; whereas, if we return to our own world with
only a dozen El Dorado sheep loaded with the
pebbles of this country, we shall be richer than
all the kings in Europe." Besides, love has a
call upon him, and Miss Cunegund must be
recovered. All this being quite agreeable to

Cacambo, they ask permission of the surprised
king to leave the country; and fifteen days later
they are hoisted over the mountains into a land of

Every form of popular success in art leads to
an El Dorado of its own—a resting-place where
comfort may be enjoyed after much anxious
struggling. Those who strive most eagerly to
reach it, both by talent in their work and by tact
in their social recreations, have the utmost confi-
dence in their wisdom of the world. Yet it
happens not unfrequently that they are out-
distanced by the more simple-minded, who do
their very best to-day, and leave to-morrow to the
care of the " divinity that shapes our ends, rough-
hew them how we will." But when the El
Dorado is entered, then it is that the crucial
problem in the lives of artists presents itself for
solution. Will they settle down where they are
and become as other worldly folk, or will they
remember that their ambition as artists—their
Miss Cunegund—is still to be sought outside, in a
world where new enterprises may lead either to
greater fame or else to complete disaster ? The

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(By permission of G. P. Norton, Esq.)

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