The Haunted Pool: (La Mare au Diable)

The Haunted Pool: (La Mare au Diable)

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The Haunted Pool: (La Mare au Diable)

The Haunted Pool: (La Mare au Diable)

Read FREE!

Excerpt

When I began, with “The Haunted Pool,” a series of rustic tales which I purposed collecting under the title of “Tales of a Hemp-Dresser,” I had no system, no design of revolutionizing literature. No one makes a revolution by himself; and there are some revolutions, especially in the arts, which humanity accomplishes without quite knowing how, because it is everybody who takes them in hand. But this is not applicable to the romance of rural manners: it has existed in all ages and in all forms, sometimes pompous, sometimes affected, sometimes simple. I have said, and must here repeat, that the dream of a country life has always been the ideal of cities and even of courts. I have done nothing new in following the declivity which leads civilized man back to the charms of primitive life. I have not wished either to create a new language or to seek a new style, yet I have been told so in a goodly number of articles ; but I know better than any one else what is true about-my own intentions, and I am always astonished that criticism seeks so far, when the simplest idea, the commonest circumstance, are the only inspirations to which art products owe their being. As for “ The Haunted Pool “ in particular, the fact which I have related in the preface.— an engraving by Holbein, which had struck me, and a real scene which I had before my eyes at the same moment, in seed-time, — this is ail that prompted me to write this modest story, the scene of which has been laid amid the humble landscapes through which I passed every day. If I am asked what I wished to do, I will reply that I wished to do something very touching and simple, and that I have not succeeded to my own satisfaction. I have indeed seen and felt the beautiful in the simple, but to see and to paint are not the same thing. The best that an artist can hope is to persuade those who have eyes to look also. Do you . . .

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