Vain Fortune eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 219 pages of information about Vain Fortune.
from natur’; but I could.  I ’ave an original talent.  It was a long time afore I found out it was there,’ he said, tapping his forehead; ‘but it is there,’ he said, fixing his eyes on Hubert, ’and when it is there they can’t take it away—­I mean my mates—­though they do laugh at my ideas.  They call me “the genius,” for they don’t believe in me, but I believe in myself, and they laughs best that laughs last....  I don’t know,’ he said, looking round him, his eyes full of reverie, ’that the public liked my fancy landscapes better than the ship on fire, but I said the public will come to them in time, and I continued my fancy landscapes.  But one day in Trafalgar Square it came on to rain very ’eavy, and I went for shelter into the National Gallery.  It was my fust visit, and I was struck all of a ’eap, and ever since I can ’ardly bring myself to go on with the drudgery of the piece of bacon, and the piece of cheese, with the mouse nibbling at it.  And ever since my ’ead ’as been filled with other things, though for a long time I could not make exactly out what.  I ’ave ’eard that that is always the case with men that ’as an idea—­daresay you ’ave found it so yourself.  So in my spare time I goes to the National to think it out, and in studying the pictures there I got wery interested in a chap called Hetty, and ’e do paint the female form divine.  I says to myself, Why not go in for lovely woman? the public may not care for fancy landscapes, but the public allus likes a lovely woman, and, as well as being popular, lovely woman is ’igh ’art.  So, after dinner hour, I sets to work, and sketches in a blue sea with three bathers, and two boxes, with the ’orse’s head looking out from behind one of the boxes.  For a fust attempt at the nude, I assure you—­it ain’t my way to blow my own trumpet, but I can say that the crowd that ’ere picture did draw was bigger than any that ’ad assembled about the bits o’ bacon and ship-a-fire of all the other coves.  ’Ad I been let alone, I should ’ave made my fortune, but the crowd was so big and the curiosity so great that it took the perlice all their time to keep the pavement from being blocked.  It wasn’t that the public didn’t like it enough, it was that the public liked it too much, that was the reason of my misfortune.’

‘What do you mean?’ said Hubert.

’Well, yer see them boys was a-hawking their cheap toys in the neighbourhood, and when they got wind of my success they comes round to see, and they remains on account of the crowd.  Pockets was picked, I don’t say they wasn’t, and the perlice turned rusty, and then a pious old gent comes along, and ’earing the remarks of them boys, which I admit wasn’t nice, complains to the hauthorities, and I was put down!  Now, what I wants to know is why my art should be made to suffer for the beastly-mindedness of them ‘ere boys.’

Hubert admitted that there seemed to be an injustice somewhere, and asked the artist if he had never tried again.

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Vain Fortune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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