On entering the shop, the artist glanced at the inflexible image of king, commander, dame, and allegory, that stood around, on the best of which might have been bestowed the questionable praise that it looked as if a living man had here been changed to wood, and that not only the physical, but the intellectual and spiritual part, partook of the stolid transformation.
Copley," answered Drowne, turning his back upon Wolfe's image in apparent disgust.
As yet, the image was but vague in its outward presentment; so that, as in the cloud shapes around the western sun, the observer rather felt, or was led to imagine, than really saw what was intended by it.
Copley," said Drowne, quietly, "I know nothing of marble statuary, and nothing of the sculptor's rules of art; but of this wooden image, this work of my hands, this creature of my heart,"--and here his voice faltered and choked in a very singular manner,--"of this--of her --I may say that I know something.
Thurston--and of what is it your pleasure to accuse me of being the image
God forbid, I replied; but may I ask you to consider the image
in another point of view?
I frequently passed the little temples reposing in the shadows of the taboo groves and beheld the offerings--mouldy fruit spread out upon a rude altar, or hanging in half-decayed baskets around some uncouth jolly-looking image; I was present during the continuance of the festival; I daily beheld the grinning idols marshalled rank and file in the Hoolah Hoolah ground, and was often in the habit of meeting those whom I supposed to be the priests.
Kolory was a sort of Knight Templar--a soldier-priest; for he often wore the dress of a Marquesan warrior, and always carried a long spear, which, instead of terminating in a paddle at the lower end, after the general fashion of these weapons, was curved into a heathenish-looking little image. This instrument, however, might perhaps have been emblematic of his double functions.
In how little reverence these unfortunate deities were held by the natives was on one occasion most convincingly proved to me.--Walking with Kory-Kory through the deepest recesses of the groves, I perceived a curious looking image, about six feet in height which originally had been placed upright against a low pi-pi, surmounted by a ruinous bamboo temple, but having become fatigued and weak in the knees, was now carelessly leaning against it.
What was her surprise, on perceiving that there was not the slightest trace of so much labor!--no image at all!--no piled up heap of snow!--nothing whatever, save the prints of little footsteps around a vacant space!
It looked just as if, while Violet was shaping out the image, she had given it a gentle pat with her hand, and had neglected to smooth the impression quite away.
Seen in the brook once more was the shadowy wrath of Pearl's image
, crowned and girdled with flowers, but stamping its foot, wildly gesticulating, and, in the midst of all, still pointing its small forefinger at Hester's bosom.