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Title: The Catholic World, Vol. 16, October 1872-March 1873
Author: Various
Language: English
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                            The Catholic World

           A Monthly Magazine of General Literature and Science

                                Vol. XVI.

                        October 1872 to March 1873

                     The Catholic Publication House.

                                 New York

                                   1873



CONTENTS


Contents.
The Catholic World. Vol. XVI., No. 91.—October, 1872.
   Bismarck And The Jesuits.
   Choice In No Choice.
   Fleurange.
   Review of Vaughan’s Life Of S. Thomas.
   The Progressionists.
   Gavazzi Versus The See Of S. Peter.
   Number Thirteen. An Episode Of The Commune.
   On A Picture Of S. Mary Bearing Doves To Sacrifice.
   Centres Of Thought In The Past. First Article. The Monasteries.
   Versailles.
   Father Isaac Jogues, S.J.
   Doña Ramona.
   The Distaff.
   A Martyr’s Journey.
   Odd Stories: III. Peter The Powerful.
   New Publications.
The Catholic World. Vol. XVI., No. 92.—November, 1872.
   Centres Of Thought In The Past. Second Article. The Universities.
   Fleurange.
   The Poor Ploughman.
   A Dark Chapter In English History.
   The Progressionists.
   The Virgin.
   The Homeless Poor Of New York City.
   The House That Jack Built.
   Where Are You Going?
   Number Thirteen. An Episode Of The Commune. Concluded.
   Use And Abuse Of The Novel.
   Review Of Vaughan’s Life Of S. Thomas: Concluded.
   To S. Mary Magdalen.
   God’s Acre.
   Personal Recollections Of The Late President Juarez Of Mexico.
   New Publications.
The Catholic World. Vol. XVI., No. 93.—December, 1872.
   The Spirit Of Protestantism.
   Fleurange.
   Sayings Of John Climacus.
   Dante’s Purgatorio. Canto Fifth.
   Sanskrit And The Vedas.
   The House That Jack Built.
   S. Peter’s Roman Pontificate.
   Sayings.
   The Progressionists.
   Christian Art Of The Catacombs.
   Beating The Air.
   A Retrospect.
   The Russian Clergy.
   The Cross Through Love, And Love Through The Cross.
   Odd Stories. IV. The White Shah.
   Signs Of The Times.
   New Publications.
The Catholic World. Vol. XVI., No. 94.—January, 1873.
   A Son Of The Crusaders.
   At The Shrine.
   A Christmas Recognition.
   Fleurange.
   Sayings.
   Prince Von Bismarck And The Interview Of The Three Emperors.
   A Christmas Memory.
   The House That Jack Built.
   A Retrospect.
   The Cross Through Love, And Love Through The Cross.
   Europe’s Angels.
   The Nativity Of Christe.
   The Progressionists.
   ὙΠΝΟΣ
   A Legend Of Saint Ottilia.
   The Year Of Our Lord 1872.
   New Publications.
The Catholic World. Vol. XVI., No. 95.—February, 1873.
   Who Made Our Laws?
   Dante’s Purgatorio. Canto Sixth.
   The Church The Champion Of Marriage.
   Fleurange.
   Cologne.
   John.
   The International Congress Of Prehistoric Anthropology And Archaeology.
   The See Of Peter.
   Atlantic Drift—Gathered In The Steerage.
   A Daughter Of S. Dominic.
   The Progressionists.
   F. James Marquette, S.J.
   Prayer Of Custance, The Persecuted Queen Of Alla Of Northumberland.
   Acoma.
   New Publications.
The Catholic World. Vol. XVI., No. 96.—March, 1873.
   The Relation Of The Rights Of Conscience To The Authority Of The State
   Under The Laws Of Our Republic.
   The Widow Of Nain.
   Fleurange.
   American Catholics And Partisan Newspapers.
   Brussels.
   Sayings Of S. John Climacus.
   Marriage In The Nineteenth Century.
   A Pearl Ashore.
   The Benefits Of Italian Unity.
   Sonnet.
   Recollections Of Père Hermann.
   A Daughter Of S. Dominic.
   The International Congress Of Prehistoric Anthropology And Archæology.
   Atlantic Drift—Gathered In The Steerage.
   Martyrs And Confessors In Christ.
   The Roman Empire And The Mission Of The Barbarians.
   New Publications.
Footnotes



                               [Cover Page]



CONTENTS.


Acoma, 703

Atlantic Drift—Gathered in the Steerage, 648, 837

American Catholics and Partisan Newspapers, 756

Beating the Air, 783

Benefits of Italian Unity, The, 792

Bismarck and the Jesuits, 1

Bismarck and the Three Emperors, 474

Bolanden’s The Progressionists, 40, 192, 358, 541, 674

Brussels, 766

Centres of Thought in the Past: The Monasteries, 79;
  The Same: The Universities, 145

Christian Art of the Catacombs, 372

Christmas Memory, A, 502

Christmas Recognition, A, 448

Church the Champion of Marriage, The, 585

Climacus, S. John, Sayings of, 318, 775

Cologne, 615

Craven’s Fleurange, 18, 158, 303, 459, 600, 737

Cross through Love, and Love through the Cross, 412, 523

Crusaders, A Son of the, 433

Cyprian, S., Martyrs and Confessors in Christ, 844

Dark Chapter in English History, A, 176

Daughter of S. Dominic, A, 658, 813

Deschamp’s Bismarck and the Emperors, 474

Distaff, The, 133

Doña Ramona, 122

English History, A Dark Chapter in, 176

Episode of the Commune, An, 61, 227

Europe’s Angels, 533

Father Isaac Jogues, S.J., 105

Father James Marquette, S.J., 688

Fleurange, 18, 158, 303, 459, 600, 737

Gavazzi _versus_ the See of S. Peter, 55

God’s Acre, 264

Hermann, Père, 808

Homeless Poor of New York City, The, 206

House that Jack Built, The, 212, 336, 507

International Congress of Prehistoric Anthropology and Archæology, 639,
            829

Italian Unity, The Benefits of, 792

Jogues, Father Isaac, S.J., 105

John, 622

Juarez, Personal Recollections of, 280

Legends of Saint Ottilia, 557

Marquette, Father James, S.J., 688

Marriage in the XIXth Century, 776

Marriage, the Church the Champion of, 585

Martyr’s Journey, A, 137

Martyrs and Confessors in Christ, 844

Monasteries, The, 79

Mission of the Barbarians, The, 845

Nativity of Christe, The, 540

New York City, The Homeless Poor of, 206

Novel, Use and Abuse of the, 240

Number Thirteen, 61, 227

Odd Stories, 138, 420

Ottilia, Saint, A Legend of, 557

Partisan Newspapers, American Catholics and, 756

Pearl Ashore, 788

Père Hermann, 808

Personal Recollections of Pres. Juarez, 280

Peter the Powerful, 138

Prince von Bismarck and the Three Emperors, 474

Progressionists, The, 40, 192, 358, 541, 674

Protestantism, The Spirit of, 289

Relation of the Rights of Conscience to the Authority of the State under
            the Laws of our Republic, 721

Retrospect, A, 395, 516

Review of Vaughan’s Life of S. Thomas, 31, 254

Roman Empire and the Mission of the Barbarians, 845

Russian Clergy, The, 403

S. Peter’s Roman Pontificate, 345

Sanskrit and the Vedas, 322

Sayings, 357, 473

Sayings of S. John Climacus, 318, 775

See of S. Peter, Gavazzi _versus_ the, 55

Signs of the Times, 422

Son of the Crusaders, A, 433

Spirit of Protestantism, The, 289

Universities, The, 145

Use and Abuse of the Novel, The, 240

Vaughan’s Life of S. Thomas, Review of, 31, 254

Versailles, 92

Where are You Going? 221

White Shah, The, 420

Who Made our Laws? 578

Year of Our Lord 1872, The, 558



Poetry.


Anselm’s The Poor Ploughman, 175

At the Shrine, 447

Chaucer’s Prayer of Custance, 702

Choice in no Choice, 17

Dante’s Purgatorio, 319, 581

On a Picture of S. Mary bearing Doves to Sacrifice, 77

Poor Ploughman, The, 175

Purgatorio, Dante’s, 319, 581

Prayer of Custance, 702

S. Mary Bearing Doves to Sacrifice, 77

See of Peter, The, 647

Sonnet from Zappi, 807

To S. Mary Magdalen, 265

Ὕπνος, 556

Virgin, The, 205

Widow of Nain, The, 735

Zappi, Sonnet from, 807



New Publications.


Adams’ Young America Abroad, 859

Agnew’s Geraldine, 573

All Hallow Eve, etc., 428

Ambition’s Contest, 144

Arundell’s Tradition, 430

Athenæum, The, 859

Beloved Disciple, The, 143

Bibliographia Catholica Americana, 713

Bolanden’s New God, 573

Book of the Holy Rosary, The, 140

Brownson’s Life of Gallitzin, 712

Burke’s Ireland’s Case Stated, 857

Caswall’s Hymns and Poems, 858

Catholic Class Book, 288

Catholic Family Almanac, 429

Catholic Worship, 571

College Journal, 576

Commentary of the Fathers on S. Peter, 286

Conversion of the Teutonic Race, 567
  The Same, Sequel, 567

Coppée’s Elements of Logic, 285

Craven’s Fleurange, 570

Cusack’s Life of F. Mathew, 572

Daily Steps to Heaven, 572

De Mille’s Treasury of the Seas, 859

De Vere’s Legends of S. Patrick, 570

Ellis’ Two Ysondes, 719

England and Rome, 286

English in Ireland, The, 716

Finotti’s Bibliographia Catholica Americana, 713

Fleurange, 570

Formby’s The Book of the Holy Rosary, 140

Froude’s English in Ireland, 716

Gardening by Myself, 144

God and Man, 430

Gratry’s Henry Perreyve, 141

Great Problem, The, 575

Guillemin’s Wonders of the Moon, 574

Hart’s Manual of American Literature, 431, 860

Heart of Myrrha Lake, The, 569

Henry Perreyve, 141

History of the Sacred Passion, 427

History of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The, 573

Holland’s Marble Prophecy, 431

Holley’s Niagara, 432

Holmes’ The Poet at the Breakfast‐Table, 858

Hope’s Teutonic Race, 567
  The Same, Sequel, 567

Hübner’s Life of Sixtus V., 567

Hymnary, with Tunes, 431

Hymns and Poems, 858

Illustrated Catholic Family Almanac, 429

Index Circular, 860

Ireland’s Case Stated, 857

Issues of American Politics, The, 431

Jenna’s Elevations Poetiques et Religieuses, 717

Keel and Saddle, 857

Kroeger’s The Minnesinger of Germany, 575

Lacordaire’s God and Man, 430

Lasar’s Hymnary, 431

Lectures on the Connection of Science and Religion, 573

Legends of S. Patrick, 570

Leifchild’s The Great Problem, 575

Liberalisme, Le, 714

Life and Times of Sixtus V., 567

Life of Demetrius Augustin Gallitzin, 712

Life of S. Augustine, 714

Liza, 573

Macdonald’s Hidden Life, 432

Macdonald’s The Vicar’s Daughter, 143

Manual of American Literature, 431, 860

Memoirs of Mme. Desbordes‐Valmore, 715

Minnesinger of Germany, The, 575

Moriarty’s Life of S. Augustine, 714

Morris’ Troubles of Our Catholic Forefathers, 287

My Clerical Friends, 567

New God, The, 573

Oakeley’s Catholic Worship, 571

Orsini’s History of the B. Virgin Mary, 573

Paquet’s Le Liberalisme, 714

Palma’s History of the Passion, 427

Parsons’ Biographical Dictionary, 572

Parsons’ Shadow of the Obelisk, 572

Peters’ Catholic Class Book, 288

Polytechnic, The, 859

Photographic Views, 714

Poet at the Breakfast‐Table, The, 858

Pocket Prayer Book, 286

Potter’s The Spoken Word, 142

Rawes’ The Beloved Disciple, 143

Revere’s Keel and Saddle, 857

Roundabout Rambles, 432

Sainte‐Beuve’s Memoirs of Mme. Desbordes‐Valmore, 715

Shadow of the Obelisk, The, 572

Skinner’s Issues of American Politics, 431

Spoken Word, The, 142

Stockton’s Roundabout Rambles, 432

Tradition, 430

Treasure of the Seas, The, 859

Troubles of Our Catholic Forefathers, 287

Truth, The, 571

Turgeneiff’s Liza, 573

Two Ysondes, and other Verses, 719

Unawares, 143

Vicar’s Daughter, The, 143

Warner’s Gardening by Myself, 144

Waterworth’s Commentary of the Fathers on S. Peter, 286

Waterworth’s England and Rome, 286

Weninger’s Photographic Views, 714

Wiseman’s Lectures on Science and Religion, 573

Wiseman’s Works, 714

Young America Abroad, 859



THE CATHOLIC WORLD. VOL. XVI., NO. 91.—OCTOBER, 1872.



Bismarck And The Jesuits.


    “1. The Order of the Company of Jesus, orders akin to it, and
    congregations of a similar character, are excluded from the German
    territory. The establishment of residences for these orders is
    prohibited. The establishments actually in existence must be
    suppressed within a period to be determined by the Federal
    Council, but which shall not exceed six months.

    “2. The members of the Company of Jesus, of orders akin to it, and
    of congregations of a similar character, may be expelled from the
    Federal territory if they are foreigners. If natives, residence
    within fixed limits may be forbidden them, or imposed upon them.

    “The measures necessary for the execution of this law, and for the
    certainty of this execution, shall be adopted by the Federal
    Council.”


Such is the amendment on the original motion for the recent legislation
with regard to the Jesuits which was proposed to the Reichstag by Dr.
Friedberg. The original motion was identical in aim and almost in
substance. The amendment is more exact and well‐defined, leaving not the
slightest loophole for possible evasion or escape. It was framed and
pressed on by the kindly spirit and generous hand of Prince Clovis of
Hohenlohe, the brother of the cardinal whose rejection by the Pope as
ambassador from Germany to his court gave such high umbrage to the
exquisitely sensitive Prince Bismarck.

Such is the law: plain, clear, and well‐defined. There is no mistaking it:
it is “goodly writ.” Paraphrased, it runs thus:

There is a body of men—and women even; for though we attach ourselves to
the chief point at issue, the phrase, “Those congregations of a similar
character,” may cover a very extensive ground, and seems ingeniously
framed for abuse—in Germany, possessed of certain property, colleges,
churches, seminaries, schools; possessed of certain rights as free
citizens of a free land: liberty of action and of thought. Most of them
are natives of the soil; many of them members of the highest families in
the empire. They have been doing their work all these years without let or
hindrance, or rumor of such. The state found no fault with them, or at
least never expressed it. Consequently, they went on without changing one
iota of their principles or mode of action, teaching in the universities,
colleges, and schools: preaching in the churches; gathering together
communities; giving themselves free voice in a free press, that all might
hear and tell openly what they were doing, and what they purposed doing.
Without a moment’s warning, without a trial or even a mockery of a trial,
the state swoops down on them, seizes their property, breaks up their
communities, turns them out of their homes adrift upon the world,
proclaims them outlaws, banishes them the empire, save such as were born
in it—one of whom happens to be a cousin to the emperor himself; and these
latter they proscribe to fixed limits under the surveillance of the
police.

And such is law! The law of the new German Empire: the first great step in
its reconstruction!

Short of death, the state could not do more utterly to destroy a body of
men. Condensed into a word, these measures are—demolition. As death alone
can make their penalty supreme, the crimes of these outlaws ought to be
proportionately great. What, then, are these crimes that in a moment
produced such a sentence?

Here we must confess to as great an inability to answer the question as
Prince Bismarck or his followers found themselves; for the very simple
fact that there are no crimes to answer for. This may account in part for
the extra severity of the sentence. Only make the penalty big enough, and
the popular mind needs to hear nothing of the crime. Prince Bismarck knows
the value of the old adage, “Give a dog a bad name, and hang him.”

When the Communists seized upon Paris, we all knew what to expect: scant
justice and speedy sentence; none of your careful balancing of right and
wrong. They took what they could and gave no reason. This model German
government, this new power which we all tremble at, though it promises to
regenerate us, follows _la Commune_ pretty closely in this its first essay
of power.

In the even balance of the law, it is useless to _talk_ of conspiracies,
parties, plots, and this, that, and the other. Show us those conspiracies;
point them out in black and white; let the law lay its inexorable finger
upon them, and say, such and such actions have been committed by such and
such persons; here are the proofs of guilt—and we are satisfied. Though
the condemned may have been our dearest friends, we have only to
acknowledge the justice of the sentence, to deplore that we have been
deceived in them, and to range ourselves as honest men and true citizens
on the side of the law. But in the present case, we have not had one
single fact produced nor attempted to be produced; not a crime in the
varied category of crimes has been laid at the door of the accused. We
have had instead from such men as Bismarck and his tools vague
generalities of “conspiracy,” “enemies at home as well as abroad,”
intermingled with fears for the safety of the new empire—“the new
creation”—padded in with bluster and empty bombast, “full of sound and
fury, signifying nothing.”

And in the face of this advanced nineteenth century, this era of facts,
figures, and freedom, on the strength of evidence that would not suffice
to condemn the veriest scoundrel that ever stood face to face with justice
in the dock, a body of intellectual gentlemen, beloved in the country from
which they are banished, are proclaimed outlaws, enemies of their own
nation, faithless to their country and their emperor, unfit to live in the
land that is proud of them, and driven without scrip or staff into the
world.

Let us bear it in mind, before quitting this point, that the feeling of
their countrymen as well as of the whole Catholic world is with them. We
all know how a government, and particularly a strong government, can
influence the public voice and manipulate votes. Well, petitions rolled in
for the suppression of the Jesuits; but, strange to say, roll in as they
might, a still vaster number came to retain them; and on the strength of
the former, the measure was put before parliament and passed. This fact of
the popular voice proclaiming itself boldly in favor of the Order is very
significant when we take into account the forces arrayed against each
other, though, in truth, the battle was all on the side of the government.
On the one hand we have the Prince‐Chancellor working the engine of the
state—his own creation—with every nerve that is in him, joining himself in
the debates with speeches of the bitterest and most inflammatory
character; on the other, we have a body of 708 men! Such was their number
in Germany according to the statistics of last year; the total number
throughout the world being 8,809.

To this, then, the contest reduces itself apparently. These are the
ostensible foes. The new and powerful German government, in the first
flush of an unprecedented success, headed by the “terrible Chancellor,”
pitted might and main against 708 individuals, staking its very life on
the contest. What evenly matched foes! For the Jesuits are the sole object
of this attack, mind. Listen to Minister Delbrück in his speech on the
third reading of the bill: “It is my duty, in the name of the confederate
government, to repudiate anew that view of the question which identifies
the Society of Jesus with the Catholic Church.... In such an allegation
they can discover nothing more than an arbitrary perversion of notorious
facts: a falsification which is the more to be deplored, as it might serve
to deprive the measure in circles outside of this assembly of its true
character, and impress on it another which it does not possess.”

This minister was the mouthpiece of Bismarck—“the hands indeed are Esau’s,
but the voice is that of Jacob.” Was there ever such a picture of injured
innocence and righteous indignation?

Seven hundred and eight men who spend their lives, as all the world may
see, in teaching, preaching, studying, visiting the sick, performing their
daily household duties, are such terrible plotters, dangerous political
leaders, that they cause the great Chancellor actually to tremble in his
shoes. It is a strange fact that he did not find this conspiracy out
sooner. Bismarck and the Jesuits are old neighbors, not to say friends.
They have lived very happily together up to yesterday. They accompanied
him to his wars, and took the place that is always theirs in the battle
front, among the wounded and the dying, when no succor was nigh, in the
endeavor to give rest and peace to the last moments of those whom Bismarck
summoned from their quiet homesteads to die for him under the empty name
of glory and patriotism. Some of them were rewarded by the Emperor with
the Iron Cross—the proudest decoration which he can bestow on a man; as
some others of them on the other side brought their science to bear on the
dismal walls of the beleaguered city, spreading out light far and near to
discover the crouching foe, and they were rewarded with death. Why, then,
after living in harmony so long together, does the Chancellor turn round
in a moment and make such a sweeping attack upon them, only _them_? The
body, numerically, is absolutely too insignificant for all this uproar.
Why, we could pack them all into some of our hotels, and they would
scarcely make an appreciable difference in the number of visitors. Had
there existed a conspiracy on their part against the empire, as is
alleged, is it possible that with Bismarck’s unlimited power and
resources, aided by those wonderful spies of his, who so infested France
that his generals knew the country better than the French themselves
did—is it possible that he who esteems so highly the value of the opinion
of “circles outside the empire,” could not produce _one_ sorry fact to
bring forward against them? Their most determined opponents must confess
that he has utterly failed to do so; and failing to do so, he has
exercised, and the majority of the German Parliament has sanctioned, a
barefaced abuse of power, such as we thought had died out with the good
old days of Henry VIII. and Queen Bess, or lived only with the Sultan of
Turkey or the barbarous monarchs of the East. May it not recoil on their
own heads!

The quarrel is scarcely confined to these limits, then, terrible as the
power of the Jesuits may be. We do not intend to insult the intelligence
of our readers by going into a needless defence, for the millionth time,
of the Jesuit Order. Their defence is written on the world with the blood
of their martyred children. Their defence rests on the fact of their very
existence under such persistent and terrible persecutions as their mother,
the church, only has surpassed. It rests in the record of every land upon
which the sun has shone. And as for the time‐worn themes, ever welcome and
ever new, of secresy, unscrupulous agents, blood, poison, daggers, and all
the mysterious paraphernalia which the Jesuit of the popular imagination
still bears about with him under that famous black gown, which the
intellect of the age, in the persons of the London _Times’_ correspondents
and those of the _Saturday Review_, are never weary of harping on, we
leave them to the enlightened vision of these gentlemen, and their rivals
in this respect—the concocters of the villains of fifth‐rate novels. But
they object: Well, we are ready to admire your Jesuits. They live among us
and we know them, and really, on the whole, they are not half such bad
fellows; in fact, we may go so far as to say they are very peaceable,
intelligent, respectable gentlemen. When we wish to hear a good sermon we
always go to listen to them. They are very fine writers, and very clever
men. They have done much, or tried to do much, for America, Africa, Japan,
and every out‐of‐the‐way place; they have done something in Europe, even.
But after all you must acknowledge that they are very dangerous fellows.
Why, your own Pope, Sixtus V., could scarcely be prevailed upon to permit
the foundation of the Order at the beginning; and another of your Popes,
Clement XIV., actually condemned them. Come, now; what do you say to that?

Must we soberly sit down to answer this absurdity once more? Our readers
will pardon us for merely glancing at it, and passing on to the more
immediate subject of our article.

First of all, granting, which we by no means intend to do, that all that
they allege is true, that it was with the greatest difficulty they even
crept into existence, and that a Pope found it necessary to suppress them;
there stands out in the face of such opposition the telling fact of their
existence in the broad light of these open days, when no sham can pass
muster, when the keen, eminently honest eye of these folk pick out the
false in a twinkling, expose it, hoot it down, away with it, and there is
an end. Such a fact opposed to such never‐failing opposition is a very
stubborn thing, and bears with it something very like reality and truth.
As for the difficulty of their beginning, that is the history of all
orders in the church, so careful is she of new‐fangled notions. In fact,
if our recollection serves us, that, we believe, is the history of the
church herself. So much for the alleged opposition of Sixtus V. And now
for the quelcher: the suppression by Clement XIV.

Here we give in: our opponents are right. Clement XIV. actually did issue
a _brief_ suppressing the Jesuits. Of course it is perfectly unnecessary
to inform these theological and mediæval scholars that a brief is a very
different thing from a bull; that a brief is in no wise binding on the
successor of the Pontiff who issues it; that a brief has no more to do
with infallibility than these gentlemen themselves have. And now we would
beg them to listen a moment to the very few Jesuitical words in which we
explain this whole thing away.

Clement XIV. issued this brief in exactly the same way that King John
signed the Magna Charta; Charles I. the death‐warrant of Strafford; or
George IV. the act for Catholic emancipation. We believe none of our
readers would blame King Charles for the death of Strafford, or thank King
John for Magna Charta, or George IV. for Catholic emancipation; as little
do we, can we, or any one who has read the history of the time, blame
Clement XIV. for the brief which suppressed the Jesuits. The timid old
monk—he was consecrated Pope at what the Bourbons considered the very safe
age of sixty‐four—was strong enough to resist this wicked demand of their
suppression to the utmost. We must bear in mind that the demand was made
by no body in the church; but only by the ambassadors of France, Spain,
and Naples. “I know what you want,” he said, “you want to create a heresy
and destroy the church.” Another time he writes, “I can neither censure
nor abolish an institute which has been commended by nineteen of my
predecessors.” In the meantime, we have a disinterested witness, happily
enough from Prussia, a man whom we have no doubt even Prince Bismarck has
some respect for. It is no less a person than Frederick the Great, who
writes to _Voltaire_:


    “That good Franciscan of the Vatican leaves me my dear Jesuits,
    who are persecuted everywhere else. _I will preserve the precious
    seed, so as to be able one day to apply it to such as may desire
    again to cultivate this rare plant._”


At last, notwithstanding his entreaties and prayers, they wrung the brief
from the heart of the tottering old man. They gained their point while he
lost his peace of mind, and was ever after murmuring, _Compulsus feci,
compulsus feci_. We should be more correct in saying that they only half‐
gained it; for they were wild with rage at its being only a brief. What
they wanted was a bull: destruction, not suspension. And such is the
history of the famous suppression of the Jesuits.

To make the story complete, we may as well add that, as soon as the brief
became known, Switzerland, knowing that it was the production of the
Bourbon faction and not of the Pope, refused to submit to it and deprive
the Jesuits of their colleges. Catherine of Russia interceded in their
favor, and gave the poor Pope a crumb of comfort in the few days that were
left him. Well did he say, “This suppression will be the death of me.”
While Frederick the Great—but he shall speak for himself, and we commend
his utterance to Prince Bismarck. He writes to his agent at Rome:


    “Abbé Columbini, you will inform all who desire to know the fact,
    but without ostentation and affectation, and you will moreover
    seek an opportunity of signifying soon to the Pope and his chief
    minister, that, with regard to the Jesuits, _I am determined to
    retain them in my states_. In the treaty of Breslau, I guaranteed
    the _status quo_ of the Catholic religion, and I have never found
    better priests in every respect. You will further add that, as I
    belong to the class of heretics, the Pope cannot relieve me from
    the obligation of keeping my word, nor from the duty of a king and
    an honest man.”


These words would be weakened by comment. We pass with relief from this
worn‐out subject, and wish our adversaries joy of their mare’s nest. Men
who have won the praise of their bitterest foes need small defence from
their friends. We leave them in the hands of such men as Voltaire, Lord
Macaulay, Sir James Stephens, Bancroft, Prescott, Parkman, and a host of
other eminent men of all nations and all creeds save our own. When those
who carp at the Jesuits have studied and refuted these writers to their
own satisfaction, they may be in a fair way to meet us.

Now we are met with the further objection: if the Jesuits are such an
excellent body as we make them; as Protestant historians and infidel
writers make them; as Catherine of Russia, as Frederick the Great, the
founder of the Prussian empire, and in this respect the proto‐Bismarck,
make them—why should Prince Bismarck pick such a deadly quarrel with them?

Have we possibly been mistaken in him all this time? Have we had another
Luther lurking beneath the person of the burly Chancellor? Has his aim
been all along not merely to create a German empire, but a German religion
and a German popedom? Has his zeal been inspired by religion? In his
speech the other day he protested against the pretensions of the Pope “as
a Protestant and an evangelical Christian.” We congratulate the
evangelical Christians, whoever they may be, on their new apostle. For
ourselves, we could not help laughing, and thinking that the height of
solemn farce had at length been reached. The words reminded us of one
Oliver Cromwell, who, in common with a well‐known kinsman of his, had a
knack of “citing Scripture for his purpose.”

No; we confess it, notwithstanding this solemn affirmation from his own
mouth, and before the German parliament too—(we think the printer must
have omitted the “laughter” at the end)—we cannot bring ourselves to look
upon the Chancellor as a “vessel of election,” though he may be a “vessel
of wrath.” We consider that his worst enemy could scarcely say a harder
thing of him than that he was a religious man. His is “Ercles’ vein: a
tyrant’s vein.” The Emperor “is more condoling.” Now he presents the
picture of a religious man _par excellence_. Why, his nostrils discerned a
sanctified odor rising up from those reeking fields of France; and he
could pray—how well!—after he had won the victory. But his Chancellor is a
man of another complexion. He found a rich humor in it all. We have not
forgotten that grim joke of his yet about the starving and doomed city. Is
he not the prince of jesters? No, however bad may be our opinion of him,
we will not accuse him of religiousness.

Where, then, lies the difficulty between them? The answer to this
necessitates a review of the whole present question of Bismarck with the
Papacy; and we must beg our readers’ indulgence in carrying them over such
beaten ground in order to get at the root of it all, fix it in our minds,
and keep it there, so that no specious reasoning may blind us to the
reality of it, to the true point at issue.

We recollect the position of the Papacy prior to the Franco‐German war.
The Pope was supported in his dominions by the arm of France—we say France
advisedly; not by Napoleon. The war came and smote this right arm. Victor
Emanuel stepped in; took possession: coolly told the Pope he would _allow_
him to live in the Vatican. The world shrieked with delight at seeing a
powerless old man reft of the little that was left him. The world was
astonished at the generosity of Victor Emanuel in _allowing_ the Pope a
fraction of what happened to be his own property. The world looked for the
regeneration of Italy, and it has had it. The _New York Herald_ furnished
us with the increase of crime since Victor Emanuel’s possession: if we
recollect rightly, it is about fourfold. So the Pope rested, as he still
rests, a virtual, in plain truth an actual, prisoner in the Vatican,
without a helping hand stretched forth to him. Came his jubilee, and with
it kindly and solemn gratulations from a quarter least expected—the new
emperor. Our eyes began to turn wistfully to the new power, and people
whispered, Who knows? perhaps our Holy Father has at last found a
defender. Here was Bismarck’s opportunity of winning the hearts of the
Catholic world, of binding us to him with the strongest chain that can
link man to man. Time wore on, and the gloss wore off. Home questions
arose, the Chancellor began to feel his way, to insinuate little measures
such as the secularization of schools, which the Catholics, strange to
say, found reason to object to. Prince Bismarck grew a little impatient;
he was anxious to conciliate the Catholics as far as he possibly could;
but really “his patience was nearly exhausted.” Our golden hopes began to
grow dim. We have heard this sort of thing before; we hear it every day,
from some whose opinions we respect; and we know what it means. It is the
old cry, “We have piped to you and you will not dance; we have played to
you, and you do not sing.” You are irreconcilable; there is no meeting you
on debatable ground. And that is just the point. Our religion has no
debatable ground, for it is founded on faith, and not on what goes by the
name of free investigation. So that whether it be Bismarck or nearer
friends of ours who would force or woo us in turn from our position, we
must meet them in matters that touch our faith with the inevitable “Non
possumus.”

Prince Bismarck began to grow weary of us; and he soon showed signs of his
peculiar form of weariness. He scarcely agrees with “what can’t be cured
must be endured”; his motto is rather, “What can’t be cured must be
killed.” The secularization of schools was carried in the face of the
protest of the Prussian Catholic bishops, assembled at Fulda. The
solemnization of the sacrament of marriage is handed over to the civil
jurisdiction, the same as any other contract. Still not a whisper against
the Jesuits, though, as we have already quoted, his quarrel is purely and
entirely with them. We pass on to the crowning act in his list of
grievances: the embassy to the Court of the Vatican.

What a noble thing it looked in the all powerful Chancellor to despatch an
ambassador from the high and mighty German empire, the mightiest in the
world, to the old man pent up in the Vatican! What a condescension to
acknowledge that such a person existed!

Of course the Pope would receive such marks of favor with tears of
gratitude and open arms. What! is it possible? He actually rejects the
ambassador, and sends him back on Bismarck’s hands. Well, well! wonders
will never cease.

Now there never was such a tempest in a tea‐pot as the explosion this
carefully laid train created. The very fact of sending an ambassador at
all to a monarch acknowledges the perfect right of that monarch to receive
or reject him as he pleases; and to common sense there is an end of the
question. The Pope did not choose to receive this ambassador; he had every
right to exercise his freedom of action; he exercised his right, but
Prince Bismarck’s sensibilities were hurt. It was not so much the fact of
rejection as the Pope’s want of politeness that afflicted him. In his
speech before the Reichstag he declared that such a thing was without a
parallel in the history of diplomacy. What martinets these Germans are for
punctilio! We remember Mr. Disraeli actually refusing to accept as
sufficient reason for the late war the “breach of etiquette at a German
watering‐place.” Now, with all due respect, Prince Bismarck knew, as those
he addressed knew, as all the world knows, that this statement was
anything but correct. Ambassadors have been rejected before now, and
probably will be again. In fact, had certain individuals of this class to
and from ourselves been rejected at the outset, it would have saved
national difficulties, or at least wounded feelings and displays of
school‐boy recriminations scarcely creditable to such high and mighty folk
as gentlemen of the diplomatic body. But there is more in the question
than this. The Cardinal‐Prince Hohenlohe is a prince of the church. He is
in addition attached to the Pope’s household. He gave himself freely and
voluntarily to the service of the church. He is not a mere ordinary member
of the Catholic body. He stands in relation to the Pope as Von Moltke, the
Dane, stands in relation to the Emperor William; as those who were once
fellow‐citizens of ours stand in relation to the Khedive, whose service
they have entered; as Carl Schurz and millions of our fellow‐citizens
stand in relation to the government of the United States. When the
Italians entered Rome, Cardinal Hohenlohe left it; and the next the Pope
heard of him was that his own servant had been appointed ambassador to his
court from Berlin! Just as though tomorrow we received intimation that a
new ambassador had been appointed to us from England, and that ambassador
was no less a person than—Minister Schenck. We can imagine the _New York
Herald’s_ comments on such a proceeding. And yet Prince Bismarck is sore
aggrieved at a breach of political etiquette.

We think we need trouble our readers with no further reasons for Cardinal
Hohenlohe’s rejection. What share the cardinal had in the whole proceeding
we do not know. Probably Prince Bismarck would eventually have found
himself sadly disappointed in his ambassador had he been accepted. S.
Thomas of Canterbury made an excellent chancellor till the king, against
his wishes, compelled him to enter new service. But it is very clear that
if Bismarck, as we do not believe, ever contemplated the possibility of
the cardinal’s acceptance at Rome, what he wanted was a tool, one who, to
use his own very remarkable words, “would have had rare opportunities of
conveying _our own version of events and things_ to his [the Pope’s] ear.
This was our sole object in the nomination rejected, I am sorry to say, by
Pio Nono.”

We have no doubt of it: it was his sole object; and the acceptance or
rejection of his ambassador was one to him; for Prince Bismarck is
generally provided with two strings to his bow. Had the cardinal been
accepted, he believed he had a churchman devoted to his interests, another
Richelieu; his rejection suited him still better; for he could now declare
open war, and throw the onus of it on his adversaries. Through the whole
proceeding we detect the fine hand of the man who forced on the Danish,
Austrian, and French wars. Prince Bismarck must not be surprised if, in
the face of such speaking examples, we come at last to have a faint
conception of his strategy. His policy always is, and always has been, to
egg his adversary on; to goad him into striking first, taking care all the
while that he himself is well prepared. They strike, and he crushes
them—all in self‐defence. He is exonerated in the eyes of the world. He
can tell the others they provoked him to the contest; he can say to them,
“Your blood be on your own heads.”

And so this carefully prepared train exploded. It looked such a noble,
generous, friendly action to send an ambassador to the Pontiff’s court in
the present position of the Pontiff, that, when the ambassador was calmly
rejected, the world could not believe its ears; and Prince Bismarck
entertains a very high respect for those ears notwithstanding their
length. What could we say but that it was too much? There was no
conciliating these Romanists and Ultramontanes, do what you would. It was
clear that the Pope was altogether out of place in these days; and his
obstinacy only served to keep very respectable bodies of men from agreeing
and living neighborly together, and so on _ad nauseam_. Thus Bismarck
could afford to froth and fume about insult, unprecedented actions,
etiquette, and so on; urge upon the German nation that they had been
insulted in the person of their august emperor, who seems as touchy on
points of etiquette as a French dancing‐master; and ring the changes up
and down till he closed with the loud‐sounding twang, “Neither the emperor
nor myself are going to Canossa!”

Could anything be more theatrically effective? Could anything be more
transparently shallow?

Well, in the face of this awful outrage and unprecedented provocation,
what does the wrathful Chancellor do? March on Rome; declare war against
the Catholics; utterly exterminate them; smite them hip and thigh? Nothing
of the kind. He not only lets the Pope alone from whom he received the
outrage, _but he actually looks about for another ambassador, __“__in the
event of unlooked‐for eventualities.__”_ He entertains the greatest
possible respect for Catholics. Indeed, he seems to be aware that the
small fraction of 14,000,000 of them go to swell his empire; the most
Catholic of whom, by the way, bore the brunt of the battle in France. He
accepts his rebuff more in sorrow than in wrath. He lets the whole
question slip; he has no quarrel with the 14,000,000; but there are 708 of
them whom he pounces upon as the policeman on the small boy; and nobody
can quarrel with him for letting the steam of his wrath off on this small
body, which is at the bottom of every mischief that turns up.

Is not this excellent fooling? He says to the Catholics: I will not touch
you; you and I are very excellent friends; I will not touch your
mother—the church; I will content myself with murdering her eldest son,
who is the cause of all the trouble between us.

Now, we may fairly ask the question: Is the quarrel confined to these
limits? Why does Bismarck turn aside from the church, from the Pope who so
angered him, from the bishops who protested against his laws and refused
to submit to them, from the Centre in the Reichstag who so boldly, calmly,
and logically oppose him?—why does he turn from all these legitimate foes,
and fall on the small body of 708 men who compose the Jesuit Order in
Prussia?

The answer is not difficult. The Jesuits as a body represent the intellect
of the church. They represent indeed more, much more, than this; for
intellect, great as it is, is not the highest thing in the eye of God or
of his church; but our present point deals with their intellectual power.
The _Pall Mall Gazette_ said the other day, writing on this question:


    “One of the most remarkable traits of the Society of Jesus has
    always been its literary productiveness. Wherever its members
    went, no sooner had they founded a home, a college, a mission,
    than they began to write books. [We beg to call the attention of
    those who would fain make the church the mother of ignorance, to
    testimony of this kind from such a source.] The result has been a
    vast literature, not theological alone, though chiefly that, but
    embracing almost every branch of knowledge.”


The Jesuits in Germany, as in all countries where they have freedom,
possessed the best schools and colleges. They made themselves heard and
felt in the press. “In Italy, Germany, Holland, and Belgium,” says the
journal above quoted, “the most trustworthy critics are of opinion that
there are no better written newspapers than those under Jesuit control.”
It says further, and nobody will accuse the _Pall Mall Gazette_ of being a
Jesuit organ:


    “Why indeed is their Order so dangerous, if it be not on account
    of the ardent, disinterested conviction of its members, their
    indomitable courage and energy, their spirit of self sacrifice, to
    say nothing of their intelligence and their learning? The effect
    of all this can but be heightened by persecution. On the other
    side [Austria, if we recollect rightly], the danger which the
    existence of the Order in the country really offers is much less
    than it is supposed to be. In Germany, it does not really exist.”


These extracts from various numbers of one of the leading rationalistic
organs in England, which it were easy to supplement by many others of the
same import, notably from the _Saturday Review_ and the _Spectator_, we
merely present here to such of our non‐Catholic readers as might receive
our own testimony of whatever value with a certain suspicion. They embody
very sound reasons for Bismarck’s unprovoked and unlawful attack. We
purpose going a little deeper into the question.

The Jesuits now, as always, small as their number is, were the leading
Catholic teachers in Germany among high and low. Their access to the
chairs of the universities made them to a great extent the moulders of
thought, the teachers of the teachers, the great intellectual bulwark
against the spread of rationalism and every form of false doctrine which
strives to creep in to the hearth of the commonwealth and endanger its
existence. As they were the strenuous upholders of Bismarck in all that
was right; as their influence against the maxims of the International,
though not so immediate and showy as his, was infinitely deeper and more
lasting, so when he would intrench upon rights that are inalienable to
every man of whatever complexion and creed, they turned and boldly faced
the Chancellor himself. Were the character which their opponents would fix
upon them true, they had their opportunity of showing it—of going with him
at least at the outset. He would not have disdained the assistance of such
able lieutenants. But instead, the wily Jesuits, the men of the world, the
plotters, the schemers, the Order that is untrue to everything and
everybody save itself, throws itself with undiminished ardor, with a
devotion worthy of the fatalist, with all their heart and soul, into a
losing cause; into a cause which they have ever supported; which has been
losing these eighteen hundred and seventy‐two years, but which has never
lost.

These considerations bring us to the root of the question.

This marvellous German empire, this more than a nine days’ wonder, has
been convulsed into life; and sudden convulsions are liable to as sudden
relapses. Bismarck’s heart is in it; he is the corner‐stone; it is built
upon him; and he of all men knows on what a rocking foundation it is
built. Listen to his mouthpiece once more, Minister Delbrück, in his
speech on the third reading of the bill against the Jesuits:


    “We live under a very new system of government, called into
    existence by mighty political convulsions: and I hold that we
    should commit a great error in abandoning ourselves to the
    delusion that everything is accomplished and perfected because the
    Imperial German constitution has been published in the official
    organ of the empire. For a long time to come we shall have to keep
    carefully in mind that the constitution—the new creation—has
    enemies not only abroad but at home; and if the representatives of
    the empire arrive at the conviction that among these internal
    enemies an organ is to be reckoned which, while furnished with
    great intellectual and material means, and endowed with a rare
    organization, steadily pursues a fixed inimical aim, it has a
    perfect right to meet and frustrate the anticipated attack.”


We have shown how nobly they met and frustrated the anticipated attack—a
rather summary mode, we submit, of dealing with those who _may_ be
enemies, for it has grown into only an “anticipated attack” now. Worse and
worse for the wielders of law. It may be as well to note also that the
Chancellor lets nothing slip. He allows the “great intellectual means” to
go; but the “great material means” is a far more important thing. He
sticks to that. There must be something of the Israelite nature in him. He
out‐Shylocks Shylock. As in France, so here; he is not content with the
“pound of flesh,” he will have in addition the “monies.” After all, what
is there to surprise us in this? The great Chancellor, who coldly wrung
such griping terms from bleeding France, could scarcely be expected to
leave to the church the great material possessions, that is to say, the
schools, seminaries, and churches, which belonged to her children.

But to resume: The first sentence of this quotation strikes the key‐note
of the whole movement. And, we avow it, Prince Bismarck is right. This
empire has enemies at home as well as abroad, and the Jesuits are in the
van. All Catholics are its enemies; and we make bold to say that all free
men, and particularly all Americans, are its enemies. For it is not a
German but a Bismarck empire; a Bismarck creation, that started into life
men scarce knew how; a momentary thing for mutual defence, but never to be
made, as he has made it, as powerful an instrument of tyranny as ever was
forged to bind and grind a free‐born people in fetters of iron for ever
down. Never, in the vexed history of nations, has power, and such awful
power, fallen into the hands of any one man at such an opportune moment
for good; and never, at the very outset, has it been so basely and so
openly abused. The state of Europe, at this moment, is deplorable;
revolution in Spain, revolution in Italy, revolution in France. The
government, the supreme control of the whole continent, shifting from hand
to hand; yesterday it was Napoleon, to‐day ’tis Bismarck: Europe cannot
stand these successive shocks, from empire to anarchy, from anarchy to
empire, without warning and without ceasing. Under all smoulders the
burning lava, breaking out from time to time in fitful eruptions—here the
Carbonari, there _la Commune_, in other places as trades‐unions—which
threatens to overwhelm and engulf the whole in one red ruin. It is simply
the evil effect of evil spirits working upon dissatisfied and ill‐governed
bodies of men. While over all, in the dim treacherous background, looms
the vast giant power of Russia, that seems to slumber, but is only biding
the event, and shows itself in dangerous signs from time to time. Europe
yearns for something fixed, permanent, and strong. Napoleon held
it—failed; and the reins fell into the hands of Bismarck. He commences his
reign by declaring war against the only element that can humanize these
conflicting masses, and cause this wild chaos of passion to adhere,
coalesce, and become one again as its Creator made it: religion. Religion
alone can make them bow to law; for religion alone can teach them that
there is a law that is above, and gives a reason for that law which _they_
themselves make for themselves. And what has Bismarck done with this power
that was given him?

To begin with, he has banished religion from the schools, where it has
flourished to the mutual satisfaction of Catholics and Protestants ever
since its establishment. He has profaned the sacrament of marriage and
handed it over to the civil courts. We will omit the expulsion of the
Jesuits now. His empire is the most autocratic and aristocratic in Europe.
Almost as a consequence, it is the most military. To make assurance doubly
sure, he is making it more military still; not a nation of peaceful men,
but a nation of warriors. Instead of allowing the weary nation a rest
after a strife where centuries were condensed into a few months, and
fabulous armies shattered in days, the military laws are made more
stringent than ever. The Prussian system of service is to prevail
throughout the empire, notwithstanding Bavaria’s remonstrance. Von
Moltke’s declarations in his late speech are very clear and concise.
Summed up, they mean discipline, discipline, discipline; and this is
Bismarck’s word also. To produce this perfection of discipline, the power
of the state must be supreme in every point. Nothing must escape it;
nothing must evade it. The state must be religion, the state must be God,
and Herr von Bismarck is the state. This sounds like exaggerated language;
but Bismarck shall speak for himself:


    “I may tell the preceding speaker [Herr Windhorst] that, as far as
    Prussia is concerned, the Prussian cabinet are determined to take
    measures which shall henceforth render it impossible for Prussians
    who are priests of the Roman Catholic Church to assert with
    impunity that they will be guided by canon law rather than
    Prussian law.”


This referred immediately to the case of the Bishop of Ermeland and
others, for excommunicating disobedient priests.

The Bishop of Ermeland was ordered to withdraw his excommunication,
because it might affect those who came under it in their civil capacity,
under pain of suspension by the government. The answer of the Bishop,
Monsignor Krementz, was admirable in every way, and we regret that our
limited space compels us to exclude it. It is enough to say that the
bishop shows, beyond the possibility of doubt, that he is actually within
the law, by a special provision of the Prussian Constitution, which
declares in Article XII. “that the enjoyment of civil and political rights
is independent of religious professions,” while he declares at the same
time that in such matters he is not bound by the civil law. Those opposed
to him in faith must support him in this. Recent decisions in the English
courts on behalf of the Established Church support him. And we need hardly
waste the time of our readers by entering into such a question. If a
government acknowledges a church at all, it must allow that church to work
in its own way so long as it does not intrench upon the civic rights of
the subject. The men in question, who were condemned, received their
orders and powers of teaching, preaching, and saying Mass from the church,
to which they made the most solemn oaths of entire obedience in matters of
doctrine. If afterwards they grew discontented, they possessed the civil
right to leave it. But as honest men, how could they remain in it,
receiving emolument from it, using its property, and all the while
persisting in preaching doctrines contrary to it, and endeavoring to
destroy it? Those who defend the decision of the German government must
allow that when, as not unfrequently happens, a Protestant clergyman
becomes a convert to our faith, he may still abide in the Protestant
church, preaching the Catholic faith to his congregation.

Our battle, then, and in this we are all Jesuits, is with the Bismarck
empire, with the supreme power of the state. These ideas of Prince
Bismarck are not new; they are as old as old Rome. The Roman was taught
from his infancy that he belonged body and soul to the state; and no doubt
Rome owed much of her vast power and boundless acquisitions to the steady
inculcation of this materialistic doctrine from childhood upwards. “The
divinity of the emperor” is not far removed from the divinity of the
Chancellor. It is a very simple doctrine, and no doubt very convenient for
those whom it benefits. But unfortunately for it and its defenders, One
came into this world to tell us that we were “to render unto Cæsar the
things that are Cæsar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” This is
the Catholic golden rule of politics, as we believe it to be of all
orthodox Protestants. Prince Bismarck will excuse our obeying Jesus Christ
in preference to him.

And here is the reason for the expulsion of the Jesuits: They are the
ablest exponents of these doctrines, not necessarily the most earnest—all
Catholics are alike in that; but their education has made them as a body
the ablest, and therefore they are driven out from the schools, colleges,
universities, and churches; from the land utterly. And by whom are they
replaced?

By the tools of Bismarck, by men who are ready to preach his doctrines
“for a consideration.” We had a sample of them the other day at the
opening of one of the universities in Alsace. The correspondent of the
London _Daily News_, among others, described them to us: how they fought
like wild beasts to get something to eat, and attacked it with their
fingers; how, at the end of the day, they, the German professors, reclined
in the gutters, or reeled drunk through the public streets.

And now, to complete our glance at this very large subject, a word on the
ambassador to Rome that is to be. While Bismarck is still determined to
send one there, he leaves us no room to doubt of his intentions in the
significant words—“unlooked‐for eventualities.” That is to say, he looks
to the speedy prospect of the present Pontiff’s death, and intends to
affect the election of his successor. While refraining from remarking on
the outspoken indelicacy of this, we do not at all doubt his intention, as
little as we doubt concerning the prospect of its success. It is perfectly
true that when the church had some influence over the state—and how that
influence was exercised, let the spread of education, the abolition of
serfdom, the persistent defense of liberty, and prevention of so many wars
speak—the three great Catholic powers, France, Spain, and Germany, had a
veto on the election of the Sovereign Pontiff, which they duly exercised
in the persons of their respective representatives. These representatives
were heard and felt in the councils of the church, and the measures they
brought forward taken into due consideration. But we were under the
impression that the relations between church and state had been altered to
some purpose in our days. Lot has parted from Abram. The state said to the
church: Our compact is at an end; you have nothing more to do with us; you
may fulminate your thunderbolts as you please, and let them flash abroad
through the world. We laugh. Their day is passed. Papistical pyrotechnics
may frighten women and children, but we are too old for that. We know the
secret of it all; that at bottom the thunderbolt is only a squib, and must
fall flat. The church accepted the situation. The state had proclaimed the
separation final and eternal. It could scarcely be surprised at the church
taking it at its word. It could scarcely be surprised to find the doors of
the Vatican Council closed against it. It can scarcely be surprised to
know that the veto no longer has force—no longer exists in fact; least of
all could it be expected to have force in the hands of a Protestant and
heretical power, even when held in the safe keeping of the pious Emperor
William and the “Christian and Evangelical” Prince Bismarck.

One effect, and we think a very important one, has grown out of all this
which we surmise Prince Bismarck scarcely counted upon. We believe the
mass of thinking men, whatever their sympathies might have been prior to
and during the late war in France, once they beheld the great German
empire an accomplished fact, wished it a hearty Godspeed; for it held in
its hands the intellectual, the moral, and that very important thing in
these days, the physical force sufficient to regenerate Europe. We looked
to it with anxiety to see whither it would tend; we looked to it with
hope. Our anxieties have been realized, our hopes dashed to the ground.

Prince Bismarck has alienated all Catholics and all lovers of freedom. And
our eyes turn once more, all the chivalry in our natures turns, to the
rising form of his late prostrate foe. We are amazed at the intense
vitality of the French nation. Bismarck but “scotched the snake, not
killed it; ’twill close and be itself.” All our hearts run out to it in
the noble, the marvellous efforts it is making for self‐regeneration. And
if France, as we now believe, will, and at no very distant date, regain
the throne from which she has been hurled, the hand that hurled her thence
will, by a strange fatality, have the greatest share in reinstating her.
“The moral columns of the new German empire have begun to tremble as
though shaken by an earthquake,” says the _Lutheran Ecclesiastical
Gazette_, after deploring, as we have done, all the recent measures that
have passed.

As for the manner in which the Catholic Church will come out of this
trial, we will let the Protestant press itself speak. We have already
heard it in a half‐hearted way in England and among ourselves. The _Kreuz‐
zeitung_, the organ of the orthodox Protestants, speaks more plainly:


    “An eminent Catholic, a member of parliament, said lately that the
    outlook of the Roman Church in Germany was never more favorable
    than it is to‐day. It seems that this judgment is not without
    foundation. The defections produced by the old Catholics are
    without signification: we have to state a fact of altogether
    another importance. Formerly, the greater part of the German
    bishops, the greater part of the lower clergy, and almost all the
    laics, were adversaries of the new dogma [we give those words of
    the _Kreuz‐zeitung_, with our own reservations as to faith in
    them], but now that the council has spoken, we only find thirty‐
    two apostate priests; that is an immeasurable victory won by the
    Roman Church.... Though the Roman Church thus appears day by day
    more and more in the ascendant, the Evangelical Church sees itself
    with deliberate purpose pushed down the inclined plane, or, what
    is still worse, the government does not seem to be aware of its
    existence. We have been able to remark this recently in the
    discussion on the paragraph relating to the clergy in the
    Reichstag; and lately again on the occasion of the law on the
    inspection of schools. In the debates, at least those which
    concern the manifestations of the government, the question has
    been altogether with reference to the Roman Church. There has been
    no mention made, or scarcely any, of the Evangelical Church. The
    impression produced on every impartial observer must be this: the
    Roman Church is a power, a factor which must be taken into
    account; the Evangelical Church is not. This disdain is, for the
    latter, the most telling blow which can be inflicted upon it, and
    which must aid in strengthening the cause of Rome in a manner that
    must become of the deepest significance for the future. After all
    that, it is not strange to see the adherents of the Roman cause
    conceive the loftiest hopes.”


The _Volksblatt von Halle_ states that “the Catholic Church has become
neither more timid nor weaker, but more prudent, bolder, of greater
consideration, and in every respect more powerful than ever.” We might go
on multiplying such extracts, but our space forbids us.

The result then to us, to Catholics, is not doubtful, as the result of
persecution never is. It is strange that such a keen‐sighted, eminently
practical man as Prince Bismarck should become so suddenly blind to all
the teachings of history. The meanest religion that exists among men
thrives on persecution even when it has nothing better to support it. As
for us, as for the Jesuits particularly, “suff’rance is the badge of all
our tribe.” Their great Founder left it to them as his last legacy. And
indeed, the measure he meted out to them has been filled to overflowing.
While we are thus strong in faith, while we know that Prince Bismarck is
only beating the air in his vain and impious efforts to extinguish that
fire which God kindled and bade to burn, while we are calmly confident
that he will shatter his mightiest forces against the Rock of Ages, and
come back from the conflict battered and bruised—finding out too late that
he made the one grand mistake of his life, which greater than he have made
before him—still we cannot shut our eyes to the fact of the great injuries
he is inflicting upon us, and the many fresh trials imposed upon the
church and our Holy Father in his declining years.

What, then, are we to do?

We have power, and we must use it. We have voices, and we must make them
heard. We have the silent, if not the outspoken sympathy of powerful
bodies opposed to us in creed. We have the heart, when we show ourselves,
of every free man and hater of oppression in any form. We have the genius
of our own constitution on our side. We must speak out plainly and boldly
as Catholic Americans. We must do what has already been done in London at
the meeting in S. James’ Hall, presided over by the Duke of Norfolk; where
peer and ploughman, gentle and simple, priest and layman, were one in
protesting against this slavish policy of Prince Bismarck. Let us do the
like. Let our eminent men, and they are not few, call us together here in
New York, in every city throughout the nation—in behalf not only of our
suffering brethren, but of those rights which are inalienable to every man
that is born into this world—in protestation against a principle and a
policy which, if they found favor here, would sap the life of our nation,
and throw us back into the old slavery that we drowned in our best blood.
Our standpoint is this: as there are rights which the state does not and
cannot give us, those rights are inviolable, and the state cannot touch
them. To God alone we owe them; to God alone we give them back, and are
answerable for them. The state is not supreme in all things, and never
shall be. These are the principles we defend, and are happy in being their
persecuted champions.

It is not merely a question of creed; Bismarck does not attack a creed. It
is a broad question of right and wrong, of justice and injustice, of
_absolutism_ and freedom. Power was never given into the hands of the
German Chancellor to be abused at the very outset, to oppress his
subjects, Catholic and Protestant. It is not and it must not be supreme;
and we very much mistake the genius of the great German people if they
long allow it to continue so. It is not for him to deprive 14,000,000 of
his people of their natural rights; the right to educate their children as
they think proper, _and as the law allowed them_; the right to consider
marriage a sacrament sanctified by God, and not a civil contract, to be
loosed or unloosed at will by a magistrate; the right of listening to
their most eminent teachers; the right of holding the seminaries and
churches, built by their own money, for the use of their own priests; the
right, above all, of believing that there is a God beyond all governments,
from whom all government, which people make for themselves, springs; that
God has set a law in the conscience which they must obey, even though
princes and kings rage against it, and that it is not in the nature of
things for this first and final law of conscience to clash with any other
unless that other be wrong. When Prince Bismarck succeeds in eradicating
these inborn notions from the minds of the German people, he will then
have attained his supremacy; but that then is—never.



Choice In No Choice.


I know not which to love the more:
  The morning, with its liquid light;
Or evening, with its tender lore
  Of silver lake and purple height.

To morn I say, “The fairer thou:
  For when thy beauties melt away,
’Tis but to breathe on heart and brow
  The gladness of the perfect day.”

And o’er the water falls a hue
  That cannot sate a poet’s eye:
As though Our Lady’s mantle threw
  Its shadow there—and not the sky.

But when has glared the torrid‐noon,
  And afternoon is gasping low,
The sunset brings a sweeter boon
  Than ever graced the orient’s glow.

And I: “As old wine unto new,
  Art thou to morn, belovèd eve!
And what if dies thy every hue
  In blankest night? We may not grieve.

“Thy fading lulls us as we dote.
  Nor always blank the genial night:
For when the moon is well afloat,
  Thou mellowest into amber light.”

Is each, then, fairer in its turn?
  ’Tis hence the music. Not for me
To wish a dayless morn, or yearn
  For nightless eve—if these could be.

But give me both—the new, the old:
  And let my spirit sip the wine
From silver now, and now from gold:
  ’Tis wine alike—alike divine!

LAKE GEORGE, July, 1872.



Fleurange.


By Mrs. Craven, Author of “A Sister’s Story.”

Translated From The French, With Permission.



Part Third. The Banks Of The Neckar.


“Brama assai—poco spera—nulla chiede.”—Tasso.


XXXIV.


“Return, Gabrielle! if possible, return at once; at all events, come
soon.” These simple words from Clement to his cousin give no idea of the
agitation with which they were written. Fleurange herself would never have
suspected it, and less than ever at the arrival of a letter at once so
affecting and so opportune. She even paid very little attention to her
cousin’s assurances as to the inutility of any further sacrifices for the
sake of his family. Clement, however, had written her the exact truth. The
situation of Professor Dornthal’s family was of course very different from
what it once was, but the change was far from being as great as they had
all anticipated and prepared for a year before, when ruin overwhelmed and
scattered them.

To leave the house in which they had lived twenty‐five years; to see all
the objects that adorned it offered for sale; to give up the place where
the happiest moments of their lives had been spent; all this at first
excluded the possibility of anticipating anything but privation and
sadness without alleviation. Madame Dornthal herself did not look forward
to the future in any other light, and the courage with which she left her
native city was the same she would have shown had her husband been
condemned to suffer exile; she would have shared it with him, endeavoring
to soften it as much as possible, but without anticipating the least
possibility of joy in their changed lives.

Joy, however, returned. It not unfrequently happens that reverses endured
without murmuring receive unexpected compensations.

In the first place, their new home, though simple, and even rustic
compared with their old one, was neither gloomy nor inconvenient. Two
spacious rooms on the ground floor allowed the whole family to assemble
not only for their meals, but the evening reunions—their greatest pleasure
when all the absent ones returned. A small garden surrounded the house,
and a grass‐plot extended down to the river with a covered alley on each
side. This place, called Rosenheim, merited its name by the abundance of
flowers, and especially of roses, which on every side cheered the eye and
embalmed the air. Their very first impressions, therefore, were quite
different from what they had apprehended. Besides, Clement had reserved
two or three of his father’s favorite paintings, several engravings, as
well as a number of other familiar and precious objects, which preceded
them, and were there, like old friends, to welcome them.

In the next place, the professor’s rare collections, and the works of art
he had selected with so correct a taste and such profound knowledge,
proved far more valuable than they had anticipated, so that, if no longer
rich, an independence more than sufficient was assured them. Moreover,
Clement’s prospects were exceedingly promising. His extraordinary ability
was soon recognized to a degree that justified Wilhelm Müller’s foresight.
To tell the truth, fortune is not so blind and capricious as she is often
represented, and if she sometimes bestows her favors on those who are
unworthy of them, there are some she reserves exclusively for persevering
industry, perfect integrity, shrewd calculation, strict economy, and
undeviating exactness. These virtues—and not chance—lay the foundations of
durable and honorably acquired fortunes, and where they are lacking the
greatest skill does not prevent them from being frequently lost in a day.

It was one of these legitimate fortunes Clement was worthy of and capable
of acquiring. His success was already sufficient to dispense his father
from the share of labor he had taken upon himself, but he could not turn
him from his purpose, and soon perceived he ought not to attempt it. He
derived the poetry of his nature from his father, and was indebted to his
mother for his force and energy. Of these the professor, with all the rare
and exquisite gifts of his mind and heart, was entirely destitute. A
profound dejection mingled with his apparent resignation to misfortune,
which sprang from the humiliating conviction—felt too late—of having
brought it on himself by a want of foresight, and thus being responsible
for the ruin of his family.

He needed something to divert him from this rooted idea, and therefore the
necessity of exerting himself to fulfil the duties of the position he had
accepted, and of pursuing his favorite studies, was too beneficial to make
it desirable he should renounce it. His new life, no longer burdened by
any material anxiety, gradually became both active and serene, and when
the family assembled together, everything would have had nearly the same
aspect as before, had it not been for the vacancies around the hearth. But
after the arrival of Hilda and her husband, and subsequently of Dr.
Leblanc, the evenings at Rosenheim became once more cheerful and almost
lively. Ludwig and Hansfelt resumed their favorite topics of conversation;
Hilda’s beauty and happiness delighted her father; the merry voices of the
children resounded anew; and Clement often favored them as of yore with a
lively air on his violin, but more frequently, at his father’s request,
with some graver melody, which he would play with such skill and so
pathetic an expression as to surprise Hilda, who asked him one day how he
had found time in his busy life to develop his talent to such a degree.
Clement did not at first hear, he was so absorbed in some strain of
Beethoven’s, which gave forth a heart‐rending accent under his bow. She
repeated her question.

“I often play in the evening at Frankfort,” he then replied. “Müller and
his wife accompany me. Music refreshes me after the tedious labors of the
day, and this prevents me from losing what you are so kind as to call my
talent.”

Such was the state of things Fleurange would have found at her new home
had she arrived a month sooner. In that case, her involuntary sadness
might have excited more attention. But the serenity of the household, so
recently regained, had been violently disturbed again. It was not
surprising therefore that tears should mingle with her joy at seeing once
more those she loved, especially as among them she found Dr. Leblanc’s
sister in mourning for him, and she had to be informed of another
misfortune, scarcely hinted at in Clement’s letter.

Professor Dornthal’s life was indeed no longer in danger, but his memory
was greatly impaired, and his noble mind, if not extinct, only gave out a
feeble and vacillating light. This was hoped to be merely a transient
state, which time and absolute cessation from labor would soon remedy. But
it was a severe affliction to them all, and Clement for the first time saw
his mother’s courage waver. It was with truly a sad smile Madame Dornthal
saw her husband recognize and embrace Fleurange without manifesting the
slightest surprise at her presence, or realizing the time and distance
that had separated them. It was the same with Clara; but when she placed
her infant in his arms, there was a momentary reawakening of the invalid’s
torpid memory. Tears came into his eyes; he embraced the child, murmured
“God bless him!” and then gave him back to his mother, looking at him with
an expression that filled them for a moment with hope. Then the gleam
vanished, and he fell back into his former state.

In consequence of all these circumstances, when the family assembled in
the evening in the large salon on the ground floor, every brow was
clouded, all the young smiling faces were grave and anxious, and the same
cause for sadness weighed on every heart. Perhaps this was best for
Fleurange, who, ever ready to forget herself, seemed to feel, and indeed
only felt the sorrows of the rest.

Ah! how her sadness, which seemed only sympathy, touched one person that
night as he gazed at her in silent admiration. She was sitting between his
sisters, the lamp suspended from the ceiling threw a halo around her
charming face, and the voice, so dear and so long unheard, resounded for
the first time in this place where everything seemed transformed by her
presence!

The evening, so sad for all the rest, was not so for Clement. Even his
anxiety for his father was suspended: he felt a renewed hope for him as
well as for everything else—yes, _every_ thing. He no longer took a dark
view of things: he was, as it were, intoxicated with hope. With what a
sweet confiding look she had pressed his hand! In what a tone she cried:
“Dear Clement, how happy I am to see you again”! Could the future, then,
be as doubtful as he had so recently feared? As to the smiles of fortune,
he no longer doubted: he was sure of winning them henceforth. He once
thought himself inefficient, but he was mistaken. Might he not also be
mistaken in thinking himself incapable of ever pleasing?—To this question
he heard no other reply but the quickened pulsations of his heart, and the
rippling of the water flowing past the seat to which he had betaken
himself on the banks of the river.

Meanwhile, Fleurange and her cousins went up‐stairs. Clement soon saw them
all talking together in low tones on the large wooden gallery that
extended around the house, and on which all the windows opened. Then they
retired; but the light that shone for the first time that night was a long
time visible, and Clement did not quit his post till he saw it was
extinguished.


XXXV.


Fleurange gradually resumed the habits of domestic life—once the
realization of all her dreams—and then, only then, she realized the extent
and depth of the change she had undergone while separated from her
friends.

She was no longer the same. No effort of her will could conceal this fact.
Her heart, her thoughts, her regrets, her desires, and her hopes, were all
elsewhere. Italy in all its brilliancy did not differ more from the
peaceful landscape before her, charming as it was, with the little garden
of roses and the river winding around it, the ruins beyond, and the dark
forest in the background, than the vanished scenes—still so vividly
remembered—of which that land was the enchanting theatre, differed from
those now occurring beneath the more misty sky of Germany. At Florence,
her struggles and efforts, and the necessity of action, stimulated her
courage. The peace she found at Santa Maria revived her strength. But
there, as we have said, the past and the future seemed suspended, as it
were. Now the struggle was over as well as the pause that succeeded it,
and she must again set forth on the way—act, live in the present, and
courageously take up life again as she found it, with its actual duties
and new combats. Fleurange had never felt more difficulty and repugnance
in overcoming herself.

After the long restraint she had been obliged to make, it would have been
some relief to be dispensed from all effort, especially at concealment,
and freely give herself up to a profound melancholy, to pass away the
hours in dreamy inaction, to weep when her heart was swelling with tears,
and, if not to speak to every one of her sadness, at least take no trouble
to conceal it.

This would have been her natural inclination, and it was only by an effort
she refrained from yielding to it. But this would have shown the strength
gained in her retreat to have been only factitious, and her intercourse
with Madre Maddalena to have left, this time, no permanent influence. We
have, however, no such act of cowardice to record respecting our heroine.

On the contrary, whoever saw her up at the first gleam of light in the
east to relieve her aunt from all the cares of the _ménage_; whoever
followed her first to the store‐rooms to dispense the provisions for the
day, accompanied by little Frida, whom she initiated into the mysteries of
housekeeping, and then to the kitchen to give directions and sometimes
even lend assistance to the old and not over‐skilful cook; whoever saw her
even going sometimes to market with a firm step, basket in hand, and
returning with her cloak covered with dew, would not have imagined from
the freshness she brought back from these matutinal walks, and the
brilliancy which youth and health imparted to her complexion, that, more
than once, the night had passed without sleep, and while hearing her early
Mass, never neglected, she had shed so many scalding tears.

Other cares, more congenial and better calculated to absorb her mind,
occupied the remainder of the day. Her special talent for waiting on the
sick, and the beneficent influence she exercised over them, were again
brought into requisition around her uncle, and Madame Dornthal blessed the
day of her return as she witnessed the evident progress of so prolonged
and painful a convalescence—a progress that gave them reason to hope in
the complete restoration of the professor’s faculties, if not in the
possibility of his ever resuming constant or arduous labor. The young girl
found these cares delightful, and her new duties towards her dear old
friend Mademoiselle Josephine no less so.

Josephine Leblanc’s affections had all been centred in her brother. She
lived exclusively for him, and had never once thought of the possibility
of surviving him. A person left alone in a house standing in a district
devastated by war or fire, would not have felt more suddenly and strangely
left alone than our poor old mademoiselle after the fatal blow that
deprived her of her brother, so dear, so admired, and so venerated—the
brother younger than herself, and in whose arms she had felt so sure of
dying!

She remained calm, however, and self‐possessed. But the mute despair
imprinted on her face as she went to and fro in the house, troubling no
one with her grief, affected every beholder. She only begged to remain
there that she might not have to return alone to the place where she had
lived with him. From the first, Madame Dornthal had invited her to take up
her residence near them, and Fleurange’s return brought her old friend to
a final decision, which proved so consoling that she firmly believed it to
have been in the designs of Providence. The doctor left considerable
property, which now belonged entirely to his sister. All their relatives
were wealthier than they, and lived in the provinces. There was nothing
therefore to induce Mademoiselle Josephine to return to Paris, and she
resolved to settle near her new friends, that she might be near her whom
long before she had adopted in her heart. It was a formidable undertaking
for a person who for forty years had led a uniform life, always in the
same place, and who was no less ignorant of the world at sixty than she
was at twenty years of age. But it seemed no longer difficult as soon as
she again had some one to live for. As to Fleurange, she found it pleasant
and beneficial to devote herself to her old friend in return, and, in
acquitting herself of this new debt of gratitude, her heart gained
strength for the interior struggle which had become the constant effort of
her life.

Notwithstanding the marriage of her two cousins, everything now resumed
the aspect of the past. Clara and Julian, established in the neighborhood
where the pursuits of the latter would retain him a year, did not suffer a
day to pass without visiting Rosenheim. Hansfelt no longer thought of
leaving his old friend, and Hilda’s calm and radiant happiness seemed to
lack nothing between her husband and her father, whose case now appeared
so hopeful.

Clement alone was not, as formerly, a part of the regular family circle.
He only came once a week—on Saturday evening—and returned to Frankfort on
Monday morning as soon as it was light.

Business for which one feels a special aptitude is not generally
repugnant. But Clement had such a variety of talents, and among all the
things he was capable of, the duties of the office where he passed his
days were certainly not what he had the greatest taste or inclination for.
Nothing would have retained him there but the conviction of thereby
serving the best interests of those dear to him. He must accept the most
remunerative employment, and, this once resolved upon, nothing could
exhaust the courageous endurance so peculiar to him. His courage was not
in the least increased by the desire of surprising others or exciting
their admiration, and nothing under any circumstances could daunt or turn
him from his purpose. And he knew how to brave _ennui_ as well as
disaster. But this _ennui_, which he generally overcame by severe
application, became from time to time overwhelming, and he would have had
violent fits of discouragement had it not been for the cheering evenings
he passed in the modest household of which he was a member.

Wilhelm Müller perceived that Clement’s varied acquirements were useful to
him, and his devotedness to him was mingled with an admiration bordering
on enthusiasm. On his side, he procured Clement the opportunity and
pleasure of talking of something besides their commercial affairs, and
with the aid of music their evenings passed agreeably away.

But the kind and simple Bertha, with the instinct that often enables a
woman to put her finger on the wound the most penetrating of men would
never have discovered, had found a sure means of diverting him. The
children had never forgotten the great event of their lives—the journey
and the beautiful young lady they met on the way. Clement never seemed
weary of listening to this account, to which Bertha would add many a
comment; and this had been the commencement of a kind of confidential
intimacy, which she discreetly took advantage of, and which was of more
comfort to him than he realized. In short, this was the bright spot in his
weary life. He would need it more than ever when, after a leave of absence
on account of his father’s terrible accident, which had been prolonged
from day to day, he would have to return to his bondage, and this time
with an effort that added another degree of heroism to the task he had
imposed on himself.

It was now the eve of his departure. Fleurange and Hilda were sitting at
twilight on a little bench by the river‐side conversing together, and
Clement, leaning against a tree opposite, was looking at the current of
the water, listening silently, but attentively, to the conversation that
was going on before him. They were discussing all that had occurred during
their separation, and Hilda began to question Fleurange about her
journey—about Italy, and the life she led at Florence away from them all.
Fleurange replied, but briefly and with the kind of apprehension we feel
when a conversation is leading to a point we would like to avoid. She
foresaw the impossibility of succeeding in this, and was endeavoring, but
without success, to overcome her embarrassment, when Count George’s name
at last was introduced. After some questions, to which Fleurange only
replied by monosyllables, Hilda continued:

“Count George!—A friend of Karl’s, who met him, was pretending the other
day in my hearing that no one could see him without loving him. As you
know him, Fleurange, what is your opinion?”

The question was a decided one, and Fleurange, as we are aware, had no
turn for evasion. She blushed and remained silent—so long silent that
Clement abruptly turned around and looked at her. Did she turn pale at
this? or was it the light of the moon through the foliage that blanched
her face, and its silver rays that gave her an expression he had never
seen till now? He remained looking at her with attention mingled with
anguish, when at length, in a troubled tone and with a fruitless effort at
a smile, she replied:

“I think, Hilda, Karl’s friend was right.”

These words were very simple after all, but the darkest hour of Clement’s
life never effaced from his memory the spot or the moment in which they
were uttered, the silence that preceded, or the tone and look that
accompanied them.


XXXVI.


The blindness of love is proverbial. His clairvoyance would be equally so,
were it not for the illusion that unceasingly aids the heart in avoiding
the discoveries it dreads. The very instinct that gives keenness to the
eye is as prompt to close it, and when the truth threatens one’s happiness
or pride, there are but few who are bold enough to face it regardless of
consequences.

To this number, however, Clement belonged. There was in his nature no
liability to illusions which had the power of obscuring his penetration.
Therefore the truth was suddenly revealed to him without mercy, and his
newly budding hopes were at once blasted for ever.—That moment of silence
was as tragical as if all his heart’s blood had been shed on the spot, and
left him lifeless at the feet of her who had unwittingly given him so
deadly a blow!

Within a year—since the day he thought himself separated from her for
ever, not only by his own inferiority, but by the sad necessity of his new
position—two unexpected changes had occurred: First, in his exterior
life—then he was apparently ruined: now, he felt capable of repairing his
fortunes. Secondly, in the opinion he had of himself.

Not that a sudden fatuity had seized the modest and unpretending Clement.
By no means; but the great reverses of his family had certainly effaced in
a day every trace of his youthful timidity, and a kind of barrier had all
at once melted away before him. Hitherto his worth had not been recognized
beyond the narrow circle of his family, and even there he was loved
without being fully appreciated. Necessity threw him in contact with the
world; all his faculties were brought into action and developed by
exercise. His features, his attitude, his manners, and his general
appearance all participated in this transformation. The silent awkwardness
that once left him unnoticed was overcome by the necessity of asserting
himself, and also by that increased confidence in himself produced by a
widening influence over others. This influence, at which he himself was
astonished, was not solely the consequence of the superior ability he
manifested in the dull and prosaic life he had embraced. But in this
career, as everywhere else, he brought his highest faculties into
exercise; and while observing and seizing all these details of his
material life, he understood how to impart a soul to them by his dignity,
trustworthiness, unselfishness, and generous ardor—which are the sweet
flowers of labor and the noble result of a well‐regulated nature.

He also reserved a prominent part of his evenings for the favorite studies
in which he had not ceased to interest himself, as well as a thousand
subjects foreign to his daily occupation, but exceedingly useful in the
development of his mind. Thence sprang a simple and persuasive eloquence,
which gave him an ascendency over every one, and caused him to be
especially sought after on a thousand occasions that had no immediate
connection with his actual position. Once or twice he had even been
invited to speak at some public assembly which had for its object either a
question of public interest, or one relating to literature and the arts,
and he acquitted himself so well as to attract the notice not only of
those to whom the name of Dornthal was already familiar, but of a great
number of strangers. Numerous advances to acquaintance were made him on
all sides, and Clement might easily have passed his evenings elsewhere
than in the unpretending home of the Müllers. But he had no such
inclination. Their company satisfied his present tastes. Music, which he
would not willingly have been deprived of, was the delight of his hosts;
and as is frequently the case in Germany, they were able to join him in
duets or trios which many a professional singer would not have disdained
to listen to.

Over his whole life, with its varied and absorbing interests, reigned one
dear and ever‐present form. It seemed at first like some celestial vision,
far‐off and inaccessible, but for some time, under the influence of all we
have referred to, it appeared to have drawn nearer to him.

On this account, he began to appreciate the increased consideration with
which he was regarded, but which he valued so little on his own. He
ventured at last to ask himself if the good‐will that seemed to beam on
him on all sides did not authorize him to hope sooner or later for
something more, and if his favorite poet was wholly wrong in promising
that he who loved should win something in return.

Such thoughts and dreams, if allowed entrance in the heart, are apt to end
by taking entire possession of it; and, as we have said, Clement was
intoxicated with hope when Fleurange reappeared in their midst. But his
dreams, fancies, and hopes were now all crushed by one word from her—one
word, the fatal meaning of which was clearly revealed by the expression of
her eyes, which Clement caught a glimpse of by the pale light of the moon!

The grief that pierced his soul enabled him to realize the full extent of
his illusions, and he was astonished he had ever before considered himself
unhappy. For some time after his return to Frankfort, he was overpowered
by a dejection such as he had never experienced. He felt as incapable of
any further effort as he was indifferent to all success. His daily task
became insupportable, and study in the evening impossible. Instead of
returning to the Müller’s at the usual hour, he would leave the city afoot
or on horseback, and roam around the country for hours, as if to wear out
his grief by exhausting his strength.

Now he clearly saw he had only lived, planned, and exerted himself for her
the two years past; he had given her not only his heart, but his entire
life, and that life had had but one aim—the hope of some day winning in
return the heart which would never belong to him now—because it was given
to another! And while repeating Count George’s name with rage, he
sharpened his anguish by recalling him, as he had once seen him, clothed
with irresistible attractions. His noble features, his look of
intelligence, his taste for the arts, the charm of his manners, his voice,
and his language, all came back unpityingly to the memory of his humble
rival. He remembered him in the gallery of the Old Mansion, through which
he accompanied him at a time when he was a mere student, and absolutely
wanting in everything that was, not only attractive, but capable of
exciting the least attention. His imagination mercilessly dwelt on the
contrast between them. Was it surprising (and he blushed at so ridiculous
a comparison) such a man should be more successful than he? And should he,
inferior as he was, be astonished that this man, living so near Fleurange,
under the same roof—At this thought a bitter anguish, a furious jealousy,
took possession of him, and excited a tempest in his heart which neither
duty, nor his sense of honor, nor the energy of his will, could succeed in
calming. There are times when passion rises superior to every other
impulse, and they who have not learned to seek their strength from a
divine source are always vanquished. But Clement had been accustomed to
the powerful restraints of religion; his strength consisted in never
throwing them off. Therefore, he was not to fail in this severe struggle:
he would soon turn his eyes heavenward for the aid he needed in again
becoming master of himself.


XXXVII.


Disinterestedness, energy, and the power of self‐control were, as may have
been perceived, qualities common both to Clement and Fleurange. There was,
in fact, a great resemblance in their natures, which, on his part, was the
secret of the attraction so suddenly ripened into a more lively sentiment;
and, on hers, of an unchanging confidence, in spite of the transformation
of another kind she likewise experienced. And now they were both engaged
in a like struggle: they were united by similarity of suffering, which
separated them, nevertheless, as by an abyss.

Ah! if Clement could have hoped, as he once did, that a more tender
sentiment would spring out of this sympathy and confidence, with what joy,
what sweet pride, he would have regarded this conformity so constantly
manifest between them! But the aspect of everything was now changed: there
was no longer any possibility of happiness for him, he could now only
suffer; and by the light of what was passing in his own heart he was
enabled to read hers—at once open to him and yet closed against him for
ever!

With all Clement’s self‐control, he would have been utterly unable to
conceal the state of his mind from his cousin had he remained at
Frankfort. But, after the days of overpowering anguish we have already
referred to, after yielding without restraint to a despair bordering on
madness, Clement at length succeeded in regaining his clearness of
judgment.

One morning he rose before day, and left the city on foot. His walk was
prolonged to such an extent that it might be called a pilgrimage, and the
more correctly as its goal was a church, but so unpretending a church that
it only differed from the neighboring houses by a stone cross to be seen
when passing the door which it surmounted. The door was opened by the very
person Clement came to see—a pious and simple young priest who was
formerly his schoolmate. He was inferior to Clement intellectually, but
his guide and master in those regions the soul alone attains. What Clement
now sought was—not merely to pour out his heart by way of confidence—not
even the consolation of discreet and Christian sympathy—but to recover his
firmness by a courageous avowal of all his weakness, and afterwards make
an unchangeable resolution in the presence of God and his representative
at the holy tribunal. He had made a similar one while yet a youth, but now
in his manhood he wished to renew it in a more solemn manner. It would of
course require greater effort after the gleam of hope he had just lost,
and the devotedness he pledged himself to would be more difficult after
the revelation that she whom he loved, and must ever love, had given her
affections to another. His voice faltered as he declared that no word,
look, or act of his should ever trouble her, or reveal the sentiments she
had inspired in the heart of one who would live near her, without her, and
yet for her!

It was, in fact, his old _devise_: “Garder l’amour et briser l’espoir!”
which he now solemnly assumed with the grave and pious feeling that
accompanies all self‐sacrifice.

Such piety may be regarded by some as rather _exaltée_. They are right,
but it is the kind of exaltation which accords with the real signification
of the word, which elevates the soul it inflames, and which, though
powerless in itself, can effect much when the divine assistance is invoked
to co‐operate in aiding, increasing, in a word, exalting human strength!

That evening Clement quietly resumed his old seat at the Müllers’
fireside. In reply to Wilhelm’s questions, he said that during his long
visit at Rosenheim he had neglected affairs that required his attention.
“And then I confess,” continued he, “that I have been in a bad humor, and
thought it wiser to relieve you from my society.” But to Bertha, who also
questioned him, in a less vague way, however, he acknowledged more
frankly, but no less briefly, that he had met with a great affliction, but
requested her never to mention the subject to him. Then he took his violin
and began to play a strain from Bach.

Bertha seated herself at the piano, and played an accompaniment to this
and several other pieces. Her husband, who was beating time beside her,
remarked that their young friend’s bad humor had a singularly favorable
effect on his talent.

“I assure you, Dornthal, you never played so well as you have this
evening.”

“Perhaps so,” replied Clement with a thoughtful air. “Yes, I think you are
right.”

It was really the truth. Music was the veiled, but eloquent, language of
his soul. The very feelings he so successfully repressed, the words that
no temptation or impulse could induce his lips to betray, made the chords
vibrate beneath his bow, and gave their tones an inexpressible accent it
was impossible to hear without emotion and surprise.

When, at the end of a fortnight, Clement reappeared at Rosenheim, all
exterior traces of the excessive agitation he had given himself up to had
disappeared. He resumed his usual manner towards Fleurange. No one would
have dreamed—and she less than any one else—that between the past and
present he found the difference of life and death. She little imagined
that the new and strange sympathy that existed between them revealed to
him the secret of all her thoughts and struggles. She also, apparently,
had become the same as before. Her time was actively employed, the care
she had of little Frida and that she lavished on her uncle, the _ménage_,
sewing, exercise, and study filled up the days so completely that it was
very seldom she could have been found inactive or pensive.

Hilda, her favorite cousin, though likewise struck for a moment by the
hesitation with which she replied to her questions about Count George,
almost ceased attaching any importance to this slight incident when she
observed the apparent calmness with which Fleurange fulfilled the duties
of her active life. Only one clearly read her heart and understood the
passing expression of weariness and sorrow that now and then overshadowed
her brow for an instant, and saddened her eye. Only one noticed her
absence when the family assembled in the evening, and followed her in
thought to the little bench on the bank of the river, where he imagined
she had gone to weep awhile, alone and unrestrained. All she suffered he
had to endure himself, and he lived thus united to her, and yet every day
still more widely separated from her.

The weeks flew rapidly away, however, and the tranquility and happiness of
the family were continually increasing. The professor’s mental and
physical strength gradually returned. Work alone was forbidden him, but
reading and conversation were allowable and salutary diversions. His
conversations with Hansfelt were sometimes as interesting as of old, and
he might have been supposed to have regained the complete use of his
faculties had not a partial decay of memory sometimes warned his friends
he had not entirely recovered from his illness. For example, he often
imagined himself in the Old Mansion, and this illusion became stronger
after all his children, including Gabrielle, gathered around him. But in
other respects his memory was good. Hansfelt found him as correct and
clear as ever on all points of history or literary and religious subjects.
It seemed as if the higher faculties of his nature recovered their tone
first, and were invigorated by contact with the noble mind of his friend.
Thus the evenings passed away without _ennui_, even for the youngest,
while listening to their conversation.

These evenings frequently ended with music, which the professor craved and
indeed required as a part of his treatment. Clement would take his violin,
and not at all unwillingly, for he saw his cousin always listened to it
attentively. In this way he dared address her in a mysterious language,
which he alone understood, but which sometimes gave her a thrill as if she
were listening to the echo of her own cry of pain.

One evening, when he had excelled, she said: “You call that a song without
words, Clement, but the music was certainly composed for a song, which
perhaps you know, do you not?”

“No,” replied he, “but like you I imagine I can hear the words, and feel
they must exist somewhere.”

Hansfelt had also been listening attentively to the music.

“Yes,” said he smiling, “they exist in the hearts of all who
love—especially in the hearts of all who love without hope. Here I will
express in common language, but not in rhyme, the meaning of what Clement
has just played.”

He took a pencil and hastily wrote four lines nearly synonymous with those
of a French poet:


    “Du mal qu’une amour ignorée
      Nous fait souffrir
    Je porte l’âme déchirée
      Jusqu’à mourir!”(1)

    The pang of unrequited love
                I feel;
    ’Tis death the bleeding heart I bear
                Must heal!


Clement made no reply, but abruptly changed the subject. The children rose
and clapped their hands as he struck up their favorite tarantella, and
became noisy as well as gay.

Fleurange left the room, unperceived as she supposed, but Hilda, who had
been carefully observing her all the evening, followed her, determined to
obtain a complete avowal of all that was passing in her heart. She softly
entered her cousin’s chamber. Fleurange was not expecting her. She had
thrown herself on a chair, with her face buried in her hands, in an
attitude expressive at once of dejection and grief.

Hilda approached and threw her arms around her. Fleurange sprang up, her
eyes full of tears.

“Do you remember,” said Hilda in a soft, caressing tone—“do you remember,
Gabrielle, the day when I also wept in the library at our dear Old
Mansion? You asked me the reason of my tears, and I answered by opening my
heart to you. You have not forgotten it, have you? Will you not answer me
in a like way now?”

Fleurange shook her head without uttering a word.

“It has always seemed to me,” continued Hilda, “that the happiness which
has crowned my life dates from my confidence in you that day. Why will you
not trust me in a like manner, and hope as I did?”

“Happiness was within your reach,” replied Fleurange; “an imaginary
obstacle alone prevented you from grasping it.”

“But how many obstacles that seem insurmountable vanish with time or even
beneath a firm will!” She continued slowly and in a lower tone: “Why
should not the Count George, then—”

“Stop, Hilda, I conjure you,” cried Fleurange in an agitated manner.

Her cousin stopped confounded.

“Listen to me,” resumed Fleurange, at length, in a calmer tone. “As it is
your wish, let us speak of him. I consent. Let us speak of him this time,
but never again. Tell me,” she continued with a sad smile, “can you make
me his equal in wealth and rank? Or deprive him of his nobility and make
him as poor as I? In either case, especially in the latter,” she cried,
with a tenderness in her tone, and a look she could not repress—“ah!
nothing, certainly nothing but his will, could separate me from him! But
it is reasonable to suppose the sun will rise upon us to‐morrow and find
us the same as to‐day: we no longer live in the time of fairies, when
extraordinary metamorphoses took place to smooth away difficulties and
second the wishes of poor mortals. Help me then, Hilda, I beseech you, to
forget him, to live, and even recover from the wound, by never speaking to
me either of him, or myself!—”

Hilda silently pressed her in her arms for a long time, and then said: “I
will obey you, Gabrielle, and never mention his name till you speak of him
first.”


XXXVIII.


The summer and autumn both passed away without anything new, except some
variations in the professor’s slow recovery, and an occasional gleam of
happiness for Clement—the revival of a spark of his buried hopes—but such
moments were rare, and succeeded by a sad reaction; nevertheless, they
were sweet and lived long in his memory.

One day in particular was thus graven on his heart—a fine day in October,
when he had the pleasure of rowing Hilda and his cousin to a shady point
further up on the river, which gracefully winds nearly around it. There
they spent several hours, conversing together with the delightful
familiarity of intimacy, and now and then reading some favorite passage in
the books they brought with them. As he sat listening to the silvery tones
of Fleurange’s voice, and met her expressive, sympathetic glance when he
took the book in his turn and read nearly as well as herself; as he sat
thus near her in that lovely, solitary spot, with no other witness but her
whose affection for both seemed only an additional tie, hope once more
entered his heart, as one breaks into a dwelling fastened against him,
but, alas! to be promptly thrust out, leaving him as desolate as before.

While he was rowing them back in the evening, with his eyes fastened on
Fleurange, he saw her delightful but evanescent emotions of the day fading
away with the light, and another remembrance arise, sadder and more tender
than ever, which gave to her eyes, sometimes fastened on the dark and
rapid current, sometimes fixed on the shore, the expression he had learned
to read so well—an expression that made his heart ache with pity and
sympathy, but at the same time quiver and shrink with anguish, as if a
lancet or caustic had been applied to his wound and caused it to bleed!

Two months later the festival of Christmas again brought him one of these
fleeting moments of happiness. On the eve—the never‐forgotten anniversary
of Fleurange’s arrival in their midst—the whole family were reunited, and
felt as if they were living over again the delightful past. The Christmas
tree was as brilliant as of yore; Mademoiselle Josephine, as ready to
participate in the joy of her friends as she was to avoid saddening them
with her sorrows, aided in adorning it, and every one found on its
branches some offering from her generous hand. Then, as in bygone days,
they wove garlands of holly, which Fleurange, as well as her cousins, wore
at dinner, and this time without any entreaty. At a later hour they had
music and dancing, which, ever ready as she was to catch the joy of
others, gave her a feeling of unusual gaiety, to which she unresistingly
abandoned herself—the gaiety of youth, which at times triumphs over
everything, and sometimes breaks out with an excess in proportion to its
previous restraint. Fleurange’s laughter rang like music, and her joyous
voice mingled with the children’s, to the great joy of him who was looking
on with ecstasy and surprise. Her radiant eyes, her glowing complexion,
the brilliancy happiness adds to beauty, and had so long been wanting to
hers, gave him, who could not behold it revive without transport, a
feeling of intoxication which once more made him forget all and hope
everything! But he was speedily and sadly recalled to himself.

Madame Dornthal was seated beside her husband’s arm‐chair, which she
seldom left. A pleasant smile reappeared on her lips as she looked at her
children moving around her. From time to time she leaned towards the
professor, and was glad to see him entering into all that was going on
with his usual pleasure and with perfect comprehension of mind. All at
once she thought he turned pale. She looked at Clement, and made a gesture
which he understood. The noise disturbed his father. In an instant
profound silence was restored, and they all gathered around the
professor’s chair. He appeared suddenly fatigued: his eyes closed, and he
leaned his head on his wife’s shoulder. They all anxiously awaited his
first words after this sudden fit of somnolency. Presently he opened his
eyes and gave a vague, uneasy glance around. Then, turning to Madame
Dornthal, he said in a sad tone, passing his hand over his forehead:

“Tell me why Felix is not here: I knew, but cannot remember.”

This new failure of his memory, the name associated with so many painful
recollections and uttered in so distressing a manner, put an end to all
the gaiety of the evening. The effect of so much agitation and fatigue on
the professor was not regarded as very serious, but it left a painful
impression, especially on Fleurange, who had fresh reasons for feeling his
words.

Clement, who had been informed by Steinberg of what had occurred at
Florence, silently entered into her feelings, and once more the flash of
joy that lit up his heart vanished in a night darker than ever.

But he could not foresee that a public event of serious import was at that
very hour transpiring far away, in a different sphere from his, which
would have an important and painful influence on his humble destiny.

To be continued.



Review of Vaughan’s Life Of S. Thomas.(2)


It is but too seldom that the reviewer has to welcome a work like that
which we have already had the pleasure of introducing to our readers, and
to which we now desire to render more fitting honors. An original life of
a saint, and of an epoch‐making saint like Thomas of Aquin, treated on a
scale adequate to its importance, in the English tongue, by an English
Benedictine monk, is a refreshing novelty to those who, like ourselves,
have so much to say to what is slight, or frivolous, or common, or
hostile. The contemplative reviewer, looking at the two thick volumes of
the English edition, feels inclined, like a man who guesses before he
opens a letter, to conjure up fancies as to what he will find in this new
life of S. Thomas of Aquin. Two volumes, each consisting of more than 800
pages, are a great deal, in these days, for one saint. They are a great
deal to write, and what is perhaps of more importance, they are a great
deal to read. But no one can suppose that they are too much for such a
saint as Thomas of Aquin. Considering that his own works, as printed in
the splendid Parma edition lately completed, would make up some forty
volumes of the size of these two goodly ones, it is not much. Considering
that Thomas of Aquin has been more written about by commentators for four
or five centuries than any other man, except perhaps Aristotle, who ever
lived—considering that every student of theology is always coming across
his authority, and that he has been the great builder‐up of the vast
building of Catholic philosophical and theological terminology, it is not
much that he should have two volumes. Indeed, when we look into the book,
we expect to find Prior Vaughan not seldom complaining of being obliged,
through want of space, to leave out a great deal that he would have wished
to say. And this leads us to notice the author’s name. Father Bede
Vaughan, though fairly known by reputation in England, is perhaps a
stranger to the greater number of American Catholics. It is sufficient to
say at present that he is a brother of the Very Rev. Dr. Herbert Vaughan,
whose presence in this country lately, in connection with the mission to
the negroes, will have made his name familiar to many even of those who
had not the pleasure of personally meeting him. Father Bede Vaughan is
Prior of the Benedictine Cathedral Chapter of Newport and Menevia. A
cathedral‐prior is a novelty, not only in literature, but absolutely.
There were a great many cathedral‐priors in England once upon a time—men
of power and substance—wearing their mitres (some of them) and sitting in
the House of Lords. Whatever be the lands and the revenues of the only
cathedral‐priory in English‐speaking hierarchies of the present day, it is
pleasant to meet with the old name, and to meet it on the cover of a book.
That a Benedictine should have written a sterling book will not surprise
the world of letters. It is perhaps a little new to find the great
Dominican, the Angel of the Schools, taken up by a member of an order
which S. Thomas is popularly supposed to have in set purpose turned his
back upon. But this is a point on which the work itself will enlighten us.
Meanwhile, on opening the first volume we catch sight of a portrait of the
Saint. It is a reproduction, by photography, of a painting by the Roman
artist Szoldatics, which was painted expressly for the present work. It
represents the well‐known scene in which the crucified Master, for whom
the great doctor has written and taught his life long, asks him what
reward he would desire. Portraits of S. Thomas of Aquin are not uncommon.
We are all familiar with the large and portly figure and the full and mild
countenance, the sun upon his breast, the black and the white, and the
shaven crown of the Order of St. Dominic, the open book and the immortal
pen. Some of the representations of the saint exaggerate his traditional
portliness into a corpulence that almost obliterates the light of genius
in his face. On the other hand, there exist many which give at once the
large open features and the look of inspiration and of refinement. Those
who have turned to the title‐pages of the best Roman or Flemish editions
of his life or works will remember these. The new portrait, photographed
in the first volume, is very successful. Thomas of Aquin had Norman blood
in his veins, and the fairness of his skin and the contour of his head are
not those of the typical Italian. The artist has managed to convey very
well that massive head, in which every lobe of the brain seems to have
been perfectly developed and roomily lodged, thus furnishing the
intelligence with an imaginative instrument whose power was only equalled
by its delicacy. In the corresponding place in the second volume there is
a photograph of a meritorious engraving, from a picture or engraving
unknown to us, in which, however, the head of the Saint is not so noble or
refined.

Passing, however, to consider the substance of the work itself, it is not
too much to say that, as a life of S. Thomas of Aquin, it is perfectly
original. We do not mean, of course, that the writer has found out new
facts, or made any considerable alteration in the aspect of old ones. But
his plan of working is new. He has had the idea of giving, not merely S.
Thomas, but his surroundings. Some saints, even of those who have spent
themselves in external labors for their fellow‐men, require but little in
the way of background to make their portraits significant. Ven. Bede’s
biography would not gain much light from discussions upon Mohammedanism,
or upon the state of England or of Europe during his life. To understand
and love S. Francis of Sales, it is not necessary to study the growth of
Calvinism, to follow the steps of the _De Auxiliis_ controversy, or to
become minutely acquainted with the character of Henri IV. But it is very
different with S. Thomas of Aquin. Opening his mouth, like a true doctor
of the church, “in medio ecclesiæ,” he had words to speak which all
Christendom listened to, and acted upon, too, in one way or another. He
was a power at Paris, at Cologne, at Naples. Every great influence of the
thirteenth century felt the impulse of his thought: S. Louis the Crusader,
Urban IV., Gregory X., the Greek schismatics, the Arabian philosophers,
the opponents of monasticism, the mighty power of the universities. Prior
Vaughan thus speaks in the preface to the first volume:


    “The author has found it difficult to comprehend how the life of
    S. Thomas of Aquin could be written so as to content the mind of
    an educated man—of one who seeks to measure the reach of principle
    and the influence of saintly genius—without embracing a
    considerably wider field of thought than has been deemed necessary
    by those who have aimed more at composing a book of edifying
    reading, than at displaying the genesis and development of truth
    and the impress of a master‐mind upon the age in which he lived.
    It has always appeared to him that one of the most telling
    influences exerted by the doctor‐saints of God, has been that of
    rare intellectual power in confronting and controlling the
    passions and mental aberrations of epochs, as well as of blinded
    and swerving men....

    “The object which the author of these pages has proposed to
    himself is this: to unfold before the reader’s mind the far‐
    reaching and many‐sided influence of heroic sanctity, when
    manifested by a man of massive mind, of sovereign genius, and of
    sagacious judgment, and then to remind him that, as the fruit
    hangs from the branches, so genius of command and steadiness of
    view and unswervingness of purpose, are naturally conditioned by a
    certain moral habit of heart and head; that purity, reverence,
    adoration, love, are the four solid corner‐stones on which that
    Pharos reposes which, when all about it, and far beyond it, is
    darkness and confusion, stands up in the midst as the
    representative of order, and as the minister of light, and as the
    token of salvation.

    “Now, the Angel of the Schools was emphatically a great and
    shining light. To write his life is not so much to deal with the
    subject of his personal history, as to display the stretch of his
    power and the character of his influence. Indeed, few of the great
    cardinal thinkers of the world have left much private history to
    record. Self was hidden in the splendor of the light which bursts
    out from it—just as the more brilliant the flame, so much the more
    unseen is the lamp in which it burns. It stands to reason that the
    more widespread the influence which such men as these exert, so
    much the wider must be the range taken by the writer over the
    field of history and theology and philosophy if he wishes
    adequately to delineate the action of their lives. The private
    history of S. Thomas of Aquin could be conveniently written in
    fifty pages, whilst his full biography would certainly occupy many
    thousand pages.” (Pp. iii., iv.)


The view which is thus sketched out is a large one. We have said that the
author presents not merely his hero, but his hero’s surroundings. But, in
studying his mind and his work, he does not content himself with making a
vivid background of the thirteenth century. One century is the child of
another, and mind is educated by mind. The past is the seed of the future,
and no time can be understood without understanding the times that gave it
birth. This is especially true of the times when history accumulates most
rapidly, and of minds to whom it is given to fashion history as it is
made. Prior Vaughan finds the story of S. Thomas’ intellectual work
commencing far back in the work of those men whom he calls the “columnal
fathers” of the church. He therefore takes his reader back to primitive
ages—to the desert, the laura, the early conflicts of God’s servants with
paganism, with heresy, and with worldliness. He sets before him S.
Anthony, in the majesty of his single‐hearted union with Christ; S.
Athanasius, worthy disciple of such a master, unsurpassed in the great
opportunities of his life and the strength with which he rose to meet
them; S. Basil, the monk that fought the world, and overcame it; S.
Gregory Theologus, the _vates sacer_ of the fourth century, who sang in
verse and in rhythmical prose the song of the consubstantial Son of God.
He introduces us to S. Augustine, to S. Ambrose, to S. Gregory the Great,
and points out how essential a feature, in the greatness of S. Thomas, is
the way in which he has reproduced all that was eternal and “catholic” in
the thoughts of the men whom God has set up to be the pillars of the
doctrine of his church. With other saints, it would, perhaps, be
superfluous to trace their connection with the fathers; with the author of
the _Summa_, it is indispensable.


    “The Columnal Fathers and the Angelical were in completest
    harmony; they were knit together by the monastic principle. The
    intellectual hinges of the Universal Church (speaking humanly)
    have been monastic‐men—that is to say, men who, through an intense
    cross‐worship and a keen perception of the beautiful, threw up all
    for Christ; and through

    ‘The ingrained instinct of old reverence,
    The holy habit of obedience,’

    loved, labored, suffered for him, and died into his arms.

    “For the one thread which pierces through all, and maintains a
    real communication between the Angelical and the heroes of the
    classic age—which creates a brotherhood between S. Thomas of the
    thirteenth century and the great athletes in the second and the
    third—which makes the ‘Sun of the Church’ illuminate the ‘Pillar
    of the World,’ and so reciprocally—that is to say, which renders
    S. Thomas and S. Anthony one in spirit and in principle—was this,
    that their beings were transformed into a supernatural activity,
    through an intense and personal love of their Redeemer.

    “This was the one special lesson which the Angelical drew from the
    wilderness and the fathers, which came to him through S. Benedict,
    indeed, but rather as a principle of _quies_ than of exertion. In
    the desert athletes, and those who followed them, he found that
    principle operative, and almost military in its chivalrous
    readiness to combat and spill blood in defence of truth. It lent
    to him what it exhibits in them also—breadth of view, largeness,
    moral freedom, stubborn courage, generosity of heart, expansion of
    mind, and an electric light of intellect, which bear about them a
    touch of the Eastern world. How could the Angelical read Anthony’s
    life, or follow Athanasius in his exiles, or see Basil so
    heroically rigid in his defence of right, or hear, in imagination,
    Gregory Theologus pouring out a stream of polished eloquence,
    without being impressed by truth’s grace and music; how could he
    watch S. Chrysostom, all on fire with his love of God and with his
    discriminating sympathy for men, or think of the ascetic Jerome,
    battling single‐handed in the wilderness, or perusing his
    Scripture in the cave; how could he dwell in spirit with S.
    Ambrose or S. Gregory the Great, or follow the career of the
    passionate, emotional, splendid S. Augustine, without expanding in
    heart and mind towards all that is best and greatest—all that is
    most noble and most fair in the majestic character of God’s
    tenderly‐cherished saints?

    “Had he not known them so intimately, great as he was, his mind
    would have been comparatively cramped, his character most probably
    would have been less imperial in its mould, and there would have
    been less of that oriental mightiness about his intellectual
    creations, which now reminds one of those vast monuments of other
    days, which still are the marvel of travellers in the East, and
    the despair of modern engineers.” (II., pp. 523‐5.)


A great portion of the second volume is taken up with the exposition in
detail of these thoughts and ideas. We do not think that any one who has
thoroughly seized the author’s point of view will be sorry that so much
space is given to the lives and characters of men who are not the
immediate subject of the book. The truth is, that the full _significance_
of S. Thomas of Aquin has been very much overlooked in modern times. The
non‐Catholic theory has always been that he was a voluminous “scholastic,”
more acute than most of his sort, perhaps, but mediæval, hair‐splitting,
and unprofitable. The Catholic theory has done him greater justice; but
even the Catholic schools have too much forgotten S. Thomas. There is an
interesting passage in one of Lacordaire’s letters, in which he tells the
Abbé Drioux, who has done so much for S. Thomas in France, how he read the
Angelical every day, and yet how long it had been before he had come to
know him! And then he speaks with some depreciation of that “Positive”
theology which has pretended to take the place of the scholastic form and
discipline. The great preacher was familiar with the spiritual wants of
the world in their widest aspect, and he no sooner came to know S. Thomas
of Aquin than he saw that he was face to face with the mind that has said
more truth about God and man, and said it better, than any one man who has
ever lived; and he has said it so well, because he has not said it out of
his own consciousness, but first saturated himself with the living truth
of the immortal fathers, and then reproduced in his own way what God had
thus himself imparted to the world.

The influence which S. Thomas owed to the study and meditation of the
great fathers was surpassed—or rather, we ought to say, most powerfully
shown—by the impressions made upon his heart, even more than his mind, by
his early bringing up. Every one knows that the Angel of the Schools, who
was of the noblest blood of Italy, spent his early years in the great
arch‐monastery of Monte Casino. Prior Vaughan has no hesitation in making
the assertion that Thomas of Aquin never lost what he acquired from the
monks of S. Benedict during those seven childish years that he spent with
them in the cloisters of the great abbey. He was never a professed
Benedictine, although he would, in the natural course, have become one
without making any explicit profession, had not the troubles of the times
forced the monks to flee from the abbey. But the Benedictine or monastic
spirit, the principle of _quies_, as our author calls it, with the vivid
appreciation of the kingship of Christ, Thomas took away with him when he
went forth and carried with him to the work he had to do. The new
mendicant orders that had recently been founded were schools of activity,
aggressive, moving hither and thither, pitching their tents in great
towns, and lifting their voices in universities. Their saints were to be
fitted for the regeneration of a new phase of the world. But in the saints
themselves it was only an outward change. The essential spirit remained
the same. That spirit had been the heirloom of the old monastic orders,
and it could never be out of date. In the men who were to do the greatest
things in the new life of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the old
spirit of the cloister must be found strong and deep. In the man who above
all was to stand forth as the sum and crown of the middle age, that
contemplative, immovable, far‐seeing realization of “the person of Christ”
must exist as heroically as in Anthony of the Desert or Benedict of the
Mountain. And it was S. Thomas’ Benedictine training that contributed much
to make him such a man.


    “The monks thought much, but talked little; thus the monastic
    system encouraged meditation, rather than intellectual
    tournaments; reserve rather than display, deep humility rather
    than dialectical skill. The Benedictines did not aim so much at
    unrestrained companionship of free discussion as at self control;
    not so much at secular‐minded fantasy as at much prayer and sharp
    penance, till self was conquered, and the grace of God reigned,
    and giants walked the earth. Self‐mastery, springing from the
    basis of a supernatural life, moulded the heart to sanctity, and
    imparted to the intellect an accuracy of vision which is an act of
    nature directed and purified by grace. Theodore, Aldhelm, Bede,
    Boniface, Alcuin, Dunstan, Wilfrid, Stephen, Bernard, Anselm,
    these names are suggestive of this influence of the monastic
    system.” (I., p. 26.)


It is one of the aims of the book to bring out the view that the prince of
scholastics and the king of dialecticians was a man of the purest and
deepest “monasticism.” But he was not destined to be as an Anselm, a
Bernard, or a Hugh of S. Victor.

The Saint was sent to Naples for the prosecution of his studies, and
whilst there he asked for and received the habit of S. Dominic. The author
gives a brilliant sketch of Naples as it was under the sway of Frederick
II. He then devotes a whole chapter to a “study” of the new orders of S.
Francis and S. Dominic, for the purpose of bringing out vividly before the
reader the new world that was springing up and the new race of men that
the church was calling forth to deal with it. We have no space to quote
from this chapter, but, even taken apart from its connection with S.
Thomas, it is full of interest and life.

Thus was Thomas of Aquin prepared and equipped; prepared by the great
fathers and by S. Benedict, equipped in the armor of the Order of
intellectual chivalry. And what was the work before him? Who were his
enemies, his friends, his neighbors, his assistants? In answer to these
questions we have the chapters on “Abelard, or Rationalism and
Irreverence”; on “S. Bernard, or Authority and Reverence”; on the “Schools
of S. Victor”; on the “Arabian and the Jewish Influence in Europe”; on
“William of S. Amour”; on “Paris and its University”; and on “Albert the
Great.” Some of these chapters relate, as will be seen, to men who were
not contemporaries of S. Thomas. But if Abelard, and S. Bernard, and
William of Champeaux had passed away in the flesh, their influence or
their views still lived on when Thomas wrote. And we see the full
significance of these chapters on the great schools of thought, orthodox
and heterodox, when we arrive at the second volume, and find the author
showing in detail how the Angel of the Schools, in some part or other of
his voluminous writings, met and refuted every form of prevalent error,
and, whilst majestically laying down principles for all ages, never forgot
to clear up the difficulties of his own time. The rationalism of Abelard,
the emanation doctrines that Arabian subtlety had elaborated out of the
reminiscences of the old Gnosticism, the errors of the Greek schismatics,
the perversity of the Jews, are all encountered by his never‐resting pen,
either in some one of his numerous _Opuscula_, varying in length from an
essay to an octavo volume, or else in one or other of his two great
_Sums_, or perhaps in more places than one, the refutation being the more
complete as the writing becomes more mature. As for the two greatest and
most prominent of his enterprises—the Christianizing of Aristotle and the
formation of a complete _Sum_ of theology—it was to be expected that Prior
Vaughan should fully enlarge upon them. The chapters on “S. Thomas and
Aristotle,” and “S. Thomas and Reason,” in the second volume, form a good
introduction to the study of the Angelic Doctor, and at the same time give
the enquiring mind some notion of how S. Thomas has performed one of the
greatest feats that genius ever accomplished—the successful and consistent
“conversion” of the greatest, the most original, and the most precise of
heathen philosophers into a hewer of wood and carrier of water for the
faith.

We would gladly dwell on the three chapters at the end of Vol. I., in
which the writer, in reviewing the writings of the Saint in defence and
exaltation of monasticism, gives a useful and spirited history of the
whole of that exciting contest which took its beginning in William of S.
Amour’s book called _Perils of the Last Times_. It seems really impossible
to say how much the religious state, humanly speaking, owes to the man who
wrote the book _Against Those who attack the Service of God and Religion_,
and that _On the Perfection of the Spiritual Life_.

Passing now from the more remote surroundings of the hero of the story to
the immediate scene of the greatest portion of his labors, we venture to
believe that one of the most popular parts of this work of Prior Vaughan’s
will be his animated description of the university system of the
thirteenth century, and of the University of Paris in particular. He has
spared no pains in getting at correct details and putting them
artistically together. M. Franklin’s splendid and comparatively unknown
labors on mediæval Paris have supplied him with matter that will be found
nowhere else. Paris is the natural type of the great mediæval university.
More central and accessible than Oxford, safer than Bologna, freer than
Naples, and founded on a wide and grand basis, the University of Paris
soon grew into a formidable assemblage of men who, whilst ostensibly
votaries of science, were not unprovided with excitable spirits and rough
hands. Students gathered, rich and poor, great doctors taught, munificent
founders, like Robert of Sorbon, bestowed their money or their influence,
the monks of all orders gathered round silently, and to some extent
distrustfully, from Citeaux, from Cluny, even from the Grande Chartreuse,
with the Benedictines of S. Germain, the Premonstratensians—their church
was where now stands the _Café de la Rotonde_—and the Augustinians. As for
the Dominicans and Franciscans, they, as may be supposed, were early on
the spot, to teach quite as much as to learn. The following is a sketch of
the men who flocked to the great university—at least of one considerable
class:


    “There were starving, friendless lads, with their unkempt heads
    and their tattered suits, who walked the streets, hungering for
    bread, and famishing for knowledge, and hankering after a sight of
    some of those great doctors, of whom they had heard so much when
    far away in the woods of Germany or the fields of France. Some
    were so poor that they could not afford to follow a course of
    theology. We read of one poor fellow on his death‐bed, having
    nothing else, giving his shoes and stockings to a companion to
    procure a Mass for his soul. Some were only too glad to carry holy
    water to private houses, _selon la coutume Gallicane_, with the
    hope of receiving some small remuneration. Some were destitute of
    necessary clothing. One tunic sometimes served for three, who took
    it in turns—two went to bed, whilst the third dressed himself and
    hurried off to school. Some spent all their scanty means in buying
    parchments, and wasted their strength, through half the night,
    poring over crabbed manuscript, or in puzzling out that jargon
    which contained the wisdom of the wisest of the Greeks. Whole
    nights some would remain awake on their hard pallets, in those
    unhealthy cells, trying to work out some problem proposed by the
    professor in the schools. But there were rich as well as poor at
    Paris. There was Langton, like others, famous for his opulence,
    who taught, and then became Canon of Notre Dame; and Thomas à
    Becket, who, as a youth, came here to seek the charm of gay
    society.” (I., p. 354.)


Amid all the noise, turmoil, and disputes of the huge colony of students,
numbering more thousands than Oxford or Cambridge at this day can show
hundreds, the great Dominican convent of S. James was a grand and famous
centre of light and work. S. Dominic was not long before he settled in
Paris. At first the friars lived in a mean hired lodging, apparently on
the Island of Notre Dame. But soon their reputation for poverty and
learning attracted the notice of influential benefactors, and they had a
house of their own. It was dedicated to S. James the Apostle, and quickly
became not only a great monastery but a famous school. The Dominican
Order, divinely founded for a want of the time, soon began to show in
front of the progress of the age, and to lead instead of following. It was
here, in S. James, that Alanus de Insulis and Vincent of Beauvois wrote
histories and commentaries; it was here that Albert the Great and Thomas
Aquinas lectured and wrote; and the crowd of lesser names that are
mentioned on its rolls about this time, less distinguished but still
distinguished, would take long to enumerate. It was for S. James that S.
Dominic himself had framed a body of rules. These rules are most striking,
as given in the pages of Prior Vaughan. They show how a saint and monastic
legislator feels the “form and pressure” of the times, and how he provides
for a new feature in monasticism. To read these rules, one feels tempted
to say that the Dominicans sacrificed everything to give their men a
first‐rate course of studies. But we must remember the midnight vigil and
the perpetual absence and the long silence. Still, the cloisters of S.
James were different enough from those of Monte Casino. There was a great
hall at S. James’, where professors taught and whither students thronged
to hear—how different from the remote cloister of Jarrow, where Venerable
Bede taught his younger brethren for so many years on the quiet flats
between the Wear and the Tyne! The cells knew the light of the midnight
lamp, the cloisters resounded with disputation, the young students of the
Order were men of few books—a Bible, a copy of the _Historia_ of Petrus
Comestor and of the _Sentences_ of Peter Lombard, was all their private
library. But half the day was spent face to face with a professor and with
each other, and the want of books was not much felt. And what an education
it must have been to listen to and take down the _Summa contra Gentiles_
of the Angel of the Schools! As we have said, the whole of these two
chapters is instinct with the liveliest description, and we cannot do
better than recommend readers to go to it and judge for themselves.

We must reserve what we have not yet touched upon, viz., the personal life
of the Saint himself, for another notice. It must not be supposed that
Prior Vaughan passes over the person of S. Thomas in his anxiety to show
us what sort of a world he lived in. It will soon be seen, on making some
slight acquaintance with the book, that the strictly biographical portion
is in reality most successful; the story is well told, and, like all
stories of sanctity and supernatural heroism, goes straight to the heart.

Without saying that Prior Vaughan’s two volumes partake of the nature of
the perfect, we frankly say we do not intend to find faults in it. We
welcome it, and it deserves to be welcomed by every Catholic that can read
it. There are, of course, defects and a few errors here and there; but the
book lays down no false principles, takes no dangerous views, and
patronizes no pernicious mistakes. On the other hand, it deals with a wide
theme in a large way. In language which, if at times too copious, is
nevertheless frequently eloquent and always easy and fluent, the writer
raises the life of a saint into a picture of a world‐epoch. He has labored
very hard at his authorities and sources, and when the book gets into use
many students, we are sure, will thank him for his copious references and
notes. His imagination is of a high order, and his picture‐loving power is
seen in the way in which he sketches with an epithet, puts together the
elements that he finds up and down the old authors, and shakes the dust
and the mildew from valuable bits of ancient chronicle, so that they look
bright again. The Hon. John L. Motley is in the front rank of modern
historians, and to compare any writer with him is to give praise that one
must think much before giving; but if we wished to indicate the _genre_ of
Prior Vaughan’s style—its pictorial power, its realism, and its tone of
earnest conviction—we should mention the name of the historian of the
Netherlands. The two writers are very unlike in their convictions; and Mr.
Motley has, no doubt, a perfection and finish of art which few writers can
approach. But still Prior Vaughan is quite fit to be named in the same
sentence. And a book which has cost so many hours of thought and labor,
which aims so high, which is so really the work of a man with views and
with a power to express himself, and which deals with a subject that can
never lose its interest, but one which, if we do not mistake, is as yet
only at the beginning of a grand revival, is a book to be welcomed, to be
read, and to be thankful for.



The Progressionists.


From The German Of Conrad Von Bolanden.



Chapter V.


Gerlach whispered something to the banker. Holt pressed his pocket‐
handkerchief to the wound.

“Please yourself!” said the banker loudly in a business tone. Seraphin
again approached the beaten man.

“Will you please, my good man, to accompany us?”

“What for, sir?”

“Because I would like to do something towards healing up your wound; I
mean the wound in there.”

Holt stood motionless before the stranger and looked at him.

“I thank you, sir; there is no remedy for me; I am doomed!”

“Still, I will assist you. Follow me.”

“Who are you, sir, if I may ask the question?”

“I am a man whom Providence seems to have chosen to rescue the prey from
the jaws of a usurer. Come along with us, and fear nothing.”

“Very well, I will go in the name of God! I do not precisely know your
object, and you are a stranger to me. But your countenance looks innocent
and kind, therefore I will go with you.”

They passed through alleys and streets.

“Do you often visit that tavern?” inquired Seraphin.

“Not six times in a year,” answered Holt. “Sometimes of a Sunday I drink
half a glass of wine, that’s all. I am poor, and have to be saving. I
would not have gone to the tavern to‐day but that I wanted to get rid of
my feelings of misery.”

“I overheard your story,” rejoined Seraphin. “Shund’s treatment of you was
inhuman. He behaved towards you like a trickish devil.”

“That he did! And I am ruined together with my family,” replied the poor
man dejectedly.

“Take my advice, and never abuse Shund. You know how respectable he has
suddenly got to be, how many influential friends he has. You can easily
perceive that one cannot say anything unfavorable of such a man without
great risk, no matter were it true ten times over.”

“I am not given to disputing,” replied Holt. “But it stirred the bile
within me to hear him extolled, and it broke out. Oh! I have learned to
suffer in silence. I haven’t time to think of other matters. After God, my
business and my family were my only care. I attended to my occupation
faithfully and quietly as long as I had any to attend to, but now I
haven’t any to take care of. O God! it is hard. It will bring me to the
grave.”

“You are a land cultivator?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Shund intends to have you sold out?”

“Yes; immediately after the election he intends to complete my ruin.”

“How much money would you need in order with industry to get along?”

“A great deal of money, a great deal—at least a thousand florins. I have
given him a mortgage for a thousand florins on my house and what was left
to me. A thousand florins would suffice to help me out of trouble. I might
save my little cottage, my two cows, and a field. I might then plough and
sow for other people. I could get along and subsist honestly. But as I
told you, nothing less than a thousand florins would do; and where am I to
get so much money? You see there is no hope for me, no help for me. I am
doomed!”

“The mortgaged property is considerable,” said Gerlach. “A house, even
though a small one, moreover, a field, a barn, a garden, all these
together are surely worth a much higher price. Could you not borrow a
thousand florins on it and pay off the usurer?”

“No, sir. Nobody would be willing to lend me that amount of money upon
property mortgaged to a man like Shund. Besides, my little property is out
of town, and who wants to go there? I, for my part, of course, like no
spot as much, for it is the house my father built, and I was born and
brought up there.”

The man lapsed into silence, and walked at Seraphin’s side like one
weighed down by a heavy load. The delicate sympathy of the young man
enabled him to guess what was passing in the breast of the man under the
load. He knew that Holt was recalling his childhood passed under the
paternal roof; that little spot of home was hallowed for him by events
connected with his mother, his father, his brothers and sisters, or with
other objects more trifling, which, however, remained fresh and bright in
memory, like balmy days of spring.

From this consecrated spot he was to be exiled, driven out with wife and
children, through the inhumanity and despicable cunning of an usurer. The
man heaved a deep sigh, and Gerlach, watching him sidewise, noticed his
lips were compressed, and that large tears rolled down his weather‐browned
cheeks. The tender heart of the young man was deeply affected at this
sight, and the millionaire for once rejoiced in the consciousness of
possessing the might of money.

They halted before the Palais Greifmann. Holt noticed with surprise how
the man in blouse drew from his waistcoat pocket a small instrument
resembling a toothpick, and with it opened a door near the carriage gate.
Had not every shadow of suspicion been driven from Holt’s mind by
Seraphin’s appearance, he would surely have believed that he had fallen
into the company of burglars, who entrapped him to aid in breaking into
this palace.

Reluctantly, after repeated encouragement from Gerlach, he crossed the
threshold of the stately mansion. He had not quite passed the door when he
took off his cap, stared at the costly furniture of the hall through which
they were passing, and was reminded of St. Peter’s thought as the angel
was rescuing him from the clutches of Herod. Holt imagined he saw a
vision. The man who had unlocked the door disappeared. Seraphin entered an
apartment followed by Shund’s victim.

“Do you know where you are?” inquired the millionaire.

“Yes, sir, in the house of Mr. Greifmann the banker.”

“And you are somewhat surprised, are you not?”

“I am so much astonished, sir, that I have several times pinched my arms
and legs, for it all seems to me like a dream.”

Seraphin smiled and laid aside his cap. Holt scanned the noble features of
the young man more minutely, his handsome face, his stately bearing, and
concluded the man in the blouse must be some distinguished gentleman.

“Take courage,” said the noble‐looking young man in a kindly tone. “You
shall be assisted. I am convinced that you are an honest, industrious man,
brought to the verge of ruin through no fault of your own. Nor do I blame
you for inadvertently falling into the nets of the usurer, for I believe
your honest nature never suspected that there could exist so fiendish a
monster as the one that lives in the soul of an usurer.”

“You may rely upon it, sir. If I had had the slightest suspicion of such a
thing, Shund never would have got me into his clutches.”

“I am convinced of it. You are partially the victim of your own good
nature, and partially the prey of the wild beast Shund. Now listen to me:
Suppose somebody were to give you a thousand florins, and to say: ‘Holt,
take this money, ’tis yours. Be industrious, get along, be a prudent
housekeeper, serve God to the end of your days, and in future beware of
usurers’—suppose somebody were to address you in this way, what would you
do?”

“Supposing the case, sir, although it is not possible, but supposing the
case, what would I do? I would do precisely what that person would have
told me, and a great deal more. I would work day and night. Every day, at
evening prayer, I would get on my knees with my wife and children, and
invoke God’s protection on that person. I would do that, sir; but, as I
said, the case is impossible.”

“Nevertheless, suppose it did happen,” explained Seraphin in a preliminary
way. “Give me your hand that you will fulfil the promise you have just
given.”

For a moment Seraphin’s hand lay in a callous, iron palm, which pressed
his soft fingers in an uncomfortable but well‐meant grasp.

“Well, now follow me,” said Gerlach.

He led the way; Holt followed with an unsteady step like a drunken man.
They presented themselves before the banker’s counter. The latter was
standing behind the trellis of his desk, and on a table lay ten rolls of
money.

“You have just now by word and hand confirmed a promise,” said Gerlach,
turning to the countryman, “which cannot be appreciated in money, for that
promise comprises almost all the duties of the father of a family. But to
make the fulfilment of the promise possible, a thousand florins are
needed. Here lies the money. Accept it from me as a gift, and be happy.”

Holt did not stir. He looked from the money at Gerlach, was motionless and
rigid, until, at last, the paralyzing surprise began to resolve itself
into a spasmodic quivering of the lips, and then into a mighty flood of
tears. Seizing Seraphin’s hands, he kissed them with an emotion that
convulsed his whole being.

“That will do now,” said the millionaire, “take the money, and go home.”

“My God! I cannot find utterance,” said Holt, stammering forth the words
with difficulty. “Good heaven! is it possible? Is it true? I am still
thinking ’tis only a dream.”

“Downright reality, my man!” said the banker. “Stop crying; save your
tears for a more fitting occasion. Put the rolls in your pocket, and go
home.”

Greifmann’s coldness was effective in sobering down the man intoxicated
with joy.

“May I ask, sir, what your name is, that I may at least know to whom I owe
my rescue?”

“Seraphin is my name.”

“Your name sounds like an angel’s, and you are an angel to me. I am not
acquainted with you, but God knows you, and he will requite you according
to your deeds.”

Gerlach nodded gravely. The banker was impatient and murmured
discontentedly. Holt carefully pocketed the rolls of money, made an
inclination of gratitude to Gerlach, and went out. He passed slowly
through the hall. The porter opened the door. Holt stood still before him.

“I ask your pardon, but do you know Mr. Seraphin?” asked he.

“Why shouldn’t I know a gentleman that has been our guest for the last two
weeks?”

“You must pardon my presumption, Mr. Porter. Will Mr. Seraphin remain here
much longer?”

“He will remain another week for certain.”

“I am very much obliged to you,” said Holt, passing into the street and
hurrying away.

“Your intended has a queer way of applying his money,” said the banker to
his sister the next morning. And he reported to her the story of
Seraphin’s munificence. “I do not exactly like this sort of kindness, for
it oversteps all bounds, and undoubtedly results from religious
enthusiasm.”

“That, too, can be cured,” replied Louise confidently. “I will make him
understand that eternity restores nothing, that consequently it is safer
and more prudent to exact interest from the present.”

“’Tis true, the situation of that fellow Holt was a pitiable one, and Hans
Shund’s treatment of him was a masterpiece of speculation. He had stripped
the fellow completely. The stupid Holt had for years been laboring for the
cunning Shund, who continued drawing his meshes more and more tightly
about him. Like a huge spider, he leisurely sucked out the life of the fly
he had entrapped.”

“Your hostler says there was light in Seraphin’s room long after midnight.
I wonder what hindered him from sleeping?”

“That is not hard to divine. In all probability he was composing a
sentimental ditty to his much adored,” answered Carl teasingly. “Midnight
is said to be a propitious time for occupations of that sort.”

“Do be quiet, you tease! But I too was thinking that he must have been
engaged in writing. May be he was making a memorandum of yesterday’s
experience in his journal.”

“May be he was. At all events, the impressions made on him were very
strong.”

“But I do not like your venture; it may turn out disastrous.”

“How can it, my most learned sister?”

“You know Seraphin’s position,” explained she. “He has been reared in the
rigor of sectarian credulity. The spirit of modern civilization being thus
abruptly placed before his one‐sided judgment without previous preparation
may alarm, nay, may even disgust him. And when once he will have perceived
that the brother is a partisan of the horrible monster, is it probable
that he will feel favorably disposed towards the sister whose views
harmonize with those of her brother?”

“I have done nothing to justify him in setting me down for a partisan. I
maintain strict neutrality. My purpose is to accustom the weakling to the
atmosphere of enlightenment which is fatal to all religious phantasms.
Have no fear of his growing cold towards you,” proceeded he in his
customary tone of irony. “Your ever victorious power holds him spell‐bound
in the magic circle of your enchantment. Besides, Louise,” continued he,
frowning, “I do not think I could tolerate a brother‐in‐law steeped over
head and ears in prejudices. You yourself might find it highly
uncomfortable to live with a husband of this kind.”

“Uncomfortable! No, I would not. I would find it exciting, for it would
become my task to train and cultivate an abnormal specimen of the male
gender.”

“Very praiseworthy, sister! And if I now endeavor by means of living
illustrations to familiarize your intended with the nature of modern
intellectual enlightenment, I am merely preparing the way for your future
labors.”



Chapter VI. Masters and Slaves.


Under the much despised discipline of religious requirements, the child
Seraphin had grown up to boyhood spotless in morals, and then had
developed himself into a young man of great firmness of character, whose
faith was as unshaken as the correctness of his behavior was constant.

The bloom of his cheeks, the innocent brightness of his eye, the suavity
of his disposition, were the natural results of the training which his
heart had received. No foul passion had ever disturbed the serenity of his
soul. When under the smiling sky of a spring morning he took his ride over
the extensive possessions of his father, his interior accorded perfectly
with the peace and loveliness of the sights and sounds of blooming nature
around him. On earth, however, no spring, be it ever so beautiful, is
entirely safe from storms. Evil spirits lie in waiting in the air, dark
powers threaten destruction to all blossoms and all incipient life. And
the more inevitable is the dread might of those lurking spirits, that in
every blossom of living plant lies concealed a germ of ruin, sleeps a
treacherous passion—even in the heart of the innocent Seraphin.

The strategic arts of the beautiful young lady received no small degree of
additional power from the genuine effort made by her to please the stately
double millionaire. In a short time she was to such an extent successful
that one day Carl rallied her in the following humorous strain: “Your
intended is sitting in the arbor singing a most dismal song! You will have
to allow him a little more line, Louise, else you run the risk of
unsettling his brain. Moreover, I cannot be expected to instruct a man in
the mysteries of progress, if he sees, feels, and thinks nothing but
Louise.”

The banker had not uttered an exaggeration. It sometimes happens that a
first love bursts forth with an impetuosity so uncontrollable, that, for a
time, every other domain of the intellectual and moral nature of a young
man is, as it were, submerged under a mighty flood. This temporary
inundation of passion cannot, of course, maintain its high tide in
presence of calm experience, and the sunshine of more ripened knowledge
soon dries up its waters. But Seraphin possessed only the scanty
experience of a young man, and his knowledge of the world was also very
limited. Hence, in his case, the stream rose alarmingly high, but it did
not reach an overflow, for the hand of a pious mother had thrown up in the
heart of the child a living dike strong enough to resist the greatest
violence of the swell. The height and solidity of the dike increased with
the growth of the child; it was a bulwark of defence for the man, who
stood secure against humiliating defeats behind the adamantine wall of
religious principles—yet only so long as he sought protection behind this
bulwark. Faith uttered a serious warning against an unconditional
surrender of himself to the object of his attachment. For he could not put
to rest some misgivings raised in his mind by the strange and, to him,
inexplicable attitude which Louise assumed upon the highest questions of
human existence. The uninitiated youth had no suspicion of the existence
of that most disgusting product of modern enlightenment, the _emancipated_
female. Had he discovered in Louise the emancipated woman in all the
ugliness of her real nature, he would have conceived unutterable loathing
for such a monstrosity. And yet he could not but feel that between himself
and Louise there yawned an abyss, there existed an essential repulsion,
which, at times, gave rise within him to considerable uneasiness.

To obtain a solution of the enigma of this antipathy, the young gentleman
concluded to trust entirely to the results of his observations, which,
however, were far from being definitive; for his reason was imposed upon
by his feelings, and, from day to day, the charms of the beautiful woman
were steadily progressing in throwing a seductive spell over his judgment.

The banker’s daughter possessed a high degree of culture; she was a
perfect mistress of the tactics employed on the field of coquetry; her
tact was exquisite; and she understood thoroughly how to take advantage of
a kindly disposition and of the tenderness inspired by passion. How was
the eye of Seraphin, strengthened neither by knowledge nor by experience,
to detect the true worth of what lay hidden beneath this fascinating
delusion?

Here again his religious training came to the rescue of the inexperienced
youth, by furnishing him with standards safe and unfalsified, by which to
weigh and come to a conclusion.

Louise’s indifference to practices of piety annoyed him. She never
attended divine service, not even on Sundays. He never saw her with a
prayer‐book, nor was a single picture illustrative of a moral subject to
be found hung up in her apartment. Her conversation, at all times, ran
upon commonplaces of everyday concern, such as the toilet, theatre,
society. He noticed that whenever he ventured to launch matter of a more
serious import upon the current of conversation, it immediately became
constrained and soon ceased to flow. Louise appeared to his heart at the
same time so fascinating and yet so peculiar, so seductive and yet so
repulsive, that the contradictions of her being caused him to feel quite
unhappy.

He was again sitting in his room thinking about her. In the interview he
had just had with her, the young lady had exerted such admirable powers of
womanly charms that the poor young man had had a great deal of trouble to
maintain his self‐possession. Her ringing, mischievous laugh was still
sounding in his ears, and the brightness of her sparkling eyes was still
lighting up his memory. And the unsuspecting youth had no Solomon at his
side to repeat to him: “My son, can a man hide fire in his bosom, and his
garments not burn? Or can he walk upon hot coals, and his feet not be
burnt?... She entangleth him with many words, and she draweth him away
with the flattery of her lips. Immediately he followeth her as an ox led
to be a victim, and as a lamb playing the wanton, and not knowing that he
is drawn like a fool to bonds, till the arrow pierce his liver. As if a
bird should make haste to the snare, and knoweth not that his life is in
danger. Now, therefore, my son, hear me, and attend to the words of my
mouth. Let not thy mind be drawn away in her ways: neither be thou
deceived with her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded, and the
strongest have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, reaching
even to the inner chambers of death.”(3)

For Seraphin, however, no Solomon was at hand who might give him counsel.
Sustained by his virtue and by his faith alone, he struggled against the
temptress, not precisely of the kind referred to by Solomon, but still a
dangerous one from the ranks of progress.

Greifmann had notified him that the general assembly election was to be
held that day, that Mayor Hans Shund would certainly be returned as a
delegate, and that he intended to call for Gerlach, and go out to watch
the progress of the election.

Seraphin felt rather indifferent respecting the election; but he would
have considered himself under weighty obligation to the brother for an
explanation of the peculiar behavior of the sister at which he was so
greatly perplexed.

Carl himself he had for a while regarded as an enigma. Now, however, he
believed that he had reached a correct conclusion concerning the brother.
It appeared to him that the principal characteristic of Carl’s disposition
was to treat every subject, except what strictly pertained to business, in
a spirit of levity. To the faults of others Carl was always ready to
accord a praiseworthy degree of indulgence, he never uttered harsh words
in a tone of bitterness, and when he pronounced censure, his reproof was
invariably clothed in some form of pleasantry. In general, he behaved like
a man not having time to occupy himself seriously with any subject that
did not lie within the particular sphere of his occupation. Even their
wager he managed like a matter of business, although the landowner could
not but take umbrage at the banker’s ready and natural way of dealing with
men whose want of principle he himself abominated. Greifmann seemed good‐
natured, minute, and cautious in business, and in all other things
exceedingly liberal and full of levity. Such was the judgment arrived at
by Seraphin, inexperienced and little inclined to fault‐finding as he was,
respecting a gentleman who stood at the summit of modern culture, who had
skill in elegantly cloaking great faults and foibles, and whose sole
religion consisted in the accumulation of papers and coins of arbitrary
value.

Gerlach’s servant entered, and disturbed his meditation.

“There is a man here with a family who begs hard to be allowed to speak
with you.”

“A man with a family!” repeated the millionaire, astonished. “I know
nobody round here, and have no desire to form acquaintances.”

“The man will not be denied. He says his name is Holt, and that he has
something to say to you.”

“Ah, yes!” exclaimed Seraphin, with a smile that revealed a pleasant
surprise. “Send the man and those who are with him in to me.”

Closing a diary, in which he was recording circumstantially the
experiences of his present visit, he awaited the visitors. A loud knock
from a weighty fist reminded him of a pair of callous hands, then Holt,
followed by his wife and children, presented himself before his
benefactor. They all made a small courtesy, even the flaxen‐headed little
children, and the bright, healthy babe in the arms of the mother met his
gaze with the smile of an angel. The dark spirits that were hovering
around him, torturing and tempting, instantly vanished, and he became
serene and unconstrained whilst conversing with these simple people.

“You must excuse us, Mr. Seraphin,” began Holt. “This is my wife, and
these are seven of my children. There is one more; her name is Mechtild.
She had to stay at home and mind the house. She will pay you an extra
visit, and present her thanks. We have called that you might become
acquainted with the family whom you have rescued, and that we might thank
you with all our hearts.”

After this speech, the father gave a signal, whereupon the little ones
gathered around the amiable young man, made their courtesies, and kissed
his hands.

“May God bless you, Mr. Seraphin!” first spoke a half‐grown girl.

“We greet you, dear Seraphin!” said another, five years old.

“We pray for you every day, Mr. Seraphin,” said the next in succession.

“We are thankful to you from our hearts, Mr. Seraphin,” spoke a small lad,
in a tone of deep earnestness.

And thus did every child deliver its little address. It was touching to
witness the noble dignity of the children, which may, at times, be found
beautifully investing their innocence. Gerlach was moved. He looked down
upon the little ones around him with an expression of affectionate
thankfulness. Holt’s lips also quivered, and bright tears of happiness
streamed from the eyes of the mother.

“I am obliged to you, my little friends, for your greetings and for your
prayers,” spoke the millionaire. “You are well brought up. Continue always
to be good children, such as you now are; have the fear of God, and honor
your parents.”

“Mr. Seraphin,” said Holt, drawing a paper from his pocket, “here is the
note that I have redeemed with the money you gave me. I wanted to show it
to you, so that you might know for certain that the money had been applied
to the proper purpose.”

Gerlach affected to take an interest in the paper, and read over the
receipt.

“But there is one thing, Mr. Seraphin,” continued Holt, “that grieves me.
And that is, that there is not anything better than mere words with which
I can testify my gratitude to you. I would like ever so much to do
something for you—to do something for you worth speaking of. Do you know,
Mr. Seraphin, I would be willing to shed the last drop of my blood for
you?”

“Never mind that, Holt! It is ample recompense for me to know that I have
helped a worthy man out of trouble. You can now, Mrs. Holt, set to work
with renewed courage. But,” added he archly, “you will have to watch your
husband that he may not again fall into the clutches of beasts of prey
like Shund.”

“He has had to pay dearly for his experience, Mr. Seraphin. I used often
to say to him: ‘Michael, don’t trust Shund. Shund talks too much, he is
too sweet altogether, he has some wicked design upon us—don’t trust him.’
But, you see, Mr. Seraphin, my husband thinks that all people are as
upright as he is himself, and he believed that Shund really meant to deal
fairly as he pretended. But Michael’s wits are sharpened now, and he will
not in future be so ready to believe every man upon his word. Nor will he,
hereafter, borrow one single penny, and he will never again undertake to
buy anything unless he has the money in hand to pay for it.”

“In what street do you live?” inquired Gerlach.

“Near the turnpike road, Mr. Seraphin. Do you see that knoll?” He pointed
through the window in a direction unobstructed by the trees of the garden.
“Do you see that dense shade‐tree, and yon white‐washed wall behind the
tree? That is our walnut‐tree—my grandfather planted it. And the white
wall is the wall of our house.”

“I have passed there twice—the road leads to the beech grove,” said the
millionaire. “I remarked the little cottage, and was much pleased with its
air of neatness. It struck me, too, that the barn is larger than the
dwelling, which is a creditable sign for a farmer. Near the front entrance
there is a carefully cultivated flower garden, in which I particularly
admired the roses, and further off from the road lies an apple orchard.”

“All that belongs to us. That is what you have rescued and made a present
of to us,” replied the land cultivator joyfully. “Everybody stops to view
the roses; they belong to our daughter Mechtild.”

“The soil is good and deep, and must bring splendid crops of wheat. I,
too, am a farmer, and understand something about such matters. But it
appeared to me as though the soil were of a cold nature. You should use
lime upon it pretty freely.”

In this manner he spent some time conversing with these good and simple
people. Before dismissing them, he made a present to every one of the
children of a shining dollar, having previously overcome Holt’s protest
against this new instance of generosity.

Old and young then courtesied once more, and Gerlach was left to himself
in a mood differing greatly from that in which the visitors had found him.

He had been conversing with good and happy people, and his soul revelled
in the consciousness of having been the originator of their happiness.

Suddenly Greifmann’s appearance in the room put to flight the bright
spirits that hovered about him, and the sunshine that had been lighting up
the apartment was obscured by dark shadows as of a heavy mass of clouds.

“What sort of a horde was that?” asked he.

“They were Holt and his family. The gratitude of these simple people was
touching. The innocent little ones gave me an ovation of which a prince
might be envious, for the courts of princes are never graced by a
naturalness at once so sincere and so beautiful. It is an intense
happiness for me to have assured the livelihood of ten human beings with
so paltry a gift.”

“A mere matter of taste, my most sympathetic friend!” rejoined the banker
with indifference. “You are not made of the proper stuff to be a business
man. Your feelings would easily tempt you into very unbusinesslike
transactions. But you must come with me! The hubbub of the election is
astir through all the streets and thoroughfares. I am going out to
discharge my duties as a citizen, and I want you to accompany me.”

“I have no inclination to see any more of this disgusting turmoil,”
replied Gerlach.

“Inclination or disinclination is out of the question when interest
demands it,” insisted the banker. “You must profit by the opportunity
which you now have of enriching your knowledge of men and things, or
rather of correcting it; for heretofore your manner of viewing things has
been mere ideal enthusiasm. Come with me, my good fellow!”

Seraphin followed with interior reluctance. Greifmann went on to impart to
him the following information:

“During the past night, there have sprung up, as if out of the earth, a
most formidable host, ready to do battle against the uniformly victorious
army of progress—men thoroughly armed and accoutred, real crusaders. A
bloody struggle is imminent. Try and make of your heart a sort of monitor
covered with plates of iron, so that you may not be overpowered by the
horrifying spectacle of the election affray. I am not joking at all! True
as gospel, what I tell you! If you do not want to be stifled by
indignation at sight of the fiercest kind of terrorism, of the most
revolting tyranny, you will have to lay aside, at least for to‐day, every
feeling of humanity.”

Gerlach perceived a degree of seriousness in the bubbling current of
Greifmann’s levity.

“Who is the enemy that presumes to stand in the way of progress?” enquired
he.

“The ultramontanes! Listen to what I have to tell you. This morning
Schwefel came in to get a check cashed. With surprise I observed that the
manufacturer’s soul was not in business. ‘How are things going?’ asked I
when we had got through.

“ ‘I feel like a man,’ exclaimed he, ‘that has just seen a horrible
monster! Would you believe it, those accursed ultramontanes have been
secretly meddling in the election. They have mustered a number of votes,
and have even gone so far as to have a yellow ticket printed. Their yellow
placards were to be seen this morning stuck up at every street corner—of
course they were immediately torn down.’

“ ‘And are you provoked at that, Mr. Schwefel! You certainly are not going
to deny the poor ultramontanes the liberty of existing, or, at least, the
liberty of voting for whom they please?’

“ ‘Yes, I am, I am! That must not be tolerated,’ cried he wildly. ‘The
black brood are hatching dark schemes, they are conspiring against
civilization, and would fain wrest from us the trophies won by progress.
It is high time to apply the axe to the root of the upas‐tree. Our duty is
to disinfect thoroughly, to banish the absurdities of religious dogma from
our schools. The black spawn will have to be rendered harmless: we must
kill them politically.’

“ ‘Very well,’ said I. ‘Just make negroes of them. Now that in America the
slaves are emancipated, Europe would perhaps do well to take her turn at
the slave‐trade.’ But the fellow would not take my joke. He made
threatening gesticulations, his eyes gleamed like hot coals, and he
muttered words of a belligerent import.

“ ‘The ultramontane rabble are to hold a meeting at the “Key of Heaven,” ’
reported he. ‘There the stupid victims of credulity are to be harangued by
several of their best talkers. The black tide is afterwards to diffuse
itself through the various wards where the voting is to take place. But
let the priest‐ridden slaves come, they will have other memoranda to carry
home with them beside their yellow rags of tickets.’

“You perceive, friend Seraphin, that the progress men mean mischief. We
may expect to witness scenes of violence.”

“That is unjustifiable brutality on the part of the progressionists,”
declared Gerlach indignantly. “Are not the ultramontanes entitled to vote
and to receive votes? Are they not free citizens? Do they not enjoy the
same privileges as others? It is a disgrace and an outrage thus to
tyrannize over men who are their brothers, sons of Germania, their common
mother.”

“Granted! Violence is disgraceful. The intention of progress, however, is
not quite as bad as you think it. Being convinced of its own
infallibility, it cannot help feeling indignant at the unbelief of
ultramontanism, which continues deaf to the saving truths of the
progressionist gospel. Hence a holy zeal for making converts urges
progress so irresistibly that it would fain force wanderers into the path
of salvation by violence. This is simply human, and should not be regarded
as unpardonable. In the self‐same spirit did my namesake Charles the Great
butcher the Saxons because the besotted heathens presumed to entertain
convictions differing from his own. And those who were not butchered had
to see their sacred groves cut down, their altars demolished, their time‐
honored laws changed, and had to resign themselves to following the ways
which he thought fit to have opened through the land of the Saxons. You
cannot fail to perceive that Charles the Great was a member of the school
of progress.”

“But your comparison is defective,” opposed the millionaire. “Charles
subdued a wild and blood‐thirsty horde who made it a practice to set upon
and butcher peaceful neighbors. Charles was the protector of the realm,
and the Saxons were forced to bend under the weight of his powerful arm.
If Charles, however, did violence to the consciences of his vanquished
enemies, and converted them to Christianity with the sword and mace, then
Charles himself is not to be excused, for moral freedom is expressly
proclaimed by the spirit of Christianity.”

“There is no doubt but that the Saxons were blundering fools for rousing
the lion by making inroads into Charles’ domain. The ultramontanes, are,
however, in a similar situation. They have attacked the giant Progress,
and have themselves to blame for the consequences.”

“The ultramontanes have attacked nobody,” maintained Gerlach. “They are
merely asserting their own rights, and are not putting restrictions on the
rights of other people. But progress will concede neither rights nor
freedom to others. It is a disgusting egotist, an unscrupulous tyrant,
that tries to build up his own brutal authority on the ruins of the rights
of others.”

“Still, it would have been far more prudent on the part of the
ultramontanes to keep quiet, seeing that their inferiority of numbers
cannot alter the situation. The indisputable rights of the ascendency are
in our days with the sceptre and crown of progress.”

“A brave man never counts the foe,” cried Gerlach. “He stands to his
convictions, and behaves manfully in the struggle.”

“Well said!” applauded the banker. “And since progress also is forced by
the opposition of principles to man itself for the contest, it will
naturally beat up all its forces in defence of its conviction. Here we are
at the ‘Key of Heaven,’ where the ultramontanes are holding their meeting.
Let us go in, for the proverb says, _Audiatur et altera pars_—the other
side should also get a hearing.”

They drew near to a lengthy old building. Over the doorway was a pair of
crossed keys hewn out of stone, and gilt, informing the stranger that it
was the hostelry of the “Key of Heaven,” where, since the days of hoar
antiquity, hospitality was dispensed to pilgrims and travellers. The
principal hall of the house contained a gathering of about three hundred
men. They were attentively listening to the words of a speaker who was
warmly advocating the principles of his party. The speaker stood behind a
desk which was placed upon a platform at the far end of the hall.

Seraphin cast a glance over the assembly. He received the painful
impression of a hopeless minority. Barely forty votes would the
ultramontanes be able to send to each of the wards. To compensate for
numbers, intelligence and faith were represented in the meeting. Elegant
gentlemen with intellectual countenances sat or stood in the company of
respectable tradesmen, and the long black coats of the clergy were not few
in number. On a table lay two packages of yellow tickets to be distributed
among the members of the assembly. At the same table sat the chairman, a
commissary of police named Parteiling, whose business it was to watch the
proceedings, and several other gentlemen.

“Compared with the colossal preponderance of progress, our influence is
insignificant, and, compared with the masses of our opponents our
numerical strength is still less encouraging,” said the speaker. “If in
connection with this disheartening fact you take into consideration the
pressure which progress has it in its power to exert on the various
relations of life through numerous auxiliary means, if you remember that
our opponents can dismiss from employment all such as dare uphold views
differing from their own, it becomes clear that no ordinary amount of
courage is required to entertain and proclaim convictions hostile to
progress.”

Seraphin thought of Spitzkopf’s mode of electioneering, and of the
terrible threats made to the “wild men,” and concluded the incredible
statement was lamentably correct.

“Viewing things in this light,” proceeded the orator, “I congratulate the
present assembly upon its unusual degree of pluck, for courage is required
to go into battle with a clear knowledge of the overwhelming strength of
the enemy. We have rallied round the banner of our convictions
notwithstanding that the numbers of the enemy make victory hopeless. We
are determined to cast our votes in support of religion and morality in
defiance of the scorn, blasphemy, and violence which the well‐known
terrorism of progress will not fail to employ in order to frighten us from
the exercise of our privilege as citizens. We must be prepared, gentlemen,
to hear a multitude of sarcastic remarks and coarse witticisms, both in
the streets and at the polls. I adjure you to maintain the deportment
alone worthy of our cause. A gentleman never replies to the aggressions of
rudeness, and should you wish to take the conduct of our opponents in gay
good‐humor, just try, gentlemen, to fancy that you are being treated to
some elegant exhibition of the refinement and liberal culture of the
times.”

Loud bursts of hilarity now and then relieved the seriousness of the
meeting. Even Greifmann would clap applause and cry, “Bravo!”

“Let us stand united to a man, prepared against all the wiles of
intimidation and corruption, undismayed by the onset of the enemy. The
struggle is grave beyond expression. For you are acquainted with the aims
and purposes of the liberals. Progress would like to sweep away all the
religious heritages that our fathers held sacred. Education is to be
violently wrested from under the influence of the church; the church
herself is to be enslaved and strangled in the thrall of the liberal
state. I am aware that our opponents pretend to respect religion—but the
religion of would‐be progress is infidelity. Divine revelation, of which
the church is the faithful guardian, is rejected with scorn by liberalism.
Look at the tone of the press and the style of the literature of the day.
You have only to notice the derision and fierceness with which the press
daily assails the mysteries and dogmas of religion, the Sovereign Pontiff,
the clergy, religious orders, the ultramontanes, and you cannot long
remain in the dark concerning the aim and object of progress. Christ or
Antichrist is the watchword of the day, gentlemen! Hence the imperative
duty for us to be active at the elections; for the legislature has the
presumption to wish to dictate in matters belonging exclusively to the
jurisdiction of the church. We are threatened with school laws the purpose
of which is to unchristianize our children, to estrange them from the
spirit of religion. No man having the sentiment of religion can remain
indifferent in presence of this danger, for it means nothing less than the
defection from Christianity of the masses of the coming generation.

“Gentlemen, there is a reproach being uttered just now by the
progressionist press, which, far from repelling, I would feel proud to
deserve. A priest should have said, so goes the report, that it is a
mortal sin to elect a progressionist to the chamber of deputies. Some of
the writers of our press have met this reproach by simply denying that a
priest ever expressed himself in those terms. But, gentlemen, let us take
for granted that a priest did actually say that it is a mortal sin to
elect a progressionist to the chamber of deputies, is there anything
opposed to morality in such a declaration?

“By no means, if you remember that it is to be presumed the progressionist
will use his vote in the assembly to oppose religion. Mortal sin,
gentlemen, is any wilful transgression of God’s law in grave matters. Now
I put it to you: Does he gravely transgress the law of God who controverts
what God has revealed, who would exclude God and all holy subjects from
the schools, who would rob the church of her independence, and make of her
a mere state machine unfit for the fulfilment of her high mission? There
is not one of you but is ready to declare: ‘Yes, such an one transgresses
grievously the law of God.’ This answer at the same time solves the other
question, whether it is a mortal sin to put arms in the hands of an enemy
of religion that he may use them against faith and morality. Would that
all men of Christian sentiment seriously adverted to this connection of
things and acted accordingly, the baneful sway of the pernicious spirit
that governs the age would soon be at an end; for I have confidence in the
sound sense and moral rectitude of the German people. Heathenism is
repugnant to the deeply religious nature of our nation; the German people
do not wish to dethrone God, nor are they ready to bow the knee before the
empty idol of a soulless enlightenment.”

Here the speaker was interrupted by a tumult. A band of factorymen,
yelling and laughing, rushed into the hall to disturb the meeting. All
eyes were immediately turned upon the rioters. In every countenance
indignation could be seen kindling at this outrage of the liberals. The
commissary of police alone sat motionless as a statue. The progressionist
rioters elbowed their way into the crowd, and, when the excitement caused
by this strategic movement had subsided, the speaker resumed his
discourse.

“For a number of years back our conduct has been misrepresented and
calumniated. They call us men of no nationality, and pretend that we get
our orders from Rome. This reproach does honor neither to the intelligence
nor to the judgment of our opponents. Whence dates the division of Germany
into discordant factions? When began the present faint and languishing
condition of our fatherland? From the moment when it separated from Rome.
So long as Germany continued united in the bond of the same holy faith,
and the voice of the head of the church was hearkened to by every member
of her population, her sovereigns held the golden apple, the symbol of
universal empire. Our nation was then the mightiest, the proudest, the
most glorious upon earth. The church who speaks through the Sovereign
Pontiff had civilized the fierce sons of Germany, had conjured the hatred
and feuds of hostile tribes, had united the interests and energies of our
people in one holy faith, and had ennobled and enriched German genius
through the spirit of religion. The church had formed out of the chaos of
barbarism the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation—that gigantic and
wonderful organization the like of which the world will never see again.
But the church has long since been deprived of the leadership in German
affairs, and what in consequence is now the condition of our fatherland?
It is divided into discordant factions, it is an ailing trunk, with many
members, but without a head.

“It is rather amusing that the ultramontanes should be charged with
receiving orders from Rome, for the voice of the Father of Christianity
has not been heard for many years back in the council of state.”

“Hurrah for the Syllabus!” cried Spitzkopf, who was at the head of the
rioters. “Hurrah for the Syllabus!” echoed his gang, yelling and stamping
wildly.

The ultramontanes were aroused, eyes glared fiercely, and fists were
clenched ready to make a summary clearing of the hall. But no scuffle
ensued; the ultramontanes maintained a dignified bearing. The speaker
calmly remained in his place, and when the tumult had ceased he again went
on with his discourse.

“Such only,” said he, “take offence at the Syllabus as know nothing about
it. There is not a word in the Syllabus opposed to political liberty or
the most untrammelled self‐government of the German people. But it is
opposed to the fiendish terrorism of infidelity. The Syllabus condemns the
diabolical principles by which the foundations of the Christian state are
sapped and a most disastrous tyranny over conscience is proclaimed.”

“Hallo! listen to that,” cried one of the liberals, and the yelling was
renewed, louder, longer, and more furious than before.

The chairman rang his bell. The revellers relapsed into silence.

“Ours is not a public meeting, but a mere private gathering,” explained
the chairman. “None but men of Christian principles have been invited. If
others have intruded violently, I request them to leave the room, or, at
least, to refrain from conduct unbecoming men of good‐breeding.”

Spitzkopf laughed aloud, his comrades yelled and stamped.

“Let us go!” said Greifmann to Gerlach in an angry tone.

“Let us stay!” rejoined the latter with excitement. “The affair is
becoming interesting. I want to see how this will end.”

The banker noticed Gerlach’s suppressed indignation; he observed it in the
fire of his eyes and the expression of unutterable contempt that had
spread over his features, and he began to consider the situation as
alarming. He had not expected this exhibition of brutal impertinence. In
his estimation an infringement of propriety like the one he had just
witnessed was a far more heinous transgression than the grossest
violations in the sphere of morals. He judged of Gerlach’s impressions by
this standard of appreciation, and feared the behavior of the
progressionist mob would produce an effect in the young man’s mind far
from favorable to the cause which they represented. He execrated the
disturbance of the liberals, and took Seraphin’s arm to lead him away.

“Come away, I beg of you! I cannot imagine what interest the rudeness of
that uncultivated horde can have for you.”

“Do not scorn them, for they are honestly earning their pay,” rejoined
Gerlach.

“What do you mean?”

“Those fellows are whistling, bawling, stamping, and yelling in the employ
of progress. You are trying to give me an insight into the nature of
modern civilization: could there be a better opportunity than this?”

“There you make a mistake, my dear fellow! Enlightened progress is never
rude.”

To Be Continued.



Gavazzi Versus The See Of S. Peter.


By a Protestant Doctor of Philosophy.



Introductory Note.


The topic of this article has already been fully and satisfactorily
treated in THE CATHOLIC WORLD. It is well, however, to adopt, in handling
the truth, Voltaire’s maxim in regard to falsehood, and to keep
continually repeating those truths which are frequently denied. Not only
the mountebank Gavazzi, but others more respectable than he is, keep on
reasserting the denial of S. Peter’s Roman Episcopate, notwithstanding the
evidence which has been over and over again presented in proof of it by
Protestant as well as Catholic writers. We, therefore, willingly give
admission to the present article, which, we may as well state, has been
printed from the author’s MS. copy, without any alteration.—ED. C. W.

                  ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

At our examination in the diocese of the Protestant Episcopal Church in
which we took holy orders, the question of S. Peter’s being at Rome was
debated with some warmth by the clerical examiners and the bishop. We had
at that time just passed our majority, and, while our reading had been
pretty full, we had not touched the subject of this article, for it was
indeed comparatively new to us. We remember well the remark of our bishop,
whose opinion on theological questions we held in veneration. He was
prominent on the bench of bishops as one of the most learned of our
prelates, and he had wielded his pen in defence of Anglican Church
principles with great reputation to himself among Episcopalians,
particularly the High Church school of religious thought. At the period to
which we refer, he gave it as his opinion that it was extremely doubtful
that S. Peter ever visited Rome, and that he was the first bishop of its
See was beyond the province of historical proof. Previous to this date in
our studies, we would as lief have questioned the fact of the existence of
Rome itself as that of S. Peter’s residence there, and his occupancy of
that metropolitan see. We had reached this conclusion by no investigation:
it was, rather, one of those traditional questions which fix themselves in
the mind without much thought in either direction. The fact, as we
supposed, had never been doubted. To hear for the first time a denial of
its truth, and that, too, from our ecclesiastical superior, made an
impression upon our mind which led us to investigate the subject as soon
as time and opportunity were afforded us. From that day to this, we have
heard the same theory advanced by Protestant clergymen of every shade of
denominational opinion, and in the minds of many it has lodged itself as
one of those mooted questions which baffle historical proof.

About twenty years ago, an Italian known as “Father Gavazzi” visited the
United States. His crusade against the Church of Rome during that visit is
familiar to all. Of its merits or the motives which prompted it we do not
propose to speak, as it is foreign to the subject to which the interest of
the reader is invited. Again the same Alessandro Gavazzi, as
“Commissioner” of what he denominates the “Free Christian Church of
Italy,” is lecturing to audiences in our principal cities, for the purpose
of securing subscriptions for “evangelization” and for the “Biblical
College in Rome.” What these terms may mean we do not know, and of them we
have no disposition to speak. In the month of June last, “Father Gavazzi”
was advertised to lecture under the auspices of the Young Men’s Christian
Association in the city in which we reside. Among others, who had no
interest perhaps in the especial work in which he is engaged, we attended
his lecture. From a report of the lecture in the issue of a daily paper of
the following morning we make the quotation which forms the text, upon
which we propose to place before the reader some historical proofs for the
belief that S. Peter was at Rome.

“Father Gavazzi” said: “A discussion was proposed in Rome as to whether S.
Peter was ever there or not. The Pope favored, insisted upon it, and in
two days his chosen champions retired defeated from the contest. That is
something. The Bible is entirely silent on this subject. But the priests
say that is merely negative proof. The silence of S. Luke is, however,
positive proof that S. Peter was never there. The discussion of this
subject, once prohibited in Rome, is now talked of freely in all public
places. It was his delight to fight the Pope. Pius IX. was no more the
successor of S. Peter than he was the successor of the emperor of China.
_S. Peter was never in Rome to be succeeded by anybody._”

Modern investigation at best has done little to clear up the difficulties
connected with the geographical history of the Apostle Peter. That he was
at Rome, and suffered martyrdom in that city, is the general belief of the
fathers. And it was not until the dawn of the Reformation that the
apostle’s journey to that city, and his martyrdom there, became even a
subject of doubt. So great was the anxiety of some to disprove the Primacy
of the Roman See that scholarly men lent themselves to the repetition of
myths and traditions which had no foundation in fact, and later writers,
biased by early education and ecclesiastical connection, have even
introduced into historical literature mythical stories, the germs of which
run through the popular mythology of ancient and modern times. If, they
argue, it can be proved that S. Peter was never at Rome, then we at once
overturn the pretensions of the Papacy; or, again, if we can demonstrate
that there is a break in the chain of succession of its bishops from S.
Peter, the belief in the doctrine of an apostolic succession is clearly
disproved, and the idea of a line of bishops reaching back through the
long period of the _Mores Catholici_, or _Ages of Faith_, only a senseless
forgery which originated with some monk the abbot of whose monastery was
perhaps the first to give it form after he had ascended the chair of
Peter. Mosheim, a respectable writer in the Protestant world, blinded by a
singular prejudice which led him at times to forget the critical duties of
the historian, is one among the few German scholars who has tarnished the
pages of his _Ecclesiastical History_ by giving credence to the fabulous
story of Pope Joan. “Between Leo IV., who died 855, and Benedict III.,”
says he, “a woman who concealed her sex and assumed the name of John, it
is said, opened her way to the pontifical throne by her learning and
genius, and governed the church for a time. She is commonly called the
Papess Joan. During five subsequent centuries the witnesses to this
extraordinary event are without number; _nor did any one prior to the
Reformation by Luther regard the thing as either incredible or disgraceful
to the church_.” The earliest writer from whom any information relating to
the fable of Pope Joan is derived is Marianus Scotus, a monk of S. Martin
of Cologne, who died A.D. 1086. He left a chronicle which has received
many additions by later writers, and among those interpolations the
students of mythical lore regard the passage which refers to this story.
Platina, who wrote the _Lives of the Popes_ anterior to the time of Martin
Luther, relates the legend, and, with more of the critical acumen than
Mosheim, adds: “These things which I relate are popular reports, but
derived from uncertain and obscure authors, which I have therefore
inserted briefly and baldly, lest I should seem to omit obstinately and
pertinaciously what most people assert.” The legend of Pope Joan has been
so thoroughly exposed that no controversialist of discrimination thinks of
reviving it as an argument against the succession of the Bishops of Rome.
Now and then it may be related to an ignorant crowd by an anti‐popery
mountebank of our cities during times of religious excitement, but it is
never heard from the lips of an educated Protestant. We are inclined to
think, however, that the class of minds that seeks to throw doubt upon S.
Peter’s residence at Rome in order to subvert the Primacy of the Apostolic
See would not hesitate, in view of the evidence from early ecclesiastical
writers, to introduce again this Papess Joan to their unlearned readers.

Turning, then, to the proofs of the subject of our paper, we take as the
motto for our investigation of this and all kindred ecclesiastical
questions the golden words of Tertullian: “Id esse verum, quodcunque
primum; id esse adulterum quodcunque posterius.”(4) Or that petition of a
great Anglican divine: “Grant, O Lord! that, in reading thy Holy Word, I
may never prefer my private sentiments before those of the church in the
purely ancient times of Christianity.”(5)

The earliest testimony is borne by S. Ignatius. He was closely connected
with the apostles, both as a hearer of their teachings and sharer of the
extraordinary mysteries of their faith.(6) S. John was his Christian
Gamaliel, at whose feet he was taught the doctrines of Christianity, which
prepared him not only to wear the mitre of Antioch, the most cultivated
metropolis of the East, but also to receive the brighter crown of a
martyr’s agonizing death. Full of years, the follower of the beloved
disciple was hurried to Rome, to seal with his blood the truth of the
religion of Christ. On his journey to the pagan capital, he was permitted
to tarry for a season at Smyrna, to visit, for the last time, S. Polycarp,
the aged bishop of that city. Here, in view of the dreadful death that
awaited him in the Roman amphitheatre, and in communion with the revered
fellow‐laborer of his life, he wrote his four epistles. From the one to
the Romans we quote the following evidence: “I do not command you as S.
Peter and S. Paul did; they were apostles of Jesus Christ, and I am a mere
nothing” (the least).(7) “What can be more clear,” says the Anglican
expositor of the Creed, Bishop Pearson, “from these words than that this
most holy martyr was of opinion that Peter, no less than Paul, preached
and suffered at Rome?”

Eusebius relates, upon the authority of Papias and S. Clement of
Alexandria, that “S. Mark wrote his gospel at the request of S. Peter’s
hearers in Rome,” and he further adds that “S. Peter mentions S. Mark in
his first epistle, written from Rome, which he figuratively calls
Babylon.”(8)

S. Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, in his epistle addressed to the Romans,
affirms that S. Peter and S. Paul preached the Gospel in Corinth and in
Rome, and suffered martyrdom about the same time in the latter city.(9)

S. Irenæus, Bishop of Lyons, who was born at Smyrna, though of Greek
extraction, had been the disciple of S. Polycarp, Pothinus, and Papias,
from whose lips he had heard many anecdotes of the apostles and their
immediate followers. He was alike eminent both as a scholar in the
learning of the times and as a controversialist of no mean repute. The
part he bore against the Gnostic and other heresies rendered his name
illustrious, not only within the limits of his episcopal jurisdiction, but
wherever the claims of Christianity had been presented. The wonderful
aptness with which he interwove Scripture and scriptural phraseology into
his style, not altogether unpolished, is perhaps unequalled in patristic
theology. Residing in a city whose language and intellectual
characteristics differed from those of his native country, his writings
are essentially foreign, and, with few exceptions, were lost at an early
period. In the fragments which remain we find an unequivocal testimony in
behalf of the subject under discussion. His language is: “S. Peter and S.
Paul preached the Gospel in Rome, and laid the foundation of the
church.”(10)

Caius, a learned Roman presbyter, and, as some suppose, bishop, arguing
against Proclus, the chief champion of Montanism at Rome, says that he can
“show the trophies of the apostles.” “For if you will go,” he continues,
“to the Vatican, or to the Ostian Road, you will find the trophies of
those who have laid the foundation of this church.”(11)

Origen, a man of encyclopædic learning, who had been carefully nurtured by
Christian parents, and who was imbued with the hardy, stern culture of the
Greek literature, at the early age of eighteen became the leader of the
Alexandrine school of Christian philosophy. He proved no unworthy
successor of the logical Clement. Certainly no name stands higher in the
catechetical school than that of the iron‐souled Origen (ἀδαμάντινος). The
eloquent teachings of this youthful master nerved many a Christian soul to
endure with fortitude the fiery trials of martyrdom, and even comforted
the bleeding heart of Leonides, his father, who became a victim of the
unrelenting persecutions of Severus. From Origen we learn “that S. Peter,
after having preached through Pontus, Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and
Asia, to the Jews that were scattered abroad, went at last to Rome, where
he was crucified.” “These things,” says Eusebius, “are related by Origen
in the third book of his Τῶν εἰς τὴν Γένεσιν ἐξηγητικῶν.”(12)

Tertullian by birth was a heathen and Carthaginian. He was the son of a
centurion, and had been educated in all the varied learning of Greece and
Rome. Skilled as a rhetorician and advocate in Rome, he brought, on his
conversion to Christianity, the accomplishments of a highly cultivated
intellect, but a sombre and irritable temper. The natural lawlessness of a
mind guided by a passionate and stubborn disposition led him gradually to
renounce the truths which the light of a higher intelligence had revealed,
until at last he was anathematized for his Montanistic teachings. His
writings are an invaluable addition to the Punic‐Latin theology, and a
repository from which we receive great information concerning the polemic
questions which at that period harassed the Christian church. Upon the
subject of our article he writes as follows: “Let them, then, give us the
origin of their churches; let them unfold the series of their bishops,
coming down in succession from the beginning, so that the first bishop was
appointed and preceded by any of the apostles, or apostolic men, who,
nevertheless, preserved in communion with the apostles, had an ordainer
and predecessor. For in this way the apostolic churches exhibit their
origin; thus the Church of Smyrna relates that Polycarp was placed there
by John, as the Church of Rome also relates that Clement was ordained by
Peter.”(13)

Again: “If thou be adjacent to Italy, there thou hast Rome, whose
authority is near at hand to us. How happy is this church, to which the
apostles poured forth their whole doctrine with their blood! where Peter
is assimilated to our Lord; where Paul is crowned with a death like that
of John.”(14)

And again: “Let us see with what milk the Corinthians were fed by Paul;
according to what rule the Galatians were reformed; what laws were to the
Philippians, Thessalonians, Ephesians; what also the Romans sound in our
ears, to whom Peter and Paul left the Gospel sealed with their blood.”(15)

To this list of witnesses we might add the testimony of the fathers and
ecclesiastical writers who have flourished in different ages of the
church, but we now propose to briefly survey the opinions of some of the
most noted Protestant commentators.

The First Epistle of S. Peter is said by the apostle to have been written
from Babylon, but whether it be Babylon in Chaldea, Babylon in Egypt,
Jerusalem, or Rome, has given rise to much speculation.(16) Our Lord
foretold the manner of St. Peter’s death,(17) and an event of such
importance would naturally have awakened more than ordinary interest.
Seven cities claimed the honor of Homer’s birth,(18) but no other place
than Rome ever assumed to itself the glory of the apostle’s martyrdom.
Controversies arose concerning the time of celebrating Easter, the baptism
of heretics, and questions of a like nature, yet none disputed the place
in which S. Peter was martyred. It is highly improbable that S. Peter ever
visited either Babylon in Egypt or Babylon in Chaldea. Certainly no fact
of history nor even possibility of conjecture furnishes the least
warrantable presumption of either opinion. The great burden of proof
points toward Rome. Like Babylon, pagan Rome was idolatrous. Like Babylon,
it persecuted the church of God. Like Babylon, the glory of its pagan
temple and fane had departed. In many manuscripts this epistle is dated
from Rome.

Calvin, who little regarded the authority of the fathers, when, in the
presumption of his self‐opinionated orthodoxy, he said: “All the ancients
were driven into error,”(19) yet from evidence the most patent he believed
that S. Peter suffered martyrdom at Rome. His language is: “Propter
scriptorum consensum non pugno quin illic mortuus fuerit.”(20)

“On the meaning of the word Babylon,” says Grotius, one of the most
celebrated of the Calvinistic school, “ancient and modern interpreters
disagree. The ancients understand it of Rome, and that Peter was there no
true Christian ever doubted; the moderns understand it of Babylon in
Chaldea. I adhere to the ancients.”(21)

Rosenmüller, of whom an able American critic has said, “He is almost
everywhere a local investigator,”(22) has left his testimony in the same
language as Grotius: “Veteres Romam interpretantur.”

Dr. Campbell very reluctantly yielded, by the force of evidence, to the
same opinion when he wrote: “I am inclined to think that S. Peter’s
martyrdom must have been at Rome, both because it is agreeable to the
unanimous voice of antiquity, and because the sufferings of so great an
apostle could not fail to be of such notoriety in the church as to
preclude the possibility of an imposition in regard to the place.”(23)

“From a careful examination of the evidence adduced,” says the learned
Horne, “for the literal meaning of the word Babylon, and of the evidence
for its figurative or mystical application to Rome, we think that the
_latter_ was intended.”(24)

We commend to “Father Gavazzi,” and to the Rev. Doctors Sunderland and
Newman of Washington, who are ever ready to throw down the gauntlet when
an argument is made to prove that S. Peter was at Rome, the language of
the logical and laborious Macknight, who clearly expresses our own view,
and whose diligence, learning, and moderation were so fully appreciated by
Bishop Tomline: “It is not for our honor nor for our interest, either as
Christians or Protestants, to deny the truth of events ascertained by
early and well‐attested tradition. If any make an ill use of such facts,
we are not accountable for it. We are not, from a dread of such abuses, to
overthrow the credit of all history, the consequences of which would be
fatal.”(25)



Number Thirteen. An Episode Of The Commune.


Mlle. de Lemaque and her sister Mme. de Chanoir lived at No. 13 Rue
Royale. They were the daughters of a military man whose fortune when he
married consisted in his sword, nothing else; and of a noble Demoiselle de
Cambatte, whose wedding portion, according to the good old French fashion,
was precisely the same as her husband’s, minus the sword. But over and
above this joint capital the young people had a good stock of hope and
courage, and an inexhaustible fund of love; they had therefore as good a
chance of getting on as other young folk who start in life under the same
pecuniary disadvantages. M. de Lemaque, moreover, had friends in high
place who looked kindly on him, and promised him countenance and
protection, and there was no reason, as far as he and his wife could see,
why he should not in due time clutch that legendary baton which Napoleon
declared every French soldier carries in his knapsack. Nor, indeed,
looking at things from a retrospective point of view, was there any
reason, that we can see, why he should not have died a marshal of France,
except that he died too soon. The young soldier was in a fair way of
climbing to the topmost rung of the military ladder; but just as he had
got his foot on the third rung, Death stepped down and met him, and he
climbed no further. His wife followed him into the grave three years
later. They left two daughters, Félicité and Aline, the only fruits of
their short and happy union. The orphans were educated at the Legion of
Honor, and then sent adrift on the wide, wide world, to battle with its
winds and waves, to sink or swim as best they could. They swam. Perhaps I
ought rather say they floated. The eldest, Félicité, was married from S.
Denis to an old general, who, after a reasonably short time, had the
delicacy to betake himself to a better world, leaving his gay wife a widow
at the head of an income of £40 a year. Aline might have married under
similar circumstances, but, after turning it over in her mind, she came to
the conclusion that, all things considered, since it was a choice of
evils, and that she must earn her bread in some way, she preferred earning
it and eating it independently as a single woman. This gave rise to the
only quarrel the sisters had had in their lives. Félicité resented the
disgrace that Aline was going to put on the family name by degenerating
into a giver of private lessons, when she might have secured forty pounds
a year for ever by a few years’ dutiful attendance on a brave man who had
fought his country’s battles.

“Well, if you can find me a warrior of ninety,” said the younger sister, a
month before she left S. Denis, “I’m not sure that he might not persuade
me; but I never will capitulate under ninety; I couldn’t trust a man under
that; they live for ever when they marry between sixty and eighty, and
there are no tyrants like them; now, I would do my duty as a kind wife for
a year or so, but I’ve no notion of taking a situation as nurse for
fifteen or twenty years, and that’s what one gets by marrying a young man
of seventy or thereabouts.”

Félicité urged her own case as a proof to the contrary. Général de Chanoir
was only sixty‐eight when she married him, and he retired at seventy.
Aline maintained, however, that this was the one exception necessary to
prove the rule to the present generation, and as no eligible _parti_ of
fourscore and ten presented itself before she left school, she held to her
resolve, and started at once as a teacher.

The sisters took an apartment together, if two rooms, a cabinet de
toilette, and a cooking‐range in a dark passage, dignified by the name of
kitchen, can be called an apartment, and for six years they lived very
happily.

Mme. de Chanoir was small and fair, and very distinguished‐looking. She
had never known a day’s illness in her life, but she was a hypochondriac.
She believed herself afflicted with a spine disease, which necessitated
reclining all day long on the sofa in a Louis Quinze dressing‐gown and a
Dubarry cap.

Aline was tall and dark, not exactly pretty, but indescribably piquant.
Without being delicate, her health was far less robust than her sister’s;
but she was blessed with indomitable spirits and a fund of energy that
carried her through a variety of aches and pains, and often bore her
successfully through her round of daily work when another would have given
in.

The domestic establishment of the sisters consisted in a charwoman, who
rejoiced in the name of Mme. Cléry. She was a type of a class almost
extinct in Paris now; a dainty little cook, clean as a sixpence, honest as
the sun, orderly as a clock, a capital servant in every way. She came
twice a day to No. 13, two hours in the morning and three hours in the
afternoon, and the sisters paid her twenty francs a month. She might have
struck for more wages, and rather than let her go they would have managed
to raise them; but Mme. Cléry was born before strikes came into fashion,
it was quite impossible to say how long before; her age was incalculable;
her youth belonged to that class of facts spoken of as beyond the memory
of the oldest man in the district. Aline used to look at her sometimes,
and wonder if she really could have been born, and if she meant to die
like other people; the crisp, wiry old woman looked the sort of person
never to have either a beginning or an end; they had had her now for eight
years—at least Mme. de Chanoir had—and there was not the shadow of a
change in her. Her gowns were like herself, they never wore out, neither
did her caps—high Normandy caps, with flaps extended like a wind‐mill in
repose, stiff, white, and uncompromising. Everything about her was
antiquated. She had a religious regard for antiquity in every shape, and a
proportionate contempt for modernism; but, of all earthly things, what her
soul loved most was an old name, and what it most despised a new one. She
used to say that if she chose to cook the _rotis_ of a parvenu she might
make double the money, and it was true; but she could not bend her spirit
to it; she liked her dry bread and herbs better from a good family than a
stalled ox from upstarts. She was as faithful as a dog to her two
mistresses, and consequently lorded over them like a step‐mother,
perpetually bullying and scolding, and bewailing her own infatuation in
staying with them while she might be turning a fatter pullet on her own
spit at home than the miserable _coquille_ at No. 13 ever held a fire to.
Why had she not the sense to take the situation that M. X——, the _agent de
change_, across the street, had offered her again and again? The _femme de
ménage_ was, in fact, as odious and exasperating as the most devoted old
servant who ever nursed a family from the cradle to the grave. But let any
one else dare so much as cast a disrespectful glance at either of her
victims! She shook her fist at the _concierge’s_ wife one day for
venturing to call Mme. de Chanoir Mme. de Chanoir _tout court_, instead of
Mme. la Générale de Chanoir, to a flunky who came with a note, and she
boxed the _concierge’s_ ears for speaking of Aline as “l’Institutrice.” As
Mme. la Générale’s sofa was drawn across the window that looked into the
court, she happened to be an eye‐witness to the two incidents, and heard
every word that was said. This accidental disclosure of Mme. Cléry’s
regard for the family dignity before outsiders covered a multitude of sins
in the eyes of both the sisters. Indeed, Mme. de Chanoir came at last, by
force of habit, almost to enjoy being bullied by the old soul. “_Cela nous
pose, ma chère_,” she would remark complacently, when the wind from the
kitchen blew due north, and Aline threatened to mutiny.

Aline never could have endured it if she had been as constantly tried as
her easy‐going sister was; but, lucky for all parties, she went out
immediately after breakfast, and seldom came in till late in the
afternoon, when the old beldame was busy getting ready the dinner.

It was a momentous life they led, the two young women, but, on the whole,
it was a happy one. Mme. de Chanoir, seeing how bravely her sister carried
the burden she had taken up, grew reconciled to it in time. They had a
pleasant little society, too; friends who had known them from their
childhood, some rich and in good positions, others struggling like
themselves in a narrow cage and under difficult circumstances; but one and
all liked the sisters, and brought a little contingent of sunshine to
their lives. As to Aline, she had sunshine enough in herself to light up
the whole Rue Royale. Every lesson she gave, every incident of the day, no
matter how trivial, fell across her path like a sunbeam; she had a knack
of looking at things from a sunny focus that shot out rays on every object
that came within its radius, and of extracting amusement or interest from
the most commonplace things and people; even her own vexations she had
turned into ridicule. Her position of governess was a fountain of fun to
her. When another would have drawn gall from a snub, and smarted and been
miserable under a slight, Aline de Lemaque saw a comic side to the
circumstance, and would dress it up in a fashion that diverted herself and
her friends for a week. Moreover, the young lady was something of a
philosopher.

“You never find out human nature till you come to earn your own bread—I
mean, women don’t,” she used to say to Mme. de Chanoir. “If I were the
mother of a family of daughters, and wanted to teach them life, I’d make
every one of them, no matter how big their _dots_ were, begin by running
after the _cachet_. Nobody who hasn’t tried it would believe what a castle
of truth it is to one—a mirror that shows up character to the life, a sort
of moral photography. It is often as good as a play to me to watch the
change that comes over people when, after talking to them, and making
myself pass for a very agreeable person, I suddenly announce the fact that
I give lessons. Their whole countenance changes, not that they look on me
straightway with contempt. Oh! dear no. Many good Christians, people of
the ’help yourself and God will help you’ sect, conceive, on the contrary,
a great respect for me; but I become metamorphosed on the spot. I am not
what they took me for, they took me for a lady, and all the time I was a
governess! They did not think the less of me, but they can’t help feeling
that they have been taken in; that, in fact, I’m an altogether different
variety from themselves, and it is very odd they did not recognize it at
first sight. But these are the least exciting experiences. The great fun
is when I get hold of an out‐and‐out worldly individual, man or woman, but
a woman is best, and let them go on till they have thoroughly committed
themselves, made themselves gushingly agreeable to me, perhaps gone the
length of asking, in a significant manner, if I live in their
neighborhood; then comes the crisis. I smile my gladdest, and say,
‘Monsieur, or Madame, I give lessons!’ _Changement de décoration à vue
d’œil, ma chère._ It’s just as if I _lancéd_ an _obus_ into the middle of
the company, only it rebounds on me and hits nobody else; the eyebrows of
the company go up, the corners of its mouth go down, and it bows to me as
I sit on the ruins of my respectability, shattered to pieces by my own
_obus_.”

“I can’t understand how you can laugh at it. If I were in your place, I
should have died of vexation and wounded pride long ago,” said Mme. de
Chanoir, one day, as Aline related in high glee an obus episode that she
had had that morning; “but I really believe you have no feeling.”

“Well, whatever I have, I keep out of the reach of vulgar impertinence. I
should be very sorry to make my feelings a target for insolence and bad
breeding,” replied Aline pertly. This was the simple truth. Her feelings
were out of the reach of such petty shafts; they were cased in
cheerfulness and common sense, and a nobler sort of pride than that in
which Mme. de Chanoir considered her sister wanting. If, however, the obus
was frequently fatal to Mlle. de Lemaque’s social standing, on the other
hand it occasionally did her good service; but of this later. Its present
character was that of an explosive bomb which she carried in her pocket,
and _lancéd_ with infinite gusto on every available opportunity.

On Saturday evening the sisters were “at home.” These little soirées were
the great event of their quiet lives. All the episodes and anecdotes of
the week were treasured up for that evening, when the intimes came to see
them and converse and sip a glass of cold _eau sucrée_ in summer, and a
cup of hot ditto in winter (but then it was called tea) by the light of a
small lamp with a green shade. There was no attempt at entertainment or
finery of any kind, except that Mme. Cléry, instead of going home as soon
as the dinner things were washed up, stayed to open the door. It was a
remnant of the sort of society that used to exist in French families some
thirty years ago, when conversation was cultivated as the primary
accomplishment of men and women, and when they met regularly to exercise
themselves in the difficult and delightful art. It was not reserved to the
well‐born exclusively to talk well and brilliantly in those days, when the
most coveted encomium that could be passed on any one was, “He talks
well.” All classes vied for it; every circle had its centre of
conversation. The _fauteuil de l’aïeule_ and the salon of the _femme
d’esprit_, each had its audience, attended as assiduously, and perhaps
enjoyed quite as much, as the vaudevilles and ambigus that have since
drawn away the bourgeois from the one and the man of fashion from the
other. Besides its usual habitués for conversation, every circle had one
habitué who was looked upon as the friend of the family, and tacitly took
precedence of all the others. The friend of the family at No. 13 was a
certain professor of the Sorbonne named M. Dalibouze. He was somewhere on
the sunny side of fifty, a bald, pompous little man who wore spectacles,
took snuff, and laid down the law; very prosy and very estimable, a model
professor. He had never married, but it was the dream of his life to
marry. He had meditated on marriage for the last thirty years, and of
course knew more about it than any man who had been married double that
time. He was never so eloquent or so emphatic as when dilating on the joys
and duties of domestic life; no matter how tired he was with study and
scientific researches, how disappointed in the result of some cherished
literary scheme, he brightened up the moment marriage came on the tapis.
This hobby of the professor’s was a great amusement to Mme. de Chanoir,
who delighted to see him jump into the saddle and ride off at a canter
while she lay languidly working at her tapestry, patting him on the back
every now and then, by a word of encouragement, or signifying her assent
merely by a smile or a nod. Sometimes she would take him to task seriously
about putting his theories into practice and getting himself a wife,
assuring him that it was quite wicked of him not to marry when he was so
richly endowed with all the qualities necessary to make a model husband.

“Ah! madame, if I thought I were capable of making a young woman happy!”
M. Dalibouze would exclaim with a sigh; “but at my age! No, I have let my
chance go by.”

“How, sir, at your age!” the générale would protest. “Why, it is the very
flower of manhood, the moment of all others for a man to marry. You have
outlived the delusions of youth and none of its vigor; you have crossed
the Rubicon that separates folly from wisdom, and you have left nothing on
the other side of the bridge but the silly chimera of boyhood. Believe me,
the woman whom you would select would never wish to see you a day
younger.”

And M. Dalibouze would caress his chin, and observe thoughtfully: “Do you
think so, madame?” Upon which Mme. de Chanoir would pour another vial of
oil and honey on the learned head of the professor, till the wonder was
that it did not turn on his shoulders.

Aline had no sympathy with his rhapsodies or his jeremiads; they bored her
to extinction, and sometimes it was all she could do not to tell him so;
but she disapproved of his being made a joke of, and testified against it
very decidedly when Félicité, in a spirit of mischief, led him up to a
more than usually ridiculous culmination. It was not fair, she said, to
make a greater fool of the good little man than he made of himself, and
instead of encouraging him to talk such nonsense one ought to laugh him
out of it, and try and cure him of his silly conceit.

“I don’t see it at all in that light,” Mme. de Chanoir would answer. “In
the first place, if I laughed at him, or rather if I let him see that I
did, he would never forgive me, and, as I have a great regard for him, I
should be sorry to lose his friendship; and in the next place, it’s a
great amusement to me to see him swallow my little doses of flattery so
complacently, and I have no scruple in dosing him, because nothing that I
or any one else could say could possibly add one grain to his self‐
conceit, so one may as well turn it to account for a little
entertainment.”

It was partly this system of flattery, which Aline resented on principle,
that induced her occasionally to snub the professor, and partly the fact
that she had reason to suspect his dreams of married bliss centred upon
herself. In fact, she knew it. He had never told her so outright, for the
simple reason that, whenever he drew near that crisis, Aline cut him short
in such a peremptory manner that it cowed him for weeks, but nevertheless
she knew in her heart of hearts that she reigned supreme over M.
Dalibouze’s. She would not have married him, no, not if he could have
crowned her queen of the Sorbonne and the Collége de France, but the fact
of his being her slave and aspiring to be her master constituted a claim
on her regard which a true‐hearted woman seldom disowns.

Félicité would have favored his suit if there had been the ghost of a
chance for him, but she knew there was not.

Mme. Cléry looked coldly on it. Needless to say, neither M. Dalibouze nor
his cruel‐hearted lady‐love had ever made a confidante of the _femme de
ménage_; but she often remarked to her mistresses when they ventured an
opinion on anything connected with her special department, “Je ne suis pas
née d’hier,” an assertion which, strange to say, even the rebellious Aline
had never attempted to gainsay. Mme. Cléry was not, indeed, born
yesterday, moreover she was a Frenchwoman, and a particularly wide‐awake
one, and from the first evening that she saw Aline sugaring M. Dalibouze’s
tea, dropping in lump after lump in that reckless way, while the little
man held his cup and beamed at her through his spectacles as if he meant
to stand there for ever simpering, “Merci encore!”—it occurred to Mme.
Cléry when she saw this that there was more in it than tea‐making. Of
course it was natural and proper that a young woman, especially an orphan,
should think of getting married, but it was right and proper that her
friends should think of it too, and see that she married the proper
person. Now, on the face of it, M. Dalibouze could not be the proper
person. Nevertheless, Mme. Cléry waited till the suspicion that M.
Dalibouze had settled it in his own mind that he was that man took the
shape of a conviction before she considered it her duty to interfere.

By interfering Mme. Cléry meant going _aux renseignements_. Nobody ever
got true _renseignements_, especially when there was a marriage in
question, except people like her; ladies and gentlemen never get behind
the scenes with each other, or, if they do, they never tell what they see
there. They are very sweet and smiling when they meet in the salon, and
nobody guesses that madame has rated her _femme de chambre_ for not
putting the flowers in her hair exactly to her fancy, or that monsieur has
flung a boot at his valet for giving him his shaving‐water too hot or too
cold. If you want the truth, you must get it by the back‐stairs. This was
Mme. Cléry’s belief, and, acting upon it, she went to M. Dalibouze’s
_concierge_ in the Rue Jean Beauvais to consult him confidentially about
his _locataire_.

The first thing to be ascertained before entering on such secondary
details as character, conduct, etc., was whether or not the professor was
of a good enough family to be entertained at all as a husband for Mlle. de
Lemaque. On this _sine qua non_ question the _concierge_ could
unfortunately throw no light. The professor had a multitude of friends,
all respectable people, many of them _décorés_, who drove to the door in
spruce _coupés_, but of his family Pipelet knew nothing; of his personal
respectability there was no doubt whatever; he was the kindest of men, a
very pearl of tenants, always in before midnight, and gave forty francs to
Pipelet on New Year’s day, not to count sundry other little bonuses on
minor _fêtes_ during the year. But so long as her mind was in darkness on
the main point, all this was no better than sounding brass in the ears of
Mme. Cléry.

“Has he, or has he not, the _particule_?” she demanded, cutting Pipelet
short in the middle of his panegyric.

“The _particule_?” repeated Pipelet. “What’s that?”

“The _particule nobiliaire_,” explained Mme. Cléry, with a touch of
contempt. “There is some question of a marriage between him and one of my
ladies; but, if M. Dalibouze hasn’t got the _particule_, it’s no use
thinking of it.”

“Madame,” said Pipelet, assuming a meditative air—he was completely at sea
as to what this essential piece of property might be, but did not like to
own his ignorance—“I’m not a man to set up for knowing more of my tenant’s
business than I do, and M. Dalibouze has never opened himself to me about
how or where his money was placed; but I could give you the name of his
agent, if I thought it would not compromise me.”

“I’m not a woman to compromise any one that showed me confidence,” said
Mme. Cléry, tightening her lips, and bobbing her flaps at Pipelet; “but
you need not give me the name of his agent. What sort of a figure should I
make at his agent’s! Give me his own name. How does he spell it?”

“Spell it!” echoed Pipelet.

“A big _D_ or a little _d_?” said Mme. Cléry.

“Why, a big _D_, of course! Who ever spelt their name with a little one?”
retorted Pipelet.

“Ah!...” Mme. Cléry smiled a smile of serene pity on the benighted
ignoramus, and then observed coolly: “I suspected it! I’m not easy to
deceive in that sort of things. I was not born yesterday. Good‐morning, M.
le Concierge.” She moved towards the door.

“Stop!” cried Pipelet, seizing his berette as if a ray of light had shot
through his skull—“stop! Now that I think of it, it’s a little _d_. I have
not a doubt but it’s a little _d_. I noticed it only yesterday on a letter
that came for monsieur, and I said to myself: ‘Let us see!’ I said. ‘What
a queer fancy for a man of distinction like M. le Professeur to spell his
name with a little _d_!’ Là! if I didn’t say those words to myself no
later than yesterday!”

Mme. Cléry was dubious. Unluckily there was no letter in M. Dalibouze’s
box at that moment, which would have settled the point at issue, so she
had nothing for it but to go home, and turn it in her mind what was to be
done next. After all, it was a great responsibility on her. The old soul
considered herself in the light of a protector to the two young women, one
a cripple on the broad of her back, and the other a light‐hearted creature
who believed everything and everybody. It was her place to look after them
as far as she could. That afternoon, when Mme. Cléry went to No. 13, after
her fruitless expedition to the Rue Jean Beauvais, she took a letter in to
Mme. de Chanoir. She had never seen, or, at any rate, never noticed, the
writing before, but as she handed the envelope to her mistress it flashed
upon her that it was from M. Dalibouze, and that it bore on the subject of
her morning’s peregrination.

She seized a feather‐broom that hung by the fireplace, and began
vigorously threatening the clock and the candlesticks, as an excuse for
staying in the room, and watching Mme. de Chanoir in the looking‐glass
while she read the letter. The old woman was an irascible enemy to dust;
they were used to see her at the most inopportune times pounce on the
feather‐broom and begin whipping about her to the right and left, so Mme.
de Chanoir took no notice of this sudden castigation of the chimney‐piece
at four o’clock in the afternoon. She read her note, and then, tossing it
into the basket beside her, resumed her tapestry as if nothing had
occurred to divert her thoughts from roses and Berlin wool.

“Mme. la Générale, pardon and excuse,” said Mme. Cléry, deliberately
hanging the feather‐broom on its nail, and going up to the foot of the
générale’s sofa. “I have it on my mind to ask something of madame.”

“Ask it, my good Mme. Cléry.”

“Does Mme. la Générale think of marrying Mlle. Aline?”

Mme. de Chanoir opened her eyes, and stared for a moment in mild surprise
at her charwoman, then a smile broke over her face, and she said:

“You are thinking that you would not like to come to me if I were alone?”

“I was not thinking of that, madame,” replied Mme. Cléry, in a tone of
ceremony that was not habitual, and which would have boded no good (Mme.
Cléry was never so respectful as when she was going to be particularly
disagreeable), except that she looked very meek, and, Félicité thought,
rather affectionately at her as their eyes met.

“Well,” said Mme. de Chanoir, “I suppose we must marry her some day; I
ought, perhaps, to occupy myself about it more actively than I do; but
there’s time enough to think about it yet; mademoiselle is in no hurry.”

“Dame!” said Mme. Cléry testily, “when a demoiselle has become an old
maid, there is not so much time to lose! Pardon and excuse, Mme. la
Générale, but I thought, I don’t know why, that that letter had something
to do with it?”

“This letter! What could have put that into your head?”

Mme. de Chanoir took up the note to see if the envelope had anything about
it which warranted this romantic suspicion, but it was an ordinary
envelope, with no trace of anything more peculiar than the post‐mark.

“As I have told Mme. la Générale before,” said Mme. Cléry, shaking her
head significantly, “I was not born yesterday”—she emphasized the _not_ as
if Mme. de Chanoir had denied that fact and challenged her to swear to it
on the Bible—“and I don’t carry my eyes in my pocket; and when a
demoiselle heaps lumps of sugar into a gentleman’s cup till it’s as thick
as honey for a spoon to stand in, and a shame to see the substance of the
family wasted in such a way, and she never grudging it a bit, but looking
as if it would be fun to her to turn the sugar‐bowl upside down over it—I
say, when I see that sort of thing, I’m not femme Cléry if there isn’t
something in it.”

Félicité felt inclined to laugh, but she restrained herself, and observed
interrogatively:

“Well, Mme. Cléry, suppose there is?”

This extravagance of sugar on M. Dalibouze was an old grievance of Mme.
Cléry’s. In fact, it had been her only one against the professor, till she
grew to look upon him as the possible husband of Mlle. Aline, and then the
question of his having or not having the _particule_ assumed such alarming
importance in her mind that it magnified all minor defects, and she
believed him capable of every misdemeanor under the sun.

“Mme. la Générale,” she replied, “one does not marry every day; one ought
to think seriously about it; Mlle. Aline has not experience; she is _vive_
and light‐hearted; she is a person to be taken in by outward appearances;
such things as learning, good principles, and _esprit_ would blind her to
serious shortcomings; it is the duty of Mme. la Générale to prevent such a
mistake in time.”

“What sort of shortcomings are you afraid of in M. Dalibouze, Mme. Cléry?”
inquired Mme. de Chanoir, dropping her tapestry, and looking with awakened
curiosity at the old woman.

“Let us begin with a first principle, Mme. la Générale,” observed Mme.
Cléry, demurely slapping the palm of her left hand. “Mlle. Aline is _née_;
the father and mother of mamzelle were both of an excellent family; it is
consequently of the first necessity that her husband should be so, too;
the first thing, therefore, to be considered in a suitor is his name. Now,
has M. Dalibouze the _particule_, or has he not?”

It was a very great effort for Mme. de Chanoir to keep her countenance
under this charge and deliver with which the old woman solemnly closed her
speech, and then stood awaiting the effect on her listener; still, such is
the weakness of human nature, the générale in her inmost heart was
flattered by it; it was pleasant to be looked up to as belonging to a race
above the common herd, to be recognized in spite of her poverty, even by a
_femme de ménage_, as superior to the wealthy parvenus whose fathers and
mothers were not of a good family.

“My good Mme. Cléry,” she said after a moment’s reflection, “you, like
ourselves, were brought up with very different ideas from those that
people hold nowadays. Nobody cares a straw to‐day who a man’s father was,
or whether he had the _particule_ or not; all that they care about is that
he should be well educated, and well conducted, and well off; and, my
dear, one must go with the times, one must give in to the force of public
opinion around one. Customs change with the times. I would, of course,
much rather have a brother‐in‐law of our own rank than one cleverer and
richer who was not; but what would you have? One cannot have everything.
It is not pleasant for me to see Mlle. de Lemaque earning her own bread,
running about the streets like a milliner’s apprentice at all hours of the
day. I would overlook something to see her married to a kind, honorable
man who would keep her in comfort and independence.”

“_Bonté divine!_” exclaimed Mme. Cléry, with a look of deep distress and
consternation, “madame would then actually marry mamzelle to a _bourgeois
sans particule_? For madame admits that M. Dalibouze has not the
_particule_, that he spells his name with a big _D_?”

“Alas! he does,” confessed the générale; “but he comes, nevertheless, of a
good old Normandy stock, Mme. Cléry; his great‐grandfather was _procureur
du roi_ under—”

“Tut! tut!” interrupted Mme. Cléry; “his great‐grandfather may have been
what he liked; if he wasn’t a gentleman, he has no business marrying his
great grandson to a de Lemaque. No, madame; I am a poor woman, but I know
better than that. Mamzelle’s father would turn in his grave if he saw her
married to a man who spelt his name with a big _D_.”

The conversation was interrupted by a ring at the door. It was Aline. She
came back earlier than usual, because one of her pupils was ill and had
not been able to take her lesson. The young girl was flushed and excited,
and flung herself into an arm‐chair the moment she entered, and burst into
tears. Mme. de Chanoir sat up in alarm, fearing she was ill, and suggested
a cup of _tisane_.

“Oh! ’tis nothing. I’m an idiot to mind it or let such impertinence vex
me,” she said, when the first outburst had passed off and relieved her.

“_Mon Dieu!_ but what vexes mamzelle?” inquired Mme. Cléry anxiously.

“A horrid man that followed me the length of the street, and made some
impudent speech, and asked me where I lived,” sobbed Aline.

“Is it possible!” exclaimed the old woman, aghast, and clasping her hands.
“Well, mamzelle does astonish me! I thought young men knew better nowadays
than to go on with that sort of tricks; fifty years ago they used to. I
remember how I was followed and spoken to every time I went to church or
to market; it was a persecution; but now I come and go and nobody minds
me. To think of their daring to speak to mamzelle!”

“That’s what one must expect when one walks about alone at your age, _ma
pauvre_ Aline,” said the générale, rather sharply, with a significant look
at Mme. Cléry which that good lady understood, and resented by compressing
her lips and bobbing her flaps, as much as to say, “One has a principle or
one has not”—principle being in this instance synonymous with _particule_.

Things remained _in statu quo_ after this for some years. Mme. de Chanoir
did not enlighten her sister on the subject of the conference with Mme.
Cléry, but she worked as far as she could in favor of the luckless suitor
who spelt his name with a capital _D_. It was of no use, however. Aline
continued to snub him so pertinaciously and persistently that Mme. de
Chanoir at last gave up his cause as hopeless, and the professor himself,
when he saw this, his solitary stronghold, surrender, thought it best to
raise the siege with a good grace, and make a friendly truce with the
victor. He frankly withdrew from the field of suitors, and took up his
position as a friend of the family. This once done, he accepted its
responsibilities and prerogatives, and held himself on the _qui vive_ to
render any service in his power to Mme. de Chanoir; he kept her
_concierge_ in order, and brought bonbons and flowers to No. 13 on every
possible occasion. He knew Aline was passionately fond of the latter, and
he was careful to keep the flower stand that stood in the pier of the
little salon freshly supplied with her favorite plants, and the vases
filled with her favorite flowers. He never dared to offer her a present,
but under cover of offering them to the générale he kept her informed
about every new book which was likely to interest her. Finally, Frenchman‐
like, having abandoned the hope of marrying her himself, he set to work to
find some more fortunate suitor. This was _par excellence_ the duty of a
friend of the family, and M. Dalibouze was fully alive to its importance.
The disinterested zeal he displayed in the discharge of it would have been
comical if the spirit of genuine self‐sacrifice which animated him had not
touched it with pathos. One by one every eligible _parti_ in the range of
his acquaintance was led up for inspection to No. 13. Mme. de Chanoir
entered complacently into the presentations; they amused her, and she
tried to persuade herself that, sooner or later, something would come of
them; but she knew Aline too well ever to let her into the secret of the
professor’s matrimonial manœuvres. The result would have been to furnish
Mlle. de Lemaque with an _obus_ opportunity and nothing more.

But do what she would, the générale could never cheat Mme. Cléry. The old
woman detected a _prétendant_ as a cat does a mouse. It was an instinct
with her. There was no putting her off the scent. She never said a word to
Mme. de Chanoir, but she had a most aggravating way of making her
understand tacitly that she knew all about it—that, in fact, she was not
born yesterday. This was her system, whenever M. Dalibouze brought a
_parti_ to tea in the evening. Mme. Cléry was seized next day with a
furious dusting fit, and when the générale testified against the feathers
that kept flying out of the broom, Mme. Cléry would observe, in a
significant way:

“Mme. la Générale, that makes an impression when one sees a salon well
dusted; that proves that the servant is capable—that she attends to her
work. Madame does not think of those things, but strangers do.”

It became at length a sort of cabalistic ceremony with the old woman;
intelligible only to Mme. de Chanoir. If Aline came in when the fit was on
her, and ventured to expostulate, and ask what she was doing with the
duster at that time of day, Mme. Cléry would remark stiffly: “Mamzelle
Aline, I am dusting.” Aline came at last to believe that it was a modified
phase of S. Vitus’ dance, and that for want of anything better the old
beldame vented her nerves on imaginary dust which she pursued in holes and
corners with her feathery weapon.

This went on till Mlle. de Lemaque was six‐and‐twenty. She was still a
bright, brave creature, working hard, accepting the privations and toil of
her life in a spirit of sunshiny courage. But the sun was no longer always
shining. There were days now when he drew behind a cloud—when toil pressed
like a burden, and she beat her wings against it, and hated the cage that
cooped her in; and she longed not so much for rest or happiness as for
freedom—for a larger scope and higher aims, and wider, fuller sympathies.
When these cloudy days came around, Aline felt the void of her life with
an intensity that amounted at times to anguish; she felt it all the more
keenly because she could not speak of it. Mme. de Chanoir would not have
understood it. The sisters were sincerely attached to each other, but
there was little sympathy of character between them, and on many points
they were as little acquainted with each other as the neighbors on the
next street. They knew this, and agreed sensibly to keep clear of certain
subjects on which they could never meet except to disagree. The younger
sister, therefore, when the sky was overcast, and when her spirits
flagged, never tried to lean upon the older, but worked against the enemy
in silence, denying herself the luxury of complaint. If her looks betrayed
her, as was sometimes the case, and prompted Mme. de Chanoir to inquire if
there was anything the matter beyond the never‐ending annoyance of life in
general, Aline’s assurance that there was not was invariably followed by
the remark: “_Ma sœur_, I wish you were married.” To which Aline as
invariably replied: “I am happier as I am, Félicité.” It was true, or at
any rate Mlle. de Lemaque thought it was. Under all her surface
indifference she carried a true woman’s heart. She had dreamt her dreams
of happiness, of tender fireside joys, and the dream was so fair and
beautiful that for years it filled her life like a reality, and when she
discovered, or fancied she did, that it was all too beautiful to be
anything but a dream, that the hero of her young imagination would never
cross her path in the form of a mortal husband, Aline accepted the
discovery with a sigh, but without repining, and laid aside all thought of
marriage as a guest that was not for her. As to the marriages that she saw
every day around her, she would no more have bound herself in one of them
than she would have sold herself to an Eastern pasha. Marriage was a very
different thing in her eyes from what it was in Mme. de Chanoir’s. There
was no point on which the sisters were more asunder than on this, and
Aline understood it so well that she avoided touching on it except in
jest. Whenever the subject was introduced, she drew a mask of frivolity
over her real feelings to avoid bringing down the générale’s ridicule on
what she would stigmatize as preposterous sentimentality.

M. Dalibouze alone guessed something of this under‐current of deep feeling
in the young girl’s character. With the subtle instinct of affection he
penetrated the disguise in which she wrapped herself, but, with a delicacy
that she scarcely gave him credit for, he never let her see that he did.
Sometimes, indeed, when one of those fits of _tristesse_ was upon her, and
she was striving to dissemble it by increased cheerfulness towards
everybody, and sauciness towards him, the professor would adapt the
conversation to the tone of her thoughts with a skill and apropos that
surprised her. Once in particular Aline was startled by the way in which
he betrayed either a singularly close observation of her character, or a
still more singular sympathy with its moods and sufferings. It was on a
Saturday evening, the little circle was gathered round the fire, and the
conversation fell upon poetry and the mission of poets amongst common men.
Aline declared that it was the grandest of all missions; that, after the
prophet and priest, the poet did more for the moral well‐being, the
spiritual redemption of his fellows than any other missionary, whether
philosopher, artist, or patriot; he combined them all, in fact, if he
wished it. If he was a patriot, he could serve his country better than a
soldier, by singing her wrongs and her glories, and firing the souls of
her sons, and making all mankind vibrate to the touch of pain, or joy, or
passionate revenge, while he sat quietly by his own hearth; she quoted
Moore and Krazinski, and other patriot bards who living had ruled their
people, and sent down their name a legacy of glory to unborn generations,
till warmed by her subject she grew almost eloquent, and broke off in an
impulsive cry of admiration and envy: “Oh! what a glorious privilege to be
a poet, to be even a man with the power of doing something, of living a
noble life, instead of being a weak, good‐for‐nothing woman!”

The little ring of listeners heard her with pleasure, and thought she must
have a very keen appreciation of the beauties of the poets to speak of
them so well and so fervently. But M. Dalibouze saw more in it than this.
He saw an under‐tone of impatience, of disappointment, of longing to go
and do likewise, to spread her wings and fly, to wield a wand that had
power to make others spread their wings; there was a spirit’s war‐cry in
it, a rebel’s impotent cry against the narrow, inexorable bondage of her
life.

“Yes,” said the professor, “it is a grand mission, I grant you, but it is
not such a rare one as you make it out, Mlle. Aline. There are more poets
in the world than those who write poetry; few of us have the gift of being
poets in language, but we may all be poets in action if we will; we may
live out our lives in poems.”

“If we had the fashioning of our lives, no doubt we might,” asserted Aline
ironically; “but they are most of them so shabby that I defy Homer himself
to manufacture an epic or an idyl out of them.”

“You are mistaken. There is no life too shabby to be a poem,” said M.
Dalibouze; “it is true, we can’t fashion our lives as you say, but we can
color them, we can harmonize them; but we must begin by believing this,
and by getting our elements under command; we must sort them and arrange
them, just as Mme. la Générale is doing with the shreds and silks for the
tapestry, and then go on patiently working out the pattern leaf by leaf;
by‐and‐by when the web gets tangled as it is sure to do with the best
workers, instead of pulling angrily at it, or cutting it with the sharp
scissors of revolt, we must call up a soft breeze from the land of souls
where the spirit of the true poet dwells, and bid it blow over it, and
then let us listen, and we shall hear the spirit‐wind draw tones of music
out of our tangled web, like the breeze sweeping the strings of an Æolian
harp. It is our own fault, or perhaps oftener our own misfortune, if our
lives look shabby to us; we consider them piecemeal instead of looking at
them as a whole.”

“But how can we look at them as a whole?” said Aline. “We don’t even know
that they ever will develop into a whole. How many of us remain on the
easel a sort of washed‐in sketch to the end? It seems to me we are pretty
much like apples in an orchard; some drop off in the flower, some when
they are grown to little green balls, hard and sour and good for nothing;
it is only a little of the tree that comes to maturity.”

“And is there not abundance of poetry in every phase of the apple’s life,
no matter when it falls?” said M. Dalibouze. “How many poems has the
blight of the starry blossom given birth to? And the little green ball,
who will count the odes that the school‐boy has sung to it, not in good
hexameters perhaps, but in sound, heart poetry, full of zest and the gusto
of youth, when all bitters are sweet? O mon Dieu! when I think of the days
when a bright‐green apple was like honey in my mouth, I could be a poet
myself! No _paté de foie gras_ ever tasted half so sweet as that forbidden
fruit of my school‐days!”

“Good for the forbidden fruit!” said Aline, amused at the professor’s
sentiment over the reminiscence; “but that is only one view of the
question: if the apples could speak, they would give us another.”

“Would they?” said M. Dalibouze. “I’m not sure of that. If the apples
discuss the point at all, believe me, they are agreed that whatever
befalls them is the very best thing that could. We have no evidence of any
created thing, vegetable, mineral, or animal, grumbling at its lot; that
is reserved to man, discontent is man’s prerogative, he quarrels with
himself, with his destiny, his neighbors, everything by turns. If we could
but do like the apples, blossom, and grow, and fall, early or late, just
as the wind and the gardener wished, we should be happy. Fancy an apple
quarrelling with the sun in spring for not warming him as he does in
August! It would be no more preposterous than it is for men to quarrel
with their circumstances. The fruit of our lives have their seasons like
the fruit of our gardens; the winter and snows and the sharp winds are
just as necessary to both as the fire of the summer heat; all growth is
gradual, and we must accept the process through which we are brought to
maturity, just as the apples do. It is not the same for all of us; some
are ripened under the warm vibrating sun, others resist it, and, like
certain winter fruit, require the cold twilight days to mellow them. But
it matters little what the process is, it is sure to be the right one if
we wait for it and accept it.”

“I wonder what stage of it I am in at the present moment,” said Aline. “I
can’t say the sun has had much to do with it; the winds and the rain have
been the busiest agents in my garden so far.”

“Patience, mademoiselle!” said M. Dalibouze. “The sun will come in his own
good time.”

“You answer for that?”

“I do.”

Aline looked him straight in the face as she put the question like a
challenge, and M. Dalibouze met the saucy bright eyes with a grave glance
that had more of tenderness in it than she had ever seen there before. It
flashed upon her for a moment that the sun might come to her through a
less worthy medium than this kind, faithful, honorable man, and that she
had been mayhap a fool to her own happiness in shutting the gate on him so
contemptuously.

Perhaps the professor read the thought on her face, for he said in a
penetrated tone, and fixing his eyes upon her:

“The true sun of life is marriage.”

It was an unfortunate remark. Aline tossed back her head, and burst out
laughing. The spell that had held her for an instant was broken.

“A day will come when some one will tell you so, and you will not laugh,
Mlle. Aline,” said M. Dalibouze humbly, and hiding his discomfiture under
a smile.

This was the only time within the last two years that he had betrayed
himself into any expression of latent hope with regard to Mlle. de
Lemaque, and it had no sooner escaped him than he regretted it. The
following Saturday, by way of atonement, he brought up a most desirable
_parti_ for inspection, and next day Mme. Cléry was seized with the
inevitable dusting fit. Nothing, however, came of it.

Things went on without any noticeable change at No. 13 till September,
1870, when Paris was declared in a state of siege. The sisters were not
among those lucky ones who wavered for a time between going and staying,
between the desire to put themselves in safe‐keeping, and the temptation
of living through the _blocus_ and boasting of it for the rest of their
days. There was no choice for them but to stay. Aline, as usual, made the
best of it; she must stay, so she settled it in her mind that she liked to
stay; that it would be a wonderful experience to live through the most
exciting episode that could have broken up the stagnant monotony of their
lives, and that, in fact, it was rather an enjoyable prospect than the
reverse.

Mme. Cléry was commissioned to lay in as ample a store of provisions as
their purse would allow. The good woman did the best she could with her
means, and the little group encouraged each other to face the coming
events like patriotic citizens, cheerfully and bravely. Of the magnitude
of those events, or their own probable share in their national calamities,
they had a very vague notion.

“The situation,” M. Dalibouze assured them, “was critical, but by no means
desperate. On the contrary, France, instead of being at the mercy of her
enemies, was now on the eve of crushing them, of obtaining one of those
astonishing victories which make ordinary history pale. It was the
incommensurable superiority of the French arms that had brought her to
this pass; that had driven Prussia mad with rage and envy, and roused her
to defiance. Infatuated Prussia! she would mourn over her folly once and
for ever. She would find that Paris was not alone the Greece of
civilization and the arts and sciences, but that she was the most
impregnable fortress that ever defied the batteries of a foe. Europe had
deserted Paris, after betraying France to her enemies; now the day of
reckoning was at hand; Europe would reap the fruits of her base jealousy,
and witness the triumph of the capital of the world!”

This was M. Dalibouze’s firm opinion, and he gave it in public and private
to any one who cared to hear it. When Mme. de Chanoir asked if he meant to
remain in Paris through the siege, the professor was so shocked by the
implied affront to his patriotism that he had to control himself before he
could trust himself to answer her.

“_Comment_, Mme. la Générale! You think so meanly of me as to suppose I
would abandon my country at such a crisis! Is it a time to fly when the
enemy is at our gates, and when the nation expects every man to stand
forth and defend her, and scatter those miserable eaters of sauerkraut to
the winds!”

And straightway acting up to this noble patriotic credo, M. Dalibouze had
himself measured for a National Guard uniform. No sooner had he endorsed
it than he rushed off to Nadar’s and had himself photographed. He counted
the hours till the proofs came home, and then, bursting with satisfaction,
he set out to No. 13.

“It is unbecoming,” he said, shrugging his shoulders as he presented his
carte de visite to the générale, “_mais que voulez‐vous?_ A man must
sacrifice everything to his country; what is personal appearance that it
could weigh in the balance against duty! Bah! I could get myself up as a
punchinello, and perch all day on the top of Mont Valérien, if it could
scare away one of those despicable brigands from the walls of the
capital!”

“You are wrong in saying it is unbecoming, M. Dalibouze,” protested the
générale, attentively scanning the portrait, where the military costume
was set off by a semi‐heroic military _pose_, “I think the dress suits you
admirably.”

“You are too indulgent, madame,” said the professor. “You see your friends
through the eyes of friendship; but, in truth, it was purely from an
historical point of view that I made the little sacrifice of personal
feeling; the portrait will be interesting as a souvenir some day when we,
the actors in this great drama, have passed away.”

But time went on, and the prophetic triumphs of M. Dalibouze were not
realized; the eaters of sauerkraut held their ground, and provisions began
to grow scarce at No. 13. The purse of the sisters, never a large one, was
now seriously diminished, Aline’s contribution to the common fund having
ceased altogether with the beginning of the siege. Her old pupils had
left, and there was no chance of finding any new ones at such a time as
this. No one had money to spend on lessons, or leisure to learn; the study
that absorbed everybody was how to realize food or fuel out of impossible
elements. Every one was suffering, in a more or less degree, from the
miseries imposed by the state of _blocus_; but one would have fancied the
presence of death in so many shapes, by fire without, by cold and famine
within, would have detached them generally from life, and made them
forgetful of the wants of the body and absorbed them in sublimer cares.
But it was not so. After the first shock of hearing the cannon at the
gates close to them, they got used to it. Later, when the bombardment
came, there was another momentary panic, but it calmed down, and they got
used to that too. Shells could apparently fall all round without killing
them. So they turned all their thoughts to the cherishing and comfort of
their poor afflicted bodies. It must have been sad, and sometimes grimly
comical, to watch the singular phases of human nature developed by the
_blocus_. One of the oddest and most frequent was the change it wrought in
people with regard to their food. People who had been ascetically
indifferent to it before, and never thought of their meals till they sat
down to table, grew monomaniac on the point, and could think and speak of
nothing else. Meals were talked of, in fact, from what we can gather, more
than politics, the Prussians, or the probable issue of the siege, or any
of the gigantic problems that were being worked out both inside and
outside the besieged city. Intelligent men and women discussed by the
hour, with gravity and gusto, the best way of preparing cats and dogs,
rats and mice, and all the abominations that necessity had substituted for
food. Poor human nature was fermenting under the process like wine in the
vat, and all its dregs came uppermost: selfishness, callousness to the
sufferings of others, ingratitude, all the pitiable meanness of a man,
boiled up to the surface and showed him a sorry figure to behold. But
other nobler things came to the surface too. There were innumerable silent
dramas, soul‐poems going on in unlikely places, making no noise beyond
their quiet sphere, but travelling high and sounding loud behind the
curtain of gray sky that shrouded the winter sun of Paris. The cannon
shook her ramparts, and the shells flashed like lurid furies through the
midnight darkness; but far above the din and the darkness and the death‐
cries rose the low sweet music of many a brave heart’s sacrifice; the
stronger giving up his share to the weaker, the son hoarding his scanty
rations against the day of still scantier supplies, when there would be
scarcely food enough to support the weakened frame of an aged father or
mother, talking big about the impossibility of surrender, and lightly
about the price of resistance. There were mothers in Paris, too, and
wherever mothers are there is sure to be found self‐sacrifice in its
loveliest, divinest form. How many of them toiled and sweated, aye, and
begged, subduing all pride to love for the little ones, who ate their fill
and knew nothing of the cruel tooth that was gnawing the bread‐winner’s
vitals!

We who heard the thunder of the artillery and the blasting shout of the
mitrailleuse, we did not hear these things, but other ears did, and not a
note of the sweet music was lost, angels were hearkening for them, and as
they rose above the dark discord, like crystal bells tolling in the storm
wind, the white‐winged messengers caught them on golden lyres and wafted
them on to paradise.

To Be Continued.



On A Picture Of S. Mary Bearing Doves To Sacrifice.


    My eyes climb slowly up, as by a stair,
      To seek a picture on my chamber wall—
    A picture of the Mother of our Lord,
      Hung where the latest twilight shadows fall.

    My lifted eyes behold a childlike face,
      Under a veil of woman’s holiest thought,
    O’ershadowed by the mystery of grace,
      And mystery of mercy—God hath wrought.

    Down through the dim old temple, moving slow,
      Her drooping lids scarce lifted from the ground,
    As if she faintly heard the distant flow
      Of far‐off seas of grief she could not sound.

    I think archangels would not count it sin
      If, underneath the veil that hides her eyes,
    They, seeing all things, saw the soul within
      Held more of mother‐love than sacrifice.

    She walks erect, the virgin undefiled,
      Back from her throat the loose robe falls apart,
    And e’en as she would clasp her royal Child,
      She holds the dovelets to her tender heart.

    No white wing trembles ’neath her pitying palm,
      No feather flutters in this last warm nest,
    And thus she bears them on—while solemn psalm
      Wakes dim, prophetic stirrings in her breast.

    Sweet Hebrew mother! many a woman shares,
      Thy crucifixion of her hopes and loves,
    And in her arms to death unshrinking bears
      Her precious things—even her turtle‐doves.

    But often, ere the temple’s marble floor
      Has ceased the echo of her parting feet,
    Her gifts prove worthless—thine is ever more
      The gift of gifts—transcendent and complete.

    We mothers, too, have treasures all our own,
      And, one by one, oft see them sacrificed:
    Thou, Blessed among women—thou alone
      Hast held within thine arms the dear Child‐Christ.

    Therefore, mine eyes mount up, as by a stair,
      To seek the picture on my chamber wall;
    Therefore my soul climbs oft the steeps of prayer,
      To rest where shadows of thy Son’s cross fall.



Centres Of Thought In The Past. First Article. The Monasteries.


It seems very ambitious to try and present to the reader a sketch of
anything so vast as the field of research pointed out by the above title,
and, indeed, far from aiming at this, we will set forth by saying, once
for all, that our attempts will be nothing more than passing views,
isolated specimens of that immense whole which, under the names of
education, progress, development, scholasticism, and _renaissance_, forms
the intellectual “stock in trade” of every modern system of knowledge.

The “past” is divided into two distinct eras—the monastic and the
scholastic. In the earlier era, the centres of thought were the
Benedictine and the Columbanian monasteries; in the second era,
intellectual life gathered its strength in the universities, under the
guidance of the church, typified by the Mendicant Orders. The first era
may be said to have lasted from the fifth century to the eleventh, and to
have reached its apogee in the seventh and eighth. The second reached from
the eleventh century to the sixteenth, and attained its highest glory in
the prolific and gifted thirteenth century. Each had its representative
centre _par excellence_, its representative men, philosophy, and religious
development. Prior Vaughan, in his recent masterpiece, the _Life of S.
Thomas of Aquin_, expresses this idea in many ways. “From the sixth to the
thirteenth century,” he says, “the education of Europe was Benedictine.
Monks in their cells ... were planting the mustard‐seed of future European
intellectual growth.” Further on he says: “Plato represents rest;
Aristotle, inquisitiveness. The former is synthetical; the latter,
analytical. _Quies_ is monastic, inquisitiveness is dialectical.” Thus,
Plato is the representative master of the earlier era; S. Benedict and his
incomparable rule, its representative religious outgrowth; the study of
the Scriptures, the Fathers, and the liberal arts, its representative
system of education. We do not hear of many “commentaries” in those days,
nor of curious schedules of questions, such as, “Did the little hands of
the Boy Jesus create the stars?”(26) On the other hand, elegant Latinity
was taught, and the Scriptures were multiplied by thousands of costly and
laborious transcriptions. The first era was eminently conservative. Its
very schools were physically representative; “the solitary abbey, hidden
away amongst the hills, with its psalmody, and manual work, and unexciting
study.”(27) In the scholastic era, things were reversed. “Latinity grew
barbarous, and many far graver disorders arose out of the daring and undue
exercise of reason. Yet intellectual progress was being made in spite of
the decay of letters.... In the extraordinary intellectual revolution
which marked the opening of the thirteenth century, the study of
_thoughts_ was substituted for the study of _words_.”(28) Here the
representative exponent was Aristotle; the religious developments, the
Crusades and the Mendicant Orders; and the personal outgrowth of the
clashes of the two systems—that of the old immovable dogmatic church, and
that of irreverence and rationalism—S. Bernard, S. Dominic, S. Thomas of
Aquin, on the one hand, and Peter Abelard and William de Saint Amour, on
the other. Here, again, we find the _locale_ analogous to the spirit of
the age. Cities were now the centres of knowledge; noisy streets, with
ominous names, such as the “Rue Coupegueule,”(29) in Paris, so named from
the frequent murders committed there during university brawls, take the
place of the silent cloister and long stone corridors of the abbey;
physical disorder typifies the moral confusion of the day; and Paris the
chaotic stands in the room of Monte Casino, S. Gall, or English Jarrow.
Then followed the “Renaissance,” that “revival of practical paganism.”(30)
“The saints and fathers of the church gradually disappeared from the
schools, and society, instead of being permeated, as in former times, with
an atmosphere of faith, was now redolent of heathenism.”(31) Petrarch and
Boccaccio were the representatives of this refined (if we must use the
word in its ordinary sensual meaning) infidelity; Plato was the god of the
new Olympus, but unrecognizable from the Plato embodied in the Fathers and
Benedictine _littérateurs_, for, practically speaking, polite life had now
become Epicurean; while as for the religious development of the times,
since it could no longer be representative, it became apostolic.
Savonarola and S. Francis Xavier are names that stand out in the moral
darkness of that era, and the latter suggests the only new creation in the
church from that day to our own. Christian education had been Benedictine,
then Dominican; it now became Jesuit. The world knew its old enemy in the
new dress, and ever since has warred against it with diabolical foresight
and unwearied venom. Of this last phase of the past, which is so like the
present that we have classed it apart, we do not purpose to speak, but
will confine ourselves to those older and grander, though hardly less
troublous times known as the middle ages.

The first two centres of Christianity and patristic learning outside Rome
were Alexandria and Constantinople. The latter soon fell away into schism,
and thence into that barbarism which the vigorous Western races were at
that very same time casting off through the influence of the church that
Byzantium had rejected. From Alexandria we may date the beginnings of our
own systems of learning. The end of the second century already found the
Christian schools of that city famous, and the converted Stoic Pantænus
spoken of as one of “transcendent powers.” Clement of Alexandria, Origen,
Hippolytus, Bishop of Porto, were teachers in those schools, and the _Acts
of the Martyrs_ tell us that Catharine, the learned virgin‐martyr, was an
Alexandrian. Hippolytus was a famous astronomer and arithmetician. Clement
used poetry, philosophy, science, eloquence, and even satire, in the
interests of religion. Origen became the master of S. Gregory Thaumaturgus
and his brother Athenodorus. “It was now recognized that Christians were
men who could think and reason with other men, ... and of whom a
university city need not be ashamed. Christians were expected to teach and
study the liberal arts, profane literature, philosophy, and the Biblical
languages, ... and all the time the business of the school went on,
_persecution_ raged with _small intermission_.”(32) Prior Vaughan says
that “Faith took her seat with her Greek profile and simple majesty in
Alexandria, and withstood, as one gifted with a divine power, two subtle
and dangerous enemies—heathen philosophy and heretical theology—and, by
means of Clement and of Origen, proved to passion and misbelief that a new
and strange _intellectual_ influence had been brought into the world.”(33)
Antioch and Constantinople claimed the world’s attention later on, and the
Thebaid teemed with equal treasures of learning and of holiness. S. John
Chrysostom exhorts Christian parents, in 376, “to entrust the education of
their sons to the solitaries, to those _men of the mountain_ whose lessons
he himself had received.”(34)

When the glories of the patristic age were waning, and the East seemed to
fail the church, through whose influence alone she had become famous,
there arose in the West, among the half‐barbarous races of Goths, Franks,
Celts, and Teutons, other champions of monasticism and pioneers of
learning. The raw material of Christian Europe was being moulded into the
heroic form it bore during mediæval times by poet, philosopher, and
legislator‐monks.

Of these monastic centres, Lerins is perhaps the oldest. Founded in 410,
on an island of the Mediterranean near the coast of France, it became
“another Thebaid, a celebrated school of theology and Christian
philosophy, a citadel inaccessible to the works of barbarism, and an
asylum for literature and science which had fled from Italy on the
invasion of the Goths.”(35) All France sought its bishops from this holy
and learned isle. Among its great scholars was Vincent of Lerins, the
first controversialist of his time, and the originator of the celebrated
formula: _Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus creditum est_. We may
be pardoned for extending our notice of him, since the words he uses on
the progress of the church are so singularly appropriate to our own times
and problems. Having established the unchangeableness of Catholic
doctrine, he goes on to say: “Shall there, then, be no progress in the
church of Christ? There shall be progress, and even great progress, ...
but it will be _progress_ and _not change_. With the growth of ages there
must necessarily be a growth of intelligence, of wisdom, and of knowledge,
for each man as for all the church. But the religion of souls must imitate
the progress of the human form, which, in developing and growing in years,
never ceases to be the same in the maturity of age as in the flower of
youth.”(36) Had the monk of Lerins foreknown the aberrations of the doctor
of Munich, he could not have better refuted the latest heresy of our own
day. S. Lupus of Troyes, who arrested Attila at the gates of his episcopal
city, and successfully combated the Pelagian heresy in England; S.
Cesarius of Arles, who was successively persecuted and finally reinstated
by two barbarian kings, and who gave his sister Cesaria a rule for her
nuns which was adopted by Queen Radegundes for her immense monastery of
Poictiers; Salvian, whose eloquence was likened to that of S. Augustine,
were all monks of Lerins. S. Cesarius has well epitomized the training of
this great and holy school when he says: “It is she who nourishes those
illustrious monks who are sent into all provinces of Gaul as bishops. When
they arrive, they are children; when they go out, they are fathers. She
receives them as recruits, she sends them forth kings.”(37) As late as
1537, we find on the list of the commission appointed by Pope Paul III. to
draw up the preliminaries of the Council of Trent, and especially to point
out and correct the abuses of secular training and paganized art, the name
of Gregory Cortese, Abbot of Lerins.(38) But we must hasten on to other
foundations of a reputation and influence as world‐wide as that of the
Mediterranean Abbey.

In 580, there was a famous school at Seville, where all the arts and
sciences were taught by learned masters, presided over by S. Leander, the
bishop of the diocese. Then S. Ildefonso, of Toledo, a scholar of Seville,
founded a great school at Toledo itself (where the famous councils took
place later on), which, together with Seville, made “Spain the
intellectual light of the Christian world in the seventh century.”(39)

From the South let us turn to the fruitful land where monks supplied the
place of martyrs, and where the faith, planted by Patrick, grew so
marvellously into absolute power within the short space of a century.
Armagh, Bangor, Clonard, are names that at once recall the palmy days of
sacred learning. “Within a century after the death of S. Patrick,” says
Bishop Nicholson, “the Irish seminaries had so increased that most parts
of Europe sent their children to be educated there, and drew thence their
bishops and teachers.”(40) “By the ninth century, Armagh could boast of
7,000 students.”(41) “Clonard,” says Usher, “issued forth a stream of
saints and doctors like the Greek warriors from the wooden horse.”(42) The
Irish communities, Montalembert tells us in his brilliant language,
“entered into rivalry with the great monastic schools of Gaul. They
explained Ovid there; they copied Virgil; they devoted themselves
especially to Greek literature; they drew back from no inquiry, from no
discussion; they gloried in placing boldness on a level with faith.” The
young Luan answered the Abbot of Bangor, who warned him against the
dangers of too engrossing a study of the liberal arts: “If I have the
knowledge of God, I shall never offend God, for they who disobey him are
they who know him not.”

The Irish were as adventurous as they were learned, and Montalembert bears
witness to the national propensity in the following graceful language:
“This monastic nation became the missionary nation _par excellence_. The
Irish missionaries covered the land and seas of the West. Unwearied
navigators, they landed on the most desert islands; they overflowed the
continent with their successive immigrations. They saw in incessant
visions a world known and unknown to be conquered for Christ.” And the
author of _Christian Schools and Scholars_ reminds us of the beautiful
legend of S. Brendan, the founder of the great school of Clonfert in
Connaught, the school‐fellow of Columba, and the pupil of Finian at
Clonard, who is declared to have set sail in search of the Land of
Promise, and during his seven years’ journey to have “discovered a vast
tract of land, lying far to the west of Ireland, where he beheld wonderful
birds and trees of unknown foliage, which gave forth perfumes of
extraordinary sweetness.” Whatever fiction is mingled with this marvellous
narrative, it is difficult not to admit that it must have had some
foundation of truth, and the poetic legend which was perfectly familiar to
Columbus is said to have furnished him with one motive for believing in
the existence of a western continent. Later on we shall find Albertus
Magnus foreshadowing the same belief in his writings. Two of the Irish
missionaries deserve especial notice—Columba, the Apostle of Caledonia,
and Columbanus, the founder of Luxeuil in Burgundy. The former, with his
stronghold of Iona, which “came to be looked upon as the chief seat of
learning, not only in Britain, but in the whole Western world,”(43) is
familiar to all readers of Montalembert’s great monastic poem, and to that
other public who have had access to the Duke of Argyll’s recent work on
the rock‐bound metropolis of Christian Britain. We are told that the most
scrupulous exactitude was required in the Scriptorium of Iona, and that
Columba himself, a skilful penman, wrote out the famous _Book of Kells_
with his own hand. It is now preserved in the library of Trinity College,
Dublin. The monks of Iona studied and taught the classics, the mechanical
arts, law, history, and physic. They transferred to their new home all the
learning of Armagh and Clonard. Painful journeys in search of books or of
the oral teaching of some renowned master were nothing in their eyes; they
listened to lectures on the Greek and Latin fathers, hung entranced over
Homer and Virgil, and were skilled in calculating eclipses and other
natural phenomena. They astonished the world with their arithmetical
knowledge and linguistic erudition, and their keen logic and love of
syllogism are spoken of by S. Benedict of Anian in the ninth century.(44)
Art was equally cultivated, but this, strictly speaking, is outside our
present subject. As an example of Columba’s liberal spirit and devotion to
the best interests of literature, we may remark his defence of the bards
at the Assembly of Drumceitt. Poets, historians, law‐givers, and
genealogists, the bards represented all the learning of a past age and
system; and if their arrogance now and then overstepped the bounds of
courtesy, and even sometimes the restraints of law, in the main their
institute was heroic and praiseworthy. Columba argued against their
opponent, a prince of the Nialls of the South, Aedh, that “care must be
taken not to pull up the good corn with the tares, and that the general
exile of the poets would be the death of a venerable antiquity, and that
of a poetry which was dear to the country and useful to those who knew how
to employ it.” His eloquence saved the bardic institute, and the poets in
their gratitude composed a famous song in his praise, which became
celebrated in Irish literature under the name of _Ambhra_, or _Praise of
S. Columbkill_.(45)

Columbanus, a monk of Bangor, was destined to found an Irish colony of
even greater fame and longer duration than Iona. Luxeuil, founded in 590,
at the foot of the Vosges in Burgundy, soon counted among its sons many
hundred votaries of learning. Montalembert says of it that “no monastery
of the West had yet shone with so much lustre or attracted so many
disciples”. It became another Lerins, a nursery of bishops for the
Frankish and Burgundian cities, a notable seat of secular knowledge, and,
above all, a school of saints. Indeed, among the meagre, skeleton‐like
details that come down to us of these giant abodes of a supernatural race
of men, we find ourselves perforce repeating over and over the same
formula of commendation. What more could one say but that each of these
monastic centres was a school of saints? And yet how much variety in that
sameness! How much that even we can see, and distinguish, and mentally
dissect! We see some soaring spirit, whose burning love is never content
with renunciation, but ever seeks, with holy restlessness, some deeper
solitude in which to pray and meditate, like the Bavarian monk Sturm, the
pupil and companion of S. Boniface, and the founder of the world‐renowned
Abbey of Fulda; or, again, some great thinker like Alcuin of York, whose
touching love for his own land and city makes us feel with pardonable
pride how near akin is our own weak human nature to that of even the giant
men of old; or spirits like the gentle Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, the
traditions of whose unwearied moderation and “inestimable gift of kindness
and light‐heartedness,” as well as his “intense and active sympathy for
those human sorrows which in all ages are the same,” are all the more
precious to us that they are also mingled with tales of his wondrous
horsemanship, athletic frame, and simple enjoyment of legitimate sports.
The same author we have just quoted, Montalembert, says that the
description of his childhood reads like that of a little Anglo‐Saxon of
our own day, a scholar of Eton or Harrow. So that, when one after another
we read of Gaulish, Celtic, and Teutonic abbeys that were intellectual
capitals and centres of far‐reaching and all‐embracing knowledge, we must
always remember that these words, grown trite at last from frequent use,
have as varied a meaning as the collective name of Milky Way, which stands
for countless worlds of unknown stars.

As Christianity spread in the early part of the middle ages, these
monastic centres were multiplied like the posterity of Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob. Lindisfarne, the Iona of the eastern coast of England, soon
rivalled her Scottish predecessor, and retained much the same impress of
Celtic learning, while Melrose served as a supplementary school and
novitiate. The Teutonic element now began to make itself felt. Caedmon,
the Saxon cowherd, transformed into a poet and a monk by a direct call
from God, sang the creation in strains “which,” says Montalembert, “may
still be admired even beside the immortal poem of the author of _Paradise
Lost_.” Wilfrid, the S. Thomas à Becket of the seventh century, vigorously
planted Roman traditions and customs in the Saxon monastery of Ripon, and
perpetuated the name of S. Peter in his other magnificent foundation of
Peterborough, the poetic “Home among the Meadows,” or Medehamstede.(46)
Theodore, the Greek metropolitan of England, in 673 introduced into the
Anglo‐Saxon schools “an intellectual and literary development as worthy of
the admiration as of the gratitude of posterity; the study of the two
classic tongues (Greek and Latin) chiefly flourished under his care....
Monasteries, thus transformed into homes of scientific study, could not
but spread a taste and respect for intellectual life, not only among the
clergy, but also among their lay‐protectors, the friends and neighbors of
each community.”(47)

Benedict Biscop, the contemporary of the chivalrous Wilfrid of York, is
eminently a representative of Anglo‐Saxon cultivation. Montalembert puts
his name in the “monastic constellation of the seventh century” for
intelligence, art, and science. He it was who undertook a journey to Rome
(which place he had visited many times before on other errands) solely to
procure books; and it must be borne in mind that this journey was then
twice as long and a hundred times more dangerous than a journey from
London to Australia is now. After having founded the Abbey of Wearmouth,
at the mouth of the Wear, Benedict set forth again, bringing masons and
glass‐makers from Gaul to teach the Anglo‐Saxons some notions of solid and
ornamental architecture. He was a passionate book‐collector, and wished
each of his monasteries to have a great library, which he considered
indispensable to the discipline, instruction, and good organization of the
community. Originally a monk at Lerins, whither he had gone after giving
up a knightly and seignorial career in his own country, he naturally drank
in that thirst for learning which, in the earlier middle ages, seems to
have been almost inseparable from holiness. Jarrow, the sister monastery
to Wearmouth, situated near it by the mouth of the Tyne, was even yet more
famous as a school of hallowed knowledge, and has become endeared to the
hearts of all Englishmen as the home of the Venerable Bede. His is a
figure which, even in the foreign annals of the church, stands pre‐eminent
among ecclesiastical writers, and one in whom the Anglo‐Saxon character is
thoroughly and beautifully revealed. Calm and steadfast self‐possession,
that beautiful attribute of the followers of the “Prince of Peace,” is the
key‐note to the writings of the historian‐monk of Jarrow. The first
glimpse we have of him is as the solitary companion of the new‐made abbot,
Ceolfrid, chanting the divine office at the age of seven; his voice choked
with sobs as he thought of the elder brethren, all of whom a grievous
pestilence had carried off. But though the choir had gone to join in the
hymns of the New Jerusalem, the canonical hours were nevertheless kept up
by the sorrowing abbot and the child‐chorister until new brethren came to
take the place of the old ones. Bede was never idle; he says himself that
“he was always his own secretary, and dictated, composed, and copied all
himself.” His great history was the means of bringing him into contact
with the best men of his day. “The details he gives on this subject show
that a constant communication was kept up between the principal centres of
religious life, and that an amount of intellectual activity as surprising
as it is admirable—when the difficulty of communication and the internal
wars which ravaged England are taken into account—existed among their
inhabitants.”(48) Bede’s political foresight seems to have been of no mean
order, and the grave advice he administers to bishops on ecclesiastical
abuses shows at once his practical common sense and fearlessness of
character. He also condemns the too sweeping grants of land, exemptions
from taxes, and privileges offered to monastic houses, and gives the
wisest reasons for his strictures. “The nations of Catholic Europe envied
England the possession of so great a doctor, the first among the offspring
of barbarous races who had won a place among the doctors of the church,
... and his illustrious successor Alcuin, speaking to the community of
Jarrow which Bede had made famous, bears witness to his celebrity in these
words: ‘Stir up, then, the minds of your sleepers by his example; study
his works, and you will be able to draw from them the secret of eternal
beauty.’ ”(49)

Malmesbury was another Anglo‐Saxon centre of thought, and the memory of S.
Aldhelm long gave it that “powerful and popular existence which lasted far
into the middle ages.”(50) The cathedral school of York, “which rose into
celebrity just as Bede was withdrawn from the scene of his useful
labors,”(51) produced one of the greatest of English scholars, and one
instrumental in carrying knowledge acquired among monks to the warrior
court of a foreign prince. Charlemagne and his Palatine schools of Aix‐la‐
Chapelle would have been shorn of half their glory had it not been for the
Englishman Alcuin. But it was not without a pang that the home‐loving
master left the school he had almost formed, and which he cherished as the
product of his first efforts, and undertook to foster the same
institutions in a strange land. These schools, in which enthusiastic
French writers love to trace the germ of the mighty University of Paris,
seem to have possessed a system of equality very creditable both to their
master and their imperial patron. Later on, when the wearied _magister_ at
last wrested from Charlemagne the permission to retire into some
monastery, since he had failed in obtaining leave to return and die at
York, it was only to found another school that he occupied his leisure. S.
Martin’s at Tours now became as famous as the Palatine at Aix‐la‐Chapelle.
“He applied himself to his new duties with unabated energy, and by his own
teaching raised the school of Tours to a renown which was shared by none
of its contemporaries. In the hall of studies, a distinct place was set
apart for the copyists, who were exhorted by certain verses of their
master, set up in a conspicuous place, _to mind their stops and not to
leave out letters_.”(52) Here, then, is another of those pleasant little
details which creates a fellow‐feeling between the human nature of to‐day
and that of past ages. The description of his life from which we have
drawn this sketch closes thus: “In short, his active mind, thoroughly
Anglo‐Saxon in its temper, worked on to the end; laboring at a sublime end
by homely practical details. One sees he is of the same race with Bede,
who wrote and dictated to the last hour of his life, and, when his work
was finished, calmly closed his book and died.”(53)

We have already named Fulda, the glorious monastic centre where the monk
Sturm established the Benedictine rule in 744, and where, before his
death, 400 monks sang daily the praises of God, and good scholars were
trained to intellectual warfare in the name of faith. In 802, “mindful of
its great origin, it was one of the first to enter heartily into the
revival of letters instituted by Charlemagne,” and sent the monks Hatto
and Rabanus to study under Alcuin. We find a most graphic description of
the daily routine of this great school in _Christian Schools and
Scholars_. It so well illustrates the common life of the middle ages that
we do not hesitate to give it at some length: “The German nobles gladly
entrusted their sons to Rabanus’ care, and he taught them with wonderful
gentleness and patience. At his lectures every one was trained to write
equally well in prose or verse on any subject placed before him, and was
afterwards taken through a course of rhetoric, logic, and natural
philosophy.... The school of Fulda had inherited the fullest share of the
Anglo‐Saxon spirit, and exhibited the same spectacle of intellectual
activity which we have already seen working in the foundations of S.
Benedict Biscop. Every variety of useful occupation was embraced by the
monks.... Within doors the visitor might have beheld a huge range of
workshops, in which cunning hands were kept constantly busy on every
description of useful and ornamental work in wood, stone, and metal....
Passing on to the interior of the building, the stranger would have been
introduced to the scriptorium, over the door of which was an inscription
warning the copyists to abstain from idle words, to be diligent in copying
good books, _and to take care not to alter the text by careless mistakes_.
Not far from the scriptorium was the interior school ... where our
visitor, were he from the more civilized South, might well have stood in
mute surprise in the midst of these fancied barbarians, whom he would have
found engaged in pursuits not unworthy of the schools of Rome. The monk
Probus is perhaps lecturing on Virgil or Cicero, and that with such hearty
enthusiasm that his brother‐professors accuse him in good‐natured jesting
of ranking them with the saints. Elsewhere disputations are being carried
on over the _Categories_ of Aristotle, and an attentive ear will discover
that the controversy which made such a noise in the twelfth century, and
divided the philosophers of Europe into the rival sects of Nominalists and
Realists, is perfectly well understood at Fulda, though it does not seem
to have disturbed the peace of the school. To your delight, if you be not
altogether wedded to the study of the dead languages, you may find some
engaged on the uncouth language of their fatherland, and, looking over
their shoulders, you may smile to see the barbarous words which they are
cataloguing in their glossaries, _words, nevertheless, destined to
reappear centuries hence in the most philosophic literature of Europe_....
It may be added that the school of Fulda would have been found ordered
with admirable discipline. Twelve of the best professors were chosen, and
formed a council of elders or doctors, presided over by one who bore the
title of principal, and who assigned to each one the lectures he was to
deliver to the pupils. In the midst of this world of intellectual life and
labor, Rabanus continued for some years to train the first minds of
Germany, and reckoned among his pupils the most celebrated men of the
age.... For the rest, he was an enemy to anything like narrowness of
intellectual training. His own works in prose and verse embraced a large
variety of subjects, ... and he is commonly reputed the author of the
_Veni Creator_.”(54)

One of his pupils, the monk Otfried of Weissembourg, entered with singular
ardor into the study of the Tudesque or native dialect. Inspired by
Rabanus, who himself devoted much attention to this subject, and
encouraged by a “certain noble lady named Judith,” Otfried undertook to
translate into his native tongue the most remarkable Gospel passages
relating to Our Lord’s life. His verses speedily became familiar to the
people, and by degrees took the place of those pagan songs of their
forefathers, by which much of the leaven of heathenism yet remained in the
minds of the peasantry, associated as it was with all the touching
prestige of nationalism and the honest pride they felt in their ancestors’
prowess.

Rabanus, while master of the Fulda school, had much to suffer from the
eccentricities of his abbot, Ratgar, who, afflicted with the _building
mania_, actually forced his monks to interrupt their studies, and even
shorten their prayers, to take up the trowel and the hod and hasten on his
new erections. Here we have the other side of the daily life of the middle
ages, and a more ludicrous scene can hardly be imagined than the enforced
labor of the scholar‐monks, their rueful countenances showing their
despair at the unpleasant task, yet their unflinching principle of
obedience towering above their disgust, and compelling them to work in
silence till relieved by the Emperor Louis himself. The new abbot,
installed in Ratgar’s place by a commission empowered to look into the
latter’s unheard‐of abuse of his authority, was a saint as well as a
scholar, and “healed the wounds which a long course of ill‐treatment had
opened in the community.” Rabanus himself succeeded him, and resigned the
mastership of the school to his favorite assistant, Candidus.

Passing over many abbeys whose merits it were too long a story to
enumerate, we come to S. Gall, the great Helvetian centre of thought.
Originally it was founded by Gall, the disciple of Columbanus, and in the
reign of King Pepin changed the Columbanian for the Benedictine rule.
Already, in its early beginnings, it was a home of art, and Tutilo’s works
in gold, copper, and brass were famous throughout the Germanic world. The
mills, the forge, the workshops of all sorts, the cloisters for the monks,
the buildings for the students, the immense tracts of arable land, the
reclaimed forests, the fleet of busy little boats on the great Lake of
Constance, all told of a stirring centre of human life. And while art,
science, philosophy, agriculture, and mechanical industry were all at work
in the townlike abbey, “you will hear these fine classical scholars
preaching plain truths, in barbarous idioms, to the rude race of the
mountains, who, before the monks came among them, sacrificed to the evil
one, and worshipped stocks and stones.”(55) “S. Gall was almost as much a
place of resort as Rome or Athens, at least to the learned world of the
ninth century. Her schools were a kind of _university_, frequented by men
of all nations, who came hither to fit themselves for _all professions_.
S. Gall was larger and freer, and made more of the arts and sciences;
indeed, so far as regards its studies, it had a better claim to the title
of _university_ than any single institution which can be named as existing
before the time of Philip Augustus.(56) You would have found here not
monks alone, but courtiers, soldiers, and the sons of kings. All
diligently applied themselves to the cultivation of the Tudesque dialect,
and to its grammatical formation, so as to render it capable of producing
a literature of its own.”(57) The monks were in correspondence with all
the learned monastic houses of France and Italy, and the transfer of a
codex, a Livy, or a Virgil from one to the other occasioned as much
diplomacy, interest, and excitement as a commercial treaty or the
discovery of new gold fields would in our day. S. Gall had its Greek
scholars, too, and seems to have fostered among its copyists a love for
“fine editions,” such as would do honor to an English or Russian
bibliomaniac of to‐day. They made their own parchment from the hides of
the wild animals of their mountains, and employed many hands on each
precious manuscript. The costly binding was likewise all home‐made, and
many a jewelled missal must have come from the hand of the artist‐monk
Tutilo. Music was a specialty of S. Gall, if one may say so in an age when
music was so much a part of education that alone of all the arts it was
included in the _quadrivium_, or higher instruction of the mediæval
schools. Romanus of S. Gall it was who first named the musical notes by
the letters of the alphabet, a system which is universal in Germany, and
very commonly followed in England to this day.

We should multiply names _ad infinitum_ were we to allow ourselves to roam
further over that field of history so falsely called the dark ages.
Einsiedeln, Paderborn, Magdeburg, Utrecht, are but a few of the many
equally deserving of notice, the latter being, we are told, “a
_fashionable_ place of education for the sons of German princes” in the
tenth century. Before we go on to the second stage of the learning of the
past—the era of the universities—we cannot help looking back to the little
Saxon island where, in 882, Alfred devoted one‐fourth of his revenue to
the restoration of the Oxford schools and obtained from Pope Martin II. a
brief constituting them what may be fairly called a university. This was
at a time when learning was at a low ebb, and the invasions of the Danes
were endangering the cause of letters—a cause so intimately wrapped up in
that of the great monasteries. Glastonbury, the ruined home of so much
wisdom, science, and philosophy, was destined under S. Dunstan to retake
her place among the schools. A great revival was initiated by him, a
reform among the clergy vigorously enforced, episcopal seminaries
reopened, and monastic schools once more brought to their ancient place in
the vanguard of civilization. Ethelwold, Dunstan’s disciple, was zealous
for the study of sacred learning, and “loved teaching for its own sake. A
new race of scholars sprang up in the restored cloisters, some of whom
were not unworthy to be ranked with the disciples of Bede and Alcuin.”(58)
At Glastonbury, like as at Fulda, the native tongue was cultivated,
harmonized, and rendered capable of being ranked no longer as a dialect,
but as the characteristic language of an eminently masterful people.
Croyland, also, a ruined centre of intellectual life, rose again from its
ashes; new monks and scholars reared its walls and filled its schools, and
the Danish horrors were soon forgotten in the thoughtful kindness of the
new abbot, Turketul, the nephew of Alfred, who, as we read, from a warrior
and a courtier, a minister of state, and a royal prince, became a gentle
monk and the rewarder of his little pupils. “Turketul took the greatest
interest in the success of the school, visiting it daily, inspecting the
tasks of each child, and taking with him a servant who carried raisins,
figs, and nuts, or more often apples and pears, and such like little
gifts, that the boys might be encouraged to be diligent, not with words
only or blows, but rather by the hope of reward.” Such is the sweet,
homely picture given us by the historian Ingulph of one of the greatest of
schools in its early monastic beginnings. We have left ourselves so little
space that even the metropolis of the Benedictines, the glorious and
world‐renowned Monte Casino, can find but a scant notice in these pages.
If Subiaco was the spiritual birthplace of _the_ order _par excellence_,
Monte Casino was its intellectual cradle. There the rule was written
which, by some mysterious fate, was destined to absorb and supersede that
of the widespread Columbanians; there were the missionary principles first
established which led to the conversion of the Anglo‐Saxon race; there the
school of _quies_ and reverence first planted which made this wonderful
monastery “the most powerful and celebrated in the Catholic universe.”(59)
It was likened to Sinai by Pope Victor III., the successor of Hildebrand,
in bold and simple verses, full of divine exultation and Christian pride:
it has been defended and protected by an English and Protestant
scholar,(60) the minister of a nation whose civilization once flowed from
its bosom, and whose learning was fostered in its early “scriptoria.” It
has outlasted many of its own offspring, and still stands undecayed in its
moral sublimity, fruitful yet in saints and scholars, the mother‐house of
an order whose origin stretches beyond Benedict far into the desert of
Paul and Anthony, Jerome and Hilarion.

And now that we are forced, reluctantly enough, to let fall the veil over
that teeming life of the mediæval cloister, the fruitful nursery of every
later intellectual development, shall we tell the reader what has most
struck us throughout the short sketch we have been able to give of these
centres of thought? Does not their history sound like some “monkish
chronicle”? How is it that all the most “celebrated men of their time”
(the phrase so often repeated in these annals) are monks, and so many not
only monks, but saints? How is it that we come upon so many instances of
these great scholars taking their turn at the mill, the forge, and the
bake‐house, and that these details sound neither sordid nor vulgar, as
they might of modern and secular _littérateurs_? It was the monastic
principle, the Christ‐principle, as Prior Vaughan calls it in his _Life of
S. Thomas of Aquin_—the principle of faith, obedience, purity, adoration,
and reverence. “The monks had a world of their own.... Whilst the
barbarians were laying all things in ruins, they, heedless alike of fame
or profit, were patiently laying the foundations of European civilization.
They were forming the languages of Schiller, of Bacon, and of Bossuet;
they were creating arts which modern skill in vain endeavors to imitate;
they were preserving the codices of ancient learning, and embalming the
world ‘lying in wickedness’ with the sweet odor of their manifold
virtues.”(61) Not only were they men who “wrote and spoke much, and, by
their _masculine genius_ and _young and fresh inspiration_, prevented the
new Christian world from falling back from its first advances, either by
literature or politics, under the yoke of exhausted paganism”;(62) not
only were they men of progress even while essentially conservative, men of
the future even while their studies were all of the past, but, “in
opposing poverty, chastity, and obedience, the three great bases of
monastic life, to the orgies of wealth, debauchery, and pride, they
created at once a contrast and a remedy.”(63) Prior Vaughan, in his
brilliant lifelike picture of mediævalism, _S. Thomas of Aquin_,
perpetually refers to the ruling principle of monasticism: “To omit
mention of the Benedictine principle would be to manifest great ignorance
of the action of the highest form of truth upon mankind. The mastership of
authority and reverence, springing out of the school of _quies_, did not
cease to exert a considerable influence even after the dominant power of
the monastic body had nearly disappeared.”(64) Elsewhere we read: “There
was nothing of the sophist or logician in those sweet and venerable
countenances, the unruffled beauty of which is so often dwelt upon by
their biographers.... One of the marks of the age is the absence of the
disputatious spirit, which, if it diminishes their rank (that of the
monastic thinkers) in the world of letters, forms the charm of their
characters as men. The real spirit of the age was one of reverence for
tradition.”(65)

The foresight of the monk‐teachers of the earlier middle ages is no less
remarkable than their holiness. Everywhere they fostered the native idiom,
and labored to reduce it to an intelligible grammar. The national and
patriotic feeling thus awakened in the centres of learning must needs have
endeared them to, and more closely linked them with, the intellectual
progress of the people they instructed. A modern author observes that
“Bede’s words are evidence that the establishment of the Teutonic nations
on the ruins of the Roman Empire did not _barbarize_ knowledge. He
collected and taught more natural truths than any Roman writer had yet
accomplished, and his works display an advance, not a retrogression, in
science.” Indeed, natural science seems to have been from the first a
peculiarly monastic pursuit. The great names of Bede, Gerbert, Albertus
Magnus, and Roger Bacon are as a mighty chain from century to century,
leading up to the discoveries of Galileo, Newton, Arago, and Humboldt;
while in S. Brendan we have a bold precursor of Columbus.

The monasteries were so entirely the sole centres of civilization that
numberless towns owe their origin to them. Scholars came for instruction,
and remained for edification; grateful patients settled near the heaven‐
taught physicians who had cured them; peasants clustered round the abbeys
for protection, and thus grew towns and villages without number in
Germany, Switzerland, France, England, and Italy. Even America bears to‐
day, in the name of one of her oldest English settlements, and a
hereditary representative of intellect—Boston—a memento of the old
intellectual supremacy of monasticism. S. Botolph, an Anglo‐Saxon hermit,
left his monastery, and settled in a hut on one of the plains of
Lincolnshire. Scholars gathered around him, and, despite his
remonstrances, set up other huts around his, and the Benedictine monastery
of Icanhoe was founded. As time went on, a village sprang up and became a
town, and was called Botolphstown. The name was afterwards corrupted and
cut down into Boston, and from Boston it was that the founders of New
England set sail on their journey to Holland, their first stage on their
way to the New World.

In old times, then, monasteries created towns; now, alas, it is towns that
necessitate monasteries. We have now to plant the monastic school in the
midst of the teeming emporiums of trade and vice, where thousands toil
harder for a bare crust and a hard board than the monks of old toiled for
the kingdom of heaven. It is not to listen to a learned or holy man that
settlements are made nowadays, but to dig oil‐wells or work coal and iron
mines. Modern towns are made by traders, eager to be beforehand with their
competitors, and the journalist and the liquor‐seller are the first
_citizens_ of the new town. _Quies_ is relegated to the region of romance;
it is unpractical, it “does not pay”; learning itself, if it succeeds in
getting a footing in the centres of commerce, partakes of the commercial
spirit, and is rather to be called “cramming” than knowledge, and, as to
the moral result of the contrast between the Benedictine principle of the
early ages and the principle of hurry, of contention, of money‐worship
current in our days, let the annals of modern crime be called upon to
witness.



Versailles.


What an apotheosis of royalty the name evokes! Versailles and Louis
Quatorze. As if by the stroke of the enchanter’s wand, there starts up
before us a long procession of heroes and poets and statesmen and wits and
fair women, a galaxy of glory and beauty revolving around one central
figure as satellites round their sun. We lose sight of all the dark spots
upon the disc in contemplating the blaze of brightness that emanates from
it. We forget the iniquitous follies of the Grand Monarque, and remember
nothing but the splendors of his reign, its unparalleled monarchical
triumph; we see him through a mist of proud achievements in war and peace,
excellence in every branch of science and industry, fine arts and letters,
all that dazzled his contemporaries still dazzles us, and even at this
distance his faults and follies are, if not quite eclipsed, softened and
modified in the daze of a fictitious light. The group of illustrious men
who surround his throne magnify rather than diminish the individuality of
the man, lending a false halo to him, as if their genius were a thing of
his creation, an effect rather than a cause of his ascendency. How far, in
truth, Louis may have tended to create by his personal influence, his
kindly patronage and keen discrimination, that wonderful assemblage of
talent in every grade which will remain for ever associated with his name,
it would be difficult to determine, but, judging from the extraordinary
influx of genius which signalized his reign, and the corresponding dearth
of it in the succeeding ones, we are tempted to believe that he at least
possessed in an almost supernatural degree the gift, so precious to a
king, of divining genius wherever it did exist, and of calling it forth
from its hiding‐places, however dismal or remote, to the light of success
and fame. But for the discriminating admiration of Louis, which fanned the
poetic fire of the timid and sensitive Racine and stimulated the wit of
the obscure and humble Molière, we should assuredly have missed some of
the noblest efforts of both those poets. Louis was prodigal of his smiles
to rising talent, for he knew that to it the sunshine of encouragement is
as beneficent as the sun’s warmth to the earth in spring‐time.

But we are beginning at the end. Versailles is identified to us chiefly if
not solely with Louis Quatorze and his age; but it was not so from the
beginning. Once upon a time it was a marshy swamp, unhealthy and
uncultivated; and, if we deny Louis the faculty of creating men of genius,
we cannot refuse him that of having evolved an Eden from a wilderness.
There is little indeed in the history of this early period to compensate
the reader for keeping him waiting while we review it, still it is better
to cast our glance back a little, not very far, a century or so, to see
what were the antecedents of the site of one of the grandest historic
monuments of France.

In the year 1561, Martial de Loménie was seigneur of Versailles, and was
frequently honored by the visits of Henri de Navarre, who went out to hunt
the stag in his subject’s swampy wilderness. De Loménie sold it to Albert
de Gondy, Maréchal de Retz, who in his turn was honored by the presence of
his sovereign, Louis XIII., there. Louis was in the habit of indulging his
favorite pastime at Versailles, but, beyond placing his land and his game
at the disposal of the king, the maréchal seems to have shown scant
hospitality to the royal hunter. Saint‐Simon tells us that during these
excursions Louis usually slept in a windmill or in a dingy inn, whose only
customers were the wagoners who journeyed across that out‐of‐the‐way
place. Of the two lodgings he inclines to think the windmill was the most
comfortable. Louis probably found neither quarters very luxurious, for in
1627 he purchased a piece of ground which had been in the Soisy family
since the fourteenth century, and built himself a hunting‐lodge on the
ruins of an old manor‐house there, to the great discomfiture of a large
colony of owls who had made themselves at home in the moss‐grown ruin.
Bassompierre deplores the vandalism which swept away the venerable shelter
of the owls, and declares that after all the lodge was but a sorry
improvement on the windmill, being “too shabby a dwelling for even a plain
_gentilhomme_ to take conceit in.” Such as it was, it satisfied the king,
and remained untouched till it was swallowed up in the great palace which
was to embody all the glories of the ensuing reign. When Louis Quatorze
conceived the design of building Versailles, he confided the execution of
his vast idea to Mansard, laying down, however, as a primary condition
that the shabby little hunting‐lodge of the late king should be preserved,
and comprised in the new structure. Mansard declared that this was
impossible, to which Louis, with true kingly logic, replied coolly:
_Raison de plus_.(66) No argument of artistic beauty or common sense could
move him from his resolution, or induce him to sanction the demolition of
the quaint little building that his father had raised. Rather than be
guilty of such an unfilial act, he said he would give up the notion of his
new palace altogether. Mansard had nothing for it but to give way, and
pledge himself that the ugly red‐brick lodge should stand somehow and
somewhere in the magnificent pile that was already reared in his
imagination. The only concession he obtained was that it should be
concealed, if this were possible. Mansard swore he would make it possible,
and he kept his word. The lodge of Louis XIII. was swallowed up in the
elaborate stone‐work of that part of the palace facing the Avenue de
Paris, and remains to this day an enduring if not a very sensible proof of
the filial respect of Louis XIV. This was the one solitary impediment that
Louis threw in the architect’s way; in everything else he gave him _carte
blanche_, power unlimited, and all but unlimited wealth to work out his
fantastic and superb conception. Simultaneously with this mighty fabric
another work of almost equal magnitude had to be undertaken; this was the
planting of the park and the gardens. The country for miles around the
site of the palace was a swamp abounding with reptiles, and reeking with
vapors of so deadly a character that the men employed in draining it died
like flies of a malaria that raged like a pestilence for months together.
They refused after a time to continue the work, though enormous wages were
offered, and it was found necessary at last, under pain of abandoning it,
to press men into the service as for the army in time of war. No accurate
statistics are extant as to the number of victims who perished in the
execution of this royal freak; but the most authentic opinions of the time
put it at the astounding figure of _twenty thousand_. So much for the good
old times of the _ancien régime_, that we are apt to invest with a sort of
pathetic prestige. What were the lives of so many _vilains_(67) and the
tears and hunger of innumerable _vilaines_, widows and orphans of the dead
men, in comparison to the supreme pleasure of the king and the
accomplishment of his omnipotent will? The death‐sweat of these human
cattle rained upon the swamp, and in due time it was’ made wholesome,
purified as so many foul spots upon the earth are by the sweat of toil and
sorrow, and fitted to grow flowers and green trees that would diffuse
their fragrance and spread pleasant shade where corruption and barrenness
had dwelt.

Le Notre, that prince of gardeners, may be truly said to have created the
pleasure‐grounds of Versailles; nature had thrown many obstacles in his
way, she thwarted him at every step, but her obstinate resistance only
stimulated his genius to loftier flights and his indomitable energy to
stronger efforts. He conquered in the end. Never was conquest more fully
appreciated than Le Notre’s by his royal master. Louis not only rewarded
him with more than princely liberality, but admitted him to his personal
intimacy, treating the plebeian artist with an affectionate familiarity
that he never extended to the high and mighty courtiers who looked on in
envy and admiration. Le Notre was too little of a courtier himself to
value adequately the honor of the king’s condescension, but he loved the
man, and took no pains to conceal it; there was an expansive _bonhomie_, a
native simplicity in his character, that, contrasting as it did with the
artificial atmosphere of the court, charmed Louis, and he would listen
with delight to the honest fellow’s garrulity while he related, with naïve
satisfaction, the tale of his early struggles and the difficult and hardy
triumphs of his talent and perseverance. Versailles was, of course, to be
the crowning achievement of his life, and nothing could exceed the
diligence and ardor that he brought to bear on it. He besought the king
not to inspect the works while they were in the progressive stage, but to
wait, once he had seen the disposition of the ground, till they were
advanced to a certain point. Louis humored him by consenting, though
greatly against his inclination. He kept his word faithfully in spite of
all temptations of curiosity and impatience; contenting himself with
questioning Le Notre, at stated times, as to how things were getting on,
but never once, in his frequent and regular visits of inspection to the
palace, did he set foot within the forbidden precincts. The day came at
last when his forbearance was to be rewarded. Le Notre invited him to
enter the closed doors. Louis came, and found that the reality far
outstripped his most sanguine expectations; he was in raptures with all he
beheld, and declared himself abundantly rewarded for his patience. Le
Notre, no less enchanted than the king, walked on beside his chair, doing
the honors of the gardens and the park, and listening with a swelling
heart to the exclamations of delight that greeted every fresh view that
opened in the landscape. It seemed, indeed, as if a whole army of fairies
had been at work to bring such a paradise out of chaos; long rows of
stately full‐grown trees, brought from a distance and transplanted into
the arid soil, had taken root and were flourishing as in their native
earth; winding paths intersected majestic avenues, and led the visitor,
unexpectedly, to richly planted groves, where marble fauns hid coyly, as
if frightened to be caught by the sunlight in their unveiled beauty; all
the elves in fairyland, all the gods in Olympia, were here congregated,
now astray in the green tangle of the wood, now standing in majestic
groups, or peeping singly through an opening in the foliage as if they
were playing hide‐and‐seek; water‐nymphs, dashing the soft spray round
their naked limbs, started unexpectedly from nooks and corners, cooling
the air that was heavy with the scent of flowers; the rush of the cascade
answered the laughing ripple of the fountain; from bower to bower there
came a concert of water‐music, such as no mortal ear had ever heard
before; it was, indeed, a sight to set before a king, and the gardener
might well rejoice who had worked these wonders in the desert.

Le Notre had been all this time trotting briskly by the king’s rolling‐
chair. When they had gone over the enchanted region, Louis said: “You are
tired, my friend; get up here beside me, and let us go over it all once
more.”

And Le Notre, without more ado, jumped up beside the king, and they began
it all over again, as the children say of their favorite stories. He
explained to Louis how he nearly despaired of ever getting that birch‐
grove right, owing to a bed of rock that would not be dislodged to make
room for it; now and then he would catch the king by the sleeve, and bid
him shut his eyes and not open them till they came to a certain point,
when he would cry _Voilà!_—demeaning himself altogether like a true child
of nature, and enjoying thoroughly the sympathy of the companion who, for
the time being, a common delight made kindred with him. Suddenly, however,
it seems to have dawned upon him that he was riding side by side with the
king of France. He rubbed his hands, and exclaimed with childlike glee:
“What a proud day this is in my life!” And then, as the tears came
unchecked into his honest eyes, he added: “And if my good old father could
but see me, what a happy one it would be!”

Louis, entering into the son’s emotion, made him talk on about his old
father, and listened with profound interest to the story of their humble
life in common. He wanted to give Le Notre letters‐patent of nobility, and
so raise all his family to the rank of _gentilshommes_, but the offer was
gratefully declined; it would have been a temptation to most men, but it
was not to Le Notre; he had no ambitions of a worldly cast; his sole
aspirations were those of a man of genius, and he preferred retaining the
name of his father and ennobling it by a higher title than it was in the
power of kings to bestow.

As soon as the palace and the grounds were finished, Louis came and took
up his abode at Versailles. Then began that series of fêtes and pageants
that makes the annals of that time read like the description of a long
carnival. One of the most gorgeous of these fêtes was a sort of
_carrousel_, given in 1664, when no less than five hundred guests were
conveyed to Versailles in the king’s suite and at his expense—no small
matter in the days when railways were unknown, and carriages drawn by six
or eight horses were the only mode of travelling for persons of rank. The
king played the part of “Roger” in the _carrousel_, and came riding on a
white charger, magnificently caparisoned, all the court diamonds being
given up to the adornment of rider and steed; he advanced at the head of a
cavalcade of two hundred knights, after which came a golden chariot,
called the “Chariot of the Sun,” and filled with shepherds and many
mythological personages; the three queens, namely, the queen‐dowager Anne
d’Autriche, the reigning queen, and the Queen of England, widow of Charles
I., surrounded by three hundred ladies of the rank and beauty of France,
assisted at the entrance of the tournament, while a vast concourse of
enthusiastic spectators added by their presence to the enlivenment of the
scene. At night “four thousand huge torches” illuminated the gardens; the
supper was spread by nymphs and fauns, while Pan and Diana, “advancing on
a moving mountain,” came down to preside over the festive board. Not the
least noteworthy episode of the entertainment, which lasted seven days,
was the representation of Molière’s _Princesse d’Elide_ and the first
three acts of _Tartuffe_, played now for the first time. The earlier fêtes
at Versailles were marked by the presence of the greatest and fairest
names that illustrated the reign of Louis Quatorze, so fertile throughout
in celebrities.

Foremost in the gay and brilliant throng stands the figure of the one
woman whom Louis ever really loved, the pale and pensive Louise de la
Vallière, she who was in reality the goddess of this gorgeous temple, but
who, in the words of Mme. de Sévigné, “hid herself in the grass like a
violet,” and whose modesty and humility in the midst of her erring
triumphs drew from all hearts the pardon she never wrung from her own
uncompromising conscience.

All the glories of France flocked to Versailles as to a shrine where they
did homage and were glorified in turn. At every step we meet the majestic
figure of the Grand Monarque. See him at the top of the great stair,
calling out to the Grand Condé, who toils painfully up the marble steps,
bending under the weight of years and the fatigues of war: “Take your
time, cousin; you are too heavily laden with laurels to walk fast; we can
wait for you.” Not a room, or a terrace, or a gallery but has a witness to
bring forth of the king’s courtesy or the king’s magnificence. There is
the _cabinet du roi_, where he used to work at the affairs of state with
his ministers, not one of whom worked as hard as the king himself. His
ministers were not his tools nevertheless; despotic as he was, Louis let
them hold their own against him, and when they had justice on their side
he could yield gracefully to the opposition and respect the courage that
prompted it. Witness the scene between him and his Chancellor Voisin,
which took place in this same _cabinet du roi_. One of the most
disreputable men of that not very reputable court, by dint of intrigue,
obtained from Louis a promise of _lettres de grâce_. Next day, when the
chancellor came in to his usual work, the king desired him to affix the
great seals to the document, which was ready prepared. Voisin looked over
it first conscientiously as was his custom, and then flatly refused to
obey the king’s command, denouncing the grant of the _lettres de grâce_ to
such a man as an abuse of the royal privilege. Louis replied that his word
was pledged, and it was too late now to discuss the unworthiness of the
subject; he put forward his hand, and, seeing that Voisin did not move, he
took the seals himself and affixed them to the deed. The chancellor looked
on in silence, but, when Louis handed him back the badge of office, he
drew away his hand, and said haughtily: “They are polluted; I will never
take them back.”

“What a man!” exclaimed Louis, with a glance of frank admiration at his
sturdy minister, and he flung the deed into the fire.

Voisin quietly took up the seals, and went on with his work as if nothing
had occurred to interrupt it.

It was in the _cabinet du roi_ that Louis took leave of the Duc d’Anjou,
on the eve of his departure for Spain, with those memorable words:
“Partez, mon fils, il n’y a plus de Pyrénées!”(68)

But it is in the _Salle du Trône_ that the Grand Monarque appears to us in
his most congenial attitude; here we see him in his true element, playing
the king as the world never saw it played before, and assuredly never will
again; here all the potentates of the earth came and greeted him
spontaneously as _le roi_, as if he were the only real king, and they his
vassals, or, at least, his humble imitators. One day we see the ambassador
of the Dey of Algiers presenting in his name “a little present of twelve
Arab steeds, and humbly praying that the mighty majesty of France would
deign to accept them, seeing that King Solomon himself had accepted the
leg of the grasshopper tendered to him by the ant.”

On another occasion, we see the stately Doge of Genoa advancing to pay his
court; Louis questions him concerning the behavior of the courtiers to
him, and the doge replies: “Truly, if the King of France steals away the
liberty of our hearts, his courtiers take care to restore it.” The king
suspects the reply to be provoked by some discourtesy on the part of his
_entourage_, and, having investigated the matter and found that Louvois
and De Croissy had demeaned themselves with unseemly hauteur to the
sensitive stranger, he severely rebuked them in the presence of the whole
court.

It was here, no doubt, seated on his golden throne, that Louis received
the chief of Châteaubriand’s tale, and astonished him by the splendor of
his state, and sent the noble savage back to his home in the far West to
relate to the awe‐stricken children of the forest the wonders of the great
French chief “whose superb wigwam he had beheld.”

The _Salle du Sacre_ is less exclusive in its associations, the presence
of the _grand roi_ being thrown into the shade by the subsequent military
glory of the _grande armée_. David has covered the walls with the chief
events of Napoleon’s career, beginning with the first consulship, and
continuing through the triumphal march of the Empire. When the first
series of these immense pictures was shown to Napoleon, he, startled by
their magnitude, of which he was probably a better judge than of their
talent, turned to the painter, and exclaimed: “Now I must build a palace
to lodge them!”

The _Salle des Amiraux_, which, as its name indicates, is consecrated to
the memory of the naval heroes of France, was formerly the room of the
Dauphin, son of Louis XIV. So little is known of this prince beyond the
fact that he was the direct antithesis of his father in habits and
character, that the following anecdote may be found interesting as
connected with him:

The dauphin, like most princes of his time, was passionately fond of the
chase. On one occasion he set out on a hunting expedition accompanied by a
large party, and towards nightfall he and one of his equerries got
separated from the rest, and found themselves astray in a dense wood,
where they wandered for some hours without meeting any signs of human
habitation. They came at last upon a small cottage, which, from its
isolated position and shabby appearance, he set down as most likely a
rendezvous of robbers, that part of the country being much frequented by
these worthies. They were well armed, however, and determined to risk the
barbarous hospitality of the thieves rather than pass the night amidst the
snakes and other uncomfortable inmates of the woods. They knocked at the
door, first meekly, then more peremptorily, and at last furiously; getting
no answer, they resolved to break open the house, and began hammering away
vigorously with the but‐end of their guns at the shaky old door. At this
crisis a window opened somewhere, and a voice, that quavered with fright,
besought the burglars to go away, as they would find nothing in so poor a
lodging to repay their trouble. Summoned to say whom it belonged to, the
voice replied that it was that of the _curé_ of the neighboring hamlet,
whereupon the huntsmen begged him to come down and spare them further
trouble by opening the door himself. After much expostulation the host
obeyed, and then his guests desired him to serve the best he had for their
supper; there was no use protesting with visitors who had such formidable
arguments on their shoulders and glistening in their belts, so the curé
obeyed with the best grace he could. There was nothing substantial in the
larder, he declared, but a leg of mutton, which the gentlemen were welcome
to if they would undertake to cook it and let him go back to his bed. This
they agreed to, with great good‐humor and many courteous thanks, and the
old priest, after showing them where to find food and shelter for their
horses, wished them a good appetite and betook himself to his couch,
marvelling much at the sudden gentleness and courtesy of these singular
burglars who had made their entry in so boisterous and uncivil a manner.
The burglars, meantime, did full justice to his hospitality and their own
cooking, and, having supped heartily, flung themselves at full length on
the floor, and were soon sound asleep—sounder, no doubt, than their host,
whose slumbers, if he slept at all, were most likely disturbed by visions
of highwaymen arresting and murdering the king’s subjects or throttling
honest folk in their beds, and such like unrefreshing dreams. The good man
was up betimes, and while the hunters were still fast asleep he slipt out
to seek some breakfast for them. Meantime the hunt, which had been in
pursuit of the prince all night, perceived the little wreath of smoke that
curled up from the curé’s chimney on the clear morning air, and at once
made for the point whence it proceeded, sounding the horn as it
approached. The prince and his companions started to their feet at the
first note of the welcome signal, rushed to their horses, and were in the
saddle and far out of sight before their host returned from his foraging
expedition. Great was his surprise to find the birds had flown, but he was
glad to be rid of them, and on such easy terms, for they had carried off
nothing—the house was just as he had left it. It was not a thing to boast
of, having harbored a couple of highwaymen for a night, though they had
behaved so considerately to him—the curé, therefore, kept the adventure to
himself. But he had not heard the last of it. The next day a messenger
came in hot haste from Versailles with a summons for him to appear without
further delay before the king. Terrified out of his five wits, and knowing
full well what had brought this judgment upon him, the worthy old priest
took up his stick and asked no questions, but forthwith made his way to
the palace. He was conducted at once to the Salle du Trône, where Louis,
surrounded by the rank and blood of France, was seated as for some solemn
ceremonial on his chair of state. He bent a stern gaze on the curé, and in
accents that made the culprit’s soul shake within him, demanded how it
came to pass that a man of his holy calling made his house a rendezvous
for midnight robbers who prowled about the country, disturbing honest
subjects and breaking the king’s laws. The curé fell upon his knees, and
humbly confessing cowardly concealment of a fact that he was in conscience
bound to have denounced at once to the nearest magistrate, pleaded,
nevertheless, that the bearing of those malefactors was so noble and their
manners so courteous that he had doubts as to whether they were indeed
such and not rather two knights of his majesty’s court; whereupon Louis
bade the malefactors come forward, and, introducing them by name to the
bewildered curé, enjoined him to be less cautious another time in opening
his doors to benighted gentlemen.

“And in payment of the leg of mutton which my son was so unmannerly as to
confiscate on you,” continued the king, “I name you Grand Prieur, with the
revenues and privileges attached to the office.” This was assuredly the
highest price that ever a leg of mutton fetched.

The _chambre â coucher de la reine_(69) plays a distinct part of its own
in the annals of Versailles. We forget its first occupant, the gentle,
long‐suffering Marie Thérèse, of whom, on hearing of her death, Louis
Quatorze exclaimed: “This is the first sorrow she ever caused me!” we
forget the longer‐suffering wife of Louis Quinze, the charitable Marie
Leczinska, surnamed by the people “the good queen”; we lose sight of all
the august figures who pass before us in the retrospect of this royal
chamber, and see only Marie Antoinette, the haughty sovereign, the heroic
mother and devoted wife, who has made it all her own. We see her, woke out
of her sleep, and the cries of the mob menacing the palace in the dead of
the night, and flying hardly dressed from the _chambre de la reine_ to
take refuge in the dauphin’s apartment, while the faithful guards dispute
with their lives the entrance of her own to the mad multitude that have
now broken in like a destroying torrent and are close upon the threshold.
The walls seem still to echo the cry of those two brave guards as they
fell: “Save the queen! Save the queen!” The great tragedy that was to
change the whole destinies of France may be said to have begun on this
terrible night of the 6th of October.

The _chambre à coucher du roi_(70) is, on the other hand, filled with
Louis Quatorze to the exclusion of all other memories. Here was performed
that solemn comedy in which the warriors and statesmen of the day took
their part so gravely: the _lever_ and _coucher de roi_. When we read the
minute details given in the chronicles of the time of the ceremonial gone
through by his courtiers every time the king got in and out of bed, it is
a severe tax on our credulity to believe that the _dramatis personæ_ who
played the farce so seriously were not fools or grinning idiots, but sane
and sober men whose lineage was second only in blue‐blooded antiquity to
that of Cæsar himself, men of talent, men of genius, heroes who fought
their country’s battles and deemed it no derogation to come from the field
of glory and fight for the honor of handing the king his stockings or his
pantaloons. This proud _noblesse_ whom Richelieu could not conquer by the
sword or subdue by tortures and imprisonment, lay down at the feet of
Louis, and, it is hardly a figure of speech to say, licked them. They
appear to have looked upon him, not as a mortal like themselves, however
elevated above them in rank and power, but as a god, a being altogether
apart from them in species. One is tempted to believe that both they and
he must occasionally have been possessed with some vague notion that it
was so; there is no other way of accounting for the servile worship which
they tendered as a duty, and which he accepted as a due. Truly that famous
“_L’état c’est moi!_”(71) sounds more of a god than a man; and that other
utterance of Louis, _Messieurs, j’ai failli attendre!_(72) addressed to
the proudest nobility in Europe, who were barely in their places when the
flourish of trumpets announced the king’s entrance, is scarcely less
grotesque in its superhuman pride.

This great and little _coucher_ which was surrounded by so much prestige
in the court of France was somewhat ridiculed by contemporary sovereigns,
for the honor of humanity be it said; their admiration for Louis did not
go the length of viewing the august ceremonial otherwise than in the light
of a bore or a joke. When Frederick the Great heard from his ambassador an
account of the first _grand lever_ at which he assisted at Versailles, he
burst into an uncontrollable fit of laughter, and exclaimed: “Well, if I
were king of France, I would certainly hire some small king to go through
all that for me!”

Considering how eagerly his courtiers contended for the honor of dressing
the king’s person, one would have fancied the privilege of making his bed
would have been proportionately coveted, and held second only to the honor
of holding his majesty’s boots; but, such is the inconsistency of human
beings, this was not the case. The courtiers probably felt that a line
should be drawn somewhere, so they drew it here; they would not perform
this menial office for the Grand Monarque, and the distinction of turning
his mattresses and spreading his quilt devolved on valets of a lower
grade. Among this inferior herd was one named Molière, a youth whom his
comrades laughed at and treated as a sort of crazy creature who was always
in the moon. One day when it happened to be his turn to spread the royal
sheets, the poet Belloc overheard them chaffing him and refusing to help
him in his work. He went up to Molière, and said: “Monsieur de Molière,
will you do me the honor of allowing me to help you to make the king’s
bed?” and Molière granted the request. The incident came to the king’s ear
and led to his noticing the eccentric valet. A little later, and we see
him standing behind the valet’s chair in this same room, where his
majesty’s dinner was sometimes served, and waiting upon him, while the
courtiers who had refused to sit at table with Molière stood round,
looking on in “mute consternation at the strange spectacle,” Saint‐Simon
tells us, who owns naïvely to sharing their consternation.

“Since none of my courtiers will admit Monsieur de Molière to their
table,” said Louis, “I must needs set him down at mine, and show them that
I count it an honor for the King of France to wait upon so great a man.”

Here, in this bed that Belloc and Molière had made together, Louis
Quatorze died. From under the crimson and gold canopy which had witnessed
the eternal _levers_ and _couchers_, Louis rebuked the violent grief of
two young pages who stood within the balustrade, that sanctum sanctorum
which none under a prince of the blood or a high chancellor dare pass at
any other time; they were weeping bitterly. “What!” exclaimed the king,
“did ye, then, think I was immortal?” There was a time when he himself
seemed to have thought so; but viewed by that vivid light that breaks
through the mists of death, things wore a different aspect in his eyes;
and the adulation which would fain have treated him as immortal, and which
was during life as the breath of his nostrils to Louis, showed now as the
empty bubble that it was.

No one ever again slept in the bed which had been honored by the last sigh
of the Grand Monarque; the room remained henceforth unoccupied, and, with
the exception of the pictures which have been removed, is still just as he
left it. Louis carried his favorite pictures about with him wherever he
went. “David,” by Domenichino, his best beloved of them all, is now to be
seen at the Louvre; otherwise little has been altered in the _chambre du
roi_; the bed and the _ruelle_ are in their old place, also the table, on
which a cold collation was laid every night in case of the king’s awaking
and feeling hungry; this precautionary little meal was called the _en
cas_; and the name with the habit, which had given rise to it, is still
perpetuated in many old‐fashioned French families. Louis Quinze, from some
superstitious feeling, could never bring himself to sleep in the death‐
chamber of his illustrious great‐grandfather; he took possession of what
was then the _salle de billiard_, a noble room opening into the _œil‐de‐
bœuf_ (bull’s eye), so called from its having an _œil‐de‐bœuf_ over the
large window at the north end. In an alcove in this billiard hall, Louis
XV. died. The adjoining _œil‐de‐bœuf_ was filled with the courtiers, who
dare not venture within the polluted atmosphere of the royal chamber, but
stood outside it, consulting together in “guilty whispers” as to what they
ought to do; dreading on one hand the reward of their cowardice if the
king should recover, and fearing on the other to fly too soon with their
servile congratulations to his successor. In the great court below another
crowd was assembled, watching in breathless silence for the signal which
was to proclaim the king’s death. What a spectacle it was!—what a lesson
for a king! The flatterers who yesterday had been his slaves, pandering to
his vices, and helping to make him the abject creature that he was,
abandoned him now that he was struggling with grim Death, and, all
absorbed in selfish cares for their own interest, in speculations of the
favor of the new king, they had no pity in their hearts for the master who
could pay them no more. It came at last, the signal; the small flame of a
candle was seen flickering through the darkness, and then held up at the
window of the _œil‐de‐bœuf_. “Suddenly there was a noise,” says the
historian of that ghastly scene, “like a roll of thunder, it was the
courtiers rushing from the antechamber of the dead king to greet his
successor.” Only his daughters had been brave enough to stand by the
bedside of the dying man, and, now that he was gone, there was not one in
all that multitude who could be induced to perform the last office of
mercy towards his poor remains. It was imperative, nevertheless, that the
body should be embalmed, and this appalling task devolved upon Andouillé,
the late king’s surgeon. The Duc de Villequier went up to him and reminded
him of it; he knew that the operation must insure certain death to the
operator, but that was not his concern.

“It is your duty, monsieur,” said the duke; and he was coolly turning away
when Andouillé stopped him. “Yes,” he replied, “it is my duty, and it is
yours to hold the head.” De Villequier had forgotten this; he made no
answer, but left the room, and nothing more was said about the embalmment.
The body was hustled into a coffin, and smuggled rather than conveyed in
the dead of the night to S. Denis, a few menials accompanying the King of
France to his last resting‐place. The spirit of French loyalty may be said
to have been buried with Louis Quinze; “the divinity that doth hedge a
king” was that night laid low in France, wrapped in the shroud that
covered the unutterable mass of corruption consigned like a dog to the
ready‐made grave in S. Denis. _Le roi_ could never again be to the nation
what he had been heretofore. _Le roi est mort, vive le roi!_(73) ceased to
be the watchword of its fealty; _le roi_, that being invested not merely
with supreme authority, but with a sort of vague personal sacredness that
has no parallel in modern loyalty, died with Louis Quinze, never to be
resuscitated. The miserable death of the libertine prince, fit ending to
an ignoble life, came upon his people in the light of a divine judgment,
swift and awful, and dealt the last blow at that prestige which had for
generations been the bulwark of king‐worship and shaded with its
mysterious reverence the iniquities of the throne. No man suffers alone
for his sins, but how much more truly may this be said of kings! Who could
measure the depth of the gulf that Louis XV. had dug through his long
reign for those who were to come after him, and realize the consequences
of his evil deeds to future generations of Frenchmen? There is no greater
fallacy than to attribute to an age the responsibility of its own
destinies; none probably ever saw the beginning and end of its own
history, for good or evil, but less than any other can the period of the
Revolution be said to have witnessed this unity. We must look much further
back to trace the rising of the red flood that inundated France in ’93. It
was the insane extravagance of Louis XIV.’s reign and the official
depravity of the succeeding one that sowed the harvest that was to be
reaped in fire by the innocent victims of a corruption which for a whole
century had been seething as in the caldron of the Prophet’s vision, till
it boiled over in the mad frenzy of the Revolution, and swallowed up not
only the monarch, but the soul and reason of France, in a deluge of
exasperated hate and suicidal revenge. Louis Seize, the martyred king who
was to expiate the follies and crimes of his predecessors, next passes
before us along the galleries of Versailles. There is an interval of
peace, a short halcyon time of pastorals and idyls, we see Marie
Antoinette playing at shepherdess in Arcadia, we hear Trianon ringing with
the music of her light‐hearted laughter, we see her choosing a friend,(74)
and braving the jealous anger that makes a crime of her friendship though
it be wise, and rebukes her mirth though it be innocent; but the queen
turns a deaf ear to all warning sounds and shuts her eyes to the gathering
clouds. Imprudent Marie Antoinette! Ill‐adapted wife of timid, hesitating,
magnanimous Louis Seize, the Bourbon of whom it was written with truth:


    “Louis ne sut qu’aimer et pardonner,
    S’il avait su punir, il aurait su regner.”(75)


He loved and forgave to the end, but he never learned to punish. Warnings
were not wanting, but he would not heed them. See him standing in the
embrasure of the window of that _cabinet du roi_ whence Louis Quatorze
ruled the kings and peoples of Europe; a new power has arisen; it is the
people’s turn to rule the king, his brow is clouded, his lip trembles, not
with fear—that base emotion never stirred the soul of Louis Seize—but with
anguish, perplexity, doubts in himself that amounted to despair. He
listens to the murmurs of the crowd down below; and to De Brézé, who
repeats, in tremulous accents, Mirabeau’s message of tremendous import:
“Go tell the king that the will of the people has brought us here, and
nothing but the force of bayonets shall drive us hence!” That force he
knew full well would never be appealed to; it was not the people who
should be driven hence, it was they who would drive the king. Presently we
see the ponderous state coach jolting slowly down the Avenue de Paris, the
first stage of the royal martyrs towards the guillotine; the mob, in a
frenzy of drunken triumph, jostled it from side to side, pressing rudely
through the windows to stare at their victims, and insulting them by
thrusting the red cap into their faces, and shouting as they go: “The
baker and the bakeress! now we have caught them, and the people shall have
bread!” This journey dates a new era in the annals of Versailles, it is
the death‐knell of the pleasant days of royalty; there are to be no more
_fêtes pastorales_ at Trianon, no more merry children of France careering
over the flowery terraces, making the sombre alleys bright and the gay
flowers brighter with the sweet melody of child laughter; all this is
gone, and passed like a dream. “The old order of things has vanished,
making place for the new.” Soon we shall see the palace of Louis Quatorze
stripped of its costly furniture, invaded by the rabble, and pillaged from
garret to cellar. The Convention will deem it right to utilize the
“foregoing abode of the tyrants” by turning it into a hospital; they will
transport the invalids to Versailles, but the rheumatic old heroes will
find the apartments of the Grand Monarque too grand to be comfortable,
they will complain of their pains and aches being aggravated by the
draughts, and beg to be taken back to their homely quarters, and the
Convention, in its benevolence, will accede to the request.

Louis XVIII. was anxious to fix his residence at Versailles, and went the
length of spending six millions of francs on repairing the façade, which
had been sadly battered by the Revolution, but he found that the expense
of refurnishing the palace would have been too much for the exhausted
finances of France; so he gave up the idea.

Louis Philippe restored it to its ancient splendor, but not for his own
use; he made it over to the nation as a museum, where they might go and
enjoy themselves, and see all the glories of their country commemorated.
Many of the victories of the _grande armée_ were painted to his order to
complete the series already decorating the walls. Versailles has retained
ever since this national character. Under the Second Empire it was used
occasionally for fêtes given to foreign princes; the most magnificent of
these was the one prepared for the Queen of England when she visited
Napoleon III. after his marriage.

France has undergone many strange vicissitudes, and her palaces have
harbored many unlikely guests; but among the strangest on record none can
assuredly compete with the recent experiences of Versailles. If the spirit
of Louis XIV. be permitted sometimes to haunt the scene of his earthly
pride, what must his feelings have been during the last two years! What
did he feel on beholding the halls which had echoed to his conquering step
held by the victorious soldiers of Germany, and vacated by them to make
way for the President of the French Republic? But this crowning enormity
stopped short at the threat. The _chambre du roi_ was indeed placed at the
disposal of the President, but whether it was that he shrank from the
profanation, or feared the vast proportions of the great king’s palace, as
likely to prove too large a frame for the representative of a republic, he
declined taking up his abode there. Versailles continues still to be the
resort of the people and of travellers from all parts of the world.



Father Isaac Jogues, S.J.


Father Isaac Jogues, the first of the missionaries to bear the cross into
the interior of our country, and the first to shed his blood on its soil
for the faith of Christ, was a native of Orleans, France. He was born on
the 10th of January, 1607, of a family distinguished alike for their
virtues and their worth. In the bosom of this pious family the young Isaac
was reared up, surrounded by all the profound and pleasing practices of
Catholic devotion. Lessons of religion and letters were imparted together,
and the scholar from his earliest youth proved himself remarkably apt at
both. As soon as he was old enough, he was sent, to his own great joy, to
the college at Orleans, then recently established by the Jesuit Fathers,
under whose instruction he made rapid progress in his studies. The virtues
of his character so ingratiated him with his companions at college, that
no thought of jealousy ever entered their hearts at the eminence he
enjoyed as a student.

As the close of his collegiate course drew near, he began, more seriously
than ever, to meditate on the greatest act of one’s life—the selection of
a vocation. It was his extraordinary devotion to the Passion of Our Lord
that settled this question for him. The cathedral church of his native
city was dedicated to the Holy Cross, and there from his tenderest years
he gazed daily upon that sacred symbol of the Passion and Redemption
glittering from the spires of the temple, and it became the object of his
warmest affection.


    “O lovely tree whose branches wore
    The royal purple of his gore!
    Oh! may aloft thy branches shoot,
    And fill all nations with thy fruit!”


Impelled by this devotion, he retired into himself in order to discover
his vocation, and heard within his soul the voice of Heaven calling him to
the Society of Jesus. Having applied for admission into the Society, and
being received with alacrity by the superior, he entered upon his
novitiate in October, 1624. To complete his studies he next went to the
celebrated college of La Flèche, where he passed his examination in
philosophy at the end of three years with great distinction. Then, in
obedience to the discipline of his order, the young Jesuit went to teach
in the college at Rouen, and for four years instructed the youth of that
city in the elements of the Latin language, in the principles of religion
and the practice of piety. So fruitful were his labors in this regard that
his scholars were ever distinguished for the solidity and constancy of
their virtues, and many of them became companions of their saintly
preceptor in the Society of Jesus.

We now find him winning laurels in the flowery path of literature. It was,
at the period of which we speak, the custom at the Jesuit colleges to test
the qualifications of the teachers, by requiring them, at the opening of
the year, to deliver an oration or poem, or read a lecture of their own
production, in public. Simply in obedience to this rule, and without any
desire of his own to gain distinction, the gifted Jogues participated in
these exercises, and on one occasion produced a poem of rare excellence.
But his heart was too thoroughly pre‐engaged to covet the laurels of
literary fame. He was intent on winning another crown—the glorious crown
of martyrdom. Yet so obedient was the young scholastic to the will of his
superior and to the spirit of his institute, that he, who only desired for
himself the wigwam and council fires of the roving tribes of the Western
wilds, went out with as much labor and zeal to acquire all the
accomplishments of learning as though a professor’s chair in Europe was to
be the field of his ambition. He was next sent to Paris, where he began
his course of divinity at the college of Clermont.

He applied himself to these studies with the greatest zeal, since they
constituted the last probation and delay preceding his elevation to the
sacred ministry, and the realization of his fondest hope—a foreign
mission. He seems not to have discovered his future plans to his family,
to whom he was, however, most tenderly attached. Writing to them in April,
1635, on receiving their complaint at his not having joined them in one of
their family festivals, he says: “The prayers which I offer up, as well
afar off as near you, are the most affectionate marks I can give of my
interest in you all.”

When the time for the reception of holy orders drew near, he prepared
himself by a spiritual retreat, and was ordained in February, 1636. His
family, who were extremely devoted to him, were not present at his
ordination; but his fond mother obtained from his superior a promise that
he might say his first Mass in his native city. He accordingly went to
Orleans, and offered up the holy sacrifice for the first time in the
church of the Holy Cross. Then, tearing himself away from his mother and
sisters, never to see them again, he went to Rouen, and entered upon what
is called the second novitiate in the Society of Jesus. But a fleet was
soon ready to sail from Dieppe for Canada, and the young missionary must
hasten to his chosen field of labor and love.

He was accompanied on the voyage by the Jesuit Fathers Garnier and
Chatelain, and by M. de Chanflour, afterwards governor at Three Rivers.
The vessel in which they sailed being leaky, the pumps were kept in
constant motion, and the labor thus imposed upon the crew gave rise to a
mutiny, which Father Jogues alone was able to quell. M. de Chanflour ever
afterwards, in speaking of the voyage, attributed his safety to the
influence of Father Jogues’ prayers with God, and of his persuasion with
the men.

After words of pious affection and encouragement which this exemplary son
knew well how to address to that excellent mother, he proceeds in one of
his letters addressed to her:

“I write this more than three thousand miles away from you, and I may
perhaps this year be sent to a nation called the Huron, distant nearly a
thousand miles more from here. It shows great dispositions for embracing
the faith. It matters not where we are, provided we are ever in the arms
of Providence and in his holy grace. This I beg for you and all our family
daily at the altar.”

By his short stay at Miscou he missed the Indian flotilla, and Fathers
Garnier and Chatelain embarked without him; but, some canoes having come
in later, the Indians, when about to return, asked, as if reproachfully,
why there was no black‐gown to be carried by them. Father Jogues, being
then at Three Rivers, was summoned to embark, and at once joyfully entered
the canoes.

We would gladly reproduce, did our space allow, a letter addressed to his
mother, under date June 5, 1637, giving an account of this voyage. Suffice
it to say that in nineteen days he accomplished what usually took twenty‐
five or thirty; joining Fathers Garnier and Chatelain, who had preceded
him but a month, and three other missionaries who had been five or six
years in the country.

Supported by his zeal, he accomplished his arduous and laborious passage,
but no sooner arrived at Ihonitiria than his exhausted nature sank under a
dreadful malady, which for more than a month threatened to terminate his
existence. With four others he lay during all this time in a cabin,
without medicines or food, except such food as was an aggravation to the
disease. By the middle of October Father Jogues was so far recovered as to
be able to take the ordinary food of the country, the sagamity.

In November he set out from Ihonitiria to join Father Brebeuf at the great
town of Ossossané, where for a time they were companions on earth who were
destined to be companions in heaven, in the enjoyment of the glorious
crown of martyrdom. Sickness was raging over the land, and the
missionaries hastened from town to town, and from cabin to cabin,
baptizing the dying infants, and such of the adults as were willing to
receive the words of eternal life. They even extended their visits to the
neighboring Nipissings, who had been terribly afflicted with the
prevailing maladies. The poor Indians, in most cases, would not listen to
the voice of the fathers, because they could not promise, as their own
sorcerers pretended, to cure their bodily afflictions. The horrid orgies
of the medicine‐men were consequently in great requisition, and one of
them, a little deformed creature, offered his services to one of the
fathers in his sickness.

There was another medicine‐man, Tehoronhaegnon, who filled the land with
dances and orgies of the most wicked and revolting character. The
missionaries labored to banish these abominations from the country, and to
introduce in their place the pure and holy rites of the Christian
religion. Unacquainted with their language, Father Jogues labored under
the greatest disadvantages, but by zealous and persevering application he
was soon able to make himself well understood; and in a few years he was
master of the Huron, the key‐tongue to so many others. Remaining at
Ossossané as his place of residence, he was incessant in his visits and
ministrations in the cabins of the people, preaching the faith to all, and
at the same time rapidly acquiring their language. Late in 1637 he
returned to labor in the same way at Ihonitiria. On the ruin of this town
and its mission, he went again to join his superior, Father Brebeuf, at
Teananstayae.

In 1639, Father Jogues accompanied Father Garnier in his expedition to
plant the cross among the mountains of the Petuns, or Tobacco Indians.
They twice visited the Petun village of Ehwae, which they dedicated to SS.
Peter and Paul. But their noble efforts were in vain; every door was
closed against them, and menaces assailed them on every side; even the
women reproached their husbands for not killing them, and the children
pursued them through the streets. The sachems gave a feast to the young
warriors in order to induce them to destroy the missionaries; but the
providence of God saved his servants from the impending blow.

In the next year, Father Jogues was stationed with Father Francis Duperon
at the new residence at S. Mary’s. Four towns partook of their care, and
these they piously dedicated to S. Ann, S. John, S. Denis, and S. Louis.
Obliged to select the worst season of the year for their labor, because
then only were the neophytes drawn together, their time was incessantly
occupied in conveying to the untaught natives the faith and its
consolations. Next year Father Jogues was stationed permanently at St.
Mary’s. Here the fathers established a hospice, where the wayfarer was
ever sure to find refreshment and relief for the body as well as the soul.
To this sacred spot in the wilderness came Indians from distant villages
to receive instruction in the faith, some to be baptized, some to prepare
for the reception of Holy Communion, some to be trained in the duties of
catechists, and others, like Joseph Chihatenhwa, to make a spiritual
retreat.

But now a new enterprise for the Gospel drew Father Jogues away from St.
Mary’s. This was to plant the cross in the region now comprising the state
of Michigan. The missionaries knew that beyond the Huron Lake another vast
expanse of water lay which never yet had been visited by them. The strait
which connected the two lakes had formerly been known by the name of
Gaston, and was supposed to have been once visited by Nicholet, but no
intercourse ever subsisted between the French and the tribes of those
regions. In the summer of 1641, numerous delegations from all the nations
and tribes, scattered over a great expanse of country, were attracted to
the “Feast of the Dead,” now to be given by the Algonquins.

Thus, on the present occasion, the numerous branches of the vast Algonquin
family were brought in contact with the Jesuit missionaries and the
Christian Hurons, and the latter spread far and near in this vast assembly
the fame of the black‐gown chiefs. In the general interchange of presents,
the missionaries presented to the strangers “the wampum of the faith.” The
Panoitigoueieuhak, or Sauteux, as the French called them, a tribe
inhabiting the small strip near the Falls of St. Mary, were particularly
friendly and earnest, and invited the black‐gowns to come and bring the
faith to their cabins as they had done for the Hurons. Father Raymbault
and Father Jogues were named by the superior to visit this new and distant
vineyard. Launching their canoes in the latter part of September at St.
Mary’s, they glided over the little river Wye, and were soon on the broad,
clear bosom of the great “Fresh‐Water Sea.” For seventeen days their frail
canoes glided through the multitude of little islands that stud the water
from the Huron promontory. They reached without accident the strait where
Superior empties its waters into the lower lakes, and then they
encountered Indians assembled to the number of two thousand. From these
they learned of innumerable wild and warlike tribes stretching far to the
west and south. Here, too, their eager ears were feasted with tidings of a
mighty river rolling towards the south till it met the sea, whose shores
were lined with numberless tribes and nations. Planting the cross at Sault
St. Mary’s, the two fathers turned it hopefully and prophetically towards
this great mysterious river, whose vast and teeming valley they thus took
possession of in the name of the Prince of Peace. Having opened the way to
this immense mission‐field by their visit, the two missionaries encouraged
the Sauteux with the prospect of a future permanent mission, and, amidst
the regrets of their new friends, again launched their canoes and returned
to their mission‐house at St. Mary’s. “Thus,” says Bancroft, “did the
religious zeal of the French bear the cross to the banks of the St. Mary
and the confines of Lake Superior, and look wistfully towards the homes of
the Sioux in the Valley of the Mississippi, five years before the New
England Eliot had addressed the tribes of Indians that dwelt within six
miles of Boston Harbor.”

At St. Mary’s, Father Jogues remained constantly employed at the hospice
with Father Duperon in instructing and preparing the Indians for the
reception of the faith. One hundred and twenty were baptized during the
winter, and among these was the famous warrior, Ahasistari, a chief of the
town of St. Joseph’s.

This brave and chivalrous chief had been for some time receiving
instruction in the faith, and he now came forward to ask for baptism. The
fathers at first put him off, in order that he might become still better
instructed; but his entreaties were so earnest, and his appreciation of
the Christian truths so intelligent, that it was deemed no longer
necessary or proper to postpone the boon. He accordingly received the
sacrament on Holy Saturday, 1642.

It has been seen how, at Orleans, the ardent novice of the Society of
Jesus was passionately devoted to the cross, the memento of our Saviour’s
Passion. Like S. Peter, his heart was still for ever enamored with the
sacred humanity of his divine Master. Thus his devotion to the Blessed
Sacrament was intense, and the Real Presence, the greatest of blessings,
made the wilderness of America a paradise to Father Jogues. Father Buteux
says of him that he was “a soul glued to the Blessed Sacrament.” His
prayers, meditations, office, examens of conscience—in fine, all his
devotions—were performed in the little chapel before the Holy Eucharist.
Neither heat, nor cold, nor the swarms of mosquitoes, with which the
chapel was infested, could induce him to forego the society of his
Saviour. No wonder he was attracted thither; for it was in the little
chapel that he was not unfrequently favored with heavenly visitations. It
was there, too, that he breathed that heroic prayer, whose only petition
was that he might be allowed to bear a portion of his Saviour’s cross. His
prayer was heard—a warning voice fortified his soul for the approaching
conflict.

The necessities of the Huron missionaries had now arrived at the point of
extreme distress. They were reduced to procure the wine for the altar from
the wild grape; at last, flour to make the sacred host was wanting for the
holy sacrifice, and the missionaries themselves were in want of clothes
and other necessaries of life. The perilous passage through various
intervening hostile tribes to procure relief from Quebec for the pressing
demands of the mission must now be undertaken by some one, and Father
Jerome Lalemant, the superior, selected Father Jogues for the task, which,
however, at the same time, he permitted him to accept or decline. His
immediate preparation to depart showed that he did not hesitate about
accepting. To his great joy, the faithful and noble chief, Eustace
Ahasistari, came forward, and offered to become his escort and guide. A
flotilla of four canoes, bearing the missionary, the Christian chief, four
Frenchmen, and eighteen Hurons, started from St. Mary’s on the 13th of
June. The voyagers had to endure the usual portages at the rapids, and
other hardships of such trips; but, by the exercise of great care and
vigilance, they reached Quebec without harm from the savages. The faithful
messenger, besides procuring books, vestments, and sacred vessels, had all
things in readiness by the last day in July, the feast of S. Ignatius. He
stopped to celebrate the feast of the great founder of his order, in which
his companions united by approaching the sacraments in solemn preparation
for their perilous return. The flotilla, now increased to twelve canoes,
started from Three Rivers on the 1st day of August, and at first made slow
progress against the impetuous current of the St. Lawrence. They spent the
night on a small island in Lake St. Peter, twelve leagues from Three
Rivers, and on the second morning they had not proceeded far when they
discovered suspicious footprints on the adjacent shore. Nerved by the
dauntless courage of Ahasistari, they pushed on, and had not advanced a
league when suddenly a volley from a Mohawk ambush riddled their bark
canoes. Panic‐struck, the Hurons, whose canoes were near the shore, fled
in all directions. Only fourteen rallied round the gallant Ahasistari, who
had now to oppose a force of twice his numbers. The Mohawks, armed with
fire‐arms, and reinforced from the other shore, overpowered the Hurons,
who broke and fled. Father Jogues, ever mindful of his sacred calling, in
the heat of the attack calmly stopped to take up water for the baptism of
his pilot, who was the only unbaptized Indian in his canoe. Seeing himself
almost alone, he made to the shore; but he did not attempt to escape,
which he might easily have done. “Could I,” he says, “a minister of
Christ, forsake the dying, the wounded, the captive?” Advancing to the
guard of the prisoners, he asked to be made a captive with them, and their
companion in danger and in death. Well might the Mohawk guard, at the
sight of such heroism, have been scarcely able to believe his senses! Well
might the historian exclaim, “When did a Jesuit missionary seek to save
his own life, at what he believed to be the risk of a soul?”(76) Father
Jogues at once began his offices of mercy among his fellow‐captives. He
encouraged and confessed his faithful companion, the good René Goupil; he
instructed and baptized the Hurons, and as, one after another, they were
brought in prisoners, the priest of God rushed to meet and embrace them,
and to unite them to the fold of Christ.

In the meantime, Ahasistari, having got beyond the reach of his pursuers,
looked round for Ondessonk. Finding that the black‐gown was not there, the
noble chief relinquished his freedom that he might share in the captivity
of the father, whom he had promised never to abandon. While Father Jogues
was engaged in ministering to the prisoners, the voice of Ahasistari
struck upon his astonished ears. “I made a vow to thee that I would share
thy fortunes, whether death or life. Brother, here I am to keep my vow.”
Also a young Frenchman, one of those _donnés_ who accompanied and aided
the missionaries, returned to join the prisoners with the same exalted
motive; and, as Father Jogues tenderly embraced him, all bleeding and
mangled as he was, the savages could not restrain their fury. Rushing upon
the father, they beat him with their fists and clubs till he fell
senseless to the ground. Then, seizing his hands, they tore out most of
his nails with their teeth, and inflicted upon him the exquisite torture
of crunching his fingers, especially the two forefingers. But these
tortures were only the first outbursts of savage rage and cruelty, the
forerunners of more cruel ones in reserve.

The time consumed in collecting the prisoners, dividing the booty, and
preparing for retreat enabled Father Jogues to complete the instruction
and baptism of the remaining prisoners.

On Lake Champlain, another Mohawk war‐fleet met the flotilla, and, drawing
up on an island, the newcomers prepared to receive their countrymen and
the prisoners. They erected a scaffold on the highest point of land for
the prisoners; then offering thanks to the sun as the genius of war, they
lined the shore, and welcomed the conquering fleet with a salute of
firearms. The number of savages on the new flotilla was about two hundred,
and, as their native superstition taught them that their success in war
would be proportioned to their cruelty to the prisoners, sad indeed was
the fate of the latter. Father Jogues closed the line of prisoners as they
marched up to the scaffold, and so terrific was the shower of blows that
assailed him that he fell exhausted to the ground: “God alone,” he
exclaims—“God alone, for whose love and glory it is sweet to suffer, can
tell what cruelties they wreaked upon me then.” Unable to proceed, he was
dragged to the scaffold, when, on reviving, he suffered the ordeal of fire
and steel. His closing wounds were reopened, his remaining nails were torn
from their sockets, and the bones forced through the crushed fingers.
Twice one of his tormentors rushed to cut off his nose—a certain prelude
of death to follow—and was twice restrained by some invisible, some
providential power. Falling repeatedly to the ground, the blazing brands
and burning calumets forced him to rise. Thus tortured and fainting, the
paternal eyes of Jogues still possessed tears of tenderest sympathy to
shed for the sufferings of his fellow‐captive, Ahasistari, who, amidst his
own sufferings, cried aloud in praise of the father’s courage and love of
his children. The night was spent without food, and in the morning the
voyage was resumed. While passing over the lake, again they met a Mohawk
fleet, and again the victorious Mohawks must honor their countrymen by
fresh tortures of the prisoners. On the next day, the ninth of the
captivity, the flotilla reached the extremity of the lake, where the
entire party landed. The prisoners, weakened and suffering with wounds and
hunger, were now loaded with all the luggage, and, in this plight, forced
to commence a four days’ journey by land. Some berries, gathered on the
wayside, constituted their only food, and the exhausted father narrowly
escaped being drowned in crossing the first river. On the eve of the
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, they reached the river near the Mohawk
village. Here again the captives became the objects of cruel tortures for
the amusement of the crowds swarming from the settlement to see them. “And
as he ran the gauntlet, Jogues comforted himself with a vision of the
glory of the Queen of Heaven,”(77) for it was the eve of her glorious
Assumption into Heaven. Some Hurons, who met them at the river, exclaimed
in compassion, “Frenchmen, you are dead!” Before going up to the village,
Father Jogues was again cruelly beaten with clubs and sticks, especially
on the head, which by its baldness excited the derision of the savages.
Two remaining finger‐nails, which had escaped their impatient cruelty
before, were now torn out with the roots. “Conscious that, if we withdrew
ourselves from the number of the scourged, we withdrew from that of the
children of God, we cheerfully presented ourselves,” were the words of the
martyr himself, relating how he advanced to receive new tortures.

The line of march was formed for the village, Father Jogues closing as
before the procession. Again the scaffold was erected, again the heroic
band ran the gauntlet in marching to the scaffold hill, and the signal for
the tortures to begin was given by a chief, who struck each captive three
times on the back with a club. An old man approached Father Jogues, and
compelled an aged captive woman to sever his left thumb from his hand with
a dull knife. Long and various were the tortures which Father Jogues and
his companions now endured, and though exhausted from the loss of blood,
he consoled them in their sufferings. As night approached, the prisoners
were tied to stakes driven in the ground, and thus exposed to the
maltreatment of the children, who threw burning coals upon them, “which
hissed and burned in the writhing flesh, till they were extinguished
there.”(78)

On the following day the prisoners were led forth half naked through the
broiling sun, to be exhibited and tortured in all the Mohawk towns. At the
second village the same tortures were endured as at the first. On entering
the last town the heart of Father Jogues was melted at the sight of a
fresh band of Huron prisoners just brought in. Forgetting his own
captivity and sufferings, he approached the captives with every expression
of sympathy and kindness: he could not release their bodies from bondage;
but he offered to their immortal souls the freedom of the Gospel. There
was no water at hand with which to baptize these devoted captives; when,
lo! the dews of heaven were supplied. An Indian at that anxious moment
passed by with Indian corn, and threw a stalk at the father’s feet. As the
freshly cut plant passed through the sunlight, dew‐drops upon the blades
were revealed to the eager eyes of the missionary, who, gathering the
precious drops into his hands, baptized two Hurons on the spot. A little
brook they afterwards crossed supplied the saving water for the others.

In this town, also, the tortures were repeated with many horrid additions.
Father Jogues, ever tender and sympathetic for the sufferings of his
converts, was compelled to look on, and see the fingers of one of his
Hurons nearly sawed off with a rough shell, and then violently torn off
with the sinews uncut. Father Jogues and his companion René Goupil were
led to a cabin and ordered to sing. Availing themselves of the command,
they devoutly chanted the Psalms of David. They were burned in several
parts of their bodies. Then two poles were erected in the air, in the form
of a cross, and Father Jogues was tied to it by cords of twisted bark,
thus throwing the whole weight of his body upon his wounded and lacerated
arms. He asked to be released in mercy, in order that he might prepare for
death, which he thought would result from his tortures, but this was
refused him. Begging pardon of God for having made such a request, he had
already resigned himself to the mercies of heaven, when suddenly an Indian
in the crowd, touched with compassion, rushed forward and cut the cords
that bound him to the cross. During the night he was again tied to a stake
driven in the ground, and his sufferings were prolonged without relief
till morning. On the following day the prisoners were carried back to the
second town they had entered. Here the council decided to spare the lives
of the French for the present, and to put the Hurons to death.

Father Jogues and René Goupil lingered in suffering, and almost at the
point of death, for three weeks, at Gandawagué, now Caughnawaga, in New
York. The Mohawks had concluded to send them back when convenient to Three
Rivers. In the meantime, the Dutch settlers in New Netherland, who were
allies of the Mohawks, heard that their Iroquois neighbors and friends had
taken some European prisoners. These generous Dutch, headed by their
minister, the worthy Dominie Megapolensis, took the matter in hand, and
raised six hundred guilders for the ransom of the French prisoners.
Accordingly Arendt Curler set out with this sum, accompanied by two
burghers from Rensselaerswyck, now Albany, for the Mohawk castles. The
treaty between the Dutch and the Mohawks was renewed, but neither money
nor diplomacy could move the chiefs to deliver up the prisoners, whose
importance they began now to perceive from the effort made for their
release. All that the Dutch could obtain was a promise to send them back
to Three Rivers.

Afterwards, divisions arose among the savages as to what disposition
should be made of Father Jogues and René. In the meantime their lives were
suspended upon the capricious humors and passions of the cruel Mohawks.
The master of the cabin on seeing this ordered a young brave to put René
to death; that order was afterwards obeyed.

After the death of René, Father Jogues remained among the Mohawks, the
sole object of their barbarous cruelty and superstitious hatred. Amidst
the countless sufferings he endured, his consolation consisted in prayer
and visits of religion to the Huron prisoners. In his poverty he was rich
in the possession of a volume containing one of the Epistles of S. Paul,
and an indulgenced picture of S. Bruno. These, his only possessions, he
carried always about his person.

In the fall, he was obliged to accompany the tribe as a slave on a grand
hunt, and then for two months inconceivable hardships and labors were his
constant lot. When the chase was unproductive, he was accused as the demon
of their ill success. When sacrifice was offered to the god Aireskoi, he
refused to eat any of the food of the idolatrous sacrifice, and was
thereupon repulsed and avoided as polluted and polluting; and every door
was closed against him, food was denied him, and a shelter refused. After
performing the menial and oppressive labors which they imposed upon him,
he retired at night to his little oratory, with its roof of bark and floor
of snow, to commune with his Heavenly Father, his only friend; even to
that sacred spot, the arrows, clubs, and once the tomahawk, of his
persecutors followed him. He was finally sent back to the village, loaded
with venison, over a frozen country, thirty leagues in extent, and almost
perished of cold on the way. But even such a journey possessed its
consolations; for on the way, by an act of heroism, he saved an Indian
woman and her infant from drowning, and, as the infant was on the point of
expiring from its exposure and injuries, he poured the waters of
regeneration on its head, and saved another soul for heaven.

On arriving at the village, he was ordered to return over the same road to
the hunting‐ground, but his repeated falls on the ice compelled him to
abandon the journey and return to the village, to endure equal torments
there. Obliged to become the nurse of one of the most inveterate of his
enemies, who was lying devoured by a loathsome disease, the good Samaritan
entered upon his task as a work of love, and for an entire month bestowed
the most tender care and sympathetic attention upon his patient. In the
spring of 1643, he was compelled to accompany a fishing party to a lake
four days’ journey off, when he suffered over again the cruelties of the
recent hunt. On the lake shore, as on the hunting‐grounds, his cross and
little oratory of fir branches were his only consolations. His mode of
life in these wildernesses is thus described by Bancroft: “On a hill apart
he carved a long cross on a tree, and there, in the solitude, meditated
the imitation of Christ, and soothed his grief by reflecting that he
alone, in that vast region, adored the true God of earth and heaven.
Roaming through the stately forests of the Mohawk Valley, he wrote the
name of Jesus on the bark of trees, graved the cross, and entered into
possession of these countries in the name of God—often lifting up his
voice in a solitary chant.”

Repeatedly during this period was the murderous tomahawk suspended over
his head; and twice was he selected to be sacrificed to the manes of some
Indian warrior who had gone on the hunt and had not returned. But his life
was in the hands of an invisible Protector. A generous Indian matron
adopted him as her son, in the place of her own son she had just lost; and
now, when he mingled with the Mohawks as their brother, he spoke to them
of God, heaven, eternity, and hell. Though he convinced them that his
words were true, they were too much wedded to their idols to yield to the
grace of conversion. On one occasion he was led out to be sacrificed to
the manes of the braves who had gone on a war party, and, not having
returned, were supposed to be lost; but before the ceremony proceeded too
far, the warriors returned just in time to save his life. They brought
with them some Abnaki prisoners whom they destined for the stake. Father
Jogues secured the services of an interpreter, instructed them in the
faith, and succeeded in converting several of them, whom he baptized at
Easter.

It was shortly after this that Father Jogues was compelled to witness the
horrid spectacle of human sacrifice offered to the demon Aireskoi. How
wonderful are the ways of divine Providence! for it was in the midst of
this act, the lowest point in the scale of human degradation and of insult
to God, that a human soul is regenerated by one of the Christian
sacraments, and that soul is the victim itself of the superstitious rite.
A woman was chosen for the victim, and was tied to the stake. The savages
formed a line, and as they approached the stake each one did his share in
burning, cutting, or otherwise torturing the unhappy victim. Father Jogues
had previously instructed the woman. He took no part, of course, in this
awful and wicked sacrifice, but he availed himself of an opportunity to
press forward in the crowd, and as the victim bowed to receive the
sacrament from his hands, the missionary poured the baptismal waters on
her head, in the midst of the raging flames of the heathen sacrifice.

An effort was now made by his friends in Canada to secure the release of
Father Jogues. Some braves of the Sokoki tribe, living on the Connecticut,
had been captured by the Algonquins, and were now led forth for torture.
The French governor procured their liberation, committed them to the care
of the hospital nuns, and, after their wounds were healed, sent them back
to their own country, with a request that they would induce their tribe to
send an embassy to their allies the Mohawks to intercede for the relief of
Father Jogues. The embassy was accordingly sent, the Mohawks lit their
council fires, the Sokoki presents were accepted, but the main question
was parried, and finally the old promise to send him back to Three Rivers
was the only result. Perceiving now more than ever the dignity and
importance of their prisoner, the Mohawks led him forth in triumph to show
their allies that even the powerful French nation was tributary to the
Iroquois. This cruel journey, two hundred and fifty miles long, was over a
rugged and barren country, and many were the sufferings our missionary had
to endure. Yet this journey was not without its peculiar consolations to
Father Jogues. On one occasion he baptized five dying infants; and as he
passed through the cabins in search of souls, he heard the voice of a
former benefactor, the Indian who had so generously cut loose the cords
that bound him to the cross of logs hoisted in the air in the village of
Tinniontiogen, crying to him from his bed of misery and death. Father
Jogues embraced his benefactor with a burst of gratitude and sympathy.
Unable to reward him with worldly goods or temporal relief, the father
instructed him in the truths of eternal life, bestowed upon the willing
convert the treasure of the faith, and shortly before his death sealed all
with the sacrament of baptism.

After his return to the village he was rushed upon one day by an
infuriated savage, whose club laid him almost lifeless on the ground.
Every day he was thus exposed to some imminent peril. His life was
suspended upon the merest chance or savage caprice or passion. The good
old woman who had adopted him, and whom he called his aunt, was his only
friend in that vast region. She advised him to make his escape, but he
believed it to be the will of God that he should remain there.

In August, 1643, he had to accompany a portion of the tribe on a hunting
and fishing party, during which he visited for the second time the Dutch
at Rensselaerswyck, the present city of Albany. The inhabitants again made
a generous effort to secure the liberation of Father Jogues, but their
appeal to the savage Mohawk was in vain. It was here, too, amid the
dangers and distractions that encompassed him at Rensselaerswyck, that he
produced that beautiful monument of taste and learning, as well as of
apostolic zeal and love, the relation of his captivity and sufferings to
his superior, which has been so greatly admired for its pure and classic
Latin. In this letter, he says: “I have baptized seventy since my
captivity, children, and youth, and old men of five different tongues and
nations, that men of every tribe, and tongue, and nation, might stand in
the presence of the Lamb.”

While engaged in helping the Iroquois to stretch their nets for fish, he
heard of more Huron prisoners brought to the village, two of whom had
already expired at the stake unbaptized. Obtaining the permission of his
good aunt who had adopted him, he at once dropped the fish‐nets, and
returned to the village in order that he might set his net for human
souls. On his way to the village he passed through Rensselaerswyck. Van
Curler insisted on his making his escape by flight, since certain death
awaited him at the village, and offered a shelter and a passage on board
of a ship destined first for Virginia and then for Bordeaux or Rochelle.
It has already been related that Father Jogues had resolved to regard the
Mohawk as his mission, he therefore hesitated to accept the generous offer
of the Dutch, though inevitable death would soon remove him from that
chosen field. But Van Curler and the minister of the settlement, John
Megapolensis, pressed their appeal with such powerful arguments that the
missionary promised to consider it, and asked one night for prayer and
consultation with his soul and with God. After fervent supplication for
the aid of heaven in deciding the matter with impartiality, and after much
reflection, Father Jogues, knowing that if he returned to the village
death would soon remove him from it, and convinced that his return to
France or Canada would prove the only means of founding a regular mission
in the Mohawk, resolved to attempt his escape, and went in the morning to
announce his resolution to Van Curler and Megapolensis. They then arranged
together the plan of escape. Returning to the custody of his guards, he
accompanied them to their quarters. When they all retired at night to
their barn to rest, the Iroquois slept around the father, in order to
secure him closely within, while without the premises were guarded by
ferocious watch‐dogs. In his first attempt early in the night, the dogs
rushed upon him and tore his leg dreadfully with their teeth, and he was
obliged to return into the barn. Towards daybreak a second attempt was
more successful; the dogs were silenced; the prisoner quietly escaped over
the fence, and ran limping and suffering with his lacerated limb fully a
mile to the river where the ship lay. But here he found the bark sent by
Van Curler for his escape lying high and dry and immovable on the beach,
and the vessel was not within hailing distance. In these straitened
circumstances, he had recourse to prayer. In making another effort to move
the bark he seemed to be gifted with renewed strength, and soon the boat
was afloat, and thus he succeeded alone in reaching the vessel. He was
immediately concealed in the bottom of the hold, and a heavy box was
placed over the hatch. In the filth of this narrow and unventilated place
he remained two days and nights, suffering extremely from his wound, from
hunger and the noisome air.

Father Jogues was then carried into the settlement to remain until all was
quiet and it was time to embark. He was confided to the care of a man who
permitted him to be thrust into a miserable loft, where he remained six
weeks crouched behind a hogshead as his only shelter, with scarcely food
sufficient to keep him alive, enduring every discomfort, and exposed to
detection and recapture by the Iroquois or Mohawks, who incessantly
haunted the house.

After six weeks thus spent, Father Jogues, accompanied by the minister,
Dominie Megapolensis, took the first boat for New Amsterdam, as the city
of New York was then called. The voyage lasted six weeks, during which
Father Jogues became a great favorite with all on board. As they passed a
little island in their route, the crew named it in honor of Father Jogues
amid the discharge of cannon, and the Calvinist minister honored the
Jesuit by contributing a bottle of wine to the festivities of the
occasion. After an agreeable voyage, they arrived at New Amsterdam. The
germ of the present monster city consisted then of a little fort
garrisoned with sixty men, a governor’s house, a church, and the houses of
four or five hundred men scattered over and around the entire Island of
Manhattan. There were many different sects and nations represented there.
The director‐general told Father Jogues that there were eighteen different
languages spoken on the island. The Jesuit was enthusiastically received
at New Amsterdam, for the people turned out in crowds to greet him. One of
them, a Polish Lutheran, when he saw the mangled hands of Father Jogues,
ran and threw himself at his feet to kiss his wounded hands, exclaiming,
“O martyr of Christ! O martyr!” So practical, however, were the notions of
the old Dutch inhabitants of the city about such matters, that they asked
the missionary how much the company of New France would pay him for all he
had suffered! Father Jogues made a vigilant search in New Amsterdam for
Catholics. He found two: one, a Portuguese woman, with whom he could not
converse, showed that she still clung to her faith by the pious pictures
which were hanging round her room; the other, an Irishman, trading from
Virginia, who availed himself of the father’s presence to go to his
confession. It was from the latter that he learned that the English
Jesuits had been driven from Maryland by the Puritan rulers of that
colony, and had taken refuge in Virginia.

He remained there three months altogether in the old Dutch colony.
Receiving commendatory letters from William Kieft, the governor of New
Netherland, he sailed from the majestic harbor of New Amsterdam on the 5th
of November, 1643. The little vessel possessed no comforts or
accommodations. The father’s only bed was a coil of rope on deck, where he
received severe drenchings from the waves breaking over him. A furious
storm drove the vessel in on the English coast, near Falmouth, which was
then in possession of the king’s party: two parliamentary cruisers pursued
the Dutch vessel, but she escaped and anchored at the wharf. The storm‐
beaten crew went ashore to enjoy themselves, leaving only Father Jogues
and another person on board, when the vessel was boarded by robbers, who
pointed a pistol at the missionary’s throat and robbed him of his hat and
coat. He appealed to a Frenchman, the master of a collier at the wharf,
for relief, who took him on board his boat, gave him a sailor’s hat and
coat, all his own poverty could spare, and a passage to France. In this
plight, this celebrated missionary, whose fame filled all France, landed
on his native shore on Christmas morning, at a point between Brest and St.
Pol de Leon.

He borrowed a more decent hat and cloak from a peasant near the shore, and
hastened to the nearest chapel, to make his thanksgiving and unite in the
glorious solemnity of Christmas. As it was early he had the consolation of
approaching the tribunal of penance, and of receiving the Holy Eucharist,
for the first time in sixteen months. The touching story of his captivity
and sufferings among the savages subdued their hearts and drew floods of
sympathizing tears from the peasants whose hospitality he shared. They
offered him all they had to forward him on his journey. A good merchant of
Rennes, then passing on his way, heard the thrilling incidents he related,
and saw his mangled hands: touched with compassion, he took the missionary
under his care, and paid his expenses to Rennes, where he arrived on the
eve of the Epiphany. He went to the college of his order in that city, and
as soon as it was known that he was from Canada, all the members of the
community gathered round him to ask him if he knew Father Jogues, and
whether he was yet alive and in captivity. He then disclosed his name, and
showed the marks of his sufferings; all then pressed forward to embrace
their saintly brother, and kiss his glorious wounds.

He reposed for a few days at the college at Rennes, and then pushed on
towards Paris, to place himself again at the disposal of his superior,
humbly and modestly intimating a desire, however, to be sent back to his
mission in America. His fame had long preceded him, and, when he arrived
at the capital, the faithful pressed forward in crowds to venerate him and
kiss his wounds. The pious queen‐mother coveted the same happiness, and
he, whom we saw so recently the captive and slave of brutal savages, is
now honored at the court of the first capital of Christendom. But the
humility of Father Jogues took alarm at the honors paid to him. Throwing
himself at his superior’s feet, he entreated that he might be sent back to
the wilderness from which he had just escaped. The superior consented; but
an obstacle here presented itself. So great were the injuries inflicted
upon his hands by the Mohawks that he was canonically disqualified from
offering up the holy sacrifice of the Mass. Application for the proper
dispensation was made to the Sovereign Pontiff, upon a statement of the
facts. Innocent XI. was moved by the recital, and, with an inspired
energy, exclaimed, “_Indignum esse Christi martyrem, Christi non bibere
sanguinem_”—“It were unjust that a martyr of Christ should not drink the
blood of Christ!” Pronounced by the Vicar of Christ on earth to be a
martyr, though living, he now goes to seek a double martyrdom in death. In
the spring he started for Rochelle, and F. Ducreux, the historian of
Canada, sought the honor of accompanying him thither.

He embarked from Rochelle for Canada, where he arrived on the 16th May,
1644. He found the Iroquois war still raging with unabated fury, and the
colony of New France reduced to the verge of ruin. When his brethren in
Canada heard and saw how cruelly Father Jogues had been treated in the
Mohawk, and that his timely flight alone had saved his life, they felt the
saddest apprehensions about the fate of Father Bressani, who had also
fallen into the hands of the Iroquois. Finding it impossible to return to
Lake Huron, Father Jogues joined Father Buteux in the duties of the holy
ministry at the new town of Montreal, to which its founders gave the name
of the City of Mary, in consecrating it to the Mother of God. It was
during their sojourn together that the superior endeavored to draw from
Father Jogues, by entreaty, and even by command, the circumstances of his
sufferings in captivity; but his humility and modesty were so great that
it was with the greatest difficulty that anything concerning himself could
be drawn from him. In this spirit he avoided all the honors that were
pressed upon him. After his return to Canada, he was so desirous of being
unknown and unhonored that he ceased signing his name, and even his
letters which he addressed to his superior after his return to Canada are
without signatures.

Some Mohawk prisoners, kindly treated by the Governor of Canada and
released, returned to their country, and disposed the Mohawks to make
peace. A solemn deputation of their chiefs came to Three Rivers, and were
received on the 12th of July, 1645, with great ceremony and pomp. Father
Jogues was present, though unseen by the deputies; so was Father Bressani,
who, having passed the ordeal of a most cruel captivity among the Mohawks,
had been ransomed by the Dutch of New York, sent to France, and had now,
like Father Jogues, returned to New France to suffer again. When all was
silent, the orator of the deputies arose, and opened the session with the
usual march and chants. He explained, as he proceeded to deliver the
presents, the meaning of each. Belt after belt of wampum was thrown at the
governor’s feet, until at last he held forth one in his hand, beautifully
decorated with the shell‐work of the Mohawk Valley. “This,” he exclaimed,
“is for the two black‐gowns. We wished to bring them both back; but we
have not been able to accomplish our design. One escaped from our hands in
spite of us, and the other absolutely desired to be given up to the Dutch.
We yielded to his desire. We regret not their being free, but our
ignorance of their fate. Perhaps even now that I name them they are
victims of cruel enemies or swallowed up in the waves. The Mohawk never
intended to put them to death.”

The French had little faith in the sincerity of the Mohawk, yet they
wanted peace. The past was forgiven, the missionaries buried the
remembrance of their wrongs with the hatchet of the Mohawk, and peace was
concluded. The deputies returned to their castles to get the sachems to
ratify the peace, and Father Jogues to Montreal to prepare himself for the
terrible ordeal which he foresaw a Mohawk mission would open to him. His
preparation consisted in prayer, meditations, and other spiritual
exercises. The peace was ratified; the Indians asked for missionaries; the
French resolved to open a mission among them, and Father Jogues was
selected for the perilous enterprise. When he received the letter of his
superior informing him of his selection, Father Jogues joyfully accepted
the appointment, and prepared at once to depart. His letter in reply to
the superior contains these heroic words: “Yes, father, I will all that
God wills, and I will it at the peril of a thousand lives. Oh! how I
should regret the loss of so glorious an occasion, when it depends but
upon me that some souls may be saved. I hope that his goodness, which did
not forsake me in the hour of need, will aid me yet. He and I are able yet
to overcome all the difficulties which can oppose our project.”

On arriving at Three Rivers, he ascertained that he and the Sieur Bourdon
were to go to the Mohawk castle, in the first instance, merely as
ambassadors, to make sure of the peace. They departed on this dangerous
embassy on the 16th of May, 1646, and during their absence public prayers,
offered for their return, testified the fears felt for their safety. As
they were about to start, an Algonquin thus addressed Father Jogues:
“There is nothing more repulsive at first than this doctrine, that seems
to annihilate all that man holds dearest, and as your long gown preaches
it as much as your lips, you would do better to go at first in a short
one.” Thereupon the prudent ambassador parted for the time with the habit
of his order, and substituted a more diplomatic costume.

They were accompanied by four Mohawks and two Algonquins. After ascending
the Sorel, and gliding through the beautiful islands of Lake Champlain,
they arrived at the portage leading to the Lake Andiatarocté on the 29th
of May, which was the eve of Corpus Christi. Here Father Jogues paused,
and named the lake Saint Sacrament; but by a less Christian taste that
beautiful name, given in honor of the King of kings, has since yielded to
one given in honor of one of the kings of earth.(79) They suffered greatly
for food on the way, but obtained a supply of provisions at Ossarane, a
fishing station on the Hudson, supposed to be Saratoga. Then, gliding down
the Hudson, they came to Fort Orange, where Father Jogues again, in the
most earnest and sincere terms, expressed his deep gratitude to his
liberators, the Dutch, whose outlay in his behalf he had already
reimbursed to them from Europe. Not satisfied with expressing his thanks,
Father Jogues endeavored to bestow upon his friend, Dominie Megapolensis,
the greatest of possible returns—the true faith. He wrote from this place
a letter to the minister, in which he used every argument that his well‐
stored mind or the unbounded charity of his heart could suggest to reclaim
him to the bosom of that ancient church which his fathers had so
unfortunately left.

After a short repose at Albany, they proceeded to the Mohawk, and arrived
at the nearest town on the 7th of June. A general assembly of the chiefs
was called to ratify the peace, and crowds came from all sides; some
through curiosity to see, and others with a desire to honor, the untiring
and self‐sacrificing Ondessonk. Father Jogues made a speech appropriate to
the occasion and the purposes of his visits, which the assembled chiefs
heard with great enthusiasm; presents were exchanged, and peace was
finally and absolutely ratified. The Wolf family in particular, being that
in which Father Jogues had been adopted, exclaimed, “The French shall
always find among us friendly hearts and an open cabin, and thou,
Ondessonk, shalt always have a mat to lie on and fire to keep thee warm.”
Father Jogues endeavored to impress favorably the representatives of other
tribes who were there by presents and friendly words. Then remembering his
sacred character as a minister of God, he visited and consoled the Huron
captives, especially the sick and dying; he heard the confessions of some,
and baptized several expiring infants. Before departing Father Jogues
desired to leave behind his box containing articles most necessary for the
mission, which he was soon to return and commence among them; the Mohawks,
however, dreading some evil from the box, objected at first, but the
father opened it, and showed them all it contained, and finally, as he
supposed, overcame their superstitious fears, and the box was left behind
among them.

The ambassadors and their suite set out on their return, on the 16th of
June, bearing their baggage on their backs. They also constructed their
own canoes at Lake Superior, and, having crossed the lake in safety,
arrived at Three Rivers, after a passage of thirteen days, on the feast of
SS. Peter and Paul, to the infinite joy and relief of all their friends.

On the 28th day of September, Father Jogues was on his way to the Mohawk,
accompanied by Lalande, a young Frenchman from Dieppe, an Iroquois of
Huron birth, and some other Hurons. As they advanced, tidings of war on
the part of the Mohawks became more frequent, and the Indian escorts began
to desert. They passed Lake Champlain in safety, and had advanced within
two days’ journey of the Mohawk when a war‐party, marching on Fort
Richelieu, came upon them. The savages rushed upon them, stripped Father
Jogues and Lalande of their effects, bound them as prisoners, and turning
back led them to the village of Gandawagué,(80) the scene of Father
Jogues’ first captivity and sufferings. Here they were received with a
shower of blows, amid loud cries for their heads, that they might be set
up on the palisades.

Towards evening, on the 18th of October, some of the savages of the Bear
family came and invited Father Jogues to sup in their cabin. Scarcely had
the shadow of the black‐gown darkened the entrance of their lodge, when a
concealed arm struck a well‐aimed blow with the murderous tomahawk, and
the Christian martyr fell lifeless to the ground. The generous Kiotsaeton,
who had just arrived as a deputy of a council called to decide on his
case, rushed to save him, but the blade had done its work, and now spent
its remaining force by inflicting a deep wound in the arm of that noble
chief. The head of Father Jogues was severed from his body, and raised
upon the palisade. The next day the faithful Lalande, and a no less
faithful Huron, shared the same fate.

Father Jogues was in his fortieth year when he received the fatal stroke.
When the tidings of his death arrived, every tongue in Canada and in
France was zealous in the recital of his many virtues, and in praise of
his glorious death. His zeal for the faith, his courage in danger, his
humility, his love of prayer and suffering, his devotion to the cross,
were conspicuous among the many exalted virtues that adorned his life and
death. While his brethren lamented the loss the missions had sustained,
they envied him the crown he had won. “We could not,” says Father
Ragueneau, “bring ourselves to offer for Father Jogues the prayers for the
dead. We offered up the adorable sacrifice, indeed, but it was in
thanksgiving for the favors which he had received from God. The laity and
the religious houses here partook our sentiments as to this happy death,
and more are found to invoke his memory than there are to pray for his
repose.”



Doña Ramona.


From The Spanish.

In an empire whose name history has failed to record, there lived in a
miserable stable a poor laborer and his wife. Juan and Ramona were their
names, though Juan was better known by the nickname “Under present
circumstances,” which they gave him because in season or out of season
that phrase was continually dropping from his lips. Juan and Ramona were
so wretchedly poor that they would have had no roof to cover them unless a
laborer of the province of Micomican had taken pity upon them, and given
them a hut to live in, which in other days had served as a stable, and was
now his property.

“We are badly enough off in a stable,” said Juan: “but we ought to conform
ourselves with our lot, since under present circumstances God, though he
was God, lived in a stable when he made himself man.”

“You are right,” replied Ramona.

So both worked away, if not happy, at least resigned—Juan in going out day
after day to gain his daily reward of a couple of small pieces of money,
and Ramona in taking care of the house, if house be a proper term to apply
to a stable.

The emperor was very fond of living in the country, and had many palaces
of different kinds in the province of Micomican. One day Juan was working
in a kitchen garden near the road, when far away he saw the carriage of
the emperor coming at a rate almost equal to that of a soul that the devil
was trying to carry off.

“I’ll bet you,” said Juan, “that the horses have escaped from his majesty,
and some misfortune is going to happen! It would be a great pity, for
under present circumstances an emperor is worth an empire.”

Juan was not mistaken. The emperor’s horses had escaped, and the emperor
was yelling:

“God take pity on me! I’m going to break my neck over one of those
precipices! Isn’t there a son of a gun to save me? To whoever throws
himself at the head of these confounded horses, I’ll give whatever he
asks, though it be the very shirt on my back.”

But no one dared throw himself at the horses’ heads; for they tore along
at such a furious rate that to rush at them was to rush into eternity.

Juan, enraged at the cowardice of the other workmen, and moved by his love
for the emperor as well as his natural propensity to do good without
looking at the person to whom he did it, threw himself at the horses’
heads, and succeeded in stopping the coach, to the admiration of the
emperor himself, who at that moment would not have given a brass farthing
for his life.

“Ask whatever you like,” said the emperor to him, “for everything appears
to me small as a recompense to the man who has rendered me so signal a
service.”

“Sire!” said Juan to him, “I, under present circumstances, am a poor day
laborer, and the day that I don’t gain a couple of _pesetas_ my wife and I
have to fast. So, if your majesty will only assure me my day’s labor
whether it rains or whether it is fine weather, my wife and I will sing
our lives away in happiness, for we are people content with very little.”

“That’s pretty clear. Well, go along, it’s granted. The day that you have
nothing to do anywhere else, go to one of my palaces, whichever you like,
and occupy yourself there in whatever way you please.”

“Thank you, sire!”

“What! No; no reason for thanks, man. That is a mere nothing.”

The emperor went on his road happy enough, and Juan went on his, thinking
of the great joy he was about to give his wife when he returned home at
night, and told her that he had his day’s work secured for the rest of his
life whether it rained or was fine weather.

In fact, his wife was greatly rejoiced when he carried her the good news.
They supped, and went to bed in peace and in the grace of God, and Juan
slept like one of the blessed; but Ramona passed the whole night turning
about in the bed like one who has some trouble or desire that will not let
him sleep.

“Do you know what I have been thinking the whole night long, Juan?” said
Ramona, the following morning.

“What?”

“That yesterday you were a fool to ask so little from the emperor.”

“Indeed! What more had I to ask?”

“That he would give us a little house to live in, something more suitable
and decent than this wretched stable.”

“You are right, woman; but now there is no help for it.”

“Perhaps there may be.”

“How?”

“Look here; go and see the emperor, and ask him.”

“Yes; now is the time to go on such an errand!”

“Go you shall, and quickly, too!”

“But, woman, don’t get angry. My goodness! what a temper you have! Well,
well; I will go, and God grant his majesty does not send me off with a
flea in my ear, although, under present circumstances, he is a very open‐
hearted, outspoken gentleman.”

Well, Juan set out for the palace of the emperor; and the emperor granted
him an audience immediately on his arrival.

“Hallo, Juan!” said his majesty. “What brings you this way, man?”

“Sire!” replied Juan, twirling and twirling the hat which he held in his
hand, “my wife, under present circumstances, is as good as gold; but, you
see, the stable that we live in is gone to rack and ruin, and we wish to
get it out of our sight. So she said to me this morning: ‘If your majesty,
who is so kind, would only give us a little house, something better than
the one we have, who dare sneeze at us then?’ ”

“Does your wife want nothing more than that? Well, it’s granted. This very
moment I will give orders that they place the little white house at her
disposal. Go into the dining‐room, and take a mouthful and a drop of
something; and, instead of going afterwards to the stable, go to the
little white house, and there you will find your wife already installed.”

Juan returned thanks to the emperor for his latest kindness, and, passing
on to the dining‐room, filled himself with ham and wine.

Our friend commenced his journey home, and, when he arrived at the white
house, his wife rushed out to receive him with tears of joy.

And indeed it was very natural for poor Ramona to find herself so merry,
for the little white house was a perfect jewel. It occupied the summit of
a gentle acclivity, whence the whole beauty of the plain was spread out
before it. A large Muscatel vine covered the whole of the porch, and
beneath it there were seats and little plots of pinks and roses. The
apartments of the house were a little drawing‐room, very white, and clean,
and pretty, with its chairs, its cupboard, and its looking‐glass; an
alcove with its bed, so soft and clean and beautiful that the emperor
himself might have slept in it; a little kitchen with all its
requirements, among which were included the utensils, which shone like
gold; and a little bewitching dining‐room, with four chairs, a table, and
a sideboard. To the dining‐room there was a fairy entrance, adorned
without by an arc of flowers, and through this entrance you passed into a
garden, where there were fruits, and flowers, and vegetables, and a small
army of chickens clucked; and every egg they laid was as big as Juan’s
fist.

When night came on, Juan and Ramona took their supper like a couple of
princes in their little dining‐room, and soon after laid them down in
their beautiful bed. They both slept well, particularly Juan, who stirred
neither hand nor foot the whole night through.

Ramona began to find fault the very next day, and Juan noticed that every
night her sleep was more disturbed.

“Woman, what the devil is the matter with you, that all night long you are
twisting like a reel?” asked Juan, one morning. “Why, there are no fleas
here as there were in the stable.”

“Fleas hinder my sleep very little.”

“Well, then, what hinders it, woman?”

“What hinders it? Your stupidity in asking the emperor so little hinders
it.”

“In the name of the Father, and of the Son!... And you still think it
little that I have asked, and he granted us?”

“Yes, indeed I do. This little house is so small that one can scarcely
turn in it; and if to‐morrow or some other day we have children, what
shall we do with them in a hut like this?”

“Say what you like about it, there is no help for it now.”

“Perhaps there may be.”

“And how, I should like to know?”

“Going back and seeing his majesty, and telling him to give us a larger
house, of course.”

“Go to Jericho, woman. You don’t catch me going on an errand of that
kind!”

“Well, go you shall, then; or we’ll see who is master here.”

“But, wife, don’t you see that my very face would drop from me with
shame?”

“Now, that’s enough of talk on the matter. All you have to do is, run
along to the palace as fast as you can, if you care to have a quiet time
of it.”

“Well, well; since you wish it, I’ll go.”

Juan, who did not possess an ounce of will of his own—a thing which is the
greatest misfortune that can befall a husband who is not blessed with such
a wife as God ordained for him—set out once more on his road towards the
palace of the emperor.

“Indeed,” said he to himself, with more fear than shame, “it is very
possible he will send me down‐stairs head foremost, because it is only
natural that this abuse of his good‐nature will prove too much, even for
him. And it will serve me right for my unfortunate weakness of character.”

Juan’s fears were not realized. So soon as he sought an audience with his
majesty it was granted, and the emperor asked him, with a smiling face:

“How goes it at the little white house?”

“Not badly, sire!”

“And your wife, how does she find herself there?”

“Not badly, sire, but your majesty knows what the women are. Give ’em an
inch, they’ll take an ell. My wife, under present circumstances, hasn’t a
flaw in her; but she says that, if to‐morrow or the day after we have
youngsters, we shall all be crowded there like bees in a bottle.”

“You are right. So she wants, of course, a house a little larger?”

“You’ve just hit it, sire!”

“Well, turn into the dining‐room till they give you a snack of something;
and, instead of returning to the white house, go to the Azure Palace,
where you will find your wife installed with the attendance befitting
those who live in a palace.”

Juan returned the emperor thanks for his great goodness, and, after
stuffing himself till he looked like a ball in the dining‐room, off he
set, as happy as could be, to the Azure Palace, which was one of those
that the emperor had in that district.

The Azure Palace was neither very large nor furnished with great wealth;
but it was very beautiful and adorned with becoming elegance. A servant in
livery received Juan at the door and conducted him to the apartment of the
lady. The lady was Ramona, whom her maid had just finished dressing in one
of the beautiful robes which she found in her new dwelling. Juan could do
nothing but open his mouth and stare in amazement at seeing his wife in
such majestic attire.

Juan and Ramona feared they would go mad when they found themselves lords
of a palace, well fitted, elegant, and waited on by four servants: namely,
a coachman, a footman, a maid, and a cook.

“Take off that clown’s dress,” said Ramona to Juan. “Aren’t you ashamed to
show yourself in such a trim before our own servants?”

“This is a new start,” said Juan, astonished at the sally of his wife. “So
I, who, under present circumstances, have passed all my life in digging
the earth, and things even worse than that, must feel ashamed of the
clothes I have worn all my life long!”

“But, you stupid head,” replied Ramona, “if you have costume corresponding
to your rank, why didn’t you put it on?”

“My rank!... Come, this woman’s head is turned.”

“Juan, go to your apartment and change your things, and don’t try my
patience so much, for you know already that my temper will not stand too
great a trial.”

“Well, there’s no need to put yourself out, woman. Here I’m going now,”
said Juan, turning to the room from which he saw Ramona come out.

“Blockhead!” said she, catching hold of him and showing him another room,
“this apartment is mine, and that is yours.”

“Hallo! this is another surprise. So my wife’s room is not mine also?”

“No; that is only among common folk; but in people of our rank no.”

Juan gave up the dispute, and, entering the room which she had pointed out
as his, found therein a wardrobe with a quantity of fine changes befitting
a gentleman, and came out again transformed into a milord.

There passed fifteen days since Juan and Ramona came to live in the Azure
Palace, and Ramona grew day by day more captious, and slept less and less
every night.

“What the deuce ails you? One would think the ants were at you,” said Juan
to her, one morning.

“What ails me is that I have the biggest fool for a husband that ever ate
bread.”

“Hey for the sweet tempers! So you are not yet content with the sweet
little fig that your husband gathered for you?”

“No, sir, I am not. One must be a dolt like you to content herself with
what we have, when we might have much more only for the asking.”

“But, woman alive, have you lost your senses? Can the emperor grant us
more than he has granted us, or do we need more to make us happy?”

“Yes, he can give us more, and we need it.”

“Explain yourself, and the devil take the explanation, for you’re going to
drive me mad with your ambition.”

“Explain myself! I’ll explain myself, and very clearly, too; for, thank
God, there are no hairs on my tongue to prevent me speaking to anybody,
even to the emperor himself. To make you happy, all that is wanting is
what common folk want—a good table where you may stuff yourself with
turkey all the day long; but for us who have higher aims, we want
something more than chunks of meat and wine that would make an ox dance a
hornpipe. You can swell yourself out and look big when you walk out here,
and hear them calling you Don Juan; but as for me, I could eat myself with
rage when they call me Doña Ramona.”

“Well, and isn’t it better for them to call us that than Juan and Ramona,
as they used to call us before? What more do you want, woman?”

“I want them to call me lady marchioness.”

“Have you lost your ears, Ramona? Now I tell you, and tell you again, that
that wicked ambition of yours has deprived you of your senses.”

“Look here, Juan, you and I are not going into disputes and obstinacy. You
know me well enough already, or if you don’t you ought to, to be certain
that it doesn’t take long for my nose to itch. I want to be no less than
the Marchioness of Radishe and the Countess of Cabbidge, who at every turn
fill their mouths with their grand titles, and, when they meet one, don’t
seem to have time to say with their drawling affectation, ‘Adios, Doña
Ramona.’ Now, since the emperor has told you, when you saved his life,
that you might ask him even for the shirt that he had on his back, go and
see him, and ask him to make us Marquises.”

“Go and ask him if he has a head on his shoulders, why don’t you say? But
there’s enough about it. Even in fun I don’t like to hear such nonsense.”

“Juan, don’t provoke me; take care that I don’t send you with a flea in
your ear.”

“But, woman alive, however much of your husband’s breeches you may wear,
could you even imagine that I was going to agree to this new start of
yours?”

“I bet you, you will agree.”

“I tell you I am not going again to see the emperor.”

“Go you shall, though you have to go on your head.”

“But, wife, don’t be a fool—”

“Come, come; less talk, and run along.”

“Well, I’m going, then, since you are so anxious about it. The saints
protect me, if I don’t deserve to be shot for this chicken‐hearted
weakness of character!”

Juan took the road to the court, and solicited a new audience with the
emperor. Though he took it for certain that his majesty would send him to
Old Nick if he did not throw him to him over the balcony, he found that
his majesty was very ready to grant him an audience.

“Sire, your majesty will pardon so many impertinences—” he stammered out,
full of shame, when he drew near the emperor.

“Why, man, don’t be ashamed and a fool,” interrupted his majesty kindly.
“Well, how goes it in the Azure Palace?”

“Beautifully, sire.”

“And how is that little rib of yours, eh?”

“Who—she? Oh! very well, under present circumstances.”

“And content with her lot? Is it not so?”

“Well, as for that, sire! Well, your majesty knows what the women are.
Their mouths are like a certain place I wouldn’t mention before your
majesty, always open, and there’s no getting at the bottom of it.”

“Well, and what does the good Doña Ramona ask now?”

“What, sire? But there—one is ashamed to say it.”

“Go on, man; out with it, and don’t be bashful. To the man that saved my
life I’d give anything, even the crown I wear.”

“Well, then, sire! She wants to be a marchioness.”

“A marchioness! Is that all? Then from this instant she is the Marchioness
of Marville.”

“Thank you, sire.”

“Keep the thanks for your wife; and look into the dining‐room to see if
there is anything to lay hands on. And when you go back you will find your
wife already installed in the palace belonging to her title, for the Azure
Palace is not good enough for marquises.”

Juan passed into the dining‐room, and, after running the danger of
bursting, he made his way for the palace of Marville. The palace of
Marville was not such a very great wonder as its name might lead one to
believe; but, for all that, one might very well pass his life in it!

A crowd of footmen and porters received Juan at the gates of the palace,
addressing him as my lord marquis; and Juan, for all his modesty, could
not but feel a little inflated with such a reception and such a title.

But there was nothing to hold the pride of his wife (though one might be
as big as the bell of Toledo, under which one day there sat down seven
tailors and a shoemaker) at hearing herself called by her maids lady
marchioness here, and lady marchioness there.

“Well, so you are at last content, wife?” said Juan to her.

“Yes, of course, I am. And indeed it was very provoking to hear one’s self
called Doña Ramona, short like, as though one were only the wife of the
apothecary or the surgeon. You see the truth of what I have said; if one
has only to open her mouth in order to be a marchioness, why shouldn’t
she? Now you see that his majesty did not eat you for asking such a
reasonable thing.”

“Well, do you know, now, that it cost me something to ask it of him?”

“Ah! get out of that; men are good for nothing.”

“But it gave me more courage when his majesty said to me: ‘Don’t be
bashful, man; for to the man that saved my life I’d give even the crown I
wear.’ ”

“Whew! so he said that to you?”

“As sure as I’m here.”

“Then why didn’t you ask him more?”

“There we are again! What more had I to ask?”

“You are right; for, as somebody said, ‘there are more days than long
sausages,’ and


    ‘A horse and a friend
    No work can spend.’ ”


On the following day the Marquis and Marchioness of Marville took a turn
in their grandest coach, and it was a sight to see how they rolled along,
at every hour in the day, all around those parts, the very wheels seeming
to say envy! envy! to the Marchioness of Radishe and the Countess of
Cabbidge. Some little trouble took place on account of the actions and
complaints of the country folk, who prevented them from passing in their
coach over this and that road, or by this and that property. But the
marchioness quite forgot all these annoyances when, for example, at
meeting the wife of the apothecary or surgeon, she said to them from her
coach wherein she reclined in all her glory, “Adios, Doña Fulana,” and the
other answered her, trotting along on foot, “Good‐by, my lady
marchioness.”

After some time the marquis thought he noticed that his wife was not
perfectly happy, because he found her every day more capricious, and she
never slept quietly.

One morning, when the day was already advanced, the marquis slept away
like a dormouse, and the marchioness, who had passed a more restless and
sleepless night than ever, lay awake at his side impatiently waiting for
him to awake.

“S. Swithin! what a sleeper!” exclaimed the marchioness; and, no longer
able to restrain her impatience, she gave her husband a tremendous pinch,
and said, “Wake up, brute.”

“Oh! ten thousand d——!” yelled the marquis.

“Are you not ashamed to sleep so much?”

“Ashamed! of something so natural? More ashamed should the one be who does
not sleep, for sleeplessness bespeaks an unquiet conscience. What the
devil is the matter with you that you have not ceased the whole night from
turning and twisting about?”

“Yes, indeed, if one only had a soul as broad‐shouldered as you.”

“I don’t understand you, woman.”

“Well, then, you shall understand me, blockhead though you are. Now, tell
me, Juan, an emperor is greater than a king?”

“Why shouldn’t he be?”

“That is to say, that emperors can make kings?”

“I think so. For instance, suppose his majesty the emperor wished to say
to us, ‘Ha, my good friends the Marquis and Marchioness of Marville, I
convert the province of Micomican, which belongs to me, into a kingdom,
and I make you the monarchs of my new kingdom,’ I believe nobody could
hinder it.”

“Very well, then; I wish his majesty to say and do this at your petition.”

The very house seemed to fall atop of Juan at hearing this from his wife;
but this latest caprice of Ramona was so absurd that he had courage to
hope in its all being a joke.

“Don’t you think his majesty would give the person a nice slap in the face
who was so impudent and barefaced as to go to him with such a petition as
this?” he said.

“If you go, he will not; since he has said that he cannot deny even his
crown to the man who saved his life. So go along, ducky, hurry and see his
majesty.”

“But you mean this?”

“Why shouldn’t I mean it? I have a nice temper for jokes! I want to be
queen, in order to let those little folks know their proper places, who
pass their lives in digging the earth and eating potatoes, and have the
impudence to dare face gentlefolk who condescend to pass wherever they
please.”

“Well, well, now it’s clear that you have lost your wits altogether!”

“What you are going to lose, since you have no wits, is your teeth, with a
slap in the face, if you don’t make haste and hurry off to the court.”

“I’d lose my head before I’d commit such an absurdity. There. I’ve given
way enough already.”

“Indeed! Then from this day forward know that you have no longer a wife.
This is my room, and you shall never set foot in it again, nor I in
yours.”

“But, woman!”

“No, no; remember we are strangers to each other.”

“Come, don’t be obstinate, my own Ramonita.”

“Don’t I tell you, sir, that all is over between us?”

“Now, look here, pigeon.”

“Stop your prate!”

“The dev—! Well, come, you shall be satisfied; I will go and see his
majesty, and tell him that you want to be queen, though I know he will
shoot me on the spot.”

Ramona bestowed a caress on her husband in reward for his consent, and our
good Juan made his way to the court cursing his own foolish weakness of
character.

Contrary to his expectations, the emperor hastened to grant him an
audience, and received him with the accustomed smile.

“Well, marquis, what is it?” he asked.

“What ought it to be, sire? A fresh impertinence.”

“Come, out with it man, and don’t be bashful. Something concerning the
marchioness, eh?”

“You’ve hit it again, sire. These foolish women are never content.”

“Well, what does yours want?”

“Nothing, sire. She says, would it please your majesty to make her queen?”

“Queen! nothing more than that? Well, she is queen already, then. Now, go
into the dining‐room, and see if there is anything there you can destroy;
and, instead of returning to the palace of Marville, go to the palace of
the Crown, where you will find your wife installed as becomes the Queen of
Micomican.”

Juan outdid himself in thanks and courtesies, and, after treating himself
in the dining‐rooms right royally, made his way home. On his arrival at
the palace of the Crown, a salvo of artillery announced his coming. The
troops were drawn up around the palace, where he entered to the sound of
the Royal March, and amid the _vivas_ of the people, who became mad in the
presence of the husband of their new sovereign.

Her Majesty, the Queen Doña Ramona the First, was holding a levée at the
moment when her august spouse arrived at the palace, and he, seating
himself by her side, gave also his royal hand to kiss; but it was so dirty
that as many as kissed it hurried out of the chamber spitting. To be king,
it is necessary to keep the hands very clean.

The King and Queen of Micomican amused themselves mightily during the
first weeks of their reign: so that all was feasting and rejoicing in
celebration of their happy coming to the throne. But so soon as the
festival passed, the Queen Doña Ramona began to grow sad and weary.

The king summoned the chief physician of the court, and held a deep
consultation with him.

“Man alive,” said he to him, “I have summoned you in order to see what the
devil you have to say to me touching the sorrow and evil state in which I
have noticed my august spouse to be for some time past. She is always
turning and twisting about in her bed, so that she neither sleeps herself
nor lets me sleep, and the worst part of it is, that every day she is
sadder, and everything irritates and exasperates her.”

“Well, sire, in the first place, we must please her in everything and by
everything.”

“I agree with you there, man; but there are things beyond human power. If
it rains, she is put out because it rains; if it blows, she is put out
because it blows; if we are in the winter, she is put out because the
spring has not come, and her mind is so turned that she cries out: ‘I
command it not to rain,’ ‘I command it not to blow,’ ‘I command the spring
to come at once.’ Now, you see that it is only by being God one can secure
obedience of orders like these. Well, then, to what the deuce do you
attribute these whims of my august spouse?”

“Sire, it is very possible that they may presage a happy event.”

“Ah, ah! I take you. Well, to be sure, and I never thought of such a
thing. And wouldn’t it be a joy to me and to my august spouse to find
ourselves with a direct successor? For, if not, there is no use in
deluding ourselves: the day that we close our eyes, in comes civil war,
and the kingdom is gone to Old Nick.”

So the Queen Doña Ramona remained watching to see what would happen. But
months and months passed, and the queen grew every day sadder and more
capricious.

One day the king decided on interrogating very seriously the queen
herself, to see if he might draw from her the secret of her sadness and
capriciousness.

“Well, let us know, now, what the deuce is the matter with you,” he said,
“that you neither sleep nor let me sleep, and remain for ever like the
thorn of S. Lucy.”

“I am very unhappy,” answered the queen, beginning to weep like a
Magdalen.

“You unhappy?—you who lived in a stable as empty and bare as that which
Our Lord lived in when he became man, and under present circumstances you
find yourself the somebody of somebodies, a queen clean and complete? What
the deuce do you want?”

“It is true, I am a queen. But I die of sadness when from the throne I
look back and see nothing of what other queens see.”

“Well, and what do other queens see?”

“For instance, the Queen of Spain sees a series of great and glorious
kings, named Recaredo, Pelayo, San Fernando, Alonso the Wise, Isabel the
Catholic, Ferdinand the Catholic, Charles V., Philip II., Charles III.—and
those kings had blood of hers, and seated themselves on the throne, and
loved and made great the people that she loves and makes great.”

“You are right, wife. But you wish to do what is impossible, and that God
alone can do.”

“Well, then, those impossibilities are the very things that tease and
exasperate me. What is the use of being a queen, if even in the most just
desires one sees herself constrained, and unable to realize them? It is a
fine afternoon, for instance, and I begin to get ready to go out for a
walk in the palace gardens, but a wretched little cloud appears in the
sky, as though to say to one, ‘Don’t get ready!’ And when one wishes to go
out, that insolent cloud begins to pour down water, and one is obliged to
remain at home, disgusted and fretting. What I want is to have power
enough to prevent a miserable little cloud from laughing at me.”

“But, woman, don’t I tell you that this power God alone can have?”

“Then I want to be God.”

Juan made the sign of the cross on himself, filled with shame and horror
at hearing his wife give utterance to such a thing, whose head was
undoubtedly turned by the demon of ambition. But he did not wish to
exasperate the poor crazed being with lessons which, had she been in her
right senses, she would have deserved.

“But don’t you know, child,” he said to her with sweetness, “that the
fulfilment of that desire is as impossible as it is foolish? The emperor
has granted us whatever we have asked, but what you want now he cannot
grant.”

“Still, I want you to go and see him, and say so to him; for perhaps
between him and the Pope they will be able to manage it.”

“But if there is and never can be more than one God, how can you be made
God?”

“I have always heard say that God can do everything. If the emperor
consults with the Pope, and the Pope has recourse to God, then you’ll see
if God, who can do everything, will disappoint them both.”

“But if God cannot?”

“Hold your tongue, Jew, and don’t say such awful things. God can do
everything.”

Juan thought it would be more prudent to abstain from contradicting his
wife any further. So he retired and summoned the chief physician of the
court, in order to lay before him the new and extraordinary phase which
the moral malady of the queen displayed. The physician said that in his
long professional career he had met with cases of mental aberration even
more extraordinary than that of the queen; and insisted that, far from
contradicting the august invalid, they should comply with her every wish
as far as it was humanly possible.

The king returned soon after to the chamber of his august spouse, who the
moment she saw him became a perfect wasp.

“How, sire?” she exclaimed. “So you are the first to disobey my orders?”

“How disobey?”

“Yes, sire! Did I not tell you that I want you to go and see the emperor,
and implore him to place himself in communication with the Pope in order
to see whether between them they could so manage that I might be God?”

“Yes, you told me so, but—”

“There are no buts for me. How is it that you are not already on the road
to comply with my orders? Now, none of your nice little jokes with me, if
you please—you, who are no more than the husband of the queen—and, if you
ruffle my feathers, I’ll send you off to be hanged as soon as look at
you.”

“Come, child, don’t be angry, you shall be obeyed instantly.”

“Remember, none of your pranks, now! And listen: go and tell that health‐
killer whom you seem to have made one of your council, that if you don’t
go to see the emperor, and perform in every point the commission which I
charge you with, he shall serve you as partner in your dance in the air.”

The king withdrew; and when he reported to the chief physician what his
wife had just said to him, the physician insisted more than ever on the
necessity of pleasing the august invalid in everything.

So the king set out on his journey to the imperial court. The extravagant
and impious nature of his mission disturbed him greatly; but the
consideration gave him comfort that he was no longer a Juan nobody, as on
other occasions when he had made the same journey, but a monarch about to
consult with another monarch. The only thing that weighed at all on his
mind was the question of etiquette.

“I don’t know,” said he, “for the life of me what shoes to tread in when I
address the emperor. I have heard it said that all we sovereigns call each
other cousins, though not a bit of cousinship exists between us: but how
do I know, if I call the emperor cousin, that he may not give me a blow
that would send all the teeth down my throat?” Occupied with such
thoughts, he arrived at the imperial court, and the emperor hastened to
receive him when he had scarcely set foot in the palace.

“How is her majesty, Queen Doña Ramona?” asked the emperor kindly.

“Bad enough, under present circumstances.”

“Man, that is the worst news yet! And what ails her?”

“What the devil do I know? The evil one alone understands these women. If
your majesty could only guess the commission she has given me—”

“Hallo, hallo! Well, let us hear it.”

“She says—but pshaw! One is ashamed to say it. She says to see if your
majesty could consult with the Pope, and between you manage to make her
God.”

“Eh! That is a greater request. Make her God, eh!”

“Your majesty sees already that it is a piece of madness; for a woman
can’t complain of the small advance in her career who to‐day is a queen,
and not a year ago lived in a stable. A stable is a disgrace to nobody,
sure enough; for, after all, Our Lord, though he was God, lived in one
when he made himself man.”

“So the good Doña Ramona wishes to be God, eh!”

“You’ve hit it, your majesty.”

“Well, we will please her as far as we are able. Let your majesty step
into the dining‐room and drive the wolf from the door, and on returning
you will find your wife, if not changed into God, changed into something
which is like to him.”

The royal consort turned into the dining‐room, but, do what he would, he
could scarcely swallow a mouthful. Everything seemed to disagree with him,
and the cause of it lay in his feeling within him a restlessness which
seemed to forebode some misfortune. He made his way homewards, and on
arriving at the palace of the crown he saw, with as great sorrow as
dismay, that the palace was closed and deserted.

“What has happened here?” he inquired of a passer‐by.

“The emperor has put an end to the kingdom of Micomican, re‐establishing
the ancient province, and re‐incorporating it with the empire.”

Juan had neither courage nor strength to ask more. He wandered about for
hours and hours like one demented without knowing whither, when suddenly
he found himself at the door of the stable where he had lived with his
wife, and on pushing open the door, which revolved on its hinges, he found
his wife installed there once more. The only thing Godlike which the woman
who had entertained the criminal ambition of becoming like to him,
consisted in the similarity of her dwelling to the stable which God
occupied when he became man.



The Distaff.


“In der guten alten Zeit wo die Königen Bertha spann.”

“In the good old times when Queen Bertha span” is a thrifty proverb still
current in France and some parts of Germany where the distaff is yet seen
beneath the arm of the shepherdess, looking, as she tends her flock,
precisely like S. Genevieve just stept out from her canvas, or that more
modern saint of the hidden life, Germaine of Pibrac, who is always
represented with her spindle and distaff. In the very same fields where S.
Germaine watched her flocks and twirled her spindle in the old scriptural
way, keeping her innocent heart all the while united to God, have we seen
the young shepherdess clad in the picturesque scarlet or white capuchon of
the country, which covers their heads and half veils their forms—guarding
their sheep and spinning at the same time.

And the same womanly implement is sometimes found in the hands of those of
gentle birth in those old lands where so many still cling to the
traditions of the past. We read of the now world‐famous Eugénie de Guérin
that the same hand that wrote such charmingly naïve letters and journals
did not disdain the spindle and the distaff. She writes thus in her
journal: “I have begun my day by fitting myself up a distaff, very round,
very firm, and very smart with its bow of ribbon. There, I am going to
spin with a small spindle. One must vary work and amusements: tired of a
stocking, I take up my needle and then my distaff. So time passes, and
carries us away on its wings.” And again a day or two after: “I took my
distaff by way of diversion, but all the while I was spinning, my mind
spun and wound and turned its spindle at a fine rate. I was not at my
distaff. The soul just sets that kind of mechanical work going and then
leaves it.”

This reminds us of Uhland’s verse:


    “Long, long didactic poems
      I spin with busy wheel,
    The lengthened yarns of epic
      Keep running off my reel:

    “My wheel itself has a lyrical whirr,
      My cat has a tragic mew,
    While my spindle plays the comic parts
      And does the dancing too.”


Eugénie’s charming Arcadian life, passed in the primitive occupations of
spinning, sewing, superintending the kitchen—even going, like Homer’s
Nausicaa, to the margin of the stream to wash the linen in the running
waters, and afterwards taking pleasure in spreading it all white on the
green grass, or seeing it wave on the lines: all this, we say, without
detracting from the poetry and grace of her nature, is enough to make us
recall with a sigh the good old days when Queen Bertha span.

And this queen was _Berthe au grand pied_, the mother of Charlemagne, who
had one foot larger than the other, and hence her name:


    “You are the beautiful Bertha, the spinner, queen of Helvetia,
    She whose story I read at a stall in the streets of Southampton,
    Who, as she rode on her palfrey o’er valley and meadow and
                mountain,
    Ever was spinning her thread from a distaff fixed to her saddle.
    She was so thrifty and good, that her name passed into a proverb.”


Whether this Queen of Helvetia is our Bertha with the great foot we know
not. The name is found in many curious old legends like the German one of
Frau Bertha, a kind of tutelar genius of spinners, with an immense foot
and a long iron nose, which doubtless served as a spindle. And an old
manuscript, long hidden in some obscure corner of a German monastery,
tells how King Pepin, wishing to wed the fair Bertha of Brittany, sent his
chief officers to bring her to his court. The steward, who had charge of
the escort, was not without ambitious views respecting his own daughter.
He ordered his servants to put Bertha to death on the way. But they,
instead of killing her, left her in a forest. Not long after—O happy
chance!—King Pepin, overtaken by night while hunting, awaited the dawn in
a house where he was served by the most beautiful maid his eyes had ever
beheld. Of course it was Bertha with her great foot, which, we may be
sure, she gracefully concealed beneath her flowing garments. And so they
were married. Old poems sing of her industry, and tell us she knew how to
spin like the princesses of scriptural and Homeric days. She is
represented, too, on old coins seated on a throne with a distaff in her
hands. All writers speak of her as _Berthe au grand pied_, but as
otherwise beautiful and skilful in wielding the earliest implement of
feminine industry. We may safely imagine her as tapping the mighty
Charlemagne, leader of peerless knights, while yet a boy, with her
convenient distaff; for her ascendency over him was such that he always
regarded her with great reverence, even after his elevation to power!

And Bertha was not the only princess that laid her hand hold of the
spindle. When the tomb of Jeanne de Bourbon, wife of Charles V. of France,
was opened at St. Denis, among other things was found a distaff of gilded
wood, but greatly decayed. And there is another in the Hôtel de Cluny,
once used by some queen of France, we forget whom, on which is carven all
the notable women of the Old Testament.

So too the daughters of Edward the Elder of England, though carefully
educated, were so celebrated for their achievements in spinning and
weaving that the term spinster is said to be derived from them.

And S. Walburga, the daughter of S. Richard, King of the Saxons, used to
spin and weave among the royal and saintly maidens of Wimburn Minster. It
was a common custom in those days. The distaff and the spindle were
considered “the arms of every virtuous woman.”

The ancients held the use of them as such an accomplishment that Minerva
is said to have come down to earth to teach the Greek women how to spin.
Venus herself did not disdain to take upon herself the semblance of a
spinner of fair wool when she appeared to Helen.

And spinning was as universal an acquirement among the Jewish as the
Grecian women. They used to spin by moonlight on the housetops and, true
to the instinct of their sex, kept so faithful an eye on their neighbors
in the meanwhile that the ancient spinsters’ tongues were potent in the
world of gossip. There is a tradition that S. Ann spun the virginal robes
of her immaculate child in the pure beams of the chaste Dian.

Of the valiant woman in the Book of Proverbs it is said: “Her fingers have
taken hold of the spindle.” And in Exodus we read that “the skilful women
gave such things as they spun, violet, purple, and scarlet, and fine linen
and goats’ hair, all of their own accord,” for the tabernacle.

We are told that the Jewish maidens who devoted themselves to the service
of the temple were employed, among other things, in spinning the fine
linen on their spindles of cedar, or ithel, a species of the oriental
acacia, black as ebony and probably the same as the setim, or shittim
wood, of the Holy Scriptures. According to tradition, the Blessed Virgin
Mary, who passed her early days in the temple, participated and excelled
in all the pursuits then carried on. The _Protevangelion_ of S. James the
Less relates that, when a new veil was to be made for the temple of our
Lord, the priests confided the work to seven virgins of the tribe of
David. They cast lots to see “who should spin the gold thread, who the
blue, who the scarlet, and who the true scarlet.” It fell to Mary’s lot to
spin the purple. Leaving her work, one day, to draw water in her jar, the
angel drew near with his _Ave Maria_.

A distaff lies at Mary’s feet in Raphael’s “Annunciation,” and in many
other celebrated paintings she is represented with one. In a “Riposa” by
Albert Dürer she is depicted spinning from her distaff beside the Divine
Babe who is sleeping in its cradle:


    “Inter fila cantans orat
    Blanda, veni somnuli.”


S. Bonaventura tells us that several of the early sacred writers speak of
our Blessed Lady’s industry in spinning and sewing for the support of her
Son and S. Joseph in the land of Egypt. So reduced to poverty were they
that, according to him, she went from house to house to obtain work,
probably flax to spin as she sat watching the Holy Infant in the grove of
sycamores of traditional renown. Her unrivalled skill in spinning the fine
flax of Pelusium became a matter of tradition, and the name of _Virgin’s
Thread_ has been given to that network of dazzling whiteness and almost
vaporous texture that floats over the deep valleys in the damp mornings of
autumn, says the Abbé Orsini.

It is said the Church at Jerusalem preserved some of Mary’s spindles among
its treasures, which were afterwards sent to the Empress Pulcheria, who
placed them in one of the churches of Constantinople.

Other nations, too, had their famous spinsters. Dante’s ancestor in
Paradise, looking back to earth, tells him of a Florentine dame of an
opulent family who,


                “With her maidens drawing off
    The tresses from the distaff, lectured them
    Old tales of Troy, and Fiesole, and Rome.”


And a Spanish writer of past times says, speaking of the model woman:
“Behold this wife who purchases flax that she may spin with her maids. See
her thus seated in the midst of her women.” Thus did Andromache spin among
her attendants.

So have we seen old nuns spinning in the cloisters of the remote provinces
of France: the white wool on their distaffs diminishing slowly and calmly
as their own even lives. They looked as if spinning out their own serene
destinies. Such a happy destiny is not reserved for all whose thread is
drawn out by Lachesis.


    “Twist ye, twine ye! even so
      Mingle shades of joy and woe,
    Hope and fear, and peace and strife,
      In the thread of human life.”


At Rome there are two white lambs blessed on S. Agnes’ day (“S. Agnes and
her lambs unshorn,” says Keats) in her church on the Nomentan road, and
then they are placed in a convent till they are shorn, when their wool is
spun by the sacred hands of the nuns. Of this the pallium is made—the
distinctive mark of a metropolitan.

I have called the distaff the earliest implement of feminine industry.
Such is the old tradition. There is a pathetic miniature of the twelfth
century depicting an angel giving Adam a spade and Eve a distaff previous
to their expulsion from Paradise: and on the sarcophagus of Junius Bassus
of the fourth century, Adam is represented with a sheaf of grain, for he
was to till the earth, and Eve with a lamb whose fleece she was to spin.
And we have our old English rhyme:


    “When Adam delved and Eve span,
    Where was then the gentleman?”


And so faithfully was the tradition handed down that the distaff has
always been regarded as a symbol of womanhood, which woman scorned to see
even in the hands of a Hercules.

In these days, when even our rustic belles are overloaded with
accomplishments, the piano takes the place of “Hygeia’s harp” on which the
fair maidens of the olden time loved to discourse fair music, like the
gentle Evangeline of Acadie, seated at her father’s side,


    “Spinning flax for the loom that stood in the corner behind her,”


who, I fear, would be regarded in these days of improvement, at least in
our country, with nearly as much horror as those other indefatigable
spinners are by the good housewife:


    “Weaving spiders, come not here;
    Hence, you long‐legged spinners, hence!”


What charming pictures some of us retain in our memories of our gray‐
haired grandmothers of New England country life—delicately nurtured,
too—sitting down in the afternoon by the huge fire‐place to spin flax on a
little carved wheel! How many of us carefully preserve such a wheel in
memory of those by‐gone days, when we loved to linger and watch the
mysterious process, and look at the face that always was so kindly, and
listen to the whirr whose music is now hushed for ever!

But though spinning by hand will soon become one of the lost arts, there
is one who will spin on till time shall be no more—one from whose distaff
is drawn out the web of our lives—the star‐crowned Clotho:


    “Spin, spin, Clotho, spin!
      Lachesis, twist! and, Atropos, sever!
    Life is short and beset by sin,
      ’Tis only God endures for ever!”



A Martyr’s Journey.


From The French.

In the Beaujolais, the country _par excellence_ of beautiful women and
beautiful vines, a little village lies hidden among luxuriant arbors. Each
house is clothed in green leaves, and the wine, though rare, is not so
wonderful as the immense tuns that hold it. Yet Coigny, with its nectar,
its beautiful sky, its coquettish habitations its robust sons and
attractive daughters, had not a habitable church. Still it dreamed of one,
and four worthy priests worked hard and hopefully for the realization of
the dream. One of them climbed well his ladder of orders, and has since
become Bishop of Coutances; and if, as it is said, the zeal, piety, and
legitimate influence of four ecclesiastics will finish the Cathedral of
Cologne, notwithstanding the devil’s theft of the plan, what might not be
hoped for Coigny?

So nothing more need be told than that, from amidst the lovely, smiling
verdure of the little town, there sprang an exquisite white marble church,
a temptation to pray in as well as to see, and the admiration of the
entire province.

Madame la Marquise de —— gave all her inimitable guipures to ornament the
high altar, and Monsieur le Comte de ——, a great amateur in pictures,
placed a true Mignard—a Madonna with a lovely smile—upon the walls, even
before they dried.

So each and all offered homage in the new house of God.

Still the beautiful little church lacked a patron, a saint under whose
invocation it might be placed, and the blessed one must be represented by
his own venerable ashes, a relic of the past, a protection for the future.

The village of Coigny, therefore, spared neither pains nor expense to be
satisfied in this regard, and the Holy Father was applied to to select the
patron. The dear old man replied favorably to the little town he could
scarcely find on the map, and which was more noted for bearing the cross
than ringing the bell; and a curious and grave ceremony took place.

They opened the Roman Catacombs, and they descended into the vaults of the
cemetery of S. Cyriac, and there they chose the mortal remains of a
Christian martyr buried for many centuries.

The stone that closed the cell bore a palm branch and the inscription,


    Hilary At Rest,


and indicated he had died for the faith in the early ages of Christianity.
His bones and the size of his head denoted only the adolescent, scarcely
more than a child; while the whole expressed the courage of the man united
to the grace of the angel.

The account from which this is taken adds, this young soldier of Christ
was found sleeping peacefully at his post, extended on his granite bier,
with his forehead cleft asunder, his neck cut open, of which the little
bottle by his side held the precious blood. The figure of the young martyr
had been covered with virgin wax, carefully enclosing the sacred bones,
and, attired in silk and embroidery, he is holding the palm branch in his
hand. The wounded head inclines as if bending to his murderers, his throat
lies open in its deep sword‐wound, his hands and feet have bled, and the
purple tide gushes from his wounds and trickles over his limbs; but his
lips are shut with love, and his eyes are fixed, regarding with S. Stephen
the heavens opening to receive him.

So this child of eighteen hundred years ago, this soldier of the faith,
taken from the Roman Catacombs, was sent by the Pope to Coigny.

Can we not imagine his reception? Did not the village ring out its festal
bells, and scatter flowers on his path, and with thousands of candles in
the nave, and incense mounting far above the high altar, did not the
little church welcome this contemporary of Nero, who had travelled
surrounded by glorious palms in his own carriage over the line from Italy?

He has come, and twenty priests bear him on their shoulders, and his final
resting‐place is under the high altar.

Coigny, the coquette, crowned by its green vine branches, bacchante‐like,
the pious Coigny, has its martyr in the vaults of its own dear church, no
more nor less than if it were a basilica.

True, he was an almost forgotten saint, and anonymously canonized, but the
Scriptures told us long ago, “God knows how to recompense his own.”



Odd Stories: III. Peter The Powerful.


Long and loud was the flourish of trumpets that greeted the day on which
Philip the Mighty was born to his father’s dukedom; so rare was the
promise of a babe. Need it be said that, nurtured under the eye of his
stern sire, he grew in the strength of justice? To such a degree had he
inherited the zeal of his ancestors, that while yet in his cradle he
strangled a wretched nurse for stealing his spoon; whereat there was
another flourish of trumpets. Subsequent reflections upon the loss of so
useful a servant taught him to restrain the exercise of his just powers;
and hence, when his tutors failed to instruct him within a given time in
the arts, sciences, languages, and literatures, he merely broke their
heads. We live to learn; and so it proved even to a prince as well endowed
as Philip the Mighty. In these early acts we can see the foundations of
that character which was afterwards so great a monument among men.

During the famous period in which our prince served his sire in the
administration of justice, the dungeons were never empty of thieves and
wranglers, nor the axe long idle for want of miscreant heads. To a peasant
who once stole an apple, he said, “How now, varlet, dost confess?”
Answered the trembling churl: “Nay, most puissant lord, I stole not the
fruit.” Then spoke Philip: “By my halidom, I’ll mend thine honesty”;
whereupon the fellow was put on the rack till he broke a blood‐vessel,
still not confessing, for it was death to steal an apple out of the duke’s
garden. At night the peasant died in his bed of a hemorrhage, piously
acknowledging in his last moments that he had committed the theft; whereat
was another flourish of trumpets. Life is a great lesson, however, and it
must not be supposed that our powerful hero could content himself with a
few exploits at court when he felt that he had a mission to reform the
world.

Therefore it was that Philip the Mighty set out upon a knight’s errand to
slay all the witches, devils, malefactors, giants, goblins, and monsters
that came in his path. But one squire rode with him, bearing a golden
trumpet, which, when Peter had done to death a sour‐faced hag who shrieked
at him on the mountain‐side, he blew right merrily. Now, the old witch had
asked the valiant knight for justice against her lord at court. Life is a
science not to be mastered without blows; and Philip learned to slay and
fear not in such stout earnest that soon he won the renown of being, as in
fact he was called, the Champion Wrong‐killer of the age.

When a foul, black‐hearted necromancer was tracked to his hiding‐place,
what else should our good knight do but put him to the sword? When a five‐
eyed dwarf was accused of deviltry, who else should carve him for the
crows but our duke’s son? When a grim ogre, breathing death and fury,
beset him whose arm was so mighty, when malefactors pestered the land,
when monsters of all kind raged on every hand, who dealt them such
lightning doom as the champion wrong‐killer? On every occasion did his
trusty squire blow the trumpet of gold right lustily, to the wonder of
lords and people. Now, it was whispered that the slain sorcerers had
helped husbandmen and artisans with their strange inventions; that the
malefactors were slaughtered outright for the crimes of their fellows;
that the giants were amiable men, sometimes, but provoked beyond
endurance; that dwarfs and witches were poor old people, seldom as bad as
they seemed to be. Nevertheless, the real monsters of the land increased
day by day, in spite of the champion killer’s sword and his squire’s
golden trumpet.

Weary with much slaughter of false knights and caitiff wretches and
monsters, the paladin Philip resolved to undertake the deliverance of the
poor from the oppressions of the rich. Filled with this noble idea, he
slew a yeoman who was chastising his servant without mercy. Seeing a
number of slaves at work, he set them all free by killing their master. He
divided the estates of the rich among the poor. He distributed largesses
among multitudes of the needy. He rescued honest damsels who were being
carried away by villain lords. Alas! for an ingrate world. ’Twas rumored
that the yeoman had left a widow and seven children to mourn him. The
slaves became marauders; the poor quarrelled among themselves; the beggars
got drunk; and some of the honest damsels lamented their fallen lords.
Howbeit, the faithful squire blew his trumpet louder than ever.

Meanwhile had our good knight grown religious, and burned men at the
stake; but the more the fuel, the greater the flame. The more lances he
shattered for honor’s sake, the more swords he blunted for justice’s sake;
the more money he spent to give feasts to beggars, and the more land he
parcelled among the poor, all the more honor, justice, bounty, estate,
remained to be won and adjusted. His sharp judgments had, after all, won
him nothing but the sound of his trumpet. He had killed the innocent and
robbed the poor, when he intended to do otherwise, and, if he executed
Heaven’s judgments, it was by a kind of mistake. One thing he had not
slain—himself.

All the while, he who had killed so many monsters was growing in bulk and
stature out of all proportion. As his legs and arms increased their
strength of muscle, his ears grew longer, and his eyes grew blinder. He
scorned, nay, devoured the weak he once defended, and, at last, a monster
himself, was killed by a conspiracy of those whose champion he once was.
For Philip, though a champion wrong‐killer, was blind to his own wrong‐
doing; and, though a reformer, never allowed people to reform themselves;
so he destroyed the wheat with the chaff and killed the good with the bad.



New Publications.


    THE BOOK OF THE HOLY ROSARY. A Popular Doctrinal Exposition of its
    Fifteen Mysteries, mainly Conveyed in Select Extracts from the
    Fathers and Doctors of the Church. By the Rev. Henry Formby, of
    the Third Order of St. Dominic. Embellished with thirty‐six full‐
    page illustrations. New York: The Catholic Publication Society.
    1872.


The devotion of the Holy Rosary is one of the most beautiful which the
Catholic Church proposes to her children, and is also probably the one
which has been received by them everywhere, without distinction of
nationality or class, with the most sincere delight. Catholics, it is
true, are for the most part familiar with the general history and
significance of this devotional practice, which in itself forms a
compendium of popular theology. Most of the books, however, on this
subject, with which we are acquainted, are intended to excite Christians
to the frequent and devout use of this form of prayer, rather than to give
them a full and clear understanding of its natural connection with the
great and fundamental truths which form the basis of Christianity. The
book of F. Formby is both doctrinal and devotional; all the more
devotional because the piety which it inculcates is enlightened by true
Christian science.

The work is divided into three parts corresponding with the three groups
of mysteries of which the Rosary is composed. The author prefaces each of
these groups with an introduction, in which he carefully compares its
mysteries with their corresponding types in the Old Testament. This
comparison is again instituted in a more particular manner as each mystery
in turn presents itself for elucidation.

In treating of the different mysteries, he first quotes from Scripture
those passages upon which they are formed, and then adduces the
corresponding types from the Old Testament, still further illustrating the
subject by apposite quotations and allusions taken from the classics of
pagan literature. These are followed by extracts from the writings of the
great Fathers and Doctors of the church, many of which will be new to the
English reader. Thus each chapter of the book forms a comprehensive
treatise, both doctrinal and devotional, of the particular mystery in the
life of our divine Saviour or that of his Blessed Mother to which it is
devoted.

Without going out of his way, F. Formby by the simple exposition of the
doctrine and practice of the church shows in the most conclusive manner
how utterly groundless are the objections of Protestants to Catholic
devotion to the Mother of Christ. We have not for a long time read a book
with which we are so perfectly pleased as with this of F. Formby. The
clergy especially will find in it a rich mine from which to draw
instruction for the people. It may be read with profit, however, by all
classes of persons, as the plain and simple style in which it is written
does not raise it above the comprehension of even uneducated minds. The
book is ornamented with thirty‐six full‐page woodcuts, unusually excellent
both in design and execution; which, added to the attractions of clear
typography and tasteful binding, make it a work of art as well as of
religion.


    HENRY PERREYVE. By A. Gratry, Prêtre de l’Oratoire, etc.
    Translated by special permission. London: Rivingtons. 1872. (New
    York: Sold by The Catholic Publication Society.)


After a life of singular purity and great activity in the cause of truth,
F. Gratry entered upon his rest on the 6th of February, 1872. His
impulsive and ardent nature hurried him for a moment, towards the close of
his life, into a controversy which, for a time, caused the greatest
anxiety to his friends, and threatened to throw a cloud over an existence
otherwise so brilliant and precious. His heart, however, always remained
loyal to the church and to truth, and, when he was made aware of his
error, he himself was the first to acknowledge it, and to do all in his
power to atone for it. The writings of F. Gratry have always possessed for
us a singular charm. He has in a high degree the gift of making his
thoughts contagious. He throws the warmth and life of his whole heart into
his writings; his words breathe and palpitate and affect one like the
presence of a noble and high‐wrought nature. In Henry Perreyve he found a
subject peculiarly fitted to call forth these qualities of his style. The
history of the outer life of Henry Perreyve was uneventful and short.
Designed by his parents for the bar, disposed by his own vigorous and
impetuous nature to the military life, he was called of God to the
priesthood. When he had once recognized the voice of God, he devoted to
this high vocation all the energies of a most gifted and courageous
nature. At an early age he developed remarkable talents both for writing
and speaking. He possessed the divine gift of eloquence, and Lacordaire,
who loved him more than any other man in the world, looked forward to the
day when his own voice, having grown feeble by age, would be born again
with redoubled strength and warmth on the lips of Henry Perreyve. Alas,
that such hope should be delusive! He to whom Lacordaire wrote, “You live
in my heart eternally as my son and my friend,” was destined soon to
follow his great preceptor to the grave. He died in 1865, when but thirty‐
four years old. The story of his life, as told by F. Gratry, is a poem
full of the most exalted sentiment, and impressed with the highest form of
beauty. “All who knew him,” says his biographer, “agree on this point,
that the one characteristic which stamps his outward life and his inward
soul is only to be expressed by that word Beauty. All the inward beauty
wherewith courage, intelligence, devotion, and goodness can invest a soul,
and all the outward expression of beauty with which such a soul can stamp
the living man, were combined in him. Nature and grace had alike done
their very best for him; he overflowed with their choicest gifts.” Whoever
will read F. Gratry’s sketch will be persuaded that these words are not
too strong. The life of Henry Perreyve is another confirmation of the
truth that the ideal type of perfect manhood can be developed only in the
Catholic Church. We especially recommend this book to the young men of our
country. Even though it should not inspire them with the exalted ambition
of consecrating their lives to God, it will at least teach them the
transcendent beauty of Christian courage, of self‐devotion, of nobility of
purpose.

Henry Perreyve was most ardent in urging his friends to aspire to the
priesthood. In this connection F. Gratry remarks: “Truly, I know no wiser
enthusiasm than that which stimulates men to become laborers for God. We
have too few priests; we have far too many soldiers. No man becomes a
priest whether he will or no; but on all sides the strong hand of the
powers that be constrains men to be soldiers whether they will or no. Why
is the priest’s lot to be counted worse than the soldier’s? He who chooses
the sacred toil of God’s harvest‐field for his life’s labor, chooses the
better part. Surely his ambition is beyond all comparison the greatest,
best and noblest: his work the most fruitful, the most necessary. That is
but a sorry delusion by which the world would set the priesthood before
men as in the shadow of death, and other careers as in a glow of light and
glory.”


    THE SPOKEN WORD; or, The Art of Extemporary Preaching: Its
    Utility, its Danger, and its True Idea. With an easy and practical
    Method for its Attainment. By Rev. Thomas J. Potter, Professor of
    Sacred Eloquence in the Missionary College of All Hallows, Author
    of “Sacred Eloquence,” etc., etc. Boston: P. Donahoe. 1872.


One of the most favorable omens attending the great Catholic revival in
the English‐speaking world is the appearance of works bearing upon the
various duties of the sacred ministry. In the earlier days of struggle in
England and America, the missionary priest entered upon a life of toil
which gave but scant opportunity for adding to the fund of learning that
served as its outfit. Hence, while the greatness of the Catholic
champions, who entered the arena armed _cap‐a‐pie_ by a long and thorough
training, was brought into striking relief, the depression of minds less
trained and of less capacity among the clergy was marked by the absence of
a native literature suited to their class.

When a priest rarely had a day free from harassing labors, and was barely
able to run into debt for the brick, beams, and shingles of a nondescript
building wherein to assemble his flock, he certainly did well if, after
reading his breviary and peeping into his moral theology, he kept himself
informed of current events. Such circumstances of poverty were not
favorable to literature or eloquence. Ecclesiastical art, with its
intricate ceremonial and its peculiar music, was in a fair way to be lost;
and the refinements of clerical education were rather sources of
discouragement in the present than of bright anticipation for the future.

But this phase, having in some measure passed away in England, has lost
much of its gloom for us in America. Pastors have more time to prepare
instructions for their people. Congregations by their magnitude and
intelligence call forth the highest efforts of eloquence. The instincts of
Catholic devotion require that God’s house should be made a house of
prayer, and demand, for their satisfaction and increase, the sacristy and
choir, which shall be “for a glory and a beauty.” Meanwhile, increasing
wealth furnishes means for fulfilling the requirements of the Roman
Ritual.

The work which we notice is one of many signs of the times, and also one
of a series of similar efforts by its earnest and experienced author. It
is written in a clear and flowing style, slightly marred, however, by the
frequent repetition of the adjective “expedite,” as qualifying the noun
“knowledge,” and the perpetual recurrence of “a man who,” or “the man
who.” The general effect is nevertheless pleasing, and the book itself
ought to be read. The title contains a fair analysis of the work. It
remains for us to say that the author is thorough in the treatment of his
subject. His hints and warnings are useful to those accustomed to preach
extempore; while his suggestions for the composition of sermons are
entirely applicable to those who perfect their oratorical preparations
before ascending the pulpit.

The appearance of the book is also quite in its favor, and we might adduce
it as a sign of the times in a department to which we have not yet
alluded.


    THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. By the Rev. Father Rawes, O.S.C. London:
    Burns, Oates & Co. 1872. New York: Sold by The Catholic
    Publication Society.


This is a beautiful sketch of the life of “the disciple whom Jesus loved.”
Father Rawes, in common with S. Jerome, S. Augustine, and S. Bernard, has
a great and special devotion to the Evangelist S. John. This little book
is well written and is eminently devotional and instructive.


    UNAWARES. By the Author of “The Rose Garden.” Boston: Roberts
    Bros. 1872.


One experiences a sense of rest and refreshment in reading this
unpretending volume. It is a narrative of French life, not at all after
the sensational order, but beautifully wrought out, with enough of romance
to sustain the interest and chain the attention of the reader, but not a
line or word that one could wish unwritten. With a slight plot and few
incidents, this pleasing story charms us with a delightfully artistic
description of a quaint old town in France, where the grand cathedral
stands, the central object of attraction—solemn, steadfast, ever
varying—severe or tender, as the case may be—but always inconceivably
peaceful.

The characters, drawn with a skilful hand and admirably sustained, the
chaste beauty of the language and style, with the gems of thought worthy
of life‐long remembrance scattered throughout the volume, lead us to
desire an acquaintance with other books this attractive author may have
written.


    THE VICAR’S DAUGHTER. By George MacDonald. Boston: Roberts Bros.
    1872.


If not to be sensational is a merit, this book certainly has that merit.
The Introduction, which in most books is apt to be dull, and often is
skipped by the reader who wishes to plunge _in medias res_, is here the
spiciest part, the sugar‐coating of the pill—if it be not ill‐natured to
call this work a pill. A very mild one it is, and the patient, if none the
better, will certainly be none the worse for taking it. Its object seems
to be to promulgate some Presbyterian ideas concerning the means to be
used for elevating the spiritual condition of the poor. The London poor is
the class considered, but the general rules laid down may be supposed good
for all poor. Some very queer ideas are broached; among others, that it is
better to give a workman a gold watch than a leg of mutton, because by so
doing you will pay him a compliment for which he will be grateful, but
that he should have nothing given him “which he ought to provide for
himself—such as food, or clothing, or shelter.” There is a Miss Clare who
is possessed by such a missionary spirit and love for the poor, that we
cannot help wishing she might find her proper sphere by becoming a
Catholic “Little Sister of the Poor,” or some other equally useful sister
of charity. The church utilizes such women much more wisely than they
manage to find the best way alone. There is a chapter of Miss Clare’s
reading and discussing of the Gospel with some workmen, which, if not
positively irreverent itself, will be very likely to make the reader, who
has any sense of humor, feel so in spite of his better instincts.

The Vicar’s daughter, Mrs. Percivale, is a very sprightly and well‐drawn
character, whom we cannot help liking very much. She is the teller of the
story, and in this Dr. MacDonald has shown much skill. It is in some parts
so like a woman’s way of thinking and writing, that we can hardly believe
it to be the work of a man, especially in Mrs. Percivale’s thoughts after
the birth of her child. And in this the author approaches very nearly the
Catholic ideal:


    “I had read somewhere—and it clung to me although I did not
    understand it—that it was in laying hold of the heart of his
    Mother that Jesus laid his first hold of the world to redeem it;
    and now at length I began to understand it. What a divine way of
    saving us it was—to let her bear him, carry him in her bosom, wash
    him and dress him and nurse him and sing him to sleep! ... Such a
    love might well save a world in which were mothers enough.”


But alas! he makes the vicar himself save his faith from shipwreck by
marrying the woman he wants—a queer and new argument for the marriage of
the clergy, to be able to _believe_ through such means. Not that this is
intended by the author for any such argument; he being a Presbyterian,
makes no question of the propriety and wisdom of the clergy marrying, but
that a clergyman should be taught _belief_ by getting the woman of his
choice _is_ “passing strange.” He also prefers giving his daughter to a
sceptic rather than to a “thoroughly religious man,” for fear the latter
might “_confirm her in doubt_.” To a Catholic, this seems a wonderful
conclusion.

The chapter called “Child Nonsense” is nonsense indeed, and much below
“Mother Goose” in literary merit. We wonder it found a place in the
volume, which contains much genuine wit and good writing.

The illustrations to the book are clever, and the type and binding
attractive.


    AMBITION’S CONTEST; or, Faith and Intellect. By “Christine.”
    Boston: P. Donahoe. 1872.


We cannot, perhaps, give a better idea of the style and scope of this
modest volume than by a quotation from the Preface: “It would be
presumptuous to say that I have attempted this little work in order to aid
in preventing these numerous wrecks of the soul; for where other and
gifted pens, essaying so much and so well in this direction, still find it
difficult to do all _they_ would, it would be folly to suppose that my
crude effort could accomplish anything. Still it is an effort made for the
purpose of accomplishing _some_ good, and written under the auspices of
her who has never yet failed to assist the weak, the ever‐glorious and
Blessed Virgin‐Mother of God, it may perhaps add a mite to that which is
now being done for the proper training of our Catholic youth.”


    GARDENING BY MYSELF. By Anna Warner. New York: A. D. F. Randolph.
    1872.


We cannot imagine a pleasanter way of studying horticulture than by
adopting Miss Warner’s volume as a text‐book. We can overlook the little
attempts at moralizing, after the evangelical fashion, as she goes along,
in view of the dismal theological efforts made by her sister (if we
mistake not) a few years since. We advise our lady readers who have space
for cultivating flowers to consult this little manual, assured that the
occupation of which it discourses, and its results, will bring them a
large store of unalloyed enjoyment.

THE CATHOLIC PUBLICATION SOCIETY has in press, and will publish early in
November, _The Life and Times of Sixtus the Fifth_, by Baron Hubner.
Translated from the original French by James F. Meline.



THE CATHOLIC WORLD. VOL. XVI., NO. 92.—NOVEMBER, 1872.



Centres Of Thought In The Past. Second Article. The Universities.


The change from the monastic to the scholastic era was one of which we can
hardly form an idea. As radical as that brought about in politics by the
tempest of 1793, it was less sudden, and, though to the full as dangerous
as the unhappy “Reformation,” it was fortunately shorn of its heretical
perils by the vigorous and successful hand laid upon it by the church.
Instead of producing an organized system of antagonism to revealed truth,
which it seemed at one time on the very verge of doing, it became so
thoroughly absorbed into the church’s system that to many minds
“scholasticism” is synonymous with “bigotry.” Yet how opposite was the
reality to the idea which it conveys to the modern mind! The real temper
of the church, the temper which will be hers eternally in heaven, is the
temper of Mary; the contemplative, monastic ideal of perfect peace. In the
XIIIth century (we say the XIIIth typically, for the change was gradually
working some time before, and only grew to its maturity in that age), a
giant intellectual convulsion took place, and the church was rudely
wakened out of her placid ecstasy, to find herself assailed by brilliant
and popular fallacies, urged by men of dazzling talent and fearless powers
of questioning. It was as if some holy monk, who from childhood to ripe
old age had spent his life on his knees before the silent tabernacle of a
huge and perfect abbey‐church, were suddenly to be startled into action by
the rude attack of a sacrilegious band on the very altar at whose steps he
had worshipped so long. See him spring to his feet, and with unexpected
strength throw himself before the priceless treasure, quell by his eagle
glance the bewildered assailers of his peace, and convert by his heaven‐
dictated eloquence those very men into saints, those enemies into friends,
those proud opponents into fellow‐watchers at the same hallowed shrine. So
sprang the church to the defence of those doctrines which hitherto it had
been mainly her duty to _guard_, and the struggle, distasteful as it must
have been at first, nevertheless ended by producing a new harvest of
saints, and increasing the human prestige as well as the spiritual armory
of the church. The reader will no doubt be pleased to see what the writers
already quoted have to say of this mighty intellectual revolution, and we
gladly yield to them the field of description. “It will suffice to
reconcile us to the temporary necessity of the change,” says the author of
_Christian Schools and Scholars_, “that it was accepted by the church, and
that she set her seal to the due and legitimate use of those studies which
were to develop the human intellect to its full‐grown strength. Nay, more,
she absorbed into herself an intellectual movement which, had she opposed
it, would have been directed against her authority, and so to a great
extent she neutralized its powers of mischief. The scholastic philosophy
which, without her direction, would have expanded into an infidel
rationalism, was woven into her theology itself, and made to do duty in
her defence, and that wondrous spectacle was exhibited, so common in the
history of the church, when the dark and threatening thunder‐cloud, which
seemed about to send out its lightning‐bolts, only distils in fertilizing
rain.” Speaking of S. Dominic, Prior Vaughan, in his _Life of S. Thomas of
Aquin_, says: “He felt that a single man was but a drop in the ocean in
the midst of such a vast and organized corruption. Man may be met by man,
but a system only can oppose a system. A religious institution, combining
the poverty of the first disciples of Christ with eloquence and learning,
would alone stand a chance of success in working a regeneration.” He tells
us further on that Albertus Magnus, the master of S. Thomas, saw that
“Aristotle must be christianized, and that faith itself must be thrown
into the form of a vast _scientific_ organism, through the application of
christianized philosophy to the _dogmata_ of revealed religion.” The state
of men’s minds is thus pithily described by the same author: “For,
especially at this period, theory speedily resolved itself into practice;
what to‐day was a speculation of the schools, to‐morrow became a fact; men
lived quickly, thought quickly, and acted quickly in the days of William
of Champeaux and Abelard.” Still, in summing up the character of those
strange, contradictory times, so eminently “ages of faith” when contrasted
with our day, yet ages of jarring contention when compared with the
previous centuries, Prior Vaughan gives us the brighter side of the
picture also: “Men were not startled in those days by the unusual deeds
and privileges of chosen men. They took God’s word for granted. They
believed what they saw; they did not pry and test and examine their souls.
They got nearer the truth than we do. Their minds were not corroded by
false science.” And in a footnote he adds, speaking of the great
difference between heresy in the middle ages and heresy now: “In this (the
reverence for authority) is seated the great distinction between the
darkness of those days and the darkness of the present. Then, men fell
away in detail, they denied this or that truth, or fanatically set up as
teachers of novel doctrines, or were cruel, or superstitious, or fond of
dress, or of excitement, or self‐display. But they held to the master‐
principle of order and of salvation, they did not reject the authority of
the teaching church, or presume to call in question the directive power
and controlling office of the sovereign pontiff.”

Now, let us at the outset anticipate one question our readers may very
naturally ask themselves: Have we undertaken a sketch of the history of
the church, or that of human thought and progress? The latter,
undoubtedly. Then, how is it that “the church” runs through the whole,
like the ground melody of the system? How is it that, even in the
emancipating times on which we have now come, the doctors and masters of
the schools are all monks and clerics, the theses chosen from Scripture
texts, the disputes all turning on points of doctrine, and those, too,
uncompromisingly of _Catholic_ doctrine? We can only answer that such are
the facts; secular learning hardly existed, and what there was of it was
so tinged with religion that it was hardly distinguishable from that of
theologians. Take Dante, for instance, an accomplished scholar, a patriot,
a politician, and a keen philosopher. Who would not think him a priest and
a theologian, from the way he has cast his grand and unrivalled poem? It
is a summary of Catholic doctrine and tradition, a poetical version of S.
Thomas’ _Summa_, without some knowledge of which it is absolutely
impossible to read the third part, the _Paradiso_, and _understand_ it. We
cannot help it if we seem to be sketching ecclesiastical, while we are
engaged on intellectual, history. Never before the “Reformation” were they
divorced, and no better proof than this could be adduced of the
essentially teaching mission of the church.

The proximate cause of the greatness of the University of Paris may be
traced through four or five generations of scholars up to our Saxon master
Alcuin. His pupil Rabanus, the great Abbot of Fulda, formed Lupus of
Ferrières in his own mould; he in turn instructed Henry of Auxerre, the
_scholasticus_ or master of the Auxerre school, where he found Remigius,
destined to become the re‐establisher of sacred studies at Rheims, the
Canterbury of France. From Rheims this Remigius removed to Paris (in the
Xth century), and from his time the schools of that city continued to
increase in reputation and importance till they developed into the great
university. He it was “who opened the first public school which we know
with any certainty to have been established in Paris.”(81) The first
rudiments of the laws governing the greatest corporate institution of
scholastic times seem to have sprung from the very disorders occasioned by
the immense numbers and pugnacious national characteristics of the rival
students of all nations who flocked to Paris. In 1195, we find a certain
John, Abbot of S. Alban’s, associated with the _body of elect
masters_,(82) and the year previous Pope Celestine III. ruled that the
students should be subject to ecclesiastical tribunals only, and should be
exempt from all civic interference in their affairs on the part of the
town authorities.(83) In 1200, the university is acknowledged by Philip
Augustus as a corporate body, governed by a head who shall not be
responsible for his acts to any civil tribunal whatsoever. And now begins
in good earnest a system the like of which was never seen, and for
brilliancy as for license will never be surpassed. It is like plunging
into the seething cauldron of a “witches’ Sabbath” to read of the
marvellous and feverish state of things in the Paris of the XIIIth
century, and even of that of earlier days. For a vivid description of the
turbulent city we can refer our readers to the recent work of the
Benedictine, Prior Vaughan, and to the no less graphic pen of Victor Hugo
in his _Notre Dame de Paris_. A grotesqueness wholly French pervades the
latter work, but gives perhaps a truer picture of the reality than any
less fastidious language could convey. In the Paris of old, as in our own
day, things seem to have been inextricably mingled: the sage and the
buffoon are elbowing each other in the streets; students who have come for
fashion’s sake flaunt their vulgar splendor and their disgusting
shamelessness in vice in the face of the poor scholar who sits attentive
and eager on the _straw_‐covered floor of the lecture‐room; midnight
orgies that seldom end in less than murder take place within a few feet of
the oases of monastic life, where the canonical hours are still faithfully
repeated and _the rule_ still silently kept up. Vanity and frivolity are
there, and the arrogance of wealthy dunces. Witness the young man whose
father sent him to Paris with an annual allowance of a hundred _livres_.
“What does he do?” asks a chronicler of that time, Odofied. “Why, he has
his books bound and ornamented with gold initials and strange monsters,
and has a new pair of boots every Saturday.” This was at the time that
pointed shoes were the “rage,” and the university even passed a decree
against them as follies unbecoming a scholar.(84) “We read of starving,
friendless lads with their unkempt heads and tattered suits, who walked
the streets, hungering for bread and famishing for knowledge, and
hankering after a sight of some of those famous doctors of whom they had
heard so much when far away in the woods of Germany or the fields of
France.”(85) Many had to share their miserable garments with their
companions, and take it by turns to wear their _one_ tunic so as to make a
decent appearance in the lecture‐hall, while the rest stayed at home.
Others spent all they had on parchment, and were in need of oil for their
lamps to study at nights. Long before the collegiate system became
general, the lay‐students were huddled together in unhealthy tenements,
over the shops of the burghers, with whom they had many an affray on the
score of extortion and injustice. While the rich students employed their
many servants and the tradesmen they patronized as instruments in their
shameful intrigues, the poor scholars struggled on, some selling books at
ruinously low prices, others absolutely begging their food in the streets
or at the doors of the rich shopkeepers, while others again, more
miserable because less determined, took refuge in the taverns, and drank
away the little remains of vitality left in them, or as often were
despatched in the unseemly brawls which tavern‐life was sure to foster.
Then, as the brighter side of the picture, there were the monasteries,
especially that of the Dominicans of S. James, where eager scholars
studied in peace and order; the cloisters of Notre Dame, where venerable
orthodoxy was long entrenched; the Sorbonne, destined to be for ages the
most celebrated school of theology in Europe, and to hold its own long
after the mediæval university had decayed. Disputed cases were sent to the
Sorbonne for decision, popes took the advice of its doctors on important
ecclesiastical matters, and its students possessed even greater personal
immunities than their fellows of other colleges. Then, if we are to take
the personal representatives of this wonderful university into account,
what a forest of illustrious names starts up before our bewildered vision!
In the XIth century, quite at the latter end, we are introduced to the
gifted Abelard, who during the first half of the XIIth century gathered
together all the stormy elements of the age, and centred upon himself the
attention of the intellectual world. “He appears to have possessed,” says
Prior Vaughan, “the special gift of rendering articulate the cravings of
the age in which he lived.... One day he took into his hands Ezechiel the
Prophet, and boasted that next morning he would deliver a lecture on the
Prophecy. With bitter irony some of his companions implored him to take a
_little_ longer time to prepare; he replied with disdain, ‘My road is not
the road of custom, but the road of genius.’ He was true to his word, and
mockery was speedily turned to amazement when his companions, overcome
with his eloquence, followed him verse after verse as he unfolded the
hidden sense of the obscurest of prophecies, with a facility of diction
and clearness of exposition and a readiness of resource which subdued the
mind and captivated the imagination.” Success was his idol, pride his
natural temper. He thought no question above his understanding, no truth
beyond his apprehension; he threw down the glove in the face of a system
more for the sake of routing its exponent than of impugning its truth, and
when all eyes were upon him, and the populace of Paris rushed madly out on
its door‐steps and house‐tops to cheer him as he passed, his end was won
and his dearest wish fulfilled. One by one all his opponents were
silenced; from school to school he rose, till at last the chair of Notre
Dame was his; his name eclipsed that of all the masters of Paris, and
drove from men’s minds even the fame of the doctors of the church.... And
then what was the climax? It is told in three words—Héloïse, Soissons, and
Sens. True, there was a long interval between the two misfortunes
represented by the first two names, and that galling one which at last
proved his salvation at Sens, and during the interval his fame revived,
and again at Paris, though at S. Geneviève and no longer at Notre Dame,
his _prestige_ broke down all prejudice and his victorious career began
afresh. Then see the last drama of his stormy, eventful life. He meets S.
Bernard at Sens before a court of bishops, monks, and princes, his own
disciples crowding triumphantly around him, a huge concourse of people
heaving before him, he “the spokesman of thousands, from whose midst he
would, as it were, advance and proclaim the creed of human reason.”(86)
Opposed to him stands one whose cheeks are furrowed with tears, and who
has made no preparation to meet the irrefragable dialectician, the prince
of debate, but who, “though in appearance but an emaciated mystic from the
solitude of his cell, would represent as many thousands more who saw
beyond the range of human vision, and judged the highest natural gifts of
God from the elevation of a life of faith.”(87) History gives us the
thrilling _denouement_ in startlingly simple form. When summoned to
defend, deny, or explain the heretical propositions drawn from his
brilliant works, Abelard turns in sudden contempt from the august
assembly, and answers thus: “I appeal to the Sovereign Pontiff.” But all
felt that this was defeat, the blow had been struck, the heresy was dead.
And the heretic? Let many who have tried to‐day to walk in the dizzy path
his footsteps have marked out, strive rather to imitate the end of his
life; let them follow him to the solitary Benedictine Abbey where his
gentle friend Peter the Venerable led him like a little child, and where
his earnest, passionate nature, that could do nothing by halves, soon
transformed him into a saint. And let the world which knows him chiefly
through his sin and early shame fix its eyes upon him as one who, having
abdicated honors greater than those of the greatest throne, having
sorrowed with more than David’s sorrow, and taught with more than
Solomon’s wisdom, at last found peace and justification in a narrow cell
and in his daily avocations of instructing a small and obscure community
on “divine humility and the nothingness of human things.”(88) Among the
other great names that stand out in the tumult of Paris as stars of
learning and holiness are William of Champeaux, Abelard’s chief adversary,
and the founder of that saintly school of S. Victor which gathered in one
the spirit of the old cloisters with that of the new scholastic teachers,
and led the way through its famous doctor‐saints, Hugh and Richard, to the
final welding together of the new form of theology, the incomparable
_Summa_ of S. Thomas. Then, too, we have the preacher Fulk of Neuilly, who
became a scholar at a ripe age, and soon surpassed the young students
whose aim was display rather than knowledge—the man who preached the fifth
crusade at the tournament of Count Thibault de Champagne,(89) and was
followed by such crowds that, to rid himself of them and their
inconvenient homage (shown by cutting pieces out of his habit), he called
out, “My habit is not blessed, but I will bless the cloak of yonder man,
and you can take what you please.”(90) John of St. Quentin, also, a famous
doctor, who, preaching on holy poverty and the vanity of all learning, all
riches, and all honors, suddenly stops, descends the pulpit‐stairs, kneels
at the feet of the astonished prior of the Dominicans, and will not rise
before the latter has thrown around him his own black cloak and enrolled
him in the army of that holy poverty he had just praised with so much
zeal. Then Albert the Great, whose followers were so numerous that he had
to leave the schools and speak in the open air, so that the square where
he delivered his lectures was called _Place du maître Albert_, which name
later on became corrupted into the form it still bears, Place Maubert.
Albert brings before us the school of Cologne, inferior of course to the
mighty university, but yet a centre, at least for Germany. There S. Thomas
of Aquin first studied, and now and then astonished his undiscerning
companions by the “bellowings of the great dumb Sicilian ox,” until he was
finally sent to Paris, the scene of his matchless and altogether spiritual
triumph. In him, the heir of the old Benedictine school of _quies_,
sanctity worked that marvellous union of the old spirit and the new which
ended by harmonizing the truths of the church with the clamoring
aspirations of a new and venturesome age. But, inseparably connected
though he be with the crisis of the XIIIth century, when passion was at
its hottest, and the intoxication of world‐wide success made Paris reel
like a drunken man, we feel nothing but peace in the life of the Angel of
the Schools, the greatest scholar of the European university. A divine
calm seems to curtain off his soul from the contentions in which his mind
and body are engaged; his lessons seem rather to be given from a holy of
holies than from a professor’s chair, and, while we see in him the
greatest thinker of the age, we feel that above all he was its greatest
saint. One might say of him, with all due reverence, that he was the only
man of that turbulent and questioning day who had looked upon the face of
God and lived. Beside him was his gentle friend, Bonaventure, of whom,
though a professor also, we hear but little intellectually, but whom the
highest authority on earth has sealed as a doctor of the church, a burning
seraph of love.

And here we must leave that greatest of centres, Paris, whose prosperity
at that time seemed so unalterable, and take a glance, necessarily a
cursory one, at the other continental universities. Bologna undoubtedly
claims the first place. It was called the “Mater Studiorum” of Italy, and
vied more successfully with Paris than any other of the universities. The
great Countess Mathilda of Tuscany, the liberal patroness of learning and
protectress of the Holy See, was connected with its foundation, and by the
end of the XIth century it was celebrated as the first law school in
Europe.(91) This characteristic it always retained, while in the XIIth
century canon law began to be equally studied there. Connected with
Bologna was the publication of the _Decretals of Gratian_, a summary of
the decrees of the popes, of a hundred and fifty councils, of selections
from various royal codes, and of extracts from the fathers and other
ecclesiastical writers.(92) The few errors in this gigantic work have
often served as a peg whereon to hang many calumnies against the church;
but the whole scope of the undertaking, so bold in its conception, so
lucid in its exposition—has it ever been sufficiently examined outside the
church? And will the world be astonished to know who was its compiler and
who spent twenty‐five years of his hidden life upon it? A simple
Benedictine monk of Chiusi, of whom nothing is known but his immortal
work.

M. de Maistre has cleverly said, “_Grattez le Russe et vous trouverez le
Tartare_,” and we might adapt the pithy saying thus: Raise but the
thinnest crust of what we call civilization, and you will find beneath the
solid structure, the immovable foundation of monasticism.

In 1138, Frederic Barbarossa consulted the Bolognese doctors as to the
framing of a code of laws for his Germano‐Italian Empire, and in return
for their help gave them the _Habita_, or series of protective ordinances
which raised the Italian university almost to the level of that of Paris.
Alexander III., formerly a theologian in its schools, also favored
Bologna, and a tide of scholars from all parts of Europe began to flow
towards the Apennines. Among these we find S. Thomas of Canterbury, who,
as we know, made such brave use of the legal science he acquired there.
Bologna was the second centre of the Dominican Order, the teaching order
of the church—the instrument raised up in the warm‐hearted but intemperate
middle ages to guide aright those lava‐streams of misdirected enthusiasm
which at one time threatened to rationalize or fanaticize the intellectual
world. It is at Bologna that we read of the miracles of the gentle and
bright S. Dominic, and of the angels that constantly followed him to do
the bidding of him who through opposition and misunderstanding was always
doing God’s bidding. Here, too, S. Thomas of Aquin came once, and, being
unknown to the procurator of the convent, was required to carry the basket
while his companion collected the friars’ daily pittance through the
streets. A true monk, he gladly obeyed, and was pained and confused when
some of the passers‐by told the procurator of the mistake he had made.

Italy was fruitful in universities, for, to mention only prominent names,
there were Padua, Pavia, Salerno, and Naples, besides Rome, where the
tradition of learning, especially sacred learning, was never quite broken.
Padua was an offshoot from Bologna, and became famous in the XIIIth
century for its devotion to classic literature and the liberal arts. At
the time of the “Renaissance” it had become, however, a notorious focus of
atheism.(93) Salerno was a school of medicine, and Pavia a brilliant and
wicked resort of every intellectual aberration. We remember reading an
excellent description of its vices, its dangers, and its attractions, in
the life of a Venetian, a poet and child of genius, the friend and
librettist of Mozart, whose name we cannot, however, recall. Even in those
days of moral decadence the picture seemed appalling, and at Pavia as at
Paris, as at Oxford in old times and our own day, there appears to have
been no lack of brainless young profligates whose college career was a
disgrace to their early education, and must have been a remorse prepared
for their more sober conscience in later life.

The University of Naples, as we learn from Prior Vaughan, was the creation
of Frederick II., the Sybarite emperor whose splendid barbaric physique
knew how to make all Eastern luxury of body and Greek luxury of mind
minister to his sovereign pleasure. The description of his harem, his
kiosks, his palaces, his gardens at Naples, reads like a page from the
_Arabian Nights_, and rival the impossible tales that are told of Bagdad’s
lavish magnificence under the caliphs. Utterly pagan the university seems
to have avowedly been. It had no being of its own, but was a royal
appurtenance, as the other institutions of Frederick II. Learning was a
luxury, and it behooved the emperor to have all luxuries at his feet.
Students from all parts of his kingdom of Naples were compelled by
arbitrary enactments to study nowhere else but in the exotic university;
the professors were all paid from the public treasury, and among them,
with characteristic pride and contemptuous eclecticism, the imperial
patron had canonists, theologians, and monks. Astrology and the wildest
theories were broached, Michael Scott, the pretended seer and alchemist,
was conspicuous for his brilliant talents and pagan tendencies, the
existence of the soul was freely questioned, materialism openly professed,
and many _literati_ ostentatiously paraded their preference of the
philosophy of Epicurus or Pythagoras over the religion of Jesus Christ. A
secret society is also alluded to in a popular poem of the day, its
express purpose being the _expunging of Christianity and the introducing
of the exploded obscenities of paganism in its place_.(94) This reminds us
of Disraeli’s _Lothair_, in which such prominence is given to a secret
society called _Madre Natura_, framed for the identical purpose we have
just mentioned. It is said to have existed ever since the time of Julian
the Apostate, and always with the same intent. The materialistic theories
of the artist Phœbus concerning the absolute necessity of “beauty worship”
and the superiority of the Aryan over the Semitic races (or principles)
are only modern echoes of this pestilential teaching of the deification of
materialism. Whether Disraeli, descended from that high race whose history
and laws are a standing protest, and have been for ages a bulwark, against
the “concupiscence of the flesh,” believes in these theories, is more than
we can tell; he has at any rate clothed them with suspiciously gratuitous
beauty in his recent work, and has, moreover, tried to fix upon the Anglo‐
Saxon race the stigma of practically adopting them as her own. The
monastic history of the countrymen of Bede and Wilfrid tells a very
different tale, and nevertheless does not omit to mention the love of
sport and athletic exercises peculiar to Englishmen. How far, however, is
the character of the young race‐riders(95) and fox‐hunters(96) of monastic
England from that of the voluptuous Oriental and sensuous Greek!

Germany, Poland, Bohemia, Spain, and Flanders likewise had their own
centres, more local, however, than those of Italy, all of them under the
new form of universities, and all more or less emancipated from the
strictly monastic spirit of the older centres of learning. Vienna, Erfurt,
Heidelberg, and Wittenberg were the foremost in Germany; Cracow was
founded by a saint, the holy Hedwige of Poland; and Prague, which gave so
much trouble and anxiety to the church in former times and hardly less in
our own day, owes much of its glory to the holy women of the middle ages.
Thus Dombrowka, a princess of Bohemia, married to a Polish chief, and
Hedwige, the great queen and patron saint of Poland, established colleges
there and endowed them liberally. Salamanca had a wider reputation, and
fell heir to all the brilliant learning of the Arabian and Jewish schools,
whose influence on Christian thought in the days of S. Thomas of Aquin had
been so dangerous. All the scientific knowledge of the East thus became
its natural property, while the intensely Catholic mind of the Spaniards
held them aloof from what was poisonous in Eastern philosophy. And here
let us stop to remark that Spain, ranked as it has always been among the
Latin nations, nevertheless owes its first Christian traditions, and, no
doubt, also its imperial notions of universal sway, to the vigorous Gothic
races, mingled with the Frankish and Burgundian blood brought in by
intermarriage with the Merovingian princes of France. There is something
in Spanish history, in Spanish perseverance, we might almost say in
Spanish toughness, that reveals the Visigoth, the man of the northern
forests, with his indomitable energy and insatiable thirst for the sole
rule of land and sea. Alcala, the creation of Cardinal Ximenes, and
Coimbra, besides twenty‐four colleges dignified by the name of
universities, make up the quota contributed by Spain to the intellectual
progress of Europe. We wish we had more space and time to devote to them.

Flanders, the home of art in the middle ages, and the model of dignified
and successful civic government, was not fated to be behind‐hand in the
world of letters. As early as 1360, a gay scholar of the University of
Paris, and a native of Deventer, returned to his birthplace with the halo
of success and worldly fame about him. After a few years of vain display,
Gerard of Deventer suddenly, through the agency of a holy companion,
became an altered and converted man. Having fitted himself for a spiritual
career by a three years’ seclusion among the Carthusians, he returned to
his native city and instituted a congregation of Canons Regular, whom he
entrusted to a disciple of his, a former canon of Utrecht. He himself died
soon after, but under his successor, Florentius, the school grew in
importance and renown till, in 1393, a scholar entered its cloisters, by
name Thomas Hammerlein, now known to the Christian world as Thomas à
Kempis, the reputed author of _The Following of Christ_. His life is too
entirely spiritual to be mentioned here, but of the institute in which he
was reared the same rule will not apply. Although the aim of the Deventer
school was to revive the old monastic ideal, and although its spirit seems
forcibly to remind us of Bede and Rabanus of Fulda, still it gave forth
scholars like the “Illustrious Nicholas of Cusa, the son of a poor
fisherman, who won his doctor’s cap at Padua, and became renowned for his
Greek, Hebrew, and mathematical learning.”(97) It is also told of the
Deventer brethren that they “displayed extraordinary zeal in promoting the
new art of printing, and that one of the earliest Flemish presses was set
up in their college.”(98) The famous Erasmus passed his first years of
study at Deventer in the latter end of the XVth century, and drew from his
masters the prediction that he would “one day be the light of his age.”
The later Flemish University of Louvain, founded in 1425, by Duke John of
Brabant, was eminently an orthodox institution, and became, in the XVIth
century, “one of the soundest nurseries of the faith,” as well as the
chief seat of learning in Flanders. Even Erasmus owned in his letters that
the schools of Louvain were considered second only to those of Paris.
Here, as usual, the Dominicans were foremost in the breach, and enjoyed
great privileges, while their influence made itself powerfully felt
throughout the university. S. Thomas of Aquin was, of course, the
recognized authority followed by the whole university in matters of
theology.

Ireland was not so fortunate during the scholastic as during the monastic
era of intellectual development, but what benefits she had she owed them
again to the same institution which had educated her sons in olden days.
The first University of Dublin was founded in 1320, and had for its first
master a Dominican friar. It soon decayed for want of funds and in
consequence of the troubles of the times, but the Dominicans would not let
learning perish, if they could help it. In 1428, a century later, they
opened a free “high school” on Usher’s Island, where they taught
_gratuitously_ all branches of knowledge, from grammar to theology, and
admitted all students, lay and ecclesiastical. Between this college and
their convent in the city they built a stone bridge, the only erection of
such solid material known in Dublin for two centuries afterwards, and,
says Mr. Wyse in a speech on Education delivered at Cork in 1844, “it is
an interesting fact in the history of education in Ireland that the only
stone bridge in the capital of the kingdom was built by one of the
monastic orders as a communication between a convent and its college, a
thoroughfare thrown across a dangerous river for teachers and scholars to
frequent halls of learning where the whole range of the sciences of the
day was taught gratuitously.”(99) A few years later, the four Mendicant
orders, headed by the Dominicans, obtained from Pope Sixtus IV. a brief
constituting their Dublin schools one university, with the same
ecclesiastical rights and privileges enjoyed by the great University of
Oxford, and this body corporate is mentioned as in active exercise of its
powers just before the “Reformation.” It showed the general destruction
brought by the apostasy of England on all monastic bodies, but such as it
was it was the church’s creation, and a fitting successor to those centres
of rare learning, the Columbanian monasteries of the VIIth and VIIIth
centuries.

The Scotch universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen have been
purposely left out, as we have no records of them at hand; of the latter,
the remains of which we happened to visit some years ago, it will suffice
to say that it possesses a library, the germs of which are due to Catholic
collectors, and still has some very fine specimens of illuminated
manuscripts. The wood carvings of the choir stalls and screen, of Flemish
workmanship, are very beautiful, and the collegiate chapel, still
existing, bears marks of the harmony and symmetry natural to the grand
worship it once typified.

We have left Oxford to the last, since its history is perhaps almost
unique. No university of its day can match it; its vitality has outlasted
the “Reformation” itself, and its spirit and statutes remain to this
moment as obstinately Catholic as in the days of Bacon and Duns Scotus.
True, infidelity has not respected it, but no more did it respect the
University of Paris in the XIIIth century, and far more vigorous than its
great mediæval rival, Oxford still epitomizes the genius of a nation,
while Paris has lost every vestige of its former academical sway. Its
beginnings are lost in the ages of fable, for tradition asserts that long
before Alfred there were schools and disputations there. The schools of
Osney Abbey, and the Benedictine school in connection with Winchcomb
Abbey, are among the earliest foundations, but as yet (in 1175) there were
no buildings of any architectural pretensions. About that time a great
fire destroyed the greater part of the city, and for a long while very
little order prevailed among its motley inhabitants. Robert Pulleyn, an
English scholar from Paris, who had set up a school in 1133 and in 1142,
went to Rome, was made cardinal there, and obtained many ecclesiastical
privileges for the Oxford scholars. Law already began to be studied in
this century, but a historian of the time complains bitterly that “purity
of speech had decayed, philosophy was neglected, and nothing but Parisian
quirks prevailed. Had the monastic schools retained their ascendency,” he
says, “polite letters would never have fallen into such neglect.”(100) In
the XIIIth century there were 30,000 students at Oxford, though many among
them were “a set of varlets who pretended to be scholars,” and passed
their time in thieving and villany. The brawls of these said “varlets”
were to the full as violent as those of the Rue Coupegueule, and much of
the same kind of license disgraced Oxford as it did Paris. Nationality
seems to have been a common pretext for fights, and S. George’s, S.
Patrick’s, and S. David’s days were, instead of peaceful festivals, days
of bloodshed and plunder. At last every demonstration on these days had to
be forbidden under pain of excommunication. “Town and gown” fights too
were frequent, and even _internecine_ battles took place among the
scholars themselves over a false quantity in pronunciation or a disputed
axiom in philosophy. The fare in those days seems to have been scanty;
here for instance is a collegiate _menu_: “At ten of the clock they go to
dinner, whereat they be content with a penny piece of beef among four,
having a few pottage made of the broth of the said beef, with salt and
oatmeal and nothing else.” When they went to bed, “they were fain to run
up and down half an hour to get a heat on their feet,” and what the _beds_
were may be surmised from the fact of the students lodging where they
could, generally in lofts over the burghers’ shops, as at Paris.

In the earlier part of the XIIIth century Cambridge was founded, and Peter
of Blois, the continuator of Ingulphus, tells us that from this “little
fountain (the first lectures given successively in the same barn, on
various subjects, by three or four monks of Croyland) of Cottenham, the
abbot’s manor near Cambridge, which has swelled to a great river, we now
behold the whole city of God made glad, and teachers issuing from
Cambridge, after the likeness of the Holy Paradise.” Cambridge seems to
have cultivated the Anglo‐Saxon tongue, as Tavistock also did, a monastic
school where the language was regularly taught “to assist the monks in
deciphering their own ancient charters.”

“Old Oxford” was not the imposing pile of ecclesiastical buildings its
later representative is now. Osney and S. Frideswide stood like castles in
its surrounding meadows, but the main body of the university consisted in
straw‐thatched houses and timber schools. There were pilgrimage wells
where, on Rogation Days, various blessings were invoked on the fruits of
the earth, and these were called by our forefathers “Gospel places.” It
was a sort of religious “Maying,” the students carrying poles adorned with
flowers and singing the _Benedicite_. The streets bore singular
names—“School Street,” “Logic Lane,” “Street of the Seven Deadly Sins.”
Here is the “Schedesyerde,” where abode the sellers of parchment, the
_schedes_ or sheets of which gave their name to the locality. The schools
can be distinguished by pithy inscriptions over dingy‐looking doors—_Ama
scientiam_, _Impostu ras fuge_, _Litteras disce_—but you will look in vain
for public schools or collegiate piles. In these humble schools many great
scholars were reared: S. Edmund of Canterbury, who, for instance, unless
he chanced to spend it in relieving the distress of some poor scholar or
little orphan child, left the money his pupils paid him lying loose on the
window‐sill, where he would strew it with ashes, saying, “Ashes to ashes,
dust to dust”; or, again, S. Richard, Edmund’s friend, and afterwards his
chancellor at Canterbury, who while at Oxford was so poor that he could
seldom allow himself the luxury of _mutton_, then reckoned as ordinary
scholar’s fare, and who lodged with two companions, of whom we hear the
Parisian tale of the single gown worn alternately at lecture by each,
while the others remained at home; Robert Grossetêle, the Franciscan, a
universal genius and a most holy man, a zealous lover of natural science,
and so well versed in the Scriptures that one of his modern biographers
has candidly admitted that his “wonderful knowledge of them might probably
be worth remark in our day, though in its own _not more than was possessed
by all theological students_”; Roger Bacon, the greatest natural
philosopher who appeared in England before the time of Newton; and
Alexander of Hales, “the Irrefragable Doctor,” who also taught in the
Franciscan schools of Paris—were among prominent Oxford scholars of the
middle ages. Then the marvellous Duns Scotus a scholar of Merton and
afterwards a Franciscan monk, an Abelard in brilliancy, versatility, and
keenness of argument, who, disputing one day before the doctors of the
Sorbonne (to whom he was personally unknown), was interrupted by one of
them with this exclamation, “This must be either an angel from heaven, a
demon from hell, or Duns Scotus from Oxford!” A similar legend is told of
Alanus de Insulis, a Paris doctor, who, having left the schools and become
a lay‐brother at Citeaux, accompanied the abbot to Rome to take charge of
his horses. Being allowed to sit at the abbot’s feet during the council
against the Albigenses, and finding the scales inclining in favor of the
heretics, he rose, and, begging the abbot’s blessing, suddenly poured
forth his irresistible arguments and defeated the sophistry of the
Albigenses, who, baffled and furious, exclaimed, “This must be either the
devil himself or Alanus.”

Thomas of Cantilupe, the son of the Earl of Pembroke, was another
representative Oxford scholar. Of noble birth and great intellectual
powers, he rose to the highest dignities of the realm, and, though Oxford
was still a scene of violent disorders, he preserved his purity and
calmness through all its dangers. The collegiate system soon came to put
an end to this state of things, and Merton was the first college, properly
so‐called, where moral order and architectural proportions received some
attention. The aspect of the university now rapidly changed. Lollardism
seriously affected the great seat of learning, and at first its doctrines
were much upheld by the jealous secular teachers, who saw in his calumnies
a weapon to be used against the saintly and successful friars; the tone of
the university declined, and literature was wofully neglected for a time.
However, as Lollardism faded from men’s minds, a revival of letters took
place, and in the XVIth century Erasmus, who was very kindly entertained
and welcomed at Oxford, pays the following tribute to its literary
proficiency: “I have found here classic erudition, and that not trite and
shallow, but profound and accurate, both Latin and Greek, so that I no
longer sigh for Italy.”(101) And again: “I think, from my very soul, there
is no country where abound so many men skilled in every kind of learning
as there are here”(102) (in England). His own Greek learning was chiefly
acquired at Oxford, for, previous to his coming hither, his knowledge of
that language was very superficial.

We have lingered over the history of mediæval Oxford longer than our
readers may be inclined to think reasonable, and we must confess that our
interest in the only institution of the middle ages which stands yet
unimpaired in glory, influence, and renown, has led us beyond the limits
we had honestly proposed to ourselves.

Little now remains to be said. We have come upon the uninviting times when
reason broke away from faith and carried desolation in its headlong course
through the field of the human intellect. A literary and philosophical
madness settled on men’s minds, and Babel seemed to have come again,
except where the calm round of old studies was pursued with the old spirit
of _quies_ within the sphere of the ancient faith. All beyond was
confusion and hurry; every one set up as a teacher before having been a
disciple; each man dictated and no one listened; each would be the
originator of a system which his first follower was sure to alter, with
the perspective of having _his_ alterations remodelled again by his first
pupil, and so on _ad libitum_, till systems came to be called by men’s
names, and to vary in meaning according to the particular temper of each
one that undertook to explain them.

With all its turbulence and occasional excesses contrasted with the
cynical refinement and polite indifferentism of to‐day, was not the older
system the better one?



Fleurange.


By Mrs. Craven, Author Of “A Sister’s Story.”

Translated From The French, With Permission.

Part Third.

The Banks Of The Neckar.



XXXIX.


About a fortnight after Christmas, Clement was returning to his lodgings a
little sooner than usual, when he met Wilhelm Müller at the door.

“Ah! you have come at the right moment,” said he. “Let me tell you why. A
courier from St. Petersburg arrived this morning with important news,
which will have a serious effect on our business.”

“Are you referring to the death of the Emperor Alexander? I knew that
yesterday. What else is there?”

“Quite another affair, indeed. Constantine has been set aside, and the
Grand Duke Nicholas is to succeed his brother.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. But that is not all; we knew that yesterday. The news the courier
brought this morning is more serious. It seems a conspiracy has broken
out—”

“A conspiracy! Where?”

“At St. Petersburg. The courier left the twenty‐fourth of December. They
were then fighting on the square before the palace, and the emperor was in
the midst of the fight.”

“Constantine?”

“No, indeed; his brother.”

“The Grand Duke Nicholas? Is he at the head of the plot?”

“No; on the contrary, it seems to be Constantine, and yet it is not he
either.—In fact, no one knows anything about it, the report is so very
confused. But come and help me, if you will. We have despatches to send in
every direction. We shall certainly have further news this evening. I dare
say Waltheim (the chief member of the firm of which they were the
principal clerks) is this very moment beside himself.”

The two friends set off together. They had hardly gone two steps before
they came upon quite a group standing around the doorway of a fine house
almost opposite Müller’s. It was the residence of the Russian legation.
They were told in reply to their questions that a courier had just arrived
on horseback, covered with dust and half‐dead with fatigue. He left St.
Petersburg on the twenty‐sixth, and had been ten days on the way.

“Does anybody know what news he has brought?” asked Müller of the man who
gave him this information.

“Nothing definite, of course. And we shall learn nothing there,” pointing
to the diplomatic residence, “except what they please to tell us.”

Müller and Clement stopped no longer.

“The twenty‐sixth!” said Müller. “I should like to know the contents of
the despatch.”

“The other legations must soon have news of as late a date, to say nothing
of our own correspondent, who will give us the earliest information
possible. But, now I think of it, one of the attachés of the French
legation is somewhat of a friend of mine; what if I go and ask him for the
details?”

Müller thought this a capital idea, and Clement left him at once to go to
the residence of the French legation. Müller kept on to his office at
Waltheim’s, where he would wait for him.

The young attaché referred to was the Vicomte de Noisy. He had been
present at one of the public assemblies in which Clement distinguished
himself as a speaker, and conceived a fancy for him from that time. They
frequently made excursions together on foot or horseback, and the vicomte
sought every opportunity of meeting Clement with an eagerness the latter
sometimes reproached himself for not responding to with more warmth. He
relied, therefore, on a cordial reception, and, in fact, as soon as he was
announced, he was taken into a small room next the _chancellerie_, where
M. de Noisy passed the greater part of his time. He found him seated at a
table covered with papers. Before Clement had time to utter a word, the
young attaché exclaimed, without leaving his place:

“Have you come with news? or to get some?”

“What a question! You know well our commercial agents are never able to
rival the speed of the bearers of political despatches.”

“And yet it happens sometimes.”

“But not this time, unfortunately. The Russian legation has just received
a despatch from St. Petersburg dated the twenty‐sixth.”

“So we have just heard. It came in an incredibly short time. I fear ours
will not do as well. And yet the French embassy at St. Petersburg is not
often caught napping.”

Some one rang furiously. A hussar opened the door and made a sign to the
vicomte, who sprang forward.

“The courier!” he exclaimed. “Bravo! Vive l’ambassadeur! To be only one
hour behind the Russian courier is wonderful! Here, _mon cher_, are some
cigars. Take the arm‐chair and wait till I return. I shall soon be back,
and will bring you the news.”

Clement threw himself into the arm‐chair, lit a cigar, took up a
newspaper, and patiently awaited the young attaché’s return beside a good
fire, which, without prejudice to the large stove at one end of the room,
did not give out too much heat at this rigorous season. At the end of an
hour, however, he was beginning to feel he was losing his time, when the
Vicomte de Noisy reappeared with his hands full of letters, which he threw
on the table.

“There,” he said. “To decipher and read these is not all: they are to be
answered, and I do not know when I shall be able to leave the
_chancellerie_.”

“Would it be indiscreet for you to tell me the nature of your despatches?”

“By no means. We have good news. It is all over. The struggle was severe,
but short. The new emperor conducted admirably. The regiments in revolt
have returned to their duty, all the leaders of the insurrection have been
taken. The only serious thing is that among the latter are several
belonging to the _noblesse_, and a great many gentlemen of social standing
are compromised. This interests me more than anything else, because I was
connected with the embassy at St. Petersburg before I came here, and know
them all.”

“Have they given any of the leader’s names?”

“Oh! yes: Troubetzkoï, Rilieff, Mouravieff, Wolkonsky, and a host of
others. But among all these names there is one I am amazed at finding. Who
would ever have thought Walden would be drawn into such a row?”

Clement’s heart gave a leap. “Walden, did you say? What, the Count George
de Walden?”

“The very person. Do you happen to know him?”

“Yes, I know him.”

“Well, can you conceive of a man of his ability and distinction being
mixed up in such a plot? It was an atrocious conspiracy to assassinate the
emperor, and a foolish attempt to establish a republic. Constantine’s name
was only made use of as a pretext.”

“And is Count George seriously compromised?” asked Clement.

“He could not be more so. He is classed among those who have no other
alternative but Siberia or death.—But excuse me, Dornthal, I am forced to
leave you. I dare say we shall have to work all night. Here,” said he,
searching in his pocket, “here is a letter I have received from St.
Petersburg by the courier. You may find in it some additional details that
will interest you.”

The attaché hurried off through the door of the _chancellerie_, and
Clement left the house. It was not till he found himself in the street
that he began to recover from the stupefaction caused by the news he had
just heard. He turned mechanically towards the office, where Müller was
waiting for him, and gave him an account of what he had just learned, with
the exception of the one fact of this political event of infinitely more
importance to him than all the rest. He remained some time at his post,
making an almost superhuman effort to control his bewildered mind and keep
it on the work he had to do. At last he took leave of Müller and went back
to his lodgings. Without stopping, as he usually did, to see the family,
he went directly up‐stairs, and shut himself up in his room. He wished to
be alone, that he might decide at leisure upon the course to pursue in
consequence of so unforeseen and serious an event.

Gabrielle!—He thought of her—and her alone. How would she support such a
blow? How was she to be informed of it?

He remained a long time buried in these reflections without thinking of
the letter in his pocket. At length he bethought himself of it, and with
the hope of getting some light began to read it attentively. After some
preamble, which he ran over hastily, he came to what follows:

“This conspiracy, which broke out with the suddenness of a thunderbolt,
and appeared to be only the spontaneous result of the prevailing doubt at
the beginning of the present reign as to which of the two brothers was the
real emperor, was really arranged a long time before, it seems. It is said
to have had deep and extensive ramifications, and they who fomented and
directed the plot only availed themselves of the circumstances that
followed Alexander’s death as a pretext. It is said their plans were to
have been executed in the spring, if the deceased emperor’s life had been
prolonged till that time. But what seems equally certain is that a great
number of those who are now seriously compromised had only a very
imperfect idea of what was going on. Among these, I cannot doubt, is our
poor friend George de Walden. You know he has always been dreaming of
possible or impossible reforms. As evil would have it, he met in Italy
during the past year a certain man named Lasko—very intelligent and
capable, but an intriguer ready for anything, and mixed up with all the
plots that have agitated Italy and Germany the past ten years. Imprisoned,
then released, Heaven knows how, assuming a thousand names, in a word, one
of those evil‐minded persons who are docile instruments in the hands of
the real leaders of the great plots of the day, George was accidentally
brought in contact with him, and once, only once, was persuaded to attend
one of their meetings through mere curiosity. There by a still more
unfortunate accident he happened to meet one of the leaders just referred
to. The latter at once saw the influence to be derived from George’s name,
position, enthusiasm, and even his ignorance of the extent of their
schemes. He persuaded him to repair to St. Petersburg at a given time, and
hold himself in readiness to second a combined movement, secretly
arranged, but too extensive to be suppressed. This movement, he said, was
to bring about the realization of some of George’s theories. I had these
details from the Marquis Adelardi, the genial Milanais who spent a winter
here three years ago, and is, you know, George’s intimate friend. The
marquis, uneasy about the count’s sudden departure from Florence, and
still more so when three months passed away without his return, came here
to join him. He arrived only three days before the fatal twenty‐fourth. It
appears George was certainly on the square that day and in the foremost
ranks of the insurgents. Adelardi declares he went there sincerely
convinced, by the representations of those who were desirous of leading
him on, that Constantine’s renunciation was a pretence, and his rights
ought to be maintained in the interests of their projects, which that
prince, they declared, was ready to second. However that may be, it is
only too certain that close beside him on the square was this same Lasko,
who was killed at the very moment of firing at the Grand Duke Michael. One
witness—and but one, for it requires some courage to testify in favor of a
man in his situation—has stated it was George who turned his deadly weapon
aside (thus saving the grand duke’s life) before the aide‐de‐camp of the
latter shot the assassin. But there is so strong a feeling against him,
both at court and in the city, that no one dares insist how much this
circumstance is in his favor. He himself obstinately refuses to take
advantage of it, and his haughty attitude since his arrest is by no means
favorable to his interests. What makes his case more complicated, his
secretary was an Italian most intimately connected with Lasko. This man,
Fabiano Dini by name, was also on the square the day of the insurrection,
and was severely wounded.”

Here Clement stopped. These last lines increased his agitation to the
highest pitch. All their vague fears were thus confirmed—his cousin’s
fatal destiny pursued him to the end! Unfortunate himself and a source of
misfortune to others! Yes, that was Felix: capable of realizing his
disgrace, but not of repairing it; seeking the post of danger and the
opportunity of displaying his courage, reluctant to leave the obscurity in
which he had hidden his life, he became one of those secret agitators who
were then, perhaps even more than now, silently undermining Europe. He
soon became their agent, and his talents, contempt of danger and death,
made him a useful one. In this way he speedily came to an end that was
inevitable.

Clement paced up and down his chamber a long time unable to calm his
confused mind, but, after much reflection, came to the conclusion George’s
trial would probably be prolonged, and might terminate less tragically
than was to be feared from this letter. At all events, he ought to spare
Fleurange all the anguish of this uncertainty as long as possible. This
would not be difficult at Rosenheim, for the professor was not allowed to
read the newspapers, and therefore none were left about the rooms occupied
by the family. Hansfelt alone read them and communicated the news. Clement
hastened to write his sister Hilda a few lines, confiding to her all he
had just learned, and recommending her, as well as Hansfelt, to withhold
from Gabrielle all information on the subject. “I shall be at Rosenheim in
a week,” said he at the close, “and we will consult together, dear sister,
about what will then be advisable. Meanwhile, I rely on your prudence and
affection for her.”

Clement and his sister had never discussed the subject now referred to,
but they had long read one another’s thoughts. They were now of the same
mind, and Fleurange would have remained a long time ignorant of what they
wished to conceal from her, had not an unforeseen circumstance overthrown,
a few days after, all the plans laid by their prudence and affection.



XL.


The poor you always have with you. This is our Saviour’s declaration, and
it accords with human experience. We find the poor everywhere, unless we
wilfully turn away our eyes with culpable indifference. Mademoiselle
Josephine, we are well aware, was not of the number of these blind or
insensible persons. She therefore found quite as much work on her hands at
Heidelberg as at Paris, with this difference, which was a keen
mortification—she was unable to hold any communication with the objects of
her bounty, except by gestures rarely expressive enough on either side to
be understood. This forced her to dispense with what had always been the
most pleasant feature of charity—kind words, and sometimes long chats with
the poor on whom she bestowed alms.

“I only wish they understood a little French,” she said. “It seems as if
it might be easy enough for them, whereas it is utterly impossible for me
to learn German.” In a word, not to know French and to understand German
seemed to Mademoiselle Josephine among the mysteries of nature.
Nevertheless, as the poor people persisted in using only their own
language, and resentment must not be carried so far as to refuse aiding
them, mademoiselle was very glad to accept Fleurange as her interpreter
and the agent of her charity. The young girl came every day at the same
hour, either to accompany her or receive her orders and make the daily
round in her stead.

She generally found mademoiselle in her laboratory, that is, in a room on
the ground‐floor, in which the principal piece of furniture was an immense
_armoire_, containing all kinds of things to be distributed among her
actual or anticipated _protégés_. She liked to have a good supply on hand,
and it was seldom a poor person found her without the means of aiding them
at once.

“Here, Gabrielle,” said she one morning, when Fleurange appeared as usual,
basket in hand, to get the charitable supplies for the day. “See,
everything is ready.” And she pointed towards the things on the table,
which, with the large _armoire_ and two chairs, comprised all the
furniture in the room. Everything was indeed arranged in fine order: on
one side were two pairs of stockings and a woollen skirt; on the other, a
covered tureen of broth, a small quantity of sugar, a bottle of wine, some
tobacco, and two or three newspapers. To all these things she added a
small vial, the contents of which required some explanation.

“The stockings and skirt,” said mademoiselle, “are for the mother of the
little girl to whom you carried clothes yesterday. The broth and sugar are
for our poor old woman, as well as this little vial of _eau de mélisse_ of
my own preparation, and not the worse for that. And the wine and tobacco
are for the invalid soldier, the old carpenter whom you visited last week.
His daughter succeeded in making me understand yesterday that nothing
would give this poor man more pleasure than to lend him a newspaper
occasionally. You can give him these which I procured for him this
morning. Ah!—apropos, your cousin Clement left two nice cigars for him
which I forgot. While I am gone for them, you can put all these things in
your basket.”

The kind woman left the room to get the cigars. They were up‐stairs, but
she never thought of counting her steps when it was a question of doing a
kind act, however insignificant, for another. Only, she did not ascend the
stairs quite as nimbly as she once did, and on this occasion it took her
about fifteen minutes to go and return.

During this time Fleurange, standing at the table, proceeded to stow away
all the things in her basket, and last of all was about to put in the
newspapers when her eye fell on a paragraph in one of them that gave her a
start. She seized the paper, opened it, and began to read with ardent
curiosity. All at once she uttered a feeble cry, the journal dropped from
her trembling hands, a mist came over her eyes, and, when her old friend
returned, she found her lying on the floor, pale, cold, and senseless.

Fortunately, Mademoiselle Josephine did not lack presence of mind or
experience. She flew to Fleurange, knelt beside her, raised her head, and
supported her in her arms. Then she drew a smelling‐bottle from her pocket
to revive her, and while showing her these attentions she racked her
brains to guess what could have caused one so robust and generally so calm
to faint in this mysterious way. All at once she noticed the newspaper,
which had fallen at the young girl’s feet. “Ah!” she said, “she read
something in that medley, perhaps some bad news; but, merciful heavens!
what could it have been to produce such an effect?—Dear child,” she
continued, looking tenderly at the pale and lovely face resting on her
shoulders, “she said yesterday she never fainted but once in her life, and
that was at our house in Paris two years ago when she was overcome by
weakness and hunger.”

Poor Mademoiselle Josephine! compassion, and the remembrances thus
awakened, doubly affected her, and her eyes were still filled with tears
when Fleurange opened hers with an expression of surprise soon followed by
an indistinct recollection. She rose slowly up, but, before mademoiselle
could aid her, she threw her arms around her old friend’s neck.

“O dear mademoiselle!” she murmured, “did you know it?—did you know it?”

Poor Josephine had never been so embarrassed. To say she was totally
ignorant of the point was to invite a confidence quite unsuitable at such
a moment, and a contrary reply would also have its inconveniences. She
therefore took refuge in an innocent subterfuge.

“Well, well, my poor child, what use is there in speaking of it now? Be
calm, and do not say anything at present. We will talk about it another
time. Be easy,” she added at a venture, “everything will be arranged if
you take what I am going to give you.”

Then aiding Fleurange to rise, and placing her in a chair, she ran for a
glass of water, into which she poured a few drops of _eau de mélisse_—a
genuine panacea in her estimation—which she held to the young girl’s lips.
Fleurange drank it all, and then gave a long sigh.

“What happened to me?” she said.

“Nothing. You were only faint. That is all.”

“That is strange, for I never faint.” And she passed her hand over her
forehead.

“O my God! I remember it all now,” she suddenly exclaimed. “But is it
true? May not this be false—a mere idle tale?”

“Who can tell?” replied mademoiselle vaguely. “That is quite possible.
They say so many things.”

“But tell me all you know.”

“No, no, not now, Gabrielle, not now. You are not able to hear it. Do as I
say, and we will talk about it at another time.”

Fleurange made no reply. A moment after, she rose. “I am well now,” she
said; “I feel revived.”

She gathered up her long hair, which had fallen around her shoulders, took
the journal and put it in her pocket, then put on the little velvet hat
trimmed with fur which she generally wore in winter, and said: “Thanks,
dear mademoiselle, and pardon me. I have quite recovered, but do not feel
equal, however, to the visits you expected me to make to‐day.”

“No, indeed, of course not.”

“I must go home at once.”

“Yes, certainly, I am going with you. You must go to bed. You are
generally pale, but now your cheeks are as red as those curtains,”
pointing to the bright cotton curtains at the window.

“No, no, I am not ill,” said Fleurange, her eyes aflame. “The air will do
me good. Do not feel uneasy. You see my faintness has entirely passed
off.”

As mademoiselle had not the least idea of the cause of this sudden
indisposition, and the young girl really seemed quite recovered, she did
not oppose her wish to go home alone and on foot. The distance was not
far. Fleurange came every day without any escort, she allowed her
therefore to go, merely accompanying her as far as the gate of her little
yard, where they separated, bidding each other good‐by till evening.



XLI.


The thermometer was down to five or six degrees. The little hat Fleurange
wore protected her forehead, but showed the tresses of her thick hair
behind. She drew up her hood when she wished to guard more effectually
against the severity of the weather. But now she did not take this
precaution. She only drew the folds of her thick cloak around her form,
and set off with rapid steps. The keen, frosty air was refreshing to her
burning cheeks and revived her strength, and, with the exception of an
unusual glow in her complexion and in her eyes, there was no trace of her
recent faintness when she reached home. As soon as she entered, without
stopping an instant, she went directly upstairs, and, giving a slight
knock at the door, entered the chamber between her own and Hilda’s, which
Hansfelt had used as a study since his arrival at Rosenheim. When
Fleurange entered, she found him and his young wife together. They started
with surprise at seeing her, and stopped talking, with a certain
embarrassment which did not escape Fleurange.

“I can guess the subject of your conversation,” she said with emotion, but
without hesitation, “and it is what I wish to speak to you about.”

Her cousin looked at her, uncertain what reply she ought to make.

“Hilda,” said Fleurange, “you agreed never to mention Count George’s name
to me till I should speak of him first. Well, I have now come to speak of
him, and beg you both to tell me all you know about him. Here,” continued
she, throwing the newspaper she had brought on the table, “read that, and
then tell me all I am still ignorant of.”

What could they say? She stood before them so calm, resolute, and decided,
that any reticence seemed useless. Hansfelt ran over the journal. He saw
the article Fleurange referred to did not contain any details, but only a
list of the accused, followed by some very clear comments on the fate
which awaited them. Count George’s name figured among the first on the
list.

“What is he accused of? What is the crime in question?” asked she in a
decided tone.

Hansfelt still hesitated. But his wife knew better than he the character
of her who was questioning them. “Karl,” said she, “you can tell her, and
ought to do so. We must conceal nothing more from Gabrielle.”

“And why have you done so hitherto?” said Fleurange. “Ah! yes, I
understand”—and a slight blush mounted to her forehead—“the secret I
thought so well hidden has been discovered by you all!”

“No, no,” cried Hilda, “only by me—and you know I can conceal nothing from
Karl—by me and Clement.”

“Clement also?” said Fleurange, with a start of surprise and a confusion
which deepened her blush. “But, after all, what difference does it make?”
she continued. “I shall conceal nothing more from any one, and I wish
nothing to be kept from me either. Come, Karl, I assure you earnestly I do
not lack fortitude, and hereafter you must not try to spare me. Surprise
alone overpowered me for an instant. Now I am prepared for the worst, and
ready to hear what you have to tell.”

But in spite of these words, when Hansfelt at last decided, after some
further hesitation, to satisfy her, while he was giving her a
circumstantial account of all Count George had done to forfeit his life,
the color produced by the keen air, her walking so fast, and her
agitation, vanished completely from the young girl’s face, and she became
as pale as death.

“Siberia or death!” she repeated two or three times in a low tone, as if
it were as difficult to understand as to utter such terrible words.

“As to the worst of these two sentences, it is to be hoped he will
escape,” said Hansfelt.

Fleurange shuddered. Was it really of him—_him!_—they were talking in this
way? “But tell me, Karl, is there no other alternative? May he not be
condemned to prison or expatriation? They are also great and fearful
punishments. Why speak only of two sentences, one almost as horrible as
the other?”

Hansfelt shook his head. “His name, his rank, the benefits the government
had conferred on his family, the favors so many times offered him, will
all aggravate his crime in the eyes of his judges. His life, I trust, will
be spared, but—”

“But—the mines, fetters, and fearful rigors of Siberia—do you think he
will be condemned to suffer all these penalties without any alleviation?”

Hansfelt was silent. Hilda pressed Fleurange’s hands and tenderly kissed
her colorless cheeks.

“I have said enough, and too much,” said Hansfelt. “Why will you ask me
such questions, Gabrielle? And why do you tell me to answer her, Hilda?”

“Because I wish to know everything,” said Fleurange, raising her head,
which she had rested a moment on her cousin’s shoulder, and recovering her
firmness of voice. After a moment’s hesitation she continued: “Then
nothing can save him?”

“You wished for the truth without any disguise, Gabrielle, and I have not
concealed it from you. According to all human probability, nothing can
save Count George from the fate that awaits him: that is beyond doubt. But
it sometimes happens in Russia that sudden caprice on the part of the
sovereign arrests the hand of justice. Nevertheless, it would be deceiving
you if I did not add that there is nothing to lead us to hope he will be
such an object of clemency. On the contrary, all the reports agree in
stating that the irritation against him is extreme, and surpasses that
against all the other conspirators.”

Fleurange remained a long time absorbed in thought. “Thank you, Karl,”
said she at length. “You will hereafter tell me all you learn, will you
not?”

After receiving the promise asked for, she turned to leave the chamber.
“One more question,” said she. “My head must be very much confused, or I
should have asked you before in what way his poor mother learned the news,
and how she bears it.”

“Clement heard she was at Florence, as usual at this season, but on
learning the news started at once for St. Petersburg.”

“St. Petersburg! at this time of year! The poor woman will die on the
way.”

“I can tell you nothing more. Clement will be here this evening. He may
have additional news.”

But when Clement arrived that night, Fleurange, prostrated by the anxiety
and excitement of the day, was unable to leave her chamber. Her aunt, who
remained with her, declared she should see no one else till the next day,
and the interview she hoped to have with Clement was deferred. Meanwhile
the latter was steeling himself for the new phase in the trial before him
by listening to all the details of what had occurred. Mademoiselle
Josephine informed them of what had happened to Fleurange at her house,
and in return learned with interest mingled with profound astonishment the
real cause of her fainting. Of all the sufferings in the world, those
caused by love were the most unintelligible to her. If she had been
suddenly informed that her dear Gabrielle had lost her mind, or was going
into a consumption, she would not have been more surprised and disturbed.
Perhaps less so, for the terror mystery lends to distress, and a complete
ignorance of the suitable remedies for such a case, added powerlessness to
anxiety. She, who had so many remedies of all kinds for every occasion,
could absolutely think of nothing suitable for this. How this unknown
person, whose name she had never heard until to‐day, could all at once
become so essential to the happiness of this dear child, who was
surrounded by so much affection from others and had always seemed so
happy, was in her eyes a still greater phenomenon than knowing German. As
for that language, she now resolved to study it, thinking the day might
again arrive when there would be something within her comprehension and
power to do for her. “I will endeavor to acquire it, that I may not lose
an opportunity of profiting by it,” said she. This vague hope consoled her
for her present incompetency, and satisfied, for the time, the devotedness
of her kind heart, now quite out of its latitude.



XLII.


The following morning Fleurange, quite recovered from the physical effects
of her agitation, was up at her usual hour, that is, at daybreak. She put
on her thick cloak, her little fur‐trimmed hat, and started off to church
for the first Mass, which she daily attended at this season. At her
arrival she threw back her hood, and knelt as near the altar as possible.
The church was so dark that each one brought a lantern, a bit of candle,
or some other portable light to read by. These lamps and tapers,
increasing with the number of worshippers, at last diffused sufficient
light throughout the church to enable one to distinguish the people and
objects in it. Fleurange did not bring a candle and needed none, for she
had no prayer‐book, but she was not the less profoundly recollected. Pale
and motionless, her hands clasped, her head raised, her eyes fastened on
the altar, the delicate and regular outline of her face distinctly visible
by a neighboring taper, she resembled a statue of white marble wrapped in
sombre drapery. She prayed with fervor, but without agitation, without
tears, and even without moving her lips. Her whole soul seemed centred in
her eyes. Her look at once expressed the faith that implores and hopes,
submission to God’s will, and courage to fulfil it. It was a prayer that
must prevail, or leave the heart submissive and strengthened.

The Mass ended, all the lights were extinguished one after the other, but
the faint glimmering in the east soon increased to such a degree that,
when Fleurange rose after the church was nearly empty, she recognized
Clement only a few steps off. He followed her to the door, she took the
holy water from his hand, and they went out together.

It was now broad daylight, but the sky was veiled with gray clouds, a
violent wind swept before it the snow that covered the ground, and when
they issued into the street they were met by a perfect whirlwind of
driving snow which Fleurange was scarcely able to withstand. Clement
supported her, then retained her arm, and they walked on for some time
without speaking. He had dreaded this interview in spite of himself, and
now rallied all his strength to listen calmly to what she was about to
say. But, at last, as she remained silent, he spoke first:

“You were ill last evening, Gabrielle. I was far from expecting to find
you at church so early in such severe weather.”

“Ill?” replied Fleurange. “No; I was not ill, but suffering from a great
shock, as you know, do you not, Clement?”

“Yes, Gabrielle, I know it.”

These few words broke down the barrier. What had haunted Clement’s
thoughts now proved to be an actual reality; but energetic natures prefer
the most terrible realities to vague apprehensions, and even to vague
hopes, and he felt his courage rise in proportion as self‐abnegation
became more completely rooted in his soul. After a moment’s silence, he
said:

“Gabrielle, why have you not treated me of late with the same confidence
you once showed me?”

She replied without any hesitation: “Because I made a resolution never to
mention _him_—I made it,” she continued, without noticing the slight start
Clement was unable to repress, “because I wished to forget him. It was
therefore better for me to be reserved even with Hilda—even with you,
Clement. But now,” continued she, with a kind of exaltation in which grief
and joy were confounded, “now I think of that no longer. It seems as if a
new life had commenced for him and for me. And yet we are separated, as it
were, by death. But death breaks down barriers, and reunites, too. What
shall I say, Clement? I seem nearer to him to‐day than yesterday, and in
spite of myself (for I am well aware it is an illusion) I feel I shall be
able to serve him in some way or other. At all events, I no longer have
any motive for concealing my feelings, and to throw off this restraint is
in itself a comfort.”

Clement listened without interrupting her. Each word gave him a sharp
pang, but he steeled himself, somewhat as one does to the clash of arms
and the firing of cannon till there is not even a movement of the eyelids
to betray the fear of death or the possibility of being wounded. As to the
illusion she spoke of, it was the last dream of sorrow and love. He would
not try to dispel it.

“Let us hope, my dear cousin,” said he in a calm tone. “So many unforeseen
circumstances may occur during a trial like that about to commence! There
is no reason to despair.—Whatever may happen,” added he, as they
approached the house, “promise me, Gabrielle, from this time forth, to
show the same confidence in me you once did—a confidence which will induce
you to tell me everything, and rely on me under all circumstances. You
once made me such a promise: have you forgotten it?”

“No, Clement, and I now renew it. You are my best friend, as I once told
you. My opinion has not changed.”

Yes, she had said so. He had forgotten neither the day nor the spot, and
his heart throbbed at the remembrance! Though he was but little more than
twenty years of age, and the honeysuckle he still preserved in memory of
that hour was scarcely withered, a long life seemed to have intervened
since they exchanged nearly the same words.

But when they separated with a pressure of the hand at the end of the
conversation, on that gloomy winter morning, Clement was left with a less
painful impression than that which came over him on the banks of the
Neckar, when, in the pale light of the moon, he had so sudden and fatal a
revelation from the expression of her eyes and the tone of her voice. She
had told him nothing to‐day he did not know before. Instead of happiness,
a vague perspective of devotedness opened before him. But even this was
something to live for.

The following days passed without any new incident. The necessity of
concealing their preoccupation from the professor obliged them all to make
an effort which was beneficial especially to Fleurange, who remained
faithful to her ordinary duties, passing as much time as usual beside her
uncle’s arm‐chair, and with Mademoiselle Josephine and her poor
_protégées_. But a feverish anxiety was sometimes apparent in her
movements and in the troubled expression of her eyes when she went daily
at the regular hour to ask Hansfelt what was in the newspapers. For more
than a week, however, there was nothing new either to comfort her or to
increase her sorrow. Clement had returned to Frankfort, and the days
dragged along with deep and silent anguish. One morning, when least looked
for, he suddenly appeared with unexpected news: the Princess Catherine was
at Frankfort, and would be at Heidelberg the following day!

Fleurange trembled.—The Princess Catherine!—All the remembrances connected
with that name revived with an intensity that for a moment overpowered
her. She felt incapable of uttering a word.—“Coming here?” she said at
length. “To Heidelberg? What for? What can bring her here? How do you
know? Who told you? Oh! tell me everything, and at once, Clement!”

Clement implored her to be calm, and she became so by degrees while he
related what he had learned the night before from the Princess Catherine
herself. At her arrival at Frankfort, she was informed by M. Waldheim, her
banker, that young Dornthal was in the city, and she begged him to call on
her. Clement complied, but not without emotion, with the wish of Count
George’s mother, and found her fearfully prostrated with grief and
illness. He had, however, a long conversation with her, the substance of
which was that, leaving Florence as soon as she learned the fatal news,
she travelled night and day till she reached Paris, where she fell ill.
After four days, however, she resumed her journey, but when she arrived at
Frankfort the physician declared her utterly incapable of continuing it,
and especially of enduring the increasing severity of the weather in
proportion as she approached St. Petersburg. Able to go no further, she
resolved at least to keep on as far as Heidelberg, hoping the care of a
young physician of that city, since and even then very celebrated, would
speedily enable her to resume her sad journey.

“I shall make the effort,” said the princess, “for I wish to live. I wish
to go to him, if possible. I long to behold him once more! I hope much
from Dr. Ch——’s attendance, as well as your cousin Gabrielle’s. I depend
on her, tell her so. Tell her,” added she, weeping, “that I long to see
her again, and beg her to come to me as soon as I arrive at Heidelberg.”

“And she will be here to‐morrow?” said Fleurange, much affected.

“Yes, towards night. I am going to notify the physician, and have the best
apartments in the city prepared for her. Though she did not say so, I am
sure, Gabrielle, she expects to meet you at her arrival.”

Fleurange merely replied she would be there, but her heart beat with a joy
she thought she could never feel again. To behold George’s mother once
more, and at such a time! Was it not like catching a glimpse of him? She
would be sure of constantly hearing his name—of constant and direct news
respecting him—in a word, this was the realization of a secret wish she
had not dared utter.

The next day, a long time before the appointed hour, Fleurange was in the
room prepared for the princess, arranging the furniture in the way she
knew would suit her, trying to give everything a cheerful aspect, to
lessen the sadness of the poor traveller, who, towards the close of this
long day, at length arrived exhausted with fatigue, and fell sobbing into
the young girl’s arms.

The time when she feared no other danger for her son than Gabrielle’s
presence was forgotten. The impressions of the moment always overruled all
others, and her present troubles were, besides, well calculated to absorb
every thought. Therefore, in meeting her young _protégée_ she only thought
of the pleasure of seeing her again, of the comfort to be derived from her
care and presence at a time when they were most needed, and everything
except her first fancy for Fleurange seemed to be effaced from her memory.



XLIII.


A subdued light veiled every object. A bright fire sparkled in the small
fireplace, only intended to be ornamental, as the room was otherwise
heated by a stove. The princess was, as we have already seen her,
reclining on a _canapé_ sheltered by a large screen. Her elbow rested on a
small table loaded with the various objects she always carried with her;
her feet were covered with a large shawl, and near her sat Fleurange on a
stool in the old familiar attitude.

There was a great change, however. They no longer resorted to reading as
they once did, or followed the lead of the princess’ thoughts, generally
more or less frivolous. One subject alone absorbed every faculty—a subject
which she who listened with such ardent interest was still less weary of
than herself.

To this the afflicted mother continually came back, sometimes with
agitation, sometimes with a dull despair, but always with profound grief,
heart‐rending to her whose sorrow equalled her own.

It was the first time the Princess Catherine had ever been subdued by
misfortune. Subdued, but not changed, she not only instinctively retained
all her elegant habits, but her passionate nature was unchanged, and burst
forth into recriminations against all whom she thought implicated in her
son’s misfortunes. This enabled her to pity, without blaming, him. It was
one of these occasions Fleurange heard her exclaim that “Fabiano Dini was
his evil genius!” and she shuddered in recalling her presentiment, so soon
and so fatally justified.

“Yes,” said the princess during one of their conversations, “it was he—it
was that Fabiano Dini who brought him in contact with that reprobate of a
Lasko!”

And then she told the young girl about that person whose tragical end did
not seem to have sufficiently expiated all the evil he had done her
son—about his arrival at Florence, the ascendency he acquired over George,
and the skill and promptness with which he took advantage of all his weak
points. She had been incredulous at first, notwithstanding Adelardi’s
warnings—alas! too long, too foolishly incredulous! But her fears once
roused, how much had she not suffered! What efforts had she not made!
Alas! but in vain!

“He was always so—that dear, unfortunate child! No prudence, no fear of
danger, ever stopped him on the very brink where his inclinations led him.
Oh! those wretches! they soon discovered his imprudence, his generosity,
and his courage! And now,” she exclaimed, rising from her pillow, while
her thick but somewhat gray hair fell over her shoulders in unusual
disorder, “can he possibly be confounded with them? Oh! if I could only
get well, only strong enough to start, to make the journey, to see the
young empress even but once, I should obtain his pardon, I am sure!”

Then she fell back exhausted, murmuring as she wrung her hands: “And
Vera!—Vera absent from St. Petersburg at such a time! She was expected
there, but who knows if she may not arrive too late? And above all, who
knows but she will be his worst enemy, and if he has not foolishly
poisoned the very source whence he might now derive safety?”

These words, which perhaps might have caused fresh trouble, were not heard
by her to whom they were addressed. Fleurange had softly left the
princess’ side as she laid her weary head on her pillow, and was at the
other end of the room preparing a soothing draught which the poor invalid
mechanically took from her hand from hour to hour without obtaining the
relief of a moment’s sleep. This overpowering excitement, which resisted
every remedy, was somewhat soothed at the arrival of one of the Marquis
Adelardi’s frequent letters. He was still at St. Petersburg, and kept her
accurately informed of all that happened, sometimes reviving her hopes,
and again confirming her fears. But hitherto he had not succeeded in
learning anything certain as to the fate reserved for his friend.
Sometimes, therefore, after eagerly reading these letters, she threw them
into the fire with despair.

So much agitation at length brought on a high fever, and the princess had
been confined to her bed several days, when one morning another letter
arrived from St. Petersburg. Fleurange softly approached the bedside, and
perceived the invalid was fast asleep. It was important this brief moment
of repose should not be disturbed, and, besides, the physician had
requested, some days previous, that no letter should be given her till it
had been read, for fear she might learn some distressing news before she
was prepared—as it was easy to foresee might happen. Fleurange promised to
read the letters first, and with the less scruple that for more than a
week she had been obliged to read them to the princess, who was too worn
out to do so herself.

She now left her to the care of the faithful Barbara, and went into the
salon, where, carefully closing the door, she broke the seal of the letter
in her hands, which was also from the Marquis Adelardi. “At last,” he
wrote, “I think I can certainly reassure you as to the most terrible of
the events that seemed possible. The extreme rigor of the law will only be
enforced against the acknowledged leaders of the conspiracy—four or five
in number. All the others, among whom is George, will incur, alas! a
terrible penalty, but we must be thankful not to look forward to one more
frightful—I say we, my dear unfortunate friend, for, as to him, I fear
this sentence will produce a contrary effect. I am persuaded he will
consider it a thousand times more dreadful than the other.

“Since I last wrote you, through the intervention of one of the
ambassadors, I have been allowed the privilege of entering the fortress
where George is confined, and having a private interview with him. Pardon
has been offered him if he will reveal the names of some of his
accomplices. You will not be surprised at his refusing. But the numerous
proofs of their criminal projects, which have been set before him in order
to wrest some acknowledgment from him, have convinced him of the nature of
the enterprise in which he risked his honor and life. The effect of this
discovery has been to plunge him in the deepest dejection, and his only
fear now is that his life may be spared.

“ ‘I merit death for my folly, Adelardi,’ said he: ‘you were right in
warning me there would be no consolation in such a reflection at the
extremity I am now in. But I shall submit to my fate without weakness, as
you do me the honor to believe, I hope. I do not wish, however, to appear
more courageous than I am, and if, instead of death, I am sentenced to
drag out the life of a criminal in Siberia, I do not know what my despair
might lead me to do.’

“As much precaution therefore must be taken in informing him of the
mitigation of his punishment, as in announcing to others the severity of
theirs. Before that time, I hope to obtain entrance again.

“Meanwhile I have learned with as much admiration as surprise that several
who are doomed to the same punishment as he are to have an unexpected and
unparalleled consolation. Their wives—their admirable and heroic
wives—have begged to be allowed to share their fate, and at this very
moment several ladies whom you know, young, beautiful, and accomplished,
are preparing to follow their husbands to Siberia by inuring themselves to
the rigor of the season. These unfortunate men, degraded from the
nobility, deprived of their wealth, and stripped of everything in the
world, cannot be deprived of the affection of these self‐sacrificing
creatures whose noble devotedness nothing daunts. I confess this amazes
and confuses me, for I never before realized, or even suspected, how much
heroism and generosity there is in the heart of a woman!”—

Fleurange’s own heart throbbed so violently she was unable to continue the
letter. With overflowing eyes she was still dwelling on the page she had
just finished—reading it over and over—when she was told the princess was
awake, and wished to know if there was a letter for her. For some days her
mind had been so full of terrible anticipations about the final result as
sometimes to produce fits of delirium. When, therefore, the contents of
this letter were communicated to her, she felt an unexpected—an unhoped‐
for relief. His life—George’s life!—would be spared! There was yet time
for her to effect something. She began to hope everything from the future,
and became calmer than she had been for a long time. She was even to get
up in the evening. She conversed, she spoke eagerly of her plans, her
hopes, all she would do to soften her son’s exile, and the efforts she
would make to abridge it; but what was extraordinary, Fleurange seemed
absent‐minded and made scarcely any reply.

About nine o’clock Julian or Clement always came to accompany her back to
Rosenheim—a half‐hour’s walk from the princess’ house, which was at the
other end of the city. On this occasion, when she was sent for, she was so
absorbed in her own thoughts that she did not notice which of the two was
with her. It was starlight, but very cold, and her hair was blown about by
the wind from beneath her little velvet hat.

“Draw your hood up, Gabrielle; it has not been so cold this winter.”

It was Clement’s voice which suddenly roused her from her reverie.

“Is it you, Clement?—Excuse me, I did not know whether I was with you or
Julian.”

He gently attempted to raise her hood.

“No, no!” she said earnestly. “Let me breathe the air. Though it is
scarcely more than two years since I saw snow for the first time in my
life, I am not afraid of the cold. I could if necessary endure far more
severe weather than this.—There!” And she took off her hat and walked some
steps with her head completely exposed to the frosty night air. “You
know,” she continued, with an animation that singularly contrasted with
her previous silence—“you know, during the Russian campaign, those who
endured the cold best were the Neapolitan soldiers. Well, like them, I
have brought a supply of sunshine from the South which much harder frosts
than this could not exhaust!”

Nevertheless, at Clement’s renewed entreaties, she laughingly put on her
hat, and they walked quickly along, leaving scarcely a trace of their
steps on the hard snow, deep as it was.

Her liveliness that evening was strange! Clement noticed it without
comprehending the cause. Her cheerful tone and charming smile, instead of
delighting him as usual, now made him inexpressibly uneasy, and sadder
than ever!



XLIV.


As is often the case with people of violent and impressionable natures,
the Princess Catherine seldom saw things long in the same light. Though
her thoughts were sorrowfully fastened on one subject in consequence of
the tragical events that so suddenly threw a dark, ominous veil over a
life hitherto so smiling, she found means of giving a thousand different
shades to her misfortune, and it was not always easy to follow her in the
fitful turns of her grief. What consoled her one day was a source of
irritation the next: what she affirmed in the morning, she vehemently
denied in the evening. Sometimes she expressed her fears on purpose that
they might be opposed; at other times, she burst into tears at the
slightest contradiction, and, if they endeavored to reassure her, she
accused them of cruelty and indifference to her troubles.

In consequence of one of these sudden fluctuations, the day following the
arrival of the Marquis Adelardi’s letter which had seemed so consoling,
Fleurange, at the hour of her usual visit, found her abandoned to the
deepest dejection. Everything had assumed a new aspect, or perhaps it
would be more just to say that everything now wore the terrible aspect of
truth. And was it really enough that her idolized son was delivered from
death? Was not the prospect she now dwelt on almost as fearful to bear?
He—George!—her son!—in her eyes the perfect model of manly beauty,
elegance, and nobleness of character, clad in the frightful garb of a
criminal!—and going alone amid that wretched crowd to that dreary region,
where the hardest and most humiliating labor awaited him, without even the
consoling voice of a friend to encourage him, to take him by the hand, to
love him, and to tell him so!

“Oh!” she exclaimed, in that accent which is as different from every
other, as the grief of a mother differs from every other grief—“oh!
feeble, ill, and exhausted as I am, why cannot I accompany him? It really
seems to me, Gabrielle, if I were allowed, I should find strength, I
should have the courage to go. I would start, I would go and share his
wretched existence, I would participate in all the severities of so
frightful a life, and by dint of affection I would make it endurable for
him!”

This energetic cry of disinterested affection—its evident sincerity—was so
rare a thing with the princess that it was the more affecting. Pale,
silent, and motionless before her, Fleurange listened with an emotion that
prevented her uttering the words that hung on her trembling lips. The poor
princess was sobbing aloud, with both hands to her face, apparently
exhausted by her own vehemence, when Fleurange, suddenly kneeling beside
her, said in a low tone:

“Do you remember, princess, the promise you exacted from your son, one
evening?”

The princess raised her head with surprise and a shade of resentment:
“What do you mean? Do you wish to reproach me at such a time? The moment
is well chosen, but such a thing from you, Gabrielle, surprises me!”

“Reproach you!” cried Fleurange. “No, I did not think of such a thing. It
was a request, a petition, or, rather, it was a question I wished to ask
you.”

“A question!” The princess looked at Fleurange. She was struck by the
expression of her countenance, and interest, mingled with surprise, roused
her from her dejection. What request was she going to make in so
extraordinary a manner? And why did she look so determined, and speak in
so supplicating a tone?

“Go on, speak, ask whatever you wish, Gabrielle.”

“Well, first let me tell you this: The eve of my departure from Florence,
while descending from San Miniato with him—with Count George, he asked if
I would be his wife, adding he was sure of obtaining your consent.”

“Why recall all these remembrances, Gabrielle? I thought you generous, but
you are without mercy!”

Fleurange went on as if she did not hear: “I replied that I would never
listen to him, unless, by some unforeseen circumstance impossible to
conceive, his mother—you, princess—would gladly consent to receive me as a
daughter.” She stopped a moment, as if too agitated to continue.

“What are you aiming at?” said the princess.

“I beg you to listen to me, princess. Here is my question: When this
terrible sentence is pronounced, when Count George de Walden is degraded
from his rank, deprived of his wealth, and even of his name (you shudder,
alas! and I also at the thought)—but to return—when that day comes, if he
asks the consent he promised you to wait for, will you grant it?”

The princess looked at her with astonishment, without appearing to
comprehend her.

“Will you allow me to tell him you have consented? Will you on that day
tell me you are willing I should become your daughter?”

The princess began to catch at her meaning, but she was too stupefied to
reply.

“Ah! say the word, princess,” continued Fleurange, her face expressing
both angelic tenderness and a more than feminine courage, “say it, and I
will start. I will be at St. Petersburg before his sentence is pronounced,
and when he comes out of his dungeon I will be there, and before he
departs for the place of his exile a tie shall unite us that will permit
me to accompany him and share all its severity!”—She continued in
faltering tones: “And if ever the tenderness of a mother, the care of a
sister, or the love of a wife, were able to alleviate misfortune, my heart
shall have the combined power of these various affections.”

We are aware that, when certain chords were touched in the princess’
heart, they vibrated strongly, and made her for a moment forget herself.
But never, under any circumstances of her life, had she felt an emotion
equal to that now caused by Fleurange’s words and accents. She looked at
her a moment in silence while great tears rolled down her cheeks, then,
opening her arms and pressing the young girl passionately to her heart,
she covered her forehead and eyes with kisses, repeating at intervals with
a voice broken by sobs: “Yes, yes, Gabrielle, be my daughter: I consent
with joy—with gratitude. I give you now my consent and a mother’s
blessing!”—

To Be Continued.



The Poor Ploughman.


    A true worker and a good was he,
    Living in peace and perfect charity;
    God loved he, best, and that with alle his herte,
    At alle times, were it gain or smart;
    And then his neighbour right as himselve.
    He wolde thresh, and thereto dyke and delve
    For Christe’s sake, for every poor wight
    Withouten hire, if it lay in his might.
    His tithes paid he full fair and well,
    Both of his proper work, and his cattel.—_S. Anselm._



A Dark Chapter In English History.(103)


One of the most gratifying features of the literature of the present, and
one that in some measure compensates us for the evils produced by the many
worthless books that are still allowed to issue from the press, is its
tendency by close investigation and collation to vindicate the truth of
modern history, and especially of that portion of it directly or
indirectly relating to the XVIth century. Gradually, but most effectually,
the inventions and gross calumnies of the post‐Reformation writers are
being dissipated, and the meretricious grandeur with which the characters
and acts of the anti‐Catholic sovereigns, statesmen, and generals of that
eventful period were designedly clothed, has been stripped off, revealing
to their descendants the deformity and impiety of the heroes of the
Reformation. Whether we turn to England or Germany, Edinburgh or Geneva,
we find the men and women who in our own school‐boy days we were urged to
regard as patterns of patriotism and morality, become under the scrutiny
of living historiographers the veriest counterfeits—the prey of passion
and the untiring enemies of every principle of government and religion
which we are bound to respect. Yet this is what, logically, we might have
anticipated. A bad cause needs to be sustained by vicious instruments; but
so closely and consistently has the web of falsehood been woven around the
true designs and actions of the reformers that it required the labor of
many skilful and patient hands to undo the meshes and reduce the fabric,
so dexterously spun, to its original elements. This is peculiarly
difficult with the works of English historians and biographers of the past
three centuries, whose unanimity in magnifying the virtues and screening
the crimes of their public men is so remarkable as to utterly destroy the
value of their works as authorities among people of other nations. The
beastly vices of the eighth Henry were, of course, so glaring that they
could neither be denied nor extenuated; but who would expect to find that
his worthy daughter Elizabeth, the “virgin queen” and _Gloriana_, before
whose benign altar even Shakespeare offered the incense of his flattery,
should at this remote period be discovered to be: as a woman ugly, ill‐
tempered, and unchaste, and as a ruler fickle, cruel, cold‐blooded, and
thoroughly despotic. James I., the head of a long line of gallant princes,
to whom his pliant prelates attributed “divine illumination,” and
subsequent historians praised for his learning and wit, we at length know
to have been a miser and a charlatan, as deformed in mind as he was
uncouth in person. “His cowardice,” says his compatriot and co‐religionist
Macaulay, “his childishness, his pedantry, his ungainly person and
manners, his provincial accent, made him an object of derision” to his
English subjects. The unscrupulous Northampton and the subtle Cecil, the
trusted ministers of both sovereigns, who had long been regarded as the
unswerving champions of English independence and the bulwark of Protestant
ascendency, are now proved to have been all along the paid tools of
Catholic Spain, with whose ill‐gotten gold their lofty palaces were built
and their luxurious wants regularly supplied.(104) The chivalrous and
romantic Raleigh of other days, examined by the inexorable scrutiny of the
XIXth century, turns out a spy in the pay of a foreign and by no means
friendly power; the philosophic Bacon, a common peculator; and Coke, the
father of English common law, a falsifier of sworn evidence and a
concocter of legal conspiracies against the liberties of his countrymen.
Yet these were the leading personages, who, with many others equally
corrupt, in their day and generation swayed the destinies of England,
desolated the church of God, originated or abetted plots and schemes, at
home and abroad, for the spoliation and extermination of the professors of
the ancient faith.

This tardy measure of historical justice is partly due to the appearance
in different parts of Europe of important public and private documents and
correspondence, which have shamed British Protestant authors into
something like truthfulness, but principally to the revival of Catholicity
in England, which has been the means of drawing out a mass of original and
reliable information, that had long been allowed to slumber in the dark
closets of a few noble families or in inaccessible libraries during the
gloomy era of persecution and proscription. Our readers are already
familiar with the articles which formerly appeared in these columns on the
long‐unsettled and vexed question of the character of Mary, Queen of
Scots, and the justice or injustice of her treatment by
Elizabeth—contributions to current literature which in their collective
form have found their way among the _literati_ of all nations, and, from
their admirable cogency of argument and conscientious appeals to
contemporary authorities, have at length cleared away from the character
of that ill‐starred lady the foul aspersions and unexampled obloquy heaped
on it by the minions of the English sovereign.

Some more recent publications have thrown additional light on the tragic
incidents of her reign and of that of her successor James, which, as far
as they relate to the Catholics of Great Britain, are full of freshness
and interest. Chief among them is the _Life of Father John Gerard_, for
many years a Jesuit missionary in England under both rulers, with his
account of the celebrated Gunpowder Plot, written soon after the failure
of that conspiracy. Many of the participants in the plot were personally
known to him, and he himself was accused of having taken an active part in
its formation; but, though his name has been frequently mentioned in
connection with it and his manuscript narrative more or less correctly
quoted, it remained for a member of his Order, the Rev. John Morris, the
able editor of the book before us, to present to the world for the first
time the only complete and accurate history of an event which has been the
fruitful subject of misrepresentation and comment by every writer on
English history for the last two hundred years.

Few incidents of modern times can be said to have provoked more hostility
to the church and the Jesuit Order than the Gunpowder Plot, few have been
so dexterously used by the enemies of Catholicity to poison the public
mind against the priesthood, and none the details of which are so little
understood even at the present day by friends and foes. The 5th of
November, the anniversary of its discovery, has long been a gala‐day with
the more ignorant of the British populace; Protestant writers, divines,
and politicians of the lower sort are not yet tired of alluding to the
time when, as they are wont to allege, the Catholics by one fell swoop
attempted to destroy king, lords, and commons; and even Lingard and
Tiernay, with the very best intentions and after considerable examination
of authorities, give a partial assent to the old popular conviction that,
in some way or another, the Jesuits were at the bottom of the diabolical
scheme, which in reality was the creation of a handful of desperate
laymen. In fact, the former, with a penetration totally at variance with
his general character, alludes to the taking of the oath of secrecy by
Catesby and his companions in terms that would lead any superficial reader
to adopt this absurd hypothesis. “All five,” he says, “having previously
sworn each other to secrecy, received in confirmation of their oath the
sacrament at the hands of the Jesuit missionary Father Gerard.”(105) It is
true that in a subsequent edition of his _History_ he endeavored to
explain away, but in a very unsatisfactory manner, the implication of
guilty knowledge on the part of Gerard; but, whether from an imperfect
acquaintance with the writings of that priest, then unpublished, or from
that spirit of timidity which too often characterized the conduct of the
English Catholics of the last generation, his refutation is not of that
full and hearty nature which might be expected from so clear and critical
a scholar.

What Dr. Lingard was unwilling or unable to undertake may now, in view of
more complete evidence, be accomplished by persons of lesser erudition,
who, untrammelled by national partiality, are not alarmed at popular
clamor or unwilling to disturb time‐honored but unfounded historical
fallacies. We design, therefore, in this article to prove:

1. That the Gunpowder Plot was formed and carried out to its disastrous
end by not more than a dozen desperate men, the victims of unrelenting
persecution for conscience’ sake.

2. That the Catholic body in England, lay and clerical, till its
discovery, neither were aware of its existence, approved of its aims, nor
rendered any assistance to its projectors.

3. That no priest, Jesuit or other, was concerned in its formation, or
afforded it any encouragement at any time; and that of all the seculars
and regulars in the kingdom but two were ever aware of its existence, and
that to them the knowledge came under the seal of confession and could not
be revealed.

4. That those two used every possible effort to dissuade the conspirators
from their design, and denounced on every occasion all violent attempts to
redress the wrongs under which the Catholics suffered.

The state of England at the beginning of the XVIIth century, when James of
Scotland was called upon to ascend the throne of his mother’s murderer,
was deplorable in the extreme. Less than half a century had sufficed to
change entirely the whole face of the country socially and morally, and
the once “merrie” people were divided into two hostile camps, one the army
of plunder and persecution, the other the cowering, dissatisfied, and
impoverished masses. Many were yet alive who recollected with sorrow the
time when the cross gleamed on the spires of a thousand churches, when the
solemn sacrifice was offered up on myriads of altars, when the poor and
afflicted easily found food and shelter at the numerous convents and
abbeys that dotted the land of S. Augustine, and the young and the aged,
the weak woman and the strong man, together bowed their knees in reverence
before the statues of the “blessed among women” and other saints. Now all
was reformed away—changed not with the consent of the people nor by the
argument or eloquence of the preacher, but by the brute force and cunning
fraud of a corrupt sovereign, a dissolute and avaricious court, and,
partially at least, by a venal and cowardly episcopate. The churches no
longer resounded from morning till night with the solemn sacred chants,
the monasteries were in ruins or the scenes of impious revelry, the
festivals of the church were abolished, and the peasantry, formerly
accustomed to look forward to them as days of rest from hard toil and
occasions of innocent enjoyment, were sullen and discontented. Those who
had shared in the ecclesiastical plunder spent their time in the
metropolis in wild extravagance, while the gentry, most of whom still
adhered secretly to the faith, remained at home, the prey of anxiety and
the tax‐gatherer. The masses were fast degenerating into that state of
stolid ignorance and unbelief from which all subsequent legislation has
failed to raise them. The laws of Elizabeth aimed at the suppression of
all outward manifestation of Catholicity and the ultimate protestantizing
of the nation; those of James, at the utter extirpation of the Catholics
themselves.

As early as A.D. 1559, the first year of Elizabeth’s reign, a law was
passed compelling every person holding office, either temporal or
spiritual, under the crown, to take an oath of allegiance declaring the
queen the supreme head of the church. The penalty for refusing this oath
was forfeiture of goods and imprisonment, and a persistence in such
refusal, _death_. Whoever affirmed the spiritual supremacy of the pope was
declared guilty of treason; penalty, confiscation and _death_. Attendance
at Mass was to be punished by perpetual imprisonment, and non‐attendance
at Protestant service by a weekly fine. In the fifth year of her reign,
any aider or abettor of such offenders was for the first offence to be
fined and imprisoned for life, for the second to suffer _death_. Any
clergyman celebrating Mass or refusing to observe the regulations of the
_Book of Common Prayer_ forfeited offices, goods, and liberty. In the
thirteenth year, introducing into the kingdom a bull or other instrument
of the pope was treason, penalty _death_; abetting the same, _death_;
acting under such authority, _death_; introducing, wearing, or having in
his or her possession an _Agnus Dei_, cross, etc., confiscation and
perpetual imprisonment; and for leaving the kingdom without permission,
forfeiture of lands and personal estate. In the twenty‐third year, any
person granting absolution from sin in the name of the “Roman Church,” or
receiving the same, their aiders, etc., was declared guilty of treason,
penalty _death_; and for not disclosing knowledge of such offenders,
confiscation and imprisonment. In the twenty‐ninth year, the tax for non‐
attendance at Protestant service was increased to £20 per lunar month, or
forfeiture of two‐thirds of all lands and goods; and for keeping a
schoolmaster or tutor, other than a Protestant, a fine of £10 per month
was imposed, together with imprisonment at pleasure. By the statutes of
the 21st, 27th, and 28th Elizabeth, every priest, Jesuit, or other
ecclesiastic ordained out of the realm was obliged forthwith to leave the
kingdom, and in case of his return he was to suffer _death_; those who
received or harbored him were subject to a like punishment. Those being
educated abroad were required to return home, and after neglect to do so,
upon their being found in the kingdom, were to be put to _death_. For
contributing money for colleges abroad and for sending students there,
fine and imprisonment for life were considered adequate punishments; but
by the 25th chapter of Elizabeth, all who persisted in refusing attendance
on Protestant worship were liable to be transported for life, and if they
evaded the statute they were liable to suffer _death_.(106)

We see, therefore, by this comprehensive penal code that every office
under the crown was reserved as a bribe to recreant Catholics; that
private tutors were commanded to teach nothing but the new heresy in
Catholic families, while those who objected to such method of instruction
could neither send their children abroad nor contribute to the support of
those already there. All priests were obliged to take the oath of
supremacy and observe the _Book of Common Prayer_; such as did not were to
be banished, and if they returned were to be executed forthwith. No priest
could, of course, be ordained at home, and if ordained abroad he was to be
hanged whenever caught, without delay. If one of the laity attended Mass
or wore the image of his crucified Redeemer, he was to be imprisoned for
life; if he did not attend Protestant service, he was to be fined
enormously; if he had no money to pay the fine, he might be banished for
ever from his home and country, and if he endeavored to conceal himself at
home his career was to be ended by the hangman.

Nor must it to be supposed that these sanguinary statutes, affecting the
rights and liberties of at least one‐half of the population, were nothing
but the splenetic fits of a jealous and tyrannical bigot or mere idle
threats to frighten a half‐civilized horde. On the contrary, we have
abundant facts to prove that they were thoroughly and cruelly enforced,
and that the sufferers were principally the better class of the community.
In 1573, the Rev. Thomas Woodhouse was drawn, half‐hanged, and then
quartered alive in the usual way at Tyburn, for having denied the queen’s
supremacy. Two years later, Father Cuthbert Mayne was executed with
similar barbarity in Cornwall for having in his possession a copy of a
Jubilee and for saying Mass in the house of a Mr. Teagian; the latter,
with fifteen others, for being present on the occasion, was imprisoned for
life. In 1577, Mr. Jenks was tried and convicted at Oxford for exposing
some Catholic books for sale, and about this time we are informed the
prisons were so full of “recusants” that a pestilence broke out and large
numbers of the inmates perished. Among the sufferers in 1578 we find the
names of Father Nelson and a Mr. Sherwood, who were hanged and quartered
solely for being recusants. In 1582, Fathers Campion (the celebrated
Jesuit missionary), Sherwin, and Briant, after the mockery of a trial,
were executed in London, and in May of the year following no less than
seven other priests suffered death at Tyburn. Thus nearly every year
supplied its quota to the martyrology of the church in England, not to
speak of the nameless thousands who died in confinement by the quick but
silent process of torture and pestilence, or abroad, broken‐hearted and
neglected. During the fourteen years succeeding the dispersion of the
Spanish Armada, when fanaticism was rampant and bigotry held full sway in
the councils of Elizabeth, sixty‐one clergymen, forty‐seven laymen, and
two gentlewomen expiated their offence of being Catholics by a horrible
and ignominious public death; while, according to the records still
extant, the total number of the “good Queen Bess’” ecclesiastical victims
amounted to the handsome number of one hundred and twenty‐three, including
one hundred and thirteen seculars, eight Jesuits, one friar, and one monk,
besides innumerable laymen in whose veins flowed the best blood of the
land.

The rack and the thumb‐screw almost invariably preceded the half‐hanging
and disembowelling, so that many looked upon the gallows as a welcome
relief from worse sufferings. Priests were tortured to compel them to
disclose the names of their penitents, and laymen to force them into the
betrayal of their pastors. Father Campion was four times racked, and then
secretly brought before the queen to discuss theology with that model
Supreme Head of the Church; while others like Nichols found it more
convenient to swear to all their tormentors required, for, as that
recreant shepherd naïvely says in his _Apology_, “it is not, I assure you,
a pleasant thing to be stretched on the rack till the body becomes almost
two feet longer than nature made it.” Father Gerard, who speaks from
personal experience, has left us in his Memoirs the following account of
this most effectual method of extorting confessions in the glorious reign
of that queen to which so many of our modern writers refer with pride and
congratulation:


    “Then they led me to a great upright beam, or pillar of wood,
    which was one of the supports of this vast crypt. At the summit of
    this column were fixed certain iron staples for supporting
    weights. Here they placed on my wrists manacles of iron, and
    ordered me to mount upon two or three wicker steps; then raising
    my arms they inserted an iron bar through the rings of the
    manacles, and then through the staples in the pillar, putting a
    pin through the bar so that it could not slip. My arms being thus
    fixed above my head, they withdrew those wicker steps I spoke of,
    one by one, from my feet, so that I hung by my hands and arms. The
    tips of my toes, however, still touched the ground; so they dug
    away the ground beneath, as they could not raise me higher, for
    they had suspended me from the topmost staples in the pillar. Thus
    hanging by my wrists I began to pray, while those gentlemen
    standing around me asked again if I was willing to confess. I
    replied, ‘I neither can nor will.’ But so terrible a pain began to
    oppress me that I was scarcely able to speak the words. The worst
    pain was in my breast and belly, my arms and hands. It seemed to
    me that all the blood in my body rushed up my arms into my hands,
    and I was under the impression at the time that the blood actually
    burst forth from my fingers and the back of my hands. This was,
    however, a mistake, the sensation was caused by the swelling of
    the flesh over the iron that bound it.... I had hung this way till
    after one of the clock, as I think, when I fainted.”(107)


It must not be supposed, however, that the zeal of the queen’s ministers
was satisfied with these harsh measures against the clergy and the more
prominent delinquents. All Catholics were put beyond the pale of the law.
The country swarmed with spies and informers. Lists were accurately made
out and carefully preserved of the recusants who owned property of any
sort, and every possible method of espionage was adopted to detect them in
the slightest infraction of the bloody code. Domiciliary visits became the
order of the day, or rather of the night, for that was the time usually
chosen by the pursuivants. Doors were broken open, closets ransacked,
bedrooms of women and invalids invaded without ceremony; and frequently,
the previous movements having been properly concerted, whole families were
simultaneously borne off to prison, there to be detained without the least
warrant of law for months and years. The tax of £260 annually, equal to at
least five thousand dollars at the present day, was not only vigorously
enforced, but upon the faintest rumor of a foreign invasion or domestic
broil, special imposts were laid on the remaining property of the
Catholics, and the owners were carried to the nearest dungeon till the
affair blew over, when they were as unceremoniously dismissed until the
next occasion arose for plunder and personal revenge.

Thus was the work of reformation and evangelization urged briskly forward
in free England, and she was fast becoming converted and enlightened.
Torture, death, and confiscation dogged the steps of the unhappy recusant
who dare to profess, even in the privacy of his house, the faith of his
fathers for ten centuries—that religion which had raised his ancestors
from barbarism, freed him from the thraldom of feudalism, and given him
_Magna Charta_, trial by jury, and representative government. The crown
lawyers, like Coke, Stanhope, and Bacon, laid the plans, pious bishops
like those of London, Ely, and Winchester, leaving their flocks to the
devouring Puritan wolves, constituted themselves a sort of episcopal
sheriffalty, and vied with each other in their ardor for the spread of the
Gospel and their love for the spoils of the Papists. Their leader in all
this was a vulgar wretch named Topcliffe, whose audacity, profanity, and
lewdness made him the terror of men and the abhorrence of women, but whose
usefulness was so apparent that he was constantly the object of government
favors and clerical eulogy.

But human hate and diabolical ingenuity, it was thought, could not last
for ever. On the 24th of March, A.D. 1603, Elizabeth died, to the last the
prey of vain desires and unsatisfied ambition. For weeks before her
decease she was haunted by the phantoms of her innumerable crimes, and so
terrified at the approach of death that she refused to lie in her bed or
to receive any sustenance from her usual attendants. The courts of Europe,
to which she had ever been an object of dislike and fear, could ill
conceal their pleasure at the event, but millions of her subjects, the
impoverished, the widowed, and the orphaned, made desolate by her despotic
cruelty, in silence execrated her memory.

The Catholics generally found consolation in the thought of her successor,
and, with that unqualified confidence in the house of Stuart, which now
seems like fatality, they began to hope for better days under his sway.
Was he not, they asked each other, the son of Elizabeth’s royal victim,
and could he be unmindful of the affection with which the Catholics of the
three kingdoms ever regarded his mother? Had he not before he ever put
foot in England authorized Father Watson to promise in his name justice
and protection, and did not Percy, the agent and kinsman of the great Duke
of Northumberland, assure his friends, on the strength of the royal word
solemnly pledged, that the days of persecution were at an end? Poor
deluded people, they little knew how much deceit lay in the heart of him
whom the Protestant lord primate rather blasphemously averred “the like
had not been since the time of Christ.” He had scarcely put on the crown
when the Catholics discovered that they had neither mercy nor justice to
expect from him. Once secure in the support of the Protestant party, he
turned a deaf ear to their complaints, and even had the mendacity to deny
his own word of honor, giving as a reason “that, since Protestants had so
generally received and proclaimed him king, he had now no need of
Papists.” Being by nature intolerant, he oppressed the Puritans, by whom
he had been trained, to please the Episcopalians, and to gratify both he
ground the Catholics into dust; arrests for recusancy multiplied, illegal
visitations became more frequent, and if possible more annoying, the
arrears of the monthly tax which he at first pretended to remit were
demanded, and the amount, already enormous, was even increased so as to
satisfy the ever‐increasing rapacity of his pauper courtiers who had
followed him into England. In place and out of it, he made the most
violent attacks on the faith of his dead mother and of at least one‐half
of his English subjects, and his remarks were taken up and repeated from
every Protestant pulpit and in every conventicle throughout the length and
breadth of the land, till the hopes of the Catholics grew fainter and
fainter, and finally expired. Unlike Elizabeth, he was not only expected
to live a long life, but his progeny would succeed him, the heirs of his
authority and cruelty; and being constitutionally a coward and an
intriguer, he was bent on making peace with foreign powers, and thus
cutting off all sympathy which the Catholic sovereigns might have felt it
their interest to express for their suffering co‐religionists in Great
Britain.

Though the principles of reciprocal protection and allegiance were not as
well defined at that period as, they have since been, the Catholics of
England would have been more or less than human if they could have
regarded James’ government with any feeling other than detestation, and
the wonder is not that a plot was laid to destroy it, but that so very few
of the persecuted multitude could be found to embark in it,
notwithstanding the manifold reasons afforded by the king and parliament
for their destruction. It was an age of conspiracies and counterplots,
when the highest and most trusted in every land endeavored by force or
fraud to accomplish political and personal ends, success being the only
criterion of merit. The history of Europe from the middle of the preceding
century is full of dark schemes and secret contrivances, in which nobles
and princes figure alternately as the bribers or the bribed, the patrons
or the victims of the assassin, now devoted patriots and anon double‐dyed
traitors. The long civil wars, the vicious legacy of the Lutheran attempt
to unsettle the faith of Christendom, had nearly ceased from sheer
exhaustion, and unemployed soldiers of desperate fortunes but undoubted
courage were to be easily had for any enterprise, no matter how dangerous.

Of this character was Guy or Guido Fawkes, whose name, though not himself
the originator of the Gunpowder Plot, is most intimately associated with
it in popular tradition. The real authors were Robert Catesby, Thomas
Percy, Thomas Winter, and John Wright; all of whom were country gentlemen
of good family and education, but, except Catesby, very much reduced in
circumstances owing to the unjust and repeated exactions of the penal
laws, which had not only robbed them of their property and shut them out
from all public employment, but had branded them with the stigma of
traitors to their country and enemies to their sovereign; for, having in
the early part of their lives conformed to Protestantism, they had
subsequently returned to the church into which they had been baptized—an
offence in the eyes of the rulers of that day of the deepest dye.

In the early part of 1604, the five conspirators met in London, and,
having taken a solemn oath of secrecy, determined on their future schemes
for the total destruction of the government. Wishing, however, it seems,
to exhaust all milder remedies, they sent agents to Spain and other
foreign powers friendly to the Catholic cause, to induce them to use their
good offices in mitigating the sufferings of the English recusants. The
answers were generally favorable, but non‐committal, and the practical
result nothing. They then determined to depend on themselves alone, and in
the autumn rented a building adjoining the Palace of Westminster, the old
House of Parliament, and commenced to undermine the dividing wall. This,
some three yards thick of solid masonry, they found a work of difficulty,
and from the paucity of their numbers and their inexperience in manual
labor, advanced slowly. A circumstance soon occurred to modify their
plans. A portion of the cellar immediately under the prince’s chamber,
which had been used by a coal dealer, was vacated by the tenant, and Percy
rented it, ostensibly for storage purposes. The mine was abandoned, and
thirty‐two barrels of powder, which had been stored previously at Lambeth,
were introduced in the night‐time, and covered from observation by wood,
furniture, etc. All that was now required to complete the conspiracy was a
proper moment for the application of the match. This work had brought them
into the spring of 1605, and, as parliament was not to assemble for some
months, they resolved to separate, some going into the country to see
their relatives, and others to the Continent to enlist the assistance of
such adventurers as could be found willing to take service under the
anticipated new _régime_. Meanwhile eight more persons were admitted into
the plot, the principal of whom were Rokewood, Grant, Tresham, and Sir
Everard Digby, all young men of family and fortune, whose proud spirits
chafed continually under the social and political ostracism to which all
recusants of the period were doomed.

The opening of parliament, expected in September, was, however, postponed
till the 5th of November, but, to the secret satisfaction of Catesby and
his fellows, the penal laws continued to be rigidly enforced, and
additional measures of persecution were devised by the king’s council for
the adoption by the legislature when it should meet. As that time
approached and everything augured success, the parts of the leading actors
in the bloody drama were distributed. Fawkes was to fire the powder which
was to blow the king, his oldest son Henry, and the lords and commons into
eternity; Prince Charles, the next in succession, having been seized by
Percy, was to be proclaimed king at Charing Cross by Catesby; while
Tresham, Grant, and Digby were to gain possession of the person of the
infant princess Elizabeth, at Lord Harrington’s country‐seat. After the
explosion, Fawkes was to sail for Flanders to bring over reinforcements,
and the others, a protector for the royal children having been appointed,
were to rendezvous at Digby’s residence and raise the country in favor of
the new government. There was a method in the madness of these men, and
the first part of their programme would undoubtedly have been carried out
but for one important fact upon which it seems they did not reckon: Cecil
was fully cognizant of all their movements, and for his own good reasons,
as we shall hereafter see, allowed them to proceed unchecked to the very
last moment.

That moment expired soon after midnight on the night of the 4th‐5th of
November, only a few hours before the expected catastrophe. As Fawkes was
entering the cellar to assure himself that all was in readiness, he was
seized by a body of soldiers under the command of Sir Thomas Knevett. His
dress denoted that he was prepared for a journey, arms and matches were
found upon his person, a dark‐lantern was discovered in a corner, and the
removal of the _débris_ that was piled in the vault revealed the powder
arranged ready for explosion.

The scene that ensued was highly dramatic, and did great credit to the
histrionic genius of the secretary. The lords of the council were hastily
summoned to the king’s bed‐chamber, the prisoner was brought up for
examination by torch‐light, and the royal pedant sat on the side of his
couch in his night‐clothes for several hours, questioning and cross‐
questioning the would‐be murderer. But Guy was made of stern stuff, and,
while he freely admitted that his intention had been “to blow the Scotch
beggars back to their native mountains,” he obstinately refused to
disclose the names of his associates. The news spread with rapidity, and
London at daylight was in the wildest commotion. The other conspirators in
the city, with the exception of Tresham, fled to Digby’s house near
Dunchurch, where a hunting party had assembled, but upon the disclosure of
the treason and its failure the guests rapidly dispersed, two or three
only, from friendship or other causes, resolving to remain with the
conspirators and share the fate which now seemed certain to overtake them.
One of these was Stephen Littleton, who resided at Holbeach in
Staffordshire, a strongly Catholic county, and thither the whole party,
numbering between forty and fifty, including grooms and other servants,
proceeded through Warwick and Worcester, vainly endeavoring on their road
to excite the people to join them. At Holbeach they resolved to make a
stand, but an accident destroyed whatever little chance might have
remained of a successful resistance. Their ammunition, which had been wet
during their hurried journey, exploded while being dried, and not only
seriously injured Catesby and three others, but afforded an excuse for
their handful of followers to forsake them. In this condition they were
soon surrounded by the forces of Sir Richard Walsh, who, after summoning
them to surrender and receiving a defiant negative, ordered his men to
fire. The brothers Wright, Percy, and Catesby, fell mortally wounded;
Rokewood, Winter, Morgan, and Grant were wounded and taken prisoners, and
Digby and the two others were soon after captured. They were immediately
taken to London, tried, and with Fawkes executed on the 30th of the
following January.

Under ordinary circumstances, this insane conspiracy of a dozen desperate
men would have ended here, and the plot itself have become lost in the
thousand‐and‐one concerted crimes against authority which disfigure the
annals of European monarchy in the middle ages; but the Puritan party in
England, the more insatiable enemies of the Catholics, who saw in it an
excellent opportunity for wholesale spoliation of what yet remained to the
persecuted, endeavored to involve the millions in the treasonable guilt of
the few, and Cecil, who had so long nursed the designs of the traitors,
had his own deep schemes to subserve by endorsing this foul calumny. But
James, bigot as he was, could not, in the face of such palpable facts to
the contrary, go to this extreme length. “For though it cannot be denied,”
he said in his speech to parliament recounting the discovery and origin of
the plot, “that it was only the blind superstition of their errors in
religion that led them to this desperate device, yet doth it not follow
that all professing that Romish religion were guilty of the same.” Yet the
Puritan party, who hungered for the spoils, by constant repetition
succeeded in fastening the imputation of guilt on the entire Catholic body
in England, and for a long time it was partially believed abroad, and re‐
echoed without hesitation by subsequent historians. The author of _Her
Majesty’s Tower_, to whom Catholicity owes little else, has, we are happy
to say, had the manhood to set the matter in its true light in his recent
publication. He says:


    “The news of this plot was heard by the old English Catholics with
    more astonishment than rage, though the expression of their anger
    was both loud and deep. The priests were still more prompt to
    denounce it than their flocks. The venerable Archpriest, George
    Blackwell, took up his pen before a single man had yet been killed
    or captured in the shires, and in a brief address to the Catholic
    clergy stigmatized the plot as a detestable contrivance in which
    no true Catholic could have a share—as an abominable thing,
    contrary to Holy Writ, to the councils, and to the instructions of
    the spiritual guides. Blackwell told his clergy to exhort their
    flocks to peace and obedience, and to avoid falling into snares.”


But it was necessary for the purpose of affording a decent pretext for
further penal legislation, long since agreed upon in the council, as well
as to destroy the sympathy still felt at foreign courts for the persecuted
English, that the blame of the foul conspiracy should be laid not on the
inhuman laws which had driven gallant and loyal men into deadly conflict
with the government, but on the church. As it was impossible to implicate
any considerable number of the laity or the secular clergy, it was
resolved to single out the few Jesuits then in the country, and through
them the entire Order, as fitting objects of national hatred and universal
obloquy. The trick was not new even then, though since much practised and
refined. Its execution was consonant also with the parliamentary design of
exterminating Catholicity in the three kingdoms. The old clergy, or, as
they were called, “Queen Mary’s priests,” were few, aged, and sure soon to
die out in the course of nature, while the authorities had taken good care
that they should leave no successors of native education. The Jesuits, on
the contrary, were young men, generally scions of noble houses, gentle in
breeding, and, from their continental training, thorough linguists, acute
reasoners, and polished gentlemen. Their erudition made them feared by the
half‐taught sophists of the reformed prelacy, their refined manners
secured their admission into the best families, and their noble enthusiasm
defied the utmost severity of the Puritan and Episcopal magistrates. Their
knowledge of the country was accurate, and, though they were accused by
such hired defamers as Coke of using many _aliases_, the odium was not
theirs, but the law’s, that made their very presence in their native land
treason. No religious community, it is well known, is the church, nor is
she responsible for the conduct of each particular member, but the orders
may be regarded as the _vedettes_ of her grand army, and before it can be
successfully attacked they must be driven in or captured.

Accordingly, one of the first steps taken by the king’s advisers after the
trial of the conspirators was to issue a proclamation for the arrest of
Fathers Gerard, Greenway, and Garnett, three of the four Jesuit
missionaries then known to be in England. In this official document it was
alleged “to be plain and evident from the examinations that all three had
been peculiarly practisers in the plot.” Now, let us examine for a moment
upon what those grave accusations were based. Simply on confessions of the
prisoners, for it has never been alleged that the slightest proof,
documentary or oral, other than those and the admission of Father Garnett,
the provincial, were ever produced to connect the priests with the
conspiracy. The examinations were conducted with the most exquisite
tortures, taken down by the creatures of the government, and afterwards
mutilated and altered by the attorney‐general to suit his own views.
Fawkes, by special command of his majesty, was so frequently racked that
he could not use a pen to sign his name, much less could he read what had
been written for him, and Nicholas Owen, a lay‐brother, was so stretched
that his bowels protruded and he expired in the hands of his tormentors.
Of Father Gerard, mention was made by two of the original plotters, Fawkes
and Winter, in allusion to the oath of secrecy. The latter said that “the
five administered the oath to each other in a chamber _in which no other
body was_,” which the latter confirms more in detail.


    “The five,” he says, “did meet at a house in the field, beyond S.
    Clement’s Inn, where they did confer and agree upon the plot, and
    there they took a solemn oath and vows by all their force and
    power to execute the same, and of secrecy not to reveal it to any
    of their fellows, but to such as should be thought fit persons to
    enter into that action; and in the same house they did receive the
    sacrament of Gerard the Jesuit, to perform their vow and oath of
    secrecy aforesaid. _But that Gerard was not acquainted with their
    purpose._”(108)


This last sentence was by order of Coke underlined with red, notated
_hucusque_, and was carefully suppressed in the reading of the examination
on the trial! The original document is still preserved in the Public
Record Office, and how such an indefatigable student as Mr. Dixon could
have overlooked this part of it is, to say the least, very suspicious. His
version of the affair is as follows:


    “An upper room of Widow Herbert’s house was turned into a chapel;
    and when the priest was ready for his part, Catesby, Percy, Tom
    Winter, Jack Wright, and Fawkes assembled in the house—a quaint
    old Tudor pile at the corner of Clement’s Lane—first in the lower
    room, where they swore each other upon the Primer, and then in the
    upper room, where they heard Father Gerard say Mass, and took from
    his hand the sacrament on that oath. Each of the five conspirators
    was sworn upon his knees, with his hand on the Primer, that he
    would keep the secret, that he would be true to his fellows, that
    he would be constant in the plot.”


Is this perversion of the facts of history accidental, or a piece of
downright dishonesty? At first, overlooking the writer’s known hostility
to the Jesuits, and his insinuation about the priest being “ready for his
part,” we concluded that the sentence describing how the conspirators were
sworn was intended to commence after the word “Primer,” to preserve the
unity of the action, but by inadvertence was put after the mention of the
taking of the sacrament, thus conveying the false idea that the
conspirators swore also _after_ or during Mass; but, having had occasion
to refer to the index, we find that we had done Mr. Dixon’s dexterity
injustice at the expense of his veracity. In seeking for the page of his
book upon which this opaque statement appears, we find the following words
in the index under the head “Gerard”—“administers the oath of secrecy to
the Powder Plot conspirators in a house in Butcher’s Row, p. 95.” Thus the
author of _Her Majesty’s Tower_, who, we presume, occupies a decent
position among men of letters in his own country, not only cannot discover
after the “occasional labor of twenty years” a most essential point of
testimony bearing on the very subject to which his book is mainly devoted,
but to make out a case against the much‐hated Jesuits actually falsifies
and perverts facts already known and admitted; doing in the year of grace
1869 gratuitously, what Coke in 1606 did for hire. Can the force of malice
go further? Digby, who, it will be remembered, was subsequently admitted
into the plot, on his trial went even further than the originators of it;
and, in exculpating the Jesuit Order, was most emphatic in denying any
knowledge of the conspiracy on the part of Gerard, either in its progress
or, as far as he knew, at its inception. So much for Father Gerard’s
innocence as proved by others; the following is his own statement, made
years after the occurrence when he was beyond the reach of English law,
and subsequently affirmed in substance on his solemn oath:


    “I have stated in the other treatise of which I spoke, that a
    proclamation was issued against those Jesuit fathers, of whom I am
    one; and, though the most unworthy, I was named first in the
    proclamation, whereas I was the subject of one and far inferior in
    all respects to the other. All this, however, I solemnly protest
    was utterly groundless; for I knew absolutely nothing of the plot
    from any one whatsoever, not even under the seal of confession, as
    the other two did; nor had I the slightest notion that any such
    scheme was entertained by any Catholic gentleman, until by public
    rumor news was brought us of its discovery, as it was to all
    others dwelling in that part of the country.”(109)


The treatise referred to in this extract is his _Narrative_, and in it
Gerard takes frequent occasion to reiterate in the most positive manner,
speaking in the third person, all knowledge of the conspiracy, even to
saying Mass on the occasion alluded to by Fawkes. The house in Clement’s
Inn, he fully acknowledges, was used by him and his friends, among whom
there were at least two priests during his absence; and we can well
believe that the two prisoners were mistaken in his identity, as we have
no evidence that they were familiar with his appearance or personally
acquainted with him. However, this does not signify. Some priest
undoubtedly celebrated Mass, and the question is, Did he administer the
oath, or knowingly administer the sacrament in confirmation of it? Winter
and Fawkes declare he did not; Digby, who was most intimate with Father
Gerard, denied in open court that that Jesuit knew anything about the
plot; and Gerard himself repeatedly, under the strictest forms known in
his Order, asserts his entire innocence, and it has never even been hinted
that any other priest was concerned in the early stages of the conspiracy.
This matter may therefore be considered closed.

Now, it is equally certain that Fathers Garnett and Tesimond, _alias_
Greenway, did become acquainted with the plot during its progress; but the
information came to them under the seal of confession, and _could not be
revealed_. It is unnecessary to support this proposition by argument, as
its wisdom is now generally recognized by the civil law even in Protestant
countries. Confidential communications to priest, doctor, or lawyer are at
last held sacred. What was the extent of their knowledge, and what was
their conduct on receiving the same? In Thomas Winter’s public dying
declaration, communicated by an eye‐witness to the author of the
_Narrative_, he said: “That whereas divers of the fathers of the society
were accused of counselling and furthering them in this treason, he could
clear them all, and particularly Father Tesimond, from all fault and
participation therein.” “And indeed Mr. Thomas Winter might best clear
that good father, with whom he was best acquainted,” adds Father Gerard,
“and knew very well how far he was from counselling or plotting that
business. For himself, having first told the father of it (as I have
heard) long after the thing was ready, and that in such secret as he might
not utter it, but with his leave, unto his superior only, the father, both
then and after, did so earnestly persuade him, and by him the rest, to
leave off that course (as his duty was), that Mr. Winter might well find
himself in conscience to clear this father from his wrongful accusation of
being a counsellor and furtherer of the plot.”(110)

This statement was also repeatedly confirmed by Father Tesimond, both in
his writings and in his account of the matter soon after his escape,
published by Joannes in his _Apologia_.

Gerard and Tesimond having fled the country to avoid the popular tumult,
“which,” says Mr. Dixon, “took no note of the difference between the
children of S. Edward and the pupils of S. Ignatius,” the only remaining
victim was the provincial Father Garnett. Him the government spies soon
hunted down, and in company with Father Ouldcorne arrested at Hendlip
House and lodged in the tower. This capture occurred on the 28th of
February, and his trial took place on the 28th of March; the intervening
month having been spent by the officers of the crown in procuring evidence
of his guilt, but with so little success that an attempt was made to
procure his condemnation by parliament, without the intervention of a
jury, by inserting surreptitiously a clause in the bill of attainder
introduced against the families of Digby and others. Cajolery was first
resorted to, next torture, then the subterfuge of allowing him speech with
his fellow‐prisoner Ouldcorne, overheard unknown to them by persons
secretly hidden for the purpose, and again torture, but all to no effect.
He at first refused to admit any knowledge of the conspiracy, but finally
confessed that he had heard of it from Father Tesimond (Greenway) under
the seal of confession, and that he had reprimanded that priest for ever
so communicating it to him, and had admonished him to use all efforts to
dissuade the conspirators from their rash designs. This was all that could
be proved against him at his trial, but he was of course condemned, not
however for treason, but for misprision of treason, and two months after
executed, declaring his entire innocence most solemnly. Father Ouldcorne,
who was also found guilty of knowledge after the fact, on no better
evidence, suffered with him.

The provincial was examined no less than twenty‐three times before his
trial, and much stress was laid during its progress and long afterwards on
his equivocations in answer to the various searching queries touching the
guilt of himself and others. The question of the morality of such evasion
of the truth under the peculiar circumstances has, however, no practical
value for us, as now by the well‐recognized policy of law in all civilized
countries no person is bound to criminate himself either as a principal or
a witness, and every individual is allowed to be the judge of his own case
in this respect. No one has a right to entrap a prisoner into a confession
of guilt, much less compel disclosures by foul means or torture.

Let us inquire for a moment how far Father Garnett’s statements in prison
were borne out by his previous conduct. Several letters of his are still
extant addressed to Father Persons, the English superior at Rome, on the
state of the Catholics in England previous to the explosion of the plot,
in which he intimates his suspicions that something desperate was about to
be attempted against the government, and begs the superior to influence
the Holy Father to interfere. On the 29th of August, 1604, he wrote: “If
the affair of toleration go not well, Catholics will no more be quiet.
What shall we do? Jesuits cannot hinder it. Let Pope forbid all Catholics
to stir.” In May following he says: “All are desperate, divers Catholics
are offended with Jesuits; they say that Jesuits do impugn and hinder all
forcible enterprises.” On the 24th of July, after reviewing the
threatening state of affairs in the kingdom, he repeats his request for
pontifical assistance in keeping the people quiet. He then wrote:


    “Wherefore, in my judgment, two things are necessary; first, that
    his holiness should prescribe what in any case is to be done; and
    then that he should forbid any force of arms to the Catholics
    under censures, and by brief publicly promulgated, an occasion for
    which can be taken from the disturbance lately raised in Wales,
    which has at length come to nothing.”(111)


His public acts were consistent with his views thus confidentially
expressed. It is acknowledged that he was mainly instrumental in defeating
the Grey conspiracy, in which Father Watson and many Catholics were
involved, and, when Catesby and the other conspirators approached him on
the subject of forcible resistance to James’ government, he denounced all
such attempts in the most positive manner. “It is to you and such as you,”
said that desperate plotter to the provincial, “that we owe our present
calamities. This doctrine of non‐resistance makes us slaves. No authority
of priest or pontiff can deprive a man of his right to repel injustice.”
When it became apparent that such men as Catesby could not be stayed by
ordinary means, he recommended that before any forcible measures were
adopted an agent should be sent to Rome, and in the meantime took steps to
procure the co‐operation of the sovereign pontiff himself to suppress all
attempts at insurrection. In fact, his whole life was divided between his
duty to God and his efforts to teach peace and longanimity to his
persecuted countrymen, but the very fact that he was a Jesuit and a
Catholic missionary was enough to condemn him in the eyes of the judges of
that day. Let us hope that posterity will do him fuller justice.

The general accusation against the Order was grounded on the fact that
many of the conspirators were converts and pupils of the Jesuits, and
_therefore_ they were their agents and instruments. This is plausible, and
might be worthy of attention if true, but it lacks the essential element
of reliability. Some were Catholics from their birth, others had only for
the time being or during their minority outwardly conformed to
Protestantism, and were simply reclaimed from their vicious habits by the
Jesuits. But even if they had all been converts it would not strengthen
their opponents’ position. So were many hundreds, nay, thousands of
Englishmen who took no act or part in the conspiracy. Besides the Jesuits
that had suffered in the preceding reign, the four fathers we have just
mentioned had spent each over eighteen years in the country, laboring with
a zeal and success seldom equalled, and it was this very success in
gaining souls to Christ that furnished the greatest incentive for their
destruction. Their intimacy with the conspirators was simply that of
pastors with their penitents; the assertions of Bates, the servant of
Catesby, to the contrary notwithstanding. That poor wretch was tortured
and tampered with to induce him to make some accusation against the
missionaries, and then hanged, but not before he retracted on the scaffold
every sentence uttered by him when a hope of pardon had been held out as
the reward of his perjury. Further, Mr. Dixon’s wild attempts to throw
discredit on the English Jesuits abroad rest on no foundation whatever,
nor has he a single impartial authority to support him in his broad
assertions and elaborate reports of what are said to have been strictly
private interviews and confidential correspondence between the plotters in
England and the Jesuit colleges abroad. Owen and Baldwin, the alleged
foreign correspondents, the parties most sought to be implicated, were
never tried, but the latter was examined in England ten years after and
discharged, nothing having been proved against him. So much for the
bugbear of Catholics justifying wholesale assassination as a remedy for
persecution, that has been such a sweet morsel under the tongues of
Protestant divines and zealots for so many centuries.



The Progressionists.


From The German Of Conrad Von Bolanden.



Chapter VI.—Continued.


The tumult continued. As soon as the orator attempted to speak, his voice
was drowned by cries and stamping.

“Commissary!” cried the chairman to that officer, “I demand that you
extend to our assembly the protection of the law.”

“I am here simply to watch the proceedings of your meeting,” replied
Parteiling with cool indifference. “Everybody is at liberty in meetings to
signify his approval or disapproval by signs. No act forbidden by the law
has been committed by your opponents, in my opinion.”

“Bravo! bravo! Three cheers for the commissary!”

All at once the noise was subdued to a whisper of astonishment. A miracle
was taking place under the very eyes of progress. Banker Greifmann, the
moneyed prince and liberal, made his appearance upon the platform. The
rioters saw with amazement how the mighty man before whom the necks of all
such as were in want of money bowed—even the necks of the puissant
leaders—stepped before the president of the assembly, how he politely
bowed and spoke a few words in an undertone. They observed how the
chairman nodded assent, and then how the banker, as if to excite their
wonder to the highest pitch, mounted to the speaker’s desk.

“Gentlemen,” began Carl Greifmann, “although I have not the honor of
sharing your political views, I feel myself nevertheless urged to address
a few words to you. In the name of true progress, I ask this honorable
assembly’s pardon for the disturbance occasioned a moment ago by a band of
uncultivated rioters, who dare to pretend that they are acting in the
cause and with the sanction of progress. I solemnly protest against the
assumption that their disgraceful and outrageous conduct is in accordance
with the spirit of the party which they dishonor. Progress holds firmly to
its principles, and defends them manfully in the struggle with its
opposers, but it is far from making itself odious by rudely overstepping
the bounds of decency set by humanity and civilization. In political
contests, it may be perfectly lawful to employ earnest persuasion and even
influences that partake of the rigor of compulsion, but rudeness,
impertinence, is never justifiable in an age of civilization. Commissary
Parteiling discovers no legally prohibited offence in the expression of
vulgarity and lowness—may be. Nevertheless, a high misdemeanor has been
perpetrated against decorum and against the deference which man owes to
man. Should the slightest disturbance be again attempted, I shall use the
whole weight of my influence in prosecuting the guilty parties, and
convince them that even in the spirit of progress they are offenders and
can be reached by punishment.”

He spoke, and retired to the other end of the hall, followed by loud
applause from the ultramontanes. Nor were the threats of the mighty man
uttered in vain. Spitzkopf hung his head abashed. The other revellers were
tamed, they listened demurely to the speakers, ceased their contemptuous
hootings, and stood on their good behavior. Greifmann’s proceeding had
taken Seraphin also by surprise, and the power which the banker possessed
over the rioters set him to speculating deeply. He saw plainly that
Louise’s brother commanded an extraordinary degree of respect in the camp
of the enemies of religion, and the only cause that could sufficiently
account for the fact was a community of principles of which they were well
aware. Hence the opinion he had formed of Greifmann was utterly erroneous,
concluded Gerlach. The banker was not a mere secluded business man—he was
not indifferent about the great questions of the age. Then there was
another circumstance that perplexed the ruddy‐cheeked millionaire to no
inconsiderable degree—Greifmann’s unaccountable way of taking things. The
tyrannical mode of electioneering which they had witnessed at the sign of
the “Green Hat” had not at all disgusted Greifmann. Spitzkopf’s threats
had not excited his indignation. He had with a smiling countenance looked
on whilst the most brutal species of terrorism was being enacted before
him, he had not expressed a word of contempt at the constraint which they
who held the power inhumanly placed on the political liberty of their
dependents. On the other hand, his indignation was aroused by a mere
breach of good behavior, an offence which in Gerlach’s estimation was as
nothing compared with the other instances of progressionist violence. The
banker seemed to him to have strained out a gnat after having swallowed a
whole drove of camels. The youth’s suspicions being excited, he began to
study the strainer of gnats and swallower of camels more closely, and soon
the banker turned out in his estimation a hollow stickler for mere outward
decency, devoid of all deeper merit. He now recollected also Greifmann’s
dealings with the leaders of progress, and those transactions only
confirmed his present views. What he had considered as an extraordinary
degree of shrewdness in the man of business, which enabled him to take
advantage of the peculiar convictions and manner of thinking of other men,
was now to his mind a real affinity with their principles, and he could
not help being shocked at the discovery.

He hung his head in a melancholy mood, and his heart protested earnestly
against the inference which was irresistibly forcing itself upon his mind,
that the sister shared her brother’s sentiments.

“This doubt must be cleared up, cost what it may,” thought he. “My God,
what if Louise also turned out to be a progressionist, a woman without any
faith, an infidel! No, that cannot be! Yet suppose it really were the
case—suppose she actually held principles in common with such vile beings
as Schwefel, Sand, Erdblatt, and Shund? Suppose her moral nature did not
harmonize with the beauty of her person—what then?” He experienced a
spasmodic contraction in his heart at the question, he hesitated with the
answer, but, his better self finally getting the victory, he said: “Then
all is over. The impressions of a dream, however delightful, must not
influence a waking man. My father’s calculation was wrong, and I have
wasted my kindness on an undeserving object.”

So completely wrapt up was he in his meditations that he heard not a word
of the speeches, not even the concluding remarks of the president.
Greifmann’s approach roused him, and they left the hall together.

“That was ruffianly conduct, of which progress would have for ever to be
ashamed,” said the banker indignantly. “They bayed and yelped like a pack
of hounds. At their first volley I was as embarrassed and confused as a
modest girl would be at the impertinence of some young scapegrace. Fierce
rage then hurried me to the platform, and my words have never done better
service, for they vindicated civilization.”

“I cannot conceive how a trifle could thus exasperate you.”

Greifmann stood still and looked at his companion in astonishment.

“A trifle!” echoed he reproachfully. “Do you call a piece of wanton
impudence, a ruffianly outrage against several hundreds of men entitled to
respect, a trifle?”

“I do, compared with other crimes that you have suffered to pass unheeded
and uncensured,” answered Gerlach. “You had not an indignant word for the
unutterable meanness of those three leaders, who were immoral and
unprincipled enough to invest a notorious villain with office and honors.
Nor did you show any exasperation at the brutal terrorism practised by men
of power in this town over their weak and unfortunate dependents.”

“Take my advice, and be on your guard against erroneous and narrow‐minded
judgments. The leaders merely had a view to their own ends, but they in no
manner sinned against propriety. The raising a man of Shund’s abilities to
the office of mayor is an act of prudence—by no means an offence against
humanity.”

“Yet it was an outrage to moral sentiment,” opposed Seraphin.

“See here, Gerlach, moral sentiment is a very elastic sort of thing.
Sentiment goes for nothing in practical life, and such is the character of
life in our century.”

“Well, then, the mere sense of propriety is not worth a whit more.”

“I ask your pardon! Propriety belongs to the realm of actualities or of
practical experiences, and not to the shadowland of sentiment. Propriety
is the rule that regulates the intercourse of men, it is therefore a
necessity, nothing else will serve as a substitute for it, and it must
continue to be so regarded as long as a difference is recognized between
rational man and the irrational brute.”

“The same may be said with much more reason of morality, for it also is a
rule, it regulates our actions, it determines the ethic worth or
worthlessness of a man. Mere outward decorum does not necessarily argue
any interior excellence. The most abandoned wretch may be distinguished
for easy manners and elegant deportment, yet he is none the less a
criminal. A dog may be trained to many little arts, but for all that it
continues to be a dog.

“It is delightful to see you breaking through that uniform patience of
yours for once and showing a little of the fire of indignation,” said the
banker pleasantly. “I shall tell Louise of it, I know she will be glad to
learn that Seraphin too is susceptible of a human passion. But this by the
way. Now watch how I shall meet your arguments. That very moral sentiment
of which you speak has caused and is still causing the most enormous
crimes against humanity, and the laws of morality are as changeable as the
wind. When an Indian who has not been raised from barbarism by
civilization dies, the religious custom of the country requires that his
wife should permit herself to be burned alive on the funeral pyre of her
husband. Moral sentiment teaches the uncivilized woman that it is a
horrible crime to refuse to devote herself to this cruel death. The pious
Jews used to stone every woman to death who was taken in adultery—in our
day, such a deed of blood would be revolting to moral sentiment, and would
claim tears from the eyes of cultivated people. I could mention many other
horrors that were practised more or less remotely in the past, and were
sanctioned by the prevailing moral sentiment. Here is my last instance:
according to laws of morality, the usurer was at one time a monster, an
arch‐villain—at present, he is merely a man of great enterprise.
Propriety, on the other hand, enlightenment, and polish are absolute and
unalterable. Whilst rudeness and impertinence will ever be looked upon as
disgusting, good manners and politeness will be considered as commendable
and beautiful.”

Seraphin could not but admire the skill with which Greifmann jumbled
together subjects of the most heterogeneous nature. But he could not, at
the same time, divest himself of some alarm at the banker’s declarations,
for they betrayed a soul‐life of little or absolutely no moral worth.
Money, interest, and respectability constituted the only trinity in which
the banker believed. Morality, binding the conscience of man, a true and
only God, and divine revelation, were in his opinion so many worn‐out and
useless notions, which the progress of mankind had successfully got
beyond.

“When those who hold power take advantage of it at elections, they in no
manner offend against propriety,” proceeded Carl. “Progress has
convictions as well as ultramontanism. If the latter is active, why should
not the former be so too? If, on the side of progress, the weak and
dependent permit themselves to be cowed and driven, it is merely an
advantage for the powerful, and for the others it is a weakness or
cowardice. For this reason, the mode of electioneering pursued by
Spitzkopf and his comrades amused but nowise shocked me, for they were not
acting against propriety.”

Seraphin saw it plainly: for Carl Greifmann there existed no distinction
between good and evil; he recognized only a cold and empty system of
formalities.

The two young men issued from a narrow street upon the market‐place. This
was occupied by a large public building. In the open space stood a group
of men, among whom Flachsen appeared conspicuous. He was telling the
others about Greifmann’s speech at the meeting of the ultramontanes. They
all manifested great astonishment that the influential moneyed prince
should have appeared in such company, and, above all, should have made a
speech in their behalf.

“He declared it was vulgar, impudent, ruffianly, to disturb a respectable
assembly,” reported Flachsen. “He said he knew some of us, and that he
would have us put where the dogs would not bite us if we attempted to
disturb them again. That’s what he said; and I actually rubbed my eyes to
be quite sure it was banker Greifmann that was speaking, and really it was
he, the banker Greifmann himself, bodily, and not a mere apparition.”

“I must say the banker was right, for it isn’t exactly good manners to
howl, stamp, and whistle to annoy one’s neighbors,” owned another.

“But we were paid for doing it, and we only carried out the orders given
by certain gentlemen.”

“To be sure! Men like us don’t know what good breeding is—it’s for
gentlemen to understand that,” maintained a third. “We do what men of good
breeding hire us to do, and if it isn’t proper, it matters nothing to
us—let the gentlemen answer for it.” “Bravo, Stoffel, bravo!” applauded
Flachsen. “Yours is the right sort of servility, Stoffel! You are a real
human, servile, and genuine reactive kind of a fellow—so you are. I agree
with you entirely. The gentlemen do the paying, and it is for them to
answer for what happens. We are merely servants, we are hirelings, and
what need a hireling care whether that which his master commands is right
or not? The master is responsible, not the hireling. What I am telling you
belongs to the exact sciences, and the exact sciences are at the pinnacle
of modern acquisitions. Hence a hireling who without scruple carries out
the orders of his master is up to the highest point of the age—such a
fellow has taken his stand on servility. Hallo! the election has
commenced. Be off, every man of you, to his post. But mind you don’t look
too deep into the beer‐pots before the election is over. Keep your heads
level, be cautious, do your best for the success of the green ticket. Once
the election is carried, you may swill beer till you can no longer stand.
The gentlemen will foot the bill, and assume all responsibilities.”

They dispersed themselves through the various drinking‐shops of the
neighborhood.

Near the door of the building in which the voting was to take place stood
a number of progressionist gentlemen. They all wore heavy beards, smoked
cigars, and peered about restlessly. To those of their party who chanced
to pass they nodded and smiled knowingly, upon doubtful voters they smiled
still more blandly, added some pleasant words, and pressed the acceptance
of the green ticket, but for ultramontane voters they had only jeers and
coarse witticisms. As Greifmann approached they respectfully raised their
hats. The banker drew Gerlach to one side, and stood to make observations.

“What swarms there are around the drinking‐shops,” remarked Greifmann. “It
is there that the tickets are filled under the persuasive influence of
beer. The committee provide the tickets which the voters have filled with
the names of the candidates by clerks who sit round the tables at the
beer‐shops. It is quite an ingenious arrangement, for beer will reconcile
a voter to the most objectionable kind of a candidate.”

A crowd of drunken citizens coming out of the nearest tavern approached.
Linked arm‐in‐arm, they swayed about and staggered along with an unsteady
pace. Green tickets bearing the names of the candidates whom progress had
chosen to watch over the common weal could be seen protruding from the
pockets of their waistcoats. Gerlach, seeing the drunken mob and
recollecting the solemn and important nature of the occasion, was seized
with loathing and horror at the corruption of social life revealed in the
low means to which the party of progress had recourse to secure for its
ends the votes of these besotted and ignorant men.

Presently Schwefel stepped up and saluted the young men.

“Do you not belong to the committee in charge of the ballot‐box?” inquired
Greifmann.

“No, sir, I wished to remain entirely untrammelled this morning,” answered
the leader with a sly look and tone. “This is going to be an exciting
election, the ultramontanes are astir, and it will be necessary for me to
step in authoritatively now and then to decide a vote. Moreover, the
committee is composed exclusively of men of our party. Not a single
ultramontane holds a seat at the polls.”

“In that case there can be no question of failure,” said the banker. “Your
office is closed to‐day, no doubt?”

“Of course!” assented the manufacturer of straw hats. “This day is
celebrated as a free day by the offices of all respectable houses. Our
clerks are dispersed through the taverns and election districts to use
their pens in filling up tickets.”

“I am forced to return to my old assertion: an election is mere folly,
useless jugglery,” said the banker, turning to Seraphin. “Holding
elections is no longer a rational way of doing, it is no longer a business
way of proceeding, it is yielding to stupid timidity. Mr. Schwefel, don’t
you think elections are mere folly?”

“I confess I have never considered the subject from that point of view,”
answered the leader cautiously. “But meanwhile—what do you understand by
that?”

“Be good enough to attend to my reasoning for a moment. Progress is in a
state of complete organization. What progress wills, must be. Another
party having authority and power cannot subsist side by side with
progress. Just see those men staggering and blundering over the square
with green tickets in their hands! To speak without circumlocution, look
at the slaves doing the behests of their masters. What need of this silly
masquerade of an election? Why squander all this money, waste all this
beer and time? Why does not progress settle this business summarily? Why
not simply nominate candidates fit for the office, and then send them
directly to the legislature? This mode would do away with all this
nonsensical ado, and would give the matter a prompt and business cast,
conformable to the spirit of the age.”

“This idea is a good one, but we have an election law that would stand in
the way of carrying it out.”

“Bosh—election law!” sneered the banker. “Your election law is a mere
scarecrow, an antiquated, meaningless instrument. Do away with the
election law, and follow my suggestion.”

“That would occasion a charming row on the part of the ultramontanes,”
observed the leader laughing.

“Was the lion ever known to heed the bleating of a sheep? When did
progress ever pay any attention to a row gotten up by the ultramontanes?”
rejoined Greifmann. “Was not the fuss made in Bavaria against the
progressionist school‐law quite a prodigious one? Did not our own last
legislature make heavy assaults on the church? Did not the entire
episcopate protest against permitting Jews, Neo‐pagans, and Freemasons to
legislate on matters of religion? But did progress suffer itself to be
disconcerted by episcopal protests and the agonizing screams of the
ultramontanes? Not at all. It calmly pursued the even tenor of its way. Be
logical, Mr. Schwefel: progress reigns supreme and decrees with absolute
authority—why should it not summarily relegate this election law among the
things that were, but are no more?”

“You are right, Greifmann!” exclaimed Gerlach, in a feeling of utter
disgust. “What need has the knout of Russian despotism of the sanction of
constitutional forms? Progress is lord, the rest are slaves!”

“You have again misunderstood me, my good fellow. I am considering the
actual state of things. Should ultramontanism at any time gain the
ascendency, then it also will be justified in behaving in the same
manner.”

Upon more mature consideration, Gerlach found himself forced to admit that
Greifmann’s view, from the standpoint of modern culture, was entirely
correct. Progress independently of God and of all positive religion could
not logically be expected to recognize any moral obligations, for it had
not a moral basis. Everything was determined by the force of
circumstances; the autocracy of party rule made anything lawful. Laws
proceeded not from the divine source of unalterable justice, but from the
whim of a majority—fashioned and framed to suit peculiar interests and
passions.

“We have yet considerable work to do to bring all to thinking as clearly
and rationally as you, Mr. Greifmann,” said the leader with a winning
smile.

Schwefel accompanied the millionaires into a lengthy hall, across the
lower end of which stood a table. There sat the commissary of elections
surrounded by the committee, animated gentlemen with great beards, who
were occupied in distributing tickets to voters or receiving tickets
filled up. The extraordinary good‐humor prevailing among these gentlemen
was owing to the satisfactory course of the election, for rarely was any
ultramontane paper seen mingling in the flood that poured in from the
ranks of progress. The sides of the hall were hung with portraits of the
sovereigns of the land, quite a goodly row. The last one of the series was
youthful in appearance, and some audacious hand had scrawled on the broad
gilt frame the following ominous words: “May he be the last in the
succession of expensive bread‐eaters.” Down the middle of the hall ran a
baize‐covered table, on which were numerous inkstands. Scattered over the
table lay a profusion of green bills; the yellow color of the ultramontane
bills was nowhere to be seen. The table was lined by gentlemen who were
writing. They were not writing for themselves, but for others, who merely
signed their names and then handed the tickets to the commissary. Several
corpulent gentlemen also occupied seats at the table, but they were not
engaged in writing. These gentlemen, apparently unoccupied, wore massive
gold watch‐chains and sparkling rings, and they had a commanding and stern
expression of countenance. They were observing all who entered, to see
whether any man would be bold enough to vote the yellow ticket. People of
the humbler sort, mechanics and laborers, were constantly coming in and
going out. Bowing reverently to the portly gentlemen, they seated
themselves and filled out green tickets with the names of the liberal
candidates. Most of them did not even trouble themselves to this degree,
but simply laid their tickets before the penman appointed for this special
service. All went off in the best order. The process of the election
resembled the smooth working of an ingenious piece of machinery. And there
was no tongue there to denounce the infamous terrorism that had crushed
the freedom of the election or had bought the votes of vile and venal men
with beer.

Seraphin stood with Greifmann in the recess of a window looking on.

“Who are the fat men at the table?” inquired he.

“The one with the very black beard is house‐builder Sand, the second is
Eisenhart, machine‐builder, the third is Erdfloh, a landowner, the fourth
and fifth are tobacco merchants. All those gentlemen are chieftains of the
party of progress.”

“They show it,” observed Gerlach. “Their looks, in a manner, command every
man that comes in to take the green ticket, and I imagine I can read on
their brows: ‘Woe to him who dares vote against us. He shall be under a
ban, and shall have neither employment nor bread.’ It is unmitigated
tyranny! I imagine I see in those fat fellows so many cotton‐planters
voting their slaves.”

“That is a one‐sided conclusion, my most esteemed,” rejoined the banker.
“In country villages, the position here assumed by the magnates of
progress is filled by the lords of ultramontanism, clerical gentlemen in
cassocks, who keep a sharp eye on the fingers of their parishioners. This,
too, is influencing.”

“But not constraining,” opposed the millionaire promptly. “The clergy
exert a legitimate influence by convincing, by advancing solid grounds for
their political creed. They never have recourse to compulsory measures,
nor dare they do so, because it would be opposed to the Gospel which they
preach. The autocrats of progress, on the contrary, do not hesitate about
using threats and violence. Should a man refuse to bow to their dictates,
they cruelly deprive him of the means of subsistence. This is not only
inhuman, but it is also an accursed scheme for making slaves of the people
and robbing them of principle.”

“Ah! look yonder—there is Holt.”

The land cultivator had walked into the hall head erect. He looked along
the table and stood undecided. One of the ministering spirits of progress
soon fluttered about him, offering him a green ticket. Holt glanced at it,
and a contemptuous smile spread over his face. He next tore it to pieces,
which he threw on the floor.

“What are you about?” asked the angel of progress reproachfully.

“I have reduced Shund and his colleagues to fragments,” answered Holt
dryly, then approaching the commissary he demanded a yellow ticket.

“Glorious!” applauded Gerlach. “I have half a mind to present this true
German _man_ with another thousand as a reward for his spirit.”

The fat men had observed with astonishment the action of the land
cultivator. Their astonishment turned to rage when Holt, leisurely seating
himself at the table, took a pen in his mighty fist and began filling out
the ticket with the names of the ultramontane candidates. Whilst he wrote,
whisperings could be heard all through the hall, and every eye was
directed upon him. After no inconsiderable exertion, the task of filling
out the ticket was successfully accomplished, and Holt arose, leaving the
ticket lying upon the table. In the twinkling of an eye a hand reached
forward to take it up.

“What do you mean, sir?” asked Holt sternly.

“That yellow paper defiles the table,” hissed the fellow viciously.

“Hand back that ticket,” commanded Holt roughly. “I want it to be here.
The yellow ticket has as good a right on this table as the green one—do
you hear me?”

“Slave of the priests!” sputtered his antagonist.

“If I am a slave of the priests, then you are a slave of that villain
Shund,” retorted Holt. “I am not to be browbeaten—by such a fellow as you
particularly—least of all by a vile slave of Shund’s.” He spoke, and then
reached his ticket to the commissary.

“That is an impudent dog,” growled leader Sand. “Who is he?”

“He is a countryman of the name of Holt,” answered he to whom the query
was addressed.

“We must spot the boor,” said Erdfloh. “His swaggering shall not avail him
anything.”

Holt was not the only voter that proved refractory. Mr. Schwefel, also,
had a disagreeable surprise. He was standing near the entrance, observing
with great self‐complacency how the workmen in his employ submissively
cast their votes for Shund and his associates. Schwefel regarded himself
as of signal importance in the commonwealth, for he controlled not less
than four hundred votes, and the side which it was his pleasure to favor
could not fail of victory. The head of the great leader seemed in a manner
encircled with the halo of progress: whilst his retainers passed and
saluted him, he experienced something akin to the pride of a field‐marshal
reviewing a column of his victorious army.

Just then a spare little man appeared in the door. His yellowish, sickly
complexion gave evidence that he was employed in the sulphurating of
straw. At sight of the commander the sulphur‐hued little man shrank back,
but his startled look did not escape the restless eye of Mr. Schwefel. He
beckoned to the laborer.

“Have you selected your ticket, Leicht?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Let me see the ticket.”

The man obeyed reluctantly. Scarcely had Schwefel got a glimpse of the
paper when his brows gathered darkly.

“What means this? Have you selected the yellow ticket and not the green
one?”

Leicht hung his head. He thought of the consequences of this detection, of
his four small children, of want of employment, of hunger and bitter
need—he was almost beside himself.

“If you vote for the priests, you may get your bread from the priests,”
said Schwefel. “The moment you hand that ticket to the commissary, you may
consider yourself discharged from my employ.” With this he angrily turned
his back upon the man. Leicht did not reach in his ticket to the
commissary. Staggering out of the hall, he stood bewildered near the
railing of the steps, and stared vaguely upon the men who were coming and
going. Spitzkopf slipped up to him.

“What were you thinking about, man?” asked he reproachfully. “Mr. Schwefel
is furious—you are ruined. Sheer stupidity, nothing but stupidity in you
to wish to vote in opposition to the pleasure of the man from whom you get
your bread and meat! Not only that, but you have insulted the whole
community, for you have chosen to vote against progress when all the town
is in favor of progress. You will be put on the spotted list, and the
upshot will be that you will not get employment in any factory in town. Do
you want to die of hunger, man—do you want your children to die of
hunger?”

“You are right—I am ruined,” said the laborer listlessly. “I couldn’t
bring myself to write Shund’s name because he reduced my brother‐in‐law to
beggary—this is what made me select the yellow ticket.”

“You are a fool. Were Mr. Schwefel to recommend the devil, your duty would
be to vote for the devil. What need you care who is on the ticket? You
have only to write the names on the ticket—nothing more than that. Do you
think progress would nominate men that are unfit—men who would not promote
the interests of the state, who would not further the cause of humanity,
civilization, and liberty? You are a fool for not voting for what is best
for yourself.”

“I am sorry now, but it’s too late.” sighed Leicht. “I wouldn’t have
thought, either, that Mr. Schwefel would get angry because a man wanted to
vote to the best of his judgment.”

“There you are prating sillily again. Best of your judgment!—you mustn’t
have any judgment. Leave it to others to judge; they have more brains,
more sense, more knowledge than you. Progress does the thinking: our place
is to blindly follow its directions.”

“But, Mr. Spitzkopf, mine is only the vote of a poor man; and what matters
such a vote?”

“There is your want of sense again. We are living in a state that enjoys
liberty. We are living in an age of intelligence, of moral advancement, of
civilization and knowledge, in a word, we are living in an age of
progress; and in an age of this sort the vote of a poor man is worth as
much as that of a rich man.”

“If only I had it to do over! I would give my right hand to have it to do
over!”

“You can repair the mischief if you want.”

“Instruct me how, Mr. Spitzkopf; please tell me how!”

“Very well, I will do my best. As you acted from thoughtlessness and no
bad intention, doubtless Mr. Schwefel will suffer himself to be
propitiated. Go down into the court, and wait till I come. I shall get you
another ticket; you will then vote for progress, and all will be
satisfactory.”

“I am a thousand times obliged to you, Mr. Spitzkopf—a thousand times
obliged!”

The agent went back to the hall. Leicht descended to the courtyard, where
he found a ring of timid operators like himself surrounding the sturdy
Holt. They were talking in an undertone. As often as a progressionist drew
near, their conversation was hushed altogether. Holt’s voice alone
resounded loudly through the court, and his huge strong hands were cutting
the air in animated gesticulations.

“This is not a free election; it is one of compulsion and violence,” cried
he. “Every factoryman is compelled to vote as his employer dictates, and
should he refuse the employer discharges him from the work. Is not this
most despicable tyranny! And these very tyrants of progress are
perpetually prating about liberty, independence, civilization! That’s a
precious sort of liberty indeed!”

“A man belonging to the ultramontane party cannot walk the streets to‐day
without being hooted and insulted,” said another. “Even up yonder in the
hall, those gentlemen who are considered so cultivated stick their heads
together and laugh scornfully when one of us draws near.”

“That’s so—that’s so, I have myself seen it,” cried Holt. “Those well‐bred
gentlemen show their teeth like ferocious dogs whenever they see a yellow
ticket or an ultramontane. I say, Leicht, has anything happened you? You
look wretched!” Leicht drew near and related what had occurred. The honest
Holt’s eyes gleamed like coals of fire.

“There’s another piece of tyranny for you,” cried he. “Leicht, my poor
fellow, I fancy I see in you a slave of Schwefel’s. From dawn till late
you are compelled to toil for the curmudgeon, Sundays not excepted. Your
church is the factory, your religion working in straw, and your God is
your sovereign master Schwefel. You are ruining your health amid the
stench of brimstone, and not so much as the liberty of voting as you think
fit is allowed you. It’s just as I tell you—you factorymen are slaves. How
strangely things go on in the world! In America slavery has been
abolished; but lo! here in Europe it is blooming as freshly as trees in
the month of May. But mark my word, friends, the fruit is deadly; and when
once it will have ripened, the great God of heaven will shake it from the
trees, and the generation that planted the trees will have to eat the
bitter fruit.”

Leicht shunned the society of the ultramontanes and stole away. Presently
Spitzkopf appeared with the ticket.

“Your ticket is filled out. Come and sign your name to it.” Schwefel was
again standing near the entrance, and he again beckoned the laborer to
approach. “I am pacified. You may now continue working for me.”

Carl and Seraphin returned to the Palais Greifmann. Louise received them
with numerous questions. The banker related what had passed; Gerlach
strode restlessly through the apartment.

“The most curious spectacle must have been yourself,” said the young lady.
“Just fancy you on the rostrum at the ‘Key of Heaven’! And very likely the
ungrateful ultramontanes would not so much as applaud.”

“Beg pardon, they did, miss!” assured Seraphin. “They applauded and cried
bravo.”

“Really? Then I am proud of a brother whose maiden speech produced such
marvellous effects. May be we shall read of it in the daily paper.
Everybody will be surprised to hear of the banker Greifmann making a
speech at the ‘Key of Heaven.’ ” Carl perceived the irony and stroked his
forehead.

“But what can you be pondering over, Mr. Seraphin?” cried she to him.
“Since returning from the turmoil of the election, you seem unable to keep
quiet.” He seated himself at her side, and was soon under the spell of her
magical attractions.

“My head is dizzy and my brain confused,” said he. “On every hand I see
nothing but revolt against moral obligation, sacrilegious disregard of the
most sacred rights of man. The hubbub still resounds in my ears, and my
imagination still sees those fat men at the table with their slaveholder
look—the white slaves doing their masters’ bidding—the completest
subjugation in an age of enlightenment—all this presents itself to me in
the most repulsive and lamentable guise.”

“You must drive those horrible phantoms from your mind,” replied Louise.

“They are not phantoms, but the most fearful reality.”

“They are phantoms, Mr. Seraphin, so far as your feelings exaggerate the
evils. Those factory serfs have no reason to complain. There is nothing to
be done but to put up with a situation that has spontaneously developed
itself. It is useless to grow impatient because difference of rank between
masters and servants is an unavoidable evil upon earth.” A servant entered
to call them to dinner.

At her side he gradually became more cheerful. The brightness of her eyes
dispelled his depression, and her delicate arts put a spell upon his
young, inexperienced heart. And when, at the end of the meal, they were
sipping delicious wine, and her beautiful lips lisped the customary
health, the subdued tenderness he had been feeling suddenly expanded into
a strong passion.

“After you will have done justice to your diary,” said she at parting, “we
shall take a drive, and then go to the opera.”

Instead of going to his room, Seraphin went into the garden. He almost
forgot the occurrences of the day in musing on the inexplicable behavior
of Louise. Again she had not uttered a word of condemnation of the
execrable doings of progress, and it grieved him deeply. A suspicion
flitted across his mind that perhaps Louise was infected with the
frivolous and pernicious spirit of the age, but he immediately stifled the
terrible suggestion as he would have hastened to crush a viper that he
might have seen on the path of the beautiful lady. He preferred to believe
that she suppressed her feelings of disgust out of regard for his
presence, that she wisely avoided pouring oil upon the flames of his own
indignation. Had she not exerted herself to dispel his sombre reflections?
He was thus espousing the side of passion against the appalling truth that
was beginning faintly to dawn upon his anxious mind.

But soon the spell was to be broken, and duty was to confront him with the
alternative of either giving up Louise, or defying the stern demands of
his conscience.

The brother and sister, thinking their guest engaged with his diary,
walked into the garden. They directed their steps towards the arbor where
Gerlach had seated himself.

He was only roused to consciousness of their proximity by the unusually
loud and excited tone in which Louise spoke. He could not be mistaken; it
was the young lady’s voice—but oh! the import of her words. He looked
through an opening in the foliage, and sat thunderstruck.

“You have been attempting to guide Gerlach’s overexalted spirit into a
more rational way of thinking, but the very opposite seems to be the
result. Intercourse with the son of a strait‐laced mother is infecting you
with sympathy for ultramontanism. Your speech to‐day,” continued she
caustically, “in yon obscure meeting is the subject of the talk of the
town. I am afraid you have made yourself ridiculous in the minds of all
cultivated people. The respectability of our family has suffered.”

“Of our family?” echoed he, perplexed.

“We are compromitted,” continued she with excitement. “You have given our
enemies occasion to set us down for members of a party who stupidly oppose
the onward march of civilization.”

“Cease your philippic,” broke in the brother angrily. “Bitterness is an
unmerited return for my efforts to serve you.”

“To serve me?”

“Yes, to serve you. The disturbing of that meeting made a very unfavorable
impression on your intended. He scorned the noisy mob, and was roused by
what, from his point of view, could not pass for anything better than
unpardonable impudence. To me it might have been a matter of indifference
whether your intended was pleased or displeased with the fearless conduct
of progress. But as I knew both you and the family felt disposed to base
the happiness of your life on his couple of millions, as moreover I feared
my silence might be interpreted by the shortsighted young gentleman for
complicity in progressionist ideas, I was forced to disown the disorderly
proceeding. In so doing I have not derogated one iota from the spirit of
the times; on the contrary, I have bound a heavy wreath about the brow of
glorious humanity.”

“But you have pardoned yourself too easily,” proceeded she, unappeased.
“The very first word uttered by a Greifmann in that benighted assembly was
a stain on the fair fame of our family. We shall be an object of contempt
in every circle. ‘The Greifmanns have turned ultramontanes because Gerlach
would have refused the young lady’s hand had they not changed their
creed,’ is what will be prated in society. A flood of derision and sarcasm
will be let loose upon us. I an ultramontane?” cried she, growing more
fierce; “I caught in the meshes of religious fanaticism? I accept the
Syllabus—believe in the Prophet of Nazareth? Oh! I could sink into the
earth on account of this disgrace! Did I for an instant doubt that
Seraphin may be redeemed from superstition and fanaticism, I would
renounce my union with him—I would spurn the tempting enjoyments of
wealth, so much do I hate silly credulity.”

Seraphin glanced at her through the gap in the foliage. Not six paces from
him, with her face turned in his direction, stood the infuriate beauty.
How changed her countenance! The features, habitually so delicate and
bright, now looked absolutely hideous, the brows were fiercely knit, and
hatred poured like streams of fire from her eyes. Sentiments hitherto
skilfully concealed had taken visible shape, ugly and repulsive to the
view of the innocent youth. His noble spirit revolted at so much hypocrisy
and falsehood. What occurred before him was at once so monstrous and so
overwhelming that he did not for an instant consider that in case they
entered the arbor he would be discovered. He was not discovered, however.
Louise and Carl retraced their steps. For a short while the voice of
Louise was still audible, then silence reigned in the garden.

Seraphin rose from his seat. There was a sad earnestness in his face, and
the vanishing traces of deep pain, which however were soon superseded by a
noble indignation.

“I have beheld the genuine Louise, and I thank God for it. It is as I
feared, Louise is a progressionist, an infidel that considers it
disgraceful to believe in the Redeemer. Out upon such degeneracy! She
hates light, and how hideous this hatred makes her. Not a feature was left
of the charming, smiling, winning Louise. Good God! how horrible had her
real character remained unknown until after we were married! Chained for
life to the bitter enemy of everything that I hold dear and venerate as
holy—think of it! With eyes bandaged, I was but two paces from an abyss
that resembles hell—thank God! the bandage has fallen—I see the abyss, and
shudder.

“ ‘The ultramontane Seraphin’—‘the fanatical Gerlach’—‘the shortsighted
Gerlach,’ whose fortune the young lady covets that she may pass her life
in enjoyment—a heartless girl, in whom there is not a spark of love for
her intended husband—how base!

“ ‘Ultramontane’?—‘fanatical’?—yes! ‘Shortsighted?’ by no means. One would
need the suspicious eyes of progress to see through the hypocrisy of this
lady and her brother—a simple, trusting spirit like mine cannot penetrate
such darkness. At any rate, they shall not find me weak. The little flame
that was beginning to burn within my heart has been for ever extinguished
by her unhallowed lips. She might now present herself in the garb of an
angel, and muster up every seductive art of womanhood, ’twould not avail;
I have had an insight into her real character, and giving her up costs me
not a pang. It is not hollow appearances that determine the worth of
woman, but moral excellence, beautiful virtues springing from a heart
vivified by faith. No, giving her up shall not cost me one regretful
throb.”

He hastened from the garden to his room and rang the bell.

“Pack my trunks this very day, John,” said he to his servant. “Tomorrow we
shall be off.”

He then entered in his diary a circumstantial account of the unmasked
beauty. He also dwelt at length upon the painful shock his heart
experienced when the bright and beautiful creature he had considered
Louise to be suddenly vanished before his soul. As he was finishing the
last line, John reappeared with a telegraphic despatch. He read it, and
was stunned.

“Meet your father at the train this evening.” He looked at the concise
despatch, and fancied he saw his father’s stern and threatening
countenance.

The contemplated match had for several years been regarded by the families
of Gerlach and Greifmann as a fixed fact. Seraphin was aware how
stubbornly his father adhered to a project that he had once set his mind
upon. Here now, just as the union had became impossible and as the youth
was about to free himself for ever from an engagement that was destructive
of his happiness, the uncompromising sire had to appear to enforce
unconditional obedience to his will. A fearful contest awaited Seraphin,
unequal and painful; for a son, accustomed from childhood to revere and
obey his parents, was to maintain this contest against his own father.
Seraphin paced the room and wrung his hands in anguish.

To Be Continued.



The Virgin.


    Mother! whose virgin bosom was uncrost
    With the least shade of thought to sin allied:
    Woman! above all women glorified,
    Our tainted nature’s solitary boast;
    Purer than foam on central ocean tost,
    Brighter than eastern skies at daybreak strewn
    With fancied roses, than the unblemished moon
    Before her vane begins on heaven’s blue coast,
    Thy image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween,
    Not unforgiven, the suppliant knee might bend,
    As to a visible power, in which did blend
    All that was mixed and reconciled in thee
    Of mother’s love with maiden purity,
    Of high and low, celestial with terrene.—_Wordsworth._



The Homeless Poor Of New York City.


In this class, the homeless poor, we embrace all those who have no fixed
habitation—who have no idea in the morning where they will obtain shelter
for their weary bodies during the coming night. We find here every age
represented—from the infant in the mother’s arms, through the rapid stages
of development (as it is well known that pain and hunger have a wonderful
effect in maturing infant humanity), to the aged, tottering towards the
grave, only waiting for their summons to cross over the river of time;
looking with yearning eyes towards the Home prepared for them on the shore
of eternity.

It is impossible to estimate the number of this class, as we have no
statistics to guide us, but it is supposed that there are about forty
thousand vagrant children alone in this metropolis. From this frightful
number of infant waifs we may judge of the amount of misery and
destitution in our midst—hidden from view behind our imposing marble
warehouses and stately brownstone mansions.

We have been informed by a reliable police official that there are a large
number of poor widows, whose husbands died in the service of our country
during the late war, in a most destitute condition in this city, and that
they frequently bring their children with them and apply for shelter at
the station‐houses. They attempt to eke out a miserable livelihood by
sewing, and when this fails them they are obliged to go (in this Christian
city) to the abodes of crime, to avoid the inclemency of the winter
nights. Few persons can form an idea of the struggles, the privations, and
the daily sufferings of lone women who earn their daily bread by the use
of the needle. If the fine ladies who adorn themselves in costly robes
could go behind the scenes after they have left their orders at the
elegant shops of the dressmakers; could they see their delicate fabrics
taken home by the poor sewing‐women; see the weary forms bent over their
work in the cheerless tenement‐houses, each stitch accompanied by a
painful throb of heart and brain as the night wears on and the solitary
candle burns low; the famishing child as he tosses and turns on his bundle
of rags, murmuring, “Bread, mother, bread!”—ay! if the beaming eyes of the
votaries of fashion could by some magic power see on their rustling silks,
their costly linen, their beautiful lace, the imprint of the gaunt, lean
fingers of the poor sewing‐women; could the tears that trickled down the
worn cheeks crystallize where they have fallen; could the sighs which
welled up from the overburdened heart strike with their low wailing sound
on the ears of these worldlings—they would be filled with a larger sense
of duty to their fellow‐creatures, a greater desire to follow the golden
motto, “Do unto others as ye would that others should do unto you.”

There is an official apathy to the condition of the extreme poor which,
with the ballot placed in the hands of every man, has already produced
baneful results to the well‐being of the Republic, and must eventually, if
not remedied, act detrimentally to its safety. If an unfortunate wretch,
clad in tattered garments, pass through our streets or loiter near our
homes, he is at once eyed suspiciously—to wear the habiliments of poverty
is evidence sufficient that the black heart of a criminal is enclosed
within. It is true that promiscuous charity may do great harm, but it is
surely the correct policy for a government, while it judiciously supplies
the immediate wants of its poor classes with one hand, to open the avenues
to employment with the other; thus teaching them the lesson impressed upon
our first parents as they were banished from the Garden of Eden—that man
must earn his daily bread by the sweat of his brow.

We have already said that it is computed by well‐informed persons that we
have in our midst some forty thousand vagrant children. Let us glance for
a moment at their condition, and what is being done for them. It is
difficult for any one to conceive the deplorable condition of these
homeless children without personal observation. They tread the paths
leading to moral destruction with such rapidity that hundreds of them are
confirmed thieves and drunkards before they reach the age of twelve years.
The day is passed in pilfering, and at night they sleep in some out‐of‐
the‐way place—under door‐steps, in wagons, or wherever they can store
their diminutive forms. Some time since, a regularly organized band of
boys were discovered to have constructed a shelter under one of the piers;
and here they congregated at night, each bringing in his booty stolen
during the day. A few days since, during a visit to one of the mission‐
houses of this city, the lady in charge pointed out to us a little girl,
not more than nine years old, telling us that she never came to the house
without being more or less under the influence of liquor, and a glance at
the bloated features and nervous, trembling hands showed conclusively that
it was her habitual condition. We understand that there are fiends in the
shape of men and women in this city who will sell such children a penny’s
worth of rum. Some persons have argued that these children are from bad
parents, and under any circumstances, no matter how favorable, would be
corrupt. Such an opinion is a libel on God and human nature. A certain
proclivity to vice may be transmitted in the blood, but free‐will remains
in the most degenerate, and is sufficient, with the aid of a good
education and the grace of God, to overcome this obstacle to virtue. We
know well the plastic nature of childhood, and, if educated from the first
to honesty, morality, and sobriety, it will indeed be found a rare
exception in which the developed man will not possess these virtues, and
prove an honor to himself and society. But if the first lisp of the infant
repeats an oath which is used more frequently than any other word by the
debased mother, or if, as is the case with many, as soon as the babe can
walk alone it is taught the art of begging and stealing, what can we look
for in the same child simply developed to manhood? Are you surprised that
he makes a thief? He has never been taught anything else, and he naturally
looks upon the law as something that interferes with the right to take
anything he desires, if he can only do so without being detected. Would
you look for pure water from a stream whose bed is covered with filthy
slime, and whose banks are the receptacle of disgusting, decomposed offal?
Surely you would not drink of such, no matter how pure you knew the
gurgling springs to be high up on the mountain‐side from whence it
received its supply. Look at a babe as it is blessed with the first gleam
of reason—its ability to notice things about it. Is there anything in the
bright black eye to indicate the future cunning of the burglar? Do the
rosy lips, wreathed in angel smiles, look as if they were fashioned to
utter foul oaths and blasphemies? And the little chubby hands clasped in
baby glee around the mother’s neck, could they, by a natural instinct,
ever be turned in brutal wrath against that self‐same mother? Reason
answers No to all these questions; and we argue that such vices are
developed principally by education and example. Take this for granted,
and, if we do nothing to save the child from such education, what right
have we to imprison the developed man for acting upon the only doctrine he
has ever been taught? Or a better view of the subject is: Would it not be
the dictate of a sound political economy to take these children from the
streets, and teach them some useful trade or pursuit, giving them, at the
same time, the fundamental principles of Christianity, without which
society is a tottering fabric, minus its very foundation? Do this, and we
make producers out of the very men and women who will otherwise become
consumers upon the state in the common prisons.

In several parishes of this city benevolent efforts are being made to
rescue these children, but, so far as we can learn, the only institutions
established where they are regularly taken care of and kept permanently
are the following: “The Five Points House of Industry,” “The Five Points
Mission‐House,” “The Howard Mission”; and last, but we hope soon to be
first in its wide‐spread influence over these little creatures, is the one
established some two years ago, and now located in East Thirteenth Street.
This is managed by certain charitable Catholic ladies, and called “An
Association for Befriending Children.” As most of the poor children on the
Island are, or should be, Catholics, it is but just that the last‐
mentioned should receive support and countenance from every Catholic in
the city able to assist it, and thus enable the lady managers in a short
time to erect branch homes in every parish on the Island.

But come with us, dear reader, and let us look for ourselves at the
condition of those who take advantage of the hospitality of the station‐
houses. Think for a moment that in 1862 there were seventy thousand nine
hundred and thirty‐eight lodgers, while 1871 presents the fearfully
increased number of one hundred and forty‐one thousand seven hundred and
eighty who sought this shelter. Oh! that this number (equal nearly to one‐
sixth of the population of this vast metropolis), with its fearful weight
of destitution and misery, suffering and despair, could be placed in
burning letters upon the minds of those able, even without discommoding
themselves, to relieve it!

Let us go back to midwinter. A blinding snow‐storm is wrapping the earth
in a white mantle, and it is after midnight, but these are only better
reasons for our undertaking, as they secure us increased opportunity to
see the phase of suffering we seek; for surely in a night like this the
shelter of any roof is a luxury compared to the exposure of the street.

Let us stop first at the Fifteenth Precinct: we ask the sergeant at the
desk for the presiding officer, and we are at once shown to the captain’s
room. He reads the note from headquarters giving us the _entrée_, and
informs us that he will give us any information we desire. We request him
to show us the quarters of the night lodgers. He leads us through a rear
door into the yard, and here we find a second building, two stories high,
built of brick and stone. The lower story is cut up into cells, with iron
cross‐barred doors, for prisoners; and the upper is divided into two
rooms—one devoted to the female, and the other to male, lodgers. The heavy
granite stone forming a roof to the cells is also the floor of the upper
rooms. As we make an inspection of the prison, we ask the captain what he
thinks of this connection of homeless vagrants with prisoners? He promptly
replies that it is most unfortunate, and should not be allowed, and with
great kindness of heart says he would be willing to take care of a house
in his precinct for any number of lodgers, if allowed to do so. He tells
us that he does everything to alleviate the condition of these paupers he
can; that, if a particularly distressing case presents itself, he allows
the doorman to give the party a cell in the prison, that this is far more
comfortable than the rooms above.

Think of this, you who at night rest your heads on pillows of down and
wrap your bodies in fine rose blankets; think of beings so unfortunate
that a prisoner’s cell, with the clanking iron‐barred door, is looked upon
as a special favor! But let us ascend to the upper story. The door to the
male apartment is opened, and the picture is before us. The ceiling is
lofty, and a large ventilator opens to the roof from its centre, but where
is the stone floor? It cannot be seen, so densely is it packed with
outcast humanity. We can think of no other comparison but the way we have
seen sardines packed in little tin boxes. Glance at this first row: here
is an old German, next what looks to be a countryman, then three negroes,
so black that they might have just arrived from the burning climate of
Africa, then three Arabs, and in the distant corner more white men. The
other rows are but copies of this, differing only in color or nationality,
and such a heterogeneous mass of humanity, made common bed‐fellows by
want, it would be impossible to find. Around the wall are placed iron
frames, about one foot high, and in these fit plain boards, painted black;
but here, again, none of this can be seen, the human flooring covers all.
Think of this apartment, with seventy‐four men, of every description, from
the octogenarian leaning over the brink of the grave, to the young boy
seventeen or eighteen years old. Every clime has a representative; and in
the vast group every variety of shade and color possessed by the human
family can be seen. Opening the door to the female apartment, we find it
occupied by a much smaller number; and we can see better the arrangement
of the floor. The iron frames with their board covering extend from each
wall towards the centre about six feet, leaving a space in the middle of
the room as a passway. The same variety in color, age, and nationality is
visible. Look at the different expressions of countenance—how replete with
sadness, misfortune, degradation, and misery! These lodgers are divided
into three classes: the first are officially known as bummers; they are
generally inebriates and worthless idlers, the drones of the hive, who
make the station‐houses their permanent lodging‐places, going night after
night to different ones, thus distributing their patronage to a large
number; but in spite of this the wary eye of the policeman soon recognizes
them as belonging to this class. The second are those who by misfortune
are obliged to seek this temporary shelter. Here are poor women, with
their young children, forced out of their homes at night by drunken
husbands; single persons, temporarily unable to obtain employment; here
also you find those whose lives have been failures, whose every effort to
succeed has proved abortive, who have been held down to the world’s hard
grindstone by the iron grasp of poverty. The third class embraces those
who have homes in the rural districts, and other poor strangers, who are
by accident left in the city for the night.

Having completed our survey here, let us look in for a few moments at the
Eighth Precinct. We find the captain obliging in his politeness, and we
ask at once to be permitted to see the night lodgers. About the centre of
the building a door opens, leading by a common stairway to the basement
below. A fearful and sickening odor greets us as we pass down, and this,
the captain informs us, permeates every part of the building, to the great
detriment of his officers. He also tells us that his accommodations for
wayfarers are very poor; that he is obliged to put them in two small rooms
in the basement, which are close and unhealthy. We find this statement
correct, the floor upon which the lodgers rest being about four feet below
the street level; the ceiling is also very low, and the ventilation
extremely imperfect. The only light in the apartment is from a small oil‐
lamp, and its sickly flame seems to add intensity to the aspect of the
miserable surroundings. Look at that old man with long white beard and
tattered garments, the first in the row near the entrance. There lingers
still a look of dignity about his fine face, but his whole appearance
denotes the victim of intemperance. See that young boy with his chest
exposed, the third from the old man. He has never known his parents.
Picked up in the streets when a babe by an old crone, he has been tossed
about ever since with the vilest scum of metropolitan society. He is
sixteen, but can count for you the number of dinners he has had in all
those years, the number of times he has slept in a comfortable bed, ay,
even the number of kind words that have been spoken to him! What can be
expected from the future of such children, cradled in a den for the
punishment of crime while yet the snowy innocence of babyhood is
untarnished, the only lullaby the coarse jest, rude repartee, and foul
oaths of the outcasts who surround them? The curses and impotent railings
against a fate for which generally each is individually to blame, and the
bitter invective against their more fortunate fellow‐beings, form a sad
school in which to nurture pliable minds. But enough; the foul air of this
basement oppresses us, and we gladly make our way to the outer world.

In the large cities of Europe, there are refuges established for this
class on the following simple plan: An airy, comfortable, and well‐
ventilated room is procured, and fitted up with plain bedsteads and
bedding, the latter of such materials as are easily washed. The next thing
of importance is to provide means for bathing, and to require every person
admitted to make use of these means before retiring to rest. It is also
the custom to give the lodgers when they come in, and again in the morning
when they leave, a large basin of gruel and a half‐pound of bread. The
cost of such hospitality here would not exceed fifteen cents per night,
and not as much as this if these houses were under the care of a religious
community, saving by this the salaries of matrons and other employees, and
at the same time ensuring the order always produced by the presence of
disciplined authority. There should be separate houses for males and
females, and each could be cared for by persons of their own sex; but all
such institutions would require supervision by the police, as some unruly
characters must be expected in a promiscuous crowd of vagrants. The night
refuges of London for women and children, established by Catholics, are
under the care of the Sisters of Mercy, and are most admirably conducted.
The order and docility of the lodgers is said to be remarkable under the
gentle sway of these ladies. Those in Montreal and Quebec are in charge of
the Gray Nuns. It would not require a large number of these lodging‐houses
for the relief of our city, but they should be located with regard to the
density of population in given districts. Four or five for each sex, with
proper accommodations, would be amply sufficient, as the total number of
lodgers in the most inclement nights would hardly reach one thousand.

It is difficult to estimate the advantage to society as well as to the
poor these homes would prove. In erecting them we should strike at the
very foundation of the great social evil, and save hundreds of young
women—strangers and unfortunates out of employment—from the snares set for
their ruin in their lonely wanderings at night in search of shelter.


    “There is near another river flowing,
      Black with guilt, and deep as hell and sin;
    On its brink even sinners stand and shudder,
      Cold and hunger goad the homeless in.”
                                       —_Procter._


As the station lodgings now are, they form an incentive to the class known
as bummers to avoid work. These people know there are thirty station‐
houses, and by frequent changes they manage to pass the year through
without drawing marked attention at any one place. This class is composed
of low thieves, drunkards, and beggars. If but few lodging‐places existed,
they would soon become well known, and could then be committed to the
workhouse. A sojourn for them on the “island of penance” in the East River
would result in a marked decrease in the thieving constantly carried on
about our wharves and private dwellings.

In erecting these night homes, either by charity or legislative
enactments, we should save our city from a burning disgrace, and give
hopes of respectability to many a weary soul beaten down to the dust by
the undeserved humiliations which link misfortune with crime.

As a charitable investment, these homes would prove a wise economy, as
they would permit the truly unfortunate to be properly cared for, which is
impossible at present. They would throw a safeguard around the morals of
homeless young women by giving them shelter with persons of their own sex,
who could protect, sympathize with, and advise them. They would assist in
detecting those who live by swindling their hardworking neighbors. Lastly
and most important, they would separate the children of poverty from the
abodes of crime.


    [NOTE.—The foregoing article is the substance of a lecture
    delivered by Dr. Raborg before the Catholic Institute connected
    with the parish of S. Paul the Apostle in this city. Its
    suggestions are so apropos to the present season that we have
    deemed them worthy of reproduction in this permanent form. We
    desire also to state that the lecture had the effect of inducing
    several philanthropic ladies and gentlemen to visit the station‐
    houses and make a personal examination themselves, the result of
    which was a rather extended article in _Frank Leslie’s Newspaper_
    of March 2, 1872, embracing some passages from the lecture, and
    accompanied by a clever illustration.

    The sectarian institutions for vagrant children having been
    alluded to, and certain former allusions to the same in this
    magazine having been misunderstood, we think it necessary to make
    a remark here in explanation. We must admit and praise the
    philanthropic motive which sustains these institutions. At the
    same time, we regard them as really nuisances of the worst kind,
    so far as Catholic children are concerned, on account of their
    proselytizing character. Moreover, in their actual working they
    violate the rights both of parents and children, and we have
    evidence that these poor children are actually sold at the West,
    both by private sale and by auction. The horrible abuses existing
    in some state institutions are partly known to the public, and we
    have the means of disclosing even worse things than those which
    have recently been exposed in the daily papers. We trust,
    therefore, that the eloquent appeal of the author of the article
    will produce its effect upon all our Catholic readers, and
    stimulate them to greater efforts in behalf of these poor
    children.—ED. C. W.]



The House That Jack Built.


By The Author Of “The House Of Yorke.”

In Two Parts.



Part I.


It stood in one of the wildest spots in New England, surrounded by woods,
a “frame house” in a region of log‐houses, and, as such, in spite of
defects, a touch beyond the most complete edifice that could be shaped of
logs.

The defects were not few. The walls were slightly out of the
perpendicular, there were strips of board instead of clapboards and
shingles, the immense stone chimney in the centre gave the house the
appearance of being an afterthought, and the two windows that looked down
toward the road squinted.

Yes, a most absurd little house, with all sorts of blunders in the making
of it, but, for all that, a house with a worth of its own. For Jack
Maynard had put the frame together with his own unassisted hands, had
raised it with but two men to help him, and had finished it off alone. And
round about the work, and through and over it, while his hands built
visibly, his fancy also built airy habitations, fair and plumb, and
changed all the landscape. Before this fairy wand, the forest sank, broad
roads unwound, there was a sprinkle of white houses through the green
country, like a sprinkle of snow in June; and in place of this rustic nest
rose a fair mansion‐house, with a comely matron standing in the door, and
rosy children playing about.

At this climax of his castle‐building Jack Maynard caught breath, and,
coming back to the present, found himself halfway up a ladder, with a
hammer suspended in his hand, the wild forest swarming with game all about
him, and the matron of his vision still Miss Bessie Ware, spinster.

Jack laughed. “So much the better!” he exclaimed, and brought his hammer
down with such force, laughing as he struck, that the nail under it bent
up double and broke in two, the head half falling to the ground, the point
half flattened lengthwise into the board, making a fragment of rustic
buhl‐work.

“There’s a nail driven into the future,” said the builder, and selected
another, and struck with better aim this time, so that the little spike
went straight through the board, and pierced an oaken timber, and held the
two firmly together, and thus did its work in the present.

“Well done!” said Jack; “you have gone through fifty summers in less than
a minute.”

The startled woods rang to every blow, the fox and the deer fled at that
tocsin of civilization, and the snake _slid_ away, and set the green grass
_crawling_ with its hidden windings. Only one living creature, besides the
builder, seemed happy and unafraid, and that was a brown‐and‐white spaniel
that dozed in the shadow of the rising walls, stirring only when his
master whistled or spoke to him.

“Wake up, Bruno, and tell me how this suits your eyes,” Jack would call
out. Whereat Bruno would lift his lids lazily, show a narrow line of his
bright brown eyes, give his tail a slow, laborious wag, and subside to his
dreams again, and Jack would go on with his work. It seemed to be his
heart, rather than the hammer, that drove the nails in; and every timber,
board, latch, and hinge caught a momentary life from his hands, and
learned his story from some telegraphing pulse. The very stones of the
chimney knew that John Maynard and Bessie Ware were to be married as soon
as the house should be ready for them.

There was not a dwelling in sight; but half a mile further down the road
toward the nearest town, there was an odd, double log‐house, wherein lived
Dennis Moran and his Norah, three little girls, and Bessie Ware, Dennis
Moran’s sister’s child.

Jack paused in his work, took off his straw hat to wipe away the
perspiration from his face and toss his hair back, first hanging on a
round of the ladder just above him the hammer that had driven a nail
through fifty summers. As he put his hat on again, he glanced downward,
and there, at the foot of the ladder, stood twenty summers, looking up at
him out of a face as fair as summers ever formed. The apple‐blooms had
given it their pink and white, the June heavens were not bluer than those
eyes, so oddly full of laughter and languor. The deepest nook under a low‐
growing spruce, nor shadow in vine‐draped cave, nor hollow in a thunder‐
cloud, ever held richer darkness than that hidden in the loose curls and
waves of hair that fell about Bessie Ware’s shoulders. No part of the
charm of her presence was due to her dress, save an air of fresh neatness.
A large apron, gathered up by the corners, was full of fragrant arbor‐vitæ
boughs, gathered to make a broom of. The large parasol, tilted back that
she might look upward, allowed a sunbeam to fall on her forehead.

“Oh! what a tall pink has grown up since I came here!” exclaimed the
builder, as he saw her.

“And what a great bear has climbed on to my ladder,” retorted the girl.

He came down from the ladder and began to tell her his plans.

“Bessie, I mean this shall be yet one of the best farms in the state. On
that hill I will have corn and clover; there shall be an orchard in the
hollow next to it, with peach‐trees on the south side of the little rise;
and I will plant cranberries in the swamp beyond. In ten years from now,
if a man should leave here to‐day, he wouldn’t know the place.”

Bessie smiled at the magician who was to work such wonders—never doubting
but he would—then glanced about at the scene of his exploits. Sombre,
blue‐green pines brooded over the hill that was one day to be pink with
clover, or rustling with corn; oaks, elms, maples, birches, and a great
tangle of undergrowth, with rocks and moss, cumbered the ground where
peaches were to ripen their dusky cheeks, when Jack should bid them grow,
and large, green, and red‐streaked and yellow apples were to drop through
the still, bright, autumn air; and she knew that the future cranberry‐
swamp now stood thick and dark with beautiful arborvitæ trees, whose high‐
piled, flaky boughs, tapering to a point far up in the sunshine, kept cool
and dim the little pools of water below, and the black mould in which
their strong roots stretched out and interwove. But Jack could do anything
when he set out, and her faith in him was so great that she could shut her
eyes now and see the open swamp matted over with cranberry‐vines, and hear
the corn‐stalks clash their green swords in the fretting breeze, and the
muffled bump of the ripe apple as it fell on the grass.

After a while, Bessie started to go, but came back again.

“I forgot,” she said, and gave her lover a book that had been hidden under
the boughs in her apron. “A book‐pedlar stopped at our house last night,
and he left this. Uncle Dennis doesn’t want it, and I do not. Perhaps you
can make some sense out of it.”

It was a second‐hand copy of Comstock’s _Natural Philosophy_, for schools,
and was scribbled through and through by the student who had used it,
years before.

Jack took the book.

“And that reminds me of your white‐faced boarder,” he said, with a slight
laugh. “Is he up yet?”

“Oh! he gets up earlier than any of us,” she answered lightly. “He doesn’t
act cityfied at all. And you know, Jack, the reason why he is white is
because he has been sick. Good‐bye! Aunt Norah will want her broom before
she gets it.”

Bessie struck into the woods instead of going down to the road, and was
soon lost to view. Standing beside her little house, she had looked a
tall, fairly‐formed lassie; but with the great trunks of primeval forest‐
trees standing about her, and lifting their green pyramids and cones far
into the air, she appeared slim and small enough for a fairy. Even the
birds, chippering about full of business, seemed to flout her, as if she
were of small consequence—not worth flying from.

She laughed at them, and whispered what she did not dare to say aloud:
“Other people besides you can build nests!” then looked quickly around to
see if any listener were in sight.

There was a slight, rustling sound, and an eavesdropping squirrel
scampered up a tree and peered down with twinkling eyes from a safe
height. She was just throwing one of the green twigs in her apron at him,
when she heard her name spoken, and turned quickly to meet a pleasant‐
faced young man, who approached from an opposite direction. This was the
white‐faced boarder who had left the city to find health in this wild
place.

The two walked on together, Bessie as shy as any creature of the woods,
and her companion both pleased and amused at her shyness, and trying to
draw her out. To his questioning, she told her little story. Her mother
was Dennis Moran’s youngest sister, her father had been a color‐sergeant
in the English army. There had been other children, all younger than she,
but all had died, some in one country, some in another. For Sergeant
Ware’s family had followed the army, and seen many lands.

“I am an East Indian,” Bessie said naïvely. “I was born at Calcutta. The
others were born in Malta, in England, and in Ireland. It didn’t agree
with them travelling about from hot to cold. My father died at Gibraltar,
and my mother died while she was bringing me to Uncle Dennis Moran’s. May
God be merciful to them all!”

Mr. James Keene had heard this pious ejaculation many a time before from
the lips of humble Catholics, and had found nothing in it to admire. But
now, the thought struck him that this constant prayer for mercy on the
dead, whenever their names were mentioned, was a beautiful superstition.
Of course he thought it a superstition, for he was a New England
Protestant of the most liberal sort—that is, he protested against being
obliged to believe anything.

They reached the house, near which Dennis Moran and his wife stood
watching complacently a brood of new chickens taking their first airing.
The young gentleman joined them, and listened with interest to the farm
talk of his host.

What had set Dennis Moran, one of the most rigid of Catholics, in a
solitude where he saw none of his own country nor faith, and where no
priest ever came, he professed himself unable to explain.

“I’m like a fly caught in a spider’s web, sir,” he said. “When Norah and I
came over, and I didn’t just know what to do, except that I wanted to have
a farm of my own some day, I hired out to do haying for John Smith’s
wife—John had died the very week he began to cut his grass, and Norah she
helped Mrs. Smith make butter. Then they wanted me to get in the crops,
and after that I had a chance to go into the woods logging. When I came
out of the woods, Mrs. Smith wanted me to plough and plant for her. And
one thing led to another, and there was always something to keep me. Norah
had a young one, and Bessie came—a young witch, ten years old,” said
Dennis, pulling his niece’s hair, as she stood beside him. “So I had to
take a house. And the long and short of the matter is, that I’ve been here
going on ten years, when I didn’t mean to stay ten weeks. But I shall pull
up stakes pretty soon, sir,” says Dennis, straightening up. “I don’t mean
to stay where I have to go twenty miles to attend to my Easter duties, and
where my children are growing up little better than Protestants (he called
it Prodestant). I’m pretty sure to move next fall, sir.”

At this announcement, Mrs. Norah tossed up her head and uttered an
unspellable, guttural “Oh!” brought from the old land, and preserved
unadulterated among the nasal‐speaking Yankees. “We hear ducks!”

Whatever might be the meaning and derivation of this remark, the drift of
it was evidently depreciatory, and it had the effect of putting an end to
her husband’s eloquence. Doubtless, Mrs. Moran had heard such
announcements made before.

Bessie stole a little hand under her uncle’s arm, and smiled into his
face, and told him that she had given Jack the book, and soon made him
forget his mortification. She knew that he was sometimes boastful, and
that the great things he was constantly prophesying of himself never came
to pass; but she knew also that he had a kind heart, and it hurt her to
see him hurt.

That same book, which the girl mentioned merely to divert attention, was
to be a matter of more consequence to her than she dreamed. It was more
important than the wedding‐dress and the wedding‐cake, which occupied so
much of her thoughts—more important than the jealous interference of
Jack’s mother, who did not like Bessie’s foreign blood and religion,
though she did like Bessie—more important than even her Uncle Dennis’
actual flitting, when fall came—all which we pass by. Only one thing in
her life then was of more consequence than that old school‐book, which the
pedler left because no one would buy it, and that was the earnest and
sorrowing advice of good old Father Conners when, against his will, he
united her to a Protestant.

John Maynard said later, that before he read that book he was like a beet
before it is pulled out of the ground, when it doesn’t know but it is a
turnip, and firmly believes that it is growing upward instead of downward,
and that those waving leaves of its own, which it feels, but sees not,
exist in some outer void where nothing is, and that angle‐worms are the
largest of locomotive creatures.

It is doubtful if the artistic faculty is any more a special gift in the
fine than in the useful arts, or if he who creates ideal forms, in order
to breathe into them the breath of such life as is in him, is more
enthusiastic in his work, or more fascinated by it, than he who, taking
captive the powers of nature, binds them to do his will.

This enthusiastic recognition of the work to which nature had appointed
him, John Maynard felt from the moment when he first knew that a crowbar
is a lever. He read that book that Bessie gave him with interest, then
with avidity, and, having read, all the power latent in that wide brow of
his waked up, and demanded knowledge. He got other and more complete works
on mechanics and studied them in his leisure hours, he made experiments,
he examined every piece of mechanism that came in his way.

Coming home one Sunday from a meeting which she had walked six miles to
attend, Mrs. Maynard, senior, was horrified to find that her son had paid
her a visit during her absence for the sole purpose of picking in pieces
her precious Connecticut clock. There lay its speechless fragments spread
out on the table, while the yawning frame leaned against the wall. Bessie
sat near, looking rather frightened, and Jack, in his shirt‐sleeves, sat
before the table, an open book at his elbow. He was studying the page
intently, his earnest, sunburnt face showing an utter unconsciousness of
guilt.

“Land sakes, Jack!” screamed his mother. “You’ve been and ruined my
clock!”

A clock was of value in that region, where half the inhabitants told the
hour by sun‐marks, by the stars, or by instinct.

He put his hand out to keep her back, but did not look up. “Don’t worry,
mother,” he said, “and don’t touch anything. I’ll put the machine together
in a few minutes.”

Mrs. Maynard sank into a chair, and gazed distressfully at the ruins. That
the pendulum, now lying prone and dismembered, would ever tick again, that
those two little hands would ever again tell the time of day, that the
weights would run down and have to be wound up every Saturday night, or
that she should ever again on any June day hear the faithful little gong
strike four o’clock in the morning—her signal for jumping out of bed with
the unvarying ejaculation: “Land sakes! it’s four o’clock!”—seemed to her
impossible.

“And to think that you should do such work on the Sabbath‐day!” she
groaned out, casting an accusing glance on her daughter‐in‐law. “You seem
to have lost all the religion you ever had since you got married.”

Bessie’s blue eyes lighted up: “I think it just as pious for Jack to
study, and find out how useful things are made, as to wear out a pair of
shoes going to hear Parson Bates talk through his nose, or sit at home and
spoil his eyes reading over and over about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

“Come, come!” interposed Jack; “if you two women quarrel, and bother me, I
shall spoil the clock.”

This procured silence.

Had he been a little more thoughtful and tender, he would have told his
mother that Bessie had tried to dissuade him from touching the clock, and
had urged the impropriety of his doing such work on Sunday; but he did not
think. She shielded him, and he allowed her to, scarcely aware that she
had, indeed.

The young man’s prediction was fulfilled. Before sunset, the clock was
ticking soberly on the mantelpiece, the minute‐hand hitching round its
circle, and showing the reluctant hour‐hand the way, and Jack was marching
homeward through the woods, with his rifle on one arm and his wife on the
other.

They were both so silent—that dark‐browed man and bright faced woman—that
they might almost be taken as kindred of the long shadows and sunstreaks
over which they walked. He was building up a visionary entanglement of
pulleys in the air, through which power should run with ever‐increasing
force, and studying how he should dispense with an idle‐wheel that
belonged in that maze; and she was thinking of him. He was thinking that
this forest, that once had bounded his hopes and aspirations, now pressed
on his very breathing, and hemmed his steps in, and wishing that he had
wings, like that bird flitting before him; and she was watching his eyes
till she, too, saw the bird.

Jack stopped, raised his rifle, took a hasty aim, and fired. Bessie ran to
pick up the robin:

“How could you, Jack!” she exclaimed reproachfully, as she felt the
fluttering heart stop in her hand.

He looked at it without the slightest compunction. “I wanted to see, as it
stood on that twig, which way the centre of gravity would fall,” he said.
“Don’t fret, Bessie! There are birds enough in the world.”

The young wife looked earnestly into her husband’s face, as they walked on
together. “Jack,” she said, “you might kill me, and then say that there
are women enough in the world.”

He laughed, but looked at her kindly, as he made answer: “What would all
the women in the world be to me, Bessie, if my woman were out of it?”

Could she ask more?

“Jack, where do you suppose the song has gone to?” she asked, presently.

“Bessie, where does a candle go when it goes out?” was the counter‐
question.

There had been a season in this man’s life, during the brief bud and
blossom of his love for Bessie Ware, when his mind had been as full of
fancies as a spring maple of blossoms. But he was not by nature fanciful,
and, that brief season past, he settled down to facts. Questions which
could not be answered he cared not to ask nor ponder on and all
speculations, save those which built toward an assured though unseen
result, he scouted. The sole impression the bird had made on him was that
it was a nice little flying‐machine, which he would like to improve on
some day. Meantime, he had much to learn.

The extent of his ignorance did not discourage John Maynard, perhaps
because it opened out gradually before him, over a new, unknown path
starting from the known one. He was strong, fresh, and healthy, and the
very novelty of his work, and his coming to it so late, was an assistance
to him. “I have a head for all I want to get into it,” he said to his
wife. “When my brain gets hold of an idea, it doesn’t let go.”

It seemed so, indeed; and sometimes when he sat studying, or thinking,
utterly unconscious of all about him, his eyes fixed, yet glimmering, his
mouth close shut, his breathing half lost, his whole frame, while the
brain worked, so still that his hands and feet grew cold, Bessie became
almost afraid of him, and was ready to fancy that some strange and perhaps
malign spirit had entered into and taken possession of her husband’s soul.

And thus it happened that, after two years, the house that Jack built was
abandoned to one of his relatives, and the young couple, with their baby
boy, left the forest for the city.

Of course, no one is to suppose that John Maynard failed.

It was summer again, and lavish rains had kept to July the fresh
luxuriance of June. The frame house stood nearly as it was when its
builder finished it. The walls had changed their bright yellow tint for
gray, and a few stones had fallen from the top of the chimney—that was
all. The forest still gathered close about, and only a few patches of
cultivated land had displaced the stumps and stones. A hop‐vine draped the
porch at the back of the house, and a group of tall sunflowers grew near
one of the open curtainless windows.

Civilization had passed by on the other side, and, though not really so
remote, was still invisible. Twice a day, with a low rumble, as of distant
thunder, a train of cars passed by through the valley beyond the woods.

There was no sound of childish voices, no glimpse of a child anywhere
about. The air bore no more intelligent burden than the low colloquial
dropping of a brook over its pebbly bed, the buzzing of bees about a hive,
and a rustling of leaves in the faint stir of air that was more a
respiration than a breath. The only sign of human life to be seen without
was a frail thread of blue smoke that rose from the chimney, and
disappeared in the sky.

Inside, on the white floor of the kitchen, the shadows of the sunflowers
lay as if painted there, only now and then stirring slightly, as the air
breathed on the wide, golden‐rayed shields outside. In the chimney‐corner,
almost as silent as a shadow, an old woman sat in a rocking‐chair,
knitting, and thinking. The two small windows, with crossing light, made
one corner of the room bright; but where this woman sat, her face could be
seen plainly only by firelight.

It was a rudely‐featured face—one seldom sees finely moulded features in
the backwoods—but it showed fortitude, good sense, and that unconscious
integrity which is so far nobler than the conscious. The gray hair was
drawn tightly back, and fastened high on the head with a yellow horn comb;
the tall, spare figure was clad in a gown of dark‐blue calico covered with
little white dots, and a checked blue‐and‐white apron tied on with white
tape strings, and the hands that held the knitting were bony, large‐
jointed, and large‐veined.

The stick of wood that had been smouldering on the andirons bent in the
middle, where a little flickering flame had been gnawing industriously for
some time. The flame brightened, and made a dive into this break, where it
found a splinter. The stick bent yet more, then suddenly snapped in two,
one end dropping into the coals, the other end standing upright in the
corner.

“Bless me!” muttered the old woman, dropping her work with a start.
“There’s a stranger! I wonder who it is.”

She sat gazing dreamily at the brand a moment, and, as her face half
settled again, it became evident that the expression was one of profound
melancholy as well as thoughtfulness. The lifted eyelids, and the start
that roused without brightening, showed that.

After a moment’s reverie, she drew a long sigh, and, before resuming her
work, took the long iron tongs that leaned in the corner, and most
inhospitably tossed the figurative stranger into the coals.

“I wonder why my thoughts run so on Jack and Bessie to‐day,” she
soliloquized, fixing the end of the knitting‐needle into the leather
sheath at her side. “I wish I knew how they are. It’s my opinion they’d
have done as well to stay here. I don’t think much of that machinery
business.”

The coming event which had thus cast its shadow before, was already at the
gate, or, more literally, at the bars. Bessie Maynard had walked alone up
the road she had not trodden for years, and now stood leaning there, and
looking about with eyes that were at once eager and shrinking. Her face
was pale, her mouth tightly closed; she had grown taller, and her
appearance disclosed in some indefinable way a capacity for sternness
which would scarcely have been suspected, or even credited, in the girl of
twenty we left her. A glance would show that she had suffered deeply.

Presently, as she gazed, tears began to dim her eyes. She brushed them
away, let down the slim cedar pole that barred her passage, stepped
through, replaced the bar, and walked up the path to the house.

The knitter in the chimney‐corner heard the sound of advancing steps, and
sat still, with her face turned over her shoulder, to watch the door. The
steps reached the threshold and paused there, and for a moment the two
women gazed at each other—the one silent from astonishment, the other
struggling to repress some emotion that rose again to the surface.

The visitor was the first to recover her self‐possession. She came in
smiling, and held out her hands.

“Haven’t you a word of welcome for me, Aunt Nancy?” she asked.

Her voice broke the spell, and the old woman started up with a true
country welcome, hearty, and rather rough. It was many a year since Bessie
Maynard’s hands had felt such a grasp, or her arms such a shake.

“But where is Jack?” asked his aunt, looking toward the door over Bessie’s
shoulder.

“Oh! he’s at home,” was the reply, rather negligently given. “But how are
you, Aunt Nancy? Have you room for me to stay awhile? I took a fancy to be
quiet a little while this summer. The city is so hot and noisy.”

The old lady repeated her welcomes, mingled with many apologies for the
kind of accommodations she had to offer, all the while helping to remove
her visitor’s bonnet and shawl, drawing up the rocking‐chair for her, and
pressing her into it.

“Do sit down and rest,” she said. “But where is the baby? Why on earth
didn’t you bring her?”

Bessie clasped her hands tightly in her lap, and looked steadily at the
questioner before answering. “The baby is at home!” she said then, in a
low voice.

Aunt Nancy was just turning away for some hospitable purpose, but the look
and tone arrested her.

“You don’t mean—” she began, but went no further.

“Yes,” replied Bessie quietly; “there is only James left.”

James was the eldest child.

Mrs. Nancy Maynard was not much given to expressions of tenderness—New
England people of the old sort seldom were—but she laid her hand softly on
her niece’s shoulder, and said unsteadily:

“You poor dear, how tried you have been!”

“We have all our trials,” responded the other, with a sort of coldness.

The old woman knew not what to say. She turned away, mending the fire. If
Bessie had wept, she would have known how to comfort her; but this strange
calmness was embarrassing. Scarcely less embarrassing was the light,
indifferent talk that followed, the questions concerning crops, and
weather, and little household affairs, evidently put to set aside more
serious topics.

This baby was the fourth child that Bessie Maynard had lost. After the
first, no child of hers had lived to reach its third year. Each one had
been carried away by a sudden distemper. The first death had been
announced to John Maynard’s aunt in a long letter from Bessie, full of a
healthy sorrow, every line stained with tears. John had written the next
time, his wife being too much worn out with watching and grief to write.
At the third death, there came a line from Bessie: “My little boy is gone,
Aunt Nancy. What do you suppose God means?”

Aunt Nancy had wondered somewhat over this strange missive, but had
decided that, whatever God meant, Bessie meant resignation.

But now, as she marked her niece’s changed face and manner, and
recollected that laconic note, she was forced to give up the comforting
thought. There might be endurance, but there was no resignation in that
face.

The sense of distance and strangeness grew on her, though Bessie began to
help her get supper ready, drawing out and laying the table as though she
had done it every day of her life, and even remembering the cup that had
been hers, and the little iron rack on which she used to set the teapot.
“Jack found the brass‐headed nail this hangs on miles back in the woods,”
she said. “It’s a wonder how it got there.”

“Why didn’t Jack come with you?” asked Aunt Nancy, catching at the
opportunity to say something personal.

A deep blush ran up Bessie’s face at being so caught, but her hesitation
was only momentary.

“He is too busy,” she answered briefly.

“But I should think he might take a rest now and then,” persisted her
aunt.

Bessie gave a short laugh that was not without bitterness.

“What rest can a man take when he has a steam‐engine spouting carbonic
acid in one side of his brain, a flying‐machine in the other side, and a
wheel in perpetual motion between them? John is given over to metals and
motions. I might as well have a locomotive for a husband. Shall I take up
the applesauce in this bowl?”

“Yes. I should think that James might have come.” Aunt Nancy held
desperately to the thread she had caught.

“James is a little John,” replied Bessie, pouring the hot, green
applesauce into a straight, white bowl with a band of narrow blue stripes
around the middle of it. “Never mind my coming alone, Aunt Nancy. I got
along very well, and they will do very well without me.”

They sat down to the table, and Bessie made a great pretence of eating,
but ate nothing. Then they went out and looked at the garden, talking all
the while about nothing, and soon, to the relief of both, it was bed‐time.

To Be Continued.



Where Are You Going?


We happened, the other day, to notice in the columns of a ribald infidel
newspaper an advertisement in which a young lady gave notice of her desire
to find “board in an infidel or atheist family.” There are many persons
nowadays who are looking for a lodging‐place and for food which will give
rest and refreshment to their minds and hearts, in the bosom of the
infidel and atheistic family circle. They may not, in most cases,
distinctly perceive and expressly avow that they are going over to dwell
in the tents of atheism, but they have turned their faces and steps in
that direction, and into the path leading thitherward, and those who keep
on their way must arrive, sooner or later, at that destination. It is to
these that we address the question: Where are you going? We would like to
have them reflect a little on the kind of entertainment which they may
reasonably expect to find in the private family of the household, and in
the larger family of human society, when these are constituted on
atheistic principles.

Before going any further, we will designate more precisely what class of
persons we intend by the above description. In general, all who do not
believe in a law made known to the mind and conscience by Almighty God,
and, in particular, those who, having been brought up in the Catholic
faith, no longer believe in that law as made known by the authority of the
church. We class these last individuals, for whose benefit chiefly though
not exclusively we are writing, with those first mentioned advisedly and
for a reason; and warn them that they are included in the number of those
whose faces are set toward atheism. Nevertheless, we do not say this on
the ground that every one who is not a Catholic is either incapable of
knowing God and his law, or logically bound to deny their existence. A
Theist, a Jew, or a Protestant has a rational ground for holding against
the atheist or infidel all that portion of Catholic truth which his
religion includes. Therefore, we have not included any of these in the
number of the atheistical.

Those only who do not believe in any law of God over the conscience we
have charged with this tendency to positive atheism. Against such, the
justice of the charge is manifest. For they are practically atheists
already, and by denying an essential attribute of the Creator, and a
relation which the creature must have toward him on account of this
attribute, the way is opened to a denial of his existence. As for those
who have been instructed in the Catholic faith and have thrown off its
authority over their conscience, we say that they have turned towards
atheism, because we are convinced that, as a matter of fact, the motives
and reasonings which have induced them to this fatal apostasy are
practically and theoretically atheistical, even if they themselves are not
distinctly aware of their ultimate tendency. We do not deny that a
Catholic may lapse into some imperfect form of Christianity or natural
religion. The first Protestants had been originally Catholics, and so have
been some of the so‐called philosophers professing natural religion. But
the present tendency of unbelief is toward atheism, and those believers in
positive, revealed religion, whether Catholics, Protestants, or Jews, who
are swept by this current, are carried toward the abyss whither it is
rushing. Those who reject the law of God which is proclaimed and enjoined
by the authority of the church, do so because its moral or intellectual
restraints are irksome, and they wish to be at liberty. In plain words,
they wish to be free to sin, to follow the proclivity of our fallen nature
to indulge in pride and concupiscence, without any fear of God before
their eyes to disturb their peace. Therefore, they deny the authority of
the church to bind their conscience to believe the doctrines and obey the
moral precepts which she promulgates in the name of God. Their revolt is
against the law itself and the sovereign authority of God. They sin
against faith and against reason also; against the natural as well as the
revealed law. They sin with the understanding as well as with the will,
and their sin is one which goes to the root of all moral obligation and
responsibility in the creature toward the Creator. It is an assertion of
perfect individual liberty of thought and action, of independence and
self‐sovereignty; and as such an independence is completely incompatible
with the existence of God, it is but a step to deny that he exists, or at
least that we have any knowledge of his existence. Moreover, modern
unbelief proceeds by the way of objections, difficulties, and doubts. It
is sceptical in its principle; and one who rejects the authority of the
church and of divine revelation on the principle of scepticism, easily
rejects all philosophy and natural religion on the same principle, and
runs down into pure materialism and atheism.

There are many persons in Europe, and some in this country, who have sunk
into a state of avowed impiety and violent hostility to all religion which
places them beyond the reach of every appeal to reason, conscience, or
right feeling. We do not attempt to argue with such as these; but we
suppose in those whom we address a condition of the mind and heart much
less degenerate and hopeless. We suppose them to recognize the excellence
and necessity of the private and social virtues, and to retain some
intellectual and moral ideal in their minds which they cherish and
venerate. They believe in truthfulness, honor, fidelity, honesty, true
love, friendship, in the cultivation of knowledge and the fine arts, in
all that can give decorum, refinement, and charm to domestic and social
life, power, dignity, and splendor to political society. But all this is
looked on as a spontaneous, natural growth, which finds its perfection and
its end from and on this earth, and in this life, without any direct
relation to God and an immortal life in another sphere of existence. Now,
that such persons are intellectually and morally on a height which
elevates them far above those who are wholly degraded in mind and
character, we readily admit. But they are on the verge of a precipice. It
is the black and awful abyss of atheism which yawns beneath them. And we
invite them to look over the brink, and down into those dark depths, that
they may consider deliberately whither their steps are leading them,
before it is too late to retreat to a safer position.

In what consists the reality of truth, let us ask of one who professes to
love truth, or the obligation of respecting it, if Christianity is a
falsehood, and its Founder a deceiver of mankind? One who knows the
evidence on which Christianity rests, and rejects it as a delusion, has
adopted a principle of scepticism which destroys all the evidence on which
any truth can rest. The principles of reason are denied or called in
question, unbelief or doubt extends to everything. The existence of God is
doubted, the distinct and immortal existence of the soul is questioned,
nothing remains but the senses and the phenomena which are called sensible
facts. Take away God, the Essential Truth, who can neither be deceived nor
deceive us, and who has manifested to us the truth by the lights of reason
and revelation, and there is no such thing as truth. The descendants of
apes, whose whole existence is merely one of sensation, who have sprung
from material forces and are resolved into them by dissolution, can have
no more obligation of speaking the truth than their cousins the monkeys.
If lying, calumny, or perjury will increase the means of your sensible
enjoyment, why not employ them against your brother‐apes, as well as
entrap a monkey and cage him for your amusement? Whence comes the
excellence and obligation of honor, that principle which impels a man
rather to die than to betray a trust or abandon the post of duty? On what
is based honesty? Why should one choose to pass his life, and to make his
family pass their lives, in poverty and privation, rather than take the
gold of another, when he can steal it with impunity? Where lies the
detestable baseness of bribery and swindling? Why does the heart revolt
against the conduct of the man or woman who is faithless to conjugal,
parental, or filial love, who is a false friend, ungrateful for kindness,
a traitor to his country? It is all very well to say that our natural
instincts impel us to love certain qualities and detest others, as we
spontaneously admire beauty and are displeased with ugliness. This is
certainly true. And it is very well to say that happiness and well‐being
are, on the whole, promoted by virtuous sentiments and actions, and
hindered by those which are vicious. But if mere selfish, sensitive
enjoyment of the good of this life be the end of life itself, all virtue
is resolved at last into the quest of this enjoyment by the most sure and
suitable means. When virtue requires the sacrifice of this enjoyment, it
is no longer virtue. Why should a wife sacrifice her happiness to a cruel,
sickly, or disagreeable husband, a husband preserve fidelity to a wife who
is hopelessly deranged or who has violated her marriage vows? Why should a
soldier expose his life in obedience to the order of a stupid or reckless
commander, or shed his blood in an unnecessary war brought on by the folly
or ambition of incompetent or unscrupulous rulers? Why should a seaman die
for the sake of saving passengers who are nothing to him, and many of whom
are perhaps worthless persons, leaving his widow and children without a
protector? Why trouble ourselves about taking care of the poor, ruined
wrecks of humanity, who can never more be capable of enjoying life or
contributing to the enjoyment of others? If we are not the offspring of
God, but of the earth, mere sensitive and mortal animals, existing for the
pleasure of a day, all the virtues which demand self‐sacrifice are absurd;
and the sentiments which we feel about these virtues are illusions. It is
very well to appeal to these sentiments; but those who do so must admit
that these sentiments must be capable of being justified by reason. An
atheist or a sceptic cannot do this. If a man is essentially the same with
a pig, there cannot be any reason for treating him otherwise than as a
pig. Our natural sentiments, which revolt against the practical
consequences of the degrading doctrine of atheism, prove that it is
contrary to nature, and therefore false. It is because our nature is
rational and immortal that we owe to ourselves and our fellows those
obligations and charities which are not due to the brutes; that life,
chastity, property, honor, love and friendship, promises and engagements,
political, social, and personal rights of all kinds, are to be respected
and held sacred. Our rational and immortal nature cannot exist except by
participation from God, and its constitutive principle is the capacity to
know God and recognize his law as our supreme rule. The obligation of
doing that which is just and honorable is derived from that law. Our own
rights and the rights of our neighbor are inviolable, because God has
given them. They are the rights of God, as that great philosopher Dr.
Brownson has so frequently and conclusively proved. God, as our lawgiver,
must necessarily give us a law which is plain and certain. It can be no
other than the Christian law. And every one who has been instructed in the
Catholic faith must see that Christianity and the Christian law are
guaranteed, defined, proclaimed, and enforced on the conscience by the
authority of the church.

Let him reject that authority, and he has disowned God; and by so doing
has taken away the basis of virtue. Self‐interest, sentiment, and human
instincts are no sufficient support for it. For, although our temporal
interests coincide in great part with the claims of virtue, and natural
sentiments and instincts are radically good, we are subject to inordinate
and even violent passions. Take away the fear of God, and the passions
will sweep away all slighter barriers. Pride and concupiscence will assert
their sway, make a wreck of virtue, and eventually destroy even our
earthly and temporal happiness.

Even with all the power and influence which religion can exercise over men
under the most favorable circumstances, there is enough of sin and misery
in the world; but what are we to expect if atheism should prevail? The
practical atheism, or, to speak Saxon, the ungodliness of the age, has
produced enough of bitter and deadly fruit to give us a taste of the
entertainment which is awaiting us if the time ever comes when the power
which religion still retains is altogether taken away. We do not need to
refer to the pages of professed moralists, or to quote sermons on this
topic. It is enough to take what we find in the works of those masterly
novelists who describe and satirize the crimes and follies of modern
society and depict its tragic miseries, and what we read every day in the
newspapers. The intrigues, villanies, swindlings, divorces, murders, and
suicides which blacken the record of each passing month, and the hidden,
untold tragedies going on perpetually in private life, give us proof
enough of the ravages which the passions of fallen, weak human nature will
make when all fear of God is removed, and they are left uncontrolled by
anything stronger than self‐interest, and physical coercion in the hands
of the civil power. No one who casts off all faith in God, allegiance to
his authority, and fear of his just retribution, can foresee what he
himself may become, or what he may do before his life is ended. The
natural virtues, the intellectual gifts, the education, refinement,
elevated sentiments, and pure affections which such a person may possess
in youth, whether it be a young man or a young woman, are no sure
guarantee or safeguard, even in a religious and moral community. Much less
are they in one which is wholly irreligious. No one knows, therefore, how
wicked he may become, or how miserable he may make himself. Still less can
any one foresee what treachery, cruelty, and ingratitude, what bitter
sufferings, and what ruin, may await him at the hands of others, if he is
to be a member of a great infidel or atheist family which he has helped to
form. He will be like the unhappy Alpine tourist who fell down from the
Matterhorn, dragging with him and dragged by his companions from his
dangerous foothold, and all dashed in pieces in the abyss beneath.

Let any one who has been brought up in the enjoyment of those advantages
which give decorum, charm, and refined pleasure to life—and who wishes and
expects to possess the same in the future which he looks forward to in
this world, with a zest and freedom increased by the riddance of all fear
of God—think for a moment about one very important question. To what is he
indebted for the blessings he has already enjoyed, and to what can he look
for those he is expecting? In order that he should have a happy home, his
parents must fulfil all the obligations of the conjugal and parental
relations. If he is born to wealth, his father has had to work for him, or
at least to take care of his property. If he has had a good mother, it is
needless to expatiate on all that a woman must be, must do, and must
suffer, to give a child such a blessing as that which is expressed by the
tender and holy name of mother. For his education, how many noble and
disinterested men have toiled, how many generous sacrifices of time, and
labor, and money have been required! To create the nation which gives him
the advantages of political order, the civilization which gives him a
society to live in, the arts which minister to his higher tastes and
personal comforts, how many causes have concurred together, what a
multitude of the most noble, self‐sacrificing, heroic exertions of genius,
philanthropy, patriotism, fructified by a plentiful besprinkling of the
blood of just and faithful men, have been necessary through long ages of
time! In his ideal of a happy life, which he hopes for in this world, what
a multitude of things he requires which presuppose the fidelity of
thousands of persons to those obligations and relations of life on which
he is dependent as an individual. His bride must bring to the nuptial
feast her virgin purity, and keep her wedding‐ring unbroken and undimmed.
His children must be such as a father’s heart can regard with pride and
joy. Those with whom he has relations of business must act with honesty
and integrity. He must have good servants to work for him, and hundreds of
skilful and industrious hands must minister to his wants or caprices.
Society must be kept in order, the machinery of the world must be kept
going, the law must protect his life and property, and the majority of his
fellow‐men must remain content with a lot of hard work and poverty, that
he may enjoy his dignity, leisure, splendor, and comfort in peace and
security.

Now it is a simple fact, that the principles and laws which have wrought
out whatever is high and excellent in modern civilization, have been
derived from the Christian religion. The public, social, and private
virtues which alone preserve society from corruption and extinction, are
the fruit either of religious conscientiousness, or of the influence of
religion on the natural conscience of those who live in the atmosphere
which it has purified and irradiated. There has never been such a thing as
human society founded on atheism; and when atheism, practical or
theoretical, has begun to prevail in any community, it has begun to
perish. Whoever tampers with that poison is preparing suicide for himself,
and death for all around him that is living. A large dose will kill at
once all that is capable of death in a soul which is, in spite of itself,
immortal. The slow sipping of small doses will gradually produce the same
effect. The general distribution of the poison will destroy more or less
rapidly the vital principle of the family, of society, of the state, of
human civilization. Human beings cannot live together in peace and order,
in love and friendship, in mutual truth and fidelity, in happiness and
prosperity, if they believe that they are mere animals, whose only good is
the brief pleasure which can be snatched from the present life. Even the
imperfect amity and good‐fellowship, the lower grade of society, the
inferior well‐being and enjoyment, the faint dim similitude of the
rational order which exists among the irrational animals, cannot be
attained by the human race when it strives to degenerate itself to the
level of the brute creation. The irrepressible, inextinguishable, violent
appetite for a satisfying good, when it is defrauded of its true object
and turned away from its legitimate end, becomes a devastating tornado of
passion. There is too much suffering, and too small a supply of sensible
enjoyment in human life, to allow mankind to be quiet, and to agree
together amicably in the relations of civilized society, in the common
pursuit of temporal happiness. Pride and concupiscence are as insatiable
as the grave and as cruel as death. The fear of God can alone restrain
them. Take that away from the individual, and he will be faithless to the
duties of life, friendship, honesty, patriotism, philanthropy, to his
nobler instincts, his higher sentiments, his ideal standard of good, in
proportion as his passions gain power over him. Take it away from the
family and the social order, and mutual faithlessness, breeding mutual
hatred and warfare, will be the result. Take it away from the masses of
men, and the commune will come, the maddened rabble will rush for the
coveted possessions of the smaller number who appear to have exclusive
possession of the real good, and at last all will be resolved into a state
of barbarism in which the race will become extinct.

This will never take place; for the church and religion of Jesus Christ
are imperishable, and God will bring the world to a sudden end before the
human race has had time to destroy itself. But such is the tendency of the
infidelity and atheism of the age. Whoever turns his back on Christianity
is a partaker in this tendency, and a companion of that band of
conspirators against religion and society whose end is more infernal and
whose means are more cruel than those of the Thugs of India.



Number Thirteen. An Episode Of The Commune. Concluded.


There was music enough chiming at No. 13 to keep a choir of angels busy.
Mme. de Chanoir, with the petulance of weakness, grumbled unceasingly,
lamenting the miseries of her own position, altogether ignoring the fact
that it was no worse, but in some ways better, than that of those around
her, whinging and whining from morning till night, pouring out futile
invectives against the Prussians, the Emperor, the Republic, General
Trochu, and everybody and everything remotely conducive to her sufferings.
She threatened to let herself die of hunger rather than touch horse‐flesh,
and for some days she so perseveringly held to her determination that
Aline was terrified, and believed she would hold it to the end. The only
thing that remained to the younger sister of any value was her mother’s
watch, a costly little gem, with the cipher set in brilliants; it had been
her grandfather’s wedding present to his daughter‐in‐law. Aline took it to
the jeweller who had made it, and sold it for one hundred and fifty
francs. With this she bought a ham and a few other delicacies that tempted
Mme. de Chanoir out of her suicidal abstinence; she ate heartily, neither
asking nor guessing at what price the dainties had been bought; and Aline,
only too glad to have had the sacrifice to make, said nothing of what it
had cost her. Gradually everything went that could be sold or exchanged
for food. Aline would have lived on the siege bread, and never repined,
had she been alone, but it went to her heart to hear the never‐ending
complaints of Mme. de Chanoir, to see her childish indignation at the
great public disasters which her egotism contracted into direct personal
grievances. Fortunately for herself, Mlle. de Lemaque was not a constant
witness of the irritating scene. From nine in the morning till late in the
evening she was away at the Ambulance, active and helpful, and cheering
many a heavy heart and aching head by her bright and gentle ministry, and
forgetting her own sufferings in the effort to alleviate greater ones.

“If you only could come with me, Félicité, and see something of the
miseries our poor soldiers are enduring, it would make your own seem
light,” she often said to Mme. de Chanoir, when, on coming home from her
labor of love, she was met by the unreasonable grumbling of the invalid;
“it is such a delight to feel one’s self a comfort and a help to them. I
don’t know how I am ever to settle down to the make‐believe work of
teaching after this long spell of real work.”

She enjoyed the work so much, in fact, that, if it had not been for the
sufferings, real and imaginary, of her sister, this would have been the
happiest time she had known since her school days. The make‐believe work,
as Aline called it, which had hitherto filled her time had never filled
her heart. It was a means of living that kept her brains and her hands at
work, nothing more; and it had often been a source of wonder to her in her
busiest days to feel herself sometimes seized with _ennui_. That trivial,
hackneyed word hardly, perhaps, expresses the void, the sort of hunger‐
pang, that more and more frequently of late years had made her soul ache
and yearn, but now the light seemed to break upon her, and she understood
why it had been so. The work itself was too superficial, too external. It
had overrun her life without satisfying it; it had not penetrated the
surface, and brought out the best and deepest resources of her mind and
heart—it had only broken the crust, and left the soil below untilled. She
had flitted like a butterfly from one study to another; history, and
literature, and music had attracted her by turns; she had gone into them
enthusiastically, mastered their difficulties, and appropriated their
beauties; but after a time the spell waned, and she glided imperceptibly
into the dry mechanism of the thing, and went on giving her lesson because
it brought her so much a _cachet_. But this work of a Sister of Mercy was
a different sort of life altogether. The enthusiasm, instead of waning,
grew as she went on. At first, the prosaic details, the foul air, the
physical fatigue and moral strain of the sick‐nurse’s life were
unspeakably repugnant to her; her natural fastidiousness turned from them
in disgust, and she would have thrown it all up after the first week but
for sheer human respect; she persevered, however, and at the end of a
fortnight she had grown interested in her patients; by degrees she got
reconciled to the obnoxious duties their state demanded of her; and before
a month had passed it had become a ministry of love, and her whole soul
had thrown itself into the perfect performance of her duties. She was
often tired and faint on leaving the Ambulance, but she always left it
with regret, and the evident zest and gladness of heart with which she set
out each morning became at last a grievance in the eyes of her sister.
Mme. de Chanoir vented her discontent by harping all the time of breakfast
on the hard‐heartedness of some people who could look at wounds and all
sorts of horrors without flinching; whereas the very sight of a drop of
blood made her almost faint; but then she was so constituted as to feel
other people’s wounds as if they were her own; it was a great misfortune;
she envied people who had hard hearts; it certainly enabled them to do
more, while she could only weep and pity. Aline bore the querulous
reproaches as cheerfully as if she had been blessed with one of those
hearts of stone that Mme. de Chanoir so envied. She had the indulgence of
a happy heart, and she had found the secret of making her life a poem. But
the nurse’s courage was greater than her strength. After the first three
months, material privations, added to arduous attendance on the sick and
wounded, began to tell; her health showed signs of rebellion.

M. Dalibouze was the first to notice it. He came regularly on the Saturday
evenings as of old; his age exempted him from the terrible outpost work on
the ramparts; and he profited by the circumstance to keep up, as far as
possible, his ordinary habits and enjoyments, “_afin de soutenir le
morale_,” as he said. When he noticed this change in Aline, he immediately
used his privilege of friend of the family to interfere; he begged her to
modify her zeal for the poor sufferers at the Ambulance, and to consider
how precious her life was to her sister and her friends.

Aline took the advice very kindly, but assured him that, far from wearing
out her strength as he supposed, her work was the only thing that
sustained it. The tone in which she said this convinced him it was the
truth. It then occurred to him that her pallor and languid step must be
caused by the unhealthy diet of the siege. Everybody suffered in a more or
less degree; but, as it always happens, those who suffered most said least
about it. The _gros rentier_, who fared sumptuously on kangaroo, and
Chinese puppies, and elephant at a hundred francs a pound, talked loud
about the miseries of starvation which he underwent for the sake of his
country; but the _petit rentier_, whose modest meal had long since been
replaced by a scanty ration of horse‐flesh, and that only to be had by
“making tail,” as they call it, for hours at the butchers shop—the _petit
rentier_ said very little. He was perishing slowly off the face of the
earth; but, with the pride of poverty strong in death, he gathered his
rags around him, and made ready to die in silence.

It was on such people as Mme. de Chanoir and her sister that the siege
pressed hardest; their _concierge_ was far better off than they; she could
claim her _bons_, and fight for her rations; and she had fifteen sous a
day as the wife of a National Guard.

As to Mme. Cléry, she proved herself equal to the occasion. She had no
National Guard to fall back upon, but she was sustained by the thought
that she was suffering for her country; she, too, was a good patriot.
Patriotism, however, has its limits of endurance, and hay bread was the
border line that Mme. Cléry’s patriotism refused to pass. When the good
bread was rationed, she showed signs of mutiny; but when it degenerated
into that hideous compound, of which we have all seen specimens, her
indignation declared itself in open rage. “What is this?” she cried, when
the first loaf was handed to her after three hours’ waiting. “Are we
cattle, to eat hay?” And, breaking the tawny, spongy lumps in two, she
pulled out a long bit of the offensive weed, and held it up to the scorn
of the _queue_.

As to Mme. de Chanoir, when she saw it she went into hysterics for the
rest of the day. But Providence was mindful of No. 13. Just at this
crisis, when Aline’s altered looks aroused her sister from the selfish
contemplation of her own ailments and wants, M. Dalibouze arrived early
one morning soon after Mme. de Lemaque had started for the Ambulance, and
announced that he had received the opportune present of a number of hams,
tins of preserved meat, condensed milk, and an indefinite number of pots
of jam. It was three times as much as he could consume before the siege
was raised—for raised it infallibly would be, and, if he were not greatly
mistaken, within forty‐eight hours—so he begged Mme. la Générale to do him
the favor of accepting the surplus.

Mme. de Chanoir, with infantine simplicity, believed this credible story,
and did M. Dalibouze the favor he requested. So, thanks to his generous
friend, the professor in turn became the benefactor of the two sisters,
and had the delight of seeing Aline revive on the substantial fare that
arrived so apropos. Well, it came at last, the end of the _blocus_; not,
indeed, as M. Dalibouze had prognosticated. But that was not his fault. He
had not reckoned with treachery. He could not suspect what a brood of
traitors the glorious capital of civilization was nourishing in her
patriotic bosom. But wait a little! It would be made square yet. Europe
would see France rise by‐and‐by, like the Phœnix from her ashes, and
spread her wings, and take a flight that would astonish the world. As to
the Prussians, those vile vandals, whose greasy moustaches were not fit to
brush the boots of Paris, let them bide a while, and they shall see what
they should see!

Thus did M. Dalibouze _resumer la situation_, while Paris on her knees
waited humbly the terms that Prussia might dictate as the price of a loaf
of bread for her starving patriots.

But the worst was to come yet. Hardly had the little _ménage_ at No. 13
drawn a long breath of relief after the prolonged miseries and terrors of
the siege, than that saturnalia, the like of which assuredly the world
never saw before, and let us hope never will again, the Commune, began.
Like a fiery flood it rose in Paris, and rose and rose till the red wave
swept from end to end of the city, spreading desolation and terror
everywhere, and making the respectable party of order long to call back
the Prussians, and help them out of the mess. How it began, and grew, and
ended we have heard till we know the miserable story by heart. I am not
going to tell it here. The Commune is only the last episode in the history
of No. 13.

There was work to do and plenty in binding the wounds and smoothing the
pillows of dying men, and words to be spoken that dying ears are open to
when spoken in Christian love. Aline de Lemaque’s courage did not fail her
in this last and fearful ordeal. She resumed her duties as Sister of
Mercy, asked no questions as to the politics of the wounded men, but did
the best she could for them. Mme. de Chanoir could not understand how her
sister spent her time and service on Red Republicans; the sooner the race
died out, the better, and it was not the work of a Christian to preserve
the lives of such snakes and fiends.

“There are dupes and victims as well as fiends among them,” Aline assured
her; “and those who are guilty are the most to be pitied.” After a time,
however, the dangers attendant on going into the streets became so great
that Aline was forced to remain indoors. Barricades were thrown up in
every direction, and made the circulation a dangerous and almost
impracticable feat to members of the party of order. The Rue Royale, which
had been safe during the first siege, was now a threatened centre of
accumulated danger. It was armed to the teeth. The Faubourg end of it was
barred by a stone barricade that might have passed for a fortress—a wall
of heavy masonry weighted with cannon, two black giants that lay couched
like monster slugs peeping through a hedge. But after those terrible weeks
there came at last the final tug, the troops came in, and Greek met Greek.
Shell and shot rained on the city like hailstones. The great black slugs
gave tongue, bellowing with unintermitting fury; all round them came
responsive roars from barricades and batteries; it was the discord of hell
broke upward through the earth, and echoing through the streets of Paris.

Aline de Lemaque and her sister sat in the little saloon at No. 13,
listening to the war‐dogs without, and straining their ears to catch every
sound that shot up with any significant distinctness from the chaos of
noise. Mme. Cléry was with them; she stayed altogether at No. 13 now,
sleeping on the sofa at night. It would have been impossible for her to
come and go twice a day while the city was in this state of commotion. To‐
day the old woman could not keep quiet; she was constantly up and down to
the _concierge’s_ lodge to pick up any stray report that came through the
chinks of the _porte‐cochère_. Once she went down and remained so long
that the sisters were uneasy. An explosion had reverberated through the
street, shaking the house from cellar to garret, and, like an electric
shock, flinging both the sisters on their knees simultaneously. Mme. de
Chanoir’s spine had recovered itself within the last week as if by magic.
She had abandoned her usual recumbent position, and came and went about
the house like the rest of them. If the Commune did nothing else, it did
this. We must give the devil his due.

“Félicité, I must go and see what it is. I hear groans close under the
window; perhaps a shell has fallen in the court and killed her,” said
Aline. And, rising, she turned to go.

“Don’t leave me! For the love of heaven, don’t leave me alone, Aline!”
implored her sister. “I’ll die with terror if that comes again while I’m
here by myself.”

“Come with me, then,” said Aline. And, taking her sister’s hand, they went
down together.

Mme. Cléry was not killed. This fact was made clear to them at once by the
spectacle of the old woman standing in the _porte‐cochère_, and shaking
her fist vehemently at somebody or something at the further end of it.

“Stay here,” said Aline to Mme. de Chanoir, motioning her back into the
house. “I will see what it is; and if you can do anything I’ll call you.”

It was the _concierge_ that Mme. Cléry was apostrophizing. And this was
why: a shell had burst, not in the yard, as the sisters fancied, but in
the street just outside, and the explosion was followed by a shriek and a
loud blow at the door, while something like a body fell heavily against
it.

“_Cordon!_” cried Mme. Cléry; “it is some unfortunate hit by the shell.”

“More likely a communist coming to pillage and burn. I’ll _cordon_ to none
of ’em!” declared the _concierge_. “The door is locked; if they want to
get in, they may blow it open.” But Mme. Cléry flew at her throat, and
swore, if she didn’t give up the key, she, Mme. Cléry, would know the
reason why. The _concierge_ groaned, and felt, in bitterness of spirit,
what a difficult task the _cordon_ was. But she opened the door; under it
lay two wounded men, both of them young; one was evidently dying; he had
been mortally struck by a fragment of the shell that had burst over the
thick oaken door and dealt death around and in front of it. The other was
wounded, too, but much less seriously; he had been flung down by his
companion, and the shock of the fall, more than his wound, had stunned
him. Mme. Cléry dragged them in under the shelter of the _porte‐cochère_,
and proposed laying them on the floor of the lodge. But the _concierge_
had no mind to take in a dead and a dying man, and vowed she would not
have her lodge turned into a coffin. The dispute was waxing warm, Mme.
Cléry threatening muscular argument, when Aline made her appearance. Her
training in the Ambulance stood her in good stead now.

“Poor fellow! He will give no more trouble to any one,” she said, after
feeling the pulse of the first, and laying her hand for a moment on his
heart; “bring a cloth, and cover his face; he must lie here till he can be
removed.”

The _concierge_ obeyed her. They composed the features, and laid the body
under cover of the gateway.

Aline then examined the other. His arm was badly wounded. While she was
still probing the wound, the man opened his eyes, stared round him for a
moment with a speculative gaze of returning consciousness, made a
spasmodic effort to rise, but fell back at once. “You are wounded—not
severely, I hope,” said Aline; “but you must not attempt to move till we
have dressed your arm.”

She despatched Mme. Cléry for the box containing her ambulance appliances,
lint, bandages, etc., and then, with an expertness that would have done
credit to a medical student, she washed and dressed the shattered limb,
while Mme. de Chanoir watched the operation in shuddering excitement
through the glass door at the foot of the stairs. What to do next was the
puzzle. The _concierge_ resolutely refused to let him into her lodge;
there was no knowing who or what he was, and she was a lone woman, and had
no mind to compromise herself by taking in bad characters. The poor fellow
was so much exhausted from loss of blood that he certainly could not help
himself, and it would have been cruel to leave him down in the courtyard,
where his unfortunate comrade was lying dead within sight of him. Aline
saw there was nothing for it but to take him up to their own apartment.
How to get him there was the difficulty. He looked about six feet long,
and might have weighed any number of stone. She and Mme. Cléry could never
succeed in carrying him. He had not spoken while she was dressing his arm,
but lay so still with his eyes closed that they thought he had fainted.

“We must carry him,” said Aline in a determined voice, and beckoned the
_concierge_ to come and help.

But before proceeding to the gigantic enterprise, Mme. Cléry poured out a
tumbler of wine, which she had had the wit to bring down with the lint‐
box, and held it to the sufferer’s lips, while Aline supported his head
against her knee. He drank it with avidity, and the draught seemed to
revive him instantaneously; he sat up leaning on his right arm.

“We are going to carry you up‐stairs, _mon petit_,” said Mme. Cléry,
patting him on the shoulder with the patronizing manner an amazon might
have assumed towards a dwarf.

“_You_ carry me!” said the young man, measuring the short, trim figure of
the charwoman with a sceptical twinkle in his eyes: they were dark‐gray
eyes, particularly clear, and piercing.

“Me and Mlle. Aline,” said Mme. Cléry, in a tone that testified against
the supercilious way in which her measure was being taken.

Aline was behind him. He turned to look at her with a jest on his lips,
but, changing his mind apparently, he bowed; then, with a resolute effort,
he bent forward, and, before either she or Mme. Cléry could interfere, he
was on his feet. It was well, however, they were both within reach of him,
for he staggered, and must have fallen but for their prompt assistance.

“La!” said Mme. Cléry, “what it is to be proud! Lean on Mlle. Aline and
me, and try and get up‐stairs without breaking your neck.”

“It is the fortune of war,” said the gentleman laughing, and accepting the
shoulder that Aline turned towards him.

They accomplished the ascent in safety, and then, in spite of his
assertion that he was all right now, Mme. de Chanoir insisted on their
guest lying down on her sofa while the charwoman prepared some food for
him. But safety, in truth, was nowhere. The fighting grew brisker from
minute to minute. The troops were in possession of the neighboring
streets; they had taken the Federals in the rear, and were mowing them
down like corn. The struggle could not last much longer, but it was
desperate, and the loss of life, already appalling, must be still greater
before it ended. The stranger who had introduced himself so unexpectedly
to No. 13 had formed one of the party of order, he told his good
Samaritans, who had gone unarmed, with a flag of truce, to the Federals in
the Rue de la Paix; he had seen the ghastly butchery that followed, and
only escaped as if by miracle himself; he had fought as a _mobile_ against
the Prussians, and received a sabre‐cut in the head, which had kept him in
the hospital for weeks; he had, of course, refused to join the Federals,
and it was at the risk of his life that he showed himself abroad in Paris;
just now he had been making an attempt to join the troops, when that shell
burst, and stopped him in his venturesome career. All day and all night
the four inmates of the little _entresol_ waited and watched in breathless
anxiety for the close of the battle that was raging around them. It never
flagged for an instant, and as it went on the noise grew louder and more
bewildering, the tocsin rang from every belfry in the city, the drum beat
to arms in every direction, the chassepots hissed, the cannon boomed, and
yells and shrieks of fratricidal murder filled the air, mingling with the
smell and smoke of blood and powder. It was a night that drove hundreds
mad who lived through it. Yet the worst was still to come. Late the next
afternoon, Aline, who was constantly at the window, peeping from behind
the mattress stuffed into it to protect them from the shells, thought she
discovered something in the atmosphere indicative of a change of some
sort. She said nothing, but slipped out of the room, and ran up to a
bull’s‐eye at the top of the house that served as a sort of observatory to
those who had the courage of their curiosity, as the French put it, and
ventured their heads for a moment to the mercy of the missiles flying
amongst the chimney‐pots. It was an awful sight that met her. A fire was
raging close to the house. Where it began and ended it was impossible to
say, but clearly it was of immense magnitude, and blazed with a fury that
threatened to spread the flames far and wide. She stood rooted to the
spot, literally paralyzed with horror. Were they to be burnt to death,
after living through such miseries, and escaping death in so many shapes?
Yet how could they escape it? There were barricades on every side of them;
if they were not shot down like dogs, which was the most likely event,
they would never be allowed to pass. All this rushed through her mind as
she gazed in blank despair out of the little bull’s‐eye, that embraced the
whole area of the Rue Royale and the adjacent streets. As yet, there was a
space between the fire and No. 13. Mercifully, there was no wind, and she
saw by the swaying of the flames that they drew rather towards the
Madeleine than in the direction of the Rue de Rivoli. Flight was a forlorn
hope, but still they must try it. She turned abruptly from the window, and
was crossing the room, when a loud crash made her heart leap. She looked
back. The roof of another house, one nearer to No. 13, had fallen in, and
the flames, leaping through like rattlesnakes out of a bag, sprang at the
sky, writhing and hissing as they licked it with their long red tongues.

“O God, have pity on us!”

Aline fell on her knees for one moment, and then hurried down to the
_salon_.

“We must leave this at once,” she said, speaking calmly, but with white
lips; “the street is on fire.”

M. Varlay, _citoyen_ Varlay, as he gave his name, started to his feet,
and, pulling the mattress from the window, looked out. He saw the flames
above the house‐top.

“Let us go, with the help of God!” he exclaimed. “We must make for the Rue
de Rivoli!”

Mme. de Chanoir and the charwoman, as soon as they caught sight of the
fire, shrieked in chorus, and made a headlong rush at the stairs.

“You must be quiet, madame!” cried M. Varlay in a tone that arrested both
the women; “if we lose our presence of mind, we had better stay where we
are. Have you any valuables, papers or money, that you can take in your
pocket?” he said, turning to Aline. She alone had not lost her head.

Yes; there were a few letters of her parents, and some trinkets, valuable
only as souvenirs, which she had had the forethought to put together. She
took them quickly, and the four went down the stairs. There was no one in
the lodge. The _concierge_ had taken refuge in her cellar, and her husband
was supposed to be saving France somewhere else. Mme. Cléry pulled the
string, and the little band sallied forth into the street. The air was so
thick they could hardly see their way, except for the fiery forks of flame
that shot up successively through the fog, illuminating dark spots with a
momentary lurid brightness, while now and then the crash of a roof or a
heavy beam was followed by a pillar of sparks that went rattling up into
the sky like a fountain of rockets. The Babel of drums, and bells, and
artillery added to the confusion of the scene as the fugitives hurried on
singly under the shadow of the houses. They fared safely out of the Rue
Royale and turned to the left. The Tuileries was enveloped in smoke, but
the flames were nearly spent, only here and there a tongue of fire crept
out of a crevice, licked the wall, twisted and twirled, and drew in again.
A crowd was gathered under the portico of the Rue de Rivoli, watching the
last throes of the conflagration, and discussing many questions in excited
tones. Our travellers pushed on, and came unmolested to the corner of the
Rue St. Florentine, where a sentry levelled his bayonet before them, and
cried “Halt!” Mme. de Chanoir, who walked first, answered by a scream.
_Citoyen_ Varlay, laying his hand on her shoulder, drew her quickly behind
him. “Stand here while I speak to him,” he said, and he advanced to parley
with the Federal, at the same time putting his hand into his pocket. They
had not exchanged half a dozen words when the sentinel shouldered his
chassepot, and said:

“Quick, then, pass along!”

Varlay stood for the women to pass first. Mme. de Chanoir and the
charwoman rushed on, but no sooner had they stepped into the street than,
clasping their hands, they fell upon their knees with a cry of agonized
terror. The sight that met them was indeed enough to make a brave heart
quail. To the left, extending right across the street, rose a barricade, a
fortress rather, surmounted at either end by two warriors of the Commune,
bending over a cannon as if in the very act of firing; in the centre two
amazon _pétroleuses_ stood with chassepots slung _en baudelière_ and red
rags in their hands that they waved aloft proudly like women who felt that
the eyes of Europe were upon them; the intermediate space on either side
of them was filled up with soldiers planted singly or in groups, and
_poséd_ in the attitudes of men whom forty centuries look down upon. Just
as Mme. de Chanoir and her _bonne_ came in front of the terrible _mise‐en‐
scêne_, and before they could go backward or forward, the word _Fire!_
rang out from the fortress, two matches flashed in the hands of the
gunners, and the women dropped to the ground with a shriek that would have
waked the dead.

“What’s the matter now?” cried the sentinel.

“They are going to fire!”

“Imbeciles! No, they are going to be photographed!”(112)

And so they were. A photographic battery was set up against the railings
opposite. Aline and _citoyen_ Varlay seized the two half‐fainting women by
the arm, and dragged them across and out of the range of the formidable
_tableau vivant_. Meanwhile, the fire was gaining on No. 13. The house
three doors down from it was _flambée_. It had been deserted the day
before by all its occupants, save one family composed of a husband and
wife, who had obstinately refused to believe in the danger till it was too
late to evade it. They were friends of M. Dalibouze’s and the professor
turned in to see them this morning on his way to No. 13. “The situation
was a difficult one,” he said; “it were foolhardy to defy it, and the time
was come when good citizens should save themselves.” He convinced M. and
Mme. X—— that this was the only reasonable thing to do. So casting a last
look at their belongings, they sallied forth from their home accompanied
by their servant, an _ex‐sapeur_, too old for military service, but as
hale and hearty as a youth of twenty. The professor had got in by a
backway from the Faubourg St. Honoré, and thither he led his friends now;
but, though less than fifteen minutes had elapsed since he had entered,
the passage was already blocked: part of the wall had fallen and stopped
it up. There was nothing for it but to go boldly out by the front door,
and trust to Providence. But they reckoned without the _pétroleuses_.
Those zealous daughters of the Commune, braving the shot, and the shell,
and the vengeful flames of their own creation, sped from door to door,
pouring the terrible fluid into holes and corners, through the gratings of
cellars, under the doors, through the chinks of the windows, everywhere,
dancing, and singing, and laughing all the time like tigers in human
shape—tigers gone mad with fire and blood. When the _sapeur_ opened the
door, he beheld a group of them on the _trottoir_; one was rolling a
barrel of petroleum on to the next house, another was steeping rags in a
barrel already half empty, and handing them as fast as she could to
others, who stuffed them into appropriate places, and set a light to them;
every flame that rose was hailed by a shout of demoniacal exultation. The
_sapeur_ banged the door in their faces.

“We must set to work, and cut a hole through the wall,” he said; “it’s the
last chance left us.”

No sooner said than done. He knew where to lay his hands on a couple of
crowbars and a pickaxe; the professor fired the contents of his chassepot
at the wall, and then the three men went at it, and worked as men do when
death is behind them and life before. It was an old house, built chiefly
of stone and mortar, very little iron, and it yielded quickly to the
hammering blows of the workmen. A breach was made—a small one, but big
enough to let a man crawl through. M. X—— passed out first, and then
helped out his wife. M. Dalibouze and the _sapeur_ followed. They hurried
through the next apartment. M. Dalibouze reloaded his gun; whiz! whiz!
went the bullets; bang! bang! went the crowbars; down rattled the stones;
another breach was made, and again they were saved. Three times they
fought their way through the walls, while the fire like a lava torrent
rolled after them, and then they found themselves at No. 13. M.
Dalibouze’s first thought was for the little apartment on the _entresol_
at the other side. They made for it; but as they were crossing the court a
blow, or rather a succession of blows, struck the great oak door; it
opened like a nut, and fell in with a crash like thunder. The burglars
beheld M. Dalibouze in his National Guard costume scudding across the
yard, and greeted him with howls like a troop of jackals. Whiz! went the
grape‐shot. M. Dalibouze fell.

Mme. X—— and her husband had fallen back before the door gave way, and
thus escaped observation. No one was left but the old _sapeur_.

“What sort of work is this?” he said, walking defiantly up to the
men—there were five of them—“what do you mean by breaking into the houses
of honest citizens?”

“You had better break out of this one if you don’t want to grill,”
answered one of the ruffians; “we are going to fire it, _par ordre de le
Commune_.”

The women had disappeared, and left their implements in the hands of the
men.

“Oh! _par ordre de le Commune!_” echoed the _sapeur_; “then I’ve nothing
to say; I hope they pay you well for the work?”

“Not over and above for such work as it is,” said one of the incendiaries,
rolling a barrel into the concierge’s lodge.

“How much?”

“Ten francs apiece.”

“Ten francs for burning a house down! Pshaw! you’re fools for your pains!”

The _sapeur_ shrugged his shoulders, and, turning on his heels, walked
off. Suddenly, as if a bright thought struck him, he turned back, and
faced them with his hands in his pockets.

“Suppose you got twenty for leaving it alone?”

“Twenty apiece?”

“Twenty apiece, every man of you!”

They stopped their work, and looked from one to another.

“_Ma foi_, I’d take it, and leave it alone!” said one.

“_Pardie!_ we’ve had enough of it, and, as the _citoyen_ says, it’s
beggarly pay for the work,” said another.

“Done!” said the _sapeur_.(113)

He pulled out a leathern purse from his breast‐pocket, and counted out one
hundred francs in five gold pieces to the five communists.

“_Une poignée de main, citoyen!_” said the first spokesmen. The others
followed suit, and the _sapeur_, after heartily wringing the five rascally
hands, sent them on their way rejoicing to the cabaret round the corner.
This is how No. 13 was saved. No. 11 was burnt to the ground, and then the
fire stopped.

But to return to Aline and her friends. They got on well till they came to
the Rue d’Alger, where they were caught in a panic, men, and women, and
children struggling to get out of reach of the flames, and threatening to
crush each other to death in their terror. Our friends got clear of it,
but, on coming out of the _mélée_ at separate points, the sisters found
they had lost each other. Mme. de Chanoir had held fast by Mme. Cléry, and
was satisfied that Aline was safe under the wing of _citoyen_ Varlay. But
she was mistaken. He had indeed lifted her off the ground, holding her
like a child above the heads of the crowd, and so saved her from being
trampled under foot, most likely; but when he set her down, and Aline
turned to speak to him, he was gone. It would have been madness to attempt
to look for him in the _mélée_, so she determined to wait at the nearest
point of shelter, and then when the crowd dispersed they would be sure to
meet. She made for the door‐way of a mourning house at the corner of the
Rue St. Honoré. But she had not been many minutes there when she heard a
hue and cry from the Tuileries end of the street, and a troop of men and
women came flying along, driving some people before them, and firing at
random as they went. The sensible thing for Aline to do was, of course, to
flatten herself against the wall, and stay where she was, and of course
she did not do it. She saw a flock of people running, and she started from
her hiding‐place, and turned and ran with them. They tore along the Rue
St. Honoré till they came to the Rue Rohan; here the band broke up, and
many disappeared at opposite points; but one little group unluckily kept
together, and, though diminished to a third its size at the starting
point, it still held in view, and gave chase to the pursuers. Mlle. de
Lemaque kept with this. On they flew like hares before the hounds, till,
turning the corner of the Place du Palais Royal, they were stopped by two
Federals, who levelled their chassepots and bade them stand. The fugitives
turned, not like hares at bay to face the hunters and die, but to rush
into an open shop, and fall on their knees, and cry, “Mercy!”

The Federals were after them in a second. Instead of shooting them right
off, however, they set to discussing the propriety of taking them out and
standing them in regulation order, with their backs to the wall, and doing
the thing in a proper business‐like manner. While this parley was going
on, Aline de Lemaque cast a glance round her, and saw that her fellow‐
victims were two young lads and half a dozen women, all of them of the
lower class apparently; most of them wore caps. The men who were making
ready to shoot them without rhyme or reason, as if they were so many rats,
were evidently of the very dregs of the Commune, and looked half‐drunk
with blood or wine, or both—it was hard to say—but there was no trace of
manhood left upon the faces that gave a hope that mercy had still a
lurking‐place in their hearts. One of the women suddenly started to her
feet. “What!” she cried, “you call yourselves men, and you are going in
cold blood to shoot unarmed women and boys? Shame on you for cowards!
There is not a man amongst you!”

She snapped her fingers right into their faces with an impudence that was
positively sublime. The cowards were taken aback. They looked at each
other, and burst out laughing.

“_Sapristi!_ She’s right,” exclaimed one of them; “they’re not worth
wasting our powder on!”

Like lightning, the women were on their feet, fraternizing with the men,
embracing, shaking hands, and swearing fraternity in true communistic
fashion. Mlle. de Lemaque alone stood aloof, a silent, terror‐stricken
spectator of the scene.

“What have we here? _Une canaille d’aristocrate_, I’ll be bound! It’s
written on her face,” said one of the ruffians, seizing her by the arm;
“let us make away with her, comrades! It will be a good job for the
Republic to rid it of one more of the lazy aristos that live by the
_ouvrier’s_ meat.” There was a lull in the kissing and hand‐shaking, and
they turned to stare at Aline. Her life hung by a thread. A timid word, a
guilty look, and she was lost. But the soldier’s blood rose up in her; she
bethought her of her _abus_, and _lancéd_ it.

“Lazy!” she cried; “I am a soldier’s daughter; my father fought for
France, and left his children nothing but his sword; I work for my bread
as hard as any of you!”

The effect was galvanic; they gathered around her, shouting, “Bravo! Give
us your hand, citoyenne!”

And Aline gave it, and, like the statesman who thanked God he had a
country to sell, she blessed him that she had a hand to give.

—Blood ran like water in the sewers of Paris for a few days, and then the
troops were masters of the field, and order was restored—restored so far
as to enable honest men to sleep in their beds at night.

Mme. de Chanoir was back again in the little saloon at No. 13, and
diligently reading the newspaper aloud to a gentleman who was lying on the
sofa near her; the _générale’s_ spine complaint had been radically cured
by the Commune, and she sat erect in a chair now like other people. The
invalid’s face and head were so elaborately bandaged that it was
impossible to see what either were like, while his bodily proportions
disappeared altogether under a voluminous travelling‐rug. He listened for
some time without comment to the political tirade which Mme. de Chanoir
was reading to him, an invective against France, and her soldiers, and her
generals, and the nation at large—a sweeping anathema, in fact, of
everything and everybody, till he could bear it no longer, and, sitting
bolt upright, he exclaimed:

“Madame, the man who wrote that article is a traitor. France is greater
to‐day in her unmerited misfortunes than she was in the apotheosis of her
glory; she is more sublime in her widowed grief than her ignoble foe in
his barbarous successes! She is, in fact, still France. The situation is
compromised for a moment, but—”

“_Lâ, lâ, voyons!_” broke in Mme. Cléry, putting her head in at the door,
and shaking the lid of a sauce‐pan at the invalid. “How is the _tisane_ to
take effect if you will talk politics and put yourself into a rage about
_la situation_! Mme. _la Générale_, make ’um keep still!”

The _générale_ thus adjured laid down the newspaper, and gently insisted
on M. Dalibouze’s resuming his horizontal position on the couch. Aline was
not there; she was off at her old work at the Ambulance again. The
hospitals had been replenished to overflowing by the street‐fighting of
the last week of the Commune, _la dénouement de la situation_, as M.
Dalibouze called it, and nurses were in great demand. _Citoyen_ Varlay had
not turned up since the night they had lost him in the crowd. The
excitement and confusion which had reigned in the city ever since had made
it difficult to set effective inquiries on foot, even if the sisters had
been accurately informed regarding their quondam guest’s identity and
circumstances, which they were not. All they knew of him was his
appearance, his name, and his wound. This was too vague to assist much in
the search. Mme. de Chanoir was sincerely sorry for it; she had been
attracted at once by the frank bearing and courteous manners of the young
_citoyen_; but his cool courage, his forgetfulness of himself for others,
and the stoical contempt for bodily pain which he had displayed on the
occasion of their flight, had kindled sympathy into admiration, and she
spoke of him now as a hero. She spoke of him constantly at first, loudly
lamenting his loss; for lost she believed him. He had, no doubt, been
overpowered by the crowd; his disabled arm deprived him of half his
strength, and, exhausted as he was by previous pain, and the violent
effort to protect Aline in the struggle, he had probably fainted and been
suffocated or crushed to death. This was the conclusion Mme. de Chanoir
arrived at; but when she mentioned it to Aline, the deadly paleness that
suddenly overspread the young girl’s features made her wish to recall her
words, and from that out the name of the young soldier was never
pronounced between the sisters.

Mme. Cléry had formed on her side an enthusiastic affection for him, and
sincerely regretted his fate, but with a woman’s instinct she guessed that
the one who regretted it most said least about it. She never mentioned
_citoyen_ Varlay to Aline, but made up for the self‐denial by pouring out
his praises and her own grief into the sympathizing ear of the _générale_.

“What a pretty couple they would have made!” said the old woman one
morning, wiping her eyes with the corner of her apron; “he was such a fine
fellow, and so merry; he only wanted the _particule_ to make him perfect;
but, after all, who knows? He may not have been as good as he looked. One
can never trust those _parvenus_.”

A month passed. Mme. de Chanoir was alone one afternoon, when Mme. Cléry
rushed into the room in a state of breathless excitement, her eyes
literally dancing out of her head.

“Madame! madame! I guessed it! I was sure of it! I’m not that woman not to
know a gentleman when I see him. I told madame he was! Let madame never
say but I did!”

And having explained herself thus coherently between laughing and crying,
she held out a card to her mistress.

Mme. de Chanoir read aloud:


    LE BARON DE VARLAY,
      _Avocat à la Cour de Cassation_.


Another month elapsed, and the great door of the Madeleine was opened for
a double marriage. The first bridegroom was a tall, slight man, on whose
face and figure the word _distingué_ was unmistakably stamped. The second
was a plump, dapper little man, who, as he walked up the carpeted aisle of
the church, seemed hardly to touch the ground, so elastic was his step;
his countenance beamed, he was radiant, and it is hardly a figure of
speech to say that he was buoyant with satisfaction. If he could have
given utterance to his feelings, he would have said that “the situation
was perfect, and absolutely nothing more could be desired.”

Mme. Cléry was present in her monumental cap, trimmed with Valenciennes
lace brand‐new for the occasion, and a chintz gown with a peacock pattern
on a pea‐green ground that would have lighted up a room without candles.
She, too, looked the very personification of content. The first couple was
all her heart could wish, and more than her wildest ambition had ever
dreamed of for her favorite Aline. The second she had grown
philosophically reconciled to. The marriage had one drawback, a grievous
one, but the charwoman consoled herself with the reflection that Mme. de
Chanoir might condone the _bourgeoisie_ of her new name, by signing
herself:


    FELICITE DALIBOUZE,
      _Née_ de Lemaque.



Use And Abuse Of The Novel.


If the question were put to us—What class of books, viewed merely as
reading, without tutelage or commentary of any kind, had the greatest
influence in moulding and training the thoughts, aspirations, mode of
life, of the mass of readers in these days?—we should, notwithstanding the
slur and sneer which it is fashionable for clever writers to cast upon
them, answer unhesitatingly—Novels.

This answer, we have no doubt, might shock the sensibilities of some of
our readers, as it might very cordially agree with those of a not
insignificant body of others. Without going into a dry analytical
discussion of the _pros_ and _cons_ of the question, we will adopt the
easier course of taking at the outset everything we want for granted, and
allowing the truth of it to emanate from the body of our article; merely
premising that, if it be true, Catholics have too much neglected, are far
too weak in, this very important collateral branch of modern education.

Every age, every cycle, every period in the history of the world has its
distinctive features, its proper individualities, its representative men,
systems, or facts, strongly and clearly marked. Ours is the iron age. Our
province is matter. Our tastes are material. The world seems, strangely
enough, to be working backwards. We began with intellect: we finish with
matter. The signs of the past are stamped with intellect or the
intellectual. The development of the present is steam and electricity. If
we ask the ages, What have you given us? the answer comes rolling down out
of the dim mountain of the past: Homer, Phidias, Apelles; the alphabet,
the geometrical figure, the science of numbers; Plato and Aristotle;
Virgil and the historians; the practical greatness of Rome; the great
faith of the new‐born middle ages; the Crusades, the Gothic order, the
great masters, Dante, Shakespeare, and Milton. We have our distinctive
mark; the one indicated: the mastery over the material world. In the
intellectual order, if we look for one, we must set it in the daily
newspaper and the novel. These are the peculiar intellectual development
of the XIXth century. Against the names of Homer, Plato, Æschylus, Virgil,
Horace, Dante, Shakespeare, we pit those of Scott, Thackeray, Dickens,
Eugene Sue, George Sand, Victor Hugo, Dumas, Bulwer, Wilkie Collins, Miss
Braddon, and her kin.

Surely this is rank heresy. Is not this the age of the rationalists, the
free‐thinkers, “the swallowers of formula,” of Hegel, Cousin, Comte, Mill,
Herbert Spencer, Huxley, Thomas Carlyle? All these are nothing to the
purpose. Thinkers, dreamers, idealists, doubters, belong to all ages. The
novelists belong to ours alone, as surely as do the steamboat, the
railway, the electric telegraph, the daily press, the penny post.

In saying this, we are not blind to the fact that novels and romances were
written long before our century dawned. Cervantes and Le Sage are old
enough; the Romaunts are older still. De Foe, Fielding, Smollett, Sterne,
Richardson, are names of a bygone century. But novelism, to use the word
in a new sense, considered as a science—for such it has practically
become—as the most popular branch of literature known in these days, with
men and women of genius devoted to its pursuit, with an ever‐increasing
progeny spreading and growing, and stifling each other out of life, is an
intellectual phase proper of to‐day.

Philosophic historians trace the decline of peoples and periods in the
decline of their literature; in its tone, its style, its subjects, and
manner of treatment. If this test be applied to us, what a show should we
make! But happily the test, though in the main a true one, is not an
infallible one. The facility opened up by the invention of printing for
writers of every shade of opinion to express their thoughts upon any given
subject at any length and in any quantity, provided only they pay the
printer, must weaken to some extent the theory that writers are the exact
reflex of the times and peoples for and among whom they write. Still there
rests the significant fact that to‐day the novel, and particularly the
worst form of it, is the _book of the period_; the most popular, widely
read, best paid class of literature that we possess—a fact which tells its
own tale of our intellectual and moral advance.

The ancients seem not to have conceived such a thing. And, despite the
danger of such an admission in the face of what the novel has come to be
among ourselves, we can only regret its loss among them. Had the Greeks
and Romans caught the idea, and turned their brilliant, clear‐sighted,
manly, and truth‐loving intellects to the portrayal of everyday life; to
the picture of how the world wagged behind the scenes long ago, what a
flood of light would have been let in on their history, its meaning, its
philosophy, so as to render almost superfluous the works of such men as
Niebuhr, Gibbon, Grote. We should have had plenty of evil undoubtedly,
plenty to sicken us; but, after all, would the foulness of the pagans have
been much worse than the spicy dishes cooked and served up to us every day
by our own novelists; by gray‐haired men; by ladies, at whose age we will
not venture to guess; by smart young girls who have just bounced out of
their teens? The glimpse we have had of Socrates’ spouse makes us wish for
a closer acquaintance with that dame. We are anxious to know how she
received the news of his draught of hemlock, for she evidently entertained
the utmost contempt for all his doctrine and philosophy, and must have
been rather surprised at the state bothering itself so much about _her_
husband. What an irreparable loss we have sustained in Diogenes, his
sayings and doings, his snarls and life in that tub of his! What living
pictures would have been left us of the life in the groves, the
disputations, the clash of intellect with intellect where all was
intellect; the great games, who betted, who lost, who won, who contended;
of the mysteries and the sacrifices; of Greece at the invasions; of the
party strifes; how Alcibiades pranked and ruled in turn; how Balbus built
that famous wall of his that he is always building in the _Delectus_; how
Agricola ploughed his field; how the _Symposia_ passed off with Cicero and
his friends; how Cæsar spent his youth, and how the conspiracy worked that
destroyed him; what sort of companions brought Catiline’s conspiracy
about; the effect of the _quousque tandem_ speech related by an eye‐
witness; the coming of the great Apostles; the dawn of Christianity; how
the gay Greeks listened to that first strange sermon given from the altar
to the Unknown God.

These things have been told us in a way. We can pick and sort them out of
the brilliant works of the writers of the time. But had they been told us
by a Greek or Roman novelist, a Thackeray, Dickens, or Bulwer, with the
actors set living and real and palpable on the scenes, speaking the
language, using all the little peculiarities, of everyday life, with all
their natural surroundings and coincidents, what a lost world would have
been opened up to us!

Abandoning, however, such vain and useless regrets, let us turn to the
immediate subject of our own article. The title, Novel, we here use in the
popular signification of the word, as comprising all works of fiction,
distinct from those that are purely satirical, and history as written by
such men as Mr. James Anthony Froude and Mr. John S. C. Abbott. Novelists,
we know, are apt to be nice on the question of titles. No lady of third‐
rate society, who with time on her hands to do good devoted it to the
study of the court balls and the pages of Debrett, was ever more so. Here
is your romance, which looks down upon your mere story; your novelette
which shrinks with awe from your psychological romance; your story of real
life, a republican sort of fellow often, who hustles and bustles and
shoulders them all and stands on his own legs; and a variety of others as
numerous as they are, to the public at large—which is, as it should be, a
poor respecter of titles—unnecessary. We purpose, in the name of the
public, dealing very summarily with these titled folk, throwing them, high
and low, in the same category, and designating one and all as novels pure
and simple, with the single distinction, which shall appear in due time,
of the sensational novel.

As we have arrived at this point, it may not be amiss to ask, What purpose
do novels serve; with what object are they written?

A hard question truly. We reply to the second part of the query first. It
may not be unnatural, nor dealing unfairly with their authors, to suppose
that novels are written, in the first place, with the very laudable desire
of earning one’s bread: so that “the root of all evil” lies at the bottom
of the “psychological romance,” as of far humbler things in this world. As
to what purpose, earthly or unearthly, they serve, the answer to that
depends, first of all, on the author’s secondary motive in writing them;
secondly, on the effect they produce on the reader—which are two very
different things. We have not the slightest doubt that the French
novelists, as popularly known, entertained the very loftiest ideas with
regard to morality, Christianity, the laws of God and man, the
conventional relations between husband and wife, and so on, before
ushering into the world the representatives of their—to put it
mildly—somewhat peculiar views on these questions. Well, if the world read
them wrongly, mistook faith for infidelity, a deep lesson in purity for
adultery, loyalty and obedience to the sovereign for rank outspoken
disturbance and rebellion, who was to blame? The world was simply stupid.
M. Dumas _fils_, for instance, has lately been good enough to enlighten us
with his ideas on the vexed questions of matrimony and women in general.
M. Dumas _fils_ is undoubtedly an excellent guide on such subjects. He is
an advanced man, a man of the age, of society, of the world. His
testimonies on such subjects ought, therefore, to be of value. He has
disposed of the whole question in, for a Dumas, a few words—a single
volume. The moral of his doctrine comes to this: if your wife is
faithless, kill her. We have not yet heard of any practical results
arising from this new gospel, as preached by M. Dumas _fils_; from which,
we have no doubt, he will draw the very agreeable inference that his
remedy for the regeneration of society, and the nice adjustment of the
marriage‐knot once for all, was altogether unnecessary. If his doctrine
should spread to any alarming extent, no doubt M. Dumas _fils_ will be
satisfied that at last the world is beginning a new era of advancement,
that there is still hope for it; and he will hold himself answerable for
all the consequences. By the bye, we believe he has omitted one little
thing: the course to be adopted by the wife in the event of the husband’s
infidelity. But probably such a high‐minded, virtuous man as M. Dumas
never contemplated the possibility of such a contingency arising.

Mr. Collins, Mr. Reade, Miss Braddon, and the rest hold, doubtless, the
same ideas with regard to the relative value of their productions. Whether
their praiseworthy efforts have been duly appreciated; whether they have
ever made man, woman, or child a whit better or sounder by the perusal of
any of their works, we do not know. We are inclined to think not. If any
reader would kindly come forward and show that we are wrong in this from
his or her own experience, we shall only be too happy to stand corrected.
At all events, the advantage derived must be in very small proportion to
the quantity of literary medicine and advice administered by those social
physicians to the craving multitude.

Laying aside, then, the invariably pure and lofty motives of the authors;
laying aside the cloak which novels serve for at times, as in the hands of
a Disraeli, to attack a policy or a system; and taking them as they affect
ourselves, the readers, one may safely say that they serve mainly to
amuse; to fill up those spare moments that nothing else can fill up. They
constitute the play‐ground of literature—a recreation and relief for the
mind. We gulp them down as we are whirled along in the railway train. We
take them with us on long voyages, as the Scotch patient took his weekly
sermon at the kirk, as an opiate—thus fulfilling to the letter the
traditional notion of the “Sabbath” being a day of rest. When the brain is
heavy and the body worn, when to talk is labor and to think is pain, then
we can seize the novel, loll on the sofa, or recline under the leafy shade
by the brink of the musical river, and float away, half asleep, half
awake, into dreamland. In a moment a new world, as real and living to the
mind’s eye as that in which we move, is conjured up before us. We are on
intimate terms with a villain whose dagger is as air‐drawn as Macbeth’s.
We can commit cold‐blooded murders that will never bring us to the dock;
or shocking improprieties that even the far‐reaching nose of Mrs. Grundy
will fail to catch scent of. Or we go over “the old, old story,” and are
bumped, jerked, and jolted along the delicious course that never _will_
run smooth; mapping it out if we have not yet had the fortune (or
misfortune) to traverse it; filling it in with many a well‐known form, if
we have. And if the never‐running‐smooth theory be true of love, this much
we ungrudgingly grant the novelists—they certainly hold to their tether.
The labyrinth of Dædalus was nothing to it; the twistings, the windings,
the sudden and unexpected meetings, the separations, the jiltings, the
halts by the way, the joy, the sorrow, the ecstasy, the despair, the
losings, the seekings, the findings, the torturing uncertainty, the
wanderings through hopeless mazes, to end, as we knew at the outset it
would and must end, according to “the eternal fitness of things,” in some
man marrying some woman—the most extraordinary phenomenon that the world
ever witnessed!

The novel invites us, as the noonday devil is supposed to do, at dangerous
moments—those moments that come to all of us when matter holds the mastery
over mind. Place in the hands of the reader at such a time a book which,
while it interests, while it soothes, lulls, and gently enwraps in its
kindly meshes the abstracted brain, never palls; containing at least what
is harmless; and good, not very great certainly, but at least of a kind,
is effected.

But let the novel be like the favorites of its class, a thing to fire the
imagination with impure thoughts clothed in the thinnest veil of mock
morality, at the very moment when the imagination of the reader is ready
to run riot; and evil, great, sometimes irreparable, is produced.

“All the wrong that I have ever done or sung has come from that confounded
book of yours,” writes Byron to Moore in a moment of bitterness. If the
accusation be well founded, what an intellectual wreck has Moore to answer
for; what a multitude of lesser disasters following in the train of a
great genius, so early led astray!

The novelist beats every other writer from the field. We all read him,
from the crop‐haired schoolboy to the octogenarian who has quite grown
through his hair; from the nearest approach to Mr. Darwin’s ideal man to
the philosopher “who would circumvent God”; from the artless maiden who
fondly dotes over those wicked but excessively handsome villains, those
athletic but ridiculously stupid lovers, those consumptive heroines with
the luminous eyes and rippling glories of golden hair; those lady
poisoners with the floating locks and sea‐green orbs—to the dyspeptic lady
who makes novel‐reading a science, who dawdles out her languid existence
in elegant nothingness, who looks to the production of a new story as men
look to a change in the constitution, or as astronomers lately looked to
the comet that would not come; who is, in a word, utterly useless for all
the purposes of life, of wifehood, of womanhood—novel‐struck, novel‐bred,
only fit to “resolve and thaw into a dew” of weak sentimentality and
essence of inanity. From this category of readers we must not omit the
typical old maid, who is continually telling us that she renounced such
things as love and other rubbish long ago; yet daily treats herself to her
spruce, strong, highly flavored dish of the purest, spiciest scandal, and
takes her diurnal dose of immorality as regularly as her “drops” or her
tea.

All the world lies open to the novelist. From no place is he excluded,
save from a few high and dry quarterlies; and even they are stirred from
their abstract regions into sledgehammer activity or solemn admiration by
him from time to time. Of monthlies, fortnightlies, weeklies, dailies, he
forms the chief ingredient. Even editors of metaphysical fortnightlies
find they must flavor their own romance with a spice, of the more regular
and orthodox in order to make it “go down with the public.”

What a field, then, is the novelist’s!—what ground for a high, pureminded
man or woman to sow seeds in that may sprout, and spread, and fill the
world with truth, with purity, with noble aspirations, with right
teachings set in the goodliest garb! The youth of the generations is their
own.

Who has forgotten those earlier days when we stood, fair‐haired, open‐
hearted children, on the threshold of life, steeped in the morning sun of
a future that looked all golden? A warm mist hung about us, shrouding all
in beautiful, mystical dimness. There was no storm, no darkness, no night.
Whisperings of soft voices stole out of the magic mist, and called us on
to do great things; to rift the mist and open up the glorious world of
God, as we saw it in our imaginings. The morning of life, like the morning
of the world, is all Eden. We walk with God, for we are innocent. But the
doom is on us; we must pluck the fruit of the tree of knowledge. The
moment we taste of it, the golden dream is no more; the mist is reft
asunder; and slowly the world opens on our saddened eyes in all its hard
reality, to be subjected by the labor of our hands and the sweat of our
brow. As we merge from that innocence, so we go on. Some great event may
change us; may make this one a saint, that a fiend. But, as a rule, the
sapling grows into the tree, weakly or strong, straight and tall and
looking heavenwards, or stunted, useless, and unsightly as it grew from
the grafting.

The grafting is the mother’s voice, the father’s example, the companions
around us, the guidance of our thoughts. And the great mass of our
thoughts, at a time when we are all imagination, springs from the books we
read. Here steps in the crying need of a series of story‐books for
Catholic children; for all children up to the age when study becomes a
more serious work.

One other glance back at the days of our childhood, and the manner in
which they were spent; for it is not the least important part of our
subject. What a round of acquaintance we had, necessitating a
corresponding round of visits! One day we dropped in on our best of
friends, _Robinson Crusoe_, on that lonely island of his, wishing that all
the world were islands and we were all Crusoes. All we wanted to live
happily was a boat, six or seven guns and pistols, a goat‐skin cap, a
parrot, a Man Friday, an umbrella, and an occasional savage to kill. After
taking a sail with him in his boat, helping him to build his castle,
tending the goats, running down to see if we could find that second
footprint on the sand, giving Friday a lesson in English, we bade him
good‐bye with the promise of calling again soon, and hurried off on that
expedition to the other end of the world with our old acquaintance Captain
Marryat, to search for our father, play our practical jokes, and fight our
triangular duels. Then we had to hunt up that Indian trail for Cooper, and
no redskin ever followed the track half so keenly as we, marking the way,
notching the giant trunks with our six‐bladed penknife, shooting the
buffalo with our pop‐guns, sleeping round the campfires in those limitless
prairies and thickest jungles of our imagination. Ha! by’r Lady! Here we
are at the gentle trial of spears at Ashby de la Zouch. How brave it was!
The glinting of the lances, and the clash of steel on helm and hauberk;
the gay plumes shorn and floating on the wind like thistledown. And out we
rushed, and called the friend of our bosom a caitiff knight and a false
knave, and plighted our troth to that imprisoned maiden—no matter who, and
no matter where—to do her right, and do our devoir as leal and belted
knight. That caitiff deals in leather now, and does a thriving business;
his knightly limbs are cased in the best of cloth, cut by the cleverest of
artists; his knightly stomach is naught the worse for wear, but quite
beyond the girth of steel armor; and he has a son who, at this moment, is
assisting at the joust as we did, spurring into the _mêlée_ and bearing
all down before us, to spur out again victor, and meet Charlie O’Malley
waiting for us outside; to ride with him for dear life into to‐day. What a
race it is; how the world spins past us; how our heart throbs, and our
eyes grow dim, and our hopes sink as we fall and dislocate our shoulder at
that last fence. By heaven! up again—on, and in a winner! And we sink to
the ground with the shouts of thousands ringing in our ears, to wake in a
darkened chamber with low voices breaking on us—the voices of our dear
Irish girls, who make “smithereens” of our hearts only to heal them the
next minute, and sit there wooing us back into life and love.

Such was the favorite mental food of our earlier days, our literary candy.
If the reading of youth were restricted to authors such as these, on the
whole we might consider them in safe hands. But books multiply and cheapen
day by day, and as usual “the cheap and nasty” carries everything before
it. The favorite stories of the mass of boys that we see consist of what
is known as the _Dime Novel_ and those blood‐and‐thunder weeklies with the
terrific titles and startling pictures. By some strange freak of nature,
boys are fond of blood; the warlike element prevails; the peaceful is
nowhere. We feel certain that, if Mr. Barnum possessed a real live
murderer among his collection of curiosities—though we fear he could
scarcely ticket such an animal “a curiosity” in these days—and caged him
up among the other wild beasts, he would prove a greater attraction to the
juvenile visitor than anything else in the famous exhibition. It were easy
enough to satisfy this morbid craving for muscular Christianity in a safe
and sound manner, if our writers of fiction took up systematically the
incidents of history; the great wars; the crusades, the parts played by
great Christian heroes, by the saints of God; the scenes of martyrdom, the
labors of the missionaries, and a thousand other subjects as entertaining
as they are instructive and strictly true. We know that there are many
such; but we want to be overloaded with them, as we are with those others
to which we referred. We can scarcely at the moment call to mind one
Catholic story to compete at all with a crowd of children’s books written
by Protestants. The production of children’s stories has grown into a
science among them. We frequently see pages of stately reviews and the
columns of the London _Times_ devoted to as critical an examination of
this class of books as to the works of the greatest writers. They
recognize the necessity and the advantage of giving their children
something to save them from the evil effects that must ensue from a
continual history of daring and impossible feats by young burglars,
detectives, spies, and the like. The best writers of this kind are, as
they should be, women, who know best how to interest children, who watch
them with an eye to their every want, that a man cannot attain. Here,
then, is a field for Catholic ladies—a field wide open, which cries to be
filled up.

But our article deals not alone with children and children’s books. We
purpose looking higher and looking deeper, at the mental recreation of the
day, of the age; at the literature that loads our tables, our shelves, our
public libraries, our bookstalls: the book “of the period”—the sensational
novel.

What is a sensational novel? Who has defined it? Who dare define it? It is
a pity the author of _Rasselas_ had not some faint conception of it. The
idea of calling _Rasselas_ a novel in these days! We might imagine him to
have dealt with it somewhat in the following style:

Sensational Novel: A complexity of improbabilities woven around a crowd of
nonentities, interspersed with fashionable filth, and relieved by sleek‐
coated beastliness; meaning nothing, and good for less.

What is this word that possesses us! Sensation!—as though we had not
enough of it. The age is so dreadfully prosaic, so workaday, so dull. We
must run off the track, out of the common groove, or we are ill at ease.
Where is the sensation in steam and electricity? We are whirled through a
continent in a week: but that is a thing done every day. It almost equals
the mantle of the genii in the _Arabian Nights_; we had only to step upon
it, and find ourselves at whatever point of the compass we wished. We
cross thousands of miles of ocean in a similar period, mastering the
elements with a clockwork regularity, fair weather or foul. We knit sea to
sea. We rise from foe‐encircled cities, and sail safe away into the air.
The whisper of what has been done in one quarter of the world has not had
time to pass abroad before it is discussed in the others. We have linked
the disjointed world by an electric flame that flashes knowledge
throughout its circle instantaneously. We build up vast empires and topple
down thrones every day, as though they were ninepins, and yet we want
sensation! We sigh for the cap and bells; the jousts and games and
junketings of old. Even the feast of horrors, crimes, and incidents, the
births, deaths, and marriages, and the scandals of the “fashionable
world,” served up to us at breakfast daily, with all the inventive genius
of the newspaper correspondent, pall upon our surfeited appetites. “We
have supped full of horrors. Time was when our fell of hair would have
uplifted to hear a night‐shriek. But now, how weary, stale, flat, and
unprofitable seem to us all the uses of this world of ours. Life is as
dreary as a twice‐told tale.” We are not satisfied; we feel a craving
after something. Our want, our craving, springs not from the desire for a
higher spirit in it all, not from an absence of faith and noble purpose,
of something greater than utility, not from a horror of a daily widening
infidelity and impurity that mocks the pagan; but simply and purely from a
lack of sensation! In the face of the dull routine of this age of marvels
that old Friar Bacon dimly saw in his dreams, and was deemed a madman for
his foresight; in the face of wars like our own rebellion and the
devastation of France; in the midst of fallen thrones and falling
peoples—we ask for sensation! as the philosopher, though perhaps with more
reason, took a lantern to look for a man. We find it not in these things;
we pass them by, and bury ourselves in the pages of Wilkie Collins, Miss
Braddon, and their kind. They are the wonder‐workers of the age.

Here we find what we are seeking; here is a response to our ravenous
craving, in those delicious, torturing plots that take our breath away.
Here we sit hob and nob with what the fourth‐rate newspaper is fond of
calling “the scions of nobility.” We get an animated description and
category of their articles of clothing, from their boots and who made
them, to their linen and where it was bought. What a pleasure it is to
know a count and a lord, and a lady and a duchess; to know how they eat
and drink, and the chronicle of all the fearful scandal that goes on in
what the newspaper man again knows as “certain circles”! What peeps we
have into the green‐room! Pages are devoted to the eyes of an opera‐
singer, the ankles of a _danseuse_, the charming slang of an actress. The
scene is varied by dips into the purlieus of society; into the bagnio and
the gin‐mill; the prize‐ring and the barracks; the dancing saloon and the
gaming‐table; the betting ring; into every place, every person, everything
the lowest, the meanest, the worst.

Is this exaggeration? Is it a false, outrageous libel on this age, so full
of great things, and still greater capabilities? Is it particularly false
of ourselves, the simple‐hearted, simple‐mannered republicans, who have
set our faces as sternly against the ungodly and the ways of sin as our
old crop‐haired, steeple‐crowned Puritans professed to do? We shall only
be too happy if somebody convinces us that such is the fact. In the
meanwhile; incidentally to our purpose appeared a few statistics the other
day from public libraries, bearing on this very question, showing that in
libraries, which, as a rule, a class of intelligent and sensible readers
are supposed to frequent, the books most in demand were of the style we
deplore, and complaints were laid at their doors because they failed
adequately to supply this demand.

There must be something very delicious in vice. Nothing else will satisfy
us. The novelists have sounded the depths of depravity; and in their
efforts to find a lower depth still, are driven to walking the hospitals,
diving into blue‐books, frequenting the asylums for the diseased, the
depraved, the insane. The repertory of evil seems almost used up. They
have so beaten the drawing‐room carpet, so sifted and shaken out for the
public gaze the smallest speck of fashionable filth that the most
delicately organized imagination of the refined lady could discern, that
there is nothing left on it. Titles even are growing common, and we want
some new type of a coroneted brow to bind our scandal on. Dickens and
Collins and Yates have overrun us with burglars and detectives. They did
good service in their day; but even they are growing unromantic. The
Krupp, the mitrailleuse, the needle‐gun, have killed off the slashing
cavalry heroes, who rode at everything, neck or nothing, in perfect
safety, and were as irresistible in love as in war. We must abandon these
higher regions with a sigh, and go down to the dirtiest columns of the
dirtiest newspapers in our efforts to find “something rich and strange.”
And to this men and women of “genius,” as it is called, bend their every
effort. The gifts that God has given them to ennoble man they devote to
stirring the puddle of filth which they take as the mirror of human
nature, and, holding before the admiring gaze of humanity whatever they
have fished up, say—Behold yourselves!

Are these the lessons society must look for in its gifted children? Is the
great book of nature narrowed down to these limits? Is there nothing in
human life, human thought, human activity, more worthy our attention, more
deeply interesting to man, than the chronicle of his vices? Is the
attractive in human nature confined to third or fourth hand glimpses of
“the scions of nobility,” the bywords of the barracks, the slang of the
gutter, the echoes of the footlights? Is vice alone captivating, and
morality such an everyday, humdrum affair that we are sick of excess of
it? Is love the thing they present to us?—love, the great passion, the
pure divine flame that God has set in our hearts to link together and
perpetuate the generations, and finally lead us up to him? Is this maudlin
rubbish that the writers of the day surfeit us with, love?—this weak,
puny, consumptive thing; inane, jejune, sickly, fleshly, sensual, impure,
inhuman? Love is a divine‐inspired passion of the soul, planted there by
God, to grow and flourish in its great, pure, single strength. They have
cut it, and hacked and torn it to shreds, and left nothing of divinity in
it. They set it in the flesh, and convert a heaven‐born gift into the
lowest of animal passions.

It requires no very powerful stretch of the imagination to draw from the
foul pens of these writers the germ of the question which to‐day threaten
to turn the world topsy‐turvy—the so‐called theory of _Woman’s
Rights_—which has for champions philosophers of the stamp of Stuart Mill
and Professor Fawcett, and for first‐born, _Free Love_.

We will suppose Mr. Stanley, of the _New York Herald_, to have brought
back with him a native of the countries he visited in his marvellously
successful search for Dr. Livingstone. The native has learned the English
language on his journey. He is suddenly thrown among a people whom he can
only look upon as gods, as the Indians first looked upon the Spaniards. He
is surrounded by the results of all the ages. He wishes to learn something
about these gods: how they live and move and have their being. A novel “of
the period”—any one by any of the thousand authors of the species—is put
into his hands as the faithful reflex of this society. What can we imagine
would be his feelings at the end of its perusal? A comparison rather in
favor of his own countrymen would be the most natural inference.

But it may be objected that we are pessimists. We attack a class whom no
decent person would defend. There are more schools of novelists than the
sensational school. There are Scott, Thackeray, Dickens, Bulwer. Are these
all that we would wish, or do they also fall under our sweeping
condemnation?

As for Scott, we are still proud to acknowledge him by his old title—“The
Wizard of the North.” He was a man who, taking into account the times in
which he lived, the prejudices still rife, the people for whom he wrote,
the purpose of his writings, turned every faculty of his marvellously
gifted, richly stored mind to its best account. Even Livy’s “pictured
page” almost dims in our eyes before the range and variety of his. His
works are the illumination of history; his characters almost as true, as
rounded, as full as Shakespeare’s, and partaking of the great master’s
“infinite variety.” His plots are deeply interesting, his fidelity to
nature in character and scene sustained and equal, whether the subject be
Queen Bess or Queen Mary of Scotland, Louis XI. or King Jamie, a moss‐
trooper or a crusader, a free‐lance or a pirate, a bailie or a Poundtext;
whether the scene lie in Palestine or in the Trosachs, in mediæval France
or mediæval England, in the camp or the court, the prisons of Edinburgh or
the purlieus of Alsatia. He has laughed at us Catholics good‐naturedly
sometimes, but despite that, his novels did us a vast service at a time
when our road was very dark, and we were looked upon at best as something
utterly inhuman—something, in fact, like what the sailor conceived who,
when stranded somewhere with his mess‐mate in the neighborhood of the
North Pole, beheld for the first time a white bear squatted on its
haunches before them, and taking a contented survey.

“What’s that ’ere beggar, Jack?”

“Oh!” said the other, taking a solemn glance at the animal, between the
whiffs of his pipe, “I can’t say exactly, but I expect it’s one o’ them
there what they call Roman Cawtholics too.”

Scott first made us known to the mass of English readers in a fair way.
The barriers of anti‐Catholic prejudice, centuries old, which had resisted
stoutly and stubbornly every effort which reason, right, and common
humanity made against it, crumbled at once beneath the fairy wand of the
magician, and English Protestants came to know something of us and
recognize us, though still in a cautious manner, as fellow‐men.

From Scott all readers may undoubtedly derive much good. And now we turn
to the others, the leaders of modern fiction: the standard, though, as we
showed, not the most widely read authors of the day.

They are Thackeray, Dickens, Bulwer; and though the men themselves, so far
as their lives are known to us, had little or no faith in any particular
church or any particular creed, and must therefore be wanting in a firm,
steadfast groundwork, absolutely necessary to impart a pure, high‐minded
spirit to their writings, we lay this aside, and look at them only through
their works. In Thackeray and Bulwer we have two eminently clever, highly
cultivated men—writers who cannot fail to grace everything that they
touch, who cannot fail to interest deeply and always. They were men of
much learning, of great insight into character, whose mode of life and
circle of acquaintances threw them into the heart of the world, their
world, and gave them every facility of knowing it thoroughly. They came
and saw. And what is the result of their investigation? They found it all
a great sham. The genius of both consists in thoroughly exposing this
great sham, in tearing off the gilded mask, and showing the hollow, empty,
grim death’s‐head beneath it; in leaving not a rag to cover its nakedness.
After reading Thackeray, there springs up in us an utter contempt for
ourselves and for the world in general. All human nature is false, rotten,
and utterly worthless. There is no religion in it, no faith, and as a
consequence no honesty and no law save the law of expediency. If there are
any characters to admire at all, they are certainly not his good men; for
they, and those of Dickens also—Tom Pinch, for instance—are the most
insipid numskulls that ever crossed our vision; the most wretched
caricatures of goodness that could possibly be conceived. Very truly might
he say that, “when he started a story, he was very dubious as to the
morality of his characters.” We respect his good men infinitely less than
his rogues. Among them he is at home: in his Lord Steynes, his Becky
Sharpes, his drunken parsons, his wicked gray‐hairs, his asses or black‐
legs among the young, his solemn humbugs, his tuft‐hunters, his silly,
useless, vain, untruthful women, his worldly mammas who hold up their
charming daughters at auction; those charming daughters who submit to it
with such good grace, who simper so chittishly under their pink bonnets
and look for soft places on the sofa to faint; his designing and
unprincipled adventuresses, to whom the world is as a market, a betting
ring, or a faro‐table, and the thing to be sold, the stake to be played
for, is the virtue they never possessed. Such is Thackeray’s world; and he
has done well to show it up so openly and unsparingly in all its
nakedness. But is it altogether a true portrait; could he do no more than
this? Is this the true world, after all—so utterly depraved and given over
to evil? Are there no such things as truth, honesty, morality, religion,
among us? Are there no men and women, no bodies, endowed with sense
enough, power enough, and wit enough to give the lie to this, and bring
this false world with shame to their feet? If there be, it is not to be
found in the pages of Thackeray.

In Bulwer, it is the same story told in Bulwer’s way, with less of heart
and more of licentiousness. Thackeray was, we believe, a virtuous man, as
the phrase goes; that is, he was contented with one wife, paid his bills,
kept his word, and very rarely woke with a headache. But Bulwer rather
glories, or was wont to do, in the opposite character. He used to be fond
of telling us that he knew the world; had mixed in, shared, felt its vices
and its follies. He comes out of this world of his, sits down, and tells
us all about it; what sort of men and women he found in it; what motives
actuate them; what they live for, what code of morality they follow. Taken
as a whole, their code of morality is fashion; their temple is the world;
their religion, worldliness; their god, themselves. Crime is only crime in
the humble; in the wealthy it is elevated into vice. Such is the doctrine
of the Bulwer world; the doctrine that our children imbibe unconsciously,
while only diverted momentarily by the interest of the story. So far,
then, notwithstanding grace of style, elegance of diction, happiness of
conception—all which may be found in a hundred writers infinitely
superior, essayists and historians—we have nothing but a very doubtful
negative gain.

And Dickens—who has made us weep over fireside virtues, the hardness and
quiet nobleness of humble struggle, and the greatness of spirit that beats
as strong in the cottage as on the throne—must we cast him into the same
category? Hard as it is to say, we find him wanting, though in a less
degree than the two above‐mentioned. He has fought sham, and fought it, as
few others have done, successfully. He did not take up the whole world and
fight it as one gigantic falsehood. This is useless. The world is large
enough and strong enough to withstand the mightiest single‐handed and hold
its own. It will not be put down in this way, and it only laughs at the
tooting tin whistles that are continually blowing such shrill but tiny
blasts of regeneration at it, till they crack and are silenced for ever.
Dickens fought it as the first Napoleon fought the combinations arrayed
against him; he cut them off in detachments. So with the world; you must
take it by pieces. Show it one sham, and all the other shams will cry
shame. The silks, and the satins, and the perfumed licentiousness of the
drawing‐room, Dickens left to other hands. But he opened up to the eyes of
these fine folk, who sinned so elegantly in their carriages and palaces, a
black, yawning, startling gulf right under their feet; with its hot
elements seething in corruption and danger beneath them, because they
would not look at it; because they would not recognize this other nation,
as Disraeli called it in _Sybil_; because that world was to them as far
off and unknown as Timbuctoo. He showed them the thieves’ and harlots’
dens, and how they were fed; by the innocent and pure, brutalized by the
system of the jail, school, and workhouse, presided over by such men as
have lately stood unabashed in the broad light of day before us, and
openly confessed to cruelties that Squeers would have blushed at; who
passed unharmed and triumphant from the court of justice, and found
lawyers and excellent “ministers of God’s Word” to uphold them, and
proclaimed in the press and elsewhere that they were honest, humane men
and maligned saints. Dickens showed us what these Squeerses and Stigginses
were made of. He showed us what the jails were made of, the asylums, the
workhouses, the schools; and undoubtedly aided in effecting many a reform.
He warmed our hearts towards each other, and towards the unfortunates to
whom all life was a bitter trial from birth to the grave. He undoubtedly
did great good; and many a book of his is a never‐ending, never‐wearying
sermon, preached to a broad humanity. As Catholics we owe him a deep debt
for never having systematically or seriously abused his talents by abusing
us, where abuse is ever welcome and well rewarded. But he has given us so
much that we look for more from him; for some great, broad, sound
principles to guide us through the hard battle of life; since his problem
was life, human nature, its difficulties and its dangers. While confessing
our debt to him for what he has done, we find a good deal in Dickens that
we do not like. His code of ethics is a very easy one, and a very
dangerous one, running into that indifferentism so prevalent and
demoralizing to‐day. We find, after reading him, that there is a great
amount of evil in the world counterbalanced by a tolerably fair amount of
good, and that it is useless to hope for anything more. That, so far as
religion goes, mankind may be divided into two classes—the humbugs and the
humbugged: the humbugs—the Chadbands, the Stigginses—getting decidedly the
better of the bargain. That, provided a man is not intolerably bad, he is
as good as the generality of his neighbors, and has a fair chance of
arriving safe at the end of life’s journey, wherever or whatever that end
may be, without being extraordinarily particular about it. That
drunkenness is not a vice unworthy of man, it is rather an amiable
weakness, a good joke, something funny, something to be laughed at;
something that you and ourselves might fall into now and again without
doing much harm. Nowhere in Dickens, as far as we recollect, does
drunkenness appear as what it is, a vice lower than the appetite of the
brute. As for our quarrel with him as Americans, though a grievous and a
just one, we will let that pass now. He endeavored to atone for it at the
end, so let it rest with him in his grave. In considering his works as a
whole, his almost unrivalled power of moving us to laughter or to tears,
we cannot help contrasting what he has done, great as it is, with what he
might have done had he been endowed with a clear religious belief, and not
a heart open only to mere human goodness.

To conclude, then: the point of our article is this. The novel is a power
among us to‐day: a new weapon thrown into the midst of the strife of good
and evil, to be taken up by either party. Those who would uproot all
morality, all law, all faith, the basis of humanity, have been quick to
see its efficacy, seize upon it, and turn it to a terrible account. It is
not so much the open direct teachings of heathen, pagan,
rationalistic—call it what you will, it means the same in the long
run—philosophy that we are to fear. The intellects that breathe in that
atmosphere are few and far between. But when this heathenism comes
filtered down to us through sources that meet us at every turn, and
impregnates and poisons the innocent streams that ought to beautify and
fertilize the intellect of the mass—when it comes to us half disguised in
the literature that we place in the hands of our sons and daughters, it is
time for us to purge this poison out.

Stop novels we cannot. Let preachers thunder as they may, they will be
written, and they will be read. It is for us to seize upon that weapon,
and turn it to our own purpose. We have already done so to a degree. Our
great thinkers, Wiseman, Newman, have recognized the necessity of this,
and themselves set us the example. But not to such men as these are we to
look for a Catholic school of novelists: their duties are higher, their
work more laborious, though not, and we may say it advisedly, from the
necessities of the day more important. We want a crowd of such writers as
Gerald Griffin, Bernard McCabe, Lady Fullerton, the authoress of _The
House of Yorke_. In France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Spain, we have
been more successful. The Countess of Hahn Hahn, Bolanden, Mrs. Craven,
Conscience, Manzoni, Fernan Caballero, show us that Catholic writers who
give themselves to this necessary and noble work can make the novel their
own, and compete successfully even in the matter of sale with the Dumases,
the Eugene Sues, George Sands, Wilkie Collinses, Charles Reades, Miss
Braddons. Their works are received with heartfelt approval by the critics
of the Protestant press. And we cannot refrain from thanking these
gentlemen for the very fair, honest and manly, and conscientious use they
make of their pens in this particular at least. Critics are heartily weary
of the mass of rubbish they are compelled to wade through week after week,
month after month. If anything, they are too mild. We lack something of
that hearty knock‐down criticism which prevailed in the palmy days of the
quarterlies; which killed or cured; which lashed Byron into savagery and
brought out his true genius; which crushed the weakly and the worthless.

Catholic novelists, and Protestant also, have a noble field before them
wherein to sow and reap. It is for them to show that vice and unchastity
are not the only subjects which can interest us; that godliness and _true_
love are not such dull, insipid, everyday things; that suffering and self‐
denial and sacrifice for a noble purpose, the soul‐conflict of human
passion against the eternal decrees, and its mastery after much struggle
and weary strife, are full of the profoundest interest for man; that
history is but the chronicle of this conflict, and when rightly read shows
it forth in every page; that our souls can be fired, our flagging senses
stimulated, our admiration aroused, by the well‐told story of the struggle
of right when we see a God moving and acting in it all, far more than by
the adoration of indecency deified.



Review Of Vaughan’s Life Of S. Thomas: Concluded.(114)


In our last number, we endeavored to give our readers some idea of Prior
Vaughan’s _Life of S. Thomas of Aquin_. We purposely omitted, however, to
say anything of his treatment of the personal history of the saint
himself. The name of Thomas of Aquin belongs to church history, to
theology and philosophy; but it also belongs to what is known by the
somewhat uncouth name of hagiography; and the story of the _saint_ is more
engaging to the greater number of readers, than the history of the
theologian or the philosopher. We have already hinted that some of Prior
Vaughan’s best pages are to be found in the narrative of the saint’s
personal story.

Biography is as old as the days of Confucius, or at least as the times of
his early disciples; and whilst its object has been, on the whole, the
same in all ages, its forms have undergone infinite variety. Men have
written Lives in order to cheat Death of his victims. They have tried to
keep heroes alive by embalming them in incorruptible and imperishable
speech, that all time might know them, and their influence might reach
from age to age. Biography has always had a moral purpose: to make men
patriotic, or brave, or virtuous—to make them better in heart, rather than
more subtle in intellect. Example being the great motive power in the
world, the images of men in books have done much to shape the world’s
course. But the books that have preserved the memory of heroic men have
been of many different sorts. In old times, they used to be books of
anecdote—books which were a threaded series of pithy sayings and generous
deeds, each with a point of its own, and altogether tending to form the
citizen, the soldier, or the virtuous man. And the style of Plutarch and
of Diogenes Laertius was continued by Ven. Bede, by William of Malmesbury,
by Froissart, and by the innumerable chroniclers of the middle ages. The
biographer speaks in his own person now and then, but his words are very
brief, and are often not so much an assistance to the tale, as a break in
it or a sort of private _aside_ with the reader. The personal features of
the hero, his mind or his body, are not made much of by the old
biographers. You hear about his height, his complexion, the color of his
hair, or the length of his chin; but you are never told when his eye
flashes or his lip curls. Dates are not matters of importance. You have
his birth and his death, but there is none of that curious comparative
chronology which modern readers know of. And as for any sense of the
picturesque, any idea of scene‐painting or putting in backgrounds, it need
not be said that the old biographies are as plain as the background of a
Greek theatre. They now and then give particulars of time, place, and
circumstance which their modern transcribers seize upon as a miner seizes
on the rare and welcome nugget; but these are entirely beyond their own
intention. The historical and the moral are the only two elements to be
found in lives from Xenophon down to Dr. Johnson. The latter biographer
suggests that, in his days, the _moralizing_ element had developed out of
the merely moral. But the life of Prior and the life of Alcibiades are not
very distantly related. The time was coming when lives began to be
picturesque. The growth of the propensity to the picturesque is a curious
problem. Why is it that Homer never describes Troy, that Herodotus never
gives us a picture of Marathon, that Cæsar has no eye for the Rhine, and
that Froissart does not paint St. Denis on the day of the Oriflamme,
whilst, on the other hand, Montalembert stops his story to describe the
Western Isles, De Broglie lets us see the Council of Nicea as it sat,
Stanley consecrates pages to paint Judæa and Carmel, and every writer of a
saint’s life at the present hour provides for a picture or two in every
chapter? Who began this? We do not mean who began the picturesque in
literature, for that question, though a curious one is not so difficult to
answer; but who began the picturesque in biography? It is Chateaubriand
who usually gets the credit of having initiated all the romance and
sentimentality that has crept into serious literature during the last
half‐century. Chateaubriand has only left, if we remember rightly, one
attempt at biography, and the _Vie de Rancé_ contains certainly sentiment
and romance enough, but it is not graphic in the way that modern
biographies are. The author dashes off brilliant sketches of society, he
recites imaginary scenes, or rather episodes, in which nature plays her
part, he makes incisive remarks, and utters beautiful poetry; but when he
comes face to face with De Rancé, the penitent and the monk, his hand
seems to falter, and he grows feeble and disappointing, just where a
modern writer would have seized the opportunity of powerful painting and
strong situation. For ourselves, whatever influence Chateaubriand had—and
he had much—in directing men’s thoughts to analogies that lie beneath the
surface of nature, of history, and of the human heart, we are inclined to
attribute the modern craving for the picturesque to the development of a
quality in which Chateaubriand did not especially excel; we mean,
earnestness and reality. Many causes, and most of all, perhaps, that
series of political and religious phenomena which is summed up in the word
_revolution_, have combined, during the present century, to take
literature out of the hands of merely professional writers, or to make
those only choose it as a profession who have something earnest to say.
Style and thought have come to be considered one thing. As De Quincey
observes, style is not the mere alien apparelling of a thought, but rather
its very incarnation.

It is easy to see how earnestness leads to the picturesque in biography.
In proportion as the writer is able to fix his mind upon his hero, in the
same proportion he comes to realize him, as the phrase is. Not only are
all the facts and circumstances collected with the care of a lawyer
getting up a brief, but words and names that look dead and speechless are
analyzed as with magnifying power, till they take significance and life.
Every name, as Aristotle saw, is itself a picture; but it is a picture
that only requires a more powerful imaginative lens to grow greater,
fuller, and more living. And therefore the earnest writer, because he
looks more intently at his subject, sees more in it to put upon his
canvas; and the reader, struck by the significance that he cannot gainsay,
and moved by the pictures, as pictures always move the human fancy, is
held in bonds by the writer, and remembers long and vividly what impressed
his thought so strongly at the first. He is like one who has seen the site
of a great battle, and has once for all fixed for himself, as he gazed,
the relative positions and movements of the fight; he will not easily
forget it. Something must, no doubt, be added to this; something must be
allowed to modern culture, to modern appreciation of art as art, to modern
love of landscape, and to the general _romanesque_ tendency begun by
Chateaubriand. But so far from the tendency to picturesque biography being
wholly attributable to sentiment, we hold that it is precisely our modern
earnestness that makes us demand to see things nearer and more real.
Doubtless the picturesque biographer is exposed to many dangers, and his
readers to many trials. He may “realize” what does not exist; he may
“analyze” out of his inner consciousness alone; he may usurp what is the
privilege of the poet and the romancer, and give names and habitations not
only to airy nothings, but, what is much more serious, to unsubstantial
mistakes. And therefore we do not wonder that many well‐meaning people,
with the results of romantic biography or history before their eyes, and
youthful remembrances of Lingard and Butler, have come to distrust every
account of a personage or of a fact which contains the smallest mixture of
imagination.

The length of these prefatory remarks may lead the reader to suppose that
Prior Vaughan has written picturesquely and sensationally about S. Thomas
of Aquin. Yet this, stated absolutely, would by no means be true. We shall
presently give one or two passages, in which a fine imaginative and
descriptive power, we think, is displayed. But the book bears no sign of a
straining after pictorial effect. Yet its whole idea is pre‐eminently
picturesque. Prior Vaughan has written with the idea of not merely giving
the history of his chosen saint, but of localizing it in time and in
space. It is with this view that he enters into descriptions of Aquino, of
Monte Cassino, of Paris and its University; it is for this that he brings
S. Dominic and S. Francis on the canvas, and sketches the figures of
Frederick II., of Abelard, of S. Bernard, of William of Paris. Each of
these names has some connection with Thomas of Aquin, and each throws
fresh light on the central object, when it is analyzed with care.

Here is the description, taken from the opening pages of the first volume,
of the town of Aquino, which was, if not the birthplace of the saint, at
least the principal seat of his family:


    “The little town of Aquino occupies the centre of a vast and
    fertile plain, commonly called Campagna Felice, in the ancient
    Terra di Lavoro. This plain is nearly surrounded by bare and
    rugged mountains, one of which pushes further than the rest into
    the plain; and on its spur, which juts boldly out, and which was
    called significantly Rocca Sicca, was situated the ancient
    stronghold of the Aquinos. The remnants of this fortress, as seen
    at this day, seem so bound up with the living rock, that they
    appear more like the abrupt finish of the mountain than the ruins
    of a mediæval fortress. Yet they are sufficient to attest the
    ancient splendor and importance of the place; and the torrent of
    Melfi, which, tumbling out of the gorges of the Alps, runs round
    the castellated rock, marks it out as a fit habitation for the
    chivalrous and adventurous lords of Aquino, Loreto, and
    Belcastro.”—i. 3, 4.


Prior Vaughan, as a Benedictine, is naturally drawn to dwell upon the fact
of S. Thomas having lived as a boy for five or six years in the Abbey of
Monte Cassino. It certainly seems true that the child was placed by his
parents in the abbey with a view to his continuing there after he came to
years of discretion; just as so many children had been from the days of S.
Benedict downwards. “To all intents and purposes,” says the author, “S.
Thomas of Aquin was a Benedictine monk. Had he continued in the habit till
his death—without any further solemnity beyond the offering of his
parents—he would have been reckoned as much a Benedictine as S. Gregory,
S. Augustine, S. Anselm, or S. Bede” (i. 20). We do not think that this
can be denied. It was affirmed on oath, in the process of canonization, by
an exceedingly trustworthy witness, that the saint’s father “made him a
monk” at Monte Cassino. And a monk he was, no doubt, as much as a boy of
twelve can be a monk—and the Council of Trent, be it remembered, had not
then fixed the age of religious vows at sixteen. But the frightful
confusion of the times brought his Benedictine days to a premature close.
Monte Cassino was pillaged and nearly destroyed, the community was
scattered, and Thomas of Aquin went to Naples to study—and to find the
habit of S. Dominic.

The personal character which is drawn in this work is that of a large‐
minded, serene man, of powerful natural genius and winning character, who
steps forth from the ranks of mediæval nobility, and, turning his back on
sword and lance, and giving no heed to the tumult of war and rapine,
deliberately consecrated himself wholly to God, and, grace being added to
natural gifts, illuminates the world as a doctor and as a saint. It would
be interesting to dwell, if we had space, upon the circumstances of S.
Thomas joining the Order of S. Dominic. The opposition of his family, the
utter unscrupulousness with which they carried out their opposition, the
quiet yet fervent persistence of the saint—feudal violence, maternal
desperation, and ecclesiastical interference—all this makes up a scene of
wonderful reality and deep suggestiveness. But we must pass it over. S.
Thomas became a Dominican, and we follow him from Naples to Cologne, from
Cologne to Paris. We follow the course of his academical life, his
writings, his teaching, his promotion to the grade of bachelor, of
licentiate, of doctor. The first chapter of the second volume is entitled
“S. Thomas made doctor.” It contains a lively picture of the great
University of Paris and its life from day to day; and with it, moreover,
the author gives an eloquent summary of the character of his hero, part of
which we extract, because it is in some sort a key to the whole story of
his life.


    “A man with the power possessed by the Angelical could afford to
    be serene and tranquil. He lived, as it were, behind the veil; he
    saw through, and valued at its intrinsic worth, this earth’s
    stage, and took the measure of all the actors on it. Like Moses,
    he came down from the mountain, into the turmoil of the chafing
    world below, and, enlarged by the greatness of the vision in which
    he habitually lived, it shrank into insignificance before his eye;
    and those events or influences which excited the minds of others,
    and disturbed their peace, were looked upon by him somewhat in the
    same way as we may imagine some majestic, solitary eagle surveys
    from his high crag, with half‐unconscious eye, the world of woods
    below him. The Angelical himself had drawn his first lessons from
    a mountain eyrie. His elastic mind, even as a boy, had expanded,
    as he looked down from the mighty abbey, on teeming plain and
    rugged mountain, with the far‐distant ranges of the snowy
    Apennines standing up delicate and crisp against the sky. God, who
    made all this, had drawn him to himself, and the fingers of a
    heavenly hand, striking on his large, solitary heart, had sealed
    him imperially, for all his life to come, as the great master of
    the heavenly science, and as the gentle prince of peace....
    Immense weight of character, surpassing grasp of mind, and
    keenness of logical discernment, added to a sovereign benignity
    and patience, and to a gentleness and grace which spoke from his
    eyes and thrilled in the accents of his voice, made men conscious,
    when in contact with him, that they were in presence of a man of
    untold gifts, and yet of one so exquisitely noble as never to
    display them, save for the benefit of others. Men knew that he had
    the power to crush them; but since he was so great, they knew also
    that he never would misuse it; they found him ever self‐forgetting
    and self‐restrained. A character with such a capability of
    asserting itself, and yet ever manifesting such gentle self‐
    repression, must have acted with a singular fascination on any
    generous mind that came into relation with it.... He was a vast
    system in himself, and appears to have been specially created for
    achieving such an end. He was one single, simple man—doubtless.
    But he was a ‘system,’ or the representation of a system—the
    highest type of what heroism can do in human heart and mind.
    Christ, in choosing him, had chosen the most majestic of human
    creations, converting it into a powerful exponent of the light,
    peace, and splendor which strike out from the cross. He, if any
    man, had rested on the bosom of his Lord. He, the great Angelical,
    with the golden sun flashing from his breast, and the fire of
    heaven scintillating round his massive brow—he, if any man, had
    broken the bread of the strong, and had refreshed his lips with
    the blood of the grape, and had been transfigured by the draught.
    There is a largeness about him which, whilst it expands the heart,
    seems almost to take away the breath. We look up at him, and say:
    ‘How great art thou! how gently courteous, and how tenderly true!
    Sweet was the power of God, and the grace of Christ, which made
    thee all thou art. O gentle mighty sun, shine on in thy sweet
    radiance, spread thy pure invigorating rays amidst the deep sad
    shadows of the earth!’... Such was his character. And, prescinding
    from his natural gifts, how did he become so mighty? The cause has
    been touched on and partially developed already. The reader,
    adequately to realize it, would do well to study and master, with
    his heart as well as with his head, the monastic theology of S.
    Victor’s—the Benedictine science of the saints. Grasp the spirit
    of S. Anselm, S. Bernard, and the Victorines, weigh it as a whole,
    follow its drift, mark its salient points, learn to recognize the
    aroma of that sweet mystic life of tough yet tender service and
    self‐forgetfulness, and you will have discovered that spring of
    living waters which ran into the heart and mind of the great
    Angelical, and lent to all his faculties—aye, and even to his very
    person and expression—a warmth and glow which seemed to have come
    direct from heaven. From the rock, which was Christ, flowed
    straight and swift into the paradise of his soul four crystal
    waters: Love—fixing the entire being on the sovereign good, and
    doing all for him alone; Reverence—that is, self‐distrust and
    self‐forgetfulness, produced by the vision of God’s high majesty
    awfully gazed on with the eye of faith; Purity—treading all
    created things, and self first, under the feet, and, with entire
    freedom of spirit, basking and feeding in the unseen world;
    Adoration—love, reverence, and purity, combined in one act of
    supreme worship, as the creature, with all he has and all he is,
    bends prone to the earth, and with a feeling of dust and ashes
    whispers to his soul: ‘The Lord he is God, he made us, and not we
    ourselves!’ ” (ii. 31‐48.)


The mind and heart are both fond of dwelling on the heroic; and the heroic
is met with at every step in the life of S. Thomas. We are reminded, as we
read, of that Achilles on whose prowess hangs the fate of Troy and of the
Greeks,


    “Full in the midst, high‐towering o’er the rest,”


his limbs encased in an armor that is more divine than that which the
father of fire forged for the son of Peleus, the gold upon his breast, the
sword of the Spirit by his side, the “broad refulgent shield” of heavenly
faith upon his arm, and in his hand the great paternal spear that none but
he can wield—not a “whole ash” felled upon Pelion by old Chiron; but the
seven gifts of the Christian doctorate wielded by the force of seraphic
love. His appearance in the lists of argument, in the contest of the
schools, in the field of intellectual strife, has all the _quelling_ power
that is ascribed to the greatest heroes of the battle‐field; and his place
in the records of mental and theological history is that of a discoverer,
a conqueror, and a king. Here is a scene which is perhaps more or less
familiar, but it is a type of many scenes in this wonderful life. It
occurred whilst Thomas was under Albertus Magnus, at Cologne:


    “Master Albert had selected a very difficult question from the
    writings of Denis the Areopagite, and had given it to some of his
    scholars for solution. Whether in joke or in earnest, they passed
    on the difficulty to Thomas, and begged him to write his opinion
    upon it. Thomas took the paper to his cell, and, taking his pen,
    first stated, with great lucidity, all the objections that could
    be brought against the question; and then gave their solutions. As
    he was going out of his cell, this paper accidentally fell near
    the door. One of the brothers passing picked it up, and carried it
    at once to Master Albert. Albert was excessively astonished at the
    splendid talent which now, for the first time, by mere accident,
    he discovered in that big, silent student. He determined to bring
    out, in the most public manner, abilities which had been for so
    long a time so modestly concealed. He desired Thomas to defend a
    thesis before the assembled school, on the following day. The hour
    arrived. The hall was filled. There sat Master Albert. Doubtless
    the majority of those who were to witness the display imagined
    that they were about to assist at an egregious failure. How could
    that heavy, silent lad—who could not speak a word in
    private—defend in public school, against the keenest of opponents,
    the difficult niceties of theology? But they were soon undeceived,
    for Thomas spoke with such clearness, established his thesis with
    such remarkable dialectical skill, saw so far into the coming
    difficulties of the case, and handled the whole subject in so
    masterly a manner, that Albert himself was constrained to cry
    aloud, ‘_Tu non videris tenere locum respondentis sed
    determinantis_!’ ‘Master,’ replied Thomas with humility, ‘I know
    not how to treat the question otherwise.’ Albert then thought to
    puzzle him, and show him that he was still a disciple. So, one
    after another, he started objections, created a hundred
    labyrinths, weaving and interweaving all manner of subtle
    arguments, but in vain. Thomas, with his calm spirit and keen
    vision, saw through every complication, had the key to every
    fallacy, the solution for every enigma, and the art to unravel the
    most tangled skein—till, finally, Albert, no longer able to
    withhold the expression of his admiration, cried out to his
    disciples, who were almost stupefied with astonishment: ‘We call
    this young man a dumb ox, but so loud will be his bellowing in
    doctrine that it will resound throughout the whole world’ ” (i.
    321, 322).


How exactly this prophecy was fulfilled need not be said. S. Thomas was
soon employed in speaking to the world what God had given him to say. He
spoke in the class‐hall and in the church; he wrote for young and for old;
and wherever his voice was heard men wondered as at a portent. The
students of Paris, the professors of France and of Italy, his fellow‐
religious, the intimate friend of his privacy, the rough people round his
pulpit, the pope himself as he sat and heard him preach, every one said
over again the wondering words that Albert the Great had used in the hall
at Cologne. And if we had no record of what men thought, we should still
be secure in saying that they were astonished; for we are astonished
ourselves. Many men who have made a great noise in their lifetime have
left posterity to wonder, not at themselves, but at their reputation. But
the writer of the _Summa_ _must_ have been great even in his lifetime.
That breadth of view, that keenness of analysis, that comprehensive reach
of thought, that enormous memory—we can see it for ourselves, and every
story of his prowess we can readily credit from what the imperishable
record of his written works attests to our own eye. Prior Vaughan relates
interesting anecdotes of his power of discussion, and of his influence
over the irreverent world of his scholastic compeers, filling up the
outlines of the annalist with no greater exercise of imagination than is
fairly permitted to the serious biographer.

But the heroic in the life of the Angel of the Schools would not be
perfect unless the giant strength had been joined to the gentleness of the
servant of Christ. There is nothing, perhaps, that will so strike a reader
of this Life as his mild, equal, and gentle spirit. It does not seem that
S. Thomas was naturally of a quick and impetuous nature, like S. Ignatius
or S. Francis of Sales. From his youth he had been a contemplative in the
cloisters of Monte Cassino; when but a child he had charmed his teachers
by asking with childish meditative face, “_What was God?_” His quiet
determination had conquered his mother when she opposed him being a
Dominican; his calm courage had converted his sisters and shamed his
brothers. And in the schools, his silence and his humility, virtues never
more difficult to be practised than in the field of intellectual combat,
had soon become the marvel of all who knew him. A great natural gift—the
gift of a changeless serenity of heart and temper—was perfected in him by
grace, until it became heroic. The contest he once had in the Paris
schools with Brother John of Pisa, a Franciscan friar who afterwards
became Archbishop of Canterbury, is typical of what always happened when
the Angelical discussed:


    “John of Pisa, though a keen and a learned man, had no chance with
    the Angelical. It would have been folly for any one, however
    skilled—yes, for Bonaventure, or Rochelle, or even Albert the
    Great himself—to attempt to cross rapiers with Br. Thomas. He was
    to the manner born. Br. John did all that was in him, used his
    utmost skill—but it was useless: the Angelical simply upset him
    time after time. The Minorite grew warm; the Angelical, bent
    simply on the truth, went on completing, with unmoved serenity,
    the full discomfiture of the poor Franciscan. John of Pisa at
    length could stand it no longer. In his heat he forgot his middle
    term and forgot himself, and turned upon the saint with sarcasm
    and invective. The Angelical in his own gentle, overpowering way,
    giving not the slightest heed to these impertinences, went on
    replying to him with inimitable tenderness and patience; and
    whilst teaching a lesson which, after so many hundred years, men
    can still learn, drew on himself, unconsciously, the surprise and
    admiration of that vast assembly. Such was the way in which the
    Angelical brought the influence of Benedictine _quies_ and
    _benignitas_ into the boisterous litigations of the Paris schools.
    And what is more, Frigerio tells us that the saint taught the
    great lesson of self‐control, not only by the undeviating practice
    of his life, but also by his writings; that he looked upon it as
    an ‘ignominy’ (ignominia) to soil the mouth with angry words; and
    contended that ‘quarrels,’ immoderate contentions, vain
    ostentation of knowledge, and the trick of puzzling an adversary
    with sophistical arguments—such as is often the practice of
    dialecticians—should be banished from the schools” (ii. 57‐59).


The appearance of such a man as S. Thomas, in the midst of the scholastic
agitation of the XIIIth century, partakes of that providential character
which the eye of faith sees in the lives of all the great saints. We have
already, in a former notice, touched upon the marvellous way in which he
turned the current of thought against rationalism, heresy, and impiety.
But his personal influence was no less than what we may term his official.
At the moment when theology was beginning, with philosophy as her
handmaid, to enter on that course of development in which system, on the
one hand, advanced in equal steps with discovery on the other, it was the
will of God that a saint should show the world in his own person a perfect
model of the Catholic scholastic theologian. His powers were undeniable,
his genius imperial, his rights undoubted; and he used his privileges and
his grand position to enforce upon the noisy spirits of the time, and upon
all generations of students yet to be, that the true type of theological
discussion was “_humilis collatio, pacifica disputatio_.”

The theologian was to be no proud dogmatist, laying down the law as if he
had discovered all truth, but one who, taking the faith for his standing‐
point, humbly put forth and peacefully discussed the views that he thought
to be true. This was his great lesson; he taught it in the tone of his own
lectures and discussions, in the turn of his phrase when he wrote, in the
meekness of his answers, and in the moderation of his conclusions. And we
may thank the Providence that sent S. Thomas for that calm and judicial
serenity which has ever been the prevailing character of Catholic
theology. The great Dominican school that he founded carried on the
traditions of their master; and (to take an example not far from our own
days) the weighty and admirably clear pages of a Billuart are not
unworthy, in their broad, searching, yet tranquil argument, of the master
whom they follow. A troubled reach of time separates Paris in the XIIIth
century from Douay in the XVIIth; yet the spirit of S. Thomas had been
living over it all. Not only in his own religious family was his influence
strong. The Franciscan Order has its own tradition; but it is a tradition
that sprung up side by side with the Dominican. It was the seraphic
Bonaventure that sat beside Thomas of Aquin in the hall of the University
of Paris on the day when each of them received the insignia of the
doctorate. They were friends—more than friends, for each knew the other to
be a saint. Each heard the other speak, and the spirit of one was the
spirit of both. And in spite of divergences and varieties, such as our
Lord permits in order to draw unity from diversity or good from evil, the
two Orders have taught in harmonious spirit during all the long centuries
they have been before the world. S. Thomas, who reverenced S. Bonaventure,
has had the reverence of all S. Bonaventure’s children; and we have before
us as we write the _Cursus Theologiæ_ of a venerable bearded Capuchin,
considerably esteemed in the theological classes of the present day, who
stops in his enumeration of fathers and of doctors to add his emphatic
tribute of veneration to the Angelic Doctor, who, he reminds us, is, with
S. Augustine, “_præcipuus theologorum omnium temporum magister_”—the great
master of theologians of all ages. And what we say of the Franciscan Order
we may say of that great school which dates its traditions from that
Cardinal Toletus who was the pupil of the Dominican Soto. It is not that
the Jesuit theologians, even the many‐sided Suarez, have looked up to S.
Thomas as to their prince and teacher: this they have done; but even if
they had left his teaching, or where they have left his teaching, they
have followed his spirit. That spirit we might name the spirit of
_conciliation_. We do not mean the spirit of compromise, or of going only
half‐way in matters of truth. S. Thomas was as downright as Euclid. But
what we refer to is that readiness to admit all the good or the true in an
opposite view, the shrinking from forcing a vague word upon an adversary,
the impartial dissection of words and phrases which issues from the
scholastic and Thomistic method of _distinction_. The _distinguo_ of the
tyro or the sophist is a trick that is easily learned and easily laughed
at; but we claim for the scholastic method that its _distinguo_ is the
touchstone of truth and of falsehood; it requires acuteness and stored‐up
learning to make it and sustain it; but it requires, above all, that
perfect fairness of mind, that judicial impartiality of view, which calms
the promptings of ambitious originality; it requires that patience which
seeks only the truth and cares nothing for the victory, and that honesty
which is afraid of declamation, and sets its matter out in unadorned and
colorless simplicity. This is the true scholastic spirit, and it is pre‐
eminently the spirit of S. Thomas. If we might personify that grand
science which has been so high in this world, and seems now to have sunk
so low (yet, with the signs around us, we dare hardly say so now), it
would be under the figure of him who is its prince and lawgiver.


    “See him, then, our great Angelical, as with calm and princely
    bearing he advances, a mighty‐looking man, built on a larger scale
    than those who stand around him, and takes the seat just vacated
    by Bonaventure. His portrait as a boy has been sketched already.
    Now he has grown into the maturity of a man, and his grand
    physique has expanded into its perfect symmetry and manly
    strength, manifesting, even in his frame, as Tocco says, that
    exquisite combination of force with true proportion which gave so
    majestic a balance to his mind. His countenance is pale with
    suffering, and his head is bald from intense and sustained mental
    application. Still, the placid serenity of his broad, lofty brow,
    the deep gray light in his meditative eyes, his firm, well‐
    chiselled lips, and fully defined jaw, the whole pose of that
    large, splendid head—combining the manliness of the Roman with the
    refinement and delicacy of the Greek—impress the imagination with
    an indescribable sense of giant energy of intellect, of royal
    gentleness of heart, and untold tenacity of purpose. That sweet
    face reflects so exquisite a purity, that noble bust is cast in so
    imperial a mould, that the sculptor or the painter would be struck
    and arrested by it in a moment; the one would yearn to throw so
    classical a type into imperishable marble, and the other to
    transfer so much grandeur of contour, and such delicacy of
    expression, so harmonious a fusion of spotlessness with majesty,
    of southern loveliness with intellectual strength, to the enduring
    canvas” (ii. 108, 109).


The angelic quality of the Angel of the Schools—his calmness and his power
over men—was not bought without a price. Like all the saints, he too had
to bear the cross, and like all the saints he was not content with
suffering the cross, but he sought it and courted it. We cannot quote much
more of Prior Vaughan’s narrative, or else we would fain draw attention to
the account he gives from authentic sources of Thomas’ holy distress of
mind, and his midnight prayer the night before he received the doctorate.
But the following paragraph must be transcribed:


    “Let the carnal man, after looking on the sweet Angelical
    fascinating the crowded schools, take the trouble to follow him,
    as silently, after the day’s work, he retires to his cell,
    seemingly to rest; let him watch him bent in prayer; see him take
    from its hiding‐place, when all have gone to sleep, that hard iron
    chain; see him—as he looks up to heaven and humbles himself to
    earth—without mercy to his flesh, scourge himself with it,
    striking blow upon blow, lacerating his body through the greater
    portion of the sleepless night: let the carnal man look upon this
    touching sight; let him shrink back in horror if he will—still let
    him look on it, and he will learn how the saints labored to secure
    a chaste and spotless life, and how a man can so far annihilate
    self‐seeking as to be gentle with all the world, severe with
    himself alone. If in human life there is anything mysteriously
    adorable, it is a man of heroic mould and surpassing gifts showing
    himself great enough to smite his own body, and to humble his
    entire being in pretence of his Judge” (ii. 60, 61).


S. Thomas died in the prime of life—when scarcely forty‐eight years old.
He was called away a little before his great work, the _Summa_, was
completed, as if his Master wished to show the lamenting world that his
own claims were paramount to every other thing. But it was that divine
Master himself who had rendered it necessary to take away his servant when
he did; for S. Thomas could write no more. After that vision and ecstasy
which rapt his soul in the chapel of S. Nicholas at Naples, he ceased to
write, he ceased to dictate; his pen lay idle, and the _Summa_ stood still
in the middle of the questions on penance. It was, as he said to his
companion Reginald, _Non possum!_ “I cannot! Everything that I have
written appears to me as simply rubbish.” From that day of S. Nicholas he
lived in a continual trance: he wrote no more. As the new year (1274) came
in, he set out, at the pope’s call, to attend the general council at
Lyons: but he was never to get so far. He had not journeyed beyond
Campania—he was still travelling along the shores of that sunny region
which had given him birth, when mortal illness arrested him, and he was
taken to the Abbey of Fossa Nuova to die.


    “The abbot conducts him through the church into the silent
    cloister. Then the whole past seems to break in upon him like a
    burst of overflowing sunlight; the calm and quiet abbey, the
    meditative corridor, the gentle Benedictine monks; he seems as if
    he were at Cassino once again, amidst the glorious visions of his
    boyish days—amidst the tender friendships of his early youth,
    close on the bones of ancient kings, near the solemn tomb of
    Blessed Benedict, in the hallowed home of great traditions, and at
    the very shrine of all that is fair and noble in monastic life. He
    seemed completely overcome by the memories of the past, and,
    turning to the monks who surrounded him, exclaimed ‘_This_ is the
    place where I shall find repose!’ and then ecstatically to
    Reginald in presence of them all: ‘_Hæc est requies mea in sæculum
    sæculi, hic habitabo quoniam elegi eam_—This is my rest for ever
    and ever; here will I dwell, for I have chosen it’ ” (ii. 921).


The whole of this last scene of the great saint’s pilgrimage is admirably
and most touchingly brought out by the author, and our readers must go to
it themselves. As we conclude the story, we are forced to agree with Prior
Vaughan when he exclaims, “It is but natural, it is but beautiful, that he
who in early boyhood had been stamped with the signet of S. Benedict,
should return to S. Benedict to die!”

We are sure that this life of S. Thomas of Aquin will do good. It is a
large book, but it deals with a large and a grand life. It is the work of
one who evidently has an interest in his subject far beyond that of the
mere compiler. The earnestness, the warmth, the very redundancy and
fulness of the author’s style, leave the impression of one whose heart is
strongly impressed by the glorious career which he has been following so
minutely, and there is little doubt that his readers will sympathize with
him. And there can be just as little doubt of the benefits which a
practical study of the life of the great doctor will confer upon students,
upon priests, and upon all serious men at the present day. Sanctity taught
by example is always an important lesson; but the saintliness of learning
and genius is still more important and still more rare. We live in an age
when there are numbers of men who are profoundly scientific and splendidly
accomplished in the different branches of knowledge which they profess;
and there is no one who is more sure of the world’s attention and
reverence than the man who can show that he knows something which other
men do not. The present time, therefore, is one at which we are to look
for and to hope for men who in theology and Catholic philosophy shall be
as able and as learned as are the leaders of profane science. Hard work
and unwearying devotedness are essential to this; and the example of S.
Thomas shows us what these things mean. But there is something which is
more necessary still; something which is especially necessary in sacred
science. “_In malevolam animam non intrabit Sapientia, nec habitabit in
corpore subdito peccatis._” There is no such thing as the highest wisdom
without the highest purity of heart. The perfection of the Christian
doctorate is the consequence of the perfect possession and exercise of the
Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. And the holy fathers who have written on
Christian wisdom tell us repeatedly, using almost identical words, that a
man might as well try to study the sun with purblind eyes as to be perfect
in theology with a heart defiled. There has been no greater example in the
range of sanctity of what S. Augustine calls the “_mens purgatissima_”
than that of him who on account of his purity has been called the
Angelical. Leaving the world as a child, his heart hardly knew what
earthly concupiscence was. With his loins girded by angels’ hands, with
his body subdued by hard living, with his thought always ranging among
high and elevating things, the soul of S. Thomas lived in a region that
did not belong to the world. He learnt his wisdom of the crucifix, he
found his inspirations at the foot of the altar; and the same lips that
dictated the _Commentaries on Aristotle_ were ready to break forth with
the _Lauda Sion_ and the _Pange Lingua_. If he taught in the daytime, he
chastised his body during the watches of the night. Born to a gentle life,
with powerful friends, with the world and its attractions within his
reach, he lived in his narrow cell, cleaving to his desk and to his
breviary, walking the streets with a quick step and downcast eye, letting
the world go on its way. He wanted only one thing—not as a reward for his
labor, because his labor was only a means to a great end—he wanted only
that one object which he asked for when the figure spoke to him from the
Cross, “Thee, O Lord! and thee alone!”

Prior Vaughan has accomplished a task for which he will receive the thanks
of all English‐speaking Catholics. His book will be read, and will be
treasured; for it is a book with a large purpose, carried out with
unwearying labor, presenting the results of wide reading, and offering the
student and the general reader a large variety of solid information and of
suggestive thought. If the book were less honestly wrought out than it is,
we could excuse the author, in consideration of the heart and soul he has
thrown into it. S. Thomas of Aquin is evidently a very real, living being
with him. His hero is no abstraction of the past, no quintessence of a
scholastic that must be looked at as one looks at an Egyptian papyrus in a
museum. He is a man to _know_, not merely to know about; a man who taught
in Paris and who reigns in heaven; a man who led an angel’s life here
below, and who can help us to lead a life more or less angelic from his
place above. To have worked with such a spirit is to have worked in the
true spirit of the Catholic faith. The saints are our teachers and
masters; and, what is more, they are the trumpets that rouse us to battle,
the living voices that make our hearts burn to follow them. And therefore
a true life of a saint will live, and will do its work. Our wish is that
Prior Vaughan’s _S. Thomas_ may make its way into the hearts of earnest
men, and it is our conviction that it _will_ make its way, and that men
will be the better for it.



To S. Mary Magdalen.


    ’Mid the white spouses of the Sacred Heart,
    After its Queen, the nearest, dearest, thou.
    Yet the auréola around thy brow
    Is not the virgins’. Thine a throne apart.
    Nor yet, my Saint, does faith‐illumined art
    Thy hand with palm of martyrdom endow:
    And when thy hair is all it will allow
    Of glory to thy head, we do not start.
    O more than virgin in thy penitent love!
    And more than martyr in thy passionate woe!
    How should thy sisters equal thee above,
    Who knelt not with thee on the gory sod?
    Or where the crown our worship could bestow
    Like that long gold which wiped the feet of God?



God’s Acre.


In all countries and in all creeds, the dead have claimed the affectionate
notice of the living. The idea of housing them, deifying them,
propitiating them, of remembering them in _some_ way, however diverse, has
always been a prominent one. The belief in the soul’s immortality seems to
have been even more clear to the ordinary mind of the natural man than
that of a Supreme and Almighty Being. When Christianity appeared, the
departed had a place assigned them among the members of the church, and
were commemorated as absent brethren gone before their fellows one stage
further on the last great journey; when the Reformation disfranchised
human nature in the XVIth century, and levelled all its hallowed
aspirations with the brute instincts of the animal kingdom, the dead,
though divorced from communion with the living, were yet remembered, and
placed in two categories—the elect, or the precondemned. Another life was
even then believed in, and later branches of the reforming sects all
condescended at least to theorize on the future state of disembodied
spirits. It remained for our times to foster the cruel _un_belief that
dooms our loved ones, not even to everlasting perdition, but to absolute
annihilation. It was hard enough in Puritan days for a pious though
mistaken mind to bring itself to the belief that possibly the loved
companion of childhood, the chosen mate of youth, the venerable parent,
the upright teacher, was one of those predestined to eternal torments, one
of the holocausts to the greater glory of God; but how far harder now for
a fond heart, a clinging nature, to see in those it loves so many
perishable puppets, without future and without hope! But happily there is
a haven to which these storm‐tossed souls may come with the precious
freight of their love and their unerring Catholic instincts. Their
companions and brethren are not gone into trackless chaos, they are not
absorbed into that monstrous “nothing” of which a false philosophy has
made a bewildering bugbear. Every year the church protests against such
revolting doctrines on the day which she publicly consecrates to prayers
for and remembrance of the departed. This festival is like a spiritual
harvest‐home; coming as it does just at the close of the ecclesiastical
year, it marks an epoch in the life of the church suffering; and various
“revelations” made to saints, as well as the collective belief of the
faithful, agree in considering it a day of liberation and rejoicing among
the souls in Purgatory. “God’s Acre” (according to the touching and
suggestive German idiom) is reaped on that auspicious day, though, like
Boaz, the Divine Reaper leaves yet a few ears of corn to be gleaned into
heavenly rest by the prayers of the faithful on earth.

Before we go further into our own beautiful view of the future life, let
us stop to see how other races and religions have treated the dead.

Of the Egyptians, it is difficult to speak except at too great a length,
and, not having at hand sufficient authority, we can only set down what
our recollection will supply. The readers of THE CATHOLIC WORLD will no
doubt remember some interesting articles published a few months since
regarding the ancient civilization of Egypt, in which copious reference
was made to the esteem and respect paid to the dead in that country. The
singular custom of pledging the embalmed body of a father or ancestor, on
the receipt of a loan, was noticed; also the dishonor attaching to the
non‐redemption of such a pledge. A learned English author, speaking
incidentally of Egyptian embalming, mentions that the word mummy is
derived from “mum,” which, he says, is Egyptian for _wax_. Representations
of the embalming process have been found on tombs and sarcophagi, in which
the men engaged in it are seen wearing masks with eagles’ beaks, probably
iron masks, thereby denoting of what a poisonous and dangerous nature this
absolutely incorruptible embalmment must have been. The Pyramids are
perhaps the most imposing funeral monuments ever raised to the memory of
mortals, and even the famous Mausoleum of Artemisia can have had no more
massive or _eternal_ an aspect.

To pass from the cradle of older civilization to the land whose original
peopling has sometimes been attributed, though we believe inaccurately, to
Egyptian enterprise, the America of the Aztec and the Red Indian, we find
in Parkman’s _Jesuits in America_ some lengthy details on the funereal
customs of the Huron tribe, now extinct. He says that “the primitive
Indian believed in the immortality of the soul, but not always in a state
of future punishment or reward. Nor was the good or evil to be rewarded or
punished (when such a belief _did_ exist) of a moral nature. Skilful
hunters, brave warriors, men of influence, went to the happy hunting‐
grounds, while the slothful, the weak, the cowardly, were doomed to eat
serpents and ashes in dreary regions of mist and darkness.... The spirits,
in form and feature, as they had been in life, wended their way through
dark forests to the villages of the dead, subsisting on bark and rotten
wood. On arriving, they sat all day in the crouching posture of the sick,
and when night came hunted the shades of animals, with the shades of bows
and arrows, among the shades of trees and rocks; for all things, animate
and inanimate, were alike immortal, and all passed together to the gloomy
country of the dead.” The public ceremony of exhuming the dead, of which
some interesting details are given further on, was supposed to be the
occasion of the beginning of the other life. The souls “took wing, as some
affirmed, in the shape of pigeons; while the greater number believed that
they journeyed on foot ... to the land of shades, ... but, as the spirits
of the old and of children are too feeble for the march, they are forced
to stay behind, lingering near their earthly homes, where the living often
hear the shutting of their invisible cabin doors, and the weak voices of
the disembodied children driving birds from their corn‐fields.... The
Indian land of souls is not always a region of shadows and gloom. The
Hurons sometimes represented the souls of their dead as dancing
joyously.... According to some Algonquin traditions, heaven was a scene of
endless festivity, ghosts dancing to the sound of the rattle and the
drum.... Most of the traditions agree, however, that the spirits were
beset with difficulties and perils. There was a swift river which must be
crossed on a log that shook beneath their feet, while a ferocious dog
opposed their passage, and drove many into the abyss. This river was full
of sturgeon and other fish, which the ghosts speared for their
subsistence. Beyond was a narrow path between moving rocks which each
instant crashed together, grinding to atoms the less nimble of the
pilgrims who endeavored to pass. The Hurons believed that a personage
named Oscotarach, or the Head‐Piercer, dwelt in a bark house beside the
path, and that it was his office to remove the brains from the heads of
all who went by, as a necessary preparation for immortality. This singular
idea is found also in some Algonquin traditions, according to which,
however, the brain is afterwards restored to its owner.”

Le Clerc, in his _Nouvelle Relation de la Gaspésie_, tells a curious
story, which is mentioned in a foot‐note by Parkman. It was current in his
(Le Clerc’s) time among the Algonquins of Gaspé and Northern New
Brunswick, and bears a remarkable likeness to the old myth of Orpheus and
Eurydice. “The favorite son of an old Indian died, whereupon the father,
with a party of friends, set out for the land of souls to recover him. It
was only necessary to wade through a shallow lake, several days’ journey
in extent. This they did, sleeping at night on platforms of poles which
supported them above the water. At length, they arrived and were met by
Papkootparout, the Indian Pluto, who rushed on them in a rage, with his
war‐club upraised, but, presently relenting, changed his mind and
challenged them to a game of ball. They proved the victors, and won the
stakes, consisting of corn, tobacco, and certain fruits, which thus became
known to mankind. The bereaved father now begged hard for his son’s soul,
and Papkootparout at last gave it to him in the form and size of a nut,
which, by pressing it hard between his hands, he forced into a small
leather bag. The delighted parent carried it back to earth, with
instructions to insert it into the body of his son, who would thereupon
return to life. When the adventurers reached home, and reported the happy
issue, of their journey, there was a dance of rejoicing; and the father,
wishing to take part in it, gave his son’s soul to the keeping of a squaw
who stood by. Being curious to see it, she opened the bag, upon which it
escaped at once, and took flight for the realms of Papkootparout,
preferring them to the abodes of the living.”

These superstitions, although they may make us smile, yet attest, through
their rude simplicity, the _natural_ and deep‐rooted existence in all
races of a belief not only in the immortality of the soul, but in the
possibility of communication with the departed. The Buddhist doctrine of
transmigration is but a distorted version of the truth we call purgatory,
that is, a state of temporary expiation and gradual cleansing. The
Egyptian practice of embalming the dead and often of preserving the bodies
of several generations of one’s forefathers in the family house, is
another consequence of the primeval belief in the soul’s immortality.
Everywhere reverence for the dead implied this belief and symbolized it,
and even the custom of placing in the mouth of the Roman dead the piece of
money, _denarius_, with which to pay their passage over the Styx, is
referable to the true doctrine of good works being laid up in heaven and
helping those who have performed them to gain the desired entrance into
eternal repose.

The following minute description of the Indian feast of the dead, of which
mention has already been made, is interesting, and is condensed from the
account given by Father Brebœuf: “The corpses were lowered from their
scaffolds and lifted from their graves. Each family claimed its own, and
forthwith addressed itself to the task of removing what remained of flesh
from the bones. These, after being tenderly caressed with tears and
lamentations, were wrapped in skins and pendent robes of beaver. These
relics, as also the recent corpses, which remained entire, but were
likewise carefully wrapped in furs, were carried to one of the largest
houses, and hung to the numerous cross poles which, rafterlike, supported
the roof. The concourse of mourners seated themselves at a funeral feast,
the squaws of the household distributed the food, and a chief harangued
the assembly, lamenting the loss of the deceased and praising their
virtues. This over, the mourners began their march for Ossonané, the scene
of the final rite. The bodies remaining entire were borne on litters,
while the bundles of bones were slung at the shoulders of the relatives,
like fagots. The procession thus defiled slowly through the forest
pathways, and as they passed beneath the shadow of the pines, the mourners
uttered at intervals and in unison a wailing cry, meant to imitate the
voices of disembodied souls, ... and believed to have a peculiarly
soothing effect on the conscious relics that each man carried. The place
prepared for the last rite was a cleared area in the forest, many acres in
extent. Around it was a high and strong scaffolding of upright poles, with
cross‐poles extended between, for hanging the funeral gifts and the
remains of the dead. The fathers lodged in a house where over a hundred of
these bundles of mortality hung from the rafters. Some were mere shapeless
rolls, others were made up into clumsy effigies, adorned with feathers,
beads, etc. In the morning (the procession having arrived over night at
Ossonané) the relics were taken down, opened again, and the bones fondled
anew by the women, amid paroxysms of grief. When the procession bearing
the dead reached the ground prepared for the last solemnity, the bundles
were laid on the ground, and the funeral gifts outspread for the
admiration of the beholders. Among them were many robes of beaver and
other rich furs, collected and preserved for years with a view to this
festival. Fires were lighted and kettles slung, and the scene became like
a fair or _caravanserai_. This continued till three o’clock in the
afternoon, when the gifts were repacked, and the bones shouldered afresh.
Suddenly, at a signal from the chiefs, the crowd ran forward from every
side towards the scaffolding, like soldiers to the assault of a town,
scaled it by the rude ladders with which it was furnished, and hung their
relics and their gifts to the forest of poles which surmounted it. The
chiefs then again harangued the people in praise of the departed, while
other functionaries lined the grave throughout with rich robes of beaver
skin. Three large copper kettles were next placed in the middle, and then
ensued a scene of hideous confusion. The bodies which had been left entire
were brought to the edge of the grave, flung in, and arranged in order at
the bottom by ten or twelve Indians, stationed there for the purpose, amid
the wildest excitement and the uproar of many hundred mingled voices.
Night was now fast closing in, and the concourse bivouacked around the
clearing.... One of the bundles of bones, tied to a pole on the scaffold,
chanced to fall into the grave. This accident precipitated the closing
act, and perhaps increased its frenzy. All around blazed countless fires,
and the air resounded with discordant cries. The naked multitude, on,
under, and around the scaffolding, were flinging the remains of their
dead, relieved from their wrappings of skins, pell‐mell into the pit,
where were discovered men who, as the ghastly shower fell around them,
arranged the bones in their places with long poles. All was soon over;
earth, logs, and stones were cast upon the grave, and the clamor subsided
into a funereal chant, so dreary and lugubrious that it seemed like the
wail of despairing souls from the abyss of perdition.”

These processions and ceremonies relating to the bones of the dead remind
us of the singular custom observed at the Capuchin Convent of the Piazza
Barberini in Rome. The skeletons of the dead monks are robed in the habit
of the order and seated in choir‐stalls round the crypt, until they fall
to pieces, or are displaced by a silent new‐comer to their ghostly
brotherhood. The bones which are thus yearly accumulating are formed into
patterns of stars and crosses on the walls of the crypt and surrounding
corridors, while the skulls are often heaped up in small mounds against
the partitions. The convent is strictly enclosed, and is only accessible
to men during the rest of the year, but on All Souls’ day and during the
octave, the public, men and women alike, are allowed to visit this strange
place of entombment. Crowds flock to see it, especially foreigners.
Hawthorne, in his _Marble Faun_, has described it in terms that make one
feel as if _his_ impression were vivid enough to supply the place of a
personal one on the part of each of his readers.

The ancient Roman customs and beliefs concerning the dead are well worth
noticing, as embodying the essence of the utmost civilization a heathen
land could boast. It is said that the Romans chose the cypress as
emblematic of death because that tree, when once cut, never grows again.
The facts of natural history are sometimes disregarded by the ancient
poets, but it is not with that that we now have to deal, but with the
false idea symbolized by this choice. The Romans, nevertheless, fully
believed in an after‐life, though one modelled much on the same principle
as their life on earth. The unburied and those whose bodies could not be
found were supposed to wander about, unable to cross the river Styx, and
their friends therefore generally built them an empty tomb, which they
believed served as a retreat to their restless spirits. Pliny ascribes the
Roman custom of burning the dead to the belief that was current amongst
the people, that their enemies dug up and insulted the bodies of their
soldiers killed in distant wars. During the earlier part of the Republic,
the dead were mostly buried in the natural way, in graves or vaults. Some
very strange ceremonies are recorded in Adams’ _Roman Antiquities_
concerning the funeral processions, which usually took place at night by
torch‐light. (This was chiefly done to avoid any chance of meeting a
priest or magistrate, who was supposed to be polluted by the sight of a
corpse, as in the Jewish dispensation.) After the musicians, who sang the
praises of the deceased to the accompaniment of flutes, came “players and
buffoons, one of whom, called _archimimus_ (the chief mimic), sustained
the character of the deceased, imitating his words or actions while alive.
These players sometimes introduced apt sayings from dramatic writers.”
Actors were also employed to personate the individual ancestors, and
Adams’ commentator adds in a foot‐note: “A Roman funeral must therefore
have presented a singular appearance, with a long line of ancestors
stalking gravely through the streets of the capital.” Pliny, Plautus,
Polybius, Suetonius, and others are the authorities quoted on this curious
point. It is said by some authors that, in very ancient times, the dead
were buried in their own houses; hence the origin of idolatry, the worship
of household gods, the fear of goblins, etc. Relations also consecrated
temples to the dead, which Pliny calls a very ancient custom, which had
its share in contributing to the establishment of idol‐worship. In the
Book of Wisdom(115) we find a reference to this in these words: “For a
father, being afflicted with bitter grief, made to himself the image of
his son, who was quickly taken away, and him who then had died as a man,
he began now to worship as a god, and appointed him rites and sacrifices
among his servants. Then in process of time, wicked custom prevailing,
this error was kept as a law.” Adams tells us that “the private places of
burial of the Romans were in fields or gardens, usually near the highway
(such as the Via Appia near Rome, the Via Campana near Pozzuoli, the
Street of Tombs at Pompeii), to be conspicuous and remind those who passed
of mortality. Hence the frequent inscriptions—_Siste, viator_,(116)
_Aspice, viator_.”(117) Games of gladiators were frequently held both on
the day and the anniversaries of great funerals; and on the pyre slaves
and clients were sometimes burnt with the body of their deceased master,
as also all manner of clothes and ornaments, and, “in short, whatever was
supposed to have been agreeable to him when alive.” As the funeral cortége
left the place where the body had been burnt, they “used to take a last
farewell, repeating several times _Vale_, or _Salve æternum_,”(118) also
wishing that the earth might lie light on the person buried, as Juvenal
relates, and which was found marked on several ancient monuments in these
letters, S.T.T.L.(119) “This is a very remarkable instance of the dead
being considered, in one sense, as conscious, sentient beings, and
evidently has an origin which can hardly be disconnected from some remote
or indistinct recollection of the true religion.”

Adams goes on to say that “oblations or sacrifices to the dead were
afterwards made at various times, both occasionally and at stated periods,
consisting of liquors, victims, and garlands, as Virgil, Tacitus, and
Suetonius tell us, and sometimes to appease their _manes_, or atone for
some injury offered them in life. The sepulchre was bespread with flowers,
and covered with crowns and fillets. Before it there was a little altar,
on which libations were made and incense burnt. A keeper was appointed to
watch the tomb, which was frequently illuminated with lamps. A feast was
generally added, both for the dead and the living. Certain things were
laid on the tomb, commonly beans, lettuce, bread, and eggs, or the like,
which it was supposed the ghosts would come and eat. What remained was
burnt. After the funeral of great men,... a distribution of raw meat was
made to the people.”

“Immoderate grief was thought to be offensive to the manes, according to
Tibullus, but during the shortened mourning that was customary, the
relations of the deceased abstained from entertainments or feasts of any
sort, wore no badge of rank or nobility, were not shaved, and dressed in
black, a custom borrowed (as was supposed) from the Egyptians. ‘No fire
was ever lighted, as it was considered an ornament to the house.’ ”

The common places of burial were called _columbaria_, from the likeness of
their arrangement to that of a pigeon‐house, each little niche scooped out
in the walls holding the small urn in which the ashes of the dead were
deposited. These _columbaria_, Adams tells us, were often below ground,
like a vault, but private tombs belonging to wealthy citizens were in
groves and gardens; as, for instance, that of Augustus, mentioned by
Strabo, who calls it a hanging garden supported on marble arches, with
shrubs planted round the base, and the Egyptian obelisks at the entrance.
The tomb of Adrian, now the Castel S. Angelo, was a perfect palace of
wealth and art, and supplied many a later building with ready‐made
adornment before it became what it now is, a fortress. The tomb of Cecilia
Metella, on the Via Appia, was also used as a mediæval stronghold, and
looks more fit for such a use than for its former funereal distinction.

From ancient and imperial, we now pass to modern and Christian Rome, so
undistinguishable in the chronology of their first blending, so widely
apart in the moral order of their succession.

The subject of the catacombs and the early inscriptions on Christian
graves is one so widely known and so copiously illustrated by many learned
works, both English and foreign, that it would be superfluous to say much
about it. Yet Cardinal Wiseman is so popular an author, and _Fabiola_ so
standard a novel, that we may be forgiven for drawing a little on
treasures so temptingly ready to our hand. There is in the first chapter
of the second part of _Fabiola_ an interesting reference to the old
established craft of the _fossores_, or excavators of the Christian
cemeteries. Cardinal Wiseman says that some modern antiquarians have based
upon the assertion of an anonymous writer, contemporary with S. Jerome, an
erroneous theory of the _fossores_ having formed a lesser ecclesiastical
order in the primitive church, like a _lector_ or reader. “But,” he adds,
“although this opinion is untenable, it is extremely probable that the
duties of this office were in the hands of persons appointed and
recognized by ecclesiastical authority.... It was not a cemetery or
necropolis company which made a speculation of burying the dead, but
rather a pious and recognized confraternity, which was associated for the
purpose.” Father Marchi, the great Jesuit authority on ancient
subterranean Rome, says that a series of interesting inscriptions, found
in the cemetery of S. Agnes, proves that this occupation was continued in
particular families, grandfather, father, and sons having carried it on in
the same place. The _fossores_ also transacted such rare bargains as were
known in those days of simplicity and brotherly love, when wealthy
Christians willingly made compensation for the privilege of being buried
near a martyr’s tomb. Such an arrangement is commemorated in an early
Christian inscription preserved in the Capitol. The translation runs thus:
“This is the grave for two bodies, bought by Artemisius, and the price was
given to the _fossor_ Hilarus—that is ... (the number, being in cipher, is
unintelligible.) In the presence of Severus the _fossor_, and Laurentius.”

Cardinal Wiseman, jealous of Christian traditions, particularly notes that
the theory of the subterranean crypts, now called catacombs, ever having
been heathen excavations for the extraction of sand, has been disproved by
Marchi’s careful and scientific examination. He then describes the manner
of entombment used in these underground cemeteries: “Their walls as well
as the sides of the staircases are honeycombed with graves, that is, rows
of excavations, large and small, of sufficient length to admit a human
body, from a child to a full‐grown man.... They are evidently made to
measure, and it is probable that the body was lying by the side of the
grave while this was being dug. When the corpse was laid in its narrow
cell, the front was hermetically closed either by a marble‐slab, or more
frequently by several broad tiles put edgeways in a groove or mortise, cut
for them in the rock, and cemented all round. The inscription was cut upon
the marble, or scratched in the wet mortar.... Two principles, as old as
Christianity, regulate this mode of burial. The first is the manner of
Christ’s entombment; he was laid in a grave in a cavern, wrapped up in
linen, embalmed with spices, and a stone, sealed up, closed his sepulchre.
As S. Paul so often proposes him for the model of our resurrection, and
speaks of our being buried with him in baptism, it was natural for his
disciples to wish to be buried after his example, so as to be ready to
rise with him. This lying in wait for the resurrection was the second
thought that regulated the formation of these cemeteries. Every expression
connected with them alluded to the rising again. The word to _bury_ is
unknown in Christian inscriptions: ‘_deposited_ in peace,’ ‘the
_deposition_ of ...’ are the expressions used; that is, the dead are left
there for a time, till called for again, as a pledge or precious thing,
entrusted to faithful but temporary keeping. The very name of cemetery
suggests that it is only a place where many lie, as in a dormitory,
slumbering for a while, till dawn come and the trumpet’s sound awake them.
Hence the grave is only called the ‘place,’ or more technically ‘the small
home,’(120) of the dead in Christ.”

The old Teutonic _Gottes‐Acker_, the acre or field of God, denotes the
same eminently Christian idea; the dead are thus likened to the seed
hidden in the ground for a while, to ripen into a glorious spiritual
harvest when the last call shall be heard. We have read somewhere, in an
English novel whose name has escaped our memory, the same beautiful idea
most poetically expressed. It was something to this effect: “We put up a
stone at the head of a grave, just as we write labels in the spring‐time
for the seeds we put into the earth, that we may remember what glorious
flower is to spring from the little gray, hidden handful that seems so
insignificant just now”—a Catholic thought found astray in a book that had
nothing Catholic about it save its beauty and poetry; for beauty is a ray
of truth, and truth is one and Catholic. One other remark is worth
remembering about the early Christian inscriptions on the tombs of the
departed. There is generally some anxiety to preserve a record of the
exact date of a person’s death, and, in modern days, if it happened that
there was no room for both the day and the year, no doubt the _day_, would
be left unnoticed, and the year carefully chronicled. “Yet,” says Cardinal
Wiseman, “while so few ancient Christian inscriptions supply the year of
people’s deaths, thousands give us the very day of it on which they died,
whether in the hopefulness of believers or in the assurance of martyrs. Of
both classes annual commemoration had to be made on the very day of their
departure, and accurate knowledge of this was necessary. Therefore it
alone was recorded.”

O ages of faith! when it was the ambition of Christians to be inscribed in
the Book of Life, instead of leaving names blazoned in gold in the annals
of an earthly empire!

Prayers for the dead were in use among the primitive Christians, and in
one of the inscriptions mentioned by Cardinal Wiseman the following
reference to these prayers is found: “Christ God Almighty refresh thy
spirit in Christ.” That this hallowed custom is akin to the natural
feelings of a loving heart is self‐evident; the coldness of an “age of
philosophy” alone could doubt it. Well might it be called the age of
disorganization and not of philosophy (which is “love of wisdom”), for the
wisdom that seeks to pull down instead of building up is but questionable.
The disorganization of political society which we see at work through the
International and the Commune; the disorganization of moral society which
we behold every day increasing through the ease with which the marriage‐
tie is dissolved, and the hold the state is claiming on children and even
infants; the disorganization of religious society which we find in the
ever‐multiplying feuds of sects, like gangrene gradually eating away an
unsound body; these are all fitting companions to that most ruthless
severing of this world from the next which pretends to isolate the dead
from the spiritual help and sympathy of the living, and to dwarf in the
souls of men what even human laws commanded, or at least protected,
concerning their bodies. The want of our age is a want of heart;
heartlessness and callousness to the most sacred, the most _natural_
feelings, is shown to a fearful extent among our modern mind‐emancipators
and reformers. On the one hand, nature is held up as a god to which all
moral laws are to be subject, or, rather, before whose _fiat_ they are to
cease to exist, while, on the other, nature (in everything lawful,
touching, noble, generous) is told that she is a fool, and must learn to
subdue “childish” aspirations and outgrow “childish” beliefs!

But the belief of a communication between the living and the departed is
not only a _natural_ one; it is also Biblical. S. Matthew speaks of the
middle state of souls when he mentions the strict account that will have
to be rendered of “every idle word.”(121) S. Paul says that “every man’s
work ... shall be tried in _fire_: and the fire shall try every man’s work
_of what sort it is_. If any man’s work burn, he shall suffer loss, but he
himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”(122) S. Peter makes mention of
“the spirits in prison,”(123) and S. John, in the Apocalypse, implies a
state of probation when he says that “there shall not enter into it [the
New Jerusalem] anything defiled or that worketh abomination, or maketh a
lie.”(124) In the Second Book of Machabees, one of the most national of
the Jewish records, and the most favorite and consolatory of the religious
books held by the Jews as infallible oracles, the whole doctrine of
purgatory and prayers for the departed is most plainly adverted to.

After a great battle and victory, Judas Machabeus searches the bodies of
his slain warriors, and finds that some of them had appropriated heathen
votive offerings made to the idols whose temples they had burnt at Jamnia
a short time before. Upon this discovery, according to the sacred text,
which is here too precious a testimony to be condensed, he, “making a
gathering, sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for
sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and
religiously concerning the resurrection. (For if he had not hoped that
they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous
and vain to pray for the dead.) And because he considered that they who
had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. It is
therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may
be loosed from their sins.”(125)

It may not perhaps be generally known that, among the Jews, the custom of
praying for the dead exists, and has always existed uninterruptedly. Some
of the supplications are very beautiful, and we do not hesitate to give
them here, as an interesting corroboration of the assertions we have made
throughout.

The chief prayers for the dead are contained in the “Kaddisch” for
mourners, which forms part of the evening as well as the morning service
for the Jewish Sabbath. Although the dead are not mentioned by name, it is
to them alone that the prayers apply, as we understand from persons of
that persuasion. The text is the following:

“May our prayers be accepted with mercy and kindness; may the prayers and
supplications of the whole house of Israel be accepted in the presence of
their Father who is in heaven, and say ye Amen. [The congregation here
answer Amen.] May the fulness of peace from heaven with life be granted
unto us and to all Israel, and say ye Amen.” “My help is from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth. May he who maketh peace in his high heavens
bestow peace on us and on all Israel. And say ye Amen.”

During these prayers, the mourners stand up and answer. Other invocations
mention “the soul of my father” or “mother,” etc., as the case may be. In
the service for the dead read over the corpse, these words occur: “O Lord
our God, cause us to lie down in peace, and raise us up, O our King, to a
happy life. I laid me down fearless and slept; I awoke, for the Lord
sustained me.” All through the Old Testament we constantly find “sleep”
used as a synonym for death. Scattered through the morning and evening
services of the Hebrew liturgy there are invocations, frequently repeated,
referring to the dead, such as these: “Thou, O Lord, art for ever
powerful; thou restorest life to the dead, and art mighty to save. Thou
art also faithful to revive the dead: blessed art thou, O Lord, who
revivest the dead.” God is also said “to hold in his hands the souls of
the living and the dead,” thus giving at least equal prominence to the
departed and those they have left in their place. The Jews believe and
hope that their prayers on earth benefit and refresh their lost brethren,
and pray daily for them. The bodies of the departed are plainly dressed in
a linen shroud without superfluous ornamentation, but many of the old
ceremonies and purifications enjoined in the old law are now dispensed
with. The old manner of burial was in a cave or spacious sepulchre in a
field or garden, and the body was wrapped in spices, which were often
burnt around it. The double cave of Mambre, bought for Sarah by Abraham,
stood at the end of a field, and the sepulchres of the kings were also in
a field. The garden where Our Lord was laid is another instance of the
universality of this custom. In the Second Book of Chronicles(126) we read
of King Asa that “they buried him in his own sepulchre which he had made
for himself in the city of David: and they laid him on his bed full of
spices and odoriferous ointments, which were made by the art of the
perfumers, and they burnt them over him with great pomp.” This burning (of
spices) is often mentioned throughout Holy Writ. Rachel, says the Book of
Genesis,(127) was buried “in the highway” that led to Bethlehem, and Jacob
erected a pillar over her sepulchre; Samuel, “in his own house at
Ramatha”; and Saul, beneath an oak near the city of Jabes Galaad, the
inhabitants of which place provided for his burial, and fasted seven days
in sign of mourning for their sovereign. Joram, king of Juda, was punished
for his misdeeds by exclusion from the sepulchre of his fathers, “and the
people did not make a funeral for him according to the manner of burning
[spices], as they had done for his ancestors.”(128) Ozias, being a leper,
a disease which came upon him in punishment for having usurped sacerdotal
functions, was buried “in the field” only “of the royal sepulchre.” Thus
we see the immense importance attached to the place of burial under the
old Jewish dispensation, and how it was an eternal disgrace to be expelled
in death from the neighborhood of one’s family and their hereditary place
of entombment. This feeling has continued very strong in most civilized
and in all savage races; the graves of their forefathers are even more
symbolical of home and fatherland to the wandering desert tribes of
different nations, than what we should call their hearths and firesides.
In later times, how often have we not seen gorgeous and imposing
buildings, especially cathedrals and abbeys, built over the shrine of a
dead king or bishop, canonized by that popular veneration whose last
expression was the public honor decreed them by the Roman Pontiff? In
places where these monuments are not dedicated to the sainted dead whose
shrines they guard, we often find them burdened with the condition of
Masses being perpetually offered within their walls for the soul of the
dead founder; others are memorial churches to friends or relations of the
founder. Public charities, doles of bread and money, annual distributions
of clothing, hospitals, schools, or municipal institutions, etc., spring
chiefly from the desire of the survivors to have their loved ones
remembered to all future ages, while sometimes a generous testator himself
will take this simple and practical means of recommending himself to the
prayers of unborn generations. Family names are perpetuated in remembrance
of the departed; family records are valuable only in proportion as they
embody a proof of longer or shorter descent from the distinguished dead.
There is no test of success or popularity so sure as that of death, and no
one can tell which of our living friends will be known to and loved by
future nations, and which other will be passed by in obscurity and
silence, until long after our exit and their own from this present life‐
scene. _Real_ life is centred in the dead, it revolves around them, it
depends on them. They are the root of which we are the leaves and flowers.
The life of fame is theirs, while only the life of struggle is ours; they
are victors calmly bearing their palms, umpires gently encouraging their
successors, but we are only striving competitors, who know not and never
will know our fate till we have gone with them beyond the veil.

Germany is, above all, the home of these beautiful traditions of an
unbroken communion between the souls who have left earth and those who
remain behind. _There_ are the churchyards most loved, and the
anniversaries of deaths most remembered, even among Protestants. It is a
custom in Germany to wear black and to keep the day holy every recurring
anniversary, were it twenty, forty, fifty years after the death of a
relative or beloved friend. The cemeteries are always blooming with every
flower of the season, the crosses or headstones always hung with wreaths
of immortelles. In Catholic German countries, such as Bavaria, the
festival of All Souls’ is one of the most interesting, because the most
individual of the ecclesiastical year. We happened to be in Munich on one
of these occasions, and had been there for a week previous, visiting the
galleries and inspecting the art‐manufactures for which that city is
world‐famous. But rich as it is in such treasures, the hand of its old
King Louis—the grandfather of the present sovereign, and whom in his
retirement we have met at Nice some few years before his death—has effaced
much of its mediæval stamp, and attempted to varnish it over with a
Renaissance coating very uncongenial to the northern character of its
people and the northern mistiness of its atmosphere. Here we have again
the wretched imitation in plaster of the marble Parthenon and Acropolis;
the cold stuccoed pillars looming like huge bleached skeletons through a
November fog, and yet supposed to represent the sun‐tinted columns of
exquisite workmanship that rear themselves against the purple sky of
Greece; the vast desert‐looking streets which, bordered by “Haussmann”
palaces, seem intended for _future_ rather than present habitation, and
each of which, if cut into a dozen equal parts, would furnish any capital
with twelve good‐sized public squares; above all, a stuccoed church,
dazzlingly, painfully white, the _Theatiner‐Kirche_, a sort of S. Paul’s
(London) without the smoky coat thrown over it by the chimneys of the busy
city. Then, turning with relief to the little that is left of the old
town, we find a few quaint streets leading to the cathedral, a plain but
grand building, very fairly “restored” and adorned with the distinctive
Munich statues of angels and saints, which are now sold all over the
world, as the worthy substitutes of plaster‐of‐Paris images of the Bernini
type of sculpture. A very interesting old triptych stands over the altar,
with its strange medley of figures forming a striking and novel reredos. A
procession was slowing winding its way down the aisles as we entered the
cathedral one afternoon, and though the congregation was not numerous it
was very devout. A few comfortable‐looking old houses and quiet streets
surround the cathedral, and form quite an oasis in the midst of the
modernized city. Indeed, the monotonous stretch of apparently uninhabited
mansions was really wearying to look at, and we began to think that King
Louis had built his town as if he expected its population to increase at a
_Chicagoan_ rate! It is true the season of fêtes had not come, and,
according to the recognized phrase, “all the world” had left Munich for
the country villas and hunting‐boxes in its neighborhood, but on the day
of All Saints, the vigil of All Souls, how magically the scene changed!
After Mass in the Royal Chapel, which, by the way, is beautifully
decorated with frescoes of mediæval saints on a gilt background, we
started for the great “Gottes‐Acker” (churchyard.) We had been told that
this was worth seeing, and so it proved. The desert seemed to have
blossomed like the rose. The road leading to the cemetery was crowded with
carriages, carts, horsemen, and foot passengers. Every one, especially
those on foot, carried wreaths of immortelles and small lanterns. The
carriages were mostly laden with wreaths. Every one looked cheerful, but
great quiet prevailed throughout the crowd. It seemed to us that until the
dead called for a visit, the living in Munich must have been well hidden,
so great were now the numbers that incumbered the hitherto lonely road.
All were going in the same direction, and once there the scene was almost
festive. Military bands (the best, we believe, next to the Austrian) were
stationed near the cemetery gates. The “Gottes‐Acker” itself is an immense
square, the length being about twice the breadth of the inclosure. Round
the four sides runs a covered cloister, under which are all the graves,
monuments, and vaults of the more wealthy part of the Munich population.
Each of these was a perfect forest of evergreens and hot‐house plants,
artistically heaped up around a vessel of holy water, from which any pious
passer‐by was free to sprinkle the grave while repeating a prayer for its
occupant. The large square in the centre was crossed and recrossed by
narrow paths between the serried files of graves. Nearly all were
distinguished by a cross, of stone, marble, wood, or metal. To these the
wreaths and lamps were hung, and here and there a kneeling figure might be
seen. Within the covered cloister a dense crowd promenaded slowly, while
the bands played unceasingly, not always, however, appropriately. It was a
striking scene, the like of which we do not remember to have ever
witnessed elsewhere. At Innsbruck, in the Tyrol, the cemetery is similar
to this in construction and arrangement, though it is, of course, smaller
in size. Night fell gradually as we were admiring this peculiar expression
of national idiosyncrasy, but the crowd did not seem to grow less dense.
It was a remembrance worth carrying away from that old Munich whose
spirit, though outwardly imprisoned in a pseudo‐classic shape, lives yet
in the simple Christian instincts of its laboring classes. At this time,
when it threatens to become another Wittenberg, have we not also seen the
unconscious and magnificent protest of its inveterately Catholic feelings
in the unique Passion Play, that worthily kept relic of the heroic ages of
faith and chivalry? Kings and philosophers cannot change the world as long
as peasants like those of Ammergau, and artisans such as work in the
Munich manufactories—that should not be degraded to comparison with the
materialistic establishments of Manchester or Sheffield—are yet to be
found bearing through the present times the banner of their forefathers’
undying traditions. There is more simple faith among the German people,
including also the Slavic and Hungarian races, than among some other
modern Christian nations, and no doubt there must be a hidden law of
gracious compensation in this fact, since the same country has been the
cradle and the teacher of almost every modern heresy and philosophical
(_sic_) aberration. No doubt the faith of the masses is intimately
connected with their wonderful love of home and fatherland, their domestic
instincts, their love of quiet family gatherings. All this easily leads to
great love and tenderness for the departed, and it reads almost more like
a German than a French saying, that “the dead are not the forgotten, but
only the absent.”(129) Love for the dead and a reverent, prayerful
remembrance of them are as much bulwarks to the morality of the living, as
they are spiritual boons to the departed themselves. We would not speak
ill of an absent friend, or break our word with one who had gone on a long
journey; even a short earthly distance seems to make a pledge more sacred.
How much more when the distance is the immeasurable breadth of the valley
of the shadow of death! We all of us remember promises once made to those
who have fallen asleep in Christ: those promises will be guardian angels
to us, if we keep them; they will be so many drops of refreshing dew to
those who are perhaps suffering at this moment for the unfulfilled
promises once made by them in life. Shall we whose faith includes the
communion of saints as a vital dogma, and whose humble hope it must ever
be to become one of the church suffering after having done our weak share
in the cause of the church militant—shall we be no better for this belief
than are those who have it not? Let the dead be guides to us, while we are
helps to them; let us each remember that besides the angel we have at our
side, there is another spirit who rejoices or grieves for and with us—a
company of spirits perhaps, but seldom less than one.

Mother or father, sister, brother, husband, wife, or child, that spirit
from its prison looks sadly and lovingly earthward, marking our every step
from its own patient haven of suffering sinlessness. No longer racked by
the personal fear of falling away, no longer haunted by the possibility of
temptation, it concentrates its loving anxiety on the soul whom it will
perchance precede to heaven, but on whom it is yet dependent; let us not
grieve it, let us not willingly or knowingly wound it, but rather let us
take heed that we fit ourselves to go and bear it company in the new and
glorious God’s‐Acre to which we hope to be called when that “which was
sown in mortality shall be raised in immortality, and that which was sown
in dishonor and weakness shall be raised in glory and in power.”



Personal Recollections Of The Late President Juarez Of Mexico.



I. The President In The Reception‐Room.


We saw President Juarez for the first time in the fall of 1865. He was
then temporarily established with his government in the town of El Paso,
on the northern frontier of Chihuahua, and within almost a stone’s throw
of American soil. Fort Bliss, Texas, then recently reoccupied by the Union
troops, was not more than ten minutes’ distance from the Plaza of El Paso.

The prospects of the Mexican Republic were not then very bright; the
treasury was almost exhausted, the government was barely on Mexican soil,
and on the American side of the Rio Grande it was generally looked upon as
a question of time when President Juarez would have to seek safety on our
own side of the boundary. It is needless to say that he would have been
received by the Americans of that region with right royal hospitality.

American sympathy and material aid were looked for, and Americans were
very popular with all the followers of the Mexican president.

Shortly after the arrival of President Juarez and his cabinet in El Paso,
we joined a party of American gentlemen who paid him a visit. The party
comprised, we think, nearly all the Americans of any standing about El
Paso. There were the American consul, the collector of customs, three or
four army officers from Fort Bliss, some local civil officials, and one or
two leading business men.

President Juarez and his cabinet occupied a house on the Plaza—a large
building constructed in the usual Mexican fashion. On announcing ourselves
as a party of American citizens desirous of paying their respects to the
chief of a sister republic, we were immediately ushered into a room where
we found President Juarez with most of the members of his cabinet—notably
his successor Señor Lerdo de Tejada, then Secretary of State, and Señor
Yglésias, Secretary of the Treasury—now also named for the
presidency—rather a sinecure office at the time.

We were presented in turn to the president by Señor Yglésias, the only
person present attached to the president who spoke English. President
Juarez spoke neither English nor French. He shook hands cordially with
each of us, and expressed through Señor Yglésias the very great pleasure
it gave him to receive our visit. We were sufficiently familiar with the
Pueblo type to recognize Juarez immediately on entering.

President Juarez was low in stature, rather stout, but dignified, and at
the same time easy in his manners. The Pueblo Indian was marked in every
lineament of his face—the aquiline nose, the small bright black eyes, the
straight cut mouth showing no trace of redness in the lips, the coal‐black
hair, the swarthy complexion. Yet he was, as it were, an Indian idealized;
his forehead was high, capacious, and the light of intellectual
cultivation illuminated his face. He was dressed in plain black.

The secretary of state, Señor Lerdo de Tejada, is evidently, judged merely
from externals, a man of great intellectual ability. His skin is as white
as that of the fairest daughter of the Anglo‐Saxon. A forehead, so high as
to seem almost a monstrosity, and of a marble whiteness, towered above a
face that gleamed with the glance of the eagle.

Señor Yglésias was of a darker complexion than his colleague in the
cabinet. He seemed to be in rather indifferent health. The expression of
his face was remarkably gentle and pleasing. We have already said that he
acted as interpreter. He spoke English with a very marked accent, but with
great care and correctness. We happened to be seated next him on a sofa,
President Juarez being on his right. He told us that he learned to speak
English in the city of Chihuahua, and that he had never been a day in an
English‐speaking country.

Notwithstanding that President Juarez did not speak English, and the
necessity of an interpreter naturally causes some embarrassment, yet his
manners were so pleasant and affable that he placed us at our ease at
once. He spoke about our war, and asked with much interest about our great
military leaders, Generals Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan. He seemed to feel
some sympathy with Gen. McClellan. A very pleasant half‐hour was spent in
conversation on these and kindred subjects. It was at length interrupted
by the entrance of a _péon_ bearing a tray with quite a generous number of
bottles of champagne on it.

We were invited to partake of the Green Seal. We stood around the table,
President Juarez standing at the head. Toasts were drunk to the lasting
friendship of the two North American republics, to the independence of
Mexico, etc. The péon, who was not a very bright specimen of his tribe,
exerted himself to his utmost to open the bottles sufficiently fast. In
his tremulous hurry he got within point‐blank range of the president, and
a peculiarly excited bottle going off prematurely, discharged about half
its contents into the president’s shirt‐bosom. Juarez looked at the poor
_péon_—whose swarthy face grew sickly pale, and who seemed about to sink
to the ground with terror and confusion—neither in sorrow nor in anger. He
took no notice whatever of the incident, but went on talking cheerfully as
before. Such an accident happening to most men would have been laughable
in the extreme. It did not seem to us to place Juarez in a ludicrous
position at all, his self‐command was so perfect, his dignity so
thoroughly preserved.

After all the patriotic toasts proper to the occasion had been drunk, we
took our leave. The president again shook hands with us, again expressed,
through Señor Yglésias, his gratification at meeting American citizens and
officers, and hoped that he should receive further visits from us.

We departed very greatly prepossessed in favor of the Mexican president.
We agreed in thinking that there was a simplicity and honesty of purpose
about him which made him the best man for the difficult position of chief
magistrate of the struggling republic in her great hour of trial.



II. The President In The Ball‐Room.


Some time after the visit just described, President Juarez gave a ball in
honor of the anniversary of Mexican independence. We had the honor, in
common with some other Americans, of receiving an invitation to the ball,
which, of course, we accepted.

There were four American ladies in our party—two the wives of infantry
officers stationed at Fort Bliss, the post surgeon’s wife, and the wife of
one of the leading citizens of Franklin. We were all invited to pass the
night—or such portion of it as would remain after the close of the ball—at
the mansion of a lady, a native of El Paso, of American descent.

We were bestowed in three or four vehicles, and forded the Rio Grande
successfully a little before dark. We found El Paso in festal array. The
cathedral was covered with shining lamps from foundation to steeple. The
Plaza was brilliantly illuminated, and crowds of both sexes were already
assembling for the grand open‐air _baile_ of the _profanum vulgus_. Class
lines of demarcation are very sharply drawn in El Paso, and the _gente
fina_ alone were admissible to the president’s ball.

We dined at the Señora L——’s, where we had the pleasure of meeting several
Mexican officers of high rank. Among them were General Ruiz, the
Postmaster‐General (another sinecurist just then), and other staff
officers, whose names we have forgotten. A little son of one of the
officers at Fort Bliss—a child of five or six, who spoke Spanish very
well, having passed nearly all his little life in New Mexico, only
remaining sufficiently long in New York to set all doubts at rest as to
his being born in the Empire State—became a very great favorite with the
Mexican officers.

Between ten and eleven P.M. our vehicles were again in requisition, and
away we went to the ball. It was given in the spacious house of a wealthy
citizen, the front of which was brilliantly illuminated. A guard of
Mexican soldiers was posted in front of the house, and lined the long hall
leading to the ball‐room. Their pieces were at order, and they saluted the
chief officers by striking the butt of their muskets against the ground.
They were dressed in gray jackets, like the undress of the New York
National Guard, white cross belts, white trousers, and a leather cap,
somewhat Hussar shape.

We had the honor of giving an arm to one of the four American ladies on
entering. Arrived at the door of the ball‐room, four white‐vested and kid‐
gloved Mexican gentlemen offered an arm each to the four American ladies,
bowing at and smiling most sweetly on us the while. At first, we were
disposed to resist “the deep damnation of this taking off.” The ladies
hesitated and drew back. The situation would have become remarkably comic;
but Don Juan Z——, well‐known to all Americans who visit El Paso, seeing
the critical state of affairs, came to us and whispered that it was the
_costumbre del pais_—the custom of the country. We submitted, but, we
fear, not with a good grace. By the way, we only saw our American ladies
at a distance for the rest of the evening. The Mexican gentlemen took
entire charge of them. Don Juan informed us that we were expected to take
our revenge among the señoras and señoritas.

The ball‐room was very tastefully arranged. The _placeta_, or open square
in the centre of all Mexican houses, on which all the rooms in the
building open, was roofed and floored for the ball‐room. The window‐
curtains were hung outside the window of the house; mirrors, paintings,
etc., were hung on the outer walls, making the illusion that you were
inside the house instead of outside of it, complete. American and Mexican
flags were festooned around the walls. The music, softly and sweetly
played, was placed in a side room, entirely out of sight. No braying
cornet flayed your ears, and no howling fiddler, calling out the figures
from a position dominating everything and everybody, gave you an _attaque
de nerfs_. The fiddlers would be heard, not seen. The waltz, the national
dance of Mexico, was, of course, the terpsichorean _pièce de résistance_;
but a fair number of quadrilles were sprinkled through the programme, in
compliment to the Americans.

We have seen many balls in the Empire City—some given under “most
fashionable auspices”—but we must in justice declare that we have seen
none which surpassed the Mexican President’s ball. There may have been
more glare, more glitter, more diamonds, if you will, but there certainly
was not more good taste, more elegance and refinement, more genuine good‐
breeding and gentlemanly and ladylike good‐humor. There was no rushing,
steam‐engine fashion, the length of the ball‐room; knocking couples to the
right and left, and tearing dresses, without even an apology. The ladies
were richly but not gaudily dressed, and made no barbaric display of
golden ornaments, as their New Mexican sisters are wont to do on _bailé_
occasions. The gentlemen—except the army officers—wore the traditional
black dress‐coat and pantaloons, with white vest and gloves, clothes and
gloves fitting admirably, for the _gente fina_ of El Paso got both from
Paris. The army officers were, of course, in full uniform, the American
uniform looking rather sombre compared with the red‐leg top trousers, with
broad gold or silver stripes, and the magnificent gold‐embroidered sashes
of the Mexican general and field officers. By the way, the lowest officer
in rank of the Mexicans in the ball‐room was a colonel. The only captains
and lieutenants admitted were the Americans. Juarez’ son—“the image of his
father”—though somewhat shorter in stature, in the undress uniform of a
second lieutenant of artillery was in the vestibule with the guard.

The president, with his cabinet and staff, was already in the ball‐room
when we arrived. After being dispossessed of our fair companions, we were
ushered to the portion of the room in which the president sat. We paid our
respects in turn, and were kindly and cordially welcomed. Juarez was
dressed in plain black, except his gloves, which, of course, were white.

The male portion of the American party then broke ranks, and spread
themselves through the ball‐room, enjoying themselves each after his
fashion; some in the fascinating “see‐saw” of the Spanish dance, others in
the apartments off the ball‐room where exhilaration of a different kind
was provided.

We passed a very agreeable hour with Signor Prieto, a Mexican poet and
orator of distinction. Signor Prieto was then known as the “Henry Clay” of
Mexico. He spoke French very well. He told us with just pride that he
considered the highest recognition his efforts had received was the
translation of one of his poetical pieces by our American patriarch‐poet,
William Cullen Bryant.

Just before supper‐time, an official came with President Juarez’
compliments, to say that President Juarez and the members of his cabinet
would take the American ladies in to supper, and requesting the American
gentlemen to take in Mexican ladies. We immediately sought our friend Don
Juan T——, and begged him to find us some Mexican lady who could talk
either English or French. He found compliance with our request impossible,
but gave into our charge the Señora S——, a magnificent beauty of the
Spanish type, with coal‐black hair and large lustrous black Juno‐like
eyes—_fendus en amande_. The other gentlemen of the American party were
soon provided with supper partners, and we began our march for the supper‐
table, President Juarez taking in Mrs. Capt. O——; the secretary of state,
Señor Lerdo de Tejada, Mrs. Capt. B——; the secretary of the treasury, Mrs.
Dr. S——; and the secretary of war, Mrs. W——, of Texas. The first table was
for the president and cabinet, with the American party. The supper was
rather a solemn affair. It consisted of nine courses, though the courses
seemed as like each other as railway stations on the plains. All seemed to
be desiccated, and reminded us somewhat of what we had read about Chinese
feasts. When a course was served to every guest, the President looked down
the table to his right and bowed; he then looked to his left and bowed.
Then, and not before, knives and forks were observed, and the guests
attacked the viands. This repeated nine times was not calculated to impart
gaiety to the repast. It was slow, but ended at last, and we retired in
the same order in which we entered, making way for the ladies and
gentlemen of the second table.

After the supper, President Juarez sat for over an hour with the American
ladies, chatting pleasantly with them in the simplest Spanish phrases he
could devise. Seeing him chatting away and laughing gaily, no one could
have imagined that he had the cares of a tottering government with an
empty treasury upon his shoulders.

Capt. O—— asked us to go out with him and have a look at the great
_bronco_, the public fandango, on the Plaza. As we passed out through the
hall, the Mexican guard—now lying on their arms—jumped up and brought
their muskets to the ground with a crash to salute our companion, much to
his discomposure, as he wished to go out without attracting attention.

The great fandango was a sight worth seeing. A leviathan Spanish dance
wound its way around and through the Plaza, filling to overflowing the
market‐place, the sidewalks, and the arcades. Swarthy Mexicans with
immense sombreros, with cigarettes of corn‐husks in their mouths,
abandoned themselves to the swaying movements of the slow waltz, their
dark‐eyed partners—often partners in the cigarette as well as the
dance—now moving with a graceful languor, now dashing out with wild and
unrepressed vigor to the clattering of a thousand castanets.

Unusual gambling facilities were to be found everywhere, of course. Cake
merchants, fried hot cakes in the open air, lemonade, _vino del pais_,
fresh _queso_, fruits, _puros_, were to be had for the paying.

Having seen sufficient of the great unwashed fandango, we returned to the
ball‐room. Our companion was again the object of another demonstration of
respect on the part of the guard. “I wish,” said he, “those fellows would
go to sleep; this begins to be unpleasant.”

A waltz was in full gyration when we returned to the ball‐room. We took
chairs and sat near the door chatting. Suddenly we became aware that some
one stood behind us, placing a hand on either chair. Looking round, we saw
that it was President Juarez. We immediately arose, but he insisted on our
being seated, and resumed his former attitude. He talked with us for half
an hour, in Spanish well adapted to our limited knowledge of the language,
and which we had no difficulty in understanding.

During the evening, from time to time, we had received invitations from
the president to drink wine with him—invitations which, of course, we did
not refuse. Many patriotic toasts and sentiments were offered on both
sides. It must have been in one of those festive moments that an
enthusiastic gentleman of our party slapped the president on the back,
called him “Ben” (Juarez’ Christian name was Benito), said he was “a
brick,” and bade him “never say die” till he was dead! We were not a
witness to this scene. It was described to us by members of our party.

Between two and three P.M. the president’s party left the ball‐room.
Shortly after, the American clans were gathered, we got our fair ones back
again, and set out for the hospitable dwelling of the Señora L——.

There was plenty of bustle and activity there. It seemed to us that half
the people at the ball must have been guests of this house. All the rooms
opening on the large _placeta_ were turned into lodging‐rooms. There was
hurrying to and fro with lights in hand, putting every one in his place.
Some people put themselves in other people’s places. Notably our
enthusiastic friend, who had taken up his quarters in a room intended for
F—— and his new Spanish bride. He was found by the happy pair, just as
happy as they were, sleeping the sleep of the just. In the meantime, the
partner of his joys and sorrows sat solitary and alone in the room
intended for her and her spouse, on the other side of the _placeta_,
wondering at his absence and anxiously awaiting his return. This
complication, however, was settled by transferring the lady to the room in
which lay her sleeping lord, and bestowing the F——s in the room she had
occupied.

After a good breakfast, we set out on our return to the Land of the Free,
forded the Rio Grande at about noon, under a September sun—no contemptible
luminary about latitude 32°, let us assure the reader. We sought our
_casas_, darkened up our respective rooms, and shut the venetian blinds to
keep out the flies, and having turned night into day, proceeded to turn
day into night.



New Publications.


    ELEMENTS OF LOGIC. Designed as a Manual of Instruction. By Henry
    Coppée, LL.D., President of the Lehigh University. Revised
    edition. Philadelphia: E. H. Butler & Co. 1872.


President Coppée has carefully excluded from this edition of his Logic
everything which could give offence to a Catholic. The main part of the
work, treating of formal logic, is of course substantially the same with
other treatises of this kind, and is written in a clear, simple style,
well adapted to an elementary text‐book. But here our approbation must
cease. The history of logic is altogether defective. The author advocates
the doctrine derived by Hamilton from Kant, that our rational knowledge is
merely “conditioned,” which is pure scepticism, and confounds Christian
philosophy with theology, which is effectually to subvert both sciences.
Teachers may find some useful assistance from this book in explaining the
laws of thought; but it is altogether unfit to be placed in the hands of
Catholic pupils. We reiterate the desire we have so often expressed, that
some competent person would translate one of our standard Latin text‐books
of logic, for the use of pupils and teachers who cannot read them in the
original language.


    THE POCKET PRAYER‐BOOK. Compiled from approved sources. New York:
    The Catholic Publication Society. 1872.


This is certainly the most complete little manual we have seen, and,
although it contains 650 pages, is small enough for the pocket; and gives,
among other things, the three indulgenced litanies, the entire Mass in
Latin and English, Vespers, and the Epistles and Gospels for the Sundays
throughout the year. The type, moreover, is singularly large and good.
Thus the book supplies a long‐felt want; and ought to become very popular
amongst Catholic men, for whose especial benefit it was compiled. There is
another edition without the Epistles and Gospels, which fits the vest
pocket, and can therefore be made emphatically a daily companion.


    ENGLAND AND ROME. By the Rev. W. Waterworth, S.J. London: Burns &
    Lambert. 1854. (New York: Sold by The Catholic Publication
    Society.)

    A COMMENTARY BY WRITERS OF THE FIRST FIVE CENTURIES ON THE PLACE
    OF S. PETER IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, AND THAT OF S. PETER’S
    SUCCESSORS IN THE CHURCH. By the Very Rev. J. Waterworth, D.D.,
    Provost of Nottingham. London: Richardson. 1871. (New York: Sold
    by The Catholic Publication Society.)


The reader will perceive, if he takes notice of the titles of these two
books, that they are by two different authors, both bearing the name of
Waterworth. They are brothers, and one of the two is a Jesuit, the other
being a dignitary of the Catholic Church in England. The work whose title
stands first in order at the head of this notice, is not a recent
publication, having been issued as long ago as 1854. We think it, however,
not unsuitable to recall attention to it as a work specially useful at the
present time. About one‐third of the volume is taken up with a very solid
and scholarly disquisition on the general topic of the Papal supremacy.
Its principal and special topic is, however, the relation of the church in
England to the Holy See from the year 179 to the epoch of the schism of
Henry VIII. It is handled with great learning and ability, and the
sophisms and perversions of those disingenuous or ill‐informed
controversialists who pretend to establish the original independence of
the British Church are scattered to the winds.

The work of Dr. Waterworth, the Provost of Nottingham, was published last
year. This learned divine is the author of the celebrated treatise
entitled _The Faith of Catholics_, and is well known as a most profound
and accurate patristic scholar. The present volume was prepared by him for
the press before the publication of the Decrees of the Vatican Council;
but its issue having been delayed by an accident, the author took the
opportunity of making a re‐examination of its contents, with special
reference to the objections raised by Dr. Döllinger, and of adding some
new prefatory remarks. The result of his revision did not suggest to him
the necessity of any alteration whatever, or show anything in the cavils
of the petulant old gentleman, who has so completely stultified himself by
retracting the deliberate convictions of his better days, worthy of any
special refutation.

As for Dr. Waterworth’s work itself, it is quite unique in English
Catholic literature, and different from the other works on the Papal
supremacy, able and learned as these are, which we have hitherto
possessed. It is literally an exhaustive collection of all the sayings of
fathers and councils on the two topics discussed, during the first five
centuries of the Christian era, by one who has mastered the whole of this
vast body of literature. One hundred and seven fathers and councils are
quoted, and copious tables at the end of the volume place the whole array
of authorities in a convenient order for reference under the eye of the
reader. It is needless for us to expatiate on the value of such a work, or
to say anything more to recommend it to the attention of all who wish to
study this great subject of the Papal supremacy.


    THE TROUBLES OF OUR CATHOLIC FOREFATHERS, RELATED BY THEMSELVES.
    First Series. Edited by John Morris, Priest of the Society of
    Jesus. London: Burns & Oates. 1872. (New York: Sold by The
    Catholic Publication Society.)


One of the outward and by no means the least significant signs of the
revival of religion in England is the appearance in rapid succession of a
most useful class of books, having for their main object the vindication
of the character and constancy of the Catholics of that country during and
subsequent to the so‐called Reformation. We have had occasion elsewhere to
refer to Father Morris’ work on the _Condition of Catholics under James
I._ The book before us may be considered a continuation of that
exceedingly interesting contribution to history, and, as it is the first
of a series, we may expect at an early day others equally valuable from
the same painstaking and indefatigable student.

Until lately, with very few exceptions, historical works relating to Great
Britain have been the composition of prejudiced, anti‐Catholic writers,
each in his turn guilty of the same omissions while servilely copying the
misrepresentations of his predecessors; so that the public mind has at
length become impressed with the conviction that, when the tocsin of
rebellion against God’s law was sounded by Henry Tudor, the people of the
whole of his dominions arose in hostile opposition to the authority of the
church. None but a critical few, familiar with foreign contemporary
authorities, were aware that, while the nobles who hungered for the spoils
of convents and monasteries, and the suppliant courtiers, lay and
ecclesiastical, whose fortunes depended upon the smiles of the sovereign,
basely bowed down before the brutal passions of Henry and Elizabeth, the
mass of the people, particularly the educated and moral middle class, held
firmly to the faith, braving persecution, poverty, imprisonment, and even
death, in defence of Catholicity. England, in fact, can count her
thousands of uncanonized martyrs, priests and laity, men and women, who,
in common with their co‐religionists of the Continent, fell victims to the
lust, cupidity, and inhumanity of the “Reformers.” Some of their most
glorious achievements will probably never be recorded in this world, but
there is every hope that, through the exertions of such conscientious
searchers as this learned Jesuit, a flood of light will be thrown ere long
on the darkest, but not least edifying, days of the Christian Church in
England. Heretofore this noble work has been delayed for various reasons.
Contemporary documents were either in the hands of the Government, or were
scattered among many convents and private libraries, and from long neglect
had become almost forgotten; and it required so much industry as well as
knowledge to search for and utilize them, that until lately no one was
found equal to the task. Besides, the English Catholics of the last
generation were so few and so lukewarm that it was difficult to find a
publisher willing to risk his money and his reputation in bringing out
books that were considered neither profitable nor politic. A change has
come over the spirit of their dream, as the appearance of late of so many
Catholic works, well printed and handsomely bound, from some of the first
publishing houses in Europe, amply testifies; and the ancient faith is
fast regaining its power in what, for three centuries, has been considered
the stronghold of dissent. While of primary interest to English readers,
works of this character will also have peculiar attractions for Americans,
many of whom by blood and affinity are as much heirs to the virtues and
courage of the British Catholics of the XVIth and XVIIth centuries as
those born on that soil. No historical library in our language would be
complete without such works as those of F. Morris, containing as they do
original, authentic documents which hitherto have never appeared in print,
in whole or in part. Such documents, carefully annotated, and modernized
only as regards their obsolete orthography, are the true materials of
history, worth an infinity of commentaries and second and third hand
statements filtrated through the minds of ignorant or partial writers.

The present volume contains the memoirs of Mother Margaret Clement; a
sketch of the history of the Monasteries of SS. Ursula and Monica at
Louvain; an account of the dissolution of the Carthusian Monastery of the
Charter House, London, and the execution of several of its monks, in the
reign of Henry VIII.; a detailed narrative of the imprisonment of Francis
Tregian for sixteen years; some additional particulars relating to the
missions of Fathers Tesimond and Blount; the trial of the Rev. Cuthbert
Clapton, chaplain to the Venetian ambassador, as related by himself, and
the correspondence of that official with his government from A.D. 1638 to
1643; with several interesting details of the sufferings and persecution
of some noble Catholic families. These documents were procured in various
places—in the Public Record Office; S. Mary’s College, Ascott; Stonyhurst;
the Archives de l’Etat, Brussels; S. Augustine’s Priory, Abbotsleigh;
Archives of the Archbishop of Westminster, and in numerous private MS.
collections; each original being preceded by a short but comprehensive
introduction from the pen of the learned editor.


    PETERS’ CATHOLIC CLASS BOOK: A Collection of copyright Songs,
    Duets, Trios, and Choruses, etc., etc. Compiled and arranged by
    William Dressler. New York: J. L. Peters.


The first half of this work is a reproduction of ballads of sentiment of
no special merit, issued, as the foot‐notes ingeniously advertise to the
purchaser, “in sheet‐music form, with lithograph title‐page,” by the
publisher. The latter half is chiefly a reprint of so‐called religious
songs which persistently return to us under one or another guise in
publications of this class, like poor relations, and with as hearty a
welcome as such visitors proverbially receive.

THE CATHOLIC PUBLICATION SOCIETY has fixed upon the 5th of November as the
publication day of _The Illustrated Catholic Family Almanac_ for 1873:
over 35,000 copies have already been ordered by the different booksellers.
The Society has just published an edition of _The Little Manual of
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Spiritual Bouquet_, formerly
published by John P. Walsh, of Cincinnati; and will soon issue in book‐
form _Fleurange_, by Mrs. Craven; Col. Meline’s translation of _Hubner’s
Life of Sixtus V.; Myrrha Lake, or Into the Light of Catholicity. All‐
Hallow Eve and Unconvicted_ will appear early in November. Canon Oakeley’s
work on _Catholic Worship_ is in press, and will be published uniform with
his excellent treatise on _The Mass_.



THE CATHOLIC WORLD. VOL. XVI., NO. 93.—DECEMBER, 1872.



The Spirit Of Protestantism.


Recent events in Europe, particularly in Prussia and Italy, have done much
to awaken the attention of thinking men in this country to the true spirit
of what is known as Protestantism. While they have once more presented to
our view humiliating spectacles of human weakness, injustice and downright
tyranny under the guise and in the sacred names of religion and liberty,
they have confirmed with remarkable force all that has been alleged
against the spirit that actuates and has always governed the enemies of
the Catholic Church.

When the revolt against Catholic doctrine and the spiritual authority of
the See of Rome was first inaugurated in the XVIth century under the
banner of liberty of conscience and freedom of thought, it was asserted by
those who then upheld the ancient faith that these were specious pretexts
invented to cover ulterior designs, which, by giving full scope to the
worst passions of our nature, would inevitably fix in the minds and in the
hearts of mankind a moral slavery more debasing, and a servitude more
irradicable, than even the most astute pagans of ancient times ever
dreamed of; that dissent from the dogmas and discipline of the universal
church did not in itself constitute a creed, but simply the negation of
all Christian truth, and that the right of private judgment in matters of
faith meant in reality the right, when seconded by the power, to pull down
and destroy, to persecute and proscribe, to desecrate and desolate the
Christian temples and charitable institutions which pious hands had reared
and richly endowed throughout Europe. How sadly prophetic were the
sagacious champions of true liberty and divine authority, the history of
the last three centuries fully attests.

Whoever has studied the career of modern civilization, either in the
detached records of nations and dynasties, or by following the course of
the church herself from her foundation to the present day, cannot fail to
discover that the advance of Europe from the epoch of the disruption of
the Roman Empire until the commencement of the XVIth century was a steady,
constant, and rapid march towards true civil polity and enlightenment;
frequently checked, it is true, by wars and local schisms, but ever
flowing onward in an irresistible and majestic flood.

From the barbarism and chaos incident to the disappearance of the central
authority of the empire, Europe emerged into the preparatory condition of
feudalism, at that time another name for order; and, through this state of
order, the first necessity of freedom, she was fast acquiring that second
essential element of political excellence—liberty. Already the humble
peasants of Helvetia were as free as the air of their romantic mountains;
Italy was dotted with republics; the Spanish peninsula was ruled more by
its cortes than by its sovereigns; France had her several “estates”;
Poland her elective monarchy; and Germany and the North were fast becoming
imbued with liberal and constitutional ideas; England, the last to adopt
the feudal system, had by degrees abrogated its slavish restraints and
commercial restrictions, and, with justice, boasted of her great charters
and independent parliaments; while over all a species of international law
was established, the chief executive of which sat in the chair of S.
Peter, before whose moral power warriors sheathed their swords and crowned
kings bowed their heads in submission. Municipalities, the germs of which
had first clustered around the monasteries, had become numerous and
powerful enough to defy and, on occasion, to curb the power of the feudal
nobles, and, under the protection of the guilds, the mechanical arts had
acquired a degree of perfection fully equal if not superior to that of our
own time. Those workers in wool, cotton, and silk, stone, metal, and wood,
have left us lasting monuments of their skill not only in the productions
of the looms of Flanders and Italy, and the forges of Spain and England,
but, better still, in the multiplicity of magnificent cathedrals and
basilicas, in the contemplation of which the artisan of this generation,
with all his supposed advantages, is lost in silent admiration. Poetry,
painting, architecture, and sculpture, the four highest developments of
creative genius, may be said to have reached, at the period immediately
anterior to the Reformation, the acme of glory and greatness, never before
nor since excelled or even equalled by man; while the discovery of the art
of printing had given a new impetus to literature, and commerce spread her
white wings in the Indian Ocean and along the shores of the New World.

Now, all these beneficent results were directly and indirectly the work of
the Catholic Church. From the details of ordinary life to the more
profound schemes of state policy, her animating presence was felt, and her
influence cheerfully recognized and obeyed, for it was always exercised
for the benefit of humanity and the greater glory of God. From the forging
of the Toledo blade that flashed in the dazzled eyes of the Saracen, to
the rearing aloft of that wonder of the Christian and pagan world, S.
Peter’s; from the humble Mechlin girl meshing a robe for a statue of the
Virgin, to Columbus exploring unknown seas in search of treasure to ransom
the holy shrines; from the poor friar teaching the child of the degraded
_villein_, to Archbishop Langdon framing _Magna Charta_; from the
enfranchisement of a serf, to the organization of the crusades, there was
no step in human progress that was not inspired and directed by the church
for the wisest and most exalted purposes. Guided by the spirit of
religion, the amount of solid happiness, simple virtue, and rational
liberty enjoyed by the people of Europe at the opening of the XVIth
century was greater, far greater, than their descendants possess at the
present time, after nearly four hundred years’ experience, and countless
attempts at religious, social, and political revolutions.

Yet, under the name of Reformation and greater liberty, this grand march
towards human perfection and eternal bliss was to be stayed, and even for
a time turned backwards, so that morally and politically Christendom has
not yet, nor is it likely for a long time, to recover from the shock which
it experienced at the hands of the Protestant reformers, their aiders and
abettors. The motives which actuated these reactionists were neither new
nor doubtful. Under various names and pretences, bodies of fanatics or
knaves swayed by the same inducements had appeared from time to time in
different parts of the world, generally causing much local disturbance,
but always suppressed by the authority of the church or the strong arm of
the state. They were simply detached efforts on the part of the worst
portion of the population to throw off all spiritual restraint as well as
temporal authority, and, by being thus freed both from moral and civil
law, to give full scope to their passions, undeterred by either religious
or social considerations. The history of fanaticism, of the Albigenses,
the Fratricelli, and the Lollards, proves that the leaders in such
movements were invariably the enemies of existing civil authority, and
that profligacy and plunder were the lures by which they drew around them
their deluded followers. The “Reformation,” as the last and greatest
rebellion is called, forms no exception to the rule.

In the early part of the XVIth century it broke out in Germany under the
auspices of three or four Saxon ecclesiastics, principal among whom were
Luther and Melanchthon. The former schismatic, who was a preacher of some
eminence, commenced by inveighing against the abuse of indulgences, and by
rapid transitions ended by totally denying the authority of the church in
every point of doctrine and discipline. He bases man’s salvation on faith
alone regardless of works, proclaimed the right of every individual to
make his own religion according as it seemed best to himself, and boldly
advocated the massacre of priests and bishops and the pillage of churches
and religious homes—the existence of all of which he declared to be
contrary to Holy Writ. “Now is the time,” he wrote, at the commencement of
his crusade, “to destroy convents, abbeys, priories, and monasteries”; to
which advice he added a little later, “These priests, these Mass‐mumblers,
deserve death as truly as a blasphemer who should curse God and his saints
in the public streets.” A system of belief at once so convenient and so
conformable with the greatest license, so free from all moral
responsibility and so suggestive of rapine and spoliation, could not but
attract followers, and Luther became so popular with the more debased of
his countrymen and with the rapacious among the nobles, that rivals soon
sprang up, who, accepting his premises, quickly outstripped him in the
race of fanaticism. The Anabaptists under Münzer, thinking that they also
had a right to private judgment, declared against infant baptism, demanded
a reorganization of society on what would now be called a socialistic
basis, and proceeded to put the heresiarch’s theory into practice by
overrunning the fairest provinces of Germany with fire and sword,
destroying alike feudal castles and Catholic churches, and slaughtering
with unheard‐of barbarity every one who opposed them, whether layman or
cleric.

This practical commentary on the new doctrine affrighted even its founder,
so he hastened to implore the interposition of his friends among the
German nobility. Accordingly, Philip of Hesse, in 1625, marched an army
against them, and, meeting their main body under Münzer, a quondam friend
and pupil of Luther, at Mülhausen, cut them to pieces and subsequently
hanged their leader. About thirty thousand peasants are stated to have
been slaughtered on this occasion, when the new Reformation may be said to
have been baptized, and the right of private judgment according to Luther
fully vindicated. Nearly at the same time another scene of even greater
barbarity was enacted at the other extremity of the Continent. Attracted
by reports of rich spoil to be obtained in Italy during the wars of the
emperor and the French king for the possession of that lovely but
unfortunate country, sixteen thousand German Lutheran mercenaries crossed
the Alps and joined the forces of Constable de Bourbon, himself a traitor
in arms against his country. Under the command of that gifted apostate,
they marched on Rome, and, though their leader fell in the attack, the
city was captured. Had he survived, the fate of the Eternal City might
have been sad enough, but, unrestrained by superior authority, the conduct
of the victors was simply diabolical. For weeks and months the city was
given over to plunder, and the inhabitants to every species of outrage by
those wretches, who, true to their master and his teachings, even went to
the extent, in mockery of the church, to formally suspend Clement VII.,
and elect in his stead their new apostle. How Luther must have chuckled at
the news!


    “Never perhaps, in the history of the world,” says a distinguished
    historian, “had a greater capital been given up to a more
    atrocious abuse of victory; never had a powerful army been made up
    of more barbarous elements; never had the restraints of discipline
    been more fearfully cast aside. It was not enough for these
    rapacious plunderers to seize upon the rich stores of sacred and
    profane wealth which the piety or industry of the people had
    gathered into the capital of the Christian world; the wretched
    inhabitants themselves became the victims of the fierce and brutal
    soldiery; those who were suspected of having hidden their wealth
    were put to the torture. Some were forced by these tortures to
    sign promissory notes, and to drain the purses of their friends in
    other countries. A great number of prelates fell under these
    sufferings. Many others, having paid their ransom, and while
    rejoicing to think themselves free from further attacks, were
    obliged to redeem themselves again and died from grief or terror
    caused by these acts of violence. The German troops were seen,
    drunk at once with wine and blood, leading about bishops in full
    pontifical attire, seated upon mules, or dragging cardinals
    through the streets, loading them with blows and outrages. In
    their eagerness for plunder, they broke in the doors of the
    tabernacles and destroyed masterpieces of art. The Vatican library
    was sacked; the public squares and churches of Rome were converted
    into market‐places, where the conquerors sold, as promiscuous
    booty, the Roman ladies and horses; and these brutal excesses were
    committed even in the basilicas of S. Peter and S. Paul, held by
    Alaric as sacred asylums; the pillage which, under Genseric, had
    lasted fourteen days, lasted now two months without
    interruption.”(130)


Having disposed of his rivals the Anabaptists and set afloat his anathemas
against the church, Luther proceeded systematically to disorganize society
and obstruct the efforts of the sovereign pontiff and the Catholic princes
to save Europe from the horrors of a Mahometan invasion, at that time most
imminent. He formed a league among the semi‐independent German princes
favorable to his views, particularly on the matter of confiscation, and
the power he had denied to the pope and bishops of the church he assumed
to himself by forthwith creating a number of evangelical ministers to
preach the new gospel. In 1529, the members of this league, with other
nobles of the empire, were summoned by the Emperor Charles V. to a diet at
Spires to concert means for the general defence of Christendom against the
Turks, then threatening it by the way of Hungary. The Lutherans, taking
advantage of the critical condition of affairs, and not being particularly
adverse to the success of any movement that would destroy Christianity,
demanded the most unreasonable terms as the price of their active co‐
operation. On the part of the emperor, it was proposed that all questions
of a religious nature should remain _in statu quo_ pending the struggle
against the infidels, and be submitted as soon as practicable thereafter
to a general or œcumenical council of the church, at which all parties
were to be represented. “The edict of Worms,” they proposed, “shall be
observed in the states in which it has already been received. The others
shall be free to continue in the new doctrines until the meeting of the
next general council. However, to prevent all domestic troubles, no one
shall preach against the sacrament of the altar; the Mass shall not be
abolished; and no one shall be hindered from celebrating or hearing it.”
But these concessions to heresy for the general good, this weak
recognition of an unlawful assumption of ecclesiastical and political
authority, were not what the reformers desired. Not even toleration or
equality would satisfy them. They wanted the right to persecute, to
eradicate by forcible means and as far as their power extended, every
vestige of Catholicity. They declared that in their opinion “the Mass is
an act of idolatry, condemned by a thousand passages of Sacred Scripture.
It is our duty and our right to overthrow the altars of Baal.” Thus
_protesting_ their duty and right to persecute, they retired from the
diet, left the Mahometans, as far as they were concerned, free scope to
destroy Christianity wherever they pleased, and Lutheranism, or rebellion,
was henceforth known by the generic title of Protestantism.

So far from Protestantism being, as popularly represented, the assertion
of liberty of conscience in religion, it originated in the denial of that
liberty, by asserting the right to persecute those who differed from them
in religion.

From this time the Reformation under its new and more comprehensive name
made vast strides on the Continent, its path being everywhere marked by
the same spirit of fanaticism, sacrilege, and destruction of property
devoted to religion, learning, and charity; the insane dissensions of the
Catholic rulers granting it immunity, if not positive encouragement.
Geneva and part of Switzerland first embraced the gloomy doctrines of
Calvin, and made active war on the church; spreading into France, the
Netherlands, and the northern countries, their adoption by the ignorant
and venal was invariably followed by the greatest atrocities and the
wildest anarchy. Europe was shaken to its centre, and wars, the worst of
wars, because waged in the name of religion, desolated the entire
Continent for over a century with but pause enough to enable the
combatants to rest and recruit their strength. The destruction of life
during this period must have been immense, morals degenerated, industry
languished, and the principles of rational freedom, which had been
steadily gaining ground, were lost sight of in the clash of arms and the
angry conflict of contending systems. From this epoch we may date the rise
of modern Cæsarism and revolutionary ferocity which at the present moment
are contending for supremacy in the Old World.

But it was not continental nations alone that suffered from the blight of
this stupendous curse. Great Britain and Ireland soon experienced its
baleful influence. Henry VIII., in order to be able to divorce his lawful
wife and marry a mistress, cut himself loose from the See of Rome, and
became, by act of parliament, head of the church in his own dominions.
Henry was no mean reformer, as the record of his life testifies. He
married in succession six wives, two of whom he repudiated, two beheaded,
and his sudden demise alone prevented the execution of his surviving
consort, whose death‐warrant had been signed by his royal and loving hand.
“For the glory of Almighty God and the honor of the realm,” he seized upon
all the churches in England, as well as nearly four hundred religious
houses, and confiscated their property “for the benefit of the crown”—that
is, for his own use and that of his facile courtiers and parliament. With
the same pious purpose, we suppose, he ordered for execution, at different
times, besides his wives, a cardinal, two archbishops, eighteen bishops,
thirteen abbots, five hundred priors and monks, thirty‐eight doctors,
twelve dukes and counts, one hundred and sixty‐four noblemen of various
ranks, one hundred and twenty‐four private citizens, and one hundred and
ten females. If all of those did not suffer the fate of the Charter‐house
monks, Sir Thomas More, Bishop Fisher, and the Countess of Salisbury, it
was not his fault, but theirs who were ungrateful enough to fly their
country and perish in poverty and exile, thus robbing the Reformation in
England of half its glory.

Under his daughter Elizabeth, nearly two hundred ecclesiastics are known
to have suffered for their faith on the scaffold, besides laymen, and the
multitude who died in prison: and if her successor, James I., does not
present as striking a record of his zeal, it was because there were very
few priests left to be hunted down, and very little Catholic property to
be confiscated. To do that light of the Reformation justice, wherever he
could catch a priest he hanged him, and, with a keenness eminently
national, wherever a penny could be squeezed out of a recusant Papist he
or his friends were sure to have it. Still he was only a gleaner in the
field so cleanly reaped by his predecessors; for even in unhappy Ireland
Elizabeth’s captains had done their work so thoroughly that he had nothing
to seize upon or give away but the uninhabited and desolated lands.

However, lest the traditions of the early fathers of his church—Luther,
Calvin, and the royal Henry—should be forgotten, and having no longer any
Catholics to persecute, he turned his attention to the Presbyterians,
Covenanters, and Puritans with some effect. The humanizing custom of
cropping the ears and slitting the noses of those dissenters became
greatly the fashion in this reign; for, though James acknowledged the
right of private judgment in the abstract, the exercise of the right was
found by his subjects to be a very dangerous pastime. The Puritans, who
also based their religion on the same right, improved on the lessons thus
taught; for, when in the next reign it became their turn to persecute and
punish, instead of cutting off the ears or the nose of his son and
successor, they took off the entire head, and gave to the English Church
its first and only martyr. Oliver Cromwell and the Long Parliament
interpreted “King James’ Version” too literally, and of course, believing
in freedom of conscience, swept away episcopacy, kings, bishops, and all.
After the Restoration, the English Church was again in the ascendant. Then
they dug up the bones of the Puritan regicides, scattered them to the
winds, and ever since the followers of John Knox and the believers in the
_Westminster Catechism_ have held a very subordinate place under the feet
of “the church as by law established.”

If the fell spirit of Protestantism, which, as we have seen, was bloody
and cruel in its inception and growth, had been confined to the eastern
hemisphere, we, as Americans, feeling grateful to Providence for the
exemption, might have less cause of complaint against it. But
unfortunately it was not so. The virgin soil of the New World, from the
first consecrated to freedom, we are often told, was destined to be
polluted by the evil genius evoked by the apostate monk of Wittenberg.
Every breeze from the east that wafted hither an immigrant‐ship bore on
its wings the deadly moral pestilence of intolerance and persecution. It
accompanied the Huguenots to the Carolinas, landed at Jamestown with the
royalists, went up the Delaware with the Swedes and Quakers, up the Hudson
with the Hollanders, and pervaded the hold of the _Mayflower_ from stem to
stern. Whatever physical, mental, and moral qualities those early
adventurers, of many lands and divers creeds, may have possessed,
Christian charity was certainly not of the number, and though they each
and all proclaimed the right of every one to be his own judge in matters
of religion—and most of them claimed to have suffered for conscience’s
sake—not one had the consistency or the courage to tolerate, much less
protect, the expression of an opinion or the observance of a form of
worship differing from his own. So completely had the rancor of the
founders of Protestantism eaten up whatever of Christianity it retained of
the church’s teaching, that each of the sects, having no common enemy to
prey upon, turned round, and, like hungry wolves, were ready to tear and
rend each other. With the exception of one small settlement, there were no
Catholics in the early colonies; but still, the Puritan found it as unsafe
to live in Virginia as the Episcopalian did in New England, while the non‐
combatant Friend dared not risk his life in either locality. There was one
little bright spot in the darkened firmament that hung over the infant
settlements, and that was near the mouth of the St. Mary’s, on the
Potomac. Here Lord Baltimore had planted a colony of Catholics which soon
showed signs of life and vigor, worshipping according to the old faith,
and proclaiming the doctrine of charity and religious toleration to all
Christians. But it was not long allowed to enjoy its honors in peace. Its
very existence was a reproach to its bigoted neighbors. Taking advantage
of its humane and equitable laws, Protestants of the various
denominations, persecuted in the other colonies, flocked to it as to a
city of refuge, abused its hospitality, when strong enough in numbers
changed its statutes, and actually commenced to persecute the very people
who had sheltered them.

As the colonies grew in population and extent, we do not find that they
increased in equity or liberality. Many of them were even at the pains of
passing laws prohibiting the settlement of Catholics within their limits;
and now and then we hear of some solitary priest being executed or a group
of humble Catholics driven into further exile. The dawn of our Revolution
created some change in religious sentiment, but it was more on the surface
than in the heart. England, the oppressor, was the champion of
Protestantism; France, the ally, was as essentially Catholic; so it was
not considered politic to manifest too openly that bigotry of soul which
pervaded all classes of society in those days, though even in the
continental congress there were found some candid enough to object to
asking the assistance of Catholic Frenchmen to help them to wrest their
liberties from their Protestant enemy. These patriots preferred the
Hessians and their Lutheranism to Lafayette and Rochambaud.

Our independence once gained by the efficient aid of the troops of the
eldest son of the church, a pause appears to have occurred in the
persecuting progress of the sects. Common decency required as much, but
commercial interest demanded it. Our finances were in a ruinous condition,
and it was only among the Catholic nations of Europe that we could look
for sympathy and support. Then the new states very generally repealed the
colonial penal laws, and finally the amended constitution prohibited the
interference of the general government in matters of religion. Still,
though we owe much to French sympathy and influence in placing us, as
Catholics, free and equal before the law, we owe more to those of our own
countrymen who actually had no religion at all. We would rather, for the
honor of human nature, that the benefits thus received had been derived
from another source; but it is an historical fact that the minds of many
of the leaders of the Revolution, before and during that struggle, had
become deeply imbued with the false philosophy then prevalent among the
intellectual classes in Europe, and, believing in no particular
revelation, dogma, or religion, they could see no reason why one party
calling itself Christian should ostracise another claiming the same
distinction. To their credit, be it said, our countrymen never carried
their theories to the same extent as their fellow‐philosophers across the
Atlantic, and their impartiality, which we would fain hope to have been
sincere, took a direction in accord with the spirit of justice and
impartial legislation.

If, then, our young Republic has not been disgraced by such penal
enactments against Catholics as have long disfigured the statute‐books of
England, and which are yet in force in Holland, Denmark, Sweden, and
Norway, the Protestant sects, as such, deserve neither credit nor
gratitude. The active Protestants of that day—the ministers, deacons, and
politicians—were just as narrow‐minded and as bigoted as were their
ancestors, and as would be their descendants if it were not for certain
good reasons best known to themselves. Witness the periodical outbursts of
Nativism or Know‐Nothingism which have from time to time disgraced our
national character. These have been directed invariably against
Catholics—not against foreigners as such, for with a Protestant or even
infidel foreigner their promoters have never professed to find fault. The
occasional destruction of a convent, the burning of a church—and we have
had many so dealt with—or the mobbing of a priest may only show that
depravity exists in certain sections of the country, but the news of such
atrocities has been received with such ill‐concealed
satisfaction—certainly with nothing like hearty condemnation—by the
clerical demagogues and the so‐called religious press, that we are forced
into the conviction that to the absence of opportunity and power on their
part we alone owe our exemption from such villanies on a larger and better
organized system.

We are told, in a tone of patronage, if not menace, that we ought to be
content as long as the Catholics of America are free and enjoy equality
under the law. We grant the freedom and equality, but only so far as the
letter, not the spirit, of the law is concerned. Let any one look at the
way our Catholic missions in the far West have been defrauded for the
benefit of Methodist and Baptist preachers of the Word and cheaters of the
Indians, and tell us are they free and equal? How many Catholic chaplains
are there in the army and navy, the bone and sinew of which are mainly
Catholics? For how many foreign consuls are we paying merely to act as
agents for the Board of Foreign Missions, Bible Societies, and Book
Concerns? How are our numerous state institutions—penitentiary,
reformatory, and eleemosynary—attended to in the interests of their
Catholic inmates? When these questions are satisfactorily answered, we
will be able to estimate the extent of the legal equality we possess. For
so much of freedom and equality as we actually enjoy, we are thankful.
Grateful not, however, to the Protestant sects, but to a benevolent
Providence who has vouchsafed it to us; and, under him, to our Catholic
predecessors who helped to found, and our co‐religionists who have bravely
defended, our institutions, and who now stand ready to oppose with might
and main any attempt to infringe upon our liberties.

But even as to the letter of the law we are not without just cause of
complaint. For instance, we object most emphatically to the present school
law of this state as unjust and inequitable in its provisions and method
of administration. The state has no right to prescribe how or what our
children shall be taught, and then make us pay for its so doing. We
Catholics are unanimously in favor of educating our own offspring
according to our conception of the demands of religion and morality, and,
as the artificial body called the state is a judge of neither, it is
manifestly incompetent to direct the training of our children. We are also
willing to pay, and are actually expending, large sums of money in this
good work; and while we are doing so, we hold it not just to tax us for
the support of schools we do not require. Our duty to the state and
society is performed when we teach our children to obey the laws of one
and respect the usages of the other, and, if parents and the ministers of
religion are unable to do this, mere officials and strangers certainly
cannot. However, if the state will insist on levying a school‐tax, let it
in justice give us a pro rata share of the money, and let the Evangelical
Alliance of the sects take theirs and bring up their children in their own
way. We ask nothing for ourselves that we would not willingly see granted
to others, but, until one or other of these measures be adopted, we
maintain that a large class of the citizens of the United States is
deprived of one of its most vital and dearest religious rights.

Then, again, look at the treatment meted out by the legislative
authorities to Catholic institutions, to our hospitals, foundling‐asylums,
reformatories, and orphanages, which save annually to the state hundreds
of thousands of dollars, and are daily conferring on society incalculable
advantages. What begging, petitioning, and beseeching must we not resort
to, to get the least legislative favor for them, even to a bare act of
incorporation! For a quarter of a century or more, irresponsible bodies
under the names of the sects, or even in no names but their own, have been
fattening on the public money, our money, and no word of remonstrance has
been uttered; but, as soon as anything is asked for our institutions, the
cry of “sectarian appropriations” and “Romish designs” is immediately
raised and repeated along the line. Every petty bigot who misuses a pen
gets up a howl about the “Papists,” and “Romanism the Rock Ahead,” etc.;
the pigeon‐holes of the _religious_ newspaper offices, and of newspapers
the contrary of religious, are ransacked for stale calumnies against the
church, and slanders over and over refuted are launched at the most gifted
and reputable of our citizens. This must all be changed before we can
consider that, as Catholics, we stand on an equality with non‐Catholic
Americans, and before we are prepared to admit that Protestantism,
mollified by time and distance, has lost any of its pristine love of
persecution and proscription. We would prefer to live at peace with every
shade of Christians, but, if they will not let us, they must take the
responsibility.

In stating our grievance in this manner, we do not address ourselves
specially to the sense of justice or fair play of the leaders of
Protestant opinion, but rather to the manhood and intelligence of our co‐
religionists who, by a more determined effort, might easily remove the
evils of which we complain. We are more confirmed in this view by a recent
event which happened at the national capital. The force of well‐regulated
public opinion will always be very powerful in this Republic, and we are
satisfied that the opposition very generally expressed by the Catholics of
the country to the scheme of compulsory education by the general
government, some time ago introduced into Congress by some distinguished
members, had a powerful effect in defeating, for a time at least, a
measure fraught with the greatest danger to our rights, and to the general
liberties of all the states.(131)

We expect little from the Protestant press or pulpits. The manner in which
the revival of religious persecutions in Europe has been looked upon by
them precludes the faintest hope that they will listen to the appeals of
humanity or justice where their passions, prejudices, or interests are
concerned. Not very long since, the schismatic king of Sardinia wantonly
levied war on the most defenceless and venerable sovereign in the world,
and despoiled him of the larger half of his small dominions; yet there was
not a single Protestant voice heard among us in reprobation of the foul
act. Two years ago the same royal _filibustero_, with, if possible, less
pretence, and without any warning, stealthily advanced his army on the
Eternal City, took possession of its churches and their sacred furniture;
its convents, and turned them into barracks and stables; its treasures of
art and literature, and sold them to the highest bidder; its colleges and
schools, and drove out the students and poor children to wander on the
face of the earth. Then the Protestant churches and meeting‐houses rang
with acclamations; and public assemblies were held by freedom‐loving
American citizens to congratulate the modern vandal on his “victory”
over—justice, religion, and civilization.

Rome has again been sacked, this time not by the rude Lutheran
_Landsknechte_, but by a more ruthless and more insidious foe, the
Garibaldini, the enemies of all forms of revealed religion, the men who
swear on the dagger and the bowl because they have no God to swear by. The
sovereign pontiff is virtually a prisoner in his Vatican; monks and
priests, passing along the streets to comfort the afflicted or administer
the sacraments to the dying, are set upon and slain at noon‐day; weak and
delicately nurtured ladies are turned out of their peaceful retreats into
the highways, to be insulted and derided by a crowd of vagabonds gathered
from every quarter of Europe; the libraries, statuary, paintings,
castings, and all the treasures which made Rome the centre of Christian
art, and the depository of the world’s store of classic literature, lie at
the mercy of a horde of ruffians, the very offscourings of Italian
society, called together to that devoted city by the hope of plunder and
the certainty of immunity for their crimes. All this and more is matter of
public notoriety, yet no word of execration, no wail of sorrow, at this
worse than vandalism rises up from a country that boasts its love of
civilization, its chivalry to women, its respect for sacred things, and
its patronage of the arts and letters. Why? They are only priests that are
assassinated, only helpless nuns that are jeered at, only Catholic
treasures that are stolen, shattered, or destroyed; right, justice,
liberty, and even ordinary humanity, can afford to suffer and be
forgotten, so that Catholicity be thereby weakened and checked in its
onward course. The force of bigotry can go no further.

Late European mails bring us an account of a general election throughout
“United Italy” on the universal suffrage plan—that supposed panacea for
all political ills. The Catholics in certain portions of the country, it
seems, who had hitherto abstained from voting, resolved this time to take
part in the contest. As soon as this became known to the ministry, a
circular was sent to even the local government official