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Title: The Catholic World, Volume 18, October, 1873, to March, 1874. - A Monthly Magazine of General Literature and Science
Author: Various
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Catholic World, Volume 18, October, 1873, to March, 1874. - A Monthly Magazine of General Literature and Science" ***

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                                  THE

                            CATHOLIC WORLD.

                                   A

                           MONTHLY MAGAZINE

                                  OF

                    GENERAL LITERATURE AND SCIENCE.

                              VOL. XVIII.
                    OCTOBER, 1873, TO MARCH, 1874.


                               NEW YORK:
                    THE CATHOLIC PUBLICATION HOUSE.
                           9 Warren Street.

                                 1874.



CONTENTS.


  Archbishop Spalding, 512.

  Are Our Public Schools Free? 1.


  Block of Gold, A, 855.

  Brittany, More about, 111.


  Catharine, S., of Ricci, 420.

  Cathedral of Chartres, The, 235.

  Catholic Literature in England Since the Reformation, 261, 363.

  Catholic Young Men's Associations, 269.

  Christmas Story, A, 479.

  Como, A Week at the Lake of, 137.

  Confiscation Laws, Italian, 30.

  Court of France in 1830, The, 403.

  Crime--Its Origin and Cure, 55.


  Daniel O'Connell, 208.

  Dubois' Madame Agnes, 68, 195.


  English Christmas Story, An, 479.

  English Maiden's Love, An, 694.

  English Sketches: An Hour in Jail, 279.

  English Sketches: Ruins of an Old Abbey, 398.

  Epiphany, The, 590.

  Evangelical Alliance, The, 353.


  Farm of Muiceron, The, 171, 338, 442, 627, 734.

  Father Sebastian Rale, S.J., 541.

  France, The Court of in 1830, 403.

  French Poet, A, 94.

  Fur Trader, The, 412, 502.


  Grace Seymour's Mission, 668, 806.

  Grande Chartreuse, A Visit to the, 118.

  Grapes and Thorns, 10, 220, 303, 591, 772.


  Hester Hallam, 473.

  Hour in a Jail, An, 279.

  How George Howard was Cured, 40.


  Italian Confiscation Laws, 30.


  Jansenist Schism in Holland, The, 686, 838.

  John Stuart Mill, 721.


  Laus Perennis, 388.

  Literature, Catholic, in England, 261, 363.

  Looker-Back, A, 711, 848.

  Love of God, The, 93.


  Madame Agnes, 68, 195.

  Madame de Staël, 532.

  Metaphysics, A Talk on, 289.

  More about Brittany: Its Customs, Its People, and Its Poems, 111.

  My Friend and His Story, 87.


  Nano Nagle, 658.

  Napoleonic Idea and Its Consequences, The, 79.


  Odd Stories, 142.

  O'Connell, Daniel, 208.

  One Chapter from Hester Hallam's Life, 473.

  Our Masters, 702.


  Paris Hospitals, 124.

  Philosophical Terminology, 184, 753.

  Principles of Real Being, The, 433, 577, 824.

  Public Schools, Are they Free? 1.


  Rale, Father Sebastian, S.J., 541.

  Real Being, The Principles of, 433, 577, 824.

  Religious Policy of the Second Empire, 793.

  Ruins of an Old Abbey, 398.


  See of S. Francis of Sales, The, 249.

  Son of God, The, Archetypal Beauty, 165.

  Song of Roland, The, 378, 488.

  Spalding, Archbishop, 512.

  Spiritualism, 145, 318, 606.

  Staël, Madame de, 532.


  Tale of the Northwest, A, 412, 502.

  Talk on Metaphysics, A, 289.

  Terminology, Philosophical, 184.

  Travels with a Valetudinarian, 522.


  Visit to the Grande Chartreuse, A, 118.


  Week at the Lake of Como, A, 137.


  Year of Our Lord 1873, The, 558.

  Young Men's Associations, Catholic, 269.


  POETRY.


  Child Restored, The, 531.

  Church Postures, 9.

  Cui Bono? 684.


  Dante's Purgatorio, 166, 299, 587.


  Epigrams, 298, 657.


  From Egypt to Chanaan, 557.


  Greatest Grief, The, 425.


  In Thy Light shall we see Light, 248.


  Late Home, 771.

  Little Chapel, The, 756.

  Lute with the Broken String, The, 285.


  Mary, 110.


  Nature, To, 123.


  Ordinandus, 472.


  Priest, The, 219.


  Recent Poetry, 54.


  Self-Love, 194.

  Serious "Vive la Bagatelle," The, 441.

  Sleep, 317.


  Trouvere, The, 67.


  Venite, Adoremus, 501.

  Vigil, 857.


  NEW PUBLICATIONS.

  Acts of the Early Martyrs, The, 576.

  Arena and the Throne, The, 575.

  Ark of the People, The, 573.

  Augustine, S., Works of, 860.


  Baron of Hertz, 574.

  Bible History, 430.

  Byrne's Irish Emigration, 288.


  Catholicity and Pantheism, 426.

  Christian Doctrine, The Enchiridion, etc., 860.

  Christian Trumpet, The, 427.


  De Concilio's Catholicity and Pantheism, 426.

  De Smet's Voyages aux Montagnes Rocheuses, etc., 287.

  Divine Sequence, The, 286.

  Dove of the Tabernacle, The, 859.


  Essays on Various Subjects, 429.

  Ewing, Thomas, Memorial of, 859.


  Fastré's Acts of the Early Martyrs, 576.

  Fullerton's Life of Luisa de Carvajal, 286.

  Fullerton's Seven Stories, 574.


  Goldie's Life of B. John Berchmans, 720.

  Good Things for Catholic Readers, 288.

  Gordon Lodge, 574.


  Historical Sketches, 144.

  Holy Mass, The, 858.

  House of Gold, and the Saint of Nazareth, 287.


  Idea of a University, 144.

  Illustrated Catholic Family Almanac, 431.

  Irish Emigration to the United States, 288.


  Jesuits in Conflict, 719.


  Kinane's The Dove of the Tabernacle, 859.

  Kirkpatrick's Spain and Charles VII., 429.


  Labadye's Baron of Hertz, 574.

  Lascine, 574.

  Lectures on S. John, 860.

  Lectures upon the Devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, 720.

  Lefebvre's Louise Lateau, 857.

  Lenten Sermons, 859.

  Life of Luisa de Carvajal, 286.

  Life of S. Alphonsus Liguori, 718.

  Life of S. Alphonsus Liguori, by Bishop Mullock, 718.

  Life of the B. John Berchmans, 720.

  Life of the Most Rev. M. J. Spalding, 432.

  Life of the Ven. Anna Maria Taigi, 858.

  Lives of the Irish Saints, 718.


  Marie and Paul, 574.

  Meditations for the Use of the Clergy, 431.

  Memorial of Thomas Ewing, 859.

  Moscheles' Recent Music and Musicians, 432.

  Müller's The Holy Mass, 858.

  Mullock's Life of S. Alphonsus Liguori, 718.


  Newman's Historical Sketches, 144.

  Newman's Idea of a University, 144.


  O'Hanlon's Lives of the Irish Saints, 718.

  O'Leary's Bible History, 430.

  O'Reilly's Songs from the Southern Seas, 431.


  Pleadings of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 859.

  Poetical Life of S. Joseph, 287.

  Potter's Sacred Eloquence, 144.

  Pratt's Rhoda Thornton's Girlhood, 575.

  Preston's Lectures upon the Devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of
    Jesus Christ, 720.

  Pronouncing Handbook of 3,000 Words, 287.


  Real Presence, The, 574.

  Recent Music and Musicians, 432.

  Rhoda Thornton's Girlhood, 575.

  Rituale Romanum Pauli V. Pontificis Maximi Jussu Editum et a
    Benedicto XIV. Auctum et Castigatum, etc., 575.


  Sacred Eloquence, 144.

  Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pleadings of the, 859.

  Saxe Holm's Stories, 574.

  Scotti's Meditations for the Use of the Clergy, 431.

  Segneri's Lenten Sermons, 859.

  Seven Stories, 574.

  Songs from the Southern Seas, 431.

  Soule and Campbell's Pronouncing Vocabulary, 287.

  Spain and Charles VII., 429.

  Spalding's Life of Archbishop Spalding, 432.

  Story of Wandering Willie, The, 432.


  Thompson's The Life of the Ven. Anna Maria Taigi, 858.

  Tissot's Real Presence, 574.

  Townsend's Arena and the Throne, 575.


  Voyages aux Montagnes Rocheuses et Sejour ches les Tribus Indiennes
    de l'Oregon, 287.


  White's Gordon Lodge, 574.

  Wiseman's Essays on Various Subjects, 429.



THE

CATHOLIC WORLD.

VOL. XVIII., No. 103.--OCTOBER, 1873.[1]



ARE OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS FREE?

  "Give Catholics their full rights; ask nothing of them you would
  not willingly concede if you were in their place."--_New York
  Journal of Commerce._


The subject of education, the method and extent of it, is undoubtedly
one of the foremost topics of discussion to-day, and will be more
conspicuous than ever in the immediate future. And, while all men are
agreed that a sound and sufficient education of the entire people
is our only ground of hope for the perpetuity of our rights and
liberties--that, in truth, it is vital--it is not to be wondered at
that men differing in the depth as well as extent of their individual
culture, should also widely differ as to the constituent elements of a
sound and sufficient education. There are, for instance, some, as yet
happily few in number, who, in the maze of confusion and Babel-like
discussions of sectarians and false teachers turn their faces away
in hopeless, helpless uncertainty, and suggest that _religion_ of
every name and kind must be excluded and the Deity himself ignored in
our public schools, so that public education shall be _secular_; and
however much of "religion" of any and every sort may be taught, it must
be _in private_. This is natural enough in those unfortunate persons
who so far lack a _positive faith_ that they see no safety except in
uncertainty, and hence adopt a kind of _eclecticism_ which, embracing
some abstract truth, may confessedly also contain something of error.

The early settlers of this country--this "land of liberty"--however,
had no idea of excluding religion from the schools; and if any among
them or their immediate successors entertained even any peculiar
notions as to what constituted religion, they were very summarily
"squelched out."

Even "the great expounder of the constitution" was in the habit of
adjuring his fellow-citizens "not to forget the _religious_ character
of our origin," and to remember that the right to "life, liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness" is guaranteed to us in that epitome of human
wisdom which the great New Englander was born to defend. That right
it is the privilege and the duty of each one of us also to maintain,
especially when it is threatened under the specious pretext of reform.

These and other reflections are suggested by the perusal of a pamphlet,
a sort of campaign document, issued by the "New York City Council
of Political Reform," first published in 1872, and thought to be of
consequence enough to be reissued in the present year of grace 1873.
This document contains among others a report entitled "Sectarian
Appropriations of Public Money." The very title of this report at once
alarms and arouses us. We are alarmed at the dangers that menace, and
we are aroused to defend, our rights as Americans. In this defence we
invoke the genius of liberty and the spirit of "equal rights," and
shall fight under the "Stars and Stripes," the flag of freedom, till
we succeed in repelling the open as well as insidious assaults of the
enemies of that truth which only can make us FREE.

The ostensible and praiseworthy purpose of the pamphlet in question is
to expose the frauds upon the city treasury perpetrated by the late
"Tammany Ring," which, in the person of the "boss thief of the world,"
is now on trial, in a sort, before the courts, charged with _robbery_,
_theft_, and _perjury_, but the real purpose, the iniquitous and
damnable purpose, is intimated in the following words of the report
upon "Sectarian Appropriations, etc.": "Over $2,273,231 taken from the
treasury in 1869, 1870, 1871. One sect gets in cash $1,915,456 92;
besides public land, $3,500,000. Total to a single sect, $5,415,456
92." And further (on page 10 of the same report): "Nearly $2,000,000 of
the money raised by taxes abstracted from the public treasury of the
city and county of New York in the last three years alone for sectarian
uses. A single sect gets $1,396,388 51, besides a large slice of the
city's real estate."

This "sect" means the Catholic Americans of the city of New York, in
numbers somewhere about 500,000, or nearly half the population of the
city; of whom we are told elsewhere in this same report (page 4) that,
"as a sect," it has during the last three years, _by an alliance with
the Tammany Ring drawn_ (taken, abstracted) _from the public treasury,
in cash, for the support of its convents, churches, cathedrals, church
schools, and asylums, the enormous sum of_ $1,396,388 51.

It is hardly worth while for our present purpose to verify or to
contradict this total or the particulars of it, for the errors into
which the report or its author has perhaps ignorantly fallen, though
not inconsiderable in magnitude, hardly affect our main purpose; and
after all, these "inaccuracies" may not, it is hoped, be the result of
_carelessness_ solely, but are due in some measure to the fact that
many of the "sects," while they parody our practices, appropriate also
our names, and so may conveniently be confounded with our Catholic
institutions.

We will, however, point out some which may readily be investigated.
For instance, on page 10 of the report just mentioned, we find that
the "House of Mercy," Bloomingdale, with a $5,000 "abstraction" in
1869, is classed as Roman Catholic, and it happens to be a Protestant
institution; the "Sisters of Mercy" also, with an "abstraction" of
$457, is Protestant; "German-American School, S. Peter's Church," with
its "abstraction" of $1,500, is Protestant; and the "German-American
Free School," with its "abstraction" of $14,000 in 1869, $2,496 in
1870, and $1,960 in 1871, is Protestant; and the "German-American
School, Nineteenth Ward," with its "abstraction" of $3,150 in 1869
and $2,700 in 1870, is Protestant; and the "Church of Holy Name or S.
Matthew," with its "abstraction" of $463 12, is also Protestant; and
the "Free German School," with its "abstraction" of $5,000 in 1869,
$3,600 in 1870, and $4,480 in 1871, is also Protestant; and the "German
Mission Association," with its "abstraction" of $5,000 in 1869, and
$10,000 in 1870 and 1871, is also Protestant; besides others, perhaps,
improperly classed as Roman Catholic. In some other instances, the sums
"abstracted" were simply amounts of assessments improperly laid and
subsequently refunded.

And in connection with this suggestion of errors may be noted, also,
among the _omissions_ (suppressions, may we not say?) the instance
of "The Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents" which
is mentioned (on p. 16 of the report in question) as receiving an
"abstraction" of $8,000 in 1870 and nothing in 1871. This is a
Protestant institution, and so classed in the Report--to show, we
suppose, how small an "abstraction" comparatively it "took." But will
the author of the report tell us how large an "abstraction" that
society "took" of "public money"? As he has not, and perhaps does not
know, we refer him to its annual report, where he will find as follows,
viz.:

  1870. From State Comptroller,       $40,000 00
        From City Comptroller,          8,000 00
        Board of Education, License,
          and Theatres,                22,218 53
                                      ----------
                                      $70,218 53

  1871. State Comptroller,            $40,000 00
        Board of Education,             5,766 91

making a pretty total of $70,218 53 for 1870 and $45,766 91 for 1871.

There is also the "New York Juvenile Asylum," a Protestant institution,
which does not seem to be mentioned in the report in question, but it
will be found that in 1871 it "abstracted"

  From the City Treasury,           $48,049 41
  From the Board of Education,        4,015 83
                                    ----------
                                    $52,065 24

There are other "omissions"--that of the "abstraction" by the
"Children's Aid Society," for instance--but these are enough for the
purpose, although it may be added that in 1872 this institution "took"
from the city $106,238 90.

Our objection is not so much to the amount "in cash" stated to have
been "taken," because the report admits that it has not been expended
for individual or selfish purposes, but in the maintenance and working
of schools and other beneficent institutions. We wish, however, that
the "New York City Council of Political Reform" had used the means at
its command to give an accurate and _complete_ statement, and we think
it would have been wiser to do so, inasmuch as, while professedly
carrying on the purpose proclaimed in its motto on page 1 of the
report in question, to "CHERISH, PROTECT, AND PRESERVE THE FREE COMMON
SCHOOLS," it has seen fit so unmistakably to attack the "single sect."
Certainly, we object to the manner in which the "sect" is charged
to have acquired its money, although having used it so wisely. This
"single sect," comprising as it does more than two hundred millions
(or two-thirds) of the Christian population of the world, rather
objects to the term "sect" as applied. And if the author will take the
trouble to consult the other Webster--not Daniel, whom we have already
quoted--but him of the more venerable baptismal name, he will learn,
very likely, however, not for the first time, that the term "sect"
means "a denomination which dissents from an established church."
And Catholics are certainly not aware that they are "dissenters" in
the hitherto recognized sense of the word among polemical writers.
Whether his application of the term is malicious or simply the result
of ignorance, makes little difference; it suited _him_, and is of no
particular importance just now to us.

But surely the author of the report cannot think the amount, even
as overstated by him, to be disproportionate to the end to be
attained--"to cherish, protect, and preserve the free common schools,"
when it is added that _our_ purpose is also "to extend" and to make our
common schools "free" indeed to all, whether Jew or Gentile. All that
we ask is to have our equal rights in this land of equal rights, and
to extend in the broadest manner the freedom of the public schools, so
that the rights and consciences of none may be restricted or violated.
We ask simply that the "money raised by taxes," so large a portion of
which we are charged to have "abstracted," shall be divided _pro rata_,
and so, by dividing the difficulty, conquer it! In the report, it is
admitted (p. 4) that the "enormous sum" alleged or intimated to have
been surreptitiously "taken" or "abstracted," was not "taken" for the
purpose of individual gain, but for "the support of convents, churches,
cathedrals, and church schools." What sum, _thus expended_, can be too
great? In what is it enormous? Is it enormous because disproportioned
to the amount expended by other "sects"? Or is it so because expended
for the support of schools kept in "damp basements of churches, so
dark that gas has to be used on the brightest days," rather than in the
"educational palaces" where Catholics cannot go without a violation of
conscience, and from which they are practically excluded?

And here it is notable that in the report now under consideration (p.
2) is printed the following, purporting to be an extract from a report
of the "Secretary of Commissioners of Charities" to the Legislature in
1871, wherein it is said the secretary "_refers very truthfully to the
already marked injury to the public schools of the city of New York
caused by building up and supporting from the public treasury so large
a number of rival sectarian schools_" (see _Rep._ pp. 99, 100). The
italics are not ours.

Now, in the report of the Hon. Abram B. Weaver, Superintendent of
Public Education, made in the same year (1871), he says: "The aggregate
and the average attendance was greater absolutely, and in proportion
to population, than in any former year"--"... 11,700 schools were
maintained, 17,500 teachers were employed, and about $10,000,000 were
expended" (_Rep. Com. of Education_, 1871, p. 291). "The average number
of pupils for the whole state in attendance each day of the entire
term in 1870 was 16,284, more than in 1869, etc." (p. 292). And in
New York City, we are told in the same report (p. 301 of _Report of
Commissioners of Education_, 1871), "It is interesting to note, as
evidence of the substantial progress of free schools in New York City,
that, while the whole population of the city has increased but about 14
per cent. in the last ten years, the average attendance of pupils has
increased nearly 54 per cent. in the same time." Now, wherein consists
the _injury_ complained of? While the average attendance on the "free
public schools" was actually increasing, whence came the children
attending in these "damp basements of churches," and what necessity
drove them from the "educational palaces"? Is the condition, in certain
respects, of our public schools such as is pictured by the writer of
the following, taken from the New York _Herald_ of Feb. 9, 1873:

"PUBLIC-SCHOOL ABUSES.

  "TO THE EDITOR OF THE HERALD:

  "Your articles on school ventilation have my hearty approval. I
  have sent my two youngest boys for two successive winters to the
  boys' school on Thirteenth street, near Sixth avenue (primary
  department), but each time they remained from one to two weeks, and
  then had to remain home, owing to a severe cold or inflammation
  of the lungs, which kept them away for weeks. Having tried the
  school thus I was compelled to remove them this winter to a
  private school, where they have attended regularly and have been
  in good health. No judgment is used in that department in regard
  to ventilation. Sometimes the room is excessively warm; at other
  times the windows on both sides of the house are opened, and the
  current of cold air descending on the heads of the children causes
  catarrhal affections and pneumonia.

  "Such complaints as the following have been made about the girls'
  school, Twelfth street, near University place. A continual system
  of stealing is going on after they leave in the afternoon. The
  desks locked up are opened and articles removed, even books as
  well as other things, and if anything is accidentally left by the
  scholars it is always gone before morning. Nothing is safe in
  that school, and the question is, who steals it? Complaints, I
  understand, have been made, but no steps taken to correct it again.

  "The Board of Education is frequently applied to for necessary
  books and material for conducting the school, and they are not
  supplied. No notice is taken. The teachers have to purchase
  themselves the necessary articles, or go without. At present, to my
  knowledge, an important part of a teacher's duty is prevented being
  fulfilled by reason of not having the necessary material. Teachers
  are afraid of complaining for fear of losing their situations.

AMICUS."


Or this, taken from the New York _Telegram_ of February 13, 1873:

  "An association has been formed by the women of Washington, called
  'The Society for Moral Education,' which has for its object the
  proper education and mental development of the children of the
  country. The society holds regular meetings, and proposes to become
  a national organization. Mrs. L. B. Chandler, of Boston, is the
  inspiring genius of the movement. The members of the society, in
  an appeal for support, say: 'As women, teachers, and mothers, we
  feel it incumbent upon us, in view of the alarming prevalence of
  intemperance and various frightful social vices, the increase
  of pernicious knowledge among children and youth, the general
  ill-health of women, the large number of diseased, deformed,
  idiotic children born, and the appalling mortality of infants,
  to seek the means whereby future generations may be blessed with
  better knowledge of the laws of life, wiser and stronger parents,
  and a purer social state."

Or this, from Prof. Agassiz, embodied in an editorial article of the
Boston _Herald_ of October 20, 1871:

  "Year after year the chief of police publishes his statistics of
  prostitution in this city, but how few of the citizens bestow
  more than a passing thought upon the misery that they represent!
  Although these figures are large enough to make every lover of
  humanity hang his head with feelings of sorrow and shame at the
  picture, we are assured that they represent but a little, as it
  were, of the actual licentiousness that prevails among all classes
  of society. Within a few months, a gentleman (Prof. Agassiz) whose
  scientific attainments have made his name a household word in all
  lands, has personally investigated the subject, and the result has
  filled him with dismay, when he sees the depths of degradation to
  which men and women have fallen; he has almost lost faith in the
  boasted civilization of the XIXth century. In the course of his
  inquiries, he has visited both the well-known 'houses of pleasure'
  and the 'private establishments' scattered all over the city. He
  states that he has a list of both, with the street and number,
  the number of inmates, and many other facts that would perfectly
  astonish the people if made public. He freely conversed with the
  inmates, and the life histories that were revealed were sad indeed.
  To his utter surprise, a large proportion of the 'soiled doves'
  _traced their fall to influences that met them in the public
  schools_, and although Boston is justly proud of its schools, it
  would seem from his story that they need a thorough purification."

Or are we driven to the conclusion that the "injury" complained of is
like that which was chronicled so long ago, as suffered by Haman at the
hands of Mordecai?

"A single sect gets $1,396,388.51, besides a large slice of the
city's real estate." This, of course, refers to the cathedral lots.
That this "large slice" was fairly obtained, in the customary way of
business, more than half a century ago, and at a time when no "Tammany
Ring" existed, and when this "same sect" had no regularly consecrated
place of worship in this city, so insignificant were its numbers, is
notoriously a matter of record--known, indeed, of all men who choose to
know; and the statement made in the "report" has been so often refuted,
that the repetition of it now is disgraceful, and is simply a lie "well
stuck to." As to the other leases mentioned "at a nominal rental," what
matters it to anybody but Haman so long as the property, however now
increased in value for building sites or other material advantage to
the "money-changers," is devoted, as the report in question expressly
admits, to the cause of education--of the education of "the children
whose poverty prevented them from attending the public schools for
want of clothing, and in many cases even of food"--as we are told
in the following extract from the last published _Report_ of the
Board of Public Instruction (city of New York) for 1871 (page 14):
"It will be seen from the preceding statement" (showing the average
attendance at the schools under the jurisdiction of the Board to be,
for 1871, 103,481, and in 1870, 103,824) "that the attendance at the
public schools has not increased, which is readily explained by the
fact that many benevolent and charitable institutions have entered the
educational field. In these institutions the children whose poverty
prevented them from attending the public schools for want of clothing,
and in many cases even of food, are provided for."

In the same pamphlet from which we have quoted is also another
"Document," designated "No. 4," embodying what purports to be a
report made to the "State Council of Political Reform" in 1870 by
"the Committee on Endowment and Support by the State of Sectarian
Institutions." This "report" contains, among other quotations from
Aristotle, Washington, Jay, De Witt Clinton, Chancellor Kent, Milton,
Lord Brougham, Guizot, and Horace Mann, many of which are so generally
known and accepted as to have become truisms, one notable extract
from Thomas Jefferson, which embodies very nearly all that Catholics
desire and are contending for. Jefferson says: "A system of general
instruction which shall reach every description of our citizens from
the richest to the poorest ... give it to us in any shape." This is
what _we_ ask. We make no war; we have no "plan of attack" upon the
public schools, as charged upon page 5 of this Document No. 4; our
chief desire is simply that expressed in the words already quoted
from Thomas Jefferson; and, with the "sectarians," we deny that the
system now in use is sufficiently "general" to accomplish the purpose
intended, or that it can be called a general system while it excludes
any class whose positive religious convictions must necessarily be
daily interfered with by what is called an "unsectarian" method of
instruction. We believe, as did the Puritan fathers, that a knowledge
of and an obedience to the divine government are essential in fitting
each child "to be a citizen of a free and tolerant republic." We
believe in our right to say how and by whom such knowledge shall be
given and such obedience shall be taught, and we also believe that
we are quite as competent to determine our methods and to select
our teachers as is any political party now in being or ever likely
to be. We are quite as strongly opposed to the establishment of any
"state religion" as this self-elected body of political reformers are
or affect to be; and, to quote and apply to this body the words of
"Document No. 4," "we cannot yield one jot or tittle of their demand,
for it involves a principle to us sacred and vital. It means the union
of church and state." And we refer to history for the proof that the
Catholic has never been a state church, but has been more frequently
found in antagonism to the civil power than in alliance with it; always
on the side of liberty and the rights of the people; shielding them
from oppression, even to the deposing of unjust rulers; enforcing
their rights, even to the extent of aiding to make war upon tyrants;
and yet, despite this teaching of history, we are told (on page 8 of
the Document first referred to), under the pretence of saying why we
"make war upon the public schools," as follows: "But a single sect
is taught by its head, a foreign and despotic ecclesiastical prince,
that the civil authorities in a republic have not the right to direct
and control the course of study, and the choice and appointment
of teachers in the public schools, open alike to the youth of all
classes, but that this right belongs to the church." Now, this is
merely a specious falsehood. For, let us ask what is here meant by
"the civil authorities"? Does the phrase mean "the state," which, we
are also told, is a better educator than the church; or does it mean
that aggregation of individuals, each being represented and having
an equal voice, composing "the state"? If the latter is the meaning,
what Catholic American denies the right or asserts it for "the church"
exclusively? We are yet to meet him.

Catholics, and others not Catholics, do deny that "the state" is the
best educator, to the exclusion of the church; and they do their
best to maintain the rights of minorities as against the tyranny of
majorities.

There are certain words and phrases used in this "Document No. 4"
which we do not altogether like; as, for instance: "The state a better
educator than the church"; for, in the light of certain events not
long since occurring here and in Washington, "the state" has come to
be used, and perhaps understood, in a sense of which we are somewhat
suspicious. The doctrine of "centralization" is slowly becoming
something more than _theory_ with a certain class of politicians and
office-holders; and the words, "the state," the "civil authorities,"
and the "government," are beginning to have an ominous ring in our ears.

To be sure, when we are told, in a somewhat dogmatic way, that "the
state is a better educator than the church," we _may_ infer from the
text illustrating the dogma (page 8, Document No. 4) that in this
connection the state is manifest in the persons of the public-school
authorities, and that _they_ are a power in opposition to "a sect" or
to "sects." And when our public schools are "open alike to youth of all
classes," of all creeds, and Catholics are fairly represented among
"school authorities," and are allowed an equal voice in direction and
control, and in the choice of teachers--in short, when they have their
rights as component parts and members of "the state," we shall probably
hear no more about this "war upon the public schools," but until then
probably this clamor for their rights will still be heard.

All this talk, however, about secularizing education means nothing more
nor less than the divorcement of religion from all public education;
and it remains to be seen how far the descendants and the heirs of that
people who asserted that liberty of conscience and freedom to worship
God (even in the school-room) meant something, and are paramount, will
tolerate this "new departure."

The Catholic barons of England wrung from King John at Runnymede the
famous _Magna Charta_, and the Catholic settlers of Maryland gave
the first constitution recognizing equal rights for all men; and the
"Church of Rome," as a British Presbyterian writer has said, "has
always been an 'independent, distinct, and often opposing power'; and
that civil liberty is closely connected with religious liberty--with
the church being independent of the state." Every school-boy might and
ought to be taught these and other like facts, for history mentions
them; and the assailants of the Catholic Church ought to be ashamed to
ignore or deny them. And yet such ignorance and such denials are the
capital in trade of the bigots and the fanatics who fear and affect to
see in the spread of Catholicism a menace to our liberties.

On page 5 of this "Document No. 4" we are told that "the moment the
state takes under its protection any church, by appropriating public
money or property to the uses or support of that church, or the
teaching of its peculiar tenets or practices, it in that act, and to
that extent, unites church and state. The union of church and state, in
all ages and in all countries, has led to oppression and bloodshed."
Now, if this is not arrant nonsense, what is?

The practice of "appropriating public money or property" to churches,
so called, is coeval with our national birth. And in this country
church and state have, according to the logic of this statement,
been very much united--very much married, like Brigham Young and his
multitudinous wives--and yet the "oppression and bloodshed" sure to
follow have not yet come upon us--in fact, "churches" and state have
always in this country been united, and we did not know it! Through
what unknown dangers have we passed!

This "Document No. 4" is not honest in this kind of talk--the union of
church and state means a form of religion established by law, and pains
and penalties inflicted upon dissenters.

Not a great many years ago, in Prussia, of which we hear so much upon
the "educational question," by command of the king, the "Prussian
Calvinist and Lutheran, who had quarrelled for three hundred years
about the real presence and predestination, abandoned their disputes,
denied their faith, and became members of the 'Evangelical Church of
Prussia'"--a church whose simple creed is thus stated: "Do ye believe
in God? then must ye believe in Christ. Do ye believe in Christ? then
must ye believe in the king. He is our head on earth, and rules by the
order of God. The king has appeared in the flesh in our native land!"
This was a state religion--a union of church and state, and is about
as likely to be established here as that the "Document No. 4" is to be
adopted as a text-book in our public schools. This union of church and
state is about as sensible a cry, and quite as malignant, as the old
"No Jews, no wooden shoes!" addressed to the mob in England, and is
framed and uttered in the spirit of the same "sectarian" and bigoted
hate.

Now, one word as to "secular education"--there is no such thing, if
God's work is our work. If his glory requires the dedication of all the
powers he has given us, it is preposterous to talk about an education
from which he and his existence, and the knowledge of him and his
purposes and laws, are excluded. We may endow, and send our children
to colleges where no priest or clergyman shall ever come, and no
creed shall be taught or even mentioned, and call the education there
received secular and unsectarian, as was intended to be done at the
"Girard College" at Philadelphia, and yet we shall find the education
unsatisfactory, and no "state" has yet adopted the plan.

In conclusion, we demand, in the language of the resolutions
"unanimously adopted" and appended to the report in "Document No.
4," "... free of cost, to every child in the state, a generous and
tolerant education--such an education as qualifies him for the duties
of citizenship"; and, moreover, such an education as shall recognize
and protect the first and most important of all the _rights_ of
citizenship--the right of conscience, which is grossly violated by the
system of atheistical education.



CHURCH POSTURES.


    Ye would not sit at ease while meek men kneel
    Did ye but see His face shine through the veil,
    And the unearthly forms that round you steal
    Hidden in beauteous light, splendent or pale
    As the rich Service leads. And prostrate faith
    Shroudeth her timorous eye, while through the air
    Hovers and hangs the Spirit's cleansing Breath
    In Whitsun shapes o'er each true worshipper.
    Deep wreaths of angels, burning from the east,
    Around the consecrated Shrine are traced,
    The awful Stone where by fit hands are placed
    The Flesh and Blood of the tremendous Feast,
    But kneel--the priest upon the altar-stair
    Will bring a blessing out of Sion there.

                                              --_Faber._



GRAPES AND THORNS


                BY THE AUTHOR OF "THE HOUSE OF YORKE."


CHAPTER V.

SHADOWS AND LILIES.

Mr. Schöninger came early to the rehearsal that evening, and, in his
stately fashion, made himself unusually agreeable. There was, perhaps,
a very slight widening of the eyes, expressive of surprise, if not of
displeasure, when he saw Miss Ferrier's critics, but his salutation did
not lack any necessary courtesy. He did not lose his equanimity even
when, later, while they were singing a fugue passage, a sonorous but
stupid bass came in enthusiastically just one bar too soon.

"I am glad you chose to do that to-night instead of to-morrow night,
sir," the director said quietly. "Now we will try it again."

And yet Mr. Schöninger was, in his profession, an object of terror
to some of his pupils, and of scrupulous, if not anxious, attention
to all; for not only did he possess notably that exalted musical
sensitiveness which no true artist lacks, but he concealed under an
habitual self-control, and great exactness in the discharge of his
duty, a fiery impatience of temper, and a hearty dislike for the
drudgery of his profession.

"If your doctrines regarding future punishments are true," he once said
to F. Chevreuse, "then the physical part of a musician's purgatory
will be to listen to discords striving after, but never attaining to,
harmony, and his hell to hear sublime harmonies rent and distorted by
discords. I never come so near believing in an embodied spirit of evil
as when I hear a masterpiece of one of the great composers mangled by
a tyro. I haven't a doubt that Chopin or Schumann might be played so as
to throw me into convulsions."

And F. Chevreuse had answered after his kind: "And your spiritual
purgatory, sir, will be the recollection of those long years during
which you have persisted in playing with one thumb, as a bleak monody,
that divine trio of which all the harmonies of the universe are but
faint echoes."

Nothing of this artistic irritability appeared to-night, as we have
said. In its stead was a gentleness quite new in the musician's
demeanor, and so slight as to be like that first film of coming verdure
on the oak, when, some spring morning, one looks out and doubts whether
it is a dimness of the eyes or the atmosphere, or a budding foliage
which has set swimming those sharp outlines of branch and twig.

"He is really human," Annette whispered to Miss Pembroke; and Honora
smiled acquiescence, though she would scarcely have employed such
an expression for her thought. She had already discovered in Mr.
Schöninger a very gentle humanity.

Low as the whisper was, his ears caught it, and two sharp eyes,
watching him, saw an almost imperceptible tremor of the eyelids, which
was the only sign he gave. The owner of these eyes did not by any means
approve of the manner in which their leader had given Miss Pembroke
her music that evening, leaving the other ladies to be served as
they might; still less did she approve of the coldness with which her
own coquettish demands on his attention had been met. It was scarcely
worth while to submit to the drudgery of rehearsing, in a chorus too,
if that was to be all the return. Rising carelessly, therefore, and
allowing the sheet of music on her lap to fall unheeded to the floor,
Miss Carthusen sauntered off toward where Miss Ferrier's two critics
sat apart, talking busily, having, apparently, as she had anticipated,
written their reports of the rehearsal before coming to it.

These critics were a formidable pair, for they criticised everybody
and everything. One of them added to a man's sarcasm a woman's finer
malice, which pricks with the needlepoint. Dr. Porson was a tall,
aquiline-faced, choleric man, with sharp eyes that, looking through
a pair of clear and remarkably lustrous glasses, saw the chink in
everybody's armor. Those who knew him would rather see lightning than
meet the flash of his glasses turned on them, and feel the probing
glances that shot through, and thunder would have been music to their
ears compared to the short laugh that greeted a sinister discovery.

The other was Mr. Sales, the new editor of _The Aurora_, a little wasp
of a man. He had twinkling black eyes that needed no lens to assist
their vision, and a thin-lipped mouth with a slim black moustache
hanging at either corner, like a strong pen-dash made with black ink.
Dr. Porson called them quotation-marks, and had a way of smoothing
imaginary moustaches on his own clean-shaven face whenever the younger
man said any very good thing without giving credit for it.

"A clever little eclectic," the doctor said of him. "He pilfers with
the best taste in the world, and, with the innocence of a babe,
believes everybody else to be original. He never writes anything worth
reading but I want to congratulate him on his 'able scissors.' 'Able
scissors' is not mine," the doctor added, "but it is good. I found it
in _Blackwood's_."

These two gentlemen had arrived early, and, seated apart, in a
side-window of the long drawing-room, crunched the people between their
teeth as they entered. Between the morsels, the doctor enlightened
his companion, a new-comer in the city, regarding Crichton and the
Crichtonians.

"There's little Jones, the most irritating person I know," the doctor
said. "By what chance he should have that robust voice I cannot
imagine. Sometimes I think it doesn't come out of his own throat, but
that he has a large ventriloquist whom he carries about with him. I
shouldn't wonder if the fellow were now just outside that open sash.
Did you see the way he marched past us, all dickey and boot-heels?
A man who is but five feet high has no right to assume six-foot
manners; he has scarcely the right to exist at all among well-grown
people. Besides, they always wear large hats. Not but I respect a
small stature in a clever person," he admitted, with a side glance
at Mr. Sales' slight figure. "We don't wish to have our diamonds by
the hundredweight. But common, pudding-stone men must be in imposing
masses, or we want them cleared away as _débris_."

"Is Mr. Schöninger a pudding-stone man?" the young editor asked, when
that gentleman had passed them by.

Dr. Porson's face unconsciously dropped its mocking. "If you should
strike Mr. Schöninger in any way," he said, "you would find him
flint. The only faults I see in the man are his excessive caution and
secretiveness. He is here, evidently, only to get all the money he
can, and, when he has enough, will wash his hands of us; therefore,
wishes for no intimacies. That is my interpretation. He is a gentleman,
however. A man must have the most perfect politeness of soul to salute
Mme. Ferrier as he did. While they were speaking together, she actually
had the air of a lady. See her look after him. It is an art which
we critics cannot learn, sir, that of setting people in their best
light. Of course it would spoil our trade if we did learn it; but,
for all that, we miss something. Schöninger is a Jew, to be sure, but
that signifies nothing. Each one to his taste. We no longer trouble
ourselves about people's faith. When you say that a man believes this
or that, it's as though you said, he eats this or that. The world
moves. Why, sir, a few years ago, we wouldn't have spoken to a man who
ate frogs any more than to a cannibal; and now we are so fond of the
little reptiles that there isn't a frog left to sing in the swamps."

"But," Mr. Sales objected, "society has established certain rules--"
then stopped, finding himself in deep water.

"Undoubtedly," the doctor replied, as gravely as though something had
been said. "The Flat-head Indians now, who seem to have understood the
science of phrenology, think it the proper thing to have a plateau on
the top of the head. Their reason is, probably, a moral rather than an
æsthetic one. They know that the peaceful and placable qualities, those
which impel a man to let go, are kept in little chambers in the front
top of the brain. They have other use for their attics. So they just
clap a board on the baby's soft head, and press the space meant for
such useless stuff as benevolence and reverence back, so as to increase
the storage for the noble qualities of firmness and self-esteem. That
is one of the rules of their society; and I have always considered it a
most striking and beautiful instance of the proper employment of means
to an end. There is a certain sublime and simple directness in it. No
circuitous, century-long labor of trying to square the fluid contents
of a round vessel, but just a board on the head. That, sir, should be
the first step in evangelizing the heathen--shape their heads. When
you want a man to think in a certain way, put a strong pressure on
his contradictory bumps, and preach to him afterwards. That's what I
tell our minister, Mr. Atherton. There he is now, that bald man with
the fair hair. He is a glorious base. His great-grandfather was a
conceited Anglo-Saxon, and he's the fourth power of him. The reason why
he does not believe in the divinity of Christ is because he was not of
Anglo-Saxon birth."

Here, across the _pianissimo_ chorus which made the vocal accompaniment
of an Alp-song, Miss Ferrier's brilliant voice flashed like lightning
in clear, sharp zigzags, startling the two into silence.

"That wasn't bad," the doctor said when she ended.

The younger gentleman applauded with such enthusiasm that Annette
blushed with pleasure. "She needs but one thing to make her voice
perfect," he said, "and that is a great sorrow."

"Yes, as I was telling you some time ago," the doctor resumed, "we are
a liberal and hospitable people in Crichton. We have no prejudices.
Everybody is welcome, even the devil. We are æsthetic, too. We admire
the picturesque. We wouldn't object to seeing an interesting family
of children shot with arrows, provided they would fall with a grace,
and their mother would assume the true Niobe attitude. In literature,
too, how we shine! We have reached the sublime of the superficial.
There's your Miss Carthusen, now, with her original poetry. How
nicely she dished up that conceit of Montaigne's, that somebody is
peculiar because he has no peculiarities. I've forgotten, it is so
long since I read him. I haven't looked over the new edition that
this poetess of ours has peeped into and fished a fancy out of. But
yesterday I was charmed to see it scintillating, in rhymed lines, in
the Olympian corner of _The Aurora_, over the well-known signature of
_Fleur-de-lis_."

The young man looked mortified. He had never read Montaigne, and had
announced this production as original and remarkable, firmly believing
the writer to be a genius. But he did not choose to tell Dr. Porson
that.

"What would you?" he asked, raising his eyebrows and his voice in a
philosophical manner. "I must fill the paper; and it is better to put
in good thought at second-hand than flat originals. How many know the
difference?"

Here Annette's voice stopped them again.

"Strange that girl sings so well to-night," said the doctor, adjusting
his glasses for a clearer glance. "She looks well, too. Must be the
inspiration of her lover's presence. That's the kind of fellow, sir,
that a woman takes a fancy to--a pale, beautiful young man with a
slouched hat and a secret sorrow, the sorrow usually having reference
to the pocket."

Lawrence Gerald sat near his lady, and seemed to be absorbed in
his occupation of cutting a rosebud across in thin slices with his
pocket-knife, a proceeding his mother viewed with gentle distress.
But when the song was ended, he looked up at Annette and smiled,
seeming to be rather proud of her. And, looking so, his eyes lingered
a little, expressing interest and a slight surprise, as if he beheld
there something worth looking at which he had not noticed before. Had
he cared to observe, he might have known already that Miss Ferrier had
moments of being beautiful. This was one of them.

There is a pain that looks like delight, when the heart bleeds into the
cheeks, the lips part with a smile that does not touch the eyes, and
the eyes shine with a dazzling brilliancy that may well be mistaken for
joyousness. With such feverish beauty Annette was radiant this evening,
and the excitement of singing and of applause had added the last touch
of brightness.

The programme for the concert was chiefly of popular music, or a kind
of old-fashioned music they were making popular, part-songs and glees.
They had attained great finish and delicacy in executing these, and the
effect was charming, and far preferable to operas and operatic airs as
we usually hear them. It would have been a bold woman who would have
asked Mr. Schöninger's permission to sing a difficult _aria_. Annette
had once made such a request, but with indifferent success.

"Mademoiselle," the teacher replied, "you have a better voice than
either of the Pattis; but a voice is only a beginning. You must learn
the alphabet of music before you can read its poems. When you are ready
to be a Norma, I will resign you to some teacher who knows more than I
do."

The singing was at an end, and the singers left their seats and
wandered about the house and garden. Only Mr. Schöninger lingered by
the piano, and, seeing him still there, no one went far away, those
outside leaning in at the window.

He seated himself presently, and played a Polonaise. He sat far back,
almost at arm's length from the keys, and, as he touched it, the
instrument seemed to possess an immortal soul. One knew not which most
to admire, the power that made a single piano sound like an orchestra,
or the delicacy that produced strains fine and clear like horns of
fairyland.

When he had finished, he went to ask Mrs. Gerald how the singing had
gone.

"I observed that you listened," he remarked, being within Dr. Porson's
hearing.

Mrs. Gerald had been sitting for the last half-hour beside Mrs.
Ferrier, and the time had been penitential, as all her intercourse with
Annette's mother was. It was hard for a fond mother and a sensitive
lady to listen to such indelicate complaints and insinuations as Mrs.
Ferrier was constantly addressing to her when they were together
without uttering any sharp word in return. To be reminded that Lawrence
was making a very advantageous marriage without retorting that she
would be far more happy to see him the husband of Honora Pembroke,
required an effort; and to restrain the quick flash, or the angry tears
in her fiery Celtic heart when she heard him undervalued, was almost
more than she could do. But she had conquered herself for God's sake
and for her son's sake, perhaps a little for pride's sake, had given
the soft answer when she could, and remained silent when speech seemed
too great an effort.

That coarse insolence of mere money to refined poverty, and the
mistaking equality before the law for personal equality, are at any
time sufficiently offensive; how much more so when the victim is in
some measure in the tormentor's power.

Mrs. Gerald's face showed how severe the trial had been. Her blue eyes
had the unsteady lustre of a dew that dared not gather into tears, a
painful smile trembled on her lips, and her cheeks were scarlet. Had
she been at liberty, this lady could perfectly well have known how to
ignore or reprove impertinence without ruffling her smooth brow or
losing her tranquil manner; but she was not free, and the restraint was
agitating. This rude woman's rudest insinuation was but truth, and she
must bear it. Yet, mother-like, she never thought of reproaching her
son for what she suffered.

"I never heard music I liked so well," she said to Mr. Schöninger's
question. "We are under obligation to you for giving us what we can
understand. The composition you have just played delighted me, too,
though it is probable that I do not at all appreciate its beauties. It
made me think of fairies dancing in a ring."

"It was a dance-tune," Mr. Schöninger said, pleased that she had
perceived the thought; for it required a fine and sympathetic ear to
discern the step in that capricious movement of Chopin's.

The fact that he was a Jew had prevented her looking on this man with
any interest, or feeling it possible that any friendship could exist
between them; but the thought passed her mind, as he spoke, that Mr.
Schöninger might be a very amiable person if he chose. There was a
delicate and reserved sweetness in that faint smile of his which
reminded her of some expression she had seen on Honora's face, when she
was conversing with a gentleman who had the good fortune to please her.

Meantime, Lawrence had been having a little dispute with Annette.
"What's this about the wine?" he whispered to her. "John says there
isn't any to be had."

He looked astonished, and with reason, for the fault of the Ferrier
entertainments had always been their profusion.

"I meant to have told you that I had concluded not to have wine,"
she said. "Two gentlemen present are intemperate men, who make their
families very unhappy, and when they begin to drink they do not know
where to stop. The last time Mr. Lane was here he became really quite
unsteady before he went away."

"But the others!" Lawrence exclaimed. "What will they think?"

"They may understand just why it is," she replied; "and they may not
think anything about it. I should not imagine that they need occupy
their minds very long with the subject."

"Why, you must know, Annette, that some of them come here for nothing
but the supper, and chiefly the wine," the young man urged unguardedly.

She drew up slightly. "So I have heard, Lawrence; and I wish to
discourage such visitors' coming. People who are in the devouring mood
should not go visiting; they are disagreeable. I have never seen in
company that liveliness which comes after supper without a feeling of
disgust. It may not go beyond proper bounds, but still it is a greater
or less degree of intoxication. I have provided everything I could
think of for their refreshment and cheering, but nothing to make
them tipsy. I gave you a good reason at first, Lawrence, and I have a
better. My father died of liquor, and my brother is becoming a slave to
it. I will help to make no drunkards."

"Well," the young man sighed resignedly, "you mean well; but I can't
help thinking you a little quixotic."

"The Ferriers are giving us _eau sucrée_ instead of wine to-night,"
sneered one of the company to Mr. Schöninger, a while after.

"They show good taste in doing so," he replied coldly. "There are
always bar-rooms and drinking-saloons enough for those who are addicted
to drink. I never wish to take wine from the hand of a lady, nor to
drink it in her presence."

The night was brilliantly full-moonlighted, and so warm that they had
lit as little gas as possible. A soft glow from the upper floor, and
the bright doors of the drawing-room, made the hall chandelier useless.
Miss Ferrier's new organ there was flooded with a silvery radiance that
poured through a window. Mr. Schöninger came out and seated himself
before it.

"Shall I play a fugue of Bach's?" he asked of Miss Pembroke, who was
standing in the open door leading to the garden.

She took a step toward him, into the shadow between moonlight of window
and door, and the light seemed to follow her, lingering in her fair
face and her white dress. Even the waxen jasmine blossoms in her hair
appeared to be luminous.

"Yes," she said, "if you are to play only once more; but, if more
than once, let that be last. I never lose the sound and motion of one
of Bach's fugues till I have slept; and I like to keep the murmur it
leaves, as if my ears were sea-shells."

She went back to stand in the door, but, after a few minutes, stepped
softly and slowly further away, and passed by the drawing-room doors,
through which she saw Annette talking with animation and many gestures,
while her two critics listened and nodded occasional acquiescence,
and Lawrence withdrawn to a window-seat with Miss Carthusen, and Mrs.
Ferrier the centre of a group of young people, who listened to her
with ill-concealed smiles of amusement. At length she found the place
she wanted, an arm-chair under the front portico, and, seated there,
gathered up that strong, wilful rush of harmony as a whole. It did not
seem to have ceased when Mr. Schöninger joined her. She was so full of
the echoes of his music that for a moment she looked at him standing
beside her as if it had been his wraith.

He pointed silently and smiling to the corner of the veranda visible
from where they sat. It was on the shady side of the house, and still
further screened by vines, and the half-drawn curtains of the window
looking into it allowed but a single beam of gaslight to escape.
In that nook were gathered half a dozen children, peeping into the
drawing-room. They were as silent as the shadows in which they lurked,
and their bare feet had given no notice of their coming. Their bodies
were almost invisible, but their eager little faces shone in the red
light, and now and then a small hand was lifted into sight.

"It reminds me," he said, "of a passage in the Koran, where Mahomet
declares that it had been revealed to him that a company of genii had
listened while he was reading a chapter, and that one of them had
remarked: 'Verily, we have heard a most admirable discourse.' That
amused me; and I fancied that an effective picture might be made of
it: the prophet reading at night by the light of an antique lamp that
shone purely on his solemn face and beard, and his green robe, with,
perhaps, the pet cat curled round on the sleeve. The casement should be
open wide, and crowded with a multitude of yearning, exquisite faces,
the lips parted with the intensity of their listening. As I came along
the hall just now, I saw one of those children through the window, and
in that light it looked like a cameo cut in pink coral."

"I fancy they are some of my children," Miss Pembroke said, and rose.
"Let us see. They ought not to be out so late, nor to intrude."

"Oh! spare the poor little wretches," Mr. Schöninger said laughingly,
as she took his arm. "We find this commonplace enough, but to them it
is wonderful. I think we might be tempted to trespass a little if we
could get a peep into veritable fairyland. This is to them fairyland."

"That anything is a strong temptation is no excuse for yielding," the
lady said in a playful tone that took away any appearance of reproof
from her words. "We do not go into battle in order to surrender without
a struggle, nor to surrender at all, but to become heroes. I must teach
my little ones to have heroic thoughts."

The children, engrossed in the bright scene within, did not perceive
any approach from without till all retreat was cut off for them, and
they turned, with startled faces, to find themselves confronted by a
tall gentleman, on whose arm leaned a lady whom they looked up to with
a tender but reverent love.

These children were of a class accustomed to a word and a blow, and
their instinctive motion was to shrink back into a corner, and hide
their faces.

"I am sorry to see you here, my dears," she said. "Please go home now,
like good children."

That was her way of reproving.

She stood aside, and the little vagabonds shied out past her, each one
trying to hide his face, and scampering off on soundless feet as soon
as he had reached the ground.

"So you have a school?" Mr. Schöninger asked, as they went round
through the garden.

They came out into the moonlight, and approached the rear of the house,
where a number of the company were gathered, standing among the flowers.

"Yes, I have fifty, or more, of these little ones, and I find it
interesting. They were in danger of growing up in the street, and I
had nothing else to do--that is, nothing that seemed so plain a duty.
So I took the largest room in an old house of mine just verging on the
region where these children live, and have them come there every day."

"You must find teaching laborious," the gentleman said.

"Oh! no. I am strong and healthy, and I do not fatigue myself nor them.
The whole is free to them, of course, and I am responsible to no one,
therefore can instruct or amuse them in my own way. As far as possible,
I wish to supply the incompetency of their mothers. If I give the
little ones a happy hour, during which they behave properly, and teach
them one thing, I am satisfied. One of the branches I try to instruct
them in is neatness. No soiled face is allowed to speak to me, nor
soiled hands to touch me. Then they sing and read, and learn prayers
and a little doctrine, and I tell them stories. When the Christian
Brothers and the Sisters of Notre Dame come, my occupation will of
course be gone."

"I wish I might some time be allowed to visit this school of yours,"
Mr. Schöninger said hesitatingly. "I could give them a singing-lesson,
and tell them a story. Little Rose Tracy likes my stories."

Miss Pembroke was thoughtful a moment, then consented. She had
witnessed with approval Mr. Schöninger's treatment of Miss Carthusen
that evening, and respected him for it. "The day after to-morrow, in
the afternoon, would be a good time," she said. "It is to be a sort of
holiday, on account of the firemen's procession. The procession passes
the school-room, and I have promised the children that they shall watch
it."

They went in to take leave, for the company was breaking up.

"Oh! by the way, Mr. Schöninger," Annette said, recollecting, "did you
get the shawl you left here at the last rehearsal? It was thrown on a
garden-seat, and forgotten."

"Yes; I stepped in early the next morning, and took it," he said. His
countenance changed slightly as he spoke. The eyelids drooped, and his
whole air expressed reserve.

"The next morning!" she repeated to herself, but said nothing.

Lawrence went off with Miss Carthusen; and as Mrs. Gerald and Honora
went out at the same time with Mr. Schöninger, he asked permission to
accompany them.

"How lovely the night is!" Mrs. Gerald murmured, as they walked quietly
along under the trees of the avenue, and saw all the beautiful city
bathed in moonlight, and ringed about with mountains like a wall.
"Heaven can scarcely have a greater physical beauty than earth has
sometimes."

"I do not think," the gentleman said, "that heaven will be so much more
beautiful than earth, but our eyes will be opened to see the beauties
that exist."

He spoke very quietly, with an air of weariness or depression; and,
when they reached home, bowed his good-night without speaking.

The two ladies stood a moment in the door, looking out over the town.
"If that man were not a Jew, I should find him agreeable," Mrs. Gerald
said. "As it is, it seems odd that we should see so much of him."

"I am inclined to believe," Honora said slowly, "that it is not right
for us to refuse a friendly intercourse with suitable associates on
account of any difference of religion, unless they intrude on us a
belief or disbelief which we hold to be sacrilegious."

"Could you love a Jew?" Mrs. Gerald asked, rather abruptly.

Honora considered the matter a little while. "Our Lord loved them,
even those who crucified him. I could love them. Besides, I do not
believe that the Jews of to-day would practise violence any more than
Christians would. We are friendly with Unitarians, yet they are not
very different from some Jews. I think we should love everybody but
the eternally lost. I could more easily become attached to an upright
and conscientious Jew, than to a Catholic who did not practise his
religion."

Mr. Schöninger, as soon as he had left the ladies, mended his pace, and
strode off rapidly down the hill. In a few minutes he had reached a
lighted railroad station, where people were going to and fro.

"Just in time!" he muttered, and ran to catch a train that was
beginning to slip over the track. Grasping the hand-rail, he drew
himself on to the step of the last car, then walked through the other
cars, and, finally, took his seat in that next the engine. Once a week
he gave lessons in a town fifteen miles from Crichton, and he usually
found it more agreeable to take the night train down than to go in the
morning.

In selecting this car he had hoped to be alone; but he had hardly taken
his seat when he heard a step following him, and another man appeared
and went into the seat in front of him--an insignificant-looking
person, with a mean face. He turned about, put his feet on the seat,
stretched his arm along the back, and, assuming an insinuating smile,
bade Mr. Schöninger good evening. He had, apparently, settled himself
for a long conversation.

Mr. Schöninger's habits were those of a scrupulous gentleman, and he
had, even among gentlemen, the charming distinction of always keeping
his feet on the floor. This man's manners were, therefore, in more than
one way offensive, and his salutation received no more encouraging
reply than a stare, and a scarcely perceptible inclination of the head.

Mr. Schöninger seemed, indeed, to regret even this slight concession,
for he rose immediately with an air of decision, and walked forward to
the first seat. The door of the car was open there as they rushed on
through the darkness, and, looking forward, it was like beholding the
half-veiled entrance of a cavern of fire. A cloud of illuminated smoke
and steam swept about and enveloped the engine with a bright atmosphere
impenetrable to the sight, and through this loomed the gigantic shadow
of a man. This shadow sometimes disappeared for a moment only to appear
again, and seemed to make threatening gestures, and to catch and press
down into the flames some unseen adversary. Mr. Schöninger's fancy was
wide awake, though his eyes were half asleep, and this strange object
became to him an object of terror. Painful and anxious thoughts, which
he had resolutely put away, left yet a dim and mysterious background,
on which this grotesque figure, gigantic and wrapped in fire, was
thrown in strong relief. He imagined it an impending doom, which might
at any moment fall upon him.

Finding these fancies intolerable at length, he shook himself wide
awake, rose, and walked unsteadily up and down the car. In doing so,
he perceived that his fellow-passenger had retreated to the last seat,
and was, apparently, sleeping, his cap drawn low over his forehead. But
Mr. Schöninger's glance detected a slight change in the position of the
head as he commenced his promenade, and he could not divest himself of
the belief that, from under the low hat-brim, a glance as sharp as his
own was following his every movement.

In an ordinary and healthy mood of mind he would have cared little for
such espionage; but he was not in such a mood. Circumstances had of
late tried his nerves, and it required all his power of self-control
to maintain a composed exterior. Did this man suspect his trouble, and
search for, or, perhaps, divine, or, possibly, know the cause of it?
He would gladly have caught the fellow in his arms, and thrown him
headlong into the outer darkness.

He returned to his place, and, leaning close to the window, looked out
into the night. If he had hoped to quiet himself by the sight of a
familiar nature, he was disappointed, for the scene had a weird, though
occasionally beautiful aspect, very unlike reality. The moon had set,
leaving that darkness which follows a bright moonlight, or precedes
the dawn of day, when the stars seem to be confounded by the near yet
invisible radiance of their conqueror, and dare not shine with their
own full lustre. Only this locomotive, dashing through the heart of
the night, rendered visible a flying panorama. Groves of trees twirled
round, surprised in some mystic dance; streams flashed out in all
their windings, red and serpent-like, and hid themselves as suddenly;
wide plains swam past, all a blur, with hills and mountains stumbling
against the horizon. Only one spot had even a hint of familiarity.
Framed round by a great semi-circle of woods, not many rods from the
track, was a long, narrow pond, with a few acres of smooth green beyond
it, and a white cottage close to its farthest shore. This little scene
was as perfectly secluded, apparently, as if it had been in the midst
of a continent otherwise uninhabited. No road nor neighboring house was
visible from the railroad. The dwellers in that cottage seemed to be
solitary and remote, knowing nothing of the wide, busy world save what
they saw from their vine-draped windows when the long, noisy train,
crowded with strangers, hurried past them, never stopping. What web
that clattering shuttle wove they might wonder, but could not know,
could scarcely care as they dreamed their lives away, lotos-eating. For
the lotos was not wanting.

Mr. Schöninger recollected his first glimpse of that place as he had
whirled past one summer morning, and swiftly now he caught the scene
between his eyelids, and closed them on it, and dreamed over it. He
saw the varied green of the forest, and the velvet green of the banks,
and the blue and brooding sky. Like a sylvan nymph the cottage stood
in its draping vines, and tried to catch glimpses of itself in the
glassy waters at its feet, half smothered in drifting fragrant snow of
water-lilies.

What sort of being should come forth from that dwelling of peace? Mr.
Schöninger asked himself. Who should stretch out hands to him, and draw
him out of his troubled life, approaching now a climax he shrank from?
His heart rose and beat quickly. The door under the vines swung slowly
back, and a woman floated out over the green, as silent and as gracious
as a cloud over the blue above. The drapery fluttered back from her
advancing foot till it reached the first shining ripple of the pond,
and then she paused--a presence so warm and living that it quickened
his breathing. She stretched her strong white arms out toward him over
the lilies she would not cross, and the face was Honora Pembroke's.
The large, calm look, the earnest glow that saved from coldness,
the full humanity steeped through and shone through by spiritual
loveliness--they were all hers.

He started, and opened his eyes. Their pace was slackening, the great
black figure in its fiery atmosphere was in some spasm of motion, and
walls of brick and stone were shutting them in.

The cars stopped at the foot of an immense flight of stairs that
stretched upward indefinitely, a dingy Jacob's ladder, without the
angels. Mr. Schöninger slowly ascended them, heavyhearted again, and
therefore heavy-footed; and, not far behind, a man with a skulking
step and a mean face followed after. There was nothing very mysterious
in this walk. It led merely through a deserted business street, by
the shortest route, to a respectable hotel. Mr. Schöninger called for
a room, and went to it immediately; the little man lingered in the
office, and hung about the desk.

"That gentleman comes down here pretty often in the night, doesn't he?"
he asked of the clerk.

The man nodded, without looking up.

"Does he always record his name when he comes?" pursued the questioner.

"Can't say," was the short answer, still without looking up.

"Comes down every Wednesday night, I suppose?" remarked the stranger.

The clerk suddenly thrust his face past the corner of the desk behind
which his catechiser stood. "Look here, sir, what name shall I put down
for you?" he asked sharply.

The man drew back a little, and turned away. "I'm not sure of booking
myself here," he replied.

The clerk came down promptly from his perch. "Then it's time to lock
up," he said.

And when he had locked the door, and pulled down the curtains, with a
snap that threatened to break their fastenings, he put his hands in his
pockets, and made a short and emphatic address to an imaginary audience.

"I don't believe there is any redemption for spies," he said; "and I
would rather have a thief in my house than a sneak. You sometimes hear
of a criminal who repents; but nobody ever yet heard of one of your
prying, peeping, tattling sort reforming."

There being no other person present, no one contradicted him, a
circumstance which seemed to increase the strength of his convictions.
He paced the room two or three times, then returned to his first stand,
removing his hands from his pockets to clasp them behind his back, as
being a more dignified attitude for a speaker.

"If I had my will," he pursued, "every nose that poked itself into
other people's affairs would be cut off."

Bravo! Mr. Clerk. You have sense. But if you had also that sanguinary
wish of yours, what a number of mutilated visages would be going about
the world! How many feminine faces would be shorn of their _retroussé_,
or long, rooting feature, or clawing, parrot beak, and how many men
would be incapacitated for taking snuff!

Having delivered himself of his rather extreme opinion, this excellent
man shut up the house and retired.

Mr. Schöninger looked forward with interest to his promised visit to
Miss Pembroke's school, and was so anxious that she should not by any
forgetfulness or change of plan deprive him of it, that he reminded her
as they came out of the hall, after their concert, of the permission
she had given him for the next afternoon.

"Certainly!" she replied smiling. "But how can you think of such a
trifle after the grand success of this evening?"

For their concert had been a perfect success, and Mr. Schöninger
himself had been applauded with such enthusiasm as had pleased even
him. It was the first time he had played in public in Crichton, and,
respectable as he held their musical taste to be, he had not been
prepared to see so ready an appreciation of the higher order of
instrumental music.

"I never saw a more appreciative audience," he said. "They applauded
at the right places, and it was a well-bred applause. How delicate was
that little whisper of a clapping during the prelude! It was like the
faint rustling of leaves in a summer wind, and so soft that not a note
was lost. I have never seen so nearly perfect an audience in any other
city in this country."

"Do not we always tell you that Crichton is the most charming city in
the world?" laughed Annette Ferrier, who had caught his last remark.

She was passing him, accompanied by Lawrence Gerald. Her face was
bright with excitement, and the glistening of her ornaments and her
gauzy robe through the black lace mantle that covered her from head to
foot gave her the look of a butterfly caught in a web. She had sung
brilliantly, dividing the honors of the evening with Mr. Schöninger,
and Lawrence, finding her admired by others, was gallant to her
himself. On the whole, she was radiant with delight.

"Do not expect too much of my little ones," Miss Pembroke said,
recurring to the proposed visit. "Recollect, they are all poor, and
they have had but little instruction."

Mr. Schöninger did not tell her that his interest was in her more than
in the children, and that he desired to see how she would conduct
herself in such circumstances rather than take any note of the persons
and acquirements of her pupils. To his mind it was very strange that
a lady of her refinement should wish to assume such a work without
necessity. His conception of the character of teachers of children
was not flattering; he thought a certain vulgarity inseparable from
such persons, a positiveness of speech, an oracular tone of voice, and
an authoritative air, which the employment conferred on successful
teachers, if it did not find them already possessed of. It amused him
to fancy these fifty children swarming about Miss Pembroke, like ants
about a lily, and it annoyed him to think that she might receive some
stain from them.

"I like ladies to be charitable," he said to himself, as he went
homeward; "but there are kinds of rough work I would prefer they should
delegate to others."

He was thinking of the physical part of the work; Honora of the
spiritual.

The school-room was the lower floor of a house at the corner of two
streets, and had been used as a shop, the two wide show-windows at
either side of the door giving a full light. The upper floors were
occupied as a dwelling-house. These windows looked out on a wide and
respectable street; but the cross street, beginning fairly enough,
deteriorated as it went on toward the Saranac, through the poorest
section of the city, and ended in shanties and a dingy wharf where
lobsters were perpetually being boiled in large kettles in dingy boats,
and crowds of ragged children seemed to be always hanging about,
sucking lobster-claws, or on the watch for them. Miss Pembroke's charge
were from this class of children, and one of her great difficulties was
to keep her school-room from having the fixed odor of a fish-market.

The room was severely clean and spotless, and, but that the side-walls
were nearly covered with maps, bookcases, and blackboards, would have
been glaring white; for the walls and ceiling were white-washed, the
wood-work painted white, and the floor scoured white. Two rows of
oak-colored benches extended across the room, the backs toward the
windows. The sun shone in unobstructed all the afternoon. Only when it
began to touch the last row of benches were the green worsted curtains
drawn down far enough to keep it within bounds. Miss Pembroke's chair,
table, and piano were in the space opposite the door. On the centre of
the wall behind her hung a large crucifix, and on a bracket beneath
it a marble Child Jesus stretched out his arms to the little ones. On
larger brackets to right and left stood an Immaculate Lady and a S.
Joseph. They were thus in the midst of the Holy Family.

These images were constantly surrounded by wreaths, arches, and
flowers, so that the end of the room had quite the appearance of a
bower; and on all his festivals, and whenever prayers were said, a
candle was lighted before the Infant Jesus, who was the patron of their
school, and the dearest object of their childish devotion. It was
delightful to them to know that they need not always approach their
God in the language, to them, often inexplicable, of the mature and
the learned, but that they could whisper their ingenuous petitions
and praises into the indulgent ear of a holy Child, using their own
language, and asking him to be their interpreter. S. Joseph with the
lily and the white Lady with her folded hands they worshipped with awe;
but they were not afraid of the dear Infant who stretched out his arms
to them.

Fifty little faces, all brown, but otherwise various, looked straight
at their teacher--blue eyes and brown eyes, black eyes and grey, large
eyes and small eyes, bright and dull eyes; and fifty young souls were
at that instant occupied with one thought. The first faint thrilling of
the silence with martial music was heard, and they were eager to take
their places to see the advancing procession. But Miss Pembroke waited
still. She had told Mr. Schöninger to come at three o'clock, and it
lacked five minutes of that. Just as she was thinking that she would
give him two minutes' grace, he appeared.

She went at once to place the children, and he watched with a smile
of pleasure and amusement the soldierly precision of the performance.
The door was opened wide, and two of the largest boys carried out
and placed a bench near the edge of the upper step. At the motion of
a finger, the smallest boys filed out and seated themselves on this
bench, and an equal number of larger ones stood behind keeping guard.
Then the door was closed. At the next silent gesture the smallest
of the boys and girls remaining seated themselves in the low, broad
ledge of the windows, the next size placed a bench across each window
recess for themselves, and the largest again stood behind the benches.
Not a word had been spoken, not a child had turned its head, not the
slightest noise nor confusion had occurred, and all were perfectly well
placed to see.

"What admirable order!" the gentleman exclaimed. "You must have drilled
them thoroughly."

"It did not seem to me wasting time," Miss Pembroke replied. "I wish
to impress on them the necessity of a decorous and reserved manner in
public. They are too prone to presume, and be more than ordinarily
lawless on such occasions. Besides, it teaches them self-control."

The two sat back at a little distance. The children began to stretch
their heads forward, and whisper exclamations to each other. The air
resounded with martial sounds, and a solid front of superb grey horses
appeared, well-caparisoned and well-ridden, the full crimped manes
tossed over their arching necks. Behind them another and another line
pressed, making a living wall.

"I think one feels the influence of such a mass of strong life and
courage," Miss Pembroke remarked. "It seems to me it would invigorate a
weak person to be near those horses."

Mr. Schöninger had been thinking nearly the same thing. "I have fancied
it not unlikely," he said, "that in a bold cavalry charge the horses
may help to inspire the riders. The neighborhood of strong animal life
is, no doubt, invigorating. It would be fine to stand face to face with
a herd of wild cattle, if they could be surely stopped in mid-career,
to feel the air stirring with their breaths, and see their eyes glaring
through heaps of rough mane. There would be something electrical in
it, as there is in a crowd of men; and in both cases it is a merely
physical excitement."

"But a crowd of men may be electrified by some great thought,"
suggested Honora.

"Not unless each had the thought in his single mind before, either
latent or conscious. I do not believe that any crowd or excitement,
however immense, can put a great thought into a little soul. I can
never act with an excited crowd, can hardly look at one with respect."
His lip expressed contempt. "It is true that an eloquent leader may
have the power of inciting people to some good deed; but even so, they
are only a machine which he works. Great thoughts are not vociferous.
They float in air, with no sound, unless it is the sound of wings."

Honora checked the words that rose to her lips so suddenly that a deep
blush bathed her face. She had been thinking of the crowd that roared
"Crucify him!" and had recollected only just in time that they were
this man's remote ancestors. But she recollected also that it was to
him as original sin was to her, an hereditary, but not a personal,
stain, and that baptism could wash both away. Her charity began at
home, in the great Christian family, but it stayed not there: it
overflowed to all living creatures.

"I have almost an enthusiasm for firemen," she said hastily. "They
sometimes perform such wonders, and run such terrible risks for
scarcely a reward. Unlike soldiers, they save without destroying
anything. How beautiful their engines are!"

The procession was a long and very brilliant one, and the companies
had vied with each other in decoration. The engines shone as if made
of burnished gold and silver, and wreaths and bouquets of green and
flowers decked them.

"These processions, more than any others I have seen, remind me of
descriptions of pageants in the old time," remarked Honora, when they
had been silent a while. "There is so much show and glitter in them,
and the costumes are so gay. How I would like to be transported back to
that time for one year!"

Her thoughts had taken a flight between the first and last words, and
she was thinking of mediæval religion, with its untroubled faith and
its fiery zeal.

Mr. Schöninger did not share her enthusiasm. Those had been bitter days
for his people, and perhaps he was thinking so.

"I imagine you would ask to be transported back again before the year
was over," he said quietly. "Those times look very picturesque at
this distance, with their Rembrandt shading. But there was no more
heroism then than there is to-day. I far prefer the hero of to-day. He
is a better bred man, not so blatant as the mediæval. It seems to me
that the admirers of that time are chiefly the poets, who sacrifice
everything to the picturesque; ambitious men, who covet power;
and--pardon me!--devout ladies who have been captivated by legends
of the saints, and stories of ecclesiastical pageantry, but who take
little thought for humanity at large."

"But in those days," said Miss Pembroke, "men had some respect for
authority and law, and now they despise it."

"It is the fault of authority if it is despised," Mr. Schöninger
replied with decision. "License is the inevitable reaction from
tyranny, and is in proportion to it. So long as man retains any vestige
of the image of the Creator, tyranny will always, in time, produce
rebels. The world is now inebriated with freedom; let those whose abuse
of authority created this burning thirst share the opprobrium of its
excesses. Some day the equilibrium will be found. We cannot force it;
it is a question of growth; but we can help. You are helping it," he
added, smiling.

"What you have said sounds just," she replied, thoughtfully; "and I
like justice. Perhaps the abuse of legitimate authority is a greater
sin than rebellion against it, since the ruler should be wiser and
better than the ruled."

They were again silent awhile, the gentleman hesitating whether to
speak his thought, and finally speaking.

"Trust one who has studied the world well," he said earnestly. "Instead
of being determined not to believe, mankind at this time is longing to
believe. But it is determined not to be duped. The sceptic of to-day
was made by the hypocrite of yesterday, and half the scepticism is
affected, as half the piety was affected. Men are ashamed and afraid to
be caught in a trap, and they pretend to disbelieve, when in fact they
only doubt. You must now prove to them that truth itself is true, since
they have so often been deceived by falsehood in the garb of truth.
Let a man or a measure prove to be sincere and honest, and there was
never a period in the history of the world when either would win more
hearty approval than now. It is true that the childlike trustfulness
of mankind is gone, partly from growth, partly because it has been
abused; but the nobler powers are maturing. To believe this, you need
not give up your faith. I have seen the eyes of one of the most bitter
of scoffers fill with tears, and his lips tremble, at a proof of ardent
and pious devotion which was not meant to be known. That man was a
scoffer because his common sense and sentiment of justice had been
insulted by pious pretenders. If he could believe, he would be a saint."

Honora Pembroke's face was troubled. There could be no doubt that the
man was honest and sincere in what he said, and that much of what he
said was true. But was a Jew to teach a Christian? She could not be
sure that his judgment was unbiased, and that one more learned than
she would not be able to refute him. She said the best thing she could
think of.

"False professors do not make false doctrines. And if the human mind is
becoming so adult and strong, it should judge the truth by itself, not
by the person who professes it."

"You are quite right," Mr. Schöninger answered. "And that is precisely
what people are learning to do. It is also what many, who wish truth
to be believed on their own testimony, object to their doing. I
repeat"--he glanced with anxiety into her clouded face--"I earnestly
assure you that I have not uttered a word which conflicts with your
creed, though it is not mine. If I were to-day to become a Catholic, I
should only reiterate what I have said on this subject."

The cloud passed from her face, but still she did not speak. She was
not gifted in argument, and this subject was complex, and, moreover, a
bone of contention.

"It has occurred to me," he said presently, "that the people in
Crichton, though they appear to be very liberal, may still have a
prejudice against me as a Jew. That would be of no consequence to me in
the case of most of them; but there are a few whom I should be sorry to
know had such a feeling. The Jews are much misunderstood and slandered,
though people have an opportunity of learning their true character if
they would. The majority seem to look on every Jew as a probable or
possible usurer and dealer in old clothes, and a person capable of
joining a rabble at any moment, and pursuing an innocent man to death.
I do not, of course, fancy for an instant that you have any sympathy
with such people; but I think it possible that you may misunderstand my
attitude toward your church. I have not the slightest feeling of enmity
against it as long as it does not do violence to me or mine, and while
its members are true to the doctrines of peace and charity which they
profess. As an artist I admire it. Its theology is the only one which
still retains binding and implacable obligations of form, consequently,
the only one that can inspire high art. I do not count the old Jews,
who are rapidly melting away. I am of the reformed Jews."

"You no longer expect the coming of the Redeemer, nor the return to
Jerusalem, nor the triumph of your people?" she asked, looking at him
in astonishment.

"We no longer believe in them," he replied.

"What, then, is left you?" she exclaimed.

He smiled slightly. "I expect and long for the redemption of mankind by
the spirit of God, and I believe that truth and charity will prevail,
though they may not descend from heaven to become incarnate in one
form. The Jerusalem my people will return to is the spiritual city of
the children of God. Is it not nobler than the pretty myths which have
been wasting our energies and dividing the brotherhood of men into
petty clans, all hating each other even while they professed that love
was their prime virtue?"

"But sacrifice," she said, "what did you mean by that?"

"We had truth and error mingled. The sacrifice was merely a remnant
of heathen customs. Peoples who knew nothing of Judaism nor of
Christianity had their offerings and sacrifices. The Jews were the
chosen people, finer and more spiritual than any other; and to the
souls of the chosen among them the Creator revealed his truths. They
renounced all heathenish doctrines, and into the few ceremonies and
customs they retained they infused a spiritual significance. As the
race deteriorated, this spiritual meaning was misinterpreted, and
became more and more literal and gross. The people fell into sin, and
for this the Creator punished them by taking away their power and
pre-eminence, and by scattering them over the face of the earth."

Honora listened intently; and when he had finished, she uttered but
one word. Clasping her hands and lifting her eyes, her heart seemed
to burst upward like a fountain, tossing that one word into air,
"Emmanuel!"

Not the primeval Creator alone, distant and awful, but God with us!
Into this vast and terrible void which had been spread out before her,
she invoked with passion the incarnate, the lowly, the pitiful, the
suffering God.

"We hold that sacrifice is a practice of divine institution retained
from our first parents, not an originally heathen custom," she added
after a moment, regaining her composure. "You are, however, obliged
to give up your belief in it, or be inconsistent. I can see now that
if you hold to the sacrifice, you must hold to the Redeemer; if to
the Redeemer, then you must believe in Christ, since the time is gone
by for expectation; and if you accept the Christ, you must be a Roman
Catholic."

"Precisely!" said the Jew. He had felt a momentary electric shock
at the passion of her first exclamation, and had seen with emotion
the flush and fire in her countenance. Now he smiled at her concise
statement of the case.

Miss Pembroke rose, for the last of the procession was passing. The
children were called back to their seats in the same order in which
they had left them, and a few simple exercises were gone through with
at the request of their visitor. All was well calculated to unfold and
inform their young minds, but nothing was for show.

Mr. Schöninger blushed for the mistake he had made in fancying that
any occupation on earth could be more refined and noble than Miss
Pembroke's, when it was conducted in Miss Pembroke's manner. It seemed
an occupation for angels. She possessed, evidently, in a preeminent
degree, the power to understand and interest children, and she
used that power to perfect ends. There was none of that personal
familiarity which he had dreaded to see, that promiscuous fondness and
caressing by which some women fancy they please children, when, in
fact, the finer sort of children are oftener than not displeased with
it. A kind touch of her fingers was to them an immense favor, and a
kiss would have been remembered for ever. But while they treated her
with profound respect, they approached her with perfect confidence and
delight. They gathered about her, and gazed into her sympathetic face,
bright and transparent with love from a bountiful woman's heart. They
looked at her as a sky full of little stars may look into a smooth
lake, and each saw its own reflection there, and was happy. In her soul
all innocent infantile thoughts and fancies were condensed, as cloud
and spray are condensed into water, and not only could she remember the
process, but she could reverse it at will, could evaporate a thought or
truth too strong for childish intellects, and give it in the form of
rosy clouds to wide, grasping, childish imaginations.

Only one exercise failed at first. The children were shy of singing
before the stranger. All their voices faltered into silence but one, a
rather fair voice of a little boy who was perfectly self-confident, and
who evidently expected applause.

Mr. Schöninger took no notice of the child. Its vanity and boldness
displeased him. "A shallow thing!" he thought; and said, "I see that
I must hire you to sing for me. You like fairy-stories, surely. Well,
sing me but one song, and I will tell you the story."

His voice and smile reassured them. Moreover, a gentleman, no matter
how splendid he might be, who could tell fairy-stories, could not be
very dreadful. They exchanged smiles and glances, took courage, fixed
their eyes on their teacher, and sang a pretty hymn in good time and
tune, and with good expression.

In their first essay the musician had caught a faltering little
silvery note, which had failed as soon as heard. In the second it
came out round and clear, a voice of surprising beauty. He marked the
singer, and called him forward as soon as the hymn was over. The boy
came awkwardly and blushing. He was the ugliest and most dingy pupil
there. Only a pair of melancholy, dark, and lustrous eyes, habitually
downcast, and a set of perfect teeth, redeemed the face from being
disagreeable. Through those eyes looked a winged soul that did not
recognize itself, still less expect recognition from others, but felt
only the vague weight and sadness of an uncongenial life. He gave the
impression of a beautiful bird whose every plume is so laden with mire
it cannot fly.

"You have a good voice, and should learn how to sing," Mr. Schöninger
said to him kindly. "I will teach you, if Miss Pembroke approves, and
will make the arrangements. Of course it will cost you nothing."

"He needs encouragement," the musician remarked when the boy had
returned to his seat; "and he needs to have his position defined before
the others. Do you not perceive that they despise him? He has the voice
of an angel, and he looks remarkable. And now for my story."

The children's eyes sparkled with anticipation, and the teacher leaned
smilingly to listen. Let us listen also, and become better acquainted
with Mr. Schöninger.

"Once upon a time, there was a great wrangle in a certain street,"
the story-teller began. "Five little boys and girls were quarreling,
and two dogs were barking. The neighbors put their heads out their
windows, and the policeman stopped. Mrs. Blake put her two forefingers
in her two ears, for the noise was near her step, and the five boys
and girls were all telling her together what the matter was, and whose
fault it was. Then the mothers called their children home, and two went
into Mrs. Blake's, for they were hers. This was the story she drew from
them: Anne Blake had said a cross word to one of the others, that other
had made a face at the next, the third had slapped the fourth, and it
went round the circle. So it seemed that Anne started the whole by
speaking a cross word.

"'Since you are sorry, I will talk no more to you about it,' her mother
said. 'But I wish you to go up to your chamber and sit alone a little
while, and think over a Chinese proverb which is written on this slip
of paper. You are ten years old, and must begin to think.'

"Anne went slowly up-stairs to her chamber, shut the door after her,
and sat down in a little cushioned chair by the window to read her
proverb. Its being Chinese did not prevent it from being good. This is
what she read: 'A word once spoken, a coach and six cannot bring it
back again.'

"The day was warm, and the curtain at the window swung with a lulling
motion, giving glimpses of blue sky with white clouds sailing over,
and, below, of the top of a grape-vine full of leaves and small green
grapes.

"Anne gazed at the sky till it made her feel sleepy--gazing at bright
things does make one sleepy--then she gazed at the grape-vine.
Presently, she saw something in this vine that looked like a tiny
ladder, hidden among the leaves. It looked so much like a ladder that
she leaned forward and pulled the curtain aside, to see more plainly.
Sure enough! It was the loveliest ladder, or stairway, winding down and
down. Its steps were dark, like vine branches, and there was a railing
at each side of twigs and tendrils, and it wound down and down, in
sight and out of sight. And, more wonderful still, it was no longer a
yard, with the city about, she saw, but a great vine covering all the
window, and glimpses of a moonlighted forest down below.

"'I must go down,' says Anne; and so down she went on the beautiful
stairs.

"Lights and shades fluttered over her, and the leaves clapped together,
and little tendrils caught at her dress in play. And by-and-by she
stepped on to the brightest greensward that could be, full of blue
and white violets. The trees arched over her, the air was sweet, and
there was a smooth pond near by. The water was so very smooth that
she would never have known it was water if the banks had not turned
the wrong way in it, and the trees grown down instead of up. A little
white boat, too, had another little white boat under it, the two keel
to keel. Swans ran down the shore as she looked, and splashed into the
water, dipping their heads under, and making the whole surface so full
of motion that the upside-down trees and banks and boat disappeared.
Words cannot describe how beautiful the place was. There was every kind
of flower, and hosts of birds, and the moonlight was so bright that all
could be distinctly seen. There were also a great many splendid moths
that looked like flowers flying about, and flapping their petals.

"But the most beautiful part was that everything seemed to breathe of
peace and love. The birds sang and cooed to each other, the blossoms
leaned cheek to cheek, the water laughed at the stones it ran over,
and the wet stones smiled back, the gray old rocks held tenderly
the flowers and mosses that grew in their hollows, and the mosses
and flowers held on to the rocks with their tiny roots, like little
children clinging to old people who are fond of them.

"'How beautiful it is to see them so loving,' Anne said. 'They are a
sort of people, too; for they look alive. I wish other folks would
be as good. I'm sure I try; but then somebody always comes along and
says something ugly; and then, of course, I can't help being ugly back
again.'

"'Oh! yes, you can,' said a sweet voice close by.

"Anne looked and saw a charming little lady standing beside her. She
was so beautiful that words cannot describe her, and she carried a
pink petunia for a parasol to preserve her complexion. For she was
exquisitely fair, and the moonlight was really very bright.

"'Oh! yes, you can,' she repeated when Anne looked at her. 'You can
give a pleasant answer, and then people will stop being ugly.'

"'I could do it if everybody else would,' Anne said. 'The beginning is
the trouble. How nice it would be if there were a king over all the
world, and he would say, Now, after I have counted three, all of you
stop being cross, and begin to love each other, and keep on loving a
whole hour. If you don't, I'll cut your heads off!'

"'That would not be love; it would be a make-believe to save their
heads,' the little lady answered. 'But there is such a king, and he has
commanded us to love each other, and....'

"Here she was interrupted by a loud flapping of wings and a terrible
croaking, and a great black bird, something like a bat, flew by; and
wherever it struck its wings other bats flew out, and the air grew
dark with them, and all the beautiful forest was changed. The stones
tried to stop the brook, and the brook tried to upset the stones; the
leaves struck each other, the swans and little birds began to pull each
other's feathers out. All was discord.

"And then there was a rolling of wheels, and a trampling of hoofs, and
a great yellow coach appeared drawn by six horses covered with foam.
The coachman looked as if he were driving for his life, and there was a
head thrust from each window of the coach, telling him to drive faster.
All the heads wore caps like dish-covers, and had long braids of hair
hanging down their necks, though they were men; and their eyes slanted
down toward their noses, instead of going straight across their faces.

"'We are trying to catch a wicked word that is ruining all the place,'
they said, 'but we cannot. A wicked word has wings.'

"'So has a kind word wings,' said the little lady. 'Send a kind word
after the cross one, and perhaps it may bring it back.'

"'You are right, madam,' said one of the Chinamen; and he nodded his
head till the long braid at the back of it wagged to and fro. And he
kept on nodding so queerly that Anne felt obliged to nod too, and so
he nodded, and she nodded, till he nodded his head off. And then she
nodded her head off--no, not quite off; but she nodded so that she
waked herself up. For she had been dreaming.

"Then she jumped up and ran down-stairs and out doors as fast as her
feet would carry her. And in ten minutes she was back again, all out
of breath, and full of excitement. 'Mother,' she said, 'a coach and
six can't do it, but a kind word can. I told Jane I was sorry, and she
told--and we all told each other that we were sorry, and then we were
glad.' The words were rather mixed up, but the meaning was all right."

"I am truly grateful to you for allowing me to come this afternoon,"
Mr. Schöninger said on taking leave. "My visit has been to me like a
drop of cold water to one in a fever, or like the sound of David's harp
to Saul. I am refreshed."

He looked both sad and pleased. "I was about to thank you for coming,"
Honora answered. "You have given me and the children much pleasure."

And so, with a friendly salutation, they separated.

She mused a moment. "If he could believe in the sacrifice, all would
follow," she thought.

Then she called the children to their prayers, but first said a word to
them.

"There is something, my dear children, that I want very much," she
said. "Oh! I long for it. I shall be unhappy if I do not have it. And I
want all of you to ask the Infant Jesus to give it to me for his dear
mother's sake. Ask with all your hearts. I will tell him what I wish
for."

Her wish was that Mr. Schöninger might believe that sacrifice was a
divine revelation, not a heathenish custom.

"That is all he needs from me," she thought. "I trust him. If he has
that to begin with, he will himself ask God for the rest."



ITALIAN CONFISCATION LAWS.


                 REVIEWED FROM AN AMERICAN STAND-POINT.

                              BY A LAWYER.

"No state shall pass any _ex post facto_ law, or law impairing the
obligation of contracts."[2]

This is indeed a moral law, and has been recognized as such by all
civilized nations.

Justice Curtis, in his _Life of Webster_ (vol. i., chap. 7, p. 165)
thus notices the decision in the Supreme Court which first gave the
scope and meaning of this clause in regard to charters of private
corporations:

  "The framers of the Constitution of the United States, moved
  chiefly by the mischiefs created by the preceding legislation of
  the states, which had made serious encroachments on the rights of
  property, inserted a clause in that instrument which declared that
  'no state shall pass any _ex post facto_ law, or law impairing
  the obligation of contracts.' The first branch of this clause
  had always been understood to relate to criminal legislation,
  the second to legislation affecting civil rights. But before the
  case of Dartmouth College v. Woodward occurred, there had been
  no judicial decisions respecting the meaning and scope of the
  restraint in regard to contracts, excepting that it had more than
  once been determined by the Supreme Court of the United States
  that a grant of lands made by a state is a contract within the
  protection of this provision, and is, therefore, irrevocable.
  The decisions, however, could go but little way toward the
  solution of the questions involved in the case of the college.
  They did, indeed, establish the principle that contracts of
  the state itself are beyond the reach of subsequent legislation
  equally with contracts between individuals, and that there are
  grants of a state that are contracts. But this college stood upon
  a charter granted by the crown of England before the American
  Revolution. Was the state of New Hampshire--a sovereign in all
  respects after the Revolution, and remaining one after the federal
  constitution, excepting in those respects in which it had subjected
  its sovereignty to the restraints of that instrument--bound by
  the contracts of the English crown? Is the grant of a charter of
  incorporation a contract between the sovereign power and those
  on whom the charter is bestowed? If an act of incorporation is a
  contract, is it so in any case but that of a private corporation?
  Was this college, which was an institution of learning, established
  for the promotion of education, a private corporation, or was it
  one of those instruments of government which are at all times
  under the control and subject to the direction of the legislative
  power? All these questions were involved in the inquiry, whether
  the legislative power of the state had been so restrained by the
  constitution of the United States that it could not alter the
  charter of this institution, against the will of the trustees,
  without impairing the obligation of a contract. If this inquiry
  were to receive an affirmative answer, the constitutional
  jurisprudence of the United States would embrace a principle of
  the utmost importance to every similar institution of learning,
  and to every incorporation then existing, or thereafter to exist,
  not belonging to the machinery of government as a political
  instrument....

  "On the conclusion of the argument the Chief-Justice (Marshall)
  intimated that a decision was not to be expected until the next
  term. It was made in February, 1819, fully confirming the grounds
  on which Mr. Webster had placed the cause. From this decision,
  the principle in our constitutional jurisprudence which regards a
  charter of a private corporation as a contract, and places it under
  the protection of the Constitution of the United States, takes its
  date."

We add a passage from Mr. Webster's speech in this case, as quoted by
the same author from a letter of Prof. Goodrich, of Yale College, to
Rufus Choate:

  "This, sir, is my case. It is the case not merely of that humble
  institution; it is the case of every college in our land. It is
  more. It is the case of every eleemosynary institution throughout
  our country--of all those great charities founded by the piety of
  our ancestors to alleviate human misery and scatter blessings along
  the pathway of life. It is more! It is, in some sense, the case of
  every man among us who has property of which he may be stripped,
  for the question is simply this: Shall our state legislatures be
  allowed to take that which is not their own, to turn it from its
  original use, and apply it to such ends or purposes as they in
  their discretion shall see fit?"

The charitable and religious institutions of Italy and the States of
the Church were founded under guarantees as strong at least as those
which assured the perpetuity of Dartmouth College, and were entitled to
as much immunity from confiscation and intrusion for all coming time.

When a law is in its nature a contract, and absolute rights have vested
under that contract, a repeal of the law cannot divest those rights,
nor annihilate or impair a title acquired under the law. A grant is
a contract according to the meaning given to the word by jurists. A
grant is a contract executed, and a party is always estopped by his own
grant. A party cannot pronounce his own act or deed invalid, whatever
cause may be assigned for its invalidity, and though that party be
the legislature of a state. A grant amounts to an extinguishment of
the right of the grantor, and implies a contract not to reassert that
right. A grant from a state should be as much protected as a grant from
one individual to another; therefore, a state is as much inhibited
from impairing its own contracts, or a contract to which it is a
party, as it is from impairing the obligation of contracts between
two individuals. A grant once made by the ruling or competent power,
creates an indefeasible and irrevocable title. There is no authority
or principle which could support the doctrine that such a grant was
revocable in its own nature, and held only _durante bene placito_.
For no ruling power, be it kingly, legislative, or otherwise, can
repeal a law or grant creating a corporate body, or confirming to them
property already acquired under the faith of previous laws or edicts,
and by such repeal vest the property in others without the consent or
default of the corporators. Such a procedure would be repugnant to the
principles of natural justice. A society or order of religious people
holding property in common or _in solido_, may be considered in the
character of a private eleemosynary institution endowed with a capacity
to take property for objects unconnected with government: it receives
gifts or devises, and other private donations bestowed by individuals
on the faith of its perpetuity and usefulness--such a corporation not
being invested with any political power whatever, or partaking in
any degree in the administration of civil government. It is merely
an institution or private corporation for general charity. It is
established under a charter, which was a contract, to which the donors,
the trustees of the corporation, and the governing power were the
original parties, and it was granted for a valuable consideration--for
the security and disposition of the property necessary for the
existence of the community, order, or society.

The legal interest, in every such literary and charitable institution,
is in trustees, and to be asserted by them, which they claim or defend
on behalf of the society or community for the object of religion,
charity, or education, for which they were originally created, and
the private donations made. Contracts of this kind, creating such
charitable or educational institutions, should be at all times
protected by the state, and their rights maintained by the courts
administered by a pure and just judiciary. Conquests or revolutions
cannot change the rights acquired under such contracts, and no state
should by any act transfer the rights of property theretofore acquired,
nor transfer from the trustees appointed according to the will of the
founders or donors. The will of the state should not be substituted for
the will of the donors, or convert an institution, moulded according
to the will of its founders, and placed under the control of people
of their own selection, into government property. Such action is of
course subversive of the original compact on the faith of which the
donors invested their gifts, donations, or devises, and is, therefore,
repugnant to every idea of honesty and good morals, for enforcing which
governments are instituted.

A grant to a private trustee, for the benefit of a particular _cestui
que trust_, or for any special, private, or public charity, cannot
be the less a contract because the trustee takes nothing for his own
benefit. Nor does a private donation vested in a trustee for objects
of a general nature thereby become a public trust, which a government
may at its pleasure take from the trustee. A government cannot even
revoke a grant of its own funds, when given to a corporation or private
person for special uses. It has no other remaining authority but what
is judicial to enforce the proper administration of the trust. Nor is
such a grant less a contract though no beneficial interest accrues to
the possessor. All incorporeal hereditaments, as immunities, dignities,
offices, and franchises, are rights deemed valuable in law, and
whenever they are the subject of contract or grant they should be held
as legal estates. They are held as powers coupled with interests, and
consequently are vested rights, and of which the possessors should not
be divested by any legislative body without their consent.

Chief-Justice Marshall (in U. S. _v._ Percheman, _7 Peters 86_) says:
It is unusual, even in cases of conquest, for the conqueror to do more
than to displace the sovereign and assume dominion over the country;
and that the modern usage of nations, which has become law, would
be violated; that sense of justice and right which is acknowledged
and felt by the whole civilized world, would be outraged if private
property should be generally confiscated and private rights annulled.

Justice Sprague (Amy Warwick, _2 Sprague 150_) says: Confiscations
of property, not for any use that has been made of it, which go
not against an offending thing, but are inflicted for the personal
delinquency of the owner, are punitive, and punishment should be
inflicted only upon due conviction of personal guilt.

The communities whose rights are now invaded and whose property is
confiscated, ought to be protected under the law of nations. For, by
this law is understood that code of public instruction which defines
the rights and prescribes the duties of nations in their intercourse
with each other. The faithful observance of this law is essential
to national character and the happiness of mankind. According to
Montesquieu, it is founded on the principle that different nations
ought to do each other as much good in peace, and as little harm in
war, as possible. The most useful and practical part of the law of
nations is instituted or positive law, founded on usage, consent,
and agreement. It is impossible to separate this law from natural
jurisprudence, or to consider that it does not derive much of its force
and dignity from the same principle of right reason, the same views of
the nature and constitution of man, and the same sanction of divine
revelation, as those from which the science of morality is deduced.
There is a natural and a positive law of nations. By the former, every
state in its relations with other states is bound to conduct itself
with justice, good faith, and benevolence; and this application of the
law of nature has been called by Vattel the necessary law of nations,
because nations are bound by the law of nature to observe it; and it is
termed by others the internal law of nations, because it is obligatory
upon them in point of conscience.

That eminent jurist, Chancellor Kent, says that the science of public
law should not be separated from that of ethics, nor encourage the
dangerous suggestion that governments are not strictly bound by the
obligations of truth, justice, and humanity in relation to other
powers, as they are in the management of their own local concerns.
States or bodies politic are to be considered as moral persons, having
a public will, capable and free to do right and wrong, inasmuch as they
are collections of individuals, each of whom carries with him into the
service of the community the same binding law of morality and religion
which ought to control his conduct in private life.

The law of nations consists of general principles of right and justice,
equally suitable to the government of individuals in a state of
natural equality and to the relations and conduct of nations; the
conduct of nations should be governed by principles fairly to be
deduced from the rights and duties of nations and the nature of moral
obligation; and we have the authority of lawyers of antiquity, and
of some of the first masters in the modern school of public law, for
placing the moral obligations of nations and of individuals on similar
grounds, and for considering individual and national morality as parts
of one and the same science.

The law of nations, as far as it is founded upon the principles of
natural law, is equally binding in every age, and upon all mankind.

The law of nature, by the obligations of which individuals and states
are bound, is identical with the will of God, and that will is
ascertained by consulting divine revelation, where that is declaratory,
or by the application of human reason where revelation is silent.
Christianity is an authoritative publication of natural religion, and
it is from the sanction which revelation gives to natural law that we
must expect respect to be paid to justice between nations. Christianity
reveals to us a general system of morality, but the application to the
details of practice is often left to be discovered by human reason.

Justice is of perpetual obligation, and is essential to the well-being
of every society. The great commonwealth of nations stands in need of
law, and observance of faith, and the practice of justice.

If the question was one to be decided by the civil courts according to
the American rules concerning rights to property held by ecclesiastical
bodies, the points involved might be presented as follows:

1. Where the property which is the subject of controversy is, by the
express terms of the deed or will of the donor or other instrument
under which it is held, devoted to the teaching, support, or spread of
a specific form of religious doctrine and belief.

2. Where the property is held by a religious congregation, which
by the nature of its organization is strictly independent of other
ecclesiastical associations, and, so far as church government is
concerned, owes no fealty or obligation to any higher authority.

3. The third is where the religious congregation or ecclesiastical body
holding the property is but a subordinate member of some general church
organization in which there are superior ecclesiastical tribunals
with a general and ultimate power of control, more or less complete,
in some supreme judicatory over the whole membership of that general
organization.

Respecting the first of these classes, it does not admit of a rational
doubt that an individual or an association of individuals may dedicate
property by way of trust to the purpose of sustaining, supporting, and
propagating definite religious doctrines or principles, provided that
in doing so they violate no law of morality, and give to the instrument
by which their purpose is evidenced the formalities which the law
requires.

And it is then the duty of a court of law, in a case properly brought
before it, to see that the property so dedicated is not diverted from
the trust which is thus attached to its use. So long as there are
persons qualified within the meaning of the original dedication, and
who are also willing to teach the doctrines or principles prescribed in
the act of dedication, and so long as there is any one so interested in
the execution of the trust as to have a standing in court, it must be
that they can prevent the diversion of the property or fund to other
and different uses.

This is the general doctrine of courts of equity as to charities, and
it is also applicable to ecclesiastical matters.

In such case, where the trust is confided to a religious congregation
or church government, it is not in the power of the majority of that
congregation, however preponderant by reason of a change of views on
religion, to carry the property so confided to them to the support of
new and conflicting doctrine.

A pious man building and dedicating a house of worship to the sole and
exclusive use of those who believe in the doctrines of the Holy Roman
Catholic Church, and placing it under the control of those who at the
time held the same belief, has a right to expect that the law will
prevent that property from being used for any other purpose whatsoever.
The law should throw its protection around the trust, and it is the
duty of courts of law to enforce a trust clearly defined, and to
inquire whether the party accused of violating the trust is using the
property so dedicated as to defeat the declared objects of the trust.
In such cases, the right to the use of the property must be determined
by the ordinary principles which govern voluntary associations.

The same rule prevails as to the class of cases coming within the view
of the third proposition, as to property acquired in any of the usual
modes for the general use of a religious congregation which is itself
part of a larger and general organization, with which it is connected
by religious views and ecclesiastical government, and which appeals
to the courts to determine the right to the use of the property so
acquired. That is, where property has been purchased for the use of
the congregation, and so long as any such body can be ascertained to be
of that congregation, and is under its control and bound by its orders
and judgments, or its regular and legitimate successor, it is entitled
to the use of the property.

In this class of cases, the rule of action which governs the civil
courts of the United States, as enunciated by the highest legal
tribunal, the Supreme Court, is founded upon a broad and sound view of
the relations of church and state, and is, that wherever questions of
faith or of discipline, or ecclesiastical rule, custom, or law, have
been decided by the highest of these church judicatories to which the
matter has been carried, the legal tribunals must accept such decisions
as final, and as binding on them in their application to the case
before them.[3]

In delivering the opinion of the court in that case, the learned Mr.
Justice Miller said:

  "In this country the full and free right to entertain any religious
  belief, to practise any religious principle, and to teach any
  religious doctrine which does not violate the laws of morality
  and property, and which does not infringe personal rights, is
  conceded to all. The law is not committed to the support of any
  dogma, the establishment of any sect. The right to organize
  voluntary religious associations, to assist in the expression and
  dissemination of any religious doctrine, and to create tribunals
  for the decision of controverted questions of faith within the
  association, and for the ecclesiastical government of all the
  individual members, congregations, and officers within the general
  association, is unquestioned. All who unite themselves to such
  a body do so with an implied consent to this government, and
  are bound to submit to it. But it would be a vain consent, and
  would lead to the total subversion of such religious bodies, if
  any one aggrieved by one of their decisions could appeal to the
  secular courts and have them reversed. It is of the essence of
  these religious unions, and of their right to establish tribunals
  for the decision of questions arising among themselves, that
  those decisions should be binding in all cases of ecclesiastical
  cognizance, subject to only such appeals as the organism itself
  provides for.

  "Nor do we see that justice would be likely to be promoted by
  submitting those decisions to review in the ordinary judicial
  tribunals.

  "The Catholic Church has constitutional and ecclesiastical laws
  of its own that task the ablest minds to become familiar with.
  It cannot be expected that judges of the civil courts can be as
  competent in the ecclesiastical law as the ablest men in the
  church. It would therefore be an appeal from the more learned
  tribunal in the law, which should decide the case, to one which is
  less so.

  "These views are supported by the preponderant weight of authority
  in this country."

And according to the American rule, where the subject-matter of
dispute, inquiry, or decision is strictly and purely ecclesiastical
in its character, it is a matter over which the civil courts should
not exercise any jurisdiction--a matter which concerns theological
controversy, church discipline, ecclesiastical government, or the
conformity of the members of the church to the standard of morals
required of them, the civil court has not and should not have any
jurisdiction. If the civil courts were at liberty to inquire into
the whole subject of doctrinal theology, usages, and customs, the
written laws and fundamental principles would have to be examined into
with minuteness and care, for they would be the criteria by which
the validity of the ecclesiastical decree would be determined in the
civil court. And that would deprive the authorities of the church of
their proper right and power to construe their own church laws, and
would open the way to the evil of transferring to the civil courts,
where the rights to property were concerned, the decision of all
ecclesiastical questions.[4]

Of all the cases in which this doctrine is applied, no better
representative can be found than that of Shannon _v._ Frost,[5] where
the principle is ably supported by the learned Chief-Justice of the
Court of Appeals of Kentucky, wherein he says:

  "This court, having no ecclesiastical jurisdiction, cannot revise
  or question ordinary acts of church discipline. Our only judicial
  power in the case arises from the conflicting claims of the parties
  in the church property, and the use of it. We cannot decide who
  ought to be members of the church, nor whether the excommunicated
  have been justly or unjustly, regularly or irregularly, cut off
  from the body of the church."

The same principle was laid down in the subsequent case of Gibson _v._
Armstrong,[6] and of Watson _v._ Avery.[7]

One of the most careful and well-considered judgments on the subject is
that of the Court of Appeals of South Carolina, delivered by Chancellor
Johnson in the case of Harmon _v._ Dreher.[8] That case turned upon
certain rights in the use of church property claimed by the minister,
notwithstanding his expulsion from the synod as one of its members:

  "He stands," says the chancellor, "convicted of the offences
  alleged against him by the sentence of the spiritual body of which
  he was a voluntary member, and whose proceedings he had bound
  himself to abide. It belongs not to the civil power to enter into
  or review the proceedings of a spiritual court. The structure
  of our government has for the preservation of religious liberty
  rescued the temporal institutions from religious interference; on
  the other hand, it has secured religious liberty from the invasion
  of the civil authority. The judgments, therefore, of religious
  associations, bearing on their own members, are not examinable
  here; and I am not to enquire whether the doctrines attributed
  to Mr. Dreher were held by him, or whether, if held, were
  anti-Lutheran, or whether his conduct was or was not in accordance
  with the duty he owed to the synod or to his denomination.... When
  a civil right depends upon an ecclesiastical matter, it is the
  civil court and not the ecclesiastical which is to decide. But
  the civil tribunal tries the civil right, and no more, taking the
  ecclesiastical decisions out of which the civil right arises as it
  finds them."

This principle is reaffirmed by the same court in the John's Island
Church case.[9] And in Den _v._ Bolton[10] the Supreme Court of New
Jersey asserts the same principle.

The Supreme Court of Illinois, in the case of Ferraria _v._
Vascouelles, refers to the case of Shannon _v._ Frost with approval,
and adopts the language of the court, that the judicial eye cannot
penetrate the veil of the church for the forbidden purpose of
vindicating the alleged wrongs of excised members; when they became
members, they did so upon the condition of continuing or not as they
and their churches might determine, and they thereby submit to the
ecclesiastical power, and cannot now invoke the supervisory power of
the civil tribunals.

And in the case of Chase _v._ Cheney, recently decided in the same
(Illinois) court, Judge Lawrence says: "The opinion implies that in the
administration of ecclesiastical discipline, and where no other right
of property is involved, their loss of the clerical office or salary
incident to such discipline, a spiritual court is the exclusive judge
of its own jurisdiction, and that its decision of that question is
binding on the secular courts."

In the case of Watson _v._ Ferris,[11] which was a case growing out of
the schism in the Presbyterian Church in Missouri, the court held that
whether a case was regularly or irregularly before the assembly, was a
question which the assembly had the right to determine for itself, and
no civil court could reverse, modify, or impair its action in a matter
of merely ecclesiastical concern.

The opinion of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, expressed in the
case of the German Reformed Church _v._ Seibert,[12] sets forth that
the decisions of ecclesiastical courts, like every other judicial
tribunal, are final, as they are the best judges of what constitutes
an offence against the word of God and the discipline of the church.
Any other than those courts must be incompetent judges of matters of
faith, discipline, and doctrine; and civil courts, if they should be so
unwise as to attempt to supervise their judgments on matters which come
within their jurisdiction, would only involve themselves in a sea of
uncertainty and doubt, which would do anything but improve religion and
good morals.

In the subsequent case of McGinnis _v._ Watson,[13] this principle is
again applied and supported by a more elaborate argument.

Lord Chancellor Eldon, upon delivering the opinion of the House of
Lords in the celebrated test-case of Craigdallie _v._ Aikman, reported
in 2 _Bligh_, 529 (1 _Dow_, 1), said: That they (the law lords) had
adopted this principle as their rule and guide for cases of dispute
respecting the right to property conveyed for the use of religious
worship--that it is a trust which is to be enforced for the purpose
of maintaining that religious worship for which the property was
devoted, and in the event of schism (the original deed having made no
provision for such cases) its uses are to be enforced, not on behalf of
a majority of the congregation, nor yet exclusively in behalf of the
party adhering to the general body, but in favor of that part of the
society adhering to and maintaining the original principles upon which
it was founded: the exclusive standard or guide by which conflicting
claims are to be decided is adherence to the church itself.

Regarding, therefore, church property, or the property of religious
societies, communities, or orders, in the same manner as the private
property of any other corporation or individual, it may with safety be
assumed as a settled and fundamental law that ought to be recognized
by every Christian and civilized state, that it is bound to make just
indemnity and compensation to the citizen or subject, society, or
corporation, or community, for all property taken under the pressure
of state necessity for the public good, convenience, or safety. The
eminent domain of the state should be so exercised as to work no
wrong, to inflict no private injury, without giving to the party
aggrieved ample redress. This doctrine was not engrafted on the public
law to give license to despotic and arbitrary sovereigns. It has its
foundation in the organization of society, and is essential to the
maintenance of public virtue in every government, whether a republic, a
monarchy, or a despotism. It is of the very essence of sovereignty, for
without it a state cannot perform its first and highest duties--those
required by justice and righteousness. Whenever, therefore, from
necessity a state appropriates to public use the private property of
an individual or of a corporation, lay or religious, it is obliged by a
law as imperative as that by which it makes the appropriation, to give
to the party aggrieved redress commensurate with the injury sustained.
Upon any other principle the social compact would work mischief and
wrong. The state might impoverish the citizen it was established to
protect, and trample on those rights of property, security for which
was one of the great objects of its creation.

All the elementary writers of authority sustain these views of the duty
and obligations of states.

Justice requires, says Vattel, that the community or individual be
indemnified at the public charge.

The taking, says Grotius, must be for some public advantage; as, for
instance, in time of war, the erection of a rampart or fortification,
or where his standing corn or storehouses are destroyed to prevent
their being of use to the enemy, in which case the person injured
should receive a just compensation for the loss he suffers out of the
common stock. The state is obliged to repair the damage suffered by
any citizen out of the public funds. The conversion cannot take place
either to gratify any whim, caprice, or fashion; it must be an actual
public necessity. For, do we not read of an instance where some king,
perhaps of Prussia, was erecting a magnificent palace at his capital,
and, in order to carry out the design of the architect, it became
necessary to remove a small unsightly tenement, the property of a poor
man, who, though so poor, would not sell his place or consent that it
should be removed, and there it remained for years, an eyesore perhaps
to many, and yet the king, as the chief depositary of justice, would
not permit it to be disturbed, although urged by his flatterers and
courtiers to do so, until in lapse of years the owner died, and his
successors consented to sell. The historian recalls the justice of the
king, that all honest and honorable rulers and men might follow such a
noble example of honor and justice. But can any one reasonably praise
such an act, and approve of the confiscation of the houses of religious
and charitable associations in Italy, and the very suppression and
wiping out of the corporation or society itself, without trial, or
charge of offence or crime other than the offence of doing good to the
human race without pay, fee, or reward here, but looking only to heaven
for recompense.

If the Italian government or parliament may to-day confiscate or
escheat the property of Catholic communities, and thus commit a breach
of the pact made by former rulers, emperors, or governments with the
founders of such communities, disregarding all inherent rights of
succession and perpetuity, may it not to-morrow also commit a breach
of its own compacts or implied guarantees, and confiscate or escheat
all the property of churches, school-houses, colleges, of other
denominations who have lately or are now building them within Italian
jurisdiction? For what obstacle is to prevent it doing so? Having
outraged and set aside as nought the moral or human law, styled law of
nations, in this respect, may it not do so again in any other, from
either whim or caprice? Unless there is some power left in public
opinion to restrain it, this is a dilemma from which all the arguments
of theoretical political economists or logicians cannot relieve them.

Therefore, is it not a question now well worthy the consideration
of all honest-thinking men, whether or not they should aid public
opinion in sending forth a note of warning against this doctrine
of confiscation--for else, perhaps, the disease may make a wider
sweep over the earth, and parliaments or congresses be elected for
the purpose of confiscating or escheating other property besides
church property or the property of religious or charitable houses or
communities?

Judging from the tenor and tone of American decisions--upon the
question involved--pronounced by some of our ablest and purest
men, this "confiscation," or, more expressively, this "spoliation"
of the property of the church and of religious orders, by Victor
Emanuel, under color of parliamentary enactments, and tested also by
recognized rules of international law, to say nothing of that higher
law which commands us to "do unto others, etc.," such "confiscation"
is utterly indefensible upon any doctrine other than that set forth
in the nefarious maxim, "To the victors belong the spoils," and
any acquiescence on the part of the Christian nations, Catholic or
non-Catholic, is simply disgraceful, and an act of homage to the prince
of this world which is in itself an act of dishonor towards God.

And as any title so acquired can only be maintained so long as the
usurper has the material power to occupy and defend, it is certain
that with the destruction of that power the true and rightful owners
may revive and assert their rights of ownership and possession, as the
lawful successors of the original grantors and founders, regardless of
any claims or incumbrances whatsoever made or suffered by intervening
holders or intruders.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, by Rev. I.
T. HECKER, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington,
D. C.

[2] Constitution of the United States.

[3] Watson _v._ Jones, _13 Wallace 729_.

[4] See Cardcross case, McMillan _v._ General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church, 22 _D._ (_Scotch Ct. of Sess._) 270, decided 23d
December, 1859. Attorney-General _v._ Pearson, _3 Merivale 353_; Miller
_v._ Goble, _2 Denio 492_.

[5] _3 B. Monroe 253_.

[6] _7 B. Monroe 481_.

[7] _2 Bush 332_.

[8] 2 Speers' _Equity_ 87.

[9] 2 Richardson's _Equity_ 215.

[10] _7 Halstead 206_.

[11] _45 Missouri 183_.

[12] _3 Barr 291_.

[13] _41 Pennsylvania State 21_.



HOW GEORGE HOWARD WAS CURED.


To give up the battle of life at any age is bad, so long as a flicker
of life is left. It is like deserting the doomed ship whilst the
groaning planks hold together; like refusing to make one in the forlorn
hope, but choosing rather to sit down with closed eyes, and let death
come as it may. But to give up the battle of life at five-and-twenty,
when the battle can scarcely be said to have begun, whilst the future
lies hidden behind an uncertain mist, when the sinews are braced, the
eyes clear, the heart hopeful, the hair unsilvered--to give it up then
is like deserting the ship whilst all is fair sailing, like sneaking
from the ranks at first scent of the enemy. It is as cowardly as for
the sentinel to abandon his post or the ensign to surrender without
a blow the colors which he swore to defend to death; nay, as for the
husband to desert the wife he chose out of all the world before God to
be his until death. Yet this was what George Howard had done.

Of course a woman was in it, as she is in most difficulties here
below. And is it not her province? If she sometimes happen to be "in
it" a little too much, rather in the light of an obstacle than a
helper--well, the best and not the worst must be made of her under the
awkward circumstances. The first man, if Mr. Darwin will excuse the
heresy, set us a good example in this way. It was a pity that Eve did
not turn her ear away from the voice of the charmer; but as she did
the other thing, and so wrought upon her husband that he followed her
example, after all he made the very best of a very bad bargain, and,
like a true man, stuck to his wife. But to return from Adam to his
XIXth century descendant, Mr. George Howard: Why had that promising
young gentleman metaphorically "thrown up the sponge," and drawn aside
like a coward from the broad road of life, to linger on uselessly in
this little out-of-the-way French town where nobody knew him, where
nobody heard of him from the great city at the other side of the ocean,
which he left one fine morning a year or more ago without a word of
warning or a single good-by to the many friends whose kindly eyes had
looked hopefully upon him, and whose friendly lips had prophesied
success? Why had he gone out from this busy heart of the New World,
palpitating with promise and half-defined yearnings, to bury himself
away in this silent nook in an obscure corner of the south of France,
doing nothing, caring nothing, planning nothing, wearily waiting for
life to end?

As is generally the case with despairing five-and-twenty in the
masculine, and despondent seventeen or eighteen in the feminine, sex,
it was one of those peculiar difficulties known as "affairs of the
heart." Nobody ever knew the exact ins and outs of it; how far the
lady was to blame, and how far George had himself to accuse. Like many
a passionate, high-souled young man, where he bestowed his heart he
expected that heart to absorb and fill up the life and soul of the
woman he loved. That effect does follow generally, but by degrees
more or less slow. George was apt to love too fiercely and too fast.
But young, high-spirited girls like to be wooed before they are won.
Though their hearts may have been virtually taken by storm long before
the besieging party so much as suspect that a breach has been made in
the stubborn fortress, still they like to make a show of surrendering
at discretion, and marching out with all the honors of war, rather
than be instantly and absolutely overwhelmed by love. There is such
a thing as a surfeit of happiness. George Howard had probably made
this mistake. Such lovers as he are apt to start at shadows, imagining
them realities. The end of it was that George's fortress surrendered
to somebody else, married the conqueror, and was disgracefully happy.
Whether or not she ever cast a thought back on the bright young fellow
that once loved her so fiercely, who can tell? Probably not. She made a
good match--and contented wives soon drop romance; sooner than husbands
often. It is astonishing how easily the goddess we adore before
marriage descends from the clouds, walks the earth like a sturdy woman,
and becomes a practical, sensible wife. It may be a little unromantic
at first sight, but it is undoubtedly by far the best thing she could
do under the circumstances. But when poor George saw his goddess riding
about smiling and happy by the side of her husband, and that husband
not himself, he could not endure the sight. After lingering a little
in misery, he threw up his connections, and left the city for what
destination nobody knew.

George Howard was alone in the world. His mother had died early; his
father went off when George was twenty, leaving him fortune enough to
help him to make life as pleasant as he chose to make it for himself.
He was advancing rapidly in his profession--law--and had made a host
of friends when the collapse came. As is so often the case, his pride,
instead of sustaining him, sank under the blow. Most probably, if
the truth were told, the wound inflicted on his self-esteem rankled
deeper than that which had killed his love. The thought that another
man could succeed where George Howard had failed would have been gall
and wormwood to him in any case; but when the object of rivalry was a
woman's heart, and George Howard's were the rejected addresses, death
would be a small word to express the consummation of that gentleman's
misery; it was the annihilation of all that made life worth the living.
"Howard the jilted," he seemed to read in everybody's eye, when perhaps
not half a dozen persons knew anything about the affair. Jilted by a
girl! How could a man recover such a blow? What was there in the wide
world to fill up the void left in one when his mighty self shrank to
such insignificant proportions?

Common sense might have suggested that there was more than one woman
in the world, and that there lay a deeper fund of love in the heart
of a man than could be exhausted on the first girl he chanced to meet
and admire. It might have suggested also that failure in love did
not necessarily mean failure in matters which, after all, as far as
the world outside of our little selves is concerned, are of far more
importance than love. Man is not sent into this world for the one
purpose of being "married and done for," as the phrase goes. But when
did common sense find the ear of a lover, particularly of a lover
rejected?

So here was George Howard, clever enough, good-looking enough, and by
no means a bad fellow, self-stranded on the barren sand-banks of life,
with a short five-and-twenty years behind him, a future full of fair
promise still before him, hugging a useless sorrow in silent sadness,
and making that his bride.

He lived on listlessly from day to day. He mixed with no circle;
he knew nobody. He took his meals at his hotel, addressed a few
commonplaces to those he happened to meet, and passed most of his time
in the open air, taking long strolls into the country, walking up and
down the beach by the sea, watching the solitary sails that came and
went and faded out of sight--sadly, it seemed to him sometimes, as
though beckoning him back to a living world. There were few visitors
at the little town, save just during the hottest of the summer months.
Such as did come hurried away again as fast as they could. The train
rushed through it day after day, a crowd of peering faces would show
themselves a few moments at the windows of the cars, strange eyes
would stare curiously at the strange place, and pass on a moment after
as indifferent as before. Something of the instinct which prompts a
wounded animal to seek out a silent covert where it may lie down with
its wound and die alone, must have conducted George Howard to this spot.

Yet to a man who had only gone there for a short holiday, weary awhile
of the rush, and the struggle, and the incessant strain and roar of a
busier life, the little French town, with its quaint look and quaint
ways, might have offered a refreshing relief from the dust, and the
turmoil, and the worry of the world of politics and money, railroads
and trade. Many a one doubtless has at some time or other had the
wish to wake up some morning a century or two ago in a world that had
gone away. To such the placid evenings by the sea, the homely looks of
the inhabitants, the clean blouses of the men, the white caps of the
women, the busy tongues of the children, the long silver hair of M. le
Curé, the dances by the sea as the sun went down, the slow wains drawn
by drowsy oxen, the fuss and bustle of the weekly market-day, the big
_gendarme_ with his clanking sword, the white houses and their antique
gables, with the beat of the surf on the beach for ever, and the fresh
odor of the ocean pervading all places, would have seemed the delicious
realization of many a picture looked on and lingered over in a gilded
frame.

But on the deadened senses of George Howard these simple scenes, and
sights, and sounds fell as you might fancy the roll of the muffled
drums to fall on the one stretched out in the coffin who is being borne
speedily on by the living to his grave. They wake no life in him; he
makes no stir; he is let down into the earth--a farewell roll, and the
grave is closed over him for ever, whilst the bright world above seems
to smile the merrier that another dead man is hidden away.

Of course, this kind of life and mode of thought were rapidly telling
on him and bringing nearer and nearer the consummation he seemed to
desire. The step grew slower, the eyes began to lose their quick
lustre, the cheek its flush, the body its swing and half-defiant
bearing. The simple people round about looked at him silently, shook
their heads, and sighed as he moved by without noticing them. He grew
more and more attached to the beach, where he would stroll up and down
and sit for hours on the yellow sand, staring out blankly at the
broad water, casting a pebble into it from time to time, and watching
the circles that it made. There was something congenial to his nature
in the changeable face and mood, the smile, the frown, the hoarse
breathing, the sob, the sigh, the roar, the rage of the ocean. To all
these changes something within him gave a voice, until the very spirit
of the mysterious deep seemed to creep into his being, and make it an
abode there.

So he lived on, never writing to a friend, never yearning to go back to
the world he had quitted, and which still held out its arms to him. All
ambition, all desire of achievement, all common feeling with the world
into which he had been born, seemed to have gradually oozed out of him.
He had staked his happiness and lost, and now he only wished for the
end to come soon. It never occurred to him that he had possibly staked
his happiness at too low a figure. He only saw before him an empty
life with a dreary existence. At such stages, some men commit suicide.
He was not yet coward enough for that, though not Christian enough to
perceive that this world was not made for one man and one woman only,
but for all the children of Adam.

But happily, however man may reject Providence, and close his eyes to a
Power that shapeth all things for good, Providence mercifully refuses
to reject him without at least giving him plenty of opportunities,
humanly called chances, to come back to the possession of his senses,
and the fulfilment of the mission which is appointed unto every man.
And one of George Howard's chances came about this wise.

A favorite walk of his was along a winding road leading some distance
out of the little town up a lofty hill, from the summit of which the
eye could scan the sweeping circle of the waters, stretching out in
its glittering wonder to the verge of dimness, or, inland, where miles
and miles of fair pasture-land and vineyards spread away in gentle
undulations, with smoke rising from hollows in which hamlets slept, and
church spires clove the clear air, and airy villas crowned the pleasant
hills. Alternate gleams of sea and land shot through the tall poplars
that lined the road as it circled round the hill. At the top, buried
amid trees, and fronted by a garden filled almost the year through with
delicious flowers, was the Maison Plaquet, a sort of _café_, where
visitors could procure a cup of coffee, a glass of _eau sucrée_, or
the good wines _du pays_. This establishment was presided over by Mme.
Plaquet, a buxom dame with a merry eye and kindly voice, whose pleasant
face had become quite a part of the landscape. There was understood
to be a M. Plaquet somewhere, but he did not often show himself to
visitors. He left the whole business to madame, having a strong
suspicion that there was no woman like her in the world, and spent most
of his time trimming the flower-beds, pruning the trees, or tending to
the vineyard.

George was a frequent visitor at the Maison Plaquet. He would spend
hours in the garden dreaming. Madame was won by his handsome face
and the fixed sadness in his eyes, which always lighted up, however,
in response to her genial greeting. She half suspected that it was
something more than a love of nature which sent the _pauvre garçon_,
as she called him, away from friends, and home, and family, to sit
there day after day dreaming in her arbor, beautiful as it was. With
the chatty good-nature which in a Frenchwoman never seems offensive,
she would sometimes try to draw him out of himself, to learn something
about him that might help her to lift the settled cloud off his
handsome face. To Mme. Plaquet it seemed almost a sin against the good
God to wear a cloudy face always. But George was so jealously reserved
that she gave him up, with the secret conviction that it was love alone
that could inflict so deep a wound on so young a heart, and that love
alone could heal it.

One afternoon, whilst George was reclining in the arbor, a riding party
of gay cavaliers and dames showed themselves suddenly in front of the
Maison Plaquet. Exclamations of delight at the beauty of the scene
burst from one and another. One fair young girl stood her horse just
at the entrance to the arbor, and, to those within, completely filled
in the picture. Thus she met the dreamy eyes of Mr. George Howard. The
steed was a little restive, but with a firm though gentle hand she
curbed him until he stood still as death and she upon him. The light
hat she wore was thrown back, showing a shapely head with glossy curls,
around which the sun made a glory under the clustering blossoms. For
a moment horse and rider seemed to stand out startlingly clear from
the sky, and for that moment George allowed his eyes to linger there
as upon a striking picture. A moment after, the party had dismounted,
entered the arbor, and seated themselves at a table opposite to our
friend. As the centre figure of the picture which had attracted his
gaze passed, she glanced at him, and he had a momentary view of a
blooming cheek and a pair of those large, soft, but courageous eyes,
filled with that courage which makes a man reverence a woman--eyes
round, and full, and clear as a child's, that fear no evil without,
because they are conscious of none within. The party was a gay one, and
their gaiety grated on George's ear. He rose and sauntered down the
hill, a little sadder, if possible, than when he had ascended it.

After his departure, one of the gentlemen, an old acquaintance of Mme.
Plaquet's apparently, inquired of her who her strange visitor might be
whom he had met there more than once, and always alone.

Madame, with a sigh and many a shrug, and much amiable volubility,
told the company that she knew nothing at all about him, save that
he lived in the little town _en bas_, that he came there very often,
that he was evidently suffering from some great trouble, that he was a
good gentleman and always gave something to the poor when they asked
him, and that it was a great pity so handsome a young gentleman should
offend the good God by not being happy.

The ladies were quite interested in madame's narrative. Ladies will be
interested about good-looking young men who are suffering from that
romantic complaint, an incurable melancholy. But as madame's narrative,
eloquent and pathetic though it was, left them in much the same state
of enlightenment as before with regard to the interesting stranger, all
they could do was sigh a little, remount, and resume their gay tone.
Just as they were commencing the descent, a hare started and frightened
the horse of the young lady who had attracted George's attention. A
plunge, a rear, and an instant after it was out of sight, thundering
down the steep road at a speed that mocked pursuit.

George was strolling along in his listless way, stopping now at this
turn, now at that, to admire the scenery, pluck a flower or a leaf,
and muse a little. He had almost arrived at the foot of the hill, when
a cry from above and a clatter of hoofs broke on his ear. He stood at
a narrow turn between two high banks opening into the last bend of the
road, to listen and observe. A moment after, a horse with a lady on his
back came tearing down at a mad speed right on him. A glance showed
that the rider stood in imminent danger of her life, and that the only
means of saving her was to stop the animal in the midst of its wild
career. The thought and determination to do something had scarcely
time to flash through his brain, when the horse was on him; and how he
never knew, but he found himself dragging at the reins--a stumble of
the steed against the bank as it swerved, a fainting lady in his arms,
and a moment after a crowd of persons around them. He surrendered her
to the care of her friends, and, seeing her revive whilst they were
engaged in tending her, took occasion to slink away unobserved, as
though he had been guilty of some mean action. And the Maison Plaquet
saw him no more.

About a week after this occurrence, he was taking one of his usual
moody walks along the beach, his hands clasped behind him, and his eyes
following the golden path that led away over the waters down to the
sinking sun. He walked along listlessly, insensible to everything save
the subtle solemnity of the hour, when the brooding calm of the evening
began to settle over the crimson wave and the flushed earth. He did not
observe a figure leaning against a huge boulder that lay rosy-red right
in his path. The leaning figure was that of a young man, who, like
George, was surveying the scene, but with an air of genuine admiration
curiously tempered by the eye of a connoisseur examining a painting
as to the merits or defects of which his oracular opinion might be
called for at any moment by a listening world. Let us look at him as
he leans back there, so contented, to all seeming, with the world in
general, and possibly with himself in particular; for notwithstanding
an occasional touch of what in others would be called impertinence, but
in him was really rather assumed than natural, and, as he was wont to
say, often got him out of difficulties, Ned Fitzgerald was a fellow you
would like.

His slim, well-knit figure, clad in a light summer suit, his pleasant,
animated face surmounted by a straw hat that became him, his bright
eyes glancing around and taking all in in a sweep--the sinking sun, the
mingling colors on the waters, the flush on the hills, the blood-red
glow on the sands, the quiet circles of a solitary sea-bird that turned
and dipped its snow-white wings in the rosy light--to one looking at
him, he made nature seem all the more lovely and enjoyable for having
one who could feel its loveliness so thoroughly and so evidently.

The quick eye did not take long to pick out the slightly stooped
figure that seemed so wrapt in silent thought, and, as it neared
him, never turned its gaze from the dying sun. Mr. Ned Fitzgerald
watched its approach, and, with his usual tendency to be sociable,
evidently contemplated addressing it; when, as it came close enough to
distinguish the features, he started from his recumbent position, took
off his hat and tossed it wildly in the air, never waiting to catch it
again, but, rushing towards George, seized that astounded and miserable
mortal in his arms, and hugged him almost to suffocation before he
could see who it was, whilst the exclamation burst from him:

"Why, George Howard, by all that's impossible!"

Another hug and a longer one, and a hearty laugh, and a shake of both
hands up and down, and a look of genuine pleasure in the bright eyes
that seemed to throw a light over the kindly face--Ned's pleasantry
was contagious, and the first flush of surprise on George's face was
succeeded by a faint smile as soon as he recognized his old friend and
school-fellow, whilst a sort of moisture forced itself into his own
eyes. It was as though he had come back from the grave a moment to find
that after all the hand shaken so vigorously by an old friend--the
best-liked old friend of them all, who had studied with him, and fought
with him, and played with him, and got into all sorts of scrapes and
out of them with him, and built with him those bubble castles that boys
will build at school, destitute of nothing save foundation--was still
real flesh and blood, and that the heart throbbing within him was still
human.

"Why, Ned, old fellow, what in the name of wonder brought you here?"

"Destiny, my boy, destiny, fate--anything you please that may give
a sufficiently solemn turn to a landslip close by which interfered
considerably with locomotion, and forced me bag and baggage out of
my snug _coupé_, to set me down in this unknown corner of the earth,
absolutely without a soul to speak to, for one night. But I do believe
I could have endured a broken head as well as a broken journey for the
sake of dropping on you again, old boy."

Why young gentlemen, supposed to know the meaning of words, should
find such a secret fund of special endearment in the terms which they
so lavishly apply to one another of "old boy," "old fellow," or "old
man," is a mystery whose solution is still to appear. Young persons
of the opposite sex, as it is called--goodness knows why--are not in
the habit of addressing each other as "old woman," "old duck," or "old
maid." Such terms would be esteemed in them as anything but endearing,
although married ladies have been known to speak of their lord and
master as "a dear, good old thing." However, to return from this
digression, which is becoming dangerous, to the "old" men in question:

"Well, Ned, I am really glad to see you," said George, and then added
slowly, as the old chill came back to him, "and that's more than I'd
say to many an old acquaintance--now."

He looked away moodily to where the sun had gone down, as the gray
began to settle over the water. Ned took a quick glance at his friend,
and saw that, as he expressed it to himself, "all was not right
somewhere." He had seen very little of Howard since they left college,
and knew nothing of what had driven him from New York. However, he
determined to take no notice of his last remark for the present, but
said gaily:

"This sea of yours gives one a tremendous appetite. I move dinner.
There's nothing like dinner to liven up a man's wits. Come along,
George. We have had our fill of gorgeous sunsets and scenery for one
day. There's a poetry as well as a glare in the gaslight when it shines
on a well-spread table. What! you have no gas here? Happy people!
One tax the less. But it is to be hoped you find something to eat in
this backbone of the world. Now, come along, and we'll have all the
adventures by flood and field with the cigars."

Ned was at his best during dinner, though, for that matter, he seemed
always at his best. His presence gave a pleasant flavor to dishes which
time after time George had turned away from with disgust. He had an
original remark for everything. And the polite French waiter was rather
astonished as the dinner progressed to see M. O--art, as the domestics
called George, give vent to an occasional laugh, which grew and grew,
until the two old friends became almost as uproarious as a couple of
school-boys out for a holiday.

That delicious after-dinner moment having arrived when the cigars are
lighted and the legs stretched out in lazy contentment, without the
slightest regard for "the proprieties"--nobody but themselves being
present--they began their questionings and cross-questionings. George
was the first to start.

"Well, Ned, what in the name of good fortune brought you down here?
What are you doing? Still writing?"

"Yes. At present I am despatched on a secret diplomatic mission, which
of course it is impossible for me to divulge, by the editor of the
greatest daily in the world. You know what that means."

"Well, I can guess. The particular 'greatest daily' does not matter
much. There are so many."

"Yes; and the fun of it is, I write for them all. The six or seven
special correspondents who keep New York and London on the _qui vive_
with regard to European affairs, and who lay bare to their wondering
vision from time to time the real undercurrent of those affairs,
social, political, and religious, are often one and the same with your
Mephistophelian friend."

"Bohemianizing, eh? Why, I took you to be respectable, Ned. Ah! a
newspaper office is a sadly demoralizing place."

"Pshaw! What will you have? The public wants news, and somebody must
furnish it. People nowadays are much the same as people ever were.
Humanity must have something to talk about, or it could not exist.
Humanity is a woman."

"I agree with you there; that is why I have abandoned it."

"Oh! I see what you would say. There are two sides to that. But what
I mean is, we must talk, or the world will come to a stand-still. The
newspaper man nowadays furnishes the staple commodity on which the
world exercises its tongue."

"Nowadays, yes. Well, it's a poor commodity. Somebody has well called
it the 'cheap and nasty.'"

"Always the same, George; always the same. What was the cry of
the Athenians when S. Paul went amongst them? 'What news? _Quid
novi?_'--and the Athenians were the intellect of their time. To-day we
live too fast for the tongue; hence electricity, hence the daily."

"Hence the Bohemian?"

"Well, Bohemian is a much-misapplied word. It requires a sort of genius
to be a true Bohemian; erratic genius, if you like, but still genius.
Bohemianism is not all boots down at heel, crushed hat, and broken
elbows, five-cent cigars and lager-beer that a friend pays for, with
an occasional bottle of champagne when the pocket happens to be flush.
Look at me, for instance, supplying the six or seven leading dailies
with news. If I tell a lie one day, I contradict it the next. If I
send a false account to the government organ, I send an extra true one
to the opposition, and a trimmer to the free and independent. If the
government is malicious, the opposition is ultra pious; and if the
free and independent is scandalous, both unite in coming down on and
crushing it. To be sure, things get mixed up a little sometimes; but,
on the whole, matters are pretty evenly balanced, and in the end the
truth comes uppermost. Then all along you are supported by the secret
conviction that nobody ever believes a word you say."

"Whose fault is that?" asked George.

"The weakness of humanity, my dear fellow. You must not go too deeply
into things, nor expect a daily newspaper, with its villanous printers,
to be true as gospel. A newspaper correspondent is despatched to find
news; and if he can't find it...."

"He invents."

"Well, what is the use of imagination, unless you exercise it a bit?
But it is the greatest fun in the world to see yourself quoted by
opposite parties for opposite purposes."

"Yes, it must be amusing. Some people--old-fashioned people, to be
sure--might consider it a trifle dishonest, perhaps; but then, they are
behind the age."

Ned rose, laughed, and took a turn round the room. Standing opposite
his friend, he said:

"So, George, I find I have succeeded in giving you an exalted idea of
my character and ability already. Have you forgotten that famous gift I
had of extemporizing yarns at school? Well, to relieve your mind, the
devil--that is to say, Mr. Edward Fitzgerald--is not quite so black as
he has painted himself. Nor, indeed, am I quite so powerful and fluent
a writer as I have imagined. I am on a mission here, though; partly
business, and partly to take my sister back with me to New York. She
has been staying with some of her school friends, convent companions.
I was on my way to join them when this lucky accident tumbled me into
your hermitage. And now, what has brought you here? You seem quite
domiciled. Why, I expected to have heard great things of you by this
time."

"I? Oh! I am doing nothing," said George, with a sigh, coming back to
himself.

"Nothing! Well, that is not such a bad occupation when you only know
how to do it, and can find no other employment."

"Why, what else can a fellow do?"

Ned was fairly taken aback at this question. To ask him what a fellow
could do in this world was like asking him why he had teeth, or hands,
or a head, or life altogether. After an amazed stare at his friend, he
answered:

"Well, I suppose that what a man can do is generally best known to
himself, when, like you, he has life in his veins, brains in his head,
and money in his pocket. At all events, it is scarcely likely that you
were made for the precise purpose of burying yourself alive here."

"Oh! I don't know. It is not such a bad sort of life," said George
wearily. "Here I have no cares, and fuss, and bother, no visitors to
bore, and no bores to visit. Nobody comes to borrow or beg. There is no
necessity for playing at compliments with people for whom you do not
care a straw, and who care for you less. Here is, instead, the sea, and
the shore, and the woods, and the hills, a fair table, a good enough
washerwoman, and people around you who never speak till they are spoken
to. What more can a fellow want?"

Ned made no reply. He was puffing his cigar in silence, and following
the curling smoke with his eye as he blew it against the light--a
favorite fashion of his when thinking to himself. He was thinking
now, rapidly, how changed was his friend in so short a time. He was
wondering where all the ardent spirit and high hopes that fired him a
few years back had gone. Contact with the world, instead of crushing,
had raised his own hopes the more. Why had it not done the same for
Howard? He could find no solution to the difficulty; for life to him
was a glorious battle, and inaction worse than death. His friend must
have encountered some great shock, some bitter disappointment, at
the outset. He was seeking the clew in the smoke apparently. After a
painful pause, he at length asked:

"How long have you been here now, George?"

"On and off, a year or more. I go and come. I make short excursions
round about for a week or so sometimes, but I always return here."

"You entered a firm on the other side, did you not?"

"No; I was about to do so."

"And why didn't you? Were they cheats?"

"No."

"Did they fail?"

"No."

"Did _you_ fail? Did you lose any money in any way?"

"No, what makes you ask?"

"Because I want to find out what the trouble is with you. You are not
in love?"

"Good God! No!" exclaimed George almost fiercely, as he rose, strode to
the window, and stood there looking out at the moon.

The bitterness of his tone, the abruptness of his action, told the
observant Ned that unwittingly he had touched the right chord. He
indulged in a silent whistle to himself, and shook his head as a
good-hearted physician might over a hopeless case. Ned confessed
himself a bad hand at ministering to the love complaint. That was
the only ill for which he would advocate the calling in of a female
physician. For heart disease of this nature, Ned would, on his own
authority, grant a diploma to any suitable lady doctor; for he was
convinced of the utter inability of man to handle such a delicate
affair. So he shook his head despondently.

Whilst these thoughts were passing through the brain of the now
very wide-awake Mr. Fitzgerald, George seemed to have recovered his
usual dead calm, and, leaving the window as he proceeded to light
a fresh cigar, inquired, with a smile that seemed to anticipate a
characteristic answer:

"Ned, have you ever been in love?"

It was now Ned's turn to rise. He tore about the room frantically a
moment, dashed his hand through his hair, and finally, coming to a
stand-still before his amused friend, burst out:

"In love! Have I ever been in love? What a question to ask a man! Don't
you know my name? Did you ever hear of a Fitzgerald or any other of his
race who had not been in love? Why, man, I fall in love every day of my
life. How can I help it when every woman I see for five minutes falls
in love with me. I might say I have lost my heart so often that I don't
think there's a bit of it left to lose now; and still I go on falling
in love by sheer force of habit." And Ned "hove to" with a comic burst
of despair.

"You are a happy man, Ned," said George, laughing.

"Happy?" questioned Ned, half to himself, and as though the idea had
struck him for the first time in his life. "Well, I suppose I am. I
don't see much advantage to be gained by being otherwise."

"Nor I; but, for all that, people differently constructed from your
fortunate self cannot always help being otherwise."

"Bah! Of course they can; particularly in love matters. Love was not
meant to make a man mope, but to stir him up. Those old fogies in the
middle ages had a much truer idea of love, as of many other things,
than we have nowadays, with all our boasting. Ah! love then was the
genuine article. Not all sighs, and tears, and millinery, and newspaper
paragraphs, and mothers-in-law, and the lovers playing cat's-cradle
to each other. No; but the man went about his business, bearing his
love in his heart for a year and a day. He wore his lady's gage on his
helm, and, if his business happened to be the giving and taking of hard
knocks, why, he gave and took, his love and himself against the world.
He rode in the lists under his lady's eye, and proved himself a brave
man for her sake. Love nerved his arm, whilst it purified his heart and
softened his soul. Why did the wife gird the buckler on her lord? Love
was akin to religion then, marriage a sacrament, and not, as it now
is...."

"A social exchange, a trade carried on by the great Mother-in-law
Company, Unlimited--a thing of barter and loss, where dollars are
wedded to dollars by the magistrate, where youth and beauty sells
herself to old age for so much a year and her own carriage. O Ned, Ned!
what a pity we were not born in the middle ages!"

"Hallo!" said Ned, "I did not mean to go quite so far as that, George.
After all, they were men and women then, just as we are; and, though
one cannot help breaking out now and again on modern notions, one thing
is certain--for every true knight there is somewhere a true lady."

"Have you found yours yet, Ned?"

"Perhaps not, perhaps yes," said Ned, dropping a moment his light tone.
"Perhaps because I am not a true knight; perhaps because, though I
found a true lady, she was meant for somebody else. Because I may have
made one mistake, that is no reason why my true lady should not be
waiting for me somewhere, nor why I should fail to rejoice at seeing
two others happy, though my own toes may have been trodden on a little
bit. After all, the world is very wide and full of happy possibilities."

Something unusual in Ned's tone seemed to spring from real feeling
that lay concealed under his usual airy manner; perhaps suffering,
with which his good-nature cared not to trouble the sufficiently
trouble-laden world. For the first time in his life, George Howard
felt a little ashamed of himself, and conscious of something akin
to selfishness in his nature which he had never suspected there
before. It takes a very long time to see ourselves. Self-knowledge
comes piecemeal, and the pieces that go to make the human mosaic are
sometimes very ugly when seen alone, though they may pass muster in the
whole, and merge and be lost in its common symmetry.

When he awoke the following morning, and the thought came to him that
the usually dreary day was to be enlivened for once by the presence of
Ned Fitzgerald, the thought was not an unpleasant one; and when that
gentleman burst into his room with a bundle of sea-weed in his hand,
speckled all over with curious little shells, which he said he would
keep for Mary, the look of young, active, earnest life in his bright
eyes and diffused over his whole person seemed in some indescribable
manner to make the sun brighter and the air clearer. George began to
feel young again, and examined the shells and the slimy weed, over
which Ned gloated and expatiated, with an interest that would have been
a marvel to him yesterday.

"And who is Mary?" he asked, as that name passed Ned's lips more than
once.

"Why, the sister I was telling you about."

"Oh!" said George, and was silent.

That evening, it was arranged that Ned should go the next day, and
bring Mary back with him. As he found the little town so quaint and
quiet, he determined to stay a week or so with his old friend, instead
of going on directly to Paris, as he had intended; and George, to pass
the interval, made his first visit since the accident to his friend,
Mme. Plaquet.

That good dame was as angry as she could be with him. Why had he not
come to see her for so long? What had he been doing? Was he sick from
the dragging that _méchant_, the horse, had given him? How did she know
about it? Why, had not M. de Lorme and the ladies been there almost
every day since, and all on purpose to meet him and thank him for his
brave service? And now, was not mademoiselle going away, and her heart
breaking because she could not see her preserver, and thank him for
saving her life? And there was the card and the letter of M. de Lorme
waiting for him all these days. She would not have it sent, because
she expected monsieur to come every day. Ah! it was cruel!

George opened the letter, and found that it was an eulogium of M. de
Lorme on his gallantry and devotion, to which he was indebted for
the life, probably, of his charming young friend; that her brave but
unknown preserver would confer an honor on her and on M. de Lorme by
favoring them with his distinguished friendship; that it was cruel of
him to escape from them whilst they were all engaged with his charming
young friend; that he hoped he would excuse this mode of addressing
him, as, owing to the peculiarity of the circumstances, he knew of
no other; and that, as his charming young friend was about to leave
them, he would no longer deny them the opportunity, so much desired,
of paying the deep debt of gratitude they owed him, by allowing them
to testify in person their admiration of his admirable courage and
chivalrous devotion.

"Well, and what do you say?" asked Mme. Plaquet, as, with arms folded
and a general air of mistress of the situation, she surveyed her
mysterious young friend, whilst, with a half-amused countenance, he
read M. de Lorme's missive.

"Oh!" said George, "I don't know. What a fuss you French people make
about stopping a horse! There--don't say any more about it. I have a
friend staying with me who knows how to arrange all these matters, and
I will consult him. To-morrow or the day after he shall come to see
you. You will like him. Is the lady quite recovered?"

"Entirely. But she looked so sad when she came, and came, and never
found you. Ah! if I were a handsome young man, how many horses would I
not stop, only to get one such glance from such lovely eyes!"

The next morning, Ned was to return with his sister, and George went
down to the railway station to meet them. If he showed himself a trifle
more careful than he had been lately in his selection of a tie and
in his dress generally, and if anybody had entered at the time and
told him so, George would probably have been angry at the idea of his
returning to such weaknesses. There was Ned's pleasant face at the
window; there he is waving his hat; and here he is now introducing
Miss Mary Fitzgerald to his old friend, Mr. George Howard, to the
mutual astonishment and evident confusion of that lady and gentleman,
who blushed and turned pale by turns like guilty things. Even Ned
was dumfoundered a moment, and argued to himself, from these silent
but unmistakable signs of recognition between the parties, that his
ceremony of introduction was quite a superfluous piece of etiquette.

He broke the awkward silence in his characteristic fashion:

"Well, if you people know each other already, you had better say so at
once, and not let me make an ass of myself by going through a formal
introduction--a thing I always hate. Mary, do you know George, or don't
you?"

There were tears in Mary's large eyes, as, clinging a moment to her
brother, she sobbed rather than said:

"O Ned! this is the gentleman I told you of, ... to whom I owe my
life, ... of whom we were all speaking...." And then, turning the
luminous and still tearful eyes full on George, who could scarcely
stand up against the rush of mingled feelings that oppressed him, said,
with a genuine simplicity and native grace which were most moving, as
she took his hand in her own with an action at once gentle and natural:
"Sir, it was a bitter thought to me that I should be compelled to
leave France without knowing and thanking the brave gentleman who
risked his life to save mine. I had hoped to see you at M. de Lorme's,
and had so much to say to you. But now that I meet you," glancing
at Ned, "in this ... in this way, my heart is so full I can say
nothing...." And the gathering tears began to fall.

It was time for Ned to intervene:

"Oho! So you are the unknown knight whom M. de Lorme and the ladies
have been raving about; who goes around in sable sadness, rescuing
charming young ladies from perilous situations, and disappearing as
mysteriously as you come. Faith, my friend, there is a nice romance
concocted over you. But, George, my boy, I could say a great deal more
than my eloquent sister has done on this subject, only I know it would
be distasteful to you. However, we shall have it out together on the
quiet some day. But what a shame!" Ned rattled on as they made their
way to the hotel. "Here is all my nice little plot spoiled. Mary, I
gave him such a description of you. Let me see, George, what was she
like? Red-haired, freckled, middle-aged, and stout; short of breath and
tall of body; weighing one hundred and seventy pounds after dinner, and
a trifle less before." George looked disgusted, and Mary was laughing.
"You took snuff, Mary, and wore your carroty curls in little whisks of
brown paper half through the day. You had a vixenish temper, a liking
for toddy, and would insist on speaking French to the servants with
a beautiful Galway accent, and swore at them like a trooper for not
understanding you. It was only out of pure regard for your handsome
brother and for the sake of 'auld lang syne' that my friend George
would tolerate your presence at all. And here you are the whole time
old and valued friends, under mutual obligations to each other--you
for saving my middle-aged relative from being run away with and dashed
to pieces by a vicious brute, and my middle-aged relative for being
gracious enough to allow you to do anything of the kind. I declare it
_is_ shameful, and almost makes one take the rash oath of never telling
a good-natured lie again."

This harangue of Ned's set them both at their ease as though they had
known each other all their lives.

"And may I ask, Miss Fitzgerald, if this conscientious brother of yours
gave an equally accurate description of his old school-fellow?" said
George, laughing.

"Mary, don't tell.... He'll murder me...."

"I was instructed all the way along to be particularly kind and
attentive to a dapper...."

"No, not dapper ..." interjected Ned.

"Yes, dapper, Mr. Howard; I remember the word distinctly. A dapper
little old gentleman with a bald head and only one eye, who was as deaf
as a post, but would not allow any one to consider him so. I was led to
understand that he made excellent company at table, only that he simply
followed out his own train of thought, and his remarks consequently
were generally rather _mal-à-propos_; and in fact quite a lot of other
things that I cannot remember, save that I was to take him his drops
every morning at half-past eleven precisely, and always put six lumps
of sugar in his coffee, and none in his tea."

There was a merry dinner-party that evening at the hotel, and a long
ramble by the beach afterwards under the moon.

Mary had a great deal of Ned's happy nature in her, and between the
two, what with sailing, and riding, and long strolls, George could not
well help throwing off his despondency. The light soon came back to the
eye, the color to the cheek, the spring to the step, the gaiety to the
young heart, the belief that, after all, life was not such a bad thing,
and that there were pleasant places even in this miserable world for
those who sought them in the right spirit.

"Your friend George is getting quite gay," remarked Mary one evening,
as brother and sister sat alone, during the temporary absence of the
subject of that young lady's remark.

"Yes, poor fellow. He was in a sad way when I dropped on him. Going to
the dev--I mean the grave, fast."

"Why, what was the matter with him?"

"Oh! I don't know. Put his foot in it somehow."

"Put his foot in what?"

"In the wrong box, of course. How stupid you women are!"

"But what wrong box, Ned?"

That gentleman looked ineffable disgust at his beautiful sister, whose
eyes were fixed a little anxiously on his. Then taking the peachy
cheeks between both hands, he drew her face up to his own and kissed
her, saying, "There, Mary.... There are only two women in the world to
whom I would do that.... You are one--"

"And the other?" asked Mary, a little bewildered.

"Is to come," answered Ned enigmatically. "It will take some time
perhaps to find her. One makes a mistake sometimes among so many. When
he does, he puts his foot in the wrong box."

"And you think he--that is, Mr. Howard has quite recovered now?" asked
Mary, after a pause.

"Well, it looks as though he were very near it; but here he is to
speak for himself," said Ned, as George half bounded into the room,
flushed with exercise, and looking as handsome as any young lady could
wish.

But why give the stages of what all know so well and have heard
thousands of times told and retold? One morning, some months after,
the little French town looked very gay. There were green rushes strewn
at the door of the hotel, and all the towns-people turned out in gala
attire. There was the carriage of M. de Lorme, and an enormous bouquet
in the coachman's button-hole. There were more carriages, and more
coachmen, and more bouquets. Soon the church was filled with a buzzing
and excited crowd that hushed into silence as a bridal party moved up
the nave and stood at the steps of the altar, whilst the venerable
_curé_ in the name of God joined the hands together which no power on
earth may sunder. The sunlight fell softly on them through windows of
pictured saints. Mme. Plaquet was there, wiping her eyes, and weeping
silently, as she praised the good God, who had saved the _pauvre
garçon_ and brought it all about so wonderfully. M. Plaquet was there,
more convinced than ever that his wife was a wonderful woman; for had
not she made the match? Old women, and tender girls wept as the sweet
bride passed out a wife, amid showers of blossoms strewn in her path
by little white-robed children. They blessed her for an angel, and
her handsome husband, whom they all knew so sad, and who now looked
so happy. There was another happy face, with bright eyes and a sunny
smile, that attracted many an eye--the face, the eyes, and the smile
of Mr. Edward Fitzgerald. If the reader would know more of George's
history, it is being made. He has found his true lady-love, and is
proving himself a true knight. Ned, gay Ned, is as merry as ever. He
is called uncle now by a chubby-cheeked youngster with sturdy legs and
the large eyes of his mother, into whose innocent face his father often
gazes half anxiously, wondering will he ever come to imitate him in his
short-lived folly. Ned has not put his foot in the right box yet; so he
says, but rumor tells another tale. He may meet us again some day.



RECENT POETRY.


                           BY AUBREY DE VERE.

    We looked for peach and grape-bunch drenched in dew:--
    He serves us up the dirt in which they grew.



CRIME--ITS ORIGIN AND CURE.


It is no exaggeration to say that there is scarcely a man or woman in
the community who, upon taking up a morning newspaper, is not prepared
to find recorded in its pages at least one case of wilful murder or
some other atrocious infraction of the law, human and divine. Whether
it be homicide or uxoricide, attempt at either, or the criminal
indulgence of the baser passions; whether the result of artificial
excitement or the wilful premeditation of bad or diseased minds,
the effect is the same on the public, and the dreadfully frequent
recurrence of such offences--that the lives of the most harmless among
us are put in jeopardy equally with those of the most belligerent;
while the law, the first office of which is to protect the life, honor,
and property of the citizen, is practically ignored and defied.

This terrible prevalence of crime has been a fruitful subject of
comment, and while the supineness of the legal guardians of the general
welfare and the unaccountable stupidity or weak sentimentality of
jurymen have been unsparingly denounced, very little has been done in
the way of intelligent legislation to check the ever-flowing stream
of criminality. It is true that the common and the statute laws
have long ago prescribed death as the penalty for the commission of
murder, arson, treason, and one or two other high crimes, long terms
of imprisonment in state-prisons and penitentiaries for felonies, and
shorter terms in local prisons for minor offences, but all these wise
enactments do not appear to check the onward march of outrage and
lawlessness. The result is that abroad the good name of the Republic
suffers, while at home the very familiarity with deeds of violence and
dishonesty created by the sensational and minute newspaper reports is
debasing the youth of the country, and, by throwing a halo of romance
over their commission, robs them of half their repulsive and disgusting
features.

Still, while much indignation and more apprehension have been
manifested at the growth of crime and the apathy and ignorance of those
entrusted with the duty of repressing it, very little has been done
either to remove the causes which lead to its perpetration, or to visit
it with condign punishment when all other efforts have failed. This
mere theorizing over what is a tangible evil is deeply to be deplored.
Surely nothing can be more worthy of the attention of the statesman
and the philanthropist than the study and analysis of this frightful
social phenomenon, with a view of limiting its growth, even though
it were found impossible to lesson appreciably its present gigantic
proportions. It is well recognized that it is the primary duty of
all civil governments to protect the lives, liberties, and property
of their subjects, and our own national and state organizations,
clothed as they are with such ample powers and supported by popular
approbation, ought to be the foremost in discharging this trust.
Under arbitrary or usurping governments, such as those which dominate
Poland, Ireland, and Italy, it is generally difficult to execute what
is called the law, for the oppressed people are at enmity with their
oppressors, and take every opportunity to oppose and thwart what is
styled the administration of justice. They feel, and properly feel,
that "the world is not their friend, nor the world's law;" but with us
it ought to be far different. Here the laws are made by the people,
and it is understood for the people, and hence every good citizen
should feel a personal interest in the rectitude and exactitude of
their administration. He is not only injured in person and property by
imperfect and ignorant legislation, through his own carelessness, but
he violates his obligations to his fellow-man when through neglect, or
from unworthy motives, he does not do all in his power to prevent it.

However, to act intelligently as well as conscientiously in matters
of such gravity, the study of the origin of the evils which afflict
and disgrace our country, and the sources from whence they generally
spring, requires more attention than has usually been given, even
by those who most deplore their existence. It will not do to throw
down your newspaper after perusing accounts of three or four cases
of murder, and ask to what is the world coming? It is almost equally
useless to occasionally hang a criminal, or to send another to prison
for life. For the one so punished, a score at least escape, and the
demands neither of retributive nor distributive justice are satisfied.
The evil-disposed gratify their revenge by the commission of these
crimes, while their chances of punishment are no more than one in
twenty. Thus the plague that infests society daily becomes more noxious
and, as it were, epidemic.

Crime has its latitude and longitude, its nationality, classes, and
castes, its peculiar inciting causes, as well as the great vital
cause--the absence of true religious faith and practice. For instance,
it might be easily demonstrated that the many-nationed people of the
United States are addicted to special classes of crime, as distinct
and almost as obvious as their language, habits, and intellectual
idiosyncrasies. We speak now of the more flagrant violations of the
social compact, not with the intention of discriminating against any
class or race in the community, nor with the object of holding the mass
of any people, no matter what their origin or country, responsible for
the acts of a few among them--for after all the criminals are in a
small minority, fortunately, among all nations--but to point out the
nature and peculiar motives for the commission of offences against the
law as they exist among different classes of our population, so that
suitable remedies may be applied to the respective cases.

Outrages against law and justice depend to a certain extent on locality
for their distinctive character. The desperate hand-to-hand encounters
which have so long characterized a certain class of society in the
border states, are as different in motive from that of the cool
Connecticut poisoner, as the assassin of our aristocratic circles is
dissimilar to the ruffian of the slums.

When we ascribe homicide to the criminal classes of America, we do not
assume it to be a national sin, for though of late we have read of some
cases in New England and the West, and know of many deliberate ones
in this vicinity, we refer specially in our analysis to the remote
Southern and Southwestern states, where the bowie-knife, the rifle,
and the revolver are considered much more efficacious and prompt in
the settlement of disputes than the slower and less exciting appeal
to the courts. It may be said that this is the natural consequence
of the war, the termination of which has thrown out of employment
many desperate men habituated to the use of arms; but this is only
partially true, for the same state of society existed in New Orleans,
Arkansas, and along the banks of the Mississippi many years anterior
to the late internecine contest. Lawless men of every grade, gamblers,
horse-thieves, the idle, and the debauched, have for nearly two
generations infested those and neighboring localities; deadly quarrels
were constantly springing up, and were decided in a moment by the
death of one if not of both disputants; and the public authorities,
whenever they dared to interfere, were sure to be set at defiance, if
not maltreated. The same state of affairs exists to this day, but in a
modified form, and there seems to have been no way discovered to alter
it.

Still, the American people as a whole are not responsible for what
might be called a local disorganization of society, grown out of
their rapidly-extending settlements, whence flock naturally many
outcasts, vagabonds, and reckless men, anxious to escape the odium of
public opinion and the chastisement that awaited them in the older
and more thickly settled communities of the East. But our country,
with a better show of reason, may be accused of condoning, if not of
actually encouraging, a widespread system of political and commercial
dishonesty, an offence which, though not by any means as bad as the
taking of human life in its direct consequences, indirectly encourages
and promotes the commission of the greater crime. A legislator or a
judge who can be guilty of taking bribes, is sure, the one to make bad
laws and the other to execute good ones corruptly. Criminals who have
political or moneyed influence are allowed to escape with impunity,
with a _carte blanche_ to continue their nefarious business. Whoever
has read the proceedings of the several investigating committees in
Washington during the last session of Congress, and of our State Senate
acting as a court of impeachment during the summer of 1872, will hardly
doubt the truth of this assertion.

This spirit of bribery, false swearing and peculation we find
prevailing, among some of the most prominent members of the national
Congress, who, these investigations have shown, are not above the
acceptance of paltry bribes for the use or abuse of their high
delegated authority; we find it in many of our state legislatures,
particularly when a United States senator is to be elected or the
interest of a railroad company, a corporation, or a wealthy private
individual is to be subserved by forcing or retarding legislation; and
it is a matter of public notoriety that among the officers of municipal
corporations, notably our own, where integrity, if in any place, should
find a home, the most unblushing robbery, swindling, and false swearing
have prevailed for years. Again, let us look at the history of our
large banks and insurance companies. There is scarcely a week passes
but we hear of defaulting officers and clerks who, after years of
secret, continuous stealing and false entries, finally decamp, leaving
it to be discovered that the aggregate amount of their individual
abstractions reaches tens and hundreds of thousands. What makes this
"respectable" species of larceny so heartless and reprehensible is,
that the money so stolen does not actually belong to the institutions
themselves, but to the public, and generally the poorer classes, who
are depositors or policyholders. It is significant that in proportion
to the number of counting-houses superintended by their owners to the
number of banks and insurance companies the trust-funds of which are in
keeping of paid officials, the number of defalcations in the former are
as a mere nothing compared with those of the latter. Why? In one case,
the merchant is liable to lose his own money by negligence; in the
other, the president and directors lose only that of other people, and
thus a criminal betrayal of trust is added to swindling.

Now, these blots on the national escutcheon are of comparatively
recent date, and are the result mainly of two causes: the late war,
which suddenly elevated an ignorant and ignoble class to enormous
wealth, and the corruption of politics and politicians by the unguarded
and unchecked abuse of universal suffrage. The shoddyites and the
politicians, having no claim on the respect or esteem of honest men,
commenced a career of extravagance and vulgar display, which, if it did
not win the approbation of the judicious and refined, certainly was
well calculated to dazzle the moral vision of the vain and unstable.
Palaces, diamonds, and resplendent equipages became the order of the
day, and their effect on the integrity of the staid men of business
was marked and deleterious in the highest degree. Mrs. A., whose
husband before the war was doing a thriving little business and was
content with an occasional drive in a hired light-wagon, now enjoyed
the luxury of a private carriage and liveried servants; consequently
Mrs. B., whose husband was cashier in a bank at two or three thousand
a year, must have one similar. Mr. C., who was a resident of the Sixth
or Seventh Ward previous to his election to office, and occupied part
of a comfortable house, now lived in a handsome mansion on Madison
or Fifth avenues; hence Mr. D., who was confidential clerk in a
large importing house, abandoned his cosy cottage in the suburbs and
followed his old friend's example. Now, how are B. and D. to support
this luxury? Clearly, not out of their salaries. Having control of the
funds and enjoying the confidence of their employers, they abstract the
money and rush into Wall or New Streets to gamble in gold or stocks.
They are not common thieves--oh! no; they only borrowed from time to
time large sums of cash from the true owners, intending to return it;
but they never do so! For a short time they are lucky, and are able to
keep place in a course of wild dissipation with A. and C., but sooner
or later a crisis arrives, there is "a panic in the street," and they
lose all. Then follow flight, detection, and public exposure--in any
well-regulated community, we might add dishonor. But it is not so; for,
you see, this is the age of progress and enlightenment. The public
think very lightly of such matters, probably from their very frequency,
and soon forget them; the "knowing ones" condemn the fugitives only
for not having been "smart" enough; the bank or insurance authorities
compromise the felony for a consideration, for it is only the public,
not themselves personally, who have suffered; and, after a brief
sojourn in Europe or Canada, the criminals return to the bosom of their
families prepared to enter on some new field of peculation.

As for the political rogues, no one seems to heed their depredations.
Public opinion has become so vitiated that it is expected every man
in office will steal; in fact, some persons go so far as to say they
ought to steal, holding it a trivial affair to appropriate large
amounts of the people's money, while they would hesitate long before
advising any one to rob a till or strip a clothes-line. We recollect
an official in this city who for a wonder was so honest that he was
poorer when he resigned than when he accepted office. Upon being met
on an occasion by a friend and congratulated on having been able to
purchase one of the largest hotels in New York out of the "spoils," the
gentleman indignantly resented the insult in no measured terms. His
acquaintance laughed quietly, and walked away with an expression of
mingled pity and contempt on his countenance.

Now this lust for gain, this inordinate love of display, which leads
the inexperienced and weak-minded into so many unworthy actions,
should be abated, if we hope to preserve anything like commercial
honor and political purity. They are eating into the very vitals of
society, infecting the very highest as well as the lowest class in
the community; and though the consequences to which they lead may
not appear so heinous as other crimes, they are so far-reaching and
so general that they might well be classed with those to which the
law attaches its severest penalties. There was a time, not very far
distant, when the idea of attempting to bribe a senator, or what is
called "buying up" a state legislature, would have been considered
preposterous, and when the counting-house and the banker's desk were
considered the temple and altar, as it were, of honesty and integrity.
Why is it that so lamentable a change has taken place, and in so short
a time? Clearly, because an insatiate longing for the acquisition of
wealth, speedily and with as little labor as possible, has taken
possession of the present generation, and in a headlong pursuit of
fortune, honor, reputation, and conscience are too often cast aside and
forgotten. This should not be so in a country like ours of unlimited
resources, and where industry and ability need never look in vain for a
competency.

But a more diabolical crime against all law, natural, human, and
divine, is the system, so prevalent in some sections of this country,
of mothers depriving their inchoate offspring of existence even on
the very threshold of their entrance into the world. So unnatural is
this offence that it is beyond the power of language to reprobate it
adequately, and in charity we hope that the guilty votaries of ease
and fashion, who perpetrate such horrible atrocities, do not realize
the full turpitude of their acts. We had long refused to believe that
such a violation, not only of God's law, but of the strongest and
most beautiful instincts of our nature--the parent's love for her
child--existed to any great extent, but we have been so often assured
of it by physicians and other reputable persons conversant with such
matters, that we have been forced to admit as true the existence
among us of a crime that would disgrace the veriest savage. We are
assured that in certain localities, which we shall not particularize,
the evil is not only widespread but is growing into a custom, and
this extraordinary fact is adduced as one of the reasons why the
children of native-born parents are so few in proportion to those of
foreigners. If we were to look for a primary cause for such barbaric
criminality in merely human motives, we should fail to find one at
all commensurate with the enormity of the guilt. The wish of married
women to be freed from the care of young children, so that they, being
unincumbered by household duties and cares, may participate in outdoor
pleasures, attend the opera, the theatres, concerts, and ball-rooms,
has been advanced with some force as one of the reasons; but this is
not sufficient, for we find the heinous practice prevailing in remote
towns and villages where no such attractions are presented. The laws of
civil marriage and of divorce, as recognized in most of the states of
the Union; that curse of what is called modern civilization; that fatal
legacy handed down to us by the "Reformers," has much to answer for
in this respect. Protestantism has reduced the holy sacramental bond
of matrimony beneath the level of a limited co-partnership, degraded
the nuptial contract below the most trivial commercial obligation,
annihilated its responsibilities, destroyed its safeguards, and even
wishes to go further--to ignore the very shadow of marriage, from
which it has long since taken the substance. The purchase of a piece
of land or the delivery of a bale of goods is now attended with more
ceremony than that sacred rite at which our Saviour himself attended
in Galilee and at which he performed his first miracle! How deeply
has humanity been made to suffer for the bestiality of Henry Tudor
and the apostasy of the monk of Augsburg! Is it any wonder then that
a link, so thoughtlessly accepted and so lightly worn, should be as
unceremoniously sundered, and that the woman, who does not know but on
the morrow she may be either plaintiff or defendant in a divorce suit,
should be adverse to bringing into the world children which either
parent may claim or disown?

But the grand motive cause is to be found still deeper. If the truth
must be told, the masses of the people of this noble country are fast
sinking into intellectual paganism, beside which that of imperial
Rome was harmless and innocuous. Protestantism, as has often been
predicted, has nearly reached its logical conclusion--infidelity.
Read the sermons of the prominent sensational preachers, their
newspapers and periodicals, and what do you find in them? No stern
lessons of Christian morality; no appeals to the moral conscience or
exposition of the beauties of the cardinal virtues; no dogma, as befits
heaven-appointed guides; no doctrine such as only the ordained of God
can preach and teach; but, instead, stale tirades against Catholicity,
rehashed lyceum lectures, and fragments of stump-speeches delivered
before the last election and interlarded with pious ejaculations
to suit the occasion, apologies for being Christians at all, and
occasional efforts to explain away Christianity itself--all covered
over with a thin veil of cant and mock philanthropy.

Do we find these so-called ministers telling their congregations that
marriage is an indissoluble tie, which no man can burst asunder; that
the object of it is to enable husband and wife to live together happily
and to bring up their children in the love and fear of God; that to
take the life of an infant ante-natal is a dark, deadly, mortal sin;
that no living human being who has not received baptism can ever see
the face of God; and that whoever wilfully deprives her helpless babe
of that ineffable delight will have to account for that lost soul
to its Maker? Oh! no; that might shock the sensibilities of their
audiences, and might lead to their own expulsion from their livings. Is
it surprising, then, that a vice so much in harmony with the working
of human passions, as apparently devoid of all moral responsibility
as it is free from civil punishment, should be so frequently and so
freely indulged in by those whose base inclinations are unchecked and
unregulated by anything like true Christian teaching?

But what most surprises us is the appearance in the public prints
for the past two or three years of numerous cases of suicide. This
"self-slaughter" was a crime, we thought, confined to the older
nations of Europe almost exclusively. The Americans are neither a
despondent, an impoverished, nor a sentimental people; and yet we have
been exceedingly pained to read of men well-to-do in the world, many
of them being comfortable farmers and most of them advanced in years,
deliberately taking that life which God gave them for wise and useful
purposes, and voluntarily going before the judgment-seat of their
Maker with the crime of murder on their souls. The policy of the old
common law was to consider every suicide insane, but that was merely
a fiction to save his goods from confiscation by the crown; we would
fain believe that the numerous instances among ourselves were the
result of aberration of mind--doubtless some of them were; but others
have been planned and executed with such forethought as to preclude
the possibility of such a supposition. As we write, we have before us
a copy of a New York journal in which no less than four suicides of
Americans in various parts of the country are recorded.[14]

It has been debated whether the act of a suicide is, humanly speaking,
one of courage or cowardice: we are inclined to the latter opinion, but
the question is immaterial. Whatever be its character in that respect,
it is sure to originate in the absence of any belief which affirms a
hereafter, or in that morbid form of idiocy known as spiritualism,
which runs into the other extreme. In either case, it can only be
prevented by moral suasion, for the civil law is of course utterly
powerless in the matter; yet of all known crimes it is the most
seductive, and even might be called contagious.

Let us now turn to another class of our people--the adopted citizens,
and consider the peculiarities of their criminal classes. The largest
proportion of our immigrant population is from Ireland, and, coming
from a misgoverned and plundered land, many of them, indeed we think
a large majority, are very poor indeed, so destitute that they have
not means to bring them to the West, or into the rural districts, and
consequently remain in the large cities for life. We have observed that
deeds of violence committed by a certain class of Irish-Americans are
disproportionately large, when compared with the native population or
with those of other countries. We regret to be obliged to say so.

We yield to none in our respect, nay affection, for the children of
long-suffering and persecuted Ireland, but we would be untrue to
ourselves and unjust to the bulk of our fellow-citizens of Irish birth
were we to ignore or deny that but too many of them allow themselves to
be led into the commission of acts of violence not unfrequently ending
in deadly quarrel.

This should not be. As a rule, an Irishman is social, humorous,
and kind, affectionate in his family relations and disinterested
in his friendships. In this country he has all the advantages that
religion can afford, the churches are open to him every day, he is
not restricted in his attendance at divine service on Sundays, he
has always, particularly in cities and large towns, an opportunity of
hearing good, practical, and instructive sermons and discourses on
the duties of life, at least once a week; and the strength to resist
temptation, which the sacraments alone can give, is always within his
power to obtain.

Whence, then, originates this ungovernable passion, this desperate
recklessness that resists all control, and, disregarding consequences,
rushes madly into sin, makes man an outlaw among his fellows, and drags
him to the dungeon and the scaffold? We must not attribute it to his
defective education, the result of a jealous and tyrannical system of
government in his native country, though it may have something to do
with it; neither will the fact that many who had golden dreams before
they reached our shores failed to realize them, and so became heedless.
Poverty and destitution have been pleaded in extenuation, but they are
more a result than a cause; for no able-bodied man, if well-conducted,
need be in that sense either poor or destitute in this country, where
labor is ever in demand. No; the secret, if it be a secret, lies in
one word--intoxication, and, as a consequence, in the neglect of
the religious duties taught and performed in their younger days.
Intoxication is the demon that creeps into their souls, fires their
heated blood, plunges his victims into an abyss of crime and transforms
man, the noblest work of the Creator, into a ferocious brute. We are
aware that instances of forgery, arson, swindling, and premeditated
homicide--in fact, all offences requiring skill and deliberation--are
exceedingly rare among our Irish-born population, but that is no
reason why a few men born and baptized in the church, as little
children taught the great truths of religion in the simple words of the
catechism, and as adults weekly and almost daily within reach of moral
instruction and a participation in the benefits of the sacraments,
should by their neglect of religion, and their insane desire for
deleterious stimulants, disgrace the race from which they have sprung
and bring obloquy on the religion they profess to respect, but never
practise. Who ever heard of an Irish adopted citizen, a teetotaler or
even a uniformly temperate man, committing an atrocious crime or a
deliberate breach of the laws of his adopted country?

No better illustration can be given of the beneficial effects of
temperance on the Irish character than the following official
statistics taken from the _Life of Father Mathew_. The author says:

  "As a conclusive proof that the diminution of crime [in Ireland]
  was one of the necessary consequences of the spread of temperance
  among those classes of the community most liable to be tempted to
  acts of violence or dishonesty, some few facts from the official
  records of the time may be quoted here. They are taken from the
  returns of 'outrages specially reported by the constabulary,'
  from the year 1837 to the year 1841, both included. The number of
  homicides, which was 247 in 1838, was only 105 in 1841. There were
  91 cases of 'firing at the person' in 1837 and but 66 in 1841. The
  'assaults on police' were 91 in 1837 and but 58 in 1841. Incendiary
  fires, which were as many as 459 in 1838, were 390 in 1841.
  Robberies, thus specially reported, diminished wonderfully from
  725 in 1837 to 257 in 1841! The offence of 'killing, cutting, or
  maiming cattle' was also seriously lessened; the cases reported in
  1839 being 433, to 213 in 1841! The decrease in cases of 'robbery
  of arms' was most significant; from being 246 in 1837 there were
  but 111 in 1841. The offence of 'appearing in arms' showed a
  favorable diminution, falling from 110 in 1837 to 66 in 1841. The
  effect of sobriety on 'faction fights' was equally remarkable.
  There were 20 of such cases in 1839 and 8 in 1841. The dangerous
  offence of 'rescuing prisoners,' which was represented by 34 in
  1837, had no return in 1841.

  "Without entering further into details, the following returns of
  the number committed during a period of seven years, from 1839 to
  1845, must bring conviction home to the mind of any rational and
  dispassionate person that sobriety is good for the individual and
  the community:

                   Total
  Year.             No.
  1839             12,049
  1840             11,194
  1841              9,287
  1842              9,875
  1843              8,620
  1844              8,042
  1845              7,107

"The number of sentences of death and transportation evidenced the
operation of some powerful and beneficial influence on the public
morals. The number of capital sentences in eight years, from 1839 to
1846, was as follows:

                  No. of
  Year.         Sentences.
  1839              66
  1840              43
  1841              40
  1842              25
  1843              16
  1844              20
  1845              13
  1846              14

"The sentences to transportation during the same period, from 1839 to
1846, exhibited the like wonderful result:

                 No. of
  Year.        Sentences.
  1839            916
  1840            751
  1841            643
  1842            667
  1843            482
  1844            526
  1845            428
  1846            504

"The figures already quoted are most valuable, as they prove, beyond
the possibility of a doubt, that national drunkenness is the chief
cause of crime, and that sobriety is, humanly speaking, one of the best
preservatives of the morals of a people."[15]

When we recollect that during the years above reported the consumption
of ardent spirits had decreased one-half, though the population had
increased by at least a quarter of a million, the inexorable logic
of the figures above quoted becomes irresistible--intemperance is a
greater enemy of the Irish race than even her hereditary foe, England.

With the Germans it is different. They are by no means given to
indulgence in violent stimulants, though they, too, are a social
people, fond of enjoyment and of their national beverage, beer; yet
crime, and that of a very serious character, is not unusual among
them, particularly the killing of females. And here again we have the
evidence of the terrible havoc which the great rebellion of the XVIth
century against the church and her authority has wrought in the social
relations of mankind. Germany was the originator, the centre, and the
main supporter of that revolt on the Continent of Europe, and, having
been violently wrested from the seat of Catholic unity, has ever
since been groping in the dark, oscillating between heathenism and
transcendentalism, without stability or any sort of fixed principles.
The blight of the Reformation, so called, has eaten into the very
marrow of their family relations, and what would be deemed infamous for
women of other countries to do, is considered among a certain class of
this people, limited, it is true, a matter of course.

Once again, let us not be misunderstood. In ascribing this species of
offence to the Germans in the United States, we do not mean to say
that it is general to the whole body; on the contrary, we are happy
to know that it is confined to a few, for, as a whole, the people
from the north of Europe are perhaps the most law-abiding portion of
our citizens. We are well aware that in this city, and in the West
and South, there are many learned professors, devoted priests, and
devout congregations, all of German birth, as well as many reputable
merchants, mechanics, and professional men of the same nationality, who
worship God according to their hereditary customs; but we think we do
not go too far in saying that the majority of German-Americans have
practically no religion, that they never enter a church, say a prayer,
or perform any of the ordinary duties of a Christian. Some years ago,
the writer was introduced into a Germania society in a neighboring
city which consisted of over three hundred members, all gentlemen of
education and wealth. He subsequently visited it three or four times on
various Sundays, and always found its spacious suite of rooms crowded.
Upon enquiring where those persons went to church, his friend placidly
replied: "I don't think there is one of us ever goes to church; you
know I do not." If such an example is set by the "higher classes," what
can we expect from those in the lower scale of social life?

We often have had occasion to admire the way in which the Germans enjoy
themselves on week-days and Sundays; the order and good-fellowship
which prevail at their gatherings, their songs and instrumental music,
and the fact that they always bring with them their wives and children
to partake of their enjoyment. But our satisfaction at seeing them go
to the rural retreats on a Sunday morning, and return peaceably in the
evening after a long day of rational pleasure, has been considerably
lessened by the knowledge that no portion of the day, set apart
as a day of prayer as well as of rest, has been devoted by those
pleasure-seekers to the service of the great Giver of all blessings,
of happiness here and hereafter. Such practical defiance of God's law,
such ingratitude towards our common Father, such complete disregard
of the simplest requirements of religion, must necessarily blunt the
moral sense, more especially as it affects and weakens the sanctified
tie that binds husband and wife. It is therefore with more sorrow than
surprise that we read of so many cases among our German fellow-citizens
of men and women living with other persons' wives and husbands. Such
conditions are unlawful and short-lived, the fruitful source of anger,
jealousy, and discontent, and not unusually culminate in ill-treatment,
blows, and even death.

While we also ascribe the crime of the destruction of offspring to
the Germans, we do not mean to say that it is practised to any extent
among them, but that the foul crime is perpetrated in this and other
large cities almost exclusively by German quack doctors, male and
female; their victims being generally from other nationalities. For
this the German people are not so much to blame as our own press,
which publishes the advertisements of those miscreants and scatters
them broadcast on the world for a paltry consideration; and our state
legislatures, which have neglected until lately to enact proper
laws; and our prosecuting attorneys, who have failed to enforce such
enactments as we have on our statute-books against this class of rank
murderers.

Offences against property are almost exclusively in the hands of our
English criminals, if we except the horse-stealing of the Southwest.
Our most expert pickpockets, our most dexterous sneak-thieves, daring
highwaymen, and scientific burglars come from London, many of whom have
served her Majesty for a term of years in her penal colonies, and are
so well known to the detectives of the British metropolis that they
have sought new fields of enterprise in this country. They have been
preceded or accompanied by prize-fighters, gamblers, and keepers of
low dens called concert-saloons. The former they make the partners in
their labors and gains, and in the latter hot-beds of infamy they find
shelter and concealment. It may be said that this class of crimes is
far less reprehensible than those above enumerated, and so they would
be were it not that highway robbery and burglary sometimes terminate
in the taking of human life. Still, it must be said in justice that
we hear of very few cases of wilful homicide being perpetrated by the
English among us, though, like the French, suicide is not unknown
to them, but arises from different causes. The Briton "shuffles off
this mortal coil" through moroseness and despondency; the Gaul gaily
prepares to smother himself with carbonic acid gas from a morbid
sentimentality, and a contempt for the precious gift of life which he
is about to throw away.

Now, if all these offences were simply infractions of the municipal
law, we would naturally look to our legislatures, our courts, juries,
and sheriffs for their prevention or punishment, but they are not only
that, but breaches of the divine law, and we must depend likewise on
the efficacy of moral suasion to prevent if not to correct them. Public
opinion can do much to repress crime, the legislative, administrative,
and judicial branches of our various local governments, each in its
sphere, might effect far more good; but it is on the teachings of true
Christianity alone, and all the consequences that flow from it, that
we must rely if we wish to stem the tide of misery, vice, and outrage
which are fast surging over every portion of our fair land. The strong
arm of the civil power is potent to punish when the crime has been
committed, but weak indeed to prevent its perpetration. This higher
and nobler duty is reserved for religion, and for religion alone.
It is well enough to make concise and exact punitive laws, though
this is not always done; and to administer them fearlessly, honestly,
and intelligently, though the reverse is generally the case; still,
experience has taught us that wise enactments and impartial judges
have very little power to stay the promptings of bad hearts or repress
the temptations ever presenting themselves to men of vicious habits or
defective moral training. The church, and only the church, can rule
the mind and heart of man, can train him from his infancy, before he
knows or is responsible to any civil law, can strengthen him with the
graces of the sacraments, arm him with the most potent of all weapons
against sin--prayer--place constantly before his eyes the certainty of
everlasting bliss or eternal damnation, keep him in the "narrow path,"
and thus prevent the possibility of his being an enemy to society and
an outcast of heaven.

Next to the church comes the school. The importance of education to the
well-being of society can never be overstated. It may be well said that
it is in the school-room the seeds of vice or virtue are first sown, it
is there that the future benefactor or the enemy of his kind commences
his career in life, and it is upon the proper or vicious method of
teaching which he receives as a boy depends mainly his future course in
the world. No wonder, then, that the Catholic Church is so desirous of
superintending the training of those little ones who by the sacrament
of baptism have been made children of God and heirs to the kingdom of
heaven; that the zealous parish priest should mourn over the loss of
hundreds of the youth of his congregation, who, taught in Protestant
or infidel schools, have fallen away from the faith to plunge into
sin and vice. Is he to be blamed if he exhausts every resource and
strains every nerve to establish for his people a school where their
offspring will be guarded from worldly contamination, and trained in
all the beautiful morality of Catholic doctrine? Few seem to understand
the comprehensive meaning of the word education. The mere acquisition
of worldly knowledge is not education, the development of the highest
intellectual powers is not education, but only a part, and a secondary
part at that, of a complete education; for without inculcating
morality, justice, a high sense of honor, a noble disregard for self,
and a sympathy for the suffering and unfortunate, you curse man with a
disposition that is its own Nemesis, with unlawful desires that "make
the food they feed on," and simply enlarge his capacity for doing evil.

That this is the result of our present common-school system cannot well
be gainsaid in view of the general spirit of peculation and corruption
which prevails in those very portions of the country where such schools
are most numerous and best attended and supported. And this view is not
ours alone. Already we find the secular press, hitherto the strongest
opponents of denominational education, clamoring for a reform in our
method of public instruction. "We must have," says a leading daily
paper of this city, "a higher system of morals taught in our public
schools"; though the writer does not condescend to say how morals can
be taught without religion, or who are to be the teachers. Is it the
fagged-out teacher who tries to earn his salary by the least possible
labor, and who perhaps, in this respect, is as deficient as the
children themselves; or is it the trained priest or the lowly Christian
Brother, who has devoted himself heart and soul to the service of God
and of his creatures, and whose reward is not of this world?

Our common schools, with some modifications, are decidedly a New
England invention, but none the worse for that, for the early settlers
of that much-abused region, whatever may have been their other faults,
were neither an irreligious nor an immoral people. On the contrary
they were deeply imbued with a sense of the dignity of religion
and a reverence for its ministers, according to their limited and
erroneous but honestly entertained ideas; and being all of one way of
thinking, they established schools, at the public expense it is true,
but they took care that their peculiar theological notions should go
hand-in-hand with secular teaching. The minister, the elder, or the
deacon generally united with his clerical office that of schoolmaster,
and the morals as well as the intellectual qualities of the pupils
were sedulously developed and cultivated. Now all this is changed. The
foundation upon which the public-school system was built has crumbled
into dust, and the superstructure cannot and ought not to stand
longer. Our country is now composed of many nationalities, believing
in various creeds, and the task of educating the rising generation
should be remitted to each denomination to take care of and instruct
its own members. If we want to inculcate true lessons of morality and
integrity, to stop bribery, forgery, perjury, dishonesty, infanticide,
and homicide, we must change our system of education, or it is possible
that society, laboring under so heavy a burden of sin and dishonor,
will in the near future be crushed to pieces.

But for the adult immigrants who have never felt the baleful
influence of our public schools, what is the remedy? For the Germans
we would say, a more general attendance at divine service. They are
pre-eminently an organizing people: why do not those good German
Catholics who are so constant in their devotions establish more
societies, with a view to induce their erring compatriots to give up
at least a portion of that time now wholly devoted to pleasure to the
worship of God? This would be a work of great charity, and if earnestly
undertaken would doubtless be successful. The panacea that lies before
our Irish fellow-citizens is temperance--that observed, we venture to
say that they will be found among the most moral and orderly portion of
our population. In this connection we are glad to observe the untiring
energy exhibited by prominent laymen to organize and unite temperance
societies, and the encouragement given them by priests and bishops. Our
Irish friends must not forget that not only the honor of their native
land and the prosperity of their children in that of their adoption
depend on their good conduct and sobriety, but that, to a great extent,
the Catholic Church in America is contemned or revered in proportion
as they act against or in harmony with her doctrine and discipline. If
woe be denounced against whosoever gives scandal, a blessing is also
promised to those who, by their actions, glorify the name of God.

FOOTNOTES:

[14] New York _Times_, May 13, 1873.

[15] _Father Mathew: A Biography._ By John Francis Maguire, M.P. New
York: D. & J. Sadlier & Co. 1871.



THE TROUVERE.[16]


                           BY AUBREY DE VERE.

    I make not songs, but only find:--
      Love, following still the circling sun,
    His carols casts on every wind,
      And other singer is there none!

    I follow Love, though far he flies;
      I sing his song, at random found
    Like plume some bird of Paradise
      Drops, passing, on our dusky bound.

    In some, methinks, at times there glows
      The passion of a heavenlier sphere:
    These, too, I sing:--but sweetest those
      I dare not sing, and faintly hear.

FOOTNOTES:

[16] The Greeks called the poet "the Maker." In the middle ages, some
of the best poets took a more modest title--that of "the Finder."



MADAME AGNES.


                   FROM THE FRENCH OF CHARLES DUBOIS.


CHAPTER XXIV.

LOUIS IS DISMISSED.

Such, then, was the state of affairs when Louis, after an absence of
ten days, returned to his usual occupation. The evening was somewhat
advanced when he arrived. Mr. Smithson, who was not in the habit of
doing anything hastily, thought it better to defer the interview till
the following day. The order to the porter was therefore countermanded,
and a servant sent to inform Louis that Mr. Smithson wished to see him
the next morning. Louis was quite startled at receiving so unexpected a
summons.

"What has happened?" he said to himself. "Can Mr. Smithson be
displeased at my long absence?... Has he heard of Adams' intended
conversion?... Perhaps Albert has obtained my dismissal." There was
nothing cheering whichever way he turned. He therefore passed a
restless night. Fortunately, he had a support that was once wanting: he
trusted in God, and could pray. Prayer does not remove our fears, but
it calms them. Besides, whatever misfortune threatens the Christian, he
feels it will never befall him unless it is the will of God. However
rude the blow, it is even changed into a blessing to him that turns
with confidence to the Hand that chastens. God is ever merciful,
especially toward those who truly hope in him.

Eugénie, better informed than Louis as to what had taken place, but
less pious, was at that very hour tormented by a thousand apprehensions
really justified by the circumstances. She saw the storm approaching,
and was sure it would overwhelm the one she loved. But what could
she do? She had already got into trouble by undertaking his defence.
She could only await in silence the result which was at hand. Then,
perhaps, she could decide on something, or wait still longer before
deciding. Thwarted affection more than any other sentiment in the world
relies on the help of time.

The next morning, Louis went to Mr. Smithson's office at the appointed
hour. They had not had a special interview for a long time. Louis
appeared as he usually did at that period--easy in his manners, but
cold and taciturn. Mr. Smithson, on his side, had recovered his usual
calmness. He ceremoniously offered the engineer a chair, and thus began
the conversation:

"Monsieur, I have thought it proper to have an immediate explanation
with you. Your long absence has been unfortunate on many accounts.
Moreover, a fact has recently come to my knowledge, or rather, a series
of facts which have occurred in my manufactory, by no means agreeable
to me."

"I acknowledge, sir," replied Louis, "that my absence was long--much
longer than I could have wished. But you would regard the motives that
kept me away from the mill as a sufficient excuse, if you knew them."

"I am already aware of them, monsieur, and admit that they were
reasonable. But as you had a sufficient excuse for absenting yourself,
you did wrong not to communicate it before leaving."

"It would have been better to do so, I acknowledge; but I was sent for
in haste, and obliged to leave without any other notice than a note. I
have since been so absorbed in care as to hinder me from thinking of
anything else."

"Very well, monsieur, we will say no more about that. There remains
the other occurrence that has vexed me. You have excited religious
doubts in the mind of a poor fellow of my own belief who is young and
inexperienced--considerations that should have checked your propensity
to make proselytes."

"Excuse me, sir, if I beg leave to correct an inexactness--quite
involuntary, I am sure, but a serious one--in the expressions you have
just made use of. I made no effort to induce this man to abandon his
religion. He first came to me, and said...."

"What he said was prompted by certain things in your evening
instructions. You dwell on the necessity of the Catholic faith; you
infuse doubts in the minds of the workmen who do not partake of your
convictions."

"I have never directly attacked any religion."

"Your indirect attacks are more dangerous."

"What could I do?"

"Your course was all marked out beforehand. Employed in an
establishment the head of which belongs to a different faith from
yours; exercising an influence perhaps beneficial to the workmen by
means of your evening-school, your library, and your visits to their
houses, but exercising this influence in my name and under my auspices,
you ought not to have allowed yourself to wander off to religious
subjects."

"Excuse me, sir, I did not and could not. Have the goodness to listen
to my reasons. Morality without religion is, in my opinion, merely
Utopian. That the Anglican religion sanctions morality I do not deny.
Nor can you deny that it is supported in a most wonderful manner by the
Catholic Church--indeed, my conscience obliges me to say the faith is
its most efficient support. In talking to the workmen, who are nearly
all Catholics, I give them moral instructions in the name of the belief
they practise, or ought to practise."

"That was a grave error, as it soon proved. In consequence of your
imprudent course, a weak-minded man was led to the point of changing
his religion. As I am of the same faith, this was an insult to me. Such
a thing could not occur in my establishment without my consent, and it
was inadmissible. If Adams had persisted, I should have discharged him.
Toleration has its limits."

"Ah! he has not persisted?"

"No; his fears were imaginary, and only needed calming. I have used
no other means of leading him back but persuasion. Friendly reasoning
brought him back to the point where he was a month ago. Nevertheless, I
do not wish a similar occurrence to take place. We must decide on the
course you have got to pursue. My wishes may be summed up thus: either
you must give up attempting to exercise any influence over my workmen,
apart from your official duties, or you must bind yourself by a promise
never to touch on religious subjects before them, either in public or
in private."

"Does this prohibition apply equally to the Catholic workmen and those
of other religions?"

"To all indiscriminately. I must say to you, with my habitual
frankness, that you manifest a zeal for proselyting that displeases me
and excites my fears."

"What fears, monsieur?"

"I fear that, knowingly or unknowingly, you are the agent of the
priests. They always seek, I know, to insinuate themselves everywhere,
and to rule everywhere. I will not tolerate it on my premises."

"You have a wrong idea of the Catholic priesthood, monsieur. The love
of power imputed to the clergy it would be difficult to prove. I am not
their agent, for the reason that they have no agents. If I desire to
do some good to those around me, this wish is inspired by the Gospel,
which teaches us in many places to do all the good we can. Now, to
bestow money or food on the poor, to instruct the ignorant in human
knowledge merely, is but little. We should, above all, give spiritual
alms. The alms their souls need is the truth.... For me, the truth is
Catholicism."

"I suppose, then, monsieur, with such sentiments, you cannot accept the
conditions I propose?"

"No, monsieur, I cannot. Doing good in the way you wish would have but
little attraction for me. I had the serious misfortune to live for many
years as if I had no belief. Now I have returned, heart and soul, to
the faith, I wish to make myself truly useful to others, and to repair,
if possible, the time I have lost. I wish, therefore, to take the stand
of a Catholic, and not of a philanthropist--to be useful, not to appear
so."

"Monsieur, I have always had a high respect for people of frankness
and decided convictions, and they entitle you to my esteem; but, your
convictions being opposed to mine, we cannot live together."

"I regret it, sir, but I am of your opinion."

"I assure you, monsieur, that my regret is not less than yours.
But though forced to separate for grave reasons, there need be no
precipitation about it."

"Just as you please, monsieur."

"Well, you can fix the day of your departure yourself."

Mr. Smithson and Louis then separated. Mme. Smithson had succeeded! A
quarter of an hour later, she imparted the agreeable news to Albert.

"We are rid of him!" said Albert. "Well, for lack of anything better, I
will content myself with this semi-victory. I shall never forget, aunt,
the service you have done me on this occasion. I have no hope now of
marrying Eugénie, but I am sure the other will never get her, and that
is a good deal!"

"You give up the struggle too readily," said Mme. Smithson, in a
self-sufficient and sarcastic tone. "I am more hopeful about the future
than you."

Eugénie was likewise informed that very morning of all that had taken
place. Her mother took care to do that. The news, though anticipated,
agitated her so that she came near betraying her feelings. But she saw
in an instant the danger to which she was exposing herself. Making
an energetic effort to recover herself, she laughed as she said: "My
cousin ought to be quite satisfied. Poor fellow! if he undertakes to
rout all he looks upon as rivals, he is not at the end of his troubles.
There are a great many men I prefer to him!"

While this was taking place at Mr. Smithson's, Louis was so distressed
that he shut himself up in his chamber to recover his calmness. He came
to see me that very evening, and related all that had occurred.

"I cannot blame Mr. Smithson," he said. "Every means has evidently
been used to prejudice him against me. There is some base scheme at
the bottom of all this. I have quietly obtained information which has
convinced me of Adams' hypocrisy. He never intended to change his
religion. His only aim was to get me into inextricable difficulty. He
has succeeded. It remains to be discovered who prompted him to do all
this.... I have tried in vain to get rid of a suspicion that may be
wrong, for I have no proofs; but it is continually recurring to me."

"And to me also. Yes, I believe Albert is at the bottom of it all."

"Well, that is my idea. But what can I do? Unmask him? That is, so to
speak, impossible. Even suppose I succeeded, it would not destroy the
fact that Mr. Smithson regards me with distrust, and has people around
him who depict me in odious colors. And in the end, how could I confess
my love for his daughter? I have lost my property through my own fault.
I am not sure that Mlle. Eugénie loves me. Even if she cherished a
profound affection for me, I have reason to believe her parents would
regard it with disapprobation. Whichever way I look at things, I cannot
hide from myself that my hopes are blasted!... It is the will of God: I
submit; but the blow is terrible."

"Poor friend! you remained too long with me. It was your prolonged
absence that has endangered everything. Allow me, by way of consoling
myself for my regret, to give you my advice. I feel as if it were
Victor himself who inspires me: he loved you so much!... Remain at
Mr. Smithson's some days longer. Instead of manifesting any coolness
towards him, appear as you used to. Everything is not lost as long as
you retain his esteem. If you meet with Mlle. Eugénie, do not avoid
her. The time has come when she ought to know you as you are. Yes, we
have at last arrived at the decisive hour which Victor spoke of the
night before he died. Mlle. Eugénie must now be enabled to appreciate
you as you deserve. She must pity you.... She must love you! If this
is not the case, however sad it will be to give up an illusion without
which it seems impossible to be happy, renounce it, and acknowledge
without shrinking: 'She does not love me; she never will love me; she
is not the wife God destines me.' But do not act hastily. Believe me,
if she is intended for you, whatever has been done, nothing is lost.
But it is my opinion she is intended for you."

These words did Louis good. "I hope you are not deceived," said
he, "and this very hope revives me. I will try to believe you are
right. We will do nothing hastily, therefore. But do you not think I
could now venture to disclose my sentiments to Mlle. Eugénie, if I
have a favorable opportunity, and see it will give no offence? One
consideration alone restrains me--I fear being suspected of seeking her
hand from interested motives."

"The time for such suspicions is past. If Eugénie still cherishes them,
it will lower her in my estimation. She is twenty-two years of age.
She has a good deal of heart and an elevated mind, and is capable of
deciding her own destiny. I therefore approve of your plan. If she
loves you, she will have the courage to avow it to her parents. If she
does not love you, she has sufficient courage to make it evident to
you."

"How I wish the question already decided!"

"No youthful impulsiveness! You need more than ever to be extremely
cautious while feeling your way. Your situation is one of great
delicacy. Act, but with deliberation."

Such was pretty nearly the advice I gave Louis, often stopping to give
vent to my grief, which was as profound as ever. He left me quite
comforted. Though he did not say so, for fear of being deceived, he
thought Eugénie loved him, and believed, with her on his side, he
should triumph over every obstacle. When a person is in love, he clings
to hope in spite of himself, even when all is evidently lost.


CHAPTER XXV.

ALL IS LOST!-THE PROSPECT BRIGHTENS.

Louis spent several evenings in succession with me. He briefly related
how the day had passed, and afterwards took up the different events,
and enlarged upon them. He often found enough to talk about for hours
upon the sometimes ungrateful theme. I can still see him sitting
opposite my mother and myself in the arbor in the little garden behind
our house. Everything was calm and delightful around us in those
beautiful autumn evenings. Louis alone was troubled. In vain we tried
to restore peace to his soul: it was gone!

I never comprehended so thoroughly all the power of love as then. The
profound sadness in which I was at that time overwhelmed rendered me
inaccessible to such passionate outbreaks--such fits of elevation
and depression as Louis was then subject to. I gazed at him with a
cool, dispassionate eye, but with the affectionate compassion with
which we regard a friend who is trying to make himself unhappy. I was
astonished; sometimes I was even--yes, I acknowledge it--irritated to
see how utterly he gave himself up to the passion he had allowed to
develop so rapidly in his heart. Doubtless my poor friend remained
resigned to the will of God, but not so completely as he thought. It
is true, even when his mind was apparently the most agitated, we felt
that piety was the overruling principle; but then, what a struggle
there was between the divine Spirit, which always seeks to infuse
calmness, and the gusts of passion that so easily result in a tempest!

Ah! I loved my husband too sincerely, and I recall other loves too
pure, to dare assert that love is wrong. But believe me, my young
friend, I do not exaggerate in adding that, if love is not always
censurable, it is in danger of being so. We are told on every hand
that love ennobles the heart and tends to elevate the mind; that it is
the mainspring of great enterprises, and destructive of egotism. Yes,
sometimes; ... but for love to effect such things, what watchfulness
must not a person exercise over himself! How much he must distrust his
weakness! What incessant recourse he must have to God! Without this,
the love that might ennoble is only debasing, and to such a degree as
to lead unawares, so to speak, to the commission of acts unworthy, not
only of a Christian, but a man.

Allow me, my friend, continued Madame Agnes, to make use of a
comparison, common enough, but which expresses my idea better than any
other. Love is like generous wine. It must be used with sobriety and
caution. Taken to excess, it goes to the head, and makes a fool of the
wisest. You are young. You have never loved. Beware of the intoxication
to which I allude! If you ever do love, watch over yourself; pray with
fervor that God will give you the grace of self-control. The moment
love becomes a passion--an overruling passion--ah! how its victim is to
be pitied! When reason and conscience require it, you can--I mean with
the divine assistance--banish love from the heart where it reigns; but
believe me, it will leave you as an enemy leaves the country it has
invaded--with fearful destruction behind. And first of all, it destroys
one's peace of mind. The soul in which passion has reigned continues to
bear marks of its ravages a long time after its extinction!...

Louis had arrived at this deplorable state; he had not full control
over his heart; his happiness depended on the success of his love.
Eugénie's image beset him everywhere. The word is hard, I confess, but
it is true. He attached undue importance to whatever had the least
bearing on this predominant thought. One day, he announced he had
seen Albert walking with a melancholy air. He was sad, then. But why
should he be sad unless his cousin had treated him coldly? And Louis
hastily added by way of conclusion: "Mlle. Eugénie knows all I have to
annoy me; she follows me in thought, she participates in my sorrows,
she repays me for them...." Another day he had really seen her. She
passed by his window, lovelier than ever, but more thoughtful. She was
doubtless as anxious as he to be freed from the suspense in which they
both were.

At last he came with important news. He had had the unhoped-for
happiness of meeting Eugénie. She was advancing towards him, blushing
with embarrassment, and was the first to greet him, with an expression
so friendly as to leave no doubt of her sentiments. He returned her
salutation, but was so overpowered with emotion that he could scarcely
speak. After some words of no importance, he said: "I am going to leave
you, mademoiselle."

Eugénie replied that she should regret to see him go. Then, as if to
intimate he had enemies in the house, she added: "More than one--I wish
I could say all--will be as afflicted as I at your departure. I refer
to those you have benefited, and to whom you might continue to do good."

"Yes," said Louis, "it is hard to have to leave my work incomplete.
However limited it is, my soul is in it. But I must not make myself out
a better Christian than I am. It is not my work I shall leave with the
most regret...." He dared not complete the expression of his thought.

Eugénie, generally so self-restrained, was visibly affected and
intimidated. She was about to reply, when Mme. Smithson suddenly made
her appearance. It looked as if she kept watch over her daughter. When
she saw her talking with Louis, she could not conceal her annoyance.
Saluting him in a freezing, insolent manner, she said: "Eugénie, what
are you doing here? Your cousin is hunting everywhere for you to go to
town with him!"

"There is no hurry," replied Eugénie, resuming her habitual coolness
and dignity. She went away, taking leave of Louis with a visible air of
decided sympathy.

This brief interview was sufficient to render Louis' hopes legitimate.
I agreed with him that Eugénie would have behaved very differently if
she regarded him with antipathy, or even with indifference.

"There is no doubt she knows all that has taken place," said I to my
friend. "If there is any plot against you, she cannot fail to be aware
of it, or, at least, suspect it. Under such circumstances, the very
fact of her showing you unmistakable sympathy is a sufficient proof
that she loves you."

At this time, an occurrence took place that had an unfortunate effect
on me, and created new difficulties in Louis' path. It was then in
the latter part of the month of September. The summer had been rainy
and unpleasant. The rains increased in September, and soon caused
an alarming rise in all the rivers. I was then at the end of my
stay in the little village of St. M----, where I lived unknown to
the Smithsons. Faithful to my request, Louis had told no one of my
temporary residence in the vicinity.

Excuse me for giving you here some topographical details, perhaps
somewhat difficult to comprehend, but necessary for you to know in
order to understand what follows.

St. M---- is situated in a charming valley. In ordinary weather, the
current of the Loire is below the level of the valley through which
it winds with a majestic sweep. When a rise occurs, the plain would
at once be inundated were it not protected by a dike which the water
cannot cross. This dike did not extend to Mr. Smithson's manufactory,
though but a short distance from St. M----. When, therefore, the
river got very high, the mill ran the risk of being inundated. The
dwelling-house alone was out of danger, being on an eminence beyond the
reach of the waters of the Loire, even when it joined, swelled by the
junction, the small stream that drove Mr. Smithson's machinery.

Having given you some idea of that region, I will now resume my story.
One evening, then, towards the end of my stay at St. M----, Louis told
me the Loire was rising fast. He assured me, however, before leaving,
that there was no danger. "No matter how strong or high the current,"
he said, "the dike secures you from all danger. It is as firm as a
rock."

My friend was mistaken. The bank had certain weak places which the
water had undermined without any one's being aware of it.

Towards eleven o'clock, there was a tremendous noise in every
direction. People were screaming and rushing around the house: the
dike had given way! The water had reached the ground floor. My mother,
my sister, and myself were lodged on the first story. The proprietor,
beside himself, and frightened enough to alarm every one else, came up
to tell us we must make haste to escape; his house was not solid; we
were in danger of being carried away.

"The water is only rising slowly," he said. "By wading two or three
hundred yards, we can reach the causeway. There we shall be safe;
for the ground is firm, and the causeway extends to St. Denis. The
inundation cannot reach that place, for it is built on a height."

I did not lose my presence of mind in the midst of the alarm. Victor's
death had destroyed all attachment to life. If my mother and sister had
not been in danger as well as myself, I should have remained where I
was, trusting in God, not believing I was under any moral obligation to
escape from a house which might withstand more than was supposed; as it
did, in fact. But my mother and sister lost all reason, so to speak.
Wild with terror, they fled, and I followed them. When we got down to
the ground floor, we found the water had risen to the height of about
six inches. There was a mournful sound in every direction which made us
tremble. We sprang towards the causeway. I was at that time in delicate
health. I had been suddenly roused from sleep. The distance I had to
wade through the cold water had a fearful effect on me. When we reached
the causeway, they had to carry me to St. Denis: I was incapable of
walking.

While we were thus flying from danger, Louis committed a series of
generous but imprudent acts which became a source of fresh difficulties
to him. He was sitting alone in his chamber, when, about half-past ten,
he heard a dull crash like a discharge of artillery at a distance.
He hastily ran down into the court, entered the porter's lodge, and
inquired where the noise came from that had alarmed him.

"I do not know, monsieur," replied the man, "but I have an idea that
the levée has given way. At a great inundation twenty years ago, the
Loire made a large hole in the dike, which caused a similar noise. I
know something about it, for I was then living near...."

This was enough to alarm Louis, and just then a man passed with a torch
in his hand, crying breathlessly: "The dike has given way at St. M----!
Help! Quick! The village will be inundated!"

These words redoubled Louis' terror. St. M---- would be inundated;
perhaps it was already.... I was there ill, and knew no one!

"Is there any danger of the water's reaching us?" asked Louis of the
porter.

"The mill? Yes, ... but not Mr. Smithson's: that is impossible. The
house stands twenty feet above the river."

Eugénie and her parents, then, had nothing to fear. I alone was in
danger--in so great a danger that there was not a moment to be lost.

"Go and tell Mr. Smithson all that has happened," said Louis. "I am
going away. I am obliged to. I shall be back in half an hour, or as
soon as I can."

Of all the sacrifices Louis ever made, this was the most heroic. In
fact, had he remained at his post, he might have saved the machinery,
that was quite a loss to Mr. Smithson. Instead of that, he hurried
off without any thought of the construction his enemies might put on
his departure. To complete the unfortunate complication, Mr. Smithson
had an attack of the gout that very day. When I afterwards alluded to
his imprudence in thus risking his dearest interests, as well as life
itself, Louis replied: "I knew Eugénie had nothing to fear; whereas,
you were in danger. I had promised Victor on his death-bed to watch
over you as he would himself. It was my duty to do as I did. If it were
to do over again, I should do the same. Did Victor hesitate when he
sprang into the water to save me? And he did not know who I was."

The house I had just left was about half a league from the mill. The
water was beginning to reach the highway, though slowly. Louis kept
on, regardless of all danger, and arrived at our house in feverish
anxiety. I had been gone about fifteen minutes, and the water was
much higher than when we left. Louis learned from a man who remained
in a neighboring house that I was safe: we had all escaped by the
causeway before there was any danger. He added that I must be at
St. Denis by that time. Louis, reassured as to my fate, succeeded in
reaching another road, more elevated, but not so direct to the mill.
This road passed just above the Vinceneau house. When Louis arrived
opposite the house, he saw the water had reached it. He heard screams
mingled with oaths that came from the father, angry with his wife and
daughter. Having returned home a few moments before, the drunken man
was resisting the efforts of both women to induce him to escape. Louis
appeared as if sent by Providence. He at once comprehended the state
of affairs. His look overawed the drunken man, who left the house.
They all four proceeded toward the mill. There was no nearer place
of refuge. The first people they saw at their arrival were Durand,
Albert, and some workmen. An insolent smile passed over Albert's
face. He evidently suspected Louis of having abandoned everything for
the purpose of saving Madeleine Vinceneau. But he did not dare say
anything. Louis intimidated him much more than he could have wished.
He resolved, however, to make a good use of what he had seen. Louis at
once felt how unfortunate this combination of circumstances was, but
the imminent danger they were in forced him to exertion. It was feared
the walls of the manufactory might give way under the action of the
water, if it got much higher, and it was gradually rising.

Louis set to work without any delay. The workmen, who had hastened
from every part of the neighborhood to take refuge at Mr. Smithson's,
began under his direction to remove the machinery that was still
accessible. They afterwards propped up the walls, and, when these
various arrangements were completed, Louis, who had taken charge of
everything, occupied himself in providing temporary lodgings for the
people driven out by the inundation.

Mme. Smithson and her daughter had come down to render assistance. The
refugees were lodged in various buildings on a level with the house.
Louis would have given everything he possessed for the opportunity of
exchanging a few words with Eugénie at once, in order to forestall
the odious suspicions Albert would be sure to excite in her mind.
But he was obliged to relinquish the hope. Mme. Smithson and Albert
followed her like a shadow. Louis could not approach her without
finding one or the other at her side. Overcome by so fatiguing a night,
he went towards morning to take a little repose. He felt sure fresh
mortifications awaited him in consequence of what had just taken place,
and he was right.

When he awoke after a few hours' sleep, his first care was to go and
see Mr. Smithson. He related what he had done, without concealing the
fact of his abandoning the mill to go to my assistance. Mr. Smithson
was suffering severely from the gout. He was impatient at such a time
to be on his feet, and was chafing with vexation.

"I cannot blame you, monsieur," he said. "The life of a friend is of
more consequence than anything else. Whatever be the material loss
I may have to endure at this time in consequence of your absence, I
forbear complaining. But it was unfortunate things should happen so.
If I had only been able to move!... But no.... You will acknowledge,
monsieur, that I am the victim of misfortune.... Did you succeed, after
all, in saving the person whose fate interested you more than anything
else?..."

"She had made her escape before my arrival. I hurried back, but, on the
way, a new incident occurred. An unfortunate family was on the point of
perishing. I brought them with me, as there was no nearer asylum."

"Are these people employed at the mill?"

"The woman works here; her husband elsewhere."

"What is their name?"

"Vinceneau."

"I think I have heard of them. The father is a drunkard; the mother is
an indolent woman."

"You may have learned these facts from Mlle. Eugénie, who takes an
interest in the family, I believe. I recommended them to her."

"Was that proper?... I have every reason to think otherwise.... But it
is done. We will say no more about it. And since I am so inopportunely
confined to my bed, I must beg you to continue to take charge in my
place, watch over the safety of the inundated buildings, provide for
the wants of the people who have taken refuge here, and, above all,
have everything done in order."

Louis was uneasy and far from being satisfied. There was a certain
stiffness and ill-humor in Mr. Smithson's manner that made him think
Albert had reported his return to the mill with the Vinceneau family.
He attempted an explanation on this delicate subject.

"_Mon Dieu!_ you seem very anxious about such a trifling affair,"
said Mr. Smithson. "It appears to me there is something of much more
importance to be thought of now.... It is high time to try to remedy
the harm done last night...."

Louis felt that, willing or not, he must await a more propitious time.
He went away more depressed than ever.

The whole country around was inundated. I was obliged to send a boat
for news concerning my young friend, and give him information about
myself. The unfortunate people who had taken refuge at Mr. Smithson's
were at once housed and made as comfortable as possible. It happened
that Durand and some others were put in the same building with the
Vinceneau family. Nothing occurred the first day worth relating.
Louis watched in vain for an opportunity of seeing and speaking to
Eugénie. He only saw her at a distance. The next morning--O unhoped-for
happiness!--he met her on her way to one of the houses occupied by the
refugees. She looked at him so coldly that he turned pale and his limbs
almost gave way beneath him. But Eugénie was not timid. She had sought
this interview, and was determined to attain her object.

"Whom have you put in that house?" she asked, pointing to the one
assigned to the Vinceneaus, which was not two steps from the small
building occupied by Louis himself.

"The Vinceneau family and some others," replied Louis.

At that name, Eugénie's lips contracted. An expression of displeasure
and contempt passed across her face. Then, looking at Louis with a
dignity that only rendered her the more beautiful, she said: "Then you
still have charge of them? I thought you gave them up to me."

"I have had nothing to do with them till within two days, mademoiselle.
It was enough to know you took an interest in their condition." He then
briefly related all that had taken place the night of the inundation,
and ended by speaking of the letter I had written to relieve his
anxiety. He finished by presenting the letter to Eugénie, under the
pretext of showing her the reproaches I addressed him. I wrote him
that, before troubling himself about me, he ought to have been sure he
was not needed at Mr. Smithson's.

Eugénie at first declined reading the letter. Then she took it with a
pleasure she endeavored to conceal. Before reading it, she said:

"Why did you not tell me your friend was at St. M----?"

"I have been greatly preoccupied for some time, and I seldom see you,
mademoiselle. It was in a manner impossible to tell you that my poor
friend had come here to be quiet and gain new strength in solitude."

"I should have been pleased to see her." So saying, Eugénie, without
appearing to attach any importance to it, read my letter from beginning
to end.

Thus all Albert and Mme. Smithson's calculations were defeated. There
is no need of my telling you the inference Louis' enemies had drawn
from the interest he had manifested in the Vinceneau family.

"He left everything to save them, or rather, to save that girl," said
Mme. Smithson. "He would have let us all perish rather than not save
her."

My being at St. M----, and my letter, threw a very different light
on everything. Thenceforth, Louis, dismissed by her father, and
calumniated by her mother and Albert, was, in Eugénie's eyes, a victim.
And he had risked his own life to save that of his friend. It is said
that noble hearts, especially those of women, regard the _rôle_ of
victim as an attractive one.

When Eugénie left Louis, there was in the expression of her eyes, and
in the tone of her voice, something so friendly and compassionate
that he felt happier than he had for a long time.... To obtain this
interview, Eugénie had been obliged to evade not only her mother's
active vigilance, but that of her cousin and Fanny. This vigilance,
suspended for a moment, became more active than ever during the
following days. It was impossible to speak to Louis; but she saw him
sometimes, and their eyes spoke intelligibly....

The water receded in the course of a week. Louis profited thereby to
come and see me, and make me a sharer in his joy. I was then somewhat
better. I passed the night of the inundation in fearful suffering,
but felt relieved the following day. My dreadful attack of paralysis
did not occur till some weeks afterwards. I little thought then I had
symptoms of the seizure that has rendered my life so painful.

The refugees were still living at the manufactory, the Vinceneau family
among them. Louis had scarcely returned to his room that night, when
he heard a low knock at his door, and Madeleine Vinceneau presented
herself before him.

                            TO BE CONTINUED.



THE NAPOLEONIC IDEA AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.


                      FROM THE CIVILTA CATTOLICA.


I.

For several weeks past, we have heard much of Louis Napoleon
Bonaparte.[17] Nothing less than his mournful physical death, on the
9th of January, 1873, was needed to draw him from the oblivion to
which Italian liberals consigned him after his political death of
September 2, 1870. It would seem that from the imperial grave opened
at Chiselhurst went forth a bitter reproach against the unexampled
ingratitude of those who saw the tombstone of Sedan close over his
empire with mute impassibility and secret joy. Now to the cowardly
silence of two years succeeds an uproar of elegies and praises. Remorse
for having left the conqueror of Solferino in the mire of the Meuse
is lulled to sleep by the wailing of hired mourners; as if the shame
of basely forsaking him could be masked behind a block of unblushing
marble.

No man was ever more fatal to himself than Napoleon III. All which was
his by usurpation or right turned against him in the end. His worst
humiliations were the work of his own hands. He destroyed himself,
and the words of the Christian Demosthenes were truer of him than of
others: _Nemo nisi a se ipso læditur_.

Now, by a final mockery of fortune, he is punished after death by
having bier and tomb dishonored with the apotheosis of the Italian
party who laud to the skies the weapon that worked his ruin--the ruling
idea of his reign.

This idea, which necessarily failed because it was impracticable, and
in its failure reduced him to nothing, is his sole title to compassion
or glory in the opinion of this faction. But as the cruel irony
contains a historical lesson, useful for the present and the future, we
will study it by the light of facts, incontestable except to the blind.


II.

Such were the contradictions, perplexities, and duplicity of Louis
Napoleon Bonaparte upon the throne, that he was often believed to be
a prince reigning at hap-hazard. Indeed, it is said, now that he has
left the earth, that the history of his incomprehensible reign will be
the most difficult work ever undertaken. This seems to us a mistake,
if a distinction be made between the man and the prince, his life and
his reign. The man and his life will always seem inextricable, for he
used all means that suited his convenience, and in their choice gave
preference to no moral rule or principle of honesty; following openly
or hiddenly the mutable interest of each day. But the prince and his
reign, in spite of apparent contradictions, are easily understood by
the simple study of the political end which he invariably proposed to
himself.

This end is not hidden. His youthful writings, and the series of
his imperial documents, read by the light of the actions of his
administration, make it plain. He aimed at reestablishing and
consolidating in his dynasty the power of the First Empire, and at the
elevation of France to the headship of Europe, reorganized in its
territorial divisions according to the law of nationality, and in its
institutions in accordance with the forms of Cæsarean democracy.

An author who has read his books, and confronted them with the
achievements of his reign, thus sums up the new _Napoleonic idea_
constantly pursued by Louis in his youth, middle life, and old age, in
exile, in prison, and on the throne:

"Peoples distributed according to their needs and instincts, belonging
each to a self-elected country, provided each with a constitution fixed
yet democratic; devoted at their choice to works of civil industry
destined to transform the world; Europe, free in her various nations,
consolidated almost into a federated republic, with France as its
centre; France aggrandized and forming the clasp in the strong chain
of free intercourse; universal exhibitions to encourage nations in the
exchange of reciprocal visits; European congresses, where governments,
laying aside arms, could compose their differences; Paris, the imperial
city _par excellence_, wonderfully embellished, raised to the honors of
capital of the world, metropolis of wealth and wisdom, under the wing
of the Napoleonic eagle, offering to the two hemispheres the rarest
discoveries in science, masterpieces of art, exquisite refinements of
luxury and civilization."[18]

                _Divisum imperium cum Jove Cæsar habet!_

Such was the intoxicating dream of the life and reign of Napoleon III.,
the idea which he believed himself created to carry out--a combination
of the designs of Henry IV. and the aspirations of Augustus, mounted on
the frail pedestal of the principles of 1789.

In fact, proceeds our author, "Within and without the confines of
the Empire, this idea was reduced to two words: reconstruction
and reconciliation, based upon the principles of the French
Revolution. Here was to be the general synthesis of all external and
internal politics in France and Europe: Reconstruction of nations
founded on national will within and without; effected by a single
instrument--_universal suffrage_--applied to the determination of
the nationality as well as of the sovereign and the government;
reconciliation of nations among themselves, and of the divers classes
composing them, thanks to an equal satisfaction of the rights and
interests of all."[19]

That nothing might be wanting to the enchantment of his fair dream, the
young prisoner of Ham contemplated a double mission of giving peace and
glory to France. "War was to consolidate peace, imperial battles were
to give repose to the world. Thus the famous device, _The Empire and
Peace_, came to bear a sublime significance."[20]

In short, the Napoleonic idea had for its ultimate aim the
aggrandizement and European omnipotence of France under the dynasty of
the Bonapartes, through the universal means of popular suffrage with
_plébiscites_, forming a basis of a new national and international
right, opposed to the old historical right of peoples. The other
three principles of territorial compensation, non-intervention and
accomplished facts, were special means and passing aids to be used
according to opportunity for carrying out intentions.


III.

Louis Napoleon received his political education from his uncle exiled
in the Island of St. Helena, and from the Carbonari, among whom Ciro
Menotti enrolled him in Tuscany, in the year 1831.[21] In these two
schools he acquired the fundamental idea of reconstructing European
countries according to nationality. But he did not see that, in the
hands of Napoleon I. and of the Carbonari, this idea was a strong
weapon of destruction, not a practical or powerful argument for
reconstruction. Bonaparte, gaoler of European potentates, and the
Carbonari, persecuted by them, wished to use it to destroy the order
of things established by the Holy Alliance in the treaty of Vienna
of 1815, upon the right, more or less defined, of legitimacy. On the
pretext of restoring political nationality to peoples, the first
Napoleon bequeathed to his heirs the command to excite Italy and
Hungary against Austria; Poland against Russia and Prussia; Greece and
the Christian principalities against Turkey; Ireland, Malta, and the
Ionian Isles against England; hoping that the changes originating in
this movement, and the gratitude of these nations, would make easy to
his heirs the extension of French boundaries and the recovery of the
imperial crown.

The Carbonari worked with the same pretext to overthrow princes and
substitute themselves, with a view of introducing into states their
anti-Christian and anti-social systems.

The so-called principle of nationality resolved itself, then, with
Napoleon I. and the Carbonari, into a pure engine of war--into a
battery which, after destroying the bulwarks of the opposite principle
of legitimacy, should give into their hands nations and kingdoms.
That Louis Napoleon, in prison, a fugitive, a conspirator, should
support himself with this flattering principle, and dexterously dazzle
with it the eyes of those who could help him to recover the sceptre
of France, can be easily understood; but that, after obtaining this
sceptre by a network of circumstances wholly foreign to the principle
of nationality, he should adopt that principle as the final aim of
his empire and the corner-stone of his own greatness and of French
power--this, in truth, is hard to understand.

But that it was the case is only too clear. He spent the twenty years
of his dominion over France in coloring the design which he had puzzled
out twenty years before, dreaming over the memories of St. Helena, and
plotting in the collieries of the Carbonari.


IV.

To a sagacious mind which had well weighed the true worth of the
Napoleonic idea, even before the new emperor attempted its fulfilment,
terrible dangers and obstacles must have presented themselves.

After a succession of wars and successful conspiracies had led nations
to an independent reconstruction within natural frontiers, what
increase of territory could have accrued to France?

Suppose Italy, Poland, Hungary, and Iberia adjusted on this principle,
would their power have remained so equalized as to leave France secure
of preponderance?

If Germany had been so reconstructed, to the certain advantage of
Prussia, was there not a risk of exposing France to a shock which might
have proved fatal?

According to the theory of natural limits, the aggrandizement which
France could have demanded in compensation for protection and
successful warfare would have been reduced to some additions towards
the Alps, the Pyrenees, and in Flanders; to a few thousand square
kilometres, and perhaps three or four millions of inhabitants. Towards
the Rhine, we cannot see what the Empire could have claimed without
contradicting the theory itself. Germany has maintained that Alsace
and half of Lorraine, incorporated with French soil, are German, and
has forced them to a legal annexation to her territory. Now, were
these slender acquisitions, so disproportioned to the acquisitions of
neighboring countries, worth the cost of turning Europe upside down,
and subjecting France to a chance of political and military ruin?

Louis Napoleon rejoiced in the thought of one day resuscitating the
fair name of Italy, extinguished for many years, and restoring it
to provinces so long deprived of it. This sounds well; but was this
resurrection to end in a united kingdom, or in the simple emancipation
from foreign rule? And granted that unity could not be prevented,
and that it should prove equal to the imaginary union of Spain and
Portugal, was it really advantageous to create alongside of France,
from a platonic love of nationality, two new states of twenty-five
millions of souls each, capable of supplanting her later in the
Mediterranean.[22] And if Prussia, taking advantage of the loss
of Italy and Hungary to her rival Austria, had united in a single
political and military body the scattered members of Germany, would it
have been useful and hopeful for France to feel herself pressed on the
other side by a kingdom or empire of fifty millions of inhabitants, a
military race of the first order?

Moreover, what would have become of the Roman Pontiff in this
renovation of countries, governments, and juridical laws. The Pope is a
great moral power, the greatest in the world. If his independence were
to give way before the principle of nationality, what would become of
his religious liberty, so necessary to the public quiet of consciences.
Could a pope, subject to an Italy constructed in any way soever,
increase the light, peace, and tranquillity of France and the rest of
Europe? Would the palace of the Vatican, changed into a prison, have
accorded with the imagined splendors of the Tuileries?

Finally, a new international and national right, which should have
sanctioned, in accordance with popular suffrage, the obligation of
non-intervention and accomplished facts, far from reconciling nations
and various classes of citizens among themselves by superseding the
inalienable right of nature, would have become a firebrand of civil
discord, an incentive to foreign wars, and a germ of revolutions which
would have plunged Europe into the horrors of socialism.

An eagle eye was not needed to see and foresee these weighty dangers.
However affairs might have turned, even if they had succeeded according
to every wish, it is indubitable that the ship of Napoleonic politics,
following in its navigation the star of this idea, must eventually have
struck on three rocks, each one hard enough to send ship and pilot to
the bottom: the Papacy, Germany, and Revolution. The Papacy, oppressed
by the Italy of the Carbonari, would have taken from France her
greatest moral force. Germany, in one way or another, strongly united
in her armies, would have tried, as in 1813, to overwhelm the Empire.
Revolution, kindled and fed from without, would have gathered strength
in France to the ruin of the Empire.

These rocks were not only visible, but palpable to touch. Napoleon III.
saw them, felt them, and used all the licit and illicit arts of his
administration to avoid them. In vain; it was impossible. He should not
have followed the guidance of his enchantress, his idea; following it,
perdition was inevitable.


V.

Perhaps history offers no other example of a man who has grasped the
sceptre under conditions so propitious for good and so opposed to evil
as those under which Louis Napoleon Bonaparte began his reign; or of
one who has so pertinaciously abused his advantages to his own ruin and
that of others.

The vote of the better and larger portion of the French nation had
raised him to the throne, that he might save them from the hydra of
socialism, and stop the course of political changes in France. Europe,
just recovering from terrible agitations, welcomed his elevation as a
pledge of order and peace. Catholics of every country rejoiced over
it almost as the reward of the uncontested restoration in Rome of the
principality of S. Peter. Interest and conscience seemed to unite in
inducing him to take the triumphal road of justice which must lead to
certain glory.

But _cum in honore esset non intellexit_.[23] He seemed to wish to take
this path. But, in fact, he showed that he was preparing to follow
another by the ephemeral light of that _idea_ which he worshipped on
the imperial throne with the same devotion which he had professed in
prison and in exile.

The Crimean war, to a participation in which he invited little
Piedmont, predestined by him to enjoy the benefits of Italian
resurrection, helped him to cut the knot of the Holy Alliance, to
humble Russia and set her at enmity with Austria, to create by a
_plébiscite_ the first of his national unities--that of the Roumanian
Principalities--and to introduce at the Congress of Paris that
subalpine diplomacy which, endorsed by him, sowed the seeds of the
contemplated Italian war.

Meanwhile, the daggers and bombs of the Pianori, Tibaldi, and Orsini
came to remind him that, before being Emperor of the French, he had
been an Italian Carbonaro, and that he was expected to keep his oaths.
It is said that, after the explosion of Orsini's bombshell, a friend of
the assassin, to whom Napoleon complained confidentially of this party
persecution, replied: "You have forgotten that you are an Italian."

"What shall I do?" asked his majesty.

"Serve your country."

"Very good. But I am Emperor of the French, a nation hard to govern.
Can I sacrifice the interests of my people to accommodate those of
Italy?"

"No one will prevent you from studying the interests of France when
you have promulgated the independence and secured the unity of your
country. Italy first of all."[24]

But he had less need of spurring than was supposed.

After the secret negotiations of Plombières, he attacked Austria in
the plains of Lombardy, and, having subdued her, he inaugurated the
resurrection of Italy according to his idea, which, presiding over the
work, showed itself unveiled, with all the magnificence of territorial
compensation, universal suffrage, non-intervention, and accomplished
facts, as we all know.


VI.

But the Napoleonic ship got lost irreparably among the three rocks
above named. Between the Mincio and the Adige it met Germany in
threatening guise; in Rome, the betrayed pontiff rose up; and in Paris
revolution lifted her savage head. For eleven years Bonaparte struggled
to save the ship from the straits into which his Italian enterprise
had driven it; but the more earnest his efforts, the worse became the
entanglement, until the tempest of 1870 split the vessel in the midst
with awful shipwreck.

His crimes towards the Pope, the ignoble artifice of insults couched in
reverential terms, of perfidy, lies, and hypocrisy, alienated from him
not only Catholics, but all those who honored human loyalty and natural
probity. The so-called Roman question, a compendium of the whole
Italian question, ruined the credit of Napoleon III., unmasked him, and
made him appear as inexorable history will show him to posterity--a
monster of immorality, to use the apt expression of one of his former
sycophants.[25]

Prussia, after checking him at the Mincio in 1859, cut short in his
hands the thread of the web woven in 1863 to regenerate Poland on the
plan of Italy. God did not permit a good and noble cause like that of
Poland to be contaminated by the influence of the Napoleonic idea; and
this seems to us an indication that he reserves to her a restoration
worthy of herself and of her faith. Prussia also held him at bay during
the Danish war, into which he threw himself with closed eyes, in the
mad hope of conquering Mexico, and making it an empire after his own
idea. This whim cost France a lake of blood, many millions of francs,
and an indelible stain; it cost the unfortunate Maximilian of Austria
his life, and his gifted wife her reason. Prussia solemnly mocked at
him in the other war of 1866, when, leagued with Italy by his consent,
she attacked the Austrian Empire.

It was the beginning of that political and military unity of Germany
which was destined to make him pay dear for the work of unity
accomplished beyond the Alps by so many crimes.[26]

Lastly, Prussia, choosing the occasion of the vacancy of the Spanish
throne, and seconded by him in the promotion of an Iberian unity like
that of Italy, and prepared by a subalpine marriage, drew him into the
toils where he left his crown and his honor.

Step by step with the barriers opposed by Prussia to the foolish
policy of Napoleon III. in Europe went the anxieties caused in the
empire by revolution. Losing gradually the support of the honest
Catholic plurality of the French, he thought to reinforce himself by
flattering his enemy, demagogism, and by unchaining gradually passions
irreligious, anarchical, destructive to civilization. Taking all
restraint from the press, he removed every bar to theatrical license,
gave unchecked liberty to villany, free course to nefarious impiety and
a Babylonish libertinism, and finished by opening the doors to public
schools of socialism. But as outside France his duplicity and cowardly
frauds had drawn upon him the hatred and contempt of accomplices and
beneficiaries, so at home they excited discontent and distrust among
all parties.

On the 2d and 4th of September, 1870, he reaped at Sedan and in Paris
the crop sowed by him in 1859. Germany broke his sword, and the
Revolution his sceptre. The Napoleonic idea touched the apex of its
triumphs.


VII.

The old Prince Theodore of Metternich, after 1849, predicted of Louis
Bonaparte, then only President of the French Republic, that he would
restore the Empire, and ruin himself as revolutionary emperor in Italy.
Donoso Cortès, Marquis of Valdegamas, predicted a little later that
Bonaparte, after becoming emperor, would work very hard, but the fruits
of his labors would be enjoyed by another; by whom he could not say.
Both these shrewd statesmen knew Louis Napoleon, the secret chains
which bound him to his party, and the idea which clouded his mind, and
both hit the mark; for Napoleon III. made every effort throughout his
reign to play the revolutionary emperor in Italy; and, with all his
refined policy, he worked for no one but the King of Prussia. Thanks
to this policy, William enjoys the vassalage of the only two national
unities created by the Napoleonic idea: the Roumanian, whose head is a
Prussian prince, and the Italian, whose kingdom has become a Prussian
regiment of hussars. He enjoys the German Empire reared on the ruins of
that of France; and, moreover, he enjoys European supremacy, taken from
France with the keys of Paris, and five _milliards_ poured by her into
the Prussian treasury, to pay expenses. In his own good time we shall
see for whom Bismarck has made and still makes the King of Prussia work.

Such are the weighty consequences of that idea whose execution
Bonaparte believed was to make the world over again, and raise his race
and France to the summit of power--a political calamity, military ruin,
and a dynastic downfall the most terrible which history has to record.

In conclusion, the dogma of nationality for which French liberalism
played the fool with Napoleon has caused the loss to France of two
provinces as opulent as those which Bonaparte took from Italy in homage
to the same dogma. The principle of non-intervention, so carefully
guarded by Bonaparte at the cost of the Roman Pontiff, and so loudly
applauded by French liberalism, has borne fruit to France in her hour
of sorest need, in the desertion of all those states, and especially of
Italy, who owed their existence to French blood, and gold, and honor.

The new right of 1789, perfected by Napoleonic Carbonarism, of which
Bonaparte, with the approval of French liberalism, made himself the
apostle in Europe to the disturbance of the best-ordered countries,
has sprung up for France in the joys of Sept. 4, 1870, in the delights
of the Commune of 1871, and in the comfort of her present peace and
security.

Thus has Bonaparte's idea crushed him and reduced him to nothing.
The unhappy man has had not only the anguish of suffering historical
dishonor while yet alive, but also that sharpest pang of seeing all
the most celebrated works of his reign destroyed. The destruction,
military, moral, political, and in part material, of France, which
he hoped to raise to the summit of greatness; the destruction of the
palaces of Saint Cloud and the Tuileries, embellished by him with
Asiatic magnificence; the destruction of popular votes, those wings
which bore him from exile to the throne; of the treaty of Paris, that
crowned his Crimean victories; of the glory of the French name in
Mexico with the empire founded by him; of the treaty of Prague, for
which he well-nigh sweated blood in opposing the union of Germany under
Prussia: in short, all his enterprises have resulted in smoke. Only
one remains--the subalpine kingdom of Italy, for whose formation and
support the wretched man staked crown and honor. But before closing his
eyes for ever, he tasted the sweetness of his last treachery in seeing
that kingdom pass from his bondage to that of the conqueror of France.
If God still allows it to his soul, he may now see his beloved Italy,
with a Prussian helmet on her head, bend over his tomb, and shed two
crocodile's tears--the only kind of tears which he deserved. Let us
see what the Napoleonic idea has lavished upon her blind idolater--the
defeat at Sedan, the burning of Paris, the lonely tomb at Chiselhurst.
It was an idea conceived without God and his Christ, and against them,
and therefore unable to bring forth anything but ruin and death. And
certain ruin and death it will bring on him who shall hope to live and
grow great under its influence.

FOOTNOTES:

[17] This was written soon after the death of Louis Napoleon.

[18] "La politique du second empire, essai d'histoire contemporaine,
d'après les documents, par M. Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu"--_Revue des Deux
Mondes_, April 1, 1872, pp. 552-53.

[19] _Revue des Deux Mondes_, p. 554.

[20] Ibid. p. 552.

[21] _La Reine Hortense en Italie, en France, en Angleterre, pendant
l'année 1831; fragments extraits de ses mémoires inédits, écrits par
elle même_, pp. 55-56. Paris, 1834.

[22] _Idées Napoléoniennes_, p. 143.

[23] Psalm xlviii. 21.

[24] _Univers_, Jan. 21, 1873.

[25] He was in science a phenomenon, in history an adventurer, in
morality a monster (_Le Siècle_, Jan. 12, 1873). Amid the labyrinth of
contradictions in which Bonaparte enveloped his thoughts concerning
the political condition in which he meant to place the Roman Pontiff,
it is impossible to decide what was his true conception, or whether he
had formed any fixed and definite plan. In 1859, when he dreamed of
three kingdoms in Italy, one subalpine, a second for his cousin Jerome,
and a third for his cousin Murat, Napoleon III. traced upon the map
of the Peninsula with his own hand a small circlet enclosing the new
Pontifical state, including Rome, and five provinces. At the end of
that year, the dream vanished through the opposition of Lord Palmerston
in the famous _opuscule, The Pope and the Congress_, where he showed
a wish to restrict the dominion of the Holy Father to Rome, converted
into something like a Hanseatic city. In Sept., 1863, according to
the revelations of Marquis Carlo Alfieri (_L'Italia Liberale_, p.
83), who declares himself well informed, Bonaparte consented to the
"gradual withdrawal of French troops from Rome, so arranged that, on
the departure of the last French battalion, the territorial dominion
of the Pontiff should be reduced to the city of Rome, the suburban
campagna, and the road and port of Cività Vecchia." So the Pope would
have remained king of a city, a road, and a port. In 1867, when the
nation obliged Bonaparte to go to the aid of the Pontiff, assailed
by the _irregolari_ of Italy, he wished the state to remain as it
was left after the dismemberment of 1860, and commanded the Italian
regulars to withdraw from Viterbo and Frosinone, which they did with
military punctuality. In that year, and during the perplexities (says
_l'Armonia_ of Jan. 12, 1873), there came to visit him in Paris an
illustrious Italian who enjoyed his confidence, and had been decorated
by his imperial hand with the cross of the Legion of Honor. This
gentleman, engrossed with the position of the Pope, was lamenting it
with Napoleon III., and remarked that, unless reparation were made, the
Revolution would enter Rome. The ex-emperor replied: "So long as Pius
IX. lives, I shall never permit it. After the death of Pius IX., I will
adjust the affairs of the church." If we question whether after his
dethronement the unhappy man approved the accomplished fact of Sept.
20, 1870, _l'Opinione_ of Jan. 18, 1873, removes all doubt. It tells
us that an individual (generally supposed to be Count Arese, a great
friend of his), visited him at Chiselhurst, and, when the conversation
turned to Rome, where the Italian government was established, Napoleon
III. said with entire frankness that he had personal engagements with
the Pope, to which as emperor he could never have proved faithless; but
that, since his dethronement, Italian politics had passed beyond his
action. And he added: "This was to be foreseen as being in the order
of facts, and it is not an occasion for turning back." From which we
may infer that he wished the temporal power of the popes to cease with
Pius IX., without caring to substitute for their necessary liberty any
other guarantee than that of chance. This will be enough to convince
posterity that Napoleon III. was not a statesman of the first order.

[26] A partisan or well-wisher has tried to represent Napoleon as an
edifying Catholic. The _Univers_ of January 25, 1873, has a curious
panegyric, in which it is affirmed that he loved our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the Gospels, our Lord has taught us a rule for judging those who
love him and do not love him: _By their fruits you shall know them_
(Matt. vii. 16). Now, the long and crafty war of Bonaparte against
Christ in his vicar, and the unbridled license given to Renan and to
irreligious papers to blaspheme at will the divine majesty of Jesus
Christ, while he severely punished those who offended his own imperial
majesty, give the true measure of his love for Jesus Christ. By the
argument of facts constant, public, and notorious, Napoleon III. is
judged. He has been for the church and for Christian society a great
scourge of God, one of the worst precursors of Antichrist. We shall
believe in his pretended conversion when we have seen a single action
which shall disclaim and make amends for the immense scandal of his
Julianic persecution of Catholicity. His repentance at the hour of
death, of which we have no solid proof, we leave to the infinite mercy
of God, who certainly could inspire him with it. But it is not out of
place to remember the words of S. Augustine about similar conversions:
Of certain examples we have but one--the good thief on Calvary. _Unus
est ne desperes_, but _solus est ne præsumas_.



MY FRIEND AND HIS STORY.


I had been spending the winter with a friend in poor health in the
South of France. I will not name the place, but it was one of the
loveliest spots on the northern Mediterranean coast. Perhaps I shall
have something to tell of it at another time.

After prolonging our stay till we began to feel that a change would be
beneficial, we travelled on along the glorious old Cornice road into
Italy, and sat ourselves down among the palms and olives of a region
that, on account of its eastern vegetation and general likeness to
the Holy Land, is often called "the Jericho of the Riviera."[27] For,
in truth, when the traveller climbs the steep slopes and staircases
of that old town, pierced by narrow, winding troughs of streets, tied
together, as it were, by old crumbling bridges and arches, built as a
protection against continual earthquakes; and after groping through
what is more like a labyrinth of subterranean caves than a town of
civilized build, he gains the crest of the hill, and looks down from
the sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin which is its crown, the actual
Holy Land itself seems spread below his feet. There are the very
outlines of Palestine: The stony slabs and tilted strata of crag and
ridge; the aromatic shrubs; the wealth of sad olives, fruit-bearing
to an extraordinary degree; the vast tanks, haunted by bright-green,
persistently serenading frogs; the lizards darting in the hot glare;
the flat-topped, low houses, and the women carrying jars of the
identical Eastern forms on their heads. The very dark-skinned men and
women themselves have the like sad, sweet, mournful Eastern eyes; for
throughout the Riviera there is a large admixture of Arab blood, as
many Arab words are crystallized in the strange, rough _patois_ of the
speech.

In this wild, bright, solemn country, I found and made the friend whose
story I am going to tell; and, if it is disappointing at first to the
expectant, I shall ask them to wait till they near the end.

We lived in a not very comfortable boarding-house outside the town,
chosen on account of its position, and being quite removed from the
noise of the sea, which those acquainted with the Mediterranean will
thoroughly understand; for there is no noisier or more aggravating
sea-shore than that which is poetically the tideless, waveless,
sapphire-like mirror of the old Tyrrhenian. In this house I soon made
out my friend--a white dog with black points, shaven to the shoulders,
and of Spitz breed, as his tail, put on very high up, and twisted with
a jaunty, self-asserting _swirl_ over his back, denoted, but with an
undoubted bar sinister in his shield--some English spaniel or terrier
"drop," which, strange to say, gave him a power of persistence, a
dauntless courage, and loving faithfulness, such as I never saw in any
dog before; and yet I know about dogs and dog ways, too.

The first thing my friend did--his name was Cicarello, abbreviated to
Cico, and anglicized to Chick--was to lift himself up very high on his
toes, erect every hair into a wire, and growl so as to show all his
beautiful young white teeth at my approach and outstretched hand.

"Chick! how dare you, sir? Come along, be a good little dog, and let me
scratch your back; you don't know how nice it is, dear!"

But the growling and defiant looks continued, as Chick lay down on his
own chosen step of the stairs. I pushed him with my foot, and said
emphatically:

"Chick! you're a _nasty_ little dog!" At which candid opinion, Chick,
sulkier and crosser than ever, settled himself to sleep.

It was not long, however, before Chick, like all other dogs, succumbed
to the dog mesmerism of that hearty good-will and affection in which
dogs are apt to trust with a much more generous confidence than men. He
began by licking my hand, then came to my room for water, and at last
was won from his disreputable habits of straying from one wine-shop
to another about the town, into which he had fallen from not being
made happy and comfortable at home. One day, he condescended to offer
himself for a walk, and we went through sundry tortuous lanes to some
olive-terraces above the town. Once there, the dog's unbounded delight
was pretty to see. He rolled among the fresh grass and hop-clover,
thickly sprinkled with lovely red _gladioli_; he careered in and out
of the olive-trees, as if weaving some mystic, invisible witch-web;
and then, rushing back to me, barking sharply in a high falsetto, he
sprawled at full length on the ground, wagging his bushy plume over his
back, and saying, in the clearest speech of his wonderful brown eyes,
"I am not a nasty little dog _now_. Thank you for making me so happy!"

My friend, whom I had long loved with all my heart, was easily made
happy. The one thing necessary to him was some sort of master whom he
could love. With any such, his queer, sullen temper brightened, his
thoroughly obstinate will grew docile, his eyes watched every motion
and indication showing his master's wishes, and, if anything were
given into his charge, no amount of tempting or frightening could win
or scare him from his trust. His chiefest delight was running after a
stone or cork, in which also his ways were special to himself. When the
stone was found or dug up--that very stone and no other--Chick would
stand with one paw placed upon it, looking down at it with crest and
tippet erect, and exactly as if it were some sort of live game. If no
notice were taken of his dumb appeal, he would snatch up the stone,
and carry it on, but always with appealing looks to have it thrown
again. On the olive-terraces, among the grass and wild flowers, where
he always became intensely excited, he would run round the stone,
growling, roll upon it in a kind of frenzy, and snap at every one who
came near. When I gravely called or spoke to him, he would relinquish
this _Berserk_ mood, and, wagging his brush, lick my hand as if to
beg pardon for such childishness, and return to the decent sobrieties
of ordinary life. I need scarcely say that it was only because the
over-excitement was bad for himself that he was ever controlled in his
fancies and conceits; for dogs, even more than children, should be
allowed to express their own character and make their own happiness, in
unimportant things, in their own way.

Chick attached himself to me in the most persistent way. He took walks
with me, scratched at the room doors to be where I was, ran up and down
stairs after me on every errand, used my room, like the dogs at home,
as the "United Dogs' Service," and slept on a chair at the foot of my
bed. Even when left at the church door during daily Mass, when I vainly
thought him securely pent within gates and rails, the padded door would
be shoved open, and Chick, with his ears and twisted tail

"Cocked fu' sprush,"

and his whole bearing that of "the right man in the right place," would
scuttle over the stone pavement, scent me out, and ensconce himself
beside my chair. At meals he took his seat beside me, in which he would
rear himself up unbidden in the drollest way, lolling back with perfect
ease, and gracefully holding one forepaw higher than the other, as if
addressing the party. Sometimes he would even emphasize his remarks by
bringing one paw down on the table, and, amid the shouts of laughter
he occasioned, would look us steadily in the face, as if enjoying the
joke as well as the rest. He learnt to sit up with a shawl round him, a
napkin-ring on his nose, and one crowning his head; to hold biscuit on
his nose untouched till bidden to eat, and even to stand quite upright
in the corner, watching with the gravest intelligence till he was told
to come out. In short, as I said before, if the one motive-power of
love were found, Chick's genius seemed to know no limit.

But, meanwhile, the day was drawing near when the deep and most real
grief must be suffered of leaving my friend. Our temporary rest was
over, and our faces were bound to be turned towards home. Chick, also,
took good note of the preparations for departure, and I read in his
eyes that he guessed their import, and knew that our separation was
drawing near. Never for an instant would he let me move out of his
sight, except for Mass, when I locked him up in my room. His exceeding
joy at my return was one of the most touching things I ever felt. When
every other demonstration had been made, he would get up on his hind
legs, and gently lick my face, not as a dog usually does, but just
putting out his tongue, and touching my cheek. This special act always
seemed to say, "_Can_ you go away and leave me behind? Why not take me
with you?"

The consciousness of this feeling wrought so strongly that the question
was seriously mooted between my friend and me of buying Chick and
carrying him with us to England. But there were great difficulties in
the way. The expense was no small addition, besides the anxiety and
added fatigue of another fresh thing to lead about and struggle for in
stations and waiting-rooms, being, as we were, only a party of women,
neither strong nor well, and already burdened with a superfluity of
luggage and _impedimenta_. So the mournful decision was come to that
it could not be. Our last walks were taken, our last gambols on the
olive-terraces played out, and it seemed to me as if every hour Chick's
eyes became more tenderly loving and more devotedly faithful. And
soon I should be far out of reach and ken, while he must be left in
the careless, indifferent, _dog-ignorant_ hands to which he belonged.
Doubtless the many well-read and cultivated people who are in the habit
of reading this periodical have already set me down as a remarkably
foolish person; but what will they say when I confess there were
moments when the very thought of leaving Chick without certain bed and
board, water at will, and sympathy in his ways and love, made me weep
real, scalding tears, and not a few?

Out of the very abundance of thoughts and pain some light appeared; and
one fine day, when the heat was fierce, I put on my hat, Chick took up
a stone, and we both made our way to a large villa in the neighborhood,
occupied by a family from Wales, whose acquaintance we had happily
made: what sort of people they were the story of my friend will show,
at least to those, in my eyes, the truest aristocracy of the world--the
people who have an inbred love of dogs! On this visit, I remarked that
Chick, instead of walking on his toes and wiring his hair as he usually
did with strangers, accepted the whole party as friends, and showed off
all his stock of accomplishments with as much docility as if we had
been at home by ourselves. On the other side, Mr. and Mrs. Griffith--as
I shall call them--thoroughly appreciated the dog, and, seeing this,
I made my proposition--an unblushing one, considering that they had
already rescued two other dogs from ill usage--that they should also
possess themselves of Chick. Having once broken the ice, I launched
into a moving description of his wretched plight, and greater misery
when we should have gone, as well as the reward they would reap from
Chick's delightful ways. They laughingly took it all in good part, and
said, if they had not already an Italian Spitz which they had sent
home, and a dancing dog just brought on their hands, they might have
thought of Chick. I took poor Chickie home, therefore, with a heavy
heart, though I did not yet give up all hope; and, because I did not,
I put him under S. Anthony's care, and asked _him_ to suggest to these
dear people to buy Chick and give him a happy home.

The eve of our departure was a few days after this, and, when Chick
followed me up-stairs to bed as usual, I took him in my arms, and told
him I was going away; that nothing on earth should ever have made me
leave him but the being obliged to do so; that I had put him under S.
Anthony's care, who I was sure would find him a friend; and that he
must be a good, brave little dog, and hold on for the present without
running away. Chick licked away my tears, looking at me with his brave
brown eyes full of trust, as I kissed him over and over again before
going to bed. But afterwards I could never tell how many more tears I
shed at leaving Chick friendless and alone.

The next morning very early, I wrote a last appeal to Mrs. Griffith,
which I carried out to the post myself, that it might be sure to reach
her; and then the carriage came to the door, and we drove away, seeing
Chick to the last on the door-step, sorrowfully looking after us with
his steady brown eyes.

It was a long time before I myself learnt the second chapter of my
dear friend's story. Mrs. Griffith duly got the note, and, being
much touched by it, she went to the boarding-house to call on me,
thinking that I had been left behind for a week, not yet recovered
from an illness, and also wishing to get another view of Chick.
Neither of these objects being gained, she returned home with a strong
feeling "borne in" upon her mind that Chick must be rescued at any
inconvenience to themselves. Not long afterwards, she and her husband
were asked by the owner of the boarding-house to go and look at it,
as she wished to sell or let it on lease. They both accordingly went,
chiefly with a view to seeing Chick. After a long visit and much
conversation, Mrs. Griffith did at length see the poor little dog lying
panting in the sun in the garden, where there was not an atom of shade.
She called the attention of the owner to him, and told her that the
dog was suffering and in great want of water. His mistress made some
careless reply as usual, and passed on, still talking, down the stairs,
when, at the front door, Mrs. Griffith chanced to look down into the
court, and there saw poor little Chick stretched on his back in the
violent convulsions of a fit. She hastily summoned her husband, who,
after one glance, vanished into the lower regions, instinctively found
a pump and a large pan, and reappeared to drench the poor little dog
with a cold-water bath, strongly remonstrating with his owner the while
that any one with eyes or ears could have seen how suffering the animal
had been from heat and thirst.

Ah! Chickie! Chickie! did any thought cross your dog's mind then of
the "United Dogs' Service" of my room? Alas! when I heard of it, how
did I not feel for my dear little friend, proclaiming by every mute
appeal his urgent need, and bravely suffering on in silence near to
death, while not a hand was lifted to give him even the cup of cold
water which brings with the gift its reward! By dint of much bathing
and rubbing for nearly an hour from Mr. and Mrs. Griffith, while his
owner looked on in stupid amazement at this waste of time and trouble
on "only a dog," Chick recovered breath and life and was able to take
some physic administered by the same kind hands. And then, at last,
an agreement was entered into that he should be made over to these
generous friends on certain conditions, one of which was that he should
be left to guard the house where he was for the present; for though
much was not given to my poor little friend, much was required from him
by his wretched masters.

A few days afterwards, Mrs. Griffith felt restless and uneasy, and
told her husband she should like to have Chick in their possession
before the time stipulated; for she felt afraid he might come under the
fresh police regulations for putting an end to all stray dogs during
the raging heat. Mr. Griffith laughed at her "fidgets," but went to
the boarding-house, nevertheless, to comply with her wishes. He was
met at the door with the announcement that Chick had run away, and
had not been heard of for two days! Grieved and completely disgusted
at the heartless neglect which had again driven the poor dog from his
so-called home, Mr. Griffith hurried back to his wife with the news,
and she, like the true woman and mother she is, sat down and burst into
tears. Mr. Griffith caught up his hat, and hurried out to the police,
set several Italian boys whom he taught, and who loved him well, to
search everywhere for the missing Chick, and did not return to his own
house till late, completely worn out with the heat and worry.

Some time later, he was told that one of his Italian boys had come, and
was asking to see him; and, as soon as he was ordered in, the boy, who
knew what pain he was giving, sorrowfully told his news that the police
had seized upon the "bravo Cico"--the half-shaven dog whom everybody
knew and loved--"and...."

"Well, and where is he?" cried Mrs. Griffith, her husband, and the
child in one breath.

"Ah! signora, Cico è morto!" (Cico is dead).

"Dead! How do you know? Where?"

"Signora, the police take the dogs they find to the Mola (breakwater),
and, if they are not claimed before the next night, they make away with
them. Ah! Cico was a bravo, bravo canino!" (a brave little dog).

Looking at his wife's face, Mr. Griffith quickly despatched the boy,
and, once more taking up his hat, this brave and good man again sought
the police office, where the news was confirmed that Chick was dead.
Still hoping against hope, Mr. Griffith said, "There are many white and
black dogs; I should like to see his dead body."

This, backed by other _arguments_, admitted of no demur. The foreign
English lord must be humored in his whim, and he should be conducted to
the poor dead Chickie's dungeon. On the way, Mr. Griffith amazed his
wife by rushing into their house like a "fire-flaught," calling out for
a piece of cold meat and a roll and butter "as quick as possible!"

"But Chickie's dead--the poor dog's dead!" she began. But he waved his
hand and vanished, running down the street with his coat flying in
the wind. He, too, almost flew across the reach of sand and driftwood
to the Mola, and up to the prison door of the dark, airless, filthy
hole into which poor little Chick had been thrust, like a two-legged
criminal guilty of some horrible crime, from the last Saturday
afternoon till this present Monday night. Not a single drop of water
had been vouchsafed him; but the fiendish cruelty which characterizes
people ignorant of the habits and sufferings of animals, while denying
the dog this one necessary, had instigated the police to leave him a
large piece of poisoned meat.

"Signore," said a magisterial voice from among the idle crowd which
had gathered to see what miracles the English lord was going to
work--"signore, if the dog will not eat, he is mad, and you must not
take him away!" And a lump of hard, mouldy black bread was thrown down
before the seemingly lifeless body of poor little Chick, who of course
made no sign.

"E matto! E matto!" (he is mad) cried many voices.

"Chickie! Chickie! dear little doggie, come and speak to me!" cried
Mr. Griffith, who was nearly beside himself at the bare sight of what
the bright, happy little creature had become, and the thought of what
his sufferings had been. Chickie heard the voice, recognized his kind
helper, opened his eyes, and, feebly dragging himself up from the
ground, came forward a step or two towards the door, which caused a
general stir of dread and horror among the spectators, and made the
police half close the door, lest the terrible monster should break
loose upon them. Mr. Griffith forced himself into the opening, and
threw his bit of cold meat to Chick; but he had suffered too much to
be able to eat it, and turned from it with disgust, though he feebly
wagged his brush in acknowledgment to his kind friend. Almost in
despair, but calling the dog by every coaxing, caressing name he could
think of, Mr. Griffith then held out to him a morsel of well-buttered
roll, and, again wagging his brush, Chick smelt at it, took it, and ate
the whole of it in the presence of the august crowd.

Mr. Griffith felt that he could throw up his hat, or dance for joy, or
misbehave in any other way which was most unbecoming to a staid country
gentleman; but all he actually did was to pull a piece of cord quickly
out of his pocket, and say, "I can take the dog home with me now,
can't I?"

"You can take him to the owner, signore. And on payment of ten francs
to the police" (for the poisoned meat?), "and with the owner's consent,
the dog will be yours."

The prison door was then opened a little wider for the cord to be
tied round Chick's neck, when, behold! he spied the moment of escape,
and, refreshed with his morsel of roll, and not knowing what more the
cruelty of man would devise, the plucky little dog rushed through
the crowd, and raced along the shore to the town as hard as he could
go, Mr. Griffith after him at the top of his speed, to a certain
low wine-shop, where also Chick had a true friend. And there Mr.
Griffith found him, after drinking nearly a bucketful of water, in
the convulsions of another and most terrible fit! His generous friend
carried him home in his arms, tucked up his sleeves and gave him a warm
bath, physicked him, nursed him, washed and combed the vermin of his
loathsome prison-hole from him, and, with untiring pains and a love
that never wearied, brought the brave little doggie back to life and
health.

       *       *       *       *       *

The story of my friend is told. Chick's last appearance in his native
town was when making a triumphal progress through it in a carriage
with his master and mistress; he sitting up on his hind legs in his
old fashion, lolling back against the carriage-cushion with one paw
raised, while every man and boy they met saluted the English lord and
lady with lifted hats and delighted cries of "Cico! Cicarello! Bravo!
bravo canino!" Chick was eventually brought home to England by that
best of masters whom S. Anthony had found for him, to whom he has
attached himself so devotedly that nothing but force will induce him to
leave him by night or day. And that master and I are of one mind--that
a braver, cleverer, more loving, or more faithful dog could never be
found.

FOOTNOTES:

[27] The Riviera "di Ponente" and "di Levante" is the Mediterranean
coast from Nice to Genoa and beyond.



THE LOVE OF GOD.


The chief thing that is to be regarded in him that doth anything, is
the will and love wherewithal he doeth it. O Redeemer of the world!
although thou has done much for us, and given us great gifts, and hast
delivered us from many mischiefs, and hast promised us thy eternal and
everlasting bliss, yet is all this, being so much that it maketh one
astonished and afraid, far less than the love that thou bearest us.
For love thou gavest thyself unto us: thou camest down from heaven,
thou tookest flesh, and diest; and through the unspeakable love that
thou borest us, thou hast created and redeemed us, and gavest thyself
unto us in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, and deliveredst
us from so many evils, and promisest us so great goods. Thy love is
of such force towards us, that the least favors that thou doest us,
coming polished with such singular fine love, we are never able to be
sufficiently thankful for it, nor to requite, although we should thrust
ourselves into flaming furnaces for love of thee.--_Southwell._



A FRENCH POET.[28]


It is often said among those who assert much and investigate little
that the control of science, of literature, and of art has passed
beyond the domain of the ancient church, that her children have given
up the contest, and that she no longer produces distinguished men.
It seems to be an understood thing that sound Catholicism is not
consistent with proficiency in any branch of the higher pursuits,
and that every artist, scientist, and _littérateur_ ceases to be a
good Christian in proportion as he is successful in his profession.
There has been some apparent excuse for such an impression gaining
ground, but it is none the less an erroneous impression. Especially
of late years has it been triumphantly refuted, and nowhere with
more _éclat_ than in the very stronghold, the _sanctum sanctorum_
of free thought and private judgment--England. There has arisen in
that land of successful and jubilant materialism, that citadel of
rationalism in matters of religion, a knot of men formidable for
their learning, their eloquence, their taste, and their wit. But if
even in England, under the shadow that was yet left hanging over the
church from the effects of three hundred years of repression, the
vitality of the old "olive-tree"[29] was amply proved by the grafting
in and prosperous growth of so many new branches, still more was the
fruitfulness of the ancient mother and mistress of all knowledge
shown forth in Catholic France. That country has suffered sorely; it
has been the experimental plaything of the world, it has been torn
by unchristian politicians, gagged by Cæsarism, drenched in blood by
demagogism; it has been deluged with a literature as shameless as it
was attractive, until the name of France has become identified in
the minds of many with deliberate and organized immorality. It is
asserted that the names of her most famous novelists are synonymes
of licentiousness; that her philosophers openly preach the grossest
materialism; and that those of her _littérateurs_ who are not absolute
libertines are undisguised Sybarites. Never was country so thoroughly
and deplorably misrepresented as this Catholic land, whence have come
three-fourths of the missionaries of the world, armies of Sisters of
Charity, the most impetuous and the bravest of the Pope's defenders,
the most indefatigable scientific explorers, the purest of political
reformers. If France must be judged by her literature, she can point
to Montalembert, Ozanam, Albert de Broglie, Eugénie de Guérin, Louis
Veuillot, Dupanloup, Rio, Lacordaire, Mme. Craven, Pontmartin, La
Morvonnais, as well as to Balzac, Dumas, Eugène Sue, George Sand, and
Alfred de Musset. If by her art, De la Roche, Ary Scheffer, Hippolyte
Flandrin, vindicate her old Catholic historical pre-eminence; if by her
science and her philosophy, there are Ampère, Berryer, Villemain, even
Cousin. Everywhere the old sap is coursing freely, and in the ranks of
all professions are champions ready to do battle for the old faith
that made France a "_grande nation_." But those we have mentioned,
especially the distinguished and brilliant cluster, Montalembert, de
Broglie, Lacordaire, and Dupanloup, had eschewed the old legitimist
traditions, and, without detracting from their fame, we may say that
they were eminently men of the XIXth century. The charm and poetry
of chivalry, fidelity to an exiled race, the spell of the white flag
and the golden _fleur-de-lis_, were in their minds things of the
past; noble and beautiful weapons, it is true, but useless for the
present emergency, like the enamelled armor and jewelled daggers which
we reverently admire in our national museums. The old monarchical
traditions needed a champion in the field of literature where their
conscientious and respectful opponents were so brilliantly represented,
and this they found in Jean Reboul, the subject of this memoir.

One would have thought that the legitimist poet would have arisen from
some lonely castle of Brittany, and have borne a name which twenty
generations of mediæval heroes had made famous in song. One would have
pictured him as the melancholy, high-spirited descendant of Crusaders,
orphaned by the Vendean war, inspired by the influence of the ocean and
the majestic solitude of the _landes_.[30]

He would be likely to be a Christian Byron, a modern Ossian, far
removed from contact with the world, almost a prophet as well as
a poet. But as if to render his personality more marked, and his
partisanship more striking, the champion of legitimacy was none of
these things. Instead of being a noble, he was a baker; instead of
a solitary, a busy man of the world--even a deputy in the French
Assembly in 1840. Who would have dreamt this? Yet when God chose a king
for Israel, he did not call a man of exalted family to the throne,
but "a son of Jemini of the least tribe of Israel, and his kindred
the last among all the families of the tribe of Benjamin."[31] So it
fell out with the representative who, among the constellation of more
than ordinary brilliancy which marked the beginning of this century in
France, was to uphold the old political faith of the land. There was
doubtless some wise reason for this singular and unexpected choice.
Reboul was a man of the people, a worker for his bread, that it might
be known what the people could do when led by faith and loyalty; he was
from Nîmes, in the south of France, not far from Lyons and Marseilles,
that his attitude might be a perpetual protest against the wave of
communism and revolution which had its source in the south; he was,
so to speak, a descendant of the Romans--for Nîmes was a flourishing
Roman colony and its people are said to retain much of the massiveness
of the Roman character--that he might rebuke the mistaken notion of
those who make of the old republic a type of modern anarchy, and
desecrate the names of Lucretia and Cornelia by bestowing them on
the _tricoteuses_[32] of 1793, or the _pétroleuses_ of 1870. It must
have been a special consolation to the exiled representative of the
Bourbons, the object of such devoted and romantic loyalty, to follow
the successes and receive the outspoken sympathy of so unexpected and
so staunch an adherent. Uncompromising in his championship of the
"_drapeau blanc_," Reboul was politically a host in himself, and,
untrammelled as he was by the traditions and prejudices that hedged in
the nobles of the party, he was able to mingle with all classes, speak
to all men, treat with all parties, and yet to carry his allegiance
through all obstacles, unimpaired and even unsuspected.

Jean Reboul was born at Nîmes on the 23d of January, 1796. His father
was a locksmith and in very modest circumstances. His mother was early
left a widow, with four young children to provide for. Jean, who was
the eldest, and of an equally thoughtful and energetic character,
soon contrived to relieve her of the anxieties of her position, by
establishing himself in business as a baker. Whatever ambitious and
vague longings he might have had even at that early period we do not
know, but can easily guess at, and his sacrifice of them already
endears the future poet to our hearts. How he ever after preferred
the claims of his family to his own convenience, and refused to take
from them the security which his lowly trade gave them, and which the
precarious success of a literary career might have taken away, we shall
see later on. But Reboul did not forego his poetical aspirations; he
published various detached pieces in the local journals of Nîmes, he
circulated MS. poems among his friends, and his name began to be well
known at least in his native town. It was not till 1820, however, that
the outside world and the literary assemblies of Paris knew him. He
gave half his day to the labor of his trade and half to intellectual
work and hard study, and the activity of his character, as well as
the rigorous measurement of his time, so arranged as never to waste
a moment, made this division of labor prejudicial to neither one
employment nor the other.

In physique he was tall, athletic, and stately enough for a Roman
senator. His features were cast in a large and massive mould, his dark,
brilliant eyes were full of meridional fire, and his abundant black
hair seemed a fitting frame for his manly, fearless countenance. Even
in old age and when dying, a friend and admirer recorded that "his face
has suffered no contraction, but has wholly kept the purity of those
sculptural lineaments so nobly reproduced by the chisel of Pradier; it
even seemed to have borrowed a new and graver majesty from the dread
approach of death; ... even death appeared, as it were, to hesitate to
touch his form, and seemed to draw near its victim with the deepest
respect." His vigorous life, his active intelligence, his inflexible
uprightness of character--everything seemed to point him out as a man
beyond the common run of even good men. We shall see his character as
developed in the admirable letters which form the basis of this sketch.
Type of a Christian patriot, he towers above his contemporaries by
sheer nobility of soul, and is an example of that moral stature to
which no worldly honors, no political position, no hereditary rank can
add "one cubit." _Pro Deo, Patria et Rege_ was his lifelong motto, and
it may safely be said that if France had many such sons, no one in the
past or in the future could have rivalled or could hope to rival "la
grande nation."

His first volume of collected poems was published in 1836, and one
by one eminent men of letters, struck by the beauty, severity, and
freshness of his diction, sought out the new light and entered into
brotherhood with him. His lifelong friendship with M. de Fresne,
however, dated from 1829, when he had already published _The Angel
and the Child_,[33] in a Paris magazine, and other pieces at various
intervals in local periodicals. A traveller from the capital knocked at
the unknown poet's door, and the tie knit by the first external homage
that had yet come to Reboul, was never dissolved. The letters from
which we draw his portrait, as traced by himself, were all addressed
to this first friend. In 1838, another and more illustrious visitor
came to the baker's home at Nîmes, the patriarch of revived Christian
literature in France, the immortal Châteaubriand. He tells the story of
his visit himself:

"I found him in his bakery, and spoke to him without knowing to whom I
was speaking, not distinguishing him from his companions in the trade
of Ceres; he took my name, and said he would see if the person I wanted
was at home. He came back presently and smilingly made himself known to
me. He took me through his shop, where we groped about in a labyrinth
of flour-sacks, and at last climbed by a sort of ladder into a little
retreat (_réduit_) something like the chamber of a windmill. There we
sat down and talked. I was as happy as in my barn in London,[34] and
much happier than in my minister's chair in Paris."

Reboul was an ardent Catholic, an uncompromising "ultramontane," as
their enemies designate those who refuse to render unto Cæsar the
things that are God's. He took a keen and sensitive interest in the
struggles of religion against infidelity, the prototypes, or rather
the counterparts, of those we see now waging in Italy and Germany. On
the occasion of one of these attacks on the church in 1844, he writes
these trenchant words:

"The sword is drawn between the religious and the political power: if I
were not a Frenchman before being a royalist, and a Catholic before a
Frenchman, I should find much to rejoice at in this check to the hopes
of a certain part of the episcopate who honestly believed in the reign
of religious freedom, on the word of the revolutionists. But, good
people! if revolution were not despotism, it would not be revolution."

The unity of the church struck him as immeasurably grand. Speaking of
the great Spanish convert Donoso-Cortes and his religious works, he
says:

"What a marvellous faith it is which makes men situated at such
distances of time and place think exactly alike on the most difficult
and deepest subjects!"

A most striking passage in his writings is the following opinion on the
Reformation:

"Forgive my outspokenness," he writes to his friend M. de Fresne,
"if my opinion differs totally from yours. No, the Reformation was
_not_ an outburst of holy and generous indignation against abuses and
infamies. This indignation possessed all the eminent and virtuous men
_in_ the church, but it was not to be found among the reformers. The
Reformation, on the contrary, came to legalize corruption and bend
the precepts of the Gospel to the exigencies of the flesh. Luther was
literally the Mahomet of the West. Both acted through the sword: the
one established polygamy, the other divorce, a species of polygamy far
more fatal to morals than polygamy proper. If you would know what the
Reformation really was, look at its founders and abettors, and see if
chastity was dear to them. Henry VIII. married six wives, of whom he
divorced two and executed two more; Zwinglius took a wife, Beza took a
wife, Calvin took a wife, Luther took a wife, the landgrave of Hesse
wished to take a second wife during the lifetime of his first, and
Luther authorized him to do so. The caustic Erasmus, whose Catholicism
was not very strict, could not help saying that the Reformation was a
comedy like many others, where everything ended with marriages. The
real reformers of the church, those who reformed her not according to
the gospel of passion, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ, were S. Charles
Borromeo, S. John of the Cross, S. Teresa, S. Ignatius Loyola, and
thousands of holy priests and bishops."

Not to weary the reader by constant comments on the text which reveals
this great Christian thinker's mind, we will append the following
significant quotations from his letters with as few breaks as possible.
They are gathered from a collection extending over a period of more
than thirty years:

"The secrets of the church are ruled by a divine order, and to judge
of them according to merely human fears or prudence, is to mistake the
nature of the church, and to ignore her past. Time takes upon itself
the vindication of decisions arrived at by a legitimate authority,
even though it be a temporal one; ... truth will come to the surface,
and is often manifested by the very men apparently most earnest in
combating it.... I believe this work (a religious publication of M. de
Broglie) is an event, as much because of the author's character and the
principles which his name is understood to represent, as because of the
epoch of its publication. This frank confession in the belief of the
supernatural in the teeth of the public rationalistic teaching of the
day--ever striving to wrap Christ in its own shroud of philosophical
verbiage and to bury him in the grave from which he had risen--makes
us pray to God and praise him, ... that _his kingdom may come_....
The struggle nowadays is between God made man, and man making himself
God.... I wonder that you take the trouble to break your head thinking
about these German dreamers (atheists); for my part, I gave orders long
ago to the door-keeper of my brain, if any of these gentleman should
ask for me, to say that I was '_not at home_.' These old errors served
up with the new sauce of a worse darkness than before seem to me very
indigestible.

"Genius which devotes itself to evil, far from being a glory, is but a
gigantic infamy. Plato is right when he calls it a fatal industry.

"The French Revolution has done in the political world what the
Reformation did in the religious world; it has taken from reason her
leaning staff, and reason, trying to stand alone, has caused the things
we have seen--and so, alas! at this moment, the Revolution cries out
for a principle, but is itself the negation of all principle."

In politics, as we have seen, Reboul was a staunch legitimist, but a
shrewd observer. He was no dreamer, though his belief in the ancient
Bourbons was with him a perfect _cultus_. He never swerved from the
road which he had traced for himself. As a poet, his native city was
proud of him, France held out every honor to him, fellow-_littérateurs_
of all shades of opinion welcomed him as a brother, governments
flattered him, the people looked up to him. Had he been ambitious,
civic and parliamentary honors were ready for him; had he been venal,
his career might have been brilliant, lucrative, and idle. In 1844,
the mayor of Nîmes, M. Girard, proposed to him a change of occupation,
offering him the position of town-librarian, as more suited to his
tastes than the trade he followed. He was assured that this appointment
would entail no political obligation, that perfect independence
of speech and action would be guaranteed to him, but, says M. de
Poujoulat: "Reboul, intent above all on the services he could render
the cause among his own surroundings, and solicitous of hedging in
the dignity of his life with the most spotless integrity, refused the
mayor's offer. He did not even seek to make a merit of his refusal;
his friends knew nothing of it; M. de Fresne alone was in the secret,
and it was not divulged till years after." The Cross of the Legion of
Honor was twice offered him: once by the government of Louis Philippe,
through the agency of the minister M. de Salvandy, who was fond of
seeking out honest and independent talent, but the loyal poet answered
briefly: "He who alone has the right to decorate me is not in France";
and again by the empire, when it was urged that the decoration was a
homage such as might have been respectfully offered in _les Arènes_
(the Roman amphitheatre at Nîmes). Reboul proudly yet playfully
replied that "he had not yet quite reached the state of a monument,"
and feeling plenty of vitality left in him, did not need the red
ribbon. He explains to his friend M. de Fresne that he asked the God
of S. Louis to enlighten his perplexities, to lift his soul above all
small vanities, to deliver him from political rancor, if he harbored
any, and to guide him to a decision which would leave him at peace
with himself. "I have not the presumption," he adds, "to think that I
received an inspiration from above, but I believe in the efficacy of
prayer. I know not if I was heard, but at any rate I did my best."

There is a grand Christian simplicity in this, which marks Reboul as a
man far beyond the average. Nothing dazzles him, because he always has
the glory of God before his eyes. His friend M. de Poujoulat says of
him:

"I find in Reboul a penetrating and serious good sense, broad views,
as it were luminous sheaves of thought; I see in him an unprejudiced
and discriminating observer of the affairs of his day. The noise of
popularity is not glory, and the stature our contemporaries make for us
is not our true one, but one raised by artifice and conventionality.
Here was a man who looked down from the height of his solitude, said
what he thought, and in his judgment forestalled the verdict of
posterity. Reboul was interested in the individual works of his day,
but he had only scant admiration for the age that produced them. His
conscience was the measure of his appreciation both of men and events,
and it was a measure hardly advantageous to them."

In 1836, a few of his friends clubbed together to offer him at least
a pension, in the name of "an exile" (the Comte de Chambord), but he
refused even this with touching disinterestedness, saying: "There is
but one hand on earth from which I should not blush to accept a gift:
the representative of Providence on earth. The gifts of this hand
increase the honor and independence of the recipient, and bind him to
nothing save the public weal, but adverse circumstance having sealed
this fount of honor, I could not dream of drawing aught from it, for
_l'exil a besoin de ses miettes_,[35] and it is rather our duty to
contribute to its needs than to draw on it for our own." Later, when
pressing necessity made it incumbent upon him to accept help from
his friends and his sovereign, as he loyally called the exiled Comte
de Chambord, it was so great a sorrow to him that he could scarcely
enjoy the material benefit of such help. The poor and faithful poet
had "dreamed of leaving earth with the memory of a devotion wholly
gratuitous," and was sincerely grieved because it could not be so.
He received several letters from the Comte de Chambord and his wife,
some written in their own hand, others by their secretary, and he
addressed himself several times to these objects of his _cultus_ in
terms of impassioned yet dignified loyalty. Henri V. fully appreciated
his homage, and treated him as a friend rather than a stranger. Reboul
visited the royal family at Frohsdorf, their Austrian retreat, and
received the most flattering marks of attention. To him it was not
a visit so much as a pilgrimage; his devotion to the person of his
sovereign was but the embodiment of his principle of fealty towards
hereditary monarchy. Speaking of the Requiem Mass celebrated at
Nîmes, in October, 1851, on the occasion of the death of the Duchesse
d'Angoulême, daughter of Louis XVI., he says:

"She had made a deep impression, and left durable memories among the
working classes of our town, on her passage through Nîmes some years
ago.... The people, my dear friend, the Christian people, recognizes
better than _les beaux-esprits_ what true greatness is, and is ever
ready to bow before the majesty of a nobly-borne sorrow. No orator
could adequately describe the appearance of our church to-day. This
great gathering _en blouse ou en veste_,[36] these faces browned
by toil and want, bore an expression of nobility and gravity fully
suitable to such an occasion.... When one still has such courtiers, is
exile a reality?"

Reboul would never allow that the irregularities of its representatives
were enough of themselves to condemn a system. We have seen how, while
recognizing the degeneracy of many churchmen in the XVIth century,
he yet denounced the pretended reformers who sought this pretext for
attacking the church, and in politics his judgments were equally clear
and impartial. "If," he says, "it is still possible to be a republican
despite the Reign of Terror, it is not impossible to be a royalist
despite a few moral deviations which have disgraced some of our kings.
Was the _Directoire_ (a genuine republican product) an assembly of
Josephs? And the houses of our day--are they not of glass? It is not
wise, therefore, to be incessantly throwing stones.... After all, I
return to my original argument: notwithstanding the shadows which
darken the great qualities and high virtues of many of our kings, can
you find anything better?"

Reboul's political faith is traced at length in the following
paragraph, which may be called statesmanlike, since it contains a
theory of government: "The sovereign is by all means a _responsible_
agent, but I add to this, that the people also, when it makes itself
sovereign, is equally responsible. The habit of thought which separates
the one from the other is one of the misfortunes of our times. Without
_sovereignty_ there can be no nation, nor even a people. There remains
but an agglomeration of individuals. When I say _sovereign_ you know,
if you understand the language of politics, that I mean any legitimate
form of government. This is applicable to all governments. Be sure
that it is nonsense to talk of a nation as making its own sovereign.
A "nation" which as yet has no sovereignty is no more a nation than a
body without its head is a real body."

Reboul not only believed in sovereignty, but in an aristocracy as a
necessary part of a sound national system. Commenting upon a political
article by M. de Villemain, he gives his ideas thus: "He is mistaken
if he believes, as he says he does, that a people can enjoy freedom
without an _aristocracy_, or, if this word is too much of a bugbear
in the ears of our age, without an intermediate class between the
sovereign and the people. Equality is a fine thing, but revolutionary
journalists must make up their minds that equality can only be arrived
at by the raising of one man and the lowering of all the rest. It is
almost a truism to say so, but these truisms are not bad things in
politics, being so often borne out by experience, and, alas! by the
convulsions of empires."

Our poet and politician could be witty when he liked, and, had he
not been so earnest a Christian, his satirical humor would have been
more often exercised on those from whom he differed so widely in
opinion. This humor crops out sometimes, as when, on the occasion of
an agricultural show (no very congenial fête to a man of his stamp),
he quaintly says: "I do not demur to any rational encouragement given
to agriculture, but I fancy Sully, to whom it owes so much, would not
have been quite so extravagant in the choice of honors such as are
now heaped upon it. A public and gratuitous show, convocation of the
Academy, the municipal council, the prefect of the department, all that
fuss for the coronation of a few dumb animals! Do you not see in this a
providential sarcasm--a people allowed to crown swine after uncrowning
its kings!"

A significant prophecy is contained in the last words of the following
paragraph: "I begin to doubt the efficacy of all these intellectual
struggles; our times need a stronger logic than that of pamphlets, and
I fear (God forgive me for the despairing thought)--I fear that some
great misfortune alone is capable of curing France." How terrible the
cure was when it came we all know, but we have yet to see whether it
has been efficient.

His brief career as deputy to the Constituent Assembly in 1848
derives a peculiar interest for the reader by reason of the seeming
contradiction it presents to his settled political creed. But Reboul
judged things by a higher standard than that of party prejudice. "A
Frenchman before a royalist," he vindicated his patriotism by active
measures in those stormy days when more voices were needed to speak for
the right in the councils of the nation. No doubt, with his unfailing
discernment, he saw the incongruity of his actual position as a man of
the people with that refusal of office which was in a certain sense
becoming--nay, required--in a legitimist of noble birth. He says of
his nomination: "I had firmly refused before, being certain of my
own incompetency, but our population would not hear reason. These
good people imagine that, because one can scribble verses, one can
therefore represent a borough. I was not able to disabuse them; it was
made a question of honor and patriotism, and how could I refuse any
longer? Here am I, therefore, who have always lived far from political
gatherings, I a man of retirement and study, thrown into your whirlpool
without well knowing what will happen to me there."

He was not happy as a deputy. M. de Poujoulat says that Reboul's
countenance in those days was that of a man bored to death. When, the
following year, he retired from these unwonted honors, he thanked God
for "having rescued him from the storm," and wrote to a friend: "I am
quite happy again, and do not at all regret the honors I have left.
I wonder what interest there can be in such heated disputes about
vulgarized issues! I never felt more at home than I do now, and nothing
whispers to me that I have had any loss."

Of a young and unfortunate colleague in the Assembly, a man who had
mistaken an irrepressible momentary exaltation for a genuine vocation,
and from a porter had vaulted to the position of a deputy, while he
further aspired to that of a poet, Reboul says with grave sympathy and
sterling sense: "His blind ambition often astounded me, but it was so
candid and so genuine that I had not the heart to condemn it. I have
often grieved over this frank nature, this child who, in his gambols,
_would_ handle as a whip which he could use the serpent that was to
bite him. The best thing for him would be to go back to his trade in
the teeth of the world, and to make use of his strength and youth; he
would find in that a truer happiness than in the shadow of an official
desk, or in the corruptions of the literary 'Bohemia,' but such an
effort, I fear, is beyond his strength of mind." With what special
right Reboul could give this sound, if stern, advice, we shall see
presently.

In poetry Reboul's inspiration was purely Christian, austere in its
morality, and trusting rather to the matter than the form. He believed
that the times required a poetic censorship, incisive, rapid, and
relentless; poetry was "the mould that God had given him in which to
cast his thoughts," and he felt bound to use it in season for God's
cause, without stopping to elaborate its form and perhaps weaken its
effect. Thus it came about that he was essentially a poet of action,
mingling with his fellow-men, following the vicissitudes of the day
and bearing his part valiantly in the battle of life. He was not of
the contemplative, subjective order of poets, nor was he among the
sensualists of literature. His art was to him neither a personal
consolation, occupying all his time and plunging him into a selfish yet
not unholy oblivion of the world, nor yet an instrument of gain and a
pander to the evil passions of others. It was a mission, not simply a
gift; a "talent" to be used and to bring in five-fold in the interests
of his heavenly Master. Many of his friends objected to the crudity of
form which sometimes resulted from this earnest conviction, and later
in life he did set himself to polish his style a little more. All his
verses bear this imprint of passionate earnestness; he speaks to all,
kings and people; he tells them of their duties in times of revolution,
he urges men to martyrdom, if need be, that the truth may triumph;
he exalts patriotism, fidelity, and disinterestedness, and loses no
opportunity to wrap wholesome precepts in poetic form. His style is
vigorous and impetuous, yet domestic affections are no strangers to
his pen. The world knows him as the author of "The Angel and the
Child," which has been translated into all languages from English to
Persian[37] and inspired a Dresden painter with a beautiful rendering
of the song on canvas. He says of himself: "With me, poetry is but the
veil of philosophy," and in this he has unconsciously followed the
dictum of a great man of the XVth century, Savonarola, who, in his work
on the _Division and Utility of all Sciences_, records the same truth:
"The essence of poetry is to be found in philosophy; the object of
poetry being to persuade by means of that syllogism called an example
exposed with elegance of language, so as to _convince_ and at the same
time to _delight_ us."[38]

Corneille was his favorite French poet, and his admiration for the
Christian tragedy of "Polyeucte" prompted him to write a drama in the
same style, called the "Martyrdom of Vivia." The scene was placed in
his own Nîmes, in the time of the Roman Empire. The piece was full
of beauties, and above all of enthusiasm, but, as might have been
expected, it was hardly a theatrical success. He says himself: "The
glorification of the martyrs of old is not a sentiment of our day"; but
when "Vivia" was performed under his own auspices in his native town
the result was far different. It created a _furor_, and everything,
even the accessories, was perfect. Every one vied with each other to
make it not only a success in itself, but an ovation to the author.
Reboul, when he once saw it acted in Paris, was so genuinely overcome
by it that, leaning across the box toward his friend M. de Fresne, he
whispered naïvely with tears in his eyes: "I had no idea that it was so
beautiful."

As a poet, he utterly despised mere popularity, and has recorded
this feeling both in verse and in prose. In his poem "Consolation
in Forgetfulness" he asks whether the nightingale, hidden among the
trees, seeks out first some attentive human ear into which to pour its
ravishing strains? Nay, he answers, but the songster gives all he has
to the night, the desert, and its silence, and if night, desert, and
silence are alike insensible, its own great Maker is ever at hand to
listen. But it is useless to translate winged verse into lame prose;
the next verse we will quote in the original:

    "Un grand nom coûte cher dans les temps où nous sommes,
    Il fant rompre avec Dieu pour captiver les hommes."

The same idea is reproduced in his correspondence:

"The revolution has for a long time usurped, all over Europe, the
disposal of popularity and renown, and, alas! how many Esaus there
are who have sold their birthright for a mess of celebrity!... Our
excellent friend M. Le Roy had a quality of soul capable of harmonizing
with the sad memories of fallen greatness! Our _siècle de grosse
caisse_[39] has lost the secret of those high and sublime feelings
which the reserve of a simple-minded man may cover."

When, in 1851, his friends wished to nominate him as a candidate
for the French Academy, the highest literary honor possible, Reboul
answered M. de Fresne thus: "Your kind friendship has led you astray.
What on earth would you have me do in such a body? Though I may, in
the intimacy of private life, have spoken to you of whatever poetic
merits I have, I am far from wishing to declare myself seriously the
rival of the best talent of the capital. Such pretension never entered
my head. Nay, in these days I might have written _Athalie_ and yet
deem myself unfit for the Academy. In revolutionary times, things
invade and overflow each other, and nothing is more futile than the
lamentations of literary men over the nomination of politicians to the
vacancies of the French Academy. The revolution has always jealously
guarded her approaches; the _Institut_ is her council." Ten years
later he congratulates himself that things have so far mended among
academicians as that "one may pronounce God's holy name in the halls of
the academy"; but he steadily refused to be nominated for a _fauteuil_.

Reboul's relations with the great men of his day were active and
cordial. No party feeling separated him from any on whom the stamp of
genius was set equally with himself. He corresponded with distinguished
personages of all countries, English, French, Italian, etc., admired
and appreciated the literature of foreign lands, followed the
intellectual movement of Europe in every branch of learning, and
supplied by copious reading of the best translations his want of
classical knowledge. The Holy Scriptures and the patristic literature
of the church were familiar and favorite studies with him; in every
sense of the word, he was a polished and appreciative scholar.
The accident of his birth and circumstances of his life in no way
interfered with this scholarship, and it would be a great mistake to
suppose that he was but a phenomenon, a freak of nature, a working-man
turned suddenly poet, but having beyond the gift of ready versification
no further knowledge of his art or grasp of its possibilities. In 1834,
having addressed to Lamennais a poetical warning and remonstrance, he
says that, receiving no answer, "he is appalled by the silence of
this man. Heaven forefend that the pillar which once was the firmest
support of the sanctuary should be turned into a battering-ram!..." The
Christian world knows that this prophecy came true, but there are those
who believe that on his death-bed the erring son was drawn back to the
bosom of his mother.

In 1844, Reboul was chosen as spokesman by the deputation of Nîmes to
the reception awarded M. Berryer by the town of Avignon. He says: "The
illustrious orator said so many flattering things to me that I was
quite confounded. He called me his _friend_.... Then, addressing us
all, his words seemed so fraught with magic that the immense audience
hung breathless on his lips, but when he began to speak of France his
voice, trembling with love of our country, took our very souls by
storm, and you should have seen those southern faces all bathed in
tears of admiration. We had need of a respite before applauding--but
what an explosion it was!" At another time he writes: "Where has
Berryer lived that he should be able to escape the influence of the
hazy phraseology of our age and keep intact that eloquence of his, at
once so clear and so trenchant?"

Manzoni's genius seemed to make the two poets, though not personally
acquainted, companions in spirit. M. de Fresne, who knew the Milanese
_littérateur_, was charged with Reboul's homage to him in verse, and
Reboul himself speaks thus of the impression made on a friend of his by
Manzoni's _Inni Sacri_:

"We read and admired everything in the book. The hymn for the 5th of
May particularly struck Gazay; he was quite beside himself, as I knew
he would be. This nature, rugged and trenchant (_osseuse et brève_),
which is so impatient of the milk-and-water[40] style of literature,
found here a subject of enthusiasm; he rose from his chair, walked up
and down the room with gigantic strides, and barely escaped breaking
through the floor."

His judgment of Victor Hugo is both interesting and striking. In 1862,
when _Les Misérables_ was published, he comments thus on the great
herald and apologist of revolution:

"It is always the same glorification of the convict-prison and the
house of prostitution, a theme which has for many years been dragged
over our literature and our drama. I do not like Hugo's _bishop_ any
more than Béranger's _curé_; the former is a fool and the latter a
drunkard. The author of _Les Misérables_ is vigorous in his style,
no doubt, but he carries the defects of this quality to the last
pitch of absurdity. The style is vigorous and rugged, true--but
_c'est du 'casse-poitrine' et du 'sacré chien,' de l'eau-de-vie de
pommes-de-terre_.[41] I do not know what to expect from the next two
volumes, but up to this it all seems to me to breathe the air of a
low public-house (_buvette de faubourg_). The ostentatious praise of
the socialist organs confirms this opinion. The multitude, as well
as kings, has its flatterers. I think that honest poverty, lacking
everything, and yet shutting its eyes and ears to temptation, would
have been a type worthier of the author's reputation, if it were only
for a change!"

A year later, in 1863, we see Reboul reading with interest a criticism
of Lamartine on this same work, and recording his satisfaction at the
implied condemnation. "But," says our poet, "it is only, alas! the
blind leading the blind. One is astonished to see the devastation
created in these two great intellects by the forsaking of principle."

His relations with Lamartine were close and affectionate, but his
admiration for the poet yet left him a severe measure for the man. In
1864, he wrote him an address in verse on dogma, or rather, as he calls
it, divine reason, as the foundation of all legislation, and from his
reasons drew consequences not over-favorable to the "historian-poet."
"But," he says, "I tried to be respectful without ceasing to be frank."
Lamartine answered him a few months later, and promised him a visit.
Reboul then says of him: "I found him as amiable, as much a friend as
ever; there must be something great in the depths of that man's heart.
May Providence realize one day my secret hopes for his soul's welfare."
When seven years before Lamartine came to see him at Nîmes, Reboul was
his _cicerone_ to the ruins and sights of the Roman colony, and the
exquisitely graceful compliment of the world-known poet to his brother
artist was thus worded: "This is worth more than all I saw during my
Eastern journey." Of Lamartine's poetical genius, and Victor Hugo's
claims to the renown of posterity, Reboul has no doubt, for he says
that the former's _Lac_ and the latter's lyrics "will never die."

The reader may like to know the opinion of Lamartine himself on Reboul.
We find it in his _Harmonies Poétiques_, where he dedicates a piece to
him entitled "Genius in obscurity," and appends the following anecdote,
which will remind us of Châteaubriand's earlier visit. This was the
first time the two poets met, and, like most of Reboul's friendships,
it was sought by the greater man--or rather, should we not say the
higher-placed rather than _greater_?

"Every one knows the poetical genius, so antique in form, so noble
in feeling, of M. Reboul, poet and workman. Work does not degrade.
His life is less known; I was ignorant of it myself. One day, passing
through Nîmes, I wished, before going to the Roman ruins, to see my
brother-poet. A poor man whom I met in the street led me to a little,
blackened house, on the threshold of which I was saluted by that
delicious perfume of hot bread just from the oven. I went in; a young
man in his shirt sleeves, his black hair slightly powdered with flour,
stood behind the counter, selling bread to a few poor women. I gave my
name; he neither blushed nor changed countenance, but quietly slipped
on his waistcoat, and led me up-stairs by a wooden staircase to his
working room, above the shop. There was a bed, and a writing-table,
with a few books and some loose sheets of paper covered with verses. We
spoke of our common occupation. He read me some admirable verses, and
a few scenes of ancient tragedy, breathing the true masculine severity
of the Roman spirit. One felt that this man had spent his life among
the living mementos of ancient Rome, and that his soul was, as it were,
a stone taken from those monuments, at whose feet his genius had grown
like the wild laurel at the foot of the Roman bridge over the Gard.

"I saw Reboul again in the Constituent Assembly. His was a free soul,
born for a republic; a heart simple and pure, and whose like the people
needs sorely to make it keep and honor the liberty it has won, but will
lose again unless it be tempered by justice and hallowed by virtue."

It will be seen that Reboul himself did not agree with Lamartine's
estimate of him, nor indeed with many of the great poet's religious
and political views; but the tribute to our hero is only rendered more
honorable by this dissidence of opinion.

Many other names might be added to the list of Reboul's literary
acquaintances. Montalembert, at whose request he paraphrased in verse
the famous article published in the _Correspondant_, "Une Nation en
deuil," a plea for Poland written by the author of _The Monks of the
West_; Père Lacordaire, Mgr. Dupanloup, M. de Falloux, Mme. Récamier,
Mme. de Beaumont, a graceful poetess, Canonge, his fellow-poet of
Nîmes, Charles Lenormand, and hosts of others. Artists too he held
in great honor: Sigalon, a painter full of promise, of a poor family
in Nîmes, and whom Reboul characterizes as one who, had he lived,
would have been a modern Michael Angelo; Orsel, of whom he speaks
in these enthusiastic terms: "I showed my friends some of Orsel's
sketches, which they found more _true_ and more _holy_ than Raphael's
style. I will not go so far, for the judgment of ages and of so many
connoisseurs unanimously proclaiming the supremacy of the great
Italian is a stronger authority in my eyes than the exclamation of a
few men in a given moment of enthusiasm. Still I was astounded. Some
vague remorse seized me when I reflected that I had regarded this man
with indifference, not yet knowing his works! But when I think that
I actually read so many of my bad verses to one who had before his
mind's eye such holy and beautiful types, and that he was good enough
to listen patiently, it is not admiration, but veneration that I feel
towards him."

Reber, the musician, who in 1853 was deservedly elected member of the
_Institut de France_, and Rose, a young sculptor, whose Christian
genius was worthy of being placed in contrast (in his admirable
_bassi-relievi_ of the Stations of the Cross in the church of S. Paul,
at Nîmes) with the perfection of Hippolyte Flandrin's magnificent
frescos, were also among Reboul's artistic friends. In a comparison
instituted by our poet between popular and high art, we find the
following pungent comment: "M. Courbet has painted women fitted, by the
rotundity of their dimensions, to be exhibited at a fair, and his name
is incessantly in the papers. On the other hand, M. Ingres is seldom if
ever mentioned!"

Reboul's voluminous letters to M. de Fresne trace unconsciously a most
noble moral portrait of the writer. Here are a few characteristic
touches, putting in relief his manliness and freedom from petty
vanities or weak susceptibilities. There was not the shadow of a
meanness in Reboul's mind; his soul was simplicity itself, and was
rather like those dark, deep waters of some of the American lakes, at
whose bottom every pebble is distinctly visible.

"One of the advantages of the position in which it has pleased God to
place me," he says, "is that I hear the truth told me point-blank and
without any circumlocution whatever, and, thank God, I am inured to
this. I have found out since that what once galled my pride has had
other and important results, so that both friend and foe have served
me.... I bow to nothing save that which is _beautiful everywhere and at
all times_, and progress to my mind signifies only the fashioning of
my works more and more according to this eternal standard. If I do not
succeed, therefore, be sure that it is through human helplessness and
not intentional profanation."

He thus distinctly recognizes his art as a mission, a sacred thing
to be reverently handled, and not _profaned_ by compromises with
the local and accidental spirit of the age. And again: "If the poet
condescends to these intrigues behind the scenes, he loses what should
be his greatest treasure: the consciousness of his own dignity.[42]
Theatrical plaudits, success, all that is outside ourselves: the poet
should seek to live at peace with his own soul, for alas! man cannot
fly from himself, and woe to him if he has need to blush for his deeds
before the tribunal of his own conscience.... There is too much water
in the wine of success to inebriate me.... Time, which is God's mode
of action, deprives us little by little of everything which can be
salutary guardianship, until that supreme moment when it leaves us
face to face with itself alone. Let us strive to prepare ourselves for
this awful _tête-à-tête_." Reboul possessed the true pride of a noble
heart which consisted in doing simply every duty required of him alike
by his poor condition and his admirable talent. Of the former he never
showed himself ashamed and repeatedly refused to change it; yet this
refusal was perfectly honest. If he was in no ways ashamed of his lowly
origin, at the same time he was equally far from making it a boast. On
the publication of his _Traditionelles_ (a volume of detached poems)
M. Lenormand devoted to it a laudatory and appreciative article in the
_Correspondant_. Reboul noticed this in the following words: "I have
only one observation to make, however: I would rather they had left
the 'baker' out of the question, certainly not because the allusion
humiliates me, but because I fear that it points towards making an
exception of my verses, as a moral _lusus naturæ_, and it is my ardent
wish, on the contrary, to be judged quite outside such circumstances.
I can say this the more frankly, because I have never, in my
_Traditionelles_, disguised my origin, and indeed, did I not fear to
be suspected of that hateful plebeian pride, I should even say that I
would not exchange my family for any other. This is between ourselves."

And again, when the question of his nomination to the French Academy
was under discussion, he wrote a very similar sentence: "I can hardly
tell you why I would not accept this candidature. This, perhaps, will
best render my idea: I am not of the stuff of which academicians are
made. This is no outburst of plebeian pride--the most insolent pride
of any; it is merely my true estimate of my own position." At another
time he said, excusing himself for not having asked a person of high
position and a friend of his to the funeral of his mother: "Whatever
ignorance and enviousness may say to the contrary, there are barriers
between the different classes of society which cannot be disregarded
without unseemliness. My 'neglect' was but the consequence of this
conviction."

He has left carelessly here and there embedded in the text of an
everyday letter some phrase which seems like a proverb, so beautiful
and comprehensive is it. For instance, speaking of the costliness
of the Paris _salons_, he says: "The most beautiful abodes, my dear
friend, are those where the devil finds nothing to look upon." Of the
degeneracy of modern thought he speaks thus: "These noble convictions
are passing away, and every thing is subjected to the feeble equations
of reason; all things are discussed, calculated, weighed, and the
heart would appear to be a superfluity of creation, so little are its
holy inspirations followed!"

And of books and their readers he says: "We do not all read a book
alike, but each takes from it only what his individual nature is
capable of appropriating. The prejudices of divers schools of
literature, the rivalry of various political, philosophical, and
religious opinions, are all so many spectacles through which we judge
the beauties or defects of any work."

Reboul's domestic life was a calm and simple one; his mind craved
no pleasures beyond its silent circle, save those which he found in
books; and his attachment to his native city and his humble home was as
touching as it was sincere. His trade gave him enough for a modest and
assured way of life, and he coveted no more. It was a less precarious
source of gain than literature alone would have been; it supported his
family in comfort, and, above all, left his own mind at ease; and it
was only towards the end of his life that, having generously assisted
a relation in financial difficulties, he found himself in real want.
Then only, and not till then, did he accept, with touching sadness and
humility, the help his friends and his heart's sovereign, the Comte de
Chambord, had repeatedly pressed upon him in happier days. His greatest
relaxation was an hour spent with his family or a few chosen literary
friends in his _mazet_, an enclosed garden with a little dwelling
attached, in which were a sitting-room and a kitchen, but no bed-rooms.
We do not know if this is a peculiar institution of Nîmes alone or of
the whole south of France. It is constantly mentioned by Reboul, and
his letters are often dated from it--nay, his verses were sometimes
composed there. It was a luxury of his later days, not of the time when
he received Châteaubriand and Lamartine in the "windmill chamber."

Reboul suffered for ten years before his death from a constitutional
melancholy, which the distraction of several interesting journeys in
Italy, Switzerland, and Austria only temporarily relieved; his general
health gave way by degrees, and he died on the 29th of May, 1864. He
who had vowed his life to the glory of God and his church was called
away from earth on the feast of Corpus Christi, having been completely
paralyzed on the left side three days before. He recovered neither
speech nor--to all appearance--consciousness, and his death was as
peaceful as a child's. His native town celebrated his funeral with all
the pomp of civic and religious honors; the Bishop, Mgr. Plantier,
made a funeral oration over his grave, and a monument was soon raised
to his memory by his grateful and admiring fellow-citizens. More than
that, the city of Nîmes took charge of his family and assured their
future, as a fitting homage to the man whose life had been so nobly
independent, so proudly self-supporting. The Roman colony could not
bear to see Reboul's helpless relatives the pensionaries of a stranger,
and the care it extended to them was delicately offered not as a boon
but a right. People of all classes, all religions, all political
opinions united in mourning their great compatriot. We can end with
no tribute of our own more fitting than M. de Poujoulat's warm and
eloquent words: "Noble triumph of honest genius, of sublime and modest
virtue! many things will have fallen, many footsteps have been effaced,
while yet Reboul will be remembered. The only lasting glory is that in
which there is no untruth. Reboul has left like a Christian a world
and an epoch which often grieved his faith. He has gone to that heaven
which he had seen in his poetic visions, and in which his imagination
had placed so many noble types. He himself has now become a type such
as the Christian muse would fain see placed in the immortal fatherland
of the elect."

The recording angel may well have sung over his tomb these triumphant
words of the Gospel:

"Well done, thou good and faithful servant; because thou hast been
faithful in a few things, I will set thee over great things: enter thou
into the joy of thy Lord."

We have thus endeavored to present a portrait of a character not often
met with in our literature. This man of the people, and yet a royalist;
this delicately-toned poet, and yet a man of sturdy common sense,
affords a curious and interesting study. What has won our especial
admiration is his inflexible adherence to principle in all that
concerns faith and the rights of the Holy See.

FOOTNOTES:

[28] _Lettres de Jean Reboul de Nîmes, avec une Introduction par M. de
Poujoulat._ Michel Lévy Frères. Paris, 1866.

[29] Romans xi. 24.

[30] Uncultivated tracts of land bordering the sea-shore of Brittany.

[31] 1 Kings ix. 21.

[32] This name was given to the market-women who had their regular
seats around the guillotine, and _knitted_ diligently, at the same time
insulting the victims while the executioner did his bloody work.

[33] See a translation of this poem in THE CATHOLIC WORLD for July.

[34] Alluding to his own vicissitudes during the French emigration.

[35] Literally, "Exile needs even its very crumbs."

[36] Smock-frock, or working-clothes.

[37] By Monchharem, a young Persian attached to the staff of Marshal
Paskievicz.

[38] See the second article on Jerome Savonarola, CATHOLIC WORLD, July,
1873.

[39] Literally "big-drum century."

[40] More expressive in the original, _le blanc d'œuf battu_--literally
"white of eggs beaten up."

[41] Untranslatable: the meaning is, that the vigor is that of a
prize-fighter, the ruggedness not of a philosopher, but of a low
ruffian.

[42] Simpler and more forcible in the original: _le sentiment de
lui-même_--"the consciousness of himself."



MARY.


    Dear honored name, beloved for human ties,
      But loved and honored first that One was given
    In living proof to erring mortal eyes
      That our poor flesh is near akin to heaven.

    Sweet word of dual meaning: one of grace,
      And born of our kind Advocate above;
    And one by memory linked to that dear face
      That blessed my childhood with its mother-love,

    And taught me first the simple prayer, "To thee,
      Poor banished sons of Eve, we send our cries."
    Through mist of years, those words recall to me
      A childish face upturned to loving eyes.

    And yet to some the name of Mary bears
      No special meaning, or no gracious power;
    In that dear word they seek for hidden snares,
      As wasps find poison in the sweetest flower.

    But faithful hearts can see, o'er doubts and fears,
      The Virgin link that binds the Lord to earth;
    Which to the upturned, trusting face appears
      Greater than angel, though of human birth.

    The sweet-faced moon reflects on cheerless night
      The rays of hidden sun to rise to-morrow;
    So unseen God still lets his promised light,
      Through holy Mary, shine upon our sorrow.



MORE ABOUT BRITTANY: ITS CUSTOMS, ITS PEOPLE, AND ITS POEMS.


All great national gatherings dating from an early period have a
religious origin. The assemblies of the Welsh, Bretons, and Gauls were
convoked by the Druids, and in the laws of Moëlmud are designated
"the privileged synods of fraternity and union which are presided
over by the bards." These, in losing their pagan character under
the influence of Christianity, nevertheless retained many of their
forms and regulations, together with the customary place and time of
meeting. True to her prudent mode of action among the peoples she was
converting, the church, instead of destroying the temples, purified
them, and, instead of overthrowing the menhir and dolmen, raised the
cross above them.

It was almost invariably at the solstices that the Christian assemblies
of the Celtic nations were accustomed to take place, as the pagan ones
had done before them, when, in the presence of immense multitudes, the
bards held their solemn sittings, and vied with each other in poetry
and song, while athletes ran, wrestled, and performed various feats
of agility and strength. In Wales, the sectaries who divided the land
amongst them have deprived these assemblies of all religious character
and association whatsoever, and the manners, language, and traditions
are all that remain unchanged. In Brittany, on the contrary, the
religious element is the dominant one, and impresses its character
not only upon the antique observances, but also upon the rustic
literature--that is to say, the poesy--with which the land abounds.

The most favorable opportunities for hearing these popular
ballads occur at weddings and agricultural festivities, such as
the gathering-in of the harvest and vintage, the _linadek_, or
flax-gathering--for it is believed that the flax would become mere
tow or oakum unless it were gathered with singing--the fairs, the
watch-nights, when, around the bed of death, the relatives and
neighbors take their turn to watch and pray, while those who are
waiting pass much of the time in singing or listening to religious
ballad-poems of interminable length, or ditties like the following,
_Kimiad ann Ene_--"The Departure of the Soul"--which chiefly consists
of a dialogue between the soul and its earthly tenement:

                       THE DEPARTURE OF THE SOUL.

  Come listen to the song of the happy Soul's departure, at the
    moment when she quits her dwelling.

  She looks down a little towards the earth, and speaks to the poor
    body which is lying on its bed of death.

                                 SOUL.

  "Alas, my body! Behold, the last hour is come; I must quit thee and
    this world also.

  "I hear the rapping of the death-watch. Thy head swims; thy lips
    are cold as ice; thy visage is all changed. Alas, poor body! I
    must leave thee!"

                                 BODY.

  "If my visage is changed and horrible, it is too true that you must
    leave me.

  "You are, then, unmindful of the past; despising your poor friend,
    who is, alas! so disfigured. Likeness is the mother of love:
    since you have no longer any left to me, lay me aside."

                                 SOUL.

  "No, dearest friend, I despise you not. Of all the Commandments,
    you have not broken one.

  "But it is the will of God (let us bless his goodness) to put
    an end to my authority and your subjection. Behold us parted
    asunder by pitiless death. Behold me all alone between heaven and
    earth, like the little blue dove who flew from the ark to see if
    the storm was over."

                                 BODY.

  "The little blue dove came back to the ark, but you will never
    return to me."

                                 SOUL.

  "Nay, truly, but I will return to thee, and solemnly promise so to
    do; we shall meet again at the Day of Judgment.

  "As truly shall I return to thee as I now go forth to the
    particular judgment, the thought of which, alas! makes me tremble.

  "Have confidence, my friend. After the northwest wind there falls a
    calm on the sea.

  "I will come again and take thee by the hand; and wert thou heavy
    as iron, when I shall have been in heaven, I will draw thee to me
    like a loadstone."

                                 BODY.

  "When I shall be, dear Soul, stretched in the tomb, and destroyed
    in the earth by corruption;

  "When I shall have neither finger nor hand, nor foot nor arm, in
    vain will you try to raise me to you."

                                 SOUL.

  "He who created the world without model or matter has power to
    restore thee to thy first form.

  "He who knew thee when thou wast not shall find thee where thou
    wilt not be!

  "As truly shall we meet again as that I now go before the terrible
    tribunal, at the thought whereof I tremble,

  "Feeble and frail as a leaf in the autumn wind."

       *       *       *       *       *

  God hears the Soul, and hastens to answer it saying, Courage, poor
    Soul, thou shalt not be long in pain. Because thou hast served me
    in the world, thou shalt have part in my felicities.

  And the soul, always rising, casts again a glance below, and
    beholds her body lying on the funeral bier.

  "Farewell, my poor body, farewell! I look back yet once more, out
    of my great pity for thee."

                                 BODY.

  "Cease, then, dear Soul, cease to address me with golden words.
    Dust and corruption are unworthy of pity."

                                 SOUL.

  "Saving thy favor, O my body! thou art truly worthy, even as the
    earthen vessel that has held sweet perfumes."

                                 BODY.

  "Adieu, then, O my life! since thus it must be. May God lead you to
    the place where you desire to be.

  "You will be ever awake and I sleeping in the grave. Keep me in
    mind, and hasten your return.

  "But tell me, why is it thus that you are so gay and glad at
    leaving me, and yet I am so sad?"

                                 SOUL.

  "I have so exchanged thorns for roses, and gall for sweetest
    honey."

  Then, joyous as a lark, the soul mounts, mounts, mounts, ever
    upwards towards heaven. When she reaches heaven, she knocks at
    the gate, and humbly asks my lord S. Peter to let her enter in.

  "O you, my lord S. Peter! who are so kind, will you not receive me
    into the Paradise of Jesus?"

                               S. PETER.

  "Truly thou shalt enter into the Paradise of Jesus, who, when thou
    wast on earth, didst receive him into thy dwelling."

       *       *       *       *       *

  The soul, at the moment of entering, once more turns her head, and
    sees her poor body like a little mole-hill.

  "Till we meet again, my body--and thanks--till we meet again, till
    we meet again in the valley of Jehosaphat.

  "I hear sweet harmonies I never heard before. The day breaks, and
    the shadows are fled away.

  "Behold, I am like a rose-tree planted by the waters of the river
    of life."

This dialogue bears a remarkable resemblance to at least three similar
compositions by S. Ephrem Syrus, Deacon of Edessa, who died A.D.
372. With the Breton poem it may not be uninteresting to compare the
following wild Northern dirge, which may be unknown to some amongst our
readers:

                       SCOTTISH LYKE-WAKE DIRGE.

    "This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
      Every nighte an' alle,
    Fire, an' sleet, an' candle-light,
      An' Christe receive thy saule.

    "When thou from hence away art paste,
      Every nighte an' alle,
    To whinny-muir thou comest at laste,
      An' Christe receive thy saule.

    "If ever thou gavest hosen or shoon,
      Every nighte an' alle,
    Sit thee down an' put them on,
      An' Christe receive thy saule.

    "If hosen an' shoon thou never gavest nane,
      Every nighte an' alle,
    The whinnes shal prick thee to the bare bane,
      An' Christe receive thy saule.

    "From whinny-muir when thou mayest passe,
      Every night an' alle,
    To Brig o' Dread[43] thou comest at laste,
      An' Christe receive thy saule.

    "If ever thou gavest meate or drinke,
      Every nighte an' alle,
    The fire shall never make thee shrinke,
      An' Christe receive thy saule.

    "From Brig o' Dread when thou mayest passe,
      Every night an' alle,
    To Purgatory fire thou comest at laste,
      An' Christe receive thy saule.

    "If meat or drink thou never gavest nane,
      Every nighte an' alle,
    The fire will burn thee to the bare bane,
      An' Christe receive thy saule.

    "This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
      Every nighte an' alle,
    Fire, an' sleet, an' candle-light,
      An' Christe receive thy saule."

Not in Brittany alone, but also in most of the country parts of France,
the villagers have a custom during the winter of assembling in each
other's cottages--or in a barn, if no other room of convenient size
should offer--for the _fileries du soir_, when, by the light of a
single candle, or the blazing logs upon the hearth, round which all sit
in a circle, the women sew or spin, while some of the company take it
in turn to sing or tell stories, or occasionally to read aloud for the
amusement or instruction of the rest. Besides singing ballads which are
already known, it not unfrequently happens that the villagers compose
a new one amongst themselves during one of these _veillées_. Some one
arrives, it may be a pilgrim, a beggar, or a neighbor, and relates
something which has just happened; while the hearers are talking
it over, probably another person comes in, bringing fresh details;
interest becomes more and more excited, and all at once there is a
general cry, "Let us make a song about it." The poet most in renown
amongst the company is called upon to make a beginning, to which he
accedes, after the customary amount of entreaty has been gone through.
He improvises a strophe, which every one repeats after him; a neighbor
continues the song, which is again repeated by all; a third adds his
share, and so on, every new verse being taken up by all present, and
repeated with the rest; and thus a new ballad, the composition of all,
repeated and learned by all, flies on the following day from parish to
parish, on the wings of its _refrain_, from _veillée_ to _veillée_,
and speedily finds its place among the poetry of the land. Most of the
Breton ballads are composed thus by collaboration, and this manner of
producing them has its name in the language; it is called _diskan_
(repetition), and the singers are _diskanerien_.

But it is especially at the _Pardons_, or feasts of the patron saints,
that are to be heard in their greatest perfection historical ballads,
love-ditties, and songs on sacred subjects; and we turn again to the
interesting pages of M. de Villemarqué, from which we have already
drawn so largely, for a description of these festive occasions.

Every great _Pardon_ lasts at least three days. On the eve, all the
bells are set ringing, and the people busy themselves in decorating
the church. The altars are adorned with garlands and vases of flowers,
the statues of the saints clothed in the national costume, the patron
or patroness being distinguished by the habiliments of a bridegroom
or a bride. The former has a large bouquet, tied with long and
bright-colored ribbons; the white head-dress of the latter glitters
with a hundred little mirrors. As the day declines, the church is
swept and the dust scattered to the winds, that it may be favorable
to those who are coming to the morrow's festival. After this, every
one places in the nave the offering he has brought the patron saint.
These offerings generally consist of sacks of corn, bundles of flax,
soft white fleeces, cakes of wax, or other agricultural productions,
just as in the days of Gregory of Tours, who mentions the "multitudo
rusticorum, ... exhibens lanas, vellera, formas ceræ, etc."[44]

Dancing then begins, to the sound of the national _biniou_, the
bombardo, and tambourine, in front of the church, or by the fountain
of the patron saint, or it may be near some ancient dolmen, which
serves as a seat for the fiddlers: it is even stated that not more than
a century ago dancing took place in the church itself--a profanity
which the clergy invariably set themselves against, the bishops
excommunicating obstinate offenders.

In some places, bonfires are lighted at night upon the eminence on
which the church is built, and on the neighboring hills. As soon as the
flame leaps up the pyramid of dry leaves and broom, the crowd walks in
procession twelve times round it, reciting prayers or singing. The old
men surround it with a circle of stones, and place a cauldron in the
centre, in which, in ancient times, meat was cooked for the priests,
but in the present day it is filled with water, into which children
throw pieces of metal, while a circle of beggars, kneeling around it
bare-headed, and leaning on their sticks, sing in chorus the legends
of the patron saint. It was exactly thus that the old bards sang hymns
in honor of their divinities, by the light of the moon, and round the
magic basin encircled with stones, in which was prepared the "repast of
the brave."

On the following morning, at break of day, arrive from Léon, Tréguier,
Göelo, Cornouailles, Vannes, and all parts of Basse Bretagne, bands
of pilgrims, singing as they proceed on their way. As soon as they
descry from afar the church-spire, they take off their large hats,
and kneel down, making the sign of the cross. The sea is covered with
a thousand little barks, from whence the wind brings the sound of
hymns, whose solemn cadence keeps time with the stroke of the oars.
Whole cantons arrive, with the banners of their respective parishes,
and led by their rectors. As they approach their destination, the
clergy of the _Pardon_ advance to receive them, and, at the moment of
their meeting, the crosses, banners, and images of the saints are bent
towards each other by way of mutual salutation, as the two processions
form themselves into one, while the church-bells make the air resound
with their joyous clamor. When Vespers are ended, the procession comes
forth, the pilgrims arranging themselves according to their different
dialects. The peasants of Léon may be recognized by their green, brown,
or black habiliments, and bare, muscular limbs; the Trégorrois, whose
gray garb has about it nothing particularly original, are remarkable
among the rest for their full and melodious voices; the Cornouaillais
for the costliness and elegance of their richly embroidered blue or
violet coats, their puffed-out pantaloons and floating hair; while
the men of Vannes, on the contrary, are distinguishable by the sombre
color of their apparel. The cold, calm aspect of their countenances and
bearing would scarcely lead one to suspect the determination of this
energetic race, of whom neither Cæsar nor the Republican armies could
break the will, and whom Napoleon designated as "frames of iron, hearts
of steel."

As the procession pours forth from the church, nothing can be more
curious than to observe these close ranks of peasants, in costumes
so varied and at times so strange, with their heads uncovered, their
eyes cast down, and the rosary in their hands; nor anything more
touching than the hands of weather-beaten mariners in their blue shirts
and barefoot, who are come to pay the vow that has saved them from
shipwreck and death, bearing on their shoulders the fragments of their
shattered vessel; nothing more impressive than the sight of this
countless multitude, preceded by the cross, traversing the sandy or
rock-scattered beach, while the sound of its litanies mingles with the
murmurs of the ocean.

Certain parishes, before entering the church, halt first at the
cemetery. There, among the graves of their forefathers, the most
venerable peasant with the lord of the canton, and the most exemplary
village-maiden with one of the young ladies of the manor, stand on the
topmost step of the churchyard cross, and, with their hands placed on
the Holy Gospel, solemnly renew their baptismal vows in their own names
and on behalf of the prostrate multitude.

The pilgrims pass the night in tents erected on the plain, and do not
retire to repose until a late hour, remaining to listen to the long
narrative poems on sacred subjects which the popular bards wander
singing from tent to tent.

This first day is wholly consecrated to religion, but secular pleasures
awake with the sound of the hautboy on the following morn.

The lists are opened at noon. The tree of the prizes, laden with its
strange variety of fruits, rises in the centre, while at its foot lows
the chief prize of all--the heifer--with its horns gaily decked with
ribbons. Numberless competitors present themselves. Trials of strength
or skill, wrestling, racing, and dancing, continue without intermission
until the evening is far advanced.

The first two nights of the _Pardon_ are devoted to wandering singers
of every description, such as the millers, the tailors, the ragmen,
beggars, and _barz_; but the last is exclusively the right of the
_kloer_ or _kler_, of whom, as well as of the first-named personages,
we will mention a few particulars. The chief difference between the
miller and the other popular minstrels is that he returns every evening
to his mill; but, like them, he makes the round of the country, passing
through the cities, towns, and villages, entering the farm-house and
the manor, going to fairs and markets, and hearing news, which he
puts into rhyme as he goes on his way; and his songs, repeated by the
beggars, who are rarely the composers of ballads themselves, soon find
their way from one end of Brittany to the other.

The tailor's special characteristic is caustic wit and raillery. "His
ear is long," says the Breton proverb, "his eye open day and night,
and his tongue as sharp as his needle." Nothing escapes him. He makes
a song upon everybody without distinction, saying in verse that which,
he would not dare to say in prose, and yet often so disguising his
satire that it is keenest where at first sight least evident. All the
value of his songs depends upon their actuality. He is learned in
all the gossip of the place, and if perchance on his homeward way he
lights upon a couple of lovers, happy in the seclusion of a wood, they
find themselves next day the subjects of his malicious muse, and their
mutual appreciation proclaimed to all the neighborhood. Of the miller
and the ragman much the same may be said; and yet it is but just to add
that, with all the pleasure they find in laughing at their neighbor,
they are never guilty of calumny against him.

The _barz_ occupies a higher place in the order of singers than
any other, the _kloer_ only excepted. He represents the wandering
minstrels, shades of the primitive bards, who were reproved by
Taliessin for their degeneracy even in his day, and for living without
regular occupation or fixed dwelling-place, serving as echoes of
popular gossip, and spending their days in wandering from one assembly
to another. The self-same reproaches one hears at this present day,
addressed to the same class of people by the Breton priests.

And yet some few rays of their former glory linger around the race.
Like their ancestors, they celebrate noble and worthy deeds, dispensing
praise or blame impartially to small and great. Those of the ancient
bards who were blind made use of a sort of tally-stick, of which the
arrangement of the notches served to fix certain songs in their memory.
This species of mnemonics, which is known in Wales as _Coelbren y
Beirdd_--the Alphabet of the Bards--is still in use among the _barz_ of
Brittany. They also invariably observe the old bardic law which forbade
them to enter any house without previously asking permission by singing
the customary salutation at the door: "God's blessing be upon you,
people of this house: God's blessing be upon you, small and great!"
and never entering unless they receive the answer: "God's blessing be
also upon you, wayfarer, whoever you may be." If they do not hear this
speedily, they pass on their way.

Like the ancient Cambrian bards, they are, by virtue of their
profession, a necessity at every popular festival. They betroth the
future husband and wife, according to antique and unvarying rites,
previous to the performance of the religious ceremony; they enjoy great
liberty of speech, and exercise a certain amount of moral authority
over the minds of the people; they are loved, sought for, and honored
almost as much as were their bardic ancestors, though moving in a less
elevated sphere.

The name of _kloer_ (_kloarek_ in the singular) is given to the youths
who are studying with a prospect of entering the ecclesiastical state.
They are identical with the Welsh _kler_, or school-clerk, and in the
time of Taliessin occupied, as they still occupy, the place of bards,
forming a class by themselves of scholar-poets.

The Breton _kloer_ generally belong to the peasantry or to the
trades-people of the country towns. The ancient episcopal sees of
Tréguier and Léon, Quimper and Vannes, attract them in the largest
numbers. They arrive there in bands from the depths of the country, in
the national costume, with their long hair, and their rustic simplicity
and language; most of them being from about eighteen to twenty years
old. They live together in the faubourgs; the same garret serves for
bed-room, kitchen, dining-room, and study. This is a far different
existence from that which they led among the woods and fields, and
it is not long before a complete change has come over them. With the
lessening of muscular strength, their intellect and imagination develop
themselves. The summer vacation takes them back to their village homes
at the season in which, says a Breton poet, "young hearts expand with
the flowers," and when temptations abound; thus it not unseldom happens
that the _kloarek_ returns to his studies with the thorn of a first
love in his heart. Then there arises a tempest in his soul--a struggle
between the love of the creature and the Creator. Sometimes the former
is the stronger; isolation, homesickness, leisure, contribute to
develop a sentiment of which the germ only exists. A remembrance, a
word, a melody, or the sound of some wild instrument which breaks on
his ear and recalls his home, makes it suddenly burst forth. Then he
throws his class-books into the fire, renounces the ecclesiastical
state, and returns to his native village.

But it is far oftener that the higher devotion wins the day. In either
case, however, the scholar-poet must, according to his own expression,
"comfort his heart" by making his confidences to the muse.

By an instinct natural to all but truly popular poets, the _kloer_
never write their compositions. They are wise in this. "The memory of
hearing," as it was called by the ancient bards, is much more tenacious
than the "memory of letters." To write and print their songs would be
to give up having them learnt by heart, and repeated by generation
after generation.

Once become priests, the _kloer_ burn that which they have worshipped;
thus Gildas declaims against the bards, forgetting, in his monk's
habit, that in his youth he had made one of their number. As _kloer_,
these scholar-poets disdain the songs of the wandering minstrels; as
priests, they equally disdain the lays of the _kloer_. And yet, as
priests, they do not cease to sing; but that which lingered on the
earth now finds its wings and takes a heavenward flight, and the sacred
songs and canticles which express the warm devotion of their hearts
imprint themselves on the memory of the people, and are, like prayers,
transmitted from age to age. It is thus impossible to know the date of
their compositions, except by knowing the exact period at which their
authors lived.

With regard to the religious events which are the theme of the
_legends_, it is different. These compositions belong to the domain of
historical songs and ballads, and owe their popularity to their being
the expression of traditions already widely known among the people.

We close our notice with the translation of a little poem by a young
_kloarek_ of Léon. It is his farewell to earthly love--a farewell which
is apparently made more easy by outward accidentals than can always be
the case under similar circumstances. It is entitled

                    ANN DROUK-RANS; OR, THE RUPTURE.

    Ah! knew I how to read and write as I know how to rhyme,
    A song all new I would indite, and in the shortest time!

    Behold my little friend, who comes! towards our house comes she,
    And, if the chance befals, she'll may-be speak awhile with me.

    "Sweet little friend, but you are changed since last I saw your face;
    'Twas in the month of June, when you the _pardon_ went to grace."

    "And if, young man, so changed I am, what wonder can there be?
    When, since the _pardon_ of the Folgoät, death has stood by me;
    For 'twas a raging fever that has made the change you see."

    "Sweet friend, come with me to the garden; there a little rose
    First opened out its dewy bud when Thursday morning rose.
    Upon her stalk, so fair and gay, her new-born beauty shone;
    The morrow came--her beauty and her freshness all were gone.

    "Sweet friend, the door of your young heart I bade you well to close,
    That naught might enter to disturb that garden's still repose;
    But, ah! you did not listen, and you left ajar the door,
    And now the flower is withered up that showed so fair before.

    "For fairer things than love and youth this world has not to give,
    But in this world nor love nor youth have oft-times long to live;
    Our love was like a summer cloud that melts into the sky,
    And passing as a breath of wind that dies with scarce a sigh."

FOOTNOTES:

[43] In some versions, "To _Razar Brig_ thou comest at laste."

[44] "Multitude of peasants, ... exhibiting wool, fleeces, forms of
wax, etc."



A VISIT TO THE GRANDE CHARTREUSE.


It was a glorious September morning; the freshness of the night was
still perceptible, although the rays of the sun were filling the air
with a genial warmth, when, issuing from the fortified gates of the
beautifully situated town of Grenoble, I turned my steps towards the
celebrated monastery of the Grande Chartreuse.

I made an early start, as the road before me was long, consisting of
an uninterrupted series of steep ascents, with the exception of the
first few miles that lay along the banks of the Isère. This level and
comparatively uninteresting country is soon passed, and the traveller,
quitting the high-road at the village of Voreppe, strikes into the
mountains. On reaching the brow of the hill that rises above that
village, a most beautiful panorama presents itself to the view. The
fertile and far-famed valley of Grêsivaudan spreads far away to the
left and right, shut in on either side by rocky mountains, capped by
dark pine forests. The snowy crests of the Alps are conspicuous, while,
through the centre of the valley, the Isère, in its sinuous course,
gleams in the sun like a silver thread, contrasting with the dark,
luxuriant green of the hemp and the gay autumnal tints of the vine.

Commanding a like enchanting view, and nestled in the hills a few miles
from Voreppe, is the Convent of Chalais. Founded as a Benedictine abbey
in the XIth century, it became later on a dependence of the Grande
Chartreuse. At the Revolution, it was sold as national property, but it
was destined once again to revert to its pious use; for in 1844 it was
bought by the Père Lacordaire for the sons of S. Dominic, whose order
he had just restored in France. Often in after-years did he seek there,
in the presence of nature's loveliest aspects, some slight repose for
his overworked body and ardently active mind.

The road from Voreppe to St. Laurent du Pont appeared to me exceedingly
dreary and monotonous, more so, perhaps, than it really was, from the
contrast its bare and rugged hills presented to the luxuriant and
richly varied scene on which I had just been gazing. So pleasant,
however, were the anticipations that filled my mind that the distance
was accomplished in a very short time; and a few minutes sufficed for
refreshment at St. Laurent.

The village is poor; its church, which is a new building, was built,
like most of those in the neighborhood, by the charity of the monks
of the Chartreuse; indeed, the village itself has been several times
rebuilt by their generosity, having frequently, owing to the quantity
of wood used in the construction of its houses, been burnt almost to
the ground.

The most beautiful part of the whole journey is now at hand. Within
a mile of St. Laurent is the entrance to the famous gorge that bears
the name of Desert of S. Bruno. My expectations were raised to the
highest pitch; for I had always heard that the scenery of this gorge
would alone repay the traveller his journey thither, even if the
monastery and its surroundings were entirely devoid of interest. I was
not, however, free from misgivings; for how often does that which in
itself is really beautiful disappoint us when compared to the bright
visions that had charmed our imagination! Such at least was the lesson
experience had taught _me_; but to-day I was to learn something new,
for the reality far surpassed my most sanguine expectations. Never
shall I forget the majestic grandeur of the scenery that continued to
unfold itself to my view at every turn of the road until I reached
the monastery. The most striking scene of the whole journey, and the
one to which the memory loves best to revert, is without doubt the
entrance to the Desert de S. Bruno; here both nature and man seem to
have combined to render the features of the landscape picturesque and
sublime. The mind is totally unprepared for what is coming. During the
first mile after leaving the village, the road has been pleasantly
winding along the banks of the Guiers Mort, among wooded hills, and
through rich mountain pastures--nature in its softer rather than in its
grander aspects--and it is at a sudden turn of the road, at a point
where the valley seems shut in on all sides, that the entrance to the
gorge bursts upon the sight, seemingly as if the rocks had been rent
in two to form a passage just sufficient to admit the foaming torrent,
while the road is carried along the face of the mountain, now rising
perpendicularly from the water's edge to an immense height. A ruined
archway, on which is still visible the arms of the Carthusian order,
here marks the limits of the former domain of the monastery, and,
with the bold, single-arched bridge which carries the road across the
stream, and the rustic iron forge that crouches under the opposite
rocks, adds a picturesque beauty to the grandeur of the spot.

Until you reach the convent--that is to say, for about eight
miles--the beauty of the scenery never for a moment diminishes; the
road, which shows great engineering skill, follows the course of the
torrent, which it crosses several times. At each turn the view varies;
sometimes distant glimpses of the snowy peaks of the Alps are obtained;
at other times you are so completely shut in by the mountains that
nothing is visible save the magnificent forests that cover their sides.
The size of some of the pines in these forests is very remarkable; one
could almost imagine that they dated back as far as S. Bruno. I could
not refrain from thinking, as I gazed on them, what scenes they must
have witnessed, and what strange tales they could unfold were they able
to speak; of how many could they tell who passed along that road after
bidding the world an eternal farewell--men who had seen life in all its
gayest moods, and, having tasted its unsatisfying honors and delights,
sought peace and happiness in repentance and self-denial; youths who
wore still unsullied their baptismal robes, and fled hither to preserve
that innocence that fears even the contact of a sinful world. They
could tell how the great S. Hugh had returned sorrowfully along that
road from the calm home of his dear Chartreuse, to accept, for God's
greater glory, the far distant see of Lincoln, and the dreary task of
struggling against an unprincipled king and a corrupt court; they could
tell of many others who, like him, had humbly trod that path, thinking
to hide themselves from dignities and honors, but had been recalled
by the all-penetrating wisdom of the church to wear the mitre or the
purple.

About midway between St. Laurent and the monastery there rises by the
side of the road a most singular pinnacle-shaped rock, ascending
perpendicularly to a considerable height, and called the Pic de
L'Œillette. In connection with this rock an amusing story is told of
an Englishman, who, having heard that no one had ever reached its
summit, determined to secure that honor for his country. Accordingly,
he commenced the task with a thorough good-will, and, after much
labor, succeeded in accomplishing it to his satisfaction. As soon
as his enthusiasm, which showed itself in the form of three genuine
British cheers, had in some measure subsided, he began to think of
descending; to his dismay, he discovered that to descend would be more
than difficult--indeed, to all appearance, impossible; and it was not
until he had passed several hours in his very uncomfortable position,
meditating, let us hope, on the vanity of human greatness, that he was
able to let himself down in most inglorious fashion by the aid of ropes
brought to him by some peasants.

Owing to the height of the surrounding mountains and narrowness of
the gorge, no distant views of the monastery are obtained; and the
traveller comes very suddenly on the imposing pile, which, from
its extent, resembles a small village. Without being remarkable in
architecture, it is decidedly picturesque; the high pitch of the roofs,
rendered necessary by the heavy falls of snow which occur during seven
months of the year, and its six belfries rising to various heights,
give it a striking and quaint appearance.

Before entering its solemn portals, a few words on the origin and
history of the monastery may not be out of place. S. Bruno, after
quitting the world, selected this spot, at the invitation of S. Hugh,
the holy Bishop of Grenoble, as a suitable place where, in imitation of
the fathers of the desert, he, with six disciples, might lead a life
of solitude and prayer. At first each recluse built himself a separate
cell; but in time, as their number increased, the rude huts grew into
a large and regular monastery. The site of this early settlement,
now marked by the Chapel of S. Bruno and Notre Dame de Cassalibus,
was higher than that of the present structure, which was chosen some
thirty years after the death of the holy founder, when the original
buildings were destroyed by an avalanche. During its long existence,
many have been the vicissitudes the convent has experienced; frequently
burnt almost to the ground, pillaged by ruthless nobles or fanatical
heretics, it has always risen again from its ruins; and in riches or in
poverty, in prosperity or in adversity, its inhabitants have given the
same noble example of austere virtue, unbounded charity, and generous
hospitality.

The Revolution of 1789 found the Carthusian order at the height of its
prosperity; in France alone it counted no less than seventy houses,
with immense possessions in lands and revenues. These, of course, were
seized by revolutionary greed, and the poor monks driven forth into
the world, even from the uninviting solitudes of S. Bruno's desert.
With 1815 came the restoration of religion in France, and the return of
the scattered members of the religious orders. The Grande Chartreuse
once more afforded shelter to the children of S. Bruno, but bereft
of all its lands and forests, which had been either expropriated by
the state or sold as national property. In July, 1816, possession was
taken in the name of the order by Dom Moissonnier, superior-general. A
happy day it was for the inhabitants of the surrounding country, who
had not forgotten the kind and generous friends of whom they had been
deprived for twenty-four years; and the welcome they gave the returning
fathers proves that then, as to-day, the cry against religious orders
proceeded, not from the people, but from that class, more noisy than
numerous, whose sole aim is the destruction of Christianity and the
gratification of their own evil passions.

The part of the building reserved for the reception of strangers forms
one side of the spacious courtyard, into which you enter through the
principal gateway; it contains four large dining-halls and a great
number of bed-rooms, often, however, insufficient for the visitors who
in the summer crowd to view this lovely spot, and to see something of
that wondrous, and in our days unfamiliar, institution--monastic life.

During one's stay at the monastery, which, unless by special
permission, is limited to three days, one must be content with
Carthusian fare--a curious mixture of vegetable soups, omelettes,
carp--of which there seems to be a never-failing supply--and wild
fruits from the mountains. Meat is never allowed within the precincts
of the convent; not even in case of serious illness is the rule relaxed
for the monks.

The long walk and the invigorating purity of the mountain air had
sharpened my appetite, and I did ample justice to the viands placed
before me, meagre in quality certainly, but not in quantity, finishing
with a glass of the famous _liqueur_. I contented myself with a short
stroll after dinner, as at so high an altitude the air is cool after
sunset; indeed, few are the evenings here, even at midsummer, that
people are not glad to assemble for a short time around the glowing
logs before retiring to rest.

At midnight, the great bell tolls forth for matins, at which the
visitor is permitted to assist in a small gallery looking into the
church. A solitary lamp lights but dimly the large and naturally sombre
interior. It is an impressive sight to behold in that solemn gloom
the white-robed monks entering one by one, and, after prostrating
themselves before the altar, noiselessly take their places in the
choir. The office lasts until two in the morning. The chant is low and
monotonous, unaccompanied by any musical instrument.

Every morning at ten, a father whose special duty it is to entertain
visitors shows you over the monastery, explaining everything with the
most genial courtesy, answering with perfect affability the oftentimes
foolish and ignorant questions that are addressed to him. The visit
lasts about an hour and a half.

The chapel is spacious and lofty but exceedingly plain, and contains
nothing to interest the antiquarian. The largest room in the building
is the chapter-hall, which is finely proportioned, and is decorated
with portraits of the first fifty generals of the order, and copies of
the celebrated paintings by Lesueur representing the life of S. Bruno.

By far the most interesting part of the whole convent is the cloister,
in shape a very long parallelogram, the two side galleries being 721
feet in length; into them open the cells of the monks. In the centre of
the cloister is their burial-ground; and thus their abode in life is
separated by but a few steps from their final resting-place. The graves
of the generals of the order are alone marked by stone crosses; all
others lie beneath the greensward unmarked, unnamed. The cells are now
but rarely shown. They are all alike, consisting of two rooms one above
the other; each has a small garden. Food is passed to the inmates
through a wicket opening into the corridor of the cloister; for it is
only on Sundays and certain feast-days that the monks dine in common in
the refectory; even then the strictest silence is observed.

The library is not extensive; the most valuable books and manuscripts
were given, at the Revolution, to different public libraries. The
_liqueur_ for which the Grande Chartreuse is so renowned, and which now
forms the principal source of income for the convent, is manufactured
in a house quite apart from the main buildings. The process is, of
course, not shown to visitors, for the recipe used--aromatic herbs of
various kinds--is kept a secret; and hitherto all attempts to imitate
this _liqueur_ have been failures. The manufacture occupies a large
staff of lay brothers. The fathers take no part in it; their lives are
purely contemplative. It takes fully two days to explore the environs,
and more time may profitably be spent in doing so should the tourist
happen to be either an artist or a botanist. The former will find
numberless points of view worthy to adorn his album, while the latter
will revel in the luxuriance of the wondrous flora which clothes the
neighboring hills. The lover of mountain-climbing will find a pleasant
and easy day's work in the ascent of the Grand Som, and on a fine day
will be amply repaid by the extensive prospect the summit commands.
The less enterprising will probably be satisfied with the many pleasant
walks through the woods and sloping pastures that surround the
monastery, of which varied and striking views may be obtained at every
turn.

It was not without a feeling of sincere regret that, on the last
evening of my stay, I ascended one of those slopes to take a farewell
view of the venerable pile. The last rays of the setting sun lit up the
high-pitched roofs and cross-topped belfries; a solemn silence reigned
in cloister and courtyard, in chapel and cell. It was a scene on which
one could gaze with unmixed pleasure, awakening as it did in the mind
feelings so calm and peaceful--a scene so full of all that spoke of
future hopes, so empty of all that recalled the fleeting joys of the
present!

But the sun had sunk behind the horizon, and the shades of evening,
fast closing around, warned me that it was time to cease my musings,
and seek, for the last time, the shelter of the hospitable convent-roof.

Early next morning, I was back again to the noisy world, with its
crowded streets, bustling hotels, and busy railways; but I shall
ever bear in my memory the pleasant recollections of that wonderful
combination of the austere charms of monastic life with the most varied
beauties of nature, which I have endeavored to describe in these few
pages on La Grande Chartreuse.



TO NATURE.


    Nature, to me thy face has ever been
      Familiar as a mother's; yet it grows
      But younger with the wearing years, and shows
    Fresher--unlike all others I have seen.

    The "beings of the mind," though "not of clay"--
      "Essentially immortal,"[45] and "a joy
      For ever"[46]--even these may pall and cloy,
    For all that poets gloriously say.

    Yea, and thy own charms, Nature, when portrayed
      By hand of man, become the spoil of time.
      The seasons mar, not change, them: in sublime
    Repose they reign--but evermore to fade.

    Whence comes, then, thy perennial youth renewed?
      Thy freshness as of everlasting morn?
      God's breath is on thee. Of it thou wast born,
    And with its fragrance is thy life bedewed.

    Nor can I need aught sterner than thy face
      To wean me from the things that pass away.
      _Not_ by autumnal lesson of decay,
    Or vernal hymn of renovating grace,

    But by this fragrance of the Infinite;
      For here my soul catches her native air,
      And tastes the ever fresh, the ever fair,
    That wait her in the Gardens of Delight.

  LAKE GEORGE, August, 1873.

FOOTNOTES:

[45]

    "The beings of the mind are not of clay:
      Essentially immortal, they create
    And multiply in us a brighter ray
      And more belov'd existence."

                                  --_Byron._

[46]

    "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever."

                                          --_Keats._



PARIS HOSPITALS


                FROM THE FRENCH OF M. L'ABBE O. DELARC.

Hospitals convey two very different impressions. If gone over on
the day specified for public admittance, everything will be found
in perfect order, every article used, every place, will shine with
cleanliness; the patients will be seen lying under white coverlets
behind the folds of neatly drawn curtains, and the men in attendance
will be attired in their best uniforms. Every repulsive object has
been put out of sight. But should the visitor command sufficient
influence to obtain admission when he is not expected, when no
preparations have been made for the public, he will acquire a more
correct idea of human infirmity. The atmosphere is thick and heavy,
the flickering night-lamp scarcely sheds its pale light around. Here
lies one whose groans disturb his fellow-sufferers; there shrieks the
victim of fever, endeavoring in his delirium to tear away from the
_infirmier_ who is holding him down; further on, half-closed curtains
insufficiently conceal the mortal remains of such or such a "Number,"
who expired a few hours ago. Other details, too harrowing to retrace,
shall be omitted, but their fearful reality may not be lost sight of
in a faithful account of what scenes do occur in a hospital. A heavy
coffin is from time to time viewed at the foot of one of the beds. It
awaits the corpse of the sufferer, with whom his nearest survivor may
have exchanged converse on the preceding day. These, in short, are
some of the sights witnessed without the delusive cover of science or
preparations for a public exhibition.

The aversion of the poor for benevolent institutions of this kind is
hereby explained, although incessant efforts are being made in France
to improve the condition of hospitals in a material point of view;
and all the objections now made are to be attributed to mismanagement
in the past rather than to shortcomings in the present. In spite of
progress, nevertheless, the word "hospice" and the thing itself have
retained a signification which is replete with mournful forebodings. On
the other hand, repugnance for hospitals is perfectly legitimate when
grounded on serious motives, and especially when inspired by a feeling
of family love. That man would be worthless indeed who could abandon
his relatives to public charity without experiencing some kind of
sorrow at being unable to keep them, through a trying illness, in his
own home. Examples of moral desertions are nevertheless too frequent
in Paris. Physicians are well acquainted with those sham patients who
prefer hospital bread to any other, because they have not to earn it.
There are, however, certain adversities here below which defy all human
foresight, which destroy old-established positions, and render the
efforts of a whole laborious lifetime unprofitable. A large portion
of some lives is spent in contending with unforeseen, unsuspected
vicissitudes. Many may therefore die in a hospital who deserved better;
but, as a general rule, this end is brought on by a long course of
dissipation, and by oblivion of the most sacred duties. A hospital is
not unfrequently the last _stage_ on which retribution is played out.

When families are averse to trust their sick to public charity for
reasons given above, it is wise not to argue with natural pride,
founded, after all, on a praiseworthy motive; yet all who are anxious
to relieve the suffering members of Jesus Christ are none the less
bound to improve the present condition of hospitals, as far as they
have it in their power so to do.

The following pages are published for the purpose of showing how much
there is to be done. Not all the good-will nor all the experiments
tried by physicians, managers, and almoners for the alleviation of
bitter suffering, will ever be superfluous. Objections ever will be
made to hospital treatment that cannot be remedied; and, do what we
may, the most active Christian charity will never replace the tender
care of a mother, daughter, or sister.

After a careful examination of the question, the first lesson acquired
is that home relief is the best solution to the problem of misery and
illness in needy families; it encourages the lower classes, besides, to
perform their domestic duties.

In one case out of ten, it is highly prejudicial to remove a patient
from his surroundings; moreover, it loosens the family tie, and in
Paris especially, where these bonds are so slight and so incessantly
undermined by false theories, it is a more damaging course than
elsewhere.

Statistics are very justly resorted to for the solution of many of our
problems, but their conclusions cannot be blindly adopted in medical
cases; physicians themselves often warn us against glancing them over
without investigation. Figures do, however, undeniably prove that
mortality in hospitals is much larger than in private dwellings. A
considerable number of patients, to whom fresh air is a boon, cannot
breathe a vitiated atmosphere with impunity. Crowding is particularly
prejudicial to the wounded and in lying-in hospitals. "In 1861," says
Dr. Brochin, in his _Encyclopædia of Medical Sciences_, "the proportion
of patients cured by home relief was 49 to 100, while the proportion
of deaths in private dwellings was 9 to 100. During this same period,
deaths in the hospitals were 13 to 100. The average space of time
required for the treatment of each patient in his own home is from 14
to 39 days; in the hospitals, from 25 to 83. The average cost of a
patient per day is 1 fr. 19 c.; the entire treatment of each, 16 frs.
90 c.; whereas, in the hospitals, a patient costs 2 frs. 25 c. per day,
and 61 frs. 45 c. for an entire cure. These figures plead in favor of
home relief."

A great deal has been said in these latter times of those immense
edifices pompously called "Model Hospitals." There is Lariboisière,
for instance, and the new Hôtel Dieu. It would have been wiser had the
government spent less in one instance, and been more lavish in another;
for, while these magnificent buildings were being erected, palaces were
also in course of construction all over the capital, and the laboring
classes, thus driven from their workshops, were compelled to seek
lodgings up in attics or in out-of-the-way localities. If some trouble
had been taken to cleanse and widen the poor man's tenement, or had
something been done towards putting him in the way of getting food at
little cost, we should boast fewer façades, fewer sumptuous edifices,
but the work would be more meritorious.

Physicians have energetically opposed the idea of accumulating so large
a number of patients in the Hôtel Dieu as it was originally intended
it should contain. Let us trust the observations of experienced men
will be taken into consideration, and that the number of beds will be
diminished before final arrangements are completed.


HOSPITAL BEDS.

Our beds are too close; and another thing which strikes a foreigner
on visiting our hospitals is that the divisions which are supposed
to seclude one patient from his neighbor, are perfectly useless for
that purpose. In many cases, they are done away with altogether. The
proximity of beds varies, however, according to the different asylums.
Some of the buildings were not intended for hospitals, and their
managers have had to turn rooms into wards in the best way they could,
in spite of defective architecture. It is difficult to specify the
exact distance kept between the beds; but an idea can be conveyed when
I state that any patient, by stretching his arm out, without any great
exertion could easily touch his neighbor's hand.

In many hospitals, the beds have been coupled by two and two, so that,
if two patients are thus closer to each other on one side, the distance
is larger from other patients on the opposite side.

There is, however, always space enough left for a night-table between
every two beds. In most hospitals, beds are hung round with white
calico curtains; but in some asylums they are omitted, and in these
there is literally nothing to hide patients from view. Such a system
of total exposure is perfectly inhuman. I should say it originates in
a spirit of _medical socialism_; for it compels sufferers to exhibit
their wounds to each other during the doctor's visit. Some men and all
women cannot endure this ordeal without a struggle. Why not sympathize
with that which can be alleviated, if not entirely cured? What would
be our feelings if, when brought low by fever and diet, we had to lie
near a man who is breathing his last, and to remain in full view of
his corpse for long hours after he had expired? But, as before said,
the larger number of hospital beds are hung round with curtains,
maintained in opposition to our Paris doctors, who have repeatedly
protested against them, insisting that all hangings draw unwholesome
miasms, and are therefore receptacles of contagion. This objection is
not unfounded; eminent practitioners experience great uneasiness on the
subject, and the curtain difficulty has often been debated by managers
of sanitary institutions.

Endeavors have been made to obviate the evil by a renewal of hangings
every six months; in spite of the great expense, the difficulty exists.
It is next to impossible to ventilate a ward encumbered to excess
with beds and hangings; and, if the principals of hospitals do still
advocate curtains, it is because they are actuated by motives of a
_moral_ order. In M. Husson's _Study of Hospitals_ we find: "These
calico divisions are a great comfort to female patients; it is a great
relief to them to be able to conceal their diseases from the public
gaze, and thus to isolate themselves from surrounding wretchedness.
This feeling of modesty, or shyness in other cases, will long resist
the most eloquent exhortations of our doctors on general salubrity."

Our present hospital regulations do not carry out the purpose for which
curtains are intended. It is usual to draw them all back at eight A.M.,
and they are left open until the doctor's visit is over and the wards
have been swept. This lasts till about mid-day. The consequence of
this arrangement is that, during the most delicate operations, such as
the dressing of wounds, the doctor's examination, and the change of a
patient's linen, there is no sort of privacy around the sufferer, no
more consideration shown for women and young girls than for others.
In the day-time, another regulation prevails. Inspectors forbid
concealment behind the curtains on account of the difficulty they would
experience on surveying proceedings in the wards. For these reasons,
the curtains are elegantly looped aside, and contribute more to the
decoration of the beds than to use.

Every ward contains two rows of beds, placed along the lateral walls in
such wise that the patient's head is near the wall, and his feet turn
towards the centre of the ward. Why could not a low partition, covered
over with stucco, be raised between each bed? This separation need not
exceed 1 metre 50 centimetres in height, nor 1 metre 50 centimetres
in width. It would part the beds, and not obstruct ventilation in the
upper regions or down the central passage. If the ward were lighted by
a sufficient number of windows to allow of one being opened in each
of these "cells," the circulation of so much fresh air would greatly
benefit the sick.

The front of each cell being open, surveyors would find their task
rendered easy, neither would their inspection be hindered by a small
iron rod being affixed to the outer side of each partition, on which
two light curtains might be drawn in case of a death, or when it were
absolutely necessary that a patient should enjoy privacy. The slight
screens would not entail the same inconvenience as those which are in
use at present, as they are mounted on a very complicated plan all
around the beds. Whenever a decease occurs, the stucco coating of the
low divisions should be washed with a sponge. It is well known that
stucco is not a receptacle for contagion in the same degree as drapery.

Such is the kind of cabinet each patient should have to himself, and
it should be wide enough for a chair and night-table to find place by
his bedside. These and a crucifix are the indispensable articles every
patient has a right to. This system would greatly simplify our hospital
beds, now consisting of so many and such cumbersome pieces.

A little space might possibly be lost; a ward now containing
twenty-five patients would only hold eighteen; but, on the other hand,
what an improvement, and how much healthier an arrangement in a medical
point of view!

Patients have certain communications to make to their friends on the
days set aside for public admission which are not intended for the
hearing of strangers; and, when the hour of death is nigh, it is but
natural they should be allowed to hold converse with their relatives
without any witnesses. Even this semi-retirement is denied them
under the present system; whereas the plan proposed would secure the
preservation of family secrets. It will, perhaps, be alleged that the
patient would thus be isolated from his fellow-sufferers. By no means.
As above remarked, the cells would be open down the central passage,
and each patient could see his opposite neighbor. This, added to
the going to and fro of _infirmiers_, doctors, sisters, and regular
visitors, affords quite enough excitement for an invalid.

Neither is this an innovation. It was once tried at Munich, and, if but
imperfectly carried out, no hygienic objection was made to it. We find
this organization existed in one of the oldest hospitals in France,
the Tonnerre Hôtel Dieu--a monument described by M. Viollet Leduc in
his work, _Dictionnaire Raisonné de l'Architecture Française du XI.
au XVI. Siècle_. The learned writer says this institution can bear
comparison with the most boasted foundations of the present day. In
the archives of the Tonnerre Hospital we find the following document.
I quote because it forcibly reminds us of S. Vincent de Paul: "The
poor are provided for in this institution, and the convalescent are
kept a whole week after their cure, when they are sent away with a
coat, a shirt, and a pair of boots. A chapel will be added having four
altars. The brothers and sisters in charge are twenty in number; they
are bound to provide food and drink for the wayfarer; to board pilgrims
and strangers, clothe the poor, visit the sick, comfort the prisoner,
and bury the dead. The brothers and sisters will not take their meals
before the sick have been attended to...."

On closing this paragraph, a question arises whether people in the
dark, middle ages were not more solicitous for the poor than in the
XVIIIth century. A glance down a report written for Louis XV. on the
Hôtel Dieu will corroborate this.

We shall doubtless hear it objected that partitions between hospital
beds will inconvenience the doctors and medical students; that it will
be difficult to approach patients; and young physicians will declare
they cannot follow the _chef's_ instructions near enough. It will be
said, further, that, when any operation is going on, the limited space
allowed by a narrow cell must exclude the use of surgical instruments.

The following considerations clear the first of these objections;
but, in a strict sense of the word, the only essential thing is
that the physician should not be impeded in his movements round the
sufferer. He, his assistants, and about seven or eight more are all the
spectators necessary, and these form a sufficiently large audience. The
central passage down all wards affords room for more. Even as the beds
are now placed, it is not easy for a larger number to get nearer.

As to operations, they are carried on in a special hall, to which the
patient is carried; patients never are operated on in the wards.


THE DOCTOR'S VISIT.

The great everyday occurrence in a hospital is the doctor's visit.
It begins at about eight A.M., and lasts till eleven. The _chef_, a
term designating the head-physician, examines each sufferer in turn,
inquires into his or her state, and dictates prescriptions, which
are taken down by an outdoor student. He is also attended by indoor
students, other outdoor students, postulants, and auditors. The two
latter must have gone through a course of two years' study before they
are privileged to walk the hospitals. The postulant is not admitted
before he has gone through a special examination, and then becomes an
outdoor student. The highest degree under doctor is that of an indoor
student; all are, therefore, familiar with medical science excepting
the auditor, who, though he may have studied two years in the schools,
is but a dilettante--a kind of amateur authorized by the _chef_ to
follow him on his rounds with the students. Many even call themselves
auditors who slip in unperceived with the crowd. When the head-doctor
is followed by all these young men, his _cortége_ is very numerous.
There are often as many as fifty in our principal hospitals, seldom
less than thirty in the minor ones. Thus, without any amplification
of a known fact, a patient has to see about forty strangers round his
bed every day. He is operated on in public. Not a line of his features
contracted by pain escapes the notice of indifferent spectators; not a
motion of his muscles is unheeded. The professor meanwhile develops his
medical theories on the living body, studying the "case" with care.

Let us for a moment imagine that your own daughter is lying at the
hospital. She is twenty; you have brought her up with all the care
and solicitude parents owe to their children; you have often said in
her hearing that modesty is the loveliest adornment; that it replaces
whatever else is wanting, and can be replaced by nothing. For twenty
years, you have watched the growth of her budding virtues; her
Christian advancement has been your daily care. Her state now requires
she should see an eminent physician once every day. Look into your
heart. What is the sensation you feel there at the idea of her being
examined by forty or fifty medical students besides?

It is an indignant protest against their attendance.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is the mission of a priest to be made the confidant of many sorrows;
he has to suffer with the sufferer, to mourn with the mourner; and
he can state that, of all trials which attend medical treatment in
hospitals, there is not one more distasteful than the doctor's visit,
especially to women. I appeal to any who have heard patients converse
together; I appeal to any brother in the ministry. Is this not the
great cause of repugnance for hospitals?

On the other hand, medical science has certain rights; doctors have
to go through an apprenticeship, practitioners must follow a course
of practice on living beings before they are qualified for operations;
it is therefore indispensable that the head-doctor should be followed
by disciples, and the height of absurdity to require he should go
round the wards alone. It is necessary, likewise, that postulants and
students should be present; for it frequently occurs that they are
called on to dress wounds during the doctor's absence.

Their attendance is consequently unavoidable; but, this being the case,
it is all the more desirable, in the name of female modesty, and in the
name of common respect for a needy suffering female, that the presence
of noisy _auditors_ should be done away with. They crowd the wards,
and learn very little. It should be with medical science as with every
other: students ought to have become familiar with the rudiments and
theories of their profession before they practice; and a few years
in the private schools should be gone through before beginners walk
the hospitals. The crowd is perfectly intolerable at the hour of the
doctor's visit in our best hospitals, especially at the _Cliniques_
and _Charité_. This might be remedied by each medical student being
bound to keep to one asylum for an allotted space of time, let us say
one year, after which he could be removed to another. One of the good
effects instantly resulting from this would be that our central city
hospitals, instead of being crowded to the neglect of others, would
find the number of spectators greatly thinned for the benefit of minor
hospitals now forsaken. The great thing in all questions relating
to benevolent asylums is to examine whence the stand-point is taken
for their consideration. Two principles present themselves: common
sense and humanity say that physicians and surgeons are intended
for hospitals, not hospitals for physicians and surgeons. Medical
science--and here we allude to the materialistic and unsound branch of
that science--replies: "By no means. Inconvenience must be tolerated,
science and progress go foremost."

Let us manfully, though sadly, give up a share for scientific progress
(which is not an imaginary thing); and, on looking into it, let us
reflect on the bitterness of that irony which so often leaves us to
utter the word _equality_, coupled with that other word, _fraternity_,
which is just as little understood. Hospitals will not answer the end
for which they were instituted until the smallest of those who flee
hither to hide their misery and sufferings obtain the same respect,
deference, and care lavished on the man who owns a yearly income.

Some time ago, a woman afflicted with an internal disease was carried
to a hospital. The head-doctor examined her on the following morning,
and immediately concluded that her case was too grave to be remedied.

He declared any attempt made to operate on her would prove fatal and
hasten death; the only thing he could do was to prescribe lenients,
in order to alleviate intense agony so long as life held out. The
young students around him urgently insisted on the operation being
performed; whereupon the physician, turning towards them, and finding
expostulation unprofitable, said: "If this patient were my wife,
gentlemen, I should not attempt what you suggest, I should leave her
in peace; you must, therefore, not expect me to do otherwise by this
woman...."

Such words as these should be engraved in letters of gold on the hearts
of all practitioners.


THE POOR MAN'S DEATH.

A fact that has often been set forth by Christianity is that the
secrets of man are revealed on his death-bed. Then it is that
every syllable he utters, every motion of his spirit, are full of
significance. The smallest sign is a ray of light by which a whole
lifetime can be read; and, if the amount of faith in a man is thus
disclosed, how easy it is to compute the amount of faith in a nation
from what is supplied by observation in so many single cases!

_O mors! bonum est judicium tuum!_--O death! thy judgments are
equitable!

No man is better qualified than the priest to look into this matter. A
large portion of his time is spent by the dying, and my own personal
experience has confirmed me in the following observations.

The most striking features as regards faith in the dying are moral
dejection and an almost total absence of hope. These are the inevitable
consequences of the efforts which have for some time been made to
uproot religious principle from the hearts of the people. It is no
wonder that hope fled with her divine sister, faith. Can any thinker
form a notion of the state of a man who has been down-trodden all his
life, who has been looked on as a bearer of burdens and a _misérable_,
and who has nothing to hope for in a future state?

We read in Holy Writ that, when the waters of the deluge began to
decrease, and Noe looked out of his ark after his arduous struggle
with the elements, he saw a dove, bearing an olive-branch, fly towards
him; the bird was the herald of good news, the harbinger of future
deliverance.

Our poor, when exhausted by long adversity, look out in vain for the
dove, and that hope which carries peace and help seldom brightens their
last moments. Death to such as these is nothing but acquiescence in
blind fate. What can a priest do in such cases? Teach and enlighten.
Very true; but the patient's physical condition does not give him much
time to do this thoroughly, nor can the sufferer always attend to the
little the priest can do. The thing left to be tried is the awakening
of the dying man's memory. The priest therefore recalls the scenes of
boyhood, talks of a mother's teachings, of the village church, the
long-forgotten first communion, etc., etc. If the poor man come from
the South or from Alsace, the _patois_ of his native place rouses
wonderful reminiscences; but it is useless to attempt reasoning. A
plain-spoken statement of fact that is neither commonplace nor trivial
often creates a great impression. It is a mistake to use unrefined
phraseology in the hope of redeeming the illiterate by descending to
the level of their intelligence; the lower classes prefer plain but
elevated language, and value the price of the liquid according to
the cost of the vase in which it is contained. Returns to God in the
last day are very scarce and always leave much room for the mercy
of the Almighty; but it is something to have brought about a desire
for the last sacraments, and to have been able to set forth, though
imperfectly, one or two of the great truths of Christianity.

Three dissolving elements have greatly hastened the degenerate
condition of Paris workmen, and, in general, of the lower classes in
this capital. They are the wine-shop, the club, and the journal.

The enormous rate at which wine was taxed under the Empire forced the
heads of small families to give up keeping a provision of _ordinaire_
in their cellars; and, as wine could not be kept at home, it had to
be fetched from the nearest wine-shop. There was also an additional
reason why the usual barrel could not be kept. Houses no longer afford
the luxury of a cellar to each flat, and those who could have afforded
to pay the duties had no room for a cask of wine from the provinces.
But there was the wine-shop; and alcoholic mixtures, colored with
dyeing tinctures or logwood, were resorted to instead of the wholesome
draught of thin but unadulterated wine which every Frenchman, a few
years ago, was so accustomed to. When once the habit is acquired of
turning in at a wine-shop, many are the baneful results which ensue;
first drunkenness, then extravagance, bad associates, low talk and
discussions round the counter, broils--all of which soon get the better
of an originally upright conscience unsupported by firm principle.

The evil effects of drink were never known to breed in France such
a cankerous wound as that which has spread among us since the siege
and the _Commune_. Prior to these melancholy events, alcoholic
patients were only now and then brought to our hospitals, but they
have increased out of all proportion within the last few years.
There can be no mistaking such cases with the following symptoms:
delirium, inflammation of the lungs, extraordinary irritability, then
languor and that sudden debility which is the forerunner of death. No
sooner did a _Communist_ suffer amputation than he expired; for it is
almost impossible to operate on men who are in a continual state of
intoxication.

Paris clubs were first heard of towards the end of the Empire. M. Emile
Ollivier thought a good deal of these gatherings; but they have, in
reality, proved to be a most disastrous institution. The only good
they accomplished was to propagate a correct idea of the _intellectual
and moral degeneracy_ of our people. The lower classes met for no
other purpose than that of uniting all their ignorance and hates.
What errors, what curses, fell from those short-lived tribunes! What
frantic applause welcomed false theories! No European nation could
have resisted this trial, much less than any other the French, who are
so credulous, so fickle, so sensitive to all outward impressions. The
seeds which bore such noxious fruit under the _Commune_ were first sown
within Paris clubs.

As to the public press, it would be loss of time and space to
demonstrate how that has contributed to general demoralization. The
_Siècle_, the _Opinion Nationale_, etc., are read at all wine-shops.
The smallest fault or misdemeanor committed by any one connected
with the clergy is exposed by these journals to general scandal,
aggravated by spiteful comment, exaggerated, then thrown as a rare
morsel to open-mouthed multitudes. Such manœuvres are very hurtful
with an unenlightened populace, who never discriminate between
religion and those who profess it. To them the priest and the faith
are synonymous. If the former is immoral, the latter can be good for
nothing. A certain amount of logic is wanting by which the contrary
could be demonstrated; but the larger proportion are incapacitated for
so intellectual an effort. It would lead too far were I to analyze
more closely the workings of the three causes which have destroyed our
religious and moral convictions. Suffice it that the wine-shop, the
club, and the journal have exercised a pernicious influence, and that
our working-classes have not the means in their power wherewith to
avert it so long as their education is considered complete at the age
of _twelve_. From the day a mechanic commences an apprenticeship, he
never hears the name of God, unless it is coupled with some curse on
the lips of his elders. The church, Jesus Christ, the sacraments, soon
become objects of derision.

In short, the end of such an educational system and of such a life is
that the poor man who is carried to a Paris hospital, there to die,
knows that he will no sooner have breathed his last than his body will
belong to medical students; and as to his soul, that better part which,
had it been cultured, would have been a glorious harvest for eternity,
he cannot comprehend any discourse concerning it; if compelled to
listen because he cannot help himself, he falls back on his pillow in
morose indifference.

When a nation, once so devout, has come to this, some anxiety is felt
for its future; and the words addressed to Ezechiel the prophet rise to
our lips: "Lord, can a new life ever animate these scattered bones?"


THE POOR MAN'S BURIAL.

The deeper we dive into the subject of Paris hospitals, the more are
we impressed by the melancholy spectacle of extreme misery presented.
It is as if we stepped into Dante's circles, and saw nothing before us
but horror; only here we look stern facts in the face, and have nothing
to do with grand poetic conceptions. It is life, it is reality, it is
anguish in a most poignant form; for I have now to speak of the mortal
remains of Christians, of brothers, of men like ourselves. When a death
occurs in the Paris hospitals, the corpse of the departed remains
for one or two hours in the ward, after which space of time it is
enveloped in a sheet and carried out on a litter by two _infirmiers_.

None who have ever seen this abandoned _cortége_ will forget it. The
corpse is instantly conveyed to an amphitheatre, where it is left,
after being stripped of every thread of linen which covered it. Here
it lies for forty-eight hours or more, according to the arrangements
made by relatives, or to orders received from the authorities. When no
objections are made by relatives, indoor and outdoor students proceed
to the autopsy of the body.

Laws and regulations have been laid down, by which a certain number
only of dead bodies are allowed for medical science; but these rules
are frequently infringed, and too much precipitation has often been the
cause of needless distress in poor families.

When the necessary formalities have been gone through, the corpses
in the amphitheatre are divided into two series: those claimed by
relatives, and those which are left to public charity.

We shall see what becomes of both, after a few preliminary
considerations.

The mortal remains of all Christians are sacred in the eyes of
Catholics. We never erect a temple, or build an altar, without
consecrating a spot therein for the relics of a saint, which lie thus
honored, like the corner-stone of an edifice.

Neither does the church authorize Mass to be said in any place not
having a consecrated place for relics; and on such alone may the body
and blood of Christ rest during the holy sacrifice.

Our belief in the resurrection of the body; our assurance that
Christians will, on a future judgment day, either rise in glory or
stand to hear their eternal condemnation, renders it impossible for us
to look on the mortal remains of Christians as do materialists and the
professors of unbelief. What to the latter is nothing but a dead body,
a fit object for study, is to us a sacred deposit whence immortality
will germinate. It is, therefore, no wonder if Catholics are so
solicitous to obtain proper burial for such remains. In this instance,
as in all others, Christianity is in perfect harmony with the tenderest
aspirations of our kindred.

When it so happens that relatives of the deceased can afford to pay
down the sum of fourteen francs (eight for a coffin, and six for the
municipal tax), a bier is provided, and the body is buried; if the
deceased leaves behind enough money to cover the above expenses, he is
buried in like manner, and, if any sum remains over, it is employed
according to the will expressed by the deceased. In some cases,
survivors are willing to incur more expense than that which is included
in an outlay of fourteen francs; for, although this insignificant sum
is sufficient for a coffin, it does not suffice for a shroud nor for
any body-linen.[47] Moreover, if the family cannot afford to pay fifty
francs over and above the fourteen required, the body is interred in
the common grave.

The common grave! What a train of sad thought this lugubrious idea
gives rise to! It is no longer, thank God! what it was; the bodies
are not now thrown, as before, pell-mell in a deep grave. A coffin is
provided for each, according to the rule given above; but even in our
days, the burial of a poor man is not what it should be.

Fancy a long ditch, in which the coffins are sunk as close as possible,
and in juxtaposition; the spaces between are filled up with children's
coffins, so as to leave no intervening space. When the soil is covered
over this vast grave, it is not possible for each to have a cross
above, and it is impossible, likewise, for relatives to know the exact
spot occupied by the remains of a beloved parent. Grave-diggers have,
of late, had orders to allow more room for the coffins; but until
a radical rule is enforced, and until each corpse is authorized to
have a separate grave, relatives of the departed are at the mercy of
grave-diggers.

However narrow and confined the space thus left for each coffin in
the common grave, that small share is only allowed for five years.
After that short length of time, the bodies are exhumed, and the bones
gathered to the catacombs. The big ditch, now vacated, again yawns for
what the diggers call "a fresh set," and soon the work of decomposition
again silently commences for another term of five years, and so on for
all time.

Leaving every other consideration aside, does it not strike every
reader that the period allowed for rest in the common grave is much too
short? Many bodies are dug up in good preservation when thus brutally
disturbed, and there are persons who can testify to the horror they
have experienced when called on, by some untoward circumstance, to be
present at these impious exhumations.

I shall not add to it by overdrawing this sufficiently painful picture;
it does not become the pen of a priest to color with such ghastly
elements. My object is simply to state plain facts--to be exact, and
not leave room for the slightest contradiction.

Arguments have been advanced in favor of the good influence of this
supreme misery of the common grave. It is hoped that such an end
will be avoided, and that it will carry a lesson with it--a horror
for relying on public charity; but it nevertheless deals a direct
blow at every feeling of respect for kith and kin. Is not the grief
caused by eternal partings deep enough, without being increased by our
acquiescence in the total abandonment of the tomb?

Any one in authority who could suppress the common grave, and give
every poor man separate burial--any one who, having done this, could
render such a tomb inviolable for a reasonable term of years, would
confer an immense blessing on Parisians.

When M. Haussmann gave out the project of a large burial-ground at
Méry-sur-Oise, it met with opposition in all quarters. It was alleged
that to send corpses out of Paris by special railway conveyances would
be considered disrespectful to the dead. But, we would inquire, is the
present system of interment in the common grave calculated to inspire
respect? The distance of a few miles, of even a few leagues, would be
nothing compared with the privilege of a separate tombstone over a
separate grave; and it would be much wiser to have remote cemeteries,
provided they were hospitable. This question of the common grave not
only interests those who die within the hospitals; it is also of
importance to the indigent wherever they die in misery--a state many
have fallen into since the war and the _Commune_.

The above disclosures are certainly very melancholy, and yet I have
only described the case of the more fortunate among the poor--of those
who have, after all, a hallowed spot to rest in after death. There are
some to whom even this boon is denied.

The interests of science and those of families being here antagonistic,
it is necessary to quote a few figures:

On the 1st January, 1867, the number of sick in the Paris hospitals was
6,243. In the course of that year, the number was increased by 90,375;
total, 96,618. Out of this total, 79,897 left the hospitals cured;
10,045 had died. There remained, therefore, on the 1st January of the
following year, 6,676 sick persons. In 1869, the number of invalids in
the hospitals was 93,355, out of which 82,283 left cured; 10,429 had
died on the 31st December of the same year.

We have, in short, an average of 10,000 deaths every year; and the
result shown by the above furthermore is that the proportion of deaths
to invalids is about that of 1 to 8½. I will not dwell on this latter
conclusion, which, however, proves the danger of accumulating a large
number of cases under the same roof, and also the necessity of a
reform in our establishments. I will pass on to the 10,000 deaths
resulting from the report. In this average number, there are from
1,000 to 1,500 claimed by relatives, who purchase a right of separate
burial for _fifty_ francs; and there are from 3,500 to 4,000 who are
conveyed to the common grave. The remaining 5,000, not claimed by any
relative or friend, are dissected, either at the Ecole de Médecine
or at the Rue Fer-à-Moulin. These corpses are used after dissection
for the manufacture of skeletons, for anatomical institutions, for
museums, etc., etc. The _detritus_ collected when these purposes have
been accomplished are carried promiscuously in biers to the Hospital
Cemetery, which is situated near the Fort of Bicètre, not far from Turg.

No spectacle can be more distressing than that of this cemetery, to
which access is gained by a side door in the wooden palings that
fence it round. It is a dreary plain, and has no sign to show it is
consecrated to the departed. The ridges look more like trenches than
graves. No living being has been led here by love to mark the mounds
with a cross, neither is this sign of redemption erected over the door,
as it is in the smallest hamlet; no holy-water is sprinkled over these
graves. Why should no difference be made here between a churchyard and
a public field? I again repeat that these 5,000 corpses are those of
the deceased not claimed by relatives; and this it is which constitutes
a striking inequality between the indigent who die in their own homes,
and those who die in the care of public charity. When a poor man dies
on his own bed, and has not left any provision for his burial, the
_mairie_ of his _arrondissement_ has to provide a coffin gratis, and
the municipal tax is suppressed; whereas no such generosity as a coffin
is granted in the hospitals. A man dying here without the fourteen
francs mentioned is carried to one or other of the amphitheatres. There
is no favor shown, even were the departed your own mother. Fourteen
francs for a ransom, or the heart of the parent that beat for you is
the prey of medical students. A priest is sent for when the corpses
have been dissected. It is then his duty to stand up, facing the
mutilated remains, and to read the prayers for the dead. When this
ceremony is over, they are conveyed to the hospital cemetery. Need I
insist that the religious rite performed as I have described is of
little consolation to those who are left behind? It is not a separate
service for each of the deceased; several bodies lie together, or
rather, the members of their bodies--a galling sight, which surviving
relatives avoid. Neither can it be defended; for, until the religious
ceremony has been performed, the remains are not collected in a
coffin; they lie unshrouded, a hideous exposure of human flesh.

I here repeat that I am not opposed to medical science, nor to the
dissection of certain corpses; it is an unavoidable process for the
benefit of progress in surgery, and for that of the living; what I have
in view is the welfare of the state as acquired by respect for ties of
kindred, and by veneration for the mortal remains of Christians.

There is a middle course to be adopted very evidently--a course by
which surgery and science generally would be promoted and the religious
convictions of Christians not trampled under foot. I propose that,
when any person claims the body of a parent or relative in the first
degree, that person should be privileged to obtain gratuitous burial,
if he or she prove utter incapacity to meet the expenses. This proof
is acquired by a certificate from the almshouses, by receipts from the
_Mont de Piété_ (Loan Bank), by a line from the _mairie_, and other
sources. A relative in the first degree implies a father, mother, wife,
husband, son or daughter, brother or sister. Even were grandfathers
and grandmothers included, the 5,000 corpses left to hospital charity
would not be greatly diminished; 4,000 bodies would remain at least for
dissection--those of wandering strangers, of lawless, unknown persons
mostly--and surely this is a high figure for the indigent population
of one capital. There are no better surgeons in Europe than those of
Göttingen, Wurzburg, Salerno, Montpellier, Vienna, and Berlin, and yet
these cities have not near so many dead bodies in their amphitheatres.

I say that a Christian must feel deeply for those who are left
without proper burial, a sign on their tombs, a stone to perpetuate
their memory for a few years. All this is replaced by the jests of
indifferent students; and, instead of the friendly parting kiss, there
is the surgeon's instrument on a loved brow.

O old reminiscences of the early catacombs! how far off, how faint, are
you now. Who is there in this large city that remembers what a work of
mercy it is to bury the dead? O village churchyards! in the centre of
which rises the humble church-spires; O graves! over which the fervent
kneel every Sunday--graves that never open to give up their dead; O
hallowed spots! around which thoughts of God are united with thoughts
of our dear ones, and where the past is folded, as it were, hand in
hand with the future, how do I prefer you to these grand cemeteries, in
which there is so much show for one or two, and nothing for the poor
man who will want no more!

FOOTNOTES:

[47] When an invalid enters a Paris hospital, the shirt he had on is
taken from him. It would be but charitable to return it to the family
in case of death.



A WEEK AT THE LAKE OF COMO.


For perfect quiet and certain inspiration, the poet or artist could
hardly choose a more suitable summer roost than any one of the villages
that fringe the Lake of Como; while for health the advantages of
this neighborhood are unrivalled. It combines the beauty of softened
lines and veiled colors that distinguishes Italy with that more
bracing atmosphere peculiar to Alpine countries. The lake is there
for luxurious midnight expeditions under the Italian sky--romantic
glidings in boats which, if neither so graceful nor so mysterious as
the gondolas of Venice, are yet picturesque enough in their--only
apparent--cumbersomeness; the mountains are there for English
pedestrian exercise, for long, delightful, tiring walks over crag and
scanty vineyard, and, beyond that, through chestnut woods and cypress
clearings, till the limit of bareness begins to warn you of Alpine
snows; excellent little hotels are there, hardly spoiled by the many
but quickly fleeting guests whom the shabby little black steamboat
brings in cargoes three times a day--hotels with clean, dapper
bed-rooms and bay windows overlooking the lake--hotels where you can
always get plenty of fresh milk and graceful Italian civility. Then
there are villas by the score, some to be hired, and many more utterly
forlorn and deserted; others well cared for, pleasantly tenanted by
happy, unpretending Italian families, and wearing a general air of
attractive, half-civilized rusticity. You feel that life must go on
very smoothly within their walls; that bright, artless women and
children chatter and laugh away their brief summer holiday in those
spacious verandas and vine-trellised piazzas; and that conventional
restraint is an unknown spirit there. You wish that you had a right to
enter such an abode, or money enough to create one for yourself just
for three months at a time; then may be you pass by another kind of
dwelling, with broad, grass-grown steps meeting the water like those of
the palaces of Venice; with a great rusty iron gate and railing showing
tarnished remains of heraldic gilding; with a garden now overgrown with
weeds, but whose tall hedges of box or ilex suggest the statuesque
style of the XVIIth century; with melancholy fountains innocent of
water, and Etruscan-shaped stone vases once filled with flowers, and
now holding only a little stagnant rainwater; with another flight of
gaunt steps leading up to a porch and innumerable stone balconies and
terraces notched with half-ruined carvings of the Renaissance; moss and
mould everywhere, life nowhere; funereal cypresses mounting guard over
mutilated statues of fauns and wood-nymphs; rats and mice peopling in
reality the marbled-paved halls of the mansion; and ghosts--in your
imagination--pacing up and down the broad, deserted corridors. Then,
if you are of a poetic turn of mind, you forget the brightness, the
freedom, the _laisser-aller_ of the peopled villas, and wish that you
were lord of this vast, melancholy, romantic pile, the natural scene
of some stately poem, the fitting frame of some picture like Millais'
pathetic "Huguenot Lover," the sure source of an inspiration lofty,
noble, vague, and richly proportioned. Everything is on a scale of
magnificence, such as suggests only extravagance to our dwarfed notions
of the proprieties of life; a modern visitor feels a pigmy in those
vast, re-echoing halls; he almost expects some Brobdingnag halberdier
in cloth of gold and scarlet to catch him up by the hair as some insect
curiosity, or at least to order him out as an impertinent intruder;
the great marble staircase seems to be alive with the shades of the
noble throngs who, in Spanish doublets, jewelled _toques_, needle-like
swords, and stiff neck-ruffs, used to parade the courtly scene--in
fact, he finds himself utterly overwhelmed by the phantoms of a
greatness that is dead; swamped by the flood of modern days that has
brought in a generation of monkeys to consume their lives in efforts to
fill the place of a generation of lions.

Again, the traveller may find other sights among the villas of the
Lake of Como--less pleasant sights, too, and jarring on the artist's
sense of fitness; as, for instance, when he finds a wealthy and prosaic
_paterfamilias_, of the class who do not know and care less what
antiquity means--unless it may mean shabbiness--established in placid
and ludicrous possession of some stately abode such as we have named.
Of course, this unappreciative being, with his robust wife and chubby
olive-branches, is of the great, dominant, self-sufficient Anglo-Saxon
race, with its grand physical contempt of everything that is foreign,
but its keen national determination to take timely advantage of
everything that is cheap. He may be from our own or the other of the
Atlantic shores; from the cotton-mills of England or the oil-wells of
America; but he will invariably be a man of prosaic and practical
tendencies, quite impervious to the romance of his new home, but
perfectly alive to its value as a good speculation and an economical
venture. You will never find an artist or a scholar thus established;
_they_ will be penned up in a white-washed room of some peasant's
cottage, or, if lucky members of their craft, in the "best room" of
the _Signor Curato's_ little presbytery. They, too, are on the lookout
for cheap lodgings; but what is cheap to the careful millionaire is
the height of impossible extravagance to the gifted brain-worker.
And for our part, if we had to share the home of either of these two
classes of lake tourists, we should much prefer a shake-down at the
white-washed cottage, with the human counterweight of the artist, than
the surroundings of marble halls, spacious, deserted gardens, and
ghost-haunted staircases, if balanced by the incongruous presence of
the prosperous family before mentioned. What poetic justice is it which
sternly forbids the tenantship of such abodes to be interchanged?

Just such a beautiful place--but, luckily, not thus tenanted--is a
villa on the Lake of Como, just opposite the sharp end of the tongue of
land which, jutting into the lake to the distance of half its length,
cuts it into the shape of a Y. We passed it every day on our way to the
chapel. It was formerly, if we remember rightly, the pleasure-house
of Queen Caroline of England during her exile. No one ever goes there
now, and its aspect is as suggestive, as gloomy, as pathetic, as Edgar
Poe or Mrs. Radcliffe could have wished. Just beyond it, on the narrow
slip of land which runs parallel to the lake at the foot of the abrupt
mountains, is a private chapel, built over the family vault of the
Marquises of A---- and Counts of S----, an old Savoyard family of
great piety and high origin. The land around here is part of their
patrimonial estate, and the chapel contains two or three very beautiful
monuments of white marble, exquisite in carving and finish, but hardly
very Christian in taste.

Further up, and to be reached by a pleasant, rugged path right behind
our little hotel, was another church--a village parish church this
time, a much more homely and _homelike_ place--served by a gentle old
_curato_. The view over the lake from the jasmine-covered parapet
surrounding this church was lovely--so peaceful that it suggested
rather the possible surroundings of a holy soul just released from the
body than the actual home of a busy, struggling, mortal life.

To heighten the illusion, the moon rose slowly as we descended the
same path, and her broad silver shield, as it passed seemingly behind
the crags of the mountains on the opposite shore, became momentarily
stamped with the irregular outline of dark rocks, simulating to our
imagination the turrets and spires of a spectre city. Soon the path
of light traced by her rays upon the waters began to shine like the
Israelites' guiding pillar in the wilderness, and we felt tempted to
try a water-excursion as a fitting ending to our day. The beauty of
the scene, as the shadows grew darker and the moonlight more intense,
is indescribable. Our silent party in the boat did not even attempt to
admire it _out loud_. The hills, purple-black in the foreground, rising
out of the lake as walls of onyx from a crystal floor, grew stone-gray
as they receded from sight and mingled their colors with the unearthly
white of the Alpine snow-peaks in the far distance. These last seemed
as though hung like a bridal wreath between earth and heaven, resting
on the dark, undistinguishable masses of the chestnut woods covering
the lower spurs. Now and then a bell would ring out in the still night
air--a brazen voice rolling from some village belfry--and waking the
mountain echoes till its sound died away in a silver murmur, mingling
with the plashing of our steady oars, and gently reminding us that our
lives had floated one hour nearer to God. But lovely as the scene was
by night, it is difficult to call it less lovely by day. Opposite our
temporary home was Bellaggio, one of the most frequented of the lake
villages--a tiny hamlet of white houses clustered together in a grove
of cypresses, and perched on a rocky ledge overlooking the shore. The
tall, columnar trees scattered among the houses almost suggested the
idea of a peaceful burying-ground, the white cottages from a distance
seeming no bad substitutes for marble tombstones. A gray-blue mist--the
last Italian beauty that clings to this fairy-like outpost of Italy,
invaded by Alpine breezes and watched by craggy sentinels--hangs over
the dormant village; the fir-trees of the neighboring villa--the
show-place of the lake, the Villa Serbellone--waft their scented breath
over its houses, while at its foot lie the hot-houses and orangeries,
etc., by which the owner of this beautiful garden property tries to
emulate English taste. The Villa Serbellone is almost a tropical
marvel; the profusion of flowers; the scent of southern blossoms,
cultivated with assiduous care; the ivory-like magnolia, framed in its
dark and massive foliage; the starry orange flowers; the pineapple,
in its luscious perfection of growth--all denote the sunny land of
spontaneous productiveness; while the velvet lawns, emerald-colored and
closely shaven; the trim gravel-walks, rolled to the exact point of
firmness required in an English garden; the marble vases, overflowing
with creepers of carefully chosen and judiciously contrasted shades;
and the thousand-and-one dainty little contrivances to make the most
of every natural advantage, display the art of that northern land to
which its very disadvantages of climate have taught the secret of
enhancing every beauty and almost creating new ones by its industry.
There is little to distinguish the Lake of Como beyond its beauty of
atmosphere and scenery--little or no historical interest, no ruins,
castles, or towns with momentous remembrances of troubled times in the
past. The churches are plain, and generally in bad taste--in fact,
beyond the reach either of gorgeousness or even of simple restoration;
for the mountain population and the fishermen of the shore are very
poor, and the inhabitants of the lake-side villas only come to Como for
the summer. But these poor parishioners have spiritual riches, if not
temporal comforts: the faith of the Italian, and the _naïve_ enthusiasm
of mountaineers. One day, after landing for a moment during one of
our boat excursions, we fell into conversation with an old woman,
her brown, wrinkled face lighted up by eyes of the intensest black,
sparking with a vigor strangely in harmony rather than in contrast with
her age, and her dress, in its picturesque, but we fear uncomfortable
dilapidation, quite a study for a painter. She was very devout, and,
when she found that we were _forestièri_, anxiously asked if we were
Christians. This reminds us of what happened in the North of Ireland to
a Catholic English lady of distinction. Her husband was a Protestant,
and she accordingly started alone one day to find the church, which
she knew to be somewhere in the neighborhood of the place at which
she was temporarily staying. It was not a Sunday. She lost her way,
and, meeting an old woman, asked her to set her on the right road for
the Catholic "Chapel." The old dame looked very suspiciously at the
elegant costume of the questioner, and well knowing, by the accent,
that she was foreign to Ireland, asked her in return, with incredulity
stamped on every expressive feature: "Shure, she was not a Catholic?"
And, indeed, the English convert did not succeed in persuading the old
Irishwoman that she was her sister in the faith, until, opening her
dress, she showed her the scapular round her neck, and put the rosary
into her hand. These marks of orthodoxy quite convinced the staunch
old Catholic, and the English lady reached the church at last. Having
satisfied herself, with a sort of joyful surprise, on this cardinal
point, our Italian friend discoursed very volubly of the Madonna, her
own priest and mountain church, and the Pope. We had some beads with
us blessed by the Holy Father, and offered her the choice of one of
the set. She was reverently delighted with the opportunity, and with
many blessings and thanks, as gracefully expressed as a poet could
have wished or done himself, she made her selection. How her precious
spiritual nearness to the Holy Father, rendered more palpable by the
sight of the plain brown rosary, seemed realized in her mind's eye! She
kissed the beads again and again in a transport of devotion, and in
simple, straight-forward language expressed her love and loyalty to the
Supreme Pontiff. There are few women in Italy, high or low, who have
not the same feeling for the head of the church; and those who have it
not are by no means among the most exemplary wives and mothers.

We were at Como--or rather, on the shores of the lake--in March as
well as in June. The spirit of the scene was just a little more dreamy
in the former month than even in the latter, chiefly because there
were very few tourists, and the steamboats went up and down the lake
at longer intervals than in the summer. The great heat showed no
signs of its advent; the vegetation was tender and yellow-green, yet
not scant; for the hills, whose cold breath tempers the torrid heat
of Lombardy, also protect the lake from the biting winds that one is
used to associate with the mention of March. It was possible to go
out boating and walking even at noon, though the nights were none the
less beautiful and inviting; but perhaps, at that time of the year,
the loveliest hour was early morning. It was with such a remembrance
that we left the lake. After five o'clock Mass, we rowed over to the
projecting tongue of mainland that cuts the waters in two, and got
into a light open carriage of the country, _en route_ for Milan. The
air was delightfully fresh, the sun had just risen, and a rosy, hazy
tint lay over everything. It might have been the Bosporus, so tranquil
and softened was the scene. Indeed, many travellers have likened
this lake to the Bosporus, its narrow, river-like course between
the shelving mountains being, they say, quite a reproduction of the
oriental marvel, though it does not produce the oriental languor
characteristic of the other. Our road for some time lay in a direction
in which we could see both branches of the lake; then, swerving to
one side, we passed through miniature mountain passes, green meadows
with many water-mills, and pretty villages embowered in trees. There
was somewhat of northern dampness in the atmosphere, but its effect
on the pasturage was certainly satisfactory, the turf in many places
being almost worthy of the Emerald Isle. As the hours sped on, our
appetite began to make itself felt; we had brought nothing with us,
not even sandwiches, and the drive was lengthening beyond our original
calculations. The wayside inns were practically useless, the wine was
like vinegar, and bread not always forthcoming. At length, at a place
where we changed horses for the last time before reaching Milan, and
after we had been enjoying the beauties of nature for ten hours on an
empty stomach, we found something eatable, though not in a superfluous
quantity. Not long after, we were regaling ourselves on a banquet of
fish fried in oil, and an adequate supply of bread and butter, served
in the irreproachable Milan hotel, once the palace of a fallen family,
and where our _privato_ dining-room had formerly been the _Sala di
Giustézza_, in which feudal lords sat dispensing justice to their clan
of retainers or hangers-on! And with this, farewell to the queen of
Italian lakes!



ODD STORIES.


IV.--THE INDIA-RUBBER MAN

One thousand three hundred and ninety-seven years ago, the city of
Cadiz was startled by rumors of the presence of a mysterious person,
whose irrepressible activity was the fear and wonder of many. Perhaps,
from a certain dusk which pervaded his countenance, it came to be
gossipped that he was an Indian by birth, and had arrived in Spain by
way of Africa. If, however, his color was no fair sign of his origin,
the manuscripts found in his apartments betrayed his affinity with the
Oriental stoics. Be this as it may, the devices and doings of Don Ruy
Gomia de Goma had so impressed the traditions of Cadiz that the maker
of ballads, Gil Cantor, sung of him in language the puzzling quaintness
of which we have endeavored to smooth out as follows into modern
English:

    Oft have I seen, e'en now I see,
      The presence I would ban;
    'Tis he, the Afreet of my dreams,
      The India-rubber man!

    I pick him out among the crowd
      As nimbly he goes by,
    And points his gum-elastic nose,
      And blinks his vitreous eye.

    'Tis said he prowls the streets at night,
      And, spite of the police,
    With India-rubber ease commits
      Ingenious robberies.

    Abounding Mephistopheles
      On stealthy tiptoe comes,
    And, as he chokes you for your purse,
      He shows his frightful gums.

    Avoid, my friend, his outstretched hand--
      That hand of gum and glue;
    And, ere he catches you, beware
      The friend of caoutchouc.

    Fate tries in vain to crush him out,
      She studies how to kill;
    But, no--this grim contortionist
      Is standing, springing still.

    One day, ten ruffians clubbed him down--
      He wasn't dead for that;
    Up, grinning in their faces, sprang
      That horrid acrobat.

    An agile politician, now
      The public back he mounts,
    And much the rabble like him for
      His gumption and his bounce.

    He rises with the rise of stocks,
      No crisis keeps him down;
    And, dancing on a dividend,
      He goes about the town.

    He pesters busy men of trade,
      And on their beds at night
    A gum-elastic nightmare sits,
      And will not quit their sight.

    Oft have I marvelled at the man,
      And searched his meaning more;
    So many people set him down
      A terror and a bore.

    Elastic, everlasting soul!
      In gloomy ages back
    They must have tried to stretch him out
      A martyr on the rack!

    Victor, alas! and victim he--
      His wretched fate I scan;
    And much I pity, if I scorn,
      The injured rubber-man.

Doubtless the whimsical Gil has here turned a venerable legend to a
subtle purpose of satire; for it appears, from a number of traditions,
that Don Ruy distinguished himself as a trader, courtier, gallant, and
knight-errant. He grew rich, because no debtor ever got rid of him till
payment, and, as a cavalier, the grace and flexibility of his carriage
and motions were the admiration of ladies. Thus it was that, though
denounced by jealous grandees as one sprung from the vulgar, and, in
fact, an upstart, his first appearance at court was a triumph, and all
the more so from the great ease of his genuflexion, and the modest
liveliness of his manner and deportment. The fact, however, which first
drew the general attention of Cadiz to the new cavalier was an open
insult which, it was alleged, he had cast upon the proud escutcheon
of the fair Doña Gumesinda Vinagrilla de Miraflores de Albujuera y
Albuquerque, Countess Delamar and Marchioness Delcampo.

The story runs that the marble heart of Doña Gumesinda had never
yielded except to the blandishments of the bold and nimble Don Ruy. One
day, addressing her at the court in terms of insinuating gallantry, he
stretched out his arms with so fine a gesture of command and entreaty
that the noble maid all at once resolved that no one should win her
love save the flexible and fascinating philosopher; being well assured
of the softness of his heart and the tenacity of his affections. Good
right, then, had Don Ruy to stand one night under her leafy bower, and,
according to the fashion of the times, sing a piteous ditty:

    Mi corazon es suave
      Como la goma dulce,
    Mis lagrimas se corren
      Con la resina triste;
    Oid mi cancion elastica,
    Oid mi cancion, señora![48]

Having thus appealed to the fair Gumesinda, he ascended at a leap into
a leafy refuge formed by the vines and trees near her window, and
prepared to finish his song, when he felt that one of his legs was
being pulled violently from below.

Nothing daunted, he allowed his covert enemies to pull it quite to the
ground, while, still seated near his lady's bower, he sang in strains
that moved her heart to more purpose than his disturbers had moved his
limbs. Tired of their vain attempt to budge him, they let go of his
leg, to their no small surprise at the suddenness of its springing
back. Immediately he leaped down, and laid about him; and, though
twice he was hit in vital parts by the infuriated relatives, and, in
fact, should have been run through, he was so invulnerably spry and
spirited that he killed a dozen or more of them before he embraced
the terrified Gumesinda with his outstretched arms, and carried her
away, bending somewhat under his burden. A large force of _alguacils_
barred his path, however, and he was brought, not without trouble,
before the chief magistrate of the city, who, being also a relative
of Doña Gumesinda, put him immediately to the rack. Vain, and all too
vain, was the cruel act of torture to extenuate the body and bones,
or conquer the irrepressible being, of Don Ruy Gomia de Goma. Gliding
on tiptoe behind his jailers, he one day escaped, and in the night
danced a fandango on the bed and body of the Governor of Cadiz. Who was
he? the good folk of Cadiz asked themselves time and again. Some few
visionaries said that he was the spirit of free inquiry, that could
never be put down or put out; and other wiseacres averred that he was
the veritable spirit of mischief, always upturning and turning up.

FOOTNOTES:

[48]

    My heart is soft
      As sweetest gum,
    My tears they flow
      With resin sad;
    Hear my elastic song,
    Hear my song, lady!



NEW PUBLICATIONS.


  HISTORICAL SKETCHES. Third Series. By John Henry Newman, D.D.

  THE IDEA OF A UNIVERSITY, defined and illustrated. By the same.
    London: Basil Montagu Pickering. (New York: Sold by The Catholic
    Publication Society.)

It would perhaps be proper to say that the revised edition of Dr.
Newman's writings bears the same relation to their original publication
that fulfilment and prophecy sustain to each other. In the one we see
the germ, the promise, and in the other the matured and mellowed fruit.
In the former, we foresee the inevitable result of the principles set
forth, on a mind so single and intent on the truth. And it is because
they do not reflect the perfect image of the truth he now holds that he
would blot some of the lines therein written. In the latter, readers
will again meet the same wise simplicity and transparency of style
which charmed them before, and which mark all the products of his pen.

As a study of diction, Dr. Newman's works are richly worth whatever
they cost. We doubt if any author of the time has done more to bring
both writers and speakers down from the stilts formerly thought
essential in the expression of thought. Almost unconsciously, the
leaven of his pure idiomatic English has worked, until its influence is
shown in a large number of written and spoken productions, both at home
and abroad. As a reflex of a truthful, honest soul, deeply solicitous
for the spiritual welfare of his kind, they have a pathos and unction
which will have an ever-increasing influence as time goes on.

The first of the above-mentioned volumes embraces the matter which bore
the title, _The Church of the Fathers_, on its first appearance in the
_British Magazine_; and the latter was published as _The Scope and
Nature of University Education_.

  SACRED ELOQUENCE; OR, THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF PREACHING. By Rev.
    Thomas J. Potter. Troy: P. J. Dooley. 1873.

This work is too well known to require any notice at our hands, having
received the warmest commendation of the hierarchy and press on its
first appearance in England. While this edition will hardly please
those who are fastidious in the matter of print and paper, it presents
an argument to the pockets of purchasers which many of our seminarians
will highly appreciate. Our clerical readers are already aware that
the _Sacred Eloquence_ was prepared for the author's own class in the
Missionary College of All Hallows, and resulted from the necessity felt
for a work adapted to English-speaking students in that department.


BOOKS RECEIVED.

  From BURNS, OATES & CO., London (New York: Sold by The Catholic
    Publication Society): Sermons for all Sundays and Festivals
    of the Year. By J. N. Sweeney, D.D. Vol. II. 12mo, pp. vi.
    498.--Spain and Charles VII. By Gen Kirkpatrick. 8vo, pp. 87.--A
    Theory of the Fine Arts. By S. M. Lanigan, A.B., T.C.D. 12mo, pp.
    xiii. 194.

  From D. & J. SADLIER & CO., New York: Bible History. By Rev. James
    O'Leary, D.D. 12mo, pp. 480.

  From HENRY HOLT & CO.: Dimitri Roudine. By Ivan Turgénieff. 18mo,
    pp. 271.

  From BENZIGER BROS., New York: Neue Fibel, oder: Erstes Lesebuch,
    für die Deutschen Katholischen Schulen in den Vereinigten
    Staaten von Nord-America. Bearbeitet von mehreren Priestern und
    Lehrern.--Zweites Lesebuch, und Drittes Lesebuch, of the same
    series 12mo, pp. 58, 120, and 276.

  From KELLY, PIET & CO., Baltimore: A Course of Philosophy,
    embracing Logic, Metaphysics, and Ethics. By Rev. A. Louage,
    C.S.C. 12mo, pp.



THE

CATHOLIC WORLD.

VOL. XVIII., No. 104.--NOVEMBER, 1873.[49]



SPIRITUALISM.


CHAPTER I.

  "Spiritus sunt vagi, et insinceri, pervolantes et
  perscrutantes."--_S. Max. Taur., Tract. iv., Cont. Pag._

It can hardly be denied that the question of spiritualism is forcing
itself every year more and more upon the public attention; and that
a belief in the reality of its phenomena, and, as almost a necessary
consequence, a suspicion of their at least partially preternatural
character, is on the increase amongst honest and intelligent persons.
By preternatural phenomena, I mean manifestations of the operation of
intelligences that are not clothed in flesh and blood; for with other
than such as are so clothed, in the way of the senses, which is the way
of nature, we have no acquaintance.

I believe that few will examine seriously and patiently the phenomena
of spiritualism as a whole without coming upon much that they cannot,
without doing violence to their natural instincts, attribute to
anything but preternatural agency. Whether they reduce this to white
spirits or black, red spirits or gray, will depend for the most part
on the religious prepossessions of the inquirers. I have said the
phenomena as a whole, because some of these, such as cases of tables
turning, upon which the hands of the company are resting, and, again,
many of the communications through mediums speaking in trance or
otherwise, do not necessarily suggest preternatural interference.

The phenomena on which I am inclined to lay most stress are, 1st,
physical manifestations--the movement or raising in the air, without
contact of any sort, of heavy bodies, whether animate or inanimate;
2d, intelligent manifestations involving the communication of true
information through a human medium, which was unknown at the time both
to the medium and recipient. Such phenomena are not unfrequent at
successful séances, and spiritualists have a right to demand that we
should criticise their successes rather than their failures.

For examples of the phenomena of modern spiritualism, we shall depend
mainly upon two volumes: _Experiences in Spiritualism with D. D.
Home_, and the _Report of the Committee of the London Dialectical
Society_. The former is a well-known though unpublished relation of
seventy-eight séances; the relaters are gentlemen whose names are
guarantees for intelligence and honor. Of these séances, some were held
in rooms which Mr. Home had never before entered, others in a variety
of rooms belonging to gentlemen taking part in the proceedings. The
supposition of concealed machinery, possible enough were it question
of the magician's own den, is thus effectually precluded. The _Report_
is a still more remarkable volume. Even if spiritualism were exploded
absolutely, this volume would still retain its interest as a unique
collection of mental photographs representing every attitude which it
is possible for the human mind to take up with regard to spiritualistic
phenomena, from irreconcilable repulsion, through every shade of
intelligent hesitation, to complete acceptance.

The _Report_ consists of the reports of the séances of six experimental
subcommittees, minutes of the examination before the General Committee
of spiritualist witnesses, letters on spiritualism from a great number
of literary and scientific persons, and communications in the shape
of experiences and speculative essays on spiritualism by some of its
principal adherents.

Subcommittee No. 1 (_Rep._, p. 9) declares itself to have "established
conclusively" "the movements of heavy substances without contact or
material connection of any kind between such substances and the body
of any person present." This is confirmed by Subcommittee No. 2, and
embodied in the general report. Amongst a great mass of well-attested
phenomena, I select the following: "Thirteen witnesses state that they
have seen heavy bodies, in some instances men, rise slowly in the
air, and remain there without visible or tangible support." "Fourteen
witnesses testify to having seen hands of figures not appertaining to
any human being, but lifelike in appearance and mobility, which they
have sometimes touched and even grasped." "Eight witnesses state that
they have received precise information through rappings, writings,
and in other ways, the accuracy of which was unknown at the time to
themselves or to any persons present, and which, on subsequent inquiry,
was found to be correct." Many of these experimental séances took place
without the presence of any professional mediums. Subcommittees 1 and
2 declare that they have never used them, and these were particularly
fertile in instances of independent movement, No. 1 having witnessed no
less than fifty such motions.

There is absolutely no room for a suspicion of trickery, neither
is it more rational to suppose that the phenomena had no objective
existence, but were the mere phantasms of the excited imagination
of the company; for the witnesses testify that they were in no such
state of excitement, and their recorded conversation and behavior are
incompatible with any such supposition. Again, such excitement acts
spasmodically and irregularly; but, as a rule, the phenomena are seen
by all equally. In the few cases in which individuals have manifested
abnormal excitement, the séances have been frustrated. Subcommittee No.
2 sent for a neighbor to witness the phenomena when in full operation,
and they presented precisely the same aspect to him as they did to the
members of the séance.

There remains, then, a large number of objective phenomena of the kind
mentioned which have to be accounted for. Three hypotheses have been
advocated with more or less success, which I shall proceed to consider
in order.

1st. Unconscious cerebration expressing itself in unconscious muscular
action. 2d. Psychic force. 3d. Spirits. I would remark that the first
and second agree, in so far as they make the source of the phenomena
internal; they differ in that the first would make them the result
of a known law, the action of which had been previously detected,
whilst the second supposes a previously unknown law or force of which
spiritualistic phenomena are the sole evidence.

I.

The doctrine of unconscious cerebration is thus expressed by Dr.
Carpenter (_Rep._, p. 272): "Ideational changes take place in the
cerebrum, of which we may be at the time unconscious for want of
receptivity on the part of the sensorium, but of which the results
may at a subsequent period present themselves to the consciousness,
as ideas elaborated by an automatic process of which we have no
cognizance." Dr. Carpenter's ground for "surmising" that "ideational
changes" may be received unconsciously, and subsequently recognized,
and that the consciousness or unconsciousness of the reception depends
upon their being presented or not in the sensorium, is the following
analogy: The cerebrum, "or rather its ganglionic matter in which
its potentiality resides," stands in precisely the same anatomical
relation to the sensorium that the retina does; but visual changes
may be unconsciously received in the retina when the sensorium is
inoperative, and may be subsequently recognized. The reality of this
automatic reception and elaboration of ideas is confirmed by the
phenomena of somnambulism, which show "that long trains of thought may,
with a complete suspension of the directing and controlling power of
the will, follow the lead either of some dominant idea or of suggestion
from without." This doctrine, when applied to explain the intelligent
manifestations of spiritualism, comes to this, that you cannot argue,
from the fact that a man informs you truly of something which he could
not possibly have learned elsewhere, and which you know you were
never aware of in the ordinary sense of the word, that he is informed
by a superior intelligence; for you may have received unconsciously
into your cerebrum the information in question, or have unconsciously
elaborated it from premises so received, and may have communicated it
to your informant by unconscious muscular action.

I must do Dr. Carpenter the justice to admit that he nowhere, so
far as I have seen, attempts to apply his doctrine in detail to the
higher phenomena of spiritualism. He is contented with stating it
as indicating the direction in which a solution of such phenomenal
difficulties as do not seem to him wholly incredible is to be looked
for.

I have every wish to speak on matters of physiological experiment with
the modesty befitting my comparative unfamiliarity with the subject.
I have no difficulty in admitting all that Dr. Carpenter says, in his
article on "Electro-biology and Mesmerism" (_Quart._, Oct., 1853),
on the action of dominant ideas, whether original or suggested,
in the production of the phenomena of somnambulism and mesmerism;
but I hesitate as to the possibility of receiving in the form of an
unconscious ideational change such a piece of information as this: "I
have another sister besides those I am used to reckon"; and of its
recovery, not as an image or sensation such as a dream might leave,
but as an unequivocal assertion of a fact clothed in all its native
confidence. The nerve modification, which I suppose the "ideational
change" comes to, is here understood to play the part, not merely of a
bell whose prolonged vibrations, when taken cognizance of, may more or
less suggest the individual visitor, but of a photographic negative,
set aside, indeed, and overlaid, but from which at any moment exact
representations may be taken. This theory appears to me to belong to
the category of those which, to borrow Dr. Carpenter's expression
(art., p. 535), "cannot be accepted without a great amount of evidence
in their favor, but which, not being in absolute opposition to
recognized laws, may be received upon strong testimony, without doing
violence to our common sense." I must add that I have met with no such
evidence either in the _Quarterly Review_ or elsewhere. When we ask for
instances, in which modern science is ordinarily so fertile, it is at
least suspicious that the only at all adequate examples produced in the
brilliant article, "Spiritualism and its Recent Converts" (_Quart._,
vol. 131, 1871), are taken from the very spiritualistic phenomena
under discussion. Let us, however, for the moment grant all that is
expressly demanded on the score of unconscious cerebration, and then
see how far it affords an adequate explanation of the phenomena of
spiritualism. Of course, independent physical manifestations, such as
the subcommittees report, fall entirely without the sphere of this
explanation; and Faraday's ingenious machine for testing muscular
action has no place where there is no contact of muscles. But what are
we to say to communications such as the following (_Rep._, p. 195),
made to Signor Damiani, at Clifton? He asked of the rapping table,
"Who is there?" "Sister," was rapped out in reply. "What sister?"
"Marietta." "Don't know you; that is not a family name. Are you not
mistaken?" "No; I am your sister." He left the table in disgust, but
afterwards joined in another séance at the same house. "Who are you?"
he asks. "Marietta." "Again! Why does not a sister whom I can remember
come?" "I will bring one." "And the raps were heard to recede, becoming
faint and fainter, until lost in the distance. In a few seconds, a
double knock, like the trot of a horse, was heard approaching, striking
the ceiling, the floor, and, lastly, the table. 'Who is there?' 'Your
sister Antonietta.' That is a good guess, thought I. 'Where did
she pass away?' 'Chieti.' 'When?' Thirty-four loud, distinct raps
succeeded. Strange! My sister so named had certainly died at Chieti
just thirty-four years before." "How many brothers and sisters had you
then? Can you give me their names?" "Five names (the real ones), all
correctly spelt in Italian, were given. Numerous other tests produced
equally remarkable results." He is much perplexed, naturally, about
this sister "Marietta," and writes to his mother about her. He is
answered that, "on such a date, forty-four years before, a sister had
been born and had lived six hours, during which time she had been
baptized by the midwife by the name of Mary." Now, this is not a
case of an isolated bit of information that may have been given and
forthwith wholly disconnected from the current of life, as an Indian
child might have been told, on the eve of its voyage to England, that
a certain tropical berry was poisonous, which it never saw again. In
Signor Damiani's case, the sleep of unconscious cerebration must have
been very deep that so interesting a fact should not have been waked up
by all the friction it must have sustained every time of the thousand
of times that he asserted himself and his five brothers and sisters to
the exclusion of any others.

But these difficulties sink into the shade when we try to carry out
the explanation a step further. We have to explain not merely how
Signor Damiani knew, but how the medium knew, the astonishing fact. I
can understand how emotions of various kinds may be read in muscular
motions; how the almost inevitable slight hesitation at certain
critical letters may suggest them to the keen and practised observer;
but how, amongst all the threads of thought which cross the human mind,
the very one which must needs be the slenderest and most remote should
get itself expressed by unconscious muscular action, and how another
should read the hieroglyph, I simply cannot conceive. Nothing I have
met with in the wildest spiritualism is half so difficult to believe.

Here is another instance, from the testimony of Mr. Eyre (_Rep._,
p. 179). This gentleman wanted the register of the baptism of a
person born in England, and who had died in America a century ago. He
was led to suppose that this would be found either in Yorkshire or
Cambridgeshire. He hunted for it for three months, and then, in broad
daylight, without saying who he is or what he wants, consults a medium.
He says: "Before leaving home, I wrote out and numbered about a dozen
questions. Among them was the question, 'Where can I find the register
of the baptism I am searching for?' The paper with the questions I had
folded and placed in a stout envelope, and closed it. When we sat down
to the table, I asked, after some other questions, if the spirits would
answer the questions I had written and had in my pocket. The answer
by raps was, 'Yes.' I took the envelope containing the questions out
of my pocket, and, without opening it, laid it on the table. I then
took a piece of paper, and as the questions were answered--No. 1, 2,
and so on--I wrote down the answers. When we came to the question,
where I could get the register of the baptism, the table telegraphed,
'Stepney church,' and, at the same time, Mrs. Marshall, senior, in her
peculiar manner, blurted out, 'Stepney.' Being at that time a stranger
in London, I did not know there was such a place. I went on with the
questions I had prepared, and got correct answers to all of them. A few
days afterwards, I went to Stepney Church, and, after spending some
days in searching, I there found the register of the baptism, as I had
been told."

Here the medium had not even the light of the questions by which to
read the unconscious expression of unconscious cerebration. One cannot
help wondering what may be the muscular expression for "Stepney church."

The writer in the _Quarterly Review_, to whom I have before referred,
shall give us the next example from his own experience (vol. 131, p.
331). He owns that, on one occasion, he was "strongly impressed" by a
spiritualistic manifestation. "He (the medium, Mr. Foster) answered, in
a variety of modes, the questions we put to him respecting the time and
cause of the death of several of our departed friends and relatives,
whose names we had written down on slips of paper, which had been
folded up and crumpled into pellets before being placed in his hands.
But he brought out names and dates correctly, in large red letters on
his bare arms, the redness being produced by the turgescence of the
minute vessels of the skin, and passing away after a few minutes like a
blush. We must own to have been strongly impressed at the time by this
performance; but, on subsequently thinking it over, we thought we could
see that Mr. Foster's divining power was partly derived from his having
the faculty of interpreting the movements of the top of pen or pencil,
though the point and what was written by it was hid from his sight; and
partly from a very keen observation of the indications unconsciously
given by ourselves of the answer we expected." Indubitably in the
case of two accomplices, a preconcerted system of movements of the
top of the pencil might be made to indicate what was written; but,
considering the enormous variety of ways of writing, that any one can
acquire the art of so reading chance writing is incredible. At best
this explanation only applies to the questions. The answers, which were
given "correctly," in the shape of dates and causes of death, etc., in
red letters on the medium's arm, must have been read in the reviewer's
unconscious contortions. The force of the reviewer's admission of the
accuracy of these communications is not affected by the fact that
when _another_ way of answering questions was adopted--viz., the
questioner pointing successively to the letters of the alphabet, until
interrupted by the rap--there were indications of his manner being read
by the medium. Again, it is little to the purpose that "the trick by
which the red letters were produced was discovered by the inquiries
of one of our medical friends"--a most curiously vague statement, by
the bye--for the mystery to be explained is not the red letters, but
the correctness of the information they conveyed. There is nothing in
the necessity of some sort of _rapport_ existing between the medium
and his questioner inconsistent with the spirit hypothesis; there is
nothing in the subsequent experiments of the reviewer even tending to a
natural explanation of what had so strongly impressed him; and yet he
is able to shake off the strong impression triumphantly. One begins to
appreciate the eloquent words of Professor Tyndall:[50] "The logical
feebleness of science is not sufficiently borne in mind. It keeps down
the weed of superstition not by logic, but by slowly rendering the
mental soil unfit for its cultivation."

I recognize with gratitude, as one of the many services Dr. Carpenter
has done to science, his full admission of a series of facts in
connection with mesmerism and animal magnetism, until the other
day looked upon with suspicion by medical men and physiologists;
and, further, I am ready to admit that the influence of unconscious
cerebration upon some of the phenomena of spiritualism is probable
enough. But I maintain that it is distinctly inadequate as an
explanation. Its main use, as applied to spiritualism, has been that
of a learned label to attract the attention of scientific men--a
scientific rag wherewith spiritualism may cover its nakedness, but
which all the ingenuity in the world cannot convert into clothes.


II.

Numbers of intelligent persons, men distinguished in science, in
literature, in the learned professions, but whose "mental soil" has not
been rendered wholly unfit for the cultivation of all germs foreign
to the philosophy of the day, have acknowledged that the phenomena of
spiritualism are not only veritable, but inexplicable by any known
law. "The absolute and even derisive incredulity which dispenses with
all examination of the evidence for preternatural occurrences,"[51]
of which Mr. Lecky boasts as one of the results of civilization,
has certainly lost ground of late. Professor De Morgan says: "I am
perfectly convinced that I have both seen and heard, in a manner which
should render unbelief impossible, things called spiritual which cannot
be taken by a rational being to be capable of explanation by imposture,
coincidence, or mistake. So far I feel the ground firm under me."[52]
Mr. Edwin Arnold (_Rep._, p. 258) speaks to the same effect: "I regard
many of the 'manifestations' as genuine, undeniable, and inexplicable
by any known law or any collusion, arrangement, or deception of the
senses." And so we come very much to what S. Bonaventure said in the
XIIIth century: "Some have said that witchcraft is a nonentity in the
world, and has no force, save merely in the estimation of men, who, in
their want of faith, attribute many natural mishaps to witchcrafts;
but this position is derogatory to law, to common opinion, and, what
is of more importance, to experience, and so has no foothold."[53]
Law has, indeed, long ceased to have anything to say on the subject,
and popular sentiment, if not converted, has at least been reduced to
shamefaced silence; but once again experience claims her rights, and,
in a great wave extending across two hemispheres, the experience of
spiritualism breaks upon us, and the opposite opinion is found to lack
foothold. Even in this XIXth century, men are beginning to admit that
magic or mysticism, call it what you will, though overrun as ever with
trickery and delusion, is for all that no nonentity, but a long-ignored
reality, worthy, not of derision, but of patient examination. True many
of those who go furthest in their recognition of the genuineness of the
phenomena do not attribute them to spirits; still, however this may
be, no advocate of psychic force can deny that many of the so-called
marvel-mongers of the middle ages were at least no mere blind leaders
of the blind, but the witnesses of phenomena none the less true because
it has been for so long the fashion to ignore them.

In the middle ages, people thought that these marvels were the work of
spirits good or bad, or at least the result of their co-operation with
man. For such an hypothesis, modern science has an almost invincible
repugnance, in which I think there is much that is excusable. It is
not that the man of science necessarily disbelieves in the existence
of spirits; but the idea of their possible interference in phenomena
which he has to consider exercises a disturbing influence upon all his
calculations. He is as irritated as though he should be called upon to
submit to, and make allowance for, the tricks of mischievous children
who jerk his arm or clog his machinery. Again, he is haunted with the
notion that, by admitting the spirit hypothesis, he is contributing
to the inauguration of an era of disastrous reaction. To the eye of
his imagination, the bright, open platform, the familiar instruments,
each a concrete realization, in honest metal, of a known law, the
intelligent modern audience, his own classical tail-coat and white
neckcloth, melt away, and he sees himself propitiating fickle spirits
with uncouth spells, at the bottom of a mediæval grotto:

    "A shape with amice wrapped around,
    With a wrought Spanish baldric bound,
    Like a pilgrim from beyond the sea."

Not that the evil dream could ever be realized in its integrity; but
still, when once a spiritualist reaction has set in, who will venture
to fix its limits? And so, forgetting that the spirit hypothesis in
nowise excludes the operation of psychic conditions, he insists upon
every indication of such conditions, as though they were the key to
everything, and there were no indications of any other agency. His
"mental soil," perhaps, does not permit him to deny the reality of the
phenomena of spiritualism, or to talk of unconscious cerebration as a
sufficient explanation; and so he is contented to raise his altar to
an unknown god, provided only he may baptize him into the dynasty of
science by the name of "Psychic Force."

Psychic force has still to be defined. It is the unknown cause of
certain effects, taking its color from them only. With reference to
independent physical manifestations, it is the power to produce "the
movement of heavy substances without contact or material connection."
In this sense, Arago "is stated" to have reported to the Academy of
Science, "that, under peculiar conditions, the human organization
gives forth a physical power which, without visible instruments, lifts
heavy bodies, attracts or repels them, according to a law of polarity,
overturns them, and produces the phenomena of sound."[54] When
considered in relation to the whole mass of spiritualistic phenomena,
its vague, unsatisfactory character becomes still more apparent. The
nearest approach to a definition of psychic force, in its larger sense,
that I have met with occurs in Mr. Atkinson's communication (_Rep._,
p. 105): "It is nothing more than the ordinary and normal power of our
complex nature acting without impediment" (consciousness being one of
the impediments), "and diverted from its usual relations, though in
some cases abnormal conditions clearly favor the development." It is
hardly possible to mistake the pantheistic character of this passage;
for this unconditioned nature, underlying personal consciousness,
which, in virtue of its being unconditioned, knows all and can do
all, what else can it be but a common nature, an _anima mundi_, a
world-god? according to the pantheistic conception of Averrhoes, "an
intelligence which, without multiplication of itself, animates all
the individuals of the human species, in respect to their exercising
the functions of a rational soul."[55] I am convinced that psychic
force, if drawn out as the one solution of spiritualism, can end in
nothing short of this; but, on the other hand, I readily admit that the
"_anima mundi_" or rather, "spirit of nature," as advocated by Dr. H.
More, Glanvil, and, if he is not misrepresented, the famous Carmente
doctor, John Bacon,[56] is not pantheistic. More, formally rejecting
the doctrine of Averrhoes as "atheism," insists that the "spirit of
nature" is substantially distinct from, though in intimate relations
with, individual souls. He defines it to be "a substance incorporeal,"
how far possessing "sense and animadversion" he may not determine, but
certainly "devoid of reason and free-will," "pervading the whole matter
of the universe, and exercising a plastical power therein, according
to the sundry predispositions and occasions in the parts it works
upon, raising such phenomena in the world, by directing the parts of
matter and their motion, as cannot be resolved into mere mechanical
powers."[57]

As capable of holding automatic thought, processes, or their embryons,
such a spirit might lend itself as a vehicle of direct intellectual
influence between soul and soul, as also, of course, between souls
and spirits of another sort. But it must be remembered that, if this
might in some measure account for the intercommunication of thought,
it in no way tends to explain the genesis of information of which
all concerned are ignorant. That some such brute intelligence acts
as intermediary would seem to be borne out by the frequent spaces of
hopeless incoherency, like nothing so much as the shaking up of loose
type, which prelude and interrupt spiritual communications when the
intelligent will that would fain direct matters has not yet seized the
reins, or has dropped them from its grasp.

Whatever may be thought of the theory, the following passage from the
first edition of Glanvil's _Vanity of Dogmatizing_ is worth quoting.
The story in it was suppressed in subsequent editions, as too romantic
for the taste of the day:[58] "That one man should be able to bind the
thoughts of another, and determine them to their particular objects,
will be reckoned in the first rank of impossibles; yet, by the power
of advanced imagination, it may very probably be effected; and history
abounds with instances. I'll trouble the reader but with one, and the
hands from which I had it makes me secure of the truth on't.

"There was very lately a lad in the University of Oxford, who, being
of very pregnant and ready parts, and yet wanting the encouragement
of preferment, was by his poverty forced to leave his studies there,
and to cast himself upon the wide world for a livelihood. Now, his
necessities growing daily on him, and wanting the help of friends
to relieve him, he was at last forced to join himself to a company
of vagabond gypsies, whom occasionally he met with, and to follow
their trade for a maintenance. Among these extravagant people, by the
insinuating subtility of his carriage, he quickly got so much of their
love and esteem as that they discovered to him their mystery; in the
practice of which, by the pregnancy of his wit and parts, he soon grew
so good a proficient as to be able to outdo his instructors. After he
had been a pretty while exercised in the trade, there chanced to ride
by a couple of scholars who had formerly been of his acquaintance. The
scholars had quickly spied out their old friend among the gypsies, and
their amazement to see him among such society had well-nigh discovered
him; but by a sign he prevented their owning him before that crew,
and, taking one of them aside privately, desired him with his friend
to go to an inn not far distant thence, promising there to come to
them. They accordingly went thither, and he follows; after their first
salutations, his friends inquire how he came to lead so odd a life as
that was, and to join himself with such a cheating, beggarly company.
The scholar-gypsy, having given them an account of the necessity which
drove him to that kind of life, told them that the people he went with
were not such impostors as they were taken for, but that they had a
traditional kind of learning among them, and could do wonders by the
power of imagination, and that himself had learnt much of their art,
and improved it further than themselves could; and, to evince the
truth of what he told them, he said he would remove into another room,
leaving them to discourse together, and, upon his return, tell them the
sum of what they had talked of; which accordingly he performed, giving
them a full account of what had passed between them during his absence.
The scholars, being amazed at so unexpected a discovery, earnestly
desired him to unriddle the mystery. In which he gave them satisfaction
by telling them that what he did was by power of the imagination,
his fancy binding theirs; and that himself had dictated to them the
discourse they held together while he was from them; that there were
warrantable ways of heightening the imagination to that pitch as to
bind another's; and that, when he had compassed the whole secret, of
some parts of which he said he was yet ignorant, he intended to leave
their company, and give the world an account of what he had learned.

"Now, that this strange power of the imagination is no impossibility,
the wonderful signatures of the fœtus, caused by the imagination of
the mother, is no contemptible item. The sympathies of laughing and
gaping together are resolved into this principle; and I see not why
the fancy of one man may not determine the cogitation of another,
rightly qualified, as easily as his bodily motion. This influence seems
to me to be no more unreasonable than that of one string of a lute
upon another, when a stroke on it causeth a proportionable motion in
the sympathizing consort, which is distant from it and not sensibly
touched. Now, if this notion be strictly verifiable, it will yield
us a good account of how angels inject thoughts into our minds, and
know our cogitations; and here we may see the source of some kinds of
fascination. If we are prejudiced against the speculation, because we
cannot conceive the manner of so strange an operation, we shall indeed
receive no help from the common philosophy; but yet the hypothesis
of a mundane soul, lately revived by that incomparable Platonist and
Cartesian, Dr. H. More, will handsomely relieve us; or, if any would
rather have a mechanical account, I think it may probably be made out
some such way as follows: Imagination is inward sense; to sense is
required a motion of certain filaments of the brain, and consequently
in imagination there is the like; they only differing in this, that
the motion of the one proceeds immediately from external objects, but
that of the other hath its immediate rise within us. Now, then, when
any part of the brain is strongly agitated, that which is next, and
most capable to receive the motive impress, must in like manner be
moved. Now, we cannot conceive anything more capable of motion than the
fluid matter that is interspersed among all bodies and is contiguous
to them. So, then, the agitated parts of the brain begetting a motion
in the proxime ether, it is propagated through the liquid medium, as
we see the motion is which is caused by a stone thrown into the water.
Now, when the thus moved matter meets with anything like that from
which it received its primary impress, it will proportionably move
it, as it is in musical strings tuned unisons; and thus the motion
being conveyed from the brain of one man to the fancy of another,
it is there received from the instrument of conveyance, the subtile
matter, and the same kind of strings being moved, and much what after
the same manner as in the first imaginant, the soul is awakened to the
same apprehensions as were they that caused them. I pretend not to any
exactness or infallibility in this account, foreseeing many scruples
that must be removed to make it perfect. It is only an hint of the
possibility of mechanically solving the phenomenon, though very likely
it may require many other circumstances completely to make it out."

There are abundant records of the marvels wrought by the imagination,
when, under the influence of desire or fear, or even simple
expectation, the attention is concentrated upon a particular spot or
a particular set of circumstances; but of the conditions and nature
of the operation almost nothing is known. It would seem as if there
were a tendency in every act of the imagination to create that which
it conceives, although it is only in rare cases that any palpable
result ensues. Various cases of recovery from the gravest illness,
some of which involved the arresting active, organic mischief, are
recorded as brought about by the vehement impression made upon the
imagination by a remedy supposed, but never really applied. The action
of imaginative sympathy is even more startling. Dr. Tuke relates the
following of a lady well known to him: "One day, she was walking past a
public institution, and observed a child, in whom she was particularly
interested, coming out through an iron gate. She saw that he let go the
gate after opening it, and that it seemed likely to close upon him, and
concluded that it would do so with such force as to crush his ankle;
however, this did not happen. 'It was impossible,' she says, 'by word
or act, to be quick enough to meet the supposed emergency; and, in
fact, I found I could not move, for such intense pain came on my ankle,
corresponding to the one I thought the boy would have injured, that I
could only put my hand on it to lessen its extreme painfulness. _I am
sure I did not move so as to strain or sprain it._ The walk home--a
distance of about a quarter of a mile--was very laborious, and, in
taking off my stocking, I found a circle round the ankle, as if it had
been painted with red-currant juice, with a large spot of the same on
the outer part. By morning, the whole foot was inflamed, and I was a
prisoner to my bed for many weeks."[59] In another case referred to by
Dr. Tuke, "a lady of an exceedingly sensitive and impressible nature,
on one occasion when a gentleman visited her house, experienced a very
uncomfortable sensation so long as he was present, and she observed
a spot or sore on his cheek. Two days after, a similar spot or sore
appeared on her cheek, in precisely the same situation, and with the
same characters."[60]

I have no fault to find with Dr. Tuke for extending this same principle
of sympathetic attention to the case of stigmatization, when he
says of S. Francis, absorbed in ardent realization of the Passion of
Christ, "So clearly defined an idea, so ardent a faith intensifying its
operation, were sufficient to reflect it in his body."[61]

I cannot help thinking that the Fathers recognized the creative power
of the imagination when they denounced so fiercely the masquerading
in beast-skins on the calends of January. "Is not all this false and
mad when God-formed men transform themselves into cattle, or wild
beasts, or monsters?"[62] The numerous accounts of the were-wolf
transformation, both in classical and mediæval times, all point in the
same direction; and Mr. Baring-Gould brings good authority for thinking
that the etymology of the "Barsark" rage of the Norsemen designates it
as an outcome of their bear-skins.

The direct action of the imagination upon external objects, attributed
to Avicenna (_Muratori della Fantasia_, p. 268), is, of course,
something further. The Arabian philosopher is reported to have said
that, "by a strong action of the fancy, one might kill a camel." At the
same time, the signature on the fœtus, not merely of the emotion of the
mother's fear or desire, but of the object or occasion of it, would
seem to imply some action _ab extra_, as well as such cases as that of
the sympathetic bruise referred to above.

That the ordinary acts of the imagination, for all their airy and
impalpable play, do leave behind them most momentous results, forming,
as it were, the very mould and measure of our whole life, is a matter
of constant experience. Hence it is that castles in the air are often
so costly, to say nothing of the danger that, though we have built
them ourselves, we may find them haunted.

I am quite prepared to admit what the Germans have called a night-side
of nature--that is, various rudimental powers of doing many things
of a seemingly miraculous character, which powers do very probably
often co-operate in the production of spiritualistic phenomena, and
under peculiar organic conditions, without any spiritual influence,
may be brought into considerably developed action. Moreover, as it is,
of course, in the investigation of these natural bases of magic that
science will succeed so far as it succeeds at all, it is only right
that it should expatiate in them. My complaint is that the modern
attempt to reduce spiritualism to psychic force involves an inadequate
analysis of the facts presented; and spiritualists have surely some
ground to complain of the _prima facie_ disingenuousness of a manœuvre
which, in regard to the same phenomena, began with, "This is not
natural, therefore it is certainly not true," and ends with, "This is
true, therefore it is certainly natural."

However much the scientific mind of the day may dislike the
preternatural stand-point, yet it may be that, seeing "an absolute
and derisive incredulity" is no longer regarded as the one scientific
attitude, some examination of the views entertained by Catholic writers
on the subject may not be without interest. Many of the acutest amongst
them for ages have given great attention to the phenomena of mysticism,
although mainly engaged in the consideration of their moral and
ascetical bearings. Before leaving this second hypothesis, I propose
to bring together such passages from the schoolmen as seem to make the
largest allowance on the side of psychic force. Whilst there are, I
think, sufficient indications that the scholastics generally admit
psychic force as a natural basis and concurrent cause in many of the
phenomena of both divine and diabolic mysticism, it must be allowed
that passages dwelling at any length on this point have at least the
merit of rarity.

Görres taught, reasonably enough, I conceive, in his _Mystik_, that
there is a physical basis for the great mass of miracles wrought by
Almighty God in and through his saints; that is to say, that they do
not, ordinarily speaking, involve the creation of an entirely fresh
power, but are rather the result of a divine excitation of a power
already existing in germ. Of course, he who "of these stones can raise
up children to Abraham" only subjects himself to the laws which he has
made in so far as it pleases him to do so; and the scholastics were
right in their insistence upon what they called the "obediential" power
of things--that is, their inherent capacity of becoming anything in
the hands of their Creator. Of course, too, it is often impossible to
ascertain in a given case whether God is using that _altum dominium_
which he possesses as Creator, or, on the other hand, is merely
developing previously existing powers. Everything tends to persuade us
that all nature, and especially the human soul, is full of rudimental
powers which may be developed, 1st, by the special, immediate action of
the Creator; 2d, by spiritual influences, good and bad; 3d, by certain
abnormal conditions of the bodily organism. I conceive that these
rudimental powers form a common natural basis for the great mass of
both divine and diabolic miracles, and that sometimes they may attain
to a considerable degree of development without any special influence,
divine or diabolic. The existence of such a common basis would seem
to be implied in the fact that the devil has been able to imitate
successfully and really, as in the case of Pharao's magicians, so many
of the divine miracles; for we know that he can at most develop what
already exists, without having the least power to create what is not.
We cannot imagine that God would ever create where he might develop,
according to the scholastic principle which Sir William Hamilton has
translated into the Law of Parsimony: _Deus non abundat in superfluis_.
To take a particular example, Görres maintains that the ascetic and
mystic process which the mind of the saint goes through by abstraction
from earthly things, and the habit of celestial contemplation,
does really co-operate in the phenomenon, so common in ecstasy, of
levitation. In which case, the saint would be rather aided by God,
acting upon his body through his soul, to rise in the air, than,
properly speaking, lifted up by him. This levitation is common enough
in the best authenticated cases of diabolical possession; and, if it
does not occur in cases presumably natural, at least a wholly abnormal
lightness and agility is not unfrequent in some of the movements of
somnambulism. We find an example of this in the following narrative,
taken from a rare treatise of the Benedictine Abbot Trithemius (sæc.
15), entitled _Curiositas Regia_ (p. 29): "Let any one who knows
nothing of nature tell me if the specific gravity of the body can be
lightened by the action of the mind. I, with two witnesses to back
me, will relate what I myself experienced when a boy at school. One
night, we were four of us sleeping in one bed; my companion rose from
beside me, as asleep as ever he was, the moon in its fifteenth night
shining in upon us, and wandered all over the house as though he were
awake, with his eyes shut. He climbed the walls more nimbly than a
squirrel. He a second and a third time clambered up on the bed, and
trampled upon all of us with his feet; but we felt no more of his
weight than if he had been a little mouse. Wherever his sleeping body
came, at once all the fastenings of the doors fell back of their own
accord. With exceeding swiftness, he got to the top of the house, and,
sparrow-fashion, clave to the roof. I am telling what I saw, not what I
heard in idle talk. This would seem to be the part, not of a body, but
of a spirit which freely uses its native power, so to speak, when the
corporal senses are bound, and it wanders outside the mansion of the
body.... We do not suppose that this will appear wonderful to the wise,
who have a true conception of the power and nobility of the human mind,
which in some respects is accounted the equal of the angels, being only
separated from them by the interposition of the body."

After speaking of the miracles wrought, first by the invocation of
faith, second by sanctity, which commands the ministration of angels,
third by the assistance of demons through explicit or implicit compact,
he continues: "Some persons add to these three ways a fourth, saying
that the mind or spirit of the man himself can naturally work its
miracles, provided only it knows how to withdraw itself from the
accidental, in upon itself, above the exercise of the senses, into
unity. Those who can compass this undertake to work marvels, to
predict the future, to lay open the secrets of men's hearts, to dispel
diseases, and suddenly to change men's counsels." Trithemius is willing
to admit that some such power exists, whilst denying that it can attain
to any perfect exercise without some external assistance from good or
evil spirits. He gives the same account with Görres of the ecstatic
_volatus_, viz., that the power of God co-operates with the energy of
the saint's soul.

William of Auvergne, Bishop of Paris, in the beginning of the XIIIth
century, recognizes the reality of several of the phenomena of
spiritualism, and indicates a natural basis. Thus, speaking of the
mirrors upon which magicians make their patients look, he says that no
images are seen in the glass, but that what takes place is "a bending
back of the mind's edge upon itself--of his mind, I say, who looks
upon such an instrument; for its brightness forbids the mind's vision
exteriorating and directing itself, and flings it back and reflects
it in such sort that it cannot but look into itself."[63] Within the
mind, he says, all sorts of wonders may be read, for therein abides the
light "to which our souls in respect to their noble powers are most
closely united; and one of the wisest Christians saith that 'this light
is the Creator ever blessed,' meaning by these words that betwixt our
minds and the interior light, which is God, there is no intermediary,
according to the prophet's word, which, addressing the Creator, saith,
'The light of thy countenance is sealed upon us, O Lord'; that is,
thy lightsome countenance, which is naught else but thyself." Whilst
acknowledging that this light is "sealed," and that its rays do but
break out like lightning flashes in a dark night, and confessing that
he has long been cured of that error of his youth, the notion that the
purification and abstraction necessary for such inward vision could
be profitably achieved without the "grace of the Creator," he yet
maintains that this light is, up to a certain point, communicated
according to a natural law, analogous, it would seem, to that of the
infusion of life. He considers that a melancholy temperament favors
this abstraction, and insists that melancholy madmen, in virtue of
their abstraction, do receive true irradiations of this divine light,
although indefinitely fragmentary (_particulatas et obtruncatas_),
"wherefore _naturally_ they begin to discourse like prophets of divine
things, yet continue not to talk so, save for a little while, but
lapse into words of accustomed folly." He attributes this relapse to
their shattered condition and the excess of the melancholy fumes which
overpower them.

Whatever may be thought of the theory, few can have seen much of
mad persons without noticing the noble fragments with which their
disjointed talk is not unfrequently interspersed. The present writer
has often heard one of the persons concerned relate the following story
of a madman's prophecy:

The narrator, with two lady friends, had just been received from
Anglicanism into the Catholic Church in Italy, and they were
anxiously looking forward to the new phase of life awaiting them in
England. They were all three going over a lunatic asylum at Palermo,
when suddenly one of the inmates strode up to them, and with great
solemnity, touching each of them in turn, said to one of the ladies,
"_Il Paradiso_"; to the other, "_La Madalena_"; and to the gentleman,
"_Molto, molto d'Argento_." Of the two ladies, the first died a holy
death on the threshold of her Catholic life, whilst the other entered
an order devoted to the reformation of fallen women. The third part
only remains unfulfilled, and may possibly mark the relapse into our
author's _desipientia consueta_.

William of Auvergne extends these natural divine irradiations even to
the minds of animals, for which he entertains a most unscholastic-like
respect: "Yea, this light (splendor) is given to dogs to hunt out the
most secret thieves; ... for the dog perceives not the thief himself,
and the sense of smell represents him not; for a thief, as such, has no
odor."

Trithemius and William of Auvergne may be regarded as authors who lay
an exceptional stress upon the natural basis of the supernatural. The
former indicates the possibility of the alteration of the specific
gravity of the body by the action of the soul within it; the latter
suggests a system of natural revelation akin, it would seem, to what
one meets with in the mesmeric or somnambulistic trance.

The somnambulistic and mesmeric states would seem to be substantially
identical, although the latter involves a relation of subjection to
the will of another which is not necessary, though possible, at least
in some degree, to the former. Somnambulism very frequently produces
the phenomenon of the exaltation of the natural powers; for instance,
when in a somnambulistic state, the singer sings more sweetly, the
dancer dances more gracefully, than in their normal condition. The same
exaltation of natural power has been stated sometimes to take place in
deranged persons, as Lamb indicates was the case with himself, in his
letter to Coleridge: "Dream not, Coleridge, of having tasted all the
grandeur and wildness of fancy till you have gone mad. All seems to me
now vapid, comparatively so." I remember being told by an intelligent
person very fond of singing, who was subject to occasional fits of
derangement, that, when mad, his voice gained in compass a good octave;
even if this proves to be nothing but a lunatic's delusion, it is
sufficiently curious that somnambulism should effect in reality what
madness vainly imagines.

From time to time, somnambulism seems to open a door in the soul to a
source of natural revelation, such as William of Auvergne speaks of.
The following authentic instance is particularly noteworthy, because
the possibility of expectation, having produced, as it often does, what
was expected, is precluded. At a school at Thorp Arch, in Yorkshire,
at the beginning of the present century, a boy was known to be a
somnambulist. One night, the usher saw him rise from his bed and wander
down-stairs into the school-room. He followed, and saw the boy go to
his desk, take out his slate, and write. On looking over his shoulder,
he read: "On such a day of such a month next I shall die." The boy
almost directly after went up to bed, and the usher took the slate to
the head-master. They agreed to say nothing about it, and another slate
was substituted. The boy went on with his routine life, apparently
quite unconscious that anything was impending; and, indeed, it is on
all hands admitted that somnambulists in their waking state recollect
nothing of their somnambulism. When the day came, the boy died.

Sister Anne Catherine Emerich (1774-1824), an ecstatica of Westphalia,
has expressed herself with considerable precision on the subject of
mesmerism. Whilst earnestly warning people against its use as to the
last degree dangerous, she admits that the phenomena are objective, and
that the power brought into action is _substantially_ natural. What
she says is so remarkable that I shall not hesitate to quote at some
length.[64]

  "My impression in regard to it [mesmerism] was always one of
  horror, and this sprang less from the thing itself than from the
  enormous danger to which I saw such as practised it almost always
  fall a prey.

  "The practice of magnetism borders on that of magic; in the
  former, indeed, there is no invocation of the devil, but he comes
  of himself. Whoever gives himself up to it plucks from nature
  something that cannot be lawfully won except in the church of
  Jesus Christ, and which cannot keep its power of healing, and
  sanctifying, except in her bosom. Nature, for all such as are not
  in active union with Jesus Christ by true faith and sanctifying
  grace, is full of satanic influences. Magnetic subjects see nothing
  in its essence and in its relation of dependence upon God; they
  see everything in a state of isolation and separation, as if they
  were looking through a hole or crack. They see one ray of things;
  and would to God this ray were pure--that is to say, holy! It is in
  God's mercy that he has veiled and separated us from one another;
  that he has raised a wall between us. Since we are all full of
  sin, and exercise influence one upon the other, it is well that
  we should be obliged to interpose some preamble before seducing
  one another and reciprocating the contagious influence of the evil
  spirit. But in Jesus Christ, God himself made man is given us as
  our head, in union with whom we can, when purified and sanctified,
  become one--one body--without bringing into this union our sins and
  evil inclinations. Whoever would bring to an end in any other way
  this separation which God has established is uniting himself, after
  a most dangerous fashion, to fallen nature, in which he reigns with
  all his allurements who drew it to its fall.

  "I see that magnetism is essentially true; but in that veiled light
  there crouches a thief who has broken his chain. All union amongst
  sinners is dangerous, interpenetration more especially so. But when
  this befalls a soul that is altogether cloudless; when a state, the
  condition of whose clairvoyance is its simplicity and directness,
  falls a prey to artifice and intrigue, then _one of the faculties
  of man before his fall--a faculty which is not quite dead_--is in a
  certain manner revived, to leave him more unarmed, more mystified,
  and exposed internally to the assaults of the demon. This state
  is real--it exists; but it is covered with a veil, because it is a
  spring poisoned for all except the saints.

  "I feel that the state of these persons follows a course in certain
  respects parallel to mine, but moving in an opposite direction,
  coming from elsewhere, and having other consequences. The sin of
  a man with only the faculty of ordinary vision is an act wrought
  by the senses or in their forum. The inward light is not thereby
  darkened, but speaks in the conscience, and urges from within, like
  a judge, to sensible acts of repentance and penance. It leads us
  to those remedies which the church administers under a sensible
  form--the sacraments. Then the sensitive part is the sinner, and
  the inward light the accuser.

  "But in the magnetic state, when the senses are dead, when the
  inward light receives and yields impressions, then that which
  is holiest in a man, the interior watcher, is exposed to deadly
  influences, to contagious infection of the evil spirit, such as the
  soul in the state of ordinary wakefulness can have no consciousness
  of, owing to the senses, subject as these are to the laws of time
  and space. At the same time, it cannot free itself of its sins by
  the purifying remedies of the church. I see, indeed, that a soul
  altogether pure and reconciled with God, even in the state in which
  the whole interior life is open, may chance not to be wounded by
  the devil. But I see that if she has previously consented to the
  least temptation, as very easily happens, especially to those of
  the female sex, Satan is free to play his game in the interior
  of the soul, which he always manages in a way to dazzle her with
  the semblance of sanctity. The visions become lies, and, if she
  perchance discover some way of healing the mortal body, she pays a
  costly price for it in the secret defilement of an immortal soul."

With regard to another kindred phenomenon, viz., the projection of the
thinking soul in a visible envelope, there is a remarkable passage in
S. Augustine (_De Civ. Dei_, lib. xviii. 18). He is speaking of a story
he heard when in Italy of men being turned into asses by enchantment,
and made to carry burdens:

  "To say nothing of the soul, I do not believe that a man's body
  could any how by demons-craft be turned into bestial limbs and
  lineaments; but the fantastic part of man's nature (which, in the
  processes of thinking and dreaming, is countlessly specificated,
  and which, though itself no body, yet with wondrous swiftness, when
  the man's bodily senses are holden in sleep or bondage, adapts to
  itself the images of bodies) may be presented in some I know not
  what ineffable way, under a bodily form, to the senses of others,
  the while their bodies be elsewhere alive, indeed, but with their
  senses much more heavily and mightily bound than in sleep. And
  that fantastic part appears to the eyes of others, as it were,
  incorporated in the likeness of another creature; and such the man
  seems to himself to be, and to carry burdens. While burdens, if
  they be real bodies and not fantastic, the demons carry to deceive
  spectators, who see on the one hand the burdens, which are real; on
  the other the beasts, which are mere appearances."

The phenomenon described, or rather suggested, by the saint is
substantially identical with that of the wraith, or apparition of the
spirit of a living person, when the soul is supposed to be projected
in a visible envelope under the influence of some strong emotion, the
bonds uniting soul and body being indefinitely stretched, without
being broken. Fanciful as this sounds, the apparition of the wraith is
perhaps the best authenticated of all ghost phenomena.

Plutarch (_De Gen. Soc._ p. 266) would seem to indicate the same
phenomenon. The Neoplatonic interlocutor, having distinguished the
intelligence (νοῦς) from the soul (ψυχή), inasmuch as the former is not
properly the body at all, except by reflection, as light in a mirror,
but floats above the man's head, bound to the incorporated soul and
yielding light for its conduct, says, in respect to the case of one
Hermodorus, whose soul was supposed periodically to leave his body:
"But this is not true, for his soul did not go forth from his body,
but, slackening and loosing the reins to the intelligence (the δαίμων,
as the wise call it, regarding it as something external), allowed it
circumgyration and circum-frequentation (περιδρομὴν καὶ περιφίτησιν),
and, when it had seen or heard anything, to bear in the tidings."

Catholic theologians, although commonly denying that the soul can
be separated from the body in natural or diabolical ecstasy, admit
generally that, in the case of the divine _raptus_, this separation, or
rather projection--for death is supposed not to ensue--may take place;
although many of them--amongst others Benedict XIV. (_De Beatif._, lib.
iii. cap. 49)--deny that, in fact, such separation ever does occur.
On this question, Cardinal Bona (_De Discret. Spir._, cap. 14) says:
"Whether the soul, in the higher or more vehement rapt, sometimes
leaves the body, or can leave it, is a doubtful and difficult question;
for the apostle, caught up into the third heaven, professed that he
knew not whether this was in the body or out of the body; and what so
great a man did not know it is not for us to define. 'For who,' saith
Augustine, most learnedly disputing of the rapt of Paul, 'would dare to
say he knew what the apostle said he did not know?' The same ignorance
possessed S. Teresa's mind; for, describing the effects of rapture in
_The Castle of the Soul_, mans. 6 c. 5, she says: 'Whether in the body
or out of the body these things take place, I cannot tell: I certainly
dare not affirm on my oath either that the soul is then in the body,
or that the body can, in the meanwhile, live without the soul.' Then,
making use of some similitude to explain the matter, she ends by saying
she knows not what to say. But S. Catherine of Sienna, herself a divine
patient (_Epist. xii. ad P. Raym._), does not hesitate to affirm for
certain that her soul sometimes left her body and tasted the sweets
of immortality; which occasional separation of the soul and body it
is manifest could take place, not by the powers of nature, but by the
omnipotence of God." I would suggest that separation or projection
would seem to admit of degrees, some of which may be possible to other
powers short of omnipotence.

To this phenomenon of projection I should be inclined to reduce the
majority, if not all, the cases of replication or bilocation recorded
in the lives of the saints. Benedict XIV. (_De Beatif._, lib. iv. pars.
i. cap. 32), when discussing the apparitions of living saints, is
careful to explain that he is not pretending to entertain the question
of the possibility of "one and the same body of a living man being at
the same time in two places, which philosophers call replication."
Both S. Thomas and S. Bonaventure insist upon the intrinsic
impossibility of the presence of a body "extensive"--_i.e._ clothed
in its dimensions--at the same time in more than one place. That
this is so, De Lugo, whilst advocating against Vasquez the contrary
opinion, intrepidly admits. We may add that the fact of trilocation
being unheard of is, so far, an argument against the possibility of
replication; for once admit that replication is possible, and there is
no reason for limiting to duality of presence.

It would seem to be essential to the phenomenon of projection that
the body remain in a trance during the process. When simultaneous
intelligent activity has been proved, the hypothesis is shown to be
insufficient. The best authenticated cases, however, of so-called
bilocation seem to me to fail precisely in this proof of simultaneity.
Take, for instance, the wonderful miracles of this kind related of
S. Alphonso Liguori, such as his preaching in the church and hearing
confessions in the house at the same time; the possibility either of
his having passed, with miraculous rapidity of course, from the one
place to the other, or, again, of the projection of his soul, does not
seem to me to have been fairly disproved.

Setting aside the hypothesis of replication, the apparitions of saints
simultaneously existing elsewhere need not be the result of projection,
as it is quite conceivable that they may be represented by their
angels. This seems to be suggested by S. Augustine (_De Cura Gerenda
pro Mortuis_, cap. 10). Such representation would cover simultaneous
activity should this be proved. For the perfection of the phenomenon
of projection, we require the patient's own testimony that he and no
other has been consciously acting in some place where his body was not,
and, in default of witnesses, some proof that he has been there. For
obvious reasons, such self-testimony is very rare in the lives of the
saints. The most remarkable I have met with is the following from the
_Life of S. Alphonso Liguori_ (vol. iii. p. 417, Orat. Series). It is
unfortunately defective in there having been no witnesses at the term
of projection:

  "In the morning of the 21st of September, 1774, after Alphonso
  had ended Mass, contrary to custom, he threw himself into his
  arm-chair; he was cast down and silent, he made no movement of any
  sort, never articulated a word, and said nothing to any one. He
  remained in this state all that day and all the following night;
  and, during all this time, he took no nourishment, and did not
  attempt to undress. The servants, on seeing the state he was in,
  did not know what was going to happen, and remained up and at his
  room door, but no one dared to enter it.

  "On the morning of the 22d, he had not changed his position; and
  no one knew what to think about it. The fact was that he was in a
  prolonged ecstasy. However, when the day became further advanced,
  he rang the bell to announce that he intended to celebrate Mass.
  This signal was not only answered by Brother Francis Anthony,
  according to custom, but all the people in the house hurried to him
  with eagerness. On seeing so many people, his lordship asked what
  was the matter, with an air of surprise. 'What is the matter?' they
  replied. 'You have neither spoken nor eaten anything for two days,
  and you ceased to give any signs of life.' 'That is true,' replied
  Alphonso; 'but you do not know that I have been with the Pope, who
  has just died.'... Ere long, the tidings of the death of the Pope
  Clement were received; he passed to a better life on the 22d of
  September, at seven o'clock in the morning, at the very moment when
  Alphonso came to himself."

To all appearances, precisely the same phenomenon is to be found both
in the diabolical and the natural order. Innumerable instances are
recorded of diabolical projection. Here is one quoted by Görres from
Senert (_De Morbis Occultis_): "A woman, accused of being a were-wolf,
anointed her body in the presence of the magistrate, who promised her
her life if she would give him a specimen of her art. Immediately after
the anointing, she fell on the ground, and slept profoundly. She awoke
three hours after, and, on being asked where she had been, answered
that she had been changed into a wolf, and had torn to pieces a sheep
and a cow close to a little village, which she named, and which was
situated a few miles off. They sent to this village, and, on inquiry,
found that the mischief she claimed to have perpetrated was a reality."

The following narrative of presumably natural projection is
characterized by Görres (_Mystik_, tom. iii. p. 267, French Trans.) as
"very noteworthy and perfectly authentic":

  "Mary, the wife of John Goffe, of Rochester, was attacked by a
  lingering illness, and was removed ten miles from her home to
  her father's house at West Malling, at which place she died June
  4, 1691. On the eve of her death, she was possessed with a great
  longing to see her children, whom she had left at home with their
  nurse. She besought her husband to hire a horse, that she might
  go to Rochester and die with her children. They pointed out to
  her that she was not in a condition to leave her bed and mount on
  horseback. She insisted that anyhow she would make the attempt. 'If
  I cannot sit upright,' said she, 'I will lie down on the horse; for
  I must see my dear little ones.' The clergyman visited her about
  ten o'clock at night. She seemed perfectly resigned to die, and
  full of confidence in the divine mercy. 'All that troubles me,'
  said she, 'is that I am not to see my children any more.' Between
  one and two in the morning, she had a kind of ecstasy. According to
  the statement of Widow Turner, who was watching beside her during
  the night, her eyes were open and fixed, and her mouth shut. The
  nurse put her hand to her mouth and nostrils, and felt no breath;
  she therefore supposed that the sick woman had fainted, and,
  indeed, was not clear whether she was alive or dead. When she came
  to herself, she told her mother that she had been to Rochester, and
  had seen her children. 'Impossible,' replied the mother; 'you have
  never for a moment left your bed.' 'For all that,' rejoined the
  other, 'I went to-night and saw my children during my sleep.' The
  Widow Alexander, the children's nurse, declared on her side that,
  a little before two o'clock in the morning, she saw Mary Goffe
  come out of the room next to hers, where one of the children was
  sleeping by itself, with the door open between them, and enter her
  room; and that she remained about a quarter of an hour close to the
  bed where she was lying with the youngest child. Her eyes moved and
  her lips looked as if they were speaking; but she said nothing. The
  nurse professed herself willing to affirm on oath in the presence
  of the authorities all that she had said, and to take the sacrament
  upon it. She added that she was perfectly awake, and that the dawn
  was beginning to break, as it was one of the shortest nights of the
  year. She sat up in bed, and watched the apparition attentively.
  She heard the clock on the bridge strike two. After a few moments
  had passed, she said, 'In the name of the Father, and the Son,
  and the Holy Ghost, who are you?' At these words, the apparition
  vanished."

Here is another example from Mr. Varley's evidence (_Report on
Spiritualism_):

  "My sister-in-law had heart disease. Mrs. Varley and I went into
  the country to see her, as we feared, for the last time. I had a
  nightmare, and could not move a muscle. While in this state, I
  saw the spirit of my sister-in-law in the room. I knew that she
  was confined to her bed-room. She said, 'If you do not move, you
  will die,' but I could not move; and she said, 'If you submit
  yourself to me, I will frighten you, and you will then be able
  to move.' At first I objected, wishing to ascertain more about
  her spirit-presence. When at last I consented, my heart had
  ceased beating. I think at first her efforts to terrify me did
  not succeed; but when she suddenly exclaimed, 'O Cromwell! I am
  dying,' that frightened me exceedingly, and threw me out of the
  torpid state, and I awoke in the ordinary way. My shouting had
  aroused Mrs. Varley; we examined the door, and it was still locked
  and bolted, and I told my wife what had happened, having noted the
  hour--3:45 A.M.--and cautioned her not to mention the matter to
  anybody, and to hear what was her sister's version, if she alluded
  to the subject. In the morning, she told us that she had passed a
  dreadful night, that she had been in our room, and greatly troubled
  on my account; and that I had been nearly dying. It was between
  half-past three and four when she saw I was in danger. She only
  succeeded in rousing me by exclaiming, 'O Cromwell! I am dying.' I
  appeared to her to be in a state which otherwise would have ended
  fatally."

In considering the psychic-force hypothesis, I have been anxious to do
justice to every slightest indication of such abnormal power in the
speculations and experiences of Catholic writers. For this reason, I
have spoken of projection, although I am not aware that any attempt
has been made by the advocates of psychic force so to explain it.
Whilst reiterating my belief that the mind has many mysterious powers
capable of being brought into active operation by various influences,
and that these are, in all probability, operative in several of the
phenomena of spiritualism; granting, moreover, that it is hardly
possible to define precisely the extent of the soul's co-operation in
the production of these phenomena, I contend, notwithstanding, that the
psychic-force hypothesis is the result of a non-natural and inadequate
analysis of the phenomena of spiritualism. For, 1st, in the form in
which it has been presented, it is indubitably obnoxious to the charge
of being an expedient to escape a recognition of spiritual influence,
which recognition, in a XIXth-century man of science, would be so very
unsportsmanlike, to say the least of it. 2d. It wholly ignores the
sense of personal dualism in spiritual experience, to which the history
of spiritualism in all ages bears consistent witness. As the idealist
would convince us that there is no external world distinct from the
phenomena of sensation, so the advocate of psychic force would persuade
spiritualists that they have been merely conversing with their own
shadows, as with real beings who could hear and answer their questions,
and have attributed to these, as independent agents, feats which they
were themselves performing. 3d. So far as we have any indication of a
thaumaturgic element in the mind, it manifests itself in the supreme
efforts of the imagination, kindled by emotion, and abstracted and
concentrated by expectation; whereas, in the mass of spiritualistic
experiences, imagination in those concerned seems distinctly to fall
short of its highest stages.

The third hypothesis remains for consideration; but, in order to do it
justice, I shall have to enter at some length into the church notion
of magic and direct diabolical interference; and this will form the
subject of my second chapter.

FOOTNOTES:

[49] Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, by Rev. I.
T. HECKER, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington,
D. C.

[50] _Scientific Scraps._

[51] _Hist. of Rat._, chap. i.

[52] Pref. to _From Matter to Spirit_.

[53] Lib. iv. dist. 34, art. 2.

[54] Dr. Tuke, _Influence of the Mind upon the Body_, p. 355.

[55] _Biog. Brit., Baconthorp._

[56] Haureau, _La Philosophie Scholastique_, tome ii. cap. 29.

[57] _The Immortality of the Soul_, op. p. 212.

[58] _Biog. Brit._

[59] _Influence of the Mind upon the Body_, p. 260.

[60] _Ibid._, p. 428.

[61] _Influence of the Mind upon the Body_, p. 82.

[62] S. Max. Taur., _Hom._ xvi.

[63] _De Universo_, pars iii. cap. 18, 20.

[64] _Vie_, par Schmoeger, tome i., p. 484 _et seq._



THE SON OF GOD, ARCHETYPAL BEAUTY.


My heart's voice is to thee, my Lord and Eternal King, Christ Jesus.
The work of Thy hand dares to address Thee with loving boldness, for
it yearns after Thy beauty, and longs to hear Thy voice. O Thou, my
heart's desired One, how long must I bear Thy absence! How long must
I sigh after Thee, and my eyes drop tears? O Lord, all love, all
loveable, where dwellest Thou? Where is the place of Thy rest, where
Thou reposest all joyful among Thy favorite ones, and satisfiest them
with the revelations of Thy glory? How happy, how bright, how holy, how
ardently to be longed for, is that place of perennial joys! My eye has
never reached far enough, nor my heart soared high enough, to know the
multitude of the sweetnesses which Thou hast stored up in it for Thy
children. And yet I am supported by their fragrance, though I am far
away from them. The breath of Thy sweetness comes to me from afar--a
sweetness which to me exceeds the odour of balsam, and the breath of
frankincense and myrrh, and every kind of sweet smell.--_S. Anselm._



DANTE'S PURGATORIO.

CANTO ELEVENTH.

  In the Ninth Canto Virgil declares to Dante: _Tu sei omai al
  Purgatorio giunto_-"Thou hast arrived at Purgatory now!" and it
  is not until the next Canto that the gate of Purgatory proper is
  unfolded to the poet. The first nine Cantos being preliminary, are
  by Italian critics called the Ante-Purgatorio.

  In the first cornice of the true Purgatory, "_La, dove 'l
  Purgatorio ha dritto inizio_," Dante meets a procession of spirits
  crouching under great burdens of stone, in expiation of their sin
  of pride. As this Tenth Canto, however, is mostly occupied with an
  elaborate description of certain sculptures around the cornice,
  illustrative of the same deadly sin, and might be less interesting
  to the readers of THE CATHOLIC WORLD, we proceed to the Eleventh,
  where we are introduced to the spirits of Omberto Aldobrandeschi,
  Oderisi the illuminator, and Provenzan Salvani, lord of Sienna. In
  Omberto the pride of birth is especially reproved; and in Salvani
  the pride of place, the arrogance of power. The sin of Oderisi is
  of the æsthetic order common to a period of larger culture. Himself
  an artist, whose fault was pride of art, he inveighs against the
  vanity of painters and of poets, and the emptiness of a present
  reputation.


PRAYER OF THE PROUD SPIRITS--A PARAPHRASE OF THE LORD'S PRAYER.

    "O thou, our Father, dwelling there in heaven!
      Not circumscribed, save by the larger love
    Which to thy love's first offspring must be given,
      Who from the first have dwelt with thee above!
    By every creature hallowed be thy name
      And praised thy goodness, as for man was meant
    To render thanks to thy benignant flame:
      May to our souls thy kingdom's peace be lent,
    For of ourselves we could not come thereto
      With all our intellect, unless 'twere sent:
    And even as of their will thine Angels do
      (Chanting Hosanna) sacrifice to thee,
    So to Thy Will may men their own subdue:
      Our daily manna give to us this day,
    Without which help, through this rough wilderness,
      Who strives to go falls backward on his way.
    And even as we forbear us to redress
      The wrong from others which we have to brook
    Pardon thou us, benignant One! and less
      On our deserving than our weakness look:
    Try not our virtue, ever prone to yield,
      'Gainst the old enemy who spurs it so;
    Deliver us from him and be our shield:
      This last petition, dearest Lord! we know
    We have no need of;--but for them we plead
      Who after us amid temptation go."
    Thus praying for themselves and us God-speed,
      Those weary shadows, underneath a load
    Like that we sometimes dream that we endure,
      Toiled in unequal anguish[65] o'er the road
    Round the first cornice, all becoming pure
      From the world's tarnish. O if alway there
    For us they say such gracious words! for them
      What might be here performed in act or prayer
    By souls whose will is a sound-rooted stem:
      Well might we help them wash whatever stain
    They bore from _this_ world, that sublimed and fair
      They to the starry circles might attain.

VIRGIL.

    "Ah so may pity soon, and justice spare
      You souls this load, that you may move the wing
    That lifts you upward to celestial air!
      Show us which way most speedily may bring
    Us towards the ascent. If more than one there be,
      Point us that pass the least precipitous;
    Since he who comes and fain would climb with me
      Through flesh of Adam is encumbered thus."
    Who made their answer to these words which he
      Whom I was following unto them addrest
    Was not discernible, but this was said:

OMBERTO.

    "To the right hand, along the bank, 'tis best
      You come with us. This way to living tread
    The pass is possible that you request:
      And were I not impeded by the stone
    Which my proud neck so masters with its weight,
      That I perforce must hold my visage down,
    This man who liveth, and who doth not state
      What name he bears, I would look up to see
    If I do know, and make compassionate
      His heart for this huge load that bendeth me.
    William Aldobrandeschi was the name
      Of a great Tuscan; I was born his son,
    Of Latin race: whether his title came
      To your ears ever, knowledge have I none.
    Mine ancestors, their ancient blood, and what
      They wrought by prowess, rendered me so high
    In arrogance, that never taking thought
      About our common Mother, all men I
    So scorned, that as the Siennese all know,
      I to my death at last was brought thereby,
    And every child in Campagnatico
      Knows how I there did perish for my sin.
    I am Omberto, and not me alone
      Hath pride done damage to, but all my kin
    Hath it dragged hither with myself to groan,
      And I who living never bowed my head,
    Till God be satisfied, and mercy shown,
      Must bear this burden here among the dead."

    Listening I held my visage down intent,
      And one of them, but not the same that spoke,
    Writhing looked up, beneath his burden bent,
      And recognized, and called me; still his look
    With strained eyes fixing upon me who went
      All bowed beside them. "O!" exclaimed I then,
    "Art thou not Oderisi, Gubbio's pride,
      And honor also of that art which men
    In Paris name _illuming_?" He replied:

ODERISI.

    "Brother! those leaves with hues more smiling shine
      Touched by the pencil of the Bolognese
    Franco, whose whole fame was but partly mine.
      Haply in life such courteous words as these
    I had not spoken, so my heart was set
      All others to excel. For such poor pride
    Here I must pay the penalty; nor yet
      Should I be here, but that before I died
    I turned to God, still having power to sin.
      O thou vain-glory of man's boasted powers!
    How little while thy summit keeps its green,
      Unless gross ages come that yield no flowers!
    Once Cimabuè thought to keep the crown
      In painting's field; now all cry Giotto best,
    So that the former hath but dim renown:
      Thus could one Guido from the other wrest
    The glory of language, and perchance is born
      He that shall drive out either from his nest.
    Naught is the world's voice but a breath of morn
      Coming this way and that, and changing name
    Even as it shifteth side: what more shalt thou,
      If old thou cast thy flesh, enjoy of fame
    Than if death's hand had touched thy baby brow
      Whilst thou wert babbling, ere a thousand years
    Have past? which unto God's eternity
      A space more insignificant appears
    Than would the twinkle of an eyelid be
      To the least rapid of the heavenly spheres.
    Yon soul before me, moving on so slow,
      Once through all Tuscany was noised for great,
    Now scarce Sienna breathes his name, although
      He was her sovereign, when the infuriate
    Spirit of Florence met such overthrow;
      For she, now vile, swelled then in proud estate.
    Men's reputation is the fleeting hue
      Of grass, that comes and goes! even that whereby
    Fresh from the soil its tender verdure grew,
      The sun, discolors it and leaveth dry."

ANTE.

      And I: "Thy truthful words teach me to seek
    Goodness in humbleness, and quell my pride.
      But who is he of whom thou just didst speak?"

ODERISI.

    "That's Provenzan Salvani," he replied;
      "And he goes here because he so presumed
    In bringing all Sienna 'neath his sway:
      Thus ever since he died hath he been doomed,
    Without repose, to walk his weary way.
      _Who dares too much there in such coin pays back._"

DANTE.

    I then: "If every soul who doth delay
      Repentance till the limit of life's track,
    Must wait below, nor be up here received
      Unless good prayers assist him on his road,
    Before as much time pass as he hath lived,
      How comes this largess upon him bestowed?"

ODERISI.

    The spirit replied: "When he was living still
      In the full glory of his most high state,
    All shame subduing, of his own free will
      Amid Sienna's public square he sate,
    And there his friend to ransom from the pain,
      Which Charles had doomed him, of his dungeon's grate,
    Did that which made him tremble in each vein.[66]
      I say no more and know I darkly teach
    But in short while thy neighbors unto thee
      Will so conduct that thou mayst gloss my speech:
    Him from those confines did this act set free."


NOTE.

  In the translation of Canto VII., published in the April No. of
  THE CATHOLIC WORLD, I proposed a new rendering of the 74th verse,
  namely,

            _India's rich wood, heaven's lucid blue serene_,

  for

                    _Indico legno, lucido e sereno_,

  which line I would then have read,

                     _Indico legno, lucido sereno_,

  without the conjunction. I had not found this reading in any
  edition which fell to my hands, and it was merely a suggestion of
  my own to make intelligible what seemed to be unsatisfactory to the
  sense.

  In a late No. (June 14) of the London _Athenæum_, Dr. H. C. Barlow,
  a very learned Dantean, confirms my reading by one of the older
  texts in his library, and also adds that, "in the edition of the
  _Divina Commedia_ by Paola Costa, we find the reading recently
  adopted by Mr. Parsons ... which the editor says is an emendation
  of Biondi, who has defended it with much learned reasoning."

  Nevertheless, Dr. Barlow does not accept this amendment; but
  believes, with Monti, that Dante meant to compare the rich and
  varied hues of a flower-bed to something like charcoal; to wood,
  clear and dry; for instance, _ebony_; and he quotes from Monti this
  word: "What can be darker than the night? yet when free from clouds
  we call it _serene_." The answer whereto is that when the night is
  free from clouds, and starry, or serene, it is _not_ dark, and many
  objects in nature are blacker than such a night.

  I cannot feel quite so sure of my reading as Dr. Barlow appears to
  be of his own interpretation, but I have some confidence that Dante
  did not mean _ebony_, for the obvious reason that _ebony_ is not
  a brilliant color such as Dante was describing; and the statement
  which Dr. Barlow takes such pains to prove, namely, that painters
  often introduce black for the sake of contrast, does not apply at
  all to a verbal description--"_segnius per aurem_," etc.

  I am after all inclined to think that the true reading of this
  much-disputed verse may be

                    _Indico legno, e lucido sereno_,

  but my mind is not made up entirely, and one object of publishing
  these Cantos in a periodical is that my version, before it is
  completed, may have the advantage of critical suggestions, and
  perhaps elucidation, in doubtful passages, from the learning and
  ingenuity of such Italian scholars in England as Mr. Haselfoot, Dr.
  Barlow, and Sir Frederic Pollock.

                                                             TRANSLATOR.


FOOTNOTES:

[65] That is, under loads of divers weight proportioned to their degree
of sin.

[66] That is to say he begged: in which act of terrible humiliation to
so haughty a spirit Dante is recalling his own bitter experience.



THE FARM OF MUICERON.


                            BY MARIE RHEIL.

                  FROM THE REVUE DU MONDE CATHOLIQUE.


I.

What I am going to relate to you is a true story in every respect,
seeing that I had it from my late father--in his lifetime the
harness-maker of our hamlet of Val-Saint, and who was never known to
tell a falsehood: may God have mercy on his soul!

In the village of Ordonniers, which was the next one to us, and in our
commune, where flows _la Range_, lived a farmer named Louis Ragaud. The
maiden name of his wife was Pierrette Aubry; but after her marriage,
according to our custom, she was called by every one La Ragaude.

They were rich, and no one was jealous of them, as it was known that
they had commenced with nothing, having been simply servants in the
employ of M. le Marquis de Val-Saint. Little by little they had risen,
without having injured any one, always kind to the poor, never miserly
or boasting; so that, when at the end of twenty years they found they
had saved enough to buy the beautiful farm of Muiceron, which they had
previously rented, all the neighbors said: "Behold the true justice of
the good God!"

They had been married a long time, and had no children. Now, wealth
is a great deal, but not enough for perfect contentment of heart. The
good man Ragaud had fields and meadows that yielded rich crops, strong
oxen, and even vines that bore well--though it must be acknowledged
that the wines of our province were not very renowned. As for the farm
buildings, except those of the château, there were scarcely any in a
circle of six leagues which were as well kept; and nevertheless, Ragaud
sighed when looking around him--no child, alas! and no family, with the
exception of a cousin, who left for the army more than thirty years
before, and had never been heard of since; so that, very naturally, he
could not be counted upon.

La Ragaude sighed still more. She was good and very devout, but unable
to bear sorrow; and this was so severe, so constant, it had ended by
destroying all her happiness. Often, when looking at the neighbors'
children playing before the doors, she felt her heart throb with pain,
and would hasten to seek refuge in her own house, where she could give
free vent to her tears. As this happened more than once, and as she
always reappeared with red eyes, it had been much remarked, and sundry
comments made. Not that there is much time to be lost in the fields,
but a reflection here and there scarcely retards work. There are even
those who say that the tongue assists the arm, and that gossipping
helps push the plough. It is woman's tattle, I believe; but a good
number of men here and elsewhere have the habit of repeating it, and I
do likewise, without inquiring further.

The gossips of the neighborhood--above all, those who had larger
families than incomes--were determined to find out the true cause of
Pierrette Ragaud's tears; and, as often happens, preferred seeking for
wicked reasons rather than stop their babbling.

"It is a thing I cannot understand," said one, "why the mistress of
Muiceron is so unhappy that she weeps constantly--a woman who is so
well off. We must believe that things at the farm are not so well as
they appear. Perhaps it is her husband who makes all the trouble!"

"Her husband! Magdaleine Piédau?" replied another; "you must be well
put to that you imagine such a thing. Master Ragaud is the first
workman in the country; and, as for his using bad words, that he has
never done, any more to his wife than to others."

"Bah! what you say is true," replied Magdaleine Piédau; "but all the
same, neighbor, Ragaud can fly into a rage as well as any other man.
I saw and heard him, day before yesterday, beside himself with anger
against one of his yoke of oxen. You know Capitaine, the big black
one? Ah! my dear, I pitied the poor beast--he beat him well! without
counting that he swore so that you would not have known him. Bah! don't
talk to me!"

"Ah! that may be, but I speak of people. Now, an ox is not a person!"

"There you are right, thank God! Men are often rough to beasts, and
very polite to Christians; but, in my opinion, we must be gentle and
patient to both. A beast that works well deserves to be well treated,
and Ragaud had no right to beat his ox. I don't say he would treat his
wife so; but, at least, we must allow that Pierrette Ragaud does not
always look as if her life were a holiday. Ah! she has trouble, that is
very sure, poor creature!"

"And the reason?"

"The reason! Go and ask her, Magdaleine, if you are so curious."

"I wouldn't dare; for, after all, it don't concern me very much. What I
have said was only in the way of friendly gossip."

"In that case, we can speak of other things; for I don't know any more
about it than you. We will leave it for God to clear up. Go and catch
your boy, who will fall into the pond, Magdaleine Piédau, and lend me
your sickle, that I may cut some grass for my cows.... But to think
that Ragaud ill-treats his wife--no, no; that is out of the question.
After that, where may we hope to find a good man? One don't know...."

"No, neighbor, one never knows how it is with them. You speak like a
priest, my good woman. The deceased Piédau, my man, that every one
believed so good, ..."

"Good-evening, Magdaleine."

"Was a drunkard and big eater. I concealed it for ten years, and wept
alone like the mistress of Muiceron."

"Good-evening, neighbor."


II.

One summer day, when La Ragaude was washing her earthen pans in the
sun, she saw the _curé_ of Ordonniers advancing through the path in the
woods. He was a worthy priest, beloved by all, and well deserving of
it on account of his great charity. I have heard it said that, in the
years when bread was so dear, he gave away his last measure of wheat,
and then, having no more for himself, was obliged to go to the miller,
Pierre Cotentin, and ask for some flour on credit.

"It is not my custom," said he gaily, "and you are not bound to oblige
me; but the times are hard, and you must never refuse to give alms,
even to your _curé_."

The miller filled the bag willingly; and as for the money, although he
was very fond of it, he would never hear the word mentioned.

Said he, "M. le Curé has an empty purse. We must not ask him where the
last cent went, poor dear man! Pierre Cotentin can well feed him--it is
justice! Who will have the heart to be jealous?"

And in fact, the _curé_ was so respected that not a boy, no matter how
bad he was, ever failed to take off his cap when passing him.

When La Ragaude saw the black cassock coming towards Muiceron, she
quickly arranged her pans, and threw aside her working-apron; for she
was a careful woman and thorough housekeeper.

"Good-morning, M. le Curé; how are you?" she asked joyfully.

"Very warm, very warm," replied the _curé_; "otherwise, well."

"My dear monsieur, why did you not wait until the cool of the evening
to do us the honor of visiting us? It is roasting in the road. I
thought just now I would send a servant to replace my husband in the
fields. A storm is rising, the flies bite, Ragaud is not as strong as
he was at twenty, and I am afraid of the beasts--they are difficult to
control when they become impatient."

"Ah! your husband is absent?"

"Have you something to say to him, monsieur?"

"To him and to you also, my good woman."

"Come in and refresh yourself," said she.

M. le Curé entered, and took a seat near the table. He appeared
preoccupied, and answered like a man who did not hear what was said
to him. He even placed his cane against the bread-box, and his hat on
top--something which he had never done before, as the slightest motion
might have sent them to the floor. When he put his hand in his pocket
for his breviary, he found he had forgotten it, which embarrassed him
not a little; as, it must be said, no man was more exact and particular
than he in words as well as in actions.

La Ragaude, not being a fool by nature, quietly replaced the cane and
hat in a safe place, but was, in her turn, very much astonished to see
the _curé_ so absent, as it was the first time it had ever happened;
and from that concluded he must have something in his head of great
importance. What could it be?

While busying herself around the room, without showing it, Pierrette
Ragaud had distractions also. She drew new wine for cider, and washed
a glass which had not been used. But that I do not believe she would
have perceived then or afterwards; for she was so accustomed to scrub
everything you could have used the side walls of the stable for a
mirror.

M. le Curé tasted the wine through civility, but, as he said nothing,
she began to feel rather impatient. Women are curious. My deceased
father was accustomed to say, from that came all the evil from the
commencement of the world. It is true the dear man was rather in his
dotage towards the end; but it is also true that I have heard others
say the same thing.

Pierrette at last commenced to question the _curé_ very respectfully
and gently; for, in truth, she could no longer restrain herself.

"Although the master is out, M. le Curé," said she, "will you not
tell me what I can do to serve you?--without pressing to know, you
understand, monsieur."

M. le Curé raised his eyes, and replied as gravely as though he were
preaching a sermon:

"I have come to know, in the name of the good God, Mme. Ragaud, if you
are disposed to act charitably."

"Oh! if it is to aid those who are suffering and in need, my husband
and I will be most happy to assist you," frankly cried La Ragaude, who
spoke with her whole heart and soul. "Thank God! there is yet money in
the drawer. Tell me how much you want, monsieur."

The good _curé_ shook his head, laughing, and repeated two or three
times, "Good, good," which was a sign that he was pleased.

"You are always ready to give money to the poor, I know," said he; "but
to-day that is not the question. I have come to ask you for something
of greater importance."

"More so than money! Heaven of our Lord!" said Pierrette, slightly
amazed. "I do not know, M. le Curé, how, then, I can oblige you."

She said that, although she had a generous heart; but money with us is
always the great affair. In the fields, as in the city, the poor man
who eats his bread while working knows that the francs are not picked
up under the horses' feet.

"Money," replied M. le Curé, "when the soul is wanting in charity,
is given, and there it ends; but what I have come to ask of you is a
good work which will not end for a long while, and which will need
good-will, and great patience especially, on your part."

"I can guess what it is," said Pierrette.

"Indeed!" replied the _curé_. "Well, that spares me the difficulty of
explaining myself. Let us hear, Mme. Ragaud, what you have guessed."

"I have heard it said you were very much worried about your surplices
and altar-linens, since Catharine Luguet left the country so
shamefully, like a good-for-nothing girl, to seek her fortune in
Paris," said La Ragaude, blushing--for this Catharine was a distant
cousin--"and doubtless, M. le Curé, you wish me to replace her, and
take charge of the sacristy."

"And if it were so, would you refuse me?"

"Certainly not, monsieur. I would willingly do my best to please you.
Not that I have as light a hand as Catharine for plaiting and folding;
but for washing and ironing, I can say, without boasting, I am the
equal of any one."

"Thank you," said the _curé_. "I accept an offer made so willingly. But
to speak truly, I have not come for that."

"Then," replied Pierrette, in astonishment, "I cannot imagine what you
want me to do."

"This is it," said the _curé_, taking a serious tone: "This morning,
Pierrette, a bundle was left at my house...."

"I bet," cried La Ragaude, "it was the beautiful monstrance promised by
M. le Marquis for Corpus Christi!"

"No, it was a new-born infant, a beautiful boy, Mme. Ragaud; and,
since the good God has allowed you to remain childless, and that this
privation has greatly afflicted you, I immediately thought he destined
this child for you."

"Monsieur," replied Pierrette, with emotion, "it is true that it is
very hard for me to be alone in the house, and to think that I will
die and leave no one after me to inherit Muiceron; but I prefer it to
working all my life for a child sprung, perhaps, from a wicked race."

"I know where it comes from," said the _curé_; "but still I can
tell you nothing, as it is a secret of the confessional. But have
confidence in me; as for the race, it is not bad."

"It is the same thing. I don't believe in these foundlings."

"Say nothing further about it," replied the _curé_ rather sadly; "I
will send it to the hospital."

And then, without appearing to feel either pique or bitterness, M.
le Curé commenced to converse on other subjects, speaking of the
next harvest, the price of the new wine, and of the last fair, with
even voice and kind looks, that showed plainly he did not wish his
parishioner to think he was pained by her rather prompt refusal.

This kindness of a heart truly charitable had more effect on good
Pierrette than reproaches or scolding. She did her best to reply to the
_curé_, but her eyes were wet against her will, and soon she became
so absent-minded the _curé_ with difficulty repressed his mirth,
seeing that he had gained ground by the ell, without seeming to do it
intentionally.

"You see," said he, "by often hearing the bells ring, one becomes a
bell-ringer; and as I love all my parishioners, like a true pastor, I
go everywhere, inquiring and advising, so that I may be useful in case
of need. In that way, Mme. Ragaud, without ever having driven a plough
or taken care of cattle, God has given me the grace of being able to
advise on all rural subjects, as well as the first master-farmer in the
neighborhood. Thus, I will say to you: 'When there are more pears than
apples, keep your wine, good man.' This is a country proverb hundreds
of years old. Now, as this year there are more pears than they know
what to do with, believe me, keep your vintage, and you will have news
to tell me of it by next Easter."

"I do not know how Ragaud will decide," replied Pierrette; "he is
always afraid when the cellar is full...."

"The proverb never fails, my good woman; and that is easily understood
when one reflects how and why proverbs have obtained credit."

"But, M. le Curé," interrupted La Ragaude, "if you knew where this poor
abandoned child came from, it seems to me...."

"What child?" said the _curé_, taking a pinch of snuff, so as to appear
indifferent. "Oh! yes, the little one of this morning. What, do you
still think of it? Bah! let it pass; after all, the hospital is not a
place where one dies from want of care."

"I know it; but it is sad, monsieur, very sad, for one of those little
innocents to say afterwards, 'I was in a hospital'; that always gives a
bad idea."

"What can be done, Mme. Ragaud? One becomes accustomed to everything.
Come, come, don't make yourself uneasy. We were saying, then, ... what
were we saying? Ah! I remember now. I was telling you that proverbs
must be believed, and for the reason that these little village-sayings
are only repeated after they have been verified by the great and long
experience of our fathers. Thus, you will see that the last part of
the one I just quoted is equally curious: 'When there are more apples
than pears, then, good man, you can drink.' Well, wasn't it a fact last
year? There were so many apples that a jug of cider was only worth two
farthings; there was enough for everybody, and the wine was so abundant
that--you are not listening to me, Pierrette Ragaud?"

"Excuse me, M. le Curé, I am listening attentively; but I was thinking
perhaps my husband would not return; and, nevertheless, he should have
a little talk with you."

"About the vintage? We have time enough until then for that," replied
the _curé_ with a spice of malice.

"About the little innocent, dear monsieur. The truth is, I feel my
heart ache when I think he will go to the hospital through my fault."

"And as for me, my good woman, I am sorry that I spoke to you about
it; yes, sorry," he repeated earnestly, "for I have worried you, and I
had no such intention when I came to visit you. I see now that you are
inclined on the side of the good work; but I don't wish to force you
to take it in hand. Here, now, if the hospital frightens you, I have
thought of another arrangement, which might work well. My old Germaine,
notwithstanding her thirty years of service, is still active, and the
work in my house don't kill her. We will buy a good milking-goat at the
August fair; until then, you will lend us one, and, God willing, the
little one will remain where his good angel deposited him."

"May the Lord bless you!" cried La Ragaude, the tears streaming from
her eyes. "But what a shame for us to let you burden yourself with such
a heavy load, when you already give more than you can afford! No, no,
holy and good Virgin Mary! For my part, I would not sleep easy after
such an act."

The good _curé_ clasped his hands, and in his heart rendered thanks to
all the saints in paradise. He was very much touched, and as he was
about to thank Pierrette as she deserved, Ragaud returned from the
fields.

They cordially saluted each other; and, very naturally, as the good
man saw his wife wiping her eyes, and the _curé_ almost ready to
do likewise, he asked what had excited them. Thereupon M. le Curé
commenced a long discourse, so gentle and so touching--he spoke of
charity, of the rewards of heaven, the happiness of generous hearts,
with words so beautifully turned that never in the parish church, on
the greatest festivals, had he preached better. Pierrette, as she
afterwards said, thought she was listening to the holy patron saint of
Ordonniers, who in his lifetime, it is related, spoke so well that the
birds stopped singing to listen to him. Ragaud remained silent, but he
shook his head, and turned his cap around in his hands--signs of great
emotion with him.

Meanwhile, he said neither yes nor no, but asked time for reflection,
promising to give his answer the next day before twelve o'clock. He was
perfectly right, and M. le Curé, who felt in the bottom of his heart
that the cause was gained, wished even to wait until Sunday; but Ragaud
did not like to take back his word.

"I said to-morrow, M. le Curé, and it will be to-morrow," said he, when
conducting his pastor to the threshold of the door.

"Dear, holy soul of the good God!" cried Pierrette, looking after the
_curé_ as he leisurely walked down the road, repeating his rosary as he
went along. "Good dear priest, that he is! We need many more like him,
Ragaud!"

"Good, holy man, in truth," replied the farmer; "but what he proposes
to us is an affair of importance. You are young and healthy yet, wife,
but in ten years your arms will not be as strong as now. You must think
of that, even if God keeps you in good health. A child is a comfort in
a house, but all the burden falls on the mother. Suppose this little
one should become refractory and vagabond, like Cotentin's son."

"That is true," said La Ragaude.

"Suppose he should get bad ideas in his head, and send religion and
honesty to the devil."

"That would be a great misfortune," again said La Ragaude, but this
time sighing.

"I know you," continued the good man--"you become attached to every
one. Didn't you weep like a little girl because I beat Capitaine, who
is only an ox, and who deserved it? And haven't I seen you half crazy
because Brunette had the gripes?--and she was only a cow.... Can it be
hoped that you would be more reasonable about a child who would become
ours?--for we must do the thing well or not at all; isn't it so?"

"It is just as you say," replied Pierrette, sighing still louder; "but
what, then, shall we do?"

"My opinion is that we must consider it well," answered Ragaud.

"You only consider the bad side," said La Ragaude gently; "but suppose
the little one should preserve the blessing of his baptism, and let
himself be well governed--later, we would be very happy and well
rewarded."

"That is true," said the farmer.

"If," continued La Ragaude, "I am easily worried about animals, I know
well it would not be the same thing with a Christian. You see, husband,
the poor beasts suffer without being able to complain or explain
themselves; and, therefore, I am always afraid of their being treated
unjustly. But a boy has his tongue, and can defend himself. We can talk
sense to him, and if he won't listen, why, we will put him to school."

"Bah! you will spoil him so that he will be master of the house before
he is in breeches."

"Don't fear," cried Pierrette; "that will never be, or I should think
myself wanting in gratitude to the good God."

"If I could be sure of that, my wife, I would attempt it. But, come;
let the night pass before deciding."

They did not mention it again until the next day; but Pierrette took
care, before retiring, to light a taper at her bedside, beneath a
beautiful picture of Our Lady of Liesse.

Early the next morning, she went, as usual, to feed her turkeys and
drive her cows to the meadow. On her return, she saw Ragaud dressing
himself in his Sunday clothes.

"I think, wife," said he, "we had better, at least, see this little one
before deciding."

Pierrette hastened to throw aside her apron; and then it appeared she
had expected such a decision, as at dawn she had dressed herself in
her new gown of gray serge, with her bright-flowered neckerchief from
Rouen, which had only been worn at the last feast of the good S. Anne,
in July.

It was thus the worthy couple proceeded on their way to the priest's
house. As it was Thursday, and neither festival, nor fair, nor
market-day in the village, the neighbors stared as they saw them pass,
and, unable to imagine the cause, chattered nonsense, half from malice,
half from spite; and Simonne Durand, well known for her viper tongue,
said aloud: "We must believe the Ragauds are going to obtain the
priest's blessing on their fiftieth anniversary, as they are so finely
dressed on a week-day."

This wicked jealousy went a little too far, and profited nothing to the
spiteful thing, as every one knew the Ragauds had only been married
twenty years at the furthest; but, when the mind is full of malice,
there is little time for reflection.

When the good friends arrived at the pastoral residence, M. le Curé
had just entered after saying his Mass; and we need not ask if he had
prayed well. Germaine, his old servant, held the baby in her lap, and
was feeding him with boiled goat's milk. Pierrette could not restrain
her delight on seeing what a beautiful child it was, and that it was at
least six or seven months old. She snatched it from Germaine's arms,
and commenced kissing it, not caring that she had interrupted his
little repast. This showed that the child was good-natured; for instead
of crying, as a sickly, cross baby would have done similarly situated,
he crowed with joy, and put out his little hands, dazzled with the
fine, flowered neckerchief of his new mamma.

"How pretty and healthy he is!" cried La Ragaude. "My dear M. le Curé,
you told me it was a new-born child."

"Did I say so, Pierrette? It was because I did not know much about it."

"So it seems," replied the good woman, gaily. "The little darling is at
least seven or eight months old; don't you think so, Germaine?"

"I know one a year old not so large as he," answered the old servant.
"But that is not all, Mme. Ragaud; you see him in the day-time, but it
is at night that he is good and amusing. He sleeps without stirring,
like a little corpse. For my part, I would not be afraid to bring him
up."

Ragaud had not yet said a word, and still upon him all depended.

"Come and talk a little while with M. le Curé," said he, pulling his
wife by the skirt.

Pierrette quickly rose to obey him, according to her good habit, but
she did not give up the young one; so that Ragaud gently reproved her
for again showing herself as ready to become attached to men as to
beasts.

We need not be sorcerers to divine what happened. In less than
a quarter of an hour, the contract of adoption was passed
satisfactorily, without notary or scribbling. It was signed with a
friendly shake of the hands; and to say which one of these good hearts
was the best satisfied would not be very easy.


III.

Now, without further delay, I am going to show you, as they say,
the under-card in relation to the little one. True, it was a secret
of the confessional, at least for the time being; but later, it was
everybody's secret. The story is simple, and will not be long. You
remember that our _curé_, in conversation with Pierrette, led her
to mention a certain Catharine Luguet, against whom the good woman
appeared very much incensed. This Catharine was an orphan, whose
parents, dying, left her when quite young without any means of support.
Germaine watched over her like a daughter, and M. le Curé, to keep her
near him, paid her apprenticeship to a seamstress; after which, having
grown up, and being very skilful with her needle, he placed her in a
little room near the church, and gave her charge of the sacristy. But,
unfortunately, the poor child was as pretty as a picture, and loved
compliments, dress, and dancing, which is a great danger for a young
girl, especially in a village. Catharine commenced by degrees to make
people talk about her, and not without cause. The Ragauds, who were
distantly related to her on the mother's side, at first reprimanded
her, and finally would not see her. The girl was quick-tempered,
resented the treatment, and one fine day went off, saying that she
could easily find in Paris people who would be happy to receive her.

Two years passed without news of her. Her name was no longer mentioned
in the village, and from that M. le Curé surmised some misfortune had
happened. He prayed for the poor girl, and unceasingly begged the good
God to mercifully receive her through his grace, if not during her
life, at least at the hour of death. His prayer was heard at a moment
when he scarcely expected it. One morning, when Germaine had left the
village at day-dawn to make some purchases in the city, she took it
into her head to pay a visit to one of her good friends, who was a Gray
Sister in a large hospital. They talked about the patients; and the
sister, very much affected, spoke of a young woman she had received the
week before, and who appeared very near her end.

"I have put her by herself," said she, "and I will confide to you,
Germaine, that this poor afflicted creature has a child; and, between
ourselves, I very much believe she is dying as much of shame as of
want."

Germaine wished to see her; but, at the first look, the sick woman
uttered a loud cry, and hid her head under the counterpane.

"What is the matter?" said Germaine. "I frighten her."

"We have awakened her," replied the good sister, "and she is nervous. I
should have entered alone."

But the poor girl sobbed without showing her face. At last the sister
calmed her. Germaine, on her side, spoke kindly, and finally she drew
down the covering. You can imagine the rest.

It was Catharine Luguet, but how changed! She, formerly so pretty, so
bright, and so laughing--and now her mother herself would scarcely have
recognized her. The innocent little being that slept in a cradle by her
side told all her story. What she had found in Paris, what had brought
her back to the country, there to die, were dishonor, misery, and an
orphan without a name--but also sincere and true repentance; and the
good God, who has certainly received her in paradise, struck the blow,
that she might be saved.

Who was astonished, and at heart happy, in spite of his sorrow, which
can be well understood? It was our _curé_. Holy man that he was, he
was happier to have his lost sheep brought back to him, even although
half dead, than not to have found her at all. The next day, he hastened
to Issoudun, and remained the greater part of the afternoon with poor
Catharine.

Issoudun was the nearest large city to our village, and, if I have
forgotten to tell you so, I beg you will excuse me.

Although my father gave me some slight details of the unfortunate
girl's story, I will not relate them; for many long years she has
reposed in consecrated ground, and, as the dear, good man wisely said,
"The sins which have received the pardon of God should be hidden by
man;" and this is true charity.

It is only necessary to say that this first visit of our _curé_ was
followed by many others. Catharine declined visibly, and her little
one, from whom she would not be separated, was a great worry to her.
The sisters took care of him, and fed him to the best of their ability
during the day, but they could not attend to him at night. He was
beautiful and healthy, and grew like a weed--which was a miracle,
considering the state of the mother--but his first teeth commenced to
appear, and rendered him restless and troublesome. One morning, when
M. le Curé and Germaine went together to the hospital, they found poor
Catharine so ill they feared she would not pass the day.

"My daughter," said Germaine to her, "be reasonable; let me have your
child. I will take great care of him."

"As you please," replied Catharine.

He was instantly carried away; and, that no one should penetrate the
secret, a confidential woman, employed in the hospital, came in the
night-time, and left him at the priest's house in the village. That
same night, poor Catharine became speechless, but was conscious until
the moment of her death, which soon happened, and never was there seen
a more peaceful and touching agony. The sisters saw with admiration
that after death she regained her beauty, and her face its youthful
look of twenty years.

"She is smiling with the angels," said the pious souls, and it was not
to be doubted; for the angels receive with as great joy the repentant
as the innocent.

The little one was baptized and registered under the name of his poor
mother. Our _curé_ easily procured all the necessary acts; but for the
family name, the dear innocent had none to bear, at least for a long
time. He was called Jean-Louis; about the rest, there was silence. As
to the secret of his birth, although confided in confession, Catharine,
before dying, said to the _curé_:

"You will tell all, my father, if it is necessary, later, for the
future of my child."

And you will see in the end that it was a wise speech.

Between ourselves, this holy, good man of a _curé_, who was gentle and
merciful, as much from a sense of duty as by inclination of heart,
had always blamed the Ragauds for their rigorous severity against the
poor departed. Says the proverb, "In trying to do too much, one often
fails to do well." Perhaps it would have been better to have patiently
borne with the poor inexperienced girl than to have driven her from
the protection of her only relatives on account of malicious gossip.
But Ragaud did not understand jesting; he was, as the saying runs,
as stiff as a poker, and, as soon as the wicked tongues commenced to
wag about her, he said, "There is no smoke without fire," and closed
his mind to all explanations, and his door to the girl. Thus had they
acted towards Catharine, without thinking that then she was only giddy
and coquettish--faults which might have been cured as long as the soul
was not spoiled. The treatment was too harsh; it caused the flight to
Paris, which took place in a moment of anger and spite, and all the
misfortunes that followed. In strict justice, the Ragauds should in a
measure make reparation for an action done with good intentions, but
which had ended so badly. Our _curé_ foresaw that sooner or later they
would be sorry for it; therefore, in burdening them with the child,
he acted shrewdly, but also with great fairness. I certainly will not
blame him, nor you either, I think.


IV.

From the day that poor Catharine's child was installed in the house
of her relatives, there was a change in Muiceron. Pierrette no longer
wept, and, far from being grieved, as formerly, at the sight of other
children, she willingly drew them around her. On Saturdays, when
she baked her bread for the week, she never failed to make a large
crumpet of wheaten flour, beaten up with eggs, and a bowl of curds and
fresh cream, for the sole purpose of regaling the young ones of the
neighborhood. We need not inquire if, on these evenings, the house
was full. The children were well satisfied, and their mammas also; for
Saturday's supper remained whole for Sunday, and, in the meantime, the
little rascals went to bed gayer than usual, thanks to a glass of white
wine that watered the crumpet and filled the measure of joy in all
those little heads.

It was also remarked that Ragaud's jests were more frequent at the
meetings of the church wardens of the parish on the appointed days
after Vespers. Sometimes he even went off in the morning to his work
singing the airs of the country-dances, which was a sure proof that his
heart was at peace; for, by nature, he was a man more serious than gay,
and as for singing, that was something quite out of his usual habit.

These good people thus already received a holy reward for their
generous conduct. According to the old adage, "Contentment is better
than wealth"; and now they, who had so long possessed riches without
contentment, had the happiness of enjoying both. Quite contrary to many
Christians, who imagine that the good God owes them everything, the
Ragauds every evening thanked Heaven for this increase of wealth. Now,
if gratitude is pleasing to men, it is easy to believe that it draws
down blessings from on high; and from day to day this could be clearly
seen at Muiceron.

Little Jean-Louis grew wonderfully, and gave good Pierrette neither
trouble nor care. At his age, children only cry from hunger, and as he,
well fed and well cared for, had nothing to complain of, it followed
that he grew up scarcely ever shedding a tear.

When he was one year old, it seemed that the good boiled goat's milk
was no longer to his taste, as he put on a discontented look when he
saw the smoking bowl. Ragaud, one evening, for a joke, put his glass to
the boy's lips, and, far from turning his head, he came forward boldly,
and drank the cider like a man. This highly delighted Master Ragaud,
who wished to try if a piece of dry pork, in the shape of a rattle,
would please him as well; but to that Pierrette objected, maintaining
that a root of marsh-mallow was a hundred times better, particularly as
the little fellow was getting his double teeth.

"You wish to bring him up like a woman," said Ragaud, shrugging his
shoulders; but, nevertheless, he let the mistress have her own way.

There were no other disputes about him until he had attained his
third year, for then his excellent health, which had caused so much
happiness, was nothing in comparison with the good instincts which
commenced to develop. He was lively and gentle, chattered away
delightfully, and was always so obedient and tender, that to pay him
for his good behavior, the Ragauds nearly killed him with kindness. In
regard to his appearance, I will tell you that in height he surpassed
most children of his age, his hair was black and curly, his eyes dark
also and very bright. With all this, he was not very handsome, as,
growing so fast, he had kept very thin; but Pierrette said wisely, he
would have time to grow fat, and since he ate, drank, and slept when he
was tired, there was nothing to fear.

One thing will astonish you, that neither of the Ragauds perceived
for an instant that the child was the living image of poor Catharine
Luguet; and still the likeness was so striking, M. le Curé spoke of it
incessantly to Germaine, and expected on every visit to Muiceron to
be embarrassed by some remark on the subject. But whether the good
people had really forgotten their relative, or did not wish by even
pronouncing her name to recall a sorrowful remembrance, certain it is
that nothing in their words or actions, which were perfectly frank and
simple, betrayed in the slightest degree that they ever thought of it.

About that time, Pierrette commenced to be more uneasy, as Master
Jean-Louis often escaped on the side of the stables, and delighted in
racing up and down the bank, bordered with tall grass, of the stream
that ran behind the bleaching-ground of Muiceron. With such a bold boy,
who would not listen to any warning, an accident very often happens;
therefore, the good woman placed around his neck a medal of S. Sylvain,
in addition to that of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which he had worn ever
since his arrival at the farm.

S. Sylvain is a patron saint venerated in our province, who won
heaven in leading the life of a peasant like us. Pierrette had a
great devotion for him, and said that the saints above remember with
tenderness those of their own former condition on earth; consequently,
no one in the good God's heaven could better protect a child daily
exposed to the accidents of rural life. One day especially, when he
wished to be very active in helping his mother Pierrette by putting
little pieces of dry wood in the fire, while she was soaking the
clothes in lye, a plank of the big tub gave way all at once, and the
boiling water floated around the room, and only stopped within half a
foot of the child, who might have been drowned and scalded, in less
time than it takes to say it. Pierrette for two entire days was so
overcome she could speak of nothing else.

In the same manner, once, when Ragaud carried the little fellow with
him to the fields, he amused him by placing him on one of the oxen; but
the animal, tormented by the flies, shook his head so roughly that his
rider, about as high as your boot, was thrown on the ground; but before
any one could run to assist him he was already standing, red, not with
fear, but with anger, and quickly revenged himself on the beast by
striking him with a willow-wand that he used for a whip, and which he
had not let go in his fall. Ragaud was terribly frightened at the time,
but afterwards proudly related the adventure, and said to his neighbors
that his son, Jean Louis, would be as brave a man as General Hoche, the
hero of the war of La Vendée, and who, according to the old men of the
neighborhood, never in his lifetime feared either man or beast.

As for the resemblance to General Hoche, Pierrette cared precious
little, not being the least warlike by nature. Truth to say, I
scarcely believe she knew precisely who was this very great personage,
notwithstanding his immense renown in the province; therefore, she
simply contented herself with having a Mass of thanksgiving said in S.
Sylvain's Chapel, thinking that his protection was worth more than all
the vanities of this world.

The great love of this good household for the little orphan increased
day by day. Pierrette and her husband accustomed themselves to call him
"My son" so often and so sincerely that I do believe they really ended
by fancying it was so. The neighbors could do no less than they; so
that every where and by every one he was called the Ragauds' son--so
true it is that custom often takes away reflection.

From that grew the idea that this little mite would one day be the big
man of the neighborhood; and those who thought they were making a wise
discovery, in supposing it would be thus, fell into the intentions
of the Ragauds, as surely as the brook flows into the river; for at
this same time, one autumn evening, when the fire burnt brightly on
the hearth, Ragaud, seated at table opposite his good wife, commenced
all at once to compliment her talent for housekeeping, praising
everything around him, from the walls and window-panes, glistening with
cleanliness, to the chests and benches, newly waxed once a month. He
took pleasure in recalling his great happiness during the past twenty
years, attributing all his blessings, after God, to the account of
Pierrette's virtues; and as, like the thread in a needle, Jean Louis
was sitting between them, eating his soup, he seized him in his arms,
and tossed him up three times nearly to the rafters.

"You see, my son," said he, re-seating himself, and still keeping the
boy on his knees, "you drew a good number in the lottery; for although
you came to us like the down off the thistle, you have, nevertheless,
a mother such as cannot be found in a hundred leagues; and as for your
father, my brave fellow, he will leave you enough crowns to make you as
respected in life as though you were a prefect."

"Happily," replied the wise Pierrette, "the little one is not old
enough to understand what you are talking about; for this, my dear
husband, is a very improper speech for the child's ears. We would fill
him with vanity, and not only does pride offend the good God, but it
renders a man very disagreeable to those around him."

"You are always right," replied Ragaud, without taking offence; "but a
good fire, a good wife, money honestly earned, and new cider--nothing
like these for untying the tongue and making it a little too long.
Come, go to bed, my Jeannet, kiss your parents, and say your prayers
well; to-morrow we will go to gather the thatch in the fields near
Ordonniers, and if you only bring me as much as will fill your apron,
you shall have two cents on Sunday to buy a gingerbread."

"Very well," said Pierrette, laughing, "that will be a fortune which
will not make him too vain."

A little while afterwards, when they were alone, the conversation
was recommenced, but they proceeded regularly about the business,
and, finally, debated the question as to how the will should be
drawn, according to law, so as to leave Muiceron to the child. The
difficulty was that Ragaud knew very little about writing in any
shape, and Pierrette nothing at all. They talked away, without making
any progress, far into the night, and at last acknowledged they would
have to finish where they should have begun, namely, by going next day
to consult Master Perdreau, the notary of Val-Saint, on the subject.
Thereupon, they went off well pleased to sleep in their big bed,
with the canopy of yellow serge; and as the next morning the work of
the thatching pressed, on account of the rains which were about to
commence, Ragaud postponed his trip to another day.

Now, the good God, who has his own designs, permitted that it should
be entirely otherwise from what these good people had intended, and in
a manner so astonishing that no one, no matter how wise, could have
foreseen it; for La Ragaude, who had nearly completed her forty-second
year, became the following year the mother of a beautiful little girl,
who was most fondly welcomed by the delighted parents.

                            TO BE CONTINUED.



PHILOSOPHICAL TERMINOLOGY.[67]


II.

  TO THE EDITOR OF THE CATHOLIC WORLD:

In the letter which I ventured to address to you a short time ago
concerning the general conditions required in a good English work of
philosophy, I made some observations on the importance and difficulty
of wielding the popular language in a strictly philosophical manner.
As I apprehend that the title of "Philosophical Terminology," under
which that letter was made to appear, is scarcely justified by its
very limited contents, I beg leave to add a few other considerations
on the same subject, that your intelligent readers may find in these
additional remarks a confirmation and a further development of what I
said about our need of a more copious philosophical language.

There are two words which cannot easily be dispensed with in the
metaphysical analysis of created beings; these two words are, in Latin,
_actus_ and _potentia_. Metaphysicians, in fact, conclusively prove
that in every created substance there are two essential principles:
a principle of activity, which is known under the name of _actus_,
and a principle of passivity, which is styled _potentia_. These two
terms, which are so necessary in metaphysics, and so familiar to all
the scholastic philosophers, might be fairly represented in English
by "act" and "potency"; though as yet neither "act" nor "potency" is
popularly used in this philosophical sense.

The word "act" with us primarily signifies that which is produced
by action; for all action is the production, or the position, or
the making of an act. But all action implies an agent--that is, a
being which is already "in act," with its actual power prepared for
action. On the other hand, nothing is formally "in act," but through
an intrinsic "act," which is the formal principle of its actuality.
Accordingly, the word "act," though primarily known to us as expressing
the product of action, must, by metaphysical necessity, be applied also
to that from which every agent and every being has its actuality.

Hence, philosophers found it necessary to admit two kinds of
"acts"--the _essential_ and the _accidental_. The essential is that
which gives the first actuality, or existence, to a being--_dat esse
simpliciter_. The accidental is that which is received in a subject
already existing, and which only gives it an accidental actuality or a
mode of being--_dat esse secundum quid_.

But the essential act (which is also called _substantial_, though it
has a more extensive meaning, as we shall see hereafter) is, moreover,
to be distinguished from actual existence. Metaphysicians, indeed, very
often speak of existence as an act; and hence, to avoid confusion and
equivocation, they are obliged to distinguish the _actus essentiæ_ from
the _actus existentiæ_. Yet, to speak properly, existence is not simply
an act; it is the actuality of the being;[68] and, consequently, the
distinction which must be admitted between the essential act and the
existence of a being is not strictly a distinction between two acts,
but between the _act_ which actuates the essential term of the being,
and the _actual state_ which results from such an actuation. I will say
more on this point when I have explained the use of the word "potency."

The English word "potency" is the equivalent of the Latin _potentia_.
This Latin word, although used most frequently in the sense of "passive
principle," is not, however, necessarily connected with passivity
more than with activity; and accordingly it has been used as well
to designate "active power." Hence, it is obvious that this term,
_potentia_, when employed absolutely without the epithet _activa_ or
_passiva_, is liable to two interpretations, and becomes a source
of mischievous equivocations. I do not see what prevented our old
Latin philosophers from designating the two kinds of _potentia_ by
two different words. Had they constantly used _virtus_ or _vis_ for
the _potentia activa_, and reserved _potentia_ exclusively for the
_potentia passiva_, they would not have mistaken the one for the other,
as they sometimes did. Let me quote a few examples of this for our
common instruction.

Sanseverino, a very learned man, and one of the best modern
scholastics, while arguing against the Scotists, who deny all real
distinction between the soul and its faculties, says that if the soul
and its faculties are really the same thing, then, "as the soul is
always in act, the faculties also must be always in act and never in
potency." Whence he infers that "the soul would have no potentiality,
and would therefore be a _purus actus_ like God"; which is, of course,
a pantheistic absurdity.[69] But evidently this inference has no
other foundation than the confusion of the _potentia activa_ with the
_potentia passiva_. The author, in fact, knows perfectly well that
no being in which there is _potentia passiva_ can be styled _purus
actus_: when, therefore, he draws the conclusion that the soul, in the
Scotistic theory, would be _purus actus_, he must be understood to mean
or imply that all _potentia passiva_ would be excluded from the soul.
Yet his premises are concerned with the _potentia activa_ only; and it
is quite evident, that from such premises he could not have passed to
such a conclusion had he not confounded the two kinds of _potentia_
with one another.

I would remark, also, that in his argument the expression, "The
faculties must be always in act," cannot mean that the faculties must
be always _acting_, but only that they are always _actual_, as the
soul itself; and, therefore, the author cannot reasonably conclude
that the faculties "would never be in potency" respecting their
proper acts. The _potentia activa_ is already an "act," as it is
known, since it is called _actus primus agendi_; and is not called
_potentia_, except as contrasted with its accidental operations.
Moreover, a faculty does not cease to be _potentia activa_, even when
it actually performs its operations. When I actually make a syllogism,
my faculty of reasoning is "in act," and yet it retains its _potentia
activa_ with regard to any number of other syllogisms. It is not true,
therefore, that a faculty which is in actual operation ceases to be
_in potentia activa_. Lastly, the soul itself, which, as Sanseverino
remarks, is always in act, is nevertheless always in potency also; for
the actuality of all contingent being is always potential--that is,
liable to modifications of different kinds. Hence, we not only deny
the conclusion of the learned author as illegitimate, but affirm that
the premises themselves, on which he relies, are untenable. It is the
indiscriminate use of the word _potentia_ that vitiates the author's
argumentation.

Another great Thomist, Goudin, wishing to prove that in all creatures
the power of acting is an accident, argues that _potentia et actus sunt
idem, quamvis diversimode_, and that _actus est semper nobilior quam
potentia ad eum essentialiter ordinata_; whence he concludes that, if
a given act is an accident, the active power, whence it proceeds, must
needs be an accident too. Here, also, the equivocation is evident. The
act is _nobilior quam potentia_ when we compare it with the _potentia
passiva_ which is destined to receive it--that is, to be actuated by
it--but when an act is compared with the active power from which it
proceeds--that is, with the _potentia activa_--we cannot say that it
is _nobilior quam potentia ad eum essentialiter ordinata_: it is the
contrary that is true. Had the author used the word _virtus agendi_
instead of the equivocal word _potentia_, he would soon have discovered
the fallacy of his argument.

I am sorry to say that even S. Thomas sometimes forgets to observe the
distinction between _potentia activa_ and _potentia passiva_; as in the
first part of his _Summa_, where he compares the _potentia essendi_ and
the _potentia operandi_ with their respective acts, and establishes a
kind of proportion between the two potencies and the two acts.[70] No
such proportion can be admitted, unless the _potentia operandi_ and
the _potentia essendi_ are both similarly connected with their acts.
Yet whilst the _potentia operandi_ is active, the _potentia essendi_,
according to S. Thomas, is passive.[71] They cannot, therefore, be
related to their acts in a similar manner. Hence, the terms are not
homologous, and the proportion cannot subsist. In another place, the
holy doctor argues that, if an act is accidental, the _potentia_ from
which it proceeds must be accidental also; because _potentia et actus
dividunt ens, et quodlibet genus entis_, and, therefore, _oportet quod
ad idem genus referatur potentia et actus_.[72] But the _potentia_
which, with the _actus_, constitutes the being and every class of
beings is the _potentia passiva_; whilst the _potentia_ from which
any act proceeds is the _potentia activa_. The argument, therefore,
contains four terms, and proves one thing only, namely, that it is
extremely difficult, even for the greatest men, to avoid equivocations
when things that are different and opposite are designated by the same
term.

In English, the word _potentia_ is commonly represented by "power,"
to which the epithets of "active" and "passive" have been attached by
some writers, in the same manner as was done with the Latin _potentia_.
"Power," says Locke,[73] "may be considered twofold, namely, as able to
make or able to receive any change." But "in strictness," says Webster,
"passive power is an absurdity in terms. To say that gold has a power
to be melted is improper language; yet for want of a more appropriate
word, _power_ is often used in a passive sense."

It is not true, however, that "the want of a more appropriate word"
really compels us to use the word _power_ in a passive sense. Have
we not the word _potency_? This word exactly answers our purpose.
It is not only the exact equivalent of the Latin _potentia_, but is
also the immediate relation of the terms _potential_, _potentially_,
_potentiality_, which are already admitted in common philosophical
language as expressing capability, passiveness, and liability. These
latter words are only subordinate members of a family, of which
_potency_ is the head. Therefore, to convey the notion of _potentia
passiva_, we have a more appropriate word than "power," and nothing
compels us to employ the absurd expression of "passive power." On
the other hand, the remarks above made, on the consequences of the
promiscuous use of the word _potentia_ in the active and the passive
sense, would suffice to show that the word "power," even if it could be
used without absurdity in the passive sense, should, in philosophy, be
restricted to the active; as it is most desirable that things which are
so thoroughly opposite be expressed by different words. Thus, the word
"power" retaining its active meaning, the _potentia passiva_ may very
appropriately be styled "potency."

Some will ask, Why should we use the word "potency" in this new sense,
while we have already the term "potentiality," which seems to express
very exactly the same notion? I answer that the principle of passivity,
which we call "potency," is an essential constituent of created
beings; whilst "potentiality" is not an essential constituent, but an
attribute flowing from the essential constitution of being, on account
of the potency which the latter involves. Accordingly, "potentiality"
cannot stand for "potency," any more than rationality can stand for
reason, or materiality for matter.

From the foregoing considerations, it appears that the words "act"
and "potency" cannot be easily dispensed with in metaphysics, and,
therefore, should be freely admitted and acknowledged as philosophical
terms. As to their definitions, however, we shall have to rely on
philosophical treatises rather than on common English dictionaries.
The word "act" is indeed to be found in all dictionaries; but,
unfortunately, its meaning is restricted to the expression of mere
accidents, while substantial acts are ignored altogether. In Fleming's
_Vocabulary of Philosophy_ we find: "Act in metaphysics and in logic is
opposed to power. Power is simply a faculty or property of anything, as
gravity of bodies. _Act_ is the exercise or manifestation of a power
or property, the realization of a fact, as the falling of a heavy
body." On these words I would incidentally remark that "power" cannot
be defined a "faculty"; because, though all faculties are powers, yet
there are powers which are not faculties. Again, "power" cannot be
defined a "property" without adding some restriction; as there are
properties which are not powers. Moreover, the "gravity of bodies"
is not a power, as some unphilosophical scientists imagine, but is a
simple tendency to fall, owing to the fact that the active power of
the earth is actually applied to the passive potency of the body. Nor
is it true that in metaphysics or in logic the _act_ is the "exercise
or manifestation of a power." Such an exercise and manifestation is
_action_--that is, the position or the production of the act. As to
"the falling of a heavy body," it is true that we usually call it _an
act_, but we evidently mean _actuality_; for, if the falling were an
act strictly, then the tendency to fall would be an active power; which
it is not. Lastly, the most important metaphysical meaning of the word
"act," and of its correlative, "potency," is not given; which, however,
is not owing to any oversight of the author, as we have already
said that these two words were not used by English writers in this
philosophical sense.

In Worcester's and Webster's dictionaries, the word _act_ is said
to mean action, exertion of power, and real existence as opposed to
possibility. From the preceding remarks, it may be seen that, in
metaphysics, none of these three meanings can be considered rigorously
accurate.

_Act_, in the scholastic language, is that which gives existence
by formal actuation. _Potency_ is that which, by formal actuation,
receives existence. _Actuality_ is the result of the actuation--that
is, the very existence of the act in its potency. Actuality, as we have
already remarked, was also called _actus existentiæ_; hence, existence
itself was considered as an act received in the essence, and causing it
to be. But this view is now generally abandoned, because it has been
shown that it is not the existence that entails the reality of the act
and the potency, but the real position of the act in its potency that
entails the existence of the being. Accordingly, existence is not an
act received in the essence, but the result of the position of the
essence; and cannot be called _an act_, except in a logical sense,
inasmuch as it gives to the being _denominationem existentis_.

An act is called _essential_ when it gives the first existence to any
essence, be it simple or compound; _substantial_, when it gives the
first existence to a pure potency; _accidental_, when it gives a mode
of being. The distinction between essential and substantial acts will
be explained here below, where we examine the different kinds of forms.

Every being acts inasmuch as it is in act, and is acted on inasmuch
as it is in potency. Hence, the substantial act is a principle of
activity, and the potency a principle of passivity.

The active power of any being, if taken in the concrete, is nothing
but its substantial act _as ready for exertion_, and is called active
power, because its exertion is the position or the production of an
act. The active power thus considered is, therefore, in reality one of
the constituent principles of natural beings; whilst the abstract term
_activity_ does not stand for a principle, but for an attribute of the
being--that is, for its _readiness to act_.

The passive potency of any being, if taken in the concrete, is nothing
but the term of the substantial act _as liable to be acted on_, and is
called passive or receptive, because it is actuated by the reception
of an act. The passive potency, thus considered, is therefore in
reality one of the constituent principles of natural beings, whilst the
abstract term _passivity_ does not stand for a principle, but for an
attribute of the being--that is, for its _liability to be acted on_.

Every one who is acquainted with metaphysical matters will acknowledge
that it is of extreme importance that these terms and others of a
like nature, which are continually employed in metaphysical analysis,
be clearly understood by all students of philosophy. So long as our
language has no definite words by which to designate the essential
constituents of things, no hope can be entertained of advancing the
interests of metaphysics by means of vernacular books.

_Act_ and _potency_, in material things, are called _form_ and
_matter_ respectively; hence, material substance is said to consist
essentially of matter and form. The forms of natural things are usually
divided into _substantial_ and _accidental_. The substantial form
is commonly defined as that which gives the first existence to its
matter--_quæ dat materiæ primum esse_, or _simpliciter esse_. It is
sometimes defined, also, as that which gives the first existence to a
thing--_quæ dat primum esse rei_. But this second definition is open
to misconstruction; because, when the thing in question is a physical
compound having a number of material parts, the form that gives to
it--that is, to the compound essence--its first existence is its
physical composition, which is not a substantial, but an essential,
form, as we shall see presently.

The accidental form is defined as that which gives an accidental mode
of being--_quæ dat esse secundum quid_. This definition is universally
admitted; but it is a remarkable fact that the examples of accidental
forms given by most philosophers do not support it. Thus, the form of
a statue and the form of a column are not forms giving to the marble
any accidental mode of being, but are _the very modes of being_, which
have resulted in the marble from the reception of suitable accidental
acts. Therefore, what is called _the form_ of a statue is not a form
_giving a mode of being_, but the mode itself, on account of which _we
give_ to the marble _the name_ of a statue. Suarez and others have
indeed pointed out the necessity of distinguishing the forms _dantes
esse_ from the forms _dantes denominationem_; yet, even to this day, in
our philosophical treatises, the definition of the former is almost
exclusively illustrated by examples of the latter. True forms are
_acts_, whilst modes of being are _actualities_; and therefore modes
of being should not be called forms, but formalities. As, however, the
word _form_ is in general use in this last sense also, the best thing
we can do is to retain the term, and add to it a suitable epithet.
I would call them _resultant forms_, or _consequential forms_; and
in the same manner, when actuality is styled _act_, I would call
it _consequential act_, or _complementary act_, that it may not be
confounded with _act_ proper.

It is also necessary to make a well-marked distinction between
_substantial_ and _essential_ forms. The necessity of this distinction
is sufficiently shown by the very existence of the two scholastic
definitions of form. In fact, two definitions imply two concepts. The
first definition, _Forma est id quod dat primum esse materiæ_, strictly
belongs to the substantial form, as every one knows; but the second,
_Forma est id quod dat primum esse rei_, is more general, and extends
to all essential forms, be they substantial or not. Thus, we can say
that velocity is the essential form of movement, though, of course, it
is not a substantial form, as movement is not a substance.

The same distinction is to be admitted with regard to natural
compounds, at least in the opinion of those philosophers who oppose the
Aristotelic theory of substantial generations, or teach that bodies
are made up of primitive, unextended elements. Indeed, if chemical
combination does not destroy the essence of the combining substances,
it is obvious that the compound substance which arises out of the
combination will have no _special_ form, except the combination itself;
and such a form, however essential to the compound substance, cannot
be a substantial form in the sense of the Peripatetics; because it
gives existence to the compound nature only, and not to its matter.
Again, if the molecule of a primitive body, as hydrogen, is nothing
more than a system of material points or elements connected with one
another by dynamical ties, and subject to a law of vibratory movement,
which allows the molecule to contract and dilate, then it is evident
that the essential form of such a molecule will be its specific
composition; for the composition is the immediate constituent of all
material compound. Accordingly, since the scientific views which
lead to these conclusions are widely received, and very well founded
on chemical and other data, and can be philosophically established
by the very principles of ancient metaphysics, the said distinction
between substantial and essential forms is to be acknowledged as a
very important one in questions connected with modern science. Lastly,
essential forms are to be admitted, not only in natural, but also
in artificial and in moral, compounds. A clock has its essential
form, without which it would cease to be a clock; a family has its
essential form, without which it would cease to be a family; and yet
it would be ridiculous to talk of a clock or a family as having a
substantial form. It is, therefore, necessary to divide all true forms
into _substantial_, _essential_, and _accidental_, and to place in a
separate class all the so-called _resultant_ forms above mentioned.

Thus, the _substantial_ form is that which gives the first being to
matter. This definition comes from Aristotle himself, and has been
universally received by all metaphysicians.

The _essential_ form is that which gives to a thing its specific
nature. This definition coincides with that of the substantial
form whenever the specific nature of which we treat is physically
simple--that is, without composition of material parts--for, in fact,
such a simple nature receives its species from the same form that
gives the first being to its matter. Hence, the essential form and
the substantial form are one and the same thing so long as there is
question of simple or primitive beings. But the definition of the
essential form is no longer equivalent to that of the substantial form
when the specific nature constituted by it is physically compounded of
material parts; because such a compound nature receives its species
from its specific composition, which is not a substantial form, though
it is essential to the specific compound.

The _accidental_ form is that which gives to its subject an accidental
mode of being, or an _esse secundum quid_, according to the language of
the schools.

The so-called _resultant_ form is the actuality resulting from the
position of any true form. As, therefore, true forms are either
substantial, essential, or accidental, so, also, are all the resultant
forms. From the substantial form results the actuality of the primitive
being, which, as primitive, is always free from material composition;
from the essential form results the actuality of every specific nature,
which involves composition of material parts; and from the accidental
form results the actual modification of the subject in which it is
received.

I have dwelt purposely on these considerations, because the word
_form_, and its derivatives, _formal_, _formally_, _formality_, etc.,
are variously employed, and sometimes loosely, in philosophy, and
because, without a clear and distinct notion of the different kinds
of forms, many fundamental questions of metaphysics cannot be rightly
understood. I might say nearly as much respecting the word _matter_,
which is the metaphysical correlative of form; but it will suffice to
remark that _matter_, in philosophy, always means a receptive potency
which is actuated by a form; so that, if the form is accidental, the
word _matter_ stands for material substance itself as receptive,
because it is the substance that receives accidental forms; if the form
is essential in the sense above explained, then the word _matter_ means
the totality of the material parts required for the constitution of any
given specific compound, including their actual disposition to receive
the form in question; and if the form is substantial, then the word
_matter_ expresses only one of the constituent principles of primitive
material substance--that is, the potential term of substance; which is
first actuated by such a form.

The word _matter_ is used analogically in many other senses, which are
given by our lexicographers, who, however, omit to mention matter as
that potency which receives its first existence through the substantial
form. Webster says: "Matter is usually divided by philosophical writers
into three kinds or classes: solid, liquid, and aeriform." This
statement is not correct. Philosophical writers admit that _bodies_
are either solid, liquid, or aeriform; but they do not admit that
the matter of which bodies and their molecules are made up is either
solid, or liquid, or aeriform. Ice is solid, water is liquid, and
vapor is aeriform; and yet the matter in all of them is identically
the same. It is impossible, therefore, for philosophical writers to
divide _matter_ into liquid, solid, and aeriform. The philosophical
division of matter has always been into _materia informis_, or _prima_,
or _actuabilis_--that is, matter conceived as void of all substantial
form; and _materia formata_, or _secunda_, or _actuata_--that is,
matter actuated by, and existing under, a substantial form.

As I am not now writing a treatise on matter, I will dismiss this
subject with only two observations. The first is, that the words
_first matter_ and _second matter_ are indispensable in metaphysics,
and, therefore, must be adopted in our English philosophical language,
unless, indeed, we prefer to make use of the original Latin words. The
other is, that in reading the metaphysical works of the scholastics,
when we find the word _materia_ with the epithet _prima_, we should
carefully ascertain that the epithet is not misapplied. For, it has
been observed with reason that most of the abstruseness and uncertainty
inherent in the old explanation of physical questions arises from
the fact that the matter, which was supposed to be actually under
its form, and therefore in act, was very frequently called _materia
prima_, though it is known that "nothing that is in act can be called
by such a name."[74] This observation is of the greatest importance,
since it is evident that nothing but perpetual confusion can arise from
contradictory definitions.

To express the relation existing between act and potency, or between
form and matter, the philosophical Latin possesses many good phrases,
such as the following: _Forma dat esse materiæ, actuat materiam,
informat materiam, terminatur ad materiam_; and, reciprocally, _materia
accipit esse a forma, actuatur a forma, informatur a forma, terminat
formam_. In English, I presume, we are allowed to say that the form
_informs_ its matter, that the form _gives existence_ to the matter,
and that the form _actuates_ the matter. But can we say that the form
_is terminated to_ its matter, and that the matter _terminates_, that
is, completes its form? This manner of speaking may be considered
awkward, nevertheless its mode of expressing the relation of the
form to its matter is so remarkable for its philosophical precision,
clearness, and universality, that I would not hesitate to adopt it in
philosophy. To say that the form is terminated to its matter, is to
say that the matter is the potential _term_ actuated by the form. The
philosophical notion of _term_ (_terminus_), which is susceptible of
a general application to all conceivable beings, is a very important
one in philosophy as well as in theology; and since it can be made
quite intelligible even to the dullest of students, I think that in
metaphysical speculation the use of the words _term_, _termination_,
_to terminate_, _terminability_, _terminativity_, etc., cannot but
greatly help both teachers and students in their efforts to explain
correctly a number of ontological relations which it would be difficult
to express as simply and as correctly by other words.

The word _term_ in the popular use means the extremity of anything, or
that where anything ends. The spot of ground where a stone is allowed
to fall is the term of the falling; the drop of rain acted on by
gravity is the term of the action by which it is attracted; the tree at
which I am looking is the term of my vision; the concept which I form
of anything is the term of my thought. But all these terms correspond
to accidental acts, whereas the term which we ultimately reach in the
analysis of substance, is always substantial, as being intrinsic to the
substantial act of which it is the term. Hence, when we say that the
matter is the term of the form, or in general that the potency is the
term of its act, we mean not only that the act, or the form, reaches
the potency or the matter, but that the potency or the matter acquires
its first reality and actuality by the very position of the act or
form which it terminates; in the same manner as the centre of a sphere
acquires its first actuality through the simple position of a spherical
form. Accordingly, the words _act_ and _term_ are correlative; the act
_actuates_, the term _is actuated_, and the formal reason of their
correlation is _actuation_. This actuation is not efficient, but
formal; that is, the act, not by its action, but by itself, entails
the immediate existence of its intrinsic term, just as the spherical
form by itself, and not by any action, entails the immediate existence
of a centre. As a sphere without a centre, so an act without a term
is an utter impossibility. Hence the termination of the act to its
term is nothing less than the very constitution of any essence that
has a proper and complete existence. For this reason, I am of opinion
that the phrase "the form is terminated to the matter, and the act to
its potency," is the best we can adopt in speaking of created things,
however new it may be to English ears.

With regard to the peculiar construction of this verb with the
preposition _to_ instead of the prepositions _by_, _at_, or _in_, which
are in general use, I will only remark that these latter prepositions
are not suitable to express what we need. The _termination at_ connotes
a limit of time or space, as every one knows. The _termination in_
connotes a change or successive transformation of that which is
terminated into that in which it ends, as when a quarrel terminates
in murder. The _termination by_ connotes either an obstacle to further
advance, or at least a positive entity existing independently of
the termination itself: it cannot therefore express the fact that a
substantial term receives its very first actuality by the termination
of the act. On the other hand, this fact is perfectly expressed by
saying that the act is terminated _to_ its term; and since no other
English phrase has yet been found, so far as I know, which can express
the fact equally well, I think that we need have no scruple in
enriching our philosophical language with this old scholastic phrase.

"The resources of our noble language in philosophy," says a well-known
American writer, "are surpassed by no ancient or modern tongue, unless
the Greek be an exception. It is capable in philosophy of receiving
and assimilating all the riches of the Greek, Latin, Italian, and
French languages, while it has in its Teutonic roots the wealth of the
German."[75] This is a great encouragement to English philosophical
writers. Indeed, to say that among the resources of the English
language for philosophy we may reckon its capability of receiving and
assimilating all the riches of other learned languages, is to tell us
that our resources are still in a _potential_ state, and therefore that
no one can reasonably blame us for freely adopting from other languages
as many terms and phrases as we need to express our thoughts with
philosophical rigor. Yet the task, for obvious reasons, is extremely
difficult, as it requires a degree of judgment which unfortunately is
common only to the few. "The English language," adds the same writer,
"only needs Catholic restoration and culture to be the richest and
noblest language ever written or spoken. But it deteriorates, as does
everything else, in the hands of Protestants and unbelieving Englishmen
and Americans." At least two things are certain; first, that if the
English language ever becomes a perfect instrument of philosophical
education, it will be due to Catholic writers, for they alone will
be able to utilize for its healthy development all the treasures of
the scholastic terminology; second, that only in proportion as such a
development will be carried on, shall we acquire the means of training
our youthful generation in a vernacular course of philosophy. This
thought should rouse our dormant energies into action. It was with
this object that I undertook to say a few words on philosophical
terminology. Our language may be capable of receiving and assimilating
all the riches of other languages; but so long as such an assimilation
is in abeyance, the language remains poor and imperfect, nay, it
continues to "deteriorate, as does everything else, in the hands of
Protestants and unbelieving Englishmen and Americans." We still need
many philosophical words. I have given a few examples of such a need in
the preceding pages.

That we also need a number of new phrases is undeniable; but I will
not enter into the discussion of so difficult a subject. I prefer
simply to mention a few Latin phrases, which are much used by Catholic
philosophers or theologians, and will allow the reader himself to
attempt their translation without altering their philosophical meaning,
and without infringing upon English usages. Translate:

_Actus et potentia conspirant in unitatem essentiæ._

_Actio motiva terminatur materialiter ad mobile, et formaliter ad
motum._

_Sicut se habet actus substantialis ad esse simpliciter, ita se habet
actus accidentalis ad esse secundum quid._

_Facultas ordinatur ad operationem ut actus primus ad secundum._

_Quidquid sistit in suis essentialibus, nullo superaddito, est unum per
se._

_Intellectus attingit objectum sub ratione veri, voluntas autem sub
ratione boni._

_Actus et potentia principiant ens principiatione metaphysica._

_Relatio est id cuius totum esse est ad aliud se habere._

_Motus est actus existentis in potentia ut in potentia._

These and such like phrases will afford matter for a great exercise
of patience to him who will undertake to translate them faithfully.
_To conspire into unity, to be terminated to a movable object, to
be ordered to the operation_, _etc._, are scarcely good English
expressions: yet it is not easy to see what other phrases would be
calculated to express the same thoughts in an unobjectionable manner.

I will conclude by giving the opinion of a competent authority on this
very point. The Rev. F. Hill, in the preface to his substantial work
lately published under the title of _Elements of Philosophy_, says:
"The Latin of the schools, besides being brief, is also peculiarly
capable of expressing precisely, clearly, and comprehensively matters
which it is difficult to utter through the less accurate vernacular
in terms that are neither obscure nor ambiguous." And speaking of the
Latin philosophical axioms and sentences, which he inserted in his
treatise with their English translation, he remarks: "It was not,
however, an easy task, in some instances, to reproduce them with
fidelity in the English phraseology, as the classic scholar will
readily see from the result." Certainly, the task was not an easy
one. Yet the author has most creditably carried out his object. May
his example encourage others to cultivate the same field, and thus
contribute towards developing "the resources of our noble language,"
and making it a fit channel for sound philosophical education.

                                                 A FRIEND OF PHILOSOPHY.

FOOTNOTES:

[67] For the preceding article on the subject, see the July No. of _The
Catholic World_.

[68] _Esse est perfectissimum omnium; comparatur enim ad omnia ut
actus. Nihil enim habet actualitatem nisi in quantum est; unde ipsum
esse est actualitas omnium rerum, et etiam ipsarum formarum._--S.
Thomas, _Summa Th._, p. 1 q. 4 a. 1.

[69] Sanseverino, _Dynamilogia_, c. i. a. 1.

[70] _Summa Th._, p. 1 q. 54 a. 3.

[71] For he says that _esse non comparatur ad alia sicut recipiens ad
receptum, sed magis ut receptum ad recipiens_ (p. 1 q. 4 a. 1); whence
it is clear that the _potentia essendi_ is considered by him as the
_recipient_ of actual existence. The same he teaches _Contra Gent._
lib. ii. c. 53, and in other places.

[72] _Summa Th._, p. 1 q. 77 a. 1.

[73] _Essay on the Human Understanding_, b. 2. c. 21.

[74] _Materia ... per se nunquam potest esse; quia, quum in ratione sua
non habeat aliquam formam, non potest esse in actu (quum esse in actu
non sit nisi a forma), sed solum in potentia. Et ideo quidquid est in
actu non potest dici materia prima._--S. Thomas Opusc. _De Principiis
Naturæ_.

[75] _Brownson's Quarterly Review_, July, 1873, p. 416.



SELF-LOVE.


                           BY AUBREY DE VERE.

    Light-winged Loves! they come; they flee:
      If we were dead, they'd never miss us:
    Self-Love! with thee is constancy--
      Thine eyes could see but one, Narcissus.



MADAME AGNES.


                   FROM THE FRENCH OF CHARLES DUBOIS.

                               CONCLUDED.


CHAPTER XXVI.

  "Fais ce que dois, advienne que pourra!"

Louis was thunderstruck at seeing Madeleine. He had not spoken a word
to her for several days, and intended to maintain a reserve full of
circumspection towards her. His connection with the family had twice
given rise to the most malevolent interpretations, and he by no means
wished a similar vexation to be repeated. He received the young girl
with a coldness that was almost rude.

"What do you wish?" said he.

"To speak with you, monsieur. But I fear I have come at the wrong time.
I will return at a later hour."

"Not later, but elsewhere."

"Why?" asked Madeleine, with _naïveté_.

"But what have you so urgent to tell me?..."

"Nothing concerning you, monsieur; it only relates to myself. I am so
unhappy.... If I ventured to come here at this hour, it is because I
feared being seen talking with you. I have a secret to confide to you
which my parents alone are aware of. If they knew I told you, I do not
know what they would do to me."

"Where are your parents now?"

"At my cousin's, a league off. They will not be back for several hours."

Madeleine was so overwhelmed with grief and anxiety that Louis was
filled with compassion. He motioned for her to be seated on a lounge
before his desk, and then said:

"Well, my good Madeleine, what has happened? Tell me your troubles. If
in my power to remove them, it shall soon be done. What can I do for
you?"

"You know Durand, the overseer?"

"Yes, yes!..." said Louis, frowning with the air of a man who knows
more than he expresses.

"He and my father have become intimate, I know not how or why, within a
few weeks--since you stopped coming to our house. He often came before
the inundation, and paid me a thousand absurd compliments. I made no
reply to his silly speeches, but they seemed to please my parents. The
first moment I set eyes on that man, he inspired me with fear. He looks
so bold--so false! And besides...."

"Besides what? Madeleine, I insist on your telling me everything."

"Well, he tried every way to make us believe you are.... I dare not
tell you...."

"Go on, child. Nothing would astonish me from Durand. I know he hates
me."

"He says you are a hypocrite, a--Jesuit, a dangerous man. He told my
father you were going to leave the mill, and seemed to boast of being
the cause of it."

"I suspected it," said Louis to himself. "Adams was only Durand's tool.
Oh! what deceit!"

"Is it true, then, that you are going away?" asked Madeleine anxiously.

"Quite true, my child."

"Oh! what a hateful man! I was right in detesting him! Since we have
been here living in the same house with him, he has tormented me more
than ever. He says he wishes to marry me...."

"Has he dared go that far?"

"Yes; and, what is worse, my parents have given their consent. Durand
tells them he has money laid up; that he is earning a good deal here,
and is willing to live with them and provide for the support of the
whole family.... But I--I have a horror of that man! There is nothing
disagreeable I do not say to him. I have told him plainly I would never
consent to marry him. My parents were terribly angry at this; my father
beat me, and my mother loaded me with abuse. They ended by saying, if I
persisted in refusing Durand, they would find a way of making me change
my mind. This scene took place last evening. What shall I do? O God!
what shall I do?..." So saying, Madeleine burst into tears.

Louis remained silent. He was reflecting. Self whispered: "Leave this
girl to her unhappy fate. Do not embark in another undertaking that
will get you into fresh trouble and may endanger everything--both
Eugénie's love for you, and your reputation itself. This unfortunate
girl has already been the cause of more than one sad moment; take care
she does not at last ruin you, and likewise compromise herself...."

But such selfish promptings had no power over a heart so generous
and upright as that of Louis. Besides, he had learned such shocking
things about Durand that, if he did not reveal them in order to save
Madeleine, he would regard himself guilty of a crime, and not without
reason. After some moments of silent reflection, all incertitude
ceased. He had decided on the course to pursue.

"How old are you, my child?" said he.

"I am in my twenty-first year."

"Well, you have hitherto devoted yourself generously to the interests
of your parents. They have now made this impossible. There is no choice
in the matter. You must leave them."

"I have thought of it. But where could I go? I have no place of refuge,
now my aunt is dead."

"I will give you a note to a lady who lives in the city. I may as well
say at once it is my sister. She will take care of you, and get you a
place as a chamber-maid, if she does not keep you herself."

"Oh! how kind you are!... You revive my courage. When can I go?"

"When you please."

"To-morrow?"

"Yes, to-morrow morning."

"And who will inform my parents?"

"You yourself. Write a line, and leave it with some one you can
trust, to be delivered a few hours after you are gone. You can tell
your parents you are going to seek a situation in the city in order
to escape from Durand. Promise to be a credit to them, to love them
always, and even to render them assistance; and I will say more to them
when the proper time comes. Above all, I will tell them what Durand
really is.... Thank God, my child, that he enables you to escape that
man's snares...."

Everything was done as agreed upon by Louis and Madeleine. The latter
left for town the next morning. Her parents were not informed of her
departure till about noon. They immediately notified Durand.

"The engineer has had a hand in this," said he to Vinceneau and his
wife. "He shall pay for it."

"What makes you think he had anything to do with it?" asked Vinceneau.

"Your daughter went to see him last evening.... My police told me."

"How shall we be revenged?"

"By telling everybody what this Tartuffe is. I will see to it. Ah! he
induces young girls to run away without any one's knowing where they
are gone! That is rather too bold!"

Durand watched for an opportunity of speaking to Albert, with whom he
kept up daily communication. He told him what had occurred, adding
calumnious suppositions that may be imagined. Albert, delighted at
the news, went at once to tell his aunt. It was near dinnertime. Mme.
Smithson said to her nephew: "Wait till we are at table, then relate
this story without appearing to attach any importance to it. If I am
not very much mistaken, this will be a death-blow to that troublesome
creature. Only be prudent, and do not begin till I make a sign. There
are times when your uncle takes no interest in the conversation, no
matter what is said. Poor Eugénie will blush well to hear of such
infamous conduct, for she loves him. It is horrible to say, but so it
is. Since I caught them talking together the other day, I have had
no doubt about it. Besides, as you have remarked, she grows more and
more reserved toward us, while, on the contrary, she has redoubled her
amiability towards her father. I really believe, if the foolish fellow
had not compromised himself, she would in the end have got the better
of us. Her father is so indulgent to her!... But after what has taken
place, there can be no more illusion! She will perceive the worth
of her hero!... It must be acknowledged there is no alternative! Her
romance has ended in a way to make her ashamed of it for ever.... You
will see, Albert, she will end by thinking it too great an honor to be
your wife."

"Too great an honor! Hum! hum! It will be well if she consents.
Eugénie has more pride than any girl I ever saw. Humbled, she will
be unapproachable. Believe me, aunt, we must be cautious in availing
ourselves of this advantage."

They took seats at table at six o'clock as usual. Mr. Smithson appeared
thoughtful and out of humor, but that often happened. Eugénie was no
less serious. Very little was said till the dessert. Albert evidently
longed to let fly the shaft he held in reserve against Louis. Mme.
Smithson was quite as impatient as he, but could not find a propitious
opportunity. However, her bitterness against Louis prevailed. Towards
the end of dinner, she made Albert an imperceptible sign, as much as to
say: "Proceed, but be prudent!"

Albert assumed as indifferent an air as possible, and in an off-hand
way began his attack after this manner:

"There is trouble in the refugees' quarter to-day."

Mme. Smithson looked up with an air of surprise at the news. Mr.
Smithson and Eugénie remained impassible.

"The Vinceneaus are in great commotion," continued Albert. "Their
daughter has run away."

"A poor set--those Vinceneaus," muttered Mr. Smithson.

"Yes," replied Albert, "a poor set indeed! But this time I pity them.
Their daughter has gone off, and no one knows where she has gone."

"Why did she leave them?" asked Eugénie.

"She and her parents had a violent quarrel day before yesterday, but
not the first; they say this Madeleine is more amiable in appearance
than in reality. Anyhow, there is something inexplicable about her. It
seems she was to have been married; then she refused to be. Result:
anger of the parents, obstinacy of the daughter. All that is known
besides this is that she went all alone to consult the engineer last
evening. Durand and another workman saw her go to his room. This
morning she disappeared, leaving word she intended to get a situation,
no one knows where; she has not thought it proper to leave her
address...."

While listening to this account, Eugénie turned pale, then red, and
finally almost fainted. Mr. Smithson perceived the sad effect of the
story on her, and was filled with inexpressible sorrow. Heretofore
he had refused to believe in the possibility of her loving Louis;
but now he could no longer doubt it. For the first time in his life,
he acknowledged his wife had shown more penetration than he--more
prudence. The look that rested on Eugénie was not of anger, however,
but full of affection and anxiety. He loved her too much not to pity
her, even though he blamed her.

Eugénie, with characteristic energy, recovered her self-possession in a
few moments. Suspicions of a stronger and more painful character than
any she had yet had struggled with the love in this proud girl's heart.

Albert was overjoyed, but concealed his satisfaction under a
hypocritical air of compassion. Continuing the subject, he said the
workmen were all indignant at Madeleine's flight. "The engineer has
done well not to show himself since the girl's departure was known,"
he added. "He would have exposed himself to a public manifestation of
rather a disagreeable nature. And I do not see who could defend him...."

"He could defend himself, if he is innocent," thought Eugénie....
Then another idea occurred to her: "But if he has plans he cannot yet
acknowledge, ... if he loves this Madeleine, ... ah! how he will have
deceived me!... No! it is impossible!... And yet it is true he has
disappeared: I have not seen him to-day...."

By an unfortunate coincidence, Louis had been obliged to come to see me
that day. I had been taken with a terrible pain in all my limbs--the
first symptoms of my paralytic seizure. My mother, frightened beyond
all expression, sent a messenger to our poor friend, conjuring him to
come with all possible speed.

"Enough!" said Mr. Smithson. "The subject does not please me. I do not
like to be deceived, as I have so often been before. It seems to me
there is some mistake here. I shall ascertain the truth. But this shall
be my care. Let it be understood that no one but myself is to make any
inquiries about the affair. No tittle-tattle!"

They retired to the _salon_ a few moments after. Albert offered Eugénie
his arm. She refused it, as if to show him, if Louis were driven
from her heart, he, Albert, should never have a place there. She
seated herself at the piano, and played a succession of pieces with
great effect. Her ardent nature required the relief of some outward
manifestation. For the first time in her life, she blushed before her
parents--before the cousin she despised. But the torture she suffered
from her wounded pride was not the most painful. She had loved
Louis--she loved him still, as a woman of her intelligence and energy
alone could love--that is to say, to excess. And now she is forced to
ask herself: is an affection so pure met only with hypocrisy, or at
least an indifference but too easy to understand. Swayed between love
and contempt; by turns ashamed of herself, then drawing herself up with
pride, she would have given ten years of her life to be able at once to
solve the doubt that caused her so much suffering.

While the poor girl was thus abandoning herself to the most distressing
anxiety, without any consolation, Mme. Smithson and Albert were talking
in a low tone near the fireplace. They appeared dissatisfied.

"The affair has begun badly," said Albert. "One would think my uncle
resolved to thwart me in everything.... Why could he not intimate to
that fellow that there is no necessity of his remaining any longer?...
That is what I hoped and what I expected! He has certainly done enough
to deserve being treated in such a way.... Instead of that, my uncle is
going to undertake an investigation!... I wager this arrant piece of
craft will find some way of making himself out innocent."

"That would be rather too much!" said Mme. Smithson. "You are right: we
must despatch business, or all is lost. I will talk to your uncle this
very evening, and make every effort to prevent their meeting...."


CHAPTER XXVII.

A VILLAIN'S REVENGE.

The whole family were still in the _salon_, when, about half-past
eight, they heard an unusual noise out of doors, and people seemed to
be moving about in the darkness. In a few moments, a servant entered
and said a few words to Mr. Smithson in a low tone. He immediately rose
and started to go out; but, before leaving the room, he said: "I shall
not be gone long. I wish you all to remain here till my return."

Eugénie continued to drum furiously on the piano; then, weary of this
monotonous employment, she took a book, and pretended to read. Mme.
Smithson and Albert were far from being at ease. Triumphant as they
were, they stood in awe of Eugénie. To keep themselves in countenance,
they began a game of cards.

What was Mr. Smithson doing meanwhile? He forbade his servants
mentioning a word of what had happened, which they were aware of as
well as he. Sure of being obeyed, he went directly to Louis' apartment.
Entering the room, he found him lying all dressed on his bed, groaning
and unable to utter a word. A bloody handkerchief was tied across his
forehead, as if he had received a severe wound. At a sign from Mr.
Smithson, the servant dismissed all the men--hands at the mill--who
had brought the engineer to his room. When they were gone, the servant
removed the handkerchief that concealed the wound. It was a long gash,
which was still bleeding. Louis opened his eyes, and put his hand to
his neck, as if there was another wound there. The servant untied
his cravat. The unfortunate young man's neck, in fact, bore marks of
violence.

The servant seemed greatly affected at the sight. He placed the wounded
man in as comfortable a position as he could, bandaged his wounds,
and tried to revive him with _eau-de-Cologne_. Louis came to himself a
little, and, extending his hand, pressed that of the good fellow who
was tending him so kindly. Mr. Smithson stood a few steps from the
bed, looking on as calmly as if gazing at some unreal spectacle in a
theatre. No one would have divined his thoughts from the expression of
his countenance; but at the bottom of his heart there was a feeling
of animosity against Louis, which was scarcely lessened by the sight
of his sufferings. At that moment, he believed Louis guilty, and what
had happened only a chastisement he merited. Nevertheless, he sent in
haste for a physician, who arrived in a short time. Louis' clothes were
removed, and his wounds dressed with the greatest care. The relief he
experienced, the warmth of the bed, and the skill of the attentive
physician, produced a speedy and favorable reaction. He recovered the
perfect use of speech, and, addressing those around him with an attempt
at a smile, he said:

"They have brought me to a sad condition."

"You will get over it," replied the doctor.

"How did it happen?" asked Mr. Smithson coldly.

"It is a long story to tell," replied Louis. "I have not recovered
from the violent concussion, and am still in severe pain; but I will
endeavor to tell you how it happened. It is time for you to know the
truth about many things, Mr. Smithson. What is your opinion of Durand?"

"He is a capable hand, but somewhat unaccountable."

"Well, I have found him out.... He is a dangerous man. The condition
you see me in is owing to him."

"What induced him to ill-treat you in this way?"

"He has hated me for a long time, though secretly. Before I came here,
he did somewhat as he pleased, and was guilty of many base acts. He
robbed you in many ways--saying he had paid the workmen money that was
never given them, and having an understanding with one and another, in
order to cheat you. I found out his dishonest trafficking, and put a
stop to it. This was the origin of his dislike."

"Why did you not notify me at once?"

"My silence proceeded from motives of delicacy. You will recollect the
man came here with excellent recommendations; he was a Protestant; and
you liked him, and thought more of him than of many others."

"That is true. Go on."

"I afterwards discovered he lent money on security. My reproaches
offended him still more. Within a short time, he has become intimate
with that drunken Vinceneau and his indolent wife, and, since the
inundation drove them here for shelter, he has permanently installed
himself in their house. He only did this to annoy their poor
daughter, Madeleine, with his audacious attentions. The girl was
indignant. Young as she is, she felt there was something vile--I may
say criminal--in the depths of his deceitful soul. But her father
and mother countenanced him. They hoped a son-in-law so much richer
than they would enable them to give themselves up to their shameful
inclinations--the husband to drink, and the wife to idleness. Madeleine
was, therefore, ordered--and in such a way!--to accept Durand's offer.
She came to consult me on the subject, and said the man inspired her
with invincible horror. On the other hand, her parents threatened her
with the worst treatment possible if she resisted their orders--a
treatment already begun. Now, I had learned only a few days previous
the following particulars respecting Durand: His name is not Durand,
but Renaud. He is not a Protestant, but a Catholic, if such a man can
be said to have any religion. His fine recommendations did not come
from his employers; he wrote them himself. He is not a bachelor, but is
married, and the father of three children. Be good enough to open my
desk, Mr. Smithson.... You will find a letter from Durand's wife, in
which all these facts are stated with a minuteness of detail, and such
an accent of truth, that there can be no doubt after reading it. It was
addressed to the _curé_, begging him to threaten Durand--or rather,
Renaud--with the law if he did not send for his wife and children. They
are dying of want at Lille, whence he fled without saying anything to
them. They lost all trace of him for a year, and only heard of him
again about six months ago."

Mr. Smithson opened Louis' desk, and took out the letter. The details
it contained were, in truth, so numerous and so precise that there
could be no doubt they really referred to the so-called Durand.

"What an infamous impostor!" exclaimed he, as he finished the letter.
"Continue your account, monsieur. I am eager to know how this sad
affair terminated."

"My friend, Mme. Barnier," continued Louis, "has not been able to leave
St. Denis, where she took refuge at the time of the inundation. A
violent affection of the muscular system obliges her to keep her bed.
I learned this morning from a letter that she was worse, and wished to
see me immediately. I went to St. Denis. On my way back this evening on
foot, I met Durand not three hundred steps from the mill. I cannot say
he was waiting for me, but am inclined to think so. When he perceived
me by the light of the moon, a gleam of fury lighted up his features. I
had no weapon of defence. He, as usual, carried a strong, knotty cane
in his hand.

"'Where is Madeleine?' said he.

"'At my sister's,' I replied. In fact, I had sent her there with a
letter of recommendation.

"'Why did you send her away?'

"'Because I wished to withdraw her from your criminal pursuit.'

"'Criminal?... How was my pursuit criminal? I wished to marry her.'

"'You have not the right.'

"'What do you say? I haven't a right to marry?'

"'No, you have not. You are married already.'

"'It is false.'

"'I have the proof in my possession--a letter from your wife.' Then I
told him what I knew of his history, and ended thus: 'You have hitherto
gone from one crime to another. It is time for you to reform. Promise
to begin a new life, and I pledge my word to keep what I know to
myself.'

"'I promise--humble myself--and to you!... There is one man too many in
the world, you or I. By heaven! this must be ended.'

"I heard no more. Before I could ward off the blow, he hit me, causing
the wound you see on my head. Then he continued striking me with
diabolical fury. I could not defend myself, but called for help. Two
men heard me in the mill, and came running with all their might. As
soon as Durand saw them, he fled I know not where. I beg he may not be
pursued; the crime is too serious."

Louis had ended his account.

"Monsieur," said Mr. Smithson, "you have been strangely unfortunate
since you came here. It has all arisen from a misunderstanding. I
distrusted you. I was wrong. You have a noble heart. I see it now.
What you have said explains many things I did not understand. You
have been odiously calumniated, monsieur! Now that we have come to an
understanding, promise not to leave me. I will go further: forgive me."

Louis was affected to tears, and could not reply.

"And now, monsieur," said Mr. Smithson, "can I render you any service?"

"I wish my father and sister to be cautiously informed of what has
happened to me."

"I will go myself," said Mr. Smithson, "and give them an account of
your unfortunate adventure. You may rely on my making the communication
with all the discretion you could wish. Will to-morrow be soon enough?"

"Oh! yes. To go this evening would made them think me in great danger."

They continued to converse some minutes longer, then Mr. Smithson
returned to the house. When he entered the _salon_, he found the family
exceedingly anxious. They suspected something serious had occurred, but
the servants had not dared communicate the slightest particular. Mr.
Smithson had forbidden it, and in his house every one obeyed to the
letter.

"M. Louis, ..." began he. At this name, Eugénie turned pale. She still
loved the engineer, and waited with dread for her father to allay the
suspicions so hateful to her, or to confirm them.

"M. Louis came near being killed. He was only wounded, and will soon be
well again."

"What happened to him?" cried Eugénie eagerly.

Mme. Smithson and Albert exchanged a look of intelligence. Mr. Smithson
related the facts he had just learned from Louis. In proportion as he
unveiled the infamy of Durand's conduct, and revealed the nobility
of Louis' nature, an expression of joy, mingled with pride, dawned
on Eugénie's face. It was easy to read the look she gave her mother
and Albert--a look of mingled happiness and triumph which seemed
to say: "He is innocent; it is my turn to rejoice!" Mr. Smithson,
always sincere and ready to acknowledge an error, ended his account
by expressing his regret at having been hard, suspicious, and unjust
towards Louis. "I shall henceforth regard him with the highest respect;
and I hope, if any of you, like me, have been deceived about him, that
my words and example will suffice to correct your mistake."

Mme. Smithson and Albert pretended not to hear his last words; but they
struck Eugénie particularly. Had she dared, she would have thrown her
arms around her father's neck, and given vent to her joy and gratitude.
She was obliged to refrain, but her sentiments were so legible in her
face that no one could mistake them. You will not be surprised to hear
that Mme. Smithson and her nephew cut a sad figure.

A few moments after, they all retired to their rooms. As Eugénie
embraced her father, she could not refrain from timidly asking him one
question: "Is it really true that M. Louis' life is not in danger,
father? It would be very sad for so good a man to be killed by a
villain on our own premises."

"There is no danger, my child, I assure you," replied Mr. Smithson
kindly. He then tenderly kissed his daughter for the second time. This
mark of affection on the part of so cold a man had a special value--I
might even say, a special significance.

"This voluntary expression of love from my father," said Eugénie
to herself, "shows he is aware of all I have suffered, and that he
sympathizes with me." And she went away full of joy and hope. Once
more in her chamber, she reflected on all the events of the last few
days. Louis had been calumniated many times before, and she believed
him guilty; but he had always come out of these attacks justified, so
that the very circumstances which at first seemed against him turned to
his benefit. What had happened during the evening now at an end threw
a new light on the state of affairs. Louis was an upright man. He was
sincere, and the persecution he had undergone made him so much the
worthier of being loved. For the first time, Eugénie ventured to say to
herself boldly: "Yes, I love him!" Then she prayed for him. At length a
new doubt--a cruel doubt--rose in her heart: "But he, does he love me?"
immediately followed by another question: if Louis loved her, would
her father consent to receive him as a son-in-law?... He had won his
esteem--that was a good deal; but Mr. Smithson was not a man to be led
away by enthusiasm. These questions were very embarrassing. Nor were
they all. Eugénie foresaw many other difficulties also: Louis was poor;
he was a Catholic, not only in name, but in heart and deed. His poverty
and his piety were two obstacles to his gaining Mr. Smithson's entire
favor. These two reasons might prevent him from ever consenting to give
Louis his daughter's hand. Such were Eugénie's thoughts. Reflection,
instead of allaying her anxiety, only served to make it more keen.

"One hope remains," thought she, "but that is a powerful one: my father
loves me too well to render me unhappy. I will acknowledge that the
happiness of my life depends on his decision."

At that same hour, Louis, in the midst of his sufferings, was a prey
to similar anxiety. But he had one advantage over Eugénie. "It is not
without some design," he said, "that Providence has directed everything
with such wonderful goodness. I trust that, after giving me so clear
a glimpse of happiness, I shall at last be permitted to attain the
reality."

This was by no means certain, for the designs of God, though ever
merciful, are always unfathomable. No one can tell beforehand how
things will end. But we must pardon a little temerity in the heart of
a lover. It is sad to say, but even in the most upright souls love
overpowers reason.


CHAPTER XXVIII.

THE BETROTHAL.

The next morning, Eugénie had news that surprised her, but seemed a
happy augury: her cousin had suddenly decided to go home! His departure
was announced by Fanny. As long as things remained undecided, and
Albert had some hope, Fanny had appeared cross and dissatisfied. But
now she made her appearance as she used to be--smiling, chatty, and
agreeable, without any one's knowing why. The artful _soubrette_ felt
it was high time to change her tactics. In consequence of the blunders
Albert had committed, and Eugénie's marked antipathy to him, he would
henceforth be blotted out of the list of mademoiselle's admirers. If,
therefore, Fanny wished to reinstate herself in her mistress' good
graces, if she wished to make sure of that cherished asylum--the object
of all her aims for the last ten years--she must pave the way by her
subserviency to her future patrons--Eugénie and the husband of her
choice, whoever he might be. With a keener eye, or at least bolder,
than Eugénie's, Fanny had no doubt it would be Louis.

With the assurance of those people who make others forget their faults
by appearing to be ignorant of them themselves, Fanny went with a
single bound over to the side of the man she regarded as a personal
enemy the night before. Eugénie perceived the sudden tack. It greatly
amused her, though she pretended not to see it.

"Where is my father?" she asked Fanny.

"Monsieur is going to town with M. Albert, and also to notify Mr.
Louis' family of the misfortune that has happened to him--a painful
errand. M. Louis has a father who is greatly attached to him, and a
sister who is still fonder of him--a very amiable woman, with a strong
mind."

"Ah! indeed; where did you learn these particulars?"

"Here and there. Mademoiselle knows the good God has given me ears to
hear with."

"And especially a tongue that can ask questions, Fanny."

Eugénie went down to the breakfast-room, where she found the rest
assembled. Mr. Smithson wore a cheerful air. Albert was in an
ill-humor, which he badly concealed under pretended elation. Mme.
Smithson appeared anxious, but Eugénie saw with delight that she was
more affectionate towards her than she had been of late.

A policeman from St. M---- passed by the window.

"What is that policeman here for?" inquired Eugénie.

"We had to search Durand's room, my child," replied Mr. Smithson. "The
man cheated me in a shameful manner. I have obtained positive proofs
of it. We found letters from his wife and other people which prove him
utterly heartless and base--in short, one of the most dangerous men I
ever saw."

Mr. Smithson and Albert started a short time after. The parting between
the two cousins was not, as you may suppose, very affecting. As Mr.
Smithson entered the carriage, he said to his wife: "Go and tell M.
Louis I am on my way to his father's. I intend to bring him back with
me, and hope the sister will accompany him; for no one knows so well
how to take care of him, or to do it so acceptably. Do not delay giving
him this information; it will do him more good than a visit from the
doctor."

Mme. Smithson made a brief reply, in which a slight confusion and a
lingering antipathy were perceptible. The commission was evidently
disagreeable, but she obeyed her husband. As soon as he was out
of sight, she proceeded towards the wounded man's room. Eugénie
returned to the house. She expected her mother would be back in a few
minutes, and was greatly surprised when a quarter of an hour--half an
hour--nearly a whole hour passed without her returning. She became
extremely anxious. She feared her mother had found Louis in too
dangerous a state to be left till Mr. Smithson returned. "Perhaps,"
she also thought--"perhaps mother and M. Louis are having a painful
explanation. Mother is very kind, but at times she is dreadful!
Exasperated by my cousin's abrupt departure, I fear she may, under the
impulse of vexation or animosity, say something painful to the poor
sick fellow...." And at this, she gave her imagination full course.

At length Mme. Smithson reappeared. Eugénie refrained from questioning
her, but she looked as if she would read the bottom of her mother's
heart.

"We had rather a long talk," said Mme. Smithson, without appearing to
suspect how anxious her daughter had been. "He is a good young man,
that M. Louis; a little serious, a little too gloomy, but that seems
to please certain people!... He is delighted because his sister is
coming...."

"I am not surprised," said Eugénie.

The conversation was kept up for some time in this discreet tone,
neither of them wishing to let the other see what she really thought.
It seemed to Eugénie, however, that her mother, instead of manifesting
any irritation against Louis, was making an effort to reconcile herself
to him. Had she then an idea he might become her son-in-law, and did
she wish to accustom herself to a prospect but recently so contrary to
her views?...

The carriage arrived an hour after. Eugénie felt somewhat agitated at
the thought of meeting Louis' father and sister. "Shall I like them?
Will they like me?" she said to herself, as she proceeded resolutely
to the door to receive them. She first shook hands with Aline. The
poor girl was pale with anxiety, but her very anxiety increased her
beauty. She made a conquest of Eugénie at the first glance. Her
thoughtful air, the distinction of her manners, her intelligent and
animated countenance, were all pleasing to her. Eugénie felt, if Aline
did not become her friend, it would be because she did not wish to.
Their interview lasted only a few minutes; then Aline followed Mr.
Smithson, who had taken her father's arm, to Louis' room. Eugénie was
also pleased with M. Beauvais. He had a cold, stern air, but so had Mr.
Smithson himself.

Quite a series of incidents of no special importance occurred after
this, which it would take too much time to relate. I must hasten to end
my story, as you wish, I fear.

A week after, Mr. Smithson's house was _en fête_ to celebrate Louis'
convalescence. Both families assembled on this occasion. Aline,
Eugénie, and Mme. Smithson, who had again become the excellent woman
she was when we first knew her, formed a trio of friends such as is
seldom found. And one would have taken Mr. Smithson and Louis' father
for two old friends from boyhood, so familiarly did they converse. They
seemed to understand each other at half a word.

"What a delightful _réunion_!" said Mr. Smithson when they came to
the dessert. "It is hard to think we must all separate to-morrow. But
it is settled that you, M. Louis, are to come back as soon as you are
perfectly well."

"I give you my word," said Louis; "and promise also never to leave you
from the time you see me again."

"I hope you will carry out that intention. We will never separate
again. But you are young, and it is more difficult for a young man to
foresee what may occur."

"As far as it depends on me, I can." As Louis said these words, he
glanced at Eugénie, who sat opposite. His look seemed to say: "There is
the magnet that will keep me here for ever!" Eugénie blushed. Every one
noticed it.

"It is useless for you to say that," said Mr. Smithson. "I shall
always be in fear of your escape till you are positively bound here.
But how shall we bind you to St. M----? There is one way," and Mr.
Smithson smiled as he spoke; "which has occurred to the parents; will
the children consent?"

Eugénie and Louis looked at each other. In the eyes of both beamed the
same joy.

"The children make no reply, ..." resumed Mr. Smithson.

"Pardon me," exclaimed Louis. "I dare not be the first to answer."

"Silence implies consent," replied Mr. Smithson. "If Eugénie is not of
your mind, let her protest against it. Otherwise I shall give my own
interpretation to her silence."

"I do not protest," said Eugénie, unusually intimidated.

"Oh! what strange lovers!" continued Mr. Smithson. "I think we shall
have to tell them they love each other."

"Perhaps we are already aware of it," said Louis. "At least, I have
been for a long time."

"And have you not confessed it to each other?"

"I had forbidden myself to do so."

"Louis, you have a noble heart," said Mr. Smithson. "To keep silence
in such a case requires a courage amounting to heroism. But I have
remarked that the heroic qualities you have given so many proofs
of since you came here always turn to the advantage of those who
continue under their influence. This proves that God, even in this
world, rewards the deeds of the upright much oftener than is supposed.
Doubtless they are also recompensed in heaven, but they often have on
earth a foretaste of what awaits them hereafter."

Such was the betrothal of my two friends. The next day, Louis came
to town, in order to obtain the medical aid necessary to complete
his cure. I had returned myself a few days previous. I cannot tell
you with what pleasure I received him, and learned the welcome news
from the lips of the _fiancée_ herself, who greatly pleased me at
the very first interview, and never gave me any reason to change my
opinion. My intercourse with them and Aline--three choice spirits--was
so delightful that it sustained me in the midst of the terrible
trials through which I was then passing. My grief for the death of my
husband had grown more calm, but his memory followed me constantly and
everywhere.

In addition to my mental troubles, I underwent physical sufferings that
were sometimes excruciating. And I was filled with a dread that was
still worse. I trembled at the thought I might always be a burden to my
poor mother and sister. I had not fully learned that, when God sends
a trial, he likewise gives the strength to bear it, and some way of
mitigating it. How many times I have since realized this! God comes to
the aid of those whose will is in conformity with his.

The marriage of Louis and Eugénie took place a month afterwards. For
them, and I might almost say for myself, it was the beginning of a life
of serene happiness that lasted six years. The better these two souls
became acquainted, the more they loved each other. They were always
of the same mind on all subjects whatever, particularly when there
was a question of doing good. Eugénie, under her husband's influence,
became in a few months a woman of angelic piety. The good works Louis
had previously begun under such unfavorable circumstances were resumed
at once, and carried on with a zeal and prudence that had the happiest
influence on the whole country round. St. M---- was transformed into
a Christian republic. The wicked--to be found everywhere--were few in
number, and, instead of ruling over the good, considered themselves
fortunate in being tolerated. Ah! if it were thus everywhere!... Every
summer, I went to pass three months with my friends. I was happier
there than I can express. It was delightful to behold a family so
admirably united, so beloved and respected everywhere around! Mr.
Smithson himself was hardly to be recognized. The sight of the wonders
effected by his son-in-law and daughter destroyed one by one all his
prejudices against the true religion....

Alas! the happiness of this world is seldom of long duration. Eugénie
had been married six years, and was the mother of two children, when
she was seized with a severe illness that endangered her life. She
got over it, however, but remained feeble and languid. The physicians
insisted on her residing permanently in the South. A large manufactory
being for sale on the delightful shores of the Mediterranean, a few
leagues from Marseilles, on the picturesque and charming road leading
from the Phocæan City to Toulon, Louis purchased it, and they all went
away!

No words could describe the sadness they experienced at leaving so dear
a spot as St. M----, where they were greatly beloved. They likewise
regretted separating from me. When I saw them start, I felt almost as
distressed as I was at the death of my husband; but I did not tell them
so, for fear of increasing their regret. After they went to Provence,
they had one more year of happiness; but the amelioration that took
place in Eugénie's health did not last any longer. She died three
months later.

Some time after, Louis came to seek consolation from his sister and
me. His very aspect made us heartsick. His grief was beyond the reach
of any human consolation. It would have been wrong had he voluntarily
given himself up to it. But, no; he struggled against it. It prevailed,
however, in spite of himself, as phthisis resists every remedy and
wears the sufferer to the grave. We represented to him the good he
might still effect, and reminded him he had one child left to bring
up; the other being dead. He listened kindly to our representations,
and said he had had more happiness on earth than he merited; that he
submitted to the divine will, and resigned himself to live as long as
God wished. But all this was said with a dejection and involuntary
weariness of everything, that was no good sign. Louis was one of those
souls, all sensibility, who die as soon as their hearts receive a deep
wound. Had he been an unbeliever, he would have taken his own life, or
died of grief in a few months. Religion sustained him four years longer.

During that time, his friends always found him resigned. He became more
devout than ever, and more zealous in doing good. A sudden illness at
length carried him off. The physicians asserted that he might have
recovered if grief had not undermined his constitution, once so robust.
When he died, he left his son to be brought up by his sister. God gave
him the happiness, before his death, of seeing his father-in-law enter
the bosom of the church.

Madame Agnes had finished her story.

"Such, my friend, is the history of my life," said she. "It is not very
entertaining, I confess, but I think it instructive. All who had a part
in it suffered, but they never lost courage. Such a misfortune could
not happen to them, because they only expected from life what it has
to give--many days of trial, mingled with some that are joyful. But
whether their days were sad or joyful, my friends were never deprived
of the light of the divine presence. They received from the hand of God
happiness and sorrow with equal gratitude, aware that he disposes all
things for the good of those he loves, and that in him all they have
loved on earth will be found again.

"My friend, imitate the example of these dear ones now gone! Keep
intact the gift of faith, which was their dearest, most precious
treasure. Let it also be yours! If you rely on God, you will never lack
resignation and hope, even in the midst of the most bitter trials.
Faith, while waiting to open the gates of heaven to you--faith,
practical and ardent, wonderfully softens every trial here below."



DANIEL O'CONNELL.


The good old saying, that it never rains but it pours, has received
additional illustration in the appearance within a very short time of
two lives and one memoir of the great Irish agitator, the late Daniel
O'Connell. The latter, it is true, is a mere sketch, intended only as
an introduction to a collection of ten or twelve of the most noteworthy
speeches of that distinguished man, judiciously selected from hundreds
which, as a lawyer, politician, and parliamentary debater, he had
delivered in the course of a remarkably busy life, extending over
nearly half a century. In this regard, if in no other, it will be found
interesting and useful to those who have not leisure or inclination to
study the history of his career in detail.

Of Mr. Luby's work, published originally in parts, many of which we
have carefully perused, we have little to say. It is evidently written
in haste, loosely, and without due regard to the canons which are
generally supposed to govern composition and narration. There are
no facts or incidents in it bearing on the public or private life
of O'Connell that are not already well known to every person of
ordinary intelligence, and which have not been better and more lucidly
presented to the public years ago. It has the demerit, also, of being
altogether too discursive, not to say blatant, in style, and the
author is too constantly wandering away from his subject to matters
quite disconnected from the actions and peculiarities of his hero.
Judging from this production, Mr. Luby seems to be a very unfit person
to portray the genius, aims, and designs of the great Irish popular
leader, lacking as he does that earnest sympathy which should exist
between the biographer and his subject, as well as that judicial and
philosophical insight into the secret springs of human action which,
while recording patent facts, can comprehend and elucidate the true
motives, designs, and probable results of the deeds related. Such has
ever been considered the real end of biographical literature.

In this respect, the _Life of O'Connell_, by Sister Mary Francis
Clare, is much superior to Mr. Luby's, as it is in every other
essential quality, though in itself far inferior to what might have
been expected from so popular a writer, particularly when dealing with
so great and congenial a theme. In her book of eight hundred pages,
the good religious has shown a vast amount of industry, a genuine
appreciation of the character, labors, and conduct of the Liberator,
and considerable literary skill in presenting them to the public in the
most attractive and readable form. The correspondence between O'Connell
and the venerable Archbishop of Tuam, now for the first time published,
constitutes a most valuable, perhaps the most valuable, feature in
the work, and, as a glimpse at the inner life of the busy lawyer and
untiring agitator, will be read with particular gratification by
the admirers of his extraordinary abilities in this country. Here,
we regret to say, our praise of Miss Cusack's book must end. As a
biography of one of the most remarkable public men of this century or
of any country, it is not a decided success, and, as coming from the
pen of an experienced, facile, and patriotic writer, it will, we do
not doubt, disappoint the majority of her admirers at home and abroad.
With the exception of the letters to Abp. McHale, alluded to above,
and some original notes and appendices supplied by friends, the facts,
incidents, and anecdotes recounted of the Irish leader are mainly
taken from such books as those of O'Neill Daunt, Fegan, Sheil, and
his own son, John O'Connell, all of which may be found in an anonymous
compilation published five or six years ago.[76]

We do not find fault so much with the fact that it is so largely a
compilation, as with the crude manner in which the extracts from those
works are collated and presented to the public. We can even point
to several instances where they are inserted bodily in the text, as
original, without quotation-marks, foot-notes, or any other sign of
reference. This may or may not be the fault of the printer, but the
examples are so numerous as to incline us to the latter opinion. We
have often admired the industry of Miss Cusack in bringing out so many
good books in such rapid succession; as well as her zeal in endeavoring
to aid, by the products of her genius, a most meritorious charity;
but we hold it to be against the laws both of fair play and literary
courtesy to neglect to accord to the labors of others a proper share of
acknowledgment.

We do not want to be unreasonable. Had the gifted authoress allowed
herself more time, and related the dramatic story of O'Connell's
life entirely in her own words, we would have been satisfied. We do
not expect that a lady secluded from the world, necessarily devoting
the greater part of her time to the duties of her calling, and
consequently practically unacquainted with the outside political world,
its storms, passions, and intrigues, can treat us to anything like
a full or elaborate disquisition on the circumstances, dangers, and
difficulties which surrounded and impeded the career of such a man as
the emancipator of the Catholics of Great Britain and Ireland. Only a
person who has devoted much time to the examination of the history of
Ireland and England, for the past hundred years, at least; who himself
has been a participant in, or an interested spectator of, the unceasing
conflict which during that period was naturally waged between the Irish
nationalists and their opponents, can attempt to do so. This war was
carried on in every relation of life; at the bar, on the bench; in the
pulpit, press, and forum; in the workshop, the club, and the halls
of St. Stephen; and the central figure, the invincible leader of the
aggressive and at length victorious national party, was O'Connell--the
man who for near half a century dared all opposition and defied all
hostile power in the championship of the cause of his persecuted
countrymen and co-religionists.

However men may differ as to the wisdom, policy, or honesty of
O'Connell, none will deny that he was a man of stupendous intellect and
indomitable perseverance. In everything he was gigantic. In physique,
mental attainments, courage, virtues, and even in his errors, he was
decidedly great. There was nothing small or dwarfed about him; and
as, a popular leader while living, he seemed to hold in his hand the
control of the masses of his countrymen; so, when dead, the very
mention of his name is enough to awaken the gratitude and evoke the
admiration of millions of the present generation, whose advent into
the world succeeded his demise. Not only in Ireland was he trusted,
beloved, and revered, but on the continent of Europe and in this
country his name was associated with the cause of civil and religious
liberty, and his every movement watched with interest by all classes.
And when at length, worn down by his excessive labors in behalf of
faith and liberty, he yielded up his soul to his Creator, his piety
and patriotism became the subjects of unqualified encomiums from the
noblest and most distinguished orators in both hemispheres. Surely
so great an embodiment of zeal and genius, well directed, deserves a
fitting chronicler.

Born of a house never remarkable before nor since his time for
attachment to creed or country; educated far from the influences of
his native land, we find him returning to it just as he had completed
his majority, an accomplished scholar and a barrister, with nothing to
depend upon but his own labors for support, yet full of ambition and
eager for distinction. Had he followed the traditions of his family,
he would have settled down quietly to the practice of his profession,
and in course of time, doubtless, would have become wealthy and a
useful assistant to the hostile power that controlled the destinies
of his nation, as too many of his professional brothers had already
done. But the young lawyer, to the dismay of many of his relations,
soon showed that he was made of sterner stuff. He could not "bend the
pregnant hinges of the knee, that thrift might follow fawning." He had
arrived home in time to witness the horrors of '98; he had seen his
fellow-Catholics, even then four-fifths of the population of Ireland,
bowed down to the very dust, sneered at, reprobated, and, on their own
soil, denied every social, commercial, and political right to which as
freemen they were entitled; and, with a courage that never deserted
him, and a capacity for labor that was truly remarkable, he ranged
himself on the side of the proscribed, and took up the gauntlet cast
down to the oppressed by the powerful and unscrupulous faction which
then, as now, represented British supremacy in Ireland.

His first appearance in public, being then but twenty-three years old,
was in 1799, when the question of a legislative union between Ireland
and England convulsed the former and deeply moved the public mind of
the latter country. At a meeting in Dublin, he denounced the measure in
terms so bold, clear, and forcible that those who listened to him had
little difficulty in foreseeing his future eminence and usefulness to
the national cause. The scheme of Pitt and Castlereagh was, however,
carried out, the Irish parliament was destroyed, and the Catholics
saw themselves at the beginning of the century not only without a
domestic legislature, but shut out from all representation, not only
in the united Lords and Commons, but even in the most insignificant
corporation and local boards.

Where, then, could the ardent young patriot, gifted, enthusiastic,
and impatient of the restrictions placed upon himself and his
fellow-countrymen, find an audience and an outlet for the fiery
eloquence that heaved and burned in his soul? Clearly in popular
gatherings and in the courts of law. But the people at that time
were so timid, nay, so degraded, that they dared not assemble in any
force to protest against the tyranny that had for so many generations
enslaved them; or, if a few hundreds did assemble together, the sight
of a magistrate, or the presence of some truculent follower of the
castle, like the infamous Maj. Sirr, was sufficient to disperse them,
while the few Catholic noblemen and gentry yet left were as timid as so
many hares. The Irish Catholics of that epoch, so long trodden under
foot, and deprived absolutely of political power and landed interests,
were not like the Catholics of to-day, who, in all thankfulness be it
said, are triumphantly bearing aloft the banner of the church when so
much of Europe is trailing it in the mire of infidelity and communism.
Then Wolfe Tone, once their secretary, in his _Memoirs_, and Wyse, in
his _History of the Catholic Association_, likened them to the servile
Jews, and described them as deficient in manliness and self-respect.
They crawled at the feet of a hostile government, says the latter,
fawned on their Protestant neighbors, and felt honored by being even
noticed by persons of that creed, even though in every respect their
inferiors. Such people had very little business in the civil courts to
give, and what little they had they gave to those who loathed their
creed and despised themselves.

O'Connell soon saw that nothing could be effected in the way of
popular demonstrations with such unpromising materials. He therefore
adopted another and a wiser course. The courts became his fulcrum,
and his eloquence the lever, by which he sought to raise the spirit
of the nation. Term after term, year after year, his potent voice was
heard ringing through the halls of justice by an astonished bar and
delighted and electrified audiences, in the defence of the victims of
landlord tyranny or official persecution. His arguments to the bench,
and his harangues to the jury, were always full of fire, audacity, and
logic, and were seldom, even in the face of unmitigated prejudice,
unsuccessful. Pathos and humor, wit and vituperation, strong appeals
to the patriotism of his hearers, and stern denunciations of the
rashness and folly of some of his compatriots, were with him invariably
mingled with sound common sense and unerring legal acumen. So great,
indeed, was his success as a pleader in criminal cases, so unlimited
his resources in difficult motions, and so general his triumphs over
ignorance and bigotry, that, before most of his fellow-practitioners
had earned their first fees, he found himself in the enjoyment of a
lucrative practice, and, what to him was an object of much greater
importance, the spokesman of the degraded majority, and the oracle
of his people. His forensic efforts were not confined to judges and
juries exclusively. He lost no opportunity of throwing into his legal
arguments and speeches some remarks for the benefit of the masses who
always throng Irish courts--remarks which never failed to elicit the
wildest delight and the most hearty applause.

In this indirect way he was gradually infusing into his countrymen
that spirit of manhood which so powerfully moved himself. As an
evidence of this, we may quote an extract, though a long one, from
his speech in defence of Magee, editor of the _Evening Post_, then
the most influential advocate of Catholic rights in Ireland. In
1813, Magee was prosecuted for a libel on the Duke of Richmond, the
retiring lord-lieutenant; and as the crown officers in their speeches,
and, as it appeared, by previous arrangement, endeavored to give
to the trial--having first selected a jury to suit themselves--a
political significance, Magee's counsel willingly joined issue
with them on their own terms. The array of legal ability on both
sides was proportionate to the gravity of the question involved.
For the government appeared the Attorney-General, Saurin, the
Solicitor-General, Bushe, and Sergeants Moore, Ball, and McMahon;
for the defence, O'Connell, assisted by Messrs. Wallace, Hamilton,
Findley, and Philips. Saurin, in his opening, alluding to the Catholic
Board, of which the defendant's newspaper was the organ, made use of
these words: "If the libel only related to him [Richmond], it would
have gone by unprosecuted by me. But the imputation is made against
the administration of justice by the government of Ireland, and it
forms only a part of a system of calumny with which an association of
factious and revolutionary men are in the habit of vilifying every
constitutional authority in the land." The opportunity thus afforded
O'Connell was instantly and dexterously seized by him to reply with
more than his usual boldness and wealth of invective. In the course of
his long address to the jury, he said:

  "My lord, upon the Catholic subject I commence with one assertion
  of the Attorney-General, which I trust I misunderstood. He talked,
  as I collected him, of the Catholics having imbibed principles of
  a seditious, treasonable, and revolutionary nature! He seemed to
  me most distinctly to charge us with treason! There is no relying
  on his words for his meaning--I know there is not. On a former
  occasion, I took down a repetition of this charge full seventeen
  times on my brief; and yet afterwards it turned out that he never
  intended to make any such charge; that he forgot he had ever used
  those words, and he disclaimed the idea they naturally convey. It
  is clear, therefore, that upon this subject he knows not what he
  says; and that these phrases are the mere flowers of his rhetoric,
  but quite innocent of any meaning!

  "Upon this account I pass him by, I go beyond him, and I content
  myself with proclaiming those charges, whosoever may make them,
  to be false and base calumnies! It is impossible to refute such
  charges in the language of dignity or temper. But if any man
  dares to charge the Catholic body, or the Catholic Board, or any
  individuals of that Board, with sedition or treason, I do here, I
  shall always in this court, in the city, in the field, brand him as
  an infamous and profligate liar!

  "Pardon the phrase, but there is no other suitable to the occasion.
  But he is a profligate liar who so asserts, because he must know
  that the whole tenor of our conduct confutes the assertion. What is
  it we seek?"

  "_Chief-Justice._--What, Mr. O'Connell, can this have to do with
  the question which the jury are to try?"

  "_Mr. O'Connell._--You heard the Attorney-General traduce and
  calumniate us; you heard him with patience and with temper--listen
  now to our vindication!

  "I ask, What is it we seek? What is it we incessantly, and, if
  you please, clamorously, petition for? Why, to be allowed to
  partake of the advantages of the constitution. We are earnestly
  anxious to share the benefits of the constitution. We look to
  the participation in the constitution as our greatest political
  blessing. If we desired to destroy it, would we seek to share
  it? If we wished to overturn it, would we exert ourselves
  through calumny, and in peril, to obtain a portion of its
  blessings? Strange, inconsistent voice of calumny! You charge us
  with intemperance in our exertions for a participation in the
  constitution, and you charge us at the same time, almost in the
  same sentence, with a design to overturn the constitution. The
  dupes of your hypocrisy may believe you; but, base calumniators,
  you do not, you cannot believe yourselves!

  "The Attorney-General--'this wisest and best of men,' as his
  colleague, the Solicitor-General, called him in his presence,--the
  Attorney-General next boasted of his triumph over Pope and Popery;
  'I put down the Catholic Committee; I will put down, at my good
  time, the Catholic Board.' This boast is partly historical, partly
  prophecy. He was wrong in his history--he is quite mistaken in
  his prophecy. He did not put down the Catholic Committee; we gave
  up that name the moment that this sapient Attorney-General's
  polemico-legal controversy dwindled into a mere dispute about
  words. He told us that, in the English language, 'pretence' means
  'purpose.' Had it been French and not English, we might have
  been inclined to respect his judgment; but in point of English,
  we venture to differ with him. We told him, 'Purpose,' good Mr.
  Attorney-General, is just the reverse of 'pretence.' The quarrel
  grew warm and animated. We appealed to common sense, to the
  grammar, and to the dictionary; common sense, grammar, and the
  dictionary decided in our favor. He brought his appeal to this
  court, your lordship, and your brethren unanimously decided that in
  point of law--mark, mark, gentlemen of the jury, the sublime wisdom
  of the law--the court decided that, in point of law, 'pretence'
  does mean 'purpose'!

  "Fully contented with this very reasonable and most satisfactory
  decision, there still remained a matter of fact between us. The
  Attorney-General charged us with being representatives; we denied
  all representation. He had two witnesses to prove the fact for
  him; they swore to it one way at one trial, and directly the
  other way at the next. An honorable, intelligent, and enlightened
  jury disbelieved those witnesses at the first trial; matters were
  better managed at the second trial--the jury were better arranged.
  I speak delicately, gentlemen: the jury were better arranged, as
  the witnesses were better informed; and, accordingly, there was
  one verdict for us on the representative question, and one verdict
  against us....

  "Let me pledge myself to you that he imposes on you when he
  threatens to crush the Catholic Board. Illegal violence may do it,
  force may effectuate it; but your hopes and his will be defeated
  if he attempts it by any course of law. I am, if not a lawyer, at
  least a barrister. On this subject I ought to know something, and I
  do not hesitate to contradict the Attorney-General on this point,
  and to proclaim to you and to the country that the Catholic Board
  is a perfectly legal assembly; that it not only does not violate
  the law, but that it is entitled to the protection of the law;
  and in the very proudest tone of firmness, I hurl defiance at the
  Attorney-General!

  "I defy him to allege a law or a statute, or even a proclamation,
  that is violated by the Catholic Board. No, gentlemen, no; his
  religious prejudices--if the absence of every charity can be called
  anything religious,--his religious prejudices really obscure
  his reason, his bigoted intolerance has totally darkened his
  understanding, and he mistakes the plainest facts, and misquotes
  the clearest law, in the ardor and vehemence of his rancor. I
  disclaim his moderation, I scorn his forbearance. I tell him he
  knows not the law, if he thinks as he says; and if he thinks so, I
  tell him to his beard that he is not honest in not having sooner
  prosecuted us, and I challenge him to that prosecution."[77]

Those were brave words, such as the ears of the English officials were
unused to hear, but which found a responsive echo in the hearts of
millions of the oppressed Catholics, degraded and enthralled as they
were at that time. On the first day of its publication, ten thousand
copies of the entire address were sold, and in a short time it was
to be found in nearly every house and place of public resort in the
country. It was also translated into French and Spanish, and eagerly
read and commented upon on the continent. In fact, this trial may be
considered the true initial point of the great Catholic movement which
culminated in emancipation sixteen years afterwards.

To a man of less indomitable will and less transcendent legal
abilities, a course such as O'Connell had adopted would have been
utterly ruinous. Then, as now, but to a far greater extent, the Irish
judges were the mere creatures of the castle, and their least frown or
sneer was considered sufficient to blast the prospects of any young
aspirant for professional honors, even if he were only suspected of
patriotic leanings. But in the future Emancipator they met their
equal, not only in point of legal knowledge, but their superior in
moral courage and in that mental force which, like a torrent, swept
everything before it. The following anecdotes, told of O'Connell
while in active practice, illustrate his method of dealing with the
government jurists:

  "Happening to be one day present in the courts in Dublin, where a
  discussion arose on a motion for a new trial, a young attorney was
  called upon by the opposing counsel either to admit a statement
  as evidence, or hand in some document he could legally detain.
  O'Connell stood up, and told the attorney to make no admission.

  "'Have you a brief in this case, Mr. O'Connell?' asked Baron
  McCleland, with very peculiar emphasis.

  "'I have not, my lord; but I shall have one when the case goes down
  to the assizes.'

  "'When _I_ was at the bar, it was not _my_ habit to anticipate
  briefs.'

  "'When _you_ were at the bar, I never chose _you_ for a model;
  and now that you are on the bench, I shall not submit to your
  dictation.'

  "Leaving the judge to digest this retort, he walked out of the
  court, accompanied by the young attorney.

  "At a case tried at the Cork assizes, a point arose touching the
  legality of certain evidence, which O'Connell argued was clearly
  admissible. He sustained his own view very fully, reasoning with
  that force and clearness, and quoting precedent with that facility,
  for which he was distinguished. But it was to no purpose. The
  court ruled against him, and the witnesses were shut out. The
  trial was of extraordinary length, and at the close of the day the
  proceedings were not ended. On the following morning, when the case
  was about to be resumed, the judge addressed O'Connell:

  "'I have reconsidered my decision of yesterday,' said his lordship,
  'and my present opinion is that the evidence tendered by you should
  not have been rejected. You can, therefore, reproduce the evidence
  now.'

  "Instead of obsequiously thanking him for his condescension, as
  another would have done, O'Connell's impatience broke out:

  "'Had your lordship known as much law yesterday as you do to-day,'
  said he bitterly, 'you would have spared me a vast amount of time
  and trouble, and my client a considerable amount of injury. Crier,
  call up the witnesses.'"[78]

The career of the great criminal lawyer--for his civil business was
comparatively small--lasted for more than a generation, and his success
was uniform and uninterrupted, while his fees in the aggregate,
for that time, were enormous. "A single fact," says the author just
quoted, "will demonstrate the confidence which the Irish public placed
at this period in the professional abilities of O'Connell. In the
autumnal assizes of 1813, twenty-six cases were tried in the Limerick
Record Court. In every one of these O'Connell held a brief. He was
likewise retained in every criminal case tried in the same city. His
professional career was equally triumphant and extraordinary in the
autumn assizes of Ennis; while in Cork and his native province, Kerry,
it was that year, if possible, exceeded. At this golden period of
his life, his prosperity, flowing from his brilliant abilities, and
his popularity, springing from his country's gratitude, rendered his
position at the bar in the highest degree enviable."

But it was not as a jurist or an advocate that O'Connell was destined
to hand down his name to posterity covered with imperishable glory. He
only used his great professional success to further two ends. Like a
true patriot, and, _à fortiori_, unlike the politicians of to-day, he
desired first to establish his own independence before attempting to
obtain that of his countrymen, knowing well that poverty, associated
with ambition, is too often the means of leading men, otherwise honest,
into the commission of acts not always honorable or meritorious. Then,
also, as we have before intimated, he desired, under the protection
of the court, to instil into the hearts and souls of the dejected
Catholics a spirit of manliness and courage by his burning appeals to
courts and juries--words which, if uttered out of court, would have
entailed on him endless prosecutions and proscription.

Strictly speaking, O'Connell cannot be considered as the leader of
the Irish Catholics till 1820, when Henry Grattan died. That brilliant
orator and inflexible patriot, though a Protestant, always enjoyed
the confidence and esteem of the persecuted masses; and whether in or
out of Parliament, in College Green or St. Stephen's, his conduct was
ever such as to command their respect and affection. O'Connell, on the
contrary, up to that date, was unable to control for any length of
time the feeble movements which, during the previous decade, had been
made by the Catholic body to obtain some redress of their grievances.
His audacious denunciation of the government, and his contempt for the
advocates of half measures, frightened away such lukewarm Catholics as
Lords Fingal, Trimleston, and French; while his superior foresight,
skill, and perhaps arrogance, frequently led him into disputes with the
less clear-headed and more violent of his other associates. A portion
of the national press, also, looked coldly upon the burly lawyer,
fearing his ambition; while many of the clergy and bishops hesitated
to yield implicit confidence to a man who was once a freemason, and
a good deal of whose leisure time, it was said, was spent amid the
_convives_ of the capital. The "Catholic Committee," which was mainly
his creation, was established in 1808, and easily suppressed by the
government, after a useless existence of less than three years. Its
successor, the "Catholic Board," was equally powerless, and even
more given to internal dissensions; and after its demise, in 1814,
nine years elapsed, during which the Catholics, divided, dispirited,
and despairing, made no effort whatever for their rights, unless the
forwarding of an odd petition to the English Parliament might be called
so.

In fact, the generation that had witnessed the horrors of '98 and
the wholesale perfidy of the men who planned and passed the act of
union, were not fit to carry on a manly, determined agitation: fear had
been driven into their very marrow, and the badge of slavery was worn
with a calmness that closely resembled contentment. It required a new
generation to conduct such a movement with success, and a leader to
point the way to victory.

Time at last brought both. The first sign of returning life in the
people was evinced upon the occasion of a relief bill having been
introduced into the House of Commons in 1821, and passed by that body
by nineteen majority. Though of course defeated by the Lords, its
partial success, and the unexpected support it received from some of
the more distinguished members, had a salutary effect on the public
mind in Ireland, and aroused hopes that had long lain dormant in the
bosom of the Catholic party. Meetings began to be held in different
parts of the provinces, and at length a _Catholic Association_ was
formed in Dublin, April 28, 1823. Its founder was O'Connell, then
in his prime, physically and mentally; his reputation as an orator
and a statesman beyond question; his impetuosity mollified, if not
subdued; and his judgment matured by long experience of actual life.
At first the association numbered but a few individuals; so few,
indeed, that after it had been a year in existence, it was difficult
to get the necessary quorum of members to attend its stated meetings;
but a combination of circumstances almost providential, and certainly
unexpected, occurred, which gave the movement an irresistible impulse.
The hierarchy of Ireland unanimously endorsed the movement; the
clergy not only approved of it, but were active in extending the
organization; the poet Moore dropped the lyre, and took up the pen
controversial; the illustrious "J. K. L." thundered through the press;
while the halls of Parliament rang with the eloquence of Brougham,
Mackintosh, and Sir F. Burdett. The rent or revenue to conduct and
disseminate a knowledge of the principles of the association flowed in
with unparalleled generosity, sometimes as much as ten thousand dollars
being received weekly by the treasurer. O'Connell was the head and
front, the vivifying principle, organizer, and counsellor of this grand
uprising of an enslaved people; and his efforts were as untiring as his
advice was judicious and well timed.

At length the government, the supporters of Protestant ascendency,
became alarmed, and at the session of 1825 of the British Parliament a
bill was introduced to suppress the association. That body immediately
delegated O'Connell and R. L. Sheil to attend the bar of the House, and
offer their testimony as to the perfect legality of the organization.
They attended, but were not heard, though admitted to seats in the
body of the chamber. Still, they were ably represented by Brougham
and other influential members. Speaking of the two delegates, the
_Edinburgh Review_ of that day well said: "No men in circumstances so
difficult and delicate ever behaved with greater temper and moderation,
or more recommended themselves to all parties by their fairness and
the conciliatory manner of their proceedings. Of necessity ignorant
of the men with whom they were called upon to act, they could not
avoid falling into some errors.... The sanguine temper which made
them give ear to the hope [of emancipation] so unaccountably held out
by some persons, is to be reckoned the chief of these mistakes; for
it led to far too much carelessness about the blow to be levelled at
the association.... When the bill was prepared for putting down the
association, a debate ensued, not, perhaps, paralleled in parliamentary
history for its importance and the sustained excellence which marked
the whole compass of its duration. Four whole nights did this memorable
contest last, if contest it might be called, where all the strength
lay, except that of numbers, on one side. The effect produced by
this debate out of doors and within the Parliament itself was truly
important. The whole range of Irish policy was discussed, all the
grievances of Ireland were openly canvassed, the conduct of the
government freely arraigned, and such a death-blow given to the cry
of 'No Popery!' and the other delusions of the High-Church party that
intolerance lost more ground that night than it had ever hoped to
regain by the alarm which the association enabled it to excite. The
conduct of that body was most triumphantly defended, and it appeared
plainly that the peace of Ireland had been restored by its exertions
and maintained by its influence."

Nevertheless, the act passed and the association was dissolved, but
only to reappear in another form. The cause of emancipation had gained
many and powerful friends, not the least of whom was the editor of the
quarterly just quoted. A new _Catholic Association_ was formed the
same year, and the work of arousing the supine masses went bravely on.
Meetings were held simultaneously in the various centres of population,
at one or more of which O'Connell was generally present; for he
seemed ubiquitous. The patriotic newspapers teemed with speeches,
communications, and extracts, all directed to the same purpose. The
country was in a state of tremendous fermentation, to a degree that
it was thought impossible it could go further, till the Emancipator
himself, by a masterly stroke of policy, which could only have been the
inspiration of genius, resolved to get himself elected to Parliament,
and "carry the war into Africa." Ireland was now thoroughly aroused and
organized; so he resolved, if he could not convince or persuade England
to do her justice, at least to shock the latter into something like
equity, or expose her to the world as an oppressor and a hypocrite.
He had seen what beneficial effects had followed the debate on the
"Algerine Bill," and he was determined not to rest till all Europe, all
Christendom, should become familiar with the wrongs of the Catholics.
In 1828, a vacancy occurred in the representation of Clare. O'Connell
presented himself as a candidate, was against all odds elected, and
immediately proceeded to London.

Events, however, hurried on so fast that he had not time to present
himself to the Commons before the great measure for which he had so
long struggled, and for which millions had prayed for years, had
passed. On the 22d of January, 1828, the Duke of Wellington was
appointed First Lord of the Treasury. Towards the end of that year,
the Catholic Association was voluntarily dissolved, in conformity to a
preconcerted plan between the Irish Catholics and the British Ministry,
having first passed unanimously the following resolution:

  "That, as the last act of this body, we do declare that we are
  indebted to Daniel O'Connell, beyond all other men, for its
  original creation and sustainment, and that he is entitled, for
  the achievement of its freedom, to the everlasting gratitude of
  Ireland."

On the 13th of April, 1829, the Emancipation Act received the royal
signature, the bill having passed the House by an overwhelming vote,
and the Lords by one hundred and four majority.

Many persons fondly thought that this law had laid the fell spirit of
Protestant bigotry for ever; but it was not so. The snake was only
scotched, not killed. It required another blow to render it completely
innoxious. O'Connell, who had been elected before the bill passed,
claimed a right to a seat in the Commons, even though a Catholic, and
in support of that claim presented himself early in the session. The
scene that ensued is thus described by an eye-witness:

  "It is impossible to convey a perfect idea of the silent, the
  almost breathless attention with which O'Connell was watched and
  perused, when, in compliance with the request of the speaker, he
  advanced to the table. So large a number of peers had never been
  previously seen in that House. Two members of the aristocracy
  accompanied O'Connell, and, as a matter of form, introduced him
  to the House. Their names were Ebrington and Dungannon. As he
  passed the bar of the House, every eye was fixed on him. The
  first oath tendered to O'Connell was that of the supremacy, which
  he was seen, by the silent and watching multitude, to wave away
  and refuse. They heard him say: 'I apply to take my seat under
  the new act. I am ready to take the oath directed to be taken by
  Roman Catholic members. I do not feel that I am bound to take
  _these_ oaths.' As he uttered these last words, he passed his
  hand over the oaths which he objected to, and which were affixed
  to pasteboards. 'You will be good enough,' added O'Connell, 'to
  inform the speaker that I do not think I am bound to take these
  oaths.' The chief clerk gathered up the pieces of pasteboard, and
  hurried up with them to the speaker, where he was seen pointing
  out to that functionary the oaths which O'Connell refused to take.
  The speaker then rose and said that, unless the new member took
  the old oaths, he must withdraw. The speaker alluded to those
  blasphemous oaths whose injustice was so flagrant that they had
  been just repealed. O'Connell, it is said, requested that the oath
  of qualification, stating that he possessed six hundred a year,
  should be administered to him; but this was likewise refused.
  During all this time, the speaker's manner and expression of
  countenance towards O'Connell, on whom he fixed his regards, were
  extremely courteous, but the declaration that he must withdraw firm
  and authoritative. O'Connell looked round, as if expecting support;
  but this failing, he bowed, and stood facing the speaker in perfect
  silence. At this moment, Brougham was seen to rise; but before he
  could address the house, the speaker exclaimed 'Order!' and again
  intimated to O'Connell that he must withdraw. The latter bowed
  respectfully, and, without uttering a single syllable, withdrew.
  After his departure, Brougham, who was still on his legs, addressed
  the house in a subdued tone, and, after some discussion, the debate
  was postponed.

  "May 18, 1829, was a memorable day in the history of O'Connell's
  eventful life. Peel, rising in the House of Commons on that day,
  moved that O'Connell should be heard at the bar--a motion which
  was carried. Accordingly, he advanced to the bar, attended by
  Pierce Mahony--the whole house regarding him with the most intense
  interest. He addressed the house in a long and elaborate speech,
  in which he clearly demonstrated his right. His courteous manner
  and temperate address conciliated, in some degree, the good opinion
  of the members. He exhibited that flexibility of mind, that power
  of accommodating himself to his auditory, which formed his most
  remarkable attribute. When he concluded, the question was taken
  up by the lawyers, who endeavored to explain the meaning of the
  new act to the very men who had passed it. As the aristocracy had
  previously determined that O'Connell should not sit, the members of
  the lower house, who always do their bidding, rejected O'Connell's
  claim.

  "Retiring with Pierce Mahony by his side, O'Connell endeavored to
  recover the seat which he had occupied previously to his appearance
  at the table. But to his surprise, he found two gentlemen in
  possession of it. They were Frenchmen, but spoke English like
  natives. One of these men afterwards reigned in France as Louis
  Philippe. The other was his son, the Duke of Orleans.

  "The following day, O'Connell appeared for the third time at the
  bar of the House. He was told by the speaker that unless he took
  the oath of supremacy, the House would not permit him to take his
  seat.

  "'Are you willing to take the oath of supremacy?' asked the speaker.

  "'Allow me to look at it,' replied O'Connell.

  "The oath was handed to O'Connell, and he looked at it in silence
  for a few seconds; then raising his head, he said: 'In this oath
  I see one assertion as to a matter of fact, which I _know_ to be
  untrue. I see a second assertion as to a matter of opinion, which
  I _believe_ to be untrue. I therefore refuse to take this oath.' A
  writ was immediately issued for a new election."

He was again triumphantly elected for Clare, and from thenceforth till
his death occupied a seat in the House, representing at various times
different constituencies. Of his conduct as member of Parliament,
however his contemporaries might have differed in opinion, either
through partiality or prejudice, posterity will do him the justice of
according to him a wonderful versatility of talent, a conscientious
desire to forward the interests of his country, an unswerving courage
and dignity in meeting the taunts and sneers of Tory and Whig alike
against his compatriots--a process of reasoning then much in vogue
among English politicians. From Peel, Russell, Disraeli, and Sipthorpe
downwards, no man, among the seven hundred or so that are supposed
to represent the commons of Great Britain and Ireland, ever dared to
raise their crest against Catholics or Irishmen, but, swifter than the
flight of a falcon on a heron, the Liberator pounced upon him, and,
metaphorically, tore him to pieces. In the debates on the Reform Bill,
the Poor Law Act, and the tithe question, he was generally found on
the side of popular rights and free government; and if, as has been
charged, he sometimes leaned towards the Whigs, it was because he
accepted their measures as the lesser evils.

FOOTNOTES:

[76] _A Life and Times of Daniel O'Connell, with Sketches of his
Contemporaries, etc._ 2 vols. Dublin: John Mullany. 1867.

[77] _Life and Speeches of Daniel O'Connell, M.P._ New York: J. A.
McGee. 1872.

[78] _Life and Times of Daniel O'Connell._ (Anonymous.) Dublin. 1867.



THE PRIEST.

  "And the people were waiting for Zachary."--S. LUKE i. 21.


    As morning breaks, or evening shadows steal,
    Duties and thoughts throng round the marble stair,
    Waiting for Him who burneth incense there,
    Till He shall send to bless them as they kneel.
    Greater than Aaron is the mighty Priest
    Who in that radiant shrine for ever dwells;
    Brighter the stones that stud His glowing vest,
    And ravishing the music of His bells
    That tinkle as He moves. The golden air
    Is filled with notes of joy that dance and run
    Through every court, and make the temple one.
    --The lamps are lit; 'tis past the hour of prayer,
    And through the windows is their lustre thrown--
    Deep in the holy place the Priest doth watch alone.

                                                        --_Faber._



GRAPES AND THORNS.


BY THE AUTHOR OF "THE HOUSE OF YORKE."


CHAPTER VI.

MARRIAGE BELLS.

That green and sequestered domain which Mr. Schöninger had looked at
across the water-lilies and peopled with his fancies, which, indeed,
he had visited, and was perfectly familiar with, was not so far out
of the world as it appeared. It was in a great triangle made by three
railroads, and there was a station-house a mile back from the pond by
which the tenants of the cottage held easy communication with the two
cities near. Still, the place was not very accessible from without;
for this mile of country road had been made by simply driving over
pasture and field, and through alder-woods, till a track was visible,
and then continuing to drive in the same track. After coming through
the alder-swamp, the road became two yellow-brown lines across the
greensward, and ended in a grove that completely hid the barn built
in it. Between these two yellow-brown lines, at regular distances,
were yellow-brown spots, showing where the horse had stepped. Dobbin
appeared to always step precisely in his own tracks.

It was seldom that any one drove over this road except old Mr. Grey,
whose horse and wagon were, after their kind, quite as old as himself.
Mrs. Macon, zealously collecting useful articles for the new convent,
had driven there in her light phaeton, and spent two hours rummaging
the attics with Mrs. Grey, and talking over the relics they found; that
is, Mrs. Grey explained, and her visitor listened. She had gone away
with bundles piled up to her chin.

One afternoon late in August, Mr. Grey harnessed Dobbin to the
wagon--"tackled" Dobbin, he would have said--and started for the
railroad station. He had almost reached the alders, which seemed to bar
the way, when he drew the reins and listened. If it had been Mrs. Grey,
instead of her husband, she would have driven straight on, for she was
perfectly deaf.

These alders leaned over, and, in summer, completely hid the road, and
whatever went through there had to breast a tide of leaves. It had
never occurred to Mr. Grey to cut the twigs away, nor, apparently,
had it occurred to Dobbin to fret against them. They jogged on
uncomplainingly, never in a hurry, and lived and let live. Mr. Grey's
philosophy was that every person in the world is appointed to do just
so much, and that, as soon as his work is accomplished, he dies. He
preferred to do his part in a leisurely manner, and live the longer.

The sound he listened to was a faint noise of wheels and hoofs, in,
or beyond, the alders. For two carriages to meet in that place would
be a predicament more perplexing than that of the two unwise men and
the two wise goats on the narrow bridge we have all read of; because
here neither could turn back, nor walk over the other, and if one
should be killed, still that would not clear the track. So the driver
waited, his mouth slightly open, to hear the better, and the lash of
his old-fashioned whip hanging motionless over his shoulder. The old
white horse dropped his nose, and went to sleep, and the creaking and
rattling wagon looked as if it had made its final stand, and meant to
go to pieces where it was.

There was just sound enough to show how still it was. Some wild
creature under a rude cage on the lawn snarled lowly to itself, there
was the swift rustle of a bird's wings through the air, and the roll
of a train of cars lessened to a bee's hum by distance. The pond was
glassy, the rails shone hot beyond it; farther still the sultry woods
heaved their billows of light and shade; and, farthest of all, over a
little scooped-out valley, a single mountain stood on the horizon.

There was, indeed, a carriage among the alders, but by no means such
an equipage as that which awaited it. It was like a fairy coach in
comparison, with a glitter of varnish and metal, and snowy-white lining
that shone like satin, and beautiful horses that pranced from side to
side as they felt the soft, brushing leaves and twigs against their
dainty coats, and pushing into their very eyes. The mice on the box
wore glossy hats, and appeared to be very much disgusted with this trap
into which they had fallen. To the birds overhead the whole must have
looked like something swimming in a sea of green leaves.

The fairies in the coach were not fully visible from any point, but
a clear voice rose presently from the submerged cushions. "There's a
sufficient road underneath, John," it said. "Drive where you see the
alder-tops lowest. There are no roots, if you keep the way. It is only
overleaning branches."

In a few minutes they emerged, and drew up beside the wagon. Its
occupant did not make the slightest reply to the bright salutation
of the two ladies. It was not his custom to salute any one. He merely
waited to see what would be said.

"O Mr. Grey!" says Annette, "if I had a pair of strong shears, I would
cut a peep-hole, at least, through that jungle. Did you get my letter?"

He nodded, with a short "Yes," looking with calm scrutiny at the two
young women.

"Well?" continued Miss Ferrier.

"Elizabeth is out on the pond," he said; "but the old woman will blow
the horn for her. She'll show you the flowers; and you can have 'em
all. I can put them aboard of any train you settle on."

There was a moment of silence; for Mr. Grey had condensed the whole
business into a few words, and there was really no more to say. Annette
had written him to save all his flowers for her wedding, and this was
his answer.

"Are you going away?" she asked, rather needlessly.

"I'm going to meet the next up-train," he answered, and began to tug at
his reins, and chirrup at Dobbin.

They left him making great efforts to get under way again, and drove
noiselessly on.

"What a peculiarly condensed sort of man he is in his speech!" remarked
Miss Pembroke.

"Condensed!" exclaimed the other. "His talk reminds me of some one
whose head and limbs have been cut off. It takes me by surprise, and
leaves me astonished. I always feel as if something ought to be done."

So one carriage creaked into the alders, and the other sparkled up to
the house door.

This door stood open, and within it sat an old woman, her hands folded
in her lap, her eyes looking out over the water. She had a placid face,
and looked refined. A sweet, faint smile greeted her visitors, and her
voice was sweet, and was very low, as the voices of some deaf persons
are.

"Elizabeth has gone out on the water," she said. "I will call her."

"Don't rise!" exclaimed Annette quickly, preventing her. "I'll get the
horn for you. I know where everything is here."

The old lady understood the action, though she had not heard the words,
and sank back into her seat again.

"She feels for everybody's pain," she said gratefully, speaking to
herself.

Annette tripped lightly across the sunny, silent room, and took down
from a nail beside the chimney a large ox-horn suspended there. With
simple politeness, the old lady obeyed her visitor's wish, and did
not rise even when the horn was placed in her hand. She merely leaned
forward, and, placing it to her lips, blew a loud and prolonged blast
that sounded far over water and forest.

"That will bring her," she said, and gave back the rustic instrument
for Annette to return to its place.

The two then strolled down to the water-side to wait for the lady of
the lake. They seated themselves on a mossy rock close to the water,
under the shade of the only tree left there. It was an old pine-tree,
of which the main part was decayed, but one strong branch made a shade
over them, and held firmly all its dark-green fasces in token of a
sovereignty it would not abdicate while life remained. Beside the rock,
in the warm sunshine, stood a group of Japan lilies.

"I don't like them," Annette said. "They are beautiful in their way,
but they look cruel and detestable. They seem to me like a large pink
and white woman who poisons people."

"My dear," said Miss Pembroke, as she bent her head over the flowers,
"it would be well if you could contrive to shut the battery of those
nerves of yours once in a while."

"It might be well if I could be changed into one like you," Annette
responded; but immediately corrected herself. "No! And I do not believe
that the most unfortunate and discontented person in the world would
be willing to change his individuality with another. It is only his
circumstances he would change, and be still himself, but at his best.
Perhaps that is what will keep us contented in heaven, though we may
see others far above us: each will be himself in perfection, with all
the good in possession that he is capable of holding, and will see that
he cannot be different without being some one else."

"Perhaps," said Honora dreamily.

It may be that she felt unconsciously a little of that superiority
which the calm assume over the troubled, though the calm may be of
the pool, and the trouble of the ocean, or both a mere question of
temperament. She leaned over the lily, and examined the red clots
on its petals; how they rose higher, and strained upward toward the
centre, till by their passionate stress they drew up the milky flower
substance into a stem to support them; as though they would reach the
slender filaments that towered aloft over their heads. Two or three
tiniest red spiders were picnicking on the fragrant white ground among
these stems, and did not seem to even suspect the presence of a large
black spider, with extravagantly long legs, which walked directly over
the flower and them in two or three sextuple strides.

"The petal they stand on must seem to them a soft and snowy-white
moss," drawled Miss Pembroke, half asleep with the heat and the
silence. "I should think the perfume of it would be too strong for
their little noses."

"Perhaps the particles of fragrance are too large for their little
noses. Or, perhaps, they have no noses," responded Miss Ferrier,
gravely.

A faint, responsive murmur of assent from the other.

Annette tossed twigs into the water, and watched the dimples they made,
and which way they floated. "That is a wild fox up under that cage,"
she said. "It is cruel to keep it there. I shall free it when we go
back."

"Perhaps Mr. Grey is going to stuff its skin, and may not like to lose
it," Honora answered, having finished her examination of the lily. "I
have heard that he is quite a naturalist, and has specimens of every
animal, and insect, and plant about."

Annette tossed a pebble this time with energy. "I hate naturalists,"
she remarked. "I always fancy that they have bugs in their pockets."

"Bugs in their pockets! That would be uncomfortable," was the placid
comment.

"For the bugs, yes!" said Annette; then, after a moment, added,
"Whenever it is a question of tormenting what Lord Erskine called the
'mute creation,' I am always for the plaintiff. Who is to be profited
by knowing about bugs and beetles? It is a contemptible science, and, I
repeat, a cruel one. I never can like a woman or a man whom I have once
seen sticking pins through beetles, and butterflies, and bats; and I
would as lief have a human skull for an ornament in a room as a stuffed
skin of anything. I shall set that fox free this instant. I observed it
as I came past, and it looked like a person going crazy. Its eyes were
like fire and there was froth round its teeth."

Miss Pembroke looked up in alarm, for Annette had risen. "Do be
careful!" she said. "His bite would kill you. Don't you remember that
Duke of Richmond who was bitten by a fox, in Canada, and died of
hydrophobia a day to two afterwards? He was playing with it, and it
snapped at his hand."

"I'm not going to play with it, but to free it," said Annette, and
walked rapidly across the green. "I've found one fault in Honora,"
she muttered. "She is sweet and good to a certain length, but her
sympathies are circumscribed."

The cage of strong withes was securely fastened to the ground with
wooden pins, and the door was tied with a slender chain. The fox was
furthermore secured by a rope which held one of his legs. He faced
about and glared at his liberator, while, from the outside, she cut the
rope with her pocket-knife. His eyes were like balls of fire, but he
did not snap at her. He did not trust her, but he had perhaps a doubt
that she meant him well.

The leg free, Annette slipped the knob of the chain, and opened the
door.

"In honor of the Creator of men and beasts, and S. Francis of Assisi,
go free now and for ever," she said.

The creature stood motionless one instant, then, with the rush and
speed of an arrow, it shot through the opening, flew across the green,
and leaped into the water, that hissed as though a red-hot coal had
been dropped into it. Annette ran, laughing and full of excitement,
back to the rock, and watched the swimmer. Only his nose and long tail
showing, he made fiercely for the shore, his whole being concentrated
in the one longing for freedom.

"If he should run into a cage on the other side, I believe his heart
would burst with the disappointment," Annette said, standing up to
watch him. "Bravo! There he is, my dear brother, the fox."

He leaped up the farther shore and over the track, and rushed headlong
into the broad, free woods.

"Won't he have a story to tell!" said Annette, seating herself; "that
is, if he ever stops running. You may depend on it, Honora, I shall be
a great heroine among the foxes; and as years go by, and the story is
passed down from generation to generation, I shall undergo a change in
the picture. My hair will grow to be golden, with stars in it, and my
eyes will be radiant, and they will put wings on me, and I shall be an
angel. That's the way the myths and marvels were made. But how they
will get over my sawing off the rope with a dull pen-knife is more than
I can tell."

"The spirit will be true, dear, if not the letter," Honora answered,
smiling. "What signifies a little inaccuracy in the material part? That
will be turned to dust before the story reaches the winged period."

Miss Ferrier had something on her mind which she shrank a little from
speaking of, but presently mentioned in that careless manner we assume
when we care more than we like to own:

"I've been wondering lately whether it would be silly in me to have my
genealogy looked up. It seems a little top-heavy to have one's family
tree all leaves and no roots, though mine is not so in reality. My
father and mother were both very poor and ignorant when I was born; but
my great-grandfather was a French gentleman. He became poor in some
way, and had no idea how to do anything for himself. I dare say he
was very weak, but he was immensely genteel. He and his sons lived in
a tumble-down old stone house somewhere near Quebec, and ate oatmeal
porridge out of painted china bowls, with heavy spoons that had a crest
on them. There they moaned away their existence in a state of resigned
surprise at their circumstances, and of expectation that the riches
that had taken to themselves wings would fly back again. There was one
desperate one in the family, and he was my grandfather. He grew tired
of shabby gentility, and set out to work. The others cast him off; and
I suppose he wasn't very energetic, or very lucky, for he went down. He
married a wife from the working class, and they had no end of children,
who all died sooner or later, except my father. My grandfather died,
too--was glad to get himself out of sight of the sun; and my poor
father--God be merciful to him!--stumbled on through life in the same
dazed way. All he inherited was the dull astonishment of that old
Frenchman who could never be made to realize that riches would not
some day come back as they had gone. Of course"--Annette shrugged her
shoulders, and laughed slightly--"it would be necessary to drop some
of the later details. That is the way people do. Build a bridge over
the chasm into the shining part. Miss Pembroke, what do you think of my
unearthing my great-grandfather, and setting him up in my parlors for
people to admire? Wouldn't it be more interesting than a stuffed fox?
I am of his ancestry"--her laughter died out in a flash of pride. "If
they had any fire worthy their blood, I have it. Some spark was held in
abeyance, and I have caught it. I would like to go back and search out
my kindred. Well! do you think me vulgar?"

Honora looked at her earnestly. "No, Annette; but you are condescending
too much. You are coming nearer to vulgarity than I ever knew you to
before. Lineage is something, is much, and those who can look back on a
noble and stainless ancestry are fortunate, if they are worthy of it.
I do not wonder that they are pleased to remember their forefathers.
But character is more, and does not need ancestry. It is sufficient to
itself. What, after all, is the real advantage of belonging to a high
family? It is that one is supposed to inherit from it high qualities.
If one has the qualities without the family, it is far higher. It
is the kind of character that founds great families--that natural,
newly-given loftiness. I should be sorry if you allowed yourself to
take a step in this matter, Annette."

"You can easily say all that," Annette replied, half pleased and half
bitter. "You have a past that you can look to with pride."

"With pride!" echoed the other. "I do not understand you. If you mean
Mrs. Carpenter, I certainly like to think of her; but her qualities
were entirely personal. I have nothing to be ashamed of in my family,
and I am thankful for that; but, also, I am not aware that there is
anything to be proud of. It is a merely negative feeling."

"But," Annette said, "your people have always been well off, and some
were very rich, and they were educated."

"And you think me capable of pluming myself on that--of being proud
of an ancestry of prosperous traders and merchants who were passably
educated!"

Honora flushed, and drew herself up involuntarily, with an awakening
of that invincible personal haughtiness which is more soaring than any
mere royalty of blood.

"I never give it a thought, except in a negative way. They merely did
what decent people with ordinary sense and capacity are obliged to do.
No, Annette, don't fancy that I can walk on such small stilts. If it
were an old historical name, now, one that painters had illustrated
and poets sung, that would be fine. If there had been great warriors
and mighty rulers, there would be a chance for pride to come in. Or,
better, if it were some hero or benefactor to the race, whom I could
look back to; or if it were a poet. I always fancy some grace surrounds
the children of a poet. They may not sing, they may be personally
commonplace; but, like the broken vase,

"'The scent of the roses will hang round them still.'"

"I think you must be descended from a poet," Annette said, smiling.

"And so, child," concluded Honora, laying her hand on her companion's
arm, "don't condescend to go into the past for some reason why you
should be respected; find it in yourself. I think it right to tell
you now what might otherwise sound like flattery. I, and many better
judges than I, think you uncommon and admirable. You have made little
mistakes--as who has not?--but they were never mean ones. Don't be led
into pettiness now."

Annette blushed.

"What set me talking of ancestry?" she exclaimed. "It's a dusty
subject, not fit for this fresh, clear place. It belongs to the town.
How quiet and lovely it is here! I would like to come often. In the
city, I can't hear myself think."

They sat a while without saying anything, and looked over the water. A
shower was travelling across the distant mountain, trailing in a dim
silver mist from sky to earth. It sailed nearer, so that drops from the
edge of it dimpled the pond not far away.

A boat came toward them, propelled by a pair of strong arms. Elizabeth
had heard her grandmother's summons, and was coming home. Her little
boat was piled full of boughs of the wild cherry. Strings of its fruit,
like strung garnets, glowed through the green leaves. With this was
a tangled mass of clematis. She had hung a long spray of the vine
over her head and neck, and its silvery-green blossoms glistened in
the loose rings of her short, black hair, which it pushed over her
forehead, and almost into the laughing eyes beneath. Through this vine,
and the blouse that covered but did not hide them, the working of
her supple shoulders could be seen. Her smooth, oval face was deeply
flushed with health, exercise, and warmth.

She was perfectly business-like in her manner, and attended strictly
to what she was doing. Even in passing before the young ladies, and
looking directly in their faces, though her lips parted in a smile,
she made no other sign of recognition. She brought her boat round in a
smooth circle, not without pride, apparently, in displaying her skill,
pushed it into a tiny cove, where the long, trailing grass brushed both
sides, sprang lightly ashore, and tied it to the mooring-ring.

Then she made her half-embarrassed salutation, and stood wiping away
the perspiration that lay in large drops on her forehead, and in little
beads around her mouth.

If these three young women had been changed into flowers, the rower
would have been a peony, Honora a lily, and Annette--but there is
no flower complex and generous enough to be her representative. Be
her symbol, rather, the familiar one of the orb just rounding into
shape out of chaos. She was less well balanced than Honora, merely
because there was so much more to balance. Her freak of searching out
an ancestry would never have been acted on, even if her friend had
approved it. It was one of those thoughts which need only to be put
into words in order to be dismissed. Annette had rid herself of a good
many foolish notions in this way, and had been growing wiser than her
critics by the very acts which they took as proofs of her weakness.

Miss Pembroke had discovered this, for she looked lovingly. Others
were astonished to find themselves awed to-day where they had mocked
but yesterday, and professed that they knew Annette Ferrier only to be
puzzled by her.

It sometimes happens to people that illusory thoughts and feelings,
which, pent in the mind, have an appearance of reality, and even of
force, perish in expressing themselves, as the cloud breaks in thunder.

There was another difference between these two: Annette had one of
those souls that are born nailed to their cross.

It is usual with hasty and superficial judges, people who, as Liszt
says, "desire to promulgate laws in spheres to which nature has denied
them entrance," to show what they fancy is a good-natured contempt for
these discontented beings who cannot accommodate themselves to life
as it is. They mention them with an indulgent smile, and seem to take
pleasure in wounding still further these sensitive souls, not aware
how clearly they display their own presumptuous selfishness. The ease
with which they content themselves with inferior aims and pleasures,
they dignify by the name of philosophy and good sense; and they presume
to censure those who, tormented by a vision of perfection, and feeling
within themselves the premature stirring of powers that can be employed
only in a higher state of existence, seem so imperfect only because to
be perfect they must be superhumanly great. There are two ways in which
this divine discontent may be silenced: the soul may degrade itself,
and treat its ideals as visionary; or it may find rest in God. But no
ordinary piety suffices; only a saintly holiness, flowing in and around
the troubled soul like a sunny and peaceful sea, can lift and bear it
smoothly on to that land where nothing sacred is mocked at, and the
smiles are awakened by no sight of another's pain.

Annette Ferrier had made this much progress, that she had learned to
rely on no one for a sympathy that would satisfy her, and had owned to
herself that her heart required other and nobler aims and motives than
those which had occupied her. She was half aware, or would have been,
if the thought had not been rejected as treasonable, that if she were
not already engaged to Lawrence Gerald, nothing would induce her to
accept him as her future husband. But she had accepted him, and there
was no longer room to doubt or to choose, or even to think of doubting
or choosing. It lacked but a week to their wedding-day, and she was
making her last preparations. What was worth doing at all was worth
doing well, she thought, and resolved to make the occasion a festival
one.

The three walked up the green together, Elizabeth between the two young
ladies. Miss Pembroke stepped quite independently, her hands folded
lightly together; Annette held by the end of the clematis wreath that
still hung over the young girl's shoulders, and looked at her with a
caressing smile.

"Did you buy the little writing-case we were speaking of when I was
here last?" she asked.

"Well, not exactly," was the hesitating answer.

"Not exactly! That means that you have engaged it, or got one that does
not suit, and must be exchanged."

Miss Ferrier had dropped the wreath, and was engaged in gathering up
the cloud of pale blue muslin that flowed around and behind her, and
did not observe the smile on the girl's face.

"No," said Elizabeth, gathering courage from her visitor's kindness.
"You see, when I sat down and looked at the half-eagle you gave
me, I thought it seemed a pity to go right off and spend it for a
writing-case. I could have that, if I wanted to, so I didn't feel quite
so anxious about it; and there were other things I wanted just as much.
It would be nice to have a little clock in my room, and five dollars
would buy one. So since I could have that, too, I felt easier about not
having it. Then, I would like a larger looking-glass. Well, I kind of
thought I had it, since I could buy it if I would. And I could get any
one of the half a dozen other things I wanted, making about ten in all.
But when I knew that I could have either whenever I chose, I didn't
feel in a hurry to get anything; and I was so sure of each one that it
seemed to me as if I had them all. So I just kept the five dollars;
and while I keep it, it is as good as fifty to me. When I spend it, it
will be only five dollars, and I shall want nine things dreadfully, and
be sorry I hadn't bought one of them instead of what I did get."

Annette dropped her gathered-up skirts from her hands to throw her arms
around the young rustic's neck, and kiss her astonished face.

"You dear little soul!" she cried, in an ecstasy, "how quickly you have
found it out!"

Elizabeth blushed immensely, for she was not used to being kissed.
"Found out what?" she asked.

"Why, that nothing in the world is very desirable except what you can't
get."

"Oh!" The girl tossed her head back, and laughed ringingly. "I found
that out as long ago as I used to cry for mince-pie to eat, and then
cry with stomach-ache after I had eaten it. Grandfather used to tell me
then that if there is anything in the world that we want so much we cry
to get it, it will be sure to make us cry still more after we have it.
I never forgot that. Grandfather knows a great deal about everything,"
she concluded, with an air of conviction.

"Did you ever see a creature learn so easily?" Annette said to Honora.
"She begins life with all the wisdom of experience."

Honora sighed as she answered, "She reminds me of something dear Mother
Chevreuse said the last time she came to see me: 'Nothing is worth
working for but bread and heaven.'"

They had reached Mr. Grey's floral treasure-house by this time, and the
flowers absorbed their attention.

"Bushels of asters!" exclaimed Annette, pausing outside the door, and
glancing along the garden-beds. "And they are almost as handsome as
roses. Those will do for the balconies and out-of-the-way places. And,
Elizabeth, I want you to cherish every pansy as if it were a jewel. I
don't care about the piebald ones, but the pure purple or pure gold are
quite the thing. And now, Honora, step in here, and own that you never
before saw fuchsias. You remember Edgar Poe's hill of tulips sloping
to the water, like a cataract of gems flowing down from the sky? That
Poetical creature! Well, here's a Niagara of lady's ear-drops."

When at length they had started, and were driving down to their
alder-bath again, Honora leaned out of the carriage, and looked back.

"What a lovely place this would be to spend a honeymoon in!" she said
softly, as if to herself.

"Which, yours or mine?" asked Annette.

Honora blushed. "I was thinking of honeymoons in the abstract," she
replied.

Elizabeth stood on the lawn, and looked after the carriage as long as
it was in sight; and when it was no longer in sight, she still gazed at
the green wall that had closed up behind it. Perhaps she was thinking
what a fine thing it must be to drive in a pretty carriage, and have
gauzy dresses trailing away behind one like clouds; or may be she was
recollecting what they had said to her, and how that delicate, airy
lady had kissed her on the cheek, and laughed with tears in her eyes.

While she gazed, deeply occupied with whatever dream or thought she was
entertaining, the alders parted again, and a man appeared, hesitating
whether to come forward, yet looking at her as if he wished to speak.
Elizabeth did not much like his looks, but she advanced a step to see
what he wanted. No harm had ever come to her there, and she had no
thought of fear. Besides, she would have considered herself perfectly
well able to put this person to flight; for his slim, little figure and
mean face were by no means calculated to inspire either fear or respect.

Encouraged by her advance, the man came forward to meet her.

"My grandfather will soon be home, if you want him," she said directly,
holding aloof.

The stranger did not want to see him; he merely wished to ask some
questions about the place which she could answer.

They were very trivial questions, but she answered them, keeping her
eyes fixed intently on him. He wanted to know what they raised there;
if it was very cold in winter; if it was very hot in summer; if they
had many visitors there; if she was much acquainted in Crichton; if she
had a piano; if she could play; if she knew any good music-teacher. And
perhaps she had seen Mr. Schöninger?

No, she had not seen him.

"Oh! perhaps you have met him without knowing," the man said with
animation, in spite of an assumed carelessness. "Seems to me I saw him
come here this summer. Don't you remember a man whose buggy broke down
beyond there, and he came here for a rope?"

The girl's eyes brightened. "Oh! is that a music-teacher?" she asked.
"His voice sounds like it, or like what a music-teacher's ought to
be. Yes, I remember him. He got on to the wrong road driving up to
Crichton, turned off here instead of going straight on, and something
broke. I gave him a rope, and he went away."

"Let me see; there was somebody else here at the same time, wasn't
there?" he asked, with an air of trying to recollect. "Wasn't there a
woman here getting things for the new convent?"

The disagreeable eagerness in her questioner's eyes chilled the girl;
but there seemed no reason why she should not answer so insignificant a
question. She did so reluctantly. "Yes, Mrs. Macon was here."

"And her carriage was standing at the door?" he added, nodding.

"Seems to me you're very much interested in our visitors," said
Elizabeth abruptly, drawing herself up a little.

The man laughed. "Why, yes, in these two. But I won't ask you much
more. Only tell me one thing. Did you see this Mr. Schöninger come up
to the door, and go away from it?"

"I saw him come up, I didn't see him go away," she said.

The truth was that Miss Elizabeth had admired this stranger
exceedingly, but had not wished him to suspect it. So instead of
frankly looking after him as he went out, she had turned away, with an
air of immense indifference, then rushed to the window to look when she
thought him at a safe distance.

"Then you didn't see him when he passed by the phaeton that stood at
the step?" pursued the questioner.

She shook her head, and pursed her lip out impatiently.

"He had a shawl over his arm when he came. Did you notice whether he
had it when you saw him going away?" was the next question.

"I don't know anything about it," she said shortly; but recollected
even in speaking that she had said to herself as she watched the
strange gentleman going, "How does he hold his shawl so that I can't
see it?"

"Now, one more question, and I have done," the stranger said. His
weak, shuffling manner had quite disappeared, and he was keen and
business-like. "Was there anybody else about the house who saw this
man?"

"Yes; grandfather was in the garden; but he didn't come near him."

"What part of the garden? In sight of the door?"

"I won't tell you another word!" she exclaimed, turning away. "And I
think you'd better go."

When she glanced back again, the man had disappeared. She felt uneasy
and regretful. Something was going on which she did not understand, and
it seemed to her that she had done harm in answering those questions.

"I wish I had gone into the house when I saw the prying creature," she
said to herself; "or I wish I had held my tongue. He's got what he came
for, I can see that."

He had got what he came for, or very nearly.

"Shall I waylay the old man, and question him?" he thought; and
concluded not to. "If he knows anything, he will tell it at the proper
time."

The green boughs brushed him with their tender leaves, as if they would
have brushed away some cobwebs from his sight, and opened his eyes to
the peace and charity of the woods; but he was too much absorbed in one
ignoble pursuit to be accessible to gentler influences. What he sought
was not to uphold the law; what he felt was not that charity to the
many which sometimes makes severity to the few a necessity. His object
was money, and charity lay dead in his heart with a coin over each eye.

That evening Miss Ferrier and Lawrence Gerald talked over their
matrimonial affairs quite freely, and in the most business-like manner
in the world. They discussed the ceremony, the guests, the breakfast,
and the toilette, and Annette displayed her lace dress.

"It is frightfully costly," she owned; "but I had a purpose in making
it so. I shall never wear it but once, and some day or other it will
go to trim a priest's surplice. You see, I ordered the pattern to that
end, as nearly as I could get it, and not have it made for me. There
was no time for that. The ferns are neutral; but the wheat is perfect,
you see, and that vine is quite like a grape-vine. I shall wear a
_tulle_ veil."

She threw the cloud of misty lace over her head.

"Why, Annette, it makes you look lovely!" Lawrence exclaimed.

"I am glad you think so," she responded dryly, and took it off again.

Lawrence was seated on a tabouret in Annette's own sitting-room, which
no one else was allowed to enter during these last days of her maiden
life. It had been newly furnished after her own improved taste, and
the luxury and elegance of everything pleased him. He was still more
pleased to see her so well in harmony with it. He was beginning to find
her interesting, especially as he found her indifferent and a little
commanding toward him.

"And now, Lawrence," she said, folding carefully the beautiful Alençon
flounce, "you have some little preparation to make. You know you must
be reconciled to the church."

"I have nothing against the church," he said coolly.

"The church has something against you, and it is a serious matter," she
urged, refusing to smile. "You haven't been to confession for--how many
years? Not a few, certainly. No priest will marry us till you go."

"I suppose a minister wouldn't do?" remarked the young man, with the
greatest hardihood, seeming mildly doubtful about the question.

"Now, Lawrence, don't talk nonsense," Annette begged. "When one is
going to be married, one feels a little sober."

"That's a fact!" he assented, with rather ungallant emphasis.

She colored faintly. Her gentle earnestness might have touched one less
careless. "It is beginning a new life," she said; "and if it were not
well begun, I'm afraid we should not be happy."

The young man straightened himself up, and gave his moustache an
energetic twist with both hands--a way he had when impatient.

"Well, anything but a lecture, Ninon," he exclaimed. "I'll think the
matter over, and see if I can rake up any transgressions. I dare say
there are plenty."

"You will speak to F. Chevreuse about it?" she asked eagerly.

He nodded.

"And now sing me something," he said. "I haven't heard you sing for an
age. Is there anything new?"

She seated herself at the exquisite little piano, well pleased to be
asked. Here was one way in which she could delight him, for he grew
more and more fond of her singing. Annette's was a graceful figure
at the piano, and she had the gift of looking pretty while singing.
Her delicate and expressive face reflected every light and shade in
the songs she sang, and the music flowed from her lips with as little
effort as a song from a bird.

"Here is 'The Sea's Answer,'" she said.

Lawrence settled himself into a high-backed chair. "Well, let us hear
what the sea answered. Only it might be more intelligible if one first
knew what the question was, and who the questioner, and why he didn't
ask somebody else. There! go on."

Annette sang:

    "O Sea!" she said, "I trust you;
      The land has slipped away;
    Myself and all my fortunes
      I give to you to-day.
    Break off the foamy cable
      That holds me to the shore;
    For my path is to the eastward,
      I can return no more.
    But ever while it stretches--
      That pale and shining thread--
    It pulls upon my heart-strings
      Till I wish that I were dead."

    Then the sea it sent its ripples
      As fast as they could run.
    And they caught the bubbles of the wake,
      And broke them one by one;
    And they tossed the froth in bunches
      Away to left and right,
    Till of all that foamy cable
      But a fragment lay in sight.
    And on the circling waters
      No clue was left to trace
    Where the land beyond invisibly
      Held its abiding-place.

    "But, oh! "she cried, "it follows--
      That ghostly, wavering line--
    Like the floating of a garment
      Drenched in the chilly brine.
    It clings unto the rudder
      Like a drowning, snowy hand;
    And while it clings, my exiled heart
      Strains backward to the land."
    Then the sea rolled in its billows.
      It rolled them to and fro;
    And the floating robe sank out of sight,
      And the drowning hand let go.

    "O Sea!" she said, "I trust you!
      Now tell me, true and bold,
    If the new life I am seeking
      Will be brighter than the old.
    I am stifling for an orbit
      Of a wider-sweeping ring;
    And there's laughter in me somewhere,
      And I have songs to sing.
    But life has held me like a vise
      That never, never slips;
    And when my songs pressed upward,
      It smote me on the lips.

    "And, Sea," she sighed, "I'm weary
      Of failure and of strife;
    And I fain would rest for ever,
      If this is all of life.
    Thy billows rock like mothers' arms
      Where babes are hushed to rest;
    And the sleepers thou dost take in charge
      Are safe within thy breast.
    Then, if the way be weary,
      I have not strength to go;
    And thy rocking bosom, Ocean,
      Is the tenderest I know."

    Then the sea rose high, and shook her,
      As she called upon its name,
    Till the life within her wavered,
      And went out like a flame.
    And stranger voices read the Word,
      And sang the parting hymn,
    As they dropped her o'er the ship's side
      Into the waters dim.
    And the rocking ocean drew her down
      Its silent ones among,
    With all her laughters prisoned,
      And all her songs unsung.

There was silence for a little while when the song ended; then Lawrence
exclaimed, with irritation, "What sets people out to write such things?
The whole world wants to be cheered and amused, and yet some writers
seem to take delight in making everything as gloomy as they are. Why
can't people keep their blues to themselves?"

The singer shrugged her shoulders. "You mistake, I think. I always
fancy that melancholy writing proves a gay writer. Don't you know that
school compositions are nearly always didactic and doleful? When I was
fifteen years old, and as gay as a lark, I used to write jeremiads at
school, and make myself and all the girls cry. I enjoyed it. When a
subject is too sore, you don't touch it, and silence proves more than
speech."

Lawrence kept the promise he had made, though he put its fulfilment
off as long as possible. The morning before his wedding-day he was
at early Mass, and, when Mass was over, went into F. Chevreuse's
confessional. It would seem that he had not succeeded in "raking up"
many transgressions, for ten minutes sufficed for the first confession
he had made in fifteen years. But when he came out, his face was very
pale, and he lingered in the church long after every one else had left.
Glancing in from the sacristy, after his thanksgiving, F. Chevreuse saw
him prostrate before the altar, with his lips pressed to the dusty step
where many an humble communicant had knelt, and heard him repeat lowly,
"_Enter not into judgment with thy servant; for no one living shall be
justified in thy sight_."

The priest looked at him a moment with fatherly love and satisfaction,
then softly withdrew.

The spiritual affairs of her future husband attended to, toilet,
decoration, ceremony, reception, all planned and arranged by one brain
and one pair of hands, Annette had still to school and persuade her
mother to a proper behavior. She, the daughter, had conquered Crichton.
They no longer laughed at nor criticised her, and were in a fair way
to go to the opposite extreme, and regard her as an authority on all
subjects. For the Crichtonians had the merit of believing that good
can come out of Nazareth, and could become enthusiastic over what
they conceived to be an original genius victoriously asserting its
independence of a low origin and of discouraging circumstances.

But the mother was, and ever would be to them, a subject of quenchless
mirth. Her sayings and doings, and the mortification she inflicted on
her daughter, were an endless source of amusement to them.

"Now, do keep quiet this once, mamma," Annette begged pathetically.
"You know I shall not be able to hover about and set people to rights
when they quiz you. You will have to take care of yourself. Don't trust
anybody, and don't quarrel with anybody."

For once the mother was disposed to yield entire obedience. She had
begun to assume that mournful face which, according to Thackeray, all
women seem to think appropriate at a wedding; and there was far more
danger of her being inarticulate and sobbing than of her showing either
pugilism or loquacity.

"I'm sure I sha'n't feel much like saying anything to anybody when
I see my only daughter getting married before my eyes," she said
reproachfully.

"Suppose you saw your only daughter growing into an old maid before
your eyes, mamma," said Annette, laughing, and patting her mother on
the shoulder. "Would you like that any better?"

"Well," Mrs. Ferrier sighed, "I suppose you may as well be married,
now you've had the fuss of getting ready. All I care about is your
happiness, though you may not believe it. I'm no scholar, and I know
people laugh at me; but that doesn't prevent my having feelings. You
deserve to be happy, Annette, for you have been a good child to me,
and you were never ashamed of me, though you have tried hard to make
me like other folks. I couldn't be anything but what I am; and when I
have tried, I've only made a greater fool of myself than I was before.
But for all that, I'm sorry I've been such a burden to you, and I'm
grateful to you for standing by me."

This was Mrs. Ferrier's first confession of any sense of her own
shortcomings, or of her daughter's trials on her account, and it
touched Annette to the heart.

The outside world, that she had striven to please and win, faded away
and grew distant. Here was one whom she could depend on, the only one
on earth whom she could always be sure of. Whatever she might be, her
mother could not be estranged from her, and could not have an interest
entirely detached from hers.

"Don't talk of being grateful to me, mamma," she said tremulously. "I
believe, after all, you were nearer right than I was; and I have far
more reason to be ashamed of myself than of you. I have been straining
every nerve to please people who care nothing for me, and to reach
ends that were nothing when reached. It isn't worth the trouble. Still,
it is easier to go on than to turn back, and we may as well take a
little pains to keep what we have taken much pains to get. I'm sorry I
undertook this miserable business of a show-wedding. It disgusts me. A
quiet marriage would have been far better. But since it is undertaken,
I want it to be a success of its kind."

"Oh! as to that," Mrs. Ferrier said, "I like the wedding. I don't like
to see people get married behind the door, as if they were ashamed of
themselves. You don't marry every day, and it may as well be something
uncommon."

They were conversing more gently and confidentially than they had for
a long time; and the mother appeared to greater advantage than ever
before, more dignified, more quiet. Annette pushed a footstool to the
sofa, and, sitting on it, leaned on her mother's lap.

"Still, I do not like a showy marriage," she said. "It may do for two
young things who have parents and friends on both sides to take all the
care, while they dream away the time, and have nothing to do or think
of but imagine a beautiful future. For serious, thoughtful people, I
think the less parade and staring and hurly-burly there is, the better.
But then, that quiet way throws the two very much alone together, and
obliges them to talk the matter over; and Lawrence and I would find it
a bore. We are neither of us very sentimental."

She spoke gently enough, but there was a faint touch of bitterness in
her voice that the mother's ear detected.

"I don't know why he shouldn't like to talk the matter over with you,"
she began, kindling to anger; but Annette stopped her.

"Now, mamma, there must be an end put to all this," she said firmly.
"And since there is no other way, let me tell you the true story of my
engagement. You seem to think that Lawrence was very anxious to get me,
and that he has made a good bargain, and ought to be grateful. Well,
perhaps a part of the last is true; but the first is not. I've got to
humiliate myself to tell you; but you will never cease to reproach him
unless I do." A burning blush suffused her face, and she shrank as if
with a physical pain. "Lawrence knew perfectly well that I liked him
before he ever paid the slightest attention to me; and when he began
to follow me ever so little, I encouraged him in a manner that must
have been almost coaxing. He knew that I was to be had for the asking.
Of course, I wasn't aware of this, mamma. Girls do such things, like
simpletons, and think nobody understands them; and perhaps they do not
understand themselves. I am sure that Lawrence was certain of me before
I had the least idea what my own feelings were. I knew I liked him,
but I never thought how. I was too romantic to come down to realities.
Of course, he had a contempt for me--he couldn't help it--though I
didn't deserve it; for while he thought, I suppose, that I was trying
to win him for my husband, I was only worshipping him as superior and
beyond all other men. If girls could only know how plainly they show
their feelings, or rather, if they would only restrain and deny their
feelings a little, they would save themselves much contempt that they
deserve, and much that they do not deserve. So you see, mamma, Lawrence
might at any time, if you reproach him, turn and say that I was the one
who sought him, and say what is half true, too. I didn't mean to, but
I did it for all that. Now, of course, it is different, and he really
wants to marry me. He is more anxious than I am, indeed. But the less
said about the whole matter the better. When I think of it, I could
throw myself into the fire."

"Well, well, dear, don't think about it, then," the mother urged
soothingly, startled by the passion in Annette's face. "It doesn't
make much difference who begins, so long as both are willing. And now,
don't torment yourself any more, child. You're always breaking your
heart because you have done something that isn't quite up to your own
notions. And I tell you, Annette, I wouldn't exchange you for twenty
Honora Pembrokes."

Annette leaned on her mother's bosom, and resigned herself with a
feeling of sweet rest and comfort to be petted and caressed, without
criticising either grammar or logic. How mean and harsh all such
criticisms seemed to her when brought to check and chill a loving heart!

"Mamma," she whispered, after a while, "I almost wish that we were back
in the little cabin again. I can just faintly remember your rocking me
to sleep there, and it seems to me that I was happier then than ever
since."

"Yes," Mrs. Ferrier sighed, "we were happier then than we are now; but
we shouldn't be happy to go back to it. I should feel as if I were
crawling head-foremost into a hole in the ground. We didn't know how
happy we were then, and we don't know how happy we are now, I suppose.
So let's make the best of it all."

The wedding proved to be, as the bride had desired, a success of its
kind. The day was perfect, no mishap occurred, and everybody whom the
family had not invited themselves as spectators. Policemen were needed
to keep the way clear to the church door when the bridal party arrived,
and the heavens seemed to rain flowers on them wherever they went.

Seeing Mr. Gerald bend his handsome head, and whisper smilingly to the
bride, as they entered the church, sentimental folks fancied that he
was making some very lover-like speech suitable to the occasion. But
this is what he said: "Annette, we draw better than the giraffe. Why
hadn't we thought to charge ten cents a head?"

Her eyes had been fixed on the lighted altar, just visible, and she
did not look at him as she replied, "Lawrence, we are in the presence
of God, and this is a sacrament. Make an act of contrition, or you will
commit a sacrilege."

And then the music of the organ caught them up, and the rest was like a
dream.

"How touching it is to see a young girl give herself away with such
perfect confidence," remarked Mr. Sales, who was much impressed by the
splendor of the bride.

"Give herself away!" growled Dr. Porson in return. "She is throwing
herself away."

                            TO BE CONTINUED.



THE CATHEDRAL OF CHARTRES.


The story of the erection of the Cathedral of Chartres is an epic
from beginning to end. Before it arose in the amplitude and majesty
which the great epoch of Christian art knew how to bestow upon its
works, nothing less was required than the greatest courage, the
most indomitable perseverance, and a determination of will which no
difficulties or reverses could turn from its purpose. The building
of this cathedral was a struggle against fire and sword, against
barbarians and the elements--a long conflict, which in the end left
piety and devotion victorious.

No sooner was the era of persecution closed by the conversion of
Constantine, A.D. 312, than a church was raised over the Druidic
grotto, and thronged incessantly by the multitudes of pilgrims who came
to venerate the sacred image. The wood covering the hill, no longer
possessing, as formerly, any sacred character, was cut down, in order
that the town might extend itself in that direction; and houses began
forthwith to cluster round the foot of the temple, as if seeking the
immediate protection of Mary.

Of this earliest structure it is impossible to give any description,
as no account of it remains. It was in all probability a basilica
resembling others of the period, built with much less splendor than
solidity, and existed through several centuries until the year 850.
Charles the Bald was then on the throne, and Frothold was Bishop of
Chartres, being the forty-second prelate of that see. The times were
very troubled. Charlemagne had years before gone to his glorious
repose, leaving to his degenerate successors a sceptre too heavy for
their feeble arms to wield--a vast empire without cohesion, and which,
lacking the firm hand of a sagacious ruler, was already torn with
dissensions. The incursions of the Northmen, invariably accompanied
by fire and carnage, were continual upon the hapless kingdom of the
Franks. Hasting, the Danish chieftain, laid siege to Chartres, which
was at this epoch surrounded with strong and solid walls, and held out
courageously, well knowing its fate should it fall into the hands of
the barbarians. After spending some time in ineffectual endeavors to
effect a breach, the wily Northman had recourse to craft, causing the
bishop to be informed that he was ready, with all his followers, to
accept the Christian faith, and humbly requesting admittance into the
city. Scarcely had he entered, when he threw aside the mask; the bishop
and most of the inhabitants were massacred, the church destroyed, and
the city given up to the flames. This exploit was no sooner performed
than rewarded as it deserved. Before the savage invaders had time to
hasten back, laden with plunder, to their vessels, the Franks of the
surrounding country fell upon them and slew them without quarter.

Soon the church and the city arose again from their ashes. The new
sanctuary was but an humble erection. The people gave to God the
best they could, but they were impoverished, and in that age of iron
the arts had sunk to the lowest condition; moreover, another century
had not elapsed before a similar disaster seemed about to befall the
building.

In those barbarous ages, the sacking and burning of towns and the
slaughter of their inhabitants were events always possible, often
impending. In the year 911, Chartres was besieged by the fierce Norman
chieftain, Rollo, at the head of a formidable army provided with
powerful engines of war. The Dukes of France and Burgundy, with the
Count of Poitiers, hastening to the succor of the city, gave battle
outside its walls; but they were hard pressed, and to the anxious
watchers on the ramparts seemed likely to be overborne by the foe. The
bishop, Ganthelm or Gancelin, was not only a warrior in time of need,
but was also full of devotion to Mary. In the heat of the combat,
he put himself at the head of the Chartrians, taking with him the
reliquary containing the greatest treasure of his church--the sacred
tunic of Our Lady--and fell upon the invaders. This vigorous sortie was
so successful that the Northmen were utterly defeated and with so great
a slaughter that, according to the account of the monk Paul, the river
was choked with their corpses.

The holy tunic just mentioned had been given to Charlemagne by the
Emperor Nicephorus and the Empress Irene, who previously kept it at
Constantinople, whither it had been brought from Ephesus in the year
460, in the reign of the Emperor Leo. Charlemagne, who meditated an
Empire of the West, of which the capital should be Aix-la-Chapelle,
had at first placed the relic in that city. His successors, being
unable to carry out his designs, nevertheless recognized the importance
of preserving so great a treasure to France, and Charles the Bald,
removing it from Aix, presented it to the church of Chartres. The
history of this double translation may be seen portrayed in the great
window of the chapel of S. John Baptist; the archives of the cathedral
and the _Poem of the Miracles_ agreeing with these representations
in their account of the facts, with regard to which the poet Maître
Nicolas Gilles, writes:

    "Lors prinrent la sainte chemise
    A la Mère Dex qui fut prise
    Jadis dans Constantinople.
    Precieux don en fit et noble
    A Chartres un grand Roi de France;
    Charles le Chauve ot nom d'enfance.
    Cil roy à Chartres le donna."[79]

But the effects of protection from on high are not such as to permit a
people and its rulers to do evil with impunity. Some time afterwards,
Thibault _le Tricheur_--_i.e._ the "sharper" or "cheat"--_ce chevalier
fel et enginous_--"this dangerous and deep-skilled knight," as he
is called in the chronicles of the time, who by some unknown means
obtained possession of the county of Chartres, made an expedition
against the town of Evreux, which he took by stratagem, and, going on
from thence as far as Rouen, so utterly devastated the country that,
in all the land through which he had passed, "there was not heard so
much as the bark of a dog." During his absence, the Normans and Danes
together laid siege to Chartres, which they took by assault, and again
burnt the town, together with the church. Thibault, returning to find
his son slain and his town in ruins, went mad with anger and grief.

Towards the close of the IXth century was a period of great calamities
and sinister predictions. There was a general spirit of discouragement
and gloom. Men said that the end of the world was approaching, for the
year one thousand was close at hand. They built no more churches; for
to what purpose would it be? Still, Our Lady must not surely be left
without her sanctuary at Chartres, nor could the people themselves
dispense with it; they set to work, therefore, and the destroyed
building was speedily replaced by a new one; yet, as they had no hope
of its long continuance, wood had a larger place in its construction
than stone. A few years later, however, when the unchecked course of
time had belied the prophecies of popular credulity, it seemed as if
Heaven itself willed to teach the Chartrians that God and their blessed
Patroness must be more worthily honored; for in the year 1020, under
the episcopate of Fulbert, on the Feast of the Assumption according to
some, on Christmas Day according to others, the church was struck by
lightning, and wholly consumed.

Bp. Fulbert was a holy man, and also a man of intelligence and courage.
He felt that God had given him a mission. Amid the smoking ruins of
his episcopal church, he laid the foundations of a noble structure
which should be fitted to brave the injuries of time, and not be
liable, like the former ones, to the danger of conflagration. In order
to carry out his design, Fulbert needed treasure. He at once devoted
all his own fortune to the work, and then appealed to his clergy, who
imposed on themselves great sacrifices to satisfy their generosity; the
people of his diocese also aiding eagerly with their contributions.
Not satisfied with all this, he addressed himself to the princes and
nobles of France, and especially to King Robert, who has been called
the father of religious architecture, and who could not fail to take a
lively interest in the erection of a sanctuary to Our Lady of France.
The princes of the whole Christian world were in like manner invited
to assist in the undertaking, and the King of Denmark in particular
signalized himself by his munificence.

Gifts arriving from all parts, Fulbert was enabled to commence the
works, as he had desired, on very large proportions, and to push them
forward with so much activity that in less than two years the crypt
was finished--this crypt which is probably the largest and finest in
the world, and which is still admired as a marvel of the architecture
of the XIth century. This sanctuary of _Notre Dame de Dessoubs-terre_,
or "Our Lady of Underground," more worthy than any which had preceded
it of the Druidic Virgin, was then opened to receive, through long
centuries, successive generations of the faithful. Nevertheless, this
was but the root of the majestic tree which was to rise and expand
above this favored spot. Fulbert devoted the remaining years of his
life to the work, so that when he died, in 1029, it had made great
progress; and, being continued with equal energy by Thierry, his
successor, was considered sufficiently advanced to be consecrated in
1037, although still requiring much for its completion.

After the death of Thierry came a period of marked relaxation in
activity. Several bishops in succession made no progress in the
erection. S. Yves, one of the most illustrious prelates who ever filled
the episcopal throne of Chartres, confined himself principally to the
interior adornment of the cathedral. Munificent gifts from Maude, Queen
of England, enabled him to replace the ancient and already dilapidated
roof by one of lead. A new impetus being given to the undertaking,
in 1115 were laid the foundation of the two spires, so remarkable
and so well known to the world. In 1145, the works were in full
activity, and it was wonderful, observes Haymond, Abbot of S. Pierre
sur Dive, to see with what ardor, perseverance, and piety the people
set to work to bring about the completion of their church. "What a
marvellous spectacle!" he writes. "There one sees powerful men, proud
of their birth and of their wealth, accustomed to a life of ease and
pleasure, harnessing themselves to the shafts of a cart, and dragging
along stones, lime, wood, and all the materials necessary for the
construction of the sacred edifice. Sometimes it befalls that as many
as a thousand persons, men and women, are harnessed to the same wagon,
so heavy is the load; and yet so great a silence prevails that there is
not heard the faintest murmur."

It was chiefly during the summer season that these labors were carried
on. At night, tapers were lighted and set on the wagons, while the
workers watched around the church, singing hymns and canticles. Thus it
was at Chartres that the custom, afterwards so prevalent, began of the
laborers assembling together to pass the night as well as the day near
the building in course of erection.

The old spire being at last completed, and the new one reaching to
the height of the roofs, in 1194 another fire broke out, the cause
of which was unknown. It had seemed as if a strange fatality pursued
the pious undertaking, were not every event providentially permitted
or arranged. The faithful of those days so understood this fresh
catastrophe, acknowledging that it was the chastisement of Heaven for
those sins from which, in spite of their zeal, the toilers in this work
had not always kept themselves free. It is easy to comprehend that,
notwithstanding all precautions, these large and prolonged assemblages
could not have been without great dangers. Some considered the disaster
as a manifestation of the divine will that the work was not carried on
to a sufficient degree of perfection; while others again regarded it
as an effect of the jealous hatred of the arch-enemy, and, according
to the historian Mezeray, declared that demons, under the form of
ravens, had been seen flying over the cathedral, with red-hot embers
in their beaks, which they let fall upon the sacred edifice. This time
the destruction was immense. Nothing was saved but the crypt and the
two spires, with the connecting masonry forming the western portal.
The latter, not having as yet been joined to the main building, were
unharmed by the flames.

Historians of the XVIth century and later do not mention this fire, and
suppose the edifice which at present exists to be almost entirely the
work commenced by Bp. Fulbert--an error only to be accounted for by the
most complete ignorance of the laws of ecclesiastical architecture.
Contemporary writers, as, for instance, William le Breton and Rigord,
monk of S. Denis, as well as Robert of Auxerre, who adds that a portion
of the town was also consumed, are unanimous as to the date and
principal particulars of the disaster.

Melchior, the legate of Pope Celestine III., was at Chartres at the
time of its occurrence, and it was he who revived and sustained the
spirit of the people, overwhelmed as they were at first by their
calamity. Assembling them around the ruins of their church, he did
his utmost to console and cheer them, winning from them the promise
to raise a cathedral which should not have its equal in the world,
and which should be built entirely of stone, so as to render its
destruction by fire impossible.

The impulse was easily given. At the conclusion of the legate's
stirring address, the bishop, Regnault de Mouçon, and all the canons
of the cathedral, gave up their revenues for the space of three years
towards the expenses of the building, as may be seen in the _Poème des
Miracles_ of Jehan le Marchant; Philip Augustus adding his offerings
to those of the clergy with a royal liberality. The towns-people,
also, considering that their misfortune was not so great by far as it
might have been, seeing that the reliquary containing the sacred tunic
of Our Lady was saved, thanks to the devotion of certain courageous
men, who bore it from the burning church into a place of safety, felt
bound to show their gratitude by depriving themselves of part of their
possessions in favor of the work.

A powerful and irresistible current of devotion seemed in those days
to carry along with it the hearts of men; and the enthusiasm of the
Crusades having been chilled by reverses, the religious sentiment of
the people found its outlet in another channel--raising sanctuaries of
which the magnificence should be a marvel to succeeding ages.

Moreover, it must not be forgotten that, in those ages of faith and
fervor, the fabulous sums which would be required in our days for
similar erections were not necessary, even taking into account all
proportions with regard to the respective value of money. The time
had not then arrived for none but master-masons, working for ready
money only, and of that a free supply; they who had nothing but their
strength and good-will cheerfully gave the alms of their toil, thus
sharing equally with the rich and great in forwarding the enterprise.
Everywhere architects arose, ready to translate into stone the
religious thoughts and aspirations of the time, which was not a period
of popular enthusiasm only, but that in which Christian art was
rapidly expanding into its most remarkable development, and replacing
the heavy and massive edifices of the Romano-Byzantine style by those
possessing a boldness, freedom, and splendid gracefulness hitherto
unknown.

Where was found the marvellous genius capable of conceiving and
executing the plan of the Cathedral of Chartres?--this man who,
careless of human fame, and careful only to work for God, has left
no record of his name, and is called by Jehan le Marchant simply _li
mestre de l'œuvre_.

The "master of the work" for three years wrought with incredible ardor.
The idea had sprung from his mind complete, and he longed to see it
realized in its colossal harmony. It is only in the crypt, in the old
spire, and in the western portal, spared by the fire of 1194, that
the ancient style is to be recognized; everywhere else the art of the
XIIIth century triumphs, and we behold the poem of stone as it was hewn
out in the first purity of its beauty.

At the end of three years resources failed, and the work could not go
on. "Then," says the poet Jehan, with all the simplicity of a mediæval
chronicler--"then the Holy Virgin prayed her divine Son to work fresh
miracles in her Cathedral of Chartres, in order that the increase of
alms and offerings might be such as to secure its completion:"

    "La haute Dame glorieuse
    Qui voloit avoir merveilleuse
    Iglise, et haute, et longue, et lée,
    Si que sa per ne fust trovée,
    Son douz Fils pria doucement
    Que miracles apertement
    En son Eglise à Chartres feist,
    Que tout le peuple le veist,
    Si que de toutes parts venissent
    Gens qui offerendes tous feissent,
    Que achevée fust siglise,
    Qui estoit à faire emprise."[80]

Miracles, which in this place had at all times been numerous and
remarkable, and which we might cite by thousands, are said to have now
greatly multiplied. Those which at that period excited the enthusiasm
and gratitude of the people to the highest degree were the cures of a
terrible malady very common in the middle ages, and known by the name
of the "burning sickness." The unfortunate persons who were attacked
by it, besides being consumed by fever, suffered internally as if
from torture by fire, while outwardly their bodies were covered with
frightful ulcers, of which the pain was intolerable. The victims of
this malady came from all parts for relief and healing to Our Lady
of Chartres. According to Jehan le Marchant and other contemporary
writers, the disease never failed to disappear, either during or
immediately after the _novena_ which it was customary for each sufferer
to make in the church.

This increase of favors revived the ardor of the faithful. Gifts and
thank-offerings were made in great abundance, and the building of the
church went on, with what vigor may be gathered from the fact that,
in little more than twenty years afterwards, the cathedral was built
and covered with what William le Breton calls its _merveilleuse et
miraculeuse_ roof of stone. It is in the year 1220 that he writes:
"Entirely rebuilt anew in hewn stone, and completed by a vaulted roof
like the shell of a tortoise, the cathedral has no more to fear from
fire before the day of judgment."

The new tower received a spire like that of the old, excepting that it
was constructed of wood and lead, and destined to perish in the very
partial fire of 1506, to be replaced by the beautiful and delicately
sculptured steeple of the XVIth century, still so greatly admired. The
porches were finished,[81] as well as the sculptures, in their finest
details, and the windows put in. On the 17th of October, in the year
1260, the edifice was complete, and on this occasion the Bishop of
Chartres, Pierre de Maincy, seventy-fifth successor of S. Aventine,
solemnly consecrated his cathedral, in presence of the king, S. Louis.

Description, however picturesque, is utterly inadequate to convey
a worthy image or idea of a Gothic cathedral in all the mysterious
fulness, richness, and variety of its details. Chartres must be seen,
must have received many quiet hours of contemplation, before its
magnificences will have shown to what heights Christian art was raised
by Christian devotion in those early centuries of enthusiasm and of
faith.

And yet we cannot leave the reader at the threshold without inviting
him to glance with us rapidly, and therefore most imperfectly, within.

How grand is the perspective which opens upon the view, when, looking
from the "Royal Gate" towards the sanctuary, the eye takes in this
triple nave, with its forest of pillars, amongst which fall, in
rich and softened splendor, warm rays of light and color from the
higher windows! All the dimensions are on a scale of grandeur. In its
elevation, the cathedral is divided into three parts, the idea of the
Blessed Trinity ruling this arrangement. The arcades, springing from
the ground, form the first line, under the triforium, which forms
the second, while above this rises the third height, containing the
clerestory windows, which are lofty, double lancets, each surmounted
by a rose. The lower walls are pierced by simple lancets of very
large size. To the right and left of the nave are aisles without side
chapels; but in the double aisle which is carried round the choir
are seven apsidal chapels, of which the centre one, dedicated to Our
Lady, is the most important. The pillars of the nave are massive in
their proportions, to bear the weight of the lofty superstructure.
There are sixteen circular or octagon pillars round the choir, with
well-sculptured capitals; and in the centre of the transept rise four
colossal pillars, around which cluster a number of smaller ones, which
are carried up to the spring of the roof. The latter was the most
beautiful in the world, and was called _the Forest_, being constructed
of fine chestnut-wood, which time colors with a sort of golden hue,
and which attracts neither dust nor spiders. The roof of St. Stephen's
Hall at Westminster gives a good idea of what this must have been,
with its exquisite fan tracery and graceful pendants, until, on the
fourth of June, 1836, the whole was destroyed by fire. The iron roof by
which it has been replaced, though excellent in its kind, is far from
approaching the worth and beauty of the ancient _Forêt_.

The church is paved throughout with large slabs of stone, not one
of which is a _grave_-stone, as would be the case in almost every
other cathedral, under the pavement of which are buried numbers of
ecclesiastics and other persons; but this is virgin earth, wherein no
sepulture has ever taken place. We give the reason in the words of
Sebastian Rouillard: "The said church has this pre-eminence as being
the couch or resting-place of the Blessed Virgin, and in token thereof
has been even until this day preserved pure, clean, and entire, without
having ever been dug or opened for any burial."

The choir is the largest in France, and one of the most splendid in
existence, notwithstanding the unfortunate zeal of the chapter in
the year 1703 to alter and disfigure its mediæval beauties according
to their own ideas, which appear to have been warped to the lowest
degeneracy of "Renaissance." Happily, however, the prodigious expense
to which they put themselves resulted in but a partial realization
of their plan, in which ancient carving and mural frescos were swept
away to give place to gilding and stucco, marble and new paint, to say
nothing of kicking cherubs and arabesques gone mad. It was at this
time that the groups representing the annunciation of Our Lady and Our
Saviour's baptism were placed at the entrance of the choir, which, even
if they were the work of a more skilful hand, instead of being that of
a very mediocre artist, would yet be out of harmony with the church;
and the same may be said of the group, in Carrara marble, of the
Assumption, which rises behind the high altar, and which is the work of
the celebrated Bridan, who finished it in 1773.

When, two centuries before, the choir was still without enclosure,
the XVIth century provided for it one of the rarest specimens of late
Gothic art ever seen. Jehan de Beauce, who had been charged with
the building of the new spire, was chosen to make the designs and
direct the work; and though he died whilst it was still unfinished,
his plan was carefully carried to its completion. In this marvel of
conscientious labor there are forty groups, each containing numerous
figures, nearly the size of nature, representing the Legend of Mary
and the principal events in the life of Our Lord. Around these groups
cluster pillars and arches, turrets, crocketed spires, everything that
can help to give them, as it were, a framing and background as full and
elaborate as possible, while all sorts of odd and Lilliputian creatures
are playing in and out of the pediments, or clinging to the columns
in the most capricious and fantastic manner. Besides these forty
principal subjects, the enclosure is further enriched with thirty-five
medallions, the first of which represents the siege of Chartres by
Rollo, followed by subjects from the Holy Scriptures, and then, strange
to say, by others taken from heathen mythology! The pagan spirit of
the Renaissance was already daring to invade the sanctuaries of the
Catholic faith.

Before proceeding to mention other architectural details, two of the
especial treasures of the cathedral require some further notice.
Besides the Druidic Virgin, of which we have already given the history,
and whose chapel has, since the Revolution, been carefully restored, as
well as the twelve other subterranean chapels of this marvellous crypt,
there is in the upper church another statue, almost equally venerated,
which dates from the first years of the XVIth century, and is called
"Our Lady of the Pillar," from the columnar pedestal on which it
rests. This figure is enthroned, and adorned with gold and painting of
good execution, as far as may be seen under the abundant vestments of
lace, silk, and gold with which the loving piety of pilgrims, greater
in devotion than good taste, delights to load this statue, of which
the dark but beautiful face has an expression of great sweetness and
benignity, as well as that of the divine Child, whose right hand is
raised in benediction, while his left rests upon the globe of the world.

It was to this venerable image of _Notre Dame du Pilier_ that the
Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., granted the signal favor of a solemn
coronation, which took place on the last day of the month of May, 1855,
in the presence of seven prelates and a concourse of clergy and people
so immense that the church could not contain the multitudes. The dogma
of the Immaculate Conception had just been promulgated, and a special
jubilee in honor of Our Lady of Chartres had been granted by the Holy
Father, and the whole city was in a state of indescribable joy.

With regard to the vestment of Our Blessed Lady, to which allusion
has so frequently been made, and which appears to be of indisputable
authenticity, we will give the remainder of its history up to the
present time. When this was presented to the cathedral by Charles the
Bald, it was enclosed in a chest of cedar-wood covered with gold. The
veneration with which the precious relic was regarded did not allow of
the chest being opened without necessity, and its form was naturally
supposed to be that of a tunic or undergarment. Numbers were made
after the imaginary pattern, and, after being laid upon the reliquary,
were greatly valued as pledges of Our Lady's protection, especially by
those about to become mothers. As to one detail, however, everybody was
mistaken, the vestment not being by any means of the form supposed.
This was for the first time discovered in 1712, when, by order of the
bishop, Mgr. de Merinville, the coffer, which was falling to pieces
from extreme age, was opened with the most extraordinary care and
precautions. A kind of gauze, embroidered with silk and gold, enveloped
the sacred relic, which proved to be a veil of great length, woven
of linen and silk. It was then, in presence of Mgr. de Merinville and
other witnesses, enclosed in a chest of silver, and placed again in
the ancient reliquary, which had been strengthened and repaired. This,
being most richly ornamented with precious stones, was, in December,
1793, carried off by the men of the Revolution, who took the relic to
Paris, and submitted it to be examined by the members of the Institute,
without giving them any information respecting it, and anticipating
from their verdict a triumphant proof of its being nothing more than a
cheat and deception of "the priests." It was with less satisfaction,
therefore, than surprise that they were informed by the learned members
that, "although they found it impossible to give the exact age of the
fabric, it was evidently of very great antiquity, and the material was
identical with that of the long, folding veils anciently _worn by women
in the East_." Owing merely to this character of remote antiquity, it
was allowed a place among the curiosities of a museum. When the Reign
of Terror was over, certain pious persons obtained possession of it,
but had the want of judgment to divide it, giving larger or smaller
portions to different churches and individuals. In 1820, Mgr. de
Lubersac succeeded in collecting several of these portions, and, after
having had them carefully authenticated, he placed them in a reliquary
of coral, which has since, by Mgr. Clausel de Montals, been replaced by
one of greater richness, so arranged as to allow the precious relic to
be visible.

We must, before taking leave of the cathedral, bestow at least a
passing glance upon its glorious windows. Here and there one has been
broken by revolutionary or other anti-religionists, one or two others
have had a deep-toned color clumsily replaced by one of brighter hue
by certain of the aforesaid XVIIIth century canons, who required more
light to read their office; but, on the whole, they are in admirable
preservation. We can linger but to read some few of the characters of
this vast book of light, which is justly called by the Council of Arras
"The Bible of the laity"; for months would be insufficient to decipher
its glowing pages.

There are one hundred and thirty-five large windows, three immense
roses, thirty-five roses of a middle size, and twelve small ones. These
are almost all of the date of the XIIIth century, and are the gifts of
kings, nobles, ecclesiastics, burgesses, and workmen of every trade, as
may be seen in each window, which usually contains a kneeling figure of
the donor. The great roses are marvellous in their splendor. That of
the north transept, which, from being the gift of S. Louis, is called
the Rose of France, represents the glorification of the Blessed Virgin,
who occupies the centre, bearing in her arms her divine Son. The five
great windows beneath the rose make the complement of the subject. In
the centre is S. Anne, with Our Lady as an infant. On the right and
left stand Melchisedech and Aaron, types of our Lord's priesthood;
David and Solomon, the types of his royalty.

The southern rose was given by the Count of Dreux, and has for its
subject the glorification of our Lord, which is also that of the
sculpture over the western entrance. In the centre window of the
five below is the infant Saviour in the arms of his Mother, while to
the right and left are the four greater prophets, bearing on their
shoulders the four Evangelists, to symbolize the support which the
New Law receives from the Old. The western rose represents the Last
Judgment. The three splendid windows beneath it are more ancient than
the rest, and are said by those who are learned in stained glass
to date from the XIIth century at the latest. One of these is the
far-famed "Jesse Window," in which the tree of Jesse bears among the
verdure of its branches the royal ancestors of Our Lord; the second
represents scenes from his life, and the third those of his passion and
death; while above appears the resplendent figure of Mary, known by
the name of _Notre Dame de la Belle Verriere_, and justly celebrated
for its admirable beauty. In the seven great windows of the apse, Mary
is still the centre. In those of the choir occur amongst others the
figures of S. Louis, S. Ferdinand of Castile, Amaury IV., Count of
Montfort, and Simon de Montfort, his brother. The lower windows are
filled with scenes from the Holy Bible and the _Golden Legend_, and
contain a great number of figures of small size, while the higher ones
are principally occupied by grand and separate figures of prophets,
apostles, and saints.

Standing in the middle of the transept, one sees the extremities
darkened by the great masses of the porches, but above them shine the
great roses, whose rainbow hues play upon the entrance of the choir;
the aisles and chapels are softened by that sort of half-luminous
obscurity in which we find ourselves on entering the church; but the
shadows flee more and more before the light, which, ever increasing,
streams down in torrents as we approach the centre of the cross,
making the sanctuary resplendent with emerald and ruby rays. And this
marvellous picture has ever-changing aspects, beauties ever new,
according to the hour of the day, the brightness of the sun, and the
season of the year. Reader, when _in propriâ personâ_ you make your
pilgrimage to Notre Dame de Chartres, you will feel how poor and how
inadequate has our description been, and, with the Presence that is
ever there, will own that it is heaven in all but the locality.

We will conclude our sketch with a few historical notices of interest,
without which it would be incomplete.

Although we have lived to see occasionally something approaching to a
renewal of the ancient throngs of pilgrims, and notably so on the last
27th-30th of May, when a multitude of more than sixty thousand persons,
including twelve prelates, besides six hundred other ecclesiastics, two
generals, one hundred and fifty officers, and one hundred and forty
members of the National Assembly, went from Paris and various parts
of France on a pilgrimage to Chartres, still this does not recall the
continuous concourse of former days, when it often happened that the
town was not large enough to contain the crowds of strangers, so that
on the eve of certain festivals it was necessary to allow great numbers
of them to remain all night for shelter in the church itself. The
parvis of the cathedral, which slopes downwards from the choir to the
western door, rendered easy the cleansing process which followed in the
early morning, when floods of water were thrown upon the pavement.

This eager devotion of the common people has in it something more
touching even than the innumerable visits of the rich and great to this
chosen shrine. In the course of the XIIth century, Chartres numbered
among its pilgrims no less than three popes and five kings of France;
Philip Augustus being accompanied by his queen, Isabella of Hainault,
who came to ask Our Lady's intercession that she might have a son.
Whereupon, says William le Breton, even whilst the queen was making her
prayer, the candles upon the high altar suddenly lighted of themselves,
as if in token that her request was granted, and which accordingly came
to pass.

Before the completion of the church, it had been visited by two
princesses greater for their sanctity than for their rank--namely,
Blanche of Castile, the mother of S. Louis, and the gentle and pious
Isabelle, her sister. They were followed not long afterwards by the
holy monarch himself, who, on his first visit, was accompanied by
Henry III., of England, and on his second, in 1260, was present at the
consecration. Philip the Fair, who attributed his success at the battle
of Mons en Puelle entirely to the protection of Mary, came thither to
do her homage by offering the armor he had worn in the combat; and in
like manner Philip of Valois, after the victory of Cassel, gave to
the church of Chartres his charger and his arms. And when the times
darkened over France, and her king, John the Good, was the prisoner
of Edward III., the latter refused to listen to the entreaties of the
Dauphin and the Papal legate that he would grant peace on reasonable
terms, although "the Father of Christendom had again and again with
his own hand written letters to the English king, calling on him to
'forbear from the slaughter of souls redeemed by the Blood of Christ'";
success had made him relentless, and, leading on his victorious army,
he laid siege to Chartres. We learn from Froissart, among other
chroniclers, how Our Lady signalized her power, not only in saving the
city, but in leading, humble and submissive, the lion of England to
her feet: "For there befell to the King of England and all his men a
great miracle: a storm and thunder so great and horrible came down from
heaven on the English host that it seemed as if the end of the world
were come; for there fell down stones so great that they killed men
and horses, and so that even the boldest trembled."[82] ... "Thereupon
the King of England, leaping down from his saddle, and stretching out
his arms towards the church of Our Lady at Chartres, devoutly vowed
and promised to her that he would no longer refuse to grant peace upon
any terms consistent with his honor." When, therefore, he entered the
city, it was not as a warrior, but as a pilgrim; for he repaired at
once to the cathedral, in company with the Prince of Wales, the Duke
of Lancaster, and many other English knights, and shortly afterwards
signed the Peace of Bretigny.

Charles V., having revived the glory of the French arms, was not
unmindful of his gratitude to Our Lady of Chartres, to whom on two
occasions he made a pilgrimage barefoot, prostrating himself before the
sacred image; "considering," as he declares in his letters-patent, "the
splendid, great, and notable miracles which our Lord God works day by
day in the said church," and praying for the peace and prosperity of
his kingdom.

One other fact connected with the kings of France ought not to be
omitted--namely, the sacring of Henri IV., which, instead of taking
place at Rheims, according to, we believe, invariable precedent, was,
by his own special desire, solemnized in the church of Our Lady of
France at Chartres, when he made, as it were, a second abjuration by
thus publicly declaring himself to be henceforth a devoted client of
the Blessed Virgin. "Thus," observes the Abbé Hamon, _Curé_ of S.
Sulpice, "Protestantism, which had flattered itself with the hope of
mounting on the throne of France, was broken at the feet of Our Lady of
Chartres, where also paganism had expired before it in the defeat and
subsequent conversion of Rollo."

Were we to attempt to name the saints who have gone as pilgrims to
Chartres, from S. Anselm and S. Thomas à Becket to S. Francis de
Sales, S. Vincent de Paul, M. Olier, and the Blessed B. Labré, the
enumeration would be endless; and though it would require, not pages,
but volumes, to recount the favors obtained by the intercession of
the Blessed Virgin for her city, we cannot refrain from selecting a
few well-authenticated historical facts in addition to those already
mentioned.

In the year 1137, Louis le Gros, having great cause of displeasure
against Thibault, Count of Chartres, resolved to chastise him in a
signal manner, and advanced against his city, with the resolution to
raze it to the ground. The inhabitants were in the utmost terror and
distress, knowing their helplessness before the power of the irritated
monarch. The bishop, Geoffrey de Lieues, causing the reliquary
containing Our Lady's tunic to be taken from the church, carried it in
procession with his clergy and people outside the gates, and advanced
to the royal tent. At this sight, the anger of the king subsided. He
fell on his knees before the sacred relic, which he then devoutly
followed, entering alone into the city, not to destroy it, but to grant
it special privileges.

More than four centuries later, in 1568, Chartres was besieged by the
Huguenots under Condé. They opened a heavy fire against the Porte
Drouaire, above which gate the Chartrians placed an image of the
Blessed Virgin. This greatly excited their fury, and their utmost
endeavors were used to shoot it down. But the sacred image remained
untouched, though every stone near it was shattered. The rampart was
nevertheless so far weakened as to be unable longer to stand against
the powerful artillery. A large breach was opened, towards which the
besiegers crowded, that they might carry fire and desolation into the
city. But while the defenders believed that all was lost, the whole of
the population not in arms was praying in the cathedral. In the very
moment of their success, the enemy lost courage; the trumpets sounded a
retreat, and the Huguenot army left the city, never to return. It was
in memory of this signal deliverance that a chapel was raised between
the Porte Drouaire and the river Eure, dedicated to "Our Lady of the
Breach," and which, after being destroyed in 1789, was in 1844 rebuilt.

Whenever Chartres has been threatened with pestilence or famine it has
been customary for the bishop and dean of the chapter to bear the holy
tunic in procession from the cathedral to the Abbey of Josaphat, in the
midst of an immense concourse of the faithful, kneeling in the dust,
with heads uncovered. Even in our own time there has been a recurrence
of these expiatory solemnities. The cholera, which in 1832 made so many
victims in Paris, appeared also in Chartres, and deaths multiplied in
the city. But no sooner had the inhabitants, with all the religious
pomp and devotion of ancient days, borne the venerated relic through
the streets, imploring her succor who had for ages proved her right to
the title of _Tutela Carnutum_, than the plague was stayed. All the
sick were cured, and two more deaths only occurred--the deaths of two
persons who had publicly insulted the procession on its way. A gold
medal was struck on this occasion, having the following inscription;
"Voted to Our Lady of Chartres, by the inhabitants of the city, in
gratitude for the cessation of the cholera immediately after the solemn
procession celebrated to obtain her powerful intercession, on Sunday,
the 26th of August, 1832."

FOOTNOTES:

[79] "Then they took the holy garment, which had belonged to the Mother
of God, formerly in Constantinople; and a great king of France made of
it a precious and noble gift to Chartres--Charles the Bald, so called
from his name of infancy. This king presented it to Chartres."

[80] "The high and glorious Lady, who willed to have the church all
marvellous, and high, and long, and large, so that its equal nowhere
might be found, prayed sweetly to her gracious Son that manifest
miracles might be wrought in her church at Chartres for all the people
to behold, so that from all parts there might come persons who should
make offerings wherewith the church might be finished as it was
undertaken to be done."

[81] Except certain parts of the side portals, some of the statues of
which are of the XIVth century, the three gables, the chapel of S.
Piat, that of Vendôme, and the enclosure of the choir.

[82] _Les Grandes Chroniques_, tom. iv. ch. 46.



IN THY LIGHT SHALL WE SEE LIGHT.[83]


    The moon, behind her pilot star,
      Came up in orbèd gold:
    And slowly near'd a fleecy bar
      O'er-floating lone and cold.

    I look'd again, and saw an isle
      Of amber on the blue:
    So changed the cloudlet by the smile
      That softly lit it through.

    Another look: the isle was gone--
      As though dissolv'd away.
    And could it be, so warmly shone
      That chaste and tender ray?

    I said: "O star, the faith art thou
      That brought my life its Queen--
    In her sweet light no longer now
      The vapor it has been.

    "Shine on, my Queen: and so possess
      My being to its core,
    That self may show from less to less--
      Thy love from more to more."

    A touch of the oars, and on we slid--
      My cedar boat and I.
    The dreaming water faintly chid
      Our rudeness with a sigh.

LAKE GEORGE, September, 1873.

FOOTNOTES:

[83] PS. XXXV.



THE SEE OF S. FRANCIS OF SALES.


The "arrowy Rhone" and Lake Leman have become in modern literature
the counterparts of the classic Anio and Nemi of antiquity. Peculiar
memories cluster about their shores; they have been the intellectual
battle-field of systems, even while poets and dreamers were seeking
to make a Lethe of their enchanted waters; and perhaps on no other
northern spot in Europe has God lavished such beauties of color, of
atmosphere, of outline, and of luxuriant vegetation. Geneva rivals
the south in its growth of orange, oleander, and ilex, in its lake
of sapphire hue, its sunsets of intense variety of color, and its
profusion of white villas, homes of summer luxuriance, and temples of
delightful idleness. The clearness of the mountain air, the irregular
outlines of the smaller hills, the view of the Alps beyond--above
all, that of Mont Blanc--the quantity of hardy Alpine flowers, the
dusky, mediæval beauty of the town, and the unmistakable energy of its
sturdy-looking inhabitants, denote the northern character of Geneva.
The old Cathedral of S. Peter, where Calvin's chair is now the greatest
curiosity and almost the greatest ornament (so bare is the church),
and the new Cathedral of Notre Dame, a building hardly large enough
for the now numerous Catholic congregation of Geneva, speak of the
change that has come over the town in the last four hundred years. The
religious phases that have come and gone in this small and seemingly
insignificant spot form an epitome of the religious history of Europe.
The age of faith, the age of fanaticism, the age of indifferentism,
have reigned successively in Geneva. In the XIIIth century, as in
many an earlier one, High Mass was sung at S. Peter's, and monks or
canons sat in the stalls which yet remain in the choir; in the XVIth,
Calvin and Beza sat in plain black gown, teaching justification by
faith alone, and burning Michael Servetus for tenets that disturbed
the new "personal infallibility" of the Reformers; in the XIXth,
Socinianism is the creed of the "national" church, and Catholics,
Evangelicals, and Anglicans have each handsome and roomy buildings,
crowded on Sundays, and adorned with every outward sign of freedom of
worship. Catholics form half the population of the canton, and nearly
half that of the city itself. There are few conversions, however, so
that this proportion does not sensibly increase. Many of the suburbs
are entirely Catholic. The diocese extends to many Savoyard parishes,
which are, of course, altogether Catholic. Until the recent outbreak
against perfect liberty of conscience, when that liberty was to be
applied to the old church, the position of Catholics, clergy and laity,
was comparatively satisfactory; the bishop (of whom we shall speak
later) was universally beloved by his people, respected by his liberal
opponents, feared by his illiberal enemies; the moderate party in
politics, consisting of the class corresponding to an aristocracy, and
all of them men of polite bearing and strong religious (Evangelical)
convictions, were always on the side of Catholics in upholding their
privileges as citizens of the state, voters, and freeholders; the two
churches, S. Germain on "the hill," and Notre Dame on the plain (among
the new hotels and villas), besides other chapels on the Savoy side of
the lake, and the new suburb of Plainpalais, were always crowded, and
there were many schools for rich and poor under religious teachers. The
Sisters of Charity had a house, to which tradition pointed as the house
of Calvin; and many English visitors knocked at their door, to beg to
be allowed a peep into the courtyard, where they would pluck a blade
of grass as a memento or _relic_. These have now been suppressed; the
clergy, who were originally salaried by the state, have been thrown
on their own resources; the bishop has been sent beyond the frontier.
He is said to have remarked to the Holy Father, _à propos_ of this
measure: "Your Holiness sent me to Calvin; Calvin sent me to Voltaire
(the bishop's retreat is Ferney); but I have great hopes of outliving
them both."

Still, we would fain insist upon the great difference between this
mark of intolerance and the old rules of the Calvinistic theocracy.
The _Conseil d'Etat_ does _not_ represent Calvin and his personal
fanaticism; it speaks a language of its own, and one which Calvin
himself would be horrified to listen to--the language of state
supremacy defying God. If Calvin were alive, he would no doubt feel a
hearty satisfaction in burning Mgr. Mermillod; but he would have as
great a relish for the burning of Prince Bismarck. Calvinism was at
least sincere in its fanaticism; the Bismarckian animus is not even
that of a fanatic, but of a _cynic_. So it is not the spirit of the
pale, nervous reformer of the XVIth century that is responsible for
the recent outrage against freedom of conscience at Geneva; but a
spirit more potent, more ambitious, more grasping, and, above all, more
farseeing--the spirit of open infidelity boasting of its material power
of repression.

Of the political attitude of Geneva we need not speak, further than
to say that its acknowledged neutrality, and the intellectual culture
of its inhabitants, have given it a new life, and made of the focus
of the only "Reformation" that had any sincerity or inherent strength
in it a new focus of peaceful and dignified repose. From the _champ
clos_ of Calvinism, it has become the arena of the world, especially of
diplomacy, and the city of refuge of all exiles, royalist, Mazzinist,
and social. Among the latter came one who has contributed to Geneva's
glory--Byron, the gifted prodigal, who is among poets as the "morning
star" once was among angels. We meant, however, to speak rather of one
of Geneva's citizens than of the historic city itself; though such are
the manifold charms of the place that only to name it is a temptation
to plunge at once into a thousand speculations as to its past and a
thousand theories as to its future.

Mgr. Mermillod, the successor of S. Francis of Sales, is a native of
Caronge, a suburb of Geneva, and was born of a Catholic family, poor
in the world's goods, and obscure in its estimation. He has a vivacity
rather French than Genevese, but with a solid foundation of that more
serious character which distinguishes his countrymen. As an orator,
he is hardly second to the Bishop of Orléans, Mgr. Dupanloup; as a
lecturer to pious women on the duties of womanhood, he is superior
to most ecclesiastics. In the guidance of souls, the enlightened
discrimination between what is in itself wrong, and what harmless if
done in a proper spirit, he seems to have inherited the special gift of
S. Francis of Sales in directing women of good family, living at court
or otherwise, in the world. His singular prudence and the graciousness
of his manner are essential helps to him in the prominent position he
holds towards modern governments, and the daily contact which confronts
him with modern sentiment. He is the weapon expressly fashioned for
the last new phase into which the eternal struggle against the world,
the flesh, and the devil has entered. Like S. Francis, he wraps his
strength in gentleness, and carries out the _suaviter in modo, fortiter
in re_. In conversation, of which he is fond--for his is not the
monastic ideal of holiness--he is sprightly, witty, and accurate. His
power of crystallizing ideas into a _mot_ is quite French, and the
childlike joyousness of his demeanor is no less so. The word ascetic
seems to imply the very antipodes of his nature; and yet his private
apartment, which we were once privileged to see, is almost like a
cell. Here is a description of it, gathered from the impressions
of two worthy visitors: "I felt," says one, "in this little _buco_
(hole) as if I were in the cell of a saint, and examined everything
with veneration. That little _prie-Dieu_, so simple in its build,
which daily witnesses the prayers and sighs of the pastor, anxious
for his flock and the souls entrusted to him by God; of the Christian
humbling himself and praying for his own needs.... Perhaps some day
this little room will be visited as S. Charles Borromeo's is now at
Milan. I am favored in that I know it already. Two purple stocks and
the tasselled hat alone recalled the _bishop_, while the framed table
of a 'Seminarist's Duties,' taken in connection with the simplicity,
nay, poverty, of the room, might make one think it the habitation of a
young cleric."

And another account adds: "What a memory to have seen this room, so
narrow, so humble, so evidently the home of a saint! We shall always
be able to fix the picture of the bishop in our memory, night or day,
praying or working, at all times; ... and that beautiful print of
Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque, and that tiny _prie-Dieu_!"

The bishop's library, his ordinary working-room, was also a very simple
retreat, and often fireless in the coldest days of winter. The house
stood next door to the cathedral, and the rest of the clergy, four or
five in all, lived there in community. Among them was the old vicar,
the second priest to whose charge the reconstituted parish of Geneva
had been entrusted before being raised to the dignity of a bishopric.
It was very touching to watch this old man lovingly deferring to the
young bishop, who was formerly but a curate under him, and rejoicing
as a father in the elevation of one of whose fitness for the episcopal
office he, above all, had reason to be certain.

"No man securely commands but he who has learned well to obey."[84]
Another of the clergy was a very remarkable man, the type of a
character found nowhere in these days save under the cowl of the monk,
and even among religious probably nowhere save in the Benedictine
Order. He was the bishop's private secretary, and his right hand in
the business of the diocese. He belonged to the Reformed Benedictines
of Solesmes, and was a friend and spiritual subject of Dom Guéranger,
author of the invaluable _Liturgical Year_, the beautiful _History of
S. Cecilia_, and other works. It was only by a special dispensation
that he was allowed to hold his present position and live outside his
cloister; but having, in early life, been the schoolmate of the bishop,
and being eminently fitted to wield ecclesiastical sway, this privilege
(which was none to him, however) had been obtained by Mgr. Mermillod.
He was called rather by the title of his religious profession, _le
père_, than by his name in the world--a name since become known as
that of the author of a learned and voluminous _Life of S. Dunstan_.
He was, as it were, a stranded pilgrim in this age of compromise--a
stern, heroic soul cast in the giant mould of the XIIIth century;
rather a Bernard of Clairvaux than a Francis of Sales; in learning a
descendant of Duns Scotus, and a disciple of Aristotle; an ascetic, a
scholastic, a rigid disciplinarian, an unerring director. In person
tall, dignified, spare of form, with keen, eagle glance, clear-cut,
largely-moulded features; in dress simple to rusticity, and a fit model
for an old monkish carving at the foot of a pulpit or on the boss of an
arch.

They completed each other, these two saintly characters, the bishop
and the monk, bound together in a mystic marriage for the production
of spiritual children for God and the church; and the contrast between
them seemed, as it were, typical of that other union of distant ages,
one with another, for the furtherance of a principle ever the same,
whether its accidental exponent be Peter the fisherman, Hildebrand the
Reformer, Bernard the monk, Francis of Sales, the gentle bishop, or
Pius IX., the yet more gentle and more persecuted Pope.

Our stay at Geneva covered three-fourths of a year, so that we grew
familiar with the beauties of the neighborhood in its different
aspects of summer, autumn, and winter. It would be difficult to
chronicle every detail of these beauties of earth, sky, and water,
which, as the seasons brought them severally into prominence, seemed to
form a series of cabinet pictures for memory to dwell upon ever after.
There is nothing like a long stay in one place to make one feel its
loveliness; the transient wayfarer among the most enchanting scenes
sees not a quarter as much natural beauty as the constant dweller in
a less favored spot. In the wild rush, named with unconscious satire
a _tour_, the traveller sees a kaleidoscopic mixture of incongruous,
discordant beauties, and of each in detail he sees but one phase,
sometimes an abnormal one, sometimes an obscured one, and not seldom
he sees but the vacant place where this beauty should be. His opinions
are hastily formed, and, strange phenomenon! the more hastily the more
ineradicably, and they are often erroneous, or at least one-sided. A
man looking for the moon during the week when the moon is new, and
concluding, therefore, that no moon exists or is visible at any time,
would not be a rasher tale-teller than he who asserted that because
he passed twenty-four hours in Venice during a fog, therefore the sun
never shone in the Adriatic city; or that since in a week's scamper
through the environs of Naples he never came across a beautiful woman,
therefore the type of the Grecian goddess was extinct among the women
of Parthenope. Sweeping statements are as invariably wrong as they
are temptingly easy to make; it is needless to say how intellectually
absurd they are. Give your experience _as_ your experience, and you
will have contributed something to the sum total of acquisition
on any given subject; but do not give it as the only, absolute,
indisputable, and final result of research. All knowledge is but
partial; it is subject to all kinds of qualifications. Few men can
speak with authority of more than a grain of it at a time, and it is
equally unwise and undignified to put yourself in the position of the
Pharisee whom the lord of the feast directed to give place to a guest
of worthier and seemlier station. But this is a digression. We began by
saying that long residence in one place is the true way to see, learn,
and probe its beauties; as well as its resources. Until your heart
_grows to_ a place, you do not _know_ it, and no place unassociated
with family or patriotic connections can teach your heart to _grow to_
it without long residence. Perhaps there are exceptions, corresponding
to "love at first sight," but even this in human relations is only an
exception. We remember one place, seen for one day only, for which
this sadder feeling of kinship and yearning grew up in our heart--it
was Heidelberg; but intimate knowledge in ordinary cases is the only
channel to a great and appreciative love.

Geneva won its way to our love thus, and, more than any one spot we
visited--not excepting even Rome--came to represent to the memory the
happiest, most peaceful, and most fruitful period of our lives. We
shall be forgiven if we draw a sketch of the surroundings which are
associated with our knowledge of the Bishop of Geneva. In all our
reminiscences his figure is the central one, and the group of persons
who formed our circle of friendship seems naturally to revolve around
his person. Our summer life was spent in a shy little villa, invisible
from the high-road, and embowered in groves of pine, chestnut, and
oak; our winter days were passed, perforce, at the uncongenial but
perfectly appointed Hôtel de la Paix. The party consisted of our
own family only, with one or two accidental additions from England
for a week at a time. The house was slightly built and cottage-like,
with a flight of steps on each side, the front stoop being festooned
with a jessamine-vine, and the wide, grand drive, flanked by a bed of
flaming balsam-flowers, sweeping up to the door under the shade of two
or three massive horse-chestnuts. No room in the house was carpeted,
and only the drawing-room had a _parquet_ floor. The bed-rooms were
miracles of simplicity and cleanliness--milk-white boards, white-washed
walls, no curtains to bed or window, and an absence of any furniture,
save a narrow bed, a washstand, a dimity-covered table, and one cane
chair, making them seem so many dormitory sections partitioned off.
We made the "best" room a little more picturesque, as that of a loved
invalid never fails to be, by the help of crimson velvet coverlets,
blue silk and knitted wool in cushions, a portable easy-chair, muslin
bed-curtains, and a display of cut-glass bottles with gold stoppers--in
short, the contents of an English dressing-case on the pretty,
white-robed table. Books, also, and any pretty thing that struck our
fancy in the treasure-houses of the town, accumulated here, and made
of it the choicest room in the house. We had a severer trysting-place
on the ground-floor, where reading was carried on systematically,
illuminating and ecclesiastical embroidery filled up many an hour,
and our journals (from which we have already quoted) were compiled.
But there was a rarer treasure yet--a chapel. A tiny room, darkened
_all' Italiana_, with red curtains, and containing a portable altar
suitably draped, recalled the oratories of Roman _palazzi_; and here
was often seen the tall figure of _le père_ and a little chorister
from Notre Dame, as we had Mass said there generally twice a week. It
was a sanctification to the house, and we felt it an incitement in our
"labor of love" of reading and manual work. Another gathering-spot was
the wall on the garden side, forming the parapet between the terrace
and the lower level of meadow-land. There was a whole colony of spiders
nestled in the miniature grove of jessamine that hid the wall; and,
as we sat with our books on the steps leading from the terrace, we
assisted, as it were, at a perpetual natural history lecture _in
actu_. The webs were generally very perfect, and, as the autumn came
on, the early dews transformed them into a jewelled network, shining
rainbow-wise, with the loveliest prismatic hues. Sometimes, when they
were broken, they seemed like a cordage of diamonds--the tangled ruins
of some fairy wreck clinging to the mast, represented by a green twig.
But there was in the grounds another more sylvan and lonely retreat
still--our own especial haunt. It was a damp valley, below the level
of the high-road, carpeted with periwinkles and decaying leaves, and
shut out from human observation by a grove of oaks and chestnuts. A
peculiar darkness always brooded over it, and one might have forgotten
the existence of noontide had he spent twenty-four hours in its gloom.
A little brook ran along the bottom, its waters carrying miniature
freight-barks in the shape of half-opened horse-chestnuts or curled
and browned oak-leaves. If anything so small could bear so lofty a
likeness, we should say that this sombre valley was akin to a Druidical
grove.

Our outdoor pleasures were few, as the world understands them; they
mostly consisted of long drives into the interior, where we would
often pass dignified, melancholy-looking iron portals, let into a wall
festooned profusely with the Virginia creeper, and giving a glimpse
of some deserted, parklike expanse of meadow. Other less pretentious
entrances showed a wilderness of roses, flowering shrubs, and vines,
but always in contrast with the luxuriant Virginia creeper, which
nowhere else in Europe grows in such perfection. A variety of shades
absolutely Western greets the eye and delights the imagination; the
hues of the Indian summer seem concentrated in this one plant, and,
from its rich glow, an artist can easily guess what a forest of
indefinitely multiplied trees, painted in the colors of this creeper,
would look like. Two of our visitors were welcome additions to our
party and sympathetic sharers in our pleasures--one, a lady well known
for her energetic and active charity, whose presence in any place
pointed invariably to some hidden work of mercy to be performed there,
and whose mission just then was to comfort a lonely and despairing
widow under peculiarly trying aggravations of her sorrow; the other
an artist whose name in his public capacity has already appeared more
than once in the pages of THE CATHOLIC WORLD, and whose character of
childlike simplicity and reverent earnestness has endeared him to us in
private life as a friend and a model.

People staying at Geneva--at least, English people--always make a point
of going through the arduous expedition to Chamouni and the Mer de
Glace. We do not mean to disparage the spirit which inevitably urges
on our countrymen and countrywomen to put their necks in jeopardy on
the slightest provocation; but, turning the adventurous instinct of our
Anglo-Saxon blood to a better purpose, we chose rather to make two
or three expeditions to sites hallowed by the presence of the Apostle
of Geneva--S. Francis of Sales. Mont Blanc could not, from any point
of view, appear more majestically beautiful than it does from the
shores of Lake Leman; and we preferred to gaze upon the monarch with
the eye of an artist rather than that of a gymnast. We here lean upon
the authority of Ruskin, whom we are glad to appeal to in an instance
where his naturally reverential mind makes him a safe and unbiassed
guide. Our first pilgrimage was to the Castle _des Allinges_, on the
Savoy side of the lake, a ruin now, but where, in former days, the
saint often said Mass in a chapel, which is the only part of the castle
still untouched. There is no lack of visitors to this shrine during
the summer, and each party is generally accompanied by a priest. We
were happy in persuading _le père_ to be our companion, and started
overnight for the village of Thonon. The lake was unruffled, and the
sun shining tropically, as the little steam boat carried us over the
waters. Thonon is a Catholic village, with an ugly church, adorned by
carved and gilded cherubs and other unsightly excrescences ambitiously
striving to be Michael Angelos and Donatellos. Frogs never can let
oxen alone, especially in art. We slept at the inn, a picturesque and
proportionately dirty hostelry, very little changed, we should say,
from what it was in the days of S. Francis. It stands on a high terrace
above the lake, the top of which terrace forms a drilling-ground;
for Thonon has fortifications and the ghost of a garrison. The road
from the boat-landing winds up through stunted vines to a dilapidated
gateway, and is often dotted by the curious one-horse vehicle of the
country, called _char-à-banc_--_i.e._ a sort of diminutive brougham
turned sideways, and hardly capable of holding two persons--a kind
of side-saddle locomotion rather curious to any one accustomed to sit
with his face to the horses. The view over the lake by sunrise the
next morning was dreamlike in its beauty--each rounded peak veiled
in mist, and the motionless waters lying at their base as a floor of
azure crystal. As we went further up into the mountains, the sun's rays
flashed on hill after hill, throwing a softened radiance over each,
and shooting darts of gold across the clear blue of the lake. We met
carts laden with wheat-sheaves, and men and boys going to their day's
work; passed farms and dairies before coming to the heathery waste that
separates the lonely hill-top of _les Allinges_ from the cultivated
lands below; jolted over the stony path, called, in mockery, a _road_;
and, having seen in a short two hours' drive as many beauties as we
could conveniently remember, arrived at the Chapel of S. Francis. It
has been changed since his time, but the altar is said to be the one
at which he celebrated Mass. The chapel is a white-washed room like a
rough school-room, fitted up with painted benches and cheap prints; but
the feeling that draws so many Christian hearts to this refuge of the
missionary Bishop of Geneva hallows the bare walls and open poverty of
the chapel, and a spirit seems to rise from the altar recess to rebuke
any worldly sense of disparagement or even disappointment. The manner
in which _le père_ said Mass was enough to make one feel the solemnity
of the occasion and the gratitude that ought to possess one after
having had the privilege, doubtless not to be repeated in a lifetime,
of praying on this consecrated spot. We all received holy communion
during Mass. An old man is stationed at _les Allinges_ as _custos_,
sacristan, and Mass-server; and his little garden, in full view of the
lake, makes a pretty domestic picture grafted on to the mediæval one of
the "ruined castle ivy-draped."

S. Francis, so says tradition, often wandered day and night over
this mountain on his apostolic missions, and, being once overtaken
by darkness, found no better resting-place than the fork of a
chestnut-tree. Wrapped in his cloak, he there went to sleep, lulled by
the howling of the wolves, which abounded in that neighborhood. Many
similar stories are told in Savoy of his missionary adventures; one of
them recording that one day he presented himself, with two or three
companions, at one of the gates of Geneva. The guard, not knowing him,
asked who he was, before he would allow him to pass; the saint calmly
and smilingly replied, "I am _l'évêque du lieu_" (the bishop of the
place). The guard, concluding he was some foreign visitor, and that
_Dulieu_ was the name of his diocese or manor, nonchalantly opened the
gate, and let him in. When the magistracy discovered _who_ had thus
got entrance into the city of Calvin, there was a terrible outcry;
the too innocent guard was summoned and threatened with death for
his gross neglect of his duty, and a hasty search was begun for the
hated Papist bishop. S. Francis had by that time quietly finished his
business and left the hostile walls of Geneva. This is not unlike the
incident related by Cardinal Wiseman in _Fabiola_, where a Christian
substitutes for the watchword _Numen Imperatorum_, without repeating
which he could not pass out to his secret worship in the catacombs,
the words similar in sound, though widely different in meaning, _Nomen
Imperatorum_, and succeeds in cheating the guard, who was a Pannonian,
and whose knowledge of Latin was but elementary. It was probably during
one of these stolen visits that S. Francis administered the sacraments
to a poor Catholic servant-girl in the cellar of the _Hôtel de l'Ecu
d'or_--an old inn still standing at Geneva, and where the identical
apartment is now shown.

From Thonon we took the boat to Lausanne, on the opposite side of
the lake, visited the Castle of Chillon, and returned to Geneva,
after another night spent at the Vevay end of Lake Leman; where the
mountains, purple and rounded; the vegetation, southern in its quality
and luxuriance; the winding road by the shore--all contribute to remind
you of the Bay of Naples and the Sorrento road along the Mediterranean.

Lausanne itself, its cathedral, monuments, fortifications, and general
quaintness of architecture and beauty of position, was the goal of
another expedition, in which our English friend, Mr. B----, accompanied
us, and became our commentator and artistic guide.

There were many other places we also visited; one of us was
indefatigable, and followed the bishop to Thonex, where he solemnly
deposited a _corpo santo_; to Collonge, where he blessed a new cemetery
with all the pomp of ritual, made easy by this village being situated
on Savoyard ground; and to Caronge, where he distributed the prizes at
a girl's school, and gave an excellent and appropriate lecture on the
education of women in this century.

But the most beautiful ceremony of all was the consecration of the new
parish church of Bellegarde, the French frontier post and custom-house.
This village is a mere handful of white-washed cottages dropped among
the spurs of the Jura range. The mountains, though not high, have all
the beauty of the Alps; their varied outline, their abrupt gorges,
and their swift torrents being yet more beautiful because embowered
in a vegetation of softer aspect than the monumental pineries which
close-clothe the Alps. Within half a mile of Bellegarde is a curious
natural phenomenon--_la perte du Rhône_. The river, here scarcely more
than a mountain brook, after struggling through a barren, sandy bed,
strewn with boulders of a porous white stone worn by the action of
the water into strange shapes of vases, cauldrons, and urns, suddenly
plunges under an arched entrance in a wall of rocks, and disappears.
Its subterranean course is some miles long, and it re-emerges, on a
lower level, a placid, shallow stream. Around the mouth of this unknown
cavern the scenery is very striking; deep clefts of rock, with fringes
of Alpine flowers, alternate with thick growths of oak and chestnut;
and from every peaklet of the mountains some charming pastoral scene
comes into view. The new church was a plain white building, of no
architectural pretensions, but strong and impervious to the weather.
The internal decorations were simple in the extreme; no frog emulation
here, as in ambitious Thonon. For once we saw French peasants _au
naturel_; they really seemed the fervent, hospitable, unsophisticated
people one longs to see. The Jura protects Bellegarde from Geneva;
there is no large town near on the French side, and there is neither
hotel, nor mineral springs, nor iron mines, nor natural resources of
any kind to attract the acquisitive mind of the XIXth century. So God
still reigns undisturbedly in this narrow kingdom--narrow, indeed, if
measured by the numerical strength of its inhabitants, but noble and
precious if measured by the worth of each immortal soul which it holds.
The people were collected outside the church, as the full ceremonies of
consecration were going to be performed, and many of these take place
before the people can canonically be admitted into the interior. A
priest stood on the natural pulpit of a low stone wall, describing to
the faithful the symbolic meaning of each ceremony, as the bishop and
his assistants passed round and round the walls, chanting psalms and
anointing the building, or, entering the portals, inscribed the Greek
and Latin alphabets in the form of a cross on the floor of the church,
made seven crosses on the different internal walls, and recited psalms
and litanies before each. The men stood in the burning sun, bare-headed
and motionless, often kneeling in the dust, and singing hymns in French
corresponding to the meaning of the Latin prayers; a line of _Gardes
Nationales_, in uniforms rather the worse for wear, and many wearing
the Crimean medal, stood opposite the entrance, while an excruciating
brass band played with a will a mixture of national and religious airs.
When at last the congregation all poured into the church, High Mass was
sung, the brass band doing duty in a scarcely less subdued tone than
before, but being as much of an improvement upon the theatrical and
sensuous exhibitions nicknamed _sacred_ music in many grander churches,
as a rough but pious print is--religiously speaking--an improvement
on a lascivious Rubens. The sermon (we forget whether preached by the
bishop or not) was a touching exhortation to the people to remain knit
in heart and soul to this church, the emblem at once of their hopes
in the future and their spiritual struggles in the present. In the
afternoon, the bishop sang solemn Vespers, and towards dusk we all
returned to Geneva, happy in having witnessed a ceremony so seldom seen
in its beautiful entirety. Mgr. Mermillod was throughout the summer
our frequent guest at the villa, and as we purposed staying through
the winter as well, he promised to accompany us to Annecy, in Savoy,
to visit S. Francis of Sales' tomb and other places hallowed by his
memory, on his own feast (29th of January). We started on the eve in
two or three close carriages, with postilions. The road lay over a low
pass of the Savoy Alps; the cold was intense--such as we have never
felt in any other temperate climate in Europe, and which nothing but
the unexpectedly rigorous winters of the Northern States have surpassed
in our American experience. The road was lined with trees, and valleys
here and there opened a vista which in summer must have been gorgeous.
It was scarcely less lovely now. Each slender twig was sharply defined,
and covered with a clinging garment of frost; the white mist wreathed
itself round the mountain-tops, falling down the river-sides like
shadowy waterfalls, and, mingling with the white sky overhead, formed,
as it were, a vast dome of snow. No noise disturbed the silence save
the creaking wheels of our vehicles, and as far as eye could reach
there was no sign of life but our own presence. We might have been in
cloud-land, or below the surface of the ocean, among hedges of gigantic
white coral! After two hours of this elf-like journey, we came to a
ravine over which was thrown an iron suspension bridge, and here the
intensely earthly resumed its dominion and made itself clearly felt
in the prosaic necessity of paying toll and listening to profane
language, rendered yet more uncouth by the Savoyard _patois_.

Annecy is a little, old-fashioned town, with a cathedral in not much
better taste than the church of Thonon. The place wears a deserted
look, and, the cold being terrible, yet fewer of the inhabitants cared
to be seen loitering in the public squares. We adjourned first to the
inn (we fear modern pilgrims are less fervent than of old), but could
get no fire. Grates are unknown, and a miserable stove, badly managed
and half filled, is the starveling and inefficient substitute. The
old inn was a characteristic place. We went through the kitchen, the
general meeting and _table-d'hôte_ room, to our upper chambers. The
staircase was wide enough for a palace, of beautiful carved oak, as
was all the wood-work in the house. The next morning the bishop said
Mass for us at the shrine of S. Francis. The building of greatest
interest after this is the Convent of the Visitation, a rambling house
with a large kitchen-garden, which we crossed to reach it. We were
shown, through a double grating (the Visitation nuns are enclosed),
the various relics which form the spiritual wealth of the convent.
They have the original manuscript of S. Francis' _Treatise on the
Love of God_ written by his own hand, the pen with which he wrote it,
and a shirt embroidered for him by S. Jeanne Françoise de Chantal.
In the lower part of the house, corresponding to the position of a
cellar, is a little chapel partly hewn in the rock, which serves as
the foundation, where S. Francis gave the veil to S. Jane and one
companion, or rather, blessed the first semi-religious costume which
the founders of the order wore. This consisted of a black gown and
cape, and a large, close, white cap in one piece covering the neck and
shoulders as well as the head. This house then belonged to S. Jane in
her own right. In the chapel to the right of the altar is a picture of
her in this dress, and on the other side a description of the simple
ceremony. Later on, when the order was constituted, the dress became
thoroughly monastic, as it has remained ever since. The cell of S. Jane
is exactly as she left it; not made into a regular chapel, but, on days
connected with her memory or that of S. Francis, Mass is said there at
a temporary altar. Her cloak is kept in a press in the room, and one
of us was privileged in having it thrown over her shoulders for a few
minutes by the superioress. The order is not at all austere, but there
is an immense deal of moral sacrifice imposed by the spirit of the
rule. S. Francis designed it rather as a discipline of the mind than of
the body; and since saints have differed about this point, we are not
at a sufficient elevation to pronounce upon it. Individually, however,
we prefer the spirit of the older and more ascetic orders, as involving
a more complete oblation of the whole being to God; but--to every age
its own institutions, and, we might add, its own saints.

Mgr. Mermillod is surely one of those saints of our day. Indefatigable
in preaching (once the distinctive duty of a bishop), his own flock
sometimes complain, not without reason, that he is always away,
preaching a retreat here, a mission there--Lent in Paris, Advent at
Lyons, etc.; but in the winter of 1866, he fortunately preached five
_conférences_ at S. Germain, at Geneva itself. The church was in the
old, hilly part of the town, but neither that nor the difficulty of
approach--the frost made steep roads impassable that winter, and even
the cabs went on runners--seemed to diminish the ardor of the people.
All denominations were represented at these evening lectures, and
the subject was invariably one accessible to the understanding and
commanding the interest of all. One, on the regeneration of fallen
man, was peculiarly fine; but the arguments were perhaps inferior to
the language in which they were clothed. It wound up with a forcible
peroration on that "brutal and atheistical democracy which, in its
most hideous exponent (the French Revolution of 1793), prostrated
itself before a courtesan, and knelt before a scaffold. When the
worship of God perished, the worship of shame was the substitute; and
when the blood of God ceased to flow upon the altar, the blood of man
began to flow on the guillotine." The orator's enthusiasm in speaking
sometimes carried him beyond his argument, and he even lost the thread
of his similes in the ardor of his utterance. His watch invariably
stopped before he had been twenty minutes in the pulpit, and this
_entraînement_ was all the more vivid from being quite spontaneous, as
he never wrote his sermons, but preached extempore from a few scattered
notes. How much study he must have gone through at a previous time to
make him so polished, as well as so forcible, an orator, we can only
conjecture.

In ordinary social intercourse, his charm was chiefly sweetness and
sprightliness, with a certain happy diction which is a special gift,
seldom found except among Frenchmen or those to whom French has
become a second mother-tongue. Our long winter evenings at the Hôtel
de la Paix (the cold having driven us from the villa) were often
enlivened by his genial presence; other friends, too, came sometimes,
and one, a Russian and an acute thinker, M. S----, was one of the
most welcome. He was blind, but his infirmity only seemed to enhance
his powers of conversation, and made his company more agreeable than
it might otherwise have been. One night, the bishop was speaking of
Lamennais and his more hidden life. There were soul-struggles and
temptations assaulting him even in his chosen retreat of La Chênaie,
in the midst of his triumph, when the Christian youth of France
clustered round him, and sat at his feet as his humble disciples. He
sometimes fancied himself irretrievably destined to eternal loss,
and experienced paroxysms of terrible agony. The Abbé Gerbet, his
confessor, once surprised him in one of these fits of despair, and did
his best to strengthen and comfort him; but the demon was not to be
laid so easily. The bishop, telling us this, added: "The three greatest
geniuses of France in this age have fallen, the one through pride, the
others through vanity--Lamennais, Victor Hugo, and Lamartine." The
conversation having rested upon these two failings, some one quoted the
saying that "The greater part of mankind is incapable of rising to the
level of pride." A Russian lady who was present then said: "Indeed,
one ought to have a great deal of pride to save one's self from petty
vanity."

Thereupon M. S---- quickly remarked: "Oh! therefore, we should burn
down a city to prevent fires." Our Russian friend was very sharp at
repartee. Another evening, when he brought with him a young German,
the conversation fell upon Duke Ernest of Saxe-Coburg, Prince Albert's
brother. He had lately had an immense forest awarded to him as damages
for some losses sustained during the Austro-Prussian war of the
previous summer; so S----said:

"There are people who make arrows out of any wood, but he has contrived
to make wood out of any arrow." This is a French rendering of "'Tis
an ill wind that blows no one good"; but the connection in this case
between an arrow, a weapon typical of the war, and the wood, or forest
gained in compensation, is better expressed by the French form.[85]
Later on, some one remarked that in that war the telegraph had been
_Prussianized_ throughout Germany; and when the young German, S----
's friend, was trying to give us an idea of Duke Ernest's ticklish
position, S---- interrupted:

"Yes, yes; I know what you mean; in short, he played the part ... of
the telegraph!"

Mgr. Mermillod had a winning way of turning everything into a moral,
and at the same time giving balm to a rebuke and strength to a counsel.
For instance, one day, as he visited a sick penitent of his, whose
mental energy was for ever soaring beyond her physical capabilities, he
said:

"You will do more good on your sick-bed than you could in the best
of health in the London _salons_. Remember that Our Blessed Lord lay
but three hours stretched upon the cross, and thereby converted the
world; while, during his three years' ministry, he scarcely converted a
handful of Jews."

On New Year's Eve, 1866-7, gave us a few little books of devotion as
a souvenir, and then, making the sign of the cross on each of our
foreheads, said:

"Here are crosses to disperse the crosses of 1866 and frighten away
those of 1867."

Another time, on one of his penitents going to him with a load of
doubt, uneasiness, almost despair, he gave her the wisest and gentlest
counsels, after which he said sympathizingly, comprehending the whole
in a dozen words:

"I understand, my child; you go from one extreme to another--from
sadness to laughter, from melancholy to irony."

Once when some one in his presence expressed a wish that all priests
were like him, he answered humbly: "My dear child, every priest is in
some sort an incarnation of the Spirit of God."[86]

It is sad to think of Geneva without the presence of its pastor, so
admirably fitted as he is to carry on the work of S. Francis and
execute the designs of God in this important see. The faith is most
vigorous just where the attack is hottest, and it is on the missionary
bishoprics, flung thus into the warring bosoms of non-Catholic nations,
that, humanly speaking, the future--and let us say the triumph--of the
church very much depends.

With such internal bulwarks as the Benedictine secretary of Mgr.
Mermillod represents, and such external champions as the eloquent,
energetic, and enlightened bishop himself, it is not too much to say
that not even the faintest heart has reason to dread the fall of the
rock-built citadel of Peter.

FOOTNOTES:

[84] _Following of Christ_, b. 1. c. xx. v. 2.

[85] The original proverb sounds less ponderously: "Il en est qui font
flèche de tout bois, mai lui, il a fait bois de toute flèche."

[86] The Catholic reader will not misunderstand the still more forcible
original: "Tous les prêtres c'est une petite incarnation du bon Dieu."



CATHOLIC LITERATURE IN ENGLAND SINCE THE REFORMATION.


It is not surprising that Catholic literature was at a low ebb for
many years after Henry VIII., of evil memory. Deprived of the means of
knowledge in their own country under Edward VI., Elizabeth, and James
I., Catholics were compelled to seek education abroad in colleges
where they forgot their mother-tongue and the writers of their native
land. As to their brethren who remained at home, it was dangerous for
them even to possess books, and they seldom had time or opportunity to
make themselves acquainted with their contents. A prayer-book, black
with use and carefully secreted, was all the library of those who were
liable at any moment to be ferreted out of vaults and wainscots, and
hanged, drawn, and quartered for believing in the Papal supremacy. The
Puritan movement in the time of Charles I. and the Commonwealth was
highly unfavorable to literature in general; and the Catholics who
joined the royal standard were more anxious to wield the sword than
the pen. But the fewer the authors who broke the long literary silence
of the Catholic body in England, the more their names deserve to be
cherished. We will endeavor, therefore, to make a _catena auctorum_,
and to offer a few comments on each link in the chain. Though all of
them were Catholics at some period or other of their lives, they were
not all persistent in their faith nor exemplary in their practice. It
will be understood that they are cited in their literary capacity, and
not as saints, martyrs, and confessors in a calendar.

Robert Southwell, however, must head the list, as he was both author
and martyr. He published many volumes in prose and verse, though his
life was closed prematurely in his thirty-fifth year. Educated at
Douay, he labored in England eight years during Elizabeth's reign.
He was a member of the Society of Jesus, and he touched the hearts
of his suffering brethren by his tender and plaintive verse. _S.
Peter's Complaint, with Other Poems_, appeared in 1593, and _Mœoniæ,
or Certaine Excellent Poems and Spirituall Hymnes_, in 1595, the year
in which he was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn, under a false
charge of being engaged in a political movement. His real offence
was that of the Bishop of Ermeland and the Jesuits of Germany in the
present day--his allegiance in spiritual matters to the authority
of the Holy See. Robert Southwell's memory is still cherished in
England, and it is not long since selections from his poems were read
to a crowded audience in Hanover Square Rooms, London, by the Rev. F.
Christie, S.J. They do not rise high in poetic merit, but they are full
of noble, just, and devout sentiments. "Time Goes by Turns" is found in
most collections of British poetry. The following are the last stanzas
of his "Conscience":

    "No change of fortune's calms
      Can cast my comforts down;
    When fortune smiles, I smile to think
      How quickly she will frown.

    "And when in froward mood
      She moves an angry foe,
    Small gain I find to let her come,
      Less loss to let her go."

Religious writings--sermons, meditations, and even works of
controversy--had more importance, in a literary point of view, in
Queen Elizabeth's reign than they have now. At that time, people read
little; books were few and dear. Books of piety cultivated the mind,
though used chiefly to edify the heart. They exercised many persons in
the art of reading, who, but for that branch of literature, would have
read nothing at all. They kept up a habit which was good on secular
grounds, apart from the higher spiritual consideration. Looked upon
in this light, the tracts and letters of such holy men as Campion,
Persons, and Allen (afterwards cardinal) had a twofold value. Edmund
Campion was an accomplished scholar. He received his education at S.
John's, Oxford, and being courteous and refined, as well as clever, he
was universally beloved. After leaving college, he went to Ireland,
and wrote a history of that country, which was highly esteemed. Having
been reconciled to the church, he repaired to the new college at Douay,
that he might there study theology; and after following the usual
course, he was admitted into the Society of Jesus, and sent to England
to comfort and strengthen his brethren who were contending for the
faith. His friendship for Persons, his publication of a work written
by that father, entitled _Reasons for not Going to Church_ (that is,
to the parish Protestant church), and the seizure of a private press,
which a Catholic gentleman had given to the friends, that they might
work off edifying books and tracts, led to his apprehension. He was
dragged through the streets of London, with a paper fixed on his hat,
stigmatizing him as "Campion, the seditious Jesuit" (July, 1581),
and being tried for treason, of which he was quite guiltless, he was
barbarously executed, after suffering the most horrible tortures. The
life of Cardinal Allen, if carefully written, would be an important
addition to English Catholic literature, and involve numerous
particulars of thrilling interest respecting the political and domestic
history of the times. His writings lie in the border-land between
theology and politics. His _Apology or Defence of the Jesuits and
Seminarists_ was a reply, written in 1582, to the proclamations of the
government which denounced the Catholic priests as traitors. Persons
engaged in the same controversy, dwelling chiefly on the dogmatic and
practical side of the question. All honor to these heroes of the cross,
whom literature as well as religion claims as her own!

In placing "Rare Ben Jonson" among Catholic authors, it is not meant
to claim him altogether as one of the church's children. In early
youth, he bore arms and served a campaign in the Low Countries. His
troop being disbanded, he took to the stage; but a hot temper often
led him into brawls, and in one of these he had the misfortune to
kill a brother actor. Being in prison, he contracted an intimacy with
a fellow-prisoner, a Catholic priest, which ended in his conversion.
During twelve years he remained a Catholic, and then returned to the
Established Church. It was the only pathway to worldly success, and he
became a favorite with James I., as Shakespeare had been with Queen
Elizabeth. We name them together, for, indeed, they were rivals; yet
what a difference between the texture and the productions of their
brains! Ben Jonson was made poet-laureate, and wrote comedies and
masques without number. Here and there we find in his works noble
sentiments worthily expressed, as in that classical drama, _Catiline's
Conspiracy_. We find also rhythmical sweetness, as in the song, "To
Celia,"

"Drink to me only with thine eyes,"

and in the "Hymn to the Moon,"

"Queen and huntress, chaste and fair."

Now and then he touches a more sacred chord, and such as might suit a
Catholic lyre, as in the following hymn:

    "Hear me, O God!
      A broken heart
      Is my best part.
    Use still thy rod,
      That I may prove
      Therein thy love.

    "If thou hadst not
      Been stern to me,
      But left me free,
    I had forgot
      Myself and thee;

    "For sin's so sweet,
      As minds ill bent
      Rarely repent,
    Until they meet
      Their punishment."

The way had been prepared for Ben Jonson's success as a dramatist--not
to speak now of Shakespeare, Beaumont and Fletcher, Massinger, and
Marlowe--by the miracle plays or mysteries of the middle ages, similar
to those which are acted at the present time among the Indians in
Mexico, and the famous Ammergau, or Passion Play, in Bavaria. In
these plays, _The Fall of Man_, _The Death of Abel_, _The Flood_,
_Lazarus_, _Pilate's Wife's Dream_, _St. Catharine's Wheel_, and the
like, were brought on the stage with the approbation of the clergy,
in order that they might bring home the mysteries of the faith to
people's heart and imagination, and supply in some measure the place
of books. The miracle plays had been succeeded in time by moral plays,
which, from the early part of Henry VI.'s long reign, had represented
apologues, not histories, by means of allegorical characters. Vices and
Virtues, however, did not stand their ground long at the theatre. They
gradually changed into beings less vague and shadowy, who, while they
represented vices or virtues in the concrete, had, in addition, the
charm of resembling real life.

Richard Crashaw's fame as a poet rests mainly on one line, and that in
Latin; nor was the rest of his poetry of sufficient force and merit to
enable him always to retain the credit of that single line. It has over
and over again been attributed to Dryden and other hands. Yet it is
positively his, and a poem in itself. It is to be found in a volume of
Latin poems published by Crashaw in the year in which he graduated at
Cambridge (1635). The line is a pentameter--on the miracle at Cana of
Galilee--and consists of two dactyls, a spondee, and two anapests. It
is often quoted inaccurately, but we give it exactly:

      _Nympha pudica Deum vidit, et erubuit._
    "The modest water saw its God, and blushed."

The author's mind was devotional from his earliest years. He had always
been hearing about religion; for his father preached at the Temple,
and took part largely in the controversies of the day. There was one
favorable feature in the religious polemics of that period--both
sides professed belief in God and in the Christian religion; now our
warfare is with atheists, deists, pantheists, positivists, with whom
we have scarcely any common ground. After his election as a Fellow of
Peterhouse in 1637--about the time that Hampden, Pym, and Cromwell
himself were embarking for New England, and were forcibly detained from
sailing--he became noted in the university as a preacher, and passed
so much of his time in devotion that the author of the preface to his
poems says: "He lodged under Tertullian's roof of angels. There he made
his nest more gladly than David's swallow near the house of God. There,
like a primitive saint, he offered more prayers in the night than
others usually offer in the day. There he penned these poems: _Steps
for Happy Souls to climb to Heaven by_."

In 1644, sorrow came to his calm nest; and as he would not sign
the covenant, he was driven from the university he loved and from
surroundings increasingly dear. Accomplished in Hebrew, Greek, Latin,
Italian, and Spanish, skilled in drawing, music, and engraving, he
was still more noted for his talent in the higher art of poetry. He
belonged to what is called the fantastic school of Cowley, which is
full of conceits. But "conceits" are often original and beautiful ideas
quaintly expressed. The poetry of conceits was a reflex of the times,
and is, with all its faults, far preferable to classic platitudes in
flowing verse.

The overthrow of the Church of England by the Commonwealth was to
Crashaw a cause of poignant regret. He could no longer bear to look on
the towers and spires of venerable churches given over into the hands
of bawling, nasal Puritans. He quitted England, and, crossing the
Channel, found that, in France, he was a member of no church at all.
His own communion was extinct, and he was a stranger to the Catholic
Church, before whose altars he now stood as an alien. But he had taken
up his residence in France, and it was not long before he decided
on embracing the faith which that land prized as its most precious
heritage. After the decisive battle of the Civil War had been fought at
Naseby, the poet Cowley, who was an ardent royalist, visited Paris, and
found Crashaw in great distress. He represented his case to Henrietta
Maria, the exiled queen of England, and presented him to her. He
received kindness from her majesty, and letters of recommendation to
her friends in Italy. Having made his way to Rome, he became secretary
to one of the cardinals, and was subsequently appointed canon of the
church of Our Lady at Loretto. Here he resided during the remainder of
his days, and died "a poet and a saint" (as Cowley calls him) in 1650,
the year after the execution of Charles I.

Two years after his death, a volume of his posthumous poems was
published; and his memory was honored by Cowley in what Thomas Arnold
calls "one of the most loving and beautiful elegies ever written."
His _Steps to the Temple: Sacred Poems, and other Delights of the
Muses_, which appeared in 1646, had reached a second edition before his
decease, and a third was published in 1670. In 1785, his entire poems
were published in London, and included a translation of part of the
_Sospetto di Herode_ of Marini. His style resembled that of Herbert,
and a few lines breathing a Catholic spirit shall be quoted from his
works. It is called _A Hymn to the Nativity_:

    "Gloomy night embraced the place
      Where the noble Infant lay:
    The babe looked up, and showed his face--
      In spite of darkness, it was day.

    "We saw thee in thy balmy nest,
      Bright dawn of our eternal day.
    We saw thine eyes break from the east,
      And chase the trembling shades away.
    We saw thee, and we blessed the sight:
    _We saw thee by thine own sweet light_.

    "She sings thy tears asleep, _and dips
      Her kisses in thy weeping eye;
    She spreads the red leaves of thy lips_
      That in their buds yet blushing lie.
    Yet when young April's husband-showers
      Shall bless the faithful Maia's bed,
    We'll bring the first-born of her flowers
      To kiss thy feet and crown thy head:
    To thee, dread Lamb! whose love must keep
    The shepherds while they feed their sheep."

Sir William Davenant was another poet-convert to the Catholic Church,
and his conversion took place nearly at the same time as Crashaw's.
Like that poet, also, he was in the favor of Queen Henrietta Maria
during her exile in France. His life was full of adventure. As a
child, he was acquainted with Shakespeare, who frequented the Crown
Inn in the Corn Market, Oxford, kept by his father. That father rose
to be mayor, and William entered at Lincoln College. Leaving Oxford
without a degree, he became page to the Duchess of Richmond, and
subsequently was attached to the household of the poet, Lord Brooke.
Exhibiting a decided talent for dramatic composition, he was employed
to write masques for the court of Charles I. These light plays, of
which Milton's _Comus_ is the best specimen ever produced, were highly
popular, and served for private theatricals in the mansions and castles
of lords and princes. William Davenant had fame enough to be celebrated
in his time, and to be made poet-laureate when Ben Jonson died; but his
writings had not body of thought, original conception, or sweetness of
expression enough to preserve them long from oblivion. His ballad, "My
Lodging is on the Cold Ground," seems to have had more of the principle
of life in it than anything else he wrote. During the Civil War, like
many other authors, he flung aside his books, and girded on the sword.
He was then known as General Davenant, and he negotiated in the king's
name with his majesty's friends in Paris. Twice captured, and having
twice escaped to France, he nevertheless returned, took part in the
siege of Gloucester, and was knighted by the king for his services on
that critical occasion. In 1646, we find him in France, in the service
of the exiled Queen of England, attending Mass, and conforming to the
discipline of the Catholic Church. Living in the Louvre with Lord
Jermyn, he had once more leisure to cultivate his taste for poetry.
There he began writing his longest poem, and a very tedious production
it is.

But his versatile mind was now occupied by a new scheme. He promoted an
emigration of colonists from France to Virginia, and, having embarked
for the distant settlement, the ship in which he was sailing fell into
the hands of one of Cromwell's cruisers. He was captured and taken to
Cowes Castle, and is said to have escaped trial for his life through
the kind intercession of his brother poet, Milton. It was not till
after two years of imprisonment that he regained his liberty; and
when at last he did so, all his efforts were directed to a revival
of dramatic performances, which the austere Puritans had entirely
suppressed. He succeeded at last in establishing a theatre, and,
gaining support by degrees, he ultimately restored the regular drama.
With the return of Charles II. his difficulties ended. King and people
alike heaped their favors on him. He died at his house, in Lincoln's
Inn Fields, in 1668, and was buried with distinction in Westminster
Abbey. He was very handsome, of ready wit and a singularly fertile
mind; but it is to be supposed that his attachment to the Catholic
religion was not by any means a prominent feature in his character and
career.

Like several of those already mentioned, John Dryden is but an
imperfect link in the chain of English Catholic authors since the
Reformation. It was not till a late period of his life that he entered
the true church, but he lived long enough to impress on his works a
decidedly Catholic stamp. Indeed, _The Hind and the Panther_, published
in 1687, some months after his conversion, was looked upon as a defence
of Catholicism. The hind represented the Roman Church, and the panther
the Church of England. It was a singular circumstance, to which, so
far as we have observed, attention has never been drawn, that three
poets-laureate in succession, Ben Jonson, Sir William Davenant, and
Dryden, were converts to Catholicity. The life of the last of these
poets was too long and too eventful to allow of our recalling even the
chief occurrences by which it was marked. Suffice it to say that before
he was twenty-eight years old he had passed from Westminster School to
Trinity College, Cambridge, and had acted as secretary to his kinsman,
Sir Gilbert Pickering, who stood high in the Protector's favor,
and went by the name of "Noll's Lord Chamberlain." On the death of
Cromwell, Dryden wrote an elegy upon him, which was also a eulogy; and
soon after the Restoration, he commenced writing for the stage coarse
comedies and stilted tragedies. Married to a daughter of the Earl of
Berkshire, he was appointed poet-laureate, with £200 a year. This was
in 1670, the tenth year of the reign of his licentious majesty, Charles
II.

When that sovereign expired (having been reconciled on his death-bed
to the Catholic Church), Dryden eulogized him as he had eulogized
Cromwell, and in the same poem turned with alacrity to the praises
of James II. Nor was it long before he embraced the religion of the
Duke of York. The motives which induced him to take this step have
often been made the subject of debate. The authority of Lord Macaulay
is constantly adduced in support of Dryden's venality and insincere
conversion. But in opposition to this, it must be remembered that
Dr. Johnson and Sir Walter Scott arrived at a different conclusion.
The latter biographer of Dryden contends that the poet's writings
contain internal evidence of his convictions having been in complete
accordance with the step he took, and that many external circumstances
contributed to make it easy for him to act in the way he thought right.
Duty and interest are not always at variance; and if Dryden gained by
the change in the first instance, when James II. was on the throne, he
lost eventually many temporal advantages. Having refused to take the
oaths of allegiance or forsake his religion, he was dismissed, under
William III., from his offices of poet-laureate and historiographer; he
had the mortification of seeing Shadwell, the dramatist, whom he had
often ridiculed, promoted to wear his laurel; and for the rest of his
life, he was more or less harassed by the ills of poverty. He educated
his children in the faith which he had embraced, and they showed the
strongest signs of heartfelt attachment to the person of the Sovereign
Pontiff and the church of which he is the head. One of them entered a
religious order, another was usher of the palace to Pope Clement XI.
In writing to them both in September, 1697, Dryden said: "I flatter
not myself with any manner of hopes, but do my duty and suffer for
God's sake, being assured beforehand never to be rewarded, even though
the times should alter.... Remember me to poor Harry, whose prayers I
earnestly desire.... I never can repent of my constancy, since I am
thoroughly persuaded of the justice of the cause for which I suffer."
This is not the language of one who had sold himself for a pension of
£100 a year. Dryden did not, like Chillingworth, return after a time to
the Established Church. He died in the religion of his choice, and many
of his poems, particularly the paraphrase of the _Veni Creator_, and
the two odes on St. Cecilia's Day, breathe alike the devotion and the
well-ordered ideas of a Catholic. There is much force in the closing
line of this stanza:

    "Refine and clear our earthly parts,
    But, oh! inflame and fire our hearts!
    Our frailties help, our vice control;
    Submit the senses to the soul;
    And when rebellious they are grown,
    Then lay thy hand, _and hold them down_."

When Dryden, in _The Hind and the Panther_, describes the different
Protestant sects, he very naturally gives the preference to the Church
of England, and speaks of her with a becoming tenderness, she having
been the church in which he was nurtured:

    "The panther, sure the noblest next the hind,
    And fairest creature of the spotted kind,
    Oh! could her inborn stains be washed away,
    She were too good to be a beast of prey!
    How can I praise or blame, and not offend,
    Or how divide the frailty from the friend?
    Her faults and virtues lie so mixed that she
    Not wholly stands condemned, nor wholly free.
    Then like her injured lion (James II.) let me speak,
    He cannot bend her, and he would not break.
    If, as our dreaming Platonists report,
    There could be spirits of a middle sort.
    Too black for heaven, and yet too white for hell,
    Who just dropped half-way down, nor lower fell;
    So poised, so gently she descends from high,
    It seems a soft demission from the sky."

Dryden's successor on the throne of letters in England was Alexander
Pope, who was also a Catholic, though not a convert. His father, a
linen merchant of Lombard Street, London, was a Catholic before him,
and had been led to embrace the faith by a residence in Lisbon. His
were the days of penal laws and various disabilities, among which
was exclusion from the public schools and universities. Alexander's
education, therefore, was private, and not of a first-rate kind. He
may almost be called a self-taught man. He had seen Dryden when a boy,
and he knew Wycherley, the dramatist, who is here mentioned because
he was in the number of those who adopted the Catholic profession
under the auspices of James II. Wycherley was, as Arnold calls him,
"a somewhat battered and worn-out relic of the gay reign of Charles
II." Macaulay has little respect for him, for the very reason that he
could interest us--because he became a Catholic. He styles him "the
most licentious and hard-hearted writer of a singularly licentious and
hard-hearted school." But the gentle Charles Lamb was more indulgent
to his memory and his works. "I do not know," he says, in the _Essays
of Elia_, "how it is with others, but I feel the better always for
the perusal of one of Congreve's--nay, why should I not add even of
Wycherley's?--comedies. I am the gayer, at least, for it; and I could
never connect those sports of a witty fancy in any shape with any
result to be drawn from them to imitation in real life. They are a
world of themselves almost as much as fairyland."

We will not pause to discuss the soundness of this criticism; we have
to do with Pope, and chiefly with his religious character. No one can
read his "Dying Christian's Hymn," beginning,

"Vital spark of heavenly flame,"

without being convinced that the author was capable of the deepest
religious feeling. The times were not favorable to a Catholic poet,
nor is it in Pope's writings that we must look for the strongest
evidence of his faith. The "Letter of Eloisa to Abelard," indeed,
could hardly have been written by a Protestant; but it says nothing
of his personal religion. We find, however, by his correspondence
with Racine and others, that though infidelity and gallantry were the
fashion of his day, he was known among his friends as a _Papist_,
and that he speaks of himself as such unreservedly. The words of Dr.
Johnson on this subject are as follows: "The religion in which he
lived and died was that of the Church of Rome.... He professes himself
a sincere adherent.... It does not appear that his principles were ever
corrupted, or that he ever lost his belief of revelation.... After the
priest had given him the last sacraments, he died in the evening of the
30th day of May, 1744."

It is pleasing to reflect that this illustrious poet, so distinguished
by his deep thought, his affluent imagery, his pathos, his scathing
satire and matchless versification, recoiled in his solitude and
sickness from the false philosophy of his friends, and closed his weary
and painful existence at the foot of the cross; that he departed hence,
not only with laurels on his brow, but with the Viaticum on his lips
and the church's blessing on his drooping head. But it was not at the
awful hour of death merely that he began to prize the religion which
England proscribed. There is a little anecdote related of him which
shows that he had a distinct and warm feeling on the subject long
before he came face to face with the last enemy. He and Mrs. Blount had
been invited on one occasion to stay with Mr. Allen, at Prior Park,
near Bath, on a visit. Pope left the house for a short time to go to
Bristol; and while he was absent, it happened that Mrs. Blount, who was
a Catholic as well as himself, wished to attend Mass in the chapel in
Bath, and requested the use of Mr. Allen's chariot for that purpose.
But her host, at that time being mayor of the city, had a decided
objection to his carriage being seen at the doors of such a place, and
begged to be excused lending it. Mrs. Blount felt deeply offended at
this time-serving, and, when Pope returned, told him her feelings on
the subject. The poet was so incensed at this offence offered to his
religion and his friend that he, and Mrs. Martha Blount too, abruptly
quitted the house.

There is, happily, no need of our contending for the places which
Dryden and Pope should occupy among literary celebrities. Their
attachment to Catholicism at a time when it was especially distasteful
to the English people--during the reigns, we mean, of William the
Third and Queen Anne--did not detract from the popularity of their
writings even while they lived. The striking genius of Dryden as
a translator, his racy language and manly style, have been fully
appreciated by posterity; and if we put Pope above him in the rank of
poets, it is because we discover in the latter more profound philosophy
and rhythmical sweetness. He enjoyed, too, an advantage over his
distinguished predecessor in that he was not a convert, but had from
childhood been imbued with the doctrines of the ancient faith. The
Catholic system, even more than he knew, lent force and color to his
imagination, restrained his philosophic speculations within orthodox
bounds, and imparted a certain majesty and consistency to his verse,
even when it was concerned with purely secular topics. It had done the
like for Dante, Chaucer, Calderon, and Corneille before him, and it has
done the like since for Thomas Moore, as we shall endeavor to show in a
future number.

                            TO BE CONTINUED.



CATHOLIC YOUNG MEN'S ASSOCIATIONS.


The saying is becoming almost trite that the Catholic Church has done
wonders in this country. Its rapid rise, growth, and spread are little
short of miraculous. Half a century ago, the church was scarcely known
here, save in a misty way, as something very remote and powerless.
To-day it stands up as a factor to be counted in American polity.
It points to its five or six millions of believers. It points to
its cathedrals, its magnificent churches, its splendid educational
establishments, its parochial schools, its illustrious hierarchy, its
active and zealous priesthood, its religious orders and societies
of men and women, its lay associations for various pious purposes,
its newspapers, and its multiplying writers. It has seized upon the
very genius of this new people. It lags not behind, but keeps apace
with their enterprise; and scarcely are the piles driven in for the
building of a new city or town than the cross is seen above the growing
settlement.

Protestants have recognized this fact. They are daily bearing witness
to its truth. It is but recently that the press, secular and religious,
was alive with a discussion on "The Decline of Protestantism," here, in
this very land. And the two foes that Protestantism had most to dread
were, as all agreed, the one from without--Catholicity; the other from
within--infidelity. It was expected the Evangelical Council would take
into consideration the same subject: the best means to be adopted in
order to beat off those two terrible foes--Catholicity and infidelity.

All this is well. It is well that the foes of the church should
themselves testify to the irrepressible spread of the truth; that
they should cut the dividing lines so clearly between Catholicity and
infidelity--their Scylla and Charybdis, either of which is destruction
to them. It is well that the men who within living memory despised
the church should now come forward and testify that that church has
conquered them. That they themselves should thus bear witness to the
spread of Catholicity and the corresponding decline of Protestantism is
flattering enough, if mere human feeling were allowed to enter into a
question which involves man's eternal salvation; but it is well, also,
that Catholics lay not too flattering unction to their souls.

They may occasionally point with pardonable pride to their swelling
numbers and all that has been indicated above; but at the same time,
it would be a fatal mistake to imagine that everything has now been
done for the church of God; that it has nothing to do but run on
smoothly in the eternal grooves fixed for it, sweeping triumphantly
through the country, and bearing away all in its track. A young and a
new Catholic generation is coming into possession. It does not know,
and can scarcely appreciate, at what terrible cost, after what long
and painful struggles, cathedral after cathedral, church after church,
college after college, school-house after school-house, were built. It
finds them there and is content, as an heir finds the woods and the
fields won inch by inch by the toil and the sweat of his father. If the
young generation would not squander its inheritance, would not see it
dissipated before its eyes, and slip away out of its nerveless grasp,
it must be up and doing while the morning of life is on it; tilling,
trenching, delving, casting out the weeds, watching for the enemy that
would sow tares among the wheat, that it may leave a larger, a richer,
and a brighter inheritance to its own children when it is gathered to
the soil of its fathers--the good soil consecrated by their bones.

Yes, a goodly inheritance has fallen upon the young Catholic generation
of America to-day; and a goodlier yet is in store, to be won by their
own endeavor. Never in this world's history was there a fairer field to
fight the battle of God in than in this great country; and never yet,
take them all in all, were there fairer foes and less favor to contend
against. But let it be borne well in mind, the battle is a severe one;
all the severer, perhaps, because the field is so open and Catholics
are so free. Here in America there is nothing of the glory of martyrdom
to sustain us--a glory that turns defeat into victory, and by one death
wins a thousand lives. Ours is not the clash of arms and of battle, but
of intellect. We have to reason our way along. The cry of "the decline
of Protestantism" is a cry well grounded. The churches are losing
their children. A reaction against Puritanism has set in as decided
and as disastrous in its results as that which set in in England on
the accession of Charles II. The children throw off even the gloomy
cloak of religion to which their fathers clung long after the many
deformities and defects it concealed had shone through the threadbare
garment. The thought of young America to-day is, "Let the doctors
wrangle about their creeds. All we know or care to know is that we have
life, and let us enjoy it while we may."

And thus the battle of the age is coming to be fought out among and
by the young--young America Catholic and young America non-Catholic.
True, our ranks are swelling daily, and nowadays principally by native
growth. The birth-rate, if classified as Catholic or non-Catholic,
is so strikingly in favor of the former as to attract the universal
attention of the medical faculty. Converts, too, crowd in upon us;
but, numerous as they are, they are only driblets compared to the vast
ocean that roars outside. Five or six millions is a mighty number; but
there are thirty millions or more left. Were it not remembered that
God, although the God of battles, is not always on the side of the big
battalions, our hearts might sicken at the mustering of the forces--our
six millions surrounded, absorbed, as it were, by that mighty army five
times greater, stretching away dim in its immensity, yet meeting us at
every turn, and, directly or indirectly, contesting stubbornly every
inch of ground.

It is true that they are broken whilst we are one. They fight under a
thousand different banners; and even while presenting a united front
against us, they are rending each other in the rear. The deserters from
our side are few--practically none--and such as do go become objects
of infamy even to those who make a show of welcoming them. But besides
the two directly opposing forces, Catholics, and Protestants of some
professed creed, there is a neutral ground, vaster than either, and
equally opposed to both--infidelity; and thither is young America
drifting.

And truly it looks a fair region for a young man to enter. There is
no constraint upon him beyond the pleasant burden, light to bear, of
fashionable etiquette. A dress-coat and a banker's account will pass
him anywhere. The man under the dress-coat does not matter much; and
the inquiry as to how the banking account came into his hands is not
scrupulously close. He will meet there the lights of modern science
and literature--men who can trace the motions of the world, and find
no Mover; who have sifted the ashes of nature, to find only matter;
who have analyzed the body of man, to find no soul in him; to whom
life is simply life, and death, death. There is the abode of wit, and
scoffing, and irreligion, and bold speculation, and the unshackled play
of the undisciplined intellect, and under it all the power to do as you
please, because you may believe as you please, provided you sin not
against the laws of etiquette.

Now, the work of the church is to break up that neutral ground, which,
indeed, is the most formidable of the day. It must keep its own young
men from being drawn thither, and win those that are there into its
bosom. But although in very truth the yoke of Christ is sweet and his
burden light, it takes a long time to impress that fact upon youth
in the heyday of life. And with all the power of the prayer of the
faithful, with the voice of the preacher, and the attractions of the
ceremonies of the church, there is no merely human agency to win
youth like youth itself; no sermon so powerful as the unspoken sermon
preached by a Christian young man, set in the midst of a world that
practically knows not Christianity. And this is one great point of the
present article.

Our young men and young women who mix daily in the army occupying
that neutral territory of infidelity are, or may be made, our best
missionaries. There the voice of the preacher never or rarely
penetrates. His voice is as "the voice of one crying in the
wilderness." But though the preacher's words may not reach there, the
effect of his words may be visible in the conduct of those whom his
words do reach--the Catholic youth who live and move in the daily world.

Hitherto this point has been, perhaps necessarily, much neglected.
Catholics have not half utilized their forces. They have not made
use enough of the young. Indeed, the work of reclaiming them at all
has been a severe one, and is still far from even the full means of
accomplishment; for it may here be noted how Protestants cling to the
godless school system, though many of their best thinkers and leading
organs acknowledge that a system of education founded on no faith at
all must naturally produce scholars of no faith at all. But it is time
for Catholics to see that if they would not only keep their own--hold
fast to the inheritance that their fathers bequeathed them--but also
win more, something more definite must be done to hold together the
young, and unite them in one common cause. If you want missionaries,
you must educate them. If you wish the young to be Catholic, not on the
Sunday only, but always, you must take the proper means to that end.

Our meaning is this: Catholicity must not be confined to the churches
only. Half an hour's Mass weekly is undoubtedly a great deal when
rightly heard; but it is, after all, only a portion of the spiritual
food necessary to carry a man safely through the week. The poison of
the atmosphere of utter worldliness that our young people breathe can
only be counteracted by an antagonistic Catholic atmosphere; and this
can only be created by having Catholic centres of attraction under
church auspices, where Catholics may meet occasionally to converse, to
read, to hear a lecture, or to amuse themselves in a healthful manner.

It is not long since, at the "commencement season," we were listening
to the young orators of the graduating classes of our various
educational establishments. Kind eyes looked on as they poured forth
their eloquent ten minutes of benison on the heads of the comrades
they were leaving behind them. It was pleasant to hear the words of
wisdom, of eloquence, and the soundest morality fall from their lips.
But the listeners, the admiring parents or friends, felt, nevertheless,
that their boys were speaking comparatively from "the safe side of the
hedge," and that it remained to be seen how far the good thoughts to
which they gave utterance on leaving the college would guide them and
rule them in the real battle of life that was only then about to begin.

What has become of the thousands of young men who have gone out and
continue to go out, year after year, from our colleges? For the most
part, they are lost to the eyes of those who trained their boyhood.
They may continue to hold fast by the principles they imbibed at
school, or they may not. In our large cities and towns, there are
always more or less of our Catholic college graduates, most of whom are
unknown to each other, or rarely meet. How different would it be had
they places in which to assemble! Something has been done to meet this
very striking want. Very many churches have attached to them this or
that young men's association, devoted generally to literary pursuits;
but for the most part, these excellent associations have not effected
much; not because they have not the right spirit and energy, but purely
from lack of organization, from not knowing exactly what to do or
what not to do, from not being united with fellow-associations, and
generally from lack of funds.

In New York, for instance, where Catholics boast of half a million of
their creed; where they have so many magnificent churches, some of
them with very wealthy congregations; with so many wealthy Catholic
residents, professional men, and large business firms; with half a
dozen weekly newspapers or more--where are the young men? Where is our
Catholic hall, club, reading-room, library? Nowhere. Nevertheless,
there are, in one shape or form, numbers of associations of Catholic
youth scattered through the city, and greater numbers of Catholic youth
still who do not and will not join them, because they do not find in
them attraction enough.

Now, this is a thing worthy of being investigated closely, and remedied
speedily. We Catholics ought to be ashamed of ourselves to see what
the Protestants have done in the organization known as the Young Men's
Christian Association, with its splendid reading and meeting-rooms,
gymnasium, and lecture-hall, where the ablest lecturers of the world
hold forth and draw the crowds of the city to hear them. Nor does this
association stop here. It has multiplied itself, not only throughout
the city, but throughout the country. Branch houses are covering the
whole land; and, whatever may be its present or its future, it is
certainly admirable in conception and organization. Its honor and
reputation rest in its own hands.

There is only one association to which the Catholics of New York,
speaking generally, can point as having achieved something; as not
purely local, but general, in its character; as, in fact, a success,
though it is still struggling almost in its infancy. This is the
Xavier Alumni Sodality and its correlative, the Xavier Union. That
admirable association, the Catholic Union, is designedly omitted from
the present article, which deals only with the young men.

The Xavier Alumni Sodality was established in New York on December 8,
1863. It was intended originally, as its name implies, for graduates
and ex-students of the College of S. Francis Xavier. It began with
about half a dozen members. It gradually and very wisely widened
its scope so as to take in the alumni of any Catholic college who
might choose to join, as also merchants in business and professional
men. Its objects may best be set forth by quoting from the printed
"Constitution":

  "I. The encouragement of virtue, Christian piety, and devotion
  to the Blessed Virgin among educated Catholic gentlemen, the
  perpetuation of friendships formed by them during their college
  life, and the promotion of Catholic interests.

  "II. The means to obtain this end shall be principally the daily
  practice of certain devotions, the frequent and worthy reception
  of the sacraments, and religious and social meetings at stated
  intervals."

In the following sections of the "By-laws" we find:

  "SEC. 14. On the Sunday following December 8, and on a Sunday
  during Easter-time, there shall be a general communion, at which
  all members shall be expected to assist. The first general
  communion shall be preceded by a Triduum, or three days' spiritual
  retreat.

  "SEC. 17. In case any member of the Sodality falls sick, the Rev.
  Father Director and the President (who is elected of and by the
  members) shall appoint one or more members to visit him.

  "SEC. 20. There shall be a Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul
  of a deceased member as soon after his death as convenient. The
  members of the Sodality are expected to assist at this Mass.

  "SEC. 22. There shall be a standing committee called the
  'Committee on Employment,' and consisting of the President and six
  members of the Sodality, appointed by him at the January meeting.
  [The members meet on the first Sunday of every month.] Its duties
  shall be to assist young men to procure mercantile or professional
  employment."

There are quite a number of special indulgences attached to the
Sodality, whose genuine worth and practical tendencies may be faintly
imagined from this short statement. Its effects, and the success
attained by it, may best be judged from the fact that the half a dozen
members of ten years ago have swollen to the number of over four
hundred, notwithstanding losses by death and by members leaving the
city. This number is being increased at every meeting; whilst out of
the Sodality has sprung the Xavier Union, which, though established
only two years ago, already numbers two hundred members.

To quote the "Preamble" of its printed "Constitution and By-laws"--

  "The Xavier Union was organized in March, 1871, by a number of
  gentlemen, members of the Xavier Alumni Sodality--a Society
  established in 1863, and having for its object the encouragement of
  virtue and Christian piety among the educated Catholic young men of
  this city [New York], and the promotion of Catholic interests by
  their united efforts.

  "From this body, in order to unite its members more intimately,
  better to carry out its objects, and to effect other desirable
  ends not strictly within the scope of a purely religious body, the
  Xavier Union has been formed.

  "This Union has in view both the mental and moral improvement of
  its members.

  "By a regular and proper representation of Catholic questions,
  by association with men of mature years and study, and by their
  frequent meetings with each other, it hopes to keep alive among its
  members a spirit of true Catholicity, and to encourage by example
  all Catholic young men in fidelity to the teachings and practices
  of their religion.

  "It further proposes to promote the study of good books, and to
  foster a taste for the sciences and arts; but it intends more
  especially to exert itself in awakening and keeping alive an
  interest in Catholic history and literature.

  "While pursuing these ends, it has in view the furnishing its
  members with every desirable means for their proper recreation,
  both of mind and body. Thus it hopes, by guarding youth against the
  temptations of youth itself, and withdrawing it from the no less
  insidious than dangerous associations of a city, to encourage our
  educated young men to a proper use of both mind and body, and to
  make them ambitious to be and do good, that they may exert that
  influence on society which is to them indeed a duty.

  "In furtherance of these objects, the Union shall, through its
  management, provide--

  "I. A library.

  "II. A reading-room having all desirable reviews and journals.

  "III. Literary and musical entertainments."

The best comment on these objects and the desirability of them is to
point to the success which has already attended this movement.

The Union, which is recruited exclusively from the Xavier Alumni
Sodality, rents for its use a building containing a reading-room,
reception-rooms, billiard-room, and a handsome library of six thousand
volumes. It is found already that the accommodations are far too small,
and a proposal is on foot to erect a building adequate to the growing
wants of the society, and containing a large hall for the giving of
lectures and for other purposes. The want of this was found last year,
when, for a series of lectures given under the auspices of the Xavier
Union, it was found necessary to hire one of the public halls. Of
course, the question is mainly one of funds.

However, here is something practical, tangible, which can point
to results, and which challenges the attention of all Catholics,
particularly of our Catholic young men. The Xavier Alumni Sodality and
the Xavier Union have so far done everything for themselves under the
guidance of their able director. Their work, as may be imagined, has
been very up-hill, for the entrance fees are not large; nevertheless,
with the profit of lectures, they have constituted their only source of
revenue. In the face of all difficulties, however, there they stand,
an active and ever-increasing organization of educated young Catholic
laymen, with their rooms for reading and amusement, and their library.
They form already the nucleus of a great Catholic centre, which, with
a little tact, a little generosity on the part of those who can afford
to be generous, and who could not be generous for a better purpose, a
steady perseverance in the way they have entered upon, may rival any
club in the city, may be a rallying-point for the Catholic laity, and
may furnish a constant supply of amusement, information, and recreation
of mind and body for Catholics of all ages, but particularly the young.

Special attention has been devoted to these two organizations, because
they are, beyond doubt, the most prominent associations of Catholic
young men in New York. Indeed, at the present writing, we know of none
equal to them in the United States. This is not at all said by way
of flattery to the societies mentioned; rather by way of reproach to
those who have neglected to form similar societies. Educated young
Catholics are plentiful in most of our large cities; and wherever a
number of educated young Catholics exist, there such societies as the
Xavier Alumni Sodality and the Xavier Union ought to exist, with their
rooms for association, meeting, reading, and amusement. Much the same
programme, and much the same organization, and much the same aims and
tendencies, would answer for all. A new and wonderful impetus would
thus be imparted to Catholic thought, Catholic work, and, above all,
to Catholic literature and education. An _esprit du corps_ would be
engendered among our Catholic youth that is sadly wanting at present,
and that would inevitably tell upon society. Any large Catholic project
might be almost instantaneously taken up and discussed throughout
the country; and, above all, Catholic young men would find places
where healthy amusement was blended with instruction and blessed by a
religious spirit.[87]

Neither need such organizations be restricted, as it were, to any
special class. The Sodality of the Blessed Virgin, of which the Xavier
Alumni Sodality is a branch, may be made to embrace all classes. It
was founded in the Roman College of the Society of Jesus, on December
8, 1563, exactly three hundred years prior to the foundation of this
promising offshoot in New York. The society has an eventful history.
It began in the Jesuit Colleges, and was restricted to the students.
It speedily spread thence throughout the world, embracing all ranks
from the crowned head to the peasant. One branch took up one good
work, another devoted itself to some other. It entered the world,
society, the army, everywhere. Popes belonged to it, kings, astute
statesmen, great generals, as well as the rank and file, and the
humblest craftsmen. Many a saint's name glitters on its scroll. S.
Aloysius Gonzaga, S. Stanislaus Kotska, S. Charles Borromeo, S. Francis
of Sales, Blessed Berchmans, and many another consecrated in Catholic
history, were all members of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
So great was the good it wrought that popes have bestowed upon it many
rights and privileges. It has had the glory of persecution. Infidel
governments suppressed it from time to time, in France particularly,
fearing lest it should lead men back to God; for if there is one thing
more than another that the devil fears, it is seeing the young go from
him wholesale.

Now, this matter is worthy the attention of all Catholics. Enough
graduates go out yearly from our colleges, and enough intelligent and
zealous Catholic young men are scattered through our great cities
and towns, to take this matter up earnestly, and establish Catholic
societies of this kind for practical, pious, and sanitary purposes.
They might embrace in a short time all the Catholic youth of America.
As has been seen, the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary is very
elastic in its constitution, though one in its organization and aims;
and it may be made to embrace all classes and states of life. It has
history, stability, saintly members, and good works innumerable to
recommend it. It has been specially blessed and favored by many popes,
and it has for its head the Blessed Mother of God, whilst those who
enroll themselves in it do so as children of Mary.

Coming back to the opposing forces here at home--Catholicity,
Protestantism, and infidelity--we see nothing more powerful to
withstand the assault of the latter particularly than Catholic
societies of this nature. The social atmosphere to-day is full of
insidious poison. The young unconsciously breathe it from their infancy
up. The edifice of faith in God was never more persistently assaulted
by the united forces of the powers of this world. No persecution of
the Roman emperors, unless, perhaps, that of Julian the Apostate, ever
threatened the religion of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, with a tithe
of the bitterness and hatred that frown upon it now. Men nowadays do
not so much seek out the chiefs of the church, the pontiffs, and the
bishops as the little children and the young of all ages. In some
cases, as in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Brazil, they add open
and violent persecution to its secret and more fatal forms. The great
cry of the age--a good and earnest cry--is for education. Educate the
masses! Educate all at any cost! That cry is good in itself, and is as
old as the church of Christ, and no older. But to it is joined another
cry: The church is out of date. It cannot educate. It has failed. It
will keep the people ignorant and superstitious. That is just the
right state for the priests. We know that of old. The priests in pagan
times were just the same. They kept the people blind for their own
sakes. But the newspapers have broken all that up. Men who read their
daily _Herald_ or their daily _Times_ know a little too much for that
nowadays. So out with the priests and their church altogether. We
want the children to know how to read, and write, and cipher, and be
intelligent. If they want religion, they may find it where they can.
But religion is quite a secondary consideration nowadays. It used to be
the first thing. That was the great mistake. We must now make it the
last.

That is pretty much how the lights of the age--the scientific
apostles--talk. Their opinions are re-echoed in the pages of journals
which, compared to Christian or Catholic, are as a thousand, nay, ten
thousand, to one; so that they are ever before the public eye in one
form or other. Consequently, religion is not only thrown out of the
school, but, to a great extent, out of the world altogether; nay, if
the accounts our Protestant friends give of themselves be true, out of
the pulpit also, when preachers preach "a theology without the _Theos_,
and a Christianity without Christ." It is perhaps only natural, then,
to find public morality at a sad discount; private morality, on a large
scale, a thing ugly to inquire into, and commercial morality broken
down before commercial gambling. It is not strange to find the loosest
ideas on the marriage tie prevail, and a corresponding disregard of
the sanctity of the household and the mutual obligations of husband
and wife, of father and child, spreading wider and further every day.
It is no wonder to find public amusements, as a rule, unfit to be
witnessed by the eye of a decent man or woman. It is not surprising
to see well-dressed crowds listening eagerly to brilliant lecturers,
who in mellifluous accents and the chastest English, and in evening
costume, pleasantly and quietly, and in the best possible taste, laugh
away the idea of God and Christianity; and it is no surprise to find
the children of those well-dressed crowds growing up and moving about
the world, with no sense of Christian morality at all, and at best, to
use an ordinary expression, a human sense of what is "square."

Right in the face of this scornful infidelity or shaky faith, it
is noble to see the Catholic world, especially the young Catholic
world, rising up everywhere to proclaim openly, boldly, and with no
hesitation in the tone, its whole-souled faith in the Roman Catholic
Church, its tenets, its doctrines, and its practices. Allusion, as
will be understood, is made chiefly to the pilgrimages in Europe, and
more particularly to the contingent furnished by Protestant England.
A pilgrimage, composed of Catholic young men, visited, the other day,
the shrine of S. Thomas of Canterbury; another soon after crossed over
to France, to visit the shrine of the Sacred Heart at Paray-le-Monial;
and doubtless others will follow. We see it advocated in the Catholic
press that our young men here do likewise. They would do well; but
whether their desire take living form or not, certain it is that in
this country they are just as eager to give evidence of their Catholic
faith as in any other. And just here, in this proposal to make an
American pilgrimage to some of the Catholic shrines in Europe, step in
the want and necessity of such Catholic organizations, distinct enough
individually, but linked together more or less, and springing from a
common centre, to aid effectually in making such a proposal feasible.

Coming back to ourselves, the rising Catholic generation may
congratulate itself that it has fallen upon good times. It would
be well for it to remember that these good times are the result of
the labors of their fathers; and that as they were won by incessant
conflict, so they must be retained. The present generation has not so
many odds to contend against. That fact is perhaps as much a danger as
a benefit. The Catholic generation that is passing away had to suffer
more or less a social ostracism. The barriers between class and class
are dwindling down; and to-day, on the whole, a Catholic does not find
his religion mark him off from his fellow-citizens as a man to be left
out in the cold.

That is no doubt very satisfactory. At the same time, however painful
may be this kind of social ostracism, certain it is that the class who
come under its ban are more apt to be circumspect in their conduct than
classes removed from it. To-day the spirit of liberality is abroad; but
liberality often means liberalism, which is a very different thing. The
order of the day is that it does not matter what you are, Protestant,
Catholic, Jew, or pagan, provided you only act as everybody else acts.
This sudden effusion of brotherly love among all castes and creeds is
no doubt very gratifying, and a vast improvement on old-fogy barriers;
but, at the same time, it involves often a sacrifice of principle. It
is a rank and unhealthy growth, springing from the neutral ground of
infidelity, or that unpronounced infidelity known as indifferentism.

Catholics cannot enter the world as non-Catholics. Their religion must
be more than a Sunday religion. It cannot be left outside on entering
their office, nor in the hall on entering society. It must accompany
them everywhere, not aggressively, indeed, so as to be outwardly
offensive to the neighbor who does not believe in it, because he does
not know it, or because he may not see its effects visible in those
who profess to believe in it; its principles must guide them in the
transaction of their business, in the amusements or recreation they
take, as well as in the confessional or at the altar. Without this,
it is no religion. Without this unaggressive, but none the less real,
atmosphere of piety, surrounding and emanating from Catholics in the
world as well as in the church, the heaviness of the present social
atmosphere can never be lifted. It requires a constant current to
and fro, and this can only be obtained by the creating of a Catholic
influence right in the heart of the world.

This is for our young men to do by their societies and associations;
by knowing each other, meeting together, consulting, and creating a
tone that will tell sooner or later upon society. Many a fine young
fellow is lost for pure lack of a good companion. Many a one spends his
evenings in places and amid society that, if not actually sinful, are
undoubtedly demoralizing in tendency, because he has no other society
or place of amusement to enter. It is too hard upon the young to tell
them that they must not follow the way of the world, if no better mode
of recreation is provided for them. The blood of youth is coursing
through its veins, and the heat will find vent, if not in good, then
in evil. It is the place of all true Christians to help and provide
that good, by aiding in the work of building up societies, halls,
reading-rooms, and libraries for our young people. The blessing will
come back upon their own heads in their children, in their children's
children, and in the building up of a sound, moral, Christian tone
among the young in these days, when it is considered more manly to
deny than to inquire; to sneer at all religion than to kneel down and
adore the God that made us to his own image. With our young men linked
together thus, working together throughout the whole country, showing
by deeds, and words, and open profession that they are Catholics, those
who to-day, in 1873, wonder at the marvellous growth of the church
within the last half-century, if God spares them another half-century,
may find their country, if not Catholic, covered, at least, and blest
from end to end, with Catholic homes of learning, piety, and charity;
whilst the church may respond to the foolish taunt that is flung at
her, that her religion is a foreign religion, and her children nursed
in foreign ideas, by pointing silently to what her children are--by
contrasting her Christian sons with the product and growth of an
education with God left out.

FOOTNOTES:

[87] Besides the two Associations particularly mentioned in this
article, there are numbers of others scattered throughout the country.
In Brooklyn there is attached to almost every parish church a Young
Men's Catholic Association. The writer restricts his mention of names
necessarily to the two societies which stand forth most prominently in
New York, and which give greatest promise of a bright future. If they
can be improved upon by others already existing or to come, they would
probably be the first to adapt themselves to the improvement. But as
matters stand at present, their constitution and organization might be
very safely recommended, at least, to embryo associations.



ENGLISH SKETCHES.

AN HOUR IN A JAIL.


There is nothing in the exterior of the building to indicate its real
character, nor is it in any way calculated to strike terror into the
mind of the beholder whose imagination, fed by early prejudices,
connects the idea of a jail with gloomy precincts, drawbridges, and
armed sentinels pacing before frowning gates. The jail of Reading, the
chief town of the royal county of Berks, presents the very antithesis
of all this. This is a gay edifice of variegated red brick and white
stone, in the style called carpenter's Gothic--a rather appropriate
name for the jocular mongrel performance it designates, and which is
one of the most surprising hallucinations of the modern architect's
mind. The building stands close by the Forbury gardens and at the
back of the Catholic church. The delusion as to the character of the
place is not dispelled on entering; the uninitiated stranger might,
on passing the great door, still fancy himself in some free dwelling,
where no abnormal impediments prevented his exit; but crossing the
court, he ascends by a flight of steps to a second gate of ominous
appearance, and before whose glittering steel bars the spell of
liberty dissolves. Within this second gate there is another, equally
formidable, which opens into a broad gallery lighted from the roof and
crossed by light bridges at intervals, to which you ascend by a steep,
ladder-like iron staircase. The second story is occupied by the women
prisoners, the lower one by the men.

As few of our readers may have had the opportunity or the curiosity
to go through an English jail, perhaps they would like to do so
vicariously, as the Shah enjoyed dancing--sitting quietly in his
chair, while foolish people fatigued themselves for his entertainment.
We were accompanied by a young priest, whose ministry had frequently
led him within the steel gates on another errand than curiosity; and,
thanks to his friend's (Canon R----) introduction to the governor,
we had permission to see every detail of the place. The aspect of
the long galleries, with the bright-tiled flooring and white walls
glancing in the flood of sunshine flowing from the roof, kept up
the first impression of cheerfulness. There was nothing so far to
suggest unnecessary rigor or broken spirits, still less cruelty
and demoralization. All was airy and exquisitely clean. Warders
in official uniforms paced leisurely up and down the corridors and
galleries; and though the silence was broken only by their foot-falls
and our own voices as we conversed with the warder who acted as our
guide, there was no oppressive gloom in the atmosphere. The cells
opened on either side of the gallery. They were each lighted by a
good-sized window looking on the prison garden and protected by strong
iron bars; in one corner was a complete washing apparatus, with a
water-pipe over the basin; in another there was a gas-pipe. The
furniture consisted of a small table, a stool, and a stretcher-bed,
which is rolled up during the day. On a shelf were the prisoner's plate
and mug. The Protestants are allowed the use of their Bible and the
_Common Prayer-Book_; the Catholics have the Douay edition of the Bible
and _The Garden of the Soul_; special good conduct is rewarded by the
loan of story-books. Some of the cells were ornamented with prints from
the _Graphic_ and the _Illustrated London News_. A man with a good
conscience and sound health might live comfortably in one of these
cells.

The Reading jail is worked entirely on the isolated system,
each prisoner being virtually as much alone amidst two hundred
fellow-captives as if he were the only inmate. It is urged against
this system that it frequently leads to madness, total solitude being
the most cruel form of punishment, and the one against which the human
mind is, by its very essence, least calculated to bear up. But the
theory applies in its chief force to solitary confinement, where the
sound of the human voice and the sight of his fellow-creature's face
never intrude upon the tomblike silence of the dungeon; where complete
inaction of the body feeds the despondency of the imagination dwelling
on the one fixed idea of an interminable perspective of silence and
solitude. In the case of short periods of incarceration, the separate
system must be regarded as an immense improvement on the old gregarious
one. It prevents the spread of vice, and protects the comparatively
innocent subject from being utterly corrupted by the hardened sinner.
In France, where the gregarious system is in full force, its effect
is too plainly visible in the most deplorable results. A youth or a
girl goes in a mere novice in iniquity, and, after a short sojourn in
the midst of the offscourings of society, comes out utterly depraved.
Nowhere is this truth more lamentably apparent than in those cases
that come under the head of _prison préventive_, where any suspected
person, on the smallest amount of evidence, is thrown into these social
sloughs for weeks, nay, months sometimes, and held in hourly contact
with thieves, forgers, burglars, and every species of offender. Strong
indeed must be the principles, and pure the heart, that come out
unshaken and unsullied from such an ordeal.

The men were at work on the day when we arrived at the jail, so we saw
the penal system in full operation. The mildest form of hard labor is
the oakum-picking. It is performed partly in the open air, partly in
the cells, and consists of untwisting old cables, and then tearing them
into loose hemp, which is used for caulking the seams of ships.

The next category was the stone-breaking. One side of a yard is walled
off into separate compartments, with a railing at each end, and from
these the ring of the pick-axe resounds dismally for many hours in the
day. One of these cages was occupied by a lunatic, who had attempted
the life of his brother. The poor fellow was only there for the day,
awaiting an order for removal to some government asylum for the insane.
He stood bolt upright, without leaning against the wall, with his
hands hanging by his side, and his head bent downwards, the picture
of melancholy and sullen despair. We noticed with satisfaction that
the warder compassionately avoided passing before the poor creature's
railing, and did not even speak within earshot of him.

On re-entering the house, we came into a corridor where the air was
filled with a grinding noise of ominous import. On either side of us
were cells, where the forced labor in its most severe aspect comes into
view. Warders were walking slowly up and down, peeping at intervals
into the cells through a narrow little aperture in the doors, where
the prisoners were undergoing the sentence of the law. Some were
grinding corn, others were turning the crankpump. The former is done
by a machine which it takes all the strength of the workman's two arms
to keep going. In one of these cells, the door of which was unlocked
for us to examine closely, there was a lad of a little over twenty, of
middle height, and with a countenance which, but for the sinister leer
of the mouth, might have been called mild and almost prepossessing. We
were startled to learn that this juvenile criminal had been taken up
for highway robbery, with attempt to murder.

The cell opposite his was occupied by a middle-aged, broad-shouldered
man, who was turning the crankpump. This is the most severe of all
the forms of labor in the jail. To a superficial observer it would
seem almost easy labor, so smooth is the movement of the crank as it
gyrates under the clenched hands of the prisoner, his body rising
and falling in rhythmic movement with the rotation of the crank he
is propelling; but the strain upon the spine becomes after a while
intolerable. This man was a very hardened criminal, and had just
undergone seven days on bread and water in the dark cell, twenty-four
lashes of the cat-o'-nine tails having proved unavailing; and he was
still unsubdued. His misdemeanor in the prison was swearing at one of
the warders, and threatening to break his skull against the wall; even
after the fearful infliction of the dark cell, he repeated his threat
to "do for him."

Coarse-matting weaving is another prison employment; it is far less
laborious than either of the two preceding, yet working the heavy
looms must be a great discipline to unpractised arms. One man's face
in this category struck us as different from the others; it bore the
unmistakable stamp of education; we found that the weaver was properly
a man of a better class, and who, with half the ingenuity he had shown
in getting into his present condition, might have been a well-to-do
member of society.

In the lower basement there are admirably constructed baths, immersion
in which is compulsory on the prisoners once a month. The dark cell
above referred to is also in these lower regions. Refractory subjects
are consigned to it for three, five, or seven days, as the case may
be, for insubordination or idleness. It must be a very obdurate spirit
indeed, one would imagine, which this awful punishment could leave
unbroken. The darkness is like that of the grave, so dense that it is
suffocating; and when the warder, to show how utterly every ray of
light was excluded from the cell, suddenly went out, and locked the
double doors upon us as we stood in the gloom, we all felt a chill
of indescribable horror creep over us. The ventilation is, however,
perfect, though we could not see how it was contrived.

The kitchen department is as bright and as complete in its appointments
as the rest of the building. Great and desirable reforms have of
late been effected in the prison fare, which a few years ago was so
luxurious as to call loudly for remonstrance from all wise rulers and
thoughtful men. The thief and the burglar a little time ago fared far
better than the poor working-man struggling to put honest bread into
his children's mouths, and infinitely better than the inmate of the
workhouse. All this is happily changed, and the hospitality of the jail
is now proportioned to the quality of the guests. The bread is coarse
and brown, but sweet and wholesome. Each prisoner gets six ounces of
it at breakfast, with a pint of gruel; eight at dinner, with a pound
of potatoes; and on three days in the week three ounces of bacon;
the other four he gets cheese instead; at supper, bread and gruel
again. The quantity is less for a short-period man, namely, those who
are condemned for a week or a fortnight; the reason being that the
constitution could not resist for a lengthened period the low diet,
which acts with salutary effect on the spirit for a short time. In
answer to our inquiries how far the present system or any system acted
as reformatory on criminals, the warder said he believed it very seldom
attained that end. A man who once came to jail was pretty sure to come
twice. "When a man gets the name of a jail-bird," he said, "it is all
over with him; he can never hold up his head again amongst honest folk,
and so he goes back to his old ways and haunts." He added that the one
chance he had was to go out of the country to a place where he had no
past to live down; and for this reason he observed that the Prisoners'
Aid Society ought to be upheld by all humane people. It offered the
only plank to the shipwrecked that was possible.

Amongst the two hundred prisoners which the jail accommodates, there
happens at the present moment not to be a single Catholic. We were
surprised to hear this, for we noticed more than once that the men into
whose cells we entered cast a wistful look at the young priest who
was with us; and when he smiled and nodded to them on turning away,
their faces relaxed into a smile too. Mr. S---- told us that this was
no uncommon thing; that, as a rule, the prisoners, whatever be their
religion, welcome the Catholic priest with a smile, and seem thankful
for the chance of speaking to him. The parson, on the contrary, they
look on with suspicion, and even with aversion, frequently listening
in sullen silence to his questions, and refusing to answer them. This
does not betoken any dislike to the Protestant minister personally; it
arises from the fact of his having a sort of official character, and
being thus associated in their minds with the cruel strength of the
law; whereas the priest only comes in the capacity of a helper--one
who pities them, and would serve them in body and soul if he could;
his errand is purely one of mercy and kindness. Our companion told
us that this jail has for him many beautiful memories of grace and
repentance. He has gone there frequently in the course of the winter to
hear the confessions of penitents who have approached the sacraments
in their little cells with sentiments of the most touching humility
and sorrow. These prodigals are almost invariably Irish. "Wherever you
find a Paddy, you find the faith," observed Canon R----; "and where is
the spot on earth where you don't find one?" To illustrate the truth
of this remark, he told us a curious anecdote, which was related to
him many years ago by the priest to whom it occurred. This priest went
on the mission to America, and for some years his labors lay in the
wild regions of the far West. The missionary led pretty much the life
of the children of the virgin forests that he traversed, and where
the footprint of the white man was never seen. He rode for miles and
miles through the wilderness, feeding, like the anchorites, on what
he could gather by the way, and sleeping in the branches of some
thick-foliaged tree, to the stem of which he tied his horse; and at
daybreak he was off on his rambles again. One morning, as he was riding
through a wood in search of food, he descried a little wreath of smoke
curling above the trees. He made for the spot, thinking he had come on
a field of labor in the shape of a little colony to be baptized; but,
on approaching, he found only a solitary wigwam, at the door of which
a wild woman was squatting with a brood of small children about her.
The good father was exhausted with hunger, and managed, by signs and
a few words of the Indian dialect, to convey this fact to the woman.
She rose at once, and placed before him her frugal store. While he
was doing justice to it, the lord of the wigwam returned, and great
was his amazement to behold the guest whom his lady was hospitably
ministering to. The priest was trying to air his small store of words,
when his host, who was attired in the scanty costume of his tribe,
with a plentiful crop of feathers sprouting from his head-gear, after
surveying him silently for a moment, exclaimed, "Your reverence is a
Catholic priest, I'll be bound, and an Irishman into the bargain!"
His listener nearly capsized with astonishment. But it was neither a
vision nor a delusion. The wild Indian was himself an Irishman, who,
with two older companions, had come to those remote forests many years
before in search of fortune in some form or other; the trio had been
captured by the Indians, who put two of them to death, and only spared
the youngest on account of his expertness with the bow and arrow and
other kindred accomplishments which made him useful to the tribe.
He learned in time to speak their language and adopt their mode of
life, even to the extent of marrying a wild woman of their race. But
the faith of his childhood survived amongst the vicissitudes of this
strange career. He welcomed the priest with joy and the reverence of
a genuine Irish heart; and before the missionary left his wigwam,
he received the wife into the church, married the pair, baptized
and instructed the children, and administered the sacraments to the
father. Then he sallied forth once more on his life of danger and
self-sacrifice, which, though it afforded many consoling and romantic
episodes, never furnished such another as this. "Now," exclaimed Canon
R---- triumphantly, "just tell me if such an adventure as that could
happen to any two men under the sun but a pair of Irishmen!" And no one
contradicted him.

But to return to the jail. We visited the church last. It was the
saddest spectacle of all, though the building itself was bright and
just then full of sunshine. The seats rise in the form of a steep
amphitheatre, almost touching the ceiling at the last tier; and they
are so contrived that each prisoner is as isolated in his own seat
as if he were the only one looking up at the bare pulpit, where no
crucifix, nor pitying Madonna, nor kindly angel face looks down upon
him, but only the wooden box, where the preacher once a week tells
him of the message of mercy, and points to the home where the Father
awaits each prodigal son. There, locked up between four narrow boards
that rise high above his head, the prisoner assists at the service on
Sunday. So rigorously is the separate system maintained that the two
men who were employed in washing the stairs and floor of the church
were masked, so as not to recognize each other even in passing, while
a warden stood by to prevent their exchanging a word together. The men
are exercised in batches every morning from six to a quarter past seven
in the prison garden--a dreary place to call by that flower-suggestive
name. They wear masks, and walk at a distance of four yards from one
another, holding a rope with the left hand. Such a system naturally
disarms the dangers of agglomeration, and makes mutiny or concerted
rebellion impossible. The strength of union is not theirs, and they
are as feeble as if, instead of being two hundred against nine, the
proportions were reversed. Attempts to escape are almost unknown.
The reason of this may be that the inmates are never condemned to a
longer term than two years, which would be trebled, both in duration
and in severity, if the attempt failed; so, in face of such a risk,
it would hardly be worth while to make it. We did not visit the
female department, which is conducted on precisely the same principle,
the only difference being the greater lenity of the enforced labor.
It was painful enough to see strong men brought to just humiliation
for their misdeeds; but our hearts failed us to look at women in the
same position. On the whole, we left the Reading jail with our minds
disabused of many illusions concerning the strong hand of the law.
Its application is as humane and merciful as is compatible with the
interests of justice and the professed object of legal punishment.
There is nothing to demoralize or to harden a culprit whose misfortune
it is to undergo a term of durance within its walls. Before, however,
such punishment can be really reformatory, the whole community must
be reformed on the highest Christian ideal. We must learn not to
despise or unduly mistrust the weak brother who has fallen once, but
to practically recognize the vital truth implied in the prayer taught
us by our Master: "Lead us not into temptation;" remembering that
if we have not fallen it is from no merit or strength of our own,
but of the gratuitous mercy of God, whose providence has prevented
us in temptation, and saved us from our own weakness; and that the
measure of our preservation from evil should be the measure of our
charity to the fallen. When we have all learned this, we may see our
prisons reformatory as well as penitential; we doubt if we ever shall
otherwise.



THE LUTE WITH THE BROKEN STRING.


    I took the lute I had prized so much
      In my day of pride, in my day of power,
    And wiped the dust with a tender touch,
      And wreathed it gaily with ribbon and flower.
    And the tears from my heart were falling fast
      For the bloom that had faded, the fragrance fled,
    As I thought of the hand that had wreathed it last--
      The hand of my darling now cold and dead:
    And I put it aside with a passionate fling,
    And something was broken--a heart or a string.

    And again I essayed, when the tears had dried
      And the tumult of sobs in my bosom was still,
    To touch it once more with the olden pride,
      That the hearts that yet love me might hear it and thrill:
    But a soft low note, with its melting power,
      A tone of deep pathos, had trembled and gone;
    And my hopes died out in that silent hour,
      And left me in darkness and sorrow alone.
    What wonder, beloved, that I cannot sing
    A song of the heart with a broken string?

    What worth is the lute when its music hath fled?
      What worth is the strain when its alto is lost?
    What worth is the heart with its tenderness shed,
      And all its warm feelings laid waste by the frost?
    But love cannot die. There is comfort in this,
      That Love is eternal, though passion controls.
    And what, then, is heaven, with its glory and bliss,
      But the union of hearts and communion of souls--
    When saints shall be minstrels, and angels shall sing,
    And lutes shall have never a broken string?



NEW PUBLICATIONS.


  THE DIVINE SEQUENCE. By F. M. London: Longmans, Green & Co. 1873.

This is a small volume, but one replete with thought. It treats of
the relation existing between some of the principal doctrines of
the faith, with special reference to the office of our Blessed Lady
as mediatrix of grace. The topics treated, though they are the most
sublime and mysterious dogmas of faith, are handled with a theological
precision and with a depth of contemplative piety which show that the
author has drawn her doctrine from the purest sources, and meditated
on it profoundly within her own soul; for the author of this admirable
treatise is a lady, though we refrain from giving her name out of
respect to the modesty which has induced her to hide herself behind the
veil of initials. There are some copies of the English edition--which
we regret very much not to see reprinted here--for sale at The Catholic
Publication House; and we feel sure that if the lovers of the choicest
gems of spiritual thought and sentiment knew the value of this one,
they would lose no time in securing it.

  THE LIFE OF LUISA DE CARVAJAL. By Lady Georgiana Fullerton. London:
    Burns & Oates. 1873. (New York: Sold by The Catholic Publication
    Society.)

This book is an addition to the sum total of sound Catholic literature.
We almost lose sight of the merit of the translator's style in
admiration of the motive that led her to undertake the task. The life
of this holy Spanish woman is strange and pathetic. Her lifelong
sacrifice of worldly, and, what is more, of national, associations
for the sake of an apostleship in England during the dark days of
the faith in that country, is indeed a triumph of grace and a heroic
model to all after-ages. Luisa de Carvajal was a woman of rare
strength of mind, energy, perseverance, and endurance. Her holiness
was that of the champion rather than of the novice. Her mind was
richly cultivated. Latin was familiar to her; English she acquired
after she was thirty years of age--a feat requiring much patience in
a Spaniard. Her theological knowledge, patristic lore, and minute
acquaintance with the Scriptures were distinguishing traits of her
subsequent self-education. Involved in a tedious lawsuit, her accurate
memory, excellent understanding, and unflagging presence of mind
were no less remarkable than her sweet temper and great patience.
Although never setting her will in opposition to that of her spiritual
advisers, she invariably conquered their objections, and by her very
humility proved her superiority. Her vocation to a life of poverty,
without at the same time being called to a conventual life, was a
peculiar dispensation; and when we think of the greater ridicule that
attended such an unconventional manner of "leaving the world," we see
how much greater the sacrifice was than we at the present day can
imagine. Her life in England seems a romance of self-devotion, and her
English biographer has lovingly dwelt upon its interesting details.
One pregnant suggestion is made by the translator, which is, that it
would be a specially holy work for a woman to undertake to train in
a species of semi-religious community life those young girls whose
future destiny is the instruction of youth in the higher classes. This,
although applicable chiefly to England, and of less significance on
this side of the ocean, is a suggestion that deserves more notice than
it is perhaps likely to get, embedded as it is in the crowded narrative
of Doña Luisa's life. One thing shines forth out of this exceptional
record of a holy and strong woman's days, and it is this--that God
somehow or other always removes all obstacles to his _real_ will in his
own good time. In her youth, Luisa was foiled, by her natural guardians
and really best-intentioned friends, in her desire to adopt the strange
life to which God called her--that of a recluse without a cloister--and
in a few years these friends were taken away, leaving her her own
mistress. Later on, when the seemingly Quixotic wish came over her to
leave Spain to minister to the English martyrs under James I., and
preach the Catholic faith in London, her long lawsuit, which was urged
as a reason for giving up this design, suddenly came to a favorable and



THE

CATHOLIC WORLD.

VOL. XVIII., No. 105.--DECEMBER, 1873.[88]



A TALK ON METAPHYSICS.


One of the greatest obstacles to the spread of philosophical education
is the false opinion which, through the efforts of a school of low
scientists, has gained much ground--viz., that metaphysics, the central
and most important part of philosophy, is only a mass of useless
abstractions and unintelligible subtleties; a science _à priori_,
telling us nothing about facts; a dismal relic of mediæval ignorance
and conceit; a thing, therefore, which has no longer a claim to hold a
place in the world of science. This is a shameless misrepresentation,
and as such it might be treated with the contempt it deserves; but
it is so carefully insinuated, and with such an assurance, that it
succeeds in making its way onward, and in gaining more and more
credit among unreflecting people. We intend, therefore, to give it a
challenge. A short exposition of the nature and object of metaphysics
will suffice, we hope, to show our young readers the worthlessness of
such mischievous allegations.

What is metaphysics? _It is_, answers one of the most eminent
metaphysicians, Francis Suarez, _that part of philosophy which treats
of real beings as such_. This definition is universally accepted.
It is needless to remark that a being is said to be _real_ when it
exists in nature; whereas that which has no existence except in our
conceptions is called _a being of reason_. But it is well to observe
that the expression, _real being_, is used in two different senses.
In the first it means a _complete_ natural entity, which has its own
separate existence in nature, independently of the existence of any
other created thing; as when we say that _Peter_, _John_, and _James_
are real beings. In the second it means some _incomplete_ entity, which
has no separate existence of its own, but is the mere appurtenance
of some other thing to the existence of which it owes its being; as
Peter's _life_, John's _eloquence_, James' _stature_. Of course, every
substance, whether material or spiritual, simple or compound, is a
complete entity; but every constituent, attribute, property, or quality
of complete beings is an incomplete entity, inasmuch as it has no
separate existence, but only partakes of the existence of the being to
which it belongs.

A real, complete entity is said to be a _physical_ being, because it
possesses all that is required to exist separately in the physical
order of things. On the contrary, a real, incomplete entity is said
to be a _metaphysical being_. Thus, _movement_, _velocity_, _time_,
_force_, _attraction_, _repulsion_, _heat_, _cold_, _weight_,
_work_, _resistance_, _figure_, _hardness_, _softness_, _solidity_,
_liquidity_, etc., are metaphysical beings. Those modern men of
science who shudder at the very name of metaphysics would do well to
consider for a while this short catalogue of metaphysical entities.
They would find that it contains the very things with which they are
most familiar. If metaphysical entities are only abstractions--empty
and useless abstractions, as they declare--what shall we say of all
their scientific books? Are they not all concerned with those dreadful
metaphysical entities which we have enumerated? Yet we would scarcely
say that they treat of _useless abstractions_. Certainly, when a drop
of rain is falling, the _action_ by which it is determined to fall is
not an abstraction, the _velocity_ acquired is not an abstraction,
and the _fall_ itself is not an abstraction. In like manner, the
_rotation_ of the earth, the _hardness_ of a stone, the _sound_ of a
trumpet, are not abstractions; and yet all these are entities of the
metaphysical order. Therefore, to contend that metaphysics is a science
of pure abstractions is nothing but an evident absurdity. The object of
metaphysics is no less real than the object of physics itself.

It may, perhaps, be objected that, though the material object of
metaphysics is real and concrete in nature, we despoil it of its
reality as soon as we, in our metaphysical reasonings, rise from
the individual to the universal; for universals, as such, have no
existence but in our conception.

The answer is obvious. The _metaphysical_ universals must not be
confounded with the _logical_ universals. The logical universal--as
genus, difference, etc.--expresses a mere concept of the mind, and is
a mere being of reason, or a _second intention_, as it is called; but
the metaphysical universal--as figure, force, weight, etc., is not a
mere being of reason; for its object is a reality which can be found
existing in the physical order. It is true that all such realities
exist under individual conditions, and therefore are not _formally_
but only _fundamentally_, universal; for their formal universality
consists only in their mode of existing in our mind when we drop all
actual thought of their individual determinations. But, surely, they
do not cease to be realities because the mind, in thinking of them,
pays no attention to their individuation; and, therefore, metaphysical
universals, even as universal, retain their objective reality.

We might say more on this subject, were it not that this is hardly the
place for discussing the merits of formalism, realism, or nominalism.
We can, however, give a second answer, which will dispose of the
objection in a very simple manner. The answer is this: Granted that
abstractions, _as such_, have no existence but in our intellect.
Nevertheless, what we conceive abstractedly exists concretely in the
objects of which it is predicated and from which it is abstracted.
Humanity in our conception is an abstraction, and yet is to be found
in every living man; velocity, likewise, is an abstraction, and yet
is to be found in all real movement through space; quantity also,
is an abstraction, and yet is to be found in every existing body.
Therefore, abstract things do not cease to be real in nature, though
they are abstract in our conception. This is an evident truth. If the
adversaries of metaphysics are bold enough to deny it, then they at
the same time and in the same breath deny all real science, and thus
forfeit all claim to the honorable title of _scientific_ men. Statics
and dynamics, geometry and calculus, algebra and arithmetic, are
abstract sciences. No one will deny that they are most useful; yet they
would be of no use whatever if what they consider in the abstract had
no concrete correspondent in the real world. Chemistry itself, and all
the experimental sciences, inasmuch as they are sciences, are abstract.
Atomic weights, inasmuch as they fall under scientific reasoning, are
abstractions; genera, species, and varieties in zoölogy and botany are
abstract conceptions; crystalline forms in mineralogy are as abstract
as any purely geometric relation. Indeed, without abstractions,
science is not even conceivable; for all science, as such, proceeds
from abstract principles to abstract conclusions. But though the
process of scientific reasoning be abstract, _real_ science deals with
_real_ objects and real relations. And such is exactly the case with
metaphysics, which is the universal science of all reality, and the
queen of all the real sciences.

These general remarks suffice, without any further development, to
vindicate the reality of the material object of metaphysics. But here
the question arises, Are _all_ real beings without exception the object
of this science?

Some authors, in past centuries, thought that the only object of
metaphysics was to treat of beings _above nature_; and accordingly
taught that God and the angels alone were _metaphysical_ beings--that
is, beings ranging above nature. On the contrary, man and this visible
world--that is, all creatures liable to local motion--they called
_natural_ beings, and considered them to be the proper and exclusive
object of _physical_ science. This view was grounded, apparently, on
the latent assumption that metaphysics meant _above physics_; which,
however, is not correct, as μετὰ does not mean _above_, but _after_;
and therefore metaphysical is not synonymous with supernatural.[89] On
the other hand, God and the angels are undoubtedly _physical_ beings;
for they are complete beings, having their complete physical nature and
their separate existence. We cannot call them _metaphysical_ beings;
for we know of no beings which deserve the name of metaphysical but
those incomplete entities which are attained through the intellectual
analysis of physical and complete beings.

As to man and all the other natural things, every one will see that
though they are, in one respect, the proper object of physics, yet
they are also, in another respect, the proper object of metaphysics;
and this too, without in the least confounding the two branches of
knowledge. The attributions of physics and of metaphysics are, in
fact, so distinct that there can be no danger of the one invading the
province of the other, even though they deal with the same subject.
The office of the physicist is to investigate natural facts, to
discuss them, to make a just estimate of them, and to discover the
laws presiding over their production. This, and no other, is the
object of physics, to accomplish which it is not necessary to know the
essence of natural things. Hence, the physicist, after ascertaining the
phenomena of nature and their laws, cannot go further in his capacity
of physicist. But where he ends his work, just there the metaphysician
begins; for his office is to take those facts and laws as a ground
for his speculations in order to discover the essential principles
involved in the constitution of natural causes, and to account by such
principles for all the attributes and properties of things. This is
the duty of the metaphysician. Thus natural things, although an object
of physics when considered as following certain laws of action or of
movement, are nevertheless an object of metaphysics when considered in
their being and intimate constitution.

On this point even physicists agree. "Instead of regarding the proper
object of physical science as a search after essential causes,"
says one of the best modern champions of scientific progress, "it
ought to be, and must be, a search after facts and relations."[90]
Hence, physical science deals with natural facts and their relations
exclusively; the search after causes and essential principles
constitutes the object of a higher science; and such a science is real
philosophy, or metaphysics proper.

I was surprised at finding in Webster's _English Dictionary_ (v.
Metaphysics) the following words:

"The natural division of things that exist is into body and mind,
things material and immaterial. The former belong to physics, and the
latter to the science of metaphysics." From what we have just said,
it is clear that this division is not accurate. We must add that it
is not consistent with the definition of metaphysics given by the
same author only a few lines before. Metaphysics, says he, is "the
science of the principles and causes of _all_ things existing." Now,
if material things existing do not belong to metaphysics, it evidently
follows that either material things existing have no principles and no
causes, or that such principles and causes are no object of science.
But it is obvious that neither conclusion can be admitted. Furthermore,
it is well known that all metaphysicians treat of the constitution of
bodies--a fact which conclusively proves that material things are not
excluded from the object of metaphysics.

Here, however, we must observe that some modern writers, while
conceding this last point, contend that material things _must be
mentally freed from their materiality_ before they can be considered
as an object of metaphysics. Their reason is, that this science is
concerned with real things only inasmuch as they consist of principles
known to the intellect alone. Matter, they say, is not an object
of the intellect. Therefore, the object of metaphysics must be
immaterial--that is, either a thing which has no matter of its own, or
at least a thing which is conceived, through mental abstraction, as
free from matter.

But we should remember that, according to the common doctrine, the true
and adequate object of metaphysics is _all_ real being as such, whether
it be material or immaterial; and that it is, therefore, the duty of
the metaphysician to divide substance into material and immaterial, and
to give the definition of both; for it belongs to each science to point
out and define the parts of its own object. Hence, the metaphysician
is bound to explain how things material differ from things immaterial,
and has to ascertain what metaphysical predicates are attributable to
material substance on account of its very materiality.[91] Now, it is
evident that nothing of the kind can ever be done by a philosopher who,
through mental abstraction, considers material substance as freed from
its matter. For when, by such an abstraction, he has taken away the
matter, what else can he look upon as a ground of distinction between
material and immaterial beings? We must admit, then, that material
things, inasmuch as they are _real_ things, and only in that manner
in which they are real (that is, with their own matter), are a proper
object of metaphysics.

To the patrons of the opposite view we confidently answer that their
argument has no sound foundation; for though it is true that no
material thing, owing to the complexity of its simultaneous actions on
our senses, distinctly reveals to us its material constitution, yet it
is not true that material things cannot be understood by our intellect
unless they are mentally stripped of their matter. To understand them
thus would be simply to misunderstand them. Matter and form are the
essential constituents of material substance, as all metaphysicians
admit; it is, therefore, impossible to understand the essence of
material substance, unless the intellect reaches the matter as well as
the form.[92] Let us add that those very authors who in theory affect
to exclude matter from the object of metaphysics find it impossible
to do away with it in practice, and, in spite of the theory, devote
to matter, as such, a great number of pages in their own metaphysical
treatises.

Thus far we have defined the object of metaphysics. We now come to
its method, on account of which it is so frequently assailed by the
votaries of experimental science. Metaphysics, they say, is a science
_à priori_; it is, therefore, altogether incompetent to decide any
matters of fact; and, if so, what is the use of metaphysics? To this
reasoning, which claims no credit for perspicacity, many answers can be
given.

And first let us suppose for a moment that metaphysics is a science
altogether _à priori_. Does it follow that it has no claim to our most
careful attention? Geometry, algebra, and all pure mathematics are _à
priori_ sciences. Are they despised on this account? We see, on the
contrary, that for this very reason they are held in greater honor and
lauded as the most thorough, the most exact, and the most irrefragable
of all sciences. Some will say that the object of mathematics is not to
establish natural facts, but only relations; but this is equally true
of metaphysics. The metaphysician, when treating of physical subjects,
assumes the facts and laws of nature as they are presented to him by
the physicist; he has not to establish them anew, but only to account
for them by showing the reason of their being. Metaphysics would,
therefore, be as good, as excellent, and as interesting as geometry,
even if it were an _à priori_ science.

But, secondly, what is the real case? To proceed _à priori_ is to argue
from the cause to the effect, and from antecedents to consequents;
whereas, to proceed _à posteriori_ is to argue from the effect to the
cause, and from consequents to antecedents. Now, it is a fact that
in metaphysics we frequently argue from the cause to the effect, as
is done in other sciences too; but it is no less a fact that we even
more frequently argue from the effect to the cause. The very name
of _metaphysics_, which is the bugbear of our opponents, clearly
shows that such is the case. Real philosophy, in fact, is called
_metaphysics_ for two reasons, the first of which is extrinsic and
historical, the second intrinsic and logical. The historical consists
in the fact that Aristotle's speculations on those incomplete entities
which enter into the constitution of things were handed down to us
under the name of metaphysics. The logical is, because the knowledge
of such incomplete entities must be gathered from the consideration of
natural beings by means of an intellectual analysis, which cannot be
made properly without a previous extensive knowledge of the concrete
order of things. This latter knowledge, which must be gathered by
observation and experiment, constitutes physical science. Hence, the
rational knowledge which comes after it, and is based on it, is very
properly called _metaphysical_, and that part of philosophy which
develops such a knowledge _metaphysics_--that is, after-physics.

Now, all analysis belongs to the _à posteriori_ process; for it
proceeds from the compound to its components, and therefore from
the effect to the cause. Therefore, metaphysics, inasmuch as it
analyzes natural beings and finds out their constituents, is an _à
posteriori_ science; and since such an analysis is the very ground
of all metaphysical speculations, we must conclude that the whole
of metaphysics is based on the _à posteriori_ process, no less than
physics itself.

Thirdly, that metaphysics cannot decide any matter-of-fact question is
a silly objection; as it is evident that to establish the existence of
God, the spirituality of the human soul, the creation of the world,
etc., is nothing less than to decide matters of fact. It may be that,
in the opinion of the utilitarian, such facts are not very interesting;
they are facts, however, as much and as truly as the rotation of the
earth, atmospheric pressure, and universal attraction are facts; and
they are much more important, too.

We might also maintain that metaphysics is mainly a science of facts;
for there are facts of the intellectual as well as of the experimental
order. That every effect must have a cause is a fact. That every circle
must have a centre is another fact. That a part is less than the whole
is a third fact. Intellectual facts are as numerous and as certain as
the facts of nature; and it is through them that our experimental
knowledge of natural things is raised to the dignity of _scientific_
cognition. For there is no science, whether inductive or deductive,
without reasoning, and no reasoning without principles; and every
principle is a fact of the intellectual order. Those critics who are
wont to slight metaphysics as an _à priori_ science would, therefore,
do well to consider that no true demonstration can be made but by
_à priori_ principles, and that true demonstration constitutes the
perfection of science.

We may here remark that metaphysics is usually divided into _general_
and _special_, and that the _à priori_ character, for which it is
assailed, belongs to general metaphysics only. General metaphysics
treats of the constituents, attributes, and properties of being in
general, and is called ontology. Ontology is considered as a necessary
preparation for the study of special metaphysics, which, from the
knowledge of being in general, descends to the examination of the
different classes and genera of beings in particular. Our men of
science, accustomed as they are to the inductive method, do not approve
of this form of proceeding. On what ground, they ask, do you impose
upon the student notions, definitions, and principles _à priori_, as
you do in ontology, affirming in general that which has not yet been
examined in particular, and taking for granted what has yet to be
established and verified?

The answer is obvious enough. General metaphysics assumes nothing
but what is already admitted as evident by all mankind. It is mainly
concerned with the notions conveyed by such words as _being_, _cause_,
_effect_, _principle_, _essence_, _existence_, _substance_, _accident_,
etc. These notions are common, and their methodical explanation is
based on common-sense principles--that is, on evident, intellectual
facts. Thus far, therefore, no one can say that we invert the natural
order of science; for we start from what is known.

Next comes the analysis of the notions just referred to. The object
of this analysis is to point out distinctly the different classes of
being, the different genera of causes, the variety of principles,
reasons, etc., implied in those general notions, to show their
ontological relations, and to account for their distinction. This
important investigation, as well as the preceding one, is based on
common-sense reasonings, but sometimes not without reference to
other truths, which are established and vindicated only in special
metaphysics, to which they properly belong. Thus, it is the custom
to treat in ontology of the intrinsic possibility of things, and its
eternity, necessity, and immutability; but it is only in natural
theology that such matters find their full and radical explanation. Of
course, whenever an assertion is made, of which the proof is totally
or partially deferred to a later time, the assent of the student to it
is more or less provisional. It is not, however, in metaphysics only
that a student must accept certain things on trust; he thus accepts the
equivalents in chemistry, the distances of the planets from the sun in
astronomy, and the logarithms in trigonometry.

Yet we confess that philosophical writers and teachers sometimes
expose themselves to just criticism by treating in general metaphysics
certain matters which it would be better to reserve intact for special
treatises. It is doubtless necessary, immediately after logic, to
treat of the nature of being, and its principles and its properties
in general; but it is extremely difficult, and even dangerous, to
undertake the settlement of some questions of ontology connected with
the physical department of science before these same questions are
sufficiently explored by the light, and disentangled by the analysis,
of special metaphysics, to which their full investigation really
appertains. What is the use of giving, for instance, an unestablished,
and perhaps preposterous, notion of corporeal quantity to him who
has as yet to learn what is the essential composition of bodies?
Is a student prepared to realize the true nature of the quantity
of mass, or of the quantity of volume, who has never yet explored
either the mysterious attributes of formal continuity or the intimate
constitution of material substance? Certainly not. He may, indeed,
make an act of faith on the authority of his professor; but philosophy
is not faith, and no professor who understands his duty would ever
unnecessarily oblige his pupils to admit anything as true on his own
sole authority. Questions connected with the physical laws of causation
and movement, or with the nature of sensible qualities and properties,
should similarly be deferred to a later time; for no one will be
able to deal successfully with them, unless he has already acquired
a distinct knowledge of many other things, on which both the right
understanding and the right solution of these questions essentially
depend. Accordingly, such matters, instead of being treated lightly and
perfunctorily at the beginning of the course of metaphysics, should be
treated with those others to which they are naturally allied, in order
that they may be fully examined and competently decided.

From this it will be seen that we do not want a metaphysical science
based on _à priori_ grounds. In all times, metaphysics has been a
science of facts; and it could not be otherwise, since its object
is real, and all that is real is a matter of fact. Experiment and
observation have always supplied the materials of its speculations. All
its conclusions about the nature of the soul are drawn from the facts
of consciousness; all its affirmations concerning the constitution of
bodies are founded on the facts and laws of the physical world; and
all its theses on God, his existence and his attributes, are likewise
deduced from a positive knowledge of contingent things. To suppose that
metaphysical knowledge can be obtained otherwise is such an absurdity
that nothing but the most stupid ignorance can be made to believe it.
And yet this absurdity is what many of our modern scientists fall into
when they contend that metaphysics is an _à priori_ science.

It is not difficult, however, to account for such a dislike of
metaphysical reasonings. The greatest number of our scientific men have
been brought up under the influence either of Protestantism or of its
legitimate offspring, indifferentism; and absolute truth, such as is
attained by rigorous metaphysical reasoning, is not congenial to their
habit of thought. Protestantism is a system made up of half-truths,
half-premises, and half-consequences. A Protestant must at the same
time believe the authenticity of the Bible, and reject the authority by
which alone the Bible can be proved to be authentic; he must conciliate
the liberty of his private judgment with the obedience due to the
teaching of his church; he must have the courage to believe that true
Christian religion is not that which, from the apostolic times down to
our own, has formed so many generations of saints, changed the face of
the world, confirmed its own divine origin by a perpetual succession
of prodigious works, but that which, starting from Luther or some other
mischievous innovator, has never and nowhere produced any fruit of high
sanctity or witnessed a single miracle. Hence, to a Protestant mind,
truth in its entirety must be embarrassing; since the very essence
of Protestantism is to cut truth into pieces, to believe and relish
a portion of it, and to reserve some other portion unbelieved and
unrelished, lest nothing should be left to protest against.

It is clear that minds so disposed in religious matters cannot be much
better disposed in other branches of speculative knowledge; and it
is but natural that they should despise metaphysics altogether. "To
the healthy scientific mind," says a modern writer, "the fine-spun
arguments and the wonderful logical achievements of metaphysicians
are at once so bewildering and so distasteful that men of science can
scarcely be got to listen even to those who undertake to show that
the arguments are but cobwebs, the logic but jingle, and the seeming
profundity little more than a jumble of incongruous ideas shrouded in
a mist of words."[93] Indeed, when men of science are thus satisfied
with their ignorance of philosophy, and shut their eyes and their ears,
lest the light, or perhaps the jingle, of logic compel them to learn
what mere experimentalism cannot teach, we cease to wonder that they
countenance such theories as the _Descent of Man_, the eternity of
matter, or the meteoric origin of the principle of life.

We do not wish to deny the progress of modern science; we fully
acknowledge that experimentalism has led to the discovery of important
facts. But this is no reason why our men of science should disregard
philosophy.

An increase of positive knowledge regarding facts, far from bringing
about the exclusion of philosophical reasoning, extends its range,
enlarges its foundation, and makes its employment both easier and
surer. Accordingly, while we profess gratitude to the modern scientists
for their unceasing labors and untiring efforts towards the development
of experimental knowledge, we beg leave to remind them that this
knowledge is not the _ne plus ultra_ of natural science. Subordinate
sciences account in a certain measure for such things as form their
special object; but philosophy, the highest, the deepest, and the most
universal of sciences, not only embraces in its general scope all the
objects of human knowledge, but accounts for them by their highest
principles and causes, and makes them not only known, but understood.
To know facts is an excellent thing; yet the human mind craves
something higher. We are all born to be philosophers. Indeed, our
rational nature teaches us very early the first elements of philosophy,
and compels us to philosophize. As soon as we acquire the use of
reason, we detect ourselves tracing effects to causes, and conclusions
to principles; and from that time we experience a strong tendency to
generalize such a process, till it extends to all known objects and to
the ultimate reasons of their being.

Yet we should reflect that our rational nature, while thus prompting
us to such high investigations, does not lead us freely to the goal,
but leaves it to our industry to acquaint ourselves with the proper
methods of discovering philosophical truth. Negligence in the study of
such methods hinders intellectual advancement, and leaves men exposed
to the snares of sophistry. Such a negligence on the part of men who
are looked upon as the lights of modern science is one of the great
evils of the day. Distaste for philosophical instruction, when confined
to the lower classes of society, is of little consequence: even in
the middle classes it might be comparatively harmless if men were
ready to own their ignorance, and forbore judging of what transcends
their intellectual acquirements. But in an age like ours, when every
one who has a smattering of light literature or of empirical science
thinks himself called upon to decide the most abstruse and formidable
questions; when countless books and periodicals of a perfidious
character are everywhere spread by the unholy efforts of secret
societies; and, when a confiding public allow themselves to be led like
sheep by such incompetent authorities, then ignorance, supported by
presumption or malice on the one side, and by credulity on the other,
cannot but be the source of incalculable evils.

Hence it is that all prudent and experienced men have come to the
conclusion that one of the greatest necessities of our times is to
popularize the study of sound philosophy. Young America needs to be
taught that there is a whole world of important truths ranging above
the grasp of the vulgar, uncultivated mind, unknown to the pretentious
teachers of a material and spurious civilization, and unattainable by
those who are not trained to the best use of their intellectual powers.
It needs to realize the fact that modern literature and thought in
general is full of deceits. It needs to be instructed how to meet a
host of high-sounding assertions, plausible fallacies, and elaborate
theories, advanced in support of social, religious, or political error.
It needs to be enabled, by a sound, uniform, and strong teaching,
gradually to form into a compact body, held together by the noble
ties of truth, powerful enough to stem the torrent of infidelity, and
always ready to defend right and justice against learned hypocrisy, as
well as against ignorant sophistry. Grown-up men cannot be reclaimed;
they are too much engrossed with material interests to find leisure
for the cultivation of their higher faculties; but we are glad to see
that our brilliant and unbiassed youth can be given, and are ready to
receive, a more intellectual education. Let us only convince them of
the importance of philosophy; let us provide them with good, kind, and
learned teachers, and the future will be ours.

FOOTNOTES:

[88] Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, by Rev. I.
T. HECKER, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington,
D. C.

[89] Fleming, in his _Dictionary of Philosophy_ (v. Metaphysics), says:
"In Latin, _metaphysica_ is synonymous with _supernaturalia_; and
Shakespeare has used _metaphysical_ as synonymous with _supernatural_:

    '... Fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
    To have thee crowned.'

                    --_Macbeth_, act i., scene 3.

Clemens Alexandrinus (_Strom._ i.) considered _metaphysical_ as
equivalent to _supernatural_; and is supported by an anonymous Greek
commentator, etc."

That Shakespeare's _metaphysical aid_ means the aid of some mysterious
power above nature may be conceded. But that in Latin _metaphysica_
is synonymous with _supernaturalia_ is an assertion which can be
easily refuted by a simple reference to any of the great Latin
works of metaphysics. Nor is it true that Clemens Alexandrinus
considered _metaphysical_ as equivalent to _supernatural_. He only
remarks that Aristotle's _Metaphysics_ is that part of philosophy
which Plato at one time styled "a contemplation of truly great
mysteries," and at other times "dialectics"--that is, "a science
which investigates the reasons of the things that are" (τῆς τῶν
ὄντων δηλώσεως εὐρητικὴ τίς ἐστιν ἐπιστήμη). Now, the science which
investigates the reasons of the things that are extends to _all_
real beings. It is not true, therefore, that Clemens Alexandrinus
considered _metaphysical_ as equivalent to _supernatural_. The truth
is that he does not even use the word _metaphysics_ as his own, but
only says that Aristotle's _Metaphysics_ contains the investigation
and contemplation of "mysteries"--that is, of abstruse things. And
since Aristotle's _metaphysics_ is not a science of the supernatural,
Clemens Alexandrinus, in quoting the word _metaphysics_ in connection
with Aristotle, cannot have considered it as equivalent to the science
of the supernatural. Lastly, Clemens Alexandrinus explains that the
science which Aristotle called _metaphysics_, and Plato _dialectics_,
has for its object the consideration of things, and the determination
of their powers and attributes, from which it raises itself to their
very essence, whence again it ventures to go further, even to God
himself, the master of the universe. Επισκοποῦσα τὰ πράγματα, καὶ τὰς
δυνάμεις, καὶ τὰς ἐξουσίας δοκιμάζουσα, ὐπεξαναβαίνει περὶ τὴν πάντων
κρατίστην οὐσίαν, τολμᾶ τε ἐπέκεινα ἐπὶ τῶν ὄλων Θεὸν (_Strom._, lib.
i. c. 28). This shows that metaphysical science, according to Clemens
Alexandrinus, extends to the investigation of all natural things.
It cannot, therefore, be said that he considered _metaphysical_ as
equivalent to _supernatural_, whatever may have been the opinion of the
anonymous Greek commentator.

[90] Grove, _Correlation of Physical Forces_.

[91] Suarez, _Metaph. Disput._, i. sect. 2, n. 25.

[92] S. Thomas says: _Intellectus potest intelligere aliquam formam
absque individuantibus principiis, non tamen absque materia, a qua
dependet ratio illius formæ_ (in 3 _De Anima_, lect. 8).

[93] _Nature_, a Journal of Science, March 13, 1873.



EPIGRAM.


    Inconstant thou! There ne'er was any
    Till now so constant--to so many.

                                    AUBREY DE VERE.



DANTE'S PURGATORIO.

CANTO FOURTH.

  This Canto, being somewhat abstruse, was passed over at its due
  place in the series of these translations. As its omission has been
  regretted by some students of Dante, it has been thought best to
  publish it now, although the first portion of it may seem a little
  difficult to any but a mathematical reader. Perhaps its dryness
  may be somewhat relieved at the close by the humorous picture of
  the lazy sinner Belacqua, which is the first slight touch of the
  comic in this most grave comedy, and here for the first time Dante
  confesses to a smile.


      Whene'er the mind, from any joy or pain
    In any faculty, to that alone
      Bends its whole force, its other powers remain
    Unexercised, it seems (whereby is shown
      Plain contradiction of th' erroneous view
    Which holds within us kindled several souls).
      Hence, when we hear or see a thing whereto
    The mind is strongly drawn, unheeded rolls
      The passing hour; the man observes it not:
    That power is one whereby we hear or see,
      And that another which absorbs our thought;
    This being chained, as 'twere--the former free.

      A real experience of this truth had I,
    Listening that soul with wonder at such force,
      For now the sun full fifty degrees high
    Had risen without my noticing his course,
      When came we where the spirits, with one voice all,
    Cried out to us, "Behold the place ye seek!"
      A wider opening oft, in hedge or wall,
    Some farmer, when the grape first browns its cheek,
      Stops with one forkful of his brambles thrown,
    Than was the narrow pass whereby my Guide
      Began to climb, I following on alone,
    While from our way I saw those wanderers glide.

      A man may climb St. Leo, or descend
    The steeps of Noli, or Bismantua's height
      Scale to the top, and on his feet depend;
    _Here_ one should fly! I mean he needs the light
      Pinions and plumage of a strong desire,
    Under such leadership as gave me hope
      And lighted me my way. Advancing higher
    In through the broken rock, it left no scope
      On either side, but cramped us close; the ledge
    O'er which we crept required both feet and hands.
      When we had toiled up to the utmost edge
    Of the high bank, where the clear coast expands,
      "Which way," said I, "my Master, shall we take?"
    And he to me, "Let not thy foot fall back;
      Still follow me, and for the mountain make,
    Until some guide appear who knows the track."
      Its top sight reached not, and the hillside rose
    With far more salient angle than the line
      That from half-quadrant to the centre goes.
    Most weary was I: "Gentle Father mine,"
      I thus broke silence, "turn and see that if
    Thou stay not for me, I remain alone."
      "Struggle, my son, as far as yonder cliff,"
    He said, and pointed upwards to a zone
      Terracing all the mountain on that side.
    His word so spurred me that I forced myself
      And clambered on still close behind my Guide
    Until my feet were on that girdling shelf.

      Here we sat down and turned our faces towards
    The East, from which point we had made ascent
      (For looking back on toil some rest affords);
    And on the low shore first mine eyes I bent,
      Then raised them sunward, wondering as I gazed
    How his light smote us from the left. While thus
      I stared, he marked how I beheld amazed
    Day's chariot entering 'twixt the North and us.
      "Were yonder mirror now," the Poet said,
    "That with his light leads up and down the spheres,
      In Castor and Pollux, thou wouldst see the red
    Zodiac revolving closer to the Bears,
      If it swerved nothing from its ancient course;
    Which fact to fathom wouldst thou power command,
      Imagine, with thy mind's collected force,
    This mount and Zion so on earth to stand
      That though in adverse hemispheres, the twain
    One sole horizon have: thence 'tis not hard
      To see (if clear thine intellect remain)
    How the Sun's road--which Phaeton, ill-starred,
      Knew not to keep--must pass that mountain o'er
    On one, and _this_ hill on the other side."
      "Certes, my Master,--ne'er saw I before
    So clear as at this moment," I replied
      (Where seemed but now my understanding maimed),
    "How the mid-circle of the heavenly spheres
      And of their movements--the Equator named
    In special term of art--which never veers
      From its old course, 'twixt winter and the Sun,
    Yet for the reason thou dost now assign,
      Towards the Septentrion from this point doth run,
    While to the Jews it bore a South decline.
      But if it please thee, gladly would I learn
    How far we have to journey; for so high
      This hill soars that mine eyes cannot discern
    The top thereof." He made me this reply:
      "Such is this mountain that for one below
    The first ascent is evermore severe,
      It grows less painful higher as we go.
    So when to thee it pleasant shall appear
      That no more toil thy climbing shall attend
    Than to sail down the way the current flows,
      Then art thou near unto thy pathway's end;
    There from thy labor look to find repose.
      I know that this is true, but say no more."
    And this word uttered, not far off addressed
      Me thus a voice: "It may be that before
    That pass, thou wilt have need to sit and rest."
      At sound thereof we both looked round, and there
    Beheld a huge rock, close to our left hand,
      Whereof till now we had not been aware.
    Thither we toiled, and in its shade a band
      Behind it stood with a neglectful air,
    As men in idleness are wont to stand.


BELACQUA THE SLUGGARD.

      And one was seated, hanging down his face
    Between his knees, which he with languid limb,
      Looking exhausted, held in his embrace.
    "O my sweet Seignior!" I exclaimed, "note him!
      Lazier-looking than had laziness been
    His sister-born." Turning towards us, at length
      He gazed, slow lifting o'er his thigh his chin,
    And drawled, "Go up, then, thou who hast such strength."
      I knew who _that_ was then; and though the ascent
    Had made me pant somewhat, I kept my pace,
      Spite of short breath: close up to him I went,
    And he droned forth, scarce lifting up his face,
      "Hast thou found out yet how the Sun this way
    O'er thy left shoulder doth his chariot guide?"
      His sloth, and what few words he had to say,
    Made me smile slightly, and I thus replied:
      "No more, Belacqua, do I mourn thy fate;
    But tell me wherefore in this place I see
      Thee sitting thus? Dost thou for escort wait,
    Or has thy old slow habit seized on thee?"

      And he--"O brother! what boots it to climb?
    God's Angel sitting at the gate denies
      Me way to penance until so much time
    Be past as living I beheld the skies.
      Outside I must remain here for the crime
    Of dallying to the last my contrite sighs,
      Unless I happily some help derive
    From the pure prayer ascending from a heart
      That lives in grace: a prayer not thus alive
    Heaven doth not hear: what aid can such impart?"

      Now before me the Poet up the height
    Began to climb, saying, "Come on, for o'er
      This hill's meridian hangs the Sun, and Night
    Sets foot already on Morocco's shore."


NOTE.

  The Rev. Edward Everett Hale, in a most interesting paper intended
  for presentation to the American Antiquarian Society, in Boston,
  makes this record:

  "When Columbus sailed on his fourth voyage, he wrote to Ferdinand
  and Isabella a letter which contains the following statement with
  regard to the South Sea, then undiscovered, known to us as the
  Pacific Ocean:

  "'I believe that if I should pass under the equator, in arriving at
  this higher region of which I speak, I should find there a milder
  temperature and a diversity in the stars and in the waters. Not
  that I believe that the highest point is navigable whence these
  currents flow, nor that we can mount there, because I am convinced
  that there is the terrestrial paradise, whence no one can enter but
  by the will of God.'

  "This curious passage, of which the language seems so mystical,
  represents none the less the impression which Columbus had of
  the physical cosmogony of the undiscovered half of the world. It
  is curious to observe that the most elaborate account of this
  cosmogony, and that by which alone it has been handed down to
  the memory of modern times, is that presented in Dante's _Divina
  Commedia_, where he represents the mountain of Purgatory, at the
  antipodes of Jerusalem, crowned by the terrestrial paradise. It is
  this paradise of which Columbus says, 'No one can enter it but by
  the will of God.'

  "Of Dante's cosmogony a very accurate account is given by Miss
  Rossetti, in her essay on Dante, recently published, to which she
  gives the name of 'The Shadow of Dante.' Her statement is in these
  words:

  "'Dante divides our globe into two elemental hemispheres--the
  Eastern, chiefly of land; the Western, almost wholly of water.'"

  It is much easier to praise Mr. Hale's valuable comments than to
  agree with Miss Rossetti. To us it seems that her confused account
  lets no light in upon Dante's cosmogony, which was simply that of
  the age he lived in, poetized after his own fashion. According
  to the interpretation of THE CATHOLIC WORLD's translation, Dante
  divides our globe into two hemispheres--_Northern_ and _Southern_.
  In the story of Ulysses (_Inferno_, Canto xxvi.) he alludes to a
  Western hemisphere, and, as far as we remember, nowhere else. Mr.
  Hale says in conclusion of his able paper, "I am not aware that any
  of the distinguished critics of Dante have called attention to the
  fact that so late as the year 1503, a navigator so illustrious as
  Columbus was still conducting his voyages on the supposition that
  Dante's cosmogony was true in fact."

  This, indeed, is quite curious, but ought not to surprise one who
  reflects that the cosmography of Columbus was not much advanced
  from the time of Dante. In this very canto the poet shows that he
  knew about the variation of the ecliptic and the retrogression of
  the equinoxes. From his age to that of the great navigator, science
  had hardly taken a forward step. In fact, before 1300, Dante was
  acquainted not only with the sphericity of the earth, but with the
  first law of gravitation--the tendency of things to their centre.
  Few consider how very slow was the growth of science from that
  which Dante had learned in Florence, and Columbus had studied in
  Pavia and Sienna, up to the time of Copernicus, at whom, so late as
  1625, Lord Bacon had the hardihood to give this fling: "Who would
  not smile at the astronomers--I mean, not those _carmen_ which
  drive the earth about, but the few ancient astronomers, which feign
  the moon to be the swiftest of the planets in motion, etc.?"

  The pages of this magazine will not permit us to prolong an inquiry
  that may hereafter, and which ought to, be made as to the Ptolemean
  astronomy of the schools in the age of Dante. The one scholar in
  this country most capable of such investigation is too busy--we
  mean Professor Peirce, of the U. S. Coast Survey.--TRANSLATOR.



GRAPES AND THORNS.


BY THE AUTHOR OF "THE HOUSE OF YORKE."


CHAPTER VII.

MOTHER CHEVREUSE AGAIN.

If one would take the trouble to search into the subject, it would,
perhaps, be acknowledged that the apparently unreasonable emotion that
women display on occasions when men find themselves unmoved is not,
after all, entirely ridiculous. It may be annoying, it may partake of
the hysterical; but, if genuine, it is the sign of a more subtile,
though often vague, perception.

A woman whom the Creator has endowed so nobly with intellect as to make
it a source of painful regret that the infinitely higher supernatural
gifts are lacking in her has written words which may be quoted in
this connection: "That element of tragedy which lies in the very fact
of frequency has not yet wrought itself into the coarse emotions of
mankind; and perhaps our frames could hardly bear much of it. If we had
a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like
hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die
of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the
quickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidity."

Had George Eliot been gifted with faith as with reason, she could not
have written that paragraph without recollecting that the saint on
earth is an exception to her rule; that the soul illumined by the Holy
Spirit has so keen a perception, not of natural things as such, but
of natural things in their relations to God; that but for the divine
strength and peace which accompany the holy presence, it could not
endure that vision of eternal results hanging on apparently trivial
causes. To such a soul there are but two paths, and every smallest step
is in the road to heaven or the road to hell.

Look at those saints, and listen to them. They were worn and pallid;
they were consumed by a fiery zeal because of this awful tragedy they
saw in the perpetually recurring common events of life. They heard for
ever that roar of eternity from the other side of the silence of death.

But regarding the natural, of which our author speaks, she is right.
The greater number of us are "well-wadded with stupidity," though women
are by nature far less so than men. Their view is often distorted and
vague; they tremble at shadows, and do not know where to look for the
substance which casts them; but the substance is there, nevertheless.
They feel the tragedy hidden in common things, whether they can explain
it or not. It must be remembered that while man was made of the slime
of the earth, woman was formed of flesh; and that the material part
which is the veil between her spirit and the outer world has felt twice
the refining touch of the Creator's hand.

Is all this too large an _à propos_ to the tears which women are
accused of shedding whenever they see a marriage? Think a moment
before deciding. Not the happiness or misery of these two alone is in
question, but that of an endless line of possible descendants. There
is, indeed, no kind of tragedy which may not follow on a marriage.

After this long preamble, we may venture to say that both Mme. Ferrier
and Mrs. Gerald were moved to tears at the marriage of their children;
the former crying openly and naturally, the latter showing her emotion
with that restraint which conventional life imposes. Each understood
the other, and was cordially drawn to the other for, perhaps, the first
time in all their acquaintance. They stood side by side on the wharf as
the steamer which bore the young couple left it, and gazed after their
children, who waved handkerchiefs and kisses to them from the deck. A
few hours in the steamer would carry them to the city, where they were
to take the cars for Niagara. Annette wished to see the falls when the
autumn foliage should form a setting for them, and Lawrence had his own
reason for liking the place.

"I have the greatest sympathy and affection for waterfalls," he said;
"and I would like to live near Niagara. One gets so tir