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Title: Life of Father Ignatius of St. Paul, Passionist. - The Hon. & Rev. George Spencer
Author: Sancto, Rev. Father Pius A Sp.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Life of
Father Ignatius of St. Paul,
Passionist.



{i}

{ii}

[Picture and autograph of Fr. Ignatius]

{iii}


LIFE OF

_Father Ignatius of St. Paul,_

PASSIONIST

(The Hon. & Rev. George Spencer).

_Compiled chiefly from his_

Autobiography, Journal, & Letters.

BY

The Rev. Father Pius A Sp. Sancto,

Passionist.



DUBLIN:

James Duffy, 15, Wellington Quay;
And 22, Paternoster Row, London.

1866.

[The right of translation is reserved.]

{iv}

Cox And Wyman,

Classical and General Printers,
Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, W.C.

{v}

_To the Very Reverend_

Father Ignatius Of The Infant Jesus,

Passionist,

Long The Director Of Father Ignatius Of St. Paul,

For Nine Years The Faithful Steward Of The Anglo-Hibernian

Province, Which He Found A Handful And Made A Host,

This Volume,

Written By His Order And Published With His Blessing,

Is Dedicated,

To Testify The Gratitude All His Subjects Feel, And The Most
Unworthy Of Them Tries To Express,

By His Paternity's

Devoted And Affectionate Child,

The Author.

{vi}

{vii}

Preface.


Great servants of God have seldom been understood in their lifetime.
Persecution has assailed them often, from quarters where help would be
expected in their defence. Even holy souls are sometimes mistaken
about the particular line of virtue which distinguishes their
contemporaries from themselves. St. John of the Cross, St. Joseph
Calasanctius, and St. Alphonsus Liguori, have had the close of their
lives embittered, as we might call it, by domestic persecution; and it
was some time before their splendour, as they vanished from the
horizon of life, rose again to its zenith, and outshone its former
glory. If the impartial eye, with which we read their actions, fails
to find a plea for the manner they have been dealt with, let us
remember that we have no interests at stake--no false colouring of
passion to blind us. Death, indeed, does not always mow down mistaken
notions with the life of him about whom they are taken up. We must,
however, be thankful that it slays so many {viii} wrong impressions,
and attribute the residue to other causes.

Justice to the dead is an impulse of nature; and those who would
qualify praise of the living by the mention of unworthy actions or
inferior motives, will qualify blame of the dead by a contrary
proceeding. This instinct has its golden mean as well as every other.
If an ancient Greek ostracised a man because he was praised by every
one, many moderns will defend a man because he is similarly blamed.

Whenever there exists a difference of opinion about a man during life,
it requires some length of time after he has departed, for prejudice
to settle to the bottom, and allow his genuine character to be seen
through clearly.

These facts, and the experience of history, lead us to conclude that a
man's life cannot be impartially written when his memory is yet fresh
in people's minds. Thousands have had opportunities of judging, and
bring their impressions to compare them with the page that records the
actions from which they were taken; and if they be different from the
idea the biographer intends to convey, it is not probable that, in
every case, their possessors will be content to lay them aside. It is
supposed, moreover, that a biographer owes a kind of vassalage to his
subject--that he is obliged to defend him through thick and {ix }
thin--in good and evil report. He is obliged, according to
traditionary, though arbitrary laws, to suppress whatever will not
tell in his favour, to put the very best face upon what he is
compelled to relate, and to make the most of excellencies. His
opinion, therefore, must be received with caution, for it is his duty
to be partial, in the most odious sense of that word, and it would be
a capital sin to deviate from this long-established rule.

These difficulties do not beset the life that is here presented to the
public. Father Ignatius had his alternations of praise and blame
during life; but those who thought least of him were forced to admit
his great sanctity. If this latter quality be conceded, apology has no
room. An admitted saint does not require to be defended; for the
_aureola_ of his own brow will shed the light through which his
actions are to be viewed. We see, therefore, no wrong impressions that
require to be removed--no calumnies that have to be cleared
away--nothing, in fact, to be done, except to give a faithful history
of his life. For this reason, we venture to publish this work before
the second anniversary of his death; and it would have been published
sooner, if the materials from which it is composed could have been
arranged and digested.

Again, he was heedless of the praise or blame of {x} men himself, and
it would be an injustice to his memory to wait for a favourable moment
for giving his thoughts publicity.

Those who expect to find nothing in the lives of holy people but
goodness and traits of high spirituality, will be disappointed when
they read this. Those who are accustomed to read that some saints
indeed have lived rather irregularly in their youth, but find
themselves left in blessed ignorance of what those irregularities
were, will also be disappointed. They shall find here recorded that
young Spencer was not a saint, and they shall be given data whereon to
form their own opinion too. They shall see him pass through various
phases of religious views, and shall find themselves left to draw
their own conclusions about his conduct throughout.

And now, perhaps, it is better to give some reasons why this course
was adopted in writing his life, rather than the usual one. Besides
that already given, there are two others.

In the first place, ordinary, well-meaning Christians feel
disheartened when they find saints ready to be canonized from their
infancy, and cannot think of the Magdalenes when they find the
calendar full of Marys, and Agneses, and Teresas. Neither will they
reflect much on an Augustin, when the majority are Sebastians and
Aloysiuses. Here is an example to help these people on; and they are
the greater number. {xi} We have therefore shown Father Ignatius's
weak points as well as his strong ones; we have brought him out in his
written life precisely as he was in reality.

He comes before us with a mind full of worldly notions, he traces his
own steps away from rectitude, he makes his confession to the whole
world. How many will see in the youth he passed, far away from God and
grazing the edge of the bottomless precipice, a perfect illustration
of their own youth. Let them then follow him through life. They shall
find him a prey to the worst passions, anger, pride, and their kindred
tendencies. They shall see him put his hand to the plough, and,
according to the measure of his grace and light, subduing first one,
and then another of his inclinations. They can trace his passage
through life, and see that he has so far overcome his passions that an
equivocal warmth of temper is a thing to be wondered at in him. There
is a servant of God that gives us courage, we need not despond when he
leads the way for us. Occasional imperfections are mentioned towards
the latter part of his life. These only show that he was a man and not
an angel, and that a defect now and again is not at all incompatible
with great holiness.

There was a reality about the man that can never leave the minds of
those who knew him. He hated shams. He would have the brightest
consequences of {xii} faith realized. He would not have the Gospel
laws be mere matter of sentimental platitudes, but great realities
pervading life and producing their legitimate effects. He went into
them, heart and soul; and the few points in which he seemed to go this
side or that of the mean of virtue in their observance, we have
recorded, that others may see how he observed them. Exceptions show
the beauty of a rule; and this is the second reason why we have
written as a historian and not as a panegyrist.

And now for an account of the materials from which the memoir has been
compiled. He wrote an account of his life about the year 1836. He was
then on a bed of sickness from which he scarcely expected to rise; but
we shall give his own reasons for writing what he has written. The
autobiography begins thus:--

  "When a man comes before the world as an author, there is much
  danger of his being actuated by motives of which he does not like to
  acknowledge the influence, and people are so naturally disposed to
  suspect the motive to be something different from that which ought
  to be the leading one of all our important actions, and especially
  of those which are possessed by our religious actions; namely, the
  honour of God, and our own neighbour's good; that the common preface
  to such works is, to guard the author against the imputation of
  vanity or of self-love, in some one {xiii } or other of the
  contemptible forms in which it rules so widely in this poor world of
  ours. Such introductory apologies, on the part of an author, will not,
  I believe, meet with full credit with those who know the world.
  Those who are most obviously the slaves of self-will, will,
  generally, be loudest in their protestations of the purity and
  excellence of their motives; so that my advice to those who wish to
  establish in the minds of others a good opinion of their sincerity,
  would generally be, to say nothing about it, and let their conduct
  speak for itself. Yet this is not what I intend to do in the
  commencement of my present work. What I have undertaken is, _to give
  to the public_ a history of my own mind. I shall make it my study to
  recollect with accuracy and to state with truth the motives, the
  impressions, and the feelings by which I have been guided in the
  important passages of my past life; and therefore there seems to be
  some peculiar reason, from the nature of the work itself, why I
  should commence by stating why I have undertaken it. Yet I will not
  venture to say positively what are my motives. I rather shall state,
  in the sight of God and of my brethren, what are the motives which I
  allow myself to entertain in deliberately presenting a history of my
  thoughts _to the public_. My readers are at liberty to judge me in
  their own way, and suppose that I deceive myself in the view I take
  of my own intentions as much or as little as to them shall seem
  probable. Of this {xvi} which, have obliged me to leave my flock to
  the care of others, while my proper business is to be, for a time,
  to recover my health by rest and relaxation. Here then is an
  opportunity for undertaking something in the way of writing; and I
  am about to make what I conceive is the most valuable contribution
  in my power to the works already existing for the defence of our
  Holy Faith.

  "I have not the knowledge requisite for producing a learned work,
  nor am I ever likely to acquire it. A work of fancy or invention is,
  perhaps, yet further out of my line. I never had any talent for
  compositions in which imagination is required. I hardly ever wrote a
  line of poetry except when obliged to it at school or college. But
  it requires neither learning nor imagination to give a simple
  statement of facts, and there is a charm in truth which will give to
  a composition, which bears its stamp, an interest more lively,
  perhaps, than what the beauties of poetry and fiction are employed
  to adorn.

  "I believe the history of the human mind must always be interesting.
  If the most insignificant of men could but be taught to write a
  correct account of what has passed within his soul, in any period of
  his existence, the history would be full of wonders and instruction;
  and if, with God's help, I am able to fulfil my present undertaking,
  and to give a picture of my own mind and heart, and recount, with
  truth and {xvii} perspicuity, the revolutions which have taken place
  within me, I have no doubt the narrative will be interesting. The
  minds and hearts of men are wonderfully alike one to another. They
  are also wonderfully various. Read the history of my mind and you
  will find it interesting, as you know a book of travels is, through
  countries which you have visited. You will see your own heart
  represented to you, and be, perhaps, pleasingly reminded of the
  feelings, the projects, the disappointments, the weaknesses of days
  gone by. But I have a greater object before me than your amusement.
  I desire your instruction. I may, perchance, throw on some passage
  of your history, on some points of the great picture which a
  retrospect of your past life presents to you, a more correct light.
  I may show you where your views of things might have often been more
  true than they were at the time, when your steps might have been
  more prudently, more happily taken, and by the consideration of
  mistakes and errors which I have afterwards acknowledged, though
  once blind to them, and from which I have recovered through the
  goodness of God, you may be assisted to take some steps forwards in
  the path of truth and happiness.

  "I do not, however, propose to myself the benefit of others only in
  this composition. The noblest and the most useful study of mankind
  is man; but, certainly, this study is in no way so important as when
  it {xviii} is in the contemplation of ourselves that we follow it
  up. It is a high point of wisdom to know and understand other men;
  but we know nothing that will indeed avail us if we know not
  ourselves. Hence, while I am undertaking a history of myself for the
  instruction of others, I purpose, at the same time, and in the first
  place, to gain from my researches instruction for myself. In now
  recollecting and declaring the doings of God towards me, and my
  doings towards Him, I most earnestly desire an advancement in myself
  of love and humility; would that it might be an advancement in
  perfection! I began this work with fervent prayer that I may be
  preserved from the snares with which it may be accompanied; above
  all, that I may not make it an occasion of vain-glory, and so turn
  what ought to be done for God's service and for others' good into an
  offence of God and my own exceeding loss; but that, being delivered
  from the danger, I may find it the occasion of exceeding spiritual
  benefit to myself, if it be not to any others."

The reader must take what Father Ignatius writes of himself with some
qualifications. He seems to have had an invincible propensity to put
his worst side out in whatever he wrote about himself. He did not see
his own perfections, he underrated his knowledge, his mind, his
virtues. He saw good in every one except himself. But it is needless
to speak much on {xix} this point, as his candour and simplicity are
sure to make every reader favourable.

It is to be regretted that the autobiography does not reach farther
into his life than his ordination as a minister. How gratifying it
would have been if we could read his interior conflicts, his exterior
difficulties, his alternations of joy and sadness, in the sweet,
affectionate style which tells us his early life. But the reason must
have been:--He had little to charge himself with; he had no faults
serious enough to lower him in the esteem of men from that time
forward, and therefore he did not write.

The next source of information is his journal. He began to keep a
journal in 1818, when he first went to Cambridge, and continued it
uninterruptedly down to 1829, a short time before his conversion. We
have found nothing in the shape of a diary among his papers, from that
time until the year 1846, a few months before he became a Passionist,
except a journal of a tour he made on the Continent in 1844, and that
is given entire in the third book. The journal from 1846, until a few
days before his death, is a mere record of dates and places in which
he has been and persons he spoke to. It is so closely written that it
is scarcely readable by the naked eye, and he gives in one page the
incidents of six months. This journal was of great use to him. It
helped his memory and prevented his making mistakes in the multitude
of scenes through {xx} which, he passed. It is also a valuable
contribution to the annals of our Order.

Besides these two sources of information regarding his life, we have
had access to a multitude of letters, running over the space of
upwards of forty years. He preserved a great many of the important
letters he received; and several of his friends, who preserved letters
received from him as treasures, kindly lent us their stock for the
preparation of this volume. His Eminence the late Cardinal Wiseman
gave us what letters he possessed, and promised to contribute some
recollections of his friend, but was prevented by death from
fulfilling his promise. Our thanks are due to their Lordships, the
Right Rev. Dr. Ullathorne, the Right Rev. Dr. Wareing, the Right Rev.
Dr. Turner, the Right Rev. Dr. Grant, the Right Rev. Dr. Amherst, and
to several clergymen and lay persons, for their kindness in sending us
letters and furnishing us with anecdotes and pleasing recollections of
Father Ignatius. Among the latter we are under special obligations to
Mr. De Lisle and Mr. Monteith. In truth we have found all the friends
of Father Ignatius most willing to assist us in our undertaking. Nor
must we forget several religious who have helped us in every possible
way. The information gathered from the correspondence has been the
most valuable. His letters were written to dear friends to whom he
laid the very inmost of his soul open,--fervent souls, who sympathized
{xxi} with his zealous exertions and profited by his advice in
advancing themselves and others in the way of virtue.

The Dowager Lady Lyttelton has kindly furnished us with dates and
accurate information about the members of the Spencer family, and as
she is the only survivor of the children of John George, Earl Spencer,
we hope the memory of her dear brother will serve to alleviate the
weight of her advancing years, and prolong them considerably to her
children and grandchildren. We beg to express our sincere thanks for
her ladyship's kindness.

A fourth and not a less interesting source of information has been our
own memory. Father Ignatius was most communicative to his brethren;
indeed he might be said to be transparent. We all knew him so well. He
related the anecdotes that are given in his memoir to us all; and when
each Father and Brother gave in his contribution, the quantity
furnished would have made a very entertaining life of itself. Their
thanks must be the consciousness of having helped to keep him yet
amongst us as far as was possible.

These, then, are the sources from which the following pages have been
compiled. The facts related may therefore be relied upon as perfectly
authentic. We possess the originals of the matter quoted--vouchers for
every opinion advanced, and the anecdotes can be corroborated by half
a dozen of witnesses.

{xxii}

Seeing that his life had been so diverse, and that the changes of
thought which influenced the early portion of it were so various, it
was thought best to divide it into four distinct books. The first book
takes him to the threshold of the Anglican ministry; the second into
the fold of the Church; the third into the Passionist novitiate; and
the fourth follows him to the grave.

We shall let the details speak for themselves, and only remark that
there is an identity in the character as well as in the countenance of
a man which underlies all the phases of opinion through which he may
have passed. It will be seen that, from childhood to old age, Father
Ignatius was remarkable for earnestness and reverence. Whatever he
thought to be his duty he pursued with indomitable perseverance. He
was not one to cloak over a weak point, or soothe a doubt with a
trumped-up answer. He candidly admitted every difficulty, and went
with unflagging zeal into clearing it up. This was the key to his
conversion. He had, besides, even in his greatest vagaries, a
reverential spirit with regard to his Creator, which formed an
atmosphere of duty around him, outside which he could not step without
being stung by conscience. A sting he never deadened. These were the
centripetal and centrifugal forces that kept his life balanced on an
axis that remained steady in the centre during his every evolution.

{xxiii}

We have endeavoured to be faithful to his memory. We have tried, as
far as we could, to let himself tell his life; we have only arranged
the materials and supplied the cement that would keep them together.
Whether the work has suffered in our hands or not is immaterial to us.
We have tried to do our best, and no one can do more. If any
expressions have escaped us that may appear offensive, we are ready to
make the most ample apology, but not at the sacrifice of a particle of
truth. If, through ignorance or inadvertence, errors have been
committed, we hold ourselves ready to retract them; and retract,
beforehand, anything that may, in the slightest degree, be injurious,
not to say contrary, to Catholic doctrine, and submit ourselves
unreservedly in this point to the judgment of ecclesiastical
authority.


_St. Joseph's Retreat, Highgate, London, N.,
Feast of the Epiphany, 1866._

{xxiv}

{xxv}

CONTENTS.

BOOK I.

_Father Ignatius, a Young Noble._



CHAPTER I.
His Childhood--Page 1


CHAPTER II.
Four First Years At Eton--6


CHAPTER III.
His Two Last Years At Eton--12


CHAPTER IV.
Private Tuition Under Mr. Blomfield--18


CHAPTER V.
He Goes To Cambridge--22


CHAPTER VI.
His First Year In Cambridge--28


CHAPTER VII.
Conclusion Of His First Year In Cambridge--42


CHAPTER VIII.
Second Year In Cambridge Takes His Degree--48

{xxvi}


CHAPTER IX.

Travels On The Continent--57


CHAPTER X.
English Life In Naples--65


CHAPTER XI.
Continuation Of His Travels--74


CHAPTER XII.
An Interval Of Rest And Preparation For Orders--91



BOOK II.

_Father Ignatius, an Anglican Minister._


CHAPTER I.
He Is Ordained, And Enters On His Clerical Duties--103


CHAPTER II.
He Mends Some Of His Ways--110


CHAPTER III.
He Receives Further Orders--117


CHAPTER IV.
Mr. Spencer Becomes Rector Of Brington--122


CHAPTER V.
Changes In His Religious Opinions--127

CHAPTER VI.
Opposition To His Religious Views--134

{xxvii}

CHAPTER VII.
Progress Of His Religious Views--142


CHAPTER VIII.
Some Of The Practical Effects Of His Views--148

CHAPTER IX.
Scruples About The Athanasian Creed--155


CHAPTER X.
Incidents And State Of Mind In 1827-28--166


CHAPTER XI.
The Maid Of Lille--174


CHAPTER XII.
Ambrose Lisle Phillipps--186



BOOK III.

_Father Ignatius, a Secular Priest._


CHAPTER I.
His First Days In The Church--199

CHAPTER II.
Mr. Spencer In The English College, Rome--206

CHAPTER III.
Father Spencer Is Ordained Priest--212

CHAPTER IV.
Father Spencer Begins His Missionary Life--220

{xxviii}

CHAPTER V.
Prospects Of Widening His Sphere Of Action--226

CHAPTER VI.
Newspaper Discussions, Etc.--232

CHAPTER VII.
Private Life And Crosses Of Father Spencer--240

CHAPTER  VIII.
Association Of Prayers For The Conversion Of England--248

CHAPTER IX.
His Last Days In West Bromwich--258

CHAPTER X.
Father Spencer Comes To Oscott--264

CHAPTER XI.
Some Of His Doings In Oscott College--270

CHAPTER XII.
Some Events Of Interest--275

CHAPTER XIII.
His Tour On The Continent In 1844--280

CHAPTER XIV.
Close Of His Career In Oscott;
And His Religious Vocation--343

{xxix }

BOOK IV.

_Father Ignatius, a Passionist_


CHAPTER I.
The Noviciate--351

CHAPTER II.
His First Year As A Passionist--361

CHAPTER III.
A Peculiar Mission--368

CHAPTER IV.
Death Of Father Dominic--374

CHAPTER V.
Spirit Of Father Ignatius At This Time--380

CHAPTER VI.
His Dealings With Protestants And Prayers For Union--387

CHAPTER VII.
Father Ignatius In 1850--393

CHAPTER VIII.
A New Form Of "The Crusade"--400

CHAPTER IX.
Visit To Rome And "The Association Of Prayers"--413

CHAPTER X.
A Tour In Germany--428

{xxx}

CHAPTER XI.
Father Ignatius Returns To England--436

CHAPTER XII.
A Little Of His Home And Foreign Work--443

CHAPTER XIII.
Sanctification Of Ireland--449

CHAPTER XIV.
Another Tour On The Continent--453

CHAPTER XV.
Father Ignatius In 1857--458

CHAPTER XVI.
His "Little Missions"--464

CHAPTER XVII.
Father Ignatius At Home--469

CHAPTER XVIII.
A Few Events--477

CHAPTER XIX.
Trials And Crosses--483

CHAPTER XX.
Foreshadowings And Death--495

CHAPTER XXI.
The Obsequies Of Father Ignatius--504

{xxxi}

BOOK I.

_F. Ignatius, a Young Noble._


{xxxii}


{1}

[Image of Cross]
I X P



LIFE OF FATHER IGNATIUS
OF ST. PAUL, PASSIONIST.



BOOK I.

_F. Ignatius, a Young Noble._


CHAPTER I.
His Childhood.


Saint Paul gives the general history of childhood in one sentence:
"When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I
thought as a child." The thoughts and ways of children are wonderfully
similar; the mind is not sufficiently developed to give direction to
character, and the peculiar incidents that are sometimes recorded to
prove "the child the father of the man," seem more the result of
chance than deliberation. With all this, we like to bask our memory in
those sunny days: we love to look at our cradles, at where we made and
spoiled our little castles, and we recall the smallest incidents to
mind, as if to try and fancy we could be children again. This natural
sentiment makes us anxious to know all about the infancy and childhood
of those whose life has an interest for us; {2} although knowing that
there can be nothing very strange about it; and even, if there be,
that it cannot have much weight in moulding the character of our hero,
and less still in influencing our own. The childhood of Father
Ignatius forms an exception to this. It is wonderful; it shaped his
character for a great part of his life. Its history is written by
himself, and it is instructive to all who have charge of children.
Before quoting from his own autobiography, it may be well to say
something about his family; more, because it is customary to do so on
occasions like the present, than to give information about what is
already well known.

His father was George John, Earl Spencer, K.G., &c., &c. He was
connected by ties of consanguinity and affinity with the Earl of
Sunderland and the renowned Duke of Marlborough; was successively
member of Parliament, one of the Lords of the Treasury, and succeeded
Lord Chatham as First Lord of the Admiralty on the 20th of December,
1794. This office he retained until 1800, and, during his
administration, the naval history of England shone with the victories
of St. Vincent, Camperdown, and the Nile. Perhaps his term of office
was more glorious to himself from the moderation and justice with
which he quelled the mutiny at the Nore, than from the fact of his
having published the victories that gave such glory to his country. He
married, in 1781, Lavinia, the daughter of Sir Charles Bingham,
afterwards Earl of Lucan. Five sons and three daughters were the issue
of this marriage. Two of them died in infancy. The oldest, John
Charles, Lord Althorp, succeeded his father in 1834, and died
childless in 1845; the second, Sarah, is the present Dowager Lady
Lyttelton; the fifth, Robert Cavendish, died unmarried in 1830; the
sixth, Georgiana, was married to Lord George Quin, son to the Marquis
of Headfort, and died in 1823; the seventh, Frederick, father of the
present earl, succeeded his eldest brother in 1845. The youngest, the
Honourable George Spencer, is the subject of the present biography.

He was born on the 21st of December, 1799, at the Admiralty in London,
and baptized according to the rite of {3} the Church of England, by
the Rev. Charles Norris, prebendary of Canterbury. Whether he was
taken to Althorp, the family seat in Northamptonshire, to be nursed,
before his father retired from office in 1800, we have no means of
knowing; but, certain it is, that it was there he spent his childhood
until he went to Eton in 1808. We will let himself give us the history
of his mind during this portion of his existence: the history of his
body is that of a nobleman's child, tended in all things as became his
station:--

  "My recollections of the five or six first years of my life are very
  vague,--more so by far than in the case of other persons; and
  whether I had any notions of religion before my six-year-old
  birthday, I cannot tell. But it was on that day, if I am not
  mistaken, that I was taken aside, as for a serious conversation, by
  my sister's governess, who was a Swiss lady, under whose care I
  passed the years between leaving the nursery and being sent to
  school, and instructed by her, for the first time, concerning the
  existence of God and some other great truths of religion. It seems
  strange now that I should have lived so long without acquiring any
  ideas on the subject: my memory may deceive me, but I have a most
  clear recollection of the very room at Althorp where I sat with her
  while she declared to me, as a new piece of instruction, for which
  till then I had not been judged old enough, that there was an
  Almighty Being, dwelling in heaven, who had created me and all
  things, and whom I was bound to fear. Till then, I believe, I had
  not the least apprehension of the existence of anything beyond the
  sensible world around me. This declaration, made to me as it was
  with tender seriousness, was, I believe, accompanied with gracious
  expressions, which have never been, in all my errors and wanderings,
  obliterated. To what but the grace of God can I ascribe it, that I
  firmly believed from the first moment this truth, of which I was not
  capable of understanding a proof, and that I never since have
  entertained a doubt of it, nor been led, like so many more, to
  universal scepticism; that my faith in the truth of God should have
  been preserved while for so long a time I lived, as I afterwards
  did, wholly without its influence?

{4}

  "I continued, with my brother Frederick, who was twenty months older
  than myself, under the instruction of this same governess, till we
  went to Eton School. I do not remember the least difficulty in
  receiving as true whatever I was taught of religion at that time. It
  never occurred to me to think that objections might be made to it,
  though I knew that different religious persuasions existed. I
  remember being told by our governess, and being pleased in the idea,
  that the Church of England was peculiarly excellent; but I remember
  no distinct feelings of opposition or aversion to the Catholic
  religion. Of serious impressions I was at that time, I believe, very
  susceptible; but they must have been most transient. I remember,
  more than once, distinctly saying my prayers with fervour; though,
  generally, I suppose, I paid but little attention to them. I was
  sometimes impressed with great fear of the Day of Judgment, as I
  remember once in particular, at hearing a French sermon read about
  it; and, perhaps, I did not knowingly offend God, but I could not be
  said to love God, nor heartily to embrace religion, if, as I
  suppose, my ordinary feeling must have corresponded with what I
  remember well crossing my mind when I was about seven years
  old,--great regret at reflecting on the sin of Adam; by which I
  understood that I could not expect to live for ever on the earth.
  Whatever I thought desirable in the world,--abundance of money, high
  titles, amusements of all sorts, fine dress, and the like,--as soon
  and as far as I understood anything about them, I loved and longed
  for; nor do I see how it could have been otherwise, as the holy,
  severe maxims of the Gospel truth on these matters were not
  impressed upon me. Why is it that the truth on these things is so
  constantly withheld from children; and, instead of being taught by
  constant, repeated, unremitting lessons that the world and all that
  it has is worth nothing; that, if they gain all, but lose their
  souls, they gain nothing; if they lose all and gain their souls,
  they gain all? Why is it that they are to be encouraged to do right
  by promises of pleasure, deterred from evil by worldly fear, and so
  trained up, as it seems, to put a false value on all things? How {5}
  easily, as it now appears to me, might my affections in those days
  have been weaned from the world, and made to value God alone? But
  let me not complain, but bless God for the care,--the very unusual
  care, I believe,--which was taken of me, by which I remained, I may
  say, ignorant of what evil was at an age when many, I fear, become
  proficients. This blessing, however, of being wonderfully preserved
  from the knowledge, and consequently from the practice, of vice, was
  more remarkably manifested in the four years of my life succeeding
  those of which I have been now writing."

The instilling into young minds religious motives for their actions
was a frequent topic of conversation with Father Ignatius in his
after-life. He was once speaking with some of our young religious on
this subject in general; one of them remarked how easy it was to act
upon holy motives practically, and instanced his own childhood, when
the thought that God would love or hate him kept him straight in his
actions: this was the simple and perpetually repeated lesson of his
mother, which he afterwards forgot, but which finally stopped him in a
career of ambition, and made him a religious. The old man's eye
glistened as he heard this, and he sighed deeply. He then observed
that it confirmed his opinion, that parents ought to instruct their
own children, and never commit them to the mercies of a public school
until they were perfectly grounded in the practice of virtue and
piety. The next chapter will show why he thought thus.

{6}

CHAPTER II.
Four First Years At Eton.


  "The 18th of May, 1808, was the important day when first I left my
  father's house. With a noble equipage, my father and mother took my
  brother Frederick and me to the house of the Rev. Richard Godley,
  whom they had chosen to be our private tutor at Eton. He lived, with
  his family, at a place called the Wharf, about half a mile from the
  college buildings, which we had to go to for school and chapel
  across the playing-fields. Oh! how interesting are my recollections
  whilst I recall the joys and sorrows of Eton days; but I must not
  expatiate on them, as my own feelings would lead me to do with
  pleasure. What I have to do now is to record how the circumstances
  in which I was then placed have contributed to influence my
  religions principles, and formed some links in the chain of events
  by which I have arrived at my present state, so different from all
  that might then have been anticipated. Mr. Godley I consider to have
  been, what I believe my parents likewise regarded him, a strictly
  conscientious and deeply religious man; and I must always account it
  one of the greatest blessings for which, under God, I am indebted to
  their wisdom and affection, that I was placed in such hands at so
  critical a time. I do not intend, in all points, to declare my
  approbation of the system which he pursued with us: but how can I be
  too grateful for having been under the strict vigilance of one who
  did, I am convinced, reckon the preservation of my innocence, and
  the salvation of my soul, his chief concern with me? I remained with
  Mr. Godley till the Midsummer holidays of 1812. My brother left Eton
  and went to sea in the year 1811.

{7}

  "Those who know what our public schools are, will reckon it, I
  believe, almost incredible that I should be four years at Eton, and
  remain, as I did, still almost ignorant of what the language of
  wickedness meant. Mr. Godley's yoke I certainly thought at the time
  to be a heavy one. Several times each day we were obliged to go
  across the playing-fields to school, to chapel, or to absence (which
  was the term by which Etonians will yet understand the calling over
  the names of the boys at certain times); so that during the daytime,
  when in health, we could never be more than three hours together
  without appearing with the boys of the school. Mr. Godley, however,
  was inexorable in his rule that we should invariably come home
  immediately after each of these occasions: by this we were kept from
  much intercourse with other boys. Most grievous then appeared my
  unhappy lot, in the summer months especially, when we had to pass
  through the playing-fields, crowded with cricketers, to whom a lower
  boy, to fag for them and stop their balls, was sure to be an
  important prize, whose wrath we incurred if we dared despise their
  call, and run on our way; whilst, if we were but a few minutes late,
  the yet more terrible sight awaited us of Mr. Godley's angry
  countenance. We had not exemption from one of these musters, as most
  boys had who lived at a distance from the school, yet none of them
  were bound like us to a speedy return home. It seemed like an
  Egyptian bondage, from which there was no escape; and doubtless the
  effect was not altogether good upon my character. As might be
  expected, the more we were required to observe rules and customs
  different from others, the more did a certain class of big bullies
  in the school seem to count it their business to watch over us, as
  though they might be our evil geniuses. A certain set of faces,
  consequently, I looked upon with a kind of mysterious dread; and I
  was under a constant sense of being as though in an enemy's country,
  obliged to guard against dangers on all sides. Shrinking and
  skulking became my occupation beyond the ordinary lot of little
  schoolboys, and my natural disposition to be cowardly and spiritless
  was perhaps increased. I say _perhaps_, for other {8} circumstances
  might have made me worse; for what I was in the eyes of the masters
  of public opinion in the school, I really was--a chicken-hearted
  creature, what, in Eton language, is called a _sawney_. It may be,
  that had I been from the first in free intercourse among the boys,
  instead of being a good innocent one, I might have been, what I
  suppose must be reckoned one of the worst varieties of public-school
  characters, a mean, dishonourable one. Whatever I may have lost from
  not being trained, from the first of my Eton life, in the perfect
  spirit of the place, could I possibly have escaped during that time
  in any other way the utter corruption of my morals, at least the
  filling of my mind with familiar images of all the most foul
  iniquity? For, alas! where is the child from the age of eight till
  twelve who, without one compassionate friend, already strong in
  virtue to countenance and to encourage him, shall maintain the
  profession of modesty and holiness against a persecution as
  inveterate and merciless in its way as that which Lot had to bear at
  Sodom? Was not the angel of God with me when He preserved me for so
  long from all attacks of this kind in such a place as Eton was in my
  time? How can I remember Godley but with veneration and gratitude,
  who, though, it may be, not so considerately and wisely as might be
  possible (for who is as wise as he might be?), kept me, I might say,
  almost alone untainted in the midst of so much corruption.

  "Yet, till the last year of my stay with him, I did not learn
  decidedly to love religion. It was still my task and not my
  pleasure. At length, my brother Frederick being gone to sea, and two
  other boys, Mr. Godley's stepsons, who were with us under his
  instructions, being sent to school elsewhere, I remained his only
  pupil, and, I may almost say, his chief care and joy. He felt with
  me and for me in the desolation of my little heart, at being parted
  from my first and hitherto inseparable mate, and I became his almost
  constant companion. It is not difficult to gain the confidence of a
  simple child: he spoke almost continually of religious subjects, and
  I learnt to take his view of things. I certainly did not begin to
  lose my pleasure in life. Death {9} was an idea which still was
  strange to me; and I did not come to an understanding of the great
  doctrines of Revelation. I remember not to have taken much notice of
  any peculiar articles of faith; but still believed implicitly,
  without argument or inquiry, what I was taught. I can now hardly
  give an account of what were the religious ideas and impressions
  which began so greatly to engage my mind, except that I took my
  chief delight in hearing Mr. Godley speak about religion, that I had
  a great abhorrence and dread of wickedness, thought with pleasure of
  my being intended to be a clergyman, as I was always told I should
  be, and admired and loved all whom I was taught to look upon as
  religious people. All these simple feelings of piety, which were
  often accompanied with pure delight, were greatly increased in a
  visit of six weeks which I paid, with Mr. Godley, to his mother and
  sisters at Chester. He was a Prebendary of that cathedral, and of
  course had to spend some time there every year in residence.
  Usually, when he went from home, from time to time, he was used to
  get one of the other tutors at Eton to hear my brother's and my
  lessons, and to look over our exercises; but in the last summer I
  staid with him, with my father's consent, he took me with him. Mr.
  Godley's sisters, who showed me great kindness, like him, I suppose,
  had no wish concerning me than to encourage me in becoming pious and
  good, and I got to read a few pious books which they recommended.
  'The Pilgrim's Progress,' Doddridge's 'Life of Colonel Gardiner,'
  Alleine's 'Alarm,' were some which I remember taking great effect
  upon me; so that when I returned from Chester to Eton, though I
  cannot recall many particulars of my feelings, I know that the chief
  prevailing one was, an ardent desire to keep myself untainted at
  Eton, and to keep from all fellowship with the set of boys whom I
  knew to be particularly profane mockers of piety. I bought a book of
  prayers, and during the three weeks that I yet remained with this
  tutor, after our return from Chester, and when first I went home to
  the summer holidays, I took no delight like that of being by myself
  at prayer. Ah! how grievous would be the thought if we could but
  understand how to {10} lament such a calamity as it deserves, of a
  pious child's tender, pure soul denied, made forgetful of all its
  good, and hardened. O God, grant me wisdom to understand the
  magnitude of such an evil, grant me a heart now at length to mourn
  over the devastation and uprooting which it was, at this time, Thy
  holy will to permit, of all those fair flowers of grace which Thy
  hand had planted in my heart; and grant me to mourn my fall, that I
  may now once at last recover that simplicity of childlike piety, the
  feelings of which I now recollect, indeed, though faintly, but never
  have since again enjoyed. Oh! God, if a child's love, pure through
  ignorance of sin, is never to be mine again, oh! give me at least
  that depth of penance for which my fall has given me such ample
  matter.

  "It occurred not to my mind to consider whether the new thoughts
  which occupied my mind, and the books in which I took such pleasure,
  would be approved of at home. I took them with me to the holidays.
  It was judged, as was to be expected, by my parents, that Mr.
  Godley's views of religion were not such as they would wish to be
  instilled into me; and it was determined that I should leave his
  house and be placed with one of the public tutors at Eton. It is a
  difficult thing to classify religious Protestants, and so I do not
  here pronounce Mr. Godley and his sisters to have been Evangelical,
  or Calvinistic, nor give them any distinctive title. They did not,
  as far as I remember, inculcate upon me any peculiar notions of
  religion, but they certainly were not in the way which is usually
  called orthodox Church of England religion, though indeed it is
  difficult to define exactly what this is. It was likely, or rather
  morally certain, that while with Mr. Godley, I should follow his
  guidance, and take his views; so I was to be placed among the other
  boys, as I imagine with the idea likewise, that I should gain in
  this way more of the advantages supposed to belong to the rough
  discipline of a public school. I do not understand how it was that I
  received the intimation of this change with so little sadness.
  Distant evils, as we all know, lose their sting strangely; and,
  having the holidays before me when this change was declared, I {11}
  felt no trouble about it then. It is easy to talk a docile child
  into agreement with any plan made for him by those whom he is used
  to confide in; and so I remember no difficulty when my books were
  taken away, and I had no more persons by to bring my former thoughts
  to remembrance, in quietly discontinuing my fervent practices."

{12}

CHAPTER III.
His Two Last Years At Eton.


  "In the course of September, 1812, I began a new stage of my life by
  entering at the Rev. ***'s, where I was, alas! too effectually to be
  untaught what there might be unsound in my religion, by being
  quickly stripped of it completely. The house contained, I think, but
  about ten or twelve boys at the time I went to it, a much smaller
  number than the generality of boarding houses about the school; and,
  dreadful as was its moral condition, it was respectable in
  comparison to others. There is no doubt that it was recommended to
  my parents because its character stood high among the rest. The boys
  were divided into three or four messes, as they were called. Each of
  us had a room to himself and a separate little establishment, as the
  boys had allowances to provide breakfast and tea for themselves, and
  we did not meet in common rooms for private study, as in some
  schools. In order to make their means go farther, two or three would
  associate together and make a joint concern; and very comfortable
  some would make themselves. But comfort was not what I had now to
  enjoy.

  "I have adverted already to the system of fagging at our public
  schools. The law is established immemorially at Eton that the upper
  boys, those of the fifth and sixth class, have an authority to
  command those below them. This law, though understood and allowed by
  the masters, is not enforced by them. They will interfere to check
  and punish any great abuse of the power of the upper boys; but the
  only power by which the commands of these masters are to be enforced
  is their own hands; so that a boy, though by rank in the school a
  fag, may escape the burdens to be imposed if he have but age and
  strength and spirit to {13} maintain his independence. Each upper
  boy may impose his commands on any number of inferiors he may please
  at any time and in any place, so that an unhappy lower boy is never
  safe. Nothing exempts him from the necessity of immediately quitting
  his own pursuits and waiting on the pleasure of an unexpected
  master, but being under orders to attend his tutor, or a certain
  number of privileged excuses in matters about which those potentates
  condescend to consider the feelings of the subalterns, and where
  public opinion would condemn them if they did not--such as being
  actually fagging for some one else, being engaged to play a match at
  cricket which his absence would spoil. It was this sort of
  out-of-door casual service which alone I had to dread as long as I
  was in Mr. Godley's house. When I went to Mr. ***, I had to serve my
  apprenticeship in domestic fagging, which consisted in performing to
  one or more of the fifth or sixth form boys in the house almost all
  the duties of a footman or a waiter at an inn. The burden of this
  kind of servitude of course depended, in the first place, on the
  temper of one's master, and then on the comparative number of upper
  and lower boys in a house. During the time I had to fag at Mr.
  ***'s, but especially in the latter part of it, the number of fags
  was dismally small, and sometimes heavy was my yoke.

  "But it is not this which gives to my recollection of that period of
  my life its peculiar sadness. I might have made a merry life in the
  midst of it, like that of many another school-boy, and I was merry
  sometimes, but I had known better things. I had once learnt to hate
  wickedness, and I never could find myself at ease in the midst of
  it, though I had not strength to resist it openly. The first evening
  that I arrived at this new tutor's house, I was cordially received
  to mess with the set of three or four lower boys who were there.
  These were quiet, good-natured boys; but, to be one with them, it
  was soon evident that the sweet practices of devotion must be given
  up, and other rules followed from those I knew to be right. I was
  taken by them on expeditions of boyish depredation and pilfering. I
  had never been tempted or invited before to anything like this, and
  {14} it was misery to me, on account of my natural want of courage
  as well as my tender conscience, to join such enterprises. Yet I
  dared not boldly declare my resolution to commit no sin, and I made
  a trial now of that which has been so often tried, and what has
  often led to fatal confusion--to satisfy the world without
  altogether breaking with God. One day we went to pick up walnuts in
  a park near Eton; another day to steal beans or turnips, or the
  like, from fields or gardens; then, more bold, to take ducks and
  chickens from farmyards. It is a common idea that this kind of
  school-boys' theft is not indeed a sin. At Eton it certainly was not
  so considered. A boy who stole money from another boy was disgraced,
  and branded as a wretch almost beyond forgiveness, whereas for
  stealing his school-books, he would not be blamed; and for robbing
  orchards or farmyards he would be honoured and extolled, and so much
  the more if, in doing it, one or two or three together had violently
  beaten the farmer's boy, or even himself. But where is the reason
  for this distinction? The Word of God and a simple conscience
  certainly teach no such difference. At any rate, I know, to my
  sorrow, that the beginning of my fall from all that was good, was by
  being led to countenance and bear a part, though sorely against my
  better will, in such work as this.

  "This was not the worst misery. My ignorance in the mysteries of
  iniquity was soon apparent. However much I strove to keep my
  countenance firm, I could not hear immodesties without blushing. I
  was, on this account, a choice object of the fun of some of the
  boys, who took delight in forcing me to hear instructions in
  iniquity. One evening after another, I well remember, the quarters
  would be invaded where I and my companions were established; all our
  little employments would be interrupted, our rooms filled with dirt,
  our beds, perhaps, tossed about, and a noisy row kept up for hours,
  of which sometimes one, and sometimes another of our set was the
  principal butt. I was set up as a choice object, of course, on
  account of my simplicity and inexperience in their ways, so that
  some of the partners of these plagues with me would blame me for
  being so silly {15} as to pretend ignorance of what their foul
  expressions meant; for they could not believe it possible that I
  should really be so simple as not to understand them. I maintained
  for some time a weak conflict in my soul against all this flood of
  evil. For a little time I found one short space of comfort through
  the day, when at length, after an evening thus spent, I got to bed,
  and in secret wept and prayed myself to sleep; but the trial was too
  strong and too often repeated. I had no kind friend to speak to.

  "Mr. Godley still lived at the Wharf, and though he seemed to think
  it right not to press himself upon me, he asked me to come and dine
  when I pleased. Two or three times I went to dine with him, and
  these were my last really happy days, when for an hour or two I
  could give my mind liberty to feel at ease, and recollect my former
  feelings in this kindly company. But I could not, I dared not, tell
  him all I was now exposed to, and so I was left to stand my ground
  alone. Had any one then told me that by myself I must not hope to
  resist temptation, and rightly directed me how to call on God for
  help, I have since thought I might have stood it; but I had not yet
  known the force of temptation, nor learnt by experience the power of
  God to support the weak. My weakness I now felt by clear experience,
  and after a short conflict,--for this battle was soon gained by the
  great enemy who was so strong in the field against me,--I remember
  well the conclusion striking my mind, that the work of resistance
  was useless, and that I must give up. Where were you, O my God,
  might I now exclaim, to leave me thus alone and unprotected on such
  a boisterous sea? Ah! my Lord, I have never found fault with thy
  divine appointments in thus permitting me to fall. Only I say, as
  before, give me grace now fully to recover what I lost; and I will
  ever bless thee for allowing me to have known so much evil, if it be
  but that I may warn others,

  "It might be, perhaps, ten days after my arrival at Mr. ***'s, when
  I gave up all attempt to pray; and I think I did not say one word of
  prayer for the two years and more that I afterwards continued there.
  I remember {16} once being by, when one of the most rude and hard of
  my tormentors was dressing himself, and, to my surprise, turned to
  me, and, with his usual civility, said some such word as, 'Now hold
  your jaw;' and then, down on his knees near the bed, and his face
  between his hands, said his prayers. I then saw for a moment to what
  I had fallen, when even this fellow had more religion than unhappy I
  had retained; but I had no grain of strength now left to rise. One
  would think that in the holidays my change would have been
  discovered; for I imagine that I never knelt down even at home
  except in the church. But, alas! little did my family suspect what a
  place was Eton; or, at least, if a suspicion comes across parents'
  minds of what their children are exposed to in public schools, they
  generally persuade themselves that this must be endured for a
  necessary good, which is, to make them learn to know the world.

  "When I had ceased attempting to maintain my pious feelings, the
  best consolation I had was in the company of a few boys of a spirit
  congenial to what mine was now become. All the time that I remained
  at Eton I never learnt to take pleasure in the manly, active games
  for which it is so famous. It is not that I was without some natural
  talent for such things. I have since had my time of most ardent
  attachment to cricket, to tennis, shooting, hunting, and all active
  exercises: but my spirit was bent down at Eton; and among the boys
  who led the way in all manly pursuits, I was always shy and
  miserable, which was partly a cause and partly an effect of my being
  looked down upon by them. My pleasure there was in being with a few
  boys, like myself, without spirit for these things, retired apart
  from the sight of others, amusing ourselves with making arbours,
  catching little fishes in the streams; and many were the hours I
  wasted in such childish things when I was grown far too old for
  them.

  "Oh! the happiness of a Catholic child, whose inmost soul is known
  to one whom God has charged with his salvation. Supposing I had been
  a Catholic child in such a situation--if such a supposition be
  possible--the pious feelings with which God inspired me, would have
  been under {17} the guidance of a tender spiritual Father, who would
  have supplied exactly what I needed when about to fall under that
  sense of unassisted weakness which I have described. He would have
  taught me how to be innocent and firm in the midst of all my trials,
  which would then have tended to exalt, instead of suppressing, my
  character. I would have kept my character not only clear in the
  sight of God, but honourable among my fellows, who soon would have
  given up their persecution when they found me steadfast; and I might
  have brought with me in the path of peace and justice many whom I
  followed in the dark ways of sin. But it is in vain to calculate on
  what I might have been had I been then a Catholic. God be praised,
  my losses I may yet recover, and perhaps even reap advantages from
  them."

{18}

CHAPTER IV.
Private Tuition Under Mr. Blomfield.


  "Had the public masters of the school been attentive to the
  advancement of the scholars in learning while negligent of their
  morals, and had I been making progress in my studies while losing my
  innocence, I might have continued longer in that place; for I did
  not fall into gross, outward, vicious habits, and it is possible
  that no difference was perceived in my behaviour at home. But I
  suppose my father saw a wide difference between the care which Mr.
  Godley bestowed on me and that which boys in the public tutors'
  houses could receive. I know not exactly the reasons that led to the
  change; but, in the Christmas holidays at the end of the year 1813,
  Mr. Blomfield was invited to Althorp, and he was pointed out to me
  as my intended future tutor. Many of my readers will know at once
  that he is now'[Footnote 1] the Protestant Bishop of London. My
  father had presented him somewhat before this period with the
  rectory of Dunton, in Buckinghamshire, having been led to do so by
  the distinguished character which he heard of him from Cambridge for
  he did not personally know him when he offered him this piece of
  preferment. From the time that I made his acquaintance, and received
  some directions from him for private reading at Eton during the
  remaining time of my stay there, I began to take some more decided
  interest than I had yet done in advancing myself in literary
  knowledge. This, as well as my growing older and more independent of
  other boys, and falling in {19} with more sensible companions, gave
  to my mind a more satisfactory turn during my last year at Eton.
  There was no return, though, to religion whilst I remained there,
  nor was there likely to be; and so, most blessed was the change for
  me when, before Christmas 1814, I left Mr. ***'s, and, after
  remaining at home for about three months in company with my brother
  Frederick, returned for the first time from sea, I went to Mr.
  Blomfield's in March, 1815. I staid there till near the time of my
  first going to Cambridge, which was in the summer of 1817.
  Simplicity and purity of mind, alas! are not regained with the
  readiness with which they are lost: the falling into bad company and
  consenting to it will utterly ruin all innocence. The removal of
  occasions may prevent the growth of evil habits and the farther
  increase of corruption; but this alone will not restore that blessed
  ignorance of evil which was no longer mine. My residence with
  Blomfield was, however, the means to me of great good. Here I was
  confirmed in that love for study and knowledge of which I have
  already noticed the commencement. He had himself, as is well known,
  though still young, gained a reputation for classical learning among
  the scholars of England and the Continent; and his example and
  conversations inspired me with desires for the like distinctions, to
  which he gave all possible encouragement. This I reckon to have been
  a considerable advantage to my religious welfare; for, although the
  motive I set before me was merely worldly, and the subjects which I
  studied had little of a good and much of a bad tendency, as must
  needs be the case with pagan literature, yet, by gaining a habit for
  study, I was directed in a line widely distinct from the most
  vicious of the society through which I was afterwards to pass; and,
  by being a reading man at Cambridge, I was saved from much
  perversion."

    [Footnote 1: This was written in 1836. See Preface.
    Dr. Blomfield died in 1857.]

We shall be pardoned for interrupting the course of this interesting
narrative, by inserting an anecdote, which shows how unchanged was his
opinion on the merits of pagan literature. In a conversation with his
religious companions, shortly before he died, he happened to say
something about the discoveries of Cardinal Mai among the Bobbio {20}
manuscripts. Some one remarked that it was nothing less than Vandalism
for the old monks to erase one of the classic authors, and write some
crude chronicle or other over it. "Well," replied Father Ignatius, "I
suppose the monks had as much respect for Virgil and Ovid as the
angels have."

To resume.

  "But what was of the chief importance to me at this time was, being
  in a house and with company, where, if subjects of religion were not
  so much put before me as with Mr. Godley, and if I was not
  constantly exhorted and encouraged in simple piety, I and my fellow
  pupils felt that no word of immorality would have been anywise
  tolerated. Prayers were daily read in the family, the service of the
  Church was performed with zeal and regularity, the Sunday was
  strictly observed, and a prominent part of our instruction was on
  matters of religion. It was also to me an invaluable benefit, that
  the companion with whom I was principally associated, during the
  chief part of my time at Dunton, was one who, like me, after a
  careful education at home, where he had imbibed religious feelings,
  had gone through the corruptions of another public school, but was
  now, like me, happy to find himself in purer air.

  "With him I was confirmed at Easter, 1816, by Dr. Howley, then
  Protestant Bishop of London, now Archbishop of Canterbury. It was an
  incalculable blessing to me, slave as I was to false shame, and
  cowardly as I was to resist against bold iniquity, that I now had
  had a period granted me, as it were, to breathe and gain a little
  vigour again, before the second cruel and more ruinous devastation
  which my poor heart was shortly to undergo. I prepared seriously for
  my confirmation, and for receiving the Sacrament from time to time,
  and recovered much of my former good practices of private devotion.
  I remember especially to have procured once more a manual of
  prayers, and during the last months of my stay at Dunton I spent a
  long time in self-examination by the table of sins in that book,
  somewhat similar to our Catholic preparation for confession. But,
  alas! I could go no further than the preparation. Oh! the great
  enemy of our souls knew well what he was {21} doing in abolishing
  confession. As before, when I first lost my innocence and piety at
  Eton, confession would, I am convinced, have preserved me from that
  fall; so now that I was almost recovering from the fall, if I had
  had the ear of a spiritual father to whom I might with confidence
  have discovered the wounds of my poor soul, he would have assisted
  me utterly to extirpate the remains of those evil habits of my
  heart. He would have shown me what I knew so imperfectly, the
  horrible danger of the state in which I had been so near eternal
  damnation; he would have made me feel that holy shame for my sins,
  which would have overcome that false earthly shame by which I still
  was ready to be mastered; and he would, in short, have poured in
  that balm and oil which the ministers of God possess, to heal, and
  strengthen, and comfort me for my future trials, so that I might
  have stood firm against my enemies. But it pleased Thee, O my God,
  that once more, by such sad experience, I should have occasion to
  learn the value of that holy discipline of penance, the power and
  admirable virtue of the divine sacraments, with the dispensation of
  which Thou hast now entrusted me, that I may be a more wise and
  tender father to Thy little ones whom Thou committest to my care."

{22}

CHAPTER V.
He Goes To Cambridge.


Young Spencer went with Mr. Blomfield to Cambridge in the spring of
1817, and was entered fellow commoner of Trinity. He returned,
immediately after being matriculated, to his family, and spent the
summer in cricketing and sea-bathing, in Ryde, Isle of Wight, and
hunting or shooting at Althorp. On Saturday, October 18th, he came to
London with his parents. He and his brother Frederick went about
shopping, to procure their several outfits for the University and the
sea. On the morning of the 21st October, he set out from his father's
house to Holborn, to catch the seven o'clock fly for Cambridge. This
vehicle, which has been so long superseded by the Eastern Counties
Railway, was filled with passengers before the Spencer carriage
arrived. He then took a post chaise at ten o'clock, and arrived in
Cambridge a little before six in the evening. All that remained of
that day, and the greater part of the next, was spent in getting his
rooms furnished, hiring his servant, making a few acquaintances,
meeting those he knew before, and the other employments of a freshman.
His tutor in classics was Mr. Evans, who long continued in the same
capacity at Cambridge, and had the reputation of being a most upright
man. For mathematics he had a Mr. Peacock, who afterwards became Dean
of Ely, and restored the cathedral there. He fell into good hands,
seemingly, as far as his studies were concerned. He does not seem to
have been less fortunate in the choice of his companions. He is very
slow in making friends; one he does not like for being "too much of
the fine gentleman;" another invites him, and he remarks: "I suppose I
must ask him to dinner or something {23} else; but I should not wish
to continue acquaintance with him, for though he is good-natured, he
is likely to be in a bad set." He also goes regularly to visit Mr.
Blomfield, who resided in Hildersham, and advises with him about his
proceedings. He also avoids needless waste of time, and says in his
journal: "They all played whist, in their turns, but Bridgman and
myself; which I am glad I did not, for I like it so well that I should
play at it too much if I once began." Besides these precautions, and a
feeling of indignation that bursts out now and again when he has to
note a misdemeanour in his associates, he reads seven hours a day on
an average. These conclusions are collected from the notes of a
journal he wrote at the time; they mark a very auspicious beginning;
and, being clear facts, will serve as a kind of glass through which
one may read the following from his autobiography.

  "My intentions were now well directed (on entering Cambridge). I
  began well, and for a time did not give way to the detestable
  fashions of the place, and was not much ashamed in the presence of
  the profligate. I was very happy likewise. I found myself now for
  the first time emerged from the condition of a boy. I was treated
  with respect and kindness by the tutors and fellows of the college;
  my company was always sought, and I was made much of by what was
  supposed to be the best--that is, the most well-bred and
  fashionable, set in the University. I had all the health and high
  spirits of my age, and I now enjoyed manly amusements, being set
  free from the cowardly feeling of inferiority which I had to oppress
  me at Eton. My first term at Cambridge--that is, the two months that
  passed before the first Christmas vacation after my going there--
  was, as I thought, the happiest time I had yet known. I find it
  difficult, however, now to understand that happiness, and still more
  to understand the religious principle which had more or less some
  influence over me, when I remember one circumstance which by itself
  proves my religion to have been absolutely nugatory, and which, I
  remember well, most grievously spoiled my happiness. As to my
  religion, I do not remember that at that time I said any private
  prayer. {24} I suppose I must have discontinued it when I left Mr.
  Blomfield's, or soon after. Yet I had a sort of principle which
  guarded me from joining in the profane contempt of God's worship
  which prevails generally in the College chapels at Cambridge, and
  for a long time from consenting to the practice of open
  immoralities, or even pretending to approve them, though almost all
  the young men whom I knew at Cambridge either notoriously followed
  or at least sanctioned them."

He alludes to "one circumstance" in the last extract as being a test
of his depth in religious matters, which it will be interesting to
have in his own words. It occurred before his entering Cambridge; but
as it considerably influenced his feelings during his stay there, it
may as well find its place here.

  "The circumstance to which I allude was something of an affair of
  honour, as the world blindly calls it, into which I got engaged, and
  which had so important an influence upon my religious feelings for
  about two years that I will here particularly relate the
  circumstances of it. In the last summer vacation, before my going to
  Cambridge, I attended, with my father, the Northampton races, in our
  way from the Isle of Wight to visit my brother at his place in
  Nottinghamshire. I had begun, at that time, to be extremely fond of
  dancing, as well as cricket, shooting, and the like amusements. At
  this race ball at Northampton, I enjoyed myself to the full; but,
  unwittingly, laid the foundation for sorrow on the next day.
  Fancying myself a sort of leader of the gaiety, in a set which
  seemed to be the most fashionable and smart of the evening, I must
  needs be making up parties for select dances; which proceeding was,
  of course, taken by others as intruding on the liberties of a public
  entertainment; and it happened that, without knowing it, I barred
  out from one quadrille which I helped in forming, the sister of a
  young gentleman of name and fortune in the county. I was in the mean
  time making up a party for a match at cricket on the racecourse for
  the next day, and this gentleman was one of my chief helpmates. The
  next day, while busy in collecting our cricketers to go {25} to the
  ground, I met him in the street, and he gave me the hard cut. I knew
  not what it meant, and simply let it pass; but on the morning after,
  I was surprised at receiving a letter from him to tell me what was
  my offence: it ended with the words (which are deeply enough
  impressed on my memory not yet to be forgotten), 'If I did not look
  upon you as a mere boy, I should call you in a more serious manner
  to account for your rudeness.' He then told me where he might be
  found the following day. Without much reflecting on this unpleasant
  communication, I showed it to my father, who was near me, with
  several other gentlemen of the county, when I received it. He asked
  me whether I had meant any rudeness, and when I told him I had not,
  he bid me write an apology, and particularly charged me not to
  notice the concluding taunt. He afterwards mentioned it to two
  others of these gentlemen, who both agreed that I had done right in
  sending such an answer. But soon after my mind fell into such a
  torment as I had never yet known. The answer was certainly right
  according to Christian rules, and I suppose the laws of honour would
  not have required more; but, at the time, I know not whether it
  would not be esteemed in his mind and that of the friends whom he
  might consult, to be too gentle for a man of courage. A most
  agonizing dilemma I was now in, neither side of which I could
  endure. On the one hand, I could not bear to look on death, and
  standing to be shot at was what nothing but a fit of desperation
  could bring me to. On the other, that awful tyrant, the world, now,
  as it were, put forth his hand and claimed me for his own. To lose
  my character for courage, and be branded as a coward, was what I
  could not anyways endure. I went with my father in the carriage to
  sleep at Loughborough; and when, at the inn, I retired from him to
  my bedroom, the tumult of my mind was at its height. I had all but
  determined to set off and go that very night to the place assigned
  me by this gentleman, who by one disdainful expression had now
  mysteriously become, as it appeared, the master of my doom; and,
  renewing the quarrel, take my chance of the consequence. But again,
  I saw this would {26} not save my honour, if it were already
  compromised. It was clear that a change of mind like that would
  hardly satisfy the world, which does not forgive a breach of its
  awful laws on such easy terms. I finally slept off my trouble for
  the present; but my soul remained oppressed with a new load, which
  almost made me weary of my life. I remained convinced that I had not
  reached the standard of courage in this affair; and I felt,
  therefore, that it depended on the good-nature of this gentleman
  whether my character should be exposed or not. He did not reply to
  my letter of explanation. Was he satisfied or not? During my first
  term at Cambridge he was expected there, and I was even invited to
  meet him at a wine party, as one who was known to be one of his
  neighbours and friends. I dared not show any reluctance to meet him,
  lest the whole story should be known at Cambridge; and if I did meet
  him, was he again to treat me with disdain? If he did, how should I
  avoid a duel? I knew that having anything to do with a duel was
  expulsion by the laws of the University; but if I, coward as I was,
  had not yet made up my mind, as I had, that I must run the chance of
  his shot, if he chose still to resent the affront, no wonder, if the
  spoiling of my prospects in life, by expulsion from Cambridge, was
  not much regarded. The present distress was evaded by his not
  coming, as was expected. After this I desired one person who knew
  him as a friend, and to whom alone I had explained my case, to write
  and ask whether my apology had appeared to him sufficient. The
  answer to this was an assurance that the thing had been no more
  thought of; but it was two years before I met him in person, and by
  his courteous manner was finally satisfied that all was right
  between us. I might think it impossible that the great question
  could be overlooked by men, what is to become of them in eternity,
  if I had not had the experience of my own feelings in such an
  occasion as this. In that memorable evening at Loughborough, I did
  not indeed altogether overlook the moral question--Is a duel wrong?
  I had made the most of what I had heard said in palliation of it by
  some moralists; I could not find any ground, however, to think it
  right before {27} God; yet the thought of having, perhaps before the
  next day was past, to answer in the presence of God for having
  thrown away my life in it, was not the consideration which deterred
  me from the rash resolution. Now, how stands the world in England on
  this question? It is clear that a Catholic, whether ecclesiastic or
  layman, has no choice. He must either utterly renounce his religion
  or duelling. A maintenance of the abominable practice by which
  duelling is justified would deprive him of communion with the
  Church. But how stand Protestants? The clergy are exempted from this
  law by the world. But how many Protestant laymen are there of the
  rank of gentlemen who dare to proclaim that they detest duelling,
  and that they would sooner bear the disgrace of refusing a challenge
  than offend God by accepting it, or run the risk of offending God?
  for I suppose the greater part would try an argument to prove that
  it may be excusable. The clergy generally, I believe, reckon it
  decidedly a wicked worldly law, yet they receive laymen to communion
  without insisting on this enormous evil being first abjured. I do
  not, however, here propose a further discussion of the question
  generally. To this law of the world, miserably as it tormented me
  for a time, I believe I am indebted spiritually more than can well
  be understood: at least to the misery which it occasioned me. I have
  heard it related of blessed (now Saint) Alphonsus Maria di Liguori
  that he owed his being led to bid adieu to the world and choosing
  God for the portion of his inheritance, to making a blunder in
  pleading a cause as an advocate. Having till that time set his
  happiness on his worldly reputation for talent, he then clearly saw
  how vain, were the promises of the world, and once for all he gave
  it up. I knew not, alas! whither nor how to turn for more solid
  consolation, and thus the spoiling of my happiness, which had
  resulted from a mistake in a ball-room, did not teach me to be wise;
  but it contributed materially, and most blessedly, to poison my
  happiness at this time. Yet, in a general way, I went on gaily and
  pleasantly enough, for serious reflections, on whatever subject it
  might be, had no long continuance."

{28}

CHAPTER VI.
His First Year in Cambridge.


What strikes a Catholic as the most singular feature in Protestant
education is the want of special training for the clergyman. A dozen
young men go to the University for a dozen different purposes, and
there is the same rule, the same studies, the same moral discipline
for all. Such, at least, was the rule in the days of Mr. Spencer's
college life. It seems extraordinary to the Catholic student, who has
to learn Latin and Greek only as subsidiary instruments to his higher
studies; who has to read two years philosophy and four years theology,
and pass severe examinations nine or ten different times in each,
besides a general one in all, before he can be qualified to receive
the priesthood. The clerical training with us is as different from
that through which young Spencer had to pass as one thing can be from
another.

His life for the first year may be very briefly told. He hears from
Mr. Blomfield that he is to attend divinity lectures, and he forthwith
begins. He is advised by a Professor Monk, afterwards Protestant
Bishop of Gloucester, to stand for a scholarship, and he does so after
getting Blomfield's consent. This makes him study very hard for some
time, and though he did not succeed, the taste he had acquired by the
preparation did not leave him till the end of the year, when he came
out in the first class, having left his competitors, with one
exception, far behind. He also spends some hours every day in athletic
exercises, is very fond of riding, goes now and again to London and
Althorp to amuse himself with attending the theatres, dining out,
shooting partridge, and playing at Pope Joan. He relaxes {29} in his
determination to avoid whist, and indulges so far that he puts a note
of exclamation in his journal at having returned to his chambers one
night without having had a game. This seems to be the regular course
of his life at Cambridge, a course edifying indeed, if compared with
the lives of his companions. He says:--

  "I have observed before that the example and conversation of Mr.
  Blomfield, while I remained with him, gave an impulse to my mind
  towards the love of literary pursuits. I did not think, however, of
  exerting myself particularly in that way till the end of the first
  term, when I was persuaded by Mr. Monk, the Greek professor, now
  Protestant Bishop of Gloucester, to be a candidate for a university
  scholarship. Dr. Monk was four years senior to Mr. Blomfield, and I
  understood from him that he had been of great service to him in the
  same way, when at college, encouraging his exertions and studies. I
  was told that I passed this examination creditably, but I did not
  stand so high among the competitors as to make it desirable that I
  should repeat the attempt afterwards, and the only honours that I
  tried for were confined to Trinity College. I was thus stimulated
  during this time to more than common exertions; it gave me a
  disposition to study which continued through my time at Cambridge,
  and was the only good disposition which was encouraged in me. I have
  reason then to remember with gratitude those who helped me in this
  way; though it is a lamentable thing that, being there professedly
  as a student for the church, in what is the proper seminary for
  ecclesiastics of the Church of England, I cannot call to mind one
  word of advice given me by anyone among my superiors or companions
  to guard me against the terrible dangers with which I was surrounded
  of being entirely corrupted, or to dispose me towards some little
  care of my spiritual concerns.

  "My studies I followed with great zeal all the time I was at
  Cambridge; but, as is generally the case there with those that aim
  at places in the public examinations, I managed them without proper
  distribution of time. By running through the journal I kept at the
  time I find that, when {30} first I began to read hard, I have often
  sat without moving from my table and read the clock round, that is,
  from three or four in the afternoon to the same hour the next
  morning, for the sake of doing what was counted an extraordinary
  feat. There is no doubt that reading with regularity a smaller
  number of hours every day would be more available for the attainment
  of learning than these immoderate surfeits of study, as one may call
  them; I only interposed a few days of amusement, when hardly any
  work was done. In the long run, such a course as mine could not
  answer, for it was sure to hurt the health and prevent the
  attainment of the real end of all a young man's studies, which is,
  acquiring knowledge to be turned to account in after life. Few young
  men at Oxford or Cambridge, I suppose, have wisdom enough to
  calculate this in advance. The object which they aim at is present
  distinction, and outstripping their fellows in the race for college
  prizes; and, as far as my experience goes, a glut of reading, if the
  health does but stand it without breaking down, is the way to make
  the most of one's chance at a public examination.

  "The time of my being at Cambridge is one so interesting to me in
  the recollection, that I cannot satisfy myself, when giving an
  account of my progress through life, without dwelling at some length
  upon it. My college course was not very long. At the time when I was
  at Cambridge, honorary degrees were conferred on the sons of
  noblemen at the end of two years' residence, by which they came to
  the enjoyment of the rank and all the privileges of a Master of
  Arts, which title was not to be attained, in the ordinary course, in
  less than six or seven years. And what shortens the college life
  much more is the extravagant length of the vacations; so that what
  is reckoned one year at Cambridge is not more than five months'
  actual residence in the University. Yet this is a most important and
  critical period, and the short two years during which I was an
  undergraduate at Cambridge were of immense importance in my destiny.
  How vast is the good, of which I have learned the loss, but which I
  might have gained, had I then known how to direct my views! On the
  other hand, how {31} may I bless God for the quantity of evil from
  which I have been preserved, and how wonderful has been my
  preservation! When I remember how destitute I was of religion at
  this time, I must say that I have to wonder rather at my being
  preserved from so much evil, than at my having fallen into so much.
  And how can I bless God for his exceeding goodness of which I am now
  reminded, when I think how, against my own perverse will, against my
  foolish, I must say mad wishes, I was prevented by his Providence
  from being at this time irrevocably ruined and lost? What can I
  return to Him for this blessing? One principal intention in my
  present work is to record the sentiments of gratitude, however weak
  and most unworthy, with which I at least desire my soul to be
  inflamed, and which I hope will engage all the powers of my soul
  throughout eternity. Most gladly, if it were for His honour and for
  the edification of one soul which by the narrative might reap
  instruction, I would enter before all the world into a more detailed
  explanation of this my wonderful deliverance; but this I must not
  do, for I must not be the means that others, hitherto in the
  simplicity of holy ignorance, should be made acquainted with the
  dark iniquity of which the knowledge has once infected my own
  unhappy understanding. Be this enough to say on this point, which I
  was obliged to touch, lest it should seem unreasonable that I should
  speak of my case as one of most marvellous and almost unparalleled
  mercy, when the circumstances which I may now detail, and what are
  generally known among my most intimate companions, do not justify
  such feelings in the review of it.

  "By the great mercy of God, I had provided for me a refuge and, as
  it were, a breathing time, between Eton and Cambridge. At Mr.
  Blomfield's, my progress in evil was checked, and I had time to
  prepare myself for the University with good resolutions, though I
  knew not what sort of trials I should meet with there, nor had I
  learnt how unavailing were my best resolutions to support me, while
  yet I had not wholly put my confidence in God's grace. The vacation
  which came between my leaving Dunton and going to Cambridge I spent
  chiefly in the Isle of Wight, and my {32} soul was almost wholly
  occupied that summer about cricket. I never became a great cricketer
  myself; I had lost the best time for gaining the art while at Eton;
  but, this summer, what perseverance and diligence could do to make
  up for lost time, I think I did. Oh! that I might have the same
  degree of zeal now in serving the Church of God, and collecting and
  instructing a faithful flock, as I then had in seeking out, and
  encouraging and giving and procuring instruction for my troop of
  cricketers. The occupation of my mind on this subject was enough to
  drive away any ardent attention to religion as well as to study. I
  may say, in favour of this passion for cricket, that it was one of
  the pursuits which I took to at the recommendation of my mother. I
  remember generally that when anything in the way of amusement or
  serious occupation was suggested to me by her, or anything else but
  my own fancy, nothing more was required to make me have a distaste
  for it. Otherwise, how many useful accomplishments might I have
  gained which would now have been available to the great objects I
  have before me. My dear mother wished me to learn fencing when I was
  at Eton, and a good deal of time I spent, and a good deal of money
  must have been paid by my father to Mr. Angelo, the fencing-master
  who came to Eton. It might have been better for me to have gained
  perfection in this exercise, by which it is related that St. Francis
  of Sales acquired in part that elegance of manner and nobleness of
  carriage through which he gained so many souls to Christ. While
  other boys made fencing their amusement, I always would have it as a
  task, and of course gained nothing by it. At a later period, when we
  were at Naples, and I had a weakness in my eyes which made such an
  employment suitable, my mother would have had me learn music. She
  gave me a guitar, and would have paid for my lessons; but I could
  not take to it, and have thus lost the advantage which, since I have
  become a Catholic, I should have so much valued of understanding the
  science of music, seeing that the trifling knowledge I do possess is
  of so much use. There is the apology, then, for my cricket mania;
  that she proposed my taking to it in the {33} summer I speak of. I
  was surprised to find myself willing to acquiesce in the suggestion.
  What I did take to I generally followed excessively, and she did not
  calculate on the violence with which I followed up this. I got into
  very little bad company by means of this pursuit, and perhaps, on
  the whole, I rather gained than lost by it. It was manly and
  healthful, and though, when in the heat of it, I thought it almost
  impossible I should ever give it up, yet when I took Orders I did
  give it up; and if it was in itself of no use, I hope that one
  sacrifice, among the many I was obliged to make and, thank God, did
  willingly make to more important objects, it was not without value.
  Thus much for my cricketing; I mention it here as being the only
  distinct cause to which I can attribute my losing before I went to
  Cambridge the habits of serious thought and of regular prayer, which
  I have observed I regained in a good degree towards the latter part
  of my Dunton time.

  "I nevertheless was full of good purposes. I desired and was
  resolved to keep myself from giving countenance to immorality as
  well as practising it, though after having once given way at Eton, I
  hardly ever dared to say a word or even to give a look in
  disapproval of whatever might be said or done before me by bold
  profligates. I could not bear to appear out of the fashion; so that
  when other boys at Eton used to talk of the balls and gay parties
  which they had been to in their holidays, I was quite ashamed, when
  asked what I had done, to say that I had been to no balls; for to my
  mother I am greatly indebted for her wise conduct in this respect,
  that she did not, as was done by others, make us men before our
  time. So, although I detested and from my heart condemned the
  fashionable immoralities of the young men with whom I came to be
  associated about the time of my going to Cambridge, I hardly dared
  declare my mind, except sometimes, almost in confidence, to one who
  seemed to be like myself. Oh! what good might I have done had I then
  known the value of God's grace, and, despising the world, boldly
  stood up for the cause of virtue, at the same time continuing to be
  gay and cheerful with my companions, and taking a leading part {34}
  in all innocent and manly diversions, and in the objects of
  honourable emulation which were set before me and my fellows. I know
  how much I might have done by supporting others, weak like myself,
  by acting at this time as I ought to have done, by what I felt
  myself on one or two occasions when such support was given me. I
  thank God that the memory of my brother Robert, who died in 1830,
  commanding the _Madagascar_, near Alexandria, now rises before me to
  claim my grateful acknowledgment as having twice given me such help
  at a critical time. Never was a man more calculated than he to get
  on, as it is said, in the world. He was brave and enterprising, and
  skilled in all that might make him distinguished in his profession;
  at the same time he was most eager in the pursuit of field sports
  and manly amusements; and in society was one of the most agreeable
  and popular men of his day. Once I remember complaining to him that
  I was ashamed of having nothing to say before some ladies about
  balls, when I was about sixteen. 'What a wretched false shame is
  that!' said he to me. From that time I became more ashamed of my
  shame than I had been before of my want of fashion. More important
  yet was the service he did me when he was about to go on one of his
  cruises as commander of the _Ganymede_. I was talking with him, the
  last evening before he left London, about the Easter before I went
  to Cambridge. He knew well what I should be exposed to better than I
  did and charged me to take care never to laugh or look pleased when
  I was forced to hear immoral conversation. What rare advice was this
  from the mouth of a gay, gallant young officer; and if there were
  more of his character who were not ashamed to give it to their young
  brothers and friends, how many might be saved, who are now lost,
  because they do not see one example to show how a manly, fashionable
  character can be maintained with strict morality and modesty. These
  few words from him were of infinite service to me. They made deep
  impression on me at the time I heard them, and the resolution which
  I then made continued with me till after I had been some time at
  Cambridge, when the battle I had to bear against the universal
  fashion {35} of iniquity once more, as formerly, at Eton, proved too
  strong for me, and I again gave way. My fall now was gradual. I
  began with the resolution to avoid all expenses which would
  embarrass me with debts, and to keep from several fashionable
  amusements which would engage too much time. For awhile, on this
  account, I would not play at cards; but in less than half-a-year
  this determination failed, and I wasted many an evening at whist of
  my short college life. I soon grew careless, too, about my expenses,
  and should have been involved in great embarrassments, had it not
  been for my brother's (Lord Althorp's) generosity, who, hearing from
  me at the end of my first year that I was in debt, gave me more than
  enough to clear it all away; and, thus having enabled me to set my
  affairs again in order, was the means of saving me from ever
  afterwards going beyond my means extravagantly. I might, however,
  have given way in some such resolutions as not playing at cards; I
  might have entered into some expenses which I shunned at first,
  without losing my peace of mind, and again defiling my conscience,
  of which the good condition was partly restored; but these were not
  the crying evils of the place. In the set with which I was now
  associated in the University, gambling was not at that time much
  practised, and not at all insisted on. There were occasional drunken
  parties, and it was with difficulty that I kept out of them; but the
  system of violently forcing people to drink, as well at the
  Universities as throughout genteel society in England, had fallen
  off before my time. There were some sets where drinking was
  practised at Cambridge much more excessively than in what called
  itself the best set of all. I could not help, without offending the
  laws of society, being present at a considerable number of dinners
  and suppers where men drank immoderately, but I was permitted to
  keep myself sober without much difficulty; one or two gave me
  countenance thus far, though any intimation of disapproving of what
  others did, on religious or moral grounds, I felt would not have
  been anyways tolerated; and so I ventured not. Swearing was among
  them rather unfashionable than {36} not. Some undergraduates were
  notorious for profane and impious language; and this was excused,
  and tolerated, and made fun of, but it was not common, and many
  among us made no difficulty of condemning it. I therefore never fell
  into this habit. The crying, universal, and most frightful evil of
  the place was open immorality. There was at Cambridge, in my time, a
  religious set, who were sometimes called Simeonites, from Mr.
  Simeon, one of the great leaders and promoters of the Evangelical
  party in these latter days, who was minister of one of the small
  churches in Cambridge, and for many years attracted into his
  influence a certain number of young men. Among these open vice was
  not countenanced; but not so the set to which I principally
  belonged, and these were as distinct as if they had not belonged to
  the same University. I was introduced to some few of these, and
  rather valued myself on having an acquaintance with them, as well as
  with many of the purely reading men; and my fashionable friends did
  not altogether object to it, though I was generally a little ashamed
  at being seen with any of them, and avoided any frequent intercourse
  with them. I have wondered since that, if it were only from mere
  curiosity, I should never once have gone to hear Simeon preach, but
  so it was. I understood nothing whatever of what is in England
  called Evangelical religion. Indeed, I thought nothing of religion;
  had I paid any attention to it at this time, I could hardly have
  escaped seeing how desperate was the course which I was following,
  and I might perhaps have taken a strong resolution, and have joined
  the serious party at once; but, very likely, I should have found the
  power of fashion at that time too great, and, by knowing more of
  religion, should only have made my conscience more guilty; and so I
  believe it may be better that none ever spoke to me on the subject
  all the time. I repeat it, that in our set, whatever other deviation
  from the most established fashion was tolerated, any maintenance of
  chastity or modesty was altogether proscribed. It was not long,
  then, before I found myself beat out of the position I endeavoured
  to maintain. During the first term I stood my ground rather better.
  One reason for this was, {37} that among what were called the
  freshmen--that is, those who entered with me on my college life,
  there were several who were not initiated in vicious practices.
  These, remaining for a time more or less in their simplicity, gave
  me some countenance in not going at once in the way of the veteran
  professors of evil. But as I saw some of them grow by degrees
  shameless and bold, and soon beginning to join their older brethren
  in upbraiding my weakness and folly for not being like the rest, I
  found all my resolution failing, and, alas! many a deliberation did
  I take whether I should not at length enter the same way with them.
  I was still withheld, though it was not the fear of God which
  restrained me. I knew that my entering a course of open profligacy
  would not be tolerated by my parents. I had a character for
  steadiness among the tutors and fellows of the college, which I was
  ashamed to lose; though even before them I found it sometimes to
  answer best not to appear different from other young men. Besides,
  as I had resisted the first period of attacks, and established among
  my companions a kind of character of my own, I felt that even they
  would be astonished if I at last declared myself as one of their
  sort. I could not bear the thought of their triumph, and the horrid
  congratulations with which I should be greeted, if once I was found
  going along with them in open feats of iniquity. Oh! how grievous is
  the reflection that by such motives as these I was restrained. I was
  longing often to be like them. I could not bear the taunts which
  were sometimes made at me. Here again some of the old Etonians
  perhaps would bring up the remembrance of my ancient propensity to
  blush, and would take pleasure in putting me again to confusion.
  Occasionally, by strange interpositions of Divine Providence, I was
  hindered from accomplishing purposes of evil which I had, in a sort
  of desperation, resolved by myself to perpetrate, by way of being
  decided one way or other, like a man on the brink of a precipice
  determining to throw himself down in order to escape the uneasy
  apprehension of his danger. One way or another I was restrained, so
  that it has afterwards appeared to me as if I had but barely stopped
  short of {38} taking the last decisive steps by which I might be
  irrevocably ranked among the reprobate. I never thought at the time
  of this danger, otherwise I could hardly have borne my existence;
  but, as it was, my mind at times was gloomy and miserable in the
  extreme. To make me yet more so, at the end of my first year I began
  to be afflicted with bilious attacks, arising, perhaps, from my
  imprudent management in regard to study, to diet, and to hours; and
  these occasioned exceeding depression of spirits, under which I used
  to fancy myself the most unhappy of creatures. I had no knowledge of
  the power of religion to set me free, and make me superior to all
  external sensible causes of depression, and I knew no better than to
  give myself up to my low feelings when they came upon me, till some
  distraction removed them, or till the fit passed away of itself.
  Many times at Cambridge, in order to hold up my head in a noisy
  company after dinner, I drank wine to raise my spirits, though not
  to great excess, yet enough to teach me by experience how mistaken
  is the calculation of those who, when in sorrow, seek to cheer
  themselves in that way, or in any way but by having recourse to God
  by prayer and acts of resignation. I remember well once being told
  by a good aunt of mine, that it was quite wrong to give way to my
  depression, about which I one day complained to her, and that
  religion would surely cure it; but the time was not come for me to
  understand this truth, and I took no notice of her words.

  "In the meantime I continued zealous about my studies. I did not
  stop to ask _cui bono_ was I working in them. Had I seen how utterly
  vain was a first-class place or a Trinity prize-book, which I had
  set before me as the object of my labours, I should have found but
  little consolation and refreshment to my melancholy reflections in
  these pursuits. On the contrary, I should only have pined away with
  a more complete sense of the truth of the Wise man's sentence which
  Almighty God was teaching me in His own way, and in His own good
  time: '_Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity_' but to serve Thee
  only. I do not mean that if rightly followed, such academical
  honours are worth nothing. I wish {39} I had followed them more
  prudently and effectually. They were the objects set before me by my
  superiors at the time, and I should say to another in my place that
  he should do his best to gain the highest place in a spirit of
  obedience, and for the honour of God, to whom we owe all the credit
  and influence in the world which, by just and honourable exertions,
  we can gain. In recollecting, therefore, how I exerted myself, and
  succeeded in these attempts, I am dwelling on one of the most happy
  points of view which that part of my life suggests to me; for though
  I did not do this _as_ I ought, yet I was doing _what_ I ought, and
  by doing so was preserved from much evil, and God knows how far the
  creditable footing I gained at Cambridge in the studies of the place
  may yet be available for a good end."

It is hard to believe young Spencer was so utterly devoid of religion
as he here describes himself to be; we draw a more favourable
inference from a journal he kept at the time. Noticing the death of
the Princess Charlotte, he says: "It appears to be the greatest
calamity that could have befallen us in public, and it is a deplorable
event in a private point of view. It must be ascribed to the
interposition of Providence, which must have some end in view beyond
our comprehension." He speaks of the death of Mrs. Blomfield thus--"It
is for her a happy event, after a life so well spent as hers has
been." A few pages further on he has these words about the death of
another friend of his. "I was extremely shocked to-day at hearing that
James Hornby died last Friday of apoplexy. It was but a short time
past that I was corresponding with him about the death of Mrs.
Blomfield; and little he or I thought that he would be the next to go.
The last year and a half I stayed at Eton I lived in the greatest
intimacy with him, which had afterwards fallen away a little; but he
was very clever and promising, and I always was fond of him. It must
be a wise dispensation of Providence, and may be intended as a warning
to us, in addition to those we have lately had in the deaths of
Maitland and Dundas. God grant it may be an effectual one!"

These are not the spontaneous expressions of one altogether {40} a
stranger to piety, though they may very well be put down as the
transient vibration of chords that had long lain still in his heart,
and which these rude shocks must have touched and made audibly heard
once more. This conclusion is more in accordance with other remarks
found scattered here and there in the same journal. He criticises
sermons and seems to like none; he is regular at chapel and puts on
his surplice on the days appointed; but he refuses to take the
sacrament for no conceivable reason but that he does not care about
it, and hears it is administered unbecomingly. He is shrewd and
considerate in his remarks upon persons and things; yet there is
scarcely a line of scandal or uncharitableness in the whole closely
written volume. When he records a drunken fit or a row, he suppresses
the names of the rioters; and if he says a sharp word about a person
in one page, he makes ample amends for it in many pages afterwards; by
showing how mistaken he was at first, and how agreeable it was to him
to change his opinion upon a longer acquaintance. This might not
appear very high praise; but let us take notice of his age and
circumstances, and then perhaps it may have its value. He was a young
man, just turned eighteen; he had been brought up in splendour at
home, and in a poisonous atmosphere at school. That he was not the
vilest of the vile is to be wondered at more than that he preserved as
much goodness as he did. Where is the young man, of even excellent
training, who will be able to contend, unaided and taunted, against a
whole college of the finest youth of any country? His motives may be
beneath a Christian's standard, but the fact that with this weak
armour, the bare shadow of what it might be, he made such noble
resistance and passed almost unscathed through the furnace into which
he was cast, only shows what he would have done had he been imbued
with the teachings of a higher order. The very human respect and
worldly considerations that succeeded in keeping him from vice,
acquire a respectability and a status in the catalogue of
preservatives from the fact of their being successful in his case. His
was a fine mind, and one is moved to tears at seeing this noble
material for sanctity thus tossed {41} about and buffeted by a herd of
capricious companions who could not see its beauty. Let us take up any
young man's journal of his age and read some pages of it, what shall
we find? Jokes played upon green freshmen, tricks for outdoing
proctors, records of follies, or perchance pompous unreality put on to
conceal all these or worse. His diary is the generous utterance of a
noble mind; it is candid, true, conscientious, and puts a failing and
a perfection of the writer side by side. It is no wonder that he was
loved and courted, and that his companions had acquired an esteem for
him in college, which years and toils have not succeeded in lessening.
His keen grief at the deficiencies of his college life only shows to
what height of sanctity he had reached, when what another might boast
of wrung from him these lamentations.

{42}

CHAPTER VII.

Conclusion Of His First Year In Cambridge.


The events recorded in his journal at this time could very
conveniently be swelled into chapters, if one had a mind to be
diffuse. To trace the fortunes of the gentlemen he comes in contact
with--Denison, Wodehouse, Carlisle, Hildyard, Brougham, and a host of
others, who afterwards shone in different circles, High Church
controversies, pleadings at the bar, parliamentary debates, and Irish
Lord-lieutenancies,--would form some very interesting episodes. We
should add many titles to the off-handed surnames of the collegian's
journal, and say a few words about how those dignities were procured,
earned, and worn by the possessors. It might be, perhaps, interesting
to some readers to know how many gay young noblemen were enticed into
becoming sons-in-law to some very reverend doctors. All this and more
Mr. Spencer notes down in the journal, but it is not our theme.

  "I have before observed that about my first Christmas I was
  encouraged by Mr. Monk and by Mr. Blomfield, who had removed from
  Dunton and lived then about ten miles from Cambridge, to undertake a
  contest for a University prize; but from this I afterwards drew
  back. I followed up then principally the object of getting into the
  first class at the Trinity College examinations, which took place at
  the end of each year, and which is an honour much esteemed, on
  account of that College standing so high in the University, though
  of course it is not on a level with the honours gained in
  examinations where competitors are admitted from the whole body of
  students in the University. It was one object of silly ambition at
  Cambridge to do well in the examinations without having appeared to
  {43} take much trouble about it. During my second term I fell into
  the idea of aiming a little at this, and I went to many more
  parties, and took more time for various amusements, particularly
  cards, than I allowed myself in the first term. Had I not been
  checked for this, I should probably have lost much ground in my
  race. But a check did come to me at Easter, when I went to town, and
  one evening expressed to my father and mother something of
  self-congratulation for having united so much amusement with my
  studies. My mother saw the danger I was now falling into, and, as it
  seemed to me, with too great severity, for an hour together
  represented to me the absurdity of my notions, and upbraided me with
  going the way to disappoint all their prospects. I had no thought of
  bringing such a reproof upon myself, and went to bed actually crying
  with mortification. However, it had its effect, and I was thankful
  for it afterwards. The next term, which was the last and critical
  one before the examination, I spent in very severe and regular
  study, and cared not how some idle ones might derogate from my
  success, and comfort themselves for their inferiority by the
  thought, that I had read so hard as to take away from my merit. At
  length, on the 18th May, 1818, the very day, as I observed, on
  which, ten years before, I had gone to Eton, I went into the
  examinations in which was to be gained the little share of credit in
  this way which was to fall to my lot. They lasted for a week; and, a
  day or two after, I received a note from Mr. Amos, now a
  distinguished ...... in London, who was one of the examiners, and a
  great friend of mine, which filled me with exultation: 'I have the
  greatest pleasure in informing you that you are in the first class.
  Ollivant is only eight marks above you, and you and he have left all
  the rest of the class at a long, very long, distance.' I afterwards
  learnt that the highest number of the marks was between 1,600 and
  1,700, and that while Ollivant and I were near together at the head,
  the next to me was at the distance of 291. Lord Graham, now Duke of
  Montrose, was one of the first class, and if he had read as much as
  I did, there is no doubt he would have been before {44} me. I was
  told at the same time that I learnt the above-named particulars, as
  I find it in my journal, that 'I was best in mathematics, and
  Grahame next, although Grahame was first in algebra;' after which I
  thus expressed my ambition at the time: 'I hope that Grahame will
  not read for next year's examination, and if my eyes last out (for
  at that time I was under some apprehension on that point) I may have
  a chance of being first then, which would be delightful.' Such is
  all earthly ambition, and, as in my case, so always its
  effects--disappointment and mortification. Had I offered all my
  studies to God, and worked for Him, depending on His help, I should
  have done much more. I should have enjoyed my successes more purely,
  and should have been guarded from all disappointment. The second
  year's examination is much more confined to mathematics than to
  classics, and had I been wise and regular and well-disciplined in my
  mind, I might have gained that _first_ place which I was aiming at,
  for Grahame did not read for it. As it was, Ollivant, who was some
  way behind me in the first year, got up his ground, and beat me in
  the second year's examination, in which, though I was second again,
  I had no remarkable superiority over the one who came next to me."

Spencer formed the acquaintance of Sir Thomas Fremantle while they
were both at Dunton under the charge of Mr. Blomfield. Fremantle went
to Oxford and he to Cambridge, but they continued the intimacy, begun
here, to which Spencer pays cordial tributes of unfeigned gratitude.
Sir Thomas was a welcome guest at Althorp; he and George used to spur
each other on to renewed exertions in the pursuit of literary honours.
Spencer formed a plan for the long vacation, and went, on March 25, to
Oxford, to lay the subject before Fremantle; it was, that they should
go somewhere and read together. Spencer got into the coach in London,
and arrived in Oxford at twelve at night. He lionised the place next
day, was introduced to different celebrities, and dined and "wined" in
the most select companies his friends, Fremantle and Lord Wilton,
could muster for his reception. He lived during the time in the rooms
of a {45} fellow commoner of Oriel. He did not leave a single
department unvisited. He played at tennis with a Mr. Denison; compared
the agreements and disagreements of their ways there with those of
Cambridge; the only thing noteworthy he chose to put down in his
diary, as the result of his comparison, is, that (when he plays cards
in W ***'s rooms, where there are four tables) "they play high, and I
do not like the kind of party so well as those at Cambridge."

Spencer continued in Cambridge, and read, or idled, as the tone of his
mind directed, until the 31st of July, 1818. This morning he set off,
at half-past five, in the _Rising Sun_, for Birmingham; he falls in
with a brilliant Etonian, who recounts the progress of things at his
old school; and has to sleep in what he calls "the most uncomfortable
and uncivil inn I have ever seen." He sets off on another coach next
morning for Shrewsbury, and finds, to his agreeable surprise, that
Fremantle travelled by the inside of the same vehicle. They both
travel together into Wales, having first procured a supply of candles,
tea, and other commodities for housekeeping, which they did not hope
to find at hand where they were going to. After many long stages,
up-hill and down-hill, among Welsh mountains, and strange
fellow-travellers, they arrive at Towyn, at ten o'clock at night on
the 2nd of August, having been nearly three days performing a journey
which can now be accomplished in a few hours.

Towyn is a little town in Merionethshire, situated on the sea coast,
on a neck of land formed by a graceful little creek, into which the
River Doluny empties itself, and a kind of sloping arm of the channel.
Here Spencer and Fremantle took up their residence for the long
vacation, in a nice little house for which they paid ten guineas a
month. They had the whole premises to themselves, with a waiting-man
named Davis, and a maid Kitty. Their mode of life was very regular.
They rose early, bathed in the sea, which rolled its waves against
their premises, breakfasted, and studied till two o'clock. It was
customary with them then to go out exploring with dog and gun until
dinner, dine at five, take another stroll, and read again until they
thought it time to take tea, {46} and chat until bed-time. Each in
turn was steward for a week; they purchased their own provisions in
the little town, thus making a regular home there for the term of
their stay. They read pretty well for the first week or two;
afterwards they got so fond of brisk air and the adventures they came
across in their daily walks, that the reading became less agreeable,
and soon irksome. The first adventure recorded in the journal is the
following. They were both returning home after a two hours' vain
pursuit of game, and came across a gouty old gentleman, who asked them
a number of impertinent questions. He then asked them to dine, but
finding out on inquiry that he was "a notorious blackguard," although
great in lands and money, they politely declined his invitation.
Another time they rode a great way up the country and stopped at a
pretty place, which they found, to their chagrin, not to be a fairy
castle exactly, but "a grand shop for gossip, kept by two old ladies,
assisted by a third," at whose qualifications in point of age the
reader is left to make guesses. Another day they went out to shoot,
and met another serious adventure, which is thus noted: "I got an
immense ducking in a black mud ditch, which came up to my middle or
higher, and Fremantle got a wetting too, but not so serious as mine."
Things go on smoothly now for about a week; they receive several
visits from neighbouring gentry, and the way in which the return to
some of them is described gives us a fair specimen of the flow of
spirits Spencer enjoyed at the time. "Saturday, Aug. 15.--We made
ourselves greater bucks than usual to-day, and set off at two to call
on Mr. Scott, near Aberdovey. He takes pupils there. We came home to
dinner at half-past five; and after dinner (still greater bucks) we
went to drink tea at Bodalog, with Mr. and Mrs. Jeffreys, and came
home at half-past ten (14 miles walking)." The next adventure was one
in which they tried their hands at shooting on the river with Mr.
Jeffreys' long gun; whether the weight of the instrument, or an effort
to reach the game that it killed, drew them nearer the water than they
intended, he tells us that they "got quite soused in the water," and
figured at the gentleman's dinner-table in two complete sets of the
apparel of {47} the old man, to the no small amusement of the company.
Nothing remarkable occurred after this to the two friends, except a
trip to Aberystwyth, where they lodged a few days, met a few old
acquaintances, and enjoyed a ball that was given to the ladies and
gentlemen who were there for the season; until the 14th of September.
This day they had a great battle of words with their landlord, who did
not like their leaving him so soon: in this, however, they came off
victorious. They both travel through Wales, visit Snowdon, Carnarvon,
and meet a body of Cambridge men reading with a tutor at Conway.

September 29th, he took the mail to London, and thus ended his long
vacation. He stays at Wimbledon with his own family until the time for
returning to Cambridge again. He relates in the journal that a man
comes to teach Lady Spencer, his mother, how to bind books. This may
be thought a strange kind of recreation for a lady of high rank; but
it will not when we read that "this was the same person who set off
the fashion of _shoemaking_!"

He concludes his first year in Cambridge thus:--"This day's journal
completes a year from the time I began to keep my history. It has
indeed been an important year in my life the first in which I have
been my own master, and have, I fear, settled my character with all
its faults. Several things which I have both done and undone I shall
never cease regretting. I have only to _thank God_ that there is no
more reason for regret. With my reading, on the whole, I am as well
satisfied as I ever expected." Two words are underlined in this
extract; they were often on his lips till the day of his death, and
frequently formed the subject of his sermons. If his character had its
faults settled with it in his own estimation, it is pleasing to see
the habit of resignation existing as a virtue in him even at this age.
It was one that was confirmed in him afterwards, to an eminent degree.

{48}

CHAPTER VIII.

Second Year In Cambridge--Takes His Degree.

During the first term of his second year in Cambridge, his average
hours of reading decreased; yet he had still a taste for study, and
had not yet thrown aside what remained of his former ambition to
distinguish himself. He and the Duke of Montrose declaim on the
respective merits of Charles V. and Francis I.; they tossed up for
sides, and Charles V. fell to Spencer. This keeps him at hard study
for some time; meanwhile he hears Ollivant declaim, and thinks he will
get both prizes. After the declamation, in which he comes off more
creditably than he expected, he has half a hope of a prize, which he
says he should be surprised though delighted to receive. He did get
one, but not so high as he expected. Here and there in his journal at
this time a few expressions of discontent escape from him about
Cambridge; the cause being partially what has been related in the
chapter before last. This had also, conjointly with another
circumstance, the effect of cutting short his University career. He
writes in the autobiography:--

  "I made some good progress during this year, but I should have done
  much more had I been constantly regular. I must have suffered great
  loss by my interruptions, as I find by my journal that for about
  four weeks at the end of the long vacation, when I had come home and
  was taken up with shooting, I did not make one hour's study; and two
  more long intervals of cessation from reading took place in the
  Christmas and Easter vacations, when a little steady application, if
  it were but for three hours a-day, would have kept my mind
  attentive, and given me a great advantage. After my first
  examination, I entertained some thoughts {49} of waiving my
  privilege of taking an honorary degree, and going through the Senate
  House examinations with a view to University honours; but I lost all
  wish to remain at Cambridge towards the end of the second autumn. I
  was at times quite disgusted with the place, for such reasons as I
  have stated; besides which, my father and mother had made a plan,
  which pleased me greatly, of going for a year on the Continent, in
  which I was to accompany them. My brother Frederick, who was come
  home about this time, was to be of the party likewise, and happy was
  I in the prospect of being again some time in his company; but as an
  opportunity occurred for him to go to South America, with Sir Thomas
  Hardy, with the hope of being made Commander, this professional
  advantage was justly preferred."

Some of the heads at Cambridge as well as Lady Spencer urged him at
this time to stand for a fellowship, but he gave up the idea, and it
ended in his joining a new club they had formed--the Eton club. These
clubs at the Universities are looked upon with no great favour by
proctors and others who have charge of the morals of the students.
Their dinners entail great expenses on the members, and they end as
the first meeting did in his case: "They all made an enormous row, and
I too, by the bye." He came to spend the Christmas of 1818 at Althorp,
and closes the year with a succession of parties, Pope Joan, and
bookbinding. There is one little incident recorded in his journal at
this time which gives us a perfect insight into his character. One
might expect that at this age, nineteen, he would be very romantic and
dreamy, and that we should find many allusions to those topics which
engross so much of the time of novel-reading youths and maidens
nowadays. Nothing of the sort. There is an affair of the heart, but
his conduct in it, with his remarks on it, are worthy of a
sexagenarian. At a party, which took place at his father's, he dances
with various young ladies, among the rest a certain Miss A., who, he
says, "was a great flame of mine two years ago; she is not so pretty
as I thought her then, but she is a delightful partner. I was again in
love, but not violently to-night." Two or three days after this, he is
at another party, and {50} dances with a new set of partners to the
extent of three quadrilles. Of one of these he thus speaks--"I was
delighted with Miss B., who is a pleasant unaffected girl, and I am
doomed to think of her I suppose for two or three days instead of Miss
A. I was provoked that she would not give me her fan at parting." Was
it not cool and thoughtful of him to mark out the time such a change
of sentiment was likely to last? The next page of the journal brings
the subject before us still more clearly. His mother took him for a
walk around Althorp, and told him that she was planning a house for
the parsonage at Brington: "Which they say is to be mine when I am old
enough; it might be made a most comfortable and even a pretty place,
and if I live to come to it I can figure to myself some happy years
there with a fond partner of my joys, if I can meet with a good one.
'Here then, and with thee, my N.' [Footnote 2] would have been my
language some time ago; but how my opinions even of such important
things change with my increasing years. This thought often occurs to
me, and will I hope prevent me from ever making any engagements which
cannot be broken, in case my fancy should be altered during the time
which must elapse before the completion of them." It will be seen,
further on in the biography, how this affair ended. There is a very
good lesson in what he has left for young men of his age. If reason
were allowed to direct the affections, many would be preserved from
rash steps that embitter their whole lives. It seems amusing to a
Catholic to find the prospects of a clergyman's happiness so very
commonplace; but it will be a relief to learn by-and-by how very
different were his ideas when he became a clergyman, and built and
dwelt in that identical parsonage that now existed only in his own and
his mother's mind. He gets a commission in the Northamptonshire
Yeomanry before returning to Cambridge for Hilary term this year.

  [Footnote 2: A quotation, as the reader may remember,
  from _Guy Mannering_.]

Studies seem to him a necessary evil now, and he writes with a kind of
a sigh of relief when he notes, a few pages on, that he has taken his
last compulsory lesson in Latin. {51} Balls and parties of all kinds
are his rage. George and a friend of his had notice of a ball coming
off in Northampton in a few days, and he heard that his "ladye love"
would be one of the company, so they determined to be there. He writes
letters, gets an invitation for his friend, and makes all the
preparation possible for a week previous. The day comes, it is rainy;
but, no matter, they pack their best suits into trunks, bring the
necessary apparatus for making a good appearance, they search the town
for a conveyance, and at length procure a team for a tandem at
Jordan's. Off they go, eighteen miles the first stage, then eight
more; they bait their horses and dine; off again for full sixteen
miles. He has also to run the risk of a cross-examination from
whatever members of his family he may happen to meet at the ball, and
to answer the difficult question, "What brought you here?" It is
raining in torrents, it is a cold February day; but all difficulties
appear trifles to the two young adventurers as they urge their team
over the hills and plains of Northamptonshire. Even Spencer boasts in
his journal that he is now a first-rate whip. They arrive in high
glee, forgetting their hardships in the glow of anticipation, and are
greeted with the bad news, as they jump from their conveyance, that
the ball has been put off until next month. To make matters worse, the
bearer of these unfavourable tidings assured them that he wrote to
them to give this information, and they had an additional motive to
chagrin in the fact of their having forgotten to ask for their letters
in the hurry and anxiety to come off. He notes in the journal--"Feb.
10. We set off again in our tandem for Cambridge, truly _dimissis
auribus_, but with a resolution to try again on the 5th March." On the
5th of March they faithfully carried out this resolution. The ball
took place, but the ladies they were anxious to meet did not come, so
they only half enjoyed the thing. Spencer took a hack and rode off to
Althorp to make his appearance at his father's. He was very nervous
about the prospect of a meeting with his parents, and having to give
an account of himself. Fortunately the Earl was deep in some measure
for furthering George's happiness, and looked upon his son's {52}
arrival as an auspicious visit. Everything thus passed off smoothly,
and the youngsters arrived in Cambridge with their tandem "without
accidents, but with two or three narrow escapes." His journal here has
few incidents out of the ordinary line of his daily life; he learns to
wrestle with success; so as to bring his antagonist to the ground with
a dilapidation of the _res vestiaria_. He practises a good deal at
jumping, and one day, in clearing a hedge, a bramble caught his foot,
which brought him with violence to the ground; by this mishap his eye
was ornamented with a scar which gave him some trouble afterwards. He
also gets a shying horse to ride: this noble charger had a particular
dislike to carts: he shied at one in the market-place in Cambridge,
and soon left his rider on the flags. Spencer mounted again, but found
on his return, after a good ride, that his toe was sprained, and it
kept him indoors for five or six days. This chapter of accidents was
amply counterbalanced by the agreeable fact that he had just attended
his twenty-fifth divinity lecture, and had obtained the certificate
which was to insure him the imposition of his bishop's hands, whenever
he might think it convenient to put himself to the trouble of going
through the ceremony. His course is now coming to an end; he becomes a
freemason, and rises four degrees in the craft before the end of June.
A bishop visits Trinity College, and standing in solemn grandeur, with
a staff of college officers dressed out in their insignia encircling
him, his lordship delivers a grave expression of his displeasure at
the stupidity some twenty students gave evidence of during their
examination. Spencer comes out in the first class once more; his
brother Frederick is in Cambridge at the time, and as soon as the
result is known they take coach for London. Here they spend their time
agreeably between dining at home and abroad, going to Covent Garden,
and taking sundry lessons from an Italian dancing-master, until July
5th, when George returns to Cambridge to take out his degree. We will
hear himself now giving an account of this great event.

  "My college labours terminated with the end of the second year's
  college examination for the classes, which took {53} place on the
  1st of June, 1819. On the 5th of June the result was declared, when,
  as I have before said, I was in the first class again, and second to
  Ollivant. This was rather a disappointment, and gave me some
  reasonable discontent. For the cause of my not being, as I might
  have expected, as far above the others as I had been the year
  before, I saw clearly was a degree of carelessness in my reading,
  especially of one subject that is, the three first sections of
  Newton's Principia, which were appointed for the second year's
  reading, and for which I had not had a taste as for other parts of
  mathematics. However, the time was now past to recover my place, and
  soon the importance of this little matter vanished into nothing. I
  then went to London till the beginning of July, when I returned to
  Cambridge to receive my degree as Master of Arts from the Duke of
  Gloucester, who came in person at the commencement of this year to
  confer the degrees as Chancellor of the University, and to be
  entertained with the best that the colleges could raise to offer him
  in the way of feasts and gaieties. My Cambridge cares and troubles
  were now well-nigh past, and I enjoyed greatly the position I held
  at this commencement as steward of the ball, and a sort of leader of
  the gaieties in the presence of the Royal personages, because I was
  the first in rank of those who received their honorary degrees.

  "From this time there has been a complete cessation with me of all
  mathematical studies, and almost of all my classical, to which I
  have hardly ever again referred. For when I again returned to
  regular study, I had nothing in my mind but matters of theology. It
  was at this time, after leaving Cambridge, when I remained
  principally fixed as an inmate in my father's house, till I was
  settled in the country as a clergyman, that I was in the character
  of what is called a young man about town. It was with my dear
  brother Frederick, who was at home at the time, as I before
  observed, that I began in earnest to take a share in the enjoyment
  of London life. I have seen the dangers, the pleasures, and the
  miseries of that career, though all in a mitigated degree, from the
  happy circumstance of my not {54} being left alone to find my way
  through it, as so many are at the age of which I speak. With many,
  no doubt, the life in London is the time for going to the full depth
  of all the evil of which Oxford or Cambridge have given the first
  relish. My father and mother were not like many aged veterans in
  dissipation--whom in the days when the fashionable world was most
  accounted of by me, I have looked on with pity--who to the last of
  their strength keep up what they can of youth, in pursuing still the
  round of the gay parties of one rising generation after another.
  They (my parents) hardly ever went into society away from home. They
  kept a grand establishment, when in London, at Spencer House, as
  well as at Althorp in the winter, when the first society, whether of
  the political, or the literary and scientific, were constantly
  received. It would, therefore, have been unreasonable in me to be
  fond of going out for the sake of society, when, perhaps, none was
  to be met with so interesting as that at home; besides this, my
  father and mother were fond of being surrounded by their family
  circle; and if I or my brothers, when staying with them in London,
  went out from home several times in succession, or many times a
  week, they would generally express some disappointment or
  displeasure; and though I used at the time to be sometimes vexed at
  this kind of restraint, as I was at other restraints on what I might
  have reckoned the liberty of a young man, I used generally, even
  then, to see how preferable my condition was. I now most clearly see
  that the feelings of my parents in this matter were most reasonable,
  and that it was a great blessing to me that I was situated in such
  circumstances. They were desirous that we should see the world, and
  when any amusement was going on, or party was to take place, which
  she thought really worthy of attention, as not being so frivolous as
  the general run of such things, my mother zealously assisted in
  procuring us invitations, and providing us with needful dresses; as,
  for instance, at this time she gave to my brother Frederick and me
  very handsome full-dress uniforms (his being, of course, that of a
  naval officer, mine of the Northamptonshire Yeomanry, in which I
  then held a commission), {55} that we might appear at balls and
  parties where full-dress was required, such as foreign ambassadors
  sometimes gave. These were, she thought, really worth going to on
  account of extraordinary or remarkable characters who came to them,
  whether English or foreigners. Thanks to their regular domestic
  habits, and to the strict authority which my mother still kept over
  us all, while being at Spencer House, I should have found it almost
  as difficult as in a well-regulated college to go into any
  extravagant irregularities, and so I was hardly tempted to do so. My
  feeling habitually was to try and avoid invitations and engagements
  from home, far from seeking them eagerly."

The incidents we are able to add from his journal during the interval
between leaving Cambridge and going abroad are very meagre, yet, since
they are characteristic of the man's feelings, a few will be inserted.
From the journal: "Tuesday, July 20. We got up and went to a dreadful
formal breakfast at 10½. At one we were dressed, and the company began
to arrive for a public breakfast, to be given to-day to the people of
the county in honour of the marriage of Lord Temple. The collation was
in the greenhouse, and lasted off and on till about 6!" He goes
through the particulars of the entertainment, the quadrilles and
country dances, the partners' perfections, &c., &c.; but when Lady
Buckingham asked himself and his brother to stay a little while
longer, much as they liked it, they would not do so, because their
mother desired them to be home at a certain time. One must admire his
obedience even at the expense of his enjoyment, when he might
calculate upon the implicit consent of his mother to their acceding to
such a request, and from such a quarter. Another thing we gather from
this is, that F. Ignatius, even when a youth, could never bear what
was formal or ultra-refined; he always liked natural ease and
unaffected simplicity. "We find him turn away from a blue-stocking,
and steal three days' thoughts from his "flame" to bestow them on one
more unaffected and simple. The next incident he chooses to record is,
that the clergyman of the church he used to attend had gone to spend
his honeymoon, and that a preacher whom he did not admire took his
pulpit {56} in his absence. There are some partings of friends, and a
great variety of amusements, to fill up the pages for a month or so.
Father Ignatius used to tell a very remarkable anecdote about this
period of his life; he used it to illustrate the sacrifices that
people can willingly make for the law of fashion, and how reluctant
they are to make even the smallest for the love of God. There was a
great ball to be given somewhere in London; it was to be a most
splendid affair, full in all particulars of dress and etiquette, and
one of those that the Countess Spencer thought really worth going to.
A celebrated _coiffeur_ was imported direct from Paris, and he had a
peculiar style of hair-dressing that none of that craft in London
could hope to imitate with success. All the _belles_, marchionesses of
high degree, who intended figuring at the ball, hired the French
_coiffeur_. He accepted all the engagements, but found they were so
many that it would take twenty-four hours' hard work, without a
moment's repose, to satisfy all. He had to begin at three o'clock in
the afternoon of the day preceding the ball, and Father Ignatius knew
one lady who was high upon his list. She had her hair dressed about
four, and, lest it might be disarranged, slept in her arm-chair, with
her neck in stocks, for the night. This lady, be it remembered, was no
foolish young _belle_, but a matron who might have conveniently
introduced her granddaughter to the circle she attended. "These
people," he used to say, "laugh at the folly of St. Peter of Alcantara
and other mortified saints; and we, who aspire to be saints, will
undergo with difficulty what worldlings cheerfully endure for vanity
and folly." He often laughed at this, and often laughed others into
seriousness at his comments on it.

{57}

CHAPTER IX.

Travels On The Continent.

Spencer's thoughts now seemed perpetually fluttering around the
expectation of going abroad and seeing wonders. This idea comes out at
most unexpected times in the journal, it forms a parenthesis in
everything he considers bearing seriously upon his welfare. At one
time he is disappointed in not having his brother for companion, at
another he hopes his parents will not consider this trip travelling
enough for him; he expects, too, that the parental reins will be
slackened somewhat; and even it crosses his mind, as a kind of remote
probability, that he may perchance be allowed to take a tour by
himself. All that was hopeful in these day-dreams was gratified, and
some of them to an extent that he was very far from imagining at the
time. The great day did arrive at last; the evening before, the
different branches of the family came to dine at Wimbledon, where the
Earl was then staying. They were very serious, as they were going "on
a formidable expedition next morning." In the morning, the different
articles of luggage were sent before them on a van; and, after parting
with Lords Althorp, Lyttelton, and their families, the party started
for the Continent. It consisted of Lord and Lady Spencer in one
carriage, George and the physician in another, and the servants in a
third. They had a courier employed, Luigi Cavani, whose office it was
to ride ahead of the cavalcade, and provide horses and other
necessaries at the next stage. They set sail at Dover at six o'clock
on the evening of the 14th September, and, after what was called a
favourable passage, arrived in Calais the next morning at half-past
seven o'clock. One can leave London Bridge nowadays at the time they
left Dover Harbour, and be in Paris before they landed. {58} He says
in the autobiography:

  "It was on the 15th of September, 1819, that we landed at Calais a
  day most interesting to me, as I then considered, because the first
  of my setting foot in a foreign land, but much more, I now must
  reckon, as being the first on which I trod Catholic ground and
  entered a Catholic church." In the journal he says: "Dr. Wilson and
  I walked about a little (in Calais) to the market-place and the
  church, both which were extraordinary to the greatest degree in my
  eyes. Sept. 16. We breakfasted at eight, and then started on our
  journey. 1st went my father and mother in their carriage with 4
  horses; 2ndly. Dr. Wilson and I in a hired _calèche_ with two
  horses. 3rd. Drewe and the maids, in one with three horses; and
  last, the _fourgon_, with 3. This was the order of march. I was
  amused extremely by the difference of this and our English posting.
  The appearance of the postilions is so new to me, as they crack
  their long whips over their heads, and the little horses with their
  rope harness look so mean. Luigi rode post to order horses and
  manage everything for us, and was always found waiting at every
  relay."

We quote this in full to give an idea of how noblemen travelled in the
not very olden time. If George was much surprised at the church in
Calais, his wonder knew no bounds when he entered the Cathedral in
Amiens, and saw "Mass performed by separate Priests at different
Altars, and people at each." This is a mystery to Protestants who see
Catholic rites for the first time. They are taught to look upon true
worship as consisting in the meaning of some well-written sentences,
pronounced with emphatic unction, and responded to with some degree of
fervour. The service, the fine old psalms, anthems, and collects of
the Prayer-Book, issuing forth in melodious accents from the lips of a
God-fearing man, is about the highest kind of public worship they can
have any notion of. The sermon is first with some, second with others;
but whatever place the peculiar excellence of the preacher, and the
effects of it on a given occasion, may gain in the heart of an
individual, it may be taken for granted that the service comes before
the sermon in the abstract. But service and sermon must be heard, and
{59} listened to, and understood. With this idea in their minds, and
accustomed to see the minister assume a manner and mien calculated to
produce prayerful thoughts in his congregation, they are surprised, if
not shocked, at the Catholic Mass. They find the Priest hurrying off
through Latin prayers, and producing breathless attention by his own
silence; they see him arrayed in unintelligible attire, moving one way
and another, bowing, genuflecting, standing still, or blessing. They
scarcely understand a word or gesture, and feel perfectly sure that
the old woman who beats her breast and counts her beads by the side of
their staring effrontery is as much in the dark as themselves, if not
more. They have seen one evidence more of the humbug of Popery, and
bless God that Cranmer procured them another ritual. It is not our
object to explain Catholic mysteries, but it may be as well to hint
that if a stranger to Jerusalem happened to wander to Calvary on the
great day of the Crucifixion, and believed in the divinity of the
Victim who hung upon the Cross, he would find more devotion in
kneeling in silence at His feet, than in listening to the most
eloquent declamation he could hear about it. Such is the case with the
Catholic now as then; he knows the same Victim is offered up still,
and when the great moment arrives in the middle of the Mass, he would
have everything to be hushed and silent, except the little bell that
gives him notice of the awful moment. A reason why there should be
people at the different altars lies in this: that there is the same
Sacrifice on each, and one may happen to come into the church at a
time when it would be more convenient to hear Mass at some one place
than at another. The course of their journey lay through Paris, which
they entered from St. Denis by Montmartre. They remained some days
there to see Notre Dame, and Paris from its summit, admire the length
of the Louvre, and visit Fontainebleau. In the course they took by
Auxerre, Maison Neuve, Dijon, Poligny, and Morey, in order to cross
Mount Jura and to see Mont Blanc on their way to Switzerland, they
have to endure many privations. The inns are bad, the cooking is
inferior, and they have to undergo discomforts while sleeping in {60}
the _châlets_ of mountaineers, who were not accustomed to have their
quiet invaded by such state visits every day. All this they bore
manfully until they arrived in Geneva, which they find "crammed with
English." It strikes George as extraordinary that the Genevese should
have their shops in the top story of their houses. He misses the
morning service in the Calvinist Church on Sunday; thinks their
afternoon function very like the Scotch, and sensible. He gives vent
to his indignation at finding "a number of blackguard fellows playing
cards and smoking, publicly, at a cafe, whilst there were only twenty
at church." He is disappointed, therefore, at not finding Geneva the
devout, religious place he imagined it to be. He sees a few of the
sights with Dr. Wilson, and they cross the Lago Maggiore in a boat,
whilst the rest of the company go round it by land. They all meet
together in Milan; there they find Lord Lucan. He goes to see the
_Duomo, Brera,_ theatres; and admires the fine streets, shops, &c.,
and says the Cathedral is unique. He had the pleasure of meeting the
famous Angelo, afterwards Cardinal, Mai at the Ambrosian Library. He
went to the Cathedral on Saturday to see _Mass performed_, and was
disappointed at not hearing the organ. He had, however, quite enough
of the rite on Sunday, October 17th:--

  "At 10½ I went to the _Duomo_, and got into a little gallery over
  the choir, from whence I saw the ceremonies for the anniversary of
  the consecration of the church. There was a procession all round the
  building, with incense burning, and with the Priests singing anthems
  all the time, and a quantity of _other mummery_, the sight of which
  might well have driven Calvin to the extremities which he went to in
  the contrary way. The whole service is always in Latin, so that the
  people may not reap even the smallest benefit from it."

We shall give another extract from the journal, as it shows the state
of his mind at the time:--

  "This day completes the second year of my journal. How quick are
  they flown! those two years which are supposed to be the happiest in
  life. I think any time in life is happy if one knows the secret of
  making {61} it so. I have not learnt it yet, and have had a great
  deal of unhappiness since going to College. But for what? Nothing
  but my own imagination and weaknesses, for everything which
  generally gives happiness I have enjoyed. I have made several
  friends, been successful enough in my College studies, and have
  never wanted anything; but I have a morbid constitution which makes
  me raise phantoms of unhappiness where there is none, and clouds the
  fairest scenes with a veil of melancholy. This must be conquered,
  somehow or other, or I shall be a creature useless to others and
  tormenting to myself."

He feels much distaste at what he terms the dirty style in which an
Italian gentleman chooses to live, because that gentleman finds
himself quite comfortable without such furniture and appliances as are
deemed essential in England. He happened to be a man fond of books,
and spent his spare time in libraries and academies.

The travellers leave Milan after a fortnight's stay, and proceed
through Placentia, Parma, Modena, and Bologna. Here the celebrated
Cardinal Mezzofanti called upon them, and Spencer remarks that the
only thing worth seeing, as far as he has gone, in Italy, are churches
and their ornaments. He singled out one of those latter for special
remark, as we find by the following passage:--

  "Oct. 30. At nine o'clock Dr. Wilson's friend, a lawyer, took him
  and me up to a church on the mountain, near the town, famous for a
  picture--done, as they say, by St. Luke! There is a fine arcade to
  it for 2½ miles, and pilgrims go by this to adore this nonsense!"

Their next stay is at Florence, where he had the ill-luck of not
providing against mosquitoes, who took the liberty of biting him
heartily the first night he slept there. News reaches him next day
that a great friend of his at Cambridge, a Mr. Gambler, has obtained a
fellowship in Trinity. This makes him merry all the evening. They halt
again for some rest at Perugia. All he says about this classic town
is, "Before breakfast the Doctor and I saw a gallery of frightful old
pictures, and other _maraviglia_ of {62} Perugia, and then set off,
still through mountainous country, to Spoleto. They start for Rome
next day, they see it fifteen miles off, but he does not seem to have
had a single spark of enthusiasm as he looks upon the great mistress
of the world for the first time. Of course Rome, as the capital of
Christendom, was not likely to stir up his best feelings, when we
remember the then frame of his religious mind. At all events, cold and
listless as it might be, he entered Rome on Wednesday, the 10th
November, 1819. The first thing he and his father with the Doctor did
on arriving, was to pay a visit to St. Peter's. "We saw it inside and
out. It was most glorious: but its size from some reason or other
disappoints me, as it does all strangers; it improves upon
acquaintance, I fancy." How like Byron's opinion. "Childe Harold:"
Canto iv. 65:--

    "Enter: its grandeur overwhelms thee not;
    And why? it is not lessened: but thy mind,
    Expanded by the Genius of the spot,
    Has grown colossal, and can only find
    A fit abode wherein appear enshrined
    Thy hopes of immortality; and thou
    Shalt one day, if found worthy, so defined,
    See thy God face to face, as thou dost now
  His Holy of Holies, nor be blasted by His brow."

He visits next the Capitoline, the ancient Forum, and the Coliseum; he
remarks: "this last is quite stupendous, and quite answers my
expectations. I could not yet understand the plan of the staircases
and seats. _The Pope has stuck it all over with little chapels_." He
meets Tom Moore, and spends a day with him and other merry companions
in Tivoli.

He stayed in Rome this time only a week: for on the 17th November they
all started for Naples. In passing through Terracina he meets what
Catholics will recognize as a _svegliarino_. It is customary, when a
mission is being given in some parts of Italy, for one of the
missioners to go out, accompanied by a bell, and such companions, lay
and clerical, as wish to take part in the ceremony, go {63} around the
village, and preach from a table in three or four different places.
This has a remarkable effect--the listless loungers who prefer basking
in the sun, or swallowing maccaroni, to going to the church for the
sermons, are thus roused so far as to put their heads out of the
window or door and ask what's the matter. By-and-bye the crowd
thickens, one looks inquisitively at the other, and when their
curiosity has been worked upon sufficiently, the missioner gets up,
and in a fiery zealous discourse puts the fear of God into his
hearers. Thousands are brought to repentance by these means every
year. The sermon, of course, is not a polished oration, with points of
rhetoric to suit the laws of criticism. It is rather broken and
inflamed, short and telling sentences, and delivered with all that
unction and impetuosity for which Italians are remarkable; and which
is anything but intelligible to an Englishman, who is accustomed to
the measured discourses of a London Churchman. Accordingly we find
this proceeding thus dotted down in the journal:--"At Terracina we
were very much _amused_ by a procession of penitents with the Bishop
of Terracina, and an extravagant sermon preached by a priest from a
table before the inn." At that time, how little could he foresee that
he should afterwards give such a mission in Italy himself, and
further, to the utmost of his power, with equal zeal, though with more
sedateness, even such an _extravaganza_, as it now appeared to him.
His style of preaching, however, as we shall hereafter see, was never
such as to qualify him for an emphatic _svegliarino_.

On November 21 they arrive in Naples, not very pleasantly, as Lady
Spencer had suffered from the roughness of the road, and was obliged
to rest a night in Capua, and George was suffering from a soreness in
his eye. These inconveniences were forgotten for a moment on meeting
Lord George Quin and his lady, daughter to Lord Spencer. Young Spencer
was delighted with the children, though they could only speak French
or Italian. The soreness of his eye keeps him at home next day, which
he enjoys as he has full opportunity of chatting with his sister, whom
he {64} seems to have loved very much. He has already alluded to the
plan his mother formed for his learning to play on the guitar; so we
shall not quote any of the handsome greetings which the guitar-master
receives as he comes to inflict the penance of making his pupil tune
the strings of this romantic instrument.

{65}

CHAPTER X.

English Life In Naples.


The English who wintered in Naples at the same time with the Spencer
family seemed to have formed, as they generally do, a special caste.
They dined together, drove out together, they laughed at the churches,
and crowded the opera. Their conduct in the latter place did not seem
to be very edifying to the Neapolitans, who, perhaps, may have thought
it was an English custom to see a nobleman "tumbling tipsy one night
into Earl Spencer's box," to the no small disedification of the whole
family, who were models of sobriety and decorum. The English, by
forming their own circles in this exclusive manner, and by their
external deportment on various occasions, keep away the higher and
more pious grades of society in Catholic cities. The scoffers at
monachism and priestly rule are freely admitted within the English
pale, and pay for their hospitality, by catering to the worst
prejudices of their entertainers, and maligning their neighbours. It
is very often a repetition of the fable of the sour grapes. For this
we have ample testimony in the writings of our contemporaries, which
we will strengthen by quoting Father Ignatius's own words a little
later. The better Italians sometimes laugh at all this, so that John
Bull is become a by-word among them for exclusiveness and arrogant,
selfish pride. The blame lies with the English.

They sometimes found disagreeable incidents from the clashing of
tastes and customs. On the 8th of December they made the round of the
churches, but were sorely piqued that the Neapolitans had too much
respect for our Blessed Lady to open the operas and theatres on the
evening {66} of the Feast of her Immaculate Conception, so they had to
content themselves with whist, and discordant notes from George's
guitar. Another of these crosses occurred a few days after. George
made a lame excursion to Vesuvius, and when groaning from toothache on
his return, heard that the father of his bosom friend, Sir Thomas
Fremantle, senior, was dead. To make matters worse, the remains could
not be interred in a cemetery, and the _Inglesi_ had to pay the last
sad rites to their friend in a private garden. On Christmas Day they
had service at the Consul's, and then they walked about, and had their
whist for the rest of the day. The old year was danced out at a grand
quadrille party, of which more hereafter; and George tells us very
carefully that "a set of us drank in the new year in _diavolone_." How
remarkable, at every turn, and even by such chance and off-hand
expressions, to note the contrast between the George Spencer of that
day and the subject of divine grace he afterwards became!

It is a relief to begin the new year 1820 with recording an exception
made to the general custom above. George was presented by his father
to King Ferdinand, and all the _nobili Inglesi_ were invited to join
in the festivities with which it was customary to usher in the new
year. For the rest, the evenings and early part of the mornings are
spent in a continual whirl of amusement, and it would require a page
to number up the balls and dances he figured in. He visits also the
Carthusian and Camaldolese monasteries, but makes no comments. He goes
two or three times to see Vesuvius and the crater and the lava, of
which he gives a very nice description; after this he is allowed, by
special favour, to be at the Royal chase: this puts him in great
humour, for, besides the sport it afforded in the way of getting shots
at such choice game as wild boars, it gave him an opportunity of
seeing the "King and all his court, to which nothing can be similar."

Towards the end of January, Lord and Lady Spencer determined on
returning to England, and offered to leave George to travel through
the sights of Southern Italy. He perceives, in a few days, the tokens
of an inclination in his {67} parents to have his company, and goes
straightway to the Honourable Augustus Barrington, who was to be his
fellow-traveller, and breaks off the plan they had formed. It was only
after very pressing instances from his father and mother that he could
be persuaded to take up the first plan anew. A portion of his
autobiography will throw some light upon many things we have only just
touched upon, and, therefore, it is better to quote it here, though it
might come in more opportunely at the conclusion of his first tour
abroad.

  "It is extraordinary, indeed, that I should have remained a whole
  year on the Continent and never once have seriously taken into
  consideration the subject of the Catholic religion. Such was the
  case; and I returned to England, as far as I can remember, without
  one doubt having crossed my mind whether this was the true religion
  or not. ...

  And now for a little recollection of the state of my mind during
  this period of travelling, and its moral effects upon me. During all
  this time I continued, thank God, wholly convinced that a course of
  iniquity would not answer; and had I met with any among the young
  men, my associates, who would have dared to speak out fully in
  favour of morality, I should, I believe, have been ready to agree
  with him. But where were such to be found? I had now grown so far
  more independent of the world, that I had not open assaults to bear
  continually against for not running with the rest. Many of the young
  men who maintained their character as free licentious livers, yet
  professed some degree of moderation and restraint in their
  indulgences. Some I remember, who professed to keep clear of immoral
  practices, and no doubt their sincerity in this might be depended
  on; for where no credit but dishonour would be the reward of steady
  conduct, there was no temptation to pretend to it falsely. But I
  remember now but one who dared to allude in my hearing--and that was
  but once, I think, in private--to the consequence of this sin in
  another world, and to maintain that it was better to avoid it for
  fear of punishment hereafter. While, then, I still knew that the way
  of evil was all wrong, and would have been most happy if the fashion
  of wickedness could have been at {68} an end; and though I never
  once, as far as I know, was the first to introduce immodest
  conversation, and hardly ever heard it introduced by others without
  inward repugnance, and seldom joined in it; yet I never dared
  declare how much I hated it, and was still in the most awful and
  desperate state of wishing I had been like the worst, sooner than be
  thus subject to the torment of being put to shame before bold
  profligates. While with my parents, I have before said, I was under
  good surveillance, and could not think of being detected by them in
  any evil. How shall I ever be thankful enough for all this? My
  father's character was such that though many who were often in his
  company were men whom I have known, when out of it, to delight in
  most abominable things, I knew of none who ever dared in his sight
  to do more than covertly allude to them. I was therefore happy in
  this respect whenever he was near; but when once more left to
  myself, I again returned to those fearful deliberations of which I
  have before spoken of, as it were, selling myself, for a time at
  least, to work wickedness without restraint. It may be well
  conceived how miserably fallen and corrupt must have been my heart
  when such purposes were entertained within it; and if, partly
  through some remains of the holy impressions of my childhood, which
  still operated on my poor, degraded heart as a kind of habit not yet
  quite worn off; partly by a sense of the shame and misery I should
  have before my family and some more whom I knew in the world, who
  would be themselves most afflicted if they heard of my fall from the
  good dispositions which they had known in me; partly from a fear of
  ridicule, even from the profligate, if, after all, I was to fell;
  partly by the wonderful providence of God, which (I acknowledge)
  most wisely and most tenderly, yet strongly interposed at times to
  baffle the madness of my designs when about to be accomplished--if,
  I say, thus I have been in a degree preserved, God knows I have no
  credit due to me: God knows that from my heart I take only shame and
  confusion of face to myself in the remembrance, of my very
  preservation. Towards the latter part of my stay abroad, I began to
  be in some way weary of this uncertain state of mind. I {69} was
  always expecting to take Orders when I should reach the age; and as
  I knew that then I should not be expected by the world to join in
  its fashionable vices, and should even suffer in public estimation
  if I did, my thoughts began to be rather better directed, and I took
  pains from time to time to overcome some of the evil that was in
  me."

  "It is wonderful that any good disposition should have lived within
  me, when every remembrance of religion seems to have been put out of
  my mind. I now could hardly understand how this should have indeed
  been the case, if I had not a clear remembrance of certain
  circumstances which plainly show what was the state of my mind. On
  the 27th January, 1820, I went up Mount Vesuvius with Dr. Wilson,
  when, as we were looking into the crater of the volcano, a discharge
  of red-hot stones took place. I heard them whistle by me as they
  ascended, and though it was of no use to attempt to get out of the
  way, I hurried back a few steps by a natural impulse, and
  immediately saw a lump of red-hot stuff twice the size of one's head
  fall on the spot where I had been standing just before. We
  immediately ran down the side of the mountain, and reached a place
  about a quarter of a mile distant from the mouth of the crater, from
  whence we could see the upper cone of the mountain. Just then a
  grand explosion took place, which shook the whole mountain, and a
  vast quantity of these masses of fiery red stuff was spouted out
  from the crater, which in its return appeared entirely to cover the
  whole space over which we had been running five minutes before. Here
  was an evident escape which, in a mind possessed with any religion
  at all, could not fail of awakening some serious reflections. Alas!
  I never thought of the abyss into which I must have fallen had not
  the good angel, who watched and guided me through so many perils
  which I thought not of, then preserved me. When I came down in the
  evening to Naples, the only effect was that I was pleased and vain
  at having a good adventure to relate, and showing off a spirit of
  bravery and indifference, when some blamed me for my rashness.

  "Another circumstance I may record to show how free from all
  religious fear my mind was. I have before noticed {70} the fits of
  melancholy which became habitual to me during the last part of my
  Cambridge life. These came, I think, to their greatest height in the
  last half of the time I spent at Naples. The interesting excitement
  of our journey, the company of my sister when I first came to
  Naples, and the gaieties of which I had my fill there, and which at
  first had all the charm of novelty, kept me from much thought of any
  kind, and I enjoyed the balls, the concerts, the grand operas, the
  enchanting rides of Naples, for a month or six weeks, almost without
  a cloud. At least I used always to count that my brightest period in
  the way of enjoyments. Unhappy those who have health and spirits and
  talents to enable them to please and be pleased long together in
  such a round of vanity! To my great vexation I found myself again
  attacked with my old enemy, melancholy; do what I would, I could not
  drive away those fits of gloom. They were caused partly by the
  effect on my health of too much good living, and bad hours; but the
  chief cause was the intrinsic worthlessness of all such pleasure,
  which will discover itself sooner or later to every one even of its
  most devoted lovers, and which happily showed itself to me sooner
  than others. Oh! what frivolous causes did my happiness then seem to
  depend on! Not dancing to my satisfaction in one quadrille, fancying
  that some of my favourite partners were tired of my conversation,
  and that the nonsense of some other silly youth pleased her better,
  was enough to turn what I flattered myself was about to be a bright
  and pleasant evening into gloom and sadness. Sometimes, without an
  assignable cause, my spirits failed, as at others an equally
  frivolous reason would remove my clouds and make me bright again;
  but gradually the gloomy moods gained ground, and grew more dark and
  tedious. I remember comparing notes with another young man, who was
  like me a victim of the dumps, and finding some satisfaction in the
  sympathy of a fellow-sufferer, who, with a smile at the absurdity of
  such feelings, of which he was well sensible while he avowed them,
  exactly described to me my state of mind when he said that under
  them he fancied himself the most unfortunate of mankind, and would
  willingly have {71} changed places with the most despicable and
  wretched of men, not to say with any animal almost. Poor blind fools
  that we were! We could not between us suggest the way to be happy
  which is open to all.

  "I remember well coming home one night from a ball, which, by my
  journal, I find to be on the 25th January, when, as I wrote at that
  time, I was more miserable than ever I was in that way. I went to
  bed, and heard a noise like a creak in the ceiling of my room. I
  felt a wish that it would break through and crush me. How I used to
  wish at that time I had the sort of bold, firm heart which appeared
  through some of the young manly faces which I used daily to meet--to
  whom low spirits was a thing unknown. I knew not that I was
  quarrelling with the most choice of God's mercies to me, without
  which I should probably have been irrevocably lost. I still, to this
  day, am used to the visits of my feelings of dejection, but, thank
  God, I know better how to receive them; and, far from wishing them
  away, I rather fear their departure, and desire they may never leave
  me. For if I have within me one bright, heavenly desire, I owe it to
  these feelings, which first poisoned my pleasure in the world, and
  drew me at length to seek for it elsewhere, and now I wish never to
  have peace within my breast while one desire lives there for
  anything but God.

  "Yet that thought of wishing even to be crushed, that I might escape
  from my miserable feelings, shows how far I was at that time from
  knowing how great a cause for sorrow I really had in the state of my
  soul--which, if I had known it, must have driven away all imaginary
  griefs--nor from what quarter I should seek for happiness; and it is
  a wonder that it took so long a time, and so many repetitions of the
  same lesson, before I began to correspond with the gracious purpose
  of my Heavenly Teacher; of Him who was thus correcting me, that I
  might at length love Him, and love Him willingly. How was it that I
  could have lived so long without being awakened to one sentiment of
  religious fear? ...

  "But now we must return to the Catholic Faith. The main object of
  this memoir being to trace the steps of my {72} progress towards
  Catholicity, it would be expected that the period of my residence
  for a whole year in Catholic countries must be most interesting.
  Indeed it is wonderful that this year of my life should have been,
  as it appears to me to have been, quite neutral in its effects. I
  certainly made no progress towards my present faith. This would not
  be extraordinary; for how many Protestants by their travels abroad
  not only make no progress towards Catholicity, but are made its
  violent enemies. But, undoubtedly, this was the effect produced on
  me. It seems that at this time I was under the influence of
  altogether other objects and notions from any connected with
  religion. What I sought was, first, my own pleasure--next, only
  general information; what I was chiefly controlled by was human
  respect. Having no care at all about religion in any form, the
  question of which was the right form never troubled me, and so the
  observations which I could not help making on the Catholic religious
  practices which I saw, were very superficial. It might be
  interesting to transcribe a few passages from my journal which show
  what was my mind.

  "It is remarkable how easily one's mind takes in and rests contented
  in the belief of false and prejudicial representations of things. I
  never had had much pains taken with me to set me against the
  Catholic religion; but though I knew nothing of what it was, I
  rested in the conviction that it was full of superstition, and, in
  fact, as good as no religion at all. I never opened my mind all the
  time I was abroad to the admission of any idea but this; and so I
  looked on all the Catholic ceremonies which I saw, in this perverted
  light. I did not fall in the way of anyone to set me right; for I
  was contented to go on in the stream of the English society with
  which almost all the towns in Italy were filled, and if any really
  zealous exemplary Catholics are sometimes mingled with them, they do
  not find it available or prudent to introduce the mention of
  religion; while there will be always some who have no objection to
  seek to please them by encouraging their prejudices, which they do
  effectually by telling stories--some true, perhaps, some obviously
  false--of the Priests and Religious. Such a person, {73} who bore
  the title of Abbate, and therefore must have been professedly a true
  Catholic, we fell in with at Milan; he assisted my father in his
  search after curious books. I remember some of his conversations,
  and I find notice in my journal of his dining with us, and being
  'very amusing in some stories about the Catholic processions.' The
  impression on my mind was that the whole system of religion which we
  saw was mere formality, people being taught to content themselves
  with fulfilling some external rules, and the clergy making it their
  business to keep them in the dark. I took little notice of religious
  matters till we entered Italy. There Milan was the first town we
  stopped at. On the Sunday after our arrival was the anniversary of
  the consecration of the church. I saw the ceremonies in the
  Cathedral, the very place where St. Augustine's heart was moved and
  his conversion begun, by hearing the strains of holy music, perhaps
  the same which I then heard. But very different was the effect on
  me; here are the wise remarks inserted in my journal." [Footnote 3]

    [Footnote 3: The passage is given in page 60.]

The autobiography breaks off abruptly here; but in order to fit the
remarks to the events which they concern, we have kept one or two
paragraphs in reserve for another place.

{74}


CHAPTER XI

Continuation Of His Travels.

After staying about three months in Naples, Spencer sets out with
Barrington, to travel through Sicily, on the 27th February. The voyage
was very smooth until they came to Stromboli, and passed near the cave
of AEolus, who "puffed at them accordingly," and delayed their landing
at Messina until March 2. He goes to a ceremony in the cathedral
there, and says, "the priests seem nourishing and very numerous here."
On his way to Mount Etna he remarks, with a kind of incredulous air,
that he went to see the lions of the five chestnuts and the bridge,
which has the same legend attached to its origin as the Devil's Bridge
in Wales, "dogs being, in both cases, sent over first to pay the
forfeit for having built it." [Footnote 4]

  [Footnote 4: The most circumstantial legend bearing upon the remark
  in the text is that about the Bridge of Rimini. Here there was a
  fearful rapid, without a stone within the distance of 70 miles that
  was available for building purposes. The bridge-builder of the town
  may or may not have had the contract; but, at all events, he set
  down in a confused state of mind as to how it might be done. The
  devil appeared to him and contracted for the building of the bridge
  on these easy terms--getting the first that crossed it for his own.
  The bargain was struck, and in the twinkling of an eye some
  thousands of infernal imps were scampering down the mountains with a
  gigantic stone on the shoulder of each. One-third of them were quite
  sufficient, and the arch-fiend who presided over the building cried
  out, that no more were wanted: when each devil threw down his load
  where he happened to be when the master's yell reached his ears.
  This is said to account for the rocks one sees strewn about near
  this bridge. The bridge itself is a circle, and was built in one
  night, and indeed some kind of infernal machine would seem necessary
  to remove the blocks of stone of which it is composed. Now came the
  trial. The Christian builder of bridges had no fancy for going to
  hell, and he was too charitable to send anyone else there. He
  bethought him of an expedient, and calling out his dog he took a
  small loaf, and threw it across the bridge with all his might. The
  dog, of course, ran after it. Whereupon the devil seized him, and in
  a rage flung him up to somewhere near the moon, and the dog falling
  from this height upon the bridge, made a hole in its only arch which
  cannot be filled up to this day. The legend embodies at least a
  specimen of the Catholic instinct: viz., the anxiety of the devil
  for our destruction, and how all hell thinks it cheap to turn out
  for a day's hard labour in the hopes of gaining one single soul.]

{75}

He chiefly lodges in convents during his rambles through Sicily, the
inns being so very bad that they drive travellers away. He and his
companion sleep in different convents, and are very well treated; but
that scarcely evokes a word of thanks. Poor monks! they have a bad
name in Protestant nations, and what would be praiseworthy in others
is only an equivocal quality in them. This is very sad; that men who
have bid farewell to the world should, on that very account, be
considered hardly entitled to the bare rights of human beings. Yet go
on, poor souls, in your vocation; your Master before you received the
same treatment from the world, and you are not greater than He.
Spencer meets one or two monks whom he likes pretty well--one was the
superior of the Carmelites at Grirgenti. The rest he calls "stupid
friars," "lazy monks," and so forth, according to the tone of mind he
happens to be in. In one monastery they shut the door of the room
allowed them in the face of one of the brethren, because, forsooth,
they were "bored by visits from the monks." His journey does not
always lie through convents, and he meets others who are not monks;
one of these was a wine-merchant at Marsala, a native of England. It
seems the pair of tourists were received as handsomely by their
countryman as they had been by the "stupid friars," for he is thus
described in the journal: "He seems to think himself commissioned to
keep up the English character in a strange land, for he is a John Bull
in caricature in his manner." We are also told, a little lower down,
that he is very hospitable to all English who pass by that way. They
had the novelty of seeing an {76} Italian Good Friday in Marsala; the
impression is thus noted:

  "Friday, Mar. 31.--This was Good Friday. The first, and I hope the
  last, I shall spend without going to church; not that I should not
  like to be abroad another year. We were reminded of the day by
  quantities of groups representing the Passion and Crucifixion,
  almost as large as life, carried about on men's shoulders, which,
  absurd as they are, seemed to make an impression on the populace.
  Men dressed in black accompanied them, with crowns of thorns and
  crosses. It strikes me as direct idolatry, nearly. The gentry were
  all in mourning, and the sentinels had their muskets with the
  muzzles inverted. We all three (Sir H. Willoughby accompanied
  Barrington and Spencer) took a walk up to the top of Monte di
  Trapani, the ancient Eryx, where is a town of the same name. We
  examined what was to be seen there, and came down again to dinner.
  We dined at 6½, and had _some meat_, which we have not been able to
  get for some days, it being Passion Week." He spent Easter Sunday in
  Palermo, and here are his comments on its observance:

  "Sunday, April 2, Easter-day.--We set off from Ahamo about 7¼. I
  walked on for an hour, and then rode forward all the way to
  Monreale, where I stopped an hour till the others came up. We then
  proceeded together to Palermo. In the villages we passed, the people
  were all out in their best clothes, which was a very pretty sight.
  Bells were clattering everywhere, and _feux de joie_ were fired in
  several villages as we passed, with a row of little tubes loaded
  with gunpowder, in the market-places, and processions went about of
  people in fancy dresses with flags and drums. This religion is most
  extraordinary. It strikes me as impious; but I suppose it takes
  possession of the common people sooner than a sensible one."

He completed the tour of the island by arriving in Messina, after a
most successful attempt to see Mount Etna, on the 14th of April. They
left Sicily for Reggio in a boat, and arrived there "with a good
ducking." They both went to visit Scylla, which was guarded as a
citadel by armed peasants. The sturdy yeomen refused to admit them,
whereupon George, with true English curiosity, climbed up the wall to
{77} get a peep at the sea, and perhaps inside. Scarcely had he got
half-way up when he was taken prisoner by the sentinel. He was
accordingly invited to visit the interior of the castle, and had to
gaze at the bleak walls of its keep for an hour, until Willoughby
procured his release from the commandant. They travelled on, and
George does not seem to be satisfied with the people of Salerno, whom
he designates as "surly and gothic." He heard his companions had to
get an escort of gendarmes, to save them from robbers, all along here.
Returns to Naples, April 26, delighted at being safe in life and limb;
he goes to the old lodgings to a party, and reflects thus on his
return: "I came home about one, rather sad with seeing the
representation of what I had enjoyed in the winter--but all the people
changed. _Gaiety after all does not pay_." This last sentence is not
underlined by Spencer himself. It is done to point a moral that may be
necessary for a certain class of persons. It is often supposed that
monks, and the like people, paint the world blacker than it is in
reality, and that it is a kind of morose sourness of disposition that
makes recluses cry down the enjoyments of those outside convent-walls.
This line will perhaps defend F. Ignatius from such an imputation. He
wrote that after the pure natural enjoyment of scenery had been
compared with the excitement of a ball-room; if he thought, in his
wildness, that gaiety did not pay, no wonder that his opinion was
confirmed in the quiet tameness of his after-life. A passage from the
autobiography, omitted above, comes in here opportunely. He was
speaking of the absence of the fear of God from his miserable mind:--

  "This was almost true concerning the entire period. One occasion I
  will mention when I was impressed with some shame at my wretched
  state. While I was making the tour of Sicily, my father and mother
  left Naples in the _Revolutionnaire_, a fine frigate which had been
  placed at their disposal, and by which they went to Marseilles, to
  shorten their land journey homewards. When I returned to Naples I
  found a long letter from my father, full of kindness and affection
  for me, in which he explained to me his wishes as to the course of
  my journey home. This letter I believe I {78} have not kept, but I
  remember in it a passage nearly as follows: 'As to your conduct, my
  dear George, I need not tell you how important it is for your future
  happiness and character that you should keep yourself from all evil;
  especially considering the sacred profession for which you are
  intended. But, on this subject, I have no wish concerning you but to
  hear that you continue to be what you have hitherto been.' 'Ah!'
  thought I to myself, 'how horrible is the difference between what I
  am and what this sentence represents me.' But worldly shame was yet
  more powerful in me than godly shame, and this salutary impression
  did not produce one good resolution."

On May 3rd, 1820, he came to Rome a second time. His first visit this
time also was to St. Peter's, which, he says, "looked more superb to
me than ever." He attended Cardinal Litta's funeral from curiosity,
and has no remark about it worth extracting. There are two passages in
the journal relating to the ceremonies of Ascension Thursday and
Corpus Christi, which may be interesting as being indicative of his
notions of Catholic ritual:--

  "Thursday, May 11.--Got up early, and wrote till breakfast. At 9½
  went off with Barrington and Ford to St. John of Lateran, where
  there were great ceremonies to take place for the Ascension Day. The
  old Pope was there, and was carried round the church blessing, with
  other mummeries. It was a fine sight when he knelt down and prayed
  (or was supposed to do so) in the middle of the church, with all the
  Cardinals behind him. Now this goes for nothing in comparison to
  what it must have been when the Pope was really considered
  infallible (_sic_). We then all went out of the church to receive
  the blessing, from the principal window in the façade. The Pope came
  to this in his chair, and performed the spreading of his hands very
  becomingly. The whole thing was too protracted, perhaps, to be as
  striking as it should; but I was not as disappointed as I expected
  to be. The cannonry of St. Angelo and the band certainly gave
  effect; and the crowd of people on the space before the church was a
  scene to look at."

{79}

  "Thursday, June 1.--To-day is the feast of Corpus Domini, one of the
  greatest in the Catholic Church; so at eight we went, having
  breakfasted [a fact, by the bye, he seldom omits to mention], to St.
  Peter's, to see the _funzioni_, which are very grand on this
  occasion. There was a great procession round the _cortile_--first of
  the religious orders, about 450 monks only; and the boys of St.
  Michael's Hospital, of the Collegio Romano, &c. Then came curates,
  and priests temporal and secular, prelates, and monsignores, the
  ensigns or canopies of the seven basilicas with their chapters, and
  the priests belonging to them following; next came bishops, then
  cardinals, and then the Pope, carried on four men's shoulders. He
  was packed up on the top of the stand with his head out alone. He
  seemed more dead than alive, and worse than on May 11 at S.
  Giovanni's. The group of people about him, with their robes and
  splendid mitres, made a very brilliant sight. The former part of the
  procession rather showed the decadence of the Church from a great
  height, than its present glory. After the Pope came the _guardia
  nobile_, and other soldiers, in splendid uniforms. After the
  procession there were functions in the Church, and a benediction
  from the Altar, and which I did not see so well. St. Peter's never
  showed so well as with a crowd of people in it, when one may
  estimate its dimensions from the comparison of their littleness."

This is a fair specimen of how a candid, prejudiced Protestant stares
at Catholic services. He puts down as undisputed that all is absurd
before he goes, and if the Man of Sin himself, the poor Pope, is in
the middle of it, it rises to the very highest pitch of abomination. A
man who could consider holiday attire and exultation impious on Easter
Sunday, and the mourning and fasting and processions of Good Friday
something worse, cannot be very well qualified to comprehend the
Ascension and Corpus Christi in Rome. Catholics _do_ believe in the
authority of the Pope and the power of the Keys, and also in the Real
Presence; will it not follow, as a natural conclusion, that the four
quarters of the globe should get its spiritual Father's blessing one
day in the year, and that we should try to find out the best way of
honouring our Incarnate God in the Blessed Sacrament? {80} But
consistency is not a gift one finds among Protestants, especially when
they give their opinion on what they think too absurd to try to
understand. They must admit the Catholic ceremonial is imposing; but
then it is only to quarrel with it for being so. They can understand
pageantry and pomp in honouring an earthly monarch; but does it occur
to them that every best gift is from above, and that the King of kings
should be honoured with every circumstance of splendour and oblation a
creature can offer?

One or two of the salient points of his character come out in a few
extracts we shall produce from the journal now. He says, on leaving
Rome--"How delightful, and yet how melancholy, was my walk about those
dear rooms at the Vatican; after next Thursday I believe I am never to
see them again, so farewell to them now." This illustrates his better
nature; he was very affectionate, and could love whatever was really
worth loving; he was not very demonstrative of this feeling, but when
it came to leave-taking, he had to give vent to it. A peculiar caste
of his mind was to listen to every proposition, and weigh the reasons
adduced to support it. If they were unanswerable, he at once admitted
it, and, if possible, tested it by experience. This was the great key
to his conversion and subsequent life. In conversation, perhaps, with
a medical friend, he was told that it was far the best way, whilst on
the move in travelling, neither to eat nor drink. This was supported
by reasons drawn from the digestive principles, and so forth. He
thought it was well proved, and could find no valid objection against
it, so he determined to try it, and travelled from Rome to Sienna
without tasting a morsel for forty-two hours, and says in his
journal--"It is much the best way in travelling." In Florence we have
other tokens of the regret with which he parts from his friends; and
in the same page a very different feeling on parting with some
Franciscans. These "entertained him uncommonly well for mendicants,"
and showed him all their treasures of art and piety with the greatest
kindness; yet it did not prevent him calling them "lazy old monks"
when they let him away at three o'clock in the morning.

{81}

He walks about the country a good deal, and finds it pleasant, "as the
common people here are much more conversable than ours." This striking
difference between a Catholic and a Protestant peasantry is patent to
the most superficial observer. The poor Irish, French, or Italian
labourer, who can neither read nor write, is quite at his ease with
the merchant or the noble. He will have his joke and his laugh, very
often at the expense of his superior, and never outstep the bounds of
due respect. He is light-hearted and gay everywhere, and the exact
opposite of the English navvy.

The real cause of the difference is the want of religion in the poor
Briton. The Catholic religion inculcates humility on the great. It
brings the Lord of the Manor and his servant to the same confessional
and the same altar: they may be as far asunder as pole from pole
outside the church, but inside it they are both on a level. The works
of mercy are insisted on, and high-born ladies are most frequently the
ministering angels of the poor man's sick-bed, and the instructors of
his children, and nurses of his orphans. "Blessed are the poor" is not
a dead letter in Catholic theology, and until it be, and that poverty
becomes felony, the same ease and happiness will pervade the peasantry
of Catholic countries, which now gives them such grace and beauty. The
doctrine of self-worship and money-adoration can never fuse races;
there is a wide wide chasm between the upper and the lower orders in
Protestant countries, which no amount of mechanics' lectures, and
patronizing condescension, can bridge over, as long as the germs of
the worldly system remain rooted in the education and manners of the
people. Of course, these remarks do not apply to the general state of
things, for there is oppression in Catholic countries as well as
elsewhere; they simply concern the working of a Christian principle,
if it get fair play.

He visits Pisa, Lucca, Carrara, Sestri, and stops at Genoa. A bit of
the Protestant breaks out here. "We went to see that foolish _sacro
catino_ at the Cathedral, which I have no doubt is glass instead of
emerald." He says {82} again: "It makes me rather onked to be alone
now, though sometimes I wish to be so. But the only solitude that is
disagreeable is among numbers in a large town. The solitude of the
Apennines, and such places as last night's habitation, is a pleasure
to me." Now one _vetturino_ hands him over "to another more blackguard
than himself" on his way to Bologna, where he has a very satisfactory
meeting with Mezzofanti once more. Off he starts through Ferrara,
Rovigo, and Padua, for Venice; he visits the Piazza S. Marco, and is
told complacently by a French doctor, who proved to be a terrible bore
by-and-by, that it is nothing to the Palais Royal. He visits Mantua on
a pilgrimage to Virgil's birthplace, and says of a sight he saw by
accident: "I was amused by a figure of S. Zeno, just like a smiling
Otaheitan idol of the largest dimensions, which is the great protector
of the town." It is not hard to tell which way his devotion lay.
Spencer and a Mr. Lefevre, who was now his travelling companion, go to
a _villegiatura_ here, and are splendidly entertained for a couple of
days. They travel on for Germany through the Tyrol; from Verona to
Riva they chiefly travel by the Lago di Garda, and the only incidents
he chooses to record, until they come to "dem goldenen Adler" (the
golden Eagle) at Brixen, are the cicerone's opinions of Catullus, whom
that well-informed individual thought to have been a brigand chief.
They had to bring the bill of fare before the police in Riva, but were
not successful in getting a single charge diminished; he enjoyed a
good deal of idyllic life along here, and did not seem to think much
_pro_ or _con_ of the little town of Trent, though one should fancy he
would say something, if it were only a few angry words about the Great
Council.

He considers the Germans more honest than the Italians, and was
inclined to admire their solidity and steadiness; but his driver fell
asleep on their way to Innspruck, and let the reins fall on the
horse's neck when descending a steep, and he veers round to the
opinion that if they were a little livelier, it would be much better.
On his way through Bavaria to Munich he thinks the country very like
England--well cultivated and flourishing. "The costumes extraordinary,
{83} but not so pretty as the Tyrolese. The people themselves, both
men and women, are the ugliest race I ever saw." They had letters of
introduction to Prince Loewenstein and Count Peppenheim, two
aides-de-camp of the King of Bavaria; they were invited to a royal
_chasse_. Perhaps it is as well to give the whole account from the
Journal, as it conveys an idea of German sports too fine to be
overlooked.

  "Monday, Aug. 21.--At 4½ this morning we started for the _chasse_ in
the mountains about three leagues off. At the end of two leagues we
  were stopped and obliged to walk, as the road became too narrow for
  the King to pass us, in case we had been in the way when he came up.
So we walked the rest till we came to the toils where Loewenstein
  received us. The _chasse_ was in a deep valley, shut in on the sides
by precipitous rocks: into this they had tracked about 80 or 90 head
  of deer, and shut them in by toils at both ends; then little green
  enclosures were made for the guns to be posted in. We had one of
  these guns given us in conjunction with other spectators, the
  shooter who was to have been there not having arrived. Before the
  line was a broad course of a torrent, and beyond that was a wood
  into which they had forced the game, and from which they drove it
  again with dogs, and even into the way of the guns. This went on for
  4 or 5 hours, during which they cannonaded very quick, but with
  little effect, for I never saw a much greater proportion of misses.
  The result was about 70 head of deer. We were much surprised in the
  middle of the time at seeing Devon walk up. He came from Salzburg
  for the purpose of this _chasse_, and stayed with us through it.
  After it we were standing near the place where the King was counting
  out the game, when Peppenheim presented us to him, and he asked us
  to dine at Berchtesgaden. As our carriage was so far off, we were
  obliged to be carried as we could, and I was taken in by
  Loewenstein, who is, by the bye, about the fattest man in Bavaria.
  We dressed directly, both ourselves and Devon, who had nothing here;
  and even so we were late for dinner. However, the King was so
  gracious and good-humoured that it all went off capitally. It was an
  interesting dinner for the faces that {84} we saw. Eugene
  Beauharnais, Prince Schwartzenberg, Reichenbach, engineer, Maréehal
  Wrede, and about 16 more, were there. We stayed till about 6, and
  then came home.

  "Tuesday, Aug. 22.--To-day we again followed the motions of the
  Court. Devon came over with horses from Hallein, where he had
  returned last night; and so we went about comfortably.
  Schwartzenberg took us to a famous machine of Mr. Reichenbach's,
  without the King. This machine is employed to raise the salt water,
  which is brought from the mines here, and convey it over the
  mountains to Reichenhall, about 3 leagues distant, where is a
  manufactory for extracting the salt. The reason of this is, that
  there is not enough wood for consumption here. It is a vast
  forcing-pump, which is worked by fresh water from a height of 400
  feet, and raises the salt water 1,200. This water is in the
  proportion of 53 to 44 heavier than fresh water. I did not
  understand the whole explanation, being in German, but I admired the
  machine, which works in a room so quietly as actually not to be
  perceptible from the noise, except a little splashing. After this we
  came to a miserable dinner at the inn, which was too full to attend
  to us. At 1½, about, we started again to a romantic lake, König See,
  where another scene of this royal drama was to be enacted. The King
  came, with his whole party, an hour after us, and we were invited by
  Loewenstein into his royal boat, which was rowed by 11 men and one
  pretty damsel. "We went all down the lake, with several other boats
  full following, one of which had 4 small cannons, which they
  constantly discharged for the echo. The thing we came though for
  was, two artificial cascades from the top of the mountains, one in
  the course of a small torrent, which had been stopped above and made
  into a lake, full of large pieces of timber, which were precipitated
  all at once with surprising effect. The other was a dry cascade,
  down which two heaps of timber were discharged, like the launching
  of a ship from an inclined plane, the smallest of which, as I could
  judge from below, was twice the height of a man, and four times the
  length at least. The finest part of this was the prodigious {85}
  splashing at the bottom, which resembled, in appearance and sound, a
  line of cannonading. By way of sport, this is the most superb
  child-amusement one could conceive. We rowed back in the same boat,
  and disembarked about sunset. We proceeded directly to a salt-mine,
  without the King, where was to be an illumination. We all were
  decked out in miners' habits, and embarked, in little carts drawn by
  two men, down a shaft 1,800 feet long, lighted by candles all the
  way, ourselves having one each, like white penitents. At the end of
  this we were surprised by entering a large chamber, perhaps 200
  yards round, with a gallery at the top; the whole was surrounded by
  festoons of lamps, and below it was a rich star of fire, which
  showed the depth of the mine off to great advantage. A band of music
  was playing, and mines were exploded at the bottom with really
  tremendous noise. Altogether, this scene pleased me more than any I
  have seen here, or perhaps anywhere.

  "Wednesday, August 23.--At 5 we started in the carriage, with
  Devon's servant, for the second _chasse_ (of chamois); we found
  ourselves among a long train of other carriages also going there. We
  passed through the _chasse_ of Monday, and went about 3 miles
  further on foot. We found that of 60 chamois which had been
  collected in the toils, 40 had escaped; so the _chasse_ was but of
  about an hour's duration before they were all killed. The stands of
  shooters were confined, so we were made to climb up a little
  mountain, or rather a large rock, from which we had an excellent
  view of everything. The scenery was superb and wild. Before, behind,
  and everywhere, were immense mountains of solid and shagged rock,
  9,000 feet high above the sea, with nothing like vegetation but
  patches of stunted firs, which did not, even so, reach halfway up
  their height, and looked like moss. It made a contrast with the
  tameness of the _chasse_, where about 16 chamois were driven about
  and killed out of little boxes, in an enclosure of a few acres. It
  was not so fine in that respect as the deer _chasse_. The King asked
  us again to dinner, near a small house in the valley of the deer
  _chasse_ (Wimbach). The table was put on a platform under a
  sycamore-tree in a glorious situation. {86} I was unexpectedly
  called upon to sit next to Prince Schwartzenberg, and always called
  _milord_, which probably was the original mistake. The whole
  business went off very satisfactorily. The King's manners are most
  affable, and made everything comfortable about him."

After this grand performance, our tourists took a ride through a
salt-mine, astride of a plank, with a man before and behind running as
fast as could be; they come finally to daylight, and shortly
afterwards to Salzburg. They travelled the country to Lintz, and
sailed down the Danube to Vienna, where they found the police
"ridiculously strict about passports." A few days after their arrival
in Vienna they took a drive through the _Prater_, and "during the
drive we conversed on the subject of family calamities, and on one's
means of bearing them. Soon after we came home, Lord Stewart's
_attaché_, Mr. Aston, called with a letter for me from Mr. Allen,
which told me of the horrible news of my brother Bob's death in
America, killed in an affray with his first lieutenant! How strangely
fulfilled were our yesterday's prognostics. This is a sort of thing
that is too great and deep an accident to feel in the common way. I
hardly understand it at this distance: I shall though before long. I
went with Lefevre after dinner to Lord Stewart's, where I found a
German courier was to start soon for England. I shall accompany him."
This is from the Journal; we shall now give an extract from the
Autobiography:--

  "My first tour abroad was suddenly terminated at Vienna by a letter
  which I received to recall me home, from the Rev. J. Allen, now
  Bishop of Ely. This letter gave me notice of the supposed death of
  my brother Robert, in South America, who, it was reported, had been
  killed in an affray with his first lieutenant. This most strange
  story, for which there was not the slightest foundation in truth,
  was conveyed to our family in England in such a way as gained it
  entire belief, and all had been for two or three weeks in deep
  mourning and under the greatest affliction, when the falsehood of
  the report was discovered. This affliction was considered a
  sufficient cause for gathering together all the {87} members of the
  family who were at liberty to come home; and so I was desired to
  return immediately. I bought a carriage at Vienna, and, travelled
  for some nights and days without ceasing, during which I thought to
  try an experiment on how little nourishment I could subsist; and
  from a sort of curiosity to amuse myself, for I can hardly attribute
  it to a better motive, I accomplished a fast which it would appear a
  dreadful hardship to be reduced to by necessity, and a very small
  approach to which, in these times, would be by most persons looked
  on as a most unreasonable austerity. I passed those successive
  intervals of 38, 50, and 53 hours, as I find in my journal, without
  touching the least particle of food to eat or drink; and what I took
  between the intervals was only a little tea and bread and butter.
  This matter is not worth noticing, except to show that, as I went
  through this, while travelling, which is rather an exhausting
  employment, without the least detriment to my health, and without a
  feeling of hunger almost all the time, it is a sad delusion for
  people in good health to fancy they need so many indulgences and
  relaxations to go through the fasts appointed by the Church.

  "It was when I got to Calais that I went to the English news-room to
  see further accounts in the newspapers of my brother's death, the
  report of which, though at first I had some suspicions it might be
  false, I afterwards had made up my mind entirely to believe. My joy
  was exceeding great at finding an explicit contradiction to it in
  one of the latest papers. I remember going on my knees to thank God,
  in the news-room, when I found myself alone, which I believe was the
  first occasion for a long, long time I had made a prayer of any
  sort, or gone on my knees, except in church-service time. This I
  never gave up entirely, and during this time I never gave up
  receiving the Sacrament explicitly, though I do not find that I
  received it all the time I was abroad. I did not intend to commit
  acts of hypocrisy, but must have gone on from custom and a certain
  sense of propriety, without considering that I was mocking God."

{88}

On his arrival at Althorp he found the family all in the most joyous
mood possible. A little passage of his Journal gives an idea of the
character of the noble family in their relations with the tenantry:--

  "Friday, Sept. 22. Bread and meat given to the poor of Brington,
  Brampton, and Harleston, as a rejoicing for Bob's recovery. Three
  oxen were killed, and the effect seemed very good. They gave some
  lively cheers as they departed."

He goes to London, and hears Henry Brougham's speech on Queen
Caroline's trial; and immediately after, he starts for Switzerland to
see his sister, Lady Georgiana Quin. We shall relate this in his own
words in the Autobiography:--

  "I became so fond of the business of travelling that, as I was
  returning homewards, my mind was occupied constantly with plans for
  further excursions. I intended to have gone with Lefevre from Vienna
  to Dresden and Berlin on our way home, but I could not think of
  regarding this as my last journey. I was longing to see Greece. I
  had had thoughts of Spain, Russia, Egypt, and various indeed have
  been the fancies and inclinations which have passed through my mind.
  The regular travelling mania had its turn about this time, and I
  wonder not, by my feelings then, at so many of our countrymen, whom
  I have known myself, who have left England for a short excursion,
  and not having professional engagements, nor wise parents and
  relations, as I had, to control them, have become regular wanderers,
  and have spent, in travelling about, the years on the good
  employment of which, at home, depended mainly their success in
  after-life. It may be judged how truly I was possessed with this
  spirit of wandering, at the time of which I speak, by my remaining
  but one fortnight at Althorp with my family before I was again on
  wing. My sister, Lady Georgiana Quin--whose society had made to me
  one of the chief charms of the winter at Naples, and whose being at
  Naples with Lord George, her husband, and her children, had been the
  main inducement for my father and mother to make an undertaking, at
  their age, and with their habits, so extraordinary as this long
  journey--had left Naples during my tour in Sicily, and was settled
  at a country-house called the Château de Bethusy, near Lausanne. I
  proposed going to {89} see her, and to give her the full account of
  all that concerned the strange report about my brother Robert. I
  wonder at my having had my parents' consent to make another
  departure so soon, and with apparently so insufficient an object. I
  suppose they thought it reasonable to give me this liberty, by way
  of compensation for the sudden cutting-off of my first grand tour.
  This time I passed by Dieppe to Paris, thence by Lyons to Bethusy,
  where, having stayed a fortnight--the pleasantest, and, alas! almost
  the last days I had in my sister's company--I returned by Nancy to
  Paris, and thence through Calais to England. I reached Althorp on
  the 19th of November, 1820. And so the fancy for travelling soon
  died away, as my prospects for fresh journeys met with no
  encouragement at home; and here is an end of all my travellings for
  mere travelling's sake. When next I left England, it was, thank God,
  with thoughts and views far other than before."

An extract from the Journal of this time may not be without
interest:--

  "October 17, 1820.--With this day's journal ends the third year that
  I have kept it. This year has been the most interesting and varied I
  have ever passed, and probably ever shall, for my travelling will
  not last long. I certainly have reaped advantages in some respects,
  and great ones. I have had experience in the world, and have learnt
  to shift for myself better than I could have done by any other
  means. I have, I hope, increased the confidence of my family in me;
  and, above all, I have nearly expelled that melancholy disposition I
  gained at college; but most active I feel I must be to prevent its
  return when I again remain quiet in England. I have still a damper
  to my prospects that occasionally overwhelms me, but I must, I
  trust, get over that too; as I have now persuaded myself on sober
  reflection, though I am sadly slow in beginning to act on the
  principle, that one quality alone is within all our reach, and that
  one object alone is worth trying for. God grant this thought may
  often occur to me. I have this year enjoyed the pleasures and
  diversions most enlivening, and which I always most desired; but
  even they are insufficient to make {90} one happy alone, though
  nearer to it than any others. Let us then look to what certainly
  can."

This train of thought seemed to have occupied his mind between his
leaving Paris, and returning to it again during the last visit to his
sister. There is one paragraph in the Autobiography which refers to
both; here it is, and it is the last morsel of that interesting
document that remains unwritten in his life:--

  "The most remarkable impression of religion which I remember in all
  this period, was in a place where it might have been least expected.
  No other than the Italian Opera at Paris. I passed through that
  city, as I have said before, in my last journey to Lausanne, and on
  my return a month later. Both times I went to see the opera of _Don
  Giovanni_, which was the piece then in course of representation. I
  conceived that after this journey I should give up all thoughts of
  worldly vices. I was likely to be fixed at home till the time of my
  ordination, and should assume something of the character of a
  candidate for holy orders. In short, I felt as if it was almost my
  last occasion, and I was entertaining, alas! some wicked devices in
  my mind when I went to this most dangerous and fascinating opera,
  which is in itself, by the subjects it represents, one of the most
  calculated to beguile a weak soul to its destruction. But the last
  scene of it represents Don Giovanni, the hero of the piece, seized
  in the midst of his licentious career by a troop of devils, and
  hurried down to hell. As I saw this scene, I was terrified at my own
  state. I knew that God, who knew what was within me, must look on me
  as one in the same class with such as Don Giovanni, and for once
  this holy fear of God's judgment saved me: and this holy warning I
  was to find in an opera-house at Paris."

{91}

CHAPTER XII.

An Interval Of Rest And Preparation For Orders.

This chapter begins with his twenty-first birthday. He comes before
us, a fine young man nearly six feet high, graceful and handsome, of
independent mien, winning manners, and all the other attributes of
gentlemanly perfection that are calculated to make him an object of
attraction. His journal, even then, tends to show his worst side; we
find self-accusations in every page, and the round of enjoyments
broken in upon by serious correctives. For the great problem which
moralists solve so easily, and those whom the solution concerns keep
away from consideration, we will find in his life a golden key. It is
too soon yet to speak about the special workings of Divine Grace in
his soul; but, even so far off, we can find glimmerings of the
glorious sun of his after-life. Let us look into the world, we find
thousands that really enjoy and luxuriate in gay parties, balls,
pastimes, and pleasures, without a pang of remorse, and others with
sensibilities as keen, if not keener, for the relish of these
luxuries, plunging into them with a kind of intoxicating gusto, and
coming out fagged and disgusted, when they were perhaps thought the
very soul and life of the company. We are told of a patient dying of
melancholy who called in a doctor to prescribe for him; the
prescription of the medical man was, that he should go and hear Mr.
N., a celebrated comic actor, for a number of nights successively, and
the remedy was guaranteed to prove infallible, for no one could listen
to him and not laugh himself to hysterics. "Ah, my dear friend,"
answered the patient, "I am the veritable Mr. N. myself." It is
sometimes argued that small minds of a feminine caste, composed of the
ingredients {92} which the "Spectator" wittily discovers in the
dissection of a beau's head, can be content with frivolities, whilst a
grand intellect is only made indignant by them. We could quote
examples to bear us out in a conclusion the direct contrary of this.
How, then, can we solve the problem? Why can some live and die in a
whirl of dissipation with apparent relish, whilst others get clogged
by a few balls, and fling worldly enjoyment to the winds on account of
the very nausea it creates? It may be considered as "going into the
sacristy" to say that those whom God chooses for great things, He
weans from pleasure by a salutary dissatisfaction? so the point will
not be insisted on. The only ordinary way in which it can be accounted
for is, that the lovers of pleasure deafen the voice of conscience,
whereas the others give this good monitor room to speak, and
occasionally lend an ear. Whichever way we please to look upon F.
Ignatius at this period of his life, we shall find ample material for
theorizing on the unreality of worldly joys. He concludes the first
volume of his Journal with the following considerations:--

  "Dec. 31.--I have ended this year, as the last, with a very pleasant
  evening, as far as noise and fun can make it. But a more reasonable
  way would be (as I am now in my room, with my watch in my hand,
  nearly on the stroke of twelve) to end it in making good resolutions
  for the year to come,--which may, I hope, pass as prosperously, and
  more usefully, than the last. The new year is now commenced, and I
  recommend myself to the protection and guidance of Almighty
  Providence to bring me safely and well to the end of it. I now bid
  farewell to this journal-book, which is but a record of my follies,
  and absurdities, and weaknesses, to myself, who know the motive of
  the actions which are here commemorated, and of many more which I
  have done well to omit. There is no fear of my forgetting them, nor
  do I wish it. The less other men know about my inward thoughts, the
  better for me in their estimation."

Many of the readers of this book will feel disposed to disagree with
the last sentence. We have had his interior {93} before us, as clearly
perhaps as any other man's we can possibly call to mind, and yet there
is scarcely one that must not admire and love him as well, for the
sacrifice he made for their benefit in exposing his interior, as for
the beautiful sight that very disclosure gives them of his noble
heart. It is not very easy to write an interesting chapter about this
portion of his life; the Autobiography is run out, and the Journal
gives no incident of any great importance till we come to the
subject-matter of the next volume. Let us string together a few of the
leading events, especially such as may be calculated to give us some
idea of his mind and occupations.

He begins the volume by writing down that he got up rather earlier
than usual, played at battledore and shuttle-cock with Lady Georgiana
Bingham, and kept up to 2,120 hits. He is disappointed then in a day's
sport, and gives this account of his evening: "I was rather bilious
and nervous to-night, and consequently would have preferred being out
of the way, but from a wrong principle, I fear, viz., because I
thought I should seem rather dull and ill-humoured. But what if I did,
to the gay people that do not, nor wish to, know? And what if I did,
to those who do know how far it is real, my ill-humour?" It was
customary, as he told us some chapters back, for the Spencer family to
spend Christmas at Althorp, and collect many of their immediate
relatives about them during the time. The place is beautifully
disposed for every kind of enjoyment; there are landscapes and
pictures for the ladies to draw from, fine grounds for the gentlemen
to shoot over, everything that generosity and princely goodness could
procure to make the evenings as lively and entertaining as possible.
Balls and dances were, of course, a _sine qua non_. Let us not,
however, imagine it was all dissipation at Althorp. Lords Althorp and
Lyttelton used, every Sunday and often on week days, to read a sermon
to the assembled guests from some of the Anglican divines, and
sometimes, too, from the French, as we may see in a remark in the
first chapter. The party at Althorp this Christmas did not go beyond
three-and-twenty. George, notwithstanding {94} the sour extract quoted
above, went into the sports with heartfelt glee occasionally, and, as
a proof of this, it is enough to say that he danced, in one night, in
seven country dances and eight sets of quadrilles. He says in one
place: "Lyttelton, Sarah (Lady Lyttelton), and I, breakfasted
together, talking of a wise resolve of Nannette's, to pull down a
house she had just finished at Richmond, because it was not pretty
enough for the inhabitants to look at."

He goes to London as soon as the Christmas party is broken up, where
he dines chiefly at home, but is about occasionally, seeing his old
friends, and different things that pleased his whim or his taste. One
of these was "seeing the King going in state, and the nobility as
contented as if they never said a word against him on the Queen's
trial;" another was hearing Bishop Van Mildert preach. He has the good
fortune of meeting Sir Walter Scott at his father's, and says "We all
stayed the evening listening to him telling Scotch stories." His next
evening would be, perhaps, in the House of Lords or Commons, and all
the family seemed in a great stir to be present at the debates on the
"Catholic Question." What opinions they held about it do not appear
from the Journal; but there is nothing said there against Catholics
since he left Italy.

He begins to clear away the mist that lay between him and the
parsonage. He puts himself a little in the way of learning something
of what a clergyman could not be respectable without. His first essays
in this direction were, to hire a "dirty Jew master" to teach him
Hebrew, and to go occasionally to Mr. Blomfield's, who was rector of
Whitechapel, to dine and talk with clerical company. The first time he
tried this is told as follows:--

"I took up Fremantle, and we went together to Blomfield's to dine. We
met Dr. Lloyd, Mr. Rennel, Mr. and Mrs. Lyall, Mr. Watkinson, Mr.
Mawman, Mr. Tavel, and one more clergyman--a proper High Church set,
with language of intolerance. I was much amused though by observing
them." So much for his first lesson in church polity. That he was not
extravagant at this time is evidenced {95} by a little incident. He
found himself the possessor of a good sum, and had been, for some
time, putting part of his allowance aside until he finds himself able
to pay his brother, Lord Althorp, what he lent him to pay off his
debts in Cambridge, as early as the 7th of April. "This was a very
busy day. I first went to Althorp to offer him payment of a large debt
I owe him, but he refused it very generously, and made me rich in a
moment by so doing."

He pays off the Jew on the 25th of April, having had his lectures from
the 8th of March previous. This apparent falling away from the spirit
of his vocation, was redeemed in a few days, by his falling half in
love with some very high lady. He crosses himself immediately for the
absurdity, and wishes she were a clergyman's daughter. This fit wears
out completely in ten days' time. Lord John Russell and Sydney Smith
dine at his father's, and he says of the latter: "Sydney Smith is a
new person on my list, and very entertaining he is." The author of
"Peter Plimley's Letters" must certainly have been an agreeable guest.
On the 15th of June he gives the following note:--"My father and I
went to see the marriage of Mr. Neville and Lady Georgiana Bingham, in
the Portuguese Catholic Chapel, in South Street, close to Vernon's
house. Dr. Poynter, the Catholic bishop of London, performed it, and
gave us a long-prosy dissertation on the sacrament of marriage." The
scene changes now to Ryde, Isle of Wight, where the family go to spend
the summer. George occupies his time there in riding, fishing (with no
success), boating, cricketing, and doing the tutor to a young ward of
his father. He also learnt perspective from a Mr. Vorley, and his
opinion of him is, that "he talks more nonsense than any one I know in
a given time." He remained his pupil until he "picked his brains,"
which did not require much time or application seemingly. He hears of
Napoleon's death, and comments thereon thus:--"We heard this morning
of Bonaparte being dead in St. Helena. It does not make so much noise
as one would have thought his death must eight years ago. For one
thing, it will save us £150,000 a year."

{96}

St. Swithin's Day, July 15. "It rained all morning, which is ominous.
"This kept them indoors, and it was well, for they were all in a
bustle preparing for the coronation of William IV. The countess and
her maids were busy at the laces and the freshening of faded colours,
until the earl's state robes were got ready; when he was called upon
to fit them on, that the keen glance of ladies' eyes might see if
there was a flaw or a speck to be removed. George was present at the
time, and says: "My father put on his robes, and was looked at by a
room full of ladies and gentlemen." George himself, by the way, makes
some bold efforts at grandeur, and succeeds in getting into the Peers'
quarter of Westminster Abbey, at the coronation, "dressed in red coat,
with ruffs." After the coronation, they return to the Isle of Wight,
and George resumes his sports, with a little variation namely, that he
hears a "twaddle preacher," and receives the Sacrament without much
preparation, a proceeding he thus defends:--"I never can be satisfied
by any motives that occur for refusing on account of short notice, and
I think that when the Office is performed with devotion and sincerity,
to the best of one's ability, it is always profitable."

It may be objected that we do not give more numerous extracts from the
Journal; but we think it would tire the patience of readers to be
told, gravely and solemnly, such grand events as, "George Lyttelton,
Lord Lyttelton's eldest child, got into breeches to-day." Matters
kindred to this, with the hours of dining, and names of the guests,
form the bulk of the diary.

Towards the end of this year, 1821, he finds himself alone in Althorp,
waiting for the collecting of the Christmas party there, and muses
thus:--"I wish I might go on living as I now do, without any company
and nonsense. I have daily amusement, and, withal, get through a good
deal of reading." This last clause will make many expect that
Tillotson or Jeremy Taylor is in his hands for a great part of the
day. It may be so, but we are told in the same page:--"In the evening
I read 'Guy Mannering;' for a novel, when once begun, enslaves me." He
was very fond of the Waverly Novels, and seems to have read them as
{97} they came out. He misses a hunt, through mistake, and says; "I
was annoyed to-day at the hoy I made in my manoeuvres; but I am
ashamed of being so, for it all came from my odious vanity, and
sensibility to the opinion of all the fools I met with." On his
twenty-second birthday he makes these reflections:--"This anniversary
becomes uninteresting after passing 21. But it should be a useful
annual admonition to make the best of our short, fleeting life. What
are called the best and happiest years of life are already past with
me. God grant that I make those that remain more profitable to others,
and consequently to myself. As to happiness, I think my temper and
dispositions have prevented my having my share to the full of youthful
pleasures; so I may look forward to the future for better
circumstances: if I can but tutor my mind into contentment at my
situation, and an engrossing wish to make my duty the leading guide of
my actions. Indolence and irresolution are my stumbling blocks."

The new year of 1822 was danced into Althorp by a grand ball. Three
days after he had a narrow escape with his life; he went out
partridge-shooting with Lord Bingham, and this gentleman's
powder-flask took fire, and burst in his hand. George and the
attendants were nearly blown up, and Lord Bingham was severely
scorched. This he considered the greatest danger he was ever in, and
thanks God for his escape. The impression, however, did not last long;
for he tells us, as the result of a game of cards, on the same
night:--"I did not get to sleep for a long time for thinking over a
trick at cards which E---- did. I succeeded in discovering it." When
the Christmas party is dissolved, George's comments are: "I am sorry
they are all going, though the young damsels have caught nothing of my
heart."

There is an event now to be recorded. He becomes a magistrate, and his
first essay in court makes him think the business very amusing. He
shouts huzza! on hearing that his brother Robert is about to come
home. True, however, to his character, of never undertaking anything
unless he knew its obligations sufficiently to be able to acquit
himself {98} in them to the satisfaction of his conscience, he goes to
London, and studies "Blackstone's Commentaries," to qualify him for a
proper discharge of his duties as a magistrate. He dines, dances, goes
to balls and theatres, pays visits and bills during his stay in
London, notwithstanding.

Now he begins to prepare seriously for his future profession. Full
nine months before he is to receive Orders, on March the 12th he
begins to write a sermon. That is the point; let a man give a sermon,
and he may become a minister any day, provided he has an earl or a
viscount at his back, and a bishop who sits _tête â tête_ with either
in the House of Lords, and has two or three sons whom he wishes to put
into posts of honour. The sermon is everything. Any one can read the
Service, provided he has a good voice and distinct utterance; but the
sermon--that requires brains, views, style, and paper. How these
things can be done without we shall see further on. For the present,
poor George did not discover the secret. He could bowl to a wicket,
play cribbage, read Walter Scott, and shoot partridges, but where was
his theology? The twenty-five lectures were buried long ago under some
stone between Cambridge and Althorp. Well, the fact of it was, he must
do something. He goes to hear the "crack" preachers of London, and
even the "twaddle" ditto. He catches up some idea from them, borrows
the book Lord Althorp reads from on Sunday afternoons, and gets an
idea of what a sermon is like. He sets to, therefore, to write one
himself, and in six months that sermon is finished.

One could not expect him to be a bookworm just now. Lord Palmerston is
at a stag-hunt, and patronized the young candidate. Washington Irving
dines at his father's, and George has to take notes of his "Yankee
twang, sallow complexion, and nasal sounds." He used to say to us that
one who saw Irving, and heard him speak, could never believe he was
the author of "The Traveller" or "Bracebridge Hall," and much less of
"Knickerbocker's History of New York." Irving himself alludes to this,
when he says, somewhere, that the London people {99} "wondered that he
held a quill in his hand, instead of wearing it in his scalp-lock." He
gets over all this after the Ryde recreation, and the hunting at
Wiseton, when, towards the end of September this year, he bids
farewell to his military life as a cornet in the Yeomanry of
Northampton. This is as a preparation for his Orders; but they come
upon him still unexpectedly when he receives a letter from the Bishop
of Peterborough, on the 5th of October, to signify that he would have
Ordination on the 22nd of December following. He writes to the
Diocesan Examiner to ask what books he is to read, and how he is to
prepare, and that gentleman graciously tells him that he need not
trouble himself; that he knows, from the respectability of his family,
he must be already quite prepared. [Footnote 5] George is contented
for the present, but he has an eye to the future; he borrows,
therefore, some twelve of the Wimbledon clergyman's best sermons, and
says "that will set me up for a start." He then goes on retreat about
the 16th of December, and his day is divided into four principal
parts, making allowances for dinner and {100} sleep, consisting of
shooting, cribbage, whist, and sermon writing or copying, as the case
might be. On the 18th, two days before, he adds one more spiritual
exercise to his usual ones; he reads a novel. The next day he goes off
to Peterborough, and dines with the Dean and his wife, "who are to
feed him" whilst he is there. His examination is gone through--one of
the Thirty-nine Articles to be translated into Latin, and he has an
_exposé_, with illustrations, on the nature of mesmerism, for the rest
of the terrible ordeal. This passed successfully, he comes home to the
Dean's house, bids good night to the _materfamilias_, and collects his
spirits for the great occasion. He is wrapt in sublime ecstacy, and
bursts forth into the following exclamation in his Journal: "I am 22
years old, and not yet engaged to be married!"

    [Footnote 5: Here is a copy of the letter with which he was
    favoured from that dignitary:
  " Yarmouth, Norfolk, October 12.

    "My Dear Sir,
    "I am sorry my absence from Cambridge may have made me appear
    neglectful in answering your letter, but I have some consolation
    in thinking that you will not have suffered by the delay. As far
    as I am concerned, in my character of examiner, it is impossible
    that I could ever entertain any idea of subjecting a gentleman
    with whose talents and good qualities I am so well acquainted as I
    am with yours, to any examination except one as a matter of form,
    for which a verse in the Greek Testament, and an Article of the
    Church of England returned into Latin will be amply sufficient.
    With regard to the doctrinal part of the examination, that is
    taken by the Bishop himself, but it is confined entirely to the
    prepared questions, which are a test of opinions, not of
    scholarship. This information, then, will, I trust, be
    satisfactorily, and will leave you at liberty to pursue your
    theological studies in that course which you yourself prefer, and
    which I am confident will be a good one. I really am unable to say
    whether the Bishop of Peterbro' requires a certificate of the
    Divinity Lectures or not, but I know that he does not in all cases
    make it a _sine qua non_; at any rate, I think you had better send
    for it, as it will give the professor but very little trouble to
    forward it under cover to your father.

    "If I can be of the least service in answering any other queries,
    or in any other way whatever, I beg you will, at any time, give me
    a line; and believe me, my dear Sir,

      "Yours very sincerely,
        "T. S. Hughes.
      "I shall not be in Camb. till the beginning of next month."]

{101}

BOOK II.

_F. Ignatius, an Anglican Minister._


{102}

{103}

BOOK II.

_F. Ignatius, an Anglican Minister._



CHAPTER I.

He Is Ordained, And Enters On His Clerical Duties.


The Establishment retains in her written formularies a great deal of
what looks very like Catholic. She has an attempt at a profession of
faith; a kind of a sacramental rite, as a substitute for the Mass; a
mode of visiting the sick, a marriage service, baptismal service,
burial service, and an ordinal; even something like the Sacrament of
Penance can be gleaned from two or three clauses in the Book of Common
Prayer. How much of sacramental power there may be in those several
ordinances is very easily determined; we admit none whatever in any
except baptism--the judicial voice of the Establishment leaves its
efficacy an open question--and matrimony. Of late, some amongst them
have felt their want of sacramental wealth so keenly, that they would
fain persuade themselves the shells of Catholic rites, which the
Reformers retained, were filled with sacramental substance. To give
this theory some show of plausibility, they claimed valid orders.
Pamphlets and books have been written on two sides of this question
until there seems scarcely any more to be said upon it, so we just
mention what is the Catholic opinion on the validity of Anglican
orders.

{104}

With what Protestants think of them we have no immediate concern; nor
would it be an easy matter to extract anything definite from the
multitude and contrariety of opinions on this one point.

We hold them to be simply _null_; they do not even come up to doubt;
for if the Archbishop of Canterbury became a Catholic to-morrow, and
wished to exercise any ministry, he would be obliged to receive all
the orders from the first tonsure upwards, absolutely, and without
even an implied condition. This has always been the practice: and, the
Church's acting thus, at the period which is now involved in
obscurity, is the best _de facto_ argument that the orders of the
Establishment were then, as they are now, a human designation, and
nothing more. There is nothing sacramental in Anglican orders, and
there never was, since England broke away from the Church, and,
consistently enough, orders were expunged from the Protestant
catalogue of sacraments in the very infancy of the Reformation. They
still keep up a semblance of orders: they have what they call the
diaconate, the priesthood, and the consecration of bishops. A deacon
is ordained much in the same way as our own deacons, and he can
perform all the duties of the parish, with the exception of the
Communion Service.

We see a man marked out by an Anglican bishop for ecclesiastical
duties, without any sacramental grace, spiritual character, or
jurisdiction, for no less a work than the care of immortal souls. Let
us see now what instruments he has wherewith to accomplish this.

He had once two Sacraments--the Lord's Supper and Baptism; the former,
Catholics know to be an empty ceremony, and perhaps it would nearly be
a Protestant heresy to say it was much more. Baptism they had as Turks
have, and as every lay man and woman in the world, who performs the
rite properly, has. Now their judicial decisions do not consider it
worth the having; so, as far as in themselves lies, they have tried to
deprive themselves of it. The practical means of sanctification a
minister has to use are chiefly four: prayer, preaching, visiting, and
reading. The reading part may evidently be performed as well, if not
{105} better sometimes, by a layman. The visiting is often better done
by the clergyman's wife or daughter than by himself, for, in attention
to sickness and sweet words of consolation, the female gifts seem the
more effectual. All that remains to him, peculiarly for his own, is
the preaching, and the respectability of character his own conduct and
regard for his position may give him. His power is altogether
personal, and if he be an indifferent preacher or a careless liver, he
loses all.

Whether candidates for orders, or even the ordained of the Anglican
Establishment, take this view of their position, one cannot be sure;
but, from the acts and words of Mr. Spencer, we can form a tolerable
conjecture of what he thought and intended when he took deacon's
orders from Dr. Marsh, Protestant Bishop of Peterborough, on the 22nd
December, 1822. He makes no preparation whatever, nor does he seem to
fancy that it is an action that requires any. He gives an account of
the ordination, which he was pleased to call, "talking of business,"
when making his arrangements for it, a few pages back in the Journal,
and, as a piece of business, it is gone through by him. We transcribe
his own words:--

  "Sunday, Dec. 22. I breakfasted with Mr. Gibbs and Mr. Gregory at
  the inn (Peterborough) at 8. At 9, two others of the candidates, Mr.
  Pearson and Mr. Witherall, joined us, and we went to the palace,
  from whence the bishop led us into the church, when we were
  ordained. The service took an hour, including the Sacrament which he
  gave us. I commenced my church-reading then by reading the gospel in
  the service. I went (a clergyman) to the deanery. At 11 we went all
  together from the palace to church, when Mr. Parsons preached a good
  long sermon--at us very palpably. We then went to a cold collation
  at the palace till evening church, which we attended. After that we
  received our letters of orders and licences, and paid our fees."

It may be said that this is a very nice little account squeezed into a
journal, and one could not expect enthusiastic bursts about the gift
of the spirit and the power of {106} the Church, in a book allotted to
the bare recording of events. So be it. But there are enthusiastic
exclamations about less important things in that same little book, and
if ordination looked anything to Mr. Spencer than a condition _sine
qua_ of his getting fixed in his future position, he would have noted
it. The absence of deep religious feeling at this period of his life
may account in a great measure for this coolness; but perhaps the not
believing there was anything sacramental in the rite itself may give a
more satisfactory explanation. To wind up the matter in a few
words--he said grace for the family at dinner that evening, and then
read his _novel_ quietly in his room, because the day was not
favourable for any field sport.

These few explanations were deemed necessary for appreciating the
tenor of his life from this moment forward. It will run counter to all
anticipated results in the direction of excellence, and will even go
far beyond what its first evidences would warrant one to expect. He
looked his position in the face at the very outset: he saw that he had
souls to look after, and he knew that he could not do that without a
course of consistent conduct beseeming his character. For the first
few days things went on much as of old. The family were still spending
the winter in Althorp, and he joined in all the pastimes by which they
whiled away the short days and cheered the long nights. It was
requisite, however, that the cousins and nearer relations, should see
and hear George in his new position, if it were only to have something
to talk about when they came to London. Accordingly, he assisted in
the Communion Service on Christmas Day by administering "the cup,"
first to his father, and then to others. He did not "think the thing
so formidable," and it wore off the apprehension he had of appearing
in public sufficient for him to give his first sermon on Sunday, Dec.
29. It was on the Birth of Christ, and he says, "Althorp and Duncannon
were my audience;" whether they were a whole or a part of the
audience, it is not easy at this distance to discover.

He might be now considered fairly launched into his new element. The
rector of Great Brington, a Mr. Vigoreux, {107} was away on the
continent, and the parish was left to the care of the young curate. He
had three or four villages, numbering about 800, in his parish, some
distance apart, and he lived in Althorp himself. On the 1st of
January, 1823, he sets vigorously to work, and, regardless of wind or
weather, walks out from breakfast until about six o'clock every day,
visiting the people. After the first few days he gets quite interested
in the work, and is cheered on by his success in making up
differences, consoling the dying, and assisting the poor. Two notes
from the Journal will illustrate how he felt with regard to this
visiting:--"Feb. 10. Went to Little Brington, where I paid 20 visits
among the poor. Feb. 11. Visited 15 or 20 houses; this work is very
amusing to me now. I hope I shall never get tired of it, or be
disgusted by bad success to my lectures."

The principal work he tries to accomplish by his visits is, the
supplying those deficiencies he finds in the people with regard to
what he conceived to be sacraments. His very first round through the
parish showed him how few were up to the mark of good Christians. Many
Dissenters chose to dispute his right to lecture them, and were not
slow to produce clauses of protection for themselves; and his having
"a discussion with one roaring Methodist," did not lessen the
difficulty of making them tractable sheep. Discussions proved to be a
means of widening the breach, and simple kindness left things where
they stood. Something positive he must mark out as a duty to his
flock, and then exhort them to it. Instinct led him to the sacraments.
He found great numbers unbaptized, believing in a spiritual
regeneration, and scoffing at the idea of heavenly virtue being in a
drop of water; he found more still, and these among the baptized, who
had as little love for the Lord's Supper as he had himself once. Now
these could very easily be managed by exhorting them to read the
Bible, lending them a copy if they had not one, recommending family
prayers, and kindness and justice towards all men. Mr. Spencer thought
otherwise. He began with baptism, and within the first fortnight of
his clerical life he baptized the nine children of a blacksmith. This
was a good beginning, and encouraged {108} him to persevere, but he
did not find many so malleable as the offspring of this son of Tubal
Cain.

In the next sacramental duty he did not see his way so clearly as in
the first. In the Church of England, the _Sacrament_, as it is
emphatically called, must be administered three times a year, may be
once a month, and cannot be unless there be a number of communicants.
Giving the _Sacrament_ once a week is considered very High Church, and
to give it every morning is going a little too far. Superstitious
reverence and indifference keep the majority away from this rite, and
few come, except they get a monomonia for manifesting their godliness
in that special direction. This fact will account for Mr. Spencer's
hesitation, when he took to Christianizing his flock by making them
approach the Sacrament. He makes many promise to come, and gets a
neighbouring clergyman to administer it in their own houses to some
decrepid old people, who could not come to church. He preaches on
this, and "hopes he has not been wrong;" he discusses the propriety of
his proceedings with his older brethren in the ministry. The result
seems to confirm him in his ideas, and he preaches a second time, and
gives appendices to his sermon in every visit, about going to the
Lord's Supper. He still "hopes he is not wrong." He works very hard at
this point, however, and on the first Easter Sunday of his ministry,
he gives God thanks and prays against pride, at having 130
communicants. There was another little incident on the same day as a
set off to his success in beating up the parish; when he opens the
sermon-cover from which he used to read his MS., he finds he had put
the wrong sermon there, and had to preach extempore the sermon he
intended to have read: of course, it was not to his satisfaction,
though the people scarcely knew the difference.

One sad event cast a cloud over the beginning of his clerical life:
the sister he loved so much, and whose company and conversation he
thought more than an equivalent for the gayest party, Lady Georgiana
Quin, died in London. He was very much afflicted by it, and even in
after-life he would be deeply moved when speaking of this sister. He
{109} did not delay long in London, but came home in a day or two
after the funeral.

Excepting this short interval, his time was spent at home in the most
ardent fulfilment of the duties his fervour imposed upon him. Not only
did he go about from house to house, but he would spare a day or two,
in each week, when he went into Northampton for the sessions, and
visit the neighbouring clergy. It was his custom to discuss points of
duty with them; to invite them to Althorp, and spend evenings in
clerical conversation. He accompanied them on their visits to the sick
and other parochial employments, to learn, by a comparison of the
different ways of each, which would probably be best for himself. He
reads such books as the "Clergyman's Instructor," and other books of
divinity and sermons; he never fails to write a sermon every week, to
catechise the children on a Sunday, visit the schools, and try to make
every one as faithful in the discharge of their duties as he was in
his own. About Easter some members of his family came to Althorp, and
he relaxes a little for their sakes, and freely joins them in all his
former amusements; not, however, omitting any of his visits,
especially to the sick and dying.

{110}


CHAPTER II.

He Mends Some Of His Ways.


About the middle of April he came to London for three weeks' holidays.
He calls it "a smoky odious place," and says that entering it makes
him "miserable." He is soon immersed in the customs of his society in
the metropolis, and his feeling of uneasiness wears off. His little
experience in parish work brings a great many things to his knowledge,
of which he had not the slightest idea before. He is at a great loss,
also, how to meet the difficulties he encounters, and doubts whether
his proceedings in what he considered his duty have been quite right.
Dr. Blomfield had always been a kind of spiritual director to Mr.
Spencer: to him he goes now for a thorough investigation of his
principles and even doctrines. Extempore praying was a thing Dr.
Blomfield never liked, and its adoption by Mr. Spencer shows a leaning
to Evangelical if not Methodistic spirituality. Whether it was this
point, or another of the many things upon which clergymen of the
Establishment agree to differ, that they discussed, we cannot say; but
the result was far from consoling to either. He says: "I want some
setting to rights in point of orthodoxy I find. I only hope that my
decision in regard to my conduct may not be influenced by ambition or
worldliness on the one hand, nor by spiritual pride on the other."
Here may be seen that real sincerity and disinterestedness which
guided his every step through life. If we analyze the sentence, it
looks as if the arguments of his adviser are taken in part from the
sources which Mr. Spencer hopes will not influence his decision; and
this conclusion is borne out by a letter which will be given further
on, when his confidence {111} in the Church of England became
thoroughly shaken. It must not be supposed from this that Dr.
Blomfield was guided himself by these motives, though hints to that
effect were often rife in his lifetime; but it is natural enough that
the doctor should propose family considerations among his other
arguments, especially if he thought those not quite persuasive.

Mr. Spencer goes to the theatre, and it was the last time in his life.
His account of how that change was wrought in him, gives us one of
those peculiar instances in which ridicule proved to be more powerful
than logic or decorum. He attended Drury Lane Theatre with one or two
friends, and in some part of the performance a parson was fearfully
caricatured, and drew bursts of laughter and applause from the
audience. This touched him sorely; eyes were pointed towards him; his
friends laughed the more, in proportion to the efforts considerations
for him made them use, in suppressing their feelings. He went forth
from the theatre thoroughly vexed, and vowed he would never go to a
theatre again. The Journal does not give a solitary instance in which
this resolve was deviated from afterwards. This incident had also the
effect of making him consider the propriety of several other
unclerical pursuits, which he followed, as much since his ordination
as he did before. It was not, however, till towards the end of this
year that he began to retrench them, and a little of the same power of
ridicule came to his assistance then also.

His great concern was the union of all the sects in his parish. He
knew very well that our Lord gave but one system of Christianity, and
that _yea_ and _no_ upon any important point could not proceed from
His lips or be parts of His doctrine. He thought conciliatory measures
the best to effect his purpose, and he even adopted some of the ways
of Dissenters in order to be all to all towards them. On this he seems
to have been lectured by Dr. Blomfield with some profit, for, on his
return home, he says: "Whit-Sunday. I gave a strong sermon against the
Dissenters, founded on Whit-Sunday," In a few days he pays "an
unsatisfactory visit" to one family, and says: "They are {112} the
hardest schismatics I've got; children unbaptized, &c." This seems
High Church language, and his feeling of opposition to Evangelicals,
which finds expression in a few places, now makes one suppose he was
"a proper High Church man." He labours hard for several weeks to
prepare children for confirmation. He has 80 of them ready, and was so
pleased with the whole affair, that he moved the printing of the
bishop's charge, as he proposed his lordship's health in a speech
after the dinner. The Sunday after he goes round to every house, and
gives final admonitions to those on whom the bishop imposed hands a
few days before.

To help him in his incipient dislike of Methodism he has a very
curious conversation with a great "professor" of that persuasion. This
was an old woman whom he was in the habit of visiting whenever he made
his rounds where she lived. On his entrance, they both knelt down and
prayed alternately for some time, each, out loud and extempore, for
the edification of the other. When this rubric was carried out, they
talked at full length and breadth on the unconverted and the elect,
with sundries other kindred subjects, and this he used to style
"comfortable conversation." Sometimes the tone of conversation would
vary, and once it ran upon the line of self-accusation. The old lady
very humbly accused herself of a great many faults in general, and
signified to Mr. Spencer that she would be very much obliged to any
one who would point out her particular faults, and help her in
correcting them. Emboldened by this, he ventured, after a long
preamble, to suggest that there was one thing he would like to see
corrected in her, as it seemed to be the only speck on the lustre of
her godliness. "What is that?" asked she, rather curiously and
impatiently. "Well, it is that you are rather fond of contradicting
people." "No, I am not," was the reply. "You have just contradicted me
now." "No, I haven't." "Well, you have repeated the same fault." "I've
done no such thing," was the petulant rejoinder. Of course, he saw it
was useless to proceed further, and his visits became fewer for some
time. This {113} anecdote he used to relate with peculiar tact and a
most graphic imitation of the old lady's manner.

Before giving his own account of the rise and fall of his High Church
notions, it may be well to mention another incident that occurred
about this time, towards the end of 1823. He determines to give up
shooting and dancing. He told an anecdote about how the first of these
sports fell into disfavour with him. There was a shooting party in
Althorp on a certain day, and George was in the very thick of it. So
anxious was he to distinguish himself in bringing down game, that he
would run to take position for a shot with his double-barrel gun
loaded, and a cartridge stuck in either corner of his mouth, ready for
action, so as not to lose a minute in charging. He did great execution
that day, and bagged probably more braces than any other. In the
evening one of the company showed great anxiety to get possession of
something, and eventually succeeded; whereupon, one present said, with
a waggish look at George, "You've made a parson's shot at it." This
struck him very forcibly, and suggested the resolution, which he
finally came to and kept, of giving up shooting. There is no
particular anecdote about his abstinence from dancing, we only know
that at this time he refuses to go to a ball, makes his pastoral
visits instead, and declares that he feels far more comfortable after
this than when he has been "pleasuring."

The following is taken from a letter published by Father Ignatius in
the _Catholic Standard_ in December, 1853:--

  ... "When I was ordained deacon in the Church of England at
  Christmas, 1822, I had, I may say, all my religious ideas and
  principles to form. I do not so well know how far this is a common
  case now. I have reason to think it was a very common one then. My
  mind was possessed with a decided intention of doing good, and I was
  delighted with the calling and life of a clergyman; but my ideas
  were very vague indeed as to what a clergyman was meant for or had
  to do. Very naturally, however, on becoming acquainted with my
  parishioners, among whom the Wesleyan Methodists, the Baptists, and
  the Independents had been gaining ground for some time previously, I
  {114} concluded that I had to oppose their progress, and to draw
  back those who had joined them. This disposition in me was highly
  gratifying to some of the elder clergy in my neighbourhood, who came
  to make acquaintance with me as a new neighbour, especially to one
  old man, an ardent lover of High Church principles, who, to confirm
  me in them, gave me a book to read entitled 'Daubeny's Guide to the
  Church,' in which the divine authority of the Church, the importance
  of Apostolical succession, of episcopal government, the evil and sin
  of schism, and other ecclesiastical principles, were most lucidly
  and learnedly demonstrated. So I thought then; and, as far as my
  recollection goes, I should say now that I thought rightly. I was
  exceedingly captivated by these principles, which were to me quite
  new, and I found myself now ready to carry on my arguments with
  dissenters as a warrior armed; whereas in the beginning I had
  nothing but zeal in my cause to help me. I did not gain upon them;
  but this new light was so bright in my own mind, that I had no doubt
  of prevailing in time. But there was one weak point in the system I
  was defending which I had overlooked. It was after a time pointed
  out to me, and my fabric of High Churchism fell flat at once, like a
  child's castle of cards.

  "I was at this time living at Althorp, my father's principal
  residence in the country, serving as a curate to the parish to which
  it was attached, though the park itself is extra-parochial. Among
  the visitors who resorted there, was one of the most distinguished
  scholars of the day, to whom, as to many more of the Anglican
  Church, I owe a debt of gratitude for the interest which he took in
  me, and to the help I actually received from him in the course of
  inquiry, which has happily terminated in the haven of the true
  Church. I should like to make a grateful and honourable mention of
  his name, but as this has been found fault with, I forbear. I was
  one day explaining to him with earnestness the line of argument
  which I was pursuing with dissenters, and my hopes from it; I
  suppose I expected encouragement, such as I had received from many
  others. But he simply and candidly said, 'These would be {115} very
  convenient doctrines, if we could make use of them, but they are
  available only for Roman Catholics; they will not serve us.' I saw
  in a moment the truth of his remark, and his character and position
  gave it additional weight. I did not answer him; but as a soldier
  who has received what he feels to be a mortal wound, will suddenly
  stand still, and then quietly retire out of the _mêlée_, and seek a
  quiet spot to die in, so I went away with my High Churchism mortally
  wounded in the very prime of its vigour and youth, to die for ever
  to the character of an Anglican High Churchman. Why did not this
  open my eyes, you will say, to the truth of Catholicity? I answer,
  simply because my early prejudices were too strong. The unanswerable
  remark of my friend was like a _reductio ad absurdum_ of all High
  Church ideas. If they were true, the Catholic would be so: _which is
  absurd_, as I remember Euclid would say. 'Therefore,' &c. The grand
  support of the High Church system, church authority, having been
  thus overthrown, it was an easy though gradual work to get out of my
  mind all its minor details and accompaniments, one after another;
  such as regard for holy places, for holy days, for consecrated
  persons, for ecclesiastical writers; finally, almost all definite
  dogmatic notions. It would seem that all was slipping away, when,
  coming to the conviction of the truth of Catholicity some years
  after, it was with extraordinary delight I found myself picking up
  again the shattered dispersed pieces of the beautiful fabric, and
  placing them now in better order on the right foundation, solid and
  firm, no longer exposed to such a catastrophe as had upset my
  card-castle of Anglican churchmanship. This little passage in my
  ancient religious history is so sweetly interesting to me in the
  remembrance, that I have looked into an old diary which I used to
  keep at the time, to make out the dates, and I find by this that the
  duration of my High Church ideas was shorter than I should have
  imagined; but it was a period crowded with new, bright ideas, and
  naturally seems longer than it is. I will, to please myself,
  perhaps, more than my readers, give the dates. I note that, Dec. 24,
  1823, the great scholar of whom I have {116} spoken came to Althorp;
  Jan. 23, 1824, he goes away. This was his last visit, for he died
  the summer following, as I find it was on the 28th of June, 1824,
  that, in passing by Oxford with my eldest brother, we called at the
  Hall of which he was superior, to inquire how he was. He was
  sick--then on his death-bed." [Footnote 6]

    [Footnote 6: The name of the gentleman referred to above was Dr.
    Elmesly.]

{117}


CHAPTER III.

He Receives Further Orders.


The complete levelling of his church principles left him at a loss
which way to turn. The divided state of his parish, and the number of
sects, seemed to be perpetually harassing his mind. He set about
converting them by other ways than exhibiting his "card-castle;" he
tried to open the doors of the Establishment as wide as he could, so
as to admit if possible all classes of religionists to her communion.
Of a conversation upon this point with Lord Lyttelton, he says, "In
the evening I had a walk with Lyttelton, and was filled with scruples
about the Athanasian Creed by him unintentionally. I had a great war
with my conscience in the evening, at bed-time." These scruples slept
for some time on account of a soporific which Dr. Blomfield
administered to him; but they arose again, and were not settled till
he became a Catholic. Various discussions procure him "lights about
the Methodist practice," and "distressing thoughts;" so he gives up
that field of working now for another.

This other field was showing good example of the different works of
mercy, and he even tries Catholic ascetism. He takes such an interest
in the poor of his parish that he goes to the hospitals, attends
dissecting-rooms, and assists at a dispensary until he learns enough
about medicine to enable him to make prescriptions for the sick poor.
He spends evenings in making pills, and one day when a poor man broke
his thigh, Mr. Spencer went and set it for him, and it was so well
done that they did not change it when he was brought to the infirmary.
The exertion this cost him nearly made him faint.

{118}

The next thing he notes is, "I read a most persuasive sermon of
Beveridge's about fasting; I examined the question in other books, and
by God's grace I am resolved no longer to disregard that duty." He
applied for advice about fasting, as was his invariable practice when
he took up any idea out of the ordinary line. He went to a
neighbouring clergyman, whom he considered well versed in the matter,
and, though this gentleman discourages the practice, Mr. Spencer
adopts it notwithstanding, since his arguments are too weak. These are
the principal events out of his ordinary work, except his giving up
card-playing, from the beginning of the year 1824 until the 12th of
June, when we find him again in Peterborough, on the eve of receiving
priest's orders.

The demolition of his High Church notions, as well as the tone of mind
in which he received the former orders, might lead one to anticipate
that he received these second orders somewhat after the fashion of a
new step in the army. But it was quite the contrary. His notions of
orders were higher; he looked upon this step as an important one, and
he tells us, some days before, "I walked to-day in The Wilderness at
Althorp, ruminating on my approaching ordination." He also read the
Ordination Service over and over, a good many times. On the evening
before the ordination, whilst the Bishop and various clergymen, and
their ladies, with whom he dines, candidates included, amuse
themselves with a game of whist, Mr. Spencer refuses to play. We can
contrast his reflections now with those used on a similar occasion a
year and a half ago:--

  "Trinity Sunday, June 13.--A beautiful day. I was awake from six,
  and thought a great deal of my intended step to-day. At 11 we all
  attended the Bishop to church, and the prayers, ordination, and
  sacrament were performed all moat satisfactorily to me. I am now
  bound by the awful tie of priesthood; and most solemnly, at the
  time, did I devote myself to the service of my Master. May the
  impression never fade away!"

Shortly before this he heard of Dr. Blomfield's promotion to the see
of Chester, who, in answer to his letter of congratulation, offered
him the office of chaplain. He accepted it, in a long letter to his
old tutor, immediately he returned {119} from Peterborough. Up to this
time Mr. Spencer had been reading the Anglican divines,--Tomline,
Jeremy Taylor, Wheatley, Bull, Hooker, &c.; now he begins to read the
Fathers of the Church. The first he takes up is St. John Chrysostom
_On the Priesthood_. His opinion upon some of the doctrines he met
with there is nicely told in the letter to the _Catholic Standard_,
from which the passage in the last chapter has been quoted.

  "I had to make a long journey with my brother, in his carriage, on
  that long day, June 28, from Althorp, near Northampton, to
  Southampton. It was before the epoch of railroads; and I see we
  started at half-past three. I was seeking a book to occupy me during
  this long journey (N.B. no Breviary to recite in those days), and,
  in the library at Althorp, I hit upon a copy, in Greek, of St. John
  Chrysostom on the Priesthood. Nothing better. I had heard this work
  highly praised, and I hoped to find some animating matter for the
  exercise of my calling as a clergyman. I was not disappointed in
  this hope; but when I came to what the saint says about the holy
  Eucharist, as, of course, the grand circumstance which exalts the
  Christian priest, I was overcome with surprise. I read, and read it
  again. Is it possible! I thought to myself. Why, this is manifest
  popery. He certainly must have believed in the Real Presence. I had
  no idea that popish errors had commenced so soon; yes, and gained
  deep root, too; for I saw that he wrote as of a doctrine about which
  he expected no contradiction. What was my conclusion here? you will
  ask. Why, simply this--_the Saint has erred_; otherwise this capital
  tenet of popery is true--_which is absurd_. I brought in my Euclid
  here, as on the previous 31st of December. I see that on the
  following day I was in the cabin of the vessel in which we crossed
  to the Isle of Wight, reading _Jeremy Taylor's Worthy Communicant_.
  St. John Chrysostom, I have no doubt, had been thrown overboard, not
  into the sea--which was making me then rather sick--as the volume
  was not my own to dispose of thus; but he had been thrown overboard
  with a whole multitude of Saints and Fathers besides, convicted with
  him, and condemned for {120} popish errors, into the black gulph of
  the dark ages; or rather, I had, by an act of my judgment, extended
  the borders of that gulph several centuries back, as the Regent's
  Canal Company are doing with their reservoir near our house, by Act
  of Parliament, over some of our land, so as to flood him and his
  contemporaries, and, of course, all after them till Luther rose to
  set up a dyke and save on dry land those who had courage to step out
  on the land of Gospel light which he first had re-discovered. I soon
  came to look on our English Reformers of the Church of England as
  the greatest and most enlightened men since the time of the
  Apostles."

He does not give up his asceticism, though he feels the pain of it;
and well he might, for he would sometimes eat nothing until six
o'clock in the evening, and be all the day going through his parish,
or writing sermons if the day were wet. He says in the journal of one
of those days: "A fasting day till dinner made me very miserable, and
makes me doubt the excellency of this means .... dinner did me good."
He improves upon the fasting, however, by adding another day every
week, when he finds that it really helps him to eradicate his passions
and raise up his mind to heaven. The bodily pain consequent on want of
food was not the only thing Mr. Spencer had to endure from his
fasting. It was a practice that had a popish air about it; his friends
and members of his family grew indignant that he should be making
himself peculiar. He had to bear the brunt of all their remarks; he
did so willingly, and would sit down to the family breakfast to feed
on their rebukes and send his portion down untasted, whilst the rest
took their meal. He also reads Thomas-a-Kempis's "Imitation of
Christ," and we see evidences of that remarkable spirit for which he
was afterwards distinguished--thanking God for everything. He becomes
a secretary to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge: that
institution was a favourite of Dr. Blomfield's, and he may have
induced Mr. Spencer to patronize it. When Mr. Spencer saw how well it
worked in its department, he thought of a scheme for improvising
something of his own. He does not give particulars {121} of what it
was; but he submitted it to his Bishop, who "threw cold water on it,"
and Mr. Spencer simply thanks God for being thwarted. He is completely
wrapped up in his clerical duties, so much so that he does not give
the full time to his summer vacation in Ryde; he is always impatient
to get back to his parish when some pressing business requires him to
leave it; and even, while away, he is perpetually visiting clergymen,
and talking upon matters belonging to his office. He seems though,
ever since the destruction of his High Church principles, to be
getting every day more Evangelical in his words and actions.

{122}


CHAPTER IV.

Mr. Spencer Becomes Rector Of Brington.

Mr. Vigoreux, Rector of Brington, sent in his resignation of the
living to the Bishop towards the close of the year 1824. The letters
which are found among Father Ignatius's papers show this transaction
to have been very creditable to the Spencer family. The old rector was
on the continent,--he seems to have been very much in debt to Lord
Spencer, and upon his resigning his living, Lord Spencer not only
cancelled the debt, but made him so far independent for life, that the
old clergyman, in sheer gratitude, ordered £7. 10s. to be distributed
every year among the poor of the parish, whilst he lived. George was
transported with delight at the news, which was given him by a lawyer
in Northampton, on the 8th November in this year, that Mr. Vigoreux
had resigned. Mr. Spencer is full of his secret, and he and a brother
clergyman have a very pleasant evening in telling "secrets" to each
other--George about the rectorship, his friend about his intended
marriage. Things go on quietly now until the usual Christmas
assemblage of the family at Althorp, and George's reflection on his
birthday is this: "That my life past, in the main, has been mis-spent,
wasted, and worse than wasted. Last year I have become confirmed in
the first of all professions, and I truly desire that I may grow riper
and stronger in my office." For a while he resists the temptation to
join in the sports of the young gentlemen at Althorp; at length he
gives in; he plays a few rubbers at whist in compliment to his father,
and thanks God that he plays worse and worse every day. He also takes
a few shots; but finding his old {123} eagerness returning, he throws
up the gun at once, and goes to visit the sick and the poor.

On the 12th January he is presented by his father with the living of
Brington, is instituted by the Bishop two days after, and inducted by
a neighbouring clergyman on the 20th of the same month. He is now in
possession of a good income, can afford to pay a curate to do his
drudgery, and might follow the example of non-residence which was then
so common; but he does nothing of the kind. A fat parsonage does not
come to him with an arm-chair or a sofa, and invite him to sit down
and take his rest. He considers now that the weight of the charge
obliges him to redouble his labours; he continues to write his sermons
twice over, and never misses to have one for every Sunday. It was his
custom to give, what he called a lecture, on Sunday evenings,--he now
gives a full sermon; he also increases the days of attendance in
church as far as he can, for we find him beating up for an attendance
on Ash-Wednesday; and this he calls an innovation. He gets a little
keener in the spirit of asceticism just now, for he tries to conceal
his austerities; and on a day he fasted till six he says: "I wish I
could root out that devil of ambition and vain-glory." Probably it was
about this time that the incident happened he used often to relate to
his religious brethren in after-life. One day he thought to conceal
his fast; but the housekeeper brought up the toast for breakfast, and
if he sent it down untouched she would have discovered his abstinence;
he put it in the cupboard and locked it up; by-and-by the odour it
emitted perfumed the whole place, to the no small astonishment of the
housemaid. The end of it was, that every one discovered what he tried
to conceal even from one.

We find a thorough absorption of his energies in the work of his
ministry apparent in every page of his journal, as also from the
testimony of those who knew him at that period. One little remark will
throw light upon his interior:--"My dear Lyttelton,--Sal and the
children went away at 6½. I heard the sad departing wheels out of bed.
Thank God I have heretofore found happiness in my solitude, and shall
do {124} so again, I trust. His word, and the way of His Commandments,
they are my joy. May I grow in the knowledge and practice of them, and
I desire no more for this world." Another instance of his devotion to
his ministry may be seen in the following:--"Tuesday, March 22.--Rose
(a neighbouring clergyman) and I began talking about 8½, and hardly
ceased till 12 at night. Our subject was religion and the Church,
chiefly."

What beautiful material was there in this excellent clergyman! and had
he been where his spirit would be understood, or where one knew how to
direct him, what might he not become? He found himself in a Church
where spirituality and asceticism are exotics, and cannot thrive,
notwithstanding that the Scriptures are so emphatic in exhorting us to
practise them. Then, if he took them up, he knew not how far to go, or
at what point to restrain himself. He had no manuals, no guides; but
vague attempts at fulsome piety written for fellow-workmen, who
differed with him on the very first principles of faith. He was,
therefore, utterly left to his own views and fancies, and what he
considered grace and inspiration. He was getting too unworldly for his
position, too single-minded, and too earnest for the easy-going
clerical gentlemen who formed the bulk of his acquaintances. Not that
the majority did not do their duty. To be sure they did; but what was
it? To read a sermon from a desk on a Sunday; to pay visits, and read
a chapter of the Bible to a dying sinner. The Evangelical counsels,
without which, in some degree or other, Christian _perfection_ is
unattainable, are exploded anachronisms in the Established of souls,
as the outcry against those within its pale, who try to revive them,
but too clearly proves. Ecclesiastical virtue, with them, does not
differ from secular virtue, any more than the virtue of a Member of
Parliament differs from that of a Town Councillor. They are both
expected to be gentlemen, and to keep the rules of propriety the
public thinks proper to expect from their position. That is all. "Oh!"
as poor Father Ignatius used to say, "shall these dry bones live?"
Thou knowest, Lord, whether they shall or not; they don't; and in his
{125} time they were farther from it than they are now. We must
therefore expect, from the nature of the case, what is to follow in
the next chapter. He goes perfectly astray, in his pursuit after what
the "Church of his baptism" could not give him. It was fortunate that
he strayed in the end from a wrong path into the right one, by the way
of too far East being West.

Easter Sunday in this year he counts the happiest day he spent up to
this, though he had only fifty-eight communicants, a decrease since
his first Easter. His point of bringing all to the sacrament was not
carried. He had even bishops opposing him in this, as in everything
else that was not half world, half God.

The next thing he notices is, that an archdeacon gave a good charge,
"though against the Catholics,--a questionable topic." Mr. Spencer had
no special love for Catholics; on the contrary, he thought themselves
absurd, their doctrines abominable, and their ceremonies mummery. He
was of the Spencer family though, and in them there was an inbred love
of justice and fair-play. Lord Spencer and his son, Lord Althorp, both
favoured and spoke for emancipation. They thought the Catholics
aggrieved, and if they were Turks, they did not see why they should
cease to be men and subjects of the English crown. That was plain
common sense; besides, Mr. Spencer had not got so high in Church views
as some of his friends, who favoured Catholics before their elevation
and opposed them after it, to please a king. The Spencers were
generously liberal in all their dealings, and even when the subject of
this biography, the delight of the family, thought fit to become a
Catholic, their conduct towards him was worthy of their name. We shall
have to refer to this afterwards; the allusion is made now only to
show that the tenour of their opinions was not the creature of a whim
or an ephemeral fancy, but a grave, steady, and well-disciplined
feeling. Praise be to them for it. Would that their imitators were
more numerous.

He has also another project on hand at this time, besides the
evangelizing of his flock. He begins to build a new rectory. He gets
an architect from London; has {126} suggestions from the family about
the length and breadth of the apartments; others, more poetical,
survey the site to give their sentiments about the view from the
parlour window; the older portion have their say about the comfort of
the different rooms, with regard to size, position, and plastering.
Some few even make presents of articles of furniture, and a near
relation gives him a beautiful bed, which commodity has many
paragraphs of the journal dedicated to its praises and suitableness.
The building is at last begun, and we must say something of the
progress of his interior castle whilst we let the bricklayers obey the
orders of the builder and architect.


{127}


CHAPTER V.

Changes In His Religious Opinions.

For some time we are getting glimpses of his ways of thought, or
rather of his ways of expressing his thoughts. We read, "godly
dispositions," "mature unto repentance," "ripe for glory,"
"comfortable conversations," "springs in barren soil," and the
"_seeing_ of spiritual _blindness_." All these indicate the leaning of
his mind, and recall the language of Cromwellian "Saints," and
Bunyan's dreams. The strangest part of his proceedings now was the way
in which he became "justified." It is hardly necessary to mention that
in Calvinistic theology, which forms the basis, if not the
superstructure, of the principal part of Evangelical postulates, the
body of believers are divided into _elect_ and _reprobate_, or
_justified_ and _unconverted_. The election or justification is a
sentiment coming from what is supposed to be the assurance of an
interior spirit that one is to be saved. With them, happy the man or
woman who possesses this testimony, and miserable the wretch to whom
it is not given. There is for these latter only an everlasting groping
in the dark, and a seeking for light, while the _insured_ can go
through this vale of tears in exultation and gladness of spirit. Mr.
Spencer was not well versed in this particular doctrine, and a poor
woman, whom he met one day in Northampton, undertook to bring him to
the "true Gospel light" by the "pure milk of the Word." She put
together a few of those passages from the New Testament, which are
generally misquoted in support of this outlandish theory, and her
interpretation convinced Mr. Spencer, so that he felt justified, all
at once. This good woman proved to be a great trouble to him
afterwards; she would harangue him, {128} once a week, on his
unconverted state, even after the _assurance_. Her letters came
regularly, four large pages, badly and closely written; and when she
had done canting on spirituality, she would fill up what remained with
the scandals of the unconverted among whom she lived, and complaints
at the cold treatment she received from many. She became a kind of
apostle among the Dissenters, and it was only when she had been living
on Mr. Spencer's charity for a few years that he discovered where the
strength of her spirit lay. He had reasons for not trusting to the
genuineness of her piety, though she kept continually writing from
North Shields, where she lived, sometimes in good and sometimes in bad
circumstances, since the regeneration of Mr. Spencer. When she
received one letter in which her sanctity was made little of, she laid
the blame on slanderous tongues, and talked about suicide. Mr. Spencer
then dropped the correspondence, and gave her a sum of money to
purchase a like favour on her side.

He used to amuse us much by relating the system of self-laudation and
encouragement that kept the Evangelicals interested in each other. One
day he was describing how a clerical friend of his became justified.
He had travelled a good distance, and was pretty tired; the family he
thought proper to honour with his holy presence in a certain town,
prepared him a most excellent breakfast. He ate with the appetite of a
very hungry man, and when a more secular guest would have said, _O jam
satis_, he jumped up from the table and shouted with ecstatic delight,
"I am justified." He never doubted of his election to glory after
that, as far as Father Ignatius knew. The most extraordinary feature
in their modes was, that a kind of telegraphic communication was kept
up with each other, all over the country, for the purpose of making
the elect aware of the latest addition to their numbers. On finding
his brethren were disposed to laugh at the extravagant madness of this
kind of religion, he grew quite serious, and said: "They are really in
earnest, poor things, and we ought not to laugh at them, only to pray
that their earnestness might be properly directed." One will say:
Could any man or woman with a {129} grain of common sense, go on
thinking and talking this kind of unreality, which we commonly call
_cant?_ As a fact, they do, and we have proof positive of it in Mr.
Spencer himself. It is astonishing to see a man of his position, good
sense, and education, talk and write in the strange way he does,
whilst this mood of mind lasted. Not only does he write so; he holds
conversations with every one whom he meets about the state of their
soul, and those which he calls _interesting_, others considered very
probably the reverse. He also takes soundings of people's spiritual
depth, and is seldom consoled at the result. He is satisfied with no
one, except two or three of his immediate neighbours who were fed
mostly on his bounty or served in his house or garden. He goes at this
time (September, 1825) to attend Dr. Blomfield as chaplain through the
visitation of the diocese of Chester. He is very zealous throughout,
and converses on spiritual subjects with Dissenters of all kinds as
well as Churchmen; he does not even leave behind the followers of
Joanna Southcote. Some were supposing once, in his presence, that it
was impossible for followers of Joanna Southcote, and the like, not to
be fully aware that they were being deluded. Father Ignatius said it
was not so, and related a peculiar case that he witnessed himself. He
happened to be passing through Birmingham (perhaps it was after he
became a Catholic), and had occasion to enter a shop there to order
something. The shopkeeper asked him if he had heard of the great light
that had arisen in these modern times. He said no. "Well then,"
repeated the shopman, "here, sir, is something to enlighten you,"
handing him a neatly got up pamphlet. He had not time to glance at the
title when his friend behind the counter ran on at a great rate in a
speech something to the following effect. That the four Gospels were
all figures and myths, that the Epistles were only faint
foreshadowings of the real sun of justice that was now at length
arisen. The Messias was come in the person of a Mr. Ward, and he would
see the truth demonstrated beyond the possibility of a doubt by
looking at the Gospel he held in his hand. Whilst the shopman was
expressing hopes of converting him, he took {130} the opportunity of
looking at the pamphlet, and found that all this new theory of
religion was built upon a particular way of printing the text, _Glory
be to God on high, and on earth peace to_-WARD'S _men_. On turning
away in disgust from his fruitless remonstrances with this specimen of
WARD'S _men_, he found some of WARD'S _women_ also in the same place;
and overheard them exclaiming, "Oh! little England knows what a
treasure they have in ---- jail." The pretended Messias happened to be
in prison for felony at the time. He assured us that these poor
creatures were perfectly sincere and earnest in the faith they had in
this malefactor.

The characteristic features of the Low Church school, or whatever name
the religious bias of Mr. Spencer's mind at this time may be called,
are, a certain self-sufficiency and rank spiritual pride. It begins
with self and ends with self. From self springs the assurance of
salvation, for self's sake, too, and every one must feel him_self_ in
this mood before he can rely on himself. When this fancy gets
possession of a person's mind, they forthwith turn apostles, borrow
the language of inspiration even for table-talk, and no person is in
the way of salvation at all who does not completely fall in with the
stream of the new flood of ideas this notion brings into the
"_regenerated_" mind. No matter how worthy or great any person may
seem to the reprobate world, and did seem to the newly-made "saint"
before the assurance, they are now dark, lost, but hopeful if they
listen patiently to one half-hour's discourse upon the movements of
the Spirit. The vagaries of each mind are in proportion to the
imagination, and the facilities for expanding them by giving them
expression. But far or near as they may go, self, proud self, is the
beginning and end of them all.

The woman who was instrumental in "regenerating" Mr. Spencer writes in
one letter to say that she has "no pride," and that no one ever could
accuse her of being infected with this passion. At the same time, ay,
in the very next sentence, we have wrath and indignation at some of
the unregenerate who do not think proper to pay court to her. The
sweeping condemnations hurled against two or {131} three worthy
clergymen, which opened Mr. Spencer's eyes to the imposition practised
upon him, are further evidences of the same spirit. Mr. Spencer's own
ways of acting will be a fair sample of this kind of thing. During his
visit to Chester in 1825, he lectures the Bishop on several different
occasions, and considers himself quite qualified to do so by virtue of
the new spirit he has imbibed. One of the conversations he describes
thus:--"After dinner we had an animated discussion, in which I took a
lead against the field almost. Before going to bed, I had half an
hour's private conversation with the Bishop, most interesting _on his
account_. I humbly thank God who has heard my prayers, and made me a
lowly instrument in His hands for the good of this already admirable
man." In the next sentence he tells us that, in travelling home to
Althorp, "I did not read much, but thank God was enabled to keep my
mind in godly meditation almost all the way. God knows how blind and
perplexed I am still." We have taken the liberty to mark some words in
italics in the first quotation, as they show what is confirmed by
other passages, too numerous to be quoted, how high he had risen in
his own estimation when he considered a bishop benefited by half an
hour's conversation with him. He is very hopeful, though, of bringing
all the world to his ideas, and says of his family: "God grant me the
continuance of that kindness which lies between me and all my family
till such time as their hearts may be truly opened to my word."
Another reason why we are rather sparing in extracts is a respect for
a passage which occurs here in the journal. "I have put down many
circumstances in this journal relating to private discussions with
persons in religion. Should they fall into strange hands, be they
bound in conscience to use them discreetly." We simply quote what is
necessary to give a correct notion of the state of his mind. He
carried his zeal a little too far betimes, "he went so far as to
consider it the duty of a clergyman to call on and rebuke any brother
clergyman, whom he might consider negligent in his ministerial
office."

{132}

Thus a fellow-clergyman writes:--

  He got into some difficulties at this time in consequence of
  reporting to his bishop a clergyman who would not listen to his
  remonstrances; but mutual explanations succeeded in making
  everything right. The clergyman in question lived away from his
  cure, and thought proper to enjoy unclerical, but otherwise
  harmless, sports. Mr. Spencer, of course, was against this, but did
  not succeed in imbuing the other with his sentiments.
  Notwithstanding these notions of self-righteousness, he was far from
  incurring much censure for officiousness. His character and mode of
  life gained him so much respect that he could administer even
  reproof without provoking anger, except where it was too richly
  deserved. A letter of Dr. Blomfield's to him after this visit, bears
  out this remark. The Bishop says: ... "I hope you will look back on
  your visit to Chester with pleasure. You may have the satisfaction
  of believing that you have done good to many _young_ clergymen, who
  had an opportunity of conversing with you, if not to many _old_
  ones. I was very glad to set before them the example of a young man
  of rank and good prospects devoted in singleness of heart to the
  duties of his holy calling."

That his single-mindedness and piety should have thus led him astray
is not to be wondered at; for, besides the want of a state where such
virtues could be properly cultivated, he had to breathe a religion
whose first principles tend directly that way. The exercise of private
judgment in what primarily concerns salvation must always lead one
astray, because articles of faith are not creatures of human
intelligence, neither are they within its compass to understand. He
had, of course, a private judgment shackled by contradictions, as
every subscriber of the Thirty-nine Articles has. He had an authority
to obey which gave a dubious sound, and he was told plainly by the
same voice that itself was defectible; the only tie to obedience was
the condition on which he discharged his clerical functions; it was
natural that he should see through this, from his very single-mindedness,
and overlook the conditions while trying to unravel the knots with
which they bound him. His birthday reflections this year, 1825, show
that he did not begin to retrace his steps. They are as follows:--

{133}

  "Dec. 21. ...
  This day sees me 26 years old, and blessed be my Almighty Protector,
  the last year has greatly advanced me in hope and knowledge of
  salvation. A reference to my observations last birthday shows me a
  great alteration in my views. What admirable methods does He employ
  in bringing sinners to himself? During the last half-year I reckon I
  must fix the time when by the most unlikely means God has brought me
  to faith and knowledge of His grace. I solemnly devote the next year
  and every day and hour and minute of my future life to coming nearer
  to Him, to learning His ways and word, and to leading others to the
  same knowledge, in which He has caused me to exult with a joy
  formerly unknown."

{134}


CHAPTER VI.

Opposition To His Religious Views.


Mr. Spencer was so taken with his new birth that he tried to have all
his friends and acquaintances born again after his own fashion. He
made no secret, therefore, of his religious leaning; by letter and
word of mouth he tried to bring all to his side. We find, from his
correspondence at this time, a shower of letters from every point of
the clerical compass where there was authority or influence enough to
muster a cloud for their discharge. In looking over such of the
letters as he has thought well to preserve, one is struck at once with
the diversity of opinion. It is better not to give names, perhaps; but
a few sentences from each may not be out of place.

  Rev. Mr. A.--"I have read your letter through with great care, and I
  can say with truth, that it has produced much the same effect upon
  the eye of my mind which the full blaze of the meridian sun
  sometimes produces upon the natural eye. It has been almost too much
  for me." The letter goes on encouraging him in his spirit,
  fortifying him against all carnal opposition. This gentleman is of
  the same mind as Mr. Spencer, but more glowing in his zeal for the
  great cause of Gospel freedom.

  Rev. Mr. B.--"I address myself to one who, from that love of Christ
  which passeth knowledge, has evinced an anxiety for me, who am less
  than the least of all saints, and an unprofitable minister of the
  Gospel of God." This gentleman's language is of the right stamp; but
  he does not agree so perfectly, and arranges for a meeting, where
  they are to have a mutual adjustment of ideas.

{135}

  Rev. Mr. C.--"This is very well at the commencement. I trust the
  Lord will add more, in the best sense of that expression."

  Rev. Mr. D.--".... To this I will never consent [renewing left off
  discussions], being satisfied (as I have before stated to you) that
  every man who is able and willing and sincerely endeavouring to
  learn and practise his duty, ought to be left in the quiet and
  undisturbed possession of his own conscience, and not forced from it
  against his will by others who happen to form a different judgment.
  In our former conversations, you told me, as plainly as language
  could well do, though perhaps not entirely at one interview, that
  you considered me to be an unconverted sinner, as destitute of the
  truth as any heathen could be, and in a state of perdition; and you
  seemed to think that I could be recovered from that fearful
  condition by that horrid system of indiscriminate condemnation and
  terror which prevails (I find) at Northampton in its most odious
  form, and which I believe to be essentially opposed to the
  principles of the Christian religion, as it is repugnant to those
  natural feelings of kindness and benevolence which God has implanted
  in the human breast."

It might be fairer to transcribe his entire letter; but then the other
letters have the same claim, and that would make a new volume, for
some of the letters extend over fifteen pages of foolscap paper,
closely written. The sum of the remaining part is this, that he is
twenty-one years in holy orders, and that God could not have allowed
him to be in error all that time. He says that, "I never can for one
moment admit that any one is more anxious for my happiness than I am
myself, nor that any person has a greater right to decide than I have
by what means that happiness shall be sought. A man's own
conscientious judgment is the proper guide in such cases." He then
refers Mr. Spencer to others more learned than he for the discussion
of those matters, and mentions the Bishop of Chester and John Rose,
"whose qualifications for the task are incomparably superior to mine."
This gentleman seems to hesitate between Mr. Spencer's opinions and
his own, and is rather uneasy lest he might be wrong, yet does not see
{136} the use of troubling himself, as it is all the same in the end,
when one tries to do what his conscience tells him is right.

Rev. Mr. E. is a doctor, so let us listen to him. After a rhetorical
preface, in which he would make excuses but would not, because they
were such friends and did not want them, for handling his friend so
summarily, he thus launches forth:--

  "Although there can be but _one_ line of duty marked out in the
  situation of _every_ clergyman, and although, before God, the
  humblest and the loftiest in that profession are equally bounden to
  _pursue_ the same line of duty, and are, moreover, equally frail and
  'found wanting,'--yet I cannot bring myself to consider yours as by
  any means an _ordinary_ case."

After thus magnifying the importance of his subject, he neither agrees
nor disagrees, but discountenances Mr. Spencer's practices on
prudential motives. He staves off the whole matter of doctrine, and
talks about discipline.

The next quotation will be from a bishop. He very wisely and keenly
observes:--

  "Amidst a great deal that is excellent and of right spirit in your
  observations, there is a presumption and self-confident tone, which
  is altogether new in _you_, and in my opinion not very consistent
  with real humility. In fact, I almost wonder that this symptom, if
  you have ever recalled to mind your conversations, or read over your
  letters when written, has not made you doubt the reality of what you
  call your conversion; for I remember perfectly well your having
  observed to me, that the extreme confidence of those who hold
  Calvinistic opinions as to their own case, and their extreme
  uncharitableness towards, or rather _concerning_ others, were strong
  indications of some radical error in their notions, and so they will
  ever be considered by those who take the same view with St. Paul of
  Christian charity."

The Bishop then states the case very clearly at issue between them,
and points how far they agree and disagree upon the point of
_assurance_ and reliance on the merits of Christ, and proves his side
of the question by Scripture, Anglican divines, and common sense.

{137}

It is a very singular thing that this bishop, when he first heard of
the manifestations of Mr. Spencers Calvinistic spirit, concludes a
short letter to him thus:--

  "I recommend to your perusal a most interesting tract, which Blanco
  White has just published, 'The Poor Man's Preservative against
  Popery.'

  "Ever yours affectionately,
    *****"

These specimens are picked at random from a heap of letters. It looks
incomprehensible to a Catholic how such a state of things could be
possible in a system calling itself a Church. Not one of these, who
were the clergy working with him in the same field and in the same
way, dared to say, or knew how to say, "You have uttered a heresy."
Some agreed with him, some applauded him, some wanted to be left alone
in their old doctrines, and some begged leave very politely to differ
from him, and gave their reasons for so doing. The Bishop argued
warmly against him, but Mr. Spencer took up his lordship, and argued
quite as warmly for the other side of the question. If he did not put
them among the reprobate, they should very likely have let him alone.
Such was the state of _dogma_ in the Establishment in the beginning of
1826; it is scarcely improved, except in its own way, in 1865. No
definite teaching, nothing positive, nothing precise, all mist, doubt,
uncertainty, except that Popery is anti-Christian and subversive of
human liberty.

It is very hard to imagine, much less to realize, how these lukewarm
expressions of assent and dissent turned, in a few months, into a
tempest of opposition. Perhaps the following guess would nearly
account for it. We may conclude from the letter of Lady Spencer to Dr.
Blomfield (given in his life, page 70), on his being appointed to the
see of Chester, that she and Lord Spencer knew something about the
making of bishops and the mode of their _translation_. If she took
such an interest in a stranger, but a friend, it is not wonderful that
she should take a similar, if not a greater, interest in seeing a
mitre on the head of her own son. Lord Liverpool had not yet retired
from the head of the ministry, {138} and if his politics and Lord
Spencer's were sufficiently of accord to promote the man whom the Earl
patronized, they would be able to do a like service to the Earl's own
son in due course. Extreme Low Church views would never do for the
Episcopal Bench in those days, though many were raised to that dignity
with little High Church views. Whether Mr. Spencer's opinions clouded
this bright future, or that the noble family would feel it a disgrace
to have a son so methodistical, or whether real anxiety for his
spiritual welfare, or an endeavour to prevent a future that the
Bishop's ken seemed to have forecasted, troubled his parents, it is
difficult to say. At all events, Mr. Spencer's religious notions
caused a great commotion in the family, whilst those who abetted and
encouraged him went on preaching their sermons and reading their
services in their position, with one exception, and nobody seemed to
mind them.

Lady Spencer took her son to London, in the beginning of the year
1826, to have his new notions rectified by Dr. Blomfield. This good
doctor immediately prescribed for his patient, for he did not need
much feeling of his spiritual pulse after their correspondence. The
interview is thus described:--

  "Jan. 24.--My mother allowed me her carriage after breakfast, to go
  and see the Bishop of Chester. I did not find him at home, and so
  came directly back again. He was so good as to call on me
  afterwards, and sat talking with me a considerable time. His
  conversation was most pleasing to me, though I could see that we did
  not fully agree in our view of Christian doctrine (_sic_). He
  desired me to read Sumner's 'Apostolical Preaching,' which I sent
  out for and began doing before dinner."

His obedience to directors of all kinds was remarkable; but the
results were invariably contrary to their expectations. He began this
book at once, and be it remembered, he had read it twice before. Next
day he read on, and "marked many passages which he thought decidedly
wrong." He goes out a little, sees an old friend, and delights in
reading Cowper's "Task," exclaiming, "It is a great thing to be a true
Christian." He visits the Bishop in a day or two; they hold a
discussion, but part in charity; and the result was, {139} that Mr.
Spencer wrote him "the memorable letter" which scarcely left his
lordship a hope of salvation if he did not at once get assured of his
election.

A correspondence ensues now, which terminates in a promise given and
accepted of a longer stay in London, where matters may be settled in
conversation to their mutual satisfaction. In the mean time, Mr.
Spencer returns to his parish, and begins reading the New Testament in
Greek (another of Dr. Blomfield's prescriptions). As he lays down the
volume one day he exclaims, "How do I want the milk of God's word!"

An old lady whom he visits, in illness, dozes into a stupor, and
awakens unto Gospel faith. One evening he says:--"I spent this evening
with a mixture of scrupulosities and comforts, but trust soon to find
out what is the true Gospel freedom." There seem still some relics of
the old asceticism left in him, for on having to go to Peterborough on
some business, he says:--"I started in a chaise for Peterborough. I
had scruples about the heavy expense of this mode instead of coaches;
but I was consoled by the opportunity I had on the way of calling at
Titchmarsh, and having half an hour's conversation with Lyttelton
Powys. I got to Peterborough at 4½, dined with the dean and his lady
at 6, and spent the evening in hearing extracts from his intended life
of Bentley. I found myself in a land, alas! of spiritual barrenness;
but water-springs may rise in dry ground."

It was about this time, March, 1826, that he seems to have given up
reading anything in the way of theology, except the Bible. He gives an
odd dip into Cowper's poems, by way of recreation. He came across a
book called "The Convent," but immediately "discovered it to be
anti-Christian." This apparent quiet is, however, disturbed by the
play of the clerical artillery around him. The tone of one or two
extracts from the letters he received now will give an idea of the
vantage-ground these good champions of orthodoxy thought proper to
take. One writes:--

  "I know you did think it un-Christian-like to converse or employ the
  mind much on any subject but religion. To this almost entire
  exclusion of all other topics I decidedly object, {140} on the
  ground of its having a strong tendency to engender a pharisaical
  spirit, and of its being inconsistent with the common duties and
  occupations of life marked out for us by Providence, and contrary to
  the true interests of genuine Christianity. And my opinion in this
  respect has the sanction of some of the most excellent characters I
  have ever known--persons eminent alike for sound wisdom and
  discretion, and for a quiet and unostentatious, but sincere and
  fervent piety.

  "I cannot conclude this letter without remarking, that all your
  conversations with me, since you adopted your present views, have
  convinced me more and more that my own religious opinions are sound
  and yours erroneous; and that every day's experience confirms and
  strengthens me in the conviction, that the religious system which
  your friends at Northampton are pursuing (whatever charm it may have
  for enthusiastic minds) _is not the religion of the Bible_."

This is from the grumbler quoted above, as may be seen by the
style and sentiment.

Our friend the doctor calls him to task in this manner:--

  ".... You are endeavouring to make up for past deficiencies, or to
  atone for past errors, by renewed activity or rather extraordinary
  efforts. This you do in perfect sincerity; and, I believe, heartily.
  In consequence, instead of _one_ sermon on a Sunday there are _two_;
  instead of a _quarterly_ there is a _monthly_ sacrament; and, in
  addition, an evening lecture, with prayers, is pronounced every
  Wednesday evening. Now, supposing you had not taken this
  unfavourable opinion of your past feelings and views, would you have
  adopted such regulations? I think you would _not_; and yet, be it
  observed, the necessity for them was and is a matter totally
  irrelevant to your own private feelings."

The rest of this letter, the doctor's second, is to sober down Mr.
Spencer's fervour, and make him go on quietly, hoping thus to slacken
his enthusiasm and bring him to his former frame of mind.

It is sad to see a clergyman called to task for not being more worldly
and less zealous. He is, in fact, too much like a Catholic Saint to be
endured in the Establishment. {141} He must eventually abandon it, or
be stoned to death with hard words in it. We see the chink now through
which the first alternative gleamed on the Bishop; and we see the
disposition of Providence in moving him to confine himself to the
Bible, when some plausible Anglican work might have burnished up what
he had of Catholic instinct, and made it seem gold.

{142}

CHAPTER VII.

Progress Of His Religious Views.


It must not be supposed that Mr. Spencer broke away from the
Establishment by the religious notions he took up at this time; on the
contrary, his great hope is that he shall unite all the sects to her,
and he fancies they are being realized now among the Methodists in his
own parish. His cardinal point of opinion at this time was, that the
articles and formularies of the Anglican Church required some kind of
soul to put life into them and make them touch the heart; that this
life had been allowed to eke out of the Church in the days bygone, and
that it was high time to bring it back; the wording of the Church's
text-books gave room for his interpretation, and his whole line of
procedure was but acting upon it. Others interpreted differently, some
did not interpret at all; with both classes of opponents he maintained
an opposition so satisfactory to himself that his notions only gained
a stronger hold of his mind every day. We shall give some specimens of
the arguments urged against him by the second class of opponents, who
were chiefly influential members of his own family. One writes,--his
father:--

  "I will commission Appleyard to get the Hebrew grammar you mention
  and send it down, and I am very glad to hear that you intend to
  revive that study, which must be so useful to a clergyman, and which
  will I hope be an advantage to your mind by varying the objects to
  which you apply it, and by that means tend to relieve it from the
  effects of too intense an application to the more difficult and
  abstruse points of religious study; which, if not under the
  corrective guidance of greater learning and experience than it is
  possible for you yet to have, might lead into the {143} wildness of
  enthusiasm, instead of the sensible and sound doctrine which it
  becomes an orthodox minister of an Established Church to hold for
  himself and to preach to others."

Another,--his mother:--

  "Infinite peril attends the setting our duties and religious notions
  in too austere a point of view, and seeming mystic and obscure modes
  of speech when describing religious sentiments; and disparaging
  every effort to do right except it tallies exactly with some
  indescribable rule of faith which cannot be comprehended by
  simple-minded and quiet-tempered piety, is of all things the most
  dangerous, since the risk is dreadful either of disgusting, or
  repelling, or alarming into despair. Nothing proves the perfect
  ignorance of human character and the art of persuasion than this
  process. It never can do to terrify into doing right,--stubbornness
  and hopelessness must ever be the consequence of such ill-judged
  zeal; and to the preacher uncharitableness and spiritual pride.
  Milton's beautiful meditation of our Saviour, in 'Paradise
  Regained,' has two lines which exactly fill my idea of what ought to
  be the mode of doing good by precept:--

    "By winning words to conquer willing hearts,
    And make persuasion do the work of fear."

  .... Do not permit yourself to judge uncharitably of the motives of
  others because their religious sentiments are not always floating on
  the surface of their words and actions."

The remonstrances descend in a graduated scale from these elegant
remarks, through letters from old schoolfellows in an off-hand style;
frisky young matrons twit him in a very airy kind of argument, and all
seems to wind up in a flourish from a young officer, "How dy'e do, my
dear old parson; ever in the dumps, eh?"

The long visit to London is at length brought about. He writes in the
journal:--"April 13, 1826. At 9 set off for London. I leave Althorp
for a longer period than I have since taking orders. May God make it a
profitable excursion!" This visit was planned by the family and {144}
Dr. Blomfield, when they saw letters were unavailing, in order that
Spencer might be brought, by conversing with his old master, into
tamer notions on religion.

He accordingly dines and speaks with the Bishop and some clerical
friends, but the result was this note in the journal:--"I feel myself
in this great town like St. Paul in Athens. Not one like-minded man
can I now think of to whom I can resort. But God shall raise me some."
The next Sunday after his arrival in London he is asked by Dr.
Blomfield to preach in St. Botolph's Church, Bishopsgate street. This
sermon was to be a kind of profession of his faith. His own
commentaries on it are thus: "I had the wonderful glory of preaching a
full and free gospel discourse in the afternoon to a London
congregation, and God gave me perfect composure and boldness; and
although he liked not the doctrine, the Bishop was perfectly kind to
me afterwards." The Rev. Mr. Harvey, Rector of Hornsey, says, in a
letter he had the kindness to write to one of our fathers: "My first
acquaintance with Mr. Spencer was about 1824 or 1825, when I was
curate of St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, of which Archdeacon Blomfield,
afterwards Bishop of London, was rector. Mr. Spencer had been a pupil
of the Bishop's, and was always regarded by him with great interest.
He generally came to him to stay for a few days in the spring, and
used then to come and see me, and accompany me in my pastoral visits.
He was a person of a most tender and loving spirit, very distrustful
of himself, and very anxious to arrive at truth. On one occasion I
remember his preaching on a Sunday afternoon at St. Botolph's, when
Dr. Blomfield, then Bishop of Chester, read prayers. To the surprise
of every one he took the opportunity of explaining his particular
views of religion, which were then decidedly evangelical, intimating
to the congregation that they were not accustomed generally to have
the Gospel fully and faithfully preached. The Bishop of course was
pained, but merely said, 'George, how could you preach such a sermon
as that? In future I must look over your sermon before you go into the
pulpit.' I do not vouch for the details, but this is what {145} I
recollect as far as my memory helps me at this distance of time."

Mr. Spencer went to hear others preach, and forms his opinions of each
according to his way of thinking. Here are some specimens:--

  "The Bishop of Bristol preached in the morning for the schools, a
  sermon worthy of Plato rather than St. Paul." Another day: "Went
  with all speed to Craven Chapel, where I heard Irving, the Scotch
  minister, preach nearly two hours. I was greatly delighted at his
  eloquence and stout Christian doctrine, though his manner is most
  blameably extravagant." Another day: "I went with Mr. A---- and Miss
  B---- to hear Mrs. Fry perform, and was delighted with her
  _expounding_ to the prisoners in Newgate."

He seems to advance more and more in his own religious views; and he
says his father was wretched about them. He gets an opportunity of
preaching in the West End of London, and writes thereupon: "O my God,
I have testified thy truth to east and west in this horrid Babylon."
He soon after returns home, and is so far improved that he determines
to preach extempore for the future; in this he succeeds very well.
What led him to this resolve was the facility with which he could
maintain a conversation on religious topics for any length of time,
and the rational supposition that he might do the same, as well in the
pulpit as in the parlour.

A letter to the Rev. Mr. Harvey, which is the only one that we have
come across of those written by him at this time, gives a fair idea of
the state of his mind: it was written on his return to Althorp after
this London visit.

    "_August 3, 1826._

  "My Dear Harvey,--Bishop Heber's sermon I think beautiful. I am also
  pleased with all that has come of late from Bishop Sumner. His
  apostolic preaching does not fully satisfy me, and I have little
  doubt, from his writings, that he would not consider it as exactly
  representing his present views. .... It must be admitted that St.
  Paul's sins before his conversion are not so heinous as {146} those
  of many who have not ignorance and unbelief to plead in their
  favour. ....  With regard to the question whether we be under guilt
  and eternal wrath, or in the favour of God and on the way of life,
  it seems to me highly dangerous to look to any distinction but this
  plain one, 'He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the
  Son of God hath not life.' .... Having thus ventured an opinion to
  you, I will go on to say that I wish I could have some conversation
  with you at large on these matters. I do not wish to introduce
  discussions on these points with my brethren, except when I am led
  to it by circumstances, and therefore I never entered on the subject
  with you during my stay in London. I have sometimes blamed myself
  for it, because you seemed to me to be so candid and unprejudiced
  that I might have done so without any risk of displeasure. I now
  tell you that I was much pleased always with the spirit of your
  sermons and with all your feelings, as far as I could judge of them
  from conversation; but I could plainly perceive that your views of
  fundamental doctrines were not what, I am convinced, are the right
  ones according to the Word of God and the Articles of our Church.
  The Bishop would have told you, I suppose, that he and I were at
  variance on these points, though in mutual regard and attachment I
  humbly trust we never before were so nearly united. Indeed, I never
  had an argument with him which did not leave me in admiration of his
  genuine meekness and charity. .... I reckon him very nearly right,
  and I am sure that he has real humility and an inquiring spirit; and
  so I firmly trust that, by God's blessing, he will be led to
  acknowledge the whole truth, and that very shortly. .... All that I
  venture to say is that he has not, to my mind, yet taken the right
  view of the plan of Redemption. But I am so convinced of his being
  on the right way to it, that I could almost engage to acknowledge my
  own views wrong (though I have not a single doubt of them now), if,
  before his departure, which God send may be distant, he does not
  declare his assent to them. I believe that you are just of the same
  mind on these things, as I was myself a year or two ago. {147} You
  probably know that my present views are of comparatively recent date
  with me. They are, in fact, what I have at last settled into, after
  two or three years of extreme doubts and oscillations and
  scrupulosities. I thank God that from all these He has delivered me,
  except the trouble and annoyance of my own evil heart, from which,
  however, I do not expect complete freedom, while in this tabernacle.
  As to writers on the subject, I have none, besides the formularies
  of our Church, whose doctrines and principles I like better than
  Thomas Scott's. There are some points of discipline, however, in
  which I do not go along with him. But I now attach myself most
  exclusively to the Word of God and prayer, as the method of
  increasing in knowledge, and feel delighted in the freedom which I
  have gained from the variety of opinions of learned men, which used
  to perplex me so grievously."

This is what he looked upon as being in the Gospel freedom, that he
was free from doctors; and it is a freedom. If Anglican doctors were,
like our theologians, all of a mind in doctrine, with a certain margin
for diversity of opinion in things of minor consequence, or in the way
of clearing up a difficulty, it might be borne; but when one has
theologians for guides who agree about as much as one living clergyman
agrees with another, it is surely a freedom to be delivered from a
yoke that presses on so many sides, and forces so many ways at once.

{148}


CHAPTER VIII.

Some Of The Practical Effects Of His Views.


It is high time that we should turn from the abstract consideration of
Mr. Spencer's views, and test their efficiency by the great standard
of good and evil--facts. The facts, bearing upon our subject, which
the Journal gives up to this period of his life, the close of 1826,
and beginning of the next year, may be summed up in few words. One old
woman was the only one of whom he could say, "she seems fully
established in religion;" and it is remarkable that this very person,
Mrs. Wykes, became a Catholic later on. All the rest were in different
stages of fermentation; some "hopeful," some "promising," some
"ripening unto light," and so forth: they ripen more and more
according to the number of his visits; but if it should happen that
they did not need material help from him, they very soon got back to
their old way again, and poor Mr. Spencer used to return, after his
day's apostleship, much humiliated at his want of success. In fact,
his missionary work was a perfect representation of Protestant
missions to the heathen. He distributed Bibles and blankets,
prayer-books and porridge, and three of his best and most hopeful
proselytes went mad, and were sent to the county lunatic asylum. Of
himself, he tells us that he used to spend from two to three hours
daily in godly contemplation. Of this he began to get tired after some
time, and gives the following extraordinary notions of his interior
state:--

  "Sep. 2. I was employed chiefly in reading Gr. Testament; but I find
  myself very far yet from that state of real activity of mind which I
  ought to gain. I wish for such experience in Christ as not to need
  spiritual exercises as constantly as I now do to keep up communion
  with God, and so have more time for active labour."

{149}

  "Sep. 12. I went to Nobottle at 12 and returned at 3. I called in
  every house except Chapman's, and, alas! I found _not one soul_ over
  whom I could rejoice as a true child of God. Yet there are signs of
  hope in a few. What an awful scene it would be if I had eyes to see
  it, or how great is my deliverance, who, though not less deserving
  perdition than any, am yet planted in the House of God, and rejoice
  through Christ in the hope of His glory."

He begins the new year, 1827, with the following:--

  "I have found my mind so far from settled that I never saw myself
  more in need of God's grace. But I shall find it."

Strange prophecy; he was determined never to rest content until he
could feel right with regard to God and his salvation, and it is
needless to say that he was far from this, notwithstanding his great
Calvinistic assurance.

Every new Dissenting minister that comes into his parish, he makes it
his business to call upon and see if they could not unite their
respective flocks, even by compromising differences. He sometimes
comes home flushed with hope, and then, when he tries to persuade his
fellow-clergymen of the Establishment to make advances to Methodists
or Baptists, their coldness brings his hopes to nought. Nothing
disheartened, he comes to the charge again, and is buoyed up, the
whole time, by the hope of one day or other seeing his beloved people
in one fold, under the care of one shepherd.

He removes in the middle of this year to the house he built for
himself at Great Brington, and he learns the pleasures of housekeeping
in a few weeks by the difficulties he encounters in the management of
servants. The rest of the year, until towards October, goes on rather
calmly; no incident of importance occurs except the preaching of his
Visitation Sermon. The Bishop of Peterborough, Dr. Marsh, comes to
make his diocesan visitation in Northampton, and the Honble. and Rev.
Mr. Spencer is asked to preach before him. He does so very nervously,
and although he introduces one passage into that sermon indicative of
his peculiar views, the Bishop was so pleased with it, {150} that he
ordered him to print it. It was printed accordingly, and Mr. Spencer
sent copies to all the friends he could remember; he even sent some
across the Atlantic to old schoolfellows. Between thanks for the
reception of this favour, and mutual acknowledgments of esteem and
regard, with compliments and returns of the same, an interval is given
him to prepare for another storm on the score of his opinions.

The second volume of his diary concludes with some distressing
discussions and family animadversions on his ways of thinking. It
sounds rather strange in Catholic ears that lay people should deem
themselves qualified to lecture a clergyman on what he ought to
believe and teach; it ought not, if he remembers that we are speaking
of a land of private judgment, where every one is qualified to think
and dictate to his neighbour. The friends take their arguments now
from a different point. Mr. Spencer had built his new rectory and gone
to live there; the architect had done his part so well, that he would
sometimes come off the coach, when passing near Brington, so that he
might have another look at this specimen of material comfort. It was
furnished, too, in a befitting style, for George went even to London,
and took counsel with his mother and others on what things were proper
and best suited for a parsonage. The best upholsterers were made to
contribute from their stock of cupboards, beds, mattresses, chairs,
and tables, and when the van arrived at Brington, there were several
connoisseur female relatives invited to give their opinions on the
colouring and papering of the rooms, the hanging and folds of the
window curtains, and the patterns of the carpets. All was finally
arranged to the satisfaction of all parties, and only one thing was
wanting,--"the partner of his joys," or troubles, as they would be
now, poor man.

Bright ideas struck his friends about this time. It was thought, in
very high and intellectual circles, that if the young rector of
Brington were married, he would settle down quietly in the snug
parsonage, and make metaphysical ideas give way to the realities of
life. This they concluded was the short road to his settlement, and he
himself used {151} often to tell how long arguments on religious views
often ended with, "Well, George, get yourself a wife, and settle down
like your neighbours, and all these dreams will vanish." To their
surprise, however, they found the young rector as difficult of
persuasion in this point as in his other notions; but experience gave
them the advantage over him here, and they were determined not to be
foiled. The want of a house to bring the bride to, was thought to be
the sole objection heretofore, and perhaps it was; that was now
removed. Suggestions to that effect reach him in letters from his
friends about this time. The following is a specimen:--

  "It is probable that I shall return to Brington for the winter. If N
  *** or N *** succeeds in a matrimonial alliance on your account, I
  hope you will speedily let me know; perhaps an insinuating
  advertisement in the _Morning Post_ might be useful to you. Joking
  apart, I shall be most happy when the time comes for wishing you
  joy."

Insinuations and arguments did not avail, so they had recourse to
stratagem. One would not like to suspect that the Bishop of Chester
was let into the secret, though he ought to be a capital hand at such
things, as he had the hymeneal knot twice tied upon himself. However
that may be, the plot was laid, hatched, and the eggs broken as
follows:--Towards the end of October, 1827, he accompanied Dr.
Blomfield on a visitation through the diocese of Chester. He was taken
a little out of his way in order to preach in a church near
Warrington. The rector of this place asked him specially;--what was
his surprise to find his "old flame," Miss A ***, as mentioned in a
former chapter, there ready prepared to be one of his listeners. He
walked with her to church, and was delighted with her company; he used
to say he never preached, whilst a minister, with greater satisfaction
than on that day. Coming home from church he had to hear out
compliments about his preaching, and he spent the evening with a
clerical party--one was a clergyman who was about being married to the
sister of Mr. Spencer's favourite. It was thought everything would
come round then, and that some kind of arrangement would be made for
the future; but Mr. Spencer, though pleased, {152} was not anywise
romantic, nor apt to put his head into a halter from which it would
not be so easy to draw it back. It was well, however, that he was
pleased, and he evinces as much himself in his Journal, when he says:

  "Sunday, Oct. 21.
  I begin this volume with one of the most interesting Sundays I have
  ever spent. After breakfast with Mr. ***'s family, we went to church
  about half a mile from the house, where I preached the first sermon
  which it has been given me to preach in this diocese; and I am
  pleased that it should be in this church and before N *** N ***
  among other hearers, with whom I now converse as pleasingly as in
  former times, but on higher subjects. With her and her sister I
  walked home, and again to evening service, where I read prayers and
  Mr. *** preached."

But this argument met the fate of all that had been spent on him for
the last three years. It seemed all settled as far as he was
concerned; for there was no doubt on the other side. He got into his
carriage to drive up to Althorp, and ask his father's consent. When
near the door, he called to the driver to stop, and turn to the
rectory. He had just formed the resolution _never to marry_. It was
not that he did not like the intended partner, it was an affair of
long standing; but he remembered the words of St. Paul: "He that is
unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may
please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are
of the world, how he may please his wife" (1 Cor. vii. 32, 33, Prot.
version). No one was ever able to shake this resolution, and the
repeated attempts of others to do so only strengthened it the more. He
often related this incident to us, and when asked, if he then thought
of the Catholic priests, "Oh, I might, but I thought it was some
superstitious motive that made them live single; I thought I made a
new discovery myself;" he would reply.

A change takes places now in his finances. He was Always extremely
charitable, and his housekeeper tells of his equipment, when going out
to make his parish rounds, of a morning. He would carry a bottle of
wine in his coat pocket, and as much money as he could possibly spare.
{153} These he distributed among the sick and the poor. He used also
to buy them medicines, and procure them clothes. Of course it was
found soon that a very large income would not suffice for the
liberality of the son, so Lord Spencer came to an arrangement with
him. He allowed him a liberal yearly income; but George feels it
rather hard, and complains of his straitened means in two or three
places of his Journal. However, he set to make the best of it, and
began by retrenchment from his own table. "By way of retrenchment, I
have left off wine and puddings or tarts, and I have reduced my
quantity of clean linen to wear." Ever himself, what he spared from
his own table he brought to the poor. "We shall transcribe the simple
account of this period of his life given us by Mrs. Wykes, who knew
him from a child.

  "His great charity to the poor and wandering beggars was unbounded.
  At times he gave them all the money he had, and stripped himself of
  his clothes to give them to the distressed; and when he had nothing
  to give, he would thank God he had only His holy truth to impart,
  and would speak of the love of God so fervently, that he would call
  forth tears from the poor objects of misery who came many miles to
  beg money or clothes of him. Many impostors presented themselves
  with the rest, but even those he thanked God for, and thought
  nothing of relieving them, as he said he lost nothing by them, but
  got a lesson of humility. Some poor afflicted mendicants would
  present themselves with loathsome sores, and these he would assist
  in dressing and try to cure. His house was always open for the
  distressed, and he often longed to make an hospital of it for the
  poor. He was all for gaining souls to God; he would often walk to
  Northampton to visit the lodging-houses, and most infamous dens of
  the dissolute, to speak to them of God's holy law and mercy to
  sinners. Indeed his whole time was devoted to doing good. He did not
  often allow himself the privilege of riding, but would walk to
  Northampton or further, carrying his clothes in a knapsack strapped
  over his shoulders, and would smile at the jeers and laughs against
  him, glorying in following out the practice of the Apostles. He
  fasted as well as he knew {154} how, much stricter than when he
  became a Catholic. In fact he allowed nothing to himself but plain
  living, and willingly granted better to others. He gave no trouble,
  but was always ready to wait upon others, and make them happy and
  comfortable. He was always ready to hear complaints, and turn
  everything into the goodness of God. He was indeed the father of the
  poor, and a peace-maker, though meeting with many contradictions,
  particularly among the Dissenters. He bore all with patience and
  cheerfulness, and went on hoping all would end well in due time."

The last _effect_ we shall record in this chapter is another passage
from his Journal:--"Saturday, Nov. 17. To-day I called on Mr.
Griffiths, Independent minister at Long Buckley, with whom I had one
or two hours' conversation of a very interesting kind. I see clearly
that all is not right with the Church." He means the Church of
England, of course.

{155}

CHAPTER IX.

Scruples About The Athanasian Creed.


In the December of 1827 the old scruples, that came into his head some
two years before, about the Athanasian Creed revived. Perhaps it is
better to give the words of the Journal before going into particulars
on this point. He says--

  "Tuesday, Dec. 4.--.... Thursby came to dine and sleep here. We
  conversed till nearly 12, almost incessantly, about his concerns
  first, then about mine. I let him know my thoughts of resigning my
  preferment on account of the Athanasian Creed. He was at first very
  much displeased at them, but seemed better satisfied as I explained
  myself."

  "Wed., Dec. 5.--I came down after a wakeful night, and much
  confirmed in my resolution to take decided steps about declaring
  against the Athanasian Creed. Thursby seemed to coincide much more
  nearly with my views. We talked on this and other topics until 11 or
  12, when he went away. I went out in Great Brington till 2; dined;
  then ran to Althorp .... came back and wrote long letters to my
  father and the Bishop of Chester, about my intended declaration, and
  probable resignation of my living. I here solemnly affirm that
  before last week I had no sort of idea of taking this step. I am now
  writing on Friday, fully determined upon it. The circumstances which
  led me to this decision are:--1st. My many conversations of late,
  and correspondence with, dissenting ministers, by whose words I have
  been led to doubt the perfectness of our Establishment. 2ndly. My
  discussions and reflections about retrenchments, leading me to
  consider the probability of more preferment, and how I could accept
  it. 3rdly. The quantity of Church preferment which has been of late
  {156} changing hands, by which I have been led to think how I should
  answer an offer myself. And, 4thly. My thoughts about signing
  Baily's boy's testimonial, which has led me to reckon more highly on
  the value of my signature."

From the letters of those who undertook the setting of Mr. Spencer's
troubles at rest, it appears that his difficulties about the
Athanasian Creed did not arise from the doctrines there put forth
about the Blessed Trinity and Incarnation; but that he objected to the
terminology as un-Scriptural, and to the condemning clauses in the
beginning and end of the Creed. Dr. Blomfield is the first to reason
with him; his answer to the letter above-mentioned is couched in the
following terms:--

  "The letter which I have just received from you astonishes and
  confounds me; not that I ought to be surprised at anything strange
  which you may do, after what I have lately witnessed and heard; but
  I must say, in plain terms, that your letter is the letter of an
  insane person. You profess to be willing to ask advice and hear
  reasoning, and yet you take the most decided steps to wound the
  feelings of your friends and injure the cause of the Church, without
  giving those whom you pretend to consult an opportunity of
  satisfying your doubts. You suffer your father to be with you two
  days without giving him a hint that you were meditating a step
  incomparably the most important of your life, and most involving his
  happiness; and then, in the midst of his security, write him a
  letter, not to tell him that you are doubtful on certain points and
  wish to be advised, but that your mind is made up and you are
  determined to act. Surely common sense and filial duty ought to have
  suggested the propriety of waiting till you had communicated with
  me, although even to me you do not state what your doubts and
  difficulties are with sufficient precision to enable me to discuss
  them; but you write a long panegyric upon your own sincerity and
  humility, of which I entertained no doubt, and thus, after repeated
  conferences with Dissenting ministers and Roman Catholic priests,
  far more astute and subtle reasoners than yourself, you are worked
  up into an utter disapprobation of one of the articles of our
  Church, having all along concealed your doubts from your nearest and
  dearest {157} friends, and from me, who had an especial claim to be
  made acquainted with them. Is this sincere and judicious conduct?"

He proceeds to some lengths in this style, then tells him that it is
one thing to doubt of the truth of a doctrine, and another thing to
believe it to be false, and that one should take no step of importance
until he thought in the latter way. He tells him to be quiet for some
time, and give him the objections one by one. This Mr. Spencer does,
and the answer is partly, that given in Dr. Blomfield's life, page 85,
and partly, another letter he wrote to him within a fortnight's time.
The argument of this good ecclesiastic shapes itself thus:--

  "The general proposition of excluding all from salvation who do not
  believe the doctrine of the Trinity and Incarnation, as set forth in
  the Athanasian Creed, is laid down with certain limitations. The
  Protestant Church does lay it down thus, as is evident from certain
  quotations from the Articles. Besides, she never intends to
  pronounce a condemnation on any, like the Church of Rome. The
  meaning, therefore, of these clauses is an assertion of the truth of
  the doctrine simply; and for this he quotes the opinion of some
  commissioned interpreters and the admission of "the most scrupulous
  and captious Baxter that such exposition may be received."

This is the sum of Dr. Blomfield's argument; he gives several other
authorities for his opinion. We need not be surprised that the
argument was not convincing; and Mr. Spencer says, in his Journal:--"I
had a letter from the Bishop of Chester this morning, which was weak
in argument and flippant; I hope good may result from it." The
weakness of the Bishop's argument arises from the dilemma in which he
was placed. If he said the Anglican Church does really condemn all who
hold not her doctrines, then she would arrogate to herself the claim
of infallibility which she takes good care to disclaim, and even makes
an article to that effect. If she does not condemn, what is the
meaning of allowing the clauses to remain in her formularies, and
require her ministers to subscribe, read, and preach them? His only
line of argument, considering his position, was to {158} steer a
middle course, and this he endeavoured to do, and succeeded pretty
well. But shifting difficulties by trying to reconcile contradictions,
is a process that may calm an easy-going mind, previously disposed to
indifference, but never can satisfy a clear, earnest one, that seeks
the truth in all its terrible reality and straightforward meaning. A
Church composed of a mass of heterogeneous elements in doctrine and
practice, must be very hard set indeed when driven to give an account
of herself. The wonder is, that she cannot see the absence of a Divine
guidance, even in the admissions she is forced to make, if not in the
very nature of her own human constitution. Only a Catholic can account
for a creed, and if there was not a body of living teachers with the
promise of Divine direction in their formal decisions and utterances,
the Church that Christ established would not exist; and only Catholics
can claim and prove this very hinge of their system, which
pseudo-bishops have their hits at when they writhe under the pressure
of difficulties they cannot answer.

The letter of this Bishop did not settle Mr. Spencer's mind--it
unsettled him the more. Two or three clergymen were invited to talk
him back to the old way, but with similar success. Lord Spencer then
gets one of the London clergy to undertake the task which foiled so
many. We give the father's letter of introduction, as it is so
characteristic of his paternal affection and concern, and at the same
time his due consideration for his son's conscientious difficulties.
The Earl was staying in Althorp for a few days, and left this letter
for George on his departure:

  "Your mother writes me word that Mr. Allen, of Battersea, will come
  and dine with her to-morrow, and remain here nearly the whole week.
  I am very happy at this, because, if you are sincere (and I do not
  now mean to question your sincerity) in wishing for information,
  instruction, and advice, I know of no man--either high or low,
  clerical or secular--more able to afford them to you, more correct
  in his doctrines and character, or more affectionately disposed to
  be of all the service he can to every one connected with {159} us,
  and to you in particular. But, my dear George, in order to enable
  yourself to derive all the benefit that may unquestionably be
  derived from serious and confidential communications on a most
  important subject, with such a man, you must be more explicit, more
  open, and more confidential with him than, I am grieved to think,
  you have yet been, either with your excellent friend the Bishop of
  Chester, or even with me, though I allow that in the conversations
  we have had together _in this visit_ to you here, I saw rather more
  disposition to frankness on your part than I had before experienced.

  "I should not thus argue with you, my dear George, if I did not from
  my heart, as God is my judge, firmly believe that your welfare, both
  temporal and eternal, as well as the health both of your body and
  mind, depended upon your taking every possible means to follow a
  better course of thinking, and of study, and of occupation, than you
  have hitherto done since you have entered the profession for which,
  as I fondly hoped, and you seemed fitted by inclination, you would
  have been in due time, if well directed and well advised, formed to
  become as much an ornament to it as your brothers are, God Almighty
  be thanked for it, to those they have entered into.

  "I still venture to hope, though not without trembling, but I do
  hope and will encourage myself in the humble hope, which shall be
  daily expressed to the Almighty in my prayers, that I may be
  permitted, before I go hence, to witness better things of you; and I
  even extend my wish that when I return hither on Friday, I may have
  the satisfaction of learning that your interviews with Mr. Allen,
  who I have no doubt will be well prepared to hear and to discuss all
  you have to say, have had a salutary effect; and that our private
  domestic circle here may be relieved from the gloom which, for some
  time past, you must have perceived to overhang it when you made part
  of it, and afford us those blessings of home so comfortable and
  almost necessary to our advancing age. I write all this, because,
  perhaps, if I had had the opportunity, my spirits, which are {160}
  always very sensitive, might prevent me from speaking it. God bless
  you, my dear George.

    "Your ever affectionate father,
      "Spencer."

The conferences he held with this Mr. Allen are faithfully noted in
the Journal, and many and long they were. To-day conversing, to-morrow
reading Hay and Waterland together, on the Athanasian Creed. He became
no better, but a good deal worse, and the _finale_ was that he wrote
to his own Bishop, Dr. Marsh, of Peterborough, to resign his living or
have his doubts settled. This was early in the year 1828.

This Bishop answers him thus:--

  "In reference to the doubts which you expressed in a former letter,
  you say: 'All that I was anxious about was to avoid any just
  imputation of dishonesty, by keeping an office and emoluments in the
  Established Church, while I felt that I could not heartily assent to
  her formularies.'

  "If this difficulty had occurred to you when you were a candidate
  for Holy Orders, it would certainly have been your duty, either to
  wait till your doubts had been removed, or, if they _could not_ be
  removed, to choose some other profession or employment. Whoever is
  persuaded that our Liturgy and Articles are not founded on Holy
  Scripture cannot conscientiously subscribe to the latter, or declare
  his assent to the former. To enter, therefore, on a profession which
  requires such subscription and assent, with the _previous belief_
  that such assent is not warranted by Scripture, is undoubtedly a
  sacrifice of principle made in the expectation of future advantage.
  But you did _not_ make such a sacrifice of principle. ... Whatever
  doubts you _now_ entertain, they have been imbibed since you became
  Rector of Brington; and you are apprehensive that it may be
  considered as a mark of dishonesty, if, oppressed with these
  difficulties, you retain your preferment.

  "I know not at present the kind or the extent of these difficulties,
  and therefore can only reply in general terms. I have already stated
  my opinion on the impropriety of {161} entering the Church with the
  previous belief that our Liturgy and Articles are not founded on
  Scripture. But if a clergyman who believed that they were so at the
  time of his ordination, and continued that belief till after he had
  obtained preferment in the Church, begins at some future period to
  entertain doubts about certain parts either of the Liturgy or the
  Articles, we have a case which presents a very different question
  from that which was considered in the former paragraph. In the
  former case there was a choice of professions, in the latter case
  there is not. By the laws of this country a clergyman cannot divest
  himself of the character acquired by the admission to Holy Orders.
  He can hold no office in the State which is inconsistent with the
  character of a clergyman. To relinquish preferment, therefore,
  without being able to relinquish the character by which that
  preferment was acquired, is quite a different question from that
  which relates to the original assumption of that character: Nor must
  it be forgotten that a clergyman may have a numerous family
  altogether dependent on the income of his benefice, whom he would
  bring therefore to utter ruin if he resigned it.

  "On the other hand, I do not think that even a clergyman so situated
  is at liberty to substitute his _own_ doctrine for that to which he
  objects. By so doing he would directly impugn the Articles of our
  Church, he would make himself liable to deprivation, and would
  justly deserve it. For he would violate a solemn contract, and
  destroy the very tenure by which he holds his preferment.

  "But is there no medium between an open attack on our Liturgy and
  Articles and the entertaining of doubts on certain points, which a
  clergyman may communicate in confidence to a friend, in the hope of
  having them removed? If, in the mean time, he is unwilling to
  inculcate in the pulpit doctrines to which his doubts apply, he will
  at the same time conscientiously abstain from inculcating doctrines
  of an opposite tendency. Now, if I mistake not, this is precisely
  your case. And happy shall I be if I can be instrumental to the
  removal of the doubts which oppress you. I am now at leisure; the
  engagements which I had at Cambridge {162} respecting my lectures
  are finished; you may now fully and freely unburden your mind, and I
  will give to all your difficulties the best consideration in my
  power. "I am, my dear Sir,

      "Very truly yours,
        "Herbert Peterborough."

This letter evoked a statement of the precise points, and the
following was the answer:--

  ".... I now venture to approach the difficulties under which you
  labour, and I will take them from the words you yourself have used
  in your letter of April 30. In that letter, speaking of the Church,
  you say, 'I cannot at this time state any paragraph in her
  formularies and ordinances with which I cannot conscientiously
  comply, except the Athanasian Creed.' You then proceed in the
  following words: 'and now I must go on to state wherein I differ
  from this Creed: not in the parts which may be called doctrinal;
  that is, where the doctrine itself is stated and explained.' And you
  conclude by saying, 'the parts of the Creed to which I object are
  the condemning clauses.' And you object to the clauses on the
  grounds that they are not warranted by the declaration of our
  Saviour recorded in Mark xvi. 16, on which passage those clauses are
  generally supposed to have been founded. Whether they are so
  warranted or not depends on the extent of their application in this
  Creed, which begins with the following words:--'Whosoever will be
  saved, before all things, it is necessary that he hold the Catholic
  faith, which faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled
  (entire and unviolated, Cath. trans.), without doubt he shall perish
  everlastingly. Now the Catholic faith is this, that we worship one
  God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity.' So far, then, it is evident
  that they only are declared to be excluded from salvation who do not
  hold the Catholic faith, that is, as the term is there explicitly
  defined, who do not hold the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity. Now
  this doctrine has been maintained, with very few exceptions, by
  Christians in general from the earliest to the present age. It was
  the doctrine of the Greek Church {163} ...... and all the Reformed
  churches. To exclude from salvation, therefore, only those who
  reject a doctrine which is received by Christians in general, is a
  very different thing from the denial of salvation to every one who
  does not believe in all the tenets of a particular Church. The
  doctrine, _nulla salus nisi credas in Trinitatem_, bears no
  resemblance to the sweeping declaration _nulla salus extra Ecclesiam
  Romonam_. Surely, then, we may appeal to Mark xvi. 16, combined with
  Matthew xxviii. 19, in order to prove that a belief in the Trinity
  is necessary to salvation, and consequently to prove that those two
  passages warrant the deduction, that they who reject the doctrine of
  the Trinity will not be saved. The two passages must be taken
  together, in order to learn the whole of our Saviour's last command
  to his Apostles. If, then, our Saviour himself commanded his
  Apostles to baptize 'in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
  of the Holy Ghost,' and then added, 'he that believeth and is
  baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned;'
  it really does appear that our Saviour himself has warranted the
  opinion that a belief in the doctrine of the Trinity is such a
  fundamental article of the Christian faith that they who reject it
  do so at their own peril.

  "But you think that the anathema of our Saviour in Mark xvi. 16, had
  a different application from the corresponding anathema in the
  Athanasian Creed. Our Saviour spoke of those to whom the Gospel had
  been preached, as appears from Mark xvi. 15. And if the anathema in
  the Athanasian Creed had a more extensive application, or if it were
  meant to include not only those who wilfully rejected the doctrine
  of the Trinity when it had been duly explained to them, but those
  also to whom the doctrine had never been preached, and whose want of
  belief arose merely from a want of knowledge, I should likewise
  admit that the anathema of the Athanasian Creed derived no authority
  from Mark xvi. 16. But I see no reason whatever for the opinion that
  the anathema of the Athanasian Creed includes those who have never
  heard of the doctrine. Neither the Creed itself, nor the
  circumstances under which it was {164} composed, warrant such an
  opinion. Whoever was the author of it, the Creed was framed during
  the controversy which then distracted the whole of the Christian
  Church. It applied, therefore, immediately and exclusively to those
  who were partakers in or acquainted with the controversy. It could
  not have been originally intended to apply to those who had never
  heard of the controversy or the doctrine controverted. It would be,
  therefore, quite uncritical to apply it at present in a way which
  was not originally intended. Nor does the language of the Creed
  itself warrant any other application. When it is declared necessary
  to _hold_ the Catholic faith, and to _keep_ the Catholic faith, that
  necessity can apply only to those to whom the Catholic faith has
  been _presented_. Unless a man is previously put in possession of a
  thing, he cannot be said either to _hold_ it or to _keep_ it.

  "Surely the most conscientious clergyman who believes in our
  Saviour's declaration, recorded in Mark xvi. 16, may read without
  scruple the similar declaration in the Athanasian Creed. And if, on
  the authority of our Saviour, he may read the anathema in the
  beginning of the Creed, he may, without scruple, read the less
  strongly expressed anathema in the end.

  "In the hope that, after reading this letter, your mind will become
  at ease, I subscribe myself, dear Sir,

    "Very truly yours,
      "Herbert Peterborough."

This letter is a tolerable specimen of the Bishop's power of
reasoning, and very sharp it is too; but it does not exactly meet Mr.
Spencer's difficulties. He might object:--"What passage of Scripture
warrants our uniting together the two passages from St. Mark and St.
Matthew?" And "being _presented with_ a thing is not exactly the same
as _being in possession of_ a thing." "We should have the same warrant
for the remaining clauses of the Creed as for the first three,
otherwise, according to the Articles, we are not bound to receive
them; then why not erase them?' The Bishop would have no resource
here, except to fall back {165} upon the Church, and that was not the
point at issue; so perhaps he did well not to try. He uses tradition,
and Dr. Blomfield authority; but these could have no weight against a
Bible Christian, as Mr. Spencer was then.

A Catholic could very easily solve the difficulty. The Church has used
these terms to express her doctrine, and she says this is the revealed
doctrine; therefore it must be. No one can be saved who does not
believe the Trinity and Incarnation, implicitly or explicitly; those
to whom it has never been properly proposed, implicitly, and those to
whom it has, explicitly. Some theologians will have explicit credence
required of both classes, and say that God would even send an angel to
a savage, if he placed no obstacle, and reveal this mystery to him
rather than that he should die without it. And now it will seem very
strange to say that this doctrine is less terrible than the Protestant
open-arm theory. Yet, so it is, for we allow many Socinians and
ignorant Protestants and others to be in good faith, and perhaps never
have had this doctrine properly proposed to them. We suspend our
judgments with regard to them, and say if they live well they may be
saved. That is more than the Bishop of Peterborough could allow,
according to his principles.

{166}


CHAPTER X.

Incidents And State Of Mind In 1827-28.


His life, though perpetually floating on religious discussions and
doctrinal scruples, found other matters to check its course and employ
it otherwise for a few days more. The family were all in a great glow
of delight towards the close of the year 1827, in consequence of the
Honourable Frederick Spencer, who was commander of the _Talbot_
man-of-war, having distinguished himself at the battle of Navarino.
George, of course, was overjoyed; here was his brother, who pored over
the same lesson, played at the same games, and contended about the
same trifles as himself, crowned with laurels and in the flush of
victory. George loved him dearly, and these well-earned honours
imparted a season of sunshine to the clergyman, which all his gospel
fervour had failed to do up to this. Lord Spencer alludes to it in the
touching letter given in a former chapter; but like everything human,
this rose had its thorns. After the letters announcing the startling
determination which called forth the efforts of ecclesiastical
learning quoted in the last chapter, a great dulness fell over the
family circle. Mr. Allen did not clear the atmosphere, and Mr. Spencer
tells us feelingly in his Journal that his mother did not exchange one
cordial sentence with him during the whole term of her Christmas stay
at Althorp. This he felt, but bore in the spirit of a martyr; it was
inflicted upon him for what he thought right before God, and he tried
to make the best of it, wishing, but unable, to change the aspect of
things. The Bishop of Peterborough's letter had the effect of quieting
him for some time, in so far as he did not feel himself called {167}
upon to preach against what he did not assent to, but was content with
letting it remain in abeyance.

The old way of settling him is again revived. During the last week of
February, 1828, he notices three or four long conversations about
matrimony; he takes the subject into consideration, and reads the
Epistles to St. Timothy for light: but he is not convinced, and
continues in his determination. He might foresee the settlement of
ideas that would result from this step, if he considered the trouble
of setting his money affairs in order, which forced itself upon him
now. He says: "I was employed almost all day till three o'clock in
putting my papers to rights. I feel that I have been careless in all
matters of business, and this is wrong; for it leads me to be
chargeable and dependent on others, and that a minister especially
must guard himself against. It greatly shortens my powers of
liberality, and it makes men despise me. On all these accounts I trust
I shall overcome the evil, and be a good man of business." He is as
good as his word. He sends a full and clear account of his affairs to
his father, and his lordship makes an arrangement that places his son
in independence, whilst he is able at the same time to get clear of
all difficulties and debts incurred by his building.

To turn to his spiritual progress. He is not a whit nearer Catholic
faith now than he was when he returned from Italy, except that the
time is shorter. On June 29 he says: "It was St. Peter's day, and I
preached on the pretensions of the Pope." He also holdeth a tea-party
in the true Evangelical style, and says: "To-day the candle of the
Lord burnt brightly within me." He buys a mare about this time, which
does not seem to be as amenable as her master would wish, and he says
thereupon: "This mare disappoints me rather, and puts to shame my
boasting of God's blessing in buying her. Yet I shall not be ashamed
of my faith some day or other." It was usual with him at this time,
when he had a servant to choose, a journey to take, or anything
special to get through, "to seek the Lord in prayer therefor," and
proceed according to the inspirations he might get at the moment.
Bishop Blomfield scolds him {168} heartily about this, and shows him
the folly of using one faculty for a thing which God has given him
another for, and proceeding in his ordinary actions without the
ordinary means placed in his way. This was, of course, a delusion of
his; but two or three disappointments convinced him of its being akin
to tempting God.

He accompanies Dr. Blomfield in his visitation this year also, and he
gets very severely handled by him on the score of his religious views,
in the presence also of two other clergymen. The lecture turned
chiefly upon the inculcation of humility, and the subduing of that
spiritual pride which the Bishop noticed in a former communication. A
few days after this lecture, which sank deeply into Mr. Spencer's
mind, as a whole company were seated at dinner with the Bishop, a
letter arrived from the Duke of Wellington, announcing the translation
of Dr. Blomfield from Chester to London. This was July 25, 1828. His
reflections upon this news are: "God be praised;" and the next day he
says: "I wrote a sermon for to-morrow, and spent much time in prayer
for a quiet mind and superiority to the snares of ambition. It was a
most boisterous day, almost continual thunder and pouring rain. I
found fault with a good deal said by the Bishop in regard to his
promotion, but I pray that I may judge myself and not others."

He now relaxes a little in his Puritanism; he gives dinners, invites
guests, and notes that he has to pray against being too particular
with regard to his guests. A pretty large company dine at the rectory.
This is an essay in parties, and ladies are invited for the first time
since he commenced housekeeping. He had the ominous number of thirteen
at table, and it could not pass off without some mishap or other.
Contrary to old wives' rules, the servant was the unfortunate one. We
will let himself tell the story. "Mrs. Nicholls was in great misery
about breaking the dish, which made her send up the haunch of venison
upside down. I have cause to be thankful for this, as the means by
which God will humble her. The evening passed off well, and thank God
I was not careful or shy."

He comes across a Baptist minister, who so far outdid {169} him in the
Methodistic way of talking, that he writes: "I consider him a very bad
specimen of cant." After this, his outlandish gospelling comments upon
trifles and iotas begin to disappear. He becomes more rational, gets
into the ways of the world, reads newspapers, and is a very sensible
kind of man altogether. He notes in his Journal, here and there, that
he carries his own bundle, and works a part of the day at manual
labour in his garden. He also remarks that, the coldest day he ever
remembered, he went out without gloves or great-coat, and was unable
from numbness to write his sermon when he came home. He goes on the
coach next day in the same trim, and says he wants "to give an example
to the poor," and that "God preserved him from catching cold." Very
likely he had given the great-coat to some poor man the day before.
After a few complaints of quarrels among the clergy, and the manner in
which he has been treated by his family for the last three years on
account of his religious scruples, he concludes the year 1828 with the
following reflection:--"I now look back to this time a year ago, and
observe what I felt and wrote then, that God only knows where I should
be at present. Wondrously am I now placed still where I was, and in
all respects more firmly settled. Yet only confirmed in my
disagreement with the powers of the Church; but they have not been
willing to attend to me, and so when my thoughts become known, they
will be more sound and influential. What I now pray is, that I may be
led to a state of heart above the world, and may live the rest of my
time always longing for the presence of Christ, which I shall one day
see. While I abide in the flesh, may it be to no purpose but the good
of God's flock, and may I be led to suffer and to do many and great
things for His sake."

At this time he extends his correspondence to Mr. Irving, the founder
of the Irvingites, and is so struck by what that gentleman says on the
second coming of our Lord, that he begins to prepare himself for it.
He never let us know how far he went on in this preparation.

So far is he now, February 1829, from Catholicity in his opinions,
that his father thinks it necessary to rebuke him {170} for the
violence of a sermon he preached on the Catholic question; against
them, of course, for his father was always a stanch advocate of
Emancipation. Little he knew that on that day twelve months he would
be a Catholic himself.

It is recorded in the Journal here, that thieves broke into the
parsonage one night. Mr. Spencer heard them; he arose, called a
servant or two, pursued the delinquents, and captured them. This feat
tells rather in favour of his bravery, and might qualify the opinion
he had of himself on this point.

We shall give the result of the Creed question in his own words, as
given in the account of his conversion:--

  "My scruples [about the Athanasian Creed] returned after a sermon
  which I preached on Trinity Sunday, 1827, in defence of that very
  Creed. I observed that the arguments by which I defended the
  doctrine of the Trinity itself were indeed founded on Scripture, but
  in attempting to prove to my hearers that a belief of this doctrine
  was absolutely necessary for man's salvation, I had recourse to
  arguments independent of Scripture, and that no passage in Scripture
  could be found which declares that whosoever will be saved must hold
  the orthodox faith on the Trinity. I had this difficulty on my mind
  for eight or nine months, after which, finding that I could not
  satisfy myself upon it, I gave notice to my superiors that I could
  not conscientiously declare my full assent to the Thirty-nine
  Articles. They attempted at first to satisfy me by arguments; but
  the more I discussed the subject the more convinced I became that
  the Article in question was not defensible, and after fifteen
  months' further pause, I made up my mind to leave off reading the
  Creed in the service of my Church, and informed my Bishop of my
  final resolution. Of course, he might have taken measures to oblige
  me to resign my benefice, but he thought it more prudent to take no
  notice of my letter; and thus I remained in possession of my place
  till I embraced the Catholic faith.

  "The point on which I thus found myself opposed to the Church of
  England appears a trifling one; but here was enough to hinder all my
  prospects of advancement, and to {171} put it in the power of the
  Bishop, if at any time he had chosen to do so, to call on me to give
  up my benefice. It is easy to conceive that under these
  circumstances my mind was set free, beyond what could be imagined in
  any other way, to follow without prejudice my researches after
  truth. I lost no opportunity of discoursing with ministers of all
  persuasions. I called upon them all to join with me in the inquiry
  where was the truth, which could be but one, and therefore could not
  be in any two contrary systems of religion, much less in all the
  variety of sects into which Christians are divided in England. I
  found little encouragement in any quarter to this way of proceeding,
  at least among Protestants. Those sectarians of a contrary
  persuasion to myself, to whom I proposed an inquiry with me after
  truth, I found generally ready to speak with me; but they did not
  even pretend to have any disposition to examine the grounds of their
  own principles, which they were determined to abide by without
  further hesitation. My brethren of the Established Church equally
  declined joining me in my discussions with persons of other
  persuasions, and disapproved of my pursuit, saying that I should
  never convert them to our side, and that I only ran the risk of
  being shaken myself. Their objections only incited me to greater
  diligence. I considered that if what I held were truth, charity
  required that I should never give over my attempts to bring others
  into the same way, though I were to labour all my life in vain. If,
  on the contrary, I was in any degree of error, the sooner I was
  shaken the better. I was convinced, by the numberless exhortations
  of St. Paul to his disciples, that they should be of one mind and
  have no divisions; that the object which I had before me, that is,
  the reunion of the differing bodies of Christians, was pleasing to
  God; and I had full confidence that I was in no danger of being led
  into error, or suffering any harm in following it up, as long as I
  studied nothing but to do the will of God in it, and trusted to His
  Holy Spirit to direct me.

  "The result of all these discussions with different sects of
  Protestants was a conviction that no one of us had a correct view of
  Christianity. We all appeared right thus far, in {172} acknowledging
  Christ as the Son of God, whose doctrines and commandments we were
  to follow as the way to happiness both in time and eternity; but it
  seemed as if the form of doctrine and discipline established by the
  Apostles had been lost sight of all through the Church. I wished,
  therefore, to see Christians in general united in the resolution to
  find the way of truth and peace, convinced that God would not fail
  to point it out to them. Whether or not others would seek His
  blessing with me, I had great confidence that, before long, God
  would clear up my doubts, and therefore my mind was not made uneasy
  by them. I must here notice a conversation I had with a Protestant
  minister about a year before I was a Catholic, by which my views of
  the use of the Scriptures were much enlightened, and by which, as it
  will be clearly seen, I was yet farther prepared to come to a right
  understanding of the true rule of Christian faith proposed by the
  Catholic Church. This gentleman was a zealous defender of the
  authority of the Church of England against the various sects of
  Protestant Dissenters, who have of late years gained so much
  advantage against her. He perceived that while men were allowed to
  claim a right of interpreting the Scriptures according to their own
  judgment there never could be an end of schism; and, therefore, he
  zealously insisted on the duty of our submitting to ecclesiastical
  authority in controversies of faith, maintaining that the Spirit of
  God spoke to us through the voice of the Church, as well as in the
  written word. Had I been convinced by this part of his argument, it
  would have led me to submit to the Catholic Church, and not to the
  Church of England; and, indeed, I am acquainted with one young man,
  who actually became a Catholic through the preaching of this
  gentleman--following these true principles, as he was bound to do,
  to their legitimate consequences. But I did not, at this time,
  perceive the truth of the position; I yet had no idea of the
  existence of Divine, unwritten Tradition in the Church. I could
  imagine no way for the discovery of the truth but persevering study
  of the Scriptures, which, as they were the only Divine rule of faith
  with which I was acquainted, I thought must of course be sufficient
  for our {173} guidance, if used with an humble and tractable spirit;
  but the discourse of this clergyman led me at least to make an
  observation which had never struck my mind before as being of any
  importance,--namely, that the system of religion which Christ taught
  the Apostles, and which they delivered to the Church, was something
  distinct from our volume of Scriptures. The New Testament I
  perceived to be a collection of accidental writings, which, as
  coming from the pens of inspired men, I was assured must, in every
  point, be agreeable to the true faith; but they neither were, nor
  anywhere professed to be, a complete and systematic account of
  Christian faith and practice. I was, therefore, in want of some
  further guidance on which I could depend. I knew not that it was in
  the Catholic Church that I was at length to find what I was in
  search of; but every Catholic will see, if I have sufficiently
  explained my case, how well I was prepared to accept with joy the
  direction of the Catholic Church, when once I should be convinced
  that she still preserved unchanged and inviolate the very form of
  faith taught by the Apostles, the knowledge of which is, as it were,
  the key to the right and sure interpretation of the written word."

It was in April, 1829, that he wrote the letter to the Bishop which
was not taken notice of. He next withdrew his name from some
societies--such as the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, &c.
This act so displeased Dr. Blomfield, that he writes to say Mr.
Spencer is no longer his chaplain. At the suggestion of some member of
his family, he wrote an apology, and was restored again to favour and
to his office. On May 22, 1829, the Journal suddenly breaks off, and
he did not resume it again until the 1st of May, 1846. The events of
the seventeen years intervening can be gathered from his
correspondence, though, perhaps, not with the precision that would be
desirable.

{174}

CHAPTER XI.

The Maid Of Lille.


Incidents overlapped each other so thickly, and were of such different
tendencies during the last two years of Mr. Spencer's life as a
minister, that we have judged it better to give them singly, even at
the expense of a little sacrifice of the order of time. One of these,
and an important one, is selected for the subject of this chapter. On
the 23rd of November, 1827, just before his Athanasian scruples had
risen to their height, as he returned from his pastoral visitation, he
found a letter, purporting to be from a gentleman in Lille, "who was
grievously troubled about the arguments for Popery." This letter
contains little more than a statement of tendencies towards
Catholicity in the writer, with extracts from Papin, _De la Tolérance
des Protestants_, to account for them. The extracts draw a parallel
between the Church and a well-regulated kingdom, in many of her
doctrines and chief points of her discipline. It was anonymous, and
reasons were assigned for withholding the writer's name. Mr. Spencer,
ever anxious to counsel the doubtful, lost no time in answering, and
sent off a long letter to his unknown friend by that evening's post.
It was shortly after this that he wrote the letters to his father and
Dr. Blomfield about the resignation of his preferment, and whether the
Lille letter had anything to do with increasing his doubts, or not, is
a question. It had, however, one effect: it made him anxious to find
out what kind of people Catholics were; and an incident that occurred
about the same time aided this curiosity. There were some soldiers
quartered in Northampton, and, as Mr. Spencer was talking to some of
the officers in the court-yard of the barracks, the {175} Catholic
priest entered, to look after such of the soldiers as might require
his spiritual care. He saw the priest, and spoke to him; and, finding
out the object of his mission, kindly introduced him to one of the
officers, who, in consideration of Mr. Spencer, got all due attention
paid to the priest; and the good parson was assured that he succeeded
to his satisfaction before he left the place. A few days afterwards he
met the priest, who thanked him for his charity, and said it was
Providence sent him there at such a time, and arranged that his duty
could be discharged among the soldiers with ease and honour, which had
often-times to be done amid insults, or at least coldness on the part
of the military authorities. Mr. Spencer began to think, "Really these
Papists believe in Providence!" This wonderful discovery made him
think they believed a little more also, and that they were not quite
such idolaters as he had been taught to suppose. Another letter from
the Lille correspondent confirmed him in this, and shook him in many
of his older notions. He dines, in a few days after this despatch,
with the celebrated Dr. Fletcher and a Miss Armytage, at Lady
Throckmorton's. He has a long conversation with the last of the Douay
controversialists after dinner; but the only effect produced is this:
"I am thankful for the kindness of both those Papists. The Lord reward
them by showing them His truth." He invites Dr. Fletcher to dinner at
Brington--a favour the Doctor avails himself of on the 27th March,
1828. Another letter from his friend at Lille makes him acknowledge
that he has not had proper notions of Catholicity; in his own words:
"I expected easily to convince him that the Catholic Church was full
of errors; but he answered my arguments. ....  I discovered by means
of this correspondence that I had never duly considered the principles
of our Reformation; that my objections to the Catholic Church were
prejudices adopted from the sayings of others, not the result of my
own observation. Instead of gaming the advantage in this controversy,
I saw, and I owned to my correspondent, that a great change had been
produced in myself. I no longer desired to persuade him to keep in the
communion of the Protestant Church, {176} but rather determined and
promised to follow up the same inquiries with him, if he would make
his name known to me, and only pause awhile before he joined the
Catholics. But I heard no more of him till after my conversion and
arrival at Rome, when I discovered that my correspondent was a lady,
who had herself been converted a short time before she wrote to me. I
never heard her name before, [Footnote 7] nor am I aware that she had
ever seen my person; but God moved her to desire and pray for my
salvation, which she also undertook to bring about in the way I have
related. I cannot say that I entirely approve of the stratagem to
which she had recourse, but her motive was good, and God gave success
to her attempt: for it was this which first directed my attention
particularly to inquire about the Catholic religion, though she lived
not to know the accomplishment of her wishes and prayers. She died at
Paris, a year before my conversion, when about to take the veil as a
nun of the Sacred Heart; and I trust I have in her an intercessor in
Heaven, as she prayed for me so fervently on earth."

    [Footnote 7: The lady's name was Miss Dolling.]

This was the last of F. Ignatius's romances, and a beautiful one it
was. As it may be interesting to see what was in those famous letters,
we think it well to give a few extracts:--

  The line of the lady's argument is this. That Scripture without
  Tradition is quite insufficient for salvation. We cannot know
  anything about the Scriptures themselves, their composition,
  inspiration, interpretation, without Tradition. Besides the New
  Testament was not the text-book of the Apostles--it is a collection
  of some things they were inspired to write for the edification of
  the first Christians and others who had not seen our Lord; and the
  Epistles are a number of letters from inspired men bound up together
  in one volume. The body of doctrine, with its bearings, symmetry,
  extent, and obligation, was delivered orally by the Apostles, and
  the Epistles must be consonant to that system as well as explanatory
  of portions of it. Only by the unbroken succession of pastors from
  the Apostles to the present time, can we have any safeguard as {177}
  to what we are to believe, and how we are to believe. The Apostles
  and their successors were "to teach all nations," and Christ
  promised them and them alone the unerring guidance of the Holy
  Spirit. She then assigns to tradition the office of bearing
  testimony to what the doctrines of the Church have been, and are at
  present. The definitions of Councils are simple declarations that
  such and such is the belief then and from the beginning of the
  Catholic Church. They state what is, not invent what is to be. Now
  history, or written tradition, as contra-distinguished from
  Scripture, testifies to every single tenet of the Catholic
  Church--her creeds, liturgy, sacraments, jurisdiction. It testifies
  unerringly, too, even from the objections of heretics, to the fact
  that this Church has been always believed divine in her origin,
  divine in her teaching, infallible and unerring in her solemn
  pronouncements. This is fact, and who can gainsay it?

This peculiar way of arguing, by making tradition or history bear
witness to the existence of the Church, as well as to what she always
declared to be her doctrine, is a very felicitous shape to cast her
arguments into. It draws the line between faith and the evidence of
faith. Evidence, human evidence of the first grade of moral certainty,
says: The Church believed this, and that, and the other, at such and
such times, and not as a new, but as an old doctrine, that came down
from age to age since the Apostles. The same evidence says: that she
believed them as revealed by God, and that she could not be mistaken
on account of His promise. That she never swerved, and never will
swerve, from one single article which she has once believed. If this
Church be not _The Church_ of Christ, I ask you where is it to be
found?

In the second letter she says:

  "After much reflection I must confess to you their system appears
  reasonable, natural, and convincing. With us, they consider the Holy
  Scriptures as the most respectable testimony of our faith, and they
  profess a strict adherence to them; they have for them the greatest
  respect; and the Catholic priests support from the Bible what they
  {178} teach the people, and I am certain that they study and
  understand the Scriptures as much as our ministers. The principal
  difference I remark is, that they do not undertake to interpret them
  according to their own opinions: they say that the inspired writings
  are replete with mysteries, which the eye of man cannot penetrate;
  and that He alone who gave them is able to comprehend their
  sublimity; consequently, to follow the impulse of reason in
  explaining them, would be incurring the danger of falling into
  error, and leading others into the same path. For this cause the
  Catholic minister will not suffer the Holy Scriptures to be
  separated from the instruction of their predecessors up to the
  Apostles; not that they by any means give the word of man precedence
  to the Word of God, since they believe that man alone cannot explain
  it, for 'who,' they ask, 'assisted at the council of the Almighty?'
  But they believe that those who heard the Apostles preach,
  understood the true meaning of their words; and that their immediate
  successors, _especially_, educated by them, and who taught the
  Gospel during the life of their instructors, necessarily understood
  the meaning of their writings, the doctrine of which was undoubtedly
  conformable to what they taught verbally. ...."

  "St. Paul, in his Epistles to the Colossians, informs us that the
  Gospel was preached to all the world. This being the case, I see no
  possibility of introducing any new doctrine. The Apostles threatened
  with eternal punishment those who did not believe what they taught
  in the name of Jesus Christ. And whoever would have the temerity to
  add to the primitive doctrine they visited with a like anathema.
  Tell me, now, how could the Church have introduced such a doctrine
  as that of the Real Presence, after a priest has pronounced the
  words, "This is my body"? How is it possible that the faithful could
  reconcile themselves to the idea of acknowledging and adoring Jesus
  Christ present on the altar, as He was in the manger at Bethlehem,
  and as He is in Heaven at the right hand of His Father, if this
  doctrine had not always been received and believed as it is at
  present by the Roman Catholic Church? {179} Christians who knew the
  value of salvation could not so easily be deceived; several among
  them would have remonstrated against this superstition and idolatry.
  Do we find that they have done so?"

  "I imagine myself in idea at the period of the Reformation, and
  consider the belief and customs of that time. All Europe, the
  provinces of Asia and Africa which had not embraced Mahomedanism,
  admitted and believed the contrary to what Calvin taught, especially
  concerning the Lord's Supper. I should be glad to hear your
  impartial opinion on this subject. Where did Calvin find this
  doctrine? As I observe, he did not learn it in the schools, nor in
  any book, nor in his own family, nor in the temple of God; the
  innovation was universally opposed; a million voices remonstrated
  against his impiety. What right had he to be believed? He proposed
  only the interpretation which _he_ gave to the words of Jesus
  Christ, _This is my body_. He supported his opinion in no other way,
  he proved it by no miracles, and therefore did not deserve belief,
  since he gave no proofs of a divine mission. He was but a man, and,
  what is more, one of whom historians do not speak as being virtuous.
  Tell me, then, how can I acknowledge that he possessed the Holy
  Spirit, knew the meaning of Scripture. .... listen to and follow a
  young man in his opinion and oppose the rest of the world. Could
  that be wisdom?

  "But supposing, my dear sir, the Church to be in error, or even
  liable to err, how can we possibly profess to believe any mystery?
  For to have faith, it is impossible to doubt or hesitate. And if I
  believe not, I am lost. I am already condemned. 'He that believeth
  not is already judged.' If the Church be liable to error, may I not
  reply to our ministers:--'I doubt the truth of what you preach: I am
  not obliged to believe you'? You tell me I am not obliged to believe
  what _you_ so charitably wrote to me, and many passages of which
  letter have sensibly affected me: to whom, then, must I have
  recourse? You give me reason to conclude that you are not certain of
  the assistance of the Holy Ghost, as you do not oblige me to believe
  what you {180} say, but you desire me to compare your words with the
  Scriptures, and to reject them if I don't find them conformable to
  the Word of God. How can I imagine myself more certain than you that
  I rightly interpret them, or that I have the assistance of Heaven? I
  must continue to doubt during the rest of my life, and remain an
  unbeliever.

  "You say, 'if a man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine
  whether it be of God.' To do the will of God is certainly to listen
  to those God has sent to teach us. ....

She quotes several authorities bearing witness in their day that the
supremacy of the Pope was then believed to be of divine right, and
closes the list with Sir Thomas More.

  "By the grace of God I have always professed the Catholic religion.
  Having, however, often heard the power of the Pope was of human
  institution, I resolved to weigh the matter without, at the same
  time, injuring my faith. For seven years I followed up this study: I
  drank at the fountain head: I went to the origin of things. At
  length I found that the pontifical power is not only useful and
  necessary--but, strictly lawful and of divine appointment. ..."

  "I cannot admit the system of _particular_ inspiration, since I see
  many, pretending to be inspired, fall into manifest contradictions,
  and consequently into error. .... I admit with you that divine
  authority must fix the faith of men. Where am I to find it? It must
  exist somewhere. ...."

The third letter is partly a continuation of the second, and partly on
a new plan; so a few extracts from it must be welcome, especially as
it really did such work upon poor Mr. Spencer's mind.

  .... "It is certain that Jesus Christ founded a Church upon earth
  for the salvation of man; where, then, is it? This is certainly the
  whole question among the different sects opposed to each other. ....
  I must necessarily enter the true Church, for I cannot be saved in
  that which is false. ....

  .... "I am persuaded the Catholics do not found their belief on the
  opinions and interpretations of men; {181} their authority is Jesus
  Christ, God Himself; certainly that must be infallible, and the
  reason of man ought to bend to it. They believe in such and such
  doctrines because Jesus Christ and His Apostles taught them; this is
  the simple and reasonable motive of their faith. The doctrine of
  Jesus' and His Apostles is not an opinion, but a fact, which I see
  so completely proved by an assemblage of facts and circumstances so
  striking, that, not to be convinced of its truth, would be to
  renounce all common sense. .... The fact that the Catholic Church is
  in possession of the true doctrine is a fact proved like all other
  historical facts; it is proved by a weight of testimony given by
  persons who saw and heard themselves. Observe, it is not the
  opinions or interpretations given by those persons which are
  advanced as proofs, as you suppose in your letter; but all these
  holy persons have shed their blood to support and defend the truth,
  not of their opinions, but of what they have seen or heard. I can
  understand that fanaticism would induce a man to sacrifice his life
  to support a favourite opinion, but it has never yet been seen that
  any one would lose his life to prove that he had seen or heard
  things which he, in fact, had not. Tradition is not, therefore, as
  you suppose, the opinions and interpretations of the Fathers, but
  their testimony to what they saw, heard, taught, and practised. In
  the same way, the general Councils have fixed the sense of Scripture
  only by declaring the fact that such has been the universal doctrine
  since the Apostles. It is the assemblage of these proofs that brings
  conviction to the soul; they must all be seen united and compared,
  and this is undoubtedly a laborious study.

  "The Catholics believe that their Church is in possession of the
  doctrine taught by Christ, and listen to it as they would to Him.
  Judge from this how strong and lively must be the faith of a
  Catholic, how firm and immovable, since the voice of their Church is
  the voice of their Saviour, and the interval of eighteen hundred
  years disappears as they every day hear the voice of Jesus. There
  cannot be any division in this Church. It being an historical fact
  that the same doctrine has been taught from the beginning by the
  {182} infallible mouth of Jesus Christ and His Apostles, it follows
  that _all_ must yield to that authority, and that the rash
  individual who would dispute, disputes as it were with Jesus Christ,
  and consequently ought to be driven from the flock. ....

  "The Catholics say:--_without the Scriptures we should not hear the
  Saviour speak, but without tradition we should not know what He
  says_. ....

  "Why are not _our_ eyes opened--having every day proof that private
  interpretation is at fault?--let us try. Take your Bible, and read
  whatever passage you please; I also will read it. Let us both, then,
  invoke the assistance of God, and do you candidly think our
  inspirations would agree as to the sense of the passage? I think
  not. However, should we differ, who is to decide which is in error?

  ....

  "I see by your letters you have not always had the same opinion on
  all points that you have at this time. ... What warrant have you
  that you are better inspired now than before? Inspiration does not
  cause change of opinion.

  ....

  "We have in our country written laws of ancient date. Suppose some
  persons, even of great learning, were to give them a different
  interpretation to that hitherto received, would not they be
  confounded by showing them, by means of history or tradition, that
  the King himself who made these laws, his ministers and successors,
  have always understood and executed them in a different sense. That
  is the way Catholics avoid all difficulty. ....

  "You are in error as to the Pope if you suppose that formerly, or
  now, Catholics give him their faith, as Calvinists do to Calvin, &c.
  I thought the same. The Pope is simply the chief administrator; the
  doctrines he has the stewardship of do not come from him or any
  other Pope, as that of Calvinism from Calvin; it comes from Jesus
  Christ, from His Apostles, and from their churches throughout the
  world. An administrator is not the master of the doctrines with
  which he is entrusted. The Pope and Bishops are charged to preserve
  the doctrine, to propagate it and {183} defend it against all
  attacks of the enemies of Jesus Christ.

  ....

  "You interpret the text, 'lo! I am with you _always_,' that God
  promised His Holy Spirit to every individual; but that I am inclined
  by no means to admit. The whole of the passage must be considered.
  It was not to every one He addressed these words; it was only to His
  Apostles that He said, 'Go and teach all nations .... behold, I am
  with you.' From this it is clearly to the Apostles and their
  successors that He promised the Holy Spirit. I see in these words
  that they received from God himself the formal order or mission to
  go and preach, not what they found written, but what He had taught.
  .... I see also by these words that sovereigns of this world have
  not received the power of sending ministers to teach the Gospel, and
  certainly by so doing they usurp the power given to the Apostles and
  their successors. What we have to find is, to whom God has said, 'Go
  and teach.' It is physically impossible that it should concern our
  ministers, since they are established by temporal authority."

About the Reformers she says:--

  "Can man reform the work of his Creator?"

  "You say you will never claim any name but that of Christian, but
  still it is not with you a matter of indifference what communion you
  belong to; therefore, this being the case, it is not sufficient to
  bear the name of Christian, and say we trust in Jesus; we must be
  sure that the doctrines we adopt are really his. For it is not being
  a Christian to embrace doctrines contrary to those given by our
  Saviour; it is assuming the name of Christian without being certain
  we are so; we must find if we are in communion with His Church.
  Without faith there is no salvation; this cannot mean a faith of our
  own choosing, but what God has been pleased to command we should
  believe. ....

  "Many of our ministers are ignorant or wicked enough to accuse
  Catholics of idolatry. It is Jesus Christ they adore really present
  though invisible in the Eucharist. They very loudly exclaim among us
  against images, &c. All this is nothing; on all sides that Church
  presents images to {184} render their faith more lively, and to
  induce them thereby to adore God the more truly in spirit and in
  truth."

These are arguments of no little strength, to say the least of them.
It would be a pleasure to transcribe the letters _in extenso_, but the
three cover thirty-two pages of closely-written letter-paper, and
would consequently take up too much room in a biography. Some
sceptically-inclined person will probably say,--"she had some Jesuit
or other astute Romish priest at her elbow when she wrote these
letters." The writer can only tell his reader that he verily suspects
as much himself. But before any of us jump at a conclusion, it might
be well to consider this sentence which occurs towards the end of the
third letter. "Do not think I am under the influence of some priests
who have induced me to undertake this examination. It was a lawyer
first awakened my curiosity, telling me you may read in vain and
argue--you will not, you cannot find the truth unless you pray for it
as the free gift of God; and to obtain this you must be humble, your
conscience must be as pure as you can make it: God alone can be your
help; pray to Him unceasingly."

However we may think about their real author, the matter itself is
very good, and their consequence to Mr. Spencer was of vital
importance. There are no rough copies of his answers to the unknown to
be found among his papers, or it would be very interesting to place
them side by side with what we have quoted. The result of these
letters we have in his account of his conversion:--

  "After this period I entertained the opinion that the Reformers had
  done wrong in separating from the original body of the Church; at
  any rate, I was convinced that Protestants who succeeded them were
  bound to make a reunion with it. I still conceived that many errors
  and corruptions had been introduced among Catholics, and I did not
  imagine that I could ever conform to their faith, or join in their
  practices, without some alterations on their part; but I trusted
  that the time might not be distant when God would inspire all
  Christians with a spirit of peace and concord, which would make
  Protestants anxiously seek to be {185} re-united to their brethren,
  and Catholics willing to listen to reason, and to correct those
  abuses in faith, and discipline which kept their brethren from
  joining them. To the procuring such a happy termination to the
  miserable schisms which had rent the Church, I determined to devote
  my life. I now lost no opportunity of conversations with Protestants
  and Catholics. My object with both was to awaken them to a desire of
  unity with each other; to satisfy myself the more clearly where was
  the exact path of truth in which it was desirable that we should all
  walk together; and then to persuade all to correct their respective
  errors in conformity with the perfect rule, which I had no doubt the
  Lord would in due time point out to me, and to all who were ready to
  follow His will disinterestedly. I thought that when Catholics were
  at length willing to enter with me on these discussions with
  candour, they would at once begin to see the errors which to me
  appeared so palpable in their system: but I was greatly surprised to
  find them all so fixed in their principles, that they gave me no
  prospect of re-union except on condition of others submitting
  unreservedly to them; and, at the same time, I could see in their
  ordinary conduct and manner of disputing with me nothing to make one
  suspect them of insincerity, or of want of sufficient information of
  the grounds of their belief. These repeated conversations increased
  more and more my desire to discover the true road, which I saw that
  I, at least for one, was ignorant of: but I still imagined that I
  could see such plain marks of difference between the Catholic Church
  of the present day and the Church of the primitive ages as described
  in Scripture, that I repeatedly put aside the impression which the
  arguments of Catholics, and, yet more, my observation of their
  character, made upon me, and I still held up my head in the
  controversy."

{186}


CHAPTER XII.

Ambrose Lisle Phillipps.


The close and warm friendship between Father Ignatius and Mr.
Phillipps has scarcely a parallel in ancient or modern history. They
became acquainted in 1829; and until death suspended their mutual
communication for awhile, they ever wrote, spoke, and thought, with
more than a brotherly--ay, more than any human or natural affection.
The Christian patriotism of each, which prayed and laboured to bring
their countrymen to the blessings they themselves had received, may
have fostered this beautiful love; and even the different spheres in,
as well as means by, which they felt themselves called to prosecute
the work of their predilection may have helped to keep it ever warm
and new; but there was a something in it which reminds one of David
and Jonathan, that spread over it a grace and splendour far above what
it is given us now and then to behold. This chapter will show the rise
of their mutual affection, and show where lay the basis of the edifice
gratitude and charity helped to fashion.

Father Ignatius says, in the account of his conversion:--

  "Near the end of the year 1829 I was introduced to young Mr.
  Phillipps, eldest son of a rich gentleman in Leicestershire, whom I
  had often heard spoken of as a convert to the Catholic religion. I
  had for a long time been curious to see him, that I might observe
  the mode of reasoning by which he had been persuaded into what I
  still thought so great an error. We spent five hours together in the
  house of the Rev. Mr. Foley, Catholic Missionary in my
  neighbourhood, with whom I had already had much intercourse. I was
  interested by the ardent zeal of this {187} young man in the cause
  of his faith. I had previously imagined that he must have been
  ignorant on the subject of religion, and that he had suffered
  himself to be led blindly by others; but he answered all my
  objections about his own conversion with readiness and intelligence.
  I could not but see that it had been in him the result of his own
  diligent investigations. I was delighted with what I could observe
  of his character. I was more than ever inflamed with a desire to be
  united in communion with persons in whom I saw such clear signs of
  the Spirit of God; but yet my time was not fully come. I fancied, by
  his conversation, that he had principles and ideas inconsistent with
  what I had learned from Scripture; and in a few days I again put
  aside the uneasiness which this meeting had occasioned, and
  continued to follow my former purpose, only with increased
  resolution to come at satisfaction. He was, in the meanwhile, much
  interested in my case. He recommended me to the prayers of some
  religious communities, and soon after invited me to his father's
  house that we might continue our discourses. I was happy at the
  prospect of this meeting, and full of hopes that it would prove
  satisfactory to me; but I left home without any idea of the
  conclusion to which it pleased God to bring me so soon."

Mr. Phillipps wrote to him:--

  "My Dear Sir,--We expect the Bishop of Lichfield here on the 25th
  January, and I have ventured to hope that I might be able to induce
  you to come here at that time, to meet him and stay the week. I hope
  so the more, as I think your conversation might induce him, as well
  as my father, to think more seriously on that awful subject on which
  we conversed when I had the great happiness of being introduced to
  you at Northampton. I assure you, a day has not passed without my
  offering up my unworthy prayers to Almighty God in your behalf; and
  I cannot refrain from again saying, that I hope one day we shall be
  united in the same faith of the One Holy and Apostolic Church of
  Jesus Christ. How great is the consolation to belong to that holy
  Church which alone Jesus Christ has founded, which alone He has
  illustrated with a never-failing succession of {188} pastors and of
  miracles, from which all others have separated, and out of which I
  find in the Holy Scriptures no covenanted promise of salvation! The
  Catholic Church alone has converted those nations which have been
  brought to the faith of Christ; and as, on the one hand, no man
  could at this moment be a Protestant had not Luther and the other
  Reformers existed, so, on the other, neither Luther nor any
  succeeding Protestant could derive any knowledge of Christianity but
  from the Catholic Church. How sublime are the promises of Christ,
  'Upon this Rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall
  not prevail against it.' .... 'Going, therefore, teach ye all
  nations.' .... 'And lo! I am with you all days, even unto the end of
  the world.' Now to what Church was this promise made (a promise
  which involves infallibility; for it would be blasphemy to say that
  the God of Truth could commission a Church to teach the world, if
  that Church could possibly teach error)? Certainly not to Churches
  (sects, I should say) which separated from the parent Church fifteen
  hundred years after the promise was given, and therefore came into
  existence fifteen hundred years too late to be the Church of Christ.
  And to what do the sects have recourse? To groundless accusations of
  the Church of God, involving the charge of idolatry; but this very
  charge condemns them, '_ex ore tuo judico te_.' for, by saying that
  the Church fell into idolatry, and that that justifies their
  separation, they admit that there was a time when the Church was not
  guilty of idolatry. Now how are the promises of Christ verified, if
  His Church could ever become idolatrous? I find in no part of
  Scripture any prediction that the Church of Christ should ever
  become idolatrous, and that then it should be lawful to separate
  from her. Christ said simply, 'I am with you all days,' and 'he that
  believeth and is baptised shall be saved, and he that believeth not
  shall be condemned.' It is in vain to urge that St. Paul speaks of
  the 'man of sin,' and of 'a falling away,'--he speaks not of the
  Church; and the very expression 'a falling away' shows that it is
  not the Church, but sects, to which he alludes--for the Church never
  fell away from any previous Church,--this is matter of {189}
  history; but all the sects, all schismatics, all heretics, fell away
  from the Catholic Church of Christ,--this is equally matter of
  history. No. St. Paul, the ever-glorious apostle and doctor of the
  Gentiles, spoke of Arius, Luther, Calvin, Knox, and Henry VIII., and
  all other heresiarchs, all of whom did apostatize and 'fall away,'
  and have by their schisms and endless divisions, and the spirit of
  infidelity resulting from them, paved the way for the Man of Sin,
  the great Antichrist, who may perhaps shortly appear, the last
  development of Heresy and Liberalism. But how shall sectaries take
  refuge in the mysterious predictions of the Apocalypse? As well
  might that atrocious assassin who killed Henry IV. find some excuse
  in the hidden words of that volume. But I might pursue the question
  still further. What right have sects to the Bible? Jesus Christ gave
  it to us, and these men have stolen our book. If they say He did not
  give it to us, I reply, then they ought to cease to believe that
  Jesus Christ ever existed, for that is no more a matter of history,
  nor a more certain fact, than His commission to His Church to teach
  all nations all truth.

  "But I must conclude. I have not written all this without some fear;
  but, my dear Mr. Spencer, I know it is a subject which is deeply
  interesting to you, and, therefore, however ill I may have said it,
  I have said it with the less hesitation. Will you write me a line to
  say if you can come here? I do hope you will. My father says he had
  the pleasure once of meeting you at Mr. Thornton's.

    "Believe me, my dear Mr. Spencer,
      "Most sincerely yours,
        "Ambrose Lisle Phillipps.

    "Clarendon Park, Loughbro',
    _"Dec._ 30."

The letter in which Father Ignatius signified his acceptance of this
invitation is still extant, and was lent by Mr. Phillipps to the
Passionists for this "Life." It is interesting, as the last vibration
of the needle to the pole of Catholic truth, as well as for the idea
it gives of his state of mind at that time. We give it, therefore, in
full. He wrote it from {190} Althorp, where the family were assembled,
as usual, for the Christmas holidays.

  "Althorp, _Jan_. 4, 1830.

  "My Dear Sir,--I received your kind invitation to Garendon on
  Saturday; but I thought it best to postpone answering it for a day
  or two, that I might consider what I had better do. If the visit
  which you propose to me had been an ordinary one, I suppose I should
  have declined it for the present, as I believe my father and mother
  will be at Althorp till about the 25th January, and I seldom go out
  when they are here. But as you invite me in the hope, and with a
  desire, that good may be done by my going, I believe I should be
  sorry afterwards if I refused. I therefore have told my father of my
  intention, and, if nothing happens to prevent me, I will be with you
  on Monday the 25th. As to the hour of my arrival, I cannot just now
  tell how the coaches run between Northampton and Loughborough; but I
  conclude I shall be with you in good time. And now that I have
  determined to go, I am really thankful that another opportunity of
  conversing with you is given me so soon; and I trust that our
  intercourse will be blessed for our own good and that of others. And
  if the step you have taken in becoming a Roman Catholic is correct,
  according to the will of Christ, I have no doubt that my
  conversation with you will be of use in drawing me nearer to the
  right point. If, as I still am convinced, there is some error in
  your views, let us agree in hoping that our intercourse may be
  likewise profitable to you. I have been confirmed, by every
  conversation which I have had with Roman Catholics, in the
  persuasion that there is something materially wrong in what we may
  call the Protestant system; and I have spoken my mind to this effect
  as often as occasion has been given me. But if our union with the
  Roman Catholic Church involves a declaration of my belief of all
  that she teaches, and a submission to all her authority, as their
  subjects are set forth in Bossuet's Exposition and Catechism, I am
  not as yet one of the body; and I am reduced to the conviction that
  somewhere or other there is an error among {191} you. One thing I
  have learnt in the course of these inquiries is that the Scriptures
  of the New Testament are not, as I formerly used to regard them
  through want of consideration, the formal canon of the Christian
  faith. It is as clear to me as I suppose you could wish it to be,
  that the oral tradition of Christ to Peter and the other Apostles,
  and that of the Apostles to the Churches, is the rule of Christian
  doctrine, and with all my heart I seek for the knowledge of what
  they taught, and have been frequently struck with the desirableness
  of a clear and definite authority to which we might refer, when I
  have observed the mischief into which Christians have fallen by
  following each his own judgment. I do not see how I should be
  stopped from at once becoming Catholic, under this impression, if it
  was not that on comparing the state of the doctrine and discipline
  of the Roman Church with what the Scriptures plainly teach me of the
  state of the Apostolic Church, and the method of their doctrine, I
  see such an obvious and plain difference, and I cannot be convinced
  but that, between their time and that of the Council of Trent,
  improper use has been made of the Church's authority. I am waiting
  to learn what is the right way, which God knows and He alone; and I
  can only hope for His guidance of me into the right way by standing
  ready for conviction when the means of it are offered to me. I
  declare myself to be in doubt. But that doubt gives me no
  uneasiness, for my hope of salvation is simply founded on Jesus
  Christ crucified; whom I expect to meet, as one of His redeemed
  ones, when He returns. It is not any works of righteousness which I
  can do, nor any outward profession of doctrine which I can make,
  that can justify me. I am justified freely by the grace of God
  through faith in Jesus Christ, to whom I give myself, to learn of
  Him and follow Him whithersoever He leadeth. You will find me as
  open to instruction and conviction as you seemed to think me at Mr.
  Foley's; and I will weigh what you say, though you should decline to
  meet me on the same terms, and declare yourself determined to give
  your mind no more to inquiry. Yet, for your own sake and the sake of
  others, who will of course be more disposed to attend to you if they
  see you {192} candid and still humble and doubtful of your own
  judgment, I wish you to resolve that you will meet me as I come to
  you, determined that we will, with the blessing of God, come to one
  mind, at the cost of all our respective prejudices. We should not
  meet as polemics determined on victory, but in the spirit of
  meekness and mutual forbearance. Then God, who sees the heart, if he
  sees us truly thus disposed, will know how to make his truth shine
  clearly to us both. Above all, let us pray for each other, and for
  all, but especially those who most nearly belong to us, and be
  encouraged by the promise, 'If any two of you shall agree as
  touching anything that ye shall ask, on earth it shall be done for
  them of My Father, who is in heaven.' Pray give my respectful
  compliments to your father, whom I remember well meeting once at
  Brock Hall, and of whom I have often heard the Thorntons speak with
  great regard; and to carry to him my best thanks for his kind
  permission to you to receive me in his house. Perhaps I shall write
  to the Bishop of Lichfield, to tell him that I expect to meet him
  there. I hope nothing will prevent his coming. And if we are allowed
  to have freedom of conversation with him on these things, which I
  pray to God may be given us, I must particularly interest you to
  hear and consider what he says with meekness and humility, though
  you may have the clearest conviction that he is in error. Surely his
  age and rank, and the work to which he has sincerely devoted
  himself, and his relation to you, make this a double duty; and, by
  acting so, you will not be hurt, for though you may be perplexed for
  awhile, God will not suffer you to lose one point of what is really
  good, but will finally establish you the more firmly for acting in
  this humble spirit.

    "Believe me, dear Sir,
      "Yours most sincerely,
        "George Spencer."

He relates, in the _Account of his Conversion_, the effects of this
visit:--

  "On Sunday, 24th January, 1830, I preached in my church, and in the
  evening took leave of my family for the {193} week, intending to
  return on the Saturday following to my ordinary duties at home. But
  our Lord ordered better for me. During the week I spent on this
  visit I passed many hours daily in conversation with Phillipps, and
  was satisfied beyond all my expectations with the answers he gave to
  the different questions I proposed, about the principal tenets and
  practices of Catholics. During the week we were in company with
  several other Protestants, and among them some distinguished
  clergymen of the Church of England, who occasionally joined in our
  discussions. I was struck with observing how the advantage always
  appeared on his side in the arguments which took place between them,
  notwithstanding their superior age and experience;[Footnote 8] and I
  saw how weak was the cause in behalf of which I had hitherto been
  engaged; I felt ashamed of arguing any longer against what I began
  to see clearly could not be fairly disproved. I now openly declared
  myself completely shaken, and, though I determined to take no
  decided step until I was entirely convinced, I determined to give
  myself no rest till I was satisfied, and had little doubt now of
  what the result would be. But yet I thought not how soon God would
  make the truth clear to me. I was to return home, as I have said, on
  Saturday. Phillipps agreed to accompany me on the day previous to
  Leicester, where we might have further conversation with Father
  Caestryck, the Catholic missionary established in that place. I
  imagined that I might take some weeks longer for consideration, but
  Mr. Caestryck's conversation that afternoon overcame all my
  opposition. He explained to me, and made me see, that the way to
  come at the knowledge of the true religion is not to contend, as men
  are disposed to do, about each individual point, but to submit
  implicitly to the authority of Christ, and of those to whom He has
  committed the charge of His flock. He set before me the undeniable
  but wonderful fact of the agreement of the Catholic Church all over
  the world, in one faith, under one head; he showed me the assertions
  of Protestants, that the Catholic Church had altered her doctrines,
  were {194} not supported by evidence; he pointed out the wonderful,
  unbroken chain of the Roman Pontiffs; he observed to me how in all
  ages the Church, under their guidance, had exercised an authority,
  undisputed by her children, of cutting off from her communion all
  who opposed her faith and disobeyed her discipline. I saw that her
  assumption of this power was consistent with Christ's commission to
  His Apostles to teach all men to the end of the world; and His
  declaration that those who would not hear the pastors of His Church
  rejected Him. What right, then, thought I, had Luther and his
  companions to set themselves against the united voice of the Church?
  I saw that he rebelled against the authority of God when he set
  himself up as an independent guide. He was bound to obey the
  Catholic Church--how then should I not be equally bound to return to
  it? And need I fear that I should be led into error by trusting to
  those guides to whom Christ himself thus directed me? No! I thought
  this impossible. Full of these impressions, I left Mr. Caestryck's
  house to go to my inn, whence I was to return home next morning.
  Phillipps accompanied me, and took this last occasion to impress on
  me the awful importance of the decision which I was called upon to
  make. At length I answered:--

    [Footnote 8: Phillipps was then about 17 years of age.]

  "'I am overcome. There is no doubt of the truth. One more Sunday I
  will preach to my congregation, and then put myself into Mr. Foley's
  hands, and conclude this business.'

  "It may be thought with what joyful ardour he embraced this
  declaration, and warned me to declare my sentiments faithfully in
  these my last discourses. The next minute led me to the
  reflection,--Have I any right to stand in that pulpit, being once
  convinced that the Church is heretical to which it belongs? Am I
  safe in exposing myself to the danger which may attend one day's
  travelling, while I turn my back on the Church of God, which now
  calls me to unite myself to her for ever? I said to Phillipps: 'If
  this step is right for me to take next week, it is my duty to take
  it now. My resolution is made; to-morrow I will be received into the
  Church.' We lost no time in despatching a messenger to {195} my
  father, to inform him of this unexpected event. As I was forming my
  last resolution, the thought of him came across me; will it not be
  said that I endanger his very life by so sudden and severe a shock?
  The words of our Lord rose before me, and answered all my doubts:
  'He that hateth not father and mother, and brothers and sisters, and
  houses and lands, and his own life too, cannot be my disciple.' To
  the Lord, then, I trusted for the support and comfort of my dear
  father under the trial which, in obedience to His call, I was about
  to inflict upon him. I had no further anxiety to disturb me. God
  alone knows the peace and joy with which I laid me down that night
  to rest. The next day, at nine o'clock, the Church received me for
  her child."

{196}

{197}


BOOK III

_F. Ignatius, a Secular Priest_.


{198}

{199}

BOOK III.

_F. Ignatius, a Secular Priest_.


CHAPTER I.

His First Days In The Church.


Conversions to Catholicism were not such every-day occurrences, some
thirty years ago, as they are now. The disabilities under which
Catholics laboured politically, before 1829, made them hide their
heads, except when forced into public notice by efforts to break their
shackles. The religion that civilized England, and consecrated every
remarkable spot in it to the service of God, had become a thing of the
past, and the relics of Catholic piety that studded the land were
looked upon as the gravestones of its corse, or the trophies of
vanquishing Protestantism. Not only was Catholicity supposed to be
dead in England, but its memory was in execration; nurses frightened
the children with phantoms of monks, and mountebank preachers took
their inspiration from the prejudices they had imbibed in childhood.
The agitation about the _Veto_, and the Debates on the Catholic
question, which filled the public mind about the year 1830, and for
some ten years before, showed that Catholicity had not died, but only
slept. The Catholics emerged from their dens and caverns; they bought
and sold, spoke and listened, like their neighbours; and the King was
not afraid of a Catholic ball when he took his next airing {200} in
Hyde Park. The Catholic Church had been barely given leave to eke out
its declining days, with something like the indulgence allowed a
condemned criminal, when, to the astonishment of all, it sprung up
with new vigour, and waxed and throve in numbers and in position. It
was considered worth a hearing now, and faith came by hearing to many,
who would have been horrified before at opening by chance such an
antichristian thing as a Catholic book. A conversion, then, rather
stunned than embittered the relatives of the convert. The full tide of
Tractarianism had not yet set in, and the systematic pitchforks of
private persecution and stately rebuke, that were afterwards invented
to stop it, were not so much as thought of. The conversion of the
Honourable George Spencer happened in those peculiar times. His family
were partially prepared for it, for fluctuating between so many
religious opinions as he had been for so long, and earnest, too, in
pushing arguments to their furthest length, it was often half
suspected that he would go to Popery at last. There he was now, a
child of the Catholic Church, shrived and baptized according to her
ritual. His die was cast. He was fixed for ever. His wandering was at
an end. With the exception of his house-keeper, who laid her down to
die for sheer affliction at the news, we are not aware that many
others were much moved by what they considered his defection.
Doubtless, his father and the immediate family circle felt it deeply;
his Protestant vagaries had caused them sleepless nights and silent
afternoons, and the Church of which he became a member was not likely
to seem less absurd to them than it once seemed to himself. But then
he was incorrigible; there was no use talking to him; he would have
his own way, and there was what it led to.

Lord Spencer was always favourable to Catholics, but it was in the
spirit of generosity to a fallen, or justice to an injured people. He
never dreamt his own son would be one of the first to reap the benefit
of the measures he advocated in Parliament. The letter he received
from Leicester in January, 1830, must have been a shock indeed.
Besides, a member of this aristocratic house descending to such a
level {201} must be considered a family disgrace--an event to be wept
over as long as there was one to glory in the name of Spencer, or feel
for its _prestige_. Taking all these things into account, and many
other minor considerations, it would be no wonder if Mr. Spencer was
treated with harshness, and banished Althorp for ever. Nothing of the
kind. His father was very considerate; and liberal, too, in making a
provision for his son's future maintenance. George himself was
received on friendly terms by every branch of the family, and, so far
from avoiding him or mortifying him, they seemed all to have respected
his sincerity. He wrote to Dr. Walsh, the Vicar Apostolic of the
central district, immediately after his reception into the Church,
placing himself as a subject at his lordship's disposition. Mr.
Spencer's idea was to be ordained as soon as possible, and come back
to his own parish to preach, like St. Paul, against his former
teaching. This intention was checked by the Bishop's writing word for
him to put off his first Communion a little longer, and to come and
meet his Lordship in Wolverhampton towards the middle of February.
This letter he received in F. Caestryck's, in Leicester, three days
after his reception. He thinks the arrangement excellent. He spent a
fortnight in the priest's house at Leicester, and he used often to say
that this good priest's way of settling difficulties, though it might
look unsatisfactory, was the very best thing that ever occurred to
him. He made Mr. Spencer fully aware of the great dogma of the
Church's infallibility before he received him. F. Caestryck was one of
those good emigre priests who were well up in the Church's positive
and moral theology, but cared very little for polemics. Whenever Mr.
Spencer asked him "Why was anything such a way in Catholic teaching?"
the old man simply replied: "The Church says so." This was very wise
at such a time; the period for reasoning and discussion was passed,
and the neophyte had to be taught to exercise the faith he had adopted
now. He learnt the lesson very well, and was saved from the danger of
arguing himself out of the Church again, as some do who do not leave
their private judgment outside the Church-door, at their conversion.

{202}

Scarcely anything is so remarkable as the readiness with which, on his
reception, he laid down all notions of his being a minister of God.
One short extract from a letter to his housekeeper, enclosing money
from Leicester, to pay bills, will illustrate this: "If you have an
opportunity, tell those who choose to attend, that I have acknowledged
the authority of the Catholic Church, and therefore resigned my
ministry for the present. If they care for my advice, tell them to
send for Mr. Foley (the priest at Northampton), and hear him as the
minister of God." This letter was written before he was a week a
Catholic, and it promises well for his future that he does not
arrogate to himself the office of teacher before he is commissioned,
much less before he is sufficiently instructed. Many, in their first
fervour, make false steps in the way he avoided which it is often
difficult to retrace. The glow of happiness at finding one's self in
_the Church_ ought to be allowed to subside, and to allow the newborn
judgment to be capable of discretion, before beginning to dabble in
theology.

He pays a visit to Brington in a few days, in company with F.
Caestryck, and writes beforehand to his housekeeper to collect a few
of his faithful listeners, that he may get them a few words of advice
from a real live priest. It seems, from hints thrown out here and
there in his letters, that Bishop Walsh was for his going to Rome to
prepare himself for Orders. This was a drawback to his own plan, but
events will show how wisely the Bishop arranged. Mr. Spencer's anxiety
to be ordained at once and sent out to preach is an evidence of the
strength of his faith. He imagined the Sacrament of Orders would have
infused all ecclesiastical knowledge into his soul, and it was only
when he had to work hard at the study of theology that he perceived
the wisdom of blind submission to the judgment of his superiors. He
goes to London to consult Dr. Bramston as to what he had better do,
and he gives the result in a letter to Mr. Phillipps.

  "London, _Feb_. 18, 1830.

  "My Dear Ambrose,--I write from Bishop Bramston's study; he has left
  me there, and is gone to transact a little {203} business in another
  room. I have passed through my interview with my father, and thank
  God for it. His kindness was very great, joined with great depth of
  feeling. I will tell you more of it soon, when we meet. I shall
  leave London on Saturday for Northampton, where I am to be at Lady
  Throckmorton's till Monday. I shall then proceed to Birmingham by a
  coach which passes through Northampton from Cambridge, at one or two
  o'clock. On the next day, Tuesday, I will go to Wolverhampton, where
  I hope to meet you, my dear brother. I shall have plenty more to
  tell you then. Now, let it suffice to say that all my family and
  Bishop Bramston are decidedly for the Roman plan. I suppose the Lord
  so intends it. His will be done and His glory advanced; I will be as
  wax in His hand. My father has made me quite comfortable for money,
  and in the most prudent way. Farewell, my brother, and believe me,

    "Your affectionate
      "George Spencer."

He expressed his gratitude, again and again, for the manner in which
his family received him, especially as he knew that his late step was
looked upon by them as "an unmixed evil." They were even willing to
receive him as a guest wherever they might be staying except at
Althorp; and, at Dr. Bramston's suggestion, he agreed to these terms,
as well as made up his mind not to go to Brington again, in compliance
with his father's wishes. These matters he arranged in a few days; he
pensioned off one or two of his servants, he made his will about his
stock of sermons, and it was, "Give them to the new incumbent, and let
him do what he likes with them."

He had some difficulty in obeying his Bishop with regard to "the Roman
plan," as he calls it. It was the first test of his obedience. He
thought it was because the Bishop was weak enough to yield to the
wishes of his family that he was sent. These wishes appeared to him to
proceed from principles to which the Church's policy should not suit
itself. There would be a noise made in the papers about his
conversion, and his friends would have to answer {204} questions about
him in inquisitive circles. His father did not wish him to go to
Brington, and he himself was most anxious to use the influence he
possessed over his dependants in order to their conversion. To avoid
these inconveniences and clashing of motives they desired he might be
absent from England for some time. Some of his friends also thought
going to Rome would make him Protestant again; for, he says in a
letter written a few days after his arrival in Rome, "You see now that
coming to Rome does not open my eyes and make me wish myself a
Protestant again. You may tell all Protestants that I am under no
charm, and if anything occurs to make me see that ours is an apostate
Church, I shall not, I trust, perversely suffer my fate to be bound up
with hers, and consent to die in her plagues." The public parade of
Catholic ceremonial had not formerly produced the best of effects upon
him, and perhaps it was expected the old feelings would be revived by
seeing the same things once more.

The very reasons his friends had for detaining him might urge the
Bishop to hasten his departure. His anxiety to go and preach
Catholicity in Brington was not quite according to prudence, for
though he might know the principal dogmas of faith and believe them
firmly, he still needed that Catholic instinct and mode of thought
which can nowhere be imbibed so quickly or so surely as in Rome. There
are many traits of Protestant _viewiness_ to be seen in his letters at
this period, but,

  "Quo semel imbuta est recens servabit odorem,
   Testa din."

It would not have been so easy to bring these properly into subjection
whilst he had the thousand-and-one forms of Protestant errors seething
around him, and would be forced by his zeal to seek out ways of making
Catholic truth approach them. Where everything was Catholic to the
very core, in might and majesty, was the best school for tutoring him
into Catholic feelings and ideas. It was well also to let him see the
force of prejudice, by making him experience in himself how
differently things seem according {205} to the state of one's mind. If
he was shocked at Rome as a Protestant, it was well to let him know
that it was because he was unable to understand as a Protestant what
gave him so much joy and edification, when he could see with Catholic
eyes.

A courier was leaving London for Ancona, and as he did not see any
reason for delay, he took a seat with him, and started for Rome on the
1st March, and arrived on the 12th, the feast of St. Gregory. He
contrived to make the acquaintance of Mr. Digby in Paris, and hear
mass three times during his journey, which was considered a very
quickly made one in those days. He also had a very pleasing interview
with Cardinal Mezzofanti in passing through Bologna.

{206}


CHAPTER II.

Mr. Spencer In The English College, Rome.


On the evening of his arrival in Rome he went to the English College
and presented himself to Dr. Wiseman, the late Cardinal, who was the
rector. Dr. Wiseman had heard of his conversion, but did not expect to
see him so soon, and while they were conversing and giving and
receiving explanations, two letters arrived by post from Bishops
Bramston and Walsh, which put everything in its proper place. Here
then we have this distinguished convert lodged in a student's cell to
prepare for receiving real Orders in due time. He gives his
impressions of the college in a letter to Mr. Phillipps, written about
a week after his arrival, as follows:--

  "I have felt most completely comfortable and happy ever since I have
  been here. The life of the college is of course regular and strict.
  I could not have believed in the existence of a society for
  education such as this, half a year ago. Such discipline and
  obedience, united with perfect freedom and cordiality, is the fruit
  of the Catholic religion alone, in which we learn really to look on
  men as bearing rule in God's name, so that they need not keep up
  their influence by affectation of superiority and mysterious
  reserve. I do not know all the members of the college by name even
  yet, but, as far as I do, I can speak only in one language of them
  all. I have kept company principally with the rector and
  vice-rector, as I am not put on the footing of the ordinary
  students, being a _convictor_, that is, paying my own way, and also
  brought here under such peculiarity of circumstances as warrants
  some distinction, though I desire to make that as little as
  possible. I do not go with the others to the public schools, but am
  to study at home under Dr. Wiseman and Dr. Errington. The rules
  {207} of the house I observe, and indeed so do the rectors as the
  rest."

The peace of sober college life could not long remain unalloyed, if it
were to be lasting. Whilst Mr. Spencer was studying his Moral or Dogma
by the little lamp, and unmoved except by the anxiety to read faster,
in order to be sooner in the field to work for God, the world outside
was not disposed to forget him. Various rumours were set afloat about
Northampton concerning him; one would account for his sudden
disappearance, another for his resignation of his living, a third
would set about unravelling the popish plots of which he must have
been a dupe. These were trifling pastimes, which could be ungrudgingly
permitted for the better savouring of devout tea-parties: but surmise
will not be content with all this. There was his housekeeper, who
became ill immediately, and was near dying. What did that mean?
Slanderous reports were set on foot, and the answer to them is the
most complete refutation that could possibly be given, while it is at
the same time a proof of his virtue. On May 17th, 1830, he thus writes
from the English college to the housekeeper, who had mentioned the
matter in a letter to him:

  .... "I see that it has pleased God that you should suffer under
  calumny; thank God, most undeserved. It is evident that this slander
  affects my character as much as yours, and there is hardly a state
  of life to be conceived where such imputations are more injurious
  than a priest's; yet if all men should believe it, and I should live
  and die under this evil report, God forbid I should willingly
  repine. It would be no trial to suffer calumny, if it was not at
  first a painful thing; and therefore I do not wonder, nor find fault
  with you, at your being greatly afflicted when you were so insulted
  and abused as you describe; but, my dear girl, you should not have
  _allowed_ this to weigh upon your mind. You have more reason to
  grieve for this proof of how weak your faith and love to God is,
  than for the slander. I think it was a mistake that you did not tell
  me of this at Northampton. I trust I should then and shall always
  {208} rejoice, when I am counted worthy to suffer reproach for the
  sake of Christ; and I thank God that such is this reproach. I
  deserve reproach enough, it is true; and both you and I, if we look
  through our past lives, shall see that we deserve this and much more
  for our sins. Let us then learn to accept the bitter words of
  unfeeling men, as David did the curses of Semei, as ordered by God
  for our chastening, that we may be purified by them, and He will
  then turn their calumnies into greater honour one day or other.
  Though you had better have told me, as I might have helped you at
  once to overcome your annoyance, yet it may have been better for you
  to suffer it thus long, that you may learn how much you do care for
  character, and may henceforth give that up as well as everything
  besides that you love on earth. If you are so afflicted at a false
  reproach against you, what would your feelings have been if the Lord
  had seen fit to prove you, by suffering you indeed to fall; and
  where is your strength or mine, that we should be innocent in
  anything for a day, except through His grace? Just think over the
  matter with yourself, and let this word of advice be sufficient, and
  let me have the happiness of knowing that you are again what I
  remember you, patient, and meek, and cheerful, and allowing nothing
  to concern you but to please God more and more, and work out your
  salvation. I see by your letter, which I look at again, that you
  certainly would have told me of this at Northampton, had you judged
  for yourself, and perhaps it was right that you should act in it as
  you were advised. Therefore, do not take what I say now as if I had
  anything but the sincerest love and respect for you; I only speak to
  warn you of your spiritual wants, in which I partake with you. A
  woman's feelings are more tender, of course, under such cruel
  insults. When my feelings are hurt I find the same proof that I do
  not love God as I ought to do, and surely we never can have too much
  of that love. How infinitely blessed are you that you are singled
  out from the herd of those who prosper in the world, and have all
  men speaking well of them, and are permitted to walk in the way by
  which alone we can attain to the kingdom set before us. Remember the
  most blessed and {209} glorious Virgin, Mary, of all creatures the
  most beloved and most worthy to be loved of God, who was saluted by
  an angel as full of grace, and is now in heaven, Queen of Angels,
  and Prophets, and Apostles, and Martyrs. How was her infinite honour
  of being mother of God made the occasion of most cruel suspicions
  against her heavenly purity. If she was content to bear this with
  perfect meekness and humility for God's sake, surely you may say
  with her, 'be it done unto me according to thy word,' whether He
  shall order you to bear this or any other trouble. If occasion is
  put before you to prove yourself undeserving of such imputations, do
  not neglect to use it, for God's honour, which suffers by our being
  supposed guilty, and for the good of your slanderers, who may be
  brought to repentance by a due reproof; but take no pains about it,
  except in prayer to God, and in examining throughout all your past
  ways, what may be the cause of the affliction as ordered by Him. I
  am sure I can hardly find anything to accuse you of. I used to
  delight in your conversation, and you did in mine; but, thank God,
  great as my sins have been, I never, I believe, said a word to wound
  your delicacy, and you never transgressed the bounds of respect
  which a servant ought to show towards a master. But those who, for
  their own sorrow, will not learn what the joys of spiritual
  friendship are, cannot understand any intimacy but that which is
  sensual and gross. As, therefore, I left home so suddenly, and they
  could not again understand the possibility that my faith should be
  so suddenly established, and that, for the sake of it, I was willing
  to give up my home, and as you showed such emotion at learning that
  I was to leave you, these people had no way to account for the whole
  matter but imputing to us shameful guilt."

From Mr. Spencer's charity before he became a Catholic we may conclude
what it must have been now. It would seem that, in temporals, he had
not those difficulties in the way of his conversion that beset many
Protestant clergymen who depend solely on their livings. But, the
sacrifices he willingly made, prove that the prospect of sheer want
even would not have deterred him from following God's {210} call. A
few days after his conversion he went to see the Dominican Fathers at
Hinckley, and said, in conversation, "I suppose it is not lawful for
me to receive the fruits of my benefice, now that I have ceased to be
a minister of the Establishment." One of them said, "Certainly not."
Whereupon he asked for a sheet of paper, wrote a letter to the
Protestant bishop in a few minutes, resigning his cure, and simply
said, as he impressed the seal, "There goes £3,000 a year." He was
then wholly dependent on his father's bounty, and if unworthy motives
had had any force with Earl Spencer, his son might have found himself
penniless. From the allowance granted him he received monthly whilst
in Rome much more than was sufficient to pay his way in the college.
It was remarked, however, that the day after he got his money he had
not a farthing in his possession, and on inquiry it was found that
what remained from the college pension he distributed regularly among
the poor. Dr. Wiseman turned the channel of his charity to a more
profitable object, knowing how much he would be imposed on by the
Roman beggars, and several monuments still look fresh in the chapel of
the English College, which were repaired by what remained over and
above what was absolutely necessary of his income. It seems as if he
never could bear to be the possessor of money; he would scruple having
it about him. He was known, even when a minister, to draw money out of
the bank in Northampton, and give the last sixpence of it to the poor
before he got to Brington.

Before August, 1830, he received minor orders, and immediately after
hears the news that Mary Wykes, his housekeeper, has become a
Catholic. It is a singular fact that she took his conversion so to
heart that she nearly died, and was yet the first to follow his
example. She was delicate in health, of a respectable family in his
parish, and Mr. Spencer acknowledges that he is under many obligations
to her father. He settles an annuity of £25 or £30 a year upon her for
life, and writes to her from the English College thus: "Pray to God to
give you a tender devotion to her whom He loves above all creatures,
and who of all creatures is the most pure, amiable, and exalted. I
dare say you will {211} have found difficulty, as I have done, in
overcoming the prejudices in which we have been brought up against
devotion to the Saints of God; but let this very thing make you the
more diligent in asking of God to give you that devotion to them which
He delights in seeing us cultivate."

On the 13th of March, _Sabbato Sitientis_, 1831, he received the
Subdiaconate, This is the great step, as Catholics know, in the life
of one destined for the priesthood. The Subdiaconate imposes perpetual
celibacy, with the obligation of daily reciting the divine office, and
it is then the young cleric is first styled Reverend. It is said that
a few days after his receiving this sacred order, a message was sent
him by his family not to become a priest, as it was feared his brother
would have no issue, and George was looked to as the only source
whence an heir presumptive could arise for the earldom. He simply
answered, "You spoke too late," an answer he would have given whether
or no, as he had long ago determined never to marry. It was at this
time also he wrote, at the request of the Bishop of Oppido, the
_Account of my Conversion_,--a work well known to English readers.

{212}


CHAPTER III.

F. Spencer Is Ordained Priest.


Father Spencer, ever since he first turned completely to the service
of God, was determined to do whatever he knew to be more perfect. He
did not understand serving God by halves; he thought He deserved to be
loved with "all our strength, all our mind, and above all things."
This he knew to be a precept, a strict command given by our divine
Lord. How it was to be observed was his difficulty. He was groping in
the dark hitherto, and though not making many false steps, still far
from clearly seeing his way to perfection. The exactness of Catholic
theology, which sifts every question to the last atom, made him meet
this one face to face.

The first difficulty he had to master was the received axiom that _the
religious state is more perfect than the secular_. He could not see
how a vow, which apparently takes away a man's liberty, could increase
the merit of actions done under it. As the vow of obedience is the
principal one in religion, so much so that in some orders subjects are
professed by promising obedience according to the rule, its
explanation would remove the difficulty. Two things principally
constitute the superiority of _vowed actions_. One, that they must be
of a better good; the second, that the will is confirmed in the doing
of them. A vow must be of a good better than another good--such as
celibacy better than marriage, poverty better than riches, obedience
to proper authority better than absolute liberty. The state of
religion which takes these three walks of life as essential to its
constitution is insomuch better than any other state. But the question
comes, why not observe poverty, chastity, and obedience, without
vowing them? "Would it not be better that {213} the practice of these
virtues should be spontaneous, than that a person should put himself
under the moral necessity of not deviating from it? No; because it is
a weak will which reserves to itself the right of refusing to
persevere in a sacrifice. If a man intends to observe chastity, but
reserves to himself the right to marry whenever he pleases, he
signifies by his state of mind that he may some day repent of his
choice, and makes provision for that defalcation. That is a want of
generosity, it is a safety valve by which trusting to God's grace
escapes, and perfection can never be attained while one has the least
notion of the possibility of doing less for God than he does. "He that
puts his hand to the plough and turns back is not worthy." By a vow, a
person not only resolves to do for the present what is perfect, but to
continue doing it for life, and as the person knows right well that
his natural strength will not carry him through, he trusts the issue
to God's goodness. This fixing of the will, and narrowing, as far as
possible, the range of our liberty, is an assimilation of the present
state to the state of the blessed. They do the will of God and cannot
help doing it, they have no liberty of sinning, and the vow of
obedience by which a man binds himself to do God's will, manifested to
him through his superiors or his rule, takes away from him the least
rational inclination for liberty to sin. Not only that, but he makes
it a sin to recede from God one step, and he sacrifices to his Creator
a portion of the liberty that is granted to us all. It is a sin for a
man who has a vow of chastity to marry, though naturally he was
perfectly free to do so. He sacrificed that freedom to God, and lest
he might be inclined to backslide at any future day he put the barrier
of this moral obligation behind him. The person under vow is God's
peculiar property; all his actions are in a certain sense sacred, and
of double merit in His sight. Be it remembered that a religious makes
this sacrifice freely, and it is in this free dedication to God's
service perpetually of body, soul, and possessions, without reserving
the right to claim back anything for self, that the special excellence
of the religious state consists.

{214}

There are several other less cogent arguments in favour of the
religious state, as that without it we should not have the Evangelical
virtues practised which form the principal part of the note of
holiness in the Church. That it is easier to practice great virtue in
a monastery than in the world, and that more religious have been
canonized than seculars since the time of the martyrs.

Father Spencer came to understand that the religious state is more
perfect than the secular, though he knew that many seculars are far
more perfect than some religious, but one point he could never get
over, and that was since vows undoubtedly do raise the merit of one's
actions, why cannot people take and observe vows without shutting
themselves up within the walls of a convent? He consulted many grave
theologians, doctors, and even cardinals, for the solution of this
problem. He was told, to be sure, that it was quite possible in the
abstract to have a people observing vows, but that in practice it
proved to be chimerical and Utopian. _What is possible can be done_,
was his maxim, and he resolved to begin with himself. He was told by
Dr. Wiseman and Cardinal Weld that he seemed to have a religious
vocation. He wrote accordingly to his diocesan, Dr. Walsh, who
dissuaded him from becoming a religious by saying that, though it was
a better state, a secular priest could be more useful in England.
Others differed from this opinion, but F. Spencer heard in it the
voice of his Superior, and resolved to obey it for the present. This
settled matters for the time, but his _view_ could never be got out of
his head. He gets thoroughly engrossed now with his approaching
ordination. It grieves him to see souls lost in heresy and sin in a
way that few grieve; for, the concern he felt for the spiritual
destitution of his country began to tell upon his health. It is feared
he will die; he begins to spit blood, and several consumptive symptoms
alarm his physicians. He is removed to Fiumicino, and writes a long
letter from his sick bed there to Mr. Phillipps. In this letter he
hopes his friend may be caught into the Church like his patron, St.
Ambrose. Here we have the first evidence of his getting thoroughly
into a Catholic way of thinking. {215} Nothing strikes a cold,
careful, Catholic, who has been brought up in a Protestant atmosphere,
so much as the wonderful familiarity of Spanish and Italian boys with
the lives of the Saints. They quote a Saint for everything, and they
can tell you directly how St. Peter of Alcantara would season his
dinner, or how St. Rose of Lima would make use of ornaments. Father
Spencer has paragraphs in every letter at this time full of hints
taken from Saints' lives, showing that he evidently gave a great
portion of his time to learn ascetic theology in these remarkable
volumes. He is wishing also that Mr. Digby should become a priest, but
in both cases he was doomed to be disappointed so far, though both his
friends graced, by their virtues, the state of life in which they
remained. He was ordained Deacon on the 17th December, Quater tense,
1831; and on the 26th of May, 1832, two years and four months after
his reception into the Church, he was ordained Priest by Cardinal
Zurla. He thus writes to Mr. Phillipps on the event: "I made my
arrangements directly (on being called off suddenly to England) for
ordination to the priesthood on St. Philip Neri's Day, and saying my
first mass on the day following, which was Sunday. How will you
sympathise with my joy when, in the middle of my retreat, Dr. Wiseman
told me, what none of us had observed at first, that the 26th May was
not only St. Philip's feast at Rome, but in England that of St.
Augustine, our Apostle, and that he should ask Cardinal Zurla to
ordain me in St. Gregory's Church, which his Eminence did. It was at
St. Gregory's only that we learned from the monks that the next day
was the deposition of Venerable Bede."

The coincidences are really remarkable with regard to his destination
for the English mission. He was born on the feast of the Apostle St.
Thomas; he arrived in Rome, as a Catholic, on the feast of St.
Gregory; he was ordained on the feast of St. Augustine of Canterbury;
he said his first mass of St. Bede, by special leave from the Pope, on
that Saint's day. He was ordained by a Cardinal of the Camaldolese
branch of the Benedictine Order, to which St. Augustine belonged; and
he got the blessing and commission of {216} Pope Gregory XVI., a
member of the same order; and under all these auspices set out
directly for England.

During his stay in Rome he made the acquaintance of our Father
Dominic. This was a great happiness to him. Father Dominic was on fire
for the conversion of England, and Father Spencer echoed back, with
additions, every sentiment of his zealous soul. They spoke together,
they wrote to each other, they got devout people to pray, and prayed
themselves every day, for the conversion of England. We cannot know
how far prayers go, we only know that the continual prayer of the just
man availeth much; and therefore, it might not seem safe reasoning, to
attribute effects that can be traced to other causes to the prayers of
some devout servants of God. Without attempting to assign causes, we
cannot help remarking the fact that these two holy souls began to
pray, and enlist others in praying, for England's conversion in 1832,
and that the first number of the "Tracts for the Times" appeared
before the end of 1833. Neither of them had anything to do with the
Tracts, if we except a few letters from Father Dominic in a Belgian
newspaper, as writers or suggestors of matter; but both took a deep
interest in them, and fed their hopes, as each appeared more Catholic
than the one before. He spends a week with Father Dominic in Lucca, on
his way to England, and in Geneva happened one of those interesting
events with which his life was chequered. He thus tells it in a letter
to the _Catholic Standard_ in 1853:--

  "I went one day, at Genoa (see Chap. IX., Bk. i.), in 1820, to see
  the great relics in the treasury of the Cathedral. Relics, indeed,
  were little to me; but to get at these, three keys from various
  first-rate dignitaries, ecclesiastical and civil, were necessary.
  This was enough to make a young English sight-seer determined to get
  at them. A young priest, the sacristan of the Cathedral, received me
  and the party I had made up to accompany me, and showed us the
  precious treasures. I did nothing but despise; and yet why should I,
  or other Protestants, look on it as a kind of impossibility that any
  relic can be genuine? However, so I did; and I let the sacristan
  plainly know it. Yet he was not vexed. Nay, he treated {217} me with
  great affection, and said, among other things, 'The English are a
  worthy, good people, _brava nazione_; if only it had not been for
  that moment, that unhappy moment!' 'What moment do you mean?' said
  I. 'Ah! surely,' he replied, 'when Henry VIII. resolved on revolting
  against the Church.' I did not answer, but I thought within myself,
  'Poor man, what ignorance! what infatuation! And what were my
  thoughts of that moment of which he spoke? My thoughts on this head
  had been formed in my young days, and, oh! how deep are first young
  thoughts allowed to take firm root undisturbed! When I was a
  child"----

Here he relates the discourse of his sisters' governess about the
English Reformation, given in a former chapter. "When, accordingly,
the Genoese priest thus spoke I thought, Poor, blind man! little he
knows what England gained at that same moment for which he pities it.
... I cannot but add to this last circumstance, that twelve years
later I was returning from Rome--a priest! I came by sea. Stopping one
day in the harbour of Genoa, I went on shore to say mass at the
Cathedral, and found the same priest still at the head of the
sacristy--the same benign features I saw, but somewhat marked with
age. I asked him did he remember and recognise the young English
disputer? _O altitudo_! .... And is it I whom they would expect to
give up my poor countrymen for hopeless? No! leave this to others, who
have not tasted like me the fruits of the tender mercies of God."

As soon as he arrived in England, he went to see his family, who were
in Ryde for the summer, according to their custom. He was cordially
welcomed; but it must seem a cold thing for a newly-ordained priest to
come to a home where not a brother or sister would kneel to get his
blessing, nor father nor mother be in ecstacy of joy at hearing him
say mass for the first time. This was in July, 1832. Early in August
he met several priests at Sir Edward Doughty's, Upton House,
Dorsetshire; and Lady Doughty says:--"Mr. Spencer greatly edified all
who then met him by his humility, fervour, and earnest desire for the
conversion of England. On the 11th of August he left Upton, {218}
accompanied by Dr. Logan, for Prior Park. On that morning, as the
coach from Poole passed at an early hour, Mr. Spencer engaged one of
the men servants to serve his mass at five o'clock. The servant went
to call him soon after four, but finding the room apparently
undisturbed, he proceeded to the little domestic chapel, and there he
found Mr. Spencer prostrate before the altar in fervent prayer, and he
then rose and said mass; the servant's conviction being, that he had
been there in prayer all night."

An incident occurred, as Father Spencer was passing through Bordeaux
on his way to England, which deserves especial mention, if only to
recall the droll pleasure he used to experience himself, and create in
others, while relating it. He met there a great, big, fat convert, who
had just made his abjuration and been baptised. Father Spencer
questioned him about his first communion, and the trouble of preparing
himself "in his then state of body" seemed an awful exertion. However,
after a great deal of what the gentleman termed "painful goading,"
Father Spencer succeeded in bringing him to the altar. The fat
gentleman sat him down afterwards to melt in the shade of a midsummer
June day in Bordeaux, grumbling yet delighted at the exertion he had
made. The Bishop of Bordeaux was giving confirmation in some of the
churches in the town, and Father Spencer thought he should not lose
the opportunity of getting his fat friend to the sacrament. He knew
how hateful exertion of any kind was to the neophyte, who, though he
believed all the Catholic doctrines in a kind of a heap, was not
over-inclined for works of supererogation. He resolved to do what he
could. He went to him, and boldly told him that he ought to prepare
himself for confirmation. "What!" exclaimed the gentleman, making an
effort to yawn, "have I not done yet? Is there more to be got through
before I am a perfect Catholic? Oh, dear!" And he moved himself. He
was brought through, however, to the no small inconvenience of himself
and others, and many was the moral Father Ignatius pointed afterwards
with this first essay of his in missionary work.

{219}

At Prior Park, Father Spencer met Dr. Walsh, and he was appointed to
begin a new mission in West Bromwich; he sets about it immediately,
and gets an altar for it from Lord Dormer in Walsall. He met Dr.
Wiseman, who came to England about this time, and they are both
invited by Earl Spencer to spend a day at Althorp. The Earl was
charmed with Dr. Wiseman, and Father Spencer exclaims, in a letter,
"What a grand point was this! A Catholic priest, and a D.D., rector of
a Catholic college, received with distinction at a Protestant
nobleman's!" He met some of his old parishioners, and was welcomed by
them with love and kind remembrances. His church in West Bromwich was
opened on the 21st November, 1832, and he was settled down as a
Catholic pastor near where he hunted as a Protestant layman, and
preached heresy as a Protestant minister.

{220}


CHAPTER IV.

F. Spencer Begins His Missionary Life.


Far different is the position on which Mr. Spencer enters towards the
close of 1832, from that which he was promoted to in 1825. Then he
took the cure of souls with vague notions of his precise duty; now he
took the cure of souls as a clearly defined duty, for the fulfilment
of which he knew he should render a severe account. Then he received a
large income from the bare fact of his being put in possession of his
post; now he has to expend even what he has in trying to provide a
place of worship for his flock. Then, there were eight hundred souls
under his charge, most of them wealthy and comfortable, and all
looking up to him with respect for being his father's son; now he
could scarcely count half that number as his own, scattered among
hovels and garrets; amid their more opulent neighbours, who mocked him
for being a priest. He then dwelt with pleasure on his rich benefice,
and on the rising walls of his handsome rectory; now he prayed the
bishop to put him into the poorest mission in the diocese, and
delighted in being housed like the poor. The life he led as a priest
in West Bromwich is worthy of the ancient solitaries. He began by
placing all his property in the bishop's hands, and his lordship
appointed an _Econome_, who gave him now and again such sums as he
needed to keep himself alive, give something to the poor, and supply
his church with necessaries. He keeps an account of every farthing he
spends, and shows it to the Bishop at the end of the quarter, to see
if his lordship approves, or wishes anything to be retrenched for the
future. His ordinary course of life was--rise at six, {221} Meditation
Office and Mass, hear some confessions, and, after breakfast, at ten,
go out through the parish until six, when he came home to dinner, and
spent the time that was left till supper in instructing catechumens,
reading, praying, or writing. He had no luxuries, no comforts, he
scarcely allowed himself any recreation, except in doing pastoral
work. He leaves two rooms of his little house unfurnished, and says he
has something else to do with the money that might be thus spent. Much
as he loved Mr. Phillipps, he did not go to see him after his
marriage, because he thought it was not necessary to spend money in
that way which could alleviate the poverty of a parishioner; and
because he did not like to be a day absent from his parish work as
long as God gave him strength. During the first year of his residence
at West Bromwich he opens three schools; one of them had been a
pork-shop, and was bought for him by a Catholic tradesman. Here he
used to come and lecture once or twice a week, and is surprised and
pleased to find a well-ordered assembly ready to listen to him. He
says in a letter at this time: "I go to bed weary every night, and
enjoy my sleep more than great people do theirs; for it is the sleep
of the labourer." He is rather sanguine in his hopes of converting
Protestants; but, although he receives a good many into the Church, he
finds error more difficult to root out than he imagined. He bears up,
however, and a letter to Mr. Phillipps will tell us what he thought;
he says: "Keep England's conversion always next your heart. It is no
small matter to overturn a dynasty so settled and rooted as that of
error in this country; and how are we possibly to expect that we shall
be made instruments to effect this, unless we become in some measure
conformable to the characters of the Saints who have done such things
before us? Yet let us not give up the undertaking, for as, on the one
hand, no one has succeeded without wonderful labour and patience, so,
on the other, none ever has failed when duly followed up. Let us not
be discouraged by opposition, but work the more earnestly: and as we
see people about some hard bodily exertion begin with their clothes
on, but, when they find {222} the difficulty of their job, strip first
the coat, then the waistcoat, then turn up their sleeves, and so on,
we must do the same. God does not give success at once, because He
wishes us better than to remain as we are, fettered and attached to
the world. If we succeeded before all this encumbrance is stripped
off, we should certainly not get rid of it afterwards." He did "turn
up his sleeves," and toil, no doubt, at converting his neighbours; he
opened a new mission in Dudley towards the Christmas of 1833; he first
began in an old warehouse, which he fitted up with a chapel and seats,
and turned one or two little houses adjoining into a sacristy and
sitting-room for the priest who might come there to officiate.

He goes on in this even course for the whole of the two first years of
his life in West Bromwich, without any striking event to bring one
part more prominently forward than another. His every day work was
not, however, all plain sailing; in proportion as his holiness of life
increased the reverence Catholics began to conceive for him, it
provoked the persecution and contempt of the Protestants. He was
pensive generally, and yet had a keen relish for wit and humour. He
was one day speaking with a brother priest in his sacristy, with sad
earnestness, about the spiritual destitution of the poor people around
him, who neither knew God, nor would listen to those who were willing
to teach them. A poor woman knocked at the sacristy door, and was
ordered to come in; she fell on her knees very reverently, to get
Father Spencer's blessing, as soon as she approached him. His
companion observed that this poor woman reminded him of the mother of
the sons of Zebedee, who came to Our Saviour _adorans_. "Yes," replied
Father Spencer, with a very arch smile, "and not only _adorans_, but
_petens aliquid ah eo_" Such was his usual way; he would season his
discourse on the most important subject--even go a little out of his
way for that purpose--with a pointed anecdote, or witty remark.

All did not feel inclined to follow the old woman's example in the
first part of the above scene, though many were led {223} to do so
through their love and practice of the second. A person sent us the
following letter, who still lives on the spot that was blessed by this
holy priest's labours, and as it bears evidence to some of the
statements we have made from other sources, it may be well to give it
insertion:--

  "I was one of his first converts at West Bromwich, and a fearful
  battle I had; but his sublime instructions taught me how to pray for
  the grace of God to guide me to his true Church. He was ever
  persecuted, and nobly overcame his enemies. I remember one morning
  when he was going his accustomed rounds to visit the poor and sick,
  he had to pass a boys' school, at Hill Top; they used to hoot after
  him low names, but, seeing he did not take any notice, they came
  into the road and threw mud and stones at him; he took no notice.
  Then they took hold of his coat, and ripped it up the back. He did
  not mind, but went on all day, as usual, through Oldbury, Tipton
  Oudley, and Hill Top, visiting his poor people. He used to leave
  home every morning, and fill his pockets with wine and food for the
  poor sick, and return home about six in the evening, without taking
  any refreshment all day, though he might have walked twenty miles in
  the heat of summer. One winter's day he gave all his clothes away to
  the poor, except those that were on him. He used to say two Masses
  on Sunday, in West Bromwich, and preach. I never saw him use a
  conveyance of any kind in his visits through his parish."

It could not be expected that the newspapers would keep silence about
him. He gets a little in that way, which he writes about, as
follow:--"Eliot (an apostate) has been writing in divers quarters that
I know of, and I dare say in many others (for he was very fond of
letter-writing), the most violent abuse of the Catholic Church, and of
all her priests, excepting me, whom he pities as a wretched victim of
priest-craft. I still hope there is some strange infatuation about him
which may dissipate, and let him return; but if not, the Church has
ramparts enough to stand his battering, and I am not afraid of my
little castle being shaken by him. I feel desirous rather than not
that he should publish the {224} worst he can about me and mine in the
Protestant papers. It will help to correct us of some faults, and
bring to light, perhaps, at the same time, something creditable to our
cause."

He must have felt the extraordinary change in his state of mind and
duty now to what he experienced some four or five years before. There
are no doubts about doctrines, nor difficulties about Dissenters; his
way is plain and clear, without mist or equivocal clause; there is but
one way for Catholics of being united with heretics--their
unconditional submission to the Church. There is no going half-way to
meet them, or sacrificing of principles to soothe their scruples;
either all or none--the last definition of the Council of Trent, as
well as the first article of the Apostles' Creed. If he has
difficulties about any matter, he will not find Bishops giving him
shifting answers, and seemingly ignorant themselves of what is the
received interpretation of a point of faith. He will be told at once
by the next priest what is the doctrine of the Church, and if he
refuses to assent to it he ceases to be a Catholic. This looks an iron
rule in the Church of God, and those outside her cannot understand how
its very unbending firmness consoles the doubtful, cheers the
desponding, strengthens the will and expands and nourishes the
intellect.

A priest has many consolations in his little country parish that few
can understand or appreciate. It is not the number and efficiency of
his schools, the round of his visits, or the frequency of his
instructions. No; it is the offering of the Victim of Salvation every
morning for his own and his people's sins, and it is the conveying the
precious blood of his Saviour to their souls, through the Sacraments
he administers. Only a priest can understand what it is to feel that a
creature kneels before him, steeped in vice and sin, and, after a good
confession, rises from his knees, restored to God's grace and
friendship. All his labours have this one object--the putting of his
people into the grace of God, and keeping them in it until they reach
to their reward. There is a reality in all this which faith alone can
give that makes {225} him taste and feel the good he is doing. A
reality that will make him fly without hesitation to the pestilential
deathbed, and glory in inhaling a poison that may end his own days, in
the discharge of his duty. He must be ever ready to give his life for
his sheep, not in fancy or in words, but in very deed, and thus seal
by his martyrdom both the truth which he professes, and his love for
the Master whom he has been chosen to serve.

The number of priests who die every year, and the average of a
missionary priest's life, prove but too clearly how often the
sacrifice is accepted.


{226}


CHAPTER V.

Prospects Of Widening His Sphere Of Action.


Towards the close of the year 1834, Earl Spencer died. George, of
course, felt it deeply; he loved his father with, if possible, more
than filial affection, for he could look up since his childhood to his
paternal example; and all the virtue he was able to practise during
his younger days, despite the occasions into which he was cast, he
attributed chiefly to the influence of his father's authority. The
country lost a statesman, and the Catholics an advocate in the noble
earl; his death was therefore regretted by more than his immediate
family; but there was one great reason why his son felt so deeply--his
father had not died a Catholic. There were many things to make up for
his exclusion from the _mementoes_ of his son in the mass, as not
being one of those _qui nos praecesserunt cum signo fidei_; such as,
his real natural goodness, his acting up to his lights, and his kind
treatment of his son; but they were, of course, poor, weak
assuagements to the stern fact that he could not pray publicly for the
repose of his soul, and only, by the merest conditional permission,
even privately. Father Spencer goes shortly after to Althorp. The new
earl thinks proper to prohibit his brother speaking to any except
those of his own rank while visiting there. He had, of course, his
reasons, but it was a sore trial to Father Spencer, who ever loved the
poor, and never felt so happy as when exercising his patience in
listening to the detailed account of their sufferings, or in trying to
relieve them by words or alms. He put up with it, and a _thank God_
soon made him at home amid lords and ladies for the time of his short
stay.

{227}

It may strike some person as a very strange thing that this
illustrious convert and great saint, as he really was and appeared to
be, should be shut up in a poor hamlet whose name does not appear even
on railway maps, and not located in some resort of pride and fashion.
But the Honourable and Reverend George Spencer had seen enough of
fashion and gentility to be thoroughly disgusted with both the one and
the other. He understood no way of going to heaven except that which
Our Lord pointed out to us and went Himself first for us to follow,
the way of the cross in poverty and humility. Hence he applied to
Bishop Walsh for the poorest and worst mission in the diocese. If one
will not be inclined to give this good Bishop credit for forwarding
the apostolical intentions of his young priest, let him know that
there might be also a more inferior motive why he should accede to his
request. Priests with private incomes can better subsist in poor
missions than those who depend on the charity of their flocks; and we
find at present that many, who have property of their own, are
appointed, notwithstanding the honourable and creditable prefixes to
their names, to missions which are not able to support a priest from
their internal resources. These two reasons put together will account
for the placing of the Hon. and Rev. George Spencer in the mission of
West Bromwich.

St. Thomas defines zeal, "an intense love by which one is moved
against and repels whatever is detrimental to the good of his friend,
and does his best to prevent whatever is against the honour or the
will of God." Alphonsus Rodrigues says: "It is the love of God on
fire, and a vehement desire that He should be loved, honoured, and
adored by all; and so intense is it, that he who burns therewith tries
to communicate its heat to every one." This effect of zeal is the
special gleam by which the shining of great saints can be
distinguished from ordinary servants of God. They are filled with the
love of God, they overflow with it, and dash off floods that sweep
down vice and sin by their impetuosity. When obstacles occur to show
that the time is not opportune, or that the sluices should not yet be
drawn, the saints are far from languishing into ordinary ways. No; the
springs are open afresh, their hearts are filling the more {228} they
are pent up, and seek avenues on every side and in every way in which
they may possibly allow some heavenly water to escape. Such was the
zeal of St. Chrysostom, who would be blind if his audience could but
see. Such was the love of St. Francis Xavier, who went through unknown
and almost inaccessible regions to convert the heathen. Such was the
love of St. Teresa, who sighed that she was not a man, because her sex
and state forbade her to be an apostle. Such was the Psalmist, when he
said, "The zeal of Thy house has eaten me up."

The difference between heavenly zeal and fanaticism is, that one is
willing to be directed, the other breaks the bonds of authority. One
acts sweetly and consistently, the other intemperately and rashly. One
distrusts self, the other begins and ends with self.

Father Spencer was full of zeal. It was, in fact, his zeal that
brought him into the Church. Now that he found himself commissioned to
propagate God's kingdom, his zeal arose to that of the saints, and
began to burst forth and devise means by which that kingdom could be
speedily and perfectly spread. He devised plans for the sanctification
of the clergy by introducing a kind of religious life amongst them; he
formed plans for the perfection of the laity, after an old but
abandoned model, which will be described; he had conceived plans of
founding a religious institute, of which a devout soul he knew was to
be first rev. mother; he had plans of preaching, away at some place or
places which he does not tell us about; he had plans for finding out
the secret by which the Jesuits became such successful missionaries;
he had plans of going to Cambridge for an installation, and bearding
the lion of heresy and error in his very den;--and all these he
proposed from time to time to his director and diocesan superior, but
all met the one fate of being drowned by the cold water thrown upon
them. He complains a little, in a letter he wrote at this time, of
"the slowness of Catholic prelates with regard to schemes;" but after
being told to lay them aside, he resigns himself with perfect
submission. He finds out, in a short time, that the Catholic prelates
were right, and he drops his wings completely, by saying: "I am
resolved to give up forming plans {229} for the future, and I shall
try to gain more love of God and devotion to the Blessed Virgin. This
again He must give me, and Mary must gain it for me; or rather, I must
charge her to persevere in making this request for me, whether I
forget it occasionally or not." Besides the crossing of his plans, he
has another cross to endure; he loves to visit Hagley, where Lady
Lyttelton, his sister, generally lived, and he is received only on
condition that he will not speak of religion. This he feels hard, as
he loved this sister very much, and thought he could not show a
greater proof of his affection than that of communicating to her, if
possible, what he prized more than his life--his faith.

One plan he forms, however, which does not meet with the disapproval
of his superiors, and that was, to go to London and beg among his
aristocratic friends for funds for a new church he intended building
at Dudley. He seems to have succeeded pretty well, as there is a nice
gothic church there at present, which was built by him. We have only
one peculiar incident of his first begging tour.

He took it into his head to go and ask a subscription of the Duchess
of Kent, mother to our Queen. He was received kindly by the Duchess,
and the Princess Victoria was allowed to be present at the
conversation. Father Spencer spoke for some time about the lamentable
state of England, on account of its religious divisions; he gave a
short account of his own conversion, and wound up by putting forward
the claims of the Catholic Church to the obedience of all Christians,
as there ought to be but one fold under one shepherd. It may be said
that he formed a very favourable opinion of the Princess from this
meeting; he said once, when relating the story: "I considered the
Princess very sensible and thoughtful. She listened with great
attention to everything I said, and maintained a respectful silence,
because she sat beside her mother. I had great hopes of her then, and
so far they have not been disappointed. I hope ye will all pray for
her, and we may one day have the pleasure of seeing her a Catholic."
This he said in 1863, and then he was firmly convinced that the
Duchess herself had died a Catholic.

He returned soon to his mission in West Bromwich, and {230} writes, in
a letter to Mr. Phillipps: "I had a project in my head when I
returned, more extensive than any that filled it of late. That is,
going to Dublin to see if there I might find some unknown mine out of
which I could draw what I want for Dudley. This soon grew into the
thought of a tour round Ireland, and the subject of collecting alms
for Dudley soon began to look trivial and secondary. I could hardly
contain myself at the thoughts of preaching all over Ireland the
conversion of England, and exhorting them all to forget their earthly
miseries in the view of our spiritual ones, and to begin to retaliate
the evils they have endured in the way of the true Christian, not by
violent opposition, but by rendering good a thousandfold, or rather
beyond reckoning." This scheme was put off for some time, by the
advice of the Rev. Mr. Martyn, who seems to have been his director.

In the beginning of August, 1835, Father Spencer got a severe attack
of illness: it proceeded principally from over-exertion. He began to
spit blood, and as soon as his friends heard of it, his sister, Lady
Lyttelton, and his brother-in-law, Lord George Quin, came for him and
took him to Hagley, where he might be carefully nursed until he should
recover. They set him down to say mass in Stourbridge, and allowed him
all the spiritual aid he wished for, even going so far as to invite a
priest to come and stay with him, and make Hagley his home for the
time. This was in keeping with their usual kindness, and Father
Spencer never forgot it; nay, he would treasure up the least act of
kindness done him by any one, much more so when received from those
who differed from him in religious matters. He writes now, apparently
under the shadow of death: one thing looks strange to him when he
thinks of dying, that he cannot see why God gives him such a strong
desire for an apostolic life if it be not sometime carried into
effect. "It may be that He will give me the merit of the desires
without their accomplishment, but this seems less probable. His will
be done. I only mention this to prevent your being discouraged on my
account. What is an illness in His sight? It is easier to restore me
my vigour than at first to give it to me. Let us only wait prepared
for quick {231} obedience to His call, whether for this world or the
next." In another letter, written about the same time, he says: "What
I am further to do must be decided by my present _bodily_ director,
Dr. Johnstone, to whom for my correction and humiliation the Bishop
has committed me."

It seems most likely that he wrote the autobiography during this
illness; it has the marks and tokens of his then state of mind upon
the first part of it at least.

After his recovery there is talk of his being made a bishop, and some
of his friends are doing their best, by writing and so forth, to help
his promotion to the mitre. No better idea can be given of the way he
felt with regard to this matter, than by introducing a letter he wrote
at the time to one of his friends:

  "I know you are as eager about everything that concerns me as about
  your own matters; and that you are now boiling to come and be busy
  about this most interesting affair. Yet it will prove better to go
  on quietly. To be sure I should exult if it please God of His own
  will to enlarge my powers and faculties of advancing His kingdom,
  trusting to Him to furnish me with graces sufficient; but the call
  must be clear, and His will manifest, or, I thank God, I have made
  up my mind to answer, I stir not. And how can I know this but by the
  rule of obedience? Many reasons strike me _pro_ and _con_.
  immediately; but these I had better not meditate upon. I shall leave
  it to Dr. Walsh to decide whether I accept or do not. I cannot be
  right any other way. If he chooses to hear me plead the cause for
  myself, stating what I think are the motives _pro_ and _con_., I
  will do it when he likes; if not, it is certainly better not to go
  against him. I was at Prior Park three years ago, when Dr. Baines
  knows that I refused the offer of an Irish clergyman to propose me
  for an Irish bishopric, on Dr. Walsh's judgment, and he approved of
  that decision. No doubt he will of this."

We hear nothing further of this, so it is likely Dr. Walsh judged it
proper for him to refuse the contemplated honour.

{232}


CHAPTER VI.

Newspaper Discussions, Etc.


From the end of the year 1835 to the middle of 1836, Father Spencer
was more or less engaged in newspaper controversy with some ministers.
The first champion of Protestantism, or rather assailant of
Catholicism, he condescended to argue with was a Mr. Gideon Ouseley.
This gentleman is described in a letter written at the time as a "Low
Church parson, or Methodist, of Armagh." There may be some distinction
between the two characters, but it is only fair to say that we freely
grant him the benefit of the doubt. They had a paper fight about the
usual topics of controversy, beginning with mis-statements of doctrine
from Mr. Ouseley and explanations from Mr. Spencer, and continuing
through a very brisk parrying of logical thrusts to a conclusion which
ended by the newspaper refusing to insert any more letters. Some good
effects may have been produced by the controversy, which seldom
happens, and also some breaches of charity; but there is one
circumstance worthy to be mentioned, though perhaps it cannot well be
traced back to _The Watchman_ newspaper, that this same Rev. Gideon
Ouseley is, at the time these pages are writing, the officiating
chaplain of the _soi-disant_ monks of Norwich, Br. Ignatius and his
companions.

The next adversary was a Mr. Dalton. Father Spencer expends some very
good arguments on him, among others, the following in the first
letter: "You and other Protestants may say that they consider this
doctrine (transubstantiation) unscriptural; but the arguments by which
you endeavour to impugn it never are scriptural. I once used to argue
against it myself, and the best arguments I could find were from {233}
reason." There may be fault found with this argument, because a thing
could be unscriptural, though its denial or refutation were not; but
F. Spencer establishes the positive side of the question afterwards.
And the argument was good thus far that its denial is an Article of
the 39, which should be proved by "sure warranty of Scripture." He
does so in a passage which begins thus: "If Scripture be appealed to
simply, I know not how any one can deny that it speaks altogether in
our favour, whenever the Eucharist is mentioned or alluded to. When we
are asked for proofs of our doctrine we invariably begin by an appeal
to the simple words of Christ given in Scripture. 'This is my body,'
'This is my blood,' which, taken as they stand, can agree with no
doctrine but the Catholic."

F. Spencer thought he had a gentleman to deal with in his adversary,
but found that he had overrated the attributes his charity supposed
him to possess. He pointed an argument upon the unity of our teachers
as contradistinguished from sectarian ones, by bringing in Mr. Dalton
and his brother us an example. At this Dalton took offence, and F.
Spencer made a most ample and beautiful apology. This evoked all the
bile of his opponent in a flourish of trumpets, by which he boasted of
a post relinquished in the argument, which really argued gain in F.
Spencer as a Christian antagonist. He flung out then in glorious
confusion--imperfect councils, bad popes, Spanish inquisitions, just
as they came to hand. When Spencer saw this, he thought of answering
him according to his folly, and instead of analyzing his "concentrated
lozenge," wrote something in the style of cudgelling him for the fun
of the thing next time. Here is an extract from his next letter, which
is produced more as a specimen of his humour than of his logic:--

A sentence of Mr. Dalton's letter ran thus:

  "But let me first remind you what our view of private judgment is.
  Do we mean that every man may set up as an interpreter of Scripture,
  that every shoemaker and ploughman (as Catholics say) may become a
  preacher? By no means; we recognise authority when it is scriptural,
  and believe that an authorized ministry is God's mode of extending
  the Bible."

{234}

Father Spencer replies:--

  "Now this sentence suggests so many reflections to me that I hardly
  know which way to begin with it. I will first try what a little
  paraphrase will do, and explain what I think might perchance have
  been in your mind when you wrote it, and you may tell me whether I
  am near the mark before I make further comments on it. I would
  figure you to myself as reasoning thus with your self:--The right of
  private judgment must be maintained in some form, or else even we
  ministers shall not be able to stand our ground against the
  Romanists. If we allow of any reasonable notion of Church authority
  when we talk to them, they will hook us up again, and we shall not
  be able to assert even our own liberty to interpret as we like. But,
  on the other hand, if we put away talking of Church authority when
  we mount our pulpits, and impart the word to our hitherto obedient
  poor followers, they will begin to ask themselves, what need, then,
  is there of our reverend guides? Why should we pay any more tithes,
  and seat rents, and church rates, and Easter offerings, and the
  like? Yea! then would be sad danger that our craft would come to be
  set at nought, and the Temple of Great Diana (the Church of Great
  Elizabeth) would be reputed for nothing, and therefore we must teach
  people that there is such a thing as ministerial authority at least,
  if we cannot make much of an attempt to prove ecclesiastical
  authority; we must take care to maintain that to be capable of being
  a minister, a man must be able to read the New Testament in Greek,
  and the Old in Hebrew, at least, have a smattering of Hebrew, or
  else we shall have shoemakers and plough-men setting up opposition
  without being able to put them down; for they will be able to match
  us in what we must hold forth as the grand proof of the ministry,
  viz., that a man should be able to quote texts at pleasure, and talk
  about them so rapidly and unintelligibly as to make a congregation
  think him mighty wise and deeply spiritual. Such are the men who
  must be proclaimed worthy of great honour and admiration, but, above
  all, of ample revenues. Never mind how many contradictory systems
  enter into their respective reverend heads, we must persuade the
  {235} people, as long as they will swallow it, that they all speak
  by the Holy Ghost. It would, indeed, be more according to Scripture
  and reason, if all who professed to be led by the Spirit taught one
  doctrine; but this we can never bring about, unless we all get back
  to popery: and, indeed, it is not needful, nor even expedient, for
  the purpose we have before us, which is not to speak sound words
  which cannot be reproved, but such words as will keep together our
  congregation, and suit their tastes. Now as the tastes of men are so
  various, it is absolutely necessary that the doctrines we give them
  should vary too, and, therefore, as we know that Bible truth is but
  one, and the Bible, nevertheless, is the book out of which we must
  all pretend to teach, we cannot sufficiently praise the cleverness
  of those gifted individuals, who, by organizing a sort of
  skirmishing ministry, to take the place of the old uniform heavy
  phalanx of the Romanists, one fit _to extend the truth of the
  Bible_, so as to suit the tastes of all sorts of men, have enabled
  so many of us to extract from the pockets of all a genteel
  maintenance for our wives and families. I have in this paraphrase
  found myself obliged to pass over one word when you speak of _God's_
  mode of _extending_ the truth of the Bible. This operation, I think,
  God had never anything to do with. I believe that 1,800 years ago,
  God did, by his only Son, institute a ministry as his mode of
  _preserving_ the truth of the Bible, but _extending_ the truth of
  the Bible is a very different sort of affair. These words, though
  rather obscure, yet seem to convey very felicitiously the idea of
  what the Gospel ministers of the present day have accomplished, that
  is, making the Bible truth so extensive as to embrace all the
  various contradictory systems--Church of England, High, Low,
  Evangelical, _et hoc genus omne_. But the time would fail me to tell
  a tenth part of the glorious variety which the spiritual bill of
  fare of the nineteenth century presents to the dainty taste of our
  countrymen. This plan of truth extension is a wonder which was
  reserved for the wisdom of our preachers to contrive and to
  develope, under the guidance of a wiser spirit than that of man, and
  yet certainly not the spirit of God. The ancient saints had no {236}
  more idea of it than Archimedes had of a hydraulic press. I have
  taken the liberty of playing upon your exposition of authority, to
  show how vain it is to attempt to uphold anything like a legitimate
  authority, and the right of private judgment together. I do not
  wonder that you got rather into a perplexity in trying to explain
  how they may be reconciled. The Church of England has tried to
  explain this matter in her 20th Article, but finds it too hard. She
  just says, 'the Church hath authority in controversies of faith,'
  but leaves it to her children to guess whether this authority be
  divine or human, infallible or fallible, granted her by the King of
  Heaven or the king of England. She intimates, indeed, that it is not
  quite to be depended on, by the next words, in which it is said, 'it
  is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything contrary to God's
  word written:' but again we are left to divine who the judge is, who
  is to keep the Church in order: is it the king, or every licensed
  preacher, or every single Christian? ..... Ah! these Articles are
  troublesome things. I have known what it is to be under those
  shackles, and what it is to be set free from them."

In the next letter, his opponent complains that Father Spencer has
_hurt his feelings_, and made his _heart sicken_, which complaint the
_wily priest_, as he was termed, began to answer thus:--

  "I have heard of certain ladies who have recourse to a method
  something like this to escape being kept in order by their husbands,
  and who silence everything that is said against their humours by
  falling into hysterics. A tender husband will once or twice perhaps
  be melted by the alarming spectacle; he will run and fetch the
  smelling-bottle, ring for the servants, beg pardon, and say pretty
  things to compose his dear partner's mind again. But when he finds
  that as soon as she has gained her point she gets well directly, and
  is more saucy and wilful than before--if he wishes to be happy, or
  to make her so--he will be what she calls cruel next time, and let
  her get well by herself till she is tired of fainting fits. Now,
  sir, I have once been tender-hearted over you .... I apologized ....
  {237} In the next letter you took advantage of this to make an
  impertinent remark. This discovered to me that your feelings need
  not be so tenderly dealt with, and I proceeded with my disagreeable
  questions, and shall still do so at the risk of your telling me in
  the next letter that I have not only sickened you, but made you
  quite faint away."

After thus sickening his delicate friend, he sums up in the last
letter and answers the difficulties objected to him very well indeed.
We forbear introducing purely controversial matter, except in as far
as it bears upon the peculiar gifts or manner of Father Spencer. There
is nothing but what any ordinary priest of fair acquirements could
have said in defence of our doctrines in the remainder, except that
the answer to the hackneyed objection about some councils being of
doubtful authority is very clearly and forcibly given.

A third champion entered the lists before these had been "conquered"
enough to think themselves qualified "to argue still." This was a Rev.
W. Riland Bedford. Indeed, he was so impatient of distinguishing
himself by the honour of having once engaged with so respectable a
foe, that he could not wait until Mr. Dalton was ousted. Besides, it
is very likely he thought Mr. Dalton was missing fine opportunities of
giving clever strokes, by spending too much time in quarrelling with
the ungenerous hits of his adversary or, perhaps, he thought he did
not take the proper instruments of warfare. However, he made a grand
stroke, and aimed also at what he believed to be the most vulnerable,
as well as the most defenceless, spot in the person of F. Spencer's
system. Here we might be corrected by the _Maid of Lille_, who said,
very pertly, to Mr. Spencer once: "Catholics have no systems." They
have doctrines. At all events, Mr. Riland Bedford did attack F.
Spencer, and lest he might lose by being single-handed, a brace of
them--Revs. Messrs. M'Ghee and himself--made an onslaught on Revs.
Messrs. M'Donnel and Spencer, thereby intending, of course, to make a
grand breach in Popery. The subject of their letters was the treating
of certain sins by our moral theologians. F. Spencer made use of the
usual line of defence here, but {238} he added also an _argumentum ad
hominem_. "St. Paul, in the chapter above referred to (Rom. i.), tells
us that there were no sins more prevalent in his day, and none more
destructive, than that grievous class of sins to which these questions
relate. The afflicting experience of the pastors of the Church leads
them to fear that no less awfully in these times and in this country,
do habits of the like crimes make ruin of thousands of souls; and
_your own recollection of the University, where, I suppose, you were
educated for holy orders, must convince you that our fears are not
unfounded. For what must be expected in the body of the people, when,
among those who are preparing to be their pastors, at the most
critical time of their life, there are so few who dare openly to
withstand the prevailing fashion of iniquity, and so many who profess
to despise morality and chastity as a thing to be ashamed of._" F.
Spencer was tripped up in some allusions he made to a Protestant
attempt at a prayer-book, of which there were two or three editions;
but, since he happened not to be correct as to one edition, and to
miss something about another, still, though his argument was not
thereby weakened, but Rev. Mr. Riland Bedford thought it was, and so,
or nearly so, the matter ended.

F. Spencer was induced to begin this paper controversy by the hope of
conveying some information about Catholic dogmas to those who would
not read Catholic books, but would, and did, read newspapers. Shortly
after, he learnt, by one instance, what little good generally comes of
this kind of contention. He paid a visit to Hagley, and, in a
conversation with Lord Lyttelton, asked him if he had seen the
_Birmingham Gazette_ lately. "Yes," replied the other, "but delicacy
forbade me to allude to your share in that concern." The sum of it was
that his lordship thought George under a perfect delusion, and
wondered he was not confounded at such powerful refutations as his
adversary's were. All F. Spencer wrote looked to him perfectly
trifling; so much so, that he had made up his mind to take George in
hand himself, and convert him back again, and was then {239} actually
getting up some little theology to aid him in doing so more summarily.
This George took in very good humour, and hoped good from, especially
as Lord Lyttelton appeared to be the leader in the family in point of
religion. He was doomed to a sad disappointment; for Lord Lyttelton
died shortly after this conversation, and, as far as documentary
evidence goes, without having had another conversation with Father
Spencer.

{240}


CHAPTER VII.

Private Life And Crosses Of F. Spencer.


It could scarcely be supposed that the self-denying, laborious life of
F. Spencer in West Bromwich, which has been already alluded to, could
be one of those effervescent fits that pass away with the newness of
change, when one remembers his life as a Protestant minister. He did
not abate one iota of his mortifications or labours, but he became
systematized with them, and managed, under the advice of his director,
to keep from extremes. He no longer scrupled paying for a conveyance,
if he thought the object of his journey was worth more than the
coach-fare. For letters, he followed the same rule, though, as he was
in a position to obtain franks very frequently, he had not so much
difficulty to put up with in the matter of paying heavy postage. To
bear these remarks out, we have some of his own letters, but the
letter of a lady, who made his acquaintance some time about 1835, and
had frequent opportunities of observing him up to the time of his
becoming a Passionist, will be more satisfactory than snatches of
sentences here and there, which accidentally tell what he was doing.

  "In the year 1835 I first became acquainted with the Catholic
  religion, and, in consequence, with the Hon. and Rev. George
  Spencer, who instructed and afterwards received me into the Church.
  From that time till the present I never for a moment doubted of his
  extraordinary sanctity. He never in all his discourses with me,
  which were numerous, spoke of anything but with an aim to the glory
  of God. I knew his housekeeper at West Bromwich, a very good woman,
  who has been dead many years. She told me that she many times found
  him, very early in the morning, {241} cleaning his own shoes, and
  she dare not let him see her for fear of confusion. She often
  remarked that he spent a very long time in the exercise of prayer
  and meditation. He was so zealous for the salvation of souls that
  whenever he saw any new comer in his chapel he would find them out,
  go to their houses and speak with them; he thus brought many into
  the Church. Although he was insulted in all kinds of ways, on his
  walks, he rejoiced and thanked God for all. When he opened his
  mission in Dudley, rather than go to a public inn he slept, wrapped
  up in a large rough cloak, on the bare floor of what served as for
  sacristy, and continued to do so for some time until he had a proper
  place prepared. Many nights at his own home he used to disturb the
  bed a little, but it was found that he had not lain in it at all for
  the whole night. When he was instructing me in the year 1836, he
  broke a blood-vessel, and though the blood literally flowed from his
  head into a dish, he continued on the instructions. He visited the
  sick constantly. On one occasion he went to see a poor woman, who
  had not one to attend her; she became very restless whilst he was
  there, and wanted to go downstairs; he wrapped her up in a blanket
  and carried her down. She was no sooner down than she wanted to be
  brought up again; he brought her up, too; she got quiet then,
  listened to him, and after a short time expired before he left the
  room.

  "At one house where he visited, a child was suffering from a bad
  mouth, so that it was quite distressing to look at it. Father
  Spencer laid his finger on the child's tongue, and said, 'It will be
  well;' in a half-an-hour afterwards it was quite well. Once my
  grandmother was at the point of death; he came and blessed her, and
  in a day or two she was quite well." Miraculous cures are wrought
  very frequently by priests' blessings. "Whatever thou blessest shall
  be blessed," is not pronounced in vain at their ordination; and "we
  must," as Father Ignatius would say pointedly to those who reflected
  little on them, "remember that our Lord's words do deserve some
  little attention." Faith can remove mountains, and it is only proper
  and just that faith could do something less. Since the faith of the
  person {242} "made whole" is often as powerful as the faith of the
  servant of God, each side escapes the vanity of having wrought
  wonders, by attributing the effect to the other. "He generally went
  to the kitchen himself, or other places, to get what he wanted, and
  would often do without a thing, rather than trouble his housekeeper
  or a servant, if he knew them to be engaged. He wished to be not
  only his own servant, but the servant of everybody as far as he
  could. He used to beg of my father and me to pray that he might
  become poorer than the poorest man we ever knew. He even once asked
  my father to pray that he might become so poor as to be compelled to
  _lie down and die in a ditch_. I never saw him out of heart or in
  the least discouraged, however difficult a case he might come
  across: he would generally say, 'We must go on, rejoice and thank
  God; it will all come right in the end.' One of his former high-up
  friends and he were walking by a lunatic asylum once, and his friend
  remarked that he should soon be fit for admission there. This he
  used to relate with as great glee as if he had received a first-rate
  compliment, perhaps greater. When he visited our house in the
  country once, he struck his head against a beam somewhere, and I was
  astonished at hearing him exclaim, 'Served me right.'"

Several dear friends die about this time, and the conflict between
affection and religious detachment is beautifully pourtrayed in the
yielding of the former to the latter by several remarks of his own and
others, which we subjoin.

He hears of the death of Cardinal Weld about the beginning of the year
1837, and thus writes to Mr. Phillipps about it: "You have heard, of
course, of Cardinal Weld's death. I have felt that it is to me like
the loss of a father almost; for he treated me as a child, as no doubt
he did a great many more. But we must not give way to sorrows, for we
have enough to do with our feelings in the battle against present
evils, without wasting them on evils which are irremediable." The next
death he heard of was that of the Honourable George Quin, a nephew of
his, and he wrote to Mr. Phillipps: "That is another warning to us to
pray better for the remainder, when one of our four families is {243}
carried off before the fruit of our prayers appears." Somewhere about
this time Lord Lyttelton dies also, without having succeeded in the
project he formed last year, nor did poor Father Spencer succeed much
in bringing him over to his side. He always respected this good
brother-in-law, and the feeling was returned. He felt greatly for his
loss, as well as for the bereavement of his sister. To add to his
trials, a change comes over the relations between him and his family.
Hitherto it was stipulated that Father Spencer was to be always
received as a welcome guest provided he never spoke on religious
subjects. The Bishop thinks it, as of course it was, unfair to place
restrictions upon him, and not leave the matter to his own discretion.
It was not quite becoming for a priest to pay visits, and keep his
lips closed by contract on everything that was proper to his sacred
character. On the other hand, the family did not like to have their
agreeable parties disturbed by controversy, which was likely to draw
out hotter words than was suitable to the state of things. Both sides
had some kind of reason to show, and Father Spencer was placed between
them. He communicated the decision of his bishop to the more
influential members of the Spencer family, but he found they would not
bend. He cheerfully gives up visiting, and even consoles some of his
friends who manifest their concern that he should be debarred a
pleasure so innocent and apparently so justifiable. How much he felt
this, notwithstanding his cheerful resignation, may be seen from the
following testimony, of one who knew him well, to the affection he had
for Lady Lyttelton, his sister, who still survives:--

  "In the year 1837 Mr. Mackey (Mrs. Mackey writes the letter) was
  engaged painting a picture for Father Ignatius, for his chapel at
  West Bromwich, and we saw a great deal of him. He was devotedly
  attached to his sister, Lady Lyttelton, and he often used to speak
  of her loving care of him when a boy; and once, when I quoted those
  lines of Gray:--

{244}

    "'See the wretch that long was toss'd
      On the stormy bed of pain,
    At once regain his vigour lost,
      And breathe and walk again.

    The meanest note that swells the gale,
      The simplest flower that scents the dale,
    The common sun, the air, the skies,
      To him are opening Paradise--'

  he was much affected, and said he had not heard them since his
  sister, Lady Lyttelton, repeated them to him after recovering from
  an illness when he was young. There was, also, a song he sang
  occasionally at our house, because she liked it, and had taught it
  to him. He sang it with such feeling that it always moved me to
  tears, and as soon as I heard of his death I began to sing it, and
  it kept recurring to me all day. I seemed to rejoice for him in the
  song. These are the words: they are Moore's:--

    "'The bird, let loose in Eastern skies,
      When hastening fondly home,
    Ne'er stoops to earth her wing, nor flies
      Where idle warblers roam.

    But high she shoots through air and light,
      Above all low delay:
    Where nothing earthly bounds her flight,
      Nor shadow dims her way.

    So grant me, Lord, from ev'ry care,
      And stain of passion free,
    Aloft through virtue's nobler air,
      To wing my course to thee.

    No sin to cloud, no lure to stay,
      My soul as home she springs,
    Thy sunshine on her joyful way,
      Thy freedom on her wings.'

  He was always very much moved when speaking of Lady Lyttelton."

It was no small sacrifice to submit with cheerfulness to the
circumstances which prevented him visiting this sister, now that she
had become a widow and had need of a consoler to help herself and
children to bear their affliction. He simply says: "I find all my
crosses and vexations to be blessings; and directly I made the
sacrifice of feeling to duty, God sent me the best set of catechumens
I have had yet. {245} Among others, a man and wife who have been
_male_ and _female_ preachers, among the Primitive Methodists, or
Ranters."

His great friend and director, the Rev. Mr. Martyn, was the next of
whose death he heard. This good and virtuous priest was more than a
friend to Father Spencer. He served his novitiate to the work of the
English mission, under his direction in Walsall, for three months
before he came to West Bromwich. He had been his confessor and guide
in all his practices of piety until now. He managed his affairs with
as much interest as if they were his own; he was ever ready with his
counsel and assistance, and seems to have taken the Dudley mission as
soon as Father Spencer had built the church there. Father Spencer
preached his funeral oration, and paid the last tribute of respect to
his mortal remains in the very spot where he so often profited by his
counsels. Here there was no cause of regret, except for the good
priest's widowed flock, for his saintly life gave strong hopes of a
blessed eternity.

It was said, in a former chapter, that he gave all his money to the
Bishop, and had sums given him now and again, of which he returned an
account at stated times, to see if the way in which he spent them
would be approved of. It may be interesting to know how he kept these
accounts. Fortunately a few leaves of the book in which they were
noted have been found among his papers, and from them we make the
following extract:--

{246}

1838.                                            £   s.  d.

Dec. 1. Mrs. Nicholl's rent paid up to Nov. 12   1   0   0
        Advanced to Mr. Elves                    0  10   0
        Mr. Davis, for a walk to Walsall         0   1   0

     2. Letter to Paris                          0   1   5

     3. Omnibus to and from Birmingham           0   2   0
        Given to Bridget Cullinge                0   2   0
        Shoe-string                              0   0   6
        Mrs. Cooper.
	  Housekeeping                           1   1   7
          Washing                                0   5   8
          Postage                                1   1   9½
          Watchman                               0   0   9
          Mr. Elves                              0   3   6
        Betsy Hawkins, quarter's wages           0  15   0
        Mrs. Cooper, towards wages               5   0   0
        Advanced to Mr. Elves                    5   0   0

     4. Mrs. Whelan                              0  10   0
        John and Barney White, for a message     0   1   0
        Elizabeth Morley                         0   1   0

     5. Armytage, 6d.; Mrs. Brown, 1s.           0   1   6
        Coals, paid Mr. Pearse                   1   6   3

     6. P. O'Brien, 2s.; Peggy, 1s.              0   3   0
        Boy who brought horse                    0   1   0
        Gordon, butcher's bill                   5  19   0
        Sealing-wax                              0   0   6
        Letter to Dr. Wiseman                    0   2   3

     7. Mrs. Cottril, 1s. 6d.; Mrs. Gale, 1s.    0   2   6
        Turnpike, 8d.; Chs. Gordon, 6d.          0   1   2

     8. Gig-whip, 2s. 6d.; turnpike, 8d.         0   3   2
        Morris, for Mrs. Callaghan's rent        0  15   0
        Shenton, for holding the mare            0   1   0
        Clothes-brush                            0   2   6

     9. Conway, 7s.6d.; school-window mended,6d  0   8   0

    10. Turnpike, 4d.; horse at Dudley, 6s.      0   6   4
        Hat at Domely's                          1   1   0
        Mrs. Brown, tailor's                     0   2   0
        Gloves                                   0   1  10
        Armytage, 6d.; lucifers, 2d.             0   0   8

    11. Stuff to make a collar, &c.              0   3   9
        Two dozen Douay Catechisms               0   4   0
        Carriage of parcel to Dr. Fletcher       0   1   2

    12. John Collinge, 1s.; P. O'Brien, 2s.      0   3   0
        Adv. to Mr. Elves                        0   1   0

    13. Adv. to Mrs. Cooper, for wages           6   0   0
        Housekeeping                             0  17  10
        Ribbon for stole                         0   5   2
        Parcel, 8s. 2d.; postage, 3s. 8d.        0  11  10
        Washing, 4s. 9d.; Mr. Elves, 8d.         0   5   5

To this may be added, that on the credit side he puts his instalments
from the Bishop, and every single penny he gets in the shape of
offerings, seat-rents, alms, &c., &c. There have also remained,
between some of the leaves of this account-book, a few little slips of
paper, on which he pencilled whatever he paid or received when away
from home, so as to be able to note it down when he came back. It
{247} may be well to remark that the extract given above cannot be
taken as an average of his expenditure, as December is a month when
bills come in thicker than in other months of the year.

It will be remembered that this mode of managing his household
affairs, was the result of the trial Father Spencer made of the vows
of religion in his secular state, which has been alluded to in a
former chapter.

{248}


CHAPTER VIII.

Association Of Prayers For The Conversion Of England.


It was in the year 1838 that he began the great work to which his life
and energies were afterwards devoted--the moving of the Catholics
everywhere to pray conjointly for the conversion of England. Before
this time he and a few of his friends prayed privately, said or heard
masses for this intention, and encouraged one another by letters and
conversations to perseverance in so holy a practice. Now he went to
work on a larger scale. How this change in the working of his zeal was
brought about will be best seen from a letter he wrote to Dr. Briggs
in November, 1838. Before, however, quoting it, it may be well to
remark that the cause of his going to France with Mr. Phillipps was
that he was breaking down in health, hard-worked by two laborious
missions, for which he had no assistant since Mr. Martyn's death, and
that his doctor advised change of air and rest. Here is the letter:--

    "London, Nov. 5, 1838.

  "My Dear Lord,--I hope I shall be doing right to explain to your
  lordship the real circumstances of the transaction which, you may
  perhaps have been told, has been adverted to in _The Times_
  newspaper of Nov. 3, and some other paper since; which states, from
  the _Gazette de France,_ that I have been at Paris, with Mr. Ambrose
  Phillipps, busy in establishing an association of prayers for the
  conversion of England to the Roman faith. I am certainly ready to
  plead guilty on this charge; but I do not find cause to repent of
  it. However, a good thing may be done so out of place and out of
  time as to make it not worth much, and it may be necessary,
  therefore, that I should explain myself before I am approved of in
  what I have been {249} doing in Paris. In the first visit which I
  paid to the Archbishop on my arrival at Paris, I was saying, what I
  say continually, that what we want above all in England is good
  prayers; and that it would be a great benefit if the French would
  undertake to unite in prayer for us. I did not think of making any
  proposal for an actual arrangement of the kind till the Archbishop
  himself (then Monseigneur Quelin) encouraged, and almost obliged, me
  to do all I could by the zealous manner in which he took up the
  idea. He appointed that I should meet him after two days at St.
  Sulpice, where seventy or eighty of the clergy of Paris were to be
  assembled to offer him an address of thanks for a retreat which he
  had given them. After the business was concluded, he introduced me
  to them, and having explained how I came to be there, he proposed
  that they should undertake to pray for the conversion of England on
  every Thursday. The proposal was most favourably received, and I
  heard of its being acted upon by many offering their mass on the
  first Thursday. This encouraged me to go on. I obtained a circular
  letter of introduction to the superiors of religious houses, and
  visited about twenty of the principal. All of them undertook to
  offer their prayers as I asked them, and to write to their sister
  houses through France. The General of the Lazarists, and the
  Provincial of the Jesuits, undertook to recommend it to their
  brethren; but what I thought more satisfactory yet was, that all the
  Archbishops and bishops whom I could meet with in Paris promised to
  recommend the prayers in their dioceses and provinces; so that it
  appeared to me that there was reason to say that all France would
  soon be united in this prayer, and I trust other countries of Europe
  will follow their example. I remember, at the time when your
  lordship received me with much kindness at Halford House, on our
  speaking of the importance of prayers being regularly said for the
  conversion of England, and you told me of what had been done at
  Ushaw under your direction. I forget whether I said to you that I
  had then lately adopted the practice of offering my mass every
  Thursday regularly for that intention. I took this from the nuns of
  Mount {250} Pavilion, with whom I had become acquainted the summer
  before, but especially what they do on Thursday, when there is high
  mass and exposition all the day, and a solemn act of reparation for
  the outrages committed against the Divine Eucharist. It seemed to me
  that this was a devotion peculiarly suited to the object of
  obtaining from Almighty God graces for England, one of whose most
  crying sins is; _the blasphemy of the Blessed Sacrament authorized
  by law for three centuries_.

  "I had only proposed the idea, however, to a few priests of my
  acquaintance, to unite in saying mass for England on that day, and
  was rather waiting for some plan to be suggested for a general union
  of prayers in England by some one of authority. But, as nothing had
  been done, and when I found myself engaged in this pursuit at Paris,
  it was necessary to propose something definite, I have nothing
  better than to request prayers from all the faithful for England,
  all days and at all times, but especially to offer mass on Thursday,
  if they be priests and at liberty, or communion, or assistance at
  mass, or visits to the Blessed Sacrament, or, in short, whatever
  they did for God, particularly on that day, for England's
  conversion.

  "The manner in which this request was accepted by all the good
  people whom I saw was most consoling to me; and it appears to me
  that I am bound to make it known in England, to those whose judgment
  is most important, and whose approval would most powerfully
  recommend the Catholics in England to correspond with the zealous
  spirit exhibited in behalf of our country by France.

  "It is not for me to suggest to your lordship what might be done. I
  only venture to hope that you may think this matter perhaps worthy
  of your attention, and will perhaps mention it to the clergy as
  occasion may present itself. I would add, that in France the
  superiors of several seminaries were most ready to undertake to
  recommend it to the students, and it pleased me particularly to
  interest those communities in behalf of England, because the
  devotion might so well spread in that way through all classes. Would
  your lordship think fit to mention the subject at Ushaw? {251} I
  have nowhere asked for any particular prayers to be said as that
  might be burdensome; but simply that this intention might be thought
  of at least, if nothing more was done in reference to it.

  "I beg again to be excused for my boldness in thus addressing you,
  and am your lordship's

    "Obedient humble servant,
      "George Spencer."

The passage he alludes to in _The Times_ was as follows:--

  "The Hon. and Rev. George Spencer, brother to the present Earl, who
  was converted from Protestantism to the Catholic faith some years
  ago, has lately been passing some time at Paris, with Mr. Ambrose
  Phillipps, a gentleman of distinction of Leicestershire, eldest son
  of the late member for the northern division of the county. They
  have been busily occupied there in establishing an association of
  prayers for the conversion of this country to the Roman faith. They
  have had several interviews with the Archbishop of Paris on this
  subject, who has ordered all the clergy to say special prayers for
  this object in the _memento_. A number of the religious communities
  in France have already begun to follow the same practice."

This paragraph was taken up, of course, and commented upon by the
second-rate papers. To be sure, the whole thing was magnified into
nothing less than a grand stir for a Papal aggression, which, if it
did not make the English shore glitter some day with French bayonets,
was certain to cram every workshop and church with Jesuits in
disguise.

The Bishops were all favourable to Father Spencer's zealous ideas;
they gave him leave to speak on the subject with all the priests; they
mentioned it in their pastorals: but they did not wish him to go too
publicly to work, as they rather feared the spirit of the times, and
did not know when another Gordon riot might arise and overthrow what
they had been building up since the Emancipation. In the meantime, the
work was progressing rapidly. A Dutch journal reached him which let
him know that all the seminaries and convents in Holland had given
their Thursday devotions for England. A good {252} priest wrote from
Geneva to say that the programme should be widened, and that all
heretics and separatists ought to be included as well as England. To
this Father Spencer consented after some deliberation, and in the
space of about six months all the Continent were sending up prayers
for England's conversion. He makes speeches at formal dinners and
public meetings, and always introduces this topic; whereupon the
reporters conceive a terrible rage, and puff the matter into all the
taverns and offices of London, Liverpool, and Manchester. Of course,
all this is accompanied with gross misrepresentations and personal
abuse. Of the former point he thus speaks in a letter:--"The
misrepresentations, as far as I have seen them in the public papers,
by which they have endeavoured to obstruct the proposed good, are so
glaring that I think all thinking persons must be benefited by reading
them." "My notion was to ignore the English public altogether, and go
on with my work as if it did not exist." "The opposite papers have
certainly helped me and well, in making the matter as public as I
could wish, without a farthing's cost to me, and in a way in which I
cannot be accused of being the immediate agent of its publicity, as it
was put about as though to annoy me, but they are pleasing me without
intending it." This was the good-humoured way in which he took all
that was personal in the journalistic tirades. It gives one an idea
both of his great zeal and the great virtue with which he accompanied it.

He now writes to the Irish Archbishops, and receives very encouraging
answers. So much did they enter into his sentiments that, in a meeting
of the Irish episcopate in Dublin, they gave his proposals a good
share of their attention, and approved of them.

This he accounted great gain. It was the prayer of the martyr for his
persecutor, of Stephen for Saul, and of Our Lord for the Jews. Poor
Ireland had groaned and writhed in Saxon bondage for centuries. She
saw her children scattered to the winds, or ground by famine and
injustice beneath the feet of the destroyer; and, at the voice of a
Saxon priest, she turned round, wiped the tear from her eye, {253}
pitied the blindness of her oppressor, and offered up her sufferings
to Heaven to plead for mercy for her persecutor. The cry was a solemn
universal prayer, framed by her spiritual leaders, and carried to
every fireside where the voice of the Church could drown the utterings
of complaint. F. Spencer thought more of the prayers of the Irish than
of all the Continent put together; these were good, but those were
heroic. He began to love Ireland thenceforward with an ever-increasing
love, and trusted chiefly to the faith and sanctity of her children
for the fulfilment of his zealous intentions.

He pushed his exertions to Rome also, by writing to Dr. Wiseman, and
asking him to see the devotion carried out in the Eternal City and the
provinces. It met the same success as in France, Belgium, Holland, and
Ireland. There is a letter extant which Dr. Wiseman wrote to F.
Spencer about this time (it is dated Ash Wednesday, 1839), and it must
be interesting, both for its intrinsic merit as well as the giving an
evidence of the harmony of feeling and sentiment that bound the great
cardinal and the zealous priest together since their first
acquaintance until they both went, within a few months of each other,
to enjoy the eternal reward of their labours in England and elsewhere,
for God's glory:--

    "Rome, _Ash Wednesday_, 1839.

  "My Dear Friend,--I must not delay any longer answering your kind
  and interesting letter. Its subject is one which has long occupied
  my thoughts, though I never contemplated the possibility of
  enlisting foreign Churches in prayer for it, but turned my attention
  more to exciting a spirit of prayer among ourselves. I will enter on
  the matter in hand with the most insignificant part of it, that is,
  my own feelings and endeavours, because I think they may encourage
  you and suggest some thoughts upon the subject. In our conference
  this time last year, I spoke very strongly to the students upon the
  wants of England, and the necessity of a new system in many things.
  One of the points on which I insisted was the want of systematic
  prayer for the conversion of England, and, at the same time, of
  _reparation_ for her defection. I observed that it is the only
  country {254} which has _persisted in_ and _renewed_, in every
  generation, _formal acts of apostacy_, exacting from every
  sovereign, in the name of the nation, and from all that aspired to
  office or dignity, specific declarations of their holding Catholic
  truths to be superstitious and idolatrous. This, therefore, assumes
  the form of a national sin of blasphemy and heresy--not habitual,
  but actual; it is a bar to the Divine blessing, an obstacle of a
  positive nature to God's grace. It calls for contrary _acts_, as
  explicit and as formal, to remove its bad effects. Now what are the
  points on which this blasphemous repetition of national apostacy has
  fastened? They are chiefly two: Transubstantiation and the worship
  of the Blessed Virgin. These, consequently, are the points towards
  which the reparation and, for it, the devotion of Catholics should
  be directed in England. I therefore proposed, and have continued to
  inculcate this two-fold devotion, to our students on every occasion.
  I have for a year made it my daily prayer that I might be
  instrumental in bringing back devotion to the Blessed Eucharist, its
  daily celebration, frequent Communion, and _public_ worship in
  England; and, at the same time, devotion to the Blessed Virgin,
  chiefly _through the propagation of the Rosary_. (My reasons for the
  choice of the Rosary I shall, perhaps, not be able to explain in
  this letter.) Allow me to mention, as I write to you, quite
  confidentially, that the idea struck me one afternoon that I
  happened to be alone in the Church of St. Eustachio, observing that
  the altar of the Blessed Sacrament was that of the Madonna; this led
  me to earnestly praying on the subject of uniting those two objects
  in a common devotion in England, and offering myself to promote it.
  Several things led me to feel strongly on the subject which, being
  trifles to others if not to myself, I omit. First, as to the Blessed
  Eucharist, my plan was different from yours in one respect, that,
  instead of fixing on one day, I proposed to engage priests to say
  mass for the conversion of England on different days, so that every
  day twenty or thirty masses might be said for its conversion, and in
  expiation to the Blessed Sacrament. At such a distance from the
  field of action, I could do but little; I therefore made the few
  priests who have left since last {253} year at this time put down
  their names for two days a month, for mass for these purposes,
  intending to fill up my list as I could. One of them, Mr. Abraham,
  writes that he observes his engagement most punctually. With all
  deference, I submit to you whether, while Thursday remains the day
  for general prayer, every priest (for I should think none would
  refuse) would choose a couple of days a month, or a day each week,
  for these purposes. In a sermon in the Gesù e Maria, last spring, I
  alluded to a hope I fondly cherished, that public reparation would
  before long be made in England to the Blessed Sacrament, and this
  brought me a letter from a devout lady, earnestly begging I would
  try to have something done in that way, and naming persons in
  England most anxious to cooperate in anything of the sort. My idea
  was borrowed from my excellent friend, Charles Weld, and consisted
  in _Quarant' Ore_, not confined to one town, but making the circuit
  of all England, so that by day and night the Adorable Sacrament
  might be worshipped through the year. I have proposed it to Lord
  Shrewsbury, for I think it should commence with the colleges,
  convents, gentlemen's chapels, and large towns, in which I trust
  each chapel would consent. As the Exposition at each place lasts two
  days, it would require 182 changes in the year, or, if each would
  take it twice a year, 91. There are about twenty-five religious
  communities and colleges; the chapels in large towns could afford to
  make up other twenty-five. I think that many pious people would like
  to have the _Exposition_, and gladly contribute the expense, and the
  _giro_ might be published for the year in each directory. I must say
  I should set myself against the common practice of keeping the
  Blessed Sacrament in a _cupboard_ in the vestry, without a light
  even, and never having an act of adoration paid to it, except at
  mass. Security from sacrilege must be purchased, but not by a sort
  of sacrilege which it always looked to me; the faithful should be
  encouraged to visit the Blessed Sacrament during the day. Secondly,
  as to the devotion to the Blessed Virgin, I proposed the forming of
  Confraternities of the Rosary, and, while Saturday should be the
  general day for the devotion, I would have different congregations
  {256} fix on different days, so that each day the powerful
  intercession of the Blessed Virgin might be invoked upon us and upon
  our labours, and reparation be made to her for the outrages
  committed against her. I offered Mr. Oxley and Mr. Procter to write
  a little treatise on the Rosary, if they would disseminate it. _One_
  of my reasons for preferring the Rosary, both for myself and English
  Catholics, is what ordinarily forms an objection to it. Pride, when
  we come to pray, is our most dangerous enemy, and I think no better
  security can be given against it than to pray as the poor and
  ignorant do. Do we then _wish_ that God should judge us by the
  standard of the wise who _know_ their duty, or by that of the poor
  little ones? If by the latter, why spurn the prayers instituted for
  them, and say, 'We will not use them, but the prayers better suited
  to the learned.' The 'Our Father' was appointed and drawn up for men
  who said 'Lord, teach us how to pray.' It is a prayer for the
  ignorant, as is the Rosary. But more of this another time. It was my
  intention to have begun daily prayers for England last St. George's
  Day; I was prevented from drawing them up, but hope to begin this
  year. In the meantime, I took out of our archives a printed paper,
  of which I enclose a copy, showing that prayers for the conversion
  of England, &c., have in former times occupied the attention of our
  college, which blessed beads, &c., for the purpose of encouraging
  them, and that the Holy See conferred ample spiritual privileges
  upon the practice. You will see how the Rosary is particularly
  privileged. This paper, through Giustiniani, I laid before the
  Congregation of Indulgences to get them renewed for prayers for
  England, and was told that it would be better to draw up something
  new, suited to present times, when Indulgences would be granted. So
  far as to my views and ideas before your better ones reached me, and
  I willingly resign all my views and intentions in favour of yours.
  Now, as to what is doing here. On the Feast of St. Thomas we
  distributed to all the cardinals that came, a copy of your sermon
  received that morning, with a beautiful lithograph of St. Thomas,
  Cant., executed in the house at some of the students' expense, to
  propagate devotion to him. {257} Cardinal Orioli declared that he
  had for years made a _memento_ for England in his mass, and Cardinal
  Giustiniani told me the other day that every Thursday he offers up
  mass for its conversion. There is a little religious weekly journal
  published here for distribution among the poor, and it has lately
  been in almost every number soliciting prayers for the same purpose.
  Its principal editor, an ex-Jesuit, Padre Basiaco, called on me the
  other evening, and told me, as a singular coincidence, that since he
  was in his noviciate he has made it a practice to pray on Thursday
  for that object. To show you to what an extent the pious custom is
  spreading, the Austrian Ambassador the other evening told me that
  his little boys (about seven and eight years old) prayed every
  Thursday morning for the conversion of England; and that having been
  asked by their mother on that day if he had prayed for it, one of
  the little fellows replied, 'No, mamma; it is not Thursday.' Surely
  God must intend to grant a mercy when He stirs up so many to pray
  for it, and that, too, persons having no connection with the object,
  except by zeal or charity. I am going, in a day or two, to concert
  with Pallotta the best means of propagating this devotion, both in
  communities and among the people. I perfectly approve of enlarging
  your original plan so as to embrace all that are in error. I am in
  favour of giving expansion to charities in any way, and
  _Catholicising_ our feelings as much as our faith. We are too
  insular in England in religion as in social ideas. This was one of
  my reasons for wishing to have the _oeuvre_ unconnected with
  domestic purposes, which would, however, be benefited by the greater
  energy which the spirit of charity would receive by being extended.
  I am endeavouring to excite in the students as much as I can the
  missionary spirit; all the meditations are directed to this. By the
  missionary spirit I do not mean merely a parochial, but an apostolic
  spirit, where each one, besides his own especial flock, takes an
  interest in, and exerts himself for the benefit of the entire
  country, according to the gifts he has received. Remember me in your
  prayers, and believe me your sincere and affectionate friend,

    "N. Wiseman."


{258}


CHAPTER IX.

His Last Days In West Bromwich.


The account given of Father Spencer's zealous labours for the
conversion of England would be incomplete if something were not added
to show how he succeeded in bringing persons into the Church in the
locality of which he had the spiritual charge. There is no record of
the number he received, and only from stray notes, from various
sources, can some instances of his way of working be given. He was not
a great preacher, as all knew; but there was a peculiar spirit in what
he said which seemed to impress his discourse upon the hearer as if it
came not from himself. This want of human eloquence was a drawback to
him inasmuch as it was not likely to bring crowds to hear him. An
anecdote or two will illustrate this. Once he was asked to preach in
Manchester, and many Catholics who heard of it went, of course, to
hear the convert who was talked and written about so much. Among the
rest, one young man who had beforehand built castles in his own mind
about the glowing eloquence he should hear. To his disappointment, the
preacher was cold, dry, and tame. He was not too pleased, but some way
or another every word took effect upon him, and he could not quit
thinking of the sermon, and the peculiar way in which many things were
said. The end of it was, that he became, some time after, a
Passionist, and was one of those in whom Father Ignatius found great
consolation, on account of the zeal he showed and continues still to
show, in the pursuit of the darling objects of Father Ignatius's life.
A lady was more pointed in her remarks. She went to hear him on some
other great occasion, and she said:--"I saw him go into the pulpit; I
heard him address {259} the people, and I was waiting all the time
thinking when will he have done talking and begin to preach, until, to
my surprise, I found what purported to be a sermon coming to a
conclusion, yet I can remember to this day almost everything he said."

From the little weight Father Spencer laid upon human learning in the
work of conversion, one would be tempted to suppose he undervalued
what he did not possess. No greater mistake could be made. He was a
Cambridge first-class man, and must therefore be a good mathematical
and classical scholar. He spoke Italian and French almost without a
grammatical fault, and conversed very well in German. He was well read
in the English Protestant divines, and knew Catholic theology with
accuracy, and to an extent which his academical course would not lead
us to expect. It may be said that his youth and manhood were spent
over the pages of the best English writers, and in the company often
of the best living authors. Althorp and Spencer House were famous for
their literary coteries, and the son of an earl who patronized men of
talent, and gave unmistakable proofs of great talent himself, was not
one to let such opportunities pass without profit.

He trusted little, however, to the sway of intellect, and put his hope
in fervent petitions for divine grace. He told Dr. Wiseman that he
should apply his mind to something more practical than Syriac
manuscripts, or treatises on geology, and that he would rather see him
taken up with what suited a priest on the English mission as it then
was. The rector, of course, took the rebuke as humility dictated; but
we should certainly be sorry that he had not written his _Connexion
between Science and Revealed Religion_, and his _Lectures on the
Eucharist_. Spencer, to be sure, was mistaken in this; but the idea
gave a bent to his mind, which he could hardly be expected to change
when hampered with the work of a parish.

They who knew him well can give testimony to his high attainments, and
all who ever heard him speak of himself can bear a more ample
testimony still to the very low opinion he had of his own
acquirements. It is no wonder that he {260} wrote no books; the little
he did publish in the way of newspaper letters and sermons during his
last years in West Bromwich, did not produce much apparent effect. It
is not our province to review these here, but it is well to say that
the sermons rank far above his spoken ones in point of style and
matter, especially the French sermon he preached in Dieppe in 1838.

The prayers, to which he chiefly trusted for the conversion of his
countrymen, did not bring much evident gain. Others reaped what he
sowed in this way, and he tells us in the Dieppe sermon that during a
confirmation Dr. Walsh gave in that year he had 600 new converts to
impose hands upon.

His field at this time was confined mostly to his conversation and
example; to both of which his name and reputation added something in
the eyes of the world. These gave him leave to speak at least, and
procured him listeners where other priests would not obtain a hearing.
And he had no small power in word and example, as all who knew him are
aware, and a few incidents may serve to illustrate.

As to his conversation, its peculiar charm consisted in the importance
of its drift, and the nice sweet humour by which he rendered it
agreeable. Besides, it may be safely said, that there scarcely ever
was a man so happy in his illustrations, or in the homely way in which
he put an argument, or answered an objection. This last property can
be seen from the following passage, which is quoted from one of his
letters to a newspaper:--

  "I was once attacked by a stanch Church of England man, who had been
  an old sailor, and had lost an arm in the service, for what he
  thought was unworthy of my character and family, leaving my colours
  and changing sides. I answered him thus: Suppose you, my friend, had
  entered a ship bearing the King of England's flag and pennant, and
  gone out and fought many a battle against French cruisers, but then
  found out by chance that the captain of the ship was an outlawed
  pirate, who had no right to the colours which he wore, and was
  making you fight for himself, not for your king, would you let me
  call you a deserter if the next time you came within hail of a {261}
  true king's ship you jumped overboard and swam to her? The good
  sailor seemed to understand me, and said no more about leaving my
  colours."

It was remarked that very few ever went to speak with him in earnest
about their soul with any kind of docility, whom he did not succeed in
bringing into the Church. Then his example was a continual sermon. He
preferred the poor, not as poor wretches on whom he thought it was
heroic to spend a few kind words of mawkish pity, but, in order to
make them feel as if they were his brothers and sisters. He would come
into their hovels, sit down with them, and even take a cup of tea
there, which he might have refused at a richer place. They represented
to him the person of Jesus Christ, who said, "The poor you have always
with you," as a substitute for Himself.

His patience was no less wonderful. One day he was walking with a sort
of bag on his shoulder, when an insolent fellow came out before him
and spat in his face. His housekeeper was with him, helping to carry
some articles, for he was then going to say mass in one of the little
places he had opened near Bromwich. She of course fired with
indignation at once, and said: "You wicked man! how dare you spit in
the face of Lord Spencer's son, and he such a good gentleman? "Mr.
Spencer took out his handkerchief, wiped his face, and only said to
the housekeeper: "And how dare you be angry? I am proud of being
treated as my dear Lord was;" and went on his way as if nothing had
happened. He did not even allude to it again.

He was also very abstemious, and never took wine or spirits for a
number of years; indeed, he may be said to have tasted none except as
medicine since he became a Catholic, and for sometime before. His
bishop told a very curious anecdote about this. Father Spencer took
very little sleep, and in fact he so shortened his time of rest that
often, when returning home from a sick call, he would be nodding
asleep up the street, and walk like a man who had taken "a little more
than was good for him." He was reported to the bishop as being seen in
this state. The bishop was amused first, and then surprised; but when
he found {262} out the cause, notwithstanding that he was edified, he
made the good priest sleep a little longer every night. This only
shows how captious were the people he had to deal with, and how easily
they might have been scandalized. Yet he was venerated by all
Catholics as a saint, and Protestants began to respect him after some
time as a really good man, and a server of the Lord according to his
conscience. The opinion of his sanctity was not merely superficial
hearsay; his brother priests, who knew him most intimately, and were
not the persons to take the appearance of holiness for the reality,
are all of one opinion, that his life was the life of a great saint. A
student writes to Father Spencer's assistant, Rev. Mr. Elves, in 1838,
from Rome, in the following terms:

  "It must be a very great source of edification to you to be the
  companion of Mr. Spencer, and I well know he has got in you a friend
  willing and ready to imitate his holy example. I am sorry that
  illness obliges him to retire from you for the present, but it will
  be a consolation for you to think that he has gone to gather more
  strength for the contest. Many a time I have dwelt with delight on
  the idea of being at some future period his fellow missioner, for I
  feel it would be a source of zeal and fervour to me to live with
  such a person, and I hope and pray God my wishes may be fulfilled,
  and that I may have such a companion, or rather such a director,
  during the first years of my missionary career."

This letter must have been an answer to the account the priest sent
his young friend of the holiness of his companion.

Again, Father Spencer never heeded what we call the public, as he said
himself he wished to ignore its existence; and strange enough by that
very means he gained its esteem. This is best illustrated by what
happened on his return from France, in '38. He saw the clergy there of
course go about in their soutanes and full ecclesiastical costume; and
he did not see why he might not do the same. He ignored the public,
put on his cassock, and went in full priestly costume everywhere. He
went to towns, into trains and omnibuses, walks the streets, and he
gives the result in a letter to a friend thus: "This has not procured
me one {263} disrespectful word, which is worthy of remark here, for I
do not think I ever passed two or three weeks in this place without
being hooted after by boys or men somewhere."

Thus we have the servant following his Master, drinking in insults as
sweet draughts in silence and humility; and when he was supposed to be
ground to the very earth by ignominy, gaining a respect, a love, and a
reputation that is as fresh to-day in his old parish among not only
those who knew him but their children who heard of him. Yes, this day,
more than 25 years in distance of time, he is, if possible, more
venerated and more regretted than the day he resigned the pastoral
charge of West Bromwich.


{264}


CHAPTER X.

Father Spencer Comes To Oscott.


The Bishop, Dr. Walsh, calls Mr. Spencer to Oscott College towards the
end of April or perhaps in the beginning of May, 1839. The object of
this change was, to give him the spiritual care of the students, in
order that he might shape their characters, and infuse into them that
apostolic spirit of which he had already given such proofs. Here is
one other instance of the true way to real distinction in greatness in
the Catholic Church, lying through the road humility and its
concomitant virtues points out. Father Spencer sought to be unknown;
he petitioned for the poorest and the most unprovided mission. In his
little parish he found his earthly paradise, and the toils and
troubles he went through, to make his practice keep pace with his
fervour, formed the links of his happiness. He prayed, he lectured, he
heard confessions; he sought the stragglers in their haunts of
idleness; he had no idea of extending his sphere of action beyond the
limits of his mission, and, he even made the half of that over to
another, that his working could be the more effectual as its space was
narrowed. Every plan he devised for doing good on a large scale was
fated to become abortive. His natural means of influence he had cast
aside; he gave up writing in newspapers, and let dogs bark at him
without stooping to notice them; his high connections were virtually
sundered when he gave up paying visits to his family; his property he
divested himself of altogether, and grieved that the steward who was
appointed to look after him took too much care of him, and did not let
him feel what it was to be poor indeed. Here then is the young
nobleman transformed into the {265} priest, and stripped of
everything, which priests who were not noble often pursue as necessary
for their position; ay, thoroughly shorn to the bare condition of a
priest. He was a priest and nothing more, and that is saying a great
deal. If priests were always mere priests they would always be great
saints. But when a priest dips his sacred character into worldly
pursuits, riches, human aims and ways; when that sublime dignity he
has received is trampled upon by his own self, and is saturated in the
deep dye of worldliness, he ceases to be great, inasmuch as he ceases
to be a priest in sentiment and action. It is often supposed that a
priest has to do many things in consideration of "his cloth." Many
actions that humility dictates are considered _infra dig_. It would be
so, for instance, to carry one's own bundle, polish one's shoes, allow
a navvy to spit in one's face, or a ragamuffin to tear one's coat,
without handing him over to the police. St. Francis Xavier did not
think it _infra dig_ to wash his own shirt, and Father Spencer was
very much of that saint's way of thinking on this and kindred points.

When, however, he had arrived at the lowest depth of humiliation he
could possibly reach, like his Divine Master, he began to shine forth
and to move the whole world. We have traced above how this change came
about. He used to speak to every one, merely as agreeable matter of
hopeful conversation, about the conversion of England, and get them
also to pray for it. His crusade was quite accidental as far as his
own preconceived notions were concerned. He went to France with Mr.
Phillipps, much against his will, and found himself all of a sudden
launched into the great work of his life, by the encouraging words of
French prelates. He was not the man to lose an opportunity of doing
good through lack of energy or fear of opposition. He could brave
everything for God's glory. If there was anything that helped him best
in his work, it was the opposition he encountered. He knew that, and
therefore every new stroke levelled against him from friends or foes
was a fresh impetus to new exertions. Hence he is now the
correspondent of the heads of the Catholic Church at home {266} and on
the continent; all the religious orders have heard of him and his zeal
for England; seculars have heard; priests, nuns, monks, all chime in
with his notions; many because they were glad to have the opportunity,
many because they did not wish to be behind their neighbours, and all
because it was a good, holy, and laudable thing to pray for the
conversion of heretics.

He says little about his property or what is being done with it in any
of the letters that remain after him; but a bishop in whose diocese he
lived has told us something. Mr. Spencer had from his father's will
and testament £3,600 in some funds, besides an annuity of £300 for
life, to which £300 were added _ad beneplacitum dantis_. His moderate
way of living took very little from this sum every year, so all the
remainder, with the interest of some years, was at the bishop's
disposal. Two missions, Dudley and West Bromwich, were founded by him
with this property, at least for the greater part; and the ground upon
which the present college of Oscott stands was bought chiefly with
what Father Spencer gave the bishop. He gave a pension to his old
housekeeper, which she still receives, and whilst his property was
thus doing good for others and the Church, he would not travel in a
first-class carriage on the railway, and often walked from Oscott to
Birmingham, in order to be able to give the fare for his journey to
some persons along the way.

He had done more than this: he was in close correspondence with Dr.
Gentili and Father Dominic. He paved their way, and worked upon the
opinions of many whose influence was required for their introduction
into England. Dr. Gentili was a personal friend of his, and so was
Father Dominic; but Father Spencer thought the claims of the former
somewhat stronger for reasons which can only be surmised. Mrs. Gaming,
his cousin, to whose letters we owe a great deal of the information we
are able to glean concerning their transactions, was the great
advocate of the Passsionists. She so pressed the matter upon him that
he gets rather impatient, and tells her to mind her prayers and leave
these things to others. Our Fathers agreed in General {267} Chapter,
in 1839, to send a colony to England; but as there was no provision
made nor opening offered, for some years more this decision, was not
carried into effect. The Passionists refer their coming to England,
under God, to Cardinal Wiseman, acknowledging at the same time that
Father Spencer did something towards the work. He also had a good deal
to do with the coming of the Trappists to Loughborough, near Mr.
Phillipps's. In all these three events he works in his own quiet way,
beneath the surface, writing and advising, and doing what lay in his
power consistent with other duties.

He keeps up correspondence by letter with some of his old friends at
college, and with one or two of the Tractarians, Mr. Palmer, the
author of the "Church of Christ," among the number. An old friend of
his writes to him from among the Irvingites, and Father Spencer writes
to another in these terms:--"The supposed miraculous voice, to which
that party (the Irvingites) attend, has named 12 men as Apostles, who
expect shortly to be endued with miraculous powers to enable them to
restore the Church in its perfect beauty. Drummond the banker is one.
Spencer Percival, and my great friend Henry Bridgman, Lord Bradford's
brother, others." It is not a little strange that this Mr. Bridgman
comes into the journal of Father Ignatius's Cambridge life very
frequently, and mostly in the character of a Mentor.

Father Ignatius never gained much from correspondence, sought on his
part, with leading men in the great religious movements of the period.
But whenever others sought his advice, they generally became
Catholics. They were disposed for truth, and he could remove
objections, tell them of books, and pray for them. He broke off this
kind of unasked-for correspondence at this time, but he resumed it
again on a different footing, as shall be related in its place.

He had another means of doing good now, which could not come into his
line while simple pastor of a country district. The college of Oscott
was a place worth seeing, if not as a specimen of architecture, at
least as being the stronghold of Catholicism, and the centre of a
great deal of {268} intellectual and moral training. Many of his great
friends, who could not hitherto devise any plausible plea for visiting
him in his retirement, could find one immediately now, from the place
he dwelt in as well as the position he there held. His name was also
noised abroad, and persons would feel some curiosity for the
acquaintance of one who was moving heaven and earth for their
conversion. Accordingly, we find that he entertains his two brothers,
the then earl and his successor, on one day; Lord Lyttelton and Mr.
Gladstone on another day, and so forth. Thus, that particular power he
possessed in his conversation had a field upon which it could be
brought into requisition, in a manner which former arrangements had
debarred to him.

Several of the sermons he preached were published and distributed.
There was no faculty of his, natural or supernatural, no good deed he
was capable of doing, that did not come into play far better by his
late transfer to Oscott. He was also practised in the drudgery of a
missionary priest--that sphere of action which fills up a priest's
ordinary life; and he was able from experience to teach others, not
only how to prepare themselves, but how to succeed with profit to
themselves and others in this work. He had also peculiar advantages
here; he could give the young ecclesiastics not only the abstract
rules for missionary labour, but a taste and relish for it, for very
seldom can one succeed well if his tastes run counter to his duties.
He did this by continuing in Oscott his old parish work; he visited
the sick, brought them the sacraments; he gave a portion of every day
to his favourite work, and by the incidents he came across, and the
results of his labours, he raised up the young gentlemen's notions to
the looking upon that as the poetic side of their ministry which is
generally supposed to be the most prosaic. This is a great secret in
the training of young men; to tell them best is best, and prove it to
them, will convince them of course; but it will not lead them; there
must be some grace, some romantic aspect put upon the thing, and then
it entices them of itself. This was Father Spencer's secret, and,
indeed, it might be said that it was his rule. He writes in a letter
now, that he condemns asperity in controversy, {269} and that civility
and good breeding, with pity and love, is the way to confound
opponents; and that he would rather see a clever argument unanswered
than met with pungency and acrimony. This might be quarrelled with,
for in war all things are lawful; but the real state of opinion to
which he came on these matters was, that opponents were surer to be
conquered by being enticed than driven. Let the Catholic religion but
be seen in its native beauty, and thousands will be led to examine it.


{270}


CHAPTER XI.

Some Of His Doings In Oscott College.


Father Spencer's way of training young men has been already hinted at.
He carried it out while he remained in his new office; he would go
heartily into all their sports, make up their matches for cricket, and
even give the younger ones instructions in the art. They had all a
high opinion of his sanctity, and therefore the keeping of their
juvenile spirits in order was not always a difficult matter. Oscott
contained at the time 140 students, 30 only of whom were
ecclesiastics. Among the lay students, who are mostly younger than the
others, and have a notion too that because they do not intend to be
priests they are not obliged to be so guarded as the rest, there were
several who were not very manageable. One day a class he had in hand
were rather uproarious; he quietly advised them to come to better
sentiments; his words were, however, lost, and the noise was not
abated. He remonstrated again, but all to no purpose. At length he got
a hearing, and said: "Since I cannot correct you, and do not wish to
chastise you, I shall pray to God to chastise you Himself." This, said
in his sad mood, had such an effect upon the boys that it was never
forgotten, and he never had the least difficulty with his class again.

On another occasion he did something in execution of his duty, which
gave great offence to one of the young men. This young man grossly
insulted him, in words that shocked all who were within hearing, and
particularly reflected on the Father's character as a gentleman and a
man of honour. The insult must have been the more galling as the
person who was guilty of it was by birth and education in the position
of a gentleman. One calm and placid look was the {271} only answer
from Father Spencer, which reminded many present of our Lord's look at
Peter after his denial. For this anecdote and the next we are indebted
to the Right Rev. Dr. Amherst.

  "When he (Father Spencer) was a superior at Oscott, I had the good
  fortune to be under him. He frequently visited me and several of my
  companions in our rooms, where he would talk with greatest
  earnestness of the conversion of England, of the sanctification of
  the priesthood, and of the entire devotedness which should
  characterize a priest. Sometimes his visits took place late at night
  after we were gone to bed, when, if we were not asleep, he would sit
  upon a chair, a table, or the edge of the bed, and speak of his
  favourite themes for an hour. Once I remember awaking in the
  morning, after one of these visits, and expecting to find the father
  still seated on my bed, not perceiving that the night had passed. He
  had, no doubt, found that I had gone asleep, and went away quietly."

Another time one of the students, a young man about 17, who is now a
zealous priest in the English Mission, happened to be out shooting
somewhere. He took a shot at a blackbird, and some poor old woman was
within range, and received a shot just over the eye. She cried out
that she was shot, and one may imagine the embarrassment of the young
student. She recovered, however; but in a year or two after the
occurrence, a quack doctor applied some remedies to a new swelling in
the eye, and swelling and remedies resulted in her death. There was an
inquest held in Birmingham, to which the student was summoned. Whilst
awaiting the day, the poor fellow was in very low spirits, as might be
expected. Father Spencer went to his room to console him, and said
that he had no reason to be cast down, that it was quite accidental,
and permitted by God as a trial, with a great deal more. It was of
little use, the poor student said, "but they might transport me."
"Beautiful, beautiful," exclaimed the good Father; "fine field for the
exercise of apostolic zeal among the poor convicts." "But then they
might even hang me," rejoined the student. "Glorious sacrifice," said
Father Spencer; "you {272} can offer your life, though innocent in
this case, in satisfaction for your other sins." Well, the student,
though he thought the sentiments very high for his grade of
spirituality, did not fail to profit by them, and tells the story to
this day with a great deal of interest. Thus did Father Spencer work
among the students, a model in all virtues, and so sweet and holy in
his manner that his words went to the very heart with effect.

This was how he went on in the ordinary routine of the work allotted
to him; but his zeal could not be bounded by such a sphere, he had
tried what expansion could do, and he sought by grand schemes to get
other ways of doing good. His great notion was "perfection for all."
"Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect," was ever ringing
in _his_ ears, and he desired to see that great counsel of our Divine
Lord acted upon with more earnestness. He would do his share; he had
long been living like a religious, and practising the three
evangelical counsels with success. He wanted now to extend the same
rule to others. Of course, he did not find many to adopt his notions,
but lest priests might be considered to assume too much in condemning
his plans, he was advised to put his ideas on paper, and send them to
Rome. He did so, and the answer of the Roman Censor was unfavourable.
This was a heavy blow, but he submitted at once, and thanked God he
had superiors who could find out his faults, and knew how to correct
him without human respect. We have reason to suppose this censor was
no other than Dr. Wiseman, for he and Father Spencer differed a little
about the introduction of religious orders into England. Father
Spencer said his hope was not in religious orders, but in secular
priests living the lives of religious. This was why he took no leading
part in bringing Passionists or others into his country; he had a
great opinion of their holiness, and wished to see them working for
the conversion of England, but rather at a distance than in the field.

To add to his crosses, Dr. Baines published a pastoral towards the end
of the year 1839, in which he gave no hopes of the conversion of
England, and prohibited public {273} prayers being made for that end.
This was a terrible blow to poor Father Spencer; he wrote as if he did
not well understand what he had to say, and the thing looked to him so
uncalled-for and so uncharitable, that he was unable to explain
himself. He was, however, pleased to find out afterwards that this
very opposition gave new strength to the cause.

In a sermon which Father Spencer preached in Manchester, in May, 1839,
he used some expressions that gave offence to Catholic principles. The
drift of the discourse is that Catholics and Protestants should
sacrifice everything except truth itself for peace sake. In bringing
this principle into application, he says the Catholics should offer
themselves open to conviction, and be ready to lay down their belief,
if it could be proved not true. He uses the following words:--

  "The truth of my faith as a Christian and a Catholic is, to my mind,
  a certainty, because I have evidence that it was taught by God, who
  cannot deceive nor be deceived. Will that evidence be weakened by
  fresh examination and discussion? and do I anyways make an unholy or
  a perilous concession, when I declare myself ready to renounce my
  belief, if it were sufficiently shown to me that the evidences on
  which I believe it to be divine are wrong? I embraced and hold it
  now, because the evidence of its truth, was, and is to my mind
  unanswerable. I show no doubting of its truth, but, on the contrary,
  I declare how little doubt I have of its truth, when I profess
  myself with all my heart willing to renounce it if proved not true,
  and to embrace any form of doctrine which shall be presented in its
  place on sufficient grounds of credibility. This is the spirit in
  which I wish all Catholics would offer themselves to discussion with
  our Protestant brethren."

If he meant this as a bold assertion of the certainty with which he
held the Catholic faith, and would offer these terms because convinced
of the utter impossibility of proving him to be wrong, it might be
barely tolerated. It is a form of speech that has sometimes been used
by controversialists--Maguire, for instance--but it has none the less
been always considered rash. That this was the sense in which {274}
Father Spencer used it, is abundantly evident from other parts of the
sermon. However, the proposition that a Catholic and a Protestant may
meet on equal terms to discuss their tenets, each open to conviction
by the other's arguments, is simply erroneous and scandalous, to say
nothing more. We cannot do such a thing without denying the very basis
of our faith. Our faith is not opinion, nor is it certainty simply. It
is something more. It is a divine virtue infused into our souls,
whereby we believe certain things. We must use reason to come to the
evidence of faith, but faith once obtained must never be left at the
mercy of the fickleness and weakness of any individual's understanding
or power of argument.

To lay down the proposition we animadvert on, would be equivalent to
denying the objectivity of faith altogether. Whether a Catholic
reasons well or ill, answers arguments or is confounded, his faith is
the same; it is not his faith simply, but the faith of the Catholic
Church, the faith given by God, which no man can add to or take from.
Nay, the very putting of oneself in the position here mentioned is a
real tempting God, if not undermining faith itself, by laying it open
to the possibility of doubt. There is no use in deceiving Protestants,
therefore, by apparent concessions like the rash offer which we said
might be tolerated. It is impossible; our terms are fixed, and we are
fixed in them, so that it is merely an exaggeration, in its mildest
form. When, therefore, Father Spencer lays it down thus, and says that
it is the spirit in which he would wish all Catholics to discuss, he
may be fairly taxed with the second interpretation. Whether or no, it
was wrong to preach it to all Catholics. Fancy a poor woman, who could
scarcely read, entering into a discussion with an educated Protestant
on these terms. He was of course called to order for this sermon, but
his Catholic spirit was his safeguard. He first wondered how he had
been wrong, but even laymen point out his mistake to him, and a word
from the Bishop is enough to make him retract. Thus he soon found out
the keenness of Catholic instinct to anything coming from a priest
that even grazes the brink of error.


{275}


CHAPTER XII.

Some Events Of Interest.


In the year 1840 Father Spencer had the happiness of hearing that his
great friend, Dr. Wiseman, was consecrated bishop, and was coming from
Rome to be coadjutor to Dr. Walsh, and take up his residence in the
very College of Oscott where he himself was. Another event occurred,
of no less interest. One of his brother priests, Dr. Wareing, was
consecrated Bishop of Ariopolis, and Vicar-Apostolic of a new
district, the Eastern district in England. Father Spencer preached the
consecration sermon; and these two additional bishops in England
raised his hopes of the spread of the Catholic faith. It may not be
out of place to insert a sentence or two from a letter this venerable
bishop, who has retired from his pastoral duties in consequence of ill
health for some time past, has written to one of our fathers.

  "On many occasions, while at Oscott College, the Superior, and
  myself among the rest, often thought his zeal too unbounded and
  rather imprudent, and could not sanction some of his projects and
  undertakings. Though it cost him much, he always obeyed, and used to
  pray that Heaven would direct his superiors, whose direction he
  never refused to obey. I believe he never wished for anything but
  the will of God, and waited patiently for its accomplishment. I
  remember also on one occasion hearing him say, 'How _beautiful_ it
  would be _to die in a ditch, unseen and unknown_.' [Footnote 9]
  These were his very words; and I was forcibly struck when I {276}
  heard of the exact circumstances of his holy death, to see how his
  wish and prayer were granted to him."

    [Footnote 9: This was his continual aspiration. He wished to die
    like his Lord, deprived of human aid and sympathy.]

He receives news in the beginning of the year 1841 of six nuns having
bound themselves by vow to pray for the conversion of England. But a
more beautiful and consolatory piece of information still was, that a
French missioner had formed an association in Persia of prayers for
the same object. He goes to London and preaches in several churches,
among others, in Lincoln's-Inn Fields, of course about the conversion
of England, for he scarcely ever preached a sermon in which he did not
introduce this topic; nay, he never held a half-hour's conversation
without introducing it.

It was about this time, too, that he came across Mr. Pugin the elder.
His first meeting was rather characteristic of both. Father Spencer
had preached a sermon somewhere on the conversion of England, and he
gave benediction after it. Pugin came into the sacristy. The famous
Goth saw Father Spencer in a Roman cope, and he comes up to him in a
kind of nettlesome mood, saying, "What! convert England with such a
cope as that?" Father Spencer says in a letter written at this time,
"I am not possessed with the enthusiastic zeal for correct forms
(Gothic) which some are. It is not my special calling .... Mr. Pugin
is the authority to which I would defer in these matters." The only
other opinion of Pugin's he records in his letters, is that he said to
Father Spencer one time, "It is absurd to expect to get anything for
one's works from booksellers or publishers."

Another event that gave him joy, and afterwards a good deal of sorrow,
was the conversion of a well-known, clergyman. This remarkable convert
lived some time in Oscott after his conversion. Father Spencer took
him with him sometimes on his parish duties, and had great hopes of
him. These were all disappointed when, in a couple of years, he went
back again after being ordained priest and having said mass. Father
Ignatius often spoke of him, often visited him, and asked others to
pray for him. He used to tell us one curious anecdote about him.
Shortly after his apostasy, {277} he was invited to a tea-party where
Evangelical ladies assembled to congratulate themselves, and sip their
tea with new relish by having it sugared with some telling remarks of
the lately-rescued slave from Popery. He was put several questions,
such as "What do you think of Transubstantiation?" He answered, "Oh,
that's as plain as possible in the Bible," and so forth. They were, of
course, egregiously disappointed. Father Ignatius used to lament with
peculiar anguish over this sad case. He always hoped for his return to
the Catholic faith, and, strange enough, one of the first pieces of
news in the way of conversion which we heard after Father Ignatius's
death, was his return to the faith he had deserted.

In the middle of the year 1842, he visits Ireland for the first time;
he preaches in several places, in Dublin; especially for the Jesuits,
in Gardiner Street; the Franciscans, Merchant's Quay. All, of course,
about the conversion of England. He says: "My argument was, that the
Irish having been specially victims of oppression under England, if I
could gain the Irish to pray for England, prayers springing from such
charity would be irresistible." He made a kind of a tour through
Ireland, and got as far as Tuam. He feared the Archbishop of Tuam,
knowing his opposition to England, and his detestation of English
rule. For that very reason Father Spencer was the more anxious to
convert him, or make him return good for evil. What was his surprise
when he found the Archbishop not only kind and Irish in his
hospitality, but really favourable to his projects. His grace got
Father Spencer to preach, and promised him that he would give the
substance of the same sermon to his people in their own sweet ancient
tongue on the next Sunday. He was so enchanted at this, that he wrote
off almost to every friend he had in the world about it. Though he
often felt afterwards the powerful blows Dr. McHale delivered at
England's doings, he never could forget his kind reception of himself,
and always mentioned his grace's name with gratitude and reverence,
only wishing that he would not be so hard on England.

The next event he writes about was the arrival in England {278} of
Father Dominic of the Mother of God (Passionist), and his staying at
Oscott for some time in order to learn English and wait for an opening
in Aston to begin the first retreat of the English province. Before we
quote his account of Father Dominic, it may be well to give a rather
characteristic remark of his which occurs in the letter to Mrs.
Canning, who was a great promoter, in the letter-writing way, of
Father Dominic's coming. He says, "Your accounts of yourself are
always interesting, as they must be in all cases where a person knows
how to delineate accurately his own interior; for, in seeing the
picture of another well drawn, we always may discern little touches of
our own portraiture which had before perhaps escaped us, and that
gives all the pleasure of sympathy, which is one of the realest
pleasures."

Further on in the same letter he writes:--

  "Padre Domenico has had his cross to bear with us, all this time; it
  is not like what usually makes crosses for people. He mourns over
  having plenty to eat, having windows which keep the weather out,
  having chairs to sit _on_, and tables to sit at, and longs to be in
  his house, which I suppose will not have much of all this to trouble
  him. I have to try to console him now and then, which I do by
  telling him that I never hear of anything brought about in our
  ecclesiastical arrangements without long delay, and yet all comes
  right at last, with patience. I tell him also that he must have
  known enough of the deliberativeness with which things of the kind
  are settled by the known slowness of all things at Rome. However,
  why should you have to bear this burden with us? You will, I hope,
  be consoled before long by hearing that they are settled, and going
  on, and have first a chair, then a table, then a kettle, and likely
  to have a smoke-jack, toasting-fork, and such like in due course,
  and, what will be not less interesting in its way, having good
  novices, and plenty of converts."

The next thing he speaks about is not one event, but a series, though
all only items in a great result for which he continually prayed and
laboured--the conversions, which multiplied every day. In 1843 he says
that converts are {279} received in Birmingham at the rate of one a
day, and many more elsewhere. He also mentions with great satisfaction
that within the last year, 1842, three Anglican clergymen, four Oxford
students, two countesses, and two earls' daughters had become
converts. Although Father Spencer mentions these particularly, it is
not to undervalue conversions from an humbler grade of life he does
it. The soul of the beggar is as precious in the eyes of God, _apud
quern non est acceptatio personarum_, as the soul of the king. Father
Spencer did not undervalue the conversions of the middle and lower
classes on the contrary, he worked hard to get as many as possible
from them. He had always notions of a great move towards Catholicity,
and he thought that if the higher ranks took the lead in this, the
others would follow.

In 1844, he mentions his going to Nottingham with a large party, among
whom is Mr. Ward, "one of the most advanced Oxford clergy. Oh! that he
would come a little further, but at present he seems to have no
thoughts of it. God knows whether he may not soon get a little help
onwards. Make a good prayer for this." Mr. Ward did get certainly
onwards. Here and there we find sighs escape him about his beloved
people of Northampton and Brington. He did assuredly love his native
place intensely, and it must have been a trial to his feelings that he
could do nothing externally towards alleviating its spiritual
destitution.


{280}


CHAPTER XIII.

His Tour On The Continent In 1844.


In 1844 he became so nervous and weak that he was forbidden exertion
of any kind; his ailment is manifest in his tremulous handwriting. On
medical advice, he takes a tour on the Continent with Mr. and Mrs.
Phillipps and their children. His account of this tour is preserved in
a Journal, and we think it well to give it entire, without any
compression.

  On Wednesday, July 3rd, 1844, I set off from Grace Dieu Manor for a
  tour on the Continent with my dear friend, Ambrose Phillipps, his
  wife, his two eldest boys, Ambrose and Edward, and John Squires, his
  servant. He took his carriage, in which he and his family sat on the
  railway from Loughborough to London, while I went in a second-class
  carriage. We arrived at the Burlington Hotel, and dined about 7
  o'clock. Afterwards we went out different ways. I called at Dr.
  Griffiths, but he was not at home. I had tea with Dr. Maguire, whom
  I found at home; we had an hour's talk, about the Oxford men
  principally. Got home about 10.

  Thursday, July 4.--Went with the Phillippses to Father Lythgoe's, in
  Bolton Street, where I said mass, and breakfasted at 10. I went to
  see Dr. Chambers, in Brook Street, being ordered by Dr. Wiseman to
  consult him as to the propriety of taking a long tour, as is
  proposed by Phillipps. Dr. Chambers recognized me at once, as I used
  in 1824 or 1825 to follow his visits to the patients in St. George's
  Hospital, with a view to learn medicine. He judged it quite
  necessary that I should have at least three months' absence from
  work, and approved of my travelling with {281} moderate exertion. So
  I am fixed at last to set off. God knows how I shall go through. The
  present plan is to go through Belgium, to Munich, the Tyrol, Venice,
  Milan, Turin, Lyons, Paris, and home; and my purpose is to get
  prayers for England's conversion, and to see men rather than places
  and things. After Dr. Chambers, I went to the Bank, to get my letter
  of credit, then to Buckingham Palace, to see my sister. After I had
  waited a half-hour she returned from her drive, and took me to her
  nursery apartments at the top of the house. I had my first glance at
  Prince Albert, going out to ride with Colonel Bouverie. From Sarah,
  I went to Lyttelton's house, 39, Grosvenor Place, where I found
  Caroline Lyttelton was expected home in an hour, and so I went on to
  call on Sisk, who was out, and I came back and saw Lyttelton, with
  whom I went in his carriage towards the House of Lords, and was set
  down in St. James's Street. On the table in Grosvenor Place I saw
  what I was 21 years ago, in a miniature painted by Ross--a blooming
  rosy youth. I did not believe it till Caroline told me. I came to
  dine with Sarah at 8, and staid till 10. Our conversation was most
  interesting, about the Queen and the children, and the great people
  from abroad, &c., whom she saw; above all, the Czar and the Duke of
  Wellington. She set me down at our hotel at 10½, after calling at
  Neville Grenville's, where I saw Lady Charlotte and a large family.

  Friday, July 5th.--Mass and breakfast as yesterday. About 11 started
  for Dover, in the same order as from Loughborough; arrived at 5. I
  went to call on Mr. Savage, the priest, my old companion at Rome. He
  does not seem a movement man. He came to tea with us.

  Saturday, July 6th.--As the packet was to start at 7, I missed
  saying mass. As it happened, we had to wait on board till 9 for the
  mail. We had intended to cross to Ostend, but Phillipps, getting
  afraid of the long crossing for sickness, so we all agreed to prefer
  the shorter-by-half passage to Calais. We had a good passage, but we
  all were miserable; the two boys were very sick. However, as the
  French boatmen assured us, the tread of the dry land of {282} France
  worked wonders to cure us all. We went to Dessin's Hotel. I was full
  well reminded of September, 1819, my first landing in France, and of
  divers other epochs, Sept. 1820, Nov. 1820, and Feb. 1830. Before
  dinner we went to the church to give thanks, and commend our future
  to God. I asked _le Suisse de l'Eglise_ (the verger) to pray for
  England. Nothing else done at Calais. We started in the afternoon
  for S. Omer, which we reached late. The country we passed was very
  fertile; for the first time I have seen cultivation which struck me
  as superior to English; the state of the people is manifestly more
  happy and prosperous. After tea I went to the Grand Vicaire, M.
  Dumez, to ask leave for mass, &c. I had forgotten to get credentials
  from Dr. Wiseman, and so he hesitated, but gave the _celebret_. I
  went on, though tired, to M. Durier, Curé de Notre Dame, who
  received me most cordially, and on my stating my errand, pressed me
  to preach at the high mass on the morrow. I hesitated, but he came
  with me to our hotel, and Phillipps joined in pressing it, and so I
  wrote a quarter of an hour's worth before going to bed, hoping I was
  not out of rule, but doubting.

  Sunday, July 7.--Said mass at Notre Dame, a fine Gothic church; went
  home to breakfast, and back to high mass at 9½. After the Gospel, M.
  Durier first read the _annonces_, the Epistle, and the Gospel, and
  introduced my object to the people. Then I went into the pulpit, and
  made my address without any difficulty. He then rose opposite to me,
  and pledged himself and his flock to pray for England. After mass, I
  went a round of the convents of the town with an old man sent from
  one of them with me. The convents which promised their prayers were
  the following:

    Les Ursulines, 37 nuns; 300 scholars.

    Les Soeurs Hospitalières de S. Louis.

    L'Hospice de S. Jean, served by nuns.

    L'Hôpital Général des enfants trouvés, &c.

    Les Religieuses de la Sainte famille.

    Le Couvent du Saint Sacrement,
      where are only 3 nuns, the Superioress an Englishwoman, who
      observed that in her profession, when prostrate--a time when it
      is said the chosen prayer is sure to be granted--the first thing
      she asked was England's conversion.

    Les Frères des Écoles Chrétiennes.
      The Superior promised to recommend the prayers to his brethren
      of 30 houses in this district, who meet in August for a retreat.

{283}

  "We proceeded at 3 to Lille, stopping at the exit from St. Omer to
  see the ruined Abbaye de St. Bertin. We stopped at Cussel, a place
  on the top of a mountain commanding a grand prospect over a vast
  plain richly wooded and cultivated. The maître d'hôtel wanted us
  sadly to stay, but we went on, after a walk to the top of the mount,
  and to the church. We came late to Lille, and not finding room at
  l'Hôtel de l'Europe, we put up at l'Hôtel de Gand, not a very nice
  one, in the Grande Place.

  Monday, July 8.--I first went to the Church of St. Catherine, to see
  Abbe Bernard, my friend, introduced by Mrs. Canning. He was gone,
  yesterday, to Paris. I then went to Rue Royale, No. 61, memorable
  for ever as the direction to which my letters from Brington to Miss
  Dolling were addressed. M. Friot Chombard, who lives there, was also
  absent from Lille. I then went to the Church of St. Étienne, where
  the Grand Doyen lived; and, having seen him, I said mass. I then
  called on him in his house, and obtained his promise to advocate the
  cause of England. After breakfast, I went to the Church of St.
  Maurice, which is called the Cathedral. It is the first I have seen
  with four aisles. I saw nothing more in Lille; we left it about 12,
  and reached Tournay about 2. I went at once to the Évéché, where I
  found the Bishop's Secretary, who took me to a great convent of
  nuns, which the Bishop has founded, and is building this house for.
  It is to contain sixty nuns, and a great number of _pensionnaires_.
  I was presented to his lordship in the garden, and obtained a full
  promise of his patronage of the cause of England. I came back to
  dine at the Hotel (du Singe d'Or); to my surprise and pleasure,
  Talbot came in with Phillipps, who had met him in the Cathedral.
  After dinner, he and I took a {284} carriage and went to see the
  Passionists au Château d'Ere, about three miles off. Le Père Pierre,
  Superior of the house, received us with all kindness. He has three
  companions priests, and three brothers. They were building a church
  of good size, and seem to prosper; but he complains that no
  postulants come; they have received not one cleric yet. He thinks
  they fear the bare feet. He came back with us to Tournay, to see
  Phillipps. Soon after, we started on our way to Brussels; still by
  post horses, as all the way from Calais. We stopped at Alte to
  sleep. The hotel was one of the most agreeable and cheapest, though
  small.

  Tuesday, July 9.--There are two churches at Alte. I went to St.
  Julien's, and said mass. Afterwards I introduced Phillipps and
  Madame to the Doyen, M. Picquart, who was most pleasing and full of
  knowledge, and promised all for England. We here had a contest with
  John, which threatened his being sent home, but he came round before
  the day was out. We started at 10 for Brussels. The country not
  equal to France. We came to the Hôtel de Belle Vue, in the Place
  Royale. Having engaged a suite of rooms, we sat down at once at the
  _table d'hôte_. After it, I went to seek for the Abbé Donnet, to
  whom I had a note from Seager. He was out. I then went to Ste.
  Gudule, the cathedral, and saw the Vicaire, a Dutch priest, with
  whom I settled to say mass to-morrow. Then I took a _vigilante_
  (i.e. a cab) to the College de St. Michel, of the Jesuits, where I
  saw the Second Superior. Then to the Redemptorists, where the
  Superior took up the cause warmly. Home to tea.

  Wednesday, July 10.--Went at 7 to Abbé Donnet; then to mass at Ste.
  Gudule. At 9, Abbé (Chanoine) Donnet called, and, after an hour's
  talk about Oxford, took us to Monsignor Pacci, the Pope's Nuncio,
  Archbishop of Damietta. He is a most holy-looking man; conversed
  with us most kindly; knew much about the Oxford people; promised his
  help. I then let the Phillippses go their way, intending to make a
  day of canvassing convents. But M. Donnet took me only to three, and
  then had to go his way at 12. The three were:--

    Soeurs de Notre Dame, Rue de l'Étoile, 14 nuns.

    Pauvres Claires, Rue de Manige, Maison Mère a Bruges, 13 nuns.

    Couvent de Bellaymont. Chanoinesses Régulières de St. Augustin.
      Unique Maison.

{285}

  After this, I went to Ste. Gudule, and met Phillipps, with whom I
  went to the Jardin Botanique, and to the hospital for old men. It is
  a grand establishment, by private charity. It contains 700 old men,
  of whom 100 pay for themselves; the rest are kept free, and with
  wonderful regard to their comforts. I called on a curé close by,
  thinking to get the prayers of these _vielliards_; but he took me
  for a begging priest, and turned me out of doors. _Deo gratias_.
  Thence to the Musée, a collection of pictures, which hardly paid the
  trouble of looking at. After dinner at the _table d'hôte_, we took a
  carriage to go to Jette St. Pierre, to meet the Cardinal Archbishop
  of Malines, at the Convent of the Sacré Coeur there. On the way we
  saw an interesting church; outside was a tomb of Madame Malibren. At
  Jette, Madame de Wall, my friend of 1832 at Bordeaux, introduced us
  to the Cardinal. This was a consolation indeed. He undertook to
  recommend England to all the Bishops of Belgium, invited me to their
  meeting on the 29th July, and promised that all their priests and
  convents should engage in the cause. This is a noble convent. Madame
  de Wall said they prayed for England every half-hour in the day.

  Thursday, July 11.--Said mass at St. Jacques, in the Place Royale.
  Went to Malines by the _chemin du fer_, Phillipps in the carriage on
  a truck, I in a _char-à-banc_. Arrived at l'Hôtel de la Grue just in
  time for the _table d'hôte_, on which I only remark the immense
  length of time taken to dine. After it, we went to the Petit
  Séminaire, where we were warmly greeted by the Abbé Bonquéan, our
  friend of Oscott and Grace Dieu. He took us about to a few places;
  and at 5 to the Salut, at the Cathedral; after which he introduced
  Miss Young, the convert, sister to Isabella. She went with us to
  Hanicq's, the printer's, and to a fine old church, &c. I visited no
  convents, reserving this for my return. Opposite our hotel, the
  grand {286} Theatre des Lapons forced itself to be noticed till late
  at night.

  Friday, July 12.--After mass and breakfast, we went to visit the
  Cardinal Archbishop, who graciously gave me a paper of testimonial,
  which will, I hope, save some trouble. His countenance and manner
  are highly prepossessing. At 12 we started for Antwerp, by railway,
  leaving the carriage at the station at Malines. We arrived at the
  Hôtel St. Antoine, just in time for the _table d'hôte_ at 2. There I
  met Mr. Blore, with his daughter, now grown a fine young woman.
  After dinner, to the Cathedral. I need not speak of the glorious
  tower, 466 feet high. What attracted our attention most was the
  wonderfully beautiful restoration of the stalls in oak carved work;
  40,000 francs have been spent in this already, and not half the
  stalls are finished, and this actually in process of work is more
  pleasing to see than the most beautiful morsels of ancient work, for
  the promise it gives of better days. The pulpit is a mass of
  exquisite carving, in a style seemingly favourite in this part of
  Belgium. The most beautiful we saw was at Brussels, Ste. Gudule,
  where, below the preacher, are seen Adam and Eve banished from
  Paradise; and above, the head of the serpent, who winds round the
  pulpit, crushed by Mary. The same style of carving is around the
  pulpit at Marines, Louvain, &c., but is seen no more at Liége. After
  seeing the cathedral, we went to the Musée, containing first-rate
  specimens of Rubens, citizen of Antwerp; as also of Van Dyke and
  Quintin Matsys, of whom there is an excellent picture of the Descent
  from the Cross. Finding myself near the College of the Jesuits, I
  went in and saw the Rector, who took up our cause zealously. He
  walked home with me to see Phillipps, and they soon got intimate.

  Saturday, July 13.--After mass in the cathedral, we went, by last
  night's appointment, to visit the Superior of the Jesuits, who
  showed us his house. Then, Phillipps going to see some churches,
  &c., I went with a lay brother, given me for guide by the Superior,
  to visit convents.

{287}

  We called at the following:--

    Coletines, près la Porte Rouge, 28 nuns

    Dames de l'Instruction Chrétienne, 17 nuns

    Soeurs de Notre Dame, 20 nuns

    Soeurs Grises, 34 nuns

    Soeurs Noires, 49 nuns

    Apostolines, in two houses, 67 nuns

    Soeurs de Charité, 12 nuns

    Béguinage (that is, a collection of houses, in which Sisters live
      under a Superioress, not bound by vows for life) 54 nuns

  Except the latter, where I was referred to the Director, who was not
  so attentive, all received the proposal warmly. The brother was my
  interpreter with many, who did not know French. At 1 we got home,
  and I took the Phillippses to the curé of the cathedral, who
  introduced to us M. Durlet, the young architect, who, with a partner
  at Louvain, is doing the beautiful work in the choir. We went into
  the cathedral again, and I was prevented going to two remaining
  convents, but the curé promised to do it for me. M. Durlet came to
  dine with us at the _table d'hôte_. I just called at l'Hôtel du
  Park, to see Miss Dalton, who is ill there. Mr. Turpin and Mr.
  Crowe, two Lancashire priests, are with her. The former accosted me
  in the cathedral. We set off then to Malines by the railway; there
  met Abbé Bonquéan; had tea, and went on to Louvain. We got in late,
  in heavy rain; Phillipps had to walk from the railway a mile in the
  rain. I went first to the Hôtel de Suide, where I found Dr.
  Ullathorne and Mr. Hansom, his architect.

  7th Sunday af. Pent. July 14.--I had my palpitation worse than ever
  to-day. I wish to attribute it to my two days' abstinence, and not
  to my walking after convents. It went off after breakfast. I said
  mass at the Cathedral St. Pierre. High mass at 10. It was one of
  extreme opposition to plain chant, with drums and orchestra. In this
  church remember the beautiful tabernacle, a stone pinnacle, on the
  Gospel side of the altar. There was no _prône_, and a second high
  mass immediately after. The Hôtel de Ville is a famous piece of
  Gothic, not so admirable to my view as {288} that at Brussels, which
  is much larger, not so highly wrought, and has a beautiful spire.
  After dinner, at 1, with Dr. Ullathorne, and at the _table-d'hôte_,
  we went to see M. and Madame de Coux. We got into interesting talk
  with him on matters religions, ecclesiastical, and political. He is
  a professor of political economy, a Frenchman, brought up in England
  under old Dr. Woods. We went on till after 5, and so missed the
  _salut_, sermon, and procession at the church. He took us to the
  University, where we saw Abbé Malou, who claimed me as an old
  acquaintance, one of the three at the Collegio Nobile whom I knew at
  Rome. He is Professor of Dogmatic Theology, most learned, high bred,
  and amiable. M. Bonquéan came kindly to meet us from Malines, and
  was with us till 6. After having spent nearly an hour with M. Malou,
  who showed us the library (10,000 vols.) of which he is keeper, we
  went to tea with M. de Coux, and came home at 9½.

  Monday, July 15. St. Swithin.--Mass at St. Pierre, for the Feast _de
  Divisione Apostolorum_. After breakfast I went again to M. de Coux,
  who took me to see a M. Mühler, whom he recommended as tutor to John
  Beaumont. At 12, railway to Liege. Dined at 5, at l'Hôtel de France.
  At 6, _salut_ at St. Denys. Before dinner I went to the
  Redemptorists, but found Père Van Held and Deschamps out of town.
  The Bishop also away. We went at 7 a walk to a bookseller's, from
  which I went in quest of the Grand Vicaire. I met an old priest in
  the street, Abbé Marsomme, who took me to M. Jacquenot, the second
  Grand Vicaire, and then walked home and took tea with us. These two
  promised to spread prayer for England through Liege. I wrote to Mrs.
  Beaumont before bed.

  Tuesday, July 16.--Our Lady of Mount Carmel.--Mass at St. Denys,
  where is a beautiful piece of old oak carving. Phillippses received
  communion. After breakfast, at 9, we went to high mass at the
  cathedral. It was solemn plain chant. The church has many
  stained-glass windows, like those of Ste. Gudule, Brussels, of 1550,
  much gone off from the older time. The pulpit is new carved oak,
  with a beautiful tower with pinnacles above, a great improvement on
  {289} the carved pulpit above named, though not so costly perhaps.
  The church is much debased, as usual, in other parts. We met
  Chanoine Erroye, who took us to the other great church, St. Jacques,
  which rivals or surpasses the cathedral. The ceiling coloured,
  though like the cathedral. They are doing a great deal to restore
  this church. The Doyen was there overlooking the work. The stained
  glass was much better than at Brussels, but not the best (date
  1527); not so far down hill. The Chanoine then took us to the Abbé
  Marsomme, who is Director of an hospice with 19 nuns, taking care of
  180 old women, beautifully kept. The Quarant' Ore was being
  celebrated in this church. It is kept up in Liége all the year
  round, and comes four times to each church. We then went with the
  Chanoine Erroye to the Grand Séminaire. The library is beautiful.
  There are here 120 students; and at the Petit Séminaire, 360. They
  go through nine courses at the Petit, and three at the Grand, so
  that 40 are sent on the mission every year, and 40 more come on
  below. Came home to _table d'hôte_ at 1. After it we made an attempt
  to go to Angleur, 3 miles off, where Mrs. Ambrose's father, Hon.
  Thomas Clifford, who died at Liége in 1817, is buried. We were
  stopped by mud and rain, and came back, seeing the church of Ste.
  Croix, which was not very remarkable (_Mem_. a dog carrying the keys
  as porter), and St. Martin, a fine church of second rate, but famous
  as the place where, at one of the side altars, the feast of Corpus
  Christi was celebrated for the first time, owing to the inspirations
  received by a nun called Soeur Julienne. The 6th Centenary will be
  held in 1846. We met a young, amiable-looking priest in the church.
  He promised to think of England at the altar, in the special mass of
  the Blessed Sacrament, which is celebrated at it every Thursday,
  whatever feast may interpose. It was heavy rain, and we came home to
  _salut_ at St. Denys, and thence to the hotel. I wrote up a good
  deal of this journal.

  Wednesday, July 17. St. Osmond.--We took a stouter equipage, and got
  to Angleur early. I said mass, and the Phillippses communicated over
  the place of her father's repose. The boys served the mass. The
  Curé, Matthias Jn. Convardy, who remembered Mr. Clifford while
  himself quite {290} young, gave us breakfast after, very kindly. All
  these priests were warm for England. We returned to Liége, and I
  went to the banker; then home to dinner at 1. Then went off by
  railway to Aix-la-Chapelle. It passes through beautiful romantic
  scenery. There is no railway with so many tunnels in the distance. I
  got into conversation with a party of Oxonians going to spend the
  long vacation at Baden. One of them, Mr. G. F. Brown, of Trinity,
  was full of information, and quite moving on, a great friend of W.
  Palmer, of Magdalen. He promised to visit Oscott. We came to the
  Hôtel Nuelleus, a very grand one. I went to the Chief Canon, the
  Grand Vicaire being gone to Cologne, and got leave for mass
  to-morrow. We are now in Prussia, and all on a sudden all
  German--hardly a word of French spoken. We had tea, and I finished
  my Journal up, in my room, after saying matins.

  Thursday, July 18.--I went to the cathedral, and after mass, saw the
  wonderful relics which are preserved in the sacristy of the
  cathedral. This cathedral consists of a round Byzantine building,
  which was built by Charlemagne as the chapel to his palace; and a
  high Gothic choir, which was added to it after the palace had been
  burnt down. A young priest showed the relics; he is always in
  waiting for the purpose, except for the time of high mass and
  office. The great relics--viz., the dress of the Blessed Virgin, the
  clothes which our Lord had on Him on the cross, and the cloth into
  which John Baptist's head fell--are kept in a magnificent chest,
  which is shown, but is only opened every seven years, and when a
  crowned head comes. The next time is July 10, 1846. Above this chest
  is one containing the bones of Charlemagne, whose skull and
  spine-bone, and even hunting-horn, are shown in separate
  reliquaries. His crown and sword are at Vienna. Here is shown also
  the girdle of our Lord, of leather, with Constantine's seal upon it;
  the rope with which he was tied to the pillar; the girdle of Our
  Lady; and many other glorious relics less important. The interior of
  the doors enfolding these treasures is lined most beautifully with
  paintings of Albert Durer, and many admirable Byzantine paintings.
  {291} These relics were principally given to Charlemagne by the
  Caliph, Haroun Alraschid. The cases were gifts of several emperors,
  &c., as Lothaire, Charles V., Philip II. They were preserved in the
  French Revolution by a priest, who conveyed them to Paderborn and
  hid them. After breakfast I returned to the cathedral with Phillipps
  for high mass, which was in solemn plain chant, and then saw the
  relics again at 11½, after going to the Palais de Justice. At 12 I
  got a little dinner, and went by the railway to Grand, parting from
  the Phillippses, please God, for a fortnight only. I went to bed at
  the Hôtel de Flandre, leaving no luggage--all left at Malines.

  Friday, July 19.--Went to the cathedral to say mass. My morning was
  taken up with going to the railway about my poor luggage, which at
  last I saw, and visiting the Provincial of the Jesuits, to see about
  my retreat. I dined at the hotel. The cathedral is a most beautiful
  specimen of the Greek fittings in a Gothic church. I did not stop to
  have the finest pictures uncovered, for I had my business to see
  after. Two other beautiful churches, St. Nicholas and St. Michael.
  No signs here of Gothic restorations. At 3 I went with the
  Provincial to Franchismes, where they have bought an ancient
  Prémontré Abbey, which does not preserve much of the abbey still,
  except some corridors, once, as it seems, cloisters. It is, however,
  a beautiful establishment for its end. I saw and spoke to two
  English and one Irish novice, of course about England. I went back
  to Gand; and there Père Coultins, by desire of the Provincial, went
  with me to the Recollets, a reform of the Franciscans; their chief
  house is at St. Froud. Then to the Pauvres Claires; and then to one
  of the two Béguinages. Here are establishments, in one of which 800,
  and in the other 300, _quasi_ nuns live in a cluster of separate
  houses.

  Their origin is immemorial. They are bound by vows of obedience and
  chastity, not poverty, for the time that they remain. Hardly ever
  does one return to the world. The Père Coultins promised to visit
  for me the other convents of the town. This is what I could do for
  Ghent. At 6, I started by railway to Louvain, where I was received
  as an {292} old acquaintance at the Hôtel de Suide. The Provincial
  sends me here for my retreat. In the train to Malines, I had Mr.
  Maude and Mr. Perry. Finished Journal, and to bed at near 12.

  Saturday, July 20.--After mass at the cathedral, and breakfast, I
  went to the Seminary of the Jesuits, with a letter from the
  Provincial to Père Rosa, the rector. He introduced me to Père
  Vanderghote, who is to direct my retreat, and left me with him. We
  went to walk about the town, called on M. Malou, who undertook to
  translate a prayer from Dr. Wiseman's prayers for England, into
  French. I called on Mr. De Coux, and at I dined with these two
  fathers, and we went into the garden. I then wrote to Dr. Wiseman,
  Phillipps, and M. Bonquéan, and at ¼ to 5 began my retreat for eight
  days please God, till the end of which my present journal intermits.
  _Orate pro me omnes qui diligitis Deum_.

  Monday, July 29.--I rose this morning out of my retreat, hoping that
  by the help of Almighty God I may preserve some of its fruit
  durably. I said mass once more at 7½ in the private chapel, then
  after a conversation with my kind Father Vanderghote, I went to the
  College du Saint Esprit, where I saw M. Malou, and then went into
  the hall, where theses were defended by a young priest called
  Bacten, and then degrees conferred, and a discourse in Latin
  pronounced by Abbé Malou. The Nuncio and the Bishop of Amiens were
  there, with many others. At 2 I dined with M. Malou. The chief
  guests were the Grand Vicaire de Bruges, a monseigneur, and Abbé
  Marais, of the Sorbonne; much conversation was on England, and some
  good interest excited. I went again to see Père Rosa, and
  Vanderghote, and at 6½ was on the railway to Malines with a
  multitude of priests. I went to the Petit Séminaire, and supped, and
  M. Bonquéan walked with me to the Grue.

  Tuesday, July 30.--Said mass at the cathedral, and then at 8 went to
  the Archbishop's palace, where, with much trouble, I got at the
  Chanoine's private secretary, who introduced me to the Cardinal and
  his five suffragan Belgian {293} Bishops of Bruges, Tournay, Gand,
  Namur, and Liege, sitting after breakfast. I sat down, and in a
  short conversation a great deal seemed to be done for the cause. I
  was desired to draw up documents with M. Bonquéan to-day, and to
  dine with the prelates at 1 to-morrow, to hear their conclusion.
  _Laus Deo semper_. At 10½ I went to M. Bonquéan, where I found two
  young Oxford men, whom I afterwards found were Christie of Oriel and
  his brother. They went with M. Bonquéan and me on all our rounds to
  the convents of the town to-day. At 12 I dined at the Petit
  Séminaire, then, with M. Bonquéan and M. Vandervelde, who was very
  zealous for England, I began to prepare for to-morrow; at 4½ the
  Christies came, and we walked till 7. The convents which we went to,
  and which all promised, and (except one which was cold) all with
  great warmth, were:--

    Les Soeurs Hospitalières de Ste. Elisabeth, 21 nuns.

    Les Marie Colae 17 nuns.

    Soeurs de Charité, not St. Vincent's, but a house under the
      direction of the Grand Séminaire, 23 nuns.

    Soeurs de Notre Dame, Abbé Bonquéan is Director here; we saw an
      interesting English novice, and stayed some time, 30 nuns.

    Les Soeurs Apostolines, 24 nuns.

    Les Pauvres Claires, not so zealous, 25 nuns.

  Lastly, we visited a new house and institute called Frères de la
  Miséricorde, lately founded by a canon of the cathedral, by name
  Scheppers. There are now 27 brothers, of whom 25 are on their
  mission, which is to enter, several together, the prisons of the
  country, and devote themselves to the spiritual and bodily care and
  cure of the prisoners. The Government favours them remarkably; it
  seems a most notable institution, and the founder was a most
  interesting man. He promised warmly to engage all his brethren. At
  7½ I went to the station, and met Elwes, on his way home from
  Kissengen. I brought him up, and we had supper at the Grue. I went
  to bed after a good bit of work to be got up, office, Journal,
  account, &c.

{294}

  Wednesday, July 31. St. Ignatius.--Elwes and I said mass at the
  cathedral. From 10 till near 1 he and I were both at work copying an
  address for the Bishops, of which I thought to give each a copy. At
  one I went to dine at the Cardinal's. There were there six Bishops
  and the Nuncio, and many of the chief clergy. I sat next to Mgr. de
  Namur; afterwards I took an hour's walk in the garden, and at 4
  attended the meeting of the Bishops, who came to a happy resolution
  of granting an indulgence of 40 days for every mass, every
  communion, even hearing mass, or saying it with a memento for
  England, and reciting a prayer which they determined on. The
  Cardinal was full of noble kindness. This grant was more than I had
  proposed in my paper, and so my morning's work and Elwes's was
  useless in a very agreeable way. I went to the Grue and found M.
  Bonquéan and the Christies with Elwes. In packing up I found my
  passport was lost, and went off, therefore, uncertain whether I
  could pass the frontier without writing for one to Brussels. The
  Christies travelled with me. I had some interesting conversation
  with each about their position in the Church of England. They took
  it with great gentleness, and answered well. They seem not to have
  thought of coming over, and yet to be in good disposition to do what
  they shall see right. We met very agreeably with the very priest of
  whom we have heard so much, who learnt English to instruct a lady in
  his parish near Bruges, whose daughter was already a convert, and
  writes letters to Dr. Wiseman for publication in England (Miss
  Heron). We became great friends, and he, with another young priest,
  his neighbour, who are taking a little tour together, came with us
  to the Aigle Noir, nearer the Redemptorists than l'Hôtel de France.
  We were very nearly upset in the omnibus, as we came up from the
  station; it was overloaded with luggage, and struck the wheels on
  the right in the sand, having got off the paving. We got out,
  unhurt, into another omnibus passing by; supper, and to bed.

  Thursday, August 1.--Said mass at the Redemptorists. Le Père Van
  Held invited us all to breakfast, i.e., the Christies {295} and the
  priests, our new friends. I met there the Bishop's secretary, who
  gave me a letter to the Governor of Liege, Baron Van der Stein, who,
  happily, was come this morning into town, and gave me my passport. I
  then went on with my _vigilante_ to see the Miss Nicholls, who have
  been living two years at the Benedictine convent, Quai d'Avroy. I
  met them last at Boulogne, in 1838. They promised to be busy in
  getting prayers. I then visited the Jesuits' College, and Abbé
  Marsomme. Dined at 1 at the _table d'hôte_ with the Christies, whom
  Père Van Held had sent about sight-seeing with one of his priests.
  At 2.45 we took the convoy to Cologne, which we reached duly at 9¼,
  and went to the Hôtel du Douane, Gasthof zum Kölner Dom, close to
  the cathedral; we took a walk round the cathedral by moonlight after
  supper.

  Friday, August 2.--I went to say mass in the cathedral, which we
  then looked round. It gives a melancholy spectacle of what miserable
  times have been gone through while it remained thus unfinished so
  long; but it is a consolation to see the glorious restoration now
  going on. The most beautiful points of the decoration of the choir
  are the fresco paintings above the pillars, and the rich gilded
  diapering on the lower part of them round the choir, in which one
  column alone is finished; and beautiful figures under canopies on
  each column, half-way to the top. The building is surrounded with
  great masses of stones for the completing of it. It is expected that
  it will be finished, fit for consecration, in four years, but not
  quite complete till twenty years hence, please God, if we have
  peace. After breakfast we went to call on Professor Michel, at the
  Seminary. He could not come with us. We saw the Jesuits' church, and
  returned to assist at part of a requiem mass at the cathedral, the
  anniversary of the Archbishop Ferdinand. I spoke to the
  Vicar-General about England, then went home, wrote to M. Malou,
  dined alone; and at 1 set off by a steamboat on the Rhine for
  Koenigswinter, parting from the Christies in the boat. I had nothing
  very remarkable in the passage; reached Koenigswinter at 5. I took
  up my lodgings at the Hôtel de Berlin, where the Phillippses had
  been for twelve days. {296} They came in from a ride in the
  mountains about 6, and we went to tea with Count and Countess
  Kurtzrock. He is Mrs. Ambrose's second cousin. Their daughter Marie
  and her governess gave us music.

  Saturday, August 3.--Said mass at the little church at Sta. Maria.
  The altar with altar-cloth only over the altar stone. The rest of
  the altar was brown wood. We breakfasted with Mrs. P.'s aunt, La
  Baronne de Veich, whom they are visiting. She lives in a small house
  with two nieces, Antoinette and Fanny Lutzou. At 10 we went across
  the Rhine to Gothsburg, a watering-place, where Mrs. Amherst and
  daughter have been staying; but they are gone to Italy. We walked up
  to a castle battered into ruin in the Thirty Years' war, overhanging
  the town. The little church half-way up the hill is a bad specimen
  of taste enough inside. We came back to dinner at the Baroness's at
  2. I went home for two hours, then walked with Phillipps and Tony,
  as they call Antoinette, to see a house which she is undertaking to
  form into an asylum for old poor women; back to tea, and home to the
  hotel at 9.

  Sunday, August 4. 10th after Pentecost, here marked 9th.--I heard
  mass at 7 with the famous Kirchen Gesang, of whom I heard from Dr.
  Sweers while translating Overbury's Life. All the people sang German
  hymns through the whole mass with wonderful unison. After it I said
  mass. At 10 was the high mass, i.e., another mass with Kirchen
  Gesang, rather more solemn; and a sermon. I came home then and wrote
  a letter to the Vicar-General at Cologne. I received from M.
  Bonquéan my book of papers pro Anglia, which I had left at Malines.
  At 1, dinner. Professor Schutz, of the University of Bonn, came to
  dine. We saw him off at 3, and then found that some one must go to
  Bonn to get money from the bank; so I took the charge, that I might
  see Bonn. I crossed the Rhine in a boat, and met an omnibus which
  took me on the road I travelled in 1820. The cathedral at Bonn,
  called the Münster, is of a style older than Gothic, but not quite
  Byzantine, something like our Saxon churches. The choir is elevated
  high above the nave, which sinks below the level outside, or the
  outside {297} must have risen. Some arches are Gothic. The
  University is a large building, what would be called Grecian. In
  front of it is a handsome promenade or park. At 7½ I called a second
  time at Professor Schutz's house, and found him with M. Marais, of
  the Sorbonne. He gave me coffee, &c. His rooms are full of
  curiosities from Palestine and Egypt. In 1819, 1820, and 1821, he
  was travelling, commissioned by Government, a literary journey
  through Egypt, Abyssinia, &c. He is Professor of Scripture, a great
  Orientalist, a friend of Dr. Wiseman's. We spoke about Humanarianism
  and Overbury, and the Paris University, &c. I went out and met my
  omnibus at a ¼ to 9, crossed the Rhine, and got home at 10.

  Monday, August 5. Sta. Maria ad Nives.--Mass at 7½; at 9 we went to
  a high mass de requiem. They always sing one for every person who
  dies; and when the family can afford it, bread is given to the poor,
  as was done to-day. I stayed at home nearly, till one, then dinner
  at la Baronne's. Mr. Ambrose was not there, having had a fall
  yesterday, and taking rest for precaution. After dinner, looked over
  the Life of Napoleon in German; came home till I went to tea. The
  Count and Countess Kurtzrock and daughters came. The Countess
  promised to be an associate for England, and to spread it at
  Hamburg, where they live.

  Friday, August 6th.--Mass at 6. I started at 7.30 by a steamer for
  Mayence. We passed Coblentz (lat. _confluentia_), at the confluence
  of the Moselle and the Rhine, at 1, and then dined (_table d'hôte_)
  on deck. We made agreeable acquaintance with two priests, M. Bandry,
  Chanoine of Cologne, and M. Steigmeier, a P.P. in the Black Forest.
  The first went off at Coblentz, the second spoke only Latin; both
  were highly interested for England. I was busy a good deal with
  reading German, with a dictionary. The weather was beautiful till
  about 6, when suddenly a terrible squall of wind, and thunder and
  lightning came on. The steamer was driven aground on a sand-bank,
  and seemed likely to capsize with the wind and waves. Terrible
  fright and crying among ladies and children. We seemed to think
  little of the rain and lightning which gleamed on every side {298}
  of us. It was very frightful; at least, it appeared so, and I saw
  what a warning was given here to be ready at a moment. No great
  preparation, I found, would be likely to be made in a time like
  that. It brought on me a palpitation which lasted till morning. We
  got off after ten minutes, as the storm blew over, and got to the
  Hôtel du Rhine at Mayence (Mainz) about 9. My greatest alarm since
  Messina.

  Wednesday, Aug. 7. San. Gaetano. Remembered Affi, 1820.--Said mass
  at the cathedral. This is a venerable old church, St. Boniface's
  see. It is something like our Norman style of architecture; at the
  west end is a remarkable baptistery, with a high vaulted roof now
  opening to the church. There are many fine monuments, and many more
  of the worst style; fauns and dragons supporting archbishops, &c.
  They showed us a holy-water stoup, where Gustavus Adolphus, having
  ridden into the church, made his horse drink! Near the church is a
  statue of Guttenburg, the first printer, claimed as a citizen of
  Mainz; bas-reliefs by Thorwaldsen. We had not time to see more. I
  was not disposed, with my palpitation just subsiding, to go after
  the Archbishop or others. We started past for Manheim; on the way we
  looked at the torn-down cathedral of Worms, in a later style than
  Mayence, and very venerable. This place was famous in the contests
  between Charles V. and Luther. We dined at Manheim, then took the
  railway to Heidelberg, where we put up at the Badische Hof. We saw
  nothing at Manheim but the appearance of the town, which is very
  handsome. A French gentleman whom I met in the town, Girardon, of
  Lyons, said the ducal palace was very grand.

  Thursday, Aug. 8.--I went out at 9½, having had rather a bad night,
  and said mass at the Jesuits' old church, which is now the only
  exclusively Catholic church in Heidelberg. The curé lives in an old
  college; the church was dreary and empty, and things seem to be at a
  low point. We went after breakfast in a carriage to the ruins of the
  castle, which are fine in their way, but not of the right style.
  Luther was fostered here by the Elector Palatine. It was burnt by
  {299} lightning in 1764. In the altar we saw the great tun, which is
  no wonder to my mind. At 11 we took the railway to Baden, through
  Carlsruhe. There we took a walk before dinner, saw the gaming-table,
  which is a famous occupation here; I never saw one before in a
  public saloon. I met Mr. Woollett. a Catholic of London, and his two
  daughters. He wants confession to an English priest, and I went with
  him to the convent of the Sepulchrines to see about it. They
  promised prayers for England. 12 nuns; the same order as New Hall;
  dinner at 5. Then we took a carriage to the ruins of the old castle,
  much grander than at Heidelberg. I did not venture to go up the
  castle, as I felt myself not fit. We came back to tea with Mrs.
  Craven, née La Ferronaye, wife of the English _Chargé d'affaires_,
  who is a convert. We met l'Abbé Martin de Nerlieu, curé de S. Jaques
  à Paris, and his vicaire, and Miss Jane Young. Home at 9½.

  Friday, August 9.--I had to take a carriage and go at 6 o'clock to
  Lichtenthal, a mile or two from Baden, where the Herr Landherr is
  curé, and has power to give leave to hear confessions. There is a
  convent there of 18 nuns, Bernardines, who promised to pray for
  England. I returned and said mass at the convent in Baden, having
  first heard the confessions of Mr. Woollett and Miss Young's maid. I
  thought that night, as I lay in bed with my heart beating, that I
  must see a doctor to-day, and consult about the propriety of
  travelling; but the Phillippses both reasoned against this, and I
  saw it differently by daylight. We dined at the _table d'hôte_ at 1,
  and then set off on our way towards Munich. We travelled to-day
  through the grand scenery of the Black Forest, and arrived at 9 at
  Neuenburg, where there was a very civil host, and a nice inn, though
  a second rate.

  Saturday, August 10. St. Lawrence.--The first, I think, (no, except
  1835), on which I have lost mass since my priesthood; but there was
  no Catholic church. We made a slow day's journey; we began badly by
  going the first stage to Wildbad, from which we returned nearly to
  Neuenburg, as it seemed on our road right. The reason was, as we
  {300} thought, that they directed us wrong yesterday, and sent us a
  longer road, whereas we should have got straight to Wildbad, without
  going to Neuenburg. We should have had a chapel at Wildbad, where a
  priest came during the season only. We got to Stuttgard at 5, and
  had a splendid dinner at the hotel. We met an old courier of Mr.
  Phillipps's, afterwards clerk at the Foreign Office, who lives here
  on a pension from England. He knew Cavani. He lives now at this
  hotel. Stuttgard seems an uninteresting place for a capital; has
  4,000 inhabitants only. It is well to have seen it. We went on again
  in the evening to get to Göppingen, where we we were told there was
  a Catholic church, and we did not get to bed till 2; I fasting for
  to-morrow, and fearing a bad night.

  Hôtel de la Poste, Sunday, Aug. 11.--I slept well, after all. I got
  up at 8, and we started directly in heavy rain for Gross Eplingen,
  two miles on our way, where the nearest Catholic church was. There
  was none in Göppingen. We arrived at the middle of the parochial
  mass. The Kirchen Gesangen are very impressive. After it I said
  mass, and after visiting the pastor, we went on to Ulm, which we
  reached at 5 about. Radhoff (Wheat) Hotel. Before dinner we went and
  spent a long time in the old cathedral, now a Lutheran church, and
  for that reason, however strangely, preserved wonderfully from
  spoiling. It was most magnificent; the aisles divided by most
  elegant pillars, a most glorious tabernacle, still standing, far
  surpassing Louvain. The old triptic, with a beautiful group in
  wood-carving, still over the altar; a beautiful pulpit in the style
  of the tabernacle; the screen was gone; and the stained glass
  preserved only in the choir and one or two more places; but so far,
  I thought it the richest I knew. It was wonderful how much better
  was the appearance of the church than if it had been in Catholic
  hands. After dinner was busy upstairs till 10½.

  Monday, Aug. 12.--Got up at 5½; we were taken to the Catholic
  church, a poor thing, compared with the ancient one. I said mass
  there at 8; at 9½ we started for Augsburg. There was nothing
  remarkable on the way but the {301} excessive slowness of the
  Bavarian post-boys; they are remarkable, I believe, among the
  Germans. We dined about 5, at a small town called Tusmarchausan, a
  neat, clean, country town. Talked French with an old Italian who
  attends at the inn, and Latin with a Dominican priest, in a blue
  great-coat and Hessian boots. We set off again at 7, and reached
  Augsburg at 9½ or 10. Put up at the Three Moors,--Drei Mohren.

  Tuesday, Aug. 13.--Went to say mass at the Church of St. Ulrick, at
  the altar of St. Afra, whose body was shown in a glass case over it,
  as it is within the octave of her feast. She was martyred at
  Augsburg, under Domitian. After breakfast, I went to the bank, then
  to the cathedral, where there was a high mass _de requiem_; then I
  went to seek the Chanoine Stadler, a great friend of the English. I
  first saw another canon, and the Dean, at the consistorium; spoke
  about England. I found Canon Stadler at a convent called _of the
  English nuns_, because founded by English 200 years ago; an
  examination of the girls under education was going on. The
  Regierung's President and other personages were there. I sat near
  the canon at this for half an hour; then went home to dinner. There
  came to dine a Scotch Kirk minister, who was at the convent which I
  visited, Mr. ---- He is almost a Catholic in doctrine, but is
  connected with the Apostolics in England, and so has, I think, no
  disposition to turn now. Canon Stadler came late to dinner, and
  persuaded me to put off our journey to Munich from the three to the
  seven o'clock train. He took us to the Church of the Holy Cross, to
  see the miraculous Host, which, in 1194, was stolen by a woman of
  Augsburg, taken home, and wrapped in wax. After five years, she
  confessed it, and brought it back. On opening the wax, the priest
  found the appearance changed into that of flesh and blood. It has
  been preserved ever since, and has been the means of many miracles.
  We saw it in an _ostensoire_, quite bright-red. The choir of the
  church is surrounded with pictures on the subject. We then went to
  the convent again, from, whence the Scotch gentleman took me to the
  bishop, whom we found near the cathedral. He talked no French, and I
  {302} recommended England as I could in Latin. We went to the Canon
  Stadler's house, where the Phillippses were waiting; we parted from
  him, and came and had tea at the Hof, and then took railway to
  Munich. We reached the Bayerische Hof, Hôtel de Bavière, at 9 3/4.
  This is one of the largest hotels in Europe, they say.

  Wednesday, Aug. 14. Vigil of the Assumption.--I said mass in the
  cathedral, which is near our hotel. It is a high, large building,
  but very much disfigured. We all stayed at home till 12; then
  Phillipps and I went to call on Dr. Döllinger, who was out. I had to
  dine alone, as it is reckoned wrong for a priest to _manger gras_ on
  a fasting day in public. After dinner, we all went to see the new
  Church of St. Louis, decorated splendidly by the King. Then the
  Church of St. Blaise in the faubourg, also decorated by him, both
  built by the town. We thought them very beautiful, but decidedly
  falling short of the right mark in point of style. In Ludwig Church
  is a _chef d'oeuvre_ of Cornelius, "The Last Judgment." It is not to
  our taste, nor to the king's; for Cornelius went away to Berlin,
  disgusted with the king's not admiring it. Among other defects,
  there are no real altars, only portable stones to be let into
  scagliola altars, which in Ludwig Kirche are all exactly one like
  the other. At 7, I went to the Franciscan convent, to confess to
  Père Constantius. He introduced me to the Provincial and community
  at supper. I spoke of England in lame Latin. At supper, in the
  hotel, we were joined by Mr. Wake, son of the Rev. Mr. Wake, of
  Courtene Hall, who recognised me, after about seventeen years. He
  alarmed us with his idea that a war will break out between France
  and England about Pritchard. What a war would this be!

  Thursday, Aug. 15. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.--I had
  some difficulty in getting leave to hear the Phillippses'
  confessions, but I succeeded, and said mass at nine, during the high
  mass, with drums and all sort of music. We went again to mass at 11;
  then Phillipps and I went and found Döllinger, who came back and
  dined with us at the _table d'hôte_. Then we walked with him to see
  Mr. and Mrs. Phillipps. He is a Professor of law, son of an
  Englishman {303} in Prussia. Then we went to see old Mr. Gorres, one
  of the first minds in Germany. At 8, we went to tea with Mr. and
  Mrs. Rio, the sister to Jones of Llanarth. We found there Mr.
  Dugdale, a northern English priest, and others. The conversation was
  very agreeable. Mrs. Rio is very infirm with sciatica, or settled
  pains like it.

  Friday, Aug. 16.--Mass at the cathedral at 11. We went with Mr.
  Dugdale to the Pinacotheke, a grand building of this king,
  containing the vast collection of pictures which I saw with Lefevre
  at Schlussheim in 1820. What struck me most was the gallery on one
  side of the building, ornamented like Raphael's, in the Vatican. We
  dined at two; then went to see the new palace, which is opened at
  times regularly to all visitors. We went among a party of all sorts.
  I was recognised by Lady Lowther--that was, at least. This was from
  Lowther Castle, 1816. In the palace, the floors are beautiful
  wood-work, inlaid. Some rooms have fine pictures of the former
  German history, of Charlemagne, Barbarossa, Rodolph of Hapsburg, &c.
  The hall of audience is surrounded with striking colossal statues of
  ancient dukes of Bavaria. We cannot say much for the two rooms of
  Bavarian beauties; the king's fondness for them is not edifying,
  they say. From the palace we went to the studios; at half-past 7
  went to tea at Dr. Döllinger's, and met almost all whom we visited
  yesterday, and, besides, Mr. Windischmann, canon of the cathedral. I
  got a long conversation with him in English. He became very zealous
  for promoting the prayers for England. There was there Mr. Raby, of
  Leicester, who was at Munich with his mother; his sister is become a
  nun at Nymphenburg.

  Saturday, Aug. 17.--Said mass at the cathedral at 8½. After
  breakfast, I visited Mr. and Mrs. Farrell and their family, who are
  in this hotel. He is uncle to John Farrell. She said she had seen me
  at Leamington with Mr. Martyn. Then Count de Senufft Pilsach,
  Austrian ambassador, to whom Mr. Phillipps brought a note from
  Father Lythgoe, called. We then walked to the palace, and saw the
  rich chapel, in which many relics are kept in cases of gold and
  silver, with pearls and jewels, some carved by Benvenuto Cellini;
  the right hand {304} of St. John Baptist and St. Chrysostom among
  them, and some earth stained with the blood of Our Lord. A little
  triptic used on the scaffold by Mary Queen of Scots. We then went to
  the palace of the Duc de Leuchtenberg, son of Eugene Beauharnais.
  One room full of modern paintings, and another much larger, with a
  very choice collection of the Italian and Flemish schools, struck
  me. Dr. Döllinger dined with us, and then took us to the Public
  Library, a magnificent building, calculated for 1,000,000 volumes,
  and containing now 500,000, lately built by Ludwig I. We stayed a
  long time looking about it, and then went on to the University,
  another new building, very splendid. Dr. Döllinger is rector this
  next year. The library here is of 200,000 vols.; he is the chief
  librarian of it. We returned at 8, looking in, _en passant_, to the
  Ludwig Kirche. A beautiful sunset.

  Sunday, August 18.--I went by invitation to say mass at the Auer
  Kirche, _i.e._, the new Gothic church in the suburb Au. Trusting to
  the fine sunset of last night, I took no umbrella, and very nearly
  got a wetting before I got home. At 9, Mr. Schlager called on me. He
  is studying the law, and looks so smart that I did not of myself
  recognize him. We went to high mass at the Theatine church. At 12, I
  went with Mr. Windischmann, to be presented to the Nuncio, Mgr.
  Vichi, to plead for England. I could not do much, as other visitors
  came in. After dinner, we went to seek vespers unsuccessfully at the
  Theatine church. At 5, we took a carriage, and went to the Sisters
  of Charity, where we got on badly for want of German, and saw
  nothing but the church, where service was going on. We then went to
  the public cemetery, near it. It is in the style of Père la Chaise,
  but inferior. What is remarkable is the place where the bodies newly
  dead are exposed for three days before burial. We saw several behind
  glass windows, dressed out and adorned with flowers. After coming
  home, I went at 7½ to Professor Görres's. He has open house for the
  circle of his friends every Sunday evening. Dr. Döllinger wished us
  all to go, but Phillipps thought it hardly proper without an
  invitation. There were twelve at supper; among them Dr. {305}
  Döllinger, Phillipps, Moy. The party was very agreeable, though I
  knew nothing of the German conversation, except what Dr. Döllinger
  translated to me. I came home at half-past 10.

  Monday, August 19.--Said mass at the cathedral. Mrs. Dugdale came
  after breakfast, and went with us to the Glyptotheke, where are some
  fine pieces of ancient sculpture. I suppose the AEgina marbles are
  among the most valued. They are of an earlier style than the perfect
  models of Greek sculpture, finely designed but stiff. The whole
  thing is too heathenish and so immodest. It is a mystery to me how
  all these sights are consistent with Catholic principle, especially
  the Venuses and Adonises by Christian masters, like Canova. The
  building is very noble. We went thence to what was far more
  satisfactory, the Basilica, built on the plan of the old church of
  St. Paul, at Rome, 300 feet long, with two ranges of glorious holy
  pictures, one range being the whole history of our English St.
  Boniface. I hope this is there as a memorial of what Germany owes to
  England, and as an excitement to pray for us. I came back to receive
  Mr. Schlager to dine with me at the _table d'hôte_. Phillipps dined
  at Mr. Rio's, where I joined them at 3, having first gone with Mr.
  Schlager to his lodgings. Rio talked splendidly about England, and
  Dr. Döllinger promised to write articles to call to prayer for it. I
  came home at 5, said office in the cathedral, and at 7½ we went to
  supper with Dr. and Mrs. Phillipps, where we met all the circle, the
  Görreses, Windischman, Döllinger, Rios, Mrs. Raby, Mrs. Dugdale, &c.

  Tuesday, August 20. St. Bernard.--Mass at the cathedral at 10. I
  took a carriage and went with Mrs. Dugdale and Mrs. Raby to
  Nymphenburg, where is the principal convent of the English nuns, of
  which I saw a house at Augsburg. There are ten houses in Bavaria;
  Mrs. Raby's daughter is a novice there. We stopped a good while, and
  I hope a good step was taken in my work. Mr. Dugdale promises to
  follow up ardently the begging prayers. I came home before 2, and
  stayed at home till 5, when we went with the two boys to a grand
  dinner with le Comte de Zeuft, {306} the Austrian ambassador. There
  were twenty at table: the Nuncio, Mr. Aebel, minister of the
  interior, the chief Catholic physician, a Polish Countess Kitzka,
  and all our friends the Professors were there. I sat between Dr.
  Phillipps and Windischman. We stayed till near 10. The Comte de
  Zeuft promised great help for England. It is my first opening in
  Austria. Mrs. Aebel assured me that the Government would be well
  pleased with whatever was done in this way, which is a great point
  secured. I also had an interesting talk on the subject with the
  Countess Kitzka, who proposed prayer for Poland also on Saturdays.
  This was, in short, a productive evening.

  Wednesday, August 21.--Mass at the cathedral. I walked with Mr.
  Dugdale to the convent of Sisters of Providence joining the great
  hospital we failed in entering on Sunday. We got one nun who spoke a
  little French to show us over the hospital, but we made little of
  gaining prayers. I found palpitations coming from the walk, and so I
  came home and stayed till I went with Phillipps to dine at 4 with
  the Nuncio. The chief guests were Comte de Zeuft and Baron Frujberg,
  _conseilleur d'état_, and twelve or fourteen more. The Nuncio took
  charge of the little prayer for England adopted by the Belgian
  bishops, and promised to get ample indulgences at Rome for the
  masses, communions, and prayers for England. We came home and took
  Mrs. Phillipps to tea at Dr. Döllinger's, Baron Frujberg, Rio,
  Hüffler, the historian of the German popes of the 11th century.

  Thursday, August 22.--Mass at 8. I stayed at home writing to Dr.
  Wiseman from 11 to 12; then went with Dr. Döllinger to be presented
  to Madame di Frujberg, and her sister Amelia de Mongeras. Talked
  about England and prayers. At home I found Comte de Zeuft and the
  Nuncio paying a visit. Then dinner at 2½. Mr. Windischman took me to
  see the Archbishop, 84 years old. He has his intellect quite sound,
  and was favourable to the prayers, but not very zealous. I came home
  and stayed till 7, writing to Mrs. Beaumont and Mrs. Canning, saying
  office, &c. At 7 Mr. and Mrs. Rio and two children, Dr. Phillipps,
  {307} Döllinger, and Windischman came to tea and supper, so a
  parting visit. Little Miss Rio got sick with the smoke in the salon.

  Friday, August 23.--Mass at 7½ in the cathedral for the last time.
  After breakfast a visit from Mr. Dugdale and old Görres, and a talk
  with Mr. Woodwich, a very nice young Anglican, whom Phillipps met at
  Cologne, and came yesterday to Munich. The horses came for our
  departure at 11, but we did not start till ¼ to 1. I sat in the
  carriage saying office. We had a pretty journey, approaching a line
  of fine mountains. We reached a town called Tegern See, and we put
  up at Le Troitteur Hof. When we came to dine, we found ourselves
  worse off than we have yet been. No bread without aniseed, and
  hardly enough to eat for all but me, who took meat. However, this is
  an interesting spot. Out of my window I have a sweet view of the
  lake and mountains opposite, with a bright moon upon them.

  Saturday, August 24.--I went before 7 to find the old priest to say
  mass. The church is a handsome one attached to a large building
  which once was a Benedictine convent, but was turned by the old
  king, my former acquaintance, into a country palace. Prince Charles
  lives here now. The old priest was one of the monks. There are four
  now alive out of forty-three. We started at 9, and went through
  beautiful mountain scenery, especially that part of the road which
  lies along the bank of Achensee, a beautiful blue lake. We dined at
  about 2, at Achenthal, just before coming to the lake. We were
  delayed by a spring breaking, and only reached Schwartz, a town of
  4,500 people. The inn La Poète is kept by Anthony Reiner, one of a
  family of three men and a sister, who about 1830 were 2½ years in
  England, singing Tyrolese songs, and made £4,000. Mrs. Ambrose heard
  them at Sir Thomas Acland's. We had tea in the billiard-room, and
  saw some beautiful play.

  Sunday, Aug. 25.--I said mass at 6½, at the Franciscan church. In
  the convent are twenty-one priests and twenty-five students, besides
  lay brothers. I recommended England and was kindly heard. After
  breakfast we went together to the parish church; at 8 a sermon
  begins--we heard the end of it, preached by a Franciscan. Mass
  follows the {308} sermon. The style of music, both here and in the
  Franciscan church, where I heard part of the high mass, is high
  figured. We set off for Innspruck after. It was raining all the way.
  We arrived at 2 at the Golden Sun (die goldene Sonne), in a fine
  wide street. We had dinner, during which we were surprised and
  pleased by a visit from Mrs. Amherst and Mary. She has a house in
  this street, and saw us pass by. Three daughters are with her. Soon
  after we went to see the Franciscan church, in which is the famous
  monument of Maximilian, and round it bronze figures of illustrious
  personages, and on the side a marble monument of Hoffa. They are not
  all saints, and it is thought to be an unbecoming ornament to a
  church. They certainly cause distractions by the number of people
  who come to see the sculpture, which makes this small church almost
  like a Glyptotheke. After this, Mrs. Amherst took me to the
  Redemptorists, where Father Prost talks English, and received me
  most cordially, and presented me to the Rector. I then went to the
  Franciscan convent, where, as at Munich, I saw the fathers at
  supper, and recommended England to the Provincial, who promised to
  convey my wishes to the 300 subjects of the 10 houses of his
  province. In this little house there are eight priests. He sent a
  man to take me to the Decanus, living near the parish church, to ask
  for leave to hear confessions to-morrow. He was a most amiable, kind
  old man, and promised to speak for me to all the clergy. I went to
  meet our party at tea with the Amhersts at 7, and had a very
  pleasant evening. Home at 9¼.

  Monday, Aug. 26th.--Father Prost gave himself to me all to-day. I
  went to say mass at the Redemptorist church; breakfasted there; then
  went out with him to the hospital of the Sisters of Charity, where
  there are 15 nuns, and it is the mother house of about eight houses
  in all. They are under the direction of the Redemptorists. Then to
  the Jesuits' college, where we saw the Rector; then to dine with the
  Redemptorists at 12. They are about ten in number. The Rector is
  most zealous for my cause. At 2 we walked out of the town to a fine
  Premonstratensian {309} abbey to which belong 42 monks; but about
  half are employed as coadjutors to parish priests. The Abbot
  received us very kindly, and showed us all over his house, which has
  a great suite of fine rooms, full of pictures of great personages.
  We came back to settle for my departure to-morrow; and lastly
  visited the Servites. They have a fine large house in the great
  street. Their number is only fifteen. Lastly, we called on a lady
  who can talk English, having learned it, where Father Prost did, in
  America. I went at 6½ to tea with the Amhersts, among whom I also
  found William just come. I went home to stay at the Redemptorists,
  in order to be able to say mass to-morrow. The Rector and Father
  Prost sat some time with me.

  Tuesday, Aug. 27th.--Said mass at 3½; at 4½, Father Prost saw me in
  the still-wagen, or omnibus, for Brixen. I forgot to say that
  Phillipps agreed with me to meet at Caldaron on Thursday. They went
  off yesterday by Landeck, Marenn, &c., for finer scenery. I took my
  way to see the Bishop of Brixen. My principal companions were four
  students at the Inspruck University, going out for their vacations.
  They were two couples of brothers, one called Ehrhart, the other
  Benz, all of Inspruck. The weather was become beautiful, and we went
  through splendid scenery. We went over the Brenner mountain, and
  were going till 8 o'clock at night. We stopped three times for
  refreshment: at Matraey, Strarzing, and Mittewald. We came to the
  Kreutz Hof--the Cross Inn--at Brixen, where I took my bed. First, I
  went to see a pleasing old priest, by name Graffanara, who is
  Domscholasticus here, and whom I saw by chance at Inspruck. He told
  of the Bishop being gone to Botzen, and introduced me to the Decanus
  and Parish Priest, to settle for mass to-morrow.

  Wednesday, Aug. 28th. Great St. Augustine's.--I was up soon after 3,
  and went to the Pffarr-Kirche, where I said mass at 4. The Pffarr
  treated me with extraordinary respect and kindness, and came back
  with me to my inn, where I started again, with the same company, to
  Botzen, in another still-wagen, at 5. We followed the downward
  course of a beautiful torrent, through rocks and mountains {310} all
  the way, till we reached Botzen, at 12. I went to the Kaiser's
  Krone, and dined at the _table d'hôte_ at 12½, next to an English
  gentleman, by name Harley, who was chiefly taken up with attacks on
  cookery out of England. He was a man of much information, and gave
  gloomy accounts of the prospect of war with France. His father was
  an admiral. I stayed at home till 4½, then went out to the Capuchins
  and then to the Capellani--the Paroco being out. The chief Capellano
  came back with me to the hotel, and waited till the Bishop of Brixen
  came in. He had been out in the country. I was admitted to see him,
  but quite disappointed in my hopes of finding help from him. He gave
  me no signs of zeal, and hardly spoke of England. Perhaps it may be
  for the better some way. No doubt disappointments are good for me,
  and so thank God for this one. I afterwards went to the Franciscans,
  where I found real sympathy in one of the fathers, with whom I
  walked in the garden. This was a refreshment after the Bishop. In
  the evening I had a visit from the young Baron Giovanelli, whose
  father has some authority about sending people to see Maria Mörl. He
  could hardly speak Italian, and though very civil, did not help me
  much.

  Thursday, 29th.--The good Bishop sent me to-day a present of a large
  number of religious prints, with German instructions, and showed
  thus his good will to me; and I hope it may be well for my cause. At
  7½ I said mass in the cathedral. At 10 I went in a one-horse
  carriage to Calddaron, or more rightly Caltern. I went directly to
  see Father Capistrano, confessor to Maria Mörl, at a Franciscan
  convent, and then dined at the White Horse inn. At 4½, according to
  his direction, I went to the convent of the Tertiariae, where Maria
  Mörl has been for ten years, being removed from her father's house
  by the Bishop, at her own request, to avoid being seen by so many
  people. I waited in the convent church till Father Capistrano, who
  is a tall and venerable monk, I suppose of forty-five years old,
  came to call me, with eight or nine other persons, to see the
  _estatica_. (N.B. Father Capistrano told me that the Bishop of
  Brixen is very deaf, and probably understood nothing of {311} what I
  talked about, which explains all my disappointment.) We went into a
  small room within her convent, rather darkened, where the first
  sight of Maria on her knees upon her bed was most striking. She
  kneels with her head and eyes fixed upwards, her hands joined before
  her breast, just below the chin, and her body leaning forwards in a
  position out of the centre of gravity, in which, ordinarily, no one
  could continue without support. It is most moving to see her thus--I
  think more so than in any of the other positions which she assumed.
  This was the time when on every Thursday she goes through the
  contemplation of the Agony of Our Lord; and so, soon after we came
  in, she being quite unconscious of what goes on around her, began to
  make signs in her throat of earnest emotion, and then, clenching her
  hands together, she dropped her head over them, her long, flowing
  hair being thrown forward over her face, as it were accompanying our
  Lord in the commencement of His prayer in the garden; after about
  five minutes thus, she suddenly bends down, placing her face between
  her knees, as when our Lord was prostrate in His agony. After
  another five minutes, she rises, her face again fixed with
  expression of intense earnestness on heaven, and her arms extended
  back downwards, as expressing perfect resignation. After five or ten
  minutes thus, she returns calmly to her original attitude of prayer,
  and thus remained till Father Capistrano spoke to her by name,
  saying a few words almost indistinctly, and she instantly returned
  to herself, reclined back on her bed, and, without exertion of
  moving her limbs, appeared simply recumbent, with the bed-cover over
  her whole body. I did not see her rise again, but this is done
  instantly without effort, in the same way. The moment that she was
  thus awakened from the ecstasy, she looked round on us all with
  great good-humour, and smiled; and, being forbidden to speak, she
  made many signs, asking questions of some whom she knew before. One
  priest, il Conte Passi, offered her some cotton perfumed from the
  body of Sta. Maria Maddalena di Pazzi; but she would not have it,
  nor smell it, refusing it in a truly pleasant way. I spoke of
  praying for England, and she nodded graciously, but did not take
  much {312} apparent notice. I suppose she does it about nothing but
  what comes by obedience. If the conversation had a pause, she
  immediately became again absorbed in God till Father Capistrano
  recalled her again. After a proper time, he gave us signs to retire;
  on which she earnestly made signs for a cartoon-box full of holy
  prints to be brought, and she began with great earnestness to turn
  them over, seeming to recollect herself very intently. She then gave
  me two, and afterwards another. I was struck when I saw the first
  was a figure of St. George, as she had not heard my name I knew.
  Afterwards, I supposed she might allude only to England, as she knew
  I was English. Soon after, she fell back into ecstasy as she lay,
  and we went away. I walked down to the inn with Conte Passi and a
  priest of the place, who visits her nearly every day. I began a
  letter, when, about 6, I was agreeably surprised by seeing Phillipps
  and his party drive up. He and I went to the Franciscan convent, but
  could not see Father Capistrano. Conte Passi and I slept in the same
  room, and into a third bed tumbled some one else, I thought, like
  the ostler, after we were in bed. I slept none the worse, and why
  should I?

  Friday, Aug. 30.--Said mass in the parish church at eight. Phillipps
  after breakfast went and had a long conversation with Father
  Capistrano, who received to-day a letter from the Bishop of Trent,
  to give leave for all of us to see the _estatica_. Phillipps came
  back with wonderful accounts of Father Capistrano's views of the
  future in the Church. He has no bright anticipations. I wrote all
  the morning, letters to Dr. Döllinger, Signor Giovanelli, and Mr.
  LeSage Ten Broek. We dined at 1. At 2½ we all went to the convent
  church, where, as yesterday, P. Capistrano came to take us to la
  Mörl. Three o'clock, being the time of Our Lord's death, this is the
  subject of her contemplation at that time every Friday. Soon after
  we came in, from the attitude of prayer in which we found her as
  yesterday; she again clasped her hands, and, looking up with an
  expression of suffering, she continued for some time to make a sort
  of sobbing noise, and stertation, as I have seen people dying of
  apoplexy; this grew more painful till, exactly at {313} three, she
  dropped her head forward, and her hands yet clasped hung down before
  her and so she remained quite motionless, still leaning forward
  beyond the perpendicular, "_inclinato capite emisit spiritum_." This
  continued till, at one of those almost inaudible suggestions of the
  confessor, she fell back on the bed, as yesterday, but still in
  ecstasy, and extended her hands in the form of a crucifix. The
  fingers were guttered over the palm of the hands, but yet we saw
  plainly in the palm the sacred stigma. I saw it yesterday outside
  both her hands, quite plainly, as she was distributing the prints.
  The marks are not as of an open wound, but red cicatrices like those
  represented in pictures of Our Saviour when risen from the dead.
  Father Capistrano said that she eats a little bread and fruit
  occasionally, not every day; she communicates three or four times a
  week; she sleeps generally in the night, I understood, but her
  spirit still continues in a less degree of contemplation. She had a
  younger sister with her in the convent, to wait on her. The Emperor
  allows her 400 florins a year. On more solemn feasts, the ecstasy is
  more intense, and she then appears for a time raised above the bed,
  touching it only with the tips of her feet. The priest whom I saw
  yesterday says that he has himself passed his hand at those times
  under her knees without touching them. It is a rule that no money is
  given by visitors either to her or the convent. We went away, and
  prepared for our departure about 4. I engaged a small one-horse
  carriage to go to _Egna_ in Italian, in German _Neumarkt_, intending
  to see the _Addolorata_, and to meet the Phillippses again at
  Venice. I began to have a distaste to the rude-looking driver, at
  the first sight, still more, when I found that the carriage belonged
  to a priest who had come from Egna this morning. I made it straight
  for time by taking him with me. A second nuisance was, finding, when
  I set off, that Phillipps had to go to the same place, as his first
  stage towards Trent. In a narrow road down the hill, out of Caldaro,
  we met an immense number of carts, loaded with hay, and drawn by
  oxen, from eighty to a hundred, which was a good delay, and
  Phillipps's carriage got terribly scratched in passing one. At {314}
  Egna, I put up at the Krono. I went out to see a priest, who took me
  to the Franciscans about saying mass tomorrow. I preached England.

  Saturday, Aug. 31.--I fell into the hands of the sulky driver of
  yesterday, who undertook to find me a mule to go over the mountains
  at once to Capriana, but he came last night to say none was to be
  found; I heard before that there was danger of this in harvest time.
  I therefore first said mass at the Franciscans', at 3 o'clock,
  doubtful whether it was not uncanonically early, and at 4 went with
  my friend driving me, with one horse on the left of the pole, to
  Cavallesi, a small town in the mountains, which we reached at 8
  o'clock. There I saw the physician of Dominica Lazzari, whom Count
  Passi told me to go to. He was very civil, and recommended me a
  pleasant guide, who at 9 set off, walking by the pony which I rode
  to Cavallesi. The day was beautiful, and not too hot for me, though
  it was for him on foot. It was a most interesting, picturesque ride
  of 2¼ hours, reminding me of my Sicilian and other rides long since,
  and I was surprised how this seemed to agree with me now. Capriana
  is a little very poor village, occupying a spot on an open space,
  high among the mountains. The very first cottage in the body of the
  town, and one of the poorest, is where this wonderful being spends
  her suffering days. The Medico Yoris had written me a note to the
  primissario, or second priest to the curate, who is Dominica's
  confessor, who might have helped me about seeing her; but he was not
  at home, so we went to the house at once. The door of the little
  place, a part of a building, where Dominica lives with her sister,
  was locked. The sister was out. I heard her groaning slightly at
  every breath. She made something of an answer when my guide knocked.
  He went to seek her sister, and came back saying that she begged us
  to delay a little, as others had been with her, and she was much
  fatigued. So we went to the Osteria, and got the best they could
  give, which was a _brodo d'acqua_, in English, I fancy, tea-kettle
  broth. This shows that the place is not chosen for its riches to be
  honoured by God with His wonders. After this pause we returned to
  the little house, {315} which has a Tyrolese roof overhanging, and a
  little gallery outside her door. The sister, who is married and has
  her children about her, took us in, and in an inner room we saw the
  Addolorata in her bed. Her appearance naturally will not have been
  interesting, like that of Maria Mörl, but rather of an ordinary
  young countrywoman, of low stature, like her sister. She has
  ordinarily the appearance of great pain and suffering; but when I
  spoke to her about England, she lifted her eyes and moved her hands
  in a way more earnest than _l'estatica_, and showed great feeling at
  the thought of its conversion. Now for her appearance: her face was
  almost all covered with clotted blood, which flowed, I suppose,
  yesterday morning, for so it does every Friday, from the punctures
  as of thorns on her brow. These were not, as I expected, irregularly
  placed as by a crown of thorns made at hazard, but they formed a
  line close together on the forehead, and do not go round the head to
  the back part. Her legs were gathered up as if the sinews were
  contracted; her body, the doctor told me, is all covered with sores,
  which, the more that is done to cure, the worse they grow. She keeps
  her hands clenched before her heart, and groans slightly with every
  breath. On her hands were seen stigmata, much more marked than Maria
  Mörl, like fresh wounds by a nail passing through and sinking into
  the flesh. Her sister said the same was the case with her side and
  feet. I only spoke to her a little about England, and was delighted
  at her manner then, which shows how superior she is to her pains. It
  seems to distress her to be too near her, and as I have learned
  since it does. She is always hot; her sister was fanning her all the
  time, and in the depth of winter it is the same thing, when snow
  drives into her room. She also gives her prints; she made her sister
  show her prints out of a little case, and when she has chosen them
  she kisses them and gives them to each with great kindness. There
  were a young man and woman there, who offered money for them to her
  sister, but she will take nothing. The sight of her is not at first
  so striking and pleasing as of la Mörl, but the remembrance is more
  impressive. It seems a state more meritorious, more humble. It is
  more poor, and patient. {316} Having been delayed so long, I could
  not get to Cavallesi till 3; the sulky face of the driver betokened
  no good for my return; the horse, too, he said was ill, and in fine,
  he brought me to Egna just too late for the still-wagen to Lavorno,
  and I was not so patient as I ought to have been after seeing that
  example, but I was helped by it a little. I had to take a carriage
  for myself and the same miserable driver, who was going to sleep all
  the way, and grunted at me once when I awoke him. I got to a nice
  inn at Lavorno, the white house again.

  Sunday, Sept. 1.--I started at 5 by a still-wagen for Trent, all
  alone in it. I came to the Rose Inn, and waited to say mass at the
  Church di S. Maria Maggiora, where the Council of Trent was held,
  and prayed, as usual on Sundays, for the gift of Faith, which was
  appropriate here. The church is quite uninteresting in appearance. I
  breakfasted at a cafe, and went about my way of travelling; then at
  ¼ to 11 went and heard the end of a high mass. I thought to be in
  time for all. After it I was very happy in getting myself introduced
  to the Bishop, who was extremely agreeable, and said he prayed daily
  for England, and promised to recommend it to Maria la Mörl, and to
  all the clergy. I left, as if I need take no more trouble about
  Trent. I went to the Rosa, and stayed there quiet till dinner at
  12½, and then till 4, writing my long days of late in the Journal.
  At 4, I got into a carriage carrying four inside to Roveredo, where
  I got to the Corona, and went to bed at 8½ or 9.

  Monday, Sept. 2.--I set off soon after 3½ with an old _vetturino_,
  who rather displeased me last night in making his bargain, by his
  flattering way; but I found him a nice old man, and very civil. We
  got to Bosketto, on the banks of the Adige (which indeed we followed
  all day), at 7¼. I said mass and breakfasted. Then we went on to
  dine at a single house, called Ospitaletto. We stayed from 12 to 2;
  I wrote two letters. We then started and got to Verona at 4, to the
  Hotel di Londra. I took a _laquais de place_, and walked to Count
  Persico's house. I was sorry to find him in the country. Then to the
  Jesuit Noviciate, where I {317} thought I might possibly find
  Connolly. The Superior showed me Padre Odescalchi's room, where he
  passed his noviciate. I recommended myself to his prayers. I had
  been reading on the road his memoirs, given me at Louvain. The
  Superior promised to recommend England. I went then to the
  cathedral, and the Bishop being out, I saw the Vicario, who kindly
  promised to speak for me to the Bishop. I then went into the
  cathedral, where there was a brilliant illumination, and a most
  solemn benediction, and then a litany before the altar of the
  Blessed Virgin, which reminded me of the holy litanies of Rome. I
  have seen nothing like this on the Continent, nor have I seen a town
  so full of respectable clergy in every part. Came home and to bed at
  8½.

  Tuesday, Sept. 3rd.--Started at 4 with my new _vetturino_, who
  cheated me as usual, but was civil. It rained almost all day. I said
  mass at a place called Montebello, and got to Vicenza to dine at
  11½. Then started for Padua with a new _vetturino_, and had for
  company an old and a young Roman priest. The old one was Bighi, a
  well-known professor, who taught Dr. Wiseman and S. Sharples, &c.,
  and was full of kindness to me. I talked myself almost hoarse with
  him. They stopped at Padua. I went on railroad to Venice. I sat by a
  priest of Illyricum of the _scuole pie_ of St. Joseph Calasanctius;
  but what was wonderful was my being in the midst of Mrs. Neville and
  her family, whom Mrs. Rio desired me to see, coming back from a
  visit to Vicenza. We kept together all across the Sayburne, and made
  a great acquaintance. I got into a gondola, and had to go a great
  round to put down another young man, who had already engaged it. I
  had a great battle about my fare, and for a wonder I conquered. I
  waited a little, having my chocolate, when Phillipps and all came
  in, and we made a happy meeting, giving an account of our respective
  travels.

  Wednesday, Sept. 4th.--I went at 7 to say mass at San Marco, but was
  obliged to wait till 8, as they are very strict here not to allow a
  priest to mass without leave from the Patriarch, except the first
  day, when, as to me, leave {318} is given. I breakfasted at a cafe,
  then went with Phillipps to St. Georgio dei Greci, and heard a high
  mass of the schismatic Greeks, of whom there is a colony at Venice;
  the occasion was the octave of the Assumption, old style. The mass
  was all celebrated behind a close screen; which is open part of the
  time, but not during the most solemn part. After the consecration,
  the host and chalice are carried outside this screen in procession,
  and presented for adoration; one man before us was making his
  prostrations all the time. The priests had chasubles, hanging evenly
  all round to near the ankles; they lifted them to use their hands;
  there is no musical instrument, but singing all the time. I then
  went to the Cancellaria to get my licence to say mass, and then to
  Mrs. Neville at the Corte dell' Albero. She soon after took me to
  the Armenian College, where the examinations were just finished.
  There are eighteen scholars, with two priests over them, in an old
  grand palace of a ruined family of Pesaro. The _vicario_ and several
  others from the island were there. We talked much about England. I
  came to dinner at the Tavola, returned at 4, Then we went to the
  Island of St. Lazzaro, to see Padre Pasquale and the Archbishop
  Sutrio Somal (as the name sounds), great friends of Phillipps at
  Rome in 1831, and of mine, too. When we came back. I went in a
  gondola to Mrs. Neville, and back to tea.

  Tuesday, Sept. 5.--This being the feast of St. Lorenzo Giustiniani,
  I went out at 6¾ to find the church where his body is laid. He died
  in the very hotel where we are. The church I went to in a gondola in
  rain to St. Pietro at Castello--the ancient patriarchal church--and
  said mass at the high altar, where he lies. I walked back in rain,
  without umbrella, as I lost mine yesterday. I bought another. At 12,
  Padre Raffaelle, an Armenian priest, Mrs. Neville's confessor, to
  whom she introduced me yesterday, called and took me to the
  patriarch, Cardinal Monico, who received most graciously my
  propositions for England. I am to call again with the Phillippses on
  Saturday, and get something more exactly settled about the prayers;
  we then went across the Great Canal to the Del Redentore, where
  {319} is a convent of eighty Capuchins. The church is reckoned a
  _chef d'oeuvre_ of Palladio, built _ex voto_ by the Republic, after
  a plague. We saw the guardian, who is also provincial; he learned
  our want, and promised for his own house and ten others of the
  province. I came back to dinner. A Greek priest whom Phillipps got
  acquainted with the other day, came to dine with us, and sat till 9.
  His conversation was very interesting as showing the ideas of the
  Greeks about the Roman Church, and their doctrines on many points
  varying from ours. What a terrible evil is that of separation of
  nearly half of Christendom! The greater reasons to hasten the
  reunion of England, that we may draw the others.

  Friday, Sept. 6.--The two Neville boys came with me to St. Marco,
  and served my mass, as their mother had desired. After breakfast, I
  called on Mrs. Neville, who was not up, then went to Palazzo Pasaro,
  to Padre Raffaelle. He came with me first to the Franciscans; the
  guardian promised for his house of fifty, and for three or four at
  some distance from him. Then to the Dominicans, who are fifteen, a
  new establishment a year old. Then to the Jesuits, who are eight in
  number, only this summer returned to their old church, which is one
  of the most remarkable for its ornaments in Venice, white marble
  inlaid with black. I remembered it well from twenty-six years ago.
  The superior, Padre Ferrario, is going to Rome to-morrow, and
  promised to see about my matters there with Cardinal Acton and the
  general of the Jesuits. I came home in haste, and found Phillipps,
  and Mrs. Neville and her friends with her, gone to St. Marco, where
  we followed them to see the treasury--_i.e._, the inestimably rich
  treasures brought by Doge Dandolo from Constantinople, just before
  it was taken by the Turks. The chief thing is an antependium and a
  reredos of massive gold, with splendid pearls and enamels. Mrs.
  Neville took us to the Convent of the Visitation, where is preserved
  the heart of St. Francis of Sales, which was brought from France
  when the Revolution drove off all religious. They could not show
  this relic; but promised prayers, and to write to other houses.
  There were there {320} forty nuns. Back to dinner at the _table
  d'hôte_. After dinner we went all together to see the only large
  Gothic church in Venice, called St. ---- di Frari, which is the
  Venetian for Frati; it used to be the Franciscan church, and their
  house is turned into a public Archivium. Phillipps said they
  deserved it for having such a palace. The church is a fine one, and
  has some good morsels; but what is most startling, or rather
  glaring, is the immense marble monument to Canova--a pyramid, with a
  heathen procession into it. His heart is here. His right hand in an
  urn at the Arcadinia. We tried at St. Sitorstro (Silvestro) to
  assist at the 40 _ore_, but all was over. We came back by a fine
  star light, and went to St. Marco, where we had ices at Floriano's
  _café_, and heard military music. Canonico Pio Bighi, and his young
  companion Don Giovanni Moneti, joined us, _ad cor. sat._ We came
  home at 9.

  Sept. 7th.--Said mass at St. Marco, on the altar where the
  miraculous picture of Our Lady is, by St. Luke. The Greek priest
  told us there existed seventy-five of them. I went at 8½ to the
  Jesuits, to give a letter for Cardinal Acton, about indulgences for
  prayers for England, to Padre Ferrarrio, the Superior, who sets off
  to-day for Rome. I found Mrs. Neville and Father Raffaelle talking
  to him. The latter kindly went around with me to-day again. We went
  first to the Institute of St. Dorothea, founded lately by Conte
  Passi and his brother, which we desired to see. The Superioress was
  out, but another made excellent promises.--15 nuns. Then to St.
  Lucia, to the Sisters of Charity, and another house dependent on
  them. In the latter was an Armenian lady who spoke English, having
  been six years at Hammersmith Convent. The Superioress of the chief
  house spoke of Gentili with great respect; she knew him when she was
  at the house at Verona. She promised me for thirteen houses under
  her authority. Then we went past the Jesuits to a house of Reformed
  Franciscans (Zoccolanti). St. Michele di Marano. Promised for three
  houses as large as this, about twenty-six, and many more smaller.
  This is where Gregory XVI. was educated, made his novitiate, and was
  Superior. We saw the outside of his room; the key could {321} not be
  got. We got back at 12½. I went with Phillipps to the Cardinal
  Patriarch, as appointed before. I gave him the prayer for England
  which I gave to Padre Ferrario, and he promised to speak with him
  also. Thence to the Accademia, where for two hours we looked at the
  pictures and statues. It did not greatly answer me. Thence left our
  cards on the Duc de Levis, who, with his master the Due de Bordeaux,
  is at the Albergo Reale. Then dined. Another _maigre_. After I did
  not go out with them, as I had office to say. At 7½ we had a party
  to tea--the Greek priest, with Mrs. Neville and three children. They
  stayed till past 11.

  Monday, Sept. 8. Nativity of Blessed Virgin.--I said mass at S.
  Marco. We went to the high Armenian mass at S. Lazzaro at 10. We
  were a little late. After it we stayed there with our friends the
  fathers till vespers and benediction, at 3. And after that, dinner
  at 4. Mrs. Neville and family were there too. It was an interesting
  day for seeing and conversing. I saw, in the visitors' book, my name
  under Lefevre's, written by him July, 1820. We sat in the cloister,
  with the old Archbishop, &c., till twilight. He made us presents of
  many handsome books printed there. We came back to S. Marco, and sat
  to hear the band, &c. On coming home, at 7½, we were in great demand
  with cards and notes, left by the Duc de Levis, to invite us to the
  Duc de Bordeaux's (Comte de Chombard) salon at 7. We were all thrown
  back by Phillipps having no dresses to go in. So we had to keep easy
  at home.

  Sunday, Sept. 9.--Mass at the cathedral (S. Marco). P. Raffaele and
  the Greek priest came to breakfast. At 10 I had a visit from the
  Superioress of the Institute of Sta. Dorothea and a companion. At
  10½ we went to visit the Duc de Bordeaux, who gave us a quarter of
  an hour's most affable conversation, spoke with great kindness of
  his reception in England, and asked after Dr. Wiseman, &c. His
  confessor, the Abbé Trélouquet, was introduced to us, and came in
  our gondola to Mrs. Neville, of whom we took leave. Mr. Trélouquet
  promised to engage the French royal {322} family in prayers for
  England. He said, the Duc de Bordeaux had spoken of my asking him at
  Oscott. We went then to S. Tommaso, where I left the Phillippses and
  went to the banker, Holme, who is Armenian consul. Then back to S.
  Tommaso, where I found them looking at an extraordinary collection
  of relics made by a priest, who devoted himself to the work when all
  things were in confusion in the revolution. He gave the collection
  to the church, on condition of their being open to the public for
  veneration. The chief relic is some of the blood of Our Lord, in a
  beautiful gold or gilt reliquary. I found there Monsignor Arfi, the
  Pope's Caudatario, and invited for England. I then went to Padre
  Raffaele, at the college, and went with him to see the two brothers,
  priests Cavanis, founders of an excellent institute of _Scuole di
  Carità_. They are in a poor house, with a few companions; one of
  them complained that no one helped them; but they are like their
  patron S. Joseph Calasanctius, losing ground in old age, but with
  hope of better things. P. Raffaele, who has indeed been an angel to
  me in Venice, came with me to the inn where they were at dinner. At
  4 we left Venice, with pleasant remembrances. We crossed the lagune
  in a procession of boats, and got into the railway carriage, which
  took us to Padua about 7. At the Stella d'Oro I went out to try to
  find the Bishop; but he was not in town.

  Tuesday, Sept, 10.--I went to St. Antony's church at 7½ to say mass.
  Before going I met Dr. Roskell, of Manchester, just come with a
  Manchester party on a rapid tour. I could not have the altar of St.
  Antony, which seems always occupied. I spoke to the Superior of the
  house of Conventual Franciscans attached to the church, 50 in
  number, who promised to recommend my cause. I came back in a little
  carriage with Phillipps. We started at 9 for Verona, dined at
  Vicenza; then I took a carriage and called on the Bishop, Monsignor
  Capellari, a good old man, who received me graciously. We stopped in
  going out of Vicenza to see Palladio's Olympic Theatre, built to act
  the OEdipus Tyrannus in 1585. This pretends to nothing but paganism.
  We reached Verona at 7. I went out to see {323} the Bishop, who was
  quite gracious; he begins his retreat with his clergy to-morrow, and
  promised to begin then and recommend England. I then called at Conte
  Persico's, who is in town, but was just gone to the theatre. Home,
  and to bed at 9½.

  Wednesday, Sept. 11.--Up soon after 5, and at 7 said mass in St.
  Anastasius, a large church close to the hotel. Soon after Conte
  Persico came to return my visit, and sat a good while with me, then
  with the Phillippses, to whom I introduced him. He is grown very
  old, being now 67. He said he was married two years after I had seen
  him before, and was now by accident in town with his wife. I thought
  him very like his old father. At 10 we went in a carriage to see the
  tombs of the Scaligeri, formerly tyrants of Verona, fine Gothic
  structure; then the Amphitheatre, and the church of St. Zenone,
  where I saw the image of the saint again which I before laughed at,
  as a thing so to be treated, in 1820. I then called at Conte
  Persico's, and saw his lady. At 12½ we set off for Dezenzano, a
  beautiful spot at the town end of the Lake di Garda. We arrived at
  6, and had a pleasant evening in a little room of the Albergo
  Imperiale, looking over the lake. I wrote to Mrs. Neville and Abbé
  de Baudry.

  Thursday, Sept. 12.--There was rain in the night, leaving us a fine
  day without dust. I said mass at 6½ in the parish church. We went to
  dine at the Duc Torri, at Brescia. I went to see the Bishop, who
  received me very courteously. There I met a Philippine lay-brother,
  who introduced me to the church of his order, Sta. Maria della Pace,
  then to five or six of the fathers sitting together. I had a fine
  opportunity of recommending England. They are the only religious
  house in Brescia (of men at least). After dinner at 3 we set off for
  Bergamo, when we came to Albergo Reale at 9 o'clock. I got up to my
  knees in a stream near the road at the wet stage, but hope no harm
  from it.

  Friday, Sept. 13.--Anniversary of my first coming abroad, 1819. I
  got up soon after 5, said mass in a church opposite the inn,
  breakfasted at a café, then walked up the beautiful road to the high
  town called the _Città_, where our {324} inn was is the borga.
  Between them there are about 36,000. In the _Città_ I met a priest,
  by name Giuseppe Caffi, belonging to the collegiate church, who,
  when I asked him for Count Papi, volunteered to be my guide
  altogether. He showed me the cathedral, his own church, Sta. Maria,
  and a little convent church, Church of the Benedictine Nuns,
  beautifully gilt. He also went with me to the Bishop, who gave me
  one of the best receptions. By the same good hap as at Verona, the
  priests were in retreat. He introduced me to the Abbate Vittadini,
  conductor of the retreat, who promised to speak of England to the
  clergy. He was already full of zeal for it; he knew a good deal of
  the state of things with us. When I wrote my name, he knew it well,
  and it had a good effect. I went with Abbé Caffi to the palace of
  Count Papi; all were away. He came with us to the hotel, and soon we
  started for Milan. We arrived at 3, and found rooms in the best
  hotel (de la Ville). _Tables d'hôte_ at 5. I said office, and just
  got time to look in the cathedral before dinner, and again after we
  all went. It was beyond my recollections of old. I admired the
  ceiling, which seemed all beautiful openwork; I did not remember
  this. It seemed to be only painted so. How I remember Lord Kinnaird
  taking my mother to it. We tried two other churches to find
  Benediction in vain. Then I went with Phillipps to a bookseller's.

  Saturday, Sept. 14.--Up at 5½. I went to say mass at the cathedral,
  and finding that the Roman rite is not allowed in the church alone,
  I was in the happy necessity of celebrating in the chapel of St.
  Charles, in the crypt, which is almost reserved for strangers. I
  waited over two masses. After breakfast we had a visit from Count
  Mellerio, Rosinini's great friend. Phillipps and I went with him to
  his palace, and saw Abbate Polidori, who lives there. Mrs. Ambrose
  came with the carriage to pick us up, and I went to the Church of
  St. Celso, and to the great hospital fitted up for 3,000 patients;
  then to vespers at the Duomo, and at 3½ to dine with Count Mellerio.
  I sat near Polidori. Before we parted he and Signer Mercati seemed
  gained for England. At 6½ we went to a Benediction at the Duomo,
  only of relics {325} of the Passion, and not very solemn. This was
  by occasion of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross to-day. I
  then went to the Archbishop's palace to find the Grand Vicar, to get
  leave for confessions to-morrow, and without expecting it saw the
  Cardinal himself instead. As Count Mellerio was to prepare my way
  to-morrow, I did not speak of England. When I got home I found
  Mellerio at the inn, bringing a permission from the Grand Vicar. To
  bed after 10. I have got unwell to-day in the inside,--between
  yesterday's _maigre_ and the fruit, I suppose.

  Sunday, Sept. 15.--We went together this morning to the old basilica
  of St. Ambrose, where I said mass at the saint's tomb, in the crypt.
  The Phillippses received communion. Then we saw the splendid
  covering of the altar above, in the church. It is exposed only on
  three days at mass--St. Ambrose, SS. Gervase and Protase, and Corpus
  Christi. SS. Gervase and Protase's relics are there, with St.
  Ambrose's. This altar cost to a bishop who gave it, 80,000 sequins
  of gold, about the year 1000. I spoke to the Directeur du Séminaire
  de Chamberry, who was there, and he promised to speak of England. We
  went home to breakfast at 10½. Assisted at high mass in the Duomo
  again; not so solemn as yesterday. The procession of the Blessed
  Sacrament before it did not please me much. After high mass I went
  to call on the Cardinal again. I was not so much disappointed as in
  the case of the Bishop of _Brixen_, for I had heard nothing
  promising about this interview as in the other cases; but I felt as
  one defeated when I went away. I went to the Piazza del Castello to
  see the Contessa del Verme and her sister, English people, converts
  to whom Abbate Vittadini, at Bergamo, recommended me. Her sister,
  Miss Mary Webster, is just about entering the order of the
  Visitation here. The Count came in just when I was gone out, and
  followed me to S. Alessandro, of the Barnabites, which he had heard
  me ask for as I left his house. I brought him to see Phillipps. We
  dined at 3½, and at 4½ went to the Arena, or Amphitheatre, where
  there was a grand _spettacolo nautico e pirotecnico._ The arena was
  full of water, and we had five races of boats, three of men, one of
  {326} women, and one of boys rowing; then a procession of two great
  illuminated galleys filled with musicians; then what struck me most,
  as most new to me, the ascent of fifty fine balloons; then of one
  very large one; then a splendid display of fireworks, ending as
  often with an illuminated palace, with an inscription _alle scienze,
  alle letters, alle arti_, as the spectacle was in honour of the
  Sixth Italian Scientific Congress, now being held here. We got home
  at ¼ to 9; I almost well again.

  Monday, September 16.--I said mass at St. Fidele, formerly one of
  the three Jesuit churches. At 8 we set off in a carriage to see the
  Certosa of Pavia. We got to it at 10½, and were two hours examining
  its beautiful details. Women are now forbidden entrance into the
  choir, and so Mrs. Ambrose had to stay in the body of the church,
  while we, with other people who had come to see it, saw the rich
  high altar and many of the finest things. There are not many
  precious stones, like rubies, emeralds, &c., but a profusion of
  altar-fronts of Pietra-dura, beautiful _alto relievos_ in marble,
  and many fine pictures. The convent is but lately reinhabited. Count
  Mellerio was the means of replacing monks there. They are all
  French. We saw the Prior, who knew Michael MacMahon. He promised to
  recommend England not only here, but by letter in other houses. We
  dined at an inn half a mile from the church, called Albergo della
  Certosa, and came back to Milan by 5. I got off near the Contrada S.
  Maria Falconeria, to call at a convent of Sisters of Charity of the
  same order as those of Sta. Lucia, at Venice. I saw the Superioress.
  Then I went to the Count del Verme's palace. La Contessa was
  confined this morning. I saw Miss Webster, who spoke about two
  English girls whom they are instructing, wishing me to receive the
  confession of one who cannot speak Italian. I went out with the
  priest who instructs them, Don Gaetano Fumagalli, to see them. We
  first went to the convent of the Salesiani, 54 nuns (visitation),
  into which Miss Webster is about to enter, and though the time was
  past, we saw the mistress of novices through the grate, who was very
  gracious about England. Then we went to a high story in a house
  where these girls lodge, paid {327} for by the Cardinal. After
  coming home I went, on an invitation obtained by the Conte del
  Verme, to a grand assembly and concert at the Accademia, or the
  _Nobil Società_. The gayest rooms I have seen a long time. I came
  home soon after ten, for I knew nobody there, and was almost the
  only priest I saw; certainly the only one in a cassock.

  Tuesday, September 17.--Mass at St. Fidele. At 8 Count Mellerio
  came, and we started for his villa at Gernetto, beyond Monza. He
  took Mrs. A. and Amb., and I and a boy went in our carriage, with
  four vetturino horses. We stopped at Monza to see the glorious relic
  of the Iron Crown given by the Empress Helena to Constantine, in
  which is inserted, as a ring of iron within a larger ring of gold,
  one of the nails of Our Lord's crucifixion beat out into that form.
  It has crowned from thirty to forty kings of Italy. Among them,
  Napoleon last but one. Other grand relics of the Passion are with
  it, two thorns, and a piece of the sponge. Other relics are in the
  sacristy. This is kept over an altar within rich doors. The
  Canonico, who was with us in the church, promised to recommend
  England. We went on to the palace of the Archduke, surrounded by a
  park fifteen miles round, dressed like an English park, a noble
  palace. Then on to Gernetto, where we were for two or three hours
  before dinner walking gaily with the Count round his beautiful
  grounds. The villa is very handsome. Two priests of the
  neighbourhood dined with us at 3. One told me that Count Mellerio is
  one of the richest, or rather the richest nobleman in Milan,--about
  £15,000 a year of our money. He is alone, having lost his wife and
  four children. He came back with us to our hotel, where I found
  Count del Verme to tell me that the confession of the girls was put
  off. They have been left here by their mother. Their parents, ----
  and Ann Carraway, live at Newcastle-under-Lyne. Their grandfather
  and mother, James and Mary Freakley, at Cheapside, Handley. I went
  with the Count to the assembly of the learned men who are now met in
  Milan,--not so smart as yesterday, but very numerous. Then to a
  café, to read news about the effects of O'Connell's liberation.

{328}

  Wednesday, September 18.--I went with Phillippses to the Duomo to
  say mass for them at St. Charles's tomb, but I found it occupied,
  and so I went to San Fidele again, came back to breakfast, and saw
  Conte Mellerio, who had called. Then went with them to the Brera,
  where I went quickly through the gallery, and left them, taking the
  carriage to go to the hospital of the Fate-bene Fratelli, which is a
  fine establishment for 100 sick. The Vicario, whom I saw, promised
  to recommend England to the Provincial, who is here, and through him
  to the thirty brothers here, and five houses in Lombardy--_vento_.
  Then I went to the bank. Dined at 1, and at 2 we started with a
  Swiss _voiturier_, whom we had engaged to take us to Geneva. We
  passed the beautiful triumphal arch, L'Arco della Pace, reckoned the
  finest in the world, ancient and modern. We got to sleep at a nice
  inn, in a place called Casiua buon Jesu. I wrote a letter to Dr.
  Wiseman.

  Thursday, September 19. San Januarius.--I said mass at the little
  oratory of the village. There is mass here only on Sundays
  generally, but the bell rung three times for my mass, and we had a
  full chapel. This chapel not very neat; it seemed used for a
  school-room. We started at ½ past 7, and reached Avona at 12 to
  dine. How I was struck with the remembrance of the last time in this
  place with my father and mother, after coming in a boat with Dr.
  Wilson from Bavino. The inn is a fine new house since then. We saw a
  steamboat pass, which plies daily the whole length of the lake. I
  missed going to St. Charles's statue and the seminary near it,
  belonging to the diocese of Novara, where I should have liked to go
  to preach England. After dinner we started and went round to Strass,
  where we stopped and went up the mountain's side to see Rosmini's
  Novitiate, which overlooks the village. It is a large house, without
  beauty or character, unhappily. We knew we should not find Rosinini,
  who is at Roveredo. We saw Segnini and two other priests, Paoli and
  Gagliardi. They have thirty novices. The situation is beautiful. The
  ground belonged before to Madame Bolognaro, who has a large house in
  the town, where, while we were at the convent, the Bishop of {329}
  Novara came. I would not have failed to ask an audience had I been
  alone, but I made the priests promise to speak to him of England. We
  took a boat to go to the Isola Bella, to see the palace and gardens
  on our way to Bavino, the carriage going on there by itself. It was
  almost dark when we got there, and we could only see the suite of
  grand rooms and pictures, and the chapel with the old family tombs
  brought from Milan, by candlelight. _Mem_. A room of rockwork
  underneath the chief suite, where Bonaparte dined, and the bedroom
  he slept in. The whole of this grandeur is made worse than worthless
  by the indecent statues and pictures which are all about the place.
  We got to Bavino at 8; a nice new inn.

  Friday, Sept. 20.--Ember Day, but no fast for me! I got to say mass
  at 4½, and we started at 6 to ascend the Simplon. The day was
  beautiful. We got to Domodossola at 11. We went up the beautiful
  road to the Monte Calvario, of which Gentili has made me think so
  much, first having taken a look at their college in the town, where
  there are 19 boarders and more than 200 out-students. At the Calvary
  two priests received us kindly. Along the road to it are chapels
  with the stations represented in groups of figures as large as life,
  well executed; only two or three are complete. The situation here
  again is admirable. The house and church not remarkable. I was well
  received for England. Coming down, which I did after the rest, I
  visited a pretty Capuchin convent, half-way up, of fifteen friars,
  and had a good reception (promise to write to the other houses).
  After dinner at 2 we set off for Simplon, which we reached after 8.
  The _voiturier_ (coachman), to spare his horses, put us on
  post-horses at his own expense. The road on the Piedmontese side is
  sadly dilapidated. It was broken down (by water, as it seems) six
  years ago, and the King of Sardinia will not have his part repaired,
  to make people go by Mount Cenis and Turin. Put up at the Simplon
  Inn.

  Saturday, Sept. 21. St. Matthew.--I said mass at 7, spoke to the
  curé after, who promised for England. We started at 8; we still had
  two hours going up the hill. {330} About the summit is the Hospice
  de St. Bernard, begun by Bonaparte. I remember it in an unfinished
  state. It now contains four or five priests, and some brothers. We
  stopped and saw the Prior, M. Barras, who promised kindly to
  recommend England to the mother house. Phillipps bought a puppy of
  the famous breed, three months old, who was added to our company in
  the carriage. We reached Brigy between 12 and 1. I went out before
  dinner, and saw the Superior of the Jesuits' College here, who is a
  nice old man, and received us very kindly. I hurried away quickly,
  thinking to return again after dinner, but the dinner was long after
  time, and we had at once to set off for Turtinan, which we reached
  at 6½. We went out before tea to see a waterfall: it was a dark, wet
  walk, for rain was beginning.

  Sunday, Sept. 22.--I said mass at 5. Soon after 6 we set off for
  Sion. Arrived at 10, and found a grand military pontifical high mass
  begun in the cathedral. I never heard drums and cannon and the word
  of command in a mass before. The music was not military, but noisy
  figured. The occasion of the solemn mass was the feast of St.
  Maurice, patron of the Valais. After mass the Bishop walked with a
  great procession about the town, with a feretrum, with relics of St.
  Maurice. The chief part are at the town of the name, which we are to
  pass to-morrow. The procession had an excellent effect. I went then
  to the Jesuits' College, and spoke to the Rector, who told me the
  first I had heard of the attempt at revolution in the month of May
  here, which was defeated in a gallant style by the inhabitants of
  the Valais arming to the number of 10,000, from a population of
  70,000, under an old French officer, _i.e._, a Swiss, trained in the
  French army, who repelled the party of the Jeune Suisse, who
  otherwise would have overturned religious order, and perhaps, as he
  said, have massacred all the religious. Young Bodenham was in their
  house when the danger threatened. The Rector was very kind, but did
  not promise much. I went then to dine at a _table d'hôte_, but soon
  got off, and went to the Bishop lately consecrated, who came from
  table to speak with me. He was educated at the Collegio Germanico;
  knew Baldacconi and Father Daniel. {331} He promised his help. I
  then went to a Capuchin convent outside the town. The guardian, a
  young man, was rather cold, but said meanwhile that he always prayed
  for England, as ordered in the Confrérie de l'Immaculé Coeur. Then
  to a convent of Ursulines, close to the Bishop's; eleven nuns (well
  received); then in a hurry to an hospital outside the town on the
  other side, with eight nuns. The director gave me one of my most
  favourable receptions, and promised that the nuns should change
  their day of communion from Friday to Thursday to meet my wishes. We
  set off at 2 for Martigny, which we reached at 5½. It has a
  different look from 1819, the year after the inundation. I called on
  the curé, who is one of the monks of Grand St. Bernard, with the
  white linen scapular to represent the surplice, which they always
  wear as canons regular of St. Augustine, to which they belong. He
  was very good about England. From thence, I went to an hospital kept
  by six French nuns, to receive poor travellers, female St.
  Bernardites. The Superioress was very agreeable and zealous. They
  are going directly to France to make their retreat with 600 other
  nuns, assembled under the Bishop of Belley. She promised to get him
  to recommend it to them all. I came back to tea after a happy,
  successful day (Hôtel de la Cigne). Alpine strawberries at tea.

  Monday, September 23.--I said mass at 6. Came away, fearing it would
  be too late, without saying farewell to the Prior, which was
  mortifying, as there was time enough. We went to dine at St.
  Gingolph, beautifully placed on the bank of the Lake of Geneva. On
  the way we stopped at St. Maurice, where we saw in the church the
  rich shrine of St. Maurice, containing his body, and several others;
  two of the sons of Sigismund, King of Burgundy, who did penance
  here, after putting them to death. In the abbey, which is of the
  Canons Regular of St. Augustine, I saw the superior, who is a bishop
  _in partibus_; he spoke very kindly about England. I also met a nun
  there of a convent of Sisters of Charity, who promised for Thursdays
  at St. Gingolph. I went to the curé, where the Vicar introduced me
  to several priests dining with him, who became greatly interested,
  and {332} promised to speak to the Bishop of Annecy, and to their
  _confrères_ at Thonon, where we came to sleep. I called on the curé,
  who promised, but I could not quite satisfy myself about him; but
  was quite satisfied with the brothers of the Christian Doctrine;
  there are eight. The Superior promised well, and sent two brothers
  home with me to the inn. The names of the priests at St. Gingolph
  were:--M. Veuillet, Curé de Désingy; M. Maitre, Curé de Novel; M. La
  Croix, Vicaire de Chilly; and M. Pollien, Vicaire de St. Gingolph.
  The first most interesting: the last extremely tall.

  Tuesday, Sept. 24. B.M.V. di Mercede.--At 5½ I went to the Convent
  of the Visitation, where there are thirty-four nuns, who have
  recovered their house after the Revolution. The Superioress received
  me most kindly, and promised all. I then went to the Sisters of
  Charity, who have two houses--a _pensionnat_ and an hospital. The
  Superioress was not up. I left my card with a lay sister. I then
  went and said mass at the parish church. The Phillippses went to
  communion. It was at the altar of St. Francis of Sales, in this, the
  first church which he (or any other one) regained from the
  Calvinists--St. Hippolyte. I offered the mass for the recovery of
  our dear cathedrals. The curé spoke to me again, and much more
  zealously promised all for Thonon, M. De la Millière. We ought to
  have gone to the Château d'Allinges, where St. Francis lodged when
  he began the holy work. The chapel has been wonderfully preserved,
  and lately reopened, Sept. 14, 1836. On our way to Geneva, where we
  arrived at 12½, we read some of the account of his mission. We came
  to the Hotel de Bergues, a new grand house in a new part of the
  town, built out on the lake about 1834. I took a carriage to
  Plainpalais, and brought back my good friend l'Abbé de Baudry. I
  dined after at the _table d'hôte_. He is a tall, venerable old man,
  dressed in his cassock, as all the priests are. His account of
  things here was better than I thought. We set off at 3½, and could
  not get farther than Nyon, where Phillipps and I went to see the
  curé and his church, all new. There was no mission here till 1831.
  We interested him for England, I hope. The hotel is de la Couronne.
  In {333} every room, as at Geneva, is a New Testament of the Geneva
  Bible Society.

  Wednesday, Sept. 25.--I went at 5 to say mass at the new church; the
  curé, M. Rossiaud, got up to serve it, and came with me to see us
  off. We went up the Jura; but the grand view of Mont Blanc was
  clouded, so we have but once seen it dimly. Yesterday evening we had
  a troublesome sorting of all our baggage at Les Rousses. We dined at
  St. Laurent. I went to the curé, M. Gottez, who spoke painfully of
  the state of France (I think too much so), but brightened up when we
  were about England. We went on to Champagnole, at the Hôtel de la
  Poste, a nice little inn. Phillipps and I went to the church; and I
  called and saw the curé, like Dr. Rock in looks. He accepted my
  appeal agreeably.

  Thursday, Sept. 26.--I got to say mass at the parish church, at 5.
  The curé, M. Patit, and the vicaire, M. Bouvet, were both up, and
  the latter walked back with me to the inn, la Poste. We started at
  6½; dined at 1 at l'Hôtel de France, at Dole: we got there at 12. I
  went out and saw a father at the Jesuits', who received me very
  agreeably; and then a nun at the Visitation Convent. The Jesuit
  promised for all the convents himself. The Prince and Princess Doria
  were come to the inn, on their way to Italy. When we came back, I
  went to see them after our dinner. We went on through Auxonne, where
  Phillipps and I went to see the church,--_diligence_ to Dijon.
  Arrived at the Hôtel de la Cloche at 7½. I went out to see the
  Bishop, but he was out. I called at the Séminaire, and saw the
  Superior and others, who were very kind, and spoke of Brother Luke
  asking them; then back to supper; after which I went again to the
  évêché, and waited in the porter's lodge, talking to a nice old man
  of eighty about the Revolution, &c., till the Bishop came in. He,
  Monseigneur Rivet, promised his help very graciously. I got home at
  10, having also tried in vain to get at the sacristan for mass
  tomorrow.

  Friday, Sept. 27.--I went out at ten minutes to 4, to try once more
  the sacristan's bell, but no answer, and so I had {334} to come back
  and give up mass, as we were to start at 5. We took provisions in
  the carriage, and we had no mind to stop all day, till at 7½ we
  reached St. Florentin, a town of 2,400 people, in the diocese of
  Sens. The weather was beautiful, and we admired the high cultivation
  and seeming prosperity of the country. We passed a fine château at
  Aucy le Franc, of the Duce or Marquis de Clermont-Tonnerre. At St.
  Florentin I went out and saw the curé and the sacristan, to provide
  better for mass to-morrow than today. Hôtel de la Poste.

  Saturday, Sept. 28.--Got up about 3. At a quarter to 4 I went to the
  sacristan, and with him to the church, and said mass; a pretty
  little Gothic church. We set off at a quarter to 5, with provisions
  again, for Paris, which we entered about 11 at night. We stopped at
  Sens to see the cathedral. I first went to the archévêché, and was
  most graciously received by the Archbishop, Monseigneur Mellon
  Jolly, a young man translated here from Séez last March. He said he
  had introduced prayers for England at Séez, and would begin again
  now. He took me into the cathedral, and left me to see the trésor,
  where the Phillippses already were. The most precious relic was of
  the true cross, as the sacristan said, the largest in the world; but
  he could not know of Rome and Jerusalem. It was given by
  Charlemagne. There are two pieces, placed in a cross under crystal;
  I should say the upright piece of nine or ten inches, the transverse
  of four or five, well polished. What was perhaps most interesting to
  us was the case containing St. Thomas of Canterbury's chasuble, alb
  with apparel, stole, &c., from which the late Archbishop separated
  what he gave to Dr. Wiseman. There is also an arm of St. Lupus, a
  case of St. Gregory's relics, from which some have been begged for
  Rome. We stopped again at Fontainebleau, and took a rapid view of
  the palace. The servant who led said it was the finest in the world.
  I think he must be partial, as the sacristan this morning about the
  relic of the cross. Louis-Philippe has done a good deal here; spent
  800,000 fr. in ornamenting one room. I was much pleased with the
  gallery with pictures of the history of France. This is the {335}
  finest matter for a palace. There was much very indecent. After this
  it began to rain till we got to Paris. We got rooms at the Hôtel de
  l'Europe, just opposite the gardens of the Tuileries. Nothing could
  be better.

  Sunday, Sept. 29.--I went at 7½ to say mass at the Madeleine, that
  glorious church for its style. Then home to breakfast, and then,
  with the rest, to high mass at Notre-Dame; one of the grandest plain
  chant masses I ever was at. There I met Mr. Moore, of Birmingham;
  and I went with him after, in his hackney-coach, on a few errands,
  and at last to the English convent, from whence he takes one of the
  Misses Bingham to the convent at Handsworth. Then I went again to
  Notre-Dame, and very much to my loss: I came too late for vespers.
  After, I went to St. Jacques, but did not find the Curé de Noirlieu,
  nor his vicaire. I came back by the omnibus to dine at the
  _restaurant_, and directly we went to Notre-Dame des Victoires,
  where we assisted at the service, from 7 to 20 minutes to 10. It was
  wonderful to see the attention of the people all this time. The old
  curé, after the sermon by another priest, gave the _annonces_ in an
  interesting way. We heard him recommend England. I went in to ask
  him.

  Monday, Sept. 30.--I said mass at the Madeleine. After breakfast, I
  went to Mr. Blount, the banker, who told me that Heneage was to be
  in Paris on Thursday, the very day we go away. Then to the post, and
  find no letters; then by omnibus to St. Sulpice (where the retreat
  of the clergy begins to-day), to see the Archbishop. I was
  introduced to him in a room, where he was among several priests. I
  got on but poorly. He was gracious, but made little of the affair.
  The secretary of Mgr. Quelin was there. He testified to his
  recommending the thing before, but no effect followed. This was
  damping enough, though I knew something to the contrary. The
  Archbishop sent me to M. Vollemaux (Mr. Hand's friend), who conducts
  the retreat, and he promised to recommend England this evening. So
  the point is gained; though, judging from the tone in which he spoke
  of England, it is not so promising a prospect as some. But among 600
  priests some will be inspired, let {336} him speak as he may. I then
  went to the rue de Chaillot, to seek Captain Cooke, to know about
  John Beaumont. Had to come back empty, and stopped at home, not very
  well, till 5½, when Phillippses came in from St. Denis to dinner.
  After dinner Mr. Gordon, of the _Univers_, came to tea, and stopped
  till 10 nearly.

  Tuesday, Oct. 1.--I went to say mass at Notre-Dame des Victoires, in
  les Petits Pères, at 8½. I breakfasted near them, and had a talk
  with Abbé Desgenettes. Then went to breakfast _à la fourchette_, at
  11, with M. Noirlieu, Curé of St. Jacques, and his vicaire,
  Bourjéant. The latter forced me, against my will, to have some
  papers with an image and a prayer for England printed. It is the
  like case with Belgium. I hope it may be well, as it certainly was
  not my will, and so the denial of my will may be a blessing. We then
  went to call on the nuncio, Mgr. Fornari; and then to the engravers
  for this said work. Mgr. Fornari is grown very stout and unwieldy,
  but was very kind and pleasing; he encouraged my pursuit and this
  printing. We went home again to St. Jacques to _rédiger_ the
  prayers, when again my friend would have his way against my mind in
  a point or two. I came thence to the Bank, M. Blount's, then home,
  and dined alone; then went to call on Captain Cooke, to ask about
  John Beaumont, who, it seems, does not come to Paris at all; then
  home, where I found the Phillippses going out to a spectacle, and so
  I had to go off and try to stop at l'Abbé Desgenettes', who was to
  come to see him, but he was already from home, and so I came back
  and received his visit, when I pressed him for England, and he took
  it well.

  Wednesday, Oct. 2.--By desire of M. Gallard, Vicaire of the
  Madeleine, expressed by M. Bourgoiner, I said mass there. After
  breakfast, I called on Mrs. Heneage and her daughter, 17, rue St.
  Florentin; then took omnibus to St. Denis, where I looked through
  the church below ground and above. It is greatly altered since
  1838--wonderful work of painting and stained glass, yet a very
  little is done of what has to be done. I came back by omnibus to
  Porte St. Martin; then walked home at 6. I dined with Captain
  Cooke--a family dinner, purely English, as he is himself. {337} I
  liked his conversation much, blunt and plain as it is. He talked of
  his twenty years' service--Egypt--America. I came home at 8 to meet
  MM. Noirlieu and Bourgoigne and Gordon, who came to tea and made
  interesting company till 11, I think.

  Thursday, Oct. 3.--Said mass at St. Roch; after, I went to the
  Jesuits, Rue des Postes, and saw the Provincial, M. Boulanger; then
  to the Sisters of Charity, Rue de Bac; the Sacré Coeur, where Mad.
  de Gramont gave me a most amiable reception; the Lazarists, Rue de
  Sevres; then I tried to see one of the Society of St. Vincent de
  Paul, and went with a zealous young clerk from their office, 37, Rue
  de Seine, St. Germain, to seek an _avocat_ at the Palais de Justice.
  I was handing about the engravings, which were ordered on Tuesday,
  and which are well received. The sister, deputed to see me at the
  Sisters of Charity, alone, was cold. She was the same as six years
  ago, when she was very gracious. I came home to dine at 1 alone; at
  2 I went to see Heneage, just arrived at his father and mother's
  from Dieppe. I sat an hour very happily with him, and came home at
  the time appointed to go away, but it was deferred till to-morrow.
  So I went to the chief house of the Ecoles Chrétiennes, about 126,
  Rue du Faubourg St. Martin. The Superior-General was very
  favourable, and promised to recommend England to his community of
  300, and to the 400 houses of his order. I then took omnibus to the
  Rue de Bac, and had an interesting conversation with Abbé Dubois,
  now eighty years old. Ever since 1838, he prays for England every
  day in the mass. He is in retreat. He receives a pension of £100 a
  year from England. I went again and had tea with him, and so
  finished the day happily.

  Friday, Oct. 4.--Mass at St. Roch. We started for Boulogne at 9½. We
  stopped on the way to see the Church of St. Vincent de Paul,
  building in most splendid style, in form of a basilica inside, but
  with a portico without. Then I stopped at St. Denis, and walked
  round it again; saw in addition the winter choir most richly
  adorned. _Mem._--The twelve Apostles holding the consecration
  crosses round the walls. We went on to dine at Beauvais. We went,
  when {338} it was growing dark, to take a look at the cathedral. The
  choir alone complete--the finest in the world. We said that the
  French, with their present zeal and prosperity, would finish this
  cathedral if the peace lasts ten more years. I left them in the
  church, and went to see the Bishop. He was at dinner, but came out
  and introduced me to the party, namely, the directors of the
  Seminary (among them my acquaintance, M. Bareau), and some Jesuits.
  He was most kind and favourable, and promised before them all that
  he would say mass for England once a week for a year. The others all
  sympathised. After this beautiful incident, I came home, and we
  dined at the Écu de France. We afterwards drove on to Grandvilliers;
  arrived at 11. The King of the French dined there yesterday; the
  landlady was in raptures at it; there was the Queen, and in all
  twenty-six, at table.

  Saturday, Oct. 5.--As they failed to awake me, I missed saying mass.
  We set off at 6½, and went, almost without a stop, dining in the
  carriage (135 kilometres, about 85 miles), to Boulogne, where we
  stopped at the Hôtel des Bains. I went directly to see the Grand
  Doyen, who was very kind. Returning, I found Mr. Digby with them.
  Louis-Philippe's birthday--71 years old.

  Sunday, October 6.--I said mass at 8½; got back to breakfast, and
  then we went together to the high mass, sung by Dr. Walsh, Bishop of
  Halifax. He had no mitre. After this, Mrs. Canning met me in the
  sacristy, and we went to her house, No. 5, Rue de Doyen. At 2 we
  walked to the Haute Ville, where we visited the Visitation Nuns in
  their grand new house, twenty-seven in number, and the Ursulines,
  fifty-two in number; then to M. Haffreingue. At 6 I went to dine
  with the Digbys; saw Mrs. Digby for the first time. The Phillippses
  were there, and four or five more. I walked back with the Doyen in
  heavy rain at 10, and entered my lodgings with L'Abbé Daniel, 73,
  Grande Rue.

  Monday, October 7.--I went with Mrs. Canning to the Visitation
  Convent, and said the community mass at 9. After it we breakfasted
  in the parlour at 11. M. Haffreingue came in with the Phillippses,
  who had breakfasted {339} with him, and the Superioress, an English
  lady of the name of Muller, and other nuns, showed us round the
  house, which is most stately and beautiful, though it would have
  been wonderfully better had the money been spent on Gothic work.
  Mrs. Canning and I left at 12½, and called on Mr. Errington. We came
  down to dine at 2. The Doyen and M. Daniel came. The Bishop also
  came to luncheon at 8. I went up to the Haute Ville, and first
  called on M. Gillies, a Scotch gentleman, converted last year; then
  went to Digby's for the evening. Besides Phillippses, &c., I saw
  Nicholas Ball. Came back at 10½.

  Tuesday, October 8.--Said mass at 7½; then went to breakfast with
  Mrs. Canning. About 11 we set off for the Haute Ville, and went once
  more to the Visitation Convent, where we were allowed to see the
  whole community through their grate for three quarters of an hour,
  that I might do my best to recommend England, which I tried to do.
  Then I visited M. Gillies, and got down to dinner at 2¼. M. Le
  Cointe, M. Le Roy, and M. Daniel, dined with us. After dinner we
  went out and visited, first, the Soeurs Grises, an austere convent
  of poor nuns, who teach school. They have 900 girls under care. The
  Superioress promised for all; if she fulfils it, it is a fine gain.
  Then to the Ecoles Chrétiennes. They are seventeen brothers,
  teaching 1,100 boys in different schools. They were very
  encouraging; promised for themselves and the boys. After an hour's
  office and tea, I went to the Haute Ville to see Phillipps and his
  party at Digby's for the last time, as they go to-morrow. Met Mr. W.
  Jones and wife, and others. Then at 9 I went to visit Judge Ball at
  the Hôtel de Londres. The Bishop and others were there. The family
  was Mr. Ball, Nicholas, and Alexander, and a daughter.

  Wednesday, October 9.--I said mass at the Ursulines at 7½, first
  addressing them on England for a quarter of an hour. Then
  breakfasted, during which six English nuns were in attendance, and
  Miss Swift. Then my cousin and I walked to the Annonciades, when we
  could not see the Superioress; then to the Dames de Notre-Dame du
  bon Secours (_gardes malades_, seventeen nuns). Then in the Basse
  Ville {340} to the Hospitalieres (thirteen nuns); these promised
  well. Then I went home to office till dinner at 2. Mrs. Canning and
  M. Tallier, Curé de Nemfchatel, who takes care of them, came over to
  meet me. At 4 M. Thillay came. These two promised to do all they
  could. At 5 Mrs. C. and I walked to the steamboat office,
  post-office, &c. Came back to office and tea. Then I went up to
  change my quarters, and pass some days at the college with M.
  Haffreingue. I first called and saw Mrs. Gillies. I sat some time
  with M. Haffreingue, and to bed at 10.

  Thursday, October 10.--Said mass at ¼ to 8. At 10 Dr. Walsh came up
  and sung mass _de Spiritu Sancto_, for the opening of studies. The
  boys came back yesterday. I assisted him as Assistant Deacon. At 1½
  we dined. The Bishop, M. O'Reilly, and a M. Cardham, a London
  convert, were all the strangers. The rest were the professors of the
  house. After dinner we had toasts, cheers, and speeches, on England,
  Mr. O'Reilly leading it. At 10, I went and saw Abbate Melia at Mrs.
  Errington's. He is going to replace Baldacconi in London. Then to
  Mrs. Canning's to tea. Returned for night prayers at 7½. Supper
  comes after. I talked to M. Haffreingue about architecture.

  Friday, October 11.--I said mass at 7½ in the chapel of Notre-Dame
  de Boulogne; breakfasted with M. Haffreingue. At 10 I called on
  Digby, then Mrs. Canning, and Mrs. Gillies. I dined in the
  Infirmary, to eat meat with M. Grettan, the English teacher, and
  little Rosamel, grandson of a great admiral. M. Haffreingue and I
  took a walk, and went through the crypt of the cathedral. Night
  prayers and supper in the refectory at 7½. After it, M. Haffreingue
  and I went to call on Mrs. Muller and Digby.

  Saturday, October 12.--Said mass in the Chapelle de Notre-Dame. Miss
  Muller breakfasted with us. She is the great support of M.
  Haffreingue's great work of building the cathedral, having begged
  for it for years past. I asked her to have prayers made for England,
  as M. Haffreingue announces the cathedral to be undertaken mainly
  for that enterprise. She promised to interest the poor. I thought of
  my sermon, and did other things till near 12. When I {341} went out,
  called on Mr. Stewart, a Scotch pastrycook, lately converted and
  received by Sisk. At 1, I dined (_gras_) with Mrs. Canning. After,
  called on Lady Burke and her two daughters, near the Porte. Came
  back after; walked an hour in the Grande Salle with Haffreingue,
  talking over projects for England and France.

  Sunday, October 13.--Got up after 7, and sung high mass in the
  chapel at 9. After it I went to Mrs. Canning's till dinner time,
  when I returned and dined in the refectory. The afternoon was mostly
  preparing my sermon, which I preached on the conversion of England
  at the _salut_ at 7. The boys clapped their hands to my surprise
  when I entered the refectory to supper; in token of acceptance, I
  hope. I got on better than I could have thought, and was not a bit
  tired. After supper I went with M. Haffreingue and M. Le Roy; a
  farewell visit to Digby. It blows hard, and I fear it will be a bad
  passage to-morrow, or none at all.

  Monday, October 14.--The Abbate Melia, Dr. Baldacconi's intended
  successor, came to sing songs, and breakfast at the college, and
  went down with me to the port. Mr. Bodenham came with us, too. We
  waited from 9 till 10.20 before they set off. They seemed to fear
  the wind. When we got out it was a most stormy passage to
  Folkestone, of three hours. I stood up all the way, holding on,
  talking with M. Crawley, of the Hotel, Albemarle Street, except we
  were nearly sick. We swung through the narrow walk of Folkestone
  Harbour, and were at once smooth, and soon on England's soil. It was
  a long work passing the Custom House, but we got off by a train at
  3.49. I set Mr. Melia down at Pagliano's, where we found Dr. Walsh
  (of Halifax), and had tea. Sisk and Mgr. Eyre came in by good
  fortune, and I went with them home to their quarters at the Chelsea
  chapel-house.

  Tuesday, October 15.--Said mass at 8½. Then went to try Dr.
  Chambers, who is out of town. Then to Spence House, and saw
  Appleyard. By his advice, I determined to go to Windsor to-day, the
  Queen being just now away. I called on Father Lithgoe, and attended
  a meeting of ladies at Sisk's, then off by the Great Western Railway
  to Slough, {342} and so to Windsor. I saw Caroline at Lady Grant's,
  where she lodges, close to the Castle, where I dined at 8, first
  having seen Sarah at the Castle, and the Prince of Wales, with whom
  she was playing. He is a weakly-looking child of four, but noble and
  clever looking. He behaved prettily to us all in going off to bed.

  Wednesday, October 16.--After sleeping at the Castle Inn, I walked
  to the Catholic chapel at Chrom, attended last Sunday by
  Louis-Philippe, who charmed them all. I said mass, and then Mr.
  Wilson took me in a gig a mile on to call on Mr. Riley, at Forest
  Hill. He was out. I thence called to Windsor, and was with Sarah
  from 12 to 1½, while the children were asleep. Then went down to
  Eton, called on Mr. Coleridge, then walked about the well-known
  places, the chapel, the cloisters, where I left a card on Wilder,
  now a fellow. I went and mused over the place which once was
  Godley's, but all is levelled. I stood by the oak-tree there, saw
  the boys assembling for 3 o'clock school, and talked to some. I
  brought back many a scene thirty years and more ago. At 3, started
  back and dined with Sisk. After dinner we went to see Mrs. Bagshawe
  and Mrs. Jauch back in an omnibus.

  Thursday, October 17.--Mass at 8½. Went to see Dr. Watson, whom I
  found to be my former friend, fellow of St. John's. It was a good
  account of me, thank God. Then to Mr. Nerincx, at Somers Town. Then
  to Mr. Morel, at Hampstead, and Mrs. Sankey, near him; then called
  at the Sardinian Chapel, and home to dine, and sit the evening with
  Sisk.

Friday, October 18.

(_This journal breaks off here, and is not resumed._)



{343}


CHAPTER XIV.

Close Of His Career In Oscott; And His Religious Vocation.


During the year 1845 his attention was greatly occupied with the
converts that were coming daily into the Church through the Oxford
movement. As Father Spencer was not a mover in it, and as its history
has been written over and over by different members of it, it would be
superfluous to give anything like a sketch of it in such a work as
this. Father Spencer seemed to have great interest in Dr. Newman, as
also Dr. Ward, Canon Oakeley, and Father Faber. Many of them go to
Oscott, some to be received, and some to make their studies for the
Church; and in the beginning of the year 1846 he writes that he had
twelve who were Anglican clergymen assisting at his mass one day in
Oscott, and that there were three more who might have been, but were
unable to come.

He takes advantage of the Feast of St. Pius V. to preach his famous
sermon on Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones. In a few days he assists
at the ordination of the present Bishop of Northampton, the Right Rev.
Dr. Amherst. A number of converts received orders at the same time,
and Father Spencer had the pleasure of assisting at the ceremony. He
resumes his Journal in May, 1846, and we find these two entries in it:

  "Tuesday, June 9.--We had news to-day of the death of Pope Gregory
  XVI. on the 1st of June, after fifteen years and four months'
  pontificate. God grant a holy successor, full of fortitude and love,
  especially for England."

  "June 22. News of Cardinal Feretti being Pope (Pius IX.). The brave
  Bishop of Imola, who stopped the progress of the insurgents in 1831.
  I am perfectly satisfied."

{344}

He went into retreat at Hodder under the direction of Father Clarke,
S.J., and the result of that retreat was that he became a Passionist.
We shall give a letter he wrote to Mr. Phillipps at the time, in which
he gives a full account of how this was brought about.

  "St. Benedict's Priory, Feast of St. John Cantius,
    "Oct. 22, 1846.

  "My Dear Ambrose,--Yesterday, for the first time this long time, I
  heard where you were, and that you were within reach again of a
  Queen's head. This was from Mrs. Henry Whitgrave, next to whom I sat
  at dinner yesterday, at the Clifford Arms, Great Heywood, after the
  opening high mass of the new chapel there, which she and her husband
  came from Rugeley to attend. I determined not to lose another day in
  writing to you, lest you should hear from others, which I should not
  be pleased with, the news I have to give about myself. Perhaps you
  have already heard of it; but it is not my fault that you have not
  had the news from me. The news in question is that I am going to
  become a Passionist. You have frequently told me your persuasion,
  that what would be for my happiness would be to join a religious
  institute, and therefore I am confident you will rejoice with me at
  my prejudices being overcome, my fond schemes of other plans of my
  own set aside, and this good step at length determined on; though I
  can imagine that you will perhaps regret that the body which I join
  is not that with which you are most connected yourself, the
  Institute of Charity. Surprised I dare say you will not be much.
  Many others have received the declaration of this intention without
  any surprise, and only told me that they had been used to wonder how
  I did not long ago take such a step. You will only be surprised and
  wonder how I have come to this mind, after such decided purposes, as
  I have always expressed the contrary way. I can only say, Glory be
  to God, to our Blessed Lady, and St. Ignatius. It was entirely owing
  to the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius, which I have gone
  through twice, and only twice, in private and alone in the effective
  way. Once was at Louvain, where {345} you parted from me two years
  ago to go to Königswinter, and the other time was this summer, when
  I went for a retreat at Hodder Place, under your friend Father
  Thomas Clarke, who is Master of Novices there. For two or three days
  in the course of the former of these retreats, I was brought (for
  the first time) to doubt whether I ought not to give up my own
  ideas, and take to the regular established course of entering
  religion; and the old Jesuit who directed me in that retreat, when I
  expressed these new ideas, seemed at first to think they would lead
  to this conclusion. But I suppose I was not ripe for it, or God's
  time was not come. It ended by his telling me to put aside all those
  thoughts, and go on as I was. So I did, and was without any idea of
  the kind till the middle of this second retreat, which I entered
  with no view but to get on better where I was for another year. The
  same meditations raised up again the same battle within me as at
  Louvain, and I saw no way but to go into the matter, and make my
  election according to the rules given by St. Ignatius; which, if
  they were applied more often to questions of importance which people
  have to settle, ah! we should have many resolutions come to
  different to what are come to in the world. I soon came to determine
  for a change of state; then came the question which body to choose,
  and for a whole day nearly this was working my thoughts up and down.
  I could see no prospect of deciding between the two which came
  before me at first and for which I found my feelings and my judgment
  alternately inclining me--these were the Jesuits and the Institute
  of Charity. I saw no prospect of making up my mind that day, though
  Father Clarke told me now was the time for such a choice, and not
  when I had gone out again into the world, and I knew that God whom I
  had sought in solitude would give me light. At last, when I had just
  finished my last meditation of that portion of the retreat, and
  still could not settle, I thought I must have recourse after the
  retreat was over to Father Dominic, as a neutral judge, to help me
  to choose between the other two; when, in a minute, as in the fable
  of the two men who found the oyster and called in the third to judge
  between {346} them, I saw that Father Dominic himself was to have
  me, such as I was, and all my doubts vanished. Father Clarke came
  soon afterwards to pay me his daily visit, and confirmed my choice
  with a manner and tone as unhesitating as the choice itself had
  been, and would not let me afterwards give way to the fear of any
  difficulties, saying, once for all, when I was questioning how I
  could get over some of them, 'Well, if you do not get over them, God
  has been deceiving you.' How I extol now and praise the practice of
  spiritual exercises, and St. Ignatius, the great founder of the
  system of them, and the Jesuits in their conduct of them, as
  exemplified in Father Clarke, whose way with me so completely gave
  the lie to what people are disposed to think, that the Jesuits must
  bring everything and everybody to themselves when they get them into
  their hands. I intend to express my sense of obligation to them and
  St. Ignatius, by taking his name as my future designation, after I
  am admitted to the religious habit. So I hope in time I may come to
  be known no more by my own name, but by that of _Ignatius of St.
  Paul_. And as God gives me this _nomen novum_ may he add the _manna
  absconditum_, and make me in spirit as different from what I have
  been as in name. It is a great satisfaction that all this was
  settled without Father Dominic or any Passionist having a hint of
  it, till I went up to London three days after the retreat, to tell
  him of the determination I had made. The next day I came back to
  Oscott, and told Dr. Wiseman. He was, of course, surprised at the
  news, and at first seemed to think I could not be really in earnest,
  but ever since has acted in the most considerate and kind manner
  towards me. My move, I am sorry to think, must entail on him and
  dear Bishop Walsh serious inconveniences, not so much for the loss
  of my services where they had placed me, for I hope if I live I may
  serve them better as I shall be circumstanced hereafter, as I was
  doing little at Oscott, but from the withdrawal of my funds, which I
  fear may take place perhaps even to their entire amount, but
  certainly in great part. Not that any part goes to the congregation
  (of the Passion); thank God, I am received there _in formá pauperis_
  and all {347} which remains to me would be left to the Bishop; but
  my dear brother seems quite determined to make my vow of poverty as
  much one in earnest as it can be; and so, bitter as that part of the
  trial is, God bless him for it! I think I must have told you how my
  income came to me. My father left me a certain capital quite
  independently, which went long ago to building churches, and £300 a
  year to be paid to me as long as I did not put it out of my own
  power, in which case it was to be in the power of my brother, now
  living, and other trustees, to be employed to my advantage. My late
  brother gave me as much more of his own free will, and this brother
  has hitherto continued this, but now says that he cannot give it to
  support Catholicity; and as he will not use it himself, it is to go
  for my lifetime to religious and charitable purposes such as he
  thinks fit. So half of my money is clean gone, and the other half
  depends upon what interpretation the law puts on the terms of my
  father's will. Bishop Wiseman takes this so beautifully and
  disinterestedly, that I trust the loss he thus bears for God's sake
  will be more than amply compensated to him. My sister, Lady
  Lyttelton, takes my change beautifully."

The pecuniary losses his ecclesiastical superiors would sustain
prevented them giving him the opposition they otherwise would. It
would not look well to try to keep him out of religion, under the
circumstances; and besides, Cardinal Wiseman was not the person to
prevent his priests becoming religious, if he were only convinced they
had a vocation.

When Father Spencer was on his way to London to consult with Father
Dominic about his reception, a musket went off by accident in the
carriage he was in, and the ball passed through the skylight. This
gave him rather a start, and made him think a little about the
shortness of life. He appears to have found Father Dominic giving a
retreat to the nuns of the Sacré Coeur, who are now at Roehampton. The
saintly Passionist was delighted with the news, and Father Ignatius
used to say that he seemed to be more delighted still at the fact that
he was not bringing a penny to the order. On his return to Oscott, the
first thing we heard {348} was that a Quaker had been converted by a
sermon he preached in Birkenhead, which sermon he thought himself was
about the worst he ever delivered. He meets a little opposition,
however; they wish him to stay until his thoughts get settled into
their original state after the retreat. He fears this to be a
stratagem of the enemy, and, lest it might make him lose his vocation,
he makes a vow of entering religion at or before Christmas. When this
became known, nobody could in conscience oppose him, for only the Pope
could dispense him from entering now.

At length everything is settled. His £300 income remains to the Bishop
and his brother promises to provide for his pensioners. All things
being thus arranged, he visits all the poor people about Oscott and
West Bromwich, to give them a parting advice and blessing, spiritual
and temporal. He writes to all his friends, packs up his books and
other smaller movables, receives two converts--Laing and Walker--gets
Dr. Wiseman's blessing, and has his carriage to the train, takes third
class to Stafford, and on his birthday, 21st December, 1846, at 8
o'clock in the evening, arrives at Aston Hall, to enter the
Passionists' noviciate.


{349}


BOOK IV.

_F. Ignatius, a Passionist._


{350}


BOOK IV.

_F. Ignatius, a Passionist._



CHAPTER I.

The Noviciate.


Religious orders in the Church may be compared to a vast army,
composed of different regiments, with different uniforms, different
tactics, and different posts in the kingdom of God, offensive and
defensive, against the kingdom of Satan. The Pope is the head of all,
and various generals bear rule, in his name, over the forces who have
chosen them for their leaders.

Some religious orders fill chairs in universities; others are charged
with the instruction of youth. Some watch by the sickbed; others
ransom captive slaves, or bring consolation to the miserable in
prisons and asylums. Some, again, work at the rooting out of sin and
disorders at home, whilst others carry the light of the Gospel to the
heathen. Some pitch their tents in deserts or mountain fastnesses,
whilst a more numerous body take up their abode in the abandoned
purlieus of crowded cities.

Every religious order has some one characteristic spirit, a mark by
which it may be distinguished from the others. This may be called the
genius of the order. It is mostly the spirit that animated the founder
when he gathered his first companions around him, and drew up the code
by which {352} their lives were to be regulated. This spirit may be
suited to one age and not to another; it may be local or universal; on
its scope depends the existence and spread of the order; its decay or
unsuitableness will portend the extinction of the body it animated.

This spirit may take in the whole battle-field of religion, and then
we see members of that order in every post in which an advantage may
be gained, or a blow dealt upon the enemy. It may take in some parts
and leave the rest to the different battalions that are already in
charge, prepared to render assistance in any department as soon as its
services may be needed.

The religious order known as the Congregation of the Passion has a
peculiar spirit and a special work. It was founded by Blessed Paul of
the Cross in the middle of the last century, and approved by Benedict
XIV., Clement XIV., and Pius VI. Its object is to work in whatever
portion of the Church it may have a house established, for the
uprooting of sin, and the planting of virtue in the hearts of the
faithful. The means it brings to this, in addition to the usual ones
of preaching and hearing confessions, is a spreading among Christians
a devotion to and a grateful, lively remembrance of the Passion of our
Lord. The Passionists carry out this work by missions and retreats, as
well as parish work in their own houses. If circumstances need it,
they take charge of a parish; if not, they do the work of missioners
in their own churches. They teach none except their own younger
members, and they go on foreign missions when sent by His Holiness or
the Propaganda.

To keep the members of an order always ready for their out-door work,
there are certain rules for their interior life which may be likened
to the drill or parade of soldiers in their quarters. This discipline
varies according to the spirit of each order.

The idea of a Passionist's work will lead us to expect what his
discipline must be. The spirit of a Passionist is a spirit of
atonement; he says, with St. Paul: "I rejoice in my sufferings, and
fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in
my flesh for His body, which is the {353} Church." Coloss. i. 24. For
this cause, the interior life of a Passionist is rather austere. He
has to rise shortly after midnight, from a bed of straw, to chaunt
matins and lauds, and spend some time in meditation. He has two hours
more meditation during the day, and altogether about five hours of
choir-work in the twenty-four. He fasts and abstains from flesh meat
three days in the week, all the year round, besides Lent and Advent.
He is clad in a coarse black garment; wears sandals instead of shoes;
and practises other acts of penance of minor importance.

This seems rather a hard life; but an ordinary constitution does not
find the least difficulty in complying with the letter of the rule. It
is withal a happy, cheerful life; for it seems the nature of penance
to make the heart of the penitent light and gladsome, "rejoicing in
suffering." Two facts are proved by experience. First, that scarcely
one ever left the order on account of the corporal austerities, though
they are used as a plea to justify the step by those who lose the
religious spirit. Secondly, longevity is more common amongst us than
any other order, except perhaps the Cistercians, whose rule is far
more severe than ours. A Passionist is bound by this rule only within
the retreat, as houses of the order are called; outside, he follows
the Gospel ordinance of partaking of what is set before him, and
suiting himself to the circumstances in which he is placed. The
Superior, moreover, has a discretionary power of granting exemptions,
in favour of those who require some indulgence in consequence of
illness or extra labour.

It will be seen, from this sketch, that Passionists have to lay up a
stock of virtue, by a monastic life at home, in order that their
ministrations for their neighbour may be attended with more abundant
fruit. They unite the active and contemplative spirit, that both may
help to the saving of their own souls by qualifying them better for
aiding in the salvation of others.

This was the kind of life Father Spencer began to lead on his
forty-seventh birthday. For a man of his age, with habits formed, with
health subject to occasional shocks, it was certainly a formidable
undertaking. There was little of {354} human glory to eclipse those
difficulties in the community he entered. Four foreign fathers, living
in a wretched house, as yet unable to speak passable English, without
a church, without friends, without funds, without influence, formed
the principal portion of the community of Aston Hall. These were,
Father Dominic, Father Gaudentius, Father Constantine, and Father
Vincent. None of these four fathers are in the province at present.
Fathers Dominic and Constantine are dead. Father Gaudentius is a
member of the American province; and Father Vincent, after many years
of zealous missionary work in these countries, was called to Rome,
where he now holds the office of Procurator-General. They had one
student, two lay brothers, and Father Spencer was to be the second of
two novices. The Passionists had already been four years in England,
and, through trials and difficulties, from poverty and misunderstandings,
had worked their way up to the precarious position in which he found
them. He was, therefore, a great acquisition to the struggling
community. True, he brought no earthly riches; but he brought what was
more valued, an unearthly spirit--he brought humility, docility, and
burning zeal.

The fathers knew him for a long time, and scarcely required proofs to
convince them of his having a religious vocation, since he had
practised the vows before then in a very perfect way, considering his
state. He gave clear proofs of his spirit on the eve of his coming to
Aston. He came, as he glories in telling Mr. Phillipps, _in formâ
pauperis_. Some of his friends wished to give him the price of his
habit by way of alms; he would not accept of it. He then reflected on
the poverty of the Passionists, and thought it would be well if he
brought even so much, whereupon he proposed to beg the money. The
largest alms he intended to receive was half-a-crown. He was forbidden
to do this by his director, and obeyed at once: thus giving a proof of
his spirit of poverty and obedience.

Notwithstanding all this, the fathers were determined to judge for
themselves, and try by experiment if any aristocratic _hauteur_ might
yet lurk in the corners of his {355} disposition. Our rule, moreover,
requires that postulants be tried by humiliations before being
admitted to the habit; and many and various are the tests applied,
depending, as they do, on the judgment of the master of novices. One
clause of the rule was especially applicable to Father Spencer: "_Qui
nobili ortus est genere, accuratiore et diuturniore experimento
probetur_; "and the strict Father Constantine, who was then the
master, resolved that not a word of it should be unfulfilled. A day or
two after his arrival, he was ordered to wash down an old, rusty
flight of stairs. He tucked up his sleeves and fell to, using his
brush, tub, and soapsuds with as much zest and good will as if he had
been just hired as a maid-of-all-work. Of course, he was no great
adept at this kind of employment, and probably his want of skill drew
down some sharp rebukes from his overseer. Some tender-hearted
religious never could forget the sight of this venerable ecclesiastic
trying to scour the crevices and crannies to the satisfaction of his
new master. He got through it well, and took the corrections so
beautifully, that in a few days he was voted to the habit.

On the afternoon of the 5th January, 1847, vespers are just concluded,
and the bell is rung for another function. People are hurrying up to
the little chapel, and whispering to each other about the scene they
are going to witness. The altar is prepared as for a feast. The
thurifers and acolytes head the procession from the sacristy; next
follow the religious; then Father Dominic arrayed in surplice and
cope. After him follows Father Spencer, in the costume of a secular
priest. He kneels on the altar step; he has laid aside long before all
that the world could give him; he has thrown its greatness and its
folly away as vanities to be despised, and now asks for the
penitential garb of the sons of the Passion, with all its concomitant
hardships. He had not yet experienced the happiness it brings: he had
only begun to earn it by broken rest, fasts, and humiliations. Father
Dominic blesses the habit, mantle, and cincture; he addresses a few
touching words to the postulant, and prepares to vest him. In the
presence of all he takes off the cassock, the habit is put on and
bound with a leathern {356} girdle, a cross is placed upon his
shoulder, a crown of thorns on his head, benedictions are invoked upon
him according to the ritual, the religious intone the _Ecce quam
bonum_, Our Lord gives His blessing from the Monstrance, and the
Honourable and Reverend-George Spencer is greeted as a brother and
companion by Father Dominic, under the new name of Father Ignatius of
St. Paul. Thus ended the function of that day, and the benisons of the
rite were not pronounced in vain.

It is the custom with us to drop the family name on our reception, to
signify the cutting away of all carnal ties, except inasmuch as they
may help to benefit souls. A religious should be dead to nature, and
his relationship henceforth is with the saints. This is why, among
many religious orders of men, and nearly all of women, some saint or
some mystery of religion to which the novice is specially devoted is
substituted instead of the family name. In most cases, also, the
Christian name is changed; this, following the example of our Lord,
who changed the names of some of the Apostles, is useful in many ways,
as well to typify newness of life as to help in distinguishing one
from another when the aid of family names is taken away. Father
Ignatius gave his reasons above for preferring this name, and events,
both before and after, make us applaud the fitness of the choice.

A novice's life is a very eventless one; it has little in it of
importance to others, though it is of so much consequence to himself.
The coming of a postulant, the going away of a newly-made brother, the
mistakes of a tyro at bell-ringing, chanting, or ceremonies, are of
interest enough to occupy several recreations. The absence of
soul-stirring news from without gives these trifles room to swell into
importance. When the little incidents are invested with ludicrous or
peculiar circumstances, they often have a sheet of the chronicles
dedicated to their history by the most witty or least busy of the
novices.

A postulant ran away the day after Father Ignatius was clothed; he
heard the religious take the discipline, and no amount of explanations
or coaxing could induce him to {357} accustom his ear to the noise,
much less his body to the stripes, of this function. The senior novice
left at the same time; he was a priest, and died on the London mission
the very same year as Father Ignatius. In a few days more Father
Dominic caught a novice dressing his hair and giving himself airs
before a looking-glass. His habit was stripped off, and he was sent to
the outer world, where, perhaps, the adorning of his good looks was of
more service to him than it was at Aston Hall.

It is a received tradition in the religious life that vocations which
are not tried by difficulties seldom prove sea-worthy, so to speak.
Before or after the novice enters, he must be opposed and disappointed
in some way; he has to pay dear for the favour of serving God in this
state of life, if he be destined to act any important part in the
Church as a religious. Father Ignatius had his trials. He found it
difficult to pick up all the _minutiae_ of novice discipline: he
suffered a little from homesickness, and these, joined to chilled
feet, a hard bed, and meagre food, did not allow him to enjoy to any
great extent the delightful sensation known as _fervor novitiorum_. He
got over all this, as we see from a letter he wrote to a friend in
March:--

  "I am here in a state in which not a shadow of trouble seems to
  come, but what I cause for myself. With a little humility there is
  peace enough. I suppose I shall have some more troubles hereafter if
  I live. I have not been so well for several years. Some would have
  thought a Lent without a bit of meat would not have done for me; but
  I have seen now since Shrove Tuesday, and, in Lent or out of it, I
  never have been better. So in that respect, viz., my health, I
  suppose my trial here is satisfactory."

A rude shock was in store for his health which he little anticipated
when he wrote those lines. This was the terrible year of famine in
Ireland, that year which will be remembered for ever by those who
lived in the midst of the harrowing scenes that overspread that
unhappy country. Poor famishing creatures, who had laid their fathers
or mothers, and perhaps their children, in coffinless graves, begged
their way to England, and began that tide of {358} emigration which
has since peopled Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, and London, with
such crowds of Catholics. Every ship brought its cargo of misery, and
the hapless victims were forced by their poverty to seek for lodgings
in dens of vice, or employment where virtue was not paramount. They
thus imbibed a poison to their morals which has not yet been
completely purged out of the thousands who have had to follow the
footsteps of their famine-stricken predecessors. Numbers of the poor
Irish gathered around Stone and Aston; fever broke out amongst them,
and the wards of the workhouse infirmaries were unable to contain even
a moiety of the sufferers. Every hovel and barn had their burning
occupants, and even charity itself seemed frightened from giving
assistance. The priest was, of course, busy; and, fortunately for
Aston, more than one priest could be had to attend the dying.

All our fathers were at the bed of death many times in the day. Father
Gaudentius was struck down with fever, Father Vincent followed next.
The duties now devolved upon Father Dominic and Father Ignatius. The
poor novice was prostrated by the pestilence, after administering the
last rites of the Church to many. He gets a very malignant attack, and
in a few days is at the point of death. He prepared for his last
passage with the most beautiful dispositions. He thanked God for the
privilege of his state, and was particularly delighted at the prospect
of dying a martyr to his charity. He receives the Viaticum and Extreme
Unction, makes his profession as on death-bed, becomes insensible, and
is given an hour to live by the doctors. The religious commence a
novena, in which they are joined by the people, for his recovery. God
preserved him to his brethren and their flock, for he began
immediately to mend. We may form an idea of this poor community, all
the active members, except Father Dominic, dying, or in feeble
convalescence; their resources, perhaps, run out; and all the energy
they had left taxed to its utmost to answer the calls of duty. Few as
they were, they had not the least idea of sparing themselves. They
still hoped to increase and multiply; but, after the example {359} of
Him who increased by dying, and likened the progress of His Church to
the dying of the grain of corn in the soil of its growth.

Charitable friends came to their assistance, and amongst the rest,
Earl Spencer sent a handsome sum to pay doctors' expenses for his
brother. This was considerate, indeed, and as soon as Father Ignatius
could manage a pen, he wrote to thank him for his charity. Numbers
were deeply concerned for our novice, and two or three Catholic nobles
invited him to come and stay with them during his convalescence.
Father Dominic did not think him sufficiently ill to warrant his
sleeping out of the house, so their kind offers were thankfully
declined.

This illness was a double blow to Father Ignatius: he had just
received orders from his Superior to prepare for the missions when it
came on. An end was put to his preparation for the time, but he
resumed the task as soon as the doctors allowed him.

During his noviciate he had two kinds of trials to endure, besides
those mentioned already. Father Constantine was remarkable for his
meekness and charity; but he put on extra severity for Father
Ignatius. His companions tried to show him some marks of distinction,
and would offer to relieve him from works that were humiliating, or
likely to be galling to one of his standing. The latter trial he
complained of, and he was troubled at the other because some of of the
religious complained of the novice-master's severity towards him. He
had some more mortifications of the kind he playfully told us a few
chapters back, as affecting Father Dominic in Oscott. He was troubled
with chilblains, and was obliged, in consequence, to wear shoes and
stockings for a great part of his noviciate. This he looked upon as a
great grievance, inasmuch as he could not live like the others. When
at last the chilblains got well, and he was allowed to put on the
sandals, he felt overjoyed, and even writes a letter to congratulate
himself on his happiness.

He writes two or three letters, in which he notes his astonishment at
the Irish being so negligent in England, who had been so regular at
home. He says, they all send {360} for the priest, and show great
signs of repentance when dying; but, out of a number he attended, only
one returned to the Church after recovery. "Still," he says, "it would
be long till one of them would answer as the English pensioner is
reported to have done on his death-bed. The minister talked much about
Heaven and its happiness, but the patient coolly replied, 'It's all
very well, sir; but old England and King George for me!'"

His noviciate glides quietly on to its end; and except his ordinary
work of attending to a mission in Stone besides his home duties,
nothing occurs to break the monotony.

At length, on the 6th of January, 1848, Father Ignatius and Father
Dominic remain up after matins. We are told in the Journal, that the
novice made his confession and had a long conference with his
director, in preparation for the great event of his profession. Father
Dominic was going off that day, but the conveyance disappointed him,
he was obliged to wait till the next. That evening Father Ignatius is
once more in the midst of a moving ceremony: on his knees, with his
hands placed in Father Dominic's he pronounces his irrevocable
consecration by the vows of his religious profession.[Footnote 10] The
badges are affixed to his breast, the sacrifice is completed--and well
and worthily was it carried out. It is easier to imagine than to
describe the joy of the two holy friends, so long united in the bonds
of heavenly charity, as they spoke that day about their first
acquaintance, and wondered at the dispositions of Providence, which
now made them more than brothers.

    [Footnote 10: The profession on death-bed is conditional, so that
    if a novice recovers, after thus pronouncing his vows, he has to
    go on as if they had not been made.]


{361}


CHAPTER II.

His First Year As A Passionist.


Shortly after his profession, Father Ignatius was sent out on
missions. The first mission he gave, with Father Gaudentius, was to
his old parishioners of West Bromwich. Crowds came to hear him; some
to have another affectionate look, and hear once more the well-known
voice of their old pastor; others from curiosity to see what he had
been transformed into by the monks. This mission was very successful,
for, besides the usual work of the reconciliation of sinners, and the
helping on of the fervent, there were fifteen Protestants received
into the Church before its close. He gives another mission somewhere
in the Borough, London, with the same companion. During this mission
he hears that his style of preaching is not liked much by the Irish;
he feels a little sad at this, as he fears the work may fail of
success through his deficiency.

The preaching of Father Ignatius was peculiar to himself; he cannot be
said to possess the gifts of human eloquence in the highest degree,
but there was a something like inspiration in his most commonplace
discourse. He put the point of his sermon clearly before his audience,
and he proved it most admirably. His acquaintance with the Scriptures
was something marvellous; not only could he quote texts in support of
doctrines, but he applied the facts of the sacred volume in such a
happy way, with such a flood of new ideas, that one would imagine he
lived in the midst of them, or had been told by the sacred writers
what they were intended for. Besides this, he brought a fund of
illustrations to carry conviction through and through the mind. His
illustrations were taken from every phase of life, and every kind of
{362} employment; persons listening to him always found the practical
gist of his discourse carried into their very homestead; nay, the
objections they themselves were prepared to advance against it, were
answered before they could have been thought out. To add to this,
there was an earnestness in his manner that made you see his whole
soul, as it were, bent upon your spiritual good. His holiness of life,
which report published before him, and one look was enough to convince
you of its being true, compelled you to set a value on what he said,
far above the _dicta_ of ordinary priests.

His style was formed on the Gospel. He loved the parables and the
similes of Our Lord, and rightly judged that the style of his Divine
Master was the most worthy of imitation. So far as the matter of his
discourses were concerned, he was inimitable; his manner was peculiar
to himself, deeply earnest and touching. He abstained from the
rousing, thundering style, and his attempts that way to suit the taste
and thus work upon the convictions of certain congregations, showed
him that his fort did not lie there. The consequence was, that when
the words of what he jocosely termed a "crack" preacher would die with
the sound of his own voice, or the exclamations of the multitude,
Father Ignatius's words lived with their lives, and helped them to
bear trials that came thirty years after they had heard him.

Towards the end of his life, he became rather tiresome to those who
knew not his spirit; but it was the tiresomeness of St. John the
Evangelist. We are told that "the disciple whom Jesus loved" used to
be carried in his old age before the people, and that his only sermon
was "My little children, love one another." He preached no more, and
no less, but kept perpetually repeating these few words. Father
Ignatius, in like manner, was continually repeating "the conversion of
England." No matter what the subject of his sermon was, he brought
this in. He told us often that it became a second nature to him; that
he could not quit thinking or speaking of it, even if he tried, and
believed he could speak for ten days consecutively on the conversion
of England, without having to repeat an idea.

{363}

He got on very well in the missions: he took all the different parts
as they were assigned him; but he was more successful in the lectures
than in the great sermons of the evening. His confessional was always
besieged with penitents, and he never spared himself.

The late Cardinal, who was the chief mover in bringing the Passionists
to England, wished to have a house of the order in the diocese of
Westminster (then the London District), to which he had been recently
translated. Father Dominic entered heartily into the project, and
Father Ignatius with him. After a few weeks' negotiation, they took
possession of Poplar House, in the west end of Hampstead, towards the
end of June, 1848. A new foundation was, in those days, as it is
still, a formidable undertaking. The ground has generally to be
bought; a church and house built upon it; the necessary machinery to
set it going to be provided, and all this from nothing but the
Providence of God, and the charity of benefactors. Under a more than
ordinary pressure of their difficulties, the house was opened, and
after many changes and removals, it has finally fixed itself on the
brow of Highgate Hill, under the name of St. Joseph's Retreat.

He notes in his Journal that the place in Hampstead brought some sad
thoughts into his mind, as it was within sight of where his sister,
Lady Georgiana Quin, died in 1823. He tells us also that he was
benighted somewhere in London, and had to beg for a bed for the first
time in his life. On a fine summer's day he sauntered leisurely
through the grounds of Eton, ruminating over the scenes of forty years
before, when he first became a child of what proved to him a novercal
institution.

He was not destined to labour much, this time, for the London house.
Father Dominic took the charge of it, and appointed Father Ignatius
Rector of St. Michael's, Aston Hall, a post that became vacant by the
death of Father Constantine. Father Ignatius thus mentions the matter
in one of his letters:--

  "It was just such a death as one might expect of him (Father
  Constantine). I was thinking and saying to some one before, he would
  be attending to his duties and giving directions in the house to the
  last. In his {364} agony, he heard the clock strike, and, mistaking
  the hour for another when some bell has to ring, he asked why the
  bell did not ring for such a duty. It is recorded that what was most
  remarkable in him was his gentleness and patience; and that indeed
  was very striking. He must have suffered heavily to die in a
  lingering way by a cancer, but he never was disturbed, and went on
  saying mass, and doing all that was to be done, as long as he could
  stand to it. His loss makes, as you have heard, a great change in my
  position. I never dreamt of being a Superior for years to come, and
  thought I had come to an end, almost for life, of keeping accounts
  and ruling household affairs. But God's will be done. It is a great
  comfort, as I find, to be in the rule of good religious, to what it
  would be to have people under one who seek their own gain and
  pleasure."

Ruling, even thus, did not turn out so easy a matter; for it is
recorded in the Journal, that Father Dominic gave him "a long lecture
about the proper way of ruling," which he seems to have drawn down
upon himself by some mistakes.

In the beginning of September, this year, he gave his first retreat.
It was to the students of Carlow College. This event gave him a fresh
start in his great work. Since 1844, when he made the tour on the
Continent, procuring prayers for England, his zeal in the cause seems
to have slumbered somewhat. Not that he was the less anxious for the
return of his countrymen to the faith of their fathers, but he did
not, perhaps, see any opportunity open for moving others in a general
way to help the work by their prayers. It is rather a wonderful
disposition of Providence that his energies should be renewed in
Ireland, and that, too, in '48. Extracts from a few letters will show
how it happened. In a letter to Mrs. Canning, he says:--

  "My last journey to Ireland was, in the first place, to preach a
  retreat in Carlow College, which was the first and only retreat I
  have been on alone; secondly, to beg in Dublin for our church and
  house; thirdly, I got full into the pursuit of prayers for England
  again. I had hardly expected anything could be done in this last way
  under the excited state of feelings in Ireland against England. I
  began, {365} however, speaking in a convent in Carlow, and so warm
  and beautiful was the way in which these nuns took it up, that I
  lost no occasion after of saying mass in some convents every
  morning, and preaching to them upon it; and the zeal which they
  showed has given me a new spring to push it on in England.
  Accordingly, I have been preaching many times on it since I have
  been this time in Lancashire. I only ask now _one Hail Mary_ a day
  to be said by every Catholic for the conversion of England. Here is
  a great field to work upon. You want to be doing something for
  England, I know; why not take up this object, and in every letter
  you write abroad or at home make people promise to do this, and make
  every man, woman, and child do it too. If millions would do as much
  as this, we should have thousands who would offer themselves up as
  victims to be immolated for the object, and we should have grand
  results. Above all, let it be done in schools at home; so that all
  the young may be trained to pant for this object, as young Hannibal
  for the destruction of Rome; and a foundation will be laid for the
  work to go on after we are all dead, if no fruit appears before."

In a letter to Father Vincent, he writes almost in the same strain:--

  "My journey to Ireland was satisfactory in several respects to a
  certain degree. It answered well for begging purposes. With all
  their poverty, they are so generous that I made one of my best
  week's begging in Dublin. I hope for a great deal more in November,
  when I am going again to preach in Dublin, and will stay as long as
  I can. I picked up also one novice, not a cleric, but, I hope, a
  very promising lay brother. I think there will be many good subjects
  for us in Ireland, when we are better known there.' (In this his
  expectations were most signally realized.) "I also got into the
  pursuit of prayers for England again. I said mass, and preached
  after mass ten times in convents on the subject, and the zeal and
  charity with which it was taken up by the good religious quite gave
  me a new spring in that cause. I have begun preaching in England for
  prayers. Will you help me in this? I have been writing, with Father
  {366} Dominic's approval, to our General, to obtain some indulgences
  for those who will join in those prayers."

In this year, Father Ignatius lost two great friends by death, Dr.
Gentili and the Rev. Wm. Richmond. He had several conversations with
the former, who was then giving his last mission in Dublin, and
assisted on his return to England, at the death-bed of Mr. Richmond.
He used to relate how this worthy man became a Catholic, as an
instance of the ways of God in conversion. When Richmond was a boy, he
went to see an uncle of his, who was a priest. One day he saw candles
lit in the church in clear daylight. On entering, to satisfy himself
that nothing was wrong, he saw his uncle issuing from the sacristy, in
the most fantastic garb he ever beheld. He ran out of the church in a
fright, and scarcely came near his uncle for three days. He did sum up
courage enough to approach at length, and the end was that he became a
priest himself, and outshone his uncle.

During the visit Father Ignatius paid to Ireland, according to
promise, in the November of this year, he preached in several places
on the conversion of England. He went to Maynooth, and addressed the
junior students at night prayer and the seniors at morning prayer, on
the same subject. He remains nearly a month in Ireland this time. He
meets a few secular people who are not so kind and generous in
listening to him as nuns and students. One day he begged of a
gentleman, who immediately began to grope in his pocket for a coin
which he should consider worthy of offering. Whilst the search was
going on, Father Ignatius ventured to ask prayers for the conversion
of England. "England!" said the gentleman; "I pray for England! Not
I." And he turned off with a refusal, and left his petitioner to find
another benefactor.

When he returned to England, he preached everywhere, to priests, nuns,
and people; he wrote and spoke continually for prayers for England.
The only change in his system since the former crusade was, that the
prayer he asked for was defined. It was only _one Hail Mary_ daily.
This prayer he was especially fond of using; he said it for every
person and everything. The antiphon of the Church, {367} "Rejoice,
Virgin Mary, thou alone hast destroyed all heresies throughout the
world," was continually in his heart. The devotion of the people of
Ireland to our Blessed Lady brought this out; and it was remarked by
himself and others, that when once he had put the great object of his
endeavours under the protection of Mary, he never cooled or slackened,
but always progressed with blessings.

The last day of this year was spent as all such days of his life,
since he turned thoroughly to God's service, in being awake and in
prayer at midnight.


{368}

CHAPTER III.

A Peculiar Mission.


Father Ignatius had an idea in his mind for a number of years, and saw
no practical way in which it might be realized. He looked forward,
with a pleasing anticipation, to the prospect of going about from
parish to parish on a kind of itinerary mission. The thing was unusual
in our day, and he saw no plea by which it could be justified to
others, or he should have gone on it long before. He proposed it at
last to his Superiors, and the circumstances of his position
wonderfully favoured its prosecution.

Voluntary poverty was raised to a virtue by the example and teaching
of our Divine Lord, and poverty must always have a counterpart. To be
poor is to be dependent, and want is ordained for the sanctification
of plenty. When our Divine Master said that it was difficult for the
rich man to be saved, He subjoined that with God all things are
possible. The miseries of the poor are the channels through which
riches can flow into Heaven, and make friends to their possessors of
the mammon of iniquity.

In the dispensation of Providence, the Church watches over the
interests of all her children, and whilst she proclaims the severity
of the Gospel maxims, she provides for their observance. She must
preach poverty of spirit, from the text of the sermon on the Mount,
and she manages to make kings who are richer than David live after
God's own heart. The beautiful harmony between rank and lowliness,
authority and submission, prosperity and adversity, has long ago been
arranged by the practice of the ages of faith, and by the Pontifical
constitutions which impress the seal of the Fisherman upon the usages
of Catholicity.

{369}

In no department of Catholic polity is this superior wisdom so well
exemplified as in the rules of mendicant orders. The Church takes the
noble from his seat of power, she makes him cast his coronet at the
feet of Peter, and stretch out his hand to his former vassal for the
paltry morsel that is to sustain his future existence. She forbids him
to accumulate; she makes him give back a thousand-fold what he
receives. By thus bringing down the pride of power and making it pay
court to the discontented child of penury, she reconciles man with
Providence and suffuses reverence through the crowd, who might grumble
at greatness, by making their lord according to the world their
servant according to the Gospel.

The constitutions of the Congregation of the Passion are framed upon
the spirit of the Church. If a man of property joins our poor
institute, he cannot bring his possessions with him to enrich the
community he enters; for Blessed Paul has not allowed them to have any
fixed revenue. He may, indeed, give a donation towards the building of
their church, the furnishing of their poor schools, or the paying off
the debts they were obliged to contract to secure the ground upon
which their monastery is built; but that is left to his own charity.
He is supposed by our rule to hand over his property to a relative or
a charitable institution, and reserve to himself the right to take it
back, in case he may not persevere in his vocation, or abandon the
life he has embraced.

Thus deprived of stable funds, we are to rely upon the Providence of
God; and we can give Him glory by confessing that we never yet found
His word to fail, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his justice,
and all these things shall be added unto you." Betimes we may have to
send a brother to ask for some assistance from kind benefactors; but,
as a rule, God inspires many to befriend us without our asking. The
duties of missions and retreats, and the preparation for them, prevent
us from digging a livelihood out of the earth; but the sweat of our
brow that is thus spent earns our bread by procuring us friends.
People crowd to our churches, and leave thank-offerings there to prove
the reality of their devotion; and, as an ancient {370} father of ours
once said, "our support comes in through the choir-windows."

When we have to build a church or a house, we must follow the custom
of surrounding priests; but, as our working is not purely local, we
send a father or brother to distant countries, and try not to be too
burthensome to our neighbours. Charity endureth all things; but the
branch of charity which is exercised in the giving of alms is not
always content to be too much importuned, or called upon too often.
Charity therefore requires that those who plead for the exercise of
one arm do not strain the other, and it makes provision against
provoking anger or ill-feeling from the weaknesses it tries to cure by
stirring to activity.

In the year 1848 the fathers at Aston Hall stood in sore need of a
church. Hitherto they had turned a room upstairs into a temporary
chapel; and, inconvenient as it might be to have people going so far
into a religious house, they would have borne up longer, had not a
builder told them that anything like a crowd would bring the whole
place down about their ears. Father Ignatius mentions this in a letter
he wrote to Mrs. Canning. "It will," he says, "be a great addition to
us to have a respectable church, instead of our chapel up-stairs; but
we should not have had a plea for asking for it, if this chapel had
not been so good as to give us notice to quit, by becoming cracky a
little."

Here, then, was an opportunity. Some one should go out and beg. Father
Ignatius was commissioned to write letters, but though the first was
answered by a cheque for £100, with a promise of more, there was not
enough forthcoming to enable them to build. Could he not do two things
at once? Could he not ask for prayers as well as alms? Did not the
very plea of begging give him a right to go to different places, even
from parish to parish, and speak publicly and privately? It did. And
he was forthwith sent out to carry into execution the dreams of half a
life, which he scarcely ever expected to realize. He first began this
peculiar mission of his by going through the towns with a guide, like
ordinary questers: in a few years the plan developed itself into the
"little missions."

{371}

His first begging tour was through Birmingham, Derby, Nottingham,
Oscott, Leamington, and Wolverhampton. In a few months he sallies
forth again, and Liverpool is the theatre of his labours. Many and
rude were the trials he had to endure in this humiliating work. He
thus playfully alludes to some of them:

  "I am on a begging mission here at Liverpool, in which I find rough
  and smooth, ups and downs, every day. The general result is very
  fair. I have been here since Monday, the 8th of May" (he writes on
  the 20th), "and have got more than £100, but with hard walking. I
  am, however, quite well, and the inflammation of my eye quite
  gone--nothing left but a little haziness. It lasted five weeks
  without relenting at all. If it had gone on, I must have stayed at
  home; but it just began to improve before I started, and has got
  well, _tout en marchant_. My present life is very pleasant when
  money comes kindly; but when I get refused, or walk a long way and
  find every one out, it is a bit mortifying. That is best gain for
  me, I suppose, though not what I am travelling for. .... I should
  not have had the time this morning to write to you, had it not been
  for a disappointment in meeting a young man, who was to have been my
  begging-guide for part of the day; and so I had to come home, and
  stay till it is time to go and try my fortune in the enormous
  market-house, where there are innumerable stalls with poultry, eggs,
  fruit, meat, &c., kept in great part by Irish men and women, on whom
  I have to-day, presently, to go and dance attendance, as this is the
  great market-day. I feel, when going out for a job like this, as a
  poor child going in a bathing machine to be dipped in the sea,
  _frisonnant_; but the Irish are so good-natured and generous that
  they generally make the work among them full of pleasure, when once
  I am in it."

One sees a vast difference between begging of the rich and of the
poor. If the latter have nothing to give, they will at least show a
kind face, and will not presume to question the priest about his
business; whereas some of the former, because they have something
which they will not give, either absent themselves or treat the priest
unkindly for {372} asking. For what? Because he begs. It is not for
himself: he even retrenches necessaries from his own table in order to
spare something for the house of God. And what, after all, does he
ask? The price of an hour's recreation, or an extra ornament, that may
be very well spared. That is all. The priest wants people to look
after their own interests, to send their money before them to heaven,
instead of wasting it on vanity or sin. And because he does this, and
humbles himself for the sake of his God, he must be made to feel it.
Father Ignatius was keenly alive to this, and the way he felt for
those who forgot themselves by sending him away empty was far more
afflictive than the personal humiliation. He could thank God for the
latter, but he could not do so for the former.

Once he was fiercely abused, when begging, and as the reviler had come
to a full stop in his froward speech, Father Ignatius quietly
retorted: "Well, as you have been so generous to myself personally,
perhaps you would be so kind as to give me something now for my
community." This had a remarkable effect. It procured him a handsome
offering then, as well as many others ever since.

Another day he knocked at a door, and was admitted by a very
sumptuously attired footman. Father Ignatius told the servant the
object of his visit, his religious name, and asked if he could see the
lady or gentleman of the house. The servant strode off to see, and in
a few seconds returned to say that the gentleman was out, and the lady
was engaged and could not see him, neither could she afford to help
him. He then remarked that perhaps she was not aware that he was the
Honourable Mr. Spencer. The servant looked at him, bowed politely and
retired. In a minute or two Father Ignatius hears a rustling of silks
and a tripping of quick steps on the stairs. In came my lady, and what
with blushings and bowings, and excuses and apologies, she scarcely
knew where she was until she found herself and him tête-à-tête. She
really did not know it was he, and there were so many impostors. "But
what will you take, my dear sir?" and before he could say yea or nay
she rung for his friend the footman. Father Ignatius coolly said, that
he did not {373} then stand in need of anything to eat, and that he
never took wine; but that he did stand in need of money for a good
purpose, and if she could give him anything in that way he should be
very glad to accept it. She handed him a five-pound note at once,
expressing many regrets that something or other prevented its being
more. Father Ignatius took the note, folded it carefully, made sure of
its being safely lodged in his pocket, and then made thanksgiving in
something like the following words: "Now, I am very sorry to have to
tell you that the alms you have given me will do you very little good.
If I had not been born of a noble family, you would have turned me
away with coldness and contempt. I take the money, because it will be
as useful to me as if it were given with a good motive; but I would
advise you, for the future, if you have any regard for your soul, to
let the love of God, and not human respect, prompt your alms-giving."
So saying, he took his hat and bid his benefactress a good morning.

Many were the anecdotes he told us about his begging adventures; but
it is next to impossible to remember them. In every case, however, we
could see the saint through the veil his humility tried to cast over
himself. Whether he was received well or ill, he always tried to turn
his reception to the spiritual benefit of those who received him. He
made more friends than any person living, perhaps, and never was known
to make an enemy; his very simplicity and holiness disarmed malice. He
says, in a letter, upon getting his first commission to go and quest:
"I am to be a great beggar!" His prognostication began to be verified.
Strange fact, the Honourable George Spencer a beggar! And happier,
under all the trials and crosses incident to such a life, than if he
had lived in the luxury of Althorp. Religion is carrying out to-day
what its Founder began eighteen hundred years ago. He left the kingdom
of heaven to live on the charity of His own creatures.

{374}


CHAPTER IV.

Death Of Father Dominic.


We group the incidents of this chapter around this sad event: some of
them were the last these two bosom friends did together, and the
others were occasioned by their separation.

Early in January, 1849, Father Ignatius went, at the invitation of Mr.
John Smith, of Button, to see a spot of ground upon which that worthy
man intended building a church and house for a community of
Passionists. Father Ignatius did not like the situation; but as soon
as he spoke to Father Dominic about it, they both came to St. Helen's
Junction to see if two heads might not be wiser than one. Father
Dominic landed on the platform a little before Father Ignatius, who
had been delayed somewhere on the way. He went immediately to look for
the great benefactor. A fine-looking, open, plain man saluted him, and
he thought this must be a Catholic, and likely he knows the person I
am looking for. "Do you know where lives a certain Mr. Smith?" asked
Father Dominic. "I should think I did," answered his new friend, and
after a few minutes' conversation the father was satisfied, for he was
no other than Mr. Smith himself. They both walked over a considerable
extent of ground, within which Mr. Smith told the good father to make
his choice of a site. He had selected that whereon St. Anne's Retreat
now stands, when Father Ignatius arrived. Father Ignatius hesitated a
little before giving his consent, and it was only when Father Dominic
said emphatically, "The house that is to be built here will yet be the
largest and best we shall have in England," that he fully agreed. That
prophecy is noted in a {375} journal Father Ignatius kept at the time,
and he wondered afterwards how the church and monastery that arose on
that dreary spot verified it to the letter. It is the best and largest
we have in England at the present moment, and Father Dominic never saw
a stone of its foundations laid.

Fathers Dominic, Ignatius, and Vincent, give a mission in Romney
Terrace, Westminster, in March. Shortly after they give another in
High Street, Dublin. At this mission they introduced the Italian
ceremonies, such as peacemakers (persons appointed to reconcile those
at variance), special sermons for different classes of people, bell
for the five _paters_, and public asking of pardon by the
missionaries. It fell to Father Ignatius to be spokesman in this
latter ceremony, and sore straitened was he to find out in what
particular the fathers had offended, that he might therefrom draw the
apology for their act. He searched and searched, and at last
remembered his own proneness to nod asleep when too long in the
confessional. This was the plea he made, and we must say it was a very
poor one: it gives, however, a good idea of his candour, and want of
unreality. These demonstrations were found to be unsuited to the
genius of the people, and have been suffered to fall into desuetude
ever since.

Father Ignatius goes next on a begging tour through Manchester,
Sheffield, and the north of England. He called at Carstairs House, on
his way to Glasgow and Edinburgh, to visit his friend Mr. Monteith.
Mr. Monteith was received into the Church by Dr. Wiseman, when Father
Ignatius lived in Oscott. Father Ignatius was his god-father. A
friendship then began between them which never cooled; they kept up a
correspondence from which many important hints have been borrowed for
this book, and it was from Mr. Monteith's place the soul of Father
Ignatius took its departure for a better world. Mr. Monteith extended
the friendship he had for Father Ignatius to his other religious
brethren, and time after time has he given them substantial proofs of
its depth and generosity.

Father Ignatius and he had been for some time in correspondence about
founding a house of Passionists {376} somewhere near Lanark or
Carstairs; but circumstances over which they had no control prevented
them coming to a conclusion. The Vincentians have well and worthily
taken the place, and the first house of our order founded in Scotland
was St. Mungo's, Glasgow, a few months after Father Ignatius's death.
It was he who opened Mr. Monteith's domestic chapel, and said the
first mass in it. And it was in the same chapel the first mass was
said for his own soul in presence of the body.

He says in the Journal:--

  "Tuesday, Aug. 14.--Went to London with Father Dominic. We had a
  fine talk with Dr. Wiseman. We dined at 12½ in King William Street
  with Faber and the Oratorians.

  "Wednesday, Aug. 15.--Sung mass at 10 and preached, Prepared in a
  hurry for my journey. Went off at 3½ for the Continent."

He never saw Father Dominic in the flesh again.

On the 27th of August, 1849, Father Dominic and a brother priest were
travelling by railway to Aston. In the morning, before leaving London,
the companion asked Father Dominic to bring him with him; he had just
arrived from Australia, and wished to see some of his old companions
at Aston Hall. Father Dominic thought this was not reason enough for
incurring the expense of the journey; he demurred, but at length
assented. It was fortunate he did. When they came as far as Reading,
Father Dominic became suddenly ill. He was taken out on the platform,
and as the people were afraid of an epidemic, no one would admit the
patient into his house. There lay the worn-out missionary, who had
prayed and toiled so long for the conversion of England, on that bleak
desolate-looking platform, abandoned by all for whose salvation he
thirsted, with only a companion kneeling by his side to prepare him
for eternity. But the coldness and want of hospitality of the people
gave him no concern: other thoughts engrossed him. A few minutes he
suffered, and in those few he made his preparation. He made
arrangements for the government of our houses, he gave his last
instructions to his companion, he invoked a blessing upon England, and
then placidly {377} closed his eyes for ever upon this wicked world,
to open them in a brighter one. He died abandoned, and almost alone,
but he died in the poverty he had practised, and the solitude he
loved.

Father Ignatius was in Holland at the time. On his arrival at our
house in Tournay he heard a rumour of Father Dominic's death. He gave
no credit to it at first; a letter written to him about it went
astray; and it was not until about a fortnight after it happened that
he saw a paragraph in a newspaper, giving the full particulars. He
hastened home at once to England, and the first thing he heard from
Dr. Wiseman was that Father Dominic had nominated him his successor.

Father Ignatius, when his provisional appointment had been confirmed
in Rome, could only look forward to trials and difficulties such as he
had never to get through before. We had then three houses of the order
in England, and one in Belgium, which were united under one Superior,
acting as Provincial. The houses were not yet constituted into a
canonical province. The fewness of the members, and their ignorance of
the customs and ways of a strange country, increased the difficulties.
That year, indeed, four excellent priests, who have since worked hard
on the English mission, came from Rome; but they could as yet only say
mass, on account of their imperfect acquaintance with the English
language.

Then, the existence of each house was so precarious that the smallest
gust of opposition seemed sufficient to unpeople them. Aston Hall was
struggling to build a church, in which undertaking that mission was
destined to exhaust all the life it had; for it eked out but a dying
existence from the time the church was opened, until it was given up
in a few years. The retreat at Woodchester seemed to have lacked any
spirit of vitality from the absence of the cross in its foundation.
The generosity of a convert made everything smooth and convenient in
the beginning, but the difficulties that led at length to our leaving
it were already threatening to rise. The house in London was doomed to
be transplanted to the wilderness of The Hyde, even before {378} the
death of Father Dominic, and St. Anne's, Sutton, was not yet begun.

This was the material position of the Passionists when Father Ignatius
became Superior, or _quasi_ Provincial. To add to this, the fathers
were not first-rate men of business. They could pray well, preach and
hear confessions, but they gave people of the world credit for being
better than they were. Some of their worldly affairs became,
therefore, complicated, and Father Ignatius, unfortunately, was not
the man to rectify matters and put them straight. He was a sage in
spirituals, but the very reverse in temporals.

Many of the religious became disheartened at the prospect. Some lost
their vocations. Many fought manfully with contending difficulties,
weathered all the storms, and, tempered and taught by those days of
trouble, look with smiling placidity on what we should think serious
crosses in these days. Such is the beginning of every religious
institute; it grows and thrives by contradiction and persecution.
Human foresight prophesied our destruction then, and could not believe
that in sixteen years we should have seven houses in this province,
with an average of about twenty religious for each. The ways of God
are wonderful.

This kind of confession was necessary, in order that readers might
have an idea of Father Ignatius's position after the death of Father
Dominic.

He set to work at once, first carrying out Father Dominic's
intentions, and then trying some special work of his own. The new
church at Woodchester was consecrated by Dr. Hendren and Dr.
Ullathorne, and Dr. Wiseman preached at the opening. The new church of
St. Michael's, Aston Hall, was opened in the same year. On the 7th of
November the community of Poplar House, two priests and a lay brother,
move to The Hyde.

Father Ignatius, with Fathers Vincent and Gaudentius, give a mission
in Westminster, and they venture out in their habits through the
streets of London. This mission brought out some of Father Ignatius's
peculiarities. In the instruction upon the sanctification of holy
days, which it was his duty to give, he proposed that the Irish should
make {379} "a general strike, not for wages, but for mass on
festivals." He went to visit Father Faber, who was ill at the time;
they became engrossed in conversation, when Father Ignatius looked at
his watch and said he should get away to prepare his sermon or
instruction. Father Faber said this was a very human proceeding, and
was of opinion that missionaries should be able to preach like the
Apostles, without preparation. Father Ignatius turned the matter over
in his mind, reasoned it out with himself, and thenceforward never
delivered what might be called an elaborate discourse.

It may be remarked, before closing the chapter, that Father Dominic,
at Father Ignatius's suggestion, ordered, in the beginning of 1849,
three Hail Marys to be said by us after Complin for the conversion of
England. The practice is still continued, and has been extended to our
houses on the Continent and in America.


{380}


CHAPTER V.

Spirit Of Father Ignatius At This Time.


So much has to be said about the exterior actions of Father Ignatius,
that one is apt, in reading them, to forget the spirit in which they
were done. It is true that it is by the nature of the actions
themselves a judgment can be formed of what that spirit must have
been, but then they are liable to a false construction.

He was chiefly remarkable for his spirit of poverty. It was not alone
that he loved poverty, and tried to observe his vow, but he refined
this observance to an exquisite degree, by trying to treat himself and
get others to treat him like a mean beggar. He wished to feel poverty,
and sought hardships in things that were easy enough, for that end.
When he went by train he always took a third-class ticket, and was
most ingenious in his defence of this proceeding. If some one objected
to him that the third-class carriages generally contained rough, low,
ill-bred, and coarsely-spoken fellows, he gently answered: "Yes; you
may find a thick sprinkling of blackguards there." "Whether or no," he
would say again, "the third class is the poor man's class, and it
ought to be mine." One time he was expected to preach a grand sermon
in some town or other; the lord of the manor, a Catholic, ordered his
carriage, with livery servants, and came himself to bring him in state
to the priest's house. He waited for the good father on the platform,
looking at the doors of the different first-class carriages, and
condescending to give a glance or two towards the second. What was his
surprise when Father Ignatius, habit and sandals and a', got out of a
third. "My dear Father Ignatius," he half indignantly exclaimed, "why
do _you_ travel by {381} third class?" "Well," replied Father
Ignatius, "because there isn't a fourth."

This idea that he was a poor man and ought to live like one he carried
out in everything. He might be generally seen with a large blue bag.
This bag was not of a respectable make or durable material; no, it was
made of some kind of drogget, like an ordinary sack, and had a thick
clumsy tape that gathered in the mouth of it, and closed it with a big
knot. When he had a long journey before him he brought a pair of
these, and tying them together put the knot upon his shoulder, and
would trudge off six or seven miles with one dangling in front and
another behind. If somebody offered him a seat in a car or wagon, he
gladly accepted it; if not, he did without it. On this same principle
he seldom refused a meal when out; and if he wanted something to eat,
he generally went and begged for it at the first house he came to. At
home he usually washed and mended his underclothing and stockings (the
stockings, by the way, would have blistered the hardest foot after his
mending), and whilst he was Superior he would never allow anyone to do
a menial service for him. He had a great dread of the slightest
attempt at over-nicety in a priest's dress; it was anguish to him to
see a priest, especially a religious, with kid gloves, neat shoes, or
a fashionable hat. His own appearance might be put down as one degree
short of slovenliness. Be it remembered that this was not his natural
bent. We are told by those who knew him when a young man, that he
would walk a dozen streets in London, and enter every hosier's shop,
to find articles that would suit his taste in style and fitting; it
had been almost impossible to please him in this respect; whereas,
when a religious, he would as soon wear a cast-off tartan as anything
else, if it did not tend to bring a kind of disrespect upon his order.
He wore for several years an old mantle belonging to a religious who
died, and would never leave it off as long as there was room for
another patch upon it, unless the Provincial gave him strict orders to
do so.

He was scrupulously exact in fulfilling the rules and regulations of
the Congregation, so much so that even in {382} those cases in which
others would consider themselves dispensed, he would go through
everything. It is our rule to chant the entire of the Divine Office in
choir; the rector is supposed to give a homily or two, called
_examens_, every week to the religious. When there is not a sufficient
number to chant, of course no law human or divine would require us to
do so; and if there be not a congregation, one is not expected, in the
ordinary course of things, to preach to empty benches. Father Ignatius
was as keenly aware of the common-sense drift of this kind of
reasoning as any one could be, but he so overcame the promptings of
human considerations, that a literal observance, in the face of such
plain exceptions, seemed his ordinary way of acting. There are two
instances in point that occurred about the year 1849. The two priests
who formed the choir of the community at The Hyde remained in bed one
night, either from illness or late attendance at sick-calls, and
Father Ignatius was the only priest present. He chanted the whole of
matins and lauds by himself, and went through it as formally as if
there were twenty religious in choir. Another day the priests were
out, and he and two lay brothers only remained at home; he preached
them the _examen_ just the same as if the choir was full. Another time
the alarum that used to go off at one o'clock, at that time for
matins, missed. Father Ignatius awoke at three o'clock, and he
immediately sprung the rattle and assembled the religious for matins.
At half-past four the night work in choir was over: half-past five was
then the hour of rising for prime. Father Ignatius kept them all in
choir until the time, and had the bells rung, and everything else in
due order. This does not argue a kind of unreasoning observance in
him, out of time and out of place. On the contrary, he well knew that
it was inconvenient, but he thought God would be more glorified by it
than by an exemption from what was prescribed. One anecdote he used to
relate to us convinced us of that. He often related with particular
tact how once in Aston Hall, Father Dominic did not hear the bell for
matins. He awoke at half-past two; everything was still. He went and
sounded the rattle with a vengeance, {383} as if every sound was meant
to say, "I'll give a good penance to the brother that forgot to put up
the alarum." When he had done sounding he dropped the instrument at
the choir door, and went in with a taper to light the lamps. What was
his mortification to find all the religious just concluding their
meditation with a smothered laugh at their Superior.

Two other tokens of his spirit at this time must be illustrated
together. He was a very cool reasoner; it might almost be said that he
scarcely ever grew hot in dispute, and always gave his adversary's
arguments due consideration. At the same time he was far from being of
a sceptical cast of mind. If an argument approved itself to him, no
matter how trifling it might be intrinsically, he felt bound to admit
it, and adopt it, if practical, unless he could refute it completely.
Again, he had a thorough disregard of human respect. "What will people
say?" or "How will it look?" never entered into the motives of his
actions; and if it did, he would consider himself bound to go straight
and defy them. What did he care about the opinion of the world? It
was, he knew, seldom led by sound reason, and therefore beneath his
consideration.

He found that the Oratorians began to go about in their _soutanes_; he
had a talk with Father Faber about it, and forthwith resolved to go
about in his habit. Cardinal Wiseman approved of it, if done with
prudence, and Father Ignatius began at once. In a letter to Mr.
Monteith he says:--"I court the honour of following the Oratorians
close in this" (confining ourselves to the work of our vocation), as I
have done likewise in beginning to wear the habit." He used to relate
an amusing adventure he once had in a train with his habit on. At a
certain station a middle-aged gentleman, with his little daughter,
were getting into the carriage which Father Ignatius had to himself,
as every one shunned his monkish company. The little girl got afraid,
and would not enter. The gentleman bravely ventured in, to set an
example to his child, but all to no avail,--the girl was still afraid.
At last the man said out loud, "Come on, child; the gentleman won't
bite!" meaning Father Ignatius. {384} The child summed up courage when
she heard the paternal assurance of safety to her skin, and got to a
seat. She bundled herself up in the corner diagonally opposite the
monk, tried to appear as near the invisible as she could, and stared
wildly on the strange spectacle for a long time. Her father got into
conversation with Father Ignatius, began deciphering the badge by
means of all the Greek and Latin he could bring to his assistance, and
became quite interested in the genial conversation of the good priest.
When the child heard her father laugh, she began to edge up near the
stranger, and, before they separated, father and child were convinced
that monks were not such frightful things as they appeared at first
sight. We shall have other adventures to relate about his habit
further on.

Another peculiar characteristic of his spirit was his great devotion
to the Blessed Virgin. He set more value on a Hail Mary than any
conceivable form of prayer. He went so far in this, that he had to be
reasoned out of its excess afterwards by one of his companions. He did
everything by Hail Marys; he would convert England by Hail Marys; and
in the year 1850 he obtained a plenary indulgence for the three Hail
Marys for the conversion of England. When any one asked him to pray
for them, he promised a Hail Mary. This was very praiseworthy in him,
as we know how hard it is even for some to go heart and soul into the
Catholic instinct of devotion to the Mother of God. They must have
their qualifications, and their terms, and their conditions, as if,
forsooth, she ought to be obliged to them for acknowledging her
privileges at all. The worst of it is, that Catholics often tone down
their books of devotion and expressions to suit the morbid tastes of
ultra-Protestants, or the fastidiousness of some whitewashed Puseyite.
It may be thought prudent to do so; but it is disgraceful, mean, and
dishonourable, to say the least of it.

These are the most prominent outlines in Father Ignatius's spirit at
the time we are writing about, and if we add to them a great devotion
to the sacrifice of the mass, we shall have his soul in a fair way
before us. He never missed celebrating, if he possibly could; and
often he arrived at {385}

11 o'clock in the day at one of our houses, after travelling all
night, and would eat nothing until he had first said mass. A month
before he died he travelled all night from Glasgow to London, and said
mass in Highgate at 11 o'clock. He was jaded, weak in health, but he
would not lose one sacrifice: it was of too great a value, and he had
received too many favours through it, to omit it on light grounds.
This was a life-long devotion of his, and it is the essential one for
a priest of God.

From what has been said, we can form a fair estimate of his character
as a Passionist. One is so obvious that it requires no mention at all,
and that was his zeal for the conversion and sanctification of souls.
So far did this go, that he seemed led by it blindly and wholly. This
was his weak, or, perhaps more properly, his strong point. Go with him
in that, and you covered a multitude of sins.

Another essential was his "thanking God for everything." This he
carried so far that he became perfectly insensible to insults,
mockeries, and injuries, and yet he felt them keenly. At one time he
used to pass late at night by a lonesome lane that led to our last
house at The Hyde. He heard rumours of some evil-disposed wretches
having intended to shoot him. One night he heard a rustling in the
hedge as he was walking on, and the thought struck him that perhaps an
assassin was lying in ambush for him. The religious asked him what
were his thoughts. "Well," said he, "I hoped that when the bullet
struck me I would have time to say, _'thank God for that'_ before I
died."

From this rough sketch of his spirit it will be seen that he had too
little of the serpent, in the Gospel sense, to make a good Superior.
He was too simple and confiding for that; he did not know how to
suspect, and any one that knew how to get into his views could do what
he pleased. At the same time, all reverenced him as a saint, and every
day of his religious life increased the estimation in which he was
held by his own brethren. This is the more valuable as it is the
private life of most men which lowers them in the eyes of those who
have the opportunity of observing them. Father Ignatius tried always
to make the subject-matter of {386} his conversation as edifying as
possible; it was withal so beautifully interspersed with amusing
anecdotes, that it could not fail to interest all. He had a peculiar
tact for relating stories, and a wonderful memory; he was unrivalled
in his power of mimicry, and he enjoyed fun with the greatest relish.
It was the opinion of every one who knew him intimately, that nothing
came under his notice which he could not turn to pointing the argument
of a sermon or furthering the glory of God. He christianized
everything; and did so with such grace, that the love of what he
remodelled was increased for its new aspect.


{387}


CHAPTER VI.

His Dealings With Protestants And Prayers For Union.


The kindly feelings Father Ignatius always showed for Protestants laid
him open to the charge of a want of appreciation for the blessings of
faith, or of not hating heresy as saints have hated it. Although his
whole life and actions amply refute either conclusion, some of the
incidents of this period of his life bring out his conduct in this
respect in its real character.

He tried to extend the benefit or plea of invincible ignorance as
widely as possible. He laboured and reasoned, with a warmth unusual to
him, to remove the notion some Catholics have, that the majority of
Protestants know they are wrong, but from some unworthy motive will
not give up their errors. His proofs of the position he chose to take
here were not certainly the most convincing, for his stock argument
was to quote himself. It did of course occur to him that its point
could be retorted by the fact of his becoming a Catholic for his _bona
fides_; but he took up the argument then by saying we were therefore
to hope for the conversion of England. His idea of England's apostasy
was mainly this: that the body of the people had been swindled out of
their religion by the machinations of a few crafty, unprincipled
statesmen, at the time of the Reformation. A system of misrepresentation
and false colouring of Catholic doctrines and practices was invented
and handed down from generation to generation, which impregnated the
minds of children with the notion that Catholicity and absurdity were
one and the same thing. From this point of view did he look at the
millions who groped in the {388} darkness of error, blaspheming the
doctrines of Jesus Christ, and imagining they were thereby doing Him a
service. He took then the side of pity, which always inclines one to
the lessening of faults.

He lamented nothing more than the loss of faith in England, and he
thought that a harsh, iron way of dealing with Englishmen would close
their hearts against grace altogether. This led him to use the mildest
terms he could find,--nay, the most respectful,--in speaking of
Protestants. He would never call them "heretics," nor their ministers
"parsons." "Separated from the Church," "Church of England people,"
"Dissenters," "Clergymen," were his usual terms, and he would often
also speak of them as "our separated brethren."

This twofold aspect of his bearing towards Protestants certainly
proceeded alike from charity and zeal. It was a common remark with
him, that we ought not to suppose people bad and evil-disposed unless
we are certain of it, neither should we hurt their feelings by
opprobrious epithets. And if we intend to do them any good we should
be the more cautious still as to our thoughts and words. He used to
sigh when he had done speaking of the state of religion in England,
but he would immediately start up as if from a reverie and say, "Shall
we not do something to save our poor countrymen?" So far was he from
sympathizing with the mildest form of error, that even in scholastic
questions he would always take the safer side. In his love for the
heretic, therefore, no one could ever find the least sympathy with the
heresy; or if he called the error a polite name, it was only to gain
admission to the heart it was corroding, in order to be allowed to
pluck it out. If we take into account his great love for souls, it
will seem wonderful that he did not burst out at times into
indignation against what destroyed so many; but we must remember that
such a thing as fierce outbursts of any kind were most unsuitable to
his spirit. His love would make him try to eliminate from those who
had died external to the Church, all the formal heresy he possibly
could; and he felt special delight in the fact that the Catholic
Church forbids us to judge the {389} damnation of any particular
individual as certain. But then let us think for a moment of what he
did to uproot heresy. He spoke, he wrote, he preached, he toiled for
thirty years incessantly almost for this single object. Any one that
weighs this well will be far from judging that he had the least
sympathy with error. His kindliness, therefore, for Protestants, and
his belief that the vast majority of them were in good faith, so far
from making him sit down at ease and enjoy his own faith, and not
bestir himself unless Protestants thrust themselves upon him to claim
admission into the fold, produced directly the opposite effect. Their
not being so bad as was generally imagined, buoyed his hope in their
speedy recovery; their being so near the truth, as he charitably
supposed, made him strain every nerve to compel them to come across
the barrier that separated them from him.

One of the means he adopted for reuniting Protestants to the Catholic
Church laid him open to another serious charge, which was, if
possible, more groundless than the last. In January, 1850, he began to
go about and call upon Protestants of every description--ministers of
church and state nobles and plebeians. His object was to get them all
to pray for unity. To state plainly his way of action, it was
this:--He intended to ask all Protestants "to pray for unity in the
truth, wherever God knows it to be." This, he said, was of course to
pray for conversion to Catholicism unknown to themselves; it was
taking the enemy by stratagem in his own camp. Objections were made in
different quarters against the proposition. Some said it was not
acting fairly and candidly; he then used to qualify it by telling them
that he knew very well the truth lay in the Catholic Church alone, and
so did every Catholic, and that if any Protestant asked him he would
plainly tell him so. Others then said, Protestants would be all
praying for proselytes to their own persuasions, for they were all in
good faith, and thought themselves in the truth. These and sundry
other objections were made to this mode of proceeding; it was looked
upon with suspicion, as savouring too much of communication with
heretics, and he never got a {390} superior to approve of it, neither
was it condemned. So it remained to the last an agitated question,
which none of us would enter into, and which himself adopted with a
kind of tentative adhesion. There was nothing wrong, certainly, in
getting Protestants to pray for unity; but then, "unity in the truth,
where God knew it to exist," was a very indefinite thing to propose to
them. Questions might be raised which could only be answered in one
way. What kind of unity? External or internal, or both? "Where does
God know the truth to exist? Must we all put ourselves in a Cartesian
doubt for a starting-point? And so on. The only answer could be--The
Catholic Church. And might he not as well ask them to pray for that at
once? Father Ignatius was not at all obstinate in sticking to this
proposal as a theory he might reduce to practice, it came up at times
in his conversation, and was dropped as easily.

The mistake it led to was, however, rather serious: it was supposed
that Father Ignatius looked favourably on, if he did not entirely
coincide with, a society called "The Association for Promoting the
Unity of Christendom," designated by the letters A.P.U.C. With this
society Father Ignatius never had anything to do; he detested its
principles, although he hoped it would do good in its way. He wished
it to be confined to Protestants. One leading principle of the
A.P.U.C. was certainly somewhat akin to some of Father Ignatius's
dreams--conversions _en masse_; but his notions and those of the
Association were widely different. They were for coming over in a
great, respectable body, whose size and standing would deserve to
receive great concessions in the way of discipline, as the condition
of their surrender. Father Ignatius was for an unconditional
submission of each individual, and could not allow any one to wait at
the door of the Church for a companion to enter with him. The _en
masse_ of Father Ignatius was no more nor less, then, than this: that
the people of England should throw off their prejudices and begin in a
body to examine candidly the grounds of the Catholic faith. He was
glad that the Association existed, because it carried out so much of
his wishes; but it {391} went too far for him, and in a prohibited
line, when it asked for Catholic prayers and sacrifices, and for
Catholic members. He never, therefore, gave his name to it, though
often and repeatedly solicited to do so. His greatest friend was
publicly known to be a member of the Association, and much as he loved
and honoured him, Father Ignatius had no hesitation in saying of him,
_in hoc non laudo_. Even so late as the year '63 or '64, he received a
bundle of their official papers, with a private letter from the
secretary and a number of the _Union Review_; he was seen to scan them
over, and then throw them into the fire. About the year '50 or '51,
when he was always going about asking for prayers for unity, after the
new idea that struck him, an incident occurred to bear out what is
here said. He happened to be speaking with a roomful of Protestant
clergymen on this very subject. They listened to him very attentively,
raised objections, had them answered, and finally agreed to the
justness of his proposals. They agreed, moreover, to kneel down then
and pray together for unity, and asked Father Ignatius to join them.
He refused at once. They pressed him on every side, and said, among
other things, that he ought to set them this example. He jumped up
with indignation, and said, in a manner quite unusual to him, "I'd
rather be torn in pieces by forty thousand mad dogs than say a prayer
with you." He hereupon left the room, and became more cautious for the
future as to how and when he asked them to pray for unity. The reason
of this abrupt proceeding was the law that forbids all Catholics to
communicate with heretics in divine things. Joint prayer, of course,
is against this law.

It is singular that, though he has left behind his thoughts drawn out
in full upon all the ideas he took up from time to time about the
conversion of heretics and the sanctification of Catholics, there is
nothing left among his papers upon this project. We may conclude from
this, as well as what has been said above, that while he looked upon
the Unionists with kindness, he never adopted their principles; and
such of his notions as seemed congenial to theirs will be {392} found,
on examination, to be totally different. This it was necessary to
remark, as many very well informed Catholics thought poor Father
Ignatius came under the censure of the Inquisition, _in re_ A.P.U.C.
It was quite a mistake, and he should have endorsed that censure
himself, if he lived, and freely as he avoided what drew it down
before he died.


{393}


CHAPTER VII.

Father Ignatius In 1850.


This year was so full of events interesting to Father Ignatius, that
there is no leading one round which others may be grouped to head the
chapter. He expected to be called to Rome towards Easter; he had even
written to the General, and had received letters to that effect. The
object of this visit will be best understood from the following
extract from a letter written at this time, dated from 13, Garnault
Place, Clerkenwell, London:--

  "I am here on a mission with Father Gaudentius, and as we have not
  yet great press of work, I will write to tell you of an important
  feature in my prospects for the present year. It is, that I am going
  to Rome about Easter. About the time I saw you last I wrote to the
  General, saying that I thought this would be a good step. After that
  I thought no more about it till the other day a letter came from
  him, in which he approved the proposal; and so, after a mission
  which we are to give at St. George's from the first to the fourth
  Sunday in Lent, I propose starting. I shall be, I expect, about four
  months absent. I propose begging my way there, through France or
  Germany, which will make the journey last a month or six weeks;
  then, after stopping six weeks or two months in Italy, to make
  acquaintance with our Senior Fathers, and inform myself, as much as
  possible, of all the ways and spirit of our congregation (of which,
  of course, now I am very ignorant), I hope to bring back the General
  with me to make a visitation of his flock."

Before giving the mission in St. George's, he wrote to his sister,
Lady Lyttelton, to tell her of his intended journey to Rome, and of a
visit he would pay her before starting. Her {394} ladyship was then in
Windsor Castle, and we shall give her reply, as it shows the genial
affection that always existed between them, and at the same time
accounts for his not having gone to Windsor in his habit, as was often
supposed.

  "_Windsor Castle, Jan. 28th._

  "My Dear Brother,--I am very much obliged to you for your kindly
  telling me your plans, and giving me a hope of seeing you before you
  go to Rome. The period you mention as the probable one for your
  mission at St. George's, will most likely be the very best for me to
  see you, as we shall probably remove to London about the middle of
  February, and remain till after Easter; so I shall look forward with
  much pleasure to an occasional visit. I am much obliged to you for
  telling me of the intended change in your dress. I should never have
  guessed its probability, having erroneously believed it simply
  illegal; but I find that was a mistake. You will, I hope, not wonder
  or blame me, if I beg you to visit me at my own little home, No. 38,
  St. James's Place, and not at the Palace, when you are looking so
  remarkable. I don't want to figure in a paragraph, and so novel a
  sight in the Palace might lead to some such catastrophe. A day's
  notice of your visit will always enable me to meet you, and Caroline
  and Kitty, and probably others of those that remain to me of my
  ancient belongings, may thereby sometimes get a glimpse of you,
  though we should be always able to have our _coze_ in a separate
  room. I almost wish you would take me under your cowl to Rome. How I
  should like once more to see the Colosseum (and to learn to spell
  its name), and the Vatican! but hardly at the cost of a long
  journey, either.

  "Fritz and Bessy [Footnote 11] are coming here next Thursday on a
  two days' visit to the Queen, and when I have seen them I will tell
  you of their plans. I suppose they will be at Althorp till after
  Easter. Believe me, my dear brother,

    "Very affectionately yours,
      "S. Lyttelton."

    [Footnote 11: Lord and Lady Spencer.]


{395}

When Father Ignatius went to St. James's Place to pay the visit
arranged for in this letter, he experienced some difficulty in getting
as far as his sister. The porter who opened the gate did not know him,
and was, of course, astonished to see such a strange figure demanding
an interview with his mistress. He would not let him in until he got
special orders from Lady Lyttelton herself. Father Ignatius used to
contrast this servant's mode of acting with that of another who
admitted him once to Althorp. This last servant did not know him
either; but seeing he looked tired, he took him into his lodge, got
him some bread and cheese and a glass of ale for refreshment.
By-and-by the Earl passed, and was highly amused at seeing George
regale himself with such satisfaction on the servant's fare. The
servant made some apologies, but they were quite unnecessary, for
Father Ignatius never forgot his kindness, and used to say that he
enjoyed the porter's pittance far more than the viands of the "Big
House," as he used to call it.

Father Ignatius was seldom at home up to June, when he went to visit
our religious in Belgium, who were subject to his jurisdiction; he had
given a mission in Garnault Street, a retreat to our religious in
Aston Hall, a mission in St. George's, Southwark, a retreat to nuns in
Winchester, a retreat to people in Blackbrook, and a retreat in
Sedgley Park. On his return from Belgium he remained in London, and
preached in different churches, besides giving a retreat to the people
in Winchester, and visiting several Protestant ministers, until the
mission in Maze Pond. This was so badly attended that he used to
preach in the courts, beating up for an audience. In giving an account
sometimes of the visits above mentioned, he used to tell about an old
minister he and another of our fathers once called upon. This
gentleman suffered from gout, and was consequently rather testy; he
had a lay friend staying with him at the time of the two Passionists'
visit. He called the fathers idolaters, and insisted, right or wrong,
that our Lord used the word "represent" when he instituted the Blessed
Sacrament at the Last Supper. It was in vain that all three tried to
convince him of his mistake. When, at last, the passage {396} was
pointed out to him, and that he had assured himself, by inspecting
title-page and royal arms, that the Bible was a genuine authorized
version, he was so far from giving in that, like the wolf in the
fable, he immediately indicted them on another plea. This incident
Father Ignatius used to recount to show how far ignorance hindered the
removal of prejudice.

His Roman plan fell to the ground in the beginning of July, when he
received a letter to announce the coming of Father Eugene as
Visitor-General to England. Father Ignatius went to meet him to
Tournay, and escorted him to England, where his passing visit became a
fixed residence to the present day. This happened towards the end of
July. Father Ignatius then gave retreats to the priests in Ushaw
College, to the nuns in Sunderland, and came to London to arrange
about our taking St. Wilfrid's from the Oratorians. He went through
all this before the end of August, and was in Carlow on the 4th of
September, to give two retreats at the same time to the students of
the College and the Presentation nuns.

On the 8th of September he went to Thurles. The Irish bishops were
assembled there for the most important synod held since Henry VIII.'s
proposals were rejected. The synod was held to make canons of
discipline, and laws for the new _status_ the Church had gained in
Ireland. The rough-and-ready ceremonial that had to be used in times
of persecution was laid aside, after it had done good work in its day,
and one more systematic was decreed for the administration of the
sacraments. Here the Irish prelates were assembled, and Father
Ignatius thought it a great opportunity for opening his mind and
stating his views to Ireland by letting them known to her hierarchy.
His account of the visit to Thurles is thus recorded in his journal:--

  "Sept. 8.--Mass at 5. Railway to Thurles at 6½. Put up at the
  Christian schools. Dined there at 4. Saw the Primate, &c., at the
  College. Begged of the bishops, &c.

  Tuesday, Sept. 9.--Mass at 6, at the Monk's Altar. Begged on from
  the bishops. At 10, the great ceremony of concluding the synod, till
  2. The Primate preached. Dr. Slattery sang {397} mass. I walked in
  the procession. At 5, dined with the bishops, &c., at the College.
  Made a speech after dinner on the Crusade."

After his visit to Thurles, he came back to Carlow and gave a retreat
to the lay students in their own oratory. He then went off on a
begging tour through Kildare, Carlow, and Kilkenny. Whilst in Kilkenny
he went to look at the old cathedral (now in Protestant hands); his
_cicerone_ was a very talkative old woman, who gave him a history, in
her own style, of the crumbling worthies whose names he deciphered on
the different monuments. One account she told with especial gusto: the
last moments of an old lady "of the Butlers." This old lady, according
to the _cicerone's_ account, had once been a Catholic, and on her
death-bed wished to receive the rites of the Church. She was told that
if she died a Catholic, those to whom her property was willed would be
disinherited, and that the property would pass over to others. She
hesitated some time on hearing this announcement, and after a few
minutes' reflection expressed her decision as follows, "Oh, well; it
is better that one old woman should burn in hell than that the family
of the Butlers should lose their estate." She died shortly after--a
Protestant. Father Ignatius used to say that he never was more
surprised than at the manner of his guide as she concluded the climax
of her narrative. She seemed to think old Granny Butler's resolution
showed the highest grade of heroic virtue and self-sacrifice.

In Carrick-on-Suir he says: "Made the best day's begging in my life up
to this, £50." He then went to Tipperary, Cork, visited all the
convents and priests, came to Birr, spent an afternoon with Lord Ross
and his telescope; begs in Limerick, Drogheda, Newry, Dundalk, Ardee,
Castle-blaney, Carrickmacross, Londonderry, Strabane, Omagh. When he
was in Omagh there was a tenant-right meeting, and he went to hear
Gavan Duffy. He begs through Dungannon, Lurgan, Enniskillen,
Ballyshannon, Clogher. He then came to Dublin, from which he paid
flying visits to a few convents, and to the colleges of Maynooth and
All-hallows. He returned to England on the 17th of November; {398}
and, during his two months' tour in Ireland, he had preached
seventy-nine sermons, on the conversion of England chiefly.

He heard of the re-establishment of the hierarchy in England while
travelling in Ireland, and one of his first acts, on returning to
London, was to pay his respects to his old friend, the new Cardinal.
This year we were put in possession of St. Saviour's Retreat,
Broadway, which has been the noviciate of the order since. St. Anne's,
Sutton, was also colonized about the same time. Father Ignatius gave a
mission in Glasgow during this Advent, and brought two young priests
with him to train into the work of the missions. One of them was
Father Bernard, and he gives wonderful accounts of Father Ignatius's
labours. He slept but about four hours in the twenty-four, and was all
the rest of the time busy either in the confessional or on the
platform, with the exception of the time he took to eat a hurried meal
or two.

In going through Liverpool on his return from Glasgow, in his habit, a
crowd gathered round him to hoot and insult him. In his journal he
says: "I got two blows on the head," for which he took good care to
thank God. The year is concluded by preaching in Dublin, and giving
the _renewal_ retreat to the Sisters of Mercy in Birr.

Any one that will glance over this year of his life, and see him
perpetually moving from place to place, will certainly think he had
little time to himself. It was about this time that he made the
resolution of never being a moment idle, a resolve he carried out to
the last. During this year and the preceding he was occupied in
translating into English Da Bergamo's _Pensieri ed Affetti_. The
greater part of this book, which was published by Richardson, under
the name of _Thoughts and Affections on the Passion_, was translated
by Father Ignatius, on railway stations, while waiting for trains, in
every place, before or after dinner, in intervals between confessions,
in all kinds of out-of-the way places; and so careful was he to fill
up every moment of time that we see noted in his journal his having
done some of Da Bergamo in the fore cabin of the steamer that took him
{399} from Holyhead to Kingstown. He wrote it mostly in pencilling, on
the backs of envelopes, scraps of paper of all sizes, shapes, and
quality; so that it was nearly as difficult to put those sibylline
leaves in order and copy from them as it was to translate, if not more
so. Besides this he wrote a number of letters; and his letters were no
small notes with broken sentences, but long lectures on difficulties
of conscience, written with a care and consideration that is perfectly
surprising when one reflects upon his opportunities. He used to say
that no one should ever excuse his not answering a letter for want of
time: "If the letter is worth answering we ought to get time for it,
for it becomes a kind of duty." He certainly had no time to spare or
throw away, but he had always enough for any purpose in which charity
or obedience could claim him. His days were indeed full days, and he
scarcely ever went to bed until he had shaken himself out of nodding
asleep over his table three or four times. No one ever heard him say
that he was tired and required rest; rest he never had, except on his
hard bed or in his quiet grave. If any man ever ate his bread in the
sweat of his brow, it was Father Ignatius of St. Paul, the
ever-toiling Passionist.


{400}


CHAPTER VIII.

A New Form of "The Crusade."


We find Father Ignatius, at the beginning of the year 1851, begging in
Ireland. It was not his custom to go regularly from house to house; he
preferred collecting people together, and addressing them, and, if
this were not practicable, getting permission from the priests to
speak to their flocks on Sundays and festivals. He wanted prayers more
than money, and he was delighted that the plea of begging justified
his moving about, and gave him a kind of faculty to preach on his
favourite topic, "the conversion of England." Oftentimes the spiritual
interfered with his temporal interests, as when an Irishman, who was
about to give him an alms, refused it as soon as he spoke about
England. Strange enough, Father Ignatius thought England-hating
Irishmen the very best subjects to practise his art of persuasion on.
He thought them true souls, sensitive of their wrongs, and valued them
far more than those who lauded England through lack of patriotism.

He met many adventures during this begging tour in Ireland. In one
parish, the priest promised to allow him to preach to his congregation
on the Sunday, and collect from them. The priest did not seem to
possess indifference to earthly things, or generosity either, in a
very high degree; for, when Father Ignatius came to his place on
Saturday, his reverence told him that he intended to claim the
collection in the church, whilst Father Ignatius might stand at the
door and beg for himself as the people were going out. Father Ignatius
thanked God, and was content, only remarking that, with the priest's
permission, he would prefer {401} to hold his hat under a large tree
that grew near the church-door, instead of at the door itself.

He preached at the last mass, and never said a word about where or
when he was to receive the people's offerings; the collection was made
by the priest, and a most miserable one it proved to be. Father
Ignatius held his hat under the tree, and, since the day in
Carrick-on-Suir, never had such a collection. It was a marvel to him;
he could not account for it, and he was the more surprised when he
compared notes with the parish priest after all was over. He found out
the solution of the mystery that same evening. It seems that, on
Saturday, he told a respectable lady in the neighbourhood of the
priest's decision. She, without telling him a word of what she
intended doing, went home, sent her servant through the village, and
collected twelve stalwart active young men; she harangued them on what
the priest was about to do, and sent them all off to different parts
of the parish to tell the people of it, and also of the spot where
Father Ignatius would receive their offerings. The people had reason
to think their pastor was a little fond of money, and their
indignation at his proceeding helped to increase their liberality.

He begged at this time in Borris O'Kane, Limerick, Ennis, Gort,
Galway, Loughren, Ballinasloe, Mullingar, and preached 101 sermons
since the previous 5th September. His begging tour ends in Dublin,
about March, where he begins a new campaign of what he terms "his
crusade."

He preached some controversial lectures in Dublin, dined and talked
with Dissenting ministers, wrote a little newspaper controversy, and
had a meeting in the Rotundo. This very active kind of work did not
seem to suit his taste or spirit, and he changed very soon to another
and a more congenial one--the conversational mode of advancing the
Catholic cause.

He visited the leading men both in the Establishment and in the
offices of State, and the conferences he held with them are so
interesting that we shall relate a few of them in his own words. The
extracts are taken from letters {402} published by him in 1853, in the
_Catholic Standard_, now _The Weekly Register_:--


  _Interview with Lord John Russell._

  One day early in February, 1850, I had been on an expedition down to
  Westminster. I look back on all my walks during a certain period,
  that is, while I was constantly wearing my Passionist habit, as
  _expeditions_. Indeed they were eventful ones in their way. I was
  returning through Parliament Street; and having an hour to dispose
  of, as I passed by Downing Street, I thought I would now try, what I
  had long thought of, to have a conversation with the Premier. I
  asked, "Is Lord John Russell at home?" The messenger [query?] who
  came to the door looked at my figure with some surprise, then said,
  "Yes, sir, but he is engaged at present?" I said, "Will you be so
  good as to say to him that Lord Spencer's brother would wish to
  speak with him?" "Walk in, sir," he answered; and to my surprise, I
  must say, I found myself at once in a waiting-room, and five minutes
  later was introduced to Lord John. He rose to me, and kindly pointed
  to a chair. I said, "Do you remember me, my Lord?" "Oh, yes," he
  answered. I then proceeded: "I hardly know whether what I am now
  doing is wise or not; but I will explain my reason for asking to see
  your lordship and you will judge. You are aware, probably, that it
  is now some twenty years since I became a Catholic. Ever since that
  time, my whole mind has been bent on leading others to the same
  faith, and, in short, on the conversion of this country to
  Catholicity. For this end I have endeavoured, as far as it was
  possible, to move all Catholics throughout the world to pray for the
  conversion of England. I have also spoken with as many as I could of
  the leading men among the clergy of the Church of England and among
  Dissenting ministers, to move them also to pray that God would bring
  this country to unity in the truth wherever he sees it to be. I am
  almost always received agreeably on these occasions; for all seem to
  agree in what I think cannot be denied, that if there is anything
  which {403} threatens ruin to the power and prosperity of this
  country it is our religious divisions." His lordship here, without
  speaking, intimated, as I understood, his assent to this last
  sentence; but interrupted me by asking more particularly: "What do
  you propose to Dissenters?" "The same," I said, "as to Anglicans; I
  conceive this prayer is proper for them all alike." ... I proceeded:
  "Among Catholics I find myself constantly met by the objection, that
  if they came forward openly, as I wish them to do, it would offend
  those in power in England. I answer them, I am convinced it would
  not; but in order to satisfy others rather than myself, I have at
  last thought it well to come to the first authority and ask. I will
  remark to your lordship why I say this. Among all Catholics, I am
  particularly intent on moving the Catholics of Ireland to undertake
  this cause. I first went to Ireland for the purpose in 1842. Now I
  look upon it as certain, that if the Irish had then undertaken, as I
  wished them, to pray for the conversion of England, and had
  persevered in that work out of charity, they would not, in 1848,
  have thought of making pikes against England; and this would have
  saved our Government some millions of pounds, perhaps. Pikes are
  well enough in their place, but I consider that charity would not
  have prompted the making of them on this occasion. Again, I will say
  that my favourite individual object in Ireland is to enlist in my
  cause your lordship's illustrious correspondent, Dr. M'Hale; and it
  is my opinion that it would improve the style of his letters if
  there were introduced into them some expressions of charity towards
  England." Lord John slightly smiled, and then proceeded with his
  answer, as follows: "In answering you, I beg to be understood that I
  do not speak as a minister; but I will tell what I think as an
  individual. The entire liberty which exists in this country for
  every one to think as he pleases, and to speak what he thinks, makes
  it appear to me difficult to conceive how a reunion of all the
  different religious opinions could be effected. That is at least a
  distant prospect. But anything which would tend to a diminution of
  the spirit of acrimony, and of the disposition of people of opposite
  opinions to misrepresent one another's views, must {404} do good."
  Then he added, in a very pleasing tone: "And I will tell you, that I
  consider the body to which you belong is the one which suffers the
  most from such misrepresentations." I said then: "After hearing your
  lordship's answer, given with such kindness, I am quite happy at
  having come; and I think I may infer from what you have said, that
  you perfectly approve of my proceedings, for the tendency of them
  entirely is to remove the misapprehensions which exist, on both
  sides, of the others principles. I am convinced that Catholics
  generally have a mistaken idea of what respectable Protestants are;
  and there is no doubt Protestants are very widely wrong in their
  opinions of Catholics. I am working to counteract this error on both
  sides."

  To this he did not reply; and as I had gained all that I desired, I
  rose to take my leave, and said: "I frequently say to persons with
  whom I have had conversations like this, what I will now say to your
  lordship, that I do not promise secrecy concerning them; but I
  request, as a favour, that if they should ever hear of my making
  what they consider an improper use of anything that they have said,
  they would call me to account for it." On this sentence, likewise,
  he made no remark, but added again: "I repeat once more that I have
  not spoken as a minister, as I do not think this is a matter with
  which I have any concern in that character." I replied: "I
  understand you, my Lord; yet I will say that it appears to me, that
  I have reasons to have addressed your lordship in your public
  character." His lordship smiled, slightly bowed, and I withdrew.


  _Interview with Lord Clarendon._

  I am very happy at finding myself with my pen in hand, to give an
  account of my interviews with another distinguished member of our
  Government; at least, as far as what passed bears on the subject of
  these letters, the enterprise of England's conversion:--I mean Lord
  Clarendon, while he was Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. His lordship and
  I were formerly fellow-collegians and friends at Cambridge; {405}
  but from the year 1819, when I left Trinity College, we never saw
  each other till November 13, 1850, when I had an audience from him
  at the Viceregal Lodge in the Phoenix Park, at Dublin. When I had
  been in Ireland in 1848, the thought had crossed my mind that I
  should be pleased to have a conversation with him, but I put it away
  as a strange idea, not worth entertaining. In 1850, I returned to
  Ireland, and starting from the Synod of Thurles, at the beginning of
  September, I had what I would call my grand campaign among the Irish
  people. From the beginning of September to the end of April, I
  preached 170 sermons to them on the enterprise of the conversion of
  England, which at that time I used to call the _Crusade for
  England_; besides a number, past reckoning, of addresses to convents
  and schools, and private conversations to the same intent. This
  career was interrupted in the middle of November, when I came for
  six weeks to England. As I was approaching Dublin to cross the
  water, my strange idea revived, but its aspect was more inviting.
  The result of my visit to Lord John Russell had been so encouraging,
  that I wrote to Lord Clarendon, and asked permission to pay him my
  respects, as I passed through Dublin. He sent me a very kind answer
  to the place which I had pointed out, naming an hour on the day
  named above--half-past one, November 13--at which time I was
  introduced into his private room at the Lodge. One of his first
  remarks was that circumstances were greatly changed with us both
  since our last meeting. Indeed, they were, as any one would have
  said who had seen him as George Villiers, of St. John's, and me as
  George Spencer, of Trinity, walking together in our college gowns,
  at Cambridge, and now should see him in his grand Viceregal Palace,
  and me before him in my poor Passionist's habit; and is it not
  something to be looked upon with satisfaction, that we should now
  have a conversation for an hour and a half, of which, though the
  matter was something far more weighty than what would very probably
  have occupied us then, the tone which he gave to it was such, that
  one might have supposed our familiar acquaintance had never been
  interrupted? The conversation was throughout very interesting to me;
  {406} but this does not seem to me the time nor the place to relate
  what passed, excepting those passages which bore directly upon my
  present subject.

  I do not remember how, in the course of it, Lord Clarendon was led
  to say: "I see in the papers that you have been preaching in several
  places." I answered: "Yes, I have; and the principal object of my
  asking for this interview with your lordship, was to tell you the
  subject of my preaching, and to ask what you think of it. I am
  preaching to the Irish people a crusade for the conquest of
  England."

  I am not clear whether it was before saying these words, or after,
  that I related to him the conversation I had had with Lord John
  Russell in the same way in which it was given in my last letter.
  However this might be, I perfectly remember the way in which he
  replied. He appeared at the first moment to be surprised; then fixed
  upon me one rather searching look; and then deliberately said:
  "Taking the view of things which you do, I think you are right."

  * * * *

  Lord Clarendon, knowing that I was next day to start for England,
  concluded by most kindly expressing a wish to see me again, when I
  should be passing at some future time through Dublin.

  After six weeks I returned to renew my circuit in Ireland, and
  returning to Dublin about the middle of January, though I had no
  reason particularly for wishing to speak again with Lord Clarendon,
  I considered that it was in some way a duty of propriety to ask for
  an interview, as he had been pleased to request it at the close of
  the first visit. Accordingly, after some time for reflection, I
  wrote him a letter to this effect, and he appointed me half-past
  eleven on Saturday, February 8, 1852. This time it was in Dublin
  Castle that I saw him, being ushered into his private room through
  the muskets, bayonets, and other arms--not ancient pieces, for
  curiosity, as at Alton Towers, but arms of the most modern style,
  ready for use--with which the hall and great staircase seemed to me
  as though wainscoted throughout. I apologised soon after entering at
  taking up so much of his time; and again somewhat later I offered to
  {407} withdraw, however interesting was the conversation to myself.
  He answered, "Oh, no! I am very glad to see you. They will soon tell
  me of Sir Thomas Reddington being come for business: till then I am
  free." I will now relate only one or two passages of this
  conversation, as being, I conceive, of peculiar consequence to my
  present purpose. I was saying something of my continued endeavours
  to move the Irish to pray for England, and I suppose remarking that
  this must have a salutary effect on the feelings of the people. He
  said with an incredulous smile: "And do you think the Irish pray for
  England?" "I have no doubt whatever," I answered, "that a great many
  do, but it is as yet nothing to what I desire to bring them to."
  With a still more incredulous look, he added: "Do you think they
  pray for England at Maynooth?" "Well, my Lord,' I only know that
  whenever I visit Maynooth the superiors appoint me a time for
  addressing the students assembled (he looked evidently pleased at
  hearing this); and will you listen," I continued, "to a sentence of
  one of my half-hour's addresses to them? I began it without well
  knowing what I was going to say; but when I had finished I said to
  myself, I have said one good thing at least which I shall one day
  turn to account. It was soon after the publication of Lord John
  Russell's Durham letter. I said to them, 'Will you allow me to offer
  you one word of advice? You will just now be tempted most probably
  to say some violent things; especially some violent things of Lord
  John Russell. Now I would ask you, Do you know Lord John Russell? I
  suppose one and all would tell me _no_. The advice I was going to
  offer is that you should not speak evil of what you do not know.'"
  Lord Clarendon said: "Did you say that?" I said: "Yes, my lord." He
  added emphatically: "That _was_ good." After I had risen to leave
  him, I said: "My Lord, I have been often citing your Excellency,
  since our first conversation, as one of those who entirely approve
  of my proceedings." "What do you mean?" he quickly answered. "Did I
  not tell you I would shed the last drop of my blood to stop the
  progress of your religion?" "I perfectly remember that," I said;
  "what I mean is that you approved of my way of {408} acting,
  considering what I am." "Oh," he replied, "I understand you. If
  every one acted as you do, we should have nothing to complain of."
  This conversation lasted from three-quarters of an hour to an hour.


  _Interview with Lord Palmerston_.

  I am sometimes reminded of a story I heard of a groom, who had to
  show off one of his master's horses, which he wished to sell. Among
  all the other good qualities for which he had praised the animal, as
  he stood behind him in the stable, being asked by the intended
  purchaser, "What do you say of his temper?" he had just answered,
  "Oh, he is as quiet as a lamb," when the horse kicked out, struck
  the poor groom full in the pit of the stomach, and drove the breath
  out of him. But he must stand to his text, and with wondrous
  promptness he was just able to utter, "Ach--playful toad!" So I
  will have our poor people hoped for, prayed for, borne with and
  loved, with all their effigy burnings, with all their meetings to
  hear Dr. Cumming or Mr. Stowell, with all their awful Popery
  sermons, and, moreover, with the two or three thumps on the head,
  and other pieces of genteel treatment which I met with myself, while
  I walked about in my habit, before the Derby proclamation gave me
  some time to breathe again.

  After this preface as an apology, if it is one, for my last
  sentences of last week, and for standing to _my_ text, in spite of
  all that can be urged, I proceed to another of my narratives, which,
  if not the most interesting and important in my eyes, is not the
  least so; and, after which, in reply to such as might mention some
  of the English rudenesses to us, and say to me, "What do you say to
  that?" I would just say, "What do _you_ say to this?"--I mean my
  interview with Lord Palmerston.

  Through the month of May of the year 1851, I was engaged to preach
  evening lectures in one of the London chapels, and I had my days to
  devote in a great measure to the pursuit, so inconceivably
  interesting to me, of conversations with leading people on my great
  topic. I was at {409} that time greatly debilitated, and could walk
  but very little, and to relieve me, therefore, as well as to enable
  me to make the most of my time, a generous friend, who was
  interested in my proceedings, furnished me with means to go from
  house to house in a cab. One of these bright forenoons, I turned
  into Carlton Gardens, and asked to see Lord Palmerston. I was not an
  entire stranger to him, any more than to the other two noble persons
  of whom I have already written. It will not be foreign to my purpose
  to relate how my acquaintance with his lordship had been formed. May
  I venture to call it a friendship? It was at the close of a long run
  with Lord Derby's stag-hounds; I mean the grandfather of the present
  earl, I think in 1821; we finished, I think, twenty-four miles from
  London, and I was making up my mind for a long, tedious ride home on
  my tired horse (for I was not up to having second horses and grooms
  in my suite on those occasions), when Lord Palmerston, who was
  likewise in at, not the death, but the taking (I forget the proper
  sporting term) of the stag, understanding my case, and knowing me by
  sight, though I think till then we had never spoken, gave my horse
  in charge to his groom, and took me home with himself in a
  post-chaise. For the short remaining time of my being known as a
  young man about town, as we met at one party or another, Lord
  Palmerston continued to accost me with a kind word, to which I had
  good reason, it will be allowed, to respond in the best manner I
  knew how. At the close of the London season of 1822 I made my bow,
  and withdrew from that stage to prepare for taking orders, and,
  except an interview of a few minutes in 1834, we had never met till
  I appeared before the now far-famed and, by many, dreaded Foreign
  Secretary, with my Passionist habit and sandalled feet for a private
  audience. Like what Lord Clarendon said in the Park Lodge, Dublin, I
  might have said here, "Great changes, my lord, since we first spoke
  together!" On this occasion, however, no time was spent in mere
  conversation. I had called, as I have said, in the forenoon. His
  lordship had sent me a message as being busy, requesting me to call
  again at two o'clock. On entering his private room, I found {410}
  him engaged in looking over what seemed official papers, which he
  had upon his knee, while we spoke, though without the least sign of
  impatience or wish to get rid of me; but I saw that what became me
  was to enter on business at once without waste of time or words. I
  do not remember all the words which I used in this interview so well
  as what I said to Lord John Russell and Lord Clarendon. The position
  was not now so new and striking to me. I think I began without any
  kind of apology; for his lordship's looks gave me no feeling that
  any was needful or expected. I said, "that in coming to speak to his
  lordship on this subject, I had not so much in view to ascertain
  more and more that there was no danger of what I proposed causing
  offence to our Government, as I thought what I had heard from others
  was sufficient proof of this; but I wished to put as many of our
  public men as I could meet with in possession of all my intentions
  and proceedings, in order that if, at last, I succeeded, as I hoped,
  in moving the Catholics to be interested about them, and these
  matters came before the public, they might know from myself in
  person what I really intended, and might be enabled, if they thought
  well, to do me justice." This was the substance of what I said to
  him. Having thus concluded, I awaited his answer, which was about as
  follows:--"As you wish to know what I think of your doings, I must
  say I do not by any means agree with you in considering it a
  desirable result that this country should again be brought under
  subjection to Rome. I do not profess to take my view from the
  elevated and sublime ground on which you place yourself; I mean, I
  speak not with reference to religious interests, but to political;
  and as a politician, when we consider the way in which the Pope's
  government is opposed to the progress of liberty, and liberal
  institutions, I cannot say that I wish to see England again under
  such influence." Thus far, I do not mean to say, that what I heard
  was anything agreeable to me. Neither the matter nor the tone were
  agreeable to me. There was something sarcastic in his tone. And does
  that suit my purpose? it may be asked. I answer, "It does very
  well." Could it be expected that he would speak very agreeably and
  favourably {411} of the end I told him I was aiming at? If he had,
  that would, I conceive, have just thrown a doubt on the sincerity of
  what he said immediately after, in a tone simply and perfectly
  agreeable, on the effect likely to result immediately from what I
  was doing: and this was: "But as to what you are doing, as it must
  tend to conciliate Catholic powers towards England, what have I to
  say, but that it is excellent?" or some such word expressing full
  and cordial approbation. After this, he went on with some remarks on
  the establishment of the Hierarchy, which, of course, were in
  accordance with what he had, I think, been saying a few days
  previously in Parliament, complaining of it as offensive and
  injurious; but on this part of the conversation I need not dwell, as
  it had no bearing on the subject which I had proposed to him. With
  regard to that, my impression on leaving him was this: that he had
  listened with attention to what I had said, had at once perfectly
  understood me, had answered me so as to make me perfectly understand
  him on the subject simply and openly, and that what he had said was
  entirely satisfactory to me. I could wish for nothing more; except,
  of course, what St. Paul wished for in the presence of Festus and
  Agrippa. I then rose: so did he; then shook hands with me, and most
  kindly thanked me for having renewed our old acquaintance. To the
  account of this conversation with Lord Palmerston, I will add, that
  I asked, in the same bright month of May, for an interview with Lord
  Derby. He requested I would rather explain myself in writing: which
  I did; and received in answer from him a most condescending and kind
  letter, in which, while he asserted his own steadfast adherence to
  the Church of England, he declared his opinion that no one could
  reasonably find fault with me for exerting myself as I did to
  advance what I believed to be the truth.

Besides these interviews just recorded in his own words, he had
several others with minor celebrities. He met some Protestant bishops;
among the rest, Dr. Blomfield, whom he tried to move to praying for
unity. Dr. Blomfield promised. Some of the bishops refuse to see him,
and {412} others are "out" when he calls. He had an interview with Dr.
Cumming, and the doctor's account of it did not eventually serve to
raise that gentleman in the estimation of honourable or sensible
people. He records in his journal being sent away ignominiously by
Baptist and Methodist ministers, and, after one of these rebuffs, on
May 24, 1851, he got so fearful a mobbing, when coming along the
Charter House in London, that he was nearly killed. Had not some good
shopkeeper opened his door for him, and helped him to a cab by a back
passage, he believed he would certainly have fallen a victim to the
fury of the crowd.

The day after this adventure, he assisted in Warwick-street at the
ordination of his Grace the present Archbishop of Westminster, as
sub-deacon.

He is a few months on the Continent again in this year. He preaches in
French through Lille, Liège, Maestricht, Aix-la-Chapelle, always upon
"the crusade." Before arriving in Cologne he had his address
translated into German, in order to be able to speak to the Prussian
children and people upon his favourite theme. As he was walking
through Cologne one day, he accidentally met his brother, Lord
Spencer. Lord Spencer wondered at the figure approaching him, and
thought he recognized the features. At length he exclaimed, "Hilloa,
George, what are you doing here?" "Begging," replied Father Ignatius.
Those who knew them were much gratified at seeing the earl and the
monk having a little friendly chat about old schoolboy days. Both
seemed a little embarrassed and surprised at first, but after a minute
or two they were quite at home with each other.

He prepared a petition for the King of Prussia, who was visiting
Cologne, requesting an audience; but, after waiting patiently a few
days, he writes in the journal: "The King is come and gone, but no
notice of me. I must be content with _Rex regum_." He received a
letter from Father Eugene a day or two before this, summoning him home
to England for our Provincial Chapter, and his tour terminates on the
21st August.


{413}


CHAPTER IX.

Visit To Home And "The Association Of Prayers."


At the Provincial Chapter, Father Ignatius was chosen Rector of St.
Joseph's Retreat, The Hyde. It was also arranged that before
proceeding further with his projects and schemes for prayers and
unity, he should submit them to the Roman _Curia_. He accordingly
starts for Rome on September 4, and arrives at the Retreat of SS. John
and Paul on the 13th. We shall let himself relate the events and
success of this expedition.

  "I went on then, taking occasions as they were offered me to move
  Catholics to interest themselves in it till September, 1851, when I
  went to Rome. I had other reasons for going; but it might well be
  expected that what mainly interested me was to recommend the cause
  of England's conversion in the centre of Catholicity, and to obtain
  from the Holy See sanction and authority for pursuing this end as I
  had been doing before, or in whatever way would be deemed
  preferable. I was four months and a half at Rome, with the
  interruption of a fortnight, during which I was engaged on a mission
  in the country with some of our Fathers. My affair had to be
  transacted, as may be supposed, chiefly at the Propaganda, where the
  affairs of all Catholic missions are managed and directed, much in
  the way that our Board of Admiralty directs all the naval operations
  of this country, but under entire dependence on his Holiness and
  obedience to him--the secretary of the Propaganda, Monsignor
  Barnabò, having regularly once a week, that is, every Sunday
  evening, an audience of the Pope, to make him reports, and to
  receive his orders. For the first six weeks or two months I felt my
  footing at the Propaganda more or less {414} doubtful and
  precarious. I did not gain much attention. This was mortifying; but
  I see, and I saw it then, to be right. The Propaganda is a place
  where all Catholic schemers and projectors in matters of religion
  try to get a hearing--as our Admiralty is besieged, I suppose, by
  all who think they have an important proposal to make for naval
  enterprise or improvement. They must be kept at arm's length for a
  time, till it is judged whether their ideas are worth attending to.
  It was on the 1st of November that it happened that I dined at the
  College of Propaganda, and sat next to Monsignor Barnabò, who made
  me a remark about in these words: 'Surely if you can convert
  England, we should gain half the world--or all the world,' I forget
  which. I answered, 'Well, Monsignor, and why not try?' Nothing more
  was said then; but it seemed to me as if this was the turning-point
  of my fortunes at Rome. Certain it is, that from that time Monsignor
  Barnabò, in the midst of all his pressing affairs, was invariably
  ready to listen to me at the office or at his own house, read
  through all my long memorials, spoke for me to the Pope whenever I
  asked him, and gained me what I asked on this matter, had my papers
  printed free of cost at the press of the Propaganda, &c. It had been
  told me previously by one of the minutanti (under secretaries) of
  the Propaganda, Monsignor Vespasiani, that my proposals would be
  looked upon more favourably, if England were not mentioned as the
  only object of interest. He adverted especially with great feeling
  to the case of the Greeks, of whom he spoke as possessing genius and
  capacity for such great things, if they were only reunited to the
  Church. At his suggestion I drew up, in concert with one of our
  Fathers, a paper of proposals for an Association for the Conversion
  of all separated from the Church, giving reasons, however, as I do
  in the little paper of admission to our Association, why we should
  direct our immediate aim at the recovery of those nations which have
  been separated from the Church by heresy or schism, and why, among
  these, England should still be regarded as the most important and
  leading object. This document was read by Mgr. Barnabò, who ordered
  5,000 copies to be printed by the press of the {415}
  Propaganda--rather, he told me, to order as many as I wished, as
  well as of another shorter paper containing an invitation to prayer
  and good works for the conversion of all separated from the Church,
  but especially of England. This shorter one was prepared at the
  express desire of the Cardinal-Vicar of Rome, and distributed by his
  order through all the religious houses of the city. To pass over
  other details, it was on the 26th of November that I received a
  letter of recommendation, addressed by the Cardinal-Prefect of
  Propaganda to all Bishops, Vicars-Apostolic, and Superiors of
  Missions in the world, desiring them to receive me favourably and to
  assist me in my designs to the utmost of their power. The words in
  Latin at this part of the letter are the following:--'... Proindeque
  illum sacrae congregationis testimonialibus hisce literis instructum
  esse volumus, ut omnes Episcopi, Vicarii Apostolici, et Missionum
  Superiores benigne illum excipere, ac pro viribus piissimis ejusdem
  votis favere haud omittant.' As I have not this letter at hand while
  writing, I quote this part from memory. The former part, of which I
  have not the words by heart, expresses why this recommendation was
  to be given me; namely, because my zeal for promoting the Catholic
  faith, especially among my people of England, was highly to be
  commended. Now, if the Propaganda should have ever heard anything
  true about how I carried on my ordinary duties in England, they
  could only have heard that I had not incurred suspension, though I
  might have deserved it; and that, in comparison with my brother
  priests in our great towns, for instance, what I had done for
  religion must be put down as next to nothing. The only thing on
  which they could ever have heard me spoken about as remarkable must
  have been my exertions, which, against my wishes, I must certainly
  concede to have been _singularly_ active and persevering in calling
  people's attention to the object of the _conversion of England_ and
  to prayers for it.

  "I was surprised at receiving this letter; but I was not satisfied
  with it: it sharpened my appetite to get more. I returned to the
  Palace of the Propaganda to give thanks for it, and then asked for a
  special letter to the Prelates of {416} Ireland. I do not here enter
  into details about this: I intend, if permitted, explaining all
  which regards this subject in some letters addressed especially to
  the Irish people, in the _Tablet_. I mention it here only to quote
  from this second letter the words in which is explained more
  particularly the idea which was formed at the Propaganda of the
  object which they were recommending. They call it 'Opus quod
  Reverendus Pater Ignatius promovere satagit, ut nempe Catholici pro
  Acatholicorum, praesertim Angliae, conversione veluti agmine facto,
  ferventiori jugiter ratione preces fundant ....' which I thus
  translate: 'The object which the Rev. Father Ignatius is engaged in
  promoting, namely, that Catholics should, as it were, form
  themselves into an army set in array, and with continually
  increasing fervour pour forth prayers for the conversion of
  non-Catholics, but especially of England." Now, I do not know how
  these documents may strike others; but it seems to me that if, after
  having taken a journey to Rome on purpose to plead my cause there,
  and after having received letters like these in answer to my
  appeals, I was just now to relax in my zeal to promote prayers and
  good works for the conversion of Protestants, but especially of
  England, this would be not falling into the views of the Holy See,
  as some seem to think it would, but rather showing indifference and
  almost contempt for them, and repaying with ingratitude the great
  favours which I have received. I must reserve to another letter some
  account of my interviews with his Holiness in person.

    "I am, Sir, your faithful servant in Jesus Christ,
      "Ignatius Of St. Paul, Passionist."


Here is the account of the audiences he had with the Pope on the
subject of prayers for the conversion of England. It is taken from his
letters to the _Catholic Standard_:--

  Audiences With Pope Pius IX.

  I beg to give an account of what passed upon the subject of the
  conversion of England in the audiences I was allowed {417} by the
  Holy Father. They were three. The first was on September 16, 1851,
  three days after my arrival in Rome; the second, December 23; the
  third, January 30, 1852, the day before I left Rome. It was on my
  return home in the evening after that last audience that I met Mgr.
  Vespasiani, the prelate whom I have before named as one of the
  Minutanti of the Propaganda, the first person in office at Rome who
  gave full and attentive consideration to my proposals. This was on
  the 14th of October, 1851. Full of satisfaction as I was, I
  expressed to him anew my gratitude for that favour, adding that now
  I was leaving Rome, I felt as if I had nothing more to ask. All was
  gained. Such, indeed, were my feelings then. He kindly accepted my
  acknowledgments, and seemed to sympathize in my satisfaction, but
  looked incredulous as to my having nothing more to ask, and with a
  smile, said something to this effect, "You will want plenty more;
  and, when you desire, you will command our services." I suppose he
  was right. My feeling was then, and I conceive it was well grounded,
  that, as far as regarded the mind of his Holiness, I had gained all,
  on the subject which most engaged me, and which I am now pursuing;
  and I felt as if in having reached this point all was done. So, I
  trust, it will prove in time; but I see plainly enough there is work
  to be done before the mind of the Holy Father will be carried out;
  others must be moved to correspond with it. I must explain myself by
  stating facts. In my first two audiences, I think I may say that the
  principle was approved by his Holiness, that Catholics might be
  moved all through the world to engage in the enterprise of
  converting England; but that he must not be represented as caring
  for England exclusively, as he was father to all. There was no
  objection here expressed to my being specially interested for my own
  country. On the contrary, the Pope agreed to, and approved of, my
  continuing to urge the Roman people to join in this cause, as well
  as pursuing the same object in Austria, whither I told him I was
  going, and elsewhere. In my second audience I said to him: "Holy
  Father, may I repeat truly here what I am saying outside? I am
  openly stirring the people of Rome to a third conquest of England.
  {418} Rome conquered England once, under Julius Caesar, by the
  material sword. Rome conquered England a second time, more
  gloriously, under St. Gregory I., by the Word of God. I am calling
  on Rome to undertake this conquest again, under Pius IX., when it
  will be a vastly more important one than heretofore, and by means
  more glorious and more divine, because referring more purely the
  glory to God, being chiefly holy prayer." The Pope did not speak in
  answer to this appeal; but, if I rightly judged, his manner and
  looks expressed his acceptance and approval of the idea better than
  words could have done. However, though I might say I had succeeded
  as well as I could have expected in these first two audiences, the
  second of which I looked upon as final, as in it I had taken my
  leave of his Holiness, there was yet something wanting. I was
  preparing to leave Rome not quite satisfied, though I knew not how
  to better my position. I will relate how the happy conclusion was
  brought round. My departure was unexpectedly delayed in order that I
  might assist at a mission to be given by our fathers, in the town of
  Marino, on the Alban mountains, which was in the diocese of the
  Cardinal-Vicar, at whose request the mission was given. I went to
  the mission, not so much to work, as to see, and hear, and learn for
  myself; but the crowd of penitents was such, that during the last
  week of it I gave myself entirely to the confessions; and having no
  part in the preaching, I never did such a week's work at confessions
  as that. I returned to Rome alone on January 18, to prepare for my
  departure, leaving the other Fathers to begin a second mission at
  Albano; and it struck me my week's work for the Cardinal-Vicar need
  not be altogether its own reward. I visited him the next day, as to
  make a report of the mission, which was highly satisfactory. I then
  said, "I have done a heavy week's work for your Eminence, and I come
  to claim _il mio stipendio_ (my pay)." "And what," said he, "is
  that?" "A few minutes' patience," I replied, "to hear me again on
  the cause of England. I want Rome to be effectually moved." "But,"
  said he again, "what can we do? I have distributed your papers. I
  will recommend {419} it again; what more do you want? Perhaps the
  Pope could suggest something; go to him again." I answered, "I have
  had my final audience, and received his last blessing. Can I go
  again?" "Oh, yes. Go; you may use my name." I went straight to the
  Vatican, and Monsignor Talbot placed me, according to custom, in a
  saloon, through which the Pope was to pass at three o'clock, to take
  his daily drive. I told his Holiness what had brought me again
  before him. I had received recommendations to all the world, but I
  was particularly intent on moving Rome. "Surely," he said, "that is
  the most important place. Write me a memorial, and we will consult
  over it." I lost no time in doing so. In it I dwelt on two objects;
  first, I entreated the Holy Father to take such measures as he might
  in his wisdom think fit, to move all Christendom to undertake the
  recovery of the nations which had been lost to the Church, and
  specially England. And with regard to Rome, I stated the case thus.
  I had received from the congregations through which his Holiness
  intimates his pleasure to the whole Church, an earnest
  recommendation to all Bishops to support me to the utmost of their
  power in my enterprise. Was it to be conceived, I asked, that the
  Bishop of the first See was alone excluded from this recommendation?
  Surely not; and therefore in the name of his Holiness, as head of
  the Universal Church, I appealed to his Holiness as Bishop of Rome,
  and entreated that he would give an example to all other Bishops,
  how a mandate of the Holy See ought to be obeyed. It was not for me
  to offer directions how this should be done; but if I were to make a
  suggestion, I would ask that a Prelate should be named, with an
  authority to engage the help of other zealous ecclesiastics, and
  with them to instruct the people of Rome in the importance and
  beauty of the work, and to engage them in it with persevering zeal.
  I took this memorial to the Cardinal-Vicar, who read through the
  latter part with me, and said, with an air of satisfaction, "_That
  will do; that will do very well_"--promising to present it to the
  Pope. I begged him to say besides, that the Prelate I had in my mind
  was Monsignor Talbot. This was on January 23. On the 26th, Monsignor
  {420} Barnabò told me that all had been favourably received. I
  thought I had nothing to do but to arrange with Monsignor Talbot
  what he might do, and for this purpose I went on the 30th of January
  to see him, accompanied by one of our Fathers. I had bid him
  farewell, when my companion said, "May we see the Pope?" I was
  rather annoyed at this: the sight of the Pope intended was merely to
  be once more placed in his way as he would pass one of the saloons:
  and I felt it would be unreasonable and intrusive for me to be seen
  there again; but I thought it would be selfish to disappoint my
  companion, who had sacrificed so much of his time to gratify me, and
  I said nothing. We were, therefore, taken into the saloon, as it was
  just the time for the Pope's drive. There, however, we waited one
  quarter, two quarters, three quarters of an hour. I concluded, what
  was the case, that the Pope was not going out, and expected
  presently to be told to go away. Instead of this Monsignor Talbot
  came and beckoned us into the Pope's private room, where he was
  sitting in the window recess perfectly at his ease, and received us
  with these words addressed to me:--"Well, Father Ignatius, we have
  done something now." "Indeed, Holy Father," said I, "this is true. I
  see this work now in the way to become the most favoured of all,
  entrusted, as it is, to a Prelate who has his time so disposed that
  one week he is free to work, and the other he returns to attendance
  on your Holiness to make his reports, and receive new instructions."
  "Not only so," replied the Pope, "there are four of them. He has but
  one week entirely engaged with me; besides the one out of four
  wholly free, he has but two or three hours every day on duty in the
  other two. But remember, I will not have England alone thought of."
  "Holy Father," I said, "this alteration has been made. The
  undertaking is for all separated nations; England being proposed
  only as the most important point of attack, on several accounts. I
  beg, however, to ask that the term heretics may not be used as the
  general designation of those we pray for. I do not confess to wilful
  heresy before my conversion. I do not confess for this sin for my
  countrymen at large." "Ah! what say you?" answered the Pope; then
  {421} he reflected for a moment and graciously bowed. In accordance
  with this request, in my letter from the Propaganda the term is not
  _haereticorum_, but _acatholicorum praesertim Angliae_. I went on:
  "Holy Father, I ask one more favour. Cardinal Fornari has agreed, if
  he is named by your Holiness, to accept the charge of Protector to
  this work." "What need of this?" answered the Pope; "I have desired
  the Cardinal-Vicar to recommend the work to Rome, and Cardinal
  Fornari is a Roman. Is that not enough?" "Holy Father," I replied,
  "what is requested is, that he should be empowered to act in it as
  Cardinal." After another pause his Holiness again graciously bowed
  and said: "Well, be it so." Thus the discourse on this subject
  terminated: and, if I have intelligibly explained myself, will it
  not be allowed that I had reason to go home satisfied, in the
  reflection that the work of the conversion of Protestants, but
  chiefly England, was now erected--as far as regarded the part which
  the holy Father had to take in it--into what may be almost called a
  congregation in the Holy City, to be composed of prelates and
  ecclesiastics, of whom the first active member was among his
  Holiness's domestic attendants; and the Cardinal Protector was one
  of the most distinguished of the Sacred College, who in his first
  conversation with me declared his most lively interest in England,
  as having himself, as Professor in the Roman Seminary, directed the
  studies in Theology of Cardinal Wiseman, and four others, now
  Bishops in England, besides two deceased. I must close this long
  letter with one more fact, which came to my knowledge, bringing home
  to me the consoling conviction, how deeply the heart of our Holy
  Father is interested in the great work. When I was in Paris, this
  cause of England was ardently taken up by a gentleman noted for his
  Catholic zeal, a distinguished merchant in Havre. On my leaving
  Paris he begged me to give him a letter of credentials, that, in his
  mercantile travels, he might in my name interest Bishops and other
  leading personages in our favour. In November last he enclosed me a
  letter he had received from the Vicar-General of Nantes, to whom he
  had applied to recommend this object to his Bishop. It was in these
  {422} terms: "I will gladly perform your commission, and I have no
  doubt his Lordship will comply with your wish; the more so that,
  returning from Rome a few days back, I have brought to him a message
  to the same effect from his Holiness. In my first audience the Pope
  said to me: 'Tell the Bishop of Nantes, from me, that I desire he
  will pray, and cause others to pray, a great deal for England. The
  position of the Church in that kingdom interests me deeply; I am
  always thinking of it.' In my second audience the Holy Father
  repeated to me the same words, and in a tone of feeling such as I
  can never forget. I am convinced this subject occupies his mind
  continually." Is it, now, to be supposed that the Holy Father is
  averse to English and Irish Catholics praying especially for
  England, and praying much for it? Is it not, on the contrary, to be
  inferred from these statements, and those of my last two letters,
  that it would console his heart to see them devotedly engaged in the
  work? I think this is the conclusion to which we shall all arrive,
  and that this happy result may in due time--and why not soon?--be
  abundantly realized.

He says in another letter:--

  "I begin with repeating again the words of St. Jerome to Pope
  Damasus: 'He who gathereth not with thee scattereth,' and I renew my
  declaration that if I thought that by exerting myself to move the
  Catholics of England and Ireland, and, in general, of all the world,
  to the enterprise of gaining England, my country, back to the faith
  of our fathers, I was not working in accordance with the mind of his
  Holiness, I should not dare to proceed. Will my dear Catholic
  brethren meet me with the assurance that if it appears by facts that
  this enterprise is according to his mind, they will heartily devote
  themselves to the cause and help us?

  "It seems to me still, as it always did, impossible to conceive how
  these efforts, carried on as they are proposed to be, in perfect
  accordance with devoted loyalty to the State, and in a spirit of
  ardent charity towards our fellow-countrymen, should not be
  gratifying to the Church of God and to its Head. Many times have I
  repeated in sermons to the Irish people during the days of the
  troubles of his Holiness: {423} 'You have joined with noble
  generosity in assisting the Holy Father by subscriptions of money,
  you have entered fervently into prayer for him, will you not do one
  thing more to console him? Let him hear that you are determined that
  my country, with its great resources and power, shall once more be
  his.' This was, I think, a reasonable natural suggestion.

  "It was, accordingly, a surprise to me, and at the same time a pain,
  when I was told by one, about the beginning of the year 1851, that
  his Holiness was become almost averse to our efforts in behalf of
  England; as on being applied to for some new indulgence for certain
  prayers for England, he would not grant the petition unless Italy
  was comprehended in the intention of the prayers. Another said
  positively that the Pope would give no more indulgences for prayers
  for England. These things were said, as so many more things have
  been said, apparently in a half-joking tone, to mortify me in what
  is known to be a tender point. "Well, everything may turn to account
  for good, if we pay attention. These remarks helped to stimulate me
  to ascertain perfectly what the truth of the case is, and they now
  give me occasion to explain publicly some of the facts on which the
  matter has to be judged.

  "In May, 1850, a student of the English College at Rome, just
  ordained, went to receive the Pope's blessing before his return to
  England. He presented a crucifix to his Holiness, and begged for an
  indulgence of 300 days for whoever kissed this crucifix, and said a
  Hail Mary for the conversion of England. The Pope sat down and wrote
  with his own hand at the foot of the petition, that he granted 300
  days' indulgence for those who should offer a devout prayer, as for
  instance a Hail Mary, for the conversion of England. When this was
  reported to me, as there appeared some kind of ambiguity in one
  expression of the Pope's writing, I wrote to Monsignor Talbot,
  begging that he would ascertain from his Holiness whether we were
  right in interpreting the sentence as granting the indulgence
  generally without any reference to the crucifix. The answer was,
  'Yes.' Evidently then, at this time, the Pope was disposed to grant
  more in favour of England than he was asked. How are {424} we to
  account for the seeming alteration in his dispositions? One way is
  to suppose that the Pope had ceased to wish prayers to be made for
  England. Monsignor Talbot, when I saw him at Rome in September,
  1851, gave me another reason. 'The Pope,' said he, 'is determined he
  will give no more indulgences for England. People seem not to care
  for them. No account is made of them. Let them first show they value
  what they have.' No authority, on such a point, could be preferable
  to that of Monsignor Talbot, who spends his life in personal
  attendance on his Holiness; and according to him, the Pope did, in a
  tone of some displeasure, refuse one or two such requests, the
  displeasure was not because people prayed too much for England, but
  because they did not pray enough, and on this account, did not
  deserve any more encouragement. This view I maintain with the more
  confidence, inasmuch as after that displeasure had been expressed, a
  petition was made on March 9, 1851, by some English ladies in Rome
  for a plenary indulgence to be gained once a month by those who
  should daily pray for the conversion of England: it was granted as
  stated in our admission papers. I infer from this, that if only the
  Holy Father perceived that the Catholics of England were really in
  earnest in the cause, there would be no bounds to the liberality
  with which he would encourage them; but no one likes to go on giving
  favours to persons who seem not to value them; and he who has the
  dispensing of the favours of Almighty God from the treasuries of the
  Church, must not consent to their being undervalued.

  "But now, it will be asked, what encouragement did I myself receive
  from his Holiness during the four months and a half that I spent in
  Rome, as a kind of representative of this cause of the conversion of
  England? I need not say that, in going to Rome, I was desirous to
  move all hearts there to an enthusiastic devotion to this
  enterprise, as I had endeavoured to do in Ireland, in France, in
  Belgium, and Germany. I fain would not have lost an occasion of
  preaching in churches, addressing religious communities, the
  children of schools, wherever I could find them assembled. I did not
  expect, however, to be able at once to run such a career in {425}
  Rome, as in ordinary towns, and I was greatly satisfied with what
  was allowed me. Whatever difficulty or check I might have met with,
  it came not from his Holiness. The proper authority to apply to in
  this case was the Cardinal-Vicar; that is, he who administers the
  very diocese of Rome as the Pope's Vicar-General. He at once agreed
  to my visiting convents and schools, and exhorting them to the great
  work; but for preaching in churches, there must be, he said, express
  sanction from the Pope. The Holy Father was consequently consulted
  by Monsignor Talbot, and answered that he had no objection, but left
  it to me to make arrangements with the rectors of the churches. The
  number of monasteries and schools in which I made my allocutions on
  the conversion of England, is past my remembrance. Almost day by
  day, for about two months of my time, this was my leading pursuit. I
  wish it to be clearly understood that all this time I spoke all that
  was in my mind with as complete freedom from reserve as I am known
  to exercise here. To the authorities in Rome, who are not wanting in
  vigilance, all must have been known; and one word from them of
  objection to the subject, or to my manner of treating it, spoken to
  my superiors, would have at once stopped me. The number of churches
  in which I spoke was not so great. I used generally to ask leave
  myself to address convents and schools. I saw that it would not be
  becoming to offer myself thus to speak in churches at Rome; but
  among others I may mention particularly, that I preached by
  invitation, in English, in French, and in Italian, in those of the
  large and frequented churches S. Andrea della Valle, S. Luigi de'
  Francesi, and S. Andrea della Fratte; and the Pope himself spoke to
  me of this last discourse in a tone of satisfaction. He would not
  have been opposed, as far as could be observed, if, instead of three
  churches, I could have made up a list of three hundred.

  "Another means I took for moving the Roman people was, by the papers
  printed for me by the Propaganda, of which I spoke in my last
  letter. The first of these was thus headed:--'Association of Prayers
  and Good Works for the Conversion of those who are separated from
  the Holy Catholic Church, but especially of England.' Before this
  {426} writing was printed, I gave a copy of it to Monsignor Talbot,
  to lay before the Pope. He returned it to me, with this addition in
  his own hand:--

  "'His Holiness has deigned to grant to this pious work his special
  benediction.

    "'George Talbot, Cameriere Segreto.
    "'_Nov_. 15, 1851.'

  "To this is appended the petition presented for me by Monsignor
  Barnabò, for the extension of indulgences, as follows:--

  "'Most Blessed Father,--Ignatius of St. Paul (Spencer), Passionist,
  Provincial Consultor in England, prostrate at the feet of your
  Holiness, states that, being desirous of extending the Association
  of Prayers already existing for England, in favour of all those who
  are separated from the Holy Church, and being sensible that a fresh
  spiritual attraction is necessary in order to move all the faithful
  to enter on this holy enterprise, most humbly implores your
  Holiness, that you would be pleased to extend the three hundred
  days' indulgence already granted by your Holiness to whoever prays
  for the conversion of England, to this new work, and moreover grant
  one hundred days for whatever good work may be done in favour of
  this Association.'

  "Monsignor Barnabò reported, that though the Pope adverted to his
  former declaration, that he would give no more indulgences on this
  account, he granted this petition in the most gracious manner. The
  date of this grant is Nov. 16, 1851.

  "It is evidently intimated here, that while granting his sanction to
  the extension of the enterprise, he renewed his sanction to it in
  its original form. I must here conclude, and defer again to another
  letter what I promised before, that is, some account of what passed
  in the audiences to which I myself was admitted by his Holiness."

  An incident happened towards the end of Father Ignatius's audiences
  with the Holy Father, highly characteristic. Father Ignatius had
  made arrangements for a begging tour in Germany, and intended to
  inaugurate it by trying what {427} he could do in that line in Rome
  itself. Our General forbade him to beg of his Holiness, and Father
  Ignatius had made up his mind before to do so. After the prohibition
  he began to doubt whether it was binding, as the Pope was a higher
  superior than the General. He consulted an astute Roman theologian
  on his doubt, and the answer given was, "Lay the doubt itself before
  the Pope."

  Father Ignatius had an audience in store for him for a different
  matter, and when it was over, he said, in the greatest simplicity,
  "Holy Father, I have a scruple on my mind, which I would wish to
  speak about, if I might be permitted." "Well, and what is it?" He
  here told the Pope just as he was advised. The Pope smiled, handed
  him ten _gregorine_ (about £25), and told him not to mind the
  scruple.


{428}


CHAPTER X.

A Tour In Germany.


Father Ignatius left Rome with the Holy Fathers blessing on both his
spiritual and temporal projects. On his way to Germany, whither he was
bound for a twofold begging tour, he preached everywhere to religious,
priests, nuns, people, and children, upon the conversion of England.
He went further than mere exhortation, he tried to get the Bishops and
religious to take up his ideas, now stamped with the approbation of
Rome, and propagate them among those under their jurisdiction. He met
with kindness and encouragement in every town and hamlet until he came
to Laibach. Here the police seized him and sent him away. At Gratz he
met with a better reception. Throughout, the priests and religious
receive him with a something approaching to honour, and so do the
nobility, but government officials and the like treat him rudely
enough.

When he arrived in Vienna, he found a way of conciliating these
officers of justice and their subalterns. Graf (Count) O'Donnel took
him to the Secretary of Police, and procured him a safe-conduct,
whereby this kind of annoyance was put an end to for the future. Great
personages patronize him--among the chief were Prince Esterhazy,
Counts O'Donnel and Litchenstein. Through their kindness and his own
repute, he is favoured with interviews from the members of the royal
family. A few of these in his own words must be interesting:--

  "While at Rome, I heard one day the wonderful account of the _coup
  d'état_ of the now Emperor of the French. I thought with myself that
  moment, here is a man for me--perhaps _the_ man. If he survive the
  assaults of his enemies, {429} and become established in power over
  France, he is the man evidently for great designs; the people whom
  he rules are the people to follow him in them; and he has a mind, so
  I conceived, to understand how utterly insignificant are all
  enterprises, in comparison with those which have the glory of God
  and the salvation of souls for their end. But will he, can he, be
  moved to take up the great cause? I got an introduction to the
  French ambassador at Rome, in order to open my way to an interview
  with his chief. This may be in reserve for me some future day; but I
  was first to see another great man--the young Emperor of Austria.

  "I think an account of this audience, and some accompanying
  circumstances, will be interesting in more points of view than one.
  After leaving Rome at the beginning of February, I went to Vienna,
  and stopped there three weeks before coming home. The Emperor had
  just left Vienna for Venice when I arrived, and did not return till
  a fortnight after. In consequence of this, I sought for, and had
  audience of all the other members of the royal family then in the
  town. Many may not be aware of the circumstances under which the
  present Emperor was raised to the throne. Everything connected with
  this young man is to me full of a kind of poetic interest. He is the
  eldest son of the Archduke Francis Charles and the Archduchess
  Sophia, a princess of Bavaria. His father is brother to the
  ex-Emperor Ferdinand.

  "It is said that in 1848, at the time when the insurgents had gained
  possession of Vienna, and the court was in flight, some one asked
  the Empress Mary Ann, a Sardinian princess, 'Madam, have you ever
  thought of an abdication?' 'I have, indeed,' answered she; 'but what
  is to follow?' The Emperor had no children, and his next heir was
  his brother the Archduke. Both of them have been always highly
  respected as most amiable and religious men, but are not of
  abilities or character to bear the charge of an empire under such
  circumstances. The abdication, then, of the reigning Emperor would
  not have been a remedy to existing evils, unless his brother joined
  in the sacrifice of his claims, and made way for the succession of
  his son. This {430} arrangement, however, was effected; and, if what
  I gathered from conversations and observation is correct, it is to
  the two ladies whom I have mentioned, that the empire is indebted
  for it. Do not they deserve the admiration of the present and future
  generations, and to have their place among the _valiant women_, for
  renouncing the honours of an imperial crown, for the public good? Be
  this as it may, the announcement was made to the young prince, then
  eighteen years of age, that the crown was his. It is said that he
  burst into tears at hearing it, and begged two days for reflection,
  during which he went to confession and communion, to obtain light
  from God, and concluded with giving his consent. His career has been
  conformable with this beginning. Among other things, I may mention
  that one of his first acts was, of his own mind, to repeal the
  oppressive laws of Joseph II., and to restore liberty to the Church.
  Could I do otherwise than long to interest such a soul as this in
  the great cause I was supporting? Shall I succeed in the end? I had
  an audience of the Archduchess Sophia, the Emperor's mother, before
  his return from Venice. It is under her care and guidance, as I was
  assured, that his character has been formed; and it was touching to
  hear her make me a kind of apology for what might, perhaps, be taken
  as a defect in his manner. I told her I was desirous of an audience
  of his Majesty. She said, 'You will certainly obtain it;' and she
  added, "You will perhaps think him cold, but he is not so.' This
  corresponds with what she said to a friend of mine, a German
  literary character, who was likewise about to have his first
  audience from the Emperor. The Archduchess said to him, 'His manner
  is not winning, like that of Carl [meaning her third son, the
  Archduke Charles], but he has greater depth of character; from his
  childhood upwards I never knew him say a word merely to please;
  every word is from his heart.' These few words of his mother are to
  me a most precious comment on what passed between the Emperor and me
  when I had my audience. I was introduced into a large saloon on one
  of the days of public reception. The Emperor stood alone in the
  middle of it; behind him, to the left, was a small table, on which
  was a pile of {431} memorials which he had already received. He was
  in military uniform. I should be glad to convey the impression which
  his appearance, and the few words he spoke, made on me. A young
  emperor, I suppose, has great advantage in gaining upon one's
  feelings, if he will in any degree do himself justice. In this case,
  I say, that I never was more satisfied, not to say captivated, with
  my observations on any person. His figure is not in itself
  commanding; but there was in his air and manner and tone a union of
  grace and affability, dignity, wisdom, and modesty, which I do not
  remember to have seen equalled. I was greatly struck, on my
  entrance, with what appeared to me such a contrast between what I
  witnessed and the receptions usually given by great personages who
  wish to be gracious. Ordinarily, my impression is that they
  overwhelm one with many words, which often mean nothing. The Emperor
  was perfectly silent. I had time to think with myself, after I had
  approached him, 'Am I then to speak first? So it was. I have a very
  clear recollection of what was said.

  "'I have requested this audience,' I said, 'to represent to your
  Majesty the object for which I am travelling. It is to move
  Catholics throughout the world to interest themselves in obtaining
  the return of my country to the Catholic faith. On this, I am deeply
  convinced, depends entirely the happiness of my country; and, I
  conceive, nothing would more contribute to the happiness of other
  nations of the world.'

  "The Emperor seemed to intimate assent to this, and said with great
  grace: 'I am happy to hear that things go on better in England in
  regard to religion than they have done.'

  "'There is much,' I said, 'to encourage hopes; but we want great
  help. I am come to ask the help of Austria. I do not take on me to
  prescribe what your Majesty in person might do in this cause. As the
  principal means to be employed is prayer, I am aware that it belongs
  rather to Bishops to direct such movements; but I ask help and
  sympathy from all. I thought it could not be anything but right to
  ask your Majesty's.'

{432}

  "He answered: 'I will interest myself as much at possible.'

  "I added: 'I have said, I did not intend to propose any line of
  action to your Majesty; but I may explain myself further. It is to
  the Bishops that I make my principal appeal to interest the people
  in this object. Now, I am aware that they would and must be averse
  to any public measures which might seem to involve political
  inconvenience: I would, therefore, ask of your Majesty, that if the
  bishops are pleased to act, the Government should not object to it,
  as I conceive there would be no reason.'

  "The Emperor said something to the effect, as I thought, that he saw
  no reason to object to what I said.

  "I was aware that my audience could not be a long one, and I now put
  my hand to the breast of my habit to take out a memorial, which I
  had been directed to present on this occasion, for permission to
  collect subscriptions in the empire.

  "He thought I was about to offer him papers on the subject on which
  I had been speaking, and said: 'You probably have some papers which
  will explain your wishes.'

  "I said: 'I have; but they are not in a becoming form to present to
  your Majesty.'

  "I had, in fact, two little addresses printed on poor paper, in
  German, for distribution; and I brought them forward.

  "He immediately put out his hand to take them, and said, with a
  smile and manner of truly high-bred courtesy: 'Oh! I will read them;
  'and he laid them on the table by him.

  "I then presented my written memorial, and then, on his slightly
  bowing to me, I withdrew."

  Another letter says:--

  "In my last letter I repeated the words in which that wise and
  excellent Princess, the Archduchess Sophia, described the character
  of two of her sons: 'The Emperor seems cold, but he is not so. He is
  not winning and amiable like Carl, but he has more solidity and
  depth.' I remarked that to me these words were a most interesting
  commentary {433} on what passed in the short audience I had from the
  young Emperor; and if I succeeded in my description of it, I am sure
  others will think with me. I will now give some account of my
  audience with the third brother, the young Archduke Charles. The
  second brother, whose name I do not now remember, was not in Vienna
  at the time. He is a seaman, and I suppose it is intended that under
  his auspices the Austrian navy should be advanced to greater vigour
  and efficiency, while the Emperor and Charles attend mainly to the
  army. The empire possesses two splendid ports--Trieste and Venice;
  and past history proves what may be done with the latter alone.

  "I made acquaintance with a Swiss ecclesiastic in Vienna (Mgr.
  Mislin), who bore a part in the education of all three of these
  princes. I had told him what were my desires concerning them; that
  is, to inspire them with ardent zeal for the great work of the
  reunion of Christendom, but especially the reconquest of England for
  the Church. One day the Abbé called to see me, at the palace of the
  Pope's Nuncio, where I was staying; and as I was out, he left word
  that he wished to see me without delay. He had to tell me, as I
  found, that the Archduke Charles, with whom he regularly goes to
  dine every Friday, had said to him on the last of these occasions,
  'Do you know Father Ignatius?' 'Yes,' he answered, 'very well.' 'Do
  you think,' added the Prince, 'I could see him? I wish it very
  much.' 'Oh,' replied the Abbé, 'there will be no difficulty; 'and at
  once an hour was fixed--two o'clock on the 11th of March. It
  happened, however, that notice was received that at this very time
  the Emperor was to arrive from Trieste, and the Archduke had to go
  to the railway terminus to meet him. My audience was deferred till
  half-past three; and I went with the Abbé to the private entrance of
  the imperial palace to see them arrive. They were driven up from the
  station in a light open carriage; and it was thus, side by side,
  that I first saw them both. I may be mistaken, but in my poetic
  recollections and visions of Vienna, if I, who am no poet, may so
  speak, these two brothers are charmingly conjoined in my mind. At
  half-past three, then, I went to {434} the Archduke's apartments in
  the Burg, as it is called--a great mass of building, which includes
  the Emperor's town residence, apartments for all the royal family,
  several public offices, extensive quarters for troops, &c.--and was
  immediately introduced to him in a large drawing-room, where he kept
  me a good half-hour in lively conversation. My impression of him
  was, of a bright, buoyant youth, full of shining prospects of his
  future career; in which, though, perhaps, somewhat unconsciously to
  himself, he is both qualified by circumstances and character, and
  nobly disposed to exert himself for everything great and good. All
  this, however, is yet to be developed and consolidated by age,
  reflection, and experience. I should say, not so much that he
  himself is eagerly grasping at facts with which to store his mind,
  to be in due time digested, matured, and acted upon, as that
  Providence is turning to account his natural youthful eagerness, and
  shall we say, curiosity, to do this for him. May it prove that I am
  not forming over bright and groundless visions!

  "The Archduke was dressed in a plain cavalry uniform. He was then
  about 19 years old, and very young-looking for his age. My object
  was to impress him with the grand importance of the enterprise which
  I was proposing as proper to form the dearest and constant aim of
  his brother's reign; that is, the restoring union to Christendom,
  having peculiarly in view the reconciling England to the Church. 'I
  have no wish,' I said, 'to see him, the Emperor, less devoted to his
  army: let him watch with constant care over all the interests of his
  Imperial dignity; but let him be devoted, above all and in
  everything, to the glory of God, and the repairing the losses of the
  Holy Church; and if it pleases God he should live, he will have a
  career more glorious, and leave a name greater than Charlemagne.' He
  said, 'Surely what you propose is most important. It is a matter to
  be deeply deplored that so many German states are cut off from the
  Church.' .....  I do not remember clearly much more of what passed
  in this conversation, and in truth it is not of so much consequence;
  for his words are not all weighed, solid, and worth recording, like
  those of his more {435} sage brother. All have not the same gifts,
  natural or spiritual; and it is not well they should. Of course, it
  is not well, because God has ordered it thus. But I could see in the
  diversity of these young men what might be wonderfully combined for
  doing great things. Charles would not be the one to govern and
  control, and he has not this to do. The Emperor has; and he is cut
  out for it. But then perhaps he is not one to win and conciliate
  those who do not know how to value all superior qualities like his;
  yet this is necessary in such times, especially when sound,
  old-fashioned loyalty is not much known. But let the two brothers
  work together; let their hearts be one, and let that one purpose be
  directed to noble ends, and it will be well for them, for the
  empire, and for Europe. Charles will supply what the other wants. I
  asked Monsignor Mislin one day, with an anxious feeling, whether
  they were really affectionate, loving brothers, and the answer was
  satisfactory."


{436}


CHAPTER XI.

Father Ignatius Returns To England.


He lands at Dover on the 1st April, 1852, comes home, sets his house
in order at the Hyde, and goes, after Holy Week, to see Father Eugene,
the Provincial, at St. Wilfrid's, to give an account of himself. His
name was about this time in every one's mouth, his doings were
canvassed by friends and foes, and many and various were the opinions
held about him. In the meantime he went on with his ordinary duties.
He gives the retreat in Sedgeley Park again, and one to the
congregation at Havant. It was whilst here, in the house of Mr.
Scholfield, that he read Lord Derby's proclamation against appearing
abroad in the religious habit.

Father Ignatius had to return to London next day, and did not wish to
violate this prohibition. He was sadly at a loss; he had brought no
secular clothes with him, and the gentleman with whom he was staying
was short and stout, so that it was hopeless to think of getting
anything suitable from his wardrobe. The butler was taxed for a
contribution; all who had an article to spare gave heartily, and the
Monk was, after some ingenuity, equipped in the following fashion: A
pair of very light shoes, fitting badly and pinching sorely, a pair of
short coloured pantaloons, a great pilot overcoat, a Scotch cap, cut
so as to make it fit his head, formed the _cap-à-pie_ of Father
Ignatius. He took refuge in Spanish Place until the darkness of night
might save him from his juvenile friends along the Edgware Road, who,
if they recognised him in his new fashion, would treat him to a more
than ordinary share of ridicule. He took off the shoes when outside
London, and one may imagine the surprise of {437} the religious when
he entered the choir thus arrayed, in the middle of matins, to get
Father Provincial's permission to _change!_

Our Fathers shortly after were convoked by the Provincial to a kind of
chapter. Among other matters submitted to their consideration, came
the doings of Father Ignatius. There were cavils on all sides, from
within and without, and many thought that it was his imprudence that
drew forth the proclamation. The nature of the charges against him
will be seen from an apologetic letter of his to the _Standard_:--

  To The Editor Of The "Catholic Standard."
  Jesu Christi Passio.

  Sir,--I remarked in my last, not as a complaint, but quite the
  contrary, that I have often heard that good Catholics have suspected
  me to be not right in my head, because of my strange devotion to the
  conversion of England and of the many strange things which this
  fancy, as it seems to them, has led me to do. So far, indeed, am I
  from being surprised at or vexed by them, that I fairly declare that
  something like a suspicion of this kind sometimes flashes across my
  own mind. Suppose, for instance, I might hear of any one becoming
  deranged or being in danger of it, I have felt at times something
  like a sympathetic chord struck in my own mind, which seems to say,
  "Are people right, perhaps, after all? Am I not really mad on this
  point?' And it may take me a moment's thought to keep my fair even
  balance. How do I keep it?--Not as I might have done, some thirty
  years ago, by recollecting, what when young I used to hear said by
  my relations, with self-congratulation, "Well, thank God, there is
  no taint of madness in our family!--"No; I get my satisfaction
  independently of this, from a twofold consciousness, to one branch
  of which I could not have referred then--that is, from the
  consciousness, first, of a yet unimpaired memory concerning what I
  have seen and said and heard within reasonable limits of time; and
  secondly, from the consciousness, glory be to God for {438} it, of
  (may I say it without rashness?) a perfect Catholic, Apostolic,
  Roman faith. I _remember_--I cannot be mistaken in this--that, not
  two years ago, I spent four months in Rome, and spoke out there all
  my thoughts on this subject, as far as I had opportunity given,
  without a shadow of reserve, to the first authorities of the Church;
  and that it ended by my receiving and having in my possession
  documents fully approving of what I had been doing and purposed to
  do, from the first authorities of the Church, to which I may add the
  mention of testimonials signed by the Generals of the Dominicans, of
  the Conventual Franciscans, of the Franciscans _Strictioris
  Observantiae_, and of the Capuchins, recommending me to all local
  superiors of their respective orders, to the end that they should
  receive me to hospitality in all their houses, allow the use of
  their churches to preach in, and assist me in every possible way in
  my purposes. I have then said to myself, "It would indeed be no
  ordinary sort of madness breaking out for the first time in a
  family, which should have the marvellous power of communicating
  itself, infecting and dragging after it such a number of certainly
  very respectable heads; to which I may add, that the foundation, as
  it were, of all these testimonials, was a letter from his Eminence
  the Archbishop of Westminster, given me when I went into Germany in
  the summer of 1851, renewed with a fresh signature in 1852, after
  all my vagaries (?) at Vienna had taken place. In this letter,
  written in French by the hand of his Eminence himself--of whom I
  never heard any one express the idea that he was touched in the
  brain--he states that "having perfectly known me from the time of my
  conversion [I feel an intimate conviction in myself no one knows me
  better] he does not hesitate to recommend me to all the Catholics of
  the Continent, particularly to all bishops and ecclesiastics,
  secular and regular, as worthy of all their consideration and of
  their support, in the matters about which I should be engaged." No;
  I say, that on divine principles, almost as well as human, it is too
  much to imagine that I have been mad, thus far; whatever may be the
  case hereafter. Protestants, at least some of them, might say so,
  and might {439} think it too. No wonder. But will this remonstrance
  suffice to put an end to such insinuations from good Catholics?
  Mind, I am not displeased at them; nay, I relish these insinuations
  beyond what I can express. I have solid reasons for this; but I
  desire for the future to forego this personal consolation, for the
  sake of the souls of my poor countrymen, and of hundreds of millions
  more throughout the world, which I have the conviction might be
  saved, if the Catholics of England and Ireland would at length have
  done with their objections, and undertake with all their heart the
  gaining of this kingdom to God and His Church--and a reputed madman
  is not likely to move them to it. I cannot but think that the
  authorities under whose sanction I have acted might be considered a
  sufficient defence against objections to the movement which I call
  for so pertinaciously. I will, however, proceed to answer one by one
  the remarks which I supposed in my last letter might be passed on my
  narrative of proceedings at Vienna. First, I supposed some would
  smile at my ignorance of the world, in expecting that in our days
  young princes like the Emperor of Austria and his brother should
  have any dispositions to enter into ideas like mine. But why not?
  Are they not good ideas? at least, I think them so; and am I to
  think a person incapable of great and good designs because he is an
  emperor--a prince? There is no doubt that because he is a prince, he
  is immensely more responsible for the objects which he pursues; and
  that the glory of God would be incomparably more advanced by his
  devoting himself to heavenly pursuits than if he were an ordinary
  person; and are we tamely to surrender to the service of the world,
  and of the Prince of this world, all who have power to influence the
  world, and be content on God's behalf to have none but the poor and
  weak on the other side? I know it is in the Word of God that not
  many wise, not many noble, &c., are called. God has chosen the poor
  in this world; but yet there has been a St. Henry, an emperor; a St.
  Stephen, King of Hungary; a St. Louis of France; a St. Edward the
  Confessor, and so many more; and what magnificent instruments have
  such {440} men been for exalting the Church, converting nations, and
  saving souls! If they have been few in comparison with kings and
  emperors whose views have been all temporal, is that a reason
  against trying to add one or two more to their number? I think it is
  a reason why we _should_ try; and if we are to try, let us do it in
  the spirit of hope, or we shall do it very languidly. If after all
  we fail, what have we lost by trying and by hoping? You may answer,
  we shall suffer disappointment. Ah! who says that? No! no
  disappointment for those who hope in God and work for Him
  legitimately. It would make my heart bleed, if I had a heart fit for
  it, to think of the noble, truly princely youths in question,
  sinking down to the wretched level of worldly, selfish, immoral,
  useless men of power, of whom the world has borne so many; and for a
  time, if but for a time, I have indulged bright visions about them;
  not mere dreamy visions, for their education, the circumstances of
  their elevation, the young Emperor's career hitherto, his late
  wonderful deliverance from assassination, in which he behaved, as
  report says, in away to encourage all such thoughts as mine--all
  these are reasons on my side; but suppose I am disappointed there;
  suppose no one sympathizes in my thoughts; suppose the Emperor has
  forgotten all about my appeal, and I never travel more, or never
  more to Vienna, and no one else will take any trouble about it--is
  God's arm shortened? Are there no other emperors, or kings, or
  queens for Him to choose among, if emperors He has need of for the
  work? My friends, fear not. I do not intend to be disappointed, and,
  what is more, I shall not be, nor will any of those be who work for
  the saving of souls, even on the very largest scale, unless we are
  so foolish as to turn back and grow slack. But is it not an error,
  it will be asked, a mistake to wish kings and emperors to interfere
  in such things? I know many persons of great consideration have this
  thought; but the mistake seems to me to lie in not making a
  distinction between such interference as that of Constantius,
  Valens, Julian, in old times; Henry IV. and Joseph II. of Austria,
  Henry VIII. of England, and that of such princes as I have named
  above, whom the Church has canonized for {441} what they did for
  her. This is my opinion, others have theirs; how shall we decide?
  Can we here again know the mind of Rome; and will not that have some
  weight in settling the question? I will just relate what took place
  there relative to this matter. When preparing to leave Rome for
  Vienna, I desired to obtain from the Austrian Ambassador there a
  letter, which might facilitate my access to the Emperor, on which I
  had set my heart. But I understood the Ambassador himself was not
  easily accessible, and that I had better obtain a note of
  introduction to him, and from no one would it be so desirable as
  from Cardinal Antonelli, the Pope's Secretary of State. I obtained
  an audience from him and made my request. He answered: "We have a
  nuncio at Vienna; it will do better for you to have a letter from me
  to him." Of course I accepted this spontaneous offer most
  thankfully. The Cardinal desired me to tell him what I wished at
  Vienna, I said: "An audience of the Emperor: and as I am asking the
  favour of your Eminence to assist me in obtaining it, it seems right
  you should know for what end I desire it. It is to propose to the
  Emperor to take to heart my great object of the conversion of
  England, and of Protestants in general, and to move his subjects to
  it." The Cardinal explained to me some circumstances in the position
  of the Emperor, which made it unlikely that he would be led to take
  any open steps of this kind; but he gave me the letter without a
  word of objection to my wish, on principle; and it was on my
  presenting it to the Nuncio, that he most graciously desired that I
  should lodge in his palace all the time that I was in Vienna. As I
  have been led to mention this audience with Cardinal Antonelli, I
  think others may share with me in the feelings of satisfaction and
  admiration with which the remainder of what passed impressed me. I
  took occasion from finding myself in company with the Pope's
  Secretary of State, to make an additional effort towards moving Rome
  in the great cause; and as, by his office, he had to regard the
  political effect of a decided movement such as I was begging, I
  urged my conviction that no political ill consequences need be
  feared from the Holy Father calling on all Christendom to {442} move
  in this spiritual enterprise. He interrupted me with saying: "The
  Holy Father fears no man and nothing in the world." He adverted to
  the position in which he had seen him at Gaèta, and said: "The
  political power of the Holy See depends on its weakness." I do not
  remember the exact words; but they amounted to a noble adoption by
  the Apostolic See of the famous Apostolic sentiment: "When I am
  weak, then am I strong," in relation not only to the wielding of its
  own inalienable spiritual sovereignty, but to its accidental
  temporal power, in the exercise of which we perhaps should not
  expect always to see the Divine principle so prominent. This
  discourse gave me the consoling assurance that when the mind of his
  Holiness should be guided by the light which is in him, to judge
  that the time is come for a powerful call on Christendom to move
  forward in the great enterprise, no human considerations will check
  his steps. The Holy Father knows no fear of man.

    I am, your obedient servant,
      Ignatius Of St. Paul, Passionist.

The joyous way in which he received crosses and mortifications may be
seen from this letter. It seemed as if nothing could ruffle his
temper. He remarks on the Proclamation, in a letter he wrote to make
arrangements for saying mass in a private chapel: "There ought to be
something in the way of a cassock too, as the Queen and Lord Derby
have been pleased to make the country too hot for me to keep on my
wearing of the habit for the present. At least so it seems."

When he attended the meeting of our Fathers, alluded to above, he
travelled by train, with his habit slung over his shoulder, and the
sign conspicuous, saying, "Since they won't let me wear my habit like
a religious, I shall carry it like a slave."


{443}


CHAPTER XII.

A Little Of His Home And Foreign Work.


Father Ignatius gives a retreat to the nuns of Lingdale House, and
comes immediately after to Oscott, where the first Provincial Synod of
the English Hierarchy was being held. He presents a petition to the
Synodal Fathers, and receives encouragement to prosecute his work of
moving all whom he can to pray for the conversion of England. His next
mission was to make the visitation of our Belgian houses for the
Provincial; when he found himself again abroad, he took advantage of
the opportunity. He goes to different places, and finds many Belgian
and French bishops who preach upon his _oeuvre_, and recommend it by
circulars to their clergy. These journeys he paid for by begging
wherever he went, and the object he begged for is seen from a letter
of his to Mr. Monteith, dated Lille, Aug. 24, 1852:--

  "My dear Mr. Monteith,--Here I am, writing to you again, and you
  will soon see that what brings me to this is, as usual, want of
  money--_auri fames_. The case stands thus: I am on travel again,
  with commission of finding means to build our house near London, of
  which I am rector, or rather I am rector of a little place which
  stands on the ground, and erecter rather than rector _ex officio_ of
  the house that is to be there. I have my ideas how we might get
  means for this expense, and for all other expenses; and, moreover,
  how means could be got for all the houses in England and Scotland
  too. I am following the end as well as I can, all alone, by the way
  which seems to me the best and only one; but my being alone makes
  the progress slow. Hitherto, my ideas are to others like
  dreams--empty dreams, {444} though I have a pocket-book full of
  recommendations from Rome to support them, which encourage me to
  think I am not mad, when, by the manner in which I see people
  sometimes look at me, I should almost think I was. I allude chiefly
  to the way in which, in a company of English Catholics, the mention
  from me of the idea, _conversion of England_, immediately silences a
  company in the most animated conversation, as if I had said, 'Next
  week I am going to be crowned King of France!' ... Though I speak as
  I do, I am not without encouragement and fine prospects; but I want
  to hasten things, as souls by thousands and millions perish by
  delays; and this I will not, if I can help it, have to answer for.
  An Englishman's regular, natural way to get his matters attended to,
  is a steady, persevering grumble. He grumbles over one step, then
  grumbles over the next, however comfortable and happy he may be over
  what he has gained.

  "Last week I was at Cambrai, where there was a most remarkable
  centenary feast, in honour of Notre Dame de Grâce. There is there an
  old picture of Our Lady, brought from Rome 400 years ago, and
  installed in the cathedral in 1452, which has been a centre of
  devotion ever since. This was the year for the grand solemnity;
  pilgrimages coming all the week from the diocese and farther. The
  most remarkable of the pilgrims unquestionably was Cardinal Wiseman,
  who came to preside over the procession and solemnities of the last
  day. He sung mass, and preached his first sermon in France, which
  was one of the most eloquent I ever heard from him, or any one,
  notwithstanding his imperfect diction. It was all to the point of
  moving the French Episcopate and nation to prayers for the
  conversion of England. So, if I live, I have little or no doubt of
  succeeding in time, but, meanwhile, I must poke here and poke there
  for money, till it begins to come freely of itself. As to what the
  Continent could do if their heart was once moved, I am convinced by
  the history of the Crusades. If the Catholic nations were now
  engaged in a material war, there would be armies on foot, and fleets
  at sea, the cost of which, for one week, would be enough to build
  cathedrals for all our bishops. {445} Why not the same money drawn
  to effect the spiritual conquest? Because they do not care about it.
  Then, let us make them; and how? The first step, of course, must be
  to care for it ourselves. '_Si vis me flere, dolendum est primum
  ipsi tibi._' And what can we do to bring our English and Scotch to
  this?--Grumble at them, I suppose."

On his return from France in September, himself and Father Eugene came
to the determination to move away from The Hyde, if a more convenient
site could be procured. The reason of this was chiefly the
unsuitableness of the place to the working of our vocation. It was too
solitary for missionaries, and there was no local work for a number of
priests. Some of the fathers disguise themselves in secular suits,
less unseemly than that in which they once beheld Father Ignatius, and
go in search of a place, but without success. Father Ignatius gave a
mission at this time in Kentish Town, and he little thought, as he
took his walk along the tarred paling in Maiden Lane, that inside lay
the grounds of the future St. Joseph's Retreat.

Towards the end of the year 1852, Father Ignatius accompanies as far
as London Bridge a colony of Passionists, whom Dr. O'Connor, the
Bishop of Pittsburg, was bringing out to the United States. These
Passionists have grown in _gentem magnam_, and the worthy Bishop, like
another Odescalchi, resigned his crosier, and became a Jesuit.

He concludes this year and begins the next giving retreats. The scenes
of his labours in this department were Somers Town, Blandford Square
(London), our own house, Dudley, and Douay. He also assisted at a
mission in Commercial Road, London, E.

The heaviest part of his work, as a member of The Hyde community, was
attending to the parish, which, with the Barnet Mission, then under
our charge, was equal in area to many a diocese in Catholic countries.
Father Ignatius often walked thirty miles in one day on parochial
duty. To give an idea of how he went through this work, one instance
will suffice. On one day to went to Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum, and
from all the unhappy inmates he was able to get one confession. Next
day he walked to give {446} the Holy Communion to this single
penitent, and walked afterwards to Barnet before he broke his fast.
This must be a distance of at least fifteen miles.

In May, 1853, he gives a retreat to his old parishioners of West
Bromwich, another in Winchester in July, to the nuns in Wolverhampton
in August, and to the people in Oxburgh in October, and in Southport,
Lancashire, in Advent.

The 16th of November this year was a great day for our congregation.
It was the first feast of Blessed Paul of the Cross, our holy founder.
There was a great re-union of the chief fathers of the order in St.
Wilfrid's--the Bishops of Birmingham and Southwark, and Dr. Ullathorne
and Dr. Grant assisted at the solemnity. Father Ignatius was there, of
course. Father Paul was beatified on the 28th September, 1852. Our
religious had prayed and worked for the great event, and had now the
happiness of seeing him raised to the altar.

He stays at home a great deal now, as a rector ought to do, except in
intervals of missions and retreats; and the lion's share of parish
work falls to him. He sends one of the priests of his community to
France to beg for the house; but he had, in a very short time, to send
him money for his expenses home. He then concludes that he should
himself be considered beggar-in-chief, and accordingly goes out for a
few days to collect alms in London. With his alms, he collects into
the Church a young Puseyite minister, who is now a zealous priest on
the London mission.

Father Ignatius visits the neighbouring ministers, but not as
formerly; he simply goes to see his old acquaintances, and if the
conversation could be transferred from compliments and common-place
remarks to matters of higher interest, he was not the man to let the
opportunity pass by. Among his old friends in the Anglican ministry
there seemed to have been few for whom he always cherished so kindly a
regard as the Rev. Mr. Harvey, Rector of Hornsey. That excellent
clergyman used to visit Father Ignatius, and receive visits from him
on the most friendly terms to the end.

Thus did he spend his time, until Father Pius, the brother {447} of
our present General, who died in Rome in 1864, came to visit the
province, or branch of the order in England, in 1854. This visit made
a change in Father Ignatius's position.

A number of houses of a religious order are placed under the direction
of one superior, who is styled a Provincial. With us the Provincial
has two assistants, who are called Consultors. The superior of each
house is called a Rector, and it is his duty to see after the
spiritual and temporal concerns of his own community. A rector,
therefore, has more home work, by virtue of his office, than any other
superior. A consultor may live in any house of the province, has no
special duty _ex officio_ except to give his advice to the Provincial
when asked, and may be easily spared for any external employment. This
office Father Ignatius used to term as _otium cum dignitate_, though
the _otium_ he never enjoyed, and felt rather awkward in the
_dignitas_.

In 1854, he was made first Consultor, and relieved from the drudgery
of housekeeping for his brethren. Before leaving The Hyde for a new
field of labour, he went to see his nephew in Harrow, which was only a
few miles from our retreat; but was not admitted. He took another
priest with him, and both were hooted by the boys. It seems pardonable
in a set of wild young schoolboys to make game of such unfashionable
beings as Catholic priests; but it shows a great want of good breeding
in schoolboys who are afterwards to hold such a high position in
English society. This remark is forced upon us by the fact that none
of us ever passed through Harrow without meeting a somewhat similar
reception. A school of inferior rank might set Harrow an example in
this point. We have passed Roger Cholmley's school in Highgate, time
after time, often in a large body, and have met the boys in threes and
fours, and all together, and never yet heard a single insult. What
makes the difference?

On the 8th of September, 1854, Father Ignatius left The Hyde for
Ireland. He begs this time through the principal towns in Munster, and
says he was very kindly received by all. He preached sermons during
this journey, all on the {448} conversion of England. He gained more
prayers this time than on a former occasion, because his work came to
the people with blessings and indulgences from the Father of the
Faithful. He used to tell an amusing anecdote in reference to this
mission. Somewhere he had preached on the conversion of England, and
recommended the prayers by the spiritual profit to be derived from
them. An old woman accosted him as he was passing by, and he had just
time to hear, "Father, I say the three Hail Marys every day for
England." Father Ignatius was much pleased, and made inquiries after
the old lady, doubtless intending to constitute her a kind of apostle
in the place. She was brought to see him; he expressed his thanks and
pleasure that she had entered so thoroughly into his views, and asked
her would she try to persuade others to follow her example? "Me get
people to pray for England!" she answered; "I pray myself three times
for the sake of the indulgence, but I curse them 300 times a day for
it, lest they might get any good of my prayers!" He reasoned with her,
to be sure, but did not tell us if the success of his second discourse
was equal to the first.


{449}


CHAPTER XIII.

Sanctification Of Ireland.


In a letter written by Father Ignatius in December, 1854, is found the
first glimpse of a new idea: the Sanctification of Ireland. This idea
was suggested to him by the faith of the Irish people, and by their
readiness to adopt whatever was for their spiritual profit. His
intending the Sanctification of Ireland as a step towards the
Conversion of England, laid the scheme open to severe criticism. It
was said that England was his final object; that Ireland was to be
used as an instrument for England's benefit; that if his patriotism
were less strong, his sanctity would be greater. If these objections
were satisfactorily answered, they might be given up with a hint that,
"it was a very Irish way to convert England, by preaching in the bogs
of Connaught." The best refutation of these ungenerous remarks will
be, perhaps, a simple statement of what his ideas were upon the
subject. His great desire was that all the world should be perfect. He
used to say Our Lord had not yet had His triumph in this world, and
that it was too bad the devil should still have the majority. "This
must not be," he would say; "I shall never rest as long as there is a
single soul on earth who does not serve God perfectly." The practical
way of arriving at this end was to begin at home. England had not
faith as a nation, so there was no foundation to build sanctity upon
there. England, however, had great influence as a nation all over the
world; she showed great zeal also in her abortive attempts to convert
the heathen. If her energies could be turned in the right direction,
what grand results might we not anticipate? Another reflection was,
England has had every means of conversion tried upon her; {450} let us
now see what virtue there is in good example. To set this example, and
to sow the seed of the great universal harvest, he would find out the
best Catholic nation in the world, and bring it perfectly up to the
maxims of the Gospel. This nation was Ireland, of course, and it was
near enough to England to let its light shine before her. What he
wished for was, to have every man, woman, and child in Ireland, take
up the idea that they were to be saints. He would have this caught up
with a kind of national move. The practical working of the idea he
embodied in a little book which he wrote some time afterwards, and
preached it wherever he addressed an Irish congregation. The banishing
of three great vices--cursing, company-keeping, and intemperance--and
the practice of daily meditation, with a frequent approach to the
sacraments, were the means. If Ireland, so he argued, took up this at
home, it would spread to England, the colonies, and to wherever there
was an Irishman all over the world. All these would be shining lights,
and if their neighbours did not choose at once to follow their
example, we could at least point it out as the best proof of our
exhortations. This is a short sketch of the work he now began, and it
was a work his superiors always encouraged, and which he spent his
life in endeavouring to realise.

One objection made against this scheme touched him on a tender
point--his love of country. Many Catholics, especially English
converts, thought the words of Ecclesiasticus applicable to England:
"Injuries and wrongs will waste riches: and the house that is very
rich shall be brought to nothing by pride: so the substance of the
proud shall be rooted out."--Eccl. xxi. 5. These were of opinion that
England must be humbled as a nation, and deeply too, before she could
be fit for conversion. This Father Ignatius could not stand. He
writes, in a letter to Mr. Monteith: "As my _unicum necessarium_ for
myself is the salvation and sanctification of my own soul, so my
wishes and designs about England, which, according to the order of
charity, I consider (in opposition to many English Catholics,
especially converts), I ought to love first of all people, are, singly
and {451} only, that she may be brought to God, and in such a way and
under such circumstances, as may enable her to be the greatest
possible blessing to the whole world. I have heard plenty, and much
more than plenty, from English and Irish Catholics (very seldom,
comparatively, from those of the Continent), about the impossibility
of this, except by the thorough crushing of the power of England. I
say to all this, _No, no, no!_ God can convert our country with her
power and her influence unimpaired, and I insist on people praying for
it without imposing conditions on Almighty God, on whom, if I did
impose conditions, it would be in favour of His showing more, and not
less abundant, mercy to a fallen people. Yet, though I have often said
I will not allow Miss This, or Mr. That, to pronounce sentence on
England, still less to wish evil to her (particularly if it be an
English Mr. or Miss who talks), I have always said that if God sees it
fit that the conversion should be through outward humiliations and
scourges, I will welcome the rod, and thank Him for it, in behalf of
my country, as I would in my own person, in whatever way He might
think fit to chastise and humble me."

He returned to London in the beginning of 1855, to give the retreat to
our religious. His next work was a mission, given with Father
Gaudentius in Stockport. After that, he gave a mission with Father
Vincent in Hull; in returning from Hull, he stopped at Lincoln to
visit Mr. Sibthorpe. He spends a week in our London house, and then
gives a retreat by himself in Trelawny. His next mission was in
Dungannon, Ireland, and as soon as he came to England for another
retreat he had to give in Levenshulme to nuns, he takes advantage of
his week's rest to visit Grace Dieu, and have what he calls "a famous
talk" with Count de Montalembert, who was Mr. Phillipps's guest at the
time.

The scene of his labours is again transferred. We find him in July
giving a mission at Borris O'Kane, with Father Vincent and Father
Bernard  and another immediately after, at Lorrha. At one of these
missions, the crowd about Father Ignatius's confession-chair was very
great, and the people were crushing in close to the confessor's knees.
One woman, {452} especially, of more than ordinary muscular strength,
elbowed back many of those who had taken their places before she came;
she succeeded in getting to the inner circle of penitents, but so near
the person confessing that the good father gently remonstrated with
her. All to no purpose. He spoke again, but she only came nearer. At
length he seized her shawl, rolled it up in a ball, and flung it over
the heads of the crowd; the poor woman had to relinquish her position,
and go for her shawl, and left Father Ignatius to shrive her less
pushing companions. His fellow missioners were highly amused, and this
incident tells wonderfully for his virtue, for it is almost the only
instance we could ever find of his having done anything like losing
his temper during his life as a Passionist. He gives a retreat in
Birr, in Grantham Abbey, a mission in Newcastle, and another in St.
Augustine's, Liverpool, before the end of the year.

It was his custom, since his first turning seriously to God's service,
to be awake at midnight on New Year's Day, and begin by prayer for
passing the coming year perfectly. He is in St. Anne's, Sutton,
Lancashire, this year. He begins the new year, 1856, by giving a
mission with Father Leonard in our church at Sutton, with a few
sermons at a place called Peasly Cross, an offshoot of the mission we
have there.

We close this chapter by a notion of Father Ignatius's politics. He
was neither a Whig, a Tory, nor a Radical. He stood aloof from all
parties, and seldom troubled himself about any. He says in a letter to
a friend who was a well-read politician:--"How many minds we have
speaking in England!--Gladstone, Palmerston, Bright, Phillipps,
yourself, and, perhaps, I should add myself, and how many more who
knows? all with minds following tracks which make them travel apart
from each other. I want to set a road open, in which all may walk
together if they please--at least with one foot, if they must have
their own particular plank for the other."


{453}


CHAPTER XIV.

Another Tour On The Continent.


The Provincial once more sent Father Ignatius to beg on the Continent.
He tried to do a double work, as he did not like to be "used up" for
begging alone, and the plea of begging would find him access to those
he intended to consult. This second work was a form into which he cast
his ideas for the sanctification of the world. The way of carrying out
these ideas, which has been detailed, was what he settled down to
after long discussion and many corrections from authority. The
pamphlet which he now wrote had been translated into German by a lady
in Münster. In it he proposes a bringing back of Catholics to the
infancy of the Church, when the faithful laid the price of their
possessions at the feet of the Apostles. He proposed a kind of
Theocracy, and the scheme creates about the same sensation as Utopia,
when one reads it. Like Sir Thomas More, Father Ignatius gives us what
he should consider a perfect state of Christian society; he goes into
all the details of its working, and meets the objections that might
arise as it proceeds. The pamphlet is entitled _Reflectiones
Propositionesque pro fidelium Sanctificatione_."

On February 14, 1856, he leaves London, and halts in Paris only for a
few hours, on his way to Marseilles. There he sees the Archbishop, and
begs in the town; he returns then to Lyons, where he has several long
conferences with Cardinal de Bonald. We find him in Paris in a few
days, writing circulars to the French bishops, of whom the Bishop of
Nancy seems to have been his greatest patron. He writes a letter to
the Empress, and receives an answer that the Emperor would admit him
to an audience. In a day or two {454} Father Ignatius stands in the
presence of Napoleon III., and it is a loss that he has not left us
the particulars of the conference in writing, because he often
reverted to it in conversation with a great deal of interest. He found
at his lodgings, on returning from a _quête_ a few days after, l,000f.
sent to him as a donation by the Emperor.

His good success in the Tuileries gave him a hope of doing great
things among the _élite_ of Parisian society. He is, however, sadly
disappointed, and the next day sets off to Belgium.

Arrived in Tournai, he sends a copy of the French circular to the
Belgian bishops. This does not seem to be a petition for alms, as we
find him the same evening travelling in a third-class carriage to
Cologne, without waiting for their Lordships' answers.

During his begging in Cologne, he says mass every morning in St.
Colomba's (Columb-Kille's) Church; perhaps the spirit of hospitality
was bequeathed to the clergy of this Church by their Irish patron, for
he appears to have experienced some coldness from the _pfarren_ of
Cologne.

In Münster he is very well received. The Bishop is particularly kind
to him, and looks favourably on his _Reflectiones_; besides that, his
lordship deputes a priest to be his guide in begging. Father Ignatius
notes in his journal that he preached extempore in German to the
Jesuit novices, and that one of the fathers revises and corrects the
German translation of the _Reflectiones_. The priest deputed for guide
by the Bishop of Münster was called away on business of importance,
and Father Ignatius finds another. This Kaplan "lost his time
smoking," and our good father gave up, and went off by Köln to
Coblentz.

He finds the bishop here very kind, but is allowed to beg only of the
clergy; the Jesuits give him hospitality. A cold reception in Mantz,
and a lukewarm one in Augsburg, hurry him off to Munich. He submits
the _Reflectiones_ to Dr. Döllinger, who corrects them and gives them
his approbation.

From Munich he proceeds to Vienna. A part of this journey, as far as
Lintz, had to be performed by an _eilwayen_ {455} or post car. The
driver of this vehicle was a tremendous smoker, and Father Ignatius
did not at all enjoy the fumes of tobacco. He perceived that the
driver forgot the pipe, which he laid down at a _hoff_ on the way,
while slaking his thirst, and never told him of it. He was exulting in
the hope of being able to travel to the next shop for pipes without
inhaling tobacco smoke, when, to his mortification, the driver
perceived his loss, and shouted out like a man in despair, _Mein
pfeiffe! Mein pfeiffe!_--My pipe! My pipe! To increase his passenger's
disappointment, he actually turned back a full German league, and then
smoked with a vengeance until he came to the next stage.

Father Ignatius sends a copy of the _Reflectiones_ to Rome, on his
arrival in Vienna, and presents it with an address at an assembly of
Bishops that was then being held.

He has audiences with the Emperor and Archduke Maximilian, now Emperor
of Mexico, as well as with the Nunzio, and all the notabilities,
clerical and secular, in the city.

Immediately after, somehow, he gets notice to quit from the Superior
of a religious community, where he had been staying, and all the other
religious houses refuse to take him in. He was about to leave Vienna
in consequence, as he did not like putting up in an hotel, when some
Italian priests gave him hospitality, and welcomed him to stop with
them as long as he pleased. As a set-off to his disappointment, the
Bishop of Transylvania is very kind to him, and Cardinal
Schwartzenberg even begs for him. He met the Most Rev. Father Jandel,
General of the Dominicans, in the Cardinal's Palace, and showed him
the _Reflectiones_. The good disciple of St. Thomas examined the
document closely, and Father Ignatius records his opinion, "he gave my
paper a kick." Notwithstanding this sentence, he went on distributing
copies every where; but his tract-distribution was stopped in a few
days by a letter he received from our General.

When he sent the little pamphlet to Rome it was handed for criticism
to the Lector (or Professor) of Theology in our retreat, who was then
Father Ignatius Paoli, the present Provincial in England. The critique
was very long and {456} quite unfavourable; it reached him, backed by
a letter from the General, which forbade to speak about the counsels
for the present. He records this sentence in his journal in these
words:--"June 17. A letter from Padre Ignazio, by the General--Order
to stop speaking of the counsels, &c. _Stop her, back her. Deo
gratias!"_ This was a favourite expression with him whenever a
Superior thwarted any of his projects: it was borrowed from the
steamboats that ply on the Thames, and Father Ignatius considered
himself as in the position of the little boy who echoes the orders of
the master to the engineers below. He used to say, "What a catastrophe
might one expect if the boy undertook to give an order of his own!"

Whilst in Vienna he received a letter from Father Vincent, telling him
of our having established a house of the order near Harold's Cross,
Dublin. Father Ignatius accompanied Father Vincent when they were both
in Dublin, before the German tour began, in his search for a position,
and Rathmines was selected. The excellent parish priest, Monsignor
Meagher, had just opened his new church, and laboured hard to have a
religious community in his district. He therefore seconded the
intentions of our people, and in a short time a house was taken in his
parish, and every day cements the connexion between us and this
venerable ecclesiastic. A splendid edifice has since been built during
the Rectorship of Father Osmond, and chiefly through his exertions.

Father Ignatius went to two or three towns, where the police would not
allow him to beg unless patronised by a native priest, and not being
able to fulfil these conditions he was obliged to desist.

This was Father Ignatius's last visit to Germany; he had been there
five times during his life. The first was a tour of pleasure, all the
rest were for higher objects. He seems to have had a great regard for
the Germans; he considered them related by blood to the English, and
although he himself was of Norman descent, he appears to have a
special liking for the Saxon element in character. He preferred to
{457} see it blended certainly, and would consider a vein of Celtic or
Norman blood an improvement on the Teutonic.

There were other reasons. St. Boniface, the Apostle of Germany, was an
Englishman; St. Columbanus and St. Gall might be said to have laboured
more in Germany than in their native Ireland. The Germans owed
something to England, and he wished to have them make a return.
Besides, the Reformation began in Germany, and he would have the
countrymen of Luther and of Cranmer work together to repair the
injuries they had suffered from each other. This twofold plea was
forced upon him by a German periodical, which advocated the cause of
the "Crusade" even so far back as 1838. Father Ignatius also knew how
German scholarship was tinging the intellect of England, and he
thought a spread of devotion would be the best antidote to
Rationalism. The reasons for working in France, which he styled "that
generous Catholic nation," were somewhat different, but they have been
detailed by himself in those portions of the correspondence respecting
his crusade.

He visits Raal, Resburg, Baden, Ratisbonne, and Munich; hence he
starts for London. Here he arrives on the 4th of October. He did not
delay, but went straight to Dublin, and stayed for the first time in
Blessed Paul's Retreat, Harold's Cross. This house became his
head-quarters for some time, for we find him returning thither after a
mission in Kenilworth, and one in Liverpool, as well as a retreat for
nuns, which closes his labours for the year 1856.


{458}


CHAPTER XV.

Father Ignatius In 1857.


Seven years, according to physiologists, make a total change in the
human frame, such is the extent of the renewal; and although the laws
of spirit do not follow those of matter, it may be a pleasing problem
to find out how far there is an analogy. The chapter of 1850 was
headed like this; let us see if the events of both tell differently
upon Father Ignatius.

The first event he records in the Journal for this year is the
reception of Mrs. O'Neill into the Church. This good lady had then one
son a Passionist; she was what might be called a very strict and
devoted Protestant, although all her children were brought up
Catholics by her husband. She loved the son who first joined our order
very tenderly, and felt his becoming a monk so much that she would
never read one of his letters. The son was ordained priest in
Monte-Argentaro, and the first news he heard after he had for the
first time offered up the Holy Sacrifice, was that his mother had been
received in our retreat in Dublin by Father Ignatius. She was induced
by another son, who lived in Dublin, to attend benediction, and our
Lord gave her the grace of conversion with His blessing. She is now a
fervent Catholic, and another son and a daughter have since followed
the example of their brother. The mother finds her greatest happiness
in what once seemed her greatest affliction. Such is the power of
grace, always leading to joy through the bitterness of the cross.

The next event is the death of Father Paul Mary of St. Michael. This
saintly Passionist was the Honourable Charles Reginald Packenham, son
of the Earl of Longford. He {459} became a convert when captain in the
Guards, and shortly after joined our Institute. He was the first
rector of Blessed Paul's Retreat, and having edified his brethren by
his humility and religious virtues for nearly six years, the term of
his life as a Passionist, died in the odour of sanctity. He had been
ailing for some time, but still able to do a little in the way of
preaching and confessions. It was advertised that he would preach in
Gardiner Street, Dublin, on Sunday, March 1. He died that day at one
o'clock A.M., and Father Ignatius went to preach in his stead; it
created a sensation when the good father began by asking prayers for
the repose of the soul of him whose place he came to fill.

In a letter Father Ignatius wrote at this time we have his opinion of
Father Paul Mary: ".... As to the Passionists, I do not think those
who managed our coming here (to Dublin) which was all done during my
absence in Germany, had any idea of serving England. I believe the
prime instigator of the move was Father Paul Mary, who was born in
Dublin, and was through and through an Irishman in his affections,
though trained in England. He, to the last, had all the anti-English
feelings, which prevail so much through Ireland, and never would give
me the least hope of his being interested for England. I fall in,
notwithstanding that, with all the notions of his great virtue and
holiness which others have; and I think, moreover, that the best
Catholics in Ireland are to be found among those who have been the
most bitterly prejudiced against England. But I think there is in
reserve for them another great step in advance when they lay down this
aversion and turn it into divine charity in a heroic degree."

Father Ignatius always felt keenly Father Paul Mary's not taking up
his ideas about England with more warmth. When he was on his
death-bed, Father Ignatius spent many hours sitting by him. In one of
their last conversations, Father Ignatius urged his pleas for England
as strongly as he could; when he had done, and was waiting for the
effect, Father Paul said, in a dry, cold manner: "I don't think
Ireland has got anything to thank England for." These words were
perpetually ringing in the ears of Father {460} Ignatius; they were
the last Father Paul ever said on the subject, and the other used to
say: "Oh, I used to enjoy his beautiful conversation so much, but I
never could hear one single kind word for England."

This year a general chapter of our Congregation was held in Rome. This
is an important event, and only occurs every six years. It is here the
head superiors are elected, points of rule explained, and regulations
enacted for the better ordering of the different houses all over the
world, according to circumstances of time and place. The Provincial
and the two Consultors of each Province are obliged to attend. Father
Ignatius was therefore called to travel abroad once more. When in
Rome, he employed all the time that was left from capitular duties in
holding conferences with our students, and trying to get some papers
he brought with him approved. Among others, he brought the paper that
was "kicked" by Father Jaudel, and condemned by one of our
theologians. The only one in Rome who approved of it was the Abbate
Passaglia. Cardinal Barnabò listened to all Father Ignatius had to
urge in its favour; but did not approve of it. He had to return
without gaining anything this time; except that the Roman Lector was
become his Provincial. In a few years afterwards, when we read of
Passaglia's fall, Father Ignatius was heard to say: "Passaglia and
Döllinger were the only theologians who approved of my paper. I
suppose I need not flatter myself much upon their _imprimatur_."

He was remarked to be often abstracted when he had many crosses to
bear. One day he was going through Rome with one of our Religious, and
passed by a fountain. He went over and put his hand so far into one of
the jets, that he squirted the water over a number of poor persons who
were basking in the sun a few steps beneath him. They made a stir, and
uttered a few oaths as the water kept dashing down on them. The
companion awoke Father Ignatius out of his reverie, and so unconscious
did he seem of the disturbance he had unwittingly created, that he
passed on without alluding to it.

On his return home now, as Second Consultor, he is sent {461} to beg
again in Ireland. He makes the circuit of Connaught this time. He
took, in his journey, Roscommon, Castlerea, visits the O'Connor Don,
Boyle, Sligo. Here he was received very kindly by the Bishop and
clergy. He had for guide in Sligo, a Johnny Doogan, who seems to have
amused him very much. This good man was chief respondent at the
Rosary, which used to be said every evening in the church. One night
the priest began, "Incline unto my aid, O Lord." No answer. "Where are
you, Johnny Doogan?" asked the priest. Johnny, who was a little more
than distracted in some corner of the church, replied, as if suddenly
awoke: "Here I am, your Reverence, and 'my tongue shall announce thy
praise.'" He next passes along through Easky and Cullinamore to
Ballina. He gives a retreat to the Sisters of Mercy here, and during
it, makes an excursion to Enniscrone. He went next to Ballycastle,
Killala, Castlebar. Here he went to visit his cousin, Lord Lucan, and
is very kindly received. During the course of conversation, he asked
Lord Lucan if he had not heard of his conversion? "Oh yes," he
replied, "I heard you were wavering some thirty years ago." "But I
have not wavered since," replied Father Ignatius. He then went to
Ballinrobe, Westport, Tuam, Athenry, and back to Dublin, by Mullingar.
This tour took nearly two months. He gives a retreat in the beginning
of September to the nuns of Gorey, and after it, begs through Wexford,
and the southwest portion of Leinster. The only thing remarkable about
these excursions is, that he notes once, "I am ashamed to think that I
have not begged of any poor people to-day."

In December, 1857, his brother Frederick, Lord Spencer, died. This
brother was Father Ignatius's companion at school, and it is
remarkable that he was the only one of the family who used any kind of
severity towards him. He says, in a letter written at this time, "I am
twelve years an exile from Althorp." Shortly before the Earl died, he
relented, and invited Father Ignatius to stay at the family seat a few
days. The letter joyfully accepting the invitation was read by the
brother on his bed of death. It is only right to observe that the
present Earl has been the kindest {462} of all, and treated his uncle
with distinguished kindness for the few years he was left to him. He
even gave him back the portion of his income which his father diverted
to other uses.

Another letter he wrote in December, gives an idea of his spirit of
resignation. It seems a Rev. Mother wrote to him in a state of alarm
that some of the sisters were inclined to go away. Here is a part of
his answer: "I will see what I can do with the sisters who are in the
mood to kick, bite, or run away. If they take to running, never mind
how many go, let them all go, with _God bless them, and thank God they
are gone_, and we will hope their room will be worth as much as their
company."

Lest the allusion to his exile from Althorp might be taken in a wrong
sense, it is well to give a passage from a letter Father Ignatius
wrote after the death of his brother. "I dare say you have not heard
that just before my brother's death I had written to him about a case
of distress, which he had before been acquainted with, telling him, at
the same time, of what I was about, and among other things, that I was
going to London to open a mission in Bermondsey on the 10th of
January. He sent me £3 for the person I wrote about, and invited me to
stop at Althorp a couple of nights on my way, not demanding any
positive promise about religion as beforetime, but only saying that he
thought I might come as a private friend without seeing it necessary
to hold spiritual communications with the people in the neighbourhood.
I answered that I would come with pleasure on these terms, and that
even if he had said nothing, prudence would dictate to me to act as he
wished. This was a most interesting prospect to me, after my twelve
years' exile from that home, and I intended to come on the 7th of
January. It was only a day or two before my leaving Dublin for this
journey, that I was shown a notice in the paper of his death, and the
next day had a letter about it from my sister. He must have received
my letter on the very day that he was taken ill. These are remarkable
circumstances. What will Providence bring out of them?" {463} He felt
the death of this brother very much, and was known to shed tears in
abundance when relating the sad news to some of his friends. He said
very sadly, "I gave myself up to three days' sorrowing for my dear
brother Frederick, but I took care to thank God for the affliction."


{464}


CHAPTER XVI.

His "Little Missions."


On the 21st of June, 1858, Father Ignatius began to give short
retreats, which he designated "little missions." This was his work the
remaining six years of his life; anything else we find him doing was
like an exception.

The work proposed in these missions was what has been already
described in the chapter on the sanctification of the Irish people. He
wanted to abolish all their vices, which he reduced to three capital
sins, and sow the seeds of perfect virtue upon the ground of their
deep and fertile faith. Since he took up the notion that Ireland was
called to keep among the nations the title of _Island of Saints_,
which had once been hers, he could never rest until he saw it
effected. He seems to have been considering for a number of years the
means by which this should be brought about, and he hit upon a happy
thought in 1858.

This thought was the way of impregnating the minds of all the Irish
people with his ideas. He found that missions were most powerful means
of moving people in a body to reconciliation with God, and an
amendment of life. He perceived that the words of the missionaries
were treasured up, and that the advices they gave were followed with a
scrupulous exactness. Missions were the moving power, but how were
they to enter into all the corners of a kingdom? Missions could only
be given in large parishes, and all priests did not set so high a
value upon their importance as those who asked for them. If he could
concentrate the missionary power into something less solemn, but of
like efficacy, and succeed in carrying that out, he thought it would
be just {465} the thing. This train of deliberation resulted in the
"little missions."

A "little mission" is a new mode of renewing fervour; Father Ignatius
was the originator and only worker in it of whom we have any record.
It was half a week of missionary work in every parish--that is, three
days and a half of preaching and hearing confessions. Two sermons in
the day were as much as ever Father Ignatius gave, and the hours in
the confessional were as many as he could endure.

This kind of work had its difficulties. The whole course of subjects
proper to a mission could not be got through, neither could all the
penitents be heard. Father Ignatius met these objections. "The eternal
truths," as such, he did not introduce. He confined himself to seven
lectures, in which the crying evils, with their antidotes, were
introduced. As far as the confessions were concerned, he followed the
rule of moral theologians that a confessor is responsible only for the
penitent kneeling before him, and not for those whose confession he
has not begun. He heard all he could.

His routine of daily work on these little missions was to get up at
five, and hear confessions all day until midnight, except whilst
saying mass and office, giving his lecture and taking his meals. He
took no recreation whatever, and if he chatted any time after dinner
with the priest, the conversation might be considered a continuation
of his sermon. At a very moderate calculation he must have spent at
least twelve hours a day in the confessional. Some of these apostolic
visits he prolonged to a week when circumstances required. He gave 245
of these missions from June, 1858, to September, 1864; he was on his
way to the 246th when he died. A rough calculation will show us that
he must have spent about twenty-two weeks every year in this
employment. Let us just think of forty journeys, in cold and heat,
from parish to parish, sometimes on foot, sometimes on conveyances,
which chance put in his way. Let us follow him when he has strapped
his bags upon his shoulder, after his mass, walking off nine or ten
miles, in {466} order to be in time to begin in another parish that
evening. Let us see the poor man trying to prevent his feeling pain
from his sore feet by walking a little faster, struggling, with
umbrella broken, against rain and wind, dust, a bad road, and a way
unknown to add to his difficulties. He arrives, he lays down his
burden, puts on his habit, takes some dinner, finishes his office,
preaches his first discourse, and sits in the confessional until
half-past eleven o'clock. Let us try to realize what this work must
have been, and we shall have an idea of the six last years of Father
Ignatius Spencer's life.

We give a few extracts from his letters, as they will convey an idea
of how he felt and wrought in this great work.

On the 10th of August, 1858, he writes from the convent in Kells,
where he was helping the nuns through their retreat:--

  "I have an hour and a half before my next sermon at 7; all the nuns'
  confessions are finished, and all my office said; I have therefore
  time for a letter. I have not had such an afternoon as this for many
  months. The people of this town seem to think the convent an
  impregnable fortress, and do not make an assault upon me in it. If I
  was just to show myself in the church I should be quickly
  surrounded. The reflections which come upon me this quiet afternoon
  are not so bright and joyous as you might expect, perhaps, from the
  tone of my letter to M ----, but rather of a heavy afflicting
  character; but all the better, all the better. This is wholesome,
  and another stage in my thoughts brings me to very great
  satisfaction out of this heaviness. I do not know whether I shall
  explain myself to you. I see myself here so alone, though the people
  come upon me so eagerly, so warmly, and, I may say, so lovingly; yet
  I have not one on whom I can think as sympathising with me. I see
  the necessity of a complete radical change in the spirit of the
  people, the necessity, I mean, in order to have some prospect of
  giving the cause of truth its victory in England, and making this
  Irish people permanently virtuous and happy. This is what I am
  preaching from place to place, and aiming at instilling into the
  people's minds in the confessional, at {467} dinner-tables, in cars
  on the road, as well as in preaching; and, while I aim at it, the
  work is bright enough."

Oct. 11, 1860, he writes:

  "I can hardly understand how I can go on for any long time more as I
  am doing, and not find some capable and willing to enter into them.
  Here I am through the 112th parish, with the same proposals which no
  one objects to, but no one enters into nor seems to understand."

May 6, 1861.--

  "It seems my lot to be moving about as long as I can move. I am very
  happy in the work I am about when I am at it, but I have always to
  go through regret and sorrow before moving, particularly when
  leaving my home. ... I have now gone through 132 parishes. No
  movement yet, such as I am aiming at. It always goes on in the form
  of most interesting missionary work, and is a most agreeable way of
  doing my begging work. I have been through 123 of these parishes
  without asking a penny from any one, but they bring me on an average
  more than £21 a parish in _Ireland_. I have worked through eleven
  parishes in the diocese of Salford (England) out of that number, and
  these do not yield half the fruit of the Irish missions in point of
  money, but are otherwise very satisfactory.''

In a letter written in December of the same year:

  "I am preparing for another year's work like the last, going from
  parish to parish through Ireland, collecting for our Order, and at
  the same time stirring the people to devote themselves to their
  sanctification. They give their money very generously, they listen
  kindly to my sermons, and I never have a minute idle in hearing
  confessions; but hitherto there is no attention such as I wish paid
  to my proposals. I have made these little missions now in 160
  parishes in Ireland, and to eleven Irish congregations in England. I
  am, thank God, in as good plight as ever I was in my life for this
  kind of work, and this seems to give a hope that I may at length see
  the effect of it as I wish, or the fruit may spring up when I am
  dead and buried. If death comes upon me in this way, I will at least
  rejoice for myself that I am dying more like our Lord than if I
  finished my course {468} crowned with the most brilliant successes;
  for when He died people would say He had utterly failed, but He was
  just then achieving His victory. Whatever way things take we cannot
  be disappointed if we keep faithful to God."

The lovingness described as subsisting between himself and his dear
Irish people gave rise to many incidents, amongst which the following
is rather peculiar. At one place, where he had just concluded a little
mission, the people gathered round him when he was about to go away.
He heard many say, "What will we do when he is gone?" and several
other exclamations betokening their affliction at having to part from
him. He turned round and asked all he saw to accompany him to the
railway station. When they arrived there he addressed them again in
something like these words: "Now, stand here until you see the train
start, and when it is out of sight, I want you all to say, '_Thank
God, he is gone_.'"

He met a great many refusals and cold receptions on these missionary
tours, but in general he was very well received. The exceptions were
dear to him, as they were profitable to himself, and he seldom spoke
of them unless there was some special lesson they were calculated to
convey.


{469}


CHAPTER XVII.

Father Ignatius At Home.


The work of the little missions kept Father Ignatius very much away
from the community. His visits at home were like meteor flashes,
bright and beautiful, and always made us regret we could not enjoy his
edifying company for a longer time. Those who are much away on the
external duties of the Order find the rule a little severe when they
return; to Father Ignatius it seemed a small heaven of refreshing
satisfaction. His coming home was usually announced to the community a
day or two before, and all were promising themselves rare treats from
his presence amongst them. It was cheering to see the porter run in,
beaming with joy, as he announced the glad tidings, "Father Ignatius
is come." The exuberance of his own delight as he greeted, first one,
and then another of his companions, added to our own joy. In fact, the
day Father Ignatius came home almost became a holiday by custom. Those
days were; and we feel inclined to tire our readers by expatiating on
them, as if writing brought them back.

Whenever he arrived at one of our houses, and had a day or two to
stay, it was usual for the younger religious, such as novices and
students, to go to him, one by one, for conference. He liked this very
much, and would write to higher Superiors for permission to turn off
to Broadway, for instance, on his way to London, in order to make
acquaintance with the young religious. His counsels had often a
lasting effect; many who were inclined to leave the life they had
chosen remained steadfast, after a conference with him. He did not
give common-place solutions to difficulties, but he had some peculiar
phrase, some quaint axiom, some droll {470} piece of spirituality, to
apply to every little trouble that came before him. He was specially
happy in his fund of anecdote, and could tell one, it was believed, on
any subject that came before him. This extraordinary gift of
conversational power made the _Conferences_ delightful. The novices,
when they assembled in recreation, and gave their opinions on Father
Ignatius, whom many had spoken to for the first time in their life,
nearly all would conclude, "If there ever was a saint, he's one."

It was amusing to observe how they prepared themselves for forming
their opinion. They all heard of his being a great saint, and some
fancied he would eat nothing at all for one day, and might attempt a
little vegetables on the next. One novice, in particular, had made up
his mind to this, and, to his great surprise, he saw Father Ignatius
eat an extra good breakfast; and, when about to settle into a rash
judgment, he saw the old man preparing to walk seven miles to a
railway station on the strength of his meal. Another novice thought
such a saint would never laugh nor make anybody else laugh; to his
agreeable disappointment, he found that Father Ignatius brought more
cheerfulness into the recreation than had been there for some time.

In one thing Father Ignatius did not go against anticipation; he was
most exact in the observance of our rules. He would be always the
first in for the midnight office. Many a time the younger portion of
the community used to make arrangements overnight to be in before him,
but it was no use. Once, indeed, a student arrived in choir before
him, and Father Ignatius appeared so crestfallen at being beaten that
the student would never be in before him again, and might delay on the
way if he thought Father Ignatius had not yet passed. He seemed
particularly happy when he could light the lamps or gas for matins. He
was childlike in his obedience. He would not transgress the most
trifling regulation. It was usual with him to say, "I cannot
understand persons who say, 'Oh, I am all right if I get to
Purgatory.' We should be more generous with Almighty God. I don't
intend to go to Purgatory, and if I do, I must know what for." "But,
Father Ignatius," a father would say, {471} "we fall into so many
imperfections that it seems presumption to attempt to escape scot
free." "Well," he would reply, "nothing can send us to Purgatory but a
wilful venial sin, and may the Lord preserve us from such a thing as
that; a religious ought to die before being guilty of the least wilful
fault." We saw from this that he could scarcely imagine how a
religious could do so, or, at least, that he was very far from the
like himself.

One time we were speaking about the Italian way of pronouncing Latin,
which we have adopted; he noticed some imperfections, and one of the
Italian Fathers present remarked a few points in which Father Ignatius
himself failed. One of them was, that he did not pronounce the letter
_r_ strong enough; and another, that he did not give a its full sound
when it came in the middle of a word. For some time it was observed
that he made a most burring sound when he pronounced an _r_, and went
so far in correcting himself in the other particular as to sin against
prosody. Sometimes he would forget little rubrics, but if any one told
him of a mistake, he was scarcely ever seen to commit it again.

Whenever he had half an hour to spare he wrote letters. We may form an
idea of his achievements in this point, when he tells us in the
Journal that on two days which remained free to him once he wrote
seventy-eight. A great number of his letters are preserved. They are
very entertaining and instructive; a nice vein of humour runs through
all those he wrote to his familiar friends.

These two letters may be looked upon as the extremes of the sober and
humorous style in his letter-writing:--

  "When I used to call on you, you seemed to be tottering, as one
  might say, on your last legs. Here you are, after so many years,
  without having ever seen health or prosperity, and with about as
  much life in you as then, to all appearance. All has been, all is,
  and all will be, exactly as it pleases God. This is the truth, the
  grand truth, I would almost say the whole and only truth. There may
  be, and are, plenty of things besides, which may be truly affirmed,
  yet this is the whole of what it concerns us each to know. For if
  this is once well understood, of course it follows that we {472}
  have but one affair to attend to, that is, to please God; because
  then, to a certainty, all the past, present, and future will be
  found to be perfectly and absolutely ordered for our own greatest
  good. If this one point be well studied, I think we can steer people
  easily enough out of all low spirits and melancholy. Many people can
  see the hand of God over them in wonderful mercy in their past
  history, and so be brought to a knowledge that their anxieties, and
  afflictions, and groans, in those bygone days were unreasonable
  then. "Why do they not learn to leave off groaning over the present
  troubles? Because they do not trust God to manage anything right
  till they have examined His work, and understood all about it. But
  He, will be more honoured if we agree with Him, and approve of what
  He does before we see what the good is which is to come of it. In
  your case, if we go back to the days when I first saw you at ----,
  when your father was in a good way of work, and you were in health,
  there was the prospect then, I suppose, before you of getting well
  settled in the world; and if all had continued smooth and
  prosperous, you might now be a rich merchant's wife in Birmingham,
  London, or New York, reckoned the ornament of a large circle of
  wealthy friends, &c. But might there not, perhaps, have been written
  over you as your motto? _Wo to you rich, for you have received your
  consolation. Wo to you that laugh now for you shall mourn and weep_.
  You may be disposed to answer, you do not think you would have been
  spoiled by prosperity. But if you are more or less troubled or
  anxious at being in poverty, sickness, or adversity, it shows that
  you would be, just in the same measure, unable to bear prosperity
  and health unhurt. Wealth and prosperity are dangerous to those only
  who love them and trust in them. If, when you are in adversity, you
  are sorry for it, and wish for prosperity, it shows love for this
  world's goods, more or less. And if a person loves them when he has
  them not, is it likely he would despise them if he had them? God
  saves multitudes by poverty and afflictions in spite of themselves.
  The same poverty and afflictions, if the persons corresponded with
  God's providence and rejoiced in them, would make them {473}
  first-rate saints. The same may be said, with as great truth, of
  interior afflictions, scruples, temptations, darkness, dryness, and
  the rest of the catalogue of such miseries. A person who is
  disquieted and anxious on account of these, either does not
  understand that God's gifts are not God, or if they do understand
  it, they love the gifts of God independently of the giver. And so I
  add that such a one, if he enjoyed uninterrupted peace and serenity
  of soul, would stop very short indeed of the perfection of love to
  which God intends to lead him if he will be docile. Now, as to your
  case, if you are still alive and still serving God, and desiring to
  do so better and better, it is clear that your afflictions, exterior
  and interior, have not spoiled or ruined you. And as God loves our
  peace and happiness, we may conclude that he would not have kept you
  down and low, if it had not been necessary for your good. What have
  you to do at last? Begin again to thank, praise, bless, adore, and
  glorify God for all the tribulations, past and future, and he may
  yet strengthen and preserve you to do abundance of good, and lay up
  a great treasure in heaven."

The next letter is to a nun about a book which was supposed to be
lost:--

  "The second perpetual calendar has been found. I had no thought it
  would; but took my chance to ask, and somebody had seen it, and it
  was looked for again and found. It has been a clumsy bit of business
  on our part; but it ends right. It gives another example of the
  wisdom of a certain young shepherdess celebrated in the nursery in
  my early days--

       "'Little Bopeep
         Has lost her sheep,
    And doesn't know where to find them.
         Let them alone,
         And they'll come home,
    And bring their tails behind them.'

  "There is great philosophy in the advice given to the heroine of
  these lines.

  "It seems by what you said the other day, that you {474} expected a
  long tail to this sheep, but I don't think the tail ever grew. Any
  way, it never brought a tail so far as this house. However, if there
  does exist a tail to it, I recommend to you the calm philosophy of
  little Bo-peep, and it will, I dare say, follow in time."

The little rhyme given above was a favourite with Father Ignatius.
When he saw any one looking for a thing with anxiety he generally
rhymed it out with peculiar emphasis. It might be safely said that he
never wrote a letter, preached a sermon, or held a conversation
without introducing resignation to the will of God, the desire of
perfection, or the conversion of England.

As he was always a Superior, the religious could come to him and speak
whenever they pleased. He was ever ready to receive them, he laid down
his pen, or whatever else he might be at, directly he saw a brother or
father wished to speak to him, and he listened and spoke as if this
conversation was the only duty he had to discharge.

In recreation he was a treasure. We gathered round him by a kind of
instinct, and so entertaining was he that one felt it a mortification
to be called away from the recreation-room while Father Ignatius was
in it. He used to recount with peculiar grace and fascinating wit,
scenes he went through in his life. There is scarcely an incident in
this volume that we have not heard him relate. He was most ingenuous.
Ask him what question you pleased, he would answer it, if he knew it.
In relating an anecdote he often spoke in five or six different tones
of voice; he imitated the manner and action of those he knew to such
perfection, that laughter had to pass into admiration. He seldom
laughed outright, and even when he did, he would very soon stop. If he
came across a number of _Punch_, he ran over some of the sketches at
once and then he would be observed to stop, laugh, and lay it down
directly, as if to deny himself further enjoyment. It is needless to
say there was nothing rollicking, or off-handed in his wit--never; it
was subdued, sweet, delicate, and lively. He would introduce very
often amusing puzzles, such as passing the poker around, or the game
of "He can do little who cannot do that, that, that." Then to see his
{475} glee when some one thought he had found out the secret by his
keenness of observation, and was far from it; and how he laughed at
the _denouement_ of the mystery, when all was over, was really
delightful. He often made us try "Theophilus Thistlethwick," and
"Peter Piper," and used to enjoy the blunders immensely. In fact, a
recreation, presided over by Father Ignatius, was the most innocent
and gladsome one could imagine.

He had a few seasons of illness in the closing years of his life; in
1861 he was laid up for several days with a sore foot, in Highgate.
When one of us is ill, it is customary for the members of the house to
take turn about in staying with him, and we are allowed to go at all
times to visit an invalid. Whenever Father Ignatius was asked how his
foot was, he would say it was "very well," because it brought him some
pain, and that was a valuable thing if we only knew how to turn it to
good account. He felt very grateful for the smallest service done him
in sickness. It is supposed that he wrote more letters during his
illness, and held more "profitable" conversations than in any other
equal period of his life. No one ever found him idle. He read, or he
wrote, or he talked, or he prayed, or he slept. Lying awake and
listless in bed, even when suffering from acute pain, seemed an
imperfection to him. Complaint was like a language he had forgotten,
or knew not, except as one knows sin by the contrary virtue.

He suffered greatly from drowsiness. When he went to meditation he
would nod asleep, and the exertions he made to keep himself awake made
us pity him. He would stand up, even sometimes on one foot, extend his
arms in the form of a cross, and do everything he could possibly think
of in order to keep awake. During his rectorship in Button, after
returning from a sick call on a cold winter's evening, he was obliged
to walk about saying his office. He dared not sit down, or he would go
off asleep, and had to avoid going near a fire, or no effort could
keep him awake. Notwithstanding this, he was the first to matins, and
seldom went to bed again before prime. When others were ill, Father
Ignatius was all charity; he would make sure first that {476} they
took their sickness in a right spirit, and thanked God for it, then he
would see that all kinds of attention were paid to them. As for sick
calls, no matter at what hour of the day or night they came, he would
be the first to go out and attend them. He liked assisting at
death-beds; he felt particular pleasure in helping people to heaven.

He received all kinds of visitors. He went immediately to see any one
that wanted to speak to him, and never kept them a moment waiting if
he could possibly help it. When distinguished visitors were coming he
did not make the least preparation, but just treated them like any one
else. His sister promised to visit him in Highgate in December, 1859.
Neither she nor any member of his family had ever been in one of our
monasteries; he therefore looked upon this as a kind of event. Father
Ignatius had a wretched old mantle, and one of the students went to
him to offer him his, which was quite new, for the day. He would not
at all accept of it, and lectured the other upon human respect for his
pains.

He was very fond of conducting the walk the students take every week.
He brought the London students often through the City, and wonderful
was his knowledge and reminiscences of the different places they
passed by. He took them once to the Zoological Gardens. They went
about looking at the different beasts, and he had his comments to make
on each. He drew a moral reflection from the voraciousness of the
lion, the fierceness of the hyaena, the vanity of the seal, and the
stupor of the sloth. When he saw the flamingo, he stayed full ten
minutes wondering what might be the use of its long, thin legs. The
hippopotamus amused him beyond all. "Look at his big mouth," he would
say; "what in the world does he want it for? Couldn't he eat enough
with a smaller one?" During their walks, a lord, perhaps, would turn
up, and address him as, "Ho, Spencer! is this you? How d'ye do? It is
some years since I saw you?" After a few words they would part, and
then he'd tell his companions about their college days, or field
sports.


{477}


CHAPTER XVIII.

A Few Events.


In 1858 we procured the place in Highgate, known now as St. Joseph's
Retreat. The Hyde was never satisfactory; it was suited neither to our
spirit nor its working. At last Providence guided us to a most
suitable position. Our rule prescribes that the houses of the Order
should be outside the town, and near enough to be of service to it.
Highgate is wonderfully adapted to all the requisitions of our rule
and constitutions. Situated on the brow of a hill, it is far enough
from the din and noise of London to be comparatively free from its
turmoil, and sufficiently near for citizens to come to our church. The
grounds are enclosed by trees; a hospital at one end and two roads
meeting at the other, promise a freedom from intrusion and a
continuance of the solitude we now enjoy. Father Ignatius concludes
the year 1858 in Highgate; it was his first visit to the new house.

Towards the end of the next year we find him once more in France with
our Provincial. They went on business interesting to the Order, and
were nearly three weeks away. Father Ignatius ends another year in
Highgate. It was then he translated the small "Life of Blessed Paul"
from the Italian, a work he accomplished in about one month with the
assistance of an _amanuensis_.

He gave a mission with three of the fathers in Westland Row, Dublin,
in the beginning of the year 1860, and started off immediately after
for his circuit of little missions. Our Provincial Chapter was held
this year, but all were re-elected; so Father Ignatius remained as he
was, second Consultor. It was this year he visited Althorp, after an
absence of eighteen years from the home of his childhood. This visit
{478} he looked back to with a great deal of satisfaction, and his joy
was increased when Lord and Lady Sarah Spencer returned his visit in
Highgate, when he happened to be there, the next year. The friendly
relations between him and his family seemed, if possible, to become
closer and more cordial towards the end of his life.

He told us one day in recreation, when some one asked what became of
the lady he was disposed to be married to, once in his life: "I passed
by her house a few days ago. I believe her husband is a very excellent
man, and that she is happy."

In 1862 he visited Althorp again. We saw him looking for a lock for
one of his bags before he left Highgate for this visit, and some one
asked him why he was so particular just then. "Oh," he said, "don't
you know the servant in the big house will open it, in order to put my
shaving tackle, brush, and so forth in their proper places, and I
should not like to have a general stare at my habit, beads, and
sandals." There was, however, a more general stare at them than he
expected. During the visit, the volunteer corps were entertained by
Lord Spencer. Father Ignatius was invited to the grand dinner; he sat
next the Earl, and nothing would do for the latter but that his uncle
should make a speech. Father Ignatius stood up in _his_ regimentals,
habit, sandals, &c., and made, it seems, a very patriotic one.

This visit to Althorp Father Ignatius loved to recall to mind. It was
a kind of thing that he could not enjoy at the time, so far did it go
beyond his expectations. He went merely for a friendly visit, and
found a great many old friends invited to increase his pleasure. When
the ladies and gentlemen went off to dress for dinner, it is said that
Father Ignatius told Lady Spencer that he supposed his full dress
would not be quite in place at the table; he was told it would, and
that all would be much delighted to see a specimen of the fashions he
had learnt since his days of whist and repartee in the same hall. At
the appointed time he presented himself in the dining-room in full
Passionist costume. Lord Spencer was quite proud of his uncle, and the
speech, and the cheer with which it was greeted at the {479}
Volunteers' dinner only enhanced the mutual joy of uncle and nephew.

As usual, this joy was tempered, and the alloy was administered by a
clergyman, who evidently intended to get himself a name by putting
himself into print in one of the local papers. This was a Mr. Watkins.
He wrote a letter to the _Northampton Herald_, containing a great deal
of shallow criticism and ignorant remarks on Father Ignatius, and a
sermon he preached at the opening of the cathedral. A smart paper
warfare was carried on for some time between the two, which earned the
Rev. Mr. Watkins the disapproval, if not the disgust, of his
Protestant clerical and lay neighbours. This was rather a surprise, as
all the old acquaintances of the _quondam_ Mr. Spencer had the highest
regard for him; but this writer seems to have been one who never had
the opportunity of forming a just opinion of his abilities or
character. Ignorance may excuse his blunders, but the longest stretch
of charity can scarcely overlook his manner of committing them.

After the visit to Althorp, Father Ignatius went to see Mr. De Lisle
at Grace Dieu, and was present at the blessing of the present Abbot of
Mount St. Bernard's. The secretary of the A. P. U. C. sent him another
letter after this visit, which met the fate of similar communications
on former occasions.

We find him in the beginning of the year 1863 in Liverpool, engaged in
a mission at St. Augustine's.

After this mission he came to Highgate, on his way to Rome for our
general chapter, and the few days he had on his hands before his
departure were spent in visiting Lord Palmerston, Mr. Gladstone, and
other notabilities, as well as receiving a visit from his nephew.

He arrived in Rome for the last time on the 22nd April, 1863. How
strangely do his different visits to this city combine to give an idea
of the stages of opinion through which his chequered life was fated to
pass. In 1821, he entered it, promising himself a feast of
absurdities, determined to sneer at what he did not understand, and
repel by his thick shield of prejudice whatever might force itself
{480} upon him as praiseworthy. He found something in his next visit
in the pagan remains to please his Protestant taste, and left it for
Germany with a kind of regret. In less than ten years he is there to
despise the glory of the Caesars, and thinks more of a chapel which
Peter's successor has endowed or adorned, than the platforms on which
the fangs of the leopard tore the flower of our martyrs. His other
visits were mostly official. He came glowing with the fervour of new
projects, and left with only their embers generating a new step in his
spiritual progress. Rome was always Rome, but he was not always the
same. Any one who takes the trouble to compare his different visits
with each other cannot fail to learn a lesson that will be more
telling on his mind, than what comments upon them by another's pen
could produce.

The General Chapter Father Ignatius was called to attend in 1863 had
to deal with subjects that deeply concerned the interests of our
Order. In this Chapter, our American province was canonically erected
in the United States. A colony of ten Passionists was sent to
California, and the Hospice of St. Nicholas, in Paris, established.
Father Ignatius had, as usual, some papers to submit to the Roman
Curia. The work to which his "little missions" were devoted had not
yet received the seal of the Fisherman, and, until it was so blessed,
its excellence could be a subject of doubt. He did receive the
pontifical benediction for this, and for the institution of a new
congregation of nuns, and began to enjoy the riches of this twofold
blessing before he took his departure from the Eternal City.

Father Ignatius, ever himself, did not lose sight of lesser claims on
his gratitude in the greater ones his zeal proposed to him. There was
a family whom he had received into the Church during the course of his
labours on the secular mission. The father, and four daughters, and a
son, were all baptized by him. They were his great joy. He first
received one girl, then the father, then another (who dreaded to speak
to him), a third, and a fourth yielded to his charity and meekness in
following the workings of grace. For them he always entertained a
special regard, he would stay with {481} them when missionary work
called him to a town in which they dwelled, and delighted to caress
their children, edify themselves, and make himself at home in their
dwellings during his stay. He obtained a rescript granting them a
"plenary indulgence," signed by the Holy Father himself, which is
still treasured up as a beautiful heirloom in their families. These
favoured objects of his predilection were Mrs. Macky, of Birmingham;
Mrs. Richardson and Mrs. Marshall, of Levenshulme, Manchester.

Before leaving Rome in 1863 he preached to nuns and schools, upon the
conversion of England, with the same zeal as he did in 1850, if not
with greater. That leading star lived with him; it is to be hoped it
has not died with him. If the nineteenth century were an age of faith,
and that the belief in God's miraculous interposition would move any
to make experiments of holy wonders, we should expect to find engraved
on his heart after death: "The Conversion of England!"

On June 21, after exactly two months' stay, he left the terrestrial
Rome, or city of God, for ever. He arrives in London on the 3rd
August, visits convents for his "crusade," now doubly dear to him;
communicates his glad tidings to the infant congregations of nuns of
Sutton, and holds himself in readiness for the approaching provincial
chapter. The nuns here mentioned are a society established, a few
years before, by our Father Gaudentius. Their primary object is the
care and instruction of factory girls, their subsidiary one, the plain
instruction of poor children.

Father Ignatius loved this institute. One of his common sayings was,
"I do not understand how a girl with a wooden leg, no means and great
docility, cannot make the evangelical vows," and he found himself at
home with a sisterhood where his problem would be solved in part at
least. He brought their rules to Rome, at this time, and received all
the Pontifical sanctions he could possibly expect under the
circumstances.

On August 21 of this year, our Provincial Chapter was held at
Broadway. Here Father Ignatius was elected Rector of St. Anne's
Retreat, Sutton. He entered on the {482} office with a great deal of
zeal and courage. In his first exhortation to the religious, he
remarked that "new brooms sweep clean," but as he was a broom a little
the worse for wear, which had been trimmed up for action after having
so long lain by, the aphorism could not apply so well to him. It was
nine years since he had filled the office of rector before, and the
interval taught him many things regarding religious discipline which
he now brought into action.

His rule might be called _maternal_ rather than paternal, for it was
characterized by the fondness of holy old age for youth. One change
remarked in him, since his former rectorship, was, his spicing his
gentle admonitions with a good deal of severity when occasion required
it. He spoke to the community, after the evening recreation, once upon
the conversion of England, and the bright look the horizon of
religious opinion wore now in comparison to the time he first began
his crusade. He hoped great things for England. At this part of his
lecture, some ludicrous occurrence, which he did not observe, made one
of the younger religious laugh. Father Ignatius turned upon him, and
spoke with such vehemence that all seemed as if struck by a
thunderbolt. They never heard him speak in that way before, and it was
thought by many that the meek father could not "foam with
indignation," even if he tried.

Towards the close of 1863 he professed several of the nuns of the Holy
Family, for whom he had procured the indulgences at Rome, and he
assisted at the deathbed of their first rev. mother early in 1864.


{483}


CHAPTER XIX.

Trials And Crosses.


The days of the religious life of Father Ignatius might be numbered by
his trials and crosses. It was not that a goodly share fell to him, as
became his great holiness; but he happened to be so very keenly tried,
that what generally assuages the bitterness of ordinary trials served,
by a special disposition of Providence, to make his the more galling.
His trials were multiplied in their infliction; the friends to whom he
might unburthen himself were often their unconscious cause; and the
remedies proposed for his comfort would be generally an aggravation of
his sufferings. He had an abiding notion of his being alone and
abandoned, which followed him like a shadow, even unto the grave. This
feeling arose from his spirit of zeal. He burned to be doing more and
more for God's glory every day, and sought to communicate to others
some sparks of the flames that consumed himself. His projects for
carrying out his ideas seldom met the cordial approval of superiors,
and when he received such sanction, it was only after his schemes had
been considerably toned down. This restraint he had always to bear.

When his plans were tolerated, or even approved, he could not find one
to take them up as warmly as he wished. In fact, he found no second.
Catholics have an instinctive aversion to anything that wears the
appearance of novelty in their devotions. Father Ignatius's plans for
the sanctification of Ireland, the conversion of England, and the
perfection all should tend to, were very good things. No one could
have the least objection to them; but, somehow, every one could not
see his way to working them out. When {484} Father Ignatius proposed
the means he intended to adopt, the old Catholic shrugged his
shoulders as if he had heard a temerarious proposition. It was new;
the good old bishop that gave his life for his flock, or the saintly
priest he had listened to from childhood, never proposed such a thing.
He never read it in his books of piety, and though it seemed very
good, it "did not go down with him." He listened to the holy
Passionist, because he reverenced him; but he never encouraged his
zeal with more than a cold assent.

Father Ignatius found this want of correspondence to his suggestions
in every person even his own brethren in religion failed to be of
accord with him. He was perpetually speaking upon his favourite
topics, and never seemed satisfied with the work of his
fellow-labourers if they did not take up his ideas. He often drew down
upon himself severe animadversions on account of this state of mind.
When fathers returned to the retreat, tired and wearied after a number
of missions, they felt it rather hard to be told that they had done
very little, because they had not set about their work in his way. He
would be told very sharply that they should wish to see what he had
done himself; that his chimerical notions looked well on paper, or
sounded nicely in talk; that there was a surer way of guiding people
to heaven than talking them into fancies beyond their comprehension.
These remarks only served to bring out the virtue and humility of the
saintly man. He became silent at once, or turned the conversation into
another channel.

He had a still severer trial in this point. He very frequently
attributed the caution of his superiors to want of zeal, and used to
lecture them without human respect on what he thought to be their
duty. On one occasion he went so far as to complain of this to
Cardinal Wiseman; but the explanation was so satisfactory that he gave
expression to different sentiments for the future. Whenever they spoke
positively, he immediately acquiesced, and was most exact in carrying
out their injunctions. His zeal was unbounded, and one of his
superiors always said: "Father Ignatius will become a saint by the
very thwarting of his plans." If he had not the virtue of submitting
his judgment, it is hard to {485} say into what extravagances he might
rush. This one trial was the staple of his religious life for more
than thirty years.

We shall now give a few instances from his letters, and from anecdotes
recorded of him, to show the spirit with which he bore this and
kindred trials and crosses.

In 1853 he received a very severe letter from one of our Belgian
fathers, who is in high repute for learning and virtue. He forwarded
the letter to Father Eugene, who was then Provincial, accompanied by
these remarks:--

  "I thought of answering the enclosed letter from Father ---- at
  once, before sending it to your Paternity; but, on looking it over
  again, I have changed my mind. The rule which I make for myself is,
  to mind what my superiors say on this matter and the conversion of
  England, and to charge them to stop my proceedings if they
  disapprove of them. I shall take what they say as coming from God,
  who has a right to dispose of all souls, and who may judge that the
  time for grace in England is not come, or never has to come.
  Besides, they are the proper judges whether my proceedings are
  correct _in toto_ or in part. Your Paternity has lately expressed
  your mind upon the matter, and I have no scruple on the subject; but
  it is well you should know what others feel. I beg you to take this
  letter from Father ---- as kindly meant, and, with me, to be
  thankful for it."

Another to his Provincial:--

  "With regard to the principal topic of your Paternity's letter, I
  will first thank you, and thank God that I am thought worthy to be
  spoken and written to, without dissimulation or reserve, of what
  people think of me. If I make use with diligence of their remarks, I
  shall be able to gain ground in the esteem of God, and, perhaps,
  also in men's esteem; but that is not of consequence. Now, I suppose
  it would be best not to have said so much in explanation of my
  intentions in time past; and certainly I have said things which were
  vexing in the course of these explanations. It is no justification
  of this to allege that your Paternity's style of writing admonitions
  and reproofs is more severe than that of some persons, because I
  ought to receive {486} all with joy. But the cutting tone of some of
  your letters excites me to answer more or less in a cutting tone on
  my side, and I have given way to this temptation. It appears to me,
  it would be better if with me and others your tone was not so
  cutting. But God so appoints it for us, and so I had better prefer
  his judgment to my own, and persevere correcting myself, till I can
  answer cutting letters with the same gentle, affectionate language
  as I might the mildest ones. In this way I shall be the greatest
  gainer. So I will conclude with leaving it to your Paternity to
  decide in what tone you will correct me--only begging that you will
  not omit the correction when you see me in the wrong, and that you
  will inflict it, for charity's sake, at the risk even of suffering
  pain from my hasty and improper answers, which I cannot expect to
  correct at once, though I will try to do it. Will you let me meet
  you at the station when you pass through London, and accompany you
  to the station for the Dover Railway?"

In another letter, he writes:--

  "I am frequently assailed with black doubts about the prudence of
  all my proceedings; but these pass by, and I go on again with
  brighter spirits than ever, and, in the end, I am astonished how
  Providence has carried me clear of danger and perplexities when they
  have threatened me the most. I trust it will be so now.

  "I beg your Paternity will write to me again what you decide about
  St. Wilfrid's functions, and tell me what I can do by writing
  letters or otherwise. I feel better qualified to do what I am told,
  than to give advice what others should do."

As may be seen from some of the letters introduced above, Father
Ignatius had to endure trials from the want of sympathy with his ways,
in many of the English converts. One celebrated convert went so far as
to prohibit his speaking of the conversion of England to any of the
members of a community of which he was Superior. Another used to tell
him that "England was already damned," and that it was no use praying
for it. A third treated him to some sharp cuts about the work of his
little {487} missions, when answering an application of Father
Ignatius to give one in his parish. These and many other crosses of
the like nature, he used to complain of with deep feeling among his
fellow religious. It is remarkable that those who crossed him had
great respect for his holiness, and, very likely, their opposition
proceeded from not giving him credit for much prudence.

An incident that happened to him in one of his journeys in Ireland
will give an idea of how he bore humiliations. He was walking to one
of the principal towns in Tipperary, and a vehicle overtook him on the
road. The man in the car took compassion on the poor old priest, and
asked him to "take a lift." Father Ignatius took his seat at once;
before they had proceeded far together, his companion perceived that
he spoke in an "English accent," and began to doubt his being a
priest. There had been some ugly rows in the town, lately, on account
of a gang of "soupers" that infested it, and it struck the good
townsman that his waggon was carrying a veritable "souper. "What,"
thought he, "if the neighbours should see me carrying such a precious
cargo?" And, without asking or waiting for an explanation, he
unceremoniously told Father Ignatius "to get down, for he suspected he
wasn't of the right sort." Father Ignatius complied at once, without
the least murmur. When the man was about a mile ahead of his late
fellow-traveller, and could not stifle the remorse occasioned by his
hasty leave-taking, he resolved to turn back and catechise him. The
result satisfied him, and the good father was invited to take a seat a
second time. To atone for his almost unpardonable crime, as he thought
it, the man invited him to stay at his house for the night, as it was
then late. Father Ignatius said he was due at the priest's house, but
in case he found nobody up there, he should be happy to avail himself
of his friend's hospitality. They parted company in the town; Father
Ignatius went to the priest's, and the other to his home. They were
all in bed in the presbytery, and no answer was returned to the
repeated knocks and rings of the benighted traveller. He went to the
friend's house, but found _they_, too, were gone to bed. No word was
left about {488} Father Ignatius, and his strange accent made the
housewife refuse him admittance. He went off without saying a word in
explanation. The man bethought himself shortly after, and sent
messengers to seek him, who overtook him outside the town, walking off
to the next, which he expected to reach before morning.

Another time he undertook the foundation of a convent in
Staffordshire. With his usual indifference in matters temporal, he
made no material provision whatever for the reception of the sisters,
except a bleak, unfurnished house. The reverend mother came, with
three or four sisters, and was rather disconcerted at what she found
before them. Father Ignatius was expected in a day or two, and as the
time of his arrival approached, the reverend mother went into the
reception-room, and there sate--

    "A sullen dame,
  "Nursing her wrath to keep it warm."

Father Ignatius got a very hot reception. The lady scolded him
heartily for his carelessness, and descanted most eloquently on the
wants and grievances she had to endure since her arrival. He replied
calmly that it was not his fault, that that department of the
proceedings devolved on the parish priest. This only fired her the
more--"Why didn't he tell the parish priest?" He then waited, quietly
standing until she had exhausted her stock of abuse; whereupon he
asked if she had done, and on receiving a nod in the affirmative, he
said: "Oh, well, I know how I must approach your ladyship in future, I
must make three bows in the Turkish fashion." So saying, he bowed
nearly to the ground, retreated a step and bowed again, a third step
backwards brought him to the door of the apartment, and when he had
bowed still deeper than before, he stood up straight, took out a purse
with some sovereigns in it, and spun it to the corner of the room in
which the good nun sat petrified with astonishment:--"Take that now,
and it may calm you a bit," was the good morning he bid her, as he
closed the door after him, and went his way.

The tongue of slander assailed him again the last year of {489} his
life. We will give the occurrence in the words of the only one to whom
the reverend mother told it in confidence. Father Ignatius himself
never spoke of it.

  "As our dear Lord loved him much, he wished to try him as he had
  tried the dearest and best-beloved of his servants. Therefore he
  permitted that his character should be assailed in the most vile
  manner by one who, through mistaken zeal, gave out the most
  injurious insinuations regarding our dear father and the late
  reverend mother. When Father Ignatius heard of it, he sent for the
  reverend mother to exhort her to bear the calumny with love and
  resignation. In speaking to her he said that God had asked all of
  him, and he had freely given all but his good name, and that he was
  ready now to offer as it had pleased God to ask for it; for all
  belonged to Him and he thanked Him for leaving him nothing. 'Will
  you not.' he continued, 'do the same? Do you not see that God is
  asking you for the dearest thing you can give? Give it, then,
  freely, and thank Him for taking it, for don't you see that by this
  you are resembling Him more closely? Besides, He has permitted this
  to happen, and if we do not give up our good name, which already
  belongs to Him, cheerfully and willingly, He will take it, in spite
  of us, and we shall lose the merit of our offering. How foolish,
  therefore, is it to go against God! Let us resign ourselves
  unreservedly into his hands. However, to remove any scandal that
  might follow, and to show this good priest that I have no
  ill-feeling against him, I will go and visit him on friendly terms.'
  And so he did."

Besides casual attacks of illness brought on by his want of care or
great labours, he suffered during the latter part of his life from
chronic ailments. His heart often troubled him, and medical men told
him that he would very likely die of disease of the heart. He had an
ulcer in one of his ancles for a number of years, and was often
obliged to keep his bed on account of it. No one ever heard him
complain, and yet his sufferings must have been very acute. We never
remarked him rejoice so much over this painful sore, than when one of
the fathers, who respected him much, and {490} wanted to test his
mortification, became a Job's comforter. He said: "You deserve to be
lame, Father Ignatius, you made such use of your feet in the days of
your dancing and sporting, that Almighty God is punishing you now, and
the instruments of your pleasure are aptly turned into instruments of
pain." He said it was quite true, and that he believed so himself, and
that his only wish was that he might not lose a particle of the merit
it would bring him, by any kind of complaint on his part. He got a
rupture in 1863, and he simply remarked, "I have made another step
down the hill to-day."

Whilst labouring under a complication of sufferings he never abated
one jot of his round of duties, though requested to do so by his
subjects. He was Superior, and exercised his privilege by doing more
than any other instead of sparing himself. He did not take more rest
nor divide his labours with his companions. During the time of his
rectorship in Sutton, he used to preach and sing mass after hearing
confessions all morning; attend sick calls, preach in some distant
chapel in the evening, return at eleven o'clock, perhaps, and say his
office, and be the first up to matins at two o'clock again. The only
thing that seemed to pain him was a kind of holy envy. He used to say
to the young priests: "Oh, how well it is for you that are young and
buoyant, I am now stiff and old, and must have but a short time to
labour for Almighty God; still I hope to be able to work to the last."
This was his ordinary discourse the very year he died, and the young
fathers were much struck by the coincidence between his wishes and
their completion.

Father Ignatius Paoli, the Provincial, gave the cook orders to take
special care of the indefatigable worn-out Rector. He was not to heed
the fasts of the Rule, or at least to give the Superior the full
supply of meagre diet. Father Ignatius took the indulgence thankfully
for two or three days after returning from a mission; but when he saw
a better portion served up for himself oftener than was customary for
the other missionaries, he remonstrated with the brother cook. Next
day he was served in the same manner, he then gave a prohibition, and
at last scolded him. {491} The good brother then told him that he was
only carrying out the Provincial's orders. Father Ignatius was silent,
but, after dinner, posted off to the doctor, and made him give a
certificate of good health and ability to fast, which he forwarded to
the Provincial. Father Provincial did not wish to deny him the
opportunity of acquiring greater merit, and, at the same time, he
would prolong so valuable a life. To save both ends he placed him
under the obedience, as far as regarded his health, of one of the
priests of his community, whom he strictly obeyed in this matter
thenceforward.

Once he went on a sick-call in very wet weather, and either a cramp or
an accident made him fall into a dirty slough, where he was wetted
through and covered with mud. He came home in this state, and finding
a friend of his at the house, who more or less fell into his way of
thinking, he began to converse with him. The good father began to
speak of the conversion of England, and sat in his wet clothes for a
couple of hours, and likely would have stayed longer, so thoroughly
was he engrossed with his favourite topic, if one of the religious had
not come in, and frightened him off to change garments by his surprise
and apprehension.

He seemed indifferent to cold; he would sit in his cell, the coldest
day, and write until his fingers became numbed, and then he would warm
them by rubbing his hands together rather than allow himself the
luxury of a fire. He went to give a retreat somewhere in midwinter,
and the room he had to lodge in was so exposed that the snow came in
under the door. Here he slept, without bed or fire, for the first
night of his stay. It was the thoughtlessness of his entertainers that
left him in these cold quarters. In the morning some one remarked that
very probably Father Ignatius slept in the dreary apartment alluded
to. A person ran down to see, and there was the old saint amusing
himself by gathering up the snow that came into his room, and making
little balls of it for a kitten to run after. The kitten and himself
seem to have become friends by having slept together in his rug the
night before, and both were disappointed by the intrusion of the
wondering visitor.

{492}

His humility was as remarkable to any one who knew him as was his
zeal; and on this point also he was well tried. It is not generally
known that in the beginning of his Passionist life he adopted the
custom of praying before his sermons that God's glory would be
promoted by them and himself be humiliated. At the opening of Sutton
Church in 1852, he was sent for from London to preach a grand sermon
in the evening. A little before the sermon he was walking up and down
the corridor; the Provincial met him and asked more in joke than
otherwise: "Well, Father Ignatius, what are you thinking of now?" "I
am praying," he replied, "that if it be for the glory of God my sermon
may be a complete failure as far as human eloquence is concerned." We
may imagine the surprise of his Superior at hearing this extraordinary
answer; it is believed that this was his general practice to the end.
Contrary to the common notion that prevails among religious orders, he
wished that the Order would receive humiliations as well as himself.
He wished it to come to glory by its humiliations. On one occasion, he
expected that the newspapers would make a noise about something that
might be interpreted as humiliating to the community of which he was
Superior. Father Ignatius addressed the community nearly in these
words: We shall have something to thank God for tomorrow; the
Protestants will make a great noise in the papers about this affair,
and we must be prepared for a full feast of misrepresentations. Let us
thank God now in anticipation." He was disappointed, however, as the
papers were content with a bare notice of the matter.

Many persons did not give him credit for great humility; they thought
his continual quoting of himself, and his readiness to speak about his
doings, was, if not egotism, at least inconsistent with profound
humility. We cannot answer this imputation better than by giving
Father Faber's description of simplicity, which every one knows to be
the very character of genuine humility:--

  "But let us cast an eye at the action of simplicity in the spiritual
  life. Simplicity lives always in a composed consciousness of its own
  demerit and unworthiness. It is {493} possessed with a constant
  sense of what the soul is in the sight of God. It knows that we are
  worth no more than we are worth in His sight, and while it never
  takes its eye off that view of self, so it does not in any way seek
  to hide it from others. In fact it desires to be this, and no more
  than this, in the eyes of others; and it is pained when it is more.
  Every neighbour is, as it were, one of God's eyes, multiplying His
  presence; and simplicity acts as if every one saw us, knew us, and
  judged us as God does, and it has no wounded feeling that it is so.
  Thus, almost without direct effort, the soul of self-love is so
  narrowed that it has comparatively little room for action; although
  it never can be destroyed, nor its annoyance ever cease, except in
  the silence of the grave. The chains of human respect, which in the
  earlier stages of the spiritual life galled us so intolerably, now
  fall off from us, because simplicity has drawn us into the unclouded
  and unsetting light of the eye of God. There is no longer any
  hypocrisy. There is no good opinion to lose, because we know we
  deserve none, and doubt if we possess it. We believe we are loved in
  spite of our faults, and respected because of the grace which is in
  us, and which is not our own and no praise to us. All diplomacy is
  gone, for there is no one to circumvent and nothing to appropriate.
  There is no odious laying ourselves out for edification, but an
  inevitable and scarcely conscious letting of our light shine before
  men in such an obviously innocent and unintentional manner that it
  is on that account they glorify our Father who is in
  Heaven."--_Blessed Sacrament_, Book II., c. vii.

The secret by which Father Ignatius arrived at this perfect way of
receiving trials was his _thanking God_ for everything. When some one
objected to him that we could not thank God for a trial when we did
not feel grateful, "Never mind," he would say, "you take a hammer to
break a big stone; the first stroke has no effect, the second
seemingly no effect, and the third, and so on; but somewhere about the
twentieth or hundredth the stone is broken, and no one stroke was
heavier than the other. In the same way, begin to thank God, no matter
about the feeling, continue, {494} and you will soon break the hardest
difficulties." His maxims and sayings on resignation would fill a
good-sized volume were they collected together. We shall conclude this
chapter with one picked by chance from his letters:

  "In trials and crosses we are like a sick child, when its mother
  wants it to take some disagreeable medicine. The child kicks and
  screams and sprawls, and spits the medicine in its mother's face.
  That is just what we do when God sends us crosses and trials. But,
  like the mother, who will persevere in giving the medicine until the
  child has taken enough of it, God will send us crosses and trials
  until we have sufficient of them for the health of our souls."


{495}


CHAPTER XX.

Foreshadowings And Death.


Father Ignatius, for some months before his death, had a kind of
sensation that his dissolution was near. He paid many _last_ visits to
his old friends, and, in arranging by letter for the greater number of
flying visits, he used generally to say, "I suppose I shall not be
able to pay many more." Writing to Mrs. Hutchinson in Edinburgh from
St. Anne's Retreat, Button, in March, 1864, he says: "When I wrote to
you some months ago in answer to your kind letter, I think I expressed
a hope that I might again have