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Title: The Catholic World, Vol. 19, April 1874‐September 1874
Author: Various
Language: English
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                            The Catholic World

           A Monthly Magazine of General Literature and Science

                                Vol. XIX.

                       April 1874 to September 1874

                     The Catholic Publication House.

                                 New York

                                   1874



CONTENTS


Contents.
The Catholic World. Vol. XIX., No. 109.—April, 1874.
   The Principles Of Real Being. IV. Intrinsic Principles of Substance and
   Suppositum.
   On Hearing The “O Salutaris Hostia.”
   On The Wing: A Southern Flight.
   A National Or State Church.
   The Captive Bird.
   The Farm Of Muiceron. By Marie Rheil.
      XIX.
   Home Rule For Ireland.
   Sonnet: Good Friday.
   Grapes And Thorns. Chapter X. The Descent of Avernus.
   A Looker‐Back. III. The Temple.
   Was Origen A Heretic?
   Social Shams.
   To S. Joseph: On The Day Of My First Mass.
   Odd Stories. VI.—King Ruli.
   Epigram. The Widow’s Mites.
   Old Versus New.
   New Publications.
The Catholic World. Vol. XIX., No. 110.—May, 1874.
   The Coming Transit Of Venus.
   The Veil Withdrawn.
      I.
      II.
      III.
   The Principles Of Real Being. V. Intrinsic Principles Of Complex
   Beings.
      Principles of substantial compounds.
      Principles of accidental compounds.
      Principles of attributes and properties.
   The Butterfly.
   The Farm Of Muiceron. By Marie Rheil.
      XX.
      XXI.
   Fragment Of Early English Poetry.
   Self‐Education.
   On The Wing. A Southern Flight. II.
   There Was No Room For Them In The Inn.
   Antar And Zara; Or, “The Only True Lovers.” I.
   F. Louage’s Philosophy.
   Easter.
   Grapes And Thorns. Chapter XI. A Harvest of Thorns.
   Dante Gabriel Rosetti.
   For Ever.
   Visit To An Artist’s Studio.
   Visions.
   A Word For Women.
   New Publications.
The Catholic World. Vol. XIX., No. 111.—June, 1874.
   The Principles Of Real Being. VI. Principles of Nominal Realities.
      Principles of possible being.
      Principles of real relation.
      Principles of real distinction.
   Antar And Zara; Or, “The Only True Lovers.” II.
   The Farm Of Muiceron. By Marie Rheil. Concluded.
      XXII.
      XXIII.
   Public Worship.
   The Answered Prayer.
   The Veil Withdrawn.
      IV.
      V.
      VI.
   On The Wing. A Southern Flight. III.
   The Female Religious Of America.
   Switzerland In 1873.
   Epigram on Abraham Lincoln.
   Grapes And Thorns. Chapter XII. A Taper Lighted, And A Taper Blown Out.
   Material Faith.
   A Glimpse of the Green Isle. I.
   Cora.
   Charles X. At Holyrood.
   New Publications.
   A Criticism.
The Catholic World. Vol. XIX., No. 112.—July, 1874.
   A Discussion With An Infidel.
      I. Flippancy And Scholasticism.
      II. Tergiversation And Jugglery.
      III. Creation.
   Dante’s Purgatorio. Canto Fourteenth.
   The Veil Withdrawn.
      VII.
      VIII.
      IX.
   Anglican Orders. I.
      The Nag’s Head Story.
      The Lambeth Register.
      Barlow’s Status.
   Grapes And Thorns. Chapter XIII.
   The Jesuit Martyrs Of The Commune.
   Antar And Zara; Or, “The Only True Lovers.” III.
   A Glimpse of the Green Isle. II.
   One Corpus Christi.
   Relatio Itineris In Marylandiam.
   On The Wing. A Southern Flight. IV.
   Switzerland In 1873.
   Odd Stories. VII. The Philosophers Of The Dragon’s Bower.
   New Publications.
The Catholic World. Vol. XIX., No. 113.—August, 1874.
   Matter.
   Antar And Zara; Or, “The Only True Lovers.” IV.
   The Veil Withdrawn.
      X.
      XI.
      XII.
   The Rock Of Rest.
   Anglican Orders. II.
   On The Wing. A Southern Flight. V.
   A Discussion With An Infidel.
   Who Will Remember?
   Church Music.
   Comparison Of Waves With Flowers.
   A Glimpse of the Green Isle. III—Concluded.
   Grapes And Thorns. Chapter XIV—Uprooting Thorns.
   Madame Du Deffand.
   Cain, What Hast Thou Done With Thy Brother?
   The Legend Of Vallambrosa.
   Odd Stories. VIII. Snifkin.
   New Publications.
The Catholic World. Vol. XIX., No. 114.—September, 1874.
   Matter.
   Antar And Zara; Or, “The Only True Lovers.” V.
   The Veil Withdrawn.
      XIII.
      XIV.
      XV.
   Pius VI.
   Assunta Howard.
   Church Music. Concluded.
   A Week In Wordsworth’s Haunts.
   On The Wing. A Southern Flight. VI.
   A Discussion With An Infidel.
   Hymn Of The Flowers.
   Kathleen Waring.
   New Publications.
Footnotes



                               [Cover Page]



CONTENTS.


Anglican Orders,       467, 610.
Artist’s Studio, Visit to an,       273.
Assunta Howard,       765.

Cain, What Hast thou Done with thy Brother?        698.
Charles X. at Holyrood,       419.
Church Music,       654.
Coming Transit of Venus, The,       145.
Comparison of Waves with Flowers,       662.
Craven’s The Veil Withdrawn,       162, 333, 454, 597, 741.

Dante Gabriel Rosetti,       263.
Deffand, Mme. du,       693.
Discussion with an Infidel, A,       433, 637, 823.

Education, Self,       198.

Farm of Muiceron, The,       39, 187, 308.
Father Louage’s Philosophy,       231.
Female Religious of America, The,       362.

Glimpse of the Green Isle, A,       408, 526, 663.
Grapes and Thorns,       68, 247, 388, 480, 671.

Hello’s Cain, What hast thou Done with thy Brother?       698.
Home Rule for Ireland,       54.

Infidel, A Discussion with an,       433, 637, 823.
Ireland, Home Rule for,       54.

Jesuit Martyrs of the Commune, The,       505.

Kathleen Waring,        843.

Looker‐Back, A,       102.

Madame du Deffand,       693.
Matter,       578, 721.
Music, Church,       654, 785.

National, A, or State Church,       29.

Odd Stories,       137, 570, 714.
Old _versus_ New,       140.
On the Wing,       15, 209, 347, 541, 622, 807.
Origen: Was he a Heretic?       109.

Philosophy, F. Louage’s,       231.
Pius VI.,       755.
Principles of Real Being, The,        1, 173, 289.
Public Worship,       322.

Relatio Itineris in Marylandiam,       537.
Rheil’s The Farm of Muiceron,       39, 187, 308.
Rosetti, Dante Gabriel,       263.

Self‐Education,       198.
Social Shams,       125.
Southern Flight, A,       15, 209, 347, 541, 622, 807.
Switzerland in 1873,       375, 557.

Veil Withdrawn, The,       162, 333, 454, 597, 741.
Visit to an Artist’s Studio,       273.

Was Origen a Heretic?       109.
Week in Wordsworth’s Haunts, A,       795.
Word for Women, A,       277.



Poetry.


Answered Prayer,       332.
Antar and Zara,       226, 303, 521, 592, 735.

Butterfly, The,       186.

Captive Bird, The,       38.
Cora,       418.

Dante’s Purgatorio,       450.

Easter,        246.
Epigram on Abraham Lincoln,       387.
Epigram: The Widow’s Mites,       139.

For Ever,       272.
Fragment of Early English Poetry,       197.

Hymn of the Flowers,       841.

Legend of Vallambrosa, The,       710.

Material Faith,       407.

One Corpus Christi,       536.
On Hearing the “O Salutaris Hostia!”       14.

Rock of Rest, The,       609.

Sonnet: Good Friday,       67.

There was no Room for Them at the Inn,       225.
To S. Joseph,       136.

Visions,       276.

Who Will Remember?       653.



New Publications.


Adeline de Chazal,       860.
Alexander the Great,       859.
Amelia; or, The Triumph of Piety,       858.
Archdall’s Monasticon Hibernicum,       719.

Baltimore Gun Club, The,       575.
Bégin’s La Sainte Ecriture et La Regle de Foi,       719.
Bellasius’ Cherubini,       719.
Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque,       855.
Buckley’s Sermons, Lectures, etc.,       286.

Castaniza’s The Spiritual Conflict,       856.
Catholic Church, The, in its Relations to Human Progress,       575.
Catherine Hamilton,       432.
Catherine of Genoa,       573.
Cherubini: Memorial Illustrative of his Life,       719.
Children of Mary,       576.
Christian Cemetery in the XIXth Century, The,       573.
Church and the Empires, The,       859.
Commonitory, The, of S. Vincent of Lerins,       719.
Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer, A,       720.
Conferences on the Spiritual Life,       143.
Consoling Thoughts of S. Francis of Sales,       286.
Conway’s The Sacred Anthology,       574.
Count de Montalembert’s Letters to a School‐fellow,       281.
Coxe’s Catholics and Roman Catholics,       575.
Curtius’ History of Greece,       431.

Deharbe’s A Full Catechism,       718.
De Vere’s Alexander the Great,       859.
Dialogues of S. Gregory,       575.
Dictionary of the English Language, A,       720.
Dr. Coxe’s Claims to Apostolicity Reviewed,       281.
Dubois’ Madame Agnes,       430.

Ecclesiastical Antiquities of London,       143.
Essay Contributing to a Philosophy of Literature, An,       858.

Fairplay’s Notes of the Wandering Jew,       144.
Farm of Muiceron, The,       430.
Favre, B. Peter, The Life of,       142.
Francis of Sales, S., Consoling Thoughts of,       286.
Franco’s Tigranes,       575.
French Prisoner in Russia, The,       431.
Full Catechism of the Catholic Religion, A,       718.
Fullerton’s Rosemary,       860.
Fullerton’s Short Stories,       860.

Garside’s B. Margaret Mary Alacoque,       855.
Garside’s The Helpers of Holy Souls,       860.
Gaume’s The Christian Cemetery,       573.
Glory and Sorrow,       432.
Grapes and Thorns,       856.
Gregory, S., Dialogues of,       575.

Hedley’s Who is Jesus Christ?       431.
Helpers of Holy Souls, The,       860.
History of Greece,       431.
Hodge’s What is Darwinism?       429.
Holy Places,       718.

In Six Months,       281.

Lancicius’ Meditation,       431.
Lasserre’s The Month of Mary of Our Lady of Lourdes,       718.
Letter‐Books, The, of Sir Amias Poulet,       576.
Letters to a School‐fellow,       281.
Lewis’ Life of S. John of the Cross,       429.
Life and Doctrine of S. Catherine of Genoa,       573.
Life of B. Peter Favre, S.J.,       142.
Life of S. Thomas of Villanova,       573.

McMullen’s Snatches of Song,       287.
Madame Agnes,       430.
Manning’s Sin and its Consequences,       431.
May Papers,       432.
Meditations for Every Day in the year,       431.
Meditations on the Holy Eucharist,      287.
Meline’s In Six Months,      281.
Monasticon Hibernicum,      719.
Montagu’s On Some Popular Errors,      573.
Moriarty’s The Catholic Church, etc.,      575.
Morris’ The Letter‐Books of Sir Amias Poulet,      576.

Neptune Outward Bound, The,      860.
New Manual of the Sacred Heart, The,      431.
Noel’s The Red Flag, etc.,      144.
Notes of the Wandering Jew,      144.
Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes,      287.

O’Sullivan’s School Hygiene,      576.
Olmstead’s De l’Autorité; ou, La Philosophie du Personnalisme. Lettre au
            Rev. Père J. F. Hecker, etc.,      717.
On Some Popular Errors, etc.,      573.

Paradise of God,      288.
Personal Reminiscences,      576.
Philippe’s, Brother, Meditations,      287.
Pope, The, and the Emperor,      431.
Pride of Lexington, The,      142.
Purbrick’s May Papers,      432.

Ramsay’s Bishop Grant,      855.
Ravignan’s Conferences,      143.
Red Flag, The, etc.,      144.
Report of a Committee on a New Bellevue‐Hospital,      280.
Rheil’s The Farm of Muiceron,      430.
Rivière’s Holy Places,      718.
Rosemary,      860.
Ryan’s Dr. Coxe’s Claims,      281.

Sacred Anthology, The,      574.
School Hygiene,      576.
Selim, Pacha of Salonica,      432.
Seton’s The Pride of Lexington,      142.
Short Stories,      860.
Sin and its Consequences,      431.
Sketches of Illustrious Soldiers,      719.
Snatches of Song,      287.
Spiritual Conflict and Conquest,      856.
State Charities Aid Association,      280.
Sweeney’s The Pope and the Emperor,      431.
Sylvia, and Other Dramas,      576.

Theologia Moralis Novissimi Ecclesiæ Doctoris S. Alphonsi, in Compendium
            Redacta, etc.,      576.
Thomas and Baldwin’s Gazetteer,      720.
Thomas’s Dictionary of Biography,      720.
Thomas Grant, First Bishop of Southwark,      855.
Thomas, S., of Villanova, Life of,      573.
Tigranes,      575.
True to Trust,      281.
Twelve Tales for the Young,      576.

Université Laval: Sixième Centenaire de S. Thomas d’Aquin à S. Hyacinthe
            et à Quebec,      281.

Verne’s The Baltimore Gun Club,      575.
Virtues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, The,      288.

What is Darwinism?      429.
Who is Jesus Christ?      431.
Wilberforce’s The Church and the Empires,      859.
Wilson’s Illustrious Soldiers,      719.
Wood’s Ecclesiastical Antiquities,      143.
Worcester’s Dictionary,      720.



THE CATHOLIC WORLD. VOL. XIX., NO. 109.—APRIL, 1874.



The Principles Of Real Being. IV. Intrinsic Principles of Substance and
Suppositum.


We have briefly shown in the preceding article that a complete being, to
be a substance and a suppositum, requires no positive addition to its
three intrinsic principles, but needs only to be left to itself. This is,
in our opinion, an obvious truth. But as there are philosophers of high
repute who do not fully share the same opinion, and, on the other hand,
the notions of substance and of suppositum are both intimately connected
with some theological truths which cannot be well explained without a
distinct knowledge of what these two notions really imply, we deem it
expedient to enter into a closer examination of the subject, that we may
better understand by the light of reason, and confirm by the weight of
authority, the traditional doctrine on substance and suppositum, their
essential constitution, formal distinction, and supernatural separability.

Substance is very commonly described as “that which is in itself and by
itself”—_quod in se et per se subsistit_. This definition exhibits the
“predicamental” substance—that is, a substance ultimately complete, which
is at the same time a suppositum also, according to Aristotle’s
comprehensive conception of substance. And it is for this reason that such
a definition is made up of two members; of which the first—viz., “that
which exists in itself”—strictly applies to substance as such; whilst the
second—viz., “that which subsists by itself”—strictly refers to the
suppositum as such, and exhibits substance as possessing its own natural
subsistence or suppositality.

Philosophers, when speaking of things as existing in their natural state
and condition, are wont to say indiscriminately that substance is a being
which “exists in itself,” or a being which “subsists by itself.” This they
can do without any danger of error so long as they keep within the bounds
of pure nature; since, in the natural order, anything that exists in
itself subsists by itself, and _vice versa_. But natural things can, by
supernatural interference, be raised to a mode of existence transcending
their natural condition, as we know by divine revelation; and in such a
case, the mode of substance and the mode of the suppositum must be, and
accordingly are, most carefully distinguished from one another. Thus we
know by faith that in Christ our Lord there is the true substance of a
human body and of a human soul; and nevertheless we know that his human
nature does not subsist by itself, but by the Divine Person of the Word.
The obvious inference is that a nature which exists in itself does not
necessarily subsist by itself; in other terms, the formality of substance
and the formality of the suppositum are entirely distinct from one
another, and the one can remain without the other. “What makes substance
to be essentially a substance,” as Suarez remarks, “is not its subsisting
_actually_ by itself, but its having an essence to which subsistence is
naturally due—viz., an essence which is of itself a sufficient principle
of subsistence.”(1) From this we learn that the words _per se esse_, or
“to subsist by itself,” are inserted in the definition of substance, not
to show what substance as such is, but only to point out what is naturally
due to substance—viz., what accompanies it in its natural mode of
existing. Substance as such would therefore be sufficiently characterized
by the words, “that which is in itself.”

Let us now inquire what is the legitimate meaning of these last words. A
thing is said to exist in itself which not only has in itself what is
needed for its own sustentation, but is moreover actually unsustained by
anything lying under it, while it is itself the first subject of all its
appurtenances. Such is the legitimate and traditional meaning of the
words, “to exist in itself.” Hence substance may be legitimately defined
as “a being which by its intrinsic constitution has no need of being
supported by a subject, and which is not actually supported.”

A living author, however, in a valuable work to which I have no access at
this moment, and from which, therefore, I do not make any quotation
_verbatim_, asserts that substance “up to the present day” has always been
understood to mean “a thing which by its intrinsic constitution has no
need of being supported by a subject,” without taking into consideration
its actual mode of existing. We shall presently show that this assertion
is not true, and that this pretended definition is essentially incomplete.
Meanwhile, let us observe that the precise difference between our
definition and this new one consists in this only: that whilst the first
presents substance as having _no actual support_, the second presents it
as having _no need_ of actual support, whether it be supported, at least
supernaturally, or not. This difference, of course, would amount to
nothing, and might be entirely overlooked, if things could not exist but
in their natural condition; for anything which is in no need of support
will naturally exist unsupported. But as philosophy is the handmaid of
theology, we must remember that natural things can be raised to a
supernatural state, and thus change their mode of existing; and in such a
case the difference between the two said definitions may amount to much;
because, if a thing which is naturally in no need of support be actually
supported, then, according to the first definition, that thing _thus
actually supported_ would cease to exist as a substance, whilst, according
to the second definition, it would still continue to exist as a substance,
as it would still have no need of support. Hence the importance of
ascertaining which of the two definitions we are authorized to hold
according to the traditional doctrine of philosophers and theologians.

And first, Aristotle, at the head of the peripatetic school which held its
sway for centuries, defines substance to be _ultimum subjectum_—“the last
subject”—that is, the undermost subject; by which he unquestionably means
that substance is something which not only lies underneath (_subjacet_),
but is moreover the “last” thing which lies underneath. In other terms,
substance, according to Aristotle, must have nothing lying under it, and,
while supporting all its appurtenances, is itself actually unsupported.
Hence it is, that quantity, for instance, though lying under some figure
and supporting it, is no substance at all; for, though it is _a subject,_
it is not the _undermost_.

This definition of the Greek philosopher has been universally accepted and
made use of by Christian as well as pagan philosophers of all times,
though many of them called _the first_ subject what Aristotle had called
_the last_—a change which does not affect the meaning of the definition,
since what is last in the analytic is first in the synthetic process. It
is clear, therefore, that both Aristotle and his followers do not define
substance simply as that which has _no need_ of support, but as that which
is _actually unsupported_.

S. John Damascene, in the fourth chapter of his _Dialectics_, defines
substance to be “that which is in itself in such a manner as not to exist
in anything else”;(2) and after a few lines, “Substance,” he says, “is
that which has its existence in itself, and not in anything else”;(3) and
again in another chapter of the same work, “Substance,” he says, “is
anything which subsists by itself and has its own being, not in any other
thing, but in itself.”(4)

According to these definitions, which are identical, substance is a thing
which not only is able to support itself, but actually supports itself to
the exclusion of any other distinct supporter. This is quite manifest;
for, if substance, in the opinion of this great doctor and philosopher,
had been only a thing having _no need_ of support, how could he require so
pointedly and explicitly _the actual mode_ of existing in itself and not
in anything else?

S. Ambrose admits a notion of substance quite identical with that of
Aristotle and of all the ancients, and employs it even in speaking of God
himself. “God,” says he, “inasmuch as he remains in himself, and does not
subsist by extrinsic support, is called a substance.”(5) God, of course,
does not fall under the predicament of substance, as philosophers know;
and yet the substantiality even of his nature, according to this holy
doctor, implies the actual absence of extrinsic sustentation.(6)

S. Thomas, as we might expect, teaches the very same doctrine.
“Substance,” says he, “is a thing whose quiddity requires to exist
unsupported by anything else”—_cui convenit esse non in alio_;(7) and he
adds that this formality (_esse non in alio_) is a mere negation; which is
evident. And in another place, “_Substance_,” says he, “does not differ
from _being_ by any difference which would imply a new nature superadded
to the being itself; but the name of substance is given to a thing in
order to express its special mode of existing.”(8) Two things, then, or
two constituents, are needed, according to S. Thomas, that we may have a
substance: a physical being and a special mode of existing. The physical
being is a positive reality, a nature perfectly constituted, both
materially and formally, whilst the special mode is a mere negation; but,
though a mere negation, is that which causes the thing to be a substance,
as _the name of substance is given to the thing in order to express its
special mode of existing_. Therefore the thing itself apart from such a
special mode cannot be a substance, any more than a six‐pence apart from
its rotundity can be a circle.

Toletus includes in his definition of substance both _the thing_ and _the
special mode_ of existing. He says: “The first substance is a sensible
nature which is not predicated of any subject nor exists in any
subject.”(9)

Suarez says even more explicitly, “It is not necessary for the _essence_
of substance that it should have its own subsistence, but that it should
have the mode of substance.”(10) We cannot, then, overlook, and much less
discard, this special mode without destroying the _essential_ notion of
substance as such. Now, he who defines substance to be simply a thing
which has _no need_ of support overlooks and discards this special mode;
hence he destroys the essential notion of substance as such.

Balmes, in his _Fundamental Philosophy_, says: “In the notion of
substance, two other notions are implied—to wit, that of permanence and
that of non‐inherence. Non‐inherence is the true formal constituent of
substance, and is a negation; it is grounded, however, on something
positive—that is, on the aptitude of the thing to exist in itself without
the need of being supported by another.”(11) This passage establishes very
clearly the common doctrine that the aptitude of a thing to exist without
being supported is not the formal constituent of substance, but only the
ground on which the proper formal constituent of substance (non‐inherence)
is conceived to be possible.

Ferraris, a modern Italian Thomist, in his course of philosophy, says
explicitly that substance is destroyed if its “perseity”—_per se esse_—be
taken away.(12) The word “perseity” stands here for the “special mode” of
S. Thomas, the “mode of substance” of Suarez, the “non‐inherence” of
Balmes, etc.

Liberatore has the following: “Going back to the notion of substance, we
may consider three things which are implied in it: the first, that it
exists, not in any manner whatever, but in itself; the second, that it
consists of a determinate reality or essence, from which its determinate
active powers arise; the third, that it is in possession of itself—_sui
juris_—with regard to its manner of existing. Of these three things, the
first exhibits properly and precisely the notion of substance; the second
presents the concept of nature; the third expresses the notion of
suppositum.”(13)

The preceding quotations, to which others might be added, are more than
sufficient, in our opinion, to refute the assertion that substance at all
times was considered simply as a thing having _no need_ of support; for we
have seen that the most prominent philosophers and theologians of all
times uniformly consider the actual negation of support as an essential
principle of substance. Sanseverino, a very learned modern philosopher of
the Thomistic school, treating in his _Logic_ of the predicament of
substance, establishes the fact that, according to the common teaching of
the scholastics, “not the essence of the thing, but its mode of existing,
formally constitutes the predicament of substance.” Although that special
mode of existing is not implied in the essential concept of the thing,
_inasmuch as it is a thing_, yet, according to the doctrine of the
schoolmen, the same special mode is implied, as a formal constituent, in
the essential concept of the same thing, _inasmuch as it falls under the
predicament of substance_; so that, in the constitution of substance, the
essence of the thing is to be ranked as its material, and the special mode
of existing as its formal, principle. And the learned writer sums up all
this doctrine in one general conclusion of Henry of Ghent, which runs
thus: “Every predicament arises out of two constituents, of which one is
the thing which is to be put under the predicament, the other is its mode
of being which determines the predicament, and by these same constituents
are the predicaments distinguished from one another”(14)—a doctrine
explicitly taught by S. Thomas himself.(15) And here let us reflect that,
if all the schoolmen, as Sanseverino with the authority of his
philosophical erudition declares, affirm that the mode of substance, the
non‐inherence, the negation of support, is an _essential_ constituent of
substance as such, we are free to conclude that to affirm the contrary is
to give a false notion of substance; while to say that philosophers have
at all times, or at any time, taught the contrary, is to give a very false
statement of facts.

This may suffice to convince the student that the essential formality of
substance as such is _the negation of actual support_. And now let us
inquire what is the formal constituent of suppositum. Suppositum and
substance, though not identical, are similarly constituted. The positive
entity of both is the same, and the difference between them arises
entirely from the different character of their negative formality, as we
are going to explain. For the essence or nature of every created being is
naturally accompanied by two negations, of which neither is essential to
it, while either of them, absolutely speaking, can be made to disappear.
The first is the negation of anything _underlying_ as a supporter and
acting the part of a subject; and it is to this negation, as we have
proved, that any complete nature formally owes its name and rank of
substance. The second is the negation of anything _overlying_, so to say,
and possessing itself of the created being in such a manner as to endue it
with an additional complement and a new subsistence; and it is to this
negation that a complete nature formally owes its name and rank of
suppositum. The complete nature, or the thing in question, when considered
apart from these two negations, does not, therefore, convey the idea
either of substance or of suppositum, but exhibits a mere potency of being
either or both; as it is evident that there cannot be a substance without
the formal constituent of substance, nor a suppositum without the formal
constituent of suppositum.

This doctrine, which is so simple and clear, and which fully explains the
true meaning of those phrases, “it exists in itself,” and “it subsists by
itself,” can be confirmed by what S. Thomas teaches on the subject. And
since we have already said enough in regard to the mode of substance, we
shall give only what he says concerning subsistence or suppositality. That
the words _per se_—“by itself”—which strictly exhibit the formality of the
suppositum, are the expression of a _mere negation_, is admitted by S.
Thomas in a passage above mentioned. This would lead us immediately to
conclude that the formal constituent of suppositum, in the judgment of the
holy doctor, is a mere negation. But we may find a more perspicuous proof
of this in those passages where he explains how the human nature in Christ
subsists without the human personality. The absence of the human
personality in Christ does not depend, says he, “on the absence of
anything pertaining to the perfection of the human nature—but on the
addition of something that ranks above the human nature, to wit, on the
union of the human nature with a divine Person.”(16) And again: “The
divine Person, by his union, prevented the human nature from having its
own personality.”(17) It is manifest from these two passages that,
according to S. Thomas, the absence of the human personality in Christ is
to be accounted for by the _addition_ of something above the human nature,
and not by the suppression or subtraction of any positive entity belonging
to the human nature. If, then, the absence of the human personality
entails no absence of positive reality, it is obvious that the human
personality is not a positive reality, but a real negation. Such is S.
Thomas’s doctrine, endorsed by Scotus and many others.

There are, however, some philosophers and theologians, Suarez among
others, who consider personality as something positive; and we must
briefly discuss the grounds of their opinion.

They say that, if the human personality is nothing positive, human person
will be the same reality as human nature, and therefore the one will not
be really distinct from the other; and if so, the one cannot be assumed
without the other. How, then, can we say that the Eternal Word assumed the
human nature without the human person?

We reply that all negation which belongs to a real being is a _real_
negation, and constitutes a _real_ mode of being. Accordingly, although
the human personality is only a negation, the nature existing under that
negation _really_ differs from itself existing without that negation, no
less than a body at rest really differs from itself in movement, although
rest is only a negation of movement. And this suffices to show that the
objection is wholly grounded on the false supposition that nothing is real
which is not positive.

They affirm that subsistence or suppositality gives the last complement to
the nature, as it terminates it and makes it subsistent. Hence
subsistence, as they infer, must add something positive to the nature;
which it cannot do unless it be a positive reality.

We deny the assumption altogether. Subsistence, in fact, gives no
complement whatever to the nature, but, on the contrary, presupposes the
complete nature, which, when simply left to itself, cannot but be
subsistent by itself, and therefore is said to have its own subsistence.
It is not subsistence that causes the thing to subsist; it is the thing
which abides by itself that, in consequence of this same abiding by
itself, has subsistence, and is called subsistent; just in the same manner
as it is not _rest_ that causes the body to be at rest, but _the concrete
resting_; as rest is evidently the consequence of the resting. Hence this
second objection, too, is based on a false assumption.

Another of their reasons is the following: In God, personality is a
positive reality, therefore in creatures also; for the created person is a
participation of divine person, which is a positive reality.

We do not see how this assertion can be true. In God there are three
Persons, but neither of them is participated or communicated to creatures.
Indeed, creatures bear in themselves a faint imitation of the three divine
Persons, inasmuch as they involve three intrinsic principles in their
constitution, as we have explained in the preceding article; but these
three principles are not three persons. Yet, if divine personality were in
any way communicable to creatures, creatures would subsist in three
persons; for how could the personality of the Father be communicated in
any degree without the personality of the Son and of the Holy Ghost being
communicated in the same degree? Personality in God is a relative entity,
and cannot be conceived without its correlative; and consequently, if the
human personality were a participation of divine personality, it would be
impossible for man to be a single person; whence it appears that human
personality is not a communication of divine personality, and is not even
analogous to it. What we call a human person is nothing but a human
individual nature which is _sui juris_—that is, not possessed by a
superior being, but left to itself and free to dispose of its acts. It
therefore imitates, not the divine Persons, but the divine absolute Being,
inasmuch as it is independent in disposing of everything according to his
will. Now, independence, even in God, implies the negation or absence of
any necessary connection or conjunction with anything distinct from the
divine nature. It is but reasonable, then, to hold that the human nature
also exists free and independent by the very absence or negation of
personal union with a higher being. We remark, however, that such a
negation in God is a negation of imperfection, while in creatures an
analogous negation is a negation of a higher perfection, since it is the
negation of their union with a more perfect nature.

It has been argued, also, that to be a person is better than not to be a
person; whence it would follow that personality is a perfection. On the
other hand, negations are not perfections; hence personality cannot be a
negation.

To this we answer that the proposition, “to be a person is better than not
to be a person,” can be understood in two different manners. It may mean
that to have a nature which is capable of personality, and is naturally
personal, is better than to have a nature incapable of personality; and in
this sense the proposition is true, for it is certainly better to have the
nature of man than the nature of an ox. This, however, would not show that
personality is a positive formality. But the same proposition might be
taken to mean that to have one’s natural personality is better than to
exist without it, in consequence of hypostatic union with a higher being;
and in this sense, which is the sense of the objection, the proposition is
evidently false. For the whole perfection of the human person is the
perfection of its nature; so that human personality, instead of being a
new perfection, is only an exponent of the perfection and dignity of human
nature, which is such that the same nature can naturally guide itself and
control its actions. We therefore concede that human personality is a
formality _of a perfect nature_, but we cannot admit that it is _a
perfection_ of itself. If human personality were a perfection of human
nature, we would be compelled to say that human nature is less perfect in
Christ than in all other men; for, though the Eternal Word assumed the
whole human nature, he did not assume that pretended perfection, human
personality. But S. Paul assures us that Christ’s human nature “is like
ours in all things, except sin.” We cannot therefore suppose that the
human nature is less perfect in him than in other men; and this leads us
to the conclusion that human personality is not a positive perfection.

Some have pretended that the mystery of the Incarnation would become quite
inexplicable if the human person were nothing more than the human nature
left to itself. Their reason is that by the Incarnation the human nature
is separated from the human person; which they deem to be impossible if
the person is nothing else than the nature alone.

This is, however, a manifest paralogism. If, in fact, the human person is
the human nature _left to itself_, the nature assumed by the Word will
certainly not be a human person, since it is clear that the nature thus
assumed is _not left to itself_. This suffices to show the inconsistency
of the objection. Let us add that it is not entirely correct to say that
by the Incarnation the human nature is separated from the human person; it
would be more correct to say that the human nature is prevented from
having that natural subsistence which would make it a human person.

Lastly, it has been said that, if the human nature which has been assumed
by the Eternal Word was entirely complete, the union of the Word with it
could not be intimate and substantial. Hence, according to this reasoning,
there must have been something wanting in the human nature assumed, which
something has been supplied by the hypostatic union.

We cannot but repeat, with S. Thomas, that the human nature assumed by the
Word is absolutely perfect, and therefore exempt from any deficiency which
could have been supplied by the hypostatic union. And as for the reason
alleged, we say that it is grounded on a false supposition. The union of
the Word with the human nature is not a conspiration of the divine and the
human into oneness of _substance_, for the thing would be impossible; and
therefore it is not wholly correct to say that the union is _substantial_.
The proper term is _hypostatic_—that is, _personal_; for, in fact, the
human nature conspires with the divine Word into oneness of _person_, the
two natures or substances remaining entirely distinct. Now, the oneness of
person is not obtained by supplying any deficiency in the human nature,
but by _adding_, as S. Thomas teaches, to the perfect human nature that
which is above it—that is, by the Word taking possession of it in his own
person.

Such are the principal reasons advanced by those who consider human
personality, and suppositality in general, as a positive mode. We think we
have answered them sufficiently.

We cannot better conclude this controversy than by inviting the same
philosophers to take cognizance of the following argument. The mode of
suppositum, as well as the mode of substance, is not an accidental but a
_substantial_ mode, as all agree, and every one must admit. Now, no
substantial mode can be positive; and therefore neither the mode of
suppositum nor the mode of substance can be positive. The minor of this
syllogism can be proved thus: Positive modes are nothing but positive
actualities or affections of being; and unless they are mere relative
denominations (which is not the case with substantial modes), they must
result from the positive reception of some act in a real subject. This is
an obvious truth, for nothing is actual but by some act; and all acts
which are not essential to the first constitution of the being are
received in the being already constituted as in a real subject. And since
all acts thus received are accidental, hence all the positive modes
intrinsic to the being must be accidental modes; and no substantial mode
can be positive. Therefore whatever is positive in the suppositum and in
the substance belongs to the _nature_ of the being which has the mode of
suppositum or of substance, whilst the _modes_ themselves are mere
negations.

This truth, however, should not be misunderstood. When we say that “to be
in itself” or “to be by itself” is a mere negation, we do not refer to the
verb “to be”; we only refer to the appendage “in itself” or “by itself.”
_To be_ is positive, but belongs to the nature as such, as it is the
essential complement of all being, whether substance and suppositum or
not. The negation consists, in the one case, in _not being sustained_ by
an underlying supporter, and, in the other, in _not being taken possession
of_ by an overlying superior being. Indeed, when we unite the verb _to be_
with either of the two negations, we unite the positive with the negative.
But the positive comes in as determinable, while the negative comes in as
determinant. Hence the resultant determination or formality is only the
actuality of a negation. Now, the actuality of a negation, though it is
real inasmuch as it is the affection of a positive being, yet it is
_negative_; for all actuality is denominated by its formal principle, and
such a principle, in our case, is a negation.

A writer in a Catholic periodical has ventured to say that if the
formality of substance (and the same would also apply to the suppositum)
is negative, then substance “will consist merely in a negation.” It is
surprising that a philosopher has not seen the absurdity of such a
conclusion. Substance is not to be confounded with its formality. There
are many positive things which involve a negation. In an empty pocket,
emptiness is a negation; ignorance in the ignorant is a negation; and
limit in all things finite is a negation. Yet no one will say that an
empty pocket, an ignorant pupil, or a finite being “consist merely in a
negation”; and therefore, although the formality of substance is a
negation, it does not follow that substance is a mere negation.

It now remains for us to show that neither of the two aforesaid negations
is essential to any created being, and that a created being can therefore,
absolutely speaking, exist, at least supernaturally, without either of
them. Our first proof is drawn from the fact that neither the one nor the
other negation is reckoned among the essential constituents of created
beings. All complete nature, by common admission, consists “of essence and
existence”—_ex essentia et esse_—the existence being the formal complement
of the essence, and the essence itself involving, as its principles, an
act with its corresponding term, as the readers of our last article
already know. Accordingly, there is nothing essential in a complete being
besides its act, its term, and its complement; and therefore neither the
mode of substance nor the mode of suppositum is essential to a complete
created being.

Our second proof is drawn from the notion of existence. “To exist strictly
and simply,” says Suarez, “means only to have a formal entity in the order
of nature; and therefore things existing are equally susceptible of the
mode of being which consists in leaning on a supporter, and of the
opposite mode which excludes all support.”(18) This is a tangible truth;
for although a complete being possesses in its own constitution what is
required for its own existence, yet it has nothing in its constitution
which implies the necessity of existing in itself and by itself. It can
indeed, and will naturally, be in itself without anything underlying as a
supporter, since it sufficiently supports itself on its own term; but it
contains nothing that would make impossible the sub‐introduction of a
supernatural supporter. And, again, a complete being can subsist by itself
without further completion, since it is sufficiently complete by its
formal complement; but it contains nothing which would exclude the
possibility of its acquiring a further completion and a supernatural
subsistence.

A third proof might be drawn from the fact that our own bodies exist
indeed in themselves, but do not subsist by themselves, as their material
nature is taken possession of by a spiritual being—the soul—and subsists
by its subsistence. From this fact, which is alluded to in S. Athanasius’
_Symbol_ as an image of the assumption of the human nature by the Word, we
might show that suppositality can, even naturally, be supplanted by the
union of a lower with a higher nature. But we will not develop this proof,
as it requires too long an explanation and many new considerations, which
cannot be embodied in the present article.

Last, but not least, it is evident that all negations which are not
included in the essence of a thing can be supplanted by the position of
their contrary. Hence the mode of substance and the mode of suppositum,
which are negations, and are not included in the essence of created
things, can be supplanted by the intervention of a supernatural power.

As we must here keep within the bounds of philosophy, we abstain from
discussing other cognate questions which can be safely answered only by a
direct appeal to dogmatic definitions and theological arguments. We may,
however, state that the old scholastic theologians and the fathers of the
church, both Greek and Latin, admitted that the mode of substance, as well
as the mode of suppositum, can be made to disappear from the thing to
which it naturally belongs in the manner above explained. For their common
doctrine on the mysteries of the Incarnation and of the Holy Eucharist is,
that the two mysteries are analogous to one another,(19) and admit of a
parallel mode of reasoning for their explanation. The analogy more or less
explicitly pointed out by them involves the admission of a principle which
may be expressed in the following words: “As the whole human nature can
exist in Christ _without the mode of human person_, which is excluded by
the hypostatic union of the Word with it, so can the whole sensible nature
(_species_) of bread exist in the Holy Eucharist _without its mode of
substance_, which is excluded by the substantive presence of Christ’s body
under it.” This traditional doctrine has been almost ignored in these
latter centuries by those who were anxious to explain everything according
to a special system of natural philosophy, and who little by little formed
a new theory of the sacramental species; but the physical system on which
these theologians took their stand having given way, and their new theory
having lost its plausibility, we are of opinion that instead of seeking
for new explanations, as some do, it is more prudent to fall back on
tradition, and take into consideration the authorized teachings of our old
polemic writers, of those especially who so valiantly fought against
Berengarius and other heretics in behalf of the Eucharistic dogma.

Before we conclude, we wish to make a few remarks on some ambiguous
expressions which may be a source of error in speaking of substance and of
suppositum. We have said that Aristotle includes in his first category the
suppositum as well as the substance, and that for this reason the words,
“by itself,” “to support,” “to subsist,” have been promiscuously applied
to the substance as well as to the suppositum. This has been done not only
in philosophy, but even in theology. Thus we read in good authors that the
divine Person of the Word “supports” or “sustains” Christ’s human nature.
Yet these words, as also “sustentation,” when applied to subsistence, must
have a meaning which they have not when applied to substance; and it is
plain that to employ the same words in both cases may give rise to serious
mistakes. Some authors, besides overlooking the distinction to be made
between “existing in itself”—_esse in se_—and “subsisting by itself”—_per
se subsistere_—confound also with one another their opposites—viz., “to
exist in something else”—_esse in alio_—and “to subsist by something
else”—_per aliud subsistere_. Suarez, for instance, though usually very
accurate in his expressions, says that “the mode of existing by itself and
without dependence on any supporter has for its opposite to exist in
something else;”(20) which is not correct, for the divinity of Christ
exists in his humanity, and nevertheless does not depend on it as a
supporter. It would be more correct to say that the mode of subsisting by
itself has for its opposite to subsist by something else. And it is
evident that to subsist _by_ something else is not the same as to exist
_in_ it.

To get rid of all such ambiguous phrases, we observe that the word
“sustentation,” as compared with any created nature, can have three
different meanings, according as we apply it to the act, the term, or the
complement of the created being.

When sustentation is considered in connection with the act or the formal
principle of a being, it means positive _conservation_; for all contingent
being comes out of nothing by the positive production of an act, and needs
to be kept out of nothing by the positive conservation of the same act, as
we know from special metaphysics.

When sustentation is considered in connection with the intrinsic term of a
being, it means _underlying_; and in this sense we say that substance
sustains its accidents. This meaning of the word “sustentation” is most
conformable to its etymology; and thus, if anything is lying under any
reality in that manner in which substance lies under its accidents, we
shall say very properly that it _sustains_ that reality. In this sense,
sustentation and support may be taken as synonymous.

When sustentation is considered in connection with the formal complement
of a being, it means _overlying_ in such a manner as to superinduce a new
complement and a new subsistence. Such is the manner in which the Person
of the Word sustains Christ’s humanity. This kind of sustentation implies
hypostatic union and super‐completion.

We might, therefore, divide sustentation into _conservative_,
_substantive_, and _hypostatic_. The first is usually called
_conservation_; the second might keep the name of _sustentation_; whilst
the third might perhaps be fitly styled _personalization_, as this word
seems adequately to express the nature of personal sustentation.

As to the phrases, “to be in itself” and “to be by itself,” we have seen
that their distinction is most important. It may be useful to add that,
even in God, to be in himself and to be by himself are to be distinguished
by a distinction of reason indeed, but which is grounded on a real
foundation. God is essentially _a se_, _in se_, and _per se_—that is, of
himself, in himself, and by himself. These three attributes are absolute,
and belong to the divine nature as an absolute reality; but as in this
absolute reality there are intrinsic relations of personalities, we may
reflect that, in this relative order, _to be of himself_ can be considered
as owing especially to God the Father, who does not proceed from any other
person, but is himself the first principle of their procession; _to be in
himself_ can be considered as having a special reference to God the Son,
in whom the whole entity of the Father is found as in the substantial term
of his eternal generation; and, lastly, _to be by himself_ can be
explained by reference to the Holy Ghost, who is the essential complement
of the Blessed Trinity, as that is said to be by itself which is
ultimately complete in its own entity.

Accordingly, God, as existing essentially of himself—_a se_—has no need or
capability of conservation; as existing essentially in himself—_in se_—he
has no need or capability of sustentation; and as existing essentially by
himself—_per se_—he has no need or capability of super‐completion. But
with contingent beings the case is quite different. And first, contingent
beings are not “of themselves,” as they are from God; and for this reason
they have an essential need of conservation, as we have stated, so far as
their essential act is concerned. Secondly, although they naturally exist
“in themselves,” yet this their mode of existing is not the result of an
essential necessity, but only of a natural ordination, which God can
supersede. They exist in themselves when the term of their own essence is
their _undermost_ support; for then the whole essence supports itself in a
natural manner, and is a natural substance. Thirdly, although created
beings naturally “subsist by themselves,” yet this manner of existing is
not the consequence of an essential necessity, but only of a natural
ordination, which can be superseded by the Creator. They subsist by
themselves when the formal complement of their essence is their _ultimate_
complement; for then the whole being is left to itself as a natural
suppositum.

These explanations will be of some assistance, we hope, to the
philosophical student in forming a correct judgment as to the formal
constituents of substance and suppositum, and as to the manner of speaking
about them with proper discrimination. We wish we had handled the subject
in a better style and a less monotonous phraseology; but it was our duty
to aim at preciseness rather than ornament. If there is any part of
philosophy in which precision is more necessary than in another, it is
that which treats of the principles of things; and if we succeed in
presenting such principles in their true light, we shall deem it a
sufficient apology for the dryness of our philosophical style.

To Be Continued.



On Hearing The “O Salutaris Hostia.”(21)


Song of the soul, whose clearly ringing rhythm
  Throbs through the sacred pile,
And lengthened echoes swell thy solemn anthem
  Past chancel, vault, and aisle,
An occult influence through thy numbers stealing,
  A strange, mysterious spell,
Wakes in the longing heart a wondrous feeling,
  A joy no tongue can tell;
A dreamy peace, a sense of unseen glory,
  Wells through thy thrilling praise,
And calls a fairy vision up before me,
  A dream of brighter days.
I hear the seraphs’ sweet‐tongued voices pleading,
  The cherubim’s accord,
And see the sun‐robed shadows softly thridding
  The gardens of the Lord.
I linger on the sight, and growing weary
  Of earthly dross and sin,
Sadly, yet hoping, like the wistful peri,
  I long to enter in!

The rolling echoes peal
  Whilst glorious above
The face of God smiles on the storied altar,
  Well pleased, and rich with love.
And through the living air and slumbrous music,
  And through the chancel broad,
The Heart of Jesus glows in mystic splendor,
  And lights us unto God!



On The Wing: A Southern Flight.


What induced us to pick our way on foot from the railway carriage to the
Hôtel du Parc et Bordeaux, near eleven o’clock at night, on our arrival at
Lyons, I cannot possibly conceive.

It was the 3d of January that we performed this unnecessary penance; and
the only explanation I can give is that we were all rather dazed by the
long journey from Paris, and had forgotten that of course there was
waiting at the station an omnibus to carry on the passengers. We had been
silent and sleepy for some hours, when the bright lights twinkling up and
down the heights of the city of Lyons, and across the bridges, and,
corruscating at the station, had roused us all up, and made us exclaim at
the fairy sight. I had seen it again and again; but I always look out
eagerly for the first peep at that tossed‐about town after night has
closed in, and I know none more brilliant and picturesque. I thought we
all looked rather rueful as we entered the hotel, and that it suddenly
struck us we had come on foot, and might therefore look too economically
inclined to suit the views of the buxom lady who advanced to meet us. I
saw her cast rather a doubtful eye to the rear; but her face brightened
when she found we had at least been able to afford a porter to carry such
luggage as we might want for one night. We had no valid reason to give in
reply to her anxious enquiries as to why we had not availed ourselves of
the hotel omnibus; which very soon afterwards came rattling into the yard,
quite empty, the guard and coachman viewing us indignantly. Madame,
finding we had nothing to say for ourselves, compassionately furnished
each with a candle, and allowed us to gather together our scattered wits
in sleep.

The “we” consisted of brother Frank, sister Mary, and I; also of Ann, our
maid. I suppose I must describe the party. I wish I could draw them
instead. Frank is dressed all over in a gray tweed. I sometimes tell him
he looks like a gray parrot; but that is absurd, because he is so
extremely taciturn, which gray parrots are not. He makes a capital
courier. He always knows what we poor women shall want, and how much we
can do, which is a great comfort to me; because, as Mary is delicate, and
we are travelling on her account, I should be so worried if Frank insisted
on doing fourteen hours of railroad per diem. He is such a good fellow
that he would never wish us to overtask ourselves. But then he is so
strong that I know it must seem very extraordinary to him that we should
be such poor creatures, and get tired out so soon. I sometimes wonder what
has made Frank so tender and gentle, and so considerate. Perhaps it is the
being so much with Mary. She makes everybody gentle who comes near her.
Somehow she seems to stroke everybody’s fur the right way, no matter how
ruffled they were before. Poor Mary! she has for many years been a widow,
after a brief and unhappy married life, and having lost both her children,
a girl and a boy. She is the eldest of us three, but has a marvellous
knack of looking the youngest and the brightest. She has been very
beautiful, and is so still in many ways. Now I come! But how shall I
describe myself? The more I think of it, the more impossible I find it. As
I am the relater of our adventures, I suppose my readers will form for
themselves some idea of what I am like. So I will only say that my name is
Jane, and that I am an old maid, but that I do not feel old. As to my
looks, I really do not know what to say. I am not _always_ altogether
dissatisfied with them; but then, on the other hand, when I am inclined to
judge them leniently, the unlucky feeling comes over me that it is solely
owing to my hat, or the way my hair is done, or some fortuitous
circumstance upon which I cannot reckon as a permanency, and which may be
gone before any one else has had the time to observe it. So that though I
have my lucky moments, I have little or no capital to go on. Now, Mary,
with her large, soft eyes, her exquisite mouth, and beautiful teeth,
attracts strangers wherever she goes; although she is always insisting
upon it she is quite an old woman. And now comes Ann. She is about my age,
but does not at all consider herself an old maid, and therefore always
contradicts me when I speak of myself in such disparaging terms. I
generally say something in reply about the observation being six for me
and half a dozen for herself. But this she does not like. Ann is a very
good girl, and a capital maid. She has pretty, fuzzy black hair, and
bright though small black eyes; she has a very white skin, and a neat
figure. But she does not like travelling, and is especially disgusted when
the scenery is very bold and magnificent. Mountains are her abhorrence,
distant views her antipathy. This is far from being our first journey; and
whenever we have found ourselves in the railway carriage from Dover to
London Bridge, Ann invariably remarks how lovely the country is as we dash
through the flat green fields and monotonous cherry gardens of simple
Kent. And her admiration culminates when we pass any gentlemen’s seats.
The absence of striking features, the unbroken, unaccidental horizon, the
universal green, and the level lines, give Ann a sensation of peace and
repose; while I, who have something of an artist’s soul, am feeling how
very difficult it would be to get an effective subject or a “nice bit of
color” out of the platitudes of dear England’s quiet homesteads.

We were off the next day by daylight, I feeling like a swallow flying
south; and very soon we perceived in the clear air a warmer glow than any
to be had the other side of Lyons. Even the desert region of La Crau
seemed full of charms to me. The dim, gray expanse of thick‐lying stones
that Hercules persuaded by his prayers the angry Jove to shower down on
the Ligurians, broken only by thin tufts of mint and scant rosemary,
themselves also of a gray green, and leading on over thousands of acres to
the blue distant hills that were blushing into rosy hues when we crossed
the desert, were not without delightful “points,” which I could have
transferred to my sketch‐book had time allowed me. “La Belle Provence” is
a very _journalière_ beauty, and requires a bright sun to clothe her in
sparkling jewels, and to dye her dress in blue and violet and rose‐madder,
to be worthy of the name that centuries have agreed to give her. When
there are no lights, there is apt to be an air of desolation and
barrenness. Those hills, arrayed in many tints, give back the lights from
rocky and unproductive cliffs; but down in the valleys, with the exception
of La Crau, the culture is rich and varied. The first stunted olive‐trees
as we approached Marseilles were welcome less on their own account—for
they are miserable specimens—than for the association of ideas connected
with their pallid leaves, and because they gave promise of the large ones
that would gladden our eyes further on.

The station of Hyères is a few miles from the town. We had ordered a
carriage to meet us; and all the way Mary was looking out for the large
umbrella pine that she remembered so well years ago, when there was no
railway so far south. It had been the great landmark on the road from
Hyères to Toulon. We measured our rides and walks in that direction by the
great pine. There it stood, the same as ever, and brought back all Hyères
and the two winters spent there, besides other shorter visits, to our
memory with one rush. All else was changed. New houses had sprung up on
all sides. Mme. Susanne’s old tumble‐down hotel, where Mary had stopped
for a few days on her wedding‐tour, is changed into a magnificent building
with caryatides supporting the façade like a Genoese palace; and the palms
on La Place des Palmiers, which I had known in their babyhood, have grown
to a size that would not disgrace Arabia. The hotel we went to stands in
what used to be Le Jardin Frassinet. It had been full of orange‐trees when
we first knew it, as had all the other gardens in the place. But one very
severe winter having greatly injured the trees, the inhabitants have given
up the cultivation of oranges, and have planted peach‐trees instead, much
to the detriment of the beauty of Hyères. I found Mary, the day after our
arrival, gazing wistfully at a group of tall cypress and one palm‐tree
that had marked the boundary of the gardens belonging to the house where
she lived with her children the second time she came here. We missed her
soon afterwards, and refrained from following her, for we knew she wanted
to visit alone the scenes of some joys and many sorrows long ago passed
away—so far as anything is really past which is worthy the name of joy or
sorrow. She came back with her hands full of the little, dark, mottled
arum and its lance‐head leaves that grow so profusely on the hills and by
the roadside. They are of a dingy‐purple hue, shaded off into white; and
we exclaimed against them as she put them in a glass, alleging that they
had an unpleasant odor. “I know they have,” she answered; “but their
quaint, twisted shape, and blossoms like the head of a snake, are so full
of memories that I rather like the smell than otherwise.” After that we
let her enjoy her arums alone, for we knew how much that meant. Doubtless
she had been wandering about, recalling visions of the past: the dead—the
lost, but not dead, that worse separation!—and all the tangled maze of the
years that are gone. Mary’s bouquet of arums was redeemed by a handful of
the sweet white alyssum; and these two flowers, with a few of the bold‐
faced, unflinching daisies of Provence, so unlike our modest northern
flowers, were all the wild blossoms we could hope to find in January.

We could not leave Hyères without performing a pilgrimage to Notre Dame de
Consolation, the old church on a hill overlooking the coast. The ascent is
marked by the Way of the Cross rudely painted in small niches of masonry
by the side of the road. When we were last here, there was a daily Mass
said by a hermit‐priest. He had some years previously tried his vocation
at the Carmelites’, and had not succeeded. But the impulse to seek utter
solitude was too strong to be resisted; and for a long time he had lived
in the surrounding mountains, a veritable hermit, subsisting upon the
poorest fare, which was brought to him at regular intervals by the
peasants. Whether he had erected a hut for himself, or lived in a cave, I
never learnt; but when the bishop of the diocese became aware of the fact,
he thought it to be regretted that a priest should not celebrate Mass, and
proposed to him that he should live in one of the small rooms of the
deserted convent which is attached to the Church of Our Lady of
Consolation, take care of the church, and say Mass. This offer he gladly
accepted; and there he resided for some time. We used to go sometimes, on
a bright spring morning, to attend his Mass. Our breakfast was packed in a
basket, and hung to the pommel of my donkey’s saddle, to be eaten
afterwards on the top of the low, semi‐circular wall which encloses a
piece of ground in front of the church. I always looked with a special
interest, not altogether unmingled with curiosity, at the slight, bent
figure of the priest, who could not be more than forty years of age, as he
emerged from the door of the sacristy, and, with eyes so cast down that
they seemed closed, passed by us to the altar. Who shall say what had
called up that deep thirst for utter solitude and silence which had driven
him to so extreme a life? Was it some calamity, or some crime, or only—as
is far more probable—that strange instinct which is implanted in the
nature of some men to flee their kind, and be alone with themselves—an
instinct which possibly many have felt stirring within them at odd
moments, but which, when touched by divine grace, grows into a wonderful
and exceptional vocation; once more common, in the early days of
Christianity, when the whole world lay in pagan luxury and gilded vice,
and which even our subduing, taming, commonplace civilization fails in
some rare cases to smother in the soul?

What became of the hermit of Our Lady of Consolation I could never learn.
Perhaps the solitude seemed incomplete when ladies could attend his Mass,
and picnic afterwards on his premises. At any rate, he has been gone for
many years; and Mass is only said on certain feasts, when the peasantry
come in crowds, and bring flowers and offerings to the Madonna, as
represented by a peculiarly ugly and dark‐colored wooden statue, which has
grown to be very precious to those who have obtained special favors in
answer to their prayers offered here. Many years ago, Mary, in her
Protestant days, had brought a lace veil, the gift of a Russian prince,
who was leaving Hyères with a sick wife, and who wanted prayers for their
safe journey; thereby producing a curious admixture of heretical,
schismatical, and Catholic feeling which no doubt had each their separate
value and acceptance before God, being all offered in simplicity and good
faith; for it was with no unwilling hands that, mounted on one of the
_prie‐dieux_ in the church, she had arranged the veil over the statue, and
then knelt to say a prayer for the prince’s intention.

The church is full of votive offerings. The walls are entirely covered
from roof to floor. As many of them have been put up by sailors, they more
or less have reference to the dangers of the deep. There is a model of a
ship hanging up near the entrance, probably because its larger copy was
saved from wreck. The pictures representing recovery from sickness or
preservation from peril are often extremely grotesque, and might provoke a
smile were it not that they carry one’s thoughts direct to the faith and
gratitude they represent.

I had often wandered through the deserted rooms and cells of the old
convent. There is no glass left in some of the windows; but the weather is
kept out by the external wooden shutters which are universal in the south.
There is a lovely view from all sides. In front, the sea, with Les Isles
d’Or (the Golden Islands) hemming it in as if it were a large lake, save
to the left, where it opens out into the wide ocean. These islands form
some of those originally called Les Larins, which name included the group
before the coast of Cannes. And in most of them the first religious houses
for men were established by S. Honorius, though only one island, that on
which he and all his monks were martyred by the Saracens, bears his name.
Les Isles d’Or, or Les Isles d’Hyères, as they are also called, are now
but sparsely inhabited. Years ago, “when we were young,” we had landed on
one of these islands, where stands a fort, and a few soldiers are
stationed. There are also a half‐dozen of cottages, inhabited by fishermen
and shepherds. We were a joyous band, and had sailed from the mainland in
the admiral’s cutter, the French fleet riding at anchor off our coast. As
we scrambled up the sandy beach, and pushed our way through the tangled
undergrowth of myrtle, heath, cytisus, and leutisca, we found ourselves
face to face with the solitary sentinel pacing in front of the blind walls
of the low but solid‐looking fort. His face broke into smiles, and, with a
saucy gleam in his dark eyes, he said to the foremost gentlemen of our
party, “Comment, Messieurs! vous nous en menez toutes ces belles dames?
Mais vous allez révolutionner notre pauvre curé.”(22) We could find no
remains of monastic houses on the islands; but there are traces of walls
close to the sea, on the mainland, which are said to be the remains of a
convent of nuns who met with a severe punishment for an ill‐timed jest.
Possibly they were not all that as nuns they might have been. At any rate,
they seem to have found their life occasionally dull; and when the longing
for a little excitement became irrepressible, the abbess would toll the
great bell of the convent, which by rights was never used save to ring the
Hours and the Angelus, or to summon the neighbors for aid when any of the
frequent panics about the landing of the marauding Saracens threatened the
safety of the Sisters. The jest had been played too often, and when at
length the oft‐expected Saracens really came, the poor nuns rang their
bell in vain. No one appeared to the rescue, and the Saracens had it all
their own way, and the convent was destroyed.

The sea must have encroached since those days, for the waters wash over
the scanty ruins, and I have picked my way along the foundations with
little salt lakes lying between. Far to the left lie _Les Salines_, where
they evaporize the sea‐water in shallow square spaces, and thus obtain a
coarse gray salt. They say that sometimes flamingoes may be shot among
this marshy land; but I could never obtain one, though I know it abounds
in wild fowl of every description. The deep orange‐colored boughs of the
large willow‐trees give a peculiar charm to the distant landscape in the
winter when the leaves are off; and close upon the edge of the shore is a
fine wood of umbrella pines, whereof three giants, standing apart from the
rest, had been great favorites of ours. We had looked out eagerly on our
arrival for our three pines. Alas! one was missing. Years ago these three
solitary, magnificent trees had had a strange fascination for me. I wanted
to find my way to where they stood; but it was beyond the marshes, and
near the _salines_. There was no direct road, and no one could tell me how
to get there; not even the young French naval officers, who used to come
often and spend the evening with us, and who must have landed not so very
far from where they stood. The craving to see my three pines face to face
grew, however, too strong to be resisted; and so one day I set off on
donkey‐back, taking Ann with me, and resolved that I would not return till
I had accomplished my end. Great were our difficulties. We had to thread
our way along narrow raised paths through the marshes, just wide enough
for our donkeys to tread; and as, of course, we dared not leave these
paths, which did not wind, but turned at right angles, we as often seemed
to be going away from the pines as the reverse. At one moment we were
pursued by a couple of savage dogs, who tore after us from the open yard
of a farm‐house, and who were so very angry at our intrusion that escape
along our narrow way, and with our leisurely steeds, seemed questionable.
At length I found myself at the base of a high sand‐bank, on which the
yellow sea‐thistle, with its glaucous leaves, found a scanty subsistence
and a doubtful root‐hold. This I had to scramble up, while for every ten
inches I made in advance I slid back six. At last I was at my long‐desired
goal, and my three giants were really magnificent to behold. It was on my
fourth visit to Hyères, with intervals of years between, that I
accomplished this feat, and I had always looked at my pines the first
thing in the morning, when the strip of sea between the mainland and the
isles was still lying gray in the early light. Then, again, I watched for
the red glow of the setting sun on their smooth stems, painted, as it
were, in burnt sienna. Again, on moonlit nights I had looked for their
broad, deep black crests, falling like an ink‐spot on the silver sea. And
now at last, when they had almost become to me like some mystery, meaning
more than met the eye, I could throw my arms about them, and lay my hot
cheek on their noble trunks.

It was not till then I knew how tired I was. I could not delay long with
my old friends. I do not remember anything about the getting home, save
that the dogs who had so guarded my garden of the Hesperides, and stood
between me and the fulfilment of my desire, now that I had accomplished
the feat, let me return in silence. I was very weary; but I was thoroughly
contented and satisfied. And now one of my old friends was laid low! How
he came to his end I know not. But I felt that he had died, not that he
had been cut down; and for a moment a strange, weird melancholy stole over
me at finding I had outlived a noble tree. It seemed as if I must be very
old to have done that, and that it was hardly natural. I remember I asked
myself then, at the very time of my _culte_ of the pine‐trees, and I have
repeated the question since, whether there was not in my feelings
something of that dim instinct which binds man in an obscure affinity with
all nature, down to its lower strata and its primeval developments. As man
contains something of all in his own being, so must he have a sympathy
with all; for, as has been wisely said, man is a universe in himself, with
another universe to wait on him. Most people have a special attraction to
some race of animals. Some have a love for, and a power over, the horse
and the dog greater than others; and this not always nor only as the
results of habit, but as a natural gift. Certain flowers have a peculiar
attraction for many people, in preference to others equal in beauty and
perfume. All these preferences may point to hidden laws of affinity, of
which we know very little more than the bare fact that all in creation
finds its portion in each man, and that in his own single self he is
chemical, vegetable, animal, and spiritual. I am afraid to say any more,
lest my readers should think I believe we are in general descended from
the little open‐mouthed sea‐squirts called ascidians, but that I claim for
myself in particular some higher origin in the shape of a conifer great‐
grandfather. I assure them it is nothing of the kind. With regard to my
sympathy with animals, of course, being an old maid, I ought to prefer
cats and gray parrots. On the contrary, I prefer dogs, and Frank is the
only gray parrot I ever thought of loving.

Before leaving Hyères, I made a sketch from the top of the hill (which in
my younger days, for want of knowing better, I used to call the mountain)
on which stand the picturesque ruins of the old château which formerly
belonged to the French branch of the huge family of Fox; who, varying
their name, if not their nature, according to the sky under which they
flourished, had taken root in England, France, and Germany in the old
feudal times. They possessed certainly a magnificent abode at Hyères, and
probably kept all the neighborhood in awe. It is a glorious situation. It
overlooks a long stretch of the road to Toulon as that winds through the
fertile, well‐cultivated valley; and to the right rises the rocky summit
of Le Coudon, the point of land that first strikes the sailor’s eye as he
leaves the coast of Africa, and which on exceptionally clear days is dimly
visible even from the coast itself. Next to it comes Le Phare Pharon, a
lower mountain crowned by a fort. I know few views which combine such an
exquisite variety of form and color as this. The small cork‐trees and the
stunted oaks, equally beautiful, whether wearing their russet leaves
through the brief winter, or almost matching the cork‐trees in dark‐green
foliage; the olives, here of a very respectable size, with their gnarled
trunks and fantastic shapes; and then the patches of vivid‐green corn,
winter peas, and the green artichokes; the undulation of the land,
assuming every shade from deep violet to light red—make altogether one of
the loveliest views I know anywhere. But then, I am bound to acknowledge
that there are not many such in the neighborhood of our much‐loved Hyères,
and that, on the whole, the simple little place has far less beauty to
recommend it than many of the towns along the Riviera. Its great merit for
invalids arises from the air being a good deal softer than at most of the
sea‐coast resorts of the sick. Mary could sit out for hours in the open
air at Hyères, when at Cannes, and even at San Remo, she could only have
driven in a close carriage; for, in spite of the brilliant sunshine in
those places, the air is apt to be too exciting both for irritable lungs
and susceptible nerves. One reason—probably the principal reason—for this
is that Hyères is three miles from the sea, and more in the mountains than
are the towns of the Riviera generally.

We had a lovely afternoon journey from Hyères to Cannes; passing numerous
little bays and creeks where the blue waters lay in deep repose, or
fringed with tiny wavelets that but kissed the shingly shore, and died in
a gleam of light. As you looked down on them from the railway‐carriage,
you felt you might have seen a mermaid combing her sea‐green hair, or a
cupid astride a dolphin, as quite an expected vision. The intense blue sky
and deeper blue sea, the various‐tinted rocks, and perhaps a solitary pine
hanging over, and near by a group of the same, with their dense crowns of
ever‐murmuring boughs, through which the evening air sings like the hum of
winged insects, were each so full of harmonious and yet gorgeous color
that they leave on the mind the impression of a Greek idyl, full of serene
beauty—mere beauty, it may be—but intense, placid, and eternal. There are
scenes in nature that are like the forms in Greek art. They are one; and
they are typical. No wide view, albeit glorious, can produce this effect,
however much it may appeal to the imagination. But a rock‐bound cove on
the Mediterranean, with its sparse vegetation and its depth of color, is
as suggestive of thoughts beyond itself as is the pure grace of a Greek
statue. It belongs to another world than ours, and to a region of thought
rarely lighted on in these times, and then by a few only. When I question
myself of the “why,” I am at a loss to answer. Perhaps it lies in the fact
that, to produce this abstract effect on the mind, the objects in nature
must be few, simple, and perfectly beautiful of their kind. Then they
recall Greek art, in which there is no multiplicity, no overlaying, but
which represents as absolutely a pure idea as it is possible for art to
do. It is without subtlety, as it is without crowding. It can be felt
better than described, for the feeling is too deep for words. Nothing in
English scenery, no accidental combination of beauty, has ever brought the
Greek _geist_ before my mind. Never for a second, amid the birchen groves
and flower‐fringed lanes of my own land, had I thought of old Greece and
the old Greek feeling. Pantheism would not be the natural religion of our
northern skies. Never had I so strongly felt the tie between nature and
art, and, as a necessary sequence, between nature and Grecian thought,
till I had wandered on the pale sands by the calm blue waters of the
tideless sea. It is like a floating essence, too intangible for words. If
I could express it, the expression would perforce be brief and veiled. I
would sing my idyl to a three‐stringed lute, or paint my white nymph
against a whiter sky.

It was essential to Mary not to live close to the sea, therefore we
engaged apartments at Cannes in one of the hotels situated among the
hills, and full a mile and a half from the coast. It so happened that
nearly all the people whom we met at the _table‐d’hôte_ were English like
ourselves, or rather British, for some came from the Emerald Isle; and
amongst these a family of three charming girls, full of the spirit and
humor of the race. They had with them an elderly maid, who had been their
nurse, and whose quaint sayings afforded us much amusement while we were
there. She had joined them only just before we arrived, bringing out the
third sister, who had shown symptoms of delicacy like the second, and both
were under the supreme care of the elder sister. Mrs. O’Brien had managed
her journey in foreign parts very cleverly, though making every inch of
the way under protest at the heathenish customs and abominable practices
of these “foreigners,” as she deigned to call the French in their own
land.

It had been with the greatest difficulty that she had, on leaving Ireland,
been prevented from taking with her a large boxful of household stores,
which, as she expressed it, would be such a comfort to “those poor
darlints, just starvin’ in foreign parts, with nothing but kickshaws and
gimcracks to keep the life in them.” In spite of all the remonstrances of
her master, she had actually succeeded in so far cheating the custom‐house
that she had smuggled “jist a nice little hand of pork, salted down at
home,” among the young ladies’ linen. Norah flew into our room, amid fits
of laughter, to show it to us, and to consult upon how we could possibly
get it boiled. We could not insult the hotel by asking that it might
appear at the _table‐d’hôte_; and a hand of pork was rather a peculiar
dish for three young ladies to keep up in their bedroom for private
eating. On the other hand, Mrs. O’Brien would never recover it if her
eleemosynary offering were discarded. It ended in my explaining the state
of the case, under seal of secrecy, to the landlady; and then we actually
held a supernumerary feast in our drawing‐room, at a late hour, all to
show Mrs. O’Brien that her kindness was appreciated. We did not sleep
particularly well that night, and the rest was made into sandwiches and
eaten on our next excursion up the mountains.

Mary and Mrs. O’Brien became great friends; for Mary’s sympathetic nature
and marvellous control of countenance at once drew the old lady out, and
prevented her discovering how intensely amused her listener was. Amongst
other topics, she was very eloquent upon the subject of the Prince of
Wales’ recovery from his serious illness, declaring how she, “as is a
nurse myself, know well what a fine healthy man he must have been born
ever to have got over the like of that. And now, sure, we must pray that
nothing may happen to the blessed, darlint prince; for if he were to be
taken, the country would be just ruined, and nothing left us but the
constitution!”

She would talk by the hour of her “darlint” young ladies, sometimes
blaming their conduct, sometimes extolling them to the skies.
Occasionally, to tease her, they would pretend to walk lame, and tell her
that was all the fashion, and was called the Alexandra limp. “Och! now,
honeys, you, with straight limbs as God has made you, mocking at the
darlint princess, as may be isn’t lame at all. If I saw you mocking at me,
as is no princess, but is blind, and me groping round the table, don’t you
think, honeys, as I should feel it?” Then turning to Mary: “Ah! your
honor, they was always as wild as a litter o’ pigs on a windy day, good
luck to them. I’ve seen them all come into the world, bless their hearts,
one after the other, pretty nigh as fast as nature would let them. And a
nice handful I’ve had wid them, too, bringing the most of them up by hand
like a weaned calf. Children’s stomachs is just like sponges. But if you
overdo the binding, may be you’ll give them obdurate bowels.” Mary bore
even this without a smile; but we all laughed together when the morning
after her arrival she found the nice little boy Celestin, who brought in
the lamp and the basket of wood, and helped in the house generally, and
who could not have been above fifteen, innocently aiding Marie, the
housemaid, in making the beds. She could not understand a word of French,
and of course he knew no English; but she seized him by the collar, and
ejected him violently from the room, exclaiming, “Get out o’ that, you
young varmint!” and protesting that he should never touch one of her
“darlints’ sheets in this heathenish land, where they made no difference
between a man and a woman, but put the men to make the beds and the women
to tend the cattle.” The end of it was that she took the bed‐making into
her own hands, though she never got reconciled to the mattresses stuffed
with the outer sheaths of the Indian corn, or the pillows with wool. “That
pillow is as hard as a dog’s head, and won’t do for my young lady; and the
other’s as limp as a dead cat,” she remarked aloud to herself one day that
Elina was going to bed early with a bad headache.

By degrees we became rather well acquainted with the other visitors at the
hotel, which arose, no doubt, from the fact of our all being fellow‐
countrymen. For a long time Mary was the only married woman of the party;
and with the exception of the three merry Irish girls, the ladies were all
old maids like myself. Frank found Cannes rather slow, as he expressed it,
and spent the greater part of the six weeks we were there in making
excursions in the neighborhood, stopping away three or four days at a
time. It was long before we got thoroughly comfortable with any of our
fellow‐sojourners in a strange land. In the first place, we were the only
Catholics, and most of the others were very decided Protestants, and so
rather shunned us at first. Some of them especially objected to Mary, and
seemed to think that her good looks and her accurate French pronunciation
were rather offensive than otherwise. It made no sort of difference to
her, and I am sure she never even found it out. One day, as I was coming
down‐stairs, Miss Marygold was crossing the wide passage which went from
the entrance to the dining‐room door. As I passed her, she tossed her
head, and said, “I have just met your sister, Miss Jane, going out for a
walk, and looking about five‐and‐twenty. I must say I think it must be
very _inconvenient_ not to show one’s age better than that.” “At any
rate,” said I, “it is an inconvenience, Miss Marygold, that many would be
happy to share with her.” And I swept along the wide passage lined with
oleanders, myrtle, and cypress in large pots, sat down to the piano in the
public _salon_, and dashed through the overture of “Robert le Diable” with
much brilliancy of execution. I afterwards found out that both the Miss
Marygolds strongly objected to a little red bow which Mary was apt to
fasten in her hair when we went down to dinner. Their own _coiffures_
resembled either a doll’s apron stuck on the top of her head, or a small
“dress‐improver” of stiff lace. I suppose they thought there was some
virtue in wearing what was at once ugly and ridiculous.

No one, on first arriving at Cannes, can form any idea of the exquisite
beauty that will be within their easy reach as soon as they get beyond the
long, straight street parallel with the flat coast. The town itself has no
pretensions to beauty, except from the picturesque, fortified old church,
standing high above the town, and whose mouldering walls assume so many
different tints against the dark‐violet background of the Estrelle; that
beautiful line of mountains that runs far out into the sea, and forms the
most prominent object of the scenery. The market is held down the one long
street, where it opens on the small garden and esplanade by the shore.
This is planted with magnificent plane‐trees, and nothing can be more
picturesque than the groups of peasant‐women, with their bright‐colored
kerchiefs crossed over their shoulders, and their thick woollen skirts,
sitting each at her little booth of cakes, or sweets, or household
utensils, and especially the charming little crocks, pots, and pans of
native manufacture. At a short distance from Cannes, at Valory, there is a
very fine establishment of pottery works, well worthy of a visit. The
native clay produces the most beautiful colors; and as the numerous
visitors at Cannes have taken pains to supply the manufactory with very
good models taken from the antique and from some of the best specimens of
Minton and Staffordshire china, the result is most satisfactory. We found
that they are in the habit of sending very large crates of garden‐vases,
besides smaller and more delicate articles, all over Europe. The road
along the coast towards Antibes is bordered by beautiful villas with
gardens running down towards the sea, and generally laid out in terraces.
Even now, in the month of January, they were full of roses, geraniums,
ageratum, and violets in bloom. Part of this picturesque spot is called
California, on account of the bright yellow blossom of the mimosa, which,
when fully out, is truly “a dropping well of gold.” The light, feathery
flower covers the whole tree, and there is scarcely a leaf to be seen. The
beautiful eucalyptus, or blue gum‐tree, is much cultivated here. The
peculiar variety of its foliage, the lower and older leaves being almost
heart‐shaped, and the upper ones often a foot in length, and hardly two
inches wide, makes it very remarkable. The lower leaves are of a blue
green, shading off into deep bronze, and the new shoots are almost yellow.
It is quite recently that this beautiful tree has been transplanted from
Australia to Europe; but as it makes twenty feet in a year, there are
already magnificent specimens. It has a highly aromatic gum; and it is
supposed that in time it will greatly supersede the use of quinine, having
medicinal properties which resemble that invaluable remedy, while it will
be less expensive. When Mary is suffering from one of her neuralgic
headaches, nothing relieves her so much as steeping the long leaves of the
eucalyptus in hot water, and holding her head over the perfumed steam. A
branch hung near the bed is also, they say, conducive to sleep.

The beauties of the position of Cannes are far outdone by that of the
little town of Cannet, distant about three miles, and built among the
mountains, and where the air is softer. Nothing can exceed the loveliness
of the view from the Place, shaded by splendid plane‐trees, of the half‐
deserted little town, or the same view seen from the terrace of the one
_Pension_, where we found every preparation for receiving guests, but
which was locked up and entirely empty. You overlook numerous orange‐
gardens of the most vivid green, the starry blossoms and golden fruit
gleaming amid the foliage. Then, far down the valley, and clothing an
amphitheatre of hills and mountains, are groves of olives, with their soft
velvet folds, mass overlapping mass of tender, dim green, shimmering all
over with silver touches, as the air stirred the branches, and turned
upwards the inner lining of the leaves—after which all other foliage is
apt to look crude and hard. The blue sea lies beyond, and the sharp,
purple outline of the Estrelle; while to the right the mountains fade off
further and further, ending in snow‐capt heights.

From amid the dense, soft shadows of the valley rise the old tower of the
church and the picturesque cupolas of the strange Moorish villa where poor
Rachel, the famous French tragedian, breathed her last, and which is fast
falling to decay. It is no longer let to strangers; but we made our way
through the tangled gardens and wilderness of orange‐trees. Everything
looked tumbling to pieces. The house itself is in ruin; and being painted
in bright colors externally, and chiefly built of wood, at least in the
ornamental parts, it looks like the cast‐off decorations of a dismal
theatre. Two white pigeons were picking up the scattered grain in the
little, untidy court. A few mutilated plaster figures of gods and
goddesses near the entrance added to the tawdry and unreal aspect of the
whole. It was as if the poor actress had selected it to die in for its
scenic effect, and so had closed her life on a mute and deserted stage. I
fancied I could see her lithe form and her sinuous glide (for she never
seemed to walk like a common mortal) along the veranda. I could recall the
intense passion of her matchless voice as she thrilled you through with
the words:


    “Je ne me verrai point préférer de rivale.
    Enfin, tous tes conseils ne sont plus de saison:
    Sers ma fureur, Œnone, et non pas ma raison.”


And then she came here, alone, to die! As I turned away from the place, so
beautiful even in its desolation, I wondered if the rumor might be true
which was prevalent at the time—that her maid, a French Catholic, seeing
her poor mistress in a state of coma just before her death, had dared to
baptize her—and thus give us a large‐hearted hope for the woman and the
Jewess.

We drove through the narrow, sharp‐angled streets of the little town of
Cannet to the church in the valley. The streets were so narrow, and the
turnings were so sharp, that it always seemed that our horses were in one
street while we and the carriage were in another. Three little children,
with bright, dark eyes and tangled hair, hung over a wall, each with a
rose in its mouth. They looked as if they would drop the flowers, and
themselves after, into our laps. The church was very clean and well cared
for; full of tawdry decorations, but fresh and neat, as if all were often
renewed by loving hearts, if not by cultivated taste. M. le Curé is very
old, and has not sufficient help for the wants of so large a parish; and
there are no Sisters to teach the children. They seem a simple people; and
if only there were a habitable house, what pleasure might be found in
living in this earthly paradise, and working amongst them!

It is said that the Englishman carries Bass’ pale ale and Warren’s
blacking with him where‐ever he goes, to say nothing of Harvey’s sauce. At
any rate, he has established his own special amusements at Cannes, with no
apparent consciousness of their incongruity with the scene around them. Of
course we took our share, though denouncing and protesting all the way at
the horrors of pigeon‐shooting. We drove over sandy lanes close to the
shore, through groups of pine‐trees on either side; a glorious panorama of
mountains and snow‐clad peaks beyond, the dark‐blue sea, and the purple
Estrelle. There was a vulgar booth and a shed, and some rickety benches
like those at a country fair. We sat down, facing three boxes, in which
the innocent birds were concealed until the moment—unknown, of course, to
the sportsman himself—when, bursting open, the pigeons spread their wings
at liberty, to be perchance instantly killed by a clever shot. I
acknowledge that I tried not to look, and that my heart gave a spasmodic
leap every time I heard the clap of the lid of the box and then the sharp
shot. I looked at the pine‐trees and the far‐off mountains, with the many‐
tinted, undulating middle distances, and tried to forget the coarseness
and cruelty of the scene I was supposed to have come to as an amusement.
The nuts and the ginger‐bread were wanting, and Aunt Sally was
distinguished by her absence; but there was nevertheless a milder
reflection of everything that might have graced this same kind of scene in
England; and so the English gentleman of the XIXth century, brought by
fortuitous circumstances into a new and exquisitely beautiful land, was
doing his best to make himself “at home,” and to inspire the natives and
foreigners with his own tastes. I am fond of sport, though I am but an old
maid; but somehow this does not strike me as being sport in the true
acceptation of the word. And I sat wondering how long it will be before my
own brave countrymen, who are already addicted to _battues_, will build
one‐storied, round summer‐houses in their woods, painted inside with
arabesques, Cupids, Venus, and Diana, and having six or eight small
windows all round it; then, seated in a large gilt _fauteuil_, with a
bottle of choice Chambertin by his side, he will languidly pop his short
gun at the thrushes or the finches as they flutter from bough to bough
before him; and so, at the end of a couple of hours, saunter home with a
bagful of “game,” wearied with the exertions of _la chasse au tire_, like
the gentlemen in France in the times of _La Régence_.

The Duc de P. was there, and the Duc de C., and the Duke of H., and
actually one of the men—what may they be called?—who preside over the
pigeon‐shooting at Hurlingham, and who had been got over to ensure
everything being _en règle_. What more could any one want? I wondered to
myself whether the extraordinary beauty and sublime majesty of the
surrounding scene had anything to do with enhancing the pleasure of the
pigeon‐shooters; whether, in short, the successful slaughter of the poor
birds was rendered more enjoyable by the fact of its taking place under a
sky and in a spot fraught with exquisite beauty; noble and serene, vast
and varied.

And if not, why did they not stop among the cockney flats of Hurlingham?
When all was over and we returned home, I actually found myself semi‐
conscious of a sort of pride that the best shot, in this decidedly trying
proof of skill, was an Englishman! So much for the inconsistency of human,
especially of female, nature.

We are in the land of perfumes. Acres of roses, violets, and other scented
flowers are cultivated solely for the perfume manufactories at Grasse, a
few miles from Cannes. Of course, this is not the time of year to benefit
by this exceptional form of farming; but in the spring it must be lovely.

We are preparing to leave Cannes, and, as I write these lines, Frank
silently lays a sheet of paper by my side. And I see—a Sonnet.


    THE OLIVE‐TREE.

    That dusky tree grows in a noted place—
    A garden on the rocky mountain’s side,
    O’erlooking (in the evening of its pride)
    The doomèd city of the chosen race.
    There, as the swathing evening mists efface
    Temple and fane, in sunset glory dyed,
    And round the city walls the shadows glide,
    Beneath the dappled gloom our hearts may trace
    The ling’ring footsteps of the Holy One.
    Our Master walks alone; and who can know
    All the deep myst’ry of his awful woe,
    As on the earth sinks God’s eternal Son?
    But ever shall the gray‐green olive‐tree
    Recall the image of his agony.



A National Or State Church.


Fifty‐three peers protested against the disestablishment of the Protestant
Church in Ireland, “because it is impossible to place a church
disestablished and disendowed, and bound together only by the tie of a
voluntary association, on a footing of equality with the perfect
organization of the Church of Rome.” Mr. Disraeli had previously said the
same thing in the House of Commons: “The discipline, order, and government
of the Roman Catholic Church are not voluntary. They are the creation of
the simple will of a sovereign pontiff” (if he means Jesus Christ, the
phrase is Catholic), “and do not depend at all on the voluntary
principle.... I maintain that as long as his Holiness the Pope possesses
Rome, the Roman Catholic religion, in whatever country it is found, is an
establishment.” In fact, there is a great deal of truth in these remarks.
How, indeed, can undisciplined guerrillas contend against a well‐trained
army of veterans? How can a number of voluntary associations, like so many
insurance or stock companies, liable at any moment to disband, with no
cohesive power, compete with a grand organization whose charter is divine,
whose officers are divinely appointed, and whose laws bind in conscience
in spite of adverse imperial, royal, or republican legislation? The peers
were right; Mr. Disraeli is partially right. No sect or combination of
sects can for any length of time, in a fair field, compete with the
Catholic Church. Hence the cry of the sects in this country for state aid.
The Catholic Church never asked for it except as a matter of justice or
restitution. Whenever it was bestowed on her institutions, it was because
they deserved it. If much was given to her, it was because her hierarchy
or her religious orders, inspired by divine zeal, had founded and
organized charitable institutions while the sects were asleep, lacking
even in sufficient philanthropy, not to say charity, to provide for the
wants of their own suffering members. The Catholic Church built and
organized her asylums, schools, and other institutions, tried to support
them, and did bravely support them, as she still does in this country, by
the voluntary contributions of generous Christians, before the state gave
anything. The sects did very little. They were too indolent, too deficient
in vitality, to do much. They begged from the state. They threw the burden
on the state; so that, whereas in Catholic times there were no state poor‐
houses, state asylums, or state charities, now they swarm. Protestantism
is too cold a system to warm the hearts of men into life‐giving charity;
so it depends, except in rare cases, on the state for the support of the
poor and the orphans. The money is taken from the public treasury for the
support of schools, asylums, and kindred institutions.(23) Such being the
case, who can blame Catholics for receiving a portion of their own taxes
to help their own institutions, mainly supported on the voluntary system?
Are not the frequenters of Catholic schools and the inmates of Catholic
institutions the children and citizens of the state as well as others?
Will the state educate or support as cheaply as the church has done, or
make as good citizens as she makes? If Catholic charitable institutions
are abolished, if Catholic schools are broken up, how much will it
annually cost the state for the building of new institutions and for their
maintenance? Are the Sisters of Charity as safe custodians of the morality
of orphans as the spinsters and political hirelings of the state
institutions? Are teachers and matrons who work primarily from a religious
motive as apt to discharge their duty faithfully as those who labor
primarily for the “consideration” attached to their services? Well do the
gentlemen who attack the Catholic Church know how futile it is for any
sect to strive against her unless backed up by state aid; and hence,
perhaps, the cry which has recently resounded throughout our country for a
national or state church—a national Protestant church in opposition to the
never‐ceasing progress of Catholicity.

The late “Evangelical Alliance” publicly endorsed the cry of a national
church. The Rev. W. H. Fremantle, M.A., of London, an ecclesiastical
functionary of the national church of England, in “a manner,” as the
report in the _Tribune_ has it, “quick and energetic, and, as he warmed to
his subject, eloquent to a degree which _elicited great applause_,” on
October 9, 1873, at a meeting of the “Alliance,” urged on his hearers the
advantages and necessity of having a national church, “the true ruling
elders” of which should be “our statesmen, our judges, and our officers
who bear the supreme mandate of the whole Christian community.” With
laconic pith, he said: “The Christian nation is a church.” The applause
elicited by his remarks was no doubt due to the fact that his auditors
remembered how admirably the Christian “statesmen” in Congress and our
late Vice‐President, some of our “judges,” our “Evangelical” bankers and
merchants, represented the interests of the Alliance in their respective
avocations! The Rev. W. J. Menzies, of Edinburgh, emissary of the national
church of Scotland, seconded and approved the doctrines of his
Episcopalian brother. In vain did a sturdy American, the Hon. J. L. M.
Curry, LL.D., of Richmond, try to defend the American system and the
principles of our Constitution against these well‐fed and well‐paid
gentlemen. The rubicund foreigners of the church establishments of
Denmark, Sweden, and Germany came to the rescue of their English and
Scottish brethren. They had preached to the “Alliance” in favor of the
tithes, taxes, and intolerance of their own establishments, and were not
willing to allow Mr. Curry to oppose them. The very president of the
“Alliance,” himself an American, was obliged to coerce the honorable
gentleman into silence. His voice was drowned in an “evangelical” chorus
of national churchmen. We are no longer, then, astonished to read that the
Rev. Dr. Stoughton, of England, was greeted in a Protestant Sunday‐school
in this city with the anthem of “God save the Queen.” It was not a
religious hymn, mark it well, but an anthem in praise of the head of a
church establishment, who is more than pope, for she is _impeccable_ as
well as infallible, according to the axiom of English law that “the king
can do no wrong.” No longer are we surprised to learn that the head of
another national church, the would‐be pope‐Emperor of Germany, gave the
“Evangelical Council” his blessing; that several of our highest
magistrates, unless they are belied, have been secretly leagued against
the Catholic Church in favor of a state Protestantism. Newspapers of
reputed rank have been continually striving to create a Protestant public
spirit in the state, and thus, as it were, to prepare the way for an
absolute union of church and state on a Protestant basis. Indeed, we have
a national, or at least a state, church already; although it has so far
been administered to us only in homœopathic doses. Have we not a state
school system with a Protestant Bible on its rostrum? Have we not
“Juvenile Asylums,” “Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Homes,” state charitable
institutions all controlled on the Protestant system, conducted to a great
extent by Protestant clergymen? Are not the Bibles used in them
Protestant? Are not the school‐books essentially sectarian in which such
expressions as “gor‐bellied monks,” the “glorious Reformation,” the “great
and saintly Martin Luther,” are frequent? Have we not a Protestant Indian
policy and a Protestant “Freedman’s Bureau”?

It is true you cannot call the colorless Protestantism of these
institutions peculiarly Methodist, or peculiarly Episcopalian, or
peculiarly Baptist; but it is nevertheless Protestantism. We have a name
for it. The late “Evangelical Alliance” gives it to us. The word
“Evangelicalism” will express the Protestantism of our incipient national
and state churches. We defy any impartial visitor to the so‐called “non‐
sectarian” state institutions to deny that their chief male officers,
superintendents, guardians, and teachers have been chosen on account of
their “Evangelicalism.” Every one that knows the inner working of our
state institutions for charitable purposes is aware that they are mere
pastures in which Evangelical ministers are retired on salaries of
thousands a year taken from the state pocket.

The desire for having a state or national church is growing stronger.
German imperialism, or pagan Roman Cæsarism revived, has given an impetus
to it in Europe, in order to create a foreign public opinion to sanction
its own persecutions of the Catholic Church at home. Switzerland has been
moved by the pull of the German wire. Perhaps the same influence is at
work in our republic. Or is it that a certain class of the Protestant
clergy, dreading starvation if left depending on the bounty of flocks that
are losing their Christianity and its generous impulses, envious of the
portly frames and plethoric purses of the foreigners of the European
establishments who lately visited our shores and banqueted at our expense,
long to draw nutriment from the bosom of an established mother, rather
than risk death from marasmus at the breasts of a dry and barren voluntary
system? If this be the cause of the growing “Evangelicalism” of the sects,
of their effort to combine for the purpose of giving us a national church,
let us devoutly pray that the next delegates from abroad will be as spare
in person and purse as our own country parsons. For the sake of our
republican institutions, may his divine and imperial majesty of Germany
and her gracious ecclesiastical majesty of England send hither no more of
their rotund and jocund functionaries, to make the hearts of our
Evangelical clergymen yearn after the flesh‐pots of Egypt!

Or can it be that the venerable heads of our “Evangelical” mayors,
governors, and their compeers, returning in their senility, as is not
uncommon with decaying brains, to their early loves, are striving to
restore the state establishments of the old Puritan colonies? The
recollection that all the original colonies except Catholic Maryland had a
state church has not yet died out among these “Evangelical” ancients. They
remember that so late even as 1793 an attempt was made even in New York to
saddle an Episcopalian establishment on the back of our state, and this,
too, at a time when the members of the Holland Reformed Churches were in
the proportion of fifteen to one Church‐of‐Englander! Perhaps Governor Dix
has an agreeable recollection of this beauteous trait in the character of
his sect. Perhaps he remembers how well she had battened on the flesh and
blood of the Irish people for centuries, though her votaries were not one‐
twentieth part of the Irish population. In 1643, the “orthodox”
Episcopalian colony of Virginia expelled two New England Puritan
ministers; while the New England Puritans, by way of “Evangelical”
retaliation, sent back to Old England two professors of Anglicanism. The
poor Quakers were driven out by all the colonies except Catholic Maryland.
Indeed, even our modern “Evangelicals” had not the courtesy to invite them
to their “Alliance.” In Virginia, the man who refused to have his child
baptized was fined two thousand pounds of tobacco. In the colonies of
Massachusetts and New Haven, for a time only church members could exercise
the full powers of citizenship. The legislatures of the New England
colonies convoked even the church synods. These were truly “Evangelical”
times, and after these do the “Evangelicals” hanker. So late even as 1779
tithes were collected by law in some of the colonies. In fact, it was only
in 1818 that the separation of church and state was effected in
Connecticut. But in those days the Catholics were few, and nobody feared
them. If they had been as numerous and formidable then as they are now,
the disestablishment would never have been accomplished. These were the
halcyon days when, in the words of Rev. Mr. Fremantle, already quoted,
“the Christian nation was a church,” “the true ruling elders of which were
statesmen, judges, and officers who bore the supreme mandate of the whole
Christian community.” What a yearning there is for the return of those
good times when none but “Evangelicals” may hold office to defraud the
revenue, invest in Crédit Mobilier stock, or manage banking houses for the
purpose of swindling credulous “Evangelical” depositors!

It is timely to warn all good citizens against the Protestant effort to
restore the state‐church system of the early colonies. The Rev. W. H.
Campbell, D.D., of New Brunswick, at one session of the “Alliance” said:
“Revolution has everywhere borrowed the force of its political ideas from
the Protestants of the XVIth century.” Never was language more correct.
Rebellion against lawful authority, the overthrow of legitimate
governments, the subversion of civil society, the destruction of law and
order in modern times, are all traceable to Protestant principles. Nor can
you ever tell where they will stop. As there is no fixity or certainty or
unalterable code of doctrine or morals in Protestantism, a statesman can
never tell when its councils will be impelled by whim, fanaticism, or
prejudice. There is no telling but that the Protestant assembly which to‐
day favors the state to‐morrow will be in revolt against it. It has been
on the side of unbridled license, of the extreme of liberty; and, again,
it has been the creature, the slave, the blind instrument of despotism. A
statesman always knows what to expect from the Catholic Church and her
assemblies. Her principles are patent, her system plain, her doctrines
unchanging, her secondary discipline modifiable according to law or
necessity, but only by the spiritual power. She is always conservative,
never revolutionary. She gives to Cæsar what belongs to him, but no more.
She makes a reserve in her allegiance to the state: she reserves the
rights of God, the rights of conscience. She must obey God rather than men
when men try to alter or subvert God’s revelation. If the state wishes to
persecute her, it may begin at once. She has nothing to hide from the
state; and she will alter nothing of her doctrines. If the state dislikes
her, at any rate she is an open foe. But Protestantism is a fickle
subject. Like the ancient pagans, she admits the supremacy of the state
over her; admits that the church is only a voluntary corporation
subordinate to the state; yet practically she is never to be depended on.
Fickle by nature, the state can never tell when a fit of madness may seize
on her; when her imagination may be possessed by some idea subversive
alike of good order and even of morality. We all know the history of the
Anabaptists and Antinomians in Germany; the deeds of violence of the
Independents in England. Protestantism, like a wanton filly, carries the
state as a rider, but always at the risk of its neck. Let our statesmen,
then, beware of the attempt which is being made to give us, if not a
national, at least a state church. The threat has been made that when
slavery was abolished, the next thing to undertake would be the
destruction of the Catholic Church by the establishment of a state church.

It is easy to show that a national church is essentially opposed to our
American principles, and that consequently all attempts to establish one
are anti‐American. On this point many rationalists and infidels agree with
Catholics, as they logically must when they argue from sound principles of
pure reason or of pure politics. The Catholic religion recognizes the
competency of reason in its own sphere, and admits its logical inerrancy.
All the principles of the natural, political, metaphysical, or moral order
known with certainty even by those who do not believe in revelation at
all, are the common property of the Catholic Church; for although she
insists on the subordination of reason to faith, she asserts emphatically
the autonomy of reason, and condemns those who would abridge its powers.
Hence true statesmen who judge our Federal or State constitutions from the
viewing‐point of reason alone agree with Catholics in opposition to the
so‐called “Evangelicals,” the chief of whom believe in “total depravity,”
the loss of free will, and unmerited damnation. The ablest lawyers in the
country teach that the fundamental idea of our civil government is that
there shall be no interference of the state in church affairs. Absolute
independence of the church; no interference of the state in religious
matters—such is the AMERICAN IDEA. It is expressly laid down in the first
amendment to the Constitution of the United States that Congress shall
have no power to legislate on religious questions. The ablest commentary
perhaps ever written on the Constitution is the _Federalist_; some of the
best articles in which were written by Alexander Hamilton, whose son has
recently published them. The teaching of this great man is that the
framers of the Constitution were especially anxious to eschew church
establishments or state religions in the policy of our republic. Indeed,
some of the leading authors of the Constitution were rationalists, and
more afraid of Protestant sectarian interference in state affairs than
they were of the Catholic Church, which in their days was not strong
enough to be feared. “Our theory is,” writes Gerrit Smith, “that the
people shall enjoy absolute freedom in politics and religion.” Of course
this freedom could not exist if we had a state church. Mr. Smith, whose
intelligence and Americanism no one can dispute, in his celebrated letter
on the school question,(24) from which the above phrase is taken, adds: “A
lawyer than whom there is no abler in the land, and who is as eminent for
integrity as for ability, writes me: ‘I am against the government’s being
permitted to do anything which can be entrusted to individuals under the
equal regulation of general laws.’ ” How few of the “Evangelicals” would
be willing to act on this correct interpretation of our Constitution? How
could they so easily give up the government pap that nourishes the
Methodist preachers of the “Freedman’s Bureau” and the “Indian Bureau,”
not to speak of the other countless branches of our homœopathic national
church?

The attempt to establish a state church is also opposed to most of our
State constitutions, and notably to that of New York. The first
constitution of this State was so essentially hostile to a church
establishment that it contained an article incapacitating any minister of
the Gospel from holding any office, civil or military. Tradition has it
that some Episcopalian minister, playing the political marplot in the
preliminary convention, had so annoyed Mr. Jay that he had the article
inserted. In 1846, this article was expunged; and ever since our State
legislature, our public offices, and even our judiciary, have been
afflicted by ambitious, incompetent, sometimes even illiterate, and always
bigoted, political preachers. They are always striving to inflict on us
more and more of their bigotry, while their acts show that one of their
chief aims is to gratify the “Evangelical” appetite for power. We must
especially guard our State constitution from the treacherous assaults of
the sects. Even now their express provisions are violated or evaded.(25)
They are easily modified.(26) Some of them are not inconsistent with a
church establishment, and may at any moment become the prey of
“Evangelical” bigotry or fanaticism.

Catholics are by conviction opposed to a change in the character of our
Federal and State—we speak of New York—constitutions. They do not conflict
with the CATHOLIC IDEA. There is nothing in or out of the _Syllabus_ that
is opposed to our system of government. This we shall now proceed to show.
Pius IX., on December 17, 1860, in an allocution condemned a proposition
which begins with these words: “_National churches may be established_.”
It is number 37 in the _Syllabus_. We know that it will be objected to us
that the Pope also condemns the attempt to separate church and state in
countries in which they are by law united, and the abstract principle that
they ought to be separate. It is true that where church and state have
been united, not by force, but by the nature of things and the sanction of
laws, it is condemnable to attack their union as iniquitous or improper;
but it is also true that it is not always obligatory or expedient on the
part of the state, as such, to establish a church, build its institutions,
and salary its clergy out of a common fund. The Roman pontiffs, in the
height of their temporal power, never compelled the Jews to build with
their money Catholic churches and pay the salaries of Catholic priests.
Let us historically examine the character of the union of church and state
in the Catholic countries of Europe, and we shall find how just, fair, and
honorable such an union becomes. What was the title to most of the
Catholic church property in Europe? None better. The barbarian baron or
king, grateful to the priest, the monk, or the bishop who had civilized
him and taught him to save his soul, generously built a church or a
monastery and endowed it. Legacies, donations, free gifts—these were the
means by which the bishopric and monasteries grew rich. No title to
property is better than this, which a thousand years had sanctioned. Of
course every new donation increased the power of the church. The
temporalities of the church had natural influence in the state. The abbots
and bishops were peers of the realm. The church lived on her own
resources—neither asked nor received anything from the state except
protection and liberty. Before the Reformation, this was the character of
the close union between the church and state. After the Reformation, when
the church had lost her power chiefly through the corrupting influence of
the kings and barons on the bishops and abbots, despite the protests and
the efforts of the popes, the politicians confiscated the church property.
This confiscation was simply robbery, for the church corporations, as well
as individuals, had rights which the state was bound to respect. But it
happened, as it often happens, that wicked kings or mercenary and
unprincipled politicians used the political machinery of the state legally
to rob the church. They abused the right of eminent domain. Gov. Dix
himself, in his annual message for 1874, limits the exercise of this
right. “The right,” says he, “of every individual to be secured in the
undisturbed enjoyment of his property lies at the foundation of all
responsible government. It is, indeed, one of the primary objects for
which governments are instituted. To this fundamental rule there is but
one proper exception. If private property is needed for public use, it may
be taken by making just compensation to the owner; but the use must be one
_which is common to all_, or _which is indispensable to the accomplishment
of some object of public necessity_. This right of eminent domain, as it
is denominated, is an incident of sovereignty, and it is one of the most
arbitrary of all the powers of government.”(27) It is unquestionably the
“most arbitrary of all the powers of government,” if we consider how many
are the demagogues, political traders, and mercenary corruptionists who
help to make the laws in parliaments, congresses, or State legislatures to
regulate the property of respectable people; and how often the executive
power in the state, be it imperial, regal, presidential, or gubernatorial,
is wielded by despotic and corrupt hands. Imagine a parliament of
Communists using the right of eminent domain of the state against the
lands and tenements owned by the Trinity Church corporation of New York;
or an assembly of “Evangelicals” legislating in regard to Catholic church
property! The state in France, for instance, during the Revolution
stripped the church of her lawful possessions; Napoleon endeavored to
bring order back to the Republic by re‐establishing the church. But it is
plain that the salary allowed by his concordat in A.D. 1801 to the clergy,
and the revenue allowed by the state for the maintenance of church
edifices, was not a tithe of the interest accruing from the property
stolen by the state from the church. The sum now allowed to support the
Catholic clergy of France is, therefore, only a fraction of restitution
money due to them by the state. So it is in other countries in which the
state, after confiscating the church property, salaries the clergy. The
church in those countries does not get her due. She asks no favor from
them; she does not even get her rights. The propositions in the _Syllabus_
referring to the union of church and state must be explained in the light
of these facts. The Catholic Church does not go to China or to Turkey, and
say to the governments of those countries: “You must establish me here;
you must build my temples and schools and asylums.” No, she claims no
right of eminent domain over the pockets of infidels; and even when she
converts them, she only asks their voluntary aid. All she asks is liberty
to work and protection in her legitimate duties. She and her converts will
do the rest. This was all she asked of the Roman emperors; this she asked
of the mediæval kings. If they gave her liberty and protection, she
thanked them, blessed them, worked for them, and civilized them. If they
refused, still she blessed them and worked in spite of them; for she must
“obey God rather than men.” She might with justice ask more than this in
Prussia or England or Sweden; for there she might ask back her stolen
property. But in this country she only asks a fair field and no favor.
Contrast her conduct with that of Protestantism. Protestantism goes to the
state begging on her knees; admitting the state’s supremacy over her;
confessing that she is the humble servant of the king; and asks his
gracious bounty. She will gladly sit on the foot of his throne as his
slave, though a dangerous and treacherous one, if he will only smile on
her, clothe and feed her. She will even stoop to become the receiver of
stolen goods. Is it not so? Where is there a national Protestant church
really established that is not living on property stolen by the state from
the Catholic Church? Look to England and Scotland. Are not the Protestant
establishments in those lands the possessors of ill‐gotten goods—of lands
and churches iniquitously stolen from the Catholic Church? Surely the
orthodox Catholic laity of the middle ages who gave these demesnes to the
monasteries and churches never intended that the king should turn them
over to a heretical establishment. The Prussian establishment is a theft
from beginning to end; for every one knows that the apostate head of the
Catholic religious order which ruled the duchy of Brandenburg, and laid
the foundation of the Prussian power, had no right to transfer the
property of his order to a Protestant clergy. Who could defend such a
proceeding? Would our “Evangelical” brethren approve the conduct of a
Protestant board of trustees or vestrymen who, on being converted, or a
majority of them being converted, to the Catholic faith, should by a trick
transfer the property of their congregation, their church, or college to
the Catholic authorities to be used for Catholic purposes? How, then, can
they approve the conduct of the English, German, and Scandinavian clergy
who have received the lands and buildings taken from the Catholics by
violence and regal usurpation? There is truly a very great difference
between the Protestant and Catholic church establishments of Europe—a
difference in origin, as well as in the manner of their continuance—and
this difference is by no means flattering to the honesty or manliness of
the sects. Correctly, therefore, did we say that Catholic principles as
well as true American principles are opposed to a state church
establishment in this country, and that nothing in the _Syllabus_ condemns
our system of government.

It is time, therefore, for all true American citizens to unite under the
Catholic standard of opposition to national or state church
establishments. The rights of conscience, the rights of religion, are the
rights of God. They are not national, but universal; that is, catholic. We
are not willing to come back to the pagan _régime_ of Roman Cæsarism, and
admit the ruler of the state or the state itself as supreme master of
religion as well as of politics. The “Evangelical” semi‐paganized
Protestants of Germany may bow the knee to the modern Cæsar, and admit him
to be supreme pontiff; but they must keep their despotism at home. The
Swiss “Evangelicals” may revive the ancient Spartan worship of the state,
and assert its supremacy in spiritual matters; but they must keep their
statolatry from our shores. The true American, like the true Catholic,
will bow the knee to no idol, not even to the state, much as he may love
it. He adores only his God. The state shall not interfere with his
conscience, or dare to come between him and his God, no matter how much
these foreign “Evangelical” emissaries may wish it. He is Catholic, even
when he least suspects it. He hates despotisms, as the Catholic Church
does; he suspects that German “Evangelicalism” is only a livery stolen to
cover unbelief, as the Catholic Church knows it to be. He suspects the
sincerity of those foreign “Evangelical” emissaries and their native
hypocritical associates who preach in favor of state‐church
establishments; he suspects them as traitors to American liberty or as
seekers for notoriety or a full purse. When his suspicions have been
clearly proven correct, he will turn from the sects in disgust, to love
the grand old church which can be controlled by no national or state
limits, and which has been battling all her lifetime against emperors and
kings for the very principles of liberty that constitute the glory and the
greatness of our republic.



The Captive Bird.


From the French of Marie Jenna.

He is all yours—’tis true—for life or death,
  The hollow of your hand contains his fate,
You have the power to still his dulcet breath
  And make the grove he dwelt in desolate.

You hold him!—He is weak and you are strong,
  But pity may his liberty restore.
Let him to shade and summer still belong,
  It is so sweet to live—with wings to soar!



The Farm Of Muiceron. By Marie Rheil.


From The Revue Du Monde Catholique.



XIX.


Now, to quiet your mind—for you must be as shocked as I am at all these
horrors—we will speak, if you please, of our friend Jean‐Louis. On the
afternoon of the day which proved the last for the innocent Barbette,
Jeannet, knowing that the wood‐cutters would be dismissed, and that
consequently he would have some leisure time, went off to the Luguets’ to
have a little consoling conversation with good Solange. He kept no secrets
from her, and expected great relief in recounting faithfully all that had
happened; but, on entering, he instantly perceived something new had
occurred in the house. The men were out at work; Mme. Luguet was seated by
the fire, weeping bitterly; and Solange, sitting on a stool at her feet,
was speaking to her in an angelic voice of her desire to enter a convent.
Jeannet discreetly wished to withdraw.

“Don’t go,” said Solange to him; “isn’t it so, mother? Jeannet will not
disturb us?”

“No, dear; on the contrary, my child, I am happy to see you, Jean‐Louis.
Is it true that you will be free to accompany Solange to Paris?”

“Alas! Mme. Luguet,” replied Jeannet, “why should I not be free, having
neither family nor friends, save only you and yours? The only roof that
sheltered me from infancy is henceforward forbidden to me, without
counting that, before many hours, the only thing that I can call my own—on
condition that God leaves it to me—and that is my life, may be taken
also.”

“What has happened?” asked Solange. “You speak in a quiet, serious tone
that frightens me.”

“I have done my duty, dear Solange, and often in this world, after
performing an act of conscience and justice, any consequence may be
expected.”

And he related that, having discovered the criminal dealings of Isidore
with the brigands of _La Martine_, he had been obliged to threaten the
future husband of Jeannette, and give him warning that he must leave the
country.

“But,” cried Solange, “that is just what I hoped; this fortunate event
divine Providence has allowed, that Jeannette might be saved. Rejoice,
then, Jeannet, instead of indulging in such gloomy ideas.”

“You are very kind to think so,” replied Jean‐Louis sadly; “but I,
Solange, see things differently. Jeannette, already so irritated, will not
pardon me for saving her at the expense of Isidore, who is not the man to
let himself be crushed like a wolf caught in a snare. Much will be said
against me; I will be rashly judged, and less than ever will I have the
right to present myself at Muiceron. No, no; from that dear spot I am for
ever separated. I have been already accused of jealousy; shall I expose
myself to Jeannette’s reproaches that I have denounced Isidore to prevent
her marriage?”

“I acknowledge,” said Solange, “that your reflections are just. The truth
will one day be known, but it will take time; I see it as well as you.”

“I must expect the vengeance of the Perdreaux,” continued Jean‐Louis, “as
well as of their friends, whose violent passions I know, and who will not
leave me in peaceable possession of their secrets. Michou has discharged
the workmen; apparently, they went off contented. But Isidore, meanwhile,
received my letter; no doubt before this he has communicated it to his
cut‐throat companions, and the easiest thing for all of them will be to
get rid of me at the shortest notice.”

“My God!” said Solange, “why didn’t you think of all that before writing
the letter? At least, you need not have signed it.”

“I thought of all that,” replied Jeannet, smiling; “but even if I had been
sure of risking my life in saving Jeannette, I would not have stopped. Her
father and mother preserved my existence, Solange, and therefore it
belongs to them. And as for not signing such a letter, thank God! you
think so because you are a woman, that you love me, and that you feel I am
in danger; but if you were in my place, you would think as I do.”

“My children,” said Mme. Luguet, “you are both right. But my advice is
that just now you had better plan for the future than discuss the past.”

“Tell us what shall be done, mother,” said Solange. “In the first place,
Jean‐Louis must not return to the wood to‐night; isn’t that so?”

“Don’t think of such a thing,” cried Jeannet, as he rose hastily from his
chair. “Did I come here to hide?”

“Be still,” said Solange with authority; “don’t be so proud. We all know
you are brave, who, then, can accuse you of flying from danger? But
courage does not consist in throwing yourself headlong in the midst of it,
but in providing against it.”

“I will return,” said Jeannet, “Michou expects me.”

“You will not return, my child,” said Mme. Luguet. “I will direct you for
one day; my age and friendship permit me. I order you to remain with us
to‐night.”

“But,” said Jean‐Louis, “tomorrow the danger will be still greater; and,
my good mother, you surely cannot count on keeping me a prisoner?”

“When you came in,” said the good woman, “Solange was asking my permission
to leave home. It was very painful for me to decide, and I sought to gain
time from the good God—a little time only, to become more courageous; for
never will I be so bold as to refuse to give my child to the Lord. Well,
what you have just related makes me think the good God has directed all
with his own voice. My dear children, you will leave tomorrow.”

Solange threw herself on her knees, and laid her head on her mother’s
hands, which she kissed, weeping. Jean‐Louis turned pale. His courage,
which prompted him to face the danger, and his desire to oblige his
friends, struggled violently in his heart.

“Listen to me,” said he. “I gave my word to Solange that I would accompany
her; but circumstances have changed since then. Cannot Pierre take my
place? They have gossiped about Solange and me, dear Mme. Luguet; what
will they say when they hear we have gone off together?”

“Pierre!” cried Solange; “but he knows nothing, nor my father either. My
mother alone has my secret; otherwise, it would be impossible for me to
leave.”

“It is true,” said Mme. Luguet; “my men are good Christians, but not pious
enough to understand Solange’s wishes. However, with the blessing of God,
I will manage them. It is decided that I will tell the father she has only
gone for a fortnight, to see how she likes it; there will be a fuss at
first, and then we will go to see her; and if, as I believe, the good God
will take her entirely to himself, then the sight of her happiness will
satisfy all our hearts.”

Thus spoke that good Christian woman; and to the shame of many great
ladies of the city, who show themselves so unreasonable under similar
circumstances, I must say, with truth, she was not the only one in our
village you might have heard speak in the same manner.

Jean‐Louis could urge no further objection. The public stage, which would
carry them to the nearest railway station, passed the Luguets’ house every
morning at six o’clock. At that time of year, it was still dark, and the
men, who rose at four, that they might go to the barn and comb the hemp,
went to bed very early in the evening. Pierre and his father entered and
supped, without anything being said before them, and Solange and her
mother found themselves again alone with Jeannet as the village clock
struck eight.

It was then that Jeannet wrote the short note to Jacques Michou which we
have already read; he ran and placed it in the box in the suburbs of the
village, and quickly returned, as Solange had told him she would be half
dead with fear during his absence, and that she would pass the time on her
knees, saying her rosary.

You see it was very evident the Lord and his angels watched over these
good people. At this very hour, when it would have been so easy to have
attacked Jean‐Louis, he came and went through the wood, without incurring
any risk, while the unfortunate Isidore uselessly committed a great crime.

Good Mme. Luguet and her daughter remained up until late in the night,
busy making up Solange’s little bundle, in praying, and often embracing
each other, mingling their tender and holy kisses and tears. Jeannet aided
them to the best of his ability, admiring the courage of heart, which was
worth more than that of the head and arms. Then the two women retired for
a little rest, and he, in his turn, ended by falling asleep in his chair.

At five o’clock, Solange came herself to awaken him, and told him, in a
low voice, that she had made her poor mother promise the night before not
to get up, and so she had just kissed her softly for the last time without
disturbing her sleep. At that instant could be seen the heroism of that
holy soul in thus wishing to bear alone the weight of the sacrifice. Her
face, without ceasing to be calm, was bathed in tears, and from time to
time she kissed a little crucifix suspended from her neck, in order to
sustain her brave heart.

“Come,” said she at last, “it is time, Jeannet; let us say the Our Father
together, and then we will leave.”

“Courage, Solange,” said Jean‐Louis, much moved; “the good God will bless
you.”

They repeated the prayer, and went out noiselessly, and just then was
heard the jingling of the bells on the horses of the country stage.

Solange was well wrapped up in her black cloth cloak, with the hood drawn
down over her face. Jean‐Louis carried her little bundle, in which she had
slipped two of Pierre’s shirts; for the good Jeannet carried all his
baggage on his back—to wit, a woollen vest, a blouse, and his plaid scarf.
But, as we have already seen, it was not his habit to think of himself.

They arrived safely at Paris that very day, rather late in the evening, to
be sure; and little did they dream of the great rumpus going on at that
very time in our poor neighborhood. All along the route the strong family
resemblance between Solange and Jeannet made every one think them brother
and sister; and by good luck, owing to the severity of the weather, none
of the travellers in the coach belonged to the village or its environs, so
that they reached the station without the risk of being recognized.

The Sister‐Superior of the Sisters of Charity had been notified several
days before of the coming of Solange by our _curé_, who was the good
child’s confessor; but they had left home so suddenly, Jeannet was obliged
to find a refuge for his companion the first night. Happily, in Paris all
is at your service—people and things—where there is money, and our
children were rich with Solange’s savings; therefore, there was no
difficulty in finding respectable lodgings, where they passed the night in
two beautiful rooms, well furnished, the like of which they had never
thought existed, at least for their use.

The next day their first action was to go and hear Mass, after which,
having inquired the way to the Convent of S. Vincent de Paul, which is
situated in a very pious quarter of the city, they went there with hearts
rather saddened; and one hour later Jeannet found himself alone in the
vast city.

But no one is alone in this world when he carries in his heart faith in
the Lord. All the children of God belong to one family, and feel in their
souls a fraternal tenderness for each other. Jeannet, on taking Solange to
the convent, found a mother in the good superioress, who received them
both. She made him relate his story to her in a few words, and, learning
that he was alone in the world and desirous of some engagement, she gave
him the address of a good priest who passed his life in aiding young
working‐men who, owing to unfortunate circumstances or lack of employment,
ran the risk of becoming dissipated from the want of a helping hand.

He was called Abbé Lucas; and as he is now dead, and enjoying, I trust,
the celestial happiness well merited by his great devotion, I do not think
it indelicate to tell his name.

He received Jeannet with great kindness, and the good boy soon won his
heart with his frankness and amiability. The abbé tried his hand, and
seeing that he wrote well, and turned off a very good letter under
dictation, advised him not to think of joining a regiment, as the
conscription would be after him soon enough without his running to seek
it. Therefore, he took him in his own house, and employed him with his
correspondence, of which there was never any deficiency, owing to the
great number of men who daily claimed his charitable assistance.

The arrangement was perfectly to Jeannet’s taste, who applied himself to
his new occupation with joy and confidence; and you can well imagine that
Solange was very happy, and redoubled her prayers that her dear school‐
fellow might come as triumphantly out of his heart‐troubles as he had been
preserved from the dangers that threatened his life.

She immediately wrote home, informing M. le Curé of all these little
events, but left it to his great wisdom to decide whether he should tell
more or less of everything to the Ragaud family, Michou, and M. le
Marquis. This should make us thoroughly understand the true virtue of this
good child; for she had not been ignorant of the base insinuations made in
relation to her and Jean‐Louis, and what ugly conjectures would be based
upon their departure, Pierre joining with the rest, at least at the first
news. These things go straight to the heart of a good, honest girl, and
Solange, being of a quick, nervous temperament, had suffered martyrdom
from all this gossip without speaking of it, except to God. It was to him,
then, that she remitted the care of her full justification, as she knew
many persons would not have believed anything she might have said. This
beautiful tranquillity of soul is not an ordinary thing, and our _curé_
judged rightly that it proceeded from great holiness, as in the end he did
not fail to speak of it, with profit to his hearers, in his Sunday
sermons.

This excellent pastor, who had been careful to keep clear of the whole
affair before the downfall of the Perdreaux, contenting himself with
praying and awaiting the good pleasure of the Lord, reappeared like an
angel of consolation when nothing was left but tears to wipe away, hatreds
to calm, simpletons to make hold their tongues, and truths to make known.
It was wonderful to see how he forgot his great age and infirmities to
fulfil his task, which was not the easiest in the world.

With the château it was quickly done. In a conversation of two hours with
M. le Marquis, who was a man of great good sense—except in what touched
his political hopes—he made the scales fall from his eyes, and decided his
departure; and as, after all the villany of the Perdreaux, our master’s
fortune had not suffered as much as might have been expected—as it was
very great, and could have stood a much larger rent—our good pastor
reserved his pity and real work for a corner of the country where it was
infinitely more needed.

You can guess that I wish to speak of Muiceron. There truly sorrow, shame,
and unhappiness were at their height.

So many blows at once had crushed the Ragauds, who no longer dared go out,
and remained at home, devoured with grief. The old farmer, struck on the
tender side of his pet sin, which was vanity, thought really that heaven
and earth had fallen upon his shoulders, and that he should only leave his
home for the cemetery. Pierrette, long accustomed to receive implicitly
her husband’s opinions, thought also nothing wiser could be done; and as
for Jeannette, overwhelmed with grief to see herself abandoned by all her
friends at the same time, although apparently the strongest, it looked as
though she would go the first to the grave, so plainly did her pallor and
hollow eyes show the ravages of internal grief.

All the joy and life of rural labor had disappeared from around this
house, formerly so happy. The door was closed, the shutters also, save one
or two in the back rooms, where these poor people kept themselves hidden,
afraid to speak, as they knew one subject of conversation was alone
possible, and just then no one would approach it. The passers‐by, seeing
the house shut up, and not supposing all the inhabitants were dead, ended
by feeling uneasy as they passed the buildings, but not one ventured to
inquire about them, not even Ragaud’s most intimate acquaintances. It is
only truth to add that these, understanding well the sorrow that reigned
within those silent walls, acted thus from respect, and not from
indifference.

Big Marion went twice a week to the market in Val‐Saint, to buy provisions
needed for immediate use, and returned at a gallop, to shut herself up
with her master’s family.

Since Muiceron had belonged to the Ragauds, it was certainly the first
time any food had been cooked but the beef and poultry raised and killed
on the place. Poor Pierrette, like all good housekeepers, had always
prided herself upon supplying the table with the fruit of her labors; for
with us, a farmer’s wife who buys even a pound of butter or loaf of bread
passes, with good reason, for a spendthrift; but, alas! self‐love was no
longer thought of, and La Ragaude cared little what was said of her
management, after she knew tongues could wag about affairs of much greater
importance. Poor woman! she must have been fearfully depressed. Judge how
the chickens ran wild, scratching up the gravel during the day, and
perching on the trees, stiff with snow, during the night, at the risk of
freezing. The pig, so fat it could no longer stand on its legs—as for a
fortnight its true place would have been in the salt‐tub—continued
uselessly to eat his allowance. The hens that recommenced to lay deposited
their eggs at random, without any one taking the trouble to go after them,
notwithstanding the little _coricoco_ of warning, which showed that they
never failed to cluck at the right time most faithfully. But Marion could
not see after everything; and besides, as she had always been very stupid
during the time that all were well and happy at Muiceron, she became more
and more stupid and bewildered after affairs went so badly.

Such was the miserable condition in which our _curé_ found his old friends
on the first visit which he made them, about two weeks after Barbette’s
funeral, with the sole object of raising them from the deep despondency
into which they had fallen since the terrible shock.

Pierrette received him in the big parlor, which was very dark, as the
shutters were closed, and for a quarter of an hour he could get nothing
out of her but sobs; then Ragaud came in, looking thin and miserable, as
much from want of air and exercise as from shame; and finally Jeannette,
who, with a remnant of her old pride, tried to keep from weeping, but was
nearly suffocated in the effort.

“My children,” said the dear, good man, “God tries those whom he loves,
and I certainly do not approve of your shutting yourselves up in this
manner, so as to avoid the society of your neighbors and friends, on
account of a sentiment which doubtless you think good, but which I call
honor ill placed—that is to say, wicked pride, to speak frankly.”

“Alas!” said Pierrette, “who wishes to speak to us now?”

“Whom have you offended?” replied the _curé_. “And why has the esteem in
which you have long been held diminished?”

“Monsieur,” said Ragaud, “my daughter was on the point of marrying a
revolutionist and an assassin. That is enough to kill a family like ours.”

“I acknowledge,” said the _curé_ quietly, “you could have made a better
choice; but, in reality, since all has ended without your playing any
other part in this unfortunate affair than that of victims, I do not see
why you should hide yourselves from the eyes of the world as though you
were criminals.”

“As for me,” said Ragaud, “I can never reappear again in public, and
support the looks and words of the people around, who certainly despise
us.”

“Ragaud,” replied the _curé_, “when a man’s shoe hurts him, he usually
sits down by the roadside, and looks to see whether it is a thorn or a
flint that causes the pain; then he takes it out, and all is over. But if,
instead of that, he continues walking, his foot would swell, the wound
would inflame, and the cure would no longer be easy. Do you understand
me?”

“Not at all,” said Ragaud.

“Nor I either,” added Pierrette, still continuing to weep.

“Well,” said M. le Curé, “it means that a wise man like you who fears
anything of that kind should seek after the cause, to see if by chance it
would not be as easy to drive such an idea out of his head as to take a
thorn out of a shoe. And, between ourselves, it is precisely your case.
Far from despising you, each and every one in the neighborhood only feels
for you compassion, sympathy, and kindness, which they would willingly
show in words and actions. I am constantly asked about you, and all desire
you to return to the common life. They do not come to disturb you, through
pure discretion; but for which, your house would be well filled. But as
long as you live like wolves in their den, the pain increases in your
heart, and soon it will be with you as with the man, wounded in the foot,
who will continue to walk—you cannot be cured.”

“M. le Curé is right,” said Jeanne; “we must reappear, dear father.”

“Without counting,” resumed the pastor, “that you are not acting as
Christians when you show so much pride. A Sunday has passed, and you were
not seen at Mass, and nevertheless it is an obligation. Do you, then,
intend to neglect your religious duties?”

“I would go to church if no one were there,” said Ragaud.

“Is it you, my friend, whom I hear speak thus?” replied the _curé_ sadly.
“So you prefer the esteem of men to the blessing of God? And you,
Pierrette, whom I have always known as such a good parishioner, have you
the same miserable ideas?”

The Ragauds lowered their heads without replying. They felt they were
wrong, especially for the bad example given their daughter. Little Jeanne,
on her side, came to a resolute decision.

“Father and mother,” said she, “M. le Curé makes me understand all my
sins; for it is on my account you are thus borne down with grief. I, then,
must be the first to trample pride under foot. Well, then, I will go to
Val‐Saint on Sunday, and assist at Mass and Vespers in our usual place.”

“You shall not go alone, my poor child,” said Pierrette.

“That is right,” said the _curé_; “I expected as much. As for you, my dear
Ragaud, as I know you to be truly honorable, you will not, I suppose,
allow these two women to bravely fulfil their duty, and leave you behind?”

“I will see; I can’t promise any thing,” answered Ragaud.

“I count upon you,” said the _curé_, pretending to take these words as an
engagement, “and I beg that you will come after Mass and dine with me;
Germaine will have a nice dish of larks, which will not be much expense,
as in this snowy weather they only cost five cents a dozen.”

“Monsieur,” said Ragaud, who felt greatly relieved by this pleasant
conversation, which he very much needed, “commence by taking supper with
me this evening; it will be a charitable deed to stay with people who are
so unhappy.”

“Willingly,” replied the _curé_; “but with these closed shutters and cold
rooms, that make me think of a tomb, I will not have any appetite. You
must change all that, and let in some light. Come, madame, show us if you
still can turn a spoon in the sauce‐pan.”

Pierrette could not repress a pleased smile at this apostrophe, and all
her old occupations and favorite habits came back to her at the
remembrancer, which tickled her heart. Just as in nursery‐tales a wicked
fairy enchants a house for a time, and suddenly a good one comes, and with
a wave of her wand changes affairs; at Muiceron, which appeared desolate
and dead, the words of the _curé_ restored the old life and animation
which were so pleasant to behold in the former prosperous days. Ragaud
made a great fire to drive out the close, damp smell; Pierrette threw open
the shutters with a quick hand, and, seeing her garden ruined by the
poultry, she blushed from shame, and grumbled aloud at her neglect. That
was a true sign that her courage had returned. During this time, Jeannette
and Marion got out the linen for the table, wiped the dishes, gray with
dust, and prepared the _fricassée_, which consisted, for this meal, of a
ragout of wild rabbits that M. le Curé looked at with a mischievous
twinkle in his eye, as he knew well this game could only be the result of
poaching.

“There,” said he, trying to the best of his ability to cheer up his poor
friends, “is a dish which does you honor, Mme. Ragaud, and that will be
perfectly delicious if you will put a glass of white wine in the sauce.
But if you will let me give you a word of advice, don’t feed those little
animals with cabbage.”

“Why not?” said Pierrette, astonished, thinking that M. le Curé mistook
the game for a tame rabbit.

“Oh! yes,” said he, “that animal smells of cabbage, unless I have lost the
sense of smelling; and it spoils the taste very much.”

“But, monsieur,” answered Pierrette, half offended, “this is a wild
rabbit, caught in the wood of La Sange.”

“Not possible!” cried M. le Curé, feigning great astonishment. “And since
when has the farm of Muiceron, which I have always seen the best supplied
in the country with poultry, sheep, pigeons, and all other productions,
been reduced to buy game stolen from its master for food?”

“Marion bought it,” said Pierrette; “the poor girl goes after provisions,
and don’t look far; she brings back what she finds, without thinking of
evil.”

“So Marion is mistress of the house now?” said the _curé_. “My dear
friends,” he added, “this is a little incident which carries a great moral
with it. I wish no further evidence to prove to you how much your grief,
just at the bottom, is hurtful and wrong in reality. When I came in,
Pierrette, I was pained at the disordered appearance of everything around.
In a little while Muiceron will resemble the estate of an idle, lazy man
who lets the ground lie fallow. What an example for the neighborhood, who
looked upon you as models! Come, come, you must change all this, my good
children. Commence your work; there is enough to do. I bet, Ragaud, your
horses have not been curried for two weeks?”

“Alas! monsieur, you are half right—not curried as they should be,”
answered Ragaud in a penitent tone.

“I must have lost more than six dozen eggs,” said Pierrette, looking down.

“I know nothing about the eggs,” resumed M. le Curé; “but as for your
chickens, who have not had a grain of food but the gravel they have
scratched, they are so lean I wouldn’t eat one of them if you gave it to
me.”

These reproaches piqued the self‐respect of our good people more than any
number of long and learned speeches uttered in a severe tone. Pierrette
was deeply contrite for her faults. On setting the table, she could not
keep from the eyes of M. le Curé, who spied everything designedly, the
six‐pound loaf of white bread which Marion had that very morning brought
home from the baker’s. This loaf, that was long and split in the middle,
was not the least in the world like the bread made in the house, and
proved that Pierrette had not kneaded the dough for a long time. Our
_curé_ would not let the bread pass unnoticed any more than the rabbit‐
stew, said it was dry and tasteless—which was true—and seized this
opportunity also to make his friends promise to resume their ordinary
train of life.

The supper was not very gay, it must be acknowledged, but passed off
quietly, and thus this visit of the _curé_, which was followed by many
others, began to bring back peace in those hearts so crushed with sorrow.

The following Sunday, Jeannette, according to her promise, went to Val‐
Saint, accompanied by her parents. She appeared neither too proud nor too
subdued, but just between the two—that is to say, she moved along with a
look of perfect modesty, which won every one’s respect, and made all the
hats come off as she approached the church. Unfortunately, it is too true
that human nature is apt to rejoice over the misfortunes of others. It is
as though each one said, at the sight of a thwack received by his
neighbor, “So much the more on his back, so much the less on mine.” And I
do not conceal from you that the people of Val‐Saint were not exempt from
this culpable weakness. On this very occasion even they were disposed to
be severe; for, in fact, the Ragauds’ misfortunes were a little their own
fault; and each one observed that if the parents had not been too proud
and ambitious of making their daughter a young lady, she would not have
been exposed to choose for husband a scoundrel whom they thought a
gentleman. However, sincere pity replaced every other sentiment when they
saw this afflicted family reappear in broad daylight in such an humble
attitude; and poor Ragaud, who had made a violent effort to come,
gradually recovered his ease at the sight of the kind faces that
surrounded him. During the Mass, his old heart recovered its balance while
praying to God. He felt that affliction is a good means of becoming
better, because it draws the soul to its Creator, whom we are too often
tempted to forget in the days of uninterrupted happiness; and when the
divine office was ended, he could without difficulty stop in the village
square, and shake hands with several of his friends.

Then they went to the pastoral residence, where the _curé_ received them
joyfully, and they ate with relish the dish of larks, which was done to a
turn. At the dessert, the Ragauds looked like people restored to life, so
much balm had that genial morning infused into their blood. Jeannette
alone did not share the general happiness, and her bitter sadness, which
could not be disguised, in spite of the care she took to smile and speak
at the right time, was visible to all. It must be said to her praise that
her vanity, which had been so crushed, was the least wound of her heart;
she felt there another so much deeper, so much more painful, nothing, she
thought, could ever cure it.

Where was Jean‐Louis? What had become of that brother she had driven out
so roughly and unjustly? Her great seclusion since the terrible event had
prevented her hearing a single word about him, and she dared not question
any one.

As for the Ragauds, father and mother, they never mentioned him either,
but for another reason. Ignorant that Jeannette had turned the poor boy
out of the house, they were still firmly convinced of his jealousy; and as
they believed him to be employed on some farm in the neighborhood, they
were very much incensed at his prolonged absence, which, in view of the
present circumstances, appeared the act of an ungrateful and hard heart.

M. le Curé, who knew all, and had Solange’s letter in his pocket,
designedly prolonged the grief of Jeannette and the mistake of the
Ragauds, in order that the lesson might be duly profitable to all.

“You see,” said he, “everything has happened as I foresaw. Fearing to
displease you, I did not invite any one to our little entertainment; but
understand well, my children, if I had had fifty vacant places at my
table, I would have had great difficulty in choosing my guests; so many
would have desired the pleasure of dining with you, I would have been
afraid of exciting jealousy.”

“M. le Curé,” said Ragaud, “I thank you, and hope that your kindness was
not mistaken. I speak the truth when I say that, but for you, I would have
died rather than ever again have shown my face in public.”

“Well, now that it is all over, let us talk of our friends,” replied the
_curé_. “Are you not curious to hear some news?”

No one replied; the tender chord was again touched.

“I do not conceal the fact,” said Ragaud, “that more than one of those so‐
called _friends_ have pained us by their neglect.”

“Let us be just,” said the _curé_; “do you forget that your house was so
tightly closed no one dared knock at the door? I even hesitated to visit
you, and yet you cannot doubt my affection for you. Why, then, should
others have been bolder?”

“Oh!” said Ragaud, “any one that wished could easily have found his way
in. You had no difficulty, dear monsieur.”

“That I grant, but I was in the country. Do you know how many of your best
friends are here yet? In the first place, the whole of the château are in
Paris.”

“Yes, I know it,” said Jeanne. “My godmother did not bid me good‐by.”

“She was very sick, my daughter; you must not ill‐judge her.”

“And Michou?” asked Ragaud.

“Michou was at Mass, directly behind you,” said the _curé_; “and if he did
not show himself, it was from delicacy; but he is not far off, and will
come at the first signal.”

“And Solange?” asked Jeanne, in such a low tone she scarcely could be
heard. That was the name the _curé_ was waiting for. He looked at Jeanne
in a serious manner.

“Solange,” said he, “left also on that unfortunate day, and knew nothing
of it. She, Jeanne Ragaud, was your most faithful friend, and is so still.
You have calumniated her, my daughter. I know it; but I hope you have
sincerely repented; above all, when you hear that she is now at the
novitiate of the Sisters of Charity.”

“Ah! is it possible?” cried she, clasping her hands. “Dear Solange! how
unjust I have been to her!”

“Have you not been unjust to others also, my child?” asked the _curé_ with
gentleness. “Confess it, Jeannette; you should do so from a sense of
justice.”

Jeannette hid her face in her hands, and burst into tears. The question
had pierced her soul.

“M. le Curé,” said Pierrette, “I know of whom you wish to speak; but he, I
believe, has not left the country, and his conduct, therefore, is scarcely
excusable.”

“Ask your daughter,” replied the _curé_; “she, undoubtedly, can answer
that question.”

And as Jeannette could not speak on account of her tears, he continued:

“What could he do, poor boy! but disappear when the only roof that could
shelter him refused to receive him. He is no longer here, Mme. Ragaud,
that child who loved you so dearly, and who had proved it so well. An
inconsiderate word has driven him from your arms, and, having no other
resource in this world, he is going to become a soldier, doubtless in the
hope of dying honorably in fighting for his country.”

“Never did I drive off Jean‐Louis, monsieur,” said good Pierrette; “no,
never, I can truly swear.”

“Nor I,” said Ragaud; “and at this very moment I am ready to redeem him
from the conscription.”

“However, he is gone,” replied the _curé_; “and he, like Solange, did not
know you were in trouble.”

“Oh!” cried Jeanne, falling on her knees, “I did it all. Heaven has justly
punished me. Tell me where he is, M. le Curé; he will not refuse to pardon
me, I am so unhappy.”

“What did you do?” asked Pierrette. “Alas! all this worry has turned the
poor child’s head. Of what do you wish to accuse yourself, my daughter?”

Old Ragaud, who was not easily moved, approached the little thing and
placed his hand on her head. He was very much affected to see her thus,
kneeling and weeping, in the posture of a guilty person. He looked at M.
le Curé, who looked at Jeannette, and Pierrette looked at all three.

Then that young girl did something very touching and unusual. She wiped
her eyes, and, without rising, commenced in a sweet, low voice the true
confession of all her past conduct, not sparing herself, as was right and
just, and yet neither showing excitement nor too great bitterness against
herself, which was the mark of sincere repentance. As she spoke, her face
regained its color, and her eyes shone with holy joy; for the Lord, who
saw her laudable intention, rewarded her with great interior relief for
doing what for many others would have been the greatest mortification.
When she had finished, she remained with her hands clasped, and her head
bent low, before her parents and M. le Curé; but no person broke the
silence. Of the three witnesses of this affecting scene, two wept behind
their handkerchiefs, and the third, wishing to preserve his gravity as
pastor, was too much moved to articulate a word.

“Father,” continued Jeannette in the same humble and firm tone, “judge me,
now that you know how guilty I am. It is to you I speak, in presence of my
mother and M. le Curé, and I am ready to submit to whatever punishment you
may inflict upon me. I have deprived you of a son who made you happy, that
you might keep a daughter who has only drawn misery and sorrow on your
house. But that daughter is still capable of loving you; let her remain
with you, that she may make reparation for her sins. I know I do not
deserve it,” added she after a moment’s silence.

“My daughter,” said M. le Curé, “you have done well. Rise; the good God
pardons you, and your parents also, very certainly.”

“O my poor darling! most surely,” said Pierrette, pressing her child to
her breast.

“And you, Ragaud, will you not embrace your daughter?” asked M. le Curé.

The good farmer, you may well think, had no desire to be severe. He kissed
Jeannette with great tenderness, and made her sit down by him. But his
heart was much troubled; now that he understood his injustice towards
Jean‐Louis, and his rash judgment, and remembering how easy it would have
been for him to have prevented his departure by speaking a friendly word
at the right time, he reproached himself as bitterly as Jeannette had
done; and if his paternal dignity had not prevented him from humiliating
himself before his child, he would have been tempted to confess in his
turn.

“M. le Curé,” said he, “if God one day will let us know where Jean‐Louis
is, do you think he would consent to return?”

“Hem!” said the _curé_, “he is proud; that remains to be seen....”

“Oh! I would beg him so hard,” replied Jeanne.

“In the first place, my child, we must put our hands on him; and there is
the difficulty. Jeannet is not a boy to change his resolution like a
weathercock that turns to every wind. And if he has enlisted, you will
have to run after his regiment.”

“Poor child!” said Ragaud, “he don’t know that he has a little fortune
stowed away in a safe place, and that it increases every year. If it
should cost three thousand francs, I will redeem him, no matter where, no
matter when.”

“Father,” said Jeanne, “before leaving M. le Curé, let me ask you one
favor in his presence.”

“Speak, my child, I promise it to you in advance,” answered the good man.

“That you will never speak to me of marriage,” replied the little thing in
a firm voice, “and that you will let me assist my mother in all her labors
in the fields.”

“And when mademoiselle comes back?” asked the _curé_, with a spice of
mischief.

“Oh! I understand too well that my place is no longer at the château; all
our troubles have come from my having lived there too long,” said she.

“Jeanne Ragaud,” said M. le Curé, “always think so, and conform your
conduct to your words; and if you will persevere in your resolution, in
the name of the Lord I promise you that these trials will pass, and that
you will yet have many happy days.”

M. le Curé pronounced these words in such a serious tone they all three
felt wonderfully comforted. We can truly say that this Sunday was one of
the happiest days in the life of the Ragauds. They went back to Muiceron
with courage and peace in their souls, and on the next day each one set to
work to repair the damage that two weeks of discouragement and gloom had
introduced into that poor forlorn house.

The days passed rapidly between work and household duties faithfully
accomplished. Gradually the remembrance of the recent misfortunes lost its
bitterness, and they were even able to speak of them sometimes to Jacques
Michou, who came frequently to visit his friends. As the police sought in
vain for Isidore, people ended by letting him drop; and, as always
happens, each one having resumed his usual course of affairs, they came to
the conclusion that perhaps he was not so guilty as had seemed at first
sight; so that, but for their ignorance as to the fate of Jean‐Louis, one
month after the catastrophe the Ragauds appeared as happy and tranquil as
before.

M. le Curé was not so ignorant, being kept fully informed by Jean‐Louis,
who wrote to him regularly, but left to his wisdom to confide what he
chose to the family at Muiceron. He preferred to keep a strict silence,
for the very good reason that he wished to prove, by a long trial, the
sincerity of Jeannette’s conversion. Thank God! on that side there was
nothing to apprehend. Solange, with her great charity of soul, had not
been mistaken in thinking Jeannette’s head weaker than her heart.

Misfortune had so purified and strengthened the little creature, Jean‐
Louis would have loved her more than ever, could he have seen her thus
changed; for although nothing is perfect in this world, I can truly say,
without exaggeration, she was now as near perfection as could be expected
of anything human.

Pierrette, who at first wished to spare her little hands, so unaccustomed
to work, did not wish her to undertake any of the heavier labor; but
Jeannette was so quick and ready, the hardest and most difficult tasks
were always accomplished by the time her mother came to give directions.
She was the first at the stables in the morning, which she never left
until all was in order, the fresh milk placed aside, and the cream taken
off that of the evening before; on churning days she prepared the wheels
of the machine, which would afterwards be turned by Marion. It was she
also who measured the ashes for the lye used in the big wash the fifteenth
of every month; and every week gave out the flour, half wheat, half rye,
for the family bread. So great was her zeal she even wished to knead the
dough, and put the loaves in the oven, which is terribly hard work; but
this time Pierrette showed her authority, and declared she would sooner
give up baking at home than see her daughter wear herself out at the
kneading‐trough like a baker’s son‐in‐law.

From time to time, M. le Curé visited Muiceron at unusual hours, so that
his appearance would be entirely unexpected, and always found Jeannette
busy with her household labors, or, if it was late in the day, seated by
the window, mending the clothes and linen of the family.

Her dress was always very simple, even on Sunday, and you may well think
that mademoiselle’s beautiful dresses were left hanging in the closet
without being even looked at occasionally. For another girl it would have
been advisable economy to make some use of them by altering the style, so
as to fit them for the farm; but Jeannette was too rich for any one to
accuse her of extravagance for not using them, and it was every way better
she should not reappear in costumes that would recall a time which,
although passed, still left a painful memory.

She generally wore a serge skirt, striped in black and white, with a
woollen basque which corresponded; and her Indian neckerchief from Rouen,
covered with little bouquets of bright flowers, crossed in front, under
her apron, was in no way more pretentious or coquettish than that of her
mother Pierrette.

She even wore the cap of our country‐girls, which consists of a head‐piece
of linen, with long ends of lawn, which they cross above the head on the
days they wish to appear very fine. Coquettes know how to make themselves
very elegant by adding embroidery and lace; but Jeanne Ragaud, who could
have bought out a mercer’s shop, thought no longer of beautifying herself,
much less her cap. Thus dressed, she looked more like a quiet little
outdoor sister of some convent than the sole heiress of a large estate.
She was told so sometimes, which highly delighted her, as she wished to
appear in everything totally different from what she had been.

It needed a little courage to act thus before the eyes of the whole
commune. Jeannette knew that after being called for ten years the vainest,
silliest little peacock in the country, she was now looked upon as an
exaggerated devotee; and, what was worse, some said she had thrown herself
into the arms of the good God because her marriage had been broken off.

“Wait and see,” said the busy tongues; “only let her dear Perdreau come
back, and all the fine dresses will be taken from the hooks, as before his
departure.”

For they were persuaded she adored him, and that she still preserved, in
the bottom of her heart, a tender remembrance, mingled with regret, which
only waited an opportunity to show itself. Now, one’s nature is not
changed, no matter how great is the desire to correct it, and you know
that Jeannette was passionate and excitable. She therefore had much to
suffer, and did suffer in silence, thinking that all these mortifications
would aid her to expiate her sins, and to merit from the good God the
favor of Jean‐Louis’ return, which now was the sole object of all her
thoughts, desires, and prayers.

To see again the friend of her childhood; to soothe together the declining
years of her old parents; to converse with him as in old times; to resume
the gentle friendship, which now was so ardently desired by her poor
little heart; to ask his pardon; and to make him so happy that he would
forget the past—this was what this repentant, loving child thought of by
day, and dreamt of all night, waking or sleeping. As her conversion had
not deprived her of penetration, she quickly guessed that the good _curé_
knew every movement of Jean‐Louis from A to Z; and it was amusing to see
the way in which she would turn and turn again her questions, in the most
innocent manner, so as to obtain some enlightenment on the subject. But
our _curé_ read this young soul like an open book, and, although he
admired all that the Lord was working in it for her good, pursued the
trial, and, under the manner of an old grandfather, kind‐hearted and
tender, did not allow her to gain from him one foot of ground. However,
occasionally he pretended to be surprised, taken by storm. It was when he
would see the little thing sadder than usual, and ready to be discouraged.
Then he would loose the string two or three inches—that is to say, he
would say a word here and there, to make it appear he would speak openly
at his next visit; and when that day came, he played the part of a person
very much astonished that anything was expected from him.

However, like everything else, this had to come to an end. Half through
pity, half through wisdom, the dear _curé_ thought—as he said himself—that
if the bow was too much bent, it would break; so one morning, having
finished his Mass and eaten his frugal breakfast, he went to Muiceron,
with the intention of conversing seriously with the Ragauds, and telling
them all that he knew of good Jean‐Louis.

To Be Continued.



Home Rule For Ireland.


The term Home Rule as applied to British politics, in its local
signification, has been a very unfamiliar one to American readers until
quite recently, and even yet it is not generally recognized as the watch‐
word of a powerful and growing political party in and outside of the
English Parliament, which has its headquarters in Ireland, and numerous
ramifications extending throughout the principal cities and towns of
England, Wales, and Scotland. In its leading features and designs this new
organization may be said to be in fact the revival by another generation
of the one formerly founded and led by O’Connell, and, like its prototype,
is established for the purpose of effecting by constitutional means the
abrogation of the treaty of union between Great Britain and Ireland, which
was so delusively concocted and ratified, in the name of those countries,
at the close of the last century; and the consequent reconstruction of the
Irish Parliament on a footing of equality with that of England.

It is by no means what might be called a revolutionary movement, for it
seeks neither to pull down nor destroy, by force or conspiracy, those
bulwarks which society has raised for its own protection against lawless
and unscrupulous demagogues; its object is simply to restore, as far as
desirable and practicable, the old order of things, and to redress, even
at this late day, an act of flagrant wrong and injustice done three‐
quarters of a century ago to a long misgoverned people, by restoring to
them the right and power to regulate their own domestic affairs, subject,
of course, to the authority of the common sovereign of the United
Kingdoms.

The history of the treaty and acts of legislative union between Great
Britain and Ireland, and of the motives which conduced to the formation of
the conspiracy against the independence of an entire nation; of the plots
formed in the fertile brain of Mr. Pitt against the civil and religious
liberties of the sister kingdom, and but too successfully carried out by
Castlereagh, Cooke, and other officials in Dublin, has never been
sufficiently studied, even in this country, where every measure affecting
the freedom of mankind, in what part of Christendom soever, possesses
peculiar interest. This defective knowledge of a subject comparatively
modern may be attributed partly to the fact that we Americans have been
too much in the habit of looking at foreign politics through English
spectacles, and in part because there seems to be a principle in human
nature which inclines us to ignore, if not despise, the sufferings of the
needy and unfortunate. Vanquished nations are regarded generally as are
poor relations whom no one cares to know or acknowledge.

And yet the circumstances which eventually led to the destruction of the
Irish Parliament were almost contemporary with, and to a certain degree
grew out of, our own Revolution. The causes that effected the severance of
the North American colonies from the mother country, and facilitated the
consummation of our aspirations for independence, operated, paradoxical as
it may seem, to bind Ireland firmer in the chains of alien thraldom, as
well as to extinguish the last spark of her freedom.

It is generally conceded that the Irish Parliament, from its inception in
the XIVth century till 1782, was not only not the legitimate legislative
representative of even a moiety of the people of that country, but was
actually a very efficient instrument in the hands of their enemies. At
first it was merely an irregular gathering of the nobles and chief men of
the “Pale”—a term applied for hundreds of years after the invasion to four
or five counties on the eastern and southeastern sea‐board, over which the
Anglo‐Normans held sway. Whenever a raid on the native chieftains was
projected, or a scheme of spoliation to be adopted, it had long been the
custom of the lord deputy, or other representative of English authority,
to summon the heads of Anglo‐Irish houses and a few of the principal
burghers of the larger towns and cities within his jurisdiction, to meet
him at Dublin, Drogheda, or Kilkenny, and, having given the motley
gathering the sonorous title of parliament, to demand the enactment of new
statutes against the “Irish enemy,” or to extort fresh levies of men and
money for his incursions into the interior.

Gradually, however, those erratic assemblies began to assume form and
regularity, and even to display a certain independence of action
distasteful to the governing power. As English conquest in Ireland
gradually widened its sphere, particularly in Leinster and Munster, the
number of members who attended those sessions increased; and as the
descendants of the invaders, having lost the attachment of their
forefathers to England, naturally evinced a desire to legislate for
themselves, it was thought desirable in London to nip in the bud a flower
which might insensibly expand into national independence. Accordingly, in
the reign of the seventh Henry, the Irish Parliament being still weak and
yielding, a bill was passed by it acknowledging the dependence of that
body on the king of England and his council. This act, called after its
originator, Poynings, most effectually repressed the aspirations of the
only representative body in the kingdom, and produced the desired results.
But as if this were not enough, we find subsequently, in the reign of
William and Mary especially, instances of the English Parliament
legislating directly for Ireland; and in the sixth of George I. there was
passed a declaratory act which, if any vestiges of freedom or manhood yet
remained in the Irish Parliament, most effectually destroyed them. These
efforts, thus made from time to time to destroy the liberty and efficiency
of the Parliament, naturally disgusted a great many of its members who had
the least spark of self‐respect or personal honor left, and drove them
from the nation’s councils; those who remained being almost without
exception government officials or newly‐arrived and needy adventurers,
ignorant of the character, wants, and wishes of the people, who hoped, by
the display of extraordinary zeal and sycophancy, to push their fortunes
and find favor in the eyes of the Castle authorities. It is not
surprising, then, that a body composed of such elements should have
unhesitatingly voted away the royalty of the ancient kingdom to Henry
VIII., whose predecessors never claimed a higher title than that of lord;
that at the bidding of the same monster, it officially and almost
unanimously declared for the Reformation, and with equal alacrity, in the
reign of his daughter Mary, explicitly repudiated everything it had done a
few years previously.

Yet it still bore the semblance of a national legislature; and, gradually
yielding to the influence of a growing public opinion, some good men,
Catholics as well as Protestants, were again to be found among its members
in the subsequent reigns, until that of William III., when, by an
unconstitutional law of the English Parliament, the former were for ever
excluded, and never during its existence was one of that proscribed faith
allowed to sit on its benches. From this reign also may be dated the many
cruel penal enactments, over one hundred in number, which disgraced its
statute‐books; though, to do its members justice, they never went so far
in ferocity and ingenuity as did their brethren of London at the same
period and even long previously.

But though four‐fifths of the people were disfranchised and their co‐
religionists denied a seat in the Parliament, that body was again
gradually approaching the assertion of its right of self‐legislation. A
new generation had sprung up during the later half of the XVIIIth century
who knew not William of Orange nor the bitter anti‐Irish prejudices that
characterized his followers. The bold, incisive, and satirical writings of
Swift, the learned disquisitions of Molyneux, and the homely but vigorous
appeals of Lucas, had not been without their effect on the young students
of Trinity and other colleges, fresh from the study of the lessons of
human liberty so frequently found in classic lore; and the consequence was
that when they entered the Parliament as members, confident in their
position as gentlemen of fortune, and self‐reliant, not only from their
aristocratic connections, but from their innate sense of mental
superiority, language began to be heard and applauded which, for elegance,
grace, and manliness, had never been equalled in that hall before. The
outbreak of our Revolution, the broad principles of justice and humanity
laid down in the speeches and writings of our ancestors, and the trumpet‐
toned Declaration of Independence occurring at the same time, gave an
impetus and a clarity of ideas on questions of government which, up to
that time, had assumed neither form nor consistency.

The first symptoms of active agitation for their political rights may be
said to have sprung up at this period among the Irish of all conditions
and creeds, but more especially in Ulster and the cities of Dublin, Cork,
and Limerick—the homes of manufactures and the centres of produce,
exports, etc. Their grievances were of two classes: restriction on foreign
trade, and parliamentary dependence and corruption. Under the first head,
it was charged, and with great truth, that Irish merchants were prohibited
by English laws from trading with France, Spain, Portugal, Holland, many
of the West India Islands, and the whole of Asia, for the purpose of
benefiting their rivals in England; thus utterly crippling the
manufacturing interests of the country, and completely stopping the
exportation to these markets of farm products, of which she had even then
a superabundant supply. This limitation of commerce had long been not only
the principal cause of the impoverishment of the nation, but a fruitful
source of clamor and popular discontent, which had invariably been
unheeded by the dominant power as long as it was able to repress them by
the strong arm. At length, however, a change was about to take place. Soon
after our War of Independence broke out and the French alliance was
cemented, England was obliged to withdraw from Ireland nearly the whole of
her military and naval forces, thus leaving the latter undefended by
either regulars or militia, and at any moment open to attack from the
allies. Indeed, Paul Jones several times appeared on the coast, and in
1779‐80 the Franco‐Spanish fleets were absolute masters of the Channel.
The people, kept in a constant state of alarm, at last determined to arm
for mutual protection; and thus was originated that short‐lived but
remarkable body of citizen soldiery known as the Irish Volunteers.

The movement began in Belfast in August, 1778, and before two years
elapsed it had spread over the whole country, and counted on its muster‐
rolls nearly one hundred thousand men, fully armed and equipped at their
own expense. Noblemen, judges, magistrates, and prominent members of
Parliament were proud to serve in the Volunteers as company or field
officers; and Lord Charlemont, one of the most accomplished and liberal
members of his order, accepted the office of commander‐in‐chief.

The external security of the island having thus been amply provided for,
attention was naturally turned to internal evils. Various meetings of
Volunteers were held in the several counties, and strong resolutions
passed in favor of the freedom of foreign trade. The Castle authorities
were not in a position to resist a demand so made; the Irish Parliament,
led by such men as Grattan, Flood, and other nationalists, voted in favor
of the immediate emancipation of commerce; and the British premier, Lord
North, in December, 1779, submitted three propositions to the English
Parliament to permit the export of glass and woollens from Ireland, and
permission for her to trade with the American colonies, Africa, and the
West Indies. During the following February, a bill embodying these
provisions was introduced by the ministry, and passed with little
opposition.

This point gained, the Volunteers set to work to free the Irish Parliament
itself from all dependence on the London Privy Council and the Parliament
of the sister kingdom. In April, 1780, Grattan moved his Declaration of
Rights, which avowed, among other truths, “that his most excellent
majesty, by and with the consent of the lords and commons of Ireland, are
the only power competent to enact the laws to bind Ireland.” This
resolution was, however, opposed on technical grounds, and withdrawn.
During the following year, Mr. Yelverton asked leave to bring in a bill
virtually repealing Poynings’ law, which was granted by a vote of 167
against 37, though later in the session Flood’s motion of a similar
purport was defeated by a majority of 72. The people, who had anxiously
watched the action of their representatives, were now in a ferment of
excitement, and numerous meetings of civilians and Volunteers were held
throughout the provinces, the most noteworthy of which was the convention
of the Ulster Volunteers at Dungannon, February 15, 1782. This powerful
assembly passed a series of manly resolutions in favor of the right of the
subject to bear arms, to express his opinions freely on political affairs,
and to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience; but the
one most to the point read as follows: “_Resolved_, unanimously, That a
claim of any body of men other than the king, lords, and commons of
Ireland to make laws to bind this kingdom is unconstitutional, illegal,
and a grievance.” This was followed up by like meetings in the other
sections of the country, at which similar resolutions were adopted. A few
days after there was a change of ministry in England, and of course a
change of policy. Messages were sent in the name of the king to both
Parliaments, ordering them to take into their most serious consideration
“the discontents and jealousies prevailing among his loyal subjects of
Ireland, in order to such a final adjustment as may give mutual
satisfaction to both kingdoms.” The answer of the Irish Parliament to this
demand met with no opposition on the question of its adoption, though it
declared emphatically “that there is no body of men competent to make laws
to bind this nation except the king, lords, and commons of Ireland; nor
any other parliament which hath any authority or power of any sort
whatever in this country save only the Parliament of Ireland.” There was
no mistaking or avoiding this expression of public opinion, endorsed as it
had been by a national army able and willing to second their demands; so
in May, 1782, the act of sixth George I. was repealed in the English
Parliament, and the old objectionable law of Poynings simultaneously
suffered a similar fate in that of Ireland.

Irish trade was now free, and Irish legislation independent at least of
alien dictation; but another great task lay before the Volunteers, which
unless accomplished, their well‐won victories were likely to prove barren
indeed. This was the purification of their own House of Commons, and the
right of representation for the people at large. That the popular branch
of the legislature wanted reformation badly may be judged from the
_status_ of its members as given by contemporary writers. Only seventy‐two
of them were returned by vote; one hundred and thirty‐three sat for
“nomination” or “close” boroughs, absolutely controlled by a few peers;
ninety‐five were similarly sent to the Parliament by about fifty
commoners; so that, out of the three hundred members of the house, two
hundred and twenty‐eight were wholly and solely dependent for their seats
on less than half their own number. When we consider, also, that of those
creatures at least one‐half were officials, pensioners, or expectants of
pensions and government favors, we can well imagine how little reliance
could be placed on their integrity or honesty in a struggle between a
hostile, inimical power and the people; and it must also be remembered
that at that time neither the right of representation nor of suffrage was
allowed to the Catholics, who comprised seventy or eighty per cent. of the
entire population.

The Volunteers, therefore, set to work to do for their countrymen what
fifty years afterwards was at least partially effected by the Emancipation
and Reform Acts for the United Kingdoms. They again held meetings, passed
resolutions, and even called a national convention to meet in Dublin
during the Parliamentary session of 1783‐4. One hundred and sixty
delegates accordingly met in the Rotunda amid the general congratulations
of the citizens and the high hopes of the nation. But, alas! this sanguine
confidence in the manliness and liberality of the delegates soon received
a shock so rude that its effects were felt in the most remote parts of the
island, and carried with them gloom and dismay to the masses of the
people.

The Volunteers were an essentially, and it might be said an exclusively,
Protestant organization from the beginning, but it was earnestly supported
by the Catholics from a feeling that unrestricted trade and legislative
independence were national boons of the first importance, as well as from
an apparently well‐founded trust that, these being obtained, the
abrogation of the penal laws and the right of representation would
speedily follow. They could not believe that an influential but very small
minority, seeking liberty for themselves, would persistently deny it to
the large majority of their countrymen. They were now about to be
undeceived. One of the very first resolutions passed at the convention
read as follows: “_Resolved_, That the _Protestant_ inhabitants of this
country are required by the statute law to carry arms and to learn the use
of them,” etc.; and, lest any doubt should remain of the bigotry and
narrow‐mindedness which pervaded the representatives of the Volunteers,
the plan of reform, as drawn up by Flood and subsequently adopted, was
made to read thus: “That every _Protestant_ freeholder or leaseholder,
possessing a freehold or leasehold for a certain term of years of forty
shillings’ value, resident in any city or borough, should be entitled to
vote at the election of a member for the same.”

The limitation of the right to bear arms and to vote to Protestants only
was the destruction of the moral as well as physical power of the
Volunteers, and a death‐blow to the longings and aspirations of the
patriotic Catholics. It was more than a blunder, it was a crime—a piece of
rank, selfish hypocrisy, which ill became men who had the words of freemen
on their lips, but, it appears, the feelings of tyrants in their hearts.
In vain did the Irish Catholics protest in a series of resolutions; in
vain did the Earl of Bristol, then Protestant Bishop of Derry, vehemently
advocate the claims of the people to something like religious and social
equality. The convention was deaf to all remonstrance and entreaty, and
blindly rushed to its own destruction.

It had taken the only step that could have gratified its enemies, and, by
throwing away the friendship and support of the vast majority of the
population, it left itself exposed and naked to the attacks and
machinations of the Castle authorities. Pending the American war, England
looked with fear and anxiety on that large body of armed men that could at
any time, and with little risk, sever the connection between the two
countries, for she was powerless to resist them; yet, when somewhat
recovered from her humiliating defeats in her quondam colonies, she turned
all her attention and used all her art to destroy not only the Volunteers,
but the Parliament that had recognized and fostered them. She was
determined, if possible, that such a dreaded contingency should not occur
again. The convention, as we have seen, had rejected the moderate demands
of the Catholics, many of whom, despairing of justice in that quarter,
naturally looked to the government for some modification of their
disabilities; while the Parliament, always under official control, took
advantage of the occasion to sow division and discord among its members.
When Flood, fresh from the Rotunda, moved for leave to bring in a reform
bill embodying the plans of the convention, it was refused by a majority
of eighty in a total vote of two hundred and thirty‐four.

The history of Ireland from this time till the close of the century could
well be blotted out, for the sake of human nature, from the annals of the
race. The Volunteers, who ought not only to have been the defenders of the
country from foreign enemies, but the protectors of the civil rights of
their countrymen at home, after the scornful rejection of their claims by
Parliament and the adjournment of their convention, ceased to be either
feared or respected. Many of their most prominent officers went over to
the government, others of more advanced views joined the secret society
known as the United Irishmen. The English authorities, having thus
succeeded in their first project even beyond their expectations, applied
themselves with extraordinary industry to carry out the second. Agrarian
outrages became more frequent; “Peep‐o’‐day boys” and “Defenders”
terrified the peaceful farmers of one or other side; Orangemen were petted
and armed, while Catholic bishops and priests were deluded with false
promises; the royal grant to Maynooth College was increased at the same
time that martial law was proclaimed in the most peaceful Catholic
districts; and churches were being burned to the ground unrestrictedly by
those who wore the king’s livery. At the general election, which took
place in 1790, the most scandalous means were adopted to secure a
thoroughly subservient majority in the lower house; and, lest this should
not be sufficient, new peers were created through corrupt influence, in
order that the lords might not offer any opposition to the behests of the
Castle.

It is difficult to imagine the scenes of outrage, rapine, private revenge,
and general consternation which grew out of a persistence in so wily and
nefarious a policy. Supported secretly by the authorities, the Orangemen
became utterly regardless of the lives of their Catholic neighbors; while
they, with a choice only between the oppression of an armed faction of
bigots on one side, and the tender mercies of English law on the other,
naturally inclined to the latter as the lesser of two evils, and began to
long for imperial protection. There were many, however, who joined the
United Irishmen, and here again arose another division. That society was a
sworn secret organization, and, as such, the hierarchy and the priesthood
were bound to condemn it, no matter how much they may have sympathized
with its aims, and to denounce all who were in its ranks.

But notwithstanding the state of fear, confusion, and disruption to which
the country was reduced, the English officials still feared to bring
before the Parliament the question of a union. A blow must first be struck
that would drive terror into the hearts of the whole people; so terrible
and sanguinary that even the greatest lover of his country’s independence
would, it was hoped, gladly desire peace and order, even at the price of
British connection. This was done in 1798. The United Irishmen proposed to
resort to armed insurrection and an appeal for French support, but as yet
had committed no overt act of treason. The government, which had all along
been cognizant of their schemes and movements, resolved to anticipate them
by driving the country into premature rebellion; its tactics differing,
however, in various localities. To Wexford, always a very peaceful,
Catholic county, where there were very few United Irishmen, they sent the
infamous North Cork militia, whose cruelty was only surpassed by their
abject cowardice. These miscreants were to a man Orangemen, and their line
of march to the town of Wexford, for miles on both sides, was marked by
the ruins of burned chapels and the corpses of slaughtered peasantry. It
was only then that the people of that country rose up in arms, seeking
“the wild justice of revenge,” and waged on the murdrous brood a war
which, for bravery and decisiveness during the time it lasted, has few
parallels in modern history. In Dublin, the chiefs of the intended
insurrection were suddenly seized, imprisoned, and many of them finally
executed. The Presbyterians of Ulster, the originators of the United
system, were hurried into untimely outbreaks by the knowledge of the
discovery of their designs, and, after three or four detached efforts at
rebellion, were easily put down by the militia and regular troops. Then
came the judicial murders, drum‐head courts‐martial, torture and death. No
man, no matter how innocent, considered himself safe, and no woman was
free from insult and outrage. The spirit of the government seemed to be
infused into all its officials from the highest judge on the bench to the
lowest constable, and that spirit was one of terrorism and slaughter.

Ireland was now prostrate, defenceless, and bleeding from every artery and
vein, and this was considered a fitting time to rob her of her Parliament,
and snatch from her enervated grasp the last remnant of her independence.
The measure was introduced into both Parliaments almost simultaneously, at
first with doubtful success, but afterwards carried with little
difficulty, except the expenditure of enormous sums by the government in
bribing and pensioning members. The most alluring prospects were held out
to the Catholics to induce them to support the measure out of
Parliament—they had no voice inside of it—but, to their credit be it said,
not even a moiety of them were deceived by such treacherous proposals.
They were assured that, after the union, English capital would flow free
as water into the country; that protection for their persons and property
against Orange fanatics would be fully guaranteed; and that many of the
more oppressive clauses in the penal code would be repealed—all of which,
it is unnecessary to say, were conveniently forgotten by Pitt and his
successors once the abominable bargain had been closed. The act of union
passed the Irish House of Commons June 7, 1800, and the House of Lords on
the 13th of the same month, to take effect on the 1st of January
following.

The deed was at last accomplished, and Ireland, deceived, betrayed, and
dejected, sank down into the lethargy of despair till once more aroused to
action by the magnificent genius of the great agitator, O’Connell. For a
long time he dared not hope or ask for a repeal of the union, but confined
himself to the removal of Catholic disabilities, as the operation of the
nefarious penal laws was elegantly called; though occasionally, in his
more comprehensive speeches, he alluded to the future possibility of such
a demand. Emancipation gained, the Reform Bill carried, and the tithe,
poor law, and other questions of minor importance more or less
satisfactorily disposed of, O’Connell turned his serious attention to the
restoration of the Irish Parliament.

He initiated the movement in 1840, but for some time with very little
appearance of making it in any sense a national one. The people were
supine, and those who should have been their leaders rested content with
comparative religious equality and the friendship of the Whigs, who, when
in power, were always generous of petty offices to the poor relations and
dependants of those who could influence elections in their favor. But the
great Liberator, though he had nearly reached that term of threescore and
ten allotted as the span of man’s life, was still full of vigor and
determination. He travelled through every part of Ireland, arousing the
dormant, reassuring the timid, arguing with the disputatious, and hurling
his anathemas against those who, from cowardice or venality, refused to
join in the crusade against English influence in Ireland. His success was
more than wonderful. The hierarchy unanimously declared in favor of
“repeal,” the priesthood almost without exception became his warmest and
most efficient supporters, and of course the mass of the people, always on
the right side when properly led, greeted him everywhere with the wildest
applause. Money poured in from all sides to help the national cause; not
Ireland and the British Islands alone contributing their quota, but the
continent of Europe and the ever‐generous people of America lavishly
advanced funds for the purpose of aiding the people in obtaining self‐
government.

Then came the year 1843—the year of the monster meetings at central and
time‐honored localities, such as Mallow, Tara, Mullaghmast, and Clontarf,
where assembled countless thousands of well‐dressed, well‐conducted, and
unarmed peasantry, to listen to the voice of their champion and his co‐
laborers, and to demand in peaceful terms the restoration of their filched
legislative rights.

The British government was decidedly alarmed, and with good cause. It
tried to stem the torrent of popular opinion by the most extravagant
distribution of patronage, by landlord intimidation, the denunciations of
a venal press, and even by intrigues at the court of Rome; but all to no
effect. Rendered desperate, it even projected a general massacre at
Clontarf; but this savage project was defeated by the judicious conduct of
the repeal leaders. Next it evoked the terrors of the law; for in Ireland,
unlike most free or partially free countries, the law has actual terrors
for the good, but very little for the wicked. O’Connell and eight of his
associates, including his son John, three editors, and two Catholic
priests, were arrested, indicted for “conspiracy,” tried, and all, on the
30th of May, 1844, were sentenced to imprisonment, with the exception of
F. Tierney, who had died before the trial. The effect on the country was
the reverse of what was expected. O’Connell’s popularity, if possible,
increased, the repealers became more numerous, and several Protestant
gentlemen of fortune and influence, who had hitherto held aloof, joined
the association. But when three months had elapsed, and the decision of
the packed Dublin jury and the rulings of the stipendiary English judges
were set aside by the House of Lords, led by Brougham, the enthusiasm of
the people knew no bounds.

These indeed were the halcyon days of Ireland. Never were her people so
numerous, prosperous, and contented, so full of thankfulness for the
present and hope in the future. Of the nine millions of her population, at
least two‐thirds were active repealers or in sympathy with their cause. No
nation, in fact, was ever more unanimous on any public question than were
the Irish of the years 1844‐5, and never was the country so free from
crime of every degree. Much of this enviable condition was to be
attributed to the oft‐repeated admonition of O’Connell, that “he who
commits a crime gives strength to the enemy”; more, perhaps, to the
unceasing admonitions and personal presence of the priesthood at the
monster gatherings; but most, we think, to the workings of F. Mathew’s
beneficent projects. It was a fortunate coincidence that the Apostle of
Temperance and the great Liberator were contemporaries. For the one
teetotaler the first could show, the other could point out an ardent
repealer.

But a change was impending that, amid the sunshine and gladness of the
hour, was undreamt of—a change that was to spread woe and desolation over
the face of the fair island. Famine, gaunt and hideous famine, with her
attendants, pestilence and death, was knocking at the door, and would not
be denied admittance.

The first symptoms of the failure of the potato crop, then almost
exclusively the food of five or six millions of people, appeared as early
as 1845, and, though it created much alarm and distress in certain
neighborhoods, was not of so widespread a nature as to excite general
anxiety till the close of that year and the beginning of the next.
O’Connell, the mayors and corporations of the large cities, and many other
prominent persons, lay and clerical, having exhausted all the resources of
private charity, strenuously but vainly urged on the government the
necessity of taking some steps to save the lives of the people. They
represented, and truly, that the grain crop alone of the country was
sufficient to feed twice the number of inhabitants, and asked that its
exportation might be prohibited; that a large portion of the imperial
revenue was raised in Ireland, and suggested that a portion of it might be
expended there on useful public works, and thus afford employment to the
famishing and needy; that a great part of the lands then unproductive
might be reclaimed with benefit to the holders, and proposed that the
government ought to loan money to the landlords for that purpose, to bear
interest, become a first lien on the land, and to be repaid at the
expiration of a certain number of years. Their appeals were answered by
coercion and arms acts, and by the repeal of the Corn Laws, by which the
Irish producer, who was obliged to sell his cereals in English markets in
order to pay his rent, found himself undersold by importers from the great
grain‐producing countries, like Russia and the United States. In truth,
England did not want to stay the famine, for it was her best and only ally
against the repeal movement; and the “providential visitation,” as it was
blasphemously called by her politicians and clerical demagogues, was
allowed to take its course. Thus unchecked, the dire destroyer swept on
from county to county during the years 1846‐7‐8‐9, till the island, so
fair to view in 1844, became almost a deserted graveyard, and its
inhabitants who had neither sunk beneath its curse nor fled the country
became a nation of paupers. It is now proven by trustworthy statistics
that during those five years over one million fled for ever from their
homes, and that at least a million and a third perished on their own soil,
amid plenty, from want of food and the ravages of the fatal typhus!

No wonder, then, that the great repeal organization drooped, quarrelled,
and finally ended a lingering and impotent existence a few years after.
The bone and sinew of the land, who had given vitality and strength to its
labors, were either far across the Atlantic or rotting in pauper‐graves.
No wonder, also, that its great founder and chief, overburdened with
years, but more by national misfortunes, should have sickened at the
sights around him, and, fleeing from the ills he could not cure, should
have died on a foreign soil, far from his beloved fatherland.

But though the famine had mortally wounded the repeal movement, its demise
was hastened by dissensions among the leaders themselves. In 1846, in a
discussion on the expediency of the use of moral force solely as a means
of obtaining national redress of grievances, hot and personal remarks fell
from the lips of the speakers on both sides; great excitement was created
among the audience, and finally O’Brien and many of the ablest and most
active of the repeal writers and speakers withdrew, and formed what was
called the Confederation or “Young Ireland” party. Though thoroughly
honest, high‐toned, and brilliant as orators and journalists, the Young
Irelanders could never win any appreciable amount of popular support; and
though up to February, 1848, when the French Revolution threw Europe into
a ferment of excitement, they never contemplated armed resistance, the
people generally looked upon them with suspicion, and refused their co‐
operation. In the summer of that year, however, they did make an attempt
at revolution, and, as might have been expected, miserably failed. Thus
the “Association” and the “Confederation” disappeared almost at the same
time; and now that a quarter of a century has passed, and a new generation
has come to the front, we find the principles and aims of the original
organization revivified and incorporated into what is called the “Home
Rule League.”

In its demands, this association is more moderate than was O’Connell. He
wanted repeal of the treaty and act of union, pure and simple, and the
restoration of the national legislature as it was in 1782, with the
emancipation and other kindred acts superadded. The Home Rulers, if we may
judge from the resolutions passed at a very large conference held lately
in Dublin, only ask for a parliament to regulate their domestic affairs,
leaving to the British imperial Parliament full power and authority over
all matters concerning the entire empire, or, in other words, placing
Ireland in the same position with regard to the law‐making power as that
now held by Canada, except the right of Ireland to send a proportional
number of members to the imperial assembly. The success of such a scheme
in Ireland would naturally lead to the restoration of the old Scotch
Parliament, and possibly to imperial representation for Canada and other
trans‐marine colonies of Great Britain. Hence the widespread interest it
has excited throughout the empire.

The objections to the home‐rule plan, as far as we can gather them from
the English and Tory Irish press—for the politicians have carefully
avoided its discussion—are principally three:

I. The confusion and possible conflict of authority which might arise from
having two co‐ordinate legislative assemblies under the same government.

II. That the people of Ireland are unable to govern themselves, and, as
the last Parliament was lost by the corruption and venality of its
members, a restored one would be open to the same deleterious influences.

III. That as the Catholics, from their numbers, would necessarily have a
majority in the Commons, the rights of property and the guaranteed
privileges of their Protestant fellow‐subjects would be in danger.

IV. That the granting of legislative power would be only a step to
complete independence.

To these objections it is answered, first, that as the advocates of home
rule merely require power to regulate affairs purely domestic, and not
touch on those within the jurisdiction of an imperial Parliament, there
would be little possibility of a collision of the two bodies; secondly,
they admit the premises, but deny the conclusion regarding the probability
of bribery and corruption, for the conditions are altered. The rotten and
presentation boroughs, from whence the tools of the Castle sprung, have
been swept away by the Reform Bill, and landlord influence has received a
decided check by the adoption of the ballot. They further allege that the
Catholics now, particularly since the Encumbered Estates Act was passed,
are the most numerous body of landholders in the kingdom, and are
consequently conservative, and would be exceeding jealous of any agrarian
law that might be proposed; that the late Church Disestablishment and Land
Acts have done away with many of the causes of quarrel between Catholics
and Protestants growing out of tithes, endowments, etc.; and triumphantly
point to the numerous Protestant gentlemen, many of whom are clergymen,
who have joined their movement. As to the idea of total separation, they
very properly retort that if Ireland will not rest satisfied with the
concession of her just demands, it is not likely that she will be more
loyal to the crown as long as they are withheld.

This repeal movement, in another shape, like its predecessor, had a very
obscure birth and a small christening. About three years ago, a few
gentlemen met in a private room in the city of Dublin to chat over
political affairs, amongst whom was Isaac Butt, a member of Parliament,
and a lawyer of large experience and great eminence in his profession, who
suggested the outlines of the present plan of operation. Like most hardy
plants, its growth was at first slow, but it has recently sprung up a
hale, hearty tree, with boughs overshadowing all classes and creeds at
home, and roots extending through the sister island and its dependencies.
From the first the leadership has been accorded to Butt, who, though by no
means a man of the gigantic calibre of O’Connell, is still a very
competent political guide and an energetic organizer. Though a Protestant
and a great favorite with the more liberal sectarians, he seems to enjoy
the confidence and friendship of many of the Catholic bishops and a large
number of the priesthood, particularly those of the venerable Archbishop
McHale, whose name we find appended prominently to the call for the late
conference in the capital. With Butt are such men as Sir John Gray, Mr.
Mitchell‐Henry Sullivan, Dease, Major O’Reilly, Digby, Synan, Murphy,
Blennerhassett, the O’Connor Don, and other prominent laymen; while the
Catholic clergy in great numbers, headed by Dean O’Brien, of Limerick, are
active sympathizers. The Home Rulers count in their ranks in Ireland alone
about sixty members of Parliament, besides nearly half that number
representing English constituencies. Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, one of the
most profound and the best organizing minds that Ireland has produced for
many generations, is, it is said, about to return from Australia, and
again enter the British Parliament as the representative of an Irish
constituency. Duffy is a Catholic, a man of varied and remarkable
experience in public affairs, and would be a most valuable acquisition to
the nationalists in council or Parliament.

The movement, as we have stated, is not merely confined to Ireland. It is
nearly as popular and has almost as many supporters in England and
Scotland; and in every liberal newspaper published in those countries that
reaches us we find reports of numerous meetings in the principal towns and
cities, and even villages, of Great Britain. The English Catholic press
particularly favor it, and this adds greatly to its strength. A late
number of the London _Tablet_ says in reference to the home‐rule
conference: “We can all know at present what is demanded under the name of
home rule; and we may frankly say at once that we have been agreeably
impressed by the moderation and evident thoughtfulness which have presided
over the preparation and adoption of the various resolutions that embody
the proposed home‐rule constitution. It is superfluous to say that there
is not a trace of revolution about them.... What, however, is not
superfluous to say is that the new programme of the Home Rulers appears to
us to have discarded with discrimination almost everything which could
prejudice their cause, and to have retained almost everything calculated
to render their project acceptable to the British public and imperial
Parliament.”

The _Weekly Register_, on the same subject, makes the following sensible
remarks:


    “From Tuesday to Friday, both inclusive, hundreds of Irishmen from
    the north and from the south, from the east and from the west,
    Protestants and Catholics, alumni of Maynooth and of Trinity
    College, met in the Rotunda to discuss the expediency of demanding
    of the imperial Parliament such a modification of the act of
    legislative union as will allow the people of Ireland to manage
    their purely domestic concerns without in the least interfering
    with matters of an imperial character; and during these memorable
    four days, as we have already observed, the most admirable temper
    was manifested and the most perfect order maintained, or rather
    observed; for the chairman had throughout only to listen like
    others and put the question. The principal, if not the sole,
    ground of difference of opinion was the constitution of the
    domestic Parliament. To some members of the conference the House
    of Lords seemed a difficulty. Undoubtedly there cannot be in these
    realms any Parliament without a House of Lords, and there ought
    not to be. Equally certain is it that differences—serious
    differences—will sometimes arise between the Irish peers and the
    Irish commons. But does nothing of the sort ever occur in the
    imperial Parliament? Yet, notwithstanding the dissensions,
    occasionally of a very violent character, that happen between the
    Houses at Westminster, the constitution works and the business of
    the empire is done, not always in the best fashion, we admit, but
    still so to keep the vessel of state well afloat.”


Many of the bishops and clergy in England, also, are warm sympathizers, if
not active advocates, of the proposed repeal, as the following extract
from a recent letter of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Turner, late Bishop of Salford,
will in part demonstrate. With regard to home rule, writes that prelate,
“it seems to me that some measure of home rule for Ireland is certain. It
is but a question of time and amount. Parliament will, sooner or later, be
obliged to grant it, if only for the despatch of imperial business. A
strong feeling prevails in favor of large powers of local and municipal
self‐government even in England, and the extension of this principle must
inevitably come to Ireland.”

We cannot but agree with the good bishop in his views of the necessity of
some change in the parliamentary system of the United Kingdoms, at least
as far as Ireland is concerned, and trust, sincerely trust, that his
predictions will be justified by events, and that very quickly. With a
home government, a denominational plan of education, and a fostering
public opinion for ability and native genius, which would surely follow,
that long‐suffering but faithful island might in the near future equal, or
even excel, the glories that shone around her in her first ages of
Christianity.



Sonnet: Good Friday.


Behold the highest Good! there on the cross
’Tis pictured on a canvas so sublime
That God’s own thought, conceived before all time,
Is fitly told; the universe at loss
To fathom it, its mighty forces toss
In darkened struggles that do wildly chime
In thund’rous mutt’rings with the monstrous crime
That man conceives; yet all the varied dross
Of nature’s agitations but compose
The adjuncts to that central Form, where God,
Enthroned in pain, all suffering doth enclose
In one brief day, that never might be trod
A path more hard than that did interpose
’Twixt Pilate’s hall and Calvary’s blood‐stained sod.



Grapes And Thorns. Chapter X. The Descent of Avernus.


By The Author Of “The House of Yorke.”

It was Annette who told Miss Pembroke the result of the trial, taking it
on herself as a sort of mission. Without saying a word on the subject to
each other, perhaps without defining it clearly in their own minds, they
had yet acted on an impression that she was to be treated with peculiar
delicacy and tenderness in the matter.

As young Mrs. Gerald came down the street toward her mother‐in‐law’s home,
she saw Miss Pembroke approaching her slowly from the opposite direction,
a child at either side. She was just coming from her school, and these two
little ones lived in the neighborhood, and were privileged to walk home
with their teacher, each holding in its little hands, for warmth, a fold
of her large sable cloak.

It was a still, frosty day, with a sparkling depth of cloudless blue
overhead, and a spotless carpet of newly‐fallen snow, white as swan’s‐
down, underneath. But the mid‐air, rosy now with sunset, imparted a tinge
of violet to the sky and a soft blush to the earth. Sleighs, with their
gay bells, flew to and fro, the drivers muffled to the eyes from the
stinging cold; and the planks of the sidewalk crackled under the steps
that trod them.

“What a motherly look she has!” Annette Gerald said to herself, as she
stood waiting at the gate, and watching her friend.

Honora had quite a matronly appearance, indeed, in the thick furs she
always wore in winter. She was fond of warmth, and scarcely quick enough
in her motions to resist the cold of a northern climate by means of
exercise alone, and the cap, muff, boa, and mantle made her look like a
Juno exiled to the court of Odin. The cold melancholy of her expression,
the face as untouched with color as a white camellia, was in keeping with
the fancy.

She did not hasten when she saw a visitor waiting for her, nor give any
smile or word of welcome. If there was a sign of emotion, it was in the
slight gesture with which she detached herself from her two little
attendants, who, for the first time, missed the leave‐taking they prized
so much. They had been wont to be stroked on the cheeks, with a gentle
“Good‐by”; and, running, hand in hand, down the street, to turn at the
first corner, and see their teacher wave her hand to them as she stood on
the piazza.

“My dear Annette, why did you not go in, instead of freezing here in the
snow?” she said, and seemed too much occupied in opening the gate to be
able to look in her friend’s face, though her disengaged hand held that of
her visitor closely.

“Oh! I never feel the cold in this still weather,” Annette said lightly.
“Besides, I do not like to enter alone a deserted house. There is no one
here but the servant. Mamma Gerald is with us, and we persuaded her to
stay to dinner. I wish you would go up too.”

They had entered the house. Miss Pembroke paused a moment at the foot of
the stairs, then led the way up to her chamber. Evidently she knew that
there were tidings for her, and suspected that they were not good. “I
shall not dine at home to‐day,” she said, catching sight of the servant.

But she did not, apparently, mean to go out, for she deliberately removed
her wrappings, and put them away; then seated herself beside her friend,
and looked at her with an expression that bade her speak out her errand,
whatever it might be.

“It has gone as badly as it could,” Annette said quickly.

“He is, then, found guilty?” Miss Pembroke asked, without the slightest
sign of emotion.

Annette nodded. “He is convicted on circumstantial evidence. It is as
plain as such evidence can be, but not plain enough to shake my hope, at
least, of his innocence. Lawrence is utterly disgusted and indignant with
the whole affair. He says he would at any time head a party to rescue Mr.
Schöninger. He felt so angry that he wouldn’t stay at home after coming up
to tell us, but started off again somewhere.”

“Is he sentenced?” Miss Pembroke asked, speaking with some difficulty.

“Yes!” And since the eyes fixed on her still waited for more, Mrs. Gerald
added: “There is a year solitary.”

Honora’s eyes opened a little wider. “A year solitary?” she repeated.

“Why, yes, dear. You know it is the custom to give a year of solitary
imprisonment before....”

Miss Pembroke put her hand up, and seemed to clear some mist from before
her eyes. “Before what?” she asked in a confused way.

“Dear Honora!” exclaimed her friend, “need I say what?” And then started
up with a little cry; for Miss Pembroke, without a word or sign of
warning, had slipped out of her chair, and fallen heavily to the floor.

It is not necessary to make an outcry because a lady has fainted, unless
there is no person of sense present. Annette Gerald did what was needful
without calling for help, and her efforts were soon rewarded. The cold
hand she held suddenly became warm and moist as the recoiling wave of life
rushed back, and in a few minutes Miss Pembroke was able to rise from the
floor, and go to the sofa. Annette sat by her in silence, now and then
touching her hand or her hair with caressing fingers, and waited for her
to speak.

If she had to wait some time, it was not because her friend had not
returned to full consciousness. Miss Pembroke was too strong and healthy
to creep back to life, even after so violent and unaccustomed an attack.
It was, perhaps, the first time she had ever fainted, and she was left
almost ignorant of what had happened to her; but of the cause she was not
a moment in doubt. It came back clearly on the first wave of returning
consciousness. She lay with her eyes closed, and strove to set her mind in
order again, and set it so firmly that this terrible and entirely
unexpected fact should not again derange its action. She had not once
anticipated such a conclusion. Her thoughts had occupied themselves with
the horrors of the accusation, and the worst result she had looked for was
that, though the prisoner would doubtless be acquitted, he would not be
able to shake off the disgrace of having been suspected, and would go out
into life branded with an ineffaceable mark—a mark which his name would
bear even in her own mind. She had said to herself that, pity him as she
might, she desired never to see him again, not because she believed him
capable of any great crime, but because his image would always be
associated with painful recollections, and because his dignity had been
soiled by such circumstances and associations. Now, however, he was
presented to her mind in quite a new light, more pitiful, yet with a pity
far more shrinking and remote from its object. In this woman, confidence
in, and obedience to, authority was an instinct; and as she contemplated
the decision of the law against Mr. Schöninger, she began to look on him
somewhat as a Catholic looks upon those whom the anathema of the church
has separated from the fellowship of the faithful, “so that they are not
so much as to say to them, God speed you.” A silent and awful distance
grew up between them.

After a while, she sat up, and began calmly to put her hair and dress in
order.

“It is very terrible, Annette, and we may as well try to put it quite out
of our minds,” she said. “We can do nothing, that I see, but pray for his
conversion. I thank you for coming alone to tell me of this, for I would
not have had any other person see me so much affected by the news. People
imagine things and tell them as facts, and there are many who are capable
of believing that I had loved Mr. Schöninger. I never did.”

There were times when Honora Pembroke’s soft eyes could give a look that
was almost dazzling in its firm and open clearness; and as she pronounced
these last words, she looked into her companion’s face with such a glance.

Mrs. Gerald rose and walked somewhat impatiently to the window. She had
hoped and expected to startle Honora into some generous expression of
interest in Mr. Schöninger, and to win from her some word of pity and
kindness which, repeated to him, would be like a drop of cooling water in
his fiery trial.

“I am sure I should never imagine you capable of having an affection for
any one whom the whole world does not approve,” she said rather pointedly,
having snatched the curtain up and looked out, then dropped it again. “If
you can put the subject out of your mind, and remember Mr. Schöninger only
when you are praying for the heathen, so much the better for your
tranquillity. I am not so happily constituted. I cannot dismiss the
thought of friends because it troubles me, nor because some person, or
many persons, may believe something against them.”

“What would you have me do?” Miss Pembroke asked rather loftily, yet with
signs of trouble in her face.

“Nothing, my dear, except that you put on your bonnet and come home to
dinner with me,” Annette replied, assuming a careless tone.

Miss Pembroke hesitated, then refused. It would be certainly more sensible
to go if she could, but she felt herself a little weak and trembling yet,
and disinclined to talk. The best distraction for her would be such as she
could find in reading or in prayer, if distraction were needed. She felt,
moreover, the coldness that had come over her friend’s manner more than
Annette was aware, and for a moment, perhaps, wrung by a cruel distrust of
herself, envied her that independence of mind and ardor of feeling which
could at need strengthen her to face any difficulty, and which rendered
her capable of holding firmly her own opinions and belief in spite of
opposition. Miss Pembroke seemed to herself in that instant weak and puny,
not because she did nothing for Mr. Schöninger, but because, had she seen
the possibility or propriety of her doing anything, she would have lacked
the courage. It was a relief to her, therefore, to find herself alone,
though, at the same time, she would gladly have had the support and
strength which her friend’s presence could so well impart to one in
trouble.

The door closed, and she looked from the window and saw her visitor walk
briskly away without glancing back.

“I wish I had some one,” she murmured, dropping the curtain from her hand,
and looking about the room as if to find some suggestion of help. “I am
certainly very much alone in the world. Mother Chevreuse is gone; I cannot
go to F. Chevreuse about this; and the others jar a little with me.”

And then, like a ray of soft and tender light coming unexpectedly to show
the path through a dark place, came the thought of Sister Cecilia and her
gentle companions. They had asked her to come to them, if they could ever
be of any use to her, and Sister Cecilia particularly had spoken to her
with an affectionate earnestness which was now joyfully remembered. “I
cannot hope to be to you what Mother Chevreuse was, but I would be glad if
I could in a little, even, supply her loss to you. Come to me, if you ever
wish to, quite freely. You will never find me wanting in sympathy or
affection.”

And she had scarcely been to them at all!

She dressed herself hastily, and called a carriage. It was too late to
walk there, for already the sun was down; and it was nearly two miles to
the convent.

The sharp air and brisk motion were restorative. They brought a color to
her face, and sent new life through her weakened frame. Besides, when one
feels helpless and distressed, rapid motion gives a relieving impression
that one is doing and accomplishing something, while, at the same time, it
saves the necessity of effort.

Sister Cecilia was in her own room, writing letters, her little desk drawn
close to the window for the light. She looked out when she heard the
carriage, and beckoned Miss Pembroke to come up‐stairs then hurried to
meet her half way. She had guessed her visitor’s motive in coming, and it
needed but a glance into her face to confirm the thought.

“Come into my chamber, dear,” she said. “It is the pleasantest room in the
house at this hour. See what a view I have of the city and the western
sky. I sit here to write my letters, and every moment have to leave off to
admire the beautiful world outside. It is a sort of dissipation with me,
this hour of sunset. This arm‐chair is for you. It is my visitor’s chair.
I should feel quite like a sybarite if I were to sit in it.”

She seated Honora by the window, drew up her own chair opposite her, and
went on talking cheerfully.

“I sometimes think that all the earth needs to make it heaven is the
visible presence of our Lord and his saints. It would require no physical
change. Of course I include the absence of sin. There is so much beauty
here, so much that we never notice, so much that is everyday, yet
miraculous for all that. Look at that sky! Did you ever see such a rich
air? It needs the cold purity of the snow to keep it from seeming
excessive.”

A long, narrow cloud had stretched itself across the west, and, drawing to
its bosom the light of the sun, now hidden behind the hills, reflected it
in a crimson flood over the earth. Through this warm effulgence fell,
delicately penetrating, the golden beams of the full moon, changing the
crimson of the air to a deep‐opal color, and putting faint splashes of
gilding here and there beside the rosy reflections.

“How the earth draws it in!” said the nun dreamily. “It never wastes the
beauties of the sky. It hoards them up, and gives them out long after in
marbles and precious stones. Did it ever occur to you to wonder how those
bright things could grow in the dark underground? I used to think of it in
Italy, where I first saw what marbles can be. I remember my eyes and my
mind wandering to that as I knelt before the Confession of S. Matthew the
Evangelist, in Santa Maria Maggiore, where the walls of the atrium glow
with marbles; and the lesson I learned from it was this: that even though
pains and sorrows of every kind should intervene between us and the joy of
life as thickly as the clay, and rock, and turf had intervened between the
sunshine of heaven and the dark place where those marbles took form and
color, we could yet, if we had real faith, be conscious of all the glory
and joy taking place overhead, and reproduce them for ourselves down in
the dark, and make that beauty more enduring because we were in the dark.
At the sunny surface, the brightness slips off and shadows succeed; but
that solid jewel in the depths is indestructible. My dear”—she turned to
her companion with a soft suddenness which warmed but did not startle—“do
you remember S. Paul’s recommendation, ‘always rejoice’? It is possible.
And now tell me why you do not.”

Her eyes, beaming with religious enthusiasm and tenderest human affection,
searched frankly the pale face before her, and her hand was laid lightly
on Miss Pembroke’s arm. No reserve nor timidity could stand before her.
They melted like snowflakes beneath the heavenly summer of her glances.
Honora told freely and simply what had distressed her.

How sweet is the friendship of one true woman for another!—sweeter than
love, for it is untroubled, and has something of the calmness of heaven;
deeper than love, for it is the sympathy of true natures which reflect
each the entire being of the other; less selfish than love, for it asks no
merging of another into itself; nobler than love, for it allows its object
to have other sources of happiness than those it can furnish; more
enduring than love, for it is a life, and not a flame.

“But can you not see, my dear,” the nun said presently, “that it would
have been better if you had not had any friendly intercourse with him,
even though this terrible thing had never happened? The injunction not to
be unequally yoked with one another refers, I think, to all ties as well
as to marriage. The gulf is too wide between the Christian and the Jew to
be bridged over for familiar friendship. It is too wide for anything but
prayers to cross. Once admit any intercourse with unbelievers, and you
peril your faith; and, besides, you cannot set a barrier firmly anywhere
when the first one is down. I have heard it said that this Jew loved you,
and even fancied it possible that you would marry him.”

“People ought not to say such things!” exclaimed Miss Pembroke, blushing
deeply.

“People ought not to have the chance to say such things, my dear girl,”
replied the nun. “It was offering you an insult when he offered you his
hand.”

“O dear Sister! is not that too severe?” expostulated Honora. “Setting
aside what has happened since, should I not recollect, when a man makes me
such an offer, what his intention is, and how the subject looks to him?
And cannot I refuse him, and see that it is impossible for me to do
otherwise, yet feel kindly toward him, and wish him well, and believe that
he has meant to show me both affection and respect?”

“Honora,” said the Sister, “if any man had struck your mother, then turned
to offer you his hand, would you not have recoiled from him in disgust and
indignation?”

“Surely I would!”

“And is your God and Saviour less dear and sacred to you than your
mother?” the other pursued. “Can you allow your thoughts to dwell with
kindness and complacency on one who blasphemes the crucified Redeemer, and
calls him an impostor? Because you have not heard this man talk against
your faith, you forget what he must think of it. I tell you they mock at
him, these Jews, and they call us idolaters. And what could he think of
you, when, knowing that you adore Christ as God, he asked you to be the
wife of one who would laugh, if he did not rave, when he saw you making
the sign of the cross? He must have thought your faith so weak that he
could in time make you renounce it. And the reason why he thought so was
because he saw you receiving him in a friendly way, as if friendship were
possible between you. I speak of what he was. What he is, we have nothing
to do with.”

Miss Pembroke’s eyes were down‐cast. “When you place the subject in that
light, I am forced to think myself all in the wrong,” she said. “But most
people do not think in that clear, positive way. They act on an inherited
motive, and their beliefs are moss grown, as it were.”

“They have no faith,” was the quick reply.

Honora was silent a moment, then said, with some hesitation: “I am always
afraid of being uncharitable and illiberal, and perhaps I err the other
way.”

“My dear, it is easy to make a mistake there, and very dangerous too,” the
Sister replied with decision. “What is charity? You must first love God
with all your heart; and if you do that, you will be very shy of the
enemies of God. You cannot serve two masters. As to liberality, there is
no greater snare. It is not liberal to squander the bounty and honor of
God; it is not ours to spend. It is not liberal to praise those whom he
condemns, and bless those whom he curses. It is not liberal to love those
who refuse to acknowledge and obey him, and to contradict what he has
clearly said. Or if these things are liberal, then liberality is one of
the worst of vices, and one of the most futile too. Why, if I were to
desire the reputation of being generous, and, having nothing of my own,
should take what is not mine and give it away, I have stolen, it is true,
and I have obtained a reputation that I do not deserve, but, also, I have
enriched some one; whereas, if I put my hand into the treasury of God, and
try to bestow on another what he has denied, the hand comes out empty. I
have insulted the Almighty, and have not benefited any one. Do not suffer
yourself to be deceived by sounding phrases. What are these people who
talk so much of liberality? Are they liberal of what is theirs to give?
Far from it. Do they give away all they have to the poor? Do they forgive
their enemies? Do they give up their pride and vanity, and spend their
lives in laboring for the needy? Quite the contrary. They are lavish only
of what is not theirs to give. It has been reserved for those whom they
call bigots to show an ardent and unsparing liberality in sacrificing
their private feelings, their wealth, their comfort, their reputation,
their lives even, for the glory of God and the saving of souls. There is
the true liberality, my dear, and all other is a snare.”

“I wish I could shut myself up with God, and get into the right path
again. I am all wrong.”

“Why not come here and make a retreat?” the Sister asked.

It was so precisely and unexpectedly what she needed that Honora clasped
her hands, with an exclamation of delight. “The very thing! Yet I had not
thought of it. When may I come? Very soon? It was surely an inspiration,
my coming here to‐night.”

Immediately her troubles began to lift themselves away, as fogs begin to
rise from the earth even before the sun is above the horizon. The
certainty of approaching peace conferred a peace in the present. She was
going to place herself in the hands of Him who can perform the impossible.

Sister Cecilia had supplied her need perfectly. Hers was not one of those
impassioned natures which need to be, soothed and caressed into quiet. A
certain vein of gentle self‐sufficiency, and a habit of contentment with
life as she found it, prevented this. She wanted light more than warmth.

It was already dark when they went down‐stairs, and since, from economy,
the nuns did not have their entries lighted, the two had to go hand‐in‐
hand, groping their way carefully, till they came to a turn in the lower
passage; and there, from the open door of the chapel at the further end, a
soft ray of light shone out from the single lamp that burned before the
altar. By daylight both chapel and altar showed poor enough; but in the
evening, and seen alone by this small golden flame, the imperfections were
either transformed or hidden. Dimly seen, the long folds of drapery all
about gave a sense of seclusion and tenderness; one seemed to be hiding
under the mantle of the Lord; and the beautiful mystery of the burning
lamp made wonders seem possible. Kneeling there alone, one could fancy all
the beautiful legends being acted over again.

Sister Cecilia and Honora, still hand‐in‐hand, knelt in the entry the
moment they saw that light.

“You remember the chalice of the bees?” whispered the nun.

“I never come here in the evening, and see that bright little place in the
darkness, but I think of that sweetest of stories. And I would not be
surprised to hear a buzzing of bees all about the sanctuary, and see the
busy little creatures building up a chalice of fine wax, as clear as an
alabaster vase with a light inside.”

They walked slowly and noiselessly by the door, and, as they passed it,
saw beside the altar what looked almost like another lamp, or like that
illuminated vase the Sister had fancied. It was the face of Anita, which
reflected the light, her dark dress rendering her form almost invisible.
That face and the two folded hands shone softly, with a fixed lustre, out
of the shadows. No breath nor motion seemed to stir them. The eyes fixed
on the tabernacle, the lips slightly parted where the last vocal prayer
had escaped, she knelt there in a trance of adoration. But one could see,
even through that brightening halo and sustaining peace, that a great
change had taken place in the girl during the last few weeks. Her face was
worn quite thin; and the large eyes, that had been like dewy violets
bending ever toward the earth, burned now with a lustre that never comes
from aught but pain.

“How the innocent have to suffer for the sins of the guilty!” sighed the
nun, as she led her visitor away. “That child has received a blow from
which I am afraid she will never recover. She is like a broken flower that
lives a little while when it is put in water. Her conscience is at rest;
she does not say now that she is sorry for having had anything to do with
that trial; she does not complain in any way. She seems simply broken. And
here she comes now! She has heard our steps, and is afraid she has stayed
too long in the chapel.”

The young girl came swiftly along the passage, and held out her hands to
Miss Pembroke. “I knew you were here,” she said, “and I was waiting to
hear you come down. Mother told me I might come and say good‐by to you.”

“But you have not yet said a word of welcome,” Miss Pembroke replied,
trying to speak cheerfully.

“Oh! yes, when I saw you come, I welcomed you in my own mind,” she
replied, without smiling.

Honora waited an instant, but Anita seemed to have nothing to say except
the good‐by she had come for. “Our whispering did not disturb your
prayers?” she asked, wishing to detain her a little longer.

“Oh! no.” She glanced up at Sister Cecilia, as a child, when doubtful and
lost, looks into its mother’s face, then dropped her eyes dreamily. “I do
not say any prayer but ‘amen.’ Nothing else comes. I kneel down, thinking
to repeat, perhaps, the rosary, and I am only silent a while, and then I
say amen. It is as well, I suppose.”

Honora kissed the child’s thin cheek tenderly. “Good‐by, dear,” she
whispered softly. “Say one amen for me to‐night.”

She went out into the still and sparkling night, and was driven rapidly
homeward. On her way, she passed the prison, and, looking up, saw over the
high wall a light shining redly through the long row of grated windows. It
was a painful sight, but no longer unendurable. “No prayer but amen,” she
repeated. “What does it matter by what road we go, so long as we reach
heaven at last; whether it be in peaceful ways, or through sin and
suffering?”

Another carriage drew up at the gate as she reached home, and Mrs. Gerald
descended from it, having just returned from Mrs. Ferrier’s.

“Upon my word, young woman!” Annette’s voice called out from a pile of
furs in the carriage. “We have been saying our good‐nights in whispers,
and hushing the very sleigh‐bells, so as not to disturb your slumbers; and
here you are out driving.”

Her bright and cheerful voice broke strangely into Honora’s mood. Was
there, then, anything in the world to laugh about, anything that could
possibly excite a jest?

“Good‐night, Mother Gerald!” the young woman added. “Don’t stand there
taking cold. And if you do not see Honora in the house to‐night, make up
your mind that I have carried her off with me, as I shall try to. Come
here, my dear, and give an account of yourself. Where have you been?”

As Honora reached the carriage door, young Mrs. Gerald leaned out and
caught both her hands. “Come with me to find Lawrence,” she whispered
hurriedly. “He has not been home yet, but he will go for you.”

Though recoiling from the errand, Miss Pembroke would not refuse it. She
stepped into the carriage, and suffered herself to be driven away. It was
the first time such a service had ever been demanded of her. “Where is he?
Do you know?” she asked.

“Oh! yes. He is only playing billiards,” the young wife answered, and a
sharp sigh seemed to cut the sentences apart. “It is the first time for a
long while, and I want to break it up in the beginning. John went down and
told him that his mother was dining with us, but Lawrence paid no
attention.”

She leaned back a little while without saying a word as they sped over the
smooth snow. “It seems a shame to drag you into such an affair, Honora,”
she said presently; “and I had not thought of it till I saw you, and then
it came like a flash that you could help me. What I want of you is to
write on a card that you and I are waiting for him. John will carry it in
to him, and he will recognize your writing.”

The horses were drawn up before a large marble hotel, lighted from
basement to attic. The shops underneath were all closed; but from three
broad lower windows a bright light shone around the heavy lowered
curtains, and in the stillness they could hear the faint click of
billiard‐balls. There was no sound of voices from inside, and it was
impossible to know if the players were few or many.

Honora wrote hastily, by the moonlight, as she was bid, “Annette and I are
waiting for you,” and John took the card.

“Why doesn’t he go to this door?” she asked, seeing the man disappear
around a corner of the house.

“You child!” said her friend compassionately; “are you so innocent as to
suppose that any one can walk into one of those places when he pleases?
These charming _réunions_ are held with locked doors, and one has to have
the password to go in.”

Honora was silent with indignation. To her mind, Lawrence could not do his
wife a greater injury than in allowing her to become acquainted with such
places, and she was half disposed to be vexed with Annette for not leaving
him to himself, and refusing to be drawn into any objectionable scenes and
associations.

Annette divined the last thought, and replied to it.

“It is impossible for a wife to be scrupulous as to the means by which she
shall withdraw her husband from danger,” she said with quiet coldness.
“They are one. If he is soiled, she cannot be quite clean, except in
intention, unless she is very selfish; and then her intention is not good,
which is worse yet. Of course she should be careful not to draw others
into her affairs.”

“You must know far better than I, Annette,” her friend said quickly,
feeling as though she must have spoken her thought. “At all events, you
cannot be called selfish. And, indeed, if the angels of heaven were over‐
scrupulous with regard to their associations, we should lack their
guardianship.”

Here John appeared, walking briskly round the corner of the hotel, and
immediately after Lawrence Gerald came to the carriage‐door.

“You here, Honora!” he exclaimed. “What could have induced you?”

“We had better not ask each other questions,” she replied coldly. “It is
late. Will you come home with us?”

She drew back into a corner, and made room for him, with an air almost of
disgust; for the moonlight showed his face flushed with drinking, and, as
he spoke, a strong odor of brandy had been wafted into her face.

He was too much confused for anything but simple obedience, and in rather
a stumbling way took the seat assigned him.

“Honora has been driving this evening, and is sleepy and chilly,” his wife
made haste to say in explanation, inwardly resenting her friend’s
_hauteur_, and regretting having brought her. “She is going home to stay
all night with us. I am sure you did not know how late it is.”

She furtively picked up his hat, that had fallen off, went on talking
lightly, to cover his silence or prevent his saying anything senseless,
and tried in every way to screen him from the scorn that she had exposed
him to. He leaned back in the carriage, and took no notice of her. The
presence of Honora Pembroke had confounded him, and he had just sense
enough left to know that he could not keep too quiet. What had stirred her
to interfere in his affairs he could not guess, for Annette had always so
screened him that it never occurred to him she could have asked her friend
to come. Had he known, it would have fared hard with his wife. He had,
however, prudence and temper enough to keep him from making any
disagreeable demonstration. John was at hand when they reached home, and,
as the ladies went hastily up the steps and into the house, they were not
supposed to be aware that it was his arm which enabled Mr. Gerald to go in
without falling. Then Mrs. Ferrier stood in the open drawing‐room door,
and, under cover of her welcome to Honora, he managed to get up stairs
unnoticed, fortunately for all.

For the truce between Annette’s husband and her mother was over, and their
intercourse was assuming a more unpleasant character than ever. Now, it
was nearly always Lawrence who was the aggressor. Even when Mrs. Ferrier
showed a disposition to conciliate, he found something irritating in her
very good‐nature. Partial as his mother was, she was moved to expostulate
with him after witnessing two or three of these scenes.

“You ought to recollect her good intention, Lawrence, and try to overlook
her manner,” she said. “I know well she does not show very good taste
always; but you cannot criticise a woman in her own house.”

“I am seldom allowed to forget that it is her house,” returned the son
rather sulkily.

“At least, my dear, do not provoke her into reminding you of that,” Mrs.
Gerald urged.

Lawrence wished to stand well with his mother, and had, indeed, improved
in his behavior toward her in proportion as he had grown more impatient
with Mrs. Ferrier. He seemed now to regret having answered her
unpleasantly. “If you knew, mother, all the little annoyances I have to
bear from her, you wouldn’t blame me so much,” he said coaxingly. “With
other frets, she has a habit of asking any of us who may be going out
where we are going, and when we are coming back; and Annette has humored
her in that till she thinks she has a right to know. Teddy always tells
her, too; but then he tells lies. That makes no difference, though, to
her. Well, I have broken her of asking me when I am alone; but if Annette
is with me, she asks her. Can’t you imagine, mother, that it would get to
be irritating after a while? It makes me so nervous sometimes that I have
really skulked out of the house slyly, as if I had no right to go. And
then, when I come in, she will say, ‘Why, where have you been, Lawrence? I
didn’t hear you go out.’ If a door opens anywhere, she goes to see who is
about. I believe if I should get up in the middle of the night, and try to
creep out of the house without being heard, I should see her head poked
out of the chamber‐door before I’d got half‐way down‐stairs. Then she
peers and finds out everything. Annette and I had a bottle of champagne
the other night in our room, and the next morning she spied out the
bottle, and spoke of it. I suppose she heard the cork pop when I drew it.
You never looked after me half so closely when I was a little boy, always
in mischief, as she does now I am a man. She knows what my clothes cost,
every rag of them, and how many clean collars and handkerchiefs I have in
the week.”

“I am sure she need not trouble herself about how much your clothes cost,
since you pay for them yourself,” Mrs. Gerald said, her face very red.
“And if she grudges you clean collars, send your linen home, and I will
have it washed there.”

“Oh! she has no such thought,” Lawrence made haste to say. “She doesn’t
mean to be cross about any of these things, but only prying. She wants to
overlook everybody and everything in the house, and it annoys me. I only
tell you so that you may not wonder if I do speak out now and then about
some small thing. Then what do you think she has proposed about my going
into business?”

“Well?” Mrs. Gerald said uneasily.

“She has selected a partner for me.”

His mother waited for an explanation.

“And who should it be but John!”

“John who?” asked Mrs. Gerald wonderingly, trying to recollect some
notable person of that name among her youthful acquaintances.

“Why, I do not know that he has any other name. The big English fellow who
lets you in here, and waits at dinner, and opens and shuts the carriage‐
door.”

“What! you do not mean the footman?” Mrs. Gerald cried.

Her son laughed bitterly. “I asked her if he was to open the shop‐door,
and carry parcels, and if he would have the same sort of cockade on his
hat, and she got quite angry about it. She says he has saved a good deal
of money, and means to go into business, and she thinks I couldn’t have a
better partner. What do you think of it, mother?”

Mrs. Gerald leaned back in her chair, and put her hand up to her face,
half hiding a blush of vexation.

She was not willing to tell Lawrence all she thought of the matter. “What
does Annette say?” she asked.

“Annette vetoed the proposal up and down. I’ve heard nothing of it for a
week or more. I only told you because you seem to think me too difficult.”

Mrs. Gerald sighed. She had hoped to see her son busy and contented after
his marriage, and she found him only more idle and dissatisfied than
before. With the partiality of a mother, she tried still to find him
unfortunate instead of blameworthy, and, rather than see any fault in him,
looked only at his difficulties, refusing to recollect how easily he could
now overcome them all. She fancied erroneously that to suggest to him that
his trials had a good deal of brightness to relieve them, would be to show
a lack of sympathy and tenderness, and that the best way to comfort him
was to let him see that his annoyances showed in her eyes as misfortunes.
It was a mistake which, in her over‐sensitive affection, she had always
made with him.

His wife acted otherwise. “There is no use in anticipating evil,
Lawrence,” she said. “Perhaps that may be the means of bringing it about.
Fortune loves a smiling countenance. As to mamma’s plans and wishes with
regard to John, the best way for us is to assume that it is impossible she
should ever regard him as anything but a servant. And, indeed,” she
concluded with dignity, “I think she never can do otherwise.”

But this assumption did not prevent young Mr. Gerald from going privately
to F. Chevreuse, and begging him to interfere and try to bring her mother
to reason; and perhaps Mrs. Ferrier was never so near being in open revolt
against her pastor as when he undertook to show her that there were
certain social distinctions which it was her duty to recognize and
respect.

“I think, F. Chevreuse,” she said stiffly, “that a priest might do better
than encourage pride and haughtiness.”

“He could scarcely do worse than encourage them,” he replied calmly; “and
it is precisely against these sins that I would put you on your guard.
Persons are never more in danger of falling into them than when they are
complaining of the pride of others, and trying to reform what they
conceive to be the abuses of society and the world. The only reformer whom
I respect, and who is in a thoroughly safe way, is that one who strives to
reform and perfect himself. When he is perfect, then he can begin to
correct the faults of others. Moreover, the established customs and
distinctions of society have often a good foundation, and are not lightly
to be set aside. What would you say if your chambermaid should insist on
sitting down to dinner with you and driving out with you?”

Mrs. Ferrier found herself unprepared to answer. Indeed, no lady could be
more peremptory and exacting than she was with all her servants except
John. She was not yet ready to explain that her generalities all had
reference to one exceptional case.

“But John is not at all a common servant,” she ventured to say. “He never
lived out but once before, and then it was with a very grand family in
England; and he wouldn’t have come here with us, only that he wanted to
look round a while before setting up business. I had to coax him to come,
and give him the very highest wages. And Annette did all she could to
persuade him.”

“John is an excellent man, I am sure,” F. Chevreuse replied. “I hope he
will succeed in whatever good work he attempts. But we were speaking of
your daughter’s husband. My advice is that he return to the office where
he was before, and remain there till something better presents itself. I
do not approve of any large and showy enterprise for him. It would not
suit him. In that office his salary would be enough to render him quite
independent, and leave him a little to lay up.”

“Lay up!” repeated Mrs. Ferrier, with an incredulous circumflex.

“He will put one‐half his income into his wife’s hands, and she can do as
she will with it,” F. Chevreuse replied. “Annette has spoken to me about
it, and it is his own proposal. She will put the money in bank every
month. What he keeps will be his own affair, and what she takes will be a
small fund for the future, and will relieve a little that painful feeling
he must have in living here without paying anything. It is decidedly the
best that can be done at present. Besides,” he added, seeing objection
gathering in her face, “it may save you something. The young man is not to
blame that he is not rich, and he is quite ready to take his wife home to
his own mother, and Annette is quite willing to go, if necessary. They
might live there very happily and pleasantly; but as, in that case,
Lawrence would be the one on whom all the expense would fall, I presume
you would make your daughter an allowance which would place her on an
equality with him.”

Mrs. Ferrier was forced to consent. Nothing was further from her wish than
to be separated from her daughter, not only because she was more than
usually solicitous for Annette’s happiness, and wished to assure herself
constantly that her husband did not neglect her, but because she had an
almost insane desire to watch Lawrence in every way. Nothing so piques the
curiosity of a meddlesome person as to see any manifestation of a desire
to baffle their searching. The annoyance naturally felt and often shown by
one who finds himself suspiciously observed is always taken by such
persons as a proof that there is something wrong which he is desirous to
conceal. Moreover, John had let fall a word of advice which she was not
disposed to disregard.

She had been complaining of her son‐in‐law.

“You had better let him pretty much alone, ma’am,” the man replied.
“You’ll never drive him to being a sober fellow, nor industrious. Scolding
doesn’t mend broken china. I have a plan in my mind for them which I will
tell you after a while, when the right time comes. He wouldn’t thank me
for it now; but by‐and‐by, if he doesn’t drink himself to death first, he
may think my advice is worth listening to.”

John had a quiet, laconic way which sometimes impressed others besides his
mistress, and she did not venture to oppose him openly, nor even to insist
on hearing what his mysterious plan might be.

It was, altogether, a miserable state of affairs, one of those situations
almost more unbearable than circumstances of affliction, for the cares
were mean, the annoyances and mortifications petty; and the mind, which is
ennobled by great trials, was cramped and lowered by the constant presence
of small troubles which it would fain disregard, but could not. For, after
all, these small troubles were the signs of a great one threatening. It
was plain that Lawrence Gerald, if not stopped, was going to kill himself
with drinking. His frame was too delicately organized to bear the
alternate fierce heats and wretched depressions to which he was subjecting
it, and more than one sharp attack of illness had given warning that he
was exhausting his vitality.

F. Chevreuse came upon him suddenly one day when he was suffering from one
of these attacks. The priest had called at Mrs. Ferrier’s, and, learning
that Lawrence was in his room, too unwell to go out, went up‐stairs to him
somewhat against Annette’s wish.

“I will take the responsibility,” he said laughingly. “The boy wants me to
wake him up; you women are too gentle. You are petting him to death. No,
my lady, I do not want your company. I can find my own way.”

And accordingly Lawrence opened his eyes a few minutes later to see F.
Chevreuse standing by the sofa where he lay in all the misery of a
complete physical and mental prostration.

The priest drew a chair close to him, taking no notice of the evident
disinclination of the young man to his society. “Now, my boy,” he said,
laying a hand on the invalid’s shrinking arm, “are you dosing yourself up
to go through the same bad business again? What has come over you? Come!
come! Wake up, and be a man. You are too good to throw away in this
fashion.”

The young man turned his face away with a faint moan of utter
discouragement. “I am not worth bothering about. I’ve played my stake in
life, and lost, and what is left is good for nothing. Besides, if I tried,
I shouldn’t succeed. Why do you trouble yourself about me? I tell you that
what there is left of me isn’t worth saving.”

He spoke with bitter impatience, and made a gesture as if he would have
sent his visitor away.

F. Chevreuse was not so easily to be dismissed.

“The devil thinks differently,” he remarked, without stirring. “He is
fighting hard for you. Rouse yourself, and join with those who are
fighting against him! You have an idea that, because you have made
mistakes and committed sins, you must lay down your arms. Nonsense! There
are all the lives of the saints against you. Some of them never began to
try till they found themselves on the brink of destruction. You fancy,
too, that because you and your family have had misfortunes, and because
you have not been very successful in trying to become a rich man, you must
stand humbly aside for cleverer men, and ask no favors. You’re all wrong.
God made you, and put you into the world, just as he has the rest of us,
and you have a right to the light and air, and to repair your mistakes and
repent of your sins, without troubling yourself too much about what people
say and think, and to do the best you can in worldly affairs without being
humbled or ashamed if you can’t fill your pocket with money quite as
readily as some can. Let the money go, but don’t let your manliness go,
and don’t throw away your soul. You are talking nonsense when you say that
you are worthless. Respect yourself, and compel others to respect you,
Lawrence. Nerve yourself, call up your good resolutions, and ask God to
help you. Despair is a crime!”

The young man put his arm up, and covered his face with it, as though to
hide an emotion he was ashamed of; or, perhaps, because the light hurt his
eyes. “If I could forget everything, and sleep for a month without waking,
I don’t know but I could begin again and try to do better,” he said
faintly. “But there is no life in me now for anything.”

F. Chevreuse rose immediately. “Rest, then, if that is what you need,” he
said kindly. “Rest, and forget everything painful. If any tormenting
thought comes, say a little prayer, and tell it to begone. Don’t drink any
liquor to quiet your mind. Let Annette get you some gentle sedative. I’ll
tell her to keep everybody away from you, and let you lie here six months,
if you want to. But when you are better, come to see me.”

He was standing, ready to go, but waited for an answer. There was none. He
spoke more earnestly.

“You know well it is for the best, Lawrence; and I want you to promise to
come to me when you are able to go out, before you go to see any one
else.”

“Well, I will. I promise you.”

But the promise was given, apparently, only to get rid of the subject, and
F. Chevreuse went away feeling that he had accomplished nothing.

Annette went directly to her husband, somewhat timid as to the reception
she might meet with; but if he was displeased at having had a visitor, he
did not seem to hold her responsible. He took the glass containing the
opiate from her hand, and set it down beside him. “After a while,” he
said. “And now I am going to lock every one out of the room, and try to go
to sleep. If I want anything, I will ring.”

She began to make some little arrangements for his comfort, but,
perceiving that they irritated him, desisted, and left him to himself. As
she went along the passage, she heard the lock click behind her. Oddly
enough, this little rudeness gave her a feeling of pleasure, for it showed
that he felt at home there, and claimed a right to all that was hers.

“If only he will sleep!” she thought.

He did not sleep. His first act was to throw away the opiate she had
brought. “Some such dose as they give to teething babies, I suppose,” he
muttered. Then he seated himself on the sofa, and, clasping his hands over
his head, as if to still the bursting pain there, remained buried in
thought. One could see that he was trying to study out some problem in his
mind, but that difficulties presented themselves. More than once his eyes
wandered to a little writing‐desk opposite him, and fixed themselves
there. “It would remove the only obstacle,” he said; “and yet how can I?
That would be going over it all again. Now I am not to blame, but only
unfortunate; but if I do that....”

It was pitiable to see a young face so distorted by pain of mind and body,
and to see also that the pain was stinging him into still more angry
revolt.

He began pacing up and down the room, and, in his doubt and distress,
seized upon one of those strange modes of solving the question in his mind
which, trivial as they are, most persons have at some time in their lives
had recourse to.

“If there is an odd number of squares in the carpet from corner to corner
of the room, I will do it,” he said, and began to count them. The number
was odd. But, apparently, he wished to make assurance doubly sure, for he
next counted the stucco ornaments on the ceiling. “Odd again! Now for the
third trial.” He glanced about in search of the object which was to decide
his fate, and spied a large patriarchal fly that had crawled out of its
winter hiding‐place, and was clumsily trying its wings.

“If he can fly over that cord, I will go,” he said; and since this was the
last trial, and the poor insect seemed to him something like himself at
that moment, he watched with breathless interest its efforts to surmount
the great obstacle of the curtain‐cord that lay in its path. The little
creature attempted to crawl over, but, losing its balance, tumbled off and
lay helplessly on its back. The young man set it carefully and tenderly on
its feet once more. “Now do your best,” he said. “You and I have made a
failure, but we will try once again.”

Inspired, it would seem, by this encouragement, the fly put out its wings,
gathered all its energies, and flew over the cord, tumbling ignominiously
on its back again at the other side.

Lawrence Gerald did not give himself the trouble to assist again his
fallen friend, but went promptly to pull the bell‐tassel. He had thrown
off all responsibility, and, choosing to see in these trivial chances the
will and guidance of some intelligence wiser than his own, resolved
instantly on following where they pointed.

“I dare say I shall stumble like that clumsy fly, but I shall succeed in
the end. At all events, I will try. I can’t and won’t stay here any
longer. It is torment for me, and I don’t do any one else any good.” He
seemed to be arguing with some invisible companion. “They will be better
without me. Besides, it was not I who decided. I left it to chance. If it
was....”

His wife entering interrupted the soliloquy. She found him lying down, as
she had left him, but with a color in his face that would have looked like
returning health, if it had not been a little too deep.

He stretched his hand out, and drew her to the footstool by his side.
“Now, Ninon,” he said coaxingly, “I want you to be a good girl, and
arrange something for me so that I shall not be annoyed by questions nor
opposition. It’s nothing but a whim; but no matter for that. I want to go
to New York for a day or two, by myself, you know, and I must start to‐
night. I’m not going to do any harm, I promise you. I feel a good deal
better, and I believe the little journey will cure me. The train starts at
eight o’clock, and it is now five. It won’t take me half an hour to get
ready. Will you manage it for me, and keep the others off my shoulders?”

She consented promptly and quietly, asking no questions. If he should
choose to tell her anything, it was well; if not, it was the same. She
knew the meaning of this coaxing tenderness too well to presume upon it.
It meant simply that she could be useful to him.

“What is he going to New York for?” demanded Mrs. Ferrier, when Annette
made the announcement down‐stairs.

“Mamma, you must not expect me to tell all my husband’s business,” the
young woman answered rather loftily.

Poor Annette did not wish to acknowledge that she knew no more of her
husband’s affairs or motives than her mother did.

“Then he will want his dinner earlier?” was the next question, Mrs.
Ferrier having, by an effort, restrained her inclination to make any
further complaints.

No; all he wanted was luncheon, and his wife had ordered that to be
carried up‐stairs.

“I suppose I am not allowed to ask how long he will be gone?” remarked the
mother.

“Oh! certainly, mamma; but that is not quite settled,” Annette said
pleasantly. “It depends on circumstances. A few days, probably, will be
the most.”

When Annette went up‐stairs again, her husband was dressed for his
journey. A valise, locked and strapped, lay on the sofa at his elbow, and
his wrappings were strewn about. She observed that the oak writing‐desk,
that had not been opened for months, to her knowledge, had been opened
now. The key was in the lock, and the lid was slightly raised. She
noticed, too, that a little inner cover had been torn out, and lay on the
carpet, broken in two.

“The carriage will be round in a few minutes,” she said. “I thought you
would want plenty of time to buy your ticket and get a good seat.”

He merely nodded in reply, but looked at her wistfully, as if touched by
her ready compliance with his wishes, and desirous to see if any pain or
displeasure were hidden under her quietness.

But he detected no sign of any such feelings. She was merely examining his
fur gloves, to make sure that the buttons were on, looking narrowly to the
strap of his cloak, busying herself in the most commonplace manner with
his preparations.

“Shall I go to the station with you?” she asked carelessly.

“I wish you would.” His tone was quite earnest.

Annette had arranged it so that they went down‐stairs while her mother was
at dinner; and though the dining‐room door had been left ajar, before Mrs.
Ferrier had time to leave her seat or call out, the two had left the
house, and were driving through the clear starlight.

“Annette,” her husband said suddenly, “I’ve been thinking that if I had a
boy, I would bring him up very strictly. No matter how much I might wish
to indulge him, I would resist the wish. He should be taught to control
himself from fear, if he had no other motive. He should be made hardy, and
healthy, and active. I wouldn’t allow him much time to dream and think of
himself; he should be kept busy; and I would never let him depend on any
one, or sit still and fancy that some great fortune were going to drop
into his hands without any effort on his part.”

Mrs. Gerald was silent, astonished by this unexpected lecture, of which
she quite well understood the meaning. He would have no child of his
brought up as he had been. But why should he speak of it now?

“There’s too much liberty and recklessness among young men,” he went on.
“They have too much their own way. Parents ought to see what misery it
will lead to. If they don’t care for what the child may make them suffer,
they ought to recollect what the child has got to suffer when at last it
wakes up to life as it is, and finds itself with ruinous tastes and
habits, and not one right idea of anything. I am inclined to believe that
it would be better for half the children in the world if they were brought
up and trained by the state instead of by their own parents.”

They had reached the station, and he stepped slowly out of the carriage.
His wife ventured to ask how long he would stay away.

“Oh! I’ve nothing to do in New York,” he said carelessly. “I shall not
stay there more than two or three days.”

He leaned into the carriage, and took her hands. In the darkness she could
not see his face, though the light from outside shone in her own; but his
voice was tender and regretful, even solemn. “Good‐by, dear,” he said.
“You have been only too good to me. May God reward you!”

He bent to kiss the hands he held, then hurried away before she had
recovered herself sufficiently to speak.

“What a good‐by it was!” she thought with a startled heart. “One would
think he were never coming back again.”

He did come back, though, and sooner than he was expected. He appeared at
the door the next evening, nearly falling in, indeed, so that John had to
steady him. Annette had run out of the drawing‐room on hearing the
servant’s exclamation, but, at sight of her husband in such a state, was
about to turn back in disgust.

“It isn’t liquor, ma’am,” John said. “Something’s the matter with him. I
told you yesterday that he wasn’t fit to go away. Just push that chair
this way for him to sit down in, and bring him a glass of wine.”

“I had to come back,” the young man said. “I was sicker than I thought,
and not able to go on. I don’t know how I reached Crichton; and just now,
walking up from the station, the cold wind on my forehead made me dizzy. I
thought I should feel better to walk. Don’t be frightened, Annette. I can
go up‐stairs now.”

He had every symptom of fever, and before morning had grown so much worse
that a doctor was sent for, though much against his will.

“I don’t believe in doctors,” he protested. “My mother always cured me
when I was sick without sending for a doctor. It’s all guess‐work. They
only know what you tell them, and they sit and stare at you, and ask you
questions when you don’t want to speak a word. I hate to have a doctor
look at me.”

Mr. Gerald was indeed a very difficult patient for both doctor and nurse,
irritable beyond expression, and nervous to the verge of delirium. At
first no one was allowed near him but his mother. Then he found her tender
sadness depressing, and insisted on having his wife in her place. Finally
he begged John to take care of him.

“Keep the women away, if you don’t want me to lose my senses,” he said to
the man. “They start and turn pale or red every time I cough or speak in
my sleep; and even when they pretend not to notice, I know they are
watching me all the time. I don’t dare to groan, or sigh, or rave, though
it would sometimes do me good. I want somebody by me who doesn’t care
whether I live or die, but who just does what I ask him to. Let Louis open
the door and sit up in the dicky. It’s what he was made for. He’s far more
of a footman than you.”

“I wouldn’t give either of you your salt as footman,” John retorted,
smiling grimly. But he did not refuse to assume the post of nurse, and,
having undertaken it, rendered himself so useful and unobtrusive that the
others all gave way to him, and the sick man had no disposition to change
again. He seemed a rather hard, dry man, but he was patient, and showed
none of that obtrusive attention which is sometimes more troublesome to an
invalid than neglect. If Lawrence groaned and tossed about, the attendant
took no notice of him; if he said, “John, don’t leave me alone a minute,”
the man would sit by his side all night, as untired, apparently, as a man
of wood.

So three nights passed, and still the invalid grew worse.

“Wouldn’t you like to have me read some prayers to you, sir?” the watcher
asked one night. “They might quiet you.”

Lawrence broke out impatiently:

“Do you think I am going to die? I am not. That is what the women are all
crying about. Mrs. Ferrier came in to‐day, and told me she was having
Masses said for me, and sprinkled me with holy water till I was drenched.
And Bettie, when she sat here to‐day while you were away, rattled her
beads and cried all the time, till I told her to get out of the room.
That’s the way with some people. The minute a fellow is sick, they try
their best to scare him to death. Why don’t you offer to read the paper to
me, or tell me an amusing story? Give me the opiate now.”

“The doctor said you were not to take another till twelve o’clock,” the
attendant said.

“I don’t care for the doctor’s orders. Give it to me now. I know best what
I need.”

“I believe you do,” John said quietly, and gave him the opiate.

But in spite of care, and of a determination to recover, the illness grew
upon him, till finally the physicians intimated that if he had any
religious preparations to make, they had better not be delayed any longer,
for his strength was rapidly wasting, and they could not promise that the
result would not be fatal.

Mrs. Ferrier went in great distress to F. Chevreuse.

“What shall we do?” she asked. “After having refused to see a priest, and
flown into a rage whenever we mentioned the subject, at last he is willing
to have one. But he will see no one but F. O’Donovan; and F. O’Donovan is
laid up with gout, so that he cannot move hand or foot. I went out to him
to‐day, and I thought that if he could possibly be wrapped up and brought
in in a carriage, I would ask him; but, father, I couldn’t have the face
to speak of it. The doctor doesn’t allow him to stir out of his room. Even
Mrs. Gerald sees that it can’t be done. I’ve begged Lawrence to listen to
reason, but he is so set that if he had asked to have the Pope himself,
he’d be mad if we didn’t send a messenger to Rome. I could send to L—— for
a priest, but that might be too late. He is failing very much. I do wish
you’d go once again, father.”

F. Chevreuse had already been twice, and had been denied admittance in
terms anything but respectful.

“Certainly I will go,” he said. “I should have come up this evening, if I
had not been sent for. Poor Lawrence! I cannot understand why he should
have such a prejudice against me.”

It was early twilight when they reached the house, and, as they entered,
the lamps burned with a faint ray, as if they, like all sounds and sights
in that place, had been muffled.

“You go right up and tell him there’s no one to be got but me,” F.
Chevreuse said.

But Mrs. Ferrier shrank back. “He never will consent if I ask him.”

“Annette, then.”

“He won’t allow Annette near him,” the mother sighed.

“John,” said the priest, “will you go up and tell Mr. Gerald that I am
here to see him?”

“I wouldn’t venture to, sir,” John answered. “I don’t believe it’s of any
use; and if you’d take my advice, sir....”

Even Mrs. Ferrier was scandalized by the man’s presumption, and faltered
out an “O John!”

“I will go myself,” F. Chevreuse interrupted. “Stay down here, all you
people, and say the rosary for my success. Say it with all your hearts.
And don’t come up‐stairs till you are called.”

As he went up, a door near the landing softly opened, and in it stood the
young wife with a face so woful and deathlike that tears would have seemed
joyful in comparison. She said not a word, but stood and looked at the
priest in a kind of terror.

“My poor child!” he said pityingly, “why do you stay here alone, killing
yourself with grief? Go and stay with your mother and Honora till I come
down.”

She made that painful effort to speak which shows that the mouth and
throat are dry, and, when words came, they were but a whisper. “O father!”
she said, “don’t go in there if you have any human weakness left in you!
You have to be an angel and not a man to hear my husband’s confession.
Find some one else for him. He will not speak to you.”

“Never fear, child!” he answered firmly. “I may have human weakness, but I
have the strength of God to help me resist it.”

She watched him as he softly opened the door of the chamber where her
husband lay, heard the faint cry that greeted him: “Not you! not you!”
then the door closed, and she was alone again.

The priest approached the bed, and spoke with gentleness, yet with
authority: “F. O’Donovan is too sick to come; and if you wait for another
to be sent for, it will be too late. Think of your soul, and let
everything else go. In a few hours you may be in the presence of God,
listening to your eternal doom. What will you care then, my poor boy, who
helped you to loosen from your conscience the sins you have committed in
this miserable world? It cannot be because you hate me so much, this
unwillingness. Is it because your sins have been so great? There is no sin
that I have not heard confessed, I think; and the greater it was, the
greater was my comfort and thankfulness that at last it was forgiven.
Come, now, I am putting on my stole. Ask the help of God and of our
Blessed Mother, and forget who I am. Remember only what I am—the minister
of the merciful God—and that I have no feeling, no thought, no wish, but
to save you.”

The bed‐curtains made a still deeper shade in that shadowed room, and out
from the dimness the face of the sick man gleamed white and wild.

“I cannot!” he said. “You would not want to hear me if you knew. You would
never give me absolution. You do not know what my sins are.”

The priest seated himself by the bedside, and took in his strong, magnetic
hand the thin and shaking hand of the penitent. “No matter what you may
tell me, you cannot surprise me,” he said. “Though you should have
committed sacrilege and every crime, I cannot, if I would, refuse you
absolution. And I would not wish to. I have only pity and love for you.
Tell me all now, as if you were telling your own soul. Have no fear.”

“No priest ever before heard such a confession!” The words came faintly.
“You do not know.”

“Confess, in the name of God!” repeated the priest. “The flames of hell
are harder to bear than any anger of mine can be. God has sent me hither,
and I have only to obey him, and listen to your confession, whatever it
may be. It is not my choice nor yours. We are both commanded.”

“Promise me that I shall have absolution! Promise me that you will forgive
me!” prayed the young man, clinging to the hand that he had at first
shrunk from. “I didn’t mean to do what I have done, and I have suffered
the torments of the damned for it.”

“I have no right to refuse absolution when you are penitent,” was the
answer. “The person who repents and confesses has a right to absolution.”

“You will give it to me, no matter what I may tell you?”

“No matter what you may tell me,” repeated the priest. “The mercy of God
is mighty. Though you should hem yourself in with sins as with a wall of
mountains, he can overlook them. Though you should sink in the lowest
depths of sin, his hand can reach you. A sinner cannot be moved to call on
the name of the Lord, unless the Lord should move him and have the
merciful answer ready. I have blessed you. How long is it since your last
confession?”

The sick man half raised himself, and pointed across the room.

“There is a crucifix on the table,” he said. “Go and kneel before that,
and ask God to strengthen you for a hard trial. Then, if you come back to
me, I will confess.”

F. Chevreuse started up, and stood one instant erect and rigid, with his
face upraised. Then he crossed the room, knelt before the crucifix, and
held it to his breast during a moment of wordless prayer. As a sigh
reached him through the stillness of the chamber, he laid the crucifix
down, and returned to the bedside.

“In the name of God, confess, and have no fear,” he said gently. “Have no
fear!”

The penitent lay with his face half turned to the pillow, and the bed was
trembling under him; but he no longer refused to speak.

To the company down‐stairs it seemed a very long interview. Mrs. Ferrier,
Mrs. Gerald, and Miss Pembroke, kneeling together in the little sitting‐
room near the foot of the stairs, with the door open, had said the rosary,
trying not to let their thoughts wander; then, sitting silent, had
listened for a descending step, breathing each her own prayer now and
then. Their greatest trouble was over. Evidently F. Chevreuse had overcome
Lawrence Gerald’s unwillingness to confess to him; and the three women, so
different in all else, united in the one ardent belief that the prayer of
faith would save the sick man, and that, when his conscience should be
quite disburdened, and his soul enlightened by the comforts and
exhortations which such a man as F. Chevreuse could offer, his body would
feel the effects of that inward healing, and throw off its burden too.

In an adjoining room sat Louis Ferrier, biting his nails, having been
forbidden by his mother to seek distraction in more cheerful scenes. He
watched the women while they knelt, and even drew a little nearer to
listen to their low‐voiced prayer, but lacked the piety to join them. He
was both annoyed and frightened by the gloomy circumstances in which he
found himself, and, like most men of slack religious belief and practice,
felt more safe to have pious women by him in times of danger.

John had taken his place on a low stool underneath the stairs, and had an
almost grotesque appearance of being at the same time hiding and alert.
With his head advanced, and his neck twisted, he stared steadfastly up the
stairway at the door within which the priest had disappeared.

For nearly an hour there was no sound but the small ticking of a clock and
the occasional dropping of a coal in the grate. Then all the waiting ones
started and looked out eagerly; for the chamber‐door opened, and F.
Chevreuse came out.

One only did not lift her face to read what tidings might be written in
the face of him who came forth from the sick‐chamber. Kneeling, almost
prostrate on the floor, Annette Gerald still remained where F. Chevreuse
had left her. She did not look up even when he paused by her side, and she
felt that he was blessing her, but only bowed still lower before him.

“Take comfort, my child,” he said. “You have no reason to despair.”

She looked up quickly into his face, with an almost incredulous hope in
her eyes.

He was pale, but some illumination not of earth floated about him, so that
she could easily have believed she saw him upborne in air with the
buoyancy of a spirit. The heavenly calm of his expression could not be
described; yet it was the calm of one who, reposing on the bosom of God,
is yet aware of infinite sin and suffering in the world. It was such a
look as one might imagine an angel guardian to wear—heavenly peace shorn
of heavenly delight.

He motioned her to rise, and she obeyed him. She would not then have
hesitated, whatever he had bade her do. His imposing calm pressed her
fears and doubts to a perfect quiet. There was nothing possible but
obedience.

“Go to your husband, and see if he wants anything,” he said. “Let him be
very quiet, and he may sleep. To‐morrow morning I shall bring him the
Viaticum; but I think he will recover.”

She went toward the chamber, and he descended the stairs. John, bending
forward eagerly, caught sight of his face, and drew quickly back again,
blessing himself. “The man is a saint!” he muttered, and took good care to
keep himself out of sight.

F. Chevreuse was met in the sitting‐room door by Mrs. Gerald, and the
other two pressed close behind her; and when they saw him, it was as
though a soft and gentle light had shone into their troubled faces.

“You are afraid that so long an interview has exhausted him,” he said. “It
has not. The body is seldom any worse for attending to the affairs of the
soul, and a tranquil mind is the best rest. Annette is with him now, and,
if left undisturbed, I think he will sleep. Pray for him, and do not lose
courage. God bless you! Good‐night.”

Not one of them uttered a word. The questions they would have asked, and
the invitation they would have given the priest to remain with them, died
on their lips. Evidently he did not mean to enter the room, and they felt
that his doing so was a favor for him to offer, not for them to ask.

They glanced at each other as he went away, and Honora Pembroke smiled.
“He looks as though he were gazing at heaven through the gate of
martyrdom,” she said.

But the next morning, after seeing Gerald, he stopped a few minutes to
talk with the family, and still they found that indefinable air of
loftiness lingering about him, imposing a certain distance, at the same
time that it increased their reverence and affection for him. The
familiar, frequently jesting, sometimes peremptory F. Chevreuse seemed to
have gone away for ever; but how beautiful was the substitute he had left,
and how like him in all that was loftiest!

Lawrence was better that morning, and gained steadily day by day. Nothing
could exceed the care and tenderness with which F. Chevreuse watched over
his recovery. He came every morning and evening, he treated him with the
affection of a father, and seemed to have charged himself with the young
man’s future.

“I think you should let him and Annette go to Europe for a year,” he said
to Mrs. Ferrier. “It would be better for him to break off entirely from
old associations, and have an entire change for a while. His health has
not been good for some time, and his nerves are worn. The journey would
restore him, and afterward we will see what can be done. I am not sure
that it is well for him to live here. When a person is going to change his
life very much, it is often wiser to change his place of abode also. The
obstacles to improvement are fewer among strangers.”

The young man received this proposal to go abroad rather doubtfully. He
would not go away till spring, and was not sure that he would go then. As
he grew better in health, indeed, he withdrew himself more and more from
the priest, and showed an uneasiness in his society which not all F.
Chevreuse’s kindness could overcome.

“You must not shun me, Lawrence,” the priest said to him one day when they
were alone. “You have done that too long, and it is not well. Try to look
on me as very firmly your friend. Let me advise you sometimes, and be sure
that I shall always have your good in view.”

Lawrence had been very nervous and irritable that day, and was in no mood
to bear expostulation. “You can’t be my friend,” he replied with
suppressed vehemence. “You can only be my master. You can only own me body
and soul.”

“That is a mistake,” was the quiet answer. “I do not own you any more than
I do others.”

But he patiently forbore to press the question then.

“Encourage him to come to me whenever you think I can benefit him,” he
said to Annette. “You can tell best. He has not quite recovered his
spirits yet, and it will do no good for me to urge him. Make everything as
cheerful as you can for him. It sometimes happens that people get up from
sickness in this depressed state of mind.”

“Yes!” she replied, looking down.

She also had grown shy of F. Chevreuse, and seemed willing to keep out of
his sight.

But to others she was perhaps rather more gay than they had known her for
some time. Her mother found her at once kinder and more exacting, and
complained that they seemed now to have become strangers.

“And how nervous you have grown, Annette!” she said. “You crush everything
you take hold of.”

“What have I crushed, mamma?” asked the daughter, with a light laugh.
“Have I made havoc among your bonnets or wine‐glasses?”

“It isn’t that,” Mrs. Ferrier said fretfully. “You squeeze people’s hands,
instead of touching them. Look at that baby’s arm!” They were entertaining
a baby visitor.

Annette Gerald looked as she was bid and saw the prints of her fingers on
the soft little arm she had held unconsciously, and caught an only half‐
subsided quiver of the baby lip as the little one looked at her, all ready
to cry with pain.

Every woman knows at once how she atoned for her fault, by what caresses,
and petting, and protestations of sorrow, and how those faint red marks
were bemoaned as if they had been the stripes of a martyr.

“If you touch any one’s arm, you pinch it,” the elder lady went on. “And
you take hold of your shawl and your gloves and your handkerchief as if
somebody were going to pull them away from you. I’ve seen your nails white
when you held the evening paper to read, you gripped it so; and as to
taking glasses and cups at the table, I always expect to see them fly to
pieces in your hands.”

“Isn’t she an awful woman?” says Mrs. Annette to the baby, holding it high
and looking up into its rosy, smiling face. “Isn’t Annette a frightfully
muscular and dangerous person, you pink of perfection? What shall we do
with her? She pinches little swan’s‐down arms, and makes angelic babies
pucker up their lips with grief, and sets tears swimming in their blue
violets of eyes. We must do something dreadful to her. We must forgive
her; and that is very terrible. There is nothing so crushing, baby, as to
be forgiven very much.”

And then, after one more toss, the infant was let suddenly and softly
down, like a lapful of roses, over the face of its friend, and for an
instant Annette Gerald’s eyes were hidden in its neck.

“Come and have a game of chess, Annette,” her husband called out across
the room.

“Yes, dear!” she responded brightly; and, setting the child down, went to
him at once, a red color in her cheeks.

“Why do some people always notice such little things,” he said frowningly,
“and, instead of attending to themselves, watch how people take hold of
cups and saucers, and all that nonsense, and fancy that some wonderful
chance hangs on your eating butter with your bread, or preferring cheese?”

Annette was engaged in placing the men, and did not look in her husband’s
face as she answered in a gentle, soothing voice:

“It is rather annoying sometimes, but I find the best way is to treat the
whole jestingly. If one shows vexation, it looks serious. But you can
ridicule a person out of hanging mountains by threads.”

He was going to answer, when something made him notice her face. The color
was still bright there, but the cheeks were hollow, and dark circles had
sunk beneath her eyes.

“Why, you are not looking well,” he said, only just aware of the fact.
“Are you sick? Did you get worn out taking care of me?”

She waited an instant till the others, who were leaving the room, should
be out of sight, then leaned across the table, careless that her sleeve
swept away the two armies she had just placed, and took her husband’s hand
in hers, and bowed her cheek to it with a sob.

“O Lawrence! Lawrence!” she whispered.

He made a motion to draw his hand away, but let it remain. “My God! what
is the matter with you?” he exclaimed.

She leaned back instantly, and made an effort to control herself. “It must
be that I am not well. Don’t mind me. And now, you will have to place your
own men, and give me the first move.”

He placed the men, and appeared to be thinking pitifully of his wife as he
glanced now and then into her face. “It seems selfish of me not to have
taken better care of you, Annette,” he said.

“Oh! you needed care yourself,” she replied lightly. “Don’t imagine that I
am sick, though. It is nothing. You didn’t marry me to take care of me,
you know, and I am not very exacting.”

She would have caught back the last words, if she could, before it was too
late. They escaped her unawares, and were a remembered, rather than a
present, bitterness.

He blushed faintly. “Whatever I married you for, I have no desire to
exchange you now for any one else,” he said, moving a pawn sideways
instead of forward. “If you were ever so poor, I wouldn’t want a rich girl
in your place. But then, you know, I’m not sentimental. I never was much
so, and it’s all over now. I’m thirty years old, and I feel a hundred. I
can’t remember being young. I can’t remember being twenty years of age. I
wish to God I could!” he burst forth.

His wife made a careful move, and said, “I have a presentiment that I
shall give you check in three moves more. Look out for your queen.”

“My only romance,” he went on, “was about Honora. I thought that I could
do and be anything, if she would only care about me. What a stately,
floating creature she always was! I used to think she looked as if she
could walk on clouds and not fall through. Yes,” he sighed, “that is where
she belongs—among the clouds. I never blamed her for not having me; she
was too good. I never was worthy of such a woman.”

Slowly, while he spoke, the bright blood had deepened in his wife’s face,
and swept over her forehead. Had he been less preoccupied, he would have
seen the slight, haughty movement with which she drew herself up. It was
only when he had waited a moment for her to move that he glanced up and
met her eyes fixed on him with an expression very like indignant scorn.

“By what strange contradiction is it, I wonder,” she said coldly, “that
the woman who does most for a man, and is most merciful and charitable
toward him, is never too good for him, while the one who scorns him, and
will not come a step off her pedestal to save him, is always the ideal
woman in his eyes?”

Bitter tears of utter grief and mortification welled up and wet her
eyelashes. “In another world,” she said, “when the faults and mistakes of
this are set right, you may think yourself worthy of the companionship of
Honora Pembroke, and of any union and closeness of affection which that
life may know. And then she may be given to you. And, Lawrence, if she
would and could consent to take you now, I would not refuse to give you
up. At this moment, if, without any wrong, I could see her enter the room,
and hold out her hand to you, and tell you that she was ready to take what
she had refused, and be to you all that you could wish—if it could be
right that it should happen so, I would not utter one word of objection. I
would leave you to her without a moment’s hesitation.”

While she spoke, his hand had played tremblingly with the chessmen before
him. “So you give me up too,” he said in a low voice.

Her proud face softened. She looked at him, and recollected herself and
him, and pity sprang up again and effaced indignation. “I do not give you
up, Lawrence,” she said gently. “I cannot and have no wish to; I only
spoke of what I would do in circumstances which cannot take place. You had
insulted me, without intending to, I know, and it was but natural that I
should retort. You know that I would not leave you, nor give you up on any
provocation. If you should leave me, I should follow you, because I should
feel sure that you would sooner or later need me. We are one. You are
mine; and I always stand by my own.”

He looked at her with an expression at once penetrating and shrinking.
“You would stand by me, Annette, whatever should happen?” he asked.

“Certainly!” she replied, but did not meet his eyes. “There is no
imaginable circumstance which could make me desert you. And now, what of
this game? To your queen!”

He made a motion to save his queen, then pushed the board aside. “I cannot
play,” he said; “I cannot confine my mind to it. Sing me something. It is
long since I have heard you sing.”

He threw himself into a deeply‐cushioned chair, and leaned his head on his
hands while she sang to him—knowing, how well! that a cheerful song would
not cheer him nor a pious song soothe—of


    “Waters that flow
      With a lullaby sound,
    From a spring but a very few
      Feet under ground—
    From a spring that is not very
      Far under ground.”


She was a magical singer, surely; and the still, cold melancholy of her
tones was the very spirit and essence of death; and, like death, it
pierced to the heart. She sang:


    “And, oh! let it never
      Be foolishly said
    That my room it is gloomy,
      And narrow my bed.
    For man never slept
      In a different bed;
    And to sleep, you must slumber
      In just such a bed.”


She turned quickly at a sound behind her, and saw that her husband had
buried his face in the cushions of the chair, and was trembling violently.
She went to him, but there was no comfort to give nor to receive. Death
alone could bring release for him and for her. She could only surround him
with her arms while he sobbed with the terrible hysterical sobbing of a
man utterly broken down, and let him feel that he was not alone and
unpitied.

“I don’t know what ails me,” he said at length, trying to control himself.
“Don’t mind me, Annette. My nerves seem to be all unstrung. It must be
that fever.”

“Oh! don’t, Lawrence; please don’t!” she said faintly.

He became silent all at once, and it seemed as though a chill had passed
over him. She sighed drearily, and smoothed his hair with her hand. “Trust
your wife,” she said. “I am by you always.”

“You are not afraid of me?” He seemed to ask the question with a kind of
terror.

“My poor Lawrence! no. I do not fear you as much as you do me. Don’t have
such fancies.”

She did not explain in what confessional she had learned his secret; in
what troubled sleep wherein the unwary tongue speaks; in what more
troubled waking, when the eyes and actions speak; or in what sudden
suspicion and enlightenment, coming she knew not whence. She told nothing,
and he asked nothing, only leaned on her bosom, and wept again as though
all his manhood had departed.

“O Annette!” he said, “I dreamed last night that I was a little boy, and
that I stood by my mother while she brushed my hair into curls round her
finger. I thought I had been away a long distance, and come back again,
and I stood quite still, and remembered another childhood before I took
that journey. I was so glad to be back—as glad as I should be now if I
could go back. Some way I could see that my hair was golden, and that my
mother smiled as she brushed it, though I did not look at her. Such dreams
are always coming to me now. As soon as I go to sleep, I am a child that
has been away and is solemnly glad to be back again. And then I wake, and
am in hell!”

She went on smoothing his hair steadily.

“Some time soon the dream will come true,” she said. “Do the best you can.
Do justice to the wronged. Come away with me, and we will hide ourselves
somewhere in the world, and try to find peace for the days that are left.
And by‐and‐by, Lawrence, will come the day when we shall both be as little
children again, and all our terrible burdens will slip off. You must do
justice to the wronged.”

“In some way, yes!” he said. “I have tried to think. He must be saved. But
I cannot go away. Do you remember ever having been afraid to go up‐stairs
in the dark, of having felt sure that there was some one behind just ready
to grasp you, till you screamed out in terror? It would be like that with
me. If once I turn my back on this place, my life will become a crazy
flight.”

“The world is wide,” she urged, “and there are safe places enough in it.
Besides, money can buy anything; and _he_ has forgiven you. _He_ will
screen you.”

“My mother!” he exclaimed. “Who will screen and save her? I will not
destroy her, Annette. No, everybody in the world may perish first. I never
will destroy my mother. I have done harm enough.”

“He will die in prison,” she whispered. “He has sent to Germany for help,
and it did him no good. He has demanded a new trial, and there was not
enough to justify them in granting it. He is in a net from which there
seems to be no escape. They say that he will die.”

“You want to make me crazy!” her husband cried out, pushing her fiercely
from him. “Go away! You are worse than the rest.”

There was no way but to yield to him. “Well, well, Lawrence! I will try to
think of some other means.”

The season had reached early spring, and one tempestuous evening in March,
as F. Chevreuse sat at home, making up some church accounts, feeling quite
sure that he should not be interrupted, he heard the street‐door softly
open and shut, then a tap at the door of the room.

“Strange that Jane should leave that street‐door unlocked!” he thought,
and at the same moment heard the servant coming up‐stairs from the
kitchen. Her quick ear had caught the sound, and she, too, was wondering
how she could have omitted to fasten the house up.

The door of F. Chevreuse’s sitting‐room was quickly opened, and shut again
in Jane’s face, and a woman stood inside. It was Annette Gerald, wrapped
in a large waterproof cape, with the hood over her head.

“Send Jane away!” she said hurriedly. “Don’t let her in here! Don’t let
her see me!”

Here Jane opened the door and put her head in, eyeing curiously the
visitor, whose back was turned to her. “I’m sure I shut the door and
bolted it, father,” she began, and took a step into the room. “I....”

“No matter! I’ll see to it,” the priest said, waving her away.

“Oh! well, only I’m sure I locked it. And perhaps you’d like to have this
lamp....”

“Jane!” he exclaimed, standing up, “when I dismiss you, you are to go.”

Jane retired, grumbling.

“She will listen at the door,” his visitor said.

F. Chevreuse flung the door open, and discovered his domestic lingering
about the head of the stairs, affecting to examine an imaginary hole in
the carpet.

“Once for all, Jane,” he said, “if you wish to remain in my house, you
must not presume, nor show any curiosity about my affairs, nor the affairs
of those who come to me. Go down into the kitchen, and shut the door, and
stay there.”

Jane, albeit not very subordinate, was completely awed by a display of
authority such as she had never seen before. She did not venture to resist
nor complain, but returned without delay to her own place.

F. Chevreuse waited till he heard the kitchen‐door close with somewhat
unnecessary force, then returned to his visitor.

“What has brought you out to‐night?” he asked in a low voice.

“Let me get my breath!” She was almost gasping. “Jane gave me such a
fright that my heart is in my mouth.”

He set a chair for her, and seated himself near, waiting till she should
be able to speak. “You had better shake the snow off your cloak,” he said.

She made a gesture of impatient refusal.

The rude mantle had slipped aside, and revealed a strangely contrasting
toilet beneath. There was a shining of lustrous pale‐green silk with
delicately‐wrought laces, a glimmer of emeralds and diamonds, and glimpses
of pink roses set in bunches of green grass.

“I have been to the prison,” she whispered.

F. Chevreuse frowned, and dropped his eyes.

“The man is a fool!” she exclaimed. “He will not be saved. I had bought
one of the guard. It was the hour for supper, and the man let me in, and
promised that for ten minutes I might do as I pleased, and he would see
and know nothing. I went into the corridor, and found the cell‐door
unlocked. Everything was ready, was perfect; for the storm would prevent
any loungers from coming about the prison or the guard‐room, and would
give an excuse to any one who wanted to muffle up and cover their face. I
had a large cloak all ready. But he would not go. He will not fly as
though he were guilty, he said.”

“What did you say to him?” the priest inquired, without looking up.

“I told him that he could save himself, and prove his innocence afterward.
I said that may be the real criminal would some day confess, and then he
could come out before the world more than justified. I said that we loved
and pitied him, and were unhappy at the thought of him there, and would do
anything for him. He was to be secreted in our house till a way could be
got for him to escape. I had left the carriage just round the corner, and
John would have thought that it was Lawrence who got in with me. Mamma and
Louis have gone to the President’s dinner, and Gerald was to watch and let
us in, and afterward come out again with me. But, no; the stubborn
simpleton would not be saved. I went on my knees to him, and he was like a
rock. Then the watchman knocked at the door, and I had to run. The other
guard were coming in from their supper, and, if I hadn’t hid behind a
door, they would have seen me face to face. Oh! why did he not consent?”

She wrung her hands slowly till the jewels on them twinkled in the lamp‐
light.

F. Chevreuse still sat with his eyes downcast. “My poor child!” he said,
“your pity for this man has led you into an almost fatal error. Never
attempt such a thing again. It is not for you to cast yourself under the
wheels of Juggernaut. I command you to try no such experiment again. Pray
to God. That is all that you can do.”

“Yes, I know that now,” she answered despairingly. “I am utterly helpless.
It is your turn. You must save him.”

“What can I do?” he asked wonderingly. “I have tried all I could, but in
vain, as you know. I have left no stone unturned, and the only good result
I can see is a probability that the sentence will not be executed to the
utmost, and that in time something may happen to bring his innocence to
light.”

“In time!” she repeated. “Have you seen the man? Why, I did not know him
till he spoke. He will not live. No, there must be no delay. What you must
do is this: You must go to the authorities, and say that you know who the
true criminal is, but cannot tell, at least not now, and that Mr.
Schöninger is innocent.”

The priest looked in her face with a gaze of calm surprise. “You mistake,”
he said. “I do not know who the criminal is. If I did know, I should
immediately go to the authorities, and denounce him.”

She looked him steadfastly in the face, but his calmness baffled her. He
showed only a cool and dignified surprise.

“Oh! these men,” she muttered. “I feel as if I were being ground between
stones.”

She stood, and the shining folds of her dress, that had been gathered up
in her arms, dropped about her, and lay on the floor.

“Have you been walking through the snow in a ball‐dress?” the priest
asked. “Have you anything to protect your feet?”

“Oh! I have fur shoes, and my carriage is near by,” she said absently, and
seemed to be considering what to do next.

“Go home now, my child, and try to put all this wild work out of your
mind,” F. Chevreuse said with emotion. “Perform your own duty simply and
in the fear of God, and do not try to take the burden of others on those
shoulders of yours. Go home and warm yourself well, or you will be sick.”

“Oh! I am not going home,” she said, her glance caught by the sparkling of
a bracelet on her arm. “To‐night is a dinner and ball given to the
President, you know; and since he is going away to‐morrow it couldn’t be
put off. It must be time I was there, and I have to go home after
Lawrence.”

“What! you will go to a dinner and ball to‐night?” exclaimed the priest.
“You feel yourself fit for company?”

She smiled faintly. “I shall doubtless be the gayest of the gay. There is
not much danger of my feeling sleepy.”

“Well, women are wonderful beings,” remarked F. Chevreuse to himself.

The young woman drew her wrappings about her, and gathered up again her
flowing skirts, looking to see that no stain had fallen on them; and, in
arranging her toilet for a new scene, she appeared to arrange her mind
also. A gentle tranquillity settled upon her face, and her head was
slightly lifted, as though she were already the centre of observation to a
brilliant throng.

“But you are looking very pale,” the priest objected.

“That always mends itself,” she answered carelessly. “When I have need of
color, it usually comes.”

Some way, in this firm self‐control, he found her more pitiful than in any
abandonment of sorrow. She accepted the situation uncomplainingly, since
she could do no more, and steeled herself to bear what she must.

“God bless you!” he said, when she was ready to go.

Her face stirred a little at the words. It seemed that she would rather
not listen to anything of serious kindness then. Yet at the door she
hesitated, and turned back. For once it was necessary that she should
speak.

“I have no difficulty about company or anything but silence and darkness,”
she said hurriedly, looking down. “I like a crowd, though I am always on
the lookout for something to be said I will not wish to hear. When he and
I are alone, I turn cold and creeping, for fear he should speak; and I
keep close and cling to him, lest, if I should get a little way off, I
should grow afraid of him. If we were to be separated for one week, I
think we would never again dare to approach each other. But recollect”—she
lifted her eyes for one quick glance—“I have told you nothing.”

“Certainly not,” he replied gravely.

In a moment she had gone out, and was running through the flying snow to
find her carriage, left in the next street to baffle some possible
watcher.

Young Mrs. Gerald was quite right in saying that she should probably be
the gayest of the gay that night; and if any other person appeared to
enjoy the scene more than herself, it was, perhaps, her husband.

“A very happy couple,” remarked a sympathizing friend to Mrs. Ferrier.

“Oh! yes,” the mother sighed, nodding her head. “He is always gay when he
is doing no good, and as glum as a spade when he is behaving himself. I
was in hopes that his sickness would sober him, but he is wilder than
ever. You should see him drive my horses!”

Her son‐in‐law, passing by at that moment, caught the last words, and
immediately joined the two ladies. “I know that Mrs. Ferrier is
complaining of me,” he said gaily. “She will never forgive me for putting
her precious bays out of breath. But the truth is, I am trying to save
their lives; for they are so fat now that you could drive them to death at
six miles an hour.”

“O Lawrence!” Annette said at his elbow—she was always hovering near when
he spoke with her mother—“they say that Strauss, the composer, you know,
is really coming to America next year, and will lead his own waltzes at
the concerts.”

“And, by the way, Ninon,” said her husband, “is that the Strauss who
always was? I have had a waltz‐writing, violin‐playing Strauss in my mind
ever since I was born, and he had lived ages before, and was something
like Mephistopheles, to my fancy. Perhaps he is the Wandering Jew.”

“Speaking of Jews—” began Mrs. Ferrier’s companion.

And here Annette drew her husband away, hanging on his arm, smiling and
whispering to him, the brightest, prettiest woman in the room.

“And yet last night he was off somewhere, and she sat up for him till a
quarter before two o’clock,” Mrs. Ferrier said, looking after them. “I
looked to see what time it was when I heard him come in. It is wearing her
out. I shall not allow her to do it again.”

It was easier for Mrs. Ferrier to say what should not be than to find
herself obeyed, for the next night her daughter again kept vigil. “All I
ask of you, mamma, is to let me attend to my own business,” she said
decidedly.

So “mamma” toiled up‐stairs to bed, and the daughter lowered the lights,
took out her rosary, and began her nightly task of fighting away thought,
and trying to fix her mind on the future.

After an hour or two, John, the footman, put his head in at the door.
“You’d a great deal better go to bed, ma’am, and leave me to let Mr.
Gerald in,” he said. “I’ve something that will keep me up to‐night, and
it’s a pity two should lose their rest. It is past twelve now.”

She felt faint and weary, and sleep was beginning to steal over her. “I
believe I will go, then,” she said. “I have not slept for three nights.”

She went, with a dragging step, over the bright carpet roses. “What would
become of him if I were to break up?” she thought.

When she had gone, the man put out the hall gas, opened the doors of the
vestibule, and set himself to wait. He meant to have speech of Mr. Gerald
that night without Mr. Gerald’s wife for a witness or any likelihood of
other interruption.

About one o’clock he heard unsteady steps on the sidewalk, and, as he went
to the door, Lawrence Gerald came reeling up the steps, and almost fell
into his arms.

“Come into the sitting‐room, sir, and lie down on the sofa. It will be
easier than going up‐stairs,” he said.

When he had been drinking, the young man was easy to lead, and he now
submitted readily, and was in a few minutes in a deep sleep.

John locked the street‐door, shut the door of the sitting‐room behind him,
and, seating himself, waited for the sleeper to wake.

A nervous man might have grown uneasy during that watch. There is
something not always pleasant in hearing one’s own breathing, and the
faint occasional sounds in floor and wall, and at one’s elbow, even,
which, in the stillness of night, seem like the movements of unseen beings
drawing near. Besides, there is a terror in the thought that we are going
to terrify another.

But this man was not nervous. He was made of wholesome though rough
material, and he had a strong will. He had been waiting for others to act,
and had waited in vain, and now he had made up his mind that it was for
him to act. Justice was strong in him, where he had the ability to
perceive what was just, and he would no longer see the innocent suffer for
the guilty. Besides, he reflected, there was no one else who could speak.
Self‐defence, or the defence of one dearly loved, or a yet more sacred
motive, sealed the lips of all who knew. His lips were not sealed, and
justice commanded him to speak.

Three o’clock came and went, and still the young man slept. The other sat
and studied him, noting how slight and elegant was his form, how fine the
hands and feet, how daintily he was dressed and cared for.

John was stout and heavy, a man of delf, and the size of his boots had
once provoked from Lawrence a very provoking quotation:


    “What dread hand formed thy dread feet?”


and more than once the young man had mockingly pushed his two white hands
into one of John’s gloves.

This sleeper’s hair was glossy, scented, as soft as floss, and curled in
many a wilful ring; John’s was coarse and straight, and he wisely wore it
closely cropped. Lawrence Gerald’s face was delicately smooth; the lines
melted harmoniously into each other; his brows were finely drawn; the
teeth, that showed through his parted lips, were pearly white; and as he
lay with closed eyes, the lashes made two exquisitely curved shadows on
his cheeks. John’s face was plain, he had no eyebrows nor eyelashes to
speak of, his eyes were more for use than ornament, and his nose went
about its business straight from end to end, stopping rather bluntly, and
utterly ignoring that delicate curve which made this man’s profile so
perfect.

This man? This drunkard, rather, John thought; this spendthrift, and
gambler, and robber. This murderer!

The nerves of the serving‐man stiffened; and if he had felt any relenting,
it was over. The insolent daintiness before him stirred all his
bitterness. It was for such men as this that humbler honest folks were to
bow and serve, and women’s hearts to break!

It must be nearly four o’clock, he thought, and glanced round at the
clock. Looking back again, he met Lawrence Gerald’s eyes fixed on him
steadily, and he returned the look with as immovable a stare. In that
instant the meaning of each leaped out of his face as clearly as lightning
from a cloud. Young Gerald’s eyes began to shrink in their depths, and
still the other held them; he drew slowly back on the sofa, cowering, but
unable to turn away.

And here John’s eyes released him, for another object drew them up to the
mirror that hung over the sofa. Reflected there he saw that the door was
partly open, and Annette Gerald’s white face looking in. She came swiftly
gliding toward them, silent as a ghost, and melted, rather than fell, on
to her knees before her husband, between him and the other. Her arms and
bosom hid him from that relentless gaze which told that all was known, and
her own face turned and received it instead, firmly and almost defiantly.

“Well, John?” she said. “Speak out what you have to say.”

“This can’t go on any longer, ma’am,” he whispered; “and I should think
you would have the sense to see that. If you’re willing to let an innocent
man suffer for him, even that won’t serve you long, for he will betray
himself yet. You must go.”

“Yes, yes, we will go!” she replied hurriedly. “It is the only thing to
do. We will go right away.”

“I will give you three weeks to get out of danger,” he went on; “or, if
that isn’t enough, a month. But you mustn’t lose a day. I won’t see that
man down in the prison die for nothing. After the four weeks from to‐
morrow morning are up, I shall go to F. Chevreuse with a paper that your
husband will write. He may tell his own story, and make what excuses he
can for himself, and it shall be for everybody to read. F. Chevreuse will
carry the paper to the judges, and take that man out of prison. That is
all I’ve got to say,” he concluded. “Four weeks from to‐morrow morning!”

Annette made no further reply, only watched the man out of the room, and
locked the door after him. Then she returned to her husband, and, for the
first time since she had entered the room, looked in his face. He was
lying back with his eyes closed, as though from faintness. She brought him
a glass of wine, knelt by his side while he drank it, then took his hand
in hers.

“There is no other way, Lawrence,” she said.

He was sitting up now, but kept his eyes closed, as if he could not meet
her glance, or could not endure to look upon the light. He answered her
quietly, “Yes, it is the only way.”

“And now,” she continued, “since there is no time to lose, you will tell
me the whole, and I will write it down. You can sign it afterward.”

He nodded, but did not speak. The blow had fallen, and its first effect
was crushing.

She brought a writing‐table close to the sofa, and seated herself before
it. As she arranged the paper, pens, and ink, heavy tears rolled down her
face, and sigh after sigh struggled up from her heart; but she did not
suffer them to impede her work—scarcely seemed, indeed, conscious of them.
Everything was arranged carefully and rapidly. “Now, Lawrence!” she said,
and seemed to catch her breath with the words.

He started, and opened his eyes; and when he saw her, with eyes uplifted,
making the sign of the cross on her forehead and bosom, he knelt by her
side, and, bowing his head, blessed himself also with the sacred sign.

Then he began his confession, and she wrote it as it fell from his lips.
If now and then a tear, not quickly enough brushed away, fell on the
paper, it only left its record of a wife’s grief and love, but did not
blot out a word of the clear writing.

When the last word had been written, and the name signed, a long ray of
white morning light had pierced through a chink in the shutter, and lay
across the red lamp‐light.

Annette Gerald took the pen from her husband’s hand. “My poor Lawrence!”
she said, “you and I have got to be saints now. There is no medium for us.
Pleasure, ease, all hope of earthly peace—they are far behind us. We must
go out into the world and do penance, and wait for death.”

“Annette,” he exclaimed, “let me go alone! Give me up now, and live your
own life here. I will never come near you again.”

She shook her head. “That is impossible. The only consolation I can have
is to stay with you and give you what little help I can. You could not
live without me, Lawrence. Don’t speak of it. I shall stand by you.”

She opened the shutters and the window, and let the fresh morning light
into the close room and over their feverish faces.

The town was waking up to a bright sunshiny day, its many smokes curling
upward into the blue, its beautiful vesture of snow still clinging here
and there, all its busy life beginning to stir joyfully again. They stood
before the window a minute looking out, the same thought in both their
minds. Then the wife leaned forward. “Good‐by, Crichton!” she said, and
took her husband’s hand. “Come, Lawrence! we have no time to lose. The
sword has been set over the gate.”

To Be Continued.



A Looker‐Back. III. The Temple.


            “Those bricky towers,
    The which on Themme’s brode aged back do ride,
    Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers:
    There whilom wont the Templar Knights to bide.”


Perhaps there is no place in London that appeals to so many instincts of
the soul as the Temple. Religion, valor, romance, and literature have all
lent enchantment to the place. Built and inhabited by the Knights
Templars, the resort of kings and nobles of highest lineage, the home of
generations of law‐students and literary men like Burke, Johnson,
Goldsmith, and Lamb, and associated with Shakespeare and many a romance,
who could enter its quiet alleys, and ramble about its courts and gardens,
without being stirred to the depths of his soul? Fact and fiction are here
so mingled together that one is unable to disentangle them, and the
visitor says, as he roams about: Here was the place of Lamb’s “kindly
engendure”; yonder Eldon lived; up in that third story was Arthur
Pendennis’ sick‐chamber, where his mother and Laura went to nurse him; in
that court were Goldsmith’s chambers, where he loved to sit and watch the
rooks; and in those gardens walked Sir Roger de Coverley, discussing the
belles, with patches and hoops, strolling across the green once used by
the Red‐Cross Knights for martial exercises; and yonder is the ancient
church, patterned after that of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem.

The church must be visited first, for it is the most beautiful and perfect
in existence that belonged to the Knights Templars, and stood next in rank
to their temple in the Holy City. Within half a century it has been
restored to something of its ancient glory, and is substantially the same
as when consecrated by Heraclius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, in the year
1185. The entrance is a beautiful Norman arch, deeply recessed, with
elaborately wrought mouldings, and columns between which are figures of
saintly forms, some with rolls in their hands, and some in the attitude of
prayer. These stone faces at the entrance of churches are a wonderful
check to worldly thoughts. They communicate something of their own
solemnity and ineffable calmness. Through this door‐way used to pass the
valiant knights of the cross who came here with their banner—the glorious
_Beau‐seant_—to have their swords blessed on the altar before departing
for


                “Those holy fields
    Over whose acres walked those blessed feet
    Which, fourteen hundred years ago were nail’d
    For our advantage on the bitter cross.”


This is the entrance to the Round Church. A circular tower rests on six
clustered columns of marble, each composed of four shafts, which run into
each other at base and capital so as to form but one. And around these is
a circular aisle. Six pointed arches spring from these beautiful pillars,
above which is an arcade of Norman arches so interlaced as to form a
combination of round and pointed arches—a fine example of the transition
to the Gothic style of architecture. Parker says this Round Church is one
of the best authenticated instances of the earliest use of the pointed
arch in England, though the choir of Canterbury Cathedral is usually
considered so. Over this arcade are six clerestory windows, between which
rise slender shafts that support the groined ribs of the roof.

At the sides of the circular aisle are sedilia formed of masonry
projecting from the wall, with slightly arched recesses, in the spandrels
of which are grotesque faces in _alto‐relievo_, carven in stone, each of
which has an extraordinary character of its own, and is well worth
studying. Some are distorted with pain; some look up appealingly; here the
tongue protrudes and the eyeballs are glaring; there is a look of
unutterable horror; one sets his teeth hard as an unclean animal bites his
ear; another shows two fang‐like teeth, while a vicious‐looking creature
is gnawing the corner of his mouth, and the furrowed brow expresses awful
agony; here is one with his long tongue run out sideways; there is another
bellowing with his mouth wide open, the nostrils dilated and the forehead
all puckered up; some have ultra‐Roman noses, some sharp, and others flat
and broad, as if reflected from a convex surface. One grins and shows all
his teeth broad and uniform. The sexton says these faces are supposed to
depict the tortures of the suffering souls in purgatory. Grotesque as most
of them are, there is a certain awful solemnity, even in the most hideous,
that is impressive. Thank God! a few are calm and serene, with their crown
of sorrow on their heads. An arcade, similarly decorated, has been found
in the ruined Temple Church at Acre, and at the famous Castel Pellegrino,
erected by the early Templars to command the shore‐road from Acre to
Jerusalem.

The first thing that strikes the attention on entering this solemn church
is the group of old Crusaders lying on the pavement with their legs
crossed, in token that they had served in the Holy Land.


    “The knights are dust,
    And their good swords are rust,
    Their souls are with the saints, we trust.”


These are not effigies of the Knights Templars—for they do not wear the
mantle of that order—but knights associated with them in defence of the
Holy Land. One of them represents William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, and
Protector of England during the minority of Henry III., one of the
greatest warriors and statesmen of the middle ages. Matthew Paris
describes his burial here in 1219. Here he lies, carven in stone, clad
from head to foot in armor of chain‐mail, in the act of sheathing his
sword. His legs are crossed, for he had borne the cross of Prince Henry,
eldest son of Henry II., to Jerusalem. On his feet are spurs, and at his
side a shield with the lion rampant of the Marshalls. This stout‐hearted
supporter of the Plantagenets was one of the council appointed by Richard
Cœur de Lion to govern the kingdom during his absence. It was he, together
with Americ, Master of the Temple, who at last induced King John to sign
the Magna Charta, and he accompanied the king to Runnymede.

He it was, too, that, while protector in the next reign, offered pardon to
the disaffected barons, and confirmed the Magna Charta. He also extended
its benefits to Ireland, and commanded the sheriffs to read it publicly at
the county courts, and enforce its exact observance.

It was this same Earl of Pembroke whom Shakespeare represents pleading so
eloquently for the enfranchisement of the unfortunate Prince Arthur:


      “If what in rest you have, in right you hold,
    Why then your fears (which, as they say, attend
    The steps of wrong), should move you to mew up
    Your tender kinsman, and to choke his days
    With barbarous ignorance, and deny his youth
    The rich advantage of good exercise?
    That the time’s enemies may not have this
    To grace occasions, let it be our suit
    That you have bid us ask his liberty:
    Which for our goods we do no further ask,
    Than whereupon our weal, on you depending,
    Counts it your weal, he have his liberty.”


This great statesman was a benefactor to the Templars, and, when he died,
his body was borne here in state and buried with great pomp on Ascension
Day, 1219.

Here, too, are the monumental effigies of his sons—William Marshall, the
younger, one of the bold barons of Runnymede, to whom we are indebted for
the Magna Charta; and Gilbert Marshall, “the flower of the chivalry of
that time,” who married a Scotch princess, and went to the defence of the
sacred tomb.

Although the elder Marshall was just enough to extend the benefits of the
Magna Charta to Ireland, we are told that, during his campaign in that
country, he seized the lands of the Bishop of Fernes, and kept them, in
spite of a sentence of excommunication. After the earl’s death, the bishop
came to London, and laid the case before the king, who, alarmed for the
weal of his old guardian’s soul, accompanied the bishop to his tomb.

Matthew Paris says that, as they stood by it, the bishop solemnly
apostrophized the departed earl: “O William! who lyest here interred and
held fast by the chain of excommunication, if those lands which thou hast
unjustly taken from my church be rendered back to me by the king, or by
your heir, or by any of your family, and if due satisfaction be made for
the loss and injury I have sustained, I grant you absolution; but if not,
I confirm my previous sentence, so that, enveloped in your sins, you stand
for evermore condemned to hell!”

However alarmed the king might have appeared about his guardian’s soul,
restitution was not made, and the stout old bishop, who seems to have been
soundly orthodox as to the temporal rights of the church, denounced the
earl and his race in right Scriptural phrase: “His name shall be rooted
out in one generation; and his sons shall be deprived of the blessing,
_Increase and multiply_. Some of them shall die a miserable death; their
inheritance shall be scattered; and this thou, O king! shalt behold in thy
life‐time; yea, in the days of thy flourishing youth.”

This fearful prophecy was fulfilled in a remarkable manner. The five sons
of the protector died one after another without issue in the reign of
Henry III., and the family became extinct.

There are eight of these monumental effigies lying in the centre of the
Round Church. It is to them Butler refers in his _Hudibras_, speaking of
the profanation of the place by the lawyers of his time and their clients—


    “That ply in the Temple under trees,
    Or walk the Round with knights of the posts
    About the crossed‐legged knights, their hosts.”


In the round walk of this church there is on one side a coped tombstone,
in the style of the XIIth century, of a prismatic, coffin‐like shape. On
the other side


    “You see a warrior carven in stone
    Lying in yon dim aisle alone,
    A warrior with his shield of pride
    Cleaving humbly to his side,
    And hands in resignation prest
    Palm to palm on his tranquil breast.”


This is Lord Robert de Ros, another of the bold barons of Runnymede—a
knight whose career was one long romance. Beautiful in person, the
successful wooer of the Princess Isabella of Scotland, and “one of those
military enthusiasts whose exploits form the connecting link between fact
and fiction, between history and the fairy tale,” one cannot look at his
figure here without interest and emotion.


    “O death! made proud with pure and princely beauty.”


In fact, there is a wonderful air of mystery and romance about the whole
of this solemn church. Here the young aspirant to knighthood used to come
to keep his long vigil before the altar, and here gathered the Crusaders
before setting off for the tomb of Christ. And chief among them the
valiant Templars, in their long, flowing mantles, “whose stainless white
their hearts belied not,” with the mystic cross upon their breasts, which
Pope Eugenius had authorized them to wear.


    “And on his brest a bloodie crosse he bore,
    The deare remembrance of his dying Lord,
    For whose sweet sake that glorious badge he bore,
    And dead (as living) ever him adored.
    Upon his shield the like was also scor’d,
    For sovereign hope which in his helpe he had;
    Right faithful true he was in deed and word;
    But of his cheer did seem too solemn sad,
    Yet nothing did he dread, but ever was ydrad.”


We can never believe that, as a body, the early Templars were not worthy
of their white garments. A bishop of Acre, who frequently accompanied them
on their military expeditions, said of them: “Lions they are in war,
gentle in the convent, fierce soldiers in the field, hermits and monks in
religion; to the enemies of Christ ferocious and inexorable, but to
Christians kind and gracious. They carry before them to battle a banner,
half black and white, which they call _Beau‐seant_—that is to say, in the
Gallic tongue, _Bien‐seant_, because they are fair and favorable to the
friends of Christ, but black and terrible to his enemies.”

While this vision of the past was crossing the inward eye, a strain of
music, as of some holy chant, came floating softly out from some inner
recess, sweetly adding to the enchantment. It was only the choir
practising in the vestry, but it was just far enough away to give a
certain mystery and softness to their psalmody that was delightful at that
vesper hour. One needs a service for such memories, and alone in this
rotunda of the Templars, where


    “Watching and fast, and prayer, and penance,
      And sternly nursed affections,”


once heavenward soared, the pilgrim knelt awhile in the dim round aisle to
say a _Requiescant_ for those that once worshipped here according to God’s
appointed ordinances, and then went his way—_in pace_.

The next day brought him back to complete his survey. Churches like this,
in imitation of that of the Holy Sepulchre, were frequently built in the
time of the Crusades. The Milanese built one in their city after returning
from the holy war. Peter Adornes made three journeys from Flanders to
Jerusalem to obtain an exact copy of the Holy Sepulchre for the church at
Bruges; and at Abbeville, the beautiful Church of the Holy Sepulchre was
built on the very spot where Godfrey of Bouillon and the Crusaders
assembled before going to Palestine. In it was built a tomb before which
the solemn Office of the Holy Sepulchre was celebrated annually. Sometimes
the Crusaders brought back with them some of the dust of the Holy City. At
Pisa, and in Sicily, there were cemeteries filled with that sacred soil.
It seemed less repulsive to lie for ever down in dust perhaps the
Saviour’s feet had trod.

The London temple has therefore something of the sacred character of the
Orient about it; that is, the Rotunda. And it was dedicated to that holy
Oriental maiden whom all nations unite in calling Blessed. The following
inscription is over the door of entrance:

“On the 10th of February, in the year from the Incarnation of our Lord
1185, this church was consecrated in honor of the Blessed Mary, by the
Lord Heraclius, by the grace of God Patriarch of the Church of the
Resurrection, who hath granted an indulgence of fifty days to those yearly
seeking it.”

Heraclius had come to Europe to preach the Third Crusade. In Paris he was
the first to officiate at Notre Dame. His special mission to England was
to induce Henry II. to fulfil his vow of going to the succor of the Holy
Land by way of penance for the murder of Thomas à Becket. Finding his
efforts in vain, the patriarch at last said to the king: “Hitherto thou
hast reigned gloriously, but hereafter thou shalt be forsaken of Him whom
thou at this time forsakest. Think on him, what he hath given to thee, and
what thou hast yielded to him again; how first thou wert false to the King
of France, and, after, slew that holy man, Thomas of Canterbury, and,
lastly, thou forsakest the protection of Christ’s faith.” The king, vexed
at such frankness, said: “Though all the men of my land were one body, and
spake with one mouth, they durst not speak to me such words.”

“No wonder,” replied the patriarch, “for they love thine and not thee;
that is to mean, they love thy goods temporal, and fear thee for loss of
promotion, but they love not thy soul.” And so saying, he bowed his head
before the king, and continued: “Do by me right as thou didst by that holy
man, Thomas of Canterbury; for I had rather be slain of thee than of the
Saracens, for thou art worse than any Saracen.”

The king, restraining himself, said: “I may not wend out of my land, for
mine own sons will rise up against me when I were absent.”

“No wonder,” responded the patriarch, “for of the devil they come, and to
the devil they shall go;” and so departed, as Abbot Brompton records, “in
great ire.”

In the wall of the Round Church is a winding staircase of stone leading to
the triforium. Part way up it opens into what is called “the penitential
cell”—a recess in the thick wall four feet and a half long, and two and a
half wide, with two squints to admit air and light, and enable the
penitent to witness the divine service. It would seem, however much an
active knight might chafe in such restricted quarters, as if he had much
to console and support him in looking down into such a church. In the
triforium are gathered together monuments that were formerly scattered
about the church. Among them is a tablet to Edmundus Gibbon, an ancestor
of the historian, who died in 1679.

The Round Church opens by three lofty arches into the rectangular church,
consisting of a nave and two aisles, formed by clustered pillars of
marble, supporting a groined vault covered with rich arabesques. This
church is a beautiful specimen of the early English style. The lawyers of
Cromwell’s time whitewashed the pillars, and did all they could to obscure
the beauty of the building; but now it is restored to somewhat of its
former richness. It is paved with tiles bearing the arms of the Outer and
Inner Temple, and on its triple lancet windows are emblazoned the arms of
the Templars—the lamb and flag and the ruby cross. That red cross, in the
very church where it gleamed seven hundred years ago, says volumes to the
heart. Where are the Knights Templars now to assume it again, and go to
the rescue of the Holy City, bereft of its sovereign lord? Do we not need
a new S. Bernard to preach a new crusade in behalf of the captive daughter
of Zion, that she may be delivered from the ungodly oppressor, and her
anointed one set free?

It was an old English prelate—S. Anselm—who said: “God loves nothing in
the world better than the liberty of his church.... He does not wish a
servant for his spouse.”

This rectangular church was consecrated in 1240, in presence of the king
and a vast number of nobles. In one corner is a beautiful old marble
piscina, lately brought to light, where the priest, before the holy
oblation, purified the hands that were to touch the Body of the Lord.

On a terrace to the north of the church is Goldsmith’s grave, marked by a
coped stone. On one side is graven: “Here lies Oliver Goldsmith”; and on
the other: “Born 10 Nov., 1728. Died 4 April, 1774.” The row of houses
close by is marked “Goldsmith’s Buildings.” Perhaps on this very terrace
he walked up and down in his bloom‐colored coat, dreading to have the bill
sent in. There are Johnson’s buildings also. And in Inner Temple Lane,
Lamb lived at No. 4, which “looks out on Hare Court, with three trees and
a pump,” where he used to drink when he was “a young Rechabite of six
years” of age. As he says, “it is worth something to have been born in
such a place.” It was here the spirit of the past was infused into his
mind, moulding it in antique fashion, and planting the germs of the quaint
conceits and humorous fancies that so delight us all, and giving him a
love for the old dramatists which we have all learned to share in.

Of course every one goes to drink at the fountain which Lamb, when a boy,
used to make rise and fall, to the astonishment of the other urchins,
“who, nothing able to guess at its recondite machinery, were almost
tempted to hail its wondrous work as magic.” Miss Landon thus celebrates
it:


    “The fountain’s low singing is heard on the wind,
    Like a melody bringing sweet fancies to mind,
    Some to grieve, some to gladden; around them they cast
    The hopes of the morrow, the dreams of the past.
    Away in the distance is heard the vast sound.
    From the streets of the city that compass it round,
    Like the echo of fountains, or ocean’s deep call;
    Yet that fountain’s low singing is heard over all.”


And yonder are the sun‐dials, on which Lamb so sweetly moralizes—the
inscriptions no longer half effaced, but bright with the gilding of 1872.
“_Pereunt et imputantur_”; “_Discite justitiam moniti_”; “_Vestigia __
nulla retrorsum_”; and “Time and tide tarry for no man,” are some of the
mottoes on them. It is rather a disappointment to find them looking so new
and fresh, as if no longer “coeval with the time they measure.” There is
something wonderfully poetical about a sun‐dial, which derives its
revelations of time’s flight “immediately from heaven, holding
correspondence with the fountain of light.” It has a kind of relationship
to nature, and is, therefore, the very thing to have in gardens and groves
and green fields “for sweet plants and flowers to spring up by, for the
birds to apportion their silver warblings by, for flocks to pasture and be
led to fold by.” It has a “heart‐language” not heard from a clock, with
“its solemn dulness of communication.” When we give up modern artificial
life, and return to our primitive relationship with nature, we shall only
measure the flight of time by a sun‐dial, or an hour‐glass, or the opening
and shutting of flowers.

It is delightful wandering around the Temple gardens, with their shrubbery
and flowers and fountains, and especially along the terrace overlooking
the Thames. Here one naturally looks around for the old benchers of Lamb’s
time, half expecting to be greeted by the pensive gentility of Samuel
Salt, or the quadrate person of Thomas Coventry, coming along with “step
massy and elephantine, his face square as the lion’s, his gait peremptory
and path‐keeping,” the terror of children, who flee before him as from an
“Elisha bear.” One can also “fancy good Sir Roger de Coverley and Mr.
Spectator, with his short face, pacing up and down the road, or dear
Oliver Goldsmith in the summer‐house, perhaps meditating about the next
_Citizen of the World_, or the new suit that Mr. Filby, the tailor, is
fashioning for him, or the dunning letter that Mr. Newbury has sent.
Treading heavily on the gravel, and rolling majestically along in a snuff‐
colored suit and a wig that sadly wants the barber’s powder and irons, one
sees the great doctor, with Boswell behind him, a little the worse for the
port‐wine they have been taking at the Mitre, to ask Goldsmith to come
home and take a dish of tea with Mrs. Williams.”

It is in the Temple gardens that Shakespeare makes York and Lancaster
pluck the red and white roses which became the badges of their rival
houses. It is here _Plantagenet_ says:


      “Let him that is a true‐born gentleman,
    And stands upon the honor of his birth,
    If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,
    From off this brier pluck a white rose with me.”

    _Somerset._—“Let him that is no coward, nor no flatterer,
    But dare maintain the party of the truth,
    Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.”

    _Warwick._—“And here I prophesy—this brawl to‐day.
    Grown to this faction in the Temple garden,
    Shall send, between the red rose and the white,
    A thousand souls to death and deadly night.”


There are no red or white roses blooming here now, but quantities of
chrysanthemums grow along the paths under the elms and lime‐trees. An
enormous basket, overrun with ivy, handle and all, stands near the old
Elizabethan Hall where Shakespeare’s _Twelfth Night_ was performed during
the author’s lifetime, and where the benchers of the Middle Temple now
dine off long oaken tables in the light of emblazoned windows, and beneath
the eyes of kings depicted by Vandyck and other great painters.

A company of volunteers are drilling on the green, perhaps in the same
place where the Knights Templars had their military exercises; children
are playing in the gravelled walks; and groups of gentlemen and ladies,
and here a lone pilgrim, are sauntering about, enjoying the calm bright
evening and the view of the Thames, with little steamers rushing up and
down among all sorts of craft; and beyond, the great city with its
countless spires, the bells of which seem to be all ringing. Perhaps the
cheerful notes of that psalm come from S. Clement’s in the Strand, which
Dr. Johnson used to frequent—notes that will sound as cheerfully when we
are no more as they do now over the tombs of past generations who likewise
have paced up and down this terrace listening to them.


    “The boat, and the barge, and the wave have grown red,
    And the sunset has crimsoned the boughs overhead;
    But the lamps are now shining, the colors are gone,
    And the garden lies shadowy, silent, and lone.”



Was Origen A Heretic?


Origin has been pronounced by the verdict of ages a genius of the first
order. But on this man there has also been pronounced another verdict of
still greater importance: “No one has surpassed him either in good or in
evil”—_Ubi bene nemo melius, ubi male nemo pejus_. Terrible words on a man
who was the wonder of his age, and an uncompromising father of the church!
We propose to set forth in this article some of the reasons tending to
prove that this sentence is an unjust one, and that Origen was a faithful
child of the church—faithful, too, at a time when fidelity was tried by
the fire, the sword, or the cold, damp dungeon. We bring forward the
reasons of our opinion, suppressing none of the accusations that have been
brought against this great man at sundry times, but refuting them by
arguments which are at least extremely probable, and have convinced some
very eminent scholars.

The orthodoxy of Origen is presumptively established from the pure sources
from which he received the rudiments of the Christian faith, from the
soundness of the doctrines he is known to have taught during his public
ministry, from his saintly associations, from his undoubted works, and
from his heroic virtues.

Born in the bosom of the church, of noble and virtuous parents, in the
year 185, he drank in with the nutriment of his infancy the pure and
saving doctrines of Christianity. As his powers of reason expanded, the
beauty and splendor of the new but persecuted religion were laid open
before him by S. Leonides, his father, whose celebrity as a philosopher
was only equalled by his proficiency in profane and sacred sciences. Under
such fostering care and parental cultivation, Origen received the most
careful training, the wisest instructions, and most virtuous examples. So
deeply did this pious and excellently versed man plant the germs of
Catholic truth in the heart of his eldest son that the most flattering
promises of Roman governors, the most subtle reasonings of philosophers,
were alike unable to entice him into the paths of error at an age when the
passions are strongest and the glittering tinsel of worldly honors exerts
so powerful an influence on the mind. S. Leonides, aware of the necessity
and value of religious education in youth, took every precaution to instil
virtue into the heart while profane learning entered into the mind. Each
day he required Origen to commit to memory certain parts of the Old and
New Testaments, and, after their recital and an invocation of the Holy
Ghost, he explained the sense of the Scripture. A plant reared in such
soil, and impregnated with an atmosphere so holy, must be beautiful to the
sight in its maturity. Advanced in the liberal arts to a degree far beyond
his years, Origen made those studies only accessories to a more complete
attainment of sacred knowledge. His progress in the sciences was only
rivalled by his increase in piety. What a deep root religion had taken in
his nature may be known from his burning ardor to win the glorious crown
of martyrdom when the bloody persecution of Septimius Severus raged with
unequalled fury in his native city, Alexandria. Among its victims was his
father. Deprived of the boon of losing his life for Christ in his company,
he wrote letters of encouragement and exhortation that S. Leonides would
endure his torments heroically, looking only to the future life and its
incorruptible inheritance. It was painful for Leonides to leave behind him
seven orphan children; but, to alleviate his sorrows in this direction,
Origen, upon whom he looked as a living tabernacle of the Holy Spirit,
sent him words of cheer: “Be sure, dear father, that on our account you do
not alter your mind”; and in another part of the same letter we read words
which appear almost incredible coming from one so young: “Have confidence,
father; leave all for Jesus Christ; he will be your reward.” S. Leonides
was beheaded, his property confiscated, according to the laws, and Origen,
at seventeen years of age, found himself and the rest of his family
reduced from abundance to poverty for the sake of Christ. Next to dying in
the faith, there is no greater blessing than to have been born in it. From
a martyr and a bishop(28) Origen learned the rudiments of the faith, and
it grew with his growth and strengthened with his strength. Those who had
charge of his education at the most critical juncture were still more
eminent in letters and sanctity than Leonides.

He was placed under Titus Flavius Clemens, generally known as S. Clement
of Alexandria, whom S. Jerome(29) considered “the most learned of our
authors,” and who, Theodoret believed,(30) “surpassed all others in the
extent of his learning.” The erudition of Flavius Clement found in Origen
a worthy receptacle, and the Christian morality taught in his lectures and
practised in his life were truly reflected in the rising glory of the
East. Clement, drinking from the crystal fountain of truth that issued
from the evangelist Mark, who had made, by the order of the prince of the
apostles, Alexandria his apostolic seat, imbibed its saving waters in all
their purity. In his _Stromata_, as well as on the authority of Eusebius,
we learn that the immediate successors of the apostles, preservers of the
true doctrine of S. James, S. John, S. Paul, were still in existence and
teaching the Gospel in its entirety. “They have lived down to our times,”
says Clement,(31) “and scattered in our hearts the seed of truth which
they had received of their predecessors, the apostles.” It was from this
beautiful and fertile garden that Origen culled the flowers of
Christianity that ornamented his soul, that bloom in his luminous works,
that preserve their fragrance and throw around sacred studies an
imperishable lustre. While Origen was pursuing his studies under Clement,
he did not fail to engraft upon himself the holiness and sanctity of his
teacher—the _Pedagogue_ of the master was transformed into the life of the
scholar. The holy practices running through the _Pedagogue_, its
inculcation of austere morals and inexhaustible charity, became to Origen,
through his long and arduous career, hand‐posts pointing to solid
grandeur, durable happiness, and supreme good.

On leaving this famous catechetical school, he perfected himself under
Ammonius Saccas, whose celebrity among pagans for the reconciliation he
effected between jarring philosophical systems was only eclipsed by the
esteem in which he was held by the infant church, to whose cause he
brought the aid of philosophy and the requirements of the times. Among all
those who attended the lectures of Ammonius, the most remarkable was young
Origen, though he had for rivals no less famous persons than Plotinus, the
philosopher and teacher of Porphyry, and the critic Longinus. All eyes
were centred on Origen, and his name was in every mouth—his mind a prodigy
of letters, his soul a temple of the Holy Ghost. The vast amount of
erudition now acquired by Origen, not only by reason of his extraordinary
abilities, but also on account of his eminent preceptors, whose sanctity
of life imparted to their expositions of religion the irresistible
authority of example, attached him with unshaken firmness to the
infallible truths which were sealed by his father’s blood. No other belief
could satisfy his yearnings, no other creed answer to the wide
comprehensions of his conceptions and the loftiness of his aspirations.

The completion of his studies found him versed in astronomy, the higher
mathematics, thoroughly acquainted with the sentiments and theories of the
different philosophical schools, and more or less familiar with the
construction of languages and the leading issues of the times. Reduced to
straitened circumstances in consequence of the persecution, he opened, on
his own responsibility, an institution for dialectics, music, and profane
sciences.

This was a dangerous enterprise for one so young, but it was the only
alternative to avoid a life of dependency and association with heretics,
as well as to assist a helpless mother and a large family. He felt bound
to shun the enemies of the church; he refused to mingle in their company,
save when the necessity of their spiritual welfare demanded it, or the
exigencies of the occasion prevented his escape. Scrupulous even to the
spirit of the apostolic teachings, rather than associate with the
opponents of Christianity, he preferred to sacrifice the friendships of
his youth and the liberality of his patroness, at a time, too, when he
stood most in need of assistance. His reputation attracted large numbers
to his lectures, and the applause he received, while it elevated him in
popularity, was the source of interior humiliation, the antidote of pride.
Demetrius, Bishop of Alexandria, moved by the superior attainments, the
fervent piety and unswerving orthodoxy in faith, of the young Christian,
appointed him regent of the famous catechetical school, A.D. 203. The
course of studies taught in this institution comprised, aside from secular
pursuits, theology and Scriptural expositions. Origen(32) was only
eighteen years of age when he assumed this responsible charge—a charge
that, in the history of the province, had never been committed but to
persons of advanced years. This appointment, then, was an exception,
strange in the extreme; but Origen was an exceptional scholar—so
exceptional, indeed, that history has failed to record his compeer at that
time of life in any other person. But, as St. Jerome(33) remarks, “From
his childhood he was a great man.” And Bossuet, admiring the young
Alexandrian, towering in intellect above those of his day, like Saul above
his brethren, declares: “Il se rendit célèbre par toute l’Eglise des sa
première jeunesse et enseigna de grandes vérités.”(34) The violence of the
persecution under Septimius Severus had interrupted the Christian school
of Alexandria, and forced its president, Clement, to fly from his
murderers. It was during his retirement and under the uplifted sword that
Origen assumed the regency—a position as precarious and laborious as it
was honorable. It required varied knowledge, uncommon prudence, and
unswerving adhesion to the traditions of Christ’s ambassadors.

For more than one hundred years Catholic blood, “the secret power and seed
of Christianity,”(35) had flowed through the Roman provinces; Catholic
heads been decapitated by the sword of the executioner. Every method of
destruction and annihilation that human artifice and cruelty could devise
was brought into play to sweep from the world the new religion; but the
kingdom of Christ emerged from the contest more glorious and powerful, and
asserted in bolder terms the divinity which was emblazoned on its
standard. The saying of Gamaliel was verified: Man cannot stop the
accomplishment of God’s designs. Then the pagans felt convinced that some
other means should be employed against the Christians, whom the emperors
and governors had in vain sought to extinguish in blood. To this end, they
had recourse to the schools, to the philosophers, to men skilled in the
oracles; the followers of the different systems of belief, to preserve the
existence of their body, girded on their helmets of sophistry and
raillery; the pagan writers dealt in flings of irony and the gall of
mockery; wit and sarcasm, powerful weapons, were handled with remarkable
ingenuity. The life‐blood of mythology, sanctioned for ages by the
devotion of its victims, was on the eve of ebbing from its very arteries;
polytheism, rooted in the manners of the multitude, supported by
legislation, upheld in literature, protected by the sympathies of all, was
losing ground at every step that Christianity was making upon its domains;
idolatry saw its statues fall one by one, its members disappearing like
vapor beneath the absorbing rays of light; and all these forms of
superstition joined hands and allied their forces to impede the onward and
irresistible march of Catholic truth. Alexandria, cradle of Eastern genius
at that time, became the Christian Thermopylæ, and Origen the Christian
Leonidas. It was he who headed the forces, and, by the splendor of his
genius, prepared in his school illustrious men to lead on the van. He
vindicated the truth from calumny, supported it by facts, disengaged it
from the sophisms in which enemies had obscured it, and held it up to view
in all its natural beauty and attraction. His learning became telling in a
short time upon the prejudices of the people in regard to his despised
religion, and gradually inspired a kinder feeling towards the
misrepresented Christians in the minds of the cultivated. His fame drew to
his auditory persons who had studied under other masters, desirous of
listening to his wisdom, and of the honor of calling him their teacher.
Heathens were delighted with his language, full of unction and charm, and
the literati of the age, who had been lost in the intricacies of
Aristotle, the obscurities of Plato, and the absurdities of Epicurus,
wondered at the young Christian philosopher. His name was asked by authors
for dedicatory purposes, and works were subject to his judgment for their
circulation.

To give an insight into the system of education adopted by Origen, and
which produced so many great men in the IIId century, we will quote from
the writings of S. Gregory Thaumaturgus, who was under the direction of
Origen for five years, the method employed by the philosopher to win him
to Christ. The extract will also show the clearness of his ideas, the
thoroughness and universality of his knowledge. The reader, if he chooses,
may compare the plan of education followed by Origen with that pursued in
our colleges and universities in the XIXth century, and judge for himself
of the progress civilization has made in this direction. “Like a skilful
agriculturist,” says S. Gregory,(36) “who examines in all its aspects the
land which he intends to prepare for cultivation, Origen sounded and
penetrated the sentiments of his disciples, making inquiries, and
reflecting upon their replies. When he had prepared them to receive the
seed of truth, he instructed them in various branches of philosophy—in
logic, to form their judgment, by teaching them to discriminate between
solid reasonings and the specious sophisms of error; in physics, to make
them admire the wisdom of God, by an analytic knowledge of his works; in
geometry, to habituate their minds to rectitude, by the rigor of
mathematical propositions; in astronomy, to elevate and extend their
thoughts, by giving them immensity for a horizon; finally, in morals—not
those of the philosophers, whose definitions and sterile divisions give
birth to no virtue, but practical morals, making them study in themselves
the movements of the passions, so that the soul, seeing itself as in a
mirror, may extirpate every vice, even to the roots. He then approached
theology, or the knowledge of God. He made them read on Providence, which
has created the world and governs it, all that has been written by the
ancients, philosophers or poets, Greeks or barbarians, without otherwise
minding their systems, their sects, or their particular opinions. In this
labyrinth of pagan philosophy he served as their guide to discern whatever
might be really true and useful, without allowing them to be fascinated by
the pomp and ornaments of language. He laid it down as a principle, that,
in whatever regards God, we must trust only God and the prophets inspired
by him. And then he commenced the interpretation of the Scriptures, which
he knew thoroughly, and which, by the grace of God, he had penetrated in
all their most secret depths.”

The magnitude of his intellectual powers excited no less interest than his
manner of life; and it is not without reason that his friends allege the
sanctity of his life as the best interpreter of the few objectionable
passages in his gigantic works, and no weak argument for the purity of his
faith. Surrounded by eminent _savants_, and in correspondence with others
in distant countries, he found himself hard pressed to accommodate the
former and answer the communications of the latter. He was obliged to
engage several secretaries to write out his discourses on the arts and
sciences in conjunction with his explanations of Christianity. Their
assistance afforded him better opportunities of enriching his stock of
knowledge. He realized what Trithemius,(37) Abbot of Spanheim, repeated to
himself every day: “To know is to love.” His insatiable thirst for
learning left him plodding among manuscripts through the day into the long
hours of the night; and when nature, succumbing under the severe stress of
exhaustion, would demand rest, he would make the bare ground his bed, and
the books his pillow. Simple in his dress, the mortifications he imposed
upon himself on several occasions threatened his life. Temperate in all
things, he was particularly so in drink. Wine he never used.

While his prodigious talents and able discourses brought within the true
fold large numbers from among the most distinguished learned men and
philosophers, his virtues and sublime renunciation of the world produced
so many holy men that his school has been deservedly termed “_the school
of martyrs_.” More than once he accompanied his disciples to the place of
execution, and exhorted them, in the very face of the instruments of
torture, to endure death with fortitude for the cause of truth and the
eternal inheritance promised to those who wash their robes in the blood of
the Lamb. He stood by at the martyrdom of S. Plutarch, brother of S.
Heraclas, Bishop of Alexandria, both catechumens under himself,
administering consolations and pouring into his soul words of hope and
encouragement. A martyr’s crown he courted from infancy, and from sickness
and infirmities contracted in the persecutor’s dungeon, it is reasonably
supposed, his life went out. It could only have been divine interposition
that rescued him from the numerous assaults made upon his life. When
permission was refused him to visit the Christians in chains, he made
incredible efforts to convey to them words of sympathy and articles of
comfort. His solicitude and bearing on the eve of the martyrdom of his
disciples, SS. Heron, Potamiæna, Herias, Sereni, and Heraclides, is
conclusive proof of Origen’s ardor to seal with his blood the divinity of
the cause he advocated with his eloquence, and evidence of the falsity of
the notorious slander which represents him yielding to the wishes of the
persecutors in the midst of his torments, and offering sacrifice to the
gods. The first trace we meet with in history of this accusation is in the
_Treatise against Heresies_,(38) by S. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, and
given to the world one hundred years after the death of Origen. This
slander, never repeated by the learned—if we except Petavius, in the
XVIIth century, while employed on the works of Epiphanius—has been wiped
out of ecclesiastical history by the weight of such writers as Baronius,
Halloix,(39) Raynaudet, Henry Valois, Vincent de la Rue, and Frederic
Spanheim.(40) This defamation of his character, unfounded as it is, though
so much like other insinuations against the noble Alexandrian, was not
even alluded to in the Justinian age, in which he was so violently and
bitterly opposed. Had S. Jerome credited this monstrous fabrication, had
it rested upon anything but a sandy foundation, the literary war between
the lifelong friends, Jerome and Rufinus, would have terminated at the
first volley from the pen of the learned scriptural writer. It would have
been a crushing argument against Rufinus, and S. Jerome was the person to
turn it to advantage. In those times, it was a common thing to be
reproached if one, arrested for the faith, escaped death. Some of the
greatest saints, S. Cyprian, S. Gregory Thaumaturgus, and others, suffered
not a little from calumnies of like import. Origen’s behavior, on the
occasion to which the allusion refers, was honorable, heroic, and in
entire harmony with his life‐long fidelity to principle. He was seized,
and—whether it was the design of the magistrates to draw many Christians
back to the gods of the empire by circulating the fall of Origen, or their
admiration of the genius of their noble victim that prevented his summary
decapitation—was thrown into a cold cell, bound in an iron collar, with
heavy shackles to his feet, and his legs drawn apart to a painful degree.

It appears that during the first years that Origen filled the regency of
the Alexandrian theological seminary, he experienced no small amount of
inconvenience, in his controversial discourses with Jews and pagans, in
consequence of the different versions of the Holy Scriptures. In their
inspired pages he found true wisdom and spiritual life: “Oh! how have I
loved thy law, O Lord! It is my meditation all the day.”(41) In this
sacred department he stands without a rival, if we except S. Jerome, “the
greatest doctor, divinely raised up to interpret the Sacred
Scriptures.”(42) Yet to Origen the indebtedness of S. Jerome is very
great. He borrowed(43) from him, studied him,(44) followed him,(45)
admired him,(46) and then attacked him.(47) S. Jerome declares that in
reading the _Twelve Prophets_ by Origen, in the works of S. Pamphilus, he
saw in them the wealth of Crœsus; and, as far as our judgment goes, we
never read a higher eulogium than the one S. Jerome pays to the genius of
Origen on his two homilies _in Cantica Canticorum_.

It was Origen’s love of the Scriptures that gave birth to the grand idea
of compiling the sacred books of the different versions into one work—the
_Octapla_, a legacy to posterity more than sufficient to support his
reputation and endear it to all succeeding ages. For this purpose, he
decided, in 212, to travel through different countries, and collect the
most recognized and authentic copies of the Scriptures. Those travels
opened to his view the pages of nature, on which he read the customs and
habits of men, religions and governments, arts and sciences. Aside from
those motives, he had another reason for travelling. He longed to see
Rome, the chair of Peter,(48) “upon whom, as on a rock, Christ built his
church”; he desired to pay his homage in the “principal church”(49) to the
successor of S. Peter, “against whom the gates of hell shall not
prevail.”(50) He arrived at Rome about the close of the pontificate of S.
Zephyrinus, to whom his presence and devotion must have been a source of
consolation, as the saintly pontiff, at that time, was pained to the heart
by the fall of the great Tertullian and the deplorable perversions in the
African Church.

The travels of Origen are full of interest and instruction. Each journey
was a crusade against heathenism, and a glorious triumph for the Gospel;
like S. Paul, he wandered over sea and land to make profit for Christ,
strengthening the weak and marshalling the strong; the power of his pen
was felt where his voice failed to reach. As a comet that illumines its
course with darting rays of light, and obscures the flickering stars, such
were the brilliant tours of Origen, leaving the light of faith and the
fire of charity behind them. Wherever heresy raised its head in the
church, there was Origen to batter it with reason and tradition; wherever
the faithful were wavering, there was Origen cheering and rallying the
forces; wherever the enemy made an onslaught on Christianity, it found
Origen in the breach; like an Agamemnon or a Hector, wherever battle raged
the fiercest, Origen took the front. Now he is in the presence of the
governor of Arabia, enlightens him on scientific subjects, and gradually
raises his mind to nature’s God; then he traverses through Palestine,
expounding the Scriptures in the assemblies of the faithful; at one time
he is at Antioch before the royal family, pleading for the liberty and
free exercise of Christian worship; at another in Nicomedia, maintaining
the canonicity of certain parts of the inspired writings; now he is in
Greece, thundering against the Montanists; and again in Arabia, at Bozra,
reclaiming fallen prelates, and defending the divinity and humanity of the
second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity.

There is a point in the preceding sentence worthy of more than passing
notice—namely, Origen’s visit to Mammæa, mother of Emperor Alexander
Severus. This estimable lady, who afterwards, in all probability, embraced
the Christian religion, desirous of seeing so illustrious a doctor as
Origen, sent her retinue to escort him to her palace. She was pleased with
her learned guest, and her son, the future ruler of the empire, listened
with delight to the great prodigy of learning. The virtues that
characterized the reign of Severus, in contradistinction to the
licentiousness, cruelty, and extortion of his predecessors, have been, not
without justice, attributed to the influence exerted on him by lessons of
morality given in the discourses of Origen. It is not improbable that the
law he presented, soon after his ascension to the throne, to the Roman
senate for its sanction, whereby the religion of Christ would be
incorporated among the others of the empire, had for its source Origen’s
instructions to him about the divinity of the Catholic faith, its purity
and sanctity. Dom Gueranger, in his _Life of S. Cecilia_,(51) adduces
monuments of antiquity going to prove the protection and favors extended
to the infant church by Alexander; and Origen himself,(52) in his
_Apology_, chronicles the abatement of the persecution shortly after his
return from the imperial court. On this part of his work a writer very
felicitously adds: “If he modestly declines telling us the part he bore in
it, we owe him so much the more honor the less he seems to claim.”(53)

During the comparative peace obtained under Alexander, the church made
incredible efforts to fill up her shattered ranks, restore order, and
produce scholars. She succeeded, for never was she more fruitful in great
men than at this epoch. Origen had reconciled her, in the opinion of
philosophers, to genius, adorned her with intellectual wealth, and
introduced her to the occupants of the throne she was soon to fill with so
much glory; and, what is still more, he had disciplined a galaxy of
scholars, who were about to dazzle the world by the grandeur of their
minds, and beautify the church by the holiness of their lives.

Origen’s brilliant career, like the career of all great men, was not
allowed to end without its trials. Aside from the assaults of the
professed enemies of the church, he met with severe annoyances from the
jealousy of those whose interests he had studied to further. The trouble
came from a quarter he least expected. Demetrius, Bishop of Alexandria,
during the early part of his episcopate entertained for Origen the highest
esteem; and there is no ostensible motive to believe that Origen,
throughout all his relations with the patriarch, gave him any cause of
offence, or else this prelate would not have retained him in the
presidency of his theological school till the year 230—a period of twenty‐
seven years. The humility of the regent and his innate respect for
authority held his tongue in silence, whatever may have been his opinion
of the conduct of Demetrius as a prelate. Still, we may conjecture
Demetrius was not far from the mind of Origen when, in speaking of
disorders and irregularities in the church, he wrote of bishops: “We would
almost have guards like kings; we make ourselves terrible and difficult of
access, chiefly to the poor; we treat them who speak with us and ask for
some favor in a manner which the most cruel tyrants and governors would
not assume towards suppliants.”(54) It is not wrong to look upon Demetrius
as a man who consulted with the general interests of Christianity his own
popularity, the extension of his diocese, and the increase of his
subjects; perhaps he was of the opinion that the advancement of religion
in Alexandria and its suffragan dependencies, his own juridical district,
was of more importance than its dissemination in other places. It was
interested motives of this sort that led him to disapprove of Origen’s
evangelical missions, by which his invaluable services were temporarily
withdrawn from his native city. Origen, being a layman, free from any
obligations to Demetrius, except in a spiritual point of view, possessed
the individual right of travelling from country to country, and of
delivering lectures without the permission of any authority. If he spoke
before the congregations of the faithful, it was only at the urgent
solicitation of the prelates, whose jurisdiction within their respective
provinces was recognized and unquestioned; champion of the faith in the
East, he was waited upon by delegations from pious bishops, entreating him
to come to their dioceses. Those missions Origen, in his love for the
glory of God, felt conscientiously bound to perform. On a journey to crush
by his eloquence the heresy of the Valentinians, that had made lamentable
ravages in Greece, he paid a visit to S. Alexander of Jerusalem and
Theoctistus of Cæsarea, by whom he was ordained priest. This act,
irreprehensible in itself, entailed upon Origen serious difficulties, and
became the groundwork upon which his enemies fabricated the most severe
accusations.

Demetrius, taking to heart the course of conduct of the great philosopher,
and assured, by the aspect of things, of his speedy disconnection with the
interests of Alexandria, sent letters to the bishops, containing bitter
recriminations for imposing hands on Origen. He did not stop at this
point. He also despatched to the prelates of Asia letters full of
invectives and animosity, requiring them to hold no communion with Origen,
who had violated the disciplinary canons. The respite that ensued on his
return to Alexandria was of short duration. A council was “assembled by
the care, and under the presidency, of Demetrius,” for the purpose of
examining the legality and validity of Origen’s ordination. In this
council we can only discover two things laid to his charge—namely, that he
had made himself a eunuch, and had been ordained without the consent of
Demetrius, his ordinary. Those charges, if we take into consideration the
customs of the times and the imperfections of ecclesiastical discipline
during the persecutions, contain in themselves very little upon which a
grievous censure of Origen could be founded. In the language of the
church, they are irregularities; one _ex defectu_, the other _ex delicto_.
Let us for a moment concede that there were such canons in existence at
the time of Origen’s ordination, by the violation of which irregularities
were incurred, what then follows? In that age of the church, bishops
enjoyed great privileges, discretionary powers—far more discretionary than
even the bishops of the United States enjoy nowadays in this missionary
country—and pre‐eminently so the Patriarch of Alexandria, the Patriarch of
Antioch, and the Metropolitan of Palestine, who was Bishop of Cæsarea.
These prelates could dispense, in nearly all emergencies, the violators of
the ecclesiastical ordinances; other prelates in the East were more or
less restricted in their functions, and in matters of moment could do
nothing detrimental to those sees. What authority, then, prevented
Theoctistus from pronouncing Origen released from the irregularities, and
canonically qualified for the reception of orders? Had any other ordinary
imposed hands on him except the Metropolitan of Palestine, the objections
of the Patriarch of Alexandria would undoubtedly have carried with them
more weight. But the Metropolitan of Cæsarea, while respectfully
acquiescing in the priority of the See of Alexandria, through reverence of
its princely founder, always exercised his own jurisdiction without the
permission or consultation of Alexandria. Theoctistus of Cæsarea was not
even under Demetrius, but under the Patriarch of Antioch, and these
provincial and patriarchal boundaries as well as episcopal relations were
only finally authoritatively adjusted by the Council of Nice.(55) In the
second place, the Metropolitan of Cæsarea, who always exercised more than
ordinary episcopal functions, which were afterwards approved and
sanctioned by œcumenical councils,(56) deemed it not a usurpation of power
to impose hands on Origen without the _direct_ consent of his bishop,
inasmuch as he was personally acquainted with the subject of the
sacrament, morally certain of his piety and learning. If we add to those
reasons the surrounding circumstances stated in the reply of S. Alexander
of Jerusalem to Demetrius, it becomes patent that neither Origen was to
blame in the premises nor Theoctistus for the exercise of his jurisdiction
and powers. Demetrius had given Origen commendatory letters on his
departure for Greece, and, on the strength of these commendations,
Theoctistus and S. Alexander conferred on him holy orders. His services
had been valuable as a layman; they would become still more valuable as a
cleric, and, actuated by those pure motives, they ordained him.

Now, is it historically true that in the year 230, or previous to that
time, there were any such canons framed by the church as excluded eunuchs
from the reception of holy orders? It will be difficult to come across
statutes of this nature in canon law or ecclesiastical history. We will
find such acts of discipline framed years after the death of Origen, but
none previous to that epoch.

The other accusation, that he was ordained without the permission of his
bishop, has a weaker foundation even than the preceding one. According to
the practice of the church in our day, every candidate for the sacred
ministry who is not a religious must be ordained by his own bishop
(_titulo nativitatis, domicilii, beneficii, seu familiaritatis prout
accidit_), or possess the written consent of his own ordinary, if ordained
by another. Origen, viewed from a modern stand‐point, contracted an
irregularity _ex delicto_; but, judged in the century in which he
lived—the only one in which he must be judged—was as regular in his
ordination as the young men who are semi‐annually ordained in our
provincial seminaries. Origen transgressed no ecclesiastical injunction by
receiving orders at the hands of a foreign bishop, because it was only
under S. Anastasius that this restriction was placed on aspirants to the
priesthood. The Council of Nice, embodying the canons of Arles, Ancyra,
and Gangres, passed laws prohibiting clerics from attaching themselves at
will to different churches and dioceses; this prohibition affected clerics
alone, and in no way referred to laics, who were at perfect liberty to be
ordained by any prelate upon testimonials of worthiness. It was only
during S. Ambrose’s time that this abuse became offensive, and that the
Roman pontiff deemed it proper to eradicate it. To this end, in the year
400 a canon was enacted by the pope, which forbade any prelate ordaining
the subjects of another, unless such subjects had permissive letters
bearing the signature of the bishop who had authority over them. From this
sprang dimissorial letters. Indeed, whatever view an impartial and
competent person takes of the whole affair, Origen and the saintly bishops
who ordained him appear innocent, and seem to have acted with the best
intentions. Nevertheless, the decision arrived at by Demetrius’ council
was that Origen should be dismissed from the theological school, upon
which his learning had reflected so much glory, and that he should also
withdraw himself from Alexandria, retaining, however, his priesthood.

Origen, anticipating the result of the council “assembled by the care of
Demetrius,” quietly retired to Cæsarea. Matters did not end here. The
immense amount of writings that the unwearied industry of Origen had
contributed to the literature of the church offered a wide field in which
his adversaries might search for something reprehensible. His works would
form in themselves a rare library, had the fall of empires not entombed a
large portion of them in their ruins. No less than six thousand books did
his indefatigable application produce: “Sex millia Origenis tomos non
poterant quipiam legere.”(57) In the copying, revision, and compiling of
these manuscripts, he employed twenty, at other times twelve, but always
more than eight, amanuenses. As this article has no reference to his
writings, their merits, or the influence they exerted upon church
learning, we must make this cursory allusion to his gigantic labors
sufficient for our present purpose. It will lay before the reader the
great mass of matter his enemies had at hand to examine, the possible
mistakes that might have crept into his works by the carelessness of so
many secretaries, the possible corruptions they might have suffered at the
hands of heretics or jealous rivals. Not a finger could be raised against
his spotless and ascetic life in the council; the teacher of martyrs and
companion of saints, his character was irreproachable.

Demetrius, not unlikely hearing of the warm reception extended to Origen
in Palestine, convened, after a short interval, another council. The works
of Origen were subjected to the sharpest examination. One instinctively
inquires why Demetrius, if he were simply actuated by zeal for the
preservation of ecclesiastical discipline and the purity of revealed
truth, did not introduce those serious charges in the former council. To
resort to the non‐publication of the _Periarchon_ and _Dialogues_ at the
time of the first convocation of bishops, in order to remove the
suspicions that point to the malice of Demetrius, is an ingenious special
plea, unsupported by facts and testimonies. S. Jerome, studying this
question learnedly, defends Origen and censures Demetrius. Why did the
Patriarch of Alexandria, next in hierarchical honor to the Bishop of Rome,
permit Origen for over a quarter of a century to expound within his own
hearing the sublime dogmas of Christianity, if his conceptions of those
dogmas were radically false? Can we suppose that the few months between
the assembly of the two councils were spent by the bibliophilist in
composing a work that would give the lie to the glorious achievements of
thirty years? Or can we allow the conviction to settle in our minds that
he, so remarkable in virtue, would deliver in the pulpit one doctrine, and
write in his books another? Will we find fault with saints and illustrious
doctors of the church, who, by the nature of their high calling, are bound
to avoid false teachers, for extending to Origen the warmest
hospitalities, or acknowledge, with Eusebius of Cæsarea and S. Pamphilus,
the severe and unjustifiable measures adopted by Demetrius? Whatever
secret motives guided Demetrius in the prosecution of the inquisition, his
course, disapproved of by his contemporaries, has never secured a sincere
advocate of ordinary importance. The errors which he imagined he had
detected in the writings assumed, in the eyes of Demetrius’ council,
sufficient gravity to cause the deposition and excommunication of Origen.

Never did an imperial edict, suddenly proclaimed in the midst of peace,
sanctioning the indiscriminate massacre of Christians, produce greater
consternation in the church than the announcement of Origen’s deposition.
The report of the fall of the great Tertullian had scarce died away, when
the faithful were filled with alarm at the momentary expectation of its
echoes being taken up by the fall of Origen, and resounding throughout
Christendom. But there was a vast difference between these two great men.
Quintius Tertullianus, while the superior of Origen in eloquence, style,
and strength of language, was at the same time his inferior in the sacred
sciences and in humility, the safeguard of Origen’s genius. The one
blended with Christianity the elegance and wisdom of the pagans, the other
the beauty and inspiration of the prophets. Both the brightest ornaments
of the church in their day, they no less adorned her sanctity by their
lives than enriched her treasures by their genius. Tertullian, a pagan by
the prejudices of birth and education, unaccustomed to religious
authority, could not endure the correction of superiors; and wounded
pride, inflamed by impatience and an ambitious nature, gave way to impious
belief, and Tertullian, the fallen genius, dwindles into a fanatical
heretic. It was not so with Origen. Having received information of the
action of the council, with real humility equalled only by that of the
meek Fénelon, Origen wrote(58) to Alexandria that he had never taught such
doctrine as was imputed to him, and, if contained in his works, it was
through the machinations of heretics. Then follows, in the same document,
a clear and orthodox exposition of his belief upon the contested points—an
exposition that will satisfy a modern theologian, with all his precise
distinctions and scholastic definitions. As long as this monument of
antiquity, this spontaneous proof of his adhesion to apostolic truth, this
undeniable evidence of the absence of all pertinacity, exists, so long
will those to whom his memory is dear love to look upon him as sincere in
his protestations and sincere in his faith. Here was the rule of his
belief, and according to this rule his works should be interpreted: “That
alone must we believe to be the truth which differs in nothing from the
ecclesiastical and apostolical tradition.”(59) A noble rule of faith,
truly Catholic and orthodox! Words appropriate for an Origen, who caught
up, as it were, the traditions of the apostles, and echoed them into
Nicene times. What cause have we of refusing credence to Origen when he
tells us that the errors attributed to him were the interpolations of
heretics? Every intelligent reader of history knows that his works were
corrupted, shamefully corrupted, at the close of the IVth century. In
substantiation of this, we have only to refer to the learned Rufinus and
S. Jerome. Each of these translated into Latin the _Periarchon_ of Origen
and many other works of the same author; and what do we find? Why, S.
Jerome accuses Rufinus of altering, inverting, suppressing the sense of
the original; and, in turn, Rufinus charges Jerome with malicious
perversion of the meaning of the learned Alexandrian, wilful corruption of
the text, and personal jealousy of the fame of Origen. S. Augustine, an
intimate friend of S. Jerome, used his influence to reconcile those two
great personages disputing about Origen; and from his letter to S. Jerome,
it appears to us that his sympathies were with Rufinus. Indeed, in the
first ages of the church, it was no uncommon thing for great men to have
not only their works interpolated, but entire books circulated under their
name, S. Cyprian(60) complained that works that he had never seen were
issued in his name. S. Jerome(61) testifies that the letters of S.
Clement, Pope, were interpolated, as well as the writings of S. Dionysius
and Clement of Alexandria; the same trustworthy author was very much
annoyed that the people of Africa in his day were reading a supposititious
volume bearing his name. We see no reason, then, why heretics would not
tamper with Origen’s productions, when they had the audacity to corrupt
such public and sacred documents as those we have mentioned, some of which
were read in the religious assemblies of the people. It is the misfortune
of exalted persons to be cited as authorities for opinions they never
maintained. Indeed, when we perceive how the teachings of men amongst us
are misrepresented, notwithstanding the assistance of the press, the
telegraph, and other modern detectives, we can understand with what
facility opinions could have been accredited to Origen which were not his.
Well might S. Jerome with the works of Origen scattered around his room,
perhaps under his very elbows, write: “O labores hominum! semper incerti;
O mortalium studia! contrarios interdum fines habentia.”(62)

The acts of Demetrius’ council, we are informed, were forwarded to S.
Pontianus, whose short pontificate of a few years spent in exile, as well
as the still shorter reign of his successor, S. Anterus, which lasted only
a month, was absorbed in the discharge of duties more vital to the church
than the Alexandrian inquisition. Ere Rome took any steps in this matter,
or sanctioned the proceedings by her silence, the discussion ended by the
death of Demetrius, 231.

It is probable that Origen indulged in conceptions or hypotheses not
altogether in accordance with Catholic doctrine; but we must keep before
our minds the circumstances in which he was situated, the persons with
whom he disputed, and the noble aim he had in view. The philosophy of
Aristotle, whom Tertullian calls the “patriarch of heretics,” was very
unpopular in Alexandria at the opening of the IIId century. The neo‐
Platonic system was the prevalent philosophy of the day at Alexandria. The
issue of the day was, Is the religion of Christ philosophical? Can it with
safety be subjected to logical rules? Does it not contradict the
reasonings of Plato? To meet this issue, so important to the spread of the
Gospel among the enlightened class, Origen had recourse as much as was
possible to the tenets of the Platonic school for arguments. With Platonic
philosophers he had his controversies; and his language, the more Platonic
it was, the more power it exerted; the more he reconciled revelation with
reason, in their estimation, the more entered within the pale of the
church. Just as in our times able writers use the popular issues, because
the most intelligible and taking, to dissipate the clouds of ignorance
that bigotry has thrown around the public mind in regard to Catholicity,
to show the natural compatibility of the church with all legal forms of
government, her inexhaustible resources for meeting the requirements of
society, and her sacred and impartial maintenance of true liberty; so,
too, did Origen turn to advantage the doctrines of the schools in
demonstrating the love of the church for sound philosophy, her
adaptability to the sciences, and her divine mission as regenerator of the
world. This tincture of Platonism pervading his early productions,
combined with the mysterious figures under which Eastern nations convey
sacred truths, the allegorical style, and the _Discipline of the Secret_,
which was in active force, rendered Origen obscure, and his works
susceptible of doubtful interpretation.

Though his admirers go so far as to exculpate him from every error, we are
not prepared to accompany them to that distance. We are willing to concede
that Origen may have advanced some erroneous opinions, but error without
contumacy does not entail the sin of heresy, which is a wilful rejection
of any revealed truth authoritatively proposed. “I may fall into a
mistake,” says the learned S. Augustine, “but I will not be a heretic.”
The fathers of the church were only men, subject to human weakness, liable
to err. The doubtful and obscure speculative hypotheses of the
Alexandrian’s fertile imagination, then, should in no way darken the
splendor of his genius or belittle his devotion to Catholic truth. F.
Petau, his declared enemy, followed by Huet, who gave his learning to this
controversy, refuses to believe Origen obstinate. Halloix, Charles Vincent
de la Rue, Tillemont, Witasse, Ceillier, and other erudite scholars, who
studied with care and impartiality this whole matter, unite in the
emphatic declaration that Origen “died in the bosom of the Catholic
Church.”

This is the verdict of great men in modern times. It was also the verdict
of the century in which he lived—the IIId—as may be seen in the apology of
S. Pamphilus, composed in defence of Origen’s orthodoxy, and extant in the
works of S. Gregory Nyssen; also in that beautiful monument of antiquity,
the panegyric over Origen by S. Gregory Thaumaturgus, given in full in the
works of Gerard Vossius. This verdict was confirmed in the IVth century by
the catalogue of orthodox ecclesiastical writers, published by S.
Gelasius, pope, among which is the name of Origen; and in the following
century, in a profession of faith drawn up by Pope S. Hormisdas, and sent
by Germanus, Bishop of Capua, to be signed by the Patriarch of
Constantinople, the heretics condemned by the church are enumerated, but
in this enumeration we can discover no allusion to the great Scripturist.

Indeed, it has always been a source of surprise to us how Origen, a
fallible creature, a man like other men, unaided by any divine assistance,
could have written in several thousand volumes so much truth, and so
little error. There were but few Encyclical Letters, no Index, no
decisions of Sacred Congregations, no _Syllabus_, in the days of Origen;
and yet his enemies will measure the length of his definitions with
theirs, compare his expressions with the theological niceties of the
present, and, should a word be wanting or a synonymous one substituted,
exclaim: “There is an error; Origen is a heretic!” The body of infallible
definitions from popes and councils which we now possess did not exist at
this early epoch; to write then orthodoxically, to justify the Christian
belief in the Trinity, to explain the hypostatic union, the generation of
the Son, and the procession of the Holy Ghost, to expound the Scripture
and the other sublime mysteries of religion, and escape with one or two
mistakes, was simply marvellous. Thus Origen, born in the true faith,
reared in a religious atmosphere, educated under pious men, the intrepid
defender of truth and meek retractor of error, the teacher and companion
of saints, the prisoner for Christ, has impressed on his life, in golden
letters, the best defence of his orthodoxy. And if the saintly Origen be
distinguished from the abominable _Origenians_; if the allowances due to
the age in which he lived be accorded him, an injustice to the works of
Origen—a valuable legacy to posterity—will be removed, and the injury done
to a reputation obscured by the malice of some and the misapprehension of
many others will in part be repaired.(63)



Social Shams.


There is no axiom more fraught with meaning than the old Scripture
promise, “The truth shall make you free.” But there is also no fact better
authenticated in the civilized world of to‐day than the practical
nullification of this very promise. We speak as regards things human; for
in spiritual matters, the home of truth is, to our belief, a fixed one,
and the road to it staked out by a divine leader, that has power to find
an unerring path in what otherwise seems but an ocean of shifting sand. We
propose to apply this axiom to social life, and it is our complaint that
it is _not_ free. The pivot on which “society,” properly so called, turns
is conventionality—a polite term for untruth.

The original Christian ideal of society was of course based on charity. It
has been truly said that a perfect Christian is instinctively a finished
gentleman. Courtesy is but an adaptation of charity; and the height of
good‐breeding (recognized as being the faculty of setting every one at his
ease, and of saying the right thing at the right time to the right person)
must answer to the Christian principle that to wilfully wound your
neighbor in the slightest degree is a sin. But all this, call it tact or
charity, as you will, is not in itself inconsistent with truth. The French
have a proverb that _Toute vérité n’est pas bonne à dire_—“Every untruth
is not necessarily expedient to all men;” but even that is not a
declaration of war against the principle of truth in the main. Yet what is
the reality, the thing constantly before our eyes, the fact of which no
one can doubt who has ever lived beyond the strictest limits of home—nay,
beyond the limits of his own mind? One in a thousand fulfils the ideal of
Christian courtesy, while the other nine hundred and ninety‐nine wear the
regulation‐mask prescribed by fashion. Some wear it of iron, so that, in
the intercourse of a lifetime, you would never feel that you knew them any
better than on the first day of acquaintance; some only of wire, so that
the natural personality behind it is but partially hidden even from
perfect strangers; some of silk, so cunningly painted that it betrays you
into thinking it nature, until, by repeated experience, you discover the
imposture. Again, some wear it as the women of Constantinople wear the
_yashmak_, so filmy as only to veil, not to conceal, the features. Lord
Lytton, in his romance, _A Strange Story_, speaks of the “three women”
which exist in the single personality of every woman; this applies to men
almost equally. There is, he says, the woman as she really is, the woman
as she thinks herself to be, and the woman as she appears to the world—the
conventional woman. This is by far the most curious product of natural
history, or, more appropriately, of the history of mechanics. The human
being under social manipulation is a study for philosophers. Conventional
standards of human beauty, such as the compressed foot of the Chinese
lady, or the artificially stimulated rotundity of form among the women of
some of the Central African tribes, the staining of the finger‐nails with
henna among the Persians, etc., are as nothing and involve no deformation
or suffering compared with that among the wholesale machine‐products of
civilized society.

Spiritual systems of penance have sometimes been impugned for aiming at
subduing nature: taming the passions, restraining the expression of strong
emotion, weaning the body from innocent indulgences, and so forth. But is
there any more barefaced destroyer of nature than “society” as at present
constituted? Are there any penances harder, any restraints stricter, than
those imposed by our conventional code? The spiritual struggle with nature
is voluntary, and aims at subduing our lower nature, only the more to
honor the intellectual principle, and render its exercise freer from
clogging and degrading influences. The conventional struggle with nature,
on the contrary, is a compulsory one, into which you are thrust by others
in early and unconscious childhood; it is, moreover, a deceptive one, as
it tends to produce mere appearances—not to tame passion, but restrain its
outward expression; not to elevate the mind, but to give it the semblance
of those gifts most profitable in the social estimation of the day. It
does not tend to make man _super_natural, but _un_natural. It takes from
him even the freedom of the savage, without giving him in exchange the
freedom of the Christian. It aims not at virtue, but at decorum. Its
morality skips the whole of the Ten Commandments, but insists upon what
facetious Englishmen sometimes call the eleventh—_i.e._, “Thou shalt not
be found out.” It has rites and ceremonials of its own, more arbitrary
than the law of the land, and, in the same breath, more lax; it has
beliefs and formulas more binding outwardly than those of any religion; it
has its own oracles, its own language, its own tribunals. It is a state
within a state, condoning many moral delinquencies, exalting some into
meritorious deeds, smoothing others over as pardonable follies. Where it
is not wicked, it is inane or spiteful. Slander and gossip are its breath
of life, except in the few instances where intrigue sweeps away such
second‐rate _passe‐temps_.

Yet its wickedness is a subject that touches us less than its stupidity;
for it is less of a daily experience, and has more denouncers to lash it.
We also know less of its brilliancy than of its meanness; for the latter
is visible in the smallest gathering and in the most insignificant place,
while the former exists but in half a dozen great capitals, and even there
only among one or two circles or strata of society. Paris and Vienna have
their dull and respectable society, as well as other places, and they are
by far the most numerous, and, we will venture to say it, the meanest.
Downright license seems, strangely enough, to carry with it a certain
reckless _bonhomie_ which, while it is far from Christian charity, yet has
many outward signs of it. The most abandoned are often found to be the
most generous, or even philanthropic, while the pharisaical little‐
mindedness of many eminently “respectable” members of society is a
constant reproach to the faith on which they pride themselves. The “milk
of human kindness” is often scarce amid “saints” of a certain school.
_Noli me tangere_ is their motto, and an appropriate one, indeed; for you
might tap their hearts till doomsday, and never draw from them one drop of
the generous wine of sympathy.

Not that all persons whose path of life crosses your own by the chances
bred of social conventionalities are of this type; many are generous,
kind‐hearted, impulsive; but it is part of the indictment we bring against
“society” that its rules so smother this amiable individuality as seldom
to allow it to be revealed to you save by some chance occurrence. You may
have a “calling acquaintance” with a woman apparently frivolous (though
obviously good‐natured), and whose mind you judge to be probably as
shallow as her conversation. Some sudden misfortune comes upon you, and,
of all your acquaintances, this is, perhaps, the only one who will blossom
into a friend. In emergencies, her native good sense and affectionate
heart burst their artificial bonds, resume their proper place, and flow
out in deeds of refined and considerate kindness. She will prove to have
presence of mind, delicacy of heart, an active power of sympathy. This is
the sort of woman you would choose to have by your dying‐bed, or to whom
you would consign the care of your children under unhappy circumstances,
whether of poverty or absence—the woman whose nerve would not fail her in
a hospital, and who would march boldly into a prison with bright looks and
cheerful words, ever thinking of others before herself. But had it not
been for an untoward accident, you might never have distinguished her from
the herd of ordinary morning‐callers. She goes through her part in society
as glibly and cheerfully as your gray parrot, who is ever ready to repeat
his lesson when the proper cue is given him, or as readily as your pet
lap‐dog, which has no objection to stand on its hind legs in a corner, and
beg as long as you choose to hold the titbit up before it. What chance
have you of recognizing a soul behind all that mass of conventionality?
About as much as you would have of seeing the “angel imprisoned in the
marble” in a sculptor’s studio, or as much as Dante had of knowing the
tormented souls hidden in the trunk of those grisly bleeding trees of the
_Inferno_.

The more frequently and familiarly you mix with the world, the more your
path is strewn with shattered ideals; for it is almost impossible to
retain an ideal of anything which you see daily as a misshapen and blurred
reality. Practical experience seems to coarsen and cheapen everything, and
there never was yet a more melancholy truth than that of the old adage,
“Familiarity breeds contempt.” Professional life as well as domestic
furnishes lamentable instances of this. In commerce, where it is very
difficult for poetry and ideals to find room, the reality is hardly
obnoxious to the thoughtful looker‐on; for what refining influence could
be expected from the perpetual jar and clash of engines, the constant
chaffering, the feverish life, of the exchange? It is the realm of purely
earthly, material influences, and naturally dwarfs the sympathies, while
it concentrates the thoughts on one narrow point of selfish interest, if
pursued for its own sake. But in the learned professions, whose aims are
intellectually superior, and whose special province it is to elevate the
human mind above selfish and individual interests, leading it, on the
contrary, to the contemplation of abstract principles, and to the
furtherance of the public weal, the ideal should be more apparent. And
yet, in most cases, it is not so. There is no reverence left for a pursuit
the trivial details of which are grown too familiar; petty jealousies take
the place of scientific or philosophic emulation; man’s innate vanity soon
narrows the circle of interest round the _ego_, and subordinates the
progress of the world to personal advancement. There is scarcely anything
less venerable in a man’s eyes than the particular branch of knowledge in
which he is most proficient; and if it be with him a hobby, the love he
bears to it is rather a shadow of the good opinion he holds of himself
than a genuine devotion to science in the abstract. Of course, there are
exceptions, numerous and honorable, but such are the plain facts in the
ordinary, every‐day experience of which life is in the main composed. “No
one is a hero to his valet.” Home life is another ideal destroyed by
society, with its arbitrary rules and its hard, practical axioms. The
peace and holiness of home are rudely jarred by the demands which fashion
makes on the time of its members. We have sometimes been tempted to think
that this would be a very pleasant world to any one who could go through
it as a spectator only. To act a part in it yourself means to subject
yourself to one disenchantment after another. You see a family group at a
distance—say through a street‐window in a large city, or on the porch of a
country villa. Old and young are mingled together; there may be beauty
among the girls, there is refinement in their surroundings; they seem as
thrifty as they are comfortable, for some are reading and some sewing:
perhaps the tea‐table is spread and housewifely treasures displayed; as a
_picture_, it is perfect. But as a _drama_? Are you quite sure that you
would like to see the real state of mind of each person there? If so,
prepare yourself for almost inevitable disappointment. It will not be a
safe investigation, and the ideal you may have formed will probably come
out of the trial as an angel might if he trusted himself to the rough
handling of common men.

No real happiness can exist in a life of perpetual excitement; and this a
fashionable life can hardly fail to be. There is an intoxication of the
mind as well as of the senses. The whirl of so‐called pleasure never
satisfies, but stimulates. More is required, and yet more, till, like the
drunkard, you are a living paradox, never at peace unless in an atmosphere
of excitement, just as he may be said to be never sober—or at least
capable—unless when drunk. In the whirl of society, the mind withers;
there is no time for thought, for study, for application. How many young
girls there are who tell you candidly, “Oh! I have no time to practise my
music. I used to do so four hours a day; but since I am in society, I can
never find an hour to myself.” Then you inquire into this multiplicity of
engagements, and you find—perhaps some religious occupation, some
charitable work? Oh! no; only a call to be returned, cards to be left, a
new toilet to be tried on, a little shopping, and a drive in the park.
Pressing business, truly!

In great cities, during the season of balls and parties, a girl’s life is
one unbroken round of dissipation two‐thirds of the day, and recuperation
for coming “pleasure” during the remaining third. At the end of four or
five months of this life, vitality is half extinct, the cheeks are pale,
the mouth drawn, the eyes violet‐circled; and against all this what prize
is there to set? A bubble burst, a shadow vanished! These continual
festivities, beginning late, ending in the early dawn, when the poor are
just waking to their toil, and servants of God are rising to praise
him—these repeated gatherings called “society” entirely upset the routine
of domestic life. Instead of the blithe, healthy face sparkling at the
head of the breakfast‐table, there is a jaded, weary countenance, pale
with a floury paleness, or flushed by late and disturbed slumbers; instead
of the brisk tread and ringing voice that cheer the home, there is the
listless step of the worn‐out dancer, the peevish tone that tells plainly
of bodily fatigue. In the evening there is no time for a cosy gathering
round the hearth, a quiet game or chat, the reading aloud of some
interesting book, or the simple delights of old‐fashioned national airs.
The dressing‐room absorbs all that time—the choice of flowers or jewels
takes long; the last finishing touches to the toilet must not be given in
a hurry. _The_ event of the day is about to begin; and so it will be to‐
morrow and the day after, and for an interminable tread‐mill of days. If
there is innate talent, there is no time to develop it; or, if it is
cultivated at all, that, too, is distorted into a mere social
“accomplishment,” the sole object of which is to add to the value of the
possessor in the social market. The champion piece of embroidery is framed
and pointed out as the work of the daughter of the house; the solitary
basket of wax flowers is displayed in a conspicuous manner on an elaborate
_étagère_; the water‐colors are studiously hung in the best‐lighted part
of the drawing‐room; the overture of _William Tell_ is invariably called
for on the slightest provocation, and played off indiscriminately before
the least appreciative as well as the most artistic of the family’s
visiting list. And, by the way, what more egregious sham can there be than
the conventional interest in music so universally professed? It is a
matter of course to exclaim, “Oh! I dote on music”; and, on the basis of
this broad assertion, what ludicrous exemplifications one is condemned to
listen to! One will add, “Oh! yes, and I do so love Strauss’ valses”;
another will tell you there is no music like the bagpipes, and no dance
like an Irish jig or an old‐time Virginia reel. One gushing young lady
will call the “Maud Valse” and the “Guards’ Polka” “perfectly divine,”
while her sentimental friend will murmur that “Home, Sweet Home” is her
favorite. With many people, a collection of ballads is identical with the
whole science of music; their sympathies and comprehension can go no
further.

To many, again, _music_ stands for comic songs and Christy’s Minstrels. If
an instrumental piece takes more than five minutes to get through, people
begin to shift their feet and whisper to their neighbors; of course, when
it is over, they will turn round and sweetly simper: “Oh! do play us
something more; that last was _so_ lovely.” In ninety‐nine out of a
hundred houses where you are doomed for your sins to hear music, you hear
trash. It is hardly worth criticising, either in the choice or in the
execution, and, one would therefore think, hardly worth telling a lie for.
And yet this conventional admiration, what is it but a lie pure and
simple?

To return to our belles and their murdered home‐life. Not only is their
time so mortgaged that they have none left for the joys of the family
hearth, but they have none to spare for self‐culture. A woman’s education
does not close on the threshold of the school‐room. Every advance made
later by voluntary application to study is a greater stride than all the
compulsory teaching she receives in her school‐life. If society materially
interferes with this self‐development, it has a heavy responsibility to
bear. Each mind thus stunted, crude, and unevenly balanced reduces the sum
total of usefulness in this world, and adds to the dead‐weight of
shiftless beings whose room would be decidedly better than their company
in the scheme of human advancement. A frivolous, fashionable man or woman
is a monster upon earth, a being whom nature certainly does not recognize,
and whom religion reprobates.

The most satisfactory reflection whereby to dispel the effect of this
dismal picture is this: the thing carries its antidote with it to all but
hopelessly narrow minds. The pleasures of dancing within an area of a yard
square, and of listening night after night to the same insipid gallantries
and insincere congratulations, cannot fail to pall after a time. A French
author says that after the age of thirty, a woman of any account does not
dance; she leaves this pleasure to those who have no other.(64) As with
all pleasures which address the senses rather than the intellect, a
surfeit often proves a cure. You have tasted all the delights to be got
from certain things, and the sameness at last begins to pall. There could
be no more effectual check on the levelling spirit of the age than a
voluntary renunciation for a time on the part of the possessors of wealth
and power, and a temporary enjoyment of these honors on the part of those
who envy them. How soon should we see the harassed artisan fly from the
post he once coveted, the working‐girl tear off the finery she envied, the
millionaire _pro tem._ entreat his coachman to change places with him!
Those who, in the midst of their grinding toil, envy the man in
broadcloth, the woman in her barouche, whom they pass and repass day by
day, quite leave out of the scales the weight of inner anxiety, grief, or
often only _ennui_, which burdens the rich and fashionable. If they could
tell how this one’s heart is devoured by jealousy, how that one’s home is
rendered gloomy by his too plodding ambition, or unhappy by his wife’s
irritable temper! If they could guess how that sickly, white child, seated
among its furs in that dark, handsome clarence, causes sleepless nights
and heavy fears to that anxious mother in velvet robe and seal‐skin cloak!
If they only knew the secret remorse for ever gnawing at the heart of this
exquisite of the clubs, whispering the name of a girl once happy and
innocent—a name now to him the synonym of a crime; or if they could tell
the thoughts of the substantial merchant, as he turns away with heavy
steps from a counting‐house which, the more astounding is its financial
success, the more it resembles, in all but in name, a gambling‐den! And,
above all, did they but know how often the sad votary of fashion, in some
moment of long‐repressed but untamable natural emotion, cries out for the
freedom of the poor and their robust health! That is the saddest part of
this grim masque—no one is contented, no one believes in himself or in his
fellow‐man; it is a drama in which the actors know full well that when the
foot‐lights are put out and the curtain of night falls, they will no
longer be what they seem. So the gigantic sham grows day by day, stifling
nature, burying the intellect, blurring the moral sense, fossilizing the
whole being. Outward shapes of humanity remain, but, by some fell
enchantment, the spiritual essence is sucked away, and an automaton,
skilfully contrived, represents what once was a _man_.

Even pleasure no longer lurks in its outward forms when “society” has thus
worked its will on men. The real enjoyment is gone, but its dismal
appearance must be assumed. Not to shock the world—your world—the
flavorless fruit must be eaten with a good grace, the graceful draperies
of social decorum must be hung on the skeleton. The wheel goes round, and
it is so long since you have trusted to your own feet for guidance that
you must needs keep hold of the conventional support. It is very difficult
to win back your independence once it has been surrendered. The world—your
world—is a pitiless task‐master, and does not pension off its former
servants. If you leave it, you do so at your own risk; and if you can
conquer no position which merit and your own individuality are enough to
gain, you may resign yourself to the _rôle_ of a dummy. We are not sure
that some of the happiest people on earth are not, socially speaking,
dummies. But when you come to think of it, what a strange, magnetic power
has the little circle that forms your world! When a lady has crowded from
five to six hundred guests in her narrow drawing‐rooms, she sees before
her all the persons who, to her, constitute society. Of these, perhaps
one‐third are of hazy position; they are but outsiders, candidates for the
social honors which will only be bestowed fully and ungrudgingly on their
grandchildren. Their opinion is not of much value. When you dissect the
remaining thirds, you mentally check off many a respectable and amiable
person as incapable of forming any independent opinion; others you
secretly stigmatize as gossips, shallow‐minded, or spiteful; and the
circle of responsible people becomes gradually narrower and narrower.
Hardly a score do you credit with sound judgment and discriminating sense.
But these are precisely the judges you do not fear, unless your conscience
pricks you. They are generous and large‐minded; they stand apart from the
crowd, with wider sympathies and larger appreciation; they see beyond the
present, and unconsciously you find yourself classing them as exceptions
to the rule. They do not form the impalpable social tribunal, then? It
must be, therefore, the mediocre company of gossips. Search a little into
your consciousness or your memory, and you will doubtless find it is so. A
recent novelist gives an apt illustration of the relative proportion, in
the eyes of an old English country gentleman, between his county, England,
and the world. A diagram contains, first, a large, irregular outline
representing the county; a round ball ten times smaller typifies England,
and an infinitesimal point in space denotes the whole civilized world.
This is the way we all look at things. No doubt it is instinctive. To us,
“the world” consists of a hundred old women, eminently respectable and
unctuously compassionate, who gossip about our private affairs over their
tea and hot rolls. This is the core of that dread tribunal which we
tremble to offend. It is indeed a hard tyrant, if it can succeed in
chaining us to its car, after the pleasures which it dispenses have lost
their flavor for us. But, unfortunately, half mankind acknowledge this
species of bondage, and we must presume voluntarily, or at least
passively.

Were it not that this thraldom is so unspeakably sad, it would seem such a
farce, if looked upon dispassionately from without! One might almost liken
a ball or great official reception in one of the capitals of fashion to
the mediæval Dance of Death. The scene is brilliant with deceptive gaiety;
the whole surface of society ripples with smiles; the maskers all wear
their brightest garments and their stereotyped badges of mirth. There, in
the doorway, stands a lovely woman, in rose‐color from head to foot—a
cherub’s face enshrined in a sunset cloud, so perhaps an artist would
fancy. She smiles bewitchingly, and coquets with her fan, while talking to
a gray‐bearded hero from India. But she has made up her mind to sacrifice
her honor to her love; tomorrow, at dawn, she will leave her husband’s
home and her baby’s cradle; and, poor victim! she is panting under the
weight of this wretched secret even while she listens to old‐world
gallantry from her fatherly admirer. Not far from her stands another fair
form, not more pure in outward semblance, hardly less beautiful—a gifted
woman, a true wife, smiling and conversing as calmly as any one in the
room; but she knows that she has a fatal internal disease, and that at any
moment death might suddenly overtake her. Not to alarm her husband, she
joins in every festivity, carrying her secret with her as the Spartan did
the fox who was gnawing at his bosom. Amid the whirl of the dance, you
perhaps single out that young girl, fair, fresh, seventeen. She is not as
happy as she seems; her eyes roam shyly around; there is one whom she both
longs and dreads to see, for she is not sure whether she will not find him
by the side of her school friend, now her rival. And among the men, how
many, beneath their masks, bear sorrowing or anxious hearts! That elderly
man, so calmly listening to a fluent diplomate, knows that to‐morrow it
will be noised abroad that he is bankrupt—utterly ruined. When he leaves
this gay scene to‐night, it will be for the railway, which will bear him
out of the country in a few hours. Yonder pale man, who wears his
regulation smile so listlessly that you cannot help likening it to a
garment loosely hung, is here in the interest of a friend, and is waiting
an opportunity to speak a word of cordial recommendation to a ministerial
acquaintance, formerly a college friend, now a power in the cabinet. His
heart is heavy with a private grief; his child lies dangerously ill at
home, and his poor distracted wife needs his comfort and support; but,
true to his word, he forgets himself for an hour or two, that he may not
miss the golden opportunity on which hang the hopes of his friend’s whole
future. In the centre of the dance, the tall form of a Life‐guardsman is
prominent; to‐morrow he will have disappeared from the world, and only his
intimates will know that he had long determined to enter a Catholic
seminary, and study for the priesthood. He did not want his decision
discussed beforehand, and took the best means of silencing curiosity by
appearing the gayest of the gay. Every one here to‐night has a long record
oppressing his heart—something that makes the present scene quite
secondary in his thoughts, and that causes in his breast a bitter feeling
of reaction against the mockery of which he forms a part. And this is the
thing called pleasure! How little we know of the people with whom we spend
our lives—those that touch our hands daily, and speak to us commonplace
words of courtesy! Surely the bees in their hive, the ants on their hill,
the beavers and prairie‐dogs of a “village,” know each other better than
we do our next‐door neighbors! We cut the thread of a guilty reverie by
some observation about the weather, or we laugh the unmeaning laugh that
supplies the place of an answer, perhaps inconvenient to ourselves, and
this laugh jars on the tenderest memories of a sorrowful past uppermost
just then in our neighbor’s mind. There is something appalling in all
this—the tragedy lies so near the surface, and we tread upon it so often!

The trivial aspect of society is oftener still before us—the inanity of
morning calls, the gossip of a provincial town, the petty local interests
that absorb three‐fourths of mankind. Why, we wonder, should general
conversation invariably breed gossip, while a _tête‐à‐tête_ sometimes
elicits real information and rational interchange of ideas? The same
person who in a company of five or six has nothing but commonplace remarks
to offer, often opens out in private though yet only ceremonial
conversation, and startles you by original opinions and valuable
suggestions. The French are perhaps the only people who shine in mixed
conversation; they have the talent of _causerie_—a thing that with us
hardly exists; the very word is untranslatable. A Frenchwoman can be
sparkling where we can only be dull; she can dance on a cobweb, while we
should break down on a cart‐rope. Gallic vivacity can make even the
details of the kitchen amusing, while we should be insufferably prosy on
the same subject.

How well we remember the ponderous magnates of our neighborhood in the
county! The stately morning calls, the inevitable topics of local
interest, the solemnity of that “quarter of an hour” which we were fain to
liken to that rendered famous by an old author. Unfailing resources, O
_Court Journal_! the royal visit to such and such a place, the marriage of
so‐and‐so, etc., etc. Then the flower‐garden and the poultry‐yard
(hereditary hobbies with English ladies), the agricultural show, the
coming election. And then the formidable ordeal comes to an end, probably
to the great relief of both parties. Neither of the two cared for the
subjects discussed or for the interlocutor discussing them; but etiquette
demanded the waste of fifteen minutes, and the laws of society are as
those of the Medes and Persians. In a lower rank of life, the proprieties
are perhaps still more rigidly enforced, and the only difference would be
in the choice of topics. George Eliot’s inimitable gossip in _The Mill on
the Floss_ describes that to a nicety, and indeed, although written in
England, might do duty almost as well anywhere else. The quality of the
house linen, the antiquity of the silver spoons, the solemn conclave over
a new bonnet, and the delinquencies of the maid‐servant—such would be the
staple. In every case you see the mask is on, it fits close, and no form
of “society” is disregarded!

Staying for a few days at a friend’s house is a terrible trial in polite
society. You are never a moment off duty; you have to change costumes as
often as an actress in a play where the “unities” are “nowhere”; and,
above all, if you are a woman, you have the dismal prospect of three
hours’ morning talk with a bevy of your own sex, your hands meanwhile
engaged in some useless piece of fancy‐work. The topics of conversation
may be guessed, their range not being very extensive; of course,
somebody’s marriage or probable engagement is discussed, silks and laces
are made up into imaginary toilets with surprising rapidity, the history
of some refractory scholar and the details of the clothing club are next
drawn upon, and it is very seldom that the talk glides into any
interesting or rational channel. It really is a pity that people will
persist in talking of each other and not of _things_. So much might be
altered for the better in society, if conversation were not so exclusively
personal. Mutual improvement is a thing altogether overlooked in the
civilized world. Even men succumb to gossip; for what is the staple of
club‐talk? So‐and‐so has “sold out,” and gone into a less expensive
regiment; such an one seems very attentive to Miss So‐and‐so; such another
was deeply offended because he was not asked to Lady So‐and‐so’s party;
the shooting in Lord C——’s preserves is confoundedly bad this year; Mr.
A—— thinks of contesting the next election at B——. Interminable waves of
gossip flood the world from the club as from the _boudoir_, though the
latter certainly does by far the most mischief.

We are told that “no man can serve two masters.” In all relations in life
this is eminently true. Intellect and Mammon scarcely agree better than
God and Mammon. The proper atmosphere of intellectual life is peace, and a
student’s career should be blameless in morals as well as tranquil in
experience. Fashion and society forbid this; they necessitate loss of
time, and unsettle the even balance of the mind. For one who values his
calmness of spirit and his health of body there is a golden rule, which,
if he weigh all external pleasures by it, will infallibly secure him the
peace he needs: No pleasure is safe but that which leaves no regret behind
it on the morrow. Who has not felt the wretched sensation left by
pleasures not fulfilling this condition? Who does not remember the
feverish pulse, the troubled dreams, the vague uneasiness, the sickly
apathy that follow on a night spent in violent and unnatural amusement?
One wiser than our generation has said:

“The desires of sensuality draw thee abroad; but, when the hour is past,
what dost thou bring home but a weight upon thy conscience and a
dissipation of heart? A joyful going abroad often brings forth a sorrowful
coming home, and a merry evening makes a sad morning.”(65)

These words, written centuries ago, contain volumes, and are not less
applicable now than in the middle ages.

We often hear it said that man is a gregarious animal. He needs
companionship, and clings to his kind. This it is that induces that more
stirring life which distinguishes the city from the province; which
quickens the perceptions and enlarges the sympathies. But the perfection
of the intellectual life is not found in cities. The world‐wide influences
that stir great centres have locomotive powers that are superior to the
channels of human contrivance. It needs not the friction of mind with mind
to originate great ideas or engender great deeds. The companionship
needful for men of talent lies not in the social circle, but in the
library. As Ruskin has said in one of his lectures, we should each of us
be proud of being admitted to the friendship of some great poet, artist,
or philosopher; and yet we neglect that inner communion which is open to
us at any moment with the spirits of all the departed heroes of the mind,
whose choicest thoughts are stored on the shelves of our libraries. It is
true that the straitened circumstances of many a scholar keep him chain‐
bound within the limits of great, black, smoky cities; for, since he
cannot possess individually the literary treasures that are the necessary
food of his intellectual life, he is obliged to slake his thirst at the
common fountain of the public libraries and lecture‐rooms. But we were
speaking rather of the ideal, the perfect scholarly life, which implies a
combination of pursuits. The mind which looks to the highest products of
ancient and modern thought for its legitimate _pabulum_ can never be but
half satisfied with anything less than perfection in its accessory
surroundings. Such a mind is naturally allied to a sensitive and
imaginative organization, and the coarse contrasts between the peaceful
study and the common street‐sights of every large city must necessarily be
painful to it. Even so the petty gossip and “storms in a tea‐cup” of a
rural centre; for all that is mean and small is foreign to that calm
atmosphere in which sages and poets live. Those sages, those poets, in
their day, may have lived, it is true, among the turmoil and strife of
small interests; but death and the lapse of time seem to have bereft them,
in our eyes, of any such disenchantments; we see them transformed and
idealized, and we gladly aim at reproducing, not their commonplace lives,
but their spiritual existence. This existence still survives, and it is to
this that we wish to ally our own. For this perfection of lofty
companionship, the solitude of a country life is most conducive, but it
must be a solitude of leisure, of freedom from conventionalities, and,
unluckily, of at least some degree of wealth. This latter condition is
fulfilled in so few cases that our ideal remains but too often unrealized
in this work‐a‐day world, yet none the less is it the true and only
dignified ideal of the intellectual life. The instinct of those born with
a spark of genius will bear us out in this assertion; no miser longs for
wealth more thirstingly than a book‐worm. There is an innate sympathy with
the outward beauties of nature which distinguishes the scholar even more
than it does the gipsy.

But, as a crowning condition to the enjoyment of these beauties, he must
be free from the common cares and interests of men; he must walk in a
higher sphere than those whose sympathies cannot mingle with his; he must
walk alone in spirit, even though his body may jostle the unthinking
crowd. Have we made our scholar a misanthrope? Yes, if thereby is meant a
hater of society, with its shams and its stage‐like scenery; no, if you
understand thereby a hater of humankind. But be sure of one thing: a man
learns to love men more the less he sees of them, and the more, by their
absence, they leave him his charitable estimate of their probable good
qualities. No doubt the earth itself looks fairer from the standpoint of a
fixed star than it does to‐day to any toiling wayfarer on its rough
pathway.



To S. Joseph: On The Day Of My First Mass.


Type of the Priesthood with its Virgin Spouse,
  The Immaculate Church, our Mother ever fair!
Since even to me God’s wondrous grace allows
  An office more than seraphim may share,
  I kneel to thee, most gentle Saint, and dare
To choose thee patron of the trust. Oh! make
  My evermore fidelity thy care,
And keep me Mary’s, for her own sweet sake!
  Her knight before, and poet, now her priest
  (Nor less her slave—a thousandfold the more),
I glory in a bondage but increased,
  And kiss the chain her dear De Montfort wore,
  With “Omnia per Mariam” mottoed o’er:
Which seals me her apostle, though the least.

FEAST OF THE SEVEN DOLORS, March 31, 1871.



Odd Stories. VI.—King Ruli.


Once upon a time there was, on this side of the Hartz Mountains, a secret
place, where, touching a hidden spring, you found yourself in a trice
between immense walls of rock, whence a mysterious person, dressed in red
from top to toe, took you into a great cavern, the first of a series of
vast caves filled with hogsheads and tuns of wine and beer, and lighted up
in such a manner that the brilliant stalactites with which it was hung
sparkled and flashed like the most precious gems in a jeweller’s dream.
The awe inspired by this scene hardly left you a moment to observe that
the nose of your guide was even redder than his body, when you were
ushered through another secret door into the domain of a grand old castle,
the battlements of which, covered with moss, overlooked a pastoral valley
and its white flocks, and seemed to rule the landscape, notwithstanding
the presence of many other castles, as if it were the house of a monarch.
And so it was. Here dwelt King Ruli, the patron of minnesingers and jolly
cavaliers—that stalwart king whose brow, and beard, and port were the very
signs of genial majesty. Pleasure ruled the board where he sat; and when
the juice of the Weinberg warmed up in the blood of the lords and
minstrels in Weinbergland, the ten noble companions of King Ruli swept the
mystic chords of the harp, and with voices free sang in echoing strain
their merry roundelay:


    We’re rovers all, we’re singers five
      And rhymers five; come round, come round;
    Ye five shall give us honest rhyme,
      And we shall give you sound.

    Let laurels crown his great gray head,
      A big arm‐chair his throne be made.
                Then sing:
    Ruli, King Ruli! And he shall be our king.


To sounds of cheerful thoughts like these each royal night wore on, while
the castled lords of hill and valley feasted at the king’s table, and made
merry over jest and story, to the clinking of many glasses and in the
pleasant uproar of many voices. Seated in his chair at the head of the
table, he drank from a great flagon of crystal, or smoked from a pipe as
long as his body, the bowl of which required a page‐in‐waiting to support
it, lest, in a drowsy moment, it should drop from the mouth of the king.
Below him were ranged the ten minnesingers, who smoked from one immense
bowl of tobacco, having long stems that led to all their mouths, whence
issued a volume of smoke, which, as it rose around the great burning bowl,
was like the fume of a conflagration; and thus betimes the merry
minnesingers sang:


    Ah! never once so jolly face
      In green old Arcady appeared;
    And as he drinks, the drink flows down
      His flowing, streaming beard.
    He’s six feet high, his beard is long,
      And broad his body is and strong.
                Then sing:
    King Ruli, King Ruli! He shall be our king.


No king could resist such flattery as this, and it was with truth that his
minstrels pictured him standing, and, in a tone of majestic joviality,
wishing the health of the whole company:


    “True liegemen all, I give ye joy,
      For I am host and landlord here;
    Ho! varlets, bring me Rhenish wine,
      And flagons fill of beer!”
    Right red Rhine wine! right red Rhine wine!
      Was ever glass so clear and fine?
                So sing:
    Ruli, King Ruli! And he shall be our king!


Late in the night the sound of song and story made for the gentle monarch
a lullaby, and his head rested on his bosom in slumber, as he laid down
his flagon. Had his chief minstrel then tickled his great ear, it would
not have waked him up; and so, seeing that the king had filled himself
with slumber as with the drugs of Morpheus, his lieges sang:


    But, hold! the monarch’s sleepy grown;
      His pipe has dropt, he’s drowsed and sped.
    Hark! how he snores! Wide open doors;
      We’ll bury him in bed.
    Then, while our loyal shoulders bear
    His burden, thus our burden hear:
            King Ruli!
    The king is dead; long live the king!
      And live again, King Ruli!


But as night after night of song and wine went by, the king grew older and
older in his cups. Little he saw or cared that new revellers, new
minstrels, new lords, had one by one taken the places of old ones, and
that the speech of the new‐comers was loud and hoarse, and their song
ribald and discordant. Those who remained with him of his old friends and
retainers had gradually imbibed the character of the latest revellers, and
their potations were deeper and their jests broader than ever. Once in a
while the king groaned and complained that his beer was too bitter; but
they so flattered his jokes, and praised his beard, and spoke of his noble
brow, and his royal blood, and his glorious voice, that he sang and roared
as of old, and swallowed his beer without further complaint. On such an
occasion as this it required the cynical courage of the minstrel
Knipfenbausenstein to sing, as he did, from the end of the hall, which he
had just entered after a long absence:


    There were ten vintners old and sick,
    And all their wine had gone to lees;
    Of empty casks they made them cells:
    Oh! very bitter folks were these.
    Misgives me now, good friends, to think
    A king should be a king of drink.
            But sing:
    Ruli, King Ruli! this night shall be our king!


The minstrel doubtless had in mind the ten companions of the king, who,
being no longer able to keep up with the stalwart Ruli in the vigor of his
potations, had cried out as with one voice against their sovereign,
declaring that his beer was bitter beyond endurance, and his pleasures a
gilded despotism. For this offence the king, swearing roundly that they
were traitor knights, who knew not how to be moderate drinkers or loyal
feasters, consigned them to his darkest wine caverns, where they were
doomed to dwell in empty hogsheads for many a year.

Now, after a life of good living, the rare old king sat in his great
velvet‐cushioned chair, warming his legs, which were rather swollen, and
his feet, which were encased in large slippers, before a fire sufficient
to cook an ox. Glided to his side his eldest child, the queenly
Hermengilde, and said softly: “Alas! sire, and hast thou not heard that my
first‐born has killed young Siegbert of Bierhalle, in a drunken brawl, and
wilt thou persist in these foolish feasts?”

“Tut, tut, silly girl! This feasting hurts not thy fasting. ’Twere better
to kill his man in drink than sober; and, tut, tut! we must not grieve for
ever, child. Wine is for the drinking, and life for the living. Heaven
send thee luck!” With this the jovial king took a draught from his flagon.

Ere he had smoked his pipe, the fair Joanna, second princess of the blood,
whose wont it was to fill the king’s pipe with affectionate care, said to
him musingly: “Methinks it is the night when our brother Max fell over
into the chasm and was killed. Ill befits that its peace be marred by
roysterers whom, say they, he had most to blame for his death.”

“What! and have ye turned dames of the cloister, that ye seek to make
crows’ nests of my beard and gray hairs? Umph! my lady counsellors; and ye
would have no more wine drank because rocks are steep! Did not sober Hans
fall into the well, and ere thou wast born? Ay, but a brave lad was Max,
and a merry one. A glass to his memory!”

The king was unaware, as he thus spoke, of the near presence of a reverend
and noble matron, whose face bore marks of care and grief. It was the
queen Roxalana. A child of tender years ran from her side to climb her
grandsire’s knee, but, seeing that the royal flagon stood in the way,
exclaimed: “O grandfather! that horrid drink!” The king, with a majestic
motion, waved the child away, and she returned in tears to the side of the
mute queen.

“So, my lady, queen of woebegones and nurse of whimperings, thou art here
to tease thy lord and trouble his gout. ’Tis well. Train the brats of the
land to do imps’ work to their fathers, and make your daughters have long
faces; but have a care, goodwife, lest an old man’s patience be too weak
for this old maid’s gossip. Pray, what new worm is in thy brain, that thou
tellest we must not drink the cup of our fathers?”

Not long after this scene, a loud clash of arms was heard in the court,
and the debauched minnesinger, Wittekind, staggered into the hall, his
face stained with blood as with wine. The king’s guests had just drunk
their tenth glass, when a crowd of rioters, armed to the teeth, rushed in
upon them, and, breaking glasses right and left, proclaimed the downfall
of King Ruli. With a bitter and heavy heart, the king recognized among the
crowds who now drank to his perdition many of his old revellers; and,
seizing a favorable moment, fled totteringly into the wine mountain.
There, to his great surprise, he found that all the tuns and hogsheads of
wine and beer which had been stored away were quite empty. Once more he
joined his ten companions locked up in the wine caves, lamenting bitterly
that the wine of his life had gone to lees, and much tormented by the man
in red, whose nose was like fire.



Epigram. The Widow’s Mites.


Two mites, two drops—yet all her house and land—
Falle from a steady heart though trembling hand.
The others’ wanton wealth foams high and brave.
The others cast away; she only gave.

—_Crashaw._



Old Versus New.


One pleasant afternoon, in the autumn just passed, I lay stretched out
lazily on a mow of new‐mown hay, in a large, old‐fashioned country barn.

It was still redolent with that odor peculiar to hay newly cut, having
been placed in the barn but a few hours before.

In the work of cutting, raking, and storing, patent machines of every
description had assisted; and, lying there cosily enjoying the effect, I
had plenty of leisure to think upon the cause.

With my mind full of reflections on the wonderful improvements of the age,
and vague thoughts of labor‐saving machines, it was not long until I was
off in a sound slumber, to which a hearty dinner had by no means
indisposed me. I was soon in the theatre of dreams, and the first actor
whose voice I heard was an old scythe. Apparently, the peg on which he
hung was rotten, and, giving way, let the old fellow fall with a shock
that seemed to stir up what little life yet remained in him; for I soon
heard, in a queer, cracked voice, the following complaint:

“Well, here I am at last! Hung up on the wall years ago, like an old coat
that’s put aside for a rainy day, my master couldn’t even see to it that I
had a safe peg; but, hanging me on that old rotten thing, I’ve got a fall
that my poor bones won’t be the better of for a month to come.”

With that, one of the patent mowers, showing his polished teeth, gruffly
asked: “What are you growling about? What’s that you’re saying about the
master?”

“It ill suits you,” said the scythe, “to put on airs, though you are
rubbed and polished, and, drawn by a dashing team, ride about on wheels.
Upstarts always assume great importance, and the latest converts are the
most zealous partisans; when you have served the master as long and as
faithfully as I have, you may have some right to maintain his cause.”

“Why,” said the mower, “you’re quite a preacher, to be sure; pray tell us
what cause _you_ have for grievance? Is it, forsooth, because your peg
gave way you are so highly incensed? Even if you did get a fall, I think
you ought to be grateful that you are housed high and dry, and not left
out in the rain to rust.”

“My fall is a small matter indeed,” said the scythe, “compared with my
other wrongs. When I see you, with your gay paint and glittering teeth,
eating up the food that I enjoyed for years; when I see fair meadows of
clover, and valleys filled with golden grain, all given over to your
rapacious maw, and I, I who once received all this as my just right,
allowed but the little scraps that grow around a stump—when I see all
this, my temper is tried to the utmost at the injustice that is done me.”

“Yes,” chimed in an old and well‐nigh toothless rake, “you may well
complain of the scanty share that is doled out to you; I too, hang here
neglected, and, when I am taken down, get equally tough morsels for my
poor teeth.”

Whereupon several hoes, filled with deadly hate against their enemies of
the plough family, now took courage, as they heard the boldly uttered
words of their companions, and, speaking up with one voice, said: “We
likewise have reason to complain of our master. There was a time when we
were thought fit for any labor; we turned up the earth to support the
potato‐vines; we loosed the earth around the corn; and that splendid
vegetable, the cabbage, was tended by our trusty blades; now we are deemed
fit for scarce anything but to clean out manure, to scrape offal from the
yard, and, in fact, do all the dirty work of the place.” It seemed as if
the spirit of rebellion was abroad; for at this, the flail that hung idly
on a spike followed with a long speech.

“You have all,” said the flail, “good reasons for being indignant with the
master of this farm; my friend, the scythe, may justly complain of the
rich harvests given over to his rival, the patent mower; our old
companion, the rake—an exceptional rake, by the way—may consistently
inveigh against the master for giving him in his old age naught but the
hardest morsels of food; and our worthy associates, the hoes, may well be
indignant, and look with contempt and scorn on the foul legacy bequeathed
to them—a legacy which hoes of their stamp should disdain to embrace. But
he has treated none of you so cruelly as he has treated me; forced into a
disagreeable union with what he calls my handle, battered almost to pieces
in battering out his grain, I yet respected him for the care he took of me
in the months when I was useless to him. But now he has new‐fangled
machines to do his work, and, uncared for and unnoticed, dust covers me so
completely that I can scarce open eyes or mouth. Base ingratitude has been
my portion, and I certainly may be excused if I feel displeased, ay,
enraged. I may be pardoned if I seek not simply redress, but revenge.” As
the flail ended, a deep murmur of assent filled the whole place; and the
patent mower, who had kept strict silence since his last question to the
scythe, now spoke up.

“My worthy friends,” said he, “I am indeed very sorry to be, with my
companions, the innocent cause of all your troubles. I have listened to
your complaints, and cannot deny that they are, in the main, just. But you
should know that the master seeks only his own comfort, and, whatever care
he takes of us, it is only to relieve himself from labor. As I reflect
upon your present position, I see myself similarly situated; for the time
will come when I and my associates will have to stand aside for newer and
more vigorous servants of toil.

“The master, too, will one day find himself in the same condition. He also
will become old, and will look around on younger and heartier hands doing
his work; and, as he grows still older, he must suffer many a slight, for
the world wants nothing it cannot use.

“Now that the period of _your_ usefulness has gone by, strive to become
reconciled to your fate; murmur no more, accept your lot with resignation,
be satisfied with the work you have done, and patiently wait for the end.”

Curious to hear how the malcontents would take this bit of philosophy, I
leaned over to catch the first word; but, leaning too far, I slid off the
mow, and falling, not on the floor, fortunately, but on some bundles of
straw, was rudely awakened to find that I had been asleep some hours; for
evening had come on, and it was now so dark in the barn that I could see
nothing of the bold disputants of my dream.

Hastening to the house, I amused the family by the recital of this contest
of the old against the new; and, profiting by my dream, I have since
resolved to accept the mower’s advice, and be always reconciled to time’s
changes.



New Publications.


    THE LIFE OF THE BLESSED PETER FAVRE, S.J., First Companion of S.
    Ignatius. (Vol. VIII. of F. Coleridge’s Quarterly Series.) London:
    Burns & Oates. (New York: Sold by The Catholic Publication
    Society.)


The history of the Society of Jesus is rich in abundant materials of
untiring interest. The Blessed Peter Favre’s apostolic career was short,
having been but of seven years’ duration, yet crowded with astonishing
results. The particular fact most strikingly brought into view in this
_Life_ is the one which of all others is the most shameful for the
Reformation—viz., that it had no intellectual or moral origin or
character, but sprang merely from the sins and vices which had so
frightfully corrupted a vast number of all classes of Christians in the
miserable XVIth century. F. Favre saw this clearly, and often said that if
Luther himself could have been brought to sincere contrition and
repentance for his sins, his errors in doctrine would have disappeared
without any argumentation. Accordingly, he set himself to preach like a
missionary, to exhort and win persons to a reformation of life, and to
labor with wonderful success to convert sinners to God, as the shortest
and surest way to check the progress of heresy.

The present volume is, like all those which have preceded it, carefully
and neatly prepared as a book of choice reading for persons of cultivated
spiritual and literary tastes.


    THE PRIDE OF LEXINGTON: A Tale of the American Revolution. By
    William Seton, author of _Romance of the Charter Oak_, _The
    Pioneers_, etc., etc. New York: P. O’Shea. 1874.


Mr. Seton is a nephew of the celebrated foundress of the American branch
of the institute of the Daughters of Charity, and a brother of the Rt.
Rev. Monsignor Seton. He served with honor as an officer of one of our New
York regiments during the late war, and since that time has especially
devoted himself to the study of early New England history, which he has
illustrated by his historical novels. Our first impression respecting the
merits of a previous novel by Mr. Seton, in which he took great pains to
depict the manners and customs of the early Puritan inhabitants of
Connecticut and Massachusetts (the _Romance of the Charter Oak_), was not
very favorable. We have since been disposed to think that we did not duly
appreciate the skill and talent of the author, and have found other
persons, well qualified to judge of such matters, who have considered the
_Charter Oak_ as a remarkably successful effort of its kind. Both that
novel and the present one are characterized by a marked realism, like that
of a certain Dutch and Flemish school of painting. Probably they do
present a more correct and faithful picture of those old times than that
given by writers who have more idealism and romance in their delineation,
like James F. Cooper. We confess to a taste, nevertheless, for these more
romantic authors. And, speaking in cool criticism, we think a novelist, in
following the highest principles and ends of his art, ought to idealize
more than Mr. Seton is disposed to do. He has a broad sense of the
humorous and ridiculous in commonplace characters and actions. The
absurdities and trivialities of common life are too faithfully represented
in his pages, and there is frequently a degree of coarseness in the
description of vulgar persons which is disagreeable. Yankee children,
however, devour Mr. Seton’s stories with avidity, which is a good proof of
their naturalness. And, putting aside the peculiarity which we have
noticed, the story lately published, _The Pride of Lexington_, is, even
more than the first one, a composition of real originality and power,
establishing fully the author’s ability as a historical novelist. The
battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill are well described; the heroes, and
especially the heroine, of the story, with the plot of private incidents
and events that make the filling up of the historical scenes, are
interesting; there is much genuine comic humor in the by‐play, especially
in the episode of Billy Smith and the black coon, called “the parson,” and
we are quite sure that the genuine, unsophisticated children of the by‐
gone generation of New England forefathers, if they get hold of _The Pride
of Lexington_, will pay the author the tribute of an oft‐repeated and
delighted perusal.


    CONFERENCES ON THE SPIRITUAL LIFE. By the Rev. Father de Ravignan,
    S.J. Translated from the French by Mrs. Abel Ram. London: R.
    Washbourne. 1873. (New York: Sold by The Catholic Publication
    Society.)


F. de Ravignan was undoubtedly an orator. The impression which he made
upon his hearers is enough to justify us in making this assertion. The
orator must be heard; when his words are written, their fire is gone, and
they no longer burn. In the case of F. de Ravignan especially, there must
have been much in the magnetism of the man, in his earnestness, in his
deep religious feeling, in the firm conviction and strong love, shown in
the manner in which he spoke; for in his printed conferences and sermons
we do not find great eloquence or beauty of diction or depth of thought.
There are none of those bursts of passion, of those profound thoughts and
comprehensive views, in which a whole subject is condensed into a single
phrase, as strong as it is striking, which we so often meet with in the
conferences of Lacordaire. Nor yet is there that stately flow of language,
at once simple and majestic, that evenness of style and unbroken sequence
of thought, which characterize the discourses of F. Felix. And yet neither
Lacordaire nor Felix excited greater enthusiasm or made a profounder
impression in the pulpit of Notre Dame than De Ravignan.

If he had not the depth and comprehensiveness of thought of the one, or
the sonorous diction and lofty manner of the other, he must have been, in
some respects at least, a greater orator than either. The conferences
contained in the volume now before us were preached to the “Enfants de
Marie,” in the Convent of the Sacred Heart, in Paris, during the years
1855, 1856, and 1857. They were not written out by F. de Ravignan, but
were compiled by one of his hearers from notes taken at the time of their
delivery, and are, we think, equally as good as the conferences preached
in Notre Dame from 1837 to 1846, which were published in four volumes
shortly after his death. They are simply familiar discourses to ladies in
the world on the most important subjects connected with their duties as
Christians; in which we find all the best qualities that distinguished F.
Ravignan as a preacher—sincere piety and much earnestness, united with
delicacy and refinement both of thought and language. He does not inveigh
against the vices of society, but rather seeks to describe the beauties of
the Christian life; to show its dignity and responsibilities, its perfect
harmony with the highest aspirations of the soul and the soundest dictates
of reason.

The name of F. de Ravignan will of itself be sufficient to obtain a wide
circulation for this English version of his conferences.


    ECCLESIASTICAL ANTIQUITIES OF LONDON. By Alex. Wood, M.A. Oxon.
    London: Burns & Oates. 1874. (New York: Sold by The Catholic
    Publication Society.)


This book is quite a storehouse of curious and valuable information—just
the kind of matter that would be overlooked by the civil historian, and
which the reverent chronicler (alas! an almost extinct species, now) alone
would be apt to take cognizance of.

It doubtless surprised many intelligent readers to find what interesting
facts even a cursory investigation would bring to light, while reading
what our “Looker‐Back” saw while in London. This work is a treat of a
similar character. It is constructed on the plan of an itinerary, and
divided into nine “walks,” in which the most notable localities are looked
at from an archæological point of view, re‐peopled by the actors on the
stage at the respective dates, and reanimated by the deeds then being
performed.


    NOTES OF THE WANDERING JEW; or, The Jesuits and their Opponents.
    Edited by John Fairplay, Esq. Dublin: McGlashan & Gill. 1873. (New
    York: Sold by The Catholic Publication Society.)


We are doubtless indebted to the famous romance of Eugene Sue for these
notes of the Wandering Jew, in which this extraordinary personage, after
his ceaseless journeyings for more than eighteen hundred years, finally
turns up as an author, and, surprising as it may seem, a defender of the
Jesuits.

The first part of the little volume is devoted to S. Ignatius. The
Wandering Jew had seen him on two occasions—first in Spain, in his hot
youth, with his light, graceful form clad in a page’s rich attire, with
the plumed cap and velvet mantle, the hawk upon his wrist, the hounds
following at his heels, whilst his foot seemed hardly to touch the ground
as he walked; and again, at Rome, he saw him in his old age, arrayed in
the flowing gown of the priest, with the calm of deliberate wisdom on his
high forehead, advancing with a sweet and awful majesty to the altar.

“I loved and revered him then,” says the Jew, “albeit a stranger to his
communion; and I cannot recall the memory of that marked and expressive
countenance, whether in the gallant boy or the venerable and saintly old
man, without feeling some interest in the fate of that illustrious order
which he alone created, and which still bears the impress of his character
and genius.”

The remaining chapters are devoted to _The Spiritual Exercises_, “The
Constitutions of the Order,” “The Missions and Schools of the Jesuits,”
and, finally, to answering some of the charges which Protestants and
infidels have brought against the Society. There is a very good chapter on
the _Provincial Letters_, in which Pascal, with a wit and power of sarcasm
surpassed only by the artful unfairness with which he treats the subject,
has sought to make the whole order responsible for the extravagant
opinions of some few Spanish and Flemish Jesuits.

The author, who is evidently not a Catholic, has written with great
fairness and good sense, and we most willingly recommend his book to our
readers.


    THE RED FLAG, AND OTHER POEMS. By the Hon. Roden Noel. London:
    Strahan & Co. 1872.


We have been asked to notice this book. But how are Catholics to regard it
with favor, when, before they have read far in the poem of “The Red Flag,”
they come upon a passage containing an insult too gross and slanderous, we
should have thought, for even Exeter Hall? We forbear to quote the words.
Suffice it to say that the author, ignoring the martyred archbishop and
priests, represents the church as gloating over the execution of the
communists in Paris.

Affectation, verboseness, and sensuous description characterize these
poems as works of art; while the metre of “The Red Flag” is in the worst
taste, and the lyrics are spoilt by all sorts of quirks and the clumsiest
divisions of stanzas.



The Catholic Publication Society has in press, and will soon publish, _The
Life of St. John of the Cross_, 1 vol. 12mo, and _The Farm of Muiceron and
Madame Agnes_, in 1 vol. 8vo.



THE CATHOLIC WORLD. VOL. XIX., NO. 110.—MAY, 1874.



The Coming Transit Of Venus.


This year, 1874, bids fair to be memorable in the annals of astronomy. A
subject which has long occupied our students of that venerable and now
gigantic science is gradually passing from their closets and their
scientific discussions into reviews and newspapers, and is forcing itself
on the attention of the world at large. At first sight the matter seems a
very trivial one. On the 8th of next December, keen eyes in certain parts
of the world may, if the sky be clear, and if they look closely, notice
that a small, dark spot, a mere speck, will flit across the face of the
sun. Examined through a telescope, it is seen to have an appreciable
diameter—about 1’. It is not half as interesting to look at as ordinary
solar spots, with their jagged edges, their umbra and penumbra, their
changing forms, and their whirling faculæ. It has not, as they seem to
have, some vague connection with the magnetic disturbances, the auroral
lights, or any other atmospheric changes of this sublunary world of ours.
It simply passes across the sun in something less than six hours, leaving
no trace behind, and producing, so far as would appear, no appreciable
effect of any kind. It occurs but rarely—twice in a century; in some
centuries, not at all. Small as it is, it can be foretold and calculated
beforehand. Except as a verification of such calculations, ordinary minds
might think it singularly unimportant—scarcely more important than the
gleam in the heavens at night of an occasional and isolated falling star,
which glides along its shining path for an instant, and then disappears
never more to be seen.

Yet for the last ten—we might, with more truth, say for fifty—years back,
the best astronomers have been preparing to observe, with unequalled care,
the passage of that little black spot. Some have again and again gone over
the records of the observations made in 1761 and 1769, when it was last
seen, criticising what was then done, distinguishing what was well done
from what they judge to have been faulty, and tracing these faults back to
their sources—either to the imperfection of the instruments used, to
personal errors, or to mistakes or omissions of the observers themselves.
In the observations now to be made, all these sources of error will, as
far as possible, be excluded. Others have spent years in patiently going
over the long calculations connected with those observations, detecting
and eliminating any errors they find, and introducing such corrections as
the subsequent advance of astronomical science demands. The amended
results thus obtained are ready for comparison, at their proper value,
with the additional and, it is hoped, better results to be obtained from
the observations of next December. Still others have used, and are now
using, their utmost skill in constructing instruments of hitherto
unequalled excellence for the great occasion. Besides great improvements
in the instruments known in 1769, they have devised others, perhaps more
valuable, and of a character then not dreamed of. Others, again, have
devoted months to the nicest and most intricate calculations of the
movements of the earth and the planets, in order to know in full time
beforehand what special stations on the surface of the earth will, that
day and at the required hours, afford the most eligible positions from
which to make the desired observations.

Finally, governments have been appealed to, to aid in preparing the means
and in bearing the expense; and they have responded. Every civilized
nation is acting in the matter. Russia leads off with, as we are assured,
twenty‐seven stations, mostly on her own territory, all duly provided with
instruments and observers. France, England, and Germany will have ten or a
dozen each. Austria will have her quota. Belgium, Holland, Denmark, and
Italy will establish stations and send observers and instruments. Even
distracted Spain is at least talking of it. From the Western World, the
United States will send eight corps. Nor will Brazil, Peru, and Chili
prove laggard. The whole civilized world seems to move in this undertaking
with a singular unanimity, doing what only governments can do. Many of the
stations must be in bleak and inhospitable lands beyond the confines of
civilization. They will be furnished with all that is needful, and
thousands of miles of telegraphic wires will be stretched to put them in
connection with the observatories of Europe. Other stations will be on
distant islands in mid‐ocean. Thither national vessels will bear the
observers and their instruments. It were well for the world if governments
would manifest such generous rivalry in doing good when other and more
important interests than those of astronomy are in question.

What, then, is that little black spot which they are so anxious to examine
as it passes across the sun next December? How comes it to be of such
importance that all these mighty efforts are made to have it fully and
correctly observed? To what great results, scientific or other, will a
correct knowledge of everything about it lead the world?

That little black spot is the planet Venus, then passing directly between
the earth and the sun, and producing an homœopathic solar eclipse, just
as, under similar circumstances, the moon might produce an annular or a
total solar eclipse. As ordinarily seen in her character of morning or
evening star, Venus shines more brightly and joyously in the heavens than
any other star. But on this occasion the whole of her illuminated half is
turned towards the sun. Towards the earth she shows only her dark,
unillumined half, which even looks darker by contrast with the bright face
of the sun, on which it is projected. This passage across the sun is
called the transit of Venus. If the observations are successfully made,
they will give us the means of ascertaining with sufficient precision what
as yet is not so known—the actual distance of the earth from the sun.

This knowledge is all‐important in a scientific point of view. From it we
can deduce the distance of every other planet of the solar system. With it
we can carry our survey beyond that system into the stellar world. The
distance of our earth from the sun—the orbital radius of the earth, is,
for the astronomer, his unit of measure—his yard‐stick, as it has been
termed—when he would estimate or measure stellar distances or velocities.
Any error in it is multiplied millions of times in such surveys. Any
uncertainty or reasonable apprehension of error about it casts a cloud of
embarrassment over almost every portion of the newly acquired domain of
astronomy. No wonder, then, that no effort is spared to secure as soon as
possible, and in the easiest and most certain way we know of, an accurate
solution of the question. This, more than anything else, is the spring of
the whole movement.

The earth, as all know, revolves, as do the other planets, round the sun,
not precisely in a circle, but in an oval or ellipse not differing much
from a circle. The length of our year, or time of one complete revolution
of the earth around the sun, is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 49.657
seconds.

Inside the earth, and next to us, among the planets, comes Venus,
revolving around the sun in her elliptical orbit in 224 days, 16 hours, 48
minutes, and 42 seconds.

Were both orbits on the same level, in the same plane, Venus and the earth
would come to be in the same direction or line from the sun as often as
Venus, moving on her inner and shorter course, and more rapidly, would
overtake the more sluggish earth. Such conjunctions would happen once in
every 584 days nearly; and every such conjunction would show a transit,
and Venus could be seen between the earth and the sun. But the orbits,
though both around the same sun, are not on the same level. That of Venus
is somewhat tilted up or inclined, so that one‐half of it lies above the
level of the earth’s orbit, and the other half sinks correspondingly
below. The line where the orbits cross or intersect each other is the
nodal diameter, the only one common to both orbits. Venus overtakes the
earth regularly, but ordinarily elsewhere than on or in the immediate
vicinity of this nodal line. The planet then, in her apparent journeying
from one side of the sun to the other, generally seems to pass near that
luminary, either to the north or the south of it. But whenever, as
sometimes happens, Venus overtakes the planet on the line of the nodes,
either as she is descending on her orbit on one side, or ascending on the
other, then the planet is seen to pass across the sun, and there is a
transit. It is not necessary that Venus should be precisely on the line
uniting the earth’s centre to the sun’s centre. The apparent size of the
sun, 32’ in diameter, and the size of the earth, and the smallness of the
angle of inclination between the orbits, all combine to give a little
latitude in the matter. The earth arrives punctually every year at one end
of this line in June, and at the other in December. The astronomical
question is, When will Venus be there also at the same time? To answer
requires a calculation which appalls. First, there is the planetary
velocity proper of Venus, varying according as in the various parts of her
elliptical orbit she is nearer to or further from the sun. Then there are
the influences of planetary attraction—the earth and the other planets
acting on Venus, accelerating or retarding her movements, and tending
sometimes to draw her to one side of her orbit. Then there is or may be
question of that nodal diameter shifting its position, and trying, as it
were, to swing round the circle of the earth’s orbit. When all these
calculations have been made, the diurnal movement of the earth must be
taken into account, and the geography of her surface must be duly studied,
to determine finally when the transit will take place, across what portion
of the sun’s face the planet will be seen to travel, and from what portion
of the earth’s surface that transit can be seen, and where in that portion
stations for observing it can be placed with the greatest probability of
success.

It is a fearful sight even to look over a seemingly endless series of
pages all bristling with serried columns of figures, broken every now and
then by mysterious formulas of higher calculus, like a group of officers
commanding a brigade. Mathematicians and astronomers may delight in them;
we shall be satisfied to take the results.

The transits of Venus go in pairs eight years apart. There can be only one
pair to a century; some centuries will have none. The pairs occur
alternately in June, as Venus descends from the upper to the lower half of
her orbit, and in December, as she ascends again from it. Thus there were
transits in December, 1631, and December, 1639. A second pair occurred in
June, 1761, and June, 1769. A third pair is near at hand, in December,
1874, and December, 1882. The next century will have none. The fourth pair
will appear in June, 2004, and June, 2012.

So much on the character of that dark little round spot, the passage of
which across the sun hundreds of astronomers, with all manner of
telescopes, spectroscopes, and photographic instruments, will watch,
examine, measure, and record, as they see it sweeping on in its course on
the 8th of next December. What will be the special purpose animating
observers as they view the transits of 2004 and 2012—if, despite the
prophetic and apocalyptic Dr. Cumming, the world lasts till then—no one
can now tell. Astronomy by that time may be advanced as far beyond the
present state of the science as the present state surpasses the state of
two centuries ago. It is probable that new and, to that generation, most
interesting questions may have then arisen, which they will strive to
solve by their observations of the transits—questions now perhaps
undreamed of. But at present our astronomical world is deeply impressed
with the advantage and necessity of definitely ascertaining the distance
of the earth from the sun. This is the paramount, though by no means the
only, purpose of all this expenditure of time and skill and money in
preparing for, in making the observations, and afterwards in laboriously
working out the results.

How, by merely looking never so attentively at an object whose distance
you do not know, as it stands in a line with, and perhaps far in front of,
another, likewise of unknown distance, you can tell how far off that
second object is, may seem as difficult as the king’s requirement of the
prophet first to tell him the dream he had forgotten, and then to explain
its meaning. It might seem almost an impossibility; but a few words will
explain how the difficulty is turned by availing ourselves of other data.

When two planets, as is the case with the earth and Venus, both revolve in
elliptical orbits around the sun, in virtue of the law of gravitation,
then their respective times of orbital revolution are to each other as the
cubes of their respective mean distances from the sun.

This is one of the laws of Kepler. It was announced by him as the
wonderful result of seventeen long years of calculations. He took the data
given by the observations of Tycho Brahe and of others, and those made by
himself. He tried, by every imaginable form of arithmetical supposition,
to combine them together somehow, and under the form of some mathematical
law. This was his last result, perhaps the most surprising result of hard
plodding, long‐continued labor in the field of science. All honor to his
memory. There are few discoveries in the mathematics of astronomy to be
compared to this and the other laws of Kepler. He established them as
experimental facts. The mathematical reason of them he did not learn.

Since his day, gravity has been discovered to be the bond which binds the
solar system together, and its laws have been studied out. The
differential and integral calculus, also discovered and perfected since
his day, has enabled the scholar to grapple with intricate questions of
higher mathematics, which, without its aid, would have remained insoluble.
Availing themselves of the laws of gravity and of the aid of the calculus,
astronomers have been able to give us a mathematical demonstration of
Kepler’s laws, which, from being mere isolated facts or numerical
coincidences, have passed into the realm of scientific truths.

Now, we know the length of our own year—365.2422414 days; we know also the
length of the year of Venus—224.70048625 days. If we divide the former by
the latter, square the quotient, and then extract the cube root of this
quotient, we shall obtain the number which indicates the proportion
between the two mean distances. Applying this, we learn that if the
distance of the earth from the sun be taken as 100,000,000 miles, the mean
distance of Venus will be 72,333,240 miles. And consequently, when they
are in the same direction from the sun, and supposing both to be at their
mean distances from that luminary, the distance between them must be,
according to the same proportion, 27,666,760 miles. It is obviously enough
to know the actual value of either of those three distances to learn very
easily the other two. The observations of the transit are intended to
ascertain the last and smaller one. How this is done, and what
difficulties are to be surmounted in doing it, we shall see further on.
Just now we will remark that supposing the observer to have ascertained to
the very furlong this distance, during the transit, between the planets,
he must still do much before he can apply his proportion. That holds good
only for the mean distances. There are only two points in the orbit or
ellipse of each planet around the sun which are at the mean distance from
that focus. Were those points for both planets to be found on the lines of
the nodes, the matter would be easy. But it is not so. In June, the earth
is approaching her greatest distance; in December, she is nearing her
smallest distance from the sun. A similar embarrassment exists for the
orbit of Venus. But the astronomer can bravely grapple with this double
difficulty. He has learned the eccentricity and consequent shape of each
ellipse, and he can calculate how far, proportionately, the actual
distance of either planet, at any given point of its orbit, exceeds or
falls short of the true mean distance. Such calculations have to be made
for the earth and for Venus as they will stand on the 8th of next
December. When this is done, the astronomer is at liberty to make use of
the actual distance learned by observation, and to apply the Keplerian
formula.

But perhaps the question suggests itself, why take all this trouble of a
circuitous route? Why not measure the distance of the sun directly, if
such things can be done at all? If it is possible to measure the distance
of Venus by observations, surely the sun, which has an apparent diameter
thirty times as great, and which can be seen every day, and from any
accessible point of the earth’s surface, gives a far ampler field for such
observations. If we have instruments so delicate as to disclose to us the
presence in the sun of iron, copper, zinc, aluminium, sodium, manganese,
magnesium, calcium, hydrogen, and other substances, surely it will be
possible to determine that comparatively gross fact—its distance from the
earth. And, in truth, what becomes of the lesson we learned in our school‐
days, that the sun was just ninety‐five millions of miles away from us?

And yet, strange as it may seem to those unacquainted with the subject, it
has been found impossible to decide, by direct observations, the actual
distance; and the distance usually accepted was not derived from such
observations. As for our lately acquired knowledge of some of the
constituent substances of the sun, that is derived from the spectroscope,
which as yet throws no light on the question of distance.

How do we ascertain the distance of bodies from us? Practice enables us to
judge, and judge correctly, of the distance and size of things immediately
around us almost without any consciousness of how we do it. But if we
analyze the process, it will be found that we do it chiefly by using both
eyes at the same time. They are separated by an interval of two and a half
to three inches. As we look at an object near to us, the rays from each
visible point of it must separate, in order to enter both eyes. The images
thus formed on the retina of each eye differ sensibly, and we
instinctively take cognizance of that difference. Speaking mathematically,
the interval is a base line, at each end of which a delicate organism
takes the angle of the object viewed, and our conclusion is based on our
perception of the difference between them. Ordinarily, we estimate
distances by the cross‐sight thus obtained. When, however, the body is so
far off that the lines of light from it to the eyes become so nearly
parallel that the eyes fail to perceive the minute difference between the
representations formed on the retina, then we must recur to the results of
past experience, and judge, as best we may, of the distance from other
data than that given us at the moment by our eyesight. Thus a sailor at
sea judges of the distance of a vessel on the horizon from the faintness
with which he sees her; for he knows that the intervening atmosphere
absorbs some of the light, so that distant objects are dim. He judges from
the fact that a vessel of the form and rig of the one he is looking at is
usually of a given size, and a certain distance is required to cause the
entire vessel to look so small, and certain portions, the size of which he
is familiar with, to become indistinguishable. He is guided, also, by the
amount to which, on account of the earth’s curvatures, the vessel seems to
be sunk below the horizon. These are data from experience. It is wonderful
with what accuracy they enable him to judge. A landsman by the seaman’s
side, and without such aid, could give only the most random guesses as to
the distance of the vessel.

That we really do make this use of both eyes in judging of the distance of
bodies near us will be evident if we bandage one eye and try to determine
their distances, only using the other. It will require caution to avoid
mistakes. We knew an aged painter, who had lost the sight of one eye, but
still continued to play, at least, with his brush. He had to use the
finger of his left hand to ascertain by touch whether the tip of his
brush, loaded with the proper color, was sufficiently near the canvas or
not. If he relied on his eye alone, it often happened that when he thought
it near, not the eighth of an inch away, it failed in reality by an inch
and a half to reach the canvas. He would ply the brush, and, noticing that
the color was not delivered, would smile sadly at what he called his
effort to paint the air. So long as he had retained the use of both eyes,
this mishap, of course, had never occurred to him.

When a surveyor desires to ascertain the distance of a visible object
which he cannot approach, he must avail himself of the same principle of
nature. He measures off on the ground where he is a suitable baseline, and
takes the angle of the object from each end of it, not vaguely by his
unaided eyesight alone, but with a well‐graduated instrument. It is, as it
were, putting his eyes that far apart, and taking the angles accurately.
From the length of the measured base‐line and the size of the two angles
he can easily calculate the distance of the object. In taking such
measurements, the surveyor must make his base sufficiently large in
proportion to the distance sought. If the base be disproportionately
small, the angles at the extremities will not serve. Their sum will be so
near 180° that the possible errors which are ever present in observations
will more than swallow up the difference left for the third angle, and the
distance is not obtained. In our excellent Coast Survey, which, in
exactness of working, is not surpassed anywhere in the world, the bases
carefully measured may be five or seven miles long, and angles under 30°
are avoided when possible.

From such measuring of distant objects on the surface of the earth, the
passage was easy to an attempt to measure the distance of heavenly bodies.
How far is the moon from us? It was soon found that a base of ten miles or
of a hundred miles was entirely too short to give satisfactory angles. The
moon was too distant. A far larger base was required. Suppose two places
to be selected on the same meridian of longitude, and therefore agreeing
in time, and situated sixty degrees of latitude apart. The distance
between them will be equal to a radius of the earth. At each station, and
at the same hours, the angles are taken which the moon makes with the
zenith, or, better still, with some star near it, coming to the meridian
at the same time. In such a case, the angles are, satisfactory. The base
is large enough. The result of such observations, and of others which we
need not dwell on, is that, when nearest to us, the centre of the moon is
distant from the centre of the earth 222,430 miles; when at her greatest
distance, 252,390 miles. These numbers are based on the fact that the
equatorial radius or semi‐diameter of the earth is 3962.57 miles. This
value, however, may in reality be a quarter of a mile too short. The mean
distance of the moon is roughly stated at 60 semi‐diameters of the earth.

When observers essayed to apply to the sun the same procedure which had
proved so successful in regard to the moon, they encountered disastrous
failures, partly because the base, even the largest practicable one, was
found to be comparatively very small; partly because, when the sun shines,
no star is visible near by from which to measure an angle; and also
because the atmosphere is so disturbed by the rays of solar heat that,
when seen through a large telescope, the sun’s edge is quite tremulous.
Hence a very large element of uncertainty is introduced when angles are
taken with the zenith. No astronomer would look with confidence on the
result obtained under such circumstances. Two hundred years ago, their
instruments were much less perfect than those we now have; yet, even with
our best instruments, to‐day, too much uncertainty remains. That mode of
ascertaining the sun’s distance has been abandoned.

Ancient astronomers, long before the invention of telescopes, and before
the discovery of the Copernican system, devised an ingenious method of
getting some light on the distance of the sun. It is attributed to
Aristarchus of Samos. They reflected that, when the moon appeared
precisely half full, this arose from the fact that the sun and the earth
were at right angles to her; the sun illumining the half turned to him,
and the plane of division between the illumined and unillumined portions
extended stretching directly to the earth. They conceived the three bodies
to stand at the angles of a right‐angled triangle, of which the distance
of the moon from the earth was the base, and the distance of the sun was
the hypothenuse. Hence they had only to measure the angle at the earth,
which they could do, and then take into account their estimate of the
moon’s distance, to arrive at the result sought. The plan is ingenious,
and taught them that the sun was at least twenty times further off than
the moon. But their estimate of the moon’s distance was altogether wide of
the mark. They had no means of correctly estimating it. Moreover, even
keen eyesight is a bad judge of whether the moon is precisely half full or
not. The error of half a dozen hours would give a large mistake. Even with
instruments such as we have, it cannot be precisely determined by direct
observations; for the surface of the moon, as developed in a powerful
telescope, is so uneven, jagged, and volcanic that the division between
light and shade is a line too uneven and broken to be determined except by
guessing at its mean course.

Another method has been also used in these later centuries. Kepler’s law
applies to all the planets. The planet next outside the earth is Mars,
whose mean distance from the sun is about one‐third greater than that of
the earth. It periodically happens that Mars is in opposition—that is, is
precisely on the other side of the earth from the sun. In that case, he
makes his nearest approach to our planet. Cannot his distance from the
earth be then observed and determined, so that he will give us the means
of calculating by Kepler’s formula the distance of the sun? It was tried,
and with some success. The base‐line was found large enough; the
observations were made at night, when the atmosphere is comparatively
quiescent, and when fixed stars may be seen in the vicinity of the planet,
to aid in taking the requisite angles. Yet, as in the case of Venus, there
are, as we have stated, subsidiary calculations to be made on account of
the eccentricity of his orbit and his varying velocity. In the case of
Mars, these variations were too full of anomalies to allow confidence in
the calculations. When afterwards these anomalies were understood to
proceed from interplanetary attraction, they were so complicated that
their numerical value almost escaped calculation. The whole subject has
been gone over in our own day under the light of more perfect
observations, and with the aid of the highest calculus. We doubt, however,
if even now the results are sufficiently established to warrant a
calculation as to the sun’s distance to which reasonable exception may not
be taken.

Anyhow, this method cannot compare, either in facility of calculation or
in accuracy of result, with the method of determining the solar distance
by observations for the transit of Venus.

Of the theory and mode of such observations we will now say a few words.

In 1677, while Halley, the great English astronomer, was at St. Helena,
for the purpose of observing and cataloguing stars south of the equator,
he observed a transit of Mercury across the face of the sun, and, from his
efforts to measure its positions and movements, was led to believe that a
transit of Venus could be so accurately observed and measured as to yield
a precise and definite determination of the sun’s distance. From the
knowledge he had of the movements of Venus, he knew that there had been a
transit of Venus in 1631, as Kepler had predicted, although no eye in
Europe had seen it; and another in 1639, which had been observed, but, of
course, not for this purpose, which in 1639 was yet unthought of. The next
transit would be in 1761. He could not hope to live to see it. But he did
the next best thing. He studied out all the conditions of the question,
published his plans, and made all the preliminary calculations required,
so as to aid in securing, as far as possible, good observations and good
results when the time came.

As the year 1761 was approaching, the scientific world was astir, pretty
much as it is now. Halley’s computations were again gone over, and such
corrections and improvements were introduced as the advance of astronomy
since his day warranted and required. Governments gave their aid and
supplied means liberally. One hundred and twenty positions had been
carefully chosen, and the best results were confidently expected. The
grand problem was about to receive a final and definite solution. The
error in the ultimate result would certainly not exceed one‐fifth of one
per cent.

The astronomers were doomed to a sad disappointment. Wars then waging
prevented some of the most important positions from being occupied by the
observers. It was bitter for a well‐appointed party to sail for months and
months over two oceans, only to see a hostile flag floating over the port
they were about to enter. Sadly they sailed away, and could only see the
transit from the rolling deck of their ship. Cloudy weather rendered other
positions valueless. And even where everything seemed to promise success,
an unforeseen phenomenon interfered to mar their work. The astronomer
might have his best telescope duly mounted, and directed to the proper
point of the heavens, and carefully adjusted; his eye might be glued to
the instrument, as he watched on one side of his field of vision a portion
of the circular edge of the sun’s disk, and on the other the round, black
spot gradually approaching. As they drew near, his hand was raised to give
the signal; his assistant stood ready to mark the very second when the two
edges, coming nearer and nearer, would at last just touch. They hoped to
seize the time of that first contact so accurately as to escape even the
one second of error or doubt which Halley thought unavoidable. Vain hope!
Before the contact, while Venus was still distant about two‐thirds of her
own diameter from the edge of the sun, a dark streak or band seemed to
interpose between them like a black cushion or wedge. As they pressed
against it, the curved outlines of their edges seemed to be pressed back
or flattened, as if by the resistance of the cushion, and to lose their
normal shape. There was a pause in the onward movement, a quivering, a
struggle, and then, by an irregular, convulsive jump, like that of two
drops of water coalescing into one, Venus was seen to have already entered
some way on the disk of the sun. The discomfited and astonished observer
was forced to record that his uncertainty as to the precise time of the
contact was not of one second only, but of at least twelve or fifteen
seconds. Was it the defect of the instrument, or the fault of his own eye,
over‐strained by long use, by the brilliant light, or by his intense
anxiety? Or was there some unknown atmospheric cause at work producing
this band? Anyhow, he might hope that other observers would be more
fortunate than he had been. Again he was in error. Everywhere the same
unexpected and puzzling phenomenon appeared. There was trouble in the
astronomical world. The fault was generally thrown on the instruments. But
whatever the cause of the mishap, there was some room for consolation.
They would soon have another opportunity, and might make another trial. In
1769, only eight years off, there would be another transit, and by that
time some means would certainly be devised for escaping the evil.

In 1769, the stations were as numerous, the governmental aid fully as
great, the instruments, they said, more perfect, and the observers, we may
be sure, as earnest and as careful as before. Perhaps they were more
skilful because of their previous experience. But again all in vain. The
same evil reappeared. The resulting uncertainty was even greater. It was
held to reach fully twenty seconds. When they undertook to calculate, from
such observations, the distance of the sun, some made it not more than
87,890,780 miles, while, according to others, it reached 108,984,560
miles, the majority finding intermediate values. On the whole, it did not
appear that there was much improvement on the estimate made by Cassini a
century and a half before, that it was not less than 85,000,000 miles.
Again and again were the records of the observations studied, scrutinized,
and weighed, and the calculations based on them repeated and criticised.
Finally, in 1824, Encke, after several years of special study of them,
summed all up, and gave, as the best result attainable, 95,274,000 miles.
The scientific world, hopeless of anything better, seemed for a time to
acquiesce. Some even upheld the estimate of Encke as “so successfully
determined as to leave no sensible doubt of its accuracy.”

But, despite this, its accuracy has since been impugned, and on very
strong grounds. It was known that light travels from the sun to the earth
in about 8 minutes 13 seconds. Experiments carefully and ingeniously made
by Arago, Foucault, and Fizeau show that light travels with a velocity of
nearly 186,000 miles a second. This would give the distance of about
91,400,000 miles.

The irregularities of the moon and of Mars have been studied out and
calculated on the theory of interplanetary attraction modifying the
attraction of the sun. Though the results vary somewhat, yet they all tend
in the same direction. Leverrier found 91,759,000 miles; Hansen, the Dane,
found 91,659,000 miles; Airey, the Astronomer‐Royal of England, whose
earlier opinion of Encke’s estimate we quoted above, has changed his
opinion, and now proposes 91,400,000 miles.

A fact in practical optics, calculated to affect some observations rather
seriously, has been discovered within the last few years. It is this: When
a white body is viewed on a dark ground, its size is exaggerated by some
illusion of our vision; and, on the contrary, a dark body seen on a bright
ground appears smaller than it would were the ground of a dark color,
differing from that of the body only as much as is required to render them
distinguishable. Now, in the transit, a dark body is seen on an intensely
bright ground. It becomes necessary, therefore, to bring in a correction
which will compensate for the error arising from this optical illusion.
This has been done by Stone, who studied out the whole matter, arrived at
certain modes of correction, applied them to Encke’s calculation, and
maintains that the true result of the observations of 1761 and 1769 should
be 91,730,000 miles.

Thus all seem to agree that the sun’s distance must be less than
92,000,000 miles, and that Encke’s estimate was too great by 3 or 4 per
cent.

This is the stage at which our astronomers now take up the question, and
aim to obtain a yet more definite and precise result. Will they succeed?
They are full of confidence now; what they will say after their
observations we may know a year hence.

Some of our readers may like to know what is the course followed in making
the observations and in calculating the results. We will give a slight
account of the chief points, sufficiently detailed to enable one with an
ordinary knowledge of trigonometry to understand how the conclusion is
reached.

The astronomers will follow two methods, known as those of Halley and of
Delisle. They each require two suitable stations, so far apart on the
surface of the earth as to give a satisfactory base‐line. In fact, the
further apart, the better, all things else being equal. For Halley’s
method, the two stations lie as nearly north and south as may be. For
Delisle’s, they lie east and west.

Let us suppose two such stations to be chosen on or nearly on the same
meridian of longitude, and 6,000 miles apart. From each of these stations
the planet is seen to traverse the disk of the sun, like a dark spot
moving steadily across an illuminated circular dial‐plate. The lines as
seen from stations so far apart are sensibly different. What the observers
first seek to know is the apparent distance between these lines, the angle
they form, when seen from the earth. Were both visible at once from the
same station, through the same telescope, it would not be difficult for a
skilful observer to measure the angle directly. But at each station only
one line is seen, if, indeed, we may properly give that name to the course
of the dark spot that passes on and leaves no trace behind. Each observer
must determine correctly the position of his line on the face of the sun,
in order that it may be afterwards compared with the other line similarly
determined at the other, and the apparent distance between them is then
determined by calculation.

How to determine the true position of such a line is the delicate and
difficult task. One mode is to take the measurements in two directions on
the face of the sun, northward and eastward, from the position of the
planet to the edge of the solar disk. This must be done for a number of
positions which the planet occupies successively as it moves onward. But
such measurements are very hard to be obtained with the desired precision.
The edge of the sun, viewed in a large telescope, appears always
tremulous, on account of the action of solar heat on our own terrestrial
atmosphere. The better and larger the telescope, and the brighter the day,
the greater and the more embarrassing does this tremulousness appear. Such
measurements are difficult, and are open to too much uncertainty.

There is another mode, which, if successfully used, is far more accurate.
The lines or paths which the planet, viewed from the observatories, is
seen to follow are chords across a circle—largest when they pass through
the sun’s centre and become diameters, smaller as their course is more
distant from the sun’s centre. Being both due to the motion of the same
body moving at what we may hold to be a uniform velocity, their lengths
must be proportional to the times required for tracing them. Being chords,
a knowledge of their relative lengths determines with accuracy their
position on the circular disk of the sun, and consequently their distance
apart. Hence the importance of catching, with the utmost exactness, the
beginning and the ending of the transit. The first exterior contact is
noted when the circular edge of Venus just touches the circular edge of
the sun; then the first interior contact when the entire little, dark
circle of Venus is just fully on the sun. Midway between the two, the
centre of Venus was just on the edge of the sun. Similarly, the second
interior contact and the second exterior contact, if accurately and
successfully observed, will show the instant of time when the centre of
Venus passed off from the sun’s surface. It was, as we saw, in making
these delicate observations, that the observers of 1761 and 1769 failed,
to a great extent, on account of the mysterious appearance of the black
band, of which we gave an account. Will this embarrassing phenomenon again
make its appearance next December? If it be due, as some think, to an
aberration of sphericity in the lenses of the instruments, it may not be
seen. For our telescopes are far more perfect than those of 1769. If it is
due, as others maintain, to an interference of light in the observation, a
more delicate manipulation of the instrument may, it is hoped, avoid it.
If it is due to some optical illusion in our own eye, it will, of course,
appear again, and must be grappled with. The observers now being trained
at Greenwich, in preparation for the grand day, have a facsimile of the
sun and Venus, which are made to move in such manner as to give as exact a
representation of the transit as is possible; and they practise
observations on this artificial transit. It is said that even in this fac‐
simile the black band has shown itself, and that one important lesson now
being learned is how to judge of the instant of contact, despite of this
obstacle.

There is, however, a still better safeguard—the use of photography. The
transit will record itself more minutely and more accurately than any
ordinary observations for measurement could do. Various plans will be
used. One proposed is to have one hundred and eighty prepared and highly
sensitive plates along the circumference of a suitable wheel made to
revolve regularly by clock‐work. During three minutes, these plates come,
one every second, successively into position to receive and record the
images of the transit, as the planet for those three minutes is entering
on the sun. Other plates, at stated and accurately measured intervals of
time, will similarly record its regular progress across the sun; and
another wheel, with one hundred and eighty other plates, will record the
successive changes each second for the three minutes occupied by its exit
over the sun’s border. These are all, of course, negatives on glass. From
them any number of impressions can be taken, in the usual way, for general
distribution among the scientists. In order that such impressions may
still serve for the finest measurements, despite of any variations of
expansion, contraction, or warping which the atmospheric changes may
produce, a system of fine, spider‐web lines is placed inside the
telescope, producing on the photograph itself a network of fine lines,
some running north and south, others crossing them east and west. These
lines are at equal distances apart, and serve admirably for measuring the
position of the planet on the solar face. If the photographic sheet should
become quite distorted, these lines would show it; for they would of
course follow the distortion, and yet, after that distortion, they would
still guide us to accurate measurements. It is hoped that this means and
the many other photographic devices to be used will secure a degree of
accuracy far beyond what Halley anticipated and would have been satisfied
with.

The spectroscope comes in also to aid in determining the contacts with the
utmost precision. The light of the solar photosphere, or body of the sun,
when made to pass through the prisms of a spectroscope, spreads into a
continuous band of various colors, and crossed by many faint, dark lines.
Other bodies, raised to a certain heat, and emitting light, give a
spectrum of a totally different character. We see only bright upright
lines. There is no continuous band or spectrum of prismatic colors. Now,
just outside the solar photosphere, and between it and the chromosphere,
is a layer of solar atmosphere which gives just such upright, bright
lines. This was first discovered not many years ago during a total solar
eclipse, when the direct light of the photosphere was cut off by the
interposing moon. Knowing what to look for, the astronomers have since
been able so to manipulate their telescopes as to catch these bright
lines, even when there is no eclipse. They find them, of course, as they
examine, a narrow ring apparently encircling the sun, and immediately
around his circumference. Now, when the moment of the beginning of the
transit is at hand, the spectroscope is turned to the precise point where
Venus will touch the sun’s rim, and these lines are clearly brought into
vision. So long as they shine, the way is open for the light of that
narrow layer or belt to reach the earth. The instant their bright flash
disappears, the observer knows that the planet has so moved as to
intercept the rays of light, and is just in contact. Their reappearance,
at the proper time, on the other side of the sun, will indicate the
instant when Venus will have quitted the disk and the transit is over.

It is confidently expected that by some one or by all of these methods the
uncertainties of 1761 and 1769 will be avoided, and that the instants of
the commencement and the conclusion of each line of the transit may be so
accurately determined that for neither of them will the error as to their
duration exceed one second. Did the time occupied by Venus in making the
transit, as seen from one station, differ from the time as seen at the
other by only one minute, the uncertainty of one second would be less than
two per cent. But, in fact, the times will differ by fifteen minutes, and,
by skilfully choosing the places, a difference of twenty minutes may be
obtained. In that case, the error or uncertainty would be less than one‐
tenth of one per cent. For the present, the scientific world will be
satisfied with that degree of exactness.

Let us return to our supposition of two stations north and south, 6,000
miles apart. The two lines of transit, as seen from them, are separated
about 35 of an arc. This is as the lines are seen from the earth. If we
recur to Kepler’s proportion, as stated before—that the distance of the
earth from the sun is to the distance of Venus from the sun as 10,000,000
is to 7,233,324—we can make use of a trigonometrical calculation, and
easily ascertain that those same lines on the sun, seen by an observer on
Venus, would appear about 48‐½" apart. Moreover, the lines from the sun to
Venus, forming this angle, cross each other at the planet, and, if
prolonged, will reach the two stations on the earth. Hence, since opposite
interior angles are equal, this (48‐½") must be the angle at which the
same observer on Venus, turning towards the earth, would see the two
stations. We arrive thus at a triangle, in which the base is known—6,000
miles; the angle at the vertex on Venus is also known—48‐½"; and the
angles at the base are easily ascertainable. A simple calculation leads to
the distance of Venus from the earth—about 25,300,000 miles. Again,
applying Kepler’s formula to this number, we obtain as the result, for the
earth’s distance from the sun, about 91,450,000 miles. If we give here
only rough approximations, we are, after all, as near the truth as the
astronomers of to‐day can boast of being. In a minute calculation,
subsidiary but important points are to be brought in, complicating the
calculation and influencing the result.

After this statement of the general character of Halley’s method, we may
be brief in our notice of the yet more beautiful mode of Delisle. He
proposed it before the transits of the last century. But its efficiency so
entirely depends on an accurate knowledge of the longitudes of the
stations, and the longitudes of distant stations were then so uncertain,
that it could not then be used with success.

In this mode, two stations are necessary, east and west, or, rather, along
that line on the earth’s surface from all points of which the transit will
show the same line on the solar disk. The further apart the stations are,
the better; for the base between them will be larger. To know the distance
between them, we must know their longitudes as accurately as their
latitudes. From the longitudes we ascertain with precision the difference
of time between them. At one of those stations, the first exterior contact
is seen, and the exact time is noted. As Venus moves on, the shadow of
this first contact flies along that line of the earth’s surface like the
shadow of a cloud in spring traversing the fields. It is only after the
lapse of a certain length of time that the contact is seen and timed at
the other station. This certain length of time is the key to the solution.
It may be determined by observations on any one or on all the contacts, or
by the observation of any other points of the transit examined and timed
at both stations. It is obvious that the contacts, being the most
unmistakable in their character, will be all used to check and control
each other; the more so, as they serve also, as we saw, for Halley’s
method. The most careful use of the telescope will be supplemented by the
photograph and the spectroscope.

Let two such stations be chosen which, by their longitudes and latitudes,
we know to be 5,000 miles apart. It will be found that the transit, or any
special point of it, will be seen at the second station about three
minutes of time later than at the first. This means that the shadow of
Venus travels 5,000 miles in three minutes on the earth’s surface or at
the earth’s distance from the sun. Applying Kepler’s formula, we find
that, to produce this effect, Venus herself must have travelled about
3,860 miles in those three minutes. There‐fore in 224.7 days—her solar
year—she would travel about 416 millions of miles, supposing that, during
the transit, she was moving at her mean velocity. This, then, is the
length of her periphery of her orbit around the sun. Observations have
determined its shape. Now that we know its size, it is not difficult to
ascertain what her mean distance from the sun must be. It is about
66,300,000 miles. From this, the usual formula leads us to the earth’s
distance from the sun—91,650,000 miles. We merely indicate the salient
points of the process, and that with summary numbers. An astronomer would
enter into minor questions: how far the earth had travelled in her orbit
during those three minutes, and what had been the special motion of the
second station during the same time, on account of the diurnal revolution
of the earth on its axis. He would carefully establish the proportion of
the distances between the sun and Venus and the earth, during the transit,
to their mean distances as contemplated in Kepler’s law, and he would
compare the velocity of Venus at that time with her mean velocity. Other
points, too, would have to be brought in, complicating the whole process
to an extent that would soften the brain of any one but a calculating
astronomer.

In Halley’s method, the effort is to obtain two transit lines on the sun
as widely apart as possible. For that purpose, the stations must differ in
latitude as widely as possible. In Delisle’s method, on the contrary, the
longitude becomes of primary importance. The latitude can be easily
determined. Hence, in the last century, Halley’s method was almost
exclusively adopted. But now we can use both; for we have better
instruments and better star catalogues, and can determine longitudes by
astronomical observations much more accurately than could ordinarily be
done a century ago. In addition, we have now almost faultless
chronometers. Besides all these means, we have, and will use to a great
extent, the grand American invention of determining the longitude by the
electric telegraph with an accuracy which leaves nothing to be desired.

While each method requires at least two stations, a greater number would
support and control each other, and allow us to take the average result of
a greater number of observations. Four stations at the corners of a large
quadrangle on the surface of the earth might give two sets of stations for
each method. But this year the stations may be nearer a hundred.

Careful preliminary studies have already determined on what portion of the
earth the transit will be visible. The most available points will be
turned to account for stations. We say available; for, unfortunately, much
of that space is occupied by oceans, while astronomical stations must
perforce be situated on firm land. Some of the best points, too, seem
almost inaccessible. Still, there is a vast line of posts determined on in
the northern hemisphere, and quite a number, to correspond with them, in
the southern. Beginning at Alexandria, in Egypt, the line stretches
northward and eastward through Palestine, Georgia, Tartary, Middle Asia,
and Northern China to Yeddo, in Japan, perhaps to Honolulu, in the
Sandwich Islands. Along a great part of this line, the Russian telegraphic
wires will give exact longitudes, thus affording a fine field for the use
of Delisle’s method. In the southern hemisphere, the line may be set down
as commencing near the Cape of Good Hope, bending southeastwardly to the
lately discovered Antarctic lands, passing south of Australia, then
turning upwards towards the equator, and terminating at Nukahiva, in the
Sandwich Islands, in the South Pacific Ocean. Along this line, at Crozet
Island, at St. Paul’s, at Reunion, at Kerguelen Land—further south, if the
southern summer will have sufficiently melted the snows and driven back
the ice‐barrier to allow the observers to land and work—at Campbell Land,
in New Caledonia, and in other places, stations will be established,
between which and corresponding stations in the northern line Halley’s
method may be used.

Time, learning, skill, energy, money, everything that man can give, will
be devoted to ensure success in the astronomical work to be done on the
8th of December next. Such earnestness commands respect, and wins our
sympathy and best wishes.

May the day itself—the festival of the Immaculate Virgin Mother—be an
augury of success! Astronomers, as a body, are less infected with the
virus of modern scepticism and materialism than any other class of our
scientists of to‐day. On the contrary, not a few, standing in the front
rank among them, are devout children of the church. Some of their chiefs
are even numbered among her clergy. They will not omit on that day to
invoke the blessing of heaven and the intercession of their Holy Mother.
May their fervent prayers be heard, and may He who “has ordered all things
in measure and number and weight”(66) bless and give success to their
labors!

Yet they can only look for an approximation to the truth, not the truth
itself. They will see more clearly than before how the heavens declare the
glory of God. But there will remain obscurity and uncertainty enough to
teach them humility in his presence. For “God hath made all things good in
their time, and hath delivered the world to the consideration of the sons
of men, so that man cannot find out the work which God hath made, from the
beginning to the end.” This was true when the inspired Ecclesiastes wrote,
and is still, and must ever be, true. The history of the progress of
physical sciences is practical, tangible evidence of it. Each generation
has to correct the mistakes and discard the errors of a preceding
generation, and must acknowledge the uncertainty of much that it continues
to hold or boasts of having discovered.

No greater absurdity is conceivable than that of a man puffed up with
pride because of the little knowledge he has gained—little indeed, though
he may think it a great deal—who sets his intellect against the infinite
wisdom and the revelation of God. The more man really knows, the more
conscious he becomes of his own failures in many things, and of the vast
extent of his ignorance.



The Veil Withdrawn.


Translated, By Permission, From The French of Madame Craven, Author Of “A
Sister’s Story,” “Fleurange,” Etc.

“The one thing worth showing to mankind is a human soul.”—_Browning_



I.


SEPTEMBER 1, 1871.

It was at Messina, July 15, 18—. I have never forgotten the date. It was
just after my fifteenth birthday. The balcony of the room where I was
sitting overlooked the sea. From time to time, but more and more faintly,
could be heard the noise of the waves breaking against the shore. It was
the hour called in Italy the _contr’ ora_—the hour when, in summer, the
whole horizon is aflame with the scorching rays of the already declining
sun, which are no longer tempered by the gentle wind from the sea that
every morning refreshes the shore. The windows, that had been open during
the earlier part of the day, were now shut, the blinds lowered, and the
shutters half closed. Profound silence reigned within doors and without.
For many, this is the hour of a siesta; and for all, a time of inaction
and repose.

I was holding a book in my hand, not from inclination or pleasure, but
simply through obedience, because I had a lesson to learn. But that was no
task. I took no pleasure in studying, nor was it repugnant to me, for I
learned without any difficulty. The chief benefit of study was therefore
lost on me. It required no effort.

I had not yet even taken the trouble to open my book, for I saw by the
clock I had ample time. At six I always went into the garden, which I was
not allowed to enter during the heat of the day. There was still an hour
before me, and I knew that a quarter of that time would be sufficient to
accomplish my task. I therefore remained indolently seated on a low chair
against the wall, near the half‐open shutter, motionless and dreaming, my
eyes wandering vaguely through the obscurity that surrounded me.

The room I occupied was a large _salon_. The ceiling covered with frescos,
and the stuccoed walls brilliantly ornamented with flowers and arabesques,
prevented this vast apartment from seeming gloomy or ill‐furnished. And
yet, according to the tastes I have since acquired, it was absolutely
wanting in everything signified by the word “comfort,” which, though now
fully understood in our country, has nevertheless no corresponding term in
our language. A clumsy gilt _console_, on which stood a ponderous clock,
with an immense looking‐glass above, occupied the further end of the room;
and in the middle stood a large, round, scagliola table under a
magnificent chandelier of Venetian glass. This chandelier, as well as the
mirrors that hung around, not for use, but to ornament the walls with
their handsome gilt frames and the figures painted on their surface, were
the richest and most admired objects in the room. A few arm‐chairs
systematically arranged, a long sofa that entirely filled one of the
recesses, and here and there some light chairs, were usually the only
furniture of this vast apartment; but that day a small couch stood near
the window, and on it reclined my mother—my charming young mother!—her
head resting on a pillow, and her eyes closed. On her knee lay a small
book, open at a scarcely touched page, which, with the ink‐stand on a
little table before her, and the pen fallen at her feet, showed she had
been overpowered by sleep or fatigue while she was writing.

My mother at that time was barely thirty‐two years of age. People said we
looked like sisters, and there was no exaggeration in this. I was already
taller than she, and those who saw me for the first time thought me two
years older than I really was; whereas my mother, owing to the delicacy of
her features and the transparency of her complexion, retained all the
freshness of twenty years of age. I looked at her. Her beautiful hair,
parted on her pale brow, fell on the pillow like a frame around her face,
which looked more lovely than ever to me. There was a deeper flush than
usual on her cheeks, and her half‐open lips were as red as coral.... I
smilingly gazed at her with admiration and love! Alas! I was too much of a
child to realize that this beauty was ominous, and that I had much more
reason to weep!...

My mother was left an orphan at fifteen years of age without any
protector, and poverty would have been added to her other privations had
not Fabrizio dei Monti, a friend of her father’s, and a celebrated lawyer,
succeeded in snatching the young heiress’ property from the hands of a
grasping relative who had been contending for it. This law‐suit had been
going on several years, and the result was still doubtful when Count
Morani, Bianca’s father, died.

He who rendered the young orphan so signal a service was then about
thirty‐five years old. He was a widower, and the father of two children,
to whom he devoted all the time left him by his numerous clients, whom his
reputation for ability brought from all parts of Sicily—famed, as every
one knows, for the most complicated and interminable law‐suits. Fabrizio,
after his wife’s death, had given up all intercourse with society, except
what was imposed on him by the obligations of his profession. With this
exception, his life was spent in absolute retirement with an austerity as
rare among his fellow‐citizens as his long fidelity to the memory of the
wife he had lost.

But when, after advocating Bianca’s cause, he found himself to be her only
protector, he at once felt the difficulty and danger of such a situation,
and resolved to place her, without any delay, under the guardianship of a
husband of her own choice. He therefore ran over the names of the many
aspirants to the hand of the young heiress, and gave her a list of those
he thought the most worthy of her.

“You have forgotten one,” said Bianca in a low tone, after glancing over
it.

“Whom?” ... inquired Fabrizio in an agitated tone, not daring to interpret
the glance that accompanied her words.

Bianca still retained all the simplicity of a child, and the timidity of
womanhood had not yet come over her. Accordingly, she said, as she looked
directly towards him, that she should never feel for any one else the
affection she had for him; and if he would not have her, she would go into
a convent, and never be married.

It was thus my mother became Fabrizio dei Monti’s wife, and, in spite of
the difference of their ages, there never was a nobler, sweeter union. A
happier couple could not have been found in the world during the fourteen
years that followed my birth. But for several months past, my father had
appeared depressed and anxious. Sometimes I could see his eyes blinded by
tears as he looked at my mother, but the cause I did not understand. It is
true, she often complained of fatigue, and remained in bed for hours,
which became more and more prolonged. And now and then she passed the
whole day there. But when she was up, as she had been that day, she did
not look ill. On the contrary, I never saw her look more beautiful than
while I was thus gazing at her with admiration and a love amounting to
idolatry....

After remaining for some time in the same attitude, I at length took my
book, and endeavored to give my whole attention to my lesson. But the heat
was stifling, and, after a few moments, I was, in my turn, overpowered by
an irresistible drowsiness, to which I insensibly yielded without changing
my position, and soon sank into a profound slumber.

I had been asleep some time, when I was suddenly awakened by a remote,
indistinct sound that seemed like the continuation of the dream it had
interrupted. This sound was the footsteps of a horse....

I sprang up without taking time for a moment’s reflection. I raised the
blinds, hurriedly opened the shutters and the window, and sprang out on
the balcony.... The room was at once flooded with light and filled with
the evening air. The sun had just disappeared, and a fresh breeze fanned
my cheeks.... I heard my mother cough feebly, but did not turn back. I was
overpowered by one thought, which made me forget everything
else—everything!—even _her_!... I leaned forward to see if I was mistaken.
No, it was really _he_!... I saw him appear at the end of the road that
connected our house with the shore. He rode slowly along on his beautiful
horse, which he managed with incomparable grace. As he came nearer, he
slackened his pace still more, and, when beneath the balcony, stopped,
and, taking off his hat, bowed profoundly, the wind meanwhile blowing
about the curls of his jet‐black hair. Then he raised his eyes, of the
color and tempered clearness of agate, and with a beseeching, passionate
look seemed to implore me for some favor.... I knew what he meant....
Foolish child that I was! I snatched from my hair the carnation I had
placed there an hour before, and threw it towards him!...

At that instant I heard a piercing cry—a cry that still rings in my heart,
and the memory of which will never be effaced—“Ginevra!”.... Hurrying in,
I found my mother standing in the floor, pale and gasping for breath, with
her arms extended towards me.... I instantly realized I had been guilty of
an indiscretion which had afflicted and displeased her. I was at once
filled with sorrow, and on the point of throwing myself at her feet to beg
her forgiveness; but before I had time to speak, or even reach her, she
fell back on her couch in a semi‐unconscious state that I should have
thought a swoon, had not a spasmodic groan from time to time escaped from
her breast, and when I did prostrate myself, had she not seized one of my
hands, which she continued to hold with a strong grasp in hers....

We remained thus for some minutes without my being able to leave her to
call for assistance, though the frightful change in her face filled me
with inexpressible terror as well as the keenest anguish. I withdrew my
hand at last, and threw my arms around her neck, exclaiming repeatedly
amid my sobs: “Forgive me! Answer me! Oh! tell me that you forgive me!...”
She made no reply, however, but by degrees she returned to herself and
grew calm. Then, taking me in her arms, she held me a long time closely
embraced, as if she felt there was no safety for me anywhere else, and
longed in some way for the power of taking me once more into her maternal
breast, that I might live with her life, or die if she died!...

O Almighty God! the prayer that then rose from her heart in behalf of her
poor child thou alone didst hear! But when I recall all the errors of my
past life and thy wonderful mercy towards me, I feel it was in answer to
that prayer thou hast bestowed on me so many benefits! I know that at that
instant a new source of grace was opened to me never to be exhausted—a
look of mercy vouchsafed that nothing has ever extinguished!...

My mother still remained speechless, but her respiration became more and
more regular, though, alas! still too rapid, and her features resumed
their usual appearance. But her bright color had given place to a deadly
paleness, and a large dark ring encircled her sweet, expressive eyes, now
fastened on me with a look I had never read there before. She bent down
and kissed me, and I felt two great tears fall on my forehead, as her pale
lips murmured these words:

“O my God! since it is thy will I should die and leave her behind me, I
commit her to thy care. Watch over her, I pray thee, better than I have
done.”

“Die!” ... my mother die!... I sprang up with a sudden, violent bound, as
if smitten to the heart, and stood motionless like one petrified. A
frightful vision appeared before me!... a vision I had not been prepared
for by the slightest apprehension, or anxiety, or suspicion.
Notwithstanding the too precocious development of my sensibilities, there
was something child‐like in my peculiar temperament that had blinded my
eyes, now so suddenly opened! I tried to recall the words I had just
heard, but my mind grew confused, and was conscious of nothing but a sharp
pang I had never yet experienced, but the cause of which had faded from my
remembrance. I turned away, perhaps with the vague thought of calling
assistance, perhaps to close the window, but staggered, as if dizzy, and
fell to the ground behind the curtain of the window.

At that instant the door opened. I heard the mingled voices of my father
and several other persons. Some one sprang forward, exclaiming: “The
window open at this late hour!... Who could have been so imprudent?” Then
I was conscious that they were gathering around my mother. My father took
her up in his arms, and carried her out of the room.... No one had
perceived me in the increasing obscurity, as I lay on the floor, half
concealed by the curtain. I had not fainted, but I was in a partially
insensible state, incapable of any clear notions except the wish to lose
all consciousness of suffering in a sleep from which I should never
awake!...



II.


I know not how long I remained in this condition. When I opened my eyes,
the moon was shining so brightly that the room was as light as day. I rose
up, and threw a terrified glance around. Everything in the moonlight wore
an ominous aspect, and I shuddered as my eyes fell on the couch and the
white pillow on which I had seen my mother’s face resting. What had
happened?... A long time seemed to have elapsed, and I felt as if on the
edge of an abyss—an abyss of sorrow into which I was about to be
precipitated. O my God! was it a mere dream, or was it a frightful
reality? I could not tell. I soon became conscious of an excruciating pain
in my head, and my teeth began to chatter with a violent chill. I rose up
to go out, but it was only with the greatest difficulty that I reached my
mother’s couch, on which I threw myself in despair, burying my face in the
pillow where she had reposed her dear head. I burst into sobs, and this
explosion of grief afforded me momentary relief.

I then attempted to leave the room, and was proceeding towards the door,
when my attention was attracted to something that had fallen on the floor.
It was my mother’s little book, the silver clasp of which glittered in the
light of the moon. I picked it up, and had just concealed it, when the
door opened, and my sister Livia (my father’s oldest daughter) appeared
with a light in her hand.

“Gina!” she exclaimed, “how you frightened me! What are you doing here,
child, at this late hour? I thought you were in the garden. How long have
you been here?”

I made no reply. I felt as if I should die of mortification, should any
one learn what had taken place before my mother’s ill turn; but Livia did
not repeat her question. She was pale and preoccupied, and her eyes were
red with weeping.

What could have happened? My heart throbbed with suspense, but I had not
courage enough to ask a single question. She had come for the pillow left
on the couch, and seemed to be hunting for something she could not find.
Perhaps it was my mother’s note‐book, which at night she always laid on a
table beside her bed. But I did not give it to her. I wished to restore it
myself, and, though generally frank with Livia, said nothing about finding
it. Agitated as I was, I felt that this little book was a treasure that
belonged solely to me—a treasure of which I must never allow any one to
deprive me. She made me hold a light to aid her in her vain search, but,
not finding it, she took the rest of the things on the stand, and left the
room. I followed her, and we walked along together through the gallery
that led to my mother’s chamber, which was at the end.

This gallery, or, rather, open _loggia_, looked down on the inner court of
the old palace we lived in, and extended entirely around it. The landing
of the principal staircase to the first story connected with the gallery,
was precisely opposite the place where we were, when, all at once, we
heard in that direction a sound—confused at first, and then more
distinct—of chanting and the measured steps of several people, mingled
with the constant ringing of a bell. Presently a bright light shone
through all that side of the gallery, and through the arches we saw a long
procession appear, and proceed around towards the door directly before us,
... the door of my mother’s chamber.... Livia knelt down, and made a sign
for me to do the same, but I remained standing, my eyes staring wide open
before me in a kind of stupor. I saw the long file of white penitents as
they came with lighted torches in their hands; then appeared the canopy
under which walked Don Placido, my mother’s aged confessor, carrying the
Divine Host in a silver Ciborium.... I could see his long, white beard,
his bowed head, his sad, recollected look, and that was all. In an instant
the truth flashed across my mind; then everything vanished.

This new shock followed the other so quickly that it caused a deeper and
more dangerous swoon; and when I was taken up senseless, and carried to my
chamber, it was with the fear that this fatal night would be the last for
the daughter as well as the mother....

I have no recollection of what took place for a long while after. I only
remember that, opening my eyes one day, I saw Ottavia (my mother’s nurse,
who had brought me up) beside my bed. I recognized her, and stammered a
few words.... She murmured: “Blessed be God!” but did not add another
word. A thousand thoughts rushed across my mind, but I could not analyze
them, and the one which might seem of the least importance was that which
I gave utterance to first.

“My mother’s book,” ... I said repeatedly.

Ottavia, without speaking, at once raised the lid of a large ebony coffer
that stood on the table not far from my bed, and took out the little book
with the silver clasp. She held it up, and then replaced it in the box,
which she locked. Turning to me, she put her finger on her lips. I obeyed
the sign, and remained silent, but I slept no more till evening. By
degrees my mind grew clear, and my confused recollections distinct. The
fever that had brought me so near to death’s door now abated, and from
that day my convalescence was rapid. But the chief thing that renewed life
and strength restored, was the faculty of suffering, and comprehending in
all its fulness the reality of my misfortune.

My mother was no more. She did not live to see the morrow of the day when
she embraced me for the last time. My father’s agitated face revealed this
terrible fact more clearly even than the mourning he wore.... But I did
not learn the details of her last hours till a long time after the day
when, for the second time, he lost the light of his fireside. Knowing the
keen impetuosity of my disposition, a violent explosion of grief had been
anticipated. But it was not so. On the contrary, I fell into a state of
gloomy silence that gave rise to fresh anxiety to those who had so long
trembled for my life.

The physician, however, advised my father, my sister Livia, and Ottavia,
who took turns at my bedside, to leave everything to time without
attempting to oppose me. I therefore passed day after day without
appearing to notice their presence. But on other days, I silently made
some sign of gratitude, which would bring a smile to my father’s pale
face. Then Livia would embrace me, saying: “Courage, _bambina_!(67) Try to
love God’s holy will.” Or Ottavia, as she used to do when I was only four
years old, would hold up the silver cross on her cornelian rosary, which I
always looked at with pleasure. And when they saw me kiss it for the first
time, they began to hope, in spite of my silence, for the return of my
reason. But my eyes would become fixed again, and I would cease to
recognize any one. And when my pillow was found wet with my tears, as was
often the case, the physician would say: “That is a good sign; let her
weep. It is a relief she needs.” But days passed, and my mental condition
remained the same.

My strength nevertheless returned. I was able to get up, and several times
I walked a few steps on the terrace leading from my chamber without any
injury. But nothing could break the unnatural silence that transformed
into an inanimate statue the girl whose excessive vivacity and
unrestrained liveliness had sometimes disturbed, sometimes enlivened, the
whole house, filling it throughout with the sense of her presence.

One day I was sitting on my terrace, looking off over the gulf, when
Ottavia approached, and, as usual, began to talk with the vain hope of
drawing forth some reply. I generally listened in silence, but that day a
new train of thought came into my mind, which I felt the power of pursuing
clearly, calmly, and with a certain persistence that proved my physical
strength was at last beginning to triumph over the kind of mental
paralysis which made my convalescence seem like a new phase of my disease.

Ottavia had placed a number of books on a small table beside me. She knew
nothing of them but the covers, but she offered them to me one by one,
hoping to induce me to read—a diversion it was desirable I should take to.
At last I shook my head, and for the first time pushed away the book she
offered me. Then I spoke, and the sound of my voice was a joyful surprise
to my faithful attendant:

“No, Ottavia, not that one. I want another book, and that alone—the one
you put away there,” with a gesture and glance towards the further end of
my chamber.

Ottavia understood me, but hesitated between the joyful hope of my cure
awakened by my reply, and the fear of causing fresh excitement which might
bring on another relapse. But after all the means that had been used to
rouse me from the state of apathy into which I had fallen, it did not seem
prudent to oppose that which I had chosen myself. She therefore obeyed my
request, and, without any reply, opened the ebony coffer where she had put
my mother’s book, as if it were a relic, and placed it in my hands.

“Thank you, Ottavia,” I said. And putting my arms around her neck, I
kissed her, causing big tears of joy to roll down her cheeks. “And now
leave me, I beg of you; leave me alone for an hour.”

She hesitated a moment, and looked at me uneasily, but then complied as
before with my wish, and, after seeing that I was sheltered from the sun
and wind, noiselessly left the balcony through my room.

I then kissed the cover of the book I held in my hand, and opened it with
awe. It seemed to me I was about to hear my mother’s voice from the depths
of the tomb!



III.


MAY 15, 18—

——Ginevra! It is to her I consecrate these pages—the child that at once
fills my heart with inexpressible anxiety and the tenderest affection—the
child whom I love so dearly, but whom my hands perhaps are too feeble to
guide. And yet I shudder at the thought of leaving her behind me. My
strength, however, is rapidly failing, and I feel that my poor child will
soon be left alone.

Alone! This word may seem harsh to you, Fabrizio mio, and, lest this
should meet your eye, I will explain my meaning.

I know you have as tender a heart as mine, and your prudence is far
greater; but, to tell you the truth, you likewise are too fond of her! You
know how many times I have taken her from your arms to make room for poor
Livia, so often grieved by your involuntary forgetfulness, but not
offended with her little sister, because she too, like every one else,
felt that Ginevra from her infancy had the power of charming every eye and
heart around her!...

But though to Livia you were sometimes indifferent, you were never severe,
whereas, though generally too indulgent to Ginevra, when you detected some
fault in her, I have often seen you inclined to go from one extreme to
another, and been obliged to beg you to leave the correction to time or to
her mother.

She has grown up, as she is, in our midst, like one of the flowers of our
clime which put forth their beauty almost without cultivation, rejoicing
our hearts and our eyes, and intoxicating us all with the perfume of her
grace and caressing affection.

O yes! it is nothing but intoxication, and I have perhaps yielded to it
with too much delight; but I repeat it, it is I alone, among all who have
loved her, whose delight has been unmingled with blindness.

Perhaps this was because (pardon me, Fabrizio) I loved her more than any
one else, and because the affection of a mother has something divine in
its clearness of vision. I see this charming child, to whom I have given
birth, as she is. I understand her real nature. I look into her pure soul
as into the limpid waters of some beautiful lake. But clouds are now
passing over its surface. Others are rising and gathering, and I tremble
to think a storm may some day rise up to overwhelm and crush her!

JUNE 1.

This is Ginevra’s fifteenth birthday. I will describe her, not only as she
appears to me, but to every one else.

She is slender and graceful in form, and an inch or two taller than I.
There is an habitual sweetness and languor in her large, brown eyes; but
when they are suddenly lit up with surprise, wonder, or any other
unexpected emotion, they glow with wonderful expression and brilliancy.
Her hair, of a golden hue which is as beautiful as it is rare in our
country, parts on a pure white brow which forms almost a continued
straight line with a nose of perfect regularity, so that her profile would
be quite faultless were not her mouth larger than is consistent with the
standard of classical beauty. But this blemish is redeemed by the
expression of her mouth, sometimes grave and thoughtful enough to excite
anxiety, sometimes half open with a child‐like smile, and often extended
with hearty laughter, like that of a peasant, displaying two beautiful
rows of small, white teeth.

And now, O my child! I would with the same sincerity describe the
lineaments of your soul, which is far dearer to me than your face—yes,
dearer to me than my own life, or even than yours!

In the inner recesses of this soul—and I thank God for it!—is hidden, even
from her, a jewel of purity and truth which it would be far easier to
crush than deface. Then, like a strong wind that cannot shake this
foundation, but seeks entrance through every pore, beats a loving nature
that cannot be denied its food, which is the predominant trait in her
character. Passing over her other good qualities and her defects, and
speaking merely of her outward appearance, it must be confessed that she
manifests the excessive vanity of a child, and a want of reflection that
would be surprising in a girl of ten years old, mingled with a passionate
ardor that would excite anxiety in one of twenty!

Such is my poor child—such are the attractive but alarming traits that
constitute the peculiar nature she has inherited.

O Almighty God! ... two more years of life, ... that I may watch over her
till the day I am able to entrust her to the care of some one she can
regard with the true devotion of a wife!

Alas! this desire is consuming my life. It is shortening my days. It is
hastening my end, which I regard with calmness when I merely consider
myself, but which fills me with terror when I think only of her.

JUNE 15.

It was your wish, Fabrizio, and I yielded to it. But it was not without
repugnance I saw her go to this ball. You say your sister will watch over
her; but I know Donna Clelia better than you. She has no eyes but for her
own daughters, and will think she has done her duty to Ginevra by seeing,
when she arrives, that her dress has not been crumpled on the way, and, at
her return, that she has lost none of her ribbons. She will separate her
from her own daughters, you may be sure, lest she eclipse them, and leave
her alone—alone in the gay world where she appears for the first time....
You smiled when you saw her ready to start. You whispered with pride that
a lovelier creature never was seen.... Ah! Fabrizio, at that moment how I
wished she were less charming, or, at least, that her beauty could be
hidden from every eye!...

Do you remember the assertion of a queen of France about which we were
conversing only a few days since? You thought it too severe, but to me it
only seems reasonable; for it gives expression to the most earnest wish of
my heart. O yes! like her, I would rather see the child I love so
passionately—a thousand times rather—see her die than contract the
slightest stain!...

The hours are passing away, and I must seek calmness in prayer. I feel as
if in this way I shall still be able to protect her....

Clelia promised to bring her home at eleven. The clock has just struck
twelve, and she has not yet arrived....

JUNE 25.

I have been ill for a few days past, and unable to write. To‐day I feel
somewhat better, and, though my mind has been greatly disturbed, will try
to collect my thoughts.

I was not deceived in my presentiment. I thought the day of the ball would
be a fatal one, and I was not mistaken. As I said, at midnight she had not
returned. I awaited her arrival with increased anxiety of mind, lying
awake a whole hour after that, listening to every sound, and repeatedly
mistaking the noise of the sea for that of the carriage bringing her
home.... At last, about half‐past one, I heard the rumbling of the wheels,
and presently recognized her light step in the gallery. She passed my door
without stopping, and had arrived at her own chamber, when Ottavia, who
had been sitting up with me, went after her to say I was not yet asleep,
if she wished to come and bid me good‐night. As she entered the door, the
light in Ottavia’s hand shone across her face. It was by no means the same
as at her departure. The excitement of dancing, and the fatigue of
remaining up to so unusual an hour, were doubtless sufficient to account
for her disordered hair, her pale face, and the striking brilliancy of her
eyes; but her troubled look, her trembling lips, and the care she took to
avoid looking me in the face when she fell on my neck, showed there was
something more which I must wait till another day to question her
about....

JULY 1.

To continue the account interrupted the other day:

I know everything now, for she never deceives me. She is always as sincere
as she is affectionate. Yes, she had scarcely entered the ball‐room before
she was, as I foretold, separated from her cousins, and left in a group of
young ladies, who, treating her as a mere child, immediately proposed she
should take a seat at a table where there were sweetmeats and games. Just
then the orchestra began a dance, and the two oldest of the group
stationed themselves in front to attract the attention of those in search
of partners, while a third kept Ginevra in her seat by showing her
pictures, and patronizingly promising in a whisper to dance with her
presently. But at the sound of the music, Ginevra could not be restrained
from springing up and advancing to look at the preparations for the dance.
This change of position attracted the observation of a young gentleman who
was slowly entering the room with an absent air without appearing to wish
to take any part in the dance.

“There is Flavio Aldini,” said one of the young ladies; “he will not
condescend to come this way. He looks upon us as mere school‐girls, and
only dances with those ladies whose elegance has already made them the
fashion.”

“I never saw him before, but he looks very much as I supposed from the
description I had of him. Is he not said to be engaged to a rich heiress?”

“He? No; he does not dream of marrying, I assure you. I tell you he never
looks at us young ladies.”

“And yet, my dear, he seems to be looking rather earnestly in this
direction now.”

She was right. At that very moment, the person of whom they were speaking
eagerly approached the place where Ginevra was standing, and, without
glancing at her companions, accosted her, begging she would give him the
pleasure of being her partner in the quadrille about to begin.

This was a triumph for my poor Ginevra, and all the greater after the
vexation caused by her companions’ patronizing airs. She went away
radiant—intoxicated.... Hitherto she had been petted as a child; now she
suddenly realized how much admiration a woman can inspire, and this
knowledge, like a mischievous spark, fell from the look and smile of
Flavio Aldini into her very heart!

Flavio Aldini! You will understand, Fabrizio, the terror I felt at the
mere name of this presuming fellow; so well calculated, alas! to please
young eyes like hers, and capable of taking advantage of the impression he
could not help seeing he had made on her inexperience....

How agitated the poor child was in repeating all his dangerous
compliments! And how flattering to her pride a success that attracted the
attention of every one in the room, and made her an object of envy to
those who had just humiliated her by their condescension!... I allowed her
to go on.... I was glad, at all events, to see she did not manifest the
least shade of deception—the usual consequence of vanity—but I trembled as
I listened!

He begged for the little bunch of flowers she wore in her bosom. She was
strongly tempted to grant his request, and was only prevented from doing
so by the fear of being observed.

JULY 5.

I have not been able to continue. I have been growing weaker and weaker,
and can only write a few lines at a time without fatigue. Since the 15th
of June, I have been constantly worried and anxious. I cannot bear for her
to leave me now for a single instant. I want to keep her constantly under
my eyes and near my heart. Yesterday I saw her start at the sound of a
horse passing under the balcony. To‐day she was standing there with her
eyes dreamily turned towards the road that connects our house with the
shore.... I called her, and she listened as I talked kindly to her, hoping
to give a new turn to her thoughts, instead of trying to check them by
remonstrances. She is easily influenced and guided by kindness but it is
difficult to make her yield to authority. Oh! there never was a child who
needed more than she the tender guidance of a mother!...

But let thy will, O God! be done. Help me to say this without a murmur.
Let me not forget that my love for her is nothing—nothing at all—in
comparison with that.

JULY 15.

It is only with great effort I can write to‐day. I do not know as I shall
be able to write more than a few lines. But I wish to remind you once
more, Fabrizio, of the conversation we had yesterday evening. Who knows
but it was the last we shall ever have in this world! My time here is
short. Do not forget my request. Lose no time in uniting her to some one
she can love and will consent to be guided by. Though still young, he
should be several years older than she, in order to inspire her with
respect, which is so sweet when mingled with affection, as no one knows
better than I, Fabrizio. Has not the mingled respect and love with which
you have filled my heart constituted the happiness of my life? I would
bless you once more for this, as I close. I have not strength enough to
continue.... I must stop.... And yet I would speak once more of her—of my
Ginevra—my darling child. I would implore you to be always mild and
patient with her, and if ever....



Here the journal ended!... Oh! what a torrent of recollections rushed
across my mind at the sight of this unfinished page! This little book
falling from her hand, ... her slumbers, ... her terrible awakening, ...
her incoherent words, her last embrace, my despair! All this I recalled
with poignant grief as I pressed my lips to the lines written by her dying
hand. I shed a torrent of tears, but this time they were salutary tears. I
had already severely expiated my error, for it was only my deep sorrow for
having embittered the last hours of my mother’s life, and perhaps, O
fearful thought! of hastening her end, that had given so dark a shade to
my grief, and filled me with a despair akin to madness. I was now
stronger, calmer, and wiser, and felt I could yet repair my fault by
fulfilling my mother’s wishes, and this thought brought the first ray of
comfort that penetrated my heart. I made many new resolutions in my mind,
and felt I had firmness enough to keep them.

To Be Continued.



The Principles Of Real Being. V. Intrinsic Principles Of Complex Beings.


The primitive beings of which we have treated in a preceding article imply
nothing in their constitution but what is strictly necessary in order to
exist in nature; and therefore they are physically simple—that is, not
made up of other physical beings, though they are metaphysically
compounded, because their intrinsic principles are so many metaphysical
components. Those beings, on the contrary, the entity of which is not
strictly one, besides the three principles common to all primitive beings,
involve in their constitution other components, either physical or
metaphysical. Such _complex_ beings are either _substantial_ or
_accidental_ compounds. We propose to investigate in the present article
the general constitution of substantial compounds, then of accidental
compounds; and lastly we shall inquire into the principles of the
attributes and properties of complex, as well as primitive, beings.



Principles of substantial compounds.


By substantial compound we mean a compound _of which the components are
distinct substances uniting in one essence or nature_. Such a compound is
a physical one, inasmuch as it is made up of physical components; for
substances are complete beings, and each of them has its own distinct and
individual existence in the physical order of things.

This definition of substantial compound is very different from that which
the scholastics drew from their theory of substantial generations. But
since chemistry has shown, and philosophical reasoning based on facts
confirms, that what in such a theory is called the “generated substance”
is only a compound of substances, it must be evident that our substantial
compound, as above defined, does not, in fact, differ from theirs, but is
the same thing viewed under a different light. Perhaps, if the schoolmen
had thought that bodies were possibly but the result of the composition of
many permanent substances, they would not have called them _substantial_,
but only _natural_, compounds; yet, since the epithet “substantial” has
been originally adopted, and is still commonly applied to compounds which
we know actually to contain many distinct substances, we cannot keep the
word “substantial” without giving it such a meaning as will answer to the
real nature of the things it qualifies. Nevertheless, should the reader
prefer to apply the epithet “substantial” to that compound only which
consists of matter and substantial form interpreted in accordance with the
Peripatetic system, then the compounds of which we treat might be called
_natural_, or _essential_, compounds, or _compound natures_. So long,
however, as such compounds are called “substances,” we think we have the
right to apply to them the epithet “substantial.”

The immediate principles of substantial compound are three, as in the
primitive being: to wit, _act_, _term_, and _complement_; but they are of
a different nature, as we are going to explain. Two cases are to be
examined. For the physical parts, which unite to make one compound nature,
sometimes rank all alike as material constituents of the compound, as in
water, iron, silver, and other natural bodies; but at other times one of
the constituent substances stands forth in the character of a form, as the
human soul in the body, all the parts of the body remaining under it, and
making up the complete material constituent of the compound nature.

In the first case, the physical components taken together constitute the
adequate _potential term_ or the compound nature; because, as they are all
alike material constituents, they are all alike potential respecting their
composition; and thus they are all equally liable to be tied together by
physical action. The specific composition will be the _act_ of the
compound essence; for it is such a composition that formally binds
together those physical components into one specific compound. Finally,
the actual bond of the components, brought about by their composition,
will be the actuality of the compound nature—that is, its formal
_complement_.

That these three constituents differ very materially from those of a
primitive being is evident: for, in a primitive being, _the term_ is a
pure potency that receives its first actuation; whilst in the compound
nature it consists of a number of actual beings which are no longer
potential respecting their first actuation, but only with regard to their
composition, which gives them a second and relative actuation in the
compound. Again, _the act_, in the primitive being, is a product of
creation, calculated to give the first existence to its term; whilst in
the compound nature it is the product of actions interchanged between the
components, and gives them, not to exist, but to be united so as to form a
new specific essence. Lastly, _the complement_, in a primitive being, is
the existence of a thing absolutely _one_, whilst in the compound nature
it is the existence of a thing whose oneness is altogether relative.

In all compounds of this kind—viz., whose form is their composition—the
components are, of course, physical beings, as we have stated; but their
composition is only a metaphysical entity. Indeed, we are wont to call it
“physical composition”; but we do not mean that it is a physical being; we
only mean that it is the composition “of physical beings.” We know that
formal composition is that by which the components are formally bound with
one another; and we know also that the components are thus bound in
consequence of their mutual actions, and that such actions cannot be
conceived to be complete in nature, except inasmuch as they are received
in their proper subjects—viz., in the components themselves. And therefore
the composition which is styled “physical” is, of its own nature, only an
incomplete and metaphysical entity; and, in a like manner, the actuality
of the physical compound is not a physical being, as it cannot be found
outside of that of which it is the result.

But a compound of the kind just mentioned is sometimes intended for an end
which cannot be attained without the concurrence of a higher principle.
Then, by the introduction of this new principle, a second kind of
substantial compound arises, in which one of the components (the higher
principle) ranks as the formal, and the others as the material,
constituent of the compound nature. Such is the case with our own bodies;
which, to fulfil the ends for which they are organized by nature, besides
their bodily constitution and organism, require the infusion of a distinct
principle of life. Hence the _formal_ constituent of man, and of all
animals too, is the principle of life, or the soul; whilst his _material_
constituent is the body, with its organic constitution.

That the body is a physical being and a substance there is no doubt; and
that the soul also is a physical being and a substance distinct from the
body is conclusively shown in all good treatises of anthropology. The soul
and the body are therefore two physical components, and make up a physical
compound. The animal life, however, which is the result of the animation
of the body by the soul—and is, therefore, the _complement_ of the
compound—is not a third physical component, but a metaphysical entity; and
thus of the three principles which constitute the animal, the first and
the second only are to be reckoned as physical parts.

And now, since we have stated that the constituents of compound natures
may have either a physical or only a metaphysical entity, we must further
inform our readers that a great number of authors are wont to consider all
the real constituents of physical beings as so many _physical_ entities.
But we would say that in this they are mistaken; for although it is
evidently true that the constituent principles of a physical being have a
physical existence in the being to which they belong, it cannot be
inferred that therefore all such principles must be called _physical_
beings; as some of them can neither have an independent existence nor be
even conceived without referring to their correlative principles. Thus the
act and the term of a primitive being are both entitatively less than
physical beings; for the first being we find in the physical order is that
which arises out of them. It is not, therefore, the same thing to say that
a being is physically real, and to say that it is made up of physical
realities. The first assertion may be true, and the second false; because
a thing which is _one_ has only _one_ existence, and nevertheless implies
three principles; whence it appears that it is impossible to conceive each
of the three principles as having a _distinct_ existence. And since that
which has no distinct existence in nature is not a physical being,
accordingly the principles of primitive physical beings are not physical,
but only metaphysical, realities.

We have further to remark that the act and the term, even when they are
complete physical entities, in their manner of principiating the compound
nature always behave towards one another as incomplete entities, inasmuch
as their principiation is always of a metaphysical, and never of a
physical, character. To speak first of those compound essences whose form
is _composition_, we observe that the physical components of such essences
are indeed _in act_, absolutely speaking, but, with regard to the
composition, they are simply _in potency_: and since it is in this last
capacity that they enter into the constitution of the compound nature, it
is evident that they contribute to its constitution only inasmuch as they
have a claim to further actuation. For to be potential respecting any kind
of composition means not only that the parts _might_ be duly disposed to
undergo such a composition, but moreover that they are already disposed
and related to each other in that manner which _imperatively calls_ for
such a composition. Consequently, the components, when thus disposed,
constitute a potency which needs actuation, and stands, with respect to
the form of composition, in the same relation in which any term stands
with respect to its essential act. It is, therefore, manifest that the
said components, though they are physical entities, behave as metaphysical
principles in their material principiation of a compound essence. As for
the composition itself, we have already seen that it is always a
metaphysical constituent.

In the same manner, the soul and the body are indeed physical beings,
absolutely speaking, and, therefore, independent of one another so far as
their existence is concerned; but the body is informed and vivified, not
inasmuch as it exists in its absolute actuality, but inasmuch as it is
potential respecting animal life—that is, inasmuch as its organic
composition imperatively claims a soul. And similarly the soul is a
vivifying form, not inasmuch as it is something absolute in nature, but
inasmuch as it naturally requires completion in the body for which it is
created and to which it is actually terminated. It therefore appears that
the soul and the body, in their principiation of the animal, behave
towards one another as metaphysical principles.

Hence all composition of act and potency is, properly speaking, a
_metaphysical_ composition; though, when the compound is resolvable into
physical parts, the same composition may also, from the physical nature of
the components, be rightly styled _physical_. The difference between a
metaphysical and a physical compound does not, therefore, consist in the
character of the composition itself, which is always metaphysical, but in
this: that the latter can be resolved into physical parts which may and
will exist after their separation, whereas the former can be resolved only
into metaphysical constituents which are utterly incapable of separate
existence.

What precedes refers to the immediate constituents of compound essences.
It is evident that every immediate principle, which is a complete being,
involves other principles. Hence all compound essences imply some
principles which are _proximate_, and others which are _remote_. The
remote are those by which every primitive component is itself constituted
in its individual reality, and from which the components derive their real
aptitude to become the material, the formal, or the efficient principle of
the compound essence.



Principles of accidental compounds.


We have hitherto shown that all physical beings, whether physically simple
or physically complex, involve in their constitution an act, a term, and a
formal complement. Nothing more is required to conclude that no physical
being can be conceived of as an act without its term, or a term without
its act, or a formal actuality not resulting from the concurrence of an
act and its suitable term. From this it immediately appears that accidents
and accidental modes are not physical beings, and that their existence is
necessarily dependent on the existence of some other thing of which they
are the appurtenances.

An accident, properly so called, is _an act having no term of its own_,
and, therefore, having no metaphysical essence and no possibility of a
separate existence. Accordingly, the term of which it is in need must be
supplied by a distinct being already existing in nature; and this is
called _the subject_ of the accidental act. Hence no accidental act can be
conceived to be without a subject.

And here we must reflect that, as the _first_ actuation of an essential
term by its essential act has for its result the actual _existence_ of the
individual being, so also any _second_, or accidental, actuation of the
term by an accidental act has for its result an actual _mode of existing_
of the same individual being. From this plain truth we infer that a
distinction is to be made between _accidental acts_, which are properly
accidents, and _accidental modes_, which are only accidentalities. An
accident, properly speaking, is that which causes the subject to acquire
an accidental actuality, and is always an act; whilst the accidental mode
is not an act, but an accidental actuality which results in the subject
from the reception of the accidental act.

These general notions being admitted, let us inquire into the principles
of accidental compounds. An accidental compound is either a compound of
substance and accident or a compound of real essence with something
superadded. In the first case, “accidental” means the opposite of
“substantial”; in the second case, “accidental” means the opposite of
“essential.” Thus _a falling body_ is an accidental compound of substance
and its momentum, the momentum being a real accident; whereas _a man
clothed_ is an accidental compound of individual human nature and dress;
the dress being considered as something accidental as compared with the
essence of man, though it is a real substance. And in the same manner a
mass of gold is an accidental compound of golden molecules, because each
molecule fully possesses the essence of gold independently of any other
molecule; whence it follows that the addition of other molecules is
accidental as compared with the essence of gold, and only increases the
quantity without altering the specific nature of gold. Of course, these
other molecules are substances, and it is only their concurrence into one
mass that is accidental.

It is plain that the constituent principles of an accidental compound are
three—viz., _the accidental act_ which entails a modification of the
subject; _the subject_ which receives the modifying act; and _the
accidental mode_ of being, or the modification, which results from the
reception of the act in the subject.

The subject is always a complete physical being, and, therefore, has its
own essential act, term, and complement, independently of all things
accidental. It becomes the subject of an accidental act by actually
receiving it.

The accidental act which is received in the subject must proceed
immediately from the action of some natural or supernatural agent. This is
evident; for real receptivity is real passivity, and therefore reception
is passion. Now, no passion can be admitted without a corresponding
action. Hence all accidental act that is properly and truly _received_ in
a subject is the immediate product of action, and its production exactly
coincides and coextends with its reception.

Lastly, the mode of being which results from the accidental actuation of
the subject is only an accidentality, or an accidental actuality, as we
have already remarked, and is predicated of the subject, not as something
_received_ in it, but as something following from the actual reception of
the accidental act. Hence the substance, or the nature, which is the
subject of such accidental modes lies under them, not on account of its
receptivity, but on account of the resulting potentiality, which is a
proper appurtenance, not of the material term, but of the formal
complement of the substance. And, in fact, the complement of all created
essence always arises from the actuation of a potential term, and
therefore is itself necessarily potential—that is, liable to such
accidental changes as may result from any new actuation of the essential
term. This resulting potentiality is commonly styled _mobility_,
_changeableness_, or _affectibility_, and may be called _modal_
potentiality in opposition to the _passive_ potentiality which is the
characteristic of the essential term.

Hence a subject is said to _receive_ the accidental act, but not the
accidental mode; and, on the contrary, is said to _be affected_ by the
accidental mode, but not by the accidental act. We may say, however, that
a subject _is modified_ as well by the act as by the mode, because this
expression applies equally to the making of the change (_mutatio in
fieri_) and to the state that follows (_mutatio in facto esse_).

A subject has, therefore, two distinct manners of _underlying_: the one on
account of its receptivity, the other on account of its affectibility; the
one by reason of the _passive_ potentiality of its term, the other by
reason of the _modal_ potentiality of its complement. Thus a body,
according to its passive potentiality, underlies the _act_ produced in it
by a motive power, because it passively receives the motive determination,
and, according to its modal potentiality, it underlies _local movement_,
this movement being the immediate result of the determination received.
And in a similar manner our soul, inasmuch as it is receptive or passive,
underlies the act produced or the impression made in it by a cognizable
object; and inasmuch as it is affectible, it underlies the feeling or
affective movement, which immediately results from the cognition of the
object.

We have said that every accident which is received in a subject and
inheres in it must be produced by the action of some agent; and this being
the case, it follows that the quantity of the mass of a body, and the
quantity of its volume, which are not the product of action, cannot be
ranked among the accidents received and inhering in the body; and
generally all the accidental modes which arise in the subject, in
consequence of the reception of accidental acts, are intrinsic modes
indeed, but are not received, and do not properly _inhere_ in their
subject; they only _result_ in the subject. Moreover, as all such
intrinsic modes immediately arise from the intrinsic reception of
accidental acts, it follows that those accidental modes which do not arise
in this manner must be _extrinsic_; and therefore such modes, though they
are predicated of their subject, do not inhere in the subject, but only in
a certain manner _adhere_ to it. All accidental connotations and
relativities belong to this last class.

Hence we gather that predicamental accidents are of different species, and
accordingly demand distinct definitions. The accidental act, or accident
strictly, is an act received in the subject and inhering in it; the
intrinsic mode is an accidental actuality or modification resulting in the
subject; the extrinsic mode is a simple connotation or respect arising
between the subject and some correlative term. Accordingly, accidental
being in general cannot be defined as “that which inheres in a
subject”—_quod inhæret alteri tamquam subjecto_—for this definition does
not embrace all accidentalities, but should be defined as “that which
clings to a subject”—_quod innititur alteri tamquam subjecto_, the phrase
“to cling to” being understood in a most general sense. This last
definition covers all the ground of predicamental accidentalities; for it
is, in fact, applicable to all accidental acts, intrinsic modes of being,
and extrinsic connotations.

For the same reason, the subject is not to be defined as “that which
receives within itself an accidental entity,” but as “that to which an
accidental entity belongs,” and, taking the word “subject” in its most
general sense, we may also define it, as Aristotle did, to be “that of
which anything is predicated.” It is only by this last definition that we
can explain the general practice of predicating of everything, not only
its accidentalities, but also its attributes and essential properties.
Such predications would be impossible, if the notion of subject were
restricted to that which receives on itself accidental entities; for
attributes are not accidents, and are not received in their subject, but
spring forth from its very essence, as we are going presently to show.

When the thing predicated of any subject is an accidental act, then its
subject is _a subject of inhesion_. When the thing predicated is an
intrinsic mode, no matter whether essential, substantial, or accidental,
then its subject is _a subject of attribution_. And when the thing
predicated is only a connotation or a respect (_modus se habendi ad
aliud_), then its subject is _a subject of mere predication_.

As we have stated that natural accidents cannot exist without a subject,
the reader may desire to know how we can account for the accidents which,
in the Holy Eucharist, exist without their substances. As a lengthy
discussion of this philosophico‐theological question would be here quite
out of place, we will content ourselves with remarking that the
Eucharistic species of bread, as described by S. Thomas and by the ancient
scholastics, is not a natural and predicamental accident; and that,
therefore, many things may be possible with the Eucharistic species which
are not possible with natural accidents. It is not true, in fact, what
some have maintained, that in the Holy Eucharist _each_ of the accidents
of bread exists without any subject. Theologians acknowledge that the
quantity of the bread fulfils the duty of subject with regard to all the
other accidents, and consequently that all the other accidents, after the
consecration as before, cling to quantity. There is no need, therefore, of
assuming color without a subject, or figure without a subject, or weight
without a subject. This would simply mean color of nothing, figure of
nothing, weight of nothing; which is not a miracle, but an absurdity. To
account for the sacramental species, theologians need only to show that
the _quantity_ of the bread can exist miraculously without the substance
of the bread. This is the only accident which remains without any subject
whatever; for the Sacred Body, which _ad modum substantiæ_—that is,
substantively, replaces the substance of the bread—is indeed under that
quantity, but it is not affected nor modified by it, and therefore cannot
be called its _subject_ in the ordinary sense of the word, though some
writers have called it a _sacramental subject_.

To show that quantity without the substance of which it is the quantity is
not an impossibility, we must leave aside the idea that such a quantity is
_a form inherent_ in the substance. For the quantity of the mass which
alone is destined to become the first subject of all the other accidents
is made up of a number of material parts, and therefore is not a form, but
a certain amount of actual matter, and _fulfils the office of matter_, as
S. Thomas recognizes, and not that of form, as Suarez and others after him
have erroneously assumed. Now, it is evident that as no number can be
conceived without units, so neither can a quantity of mass be conceived
without its parts; and that, if such parts or units are substances, the
quantity of the mass will be nothing less than a number of substances. So
long, then, as such a quantity remains, it cannot cease to be a number of
substances, unless, indeed, each of the units of which it is made up, _and
which must always remain_, be supernaturally deprived of that which places
them formally in the rank of substances. This is, therefore, what must be
done, and what is really done by transubstantiation. When, in fact, the
words of the consecration are pronounced, and the Sacred Body of our Lord
is constituted under the sensible symbol _ad modum substantiæ_ (that is,
not only substantially, but substantively), then the substantiality of
every particle of the bread is superseded, and, so to say, supplanted by
the new substance which lies under each of them, but which leaves intact
the constituents of concrete quantity; for “the act and the power of
substance,” and “whatever belongs to matter,” remains in each of them, as
S. Thomas teaches, in accordance with the common doctrine of the ancient
scholastics and of the fathers of the church.

Thus the quantity of the bread remains the same as before, and _retains
its formal and material constitution_, notwithstanding the substantial
conversion of the bread into the Sacred Body of our Lord. Had the modern
scholastics paid more attention to this last point, they would have seen
that the species of bread is none of those natural accidents, whether
forms or formalities, which found a place in Aristotle’s categories, but
is a supernatural accident as perfectly constituted, in its own way, as
substance itself, and therefore capable of being kept in existence by God
without the help of a natural subject. The reader may infer from these
remarks that the philosophical questions about _natural_ or predicamental
accidents are altogether distinct from, and independent of, those
concerning the sacramental species; and that therefore nothing that
philosophers may say about _natural_ accidents can have any direct bearing
on the explanation of the Eucharistic mystery.

One thing remains to be said regarding the distinction between accidental
and substantial compounds. We have defined the first to be a compound “of
substance and accident,” or a compound “of essence and something
accidentally superadded to it.” The second we defined to be a compound “of
substances uniting in one essence or nature.” But, as we noticed, the
authors pledged to the theory of substantial generations admitted of no
“substantial” compound but that which was believed to consist of matter
and substantial form; and accordingly all compounds the form of which was
an accidental entity, say _composition_, were considered by them as
accidental. We observe that composition, though an accidental entity, is
nevertheless the “essential” form of the compound, and gives it its
“first” actuality. If, then, the compound is a distinct essence, and has a
distinct name, and is called a distinct “substance,” as water, iron, gold,
etc., its form, though an accident, is an essential constituent of the
specific substance.

We cannot at present discuss the question of substantial generations; we
only remark that, to avoid all useless disputes about words, a physical
compound, when it contains nothing but what is needed for the constitution
of its specific nature, may be called _Unum per se naturale_—_i.e._, a
being essentially one; and when it has something accidentally superadded,
it may be called _Unum per accidens_—_i.e._, a being accidentally one.
This distinction of names, which is familiar to all philosophers,
expresses the distinction of the things without having recourse to the
terms of “substantial compound” and “accidental compound,” taken in the
Peripatetic sense of the words. Thus, whilst the Peripatetics based their
distinction between these compounds on a presumed difference between their
forms, we draw our own from the presence or absence of anything not
belonging to the specific nature of the compound. This we do in accordance
with the true spirit of scholastic philosophy, not to say compelled by a
philosophical necessity; for we know that the constituent form of a purely
material compound, though essential with respect to the compound itself,
is only an accident received in the substance of the components, as we may
hereafter have an occasion to show. And now let us come to the attributes
of complete beings.



Principles of attributes and properties.


All complete beings possess attributes and properties called
_essential_—that is, invariably following the essence to which they
belong. It is therefore necessary for us to inquire whether, to account
for them, any special principles must be admitted. We can easily show that
no new real principle is required besides the principles of the essence,
as all the essential attributes and properties(68) of a complete being are
fully contained in the real essence of the same as in their fountain‐head,
inasmuch as they are nothing else than _the actuality_ of the essence
considered under different aspects or connotations. It is known, in fact,
that the essential attributes of things are said by all philosophers _to
emanate_ from the essence, _to flow_ from the essence, _to follow_ from
the essence, without any other thing being ever mentioned as their
principle; which shows the universality of the doctrine that the essence
alone is the adequate _source_ of all its attributes.

And here let us observe that the words _principle_ and _source_ are not
synonymous; for a principle is not sufficient, of itself, to principiate
anything without the concurrence of other principles, as it does not
perfectly contain in itself the whole reality of which it is a principle.
The source, on the contrary, contains totally and adequately within itself
whatever emanates from it; so that any such emanation, taken separately,
is only an imperfect exhibition of the reality from which it emanates, as
it presents it only under one out of the many different points of view
under which it may be regarded. To say, then, that the essence of a thing
is the source of all its attributes is to say that the essence itself
alone sufficiently accounts for their origin, their necessity, and their
distinction.

That such is the case we shall easily understand by reflecting that all
the essential attributes and properties of a thing express the _being_ or
actuality of the thing under some special aspect; as _to be_ active, _to
be_ passive, _to be_ one, _to be_ simple, etc. Now, _to be_, or actuality,
immediately results from the principles of the essence alone, as we have
proved in our last article. Consequently, the essential attributes and
properties of anything immediately result from the essential principles of
the thing—that is, from its real essence. Thus a being is active inasmuch
as the act by which it is can be further terminated; and therefore _to be
active_ is nothing more than to have in itself an act further terminable;
and activity, or active power in the abstract, is nothing more than the
further terminability of the same act. In like manner, a being is passive
inasmuch as its intrinsic term is still capable of further actuation; and
therefore _to be passive_ is nothing more than to have in itself a term
which can be further actuated; and passivity, or passive potentiality in
the abstract, is nothing more than the further actuability of the same
term. The like may be said of every other attribute. Meanwhile, if we
inquire what does _terminability_, or _actuability_, add to the thing, we
shall soon see that it adds nothing real, but only exhibits the reality of
the thing under a special formality as connoting something either
intrinsic or extrinsic to it. Thus the terminability of the act simply
connotes some term capable of actuation, and the actuability of the term
simply connotes an act by which it can be actuated.

From this it follows that the essential attributes of being are nothing
but distinct _abstract ratios_ having their foundation in the principles
of the complete being, and presenting its actuality under different
aspects. In fact, it is because such a being contains the foundation of
all those ratios that our intellect, by looking upon it, is enabled to
discover them, and to trace them distinctly to their distinct principles.
It thus appears that the true reason why no new real principles are needed
to account for the essential attributes of things consists in this, that
the whole reality of the attributes already pre‐exists in the thing, and
that nothing further is necessary, that they may be distinctly conceived,
but intellectual consideration.

What we have said of the attributes that have their foundation in the
essential principles of being applies equally to qualities which are the
immediate result of accidental actuation. Thus, if a material point be
acted on, the result of the determination it receives will be _velocity_.
Of course, velocity is an accidental attribute, since it follows from the
termination of an accidental act; yet it results as perfectly from that
termination as the essential attributes result from the termination of the
essential act.

In general, all the objective ratios which immediately follow the
constitution of a concrete being need no additional principles, because
they are already contained in the entity of the concrete being, in which
the intellect finds its ground for their distinct conception. And here let
us add two remarks. The first is that all such intelligible ratios
identify themselves really, though inadequately, with the concrete entity
of which they are predicated; so that between the attribute and its
concrete subject there can be but the slightest of metaphysical
distinctions. The second is that the essential attributes of a _simple_
being are never _really_ distinct from one another. The reason of this is
evident; for such attributes are the simple actuality of a simple being,
which does not cease to be identical with itself when it is viewed from
different points of view. They admit, however, of a distinction of reason;
for when the same thing is considered under different aspects, the
distinct concepts that are then formed by the mind evidently exhibit
distinct objective ratios, every one of which corresponds to one of those
aspects without formally implying the others.

Though we have hitherto spoken of the essential attributes and properties
of _primitive_ beings, the doctrine we have expounded is also applicable
to those of all substantial compounds. Thus the attributes and properties
of a molecule of hydrogen, oxygen, or any other specific compound have the
reason of their being in the essential principles of their respective
compound, and nothing else is required to account for them, as is evident
from the preceding explanations. It is to be observed, however, that in
such compounds as owe their being to material composition only, as it is
the case with all the molecules of natural bodies, the composition which
is the essential form of the compound is not a substantial, but an
accidental, determination of the components; and hence it is that each
such molecule involves in its essential constitution _both substance and
accident_, and therefore is not exactly a substance, but a natural
compound essence. The consequence is that its essential attributes, too,
owe their being not only to the component substances, but also to such
accidents as are essentially implied in the constitution of the compound.
Thus, _porosity_, _compressibility_, _bulk_, etc., which are essential
attributes of each molecule as such, have the reason of their being partly
in the elements of which they are made up, and partly in the specific form
of their composition. Now, this specific form may undergo accidental
changes _without trespassing the bounds of its species_; and those
essential attributes which depend on the specific composition may
consequently undergo a change in their degree; and since none of those
changeable degrees are determinately required by the essence of the
molecular compound, it follows that the essential attributes and
properties of each molecule, in so far as their actual degree is
concerned, are accidental; and accordingly such attributes and properties
by their degree belong to the predicament of accidental _quality_. Such is
the case with the attributes of every single molecule of a natural
substance.

As for bodies made up of a number of molecules of the same kind, it is
evident that all such bodies are accidental compounds, and none of them
can have any other essential attributes besides those which are common to
their molecules. For the union of equal molecules is the union of
_integrant_ parts, and gives rise to no new species, but only to
accidental relations, quantity of mass, and quantity of volume; and
consequently all the attributes and properties originating in the
agglomeration of such integrant parts are simply accidental qualities.
Thus _liquidity_ is an accidental quality of water, because it exhibits
only the mutual behavior of distinct molecules which, of themselves, and
apart from one another, are not liquid, though they have all that is
needed to unite in the liquid state. And indeed, if each molecule contains
the true essence of water, and yet is not actually liquid, actual
liquidity has nothing to do with the essence of water, and therefore is
not an essential attribute of water, but an accidental mode resulting from
mutual accidental action between neighboring molecules.

There are two cases, however, in which new essential attributes may be
found in a body without being found in the component molecules. The first
is when the component molecules undergo chemical combination; for in this
case such molecules are not merely integrant but _constituent_, and by
their combination a new essence is formed. Now, a new essence gives rise
to new essential attributes. Thus sulphuric acid, for instance, has
attributes which do not belong to its components.

The second case is when the whole body is only a part of the compound
essence—that is, when the specific form of that essence is a distinct
substance, as in man and all animals, whose bodies are informed by a soul.
In this case, the whole body and all that belongs to its organic
constitution is involved in the essence of the perfect compound of which
it is a part; and therefore some among the essential attributes of the
compound must depend on the very constitution of the body. Thus _stature_
follows from the essential constitution of man, which includes a body
having dimensions. But here, again, we must observe that, although to have
some stature is an essential attribute of man, to have _this_ stature
rather than that is an accidental quality; it being evident that human
nature can exist without _this_ determinate stature.

By the preceding remarks we are led to conclude, 1st, that all essential
attributes originate in the essential constituents of the nature of which
they are the attributes; 2d, that all the accidental attributes or
qualities originate in the accidental determinations of the nature of
which they are the accidental qualities; 3d, that, in material compounds,
those essential attributes which depend on the composition admit of
different accidental degrees.

We have only to add that the abstract ratios, through which the attributes
and properties of things are conceived, are very frequently styled
_formalities_. Formalities are, generally speaking, either _real_ or
_logical_. A real formality is that which has its being in the reality of
things; a logical formality, on the contrary, is that which has no being
in real things, but only in our conception.

Real formalities are also called _metaphysical degrees_. Thus, in
Socrates, animality, rationality, individuality, personality, etc., are so
many metaphysical degrees. All such degrees express the _being_ of the
thing under some particular aspect; as to be animated, to be rational, to
be an individual, etc., as we have above remarked.

Real formalities are either _absolute_ or _respective_. The absolute are
those which belong to the thing considered in itself absolutely; as
substantiality, oneness, singularity. The respective are those which imply
a connotation of something else; as terminability, passivity,
cognoscibility. The absolute formalities correspond to the absolute
attributes of beings; the respective correspond to the relative
attributes—that is, to the properties and qualities of beings.

Real formalities are either _positive_, _negative_, or _privative_. The
positive are directly founded on the _act_, _term_, and _complement_ of
the being; as activity, passivity, and inertia. The negative are real
negations affecting the thing; as the mode of substance, which is a
negation of sustentation. The privative are real privations, as blindness
in man.

We may observe, by the way, that the logical formalities are likewise
either positive, negative, or privative. The positive exhibit the thing as
a positive element of logical thought; as when _man_ is said to be _the
subject_ of a proposition. The negative exhibit the thing as affected by a
negation which is not in the thing, but only in our conception of it; as
when we say that God’s immensity and eternity are distinct; for
distinction is a negation of identity, but the distinction in this case is
only mental, because those two attributes are the same thing in reality.
The privative exhibit the thing as mentally stripped of that which is due
to it; as when we consider color, figure, velocity, etc., as formally
universal, and therefore as deprived of a subject; for they cannot be
deprived of a subject except in our conception.

This is what we had to say about attributes and properties. As we have
here and there mentioned inadequate identity, metaphysical distinction,
distinction of reason, etc., we will take care to have the meaning of
these words accurately explained in our next article, in which we hope to
end this our cursory survey of the principles of real being.

To Be Continued.



The Butterfly.


From The French Of Marie Jenna.


    Why silently draw near
      And menace my joyous flight?
    What is there in my gay career
      That can offend your sight?

    I am only a vivid beam,
      Flitting now here, now there,
    A wingéd gem, a fairy dream,
      A flower that the breeze may bear.

    The brother of the rose,
      In her breast I shun the storm;
    On her soft bosom I repose,
      And drink her perfume warm.

    My life is a transient thing,
      Why mar its glad estate?
    Answer me, O creation’s king!
      Art envious of my fate?

    Nay, hear me while I pray:
      Elsewhere thy footsteps bend;
    Let me live at least one happy day,
      Thou that shalt never end!



The Farm Of Muiceron. By Marie Rheil.


From the Revue Du Monde Catholique.



XX.


That day was February 25, 1848. If you remember, there had never been
seen, at that season, such mild weather and such brilliant sunshine. But
that the trees were without leaves, it seemed like May; and in the
orchards exposed to the south, the almond‐trees were even covered with big
buds ready to flower.

This beautiful, early spring rejoiced all on the earth, both men and
beasts; the peasants were heard singing in the fields, the horses neighing
at the plough, the hens clucking, the sparrows chirping, the lambs
bleating; and down to the babbling brooks, that flowed and leaped over the
stones with more than ordinary rapidity, each creature, in its own way,
appeared happy and glad.

The _curé_ walked along slowly, a little fatigued by the heat, to which he
was not yet accustomed. He closed his Breviary, and thought of the dear
family he was about to rejoice with his good news, and doubtless, also, of
the exile, who only waited for one word to return to his beloved home.

When he reached the right of the barns at Muiceron, he paused a moment
behind the cottage to take breath and wipe his forehead. From that spot he
could see into the courtyard without being seen; and what he saw, although
very simple, moved him to the bottom of his soul.

Jeanne Ragaud was drawing water from the well; but, instead of carrying
off the buckets already filled, she deposited them on the ground, and,
resting her elbows on the curbstone of the well, covered her face with her
hands in the attitude of a person completely overcome.

He knew she was weeping, and certainly her poor heart must have been full
of sorrow that she should give way to such silent grief. The good _curé_
could no longer restrain himself; he advanced gently behind her, and, when
quite near, touched her on the shoulder, just as he had done in former
days, when he wished to surprise her in some school‐girl’s trick.

Jeanne turned around, and he saw her pretty face bathed in tears.

“Oh! oh!” said the kind pastor, smiling, “what are you doing, my daughter?
I wager you are the only one who is not rejoicing to‐day in the bright
sunshine that the good God gives us.”

“Father,” said the little thing, who always thus addressed our _curé_ when
they were alone, “it is perhaps very wrong, but it is precisely all this
joy I see around me that breaks my heart. When I reached the well, I
thought how often Jean‐Louis had come to this very place to draw water for
us, and how displeased he was when my mother wished to do it herself. Poor
Jeannet! he was so gentle and kind! Oh! I am sure he is unhappy away from
home.”

“That is not doubtful,” replied the _curé_; “but perhaps one day we will
see him again.”

“I begin to despair of it,” said she. “He left heart‐broken, and perhaps
now he detests me.”

“Perhaps? Perhaps, my daughter, can mean yes as well as no; why should it
not be no?”

“Ah! if I only knew!” said she.

“Well, what would you do?”

“I would write to him that I love him,” she cried, clasping her hands;
“and I would beg him to come and tell me that he pardons me, and take his
place again at home; for the house will always be his, whether I live or
die; and although I have done very wrong, he would listen to me, don’t you
think so, father?”

“Yes,” said the _curé_, much touched; “he is a person who never cherished
rancor against any one. Write to him, my child, and tell him all you wish;
your letter will reach him.”

“Ah! you know where he is? I thought so,” said she joyfully.

“Yes, indeed! I know where he is, and I will now tell you, my dear
daughter. He is in Paris, where he wants for nothing; and if you are good,
if you will stop crying, I will read you some of his letters, which will
make you happy.”

“Oh! I promise you that I will be good. I will not cry any more—never
again,” cried the poor little creature, who instantly began to sob, by way
of keeping her promise.

But they were tears of joy this time, and the _curé_ let them flow without
reproof. They entered Muiceron together, and Jeannette, without any
preambulation, threw herself on her mother’s breast, crying out that
Jeannet was coming back. Pierrette, who desired it as ardently as she,
asked to be excused for one moment, that she might run off and tell
Ragaud, who was sowing clover near the house. It was right that they
should be all together to hear such welcome news; but scarcely had the
good woman reached the door, than she knocked against Jacques Michou, who
had just crossed the threshold.

“Jean‐Louis! Jean‐Louis is coming back!” said Pierrette, as she passed
him. “Come in, Jacques Michou; I will be back in a second.”

Michou entered in his usual tranquil manner. He saluted the _curé_ and
Jeanne without showing the least excitement.

“Who says that Jeannet is coming back?” he asked.

“We don’t say he is coming back,” replied the _curé_, “but that he will
return home.”

“All very well,” answered Michou; “but, for the present, that is not to be
thought of.”

“My God!” cried Jeanne, “what has happened?”

“The revolution in Paris,” said Michou; “and this time it is real. Here is
a letter from M. le Marquis, who tells me that in three days from now all
will be fire and blood. He orders me to join him—Jeannet is with him—and I
will take guns for everybody.”

Jeannette fell fainting in a chair. M. le Curé conversed with Michou; and,
meanwhile, Ragaud and Pierrette entered, and learned, in their turn, the
event, which was very true, as we all know. I leave you to think if there
were ahs! and ohs! and exclamations of all kinds. For a full hour there
were so many contradictory statements you would have thought the
revolution at Paris transported to Muiceron. Several peasants, returning
from the city, stopped at the farm, and reported there was agitation
everywhere; that a great number of workmen in the factories had decamped;
and, as under similar circumstances all sorts of stories are told and
believed, it was added that half the capital was already burnt, and that
smoke was seen in all the other parts of the city. At that, Michou
shrugged his shoulders; but he was anxious about his master, whom he knew
to be the man to do a thousand imprudent things, so he took a hasty
farewell of his friends, and that very evening passed Muiceron in full
rig, armed and equipped, ready for his post.

So once again everybody at Muiceron became gloomy and miserable, as each
day brought its fresh contingent of sad news. For if, in the city and
among learned men, where there is every chance of correct information,
every one appears half crazy in time of public calamity, and in a fever to
talk all kinds of nonsense, you can imagine what it is in a village, where
one is obliged to listen to the neighbors and gossips, who always improve
on the most absurd reports. It is true, also, that they never see a paper,
and it is lucky if they preserve a few gleams of good sense; but what each
one draws from his own private source amply suffices to bewilder
everybody.

I, who speak to you, and who was very young at the time of this
revolution, remember well to have heard it positively affirmed that the
king, Louis Philippe, and his family had been crucified in front of their
château, then cut in little pieces, boiled, and eaten by the people! And
when, in addition, it was said that the waters of the Seine had formed a
magnificent cascade from the heaped‐up corpses, and were red with blood as
far as the bridge at Rouen, I did not think the thing incredible, and,
with great simplicity, I always awaited still more extraordinary news.

I remember, also, that a band of our most respectable young men took turns
every night in mounting guard around the château of Val‐Saint, because it
was known, from a trustworthy source, that the cellars contained more than
a hundred barrels of powder, ready to blow up at the shortest notice. Now,
to ask how so many barrels, the least of which weighed as much as a tun of
wine, could have been placed there without being seen, is what no person
thought of; and the reflection, what man, sufficiently desirous of putting
an end to his days by bringing that enormous building down upon him (a
thing which could profit no one), would be capable of setting fire to the
powder, still less entered their heads; and yet terror was at its height
at the mere thought of an explosion so tremendous that it would have
broken all windows for two leagues round. And thus it is that good people,
without wishing it, lend their hands to the revolution.

It was not that all this was believed at Muiceron as readily as I
swallowed it, but, in reality, they were very anxious, and ardently
desirous of hearing news. A long week passed. M. Michou wrote a short
letter, in which he said everybody was well, that M. le Marquis and Jean‐
Louis were always together, and cried out, “Long live the king!” in the
streets while carrying a white flag, which made the boys of the street
laugh, but at which no one took any exception. He added that King Louis
Philippe was driven out, and that for the present the republic was much
spoken of. Thereupon Ragaud declared that all was lost; for he, like all
those of his age, only understood the republic as accompanied by
scaffolds, drownings, and robberies, as in that of 1793, which he well
remembered.

Jeannette, then, with the consent of M. le Curé, wrote a long and touching
letter, which she addressed to Solange, in which she poured forth all the
warmth and fire of her little heart. The poor child dared not write
directly to Jeannet, in the fear that new events might prevent his
receiving the missive; but she did not doubt that Solange would find means
to read it to him who would receive so much consolation from its contents.
The misfortune was that, in the midst of the fray, that good girl could
hear nothing about her old friend; and, between ourselves, it was, I
believe, because she had no permission to mix herself up in the affair, as
she lived retired and absorbed in prayer with the other young sisters of
the novitiate. It therefore followed that when Jeannet, in his turn, wrote
to M. le Curé, it seemed, from the quiet, sad, and cold tone of his
letter, that he knew nothing of this step of Jeannette’s, or, if he knew
it, he attached no importance to it, and wished them to understand it was
too late to repair matters.

It was this last idea which fastened itself in the child’s head as firmly
as a nail in the wood. She became profoundly sad, which, according to her
habit, she concealed as much as possible; and thus passed weeks and months
without anything further being said of the return of the dear boy, so
fondly desired by all at Muiceron.

So far affairs in Paris went on quietly, and the people who believed in
scaffolds began to think they might sign the lease between their shoulders
and heads. For now that all this fine story is over, it must be avowed the
first part of the revolution was more laughable than terrible. I had it
from Michou, who was present and witnessed many things in detail, which
were served up for our amusement during many of the following winters. The
good man never wearied of relating how the great city of Paris, that had
driven off a king from a desire of giving herself a hundred thousand in
his place, played at comedy for three months, for the sole purpose, I
suppose, of affording other countries a perpetual diversion. Once, for
example, in remembrance of spring‐time, a crowd of little trees were
planted at all the corners, as signs of liberty; and as, for this
amusement, each man became a gardener on his own hook, without ever having
learned the trade, you can imagine what chance these precious emblems of
freedom had of flourishing. It is not necessary to say that they fell down
and were trodden under foot in a very short time, so that the beautiful
green ornaments were renounced at the end of a few days!

Another time, the street‐boys assembled and formed the brilliant
resolution that they would have a general illumination. And then—I really
would not have believed it, if Jacques Michou had not vouched for the
truth—these ragamuffins ran in troops through the streets, hand‐in‐hand,
shouting out a song which had but two words, always sung to the same tune.

“Light up! light up!” they cried at the top of their voices; upon which,
all classes, rich and poor, high and low, obediently placed candles in the
windows, without daring to utter a word against the decree; and this
lasted more than a fortnight.

I will only ask, if the king or our holy father, the Pope, had exacted
such a thing even once, what would have been said? There was also the
farce of the laborers, who were out of work, taking the air, and marching
by thousands along the quays to the great château, where five or six fine
men who were called the government resided, and who were very brave in
words, but became half crazy when it was time to act; which must not be
wondered at, as their task was none of the easiest. The men arrived, they
would send one of their number to ask some little favor, which was sure to
be promised for next day. Then they returned the same as they came, and so
much the worse for those who were found in their way that day; for not a
cat could have come out alive among so many legs. This amusement was
called “a manifestation.” But to say what was ever manifested except want
and misery in every house—for when such promenades are made, no work is
done—is what you may learn, perhaps, sooner than I, if the day of
discovery will ever come.

During this time, they pretended to make laws for the country, in a large
building where a great number of men from the provinces talked themselves
hoarse every day, insulting each other, and even, I have been told, flung
whatever they happened to have near at hand at one another’s heads; so
that he who appeared the master of all, and was called president, was
forced to speak with a great bell, as he could no longer make his voice
heard. For those who liked noise all this row was very amusing; but quiet
people were obliged to shut their eyes and stop up their ears. In my
opinion, instead of being contented with that, they should have descended
into the streets, and enforced order with heavy blows of the cudgel; but,
if they thought of that later, for the time being good people seemed
asleep, which emboldened the rabble to such a degree they thought
themselves masters of the situation.

You doubtless think our dear good master, M. le Marquis, was discouraged
at seeing the republic established in place of his cherished hopes. Not at
all. On the contrary, he was as ardent and fiery as ever, assured that it
was “a necessary transition”—a phrase which I repeat as I heard it,
without pretending to explain it, and which, probably, was profoundly
wise. He was very busy coming and going with his friends, and arranging
all, in words, for the approaching arrival of the young legitimate prince,
who remained near the frontier with a large army, invisible for the time,
but ready to march at a moment’s notice.

Jean‐Louis and Michou allowed themselves in secret to be rather doubtful
of these fine assertions, but, respectful and devoted as they were to that
excellent gentleman, they made the agreement to follow him about like his
shadow, and to shield him whenever he might incur any risk. Thus, whenever
M. le Marquis was seen, near him was always the handsome, brave Jeannet,
with his pale, serious face, or the old game‐keeper, looking very jaunty,
but with such fierce eyes and strong arms a man would think twice before
attacking him. Dear mademoiselle, who was half dead with fear for her
father’s life, confided him entirely to his village friends, and begged
them every morning to be faithful to their trust. Besides, this good soul,
formerly so desirous of seeing and living in Paris, yawned there almost as
much as at Val‐Saint.

There was not much amusement going on in society. Rich people stayed at
home, and guarded their money, which was carefully concealed in some
secure place, ready to fly in case of necessity; as for out‐door
amusements, none were thought of. M. le Marquis had something else to do
than drive out with his daughter; and to circulate around among the
manifestations was not the most pleasant performance—far from it. Poor
mademoiselle seemed doomed to the miserable fate of always running after
some distraction, _fêtes_, and other disturbances of that kind, without
ever finding them. Add to all this, she was in a constant state of fear,
as she was little accustomed to the cries, songs, patrols, and threats
which filled the capital. Her only consolation was to hope that there
would soon be an end of all this; and Dame Berthe encouraged her to be
patient, showing herself all the while full of the idea of the near
triumph of _the cause_, as she said. And mean‐time, while waiting for it,
she embroidered little strips of white satin by the dozen, to decorate the
belts of the king’s officers when the triumphal entry would be made into
Paris.

Their happiest moment was in the evening, when these five persons, drawn
together through friendship and devotion, were reunited to talk over the
events of the day, and to plan for the next. M. le Marquis ordered the
servants off to bed—for they were not sure but there might be spies among
them—and, keeping Jeannet and Michou, he joyfully laid before them all his
plans and hopes. Jean‐Louis listened with one ear; and fortunate was it
that respect prevented him from joining in the conversation, as his
remarks might have been very _malàpropos_. Can you guess why? He thought
of other things; and while his master soared away in imagination to the
frontier, where the invisible army of the king manœuvred, in heart and
soul he was in the beloved spot, where he lived over again the happy days
of his childhood.

And thus they advanced, without knowing it, to the terrible days which
gave the death‐blow to the republic, in the midst of the blood of so many
honest men, which flowed and mingled with that of the rabble, for love of
good order, which could easily have been established without so much
suffering. Alas! it was not the first time in our gay, beautiful France
that things have begun with songs and pleasant jokes, and ended amid the
noise of cannon and the cries and lamentations of the wounded.

Before relating this last part of my story, I must tell you that our
_curé_, always in correspondence with Jean‐Louis, was much astonished at
the uniform coolness of his letters. At last he thought best to ask an
explanation during the month of May, advising him to go and see Solange,
who for a long time had had good news for him. Do you think it was long
before Jeannet ran quickly to the convent? When he read that Jeannette
loved him and desired his return, he nearly became wild with joy. Solange
let him have the precious letter, which he read and re‐read all one night,
so as to be better able to reply to it. It was time for things to change,
as Jeannette declined visibly from the pain she suffered in believing
herself disdained.

It is always so with women (I must make the remark); they torture without
mercy, or at least with very little thought, the poor hearts which become
attached to them; and then the day they feel pain in their turn all must
end in the quickest manner, otherwise they will die; and then, again, they
will have all the pity and sympathy on their side. So our two dear
children made up and became friends with a few words written on paper; and
enchanted were they both, I can assure you. Now it was easy to wait. Jean‐
Louis, in his answer, showed the same heart, the same tenderness, as
formerly. He wished no excuses from his sister, saying that all the fault
was on his side—which was a big story, as every one could see but himself,
and made them both laugh and weep at Muiceron. As for his return, it was
not necessary to promise anything. They knew well that the day duty would
no longer detain him he would take the first train and our good friends,
the Ragauds, while not wishing him to leave M. le Marquis, commenced to
prepare for the happy moment, so ardently desired by all.

Ragaud told the women it was not the time for economy, and the following
week he called in the painters and the masons to replaster all the house,
and to give it an air of freshness inside, which, I must acknowledge, was
very much needed. Jeannette directed the changes in Jean‐Louis’ room, and
I can assure you she spared nothing, and spent at least fifty francs of
her father’s crowns in a splendid paper for the walls, which was yellow,
covered with large bouquets of bright flowers that had the most beautiful
effect. The month of June found them busily occupied; and then they began
to count, not the days, but the hours, that would separate Jean‐Louis from
the dear home that had adopted him.

His last letter announced his speedy departure. The joy at Muiceron, and
its holiday look, was touching to see. Jeannette, pink and white, like an
eglantine rose, had never looked prettier.

Suddenly, one morning, M. le Curé entered the farm, and, in the midst of
all this happiness, pronounced these terrible words:

“My children, they are fighting in Paris, and we must pray to God, for the
danger has never been greater; happy those who will come safe out of it!”



XXI.


I shudder when I speak of that horrible time. Alas! we all know about the
fearful struggle of blood and tears called “The days of June, 1848.”

Never did the lowering storm‐clouds more quickly burst, and never did a
great city, in all the pride of her beauty and wealth, come nearer
complete ruin. Each quarter, each place, each cross‐way, were battle‐
fields. Houses were demolished, that barricades might be erected across
the streets; and this time, if extravagant accounts went abroad, not one
appeared exaggerated in face of the real truth.

For three long, weary days—why, no one ever knew—the army kept hidden;
then the sovereign people were masters of the situation, and acted as best
pleased their capricious will; and I rather think nobody but a fool could
have helped being disgusted with serving such kings.

At the end of these three days, at last the cry was heard from all the
barracks, “Forward!” And as in the time of the great Napoleon, generals in
fine uniforms and waving plumes dashed about on horseback, and there was a
terrific noise of cannon and musketry. How terrible was the anger of the
Lord! For these enemies, who grappled in the fierce death‐struggle, were
children of the same mother, and yet forgot it in the midst of their
senseless fury and thirst for vengeance, when, in truth, they had nothing
to avenge.

What more shall I tell you? You know it all better than I; perhaps you
were there; and, besides, it is not so long ago that you cannot remember
it; and when you recall it, pray fervently to the good God such a time may
never again be ours.

When the battalions moved, every honest citizen left his bed, and armed,
to be ready to assist the army. M. le Marquis was one of the first on the
scene, accompanied by his two body‐guards. Mademoiselle, when she saw them
leave, wept, and threw herself on her knees in her room, unwilling to
listen to Dame Berthe, who still could have the heart to speak of “the
triumph of the right,” so rooted in her head was this fixed idea. Leave
these poor women, more to be pitied than blamed, lamenting and praying to
God, while listening, with hearts half dead with agony, to the noise of
the battle, and we will see what became of the combatants.

When they left the house, there was no appearance of extraordinary
excitement, and even the quarter where M. le Marquis lived, very quiet at
all times, seemed calmer even than usual, for the very good reason that,
of all who occupied it, those that were brave ran elsewhere, and the
cowards buried themselves, like moles, in the cellars. Our friends first
went down one long street, crossed a second, a third, and only then, when
coming up to a great bridge with a Prussian name very difficult to
spell—and therefore I cannot write it—began to see and hear the horrors of
the deadly combat.

M. le Marquis stopped.

“Friends,” said he, “let us make the sign of the cross; perhaps one of us
will not return to sleep in his bed, but may be killed, wounded, or made
prisoner. It is well to provide ourselves with a passport for the other
world, and one more blessing for this one.”

And this excellent gentleman instantly put in practice what he preached,
pronouncing aloud the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Ghost.

“Come,” said he joyously, “I feel younger by ten years. Ah! while I think
of it, have you white cockades in your pockets?”

“Faith! no,” said Michou; “I confess to M. le Marquis I did not dream of
taking that precaution. But we need not worry about that; if we want them,
I will tear off an end of my shirt.”

Jean‐Louis had been equally forgetful of the white cockades; M. le Marquis
told them their heads were turned, but forgot to add he was in the same
fix; for they had rushed to arms in such a hurry, each one had only taken
time to dress quickly and seize his gun, so ardently desirous were they to
see the end of the masters of Paris.

Soon they were in the midst of the troops and a crowd of volunteers like
themselves.

The fight was hot. The height and solidity of the barricades, for the most
part cemented with stone and mortar like ramparts, forced them to
establish a siege; and the thick walls that sheltered the rioters were
only destroyed with the aid of cannon, and after many deaths. I must be
frank, and say it was not a war very much to the taste of our soldiers,
who like to see the faces of the enemies at whom they aim; neither, as a
first effort, was it very amusing for our friend Jeannet, who had never
before seen any fire but that in the chimney at Muiceron. So when he found
himself in the midst of the scuffle, surrounded with dead and wounded,
smoke in his eyes, loud oaths and curses in his ears, without counting the
whistling of the balls, which I have been told produces a very droll
effect when not accustomed to it, he stopped short, and looked so
stupefied Michou laughed at him. That old soldier had been present at the
battle of Wagram, and, being very young at the time, was at first half
crazy with fear, which did not prevent him from showing great bravery when
he recovered his senses. He therefore understood from experience precisely
how Jeannet felt, and, giving him a hard blow on his shoulder, shook the
young fellow’s gun, which he was carelessly pointing at random.

“Are you going to let yourself be killed like a chicken?” he cried to him,
swearing tremendously; “be quick, my boy; you can sleep to‐morrow.”

Jean‐Louis jumped; he drew himself up to his full height, and his handsome
face reddened with shame, although he had done nothing dishonorable.

“Jacques,” said he, “I am afraid I am a coward.”

“Big mule!” gaily cried the game‐keeper; “on the contrary, by‐and‐by you
are going to see how we will amuse ourselves.”

They were at the time before a barricade, which was most obstinately
defended. The conversation could not last long, but Jacques Michou did not
lose sight of the boy. He saw that he soon recovered himself, and kept out
of the way of the balls as well as he could—something which required as
much skill as coolness—and handled his gun with as firm a hand as though
he were hunting.

Fighting went on there for a good hour. The soldiers began to be furious,
and, notwithstanding the number of killed on both sides, no advantage was
gained. Cannon were brought up; at the first fire, a large breach was
effected, and it was seen that the insurgents were reduced to a small
number, who attempted to escape.

At that sight, the soldiers and volunteers could not be restrained.

“No prisoners!” cried a hundred voices, hoarse with rage.

That meant death to every one. Our officers were no longer masters; the
tide, once let loose, soon overflowed, and a horrible mixture of shots,
cries, and oaths, frightful to hear, pierced the air.

Jeannet became as crazy as the rest. He fired so often, his gun was
burning in his hands; his dishevelled hair, and his face, blackened with
powder, changed his appearance so completely no one would have recognized
him. He loaded and reloaded, fired at hazard, and no longer heard Michou,
who, always at his side, cried, “Look out!” every moment. Suddenly the
game‐keeper gave a yell that resembled the howl of a wolf. A man, covered
with blood, had just leaped upon the ruins of the barricade, and aimed at
Jean‐Louis, who was not three steps from his gun.

It is not easy to make you understand the rapidity with which old Michou
threw himself before Jeannet to preserve his life. It was like a flash of
lightning, but that flash sufficed; he had time to fire before the rioter,
who rolled lifeless on the heaped‐up pavement.

All was ended. Five minutes afterwards, at least in that corner, it only
remained to remove the dead, and carry the wounded into the neighboring
houses, where the women were ready to dress the wounds. There was time to
breathe.

Alas! the poor, blinded people paid dearly in that quarter for their folly
and madness. All the unfortunate wretches who had raised that barricade
were dead or dying.

Jacques looked around for his master and his friend. M. le Marquis, with
his arm all bleeding, was seated leaning against a post, very weak and
faint from his wound; but his eyes sparkled, and a smile was upon his
lips. The game‐keeper rushed to him.

“It is nothing, old fellow,” said our master, “only a scratch on the
wrist; lend me your handkerchief.”

By the mercy of God, it was really not much; and our dear lord quietly
wrapped up his hand, while he asked about Jeannet.

“Heaven has worked miracles for that child,” said Michou proudly. “Ah! he
is a brave boy, I tell you. He fought both like a fox and a lion!”

“I wish to see him,” said M. le Marquis. “Go bring him to me.”

Jacques willingly obeyed. It was some time before he found his pupil—for
such he could be called. He was in the midst of a crowd that surrounded
him and loaded him with congratulations and compliments on his bravery.
His conduct had been noted, and the commanding officer was then asking him
his name and residence, that he might inscribe them in his report.
Jeannet, who shrank from observation, looked like a criminal before his
judges. Michou, seeing him so timid and confused, told him he was a fool,
and came very near being angry himself.

“Just see how frightened you are now!” said he to him, in such a cross
tone the officer smiled. “Excuse him, colonel, he always looks sheepish
when before people he don’t know. His name is Jean‐Louis Ragaud, and he
comes from the commune of Val‐Saint‐sur‐Range, near Issoudun.”

“All right,” said the officer; “that is enough, my brave fellow. Jean
Ragaud, Gen. Cavaignac will hear of you, ... and, if it depends on me, you
will hear from him.”

Jeannet bowed as awkwardly as possible, which made the game‐keeper grumble
again.

“Again I beg of you,” said he, “to keep that bewildered stare. You look
like the head of S. John the Baptist, cut off and laid on a dish, that is
painted in our church. I suppose it is because you are so unhappy! The
general will no doubt send after you to have you hanged—unless he sends
you the Cross of the Legion of Honor....”

“The cross!” cried Jeannet, seizing the game‐keeper by the arm.

“Yes indeed, idiot! I know how soldiers talk; would the colonel have said
as much unless he was sure of the fact?”

“The cross!” repeated Jean‐Louis, with tears in his eyes. “O Jacques
Michou! if it were true!”

“That would make you bold, eh? And it would be a fine present to take back
to Muiceron.”

“Hush!” said Jeannet: “the bare thought makes me crazy.”

“I hope not,” replied Michou; “but I would be half wild myself. Come, now,
let us be off; we have earned our dinner. M. le Marquis is asking for
you.”

“Wait a moment, good, kind Jacques,” said Jean‐Louis. “I have not yet
thanked you; and yet I know you saved my life.”

“What nonsense!” said Michou, who in his turn looked embarrassed. “In such
a battle, do you think a fellow looks after any one’s skin but his own?”

“Oh! I saw you,” replied Jeannet. “You sprang before me, or I would have
been killed.”

“Listen,” said Michou in a solemn tone, “before God, who hears me, and
conducts all by his divine hand, it was not so much your life that I
wished to save, ... it was another’s that I wished to take.”

“How?”

“We should not love revenge,” replied the game‐keeper; “but the temptation
was too strong; faith! I am ready to confess it, if it was a sin—of which
I am not sure. Jeannet, he who aimed at you from the barricade—didn’t you
recognize him?”

“No,” said Jeannet, “I saw no one.”

“It was Isidore Perdreau. God have mercy on his soul!” said the game‐
keeper, blessing himself. “My poor Barbette in heaven will ask for my
pardon....”

To Be Continued.



Fragment Of Early English Poetry.


To Those Who Get Their Lyvyne By The Onest Craft Of Masonry.

Knele ye both ynge and olde,
And both yer hondes fayr upholde,
And say thenne yn thys manere,
Fayre and softe withouten bere;
Jhesu, Lord, welcome Thou be
Yn forme of bred as y The se;
Now Jhesu for Thyn holy name,
Schielde Thou me from synne and schame,
Schryff and hosel, grant me bo,
Ere that y schall hennus go.

—_Christian Schools and Scholars._



Self‐Education.(69)


Words the most familiar, and which convey to the mind the most clearly
marked associations of ideas, very frequently grow vague and obscure when
we seek to limit their meaning by accurate and scientific definitions.
When we attempt to define that which is complex, or to make a
generalization of facts of diverse natures, we find it extremely difficult
to avoid including more than we intend, or leaving out something that
should be embraced.

This will become evident to any one who will take the trouble, for
instance, to examine into the various definitions of life which have been
given by philosophers and scientists.(70) Still, they all agree, however
widely they may differ in their views concerning what life is in itself,
that the law of growth applies to all living beings. This is true, not of
physical life alone, but of intellectual and moral life as well. What I
have to say on this subject at present relates more especially to
intellectual life, which consists in the union of the intelligent
principle with the objects submitted to it, and which it apprehends as
true—that is, as being in reality what they seem to be, and resulting from
this, as good or beautiful.

Truth is the harmony of thought with things.(71) Intellectual growth is a
continual approach to the perfect harmony of thought with things, which,
however, to the finite mind, is unattainable; and this fact constitutes
one of the great charms of the cultivation of the mind.

The nature of the human intellect places limits to mental progress, though
they are not assignable in any given case, but may be indefinitely
extended. That there are limits, however, you will readily perceive by
reflecting that we do not possess even one idea which does not, either in
itself or in its postulates, contain something which transcends all human
comprehension.

What, let us ask ourselves, is the law of intellectual growth? The
condition of all growth is effort. Life is a struggle in which lesser
forces are overcome by greater. This is true of the individual as of the
race. It is only by effort, by the exertion of power, that we live and
consequently grow. Labor, then, is the law of intellectual as of all
progress.

Before going further, let us examine into the obstacles which tend to
prevent improvement of mind.

These are to be sought for either in the circumstances which surround us
or in ourselves. We are to such an extent the creatures of circumstances
that, when these are unfavorable, it is almost impossible that we should
make great head‐way.

As occasion makes the thief, it is also required to make the scholar. In
the first place, leisure is essential to mental culture, since education
is a work of time and of labor. We therefore look for little or no
cultivation of mind in those who lead lives of manual toil, and who,
during the brief moments allowed for recreation, are so fatigued as to be
incapable of sustained mental effort.

Here and there an individual from this class, of remarkable gifts, and
endowed with great energy and will, surmounts the obstacle, and, having
risen to a higher level, succeeds, by perseverance and industry, in making
very considerable intellectual progress. But, as a rule, all will admit
that it would be absurd to look for much mental training in men who work
ten or even eight hours a day in factories and mines, or in tilling the
soil.

Intercourse with educated men is of the greatest advantage in the work of
self‐education; and where this is wanting, intellectual progress will
rarely be found. The presence of highly developed and gifted minds has a
magnetic power which creates emulation, awakens admiration, and stimulates
to effort. Hence we find the great men of the world, whether philosophers,
poets, statesmen, orators, or artists, in schools and historic groups.

Books, too, are required; but to this part of the subject we shall return.

The obstacles to mental growth within ourselves are of various kinds. Some
have their origin in the body, some in the intellect, others in the will.

Infirm health, the love of ease, and excessive fondness of eating and
drinking are generally incompatible with intellectual growth; and yet some
of the greatest minds have wrought through feeble bodies, whilst many
literary men have indulged to excess in the pleasures of the table, though
always to their own injury.

The literary man, it may be well to remark, is not necessarily the
thoroughly educated man; very often, indeed, he has nothing of the true
man except the talent for letters. Vain, selfish, conceited, restless, a
fickle friend, an unfaithful husband, the mere man of letters, poet,
novelist, or scribe, is too often a caricature on human nature.

There are in the mind itself obstacles to mental progress which vary with
the peculiarities of the individual. There are weak minds, slow minds,
inattentive minds; in fact, all minds are in different degrees subject to
these defects, and it is only relatively and by comparison that some are
said to be feeble, whilst others are strong. Education supposes these
weaknesses, and it is its aim to correct them. Obstacles to intellectual
growth may exist also in the will; since the mind, under the influence of
inordinate passion, is incapable of the deliberation and sustained
attention which are required for calm and serious thought.

These, briefly and imperfectly stated, are, it seems to me, the chief
difficulties with which those who seek to improve their minds have to
contend.

They are not imaginary, but they are not so great as to frighten men in
your condition of life. For you, young gentlemen, the obstacles of
circumstance do not, I may say, exist. Your occupations leave you a few
hours out of the twenty‐four, which you are free to devote to study; you
may enjoy, if such be your desire, the conversation of men of thought and
learning, whilst books of all kinds are within your reach. I may add that,
in a great metropolis like this, you possess special advantages. Here you
have the best of everything. Where there is the greatest demand for the
most perfect, thither will it gravitate by a law as universal as that of
attraction. To this city, from two worlds, come the best orators, the most
learned men of science, the finest singers, the most accomplished actors,
for the same reason that the fattest beeves, the choicest wines, and the
most costly fabrics are sent hither—that is, because there is a demand for
them. On the other hand, life in great cities has its intellectual
dangers. There is here so much of the mere noise of life that most men
find it difficult to dwell within themselves, to receive as welcome guests
thoughts that do not concern the business or the pleasure of the
hour—difficult not to be drawn into the whirlpool of human passion, where
men eddy round and round, shouting, rushing, struggling, in wild
confusion, forgetful of themselves, forgetful of truth. In a great
commercial centre, too, we are apt to become the victims of the prevailing
opinion which attaches honor and respect to wealth before all things; and
I know of nothing more hurtful to intellectual growth than the absorbing
pursuit of riches or that narrow disposition of soul which causes men to
fawn upon the rich, even though they have nothing but money. That it is of
importance to every one to think correctly, to possess a trained and
cultivated mind, I need not attempt to prove. The harmonious development
of our faculties in accordance with the principles of eternal wisdom is, I
may say, the great work of life; for the proper training of the intellect
necessarily involves the cultivation of the moral faculties. Of the
necessity and priceless value of such education there can be no diversity
of opinion among enlightened, men. Nor wealth nor place can give to man
the dignity which is derived from the perfection of his own powers. We are
greater than whatever ministers to our wants and vanities.

Another consideration which you will permit me to present to your
attention, as suggestive of salutary thought in connection with the
benefits to be derived through an association like yours, is this: no man
who has done nothing more than go through a college course, it matters not
how brilliant he may have been, can rightly be called educated. Education
is the work of the man, and not of the boy. The best that school‐training
can do is to teach the boy how he should study when he has become a man.
Though there will generally be found a certain refinement, correctness of
expression, and intelligent appreciativeness in those who have made a
collegiate course, yet, if this be not followed up by the study of the
man, they will be found to possess neither mental strength nor logical
accuracy.

Before entering upon the direct treatment of the proper method to be
pursued by those who seek to improve their minds, allow me to say a word
of the work of preparation, which is twofold, intellectual and moral.

We should prepare the mind for the reception of truth by freeing it from
all those opinions which rest upon no other foundation than prejudice.
There are personal prejudices, family prejudices, national prejudices,
prejudices of childhood, prejudices of old age, prejudices of men,
prejudices of women, all of which tend to prevent the view of things as
they are in themselves, by directing the mind, in an undue manner, to
their relations to ourselves.

Personal prejudice inclines each one to think too well of himself, his
talents, his acquirements; it is that, in a word, which makes it almost
impossible that any power should


        “The giftie gie us
    To see oursels as ithers see us.”


It is the great obstacle to self‐knowledge and the fruitful source of
error, warping the judgment and perverting the will. It creates within us
a tendency to deceive ourselves concerning whatever we love or hate.

National prejudice is another very common phase of this universal
weakness. How few men are capable of forming just and fair opinions of the
manners, customs, and opinions of foreign nations! The infirmity of even
great minds is, in this respect, lamentable; above all, this is an
original sin of the English people; for they—if I be not myself under the
influence of the prejudice which I condemn—are the most narrow and
insular, in their self‐conceit, of all the peoples of the earth. It is
next to miraculous that an Englishman should judge fairly of the Irish,
the French, the Italians, or the Americans; and this unfortunate defect of
the national mind has been stamped upon the literature of the country.(72)

Americans, more, probably, from the force of circumstances which were not
under their control than from any other cause, are less narrow in their
nationalism, though by no means free from prejudice. In the past, at
least, we were too often guilty of the folly of looking upon our form of
government as ideal, forgetting that no form of government should be
considered in the abstract, or as good or better, except relatively to the
circumstances to which it is applied.

Then, we, a young people, affect contempt for antiquity, and become
superficial, and lose veneration.

It is not necessary that I should enter further into this part of the
subject.

There is, I have said, a work of preparation which directly concerns the
moral nature. As the mind is to be freed from prejudice, the will is to be
taken from beneath the yoke of passion. It is through the will that the
intellect is warped by prejudice. He who is the slave of passion will
rarely have an honest desire to improve his mind; and, even where this
exists, the tyrant into whose hands he has surrendered his soul will
deprive him of the power. Sensual indulgence produces a deterioration of
the nervous system, which, of course, causes a corresponding degeneracy in
the intellectual faculties. How can there be a love of excellence without
self‐respect, and how can a man who habitually violates the sanctity of
his nature respect himself?

“Nothing,” says Cicero, “is so injurious, so baneful, as lust, which, were
it stronger or of greater duration, would extinguish the very light of
reason. It prevents thought, blindfolds the eyes of the mind, and can have
no society with wisdom.”

“I will simply express my strong belief,” says Faraday, one of the
greatest men of science of this century, “that that point of self‐
education which consists in teaching the mind to resist its desires and
inclinations until they are proved to be right, is the most important of
all, not only in things of natural philosophy, but in every department of
daily life.”

The assent of the mind is, in a marvellous manner, subject to the power of
the will. How readily we give credence to what flatters our vanity, or is,
from whatever cause, agreeable to us!

We easily persuade a man that what he wishes to do is right, but usually
labor in vain when passion pleads against us.

In this undoubted psychological fact is found the hidden cause of the
infidelity of many young men. They do wrong, and passion seeks to justify
their conduct to their intelligence, which becomes the tool of the
perverted will.

Or, if you prefer to take another view of the subject, I will say that
what the French call _l’interiorité_—the habitual dwelling with one’s own
thoughts—is an essential condition of mental growth. But this is painful
to the sensual man, who has violated the sanctuary of his soul, and can
consequently no longer dwell there in peace.

What pleasure can the father find in the bosom of his family, when he has
betrayed the wife whom he swore to love, and has brought shame upon the
name which his children have received from him?

To him, then, who wishes to begin the life‐work of self‐improvement I
would say: Seek to have a large mind, from which no narrowing prejudice
shuts out the full light of truth; have a pure heart, with the strength to
love all that is right.

Then, I ask of him the will to work and to persevere in labor. Labor is
the great law of progress, the necessary condition of all improvement. He
who wishes to be an educated man must have courage; he must consent to see
himself forgotten for a time, overshadowed by the easy‐won reputations of
those of his own age, who will wear their honors full‐blushing, whilst all
his life is still concentred in the bud that wraps it close and nurtures
it.

Is it easy, in the fresh‐blown flower of manhood, in the enthusiasm of a
newly‐found liberty, when fair hands hold out the cup of pleasure, when
bright eyes and smiling lips woo to indulgence—is it easy, then, to choose
rather silence and solitude, a life of toil more earnest and not less
regular than the enforced labor of the college? And yet this must be.
There is no royal road to science.


    “A king of feasts and flowers, and wine and revel,
    And love and mirth, was never king of glory.”


I have heard the question—you have asked it yourselves—Where are the young
men who go forth year after year from our colleges? What becomes of them?
We never hear of them. Is not something wrong? They cease to study, they
cease to grow, and are lost in the crowd.

But your presence, young gentlemen, assures me that you have not ceased to
labor, and that you do not intend to cease to grow.

Permit me, then, to present to you a few suggestions concerning the proper
method of study. We do nothing well except what we do with system and
order. Set apart, therefore, stated times for the improvement of your
minds, and suffer not a slight circumstance to interfere with this
arrangement. And now I feel that I must be brief, when the subject which I
am treating most requires development. How to study and what to study are
problems which engage the attention of the profoundest thinkers of our
age, the adequate solution of which can be found only in a perfect
philosophy of education, which possibly has not yet been written. Without
aiming, then, to be either deep or thorough, I shall strive to be
practical. To study, as I have already intimated, means to work with the
mind. The mind grows by union with truth, by the assimilation of
knowledge, which never takes place except by direct application of the
thinking subject to the object thought. This continued application—in
other words, attention—is difficult; it wearies the mind, it fatigues the
body. To read is not to study. Some of the most indolent men I have ever
known, intellectually indolent, were passionately fond of reading. To read
requires no mental effort, and demands merely that sort of attention
necessary to form a vague notion of each sentence as it passes through the
mind. A man may read all the books in the Astor Library, and acquire
hardly more knowledge than there will remain water in a sieve through
which a stream has been pouring. Indiscriminate, inattentive reading
confuses the mind, and, if persevered in, begets a mental habit
incompatible with clear and accurate thinking; and the important thing,
from an educational point of view, is not so much to get knowledge as to
strengthen and develop the intellect, that it may be prepared to grapple
intelligently and successfully with the problems which greatly concern or
interest us as rational beings.

But you will readily understand that it is far from my thought to wish to
dissuade you from cultivating a fondness for reading. On the contrary,
this, if you have it not, you must acquire, if you hope to make progress
in the work of self‐education. Read, then, but read intelligently,
thoughtfully. One should read at his writing‐desk, pen in hand, taking
note of new and striking thoughts, of graceful and forcible modes of
expression; bringing the author’s ideas into the presence of higher
truths, of principles that are fixed; rejecting what is false,
assimilating what is just. Better still, write yourselves. Do not imagine
that I have the faintest desire to encourage you to become authors; there
would be fewer and better authors if men were in the habit of doing what I
would have you do. Write, not that others may read your thoughts, but that
they may become clear to your own minds.

“I confess,” said S. Augustine, “that by writing I have learned many
things which nothing else had taught me.” You will recall to mind the
apothegm of Bacon: “Reading makes a full man, talking a ready man, and
writing an exact man.”

I have no hesitation in saying that, of all means of mental culture,
writing is the best, as well for extending and deepening the intellectual
faculties, as for giving them justness and polish.

Do I propose to you to go back to the drudgery of task compositions? Such
is not my thought.

I suppose you to be interested in certain subjects, of which you wish to
get at least a tolerably thorough knowledge. You take the authors who have
treated most exhaustively of these matters; you read them, you study them;
you apply your own minds, in sustained thought, to the facts and
principles which they give you. And here precisely lies the difficulty;
for you will find that, when you will have acquired the power of sustained
thought, you will be able to master almost any subject.

Now, to get this mental habit, nothing will aid you like writing. I do not
believe that any man who has never translated his thoughts into written
language is able to think profoundly or correctly. Do not, however,
misunderstand me. One may write negligently and thoughtlessly, as he may
read with indolence and inattention. Put your hand to the pen, and begin
to meditate upon the thoughts that fill your mind. Should you, for weeks
and months, not write one sentence for every hour you hold the pen, do not
be discouraged, and, above all, be persuaded that this time has not been
lost. Think neither of style nor of the reader; give all your attention to
truth and to your own soul. The style is the man. Write out the life that
is within you. Keep what you have written, and after months and years, in
looking back, you will perceive that you have grown steadily, increased
day by day in intellectual vigor and refinement; and there will always be
special worth in words written, not to please the vulgar crowd, not to
propitiate a false and intolerant public opinion—written to gain neither
applause nor gold, but for God and truth, and the dignity of the human
soul.

“There is nothing,” says Seneca, “however difficult or arduous, which the
human mind cannot conquer, and assiduous meditation render familiar.
Whatever the soul demands of itself it obtains.” But how are you to learn
the secret of assiduous meditation, to acquire the habit of retaining
difficulties in mind, to be considered and reconsidered, to be taken up at
the leisure moment, and laid down as deferred but not abandoned?

As the soldier takes the sword, the painter the brush, the musician his
instrument, the mechanic the tools of his trade, each to perfect himself
in his art, so he who wishes to learn how to think must take the pen and
do honest work.


    “But words are things, and a small drop of ink
    Falling, like dew, upon a thought, produces
    That which makes thousands, perhaps millions think.”


I shall conclude this part of my subject with a quotation from Sir William
Hamilton: “The primary principle of education is the determination of the
pupil to self‐activity—the doing nothing for him which he is able to do
for himself.” This principle is applicable to every stage of the mind’s
development, and in it will be found the secret of success in the great
work of self‐education.

The student, I have said, should cultivate a fondness for intelligent and
thoughtful reading; for in books chiefly all human knowledge is treasured
up.

“Many a man lives a burden to the earth,” says Milton; “but a good book is
the precious life‐blood of a master‐spirit, embalmed and treasured up on
purpose to a life beyond life.” But only a few books are good. The great
mass of those that are written fall upon the world dead, or at best
survive but a short time.

We are about to celebrate the centennial anniversary of our national
existence, and, in the hundred years of our life, we have made many books.
How many of them will be read in the next century? A dozen? Hardly.

There is the Augustan age, the age of Leo X., the Elizabethan age, the age
of Louis XIV., the age of Queen Anne, all remarkable for literary
excellence and the number of great writers whom they produced, and yet you
can count on your fingers the really good books that each has bequeathed
to us. And this, too, is worthy of remark: a considerable portion of the
books that survive are saved by style alone, and not on account of more
solid worth. Books which have the inductive sciences as their object can,
from the nature of things, live but a short time, since these sciences,
being in a state of continuous development are constantly outgrowing their
own conclusions, and the treatises of even the ablest observers are
superseded by those of men who, with less genius, have more certain and
numerous data.

Works of imagination, poetry and romance, may meet with temporary success,
without possessing the higher qualities, from the fact that they describe
a mental, moral, or social phase of existence whose chief interest lies in
its actuality. When this is past, the literary efforts called forth by it
die. In fiction, only the very best is worthy of study.


    “Mediocribus esse poetis
    Non homines, non dî, non concessere columnæ.”


And here is a case in point, in which we should know how to rise above
prejudice—the vulgar prejudice of the insipid and intellectually indolent
society of our day, in which it is considered the proper thing for a man
of culture to read each worthless production that happens to have a run.

Persons of intellectual aspirations should, as far as possible, associate
with their superiors in knowledge and elevation of thought, and should
exclude the common herd from intellectual companionship.

There is at least an aristocracy of mind, to which neither gold nor title
can give admission, but only kinship of spirit, smitten with the love of
high thinking. What Tennyson has written of a different union may be
applied to that of mind with mind:


    “Yet it shall be, thou shalt lower to his level day by day,
    What is fine within thee growing coarse to sympathize with clay.
    As the husband is, the wife is; thou art mated with a clown,
    And the grossness of his nature will have weight to drag thee
                down.”


Allow me, in this connection, to say a word of periodical literature.

A book can wait for success; the best books have not been understood by
the generation for which they were written; but a newspaper or magazine
must succeed at once, or fail utterly, since its life is necessarily
ephemeral. Hence the great probability is that it will be guided, not by
principle, but by policy; that it will aim, not to uphold truth, but to
flatter the prejudices of its readers. If it is the organ of a party, it
must defend its interests blindly; and hence, whenever argument is
attempted, it will be found to consist of little else than special
pleading and sophistry. But since the average newspaper‐reader is not fond
of logic, the partisan organ will deal rather with men than with
principles; and the whole basis of this procedure is double‐
dealing—untruth erected into the dignity of a principle. Its business will
be to whitewash its friends, and besmear its enemies. When its party is
out of office, it will swell with indignation at the public corruption,
and will use what are called the argus eyes of the press to discover
things which do not exist; but when the spoils are in the hands of its
friends, it will devote itself to covering up their misdeeds. There is
also what is called the independent press, which generally has less of
principle than that which is avowedly partisan. It in turn affirms and
denies everything, plays fast and loose, palters in a double sense, and,
with a seeming honesty, is most unfair, lending all its influence to
persuade men that there is no such thing as truth, and that morality is
only cant.

There are yet other heads of indictment that may be brought, without
injustice, against the press. Its columns are filled with details, more or
less minute, of all the horrible and disgusting crimes which disgrace
society, with sins against the decencies of life, with coarse
personalities, and advertisements which are an opprobrium to human nature.

This, I must confess, is a one‐sided view of the question; it is, however,
the view which my subject forces me to take in treating of the means of
self‐education.

Though it would be absurd to ask you not to read newspapers, it would, in
my opinion, be wholly unwise to counsel you to make use of them to any
great extent as aids to true cultivation of mind. We grow, morally and
intellectually, by association with that which is above us, and not by
contact with what is low; and it is not by filling the mind day by day
with what is startling, corrupt, sensational, or at best only of passing
interest, but by lifting it up into the higher and serener atmosphere,
from which the trivial and transitory value of these things is perceived,
that it will gain in depth and power.

Except in the line of study which belongs to one’s profession, the wisest
rule is to confine ourselves to the works of really great minds, which we
should not merely read, but study.

In connection with practical self‐education, I consider the “conversation
evening,” as described in your _Report_ for 1872, excellent. In
intellectual pursuits, as in other things, association gives increase of
power and the means of progress. The contact of mind with mind develops
the latent fire, and strikes into life the slumbering thought. Mind
becomes supplementary to mind; and the intercommunion of souls, which
constitutes the purest friendship, becomes also the source of the highest
pleasure.

I know that the value of mere intellectual cultivation may be exaggerated,
and that, in point of fact, the men who, in our day, deny God, insist most
upon the developed mind’s self‐sufficiency.

“In the writings of our great poets,” says Strauss, after having rejected
God and the soul, “in the performances of our great musicians, we find a
satisfying stimulus for the intellect and the heart, and for fancy in her
deepest or most sportive moods.”(73)

Indeed, there is a danger in polite education which we should be most
careful to avoid. The love of poetry and music, of the fine arts in
general, has, I think, a tendency to make us unreal and visionary, because
it separates feeling from acting. We may have high thoughts, fine
sentiments, and pleasurable emotions, and yet lie slothfully on our couch.
But life is for action, and to this end thought, sentiment, and feeling
should all conspire. If science and philosophy be our favorite pursuits,
we may acquire inveterate habits of analysis which, by drying up the
fountains of feeling, and isolating the intellect from the heart, will
convert the mind into a storehouse for abstractions and lifeless formulas.
This tendency of the study of science will give us a satisfactory
explanation of many of the intellectual errors of the present day.

From abstraction, only the abstract, the unreal, can be inferred, and
hence the new philosophy of atheism does not affirm being, but merely the
phenomenon.

The exaggerated importance which this age has attributed to mere
intellectual cultivation has, amongst other results, produced what may be
called over‐education—an excessive activity of brain, which threatens to
enfeeble the physical health of modern peoples by abnormally developing
the nervous system.

I have referred to these dangers, not for the purpose of insisting on
them, but rather that I might have an opportunity to say that they are not
to be greatly dreaded by us. The church gives us fixed principles of
faith, certain rules of conduct, which will prevent the love of literature
from taking from us that deep and practical seriousness of mind which is
inseparable from the true Christian character, whilst she guides us with
an eye that sees the light of heaven through the dark mazes of philosophy;
and the fear of over‐education should certainly not trouble us.

The educated Catholics of this country seem to be fast sinking to a low
level of mediocrity, above which no man has the power or the courage to
raise his head. Where are the men, lay or clerical, who give promise of
becoming worthy to be the successors of Kenrick, of England, of Hughes, or
of Brownson?

And yet never was there an age or country in which men of might, able to
do battle for the truth, were more needed. If we sink out of the
intellectual life of the American people, we shall be passed by and
forgotten.

Permit me, then, young gentlemen, before concluding this hastily‐written
address, to exhort you to be ambitious, not of success, but of excellence,
which is its own reward. He who is worthy to succeed can despise success.
After the noble resolve to be true to God, to one’s self, and to one’s
fellowman, I know of no higher aim in life than to grow in intellectual
strength.

Older men than you might say that my words smack something too much of the
savor of youth, which is “a bubble blown up with breath, whose wit is
weakness.” But with you, enthusiasm, I am sure, need not plead for pardon.
Even to have dreamed of deeds of high emprise and noble endeavor, of
victories won on the foughten field, is something; and to the young should
belong hope, which is not only the charm of life, but also its strength.

Without the living hope of something better, man falls back upon himself,
in impotence, like a bird whose wing is clipt. He who wishes to do much
must hope for still more.

Hope gives the conviction of strength; it is confidence, and confidence is
power. Have faith and hope in God and in yourselves; and, above all,
believe that the highest wisdom consists in tender love for the religion
of Jesus Christ. Guard yourselves against a life of indulgence, which is
incompatible with generous ambition and is destructive of character. Yield
not to the fascinations of a literature which flatters human weakness and
pays court to the senses instead of speaking to the soul. Be not cynical,
be large‐hearted, since the true view is the generous view. Give the
homage of admiration to every great man, whether he be a hero, a genius,
or a saint.

When you see Napoleon on the battle‐field, and look into his eye, and
behold there the soul of the war‐god that looks and conquers, forget for
the moment his tyranny and selfishness, and let your soul shout unto his
presence a shout of living enthusiasm, even as the war‐cry of his own
unconquered veterans when, in the battle, he rode amongst them in strength
and majesty, like unto the archangel when he beat into hell the rebellious
powers of heaven. When you stand in the Roman forum, and see Cicero arise
and take into his hands the enchained hearts of his hearers, and play upon
them, as the harper sweeps his fingers over the trembling chords of the
lyre, till it shouts or laughs or wails, sighs like the zephyr, sings like
the seraph, curses like the demon, let your soul also be attuned to the
thrilling accents of his divine eloquence.

When you behold young Xavier, surrounded by the most brilliant audience
that fame could attract, suddenly, after a burst of applause, stop,
reflect a moment, then quit that scene of triumph, and, clothed in simple
garb, turn his eager steps toward the East, where millions dwell who have
never heard the name of Jesus, and there, strong in the power of divine
love and super‐human self‐sacrifice, cause every knee to bend to Jesus and
every tongue to bless his holy name, until at last, still seeking for some
soul in darkness lying, on a barren isle, far from man or beast, alone,
with the ocean before him, the desert around him, and God within him, he
breathes out his great soul in the words of a confidence certain of
itself: “In thee, O God! have I hoped; I shall not be confounded for
ever”—when you behold all this, lift up your hearts to God, and ask him to
give you, too, the strength to be Christians.



On The Wing. A Southern Flight. II.


    “Io son Monaco; sopra un scoglio,
        Non seme, non coglie,
        E pure vuol mangiar.”(74)


It is true indeed that he does eat, the prince of the ancient name, and
exquisitely beautiful little town, of Monaco. But it is food that would
give an indigestion to any man with a conscience. The prince has reserved
to himself of his lovely tiny principality very little more than his large
palace and the surrounding gardens. The rest is let to the keeper of a
gambling establishment built and organized on a very magnificent scale,
and standing, with its hotel and several gay shops, in the most exquisite
Italian gardens that imagination can picture—veritable gardens of Armida,
with terrace above terrace, flights of white, gleaming steps, handsome
balustrades, and all the glorious flowers and foliage of far‐distant and
still more sunny regions. They command a view of unspeakable beauty. They
are full of all the sweet, peaceful suggestions of lovely nature,
heightened and enhanced by the order and arrangement of subtle art. As I
wandered up and down the marble stairs, and from beneath the shade of
eucalyptus, palm, mimosa, tamarisk, and cypress, into the sunny walks
bright with flowers, my heart sank within me at the dreadful thought that
all this had been brought together for no other purpose than to minister
to human passions of the worst kind, and to accumulate sordid gains by
trading on vice. Games of chance may not, in themselves, be wrong. Far be
it from me to assert that they are. But if the chronicles of Monaco could
be truly written for only one season, we should look on this beautiful
scene, where God’s best gifts in bountiful nature have been used to
decorate and adorn it to the utmost, as simply one of the gates of hell,
and probably one of its broadest and largest. The moon was riding through
a pure expanse of spotless blue, her reflection dancing on the rippling
sea with silver footsteps, as we passed down the flights of broad stairs
from terrace to terrace to join the night‐train to Mentone. The journey
took us barely twenty minutes; and we were silent and depressed. We had
seen no startling sight: all was perfectly decorous and calm. A slight
click, click, very occasionally, as the heaps of gold had been piled on
the _tapis vert_, and a subdued, muffled noise, hardly perceptible, as the
croupiers dragged forward the gains and the losses of silent figures that
sat or stood around the numerous gambling‐tables—that was all. Hours
passed. People came and went with noiseless tread and controlled
countenance. No man committed suicide in our presence. No woman shrieked
at her loss or laughed at her success. Outwardly, it was calm, silent, and
intense. But there is a wordless language which speaks from one human soul
to another, and which, whether we will or no, reveals something of the
inner state and the unspoken secrets. The very air teemed with these
secrets. And as I passed out into the quiet night, I wondered whether
perhaps in hell there will be the same decorous silence, without the
exterior beauty, and all the fire of anguish be hidden beneath the outer
garb—so entirely did it seem that, to many, it might be but one step from
_this_ to _that_.


    “O tu che, siasi tua fortuna o voglia,
    Al paese fatal d’Armida arrive,
    Pensi indarno al fuggire; or l’arme spoglia,
    E porgi ai lacci suoi le man cattive.”(75)

    —_Gerusalemme Liberata_, Canto 7, stanza 32.


The rusticity of Mentone was a relief after the sort of nightmare to which
we had so needlessly subjected ourselves at Monaco. It was carnival time,
and the peasantry were making merry. A motley crew came pouring down the
only street worthy of the name, in fantastic dresses, making hideous
sounds through huge horns, shouting and dancing. They had two bears with
them, which, I afterwards heard, in their frolic they had let loose, to
the alarm of quiet folks. For myself, I scrambled up a steep, narrow, and
very dirty _vicolo_,(76) part of which was composed of broken steps, glad
to be out of their way. And so, climbing higher and higher, I found myself
at the parish church, where there was an Exposition of the Blessed
Sacrament, and where the noise of the masks and merry‐makers could not
penetrate.

As I am far from intending to give my kind readers anything of the nature
of a guide‐book—a task for which I am utterly unqualified—I will not weary
them with an account of how and by what route we found ourselves at the
San Marco Hotel at Bologna, the City of Arcades, the capital of
jurisprudence, whence came many an astute lawyer, reared in its celebrated
university, which has also given the church six sovereign pontiffs, and
amongst them the witty and learned Benedict XIV. To Bologna we owe the
great school of painting founded by Francia, which boasts of the Caracci,
Domenichino, Guido, and his pupil Guercino, besides many others. We
thought ourselves unusually accurate and learned, when, on arriving at the
_Accademia_, we asked the surly guardian which way we ought to turn to get
to the _Pinacoteca_; and not till we had, in a more roundabout form, told
him we wanted to see the pictures would he condescend from his stolid
dignity to tell us where to go. The Francias alone, the S. Cecilia of
Raphael, or the Martyrdom of S. Agnes by Domenichino, would be worth a yet
longer journey to behold. And the Head of Christ Crowned with Thorns,
drawn in crayons by Guido, with stains of damp on the paper, and some
slight discoloration from age, leaves an impression on the memory
surpassing, to my mind, all that artist’s finished paintings. Bologna has
set an example our more liberal times, as we are apt to think them, seem
unwilling to follow, and are doing so but slowly and grudgingly. The
learned ladies who aspire to equality with the other sex might come here
in a body, raise the now declining glories of the university, and fill
those comparatively empty halls. Bologna has known female lawyers of
eminence, and doctors, and at least one surgeon and anatomist of the
gentler sex, and has done homage to their learning and merit. Might it not
be as well to take advantage of a university so large‐minded, and once so
celebrated?—convinced, as we are, that if the ladies took the lead, the
gentlemen would follow.

We had had the honor many years ago of knowing Cardinal Mezzofanti, so
celebrated as a linguist. He was a Bolognese, and had been librarian of
the university here, and, when we knew him, occupied an important post in
the Vatican library. At that time he had mastered something like forty
languages. He told us that, a short time previous, he had been informed
there was a poor sailor come to Rome from some out‐of‐the‐way part of the
world—Lapland, I believe—who spoke a dialect no one could understand or
make anything of; and that the man, being a Catholic, wanted to go to his
Easter duties. The cardinal sent for him, and made him discourse in his
presence. In two days his eminence was quite ready to hear his confession,
and could talk with the man in his own tongue with fluency.

Through the cool, shady arcades of beautiful Bologna we wandered to the
Piazza Vittoria Emanuel, which formerly was known by the more honorable
name of Piazza del Gigante. The crowd was so great that we could hardly
make our way past the groups of peasants and well‐to‐do farmers, in their
warm, brown cloaks, all talking and gesticulating, with apparently nothing
else to do. There was a market going on, but not one which seemed of
sufficient importance to justify so large a crowd, and which probably
collects there daily, about mid‐day, out of the abundant leisure which
pervades Italian life, even in its most industrious forms. We visited the
shrine of S. Dominic, and were long engaged in admiring its extraordinary
beauty. The saint died at Bologna in 1221. He was in England when the
vision was granted him which revealed to him that, before the next Feast
of the Assumption, his earthly career would be closed, and, on arriving at
Bologna, had forewarned the students at the university that he was about
to leave them. Shortly after, he went to Venice on the affairs of his
order. He returned to the monastery of S. Nicholas, at Bologna, in the
great heats of the last days of July. The following morning he celebrated
his last Mass, and said Office in choir. He then complained of headache,
but refused to take any further repose than was obtained by sitting on a
sack of wool which happened casually to be at hand. Finding his suffering
increase, he sent for the novices, to give them his last exhortation,
summing up all in these simple words: “Be filled with charity, keep
humility, and observe voluntary poverty.” In the hope that a purer air
might benefit their beloved father and founder, they carried him to the
Church of S. Mary of the Mount. But the journey, brief as it was, proved
rather to have aggravated his condition. Once again he addressed the
assembled brethren; and finding that there was some idea of burying him
there, instead of in his own monastery, he entreated to be taken back to
S. Nicholas, that he might, as he expressed it, be buried beneath the feet
of his brothers. They wanted to change his clothes, but discovered he had
no others but those he wore. Brother Moneta therefore lent him a habit. He
had received the last sacraments at S. Mary’s of the Mount; and finding
that his disciples, in the excess of their grief, were delaying to read
the prayers for the dying, he was the first to beg they would commence.
While they prayed around him, his lips silently repeated the words; and
when they came to the sentence, “Come to his assistance, ye saints of God.
Come forth to meet him, ye angels of the Lord, receiving his soul, and
offering it in the sight of the Most High,”(77) he lifted up his hands
toward heaven, and at the same moment gave up his pure soul to God.

It was at noon, on Friday, the 6th of August. Thus he reached his home
five years before his companion in arms in the warfare of the great church
militant, S. Francis of Assisi, who was six years his junior. The last
words of the holy dying are ever precious to the Christian world; and it
is to be remarked that those of the canonized saints have most frequently
been taken from Holy Scripture or from the liturgy of the church. S.
Francis died repeating the 141st Psalm; thus his last words were, “Bring
my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the just wait for me,
until Thou reward me.”

The greater part of our journey to Bologna from Genoa had been through a
highly cultivated but flat and uninteresting country. The contrast was
great on the railway from Bologna to Florence, with its forty‐five
tunnels, its sudden turnings and windings, the beautiful valleys of the
Apennines, and the mountains themselves looking as if the giant hand of
nature had crushed them like rose‐leaves, and then flung them down with
all the crinkles in them. You look below on fertile fields and beautiful
little towns nestling on the sides of green hills, with gardens and
meadows smiling in the sunshine. As you are attempting to realize the
lovely scene before you, the relentless engine is bringing you nearer to
rugged rocks, with hanging woods and fringes of the golden broom. A black
cavern yawns in front of you, and in a second you are plunged in darkness.
Away you are hurried, with grind, and puff, and roar, regretting the sunny
picture from which you have so suddenly been snatched. Just as you are
recovering from the shock, again you emerge on a scene as beautiful as the
last; and again are you doomed to lose it, almost before your dazzled eyes
have recovered from this unnaturally rapid succession of day and night,
and which reminded me of a certain planet, where, as astronomers assure
us, the inhabitants, if there be any, are exposed to the vicissitudes of
several days and nights in the course of our comparatively leisurely space
of four‐and‐twenty hours. I have always ventured to hope they were not
also condemned to dress and undress each time; otherwise I think many of
them must be tempted to follow the example of that poor gentleman who cut
his throat, leaving a paper on the table in which he stated that it was
the constant buttoning and unbuttoning which had been too much for him.

Nothing can exceed the beauty of the view as the plain of Tuscany opens
before you. We had seen it two‐and‐twenty years ago, before any railroads
were there to cut short the delights of travelling. We had gazed long and
lingeringly from out the windows of our travelling‐carriage, while the
setting sun left his last kiss on the mountain heights, and the evening
mists gathered below. I, for one, had never seen it since. But sometimes
in my dreams that view had come back to me, and, when I awoke, it Was
still there. Sometimes the phantasmagoria of the mind had suddenly
unfolded it before my memory without my being able to say when and where I
had painted that picture on my brain. And now I saw it again; and suddenly
all those broken recollections seemed to gather themselves together, and
unroll before me, while my soul whispered, “Here is the reality of what
for so many years has haunted you, and which you have so often been
tempted to believe was a trick of your imagination. It is a fact; and you
can recall it and put it together, piece by piece; as you will do, far
more perfectly, the broken and half‐forgotten fragments of your life when
the barrier of death is passed.”

The only other wide expanse which has left the same impression on my
imagination, waking and sleeping, is the view from the beautiful viaduct
at Aricia, as it first burst upon me—the vast campagna and the crimson
lights of the setting sun.

This was our first visit to Florence since the government had taken
possession of the Dominican church and monastery of San Marco, and opened
the latter as a museum to the public in 1869; so that my old jealousy that
Frank could gaze at those wonderfully lovely angels of Fra Angelico was
now at an end. I do not think there is a cell without some exquisitely
devotional painting by the monk‐artist, whose every picture is an embodied
meditation and a prayer. We paused long in the two cells where Savonarola
had lived and studied and suffered. The old question forced itself upon me
as to what had been the real character of that grand, imposing figure,
which fills so large a page in the history of Florence—the hard‐featured
reformer, the man of relentless will and burning eloquence. Where was the
little rift in the flute which jarred that celestial music? Where was the
flaw in the gem which spoiled its intrinsic value? And which was the snare
in his life which prevented his growing on into heroic virtue? His gifts
and graces were immense, and, at one time at least, so supernatural that
they seemed at once the guarantee and the pledge that he would die a saint
in the highest acceptation of the word. Frank, who has read a great deal
about him, written by all sides, is persuaded that it was a form of
spiritual pride and dependence on himself that ruined all. Of course, at
this distance of time, and judging only from existing documents, no one
can say when precisely this began—when the annihilation of self first gave
place to an inner complacency; when that heart, covered, as before, with
the rude hair‐shirt, began to throb with a secret sentiment of personal
satisfaction in the graces God had given. It must have been long, if ever,
before those set, stern features began to betray that another spirit had
entered into the soul of the ascetic monk, which gradually was tarnishing
the purity of his spiritual life. But when the end came, and he bowed to
death in its most dreadful form, hurried on by the malignity of his
enemies—who, having once laid their hand on their prey, feared lest the
mercy of Rome should be enlightened to arrest its own mandate—can any
doubt that the man who had done so much in a holy cause, and had so
decried the pomp and pride of life, found all the graces attached to a
great and accepted sacrifice?

We hurry from Florence. And though I might linger over my pages, and make
my story more full of information, and possibly of interest, I yet refrain
from anything that may trench on the character of mere sketches, which
alone I aim at. Frank forms one of a deputation to the Holy Father, and he
was to reach Rome by a certain day. We arrived long enough before that
date to establish ourselves in a house in the Ripetta, overlooking the
yellow Tiber. Charon, mild, modern, and a Roman, ferries his boat just
beneath our windows. The rope is fastened to a stake on our balcony, and
makes a creaking noise as the boat crosses the river, to which we are so
habituated that we think it musical. Charon wears a glazed hat, and
affects a nautical air quite uncalled for, considering his limited
navigation. For the moderate fee of one half‐penny he conveys his
passengers to and fro across the classic river. Landed on the opposite
shore, we pass along a narrow lane, on one side limited by a high wall, on
the other by a green bank paved with violet‐leaves. Modern violet‐leaves,
but doubtless descendants of those that fell beneath the coulter of
Cincinnatus’ plough along these Quintian fields that early morn when the
anxious senate went to call the half‐naked hero to another and less
peaceful field, and bade him cross the Tiber (where we have done), and
turn his plough‐share into a sword against those ever‐recurring Volsci and
Æqui. Let the violets grow, O warrior ploughman! and in a few brief days
thou shalt return to find the little purple flowers ready to hail thy
triumph. Shall we see Racilia behind the tall vine‐poles, bearing the toga
that is to cover the brawny shoulders of the noble laborer? Or have these
familiar idyls of our early life lost their charm in the sterner and more
assured memories of Christian Rome?

The narrow, violet‐bordered lane leads into wide fields and to the
fortifications of the Castle of Sant’ Angelo. We are outside the gates of
the city. The white walls of Rome stand glittering in the sunshine to our
left; to our right lies the green, undulating Campagna; and before us are
the heights of Monte Mario, pine‐crowned.

S. Michael, poised in mid‐air, sheathes his avenging sword above the huge
round tower that was the tomb of Hadrian, and by turns the hiding‐place of
the popes or the prison of their enemies.

Darkly looming against the blue‐white sky, the bronze figure of Rome’s
guardian angel for ever holds his weapon half‐way out of his scabbard,
like the suspended threat of an avenging power.

Dark‐browed Roman women are hanging out inconceivable colored rags that
surely never can have served for human raiment, to dry on the wooden rails
that mark our road. They are jabbering, in harsh and femininely shrill
tones, their curtailed _patois_ of the Roman tongue; and the lark, in
advance of the season, is carolling overhead in the motionless air and in
the quivering light of the mid‐day sun. We re‐enter the city by the Porta
Angelica, and are standing on the fields of the Vatican, where stood
Nero’s circus and Nero’s gardens. Of all the characters of the heathen
Roman Empire, none comes more prominently forward as the very type of
human depravity and accomplished wickedness than that of Nero. He seems
the embodiment of evil heightened by a versatility of talent and varnished
by the gloss of a false poetic sense that makes him the exact opposite to
all that produces heroic virtue in its greatest charm, as well as its
highest glory, among the Christian saints. His was the poet nature debased
to the lowest sensuality and the meanest vanity. And in the mystic saints,
is there not ever something of the poet nature carried to its most subtle
expression and its utmost elevation in the ascetic purity and tender
devotion of a S. Francis or a S. Gertrude? There is a wonderful sequence
in the low‐lying, half‐hidden events of the church’s history. There is a
marvellous counterbalancing of good against evil, as though the providence
of God had (if we may use the expression) taken pleasure in substituting
light for darkness, and beauty for ugliness; selecting in each the exact
counterpart of the other, and placing them in juxtaposition. And so it is
in this spot, which most brings to our recollection the lavish and foul
luxury of Rome’s artist emperor, the degraded being who was by turns
actor, poet, musician, wrestler, or coachman, but fiend always! There,
where the horrid pomp of his midnight revels was lighted up by the living
and burning forms of the meek martyrs of the church—there we now have the
grandest monument of the faith for which those martyrs died that ever has
been, or probably ever will be. And the great saints, the pillars of the
church, the founders and foundresses of her armies of religious orders,
stand now, sculptured in cool marble niches along the aisles of that
gorgeous Basilica which stands on the very ground of Nero’s infamous
gardens. There, too, was another “Potter’s Field,” in which to bury
strangers; for the clay soil on which S. Peter’s is built had served in
the old Roman manufactory of bricks and earthenware. The potters had
excavated numberless caves on the slopes of the Vatican hills, where
subsequently the Christians concealed themselves, and, as in the other
catacombs of Rome, celebrated the divine mysteries and buried their dead.
It is said that S. Peter himself, on his first journey to Rome, baptized
many in these very catacombs—many, probably, who later on had received
that other baptism of blood in the ghastly revels of Nero’s gardens, and
whose remains were gathered together secretly by the brethren, and buried
in the caves of the “Potter’s Fields.” And now the strangers have become
possessors; the holy dead have consecrated what might well have been
called another “field of blood”; and the successors of S. Peter sit in
reverend state and govern Christendom on the very spot where the first
Bishop of Rome celebrated in secret the first Masses Rome ever witnessed.
The grain of mustard‐seed has indeed become a great and goodly tree, and
the birds of all nations and all ages lodge in the beneficent shadow of
its branches.

The whole history of the Basilica of S. Peter, whether the first that
sheltered the relics of the apostles, or the present more magnificent one,
built from the designs of Bernini, and completed by Michael Angelo, teems
with facts of this nature.

The old roof of S. Peter’s was covered by Pope Honorius I. with the gilt
bronze tiles that had roofed, some historians say the temple of Romulus,
others that of Jupiter Capitolinus, possibly of both; as though the first
founders of pagan Rome, the Romulus and Remus of history and legend, were
to pay tribute to the founders of Christian Rome, the great apostles SS.
Peter and Paul, whose blood cemented the walls of the early church, and
over whose sacred relics that venerable roof was to hang; or, as if the
false Jove, dethroned and vanquished by the fisherman, were stripped of
his splendor to do honor to the true God. The tiles have been removed
elsewhere now, but the fact still retains its touching import. And the
like is carried out in the present Basilica; for the Pantheon, raised to
the honor of its myriad of demon gods, gave up the bronze of its portico
at the command of Urban VIII., that out of it Bernini might fashion that
wonderful work, the _Baldacchino_ over the high altar. Wonderful work!
that, as we gaze at it, never weary and ever admiring, we ask ourselves in
what way the mind of the architect(78) wrought when he brought forth this
splendid design. Did it come to him at once, like the one grand idea
ruling all the cadences of action in a Greek play? Or did he build it up,
piece by piece, in his soul, and touch and retouch the beautiful image
like the finished diversities of an idyl? We incline to the first, for
that is most like inspiration, and the _Baldacchino_ of S. Peter’s must
have been an inspiration.

As we pass beneath the deep shadow of the great colonnade of S. Peter’s
into the vast piazza facing the Basilica, it is like stepping from the
mazes of a forest out into the sunny plain. Almost catching the diamond
spray of these ever‐joyous fountains, we mount the easy steps, so
dignified in their gradual ascent, and pass into the gallery of the façade
with the same awe‐struck feeling we have experienced when suddenly we have
found our frank glance come in unexpected contrast with the deep,
scrutinizing gaze of a dark eye and the overhanging solemnity of a
thoughtful and heavy‐laden brow. And first the bass‐relief before us tells
us the history of the church. Christ delivers the keys to S. Peter, who,
kneeling, receives the tokens of his high office. At either end of the
long gallery are the equestrian statues of two great imperial defenders
and benefactors of the church: Constantine the Great still gazes on the
labarum that appeared to him in mystic form not far off on that very hill
of Monte Mario, pine‐crowned, and where now stands a church in
commemoration of the event—an event which turned the City on Seven Hills,
the Babylon of the prophecies, the woman drunk with the blood of the
martyrs, into the Eternal City, the port of the church’s bark, the
patrimony of S. Peter, and the home of all Christian hearts—the city of
which a great and royal sufferer once said; “J’ai trouvé que Rome est
l’endroit où on peut le mieux se passer du bonheur.”(79) Here all sorrow
is ennobled, all grief is sheltered. The great King of the church is
himself “the Man of Sorrows,” and here his Vicar reigns!

At the very entrance we pause to ponder over as touching an elegy as ever
was written _in memoriam_; and the grief it portrays is that of the other
great defender of the church, whose equestrian statue meets us on the left
end of the gallery—Charlemagne mourns for Adrian I.

“I, Charles, write these verses, weeping for my father! Yea, my father, my
dear love! These verses are my lamentation for thy loss. Be thou ever
mindful of me, whose memory seeks thee dwelling with Christ in the blessed
region of heaven. The priests and the people loved thee with a great love,
and all with one love, best of shepherds! Great friend! I mingle in one
our names and our illustrious titles. Adrian and Charles—emperor, I; and
father, thou!”

In the history of nations, as in the life of individuals, there is a not
unfrequent repetition of events bearing the same type though not the same
in fact. They give a characteristic coloring to the biography of the
individual or the history of the people. The events and the man react on
each other. But this is especially true, and in a far deeper sense, with
the history of God’s church. When the Israelites came out of Egypt, they
spoiled the Egyptians. They carried away as a tribute the treasures
unwillingly conceded by their former masters. The Christian world, on the
conversion of Constantine, stepped forth from the darkness and despotism
of paganism, and Charlemagne, as if in commemoration of this antitype of
that deliverance, endowed the church of S. Peter with rich tributes from
Egypt for the benefaction of the clergy, and for the lighting and
repairing of the great Basilica. Human governments are generally
ungrateful; but the church is a divine government, though carried on
through human agents, and gratitude is one of her virtues and one of her
most distinctive attributes. Constantine and Charlemagne are not
forgotten. Their statues guard the entrance of S. Peter’s, as erstwhile
their power guarded and endowed the see of Peter. Nor shall even the
weaker sex fail of the tribute liberally paid to loyalty and devotion.
There is something sublime in the gratitude depicted in the monument to
the Countess Mathilda, who holds in her hands the mitre and the keys, as
though to suggest the idea of consigning them to the protection of the
great mediatrix of the incorrigible Emperor of the West, Henry IV., and
who had sheltered in her own dominions the great S. Gregory, and done so
much to increase the patrimony of the church. A royal father giving his
crown and sceptre into the hands of a favorite child could not more
touchingly portray the loving appreciation of the sovereign pontiffs
towards one who had been so true to the church’s cause. And time has no
effect in diminishing the gratitude of that church which is built upon a
rock, and where all is enduring, any more than it has in diminishing the
glory of the saints; for it was Urban VIII. who erected the monument in S.
Peter’s to the spiritual daughter of the great Hildebrand, Gregory VII.—a
grateful memory of more than six hundred years’ standing!

We have often heard people complain of a sentiment of disappointment on
first entering S. Peter’s. It has been accounted for by the fact that the
perfect proportion and harmony of the whole, producing therefore no
startling contrasts, fail to effect so sudden an impression on the mind as
would be the case were the harmony less absolute. To this it may be
replied that some minds are more alive to impressions of harmony, and
others to those of contrast. We can best speak from experience, and we all
agreed that nowhere had we felt such a sense of completeness and its
consequent repose fall upon our souls as when we pushed aside that heavy
leathern portal, and passed within the precincts of S. Peter’s. I do not
remember ever to have done so, though I have probably been there fifty
times, without an involuntary pause as I first entered; and before
approaching the holy‐water stoups, supported by white marble boys of six
feet high, who carry a large marble shell between them, and, everything
being large in proportion, fail not to look like infants, in spite of
their real size. The first chapel to the right as you enter is the one in
which a large number of very valuable relics are kept in rich reliquaries,
and which are only shown to the public on certain days. These are distinct
from the great relics of the Passion, which are exhibited to the crowd
from the _loggia_ in the dome on either side of the high altar during Holy
Week. I used to be attracted to that chapel, which is otherwise less
striking than many of the others, by the Pietà of Michael Angelo. In my
father’s house in England we have that same Pietà, said to be an original.
It is on a smaller scale and unfinished; at least the head and features of
Our Lady always gave me that impression. Not so the figure of Our Lord,
which is full of the sad tenderness of death. The utter supineness of the
limbs and of the arm, which has fallen off Our Lady’s lap, and hangs down;
the beauty of the worn face; the wonderfully graceful and yet manly hands,
pierced, like the feet; the general position of the whole body, like a
broken flower flung on the Mother’s lap—are full of the deepest religious
feeling and pathos. But it is difficult thoroughly to appreciate it where
it stands in S. Peter’s. It is over the altar, and one had need do as I
used to do at P——, when a child, to be able to appreciate all the details.
I used to go alone, when I was sure of not being caught, down the dark,
dreary passage which led to the dark, disused chapel, on the damp, marble
pavement of which stood this supposed original of the Pietà. Then getting
a chair from a bath‐room in the vicinity of the chapel, I stood upon that,
so as to bring myself nearly on a level with the head of Our Lady, and
thus be able to look down, as she does, on the dead Christ supported on
her knees.

How often in S. Peter’s I have wished I could do the same with the
undoubted work of Michael Angelo, and trace again in every line the
pathetic beauty of suffering and death, as, with eyes full of tears, I had
done in early life! The Pietà at S. Peter’s has the same absence of real
beauty in the face of Our Lady with the one at P——; the same long upper
lip and want of finish. It also gives a like impression with all other
_pietàs_, in which the Mother is represented as holding her Divine Son on
her knees—a thing which in reality would be impossible. No woman could
support on her knees the dead body of a full‐grown man. Michael Angelo,
whose idealism was always under the control of his marvellous anatomical
drawing, was too conscious of that not to endeavor palpably to counteract
what probably, as he was working at the group, he felt to be an invincible
objection. He has certainly made it look possible in his Pietà, but he has
done it at the expense of beauty and congruity. The Blessed Virgin’s lap
is enormous; her whole figure looks powerful and gigantic, while that of
the Saviour is undersized in proportion.

I have often paused in the space opposite this first chapel, across the
nave, to watch some fifty little urchins learning their catechism. Merry
little creatures they seemed to be, all more or less in the _négligé_
attire of Italian beggar life, picturesque in color and dilapidated in
texture. Sparkling black eyes and gleaming white teeth were their chief
and never‐failing beauty. They sat on low forms, or rather they leant upon
them, lay upon them, scrambled over them, waiting for their instructor,
who always seemed long in coming. When at last he did arrive, a faint
semblance of order was established. The little creatures shouted forth the
answers in a sort of loud sing‐song, nudging each other all the time,
swinging their little, naked, well‐bronzed legs, and keeping up some
perennial jokes all the time with each other, but little in unison with
the words they were repeating. I cannot say that their demeanor seemed at
all to affect the stolid gravity of their priestly instructor, or even to
try his patience. He simply ignored it. He appeared to have no eyes nor
ears for any sound but the well‐known monotony of the responses. It is to
be hoped something may come back to them of it all when they are old
enough to think. For myself, I could only reflect on what a strange
reminiscence it would seem to me to have learnt my catechism beneath the
dome of S. Peter’s. To these little, careless mortals, it was only a part
of their everyday life.

The niches, filled with colossal statues of the founders and foundresses
of religious orders, embellish the walls on all sides; and probably all
Catholics look out for some special saint as they wander through the
Basilica. We used particularly to salute S. Teresa and S. Frances of Rome;
the latter attended by her guardian angel. These statues produce a grand
effect, being all of white marble, standing in niches of many‐colored
marbles and rich carving, though they are far from all having artistic
merit. There are still some niches empty. Who will fill them? What saintly
founders or foundresses of new orders does the future of the church still
reserve for us? Or will the last day come, and find those niches empty
still? With the exception of the four statues under the dome, they are
(and must always be) canonized saints and founders of orders.

I have heard of people whose great ambition was to be buried in
Westminster Abbey. I knew one pretty bride, of high rank and youthful
ambition, who was married in the Abbey because she was persuaded that her
husband would be a great statesman, and that his grateful country would
bury him there. But I never heard of any one who dreamed of filling one of
the empty niches in S. Peter’s. On first entering the church, one sees the
many lamps burning round the Confessional of S. Peter, as the high altar
is called. They seem to pour an orange‐colored glow all around. You stand
or kneel against the marble balustrade, and look down on the kneeling
figure of Pius VI. before the tomb of his greater predecessor. It is a
beautiful, restful image of perpetual prayer, and is one of the few works
of Canova I have ever really admired. Against the marble balustrade there
hang some wooden frames containing an indulgenced prayer and hymn to S.
Peter and S. Paul in Latin. I once had a curious illustration of how a
trifle may strike a stranger, while it escapes the notice of one in the
habit of seeing it constantly. I never went to S. Peter’s that I did not
say that prayer at the tomb of the apostles; for it must be remembered the
relics (not all of them) of S. Paul lie here, as well as those of S.
Peter. I had had occasion to insert them in a manuscript, which fell into
the hands of a certain very learned Capuchin, who holds a high post in his
order, and in connection, also, with the Sovereign Pontiff. He surprised
me by asking me where I got those prayers and hymns. He had never read
them before, in the many years he had lived at Rome in the venerable
convent of his order, and might have seen them fastened by a small chain
to the spot where he must so often have knelt. Perhaps the fact that in
every church in Rome you will find an indulgenced prayer printed up
somewhere as an incentive to devotion, may have led to his not
particularly noticing the one at S. Peter’s.

Frank used to tell Mary he never knew any one so greedy of indulgences as
she was. She always looked out for these short prayers; she never went to
S. Peter’s without kneeling, as she passed the priests in their
confessionals, to receive the little tap from the long wand they have in
front of the confessional, and to the receiving of which an indulgence is
attached. He used to tell her laughingly that he did not understand how
she had the face to disturb the priest saying his Office, and oblige him
to lift his eyes from his Breviary, and detach the long stick as she knelt
a yard or two distant. We have seen her unblushingly obtain three raps in
succession with all the devotion possible; and then, when she and I were
looking another way, Frank would strive against his natural British
undemonstrativeness, and kneel for the little blow, getting up again with
a shy blush. Mary and I never took any notice. We knew that the small act
of humility, which, among the childlike Italians, came almost as a matter
of course, cost him far more than it did us, and therefore had more merit.
The Romans have a harmless superstition that if you are leaving Rome, and
are anxious to return, you will not fail to do so if you deposit some
small coin in a safe place. I had done so the last time I had been there;
and, sure enough, I was back again to claim my money. But though I could
remember the part of the church beneath the statue of S. Juliana where I
had dropt it into a crevice, I never could find it again. However, that
did not matter, since the charm had worked successfully. A draught of the
water from the fountain of Trevi is said to have the same effect. I drank
a cupful once in pure jest, and have been to Rome four times since; but
something more powerful than the hidden half‐pence or the fountain of
Trevi has lured me back again. There is, I believe, no spot in the world
where everybody gets to feel so at home as in Rome, outside the land of
their birth and the roof that shelters all their domestic affections.

In the same place where I had hidden my little coin I remember a scene
which filled my imagination with interest and admiration. It was Holy
Thursday. The high altar was being stripped of all the ornaments, and
washed with wine, to the mournful chanting of the choir; the daylight was
fast declining, though still some rays of the setting sun stole through
the yellow‐tinted windows below the dome; and the Grand Penitentiary was
seated in his violet robes on a raised platform, in a crimson velvet
chair, with no partition between him and the low stool to his right, on
which the penitents were to kneel. There were several steps, covered with
cloth, to mount from the pavement of the church to the seat of the
prelate; and at some distance from these was a temporary railing to
prevent the crowd from approaching within hearing of what should pass
between the penitent and the priest. We stood among the crowd. The
penitent was a man of about thirty years of age, with coal‐black hair and
beard, deep, dark eyes, and regular features. It was very curious to hear
the remarks of the bystanders; and they were very characteristic of
Italians, born to the faith. Most of them were praying aloud, in brief
ejaculations, that God would grant him perfect contrition. The women
especially were exclaiming: “Ah! poverello, ma piange!”(80) Two priests
passed through the crowd, and paused a moment, with a smile of
indescribable benevolence and satisfaction that a big fish had been caught
in Peter’s net, and was being drawn to land. The confession lasted a long
time. The man never for a moment shifted his position; but by degrees the
venerable prelate bent his ear closer and closer to the poor penitent, and
his countenance showed a mixture of compassion and tenderness quite
paternal. The man’s forehead almost touched the priest’s shoulder, as he
poured forth his long history of error and shame. At length the priest’s
hand was raised to give the absolution, and a murmur of relief and
congratulation ran through the crowd of spectators. The hand rested on the
man’s head before he rose from his knees. He came quickly down the steps.
The crowd parted to let him pass. He can have seen none but smiling and
happy glances all around him, if he cared to look up; but all silently
made way for him, and in a moment he was lost in the multitude, absolved
and released from the burden of some “reserved case.” Of course there were
many conjectures as to who and what he might be. Some said he had been a
bandit; others that he was a priest who had broken his vows, and made this
confession in public as an act of greater humility; for of course it is
not imperative to carry all reserved cases to the Grand Penitentiary, nor
need the penitent wait for Lent to get absolution. Nevertheless, the
prelate with power to absolve all reserved cases (of which murder is one)
occupies that raised confessional throughout Lent for certain hours of the
day. Mary was so overcome at the piety and charity of the crowd in the
warm interest they evinced, and observed so often that it must be
delightful to be thus prayed for while making one’s confession, that we
began to apprehend she would mount the platform herself, had not Frank
timely observed to her that, in all probability, she had no reserved case
on her conscience!

By this time the shades of night were closing in. The lights were all
extinguished. The altars stood bare and cold. The dark crowd swayed in
dense masses towards the open doors. The light of the moon struggled pale
and wan through the high windows where the setting sun had lately thrown a
golden glow. The vast cathedral echoed to the steps of the departing
crowd, and we turned towards home, more deeply impressed with the
desolation expressed by the Holy Thursday ceremonies in S. Peter’s in the
stripping of the altars than with many others more generally remarked.

It was night before we reached our apartment in the Ripetta.

Mary’s bedroom overlooked the river, and in the morning she could see S.
Peter’s bathed in the rosy light of the rising sun, while flights of white
sea‐gulls came up the river with the early tide to feed upon the refuse
which had been thrown into the water. They came swooping down, with their
glittering plumage flashing in the sunshine, and, dipping low, would
snatch some dainty morsel from the swift water, and mount up, in graceful,
curving flight, to repeat the same again and again. As the port was close
to our house, no doubt it was an advantageous position for both the
breakfast and supper of the gulls. They always returned in the evening,
but at no other hour in the day. At night we could see lights in three
windows of the Vatican. They were always there, and always at about the
same hour they disappeared. One day, when Mary was calling on Cardinal
Antonelli he asked her where we were living; and on her describing the
position, and how she could see S. Peter’s and the Vatican, and specially
those three windows, he told her the lights were from his own apartment.
His eminence is very fond of flowers, and has a garden in Rome, in which
he takes great pleasure. They were talking of flowers, and he observed to
Mary that she would find very much the same flora throughout Europe,
though not of course equally distributed. Mary objected that she had never
seen the little common yellow primrose of our English woods, in that part
of Italy. “Nevertheless, you will find we have it,” was his reply. And not
long after, on our way to Viterbo, we saw its starry blossoms by the
roadside, and hailed it as an old friend, dearer to our hearts than even
the graceful pink cyclamen, which from the position of the petals reminds
me of a pretty, blushing child with her hair all drawn back from her
forehead.

What memories crowd upon me as I recall these trivial incidents! What
happy hours have I spent beneath that deep‐blue but not unclouded sky,
with the warm breeze perfumed by the breath of violets in the Doria
Pamphili Villa! The great stone pines, with their soft, unceasing sighs;
the large willows dropping their bright‐green flexible wands into the
clear water; the violet anemones, with here and there a large crimson one,
or a yellow tulip lighting up the soft green grass like a sparkling gem;
the violets, not bashful and hidden shrinkingly beneath their leaves, as
in our colder climes, but lifting their little dark‐purple heads high in
the air, to drink the light and leave a perfumed kiss on every breeze that
floats; soft masses of white cloud sailing slowly over the blue ether, and
casting dappled shadows on the long grass. In the distance is S. Peter’s
and the Vatican, with fields of broken ground in many tints of yellow and
green and red between it and the stone balustrade against which we lean.
It appears, from this point of view, to be quite outside the city, and to
stand alone and untrammelled by meaner buildings. Behind us is a dense
avenue of venerable ilex, and but now we were visiting the Colombarium,
the other side of the road, and moralizing on the pagan practice of
cremation, as compared with the hallowed Christian sepulture—it must have
been so difficult to realize that the little handful of ashes in the urn
had anything to do with the dead wife or child or father, that they had
loved, embraced, and conversed with!

Again, I remember a day when we were living at Capo le Case. I took Ann
with me, and we set out for a long walk regardless of the flight of time.
We directed our course to S. John Lateran. On our way, we paused at San
Clemente, where we had several times visited the subterranean church under
the guidance of the kind and learned F. Mullooly. Few, perhaps, have ever
noticed, in a church which presents so much else to interest them, a small
picture, the head of S. Catharine of Sienna, over an altar at the bottom
of the church, on the right hand. It is modern, and by a Dominican artist
whose name is unknown to me, and probably to all save the brothers of his
order. Nevertheless, I have never seen devotion more exquisitely depicted
than in that sweet, sorrowful face, with the tears standing in the large,
uplifted eyes. Through the open door of the church penetrated the scent of
large masses of Banksia roses that hung over a wall in a garden nearly
opposite. Untrained, untrimmed they flung long wreaths to the wind, and
lay in cloud‐like bunches of soft, creamy white. As we passed by the door
of the hospital of the Salvatore, two Sisters stepped out into the
sunshine, on some errand of charity for their sick and aged patients. We
then visited the Basilica of S. John Lateran, “the mother and head of all
churches.” The gigantic statues of the apostles have a very imposing
effect, in spite of their many artistic faults, more so, perhaps, than the
equally faulty statues at S. Peter’s. Then we wandered into the large
piazza in front of the cathedral, and looked beyond the gates and
crumbling fortifications of Rome upon the Alban hills. The long avenue of
trees leading to the church of Santa Croce di Gerusalemme were coming into
leaf; so were the group of trees to our right, by the low wall of the
piazza, on which grew tufts of fern and yellow‐blossomed oxalis. We sat on
the steps, and ate some hot chestnuts I had bought by the roadside,
getting, at the same time, a pinch of salt from a dark‐browed matron, with
a yellow kerchief across her ample bosom, and a silver dagger in her hair,
who sold cigars in a little wooden booth. It was enough to be alive on
such a day and in such a scene, with the easy liberty of Italian life and
the total absence of “Mrs. Grundy.” There was no one to see us (save a few
beggar‐women) sitting on the steps of the grand portico, and scattering
the skins of our chestnuts on the pavement at our feet, while we silently
drank in the balmy air and rejoiced in the beauty of the view before us.
Ere we returned, we visited the Scala Santa, and looked long on
Giacometti’s beautiful group of the Kiss of Judas. The evening was closing
in when, wearied but satisfied, we reached our home. But if these
remembrances are full of light and warmth, not less pleasing are those of
our moonlight drives the year that we remained in Rome till the middle of
July, and every evening used to visit the Colosseum, or S. John Lateran
and Santa Maria Maggiore, stopping to gaze long upon the cold silver
light, so sharp and sudden on every curve and shaft, on architrave and
entablature, on capital and plinth, while the dense shadows lurked behind
like black stains of unfathomable darkness. Then we would drive to S.
Peter’s, and after crossing the bridge of Sant’ Angelo between the angels,
each holding an instrument of the Passion, we would look across the dark
river to see the covered balcony of the house where Michael Angelo was an
honored guest, and had introduced the young Raphael to the small circle of
favored ones who met nightly under that roof. There, too, Vittoria Colonna
probably came to increase the charm by her wit and beauty, while Michael
Angelo nourished those sentiments of pure and profound veneration for her
great merits which made him bitterly reproach himself after her unexpected
death, because he who had never breathed one word of love to her while
living, had dared to press a kiss on her marble brow when cold in death.
What noble sentiments, what lofty times! And yet in many things how
unseemly would some of their practices appear to us? For it was in the
Church of San Silvestro al Quirinale that they used to meet after Vespers,
to converse and laugh and jest together. We look across the river to mark
that house. It is dark and silent now. No lights gleam from the windows.
Half‐defaced frescos still cover some of the walls, but it is let from top
to bottom to several families of the very poorest of the people.

But I must pause. Rome is inexhaustible, whether in her classic, her
Christian, or her artistic treasures; besides the charm of social
intercourse, the delight of varied society, and the equal ease and
splendor which may be found in the interior life of her princely palaces.
Nor can I close this chapter without speaking of one whose presence,
though now confined within the walls of his own palace, makes Rome so
doubly dear to the true Catholic. The days are gone when our afternoon
drive might be gladdened by the pleasure of finding the well‐known crimson
coach and magnificent black horses checking our progress, while we
hastened to descend and kneel where he would pass, that we might catch a
glance, perhaps a smile, and certainly the blessing, of the venerable old
man in whom we recognize the Vicar of Christ. We had been admitted to more
than one private audience, besides witnessing several of those receptions
in which hundreds of people of many nations knelt to kiss his feet, and to
hear that sweet, clear voice utter words of exhortation and encouragement.
This last time we had entered the Vatican with sad and altered feelings.
It was no longer a gala‐day, that on which we were to visit the universal
father of Christendom. We were going to condole with an august prisoner, a
father defrauded of his rights, a sovereign deprived of his possessions.
We all felt depressed and inclined for silence. The Pope had been
indisposed, and, as we were kept waiting a long time, we began to fear His
Holiness would prove unable to receive us. Our spirits flagged with every
second that we were left in expectation, till Mary began to look so pale I
feared that she was ill. At length, however, we perceived a stir among the
crimson‐liveried servants who were in attendance in the vestibule;
presently the curtain at the end of the long gallery where we stood was
drawn aside, and once again our eyes beheld him who is ever present to our
thoughts, and whose name is breathed in so many prayers. The first feeling
that filled our beating hearts, as we looked on his saintly and venerable
face, was joy to feel that he was still amongst us; that despite
increasing years, and the increasing malice and hatred of his enemies, his
eye had not dimmed or his strength failed him. This impression was
increased with every word he spoke. It was like the dawn which promises
the perfect day, no matter how dark the night has been. “The people
imagine a vain thing!” He is still with us—he, the father of his people!
He may be ours for years to come. He may see the day‐spring of the church
again. He may live to witness her triumph. And should it be
otherwise—should that white head be laid low before the triumph of the
church over her enemies—will he see it less, will he share it less,
because he has gone before? Impossible! The church militant and the church
triumphant are one. But our hopes go further; or rather, they are more
human. We believe that Pius IX. will live to see the end of confusion and
the beginning of peace; the downfall of falsehood and oppression, and the
restoration of himself (and others) to all their rights. May God grant it!



There Was No Room For Them In The Inn.


No place for Him! So Him you drive away;
You drive away your God, your God. Oh! stay.
O height of human madness! wonders rare!
No place for Him! without Whom no place were.

—_Crashaw._



Antar And Zara; Or, “The Only True Lovers.” I.


An Eastern Romance Narrated In Songs.

By Aubrey De Vere.



Preface.


Who has not heard of those Christian communities which have held their own
during so many centuries, on the citied slopes of the Lebanon, or on the
adjacent plains? Several of them have existed from a period earlier than
that in which the foundations of our oldest monarchies were laid. The
Maronites derive their name from Maron, a hermit of the IVth century,
whose cell, on the banks of the Orontes, gradually attracted a Christian
population about it. In the VIIth and VIIIth centuries, when the sword of
the False Prophet was carrying all before it, they retreated from the
uplands of the Euphrates and Mesopotamia to the fastnesses of the Lebanon.
The Melchites, a race of unquestionably Arab origin, and whose religious
offices are still celebrated in Arabic, emigrated to Syria before the
Christian era, and became Christian in the IVth century. Weakened by their
hereditary feuds, they retain, notwithstanding, all the pride of their
ancient stock, and not less all its heroism, its generosity, its
hospitality, its sense of honor, and its passion for poetry and eloquence.
The devotion of both these races to their Faith is sufficiently attested
by their having retained it during so many centuries of wrong, and in
spite of so many persecutions. In the massacres of 1860 alone about 12,000
of them perished.

Few subjects are more worthy of attention than the ways of a People which
still keeps so much of what belonged to the feudal and monastic system of
Europe in the Middle Ages, and combines them with the patriarchal
traditions of the world’s morning. Much that we possess they lack; but,
among them, some of the affections—Patriotism and Love, for
instance—retain a meaning which appears to grow daily more rare amid the
boasted civilization of the West. That meaning is illustrated alike in
their lives and their poetry. It has been observed that the religious
poetry of the East sometimes resembles love‐poetry. The converse remark
may no less be made. Eastern love‐poetry is wide in its range; but its
more characteristic specimens resemble the early poetry of religion or
patriotic devotion, so full are they of elevation and self‐sacrifice. I
know not how far the spirit of such poetry can make itself intelligible to
the sympathies of the West. To many readers the present poem will be an
experiment new, not only as regards its spirit, but its form also—that of
a story narrated in songs. It was composed, in substance, some years ago,
when the author was in the East.



Part I.


He Sang.(81)

I.

O wind of night! what doth she at this hour
  In those high towers half lost in rock and brake?
Where is she? Sits she lonely in her bower?
  If she is pensive, is it for my sake?

Perchance she joins the dance with other maids:
  With whom? By whose are those white fingers pressed?
Perhaps for sleep her tresses she unbraids
  While moonbeams fill the chamber of her rest.

Tell her, O wind! that I have laid my head
  Here, on the rough stem of the prostrate pine
Which leans across the dried‐up torrent’s bed,
  And dream at times her face, and dream it mine.

Once in the palm‐grove she looked back on me;
  A wild brier caught her zone: I saw it fall:
Large is the earth, the sun, the stars, the sea—
  For me that rosy girdle clasps them all.

II.

By night I crossed the tremulous poplar bound
  Which cools the south wind with its watery bower;
I heard the river’s murmur, mid that sound,
  And smelt the fragrance of the trampled flower.

Where that pure crystal makes thy morning bath
  A white tent glimmered. Round it, rank on rank,
The crimson oleanders veiled the path,
  And bent or rose, as swelled the breeze or sank.

I entered not. Beside that river’s brim
  I sat. Thy fawn, with trailing cord, drew near:
When from my knee its head it lifted, dim
  Seemed those dark eyes, by day so large and clear.

Go back, poor fawn, and house thee with thy kind!
  Where, amid rocks and mountains cold with snow,
Through forests sweep the branching hart and hind;
  Go back: go up: together let us go.

III

Tell her that boasts—that slender is and tall—
  I have a cypress in a sunny space:
Tell her that blushes, by my garden wall
  A rose‐tree blushes, kindling all the place.

Tell her that sweetly sings and softly moves,
  A white swan winds all night below my trees;
My nightingale attunes the moon‐lit groves—
  Can I not portion out my heart with these?

If I were dead, my cypress would lament,
  My rose‐tree shed its leaves upon my grave,
My nightingale weep long in forest tent—
  She would not mourn me dead that scorns to save.

IV.

Thou cam’st, thou cam’st; and with thee came delight,
  Not mine alone. The little flowers and leaves
Shook at the first gleam of thy garment white;
  And still yon myrtle thrills, yon almond heaves.

Thou spak’st! That voice, methinks, is heard on high!
  The buds and blooms in every amaranth wreath
By angels worn expand in ecstasy;
  And in pure light a heavenlier fragrance breathe.

Hail, Land that gav’st her birth! Hail, precinct old!
  Hail, ancient Race, the Lebanonian crown!
The Turk hath empire, and the Frank hath gold:
  Virtue and Beauty, these are thy renown!

V.

Thou wentest: with thy going came my night:
  As some deep vale when sudden sinks the sun,
Deep, yet suspended on the mountain height
  And girt by snows, am I when thou art gone.

With death those hills, so late all amethyst,
  At once are clad: the streams are filmed with ice:
The golden ether changeth into mist:
  Cold drops run down the beetling precipice:

The instant darkness cometh as a wind,
  Or falleth as the falling of a pall:—
Return, my light of life, my better mind,
  My spirit’s day, my hope, my strength, mine all!

VI.

Breathe healthful zephyrs, airs of Paradise,
  Breathe gently on that alabaster brow;
Shake the dark lashes of those violet eyes;
  Flatter those lids that such high grace allow.

Those cheeks, pure lilies, capture with sweet stealth,
  And warm with something of a rose‐like glow;
Those tremulous smiles, costlier than miser’s wealth,
  Draw out; those magic tresses backward blow!

Thus much is yours. ’Tis mine where once she strayed
  To cull sad flowers that ne’er shall meet her sight;
To watch, close shrouded in the tall rock’s shade,
  High up one little casement’s glimmering light.

VII.

Seest thou, O maid! some star by us unseen,
  Buried from us in depths of starless space?
Know’st thou some joy of lesser joys the queen,
  That lights so sweet a mystery in thy face?

That face is as the face of them that bask
  In some great tidings, or the face of one
Who late hath set his hand upon some task
  By God ordained, that shall for God be done.

That light is as the light of them who bent—
  That shepherd choir—above the Babe new born:
Upward from Him thy day is ever sent,
  A lifelong kindling of the Bethlehem morn.

VIII.

Since that strange moment, Love was as a breeze,
  And I a leaf wafted by it along:
Onward ’twixt magic heavens and mystic seas
  We passed. If I was weak, yet Love was strong.

On, ever on, through mountainous defiles,
  By Love sustained, upborne, on piloted,
I wound o’er laughing lakes and happy isles;
  I asked not whither, and I felt no dread.

I breathed, methought, some everlasting spring:
  I passed, methought, in endless, aimless quest
(A dew‐drop hanging on an eagle’s wing)
  Through some rich heaven and ever‐deepening West.

That dream had end. Once more I saw her face:
  No love it looked: the sweet lips breathed no sound:
Then fell I, stone‐like, through the fields of space,
  And lay, dead bulk, upon the bleeding ground.

IX.

River that windest in thy jewell’d bed,
  The palms of her soft feet beside thee move:
But gentleness and peace are round thee spread,
  And therefore I am gone from what I love.

Nightly on thee the stars thou lov’st shall gaze:
  Thee and thy heaven no envious cloud can sever:
In vain to her I love mine eyes I raise;
  And therefore, happy stream, farewell for ever!

Pale passion slays or dies. I would die young,
  Live while I live; then sink without a sigh,
As some swift wave, from central ocean sprung,
  Subsides into the flat tranquillity.

X.

O heart whereon her Name was graved so long!
  Heart pressed at last to hers, henceforth be snow!
For love’s sake let me do to love no wrong:
  There are who watch her. To the wars I go.

There are that watch her: and in fields far off
  There are that wait my banner, name my name;
My House was ne’er the upstart Moslem’s scoff:
  Its orphaned heir his fathers will not shame.

This is the grove where, by yon meeting streams,
  She too her love confessed—how falteringly!
From that glad hour a Church to me it seems:
  I leave it: I must leave it though I die.

Here as I slept, an Angel, not to sense
  Revealed, above me traced the sacred sign:
“Here is Love’s palace: Duty calls thee hence:
  Alone where Duty stands are Church and Shrine.”



F. Louage’s Philosophy.(82)


The design of F. Louage in compiling this little text‐book is most
praiseworthy, and one which we are especially bound to commend, as it is
an attempt to carry out a plan we have repeatedly and earnestly advocated
in this magazine, of furnishing good text‐books of philosophy, written in
the English language. The credit of originating this purpose belongs, so
far as we know, to the Christian Brothers. The good work had, indeed, been
begun by Mr. Brownson, in translating the _Fundamental Philosophy_ of
Balmes. Nevertheless, as this is not precisely suited for use as a text‐
book, the preparation of such a text‐book remained a desideratum; and our
attention was first called to the practical need of one or more of these
text‐books by a letter to the editor from the Superior of the Christian
Brothers at Baltimore, urging the great necessity of translating some one
of the Latin manuals, or preparing a new one. This demand was the occasion
of our mooting the question in these pages, and since that time the demand
has been supplied by three different publications. One of these is the
translation of Balmes’ admirable _Treatise on Logic_, brought out under
the auspices of the Christian Brothers; another, the first part of F.
Hill’s _Philosophy_, which has been highly commended both in Europe and in
this country, and a third is the work now under notice.

We have delayed noticing this text‐book by F. Louage for a long time,
simply from a feeling of reluctance to express, without obvious necessity,
the judgment which we formed on first perusing it—that it is very far from
being a successful effort, and, moreover, that it contains a philosophical
doctrine which cannot be safely taught in our Catholic schools. We shall
proceed by‐and‐by to establish the justice of both these criticisms; but,
beforehand, we wish to offer a few preliminary remarks explaining the past
and present attitude of THE CATHOLIC WORLD in respect to soundness of
philosophical doctrine.

It is well known that a number of doctrinal decisions on philosophical
topics have been promulgated by the reigning Sovereign Pontiff, which have
made the true sense and teaching of the church on several important points
much more clear and definite than it had previously been to a large number
of sincere and learned Catholics. For a long time, some of these
decisions—those, namely, concerning ontologism—were not universally known,
and their import had not been sufficiently discussed and explained to give
a certain and distinct direction to those who, like ourselves, in this
country, had not been _au courant_ with the affairs which brought about
these decisions. Philosophy has been generally, and more especially in
England and the United States, in a miserable and chaotic state until a
comparatively brief period, during which a more wholesome tendency has
been awakened. The worst and most dangerous errors have been those which
have sprung from the sensist school. As a natural consequence, those whose
Catholic belief has led them to reject these gross errors, being
unacquainted with the scholastic philosophy, have been inclined to throw
themselves back on Platonism, and to welcome any system of philosophy
which put forward a high ideological doctrine in which the necessary and
eternal truths, the immutable principles of first and final cause, the
being and attributes of God, and all natural theology, were professedly
exalted to their due supremacy, and placed on a basis unassailable by a
mean scepticism and materialism. The very same took place in the instance
of Cardinal Gerdil, of Malebranche, and of others, at a former period; and
F. Ramière, one of the most successful opponents of ontologism, has
lucidly explained how this is precisely the reason that the said system
has appeared in a captivating light, in our own day, to a number of minds
to which scepticism and materialism are especially odious. This may
explain the fact that we have taken a more decisive and explicit stand in
regard to several important philosophical doctrines, since the more
thorough examination of the differences between the ancient and received
teaching of Catholic schools, and the various modern theories, have
convinced us of the great importance of adhering closely, not only in
respect to the substance of doctrine, but even in respect to form and the
use of terms, to that philosophy which has a Catholic sanction. Within the
limits defined by positive, explicit authority, this adhesion is, of
course, obligatory on the conscience in the strictest and gravest sense.
In a former article on Dr. Stöckl’s _Philosophy_, we have explained our
position, which is that of the best and most approved European authors, in
regard to this obligatory doctrine, so far as relates to ideology. Beyond
this, we respect, of course, the liberty which the church concedes. Her
positive sanction has been given to the scholastic principles, method, and
doctrine, only in general terms. While, therefore, we advocate the
adhesion to scholastic philosophy, as the only safe and really scientific
way of procedure in education, we do not close our eyes to the fact that
there are several important topics in respect to which discussion is not
only allowable, but really necessary. The best philosophical writers
living, who are in the main disciples of S. Thomas, differ very much from
one another in regard to questions of this sort. Kleutgen, Liberatore,
Sanseverino, Tongiorgi, Ramière, and Stöckl may be cited as the most
distinguished modern expositors of the doctrine commonly taught in
Catholic schools; and the differences among these are well known. A very
able writer, who is now publishing a series of articles in this magazine,
and who happily combines a profound knowledge of mathematics and physics
with his deep metaphysical science, departs, in some instances, from all
these, and strikes out a path for himself, in which we are sure that every
philosophical reader will watch his progress with the greatest interest.
Personally we are disposed to favor the stricter Thomistic doctrine so
ably elucidated by Liberatore and Stöckl, and to prefer text‐books of a
similar method and doctrine; yet we should not think we were authorized to
censure as unsound, in a theological sense, any philosophical work, merely
because it might deserve, in our judgment, to be criticised on purely
scientific grounds, or to condemn as absolutely unsound, in a purely
philosophical sense, a work essentially in accordance with the scholastic
system, on account of any particular opinions of its author on topics of
difference among Catholic teachers of acknowledged scientific eminence and
authority.

We are sorry to be obliged to say that, in our judgment, F. Louage’s work
cannot be exempted by the most impartial criticism from either theological
or philosophical censure for radical unsoundness on most important points,
and besides this, that it cannot stand the test of even literary
criticism, and is, therefore, wholly unsuitable for use as a text‐book in
Catholic schools. We give the author full credit for good intentions, and
attribute his failure to accomplish his laudable undertaking simply to the
fact that he has attempted a very difficult task, in which very few have
achieved a remarkable success, without having duly estimated its arduous
nature, and made the requisite preparation for coping with the formidable
obstacles in the way of a happy issue.

We are bound to sustain the judgment we have pronounced by solid proofs
and reasons, in view of the great importance of the subject to Catholic
teachers and pupils, and this duty we shall now endeavor to fulfil, in
accordance with the sentiment of the trite old philosophical adage:


    Amicus noster Plato
    Sed magis amica veritas


And, first, we think that the author has underrated the average aptitude
of our young men for philosophical studies. We have not the pleasure of
knowing F. Louage’s pupils or their literary attainments; but we presume
that they are not worse off than the pupils of other Catholic colleges,
where the philosophical education receives a far greater development than
his “text‐book for the use of schools” seems to warrant. We know, of
course, that the literary instruction hitherto given in the public schools
of this country is too light and superficial to serve as a fair
preparation for philosophical pursuits; and we admit that even our
Catholic schools and colleges, though certainly superior to most public
institutions of a like kind, may yet complain in some measure of the same
evil; but, notwithstanding this, we believe that those among our youths
who feel any inclination to dedicate themselves to the study of philosophy
have sufficient ability to master ten times as much of philosophical
matter as F. Louage’s text‐book contains.

A book which pretends to embrace logic, metaphysics, and ethics within the
narrow compass of about 220 small pages of clear type cannot be styled “a
course of philosophy”; and when it claims to be “designed as a text‐book
for the use of schools,” it tends to give abroad a very wrong idea of the
present condition of Catholic education in America. If our boys cannot
have anything better than the superficial philosophy the “text‐book” of
the reverend author furnishes, we would say: Let them forsake philosophy,
and be satisfied with the _Catechism of the Christian Doctrine_. Let them
remain undisturbed in their humble simplicity, and do not foster in them
the vain thought that they are superior to others, only because they have
learned by heart a few philosophical phrases, which they would be
embarrassed to defend, and even to explain.

The London _Tablet_, November 22, 1873, remarks that our author “does not
go very deeply into anything.” This remark is true. Many important
philosophical doctrines are not even mentioned by him; his book says
nothing about universals, nothing about the essential constituents of
being, nothing about real and logical distinction, nothing about
simplicity and composition, nothing about quantity and quality. We do not
think that any one can aspire to the honor of being a philosopher without
a clear and distinct knowledge of these subjects, and of the many
momentous questions connected with them.

Again, the “text‐book” is altogether silent about creation, its true
notion, its possibility, its reality, and its final end—a silence which is
all the more remarkable, as every one knows how pertinaciously this
Christian and philosophical dogma is attacked every day by the adepts of
the rationalistic schools. The “text‐book” ignores cosmology altogether;
and therefore it does not even allude to any theory concerning the
constitution of bodies, the nature of matter, the laws of physical
causation, or the conditions of natural phenomena. Neither is anything
said in particular about the origin of the human soul—a subject concerning
which many ancient and modern errors should have been pointed out and
refuted; nor anything about that important truth that the soul is the form
of the body; nor anything about the scholastic view of the origin of
ideas—a view which the author should not have silently passed over, but
was obliged to refute before concluding, as he does, in favor of the
exploded ontologistic system.

In his theodicy we have sought in vain for any mention of a positive
conservation of creatures, or of God’s immediate concurrence with all
creatures in their operations. We only found a few remarks, altogether
unsatisfactory, on the “influence” of God over the free actions of man.
The “text‐book” is equally deficient in ethics, where the whole discussion
about the ultimate end of man is entirely forgotten, although it is
unquestionably one of the cardinal points of moral philosophy. Natural
rights are not even mentioned; habits, virtues, and passions are likewise
absolutely ignored.

We might go on enumerating other deficiencies of the “text‐book”; but as
we have other things more important to notice, we will only point out in
general that scarcely any modern error is directly impugned, and scarcely
any of the plausible arguments advanced by modern thinkers against such
capital truths as divine providence, human liberty, etc., are answered or
even hinted at. We cannot be surprised, then, that Dr. Brownson regards
this “modest work” as “simpler and more easily understood by the English
reader ignorant of Latin and the scholastics” than F. Hill’s work. It is
clear that it must be so; for, when all things difficult are set aside,
what remains must be just as easy as any “reader ignorant of Latin and the
scholastics” can desire. But “the fact is,” as the London _Tablet_ very
wisely observes, “that such books as this are a mistake. We have had
plenty such as this from France before, their use in schools and colleges
being pernicious, as we can testify; because they create either a slovenly
or a sceptical habit of mind. Either a lazy student sees difficulties and
questions suggested, and he takes no trouble to get the things explained
to him, or a clever, active‐minded boy is induced to dub logic and
metaphysics humbug, and to ruminate on his own imaginings and wayward
reasonings.”

An elementary course of philosophy, to be really useful, should be nothing
less than an accurate summary of some complete standard work already
accepted and recognized by good philosophical and theological authorities;
so that the student may know that, in case of need, he can, by referring
to the latter, solve the doubts and difficulties now and then arising from
the incompleteness and brevity of the former. We have many such courses of
philosophy in the Latin language. They are the work of patient writers,
who carefully collected and methodically condensed in their books the
learning and the wisdom of centuries for the benefit of those who needed
an introduction to the philosophical discipline. Any student who can make
use of such Latin books perceives, while going through his course of
philosophy, that he is brought into constant relation with the most
eminent thinkers of the classical philosophical ages, knows that their
works are always accessible to him, and is gratified to think that their
recognized authority affords him a solid guarantee against the subreption
of fallacious doctrines. When such conditions as these are realized, it is
evident that an elementary course of philosophy may be very useful indeed.
But such is not the case with an English course of philosophy designed as
a text‐book for those who do not understand Latin. Such a text‐book cannot
refer the English student who knows nothing but English to other complete
and approved works of philosophy; for we have none such in our language.

It seems to us that before we can employ a good English text‐book of
philosophy for the use of schools to the best advantage, we must be
provided with a great, sound, and exhaustive philosophical work in our own
language, to which the student would refer for all those questions and
difficulties which cannot be sufficiently explained in an elementary
course. We think that even F. Hill’s English _Elements of Philosophy_,
excellent as it is, needs to be supplemented by a higher English
philosophical work. Those of his pupils who cannot consult the Latin
volumes of the schoolmen may frequently remain in doubt as to the proper
settlement of many important questions which their professor did not judge
necessary or possible to examine thoroughly in his valuable book; and we
have no doubt that all professors of philosophy will agree with us that
such a great English work as we suggest—a very arsenal of good
philosophical weapons—is one of the greatest necessities of our time and
of our country. Without it, all our philosophical efforts are doomed to be
more or less insufficient and unsuccessful.

And now, let us come to another consideration. If any book needs to be
extremely correct in its expressions and definitions, surely elementary
text‐books for beginners must be so; for, if the foundation is wrong, what
is built upon it cannot be right. Now, we are sorry to say that F.
Louage’s _Course of __ Philosophy_ teems with false notions and incorrect
expressions. Dr. Brownson openly rejects the author’s definition of
_philosophy_, of _being_, of _existence_, of _possibility_, of _essence_,
of _science_; and in the main he is evidently right. Yet, while we admit
with Dr. Brownson that “the science of the supersensible” is not a good
definition of philosophy, we do not adopt his own definition, “the science
of _principles_”; because we know that the true definition of philosophy
is “the science of _things_ (supersensible or not) through their highest
principles.” Nor do we agree with him that F. Louage’s definition of
_being_—“that which exists or may exist”—is incorrect; for, although what
may exist, but does not exist, is no thing in the real order, yet it is
something in the ideal order, as an object of thought; and therefore F.
Louage’s definition of _being_ is perfectly correct.

His definition of possibility, as “the agreement of the attributes which
constitute a being, in such a way that its existence does not involve any
contradiction,” we do not approve, not exactly for the reason adduced by
Dr. Brownson, that the non‐existent has no attributes, but because the
definition considers the attributes as “constituents” of being (which they
are not), and because the word “agreement” should either be replaced by
“non‐repugnance,” or at least qualified by the epithet “intellectual,”
referring to the divine intellect, in which all possibilities are ideally
contained.

That “the essence of a being consists of the collection of its essential
attributes,” as the author of the “text‐book” says (p. 7), is certainly a
great error. The attributes of a being are not the material components of
its essence, nor do they precede the essence; it is, on the contrary, from
the essence itself that all the attributes flow. The essence of any given
being is nothing else than “the ratio of a given act to its term,” as has
been clearly established by a writer in THE CATHOLIC WORLD, March, 1874,
and the attributes of any given being are nothing else than different
aspects of the actuality of its essence.

It is no less erroneous to say that “a genus is a collection of beings
having one or more attributes common to each” (p. 8). This definition
might be admitted in natural history; but, in philosophy, genus is not a
collection, nor is it conceived by composition, but by abstraction. Genus
is usually defined to be “a ratio which can be found in many things, and
be predicated of each of them when an incomplete answer is given to the
question _What is it?_” To confound the universal with the collective is
inexcusable, we think, in a “text‐book” of philosophy.

“A species,” says the author, “is a collection of beings belonging to one
and the same genus, but having particular and constitutive properties” (p.
8). Same remark as above: Species, in philosophy, is not a collection, but
is “a ratio which can be found in many things, and be predicated of each
of them when a complete answer is given to the question, _What is it?_”
Species, like genus, is a universal.

“Being, the most general genus, is divided into two species, _corporeal_
and _incorporeal_ beings” (p. 8). No philosopher of good reputation has
ever considered being as a “genus.” It is known that “being” is above all
genus, and accordingly is called “transcendental.” If “being” were a
genus, nothing could save us from pantheism.

“Science ... is objective, when we consider it as existing in the object
contemplated” (p. 9). Can science be considered as existing in the moon?

“Art is the application of science to external things according to
determined rules” (p. 9). If so, then all artists and artisans should be
men of science; which, unhappily, is not true. Art is usually and rightly
defined as _Recta ratio factibilium_—“a right method of making anything”
with or without the application of science.

“Logic is the first part of philosophy—the part which treats of the first
efforts of the human mind to discover truth” (p. 17). We think that
apprehension, judgment, and reasoning, which are the proper object of
logic, are no _efforts_ of the human mind, but very natural and
spontaneous operations.

“An idea may be considered as existing either in the mind or out of it”
(p. 18). It is very improper to give the name of _idea_ to anything out of
the mind, as words, gestures, and other outward natural or conventional
signs.

“Ideas are, first, either true or false. They are true when they conform
with their objects, false when they do not. But since this conformity is
always with the objects as represented in our minds, and not as they may
be in reality, we may, with this explanation, admit the opinion of those
who pretend that there are no false ideas” (p. 20). This explanation has
no grounds. Ideas are never compared with the objects as represented in
our minds. Such a comparison would have no meaning; for the object as
represented in our minds is nothing else than a subjective form identical
with the idea itself. When philosophers say that _there are no false
ideas_, they mean that ideas always conform to their object as it shows
itself. This is the common and true doctrine. Even the author himself,
probably forgetful of what he had said in this passage, teaches, a few
pages later, that “we cannot err in perceiving or in feeling” (p. 23).

“An idea is distinct when it can be readily separated from any other idea,
... and is confused when the object cannot be distinctly determined” (p.
21). We believe that ideas are called “distinct,” not when they can be
readily _separated_ from one another (a thing which we cannot even
conceive), but when they represent distinctly their object in all its
particulars. In the contrary case, they are called “confused.”

“The extension of an idea signifies the whole collection of the
individuals which the same idea embraces” (p. 21). This is false. The
extension of an idea is the range of its universality; and we have already
remarked that universality is not a collection of individuals. Moreover,
it is _comprehension_ that “embraces” whatever it comprehends, while
extension embraces nothing, but only “reaches” potentially the terms to
which it extends, inasmuch as the idea is applicable to them.

“When, in order to form a species, we collect several individuals having
common properties, we perform an operation which is called
_generalization_” (p. 22). This is very wrong. Generalization, says
Webster, “is the act of reducing particulars to their genera”; and this
cannot be done by collecting individuals, but only by leaving aside
whatever is individual, and retaining that which is common.

“When the mind, after having compared two ideas, declares their
consistency or their inconsistency, it makes a judgment” (p. 23). The mind
properly compares, not the ideas themselves, but their objects as
cognized. Two ideas may be found consistent, and yet no judgment be made.
Thus, I see that the idea of whiteness is consistent with the idea of
paper; but does it follow that my mind judges the paper to be white? Not
at all. It might as well judge the paper to be green; for the idea of
green is no less consistent with the idea of paper. It is therefore
evident that the mind in judging does not declare the consistency or
inconsistency of two ideas, but affirms the mutual inclusion or exclusion
of two objective terms as apprehended.

“Nothing is more obscure or less useful than such classifications (of
categories)” (p. 24). The author should have been loath to condemn what
all great philosophers have praised. He might have considered that
classification, as in all the other sciences, so also in philosophy,
brings clearness, and that clearness is very useful.

“Reasoning is said to be immediate when no comparison is needed” (p. 30).
How can there be reasoning without the comparison of two terms with a
third?

“Method is that operation of the mind, etc.” (p. 44). Method is the order
followed in the operation; the operation itself is the _use_ of method.

“Induction ... is an operation of the mind inducing us to affirm, etc.”
(p. 46). Why “inducing us”? It is the conclusion that is induced, not
ourselves.

“The criterion of certitude is the sign by which certitude is perfectly
distinguished from error” (p. 52). We remark, that there are criteria of
truth, but not properly of certitude. Certitude is the firm adhesion of
the mind to the truth made known to it, and needs no criterion, because it
certifies itself by its very existence. The author says that “certitude is
at the same time a state and an act of the mind. As a state, it may be
defined to be a disposition by which the mind tends to adhere firmly to
the known truth” (p. 50). But this is a great mistake. First, the _act_ of
adhering to truth is an act of judging, not an act of certitude. Secondly,
the _state_ of certitude is not a disposition by which the mind tends to
adhere to truth. So long as the mind tends to adhere, there is no
adhesion, and therefore no certitude. Certitude is the rest of the mind in
the known truth.

“Reason is a perception” (p. 62). It is superfluous to remark that reason
is a faculty, and no perception is a faculty.

“Consciousness cannot be deceived, although it may deceive” (p. 62). How
can consciousness deceive? And if it can deceive, on what ground does the
author immediately add: “Hence consciousness gives true certitude”?

“The evidence of senses is that invincible propensity which induces us to
refer our sensations to the bodies which, according to our conviction,
have been the cause of them” (p. 63). We observe, that our propensity
cannot be our evidence. Our evidence must be objective, whilst our
propensity is a subjective disposition. The evidence of senses is the
evident perception of an object acting on the senses. The invincible
propensity is nothing but the necessity of yielding to that evidence.

“Common sense is nothing else than that general knowledge of first notions
or principles which is found in all men” (p. 65). Common sense, according
to Webster, is that power of the mind which, by a kind of instinct or a
short process of reasoning, perceives truth, the relation of things, cause
and effect, etc., and hence enables the possessor to discern what is
right, useful, or proper, and adopt the best means to accomplish his
purpose. This definition, or rather description, is wonderfully correct.
That kind of instinct, in fact, which the Scotch philosophers wrongly
consider as blind, is really nothing less than a short process of
reasoning, which carries evidence within itself. Reasoning, when
_formal_—that is, when its premises and its conclusion present themselves
distinctly and in a logical form, as in the scientific
demonstration—carries within itself what may be styled _reflex_ evidence;
and, when _informal_—that is, when the conclusion and its grounds present
themselves as implied in one another without assuming the formal shape of
an argument—it carries within itself what may be called _direct_ evidence;
and because it is in this second manner that men commonly acquire their
first convictions, this shorter and informal process of reasoning is
called reasoning of _common sense_. Accordingly, common sense is not
merely “a general knowledge,” but a source of general knowledge, extending
to all conclusions that are evident but informal, and especially to moral
dictates, such as “Good is to be done,” “Evil is to be shunned,” “God is
to be honored,” etc., which in fact have ever been known by the special
name of judgments of common sense—_sensus naturæ communis_.

“The laws of nature, considered individually, are contingent” (p. 76).
Would they cease to be contingent if they were not considered
individually?

“Metaphysics literally means _above nature_, and nature here signifies the
material world” (p. 81). These two assertions do not agree with the common
notion of metaphysics, and have been refuted in THE CATHOLIC WORLD for
December, 1873.

“Special metaphysics has been called _pneumatology_” (p. 81). Pneumatology
is only a part of special metaphysics. Every one knows that cosmology and
anthropology belong to special metaphysics no less than natural theology.

“In this dissertation (ontology) we consider being as abstracted from
existence” (p. 81). Ontology does not consider being as abstracted from
existence, but considers being as such, and therefore as existing either
in the order of things, or at least in the order of ideas. It is as
impossible to conceive being as abstracted from existence as to conceive a
circle as abstracted from rotundity.

“Some existence must have existed before any possibility” (p. 84). We do
not like the expression “existence exists,” as we would not like this
other, “velocity runs.” Moreover, possibilities are co‐eternal with God;
it is therefore incorrect to say that some existence must have existed
_before_ them.

“Principle is that which contains the reason for the existence of
something.... Cause is that which produces something, or which concurs in
the production of something” (p. 85). These definitions are very vague and
unsatisfactory, to say the least.

“The condition is the difficulty to be conquered in order to obtain the
effect” (p. 86). By no means. Is the presence of the object a difficulty
to be conquered in order to see it?

“The end ... has been improperly called the final cause” (p. 87). Why
“improperly”?

“Modification ... is the substance appearing to us with such or such
determined form” (p. 89). Quite absurd. Modification is not the substance,
but the accidental form itself, no matter whether appearing or not
appearing to us.

“Modification cannot exist without substance, nor substance without
modification” (p. 90). This proposition is too universal. Would the author
admit modifications in the divine substance?

“Some authors divide infinite into the infinite _actu_, or the actual
infinite, ... and the infinite _potentia_, or the potential or virtual
infinite, which can be infinitely increased or diminished. But certainly
this division cannot be accepted, since the infinite and a substance which
can be increased are two terms involving contradiction” (p. 91). What the
author calls “some authors” are all the schoolmen. We put to him the
following question: Will the human soul have a finite or an infinite
duration? If finite, it must have an end; but, if it has no end, it cannot
but be the contradictory of finite—that is, infinite. Yet this infinite
duration is successive; it is therefore not actually, but potentially,
infinite. Hence the division of the schoolmen can and must be accepted.
The author thinks that the potential infinite is not infinite, but
indefinite; but surely what has no end is infinite, not indefinite,
although it is conceived by us indefinitely, because it transcends our
comprehension. The indefinite is not that which has no end, but that of
which the end remains undetermined.

“That we have in our mind the idea of the infinite is certain....
Evidently it has been placed in our mind by God himself, since the finite
could not give the idea of the infinite” (p. 91, 92). We undoubtedly have
a notion of the infinite; but the author gratuitously assumes that this
notion is an _idea_ placed in our minds from without, while the fact is
that such a notion is not an _idea_, but a _concept_ of our mind, or a
result of intellectual operation. Of course, the finite cannot give us the
_idea_ of the infinite; but from the finite we can, and we do, form a
_concept_ of the infinite. This is the true and common doctrine. We cannot
undertake to give in this place a refutation of ontologism; we only remark
that the ontologistic theory is so generally repudiated that it should not
find a place in a text‐book for the use of schools.

“A material being is one which is essentially extensive and inert” (p.
92). If so, how can the author consider as “more acceptable” the view of
Leibnitz, that “a monad is essentially unextensive”? (p. 93).

“Spiritual substance is quadruple—namely, God, the angels, the human soul,
and the soul of the beasts” (p. 93). The soul of the beasts _spiritual_!—a
nice doctrine indeed for the use of schools. Nor is this an oversight of
the author; for we find that he endows beasts with _intellect_ also (p.
170). What shall we say, but that we live in an age of progress?

“The properties of a being are those parts which constitute the being” (p.
93). We have already observed that the being is constituted by its
principles, and not by its properties.

“A being is true when it agrees with its own attributes” (p. 94). It would
be more philosophical to say that a being is true when its constituent
principles agree with one another.

“A bad action or a sin is something merely negative” (p. 95). False. The
physical action is positive, and its sinfulness is not a negation, but a
_privation_, as theologians know.

“We may define relation, in general, to be a property pertaining to a
being when compared with another being” (p. 95). This is a wrong
definition. Relation can hardly be called a property. Distance and time
are relations; yet no one would dream of calling them _properties_.

“Identity is the perseverance of a being in the same state” (p. 96). The
author should have said “in the same entity”; for a mere change of state
does not destroy identity.

“Space is virtually (_potentia_) infinite, using the word infinite, as we
have before explained, in the sense of indefinite. It is also immense and
infinitely divisible” (p. 97). The author might have considered that
immensity is infinity; and therefore, if space is immense, it is infinite,
and not indefinite.

“Time is the duration of a being, or the permanence of its existence” (p.
97). Without successivity there is no time; and therefore the definition
of time given by the author is essentially defective.

“Duration without an end ... is the same as immortality” (p. 98). If the
earth is to last without an end, shall we call it immortal?

“Perfections are modifications of beings” (p. 107). This proposition, as
understood by the author, who extends it to all the perfections of
contingent beings, is evidently false.

“The Scotists teach that there is a real distinction among God’s
attributes” (p. 115). By no means. The Scotists would never have taught
such a gross error. They taught that the distinction between God’s
absolute attributes was a _formal_, and not a _real_, distinction.

“For God, the interior acts are those whose object is himself” (p. 123).
There are not many interior acts in God, as the author implies, but one
permanent act only.

“It appears difficult to reconcile the immutability of God with his
liberty. Three systems have been formed for this purpose, but they are not
satisfactory” (p. 124). If the author had considered that God’s liberty is
all _ad extra_, and not _ad intra_, he would have seen that he had no
right to qualify as he does the theological solution of the present
difficulty. Each of the three solutions is satisfactory, at least in this
sense: that each of them sets at naught the objections of the opponents.
This is all we need. As to which of the three solutions is the best, it is
not our duty to decide.

“Immensity means the same as omnipresence” (p. 130). This is not true.
Omnipresence is relative, and its range is measured by the actual
existence of creatures, as it does not extend beyond creation; while
immensity is absolute, and transcends all created things.

“S. Thomas says that God also sees future free and contingent things in
their essence—that is, that he sees them in his eternal and immutable
decrees” (p. 133). Does the author mean that S. Thomas considers the
essence of contingent things as equivalent to the eternal and immutable
decrees?

“But Molina and his disciples contend that with such a system (S.
Thomas’s) it is impossible to defend human liberty” (p. 133). Here Molina
and his disciples are represented as the decided adversaries of the
Angelic Doctor. It is not fair. The author should have remembered that S.
Thomas’s doctrine is variously explained by various writers, and that it
is possible to be a follower of S. Thomas without being a _Thomist_ in the
usual sense given to this word.

“Veracity consists in this: that a being can neither deceive nor be
deceived” (p. 134). Shall we deny the author’s veracity because he has
been sometimes deceived?

“Justice is the attribute according to which we give to others what
belongs to them” (p. 135). Justice with us is a virtue, not an attribute;
with God, justice is an attribute, but does not consist in giving to
others what _belongs_ to them; it consists in giving to others what the
order of reason demands.

“Providence is, therefore, a continuous creation” (p. 137). The mistake is
evident. It is conservation, not providence, that is thus defined.

“The action of God upon us during life is constant, and this is what we
mean by his providence” (p. 137). This is another mistake. The author
confounds the notion of providence with that of _concursus_.

“In regard to its wrong use (of liberty), God cannot have an immediate,
but only a mediate, influence on man’s actions, in the sense that he has
granted liberty of which a bad use is made against his suggestions. His
sanctity forbids that he should act immediately in that case” (p. 138).
Not at all. God _immediately_ concurs to all our actions, whether good or
bad, as every theologian knows, inasmuch as they are physical actions; and
concurs neither immediately nor mediately to their badness, because their
badness is nothing but a privation, and therefore requires no efficient
cause.

The author misrepresents (pp. 138, 139) the doctrine of the Molinists
concerning the influence (_concursus_) of God upon our actions. He says
that this influence, according to the Molinists, “is positive and direct,
but _not on our will_,” and “consists in affording a concourse of
circumstances the most suitable for the determination.” The author may
have found this interpretation of Molina’s doctrine in some old book; but
it is known that the Molinists have always admitted God’s influence “on
our will,” though they never admitted the physical predetermination; and
it is no less certain that none of them maintain that “a concourse of
circumstances” suffices to explain God’s influence on our free actions.

We are afraid that the reader must be tired of following us in this
enumeration of philosophical, theological, and historical mistakes, and we
ourselves are tired of our irksome task. Indeed, the psychology and the
ethics of our author are open to as much criticism as the rest of the
work; but what we have said abundantly suffices to justify our opinion
that F. Louage’s text‐book has no claim to adoption in Catholic schools.
Accordingly, we shall omit the detailed examination of the last 86 pages
of his work. But we cannot conceal the fact that we have been much
surprised and pained at the open profession of ontologism made by the
author in his article “On the Nature and Origin of our Ideas.” That Dr.
Brownson, in his _Review_, should try to show that _his own_ ontologism
can be philosophically defended and does not fall under ecclesiastical
condemnation, we do not wonder. He is not a priest; he does not write for
school‐boys, but addresses himself to educated men, who can sift his
arguments, and dismiss with a benign smile what they think to be unsound;
and, after all, he takes great care to screen himself behind a newly
invented distinction between ideal intuition, and perception or cognition,
based on the assumption, honestly maintained by him, that “intuition is
the act of the object, not of the subject.” But with our “text‐book” the
case is very different. F. Louage makes no distinctions, and takes no
precautions. He declares unconditionally that “God is present to our
intellect, and seen by it,” and that “all rational ideas come into the
mind _by the intuitive perception_ of the simple being, or of God,” and
that, “in a word, all rational ideas, after all, are _nothing else_ than
the idea of the simple being (_God_) considered in itself” (p. 156). Can
the author be ignorant that this doctrine coincides with the doctrine
which, on the 18th of September, 1861, the Roman Congregation of the Holy
Inquisition has declared to be untenable (_tuto tradi non posse_)? The
reverend author believes that “this doctrine has been held by S.
Augustine, S. Anselm, S. Bonaventure, Bossuet, and many others”; but we
doubt whether this fact, even if it were well established, would afford
him sufficient protection against the Roman declaration. We presume, in
fact, that S. Augustine, S. Anselm, etc., are better known and understood
in Rome than in America. But, waiving all discussion on the subject, we
cannot but repeat that a text‐book for Catholic schools must not teach as
“_the_ true doctrine,” and not even as a probable doctrine, what the
Catholic Church shuns as unsound, unsafe, and untenable. This “true
doctrine,” nevertheless, he says, is “a mere hypothesis”!

And here we stop. We have given sixty passages of F. Louage’s book, by
which it is manifest that his course of philosophy is as sadly deficient
in philosophical accuracy as it is glaringly incomplete in its survey of
the philosophical topics. It is to be regretted that a man of his facility
in writing has not devoted himself to some subject more congenial to his
talents. Such books as this are a mistake. A philosophy which is not
precise in its definitions nor deep in its bearings can only do harm. Such
a philosophy will certainly not enable the young student successfully to
uphold truth, nor make him proof against sophistry, nor afford him any
guidance whatever in after‐life. It will, on the contrary, lay him open to
temptation and seduction, as it will open his eyes to many objections
which he has not the power to solve. Indeed, unpretending common sense is
safer for individuals and for nations than a superficial philosophical
training. A sad experience shows this to be a fact. It was shallow
philosophy that most powerfully aided the spread of rationalism and
infidelity in France, Germany, and other European nations. America needs
no such thing.

We need thorough and comprehensive philosophical teaching in accordance
with the tradition of the schools which have been formed and directed by
the highest ecclesiastical authority, and which shall be conducted by men
thoroughly competent for the task. The only fruit our youth can gather
from any other system will be noxious in its effects both on their minds
and their morals. Yet, as we cannot remain idly waiting and doing nothing
until the perfect system of education descends from heaven, we cannot
dismiss this important matter without a few more remarks upon the
practical course to be pursued under our present disadvantages.

In the first place, we renew our recommendation of F. Hill’s text‐book for
all classes which cannot make use of a Latin manual, and are capable of
understanding the above‐mentioned treatise. Professors who understand the
Latin language can prepare themselves to elucidate and supplement the text
by their own lectures and explanations. Those who read French will find in
the translation of F. Kleutgen’s _Philosophie der Vorzeit_ into that
language an exposition of scholastic philosophy, with a refutation of
modern errors, which will be of the greatest utility. Those who read
German are referred to the works of Dr. Stöckl, and those who read Italian
to San Severino(83) and the admirable treatise of Liberatore—_Della
Conoscenza Intellettuale_. It is a pity that these works of Kleutgen and
Liberatore could not be at once translated into English, while we are
waiting for the coming man who will give us a great original work. The
Catholic Unions which are so devotedly pursuing “studies” in respect to
education, or some other society of young men anxious to promote their own
intellectual culture, could not do better than to provide for the
necessary expense of making and publishing these and similar translations.
The English language is poorly provided with works of this kind. If the
study of Latin must be excluded from the education of so many of our
intelligent and cultured young men, or so superficially pursued as to be
practically useless, it cannot be too earnestly recommended to them to
learn the French, German, and Italian languages, or at least one or two of
them, that they may have access to their rich and abundant stores of
Catholic literature, contained not only in books, but in the periodicals,
which are conducted with an ability and extended over a range of subjects
far beyond what our own have yet attained. This last remark applies
especially to the French periodicals. The best works ought, however, to be
translated into English, and the only obstacle to this desirable work is
the expense, which at present effectually hinders its being done, except
for very popular and salable books.

Something ought to be done to enable young men who discover at a later
period, when they are already engaged in the business of life, the defects
of their education, to supply these in some way. The manly and sensible
letter of the alumni of the Dublin Catholic University to the Irish
bishops expresses a want felt not only by young men in Ireland, but also
in England and America. These young Irishmen point out two notable defects
in their collegiate instruction—a defect of instruction in physical
science, and a defect of instruction in the science of Catholic doctrine.
The Irish bishops, and the English bishops also, are beginning energetic
and wise measures for the improvement of higher education for Catholic
young men. At present, there seems no immediate prospect of similar
measures being undertaken in this country; but, as a practical substitute,
we venture to suggest to Catholic Unions and other societies that courses
of lectures would partly supply that lack, which is felt by so many, of
the more regular and systematic instruction which they did not receive at
college.

In respect to the actual instruction at present given in schools, there
remains one other important point to be noticed. It is a regular part of
the plan of study in our academies for young ladies, to give them lessons
in philosophy during the last two years of their course. After a short
course of pure logic, which presents no special difficulty, the pupils of
the academies under the Ladies of the Sacred Heart—which may be taken as a
specimen, we suppose, of other schools of similar grade—have two lessons a
week in what is called “mental philosophy,” and another lesson in ethics,
during two years. The early age at which the pupils graduate, which is
usually about the completion of their eighteenth year, and the many
branches of study they are expected to pursue, make it impossible to give
more time to these lessons. F. Hill’s text‐book seems to be too difficult
for use in these schools under the present circumstances. Some might think
it would be better to drop the study of philosophy altogether in young
ladies’ schools, and cite in their own favor what we have said above of
the mischief of superficial instruction in this science. But, in the first
place, if we were to give this counsel, there is no probability that it
would be followed; and our own acquaintance with the intellectual
condition and wants of this very interesting and important class of young
people induces us to think, that they cannot be relegated entirely to the
catechism class, and really require instruction in these higher branches
of mental and moral science. We would like to see the experiment of using
F. Hill’s _Philosophy_ fairly tried with these classes, before it is
rejected as too difficult. If an easier one is found to be necessary, the
only thing to be done is to try to make such a text‐book, which shall be
solid, accurate, sufficiently comprehensive, and yet written with a
lucidity of style and explained with an appositeness of illustration, by
examples, which will make it intelligible both to the teachers and the
pupils. A difficult task, certainly, and requiring a very unusual
combination of high intellectual capacity and science with tact and skill
in the adaptation of style and manner to the condition of the juvenile
mind. Yet is it not equally difficult to make a good catechism? If it is
feasible to produce such a text‐book, we think there are classes of boys
for whom it would be as useful as for female pupils. There are
unquestionably women, as well as men, who need and are capable of a much
higher intellectual discipline than that which is possible for the
generality; but we see no way for such persons to obtain what they desire,
except by their own private reading, aided by the advice of a learned and
judicious counsellor, unless some change were made in the present system
by providing a longer course and more advanced instruction for a select
class of pupils.

This leads us to remark that the religious women who are dedicated to the
work of higher instruction need themselves better preparation for their
elevated and important task than they can at present receive in convents.
Beyond their previous education in the convent‐school, which prepares them
only to give what they have received, they can at present proceed no
further, except by private study, for which both time and proper books are
lacking. Lectures by learned priests, which advanced pupils might attend,
would be the most effectual means of giving this training. And as the
principal object of these higher studies is not a mere intellectual
culture, but education in the principles and doctrines of the Catholic
religion, there is need of more thorough doctrinal, and we might even say
_theological_ instruction in convent‐schools, from priests who can devote
a large part of their time and labor to a truly pastoral care of this
choice and precious portion of Christ’s flock—religious women and the
young girls under their maternal care. There are many things to be amended
and improved in all departments of Catholic education. _Emendemus in
melius quod ignoranter peccavimus._



Easter.


He’s risen: O stars! rejoice; O angels! sing;
Though we stand dumb with awe, or doubting turn
To probe the wound above that heart where burn
Great flames of love. The saints with rapture fling
Their crowns before the throne, and angels wing
Their anthems through the air. Come, man, and learn
Where crowns belong; thy God‐like soul should yearn
For them thick‐set with every holy thing—
Good deeds, prayers, penances, all shining bright
With fire of charity. Rejoice again,
O stars! O angels, saints, and man! a Light
Is risen that floods the worlds with joy. No pain
Is felt this day; earth’s moan may cease, and night
Grow bright with stars of hope—’tis heaven we gain!



Grapes And Thorns. Chapter XI. A Harvest of Thorns.


By The Author Of “The House of Yorke.”

One of the greatest severities in the imprisonment of a criminal is,
probably, that he can no longer see the wide earth nor the free skies, so
that not only is his body cramped, but his mind is thrown back on itself,
and forbidden to send out those long tendrils which can sometimes shoot
through the eyes, and fasten on distant objects, when those near by are
repelling. Moreover, the universe itself becomes to him like another
prisoner, and he can scarcely believe that the large, smooth creation
sails uninterruptedly on its way when he sees of it but one little spot
for ever shut in by the bars of his cell.

Mr. Schöninger’s window in the jail had been low, giving him a sight of
the street not far away; but his cell in the prison was higher up, and
separated from the window by a passage. Sitting or lying down, therefore,
he saw only a small square of sky; and standing, the topmost line of a
blue hill became visible. Only one other earthly object was in sight; and
as time passed by that became still less and less of earth, and assumed a
variable but always supernatural character: it was the stone Christ that
stood on the church not far away. He could see all of it but the lowest
hem of the robe; and as it stood there, surrounded by air alone, above the
narrow line of the distant hill, it seemed an awful colossal being walking
in over the edge of a submerged world. At morning, when the sky was bright
behind it, it darkened, the lineaments of the face were lost in a shadow
that was like a frown, and its garments and its hands were full of gloom.
At one season there were a few days when the risen sun at a certain hour
surrounded the head with an intolerable splendor, and then it was an image
of wrath and judgment. It wore quite another character on bright evenings,
when, the setting sun shining in its face, it came, white and glowing,
down the hillside, with arms outstretched, full of irresistible love and
invitation. To see this image, he had to stand at the grated door of his
cell. When sitting or lying down, there was no view for the prisoner but a
square of sky barred off by iron rods; and as the earth rolled, his view
travelled with it, day after day going over the same track in the
terrestrial sphere. At evening a few pale stars went by, afar off, and so
unaware of him that they were like distant sails to the shipwrecked
mariner, hovering on the horizon and disappearing, each failure a new
shipwreck to him.

One morning, when he opened his eyes just as day was beginning to flicker
in the east, he saw a large, full star, so brilliant that it trembled in
the silvery sky, as if about to spill its brimming gold. It was so alive,
so intelligent, so joyous, that he raised himself and looked at it as he
would have looked at a fair and joyful face appearing at the door of his
cell. Surely it was like good tidings, that glad star in the east! He got
up, and, as he rose, there rose up whitely against the sky the Christ of
the Immaculate Conception, seeming almost transparent in that pure light.

The prisoner knelt on the stone floor of his cell, and lifted his hands.
“God of my fathers,” he said, “deliver me! for I am turned in my anguish
whilst the thorn is fastened!”

It was the first prayer he had uttered since the night of his arrest,
except those outcries which were more the expression of anger and a
devouring impatience than of petition. Having uttered it, he lay down
again, and tried to sleep. He dreaded the thronging thoughts and
tormenting pains of the day, and there was a tender sweetness in this new
mood which he would fain have kept and carried off into sleep. To keep it
by him, he called up that story suggested by what he had just seen, the
star in the east and the Christ. He did not believe it, but he found it
soothing. It came to him like David’s song to Saul, and, though but a
mythical story, as that was but a song, it kept down the tigers of anger
and despair which threatened to rise and tear him.

It was his own Judæa, which he had never seen, indeed, but which was to
him what the fountain is to the stream—the source of his being. How fair
and peaceful was that silent night that overhung, unbarred by iron bolts,
free from horizon to horizon! The holy city was sleeping, and by its side
slept Bethlehem. Within a stable a fair young matron had just laid her
newly‐born child on its bed of straw, while Joseph, his Jewish brother,
ministered to both, feeling sad and troubled, it must be, that those so
dear to him were so illy cared for at such a time. The ox and the ass
looked on with large, mild eyes, and warmed the air with their breath. It
was poor, but how peaceful, how tender, how free! The open door and
windows of that poor stable were to him more beautiful than the barred and
guarded portal of a Herod or a Cæsar.

Yet with what a blaze of glory the Christian church had surrounded this
simple human picture! The poor man who had been able to give his family no
better shelter than a stable was held by them more honored than Herod or
Cæsar; and cherubim, bright and warm from heaven, like coals just from a
fire, drew near to gaze with him, and burned with a still white light
above his head. They called this matron a miraculous mother, they showered
titles over her like flowers and gems, they placed the moon beneath her
feet, and wreathed the stars of heaven into a garland for her head.

How terrible and how beautiful was this Christian legend! The Jew had
abhorred it as a blasphemy, and his blood chilled as he suffered his
thought to touch one instant the awful centre of this strange group—the
Babe to whose small hand these idolaters gave the power to crush the
universe, on whose tiny head they placed the crown of omnipotence. It was
useless to try to sleep. The soothing human picture had blazed out with
such an awakening supernatural glory that he could not even lie still. He
rose again, and stood at the door of his cell. The star had melted from
sight, the peaceful, cloudless morning was spreading over the sky, and
where the feet of the Christ stood on the hill‐top the beams of the sun
were sparkling. Beautiful upon the mountains were the feet of Him who
brought good tidings.

“A Christian would call it miraculous,” he muttered, looking at that
light; and he shuddered as he spoke. But that shudder did not come from
the depths of his soul, where a new light and peace were brooding. It was
like the clamor and confusion outside the doors of the temple when the
Lord had driven forth the money‐changers, and was less an expression of
abhorrence than a casting out of abhorrence.

The Jew did not know that, however, nor guess nor inquire what had
happened in his soul. He scarcely thought at all, but stood there and let
the light steep him through. Some dim sense of harmony stole over him, as
if he heard a smooth and noble strain of music, and for the first time
since his imprisonment he remembered his loved profession, and longed to
feel the keys of a piano or an organ beneath his hand. His fingers
unconsciously played on the iron bars, and he hummed a tune lowly to
himself, without knowing what it was.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him that bringeth good
tidings, that publisheth peace!”

Then, catching himself idle and dreaming, he turned away from the grating,
took a book from the table, and began to read.

This book had been to Mr. Schöninger an intellectual substitute for that
spiritual consolation which he had not. Finding early in his imprisonment
that his mind was working itself into a frenzy over the horrors of his
position, and injuring him physically more even than confinement did, he
had begun the study of a language with which he was entirely unacquainted,
and, whenever he found his thoughts accomplishing nothing profitable, he
turned them resolutely to this study, and bent them, with the whole force
of his will, to learning dry rules and regulations. The discipline had
saved him much, but it had not prevented his growing thin and haggard, and
loathing food, and almost forgetting how to sleep.

But on this morning study did not seem so much a refuge as a task. The
prisoner lifted his eyes now and then from the book, and looked outward to
the sky, and then dropped them again, still in a dream, and wondering at
himself. So might the sea have wondered when its waves sank to rest
beneath the divine feet of the Lord passing over.

How many times during those terrible months he had striven to produce a
perfect calm in his own soul by calling up stoical thoughts, and all in
vain; or, if not in vain, the only effect had been a temporary and
enforced calm.

Nor was it unworthy a manly and reasonable character that such an effect
as he now experienced should be produced by something which, apparently,
appealed only to the artistic or the marvellous. Every soul has its
beautiful gate; and if truth, walking about outside, should choose to
enter by that vine‐wreathed portal, and reach the citadel by way of
gardens and labyrinths, instead of approaching by the broad avenue of
reason, who shall say that it is not as well? Besides, in the artist, that
gate stands always open.

It was those same sunbeams, shining on the hill‐top, and speaking to the
lonely prisoner of a dawn of hope and joy, which to Annette Gerald’s eyes
had flashed like the two‐edged sword by whose lightnings the first sinners
in the world had fled out into the desert. But this sorrowful daughter of
Eve missed one of the consolations of our first mother; for Eve could
lament aloud, and call on all creation to weep with her; but this later
exile must take up her misery as if it were a delight.

She went about smilingly, making preparations for this little journey she
had announced her intention of taking.

“But you needn’t put everything in order, just as if you were never coming
back again,” her mother said. “I’ll see to things.”

She was sitting in Annette’s chamber, and watching her at work.

“Well, mamma, just as you please,” the daughter answered gently, and
touched her mother caressingly on the shoulder in passing.

A lock of Mrs. Ferrier’s dark hair had fallen from the comb, and was
hanging down her back. Annette paused to fasten it up, and, as she did so,
caught quickly a pair of scissors near, and severed a little tress.

“What in the world are you cutting my hair for?” exclaimed Mrs. Ferrier,
who had witnessed the operation in a looking‐glass opposite.

Annette laughed and blushed. She had not meant to be detected. “I’ll tell
you when I come back, mamma. You shall see what I am going to have made.
It will be something very wonderful.”

She turned quickly away, and bit her lip hard to keep down some rising
emotion. She had seen a single thread of silver in that dark‐brown tress,
and the sight, touching at all times—the mother’s first gray hair—brought
with it the poignant thought that white hairs would come fast and thick
when her mother should know what this journey meant.

“What are you taking all those common dresses for?” Mrs. Ferrier asked.
“They are hardly fit to go to the mountains with.”

“Oh! we do not mean to be gay and fashionable,” was the light reply. “We
want to have a quiet time by ourselves.”

“But you have got your jewel‐case,” the mother persisted. “I don’t see
what you want of diamonds with a shabby black silk gown.”

In spite of the almost intolerable thought that after these few hours she
would probably never see her mother again, Annette found this oversight
irritating. Yet not for anything would she have spoken one word that was
not dictated by respect and affection. The only way was to escape now, and
make her preparations afterward, and for that she had an excuse.

“By the way, mamma,” she said, “I want to see F. Chevreuse, and this is
just the hour to catch him at home. Won’t you take your drive now, and
leave me at his house? Wouldn’t you just as lief go out before lunch as
after? You and I haven’t had a drive together for a long time.”

And then, when she was alone, she made haste to put into her trunks all
those common, useful articles which fitted her present needs, and the few
souvenirs too dear to leave behind, and the valuables, which might some
day be sold, if money should fail them. She had scarcely turned the key on
them, when her mother came in again, pulling on her gloves. “I want to
speak to F. Chevreuse myself,” she remarked, “and I will go in with you.”

Annette said nothing, but dressed herself hastily. It really seemed as
though every obstacle were being placed in her way; yet how could she be
impatient with her poor mother, whose heart was so soon to be smitten,
through her, by a terrible grief, and who would soon recall in bitterness
of soul every word and act of this their last day together? And, after
all, she had no desire to talk with the priest. What could she say to him?
All that was necessary was written, and she could not ask his blessing nor
any service from him, nor even his forgiveness. The one thing he could do
for them was to denounce them, set the officers of justice on their track,
and make their lot worse than that of Cain, since the earth was no longer
wide and wild, but close and full of watching eyes and prating tongues.
The world seemed to her, indeed, oppressively small, having no least nook
where the restless, curious traveller did not penetrate with his merciless
pen, for ever ready to sketch all he heard and saw to gratify the equally
restless and curious people at home.

“Is it a confession you have to make?” Mrs Ferrier asked, as they
approached the priest’s house.

They had been driving along in silence, and at this question Annette
started and blushed violently. “Dear me, mamma!” she said, in answer to
her mother’s look of astonishment, “I was off a thousand miles, and you
gave me such a start when you spoke. Yes, it is a confession. You can see
F. Chevreuse first, and I will go in after. You need not wait for me. I am
going to walk out to the convent to Sister Cecilia a few minutes. The walk
will do me good; and afterward I would like to have you send the carriage
there for me.”

The excitement under which she was laboring led her unconsciously to
assume a decided and almost commanding tone, and her mother submitted
without any opposition. Annette certainly did not look well, she thought;
and, besides, she was going away. This last consideration was one of great
weight with Mrs. Ferrier, for she looked on railroads and steam‐boats as
infernal contrivances expressly intended to destroy human life, and never
saw persons in whom she was interested commit themselves to the mercies of
these inventions without entertaining mournful apprehensions as to the
probable result. Moreover, Annette had been very sweet and fond with her
all day, and was looking very beautiful, with that wide‐awake glance of
her bright eyes, and the crimson color flickering like a flame in her
cheeks.

“I think, dear, on the whole, I won’t go in to‐day,” she said. “It might
take too long; for this is his busy time of day. To‐morrow will do as
well.”

Annette only nodded, unable to speak; but in stepping from the carriage,
she laid her small hand on Mrs. Ferrier’s, and gave it a gentle pressure.

“That girl grows prettier and sweeter every day,” said the mother to
herself, as her daughter disappeared within the doorway. “And how black
velvet does become her!”

Father Chevreuse knew well that no ordinary errand could have brought
Annette Gerald to his house, and it was impossible for him to meet her
with the ordinary forms of civility. Scarcely any greeting passed between
them, as he rose hastily at her entrance, and waited for her first word.
She was, perhaps, more collected than he.

“Are you quite alone here?” she asked.

He led her to the inner sitting‐room, and closed the door after them, and
even then did not think to offer her a chair any more than she thought of
taking one.

“We have told mamma that we are going away this evening for a little
journey, and she expects us to return in four weeks. John knows all about
our affairs. At the end of four weeks, he will say something to you, or
you to him, whichever you please, and at that time you will open and use
this packet.” She gave him an envelope carefully sealed, with the date at
which it was to be opened written on the outside. “If anything should
happen to you in the meantime, some one else must open it; but care must
be used not to have it read before the time.” She paused for an answer.

“You need not fear,” the priest said, taking the packet and looking it
over. He thought a moment. “I will write also on this that, in the event
of my death, it is to be opened by F. O’Donovan or by the bishop of the
diocese.”

He went to a table, wrote the directions, and then gave them to Annette to
read.

“It is a private paper of mine,” she said, after reading and giving it
back; “and I have the right to say when it shall be read. I give it into
your hands only on the condition that my directions shall be complied
with.”

He bowed, understanding perfectly that the words were intended as a future
shield for him.

“At the same time, you will open this also, which is yours,” she added,
and gave him a paper roll sealed and tied, but without any direction.

F. Chevreuse shrank a little, took the roll, then let it drop from his
trembling hand. The cold and business‐like manner of his visitor and his
sympathy for her had kept his thoughts fixed on her; but here was
something which brought his mother’s image up before him with a terrible
distinctness. It was impossible for him not to know that this little
package was what she had died in trying to save. Tears blinded his eyes.
The last evening he had spent with her came back like a vision; he saw her
face, heard her voice, saw her kneeling before him for his blessing.

Making an effort to control and hide his emotion, he stooped to take up
the package he had dropped; and when he looked up again, his visitor had
left the room, and was walking quickly to the street door. For one moment
he stood irresolute; then he hurried after her. But she had already gone
out, and either did not or would not hear him call her back.

The sight of her going away so, wrung all thought of selfish grief out of
his mind. He went back into the room, and watched her as she walked
swiftly up the street. So innocent, so generous, so brave as she was, yet
of all the sufferers by this miserable tragedy, with one exception, the
most unhappy! The grief that must fall upon the mother of the guilty one
no one could fathom; but the mother of a criminal can never hold herself
surely innocent of his crimes, since a greater holiness in her own life, a
wiser care in his training, and a more constant prayerfulness in his
behalf might have saved him; but the young wife was, of all people in the
world, the most innocent and the most wronged.

How light and graceful her step was. Who would not think that it betokened
a light heart? She met an acquaintance, and stopped for a word of
greeting, and the friend came along afterward smiling, as though at some
merry jest. Passing the house of another friend, she nodded and kissed her
hand to a child in the window, with how bright a face the priest, who had
seen her self‐control, could well guess.

“Is there nothing I can do, nothing I can say, to help her?” he asked
himself, turning away from the window. “It is cruel that one so young
should bear alone such a burden! What can I do? What can I do?”

He searched in vain for some means of help. There was none. For what she
should do her own wit or the advice of others must suffice; and for words
of comfort, they were not for him to speak to her. Her manner had shown
clearly the distance which she felt must lie between them, and there was
no way but for him to accept that position. He could pray, and that was
all.

By the time he had come to this conclusion, Annette Gerald had reached the
convent, and was greeting Sister Cecilia.

“I have only two words to say to you, dear Sister,” she said, “and those
may seem very childish, but are not so in reality. Lawrence and I are
going to make a little journey, which may last about four weeks, and poor
mamma will be lonely. Besides that, she will worry. She hates to have me
go away from her. Will not you be very kind to her, if she should come to
you? Oh! I know you always are that; but recollect, when you see her, that
I am really all she has. A son does not count for much, you know,
especially when he is a young man. Very few young men are much comfort to
their mothers, I think. Tell F. Chevreuse the very first time you see him
that I said this to you, but don’t tell any one else. And now, dear
Sister, I have but a little time, for we start this evening. If there is
no one in the chapel, I would like to go in a while. People have got so in
the habit of wandering into the Immaculate, and looking about carelessly,
that it is no longer pleasant to go there.”

The same air, as of a person gentle, indeed, but not to be detained nor
trifled with, which had impressed F. Chevreuse in his visitor, was felt by
the Sister also. She rose at once, saying that there was no one in the
chapel, and would not be for some time, all the Sisters being engaged,
unless Anita should go in.

“Anita has not been well?” Mrs. Gerald remarked with absent courtesy.

“No; she has not been the same since that terrible trial,” the nun sighed.

Annette Gerald’s face lost its absent expression, and took a somewhat
haughty and unsympathizing look. “Is that all?” she inquired in a tone of
surprise.

“But, you know,” expostulated the Sister, “Anita’s testimony was of the
greatest importance. Besides, the scene was a most painful one for her to
be dragged into. She is such a tender, sensitive creature.”

Annette had paused just inside the parlor‐door, and she had evidently no
mind to let the subject drop indifferently.

“My dear Sister,” she said with decision, “I am truly sorry for your sweet
little Anita; but I think it wrong to foster the idea that there are
certain sensitive souls in the world who must be pitied if a breath blows
on them, while others are supposed to be able to bear the hurricane
without being hurt. A great deal of this shrinking delicacy comes from a
selfish watching of one’s own sensations, and forgetting those of others,
and a great deal from being pampered by others. You remember, perhaps, an
old myth, which I have half forgotten, of a Camilla who was fastened to a
lance and shot across a stream. She was a woman soft and weak, perhaps,
but she had to go. Now, in this world there is many a woman who has all
the miserable sensitiveness and delicacy of her kind, but with that there
is also a will, or an unselfishness, or a necessity which transfixes her
like a spear, and carries her through all sorts of difficulties.” For one
instant a flash of some passion, either of anger, impatience, or pain, or
of all mingled, shot into the speaker’s face, and seemed to thrill through
all her nerves. “Oh! it is true in this world also,” she exclaimed, “that
unto him that hath shall be given. The happy must be shielded from pain,
and those who cry out at the prick of a pin must be tenderly handled; but
the miserable may have yet more misery heaped on them, and the patient
find no mercy.”

“My dear lady!” expostulated Sister Cecilia, when the other paused,
quivering with excitement.

“Oh! I do not mean to speak harshly of your sweet little Anita,”
interrupted Mrs. Gerald, recovering herself; “I was only reminded of
others, that is all. But even to her I would recommend thinking more of
the sufferings of others and less of her own.”

“It is precisely that which hurts her,” replied the Sister, a little
displeased. “She thinks of the sufferings of others, and, fancying that
she has caused them, breaks her heart about it.”

Annette made a motion to go, and had an air of thinking very slightingly
of the young novice’s troubles. “She merely did her duty, and has no
responsibility whatever,” she said. “The child needs to be scolded, and
set about some hard, wholesome work. It would do her good to work in the
garden, and spend a good deal of time in the open air. A person who has
been taken possession of by some morbid idea should never be shut up in a
house.”

Sister Cecilia suffered her visitor to pass on without saying another
word. She was surprised and deeply hurt at the little sympathy shown their
household flower and pet, yet she could not but perceive that, in a
general way, much that had been said was quite true.

Passing by the chapel‐door shortly after, she saw Annette Gerald on her
knees before the altar, with her head bowed forward and hidden in her
hands. Half an hour afterwards, when Mrs. Ferrier’s carriage came, she was
still in the same position, and had to be spoken to twice before she was
roused. Then she started and looked up in alarm.

“Your carriage has come,” whispered the Sister, and looked quickly away
from the face turned toward her, it was so white and worn. In that half‐
hour she seemed to have grown ten years older.

“Must I go now?” she exclaimed, with an air of terror, and for a moment
seemed not to know where she was. Then murmuring an excuse, she recalled
herself, and, by some magic, threw off again the look of age and pain.
“You need not call Sister Cecilia, only say good‐by to her for me,” she
said. “I have really not a moment to spare.”

This Sister was almost a stranger to Mrs. Annette Gerald, and was quite
taken by surprise when the lady turned at the door, and, without a word of
farewell, kissed her, and then hurried away.

“Drive to the office, John, for Mr. Gerald,” she said; and no one would
have suspected from her manner that she trembled before the man to whom
she gave that careless order.

Lawrence came running lightly down the stairs, having been on the watch
for his wife, and John, holding the carriage‐door open, winked with
astonishment at sight of the bright greeting exchanged between the two. He
could maintain a cold and stolid reserve, if he had anything to conceal;
but this airy gayety on the brink of ruin was not only beyond his power,
but beyond his comprehension.

Stealing a glance of scrutiny into the young man’s face, he met a glance
of defiant _hauteur_. “You need not go any further with us, John,”
Lawrence said. “We shall not need you. Jack, drive round to Mrs.
Gerald’s.”

And John, with his coat down to his heels—a costume in which nothing would
have induced him voluntarily to take a promenade—was forced to walk home,
comforting himself with the assurance that it was the last order he should
have to obey from that source. Perhaps, indeed, he would not have obeyed
it now, had they not driven away and left him no choice.

The sun was declining toward the west, and touching everything with the
tender glory of early spring, when they drew up at the cottage gate, the
sound of their wheels bringing Mrs. Gerald and Honora to the window, and
then to the door.

“We can’t stop to come in, Mamma Gerald,” Annette called out. “We are
going off on a little visit, and only come to say good‐by. Isn’t it
beautiful this afternoon? The trees will soon begin to bud, if this
weather continues.”

The two ladies came out to the carriage, and Mrs. Gerald caught sight of
her son’s face, which had been turned away. It had grown suddenly white.
She exclaimed: “Why, Lawrence! what is the matter?”

“Oh! another of those faint turns,” interposed his wife quickly, laying
her hand on his arm. “He has no appetite, and is really fainting from lack
of nourishment. The journey will do him good, mamma. We are going entirely
on his account.”

“Oh! yes, it’s nothing but a turn that will soon pass away,” he added, and
seemed, indeed, already better.

“Do come in and take something warm,” his mother said anxiously, her
beautiful blue eyes fixed on his face. “There is some chocolate just
made.”

“We have no time,” Annette began; but her husband immediately opened the
carriage‐door.

“Yes, mother,” he said. “I won’t keep you waiting but a minute, Ninon.”

The mother put her hand in his arm, and still turned her anxious face
toward him. “You mustn’t go to‐night, if you feel sick, my son,” she said.
“You know what happened to you before.”

“But the journey is just what I need, mother,” he answered, trying to
speak cheerfully. “Of course I won’t go if I feel unwell; but this is
really nothing. I have not quite got my strength up, and, as Annette says,
I have eaten nothing to‐day.”

Those little services of a mother, how tender and touching they are at any
time! how terrible in their pathos when we know that they will soon be at
an end for us for ever! How the hand trembles to take the cup, and the lip
trembles to touch its brim, when we know that she would have filled it
with her life‐blood, if that could have been saving to us!

“Sit here by the fire, dear, while I get your chocolate,” Mrs. Gerald
said, and pushed the chair close to the hearth. “There is really quite a
chill in the air.”

She stirred the fire, and made the red coals glow warmly, then went out of
the room.

He looked round after her the moment her back was turned, and watched her
hastening through the entry. The temptation was strong to follow her,
throw himself at her feet, and tell her all. He started up from the chair,
and took a step, but came back again. It would kill her, and he could not
see her die. He would let her live yet the four weeks left her. Perhaps
she might die a natural death before that. He hoped she would. At that
thought, a sudden flame of hope and of trust in God rose in his heart. He
dropped on his knees. “O my God! take my mother home before she hears of
this, and I will do any penance, bear anything!” he prayed, with vehement
rapidity. “Be merciful to her, and take her!”

He heard her step returning, and hastily resumed his seat, and bent
forward to the fire.

“You look better already,” she said, smiling. “You have a little color
now. Here is your chocolate, and Annette is calling to you to make haste.”

She held the little tray for him, and he managed, strengthened by that
desperate hope of his, to empty the cup, and even smile faintly in giving
it back. And then he got up, put his arm around his mother’s waist, in a
boyish fashion he had sometimes with her, and went out to the door with
her so. And there he kissed her, and jumped into the carriage, and was
driven away. It never occurred to her, so sweetly obedient had he been to
her requests, and so expressive had his looks and actions been, that he
had not uttered a word while he was in the house nor when he drove away.
He had accepted her little services with affection and gratitude, and he
had been tender and caressing, and that was enough. Moreover, he had
really looked better on leaving, which proved that her prescription had
done him good.

How Annette Gerald got away from home she could not have told afterward.
Her trunks were sent in advance, and she and her husband chose to walk to
the station in the evening. Some way she succeeded in answering all her
mother’s charges and anxious forebodings. She promised to sit in a middle
car, so as to be at the furthest point from a collision in front or rear,
and to have the life‐preservers all ready at hand in the steamer. She took
the basket of luncheon her mother put up, and allowed her bonnet to be
tied for her and her shawl pinned. And at last they were in the portico,
and it was necessary to say good‐by.

“My poor mamma! don’t be too anxious about me, whatever happens,” Annette
said. “Remember God takes care of us all. I hope he will take care of you.
Whenever you feel disposed to worry about us, say a little prayer, and all
will come right again.”

The darkness hid the tears that rolled down her cheeks as she ended, and
in a few minutes all was over, and the two were walking arm‐in‐arm down
the quiet street.

“This way!” Lawrence said when they came to the street where his mother
lived.

It was out of their way, but they went down by the house, and paused in
front of it. The windows of the sitting‐room were brightly lighted, and
they could see by the glow of the lamp that it stood on a table drawn
before the fire. As they looked, a shadow leaned forward on the white
curtain. Mrs. Gerald was leaning with her elbow on the table, and talking
to some one. They saw the slender hand that supported her chin, and the
coil of her heavy hair. They saw the slight movement with which she pushed
back a lock of hair that had a way of falling on to her forehead.

Annette felt the arm she held tremble. She only pressed it the closer,
that he might not forget that love still was near him, but did not speak.
There was nothing for her to say.

“Let’s go inside the gate to the window,” he whispered. “Perhaps I can
hear her speak.”

She softly opened the gate, and entered with him. The moonless night was
slightly overclouded, and the shadows of the trees hid them perfectly, as
they stole close to the window like two thieves. Lawrence pressed his face
to the sash, and listened breathlessly. There was a low murmur of voices
inside, then a few words distinctly spoken. “And by the way, dear, I
forgot to close the blinds. Oh! no, I will close them. Don’t rise!”

Mrs. Gerald came to the window, opened it, and leaned out so close to her
son that he heard the rustle of her dress and fancied that he felt her
breath on his cheek. She was silent a moment, looking up at the sky. “The
night is very soft and mild,” she said. “Those children will have a
pleasant journey.” One instant longer she rested there, her hand half
extended to the blind, then she sent upward a word of prayer, which
brushed her son’s cheek in passing. “O God! protect my son!” she said.

Then the blinds were drawn together, and the son was shut out from her
sight and sound for ever.

“It is our signal to go,” Annette whispered to her husband. “Come! We have
no time to lose.”

He held her by the arm a moment.

“Isn’t it better, after all, to stay and have it out here?” he asked
desperately. “I’d rather face danger than fly from it. Running away makes
me seem worse than I am.”

“You have no longer the right to consider yourself,” she answered, with a
certain sternness. “I will not submit to have a convict for a husband. I
would rather see you dead. And your mother shall not visit you in a
felon’s cell. Besides, no one is to be profited by such a piece of folly,
and you would yourself repent it when too late. Come!”

He said no more, but suffered himself to be drawn away. He could not
complain that his wife treated his heroic impulses with a disrespect
amounting almost to contempt, for he could not himself trust them.

After having closed the window, Mrs. Gerald returned to her place by the
fire. A round table was drawn up there between two armchairs, in one of
which Miss Pembroke sat, knitting a scarf of crimson wool. The shade over
the lamp kept its strong light from her eyes, and threw a faint shadow on
the upper part of her face; but her sweet and serious mouth, and the round
chin, with its faint dent of a dimple, were illuminated, her brown dress
had rich yellow lights on the folds, and the end of a straying curl on her
shoulder almost sparkled with gold. Her eyes were downcast and fixed on
her work, and crimson loop after loop dropped swiftly from the ivory
needles scarcely whiter than her hands.

“As I was saying,” Mrs. Gerald resumed, “six months of the year they were
to pass with Mrs. Ferrier have gone, and next fall they will have an
establishment of their own. It will be better for both of them. I am sure
Annette will make a good housekeeper. Besides, every married man should be
the master of a house. It gives him a place in the world, and makes him
feel his responsibilities and dignities more.”

“Yes, every one should have a home,” answered the young woman gravely. “It
is a great safeguard.”

Mrs. Gerald leaned back in her chair, and gazed into the fire. There was a
smile of contentment on her lips and an air of gentle pride in the
carriage of her head. As she thought, or dreamed, she turned about the
birth‐day ring her son had given her, and, presently becoming aware of
what she was doing, looked at it and smiled as if she were smiling in his
face.

“I never before felt so well contented and satisfied with his situation,”
she said, her happiness breaking into words. “His marriage has turned out
well. They seem to be perfectly united, and Lawrence is really proud of
his wife; and with reason. She is no more like what she was when I first
knew her than a butterfly is like a grub. She has developed wonderfully.”
She was silent a moment, then added: “I am very thankful.”

She drew a rosary from her pocket, and, leaning back in her chair with her
eyes closed, began to whisper the prayers as the beads slipped through her
fingers.

Miss Pembroke glanced at her, and smiled faintly. It was very pleasant to
see this mother happy in her son, yet how trembling and precarious was her
happiness! This woman’s heart, which bruised itself in beating, was always
ready to catch some fleeting glory on its springing tide; like the
fountain, which holds the rainbow a moment among its chilly drops.

While one woman prayed, the other thought. She had often dwelt upon this
subject of women’s lives being wrecked from love of friend, husband, or
child, and the sight of Mrs. Gerald had been to her a constant
illustration of such a wreck. These thoughts had troubled her, for she was
not one to judge hastily, and she did not know whether to pity or to blame
so ruinous a devotion. Now again the question floated up, and with it the
wish to decide once for all before life should thrust the problem on her,
when she would be too confused to think rightly. She was like one who
stands safe yet wistful on shore, looking off over troubled waters, and
Mrs. Gerald and Annette seemed to her tossing far out on the waves. She
even seemed to herself to have approached the brink so near that the salt
tide had touched her feet, and to have drawn back only just in time.

Gradually, as her fair fingers wove the glowing web, a faint cloud came
over her face, and, if it had been possible for her to frown, that deeper
shadow between the brows might have been called a frown. Her thoughts were
growing stern.

“Were we made upright, we women, only to bend like reeds to every wind?”
she asked herself. “Can we not be gentle without being slavish, and kind
and tender without pouring our hearts out like water? Cannot we reserve
something to ourselves, even while giving all and even more than our
friends deserve? Cannot we hold our peace and happiness so firmly in our
own hands that no one shall have the power to destroy them?”

Each question as it came met with a prompt answer, and resolution followed
swiftly: “Never will I suffer myself to be so enslaved by any affection as
to lose my individuality and be merged and lost in another, or be made
wretched by another, or to have my sense of justice and right confused by
the desire to make excuses for one I love. Never will I suffer the name
which I have kept stainless to be associated with the disgrace of another,
and never will I leave the orderly and honorable ways of life, where I
have walked so far, to follow any one into the by‐ways, for any pretext.
Each one is to save his own soul, and to help others only to a certain
extent. I will keep my place!”

That resolute and almost haughty face seemed scarcely to be Honora
Pembroke’s; and she felt so surely that her expression would check and
startle her companion that when she saw Mrs. Gerald drop the rosary from
her fingers, and turn to speak to her, she quickly changed her position so
as to hide her face a moment.

Mrs. Gerald’s voice had changed while she prayed, and seemed weighted with
a calm seriousness from her heavenly communion; and her first words jarred
strangely with her young friend’s thought.

“How uncalculating the saints were!” she said. “Our Lady was the only one,
I think, who escaped personal contumely, and that was not because she
risked nothing, but because God would not suffer contempt nor slander to
touch her. He spared her no pang, save that of disgrace; yet she would
have accepted that without a complaint. How tender he was of her! He gave
her a nominal spouse to shield her motherhood; it was through her Son that
her heart was pierced, and the grief of a mother is always sacred; and he
gave her always loving and devoted women, who clustered about and made her
little court. She was never alone. But she is an exception. The others
were despised and maltreated, and they seemed to be perpetually throwing
themselves away. I do not doubt that those saints who never suffered
martyrdom nor persecution were still, in their day, laughed and mocked at
by some more than they were honored by others. They never stopped to count
the cost.”

Miss Pembroke felt at the first instant as though Mrs. Gerald must have
read her thoughts, and her reply came like a retort. “It is true they did
not count the costs,” she said; “but it was God whom they loved.”

“Yes,” Mrs. Gerald replied gently, “that was what I meant.”

She was too closely wrapped in contentment to perceive the coldness with
which her companion spoke. It seemed to her that all her cares had floated
away, and left only rest and sweetness behind. She no longer feared
anything. There comes to every one some happy season in life, she thought;
and hers had come.

When, the next day, she received a note from her son, which he had written
from their first stopping‐place, she was scarcely surprised, though it was
an unusual attention.

It was but a hurried line, written with a pencil and posted in the
station‐house.

“My darling mother,” he wrote, “if you should find your violet‐bed under
the parlor window trampled, blame Larry for it. He saw his mother’s shadow
on the curtain when he was on his way to the station last night, and took
a fancy to go nearer and peep through the window. But he didn’t mean to do
any harm then, nor at some other times, when he did enough indeed. Forgive
him for everything.”

Mrs. Gerald immediately went out, letter in hand, to see what marks had
been left of this nocturnal visit; and, sure enough, there, on the newly‐
turned mould, was the print of a boot—well she knew her son’s neat
foot—and, on the other side, a tiny and delicate track where Annette had
stood! But not a leaf of the sprouting violets was crushed.

Miss Pembroke smiled to see the mother touch these tracks softly with her
finger‐tips, and glance about as if to assure herself that there was no
danger of their being effaced.

“Such a freak of those children!” she said gaily. “Do you know what I am
going to do, Honora? I mean to sow little pink quill daisies in those two
foot‐prints, and show them to Lawrence and Annette when they come back. It
was a beautiful thought of them to come to the window, and it shall be
commemorated in beauty. The ground is nearly warm enough here now for
seeds. When they come back, the tracks will be green. I wish flowers would
blossom in three weeks.”

Mrs. Ferrier also heard that day from the travellers.

“I have a particular reason for asking you to be very careful about my
letters,” Annette wrote. “Don’t let any one see or know of them. I will
tell you why presently. We are very well. Write me a line as soon as you
receive this, and direct to New York. We shall not stop there, but go
right on out West, probably. And, by the way, if you should wish ever to
hear from Mrs. Gerald’s relations, seek in New York for a letter directed
to Mrs. Julia Ward. Say nothing of this now. I will explain.”

“And why should I wish to hear from Mrs. Gerald’s relations?” wondered
Mrs. Ferrier. But she said nothing. The secret was safe with her.

Meanwhile, the travellers had lost no time on their way; and three days
from their leaving Crichton, they were on the ocean. Every stateroom and
cabin had been taken when “Mr. and Mrs. Ward” went to the office of the
steamer; but the captain, seeing the lady in great distress on account of
the sick friend she was crossing the ocean to see, kindly gave up his own
stateroom to the travellers.

It was quite as well for him to do so, indeed; for the very day they
started a storm started with them, and he was too faithful an officer to
desert his post on deck. So all night long he watched, courageous and
faithful, over the lives committed to his care, while underneath his two
special guests lay helpless and miserable, counting his footsteps, as
sleepless as he. The engine throbbed beside them, like a heavily‐beating
heart, the long waves lashed the deck, the wind sang and whistled through
the ropes, the steamer creaked and groaned.

“I have brought bad luck to the ship, Annette,” said her husband. “If I
were overboard, the storm would cease.”

“In the first place, my name is Julia,” was the answer from the lower
berth. “In the next place, there is nothing mysterious in this storm; it
is simply the equinoctial gale, which has been threatening for days. I
knew we should have it. In the third place, your being overboard would
make no difference whatever in the weather. Are you sick?”

Annette knew well that a little chilly breeze would best blow away her
husband’s vapors.

“I am sick of lying here,” he said impatiently. “The rain must be over,
unless it is another flood. I wonder how it looks out?”

He drew aside the curtain, and opened the window. The rain had ceased, but
the wind still blew, and a pale light was everywhere, shining up through
the waves and down through the clouds. As the steamer rolled, Annette,
lying in her lower berth, could see alternately the gray and tumbled
clouds of air, and the gray and heaving sea, which was less like moving
water than a ruined, quaking earth, so heavily it rose and fell.

Lawrence Gerald, closely wrapped in furs, knelt on the sofa, and looked
out, humming a tune that seemed to be for ever on his lips since his wife
had first sung it to him, so that she was sometimes half sorry for having
suggested it to him. A few words broke out while she listened:


    “For man never slept
      In a different bed,
    And to sleep, you must slumber
      In just such a bed.”


His thoughts seemed to be so haunted by the image of that cold and
peaceful slumber that his wife trembled for him. He had not the enduring
strength to bear a long trial, but he had that fitful strength which
prompts to desperate deeds.

“I can see cities built and destroyed yonder,” he said. “There are white
towns between dark mountains, and little hamlets up in the crevices; they
grow, and then they are swallowed up. It is like a great earthquake. When
the world is destroyed, it will perhaps look like that, pale and ashy.”

“Suppose we should go up on deck, and see what it looks like,” said
Annette suddenly, anticipating the wish she knew he would have expressed.
“It will be a change after our three days’ imprisonment, and we may think
the stateroom a pleasant refuge when we come back.”

They escaped the crest of a wave that leaped over the rail after them, and
reached the wet and slippery deck.

“We mustn’t speak to the officers,” Annette whispered, seeing the captain
near them.

He passed them by without notice, and they hurried on to the shelter of
the smoke‐pipe, where the heat had dried the planks; and here, holding by
ropes, they could look over the rail and see the long streaks of pale
blue, where the foam slid under the surface of the water; see the gigantic
struggle of the sea, and how the brave ship pushed through it all straight
toward her unseen port.

Nothing is so perfect a figure of life as a ship on the sea, and one can
hardly behold it without moralizing.

“Suppose that this ship had a soul of its own, instead of being guided by
the will of other beings,” said Annette; “and suppose that, finding itself
in such a woful case, it should say, ‘I see no port, no pole‐star, no sun,
nor moon, and I doubt if I shall ever see them again. I may as well stop
trying, and go down here.’ Wouldn’t that be a pity for itself and for
others?”

“But suppose, on the other hand,” returned her husband, “that the ship had
got a deadly thrust from some unseen rock, and the water was running in,
and it could never gain the port. What would be the use of its striving
and straining for a few leagues further?”

“We know not where the haven of a soul is set,” said Annette, dropping the
figure. “God knows, for he has set it, near or far; and it may be nearer
than we think. It is scarcely worth while for a man to lose his soul by
jumping overboard at ten o’clock, when he may save it, and be drowned too,
at eleven.”

Lawrence drew back as a great wave rose before them. He had only been
playing at death; the reality was quite another thing. Chilled and
drenched with spray, they hurried down to their stateroom.

It was a weary journey. After the storm came head‐winds, and after the
head‐winds a fog, through which they crept, ringing the fog‐bell, and
stopping now and then.

Mr. and Mrs. Ward did not appear once among the passengers, even when
everybody crowded up to catch the first glimpse of Ireland, and they were
the last to appear when the passengers prepared to land at Liverpool. They
had been a fortnight from home, the storm having delayed them two days,
and they knew not what might have happened in that time. A telegram might
have sped under the waves in an hour while they toiled over them, and just
at the moment of escape their flight might be intercepted.

To Be Continued.



Dante Gabriel Rosetti.(84)


It is not difficult to understand the title which has been bestowed upon
Mr. Rosetti of the “Poets’ Poet.” His volume is full of delicate
rhythmical experiments—winding bouts of melody with subtle catches of
silence interspersed—which alternately pique and satisfy. No brother of
the craft could fail to obtain valuable hints from these studies. But Mr.
Rosetti is no mere word‐poiser; he is an artist in the highest sense of
the word, whose canvas teems with a thousand nameless lights, which as
they cross and disappear make all the difference between the real and the
unreal.

During the two years or more that Mr. Rosetti’s volume has been before the
English‐reading public on both sides of the Atlantic, it has been
frequently reviewed. Perhaps the best justification of the present review
is that, over and above purely literary merits, Mr. Rosetti has peculiar
claims upon the interest of Catholic readers, to which we would draw
attention.

We gather from the brief notice at the beginning of the volume that many
of these poems were composed twenty years ago, yet, if we except the
occasional appearance of a single poem in the pages of a magazine, Mr.
Rosetti has published nothing before. We can hardly believe that even the
barbarians of twenty years ago can have combined against his publishing,
like Mr. Bazzard’s friends in _Edwin Drood_, and so we must suppose that
he was fain to wait for the severest of all criticisms—that passed by a
middle‐aged man upon the productions of his youth. And now, having altered
something and burnt more—had he waited, he would have found old age more
indulgent—he publishes the remnant, all of which, he tells us justly
enough, is mature, for which his mature age is sponsor.

It would be far easier to estimate Mr. Rosetti’s position as a poet had he
written more. Nor is this precisely a truism; for one feels at once that
what he has given us is most precisely and emphatically a selection. Every
one of his poems, whatever else it may be, is at least a cunning piece of
artist’s work in this or that particular style, with a distinct flavor of
its own and true to itself throughout. If you know, and care for, the old
Scots ballad, you will at once appreciate the specimen he gives you. If
you object to the coarseness which shades the tenderness of “Stratton
Water,” your criticism is unlearned. As well complain of the peat flavor
of a “Finnan haddie.”

Poets who sing because they must sing, who pour into trembling ears great
heterogeneous floods of song, the reflection of their many moods, things
beautiful and rather beautiful, and plain and very plain; all the
thousand‐and‐one scraps which have something clever in them, or illustrate
something, or with the composition of which something interesting, whether
pleasant or painful, is associated—take, for instance, any chance volume
of Wordsworth or Browning—may be in the long run our benefactors, but they
have no claim upon the ready‐money of thanks; they charm, perhaps, but
they often also bore. If a man whose imagination has not been left out is
bored by Mr. Rosetti’s volume, it is time for him, according to the
Turkish proverb, to put his trust in God—his wine is running to the lees,
his roses wither. And this is true although the generations of poetic
taste are so short‐lived that almost before a man has reached the _mezzo
camino_, and certainly before he has lost his sense of life’s enjoyments,
he is apt to find himself somewhat out of harmony with the poetry of the
day. Mr. Rosetti is no prophet of a new theory of art or master of a new
phrase‐mint, but rather a merchant whose cargo tells a tale of every port
at which he has touched.

It is natural to compare, even if only to contrast, any new poet with Mr.
Tennyson, as the poet who has had more immediate, sensible influence than
any other upon the taste of his day; and although there is a prejudice
against comparisons, it is difficult to see how they can be avoided if one
is to do something more than point and ejaculate. In the present case,
there is at least sufficient resemblance to suggest comparison. Amongst
living poets these two are pre‐eminently artist‐poets, who finish their
work and hide well away all their literary shavings. They are almost the
only living poets who never go on talking till they can find the right
word, and who never stammer.

There is not a scrap of either of these poets that, for the refined work
there is in it, it would not be a shame to burn. Again, they are like in
this, that they have an intense sensuous appreciation of the medium which
they use, which seems to belong rather to the art of the painter or the
musician than to that of the poet. It would not be difficult to make a
color‐box of Mr. Tennyson’s favorite words, literary formulas for cool
grays and bits of scarlet. On the other hand, Mr. Rosetti’s art is rather
that of the musician than the painter; he produces his effects rather by
subtle changes of manner than by the color of single words, although his
choice in these too is exquisite. His modulations remind one of Crashaw’s
lines in “Music’s Duel”:


    “The lute’s light genius now doth proudly rise,
    Heaved on the surges of swoll’n rhapsodies.
    Whose flourish, meteor‐like, doth curl the air
    With flash of high‐born fancies; here and there
    Dancing in lofty measures, and anon
    Creeps on the soft touch of a tender tone,
    Whose trembling murmurs, melting in wild airs,
    Run to and fro, complaining his sweet cares.”


And so, having drifted into points of difference, we will continue. They
are unlike because, although both affect the quaintnesses of mediæval art,
the laureate has done little more than utilize, for poetic purposes, the
antiquarian and art knowledge of a gentleman of the period with a turn
that way. But Mr. Rosetti is a mediæval artist heart and soul; and, though
it may not be literally true that he has no end beyond his art, he would
certainly feel that he was doing evil that good might come of it if he
sacrificed a point of art to any object whatsoever.

Mr. Tennyson’s pictures of the middle‐age, beautiful and lifelike as they
are, are the less true for their somewhat formal flourish of antiquity,
whereby they give themselves, as it were, a modern frame. Of course,
Tennyson’s knights are not modern gentlemen in the sense that Racine’s
Greeks are French courtiers, but anyhow they are the realized aspirations
of modern gentlemen of culture and refinement, and measures of fashionable
reaction against the spirit of the day.

I think the consciousness that he wants a loosely‐fitting mediævalism, or,
so to speak, the armor without any particular quality of man inside, makes
Mr. Tennyson affect the hybrid mediævalism of the Round Table in
preference to the genuine strain of the old chroniclers. His mail‐clad
knights always remind us somewhat of a common scene in a marine aquarium—a
whelk‐shell inspired with an energy not its own by the intrusion of a
hermit‐crab, who, having disposed of the original occupant, manipulates
the shell at his pleasure.

It may be urged, with some justice, that a poet is no mere collector of
old china and old lace. He gathers to himself of all precious things, to
frame for his thought such vehicle as he wants; but he has no duties to
his materials that they should be in keeping with one another or with
themselves, provided they minister to his design. Yes, but it must be
remembered that both these poets belong to a school which owes its success
to the religious observance of such duties, even though self‐imposed; and
it must always remain true that the more a poet can afford to borrow
wholes instead of parts or aspects, and these plead the poet’s cause each
in its own tongue, not his, the greater is his triumph. I am not
indicating any failure on the part of Mr. Tennyson when I speak of his
Arthurian poems as a splendid masque. He knows where his strength lies. He
has chosen his legend as a man might choose an antique wine‐cooler for his
wine; but the liquor inside, though superlatively good, is not hippocras
or metheglin, but port and sherry. On the other hand, if we turn to Mr.
Rosetti’s treatment of mediæval subjects, “Dante at Verona,” “Sister
Helen,” “The Staff and Scrip,” we find that his mediæval figures live,
indeed, with the intensest kind of life, but that that life, from its woof
to its outermost fringe, is stained with the color of its own day and
country. It is this union of purism and vitality which is Mr. Rosetti’s
distinguishing characteristic.

It is now time for us to examine some of Mr. Rosetti’s poems in detail.
“The Blessed Damozel,” the first poem in the volume, were it not for its
title, would be perfect; but we confess that the ultra quaintness of the
title is the one point in the mediæval dress which does not, to our mind,
harmonize with the Catholicity of the subject.

The subject would be trite enough in many hands. A young man has lost his
love, and dreams of her night and day, until at length the soul of his
imagination pierces that heaven into which she has been received ten years
ago:


    “Her seemed she scarce had been a day
      One of God’s choristers;
    The wonder was not yet quite gone
      From that still look of hers,
    Albeit, to them she left, her day
      Had counted as ten years.”


With the calm, unhesitating realism of Fra Angelico, he paints his lady
leaning out towards him “from the gold bar of heaven,” with stars in her
hair and lilies in her hand; and the outline is so clear and firm, so free
from the mist of modern sentimentalism, that the paroxysm of doubt which
breaks in at the end of the fourth stanza, and which for a moment makes
the radiant vision tremulous, is really wanted to remind us of the abyss
which the imagination is spanning:


    “It was the rampart of God’s house
      That she was standing on,
    By God built over the sheer depth
      The which is space begun;
    So high that, looking downward thence,
      You scarce might see the sun.”


“The tides of day and night” alternate far down in the abyss beneath her
feet, where the earth is spinning about the sun “like a fretful midge.” If
any one is tempted to doubt if the heavens of modern science, with their
vast distances and harmonious order, are more poetical than the star‐
spangled cope upon which the Chaldean shepherds gazed, let him read this
poem. The simple imagery with which Mr. Rosetti clothes the abysses of
heaven seems, without destroying their immensity, to render them visible:


    “From the fixed place of heaven she saw
    Time like a pulse shake fierce
        Through all the world....”


Again:


    “The sun was gone now; the curled moon
    Was like a little feather
      Fluttering far down the gulf.”


He sees that she is looking for him, and then she speaks, not to him, for
she sees him not, but of him, of what their life in heaven will be when he
has come—for he must come, she says. And again, as she talks of the life
in heaven, it is Fra Angelico in words; lush meadow‐grass, so soft to
road‐worn feet, and golden‐fruited trees, and tender intercourse from
which all the acerbities and conventionalities of life are banished; an
atmosphere in which the freshness of morning and the peace of evening are
woven into one eternal day, which, as he says elsewhere, “hours no more
offend.” How thoroughly Dantesque in its homely sublimity is the
conception of Our Lady and her handmaids at their weaving:


    “Into the fine cloth, white like flame,
      Weaving the golden thread
    To fashion the birth‐robes for them
      Who are just born, being dead.”


We hardly think that this poem of Mr. Rosetti’s strikes a single false
chord even to Catholic ears. The utmost that can be said is that the
blessed soul is too absorbed by her longing for her earthly love. But then
the heaven of theology is an assemblage of paradoxes which faith alone can
knit together; and, in its entirety, wholly without the realm of art. In
this poem we have one aspect of the life of the blessed, “securus quidem
sibi sed nostri solicitus,” as S. Bernard says, presented to us most
vividly in the only colors an artist’s pencil can command—those of earthly
love. But this love is serene and pure, and, despite its intensity, free
from all pain and impatience. The passion is supplied by the refrain in
the earthly lover’s heart, as in his touching commentary upon the
confidence of her “we two” will do thus and thus when he comes:


    “Alas! we two, we two, thou sayst!
      Yea, one wast thou with me
    That once of old. But shall God lift
      To endless unity
    The soul whose likeness with thy soul
      Was but its love for thee?”


Having ended her description of heaven’s mysterious joys:


    “She gazed and listened, and then said,
      Less sad of speech than mild,
    ‘All this is when he comes.’ She ceased.
    The light thrilled towards her filled
    With angels in strong level flight.
      Her eyes prayed and she smiled.”


But soon the smile fades away as the angelic convoy glides past, for he is
not there—


    “And then she cast her arms along
      The golden barriers,
    And laid her face between her hands,
      And wept (I heard her tears).”


If it be objected that this is too gross a violation of the state in which
all tears are wiped away, I answer, first, that there are tears and tears;
secondly, that if anthropomorphism is allowable in our realizations of
God, _à fortiori_ is it allowable in our realizations of those who,
although they are raised above the estate of humanity, are still human.
Again, even the angels of Christian art have a prescriptive right to
tears, and is it not written, Isai. xxxiii. 7, “Angeli pacis amarè
flebunt?”

And now we will say what we have to say of perhaps the most wonderful of
all Mr. Rosetti’s poems, which somehow, for more reasons than one,
suggests itself as a pendant to “The Blessed Damozel.” He has called it
“Jenny,” and Jenny is the name—neither French nor Greek will mend the
matter—of a young prostitute. We freely confess that there are two or
three lines in this poem which we heartily wish Mr. Rosetti had never
written; but, take it as it stands, few will be disposed to deny that it
is a very real sermon against lust, all the more impressive because it is
indirect. The story, such as it is, is this: A man, young but not in his
first youth, who has been for some years settling down to a student’s
life, throws his work aside one evening, and goes off to one of his old
haunts. Having spent half the night in dancing, and being smitten with
Jenny’s youthful beauty, he goes home with her. She, poor thing, utterly
tired, falls dead asleep at supper, and he, watching her, falls to
moralizing, half cynically, half tenderly, upon innocence and lust and
destiny, until at last the pity of it all wholly possesses him and kills
every other thought. And so musing till early dawn, till


    “Now without, as if some word
      Had called upon them that they heard,
    The London sparrows far and nigh
      Clamor together suddenly,”


he slips some gold pieces into her hair, and goes with the half‐expressed
hope that, as God has been merciful to him, so he will be merciful to her
also.

What first touches him is her evident longing for rest:


    “Glad from the crush to rest within,
    From the heart‐sickness and the din,
    Where envy’s voice at virtue’s pitch
    Mocks you because your gown is rich,
    And from the pale girl’s dumb rebuke,
    Whose ill‐clad grace and toil‐worn look
    Proclaim the strength that keeps her weak
    And other nights than yours bespeak,
    And from the wise, unchildish elf,
    To schoolmate lesser than himself
    Pointing you out what thing you are.”


The girl herself, beyond her youth and beauty, is nowise better than her
fellows, and so she individualizes a larger pathos, and is in some sense a
more touching representative of the victims of man’s lust—


    “Poor handful of bright spring water
    Flung in the whirlpool’s shrieking face.”


He is penetrated by the contrast between the fate of this poor girl and
that of his cousin, just such another girl in natural disposition—


    “And fond of dress, and change, and praise,
    So mere a woman in her ways”;


but in the guarded atmosphere of her home, with every point in her
character blooming into good.


    “So pure—so fallen! how dare to think
    Of the first common kindred link?
    Yet Jenny, till the world shall burn,
    It seems that all things take their turn,
    And who shall say but this fair tree
    May need, in changes that shall be,
    Your children’s children’s charity?
    Scorned then, no doubt, as you are scorned,
    Shall no man hold his pride forewarned
    Till in the end, the day of days,
    At judgment, one of his own race,
    As frail and lost as you, shall rise,
    His daughter with his mother’s eyes?”


Many a man would be fain to listen to such a sermon who would reject any
other. For the preacher is no missionary in disguise, but a fellow‐sinner
converted in the presence of his sin, if we may call it conversion; at
least, beaten down and overwhelmed by the colossal horror and pity of it,
as a wild beast is tamed by a prairie‐fire.

Many beautiful things have been said by non‐Catholic poets of Our Blessed
Lady. Indeed, a very pretty book might be made of these Gentile
testimonies, from Milton, Cowley, Crashaw (before his conversion),
Wordsworth, Keble, and many others. It would seem that Parnassus is as one
of the high places of Baal, where the Spirit of the Lord rushes upon the
poet, whose eyes are opened and he must needs bless her whom he that
blesseth “shall also himself be blessed, and he that curseth shall be
reckoned accursed,” and he cries, “How beautiful are thy tabernacles,” O
Mary, Mother of God, “as woody valleys, as watered gardens near the
rivers, as tabernacles which the Lord has pitched as cedars by the water‐
side.” But with Mr. Rosetti it is something more than this. One is tempted
to fancy that with his Italian name he must have really inherited an
Italian’s devotion to the Madonna. His poem “Ave” is neither more nor less
than a meditation upon the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries of
Our Lady’s life, and it breathes a devotion as tender and sensitive—in a
word, as Catholic—as though it had been written by F. Faber. We shall
venture to transfer the whole of it to our pages, for we cannot otherwise
justify what we have said, and part of its specific beauty is that it is
in one breath:


    Ave.

    Mother of fair delight,
    Thou handmaid perfect in God’s sight,
    Now sitting fourth beside the Three,
    Thyself a woman Trinity,
    Being a daughter born to God,
    Mother of Christ from stall to Rood,
    And wife unto the Holy Ghost:—
    Oh! when our need is uttermost,
    Think that to such as death may strike
    Thou wert a sister, sisterlike!
    Thou head‐stone of humanity,
    Ground‐stone of the great mystery,
    Fashioned like us, yet more than we!
    Mind’st thou not (when June’s heavy breath
    Warmed the long days in Nazareth)
    That eve thou didst go forth to give
    Thy flowers some drink that they might live
    One faint night more amid the sands,
    Far off the trees were as pale wands
    Against the fervid sky; the sea
    Sighed further off eternally
    As human sorrow sighs in sleep.
    Then suddenly the awe grew deep,
    As of a day to which all days
    Were footsteps in God’s secret ways:
    Until a folding sense like prayer
    Which is, as God is, everywhere,
    Gathered about thee; and a voice
    Spake to thee without any noise.
    Being of the silence: “Hail,” it said,
    “Thou that art highly favorèd;
    The Lord is with thee here and now;
    Blessed among all women thou.”

    Ah! Knew’st thou of the end, when first
    That Babe was on thy bosom nursed?
    Or when he tottered round thy knee
    Did thy great sorrow dawn on thee—
    And through his boyhood year by year
    Eating with him the Passover,
    Didst thou discern confusedly
    That holier Sacrament, when He,
    The bitter cup about to quaff,
    Should break the bread and eat thereof?
    Or came not yet the knowledge, even
    Till on some day forecast in Heaven
    His feet passed through thy door to press
    Upon his Father’s business?—
    Or still was God’s high secret kept?

    Nay, but I think the whisper crept
    Like growth through childhood. Work and play,
    Things common to the course of day,
    Awed thee with meanings unfulfill’d,
    And all through girlhood, something still’d
    Thy senses like the birth of light,
    When thou hast trimmed thy lamp at night
    Or washed thy garments in the stream:
    To whose white bed had come the dream
    That He was thine and thou wert His
    Who feeds among the field‐lilies.
    O solemn shadow of the end,
    In that wise spirit long contain’d!
    O awful end! and those unsaid
    Long years when it was Finished!

    Mind’st thou not (when the twilight gone
    Left darkness in the house of John)
    Between the naked window‐bars
    That spacious vigil of the stars?
    For thou, a watcher even as they,
    Wouldst rise from where throughout the day
    Thou wroughtest raiment for his poor;
    And, finding the fixed terms endure
    Of day and night which never brought
    Sounds of his coming chariot,
    Wouldst lift through cloud‐waste unexplor’d
    Those eyes which said “How long, O Lord”?
    Then that disciple whom he loved,
    Well heeding, haply would be moved
    To ask thy blessing in his name;
    And that one thought in both, the same
    Though silent, then would clasp ye round
    To weep together—tears long bound,
    Sick tears of patience, dumb and slow.
    Yet, “Surely I come quickly,” so
    He said, from life and death gone home.
    Amen: even so, Lord Jesus come!

    But oh! what human tongue can speak
    That day when death was sent to break
    From the tired spirit like a veil,
    Its covenant with Gabriel
    Endured at length unto the end?
    What human thought can apprehend
    That mystery of motherhood
    When thy Beloved at length renew’d
    The sweet communion severèd—
    His left hand underneath thine head
    And his right hand embracing thee?
    Lo! He was thine, and this is He!

    Soul, is it Faith, or Love, or Hope,
    That lets me see her standing up
    Where the light of the Throne is bright?
    Unto the left, unto the right,
    The cherubim, arrayed, conjoint,
    Float inward to a golden point,
    And from between the seraphim
    The glory issues for a hymn.

    O Mary Mother! be not loth
    To listen—thou whom the stars clothe,
    Who seest and mayst not be seen
    Hear us at last, O Mary Queen!
    Into our shadow bend thy face,
    Bowing thee from the secret place,
    O Mary Virgin, full of grace!


Mr. Rosetti certainly does not affect classical subjects. There is nothing
in his curious Treasury at all corresponding to those most exquisite of
all Mr. Tennyson’s poems, “Ulysses” and “Tithonus.” In the few instances
in which he does handle classical legend, it is always its quaint
reflection in the mediæval mind that attracts him, as in “Troy Town,” but
he is at home everywhere. “Eden Bower” and “Sister Helen” are like and
unlike enough for comparison. They are both monologues of deadly sin; the
first is spite, the second hate, set to music. The conception of Lilith in
“Eden Bower” is a monstrous waif of rabbinical tradition. She is a sort of
woman‐snake, supposed to have been Adam’s first wife before the creation
of Eve, and in her jealousy of the wife who supplanted her is found the
origin of her conspiracy with the king‐snake of Eden which brings about
the Fall. The poem is one prolonged musical but most diabolical chuckle of
Lilith over the immortal mischief she is about to perpetrate. She is
indeed all the while coaxing the serpent to help her, but her tone
throughout is one of assured triumph. The woman and the fiend are
interwoven with marvellous subtlety—a fiend’s colossal blasphemy and a
woman’s petty spite. The fiend does not shrink from declaring open war
against heaven.


    “Strong is God, the fell foe of Lilith
      (And O the bower and the hour!)—
    Naught in heaven or earth may affright him,
    But join thou with me and we will smite him.”


The woman thus in anticipation stabs her rival with her husband’s
cowardice.


    “Hear, thou Eve, the man’s heart in Adam
      (And O the bower and the hour!)—
    Of his brave words hark to the bravest,
    This the woman gave that thou gavest.”


How she wriggles and gasps and hugs herself at the thought of the woe she
is to bring upon her victims, gloating over every detail of their desolate
exile, and forecasting the death of one son and the damnation of another.
Lilith after all is a fiend, and, as a creation of art, a fiend is a
creature that lives and revels in wickedness as a salamander was supposed
to inhabit fire, with a keen sense of pleasure and without moral
responsibility; but in “Sister Helen” we have something much more dreadful
because more human—“Hate born of Love”—hate that has devoured all love,
even love of self—the hatred that is despair. A ruined girl, dwelling in a
lonely tower with her little brother, seeks vengeance upon her seducer
after the mediæval manner, by consuming his waxen image before the fire.
And now upon the third night she is nigh upon its achievement, for the wax
is wasting fast. The child takes a child’s interest in the little figure
that was once so plump, but through which the flame is now shining red. He
prattles about it, but understands nothing, nor yet that there is anything
to understand. His sister coaxes him out into the balcony to look out and
say what he sees, for she knows what must come. And one after the other
the brothers and father of the dying man ride up in the wild night and
implore her mercy, at first that she will save his life, and then that at
least she will forgive and save him from his despair, that body and soul
may not perish. There is something simply appalling in the way in which
each entreaty, as it comes to her repeated by her little brother’s voice,
is slain by the calm, ruthless, sometimes ironical comment in which she
conveys her refusal.


    “ ‘He calls your name in his agony, Sister Helen,
        That even dead love must weep to see.’
        ‘Hate born of Love is blind as he, Little brother!’
            (_O mother, Mary mother_,
    _Love turned to hate, between hell and heaven!_)
      ‘Oh! he prays you, as his heart would rive, Sister Helen,
      To save his dear son’s soul alive.’
      ‘Nay, flame cannot slay it, it shall thrive, Little brother!’

            (_O mother, Mary mother,_
    _Alas, alas, between hell and heaven!_)”


All entreaties are useless, the death‐knell sounds, and the riders turn
their horses—


      “ ‘Ah! what white thing at the door has cross’d, Sister Helen?
      Ah! what is this that sighs in the frost?’
      ‘A soul that’s lost, as mine is lost, Little brother!’
            (O mother, Mary mother,
    Lost, lost, all lost, between hell and heaven!)”


One is tempted to say of Mr. Rosetti as was said of his patron Dante, “Lo,
he that strolls to hell and back at will.” We speak advisedly of his
“patron Dante,” for his devotion to his great namesake is of the intensest
kind. Almost the longest poem in the volume is “Dante at Verona,” in which
every conceivable detail in the poet’s painful exile at that court is
dwelt upon with a solicitude that reminds one of an early Christian
sponging up a martyr’s blood. To appreciate the poem thoroughly, one ought
to share with Mr. Rosetti in the intimacy of the great Florentine. There
are, however, many exquisite bits of description in it that must come home
to every one. Surely the Gran Cane’s jester will live for ever:


    “There was a jester, a foul lout
      Whom the court loved for graceless arts;
      Sworn scholiast of the bestial parts
    Of speech; a ribald mouth to shout
    In folly’s horny tympanum
    Such things as make the wise man dumb.

    “Much loved, him Dante loathed; and so
      One day when Dante felt perplex’d
      If any day that could come next
    Were worth the waiting for or no,
    And mute he sat amid the din—
    Can Grande called the jester in.

    “Rank words with such are wit’s best wealth.
      Lords mouthed approval; ladies kept
      Twittering with clustered heads, except
    Some few that took their trains by stealth
    And went. Can Grande shook his hair
    And smote his thighs and laughed i’ the air.

    “Then facing on his guest, he cried:
      ‘Say, Messer Dante, how it is
      I get out of a clown like this
    More than your wisdom can provide?
    And Dante: ’Tis man’s ancient whim
    That still his like seems good to him.’ ”


We cannot of course pretend to catalogue all Mr. Rosetti’s beauties. But
for the sake of quoting one stanza, we must say a word of the “Staff and
Scrip.” A knight vowed to defend wronged innocence, finds himself, whilst
returning from Palestine, in the land of a fair lady, which her triumphant
foemen are ravaging, and where all hope of resistance is dead. He goes out
on her behalf, and conquers and dies. This is the description of his
return on the night of his victory:


    “The first of all the rout was sound,
      The next were dust and flame,
    And then the horses shook the ground:
      And in the thick of them
      A still band came.”


Nearly a third of Mr. Rosetti’s volume consists of sonnets. Now, a sonnet
should be grave but not heavy. It must have a severity tempered by
sweetness like the breviary character of the Venerable Bede. It must
linger meditatively; it must not loiter, or fumble with its meaning. It
must be sinuous, never headlong; feeling its rhymes delicately, not
falling upon them; for these are less rhymes than the most prominent of
many assonances, upon all of which the rhythm hangs. Indeed, the texture
of the sonnet resembles more that of blank‐verse than that of any other
metre we possess. Without denying the perfection of some two or three of
Milton’s sonnets, and perhaps in a lesser degree of about as many of
Wordsworth’s, we may be permitted to say that among our sonnet‐writers
Milton, as a general rule, is too fierce and headlong, as Wordsworth says
of him, in words of praise which to our ears suggest blame. In his hands,
“the thing became a trumpet”; whilst Wordsworth has too poor a vocabulary
for a composition in which every word ought to tell. Shakespeare’s sonnets
are only sonnets in name. They do not fall into two, or rather one and a
half, like an acorn and its cup, but are simply short poems of three
independent stanzas of alternate rhymes, the whole concluding with a
rhyming couplet. The Elizabethan writers who used the genuine
sonnet—Sidney, Spenser, Drummond, especially the last—attained, we cannot
help thinking, to a more exquisite use of the sonnet than either Milton or
Wordsworth, although the beauty of their sonnets is somewhat marred by the
twanging effect of the concluding rhyming couplet to which they
persistently cling. Many of Mr. Rosetti’s sonnets strike us not only as
beautiful poems, but as very finished specimens of the sonnet. He seems to
have attained to the Italian delicacy of the best of the Elizabethan
sonneteers, without loss of originality and force. He is, however, perhaps
rather too fond of fretting the melody of his lines by a harsh emphasis,
which, effective enough in a liquid medium like Italian, is rather trying
to the naturally broken music of the English tongue. An example of this
may be noted in the sixth line of the following very beautiful sonnet. He
has called it “Inclusiveness”—a title with which we venture to quarrel,
for the phenomenon described is not a quality of anything, but a fact or
law; we would substitute, in spite of its technical flavor,
“Introsusception.”


      “The changing guests, each in a different mood
      Sit at the roadside table and arise:
      And every life among them in like wise
      Is a soul’s board set daily with new food.
    What man has bent o’er his son’s sleep, to brood
    How that face shall watch his when cold it lies?
    Or thought, as his own mother kissed his eyes,
    Of what her kiss was when his father wooed?

    May not this ancient room thou sit’st in, dwell
    In separate living souls for joy or pain?
    Nay, all its corners may be painted plain
    Where Heaven shows pictures of a life spent well;
    And may be stamped a memory all in vain,
    Upon the sight of lidless eyes in Hell.”


Here is an exquisite vindication of one of the least popular of the
condemnations in the Syllabus—that of non‐intervention.

It is called “On the Refusal of Aid between Nations”:


    “Not that the earth is changing, O my God!
    Nor that the seasons totter in their walk,—
    Not that the virulent ill of act and talk
    Seethes ever as a wine‐press ever trod,—
    Not therefore are we certain that the rod
    Weighs in thine hand to smite the world; though now
    Beneath thine hand so many nations bow,
    So many kings:—not therefore, O my God:—
    But because man is parcelled out in men
    Even thus; because, for any wrongful blow,
    No one not stricken asks, ‘I would be told
    Why thou dost strike’; but his heart whispers then,
    ‘He is he, I am I.’ By this we know
    That the earth falls asunder, being old.”


Mr. Rosetti has adopted, as we have already indicated, more fully than a
Catholic could approve, a principle which is obtaining a very dangerous
prominence amongst the rising generation of English poets, that art is
justified of her children—that to the artist all things are chaste. Thus
inevitably there are some lines one could wish unwritten, and more that
one would not have every one read. Yet for all this the _ethos_ of the
book is chaste and noble, nor do we know any poet by whom purity is more
honestly appreciated and worshipped. The volume is a remarkable example of
the extent to which a love of the Madonna and the ascetic inspiration of
Dante can counteract and restrain the growing sensuousness of English
poetry.

If Mr. Rosetti is sometimes obscure, it is not that his touch is ever
otherwise than delicate and precise, but because his art is rather the art
of the musician than of the painter. His changes of key, so to speak, are
so swift and subtle, and the harmonies with which the theme is clothed are
so manifold and so quaint, that his compositions have sometimes the
difficulty of a sonata of Beethoven, and require considerable familiarity
before their proportions can be grasped. Indeed, we must confess that
there are passages the meaning of which we despair of ever grasping with
any precision; we must be content to accept them as a sort of
hieroglyphic, for splendor or purity, like the scroll and lily‐work of a
mediæval goldsmith. This is the more provoking, as obscurity is not here,
as often in Mr. Browning’s poems, covered by an oracular use of certain
crabbed expressions, which at least indicate the nut that is to be
cracked, but coexists with a diction consistently pure and flowing.

Although we have compared Mr. Rosetti’s art to that of the musician rather
than to that of the painter, we have been told that he is a painter of a
high order. Anyhow, his fondness for painting is proved by the number of
sonnets which he has made upon pictures, ancient and modern. We cannot
more fitly conclude our review than with his sonnet, “For our Lady of the
Rocks, by Leonardo da Vinci”:


    “Mother, is this the darkness of the end,
    The shadow of death? and is that outer sea
      Infinite, imminent eternity?
    And does the death‐pang by man’s seed sustain’d
    In Time’s each instant cause thy face to bend
    Its silent prayer upon the Son, while he
    Blesses the dead with his hand silently
      To his long day which hours no more offend?

    “Mother of grace, the pass is difficult,
    Keen as these rocks, and the bewildered souls
      Throng it like echoes, blindly shuddering through.
    Thy name, O Lord, each spirit’s voice extols,
    Whose peace abides in the dark avenue
      Amid the bitterness of things occult.”



For Ever.


        Those we love truly never die,
Though year by year the sad memorial‐wreath—
A ring and flowers, types of life and death—
        Are laid upon their graves.

        For death the pure life saves,
And life all pure is love, and love can reach
From heaven to earth, and nobler lessons teach,
        Than those by mortals read.

        Well blest is he who has a dear one dead:
A friend he has whose face will never change,
A dear communion that will not grow strange:
        The anchor of a love is death.

        The blessed sweetness of a loving breath
Will reach our cheek all fresh through fourscore years:
For her who died long since, ah! waste not tears—
        She’s thine unto the end.

        Thank God for one dead friend,
Whose mother‐face no miles of road or sea
Or earthly bonds can hold apart from me—
        First friend in life and death.



Visit To An Artist’s Studio.


I do not know if, outside his own small circle of patrons and
acquaintances, any one has heard of the artist Van Muyden. Yet hidden
talent is none the less a divine gift because few know it; it gives a more
pathetic interest to a life to know that it is a life harassed with care,
vexed by non‐appreciation, hampered with poverty. Perhaps Van Muyden is
only obscure because he would not lower his art to suit the dealers’ terms
or the public taste. When I visited his studio, he was settled in a small
house in the suburbs of Geneva, Switzerland. His own appearance was
striking: the supple form, not very tall, but very spare; the large eyes
that seemed to dart through you and search your soul, the high forehead,
wrinkled and bald, told of a man with an intellect higher than that of his
fellow‐men, an ideal enthroned beyond the region of which they know the
bearings, and of the cares with which they can sympathize. He was a man
past the prime of life, eager and enthusiastic—eccentric, perhaps, as the
world’s estimate goes; but who is not?—I mean amongst those whose
characteristics are worth studying at all. He wore over his vest and
trowsers an old brown dressing‐gown, suggestive of the appearance one is
used to connect with mediæval scholars and seers. His forte is not
landscape‐painting, and, indeed, he seemed lost at Geneva, despite the
southern beauty of its environs, for Van Muyden’s predilections were
evidently for the representation of the human kind. But then, if it was
man that he loved to copy, it was not broad‐cloth man, sleek, respectable,
decorous, well‐off, but man as you find him in Italy or Spain—picturesque
as his scanty surroundings; an unconscious artist, a born model; man
imbued with the spirit of the sun‐god; man carolling and trilling without
effort, believing himself born to sing like the birds; man in himself a
study, a picture, a statue, a marvel.

Van Muyden explained his theories very freely, and they were well worth
listening to.

“In the north, you see,” he said, “an artist is forced, if he wishes to be
truthful, to copy a thousand pitiful details of upholstery. Such pictures
are called _genre_; and this realistic, mathematical accuracy, utterly
destructive of the picturesque, is lauded to the skies; but, good God!
could not a Chinese do as well with his wonderful imitative faculty,
altogether apart from the _feeling_ of art? The North makes up for the
picturesque by the comfortable; what a compensation for the artist! But
modern art has more to contend with than vitiated taste or the loss of
that free and natural life which in simpler times was more conducive to
artistic inspiration; we have to struggle on without a school or a
standard of taste. We no longer have those centres where the traditions of
art were religiously kept; those high‐priests who gathered round them
numerous and docile disciples, as of old the Athenian philosophers in the
groves of Academe. Even in Italy, in Rome itself, no such centre can be
found. A young artist has to make his own solitary way, pursue his ideal
alone, keep up his enthusiasm by his own unaided exertions, and probably
find neither patron nor master to care for his works or guide his
attempts.”

The artist was surely right; for the great schools of painting were to art
what the religious orders are to the church—centres towards which a vague
vocation may be directed and find its true mission, with brethren to share
its enthusiasm and superiors to guide its aspirations. Most of his
pictures were Italian scenes, some domestic, but mostly treating of the
monastic life. The cool cloister, with its ilex or orange‐trees seen
cornerwise through the railings; the old portico, with a monk seated in
meditation on the fragment of a sculptured pillar: the noon‐day siesta;
the begging friar coming home with his sack of food; the preacher starting
meekly, staff in hand, for the distant station where he is to preach a
Lent; the novice arranging the altar; the monk digging his own grave in
the sunny cloister, or washing the altar‐plate in the sparkling fountain,
etc. etc.—such were chiefly the subjects chosen. Why? He was not a
Catholic, this artist; but it seems to have come to him intuitively that
there is more room for artistic expression and artistic liberty in things
pertaining to the old church. His own studio was as perfect a picture as
any he could have painted; a treasure‐house of antiquities carelessly
displayed. It was lighted by two immense windows, one of which was shaded
by a sort of slanting tester, throwing the light on the easel in the
middle of the room. Between these windows stood a nondescript piece of
furniture in carved oak, very black and old—a species of _secrétaire_,
with an “extension” holding a small washing‐bowl, surmounted by a
dolphin’s head, which was crowned for the nonce with a scarlet _berrétta_.
Large jars of old porcelain were placed here and there, either on the
ground or on substantial _étagères_, and two corners of the room were
filled with high chests equally carved, on whose capacious tops rested a
medley of distaffs, horns, helmets, old swords, a spinning‐wheel, and a
confused mass of tattered garments or drapery, dingy and time‐stained,
crimson cloaks, blue tunics, purple veils, etc. An array of pipes, hooked
into the wall for security, stood on the high mantel‐piece, together with
one of those common brass kitchen lamps in use at Rome, with four
projections enclosing wicks, and whose shape has never been altered since
the days when Nero rode in the arena and the Christians went calmly to the
stake. On the unoccupied spaces on the wall hung the artist’s pictures,
some few representing touching family scenes (all Italian) strewed among
the monastic subjects. Right in the centre of the ceiling hung a movable
apparatus, in which was placed a lamp—modern, alas! This came down quite
close to the easel, and gave all the light required for night‐work. A
carved table with curiously‐twisted legs, and two high‐backed mediæval
arm‐chairs covered with tapestry, completed the furniture, besides a green
baize stage for the models. This reminded me of the _palco_ used for
preaching in Italian churches, even when there is a proper pulpit; some of
my readers may remember these miniature stages, raised about five feet
from the floor, and on which the excited orator can promenade like a lion
in his cage while hurling his burning periods at his awe‐stricken
listeners. Van Muyden has a wife and nine children, which fact we
ascertained through the reply to a question prompted by the enormous
quantity of under‐linen hung out to dry on the balusters outside the
studio. We did not see Mme. Van Muyden, and were thankful we did not; for
such a reckless display of household secrets must argue a woman whose
appearance would frighten romance out of the veriest sentimentalist that
ever lived. So we speculated in silence on this domestic guardian of the
artist’s peace—an excellent and worthy woman, no doubt, a capital house‐
keeper, a careful mother, a faithful wife, but scarcely a help‐mate, a
companion, a Beatrice, to her husband. How few men of sensitive nature,
high‐strung character, aspiring organization, have fit wives! Why is it
that they generally take a fancy to peculiarly unsuitable women? Is it
that they are so soft‐hearted that they cannot resist the attraction of
the first pretty face they see, or so rapt above the reach of common
interests that they form, as it were inevitably, an incongruous union, and
only wake up to find themselves irretrievably tied to a showy slattern, or
a plodding, unappreciative housewife? What perverse fairy casts her spell
on the poor artist’s marriage‐day, and makes of the chime of his wedding‐
bells the knell of his possible fame?

Poverty is the safest ladye‐love for an artist, as one of Dante’s friends
was always telling him. Artists and scholars are the Francis‐of‐Assisiums
of the intellectual world, and the same bride as that spiritually wooed by
the heroic voluntary beggar, is the most fitting companion for them. With
her, at least, they can enjoy the perfect freedom from care which alone
makes want supportable; they can throw around their destitution that halo
of romance which the prosaic details of a household invariably strangle
out of existence. But in the early choice of a wife more hopes go down,
more aspirations are smothered, than those whose aim is worldly success
and the favor of the great. The ideal is the victim _par excellence_; for
the struggling artist, tied by his own hasty imprudence to a woman of
inferior mould, soon feels the spark of genius die within him; the
incentive to “do and dare” has dwindled down to the necessity of “earning
and eating.” A woman with uncomprehensive soul peevishly reminds him at
every moment of the world of matter, without even offering him the
compensation of a blind and admiring worship of his talents in his own
peculiar sphere; in short, he is a living example of the adage, “A man
that’s married is a man that’s marred.”

Far be it from me to bring this reproach on any particular individual; but
such was the train of thought naturally induced by the unsightly array of
house‐linen hung like delusive flags of truce on the balusters of the
artist’s home. Early marriage is undoubtedly best for the generality of
men in the world, but it is intellectual ruin to artists. Let us wish them
the rare fortune of a wife that will be a real helpmate to their higher
and better selves, a staff to lean on up the thorny road to Parnassus, and
then recommend early marriage; but unless such exceptions be found, let
them beware of the fate typified by the prosaic decoration of Van Muyden’s
abode at Geneva.



Visions.


The white stars gleamed in the jessamine bush,
  And the bright stars up in the sky,
And Gilfillan stood at the garden‐gate,
  And so at the gate stood I.

The apple‐boughs bent as we lingered there,
  And showered their rosy rain—
Is it all that shall fall in that pleasant path,
  If we meet at the gate again?

O Gilfillan gay! why seek away
  From lady‐love, kith, and kin
The world’s Well‐done, or ’neath foreign sun
  The golden spurs to win?

O womanly heart! be still, be still!
  It is threescore years to‐day—
And thou canst throb with this wild, wild tide,
  And I all withered and gray!

And Gilfillan’s bones ’neath the kirk‐yard stones
  Of a foreign and far‐off land—
No preacher so loud of the coffin and shroud,
  And the house that is built on sand!

Oh! a rare, rare castle of human hope
  We builded aloft in our pride!
And, oh! woe betide so weary a dream;
  For my lover is by my side.

We have known no partings, no weary years,
  We have known no days of sorrow;
For I am but seventeen to‐day,
  And we shall be married to‐morrow!



A Word For Women.


By One Of Themselves.

It has been urged that women should refrain from writing for the public,
and busy themselves with interests more strictly within their own domain
than those of literature. The demand might claim respectful notice, if all
women would give heed to it. Since they will not, is there any reason why
those who employ their pens in the production of sensational stories and
other demoralizing works should have the field all to themselves? Or is it
right that others of equal ability should shrink from entering it in
defence of religion and morality?

The space is ample for all combatants. Our learned and venerable doctors,
stern champions of truth, who keep their logical and polemical lances ever
poised to strike the foe, to demolish error, and force conviction upon
minds firmly closed against less cogent weapons, need not fear being
jostled by humble handmaidens of the same mistress, who have ventured
within the lists. These may do good service, also, with a large class whom
their telling blows shall fail to reach.

Our women and youth, who will read and be influenced for good or evil by
“feminine literature,” cannot be amused with metaphysical discussions that
gain an attentive hearing from men of philosophical tastes, or even by
moral essays and reflections, however excellent and edifying.

Unfortunately, it is not a question of forming the tastes of readers.
Alas! these are already formed by a vitiated literature, flowing from a
godless system of education, and carrying the poison through the whole
length of its course.

The only question is, Where shall the antidote be found, and how
administered? Certainly not in moral lectures that will not be read, or in
fiction of the goody‐goody sort.

Our only hope—and it is a bright one—for the future of our young Catholics
lies in the blessed awakening—effected by the clear tones of that
infallible voice which never, in any age, gave forth an uncertain
sound—that is causing schools for Christian culture to spring up through
the whole length and breadth of our country. But what for our children of
a larger growth, whose tastes are already perverted?

We think it is unquestionable that, as the daughters of the first Eve,
according to the flesh, have aided powerfully in commending the forbidden
fruit to the lips of a deluded public, so the daughters of the second Eve,
according to the spirit, may do much to remedy the consequences of the
fatal banquet.

There are certain influences exercised almost exclusively by women. There
are certain subjects to the consideration of which the flexibility of her
nature enables her to bend her efforts with graceful success, and to far
better purpose than the “stern masculinity” of man’s heart, head, and pen
can compass.

Well, then, if women _may_ write, it behooves them to treat of such
matters, and in such manner, as shall secure readers. For our people must
and will read. Right or wrong, it is a necessity of the age. From the
abodes of wealth and leisure, in the metropolis of fashion, to village
homes and rural firesides, our people must and will read. Happy for them
if the nourishment their fevered imaginations so morbidly crave be at
least harmless! A highly‐seasoned sensational literature has stimulated
the craving to a degree of frenzy, if not to actual organic disease;
happy, indeed, for them could such mental pabulum, such agreeable viands
and cooling fruits, be furnished and accepted as would gradually assuage
the wild thirst for excitement, until wholesome correctives should become
palatable!

To secure success in tilling the field from which so desirable a harvest
is to be gathered, the most conscientious writers must be content, however
they may deplore the necessity, to sharpen their plough‐shares in the
camps of these Philistines of literature. With no blunt implement can the
soil be compelled to yield such harvest.

We may furnish entertaining and edifying biographies, and gain a few
readers. For this department women are by nature peculiarly fitted, if
they will guard against the tendency to exaggeration which is their
besetting sin. But for one reader of such a book there will be fifty, even
among Catholics, who will prefer the demoralizing trash in cheap
newspapers and dime novels to the best biography that can be produced.

Truth should be presented in a sharp and, to use a phrase of the times,
_taking_ way which shall compel a hearing. The popular absurdities and
glaring depravities of this “enlightened XIXth century” should be set
forth with vehement energy and convincing force.

It is no shadow, but a real, all‐pervading, soul‐destroying power with
which the Christian athlete of this day is brought into close conflict.
The foe must be met by an attitude as firmly hostile to its evil
enticements as it assumes against all good influences. “Beating the air”
will win no victory. Seeking to compromise or modify the stern principles
of eternal truth held and proclaimed by the Catholic Church from first to
last will only ensure defeat.

If our women join in the struggle to resist the forces of infidelity which
threaten to overwhelm our sons and daughters in temporal and eternal ruin,
and, in their zealous enthusiasm, step beyond the sphere of domestic
privacy and humble retirement that is happily their own; if some literary
Judith even throws off for the moment the delicate tenderness of her sex,
and seems to pass the limits of female decorum to strike off the head a
leading Holofernes, let us not cry, Out upon her for such unwomanly act!
Let us reflect that it would have been more in accordance with her nature
and inclination to have remained quietly in her sequestered home and at
her ease, if she could have forgotten the fearful interests that were at
stake.

What woman could look on with apathy when husband, brother, or child was
exposed to certain death, from which her strongest effort might possibly
snatch the dear one, or listen to the remonstrance that it was unbecoming
and improper for a woman to put forth such effort, and that it must prove
a very feeble and faulty one at the best? And shall we ask her to fold her
hands in ease, and remain silent in fitting retirement, when the souls of
her beloved are exposed to eternal death? No; it is her inalienable right
to speak and act when by word or deed she may possibly rescue souls.

Should sentiments of mere human feeling, and affections from which it is
most difficult to detach the heart of woman, enter into, imbue, and even
control the means she uses to promote interests dearer than mortal life,
she has nothing to fear but the critics. Her heavenly Judge will never
condemn her for using such weapons as he has endowed her withal in his
holy cause.

Honey is sometimes better than vinegar, feminine sentiment often more
effective than masculine wisdom, and fervor always to be preferred to
apathy.

We need not fear that the Catholic woman will be carried too far by her
fervent zeal in resisting the “spirit of the age.” She can never be led
into the mistakes of the so‐called “strong‐minded.” Our vigilant and
loving mother, the Holy Catholic Church, arms her daughters with
invulnerable shields against all fanaticism. She holds also in her hands
the power to sanctify all influences by which souls are attracted to her
embrace; to transmute all metals into gold.

If an appeal to the sentimental and emotional element in the heart of a
stranger to her fold has drawn the wanderer to her maternal bosom, her
gentle, all‐prevailing inspiration soon condenses feeling into principle,
and the romantic visionary stands clothed in the panoply of a martyr.

If fitting words bravely spoken have called hither a soul from the slough
of transcendentalism, spiritism, free love, or from the ranks of the
“strong‐minded,” there is no fear that it may prove less docile to the
genial influence than that of the dreamer, or fail to be speedily invested
with all the delicate attributes and simple dignity of the true woman.

All honor to the Catholic women in our own country and in Great Britain
who are striving, each in her own way, to promote the interests of a sound
and truly Catholic literature. When there were but few of these in
America, our sisters beyond the Atlantic reached their hands across the
great waters to rescue souls. It will be known only at the great
accounting day how many they first attracted to the consideration of
eternal verities. From that time they have increased in number, and have
continued to enrich British Catholic literature by their contributions,
while encouraging their American co‐workers.

A feminine Catholic literature may not be faultless, and yet gain numerous
readers, and prove a power for good, not only within the church, but
beyond her pale. Women are human, and therefore liable to imperfection.

When we notice the faults of female writers, we must not forget the
difficulties which encompass them. Few American women who write are exempt
from a multitude of vexatious household cares, or even from kitchen
drudgery. Many are oppressed with poverty, have no power to earn a
subsistence but by the pen, with helpless families dependent upon their
literary exertions. Among the most favored, scarcely one can be found who
has not some invalid—a husband, parent, or child—who requires her
attentions by night and day. It may be safely asserted that such literary
leisure as men devoted to these pursuits ordinarily enjoy is unknown to
American women. With all their disadvantages, the marvel is, not that
their performances should be imperfect, but that they have really
accomplished so much under the shadow of the crowding cares and duties
which surround them in their various domestic relations.

Let them take courage, then, and persevere in their laudable efforts,
striving diligently to make the productions of their pens more and more
perfect. And to this end let them bestow their cordial smiles and most
graceful bows of acknowledgment upon their best friends—the critics who
will take the pains to examine and pass honest and intelligent verdicts
upon their productions. Acute criticism is the purging fire of literature,
without which it would soon become overburdened with nonsense. As the
friend who kindly admonishes us of our faults is entitled to the warmest
corner in our hearts, so the critic who frankly sets forth the defects of
any production may justly claim the most sincere gratitude of its author.



New Publications.


    STATE CHARITIES AID ASSOCIATION. Report of a Committee on a new
    Bellevue Hospital. New York: American Church Press Co., 4 St.
    Mark’s Place. 1874.


This pamphlet is worth reading by all who are interested in hospitals. The
need of reformation in this branch of philanthropic work is only too well
proved. The gentlemen and ladies who interest themselves in the care of
the sick poor merit both honor and gratitude. All that is written or done,
however, by the most zealous and disinterested persons who seek to
accomplish their end outside of the Catholic Church only adds to the
evidence that the church alone is competent to deal with great social
evils and miseries. The state is cold, selfish, and merciless, except so
far as it is Christianized. Mercenaries are always lacking in the
qualities necessary to secure a truly faithful and charitable care of the
sick and miserable. Division among those who are seeking to carry out the
precepts of Christian charity, and the want of organization and of
religious institutions among those who are out of the one true church,
paralyze their efforts. It is only Christian unity which can give the
proper remedy for this lamentable state of things, and without Catholic
faith and obedience this unity is impossible. Religious orders are alone
capable of carrying out great works of charity, and they cannot exist and
flourish except in the Catholic Church. If modern society does not return
to the bosom of the church, its evils are incurable, however much
individuals may do in a partial way. Nevertheless, these partial and
imperfect efforts ought to be encouraged; and during this past winter we
have had occasion to admire and rejoice in the outflow of a stream of
beneficence upon our suffering population in New York which has relieved
an immense amount of misery. In so far as the special subject of this
pamphlet is concerned, it is obvious that the erection of a new Bellevue
Hospital is imperatively demanded, and we trust that it will be
accomplished.


    UNIVERSITE LAVAL. SIXIEME CENTENAIRE DE SAINT THOMAS D’AQUIN A S.
    HYACINTHE ET A QUEBEC. Quebec: Coté et Cie. 1874.


We are rejoiced to see that the six‐hundredth anniversary of S. Thomas was
celebrated with due splendor and solemnity in at least these two places on
the American continent. The same was done in private at the college of the
Jesuits, at Woodstock. The Quebec pamphlet, besides the two excellent
discourses of M. l’Abbé Bégin and the Rev. F. Prior Bourgeois, O.S.D.,
contains a very remarkable poem by a religious of the Congregation of the
Precious Blood at S. Hyacinthe. We tender our thanks for the courtesy of
the friend who sent us this interesting memorial of a religious _fête_
which does honor to the taste and piety of the devout and cultivated
Catholics of Lower Canada.

The two discourses contained in the pamphlet are of a high order of
excellence in regard both to thought and diction. We have accidentally
omitted to notice among the other discourses that of Professor Pâquèt,
which is fully worthy of the brilliant occasion on which it was delivered,
viz., the soirée which took place in the evening in the grand hall of the
university.


    TRUE TO TRUST. London: Burns & Oates. 1874. (New York: Sold by The
    Catholic Publication Society.)


This story, the epoch of which is placed during the reign of Henry VIII.,
is almost worthy of Lady Georgiana Fullerton, and its style frequently
reminds us of that accomplished writer of fiction. The character of
Catharine Tresize is truly beautiful and original. We recommend this story
as one of the best which has lately appeared.


    IN SIX MONTHS; OR, THE TWO FRIENDS. By Mary M. Meline. Baltimore:
    Kelly, Piet & Co. 1874.


The story of the two friends, who are two young Americans converted to
Catholicity in Europe, has the advantage of appearing upon tinted paper,
in a neat form, suitable to the polished, ornate diction and poetic fancy
of the lady author, a near relative of the late Mr. Meline, who was one of
our favorite contributors. Miss Meline has a cultivated literary taste and
a decided talent for writing stories. She has, moreover, the genuine
Catholic spirit of fervent devotion to the Holy Father, and in the present
story describes some scenes connected with the invasions of Rome under
Garibaldi and La Marmora. We trust Miss Meline will not suffer her pen to
lie idle, but keep it busily at work.


    DR. COXE’S CLAIMS TO APOSTOLICITY REVIEWED. Right Rev. Bishop
    Ryan’s Reply to the Attack of the Episcopal Prelate. Buffalo:
    Catholic Publication Co. Price 15 cents.


Dr. Coxe is a prelate who has always been conspicuous for arrogance and
reckless assertion in maintaining the pretensions of the High Church party
in the Protestant Episcopal denomination, and for his vituperative and
defamatory assaults on the Catholic Church. In this temperate but severe
criticism, Bishop Ryan has made an end of his claims to possess episcopal
character and mission, and has refuted him out of his own mouth. We trust
that this able and valuable pamphlet will not be permitted to go into
oblivion, as pamphlets are wont to do, but be carefully preserved and made
use of by clergymen and others who have to deal with Episcopalians
searching after the true church, of whom there are so many in these days.


    COUNT DE MONTALEMBERT’S LETTERS TO A SCHOOLFELLOW. 1827‐1830.
    Translated from the French by C. F. Audly. London: Burns & Oates.
    1874. New York: Sold by The Catholic Publication Society.


Goethe somewhere remarks that many of an author’s best thoughts are to be
found in his letters to his intimate friends; written, not for the public,
not for fame but from the strong desire to communicate that which is most
living within him to a kindred spirit.

In the confidential correspondence of great minds there is a yet greater
charm. We feel a kind of personal interest in men who have exercised great
intellectual power over us; they become our heroes, and we endow them with
imaginary qualities, from lack of more certain information concerning
them. The minutest details in their lives become to us affairs of moment.
How they looked, how they dressed, what they thought about the most
trifling subjects, seem to us to be matters worthy of becoming a part of
history. There is a still higher interest in the story of the unfolding of
a powerful intellect. It contains a lesson in psychology more instructive
than any which can be learned from abstract treatises on this subject.
This it is that gives the chief value to autobiographies of philosophers,
poets, and theologians. Yet an autobiography can never be a mirror in
which we may behold the workings of the human mind. It is an after‐
thought, a reflex judgment, the expression of what men now think they once
felt or thought. It does not give us the process of intellectual growth,
but a theory concerning what that process must have been; and a theory
formed by the individual concerning the flux and reflux of the currents of
his own life can never be wholly trustworthy. Autobiography is necessarily
subject to all the vices inherent in special pleading.

The truest history of the intellectual and moral development of a man is
to be found in his letters to his intimate friends. There we have, not
what in after‐years he thinks he thought and felt, but what he really did
think and feel; and in this view of the matter, the egotism which is
always so prominent in letters to friends gives them an additional value.
Instead of being offended with the writer for talking so much about
himself, we are grateful for the weakness which gives us a truer insight
into his character.

These considerations will prepare our readers for a favorable criticism
upon the volume before us. Few men have lived to whom we more gladly give
the homage of admiration and respect than to Charles de Montalembert; and
though we strongly condemn certain words which he uttered when his mind
was troubled by suffering and disease, and which, had he lived longer, he
himself would have been the first to wish unsaid, he was yet so great a
man that we willingly forget that he made this blunder.

These _Letters_, of which Mr. Audly has given us an excellent English
translation, were first published in the _Contemporain_ (June, 1872, to
March, 1873).

They run from 1827 to 1830, and, as the work of a youth from his
seventeenth to his twentieth year, are of course fresh, frank, and ardent;
but they also reveal in the future orator and historian a depth of feeling
and a command of language rarely to be met with in one of so tender an
age.

They are addressed to M. Léon Cornudet, whom Montalembert calls the friend
of his soul, his dearest friend; to whom he is bound by a common sympathy
in every noble feeling and high aim; whom nor time nor absence can make
him even for one moment forget. What chiefly strengthens him in his faith
in the permanency of this friendship is the fact that it is based on
religion, which becomes the immortal mediatrix between his soul and that
of his friend.

When he travels and contemplates the beauties of nature, his only regret
is that his friend is not near him; when he reads a poem, and his soul is
borne aloft on the wings of inspiration, he exclaims, “Oh! if he were but
here to share my delight.” He never dreams of the future, of battling for
religion and freedom, of victories won and defeats nobly borne, that he
does not behold his friend by his side; and when, picturing to himself the
vicissitudes of life, he imagines that possibly, in spite of his high
resolves and strong purposes, he may fail, may be doomed to obscurity and
the contempt of the world, he seeks for consolation in the thought that in
the heart of his friend he will find a better world.

His friend is, as it were, his other self, which gives to him a twofold
life; making him feel always that “joy was born a twin,” and that all who
joy would win must share it, and that sorrow, too, longs to pour itself
into the heart of love.

This strong friendship—“the only impulse of the soul admitting of
excess”—which, like a thread of gold, runs through all these letters, wins
at once our sympathy and our confidence.

There is something noble and great in the youth who is capable of such
pure and deep love. After all, it is the heart that reaches highest and
deepest, and through it man attains to the best.

Of course there is in these letters much that is immature; were it not so,
they would not be the letters of a mere boy; but the infinite faith in the
possibility of divine realities even on earth, the lofty contempt for what
is mean and ignoble, the self‐confidence that never doubts of itself, the
restless activity that no work satisfies, the boundless craving for
knowledge, the freshness of the heart that falls like dew upon every
lovely thing, giving it health and beauty—all this so charms and delights
us that we have no eye for defects.

“A contempt for life,” he writes to his friend, “is, in my opinion, the
finest privilege of youth. As we grow older, the more we cling to a frail
existence which becomes a burden to ourselves and to others.”

What has experience that can compensate for the loss of


    “The love of higher things and better days;
    The unbounded hope, and heavenly ignorance
    Of what is called the world, and the world’s ways;
    The moments when we gather from a glance
    More joy than from all future pride or praise
    Which kindle manhood, but can ne’er entrance
    The heart in an existence of its own”?


Young Montalembert, with wealth and noble birth, which gave him the
_entrée_ of the highest circles, found no charm in what is called society.
His mind was too serious, his ambition too lofty, to permit him to throw
away the precious time of youth in frivolous amusements.

“People usually say,” he writes to his friend during the summer vacations
of 1827, “that in youth we ought to give ourselves up to the pleasures of
society. In my opinion, this amounts to downright absurdity. I should
think that in youth we ought to plunge into study or into the profession
we wish to embrace. When a man has done his duty towards his country; when
he can come before the world with laurels won in the senate or on the
field of battle, or at least when he enjoys universal esteem; when, again,
he is sure of commanding universal esteem and respect, then I can
understand that he has a right to enjoy himself in society, and to mix in
it with assurance.”

Montalembert had a passion for labor, which is the only sure road to
excellence and power, and which is also the greatest evidence of ability.

We find him, when not yet ten years old, shut up in his grandfather’s
library, acting as his secretary, helping him in the designs of his
geographical maps, and absorbed in the study of the great English orators;
and later, at college, giving up his recreations, and devoting fifteen
hours a day to the severest mental discipline. By saving five minutes
every morning in his cell at Sainte‐Barbe out of the time allowed to the
pupils for rising and dressing, he managed in one year to translate a
whole volume of Epictetus. He spent a portion of the summer vacation of
1827 at La Roche‐Guyon, the country‐seat of the Duc de Rohan; and though
the castle was filled with guests, for whom the duke provided every kind
of amusement, this intrepid young worker is able to write the following
lines to his friend:

“While you are idling your time away, pray just hear what I shall have
read during my month’s residence at La Roche: in the first place, all
Byron, which is no trifling job; Delolme, on the _British Constitution_—a
capital and highly important work; the whole of the _Odyssey_, twenty‐four
cantos, at the rate of one a day; Thomson, Cowper, Pliny’s _Letters_; the
_Lettres Provinciales_; the _Life of S. Francis Xavier_, by Bouhours,
which the duke obliged me to read; three volumes of the _Mercure_
newspaper; and, lastly, the poetical part of the Greek _Excerpta_.”

Even in Stockholm, whither he went in 1828 with his father, who had been
appointed French ambassador to the court of Sweden, he is able, in the
midst of the endless and tiresome routine of court etiquette, to devote
six or seven hours a day to study. “In the morning,” he writes, “I read
Kant, whom I study deeply, not finding him over‐difficult in the
beginning. At night I plod in detail over Northern history. In the
afternoon I devote all the time I can catch to my correspondence, to
reading a few German poems and novels, and to certain statistical or
political studies.”

Not content with working himself, he seeks to rouse the flagging energies
of his friend by pointing out to him’ what great things he may be able to
do for God and his country. The ruling passion in Montalembert’s heart, in
these early years as during his whole life, was the love of the church and
of freedom.

“Religion, liberty,” he writes—“such are the eternal groundworks of all
virtue. To serve God, to be free—such are our duties. In order to fulfil
them, we must use every resource, every means, which Providence has placed
in our hands.” And again: “I have succeeded in preserving my faith in the
midst of one hundred and twenty infidels; I hope that God will not allow
me to lose my independence of mind in the midst of half a dozen
absolutists.”

And then he pictures to himself the great good which might be accomplished
by a writer who, bidding defiance to the prejudices of youth and the
public, would raise a bold and eloquent voice in defence of freedom and
the church. “What a noble part he would have to play!” he exclaims. “What
blessings he would confer upon mankind! What services he would render to
religion! Ah! wherefore has not God deigned to give me talent? With what
passionate ardor I would have embraced such a glorious future!” Who does
not perceive here how the thoughts of the boy were father to the deeds of
the man?

No author of our time has written more feelingly or eloquently of Ireland
than Montalembert. He was drawn to her by a double attraction—he loved her
for her faith, and he sympathized with her because she was wronged. The
finest portion of his history of _The Monks of the West_ is that devoted
to the Irish saints. Nothing could be more beautiful or more consoling
than the noble pages which he has devoted to this subject. As his
_Histoire de Sainte Elisabeth_ opened a new path across the vast field of
Catholic history, his studies on S. Columba and S. Columbanus called
attention to the wealth of religious poetry and Christian example which
was suffered to remain buried in the archives of the early Irish Church.
In these letters we perceive the first awakening of his love for Ireland,
and are able to trace the causes which led him to study the history of
that most interesting but unhappy land.

“By reading the admirable speeches of Grattan,” he writes in 1828, “I have
discovered, as it were, a new world—the world of Ireland, of her long‐
sufferings, her times of freedom and glory, her sublime geniuses, and her
indefatigable struggles. The universal interest now felt for Ireland, and
the remarkable circumstances in which she is placed at present, have
tempted me to unfold before the eyes of those Frenchmen who care for
Ireland the highly interesting annals and the sundry revolutions of her
history. My Irish parentage on my mother’s side, my deep knowledge of
English, and my acquaintance with several families in that country have
confirmed my first ideas on this matter, and I have determined upon
writing a history of Ireland from the year 1688, and to do it as soon as
possible, in order that it may be published, if that can be done, before
the vital question of the emancipation is solved. There is perhaps no
country presenting such a plentiful harvest of events equally interesting
and unknown.”

Montalembert was in Sweden when he wrote this letter, and he at once sent
to England for books, that he might without delay set to work on his
proposed history of Ireland. In addition to this, he proposed at the end
of the year to visit Ireland itself, that he might consult libraries and
make a thorough study of the people and country. This somewhat ambitious
project of the youthful Montalembert led to no other immediate results
than an article on Ireland in the _Revue Française_, and a journey to the
Emerald Isle in 1830; but to it we are no doubt in part indebted for the
eloquent chapters on the Irish Saints in _The Monks of the West_. His
first letter from Ireland to his friend is full of the enthusiasm with
which the history of that country had inspired him:

“As for the Irishwomen,” he writes, “they are bewitching. They form the
most beautiful female population I ever beheld. But I reserve all my
remarks on the country and the people for our conversations in Paris. For
the present I must simply beg of you to pray that my passion for Ireland
may not become criminal, for it threatens really to lead me astray from
the lawful object of my affections; and I am but too often tempted to turn
away my thoughts from our France to a country so completely responding to
my beliefs, my tastes, and even my most trifling prepossessions.”

He visited the county Wicklow in September, 1830, and wrote to his friend
from the “meeting of the waters in the vale of Avoca.” “No, never,” he
exclaims, “in France, England, the Netherlands, or even in Germany, have I
met with anything comparable to the wild and picturesque defiles of this
Wicklow County.... Only figure to yourself the grandest and yet the most
lovely landscape; torrents abounding in numberless cascades, struggling to
make their way through perpendicular rocks; forests of almost fabulous
depths; meadows and swards full worthy of the Emerald Isle; and then old
abbeys, modern residences, and lodges built in the purest Gothic style.
Place, moreover, in such a landscape, the most pious, most cheerful, most
poetical population in the world. Then, again, say to yourself that
Grattan passed his childhood here; that he meditated his speeches along
these torrents; that one of these residences was bestowed on him by his
fatherland, and that therein he lived in his old age; that all these
beautiful lands were sanctified and immortalized by the Rebellion of 1798.
Well, figure to yourself all this, and you will still have but a faint
idea of what I have felt for the last few days.”

As in his eyes Irishwomen were the most beautiful, and Irish scenery the
most lovely, he was prepared to admire enthusiastically the men of the
country. At Carlow College he dined with the celebrated Bishop Doyle and
several of his professors, who, he says, received him with a truly Homeric
hospitality.

“I really don’t know,” he writes, “which I ought to admire most, the
people or the clergy. I feel confounded at the sight of this people,
equally faithful—as I said in my article, whilst myself hardly believing
it—equally faithful to its old misery and to its old faith, who, of all
the possessions of their forefathers, have preserved nothing but their
religion, the only relic snatched from the conqueror, without ever
allowing themselves to be carried away by the invincible attraction of
imitation.... As for the priests, they are all model priests—manly, open,
cheerful, energetic. No hypocrisy, no assumed reserve, to be read on their
candid and serene countenances; they talk of freedom with all the buoyancy
of a Paris school‐boy, and of their country, of their dear and unfortunate
Ireland, with an accent that would melt a heart of stone. One can see that
over their hearts religion and patriotism hold equal sway. Indeed, in
order to comprehend fully what patriotism is, one must hear an Irish
priest talk of his country.”

It is a mistake to affirm, as has been done, that Montalembert made this
journey to Ireland merely, or chiefly even from a desire to see O’Connell.

The great Liberator had indeed fired his young heart with enthusiasm, and
he rode sixty miles through a dreary country to have the pleasure of
talking with him; but from these letters it is evident that a feeling,
higher and more general than any which could be inspired by an individual,
however great, had drawn him to the Isle of Saints. At Derrynane he found
O’Connell, surrounded by his twenty‐three children and nephews, looking
like a plain country farmer. “I was struck,” he writes, “but not dazzled,
by him. He is by no means the most interesting object in Ireland.”

He heard O’Connell speak, and, in spite of his enthusiastic and
impressionable nature, was disappointed.

“He is but a demagogue,” he tells his friend, “and by no means a great
orator. He is declamatory, inflated, full of bombast; his arguments are
loosely strung together; his fancy is devoid of charm or freshness; his
style harsh, rough, and choppy. The more I see of him, the more I hear
him, the more I am confirmed in my first opinion—to wit, he is not stamped
with the mark of genius or with true greatness. But he defends the finest
of all causes. He has before him no mighty antagonist or rival, and
circumstances—as is the case with many others—will stand him in lieu of
genius.”

We have given our readers but a faint idea of the warmth, and glow, and
freshness that pervade these letters; of the frank and unaffected candor
with which their youthful author lays open his whole heart to his friend;
of the deep spirit of religion and reverence which runs through them; of
the noble sentiments and generous resolves which, as from an inexhaustible
fountain, well up from young Montalembert’s heart. In reading them, we
have felt our own heart grow younger and kindle with new fire; we have
seemed to catch the accent of the olden time, when men lived for honor,
and were glad to die for faith and truth, rather than the metallic tone of
this age, “when only the ledger lives, and when only not all men lie.”

We know of no book which we would more gladly see in the hands of our
Catholic youth who lack enthusiasm and are without the courage which a
noble and high purpose in life can alone give.

They need the education which will lift them above low and petty aims, and
cause them to take an interest in things of an unselfish kind. They must
learn that worth is more than success, and honor better than wealth; they
must be taught to outgrow the narrow, calculating spirit of the huckster
and the shopkeeper, the disposition to sneer at enthusiasm and to
depreciate high principles of action; and to this end we know of nothing
that is likely to contribute more effectually than the example and
writings of such men as Montalembert, who devoted the labor of a lifetime
to high aims and noble purposes; who loved the truth for its own sake, and
freedom, not for himself alone, but for all men; who never worshipped the
rising sun or paid court to success, but fought for the just cause without
stopping to reflect whether he would win or lose.

“Let us never forget,” said Montalembert, towards the end of his life,
speaking to his friend—“let us never forget that Rio, when we were young,
cultivated enthusiasm within our souls, and for such a blessing we must be
bound to him by the deepest gratitude.” This is a debt which many a
Catholic to‐day, not in France alone, but throughout the world, owes to
Charles de Montalembert.


    THE CONSOLING THOUGHTS OF S. FRANCIS OF SALES. Gathered from his
    writings and arranged in order by the Rev. Père Huguet. Boston:
    Patrick Donahoe. 1874.


This work is really beyond the scope of the reviewer or the critic, as it
is made up wholly from the writings of a great saint. To every one who
knows the works of S. Francis of Sales, it will be a fresh pleasure to see
such well‐arranged parts of them in an English dress. Père Huguet has had
the happy thought of choosing from the saint’s spiritual treatises
everything that could console the sorrowful, strengthen the weak, and
encourage the doubtful. The translator made it a labor of love to put
these thoughts within the reach of many millions of English‐speaking
people. S. Francis has been read and admired by every one, within or
without the church; and there is between him and the modern mind a
peculiar sympathy which makes him essentially welcome to men of our day.
Non‐Catholics would call him a thoroughly _reasonable_ saint. Everywhere
his counsel will be found on the side of moderation. The “smoking flax”
and the “bruised reed” need not fear him; his gentle touch is the very
thing they require. The care with which Père Huguet has made this
compilation is apparent; for though the sentences that compose one page
may, as he says, have been taken from twenty various treatises, they all
follow each other in admirable order. The author has also supplemented
them with footnotes, consisting of appropriate passages from other
spiritual writers, ancient and modern, bearing on the same subjects as
those treated of by S. Francis. A few of these notes are signed with no
name, and are probably the adapter’s own. S. Francis has a wonderful power
of expressing spiritual truths in little terse sayings that might well be
called proverbs. A few quotations will give an idea of this peculiarity of
his style:

“Persecutions are pieces of the cross of Jesus Christ; we should scruple
very much to allow the smallest particle of them to perish.”

“It is not with spiritual rose‐bushes as with material ones; on the
latter, the thorns remain and the roses pass away; on the former, the
thorns pass away and the roses remain.”

“It is necessary that all these sentiments should sink deep into our
hearts, and that, leaving our reflections and our prayers, we should pass
to our affairs sweetly, lest the liquor of our good resolutions should
evaporate and be lost, for we must allow it to saturate and penetrate our
whole soul; everything, nevertheless, without strain of mind or body.”

Some very beautiful thoughts will be found on death, and the sorrow of the
living for the loss of their dear ones; also some merciful and encouraging
conjectures on the number of the saved, which S. Francis thinks will be
the greater number of Christians.


    SERMONS, LECTURES, ETC., ETC., OF THE REV. MICHAEL B. BUCKLEY,
    (LATE) SS. PETER AND PAUL’S, CORK. Boston: Patrick Donahoe. 1874.


This volume, containing the literary remains of the lamented F. Buckley,
will, we have no doubt, be well received by his numerous friends both here
and in Ireland. Though a young man, he had earned a high reputation as a
speaker and a writer; and the contents of this volume prove that his
reputation was not undeserved.

The subjects of the sermons and lectures are varied and interesting, and
are, for the most part, well handled. The memoir of the devoted young
priest attached to the volume will be found edifying and instructive, and
the whole book we deem well worthy the careful perusal of both clergy and
laity.


    NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF LOURDES; WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE APPARITION.
    From the French Edition. Approved by the Bishop of Tarbes.
    Baltimore: John Murphy & Co. 1874.


The devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes has spread so rapidly, and miraculous
favors coming from it have become so common, even in this country, that
this little book is extremely welcome, and will, no doubt, be very
popular. It cannot fail, also, to do much good by making the apparition
more generally known, and increasing the love of the faithful for Our
Lady, and their confidence in her intercession.


    MEDITATIONS ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST. By Brother Philippe, Superior‐
    General of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Translated from
    the French. West Chester: New York Catholic Protectory. 1873.


All who are acquainted with other meditations by the lately‐deceased and
much‐regretted Brother Philippe will not need to be assured of the
excellence of the present work. We have eighty‐two meditations on the
Eucharist, admirably chosen and thought out. Among them we are delighted
to see one entitled “The Holy Eucharist and the Most Blessed Virgin,” and
another upholding “Frequent Communion.”

Subjoined to these meditations are some on the Sacred Heart of Jesus, by
the same author. These are twenty‐four in number, and will prove of
service for instructions and conferences to sodalities of the Sacred
Heart.

May our glorious Lady, to whom this volume is dedicated, secure it the
reception it deserves. We have never seen anything to surpass these
_Meditations_, which Brother Philippe has left us as a precious legacy.


    SNATCHES OF SONG. By Mary A. McMullen (Una). St. Louis: Published
    by Patrick Fox, No. 14 South Fifth Street. 1874.


There are several reasons which incline us to speak favorably of this book
of poems. The first, perhaps, is the appearance of its printed pages,
which are neatly executed upon tinted paper. We notice, also, that the red
on the edges does not rub off on our fingers, which is a great source of
satisfaction to one who is obliged to handle new books. On turning the
book over, it occurs to us that green muslin does not form a pleasant
contrast with red edges; but as we notice a gilded harp and shamrock on
the cover, the arrangement of color is perhaps intended to be typical of
the sentiments of the authoress.

The book‐noticer—for we shall not claim the august title of critic—pauses
with instinctive reverence at sight of the works of a poet, and, above
all, of a poetess. The rhymes must be either good or bad. If good, how
shall he condense the ecstasies, the harmonies, of one volume into the
prosaic compass of a notice? If bad, how shall he run the risk of breaking
by rude treatment the strings of a lyre which is perhaps just working into
tune, or inflict a wound on those gushing hearts which sing with the birds
or bubble with the brooks? In the present instance, we are glad to be able
to say that the verses are not bad. The writer has talent. While there is
no marked or striking originality in the subjects chosen, and not much of
deep and moving pathos, there are many well‐turned and pretty stanzas, and
at times quite a wealth of imagery and illustration. The lines on “The
Nightingale,” “To Cashel,” “The Wayside Shrine,” will furnish instances of
this; and the volume will be found agreeable to lovers of poetry. The
writer deserves to be encouraged. We wish her success in the fortune of
her volume.

There is, however, a tone in some of the strains which grates somewhat
upon our ears. Although no one suffers from the abuse of arbitrary power
as greatly as the holy church, it is not her spirit to seek relief by
violence, nor is this permitted to her children, even under oppressive
tyranny, excepting when it promises to be a true remedy. There is much
more to be feared in these days from the spirit of lawlessness and
rebellion than from intelligent submission to governments, even when
imperfect in form and unjust in practice. Our Holy Father, while branding
with his apostolic eloquence the iniquities of which he is the victim, has
forbidden violent resistance, for the time being, to the oppressors of
Italy. The Catholics of Germany, under the most diabolical tyranny, have
not sought relief by agitating insurrection. And while we do not propose
to submit to injustice, or to call bad things by good names, we will never
wilfully stain our hands by unnecessary bloodshed. Under these
circumstances, the “Hymn to Liberty,” page 39, strikes us as a piece of
heated declamation.

Some lines which we have noted at intervals, and which seem to look
forward to the emancipation of Ireland as the work of the sword, though
highly gratifying to martial spirits, will not wholly commend themselves
to those friends of Ireland who are now seeking it by peaceful means, and
tread in the paces of the great O’Connell. There is no beauty without
truth; and those who lose sight of it, even in minor details, run the risk
of a false inspiration. We are glad to notice, on the other hand, several
poems in the volume full of Catholic thought and piety. As for the
melodies, harmonies, etc., before alluded to, those who wish for them must
lay aside our notice and read the book.


    THE PARADISE OF GOD; or, The Virtues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
    By a Father of the Society of Jesus. Baltimore: John Murphy & Co.
    London: R. Washbourne. 1874. (New York: Sold by The Catholic
    Publication Society).


The idea of this book is to show that the lovers of the Sacred Heart find
in that “masterpiece of creation” an Eden more beautiful than that from
which sin expelled us. The various chapters treating of the “Virtues,”
will be read with delight by all who are capable of appreciating them. The
book is one of the “Messenger Series,” and uniform with the _Happiness of
Heaven_ and _God Our Father_—two works which have been widely read.



Books and Pamphlets Received.


    From D. & J. SADLIER & Co., New York: Sadliers’ Catholic
    Directory, Almanac, and Ordo for 1874. 12mo.

    From the AUTHOR: The Anæsthetic Revelation and the Gist of
    Philosophy. By Benj. P. Blood. 8vo. pp. 37.

    From J. MURPHY & CO., Baltimore: Circular of the Catholic
    Commissioner for Indian Missions, to the Catholics of the United
    States. Paper, 8vo, pp. 14.

    From COMPTON & CO., Halifax, N. S. The Evil of our Day: A Lecture
    by Rev. A. Chisholm. 8vo, pp. 15.

    From the AUTHOR: Speech of Hon. N. P. Chipman in the House of
    Representatives, Feb. 28, 1874. Paper, 12mo, pp. 31.

    From METCALF & CO., Northampton: Sixth Annual Report of the Clarke
    Institution for Deaf Mutes. Paper, 8vo, pp. 40.

    From C. LANGE & CO., New York: Fourth Annual Report of the
    Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital. Paper, 12mo, pp. 34.

    From J. LOVELL, Montreal: The Labor and Money Questions. By Wm.
    Brown. Paper, 24mo, pp. 58.

    From J. A. MCGEE: Ireland Among the Nations. By Rev. J. O’Leary,
    D.D. 12mo, pp. 208.

    From P. FOX, St. Louis: Snatches of Song. By Mary A. McMullen
    (Una). 18mo, pp. 203.

    From SCRIBNER, ARMSTRONG & CO., New York: The History of Greece.
    By Prof. Dr. Ernst Curtius. Translated by A. W. Ward, M.A. Vol.
    IV. 12mo, pp. 530.

    From J. MURPHY & CO., Baltimore: The Paradise of God; or, The
    Virtues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. By a Father of the Society
    of Jesus. 18mo, pp. 365.

    From The NEW YORK CATHOLIC PROTECTORY, West Chester: Meditations
    on the Holy Eucharist, and Meditations on the Sacred Heart of
    Jesus. By Brother Philippe. 12mo, pp. xvi., 508, 153.

    From P. DONAHOE, Boston: Holy Week in the Vatican. By Thomas Canon
    Pope. 12mo, pp. xxiv., 416.



THE CATHOLIC WORLD. VOL. XIX., NO. 111.—JUNE, 1874.



The Principles Of Real Being. VI. Principles of Nominal Realities.


There are beings which are called _real_, not because they have any
special reality of their own, but only on account of their objective
connection with real beings. Thus possibilities are called “real,”
although the things possible have no formal existence and no actual
essence; relations are called “real” when they have real terms and a real
foundation, although they are not found to possess (unless they be
transcendental) any new and special reality; distinction, too, is called
“real” from the reality of those things that are distinct, although
distinction in itself is neither a new thing nor aught of any real thing.
Hence possibility, relation, and distinction are to be looked upon as
entities having only a conventional reality, from which their denomination
of “real” has been desumed. Let us therefore inquire what are the
principles on which these nominal realities depend.



Principles of possible being.


It has been proved, in one of our preceding articles, that every created
being is constituted of an act, of a potential term, and of their formal
complement. It is now to be observed that an act, when conceived as ready
to be produced and to actuate its term, is called a “first act”—_actus
primus_; whilst the same act, when already produced and existing in its
term, is called a “second act”—_actus secundus_. In the same manner, the
potential term, or the potency, when conceived as ready to be first
actuated by an act and to complete it, is called a “first
potency”—_potentia prima_; whilst the same term, when already actuated and
completing its act, receives the name of “second potency”—_potentia
secunda_.(85)

When treating of being as possible, it is evident that we cannot consider
its act as really actuating a term; for such a real actuation would
immediately be followed by the real actuality of the being. Yet the
quiddity of a possible being is always conceived through the same
principles and the same ratios through which the quiddity of the actual
being is conceivable. For a being is adequately possible when an act is
terminable or can give existence, when a term is actuable or can receive
existence, and when, from the concurrence of the two, one complete
actuality can result. The act, the term, and the complement are therefore
implied in the possible no less than in the actual being; with this
difference, however: that in the actual being the act and the term are
actually existing in one another, whereas in the possible being the act
and the term are not really existing in one another, but only mentally
conceived as ready to conspire into one common existence. In other words,
in the actual being the act is a _second act_, the term is a _second
potency_, and the complement is a real and formal _result_; whilst in the
possible being the act is a _first act_, the term is a _first potency_,
and the complement is a mere _resultability_.

Hence the intrinsic possibility of a being may be regarded under two
correlative aspects—that is either as the terminability of a first act, or
as the actuability of a first potency. Under the first aspect, possibility
involves a positive reality, because it implies a real entity which is
eminently (that is, in a more perfect manner) pre‐contained in the entity
and power of its cause. Under the second aspect, possibility does not
_involve_ anything positive—unless we speak of the possibility of
accidents, which require a positive subject—but only _connotes_ something
positive, to wit, the first act by which the term is to be formally
actuated. Possibility, under this second aspect, and with reference to
primitive beings, is nothing else than the potentiality with which we
clothe nothingness when we conceive it as a term out of which beings are
educed by creation; for nothingness thus conceived connotes the act by
which the non‐existing term can be brought into being.

Every possible being has, therefore, a twofold incomplete possibility—the
_formal_ and the _material_. The formal consists in the terminability of a
first act; the material in the actuability of its term; while the complete
and adequate intrinsic possibility of the being is a simple result of the
concurrence of the two.

It must be manifest, as a consequence from the preceding remarks, that a
possible being is not truly, but only _nominally_, real. For its material
possibility, or its possible term, is only an entity of reason, since it
means nothing more than a non‐entity conceived as liable to actuation; and
its formal possibility, or its possible act, although involving, as we
have said, the notion of a positive reality eminently contained in the
entity of the Creator, is still nothing formally in that line of reality
to which we refer when we speak of its possibility. Thus the possibility
of man, so far as it is eminently contained in the entity of the Creator,
is no human entity at all, but simply God’s entity and power; just as the
possibility of velocity, so far as it is eminently contained in the entity
of its cause, is no formal velocity at all, but simply the entity and
power of the agent by which the velocity can be brought into being.
Certainly, the velocity with which a drop of rain falls to the ground has
no formal existence in the earth which produces it, but only in the drop
itself; it being evident that the attractive power of the earth is not
velocity, but the principle of its production. And the same is to be said
of any other effect inasmuch as it is eminently contained in its efficient
cause. Nothing, therefore, that is merely possible has any _formal_ being
in its cause; whence it follows that whatever is merely possible is
nothing more than an entity of reason—that is, an unreality—whether we
consider its material or its formal possibility. All entities, in fact, of
which the act and the term are beings of reason, can have no actuality but
an actuality of reason. Hence possible beings are themselves only beings
of reason, and have no reality, either physical or metaphysical. Why,
then, are they called _real_? Certainly not for what they are, but simply
because their possibility is the possibility _of real beings_. Many
philosophers are wont to style them _metaphysical realities_; but this is
a mistake, for all metaphysical reality implies existence.

Possibles, as mere beings of reason, have neither actuality nor formal
unity, except in intellectual conception; whence it follows that they do
not constitute number, except in intellectual conception. This inference
is evident. For every multitude is made up of distinct units; and
therefore no real multitude can be conceived without real units really
distinct. On the other hand, possible beings are not real, but conceptual,
units, nor are they really, but only mentally, distinct from one another.
As, however, they are distinctly conceived, and have a distinct ideal
actuality in the intellect that conceives them, they constitute what may
be called an _ideal_ multitude. Such a multitude, as seen and exhaustively
comprehended by God’s intellect, is absolutely and positively infinite;
for possibilities are nothing but the virtual degrees of being which God’s
infinite reality eminently contains, and which God’s infinite power can
produce outwardly. The range of possibilities is therefore co‐extensive
with God’s infinity, and thus actually comprises an infinite (not an
_indefinite_) multitude of distinct terms.

This infinite multitude is distinctly and _positively_ known to God in the
perfect comprehension of his own infinite being, which is the
inexhaustible source of all possible beings; to our intellects, however,
which cannot comprehend infinity, the same infinite multitude is known
only _negatively_, inasmuch as we understand that the multitude of
possible beings admits of no limit whatever. We have, in fact, no positive
intuition of the infinite, but acquire a notion of it by means of
abstraction only, as we remove the limits by which any finite reality
directly perceived by us is circumscribed. In other terms, our notion of
the infinite is not an intuitive _idea_, as the ontologists assume, but
only an abstract _concept_.(86)

Thus far we have spoken of what is called _intrinsic_ possibility. Besides
this possibility, which is theoretical and absolute, there is also a
relative possibility which is _extrinsic_ and practical. Extrinsically
possible we call that which is in the power of some being to do. With
regard to God, all that is intrinsically possible is also extrinsically
possible; for his omnipotence has no bounds. With regard to creatures,
whose power is confined to the production of accidental acts, the range of
extrinsic possibility is very limited, since it is reduced to acts of a
determinate species, and depends on extrinsic conditions. Still, as the
efficient power of created substances is never exhausted by exertion,
creatures virtually contain in their own power a multitude of possible
acts which has no limit but that of the multitude of terms or subjects
which can be placed within the sphere of their activity. This amounts to
saying that the active power of creatures can be exerted, not only
successively, but even simultaneously, in the production of any number of
accidental acts of a certain kind. Thus the attractive power of the sun
sufficiently accounts for the possibility of innumerable movements which
can take place at any time and at all times in any number of planets,
comets, or particles of matter around it; so that the multiplication of
the effects does not require the multiplication of the power, but only
that of the number of subjects, or potential terms, in which the acts
proceeding from that power must be received.

From what we have just said of real possibility, it will be easy to
determine in what real impossibility consists. Really impossible we call
that which cannot exist in nature. Now, nothing can exist in nature which
is not an act completed by a suitable term, or a term actuated by a
suitable act, or an actuality resulting from the conspiration of an act
and a suitable term, as we have shown in a preceding article. That,
therefore, is absolutely and intrinsically impossible in which this
essential law of being is not fulfilled. Thus passion without action is
absolutely and intrinsically impossible, because a term cannot be actuated
without an act; whiteness with nothing white is absolutely impossible,
because no mode of being is conceivable where there is no being; a
material form actuating an intellectual term is absolutely impossible,
because the one cannot give that kind of reality which the other should
receive, and thus they cannot conspire into one essence; rotundity and
triangularity in the same subject are absolutely impossible, because they
exclude and destroy one another. Generally, whenever the assumed
principles of a thing do not conspire into one essential ratio, the thing
will have no essence, and consequently no possibility of existence. Hence
everything is intrinsically impossible which lacks some constituent, or of
which the constituents cannot meet together.

Things intrinsically impossible are no beings, not even ideal beings; for
since they have no essence, they have no objective intelligibility.
Nevertheless, they are said to be _really_, _truly_, _entitatively_
impossible, inasmuch as they are the opposite of possible entity, reality,
and truth.

Besides this intrinsic and absolute impossibility, there is a relative
impossibility, which is styled _extrinsic_, arising from a deficiency or
limitation of extrinsic power. It is evident that a thing intrinsically
possible may be extrinsically impossible to causes possessing limited
power. To God nothing is impossible. When we say that God cannot sin or
make a square circle, we do not limit his power, but only point out the
_intrinsic_ impossibility of the thing. And let this suffice with regard
to possibles and impossibles.



Principles of real relation.


Relative we call “that which connotes something else”—_id quod se habet ad
aliud_. Thus the greater connotes the less, as nothing can be styled
“greater” except as compared with something less; and, similarly, the less
connotes the greater, as nothing can be styled “less” except as compared
with something greater. Hence greater and less are both relative.

That one thing may connote another, there must be some link between
them—that is, a communication in something that reaches them both, and
thus connects the one with the other. Hence, to constitute a relative
being, three things are required: 1st, that which is to be related, or the
_subject_ of the relation; 2d, that to which it is to be related, or the
_term_ of the relation; 3d, that through which it is related, or the
_foundation_ or _formal reason_ of the relation.

It is worth noticing that the word “relation” is used by philosophers in
two different senses. Sometimes it is used as meaning simply “the respect
of a subject to a term”; as when we say that the father by his paternity
is related to his son, or that the son by his filiation is related to his
father. Here paternity and filiation are simple _relativities_, which may
be called “transitive relations,” as the one leads to the other. But
sometimes the word “relation” is used as meaning “the tie resulting
between two terms from the conspiration of their distinct relativities”;
as when we say that between the father and his son there is a tie of
consanguinity. Relation in this sense is nothing else than the actuality
of two correlatives, inasmuch as connected by their distinct relativities,
and may be styled “resultant relation,” or “intransitive relation,” as it
does not lead from the subject to the term, but is predicated of both
together.

The precise distinction between relativity and resultant relation is
marked out by the two prepositions _to_ and _between_. Relativity relates
the subject _to_ its term; resultant relation, or correlation, intervenes
_between_ two terms. Relativity needs completion in a term having an
opposite relativity, as it is evident that paternity has no completion
without a son; and thus one relativity essentially needs to be completed
by the other; but correlation is perfectly complete, as it is the result
of the completion of one relativity by the other. And, lastly, the formal
reason or foundation of the simple relativity is that which induces the
connotation, or the respect of one term to another; whilst the formal
reason of the correlation is the conspiration of two relativities. Thus
the foundation of paternity and of filiation is _generation_, active on
the part of the father, and passive on the part of the son; but the formal
reason of consanguinity is not the generation, but the conspiration of
paternity and filiation into a relative unity. This shows that these two
kinds of relation are entirely distinct, though they are essentially
connected with one another in the constitution of the relative being.

Let us now inquire in what the _reality_ of relations consists. Here again
we have to make a distinction; for among the relations which are called
_real_, some are real in fact, as the transcendental relations, and others
are real by denomination only, as all the predicamental relations.

Transcendental relation is that which intervenes between the act and the
term, or the formal and the material principles of one and the same being.
Such a relation is called “transcendental,” because it transcends the
limits of any particular predicament, and, like _being_, extends to all
predicaments. This relation is truly real, whether we take “relation” as a
simple relativity or as a resultant correlation. For the relativity of an
act to its term is nothing less than the _actuality_ of the act in the
same term; in like manner, the relativity of a term to its act is nothing
less than the _actuality_ of the term in the same act. We know, in fact,
that the common foundation of the two relativities is _actuation_, active
on the part of the act, and passive on the part of the term; and from
actuation nothing but actuality can result. And since by such an actuation
the act and the term are _really_ constituted in one another, hence their
relativities need nothing extrinsic for their completion, but the one
intrinsically completes the other in the same individual being, and both
conspire into one absolute actuality, which is the formal complement of
the same being, as we have shown in another place.

But with predicamental relations the case is different. The subject and
the term of the predicamental relation do not communicate with one another
through themselves immediately, but through something else, and are always
physically distinct, as we shall see hereafter; whence it follows that the
predicamental relativity always refers the subject to a term extrinsic to
it, and thus needs something extrinsic for its entitative completion. But
nothing which is extrinsic to the subject can complete anything intrinsic
to it so as to form a real entity. Therefore the relativity of the subject
to its term is not a real entity of the subject, but only a real
denomination. The minor of this syllogism can be easily proved; for two
things which are, and remain, extrinsic to one another cannot conspire
into _one_ real unity; but the subject and the term of predicamental
relations are, and remain, extrinsic to one another; they cannot,
therefore, conspire into one real unity. Hence they cannot give rise to
any new real entity; for _unity_ and _entity_ are convertible terms.

Moreover, predicamental relations arise between two absolute terms without
anything new being introduced into them. For if we have two real terms,
_A_ and _B_, possessing something which is common to both, their
communication in this common thing will make them relative. Yet such a
communication leaves _A_ and _B_ in possession of that reality which is
said to be common, and adds no real entity to them. If _A_ and _B_ are
both white, the whiteness which is in _A_ is by no means modified by the
existence of whiteness in _B_. The fact that _A_ and _B_ are both white,
simply means that whiteness is not confined to _A_; but it does not imply
any new real entity in _A_, and therefore _A_ remains identically the
same, whether there is another white body, _B_, or not; and if there were
one thousand white bodies, _A_ would become related to them all, and
acquire a thousand relativities, without the least real modification of
its entity.

Not even the relation between agent and patient, which is the nearest
possible imitation of the transcendental relation between the essential
constituents of absolute being, is a new entity. A being which acts is an
_agent_; and a being which is acted on is a _patient_. Agent and patient
are connected by predicamental relation, the _act_ produced by the first,
and received in the second, being the foundation of their relativities.
Now, is the relativity of the agent to the patient a new real entity above
and besides the substance of the agent and its action? By no means. For
such a relativity arises from this only: that the act produced by the
agent _is received in the patient_; and as the patient is a being distinct
from the agent, the _reception_ of the act in the patient cannot concur to
the constitution of any new reality in the agent. Hence the whole reality
of the agent, as such, consists in its substance and its action; while the
reception of its action elsewhere can add no real entity to it, but simply
gives it a real denomination desumed from the reality of the effect
produced. For the same reason, the relativity of the patient to the agent
is no new real entity above and besides the substance of the patient and
its passion. This relativity, in fact, arises from this only: that the act
received in the patient _comes from the agent_; and as the agent is a
being distinct from the patient, the _coming_ of the act from the agent
cannot concur to the constitution of any new reality in the patient. Hence
the whole reality of the patient, as such, consists in its substance and
its passion, or reception of the act; while the coming of this act from a
distinct being can add no real entity to it, but simply gives it a real
denomination desumed from the reality of the causation.

From what precedes we may conclude that the reality of predicamental
relations requires no new real entity superadded to the real terms and the
real foundation of their relativity, and accordingly predicamental
relations are only nominal realities.

Relations are either _virtual_, _formal_, or _habitual_. Virtual
relativity is predicated of a subject which contains in itself virtually
(_in actu primo_) something through which it can communicate with a
distinct term. Thus everything visible has a virtual relativity to the eye
before it is seen; because all that is visible has the power to make an
impression upon the eye. Hence _visibility_ is a virtual relativity, or,
if we may so call it, a mere referability. In Latin, it is called
_ordo_—“ordination”; and in the language of the schools, the visible would
be said to have “a special ordination to the eye”—_visibile ordinem habet
ad oculum_. In the same manner, the eye has a special ordination to the
visible, the intellect to the intelligible, etc.

The formal relativity is predicated of a subject which is formally (_in
actu secundo_) connected with its correlative by the formal participation
of a common entity. Thus, when the visible object strikes the eye, the
action of the one upon the other entails a formal link of relativity
between the two, and it is thus that the previous virtual relativity of
the one to the other becomes formal. This formal relativity in Latin is
often called _respectus_—“a respect”; and the things thus related are said
“to regard”—_respicere_—one another.

The habitual relativity is predicated of that which has been brought into
relation with its correlative by something in which both originally
communicated, but which, owing to the destruction of one of the two, has
ceased to be common. This relativity in Latin is properly called
_habitudo_—that is, “habitual connotation”; and the subject thus related
is spoken of as _habens se ad aliquid_—a phrase which we do not attempt to
translate, and which is used by philosophers in a more general sense to
express all kinds of relations.(87) Thus a murderer is still habitually
related to the man whom he has killed, although the man killed is no more
a man; and, in the same manner, a son is habitually related to his father,
even after his father’s death; for he is still the same son of the same
father, and it would be absurd to pretend that he has lost his own
relativity and ceased to be a real son only because his father is no more.
It must be remarked, however, that this habitual relativity cannot be
real, except when the relation has an intrinsic foundation. For when the
foundation is extrinsic, there is nothing formally remaining in the
subject which, after the suppression of the term, can keep up its
relativity. Thus, if the moon were annihilated, the distance from the
earth to the moon would totally vanish, as every one will easily admit.

Much might be said about predicamental relations, both intrinsic and
extrinsic; but, in a general treatise like this, we cannot well enter into
matters of detail. We will only state that relations are divided according
to their foundations. Intrinsic relations are respectively founded on
substance, on action and passion, on quality, and on quantity; and
therefore may be reduced to four kinds. Extrinsic relations also may be
divided into four kinds, as they are respectively founded on a common
cause, on a common region of ubication, on a common duration, or on a
common extrinsic term of comparison.

Substance, and everything else considered absolutely, founds the relations
of _unity_ and _plurality_. Action and passion found the relations of
_causality_ and _dependence_. Quality founds the relations of _likeness_
or _unlikeness_. Quantity founds the relations of _equality_ or
_inequality_. All these relations are called _intrinsic_, because their
foundation is something intrinsic to the terms related.

A common cause founds the relation which we may call of _collateralness_
between two terms proceeding from it. Thus two brothers are connected in
mutual fraternity, inasmuch as they are the offspring of the same parents.
A common region of ubication and movement founds the relation of
_distance_. A common duration founds the relation of _succession_. A
common extrinsic term of comparison founds the relation of _site_ or
_situation_. All these relations are called _extrinsic_, because their
foundation is extrinsic to the terms related.



Principles of real distinction.


Distinction is nothing but a negation of identity; and therefore there
must be as many kinds of distinction as there are kinds of identity which
can be denied. Hence we cannot properly determine the principles of real
distinction without first ascertaining what are the principles of real
identity.

Identity is a _relative unity_, or a relation founded on the _unity_ of a
thing. For the thing which is to be styled _the same_ must be compared
with itself according to that entity on account of which it is to be
pronounced to be identical with itself; and it is evident that such an
entity must be _one_ in order to be _the same_. Thus if I say: “The pen
with which I am now writing is the very same which I used yesterday,” the
pen with which I am now writing will be the subject of the relation, the
pen which I used yesterday will be the term of the relation, and the
oneness of its entity will be the foundation of the relation and the
formal reason of the identity.

As relations, like everything else, are specified by their formal reasons,
it is clear that there must be as many kinds of identity as there are
kinds of unities on which the relation of identity can be founded. Now,
three kinds of unities can be conceived: first, the formal unity of a
complete being, or a complete unity, which may be called _physical_ unity;
secondly, the unity of an incomplete or metaphysical reality, which may be
called _metaphysical_ unity; thirdly, the unity of a being of reason,
which may be called _logical_ unity. Accordingly, there can be three kinds
of identity, viz., the physical, the metaphysical, and the logical. Let us
say a word about each.

Physical identity is a relation founded on the unity of a physical entity,
and is the most real of all identities. Some philosophers taught that this
identity is merely a logical relation, or a relation of reason, because a
relation cannot be real unless its subject be really distinct from its
term—a condition which cannot be verified when the subject and the term
are identical. But they did not reflect that a thing must be called
_really_ identical with itself then only when it cannot be _really_
distinguished from itself, and _inasmuch as_ it excludes real distinction
from itself. It is therefore manifest that real identity excludes real
distinction in that in which there is identity. Nevertheless, the thing
which is substantially identical with itself may still really differ from
itself in the manner of its being, and may, as the subject of the
relativity, involve a real entity, which it does not involve as the term
of the same relativity; and accordingly the substantial identity of a
thing with itself does not exclude _all_ real distinction. The pen with
which I am now writing, although identical with the pen that lay on the
table one hour before, is now in different accidental conditions, and has
some real mode, which was wanting one hour ago. And this shows that there
can be a sufficient real distinction between the subject and the term of
the relation, even though they are substantially identical.

Physical identity may be divided into _complete_ and _incomplete_. It is
complete, or total, when a being is compared with itself through the unity
of its physical entity, as in the preceding example of the pen. It is
incomplete, or partial, when a physical part is compared with a physical
whole, or, _vice versa_, as when we compare the whole man with his soul or
with his body.

Metaphysical identity is a relation founded on the unity of a metaphysical
entity, and possesses a metaphysical reality. It may be divided into
_adequate_ and _inadequate_. It is adequate when a being is compared with
itself through the unity of some metaphysical reality which belongs to it.
Such is the _personal_ identity of John when old with John when young; for
although he has undergone many physical changes in his body, and therefore
has not preserved a perfect physical identity with himself, still his
formal personality, which is wholly due to his soul, has not changed at
all. The identity will be inadequate when any metaphysical constituent of
a complete being is compared with the being itself, or _vice versa_. Such
is the identity of the substantial act with the substance of which it is
the act, of the matter with the material being, and of any property or
attribute with the thing of which it is the property or the attribute.
Such is also the identity of the divine Personalities with the divine
essence; for, although the divine Paternity identifies itself perfectly
with the divine essence, this latter requires further identification with
the divine Filiation and with the passive Spiration; for it must be as
whole and perfect in the Second and the Third Person as it is in the
First.

Logical identity, or identity of reason, is a relation founded on the
unity of a being of reason. It may be divided into _objective_ and
_subjective_. The objective has its foundation in the real order of
things; the subjective has no foundation except in our conception. Thus
the identity we conceive between a horse and its owner as to their
animality is an identity of reason only, although it is grounded on a real
foundation; for animality is indeed to be found really in both, but its
unity is only a unit of reason; for animality, as common to both, is only
a logical entity, which we call “genus.” The same is to be said of the
identity between Peter and Paul as to their humanity; for humanity, though
real in both, is not numerically, but only specifically, one, and its
unity is therefore a unity of reason; for “species” is a logical being. On
the contrary, when we say that “a stone is heavy,” the identity between a
_stone_ and the _subject_ of such a proposition has no foundation except
in our reason, and therefore is purely subjective; and the same is to be
said of the identity of the verb _is_ with the _copula_ of the
proposition, of _heavy_ with the _predicate_, etc. It is evident, in fact,
that the ground on which these last relations are founded is not a real
unity, and not even a unity having anything corresponding to it in the
real order; since subject, predicate, etc., are mere conceptions and
creations of our mind.

We have thus three kinds of identity: the physical, which is either
complete or incomplete; the metaphysical, which is either adequate or
inadequate; the logical, which is either objective or merely subjective.
Since distinction is the negation of identity, it is obvious that the
distinction between two terms always results from the non‐unity of the
same, and is conceived by the comparison of the one with the other
according to something which can be affirmed of the one, and must be
denied of the other. Those things, in fact, are said to be distinct of
which the one is not the other, or in one of which there is something not
to be found in the other.

First, then, to deny real physical identity is to assert real _physical_
distinction. Physical distinction may be either _complete_ or _incomplete_
as well as physical identity. It will be complete, or major, when,
comparing two complete wholes with one another, we deny that the one is
the other; as when we deny that the sun is the moon. It will be
incomplete, or minor, when, comparing together the whole and any of its
parts, we deny that the whole is any of its parts, and _vice versa_; as
when we deny that Germany is Europe, or that the roof is the house. It is
evident that incomplete physical distinction always coexists with
incomplete physical identity.

The true and certain sign of real physical distinction between two things
is their separability or their state of actual separation. For when two
things are completely distinct as to their physical entity, they are each
in possession of their own distinct existence; and consequently the
existence of the one does not depend on the existence of the other. On the
other hand, although a physical whole cannot exist as a whole, if its
parts be separated, yet each of its physical parts can exist separated, as
each of them has its own existence independent of the existence of the
whole.

Secondly, to deny real metaphysical identity is to assert real
_metaphysical_ distinction. Metaphysical distinction may be either
_adequate_ or _inadequate_ no less than metaphysical identity. It will be
adequate, or major, when, comparing together two metaphysical
constituents, we deny that the one is the other; as when we deny that the
act is the potency. It will be inadequate, or minor, when, comparing a
metaphysical compound with any of its constituents, we deny that the
constituent is the compound, and _vice versa_; as when we deny that
existence is the thing existing, or that person is personality. The
inadequate metaphysical distinction always coexists with an inadequate
metaphysical identity.

Thirdly, to deny an identity of reason is to assert a distinction _of
reason_. A distinction of reason may be either _objective_ or merely
_subjective_, no less than the identity of reason. It will be objective,
or major, when, comparing together two entities which are really
identical, we find in their identical reality a ground for denying their
conceptual identity; as when we deny that God’s eternity is God’s
immensity, or when we deny that in any given being one essential
attribute, as animality, is another, as rationality. This distinction is
objective, because its ground is found in the object itself; and yet it is
not real, because each term represents the same thing under two distinct
aspects. Thus, in man, animality really includes a rational soul, and
therefore implies rationality. But the distinction will be purely
subjective, or minor, when, comparing together two entities, we find no
ground whatever for denying their identity, except in our subjective
manner of viewing them. Thus, although _man_ is identical with _rational
animal_, we can distinguish man from rational animal as a subject from a
predicate; and it is evident that this distinction has no ground but in
our conception.

Accordingly, we have three kinds of distinction: the real physical, which
is either complete or incomplete; the real metaphysical, which is either
adequate or inadequate; the logical, or of reason, which is either
objective or merely subjective. This division is exhaustive. Some will say
that we have forgotten the _modal_ distinction. But the fact is that we
have abstained on purpose from mentioning it in connection with any
special kind of distinction, because it may fall under the physical as
well as the metaphysical distinction, according as it happens to be
understood; for it is differently understood by different writers.

Some authors consider that there is a modal distinction between the
spherical wax and its sphericity, between the soul affected by fear and
its affection, between the finger inflected and its inflection, and
generally _between the modified subject and its mode_. Others, as Suarez,
seem to admit a modal distinction between the wax simply and its
sphericity, between the soul simply and its affection, between the finger
simply and its inflection, and generally _between the subject simply and
its mode_. And others, again, admit a modal distinction between the wax
having a spherical form and the same wax having a different form; between
the soul affected by a movement of fear and the same soul affected by a
different movement; between the finger inflected and the same finger not
inflected; and generally _between a subject having one mode, and the same
subject having another mode_.(88)

These different opinions have been occasioned by an imperfect analysis of
distinction. Those who originally treated of this matter called _real_ all
distinction which was not a mere distinction of reason, and overlooked the
necessity of subdividing real distinctions into physical and metaphysical.
Hence the modal distinction was simply called _real_, without further
examining whether it had a physical or a metaphysical character; the more
so as it was assumed that real modes were physical entities—which would
convey the idea that real modal distinction is of a physical nature. But
the assumption is not to be admitted, because, as we have remarked in
another article, modes cannot be styled “physical” entities, as they have
no possibility of separate existence. This being premised, let us briefly
examine the three aforesaid opinions.

The first admits a modal distinction between spherical wax and its
sphericity. Sphericity cannot exist without a subject; and therefore it
must be ranked among metaphysical entities. On the other hand, spherical
wax is a metaphysical compound of wax and sphericity. Hence, from what we
have said above, the distinction of the one from the other is an
_inadequate metaphysical_ distinction.

The second opinion admits a modal distinction between the wax simply and
its sphericity. Sphericity, as we have stated, is a metaphysical entity,
and so is “wax simply” also; for wax, as such, is not yet spherical,
although, as a subject of sphericity, it excludes every other form. Such a
wax therefore has no form, and, as such, it cannot exist; and accordingly
it is an incomplete being. Hence the distinction between the wax simply
and its sphericity is that which intervenes between two principles of a
complete being, and therefore is an _adequate metaphysical_ distinction.

The third opinion alone gives the true notion of the _modal_ distinction.
For if a piece of wax which is spherical happens to acquire another form,
say the cubical, the comparison of the cubical with the spherical wax will
involve two terms physically real; and as the substance of the wax is
still the same, no distinction will be found between the two terms, except
that which arises from denying the identity of the cubical with the
spherical form. We have thus a real and physical modal distinction: _real_
and _physical_, because the spherical wax really and physically differs
from the cubic wax; _modal_, because the negation of identity falls on the
two modes, and not on the substance.

From this we learn that neither the first nor the second opinion above
mentioned gives the true notion of modal distinction. The first denies
only the identity of the spherical wax with its sphericity; the second
denies only the identity of wax simply with sphericity. Now, it is evident
that neither spherical wax nor wax simply is a mode. It is evident,
therefore, that neither opinion denies modal identity. But modal
distinction cannot be anything else than a denial of modal identity.
Therefore neither opinion gives the true notion of modal distinction.

As modes are accidental formalities, the modal distinction may also be
called _formal_. The Scotist philosophers imagined a formal distinction of
another kind, which, according to them, was to be admitted between the
attributes of real being, and which was neither real nor a mere
distinction of reason, but something intermediate. They called it “formal
distinction arising from the nature of the thing”—_distinctio formalis ex
natura rei_. We need not refute this invention. We have already given in
full the general theory of distinction, and we have found no room for any
formal distinction intermediary between real distinctions and distinctions
of reason; and, as to the attributes of real beings, we have shown, in the
article before this, that they are not really distinct from one another,
but admit of a simple distinction of reason, which, however, has a real
foundation in the thing.

Sometimes distinction is styled _formal_ as contrasted with _virtual_.
Thus we may say that there is a formal distinction between two terms
formally existing—_e.g._, two existing men, and a virtual distinction
between two virtual terms—_e.g._, two possible men. And generally,
whenever one and the same thing virtually contains two or more, these
latter, as thus contained, are said to be _virtually_ distinct. Thus
intellect and reason are only virtually distinct, as they are one concrete
power of acquiring knowledge which can perform its task by two different
processes. This virtual distinction is, of course, nothing but a
distinction of reason.

Sometimes, again, distinction is called _positive_ as contrasted with
_negative_. It is positive when the two terms of which we deny the
identity are both positive, and it is negative when one of the two terms
is negative; as when we distinguish the existent from the non‐existent.
Negative distinction is a _real_ distinction; for the negation of _real_
identity can be predicated not only of two real beings, but also, and with
greater reason, of the existent as compared with the non‐existent.

It may be remarked that _distinction_, _difference_, and _diversity_ are
not synonymous. Diversity is most properly predicated of two things that
are not of the same genus; difference of two things that are not of the
same species, and distinction of two things that are not numerically
identical. Nevertheless, the terms _distinct_, _different_, and _diverse_
are very frequently employed for one another, even by good authors.

We observe, lastly, that distinction, as such, is not a relation; for all
relation presupposes some distinction between the terms related, as a
condition of its possibility. Yet two positive terms really distinct have
always a certain _relative_ opposition, inasmuch as there is always
something common to both (at least their being) which may be taken as a
foundation of mutual relativity.

And here we close our investigation about nominal realities. We have shown
that possibles, relations, and distinctions are no _special_ realities,
but are called _real_ from the reality of other things. Real possibility
is only the possibility of a real being; real relation is only the
actuality of two terms really communicating in something identical; and
real distinction is only the existence of things of which the one is not
really the other.

As this is our last article on the principles of real being, we beg to
remind the reader that our object in this treatise has been only to point
out distinctly, and to express with as great a philosophical precision as
our language could permit, all that concerns the constitution of being in
general. We may have failed to employ always the best phraseology, but we
hope our analysis of real being is philosophically correct, and the
principles we have laid down under the guidance of the ancients will be
found to shed a pure and abundant light on all the questions of special
metaphysics. But the student of philosophy should not forget that the
greatest difficulty in the settlement of all such questions arises, not so
much from the nature of the subjects investigated, as from the imperfect
knowledge and mis‐application of philosophical language. And this is the
reason why we did our best to determine the exact purport of the terms
most frequently employed in metaphysical treatises.



Antar And Zara; Or, “The Only True Lovers.” II.


An Eastern Romance Narrated In Songs.

By Aubrey De Vere.



Part II.


She Sang.

I.

I heard his voice, and I was dumb
  Because to his my spirit cleaved:
He called to me from far. I come.
  Because I loved him, I believed.

He said, “Though love be secret yet,
  Eternity its truth shall prove.”
It seemed not gift, but ancient debt
  Discharged, to answer love with love.

II.

Thy herald near me drew and knelt:
  I knew from whom the missive came
Ere yet I saw, ere yet I felt
  Thy sigil‐mark, or kissed thy name.

I read—’twas like a thousand birds,
  Music confused of Paradise:
At last the words became _thy_ words;
  Thy voice was in them, and thine eyes

Above them shone in love and power,
  And flashed the meaning on the whole:
We were not severed, friend, that hour:
  One day shall blend us, soul with soul.

III.

That face is valorous and grave:
  To it, despite thine unripe spring,
Thy spirit’s might the painter gave:
  It is the countenance of a king.

Look down, strong countenance, strong yet fair,
  Through all this weak, unstable soul!
Like stars sea‐mirrored, kindle there
  _His_ virtues—truth and self‐control!

Not beauty, nor that youthful grace
  Uncareful girlhood’s natural dower,
Suffice. A child of royal race,
  A hero’s wife should walk in power.

IV.

Like some great altar rises vast
  That rock whereon our City stands,
With gray woods girt; with shade far cast
  At morn dividing distant lands.

Nor war she fears, nor summer drouth,
  By runnels pierced whose sparkling tide
Is drawn from mountains of the South
  O’er myriad arches far descried.

Around her cliff‐like, stony zone,
  From tower to tower, from gate to gate,
At eve, when sunset changes stone
  To gold, her princes walk in state;

And priests entoning anthems sweet,
  The people’s strength; and maiden choirs
That, passing, make them reverence meet;
  And orphaned babes, and gray‐haired sires.

High up, with many a cloistered lawn,
  And chapelled gallery widely spread,
Extends, flower‐dressed at eve and dawn,
  The happy “City of the Dead.”

There musing sit I, day by day;
  I sing my psalm; I pray for thee:
“If men could love, not hate,” I say,
  “How like to heaven this earth would be!”

V.

Love bound a veil above my brow;
  He wrapt it round me, o’er and o’er;
He said, “My little nun art thou,
  My solitary evermore.

“Where hid’st thou when the falcons fly;
  The flung jereed in music shrills?
When sweep the Arab horsemen by
  In valleys of the terraced hills?

“Where are thy childhood’s blithesome ways?
  The tales, the dances, and the sports?
The bards that sang thy beauty’s praise
  Amid the hundred‐columned courts?”

Love took from me all gifts save one:
  The veil that shrouds me is his gift:
Love! say to him I love, “Alone
  That veil of severance thou canst lift.”

VI.

On crimson silk, ’mid leaf and flower
  I traced thy name in golden thread;
A harper harped beneath my bower:
  I rose, and brought him wine and bread.

He sang: methought he sang of thee!
  “_My_ prince!” I cried—“how knew’st him thou?
His victories in the days to be?
  His heaven‐like eyes, and king‐like brow?”

“O maid! I have not seen thy prince:
  Old wars I sang; old victories won
In my far‐distant land long since;
  I sang the birth of moon and sun.”

VII.

He culled me grapes—the vintager;
  In turn, for song the old man prayed:
I glanced around; but none was near:
  With veil drawn tighter, I obeyed.

“Were I a vine, and he were heaven,”
  I sang, “I’d spread a vernal leaf
To meet the beams of morn and even,
  And think the April day too brief.

“Were he I love a cloud, not heaven,
  I’d spread my leaf and drink the rain;
Warm summer shower, and dews of even
  Alike I’d take, and think them gain.”

“I would not shrink from wintry rime
  Or echoes of the thunder‐shock,
But watch the advancing vintage‐time,
  And meet it, reddening on my rock.”

VIII.

I often say, now thou art gone,
  “How hard I seemed when he was here!”
I feared to seem too quickly won:
  Love also came at first with fear.

I sang me dear old songs which proved
  That many a maid had loved ere I:
No secret knew I till I loved:
  I loved, yet loved reluctantly.

My heart with zeal more generous glowed
  When he I loved was Danger’s mate.
Great Love in this his greatness showed—
  He lifted thee to things more great.

IX.

My childhood was a cloistered thing:
  No wish for human love was mine:
I heard the hooded vestals sing
  The praises of their Love Divine.

The village maids with rival glee,
  Flower‐filleting their unclipt hair,
Sang thus, “The meadow flowers are we”:
  I thought the convent flowers more fair.

Yet false I am not. Still I climb
  Through love to realms this earth above:
And those whom most I loved that time
  Only for love’s sake fled from love.

X.

Dear tasks are mine that make the weeks
  Too swift in passing, not too slow:
I nurse the rose on faded cheeks,
  Bring solace to the homes of woe.

I hear the Vesper anthems swell;
  I track the steps of Fast and Feast
I read old legends treasured well
  Of Machabean chief or priest.

I hear, on heights of song and psalm,
  The storm of God careering by:
Beside His Deep, for ever calm,
  I kneel in caves of Prophecy.

O Eastern Book! It cannot change!
  Of books beside, the type, the mould—
It stands like yon Carmelian range
  By _our_ Elias trod of old!



The Farm Of Muiceron. By Marie Rheil. Concluded.


From The Revue Du Monde Catholique.



XXII.


During these terrible events, I dare say the combatants were not the most
to be pitied. They, at least, were in action, in the midst of powder and
noise; and if they fell, wounded or dead, they scarcely had time to know
it. But think of the poor friends and relatives who remained without news,
and almost without strength to seek any information! They were to be
pitied.

Perhaps you may live in a city, which does not prevent you from sometimes
going to the country; and so you can understand how certain villages are
isolated from all daily communication. Our hamlet of Ordonniers, although
near the large city of Issoudun, was, in this respect, worse off than many
other places; for when M. le Marquis was absent from the château, there
was no daily paper, none of the villagers being liberal enough to indulge
in that luxury. The Perdreaux, in their time, subscribed for a paper,
which came every other day, and gave the market prices and a jumble of
news of people and things here and there about a month old. Even this
resource no longer existed. M. le Curé was the only one who cared for what
was going on; but as his means were very limited, he contented himself
with a little paper which only came every Sunday.

Judge, then, of the terrible anguish at Muiceron; above all, when they saw
all the able‐bodied men of the commune leave; for you remember that then,
for the first time, the provinces showed their teeth at the news of the
horrors in Paris, and rose _en masse_ to go and punish the rebellious
children of a city that, in her selfishness, disturbed the whole of France
without any just right.

The women displayed great bravery. They fitted out their sons, husbands,
brothers, and betrothed, and let them leave for the dreadful struggle
without wincing. But the next day—but the following days! What anxiety and
what tears!

It was touching to see them each morning run before the country stage or
speak to the letter‐carrier, in hopes of hearing some words to reassure
them. Generally, the stage drove rapidly on at a gallop; for stage‐drivers
are not patient, and the poor creatures’ only information was an oath or
rough word. As for the letter‐carrier, he knew nothing positive, and was
content to give the flying reports, which were not enough to quiet those
troubled souls.

Jeanne and her mother kept at home. They prayed to God and wept, poor
things! It was the best way to learn patience; but their hearts sank
within them. It was a hard blow to have been so near happiness, and then
suddenly to see it fly, perhaps for ever.

Old Ragaud was miserable that he could not go off with the other men of
the neighborhood. He was too old, and this only increased his vexation, as
he was but three or four years older than Michou, and he was in the
battle! The sadness and ill‐humor of the poor old fellow rendered Muiceron
still gloomier, and the women neither dared stir nor sigh before him.

The little they knew was very terrible; and when the private letters began
to arrive, all the families were plunged in despair and sorrow. Our
commune alone lost three men; among them Cotentin, the miller, an honest
peasant, and father of four children. He was shot dead, almost at the
moment of his arrival; and the next day came the news of the death of
Sylvain Astiaud, son of the head‐forester, one of our bravest boys. Each
one trembled for his own at the announcement of these misfortunes, and at
last silence was considered a sure sign that mourning should be prepared.

Jeanne felt all her courage fail. She could no longer either eat or sleep,
and even feared to question the passers‐by. Certainly the good God, who
wished to sanctify the poor child, and make her a perfect woman, did not
spare her any suffering. He acted with her like a father who is tender and
severe at the same time; who corrects the faults of his child, knowing
well that they are more hurtful than death, and then recompenses her when
petting can no longer spoil her.

Therefore this little Jeannette had to go to the end of her trial before
relief came and her tears were dried. And this happened through that
giddy, wild Pierre Luguet, who had left, like the others, singing and
blustering, assuring the people around that he did not believe a word of
the current rumors, and that, in one hour after his arrival in Paris, he
would find out the whole truth, and send them all the news. But, behold!
as soon as he was in the midst of smoking and bleeding Paris, he lost his
senses, imagined himself killed before he had fired a shot, and wrote in
pencil, on a scrap of blood‐stained paper, a letter to his parents, all
sighs and tears. He bade them farewell, and begged them to pray for his
soul, as he would be dead before night; for no one could live in such a
terrible conflict. If he had only spoken for himself, it might have
passed; but he added that M. le Marquis, Jean‐Louis, and Michou were
certainly dead. He had sought for them everywhere, asked everybody, and no
one could give him good news. To crown his stupidity, he added that, among
the great heaps of corpses that lay yet unburied, he had recognized Jean‐
Louis’ blouse of gray linen bound with black; and therefore they must weep
for the death of that good, brave boy.

Poor Mme. Luguet ran straight to Muiceron to show that foolish letter. If
there had been the least degree of cool good sense among them, it would
easily have been seen they were the words of a brain addled from fear; but
in the mortal anxiety of the poor Ragauds, they took it all for good coin.
Jeanne fell on her knees, sobbing aloud, and, losing the little courage
she still possessed, wrung her hands in despair. Pierrette threw herself
beside her daughter, trying to comfort her; and Ragaud wept bitterly,
although he had said a thousand times a man in tears is not worthy to wear
breeches. In the evening, the true religion which filled those poor hearts
came to support them and give them some strength. They lighted tapers
before the crucifix and around the Blessed Virgin, and all night this
afflicted family prayed ardently for the repose of the souls of the
supposed dead—who were never better.

The next day you would have been shocked to have seen the ravages grief
had made on their honest faces. Jeannette, wearied out with weeping and
fatigue, slept in the arms of her mother, paler than a camomile‐flower.
Pierrette restrained her tears, from fear of awakening the child; but her
hollow eyes and cheeks were pitiful to see; and the sun shone brightly in
the room, without any one taking the trouble to close the shutters.

It was in this state that M. le Curé found the Ragaud family. His entrance
at Muiceron renewed the lamentations; but Jeannette was calm, which
greatly pleased the good pastor, as he saw that his lessons, joined to
those of divine Providence, had borne their fruit.

He took the little thing aside, and, much affected by her deathlike
appearance, spoke gently to her, and asked her to walk with him on the
bank of La Range.

“My daughter,” said he, “it is not right to sink into such utter despair
about news which is yet uncertain. Show a little more courage, for a while
at least, until we hear something positive.”

“He is dead,” said Jeannette. “May the will of God be done! Alas! I should
have been too happy, if I had seen him again.”

“Why are you so certain? As for me, I confess Pierre’s letter would not
make me lose all hope.”

“They were three together,” said she. “Pierre has written; could they not
have written also?”

This argument was not bad. The _curé_ could not reply; for, without
acknowledging it, he did think the silence very strange. He made the poor
child sit down by the side of the swift‐running stream that glittered in
the bright sunshine, and spoke to her for a long time in such soothing,
touching words, Jeanne listened with profound respect and piety. He spoke
of the happiness of this world, which is but for a short time; of the
necessity of living and regaining her strength, that she might console her
parents; of the beautiful day of eternity; of the heavenly home, where we
will meet again the loved ones gone before us, never again to be
separated.

At another time, Jeannette would not have understood these words, and
perhaps might have even found them out of place; but now they fell upon
her heart like soft caresses.

“Oh!” said she, “it is only now I understand how dearly I loved him.
Father, tell me, can he see us from above?”

“You will have it, then, that he is absolutely dead,” said the _curé_,
smiling.

Jeannette, in spite of her grief, smiled in her tears.

“That is true,” she said; “perhaps he is not dead.”

Hope had re‐entered her soul with the consolations of the holy priest.
They walked down the road to the farm, and Jeannette thanked him with much
tenderness, and remarked, as it was near sunset, he must return home.

“One moment,” said the good _curé_; “you are a little egotist. I can’t go
without saying a word to father and mother.”

“Oh! yes,” said she, “of course you must; but, dear father, I will remain
here, and say my rosary in the shade under the trees; the air will
completely restore me.”

“Very well, dear child,” replied the _curé_; “and may the Blessed Virgin
console you, my daughter!”

Jeanne retired under the heavy foliage, and really took her little rosary
out of her pocket. But this wood recalled many sweet reminiscences. It was
there Jean‐Louis had found her and saved her life on that stormy night the
year before. She looked for the spot, near the woodman’s cabin, where he
had taken her in his arms with a father’s care; and as the remembrance of
all this past happiness, which she had then slighted, came back to her
heart, she leant against a tree, and hid her face in her hands.

Whether they were tears of repentance, of regret, of love, or of prayer
that fell from her eyes God only knows; and surely, in his infinite
goodness, he waited for this moment of supreme anguish, which could not
have endured much longer, to say to that heart‐broken child, “You have
suffered enough; now be happy!”

For in that same hour Jean‐Louis, wild with joy, leaped from the imperial
of the country stage on the highroad, and ran, without stopping to take
breath, toward his beloved Muiceron.

He also remembered the stormy night, and, from a sentiment you can well
understand, wished to see again the little hut, if only to throw a passing
glance.

He reached the spot, and was soon near the tree where Jeannette leant
motionless. He recognized her. The beating of his heart almost suffocated
him; for, with a lover’s instinct, he immediately knew, if she had come to
weep in that spot, it could only be on his account.

He advanced until he stood close behind her.

“Jeanne!” said he, so softly he scarcely heard his own voice.

Jeannette turned, and gave one scream. Her eyes wandered a moment, as if
she had seen a phantom, and she fell half‐dead into his arms.

“Jeanne! dear, dear Jeanne! don’t you know me?” said he, pressing her to
his breast. “I have caused you much sorrow, but it is all over—oh! it is
all over; tell me, is it not?”

The poor child could not speak; her emotion and joy were too great. But
such happiness don’t kill; and gradually she revived, although she still
trembled like a leaf.

“O Jeannet!” she said at last, “they wrote word you were dead.”

“And was that the reason you were weeping here all alone in this wood, my
poor, dear darling?” he tenderly asked.

“Yes,” said she, looking down; “I could not be consoled. Why did you not
send us some news?”

“I wished to surprise you,” said he, with simplicity; “and now I see I did
wrong.”

“One day more, and I would have been dead also,” said she, leaning on his
arm. “Cruel boy, go!”

She looked so lovely, still pale with grief, and yet as lively and
coquettish as before, Jeannet was obliged to clasp her once again in his
arms, and even kissed her, for which I hope you will pardon him, as I do.

“How good God is,” said he, “to permit us to meet again in this very
place! This is the second time, dear Jeannette, that I have saved you when
in great trouble; and I hope it is a sure sign that poor Jean‐Louis will
be able to comfort and assist you all the rest of his life.”

“You will never leave us again; you will promise that?” she replied. “When
you are away, all sorts of misfortunes happen. Oh! how much we have
suffered.”

And as these words suddenly recalled the sad events of the last six
months, her flirtation, her thoughtless conduct, and the lamentable scenes
that followed, she blushed, sighed, and leant her face, down which the
tears were streaming, against Jean‐Louis’ shoulder.

“My own Jeannette,” said he, “you must no longer think of all that sorrow,
now that God has made us so happy again. There is no misfortune which does
not carry with it a profitable lesson when we recognize in it the hand of
the Lord; and, for my part, although I have been nearly dead with grief, I
say that my present happiness has not been too dearly bought, and I would
consent to pass again through the same trials, on condition of possessing
a second day like this.”

“Oh! no,” said Jeanne, “I have had enough. I have not your courage, and I
will pray to God that I may be spared from such great trials. Come,” added
she, taking Jeannet’s arm, “we must go and surprise our parents. And the
dear _curé_ is just now with them! He told me so—the good, holy man told
me you were not dead.”

“But who set such a report afloat?” asked Jeannet. “For really I was not
even in danger.”

“Oh! what a story,” cried Jeanne. “You were in the fight; it could not be
otherwise.”

“Certainly,” said Jeannet, “I fought, and did my best; but I never for an
instant imagined the good God would let me die without seeing you again.”

“It is very well to have such happy thoughts,” said Jeanne joyfully; “if I
could have had them, I would not have been nearly dead with anxiety, and
hopeless from such great fear. Now I regret my tears, and would like to
take them back.”

“You would not be the richer for it,” said he, laughing; “but, Jeannette,
don’t laugh at me. It was neither presumption nor carelessness made me
think so. The good God put the faith in my heart; and then, didn’t I have
round my neck the silver medal you gave me the day of your first
communion? Wasn’t the image of the Blessed Virgin powerful enough to turn
aside the balls?”

“What!” said Jeannette with emotion, “have you still my medal? Is it the
very same one? Have you always worn it, in spite ... in spite of all....
Jeannet, show it to me; let me kiss it!”

“No,” said Jean‐Louis, blushing, “not now. I will show it to you later.”

“Right away; I won’t wait,” said she in the peremptory manner which so
well became her. “I like to be obeyed.”

“But,” said Jeannet, much embarrassed, “I can’t, because....”

“Because what?” she replied. “Don’t think you are going to be master here!
No, no, not more now than before, when, you remember, my mother said,
‘Jeannette is the boy....’ ”

“Really,” answered Jean‐Louis, “you have a good memory. Well, then, since
Jeannette is the boy, and I am the girl, I must submit to her wishes.”

And as, in spite of all this talk, he made no attempt to show her the
medal, another idea entered her head.

“You are wounded,” said she, “and you don’t wish me to see it.”

“That is not the reason,” he replied, unbuttoning his vest. “I don’t wish
you to believe any such thing.”

On opening his shirt, he showed the medal on his breast, and then the
curious Jeannette understood his resistance; for, near the blessed image
of our dear Mother, she recognized the long tress of blonde hair which had
been cut off during her illness.

“It has never left me,” said he; “but I dared not let you see it. Do you
forgive me? Your poor hair! I said to myself, While it rests upon my
heart, it is as though my little sister were watching over me. And in the
fight, I thought that, as the medal of the Blessed Virgin and your
precious souvenir were also exposed to the fire, I could not be killed;
and you see I was not mistaken.”

“Oh!” cried Jeannette, with tears in her eyes, “my dear Jeannet, I do not
deserve such love.”

They reached Muiceron, arm‐in‐arm. Oh! how refreshing was the shaded
court‐yard and the fragrant hedges! And then, the dear house looked so gay
in its new white coat, its green shutters, the fresh young vines that hung
from the trellis, and its slate roof newly repaired, all shining in the
soft rays of the sinking sun. The songs of the bullfinch and robin were
more joyous than the trumpets and horns on a patronal feast; and it seemed
as though the good God in heaven were well pleased, so beautiful was the
blue sky, flecked with golden‐edged clouds! Was it really the house we saw
six months ago? Jeannet, who had long loved it, scarcely recognized it; he
was mute with admiration, and, although he had left it in despair, he
accused himself of having neglected to look at it until now; for surely
his memory did not recall anything as joyous and beautiful as he now
beheld in his beloved Muiceron.

Shall we ask the reason? There is a great artist who can paint, with
colors of unparalleled brilliancy, whatever he chooses to place before our
eyes. He is called happiness; and God wishes him to walk beside us, both
in this world and the other.

The two dear children began to run as soon as they entered the court‐yard
of Muiceron. Jeannette was the first to spring across the threshold, and
fell speechless into her mother’s arms. Jean‐Louis quickly followed her,
and stood in the door‐way, holding out his hands to his parents. Then
there were cries, and tears, and confusion of kisses, and questions
without end and without reason. Their hearts overflowed. The little one,
as they always called the tall, handsome boy, was covered with caresses,
stifled with embraces quite overpowering; for country‐people drink in joy
by the bucketful and don’t put on gloves when they wish to show their
love. But you can imagine Jean‐Louis did not complain. M. le Curé alone
kept aside, with clasped hands, from time to time putting his handkerchief
to his eyes, and thanking God, while he waited his turn.

Gradually their happiness toned down a little; but the excitement was so
great, each one showed his joy in some particular manner. Old Ragaud
whirled around the room, took off his cap to smooth his hair, and replaced
it, all the while laughing as though he did not know precisely what he was
about; and Pierrette forgot to ask the children what they wished to eat,
which was a sure sign her head was completely turned. As for Jeannette, I
must tell you that, like all innocent, warm‐hearted young girls, she dared
act, in presence of her parents and M. le Curé, as she would not have done
alone with her brother; she threw her arms around his neck every half‐
second, and clung to him so closely he could not stir an inch. Jeannet did
not show greater timidity; seeing her act with such _naïveté_, he neither
frowned nor looked sour, but accepted willingly what was so sweetly
offered him.

Fortunately, Marion, whom no one thought of, and who bellowed with joy in
chorus with the others, came to her senses sooner than any of them, and
thought of the supper. Jeannet smelt the butter frying on the stove, and
acknowledged he was very hungry. This covered Pierrette with confusion.
She felt very guilty that she had so neglected her duties, and asked a
thousand pardons; but Jeannet laughed, as he kissed her, and told her not
to be excited, as he could easily wait until the next day, being only
really hungry to see and kiss her.

Ragaud would not let the dear _curé_ go home. It was right that he should
wait until the end of the feast; and as the good pastor, who always
thought of everything, expressed a fear that old Germaine might be anxious
about him, they despatched a stable‐boy, with the wagon and quickest mare
at Muiceron, to fetch her.

What a fine supper that was! All these good people recovered their
appetites, and ate and drank as they had not done for a long while. I
leave you to imagine the stories that were told of the revolution. But
Jeannet, not wishing to cloud their present joy, was careful to relate
events as though all had been a kind of child’s play. Jeannette, however,
paused more than once as she was about to take a mouthful. She felt that
Jean‐Louis stretched a point now and then for love of her, and she showed
her gratitude by looking tenderly at him, while she pressed his hand under
the table.

At the dessert, they formed plans. They talked of re‐establishing the old
order of things, of living together again in peace and harmony, and that
there should be no more separations. Ragaud, especially, dwelt at length,
and very particularly, upon the happy future in store for all of them;
threw meaning glances right and left, in which could be remarked much
hidden meaning and not a little white wine. Jeannette smiled, blushed,
looked down; and, I fancy, Jean‐Louis’ heart beat high with hope and
expectation of what was to follow.

The good man ended by being much affected, though he endeavored to pass it
all off as a joke; for it was his wish always to appear deaf to any kind
of sentiment.

“After all,” said he, tapping Jean‐Louis on the shoulder, “here is a boy
upon whom we cannot depend. He is here now at this very moment; but who
knows if to‐morrow he will not be out of sight as quickly as the stars
fall from the sky on an August night? Isn’t it so, M. le Curé?”

“It is just as you say, Ragaud,” replied the _curé_. “ ‘He who has drunk
will drink again,’ says the proverb; and as this little one went off once
without giving warning, how can we know but he will do it again?”

“Oh! what nonsense,” said Jeannet. “My dear parents, I will never leave
you again!”

“Hum!” replied Ragaud, “you said that a hundred times before, and then
what did we see? One fine morning, no Jeannet!”

“We must tie him,” said old Germaine, laughing; “when Jeannette misbehaved
in school, I used to tie her by the arm to an end of the bench.”

“I remember it well,” said Jeannette; “and more than once I broke the
string.”

“Then we must find some other means, if that will not do; think of
something, Germaine,” replied Ragaud, winking over at the children.

“Think yourself, M. Ragaud,” said she. “Are you not master here?”

“That depends,” replied Ragaud. “If I were master, I would say to Jean‐
Louis, Marry, my boy; when you will have a wife and children, they will
keep you in the country more than all the ropes, even that of our well.
But Jeannet has declared he will not hear of marriage; and here is Jeanne,
who can’t be relied upon for advice, as she said the same thing not more
than a month ago, in presence of M. le Curé; so we can’t sing that tune
any longer.”

“But how do you know? Perhaps by this time they have both changed their
minds,” said the _curé_, smiling.

“Let them say so, then,” replied Ragaud, his eyes beaming with paternal
tenderness that was delightful to see.

“O father!” said Jean‐Louis, rising, “if I dared to understand you, I
would be wild with joy!”

“If you can’t understand me, little one, Jeannette perhaps can be a little
quicker. Speak, Jeanneton!”

The child instantly understood his meaning. In a second she was beside
Jeannet, took his hand, and both knelt down before their father.

“My children, ask M. le Curé’s blessing before mine,” said Ragaud
solemnly. “He is the representative of the good God, and it is God who has
conducted all.”

It was a touching scene. The good _curé_ extended his trembling hands over
Jean‐Louis and Jeannette, who bent low before him, weeping; then Ragaud
did the same with great simplicity, which is the sign of true piety, and
then Pierrette took each of their dear heads in her arms, kissed them, and
said:

“My poor darlings! May God protect you all the days of your life! You have
wept so much, you deserve to be happy together.”

The poor children were overwhelmed with joy so deep and tranquil they
could neither move nor speak. They kept close together, and looked
tenderly at each other with eyes that said much. M. le Curé left them for
awhile to themselves and their new‐found happiness. He knew enough of the
human heart to understand that great display of affection, loud weeping,
and noisy parade of words and actions are often marks of a very little
fire in the soul; while love which has been proved by deeds, and which is
scarcely seen, is always very ardent. As he had never doubted that
Jeannet, hitherto so perfect, would show and feel sincere affection as a
lover, he was glad to see he was not mistaken, and regarded with much
pleasure this young couple, who were so well matched.

However, it was very easy to see our _curé_ had something to say. Jean‐
Louis and Jeannette had softly retreated to the corner near the sideboard,
a little out of sight of the parents; and we must imagine that, feeling
themselves a little more at ease thus sheltered from observation, the
faculty of speech returned to them, as they could be heard whispering and
laughing like children at recreation. It was so charming to see them thus
relieved from all their difficulties, and swimming in the full tide of
happiness, like fish in the river, no one had the courage to disturb them.

But our _curé_ had his own idea, and would not leave until he had made it
known; so, as he saw Jean‐Louis and Jeannette might chatter away a long
while, he rose, as if to say good‐night, which made all the rest rise;
for, although intensely happy, they did not forget to be civil.

“My children,” said the pastor, addressing the old as well as the young,
“I will go to sleep to‐night very happy. For forty years, come next All‐
Saints, that I have been your _curé_, never have I assisted at a betrothal
as consoling as yours, for which I will return thanks to God all my life.
You are going to marry as is seldom done in the world nowadays; that is to
say, with hearts even more full of esteem than of love, which enables me,
in the name of the Lord, to promise you as much happiness as can fall to
the lot of mortals here below. You know already that a house built without
foundation cannot stand, and that the grain sown in bad soil bears no
fruit. It is the same with the sacrament of marriage, when it is received
by a soul that is frivolous and vain, and feels neither regret for the
past nor makes good resolutions for the future. Oh! how happy I am I
cannot say this about you; and how my old heart, which has pitied all your
sufferings, now is gladdened at your happiness, well deserved by the piety
and resignation of the one and the sincere repentance of the other—this is
for our betrothed. Great disinterestedness, and all the domestic virtues
of a Christian life is the praise I unhesitatingly bestow upon you, the
good parents! But if this reward is beautiful, if nothing can exceed it,
since it is the pledge of a whole life of peace and happiness, know that
the Lord will not be surpassed in generosity, and that he has prepared a
delightful surprise by my mouth, which will be like the crowning bouquet
on the summit of an edifice just completed.

“My dear Ragaud, I speak now to you. Twenty years ago, when your generous
heart received, without the slightest hesitation, a poor, abandoned child,
it was an honorable and religious act, which deserved the warmest praise;
but to‐day, when you give your only daughter to this same child, from pure
esteem of his noble qualities, without regard to the gossip of the people
around, this second action surpasses the first in excellence, and deserves
a special recompense from our good God.

“Well! you will soon have it